we're home!

Big news! We finally found a home that we love and we moved in over Father's Day weekend. (We haven't had Internet hooked up yet, which is why this is a bit late!) And of course, we've been a bit busy unpacking and getting a few projects taken care of so I haven't had much free time to sit down and update the blog. But the story of how we bought the house is such an incredible answer to prayer that I have to write it down so I don't forget it.

So the listing for the house popped up on a Monday afternoon. I remember sitting outside watching the boys play and checking the real estate apps *again* when I saw the listing added. There were no pictures yet but the description was good and the location was great. Around 10pm, photos of the house were added to the listing and I told Deric that I could buy the house sight unseen-- the layout of the house was just what I wanted. Our realtor set up a showing for that Wednesday (the seller blocked out showings for the first day) and we came to look at the house at 2:30pm. When we stepped out of the car, our realtor told us it was "highest and best offer by 7pm tonight". There were 11 showings of the house that day and by mid-afternoon, they'd already received a few offers over list price. My hopes were dashed because the house was already at the top of our budget--but it was listed well under comparable homes in the area, which is why there were so many offers already. We looked at the house and loved it, but I felt like there was no point even making an offer when we knew we wouldn't go over the list price. But Deric (thankfully) decided to make an offer and Deric wrote a letter to accompany the offer as well.

The seller had until 8pm the following day--Thursday--to choose an offer. Our realtor called us mid-morning and let us know our offer was rejected; we had submitted the lowest of six offers and of course, the seller had chosen the highest offer. Deric and I were both disappointed but for some reason, we both had a peace about it. I just kept praying that God would somehow work it out; after all, our offer was still good until that evening!

That night, we were reading books to the boys before bedtime when Deric's phone rang. It was 7:45pm. He jumped up and told me it was our realtor, then left the room to answer it. I tried to stay calm and finish reading the book--in soothing tones, get these boys to sleep quick!--and in about a minute or two, he came back in the room and said, "We got the house!" Y'all, I thought I was going to throw up. I quickly told him to tell me everything about the conversation and it was pretty straightforward. The financing for that highest offer had fallen through and the seller had liked our letter and decided to accept our offer. He didn't even go with the other higher offers! We put the boys to bed and went to the living room to go over every detail of Deric's conversation with the realtor and I tried to get myself to stop saying "This can't be true!" I texted my family and a few friends who had been praying with us for a house and I just couldn't get over the shock of it all.

Fast forward through inspection (great!), financing paperwork (smooth!) and we sat down at closing with the seller. He told us that he had accepted that first offer before reading our letter. After reading it, he said he wished he could have accepted our offer but of course couldn't go back on the other offer. And later when that buyer's financing fell through, he said he felt like God wanted him to choose our offer. We'd been praying for that same thing and all I can do, even now, is to thank the Lord for providing a home for us. Not just a house, but the first place we looked at that really felt like a home for our family. We hope to stay here for a long time and we pray consistently for God to show us how we can use our home to take care of others.

Three weeks in, the majority of boxes are unpacked (except for the room I'm currently sitting in!). The boys love having a playroom of their own (and I love that too, no more toys in the living room!) Deric's already learned how to cut screens for windows and we've made a few runs to the hardware store. We've met some neighbors and taken walks around the neighborhood. We discovered a greenway on the edge of the neighborhood that runs through most of the town. All in all, we are so grateful every day for this home and look forward to raising our family here! (House tour coming next!)


the boys' birthday bash

We celebrated both boys' birthdays over Memorial Day weekend and lucked out with beautiful summer weather! We were also lucky and had both sides of our family plus some good friends celebrate with us. We grilled hamburgers, put out all of our yard games and toys and enjoyed time with our friends and family!

I always ask Jake about his birthday cake about a month beforehand because his answers change often, but with enough time I can figure out what he really wants by what he answers most often. ;) This year the options were almost tied between a robot, a jet, a dragon and a castle. I had to discourage the castle and dragon a little because my cake baking/decorating skills are pretty limited and thankfully he stuck with the robot idea the longest. So that's what we did! I spent the day before the party making the cake and it turned out exactly how I hoped!

