Thursday, January 17, 2013

On to the next step

This past week has been an up and down all around roller coaster! It started with me trying to get ready for a trip to Vancouver, Washington (just North of Portland, Oregon) to look at apartments and start to get familiar with the area. We are moving there and this last weekend was my first time to ever see the Pacific Northwest! I was amazed. It is so pretty. And it's winter time! I can't wait to see the full beauty of spring and summer. The rain let up for my visit, which was nice but there was a lot of fog, which in itself was mysterious and lovely. I loved seeing the trees get lighter in color and form as they progressed in the distance, almost disappearing in the horizon. Every once in while we'd get a glimpse of a big mountain, but for the most part it isn't super hilly or mountainous in Vancouver. For instance there were a lot of neighborhoods that were very flat. We did look at one house that was on the side of a big hill and the backyard tiered itself down the hill. Very different from Texas!

Anyway, like I was saying my intention was to go looking at apartments, but Friday morning before I left, we got an offer on our house. So, I quickly got a recommendation for a realtor and called her up. She was able to put together a list of houses for us to go see last minute! I was so glad we got to take advantage of my weekend trip looking at neighborhoods and houses and not just apartments! There was one house that I had seen on the internet that I just knew was "the" house. I kept calling it the "blue" house. I asked our realtor if we could go see it. She said she knew which one I was talking about but that I probably wasn't going to like it. She took us to go see it anyway, otherwise I would always wonder. It wasn't the first house on our list to go see though.

So we pulled up to this house in a cute neighborhood that seemed to have lots of charm. I loved how all the houses were different and it just looked like a comfortable neighborhood. The house at first glance was just "eh." It had a HUGE wisteria bush covering up the entire front. In the spring I'm sure it's gorgeous but it doesn't look so wonderful in the winter. It didn't give a wonderful first impression. But as we explored the house, I really was loving all the quirks and charms it had to offer. The house was smaller than our current house, but it didn't feel much smaller. It had some strange features like two laundry rooms and two master bedrooms. Which would be great for us. I'd love to turn the second laundry into a storage room and the girls would have a very large bedroom to share as the second master. The yard on this house was amazing. I think instead of telling my girls to "go play outside!" I'd be yelling at dinner time, "girls! You've got to come in now!!!" They will love this yard. The funny thing though, during the walk through, I still had that "blue house" in the back of my mind so I dismissed a lot of this house. Because I "knew" the Blue House would be THE one.

Then every house we saw after that first one, wasn't quite as good as the first one. Finally we got to go to the Blue House. And the neighborhood is SO pretty. WOW. I would love to live on that street! But as soon as we walked into that house my hopes for it were dashed. The shag carpet was original 1960. The windows were very thin and COLD. There was mold around the shower. The bedrooms were small and grungy. The kitchen was claustrophobic. The basement was creepy. There was about 100 dead bees in the carpet. It was NOT "the" house. It had good bones, if it had been maintained it could have been a fun cool house. It was not the house for us. My realtor got that right!

In any case, we got to see quite a few houses and neighborhoods. I got a sense of the scale of Vancouver, which is a lot smaller than what I'm used to. John and I had a very good time just hanging out. I've seen so little of him these last few months it was nice to have an entire weekend of him all to myself.

We also went to the Full House Multiple's Winter Party at the Portland Children's Museum on Saturday night. It was funny being there without our kids. But I finally found my groove and started visiting with other parents. It was a fun evening and I can't wait to take my kids to the museum! Full House Multiples is like my PAMOM (Plano Area Mothers of Multiples) club here. Although, from what I can tell, I think it's a stand alone club. It has a similar structure to PAMOM, but I don't think it is affiliated with the National Club. PAMOM, is under TMOM (Texas Moms of Multiples) and then under the national club, which is called NOMOTC (nu-matzee) (National Organization of Mothers of Twins Club.)

Our house went under contract as of yesterday! We have an inspection scheduled for Saturday morning. Things are moving along. Our close date is March 8th and I think everything will go along smoothly. I hope to be able to go back to Vancouver for one more house hunting trip. I want to check out what has become our "favorite" house again and see a few others just to make sure.

 This was during a showing. One of the showings that put an offer on our house. I forgot to mention that we actually ended up with TWO offers! Timing was so perfect. This is Maddie bonding with Smudgie.

 Another awesome sunrise.

 This was taken just a few minutes later, same morning.

 This was standing in front of the "Blue House" looking out at the neighborhood. It was so pretty! And just off to the right was a dead end street that ended in a walking trail nature preserve.

 I was beyond fascinated with the trees in Vancouver. This one was really cool/bizarre.

Came back to Texas and we got snow the next morning!

 I had to basically threaten the girls to go out in it, but they loved it once we were outside. Izzie and Maddie. I bought these jakets three winters ago. They were HUGE on them, but they worked. Now they fit just perfectly. So great to get my $50 per jacket's money worth! 

Math lesson on this day was sorting cherries into the correct number. This took patience, fine motor skills, lots of counting, adding and subtracting. They've played with this a lot since I got it for them last Christmas, but I've never had them actually focus and complete it. Maddie (below) got really frustrated at one point but she eventually kept at it until she completed it. Then she was so proud she wanted me to take a photo. Then it was Izzie's turn. And of course, since Maddie had a photo taken, she wanted one too!

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