On the Move…

We did it! We sold our house and we sold it quickly. After three weeks on the market and a whopping 26 showings we received a good offer, bartered for a full day and finally accepted at only 7,000 less than our asking price. All in all, it went perfectly.

That was a week ago. At the time that our house sold we had our eye on about three different places… all of which sold like dominoes in the 48 hours before ours did. So with only a month until we had to be out of our place we were back to looking. Unfortunately nothing in our price range in our desired neighborhoods were that appealing. Everything good had sold.

In an interesting series of coincidences…

Oh wait, I need to insert a quote I found yesterday that I like a lot:

“Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.” – Albert Einstein

As I was saying, we were back to square one and we began to consider neighbourhoods that we hadn’t been previously considering. The day after we accepted our offer we were feeling a bit panicky as we had scoured MLS the night before with no real leads. We were driving around the city hoping to catch some open houses and just to see what was ‘out there.’ We found ourselves in a neighbourhood called Juniper. It is nice in Juniper, in fact, it is one of the places that our city has seen the most growth in the past few years. I actually lived up there for two years when I was a kid (what is WITH me and living places for two years anyway?). Juniper is located high up on a hill, and the neighbourhood at the bottom of the hill is Valleyview, which happens to be where I work, so that is handy.

So were were driving around up there and I suddenly had a lightbulb moment. Just three days earlier I had received an e-mail at the church office. A girlfriend of mine had requested that I contact our church family with the request of any handymen who would come give her a hand with a few projects because she was thinking about listing her house next spring. She had no solid plans, but she had a bit of a rough year and was feeling the need for a change and just had a feeling that she needed to sell. It loomed like a monumental task before her, and she wasn’t looking forward to the process but thought she’d better get the ball rolling by at least fixing the fence, etc. She was asking for a bit of help (which this girl is not usually inclined to do) (actually I was quite surprised when I got the initial e-mail), as well as prayer for direction about what to do next.

Well, I thought, I’ve been to her house a number of times and I know the main areas are really nice. Since we’re up here in Juniper anyway, why don’t we drop by and ask her if we can take a look? Now, I wouldn’t normally spring that one someone with no warning, but we have the kind of friendship where I knew it would fly with her. So we dropped by. And she was a little bit floored, but really happy to show us around.

And it was pretty much what we were looking for. We told her we were interested. We looked at a few other places and we took an official second look when she wasn’t home, just to be sure. Another house came into the picture that was a very close competitor. We weighed the two back and forth for a couple of days. Finally, we made her an offer. She accepted. We were all very relieved. And the rest is paperwork.

God is good! We move November 23. We’ll be in our new home just in time for Christmas, just like we were here two years ago.

 

So Big

I’ve had one of those days where it smacked me in the face how big my kids are.

It started at 6:30 am. I woke my oldest daughter up at 6 am to finish a homework assignment she ‘forgot’ about until I was tucking her in to bed last night. She was done fairly quickly and wanted breakfast. She asked for scrambled eggs. I told her she’d have to wait half an hour (I normally get up at 6 to have my “quiet time” and then wake them up at 7). She asked if she could make them herself. I paused. It seemed like a big deal. But then, she’d done all the things before – cracked eggs – cooked in a hot pan – made toast – just never all together. So I told her what to do from my perch on the couch, and she did it. She did it perfectly. And was so proud of herself. As was I.

After school they asked of we could stop at 7-11 for a treat. I asked if they had their own money. They did. So I pulled into the parking lot. They went into the store alone, picked out their treats alone, and paid with their own money. That was a first for us too.

They are getting so big. And independent!

This one just turned 8 in August.

She wanted her party at the climbing gym. We waited until September started so she could connect with all her friends at school.

She, like her father, is obsessed with fitness. Since she was just wee she has been doing push-ups and lunges and flexing her muscles for all to see. Just today after school we had the following exchange:

Me: You have dirt smeared all over your face.

Kid: Yeah. I did a ton of chin ups today. … But I don’t know why my face is dirty.

And then she flexed her biceps at me. Yep, just like her Dad.

She recently went through a phase where she wanted to be a politician. To be in charge and make the rules and have the power to change all the bad things in the world. Now she’s on a kick where she wants to be an engineer. Basically because she heard that engineers are rich and smart and highly respected.

She’s pretty confident, and sometimes we try to bring her down a little (just a little). My husband thought she could use a good dose of reality recently so he told her she’s just not that good at drawing. She insisted that she was. He said, no, actually, you’re not. You’re average. You can’t be good at everything. It’s fine. But you need to face facts. She told him that she was going to prove him wrong. And then she worked at it until she did. For real.

 

This one will be 10 just after halloween.

She is super creative (and is in that stage where the constant head-in-the-clouds is starting to get her into trouble. Oh how I can relate.)

She sometimes immerses herself in her childhood fantasy world, which I love and want her to hang onto for as long as possible. A few weeks ago she was trying to draw a new character (she loves comics) so she dressed up like the character and went outside to the trampoline just to see how the character would move. I LOVE that.

