Sunday, April 29, 2012


It's not pretty. It needs work. But we looked at a lot that were a lot worse. And in fairness, the picture is lousy, I pulled it from the realty site, not sure why they chose that angle....

But now, we own it. (Or at least a small % of it and a large % of a mortgage). And it's less than 1/2 a mile from our current place (and thus from Gma). (Not as close to her as we'd hoped to get when we started our house-buying journey, but more about that later.)

We're currently taking suggestions on what colors to repaint the exterior. Addison wants a light pink and yellow. I was thinking more along the lines of hot pink. Well maybe not hot pink, but some other bright color like that (purple maybe), that around here you pretty much only see in movies. Our new neighbors have a shed painted in electric blue with lime green trim, right next to the road. And another neighbor has a polka-dotted mailbox with a big smiley face on it, so I'm thinking I could get away with bright colors without the whole place hating us. But we're still open for other suggestions.

It needs new shingles, so now accept volunteers. I'd bribe you with my homecooking, but that would probably scare off more people that it would attract. But I could do homemade rootbeer and ice cream at least.

And the backyard is full of pine trees, to which I'm allergic, so firewood, cut your own. Free Cut-Your-Own Christmas Trees

The inside actually isn't too bad. We don't actually take possession until Wed, so I'll get some more pictures then.

There are still a few elements left over from initial building in the 70's, such as a bright blue bathtub, and those obnoxious mirror tiles with the gold crackles in them....yeah floor to ceiling at the end of the hall, and on both sides of our black brick living room fireplace (which there just seems something odd about by itself if you ask me....I just can't put a finger on what). The mirrors are SOOO coming down before I move in (though we'll probably be stuck with the tub for a while.

It's 2 floors, with a walk-out basement, (bad for 'run-aways' good for those days I just can't handle a whole floor's worth of stairs.) The basement has nice "big" windows (aka normal size instead of the usual small basement ones) (good for plants and fire safety, bad for earthquake safety and movie watching).

It has 5 bedrooms, 3 up & 2 down. The girls were pretty upset that I still won't let them have their own rooms. But they've now come to accept the fact and have turned their battle energy into trying to decide who is sharing with whom. So far they agree they don't want 3 of them in one room. They're afraid it would just be way too big of a mess. Unfortunately for them, all other things considered, I'm leaning more towards that option, at least for a little while, but we'll see. I'm just excited to get J out of my room, and her toys out of the living room, and her clothes out of the hall (we've had to get creative with space here).

And SCORE! It has 1 3/4 bathrooms. Not only will the extra toilet be nice, but now, if I want to soak in our obnoxious blue tub, I don't have to wait around all night for Steven to finish his shower.

It's been interesting (and overwhelming) to think of the various ways that this new house will mean changing routines. For instance, how to reduce the number of times we're at Gma's each day etc. Even things as simply and silly as the extra shower. I realized I've never lived in a house with more than one shower, at least that we used. Since somehow we ended up with each family member having their own soaps and shampoos, so I have no doubt that every time I tell someone to use the other shower, they'll respond that their stuff is in THAT shower. I'm so sure of it in fact, that I'm debating on making everyone keep their stuff in their bedrooms, at least for a while. But I also know my kids well enough to know that if I did that, I'd probably end up with shampoo spilled all over my carpets.

The house is on the end of a cul-de-sac.(unfortunately one that opens the wrong direction, otherwise we'd be even closer to Gma, and could probably still make the 20 trips a day)

I've never been a big fan of cul-de-sacs, not energy efficient, not enough exits, not enough guest parking, and they totally screw up the grid system, which I happen to love. Consequently I am having a hard time believing we'll be living on one. But that seems to be where we need to be.  And the advantages are that it does give us a bigger back yard, and smaller front, which is nice. And it should be easier for the girls to go out and meet the neighbor kids, of which there seems to be quite a few.

We're also just a block from a park and a walking/biking trail, which runs along a creek. Very nice for a Sunday stroll with the family. But still a bit worrisome given how attracted my children seem to be to water. (But at least its not in our backyard, which is basically what we have now.)

Steven's just excited for a dishwasher.

