I really tried hard not to. But it just couldn’t be helped…
This was the shot that sold me.
The half-opened wood gate, the barn-like detached garage, the clothesline. Hello, lovely, it’s me Carolyn, your long lost owner.
Ryan and I had been casually looking for homes. Nothing too serious, just keeping an eye out for what our price range could bring us.. hoping we could spread out a teeny bit more. Most of the time I would show him a property and yell, JUST DAYDREAMING, so that he wouldn’t think I wasn’t content at the townhome. That’s how I am. I love researching things… it used to be vacation ideas. It almost gave me more pleasure to daydream and research different vacations than to actually go on them. Almost.
So normally he’d humor me and ooh and aah over little details and I was happy with that. One night I showed him this new listing. He went upstairs to use the bathroom, came back down, and said, We need to go see this one. It surprised me, but heck yeah, let’s do it! We called the agent and made an appointment.
Oh, right. Annie was only a week old.
But off we went with our new baby. I prepped myself to not get attached. To take photos and analyze them afterwards with no emotion. That’s hard for a daydreamer.
After our walkthrough I managed to make it to the car with a stony façade. And then I saw that photo with the gate opening to an open yard backed by trees and began imagining picnics and hide and seek and kickball. Uh oh, here it starts.
We initially arrived home, crunched numbers and then decided against it. It was just too much per month for our comfort level.
And then we talked to a mortgage lender who said this property was a “lay-up” for us. We’d worked hard to pay off most of our debt and it was well under the normal % of debt they look for in a good candidate. What was our hesitancy?
Ah, yes. The ultra cheap rent payments we’ve been used to, that’s what. So we talked, we heard people discuss how the housing market in this area of Arkansas was already starting to pick up, and we agreed that we probably wouldn’t be able to find another property similar to this at the price it was listed for. Why not?
It was a done deal.
On the morning of closing, both Ruthie and Annie puked in the car. I hadn’t brought a second set of clothes for Ruth so we scrubbed her down as best we could as we didn’t have time to stop and buy a new outfit. Annie was put in another onesie and we continued on our way. And then we heard Ann grunting. Hard.
When we arrived at the title company, she was lifted up to reveal a gigantic blowout. I cleaned her up and put her back in the pukey outfit. As we walked in and sat down, she started crying. And I knew I’d have to feed her. So there I sat, nursing Annie while signing with whatever hand was free at the moment. I was sweaty and frazzled, Ruthie had snot out of her nose, Annie was nursing. I wanted to leave and forget the whole thing.
But then the lady handling the transaction said, I know it’s hard right now, but trust me… you’ll miss all of this. That changed my attitude instantly. Thank you lady.
She was probably just wanting to make sure the sale went through, but oh well, it worked.
We had a house!! Woo hoo!
Now we had to move.
Ugh. I definitely do not daydream about moving. But this is what I’d been living in for the previous month:
And that was when it was clean! Ruthie would run up and down that tiny aisle of a space into the dining room and back. I felt sorry for her. But Ryan noticed that she was still happy. Even though I’d go crazy in the head, if we had to live in a bathroom, Ruthie would still be happy, and that’s something to remember.
Especially when things got messy.
This was a good lesson on claustrophobia.
So I was admittedly excited to finally drive up to this:
It’s not the biggest of homes, but to us it feels palatial. I guess there’s something to be said for keeping your standards low. What? There are TWO bathrooms? It’s a mansion!!! Plus, after The Shack I was just ecstatic that it had a concrete foundation.
Let me show you around the property. Later we’ll go inside to see the nitty gritty.. but first let’s have a little walkabout in the greenery.
Here’s a shot of the carport, which was another feature I was excited about.
To have a place to run around, ride tricycles, or use sidewalk chalk during crummy weather makes my heart go pitter patter.
You can open the gate at the back of the carport and drive through into the backyard. That drive leads to our detached garage/shop.I have major daydreams about this guy.
How awesome would it be to converted into a guest house? The barn loft window thing actually can be opened up and there are stairs leading up to that loft space. Pinterest has been blowing up because of this.
If you turn back around and face the home, this is what you see:
The carport and a teeny screened in porch that was used to house a cat jungle gym.A shot of the backyard.
I of course had to try out the clothesline as soon as possible. It at least helped push me to use cloth again.
