Sunday, January 29, 2012

Full Circle

The past few days have been a bit of a blur. Ken was at an Open House at work all day on Saturday, and I was at home with the kids who were nutty... I think it was the rain. On Friday night we put an offer in on the townhouse, starting low hoping to work the owner down enough for us to be happy. It felt like a long day because of that, I just wanted it to come together, the back and forth and waiting is too stressful.

We went to church this morning hopeful to hear some good news later in the day. It was our annual AGM day, so we stayed for a mini lunch, meeting and vote. We shared with friends that we were in the midst of closing a deal on a place, and that was exciting. Everyone knows how expensive it is around here, so to find a place under what we wanted to spend is a miracle!

Came in the door and saw a message on the phone, I answered it while Ken watched my face... we got it!!! The tears flowed a bit, it was exciting, overwhelming and really felt like God had brought us to this place.

The kicker... we get possession on April 1st. Most of you know that is the day my Mom died. The reason we even got this inheritance is because when my Mom died, Nana and Papa changed their will to give my Mom's share of their estate to my brother and I when they passed away. I know Nana and Papa's really wanted us to have our own place one day, and I am so very thankful that we can always say they were a huge part of this big step in our lives.

So this week is going to be a bit crazy now with getting paperwork looked at from the Strata minutes, inspection and finalizing our financing. Its Ken's birthday next week, quite the present eh?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Finally Thursday...

I was so anxious about today I forgot to wake Xander for his music class this morning, oops. Do you think my brain was in another place or what!?

Soooooooooo, at 1pm today we meet to see the place. Ken was home working today, as he had a dentist appointment in the morning, and my Dad joined us too. We took a brief look at the parking garage and grounds around the unit, thankful for no rain today.

When we came in, the first thing I saw was an extremely cluttered space. Huge furniture and no staging, not to mention basic cleaning is something these people aren't pros at. Of course you need to push that aside and think logically, which as artists we can do pretty well. So I give you the pros and cons

The Pros!

-Good main floor size - the flow of the layout was nice
-The kitchen - the size of it was awesome for a townhouse.
-3 bedrooms - all good size
-Storage - lots of closets, deep ones too in all the rooms and through out the home
-Family friendly complex, pets allowed, nice front area for bbq and kids to play

The Cons!

-One bathroom, its a good size and we are used to one so not a deal breaker for us, especially when most of the townhouses that are older here don't have more than one. Ha!
-DIRTY!!! Seriously, these people didn't take care of their home. Lots of tlc and paint needed to bring it back to his full potential.
-laundry closet is in one of the bedrooms - the room we would give to Ariel had a large closet that we discovered the laundry in, kinda funny, Ariel actually was excited about that, haha.
-Quirky layout - upstairs the 3rd loft bedroom is accessible via Ariel's room

With Dad with us today were able to see what we could do to fix some of the quirks, mainly creating a hallway to make the access to Xander's room more privately, and thus to the laundry stuff too. In our minds, these are long term fixes, things that don't really matter when the kids are younger. When privacy becomes an issue we would know we have some choices in how to handle it. So that is a good to know.

The 2 stairwells need some work, the one is missing the railing and the other is missing the rails that keep kids from falling through, much needed for our crazy daredevil of a son, haha.

The main appliance I see being a goner is the stove. Its pretty darn bad, but thankfully the others seem pretty good. If I was to guess the next to replace would be the fridge. The dishwasher and laundry are looking good.

Our Realtor was away on a trip and had her assistant fill in, and he was fantastic. He did a quick look and later said what he felt it was worth. I think we decided what we felt we would pay for it as is, knowing what we need to invest to make is livable. I think overall we both felt it had potential, it had lots of room, a tad quirky but then so are we. We left with some papers to ponder, chat and pray about. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Great House Search of 2012 update

Well I haven't posted in a week, mainly due to being super swamped with orders, but now I have a few free days and I am enjoying them while I can, haha. I thought I'd catch everyone up on our search for a new home.

