Sunday, January 30, 2011

I guess its really happening...

So...we bought a house.

This move as been months in the making. It has gone on so long, in fact, that I often wondered why we were actually doing it! We love it here in Michigan! Then, Christmas break ended, he went back to the regular gone-all-week work schedule, and then Christian spent a week in Mexico, and I remembered what it was like for the last few years to be on my own so much. So here we go, on to another state...hoping to save some $, get back on a routine, and see Daddy a little more often.

Last September, when we first accepted the job in Indiana, Christian and I headed down to check out homes for sale. I wasn't very impressed. I felt like in order to get a good replacement for the home we are in now, I would have to spend much more money than I was willing to, or give up the neighborhood, yard space, basement...We found a short-sale home that wasn't in great condition, but it was in a good neighborhood, on a cul-de-sac (like we are now...its so nice with kids), and it had good potential. We also knew that short sales could take lots of time...and we were fine hanging out in Michigan while the bank processed everything!

In November I started to panic and decided I didn't want the house--right when the bank approved the sale. So--I changed my mind again.

We were right--it took a full 4 months from first making an offer to finally owning the home. We took the kids down on Friday to show them around--They loved it! They told us we were the best parents ever. Seeing them run around the home, get excited about their closets and the counter tops and cabinets, made me feel much better about the move. I can actually picture my family in the home now.

We still have a lot of work to do. We will actually move into the new place in about 2 weeks, and in the meantime we hope to paint, remove wallpaper, replace carpet, and perhaps fix tile...plus we need new appliances and window treatments (and we'll have to do all this while living a few hours away and getting our current house ready to pack up...). Its a big job, and I'm worried about getting it all done...and I'm hoping desperately that Indiana-folk are as fun and nice and wonderful as Michigan-folks. We're trying to cram in a lot of fun over the next few weeks, on top of everything else, and we're already planning when we'll come back to visit (I don't want to miss out on baby showers, girls' nights, birthday parties, frisbee...).

Here are a few pictures of our new place, before we start any fixing-up:
I expect to see a lot of this over after the move:(climbing on bookshelves...)(wrestling on the floor...)

Please, Michigan friends--don't hate us because we're moving!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Me: canning vegetable soup and chicken, battling with the kids over bedtime, and cleaning house to be ready for an appraisal first thing tomorrow morning.
Christian: in Mexico, "working," as evidenced by pictures like these...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

And then this happened...

(Aaron and his cousin, Isaac)
This was one of those "I can't believe you did this, but you look so cute!" kind of moments, and yes, they did this by themselves.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Christmas: Take 3 (and final--whew!)

My family left on Christmas day (Saturday afternoon), and we took a nice break on Sunday. Slept in, took it easy...Monday morning we planned on driving to Ohio. We found out that we needed to get a 3rd appraisal (did I mention we're selling our house? Boo.) and, because we were heading out of town, we scheduled it for early Monday morning. You must imagine the disastrous post-Christmas state of our house. Christian and I woke up early to clean (and even do some touch-up painting!) to get everything ready for the appraisal, and ready for a week in Ohio. We were lucky to leave the house before noon, but we did it! Still no word on the appraisal--still crossing our fingers.We had an Eastern-US Green Family Reunion in Ohio; Jonathan and DeAnn (+ 4 kids), Adam and Jennie (+4.5 kids), and our crowd of 6. Fortunately, everyone gets along really well. The kids did really well, and I love it that my kids are such good friends with their cousins. I really love to see the older cousins play with the younger ones (the big boys introduced Nathan to legos and helped us all navigate the Wii). However, most of the cousins + Hannah got sick with the flu over the week, which was a little exhausting for us all and inhibited some of our play time. We still managed to spend a fun afternoon at a very cool sledding hill; visit the John Johnson farm and the nativity display at the Kirtland Visitor's Center (hundreds of nativities, gathered from all over the world, of all shapes and sizes--very beautiful!); (Jacob, dressed as King Herod)visit Amish country (I love the horse-drawn carriages!) and a cheese factory;play lazer tag as a family (even Aaron and the little guys got to play! They didn't leave the vests on long enough to take pictures, though); see The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (I loved it!) and other movies via Netflix at home; take multiple trips to Walmart daily; eat more than we should (as per usual); and play games and talk after the kids went to bed. Jennie, DeAnn...did I forget anything? Good times, good times. Thanks, Jonathan and DeAnn, for hosting!(That's Natalie, Jennie, and DeAnn...and Christian's arm, giving DeAnn a mouthful of whip cream)
We had a blast this Christmas! Our vacation time was so busy, we were a little relieved to head home and get back to a routine! This week, we've had 3 showings for our home, and we managed to put away all our Christmas decorations. The house feels so clean and open!
I'm not even thinking about New Years' resolutions yet. Maybe I'll make some Presidents' Day resolutions. I might feel ready to take on a new project by then!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Christmas 2010: Take 2

We live out East. My family lives out West. I don't see them much. This is why I gave up my Friday night to drive 6 hours (round trip) (driving until 4:00 am) to pick up my Mom, sister Dana, and brother Kevin from O'Hare in Chicago so they could spend the week before Christmas with me.
Good thing it was worth it.We had a pretty busy week--and I started the whole thing off by playing frisbee in the snow (yay for free babysitting!), dragging them along to the ward party (and asking them to help set up tables), and getting the flu. Thankfully, that last one only applied to me, but it left me out of commission from Saturday night to Monday morning. In retrospect, it wasn't a terrible way to start the vacation because it left me with very little appetite for several days, even though my Mom was cooking some of her specialties. (My appetite has since returned in full force, just in case you were worried) I felt awful about sending them to church without me, skipping the
musical number I was supposed to help out with, and overall being a very lame host. However, my kids enjoyed the intense bonding time with relatives they don't see very often.We spent the the week doing the usual Christmas prep--shopping, wrapping, baking, movie-watching, etc. My kids enjoyed beating up on their uncle. Kevin quickly learned the signs for "hurt," "no," and "don't." Later on in the week, he expanded his sign vocabulary to "Don't hit me with the blue dinosaur." My kids loved having family in town!We had a fun Christmas Eve. In the morning, we dragged Kevin along to a special session of Ultimate Frisbee in the snow, and then returned home for some massive baking. After assembling plates of goodies, he headed out caroling and adding to the overall Christmas calorie count of some of our friends and their families. We returned home for our traditional Christmas Eve dinner of burgers and rice pudding. We acted out the Christmas story (Dana played a shepherd, Rachel is always Mary because she thinks its funny to put a doll up her shirt). We let the kids open one present before bed.
(the boys thought their new pjs' gave them special spider man/toy story powers)(Kevin gave Hannah a ride to bed)Dana was excited for all the stuff that happens after the kids go to bed--who wouldn't be? We totally forgot to leave Santa a plate of cookies, but we'll send him a thank-you note to make up for it.
One special tradition we have--we use our baby gate to lock the kids in the hallway so they don't sneak out to the tree to open presents before we're ready. I think its pretty funny.
We enjoyed our Christmas a lot, and I'm glad my family could come. I had a blast playing Just Dance, watching my kids beat up on them/bond with them, and felt a little less disconnected with my west coast family. I drove them back to the airport Christmas afternoon, and spent the next day recovering before our next adventure....
(Saying goodbye)