Friday, November 30, 2012

Renter Woes

We are almost a year into owning the duplexes.  We have had lots of ups and downs with these 4 units.   Lots of "old house" problems that needed fixing right away, time spent painting and fixing up, bug spraying, carpet cleaning, lawn mowing, etc.  Our first renter called about 2 hours after we put the sign in the yard and was ready to move in that day.  We couldn't be luckier.

Except now, said renter got a dog, has had 3 break ins, has people constantly "hanging out" at his house, and now isn't paying rent.

Two notices to quit, lots of calls and texts, time wasted waiting for him and being told by his friend that we weren't allowed in the house - we were through being the nice guys.

We filed papers at the courthouse and had a court hearing this past Tuesday.  It was our first time dealing with this and the process was a little intimidating.  We asked lots of questions and figured it out by experience.

We sat waiting for the judge to go through the formalities.  We then had time to discuss things with "the other side" to work things out.  So out in the hallway we went to see if we could avoid a hearing. We listened to his sob story and gave him a week to move out (being that we are either really stupid or very generous people with good hearts) and have a continuance next week for the judge to hear our case if our renter doesn't follow through.

Ugh.  There has been a lot of stress, worrying, and frustration through this whole process.  But we are learning as we go and finding out that being the nice guy only gets you so far.

My husband likes to give people the benefit of a doubt.  I, on the other hand, think rules need to be followed and if you don't, sorry.  I think there are pros and cons to each way of thinking...but in this case, enough is enough.

Hopefully, everything will work itself out.  No more mess with our renter because he WILL move out and we will just learn from this experience.

And it will never happen again...right?!?!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful for...

This month is a month of thankfulness.  Lots of friends on Facebook are doing a day by day list of what they are thankful for.  Since I never started on day 1, it's a bit late to start now so here is my list of what I'm thankful for.

1. Justin.  Without him, I wouldn't laugh nearly as much, have someone to talk things through or find out random facts every day.  I'm better because of him.
2. Haylie.  My baby girl, the light of my life.  She is smart, caring, funny, ridiculously beautiful and all things wonderful.  Can you tell? I love that girl.
3. Jace.  My chunk chunk.  My baby boy.  I was nervous about having a boy - but I love that kid so much it surprised me!  His smile makes my whole day brighter. I love seeing his personality grow each and every day.
4. My parents.  They live within 12 minutes of me and are willing to watch my kids or help me out in a bind at a moments notice.  I'm finding out you can never thank your parents enough - especially after raising you.
5. My sister & her fam. I talk to my sister usually once a day.  Running ideas by her, planning a get together or shopping trip, I feel weird if I don't talk or text with her every day.
6. Extended family - in laws, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins...I am very thankful for the family I was born into and the one I was married into.

*Now let's get serious.*

7. Friends who text me to see whats up or bring me a Sonic drink just because.
8. Sound machines who help my daughter fall asleep faster and keep her sleeping longer.
9. Kitty snuggles.
10. In-laws who will let Haylie come for a weekend and let me have a break.
11. Naps. Self-explanatory.
12. Cows.  Who make milk.  So I can stop nursing.
13. Cell phones.  So I can stay connected through calls, texts and emails.
14. Music. To help me through the day or bring back wonderful memories.
15. Picture albums.  I can look back through them and relive wonderful (or not so wonderful) times of my life.  Gothic my sophomore year?  Yikes. Let's burn those memories. My sister gave me a haircut?  Wow - let's forget that!
16. Books. I love getting lost in a different time and a different place.
17. Washing machines.  I'm not sure how people survived without them.
18. Giggles.

I could keep going on about random things but mostly, I'm thankful for Jesus - for giving his life for me and for the grace he provides so through him, my family and I will be together in Heaven.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Impromptu Shoot

It was a beautiful day on Monday! I thought it was a great time to snap some pictures of the kids.  Jace is now 9 months old and I didn't have any real good ones since my friend Peyton took some in August. So I spread out a blanket and did an impromptu "shoot".

 We have Windows Live Gallery and it easily let me play around with hues and such.

Haylie wanted to join in too.  She was a very good model and did everything I asked her.

It kind of looks like she has a beard.  Whoops!

My new favorite of her.  I wish I had gotten a better one of them together, but Jace was not in the mood by then.  We might have to try another day!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Christmas with a Twist

Every year my family seems to want to do something different for Christmas.  One year we did Garage Sale Christmas where everything you gave came from garage sales.  That was a lot of fun in my opinion, but some people were pretty hard to find stuff for!  Then we tried taking a trip over Christmas...but the destination we went was a small town with not a lot going on.  So, two for two we haven't decided to stick with the "new idea."

