Sunday, May 30, 2010

Oh, To Know As Much As A Teenager

When we were at the zoo, I saw some parents who had the "kid leashes" on their kids. I have mixed feelings about these things, but I can understand why parents find them really desireable. Especially for crowded areas like the zoo.

We were waiting for the train when I heard some teenagers complain about the leashes.

"I hate those things," said one kid.

"Yeah, like, if you cannot control your kids then, like, you should train them to be, like, under control."

Okay, so I added a few likes, but you get the general idea.

I knew that this girl was only 15, and I, like, could not control myself. I whipped around, holding one kid, hoping the other two did not disappear in the few seconds it would take to give this girl a strict talking-to and said, "Spoken by someone who does not have kids."

Oh, to be a teenager again. . .

Saturday, May 29, 2010

An Update & A Question

Yesterday we found out that we are officially under contract on the Esperanza house. Yeah! That means I can officially unpack. I have been holding back, particularly not unpacking my books, until the scene looked a little more hopeful. I am hopeful we will be able to close on June 14th.

A few blogs ago I talked about how Garry liked Esperanza and not many other houses because of the dining room. Esperanza has a beautiful echo-chamber of a dining room! A lot of places have "eat-in" kitchens now, and Garry was always convinced there was not enough space.

It was then I saw signs of the dinner parties to come. I just did not realize how fast. Last Saturday we moved all of the big stuff and he wanted to have his grandparents over for dinner the very next day. I said, "No way!" We did not know where anything was -- pans, cups, utencils. You know, little things. And half of our kitchenware was still in the apartment.

I guess he thought that it's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission because on Monday he invited over his Mom, brother, sister-in-law and nephew. Garry really wanted to have a special dinner for his Mom to thank her for coming all the way from Florida and to belatedly celebrate Mother's Day. I knew that a general dinner was in the works. I just did not realize we were hosting. I was a little embarrassed to have company in my box-infested home.

But, Garry said I signed off on the dinner and the location, especially since he did all the cooking, does not matter. Is he right?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Some Good News. . .

This poor blog has had so much bad news lately, I thought I'd share some good news!

I have an interview with a small university here in South Jordan to teach Intellectual Property. I would teach copyright law, trademark law and patent law and a little bit of the international treaties that govern the above.

I have had my phone interview and in two weeks I present a demo to a few professors. I thought that I would teach patents in my demo because that is my weakness. And I thought I would explain that since it's the one that I have the least experience with, it would be as bad as it would ever get (but somehow I would still find a way to make it fabulous!)

My sister said that was a silly idea and I should teach my strong point in the demo (copyright law) and not mention any weaknesses.

Who is right? Me or my sister?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A House Update

Thank you all for your comments and prayers and thoughts this weekend. Here is an update. We have moved in. Things were a little challenging because the night before we moved in part of the basement flooded.

I talked to our realtor and she talked with her broker this weekend. As the second mortgage, PNC cannot foreclose if they are unhappy about how much they are receiving. What they can do, however, is refuse to settle and that would trigger a foreclosure. At that time, we would try to buy the house at auction or directly from the bank.

In the case of a foreclosure, PNC would get NOTHING. So even though it is not fair and they are definitely getting a raw deal with just $3300 when they want $13000, I am hoping that they will take it. Or, in the case of a foreclosure, I hope that we can buy the house.

I guess we will live to fight another day ;)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Green Light, RED Light

Things were bliss for 48 hours. We had a price on the house and we were moving and cleaning and BLISS. Okay, not all bliss. Moving is never any fun.

But three hours after we had brand new appliances installed in the home, our realtor called. The Bank of America, who is the primary mortgage, said that no one can pay PNC the $13,000 they want as the secondary mortgage. The Bank of America said that they will have to take $3,300.

PNC may accept this. Or, we were told on Friday, they might foreclose. They have that right.

Once again, I am asking for prayers. Wow, we could really use them.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

What I Did Right / What I Did Wrong

Yesterday the bank came back with a price. Woohoo! The only hiccup is that there were two mortgages on Esperanza and we need to find a way to pay the second mortgage $10,000. But we have a price, and we've already started moving/cleaning and hope to work out the rest of the details in the next 40 days before closing.

