Sunday, May 22, 2011

Meeting Macie Mckay

I was blessed to go meet my new niece, Macie McKay last week in Texas. She is such a doll. I can't get over how beautiful she is. I love being an Aunt to little Macie. She is the sweetest thing. She would look right at my face like she was really trying to recognize me and I don't know it it makes sense or not, but she seemed so familiar to me, like I recognized her. She loves to snuggle and loves to sleep during the day and be up all night (poor parents of hers!) I just love this little girl and miss her like crazy! I wish they didn't live so far away. I am hoping to get to see her (and her parents) in August. So don't grow up too much before then little Miss!!

Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 9, 2011

You've got Style

My kids crack me up with some of the things they come out wearing. One particular evening they were all very excited about picking out each others outfits before we took off to rent a redbox. Ashton picked out Teras outfit and Tera picked out his. Ashton looked at different dresses that Teras Barbie dolls were wearing to come up with the fashion idea for Teras outfit. Apparently the Barbie's outfit he liked was one with layers. Tera loved this lookalso and has since tried to put on the exact same out fit many times. Each time I have to tell her no. I am far from a mom who stresses over what her kids look like. We have been many a places looking very grubby... but even I have to draw the line somewhere. Tera thought that stripes and plaid went well together for Ashton's outfit. Mazzi actually looked quite normal. I think I convinced them to let me help pick out her outfit. And while the kids wouldn't be winning any prizes for best dressed this particular night, at least at the moment they were all bathed and clean. (Which can only be said for one part of every day in our home)

And here they are enjoy the redbox feature they picked out. I love movie night with my kids!
Posted by Picasa

Friday, April 29, 2011


Three weeks later- I am finally feeling settled into our new home. And surprisingly enough- I am happy:) I don't miss our old home much and this place feels like home. Probably because it has four of my most favorite people in the world (and one cool cat) living there with me. I am a bit obsessive, so feel like I can't relax until everything is just as a I want it. And while we are not completely there- we are quite close. I can't wait to get my vinyl machine all hooked up so I can get a few quotes on the wall! And it is a "cute" little place, as many people have called it. There will always be a few things that drive me crazy- like the stained glass in the door, the oak cabinets and the brass doorknobs... but it is a rental, so I will live with it :) So here is our new home revealed....

I love that we have a gardener and I don't have to mow or pull weeds or worry about the grass not being green....

I love this big front room...
(I also love this cute little girl on the couch!)

The girlies room..

My favorite wall

Re did the pictures in the girls room

Hung up the kids artwork (My mother-in law insisted these should be up) and I love seeing their work displayed in their rooms.

The backyard is a nice size and the kids are spending a lot of time out there. There is a lot of shade between the overhang and a nice big tree in the back.

Beverly Hills

Shelley was able to come visit so we made a weekend getaway out of it and went to Beverly Hills. We ate at some yummy restaurants, stayed in a luxurious suite, swam in the pool and hot tub (while eating chocolate cake) and then shopped what I think was called the "Alley?" But I dont really remember. It was a lovely weekend with some of my most favorite gals.

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Coming to terms...

As I sit in our home full of boxes, empty walls and four and a half years of wonderful memories, my heart feels full. I am very blessed, and I know that what we are going through, or went through to get us to this point of making the decision to sale our home, is so little compared to what so many people have gone through, or are going through, but to me it has been a challenge. This experience has reminded me that material things aren't what matters. It doesn't matter the size of your home or what car you drive... what matters is what you can take with you. It is my kids last night sleeping in their beds at our home. Tomorrow they have a sleepover with their friends while Matt and I finish packing up. Tonight I find my mind won't stop thinking. I am grateful that this move we only have to move seven miles away, but I know even if we had to move 700 miles, or 7,000 miles we would still be okay, because I would have my family with me.... That said... on with the ramblings of my crazy mind this night.

Four and a half years ago we bought our home. We loved our home. I don't remember ever being happier to wake up each morning. Just knowing that I wasn't in an apartment, but was in OUR home. A home that we could plant flowers at, wash our car in the driveway, park in the garage (heck-HAVE a garage) paint the walls... It was a beautiful feeling. And the feeling didn't go away quickly... it stayed for quite some time. Of course I eventually began the very human way of thinking- that I wanted bigger and better.... but for the most part, I was very content with our home.

