Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Cuddlebug and Priesthood

This was pretty much the story of my life yesterday.
And the night before.
Devin would just lay on me and "mooo."
Not cry. Not really whine.
It sounded like "mooo."
Over and over and over.
Plus he had a slight fever.

If I laid him down, he would scream!
And he wouldn't calm down.
So I held my little cuddlebug and his blankie constantly.
(I did enjoy my baby cuddle time!!)

Neither of us are certain what is wrong.
Our best guess is teething.
But he has never done this before.
And he already has 12 teeth!!
Maybe the molars hurt worse coming in??
I don't want to stick my finger in his mouth to find out though.
The other 12 teeth are sharp.
And I know he would chomp on me if I put my finger in.

It was getting late.
And all three of us needed some good sleep.
Casey called one of our neighbors.
We met him just a few days ago.
He volunteered to help with Priesthood Blessings anytime we needed.

After the blessing, I was able to lay Devin in his bed.
And he didn't scream!
Instead he fell quickly asleep and slept the entire night.

We woke up this morning refreshed.
And so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who answers prayers.
And who gives us such sweet tender mercies.

Today this is the story of my life.
I was folding clothes in our room.
And Devin caught some zzz's on the floor outside our door.
He still doesn't feel good.
But we are making progress!

The Priesthood truly is an amazing gift.
It's power is absolutely divine.
I'm grateful for worthy Priesthood holders in my life!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

In the Kitchen

Memories are made in the kitchen!! I'm so grateful our kitchen and dining room is huge. So many hours will be spent in there as we grow old together.

Today I'm grateful for the kitchen floor. 

Yesterday I swept. Casey used a butter knife to scrape off all the stickers and almost permanently glued on food. Then on our hands and knees we scrubbed every inch of the floor. The bucket of pinesol was rinsed often because it became black so quickly. Finally we rinsed the floor really well. And I'm sure it sparkles now. :)

I love the color of our floor. In the future, it will hide dirt well (because I doubt I will hand scrub it very often. Sweep--absolutely! Mop--yes. But hand scrub--not likely.)

And tonight I'm especially grateful for the LAMINATE floor. Devin refused to eat unless he held the spoon and fed himself. Three cheers for having a floor that can be mopped in the dining room! (If we were still at our apartment, I can guarantee the carpet would have new pulled pork and cottage cheese stains. Haha.)

By the way: I should mention that I actually made that pulled pork Devin flung everywhere. It's the first meal I made in our home!! 

AND... In case you were wondering. After all the scrubbing yesterday, we moved our freezer inside and unpacked the food for one pantry. When I went to bed, the room was making major progress but was still a mess. My darling husband became the kitchen fairy. He stayed up late to find the counters and organize the boxes. I woke up to this amazing miracle!

Memories definitely are made in the kitchen. And ours already has a story to tell!

Friday, July 26, 2013

From Humble Beginnings

I was asked to share pictures. At first I was hesitant because our house is not "picture-perfect."
But it is a work in progress.
And I'm sure you will all be forgiving of the piles of boxes.
We haven't even lived here a week yet!

(And as a side note, yesterday Devin and I went for a walk. I couldn't figure out for sure what street I was on and there was no street sign at the intersection. I saw some teenage girls nearby. I asked them what street I was currently on and asked them how to find our street. See... I haven't even lived here for a week yet. I sure with time all the twisty/ windy/ changes-street-names-in-the-middle-of-the-road streets will begin to make sense.)

Our Living Room!
I worked super hard to make this Devin-proof.
I can't wait to hang pictures and decorations!

The kitchen.
See the cupboards?! I'm making progress!!
(Ignore the mess on the counter!)

Casey surprised me with beautiful roses!
And we hand carried the statue(s) to make sure they didn't break.
It's so nice now that Christ is not packed in a box.
Seeing Him on the kitchen table is a daily reminder to stay focused on Him.

I'm really looking forward to hanging pictures back up.
Until then, I found this magnet for our fridge.
In our completely chaotic world, it is nice having this constant.

I can't believe I'm posting this!
From Humble Beginnings!!
Our dining room/ pantry disaster.
Devin has taken it upon himself to help unpack everything he can reach.
Which means all that stuff on the floor is from my little helper....

Our bed!!
Before we moved, I was terrible about making the bed.
Now I make it EVERY day
--probably because it is the only thing clean in our lives.

The pile of boxes/ suitcases that we dig through regularly.

Devin's room.
See the sleeping baby?
I haven't even attempted to tame his room...

