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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

You're Not Going to Believe This

My last blog post regarding our house-find in College Station was only half of the story of things going on while we were at the beach last week. The short story is: we have an offer on our house in Dallas as of yesterday afternoon. It's not on the market. It never was. And we are still in disbelief. We were going to use this week to do all the decluttering, paint touchups, projects and photos to get it ready and a sign was to go in the yard this Sunday. You know - stick to the plan.

So, last Thursday - the SAME day that our realtor and my mom were swooping in to see the College Station house and we were putting in our first offer on it I get a call from a dear friend two blocks over. I'd run up to the room from the pool to grab a floaty and saw I had a message from Natasha and thought I'd better listen. She proceeds to say "remember I work for a realtor, well she has this couple who wants to be in Sparkman... any chance you'd be interested in letting me show them your house... TODAY?" I nearly dropped the phone. I for sure dropped my jaw... it's really still dragging on the floor. I quickly think: 1) we're gone 2) Rachel, our nanny also just came and cleaned the house so it's actually clean and presentable! SO YEAH show the house! So I arrange for Rachel to drop Natasha the key and kind of don't give it another thought. My thought was they'd see it and give us some good feedback. We hear that they liked it - who wouldn't we love our house!

Well, the next day, Friday, Natasha says the realtor wants to see it again and can she (Natasha) show it in the morning? YEAH! Sure, she'd give us some good feedback too and maybe keep it in mind for her future clients when we put it on the market. So they're in and out Friday afternoon and that's that. We're busy putting a second offer on the house in College Station (which has two additional higher offers than our original at-ask one) so we're focused on that. And with that the weekend goes on - mind you this little couple GETS MARRIED on Saturday so they're kinda busy and we don't hear anything.

Would you believe at 4 o'clock on Monday - Patrick's birthday I get a call and message from a 214 number. Patrick's literally walking in the door, we're singing Happy Birthday and I'm getting him a beer and think, let me just see who called. The message says "Hi, this is MB, I'm emailing you an offer on your house we saw this weekend. Please review and get back to us tonight." WHA?? Patrick and I are looking at each other like deer in the headlights.

So while he's opening gifts, we're trying to review the contract offer, Jack is swinging from a chair and Lydie is climbing on a china cabinet that has to be the single most dangerous piece of furniture in our house. There's baby squawking, Jack singing, computer freezing chaos. It was a glimpse into what life would be like when we put our house on the market... We quickly realize, it would be AWESOME to work this out...

That night we have a sitter and go over to the pool across the street and talk about our response. We send a reply to the realtor that evening and are hopeful but still proceeding with our plan because what is the likelihood??

Tuesday afternoon (yesterday) Patrick is at the lake with his boss and I'm at the office. We get an updated offer from them. We start doing the math and unfortunately the cost of selling a house is just darn expensive so we're beginning to see our equity get chipped away. A few hours later we're still trying to decide what to do and Patrick talks to his boss (a super smart and savy guy) and he suggests doing a best and final. So we come up with our response and send it over at 4. 30 minutes later we get their response and it's good! Full asking price, we were hopeful for that. It's done.

According to the contract we close on August 1 and lease back until August 19. Just as we hoped.

There are still inspections and all that loveliness so in the event they back out there's still time for "the plan" but is it just me or do you see God's hand in this? He takes such good care of us. The stress of putting the house on the market, keeping it clean for showings, reviewing contracts we have no idea what we're doing, with two kids who want our attention, it's just a blessing. I just see this as a God-thing. This is grace, a big fat circle full of grace with God's fingerprints all over it. I don't believe in karma because I don't deserve any of this, He humbles us with his goodness.

We trusted, we waited, we prayed. He delivered.


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Beyond the "See"

This past week our little family packed practically our whole house up to take a trip to the beach! Patrick's parents had generously decided to take the whole fam - that's 12 people - to Galveston for four nights. This was also the last planned trip we had on our calendar to go through Bryan and Patrick and I both had this feeling that something was going to pop up in the house department. So we did what anyone would do - we made a plan. We should know, no I should know, by now that it's really no use making plans. God has His own plan and His own time frame. But since I like "doing" and not waiting, we planned. Our plan was - go to Bryan on Tuesday and look at houses Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning. The school districts had just let out and stuff was bound to be popping up left and right on MLS and we would BE THERE! For once to see them! We'd put an offer in and then zip down to the beach - perfect! So naturally we tell our realtor so she's up to speed.

