Thursday, May 3, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Holy Crap! Adam and I are finally home owners, and we have been since January! We finally got approved on January 16, 2012. I thought that day would never ever come. It's been so much fun to have our own place, and I can't wait to buy brand new furniture for it! The process of getting our house was the most stressful thing I've ever been through.

We started looking at houses in the middle of June. Adam's mom and grandpa are real estate agents, and they helped us out so much. They worked so hard, and for so long. We are so grateful for the both of them. We started looking at houses in Santa Clara, but there wasn't very many houses that were in our price range that looked normal. We looked for houses in the middle of St. George, but they were mostly way too small. I'm not really sure why we decided to start looking in Hurricane/La Verkin, but we did. We found several houses that were reasonably priced and had enough room. The first house we actually got to go inside was in Hurricane. The people still lived there, and that's kinda really weird. There house was really cute, but it was like two houses attached to each other, and your front yard is a parking lot. The next one we looked at was kinda small, but it was a really good price. I kinda sorta liked it, except that it didn't have any closet space not in the bedrooms. We were going to put an offer on it the next day, but it was already sold by then. I was thanking my lucky stars for that. There was the exact same house around the corner for about $20,000 less, and it needed A LOT of work. This house was seriously scary, and I didn't want to live there. The weeds were taller than me, and there was cracks in the cement, and weird toys left in the rooms. The next few houses we looked at were both really big, but both in really bad shape. I was so surprised that people just leave stuff in their house, or just move out and leave the place a mess. These two houses looked like they've never been cleaned before. And there was SO many bugs in one of them, and I just can't do bugs. We decided that we would put an offer on the one that was less "buggy" the next day. After looking at the house I went over to see my mom since she was just up the street. We started looking on the house website, and my mom mentioned that her visiting teachers house was for sale. I thought, yeah, except it's like brand new and there is no way we could ever afford it. We were just playing around, and extended our limit to the highest amount we could afford, and the very first house that popped up was my mom's visiting teacher's house. I could not believe it. That night Adam and I went home, and sent the information for the house to his mom. She looked it up, and found out that it already had an offer on it, but hadn't been accepted. We needed to make a decision fast, and that was really scary. I felt like everything was moving so fast, and I felt so pressured. I knew that if we waited to long we would lose it. The next day we went to see the house, and I immediately fell in love. It was the one I wanted, and all the other ones we looked at that day were not going to cut it. We decided to go ahead and put an offer on it, and the next day we filled out the papers.

That was July 7, 2011. We decided to meet their asking price because we didn't know what the other peoples offer was, and that was the best way to make sure we got the house. We met with the mortgage lady to get approved for the loan, but it was a lot harder than we thought it would be. We needed to dig up several documents, and get them back to her as soon as possible.We also needed to order an appraisal. Adam and his mom were always on the phone together trying to figure out what we needed to get approved. We had to have several extensions from the bank that owned the house because our mortgage lady couldn't get it together. Getting the mortgage company to send my verification of employment to my boss was horrific. After everyone's hard work our mortgage lady  told us that we could not get approved. I cried, and wanted to be done with the process because it was causing Adam and I to fight so much. We were both tired of spending $600 on an appraisal just to watch it go down the drain.

 Adam and his mom decided that we should give it one more try with a different mortgage company. We already had the documents we needed in our folder, so we handed them over to her and she got to work. We could tell immediately that this was going to be much easier. When she put our information into the Rural Development website it said that we were the only Adam and Mckenna Herpel on file. Which means that the other mortgage lady never even put in our information. The next day we found out that because of Adam's car loan it was making it difficult for us to be approved. Adam's mom told us that if we could pay off that car loan we would most likely be accepted, so I took all the money I'd been saving up for Christmas and paid off his car loan. I was pretty devastated because I'd been saving for about 5 months. The $1,000 I was going to use for Christmas presents was gone, and I still had no idea if we were going to have a house at the end of all of this.

