Thursday, March 24, 2011

{Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes}

Warning: long post ahead.  Mostly for my benefit in terms of documenting the craziness of the last few weeks as we sold and bought a house.  If you are bored to death right now, read on. 

We have been thrown for a loop the last couple weeks. 

We put our house on the market the 3rd week in January.  It was a decision a long time coming...

We never imagined staying in our current home as long as we have (almost 7 years!).  When we bought the house we figured 3 or 4 years and we would move on to something with a little more space and yard.  But we ran into a couple obstacles in the last few years.
1.  Housing Market slump...um, serious slump. And we bought in 2004 before the major climb in housing prices...but we still found our equity slowly dwindling away completely.
2.  Self-employment.  You basically can't get a mortgage until you have been self-employed for at least 2 years...and at that, you have to show progress, profit, success.  So much more scrutiny compared to when Trev was just a W2 employee.

But fast forward a few years, and now we could actually qualify for a loan if (BIG IF) we could sell our house.

After some prayer and thought, we decided to just put the house on the market and see what happens.  There were about a dozen homes in our neighborhood for sale (a couple with our exact same floor plan)...but they were ALL short sales or foreclosures.   We figured since ours was a conventional sale, we had that going for us. And maybe, just maybe, we could break even and get out of the house and be lucky enough to be a BUYER in this market.

Being winter, means less home sales in general.  But we figured we can't sell it if the house isn't even listed! So we listed it the third week of January...all along telling myself, we won't be able to sell it.  I mean there are articles in the newspaper every day about how the housing market is still getting worse.  So it was a long shot.

We might have some luck in the spring...and if the housing market rebounds a little...maybe by summer or fall?? 

Turned out those were wrong assumptions.

We had a few showings the first week. One low-ball offer we turned down.  And then the 2nd week of February we had a showing and got an offer the very next day! It was slightly above our 'rock bottom' price, so we were happy about that!  Just the opportunity to get in the market as a buyer far outweighs the sacrifice on price on our current house.

I was sad signing the papers...really sad and emotional.  We have had so many memories in this house!  The buyers are a young couple with a 2 year old....just exactly how we were when we moved in with Carson (I was prego with Addy).  We knew it was the right time to make the change.  Trevor...the ever stable source of reason...knew the house we needed would be out there right now. Available (i.e. we did NOT want to build).  I mean if we got an offer in this crazy housing market, we were being blessed and guided in this move.   He was confident we could actually make this move BEFORE the baby comes (and avoid moving twice).

So the house hunt was on!  Luckily the buyers aren't moving out here until May, so even with a late-March closing, we are able to rent back from them for a few weeks. 

Trevor has been looking at houses off and on for a year. (I wouldn't even entertain the idea of actually looking at houses until we had a buyer on the line...) We had narrowed down our area and even pinpointed neighborhoods.  But now was the time to seriously pour through the listings.  We went looking at houses just 4 days later.  We found one we loved, but it had been on the market on/off for 2 years, so we felt good about continuing to look for another week or so before making a decision.  Well, the realtor called me 12 hours later to tell me the house we really liked had an offer on it...but the agent was willing to hold off on presenting it to the seller if we wanted to submit one too. 
Stress. 
Major Stress. 
We knew we loved the house...but we just hadn't SEEN much yet.  And making such a huge decision under pressure is not how I roll! We spent the next few hours pouring through more listings on line...not finding ANYTHING close to what we found in this other house.  The sellers had recently significantly lowered the price, so we knew it was a deal (hence the other offer!).  But come on...2 years on the market and NOW there were 2 competing offers.  Seriously?!!
Seeking inspiration through prayer and serious discussion...we put in an offer that evening. 
Then came 24 hours of torture. I was literally waiting by my phone and email (like on House Hunters!!!)...waiting for the call if we got the house! I was physically sick that day......actually worrying myself sick that we could lose this house.  And worried all the other homes we would look at later would be compared back to this one house and I would be devastated. 
FINALLY the call came at 6:30pm...we got the house! I literally started crying when my realtor called...totally excusing myself and blaming the pregnancy hormones! I was just a complete nervous wreck about it.

So we sold and bought a house in 6 days.