We found the changing table, diapers & wipes.
He sleeps in the pack 'n' play (because the crib is in pieces).
We kept track of his blankie.
I dig through his suitcase in the closet to find clean clothes.
What more does he need?

Our bathroom currently.
We are just so grateful to have a working toilet.
Our poor neighbor was probably sick of us borrowing hers.
We shower at my parents house.
We are PRAYING that this will be done by Monday!

Our "office" and laundry room.
Nothing fancy or organized.
But functional.

(The lowest part of the basement.)
I will get to these boxes... someday.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Things I Love

I'm making progress on transforming this house into our home. Although I am far from done... countless boxes to unpack... cupboards, lights, windows, doors, etc!! still to clean... a weed patch that needs taming... the list goes on!

Even though it is a major work in progress, I have already fallen in love with this place! Seriously. It's OUR home!!

Here are a few of my absolute favorite things about our house:

1. I have to go up 3 stairs from the carport to the kitchen--not 2 whole flights. Carrying anything in or out is SOOO much easier!!

2. Our coat closet actually closes all the way. I know. It's the simple things. But by closing completely, it means I can hide a giant packing mess behind the door and Devin can't touch it. 

3. We could not have asked for a better next door neighbor. She is absolutely amazing and so gracious. I love talking with her every time we are both outside or I have to go borrow something. 

4. Along those same lines, I already love our ward!! I was super worried about this. But I shouldn't have stressed. We were so blessed to buy into such a welcoming and helpful neighborhood!! And... my former seminary teacher is in the Bishopric. Plus a girl we went to high school with lives only a few houses away. Crazy how it is such a small world. 

5. I love my kitchen! It's gigantic compared to what we have lived with the past two years. There is actually enough cupboards to store everything. And a huge bar/ counter that will be used for rolling out doughs and homemade meals probably more often than not. 

6. The unfinished basement is a huge blessing in disguise!! It sure makes fixing all the leaks and problems a million times easier and cheaper. 

7. I love the freedom found only in a house. No downstairs neighbors. No people/ kids running and shouting RIGHT in front of our window. No manager or set rules to follow. AND we are investing in us--not the landlord. Seriously this has to be one of the best parts!

Our house is far from perfect.But it truly seems perfect for us. Or at least it is becoming that way--one scrubbed cupboard and one blind hung at a time.  

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Ready or Not...

So our house is not exactly "ready" yet but we are moving anyway. However, we have made MAJOR progress forward!

Our bedroom, hallway, stairs, living room, dining room and kitchen walls are CLEAN! Devin's room has been washed but is still crayoned everywhere. The doors, door frames, baseboards and lights for the most part haven't been dealt with.

A few windows have been washed. But most still need help and they are all double pane. All the window seals need deep cleaning.

I totally scrubbed out our "new" fridge. I figured I won't be using the oven anytime soon so it can wait. I don't even know where to start with the dishwasher though--there is SO much build-up and gunk in it. That is going to have to be a sooner than later project. But until then, we will continue using our paper plates and plastic silverware!

The water heater works!!!!!! We haven't even had our furnace checked yet though--next month for that.

All of our utilities are connected. Except the internet. I feel like I'm living in the stone age without internet all day (I don't have it on my phone). Plus, I have our mailbox key.

Half of the kitchen cupboards are CLEAN and sticky-free. I'm hoping to find time to tackle the other half tomorrow. And the kitchen/ dining floors need sticker removal and hard-core mopping tomorrow as well.

Our carpets and super nasty heat vent registers will be cleaned tomorrow. I'm super excited to see the end result without gum on every stair and giant stains and green apple candy in our room. The carpet is only two years old (I found out from the neighbor.), so I'm hoping it will look new again!

We bought blinds. They still need to be installed.

Our storage shed is nearly all the way built.

The shower is non-functioning. It had to be completely redone. It will be beautiful once it is finished. But until then, we will be bathing at my parents house. Tonight I had to go borrow the neighbor's bathroom again. Luckily, tomorrow morning the toilet will be fixed and placed. So we will survive with a half functioning bathroom (meaning toilet and sink only) for a bit.

Tomorrow evening we are moving out of our apartment. (We still have to finish packing tomorrow as well.) Saturday morning we will move into our house. Late tomorrow night and early Saturday morning we will be cleaning the apartment so we can check out.  After moving is finished on Saturday, we will be making our bed and hunting for necessary items.