So when we last left off, we got pre-approved along with a good rate. Following up on the advice of everyone we contacted a broker, one which our real estate gal recommended. She gave us a rate just a tad under what the bank gave us, so we were pleased that there wasn't much difference. Then we started looking at listings.

Well, I have been watching the listings for ages, and one particular property in general. In our area, there are only a few townhouse complexes that fit our budget and have 3 bedrooms. Unfortunately, its not like places where the new ones are popping up everywhere... oh the choices we would have had if we moved to Surrey. Oh blah! The new ones that come up here are the same price as a basic house, but we knew that and so we accept what is here.

So this one listing was one of 4 in the same complex but the only one with 3 bedrooms. I would check on it weekly to see if it was still there. At the time there was some major renovations happening there, and it was the middle of winter, so not a great time for selling, so it sat on the market. The moment the weather cleared up, and the renos were nearly done, 2 of the units sold fast. At that point we got pre-approval and booked a date for seeing the place... then the snow came, bah!

We had to cancel and wait... and when we were ready, the 3 bedroom listing was gone. Sob! I was really sad, mainly because there was nothing else available for 3 bedrooms. I thought it had sold, and just felt crushed that we didn't even get to see it. I pulled myself together and we went to start looking at what was out there.

We saw some condos, everything with 2 bedrooms, and we just knew long term it wouldn't work. We really needed 3 bedrooms. I was really sad and had a bit of a moment of tears with the fact there isn't much available for our money. How can it be that we finally are able to find a home and not have anything we can afford?! Seems like things keep slipping out of grasp. Its annoying and frustrating.

The last unit in that complex I had been watching was still open and said it was 2 bedrooms and a den, so I was optimistic that maybe it could work. We walked in and I was in love, it was cozy and felt like a real place we could have our family. We walked up stairs and saw the first bedroom and my heart sunk, the mini den was really added on to the room as a large storage closet more than anything. I kept thinking how it could work, but I was kidding myself. It wouldn't work. The rest of the home was perfect, I loved it, Ken loved it, Ariel loved it... but Xander would be left out without a place for him.

That evening Ken and I chatted about how much that complex was the right one for us... it had everything we wanted, a deck space (no yard due to our allergies), nice flow, easy to find for friends and pick ups for orders with my business, and just looked like us! We then asked our Realtor if she could contact the old listing to see if it sold or if they just took it off the market... and if possible if they were considering selling if we could see it. I spent all weekend longingly looking at the pictures of the listing, praying that if it was meant to be we could see it. Ken kept telling me not to get my hopes up, but I just couldn't get it out of my mind.

Monday afternoon after I came home from a trip to Costco, I got a call from the assistant of our Realtor. 'Hey, how soon do you want to see that place?' I stopped cold, 'um the 3 bedroom one?' 'Yep, what works for you this week?' So this Thursday we are FINALLY seeing that listing!!! Apparently, the people are going on an extended trip and were taking if off since they leave soon! So right now its not listed, and we get to see it!!!

So prayers and good thoughts this week as we see it. If its not the right one, at least we will know and will not continue to wonder if it was the one that got away. I just wish Thursday would come... eek! So I will blog Thursday with a yay or nay... and if its yay, then I guess we move on to the next step.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


I am a bundle of emotions this weekend, thanks hormones, you rock! Blah!

We had a fun time with Ariel on Saturday for her Topsy Turvy pageant. It was a relaxed event, modeling pajamas and crazy outfits. Ariel won Supreme for her pajamas, which she was super excited about.

Daddy even took part this time. They had a section for parents and siblings to give it a try. So Ken went up and did his best Sears catalog modeling and managed to win best personality, best modeling and most handsome. Way to go honey! He had everyone busting a gut and Ariel was SO proud of him. He was the only Daddy who did it, so it was very special for her. Although he lost out the top prize to the dancing 7 year old, but hey you can win them all!

