Baby Roland is Here!

Our grandson, Roland arrived this morning at 12:15 AM weighing 8 lbs 10 oz and 20.5 inches long. Kat and baby are doing great! We left at 3:30 AM and he was nursing like a champ. More to come. For now we sleep. 🙂

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Two months? Really??

It doesn’t seem like it’s been two months since I’ve posted. Wow. I guess that’s what happens when you’re working your ass off day and night for two full months.

Not long after my last post we found a house. And not just any house. But a NICE house. A BIGGER house. An AWESOME house. And for the icing, a really cool landlord…. MEGA COOL! He’s totally OK with our dogs, my kids, our history, everything. He’s very laid back and made this transition from home owners to renters VERY easy. And for the cherry on top, we could afford it.

But wait! There’s more!

NONE of my kids had to change schools!!!

That alone was a gigantic relief. We’ve been looking for so so long for a house, trying to keep at least most of our kids in the same schools, but it was looking pretty grim. As the deadline started approaching for when we HAD to move out, we started looking for houses in other areas but still close and found nada. So this was a very lucky find!

The downstairs of this house is pretty much the same layout as our old house, except bigger. Our “big” sectional couch (it looked huge in our old family room) looks tiny in this house. 🙂 The upstairs is different… bigger… with an extra bedroom. The house has new appliances, central air (!!!!) and there’s a huge (GIGANTIC – park-sized) covered back patio, and a nice-sized fence yard. Best of all it’s the last house on a dead end street! Sounds too good to be true, huh? Yeah, that’s what we thought. But here we are! And we couldn’t be happier. The kids love it too!

There is one downside. It backs up to a semi-busy street. But there’s plenty of arborvitae to keep it totally private. We’re just having to get used to noisy cars. Jack and the kids say they don’t notice it anymore. I’m almost 100% used to it, but not quite there yet. I still wake up when big trucks go by at night.. Fortunately that’s not often as it’s not a SUPER busy street. After living in totally quiet areas for so many years it’s taking a bit to adjust but it’s all worth it for how awesome the rest of this house is.

So.. after we closed the deal for renting this place, we started packing right away and we moved in March 5th. The week after we moved in was pure madness with baseball practices, two choir concerts, a trip to Ellensburg and back in one night, a trip to the Dalles (I could go on and on). So we lived in box hell that whole week. The second week we got more unpacking done. Then last weekend we built mega-desk for our office. No more mismatched ugly press board desks. We have two big desks now that face each other to basically form one huge (mega) desk and a matching printer station. Ikea for the win! It looks SO much better and we all have more room.

(sorry for the crappy photo, but it’s all I got for now.)

Here you can kinda see our backyard, bust mostly it’s Kevin trying to scare me. 🙂

Kevin attempting to scare me yesterday. It didn't work.

We’re still dealing with the stupid mortgage company on the old house. I so want that over with. I’m so so so done with their games, their lies, their heartlessness. They are pure evil and I swear… right now, after all this, I am soured to every wanting to buy a house again. It’s so so so not worth it. Maybe in a few years I’ll feel differently, but right now I’m content to live in this house forever. I hate moving anyway. 😉

Starting over

It’s a scary time for us right now. But it’s also an adventurous time. At least that’s what we’re telling ourselves and our kids. 🙂

We’re selling our house… or rather, we’re short-selling it. At least that’s what we’re hoping for.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ve likely read how nervous I’ve been about the housing market crashing so soon after we purchased this house. It was clear in 2008, just one year after purchasing it, we were upside down (aka underwater). Heck, I started panicking August 2007, only six months after purchasing this house! By then I’d unexpectedly lost my job so it was natural to panic, but I had no idea how bad things would get.

Needless to say, we’ve never been able to enjoy this house. We’ve never been able to get comfortable. Watching the value of your home plummet so soon after purchasing it just plain sucks. There’s no other way to describe it. But to make matters worse, we got screwed on our loan. We knew going in that it was bad but we were promised we could refinance in three years. Who knew the market would crash so badly and make that impossible?

There’s a whole list of reasons for our decision to sell the house that I can’t really go into on a public blog, but the bottom line is we face having to start all over. That certainly wasn’t in our plan. But then a lot of things didn’t go “as planned” after purchasing this house.

  • I didn’t plan to lose my job.
  • I didn’t plan to only find part-time work at first.
  • I didn’t plan that when I did find a full-time job, it would be making much less than I did previously.
  • We weren’t expecting our family to grow … and yet it did.
  • We weren’t planning on having car payments. But it’s kinda necessary when your family unexpectedly grows.

The list goes on and on.

So here we are, looking to sell, to move, become renters, and hopefully someday soon become homeowners again.

We were really concerned about the effect this would have on the kids. But it will be a life-lesson for them: sometimes like knocks ya down and you just  have to pick yourself back up and move on. Cliché as that is, it’s true. We hope to make this as positive as can be for all of us. Get excited about living in a new place, even if it’s not OUR place, learn to make new friends at new schools if it comes to that. There’s lots to look forward to.

