Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Update on Signing

I will have to say that it was just over 3 weeks ago where all was lost.  I thought we'd have to rent and possibly change the kids schools AGAIN.  I thought I was forgotten and that life was going to be in flux forever.

And here I am, with keys in hand for a beautiful home. 

This isn't to say that I don't expect problems.  No home is perfect, and you know me -- just planning for some wall to blow out and have bats fly out... :)

I'm just saying that God has a plan, and you need to just let go and let God.

This song has been my theme for some time.  Every time she says, "I'm gonna live a crazy dream, impossible as it may seem." I'd cry.  And here I am, living my crazy dream.



In other news, it's suppose to hit 119 in the valley this weekend.  Someone please kill me.  Mmm, k?  Please pray we make friends with someone with a pool, that lives close, and enjoys squealing kids....  I don't think a sprinker's gonna cut 119.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Coming to You From AZ

Just checking in to say that we are here.

Drew and the kids all saw the house this afternoon with glee.  They all love it.  The carpet cleaners are going over tomorrow at 11, and we'll hopefully get the keys tomorrow afternoon.  The work is all going to be finished this AM.  Feel. the. joy.

Then, we signed the loan documents.  That's all done.

Tomrrow I plan to spend much of the day shopping for things we're going to need, maybe get a bank, and of course some pool time.  I need to get my new dishes, as we have basically none. 

Kind of getting excited. :)

But, just kind of.

Carbuncle California #11: people - the final saga.

It's all those darn people. The ones who helped babysit, the ones who packed, threw us parties and cleaned our home... who stayed with my broken heart to the very last minute.

I hate it. Ok, you guessed it his whole crappy California thing has just been something to keep my mind off the fact that the people and things whob have filled our hearts for the past 10 years are now 11 hours away. It really is 11 hours. Big fun. You can tell that, because this is hour #11.

But, life goes on. We ARE very excited to start our new life in AZ, but we do have AC, and more room to spread out.

And life goes on... as does California.
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Crabby California #10: so. lost.

I hate how roads change names every 3 feet or so. I guess it started to make sense in about year 5, but boy oh boy did that assist in me geting lost really easily.

For instance the road I used to take the kids to school on was Monroe by my house, then Reed, & then Old Sanfrancisco Road... all in like 2 miles.

Truth. Thank goodness for gps.

In other news, welcome to az! I think I have 1 post left in me.
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Calcified California #9: Simply the Best

Does anyone remember when Utah's state motto was : "Utah, a pretty great state"? We'll, I think California could easily have a big ol' bite of humble pie because I think if they really made their own motto, it'd go something like this: "California, admit it, you all want to live here because we are the most amazing place on earth, bar none." I think it'd be hard to put on lisence plates though....

When we said we were moving out of state you could hear audible gasps... it was silly. It's like the weather PAYS my mortgage payment. As if the state hadn't just told my husband his job was useless. As if our salary hadn't steadily decreased the past few years. As if we loved walking for prop 8. As if no other states had anything to offer.

On my last trip to az I was standing in line and someone said, "that's why I will never live in "California" and another complete stranger in line said, "that's why CA would never want you!" I mean, who says that?

I tink CA is snobby. And in part for some good reason. There is great weather, amzing things to do, great jobs - esp. In tech... but other states are great too!

I think the legislature thinks this far too much... always looking to be the "Jones's" trying to be green, stop plastic bags, try our hand at stem cell research while our own grown stem cells have 29 other grown ones in their crazy kindergarten classrooms. Focus people. Much like families all over the nation, we need to fix our problems, not get a boat.
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Crappy California #9: Teach Me.

How is it that California has one of the largest tax bases in the world, and yet is almost the lowest spent per student in the U.S? HOW IS THAT? And yet, despite that, my kids have gotten a first rate education, thanks to dutiful teachers who seem to always make up for what he state takes away, even if that's seat covers for their bathroom.

I will say that won't last forever. These teachers can only make up so much... and they're getting tired... & older... (no one in specific there...)

Jerry Brown is a fool, and something HAS to be done with the union grip on the state.

But, what do I care, it will still be a lovely place to visit. :)

*in all fairness, myhusband has recently been laid off due to the crazy education cuts. That's why I am writing all these crazy blogs

In other news, we had a lovely 10 hour stay in the comfort suites of Redlands, CA & are back on the road... 4 more hours til Drew can beat me for buying a house he hates (seriously, has anyone spent 1/4 of a mil. On something your hubby hasn't even seen?
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Monday, June 27, 2011

Crapolab California #8: pollution

You think I mean the kind you breathe, but I don't. Sorry Utah, your nasty inversions trump anything we've had here.

I mean light, & ometimes sound.

Sometimes I think California sometimes forgets it'sj ust a small state in a big universe because we can't see the stars. I mean, sometimes we can....

I do miss it thought. And, true story, I once really thought it was the second coming with all the light that just San Jose was producing at night. Not to mention how the virgin Mary on Lawrence & 101. She used to scare the jeepers out of me weekly.
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Creepy california #7 : alcohol


Did you know that not drinking, by far, saves me more money then extreme couponing ever has?

I think, because I grew-up in Utah I never knew that wine was an experience, not just a beverage.

Anyway, I think wine is crazy. There, I said it. Sure, if you like the taste, splurge a little.... but I am 400% sure that charity could use that 1k mor then that bottle of wine will give you pleasure.

{Ducking from the rotting grapes you are throwing at me}
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Cruddy California #6: so freaking long!