And then we will collapse. (And continue the housecleaning next Monday.)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Mommy's Little Helper

1. Helping pack the pans. (AKA throwing them on the floor)
2. When I unpack each box, we will find surprises in each.
3. Devin's favorite use of the boxes!
4. While I was packing the pantry, Devin saw me placing cans in boxes.
So he found his own box and started putting cans in it too.
He couldn't figure out why the one in his hand would not fit in the box.

1. Multi-tasking!! (The vacuum was mine from when I was growing up.)
Devin spent so many hours entertaining himself with these two things while I cleaned.
2. This picture was taken the day before. He loved sweeping the floor!
3. Ready to help Daddy fix everything that is currently broken.

This is my favorite time of the day! :)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The End

All good stories start with "Once upon a time" and end with "The End." 

Well this is our THE END. 

It's THE END of our house hunt. THE END of placing offers. THE END of waiting and wondering if our offer would be accepted. THE END of applying for grants. THE END of jumping through ridiculous government hoops. THE END of trying to get a loan. THE END of our 10 day waiting period. 

And it's our beginning. 


...we are HOMEOWNERS!!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Remembering Today

There have been a few big events in life that I still remember every detail. Funny how most of them involve my very best friend!

I remember  our first date. We were sophomores and went to Sadie Hawkins. We wore matching green shirts and ate dinner at IHOP.

I remember  our High School graduation day. We went on a date to Village Inn for breakfast before our ceremony. We were very blessed to happen to walk down the aisle together.

I remember  the day Casey proposed. I thought we would eat a picnic in the park but instead he gave me flowers and my ring.

I remember  our wedding day. We ate microwave breakfast sandwiches then drove to the temple together. And we were sealed for time and all eternity!! I just love that! (This would be the best memory!!)

I remember  our first apartment. It was a studio that fit our queen size bed with no headboard and a super tiny loveseat and that was it! The dresser was in the closet (which was really a thin hallway to our tiny bathroom).

I remember  the night he took me to the hospital. And held my hand through the night and helped me through the pain of giving birth.

I remember  Prom. Writing letters on his mission. Teaching him how to drive a clutch car. Holding hands. Our first kiss. Moving to our second apartment. Moving to our third apartment. Going to the temple the first time. Making (what almost began to seem routine) trips to the ER with me either for me or for our baby. The party awaiting me following my first day of work as a teacher. Birthdays. Vacations. Date Nights.

All of these are such happy memories.


Today is the day that we buy a house.
This is a huge commitment thing.
We are buying a house.
We will sign our name over and over.
After an hour or so of signatures, we will be given the keys.
The keys to our house.
Today we will buy a house!

Tomorrow we will make it our home.

Sunday, July 7, 2013


For a few most treasured days, we took a break. 
From life. From cooking. From packing. From cleaning. From roasting in the 100+ degree weather. From worrying/ planning/ anticipating/ wondering/ stressing about our home. 

Instead we slept in a king size bed (living the luxiourous life!!) while Devin slept in a pack'n'play--which miraculously barely fit into the bathroom. 

Instead we spent our time swimming in the pool (which Devin loved!!) and relaxing in the hot tub. 

Instead we spent our time playing in the park and racing down the slide with Devin's cousin. 

Instead we explored said previous park and mastered the monkey bars. I think Casey and I had just as much fun playing as Devin did! ;)

Instead we ate the most delicious and warm club sandwich ever in a fancy restaurant (or at least I did! I ordered it both times we ate at that restaurant.) while Devin banged on the table with a spoon. 

Instead we watched TV and how I wish we had the History Channel and A&E (only--I don't want to pay for all of cable. Just those two channels!)

(Sorry Grandpa for not getting a picture of you with Devin!)
Instead we chased Devin in the motel hallway as he ran back and forth from our room to Grandma and Grandpa's. Devin thoroughly enjoyed all the time he was able to spend with them!!

Instead we went on an unchaperoned date! We held hands and talked and laughed. Although our original plans didn't work out, we still just loved being together!!

Instead we went shopping and found some sweet deals! I bought some Downeast undershirts and decorative shorts for $3 each. Casey found a couple pairs of jeans and some shorts for about $10 each. (Not bad for his long legs!)

Instead we watched fireworks and celebrated the 4th of July. 

Instead we had Internet that barely worked (and we don't have it on our phones). This proved to be a blessing because we spent more time interacting. 

We each have on a patriotic shirt.
And together we are Red, White & Blue.
--Yes this was planned! :)
Happy 4th of July!!!
Instead we loved being together, making precious memories, and forgetting about the routines of life. 

For a few (way to short) treasured days, we took a break. 

P.S. I LOVE Devin's onsie!!
"Mommy's little FIRECRACKER!"

