Tuesday, April 30, 2013

I have a feeling my life is about to change.


So, when we moved here a few months ago, we knew we wanted to start house-hunting pretty soon. We gave ourselves a few weeks to settle in, and only signed a four month lease on this little apartment in the hopes that we’d find something we loved in that amount of time. Soon enough we settled on a realtor we felt good about, and started the hunt. KC’s cousin Alicia has been a huge help with last minute babysitting throughout this process. I know this isn’t an easy thing, having three little ones of her own, and her service is incredibly appreciated. Anyway, the first time we went out we saw about seven homes. None stuck out. Well some did, for for the wrong reasons. It was only our first run, but it was pretty discouraging, and I don’t like wasting time.  I started to notice how quickly houses got sold around here. I’d see one pop up on a real estate website, I’d contact our realtor, and by the time he got back to me later that day, it was already pending. So, frustrating.

One night, feeling anxious about the whole process, I was up late and heard and email notification on my phone. It was alerting me of a new house on the market. There weren’t pictures yet, but the description sounded promising. I wrote our realtor at 11:00 PM and told him I wanted an appointment first thing in the morning. We called him as early as seemed reasonable, he excitedly said he’d rearrange some things, and get us in at 10. By then pictures were up and we wanted to see it even more. We packed up the kids and went to the house.  Immediately I liked what I saw. It was several notches better than any others we’d seen, and the kids thought it was the greatest place on the planet. It was vacant and unfurnished. Perfect for them to run around and explore. Of course there were paint colors we didn’t love, and some interesting quirks about the overall design, but nothing to turn us away from the great things it had going for it. Nothing needs to be fixed or removed, and everything is finished! The more we looked, the more we liked, and within minutes we were talking about making an offer. Everyone says that when you find the right house, you just “know”. Well, now I see what they were talking about. It was definitely a feeling I didn’t feel in any other house. Even when we thought about putting an offer on one in MD, I still felt like we were pushing against something. This was a very different experience, and although it was still scary to make a decision this big, we told our realtor to get the ball rolling. Well, by 10 pm, we were under contract! I was definitely starting to feel weird having made the decision so quickly, but I just told myself it was classic cold feel, and nothing was final yet. But I was still excited.197201

Of course there was more to be done. Loans, inspections, etc. but with the exception of some minor kinks, things went pretty smoothly for the next several weeks as KC and the realtor worked hard to get everything in order. We were grateful for that. I put myself to work thinking about how to furnish, decorate, and organize the place. The kids and I stopped by to play in the yard a few times when we were in the neighborhood, and besides looking in the window, and at pictures online, that first walkthrough was all I saw of the whole thing. I started to freak out a little as our closing date drew near, that it wasn’t as awesome as I had imagined, and that there was something scary we hadn’t found when seeing it for the first time. We did a final walkthrough the day before closing, as all my anxiety was put to rest when we walked in and found it even better than I remembered. I had butterflies instead of knots in my stomach from that point on. It was like Christmas Eve! I hadn’t been that giddy or excited about anything in a long time, and it was fun.

(The boys went ahead and marked their territory during a visit one day.)489494496

Our closing meeting went extremely well. We met the seller and his realtor. Both very nice people we were happy to get to know. And it was nice to get the ins and out of the neighbors and neighborhood. It was a beautiful, happy day, and we were thrilled to finally have the keys to our own house! It’s a crazy feeling, just signing a bunch of papers, giving away a lot of money, and then just having a whole house to do what you want with. I haven’t let myself think much about it until recently. I’m more of a cross-that-bridge kind of a person. But now that it’s actually happening and here, my mind is on overdrive thinking of everything having this house means. The SPACE we’ll have (oh, how excited I’ve been about this), the wonderful schools the kids will attend, the beautiful neighborhood, how to decorate, what Christmas morning will be like, the visitors we’ll have,  the friends we’ll make, and just how fun it will be to raise our family there. Of course, I get nervous about being the landlords, and the responsibility that is, and realizing I probably will never be able to keep up with the messes in a much bigger space. But I think we’ll really, really love it, despite any challenges. It’s not the fanciest or biggest house you’ve ever seen, but it’s so perfect for what we need for our family right now. I feel like it was made for us, and I’m proud to call it ours.