More stress the next few days as the inspections were done.  We had some water in our crawl space (hello...winter in Seattle!)...and I worried again the buyers would pull out and both deals would be dead.  But they just wanted that remedied plus a few other items.  And then no major concerns came up on the new house (just a few things we needed the seller to fix)...
And then more stress as the appraisals were done and we approached final signing.  When we sold our condo in SLC, the buyers pulled out the DAY of closing...so I was so skeptical and hesitant and worried (insert serious paranoia here) up until the day the buyers actually signed the documents and they were recorded with the county. Being the seller in this market is SO stressful...buyers are rare, and you pretty much are at their mercy the entire time.


We have already started packing.  We closed on the sale of our home on Tuesday and close on the new house tomorrow! We'll take a week to make the transition and do the big move next week.  Yah, I'll be 35 weeks pregnant. 

On the bright side...that gives me a full month to nest and get settled before baby comes (hopefully!...baby: you can not come too early!)

And, oh yah. It is less than a mile from our current house.  But that short mile puts us in another school district completely and a different ward (church) boundary.  Sad and excited sums it up. We are sad to leave our friends, but glad to know we will still be close by!  It might as well be across the state though...the kids are in for a big change.  For now they are just excited, but I am thinking it might be harder than they think to jump into a new school without knowing anyone. 

We have felt guided and blessed throughout the entire process.  Things have truly fallen into place in every aspect even despite the stressful moments.  Which just affirms to me the right timing of this move for our little family.   We feel so blessed to be able to purchase a house we can see us living in as the kids grow up and attend high school.  Which means no more moving for a long time!! Which is good considering the last few weeks have probably taken a few years off my life. 

Before we started packing I took pictures of the kids in their rooms...Another sentimental moment....but had to capture their house/room we have been in the last 7 years. I am sad to leave these cute rooms, but the kids are over the moon about their rooms in the new house (insert major re-decorating and work for mom here).















Tuesday, March 22, 2011

{Babymoon/Birthday Getaway/Vacay}

At the beginning of February Trevor and I really wanted to plan a little getaway before the baby comes. Having a nursing baby means no traveling just the two of us for quite awhile...so we wanted to take advantage of the time we had before I got too far along.  We almost went back to Hawaii and then I flip flopped a zillion times about just making it a family trip (you should hear the grief I get from my kids about not taking them!) and then trying to decide if we should go for an entire week or just a long weekend. 

Anyway, ultimately we decided on a long weekend somewhere fairly close over my birthday weekend in March. 

 (And SO glad we did because at the time we didn't know our trip would be 2 weeks prior to selling our house and moving into a new one...yikes!  More on that later... I have been hesitant to post the news before it is done deal...but yes, we got an unexpected offer on our home after being listed for 3 weeks, put an offer in another house 6 days later.... chaos and paperwork the last few weeks ...closed on sale of our current house today and on the new one hopefully by the end of the week!!) 

Because we left early on my birthday, the kids made me a cake the night before we left with my mom (who came to the amazing rescue of watching the kids for the weekend AND my sister's kids while my sister and BIL got away for a pre-baby getaway too!  Yes, my mom handled 5 kids for 4 days...yikes!! She is super woman!)




So we went to Coronado in San Diego.  It is sometimes called Coronado Island, but it is really a peninsula...just a few miles outside of downtown San Diego.  Beautiful, warm, and relaxing...just what we needed!

 I did a lot of this:


And this:


Trev did a lot of this: Catch up on paperwork from work and major basketball watching (yah, know, Jimmer?  Couldn't miss it...and thanks to my brother for hooking him up with the Slingbox connection so he could watch the games at our hotel).

We ate out at a bunch of local restaurants and avoided the 'normal' eating places in favor of the local cuisine...yum!!  We visited the Hotel Del Coronado on the other side of the Island from the Marriott where we were staying.  It is a historical site and simply amazing!

Trev on Coronado beach.  This was the morning of the Tsunami warning on the West Coast.  It was a little scary at first (I called the hotel lobby to see if we needed to leave the island), but by mid-day the risk had passed.  And after seeing the footage in Japan...makes you really count your blessings!

