Monday, November 28, 2016

Time to Say Good-Bye to Our First House

It's been 20 days since I announced on my blog that we are officially moving. Between the time that we accepted the offer on the house all the way up to about a week and a half before we actually closed on the house, I was feeling pretty good about the whole thing. I was hardly stressed at all about it. 
I've been living with my mom and sister now for about two weeks now and it's weird not going "home" anymore. I'm so anxious to start working on fixing up our new home already! But I sure am going to miss this one. The week or so leading up to closing on it, however, I will not miss!

While we were in Seattle/Vancouver/Portland, we had the home inspection done on our house. I think we were both a bit shocked to hear the results of it. The biggest issue found was mold in the attic. Yup. Mold. The reason for the mold was the air ducts from the bathroom and the kitchen not being properly vented through the attic. Because the moist air was trapped in the attic, it caused the mold to grow. There wasn't a lot - a few spots here and there - but mold is mold.

The other concern found with the house was the roof. Come to find out there was not one layer of shingles, not two layers, but THREE layers of shingles on our roof. I suppose we have to accept blame on this one - when we bought the house, we didn't use a realtor, but we knew the roof needed to be replaced so we bought the shingles, and the current owners (who Perry knew) re-shingled it. Win-win. Sort of. What maybe they didn't realize was that there was already two layer of shingles on the roof, which is okay. Now here we are selling the house and finding out the roof needs to be re-shingled. What more could go wrong?! Ha!

Perry and I both agreed we wouldn't want to move into a house with mold in it, so we immediately decided we'd remedy the mold issue. (HUGE score - our homeowners insurance covered it, less the deductible!) Unfortunately what we realized later was if we fixed the mold, we'd have to fix the venting, and if we fixed the venting, we'd have to re-shingle the house, because the vents were roofed over. It was all or nothing, and if we didn't do any of it, we risked them backing out, and being worse off. In the repairs addendum these three things were listed, as well as a leaky faucet they wanted fixed. I probably used a few choice words before we agreed to fix the faucet. After all, we were dumping close to $8000 into the house just to sell it, and yet they couldn't cough up a few bucks to fix it themselves?

The friggen faucet was the first of the four things to be fixed. In order for them to fix it, they had to cut a hole in Ms. Gail's wall. Not a small hole mind you...
 I'm not entirely sure why it had be so big, but screwing it back in place was their fix. After they left I started wondering how on earth I was going to fix this. Around the same time, the sliding door for my room came unhooked from the top hinge and would no longer slide so I was worrying about how I was going to fix that too. It felt like everything was falling apart all at once. That same day, the "mold lady" came to test the mold to see if it was active or inactive so they knew what they were dealing with. We were hoping for the best...

The problem we began running into was the remaining three items needed to be remedied before closing or we'd have to push the closing date back, which none of us wanted to do. Luckily things worked out and we were able to get the mold guys in to work on the attic sooner than they had planned, so they started work a week before the movers came and were supposed to be done in just a few short days. Meanwhile the vent guy came and correctly installed the necessary vents in the attic while the other guys were out for the weekend with the flu.

The weekend of the November 11th, 12th, and 13th, I had my friend Britta and her two girls come stay with us so we could see each other and get the kids together one last time before we moved. It was a long weekend with a house full of kids but we survived. That Sunday was also the day Grandma came to town with a U-Haul load of stuff Perry and I claimed from the Whitefish house a couple years ago but didn't have room for here. Things like side tables, night stands, desks, cabinets, the large dinner table Perry's grandpa built... the list goes on, but luckily Britta offered to stay to help unload everything into the garage.

