The Next Phase

What. a. week.

Nine days ago, Craig and I planned to meet after work at a house for sale that we had looked at the weekend prior.  However, when Craig inquired about that house in the sales office, he learned it had been sold.  So instead, he asked about seeing a different property in the same neighborhood.  Shortly after, I met him.  And from the moment I walked in to that other house, something felt different.  It was gorgeous.  What we wanted.  And in our price range.  I was ready to put in an offer the next day.  There was only one problem: our house wasn't even on the market.


Rewind a few weeks.  Actually, a few years.  We contemplated putting our house on the market in 2012, a few months before Brantley was born.  We decided to wait.

We contemplated again a year later.  And again, we decided to wait.

In fact, over the course of the past three years, we've had realtors come into our home three different times to discuss the potential of moving.  But inevitably, it never felt like the "right time".

Around January 1st of this year, I made mention of the fact that I wish we had the features that a new house has.  And just like that, our search for a new home became serious.  We started cleaning and organizing our current house, in the instance that we put it on the market.  We spent two weekends driving around in the direction we hoped to move.  We stopped by open houses, familiarized ourselves with some subdivisions, got an idea of what was on the market versus what we could afford, and made note of our favorite neighborhoods. 

Meanwhile, we contacted a realtor about listing our current home and reviewed spreadsheets of our average monthly spendings.  I'm not sure one can ever be 100% sure the time is right, but this felt more right than it ever had.


Which brings me back to that random Thursday afternoon, nine days ago.  We left that house that afternoon, yet we couldn't stop thinking about it.  We had an appointment scheduled with our realtor for the following Sunday (three days later).  He just so happened to be out of town at a real estate conference that entire week, so waiting until Sunday, even before we found that house, was excruciating.  Our plans were to look at a few other houses in our price range and make a decision about what to do with the whole ordeal soon thereafter.

Sunday rolled around, and we looked.  At four to be exact.  (In addition to the multiple open houses we had already walked through.)  Yet nothing compared.  Craig told me not to get attached to our favorite house, but I couldn't help it.  I already was.  And I was in love.

By Sunday night, we had decided definitely to list ours.  We decided that would be our first step, and we would base our next decision on the outcome of listing/selling ours.  Of course, I wanted to get it on the market as quickly as possible to keep the hope of the other house alive, but I also knew there was a slim chance it'd be on the market much longer.

On Monday night, we prepped our house for photos.  Luckily, we had deep cleaned a few things over the weekend, but there was still plenty to do to prepare.

On Tuesday, the photographer came to take photos.  We also filled out the 8-page disclosure and exchanged numerous emails with our realtor in preparation for the MLS listing.

The photos were back from the photographer on Wednesday morning, and by 10:45am on Wednesday, the listing was up and running.  Within ten minutes, we had received three texts about showings for that same day!  To say we were shocked was a huge understatement!  Kinnick wasn't kenneled and we still had a half-garage full of toys that were being moved to storage that afternoon!  Craig rushed home to kennel Kinnick, but the toys--they stayed right where they were because there was no time to do anything else!

Over the course of the next nine hours, we had 17 showings!!  We couldn't return home until 7:45 that night!  As for the number of offers - FIVE!  Three of which were major contenders and offered well-over our asking price!  We were blown away!  (I think, in the back our minds, we both assumed our house would sell quickly, but you never want to tell yourself that.)

Our realtor came over around 9pm that night to review all of the offers.  Because three of them were very similar, we had to choose based on what we knew about the buyers.  In the end, we choose the couple who made the first offer.  The wife apparently grew up in the neighborhood, the guy is a high school teacher, they have a little baby, and get this, they made an offer before actually seeing the house!  To us, that was huge!  We felt horrible for the other two couples with similar offers because, well, when you make an offer for over asking price, you probably assume you're going to get it.

And just like that, our house was sold. 

Because things fell into place so quickly, we were also able to make an offer that night on our favorite house ourselves.  The builders countered {the next day} and we countered again.  By Thursday at 5, one week after first finding it, we were under contract this new house!

Of course, there are still a couple of hoops.  The inspection on our current house is scheduled for Tuesday and then there is the appraisal.  We're most worried about the appraisal since we sold our house for over the asking price.  But assuming all goes smoothly, we close {on both houses} in 30 days.  That's right, four weeks from Monday!

