Saturday, October 28, 2006

THE house - Gratitude

Well Kim & MomRN, ask and you shall receive: an update on THE house. (BTW - I LOVE getting comments. So fun!)

We made our offer, the seller countered the offer. They didn't change the price, just a few clarifications of details and bumped the closing date back by 5 days. Obviously, we accepted the counter as quickly as we could.

So...unless we find some unforeseen problem, this house is ours if we want it. We do have a couple easy outs still if we change our mind, but I think we'd have to find a really, REALLY big problem for that to occur. The inspection is Monday at 11:30 - please continue to pray that this would go smoothly.

Above all, this discovery and process has made me just extremely grateful to God. Not only for the financial blessing that allows us to get a bigger home - that's a given. You know the verse that talks about how God knit us together in the womb.... He personally creates each person and decides who they should be, what they should look like, what their personality should be like. I feel like He has done that with this house - he made it exactly what it is, and then brought it to us as a gift.

It's like... well, you know how in "Miracle on 34th Street" the little girl is dreaming of a house for her family, and then Santa gives her a house and it is exactly what she's been dreaming of? I feel like that. It's not just that He's blessing us with a house that we love and can (miraculously, and by His great blessing) afford, but he put things together in it so that it is exactly what I want. Some things in it are special gifts...things I've had secret desires for, but assumed I would never have...or would have to remodel to get, or would have to pick some (but not all) from my list of wants.

For example... Two months ago I realized that I would like a bay window above the sink when we remodel our kitchen. This house has that. It's very big, but not monstrous (it's about 2500 square feet, which is twice this size of my current house (and exactly the size I would like). It also has a 1000 sq ft deck.), and the rooms that I want the space in are all spacious. The kitchen is funky (but very nice) - decorated in a way I love, and in a way most people wouldn't do. It has two self-cleaning ovens. The laundry area has room for a laundry sink. It is next to a drainage pond (no future building), and has a view of trees in the distance in the back (a protected county park). For heaven's sakes - it has AIR CONDITIONING.

I feel like God knew all of the things in a house that would bring me joy, put them ALL together in this house, put the timing together, made it sunny last Sunday, prompted hubs and I to go for a walk in that direction (we really debated if we should turn left or not, and thank goodness we did!), and prompted hubs to let me go in the open houses (while he waited outside with the dog). I can just imagine God smiling as I toured the house he prepared just for me.

Our God is such a personal God who loves giving gifts to His children. I am so grateful. I wish, more than anything, that my heavenly Father were here for me to give Him a hug and thank Him. I suppose that my best response is just to make sure He is invited and present in my home every single day. He gave it to us, afterall.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

OUR House - Part 1

The offer has been made and we'll hear back around 10 am, or sooner. Oh-my-gosh. Now to figure out exactly how we'll be paying for this... we're meeting with two different mortgage/finance people today. So far I'm extremely unimpressed with their creativity. Our situation is not standard... we have a lot of different options, which is GREAT, but just not simple.

More to come. Hopefully, lots more.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

OUR house - part 0.6

We met a realtor last night at OUR house so we could look around and find out everything we didn't like about it. We love it even more.

There are a few super cool things that I didn't realize the first time I saw it. It has air conditioning. HELLO!! AIR CONDITIONING. For my bloggy friends in other parts of the country, very few homes in the Seattle area have air conditioning. Some people are starting to get them, but for years and years they were non-existent. For most the year they are just not needed. But, for 2-8 weeks in the summer, it can be so hot - you just can't sleep at night. During those sleep deprived weeks, an air conditioner sounds really, really nice. I never thought I'd have a home with air conditioning.

Of course, the ovens (2!) are self-cleaning, which isn't so rare, but I've never been blessed with one. I've had fantasies about self-cleaning ovens. There is a security system, which is a nice luxury, a spot by the washer and dryer to put a laundry sink (there isn't a sink there yet, but I'm happy that there is a place for one), a huge crawl space (we in the northwest don't usually have basements) with tons of storage, and on and on and on. There is a room next to the master bedroom that connects with a door in between, so it would make a great nursery or office.