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Parade of OUR Home

Buying our home is actually seeming real.
Like this is going to happen in ONE WEEK real!
I thought it was about time to take you all on a tour. :)

Welcome to The Parade of OUR Home!

I have not taken any pictures myself.
These are all from the MLS when our house was listed.

And eventually, slowly, someday we will remodel and change most things.
New paint for sure.
Everything is painted cream right now.
However, the redecorating will have to wait.
The first goal is to make it livable and fix everything that is broken/ leaks/ etc.

I love the backyard is completely fenced it.
I love the wide porch in the front.
I love the tree to shade our house!
This is the living room.
The picture makes it seem rather small.
The stairs and a HUGE coat closet are behind.
The carpet is in fairly good shape.
The dining room.
I love that the floor is NOT carpet!
I love the bay window.
We will put our pantries and freezer, as well as table, in here.
The kitchen.
I love that the cupboards are wood.
I am SO tired of white!
Devin's room.
He actually has two windows.
If you look at the front of the house, both windows on the top level are in his room.
Devin loves his windows!!
They are short enough that he can look out.
This picture has been edited pretty well.
There is crayon and marker and etc ALL over the walls.
Our room.
I love that it has a ceiling fan.
And a door to the bathroom.
I LOVE our closet!!
The bathroom.
This will be one of the first things to get a makeover.
The floor by the bathtub needs help.
There are missing cupboards on the vanity.
Its not a gigantic bathroom.
But it is big enough for our needs.
Half of the unfinished basement.
The small area on the left will be a half bath and laundry room.
The other window will be a bedroom/ office.
Behind this picture will be our large family room.
There is like a black triangle on the left.
That is the stairs going down to the other half of the basement.
We are going to put in a huge master suite.
And a storage room. And a pantry.

This will really be ours... in ONE week. 
I'm SO excited!
We will sign hundreds of papers and finally be given the keys. 
And the very first thing we are doing once we have the keys?
Changing the locks. :)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Final Loan Status

On May 21st, we placed another offer on a house. This would become our final offer because one week later, we learned that our offer was accepted. One week after than found out that we were officially under contract.

And then we waited.
We prayed.
And prayed.
And we waited.

Every week I would get emails from our loan company with a status of what was happening with our loan. It went to underwriting. We waited. Tried to figure out what was happening with the grant. We waited. Interest rates were fluctuating. We waited. It wasn't a surprise what the weekly email would say because I have been in contact with both our loan officer and realtor several times a week for the past month and a half. But every time I read the email, it left us waiting and praying. There was not much else to do but to keep praying and trusting that somehow everything would work out.

Several weeks ago, I had to pick a hypothetical closing date and a move out date for our apartment. The imaginary closing date gave us something to work toward. We had a deadline of Monday July 15 from the government. I didn't want to close on the last possible day. I would have major anxiety and if anything went wrong, there would be no time to fix it. We would lose the house. And I didn't really want Friday July 12th because we wanted to have the house on Sat July 13 so we could spend the day cleaning and fixing. So this came back to if something went wrong on Friday, we wouldn't be able to close until Monday. So I randomly choose Wed July 10. I didn't know if the 10th would actually happen but it at least gave everyone something to work towards. The grant was processed faster because of this deadline I chose. The loan had to keep moving through all of the different processing parts.

Today I talked to our loan officer. Good news. It didn't seem real though.

Then I checked my email.
Now it seems real.
I got our final loan status update.

ignore the blank spaces...
I erased our info...
In case you can't read the small print below, it says, "Congratulations! We have received final approval! Remember your closing is Wednesday, July 10th"

WHAT?! We are actually closing on the date I picked out of thin air so long ago?? Everything actually worked out? I'm still shocked! And so grateful and so deeply blessed!!!

In just 8 short days we will be given the keys to OUR HOUSE!!! :D :D

Monday, July 1, 2013

12 month check up

We visited the pediatrician again for Devin's 12 month check up.
(It was about 2 weeks ago. I'm just slow blogging.)
He is normal and healthy and progressing well!
He had to have his finger poked to check his iron.
He did not mind that at all and the test came back great.
But when Devin had to have his shots...
That was an entirely different story.
He hated his shots and SCREAMED!

Devin is a big boy now and gets to stand on the big kid scale.
June 18, 2013
He weighed 21.61 lbs (29%).
He fell off his growth curve by not gaining much weight the previous month.
The doctor was not super concerned at this point.
I have to cut back how much milk he gets to drink to make him eat more food though.
He is 30.51 in (71%).
And his head circumference is 18.2 in (46%).