This year we got together to discuss some fun new options (thanks to ideas on the www and FB friends) and Justin comes up with a great new idea.

Each person picks a store where they would want a gift from.  We put those individually in a hat.

We then put each adults name in a hat.

We pick a name, we pick a store...and you have to buy that person a gift from that store.

Who knows?!  My dad might have to go shopping for my brother in law at Bath & Body Works...

It could be a lot of returning on the day after Christmas...or it could be really fun to see what people find specifically for you.  I'm excited.  We got together Friday night, filled out questionnaires to help people shop and picked our name and store.

Let the shopping begin!!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Changing the Rules

Our family has gotten in a routine. And not a great one either. Justin would come home from work to kids and Momma going crazy, we would eat what I attempted to make for dinner and then we would turn on the TV and sorta take care of the kids until we were forced to get up and put them to bed.

I read an article on FB about how we as parents are too in to our phones, iPads, TV, etc and we aren't living in the moment. Our kids are only going to be little once - we only have this one chance - so put away your phone or turn off the TV because what you are watching is not more important than your babies.

Convicted, I talked to Justin about it and we decided no TV in the evenings while our kids were awake and limit our phone calls and iPad time. Because our kids are more important than what is happening on FB. And they are learning habits and skills from us - so they will be addicted to the phone or iPad for games or texts if we keep showing them that's what important.

So we started the no TV thing at night and I love it. We are more "with" our kids while playing and being together as a family. We have read more books, played more games, and actually gotten the kids to bed on time instead of waiting until the last minute or final commercial break to squeeze it in. Haylie is easier to put down and falls asleep quicker. Jace just falls asleep no matter what, he is one tired baby.

It's been a nice change for our family. I'm not going to lie - there are many nights when I would rather veg out or have Justin do all the work with the kids. But they are so important to me that I need to change my habits so they know mommy would rather be with them than watch some stupid TV show. I'm not judging those that do - we are just trying to make a change in our family, for us, for our kids.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Just me and Jace

This weekend this kid and I spent some one-on-one time together.  It was awesome.  And this is the only picture I took of him.

So Justin was planning on going hunting for a long weekend and I was about to go crazy with my two kids - love them so much - so I shipped Haylie off to see Grandma while I relaxed at home with my baby.  What did I do?

Thursday night.  Sulked.  Cried.  Missed my hubby and baby girl.  Jace went to bed at 7:30 and left me on my own for what felt like hours. I was second guessing myself on everything.  I might have even cleaned.

But things got better Friday, even better Saturday and blissful on Sunday.  We might have missed church Sunday morning because he was sleeping - until 10 AM!!

It was weird only having one kid - and one that only grunts at me.  I missed my crazy conversations with Haylie but it was nice to have two breaks during the day and an easy peasy kid who just likes to eat!  I was very excited to see my baby girl on Sunday night - glad we were ALL back together.

Jace and I did a lot while H and J were gone.  Shopping, garage saling, craft night, baby shower...I even mowed the grass and cleaned the house!

I'm thinking this might be a yearly tradition where hunting season begins and Mommy gets a weekend to herself.  Ha.  We'll see about that.

Monday, November 5, 2012

9 months old


This kid is growing way too fast.  9 months old!!

We went to the dr today and he weighs 19 lbs, 12 oz (25-50%) and is 29 1/4in tall (75%)!

They said he was average in his stats - but he is still a big boy!!

 Jace is wearing size 3 diapers and 12 month clothing.  He shoves food into his mouth like it's going to run off his plate if he doesn't eat it fast enough.
His favorite past time is kicking his legs.  On the floor, on the wall, on his bed right before he falls asleep. It sounds like a steady drum beat.  Hilarious.
He loves when Caramel comes up to him - he grabs her and "pats" her with a big goofy grin on his face.  Anything Haylie does usually makes him smile - except singing to him when he is hungry.  That. Does. Not. Help.  He loves it when I get out my phone or camera to take his picture.  He was born for blogging.  (Except this one where he just looks like he is freezing and has a tummy ache.)

Or this one where he is awkwardly doing the splits on our couch.

We are working on weaning already.  I just can't keep up with him so we switched to whole milk per our doctors recommendation.  So far, so good!

Jace is still chillin' - he can stand with support for about 5 seconds, sit without support and rolls from place to place - though not very far.  He can feed himself - which I LOVE and still sleeps like a champion.

We are still working on his outbursts of screaming...we thought he was a lot more relaxed than Haylie, but I think he was just working up to his big reveal of "the temper."

Best of all, he is a sweet boy who will snuggle with you still and loves lots of kisses.  One of the best parts of my day!