Like I said, it was quite the week.  I felt like I never stopped moving.  From cleaning, to tidying, to tying up loose ends, to communicating with our realtor, to approving showings, to worrying about our favorite house, to checking MLS to ensure it was still listed, to excitedly/nervously calling Craig.  And that was all in addition to all things normal.  But it was all so worth it.  And now, we're 30 days out from owning a beautiful new home.

As for where we're headed, it's about 15 minutes northwest of where we are now.  It's on the outskirts of KC in a suburb called Lenexa.  (We actually both moved into our current home in Olathe from apartments in Lenexa six years ago.)  The house is in a large subdivision, broken up into three parts, but is built around a lake.  There is a pool, trails for walking, and plans for a future elementary school within the neighborhood.  Moving will definitely be an adjustment, as we'll be pretty far from any commercial development (...Target), but it's in the direction we've always wanted to go and we decided living in a place like this will make for a really happy childhood for the boys.

Buying and selling a home can be stressful.  The logistics of it all is so tough.  Can't buy until you sell, but what if you sell and can't find a new one you like?  I was so nervous that someone was going to buy our favorite before our current house sold.  So nervous that we'd sell and then be homeless.  So nervous that ours might not sell.

In the end, I decided to tell myself that if it was meant to be, it would all work out.  If our favorite house sold, there was probably a better one out there.  If our current house didn't sell, there was a reason for that and we were meant to stay put (which we had fully accepted).  And you know what, I'm glad we didn't follow through two and three years ago because if we did, we wouldn't have ended up where we're headed now, and where we're headed now beats where we looked two and three years ago by far!!  

It truly takes a leap of faith to make a major like change like this.  It's like jumping off a cliff.  If you're going to do it, you just have to go and trust that everything will work out.  And because it all worked so perfectly, I can't help but think it was truly meant to be.  And I am so excited for this next phase of this amazing and blessed life!

Stitch Fix #4

Stitch Fix #4 arrived the day before my birthday (purposeful planning on my part).  I was so excited and had a $50 gift card from Christmas just burning a hole in my pocket.  I had asked for a couple of items - a sweater with elbow patches and a longer shirt or two to wear with leggings, so I was disappointed to find nothing that quite matched what I had requested.  I threw everything back into the box and sulked for a couple of days, trying to decide what to keep so to not lose my $20.  Two days later, I decided to try on the items one final time and whatdoyaknow, I thought to myself "Okay, these aren't as bad as I initially thought!" 

As a side note, let me just apologize for the horrible photos.  It's hard to get good mirror selfies, without a flash, when it's dark outside.  And since night time was the only good time I had to try on my goodies before shipping them back, it's all I got.  One more reason spring needs to hurry...

Item #1 | Good hYOUman Romy Graphic Knit Top
A looser-fitting casual, but cute, sweatshirt-like top that reads "Sleep Less Dream More."  Not crazy about the words, but I do like the fit.  And technically, I guess it could be worn with leggings.  I'm just very self-conscious and demand longer shirts that covers my booty, so the only way I'd wear this with leggings is to wear a longer tank underneath.  I added the vest from the last fix and I thought it made for a cute pairing.

Item #2 | Mystree Skylar Asymmetrical Knit Zip Up Jacket
This actually looks cute in the picture, but let me be clear, it did not look this good in person!  I know it is supposed to be asymmetrical, but in my opinion, the asymmetrical-ness made it look sloppy, like it was made wrong.  It laid (layed?) funny and clung in all the wrong spots.  Yuck.

Item #3 | Liverpool Rizzo Skinny Pant
I'll give credit when credit is due.  This is the second pair of pants SF has sent me (not counting the horrendous boyfriend jeans last time) and the second pair of pant I kept! I'm very picky when it comes to pants because of my curvy body, so I was pleasantly surprised at how comfy and perfect these were.  They were stretchy, but not clingy.  In fact, in high school, I had a pair of stretchy black pants from Express (everyone had a pair) and these remind me a lot of those!  Except that they're skinny at the bottom.  I tried them with boots, booties, and flats and I thought they worked well with all of the above.  Bonus - these are perfect for work for those days when I just don't feel like dressing to the 9s (which is every Thursday for me).


