Sunday, June 27, 2010

When you wish upon a star...

Every time Landon makes a wish - which is more often than you might think with dandelions to blow, stars ('star light star bright first star I see tonight - I wish I may I wish I might have the wish I do tonight') birthday candles... the wish is always the same:

"I wish I can go fishing with Daddy"

This week Landon's wish came true with an afternoon fishing trip up near Bear Lake with Daddy and Grandpa. Lucky boy!

Free at last! (A long post of all our house-searching/selling details so far:)

We decided about 6 months ago that we wanted to move, and we've spent the past 6 months in almost constant preparation for that.

Brainstorming, researching, traveling and home searching both online (New York? Delaware? California? Washington? Colorado? Brazil?) and in person (Brentwood, California? Logan, Utah? Lubbock, Texas?) to determine where we wanted to move. And finally (finally!!!) we made the decision to move to Logan. Hooray for a decision made!

Near the end of the decision making process, we made a list of all the projects we really wanted to complete on our home. Then we put them on the calendar and ended up with a medium-sized project to work on almost every weekday and a major project for every weekend - from the beginning of April to the middle of June. 2 1/2 months of constant projecting, phewph!!!

In the midst of project-ing, in spare moments we searched online (MLS, craigslist, ksl, zillow, google maps...) and watched for homes available in Logan.

Also in between projects, we met with a few realtors and got the bad news that despite the major work we've put into our home the past few years, it's value is far below what we paid (and still owe) for it. But we still felt like it was the right time to be moving, so we made a plan to use some of our savings to cover the difference.

After another few days searching up in Logan this past week, it seemed like everything in our price range was in a new development (which we didn't want) or built in the 60's or 70's and still looking now like it looked then. Increasing our price range seemed to just get us more wallpaper to remove, carpet to replace, kitchen and bathroom cupboards to update... But at last, we found a good possiblity - built in the 70's but with the major updates already done, a really great neighborhood, on a cul-de-sac (sort of) - a really nice home and fitting most of our preferences.

We met with the mortgage company and found that the home was well within our budget and were happy with some great news. :)

Finding a possible home made us more willing to sell our home for such a loss. So, we lowered the price we planned on listing it even further - now using almost all of our savings to cover the difference from what we owe. We felt good in doing it though because it put our home below what other similar homes in our neighborhood were selling at, and felt certain it would be a quick sell at that price. It seemed worth the money not have to go through months of stress in keeping the house in a constant showable state, fending off listing agents, and living in that terrible limbo-ish state.

With tons of cleaning, organizing, packing up and storing, then amazing photos (thanks to Nathan), a great sign out front with nice flyers, a website done by Jordan, advertising online in several places, and (most imporantly) a really low sale price -- we'd done all we could do and came back to Provo all set for a busy weekend open house. Cookies, lemonade, extensively researched comparable homes... all set.

Then we waited and waited and waited... and had just one person come.

I felt totally discouraged. If we decided not to move then all the time spent in searching for a new home was wasted. If we lowered the price even further, then all the time spent in updating our home (and all the money put into it) was wasted. Our last 6 months of all this wasted!

But somehow by the end of the day I felt better. Realizing that it is summer time and that just not a lot of people are looking right now.

And today I just feel like a huge burden has been lifted. We've done everything we can do and now we just have to wait. Now I can just focus on my children instead of on researching and project-ing. We can play with our kids, celebrate the fourth of July, plan our trip to New York, do some little projects as we want (because really we wouldn't know what to do with ourselves if we didn't have some project we were in the middle of) -- we can just enjoy these summer days. What a relief. What freedom!

So now we just wait. My plan for doing everything just right and being able to sell our home super quickly, make an offer on our next home and have everything go just right and perfect according to the exact right super-fast timing... isn't going to work out. But things will work out. We can wait and be patient and be happy loving our clean and shiny little home and our sweet family.



Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It's Official!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Speaking of Houses

I've had houses and homes on my mind a lot these days. So, here are some fun house-related things.