While were were unloading, her daughter came running out of the house in panic because someone put too much toilet paper in the toilet and it was going to overflow. She was hysterical, but we explained it was okay and we'd fix it when we were done unloading everything. Then new-husband-John went in and used the bathroom and came out and said the toilet was working, but again we were still unloading everything, and I said I knew, but hadn't had a moment to go in to look at it. Shortly thereafter, he was stung by a wasp so I took him in to get a bandaid. Ms. Gail came inside with us and immediately had to use the bathroom too, but when she saw it was full, she flushed it. Water was going EVERYWHERE! I started hollering about the water going in the vent on the floor and scrambled to get the toilet to stop running and to clean up the mess. Excuse my language, but it was a shit-show, but without actual shit thank the Lord! Later that evening I was laying on JP's bed, exhausted and as I stared at the ceiling I saw this...
 ...and immediately broke out crying. The toilet water leaked through the vents and soaked the ceiling. Perry didn't understand why I was having a rough day. When I told him the toilet overflowed, he thought I was talking about the downstairs toilet and couldn't understand why I was upset about the whole thing. It wasn't until I sent him this picture that he really understood.

Unfortunately for Perry, he couldn't sleep at all that night knowing all the stress I was under and knowing the ceiling HAD TO BE fixed by Friday. The one neighbor who might have helped us out was out fishing for the week so Perry took it upon himself to leave work early Monday afternoon and drive home. I was relieved but at the same time I was a bit bummed. We were planning on meeting in Spokane that next weekend and surprising the kids, but with him coming home sooner, I knew the weekend was going to be cancelled.
 Monday was a joyous day for me too...I spent the day cleaning the kitchen and finishing laundry because movers were going to be there on Tuesday to start packing everything. That also meant I need to set aside the things I didn't want packed, and making sure things are at least in the correct room of the house. So much fun. To top it off, the roofer started his work on Monday and the mold guys came back to finish their work and they got into an argument about trailers and vehicles and such. SO much drama... The stress really started kicking in that night when Perry was hours from being at home. I'm putting away laundry when HD informs me he spilled. A lot. To his credit he attempted to clean it up on his own, but it was a lot so he sent out for reinforcements, aka, mom. He spilled water all over the counter that had been tainted with a few too many packets of red water-flavoring. It stained the counter. It was at this moment I started drinking wine - straight from the bottle.
 This was the scene Tuesday morning. The movers came in like a wrecking ball (LOL) and started boxing things up before I was completely ready. The roofer came back to work on his shingling job, and the mold guys came back. Again. My place was CHAOS! But I'm so glad Perry was there to help. God clearly knew I was going to need him for this day, so He sent someone to clog the toilet. (I'm trying to laugh about it...I'm not there yet.)
 By the afternoon the house was in boxes and it still hadn't hit me yet that we were really moving. We took the kids to my parent's place, had dinner, and sent them to bed before we went back to the house to get a start on cleaning. Again, so glad Perry was there to help with that task! I was feeling good about it though because by this point we had just heard they were going to push the closing date to Monday the 21st instead of Friday the 18th so I would have the weekend to finish things up if needed.
 When we settled in for a night of cleaning, we quickly realized how cold the house felt so we made a few adjustments to the thermostat. We couldn't seem to get the heat on and now we're panicking out our new furnace not working. Finally giving up, Perry called the people who installed the furnace and it was discovered that the roofer put tarp over the intake on the garage so no air was able to get in. It was an easy fix when we discovered what was wrong, but at 10pm, the last thing I was going to have Perry do was climb on the roof in the dark. By Wednesday morning, the house was a frigid 56*. I wanted things to stop going wrong!
Before Perry left Wednesday morning to head back to Oregon, he found a vent to cover the hole in Ms. Gail's room. (I had to repaint the walls because I couldn't find the touch up paint after he did some hole patching a month back. Annoying.) I also had to repaint the ceiling in JP's room after he fixed that too. Again, couldn't find the touch up paint. JP and HD were SUPER excited to come home from school on Wednesday to a massive truck on the lane, and an empty house.
I tried really hard to keep my shit together as I watch my stuff head out. I'm not really attached to any of it, maybe just more the idea of my life being moved from here to there? I spent the next few days coming and going, cleaning here and there until I was done. I dropped the keys off at the title company first thing Monday morning, and started crying as I drove away. I almost kept it together. Almost. Now I'm just anxious to see my new house, hopefully on Wednesday if all goes as planned!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Our Basement is Complete - Just in Time to Sell - Update #4

