Wednesday, March 31, 2010


The hottub night sparked the idea to have another hottub party. This time only with girls. So I invited my closest friends over for a "hottub girls night". It was so fun. Nice to catch up with everybody, soak, laugh, eat treat, and decompress. We had 5 in the tub, which was perfect. Not too crowded, yet enough people to have fun conversations.

Today it was back to regular same old stuff. We have a showing tomorrow, and this is a lady that I KNOW likes the house. She's never seen the inside, but she's done a bunch of research. She drove by it, so I know she won't be turned off by the dirt road. She saw the before renovation pictures, and told me she loves the work we've done. They live out in real boony land (if this isn't boony enough already), and they want to move closer to McKinney. We're "only" 25 minutes from his job. Unfortunately I won't be able to meet her, since I'll be working.

With the house still being clean from Saturday (shocker!), I ventured outside. I mowed the lawn with the riding mower, then with the push mower. I pulled weed from the "flower" beds by the front door (something I haven't done once in the past 2.5 years!). I've swept the pool floor over and over, with the filter running. Raked leaves out of it. Fixed the chemicals. And I even got in a nap, cooked dinner, and played a coin battle of Mario brothers with Joe. Wow! Now that's a productive day!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Calm after the heat

Heat does magical things. It turns children into angels. All 3 are sitting on the bed, quietly reading a book. That never happens. Except tonight. After spending over an hour in the hottub. Tonight was Family Home Evening, and for a special activity I thought it would be fun to make use of that great pool. We never know how much longer we get to enjoy it. We might as well use up the gas we paid for. I hadn't planned it out very well, and didn't preheat. As soon as I announced the plan, the kids were jumping up and down to get in. It took a good 20 minutes to warm up enough for me, but they got in after just 10 minutes. After a while it was really roasty, and Sterling was the first to jump into the 60 degree pool. Soon Winter and Ginger followed. They just had so much fun playing in the water. We also had fun identifying some of the constalations. And now they're calm. Almost calm enough for me to let them stay up. However.... tomorrow is a school day, and if I let them stay up any longer, they'll be little helliens tomorrow. So I'm off to get them in bed. Sorry no picture... it looked really cool too; with the team coming off the water and the green glow from the pool light.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Blog for the house

Check out the blog I made with lots of pictures of our house

We are hoping that these pictures will help people who have come to see the house. To remind them how awesome this place is :) Or just to encourage them to come take a look. Too bad the MLS won't let me post a link to it...

Crappy birdday

That's what we say when someone is a year older. Today that's Joe. He's a mighty ripe age of 34. I don't know if his birthday set on my dream last night. I dreamt that I was at a social gathering, talking to different people. They were all college age. I think we were all at an orientation meeting or something. At one point we went around the circle telling our age, and I was super embarrassed to be "almost 30".

I went with my family's birthday tradition. We came into the room singing happy birthday songs, bearing gifts, and breakfast in bed. Over the years we haven't always done this, especially since the kids go to school so early, but I like that tradition. That way, you have all day to play with your new toys. Joe's new toys are mechanix gloves and a real cowboy hat. Now he really fits in
After checking on his cattle, he came back in the house saying: "I've got to get used to taking corners a little wider, now that I've got this hat". Oh how I love that man!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What d'ya think?

We got back a few days ago, and life went straight back to normal. Well, like the new normal. The new normal includes keeping a perfectly clean house. It seems easy enough to keep a house clean once it's clean. However, it's easy to think the house is clean, and not do anything for a few days, to then realize it got dirty during those 4 days. Does that make sense?

We've kept the house pretty much tidy all around, but I hadn't done any actual cleaning like vacuuming or scrubbing since we got back. Until I got the call this morning. The people that looked at the house last week, are coming back for a second showing. That's really great news. You would only come back to a house you really like right? At least that's how I was. I think when we were looking for houses, this house was the only one we saw twice. The second showing also brings more anxiety, because they will be LOOKING for things they don't like. Especially if they are thinking about making an offer. They will see all the things I already knew needed work.

All I can do is clean up the house, mow the lawn, and leave. Then wait. One pet peeve I have with realtors is that they never give feedback about the showing. Especially with a lockbox, I have no clue whether the people loved or hated it. Or what they loved or hated about it.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


The reason the beach vacation is so perfect, is that nothing is planned. Everybody sleeps in until 9am (even my kids), eat breakfast around 10am, lunch at 3pm, and dinner around 8pm. It does throw off my sense of time a bit, but that's okay. Time does not matter. If I want to daze off for a while, I don't have to feel guilty about it. If I want to take a 4 hour nap, no one cares. If I want to go for an afternoon long hike to the end of the point alone, everyone supports that.