1. Nathan posted several of the house pictures that he did for us on his blog. I love these and I'm excited to see the rest too. He did such a great job - Jordan said after looking at these he feels like he needs to work harder at keeping our house nice because it looks so good in the pics. :)

2. After having read about a million home-for-sale descriptions, I thought this *dollhouse* blurb was great.

3. Even though we decided not to move to Texas, we still have this flyer from our Lubbock dream home up on our bulletin board. It really was the most beautiful home we have looked at in all of our home searching.

click to enlarge if you want to see :)

4. TravelinOma wrote a great story today about "the house that built me" - so funny.

5. If our house doesn't sell for a reasonable price, Jordan wants to build on a sunroom like this onto the back. ;)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Happy Moment of the Day

An elderly man at Macey's stood nearby watching this morning as I got Landon and Ellie loaded into a car-cart. It was quite a process - Landon choosing which car cart (red? blue? red? blue?), pulling it out of the narrow aisle (though not quite far enough, meaning some squishing in between the other carts), Landon climbing in (on Ellie's side) then Ellie (so excitedly) trying to figure out what to do (now that Landon was in her spot), at last happily discovering she could walk around to the other side, climbing in/being pulled in by Landon... close the doors, try out the steering wheel horns... and we're off!
As we headed into the store, this man said something kindly that I couldn't quite understand, then asked "You have two children?" and with a smile "I hope you have a dozen more!" said with such happiness like it was the sweetest compliment he could think to say to me.

I'm always so grateful for kind strangers who help me feel like I'm doing a good job as a mom. :)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Almost 10 years ago...

I wrote this for an English assignment in high school - an imagined journal for myself 10 years older. I knew then how much I would love being a mother. I didn't know that the day-to-dayness of motherhood wouldn't bother me - that those every day routines themselves would be a joy to me. And I knew I'd have a hard-working loving husband, but apparently I imagined he'd be working himself into an ever-tired state. :)

March 7, 2011

Well, today was a busy day as usual. Emma has decided that she no longer needs my help, so I've had to spend all of my time correcting messes - rebuttoning her shirt, switching her shoes to the right feet, pulling knots out of her hair, and tasting her creations. She has a mind of her own... She loves to hold Conner and play with him, which is nice...

With Logan gone all day, it's hard to keep on top of things...he works so hard for us...I am so grateful to him for letting me stay home with Conner and Em. I miss teaching, but it's nothing compared to watching my own kids grow up. Maybe someday I'll go back.

Today, I took Emma and Conner to the park - it was nice for Emma to get some energy out and it was a beautiful day. After all this gray weather I just love to see the blue skies and get out of the house. Conner was a little fussy but once I got him to sleep, it was a nice afternoon. I had to give Emma a bath though when we got home and that was quite a job, as usual. Trying to keep Conner from crying while trying to keep Emma from getting out of the tub is quite a trick.

...Well, that's about all that's happened lately. It seems like all these days just blur together. Every day is the same things - get the kids dressed, breakfast, clean up, change diapers, nap, lunch, change diapers, clean up, dinnertime, and get the kids to bed.

But I love every day of this.

Even though Logan's so tired, he's always good at reading to Emma or rocking Conner to sleep while I clean up some more (it seems like our house can't stay clean for more than an hour!) While he watches the news I finally get a chance to rest and a moment to breath.

But everyday is something new. Emma will draw me a picture, Conner will learn a new word. They are such little things, but it's those things that I love so much.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

My house of dreams

We spent the day cleaning and scrubbing and weeding and arranging today while Nathan took photos of our home. After such a long day working, we looked at a few of the pictures Nathan had sent over.

They were amazing. We laughed out loud to see them because they were just so gorgeous -- could this really be our home?

And it made me cry to look at these beautiful photos of our home that I love so much, and think of leaving it.

Such a sweet time of my life has been here in this home that we've put such loving care into. So many happy memories of our two little children's fast growing days are here.

I told Jordan that I just might not be able to leave - he said he'll start digging a basement. :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Great Escape

We thought maybe the kids were sleeping well enough to put Ellie back up in the munchkin room close to Landon - and maybe so, but we've been off to a bit of a rough start. Like Ellie so proudly climbing out of her crib and going in to visit her big brother tonight.

(In Landon's words)

Mommy and Daddy! Ellie got out of her crib!!!

I was sleeping and sleeping and Ellie came in here to see me ... and she was smiling, because she thought it would be exciting...but I was worried because it was a fright!

The Great Escape