Aug 24, 2012

Sneak Peak of the House

Here are some photos of the empty house.  I included a little narrative for each picture to help explain what is where.

Click here to view these pictures larger

If you need the password it is ourphotos

Aug 21, 2012

Hotel Bennies

There are some good things about hotel life:

Unlimited supply of fresh, hot, tasty coffee.  Decaf or regular.  Right there in the lobby is this fabulous coffee machine that makes the Keurig look like a toy.  Hotel lobby coffee is not usually anything to cheer about but this stuff is delish.

Luggage trolley.  You know that trolley that you pile all your luggage on to get your stuff from the lobby to the room?  Its usually only useful twice.  Moving in and moving out.  But when you are holed up in a hotel for about a month that guy doubles as a grocery bag trolley and that is simply awesome!  In one trip all of our groceries were transported from the trunk to the room.

Elevators.  We usually take the stairs because the elevator is doggone slow, but when the trolley is full of groceries or luggage I'm lovin' the elevator.

Maid service.  Someone else cleans our toilet and sink every day, vacuums, and provides clean towels and linens.  Love it.

Black out curtains.  Our hotel has the best curtains.  You can sleep in here until noon and not be bothered by the light. You may be awakened by hall noise but light...not an issue.

Continental breakfast.  One less meal I have to make in our kitchenette.

You can hide.  Sometimes I saunter on down to the lobby, grab coffee and the USA Today and disappear for an hour.  There are lobby couches, a nice court yard with tables and chairs, park benches, the laundry room, a kitchen with tables and chairs...the opportunities are endless.

I can hear everything my boys are doing.  We are trying to change the way the boys speak to each other and our close proximity makes it much easier for me to consistantly hear the way the boys are talking to each other and intervene when necessary and praise them when they make good choices.  In a larger home with a million things to do, it is much more difficult to hear what is going on.

The best thing about staying in this hotel is that I am reminded daily of how blessed we are.  Sure everyone I know has a house or apartment to live in, but there are millions of people that would find our temporary abode luxurious. We are so blessed because this is a temporary home for us and what awaits us is simply amazing.

Aug 20, 2012

Hotel Coma

There is just something about this hotel room that makes me want to be lazy.  While the accommodations are acceptable this place is becoming a little depressing.

There are a few issues working together to make me swing toward being a lazy bum.

Seating Issue: There is no couch so that means my choices for sitting are between the a: comfy bed or b: uncomfortable dining chairs.
Temperature Issue.  The AC is either blasting cold or it is stuffy and hot in here.
TV Issue: we have a whole bunch of television options that we haven't had for three years.
Cozy Blanket Issue: I hate hotel linens but my sister sent a home-made super comfy fleece blanket to snuggle with.

Add all this together and what do you get?  Me laying in bed snuggled up with the blanket watching shows about pawn shops, repo men, fish tank builders, people buying wedding dresses and a show about a guy to helps people tame their cats.

Today I grabbed a book and went down to the patio to soak up some sun and embrace this rare Northwest Washington weather.  Moments after I got down there a crazy guy strolled over to a retired couple, also hoping to enjoy their afternoon in the sun, and distracted me with non-sensical stories and lies.  The conversation I was overhearing became too intriguing to ignore and I found myself reading one line of my book for every 10 minutes of craziness going on behind me.

I don't have my good running shoes with me so I haven't hit the pavement yet, but at this point I'm willing to risk blisters and sore knees in order to run myself out of this hotel coma!

