Friday, April 20, 2012

In a Hamilton House

Have you read "In a People House" by Dr Seuss?  
We have our own crazy world In a Hamilton House.
Hold on tight, we're going to take you on a ride.

Eight Years Ago:
We bought our home in Littleton.  This was our three to five year home, eight years ago.

Three Years Ago:
We discussed moving closer to work and somewhere where we could spread out a bit.  Then we got to know the neighbors a bit more and we didn't go anywhere.

Two Years Ago:
We discussed moving closer to work and somewhere where we could spread out a bit.  Then we summertime came, we spent more time with the neighbors we didn't go anywhere.

One Year Ago:
We found a great house in Roxborough.  It was the perfect floor plan and on 1 acre of land.  Roxborough is WAY south.  We decided the extended drive wasn't worth it plus they had two big dogs which raised questions about how Oliver would handle the environment with his allergies.  We didn't go anywhere.

Over the Past Year:
We have been keeping our eye out for our perfect home with the perfect floor plan, on the perfect piece of property, in the perfect location.  We were starting to wonder if it existed in our price range.

In January 2012:
Keith's commute continued to get longer and longer and our evening time together was getting crunched and stressed.  For work life balance as well as our desire to spread out a bit we decided to put our house on the market and get serious about our desire to buy a new home.  We knew we had to do it in the dead of winter because once we all started to emerge into the street with the warmer temperatures, we wouldn't have the will power to leave our great neighbors.  In the midst of preparing our home for selling a house posted online that appeared perfect.  Bank owned, perfect location, perfect floor plan, perfect property, perfect.  The home went on the market on Friday, we looked at it that same Friday, we put an offer in the following Tuesday once we had everything lined out.  Wednesday we found out that we lost the house to an offer that came in on Monday.  We put our house on the market that following Friday.

Since January 2012 we have looked and looked at multiple houses and have yet to find the perfect house.  We watched the original perfect house with mild hope that it would fall through with the other buyers, we eventually gave up on it.  We have had multiple showings, and multiple offers on our house, many of which we declined because they came in low and we didn't have a new house to move to.  The weekend before I went to Texas we looked at houses in Washington (Wash) Park, Denver, and we decided to take a turn from our plan and put an offer on a 130 year old Tudor with the expectation that we would "pop the top".  It would be an adventure and an investment.  We put an offer in the week prior to my Texas trip but because the property was bank owned and they knew it would be hot, there was a 10 day hold on offers.  We waited.

February 27, 2012
I returned from Texas on Sunday, February 26.  Monday morning, February 27 Keith called me and told me that he got an email that our Perfect house was back on the market.  I told him, "call Kati (our realtor) and put an offer in.  It's OUR house, our Perfect house, if this is real and not an Internet snafu."  Within 30 minutes of Keith receiving that email he had called Kati, Kati confirmed that it was real, Kati drafted an offer, we accepted and Kati submitted it to the sellers realtor.  We pulled our offer on the Denver house.  

February 29, 2012
Our offer on our Perfect house was accepted, over another offer that came in!

February 28, 2012
We received a fourth offer on our house.  It was low so we countered.

February 29, 2012
We received the fifth offer on our house.  It was low, but we could live with it.  The fourth offer that we countered was declined.  We also had a few viewings this evening.

March 1, 2012
We received a letter of interest from one of the parties who viewed our house the night before.  They had an offer drawn up, they just wanted to take one more look at 10:00 AM.  At 11:05 AM, we received an offer that met our expectations.  We declined the offer that we had received the day before and we accepted this sixth offer.  That made over 48 showings and 6 offers.

Since March 1, 2012
It has been a whirlwind of paperwork, details, inspections, negotiations and soon to come, PACKING!

We are all SO relieved that the house hunting process is OVER!  We are a bit nervous and very excited to start our next set of adventures in our new home.  I don't want to give away all of the fun details in one post, and I want to make sure everything closes ok so for now, I'll leave you with a few images that demonstrate the excitement we have for our new life In a Hamilton House.

