Wow - so much has happened in just the week and a half since my last post.
We decided to go with Empire for our carpet. The guy who came out to our house was the typical sales guy. I almost wanted to show him the door just because he was so obnoxious. I hate how sales people feel the need to treat me as though I am not as intelligent or as knowledgeable as them. Granted, I am probably not as knowledgeable about their particular product as they are - which is why I called them out to my house in the first place. But please, treat me as a reasonably intelligent human being. I almost got into an argument with the guy over jingles - yes, jingles. He was essentially trying to intimate that Empire was the first company to ever use a jingle effectively. Ha!
It took him forever to finally bring the carpet samples in - which was an issue because the bank had turned off the power to the house, so we were using the remaining daylight. Fortunately the house gets pretty good natural light, so we were able to make the most of it. Once he finally brought the samples in, Aaron and I devised all kinds of tests to decide which one we liked the most. We took our shoes off and stepped on it. I did a little dance. In the end, the most effective test was the "elbow test" in which we laid on the floor with our elbows on the carpet. That eliminated a couple right away for being to scratchy. In the end, we chose a mid-level plush in a color called "Milky Way." Then the guy told us it would be $3,000. We said, "Thank you. We have to think about it and price it out at other stores." At which point he hammered us with how great the company is and how nobody could beat their price and service (installation and haul away are included in the price). We kept insisting that we were not going to enter into a contract at this time. How could I be prepared to enter into a contract when they don't post their prices online and I had no way of preparing myself for how much we were going to spend? So then he pulled the classic sales guy technique of "calling his manager" - of course, right in our earshot so we could hear him reacting with "surprise." After the phone call, the price dropped by $900. At which point, Aaron and I decided that we might as well go for it because it was a little cheaper than Home Depot and it could be done before we moved our furniture in. Sweet. One more thing taken care of.
Aaron's mom arrived on Tuesday to help us fix up the house. I have to admit, whatever daughter-in-law nerves I may have had were totally unfounded. She has been fantastic! On Tuesday night, we went out to dinner in Santa Monica and then drove out to the house so that she could see it and we could go over ideas. Almost every paint color idea she had corresponded or was better than the ideas I had! She knows all kinds of stuff about how to fix up houses - what are quick fixes, where you can save money, what would be cost effective and what would not. It's amazing!
Yesterday, I rode my bike to work, Aaron borrowed my car, and Aaron's mom borrowed his car. While we were at work, Aaron's mom packed up all my wine glasses and other breakables and took them up to the house where she got straight to work. Aaron and I joined her after work. She had already painted our entire master bedroom (not to mention gone to Home Depot and gotten a bunch of supplies and unpacked the breakables and put them in the kitchen for me). We then went to Home Depot and picked out our new stove and hood. We were looking at the microwave hoods, but the way the tile in our kitchen is, we determined it wouldn't work. After Home Depot, we went out for pizza and then went home and fell into bed exhausted.