Friday, January 28, 2011

House Projects

We have had many different projects going on between the new house and the baby coming.

Things like...

Adding lights to the front of the house on each side of the garage, since there are no street lights and the front of the house gets very dark at night

Putting up a ceiling fan in our room, where there was previously no light fixture whatsoever

Putting in a light fixture in the office where there was also previously no light whatsoever

Adding a light fixture to the ceiling fan in the nursery, so there could be light and not just air...

Putting up a shelf in the laundry room where there was previously nothing to hold laundry soap, etc.

Putting a sensor in the light switch in the laundry room, since the switch is on the opposite side of the room from where you walk in (this is probably our favorite thing so far)

We love making these little additions to our home to make it feel more homey and make it a little more "ours" with each thing.

Many more projects are in the works, so stay tuned for updates and pictures from them too!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Christmas 2010

We ended up having a wonderful Christmas this/last year despite all the stress from the house that had been going on for weeks leading up to it.

Christmas Eve Dan worked until 1 and then came home to get ready for Christmas at my dad's which we do every year on Christmas Eve. He was suddenly very excited and very "in the spirit of Christmas" like he usually is but hadn't been much this year. I was feeling pretty down and not really into Christmas at all since we had absolutely zero decorations up (not even a tree), and hadn't really been thinking or focusing on Christmas since we were putting so much time and energy into buying our house. I spent about 4 or 5 hours Christmas Eve morning cleaning out our fridge we'd bought off Craigslist the night before, and just wasn't in the Christmas Spirit. Let me explain a little further why I was feeling so down...

About a month before Christmas, when we were scheduled to close on our house on December 15th, we agreed that since there was so many things going on (Dan's brother was getting married on the 17th and there were many festivities to go along with that) and realistically knowing it might be a day or two later (not a week and a half!), we agreed our first night we'd sleep in our new house would be Christmas Eve. We would set up a few decorations, including our smaller size tree and stockings, and would wake up on Christmas morning in our new home which was the ultimate Christmas gift. So, on Christmas Eve, when I was sitting in the garage of our rental, cleaning out a fridge, knowing we wouldn't even have the keys to the new house until Monday at the earliest and 3/4 of our house was packed in boxes, I was definitely disappointed.
Dan loves Christmas, and frankly so do I. It's our favorite holiday and we love that time of year. Dan turns into a little kid the day after Thanksgiving when we put up all the decorations. He loves looking at the Christmas sections at all the stores throughout December. But this year, none of that happened. Which honestly, looking back on it wasn't THAT big of a deal, but at the time it really was. I didn't really feel like celebrating anything.
I made kind of a big deal about not going anywhere Christmas morning (which this year was the first year we didn't spend Christmas morning at someone's house) because I wanted to start the tradition/habit of having our own Christmas together at home first before going out celebrating and visiting family. I didn't have anything major planned, just opening a few small gifts and having a hot breakfast together in what I thought would be our new home. When none of this panned out, again I was a little disappointed. But I tried to just get over it and enjoy Christmas Eve as much as I could.

We went to my dad's for dinner and gifts around 6 on Christmas Eve. Had a wonderful Christmas dinner as usual, and then sat around the tree and opened gifts. We received a lot of great things and were so grateful for them. We returned home that night, and I was in a slightly better mood and a little more in the Christmas spirit. By this point I was trying to just let everything else go and not worry about it anymore because I didn't want to bring Dan down too. We went to bed that night in anticipation and excitement for the next day and the time we'd get to spend with our families.

Christmas morning we woke up around 7 and laid in bed awake for about 30 minutes. It seemed as though Dan was trying to stall for some reason, but I couldn't be sure. Suddenly around 7:30, Christmas music started playing from the kitchen/living room area of the house. We got up and came out of our room, and this is what I found...
My sweet husband knew how much I just wanted a little bit of a normal Christmas at home, got up in the middle of the night after I'd fallen asleep, and set up our smaller size tree, put lights on it, got out our stockings and a few decorations so we could have a little Christmas at home, just like I'd wanted. It brought tears to my eyes when I came out to find all of this. I was so surprised! This shows just how wonderful of a husband I have.

We sat and exchanged the few things we had for each other, and then had our hot breakfast at home.
We got ready and then went about our usual Christmas Day festivites with our families. My mom's was first, like usual. We had a wonderful lunch and opened gifts. We were so blessed this Christmas, as we didn't ask for much and still received so many gifts of things we needed. 3 or 4 Home Depot gift cards that we could use for the small things we needed for our new house, Dan got a gift card to JCPenney to help him pay for a new suit for church. (He's been wearing the same one since his mission...It's dirty, well worn, and now is finally getting too small) I also got an entire bag of stuff for the baby from my grandparents. Diapers, wipes, bottles, pacifiers, clothes, etc. You name it, it was probably in there. We were overwhelmed with gifts and were so very thankful.
After my mom's, we headed over to Dan's grandma's house where we were to do our Christmas trivia with his family. Every year my dad does Thanksgiving and Christmas trivia and it always is so hilarious and fun, so we thought we'd do that this year as a fun way to distribute our gifts to everyone in his family.

