Thursday, June 26, 2014

For those of you still waiting

All of you still waiting have been on my mind so much lately. There are those of you who have had surgery recently, and those of you that are riding the stress of the 2WW. I remember those times. As much as God has healed my heart, I still have not forgotten. The IF cross is so heavy. I think those of us who have carried it continue to help carry it for those of you still waiting.

This morning as I read through a letter written by the Prelate of Opus Dei, I couldn't help but think of and pray for those of you still waiting. I've mentioned before that my husband and I share a great devotion to St. Josemaria, the founder. Today, June 26th is his Feast Day. Each month, the current Prelate, Bishop Javier writes a letter that is posted on the Opus Dei website. This month's letter contained the following:
The life of a disciple of Christ is not meant to be a continual negation, nor a repression of the desires for happiness deep in our heart. For as Pope Benedict XVI wrote: “We need the . . . hopes that keep us going day by day.”[5] In that same encyclical, he said that “day by day, man experiences many greater or lesser hopes, different in kind according to the different periods of his life.”[6] These hopes help us to set goals, to keep advancing on our earthly pilgrimage. Frequently, these human plans can absorb everything and not allow room for other hopes. This happens especially with young people and with those who are just beginning to make their way in their professional activity, who may perhaps be blinded by a deceptive “mirage.” But when these aspirations fail, or aren’t fulfilled as one had hoped, Benedict XVI said, “it becomes clear that they were not, in reality, the whole. It becomes evident that man has need of a hope that goes further. It becomes clear that only something infinite will suffice for him, something that will always be more than he can ever attain . . . This great hope can only be God, who encompasses the whole of reality and who can bestow upon us what we, by ourselves, cannot attain.”[7]

I love this, his quote from Benedict XVI... "It becomes evident that man has need of a hope that goes further. It becomes clear that only something infinite will suffice for him... this great hope can only be God."

May those of you still waiting, continue to hope in God. You are in my prayers.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Monday, June 23, 2014

5.6

No, I'm not running a very strange race that's 5.6 miles. :)

5.6 miles is the distance between our new house and my parents house!!! :) We are beyond excited! I was visiting my parents the week before G's baptism and on Monday and Tuesday of that week, my mom and I and the kiddos drove around and looked at 8 or 9 houses with my real estate agent. Some of the homes were very nice, but the yards were lacking. One house wasn't bad, but the price was a little more than we wanted to spend, plus we knew we would have to do some cosmetic work - mainly replacing carpet and a lot of painting. All the owners of those homes had pets, which was a consideration since I'm very allergic to both dogs and cats. At the last house, the real estate agent and I agreed that seeing so many helped both of us have a better idea of what DH & I were looking for. Mainly - since we plan to be in the house anywhere from 5-10 years, while the kids are growing up, a good backyard is a huge priority. She told me that when a house has 80% of what you really want, it's going to be a good fit for your family. I told her I'd be in touch since I get updates on all the new listings that fit our criteria.

That was around 11:00. She left to go back to her office, my mom, kiddos and I headed back home. Not 20 minutes later, I got an email showing a new listing. It. Looked. Amazing!!! It was exactly what we were looking for, minus the 3-car garage. (We only wanted that because our current garage is our gym, and while rare, homes do pop up every now and then in our price range - almost always because the 3rd car bay is part of an addition.) We just didn't want to have to foot the bill ourselves for such an addition! :) It was an older home, with lots of beautiful updates - a new kitchen, a great area in the basement for DH to work from home, 4 bedrooms so that we could have a guest room, and a nice flat backyard. AND a sunroom/3-season porch that had a beautiful tile floor - with windows to keep out the bugs! It was totally in our price range, the only question was - was the backyard really the size of a postage stamp and photographed to look enormous? We decided to drive by to take a look at the outside before I asked our agent to drive out to meet me there.

The outside was great. I got more and more excited and sent DH an email with the link to the photos. He agreed-  it looked pretty darn good.

I called our agent to see if she could meet me and my Dad there that evening. She took one look at the photos and agreed- this one looked very promising. :) She told me she'd call me back after she talked to the listing agent to see if we could get in that evening. This was about 30 minutes after the listing went live. When she called me back, she said we couldn't wait until that evening to see the house. There were already several calls for appointments and one offer that was in process! Insane! About an hour and a half after it listed, we were at the house. I walked in... and immediately I knew without a doubt. THIS was our house! Every room confirmed it. The kitchen was just beautiful - not large, but cherry cabinets and granite countertops. And a little built-in home office complete with file drawers and a bookshelf. A hot water dispenser (I love those!!) The owners had opened the back of the house to be one long room - the dining room to the kitchen which opened to a living room area with a lovely stone fireplace. I started having visions of cooking dinner with the fire going during the long winters. :) Ahhh....