Xander has been battling the sniffles all weekend. Lots of snot, and pretty clingy but was excited for the babysitter to come stay with him yesterday. They had fun and when we got home we took the whole family to dinner at White Spot with a gift card we had gotten at Christmas. The kids were great in the restaurant, Xander however was hilarious!. We pulled out the kids menu and asked what he wanted, FRIES! Yes Sweetie, but what would you like with it? He puts his finger to his chin and ponders, hmmm, um FRIES! No matter what we said he yelled fries, so we ordered him some fish, and the waiter laughed saying it kinda looks like a big fry. Either way, he was happy.

Things are really picking up for me business wise. Lots of new people booking and this week alone I have 2 cake orders, an order for cake pops and a photo shoot. I just need to survive this week.

Monday, January 09, 2012


Today is an exciting day, I finally cleaned the car trunk... well yes I did that but its bigger than that... um, finally got a new home phone to replace our dying ones... that too but no something else.... new keyboard and mouse as ours sent our computer into a fit last night dying haha... yes all those things happened today but today was the big day, we got pre-approved for a mortgage!

Last week I got a chance to sit down and call the bank and chat, then Ken got to talk to them this past weekend and then today we got a call from the mortgage specialist. I sat with pen in hand and scared at what she might say, as I tend to worry about these things more than the average person. The first thing out of her mouth was, beautiful credit Janet, keep it up! Ooh, I felt special. She was a lovely lady who walked me through my questions as she gave me the numbers we were eager to hear. Much like we had though, they are what we wanted to work with in terms of what we were comfortable spending. Of course in our area that is limiting but at least its a start. Yay!

So as of today, we can start to look at homes!!! Eek! I emailed our real-estate gal and gave her the listings we wanted to see in our area as a starting point. We also had a possible lead through a friend at church who is a builder. So once we see what we can, we will chat with him about our numbers and see what is our best option. We got a fantastic rate, which I was really hoping for, and I do plan to call the mortgage broker to see if they could get us any better but I really don't know how much lower they could get, but in the way of being smart we shall see.

I told Ariel after school today the bank called and said we could look at some homes and she was really excited. "Just like that tv show, is that lady going to take you to see them?" Too cute!

Like I mentioned first off, today was the day of upgrading and cleaning. This morning my Dad helped me clean out my VERY messy trunk of the car and fix my stupid turn signal light that came loose. Got rid of way to much crap that somehow always ends up in there. As a thank you I took him for a coffee and muffin. Afterwards we hit London Drugs before I dropped him at home so I could pick up a new keyboard and mouse. Our set has been dying, almost 10 years old, and last night in bed we could hear the usb going off and on trying to connect them to the computer. They are super sensitive and the mouse could barely click. I did some quick research on the 3 models at the store and got the mid priced one with the best review. It was easy install and I am a happy clam!

Dad and Rita also were nice enough to pick up the new phone we needed from the US Costco this weekend. A better price for the same phone here at our Costco. Our phone would charge up forever but only get 5 minutes of talking time before dying. Not great when taking orders. Plus to replace the battery packs cost more than a new phone! So we opted for a new phone set and it came with 4 so if we move to a townhouse with 3 floors it will be perfect. They have funny ring tones and Ariel has picked one that sounds like some 80's video game music, lol.

Again sorry no pics, just in a writing mood today. I'll post pictures soon... promise :)

Friday, January 06, 2012

A Whole Lot of Nothing!

Happy New Year! I suddenly realized I haven't been taking any pictures lately, perhaps the sign of needing a rest, haha.

What can I say about this week.... Ken went back to work and Ariel returned to school (activities don't start up again till the following week). In my wisdom of looking back at last year, I realized that it be in my best interest to take any jobs during that last week of December rather than taking it off. I remembered January was slow last year, so I ended up taking on 3 large orders (a 3 tiered sweet sixteen cake, 2 tier 40th birthday and what I lovingly refer to as the Mr Spikey cake - a glove with spike poking from the cake - a video game inspired design). At this point I only have a photo shoot booked later this month, and I don't mind that at all, because I really needed a break.

