Life is sooooooooooooo busy as a working momma of THREE kids... but, life is also full of so many "little" things...you know, those simple pleasures that really bring so much joy... I'm mostly thinking of the dopey things that my kids say and do that make me laugh... but also the little adventures we have or the day trips that we do... you think you will remember them all, but those memories really do fade over time. I am hoping to sit down once a month (ideally, once a week, but being that I hardly manage one decent shower a week, we'll aim for once a month for now! LOL) to detail those quotable quotes or beautiful little actions (or those not so much) as well as our family activities. I hope you enjoy!! :)

Friday, June 21, 2013

If You Like HGTV... Our Diamond in the Rough

     In January, we hit a record: three years in the same home!! We have been slowly, but surely, climbing up the property ladder to reach our American Dream: owning a single family house!!  As such, from 2002 through 2009 we have bought and sold not one, not two, but THREE houses.  In late 2009 we bought our "FINAL" house.  I say "final" because when you move as much as I have (Navy brat!) you never really can conceive of living in more than one place for more than 3 years!!

  In November of 2007, we closed on our FIRST single family house... a beautiful, brand new home in a planned community of Hopyard Farm in King George county: http://prezi.com/aixdbvrhvv5f/untitled-prezi/# (if you click this link and I actually do know what I'm doing, it will take you to a Prezi of that house!).  It was SUPPOSED to be our final home.  However, we decided, as Patrick approached school-age and I was nearing 10 years with Prince William County, that we'd like for him to go to PWC schools and for me to stay put working (originally I thought I'd job hunt closer to home) as it is a better county to attend school AND to work for.  The commute was TOO much- for me AND for the two kids (at the time, can't even fathom commuting with the three) that I was dragging along with me (50 minutes ONE WAY on a GOOD DAY).  That, combined with a sudden turn in the market (house prices in PWC fell low enough that we could actually afford to live there), pushed us to decided to attempt the move. Of course, it took us nearly a year to get an offer on our King George house.  But we managed to sell getting more than we owed (not more than we paid... first real estate hit we took... *sigh*) for the property and were on the hunt again.

Finding a house in Prince William was tricky.  Mostly everything that was in our price range (single family houses, that is) were foreclosures or short sales (a maddening process).  We found a short sale house that we liked on the western side of the county and put in an offer and then waited.  And waited.  And waited.  AND WAITED!!!  We had to move in with my parents (3rd time's a charm... no joke!) as we closed on our house in King George while we were WAITING.  We began to get restless as we started hearing rumblings of a serious issue with the house and the financing of the occupants and it looked like it was going to fall through.  We seriously thought that we were going to end up buying a house all the way out in Haymarket as those were the non-short sale ones that were in our price range at the time.  My oldest brother is out there, so it wouldn't be bad, it's just that the commute to my school and the police station would be 45 minutes across county- defeating the purpose of moving.

Only HALF the yard...
of course, at the time,
we didn't notice the leaves...
that's ALL we see now... lol
BUT THEN!  A house became available in my "childhood" neighborhood (my parents bought a house in this neighborhood in 1982 and then rented it out while the military sent them all over the world) which was pretty much 1.0 miles door to door from my parents' house, 5 miles to the police station, and 6 miles to my school!  We thought it was cute "enough" on the outside despite a lot of overgrowth (until the day that I noticed the bottom shutters were a different color than the top ones... after that, it was all I would see in spite of our improvements).  However, we walked into a 30 year old MESS (which is the "G" rated term I use instead of what John and I ACTUALLY called it). We did realize, though, that outdated bathrooms could eventually be redone (the hall bath upstairs was a MUST before we moved in, though, as you couldn't, in good conscience, bathe a child in the tub!) and that paint and carpet would remedy the biggest problems (horrible wallpaper and GROSS carpet).  The plus side was the SIZE of the house as well as the SIZE of the backyard (very unusually big and flat lot for Montclair lots).  So, we took the leap of faith and put in an offer.  It was another short sale, so we had to wait it out... luckily, this one came through!!  We closed in late November, but were having SO much fun living in my parents' house with our two kids, that we decided to have work done before we moved in... ha, ha, ha!!!!  We did the fresh coat of paint, new carpeting, hardwood floors in the living room, kids' bathroom and painted kitchen cabinets (which made the existing granite countertops really POP!) before we moved in.  Since then, we've done a few other updates as well as bedroom shuffling once we found out the little Rose was on her way (the boys now share so that we can still have a guest room...a.k.a. "NY Grandma & Grandpa room").  If you like HGTV, click on the link below to see our very own diamond emerge from the rough!!

And, in case you can't tell, I'm using some of my "extra" time (lmao!) this summer to play around with various technologies... You CAN, in fact, teach an old dog new tricks!!  If the above doesn't work or has a hard time buffering (whatever that is!), I also uploaded it to Youtube and am pasting the link here... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PToIoyfLIRw&feature=youtu.be  Go me!  REALLY lmao now!!! ;)  (BTW, the OCD in me is DYING right now that the music doesn't start until second 11... I think I'm going to be able to walk away and head to bed, but I can't be sure... I think I can, I think I can...).

Until next time (which I will do soon... a shameless plug for my marathon fund-raising!),
:) Kimberly (& John & the two boys & the little Rose)