Okay, this is truly amazing. Yesterday we busted our butts getting the condo cleaned up and ready for listing. I even took Friday off to pack more things and haul boxes to the storage unit.
I have been in touch with a handful of realtors, trying to find someone agressive and optimistic enough to sell our place in this hopelessly saturated market.
This morning while in church, I started feeling overwelmed by the thought of having to keep our house clean every minute in case a buyer wanted to come take a look. I know, I know...I should have been focusing on God and his infinite goodness, but I couldn't help it. During the music I prayed "Lord, we need a miracle. This is too big for me to handle while being a full time employee, a full time mother and a full time wife. Please send a miracle to help us sell our condo."
Well, God sent us our miracle. We finish lunch and head home to do more cleaning and prep work. John gets a phone call from a neighbor who has the phone number of a couple in New Jersey who have been trying to buy a unit in this neighborhood for YEARS. I call them. Yes, they are interested and want to see pictures. Thank God I just happened to take pictures yesterday!!! So I email pictures and they call to say they want to drive to Florida right away to see our condo in person.
They are coming 12/6.
You can't even believe how excited I am. I keep trying to not get my hopes up too much. You never know how things could turn out. But I can't help thinking these are going to be the people who buy our condo. Why would this happen so randomly and so mysteriousy out of the blue? Would God really answer a prayer only half way?
We are on our way to buying a house big enough for our current and future family. Oh joy!
But first we need to sell our condo.
Before I met with any realtor we eliminated the clutter in all of our rooms. This meant finding a storage unit to put any of the crap that we didn't need for the next few months. And by 'crap' I mean anything that would remind a potential buyer of the itty bitty 1067 square feet of living space.
Things we put in storage?
~ Our recliner. This opened up the living room, giving a nice flow to the combined living/dining area.
~ A tall bookshelf crowded with books. I felt the open wall space would give buyers the ability to visualize different uses for this part of the living room.
~ Two of our dining room chairs. Six chairs and two bar stools really suffocated the small dining area. With the leaf in the table removed and only four chairs, you see more space around the table.
~ We emptied the attics so the buyers could see how we finished the attic flooring and how much of their own crap they could shove up there.
~ Any kitchen appliances that haven't been used in 6 months went into storage. We didn't want buyers to see that the kitchen couldn't even house our own normal sized appliance collection, leaving them to wonder where they'd put their own stuff.
~ One of the dressers in our bedroom was removed for the same reason as the recliner and dining room chairs.
We polished up the kitchen (since it is the crowning glory of the property) making sure to take any clutter off the beautiful granite counters.
John tackled any projects that were left unfinished from years past.
I had to take pictures for the realtors to use on marketing websites. Well, I didn't have to , I chose to because I don't trust other people to take the best ever photos of our property.
But I have a confession to make. Despite all my efforts to de-clutter, I still had to move junk from one room into another, take a picture, then move the junk back. Repeat for each room. I think the resulting photos turned out really nice though.
Okay, so much has happened since November 9th. Yes, I had my 36th birthday on November 7th. I didn't really reflect much on it at the time but now that I've been 36 for a few weeks now, I admit it feels weird to be 36. I guess because 36 is on the 40 side of your 30's, while 35 was still smack in the middle. I felt young as a 35 year old. I guess I still feel young but 36 just sounds old.
My father in law was nominated for a Volunteer Recognition Award because of the work he does with the organization he founded called Computers for Education. They collect donated computers, fix and refurbish them, and give them back out into the community to kids in underprivileged families, churches, under-funded schools or other non-profits in need. At the award ceremony, the family enjoyed the lavishly catered buffet as we waited for the award presentation. My friends, the pinot was flowing like milk and honey! And I just knew he would win. I mean really - how can you compete with giving the gift of technology? Well, he didn't win. I wish I was noble enough to think "oh it was such an honor just to be nominated." But I'm super defensive of my father in law. He's such a good man who works so hard for everyone else. Honestly, I think he got jipped. But there is always next year.
How did I just gloss over my birthday? It was this past Sunday but the festivities have gone on for a solid week.
Thursday - singing & much cake at the small group gathering. Friday - dinner with my fabulous in-laws. Saturday - dinner with aMAZING husband at the fondue joint. Monday - dinner with my pops. This coming Saturday - dinner with my mom & sister.
What did I get for my birthday? 6 lbs.
Seriously though, John bought me a 75mm-300mm zoom lens for my camera and a sweet camera bag for ladies - you know, the kind that is useful AND stylish? Check it here. And "the baby" got me a little power shot camera to keep in my regular purse. Why? Because women love options! And John knows this. And that is part of why I love him. Oops, I mean the baby knows this and that's why I love her.
