Who's voice do you hear?

Thursday, February 28, 2013
This house buying/selling has been...um....an adventure? (I don't know if that is the right word) from start to finish (to somewhere in the middle?)....any faint thought of wanting to be a realtor has gone out the window with our experience.  My neck is seriously so sore for the extreme tension and all I keep thinking was "it was all my idea so I shouldn't complain."  Of course my hubby and I had a great talk last night and he reminded me it was OUR decision and that we couldn't have anticipated all that has transpired.  In the midst of this little trial in our lives (I don't like to classify things as trials because my life is so easy compared to so many others who are going through so much more)  but the thing about tough times is big or small - GOD CARES.  It is the enemy who will tell you differently, which brings me to my little photo of the day...

(I don't know who to give credit to - not me - found it on our local 107.1 radio station FB page)

This little photo made me realize a couple of things.  I have not been discerning the right voice in my head.  It also reminded me of some great wisdom an older woman in our church shared....Satan is wiser than us, he can work us into a tizzy and steal our joy.  God will never discourage us or frighten us....the great thing though is that God IS smarter than the enemy and so our job is to discern His voice....harder said then done sometimes....so if you ever wonder if you hear God or the enemy...this list should help you - it certainly helped me.  God wants us to have the fruit of the spirit and we can claim his truths in the word.  Who are you listening to?  

And in the midst of what we are going through, I am trying to be so thankful of all God has been teaching us...because God never lets you go through something without bringing beauty from it all...and most of all, we have confirmed that this is just a house, we can let it go if need be...I place my hope in Him, His plans never fail....

but those who hope in the Lord

    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:31

Multiude Monday...

Monday, February 25, 2013
This has been a week of ups and downs (mostly because it is just that time of the month ;) but also because I keep switching from living in my flesh to asking God to place me back in His spirit.  When I start living in the flesh, I freak out, complain and worry.  All of those things really are not going to help in the long run and end up putting me in a panic for no good reason.  Why don't I learn to just start calling out to God immediately when worry sets in, He does provide a peace and rest that is so comforting.  There is so much out of my control right now and quite frankly I could use just a little more vitamin-D in the form of sunshine!  I have so much to be thankful for in the waiting....

694.  Our garage door fix estimate came in at a reasonable price (yes I ran into it when I was prego with Solon - pregnancy brain anyone) and it has always worked fine, so we are just now fixing it!
695.  Birds chirping
696.  Walks as a family in the "warmer" weather
697.  Sitting on the steps watching our kiddos play outside
698.  The chiropractor working on my neck ache (stress much?)
699.  Understanding and helpful hubby
700.  my mom's love of decorating and helping to outfit Vera's big girl room
701.  Melting snow and spring flowers popping through the soil
702.  an evening hot cup of tea with my hubby
703.  TV time with the hubby
704.  God's word
705.  Answered prayers
706.  A cheap"ER" fix on the suv and having it back (it could have been 4x the cost) praise that it was covered by warranty!
707.  a good deal on washer/dryer
708.  grocery shopping solo (I didn't forget anything on the list)
709.  coming under budget in groceries this month (good thing too because we had a few other expenses ;)
710.  Quiet weekend at home
711.  Visiting the new house as a family and going out to lunch together
712.  Conquering my fear of asking for a donation (I would make a horrible salesperson)
713.  baby snuggles and little boys who say "I love being with you mommy" - melts my heart
714.  Playing make believe and being in the moment with my kiddos (I am not the best at playing for long periods with my kiddos but I am trying)
715. Working on waiting patiently during the moving process

Project Making 3106 our Home: Progress and finishes...

Thursday, February 21, 2013
 As promised, I stopped over in the downright frigid temps to get some pictures and see the progress.  So glad I did, it gets me all excited.  I also love to encourage the sub-contractors and let them know how thankful we are for them and their service....spread the love!  So below are some of the finishes I remembered to take photos of and some updates from the house....
Here is the carpet we selected (you can see it better below in their finished spec) and the paint colors we chose (Megagreige and anew grey)
....Solon tested out the carpet at the spec...has a nice fleck unlike our carpet now which I am excited about!
The stacked stone for the house and fireplace....it will be dry grouted on the inside and normal grouted on the outside!
Trim is done and doors are put back on (trim color is divine white by SW)
Front door and garage door are all painted and waiting patiently in the garage staying purty(they have service doors on now).
The mantel...the stone will go on the bottom, space for the TV and components above.  They got the fireplace insert in!
Columns in between family and dining rooms...bay window in the family room
Looking at kitchen in dining room...

