Sunday, May 12, 2013

Goodbye, first house.

Tomorrow we pack our stuff into the car and Stella, Cole, Zeus and I will head to Missouri to stay with my momma until we move into the new house. There will be a trip back to Texas in between to sign papers to close on our house, but luckily Kevin will be here to close on the new place. I am so ready to move in.

Moving is exhausting.

In our house are four mattresses, a computer, a loveseat, and a TV.

Everything is gone.
We will always love this house. It was our first home. Thank you for the memories.
Cole was born while we lived in this house.

We brought Stella home to this house.
Cole experienced his first snow at this house.
He also learned to ride a scooter.
Daddy fell in love with his second daughter here.
Cole fell in love with water.
And we adopted and lost our lovely TeddyBear dog here, who was Stella's best buddy.
We fed Stella her first meal here.. the kids watched. They grew so much over the years here. Leaving is bittersweet, but an exciting new adventure.

Springtime: Mixing Pretty Prints

Thursday, May 9, 2013

College: Is It Really Worth It?

College loans are a huge topic in today's news, and there are so many thoughts about it I wanted to write a blog to address it.

My mom raised my sister and I while working two jobs and going to college for her bachelor's degree in education. I was in my second or third year of my professional journalism career before my mom earned her degree -- she was 40. The paper the day she graduated had a huge celebratory ad (designed by me) for her accomplishment. She is the best special education teacher and coordinator I've ever met and she is fantastic at her job. My dad was very successful as a contractor and builder, then as a restaurant and antique store owner, and now as a rustic furniture designer and top Visalus person.

My husband and myself attended a year of college but never finished. Both of us jumped right into our chosen arts careers of graphic arts and journalism before our friends had even graduated college, and neither of us suffered from the stress of school loans for more than a few years. The day I paid mine off was a celebratory moment! Both of his parents attended school and are in law enforcement as a detective and sheriff and love their jobs.

Every mother wants their child to have a better education than themselves. Every parent wants their child to succeed. But it is worth having $40,000 to $80,000 in college loans following you the rest of your life? We are going to teach our children if they want to go to school, they have to earn good grades and get a scholarship because we cannot and will not pay for it. It will be a choice they make and follow through with on their own, not because we push them. All we can do is teach them about choices, money, and guide them toward the future using their talents and hope they make the right decisions.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

House Update aka OMG, Is This Really Happening?

Things have been crazy here, with barely any time to breathe, let alone update.

We listed our house, and after 10 showings in two days, my amazing realtor said we had a full price cash offer on the first day before they even saw the house. It's an investor, she said. We don't care, I said. Let's do it. We held our breath for 10 days through the lovely Texas option period and hoped they wouldn't back out last minute. We must have looked at 25 houses in three months to decide which was best for us. All without knowing if we were going to be able to BUY an actual house.. limbo sucks.

Anyway, our house is now pending sale and we put an offer in on a great 2,400 sq ft ranch house built in 1951, so different than our 1999 two-story ticky-tacky box home that matches all the neighbors. We move out of our place this weekend, Kevin leaves for a business trip on Monday, I close on the house on the 21st ALONE, and then the kids and our 110 lbs dog are going to roll up to see my mom in Missouri for a week until we can close on the new house on May 31st. Alone. Kev will return June 3rd after the chaos has ended.

It makes sense that Kev would be out of town for all of this since we bought this house when he was out of town. Only this time, there are two midgets and a huge lapdog shadowing my every move.

I thought this would be an ideal time to show off our old house and new. So different.
the new place
our current, soon to be former house - our first home

Here are a few of my favorite parts of the new house:
the huge living area with brick focal wall and fireplace... i'm already seeing walls painted a sage green.

built-in closet with heavy sliding doors will be a new favorite hiding spot, i'm sure..

girls' dressing/closet area between bedroom and their bathroom

girls' bath

hall bath

master bath

back patio

backyard with a small hill to roll down

original kitchen with built-ins

We have spent nearly seven years here, and we brought two babies home to this house. We are going to miss the memories dearly, but we are excited to make new ones in a larger house close to parks and a great elementary school. I look forward to documenting them here.

Wish me luck on all this without my mister here! I'll need it! ;)