Monday, October 5, 2015

Our Hawaiian Home

Some people probably think we are crazy to buy a house in Hawaii.  In fact, I've had complete strangers at the hotel look at me askance, as if they were worried my insanity might be catching when I mention that we're staying here while we wait to close on a house.  Believe me, I understand their concerns and reservations.  We've gone over them so many times.  Buying a home when you are part of the military is scary--you know you will most likely be selling again in a few years, and who knows what could happen to the market in that time.  But a whole bunch of research has gone into this, many conversations and debates have been had, and this is a goal we've prepared ourselves for.

Now that I've cleared the air that there is a method behind the madness, I'd like to tell you guys about our soon-to-be home!  We came across it by chance--it was in a slightly different area than we had originally been looking.  Part of why we hadn't really considered that area was because the homes there were a bit more than we originally had wanted to spend (but not necessarily more than we could afford. ;)) After a few days of showing us homes, our realtor recommended we consider Makakilo, as she felt there were more homes there that would meet our wishlist.  Our first Sunday house hunting, we planned to go to several open houses in the original area we had been looking.  Our realtor had also sent a couple of suggestions to go visit in Makakilo, if we had the time.  Makakilo is up on the hillside above the area we had been looking, and as we drove up we already started to feel at home--it felt a lot like the southern California towns we grew up in.  Because it's up on the hill, it's actually a couple degrees cooler and breezier than down below...and another added bonus is the gorgeous ocean views around almost every corner.

At this point, it was getting pretty late in the day, and we were starting to worry that we might miss any open houses.  In fact, the first house we stopped at looked like they had already closed up shop.  But we weren't too torn up about it; there was construction on both sides of that house.  We barely made it in time to see this house, but the realtor there said we were more than welcome to come in and check it out.  I'll be honest, it wasn't love at first sight for me.  There were things that I liked about it, and things that I didn't.  After we finished walking through, I ranked it in my top three, but not number one.  However, that night I dreamt about that house, and when I woke up, I knew it was the home for us! (Is that totally cheesy???  Sorry!!)

As if the stars were totally aligning, the next day, the price dropped! However, since this was still the only house we'd seen in Makakilo, we thought it would be smart to look at some other homes in the area and see what our money could buy us.  After a few days of that, we just kept coming back to this house, and decided to walk through one more time, just to be sure, and put in an offer.  Unfortunately, by that point, someone else had decided they loved the home too, so another offer had come in!!  Ahhhh!!!! That was my worst fear!  I won't go into the details, but thanks to a well worded letter of introduction to the sellers and some expert negotiating by my husband (the seller's agent said, "Dr. Dan is a smart man") we got the house!  Since then it's been inspections and appraisals and worrying every step of the way that something would go wrong and we would lose the house.  But the inspection only brought back minor concerns that we can fix ourselves (the house is being sold "as-is"), and the appraisal came back literally right on the money--not a cent more than our offer!

Now we just have to wait for the mysterious inner workings of escrow to finish (SO MANY THINGS TO SIGN....), and in two more weeks we'll be in our house!!  So without further ado, I give you a home tour!  And my apologies, I took these really quickly on my phone on our last walk through of the house, so some of them aren't the best quality...and some of them have super cute baby models in the them.

Walkway up to the front door.  We love all the hibiscus.
Living and dining rooms.
View of living area from dining room.

Some built in shelving.
Our little breakfast bar and a peek at the kitchen from the dining room.
Causing trouble in the kitchen.

The brand spanking new fridge!
Backyard and lanai.
The girls loved the yard.

Side yard
Other side.
OUR TWO CAR GARAGE!! First time in our marriage we won't have tandem parking! I'm a little excited!

Laundry in the garage.
Giant storage closet under the stairs.  Or a still from a horror film.
Guest bedroom.  Ready to book your stay?? ;)

A nice, spacious closet.
Guest bath.

Complete with shower.
These cuties were having the greatest time playing on the stairs. 
And now for upstairs!
The loft/playroom!
London is already in love.
View from the loft.
London and Juliet's room.
Little peekaboo view from girls' room.
Their closet.
Baby's room...somehow this is the only pic I got of it and London's face is...well...;)
Baby's closet
View from baby's room.
Girl's bathroom.
And the other side.
Master bath.
Double sinks, whoop whoop!

Master bedroom.
Other side of the master.

Vaulted ceilings! So fancy!

Gigantic master closet.

Let me take you out to the master lanai...

And show you the best part of the house!
So that's it! I'm so excited to move in and start making it our own.  I'm also really, really excited to get out of this hotel!! It was fun for the first week or so, but I'm ready for a home-cooked meal, my own bedroom, and a leeeetle bit more space in general. 

P.S. Please keep South Carolina in your prayers.  Having just come from Columbia, it is breaking my heart to see the devastation and havoc the floods are wreaking.  We know so many good, wonderful people in that beautiful state, and they have been a constant in our thoughts.  Even if you don't pray, send up some thoughts for their safety.  Thank you.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

London: Girl of the 21st Century

Please tell me you remember the Disney Channel heroine, Zenon Kar? That way it won't be embarrassing that I referenced the movie in my title...or that I still know most of the words to Proto Zoa's hit song, My Super Nova Girl. "There's no gravity between us--our love is automatic!"  Ahem...I digress.  Sometimes I marvel at how far technology has come, even since I was a kid in the 90's.  Even crazier to me is how quickly my kids have learned to use it! I was looking at pictures on my phone the other day, and came across some London selfies.

 Well...more like several 100 selfies, but these ones stuck out to me.  I loved how each one was different, and not just a million of her making the exact same face (which is what I normally find.)  It was like I was glimpsing into her little personality, but also catching a peek at the future. 

My girls are still little, and they share every thought that comes into their minds with me.  For whatever reason, looking at these pictures made me think about how that won't always be the case. 

 Someday, sassy Miss London the threenager is going to be sassy Miss London the teenager.  That seems so far away!!  But it is inevitable, and these little selfies with her serious face made me realize that she probably already has some serious thoughts inside her.  And I hope that I am teaching her to be strong, and brave, and kind, and good, because someday, the day will come when she realizes I am a dorky mom and she would rather tell her BFF about her life than me. When that day comes, I hope she is ready to make the right choices even against all the pressures in this world.

I hope I am doing you justice, little one.  And sorry that some silly selfies made me so sappy. ;)

How do you think we can prepare young girls (and young boys!) to be strong adults?

P.S. Sorry for all the sappy mom posts lately! I blame the pregnancy hormones.