So excited to have a REAL mudroom for all of our junk....I have visions of pretty little organized baskets already #organizational nerd!
Entry stairs...

Today they were working on a few drywall things with a doorway to garage and were putting in all the outlets and covers - wahoo...we are inching closer and closer.  Just in time for not 1 but 2 snowstorms to roll in!

Project Making 3106 our Home: Update to the to do list...

Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Remember I had 5 days to make the house become my to die for dream home - ha - just kidding but I did have 5 days to pick out BUNCHES of stuff...did you doubt it could be done, nah either did I.  Luckily we got it all in the day before another snow storm (deep breath, spring is coming soon!).

So here is the run down of what has been done...

  • exterior paint, trim, stone, door color and lighting  We went with anonymous (by Sherwin Williams) and Shoji White for trim, stone is a nice combo of grey and brown stacked look and lighting we stuck with the package.  My mom is bringing an Ikea chandelier for Vera's room and the rest we will live with and change out over time but I like it for now ;)
  • interior paint (I already chose trim - white) and which rooms get painted what (I get 3 colors in the same color family) We went with mega greige (downstairs), anew gray (mudroom, laundry room and our room) and functional gray (kiddo bedrooms)
  • pick out stone for fireplace (already told them what I wanted it to look like)
  • pick out flooring - tile, carpet and wood - tile is greyish/brown, wood is dark with lots of texture and wide plank with a geyish undertone
  • pick out counter tops for kitchen and bathrooms - celedonia - grey base with brown and white
  • pick out appliances including washer and dryer - we went with standard stainless appliances and we got front loading samsung appliances, I am very excited in a totally, mom-nerd sort of way. 
Some other things accomplished but were not on the original list are...
  • Financing for new home is in process
  • Inspection on our current home complete, waiting to hear back (oy vey, keep your fingers crossed and pray!)
  • Our house interior is completely painted with trim and walls
  • Lockers are built in mudroom
  • Stair railing done
  • All woodwork accents complete including columns, door header above entry and fireplace
  • appraisal on current home complete
  • termite inspection complete
  • swingset is disassembled
  • basement,garage and china cabinet are packed....
  • A nice load of boxes has been donated to us and friends are letting us borrow their trailer!
I promise pictures soon, I stopped yesterday and was so struck by all the progress, I forgot to take pictures.  Today when I went to get some there were signs on the doors saying "Do not enter"...they were finishing the spraying of the walls and had it all taped off.  So depending on snow-pocolypse tomorrow I will try to get some photos.  Solon keeps asking when the carpet is going in....he is disappointed that they haven't accomplished that yet.  I am so impressed with all they have, they are surely working hard to get us to close on March 15th.  It is anyone's guess, we will keep you posted!

Solon's Swimming Update...

Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Oh my word!  What a difference 6 months will make?!  Our buddy loves swimming now, goes right in, obeys his teacher is blossoming.  He is starting to swim "short" distances (let me clarify 3-5 feet) but that is how they start.  He is growing stronger.  His teacher just said he needs to gain endurance, swimming is hard work!  Yes it is!  He is starting to turn his head, keeping his body straighter with legs back and kicking.  He is really confident with his back float while she holds on to his finger tips and of course his favorite part is jumping....anyone surprised?  He also loves to show off and dunk his head all the way under a bajillion times!  We are so thrilled that he loves it and more importantly he is learning this vital life skill (especially with his many lake days ahead!).  We will continue until he can swim independently and then depending on interest go from there.  He has some more learning to do but we couldn't be more proud of his progress!   Way to go Solon!
Practicing his back stroke...
Working on his endurance - they swim the length of the pool with a noodle under their belly to help....for a little squirt back and forth a couple of times would be draining :)
PS I think it helps that his cousins are swim stars, he wants to be just like them!  So thankful he has some rockstar cousins to want to be like :)

Multitude Monday...