If I were to guess, I would say we *finished* our basement remodel at the end of May/beginning of June. It's hard to say. I do recall painting the hallway while the twins I babysat were sleeping, or before they arrived. And I know the boys were in school still. I love love love how it turned out! I must say, Perry did a nice job picking out carpet :)
Perry did some nice work on our columns too! While the placement of them still blows, they at least look nicer :) Because we opted not to wall-in the one by the laundry room, we made the new nook into our game shelf. The bottom cubby was also helpful in storing laundry baskets. 
 Our closet was one of the last things to come together. I cursed and cursed at Perry for not lett me paint the walls first before he installed the trim for the hanging rods.
 The closet still turned out nice, even though it wasn't completely finished when we listed the house. Perry ran out of time to make the trim for the left side of the closet. Because of the ledge that runs around the perimeter of the basement, we agreed to level it off in the closet and build a dresser below it, except again, time ran out. We stored our laundry basket there and I had my extra tub of out-of-season clothes below so we never had to look at the trim-less wall.
While I was at the Dome Home this past summer, Perry took it upon himself to paint the storage room so he could install the shelves. Out of all the colors in our stash, he chose the light green that used to be in our bathroom. I didn't like it then, I still didn't like it when it reappeared in the closet. But I didn't have to worry about painting!
I added a mirror above our bed before we listed the house since we hadn't gotten around to hanging pictures. Probably a good thing! I still get annoyed looking at this picture - For whatever reason, Perry mounted the shade to the trim? Every morning the sun shown right through the little gap it created. Right into my eyes...
 Now that our room moved to the basement, Hunter had the pleasure of moving his room upstairs to the "big" room. He was thrilled because that also meant he inherited the queen size bed that JP used to have.
 The extra room was supposed to be the basement room, but because the couch couldn't fit, it had to be moved upstairs. It was handy having my sewing room within ear shot of the living room and being able to quickly see what was going on in the backyard. However, because the room was upstairs, the kids were still in and out of it. At any given time there was toys all over the couch and the floor. Ugh. But the TV in there was put to use a few times for movie night :)
Charlotte was bumped to the basement and while at first she was excited, it eventually wore off and she wanted her old room back. I can't blame her. I loved the owls and trees in her room, and the baseball wall just wasn't cutting it for her. I don't know that I ever posted an after picture of Hunter's room when I completed his baseball-theme, but we also made modifications to the closet so he could reach all his clothes. This made it extra handy when we moved Charlotte downstairs. (Hunter started using a chair when he moved upstairs.) 

Just when we finished up and were ready to really enjoy our "new" basement, it was time to sell. Bittersweet...