You know that it's the Perfect Hamilton House when you can just flop down like you own the place.
You know it's the Perfect Hamilton House when your boys can't stop smiling and sprinting with joy.
You know it's the Perfect Hamilton House when your boys have a mischievous look in their eyes like they are plotting what kind of adventures they can have in the Master Bathroom. 
You know it's the Perfect Hamilton House when we can watch the storms roll in or the sun set over the Rocky Mountains.
You know it's the Perfect Hamilton House when your boys take on the stairs like they are conquering a Colorado 14er.
You know it's the Perfect Hamilton House when Kellan marches into his new bedroom like it's always been his (new paint job needed).
You know it's the Perfect Hamilton House when Oliver can run circles in his new bedroom because he had the privilege as the oldest son to choose the biggest bedroom.
You know it's the Perfect Hamilton House when the boys are already plotting what will fit through the railings in order to determine the rate of which an object will fall to the first floor.
You know it's the Perfect Hamilton House when there is enough room in the 1/2 acre yard to run and run...
... and run some more.
You know it's the Perfect Hamilton House when the boys can't stop smiling.  If they knew what it meant, they would probably tell you their smiling muscles are hurting.
You know it's the Perfect Hamilton House when there is a real mailbox out front, a reminder of where we come from with quiet country roads and simple pleasures like a little red flag to flip up when you have mail to go out. (our new city side kicks in when we realize how paranoid we are to put out mail in a box that doesn't lock)
You know it's the Perfect Hamilton House when it glows from the heavens because it was meant to be.
We can't wait to call this house our home.  We will miss our neighbors in Littleton, but they have already threatened to move the block party to our new house.  We like that idea already!
We can't wait to call this house
Home Sweet Home.

***This post was written early in March  We didn't want to post it until after we closed, just in case.  Since this time, it's been a crazy ride.***

March 8 Keith and Carrie went to Chicago for a weekend away.  Grandma came to town to stay with the boys.  Kellan had a cold, we took him to the Dr, they said he was fine, so we left town.  By the next tuesday, he was still not himself so we took him back to the Dr.  They sent him for tests and he had pneumonia.  Poor Kiddo!  Plus, Grandma gets Grandma of the Year for taking care of a sick kiddo while we were gone.  Who would have guessed this would have been the beginning of two long sick weeks?  We thought it was just a cold.
From Chicago, Mommy brought home a nasty sinus cold, which Daddy had as well.
Later that week, Kellan was doing awesome on his antibiotics but Oliver came down with the flu.  He was down and out for four days over the weekend.
The next week, Kellan came down with the flu.  Mommy took him to the Dr because of the previous weeks pneumonia and he tested positive for the flu and they gave his Tamiflu (awesome!).  He spent the next day at home.  All the while, Daddy was in Michigan for work and was coming down with the flu himself.  
By Friday March 23, both Mommy and Daddy were down for the count with the flu.  Fortunately, the boys were better so they were in school.
2 colds, pneumonia, 4 flus and a huge agenda to sell our house, buy a new house, pack and move.  Whew!
Also on March 23 we found out that our March 30 close date was moved to April 6.  We had to make arrangements for everything to happen a week later.  After the initial stress of the date change we realized that the best part is we get an extra week to finish packing and prepare for the move.  Crazy, huh?!
Today is March 25.  Hopefully the next time I tap into this post I'm saying that we are Green Light Go on Golden Pastures***

*** Today is Thursday, March 5 and we are scheduled to close on both houses tomorrow.  18 hours prior to the closing our our new home we received notice from our Realtor that the bank who owns our new home transferred the loan to a new bank and they wouldn't be ready to close tomorrow.  They  believe we can close on April 20, in two weeks.  Tomorrow at 9:30 AM we sign the papers to sell our home.  The movers come Saturday.  In the next 24 hours we have to find temporary housing for up to two weeks and storage for our belongings.  All we can say is "You've got to be kidding me!  Ugh!"***

I read a quote recently that said something like:
I'm not saying it's going to be easy, but I'm saying it's going to be worth it.
This may be the theme of this adventure.