Monday, February 18, 2013
Another week has flown by - woah! Not that I am complaining, I know you should not dislike any days/months but I would say February is my least favorite month.  For me it is like week 37 to the end of pregnancy.  You just want to come and the last few days seem to take the longest but what is the saying...good things come to those that wait....so we will wait with visions of spring flowers, birds chirping and green grass swirling in our mind.  Did I mention a huge winter storm is squelching our previous made plans to head to MN this weekend?  Spring IS just around the corner....yes it is!  Okay I better get my head on right...this is a multitude Monday post after all!

673.  My friend share this song and I LOVE IT (click HERE)  great for Valentine's Day!
674.  Impromptu tulips from my hubby
675.  Things are going smoothly with our move thus far...things are rollin' now...
676.  Clarity on finishing touches for the house
677.  Time to talk through some things with God that have been on my heart
678.  My hubby listening
679.  Date night to watch Downton Abbey (even though it was aggravating)
680.  Remarkable story of God's grace on my friend's blog (click HERE to be left praising God!)
681.  Learning about peace this week - I pretty much stink at being at peace but I am a work in progress
682.  Vera's sweet kisses - she now gives them out more liberally
683.  Solon's joy when he completes a puzzle all by himself
684.  Solon buckles his own seatbelt now (he is so big!)
685.  Dishwashers
686.  selling a few things before we move...
687.  God's grace
689.  simple meals
690.  Pregnancy announcements  (not mine) and tiny newborns
691.  my coffee to go cup
692.  Scott finding the missing diapers I had bought...
693.  Being excited about our home and driving by as a family

I have a lot on my mind today....I am tired....I am consulting God and am thankful he goes before us...this song came on today and it was just what I needed to hear....click HERE

A little of This and That: What keeps us entertained...

Sunday, February 17, 2013
This post is a mish-mash of all the pictures from January/February that go with no particular post but are noteworthy!  I love snapping everyday photos with my phone...these kind of capture the day to day!

Well you all know how the love of Target soft pretzels got started - when I was prego with Vera!  I was constantly nauseated but if I ate a little something (preferably a carb, I would feel better) - enter the mid-morning snack while shopping at Target.  Solon never forgets anything so we will still do it.  My kiddos love a soft pretzel!  We all share 1 and some waters - cheap date!  If they are extra lucky (say daddy is with us) they get to sit in the swivel chairs!
So happy....
Off to Home Depot to get some things for our current house so we could sell it - my kiddos love the car carts.
Sometimes Vera just cannot stay awake on the way home from some place.  Despite our best attempts at keeping her up....she still manages to fall asleep.  She is not great at transferring, if she falls asleep in the car, she calls that a nap - I don't think so!
Solon was really struggling with night terrors for a while there.  We are in the in-between nap stage and if he doesn't nap, he generally is so tired at night, he gets one.  Night terrors are not nightmares.  Some people get them when they are extremely tired, Solon has had them since he was a baby.  It is extremely scary for you as a parent but they don't remember them, they are still in a sleep state.  We hope he outgrows them.
 Solon has been digging puzzles and games lately.  He will tell you his favorite thing to do alone with mommy or daddy is to do those things.  We have a little "Solon" time everyday while Vera is napping or gone to bed to do just that!
They love the iPhone camera because it is like a mirror :)
This little lady makes cleaning 10x harder.  Good thing she is SO cute.  She loves to take trash out of the garbage can, as evidenced here!
Solon "not napping" - see he still needs them somedays...
 Solon loves his stuffed animals....
Our "ani-mails" from Grandma and Grandpa Wetherbee.  We actually got these complete with a postage sticker in the mail today.  What a hoot....
Vera loves sharing her dolly's high chair!
Taking advantage of a semi-nice February day....

I feel like singing the song....We've got cabin fever, we've got cabin fever...is it a song? Or am I delirious from the cold?!  We are all ready for spring....luckily all this move stuff is keeping us pretty busy.  Last weekend, we packed up the basement, garage and outdoor stuff....everything else will come but my kiddos still need to play and we all need our clothes so we can be decent in public!

What to do during a house showing...

