Category Archives: housing

One Year

One year ago today, my heart stopped for 20 minutes. Isn’t that crazy?!? On average the heart stoppage time for having a pulmonary valve implant is 45 minutes. A heart can go 3-4 hours on “pause” for transplants.

I’m very thankful for my less than average stoppage time. I credit it to not having the typical brain fog that often follows open heart surgery. I’m also extremely grateful that the Creator of the universe allowed his creation to understand the human body so well as to be able to have the knowledge and skill to do heart surgery. And I’m grateful I was created at this period in time, where I could live a full, mostly healthy life.

Since One year ago:

My health has been great. After the initial healing time, I’ve had more energy and have been able to bounce back better from full, exhausting days or lots of time spent out in the heat.

Because of such a surprisingly easy and quick recovery, I was bored and started looking at houses. This resulted in us listing our town home to sell. Because of our location and price point, we received 7 offers in 4 days. We found a new home (that we LOVE!) that met our needs and even checked off some hard to find wants (my large kitchen!). Within 4 months of heart surgery, with the help of many family and friends, we moved.

With cardiologist approval, we found out at the beginning of this year we are expecting our third child. We couldn’t be more thrilled to add to our family. And as I suppose is normal, this third pregnancy is flying by. I can’t believe we are already at 18 weeks.

We are very fortunate to not owe on any of the heart surgery medical bills. We have been sticking with Dave Ramsey’s baby steps and the only debt we have is on our new house. We’ve been working really hard on not buying items we really would love but just don’t have the funds for right now (like a new grill) and God has surprised us with some fun stories of perfect used items that “fell into our lap” with very minimal expense. (Like our “new to us” grill. Free from a neighbor two streets down. We just had to buy a couple of small replacement parts.)

*A week after moving in, we “crashed” the national night out block party a street over
*We participated in our new city’s Trash Bash, our little family picking up trash on 3 streets and allies near our home.
*I found an amazing facebook group dedicated to women with CHD. It’s the first time I’ve ever “met” anyone born with a similar heart condition
*We participated in the neighborhood spring fling party, winning 2 of the 5 raffle prizes (I finally have a porch swing!). The party also included the ribbon cutting for the new butterfly park so the boys each got to release a butterfly
*We completed a 16 week marriage enrichment class
*Our oldest son had eye surgery to correct his crossed eyes
*I’ve been able to read at least 1 new book each month since we moved. I love reading, but when our oldest was born, I put that hobby on the shelf.

It’s been a busy year. It’s been a fun year. It’s been a surreal year.

We are looking forward to another full, fun year, with many, many more heart healthy years to follow.


Leave a comment

Filed under baby steps, cardiology, family, friends, grilling, health, housing, marriage, moving, reading

A quick pic

I have lots to share (like the fact that 4 months after my heart surgery my last wisdom tooth decided to come in?!?) but for now I’ll just share this picture of our new playroom.

 The room is about 18ft x 13ft. It’s “supposed” to be the formal living room but we don’t need a formal living room. And with young kids, we do need a playroom. So here it is in all it’s “middle of the day messy” glory.

Leave a comment

Filed under housing, moving

12 Weeks Post Op

There’s that.

Recovery update: 

Still hurts to cough and sneeze, but not as much. Laughing and singing also still hurt, but it’s greatly improved. Yesterday, I became aware of the fact that bumps in the road, when I’m not driving, no longer hurt! Hooray!

House update:

Selling side. We closed yesterday, so we are now officially renters. We are allowed to be here until September 26th.

Buying side. We saw around 20 houses (I probably lost track of the exact count).  House #19 looked really promising, but the night we went to see it, a rain storm knocked out power. Even seeing it in without electricity, we thought it was a strong possibility.

We set up another viewing for the next day along with house #20, that popped up as a new listing. Honestly, house 20 looked just ok online, so we figured might as well take a quick look at it in person before we go back to 19. We recruited my husband’s brother to join us because we wanted his opinion on 19 (and as the carpooling worked out, he saw 20 as well).