Aug 16, 2012

Welcome Home, Welcome Home

Sunday we moved from our silly little hotel room to our luxury (relatively speaking) hotel suite.  We now have two closets, a bathroom with separate vanity, a kitchenette, and about 20 extra square feet of space.  I spent Sunday morning moving our stuff over from the other room and then unpacking.  Up until now we were living out of suitcases hopeful that we would not be staying in our little cave for long.  Now I have everything unpacked and organized so we will be ready to welcome the boys "home" this weekend.
Monday we headed back down to Olympia to scout out some other neighborhoods and make sure we had all the information we needed prior to making any final home decisions.  By 4pm we locked in to a 3.2% APR for a home loan and at 6pm we bought our house.  Well, technically we just had a "mutually agreed upon offer" but essentially we told the builder that our lender would be buying the house and kindly allowing us to pay them for it over the next 30 years - provided all of our inspections and such come back good.  Good and bad aspect of our deal was a 3% buyer bonus.  That means the builder credits us 3% of the home cost toward closing and "upgrades".  All this really means to me is we have some money to spend!  The good news is we basically walk into our house without spending a dime up front.  The bad news is we had 12 hours to figure out how we were going to spend a whole bunch of money in "upgrades".  We spent a few hours comparing prices of appliances and blinds and then fired off an email to our realtor.  
By the time we got home Monday night all of our business was done for a few days and we were finally free to head up to Blaine to see my family.  We drove away from all of our responsibility and worries and headed off to the beautiful way-up North Pacific Northwest for a simply wonderful two day escape.  We had a great time hanging out with my cousins, meeting their friends, and taking in the local fair.
As we were leaving today, it hit me....we're home.  This is no longer a vacation, this is it. This is the place where we will play and work, laugh and love.  This is where family is just a drive away. This is where we will find our favorite restaurants, figure out the quick way around a traffic jam, find a church, meet new friends, and lay down some roots.  So exciting!

Aug 10, 2012

Living on the Edge

Not the wild side kind of edge, the verge of a complete breakdown edge.
I feel like I am that car dangling off the side of a cliff and at any moment that one tiny shift of weight will send it plummeting into the canyon.
A few hours into our second day of driving up to Washington I looked to Matt and told him "any moment now I'm going to cry histerically".  After a few more hours of me being grumpy and edgy and without having the afore mentioned breakdown, Matt asked if I could go ahead and get it over with so we could move on.
It didn't happen.
It didn't happen when I got in a verbal altercation with the hotel clerk over a room assignment, it didn't happen when we got to the room and realized staying here was going to be ridiculous, and it didn't happen when I couldn't log on to the wifi in the room after typing in the 35 digit password 4 times.  I also managed to hold things together when the number of houses available to look at were slashed to 1/3, when I found out the house we liked most was located in boundaries of a poorly ranked school, and I held it together when I realized I don't have my social security card and therefore cannot bring a copy of it for the lender on Monday.
I'm beginning to wonder if the car is actually going to remain balanced on that cliff and all the occupants will escape a dramatic crash . . . or maybe it is just waiting for an unexpected wind or perhaps a butterfly to land on the hood.
I'm not going to lie, it has been a rough week.  It was one of those weeks where one blast of bad news seemed to follow another and another.  It was a week when I started to question choices, friendships and direction.  It was a week that I thought would be filled with excitement and joy but was overwhelmed by frustration.
But today it is Friday...
One of my favorite recordings ever was part of a message entitled It's Friday, but Sunday's Coming.
Two of the greatest lines are these:
It’s Friday
Hope is lost
Death has won
Sin has conquered
and Satan’s just a laughin’
It’s Friday
Jesus is buried
A soldier stands guard
And a rock is rolled into place
But it’s Friday
It is only Friday
Sunday is a comin’!
Today is Friday and there are going to be a few days until things get better, but they will get better.  It is only Friday..... and Sunday is a comin'.  The clouds will pass, hope will return, joy will flow, and peace will cover.  Its only Friday.  We are so blessed to be here in Washington at this particular time in our lives.  Blessed to be able to buy a house under the best circumstances to do so in ages.  Blessed that our kids are enjoying a lovely vacation in California so that we can handle all this business here without them.  It may be Friday yes.... but Sunday is coming and when it gets here, we will celebrate wildly!