Friday, June 10, 2016

Comedy of Errors (aka: buying a house)

There is a reason I've said there are two things you do AFTER you have forgotten what they were like the last time you did them....  1) having children and 2) buying a house.

I've found a home that I truly fit with and love and am set to close on Monday (June 13th, 2016), but it hasn't been a road without many twists and turns and bumps.

Here's the road to home ownership this time around:

Find house I like, make an offer.
Buyer goes with ANOTHER offer.
Two weeks pass.
The other offer withdraws, and the seller contacts us to see if we are still interested.
Make offer.

Take loan against retirement:  should be 3-5 business days.
2 weeks later: contact lender who informs me that they have sent it back to my retirement account. Contact retirement.  They need a picture of a check.
Send picture.
1 week later... contact retirement.  They say they will transfer the money electronically.
2 days later, still no money.  Contact retirement.  Check is in the mail.
2 days later... check arrives.
3-5 business days = 1 month apparently.

List FSBO on Facebook and  Asking $218,000.
Several interested... no offers.
3 weeks later, contact Uncle Clayton to have him put it on the MLS.
30 minutes before he arrives, a CASH buyer shows up and makes an offer.
$206,000.... which is about what I would have taken away from a real estate offer through the MLS.
Accept offer.
After the inspection, buyer has ~$9000 in repairs she wants to do in order to buy the house.
$197,000 offer.
Counter with $199,000 if I do some repairs and leave the washer and dryer as well.

Find out through title search, H's name is on my deed.
Talk to several attorneys and real estate people... no one seems to know how to deal with name on deed, no longer alive and his bankruptcy... all in the same package.
Hire probate attorney.  $500
Attorney contacts Fraser's to see if they will act on H's behalf in signing his portion of the deed.
No go.
Pay $360 to act as signor for deed on his behalf.
10 days later, judge accepts my request for probate.
Title company won't sign off on deed, even with probate, with H's bankruptcy not taken care of.
Vaguely recall seeing something in the mail about the update on his bankruptcy.
Didn't submit 2015 taxes to the BK trustee... if not submitted by 5/31/16 then BK to be dismissed.
Wait until the day after 5/31... email BK trustee.
BK dismissed.
2 days later, letter in mail showing such.  Take picture of letter and submit it to the title company.

All going well until the week before closing.
Because of amended return in 2015, the numbers aren't matching up.
Lender needs transcript of amended return, suggests going into IRS.
Call IRS.  Appointment available on the 17th... days after our house is supposed to close.
Beg for closer appointment.  June 10th.
Ask about transcript for amended return.  Informed that once filed with them, it will take 16 weeks to process and get a transcript.
Call lender.  A stamped submission of amended return will do.

Here we are.  Set to close on both homes in 3 days.  Monday, June 13th.
It's been a crazy road.... just enough to make me crazy and lie awake at night with my mind racing wondering how to fix things.
Some pretty amazing blessings along the way.
*Been able to get the garden in at the new place, even though we aren't there yet.
*Have an amazing uncle who has been my support this entire time.
*Thankful for tax transcripts not being submitted so that the BK could be dismissed.
*An amazing partner in crime that has listened to me cry, whine, complain and celebrate.

Now for the best part... (NOT).

12 Years - Through A Window

It's been a crazy week... crazy month... heck, even a crazy year.  So many changes.  Hayden passed in April, and I'm still trying to figure out what that means.  Kids married and on missions and my second year just finished in a new school.  This year I've sold a truck (for a $7000 loss), finally finished (for the second time in a year) my basement that was flooded last July, and have had legal issues with the divorce decree.  There's been a lot of good too.  Brenden married Ashlee last July, I'm six months into a pretty cool relationship, and I have some pretty amazing friends, kids and people in my life.

But now... it's time.
Time for NEW.

12 years is a long time.  I've never lived in a place for this long during any part of my life until now.  This little house in Lehi has seen its fair share of just about everything.  Kids, laughing, dancing, singing, fights, late nights, early mornings, winters, snow, summers, gardens, pets, cooking, sewing, sticky floors, vacations, new hardwood...