Outside, the paint color must MUST be changed (who loves the color of puke?) and the tree that was originally planted years ago is now way too big for its space - it needs to go away. Those are the only two "change now" things. There isn't anything inside that has to get fixed or changed immediately. Nothing - we love it. There are a couple things we can envision doing someday when we're ready for a project. The master bath could be updated, the fireplace could be upgraded, etc. For both of those, nothing is WRONG with them, they just aren't as cool as the rest of the house.

So... we're getting pre-approved this morning, and making an offer this afternoon. Please continue to pray for us!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The story of OUR house - Part 0.5

Ok. Tonight we are meeting with the realtor to go see this house so we can get a better look at it and decide if we really love it as much as we think we love it. She called the owner and it is, in fact, still available. (Of course it is... because it's meant to be mine, and so of course it's still available.)


Monday, October 23, 2006

What to do, what to do...

What do you do when you are innocently going for a walk on a Sunday, totally minding your own business, and stop in at an open house (because who doesn't love seeing the inside of other people's houses without having to explain yourself??), and fall in love with the house? When you weren't planning on moving yet, when it's a ton of money, but it's where you want to raise babies and live there for a long, long time, and you can envision big Christmas celebrations with the whole family, and quiet Christmas mornings with your small family, and summer BBQs, and kids playing the piano while you make dinner.

What do you do if someone else, someone WRONG, is buying your perfect house this very moment since you have not yet decided what to do?


(Ok, I know that if this is the house God wants for us, then of course, it will work out. I'm just still working on sitting still and waiting, and it is a HARD thing to learn...)

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Day Three - Got the Low-Sugar-Grumpies

Today hubs and I have both been tired, irritable, and just generally grumpy. It's sad - today is a BEAUTIFUL northwest October Saturday. Unfortunately, our attitudes don't match. We keep apologizing and trying to start off on a better foot, but just cannot get over it.

The only thing I can think of is that today is day three of the S Beach diet and we are having a massive sugar crash. To make matters worse... normally, if we were having a bit of a grumpy day, I would appease myself with chocolate, cookies, ice cream, etc. and it would be all better. I think we're just getting grumpier as we realize that there will not be any food that will make us feel better now. Enter temper tantrum. Grrr. We aren't having real tangible cravings, but I can sure tell in our attitude.

We are going to a dinner party tonight, which was a little concerning given our lack of energy and excitement. I think we'll head out a bit early, go get sugar-free non-fat lattes a local coffee house and read or something. This will be fun, relaxing, feel like a food "treat" and most importantly, provide some much, much needed caffeine.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Lunch - Day one

Lunch - day one at the beach.

If nothing else, it's very pretty. Thankfully, it tasted super yummy too.

Christian Pumpkins

Being a Christian is like being a pumpkin.

God lifts you up, takes you in, and washes all the dirt off of you.

He opens you up, touches you deep inside and scoops out all the yucky stuff--

including the seeds of doubt, hate, greed, etc.

Then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside you

to shine for all the world to see.

(Source unnknown)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Going to the beach

Tomorrow starts a new way of eating - hubs and I are starting the south beach diet... well, I am anyway, we'll see how long hubs stays committed. I think he's really doing it so I don't have to go way out of my way to make him different food. I've got a bit of extra fluff that I'd like to remove, and I'm really excited about this plan. It sounds so...reasonable.