We don't always get the most notice, generally 24 hours, but the people that bought our house gave us an hour.  I was motivated to sell so I was happy to oblige!  As our realtor told us though, it is normally during unconvenient family times - nap time, bed time and meal times....sure enough the first one was smack dab during dinner.  So I threw a bunch of stuff in a bag and we scampered off to Scott's work that has a hidden gem, I nearly always forget about - the gym!  (which also happens to have cable TV - remember we don't - we don't watch enough TV but that is another post ;)

The kiddos (especially Solon) were in heaven...the bball hoop even went down to almost Solon-size!
Vera got in on the action too...
In between rousing games of basketball, I made us a nice little PB & J picnic.  The kiddos thought it was great....a successful last minute, unplanned fun night out as a family!  We are planning on having Solon's 4th birthday here (even though he has a summer birthday the last 3 years, it has been over 100 2/3 times!)

Project Making 3106 our home: Starting point...

Saturday, February 16, 2013
As you know we bought an in-progress home.  You might ask why?  Well I hate chaos and building a home from scratch takes atleast 4 months from start to finish (longer if there are any materials on backorder).  I know people that do it (and they are amazing) and they live in temporary house or with family.  We don't have any town family and living in a 2 bedroom apartment for the SAME price we currently pay on our house seemed like a real BUMMER.  We saw this house and I have totally been stalking it for MONTHS.  It is the EXACT floor plan I wanted on a quiet street and the backyard bumps up to a cornfield (where the farmer has no intentions of selling for a while but don't worry mom it is zoned for housing like ours in the future :).  It was really a God thing that it all worked out, our house sold and we bought this on the same day.  We almost had to because it was at the point where it was a blank canvas but any later and we couldn't have made it ours.  As it turns out we have been able to pick out everything - like they called me over to design the fireplace and columns - um, I didn't even know what I was doing but we worked together and I think the end result is going to be totally us!  I can't wait.  It has been SO fun, pinteresting for a purpose with my hubby to make this house our home....

I thought I would show you what she was like when we started and then I will update as we go along.  Just yesterday I was over there giving them my paint selections (I got 3 choices for the whole house so we stuck with the greige phenomenon).  They had about 15 guys doing trim work, it was crazy how much they had gotten done.  This is the fun stage where change occurs more quickly :)!

Exterior - no paint or stone yet!
Kitchen cabinets are hung but no crown on top of them...
Our bedroom with tray ceiling...we face the back this time....
Kiddos bathroom vanity...notice Solon is exploring!
Solon's room - he has the smaller closet (Vera has more hanging clothes ;)  Their rooms are about 10-15 sq. feet larger then their rooms currently!
Vera's future room...she will be in her crib still in the "nursery" when we move in (just typing move in gets me excited)
2nd Floor Laundry (I have an actual mudroom/lockers on the main floor - yay for a dumping ground)
2 Story Foyer with open staircase (not on our needs list but on my oh so excited wanted list)

I am a 2 story kind of gal so ranches were out.  I think you have to know how you live.  I am not a basement person so all the finished square footage doesn't mean a lot of extra living for us.  We will finish our basement someday for a kid zone.  I want to be that house where we can have friends over and the fridge is always full.  When they are at your house, you know what they are doing :)!

It already looks different...we will keep you up to date!


Friday, February 15, 2013
For some reason my kiddos love pillows.  Our bed has a done and then Solon grabs all of his and it becomes a pillow haven.  They love to do all sorts of things from running and jumping into them to hiding.  It provides hours of weekly entertainment.  This is the pictoral evidence from one night after bath (hence the limited clothing ;).  Sorry for the picture quality, I just snapped them with my phone!

Too much fun - lots of giggles - and silly games!

Project Making 3106 Our Home: Preparing for Sale...

I have been getting tons of questions about how on earth our house sold in 6 days.  My most honest answer is God.  I can give you some of my guesses but I am not sure...we had 5 showings in 6 days and the first people that saw it bought it.  I do have a few tips because it has been a LONG process, one we didn't share publicly for a long time.  We kept it mostly to Scott and I which is unusual for me, I am a very share-y type person but we wanted to make sure our intentions were purse and we were motivated by God's voice and not any other opinions, if that makes sense?!  But as we have navigate the real estate market as rookies, there are a few tips and things I have learned along the way, I thought might be of value so I will share....