Has anyone ever thought there could be 2 California's? It's just too dang big.... and somehow I find it really unfair that delaware & us both get 2 senators...

But, for real, I think our state is just too large to be run effectively.

But, as of tomorrow they will be down 5. Probably more then that, because we see moving vans eerywhere we look!

I may have to call it a night after this one those long-awaited Pupusas made me tired. Or, was it moving all our earthly posessions?
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Carnivorous california #5 food

I hate how you can get athentic food at almost any town even button willow. Wait, no, I love that. Nevermind. I didn't like how it took 45 min to get it though.
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California confidential hour 4: watch your language

K, I don't want to seem racist here, because I think speaking another language is really cool... BUT.... I always think you're talking about me when you chose to switch to another tongue when I am right there.

I also get tired of asking people who think they are speaking english to repeat themselves, several times. It was a huge problem when I started work there... I have gotten much better at speaking "accent".

We actually have a rule at work tht we are only allowed to speak english. Let's just saw that none of us are really rule followers... so who am I to talk. I don't know the last time I smiled over the phone....
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Crappy California part 3: roads

It seems like California built the roads, & thought that as enough. Upkeep? Not necessay. They think pot holes just build character.

Just one thing we don't have the money for.

There are holes so large on the 101, sometimes I worry that I am in that awful movie tremors and an ugly worm is going to come eat me.

Funny that we have plenty of money to ban circumcision.

I challenge each & every one of those law makers to clean an old man's privates. Maybe then they'd realize they should stick to fixing roads.
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Cssing California hour #2: Real Estate....

Well, everyone's signed on our house, & it is a great house but seriously.... for over 525k?

Reee-diculous....

I will tell you if that same house, with the same types of schools sold in az it's be about 80-90k.

And while the cost of living increase is mainly the housing price, I know it trickles down. Teachers, hair cutters, shoe salesmen, all need to be paid more there....

I have already found a good amount of stuff is cheaper in az. Their cheap movies are 2 bucks, when they're 5 in CA.

Main problem, people who need more then 1500 square feet to live in usually have to leave. And that gives me a sad face.
So, California... your real estate market stinks. It can't fix itself thanks to people NEEDIng to sell for what they bought, but it truly was somthing I hated!
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Things I Will Not Miss About California

Newsflash, California isn't all sunshine and roses.... there are thingswe hated about living here. I am thinking I will do a postper hour about things I won't miss.
This hour's post is that I hate their obsession over sexuaity. Are you gay, are you straight? Do I care? No. I think that it's your business and it should stay just that, yours. I don't need you talking about it all the time or criticizing people for not accepting you (but do you accept them?).
So, California... get you minds out of your pants. That's right, I just said that. Stay tuned. I am most likely gonna get pretty loopy during this. :)
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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Who I was, Who I Am

The move date is tomorrow.

I can't help remember the girl that left Utah 10 years ago.

I was young, I was extremely scared, I had a lot of preconceived notions about what life was about.  I was insecure, I was young, did I mention I was young?

I had a one year old and I was so unsure of if I was doing things right.

I worked swing shift and easing into that is no easy task, especially with a husband that worked early and a baby that wanted to get up early too.

I was fat.

I was tired ALL. the. time.

I was fairly unhappy for quite some time, and while I worked to make friends it just didn't click.

I missed Utah.

But who am I now?  Am I different.

Four thousand percent different.

I really feel like I know who I am.  I feel like I have seen so many strong women of different cultures and backgrounds and I'm melting little bits that I like of all those women and making myself after them.

I feel like I'm a pretty great mom who works hard to make great kids.

I feel like Drew and I can do almost anything.  We've had a pretty good run here, but some tough times, including infertility, postpartum depression, buying a crazy expensive house, and layoffs.  We've learned that we need to fight our battles together.

I feel like I am like able and I can make new friends, because I've had to do it time, and time again here.  I know that bosom friends will come when you most need them, and they may not always look like you think they will, or be as old as you'd guessed.

This valley has made me who I am.  And when I drive away from it tomorrow, while I might have some tears, I'll also have SO many happy memories of our good times here, knowing I have built many strong friendships who I hope will come visit.

You all do hear that I have a guest room, don't you?  I'd love to see you.  I love you all SO much.  I hope you know that.  I am so grateful for the times we've had here.

So lucky.  So very, very lucky.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Love, Love, Love: our church

Ok I will be the FIRST to admit it.  I HATED our church (we call our congregations wards, and I'll refer to it as our ward from hereon out).  I hated that every time I met a friend they'd move away.  I hated that I'd look around the room and just feel like I had absolutely nothing in common with these women.

In reality I mostly hated that I had to work every other Sunday so I wasn't able to really sink into church like I wanted to. 

But slowly I found some friends.  Of course, they'd move... but I had them, and each and every one of them changed me.

I worked with the youth for a long time, and I found that work to be SO enjoyable.  I love those girls.  I love them to this day and I will love them forever.  They are my girls, and I want to be in their lives even when they're old and grey. :)

This area brings so much diversity and I really feel like people can be WHO. THEY. ARE. here.  There's no pretense of perfection in this ward.  Every one's accepted on what terms they come on.  I love that.

I love that I feel like I have friends of all ages in this ward.  I no longer feel like there's an age I can't be friends with.  Honestly, there aren't a lot of women with Jr. High aged kids in our ward, but I don't really feel like that matters because I find so much in common with each and every one of these woman.

They say they're so sad to have me go, and while they may be lying... I know what it's like to lose a friend in this ward and I hate pulling away from it.