So I stalked MLS like a pro and got more and more frustrated when nothing new was popping up and one of our tops goes under contract (again) Come on!

Well, by Tuesday morning our next favorite house had been taken off the market and by the afternoon the other option was gone. So we looked at four so-so houses but still felt positive, we had Wednesday to see something and surely "it" would pop up.

By Wednesday morning Katie, our realtor, had gifted me a glorious bottle of pink champagne to ease the pain (I refrained popping it in her car) so I knew our options were going to be sparse. And sure enough the two houses we looked at were way off the mark in more ways than one. So we left to the beach empty handed - not part of the plan...

Thursday morning we spent playing in the sand and having a great time. I went up to our condo and put L down for her nap and browsed MLS just in case. And what should pop up but a 4/2.5 - check. In a great area in College Station - check. On almost half an acre - check, check! And in our budget - check! So I text Katie who of course has an appointment already lined up and is calling my mom to go with her. By 11 o'clock we're at the beach on FaceTime with them "walking" through the house. It wasn't very easy with the glare and poor connectivity but we decided we better put an offer in that day. 

So here we are, at the beach, and wham our house pops up. We didn't get to see it, we had to trust. We trusted Katie, my mom and her zillion pics (thanks mom that shot of the crown molding was awesome ;)) but more than anything I felt like God was saying "trust Me." So our offer went in peacefully and prayerfully. I knew this was it so I wasn't worried.

That was until Friday morning when we learned two additional offers had gone in ALSO after ours for MORE. So they came back to us to see if we'd like to up our offer. Oh super! We saw this coming - not. So while we're taking Jack and Lydie around the Moody Gardens aquarium we are wrestling with an increase in price. "Trust me," so we went up, by a margin and said best and final - enough with the bidding war. So we waited. And at 5 o'clock we hear that they want to sleep on it! What?! Ok fine. At this point I'm like this is not the house, God'll just find us another one so whatever happens I'm ok. 

Saturday morning still no word. We've played on the beach, swam in the pool, put baby girl down for a nap. At 12:30 I'm covered in sand making a sand castle with Jack while Patrick was in the condo with Lydie and the phone rings. Gulp. I answer and tell Katie "I'm prepared, just tell me" and YAHOO! We got it!!! They took our offer, want to close in 30 days instead of 45 and lease back to us until Julg 31! All sounds good! 

So today we drove back through town so we could actually SEE the house God chose for us! It's great! Needs a little TLC in the paint department and kitchen but totally aesthetic nothing major! The yard is awesome, the house is cute and we are four houses down from the neighborhood park! Yay! Now we paid royally for taking the long way home and L screamed bloody murder on the way home to Dallas but it was worth it! 

Such a burden lifted. And so thankful we can say we trusted God without seeing the house. It felt right that He would ask this of us, our whole faith is built around the blessing of believing without seeing (although the Bible says all creation tells of His glory). God took such good care of us, I continually am in awe of his great care and loyal love that drives out fear. 

Thankful.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Expectations and Hope

I'm the type of person who likes to read the last page of a good book first. I know, it spoils the ending, but it helps me get through the "middle," the angst of conflict, the unknown. I keep on reading knowing the great ending is near!

At this point in our journey we are in "the middle." No conflicts per say but lots of unknowns. We don't know where we will live, if our house will sell and in how many days or weeks, we don't know what it will be like owning a business, the new MDO program for J&L, or what my work will be. This weekend was our first time to really go look at houses in a town we lived in for 26 straight years. You'd think we would already know right where we want to be, nope. And after about seven houses I remembered that this part of the home buying process, I do NOT like. The hunt - yuck.

In fact, in my head I had two favorites, in one neighborhood, in our price range (mostly) and all we'd need to do was go look and we'd be set! Well, wouldn't you know we walk in to meet our realtor and the first thing she says is "your top two are under contract as of yesterday." WHAT?! I did not expect that. God never does what I expect. I've come to expect that but come ON Lord, these houses had been on the market for weeks and right when we get there they're gone?! As much as it hurt that my expectations were way off, I also was reminded that God cares as much about where we live in B/CS as he did five years ago here in Dallas. Back then we saw him move and give and take away and present and follow through and we've loved it here. But closed doors, while they sometimes hurt, are much easier I've come to realize than fighting through cracked doors.

So we walked away empty handed, a little bummed, but still hopeful. It won't be long and we'll be back home and have another chance to look and maybe something cool will be in our path. God already knows where it is, we just have to trust him to present it at the right time. And that, I can wait for.