Its nice just being with Xander again, and not having much to think about work wise. A long overdue vacation and I am savoring every minute because as I write this I got a few emails for bookings, so its going to get busy soon!

I asked Ariel if she wanted some muffins in her lunch to use her new muffin container she got in her stocking. She wanted some blueberry ones and I enjoyed baking them up, something I don't get much time for any more. Ariel was thrilled and loves seeing the cute muffin inside its house in her lunch bag daily. Hee.

Some random moments this week with Ariel. I had just sat down to call our bank in setting up a new account and discussing getting pre approved for a mortgage and the other phone starts ringing, I look and its unlisted, which I assumed was maybe a cake call. I let it go to the machine and now my cel is beeping that I have a call. Again didn't worry since my cel is listed for business calls too. Then the phone rings again, this time I grab it when I see its Ken from work. He is a tad frantic, why didn't you answer?

Um, on the phone with the bank, sorry, whats wrong.

Ariel's school called, she had an accident... a bathroom one.

Um... what?! Ok... oh wait the phone is beeping, maybe its the school...

Hang up with Ken, and now my Dad is calling, as he is on the call list.

Ariel had a bathroom accident, she needs a change of clothes.

So I dash around the house grabbing some clothes, getting Xander, all the while rescheduling a new call with the bank, doh. The drive over I was thinking the worse, stomach flu and poopy pants (since that happened once at preschool, not a fond memory) I walk into the building, and Ariel's teacher comes to meet me all smiles. Apparently she was playing with the water table... and warm water can sometimes... well you know. Ariel wasn't upset, and wanted to finish the day up so I went to wait the final 20 minutes at Dad and Rita's.

Then came the play date. She has a friend in class that has been asking for ages for Ariel to come over and finally it worked out. The girl also happens to have a twin brother who is also in their class at school. When I came to pick Ariel up the older brother met me at the door with the mom. The first words out of his mouth were, Ariel kissed 'R', and they are boyfriend and girlfriend. Um hello?!

We got in the car and I 'inquired' about this so called kiss. What happened? He asked for a kiss, so I kissed his cheek, so I wouldn't get germs from his mouth. Oh where to start... oh I know, ACK! Needless to say we had a long talk about how we are too young to kiss boys, and that I am glad that she only did on the cheek since kissing is special between people you love. Of course she said she loved him though, like she does all her friends... um, sure, but no more kissing, got it! I know she didn't mean anything by it and its harmless as I remember those days before boys became gross, but it did open up the dialog about not doing things just because people ask us to, especially if we don't know we should or not.... but seriously, oh boy I wasn't expecting that one yet. Perhaps the next play date will be at our place (girls only!), and Ken might be wanting to get his shot gun sooner than we thought, haha.

We are in the process of getting wifi at our place, something we have been wanting to do for awhile but the arrival of the ipad has finally made me get around to calling. Of course we book it and then realize that our computer is older and wasn't set up for it. So I reschedule the appointment and talk to my brother about what to do in setting it up. Got the little usb thing that we need and now we wait for Tuesday. Yay.

Today I went with Xander to Reitmans to spend my gift card on sale items! Whee! I got 5 items for $50 including jeans, 3 shirts and a sweater. They were all marked down and then today another 30% off at the till. Woot. We also picked Xander up a new pillow for his bed and got his McQueen pillow case finally on his bed, needless to say he was thrilled.

So next week we are back in the full regular routine, looking forward to seeing friends we haven't seen in a few weeks. I also have book club which will be fun. Well Xander just woke up screaming, the joy of night terrors, so sorry for the lack of pictures, I'll get back to things soon... until then I shall enjoy my mini break.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...