We have been so blessed to be in this ward and to meet the amazing people that we have met.  Love, love, love.

Emotions

Second big goodbye behind me.  Tonight was my last shift at work.  It's so natural to be there after 7 years.  I almost forgot to grab my shoes and my lock, but they'll be heading to my new job with me.

I really try and keep my emotions in check when I'm doing the goodbyes.  I just want to love the people and not make anyone uncomfortable.  But, as I got in the car and headed home the Beatles song "She's Leaving" came on. {tears}

I do feel like I'm leaving home. 

One of the great doctors I have worked with for the last 10 years brought in dinner tonight.  It was delicious.  He also brought me this cool painting/picture thing.


This doctor has actually said a lot of realy meaningful things to me lately about how moving always increases your standard of living and how it always leads to more happiness.  I really love this picture.  It reminds me of the strong women I have become friends with at O'Connor and I like how it looks like they're all on their own journey's.  I also really like that bird at the top.  It reminds me of our Heavenly Father who directs all our journeys.  I'm so glad he's there.  I'm excited to frame it when I get to our new home.  I am glad to always have a reminder of OCH.  Here I am with some of my favorite work buddies.  We've had such a good time together.  I'd trust so many of them with my life.  I just hope they can survive without me.


Emotions are funny things though.  I tend to just get "hit" with waves of the fact that I'm NOT coming back here again.  I mean, I may come visit, but my life as I know it is over.

I think a lot about Ruth who left her family to go with her mother in law.  I think about how I chose my husband and we are what we have now.  It's amazing how one choice shapes your life.

And now my life will be in the shape of drops of sweat. :)  Happy weekend everyone!  Here's to packing my kitchen tomorrow!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Love, Love, Love: Drew's School

When we moved here Drew's program was very small, but even from the beginning we have had students and parents who have treated our family like their family.  They've offered to babysit or help out with things.  Heck, the band actually moved us into this house.  We had the ward come help out one day and only one guy came, but we had the band come and it was like locusts came.  I went to go help with Spencer (my mom took me and the kids to a hotel, and I went between those days) and I came back and everything was gone.  It was beautiful. :)

We've had kids who have become lifelong friends.  I have many of Drew's students on my face book account.  I love seeing how they succeed and what they're doing now.

It has been hard to feel like something we love so much has betrayed us, but it has been a constant reminder that it was the system, and NOT these amazing students.

This isn't an easy place to be a teenager.  There are a lot of forces for good, but some that are less good that push hard on these kids -- and like amazing plants they BLOSSOM here.  I love that I've seen that it's possible.  Love, love, love.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Love, Love, Love,: My Job

I came to this valley with limited nursing skills.  I was ready for a chance, and a change was what I had.  I came in timid (well, more timid) and unsure of myself. 

And these women have changed me.

Labor and delivery nurses have balls.  They're willing to stand up for their patients, even to doctors with egos the size of u-hauls.  They're willing to do that.  They love women, they love babies and they love their co-workers.

I was lucky enough to work at two hospitals.

I had amazing training at my first hospital.  They really taught me SO much about the birth process, and caring, and working really hard.

I have grown to adore my second hospital experience though.  I think this is the place that I've really come into my own.  I am strong, and sure, and I know how I work.  I know I have made differences in women's lives.  What a great feeling to know that you've taken an awful situation and made it bearable.  It is truly one of the biggest blessings when I know I was on a certain shift for the exact purpose to help a specific woman out.  I remember one shift that I was called in randomly and I somehow said yes, even though I was overwhelmed at home.  And as I walked into her room, I realized I had gone to nursing school with her.  I mean, what are the chances?  It was truly a gift for both of us.

I have grown to love the catholic culture (I work at a Catholic hospital), as well as the MANY other cultures that are around here.  I can deliver a baby in both English and Spanish as well as pantomime. :)

I feel so blessed to have been here and have these jobs.  Love, love, love.  I have slowly realized that if I had stayed in Utah, this isn't an experience I ever would have had.  I needed to come here to learn what I did.  And I am interested to see how what I have learned and who I have become transfers to my new hospital.

How God in In Charge This Week

Back from another lovely shift.  Not quite as busy this time.  Can't believe I only have 2 more there.  Time flies. 

But, back to me. :)

House needs some fixin' before we can officially buy it.  Are they going to do it before we're supposed to close next Wednesday?  I have no clue.  I ask my Realtor and she doesn't know.

And I'm frantic.

I'm deep breathing and hee-he-whoo-ing my life away.

And then I remember, God is in charge.

He has to be.  No one else can fix this.  No matter how many times I call my realtor she can't make magic bids happen on the roof or make them go out to fix it.  She could, possibly give me a little more info -- but that might also be a pipe dream.

I need God to both calm me, and make it happen. 

And I know he can.  He's done SO much for us already.  This is just a tiny blip on the map.  I have such a strong testimony that we are consistently blessed for the good things that we do.  I know this move is a blessing. 

In the immortal words of Monk, "It's a blessing, and a curse. " :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Love, Love, Love: School.

I know, roll your eyes now.  But I can't say how this valley has changed us without saying how truly AMAZING our school experience has been.

Honestly, it will be interesting to see how we love our experience there.  I wonder if I will love it so much.  I think I have a strong passion of supporting my children's teachers, and with that sees ALL that they do for them, which brings a strong love of them.

It was literally the worst day so far.  Leaving them.  Leaving the parents, the kids, the friends, the teachers, the administration.  It was awful.  It was one of the few times during this that I had an ugly cry.  But I'm glad I did.  It just means that they were extremely meaningful to me.