So Jake really wanted the number 6 on his cake--even after I explained to him that usually you would put a number 4 on the cake for your 4th birthday, he was still adamant about putting 6 on the cake. So I asked him how people would know how old he was turning and he said "I'll just tell them!" And then I asked why he wanted the number 6 instead of number 4 and he said "Well, I really like being 4...but I really like the number 6!" So we ran with it, and I love that little detail.

Easy decorations-- just taped photos on cardboard numbers cut from the many moving boxes we have! I got a little carried away choosing photos and printed out about double the amount I actually needed, but I love displaying photos at our house so they'll be put to good use!

Reid got his very own cake and I really expected him to go all in with it. Surprisingly he took his
time mashing it in his fingers and didn't eat much, but he had just eaten a huge lunch. Guess I should have told him to save room for cake. ;)

The afternoon was plenty warm and the kids were thrilled to run back and forth between the very warm hot tub and the very cold pool while the adults went back for seconds on the birthday cake. ;)

The adults and bigger boys played quite a few rounds of Kuub. I've honestly forgotten how to play it but sometime I'll have to relearn because they had a lot of fun!

And now--somehow-- we've got a 1 year old and a 4 year old!

Reid is ONE!

Reid is ONE! Its so hard to believe. He is the best and busiest little boy and I barely remember life before he joined our family. Reid moves nonstop and loves loves loves to climb up and down on things: stairs, pillows and anything else he can get himself onto. Its the cutest thing to see him climb up and immediately turn around to get back down. He'll so carefully scoot over to the edge, stretch his little toes to the ground and slide off. And he's so proud of himself! He's developed really good balance as a result so thankfully I no longer worry about him when I see him doing this.

 He loves to get into anything Jake is working on and thinks he can keep up with Jake at the playground. He never stops trying to climb up slides and ladders and as a result, I have to keep a hand on him every second that we're at the playground. He pulls himself up and cruises around furniture and just the other day, got himself standing up about ten times in a row! We were playing in the backyard and I don't think he liked the feel of the grass so it was good motivation for him to try out standing!

Reid babbles all day long--and has learned "mama" but he doesn't associate it with me, so I don't count it as his first word yet. Hopefully soon! ;) He refuses to learn the sign for "more" and prefers to just grunt and point with both hands at whatever food he wants next. Just yesterday he learned to give high fives and he loves to give them!

He loves drinking out of water bottles and I got tired of sharing mine with him so he skipped the sippy cup phase and graduated straight to his own water bottle. Deric is absolutely his favorite person and Reid cries so hard when Deric leaves for work! He wakes us up pretty consistently around 6:15 every day and he is such a joy to see first thing in the morning!

On the morning of his birthday, we let him open his birthday gift (in the very festive Amazon box). Deric, Jake and I picked out a pillow pet for him. (Jake got one from a friend at his first birthday and he sleeps with it every night so I figured it'd be a good "toy" for Reid to have as well.) We had to narrow down our choices and Jake chose the bumblebee because he liked that it rhymed with "Bee-dos", one of the many nicknames we have for Reid. So a bumblebee it was!

After dinner we took the boys to get ice cream and let Reid try his first ice cream cone. Totally thought he'd love it but he took a few bites and then had a great time crawling around the table to visit everyone. 

Jake, however, was perfectly happy to celebrate Reid's birthday with ice cream. ;) We all love our Beats Baby so much!


Mother's Day!

My first Mother's Day as a mother of two! This time last year I was nine days away from meeting Reid and honestly, I don't even remember what we did to celebrate last year. I probably just took a nap and didn't cook dinner. ;) This Mother's Day was equally as low-key and that's exactly what I wanted. Deric always wants to get me a gift and every time I tell him to save (our) money, that all I want is to relax and not do any of the typical chores for the day. And that's what I did! We grilled out for lunch with Deric's parents and his aunt and uncle and it was a beautiful day, the first day that really felt like summer! That alone made me so happy.

Watching the boys play with Deric-- Jake running around after him and Reid either in his arms or asking to be picked up--made me so grateful for my family. Even though some days lately have felt incredibly long as I spend my time trying to keep Reid from falling into or off of *everything* while fielding so many questions from a curious four year old, I still love this phase of life and the chaos that is a natural part of it. And Deric is absolutely the best husband and father for us, so gracious to me when I need his help and so engaged with the boys.