Right now I'm mentally already in the new house... and coming back to the Lehi home to work on packing or repairs feels like a lot of work.  I don't want to work on a yard that I won't benefit from... so I spend my yard work time in Herriman.  But yesterday, after having mowed the yard, Ed said "That might be the last time you have to mow this place"... and then it hit me.  I'm leaving.  I'm leaving this place that I fell in love with in 2004 when I saw the hardwood, the kitchen and the garden spot.  I'm leaving this place that has been painted so many times with OOPS paint from Home Depot.  I'm leaving the only home that Aspen has known for the past 9 years.  The home that saw me start and end a relationship, raise and send off kids, plant and tend to flowers.

I stood in the shower yesterday, looking out into the yard as I've done a thousand times.  I've done it in all kinds of weather... snow, rain, heat, and falling leaves.  I've watched the yard and tree and trampoline through that window.  Taken in the smells of the day through that window.  Watched Aspen jump on the tramp while I showered.  12 years... through a window.  I'm going to miss that window... and life through it.  (not the trailer park I get to look at through the window however :)

There will be a series of LASTS... last mowing, last dinner in the house, last time sleeping there.  I just want to make sure I TRULY appreciate them while they are here... because very soon, I'll look back and long for them.  I've put a lot of love and heart into this little place.  I'm just hoping someone after me enjoys some of the same things I've left behind... and appreciates the little pieces of my heart that this house will always have.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A piece of land... turned into a GARDEN!!

I bought my house in 2004.  One of the biggest reasons I bought this house was for it's garden spot.  I've had a garden in it every year except last year.  I needed a summer to just hike and hibernate inside, because Wade was leaving for his mission, and I really didn't want to be tied to a garden when I could be playing with him.  Ironically, he ended up having school in Logan for most of the summer, and wasn't down much.  I was really missing tomatoes in the fall.
REALLY missing tomatoes.

I wasn't going to repeat the same mistake this year.  I had a 5 year accumulation of yard waste pile in the garden that had been waiting for someone to take it to the dump (and growing each year).  The back third of the garden was so rocky and full of sucker trees and overgrown weeds that it just kinda ran wild.  There was a pile of old pallets in the back corner, old fence pieces and some trash.  The soil has been so bad in my garden, and usually I do better feeding my garden to the massive amounts of ANTS that live there, than feeding it to my kids.  Morning glory and grass lined the fence line, and I wasn't going to battle all of it to get garden in it.  I just planted inside of that area.

Then, two things happened.

First... after life went crazy last fall, I had an older guy in the ward take me under his wing.  Boyd Stewart is his name.  He shoveled my walks, brought me grapes, and walnuts... and MORE walnuts, and more walnuts.  He is the MASTER GARDENER in the ward, and when he found out I had a big garden space that needed some love, he was excited to help.  He came and brought his truck into my yard and hauled away the pile that had been waiting to go.  It took him 3 loads to get it all to the dump.  He has since helped with manure, brought me 84 raspberry plants, 13 blackberry plants, grown radishes to eat, a flower hanging basket and so much more.  He has been so nice to have around.  It's like having a "dad" in town, since I don't have one.

The second thing to happen, was, on February 21, 2015, I met a guy who sleeps, eats, breathes and CONSUMES gardening.  And building.  And creating... and so many more things.  Jason Day is his name. The first two days he was at my house, we had the back corner cleaned out and big plans in the works.  I didn't much believe his dreams of grandeur... A FENCE?  A garden GATE? A DUCK HOUSE (let alone ducks!)  Now, here it is more than 3 months later, and my garden is cleaned out... from east to west and north to south.  There isn't a space that is given up to weeds and trees.  Jason (the 2nd thing) and Boyd (the 1st thing) hauled in 88 wheelbarrow loads of manure and spread it.  Jason has taken down much of a barn in the neighborhood and moved it to the backyard for use on the fence and the DUCK HOUSE (yes... an actual duck house).  He has planed boards, dug post holes, built a gate (from the original gate I took from the barn), sunk screws, watered plants, hauled tons and tons of rocks, built a fence, dug out grass, put in more time and effort than I could have ever asked for (or hoped for).  It's been such an awesome adventure to work on the yard with someone who loves to do the same.

