Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Surprise! It's a Party not a dinner!

Oh birthdays. . . I love them! My birthday. . . Historically not always great. I started getting sad the day before. I told Ben not to do anything because I've been feeling poor with buying a new house. Even though, I really didn't want him to spend money on me, I kinda got sad that I wouldn't be doing anything for my birthday. Then I bought my birthday cake because it was convenient. And even though I really didn't mind getting my own cake, I started to get sad that "I got my own cake." Same with my birthday present. 

Then I decided that I was going to ask Ben to maybe write me a note. You know something that doesn't cost money. Then we started to talk about my birthdays because they normally stink. And I told him excluding this year (because I want to save money) I want to do something fun on my birthday that I don't have to plan. It doesn't have to cost a lot of money either. Like going to the park or a bike ride or something like that. 

Anyways Ben says defensively," you're getting depressed about your birthday and it hasn't even happened yet!" Fair enough.

My birthday arrives and my friends take me out to breakfast. That just made my day! Then Ben decides to take the day off from work and I got to go to the temple something that I really needed to do. I stop by Old Navy on the way home and spend some of my birthday money. Xander plays "Happy Birthday" to me on the piano and we have some yummy cake. All in all, a good day.

Saturday arrives and I have a photo session that evening. Ben sets up a dinner with another family which never happens. I was a little suspicious about it all but with all the selling and buying and packing of a house that was going on, I didn't press it too bad. I literally couldn't even think straight. I was so late getting back from the photo session. Fourty minutes late, that doesn't even qualify for fashionably late or Mormon standard time. It qualified as embarrassing and rude.  I couldn't believe I had made that family wait.

I arrive at the house to see another friend's car in their driveway. "Oh great!" I thought. Yet another family I made wait. I open the door and a giant group of people say, "Surprise!" It was a surprise birthday party for me and I had no idea. The best surprise birthday party ever!

It was great because all of my dear friends were there and we would be moving the next weekend. I loved it!

So I guess my birthday wasn't so bad and I guess 37 isn't so bad either!

Thursday, May 15, 2014


The title says it all!  We have been Missing In Action in the big wide world of blogging.  So much has happened lately that I cannot wait any longer or I will get very behind.


We went to Disneyland! We went around Presidents' Day hoping that the lines wouldn't be that bad. And they weren't! The longest line we waited in was for 2 hours for the Cars land racers. The rest of the rides were 30 minutes or less. In fact, since we got on rides so quickly we decided to see some shows and meet princesses, things we normally don't use our precious time for. So in 2 days we pretty much rode all the rides that we wanted to.

After getting our fill of Disneyland, we headed to Hunington Beach. I love the beaches in California! We had a great day chillin' at the beach. 


I always try to make it a point and go on at least one field trip a year with each child. I've done that since CJ started school. This year I went on a walking field trip to the local fire station with Xander's class.

I always love it when I see my children so excited that I am there with them. They love school and love it when I am there seeing the things they do and participating.

went to the theatre with Mia and we got to see professional dancers perform and teach us about dance. I am truly amazed at how many field trips my kids go on in a year. When I was teaching school, we only went on one, maybe two if the other one was a walking field trip and didn't require a bus. Here, they charge the parents however much they need. I've had to pay up to $12 for my child to participate. In Utah, we couldn't charge the kids anything. It all came from PTA funds. Maybe it's just California.

The science fair was epic! Xander and Mia both came away with medals for first place in their grade level.  Every year, I think my kids are going to be disappointed because, really how long will this winning streak go on for? Every year I never have to deal with their disappointment because they keep winning!


This year I signed Xander and Zoey up for soccer. Soccer is awesome! I wish I would have signed Xander up sooner. When he was 3, we did the Kids Love Soccer program and even then I thought he showed some talent for the game. 

But then we got involved in baseball and taekwando and didn't come back to the game until now. I'm so glad we did. I love the AYSO program. I also love his pinky finger up in the air as he kicks!

Zoey is having fun although she really had a rough start. She screamed her head off the first day and refused to participate. I had to hold her hand the entire time. 

Then around game 2 or 3, she decided that she really liked soccer. She told me before we left for soccer, " I'm so excited to play soccer today! I'm not going to cry,  I'm going to be brave!"

Since then, she has done great!


The biggest news right now is that we are selling our home and buying a new one. We put our home on the market at the beginning of April.  Within a week, we had a buyer! We had 10 offers on our home, all over asking price.  Since there is a low inventory on houses in our price range we pretty much got to set the terms and asked for a 45 day close and 30 day rent back. We narrowed it down to two offers and sent out a multiple counter offer. We ended up getting what we needed and the offer we accepted offered a 30 day rent back for $1! 

That gave us plenty of time to find a house. After getting under contract with our house we set out to find a new home for us. There weren't many houses on the market at that time that fit our specifications which were 4 bedrooms and at least 1600 sq feet in our price range. We were looking for a home we could spend at least 10 years in.

We stumbled upon a house near where we live now, that was out of our price range. I had been watching the market for a couple months now and noticed that this house was overpriced and thought, "well maybe we should check it out".  So Ben and I did. The house was a flip and completely remodeled and we didn't understand why it wasn't selling. We asked our realtor if we offered $50,000 less, if that would be a total joke? He said,"No" and also told us since it had been on the market for so long, we could make our offer contingent on our house selling. 

They came back with a counter offer, of course asking for more money. They asked for $25,000 more. I thought about it and thought, that's pushing it.  We better play safe and just reject the counter offer. I sent the email telling our realtor that we were declining the offer. Then i just laid on my bed thinking about it. The more I thought about it the more i really wanted this house. It was 2500 sq feet-bigger than we ever dreamed we could afford and it would fit our family comfortably. Ever other house we looked at couldn't compare and were about 1000 sq feet less!

(The picture isn't great, I just took it this morning on a run)

I talked to Ben and I told him that we should look at our finances more closely and see if it was something we could do. I emailed our realtor back and said to hold off on our rejection. Ben and i spent a couple hours crunching numbers. Ben just recently got a wonderful raise from work but since it was so recent, we didn't know how much more per paycheck he would actually get. Once we figured it out, we realized that the raise that Ben had gotten, would be enough so we could accept the counter offer and afford the monthly mortgage payment.

I could see the Lord's hand in everything. He provided a way for us to get this house. I have no doubt. 

Our realtor had gotten an email from the seller's agent saying that they got another offer and wanted to do a multiple counter offer. Well the seller's agent is very sloppy with his work and failed to send paperwork out voiding the counter offer they sent us. So when we signed the counter offer document, we were technically under contract.

For three days, we had no idea if we were really under contract. The seller's agent was angry because the other offer they had received was bigger. The broker's on each side were trying to work it out and finally the seller's buckled and we were officially under contract!

Had the multiple counter offer been sent out, there is no way we would have gotten this house. We offered the most we could and could not go higher.

We have been so blessed! This house is only a mile and a half from the one we live in now and is in all different schools than what we have now. Once I got over that and accepted that it will be okay for the kids. I began to realize things work out for a purpose that we can be very happy in this home and that it is big enough to be a 20 year home, not a 10 year one that we thought we would get.

Phew! I made it through the major stuff. I have been slacking on the blogging lately. Once we get settled into our new home, things will be better I'm sure. I can't wait!