Tuesday, January 31, 2012


In my Book of Mormon study session today, what struck me was our connection with those who have died.  Well, I mean more, their connection with us and this world we live in.

I started with the opening pages, that describe history and such.  I thought about how Moroni, the ancient prophet who had dug the hole and buried the histories got to be the angel to help bring about this restoration to the young, Joseph Smith.

I used to think that was a coincidence or something.  I just didn't think about the importance of it until this year.

I have felt many connections to my maternal grandmother, who died a few years ago, as I live more and have experiences similar to hers while she was my age.  Even when I've been struggling the most, I feel that she cares and understands.  A friend and I were discussing how those who have died (but whose spirits are very much alive!) must feel so much concern over us.  We know how much we care about our sweet kids and we'll be invested in their kids' well-being.  Surely that doesn't stop after the grave.

Thinking of these things just reminds me about how families are really the purpose of it all.  They are a wonderful purpose and they are probably even more important and on our brains even more after this life.

I think Heavenly Father was kind to give Moroni the chance to be a part of the future of the work he did while on the earth.  And I hope to continue my "work" of being a mom, for the eternities.

Monday, January 30, 2012


Today I am thankful:  for my sweet smelling boys I just bathed, for my house and the chandelier that is one of my favorite parts (even though we had to use a vacuum extension off the balcony to fetch those Q-tips one of my sweet boys launched into it).

I am thankful for a home, for a garage, for shelter from the cold.

I am thankful for the internet for a way to connect with people while I go hours and days here alone with the kids :).

I am thankful for great customer service--our new washer is having a few problems but they are delivering us a replacement.

I am thankful for the Book of Mormon.  When I have studied it in the past it has had great power in my life.  I am wanting the same thing in my life, so plan to start TODAY studying 30 minutes a day.  I'll let you know how it goes!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Finding the House (post 6)

Master Bedroom (notice light fixture missing--there are many missing through the house)

The man's sink (it's a little taller than the other one :)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Finding the House (post 5)

But, no.  It just couldn't be easy.  Getting a loan was actually a nightmare.  Who knew?  We'd bought homes before and it was with much less stable employment.  Things have SO changed.  I can't believe how hard it is to get a home these days.

This article tells a little about that.

Anyway, having been out of the housing loop for the past 4+ years, the difficulty getting a mortgage surprised us.  In fact it took over 2 months to get it all worked out.  The last week before we closed up I had almost completely given up.

But not without prayer.  SO much prayer.  I was praying all day for help with this problem. I kept asking for His Will, to know a plan B...I know what we want isn't always what we need so I was open to new ideas.

Dining Room

Unfinished basement

Friday, January 27, 2012

Finding the House (post 4)

The inspection went great.  I was honestly surprised about that :).  I knew there had to be some catch.  But I guess what I've learned from this is the catch is that banks just want to unload this bad debt.  Have I mentioned yet it was a foreclosure?  That is what I mean by bad debt.

Anyway, after a great inspection all that was left was to wait for the loan process.  I thought that would be quick.  I thought we might get in a week or two before Christmas.

Maybe I'd even clean it up, put a red bow on the door (wait...green?  the door itself is red) and then drive the kids over for Christmas morning.  They had been struggling with not having a home as much as we had.  When things fell apart in Crescent, they took it especially hard.  So, what better Christmas gift?

Formal living room.  Now that's gonna be fun to paint over :)

The state of the carpet...wow.  I need patience to wait for when we can get it replaced :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Finding the House (post 3)

When we arrived for the showing, a lady was waiting in her car and asked if we were there to see the house.  We said yes, and told her our agents name (he was a man, and he was the listing agent).  She didn't seem too pleased that there were people looking at it, but she never came in and left after we went in.  Not sure what that was all about...

So, since we had all the kids (all dressed up for church, no less!) we all decided to go in and tour the house.  Our first impression was, "it needs work."  Mostly just because of the dated color choices.  There is SO MUCH mauve in this place.  However, the layout, and the size, and many of the features of the home were just incredible.

Because of the price, we thought there must be some catch, so we mentioned getting an inspection.  The agent thought that was a good idea.  We left, and got about halfway home, when the flurries going on in my mind came to just one conclusion.

