Tuesday, March 23, 2010

We have dates!

I'm so excited we actually have dates to this big, upcoming move!!

Right now, if we stay on schedule, we'll be closing on our current house on Thursday, April 15th.
Then, on Friday, April 16th, we'll close on our new house!

Tom is off this week for spring break, so I took the week off too. We were originally planning to travel to Arkansas to see Craig, Cathy and my cutie-pie niece Avery, but then we got the offer...and all plans went out the window. :-)
Tom and I have spent the past few days packing...and actually ENJOYING ourselves! It's amazing how much fun you can have doing some of the simplest things...together. (And yes, we are still sending the kids to daycare!)

Friday, March 19, 2010

The New House!

I know everyone just wants to see pictures. I don't blame you. I just want to keep going over there to see it! Things are progressing well with the sale of both our current house and this new one. However, we're still praying daily for the process to continue on a smooth path. If everything goes well, we'll be moving in on my birthday! Happy birthday to me!!
A few details: The house is 12 years old, but looks brand new! The driveway is amazing...you could probably fit 4-6 vehicles in the driveway alone. (Drastically different than the 2 we can fit now!
It was built by Pulte. It is a whopping 3265 square feet! On the first floor, you'll find a Master Bedroom, Formal Dining, Family Room, 1/2 bath, Kitchen, Breakfast Room, Utility and huge Pantry!
Upstairs, you'll find three VERY LARGE Bedrooms, a Game Room, a Bathroom, a random Storage Room (about the size of a bathroom), and a Media Room.

Family Room - you can see the Master Bedroom off the front hallway.
Nice built-ins looking from the fireplace in the breakfast room into the family room.
Huge Kitchen!
Flat surface stove Double oven...this would probably be cooler if I cooked...
Love the fireplace in the eating area! (It doesn't take up a wallspace in the living room this way)
Looking into the Master bathroom.
Toilet, Garden Tub & Shower on the right.
His & Hers (large) vanity areas on the left, with a door to the closet.
At the top of the staircase is the gameroom. A door on the right goes to the largest bedroom.
Gameroom Standing in the gameroom area. Looking down the hall to the two other bedrooms and the bathroom. (The large bedroom is on the left wall here, and I'm standing at the door to the storage room.)
The upstairs bathroom opens into the Media room.
The HUGE media room. (off the bathroom) Standing in the Media Room. Looking into the bathroom, and a staircase that goes down to the Master Bedroom.

Nice LARGE GREENBELT behind us!! Tom has already picked out the location for the deer feeder.

Monday, March 15, 2010

His Plan

If I thought home-selling was stressful, the home buying process can put your stomach into knots!! But, in a GOOD WAY!! :-)

Let's see if I can go through the time line pretty quickly:

Monday - Receive verbal offer on our home
Tuesday - Sign contract & submit counter offer
Wednesday - Counter offer accepted and Contract signed!
Thursday - Contract makes it's way to the title company; inspection on our house.
Friday - day of rest?
Saturday - HOUSE HUNTING! (and so, our new story begins)
We saw 11 houses on Saturday. The 9th house was THE ONE. My stomach hurt, I wanted this house so badly! We looked at those two more afterward, just to be sure. We were SURE. Our Realtor started putting paperwork together. We went home to get pre-approved online.
Sunday - after Church, we meet the Realtor and go look at the house again with Mom & the kiddos. They loved it too! We sign the contract and it is submitted to the seller's agent.

* A couple things to note here. 1) This house had been on the market for SIX days when we saw it. 2) The day we received an offer on our house was the day this house went on the market. Coincidence? I don't think so. Thank you Lord! Thank you St. Joseph! *

We're still on Sunday...
We go back home and try to enjoy the rest of the day, eagerly awaiting word that our contract has been accepted. Around 5pm, our Realtor texts us and says to call him for an update. Yay! Well, he starts with "Don't Panic" Uh-oh! Apparently, on Sunday, there were FOUR CONTRACTS offered on this house! I couldn't believe it! He said two were thrown out immediately. Ours was still in the top two, and their agent had recommended they choose ours. Thank goodness we knew a good thing when we saw it and offered asking price, choosing to negotiate on closings costs instead. I hang up the phone, seriously tied up in knots.
Around 10pm, I get another text saying to call if it's not too late for an update. I call and he tells us that it looks as if they are going with our offer, but will probably be countering just a tad on our closing request. However, until we have a signed contract in hand, it's hard to rest easy!

Monday - (One week since we had first word of an offer on our house! WOW! this is happening fast!) 9:30am - our Realtor has a signed contract in hand! We're ready to move forward on this house! I'm continuing to pray at this point that the sale of our house progresses smoothly.
1:30pm - the inspection report comes back on our house and the ONLY thing our buyers want is for us to get the A/C serviced! Consider it DONE!!!

