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Saturday, December 7, 2013

We're building a house!


Once we got out of debt last year we knew we wanted to start saving for a house. We weren't planning on buying in New Mexico because we knew we wouldn't be there for more than two years. We're renting a house here in Arizona, but only planned to rent for 1 year until we saved some money for a house. We don't know how long we will be here, but we're pretty sure it will be a few years at least. The area around where we live is growing. There are new homes going up everywhere. We talked about how fun it would be to build a house and who knows when we'd get another opportunity to. We had no clue where to start and I had thought it would be very expensive and hard. One day we stopped by a new community just going in and walked through the model homes. After talking to the agent we were pleasantly surprised that it was affordable and in our price range. He went over the process and we said, "that's easy! We can do that." Though not financially ready to pull the trigger yet, we kept looking at other neighborhoods too just to see what was out there. We kept coming back to that first one though. It's the only one that was in a brand new community not developed yet. It's only a few minutes from where we live now and we love the area. We had our eye on a few lots that we would like. They only had a few open at that time and didn't know which ones they'd open next or when. We got on the interest list and waited. Once we had the funds we still hadn't heard any news or updates on the lots. On Saturday I told Ryan to just call and check. The agent told him the lots that were open and it was the one we wanted! We went straight in and pre-qualifed, which held the lot for us. The crazy part is that lot had already been sold but just that morning the buyers backed out. We called at the perfect time before anyone else could swoop in. It's a premium lot right next to a park and green belt so we have no neighbors to the West or North. The lot does cost an extra $8500, so we had to cut out a few things we were wanting in the house to stay on budget, but we know that location is more important and we figured it would pay off down the line when we sell. We went through all the options to get an idea for upgrades and the final cost for pre-qualification. They said that most builders don't do this. We had to make some structural decisions right there that I wasn't expecting, but I'm glad we went through everything so we're not shocked at pricing when we go to the design center. The builder is Shea Homes.

Once pre-qualified we went back last night and signed the contract and paid the deposit. It was there that we had to make some final decisions as far as structure goes so they can send it to the city for permit. We chose exterior style and paint, the walk deck, garage service door and some pre-wiring. Megan was so helpful as we added things and cut things from our wish list to stay on budget. Nothing's final until we go to the design center but it just gives us an idea of what to expect money wise.

We have two weeks to fill out the loan application. In 40 days or so we'll go to the design center and pick out everything. I'm the worst at making decisions so it's going to be a very long day.

11/3 While in the mother's lounge today at church I was talking to Whitney Forsgren. We ran into them at the model home a few weeks ago and they told us they had just signed a contract with a different builder in Queen Creek. I asked her how the process was going and she had a few complaints, most of which were in regards to what came standard in their home. From speaking to her, it sounds like we have a great builder and our home comes with a lot of great standard items including:

8 foot entry doors
9 foot ceilings
Paver Driveways
Stainless Steel appliances
Kitchen island
Granite countertops
Double sinks at master
34" cabinets in baths
Walk-in master shower
Recessed lighting in kitchen
Rocker electrical switches
Covered patio
Yard fence and gate

11/5 Today I met with the low voltage guy at the model home. Ryan had an emergency at work so he couldn't make it. I was nervous to go myself without him to make decisions, but it was pretty painless. The house comes with 5 drop cabling so I had to choose where those went. We also got Satellite Pre-wire, Surround sound package, and flat screen pre-wire. I did call Ryan to confirm everything before I signed though.

11/11 We went through all the electrical today. We confirmed our pre-wire and we also chose our landscaping package. We could choose desert, lush, or flower landscape. They didn't have any pictures and because I don't know the names of any plants or trees she printed off the list so se could look them up and decide what we wanted. I really wanted grass in the front but Ryan didn't want to pay an extra $1000 for it. We are going to meet with the landscaper to design our backyard.

11/14 Today we met with Peter, the landscape guy. We knew we wanted a little grass in the back and I wanted some shrubs along the back for privacy (the park is right behind us) and a fruit tree or two. We looked at the backyards of the model homes to get some ideas and look at some plants/trees we like. We chose paver color, curbing, and rocks. He designed something for us but we're going to have to wait a few months after our house is finished to save up some more money for it.

11/30 Our house has officially broken ground!