To our surprise, 20 was so much better in person than in pictures. It had a great layout and was more move in ready than 19. House 20 was also located in our preferred side town. By the middle of the day, house 20 became our new favorite.

We wasted little time and put together an offer on 20 by the end of the day.

Because of this market, we knew it they would probably get multiple offers. We were told they would be deciding at 7pm on Monday.

We didn’t hear anything yesterday so went to bed thinking “I bet they chose someone else’s offer and we are the ‘break up’ call they are putting off until the morning.”  To our surprise and delight, they accepted our offer!

So here we go… we are in the option period and if all goes well, we hope to close at the end of September, just in time for when we need to be out of our “Rental”.

2016 – the year that God continued to surprise us over and over and over again.

*Bonus Info* it’s a 4 bed, 2.5 bath! Just like I mentioned in my previous post, it’s what we really preferred. A little higher than our goal price, but we stayed in our reasonable range, just shy of our maximum.  And for what it’s worth, our maximum was determined by us, based on how much a month we want to pay/can afford per month for a monthly mortgage, NOT based on how much the banks would let us borrow.

1 Comment

Filed under cardiology, health, housing, moving

A quick update

Thanks for all of your prayers so far. I wanted to update two of the items I listed a few posts ago.

  1. Work for JJ:  PRAISE! JJ is starting a contract job that will be 40 hrs a week.  This is AMAZING! Someone reached out to him with the work and everything fell into place.
    1. It is a big change for our little family. Please pray that I have the energy to keep up with the boys in the coming weeks. Also, our oldest will be a little bummed. He’s so used to having daddy “home from upstairs” for lunch.
  2. My Mom: PRAISE! She was able to purchase a flight at a pretty good price.

Also, we’ve been checking some big items off the to-do list. We turned in all of our paperwork for taxes. We also got some home and auto repair done. My van A/C was on the fritz, not something you take lightly in Texas. 😉

Thanks again everyone, for your continued prayers.


Filed under car, health, housing

June by the Numbers

This was an interesting (and slightly unexpected) month.

To start with, while the numbers at the end of this post might seem to show otherwise – we have definitely hit the slow portion of the year.  The very first few days of the month, my husband had a slew of freelance jobs pay – resulting in, for all intents and purposes, no outstanding invoices. Meaning – no checks waiting to come in until work picks back up, and more invoices go out. And even when more invoices start going out – it can be a couple of months on average for checks to start coming in.

It was also an odd month in that the way I get paid, is every two weeks.  This means two months out of the year, I get three paychecks in the calendar month. This happens to be one of those months.

To top off the “this is not a normal month” list, we’ve had family in town for a week and a half helping us with a remodel of the garage. Normally, a project of this magnitude would wait until someone is out of Baby Step 2. However, in this case, the HOA is painting all garages this summer and they were going to “just fix” any with rotten wood and charge us.  We thought it would be better to fix it ourselves so that it was done right, and done without having a huge gaping question mark to our home maintenance budget.

Fortunately, we were able to cash flow this project with the unexpected checks that came in at the beginning of the month.  We estimated  high on what the renovation budget would need to be – and ultimately, it didn’t directly affect our normal monthly budget, but it did take way from what we could have paid off.

And so, the numbers:

Extra income: none

Cash flowed to Garage Reno: $2,000

Extra Debt paid: $4,185

Total Debt paid in June: $4,431*

Since 1/1/2012 – Total Debt Paid off: $25,930*

One Major item to note – With this month’s extra debt paid – we are now over the 1/2 mark. Which is terrific since June is the 1/2 point in the year.  It’s so hopeful seeing focus and determination pay off. We might actually make our 2012 goal! We will have to wait and see how the next quarter goes – we’ll certainly get behind on the pace we need to finish – but there is always hope that the 4th quarter will be outstanding and catch us back up.

*For the purpose of Baby step 2 we are not factoring in our home mortgage

Leave a comment

Filed under budget, by the numbers, debt, housing

In the News

Just saw a headline that read: “Rate on 30-year mortgage drops to record 3.89 pct.