*** Today is Tuesday, April 10.  The past four to five days have been a whirlwind of chaos and stress.  We closed on the sale of our house Friday morning and then spent the rest of the day looking for temporary housing and storage.  We accomplished finding both and then went to pick the boys up at their current Primrose for an emotional last time.  (Emotional for Mommy, not so much for the three Ham Fam boys.)  The movers that quoted us a move in 5.5 hours and one truck load showed up on Saturday and said there was no way they could move us in one truck load.  Two truck loads and 10 hours later, we were still not done.  On Sunday we took our kids to a friends house and Keith and I moved all of our remaining items into the garage and cleaned the house.  The movers showed up at 3:30 and moved the remaining items into storage.  I went to pick up the boys, escort them through the Easter Egg hunt (don't forget, Easter was this day), eat dinner with our friends and then transport the three of us to our "vacation house" like a bunch of zombies.  (The home we rented was a (vacation rental by owner) so we told Oliver it was our vacation house. He was fired up!)  By Sunday night we were exhausted and emotional drained to a point that I don't recall experiencing in a very long time.  Monday morning the boys started at their new Primrose.  Oliver was like a politician as he owned the room with his presence.  I told him that morning that the "girls would love him and the boys would want to be him."  His mama knows a thing or two about her boy because that is basically the report I got from the teachers that evening.  Now that he has two days under his belt he is doing very well. Kellan struggled with drop off on the first day but after 30 minutes they called us and said he had calmed down and was playing.  Tuesday morning was a bit of the same but much less dramatic.  The teachers said he is adjusting well, getting along well with the other kids and he loves pushing the big Tonka trucks around the playground.  They are adjusting well in their temporary housing and situation.  We are still waiting to hear about the close of our house and we hope to have a date tomorrow.  Time will tell.***

***Today is Tuesday, April 17.  We have confirmed a closing date and time of Friday, April 20 at 10:30 AM.  So far, all signs point that we are on track for closing.  I call our realtor every day at lunch time to check in.  Keith calls or emails our finance people every day to check in.  So far, so good... so far.  After ten days, we have adjusted to living in the Vacation House.  We are coming off of a very relaxing weekend with rain, snow, sleeping in, PJ's, birthday parties and long naps.  Just what the Dr ordered. We are cautiously optimistic that we only have three or four more days left in the vacation house.  It has been a perfect house for the situation we are in for two weeks but we will happily leave this vacation behind for the real deal in a few short days. Hopefully***

***Today is Thursday, April 19 and we are once again 18 hours out from closing.  So far, all signs point to GO.  We have been told that the finance people are waiting fom one final number (Really people?  You've had TWO Extra weeks to pull this together!) and we are scheduled to be at closing, on time.  We are still skeptical until we have keys in our hand.***

*** 12 hours and counting.  We really may own our Perfect Hamilton House very soon!***

*** Today is Friday, April 20 and we are officially NEW HOME OWNERS!  Time to move on to Golden Pastures***

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Easter Weekend in a Vacation House

