Saturday, January 2, 2016

goodbye, 2015...

Whoa. Long time, no blog. I'm not sure if I'll get back into blogging, but there's no time like the present to recap our crazy year!

January: We decided to list our house (as we did in summer 2014) but we meant it for real this time. We loved, loved, loved our old house, but there were some things we were looking for in a new place. We wanted a new neighborhood that was older (ha!), a view that wasn't our neighbor's new 2nd story, perhaps a pool, a different (and a little less open) floor plan. We were tired of being on the corner of a crazy street. Basically, after deciding last summer to sell, we were over our house and took the plunge right after Maddy and my birthdays - the 28th to be exact!

February: After celebrating Jack's birthday with friends, we surprised him and Maddy with a trip to Disneyland! Maddy, Jack, and I piled into Gran's car and hit the road for a super fun trip. I'd been experiencing dizzy spells (really on and off for a couple years, especially in the fall-spring and extra especially in the winter), so it was nice to leave the driving to someone else and to have an extra hand on the supervision side. We had a great time and spent the rest of the month with showings and two offers. The first fell through right away, due to inspection bizarreness, and the second we accepted. I've also been working part-time selling tutoring services, Maddy has been going to daycare with Annabelle, and Jack was killing it in 1st grade.

March: Ups and downs with the house and some neighborhood news that wasn't great. We had an offer in on a house that was contingent on ours selling but the sellers called it and we had to walk away. I ended up getting let go from work - not a super fun month, but we're all healthy and have a great roof over our heads! I also found a dog on the freeway and Jack named him Hunter. He was super small, but healthy and thrived with us!

April: April was CRAZY. The people buying our house are supposed to close escrow on the 20th but didn't make all the necessary moves. The bad guy in the neighborhood news finally comes to an end (after court postponements) and the buyers decide to removed their contingencies. We don't have anywhere to live and try to cancel our sale. Our relator doesn't execute so we're stuck selling without any plans. Luckily we have the apartment above the garage as an option! We decided to go camping on my last day of work - midweek style, because it's spring break and we can - and on our last day we look online to see if anything came on the market. AND SOMETHING DID!! We rush home to take a look and write an offer to close in 17 days. Our house sale closes on the 20th ( I think), so we have a rush packing weekend and get semi-settled in our apartment above the garage. Our new house closes on the 26th just as Pete and I leave for Stagecoach in Indio (such a blast!). We come home and get the keys to our new (old) digs!

May-July: Seriously. These months were a blur. Pete spent his day at the bank and then helped me with the new house. I spend all my time doing serious labor. I rip out carpet. Lay tile. Paint walls. Paint more walls. Cut and install baseboard. Scrape ceilings. Strip wallpaper. Run errands for fans and light switches and gallons of paint and nails and screws and pick out flooring and colors and make floor plan decisions and buy toilets and lay hardwood and so much more. I can't even remember. BLUR but amazing. I think the kids watch more movies and eat more fast food than they ever will again. We swim in the afternoon to make life a little more fun ;)!

August: WE MOVE IN! We have space and a pool and a semi-new house on a quiet street with a spectacular view with only one neighbor (with a creek and golf course in our backyard!). It's amazing. Jack starts SECOND grade! Maddy loves school! Pete's job is ok! I'm unpacking. We have some pool shin-digs and settle in nicely. Pete's birthday is so fun with an impromptu pool party after a harvest festival and we celebrate with dinner at David's new gig (Luigi's deli with beers on tap!).

September: It's still so nice, we have some parties. Our house is a work in progress (will be for a long time). Soccer season is awesome with an undefeated team (go smashers!). Pete and I make it to Oktoberfest in Tahoe the last weekend of the month to celebrate our anniversary.

October: Indian summer still so we swim and work on the house and the year. Jack is killing it in 2nd grade with an AWESOME teacher! Maddy is a little mini-me decorating and cooking and helping with everything. I'm co-room parent and we throw an AWESOME halloween party and make an even more awesome scarecrow for the harvest auction. We do the harvest festival at school and win the auction and get to take yoda-crow home (he's in our game room as we speak!). We take a 4 mile trick or treating route and enjoy the 5000 pumpkins that are carved nearby. Maddy and I even get to carve a couple for the display!

November: Jack and Pete visit Grandma Stewart in Arizona. Soccer is amazing. Pepper starts not acting well (struggling with walking), but she recovers nicely. Thanksgiving week is great - no school - and we get Christmas set up in a day. We had a 'leftovers and libations' party with friends bringing their thanksgiving leftovers and drinks. So fun. I love entertaining here!

December: What a whirlwind this month has been! We went to Florida for a week with the family and did some work on the house (painted cabinets in kitchen, made a mantle). Christmas was so fun and went too fast as usual. But we had sad dog-related things happen. Hunter ran away and we weren't able to get him back. Pepper declined quickly the week of Christmas. We took her to the vet on the 27th and had to put her to sleep. Pete and I are so sad, she was part of our lives for 11 years. She was with us in 4 houses and 3 runs at my parents' house, two kids, two major renovations. Our first baby. The house is extremely quiet without her click-clacking on the hardwood and sighs/relaxed groans and snoring. Our lives were touched by her sweet soul, but we take comfort knowing she's happier and healthy with all our loved ones and animals that have passed. NYE was amazing this year with tons of great food, awesome friends, champagne and a dance party that rivaled any Friday night at the grad!

I can't believe this year has gone by so fast - but also so much happened! Ups and downs, but we're all doing well and are so looking forward to 2016!