I'm glad I finally have a kitchen I can work on decorating the way I've been dreaming of for years (well, decorate as much as finances will allow). And even more glad that I have a husband who just smiles and supports me when I tell him my crazy ideas, beyond that, he even seems to like them! What's that saying about how everyone one a little crazy and when we find someone who shares our crazy then we marry them?

The kitchen cabinets are another item stuck there from the 70's, so are the counter-tops. But I think I can make them both work. Though Dad is already talking about making me some new cabinets. But as much as I'd love to fill my kitchen with his excellent craftsmanship, I have a few (dozen) other projects for him that I'd put much higher on the priority list. (Have I mentioned lately how much I love my Daddy?)

And really its been one of those things like before a long weekend or a scheduled vacation, when things just get so crazy that you seem to need that break more than ever and it just can't come soon enough. The closer we get to things like getting J out of our room, of having an extra bedroom, more counterspace, a separate family room and parlor, more storage, a fenced in yard, a garage, the more we seem to "need" all of it, and the more excited we get.

Interestingly enough, the house is right across the cul-de-sac from an old family friend, whom I haven't seen in years. And an associate of my Mom's lives around the corner, so we're already getting the gossip from the neighborhood ward. Apparently they know we're coming. So there were several reports coming in last week telling us that we had been spotted visiting their ward Sunday.  Only thing was, we didn't. Apparently there was a deaf man and hearing woman in Sacrament Meeting, so they just assumed it was us. So now our curiosity is peaked. I'm awaiting this week's reports to see if "we" were there again or not.

The Journey

The joy is in the Journey, and so are the miracles. So how did we go about getting our slice of the American Dream?

If you'd told me 6 months ago that we'd have our own place now I would have scoffed and told you something to the effect of "not for another 10 years at least"

We felt we needed to stay near Gma, and while there is usually at least one house up for sale near her, they'd all been out of budget range. (I know, cause I'd checked the prince of each one I saw a sign up on.

Then last November Steven and I started talking about it, out of the blue, and realized that it would be totally feasible for us to have enough of a down payment saved up within another two or so years that it would put the neighborhood into our budget.

Then less than 2 days later, the house right across the street from Gma came up for sale, and the price was surprisingly in our budget for NOW. We figured something must be seriously wrong with it, but we couldn't resist taking a look. It was amazing! And just seemed so perfectly suited for us, not our dream home by any means, but still...perfect. We put in a bid, it was accepted, Everything was happening so fast. Within 2 weeks we'd gone from 10 years to 2 years to a signed contract. Everything just seemed so meant to be.

Then the seller backed out.

It was devastating!

And while we'd vowed that it was that house or nothing, we found ourselves looking at other homes within abt a 2 mile radius. A LOT of homes. And even a few outside that radius.

Our new house has NONE of the features that seemed to make the other house so perfect for us, but at the same time, it feels like the whole reason the other house went up for sale was to lead us to this one, and that this one is more meant for who we are to become than it is for who we are.

I'm not sure I'm ready for the "growth" this house will bring. In fact I'm sure I'm NOT. But ready or not....

And we've been really blessed to not only have the loving support of our family, but to also have friends in the industry who graciously helped us through each step of the journey, putting up with my crazy and holding my hand when necessary. And who could do it in ASL. I'm not one that that usually likes to mix friends and business dealings. But I'm Deaf-by-association now, and Deaf support Deaf, that's just the culture. And everyone "deaf" are instant friends, so I don't have much choice but to get over it. All kidding aside, both friends (one hearing husband mortgage broker, and one hearing sibling realtor) were Godsends for sure! I will forever be grateful to both of them, and to their ability to keep my frustrations as minimal as possible. And I won't lie, I cried when our agent asked if I wanted the title company to get an interpreter for the signing. I wouldn't have even thought to ask for one, or try to supply anyone but me, especially after all the frustration with the school just a few weeks ago. It was a HUGE relief to have someone else there focusing on the interpreting so I could focus on what *I* needed to focus on. I highly doubt any other agent would have thought of it, which is WHY Deaf support Deaf. (well one reason).

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