I've been thinking about what we did right and what we did wrong. On the wrong side, we looked at short sales even though we were warned to stay away from them. They take forever and the bank has no reason to work with you or negotiate with you. If they cannot makes things work with you, someone else will be right behind you.

Though we were warned not to, we got attached to the house. We wanted THIS house. There were other houses that were nice, but we compared them always to Esperanza and they fell short. We should have been a little less emotional.

On the wrong side, we moved into the apartment. I wanted someplace that was month-to-month and someone would be on hand, nearby, to make repairs. And since Esperanza was only going to take 2 weeks, it was temporary. I could make it a few weeks (not knowing that it would be months!) I compared it to a really nice Residence Inn. I should have found someplace that I liked, no matter what, no matter how long. The apartment was hard on so many levels, and I regret it.

What we did right? Well, we fasted and prayed and got Esperanza. The house we wanted in the neighborhood we wanted with the school we wanted in the location we wanted. Phew ;)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Let's Go To The Zoo!

We bought season passes to the Hogle Zoo! We checked it out on Saturday. . .along with half of the population of Salt Lake City. The line to get in was about 40 minutes.
We took more pictures of the girls with fake animals than real ones, but here are some real ones!

Um, Macey, I don't think you really want to go in there. . .

Our big monkeys.

Molly conquers the fake catepillar!

The stupidest sign ever. I guess an actual picture would be inappropriate.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Tomorrow is supposed to be the day when we hear a price from the bank. If you have any extra prayers laying around, please send them on up as we could really use them.

They've never delivered on a deadline before, and so our hopes are low but our anxiety is high. Our beautiful backup, the Overlook home, has come through the bank process. We were third in line for that home but because the short sale took so long, the others dropped out. Now we're in first place and the home could be ours if we want it! Now that the process is done, other offers will come in on Overlook. So we need to decide to give up on Esperanza and go with our back up or lose the back up and wait and wait and wait on Esperanza.

The Overlook home is beautiful, but we do not like the neighborhood as much and it is 1000 square feet smaller. But hey, it's a HOUSE. We're not sure what to do.

Friday, May 14, 2010

How Does Wednesday Work For You?

Yesterday we did indeed hear from the bank. Just a little background. About 17 months ago the owners of Esperanza applied for a Short Sale. In order to apply, they had to prove to the bank that they could no longer afford their payments. The owners then separated and moved to separate states.

If you remember, a few months ago the bank said that they wanted to look at the owner's financial situation to see if things had improved and the owner could now afford the payments. He had to basically reapply. And we had to wait.

But this week, THIS WEEK, we were supposed to get an answer. And the answer that they came back with was that they do not believe he is paying what he says he is paying in alimony and child support. They asked for proof.

Well, we're bummed. Again, I hate the Bank of America with a strong, strong hate. We were supposed to move today.

The bank said that they will give us a price on Wednesday, provided that the evidence is provided.

We could really use all available prayers that things will be resolved on Wednesday!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

It's 5:30 Somewhere. . .

Yesterday we were supposed to hear from the bank. That's right, they promised that the listing agent would get an email from the bank on Tuesday. The nightmare was almost over! We waited, and waited, and waited. The listing agent called the bank at 12:30 to let them know that she had not received anything yet.

"We have until 5:30," they said.

But, sure enough, 5:30 came and 5:30 went.

I hate the Bank of America with a passion that has no equal.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Harlan Coben is my favorite author. After the release of his last book, Hold Tight, I interviewed him for my old website. Well, the website is down (blogs are so much easier) and so I reposted the interview since I just finished his latest book, Caught.

Check it out!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Looking For A Reason To Celebrate

On my fridge is a cursed bottle of Martinelli's -- Sparkling Apple Cranberry. We have been saving it for too long. . .I should probably throw it away since it is old and probably bad.

But, here's the story. We were going to open it when we had something to celebrate. Like getting a new job. But, Garry liked his old job, and it was really hard for him to leave and quit. Not exactly the time to celebrate.

Or when we sold the house! Well, we actually sold at a loss. Not a huge, crippling one, but a loss nonetheless. And so we did not really celebrate.

Or when we bought a new house! Ugh. After four and a half months, we are still waiting on a price. After the BPO was filed, we were supposed to hear something back from the bank in a week or less. Trusting that, having keys and permission to rent, we gave notice to our apartment. That was weeks ago. We have to be out around the 24th. We're just not quite sure where we are going.

