Monday, May 7, 2012

Where I've Been

It's been a while since I last posted here. A lot has happened, not just since the last post, but since I first posted about our move back in July of last year. To sum up: last July we determined we needed to move. Our old house was not showing any sign of selling, and we could not afford to pay for both a mortgage and rent along with utilities on two houses. July was spent packing up almost everything to go to a storage unit. I had to say goodbye to a lot of my favorite crafting supplies and tools. The plan was to move back into the old house. We would leave it on the market, which mean that we could only take the bare minimum in the way of furniture and day-to-day necessities. I still took some cosplay stuff and art supplies. We moved out of the rental house on July 29, dropped the cats off at our old house, and went to Otakon. From August through October, we functioned as best we could--I even managed to keep posting here regularly--under the circumstances. I still got some art and cosplay stuff done. Our agent was awesome in that she was getting people in to see our house even though the peak selling season was over. November 2 was one of the best days for me last year; we got a call from our agent that there was an offer on our house. The stress of having to keep the house looking unlived in with 3 little boys and 4 cats plus the 2.5 hour drive each way my husband had to make to go to work was really starting to wear us down at that point. The sale went fairly smoothly, and the house closed on November 30. Great! That left us homeless though since I refused to go house hunting until we were officially rid of the old house--I'm a cynic about these things, and until we signed the closing papers I wasn't about to assume it was a done deal.

This brings us up to the point where I quit posting here, more or less. My parents awesomely let us stay with them once the house sold. Some weeks we spent with my husband's parents, although most weeks my husband went there by himself, since they lived closer to where he worked (1.25 hour commute versus 4.75 hour commute each way). In theory, I thought I'd have more time to work on art, website, and generally keeping up with things. My mom said she'd help with the kids; you'd think a house that had between 2-4 adults there at any time could handle 3 boys. Nope. To be fair it wasn't 100% them, although I think their exuberance really wore on my parents after the first week or two. My Mom and I have generally gotten along a lot better in the last 5-10 years than we have historically--we even managed to have a girl's week where we shopped for crafty things, worked on crafty things and watched all of FMA: Brotherhood and Ouran High School Host Club. Apparently we can owe that to the fact that I lived no where near her. I won't go into details. It wasn't anything really bad; we just grated on each other's nerves, which meant there was usually a lot of tension there. I also discovered that in the process of trying to settle in and not step on everyone's toes too much (I don't think it would have been possible to avoid that completely) I was severely limited on computer time, art time, and forget anything that involved more than a sketch pad and pencil. Let's also add into the mix that early November, I found out I was expecting baby #4, so we can add in a lot emotional and hormonal ups and downs from me. Don't get me wrong; I really appreciate my parents for what they did, and I know it was just as hard on them (if not more so) than it was on me and the boys. That was just a large part of why I let go of blogging for a little while along with most other social networking.

So, onto happier topics... We spent December getting loan approval--since the house sold, we were not free to buy again instead of just rent--and looking at houses. Just before Christmas, we found an amazing house. Ok, it's not perfect, but it's pretty close to it by our standards. It's certainly a lot larger than what I expected given our budget. We have 3 kids, soon to be 4--baby's due today, so it will be 4 very soon; all 4 of our kids are going to get their own rooms. This is not something we ever thought would really happen. I mean, we thought it'd be cool if we could work something out, but given that we're not rolling in money, I didn't think we'd find a home with that many bedrooms in our price range. Alright, so lots of bedrooms is a bonus. This house also has a largish bonus room where I can confine all my craft projects, supplies, and general mess. It's like a dream come true. I think the only things I might have added would have been a room suitable for a school room since we homeschool and a better yard. We have a yard, but the house is built on what used to be a slate mine, so the back yard is more dirt and rock than grass; it's going to be a while before we can get anything to really grow there. I have turned the formal dining room (seriously... why does that room even exist? why do we need two places to eat? personally I think the kitchen is good enough) into a partial school room. It's really open and kind of smallish, so all it can really hold are some bookshelves and the old computers we let the kids use for school projects. Some time this month, I will probably post blogs on both the school area and my craft area to share with people what I've done in those areas.

Obviously, we got the house. So, what happened between Christmas and April 4 when we closed on the house? The house was a short sale--this is why we could afford it. This meant that our offer had to not just be approved by the sellers, but it also had to be approved by the seller's bank, the one holding their mortgage, since basically the bank would be "forgiving" the difference between our offer and what the sellers still owed on the mortgage. It took till late February to get verbal approval back from their bank. They didn't actually get the signed contract to us until almost the second week of March, and our lender wouldn't start any of their paperwork until that contract was in their hands. >_< Yeah, the slowness of bureaucracy and the banking industry. Long story short, it took a little over 3 months of passing paperwork between more people than should have been necessary to get to closing. This whole period really stressed the limits of my patience.

So, late March we moved in--the sellers were nice enough to let us "rent" the house for a week before closing since we had arranged for a truck to move us (closing had initially been set for the next to last week of March... of course, that didn't happen, and that could have really screwed us up) the last week of March. This was good because the next opportunity to move would have been mid April. Anyways. We moved in. I should also add that this house is in the middle of nowhere, and we had a bugger of a time finding someone who could provide internet service out here. It was late April before we finally got internet set up here. That was another tough time that tried my patience. XD I admit, I'm an addict. It's amazing how much we rely on the internet. Late April we held my youngest's (sort of) 5th birthday party. I've been trying to keep working on projects, including that Final Fantasy VI commission piece I mentioned in my last post back in January, some plushies for the Animazement Art Show, and costumes for Animazement. It's slow, given the energy and hormonal fluctuations of being in late pregnancy, but things are getting done. I'm really excited about how things are coming together. Really, we've only been here about a month, and my craft room is not only functional but also clean and organized. Almost all of my art and craft supplies have been unpacked and have a home--I think the only thing missing is a filing cabinet for all my patterns. I don't think I've ever been this much unpacked this soon after moving... usually this is where we're at maybe a year after moving.

Alright, so that's the rough summation of my life since we started this whole move process. Wednesday, I'll be posting more on upcoming projects along with some WIP pics.

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