Easter was celebrated a bit differently than we had anticipated.  I don't want to give away details until we post about our new house adventure once we close so I'll just say that we spent Easter (and a bit of time after) in a Vacation House.  How is that for a carrot?
Speaking of carrots, did you know that you have to leave a carrot for the Easter Bunny?
Well, I didn't and fortunately when we were at the grocery store on Easter Eve Oliver clued me in.  That night he set out the baskets and the carrot.  He was a bit concerned as to why we had the Easter baskets. I simply explained that I had let the Easter Bunny know that we were in a Vacation House and the Easter Bunny asked that we have the baskets ready so that all he had to do was fill them since we were in a Vacation House.  Hopefully, little white lies on a religious holiday don't give us a one-way ticket south.  Especially since there were a few little white lies like when Oliver asked if I could send a computer message to the Easter Bunny to let him know that we wouldn't be in our house.  I informed him that I sent the Easter Bunny an email to let him know that we would be in the Vacation House.  We followed this story with the real story of Easter, which is a bit hard for a very practical four year old to comprehend.  We wonder if he bought the Easter Bunny stories a bit more than Jesus raising from the tomb, but all in due time the stories will sort themselves out.  In the meantime while Oliver ponders the true meaning of Easter, the Easter Bunny followed through and made an appearance at the Vacation House.
He even nibbled on the carrot.
At 3 AM, Oliver woke up wondering if the Easter Bunny had arrived and with a tummy ache that bent him over the porcelain throne.  He didn't have any lasting tummy issues so we think that it was just his nerves.  He scoped out the Easter Bunny loot and then we had to coax him back to bed.  He was up again at 6 AM, ready to see if the Easter Bunny had been back for round two.  Since when does the Easter Bunny make two rounds?
Kellan was happy with a new ball and frog.  Oliver was concerned that Kellan scored more loot but I guaranteed him that the Easter Bunny was one smart cookie and they got the exact same amount and type of loot.
Since Oliver had investigated his basket thoroughly at 3 and 6 AM, he was more than happy to tour Kellan through is basket.
The Easter Bunny even brought bunny snacks (like gold fish crackers).  Oliver was quick to tell us that they were boring but Kellan was quite thrilled with the snack option.
The Easter Bunny also left little green army men with parachutes around the house.
"Hey look Kellan!  What's in the window?"
(As he literally looked OUT the window.)
Hey look, an army man in the window!
Also at the grocery store we saw Mini Chiquita Bananas!
I couldn't resist, we had to have them!
"I just don't know why, but I feel so labeled today."
"Hello Ladies!
You can call me Chiquita Mini!"
Randomly we would find army men hanging around on parachutes.
After breakfast it was chocolate bunny time.  Grandma sends these to the boys every year.  They are the exact same bunnies that we sold as kids in the grade school and now our nephew sells them as a fundraiser.  They are World's Finest Chocolate solid Easter bunnies.  That makes a WHOLE LOT OF CHOCOLATE for two little boys (and a few nibbles for their Mommy).
"Look Grandma, my very own chocolate bunny!"
"Really Mom?  You want me to take a big bite of this?  You NEVER let me eat this much chocolate."
"This must be a trick.  I won't make eye contact with Mommy because there is NO way she is really letting me do this."
"Dude!  This is some good stuff!"
"Oliver, is this for real?  Are we really getting to eat a whole block of chocolate?"
"mmmmmmmmmmmm goooooood Stuff!"
"Finger Lickin' Good!"
"Smile Kellan.  This kind of luck doesn't come around often.  They say it's a lucky rabbit foot, I'm thinking it's a lucky chocolate bunny."
These photos are for you, Grandma!
After the bunny ears disappeared (and the rest of the bunny took a rest back in the box) Kellan got his hands on Keith's hat and a tour book of Colorado.
How can you resist a chocolate smile and a side turned cap?
After we all got dressed for the day, Kellan decided that playing with the basket grass was quite mesmerizing.

Before we headed out for the day the boys sat in the grass as I tried to get a photo of them together in their Easter outfits from Nana.  They weren't much in the mood for a photo, but they were loving the dandelions.  Sometimes you've just got to roll with what you get.  The outfits were perfect for the boys.  Thank You Nana!

Later that afternoon the boys had an Easter Egg hunt with our friends the Martin's.  This was Kellan's first egg hunt and he picked up on the process quickly.
There were four four-year-olds and they were given instructions to help the little guys (Cole and Kellan).  Oliver followed instructions and stayed back to help his brother.  He also had his eagle eye on some brightly colored eggs.
As instructed, Oliver gave every other egg to his brother.  Actually the instructions were to help the little guys.  He took this literally.  He is such a great big brother!  Big Brother's don't get much better than his.
Picking up an egg with his eye on the next prize.
Kellan strolling through in search of some hidden treasures.
Sharing their findings.
MMmmmm Some more bunny crackers.
Jack Pot!
Kellan and Oliver checking out their findings.

After the egg hunt the kids went out front to ride bikes.  It was a great way to burn off some chocolate and jelly beans.
Kellan discovered Cole's four wheeler and he began to wonder why he didn't have one for himself.
Owen came busting out of the garage in his truck and eventually Oliver got to take a turn driving it around.  He LOVED it!
Cruising in the trucks.
Kellan showing his true feelings of the four wheeler while he wonders when one will arrive in his very own garage.
Our Easter took an unexpected turn and hopefully someday soon I will be posting the story of our adventure.  However, the unexpected turn reminded us that we are tough cookies that can manage unexpected situations and at the end of the day we are all together as a family and that is what really matters the most.
Related Posts with Thumbnails