Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Year Of Change

Wow, it's been more than I year since I last posted to this blog. So much has changed, and so much is still the same. I'm relatively sure no one reads my blog anyway, but I do comment on a lot of blogs so someone may end up here at some point. If you found me through a blog comment, HI! Thanks for stopping by.

In September Nikki and I finally had to make the move. We were getting knocks on the door from Realtors trying to get us to let them sell the house rather than lose it to foreclosure. We hadn't heard anything about a timeline, but with the increase of Realtors paying visits we knew that our time was limited. I had been looking for a duplex for us for awhile without much luck. Some wouldn't take dogs, some would take dogs but not if it has any pit bull in the mix. I was starting to think we were going to have to get rid of the dogs. I love my dogs, they are like my children and the thought of losing them made me ill.

In August I found the perfect little duplex. I loved it from the minute I saw the pictures on craigslist. I applied for occupancy without ever seeing the inside of the place. When I went to see the inside it was even better than I imagined. It's a cute little 2 bedroom, 2 bath with a yard for the dogs and patio out back. The whole house has hardwood floors so it's super easy to keep the floors clean. The kitchen has beautiful granite counter tops and all stainless steel appliances. It's just gorgeous! And, although it was a little out of my budget, the owners pay the water/sewer/garbage and that saves me $100/mo AND the house comes with gardening service so I don't have to mow or rake leaves. It really is just perfect! Nikki and I are so happy in our new place. Keeping the old house clean was a major task! The house was just so big and it was right across the street from the levee, so you just couldn't keep up with all the dust. Plus, I don't think the carpets in that house had ever been replaced and the house was 20 years old. No matter how often we vacuumed and had professionals come in to steam clean, the spots always came back and the carpet was always filthy looking. Now that we have hardwood, the house just feels so much cleaner! I'm hoping my Mom and Dad will be getting me a Steam Shark for Christmas because I hear they are great for hardwood.

So, now that we've been in our rental for 2.5 months I have to say, we are BROKE! Working with my budget takes some serious planning and I'm having a little trouble getting everything worked out. But despite the fact that we're so broke, we are so much happier. Life just seems to be joyful again and I haven't felt that way in so long. Living in a house that was about to be pulled out from under us due to foreclosure was weighing so heavy on me. I didn't realize how heavy until we were out of there.

The other big change.....Nikki is learning to drive. Nikki had colic something fierce when she was an infant. She cried for 4 months straight. When she turned 4 months old it was like magic, she just stopped crying and I haven't and much to complain about, as far as parenting goes, since then. ENTER THE TEENAGE ATTITUDE BEHIND THE WHEEL OF A CAR! OH. MY. GOSH! This is seriously the worst part of parenting so far. She really does a pretty good job. There are some merging issues and other things that are to be expected. We live in a reasonably large city so learning how to get around with all those cars whizzing by can be difficult. But there are those times when she needs a little correction/advice from me and it isn't always taken with grace. I'll admit, it probably isn't always handed with grace. But it's REALLY FREAKING SCARY sometimes!! This has seriously given me a whole new respect for my parents! With any luck Nikki will be a fully licensed driver in February. We still need to sign her up for 2 more sessions with the professionals (there's that budget issue again) but I can see that she's improving every time.

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