Reid would *not* keep his hands of Jake and thankfully Jake thought it was hilarious, as we all did. You can see Deric pinning his hand down in the photo below. These three guys are the best people to spend my days with!


Jake's fourth birthday!

Jake turned FOUR on Saturday! I can't believe it. He's turning into this little man right in front of my eyes. At four, Jake is...

Affectionate. He's taken to chasing after Deric as Deric is walking out of the house to go to work, and kissing his leg (the highest he can reach!) a few times before he leaves. All this after Deric's hugged and kissed all of us a few times. Its so sweet to see. At breakfast on one of these mornings he asked me, "Mom, did you give Dad a kiss and hug when he left for worK? I did. I don't even know how many cause I didn't count."

CURIOUS. Oh my word, the amount of times I hear "But why?" in a day is too many, honestly. ;) I'm pretty sure that most of the time, Jake doesn't even realize that he's asking me "Why?". But other times I can almost see the gears working in his brain to piece information together. At dinner tonight he asked me why a basketball hoop has two holes in it and we talked it through until he figured out why you need two holes to shoot a ball through it. As tiring as it is for me to answer his questions though, I do hope he keeps a curiosity for life and learning.

Always building. Magna Tiles and K'Nex are at the top of his list but he is definitely drawn to any type of toy he can put together, versus activities like coloring. He seems to have a mathematical bent already so we'll see if that continues as he grows. If it does, soon he'll be teaching me things because math is definitely not a strong suit of mine!

So funny. The things kids say! I asked him yesterday morning if he remembered his dreams and he said, "I basically do not know." Everything is so matter of fact right now! The other day when he and Deric were playing, Jake was crawling on Deric's back and yelling in Deric's ear. Deric said, "Bud, you're yelling in my ear!" And without missing a beat Jake yelled just as loudly, "That's what they're for!"

Keeping track of which foods are healthy and which aren't. He asks me fairly often if a particular food we're eating has sugar in it. If it does, he'll assure me that "Its ok, Mom. We can have sugar sometimes." Last week on Deric's day off, I took Jake to Panera to get a bagel while Deric and Reid were asleep. We ended up getting a cinnamon roll as big as Jake's head and he polished off the majority of it in no time. As we were getting in the car afterwards, he told me that he wanted to have a cinnamon roll for dinner and naturally I told him that we couldn't because its not healthy. He said, "I know what will make them more healthy! We can have a cinnamon roll and then broccoli, cinnamon roll than broccoli!"

A few photos from his birthday...

^^his token face every time we take a pic! 

We hung streamers and got balloons to surprise him in the morning! Breakfast was eggs, bacon and blueberries muffins as requested. He opened his gift from Aunt Foo and immediately got to work building on his new Magna Tile cars. After breakfast we watched a few Looney Tune cartoons (his current favorite, and Deric's too) before heading out to play. The weather was seriously perfect all day Saturday: warm enough to enjoy it but not even a hint of humidity!

^Laughing out loud, probably at some poor cartoon getting hammered over the head ;)

Y'all, these guys are such peas in a pod. I can't get enough of watching them play and interact. Reid is all about Deric these days (he cried so hard when Deric left for work today!). And Deric is such a great dad, always playing and engaged with them. Its no wonder we all adore him.

After lunch, we went to the Aquatic Center in town to play in the pool and both boys were in heaven. Reid was dying to dive headfirst into the water and Jake played hard on the playground. We introduced Jake to the "wazy" river as well. ;)

After swimming, Deric and Jake went to the grandparents' to help lay mulch. Ric and Sherry bought him work gloves and a wheelbarrow and Jake took his job very seriously. He made multiple trips back and forth with mulch, loading the mulch ever so precisely in his wheelbarrow. But first we had to take Reid for a ride!

The day before Jake's birthday I told him how my dad used to say things like "This is the last time you'll eat dinner while you're (x) old...This is the last time you'll go to bed while you're (x) old..." And Jake thought it was so funny. So not only did we do all the "Last times" the day before his birthday, we also thought up plenty of "This is the first time..." all day long on his birthday. (And even a few days after.) Each time he just grins like he doesn't know what to think about it. I think the concept of age and birthdays is still processing in that little brain. ;)

We are so proud of Jake and love him to pieces! And now I have to gear up my emotions for a little brother's first birthday a week from now....(and get started on birthday party prep for later this month!)