  1. Prep your home before you have any realtors over. Make sure if there is any glaring things that would discount the price of your house you take care of it, even little things.  We replaced the screen in our back door because there was a hole.  Little things like that can make the buyer worry you are leaving bigger thing unkept.
  2. Discard clutter from your home. I air on the side of purging.  Clean out your closet of things you don't wear, if you don't wear it now, chances are you won't wear it next season.  Pair down your accessories to a manageable amount.  You want your home to be as de-personalized as possible.  We have book shelves that contain only a few staged books.  I packed up the rest.  I also replaced all personal photos will photos I printed off my computer...they are not high quality but they help to depersonalize your home.
  3. Clear your counters/dressers - I only have my mixer on my counter.  Everything else needs a home and make sure your cupboards are neat, they don't have to be empty. Your bathrooms should be empty except for a soap dispenser or basket.  People don't want to see tooth brushes drying next to a sink.
  4. Stage your furniture to maximize your square footage.  We recently redid our living room to make it look much bigger.
  5. Clean your carpets and vacuum regularly.  Nothing like those little vacuum marks to make the buyer know you keep a clean house.
  6. We deep cleaned EVERYTHING from washing fixtures, dusting blinds, cleaning all appliances.
  7. Don't over "smellify" your home.  I brewed coffee, didn't have time to bake cookies, but think of a warm inviting, natural smell...
  8. Interview 2-4 realtors. They do market analysis on homes for free and you are their business so their interview should be professional.  Prepare some questions like what is your commission?  What sets you apart from other realtors?  Then compare.  We really liked the first realtor we interviewed (ended up being the one we chose) but she had a higher commission, we negotiated with her for a better rate.
  9. Hide/downsize the plastic paradise known as toys....maybe it is just us but we got a lot.  I clean out regularly but our kiddos have some favorites that take up some room.  We packed some up, donated some others and then during showings I stuffed a lot into our little tykes house.  It is amazing what you can shove in there behind closed doors and shutters :)
  10. Above all else, remain calm and do not hold your hope on the sale of your home.  We have had some ups and down regarding the sale of our home and I am sure we will have many, many more.  It is hard not to get totally invested and get your hopes up.  You also have to let go of the fact that this is your "home" to other people it is a "house".  They may not see the gem you see and that is okay.  Pray about your home selling, God cares about all the details of your life.  He listens!
We have learned a lot, have more learning to do and are pretty sure we will not move again for MANY years (fingers crossed and this is our plan, not necessarily God's).  It is A LOT of work but the end justifies the means in this case.....more to come soon.  We have been busily knocking off that to do list I posted the other day and I have photo overload of our choices coming!

Valentines Day 2013...

Thursday, February 14, 2013
Here are my sweet valentines!  I took on a tradition my sis-in-law started and included us in last year while in Aussie!  She leaves a few little gifts wrapped on the breakfast table along with their valentine to find when they come down in the morning.  I love this because I NEVER let my kiddos randomly get things at the store (I know I am mean ;) SO I love the opportunity to buy them a little something, something and show them the gifts love language.  I was so excited to find minnie mouse light up shoes for V (remember she has a love of shoes) and Solon has been dying to get lego's since we got some for his buddy Evan's birthday.  We got him the same helicopter and he was SO excited.  We also got them each a little candy, Solon got skittles and Vera got hershey kisses.  They both have a SERIOUS sweet tooth (remember I blame Scott ;).
Vera knew exactly what to do with the present...doesn't she look so big.  She has really blossomed the past few weeks, she is not a baby anymore :(.

Meanwhile, I made some heart shaped eggs in a valentine!  I never make a big breakfast during the week.  We generally have some place to go and my kiddos really like cereal but today was special!
...and my hubby brought me home tulips last night.  I was totally surprised and he knows spring flowers are my absolute favorite.  I would take them over roses any day of the week.  They are sooooo pretty and remind me spring is around the corner. YAY!
Solon could not wait for Scott to get home for lunch to assemble the legos together.  We attempted before but Vera was a tad too helpful and pieces were starting to go missing.  It was a great project for these two...I see many more building sessions in the future!

Tonight our community group is offering to babysit kiddos from our church while their parents go out/go home and enjoy a nice date night.  When things settle down, Scott and I will get a date night in but for now I am just relishing in the fact that I am so blessed to have these 3 valentines in my life.  I love them all to the moon and back!

Happy Valentine's Day!

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