Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Random Sh*t

Our internet keeps going out for 10-45 minutes at a time but since my husband has an aversion to talking on the phone, we'll never know why.

Yesterday, the internet went out again and the kids decided that would be a good time for them to pack a box.  Meg pulled out a box that our friends Alex and Molly gave us.  She came back a short time later, carrying it with two fingers like there was something wrong with it.

Meg: I can't use this box.

Me:  Why?

Meg: There is a bad word on it.

I looked at the box and saw that Molly had written 'sh*t' on one flap.  Then I looked closer and saw that the other flap said 'random'.

Me: Oh, this box held 'random sh*t'.

Meg: GROSS!!!!!!

Me:  No, listen.  It means that they put random things in it that didn't make it into another box.  It's an expression.

Meg: So, there wasn't any POOP in this box?

Me: Well, I don't know for sure but since I don't see any sh*t stains, I'm going to say no.

Meg: Okay.  Do you have 'random stuff'?

Me: Yeah, you always do.  See....the china hutch and entertainment center are mostly packed but there is still some 'random stuff' that I'll have to pack.

Meg: I get it now.  Wait, Uncle Robert's ashes are still on the shelf.

Me: Yep, Uncle Robert is 'random sh*t'.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Bad Behavior in Denver Rental Market

It was a wild and crazy couple of weeks but we have finally signed a lease on a house and we move in 11 days.

There are stories in the news about the rental market in Denver. The prices are high, the inventory is low and finding what you want is almost impossible. There is also a lot of bad behavior and practices going on.  People making a profit from application fees, people failing to update their rentals but hiking the rent up because they know inventory is low. I called Waypoint Homes 6 times trying to see a few homes that they had listed for rent and their representative would not contact me.  I'm still waiting for a phone call.

A friend of mine had to quickly find a new rental for her and her 3 kids when her landlord declined to renew her lease because he was increasing the rent by $800.

We found a house that was at the top of our budget and we jumped on it, filling out an application with a high application fee because we felt like we didn't have any other choices.  We ignored the fact that the house wasn't updated and the owner was storing a boat, a car trailer and two cars on the property. We asked the property manager to ask the owner to removed the things from the house before we'd agree to rent.  We didn't want to be responsible for his stuff and we didn't want to live in a storage facility.  He declined so we walked away.

In the end, we had two places to choose from.  A beautiful completely remodeled townhome with all new everything.  The catch for me was the shady neighborhood and that the light rail train was directly across the street.  The kids were disappointed we didn't pick this one because their bedrooms had little cubby holes to have a hide away.

We ended up picking an old house built in 1942 that is close to the mountains with no a/c and a detached single car garage with a stone fireplace inside. We are ignoring the fact that I-70 is just up the hill from our back yard because the house has everything we need and the price was perfect! The owner is even painting the outside and putting on a new roof before we move in.  It's going to be a great place to raise our family.

These are growing in my new front yard right now and that feels like hope!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

5 Things I'm Loving This Week

I'm trying really hard to look at the bright side so I thought I should count my blessings.

1.) Cable TV

Keith cancelled our cable to 'save money' a few months ago and then he realized that he'd have to pay Apple to watch The Walking Dead and he decided to get cable back.  Somehow, he ended up with more channels than we had before so now I have BRAVO!  Real Housewives of Potomac has me brushing up on my etiquette.

2.) Colorado Weather

Sunny and warm! We sat on a patio next to a lake in what might be our next maybe next hometown and it was wonderful!  I know we have some snow to deal with still but I love spring.  Bring it on!

3.) Book Club with my Bestie

Jessica (my long distance BFF) and I are reading The Best Yes and face timing once a week to discuss the chapters we've read.  It's been like therapy for me and this week we decided to bring back 'day drinking'. Anyway, I love chatting with her the book has been very helpful.

4.) Smarties

I love candy but I'm trying to cut back.  Smarties are small (25 calories per roll) and take time to eat. I bring a couple rolls with me when I go to school to sit in the parking lot before picking up my kids. Such a nice little treat.