Item #4 | Gilli Jess Basketweave Detail Jersey Maxi Dress
This dress...a navy blue, basic maxi dress.  Reminds me too much of a maternity dress I have.  And it's too plain for me to justify the SF prices.  Not to mention, I'm not exactly looking for short-sleeved maxi dresses in the dead of winter.  (Though my stylist did mention wearing leggings under a maxi dress in the winter to keep warmer, which I had never thought of!)  Please ignore our beyond-dusty mirror.  Clearly it needs to be cleaned.  How embarrassing. 

Item #5 | Honey Punch Layla Twin Stripe & Elbow Patch Cardigan
I requested a sweater with elbow patches.  I got a cotton cardigan with elbow patches.  Same thing, right?  I wasn't a fan of this cardi at first, but it grew on me.  I debated keeping this or the graphic knit top...and the graphic top won.  So this went back.  But now I'm kind of kicking myself because this is super cute in photos!

So there's my fix #4 for those interested (Jana). :)  My next one is scheduled for the week before Spring Break.  I'm sure they're wondering why I don't sign up for recurring shipments, but I'm a major control freak and like to hand-select my reception dates.  Weird, I know.

Want to receive your very own fix?  Use my referral code and help me earn credit towards my next fix!

3-Day Weekend (Including B's First Dentist Appointment)

Do you ever have one of those weekends that you just don't want to end because it was so great?  Yeah, that was my weekend this weekend.  Three day weekends are always nice.  60-degree three-day weekends in January are even better.  The highlight of my weekend was definitely the weather, but also the little guy turned 9 months old, we visited a few open houses, and Craig and I had a day date on the Plaza.  To top it off, I had an extra day off today for MLK Jr. Day and soaked up every extra minute with my growing boys!

Saturday was pretty low-key.  It started with an eye appointment (for me) and then we stopped by some open houses, which is always super fun in my opinion!

Since the weather forecast for Sunday was so nice, we decided to schedule our Segway tour (yeah that one I gave Craig for his birthday back in September).  Well, two minutes before we got there, the guy called and said he couldn't get the segways to work (due to the recent cold weather or something).  Since we had a babysitter, we weren't about to turn around and go home, so Craig and I decided to hang out on the Plaza for a few hours...something we rarely ever do!  We shopped, had Bloody Marys, ate lunch (pig wings from Gram & Dun - ummmm yum!), and enjoyed the rays of Vitamin D.  It was fabulous and we ended by saying "We really need to do this more often!"

Later that afternoon, Craig took Holden on his first run and Brantley and I met them at the dog park.  A January day at the dog park is always refreshing for everyone!

Today started with Holden's 9-month well-baby check and then we went to get Brantley a haircut.  We spent a few hours at home (and played outside) and then it was time for Brantley's first dentist appointment.  He did fabulously.  He was very calm and cooperative.  Both the hygienist and dentist were very impressed.  I mean, what can I say, things have always been smooth-sailing with that kid!


So naturally, we went to get ice cream afterwards. :)

What a fabulous weekend it was!  I'm already looking forward to the next one, and especially my next long weekend (luckily it's only 1 1/2 weeks away!).


Holden Beckett: 9 Months Old!

It's been 9 months in and 9 months out as of yesterday, Mr. Holden Beckett!  Three-fourths of a year has gone by so very quickly and life continues to speed on by at the blink of an eye.  You have matured so much over these past few weeks.  It's like I can see your little brain working and picking up on something new everyday in our day-to-day lives.  Just watching you interact with the world, I feel like you understand things so much more than you did one short month ago.  You are intrigued by quite a lot these days, the biggest being your big brother.  You watch him intently and study him, follow him, and copy him.  And more often than not, you want whatever toy he has.  Which he does not love, but such is life when you're a brother!

