Thursday, October 27, 2011


We're walking down the cracker and fruit snack aisle at Target and out of left field, Abe starts going berserk. 

{A} "Momma! Momma! Look! Look! It's soda! Can we get soda? Please? Please? Please?" 

{M} Completely unaware of what in the world he is talking about because 1.They've never had soda  & 2. We're most definitely were not in the soda aisle, I continue to push forward. 

{A} This time leaning practically out of the cart, "MOMMA! MOMMA! SODA!! SODA!! SODA!!" 

{M} Now completely mortified that my child is screaming profusely for Coke in the middle of the store, I begin to look around to see what in the world could be causing this reaction. Finally exasperated, I ask Abe just WHAT he is talking about. 

{A} Pointing sweetly and with a look of complete satisfaction that he can now properly address his desire, Abe directs my attention to the shelf second off the ground and to Soda, himself. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

One Thousand Gifts

Why don't I do this more often? Put the chores aside. Put my agenda aside. Put my desire for easy aside. And just say yes. 

Yes to the walk. 

Yes to the pine-cones in the bottom of the stroller. 

Yes to the day uninterrupted by facebook or dishes or another load of laundry.

Yes to paint. Even if they want to use the non-washable gold one because it's, "just so pretty momma." 

Yes to my boys.  

My growing gift list
My three boys and their zeal for crafts
October walks through the neighborhood
Washable paint
The baby quiet in the stroller
Excitement over pine-cones
A hanging reminder of what is truly important
Sweet encouragements from brother to brother
Several hours of free fun
Eyes to see the fall beauty around us 
Time together
Our daddy home, just as I'm losing steam
That all of creation speaks of it's Creator

Thursday, October 20, 2011

These Days

These days, my boys favorite drink to ask for is "memon-ade." It gets me every single time because I fear it's the last of their littleness.

These days, you'll find us in the appliance section in stores all across town. Our washer and dryer, as well as the fridge are staying with the old house. As much fun as NEW is, now that our initial price comparison has begun, I'm missing how the others were FREE. Ouch! Why are appliances sooooo expensive?!

These days, Judah is pretty bagel and cream cheese obsessed. Who am I kidding, so am I.

These days, Ben loves to play soccer or toss a ball or go for a walk. He calls all of them "these games." He really love it if their daddy or I will play, too.

These days, the big boys ask if the baby is coming out.

These days, Jer's busy, busy with work. It recently taken him to Massachusetts  and Canada and next will be Texas and Florida. While I'm thankful for the business, I'm even more thankful that him needing to travel for work is just for a season.  

These days, I long to sew, bake, and read. The reality is, not long after the boys go to bed, I pass out on the couch. 

These day, my big boys ask approximately 967 questions a day. It's insane. It's especially harsh when I'm trying to make a left turn. I often find myself trying to turn down the radio only to realize that it's not even on. All the noise is coming completely from the backseat. 

These days, Jeremy has been making me a fire in our fireplace every night that we can, even though our lows are only in the 40's and 50's. Our new house has a gas fireplace and we are both sad that we won't have the crackle of a real fire to heat us through the winter.

These days, Ben and Abe are oh-so-very curious about the differences in the people we come across during our day. "Is that person a boy or a girl?", "What happened to that guy's nose?", "Why is that man feeding that lady in the funny chair {wheelchair}?"and the like have made for many a awkward conversations with the usually overhearing parties. 

These days, you'll most likely find my husband starting a load of laundry and folding the clean clothes in the dryer before he goes to work. Who would have thought that something so simple could help our day go a little smoother. 

These days, Judah is cutting his eye-teeth and 2 year molars. He's not exactly been a peach.                      

These days, my house smells like apple spice. It makes me think of my mom's house every time I walk in. Her's always smells so good. 

These days are good. 

These days are grace filled. 

These days are flying by.