Do you love your school?  I'm just going to say that you need to jump in with both feet.  You need to find the time to help out, and work at that place like you would any other part time job.  You can make a huge difference to the teachers, the kids, the other parents.  You can do that... but you have to make the effort.  I have been really blessed by seeing moms who were willing to sacrifice for their kids school.  They've been great examples to me.

I will have to make the effort again in the fall.  By now it came so naturally to just jump in, but now I'll be back at square one.

I loved our school.  Loved, loved, loved.

This is Really Happening {wah}

Slowly starting to sink in.  This is really happening.  These people that are my entire life right now, are going to be cut down to 4 people, my family.  New places, new surroudings, no support group.

It took me a good 2 years to make friends here.

I'm just not friend material.....

I do have friends in AZ, which I am SO happy about.  But...

Well, this morning's just a sad day.  Lots to think about, and do, and be sad about.

Not looking forward to the next 5 days.  I know it will be better once we get out.  IF we get out. ;)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Love, Love, Love: Our House

I know, I know, I KNOW that I hate this house.  Really, I do.  Especially now that I see what's possible.  But part of me loves this house.  I love it less now that I have taken down a lot of what I have loved, but I still love it.

I love how because we're all on top of each other we all know what every one's doing.  My kids don't get away with much, because I'm RIGHT. THERE. 

I kind of love how they're all in one room.  I bet they'll share stories about how Paige always woke them up someday when they're older.  Shared experiences are happy things.

I love how our backyard has become an adventure space.  We've really made it a part of our lives... I will miss that swing set (the new house has one, but it's not as great for little kids... this one has wrapped its metal arms around my kids)

I love how having a small space forces you to save money.  We went for quality, not quantity.  We bought a really great couch, because we only have one and we wanted it to be great.  Honestly, there are a lot of kitchen gadgets I may have bought over the years if I'd had a place to store them. :)

I love our carpet.  I love that it was a miracle that we bought it and it was within our budget and was just what I wanted.

I love that Spencer was brought here 2 weeks old and has blossomed into an amazing boy in that time.  This is truly the only home he knows.  Same for P, but it's just funny to think of ALL that Spencer has done in these 1200 square feet.

I love the great times we've had with friends within these walls and our backyard.  I love the priesthood session parties I used to hold, I love the baby showers I gave for dear friends.  I feel so lucky to have all of them in our lives.

I love how we were able to do it.  There aren't many people our age who can buy a house in the silicon valley but we did and we've lived to tell the day.  The people who are buying this home are getting a great place and I hope they have amazing times in it too.

I am also glad they've pulled all their contingencies and we sign off on Thursday.  Happy day!

Moving Tips

So, my brain is slowly shifting from the enormous amount of work left to do here, to the enormous amount there....

As long as the seller fixes the roof. :)

So, 2 questions for today.  I'm guessing I might have more.  We haven't moved in a while and I'm sure that plenty of you are GENIUSES in that department.

1.  Shelf liner?  I have that plastic ribbed stuff from Costco.  Do I Put it out?  Do I not put it out?  Thoughts?

2.  We are just going to use our antennae there.  We've had antennae cable here because it was only like 10 bucks and I didn't want to deal with it... but it's like 40 there, so its time to deal with it.  Do any of you just use your TV set to get channels, or a conversion box.  Do I need to put an antennae on the roof?  Am I spelling antennae right?

Most likely not.

Shower me with moving prowess.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Entirely Overwhelmed

I'll admit it.  Things are getting to me.  I picked up a BUNCH of shifts at work, thinking I'd be cancelled for many of them.  Turns out, the economy's doing better then we thought because we are PUMPING babies out like dollar bills.  And then we're bleeding after.  Turns out that requires a lot of nurses.  Who knew? 

So, add that into the stress of having to move in less then 7 days.

Plus our new house has roof problems, which the seller has agreed to pay for but it makes me really nervous.  Plus me on edge that the whole thing won't be done in time.

I'm literally doing Lamaze breathing with my patients sometimes, but for myself -- not them.

In the car on the way home tonight I was SO overwhelmed by everything.  And then the help came.  It's like the cavalry was sent by God.  I have babysitters for Saturday and Monday, one of them even wants to take the boys to the new Cars movie.  I read through the report and the seller says he's going to fix the roof.  I'm just still nervous because hello... I'm me.

More sweet friends are throwing a going away party for us, and just reading the responses.  I know we're so loved.  And we love them.

Just gotta keep moving.

And go to bed. :)

Love Love Love: Restaurants

I have been thinking about how lucky we have been to lived here.  This is an AMAZING place to raise your young kids.  I will admit, I'm not super jazzed about raising teenagers here... and part of me appreciates that there are more family friendly areas, but we truly have LOVED it here.

So, this week's series is about things we've loved about living here.

And today's post is on restaurants.  Oh. My. Goodness.  Just so many different varieties and types of foods.  I've learned to love Turkish, Vietnamese, Chinese, Mexican, Peruvian, and the list goes on.  And while there are plenty of delicacies in each nation that I am not such a fan of I have found that as I look around there are other parts that I love.  I love Vietnamese sandwiches, corn with some sort of delicious sauce (think Nacho Libre, but it's more delicious in your mouth then in some one's eye socket), I love skewers of different types of meat, hummus and falafel.  Anyway, I've just had amazing doors opened to me that I wouldn't have had otherwise.

