Sunday, September 18, 2011

It just wasn't meant to be

So as I sit down here to write, I can't really find the words that truly describe how I feel about these past couple of months.

We started the process to buy a house back at the very end of July. I have heard horror stories about dealing with the underwriters, and the banks with this process, and how much it stinks. I didn't think it was going to be close to ripping our family apart like trying to buy a house last year did. It became all to clear to me what needed to be important in our lives, and if that meant having one another in a small, tiny, itty bitty house, then that is ok with me. I have been getting some great ideas from people who truly live in tiny houses. We were all packed up and ready to move when I had called it quits on the 8th of this month. We have been slowly unpacking since then. It just hurts to know you put your all into something, and then you have to back out because your loan officer can not fulfill their word. So, we are signing a new lease here, but only for months. In April, we will start looking for a larger house to rent, and plan on staying there for a good while.

We are going through boxes, getting rid of the things that we don't need/want. Selling what we can, but also donating what doesn't sell. It is hard for me, especially when I go through clothes to not want to save everything. I look at it and say, I can re-purpose that, or ohh, it would look great as a fruit/veggie bag. So I am being careful on what I keep. We are trying to live a little more simply. We will see how it goes.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Coming out of hiding...

So, I am way over due to write a post. It doesn't seem correct that I have not written since December, but I looked back into my archives, and noticed I had started multiple entries, but I never hit Publish Post to any of them. I believe it is because I am always afraid to say something that I shouldn't post for the world to see, but when I sit back and think about it, the whole world can see my life if they really want to look into the windows of this boring house that is always in disarray. So, here it is world...

We initiated quite a big purchase a few weeks ago, it is a 5 bedroom, 3 bath house. It is located in North Avondale, it is conveniently only 2 blocks from Adam's Montessori school. It is on a corner lot, there is a detached garage, and a fairly large basement. There is an extra room off of the dinning room that will become a toy room for the twins, the kitchen is awesome. Plenty of counter space (which we have never had), and a lot, I do mean a lot of cabinet space. The yard, oh the yard! Being a corner lot, it has an amazing amount of space in the yard. Plenty of room for gardens for vegetables, flowers, and even Kyle's hops.
This is a side view of the house, but you can get the idea of how large the house truly is!

On other fronts, Adam started back to school yesterday. He is in the 6th grade this year. He started at the Montessori school last May when he tested in. We were very unhappy with the way his other school was lacking in homework, and over all communication with us, so, we switched.

Kyle has taken the summer off of school, but he will be returning in a little over a month to finish off his last quarter. After that, we will see where the good Lord takes us!

I too took the summer off of school, and I plan on returning in the fall. I am not too sure on if I will be returning early or late fall due to buying the house, and moving.

The twins have been seeing a new doctor, she is in the psychology department at Childrens. She has done a wonderful job at helping us with alternative ways to parent and discipline the twins. Honestly, it is working out well. They still have days (like today) when they wake up and are just generally in a destroying mood. But, all in all we have been able to enjoy them a little more each day that passes. Once we move, and they have more room to run, I am certain that things will settle down.

Boring. Things are pretty much boring around here. There is a lot going on, but it is all boring mundane things. So if you stay tuned for the next post, I would be surprised ;)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dear Friends and Family

Dear Family and Friends, December 2010

Last year we got busy and did not have time to write a Christmas letter, and oversight for which many of you are undoubtedly thankful. This year, we are making another effort so that you will not become complacent. (Remember, though, that you can always avoid having to read our letter by the simple expedient of moving away.)

The twins have been doing a lot of exploration (destruction) this year. Nathaniel and Aiden celebrated their third birthday in October. Being three years old is a big difference from being two. Three year olds have no sense of future, which means that you don’t have to advertise the event in advance. A three year old has it figured out WAY ahead of time and expects treatment appropriate to his exalted status. The birthday party itself was a wonderful quaint experience for all who came.