We spent one day shopping at Seaport Village.

And lunch and more shopping in Old Town:


And one day I made Trevor pedal me around the island in this:


Usually I am go, go, go on vacation. But being 32 weeks pregnant just doesn't lend itself to major activities or energy!  So it was nice to have a slower paced vacation to do a little bit of shopping and site-seeing...but mostly eating, relaxing, reading, and soaking up the sun.  So nice to be able to get away and realize...oh yah, we really are a couple!  The crazy family-life tends to take over at home...so a little R&R with the one you love is oh-so-nice!




Sunday, March 20, 2011

{Basketball Baby!}

Yes, a lot of basketball watching going on right now...March Madness and all.  And I think I have a little crush on Jimmer.  And I'm pretty sure Trevor does too.  My bracket is suffering, but it's been fun.

But I am talking about this basketball ... er, uh...belly:

This is me today...at 33 weeks.  And the baby bump is sticking straight out!!  I so don't remember carrying the others this way.  Baby boy is up really high and just right there: all in front and no where else.  I am measuring right on track...it just looks...so FUNNY to me.  I think the bump is sticking out more than it will in the coming weeks as the baby will eventually 'drop'....right?  Please tell me this is true.  I mean I had someone tell me at church it looks like I am about to topple over. I am pretty sure that isn't a compliment. 

But just wanted to document my hugeness before it gets embarrassing.


I am also getting sentimental about this little guy no longer being the baby in the family.   Can't believe he is going to be the BIG brother soon.   He's in for a big change and it makes me sad.  We love him as the baby in the family! And even though we are thrilled for the baby to come...the changes are hard too...especially when you are two.



Friday, March 04, 2011

{Cubs!!}

A couple major events for our cub scout in the last month.
First,
Carson earned his Wolf badge and is now in the Bear Den!
The 'Bear' paw print ritual in our den.
 
Carson with his friend, Jared: both new Bear cub scouts!
 
He earned his wolf badge and 3 arrows (and a chocolate 'bear' from the Cubmaster in the back ground...she is the sweetest!) 
 
Yes, I am still trying to figure out badges, patches, arrows, Faith in God....and the other intricacies of cub scouts! Year 1 down, and we have learned a lot.  With 2 sibling brothers in the ranks, hopefully I'll have a handle on it eventually.

And Second,
The annual Pinewood Derby!!  Trevor and Carson scrambled a bit this last week to build the car.   But it turned out great!

Carson really wanted a gecko on his car, so he came up with the colors and design and our talented painter friend lent a hand to make it fantastic!  He won the award for 'Most exotic and colorful'. 


Placing the car.  Each boy ran 4 heats. 
 There is a winner there on the left!!
 Yes, cookie in hand...
 Another winning finish!
Unfortunately in the 3rd heat he lost to the ultimate winner.  So he didn't get put in the winning bracket (we don't time the races).  Anyway, after they finished they realized Carson was the only one to only lose to the winner, so they raced his car against the 4th, 3rd, and 2nd place cars...and he beat them all!  So after all was said and done, they awarded him 2nd place!!! With a chance to go to districts if he wants. (Um, do we really WANT to do that??...not sure).  Carson was a really good sport about it. Not realizing he just got in a bad bracket...and just happy as can be that he won 3 out of the 4 races.  I was so happy to see him and all the boys really cheering for each other win or lose.   (Yay for Trev too...the pressure is 'on' for dads too...and he came through big time!!)

So 2 years down on Pinewood Derby and only 1 to go for Carson!  I told Trev with 2 more sons we just need to buy the band saw or whatever it is that we borrow every time...because he has 7 more cars to make before we are done with the Pine Wood Derby!! 

But man, seeing the dads and the sons love it so much (and even Addy couldn't help but be as close as possible to the track and action!!)...I am glad we have so many chances to participate again!  Fun for the whole family!  And such a cool thing for my sweet boy!  Cub scouts comes at the most perfect time for boys 8-10...seriously. So great.

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My little blog is a family journal. I include things on here I want to remember years and years from now. So when I post a zillion pictures...it is because I want to have it for my posterity. So please forgive the often posted-picture overload.

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