Saturday, June 15, 2013

July 15

That is a big day for our family, July 15, the day our Arizona house is set to close for the tentative new owner.  We had to accept a low ball offer, but it will make such a difference on what house we can buy here in Wyoming and our month-to-month finances will be freed up quite a bit.

Please cross your fingers and say a prayer that all the inspections go well and everything proceeds with no problems for us.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Man, when we bought our house in Arizona over 8 years ago I thought it was tough because it's in a tiny little town of about 1,200 people and there were less than a handful of houses to pick from and two of the first ones we made offers on decided to withdraw their houses from sale.  I figured this time around being in a city of 50,000+ it would be super easy...WRONG!  The housing market is booming here, and never really saw the economic recession the rest of the country experienced.  Houses are priced high and they go quick.  The houses that we have been looking at literally go within a two week window.  A few times by the time our agent sent us the listing and we went and did a drive by, the house was already under contract.

We thought we might have a unique opportunity to get a "fixer-upper" at a good deal, but found out that the banks basically won't do it.  It's a HUD home where the previous owners had an FHA loan and foreclosed on it.  As they left the property they did extensive vandalism and basically took a hammer to the upstairs drywall, broke several of the doors, and took out all the appliances and some cabinets in the kitchen.  There is one bank in town that will do a special loan where you can buy a property that needs work and they finance the contractors to fix everything for you.  It's incredibly frustrating because we could have done the work ourselves and saved a ton of money.  Now it's not a good deal because we still would have to pay back the money for the contractors, and who knows how much a contractor will charge.

Another point of frustration was today when I went to look up the number for our banker and saw on the website that the interest rate jumped from 3.5% when we did our pre-qualification work to 4.1% now.  Now I am totally scared that it will keep rising and we missed our opportunity to have a low interest rate.

I hope that we will find a home soon and get our foot in the door on making an offer!

Just because...

Just because it's been almost a month since my last post.  Here is a recent picture of Katy.  She is at that stage of conquering everything.  She isn't walking just yet, but doing everything else, so probably on the verge of those first steps.   Since she is on the go it is difficult to change her diaper, get her dressed, and put her shoes on.  She has two bottom teeth and is currently fussy/not sleeping through then night/runny nose, so we are pretty sure new teeth are on the way.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Back to crocheting

I have been really busy since we moved here and haven't had a lot of time for crafting.  I did complete a project for my Magnificat Mom's group that I have been attending since I moved here.  We compiled care packages for the ladies who help watch our kids while we do our Bible study or other activities.  I crocheted book marks for them.

Here are the pattern pins:

Monday, May 13, 2013


I had an awesome Mother's Day yesterday, I feel so blessed.  Dustin and the kids gave me a gift card for a spa here that he researched and heard was the best one.  He said I could get a mani, pedi and facial, or trade for some of their other services.  I am so stoked for that!

We went to breakfast with the intentions of going to church afterwards.  It ended up being brunch and we missed all the morning masses since every restaurant was packed to the gills.  It was a great breakfast though and we decided to try and catch a movie as a family afterwards.  We went and saw The Croods, which turned out to be a really great movie.  Katy did awesome, she was not freaked out by it at all and even took a pretty good nap on my lap.

We came home for Austin to nap, then we went to a park that we heard about that turned out to be great.  It's at the foot of the mountain and has a series of trails with one leading to an incredible waterfall.

We unfortunately took the stroller for Katy which was not working on the dirt paths, but Dustin was awesome and managed to get it down the paths. Next time we will definitely take her in the backpack instead.  We played at the creek for quite a while before coming home to a nice dinner on the back porch.

Friday, May 10, 2013


Yes, it's May 10th and I am stuck on K of the A-Z Blogging Challenge from April.  Oh well, I just don't have a whole lot of blogging time these days.  Things are going well though, here are a few quick things going on for us:

  • We got pre-approved for our home loan today, so we have 90 days to find our dream.
  • I had a fun day with my real life and blogging friend Brandi.  She came to my city today and we shopped, went to lunch and took the kiddos to The Science Zone.  Austin and Marlee were adorable, they held hands most of the day, and had a great time together.

  • Austin wrapped up swim lessons yesterday.  He passed all but one of the criteria and they recommended that he is ready for level 2.  
  • He is playing soccer on Monday and Wednesdays and is loving it. 
  • I am loving the Magnificat Moms group that I joined through the churches here.  One of the ladies who happens to live just down the street had us over for lunch last week.  Her third oldest son is turning 5 next month, so he and Austin really hit it off and had fun playing together.
  • I finally made it to all three Catholic Churches here.  They are all wonderful and a huge improvement from where we came.  
  • There is an awesome little park a few blocks from our house that has a little creek that Austin loves to play around.  He could throw rocks and sticks in it all day long.  

