Thursday, April 18, 2013

Adventures in Buying and Selling

When we found out back in November that M had a great job opportunity back in Birmingham, we were elated but nervous at the same time about trying to get our house here in Houston sold.  When we originally bought the house 2 years ago, it was under the assumption that we would be staying here at minimum 3 years... Nothing in life is a sure thing :)  Come January, M and I discuss putting the house up for sale, we talk through all our options and decide that once February rolled around we were going to find an agent and get this thing on the market.  We were sure that it would take a few months to get it sold, and even if it did happen to sell quickly, we were very open to the option of having to move into an apartment for a short period of time.  ANYTHING to get it sold.

The beginning of February, I start looking around on-line for great agents in the Pearland, South Houston area.  I came across 2 that I thought were good options.  We met with both, and after a week, decided to go with one.  A week or so after that, our realtor came over to help up "stage".  In my humble opinion, there is nothing wrong with my house.  I doubt anyone in this neighborhood has less clutter than me.  Nonetheless, our realtor wanted me to take all of our pictures down (even of my precious baby!), take things off the counter tops (I hardly had anything on them in the first place), etc...

2 days later, our agent calls me around 6:00 PM.  M was not home yet.  She asks me if it would be ok to have a couple come by the house to look at it, and that they were about 15 minutes away. Our house was not even on the market yet.  I had literally just pulled Avery out of the bathtub and was in the middle of her nightly bedtime routine.  My first thought was to say no, and that they could come back at another time.  Avery's bedtime was approaching, I hadn't cleaned up her dinner yet, etc... But in the back of my head, I had this nagging feeling that I should say yes.  So, I did.  At this point I started running around the house like a mad woman trying to turn every light on, open all the doors and blinds, hide Avery's toys, put away things in the kitchen..... Poor Avery had to be set down in the den and kept watching me run around all the while crying... like I said, it was bedtime.

They showed up and stayed for about 15 minutes or so.  After they left, I went to Ave's room to rock her to sleep and our agent calls.  She said, "Well that went great!"  I said, "oh good, I'm so glad".  She said, "No, I mean that went really great!  They want to put in an offer!"  Long story short, after wheeling and dealing, inspection negotiations, and an appraisal, we officially closed on this house March 22nd.  Praise God!  The best part was that the couple had a lease through the end of May, so we are now currently renting back from them until then.  We will not have to move twice!  M and I say at least 3 times a week that God could not have been more present in the whole situation.  What a blessing it was to be able to sell this home at all, let alone so quickly, and in the perfect time frame.  God is so very good!

Because of the quickness of our home selling here, we were able to go ahead and fly to Birmingham and look for houses to buy there.  About a week before we were supposed to go and look, at least 5 of the homes we had been looking at went under contract.  I was so bummed.  We still had about 6 on our list, but most of my favorites were gone.  We briefly contemplated waiting and going a month later, but it would have put us in a time crunch to close in Birmingham and get out of this house on time.  After looking at all the homes in person on a Friday night and Saturday morning, we were for sure we wanted to put an offer in on one we saw.  We felt like it was absolutely perfect for our family.  It is in the exact (as in within a half mile radius) location of where we wanted to be, in the school district we love, near all of our good friends, 5 minutes from J and K, 10 minutes from church, and 10 minutes from downtown Birmingham.  We have always dreamed of wanting to live in Vestavia Hills, and now we are!  After we moved to Houston we swore up and down we would never live so far away from the city/work/church ever again!  I know you pay a premium to live closer in, but to us it is worth it.

Now that we are done with the inspection and appraisal on the new house, all that is left is a termite inspection, and we will be set to close on May 1!  Barring any huge issues before then of course. While M and I will be sad to leave our first house, and the house we brought Avery home; we cannot wait to be back in Birmingham.  To us it is home, and we can't wait to raise Avery there.

We can't wait to call this house our home!  Already dreaming up things I want to redo, how I want to decorate, etc..  Can't wait!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Houston Visitors

A couple weeks back M's parents came to visit us for the last time ever in Houston!  Hooray for our impending move!  Sandra arrived Wednesday night, and due to a network emergency at UK, David was not able to arrive until Thursday... only 16 hours later than originally planned!

Thursday, Mimi and Papa were more than gracious and agreed to watch Avery for the day so I could work!  I LOVE staying home, don't get me wrong, I feel so very blessed. But it is nice to be able to work at least 1 day a week, not only for the money, but so Mommy can get some adult conversation... I'll even take a surgeon yelling at me every now and again :)

Friday, we drove down to the Med Center to meet M for lunch at Central Market... Man, am I going to miss that place.  While I was pregnant with Avery, I CRAVED Birmingham restaurants (Milo's, Newks, Davenports, Fon Fon). I told M that in my next pregnancy, I'm sure I will crave Central Market.  Friday afternoon we took Aves to the park and chilled out at home until M got off work.  Well 3 out of the 4 of us relaxed.  David tackled the headboard that was bolted to our master bedroom wall :)

Friday night, M and I were able to steal away for a much needed date night.  We were only gone for about 2.5 hours or so, but we were able to enjoy a nice dinner without having to watch after an 11 month old.  Life's little luxuries.  We hadn't eaten like that since before Avery was born.... Escargot, cheese plate, duck... I'm salivating.

Date Night!
Saturday we took them to our favorite Mexican place, Lupe Tortilla.  That afternoon, we took Avery to the zoo.  The Houston Zoo is fantastic.  I have thoroughly enjoyed every time I have taken Avery there.  Can't wait to get a Birmingham zoo membership, so Avery and I can go more often.

Don't be fooled.  As much as she loved the carousel the first time, she despised it this time.  She spent the whole ride with her head buried into M's neck.  

