Tuesday, April 20, 2010

And the dust settles.

We went out on Sunday, just to see two houses. One because it is a historical house and a beautiful Craftsman. We wanted to see it up close, though there was no way we could possibly fit unless we had only 1 child, or if we got rid of all our stuff. It was so beautiful it was tempting to make that leap! Beautiful front yard, but alas, no place to garden. Lovely to see however.

The other was on a whim. Looked tiny, and the yard, while big, is divided by a newer garage. Hmmm. Well, it was beautiful. It was big enough. Surprisingly, more than big enough. Lots of windows - BIG windows. Wood floors, wood beams, updated kitchen - and perfect location - just 5 minutes from here. We made an offer and started frantically trying to finish up any and every project, move piles sorted for the church garage sale, add to those, signed papers to put our house on the market - a complete roller-coaster of excitement and picking up (considering we spent the bulk of our down time looking at houses lately)... and we didn't get it. Well, we haven't received the courtesy of a call, but as the deadline for our offer has come and gone hours ago, we can assume we didn't get it. Yes, we knew we were one of 3 offers yesterday, and only one of the offers didn't have a house to sell. Sigh.

In the meantime, our yard looks great, the girls rooms and entire main floor is as uncluttered as it has been in a LONG time. Bathroom is ready for priming and painting. The basement is making progress. I'm ready to purchase new shades at the drop of a hat though it looks like I'll be here this summer to make the ones I had planned to make last spring.

The thing is - despite the fact that we would LOVE an extra bedroom and bath (for the three girls to share) and an office NOT in the basement, and to be walking distance from the schools -we love our house. We live in a great neighborhood, we have wonderful neighbors, we have a wonderful yard full of gardens and flowering trees and such (the lilacs and plum are starting to bloom and the wisteria is starting to green up). We can walk to two parks and the post office an many restaurants, clothing stores, hardware store, coffee shop, music store for lessons...

If we HAD listed when we started looking in earnest, it's a good chance we would be scrambling to find a place, or would have had to be out long before now and would have missed the perfect house anyway. We were not and are still not willing to risk selling this house and not find something comprable without moving out of the district (and we have looked in a few other disrticts. Ahem.) We've been looking long enough to know that finding the perfect house for us is not easy. We are picky and know exactly what we want - partially because we already have 95% of what we want, we're just on top of each other all the time. So I don't regret our decisions.

Yes, someone looking to downsize did look at our house this weekend (through a friend). Maybe if I'd painted the bathrooms last year like I had planned to, or finished decluttering as I had planned to, they would have been ready to jump, allowing us to get the other house. Again, I don't regret that I didn't do those things. Last summer & fall I was getting my stamina back and ran out of energy easily. I was spending quite a bit of energy working on a large volunteer project or two. And the summer & winter before I was really not able to do much, like walking to the park or driving to the pool when the girls wanted to. So I spent the rest of my energy doing those things with them. Picnics in the rose garden, most afternoons at one pool or another, meeting with friends here & there for playdates. And while we did do some electric work, replaced several light fixtures, water heater, garage door, and did more landscaping; the time spent with my girls was much more important than painting bathroom ceilings and basement walls.

As much as I REALLY truly desperately loved and wanted that house, for moments LIVED, I'll keep my house and it's memories until we come across another perfect house. If you find one, let us know, because we're not going to be looking very hard for awhile. It's time to slow down, clear out and simplify, and get back to enjoying what we do have.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Elton John concert

Fun fun fun. Especially the girls singing along and rocking out. Sarah air drumming. Natasha drooling over the many different guitars. Mira waving her arms and "Wooo-hoo"ing at the first and last 45 minutes of the concert and her 1.5 hour nap in the middle.

Considering the concert started at her usual bedtime, she did rather well.

Houses - Looked at several more yesterday. Ruled two out. Not sure Rich will like my fave. I still dream of the Horsey house - taking Rich to see both later this week, and hopefully two others. The others are near his office and would mean a change of school district, away from friends, walk-able stores & neighborhoods. However those two have almost everything on our ideal home list - one in particular would mean no compromise on either mine or Rich's part, but it may not have enough bedrooms. You would think the listing would be clear, but the description, listing and assessment documents contradict each other.

This search is time consuming and if none of these houses work, for whatever reason, I am ready to stop. Not forever, not 100%, just enough that we get our Sunday afternoons and a few weekday hours back. We'll still be scanning the papers Sunday morning, may take in an open house now & then when something looks promising in our school district. The school situation has resolved itself: we now have it in writing that the girls will go to the schools we want. Next years budget cuts may change our minds, but we still love the schools. So in the meantime we'll just stay here, fixing the little things that bug us, enjoying the yard we've worked hard on, enjoying the neighbors and the lower mortgage payments while we keep our eyes out for the perfect house. We've seen enough that we know what is worth looking at, what we can skip, which yards we like, which neighborhoods.

Then again, one of those houses may be the one. In either case, I have some yard work to do today, and I plan to enjoy every minute in the sun, with Elton John playing on my ipod.