Sunday, March 16, 2014

Purchasing a Home

The Story

As we were searching for homes one night, I received an update from our realtor's listings. The house just appeared on the market, and the pictures looked good. I asked our realtor if we could go look at the home that night, and she called the listing realtor and arranged a visit. We went to look at the house and really liked the house. The home was vacant and had been updated: there were new cabinets, new appliances, a repaired foundation, and was move-in ready. Our realtor thought the home was impressive and said if we wanted to buy the house to put an offer on it that night. We said we would think about it as we drove home and she would prepare comps and help determine how much we should offer.

Side note: We are very slow movers and very indecisive. We figured it would take us a few days to decide to put an offer on a house, and then a few more days to decide how much. We are trying to buy a fridge right now, and we've gone out three times to look, and spent a few nights looking online. We can't decide which type of fridge, how large, or what brand. We move slow. We finally bought a fridge, two weeks after we started looking.

We got home and decided to put an offer on the house. We offered what the seller was asking because our realtor said the home was very attractive and the seller would be receiving multiple offers. We decided we really wanted to purchase a house, because we are pregnant and are due in October. How many of our friends actually read this? The next morning we found out he received five offers that night, but ours was selected. I think our realtor really helped get our offer selected. She said she called the seller's agent multiple times that night.

The House

The house was built in 1980 on a slab foundation. The foundation was redone last October and 15 piers were added to prop up the house. The house is approximately 2,100 square feet with four bedrooms and two bathrooms. The backyard is a good size without a swimming pool. Homes in Richardson generally don't have driveways in the front yard, so there will be an alleyway along the back of the house where we and our neighbors will drive to reach the small driveway and garage. The yard has a fence around it, but the fence is kind of angled and might need to be straightened.

Don't mind the dust. We'll clean before moving in, I promise!

This is a back room with a skylight


This will be our toy room.

The whole house is updated! The previous owner completely tore out the old kitchen and now we have granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and wood floors throughout the whole house! The bathrooms look really nice as well! If we didn't have kids, the sinks would be a lot more appealing so we are going to buy a very tall stepstool so Bailey can wash her hands.

Funny sinks

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Harry Potter World-Check

I love traveling and would go anywhere in a heartbeat.  Nate on the other hand didn't grow up traveling and doesn't always share my same excitement about seeing the world, although he is getting more adventurous.  But I could get him to admit to wanting to go to one place- Harry Potter World (so in other words Universal Studios Orlando for those who are not Harry Potter nerds).  I actually am not even sure if they call it "Harry Potter World" even after being there, but that is what we have called it for the past few years so that is what I will keep calling it.  I could get on board with that and so after two plus years of talking about going, we actually made it a reality.

We stayed at a hotel across the street from the park. It was a lot cheaper than staying on the resort, we still got into the park early, and we could walk there (which was a good thing because the shuttle system was awful).  We found out we could get into the park at 8 and so on Wednesday morning we left our hotel at 7:40 and walked (okay I ran a little because I was so excited) to the park.

It was magical!  We were some of the first people there and there were no lines for anything.  Although we soon figured out that there were no lines for anything all day Wednesday and Thursday.  In fact, we made it on some rides faster than people with the fast pass because they had a longer way to walk.  We of course took a million pictures of anything Harry Potter.

The Three Broomsticks-a great lunch.
Butterbeear was amazing.  We had to try both the frozen and regular and more than we probably should have.

And the Butterbeer was gone :(

There were only three rides in the Harry Potter section of the park-one of which was geared towards younger children.  But the castle and dueling dragons were really fun.  You definitely have to be in the front row for the dueling dragons!  I think that the castle ride made me a little sick but that didn't stop me from riding it three times anyways.

The other parts of the park were really fun too.  I love that everything was themed, I guess that is why they call it a theme park.  My favorite rides, outside of the Harry Potter ones, were probably Spider Man, The Hulk and then the roller coaster below-it seriously scared me to death!