12/3 Our design studio appointment was today. Our neighbor was kind enough to watch Hannah all day.  We were there from 9-3. When we walked in they had our names outside the door on a poster. We worked with Natalie and she was really great. Luckily, I pretty much knew what I wanted. We both compromised on a few things to stay within our budget, but overall we got everything we wanted. WE ARE SO EXCITED! They've broken ground so now we just have to wait.

I couldn't contain my excitement! I had butterflies.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Halloween 2013

Hannah's 1st Halloween
I found this unicorn costume during the summer at Party City on clearance for $5, I couldn't pass it up. It's one size too big and she couldn't really crawl while wearing it, but she's still adorable.

 We had our ward trunk or treat on Oct 25th. We dressed as baseball fans. Easiest costume ever. I made some pumpkin black bean chilli. There were so many kids and we didn't have enough candy. We ditched out early to put Hannah to bed.

The next night we drove to Scottsdale for the balloon spooktacular. It wasn't that great. It took forever to park, and it was mostly just vendors. The lines for Halloween candy were ridiculous, but it was nice to get out and see some cool balloons. We ran into one of Ryan's employees and got to see their new little baby Blake.

Halloween night was fun. This is the first year we've been home for Halloween. We got a good amount of trick or treaters and even had candy leftover! We just hung out at home with Hannah. Next year when she can walk we'll take her out trick or treating.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Hannah @ 11 months

We had Ryan's cousin babysit for us when Devin and Rakel came into town the end of September. Hannah loves Jen. She just snuggled right into her. Jen said that she read books for 45 minutes. This little lady loves her books and loves to read. 
Our neighbor gave us a huge box of clothes up to 3T, so we still have never bought any clothes for her. She fits 18M but because of the extra padding from her cloth diapers she can wear 2T bottoms. This girl is BIG!
When I'm feeding her she loves to grab the spoon and put it in her mouth. Normally the food goes flying, but she's actually made it to her mouth before.

^^I love watching Daddy read to her. He's a pro at rocking her to sleep. Sometimes I can even rock her to sleep while singing^^

^^Oct 1st her 2nd tooth popped through^^

^^She knows we love her scrunchy face so she'll do it when we laugh^^

^This is the only cupboard in the kitchen that's open for her to explore. She loves pulling out the pots and pans^^

^^I don't know where this came from but she loves to eat without her hands. She even tries to pickup her toys off the floor with her mouth. She goes mouth first for her sippy cup too.^^

^^ She became too tall for her infant seat, so we bought her a new one on Oct 12. The downside is when she falls asleep I can't just transfer her inside. I've sat in the driveway a few times just waiting for her to wake up from a nap. ^^

^^She rolled right over onto the cat^^

^^This day we were all wearing hats. If I put anything on her head she shakes it off. Sometimes she will even pull her headbands off if she can feel them on her. She doesn't like when we brush or comb her hair or if anything goes over her head. I hope she'll let me do her hair when it gets longer. She still hates getting dressed, but if I can distract her with a book it's normally ok.

^^Playtime at the library^^

^^She loved watching the World Series with us. GO SOX!!!^^

^^Another attempt at the park. The slide was too hot and she got red marks on her legs. MOM FAIL^

10/3 her first flight
says "dat" not sure if she's saying DAD or CAT, although she has said CAT before. Loves animals and screams whenever she sees one whether it's on the TV, or in person.
Naps/Bedtime have been a struggle lately. She has learned how to scream, really scream and does it when we put her down for nap or bedtime. She also wakes up around 2:00 AM screaming. We don't know what's wrong because once dad goes in she just plays until he puts her down again. We put a night light in her room, but it doesn't seem to help. She doesn't do it anymore thank goodness. It's rare, but sometimes we can lay her down after reading and singing to her when she's really tired and awake and she goes right down without crying.
She loves to point at things, especially the fans on the ceiling. We've started teaching her how to hold up one finger showing she's one. We also sing happy birthday to her so she'll recognize it and smile instead of cry. Sometimes she'll hold her arm out straight with a closed fist, so we give her "bones." She has perfected the wave and loves to wave Hi or Bye to everyone, sometimes with both hands.
10/18 we gave in and finally bought her some new "age appropriate" toys. Toys are so expensive! Luckily, I had a 20% off coupon and the ones I wanted were on sale and buy 1 get 1 free. Plus, another customer gave me a coupon for a toy I had in my cart. We only opened two of them and are saving the other two for Christmas. We bought her this musical lion walker and she loves it. 

