To say that our lives have been a little bit hectic over the last four months is an understatement. With each of the major events (and minor), I have been wanting to update our blog, but exhaustion and stress have gotten in the way (at least that is my excuse). Before Henry came along, it seemed like we had more time to document and share all of our experiences as a family. We are still doing a lot of really fun things, but we seem to have less time to reflect on them (let a lone document them). This blog entry is my attempt at reflecting on the past few months (mostly for my own relief) in order to share with the boys when they are older.
Here is the timelines of events for the Yems in Spring/Summer 2016
Now to get into this up-and-down emotional roller coaster…
Finding, Buying, Prepping, Waiting, Finally Moving and Finally Selling:
Towards the end of 2015, Vish and I started to more seriously discuss the idea of looking for a bigger house, to have a little more space for our family, for entertaining, and for visitors. After looking casually at houses online in the west metro since the summer of 2015, we finally decided that we wanted to stay in our same area (preferably our same elementary school boundary within St. Louis Park). We also knew that we weren’t really the fixer-upper types, so something that was move-in ready was key. We knew this would be no small task, since the area we wanted to stay was pretty competitive, especially for new houses with more space. As we started our search in the early part of 2016, I was ready to make anything work (even houses that we didn’t like that were over our budget), even though we were not desperate to move. Obviously, this was not the right approach to purchasing a home. Towards the end of March, the day after we looked at one house where I was ready to put an offer in on, that I specifically said to Vish…”I love the yard and I love the location, but I don’t really like the house”, we came upon something that appeared to meet all of our criteria. A block north and a block west of where we currently lived, a house popped on the market that was a total rebuild inside and out. We saw it the day it went on the market and fell in love. We could both easily say about this house, that we loved the location, loved the yard, AND LOVED THE HOUSE!. We put an offer in the next day and the journey began.
Since we were pretty particular about what we were looking for in a house, we decided not to sell our current house until we knew we had found something to move into. Over the next few weeks, Vish and I had many long nights and long days preparing our house to go up for sale. Many people told me about the stresses of selling a house, but I had no idea what I was in for. I naively thought our house would sell right away, but under estimated many factors that impact selling your house. Preparing your house for showings with two small childre & a dog and having your house basically look like no one actually lives in it at all times is no easy feat. I am not the most laid back person (even though sometimes I come off that way), and I especially get frustrated when the outcome of a situation is mostly out of my control. I can easily say that the process of selling our house was one of the most (if not THE most), stressful thing I have ever gone through. Vish is actually a very calm, laid back, rational person, but my stress even took a tole on him, along with everyone around me. I am very lucky to be blessed with a wonderful husband and extended family support system who was always there to listen (usually at least once a day, if not multiple times a day).
During the process of selling our house, we were eagerly awaiting our new house to be ready for us to move into. We would walk by a few times a week to check on progress. At the end of May (a few weeks later than planned), we moved into our new house! Even better, a few days after we moved, we finally found the right buyer for our old house. All of this happened just in time for us to fly down to Florida for Nick and Taylor’s wedding (more on this amazing, fun trip later).
We have LOVED being in our new house and have already had quite a few visitors. Carter quickly became friends with our neighbor, which has been really nice for him. We loved our time at 4042 Yosemite Avenue, but by the time we closed at the end of June it was less emotional then I expected because of the journey that got us to that point. I still enjoy to walk through our old neighborhood and go to Jackley Park with the kids, but I also feel right at home on the other side of Excelsior Blvd. I have included a few pictures of our old house and some of the family pictures we had taken at our new house after we moved in.
Bye Bye Yosemite
Hello Zarthan with our Family Photos
Carter Turns 5
In the middle of all of this, Carter turned 5 years old and had a super fun birthday party at Pump-it-Up (2nd year in a row). Even though his party was held at the height of my emotional & stressful roller-coaster, it was so much fun for all of us (especially having my parents there to join in on the fun and keep me sane!). I love seeing Carter have fun with his friends and having Henry join right in on the action. I cannot believe that Carter is already 5 and will be in kindergarten next year. The love and joy that he has brought to my life is indescribable. Each day he amazes me with his energy and curiosity. He is a wonderful older brother to Henry, and I love to see how Carter looks out for Henry (most of the time). I am blessed to have such a wonderful son.
Moving onto June
About a week after we moved into our new house, we packed whatever we could find and headed to Florida for Nick and Taylor’s wedding. We had been looking forward to this trip as soon as we heard about the wedding location, and it was the perfect stress reliever that we needed. I was able to temporarily forget about most of our house drama, since we had a signed purchase agreement right before we left.
The entire trip from start to end was amazing. Flying with Henry was slightly challenging, but that was expected. We stayed at a beautiful resort that was right on the beach. Every day consisted of beach time, pool time, and family time. Carter couldn’t get enough of the swimming pool, and it was fun to see how much his swimming had improved since last summer.
The wedding events, and specifically the ceremony and celebration were the most beautiful, happy occasions. I had so much fun hanging out with Taylor, her family and all of her friends. I loved being a part of their special day. Taylor (or maybe Nick, haha), thought of every detail. I loved seeing the boys all dressed up in their bow ties. Carter did a great job walking down the aisle. Vish and I were lucky enough to be able to truly enjoy the wedding (probably too much), since his sister Bophar came over and watched the boys over night. I am so happy that Taylor is a part of our family and excited for what the future holds for Nick and Taylor.
The trip was relaxing and busy at the same time, and after a week we were re-charged and ready to head back home (to our new house).
Henry Turns 2
The other exciting event from June was that Henry turned 2 years old. I cannot believe that it has been two years since our happy boy surprised us in the middle of the night. Henry is so happy and goofy all the time. Many people have commented about his happy personality and how he rarely seems to be upset (which is mostly true). He loves to do whatever his brother is doing and play with anything that is associated with music. Henry’s talking has increased so much over the past two months, so it was very cute for him to be exclaiming “Happy Day” when we were wishing him a happy birthday. For his birthday celebration, we were lucky enough to have Grandma & Grandpa Yem and cousins Calista and Nick visiting. Henry really enjoyed his ice cream cake and blowing out the candles. It was a very fun weekend with everyone at our house.
A few weeks after his actual birthday, we had a few of Henry’s and Carter’s pals over for another celebration. Alex and Charlie Strande, Liam, Cooper & Brady Slavik, and Vivianne from Betty’s house all came over for to enjoy fun in the sun. We borrowed our neighbor’s amazing bounce house and everyone enjoyed jumping around. At one point, it was only the younger kids bouncing around and we could really tell they were having a good time. It was a really fun party, and so nice to host people at our new house. I have realized that sometimes there is extra guilt associated with the 2nd child, that they don’t get to experience all major milestones in the same way as the first child did. I am learning to let that go, by realizing that Henry has just as many wonderful memories and experiences. Seeing Henry so happy at this little get together reminded me that he doesn’t feel like he is missing out!
Hopefully blog updates can happen a little bit more frequently, now that things are starting to settle down!