I'm also thankful for friends who've opened their kitchens to me.  I remember thinking that tamales were disgusting thanks to Lynn Wilson, but then one time someone's mom at work made them and I tried them and HELLO, they're AWESOME, and not gross at all!  Sorry Lynn, you're barkin' up the wrong tree.

And sometimes you realized that when someone shares some food with you, they're also sharing their heart. 

Thank you Silicon Valley for your delicious delicacies of so many varieties.  I'm leaving a better palate.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Home Again... but not for long....

I am on the plane home from my visit to AZ as I type this. It's been a really great day. I like my realtors. I love the house. It's in a great area with lots of stuff nearby (costco, walmart, even Ikea). The house had its inspection, & even though there, of course, are some issues there's nothing too huge. We feel really strongly this is the house for us. :) For those who want to know it's a 5 bedroom, 3 bath home with almost 2400 square feet. There will be a boys room & a girl room the master for us, & then a craft room & a guest bedroom. They have a really nice & large room in the basement that we will use as a playroom.

The kitchen is fairly large, nothing fancy. There are two pantries (!) And the laundry room is where you come in from the garage.

So,that's the news from AZ. The flight out was crazy bumpy. I let out a few audible gasps, but no hand grabbing. :)

Word on the street we have about a week & a half left in CA, & life goes on...

{God is in charge, don't jump off the plane} - literally!
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First class

I worked til 11:30, & I had to get up at 4:30 for my fight. I couldn't print my boarding passes at home (not for a lack of trying) so I waited til the airport. I printed it & headed to security, when what to my wondering eyes should I see but first class on my ticket staring back at me....

FIRST FREAKING CLASS?

No. Freaking. Way. But, yes way... I a sitting in seat 1A with a complimentary on ground beverage.

As I was walking down the tunnel to my flight I just thought about how much God loves me, & how I don't believe in coincedences.... just a little nod to all that we have been through & that it's going to be alright. Maybe even first class, even...

Just feeling loved.... & super tired. :)

In other news I had 6 shifts this payperiod, can you believe it? I think I will cash it out in ones...
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Thursday, June 16, 2011

This Is Really Happening

We had a lady come in the other day.  She was at a class with her son and then all the sudden went into labor.  Her mom drove her to the hospital from the class and her water broke as we put her onto the bed and she had the baby about 1/2 an hour later.

She just kept looking at me saying "I can't belive this is happening."

I couldn't either, it was pretty fast and obviously super unexpected.  She was before her due date and she only had time to come to us, even though she'd planned to come to another hospital more north.

And then I thought to myself, "this is REALLY happening."  We are moving, in possibly less then 2 weeks away from leaving everyone we love and all that we know.

This is really happening.

Fo. real.

I haven't really let myself think about this part.  Mostly concentrating on ALL that needs to be done, but not really dealing with the emotions behind it all.  How will I feel as I pull away from the silicon valley?  I am sure it will be a huge mix of emotions, and I'm excited to get to that point, but I dread it as well.

This is really happening.

ETA:  Be sure to check out Conner's lastest blog entries.  Today it's about our trip to Great America.

When Honesty Ins't the Best Policy

Sent a frank email to prior realtor.
He's still sending me emails to woo me back... but I am glad I did it.
Now I can ignore him with peace of mind. :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Summer Writing

Conner's doing his usual stint with summer writing on his blog.  He will write for a week or so about a certain subject and then he publshes the piece to his blog.

This week's article is about Wolverines.  The kid loves comments.  Don't be shy. :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

It's not Me, It's You.

Lately I've been having to turn some people down.  I didn't think our realtor was making our interests his #1 priority so I found a new one, same with our loan guy and we've had to tell some movers we've chosen someone else.

And I'm awful at it.

And apparently not good at it.

So, I sent out a message just saying we were taking a break from the home purchasing after this last stint and we'd be concentrating on saying goodbye and just moving, which we were.  We just happened to find a house in the meantime with a competent realtor.

Realtor #1 keeps emailing me, daily, to see if there's anything he can do to help.

I had a conversation with him yesterday just him asking if we needed help with our rental and saying to call him and he'd like to help us out.  I ended it "we'll see" which seemed kind of like, "maybe never."  But maybe I wasn't firm at it.

I really don't want to get into why I thought he wasn't right for us, because I'm sure he does business his own way and that seems to work for him, it just didn't work for me.

So, do I just come out and say "we're moving on and we're not taking you with us" or do I just halt communications and figure he gets the picture?

I hate disappointing people, because we've had enough disappointment to fill a barrel lately but when some thing's not working -- it's not working.

Accepted

I just faxed an acceptance letter accepting the seller's counter offer.

For. real.

I'm going to fly in later this week, just for the day to take a peek, maybe head to the schools, try a futile attempt to get them signed up.  Stuff like that.

Is this happening?  Can we really get moved in there when we need to?

Time will tell, but worse things have happened then having our stuff in storage or having to live in a hotel a few days. :)

This is really happening.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

My Laverne and Shirley Moment


Where's my sweater with the giant H on it, because this morning I realized, "We're gonna make it after all..."  Oh wait, that's Mary Tyler Moore.  No, we're going to do it OUR way and make all our dreams come true....

Yesterday, our new realtor called and she has 2 houses that are totally possibles and a short term rental if we need it.  New loan person said she can close a loan (sans our parents) in 14 days if necessary.

Seriously.

This whole crazy plan of ours might actually work out.  Can you believe it?

Neither can I.