At just nine months old, you definitely have your own opinions.  You are a feisty little guy and when you don't want/like something, you're sure to let us know!  You hate having your face/nose wiped and you even hate staying still long enough to have your diaper changed!  You did not like anything about your well-baby check this morning - the finger prick, the doctor checking your ears, nothing.  However, unlike your brother at this age, you will sit in one place and play with the same toy for some time.  You're not quite as active as he was, but your dad and I agree that it's only a matter of time before you can beat him up! :)

Recent happenings in your nine-month life include you standing with support (on New Year's Eve), walking around things like the couch, your first run with Daddy, and a few days ago, climbing the stairs!  No joke!  I took Brantley upstairs to quickly do something, not thinking twice about leaving the baby gate open, and I was headed back down when you were three stairs up!  Holy cow, I was not prepared for that!  You climb on everything these days so I should have known!  You also started saying "Mama" about a week ago which is almost the exact age Brantley was when he did the same.  To be fair, you're not saying Mama in reference to me, but it's still Mama nonetheless in my eyes!

Another month down, another month more fun!  Until next time, Baby Holden!

Love you, Little Stinker!

9-Month Update:

Size | Skinny with a big head!
Height 27.8 inches (32th percentile--up from 24th percentile at 6 months)
Weight 18 pounds 5 ounces (16th percentile--down from 32nd percentile at 6 months)
Head 46.5 centimeters (81st percentile--up from 28th percentile at 6 months)

Words | Mama!

Activity | Crawling (mostly army, some on your knees), standing with support, climbing on everything

Food | 4 bottles per day - 6 to 7 ounces each time.  Solids three times per day - a good mix of rice, oatmeal, fruits, veggies, and meats.  You are enjoying food so much more than you were two months ago and the only thing you absolutely dislike (so far) is broccoli.  Still loving baby snacks - Mum Mums, Puffs, yogurt bites, and cheerios.

Sleep | About 10 hours each night and about two naps per day.  A good nap is an hour or longer, they're usually between 30 and 45 minutes, though you seem to be napping longer than you ever have in recent days.

Bedtime/Waketime | Bedtime around 7 or 7:30pm.  Wake time is as early as 5am (more common) or as late as 6:30am (less common). 

Hair | Light brown.

Eyes | Bright blue

Teeth | Your second is popping up as I type!

Wardrobe | 6 to 9 months in tops/onesies and finally also in pants!

Diapers | Still trying to use up the abundance in size 2s I bought, but we use size 3s overnight.

Likes | The list is the same as a month ago - Brantley, Kinnick, snacks, your doorway bouncer, toys, baths (until it's time for washing your hair), the dog bowl, playing peek-a-boo.  Also, climbing, standing, Mommy & Daddy.

Dislikes | Being tired, being hungry, having your face touched, having your hair washed, showers with Daddy.

Mommy's Fave | This is really surface level, but I love that you are more independent now.  We can just give you your bottle and you feed yourself, we can put you down and you play, etc.  It sure makes life easier at times!

And someone please remind me of the struggle I went through to get these sub-par pictures before having my next child.  These monthly photos are, beyond this age. Here is a more accurate portrayal for our photo session today. 


32 on 32

Happy birthday to me!  32!  That just seems weird to type!  I definitely don't feel 32 and I don't think I look 32, and you know what they say, 32 is the new 22! :)  I've always been completely at ease with turning another year older (I've blogged about it multiple times - 29th birthday, 30th birthday, 31st birthday).  The 30s are fun and I swear, life gets better by the day!

Funny story though - I felt old for the first time ever just recently!  I was thinking a month or so ago about being in my eighth year as a teacher.  I was 24 when I started teaching, and since I teach high school (and taught seniors back then), I was only a few years older than some of my students.  I was always under the impression that the kids liked me, in part, because I was a young teacher.  I remember wondering "What are they going to think when I'm older?"

Well...I think that time has come.  Since I get a year older each year, and my kids get a year younger (really, they're just born a year later), there are now 16 years between myself and most of my students! Sixteen!!!!!!  And since I'm 32, that makes me double their age!  Wowzers.  Like I said, that may be the one and only time I've ever felt old, but boy was that a punch in the face!

Anyway, that's my growing older story for this year.  Luckily, I'm still under the impression that my students like me, despite my "veteran" status. :)

For my 32nd birthday, I'm going to list 32 facts about myself!  I've seen this on other blogs when the bloggers turn 30, but since I missed that opportunity, you get 32 fun facts instead! Here we go!