Saturday, November 19, 2016

An Un-Themed Halloween

For the past few years, I've themed the kids' costumes, but I just didn't have it in me to do it again this year. Instead, Perry and I took them to the Halloween store and let them pick out their own costumes. HD chose a policeman, JP picked out an army outfit, and Ms. Gail went with Minnie Mouse. The kids spent the afternoon playing in their costumes and then Ms. Gail lost her ears. We happened to go to Costco the next day and found an adorable Belle dress for her dress-up box and she immediately decided she wanted to be Belle instead.
 Her party at preschool was a few days before Halloween, and it happened to be after Perry started work in Oregon, so she wasn't used to not seeing dad. This made dropping her off at preschool really hard for her. She was excited to go to her Pumpkin Party until she realized it was at preschool. In fact, she was okay until we walked through the door. Then the tears came and didn't stop. It was heartbreaking! But we powered through and she had so much fun, like I thought she would.
 After school that night, I reluctantly took the kids back to school for pumpkin carving in the gym. I'm alway hesitant to take all the kids anywhere without help. But we survived. Towards the end, I didn't know if we would...
 We had carved pumpkins at Em's house a few weeks back and Aunt Em carved a cat into Ms. Gail's pumpkin for her, so Ms. Gail insisted we make another cat pumpkin. Girl is obsessed! (That's a cat sweater too!)
 Nanny and Papa joined Ms. Gail and I for the school parade on Halloween. There were a few policemen and a couple army guys, but it was easy to pick out my boys :) As soon as HD saw me, he sped up his walking so I'd miss a picture...
 Before heading home to meet Gage and his mom for trick-or-treating, we stopped by Grandma's office to see everyone during our last Halloween here. HD was tickled about Grandma's minion costume!
 This was Gage's first year here so I invited him and his mom to join us trick-or-treating this year since she wasn't sure where to go. The past couple years we stopped by Nanny's house and then hit up the neighbors so we stuck to that plan. 
The boys were anxious to get started and ran from house to house while Ms. Gail struggled to keep up. By the time we got to the end of the cul-de-sac, poor Ms. Gail was getting worked up because she was going to be late to the houses. The boys would be done by the time she got there so she'd hastily stick out her bucket and run off before candy could even be placed in it. I had to calm her down before I could catch up with the boys. JP was surprised when he trick-or-treated at his teacher's house, and she was delighted to see them too! 

I hope I meet someone that will take me under their wing next Halloween...

Monday, November 7, 2016

We're Officially Washington Bound!

I mentioned a few posts back that August was a really rough month for me. I think the hardest part of it all was knowing how much Perry wanted this job and how much I soul searching I had to do in the days following our trip to Seattle.

I've only dropped a few hints about what lies ahead for us, but one morning in late July, I woke up to a text message from Perry saying, "There's an opening in Portland. Should I apply?" I literally could only respond with "uhhh...." and left it at that. A couple weeks later, he had his first interview and before their first round interviews were even over with, they already had Perry booking a ticket to fly out to Portland for a second interview. Now he's super confident about the job and starting to "tie up loose ends" around the house. In fact, while I was away at the funeral in Washington, he was busy at home cleaning every room in the house so he could start taking pictures to sell it. HE HADN'T EVEN SECOND INTERVIEWED YET! And yet he has the nerve to tell me to relax, because he doesn't have the job yet. Still, when I arrive home to a spotless house, all I want to do is cry because not only am I still emotionally drained from all the crying that week + the funeral + now I know my mom has cancer + I'm sick. To top it off, Perry was leaving the next day for his second interview and all I wanted was a shoulder to cry on and vent to.

He was in Portland for two whole days and part of Wednesday, and they some how ran out of time to actually interview him, so he and the district manager and the regional manager did a lot of talking about the job, but ultimately I think he came back a bit discouraged. It's hard not to get caught up in the roller coaster of emotions too - excitement of moving but fear of moving - wanting to but not wanting to at the same time. He ended up having his interview the next week when he was home and it went well so he was again pretty sure he had the job.

Around the same time frame, I had the "dispute" with my neighbor which made me hole up in my house for quite some time. I was furious that someone could yell at me the way she did and have no care what-so-ever for her surroundings. I couldn't leave my house without my heart racing, pounding out of my chest. Just having her text me was enough to send me into an anxiety attack. I didn't even have to read what she wrote. I remember looking down at my chest during one of my anxiety attacks and being able to see my shirt moving from my heart pounding. But you know what? In retrospect I'm kind of glad it happened, because it really helped me to sort out why I wanted to move, and why I didn't.

I don't want to say my neighbors made me want to move, but the whole thing + new years + my birthday just made me hate where I lived. I do also have neighbors that I don't want to leave behind, but just knowing how anxious I was to leave my house was really weighing on my decision.