Now, who's lennie and squiggy?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Busy Mind

Things have been crazy at home.  Drew's been trying to get his stuff out of the band room and organize it before his departure (seriously, doesn't he know when you're laid off you just stomp out?), he's been doing that when I'm not working and then I head to work and I've had patients that really required brain power.  It's been a killer.

I feel like my brain is ALWAYS on.

But the news is that it is impossible to find a short term rental in the area we want.  We have a couple of tiny leads and I have to let God take over.  I can't do it all.

That's right, I just said I can't do it all.  I emailed every single rental I saw on Craigslist with no luck....

My kids are insane, and there's a good chance we're leaving in 2 weeks.

Count them, 2.

God has blessed us so much I'm wondering if we're fresh out.  And we'll be living at the extended stay and storage-r-us.  Can you get a school by living in a storage unit?  We will have water barrels....

In other news we are starting fresh on the house hunt.  New realtor, new loan people, the whole nine yards.  While we don't think we'll have one before we get there, we are hopeful that now is the time to find THE house, not just A house.

BUT we just need A house to rent. :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Save me. I'm lost.

I must admit, it's hard not to feel forgotten.  It's hard not to feel like prayers weren't answered and that we will live in misery and confusion for the rest of our lives.

This isn't what I wanted.

I talked to Conner about it this AM, which pretty well broke my heart.  We are hoping to rent in one of the two middle schools we'd like him to go to, and then be able to buy something in that area.  He's nervous, and doesn't like the thought of moving twice and while I can take the trials I'm given for myself, the thought of him suffering was what put me over the edge this morning.

That and the fact that I slept like 5 hours after geting home at midnight from work and them calling me at 6 am.  Oh joy.

I'd love it if people have ideas of what to ask people when you're renting.  It's been a while since we played that game... and we're hoping to go month to month which no landlord loves, but it's our need and frankly, we're pretty amazing tenants. :)

Thoughts?  Suggestions?  Hugs?  I will admit when I think about all this year has brought to our family I do feel a little lost.  I hope someone/something saves me soon. :)

And she Rent her clothes

The appraisal came in high.  Which is great for them, but we're out of the house buying market (we're still in the market, just not going to be buying until we get there), I feel strongly we need to rent.  Who knows why and yes, I am disappointed that we will, again, be living in limbo for a bit but I think I can find one in the area we're hoping for.

I hope.

I know God's watching out for us, and I am SO thankful for all of our friends and family who are praying for us.  We feel very blessed, and soon to be homeless. :)

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Status Update

So, the people selling the house are getting an appraisal.  Since stuff is ALL over the place I have no idea what it will be.

A good friend said that God will make miracles in our life, but He will take us right to the edge.

Well, hello edge.  Today is the last day we can do this.  We need to finalize by tonight so it can head to the banks tomorrow.

If it doesn't happen today, we will rent.

Over my dead body.

And who wants my house buried under their rental home?

So, let's all pray for the appraiser. :)

Shall we?

In other news, guess who's brother is amazing.  No newsflash there, but he IS in the news. :)

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Summer "fun"

While I hope to re-live a lot of our funner moments here in the Bay Area for the next few weeks, we are also starting our summer schedules.

I'm a lover of the schedule.  Especially on long summer days with kids saying they have nothing to do.  So, here's this summer's rendition:


v  7-9                  Get-up, dressed, eat, responsibilities

v  9-10               Workbooks

v  10-10:30       Writing

v  10:30-11       Special Activity

v  11-12             Free time Outside

v  12-1               Lunch

v  1-2                  Reading Time

v  2-3                  Computer

v  3-4                  Free Play Time

v  4-5                  Wii/Computer/TV (if applicable)


It's a little different then last summer's becuase P's napping later in the day (I think last summer she still took 2 naps).

Each child has assigned jobs each day of the week, they also get an extra job during the summers.  Usually they get up around 7:30 and have that time to slowly get in gear.  My rule is that they don't earn the wii/computer time if they don't stay on task during the day.  They get one warning, and then that's gone.  It seems to work pretty well -- although I know that will wane as we get going into summer....

As far as workbooks go, I bought them at Costco.  They have assigned areas each day and I correct them all with them and we see what they did wrong.  SOMEONE in our house has a REAL problem being wrong.  He thinks life is the star test.  I wonder if I can break that this summer....

The kids have writing assignements each week.  Narrative, informational and book reports.  They also have a few writing prompts I give them to just write on a certain topic.  I am hoping Conner will put his on his blog to share with the world. :)

Special activity can be physical education tests, or science experiments or special art projets.  Lately it's been doctors appt's as we're trying to get everything done before we go.  Yes, that is a VERY special activity, I am aware. :)

For the first computer time they are obligated to learning/typing games.  We have a few good ones, although I'd like more for Conner's age (6th grade).  I'd figure there's some great math games out there or something for that age, but I'm not finding it.  Anyone?

And then the wii time is their reward for a hard day's work.

I think it's so great for them to know what's going on instead of a whole day of what's next....  Do you do summer schedules?  Are you shocked at how anal I am?  I am, midly.

In other news, we are still waiting to hear on the offer.  The deadlines is tomorrow AM at 9... trying to keep hopes high, although this family seems to be really out of touch as to the real estate issues in the area.  If it's meant to be, it will be.

BECAUSE

{God is in charge}

Bid....

Today we are bidding on a house.  Is it our perfect house?  Um, well... no.  But it has a LOT of amazing features, the least of which is a beautiful river rock fireplace that I drooled over when I saw (I love a pretty mantle, am I the only one?).