32 on 32:

1. I share a birthday with Martin Luther King, Jr.  Most people don't know that about January 15.

2. I don't chew gum.

3. I'm not a movie person.  I don't dislike movies, but sitting for two hours just isn't my thing.

4. I can twirl a baton! I grew up taking lessons and twirled throughout high school with the marching band.

5. I love to shop, but I don't buy expensive clothing.  Target and Old Navy are my jam.

6. In my 16 years of driving, I've never had a speeding ticket.  Never even been pulled over.  (And I'm not gonna lie, I speed quite frequently.)  *Knock on wood*

7. I didn't drink until college.  And to this day, I don't regret that decision.  I've also never smoked.  Not even to try it.  Not even a cigarette.  Not even once.

8. I have little desire to travel abroad.  Just take me to the beach and I'm a happy girl!

9. I pride myself on my better-than-average memory.  Especially when it comes to dates/years.  Especially if the memory is connected to music.

10. I've always been good at math.  I was selected for a math competition in middle school and I was beyond embarrassed about going.  Now, I am a proud math geek!

11. I'm terrified of spiders.  Like scan-the-walls-whenever-I-enter-a-room, freakishly terrified.  And I make sure to always wear flip flops around the house in the summer in the case that I see one.  Even though when I do, I'm absolutely horrified about killing it.  I may or may not have cried for hours upon end after being home alone and seeing a spider. More than once in my life.  It's a problem.  Really.  I'm also scared silly of tornadoes.  Like I have dreams (more like nightmares) about them in the spring and summertime!

12. I'm a news-watcher.  I rarely miss a day of the local 5:00/6:00/10:00 news.

13. I started college as a pre-pharmacy major. Because of that, I have worked in a pharmacy for eight years of my life. (Before, during, and after college)

14. I'd take 100 degrees over 50 degrees any day.  30 and below...let's not even talk about that!

15. I always knew I wanted to be a mom, but I didn't play "house" or "dolls" when I was younger.  I enjoyed coloring, crafts, and things like that way more.

16. I text in complete sentences with proper grammar, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation.  Anything else drives me crazy!

17. I have lots of pet peeves.  They include: losing things, words spelled with numbers (example: 2nite), crumbs left in butter (and other containers), and people who say pregnancy lasts 10 months.

18. My bucket list includes going on a hot air balloon ride and sitting in those really expensive behind-home-plate seats at a Royal's game.  (Pretty crazy bucket list, huh?)

19. I'd like a big family because I envision really fun holidays in twenty years.  Three kids for sure, maybe even four. Assuming that's God's will anyway. :)

20. I'm not a picky eater. There isn't a lot I don't like, but pork chops is definitely one.

21. I hate working out.  And quite honestly, I'd prefer to be an average-size girl and eat ice cream once (or twice) a week, than give up junk food.

22. I hate it when people mis-spell my name.  Especially when they're replying to an email and my name is written directly above.  Because of this, I make a point to spell other people's names correctly.

23. I'm seriously addicted to chapstick. Must. have. it. at. all. times.

24. I can fall asleep in under 30 seconds.  My husband will vouch for this and my family jokes about it often.

25. I love Laffy Taffy!

26. I don't like toothpaste. The smell, the taste...yuck! I rinse my mouth obsessively after brushing until that taste is gone.

27. I also don't like taking showers. It takes time and I hate blow drying my hair.

28. I'm the opposite of creative. But I'm really good at copying, or "being inspired" as I like to say! Thank goodness for Pinterest!

29. I love flying.  I think airports are really exciting!  However, I despise packing.

30. I bit my nails for about 28 years of my life.  I stopped when I was pregnant with Brantley.  I still revert back every now and then, but for the most part, my nails are long and strong.

31. I have 1 sibling and 5 siblings-in-law. 5 of the 6 of them are also teachers!

32. I love going to bed early. 

And with that last fact, I feel old! :) Here's to year 32!

Daycare 2014

Last year I did a post that included all of the pictures of Brantley at daycare.   Our daycare provider takes a buttload of photos (like myself) and it's always fun to see what the kiddos are up to during the days!  Like I said last year, I'm so thankful for a daycare provider who isn't afraid to venture out.  From parks to McDonald's to the library to toy stores...I can't imagine it's easy.  Even when they stay at home, she plans some great activities that I don't know that I'd have the energy to plan with 4+ kids!  Thanks, Ms. Stephanie, for giving our kids a wonderful daycare experience!

Here are daycare photos from 2014!