I know it will be hard though, especially at first. It will keep me disciplined to cooking healthy meals, and extra planning. I've gotten into a lunchtime rut of PB&J, and now I'll have to prepare real food, which will be good but challenging. Today's grocery bill was a bit shocking (ok, a lot shocking) as I totally over-bought groceries to make up for the looming fear of being hungry and not having any snack food to eat. So, I bought food for a month (perhaps a slight exaggeration). In coming weeks, I'll need to figure how to plan good SBD meals that work economically too. It will come... in time. There's a good likelihood that I'll need to buy nothing but produce for a couple weeks anyway. =)

Related but not.... I am completely and totally tired of the red team winning on TBL. They are whiney and mean. The good people should win out in the end, shouldn't they?? I love Bob and the blue team - go blue!

Goodbye, oh lovely cookie dough. May you lose all power over me.
(But doesn't it look sooooo good?? Drooling on my keyboard...)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Daytime world lessons

I've been in Daytime World for about a month now. I have been learning a lot about domestic life, balancing schedules, choosing my attitude (it really doesn't glorify God to cook dinner for my family, if I do it with a grumpy, tired attitude), etc. Lately, I find that I'm need to learn more about scheduling, routines, and self-motivation.

I've developed a very bad habit: going back to bed for a bit after hubs leaves in the morning. Terrible, terrible, wasteful habit. I'm just tired and my pillow and blankets sound so good! It's gotten much harder since it's dark out and cold. But - it's so stupid. I've already gotten up and made breakfast. I'm up! It's just hard to stay up. I think I need to start a new habit where I always do SOMETHING else after he goes before building the energy to shower to clean the breakfast dishes. Currently, I don't have the energy for those things, so I go back to bed. Unfortnately, "quick naps" are not in my dictionary... I end up staying in bed for an hour (or more).

I think I will try to go sit by the fire (hearth and mantle still in progress), and read or do my bible study for a little while. I need my cozy "fix" in the morning. Any day now, our new latte machine (I know it's officially an espresso maker, but I want LATTES - that is its purpose of existance) will arrive, and surely a vanilla latte by the fire will help too.

Wake up. Stay awake. Sounds so simple, doesn't it?

Monday, October 16, 2006

For the love of frappacinos

How WEIRD!!! I took this silly little "what kind of coffee are you quiz" and it's uncanny! It's right on! How did it know that I can be childish and over indulgent? I mean, everyone knows I'm sweet and fun loving, but the childish and over indulgent is a secret, isn't it? =)

AND...i LOVE frappacinos (Especially light mocha frappacinos). How did it know that?

You Are a Frappacino
At your best, you are: fun loving, sweet, and modern
At your worst, you are: childish and over indulgent
You drink coffee when: you're craving something sweet
Your caffeine addiction level: low

What Kind of Coffee Are You?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

showers of babies

Today was the baby shower to celebrate the coming arrival of my sister's second child, a baby girl.

God created a whole spectrum of colors. Our colorful world is one of my favorite gifts God has give us. I love that He loves beauty. Yet, why is it that when some people have baby girls, the child lives in and surrounded by one color: pink? I think this is strange. I have not noticed this monotone phenomenon with boys, only girls. For little boys, baby clothes are given that are all very manly and scream "little boy". It's very cute. Lots of plaids, sports themes, boats, cars, animals...greens, blues, browns, etc. However, for little girls, it's all pink. Don't get me wrong, I personally enjoy pink (well, hot pink and fuchsia) very, very much. I can be a pretty girly girl sometimes.

I've known several women with baby girls, and it seems that for the entire first year of the baby's life, she is wearing pink every single day. Why do we do this to girls? Why don't we want her in purple, red (come on...what woman doesn't LOVE red??), and feminine clothes in blues and greens?

My niece will be born in November, and since her whole wardrobe for at least the first nine months is PINK PINK PINK, I fear that she will clash with all the Christmas decorations. Come on people... Christmas before baby clothes.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Works for Me Wednesday - Frozen Cookie Dough

Making cookies in my house is a bit of a challenge. It is a challenge to keep from eating too many cookies all of the time because we LOVE cookies. If there is cookie dough in the fridge, I'll eat it, and if there are baked cookies in the cupboard, hubs and I will both eat them. Especially me. I can't NOT eat cookies in my house. Too many cookies! I try to only bake cookies when hubs is craving them (or I would be eating them all the time), but even if I only make a batch of cookies when he is craving them, then I'm still going to eat a full batch of cookies. Freezing the cookies doesn't work because he loves fresh baked cookies. There lies my final problem - he loves FRESH baked cookies. So, I came up with a solution.