Earlier in the year we decided to take an adventure and move away to Florida. As you can see our return address is still in Cincinnati, it is not because we vacation here for the winter, Florida was a bust. Upon realizing the house that was supposed to be flipped professionally, was barely flipped at all. There were little critters that did their best to eat us out of home, and I am not talking about the twins, we were able to correctly identify them as a wood burrowing ant. If you have not had your house inspected, we highly recommend the experience.

Early in the summer we transported ourselves back to Ohio, the best decision we have made all year. After playing musical houses, we settled down in Clifton, near the gaslight district. Our house is tucked away in a little wooded area, and we have plenty of wild life. A white squirrel, some deer, and a cute little skunk, whom we have not formerly meet, thank the stars. Kyle is able to walk to school, Kat’s school is only a 2 minute drive, and Adam is the lucky one with an hour bus ride to and from school. But it is a small price to pay for him, since he was accepted into the college prep school that we were hoping for. The twins have not started pre-school yet, but they will once the New Year begins. With the new found obstacles that we have to face with the boys, we were trying to wait until we were settled in and comfortable again with our new schedules. Kat started working outside of the home at the end of August, while Kyle now goes to school and takes care of the kiddos. Kyle is rounding his last year of school, and Kat has a few years ahead of her. Kyle will become a historian, and Kat will be a sign language interpreter. We believe the twins will become artists, seeming as if they like to try out most every writing utensil on their bedroom walls. We have suggested that perhaps they would rather spend some time on the phone with their broker.

Adam has been spending time with his nose deep in his books, and fingers light on the keyboard playing his computer game (he has advanced to a level seven in DDO, you should be jealous). With the new found love of dragons and mystical things, Adam is on cloud nine with the selection of books at the library, and he is able to relate more to his computer game. While the school work is getting harder, he is getting more and more advanced with each week that goes by. He never ceases to amaze me in the knowledge that he retains.

All of us have decided that in the future when we want to go on an adventure and move again, we will be taking the in-laws, and our beloved Katie with us. It was a lot harder being away from everyone than we thought, May the season bring you a happy heart, and a full cookie jar!

Kyle, Kat, Aiden, Nathaniel, and Adam

I never really had the hang of this...

Blogging thing. I have been so bad at jotting notes down to add to this, heck even to just remember things. But, I am going to do my best to blog more frequently. I have to say, it really doesn't feel like Christmas is this Saturday... I have not been in the spirit at all. Is it because I have not been to church in months? Is it because I am thinking too much about my mom lately? Or could it be that I am secretly wishing I was still in Florida soaking up rays? Maybe it is all of the above and then some. But here it goes.... I am on the horse again, so you get to read my verbal vomit... I know... Oh joy!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Feeling a little off... Trying to look up

You know. I have been trying to be optimistic... It is pretty hard with everything that has been going on since we left here and went to Florida, and then came back within 2 1/2 months (Yes I know I have not completely filled everyone in on that one... sorry). Life is so different. The kind of different I don't like. Things have changed too much, my marriage, my children, my friends, my church. That is the biggest for me. But how do I tell the man who has been given a calling that I am not getting my Sunday dose of JC the past 3 1/2 months since I have been back? I feel so distant from everyone at church, and I know it has a lot to do with my lack of participation. I feel distant from everyone to be perfectly honest. I feel as if I still live in Florida, but I get to see everyone, but I feel they don't see me. Maybe I am being a little childish, but I just feel so out of place now. Almost like an outsider.

I am starting work in a week. I so need to get out of this house! I need to feel like an adult again. I need to feel like I am contributing to the household. But I also want to make sure that I am keeping my work life as work life, and my home life as home life. I start school again in November... I need to do this for me.

Another thing I am doing for me, is I started doing the P90 workout and diet. It is pretty extensive, and I am looking forward to seeing results. The worst part of it all, was after I took the before pictures, I had to look at them.... WHOA! I am really looking forward to my 90 day pictures... heck even the 30 day ones. But, I need to work on my inside to reflect the outside... I am such a work in progress...

Friday, July 23, 2010

SO much to post about, will you even read it all?

xWOW! It has been way too long. SO the last time I blogged, it was about us moving to Florida. Well, we moved to Florida at the beginning of April, and then we moved back to Cincinnati the 3rd week of June. Here is the wonderful story around that.