I have had more than one person in my life say "Why don't you do something relaxing today"... and when I spend the day in the garden, they chastise me.  THIS IS RELAXING, I explain.  My version of relaxing and stress reduction is their version of work.  I love it!

Jason has definitely been my inspiration for all the ideas I'm able to get implemented thus far this year.  I've made many different types of plant markers that have been on my list of things to do, got most spring veggies in EVEN BEFORE MAY (that has never happened before), and we've had half a dozen fires that we have sat next to in the evenings already.

I'll update more on the yard in another post.  I want to show the garage and it's progress... the basement progress since the LIFE OVERHAUL from the fall, and a few other things... but for now, this is my garden update.  I'm pretty excited about how it has started this year.  Pretty excited about my partner in crime in the yard and garden.  Next year I hope to have things just improve on this year...

here's to a summer FULL of fresh VEGGIES!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

There was a girl...

Brenden and me with Ashlee's family

                     Soooo... Brenden likes this girl.  She's pretty much adorable, and on Monday night I got the opportunity to go meet her family and walk to the "Tree of Life" in Draper with them.   What a fun bunch of people.  After walking, FREEZING, playing tag on the playground equipment, and getting thrown into the snow by Brenden (and dragging him into the snow with me), we walked back to their house for hot chocolate and cinnamon rolls.  The weather was crazy getting there... closed freeway and snow blown roads... but what a fun night!

Monday, December 15, 2014

A little home repair

I love the smell of NEW anything.  New carpet, new wood, new plastic... you name it.  The problem with getting to the NEW smell is all the hard work in between.  I'm kinda stuck in the hard work part right now.  It just seems so tedious and takes FOREVER to see much progress.  This is the point I'm at right now.  I've been trying to find motivation to sand down the drywall... to caulk edges of windows and screw in wood in places.  It's not like I'm avoiding it.  I'd love to knock a few of these things off of my to do list in an evening.  If only I didn't have a life.... or a job... or a child that thinks she needs fed.

But... Christmas break is coming, and I should have big plans.  The problem is, I always have big plans.  Not just big plans, but BIG plans.  Usually by the time I head back to school in January, I'm left feeling defeated that so many things on my list were left undone.  

So... I've got a plan.  Its a few weeks early for resolutions, I know.. but its a good one.  My resolution this year is to NOT have plans, little or big.  I'm just going to make a list of things around that eventually need done, with no expectations.  By the time the new year hits... I'll be doing great. Anything checked off of my list at that point will be just an added bonus.  

So... here's to NOT having a plan.

Choir Girl

This girl has been going to choir each Wednesday morning in preparation for their Christmas performance at the Festival of the Trees.  
She did a GREAT job.  I love to watch her sing.  She is so animated and excited.  Festival of the Trees was a treat.  So many trees and so many colors!  I love this girl.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Until 2016...

I said goodbye to this kiddo last Wednesday.  It's been a hard couple of days before he left.  I noted that it would be the last night I could call and talk to him, the last morning that I could send him music, the last time I could cut his hair or rub lotion on his poor chapped hands.

It was good to see that he and his brother have grown so much closer since Brenden has been home than before they were when Brenden left two years ago.  Aspen just thinks Wade walks on water, but the entirety of the day didn't hit her until we had left the airport and she sobbed and sobbed.

I, of course, am a huge big baby and cry over EVERYTHING... and this was no exception.

I cried over our last selfie.
I cried over his smell that I won't have for awhile.
I cried just to touch him.

I've already had days when I just thought, "oh, Wade would love this song, I'll call him".  Somehow letters just don't send the same sentiment.  Emails might, but the stinker hasn't sent an email to his mother, and I'm going on 9 days.

If I don't get one soon (today) I think I'm planning an emergency trip to Mexico just to check on him.

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