When I make cookie dough,

I make it like normal, except I make cookie dough balls and put them on a plastic plate (after baking a few immediately, of course) and put it in the freezer.

In a few hours, or the next day, I transfer all the cookie dough balls into a plastic ziplock bag and store them in the freezer.

Then, whenever hubs wants some fresh baked cookies, rather than feasting on cookie dough and cookies for days, I can just take a couple (really - just two or three - no extra) and bake them real quick. I've found that they really don't take any longer to bake (maybe just one minute or so... depending on your recipe) than fresh dough, since butter doesn't really freeze hard.


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Food and Fireplaces

I can't believe it's been about a week since my last post. Time sure flies...

I don't have any big revelations to discuss. I've just been busy busy busy. Sometimes I get so busy just doing things that I don't have time to reflect on them. Lately, there has been a lot going on, and I have snippets of reflections about it all, but not quite enough that I think it's worthy of a blog post.

My dad is staying with us for a week while he takes a training class. I am so thankful that this came up after my job/life change. The stress of having a house guest for a week would have been far too overwhelming before. We never used to cook dinner at home... we could have done it for a night or two. But that's it. I would have felt pressure to cook for dad (who is not accustomed to eating out so much) and it would have been very, very hard. I'm so thankful that it's not a huge hurdle for me to cook breakfast and dinner each day. I sort of feel like this this my homemaking pop-quiz from my parents. How did I turn out? Can I cook? Can I keep a clean house? So far, I think I'm doing pretty good... and I think the food has even impressed my dad. Phew! It helps that I make breakfast for hubs each day - dad was pretty impressed by that. I am still getting used to feeding two men. I thought dinner tonight would make leftovers for dinner tomorrow; it did not. It made enough for a lunch for hubs, but I'm going to have to come up with a new dinner plan for tomorrow.

He has been helping us (or we've been helping him... that's really more accurate) work on our fireplace while he's here. We put in a gas fireplace a long while ago - and it's been sitting atop a plywood hearth ever since. As I speak, my two men are sawing more wood to build me a real hearth, a real mantle (both made of birch, with a nutmeg stain) and tile surround. I can not wait to have this done. I love having a fireplace and now I will LOVE, LOVE our fireplace. Pictures to come!

Finally, I went to a huge "mothers of multiples" garage sale last weekend. It was huge! And very funny...duplicates of everything. =)

That's all for now... off to play carpenter's assistant for me!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Works for Me Wednesday - Bathroom Organizing

Well, by the time I usually get around to thinking about a "Works For Me Wednesday" post, it's Thursday for most folks, so I decided to post on Tuesday night instead. Now that works for me!

My post this week is about organizing. My bathroom cupboard (under the sink) has been so messy - it drove me crazy! I finally decided to fix it. It was a bit challenging, as the space is so small. Those darn sink pipes just get in the way.

It's all done and I'm so proud of myself. I just love opening the doors and looking at it!

I decided to use the space on the right door for a garbage bag (they sell special garbage containers that attach to a small door) and paper towel holder. I figure it will be easier to wipe down the bathroom and keep it clean if there are paper towels handy. I found plastic bins that can stack up on the left side of the sink pipes. There is also room for extra TP to stack up next to the bins. The right side of the sink pipes is smaller, and I'm just going to keep cleaning supplies stacked up there. I put a self-adhesive hook up on the side wall to keep my rarely-used shower cap (only used after working-out in the evening....which just means that I don't work-out enough).

I don't know why more people don't utilize the space on the door itself. I love it! It works for me!