5.) The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner

This book is so well written and an amazing story of never giving up.  Since my 4 years in Utah, I've been fascinated by polygamy and found this poor families story to be heartbreaking.

What are you loving this week?

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Home Ownership, The Ultimate American Dream

Well, shoot.  We didn't get the house.  We were the 3rd application in line and the house went to the 2nd couple, who had been filling out their application in the basement of the house and turned it in 5 minutes before we did.

I'm not gonna lie, I was super disappointed and I cried over it. The pickins are slim in Lakewood and I'm currently trying to get a realtor to call me back about a house that doesn't have a backyard.  Who wants to come over for a driveway party? WOOT!

I've had several people ask me why we aren't buying a house.  The reason is that we don't have a $70,000 down payment.  The average house in our fair city is selling for $350,000.  That's for a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1800 square foot house with a yard.  Average.  That requires a $70,000 downpayment and $6000 in closing costs.

Denver is also at the top of the market right now.  The house we sold in Lakewood in 2006 for $300,000 is now worth $425,000.  Kind of wishing we'd held on to that house now but we bought it with NO money down when they were giving loans away like puppies and our balloon payment would have killed us.

I hate the process of buying houses.  I never want to do it again. Unless it's a beach house.....

I had a conversation with a teacher at school this week and she was sad that her kids who are about to graduate from college won't be able to ever buy a house.  And at that moment, I decided to stop saving for college and start saving for my kids downpayment on a house!

We only need to save $800 a month for the next 14 years. I guess they had better get jobs!

Monday, February 22, 2016

A Place to Call Home

I was lying in bed this morning thinking about moving.   We went to see a house on Saturday that I hope will soon be ours.  It is perfect for me and the kids but not so much for Keith.  It's become abundantly clear over the last 12 years that our wants and needs when it comes to a place to call home are very different.

Things that I need:

  • A dark quiet bedroom with a window that opens to let in cool air.  
  • A squirrel-free yard where I can sit with a cool drink and listen to birds sing, with a little bit of dirt to plant herbs and tomato plants and a place for kids to play.
  • A room with windows where I can sit and absorb the Colorado sunshine on cold days.
  • A room for a washer and dryer that I don't have to pay to use.
  • A room with a deep bathtub for soaking in lavender bath salts.
  • A kitchen that more than two people can fit in.
  • A room for each of my children to sleep in. 

Things that Keith needs:

  • Low rent.
  • A spot to put his desk/computer.
  • A place to play his head at night.
  • Someone else that mows grass, shovels snow and does any and all maintenance. 

As you can see, Keith needs are few and he is completely happy living in a small apartment behind a bowling alley. Do you know what happens at 5:30am outside my window almost every day for the last 5 years?  The trash gets picked up from the bowling alley and they throw away bowling balls almost nightly.  It makes a horrendous sound when these balls fall into the trash truck.

I'm ready for some peace and quiet.  Stay tuned!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Denver Bronco Fans

Keith and I have been Denver Bronco fans for a very long time.  When I was a kid, we lived right behind the University of Northern Colorado where the Broncos practiced every summer.  Me and Bobbi spent hours and hours watching the scrimmages and a couple of hot new QBs named John Elway and Gary Kubiak!

We were so excited that the Broncos made to the Super Bowl this year and we just knew that they were going to win this time.  It was a great season starting in June when the kids and I toured Sports Authority Field.  We all got to attend a game with Keith and attended the Broncos-Vikings Game as a family.

Keith and his best friend from elementary school have been season ticket holders for 15 years.  Alan came over to watch the game with us because we were afraid if he didn't....they would lose.

Half-way through the game, I remembered that Alan and Keith had taken a photo with Erick when he was little.  I quickly found it and made them pose together and recreate the picture.  I tried to make Keith hold Erick but he weighs over 100 pounds and it was a no go!

I love recreating old photos!  

And I love it even more when the Broncos win and we get 50% off pizza!