Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

What is in store for 2011? I am hoping for good things (obviously), but also things that will help me grow...

  • Spiritually: finding a good church that the whole family will be happy with.

  • Friendships: as the old girl scout song goes..."make new friends, but keep the old; one is silver & the other gold!" I want to work on making new friends & but also reconnect with some people who are still important to me, I have just been a lazy friend & not made the time to keep the friendships strong.

  • Family: no..not grow as in expand! I want us to grow in respect & joy for each other. I think we have gotten lazy in our desire for a strong family. Just like friendships, we need to be consciously working on keeping up with the ins & outs with this family!

  • FUN: my family is pretty good at going along with my "planned activities" (see next post on our New Year's Eve activities), but I would like to be better at just getting out on the weekend & riding bikes, or walking by the river, or finding new places to hike. This goes along with my "eat less, move more" goal...if my family is involved it should be easier, right!

  • Document: I want to be better at documenting our lives. Maybe more pictures, writing down the stories so we don't forget, better blog posts (with stories & pictures!).
  • Crafting: you know that question..."If it didn't matter how much money you made, what would you want to do?" My answer is always crafting. I love creating things with fabric, or paper or paint. Over the Christmas holiday my wonderful husband & father-in-law made a big craft table for me out of a door they bought at Home Depot! (Once we stain it I will post a picture!) I think this improved craft space will help me with this goal...I may even get some things on my empty etsy page! My In-laws also gave me a Cricut Create cutter (yes, they are wonderful to me & I totally appreciate them) The Cricut was the incentive to work on improving my craft space!
  • Decorating: Kind of the same as crafting...I love it, but I want everything to be perfect so sometimes I don't even start a project for fear that it won't turn out like I expect. This is the worst kind of perfectionest! I think this deserves a whole blog post of its own!
  • and last, but not least...get a dog...will it happen this year? Only time will tell!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The new house!

After looking at well over 30 houses over the last couple months...We found the house! We think! It is a house we saw when we first came out & thought we didn't like it because the master suite is upstairs & the boys bedrooms would be downstairs. I don't know if they are ready to be so far away, so we are going to have them share a room. They are very excited about getting bunk beds! We went back & looked at it three times to be sure it was "the one". The house is almost totally re-done on the inside & they let us pick out the shingle color for the new roof they are putting on! We will add a great big layered deck to the back yard & we are talking about adding a fancy pergola to the front& adding a patio area --since it doesn't have my "very southern front porch" that every house in the south should have! Everything is going as planned and we will hopefully close escrow the second week in August...a week before everyone starts the new school year at the NEW school! This should be very interesting. I have a plan to be very organized. Making sure we at least know where new uniforms & books & school supplies are at all times! I figure if I can just keep track of that stuff we can start school & I can have at least 4 hours a day by myself to organize the new house. Sounds like paradise to me!
I entered a giveaway for a cute return address stamp at Whitney Caroline Designs....& I won! And she was so sweet to wait until we -for sure- have the house to make my new stamp. Can you imagine ordering a cute stamp for a house you didn't get to buy for some reason? Hopefully I can place my order in a couple of weeks. I am so excited--they are really cute stamps! I am going to have a hard time deciding on a design.
And...the most important thing for today....HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ANDY! The boys & I had so much fun making "Surprise cookie cupcakes" & bringing them to the office @ school to share with everyone, and then shopping for a gift! Since we already gave him his presents (it is so hard to wait for anything exciting when you are 6 & 4!) I'll tell you what we got! The most socks & even white socks! Woohoo!... a new aluminum water bottle, and a really cool case w/ stainless steel grilling tools from Williams/Sonoma outlet (very fancy & a super good deal!). Tonight we are going out to eat a Applebee's for dinner. Our awesome realtor back in Phoenix (Bob Reno...if you are looking for a great realtor...he did a great job for us. Sold our house in 4 this economy that is really good. ) gave us a gift card as a thank you/going away gift! So, thanks for dinner Bob!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The big update!