We moved down to Florida so the family could have an adventure, and for schooling for Kyle and I. Plus, why not have beautiful beaches, and the bay within minutes of the house? We found a steal of a house, that had been flipped. It was in a historical district, cobble stone streets, there was a lake that was across the way from us that even had an alligator in there for viewing (they fed him every morning). The birds that flew around the lake day in and day out we exotic, and beautiful, and the noise that they made in the morning was not disturbing, but it filled me with joy just knowing we were having an adventure.

Some of the neighbours were just as kind as they could be. But, there were also the neighbours that I called Tampa police on at least 5-6 times a week. The house that they would sit in front of could be seen outside of my kitchen window. Drug deals would be made right out in plain sight. No one would think twice about it. No one cared. I cared. This was a wonderful town that we had moved into, and yes, there were some houses that were run down, but those houses were being turned around slowly but surely. But I was not going to sit back, and watch these hoodlums run the streets by selling drugs to every Joe that walked, biked, or drove down the street. Adam (my oldest) would walk home from school by the lake (honestly taking the long way off the bus to get just a little extra time away from the twins) and he would see them across the street smoking pot, or making another buck. He is not stupid, he new what was going on. So after having enough calls from me, Tampa police finally got me in contact with their drug line, and every time I would see an interaction, I would take down the licence plate number, or description of the person selling and the person buying. Tampa was not able to sit an undercover anywhere, because the sellers and buyers would always have watch outs, and then it would get back to the house, and activity would stop. So once they got enough information from me, they were able to shut them down, and there was a large bright orange sign on the house that said something to the effect of This is an active drug house, and anyone who can not show proof of residency will be arrested on spot. It made me feel really good to know that I shut down a drug house. I was not going to let that happen right outside of my house. But this was the least of our worries.

We visited the beach twice. Once we went to the dog beach. I believe it was the 2nd week we were there. Emma Jean really liked it, but the boys were not too sure about the water and sand, it was pretty cold, and with there being dogs I couldn't really blame them. We went on a separate trip with just the two legged family members, and we had a blast! We made a day of it. We went early in the day, and went swimming for quite a while, played in the sand, and had lunch. Looked for some shells, played with the sea sponges that washed up on the beach, and then we went home. It was the best mothers day I could of ever had.

At the end of April we got our new puppy Benton. We were at a dog fair looking for a dog that was bigger than Emma Jean, not a puppy, and one that did not have pit bull in his description. We walked into the expo, and it started right inside the gates, there were some vendors, and the Humane Society was there as well, inside there were TONS of vendors and other rescues. When we walked in the gates, we saw a few cute dogs, and hen we walked past Benton, and Emma perked up, and they did some circles around one another, we looked at his info, we found out that he was 11 months old, and that he was pit bull/hound mix. But he looked just like Emma Jean, there was no way he had pit in him, that was for sure. But he was the same size as Emma, 50 lbs. We had already told ourselves, that we didn't want a puppy. We decided to go inside and look at all of the other vendors. I don't think I have ever seen so many dogs in one place ever! We found a few dogs that we liked, but either they didn't get along with Emma or vice versa. Emma is the type of dog that she is either really likes the dog, or she hates it. Toward the end we found this HUGE dog, but it was at the pit rescue. His name was Boss. Him and Emma were pretty iffy with one another, and we took them outside and tried to walk them alone, and side by side. But it just was not going to happen. So we chalked the trip up to a fun time out as a family, getting to meet many animals that will eventually be wonderful members of other peoples families. As we walked out, I said "You know what, why don't we see if Benton is still here?". Just then, Emma pulled me forward and was wagging her tail, and low and behold, there was Benton. It was meant to be. If it was not for the age difference I would swear they were litter mates. They are happy as clams together. He is still not completely potty trained, he walks better on a leash than Emma, he eats like a horse, and he is the 8th member of our family (Kyle, the 3 boys, the turtle, the dogs, and I).