Friday, October 14, 2011

No Waste Apples-N-Cinnamon Oatmeal

If you're kids are anything like mine then they can probably come close to eating an apple for a snack...but usually there's just.enough.left.over that it seems wasteful to throw it. 

Does this look familiar? 
Besides being brown, the fact that it's been pawed by their grubby little fingers for most of the morning and that it's probably rolled around on the floor a few times too, makes it hard to pass off to any of the other family members {aka Dad}. So what's a mom to do? Enter homemade apples and cinnamon oatmeal. 

My kids LOVE it. 
The half eaten-brownish apples get eaten.
Dad can save his iron stomach for another day.
Everybody wins.

No Waste Apples-N-Cinnamon Oatmeal

First, start with a heaping cup of oats {old fashioned or quick-cook, no matter as long as it's not instant!}
Next, add one cup of milk. Stir and microwave according to the directions on your oats. Ours cook for 3 1/2 minutes.
 While your oatmeal is cooking, rinse your apples and cut away the brown or bruised parts.

 Dice remaining apples into appropriate size bites for your tots.
 Now's here's my favorite part! Take the steaming oatmeal from the microwave and crack an egg right over the top. Yup, I said egg. It's added protein and it makes the oatmeal creammmy! Your kids {or you} will never know the difference! 
Now add your diced apples.

And then the brown sugar and cinnamon! Mix and serve right away. It'll be a new breakfast fav, I promise.

What are some of your favorite tricks for adding nutrition and/or avoiding waste in your house?

Monday, October 10, 2011

On Buying and Selling Our House, Pt. 2

Despite my sudden change of heart, I kept mostly quiet about my hesitations and things still continued with the listing of our house. Friday morning at 12:00am, our house officially went on the market and by Saturday morning, we had already received several calls from realtors wanting to come see it during the weekend. In the meantime, Jeremy had submitted all of the paperwork for a loan on  the new house. So along with listing our house, we also heard back late that Friday that we were fully approved and could move forward with making an offer on the new house. It was all sort of surreal, really. The very things that had us scratching our heads just a few weeks earlier were slowly coming to fruition: 

  • Getting the house ready to list-check. 
  • Listing the house-check.
  • Getting approved for the loan-check. 
  • Making an offer-on the table.
So with the help of our realtor, Hadley, we went ahead and drew up the papers for our offer. We submitted it late Friday afternoon knowing that we would not hear back from the bank, who was presiding over the short sale, until Tuesday. 
Over the weekend, four different people came to look at the house. We were optimistic but not  overly hopeful. Hadley had forewarned us that the average length of a house on the market in our neighborhood is sixty-five days. So we resolved to be patient and accommodating figuring that a lot more people would have to pass through our house before we could expect an offer. 

Tuesday rolled around  with yet another showing, this time though, was different. We had found out that the potential buyer was still at our house thirty minutes past the window of when they were supposed to be there. Very good news, in our opinion. To add to our conclusion, when Hadley called their realtor late that afternoon, he expressed great interest on behalf of his client and all but said to expect an offer. Things seemed promising. We had submitted an offer on the new house-one we felt the bank would gladly accept-and it seemed like the house might have sold. Now it was just time to wait to hear back for sure. 

Late Tuesday evening, Hadley called with some unsettling news. The realtor for the new house had called him back and told him that they received another offer on Friday. The bank had countered and the people had not responded to the counter but for what reason, she wouldn't reveal. Whether or not it was because they were only interested in the house if it was a screaming deal or if it was because they were trying to scrounge up a few thousand dollars  more before they could accept, would be left unsaid. What we did know; however, is that if we wanted to still have a shot at the house, we would have to submit a new offer and for higher than our original offer and higher than the bank's counter price. Our offer would also have to be non-contingent {which was totally not in our plan!} because, unbeknown to us, the house was going into foreclosure the following Saturday. Offers submitted later than Thursday at five in the evening would no longer be considered and the house would be essentially lost. Now this is an inconvenience when you're looking to buy a house and the one you find in the process ends up selling or falling through BUT when you're selling your house ONLY for the purpose of buying one specific house, it's a little more intense. Here we were, expecting an offer on our house and we're not even sure if the very house that motivated us to move will even be available  to buy anymore. We had a an important decision to come to, make an offer regardless of the fact that our house hadn't sold and hope that we sold it in time for closing or let the house go. 