There’s a corner of the backyard that I really like. It’s under the crab apple tree.I picture so many things back there for Ruth. It’s flat and shady all day. If you go back in that corner and turn around you see this:Can you spot the deer? There’s a trail in the woodsy area that about 8 deer use to find food. We’ve seen them every night since moving in. One of them has an orange collar on because a neighbor raised it when it was little. It still goes to him when called and I also got pretty close before it ran off.If you walk to that line of trees and look back towards the house, this is what you see:The next shot is standing right behind the detached garage and looking to the side. Our property line goes past those two trees dead center and around behind the woods.Looking back from the opposite side. The two trees are on the right in this pic:The home sits on just over three acres, but one of those acres is a separate plot. Meaning we could, say, build a home and sell it off if we wanted. That doesn’t seem to be in the forecast, but it’s nice to know it’s an option at least.Above is a shot of that extra parcel looking out onto the road. There are two rows of pine trees which dictate the lines of that piece of land. Did someone say Longest SlipNSlide in the World??? Let’s do it!
But first we had to actually move there. Ugh.
Especially since it rained all day.
I say Ugh when really I didn’t have to do much because I was “nursing”. No really I had to nurse every fifteen minutes that day for some reason so just couldn’t be spared to help load/unload. Plus, I had to oversee other things. Like grandmas coloring with Ruthies.
So yeah, sorry guys. Just couldn’t help with all this:And I’m pretty sure that was just the first load. How in the heck did we store everything in our little townhome?
In the midst of the chaos we did make our first friend. A little box turtle!
Can you find it amongst all the junk? It must be a garage saler like me. On a side note, this was the only shot I got of Ruthie’s dad… his legs and feet. When really I should dedicate an entire blog post to him. He busted his butt, doing some trips to the townhome by himself loading/unloading all with no complaints.
The rest of us were on baby duty.
No I swear it took all of us women to watch over Annie. It’s hard work holding her on our chest as she snoozes away. I broke a sweat.
The next day my parents and oldest sister came into town to help out.
They thought they were going to be helping unloading all day, but surprise! The boys got it all done the night before.
I squealed when Lisa said she was going to make a visit. She doesn’t get a lot of one-on-one time with mom and dad, so doing a roadtrip and staying in a motel room with them was nice… until, she said, she was laying in bed trying to sleep while they both sat on the edge of the bed staring at her. I can just picture them too. But Ruthie doesn’t get to see her often either besides the occasional FaceTime chat and the whole time we’re doing that we’re too busy staring at ourselves on the phone.
So snuggle time was a must. So was getting Ruthie gussied up for the day. This included pulling her hair back for the first time ever.I’m smitten by this face.She also took over when Ruthie started to get fussy and walked around the yard with her. There’s no sidewalks unfortunately, so they had to make do.They also helped unpack a lot of boxes, especially in the kitchen and play room. At one point as I was wondering why I have so many cookbooks collecting dust, I realized I hadn’t seen Ruthie in a while. The rest of us were all in the kitchen but where was she??Bestill my beating heart, she was already plopped into her chair coloring with no urging needed.
This is one of her top favorite things to do everyday.
After we were semi-unpacked (we’re actually still unpacking to this day), Lisa ran around cutting Crepe Myrtle blossoms off and putting them in vases around the house.That evening the guys went back to the townhome for something, I can’t remember, but it left my sister, my mom, and I by ourselves. With wine. And with discussions of my pre-baby-I’m-judging-you days. It’s nice to be on the other end of that growth experience and be humbled by it.It was a nice way to end a very busy weekend.
This was nice too:
Crashing with my littlest. If only it’d lasted all night.
One day it will… but until then, I’ve got some unpacking to do!
Looks awesome, love then open space (and the clothesline!).
Love ya, Unc
Congratulations! You won’t miss steps to the bedrooms.
Your yard’s lovely. Looking forward to a picnic one day.
The girls are adorable.
love you. Aunt Mary
It looks so pretty! I am first jealous, but it also gives me hope that one day I won’t be living in an apartment or town home. So if we’ve been married three years and had three homes, that means only five more??
Also, Ruthie looks so grown up and beautiful. I know it has only been a month, but it feels longer. I was kind of sad last night thinking about how Blanche and Ruthie won’t remember each other. But now I am remembering when Blanche will show up from the city and teach Blanche about the “real world.” I hope you remember us having that conversation. If not, just ignore me.
Blanche will teach Ruth*