Over the Labor Day weekend, we visited Em and Colin in their new house and on the way out, Perry had his final interview. At the end of the call, his regional manager told him to take the weekend to discuss moving with me and to let him know by Wednesday the following week. It consumed my mind the entire weekend. It was hard to relax because it's all anyone could talk about. We debated driving down to the Portland area just so I could have a feel of it, but I decided against it, even though I'd be moving to a city I've never been to.

Ms. Gail started pre-school on Tuesday following Labor Day, so after we dropped her off we went home to really talk about whether or not we were going to take the job or not. By that point I was really torn. Part of me wanted to stay because it would be easier to stay, but part of me also wanted to go do new things - get more life experience. I recall talking with Robin about how I felt like I was ready to move way back in June or July. Now the opportunity was there, and I didn't know how to feel about it.

Ultimately by the time the morning was over, Perry decided hastily that if I couldn't make up my mind about staying or going, we were going to stay. He didn't want to move his family when I wasn't 100% in it. It was a valid point. I spent the rest of the afternoon coming to terms with the fact that he was going to turn the job down the next day. The more I carried on with my "normal" life -going shopping and such - the more stressed I started to feel. I realized that while Perry was okay with staying, I knew how much he wanted to better himself, and I knew I'd have to make amends with my neighbors, and I wasn't sure I really wanted to do that for the 3rd time in a year. I thought about the people I knew in town that I'd be leaving behind, and it's sad that after 10 years, I'm not leaving too many people behind. When I began to start telling myself that we were going to move, I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders. A sense of relief that really confused me. Wasn't I supposed to feel relieved knowing I wouldn't have to uproot my life and start over? Shouldn't the thought of moving stress me out a bit? It was just the opposite though. Later that afternoon, I discussed with Perry my confusion and we both agreed that we needed to go.

Everything has been a blur since. It was decided a week later that Perry would start on October 24th, which was roughly 5 weeks away. Between me finishing up the last few weekends of work, and the boys' soccer season, our weekends with dad were very limited. A week before we left to take Perry to Oregon, we put out house up for sale. God has literally been opening doors left and right for us throughout this whole moving process too. Our listing went live around 2:00p on October 11th, and by the end of the night we had 3 showings, and 5 scheduled for the next day. That next evening we sat down with our realtor and went over 6 offers, and chose one that offered $15k over our asking price. I might have started crying a little...
The following week we took both vehicles to Seattle and stayed with Em and Colin again. Left the kids there on Wednesday, and headed south to Portland to start our tour of homes. We looked at 12 the first day and 3 the next. The house we ended up putting in an offer on was one we weren't even going to look at originally, but decided to at the last minute. During our walk-through, I couldn't help but get excited about it. It was built in '79 and needs a few updates, but has pretty much everything we were looking for - master suite with bathroom and walk-in closet, large lot, quiet area, workspace for Perry's tools... Again, I started crying a bit when I realized this was probably going to be our home. No others really came close. There was always something that was a deal breaker, like a *super* sloped driveway/road, or no yard, or near the highway so all you hear is traffic... We did find another house the next day that was HUGE at 4500 square feet, but it was really quirky. The fridge was in the garage and not the kitchen? There was no tubs at all in the house? There was so many additions that there was siding on the inside of the house. We were a little torn because we loved how much space there was.

I'm in my final days here at our house on Small Lane, and it's a little bittersweet. I'm excited to be moving, and am really surprised I'm not more stressed that I am, considering the process it's been to close on this house and our new house. Both have work to be done prior to closing. Tomorrow night through the rest of the week, I'll be staying at my mom's house with the kids and then returning over the weekend to get a few things done before officially moving in with my mom next week. Perry has put in two full weeks of work and will be staying with my cousin until we close on our new house at the end of the month. I'm hoping to fly out to help unpack a bit and get him settled in. Pick out carpet and such... But the kids and I will be staying with my mom until Christmas so there is less traveling back and forth between the two places, since Christmas will be in Missoula. Perry is flying back for Christmas and then driving back with us. It'll be SO nice to see him again! The kids miss him so much already!

7 more weeks....