I remember my Dad asking what the worse case scenario would be when purchasing our home. We discussed that worst case scenario Matt would lose his job and the house market would plummet. We thought that was very unlikely, and we felt right about buying the home so we went ahead. Then, less than a year later the housing market plummeted, and because Matt worked for a home builder, he lost his job. Worse case scenario housing wise- brought to life. Matt found another job and things kept working out... however, that five year mark of the interest rate jumping, was looming over our heads.

We have watched our home decrease in value by 60% over the past four years (along with everyone else who bought at that time). It has been hard to see other people buying bigger and nicer homes now for less than what we paid for ours and its hard to be happy for people when you feel like the situation was so unfair, but such is life.

When we went to Redding for Matt's CHP Academy we decided it was a good time to try to sale our home as we didn't know where we were going to end up. Thus began the short sale process. We tried to work with the bank several times to do a loan modification, but they weren't willing to work with us. The thought of doing a short sale on our homes was very hard on my pride, but I knew that we are not alone by any means in going through this, as we have had several other friends in the same situation. While we were in Redding there were three or four different offers on our home and each one ended up falling through. I think the timing wasn't right for us and feel so blessed that we were being looked out for. If our home had sold while in Redding I would have had to find a rental and pack the house completely on my own while Matt was in the academy. Once we got back to Lake Elsinore there were two more offers on our home and the last offer actually got approved by the bank. It is now scheduled to close on the 12th of this month.

I have spent the last month looking at rental homes. I thought I could be okay with leaving behind our home if I found a really nice home to rent, or at least as nice as ours. I spent every spare moment driving around looking for rentals and on craigslist viewing postings. I was not having the best of luck. Two homes that I really liked got rented out before we even filled out an application, even though we looked within the first day they were posted, and the rest I liked were too far out of our price range.

The criteria I had when looking for a home was- it had to fit our budget, be at least four rooms, have a backyard, be in the ward, and closer to Matt's work, not the opposite direction on the freeway. I found I couldn't be as picky as I had hoped. We finally settled on a 3 bedroom home just across the street from our ward boundaries. (2 criteria shot to heck) The plus sides of this home was that it has a nice backyard, it has a very clean feel, it fits our budget, and might be 2 minutes closer to Matts work. :) Ashton will have to switch schools next year, which he is heartbroken over, but the school is right by Teras current school so they will both be attending there next year.

As I've been packing this last week I have tried to be excited about this change... as excited as I can be at least. And while it is sad to see these empty walls and empty closest starting to appear, it is also nice to de-junk my life and get rid of things as we downsize. I am glad we will be able to put money away each month as we choose the more affordable option and we will still be able to do fun things. I am trying to really focus on budgeting. Last month was the first month I have ever stayed at all on a budget. I didn't buy a single thing for me or the kids (clothes, toys etc.) and it felt so great. So, wish me luck in the future!! I know it will be hard to stay that good this month as we move. But I need to remember how good it felt!
But, truth be told, it is sad losing our home. While we feel grateful to be able to get out from under it and that it didn't foreclose, there's nothing happy about losing your home. So when people ask if I am excited about moving, it is hard for me to not look at them like they are stupid... because seriously.. who would be excited about something like this? I look at the walls we painted, the grass we planted and the retaining wall Matt laid and it makes me sad.. because this is OUR home... our FIRST home. The home where our kids started school, where Mazzi joined the family, it is full of a lot of memories. And not only are we losing it, but someone else is getting it for such a ridiculously low price that we could easily afford it if the bank would work with us at all. I know thats not the right attitude, but its just how I feel. And if you can't tell.... I'm not holding anything back in this post. So wish me luck in the move this weekend, and wish me luck in having a better attitude and adjusting adjusting adjusting! Life is all about change- I am just glad this is a "7 mile change" And I know there will be more happy memories in our new home.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I am blessed...