"Let's put in an offer!"  If we could get an inspection, for the price it was at, we just had to.

Kid bedrooms

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

More pictures

We met the Realtor at the house and the rest is almost like a foggy dream to me.  It was over two months before we actually closed that we saw the house this one time.  It was so large and so beautiful I could hardly even fathom that it could be the place our family would live.  We were staying in a tiny two bedroom townhouse that had seen better days and really had just gotten used to that life.  I didn't expect or want much more.  

When we had been planning the house building in Crescent I had designed my kitchen.  I really really wanted white cabinets.  It put a smile on my face that this home had large white cabinets, even amidst the other messes.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


One of my favorite bloggers, Shawni Pothier, tells us that each year she has one word she wants to focus on.  Her post describing how she picked this years word was so touching to me.  You can read that here.

It wasn't long after reading those inspiring words that I wondered what would I focus on if I put it just in one word?  What would improve my quality of life?

At the time I was considering this we had the six of us living in a two bedroom, one bathroom townhome, with all our stuff stored in its basement.  It was such a tight squeeze.  There were lots of other things stressing me out and on top of that we were trying to remodel the tiny place while we lived in it.  Discouragement seemed to be my every day motto.

In times of light and hope I would realize the things I enjoyed at that time.  I could still stay home with my kids.  I delight in those middle of the day snuggles that wouldn't happen any other way.  I was still in my neighborhood and ward with people I had known for years.  My kids had great teachers at their school.  Even Omaha had a milder winter than we'd ever experienced!  Kids playing out on the playground on Christmas day?  I'll take it!!!

Even as some very happy changes have come our way lately, I am easily overwhelmed by the amount of cleaning to do at this new place.  I am profoundly lonely and realizing once again why people try to settle closer to their extended families.  But just like with every stage:  there are things I ENJOY.  So many of them.

So, 2012, here it is: I am going to focus on the word of the title.  I think I need to find a way to make or buy a big sign with this years word.  If anyone has seen one, send me the info!

Finding the House (post 2)

We were more than a little late getting ready for church.  In fact it got to the point we would be missing more than 1/2 of Sacrament meeting.  We carried on getting ready though, and with all kids clean, in dress clothes, fed and combed...we headed off to church.

Almost there, through my purse I could hear my phone ringing.  I looked at it and realized it was the Realtor I had called (and emailed :) the night before about the house in that neighborhood that was so incredibly priced.

So, I answered.  He first explained the nature of it as a foreclosure and some warning of work that needed done.  The more he said, the more interested I became.  He probably didn't know how much we LOVE stuff like that :).  After the discussion I urged him to show it to us.  He said he was available right then or again the next (Monday) morning.  Since we were dutifully headed to church I said we'd take tomorrow morning.  I hung up and told my husband that I was disappointed that I'd have to see it without him.

He thought for a moment, and then exited the freeway and got us turned around.  He said, "We better see it now."  I then called back the realtor to let him know actually NOW was a good time...and then awkwardly texted several people at church to let them know I had an emergency and wouldn't be able to teach Young Women's after all.

I felt incredibly guilty.  But even so, I knew this might have much bigger ramifications for our family's future and must be done.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Finding the House (post 1)

It all started off with an email.  Somehow I found a real estate website that let me narrow down a search to a specific subdivision and price range and get an email each time one came on the market.  Interestingly, I set up this search, thinking I was looking for the impossible.  No house in the neighborhood I had decided was the perfect one for us, was priced below what we needed it to be.  But, I thought, Hey, why not set up the search?  Just in case.

So...weeks after setting up that search I get the email.  This house.  One of the largest in the neighborhood.  Priced well below anything else.  That doesn't sound good.  There was only a picture of the outside.  I knew it had to be in bad condition.  But still.

I had to know.

We emailed and called the listing agent within an hour of it coming on the market.  But we didn't hear back that night.

For the rest of the story see:  Post 2Post 3Post 4Post 5Post 6

Saturday, January 21, 2012

We finally have a home!

There are a whole lot of stories that led up to our arrival here--which I plan to journal on the blog in the coming days.  They are definitely far from pretty, but the events are what makes up our life and our story.  I am SO SO thankful though, that through the mess the end result was THIS!

We are home!