We decided to become a greener family when we moved to Florida. We only used the reusable bags at the grocery store, library, etc. We started to grow our own herbs in a window garden. We only bought our fruits and vegetables locally. We rode our bikes everywhere. Kyle most of all was able to take part in this. He was only 2 miles away from work, and we only had the one car, so he would ride his bike to work rain or shine. It saved us on gas, and it allowed me to have the van if I needed it. We reduced our waste by half. We recycled 3 times more than we had before. We would use reusable bags at the fruits and veggie stands so we wouldn't have plastic bags. Turned off our lights if we were not using them. Kept our air conditioner at 78. We started using all natural cleaning products, as well a toiletries. The same with our napkins, papertowels, and even the babies diapers. They were all unbleached, and as natural as we could get them. Kyle and I were drinking shakes in the morning, we were taking vitamin B-12, the twins were taking their vitamins, as well as Adam. I know there are a lot of other things, I just can not remember them all right now. But overall, we were trying to do our part as much as we could.

Now to the house. We found the house from our 2nd Realtor. We had two Realtors for different perspectives, and different houses. The first one, Monique was very sweet, younger and she had worked with us pretty well, but also told us that we would not find anything in the areas that we wanted to live in within our price range. The second Realtor, Evelina told us that we would not find anything for under 150k. Kyle wanted more of the historical districts because of the older trees, and well the history, and I wanted to live in the newer developed houses, but that were within the older towns. So when we went down, we took the first two days to take in the town and look at the houses we had on our lists on our own. Oh my. There were parts of Tampa that I would not even wish my worst enemy to live in. On Saturday we met up with Monique and went to the houses that were on her list for us to see. Some were in the areas that I would like to live in, and there were a few that Kyle would like as well. Most of them were not in our price range, and the ones that were, well one of them literally had a swamp in the backyard, and the other was in Suburbia hell. Since we didn't find anything that we could honestly call home that was on her list, at the end of the day, we told her that we would look over the list again, and we would get back to her. The very next day, Sunday, we had to meet with Evelina at 8am and start our day with her. She too had her long list of houses to go and look at. The first house that we went to go and look at, we got off at the Floribraska exit, and I told her that we had looked at a house off of this exit, and we had already ruled this neighborhood out, even though it was a historical neighborhood. She said that we needed to keep an open mind, she found a couple who have been flipping houses in this neighborhood for the past couple of years, and there is a house that she really wants us to see. So we went to the house, it was only two blocks off of the exit. We pull up to the house, it was cute. 5 bedroom, 1 bath. 85k. Right in our price range. We walked through the house, the bathroom and the kitchen were all Ikea, and there was tile all throughout, except for in the bedrooms there was carpet. The yard was all fenced in, and it was what we were looking for. The neighborhood was just not optimal, but there were cobble stones streets, two palm trees in the yard, and oak trees all around. It was 5 min from the Bay, 15 min from the beach, 5 min from downtown, and well prime location. The school that Adam would be going to was not a great school, but he would have been able to go to the magnet school after summer break, so he would only have 6 weeks of school at the public school. So we told the home owner that we would take all of the information and let him know toward the middle of the week if we had an answer. We went and looked at the other houses, there were one or two that I think that we liked, but we kept comparing them to the first house. We knew we had talked ourselves into that house by the time we had got back to the hotel at the end of the day. We called out Realtor the next day, and told her to get the papers going. It was our last day in Tampa, so we got manicures, and pedicures, and massages. We also had a great dinner. We left to come home early the next morning, and to get our house packed up, and ready to move our lives to Florida in less than a month.

To be continued...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Movin on up.

So the dates have been moved up.... We are going down next week to look for houses. We are going from Feb 18-23. Oh will I be happy with 60 degree weather instead of 20 degree weather for that week! We really feel like we are being pushed out of this house. We have packed up everything that we need to pack up, other than what we need to live on. Can you tell that we are ready to go? I don't like the fact that we are having people waltz through our home, leaving snow and salt marks on the floors... I mop before they come so it looks nice, and for what? So they can track stuff all over them right afterward? GRRRR. We are just going to get a house that needs work. Kyle wants a house he can tinker on, do what we want to with it. Fix up the kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms, and make it ours. So.... Sunny Florida here we come!