Friday, February 29, 2008

What was it they said about the market right now?

I have consciously been waiting to post this blog until we heard news and now that it's official, I am finally ready to get this off my chest. :-)

We have been house hunting like crazy people! After a whole year of looking by ourselves, we decided to call in the pros. We felt like with a realtor's expertise and access to sites we didn't have the rights to, that we could find something on the market relatively quickly. It felt exciting and equally overwhelming at the same time. But we had already met with a mortgage broker and were pre-qualified, so we knew what we would be able to afford and that there would be a home SOMEWHERE out there for us. After a few weeks of working with a realtor, Mr. Howard looked at a house that he instantly fell in love with. It had all the makings of a perfect family home for us: nice kitchen, four bedrooms, big yard for the pups, in a very kid friendly/family friendly neighborhood. So, when I got back in town from San Francisco, my mom, sister, Mr. Howard, and I with our realtor in tow - took a second look at the house and decided to put an offer in on it. We were excited because we felt like this was it. We asked our realtor to get in touch with the listing agent to answer a few quick questions (were there any mellow roos or homeowners dues) and then we were ready. When our realtor called us back to tell us that there were 5 outstanding offers on the house - one of which was $10,000 over asking price - we were heartbroken.

But on we marched. Somewhere there was bound to be a house that we loved, with a listing agent who would love us! The next house we found had only been on the market one day (which meant there couldn't be 5 offers). We loved that house twice as much as the first. We didn't even leave the house before exclaiming to our realtor "THIS IS IT. LET'S PUT IN AN OFFER RIGHT NOW!" Two hours later, we left the office having officially put our first offer on a house. And this time, we were taking no chances: we put in a FULL PRICE offer. While I remained an optimist, I also was very realistic. I didn't mentally move in to the house or start decorating it in my head. I was going to wait to do that for the day that our realtor called to tell us that we were going to be proud first-time homeowners. Unfortunately, however, we received the news today that our offer was declined. I'd like to know how often that happens: put in a full priced offer and have someone OUT BID YOU again. What was it they said about the market, right now? "It's a buyers market right now. People are desperate for offers."

Current score: 2 full-priced offers ready. 0 offers accepted. I hate this!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Yay!

Mr. Howard started at a new store on Monday (the one on Marconi) and is obviously quite thrilled about the change of scenery!!!

The pups, however, have been really sad now that Daddy has been working more hours and they've shown their disapointment by literally refusing to get off of him when he's home. And while it's absolutely precious, it's causing mommy to have to do double the amount of laundry (why couldn't we have gotten black dogs?)!

Yay, Mr. Howard! From Harley, Jake, and Mommy - we're happy you're happy!

Monday, February 18, 2008

My mom took my sister and I for a girls weekend to see Kathy Griffin in San Francisco. We stayed in the same hotel that we normally stay in, but this time we were upgraded to a suite on the top floor (32 stories high), with the most gorgeous view of San Francisco out our window.

We had such a fun weekend, although the show wasn't the best that we've ever seen.

Happy 56th Birthday, Mommy!


Friday, February 15, 2008

Our First Valentine's Day as Husband and Wife

My wonderful husband had red roses and balloons sent to work on Valentine's Day. I am constantly in awe of how lucky I am to be married to such a loving and supportive man. I can't wait to see what the next 50 Valentine's Days bring to us.

I love you, babe!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Wedding Weekend

Because Jen and Brett's wedding is only 188 days away, it became very apparent that it was time for us to get our bridesmaid dresses. Brett had already planned a snowboarding trip and was going to be out of town, so Jen and I planned a girls-only weekend in Hermosa Beach and combined it with a trip to the Bridal Shop to pick out dresses. Successfully, only one hour into our bridal shop extravaganza, we had picked out the dress & the color, and ordered it for everyone.
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After dress shopping and a girls breakfast, we spent a few hours touring our old stomping grounds: UC Irvine. It's AMAZING how much has changed! Jen and I had so much trouble even finding the sorority house which we both had lived in. Where our old parking lot had been was homes neither Jen nor I had ever seen. It definitely made me feel old (everytime we go to UCI with my dad, he ooohs and ahhhs about all that's changed since the 70's when he went there and now I know how he feels).
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We ended our fabulous girls weekend with a trip to the spa for an hour long sweedish massage!! How much better does it get than that?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Happy Birthday Lil Bro

Two Posts in One day....Unheard Of.

In this case, however, it's worth it. Today my "little" brother turns 23!! My, how it seems like yesterday when I was convincing you to jump off the crib holding my hand...


"Colin, on the count of three, we'll jump. One...Two...Three." You jumped and I...well...I did not. This of course caused you to slam head-first into the crib and me to feel the wrath of two angry parents who asked the age old question: "Aren't you supposed to be the older sibling? You should know better (as if birth order somehow brings about wisdom beyond a 6 year old's years)."


Happy Birthday Lil Bro!! We love and miss you!

My Proposal

I have received some emails asking me where MY proposal is on Donorschoose.org so I've included the link: My Proposal. Check it out!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Super Bowl

I'm not a huge football fan. So, when I found out a week ago that Mr. Howard was scheduled to work on super bowl, I have to admit that I was excited. This meant that I would get out of my "wifely" duties of having to sit impatiently until the game was over, all the while praying I could make it through the boring game, to see the exciting commercials.

Unfortunately, however, things did not go as planned. Because Mr. Howard was sick and stuck at home, I was unhappily not surprised to hear the commentary blaring through the screen at about 3pm. One of these days, I swear I'm going to think ahead and plan a day with my girlfriends. But until I get more organized, I am destined to sit idly by while my husband watches men run around hitting each other in the bottoms, grunting, and getting really excited when the ball finally makes it across the field.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Really Great Way to Donate

I found this really good website that helps out teachers, like myself. It's called donorschoose.org. Teachers upload projects or supplies that they need funding for and prospective donors can choose to fund their projects. People who make charitable donations for tax refunds and like to help out kids, should definitely do it! :-) You can choose to fund an entire project or make a donation of a smaller amount.


I even made my own project proposal to help my classroom library, so we'll see if I get it funded.

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