(Walking out of the closing. Ridiculous mug shot, I know. but the moment had to be documented!)312332

I’ve been Craigslisting, yardsaling, and thrifting like crazy, finding unique things to furnish the place. I had to put it on pause when our garage/storage unit at our complex ran out of space before we had access to the house. I’ve never been one to like hunting for used things. I never had the time or reason, really. But houses are expensive, and kids are crazy and like to destroy things, so we didn’t want to spend a lot on any nice/permanent things at the moment. Besides, I’m excited to learn something new, and I’ve always admired people who could make something old look nice again. I’m amazed at the luck I’ve had on Craigslist! I’ve met so many nice people I’ll never see again. Yard sales here are quite amazing as well. I have a lot of projects to do, but I’m not rushing myself. And I have a lot of friends and family willing it help/teach me. Should be fun.  It took some time, but I found all of the kids’ bedroom furniture, and can’t wait to FINALLY get them out of their little cribs and into some cute beds,. They can’t wait either. They talk about it all the time. I can’t wait to show you some befores and afters! That is, when there are any afters to show. 419548479

So, we pretty much go play/work there every day, getting painting estimates, deep cleaning, and riding tricycles in the dining room. We have our apartment until the end of May, and while we don’t love paying for both places for a month, it has been so lovely taking our time to move in. We take a load of stuff every time we go over, sometimes picking up a piece of furniture on the way. The kids love it. Especially the walk-out basement to the fenced in back yard. We even found and older (HEAVY) tv someone wanted to get rid of, and set up our DVD player there for the kiddos. But they've been too excited running around in “the new house” as they always call it, to sit and watch anything. 330297298422

It’s just an amazing feeling, having a place of our own. I’m not sure it’s really even hit me yet. It feels so adult, and right, and awesome. We can’t wait to build a life there. We are so thankful.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

“ Where are we going NEXT?” (Part Two)

So, KC caught a monday morning flight to go work, and then flew back the following Saturday to drive home with us. We had the week to play our little hearts out. after all the Easter weekend excitement passed, we:

spent more time at Grandma Robinson’s where we ate delicious food, played with the adorable Marco, took over neighbor Cindy’s backyard, and couldn’t get enough of all the neighbors’ dogs.  We also got to feed the ducks and go to the BYU Creamery. So much fun to be had there. 1981992022043893901022102310271028103110361043104410531058106210641067

We got to visit with some friends! The Reeders, some Maryland friends, and Ashley, my childhood friend. So great to catch up with them and their darling kids. Wish we could see all our friends more often.209211914918

A LOT of cousin time. Dress-ups, IKEA (Ruby was lost for a few minutes there, and I started to freak out), mud, crafts, movies, walks, Dinosaur Museum, etc. The kids haven’t seen there cousins in a long time. It was good to see them playing together again.919218221223902



Had a lot of girls night, always accompanied by delicious foods, of course. We missed Lili! 955


Played at Nana’s, where we hot-tubbed, ate lots of treats, played in the T@b, enjoyed the neighbor’s swings set and pond, and the other neighbor’s horses. I loved being home and seeing my kids have fun there. 2602612622642652669762762812852872912932973043053073083481004100610071011

Once, while at Mom’s, Melody and I decided to leave the boys there, and have a mommy-daughter lunch at Blue Lemon. It was the best. 267962963269270273274275

Grandma and Grandpa Robinson treated us to Kangaroo Zoo. The kids had a blast, and some cousins met us there too! Ruby was too busy running around to get any pictures of her.326327334341

We had so much fun, we often wore ourselves out.313314

And then we had to say goodbye and drive home. There were naps here and there, books, (we had a good laugh as Ruby “read” Green Eggs and Ham aloud), a wonderful rest stop with toys and book, kids meals (a rarity for these kids), cloud games, and a new little prize or two. They were golden little travelers, and it makes me so excited that we can just make this drive whenever we want to see all those awesome people again. 392394399401110540541111021104417422425435109410981106441

It was probably my favorite trip to Utah with kids yet! It was a lot less stressful with them being a little older, and just seeing them interacting with their cousins warms my heart. I also loved being with my family, and getting to spend time with KC’s. It was just an all-around great time. I love that as the kids get older, family time like this just get more fun. I can’t believe a road tip was actually enjoyable. I didn’t think that would ever happen! It makes me so excited to think about where we are going NEXT!