It still hurts, though. And I keep finding myself teary about all this saying over and over, “this wasn’t how this was supposed to go!”. But then I remind myself that we have an amazing family full of love and that’s all that really matters in the long run. No matter where we live.

Fireworks!!!

Jack and I will be working at the fireworks stand tonight in Washougal at The Crossing Shopping Center (291 C Street). Please buy fireworks from us! You’ll be supporting Sissa and her cheer team! Plus we have cool fireworks and a HUGE assortment. We aren’t one of those small stands. We have giant tents so you’ll be in out of the sun, or rain… depending on the time of day. 🙂

We’ve been working that fireworks stand or our other one at QFC Shopping Center (3505 SE 192nd) for the past week. It’s hard work but it’s worth it to support our cheerleaders! Melissa has worked hard too so if you’re buying fireworks this year, it’d be so awesome if you could make the trek out to one of these stands!

Here’s a picture (sorry for the bad quality, it was dusk and I only had my iPhone) of Melissa holding a sign out on the street to direct people to our stand. (They usually use their homemade ones with the school colors). It’s harder than you’d think doing that for HOURS at a time! 🙂

I know I'm slackin'…

We’ve just been crazy busy!

School is ending… and with that many milestones are being accomplished. I promise a real update later detailing all that’s happened, but here’s a hint: Kevin has graduated from high school! (I can still barely type those words … much less think about it, without welling up in tears..)

Here’s another tidbit: a clip from Kevin’s farewell choir concert… the last time he’ll ever get to perform with his high school choir.

Mother's Day, Zoo Trip

Mother’s Day 2010 was awesome. It was awesome because I have a beautiful, kind, loving, wonderful, and amazing family.

Mother's Day, Zoo Trip 001

We started the day by going to get blood drawn. I was due (way over due actually) for blood work to be done and since I have to be fasting it’s tough to find the time to get it done. I figured early morning on Mother’s Day would be the best time because there’d be no one there. I was right. We were in an out in 15 minutes. (A first!)

We were supposed to go to the beach for the day but the forecast on the coast called for clouds and a chance of rain. Here in town it was sunny and high of 70. I’m pretty darn sick of clouds and rain and chose to stay where the sun was.

We went out to breakfast, then to the zoo.

Mother's Day, Zoo Trip 025
Giraffes are my favorite. So peaceful and serene.

Going to the zoo is always bittersweet for me. On the one hand, I never grow tired of the beautiful creatures. On the other, I feel bad that they’re caged and not free. I know the Oregon Zoo does wonderful things and I fully support all that they do, and I’m sure the animals are there for a reason. But I can’t help but feel a bit sad anyway.

Like this guy…
Mother's Day, Zoo Trip 031

He just seemed like he’d rather be somewhere else. He wouldn’t look at the crowd.

This mama duck and her baby seemed happy, though:
Mother's Day, Zoo Trip 042

These ducks were hanging out with the giraffes and gazelles…
Mother's Day, Zoo Trip 022
…who seemed happy enough.
But this guy looked so sad:
Mother's Day, Zoo Trip 063

This one seemed to be enjoying the sun as much as we were:
Mother's Day, Zoo Trip 052

And this guy? Well, he loved Jack. A LOT!

A train ride at the zoo is always fun, too.
Mother's Day, Zoo Trip 102

After the zoo we drove out to Kayla’s work and had some ice cream. Some of us were pretty tired.

Mother's Day, Zoo Trip 129

It was a wonderful mother’s day and I’m so very thankful for my incredibly awesome family.

There’s a few more pictures here.

Take your kid to work day

I started this post on April 22nd, 2010, and never got around to posting it. Ack! So pretend it’s almost two weeks ago…

Today was take your kid to work day. Unfortunately the kids can no longer go to work with their dad due to company policy. This is a huge disappointment to Cody this year because THIS year was finally HIS year to go. So the next obvious choice was to “go to work with mom”.

My kids thought they should all “go to work with mom”. Their reasoning was that school was wasted anyway since hardly anyone was there and all they do is sit around and read. They could do that “at mom’s work”.

So, here it is. My kids “at work” with me:

Take your kid to work
Miss H and Cody, not even out of their jammies yet, but hard at “work”.

Take your kid to work
Casey, “working” hard.

Take your kid to work
Look how hard my girl, Sissa, is “working”.

That’s what I posted two weeks ago and never completed. We’ve been busy as usual and that’s my only excuse. More on that later.

You don’t see a picture of Kevin “at work” with me because he chose to go to school that day. He has a lot going on, what with graduation coming up and all. Speaking of, here he is with his “date” for Senior Prom:

Jess & Kevin

I’m fully aware of the over-usage of quotes in this post. It had to be done, though. 😉

P.S. May the 4th be with you!