She can't walk with it yet but she loves to just sit and play on the front. We got a free little train set that has stacking cups and sorting shapes that she loves to play with.
10/19 She woke up around 4 AM so I nursed her in bed. This is rare, since she normally goes back to sleep, or sleeps through the night, but when it's happened in the past she doesn't go back to sleep so we just let her play in our room while we sleep. Well this time she actually fell back asleep in bed with us. We loved it. Even when she was little she wouldn't sleep with us, so this was definitely a nice moment and we all slept until 8:30! Normally she sleeps from 7:00-6:30.
When I'm on the floor playing with her she loves to crawl all over me. She even crawls right over the top of our cat. Our Hairy cat has been so good with her. He puts up with her grabbing and just lays there. She gets really hyper sometimes and crawls super fast onto us breathing heavy and screaming. She is so fun! We love to make her laugh.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Utah trip

We're going home for the Holidays, but Hannah is at such a cute stage I wanted her grandparents to see her before she starts walking. Ryan was going out of town anyway so I picked conference weekend to fly out. We have an airport a few minutes away which made it easier and less busy to fly by myself with Hannah. I was nervous and hoped she'd do well, and she did! We sat next to a nice gal. We were flying into Provo and the plane was packed with young children. Surprisingly, everyone did well. It was a quiet flight, probably because it left at 6:30 AM. Hannah occupied her time playing with the magazines and her toys. Luckily the flight was just over an hour. The last 20 minutes or so she got a little fussy so I broke out the snacks and she happily munched on her puffs until we landed. My sister picked us up from the airport. The first thing I noticed was the mountains, they are beautiful! It's weird the things you forget about, but living out of Utah for 2 years now makes me miss them. It was raining and cold. Hannah doesn't have hardly any warm clothes and we were not prepared. I had only brought a light sweater. We drove up to meet my dad for lunch at McDonald's. Hannah was so sweet and let them hold her. She snuggled right in and layed her head on their shoulders. We went to IKEA and walked around for a bit, then my dad took me home. Hannah fell asleep on the way, so I dropped my dad off and just headed straight for the Everett's so she could get a long nap.

Grandma and Grandpa Everett loved seeing her. They formed a special bond with her while they watched her in April during our cruise. We drove to Logan for Alyssa's volleyball game and she did well staying up late. She wouldn't sleep in the pack n play so I ended up pulling her into bed with me for naps and nighttime. I actually loved this, because she never lets me sleep with her at home. She got to play with cousin Kyler Friday night and I think he got her sick because Sunday her nose started running and it was downhill from there. Grandma took us shopping and bought her some cute shoes, a dress, a coat, and christmas jammies.

 Here is me at 10 months (left) and Hannah at 10 months

My mom took a day off from work and we went to Wheeler Farm with Toni and her kids. Hannah was really grumpy and wouldn't stay in the stroller so I ended up holding her the whole time. We took her to the park, her first time, and she hated it. My mom held her hand as she went down the slide and she cried. I put her on my lap facing me and swung for a bit. She held onto me for dear life and then started crying. She got a fever, another first for her, and her temp got up to 100.7. I gave her some ibuprofen and it dropped her temp to 98.1. She would cry anytime I put her down so I ended up holding her all day. She would just lay on me and sleep. At night I just had to hold her and sing to her and she fell right asleep. I was worried I was getting into a bad habit, but once we got home she got right back to her routine and wouldn't fall asleep in my arms anymore Because she was sick she wouldn't eat anything. I felt bad because my parents didn't get to hold her and saw her sick side most the time. She ended up getting my dad sick and Ryan, once we got home. She developed a bad cough too, and we had a few rough nights, but she's finally doing better although her nose still runs. She has started eating again, so that's good.

I got to see my friend Adria and her new little girl Alyssa in their new home. I was gone for 9 days. It was nice, but it's always good to be home. Hannah fell asleep in my arms on the flight home and slept almost the whole time. Luckily the seat next to us was empty so she wasn't coughing on anyone. We'll fly home for Thanksgiving and again for Christmas. We're going to celebrate her 1st birthday while we're there. I can't believe it's a month away!


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