This afternoon we started asking questions about moving up our closing on the new house so we can move straight in. We'll get that figured out in the next few days. However, as God would have it, (and I alluded to in my previous post), we were blessed with a rent house to use for the interim period if needed!! For a mere $400/mo plus utilities, we can stay in this 5050 square foot mansion that is priced WAY out of our league!! While it would be quite neat to "live" in a place like that, I truly hope we are able to synch our closing dates so we only have to move ONCE. But if not, I choose NOT to complain. God has blessed us with more than we could imagine! We are so grateful!

While all this time, I knew God had a plan for us, I couldn't begin to imagine why in the world it took SO LONG for our house to sell! I sure would have preferred an email straight from Heaven saying "Lori, just hang in there till March '10...my plan will be revealed.", I now am beginning to see the perfect sequence of events only HE could have laid out so perfectly.

**I'll be sure to give an update on the house soon. I'll be at the inspection tomorrow and will take some pictures. :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

God is GREAT!

"Don't worry about anything. Instead, tell God about everything Ask and pray. Give thanks to him." Phillippians 4:6

I'm hesitant to post this, but it will be interesting to read back through this time of my life one day. Yesterday was a beautiful day and everything just seemed to fall into place. On Monday, however, it was rainy, cold, and quite dismal. It was also the day I read this verse and dropped my head. The burden of trying to sell a house for over a year (with two small kids and working full time, plus more) with not so much as a nibble has worn me down more than I ever imagined. Head dropped, right in front of my computer at work, I spoke to God with my heart and told Him I have to give Him this burden. I can't do it anymore. I'm frustrated beyond belief. I want to spend my evenings reading to my kids, not picking up the house and making sure everything is in place again for a possible showing (or NOT) tomorrow! I'm TIRED! I'm WORN DOWN! I want to focus on my family. My faith. Myself. Not cleaning my house. I have so many wonderful things in my life I'm thankful for. Let me enjoy them.

Maybe an hour later....I got a phone call. There was an offer coming in. PRAISE THE LORD! (even though it was not exactly what we wanted or need) We met with our realtor that evening. We countered. Yesterday...the beautiful day, remember? The realtors went back and forth a couple times and then, all of a sudden, there was a VERBAL AGREEMENT by both parties!
In the meantime, I'm telling a friend about this and the question comes up: "what are you going to do next?" My first thought was "panic!" Instead, "worry about nothing...tell God about everything. Ask and Pray."
Thirty minutes later, an "interim" house landed in my lap. A house we'd never even dream of living in. A house that is also on the market, in a much different client base than ours. If it sells, we'll obviously have to figure something else out, but for the time being, it's a BLESSING from above. And a MOST GENEROUS offer from a very special family.
We signed the contract last night. It was at the title company this morning. Inspection is tomorrow. Tentative close date is April 15. This is happening so fast, and so perfectly, I can't help but guard myself a bit. But I know that GOD IS GREAT, and He will provide.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Pump It Up!

A typical party at home goes something like this. Clean. Clean. Clean. Clean. Shop. Clean. Prepare. Prepare. Clean. Clean. Last minute shopping. Prepare. Clean. Host. Clean. Clean. Clean. So maybe I exaggerated a bit, but you get the general idea. Since all I feel like I've done for the past year is CLEAN, I decided a birthday party away from the house would be just what the doctor ordered!

After attending a party at Pump It Up in the fall, I didn't have to try convincing Brock too much we should go there for his big 5th birthday! He absolutely LOVED it! I absolutely loved how you just show up, bring your cake & party favors, and let them do the rest! No set up! No cleaning! Just FUN!

The kids had a blast, but I'm thinking the adults (or at least those who participated) had even MORE fun!

Brock loved the slide! (and the obstacle course...and the hill...and...and...and)

The kids!!
Front: Brooke (BI), Kaitlin (BI), Richard (BI), Brock, JP (Best Friend/Neighbor), Aubree, Grant (family friend), Conner (cousin)
Back: Andrew & his sister (BI), Isaac (mom's friend)
Kids not pictured were Sarah & Chelsea (soccer) and Emma & Jack (BI)
(BI = Bright Ideas...Brock's school)

Some of the Mature Adults! :-)
1) Tom racing through the obstacle course with Brock; 2) Aunt Angela winning the Prize for best Photograph of the party! 3) Lori & Loni "working out" on the obstacle courses; 4) Uncle Jeff playing off his wanting to slide by taking the baby!

The Cake! And Presents!

The Birthday King!
Happy Birthday my dear Brock! Turning 5 was fun (for you, at least! Mommy is still a bit sad) but I'm sure your 6th year will be even better!

Interesting Party Fact #239: A mere 5 hours after the party ended, Grant (pictured above) had a brand new baby brother! And YES, his Mommy was at the party!!