We are blessed in so many ways. We are together, Garry has a good job, we are healthy, we are surrounded with blessings that is clear from the giggles of my little girls. But, I have to admit, I am literally crippled with the stress of waiting to hear anything back on this house. It fills my mind and blocks out most other thoughts. Ten months seems like a long time to go without anything to celebrate. I really hope our luck turns soon.

Monday, May 10, 2010


My amazingly talented niece just started her own etsy shop. Check out her stuff!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Keeping Me Honest

Going to the store with all three kids is not fun, but yet I do it all the time. It's especially difficult with Molly. Because it's her "job" at the gym to hand them our membership card, she thinks it's her "job" at the store to hand them my credit card and to pick up the receipt.

So at checkout I am usually juggling Molly, a few bags, my purse, and trying to keep my eyes on the other two. It's a mess.

At Target this week we were finally leaving the check out when Emma handed me my contact solution.

"Mama, we forgot to pay for this."

Ugh. We were at Target and the line was long and the cashier had already moved on to the next customer. But I needed that contact solution.

"What are we going to do, Mama?" Emma asked. "We can't take it. That would be stealing. We can't just steal it."

Well, up to that point I had considered doing just that. But, I figured that this was one of THOSE moments. Every Family Home Evening we ever held, every scripture story I ever shared with Emma would mean nothing if I did not do the right thing right here.

So I put the bags in the cart, shifted Molly to a different hip, and explained what happened to the cashier, suffering the glares and irritation of those behind me. But, that's okay. Emma was happy with me.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Chasing The Dream

So this is the playset that I have picked out for the girls? Isn't it pretty?? Okay, so technically we do not have a backyard to put it in, yet, but a girl can dream.

After a day of fierce voting, my little book club blog is in sixth place in the competition for $2,000. If you have a Facebook account, I would really appreciate your vote! Just go to

Thank you!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I Need Your Vote!

This morning I entered my book club blog in a contest for $2,000. If I win I am going to buy my kids one fabulous playset. So if you think my kids are cute and fabulous and need swings and a climbing wall and a slide and playhouse and little fort, please vote for me!

It's super easy. You go to and select five stars next to the description of my book club blog. I think that the only requirement is that you have a Facebook account.

You can vote everyday! The contest lasts for eleven days. THANK YOU!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Most Convuluted Way To Buy A Home

For those keeping track, this is Esperanza. This is the house that we have been trying to buy for over four months. We have keys to Esperanza. We have permission to possession and a daily rental price. We have permission to use the mailbox and check the mailbox. Yesterday the bank told us our closing date, June 14th, at a specific title company.

The only thing we don't know? Um, the price. That's right. The bank still has not told us how much they want and we're not moving in until we do because banks ignore the market.

Our first short sale, Gladys, they asked for $60,000 over market value. With Felicidad they asked for $20,000 over market value. And the Dune House, we offered $11,000 over the asking price and we were still turned down when someone outbid us.

Someone needs to tell the bank this ain't our first rodeo. We are excited for the progress, but we still need to know the price.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Concerns & Questions

Poor Macey. She's trying to figure out what will happen when she grows up, and she's pondering over every little detail. The other day it was clothes.

"Mama, when I get big will I have my own clothes, or will I have to wear yours?" (Is she worried about the lack of pink in my wardrobe?)

"You'll have your own, Mace."


Long pause.

"Where will I buy clothes?"

"At the store."

Long Pause.

"Who will pay for my clothes? My husband?"


"Oh, that would be very nice of him."

And so it begins. . .

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Baby Steps To Buying a Short Sale Home

When the previous owners of Esperanza moved out, they took everything of value with them. All furniture, all appliances, even the showerheads and light-switch plates. So if we are going to move in, we have a lot of shopping to do.

We had to measure a few of the spaces, especially for the refrigerator and range, and so we got the key from the listing agent. There was an extra key in the kitchen, and she told us to just keep both of them.

For those keeping track, we have permission to rent and possess the home (we hope to move two weeks from today), we have permission to use the address and check the mailbox (I had to register Emma for kindergarten) and now we have the keys. The only thing we do not have is a final buying price. Little details, little details.

But, progress is progress, and I am grateful.