Hardwood floors in 3 of the bedrooms. The master bedroom has carpet - we're still waiting to find out if it is over hardwood, and then we will just rip up the carpet. No pets!! No pet dander to worry about! The house was IMMACULATE. I am a VERY nosy potential buyer - I open practically all closets and drawers in baths and kitchens. In all the prior houses, there were multiple "junk" drawers. These people were beyond neat. I LOVED that. It was a very well-maintained home.

I called DH after I saw the office area in the basement and told him I'd found our house! He laughed... and after going over some things, agreed - sight unseen for him! Our agent recommended that our offer be higher than the list price, and we took her recommendation (it was priced low to get attention and did it ever!) The next morning, when our offer was presented, there were 3 others along with it, less than 24 hours after listing. We waited anxiously... our agent called to ask if we were ok with an August 15th closing date. It didn't even occur to us until later that it was a nice little sign from Our Lady. :-D

A little while later, she called back with the good news.... WE HAVE A HOUSE!!!!

Of all the homes my mom and I looked at, this one was the best for our budget, had the nicest backyard and was the closest to my parents. It's just 2 miles to the nearest church with a 7:00 am Mass for DH to get to before starting to work for the day. It's at the end of a very long street - a beautiful cul-de-sac. There are other cul-de-sacs off it for the kiddos to eventually be able to ride bikes.

Since then, our closing date has been moved to August 8th, which though not a Feast Day :) - is great so that we will have a better chance to get to the lake this summer with my family (the 15th is smack in the middle of the 2-week rental).

Now... we are praying that our current house will get an offer SOON! Having to keep the house HGTV photo ready all the time is getting to be pretty stressful with 2 kids! Not to mention trying to get out the door with both of them, and snacks whenever someone wants to stop by to see the place. So, please pray!! :) Ideally, I'd love to close around the same time as the new home closes; it won't take long to have a few rooms painted in the new one, and if there is hardwood in the master bedroom, to have the carpet pulled up and taken care of.

Growing up, I was fortunate to live 20 minutes from both sets of grandparents, and about the same for many aunts and uncles. I have always wanted that for my kids. While we'll still be about 2 hours from DH's parents, it is still MUCH better than 6 (more like 7 with the kids), and a drive we can easily do to and from in one day. And being so close to my parents, 2 sisters, grandma, aunts and uncles... I am still pinching myself. :-D

Our home inspection is Wednesday - my parents are going since we're out of town, and my mom is going to Facetime a walk-through so I can take notes on where we'll put everything. Please pray nothing crazy turns up! :)

Now, if only someone would come in here and pack everything up for me... :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

We're MOVING!!

This went up in front of our home on June 6th... 


Ever since C arrived, we've been discussing it, and it's truly been in the works for 6 months. I hesitated to say anything on the blog because we weren't sure we would be able to pull it off, but DH's boss supports the move, as do those he works with. He will continue working for the same company, but will be working from HOME!!!! It will most likely mean travel once a month (currently he only travels a handful of times a year), but it's going to be worth it. We are so excited! And very sad to leave our area... we have such great friends and a great parish. We are hoping to get an offer by the end of June so if you would keep that in your prayers, we would really appreciate it! :)

More news to be announced on Friday!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Baby G - Baptized! :)

We had a lovely weekend for Baby G's baptism. My sister, S, was her godmother, our good friend M, was her godfather. The best part about the weekend was that all of our siblings were able to be in town for the day. My parents worked like crazy and prepared food (mom and MIL) and set up tables (dad) and chairs for both immediate family and some extended family to come and celebrate afterward. We are so blessed!

Some photos from our day:

Baptismal gown - 106 years old :) 
Welcome, sweet new Catholic!!
Godmother, my sister S - isn't she pretty! :)
My 2 BIL and SIL and I sang at Communion
Magnificat by Fr. James Chepponis (a priest from the diocese) and
Stainer - God So Loved the World
I LOVE singing with them!!! C's godmother and I sang the Magnificat at C's baptism so I was glad to do the same for G.
I think this was the only photo C was "still" for!
Yup, trying to escape!
Maybe he'll smile if I carry him this way?
The best attempt for my mom's Christmas card this year!
Hubby, G's godfather, BIL, my Dad, my FIL and BIL - some really great dads!
4 generations! 
Nana, I just have to tell you about my day...
Cousins!
I have some other pretty big news (no, I'm not pregnant) that I didn't want to reveal all in one post... stay tuned for more news later this week! :)
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