The decision was mostly an easy one for us. After a few phones calls with some of the men that Jer holds in high esteem, a notable absence of any "talking donkey's" and much prayer, we felt led to submit an a non-contingent offer. We submitted early Wednesday morning and by lunch the bank had accepted. The house was ours-in a worldly sense-by a hair. But we knew differently. This came as no surprise to the Lord, who had ordained these events before the foundations of the earth. We had just been waiting for His will to be revealed us. 

So here we were, new house in contract but waiting  and praying for our house to sell and all the while wondering what the Lord had in store with the way these events had unfolded. Wednesday night, Hadley called our hopeful buyer's realtor again. This time he didn't sound so elated and rather communicated that his client's were no longer serious about making an offer. We were disappointed but with several showings on the horizon, we continued to be hopeful that the Lord would bring the right person.

I woke up Thursday a little {lot} put out by what the day had in store for me. A call late Wednesday night had told me to please be out of the house from 10-2 so a realtor could bring their clients. Four hours?! Really?? If a four hour window was needed, I knew that the people were looking at several houses that day and that we'd just be one more among them. Nevertheless, I packed up, bad mood and all, and headed out for the day. After our four hours out of the house, we returned exhausted at a quarter after two. I barely had time to put my kids in bed, rinse some dirty diapers, and put my purse away when the door bell rang. When I opened the door, I found the realtor from earlier that day standing on our step. She apologized for the inconvenience but asked if her client's {who were waiting in the car} could come in for just one more look. Apparently they had narrowed it down to three houses and wanted to walk ours again. I agreed, provided I could leave my napping babes, and slipped out the kitchen door to give them a little breathing room. I think they were in the house for seven minutes. It's hard to say for sure but it was fast. 

As soon as they came out, I knew that they had their answer. Anyone who's been married for more than ten seconds would know that a debating married couple requires a bit more than seven minutes to make a decision on something as important as buying a house. They either knew it was THE house or they knew that it wasn't. I, on the other hand, had no idea which way they were leaning.  Nevertheless, I offered to answer any questions they might have-after all, it's not often that the owner and potential buyer get to meet. Then I poured out our love story over how we found our house and how it was the very house that Jeremy grew up in. I shared with them how we've poured our money, our time, and our dreams into making it what it is today. I told them how we love it. How we've grown our family here but that our family is the very thing that is leading us in a different direction. Then I shook their hands and walked into the house. 

As soon as they left, I immediately called Jeremy at work. We talked about how she probably loved the kitchen and the garden, and how he would have definitely loved the garage. We also agreed that it would be a total blessing if they did buy the house because there was such a sense of peace in knowing who would be moving in and loving our little house with the pistachio green garage door

We decided to go to Wendy's for dinner that night and there in the car, amongst hungry kids and fast food bags, we got the call that they had made an offer on the house. It was less than what we were asking but more than what we needed. And at that point it was completely and with a doubt 100% definitive that the sweet house in the mountains is where the Lord wanted us to be. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

On Buying and Selling Our House, Pt. 1

{Forgive the run-on's, typo's, and the massacre that is my comma usage. It's been a loooooong couple of weeks around here. If I don't put this up-it may never happen :) }
One month ago, on a rainy Saturday, Jeremy greeted my sleepy self with a cup of coffee and a picture on his laptop. The photo happened to be of a house. A house that he had been watching over the last eight months. Turns out, it had just come down in price. Again. Apparently it had done that quite a few times over the last year and half that it was on the market. And now, at it's absolute lowest and in short sale, it had his attention. He asked what I thought, and I casually agreed to the niceness of the pictures and then casually brushed it off-mostly because he's always looking for a deal. It's kinda in his DNA. He would not be thwarted, however, asking if we could take a drive to go see it. Immediately thinking of the drizzly weather and our day's lack of plans, I agreed. We hopped into the car, hit the Golden Pride drive thru and started off for a look.