But sometimes it’s tricky to pull her back into the real world. I’ll talk to her and try and get her to focus and she looks at me but through me. And then I get frustrated and the face becomes a brick wall. I HATE that. It’s like looking into a mirror sometimes. The good, the bad, and the brick wall.

She reads constantly. Lately she is all about fashion. She likes to sleep in for as long as possible on weekends, which is a brand new development. She cleans. She cooks. She makes herself tea. She loves to take care of babies and toddlers and can’t wait to babysit. She is friends with everybody and will go out of her way to include kids that are new or left out. She is a volunteer at heart, working in the nursery at our church, even when it’s not our turn and arriving at school 25 minutes early twice per week to don her reflective vest and walk the kindergartners from their parent’s cars to their classroom. She likes to colour coordinate everything. She can’t wait for basketball season to start again.

These are my babies. Babies forever, no matter how much they grow up.

Circling thoughts

1. The job I have now.

2. Masters. In Philosophy. —> God knows.

3. Masters. Of Library Sciences.

4. Notary Public!!! —-> What!

5. The job I have now.

6. Law school. —–> Mediation law.

7. Entrepreneur.

8. Pastry Chef.

9. Poet. —–> but only in secret.

10. Taking a painting course.

11. The job I have now.

12. Philosophical Counseling. ——> No, really.

13. Restauranteur.

14. The job I have now.

 

Why can’t I make my thoughts stay still?

 

3…2…1… Sell!

We have stepped into a whirlwind.

Let me sum up the background of this story as quickly as I can.

I am 32 years old and am currently living in my 21st home. That’s a move approximately every 1.5 years. You could say I’m getting a wee bit tired of it. I’ve been longing for home.

When we bought our current house two years ago, the goal was to find a place we could settle into. A home our children could grow up in. (my oldest daughter is almost 10 and she has lived in 6 houses herself!) We bought this house, put in a basement suite as a mortgage helper, and carried on. There was a little kerfuffle when we first bought the place because I had some concerns, which we decided to overlook. I didn’t love the house when we first moved in, if I have to be honest. But it was the best choice for us in the moment, and in time the house grew on me and I have even really come to love it and consider it my home. I like it here! We made it ours!

Our first tenants were a young couple and they were great. But it is a pretty small one bedroom suite and they had a baby, so it was time for them to move on once their one year lease was up. Then a friend of ours moved in. He was a pleasure to have because he was a great guy, we didn’t have to worry about noise so much, and we had him up for dinner several nights per week. It was a good arrangement.

Mid summer, just a few months ago, our friend moved out of town to pursue his masters degree, and we decided we didn’t want strangers in here again after the experience of having our friend live here, which was such a treat. And we don’t need the mortgage helper anymore. So my husband suggested I convert the basement bedroom into an office (which I did) (and which I LOVE) (thank-you husband!). We moved our television and bookcases and computer stuff all down here to the basement giving us much more breathing space upstairs, not to mention a fun downstairs area my kids can bring their friends to to play in after school.

It’s been nice.

The suite is self contained – completely closed off from the rest of the house, so we were planning to re-arrange a few walls, and to remove the lovely kitchen (almost new – we put it in ourselves when we first moved in) and separate laundry (although I have to admit there were a few days where I used both washers at once and it sure made laundry day go by a lot faster!)

This was our plan. To slowly re-take the house as ours; one cohesive living space.

And then two weeks ago we needed to have the house assessed (for other reasons that would just make this story way too long, so never mind). We had a couple of realtors by to look. It turned out that 1. Our home is worth more than we thought, and 2. We would be devaluing it so much by taking the suite out that that would be just plain silly.

So after mulling our options for about two days we decided to sell. And move. Again.

But hopefully into a home where we can stay awhile!

We decided that if we were going to do this, we wanted to do it fast. So we quickly finished off a few projects we had been meaning to get to (finishing some landscaping, painting the front and garage doors, etc) and we listed, just one week ago. We priced appropriately. We’re in a niche market.

We’ve had at least a showing every day. We had three showings yesterday and the day before. We’ve gotten good feedback. Now we’re just waiting for that magical offer. Oh please, let someone offer.

It’s been a little stressful having to have the place perfect every single day (my poor children having to deal with their super uptight mother) but overall it hasn’t been too bad because we haven’t really had a chance to make any messes. Last night we took our dinner to my mother in-law’s and cooked it there because we had a showing at 6 and didn’t want to deal with dishes / cooking smells. I’m planning on baking some pies today so we’ll see how the no-messes situation goes. Today we don’t have a showing booked (so far), and it’s the perfect time to have a little break because my oldest is home sick from school. Hence the baking – I have no housework to catch up on while I’m stuck at home.

Mostly we feel pretty optimistic and excited. And we are certainly keeping our eyes open for a home that we really can make home. Until we decide to pack up and move to the coast of course. Or a different country.

Silly us.