We Bought a House

I had vaguely mentioned on the TMT Facebook page that we were house hunting – but other than that, Hubs & I were both pretty quiet about our house hunting journey. I don’t think it was intentional as much as just left out in the midst of other things we’ve been busy with.

And really, it was a pretty simple process. Hubs asked for recommendations around the Athletic Department and got the same name for mortgage provider and same name for realtor from everyone he talked to. So that was easy.

After the pre-approval, we touched base with our realtor and we started getting listings sent to us. We made a list and made appointments to see some in the Bluegrass area of Knoxville and some in Maryville. Out of the first batch, we really liked one in Maryville and were super excited to see if it was as great in reality as it was on paper (er, website).

The house we really liked in Maryville was awesome just like we had hoped. We weren’t quite sure if the kitchen was going to be big enough but loved so many other aspects of it that we kept it on our short “Has Definite Potential” list. Our realtor was going to touch base with theirs to get some more info since it was on the top of our list.

That’s when things got topsy-turvy. They were about to sign with a management company to rent the house and if we were thinking of putting in an offer it had to be, like, right then. We weren’t comfortable making such a big decision that quickly with that kind of pressure so we said “Thanks but no thanks” and reluctantly kept on searching.

But that house stayed in our minds – even though it wasn’t available. We compared other houses we looked at to it, we still debated about the kitchen size and basically found ourselves still obsessed with it. When it was still popping up on Zillow searches and the For Sale sign was still outside (yes, we were still doing drive-bys), we felt there was new hope! So off we went to take another peek at it, hoping either way we could get some closure on the whole deal.

(If you’re wondering, rental company wanted a 5 year commitment from the sellers and that was too much so they pulled out of that deal and decided to give it another go at selling.)

The second time we went in with a game plan – confirm the number of bedrooms and really analyze the kitchen in terms of cabinet & pantry space. After that, we just did another drive-by through the other rooms, the garage and backyard. Standing in what is now our kitchen, we just couldn’t deny that the house just felt like we belonged in it. We could picture our couch in the living room, I envisioned Grandpa & Grandma Vining’s kitchen table in the breakfast nook, we could almost hear the girls playing in the backyard and the bonus room.

Obviously being a big, expensive decision, we decided to give ourselves a day or two to sleep on it and be sure that was THE ONE! I don’t know if we lasted that long before we contacted our realtor about making an offer. Before we knew it, we were with her in a conference room talking numbers and signing what would be the first of many forms! Now for the waiting game….

Which was thankfully short! We had a counter offer by the time we’d eaten dinner that night. We were good with it and accepted minutes later!! They’d even thrown in the playhouse & picnic table for the backyard! Since the sellers had moved out of state already, they were eager to close and so two weeks later, after the home inspection and more signing of forms for the mortgage lenders, we were at the closing table to sign even more forms.

That night, shiny new house keys in hand, Brooke opened the door to our new house and a new chapter of our lives started, homeownership!!

House cropped WM

zulily phil & teds Stroller Sale and Giveaway 5/15-5/18!

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Hey everyone! From today, 5/15 at 6am PT – 5/18 at 6 am PT, you can save up to $150 on a phil & teds stroller. Plus, I am entering a contest to win a stroller for myself and one for a lucky reader. (It could be you!) If you are interested in winning a new stroller please enter via Rafflecopter below.

phil & teds is the brand of choice for parents who seek to stroll the streets in style. The brand focuses on creating agile, adaptable products that support busy parents’ active lives.

Save up to $150 on 4 stroller styles in this zulily sale:
Smart Stroller

A little about the Navigator:

• Buggy and Second Seat that can adapt to changing needs with 26 riding options spanning birth to toddler for one or two children.
• Infant Car seat compatible with one or two car seats
• Highly maneuverable frame with compact one-hand fast fold 
• The world’s first Auto Stop(TM) inline(TM) stroller 


phil & teds Navigator Stroller Giveaway!
I’m entering the zulily stroller giveaway contest and if I win one, so can one of you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Spring Is

Trees becoming green again

End of school-year festivities
Field Day - edited

Earlier sun rises & later sunsets

Breaking out the sprinkler for the first time
Sprinkler time as a reward for doing an awesome job watching Little Sister while Mommy and Daddy painted her room. #beautifulbrooke

Ice Cream shops open up for the season

Flips flops & bare legs

Lunches outside in the sunshine

Dusting off the grill

Grandma on the swing with the grandkids

Baseball and swimming lessons

Craving lighter fare, including coffee

Luckily, Starbucks has introduced its Spring Blend!! It has a lighter, milder flavor than the Winter Blend I got to sample back in December.

Our master blenders offer their expression of spring in this lively, remarkably balanced coffee. Combining exquisite beans from Latin America and East Africa reveals spirited, juicy notes and medium body. Created to perfectly pair with buttery shortbread and early harvest berries—a love poem to the season of renewal.

I just recently bought a reusable K-cup for my Keurig so I’ve been able to easily make Starbucks Spring Blend a part of my morning coffee rotation. It’s yummy with Vanilla Caramel creamer (my current fave) and good just black, of which I’m not typically a fan.

To try Starbucks Spring Blend for yourself, check out your local grocery store. But don’t wait too long, it’s a seasonal item and only available a limited time.

Disclosure: I was provided 2 packages of Starbucks Spring Blend and a Starbucks gift card to facilitate this review. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.

We Had a Good Morning

I wish that wasn’t noteworthy but lately in our house, good stress-free, no-tension mornings just don’t happen very often.
I just had a pang of guilt and teensy twinge of shame seeing that in writing but I’m willing to bet that is true of many households where you’re trying to get two parents to work, a kiddo or two or three to school and a baby or two or three to daycare. 
On top of that, things have been kinda rough around our house where Brooke is concerned.  There’s been a lot of back-talk, attitude, defiance…all kinds of fun stuff.  So even a simple request to get dressed or asking what she would like for breakfast could turn into a yelling match. 

(Again, that pang and twinge just got me but I have a feeling more than one someone reading this can relate.)
In an attempt to get some peace in our house, I consulted a book that recommended first and foremost, at least 10 minutes of regular daily alone time with your kiddo.  I had really struggled with how to make that work when our after work/school routine left very little free time, let alone time I could devote to just Brooke with Leah being in a very hands-on stage.  Then I had threw around the idea to find time into our morning.  Again, finding a pocket of time in the morning seemed impossible but I didn’t know how else I was going to swing it. 
So the past couple mornings, I’ve gotten up a few minutes earlier to have breakfast with Brooke before school.  I usually eat breakfast at my desk when I get into the office and would be packing Leah’s daycare bag or my pump bag or something while Brooke had hers before school.  She always looked lonely at that big dining room table alone but I had stuff to do, ya know?
Pancake Breakfast with my big girl this morning!
Yesterday morning was our first before school/work breakfast together.  It wasn’t the smoothest morning.  She really fought me on getting ready at all and I quickly grew frustrated.  Once she’d woken up though, things got rolling.  Today, it took much less convincing to get moving and even though Leah decided to get up early and interrupt our meal, it was a great morning.  There was even time to work on a photo a day challenge together!
And now, because I wrote this, I’m prepared for tomorrow to be hard again.  Cross your fingers that it’s another good one for me!!
I’m linking this up today with Things I Can’t Say’s Pour Your Heart Out linkup.