A short drive later, we exited the interstate and began to make our way on the road to the house. When we pulled up the drive, turned off the car and got out, we were immediately in awe. The quiet beauty that surrounded the house, the mountain breeze and cloudy sky that leaded itself towards fall, and our scattering children who were anxious to climb hills and explore in the trees all reinforced the fact that the house was out of the city. We did a bit of poking around and craning of necks up against dirty windows, but really how much looking can you really do through partially closed blinds and no Realtor to let you in. We resolved that we would come back-just to take a look-but really that's all it would be. A look.

We spent the  next week talking about the house, looking at the pictures on the internet and generally scratching our heads. We honestly had no idea how to even go about pursuing info about the house, let alone trying to buy it. I hoped for the best case scenario, that the house would be an absolute  wreck. That we would hate it and this pipe dream could finally be put to rest. After all, this could never really happen, right? But the following Saturday when we went back, this time with Jer's record partner who also happens to be a Realtor, we found that it was not a wreck. In fact, it was just like the pictures. I may or may not have even jumped up and down a little when we walked in the front door. After a quick walk through, our love for the home was only reinforced, as it turned out to be almost an exact replica of the floorplans we had come up with a few years ago, when we were considered buying and building in Placitas. 

The car ride home was one of epic proportions. Me, totally overwhelmed in the backseat, with all of the reasons "why we shouldn't." The boys, crying in their carseats, about not wanting to leave our house and wondering where all their would toys go. Jer, in the front seat, talking numbers with Hadley. Sweet Anna, crammed between the carseats probably texting someone about the madness. It was crazy to the max. Finally when we got back to the house, the kids went down for naps and Jer and I had some time alone to really chat, although our conversation was only something like this, "How? How do you do this? How?" The thought of all of the different obstacles involved in trying to buy the house seemed impossible. Getting our house ready to list. Listing our house. Selling our house for enough to make the transaction happen. Getting approved for a new loan. Putting an offer on the new house. Acceptance of the offer. Appraisals. Inspections. Closings. And all of that and you're not even moved?! Really, HOW do people do this?? Nevertheless, our strong pull towards the house and the fact that we didn't have anything really telling us that this was not the Lord's will for us, led us to decide that we would handle this just as we do everything in our lives at this point. We would be prayerful and just do the next thing. 

The next week is one that I will never forget. Jeremy and I spent every free moment either packing or repairing all of the things that needed to be done to our house but that we never made time to do. We had our carpets cleaned, and the glass on the back door replaced. We even had baseboards put in the Master bath-something we've lived without for NINE YEARS. Our house was looking pretty sweet and when Hadley came to take pictures the Thursday before we listed it, I lost it. The reality of what we were actually doing had finally hit me. Everything that Jer and I had poured out in to this home was going to be for someone else to live in and enjoy. The bathtub and shower that we tiled ourselves, would no longer bathe our babies but someone else. Our fireplace, where the boys helped build winter fires would now keep some other family warm. The kitchen remodel that we survived through, would just be another remodeled kitchen to the next person. All of our work and effort would still stand but we were leaving it. For another house, yes, but one that we would be starting over on. All of the sudden, I wasn't so sure about our decision. I wasn't so sure that I really wanted to move. I wasn't sure that I was ready to close this chapter of our lives. So I began to pray that the Lord would just close the door, and quickly at that.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Hello, Goodbye

Hello, new house!
Goodbye, old!
Amazing what a mere six days can hold, huh?

Hoping to be back soon with the story on how we saw the hand of the Lord working so definitively in our lives this week. Absolutely amazing. 

"The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps."   Proverbs 16:9