Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Why Fake Flowers Made Me Cry

(one of my parting notes from Sunday, so sweet)

Last Sunday I was released from my calling as Young Women's President since we're moving to a new Ward. Honestly, I can't believe I made it out to tell the tale so I wanted to document so I could look back someday and say "hey, did this before, you can do it again!"

I got called last May when Carter just turned 2 and Drake was 6 months old, still nursing and not even sleeping through the night yet. I hadn’t been in YW since I was a young woman myself. I thought Bishop was joking when he extended the call. In the past year responsibilities consisted of mutual every Wednesday, Ward council meetings, BYC meetings, Teacher Council lessons, Temple trips, one MAJOR boundary change (resulting in a new Bishopric), 2 quad-stake dances we were in charge of, one Ward Halloween party, one Stake Priest/Laurel activity, new beginnings, young women's in excellence, two enormous camp fundraisers and weekly lessons on Sundays.

During this time I was also working outside the home for 3+ days a week, my dad was diagnosed with cancer (lymphoma), my mom had a hip replacement, my sister was going through a messy divorce, our condo was put up for sale (showings!!), my husband was working full time + going to school and we bought a house.

While this doesn't make much sense, I don’t know if I would have gotten through all the craziness in my personal life had it not been for the craziness of my calling. You see, the key to keeping me happy is keeping me busy. While I could have been okay with a bit (ok a lot) less on my plate, these girls have been my angels. They would text me scriptures. They would share uplifting missionary moments in class. They would talk to me about teenage girl things like shoes and boys and sports and food. When I felt like my life was too heavy, they lifted me up. Even when they talked to me about very difficult things, those conversations helped to strengthen my testimony because I was able to feel God's love for them. The calling gave me a reason to study scriptures and conference talks differently and pray with some serious intent! Every time I thought I was going to have a breakdown, Heavenly Father would send me a tender mercy to make it all worth it.

I also got the chance to serve with some AMAZING leaders. When I was set apart I remember being told that I would make close friends while being in this calling, and let me tell you, I couldn't be more obsessed with Suzi, Kaylie, Heather, Alisha, Harmony, Anna, Lisa and Marcia. Those ladies have seen ALL the crazy I have to offer and still supported me. It takes a village. A hardworking, selfless, energetic village. Anyways, I guess all I'm saying is it's true that who the Lord calls, he qualifies. I failed at a lot of things, but after last Sunday at least I know that the girls felt loved.

If you have a chance to serve with the youth, embrace it. They are the best the world has ever had to offer. Also, if you come across a YW leader, give her either a hug or chocolate. Chances are she really needs it ;)

Sunday, May 6, 2018

We've (almost) bought a house!

Don't mind the garbage cans. I took this photo during one of the many times when we drive by to stalk the place. Besides, lets be honest, the garbage cans are going to be our boys favorite part about home-ownership anyways lol :)
Well, almost. We're about 90% done with the escrow process but we figured it's time to just make it "internet" official ;)

If you know me, you know I've been dreaming of my first house since I was, like...12? I never dreamt of my wedding, I dreamt of my house. I was one of those weird elementary age girls that would rather watch HGTV than anything else (and mind you, this was even before Trading Spaces)! In fact, the reason I graduated with a marketing degree was because I was hoping to get into real estate as a career but God had other (better) plans for me.

Needless to say, a few months back when we finally had enough money saved up for a down payment, I was anxious as all get out. We're currently in our 5th residence since getting married almost 7 years ago and I'm just really ready to make something our own, especially now that we have our babies.

We are currently renting a condo and are in a lease through the end of July, but we wanted to start looking anyways. Houses go so fast in this sellers market that I wanted to be sure I educated myself on what I liked and didn't like so I would be able to pull the trigger quickly when the time came. In the grand scheme of things, if we had to pay a few thousand dollars to buy out our lease for the perfect house, it would be worth it for us. I couldn't wait to fill our weekends with real life showings after looking at houses online for oh, I don't know...8 years?!

We decided on 3 homes we'd like to look at and gave them to our realtor. One Richard liked, one I liked, and one that was a bit more than we'd want to spend, but were interested in seeing nonetheless. The first house we saw was the expensive house with the 4th bedroom and the beautiful wood floors. We walked in and of course it was beautiful it just didn't feel like a home...we couldn't imagine our family there.

The second house was the one I liked and when we pulled up there was a huge group of people in front of the house.We had an appointment but all the previous appointments were backing up because everyone who went through really liked it and were taking their time. 

The exterior wasn't my favorite, but as soon as we walked in it immediately felt like home and I started to get kind of nervous. We continued to tour the place and everything was just immaculate. You could tell there was great pride of ownership. In fact, all the closets were completely color coordinated! This Mom of the house was my kind of Mom!
We took our time and just didn't really want to leave, just like all the appointments before us. I just kind of stood there thinking and Richard finally got rid of the silence by saying he thought we should really consider making an offer. My heart kind of sank because I knew he was right but I was terrified to commit. This was only our SECOND house that we looked at! This was crazy, right? I just kept thinking, okay...maybe, but still didn't want to leave. I knew I was going to have issues committing so we had been praying to really know when we found a house that was right for us. I don't like to ask for signs from God too much, but in this circumstance I knew I needed to know for sure so I wouldn't doubt myself.

After us talking in the living room about it, the seller walked in through the garage. Awkward.

All of the appointments had been pushed back so far so he didn't realize anyone would still be there. We made a bit of small talk before we turned to leave. I asked him if their closets were seriously always color coordinated or if they just did that for the showings (what a weird, awkward thing to ask, right?) He laughed and said that his wife was a bit OCD. I could relate. Richard then decided to up the awkward factor by asking the guy (why were we still talking to him??) if they were trying to move out soon. I was a little mortified by the weird question, like duh Richard their house is up for sale of course they're trying to move. BUT the the seller said that they were actually in the middle of building a house and that it would be ready at the end of July. THE END OF JULY...when our lease is up.

Richard and I just kind of stared at each other in unbelief and I couldn't help but laugh. That was the obvious answer to prayer we were looking for. We thanked him for letting us into his home and left. I still decided I wanted to see the 3rd house but again, the feeling of "home" was not there. All I could think about was the other house.

I was still so nervous. Did this mean our house hunt was over before it even really began?? We continued to pray about it but the feeling just didn't go away so we started creating our offer. We wrote a letter to the seller (identifying ourselves as the ones they met) and told them about how we'd love to continue the journey they started there. The husband is a sports lover, the wife is totally OCD and they have two little boys. Basically us in a nutshell. We also structured in the offer that we'd be willing to let them rent back the house to us through July. That way they wouldn't have to find temporary housing and we wouldn't have to buy out our lease, win-win!

Turns out this is the detail that got us the house and our offer was accepted the following day. I know that we ran into the sellers for a reason and I know that Richard was prompted to ask them that question for a reason. I'm grateful for our prayers being answered in a way that was clear and recognizable to us. I still have been looking at houses that come up since the start of escrow, and I'll be honest, there have been some nice ones. And we are also sad because we will no longer be in the Fig Garden Ward. But I can truly say I don't have one feeling of regret. I know this is where we need to be and we can't wait to start making this our first home :)