My sweet girl

Sunday was church, lunch and goodbyes.  Thanks Mimi and Papa for coming all this way to see us!  It won't be long until we will no longer be a plane ride away from family and friends.  CAN'T. WAIT!

Monday, April 8, 2013

11 Months!

Our sweet Avery Grace is 11 months old today!  This past weekend a year ago was spent finishing Avery's nursery (and cheering the Cats on to another Championship), and now here we are! What a difference a year makes... I digress, we cannot believe our baby girl is this old.  1 month until your big birthday bash!

Avery here are your stats at 11 months:

Height and Weight: No exact measurements this month because no doctor's appointment, yay! But you are still long and skinny!

Sleep:  13 hours at night and two naps during the day.  You are awesome!  You're still clinging on to your morning nap.  Some days you do fine without it, but most of the time you still want to go down for at least 30 minutes.

Likes:  Eating, books and being read to, Baby Einstein in the car on long car rides (you never watch it at home, partly because you're not very interested, but mostly because we don't want you watching TV just yet), trying to play with Lexi, listening to music, playing outside, going to the park to swing

Dislikes:  Being in your car seat for longer than 5 minutes, having your clothes or diaper changed

Diaper Size: 3

Clothes Size:  Still in 6-12 months or 9-12 months

Feeding:  You nurse now only twice a day and eat 3 meals and 1 snack.  You will eat pretty much anything and everything.  You now eat almost anything off our plates unless it is too hard for you to gum down.  You occasionally still get baby food, but you eat table food 95% of the time.

Favorite foods:  Turkey, cheese, bananas, homemade green beans, avocados, blueberry muffins, and mandarin oranges

Favorite Book: "Touch and Feel Farm" or any touch and feel book and "Is your Mama a Llama?

Milestones:  You finally have a tooth!  It's not all the way in yet, but it's there!  You have been fairly fussy teething, but it hasn't interrupted your sleep very much.  You started clapping your hands a couple days after you turned 10 months.  You have also really gotten the hang of Peek a Boo.  Now when I say, "Where's Avery?"  You will put your hands, a book, or a toy over your face to hide it... So cute.  This month it seems you are comprehending more of what we say.  When we ask you "Where's Daddy's nose?" you will point to it,, and ears... now we are working on eyes.  If we ask you to give Lexi kisses, you will grab her head and bring your mouth down on her fur :)  Just over the last day or two, you've picked up on putting your hands up on your head in exasperation whenever one of us says, "Oh No!"  Might be the cutest thing I have ever seen.  As far as motor skills, you are still cruising on the furniture, but have not taken a step unassisted yet.

Personality: My oh my are we in for it.  You are one sassy lady.  You have most recently developed a bit of a temper :)  You definitely do not like being told no.  At first it was really funny, and I would try and hold back laughter, but now Mommy has perfected her "stern face"... even though it's still really funny.  Even with the tiny temper, you are as sweet as can be.  Recently when I have gone in to get you out of your crib, if you have been crying, I will pick you up and pat you on the back... now you have started to pat Mommy's back too :)  If you see a camera pointed your way you will immediately start smiling.  You talk up a storm, most likely because you want everyone in the room to pay attention to you.  You are one hilarious baby girl.  It is never a dull moment with you, and we would not want it any other way!

Little Nug, I cannot believe you are 11 months old.  You are so very special.  Daddy and I cannot believe how blessed we are to have you.  We love you!

Our little water baby.  You LOVED being in your baby pool.

Wearing one of Mommy's old dresses to church one Sunday

Good morning!

This is her "Oh NO!"

Sweet girl.  Wearing another one of Mommy's old dresses.  Seriously, thanks Mom for keeping these!

Love reading books with Daddy.

This was Avery giving herself kisses in the mirror in the back of the book :)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Easter Weekend

This past weekend we celebrated Easter in Birmingham with family and friends.  We were in town to house hunt (it deserves it's own post), so it was convenient that we were "home"!

Wednesday I flew into Nashville with Avery for a few days.  The plan was that on Friday I would ride down to Birmingham with Kristen and the boys, while my Mom and Dad watched Avery Friday night into Saturday so that M and I could house hunt without having to plan around Avery's schedule.  It was the first night I had spent away from little Nug, and although I did tear up a little when I left, I did a lot better than I expected.  A little disappointed that I didn't sleep in at all.  I guess my body is trained to wake up early no matter what :)  SO thankful to my parents for taking care of Aves for the night. I didn't worry one bit... and I'm pretty sure she didn't miss us at all.

Avery enthralled with Granddaddy
The best I could get of these two
Nug's Easter basket from Honey and Granddaddy.
She was thrilled :)

M had meetings with his new job (another post for later!) all day Thursday in Birmingham, and then on Friday we spent the afternoon looking at houses.  Which is super fun... and stressful... and confusing!  Friday night we stayed in at Ed and Shawn's and had a 5 star dinner cooked by none other than our favorite chef Shawn.

Saturday we looked at a few more houses, and then met Mom and Dad at the state line to collect Nug.  We spent the evening dropping by J and K's to see Sam and Will, and had dinner with our good friends Holly Beth and Blake, Drew and Katie and the kiddos, and Katie over at the Harris home.

Sunday we celebrated Easter worshiping with our Homewood family, ate lunch with J and K, lazied around at Ed and Shawn's that afternoon and caught out flight back home that evening.  Great day celebrating that Jesus is Risen!  Great weekend back home with the fam and good friends.  A couple more months here in Houston until we are back in the Magic City!

First Easter!
Cousin Love

Monday after we were home, we finally did Avery's Easter basket from the Easter bunny.  He left it on the step while we were gone ;)  I had to put Avery back into her Easter dress for the pics!

She was a litte more excited this time around.

Love her.