I did just that the other day. I walked the 3 miles to the end of Alligator point by myself. I didn't bring any water, or put on sunscreen. I didn't have any idea how long it took me. I just walked. The water was very calming, and it was fun to see the birds fly down the beach a ways each time I got too close for their comfort. It was low tide, so I walked into the ocean to a sand bar. At one point, I found a great spot for sand dollars. There were hundreds there. All beautiful. By the time I headed back, the tide was coming back in, and the wind was blowing cold.

Today I actually did something productive; I gave everybody in my family haircuts. Those were sorely needed. Then I spent a few hours defeating Will and Sam in Monopoly. I used to play monopoly a lot with my brother Carlo. I can't really remember whether much strategy was going on, but the trading usually didn't start until all the streets were sold. After my first roll, Sam was already trying to buy my properties. Kind of funny. Sam and I were very close, but in the end, my orange and green monopolies prevailed.

Tonight Joe took me out for a date. It was nice to spend some time with him, especially since he's been working 8 hours a day. He works from home anyways, so he set up a little office in the master bathroom, and works. I think he's crazy. But I guess he's being a good employee and doing his job. We went to a local seafood restaurant where everything was fried. Then we spent about an hour in Walgreens. I had bought some hair coloring stuff the other day, which totally didn't work, so I wanted to return it. I wanted to buy some more, and just couldn't decide which on to get. Finally, after an hour, the lady talked me out of buying anything, and into waiting at least a week before doing anything else to my hair. I'm glad she did.

I have to admit that I've been a little nervous about our house and stuff for the past few days. Some people looked at the house on Wednesday, and might be coming back tomorrow for a second look. That's great news, however, there's nothing we can do to prepare any more. I can't muck out the chicken coop, or install the new light fixtures. I can't rake the leafs out of the pool, or mow the lawn. I guess those are just minor details, but they could make a big difference.

The tide was very low tonight, so we headed for the big sand bank, which is located closer to the house we stayed in last year. I have never seen such a large sand bank! It was pitch black, but we used flashlights to walk out onto it. We walked out over half a mile. Seriously! Towards the end, I started getting nervous. We only had a few small flashlights (and the million candlelight flashlight had already died), plus we had no idea when the tide was supposed to come back in. We had 5 semi-adults and 5 little kids. Could have been bad. Of course that's what made it so much more exciting; The fear.

Tonight as we were sitting around the bonfire on the beach, I just wanted to freeze time. Can't i just stay here and now forever? We love being surrounded by our friends and loved ones. We love the leisure. We love the adventure of embarking on treasure finding missions. I love seeing my happy children playing on the beach. I just love everything about this place.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Sunday

All day I enjoy the happy pitter patter of kids' feet. Running circles on the upstairs balcony. Digging holes in the sand. Showing off their new found shell treasures. Kids sitting on counters and eating all the brownies in 5 minutes. Sand in hair, and sand in toes.
left to right: Sterling, Bailey, Winter, Riley, Olivia

Saturday, March 13, 2010


No need for words

Okay, maybe a quick few words. We drove all through the night, and made it to Tallahassee by 9am. Today is Sterling's birthday, so we had a nice birhtday breakfast at Ihop. The kids got happy faced pancakes. The house is amazing. It's a few miles further down the beach from where we were last year, closer to the end of Alligator point. The other 2 families are still making their way here, having been caught up in traffic and work. That's why I prefer driving at night. No kids asking every 2 minutes: How much longer? And no traffic jams. Plus, we got to take a nap in a house, that is slightly rocking us to sleep (from the wind).

I am soo excited about a week full of nothing. Well, except sleep, sunbathing, reading, and good times with friends. Thanks Allreds, for letting us into your secret world of the "Florida beach"

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Brighten my day

Sometimes it doesn't take much to brighten my day. Today at the Bonham hardware store, I went in to buy some muriatic acid for our pool. I'd never been to that hardware store, so I asked the (20 somewhat year old) gal where it was located. She hesitated, and then proceeded to tell me. When I got back to the counter, she quizzically looked at me, and asked: Are you 18 yet?

Oh what a beautiful question! I started laughing and thanked her for the compliment. In fact, I haven't heard that question in a long time. I responded that I was in fact 18, and actually closer to 30 than I'd ever like to think about. She assured me I certainly don't look it, upon which I thanked her again. The gal probably has no idea how much good she has done today.