Pricing in AZ is so crazy.  He sent us comps and they are ALL. OVER. THE. PLACE.  Literally, same square feet, close locations that are going from 200k to 300k.  Seriously.  So, we didn't realy know what to bid.  We did know that they priced it way out of their range.

But we hope they're just sick of trying to sell it.

But I also know that Drew and I have tried hard to really live good lives here and I have a firm testimony that God blesses his children who do the right things.  I believe he can change their hearts.  I believe he has changed mine.

Of course, our realtor's internet connection is down right now {seriously} and so we wait.  For real.  Could I die in a few minutes? It's possible.  It's all about patience.  And I actually think I am getting better in that arena.  I am also learning to stay busy, and the fact that I am working practically full time during the next 3 weeks aids in that. :)

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Lesson of the Day

I think what I have learned out of all of this.... at least for today.  IS that when you're doing something that makes you unhappy, stop.  Even if that thing is looking for houses, which is a beneficial and necessary thing, but if you're sitting in front of the computer bawling your eyes out it's time to stop, not time to think you'll be able to find others that will work.  Because with tears in your eyes, you won't.

And God doesn't want us to be unhappy.

I cried for hours and hours over house buyers wishing they were the one.

They weren't.

I knew the instant I saw them that THEY were the ones.

I need to remember times that the answers just freely came, not after hours and hours of useless Internet searches.

Also, instead of crying I need to be productive.  I feel SO much better when my jobs are done, and my house is clean and I have happy kids...  Now, to apply said lesson. :) 

When the Miracle Doesn't Come

First off, I get INSANELY itchy nose at night sometimes.  I can't sleep, I'm starting to lose my mind over it as it's happening more frequently.  Anyone else?  I literally lie awake and itch my nose.  I just emailed Kaiser... but perhaps my amazing blog readers have thoughts?

Yesterday was the day I was all set for a miracle.  I just KNEW that when I came home OUR house would be sitting in my "portal" just a' waitin' for me to buy it.

And, unless something in my heart changes, it didn't.  There are some possibles, but none of them seem amazing to me.  The one I like the most is 57k above what I want to pay.  Of course. :)

And I had a nice cry.

BUT, God is in charge, and His miracles come in HIS timeframe, not mine.  He will let me know what to do and when to do it.

Until then I should just enjoy the beautiful weather.  And stop crying.  He has set us up perfectly right up to the house.  I'm sure he'll follow through with that any moment now....

Sunday, June 05, 2011

I am a Mormon. Also. :)

I love this video.  I love this woman.  I want to be her friend.  People who make violins facinate me.  Give it a looksie. :)

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Thank You

You know, this week I've wondered about giving thanks.  I've thought about the 10 lepers that were healed and how only one comes back to give thanks.  I think that people who are truly thankful are the best people on earth.  They realize their position on earth and how each person contributes to their well being.

I was sure they'd mention Drew at graduation.  The guy has slaved for that school for TEN years, and is now being kicked out through no fault of his own, or him wanting to leave.  Going to girls and boys basketball games, staying late nights, helping kids who otherwise would've ended-up being problem children.  Being on teams to improve the school, allowing the kids a safe place to be.

And last night he got a "good luck" in passing from the superintendent.  Literally, that is all.

The school has at least 3 farewell assemblies, they easily could have mentioned him and said how much they appreciate them, but they didn't.

And while I don't have an audience of people who went to that school I'd like to give 10 things -- one for each year he was here -- that Drew has done amazingly well at that school... because he has.  Maybe I can make up a little bit for their lack of thoughtfulness.

1.  Drew came here to a program that was dead.  He worked hard to revitalize it, be friends with the kids, MAKE them want to build the program.  And they did just that.  We have such fond memories of many of the kids that were here when we first came.  We feel like they were builders along with him, and sometimes it surprises us how close to our age they are!

2.  Drew build relationships with outside organizations.  Drew allows several outside organizations to use the band room, often at his own efforts of getting them the keys or setting things up for them.  In doing so they have built friendships with those organizations that have enhanced the program.  He lets the local wind symphony use the building, because they then judge the solo and ensemble, and provide free tickets to kids so they can do concert reviews with no cost to them.

3.  Drew loves music.  He has been a member of the local trombone choir for years (sometimes over my dead body).  It's great way to show that you can include music in your life after school, even if music isn't your chosen major.

4.  He loves all of them.  Ok, maybe not all of them.  But I am consistently amazed how Drew's love turns those kids around.  Kids that you thought could easily be in a jail cell right now are actually being productive members of society -- because of Drew.  He often gave kids the benefit of the doubt with amazing results.  I wish I could be more like him in this instance.

5.  He has very little to work with.  He considers so carefully how to use his funds since there is very little of them.  He is always looking for a way to get the best "bang for his buck".  When he came back from the AZ interview he was so excited to tell me of all the budget money he'd have.  Who knew?  Schools with budgets?  Amazing!

6.  He's taken the band to the people.  Drew started an elementary tour and he brought music to many kids in the district because of that.  It helps build a sense of community in those kids that they want to get to the high school and be cool like those kids.  Very cool.

7.  He's taken the band all over.  He's at the nursing home with the strings, he's at the local home tour with the choir, he's playing for the rotary club with the band.  He's truly woven the band into the community with his extra efforts.

8.  Ireland.  How would you feel going on a 10 day tour the day after they laid you off?  Drew did it, and he did it without the drama of the fact that he would be leaving.  They all had an amazing time, but I know it was hard for him to concentrate on the kids and their experience, instead of what was going on with him personally.