Anyway, this is the first pic I've taken with my zoom lens. I hardly even had to move from my patio chair.
It's a red shouldered hawk (had to look it up) and I've seen it checking out the neighborhood for about a year. On this day he was hanging out on the neighboring roof, probably scoping out some of the tasty future entrees local squirrels.
So Brooklyn has started saying what we thought was "nite nite" at random times during the day. I would think, how cute she is telling us she wants to take a nap.
I WISH that is what she was saying. We have now realized that she is saying "not nice".
She learned the phrase at daycare. And now anything in life that doesn't please her is met with this little voice saying "not nice." Actually, it sounds more like "naw niii."
~ When I took a pen away from her = naw niii
~ When John stopped her from walking into the parking lot = naw niiii
~ When something fell to the floor = naw niii
~ When Brooklyn dropped her water cup on the way to daycare this morning = naw niii
So now I'm trying to think of what else she says these days. Here's a Brooklyn dictionary:
Hiyeeee - means Hi. Usage: While she holds the back of my cell phone up to her ear. This morning she actually took my keys and held the remote house alarm thingy up to her ear and said Hiyeeee. Tiniest phone ever?
Bye bye - means I'm ready to go! Usage: As she takes her little purse and waddles to the door. Usually accompanied by blowing a thousand kisses.
All Doooan - means All Done. Usage: When she's done with anything, even being at daycare. When I picked her up one day, all she would yell was "All doooan! All doooan!"
Dank Ooo - means Thank You. Usage: Rarely!
Eeeeeese - means Cheese. And sometimes Please. Usage: When she sees the camera pointed at her.
Oooosh - means Shoes.
Gawk - means Sock. And sometimes Duck.
Ball - means ball, pumpkin, or any other thing resembling a ball.
Buh buh - means Bubble.
Yi yi yi - means EI-EI-O. Usage: When we sing Old Mac Donald Had a Farm.
I'm thrilled that her vocabulary is growing. Should she be saying more words at this age? Don't know and don't care.
1 Year Picture: John took Brooklyn in for pictures a few weeks ago. The photos are T.E.R.R.I.B.L.E. and not because of anything John or Brooklyn did. It's like the photographer set the camera to auto fire and just swung it around the room. Photos aren't centered on the baby, there's crap showing in the background, baby's dress didn't get straightened out, some shots are zoomed in too much...and not in a cool photojournalistic way either. Oh well. At least it didn't cost anything.
BBR: We had another trip to the resort in Orlando with our friends. We refer to it as BBR because the group is comprised of families with the initials B, B & R. Compared to our last trip a few years ago, things were a bit more stressful. Last time there were only adults and barely enough space in the 3 bedroom townhome for us all. This year we all brought our kids (2 babies and a 16 year old) and were so stretched for space we needed to rent another unit. This meant that our group was split up. Not fun. Additionally, the babies require SO MUCH extra equipment and planning and entertainment. Brooklyn doesn't have a "Relax, we are on vacation" button. She's pretty much raring to go at all times. So all in all, the get away was fun but tiring. We will do the next one differently, for sure.
John's new job: Going fine. He started about 2 weeks ago and was unsure at first but, as with any new thing, is growing more comfortable with each new day.
House hunt: Ugh. I don't even want to think about this. I have the 'all clear' from John to look for a new house but we have to sell our condo first. Which means prepping it to show, which means getting a storage unit to store the crap we have that never really fit in our small spaces, which means spending additional money that we'd rather use toward the new house, and then it means waiting and waiting and waiting for a buyer to offer us 20k less than we owe. It's an ugly cycle I tell ya. But I need to just buckle down and move in a direction. Sitting and griping isn't making any progress toward the goal.
Baby #2: This isn't happening for a while. We'll have another baby when we are good and ready.
EPCOT: Food & wine festival = FABULOUS! We had such a great time. LOTS of great food, little bit of wine (for me) and lots of beer (for the guys!) Mom watched Bean for us and we enjoyed the day with our friends Dave & Kelly and Stephane & Amy with their son Luca. This is something I'd love to do every year in the fall. If you haven't been before it is totally worth it.
Halloween: We dressed Brooklyn as an astronaut. She was so cute in her big ol' black boots and orange flight suit. She's barely 16 months old so we didn't go trick-or-treating but we did go to our parents house for a visit and pictures. She seems to already know to hold out her bucket when the door is opened. Are kids ingrained with this when they are born?
And here we are. The beginning of November....temps are still in the mid to high 80's. Not fair but that's what we get for living in Florida.