As expected, Christmas trivia was a hit. Everyone enjoyed it, and there were many laughs shared. We sat out back and drank some Kool-Aid while playing darts. It was a great way to relax and enjoy the weather and each other.

After finishing up with his grandma, we returned to his parents house to pick up some gifts from them and of course play a few games. Dan's brother Jared and his new wife Amber gave us the game Pictionary Man, which we played right away. By the end of the game, I was laughing harder than I can remember laughing in a very long time. It was a great way to end a busy and emotional weekend.

Overall it was a wonderful holiday spent with our families that we love and appreciate so much. Everything worked out, as it always does, and now this years' Christmas will not only be our little boy's first Christmas, but our first Christmas in our new house too! We can't wait!

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Big Move

After weeks of worrying, praying and stressing over closing on our house, we finally did close on Wednesday December 22. We were hoping because of Christmas being so close but still far enough away that we'd get the keys sometime by Friday so we could move over the holiday weekend. Turns out, we were wrong.

Again, since we bought the house from Fannie Mae, we had to wait for them to sign the paperwork and send it back before the loan could fund, and since someone at the title company attached a note saying not to fund it until Monday, that's what ended up happening.

We were quite disappointed as Dan had taken the day off work on Thursday because we were planning on that being our biggest moving day. We ended up spending Thursday searching for a refrigerator on Craigslist since the one my mom was going to give to us ended up being full of mold. We ended up finding a really nice Samsung side-by-side in black (which matched the rest of our appliances that came with the house) for $300.
It is only a couple of years old, and hadn't been used that much. The only catch was we had to drive to North Phoenix/Scottsdale to get it. We ended up making the trek out there with Dan's dad in his pick up and stopped by the mall for some last minute Christmas gifts on the way.

I spent most of the morning/afternoon on Christmas Eve in our garage cleaning and disinfecting our new fridge. I took out all the shelves, drawers, etc. and ran them through the dishwasher after being wiped with Lysol and Clorox. (It was a pretty clean fridge, but had still had someone else's food and who knows what else in it. I didn't want to put our food and stuff in it, let alone baby food, etc. before I gave it a good cleaning).

We had somewhat reached a stand still in our packing since our rental was pretty small, and even though we had more boxes to pack things into, we didn't have anymore room to put packed boxes. So we patiently waited until Monday, when everything happened all at once. The loan funded and everything by noon and our realtor was going to meet me at the house to give me the keys at 5:30 pm.

Dan met me at the house at 5:30, and was followed close behind by his two brothers and dad with our fridge and a few other big items in the back of a truck. We got the keys, thanked our realtor, and then started hauling...literally.

What I haven't mentioned yet is the fact that we got the keys at 5:30 pm on Monday, and our walk through at the rental was scheduled for 4:30 pm on Wednesday... and Dan had to work all day Monday, all day Tuesday and all day Wednesday, I'm 7 months pregnant, and we were doing this entire move with no moving truck...

Luckily we have great family who was able and willing to help us however and whenever we needed. We moved what we could Monday night, and finally stopped to sleep around midnight. Tuesday, Dan left for work in the morning and his dad and 2 brothers came back around 10 am to continue the move. I felt horrible because being as pregnant as I am, I couldn't do much moving myself other than a few small things. I mostly just sat and told them what to take in each load and where to unload everything to when they got to the house. I felt like a drill sergeant. Luckily, Dan was able to take a "long lunch" and came to help with a couple loads of stuff.

It was so hard for us to just sit back and let his family move pretty much all of our stuff; but since Dan had taken a couple of days off the week before in anticipation of moving, he had no more sick time to use and had to go to work. His family left soon after Dan got home from work, and the two of us went back for what little bit was left at the rental. We loaded the rest into my car and the Trailblazer and finally got home again around 11:30 pm.

Wednesday, I got up and was at the rental by 8:30 am to start on the cleaning. We had tried to do some cleaning along the way, but since there was so many boxes everywhere, it was hard to clean much. The good thing was that we had only lived there for 6 months, and it was just the 2 of us. Needless to say, the cleaning could have been much worse. I finished cleaning both bathrooms, kitchen, laundry room, backyard and vacuuming by about noon and the house looked like it did when we moved in.

The walk through at 4:30 that afternoon was the last step of the move. Once that was done, we could just worry about our new house and focus on getting settled and unpacked. The walk through went well, and I bid farewell to the house and neighborhood that had surprisingly a lot of memories for the short 6 months we lived there.

Little by little things have gotten put away, organized, and set up the way we want them. We still have a ways to go before it's all done, but we're very happy with the progress we've made. We feel so incredibly blessed to have been able to purchase this home and have somewhere to call home that's our own. No more landlords, no more asking permission to change or upgrade things, etc. etc. We have worked very hard for the past year at least to get to a point that we could purchase our own home. The timing was absolutely perfect. We're so happy and excited to have our own home to bring our son home to in March. We love our home and have more than we ever could have asked for here. It is perfect for us and our needs. We hope to have years and years of memories and experiences in this home that we've waited for and worked towards for so long!

Stay tuned for updates about the various improvements/projects we've embarked on in our month of living here, as well as the current projects that are underway in preparation for our little boy!