Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Trevor's little sister got married on the Friday before Labor Day, so we spent the weekend in Idaho enjoying the festivities.  We arrived on Wednesday night and spent the next day helping with reception preparations.  It was nice to be there a day early and help with last-minute items, and Trevor was able to attend the temple with his parents and Taja on Thursday evening.  The wedding day was beautiful- you couldn't order better weather!

Waiting for the bride and groom...
 Benson with Great Uncle Wade
 Cassie LOVES her Aunt Kimmie and Uncle Rialey
Grandpa H and his girls
The favorite Uncle :)

The happy couple!  (Really, they were ridiculously happy.)

 All 6 siblings!

Cassie was pretty disappointed that Tom didn't choose her as his best man:

Trevor's parents worked hard on their yard all summer in preparation for an outdoor reception, and it looked so beautiful!  Plus, the decorations for the reception were amazing.  I was too busy rushing around to get everything ready so I didn't take any pictures of the reception.  I seriously regret it now.  It was so charming!  Here are some fun pictures Trevor's sister-in-law Becky took.

Cousins!  It's so fun to watch these girls play together.

Part of me was sad to see Taja get married: she's the last sibling on Trevor's side, and only Robert is left on my side.  I think weddings are so fun and joyful.  It was also exhausting, so I'll try to remember that part whenever I feel sad that we only have one wedding left. :)


Cassie was playing with a book of stickers, and Benson happened to be lying right there, so naturally...

It's a good thing he is such a good sport.  He didn't complain while she pushed him around to get the stickers where she wanted them, or when we peeled them all off.  I'm so glad they adore each other!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

July with Cassie and Benson

Here's what Cassie and Benson did this July:

snuggled with daddy

dipped oreos in milk- yum!

read books together

ate watermelon


played with cousins

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Going on a house hunt...

September 2010: We sign an 11 month lease at our apartment complex hoping to buy a house the following summer.  Saving our money!

January 2011: Start going to model homes to get an idea of the cost of homes in our area.
We talk with mortgage lenders to get pre-qualified for financing.

February 2011: We visit a LOT of model homes and see at least 10 different builders.  We now have a good idea of what we want and what we can afford, but we are pretty sure we want to buy an existing home instead of a new one.

March 2011: Baby Benson arrives!  We pause our house-hunt.

April 2011: House hunting resumes.  We write a detailed list of what we want in a house and prioritize it.  We start working with a real estate agent and look at a few existing homes.

May 2011: We narrow the geographical area we are searching in (to within about 5 miles of our apartment), decide that we are going to buy an existing home instead of building a new one, look at a LOT of houses, and make our first offer on a home!  Someone else offers more.  Bother.

June 2011: We see more houses and make more offers.  Someone else always offers more.  Double bother.

July 2011: More houses, more offers, no luck.  We are getting sick of this.

August 2011: We are waiting to hear about 3 different short sales that we have made offers on (it can take months to hear back about an offer on a short sale).  Our apartment complex sends us a cheery "It's time to renew your lease!" letter.  Should we sign a new lease?  If so, for how many months?  Or should we pay $200 extra to go month-to-month?  I tell Trevor that part of me wants to stop looking for a home because I'm so tired of the time and effort it is taking.  We agree that maybe we should take a break.  We still need to decide about our lease before the end of the month.
Our real estate agent emails us about a builder that has dropped the price of homes they are building in a certain neighborhood, and that they are also offering huge incentives to buyers this month.  He knows the community is about 15 miles from where we live now, and that we weren't planning on building a new home, but he thinks we should check it out anyway.  We tour a model home and are smitten.  We can afford to build this home and even have lots of wiggle room for upgrades!  We visit the neighborhood and everything just feels right (and really, that's what I was waiting for).  Things come together quickly, and a few days later we are signing papers so they can get started on our new home!  We sign a four month lease, knowing our new home will be built by January.  Hooray!

Our house as of Tuesday:

An addendum: "Why Emily is So Happy About Building This Home"
It is so nice to know exactly what is happening for the next year of our lives (and more!).  I had a hard time not knowing if or when our offers would be accepted, and that if an offer was accepted, we would have about 30 days to pack and move into our new home.  That's too much uncertainty and spontaneity for me.  I love that we have the next four months to prepare, pack, and say our goodbyes.  Trevor's commute will be exactly the same length, but it will take him a little less time.  So we'll get to see him an extra 6 minutes every day. :) So many of the houses that we saw were foreclosures or short sales that were in bad shape.  It is so nice to know that everything in our house will be new and will have a warranty (don't worry, we're not naive- we know it won't be perfect).  It is thousands and thousands of dollars less expensive to build our home where we are building it than it would have been to build near our current apartment.  And property taxes are much lower where we are building.  Our lot backs up to a church, so we already have a back fence and we won't have to worry about back-door neighbors!  Um, did I mention that we got to choose everything about our new house?  And we got tons of free upgrades?  I'm smiling as I write this.  Really, those details deserve their own post.  Don't worry, I'll post lots of pictures as the building process unfolds.