Friday, April 12, 2013

A-Z: K


From November of 2004 to July 2012 I worked for the Kaibab Paiute Indian Tribe as their Water Quality Specialist.  It seems like a lot of time in the US that the Indian Tribes got some of the most useless land when it came to establishing reservations, but not in the case of Kaibab.  They have over 120,000 acres of beautiful land in northern Arizona.  I feel very fortunate that I got to work there, and had the opportunity to see the areas that some tribal members haven't even been to.  To learn more about the Kaibab Paiute Tribe visit their website.

Me teaching a water quality lesson to the Paiute youth.
My Dad at the Kaibab Fishing Pond
My nephew at the Kaibab Fishing Pond

Every year they host a powwow the third weekend of August that is free to the public.

Thursday, April 11, 2013



For our honeymoon we went to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico which is in the Mexican state of Jalisco.  We stayed at the Riu Jalisco Resort.  I did a post all about our trip last year in the A-Z Challenge for V, you can find the link V is for.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A-Z: I


I am from Colorado, but my four siblings were born in Iowa as well as my Mom.  My Dad was born in West Virginia, but moved to Iowa when he was young.  My husband was born and grew up in Iowa.  When we were in college we hung out among mutual friends, but when we finally had a personal conversation he told me he was from Iowa and I asked where.  He said "oh, south central Iowa" just kind of shrugging it off since usually when you tell someone a small town in Iowa they glaze over and are like "yeah, that's nice" and have no idea where it is.  I asked him where since my family was from south eastern Iowa and we drove through all of southern Iowa to get there.  He told me Centerville and I said "oh, that is on Highway 2 right?"  His eyes got all big and asked how I knew that.  I explained that we would often stop there for breakfast since it was a couple hours away from our relatives in the Fort Madison area.  He was totally impressed that I had been there and actually knew his home turf.

I have been to Iowa numerous times to visit family.  The summer between my freshman and sophomore year of high school I spent a month in Iowa with my cousins in the Montrose/Argyle area.  The whole month was about fishing, swimming, and demolition derbies.  Life is slower there, but definitely in a good and wholesome way.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A-Z: Hawaii


I went to Maui, Hawaii in 1997 with my oldest brother as his gift for my high school graduation.  We of course didn't have digital photos back then, and I didn't want to take my photos out of the scrapbook, so I just took photos of the pages to share.

Beautiful sunset over Kaanapali Beach.

The first photo is my brother, the second is me at the luau we went to and the third was at dinner the first night we were there, we watched whales breaching in the bay while we ate.  

The top photo is some of my souvenirs, the second is from one day it poured rain so we found an arcade and played all afternoon.  We won a bunch of drinking glasses, then had to figure out how to pack them to get them home.

We went to the luau and as we were sitting there waiting for it to start I was eavesdropping on the conversation at the table behind us.  I came into when a woman asked a man ", so what line of work are you in?"  He said with a bit of a southern draw "I'm in the music business."  She asked "Have you won any awards or anything?"  He said "Well I was the 1992 new country male vocalist of the year."  My head flipped around and I stared at him trying to figure out who he was.  Tracy Lawrence just cut his mullet hairstyle, shaved and was not wearing a cowboy hat so I could not recognize him.  When we went to get in the food line I asked the lady from his table what his name was and she said "I think his name was Tracy Lawrence or something, but his wife is a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader."

My brother went up and told him I was a big fan and asked if I could get my photo taken with him and he was very nice and allowed it.  Everybody always said I should have gotten his wife in the photo as well.

Me, my brother and his friend at the luau and the flowers and trees at our condo.

The first one was heading into the luau and the second was looking back at Maui as we went out on a whale watching cruise.
I wanted to go to a black sand beach, but found out that the sand wasn't very soft.
The first two are whale watching and the third is watching the sunrise over the clouds from Mount Haleakala.

Monday, April 8, 2013

A-Z: G


We just moved from northern Arizona and lived pretty close to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  We visited numerous times over the 8 years that we lived there and enjoyed sharing the experience with our guests.  The Grand Canyon is amazing and we observed that it seems the first time someone experiences it, it is so overwhelming that you really have to visit a second time to really be able to take it in and appreciate the magnificence.  That is unless you are my Dad, his response after visiting was "well, it was something to see... but I would have rather gone fishing"