Thursday, January 26

a change of plans

We are looking to buy a house!

We have to be out of this house by March 1st, so Jason and I had been looking and looking and looking for another rental, but none of them were right for us for one reason or another. Jason kept saying that he'd rather buy a house, but I wanted more in savings and a signed contract for a partnership buy-in first. I kept resisting and he went along with it. Well, after a month of that, and many *seemingly* unanswered prayers, Jason came home on Monday determined that we should buy. After one night of shock, I came around to the idea and am now convinced it's the right move.


There is almost no way we can be out of here and moved in "there" in a month. On Tuesday we got prequalified for a loan, and this Saturday we're going with our realtor (who seems to be fantastic) to see five different houses. So now we just HOPE that it all moves quickly. Hope that we'll find a great house, in a stellar neighborhood, with great schools, near Jason's office, with a pretty fantastic backyard, AND that we can make an offer quickly and get the loan finalized even more quickly than that. Whew!

We're trying to prioritize our "wants" but it's much harder to do in real-life than it is watching House Hunters!

There might be some opportunities to rent for a short time from a few different families in our ward (basement apartments, etc), but if not, we'll explore other options. We may end up getting a 6 month lease somewhere (and then breaking it?), or stay at an extended-stay hotel (veeeery expensive). So, we'll see. But we are excited! For what we're paying in rent, we can afford a nice why not? Things are going GREAT at the office now, and Jason just got a temporary job in Richmond, VA to supplement our income on most of his days off. Yay! Things are looking good down South, I just pray we'll find our new home soon!

Saturday, January 21

a night with the gals

Jason has been gone several nights this week, so I've been trying to do fun things each night with the kids. The other day we pulled out the girls' new mini-rolling pins Grandpa gave them at Christmas, and made homemade pizza! While Carson played in his favorite cereal cupboard, the girls created and baked masterpieces.

Carefully, oh so carefully, rolling out their dough. The adorable aprons are courtesy of Grandma Hutchinson and my favorite (and dearly missed) Corrine-

Slathering on the sauce, as much or as little as they wanted-

Then the toppings were carefully chosen, pickles among them (surprisingly good). And, of course, Addie sang backup music the entire time.

The finished creations! Yum yum!

Monday, January 9

season's highlights

1. REAL Christmas Caroling! Jason and I invited several members of our church over for Family Home Evening the Monday before Christmas. It was a HUGE success! Including our family, we had 38 people caroling, from 7 families! We walked up and down our street, singing to our neighbors, and came back to our house for hot chocolate and donuts. All the kids LOVED it, and we decided we'll continue to do this as a tradition every year. It really brought the Christmas spirit, to those of us singing and to those we sang to. It was a blast.

2. This picture was supposed to be on our Christmas card...that we never got around to making. I like it, though. Thanks, Mom! 3. Here was our cozy tree and living room on Christmas Eve, once all the kids were asleep. I was sipping hot chocolate and wanted to capture the moment.

4. New Christmas dresses! Provided by Grandpa and Grandma Hair. Addie is in her favorite--PINK!

Awesome Christams tie provided by Aunt Caitlyn, sorry you can't see it very well.

5. Grandpa came to visit! He got here Christmas Eve and stayed through New Years day. The kids LOVED having him visit. Addie actually asked if she could have two dads now, one being Grandpa!

6. Santa brought the kids a TRAMPOLINE! Jason and his dad stayed up Christmas Eve setting it up, in the cold & dark, but it was worth it!

Addie thought Santa put a bow on it to show her it was a present just for her and Macie, and she didn't question Santa's magic when we asked how he fit it in his sleigh. For someone who didn't grow up "doing Santa" it certainly is a lot of fun. I love the magic.

7. The week after Christmas we were blessed with 50 and 60 degree weather, so we could enjoy Santa's generosity! All the kids love it, including Carson.

8. The annual Christmas Eve puppet show. I love our family Christmas traditions.

We had a wonderful Christmas. We certainly spoiled everyone. With watching our belts so tightly for so long, we felt we deserved it for our first post-graduation Christmas. I'm so glad we did!