Recently I have become really conscious of my age, especially when I developed a humongous wrinkle right across my forehead. Then I noticed the start of 2 more, parallel to the first. They are Max wrinkles. I have nothing against my dad's wrinkles, but he's a guy, plus he's "old"! (sorry dad) It just seems like the inevitable has started happening. My body is starting to degenerate. I'm past my prime. My back hurts when I sit on the ground too long, my eyelids are drooping a little, the veins on my hands are popping up; like my grandma's hands used to. It's not like I feel old, just that I can see the changes. I am starting to realize that I won't be 21 forever.

But today, if only for a few moments, I forgot all about that. I was that 17 year old again, caught sneaking to buy something I wasn't allowed. Except this time, it was allowed, and somebody thought I was 12 years younger!

PS. Posts like these, make me wish I had the clever writing skills of my friend Amber. She expresses her feelings and emotions so well, that all her readers can really relate.

Monday, March 8, 2010


I have been so happy these past couple of days. We have had 3 showings in the last 3 days! Of course that brings a LOT of stress with it, but it's totally worth it. We have no idea what the first people thought of the house, since they came with a realtor, and we left while they looked. The second lady came by herself, and later told me she thought the house is too far out of town. The people that came this morning, came without a realtor as well, so Joe showed them around. Apparently they kept saying how they just loved the house. They have been looking for a long time, and all the other properties were "project houses". They already live in Bonham, so living in the country isn't a new thing for them. They even went so far, as to wish we would just leave the furniture. Of course we told them everything is negotiable. This is so funny, because just the other day Joe and I were talking and wishing that somebody would just want to buy all our furniture. If we sell it, we don't have to store it, moved, or try to sell it to someone else. All of this is exciting, but it doens't really mean anything unless they actually make us an offer. In the mean time, I'll enjoy this beautiful house.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

3 + 4 = 7

After a bit of an emergency, we now have 7 kids in our home. Some people in the ward needed some help, when the husband had to go to the hospital. We don't know what's wrong, but that's not important. It's fun and crazy, and kids are everywhere. So much for a spotless house... (it's fine, really) They came in such a hurry, that they didn't have any extra clothes. It turned out alright though, as they are about the same age as our kids. Only the 1 yr old girl ended up in boy clothes.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Not Ready

When I submitted the MLS paperwork, I knew I wasn't ready. Not ready to show the house. Too many projects left unfinished. But I also knew that if I didn't just list the house, most of the projects would never get finished. It's always good to have some motivation. Well, today I got a BIG dose of motivation. A real estate agent called to set up a showing for tomorrow.

Wow, great! But that phone call did put me into a bit of a frenzie. I immediately started cleaning up, and doing quick projects that have been unfinished for the past year. Like ripping off the "already half ripped off" weather stripping on the front door. And replacing the bath tub overflow cover plate. As soon as 5 o'clock hit, I recruited Joe. We picked up trash all over the yard, hauled a bunch of wood to the upper 40, and made a big scrap metal pile. We also scraped a bunch of mud off the driveway. So much, that Sterling was dumbfounded by the results.

I am very grateful that the agent gave us almost 24 hours notice. We needed that! We were already planning on spending the whole day tomorrow, working on projects. However, this definitely put us in overdrive. Now we are just thinking positive thoughts, and hoping for a full-price offer tomorrow. I know, not likely, but a girl can dream right?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


I did it. I sent in the paperwork. Our house will be on the MLS in the next 48 hours. It's bitter sweet for me. I have really come to love this house, pool, and land. I love the animals. I love the quiet. I'm going to miss it like crazy. But, alas... life goes on. Joe's career needs a boost.

I set up a blog for the house, so I can have more pictures and descriptions than the MLS allows. It's still under construction.

There are still a few things that need some serious attention before we're really ready for the first people to look at our house. The back patio needs to be laid, the front door needs some work, and a bunch of trash needs to be picked up around the yard. Oh, and Joe's office is still a warzone. We're keeping ourselves cooped up all weekend, and hopefully knocking a bunch of those projects out. Basically I just want it to be on the market before spring break, when hopefully hords of people will want to come see it (thinking positive thoughts here).

I had a dream a few days ago, that tons and tons of people came to look at the house, and I hadn't even offically put it on the market yet. There were so many people, that they had to park in the lawn. One guy even offered cash on the spot. We also discovered another bedroom. A girl can dream right?

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