My husband bought our town home about 6 years ago during the top of the housing bubble. So while it’s value from that point has gone down, we are current on our mortgage, the house is not underwater, nor are we needing to sell it any time soon. Hopefully, we’ll be able to just ride out the housing bust and prices will start going back up before we sell. So for right now, we are in the process of a refi, trying to take advantage of historically low interest rates.

The goal is to lower our monthly payment – and while on Baby Step 2 –> use the new savings to go toward other debt.  Helping along our goal of being Debt Free (except for the mortgage) by the end of 2012.

We are very thankful that we are in a great position to do this.  Since we started the process a while back, I’m sure we aren’t getting the low rate I saw in headline, but we are getting an amazing rate since they’ve been so low many months now.

Being in this situation makes me very thankful for having a wise and financially astute husband. When we married – I would joke about marrying into homeowner-ship.  Thing is, it really wasn’t a joke. It was a bonus that came along with my terrific guy. Still a bit baffled at how blessed I am.

Leave a comment

Filed under debt, housing, marriage

Labor Day Weekend Adventure

We have a queen size bed, and up until two days ago, the mattresses sat on a metal rail. It was ok, but I noticed that when I would reach over my head to fluff my pillows to read, on several occasions, my hand would hit the wall. Which would not be a big deal except that I seem to keep scrapping the blue paint off is spots, revealing the mustard orange/yellow color underneath.

Since I first did this (the very first day after painting), we’ve talked about trying to find a headboard for the bed.

Then, with the arrival of our beautiful dresser, we knew we wanted one that would match the cherry wood stain.

Our other requirement was a low foot board. While sleigh beds are pretty, high foot boards can be annoying for tall people.

That leads us to two days ago. Money is tight right now, so I’ve been looking at Craigslist and thinking about how we can get a decent bed for a good price. The bed is more of a want, not a need – so no need to go spend a lot of money on it.

On Saturday, we noticed a local furniture store was having a “going out of business” sale, so we figured we’d head over on Sunday and check it out.

On our drive to the store – my husband spotted a bed on the side of the road. We drove back, checked it out – and to our delight, there was a queen size, cherry wood stain, low foot board, pretty good condition, four-poster bed. (side of the road furniture means, “please take me – I’m free”.)

We loaded it up, took it home, cleaned it up, and here is the final result (please note how nice the color matches the dresser in the lower right of the picture)

Leave a comment

Filed under housing


Finally finished painting!

Check out the color:

Here’s the wall color with the print from our bedding set:

Leave a comment

Filed under housing, pictures


We finished edging and put up two coats of paint today. Exhausting!

In the next couple of days, we plan to do the final touch ups, make sure the ceiling/wall line is fixed in a couple of spots, and paint the trim work.  Then we are done!

All of the contents of the master bedroom are in the living room right now, so it will be nice to move all of that back.  And then when my dresser gets here in a couple of weeks, the room will be already to move it in (and leave it in!).

Leave a comment

Filed under housing

Home Improvements

Today we cleared out our master bedroom and sealed the slate tile floor. We are waiting for it to dry and then the next plan is to also paint the walls and ceiling. They are currently a yellow color, but with our brand new bedding, a bluish-grey would look much better.

These tasks have been on the back burner for a while, but the on Monday, friends & family are moving some items for me. They will ship them and once the shipment arrives, we will have a very nice dresser that I purchased about 6 years ago. We figured we should do the floors & paint now, before the dresser arrives so we don’t have to move the dresser twice.

I’m really excited about the blue walls. And even more than that, I’m really excited to have my dresser! After I purchased it, I used it for only a year before I moved to Chicago. I had to leave it behind and I have been missing it ever since.

Not only will my dresser be here – but my books! 3 large bins full! I have been missing those as well and I’m sure I have a few duplicates now, purchasing books I really wanted to own/re-read while forgetting that I already had them.

Leave a comment

Filed under books, housing