9.  He's brought them into our lives.  Our kids love those kids, and they've had amazing examples in so many of them.  I think the band loved Drew more because they saw him as a father and a husband.  They knew our whole family was behind them.  And we are. :)

10.  He loves them.  I am fairly sure he loves a few of them more then me (ok, maybe not... but if you took a proportion of time he spends with them....).  He worries about their worries, he gets excited when they're making good decisions, he truly forms relationships with all of them.  He hates graduation, to see some of his favorites fly... but they always come back.

And I guess that is where it ends.  Drew has made a difference, and he knows that and no talk of thanks is going to change that or enhance it.  I'm so thankful for a husband who loves his job and works hard at it.  You are amazing!  I love you!

Friday, June 03, 2011

In This Moment

Our house is probably going to sell low.  That's just the nature of the market.

Our house in AZ is a dream, but lots of obstacles which include multiple offers and worrying that it won't appraise for what they want.

This last day of school has been really hard on me.  I kept a bright face, but I choked back tears as we were leaving the Kindergarten playground.  So sad for all the kids and families I've grown to love.  I could barely be around the teachers, I'm going to miss them SO much.

Drew's at graduation right now, I'm sure holding back tears of his own.  I hope they mention something about his leaving as they haven't done a thing as of yet and frankly, I find that appalling.  Thankful for the many families who have said beautiful thank you's, that's always nice.

And of course, the kids are high as kites with 9 million papers in my face to organize in a house that has to be kept sterile.

It's been a really hard day, and I've asked God to increase my faith and my person to make my stronger to last through bedtime. 

I'm fairly sure I'll just be a puddle after that.

{GOD IS IN CHARGE, DON'T JUMP OFF THE PLANE}

I, actually, have thought a lot about our pioneers lately.  They were forced to leave their homes, leaving behind great wealth and prosperity for a land that they knew not.  One of my favorite doctors talked to me a bit about immigration and how people always found such peace, friendship and prosperity in the new land, that it was always a "step up".

I take great heart in their stories of prosperity once they got thrugh the trials.  What good examples they are.

And should we die, before our journey's through....

Graduating

A Fine, Fine SchoolSadly, I don't have time to post some of the pictures I took at Conner's 5th grade celebration (they're careful not to call it a graduation, which I am thankful for -- I think you should really save that for high school and college).

This morning as I was getting a little choked up walking S into class I thought about how I am really graduating also.  I have learned SO much at that school.  From the parents, how to find my own niche at helping out at school, to the teachers and how they respond to my kids, to the Principal to the friends we've all made.

I.
am.
so.
lucky.

Can't say enough good things about the school and how I've been blessed to have taken my kids there.  It isn't our "home" school and I do hate the drive/parking but I love the feeling while I am there.  I love how my kids have become amazing writers, I love how a parent has volunteered to teach my child hard math at 7 am once a week, I love how so many of my good friends roll up their sleeves and pitch in for the good of all of our children.  I have learned a lot from them.

So, while Conner might be celebrating his own moving on, I feel a bit like I'm graduating too.  I'm ready to use the skills I've learned in a new school.  Maybe not quite as often/hard but I still want to be involved. 

I love elementary school.  Good thing I'm going to be in it for a while. :)  Better go drink some water to hydrate before the final cry. :)

P.s.  Guess who got a job offer yetsterday.  An official one.  :)  Go me!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Selling a House: Offers

Our 2nd offer has fallen through.  Actually, it's fallen silent.  We got an alright offer, so we countered it -- because that's what you do with "alright" offers.  And she just fell apart.  She won't return calls or refuse it.  And sadly, in the real estate world -- doing nothing is just as good as refusing it.

So we're back to square one.

For those of you who don't know, we also had our first offer back out after a few days in contract.  Nothing to do with the house, just cold feet.

And it's driving me nuts.  I mean, don't go INTO contract if you're not willing to stick with it.  Unfortunately, I feel like a lot of real estate agents just encourage them to get into contract just so they might go through with it.  And that's not good for anyone.

Two tidbits of good news:

1.  We possibly found a place in AZ that makes me happy.  It fills enough of my own "requirements" that it might just be ours.  That makes me EXCEEDINGLY happy as most of the other houses just filled me with glum-ness... is that a word?

2.  Someone came to see the house today.  They have a child and they stayed for 40 minutes and she actually called her husband about 1/2 way through.  I guess they called our agent right after and requested the reports we have (here you do a total home inspection first through a reputable agency just to show you mean business).  She said they're still thinking about it and if they do put in an offer it won't be til' tomorrow.  And frankly, after the last two I appreciate that.  I hope it goes through though.  This is a great home for kids and I think they'd be a great addition to the neighborhood.

I haven't felt that about anyone else.

So, I am finally not feeling miserable most of the time.  Last night was a bit of a turning point, even though our 2nd offer was basically falling through in front of our faces I felt extreme peace and excitement.

I read this talk last night, and the timing couldn't have been more perfect.  For a moment I could see how all the trials may be for our good, and that talk just reinforced it.  Props to Paul Johnson for putting it so eloquently.  Lately, each night before I go to bed I put one of the latest conference talks on youtube on my phone and listen to it.  I have a really hard time "winding down" lately and this has been my one saving grace, and allows me to actually think about the talk instead of other things since I am both reading and listening to it.  I always loved books on tape.

Maybe things are looking up.  I sure hope they are, and maybe now is the time.

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