We are really here in Memphis. It has been so long since I last posted & so much has been going on! The reason why I started this blog was to keep track of all the details of our experience...not doing a very good job, am I?
I will try to highlight some things....
We have been to the same church 2 Sundays in a row! It looks like they have a great children's program & the service Andy & I went to was upbeat & had great music (three of our biggest requirements!). We haven't really met anyone to hang out with, but it is summer & I think of this time as "church-lite"--people want to get in & get out to enjoy the day! I think we like it enough to stay! When we moved to Phoenix it took us several years & many churches to find one in which we felt at home.
I feel like we have looked @ at least 50 houses since we started on that first interview trip! I know I am over estimating, but I might not be off by that much! We have found several houses that have a lot of the things we want, but there is always something not quite right...not the neighborhood we would like, bad floor plan, no yard, weird neighbors (ok, we don't really know if they are really weird, just a feeling!) I know we have high expectations, but I think the right house is out there! I wonder if house hunting is like shopping for a wedding dress...when you try on "the one" you just know it's "the one"? We have found a couple that have come close, but we are still looking for "the one"!
I have found some great shopping...and I have not even stepped foot in a mall! Right by the Target (one of the first shopping I HAD to find, after the grocery store!) is some great outlet shops: Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, West Elm. Already found some great bargains at Williams-Sonoma, and Andy even let me break our rule of not buying anything else (besides food & the like) for the house because we already have too much stuff to fit in this rental house as it is!!! Of course it was some new grilling stuff to go with his new charcoal grill (apparently, Memphis people look down their noses @ people who cook on GAS GRILLS!) So, now we have a little collection of grills going (I think this is exempt from "THE rule" because it doesn't actually come IN the house!) Next, Andy wants to get a smoker...we will have to put "grilling area" on our list of must-haves for our house hunting!
We went to the cutest 4th of July parade in Central Gardens...we would love to live in this neighborhood, but most of the nice houses are just a tad out of our budget. The kids--& parents-- had decorated their bikes & scooters & wagons. They even had a little judging stand & across the street had chairs set up for people. They also had free hot dogs & snow cones & lemonade for the crowd! It seems like just the neighborhood we are looking to find the house!
On Sunday we went to a Memphis Redbirds game. We had great seats just a few rows up from home would have been really great, except it was EXTREMELY humid & there was no air circulation where we were sitting (we must be spoiled from the indoor-air conditioned D-Backs stadium!) It rained for about a minute when we got there then stopped, but I think that cloud just stayed over our heads instead of moving on! The boys were a little grumpy (Andy & I were a little grumpy, too!). To keep them happy we spent way too much $$ on popcorn & ice cream & cotton candy & two baseball caps! They did have fun @ the play area & the BIG hill above the outfield! Nothing like rolling down a hill on a Sunday afternoon to top off your great weekend!
We had our 9th wedding anniversary yesterday! I found a cute grocery store that is JUST like AJ's back in Arizona. They had great prices on flower bunches so I bought some "from Andy"...I love getting flowers from that man...I always get what I want, because I always pick it out!! We went to Bosco's for dinner. We were hoping that it would be our new Spinato's (our favorite pizza place in Phoenix), but it is more expensive & they only have individual pizzas. It was very good, though & I'm sure we will go again. They even brew their own beer!
The kids have been in summer camp at school this week. They are both having a great time. Logan & I get to go to the zoo tomorrow..but, SO sad about the baby elephant who died yesterday (only click over if you are emotionally ready...
That poor momma. I wonder what it will be like tomorrow.
Keenan is going to all day sports camp next week & is very excited. I'm preparing myself for a VERY tired 6 year old!
This weekend we have plans to go to a fun concert in the park & church & more open houses! I was supposed to go to coffee tomorrow with some girls from the main office at school, but Logan's teacher needed drivers for the zoo so I had to cancel. But, now we are trying to plan for an afternoon get together next week with wine & girl talk....sounds even better than coffee!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Two Weeks Notice

I can not believe in two weeks we will no longer own this house! This house that we bought 3 months before our first son was born. So many memories have been made in this house. Great memories of family & friends sharing our lives. Birthday parties, St. Patrick's Day parties, pool parties, block, I guess we like a good party! But, even just everyday life has been good in this house. I will miss the pool & outdoor fireplace, the back patio (but, not how the sun glared into our faces when we wanted to have dinner outside!), the "media room", the big flat driveway that the kids could scooter & ride their bikes around, the way the house looks with Christmas lights, the big kitchen....I'm sure there are plenty more I have forgotten! It is hard to picture someone else living in this house. I hope they love it like we have. Maybe they will be better at taking care of the lawn (it is hard for two Midwesterners to understand desert lawn maintenance! We never did get it quite right.) I am sad that the kids are just now at the age where they can play in the pool. I don't think we will have a pool in Memphis...I can't imagine what it will be like to go to a community pool after having our own private pool, we are SO spoiled!
I can't wait to go house shopping when we get to Memphis! I know we will never find a house like this one in Memphis, but, our possibilities are wide open at this point. It is exciting to imagine what will be!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Maybe if we click our heals!

This morning before school, Keenan looked at me & said..."Mom, I wish our house was all done selling & we were already moved to Memphis." I can't believe he is smart enough to know just having a sold sign in your front yard does not mean your work is done! While we were visiting Memphis last week the inspector & buyer came by the house to do their thing. The inspector tripped the breakers & turned off the irrigation system (it has been 100 degrees for the last 2 weeks) & neglected to re-set the system! Our poor flower beds with new plants didn't get water for almost a week before Andy noticed why our plants were dying! Then to top it off "somebody" used our master bath toilet & left a yellow spot on the back of the seat...I'll let you figure out what that might have been! I can't even tell you how much it bothered me to have to clean that spot! A little background...I grew up the only girl with 3 brothers & now I am the only girl living with 2 little boys & a all boys have bad aim & not notice spots on the toilet? Or am I just extremely picky about a clean toilet? I am guessing it is probably a little bit of both!
I am off to buy end of the year teacher gifts (I can't believe there are only 4 days left of school!) and a chimney cap for the fireplace....I like to picture the fireplace with a new top hat, but that is my crazy imagination!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Monday, May 4, 2009

House Proud

Yesterday we had our 3rd open house. That would be the 3rd open house in 3 consecutive weeks. I can not believe how many people have come through the house during the week. I have been trying really hard to make sure the house looks perfect when I leave to go anywhere! I have only been caught off guard twice...once when I had ground beef defrosting in the sink & once when I left the mop in the kitchen. Everything has to be in the correct place or adjusted just the right way, otherwise it drives me CRAZY! I wipe down the sinks & faucets every time I leave the house. I have to stop at Trader Joe's to get fresh flowers every week(something I think I will continue after we sell the house & move...Love having fresh flowers in the house!). I have officially become Bree VanDeCamp (think Desperate Housewives!) Before the "Memphis migration" started I had given up on having a clean house. That kind of house that people can just stop by & I am not shoving things into the closet or garage right before they get here. With two boys under the age of 6 and one husband who likes to relax when he gets home from work & would rather "take care of it later", I had just given up. It was too hard to care that the counter was full of clutter when every time I cleaned it...the next day the clutter would reappear in the same spot. But, now I know it is possible to keep the house immaculately clean for a whole month (that is how long our house has been on the market). I am taking a vow, right now, that my house will not fall into the "clutter canyon" again! It is too hard to climb out of it, & I LOVE having a house to be proud of when people come over to visit!
We might have an offer on the house! To be continued....