 We also ate at the NBA City restaurant-Nate's dream come true :)

So on Friday we went on the Jurassic Park ride, and just got a couple of drops of water on us-we were dry 15 minutes later.  We heard people talking about the other two water rides at the park and how you get soaked through your clothes.  But we thought since we survived Jurassic Park we should try them out.

The first one was a log ride, kind of like the one at Disneyland, but you got WAY more wet.

We figured at that point we were already soaked, so we may as well go on the other ride where you are in a tube and go through rapids.  How much wetter could we get?  Apparently the answer was A LOT.  I was still wet when we got back to our hotel that night SEVEN HOURS LATER! 

It was still fun though, I just know next time not to wear jeans or to bring something to change into.

And we had to at least drive by Disney World.  This was the best picture I could get as we were driving by.  It was too much money to go to Universal Studios and Disney World, so we figure we will go back when Bailey is older and take her to Disney World.

We also go to go to the Orlando Temple while we were there.  It was really cool because we could see it from the tops of some of the roller coasters.

We had an absolute blast!!  But we did miss Bailey, although as you can see below she was being well taken care of by her big cousin Wesley.  I am pretty sure she had more fun with him and Grandma than she would have had with us.

Now we need to start planning our next adventure...any suggestions?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Summer Travels

Bailey and I escaped the Texas heat and Nate's long work hours for a few weeks this summer.  I wish Nate could have joined us, but we took his sister Emily with us instead for the first week.  Our adventures began in New York City.  My apologies ahead of time for the picture overload.

Bailey spent a lot of time in this stroller.  She was a trooper!

She loved sleeping on the Subway.

We tried to make the most of every minute of every day.  We spent the first day going to the Natural History Museum, walking around Times Square, and seeing Matilda.

At Matilda!  We had to see it in shifts, so someone could watch Bailey.

  Natural History Museum
This is the dinosaur at the front of the museum.  Not quite like the movie.  In fact, one of the curators told us the only museum artifact that was actually used in Night at the Museum was "Dum Dum"-see below.

Teddy?  He looks different too.
More fun walking around Times Square-lots of people watching.

Day two included the Statue of Liberty, the 9/11 Memorial, Central Park, Harlem and more.

We took a ferry over to the Statue of Liberty.

At the 9/11 Memorial there are two fountains where the Twin Towers once stood.

They are also working on a new Trade Center.
Below is the "survivor tree".  Workers found it in the rubble after the attacks, badly burned, but were able to nurse it back to health and transport it back to its original location.


It was strange to see the temple in the middle of all the tall buildings.  It kind of blended in.

This is Tera, one of my old mission companions who lives in NYC now.  She took us around Central Park and then to Harlem where she lives.

 We of course had to experience Times Square at night.

Bailey loved yelling at everyone in Time's Square.  She was the only baby so everybody stopped to talk to her.

The next day we drove to upstate New York.  It was a long car drive, but Bailey did fairly well.  In upstate New York we went to Niagara Falls and several church history sites: The Sacred Grove, Palmyra Temple, the Joseph Smith Farm and Hill Cumorah.

You could walk down below in ponchos and get soaked by the waterfall.

 We also did an Eerie Canal cruise:

The Sacred Grove-It was neat to walk around the Grove and feel the spirit that was there.  The gravel was really bumpy, so Bailey ended up having to be carried because she would cry when we put her in her stroller.

Joseph Smith House-I was surprised at how small it was.  Joseph shared an upper room with most of his siblings.
Palmyra Temple

Building where the Book of Mormon was first published
Hill Cumorah Pagaent-The play was put on by people from all over the United States, who had just gotten together the week before to learn their parts and rehearse.  It was amazing the way they recounted the story of the Book of Mormon.   They had really great special effects as well.

New York was a blast!  More pictures to follow of our adventures in Utah and at Bear Lake...