In November, we were told that we would need to have another appraisal. Even though it was for the same house, and absolutely nothing had changed. We had to pay another $450. At Christmas time, when we were supposed to be getting ready to pack up and go to Texas we were worried that we would have to stay here and sign documents, or hand in more paperwork. A a few days before we were supposed to leave we got the news that our 5th extension was going to go through and we were free to leave until January 1st. While we were in Texas we got a call from our mortgage lady and she said the bank that owned the house decided they wanted $4,000 more dollars. At this point, I broke down crying and decided that I didn't want to do this anymore. I couldn't throw away anymore money, and anymore time. I was emotionally drained. Adam and I walked over to my grandma's house and talked about what we should do. We decided to tell everyone that we were finished. We didn't have enough money to pay $4,000 more. They also needed $200 more dollars for the appraiser to go check up on something. When we got back from Texas Adam called his mom that night she told him that we've worked so hard for this and that we were so close. She told us to pray about our decision and let her know first thing in the morning. We prayed that night, and soon after we'd finished praying we both had a strong feeling that we shouldn't give up. We called Adam's mom back and told her that we wanted to keep trying.

The next week, we went over to the house to do the final walk through, and that meant that we were almost done. Luckily, the bank accepted our original offer. Adam and I were both kinda at peace at this moment. It was a strange comforting feeling that we didn't care whether or not we got it. Whatever happened was what was supposed to happen. Our heavenly father was watching out for us. A week later we went in the sign the papers for the house. The stack of papers that you have to sign is enormous. I was really sick of signing my name over and over again. We sent the papers to the bank, and a few days later we were told that we got the house. We were able to move in the very next week. I was at work when Adam told me that we got the house, and I was so excited. I'm pretty sure I screamed really loud. It took us about two weeks to clean up and get all moved in. It was so much fun to decide where everything was going to go, and start picturing how I wanted everything to be.
So this is where we live now. In our cute little circle, with all of our friendly neighbors. And my parents roof is the one you see in the right of this picture. We live so close to them, and it is the best thing ever! 
This is our office, and the first room you see when you walk in the front door. I am in love with hard wood floors, and central vac. How did I live so long without central vac? 
This is our living room. I can't wait to get rid of all of Adam's bachelor pad furniture. I've already picked out the entertainment center and couches that I want. 
The kitchen is one of my favorite parts of the house. I have so much counter space, and my fridge is totally awesome! It was so worth spending the night outside of Lowe's for on Black Friday. 
So Perfect! 
                                                            This is our master bathroom
                                                                      My Closet
                                                                  Guest Room
                                                                       Guest Bathroom
                                                                 Another Guest Room

 After everything we've been through it was so very worth it. Everything still feels so new, and it's so exciting to have our very own house. I can't wait to landscape our yard, and play with our future kids on the grass. I can see our little family growing in this house. And it already feels like home. We've been so blessed, and we are so grateful that everything worked. We've been paying our tithing really good lately, and we are seeing so many blessing from that. I can't believe that I get to live here, and that Adam loves me so much that he worked so hard for me to live here. We are so blessed.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Texas Christmas!

This year for Christmas we went to TEXAS! We've been going to Texas for Christmas since I was a little baby, and it's always so much fun. I love going to see the Haile's and my Mee-mee. The weekend before we left we went up to Pine Valley to visit Adam's family, and have an early Christmas. It's always so much fun to go up to Pine Valley. Adam's family is the best. Since day one they have always made me feel like family. Adam's family gave us tickets to see Brian Reagan, gift certificates to American Eagle and Texas Roadhouse, an a cute decorative jar. We ate dinner with them, and KaLynn always cooks my favorite things. (She cooks the best desserts, and she's given me so many good recipes!) It was nice to be together as a family.

On December 21, I drove to Las Vegas to get my hair colored and cut by Kristin. She is the best, and so worth the drive to Vegas. This was the first time that she's done my hair when it was long, and it looks so much better. It was a really short visit, but it felt so nice to have my hair done. On my way back home I stopped and got a pedicure with my mom. I finally got home at 7:00 p.m. I had barely started packing for Texas, so I had a lot of work to do. I started packing and wrapping presents right away. I took a shower at midnight, and pulled an all nighter. Adam went to sleep at about the time I took a shower, and at 1:00 a.m. it was time for him to get up. I packed up the stuff we used to get ready, and at 3:00 a.m. we were on our way over to my parents house. Adam and my dad loaded all of our stuff from my car into the truck and I was talking to my mom. I say some really weird things when I'm tired, and I didn't even make sense. I fell asleep for about 20 minutes on my mom's bed. At 4 o'clock my sister, Kyle and Kimber showed up and we were ready to leave. I was awake for about 30 minutes, and then both Adam and I passed out. We woke up right as the sun was coming up in Phoenix Arizona. We stopped at McDonald's for breakfast. Eating breakfast at McDonald's is like a family tradition on the way to Texas. It was really fun playing with Kimber on the play place.
                                Here is a picture of me and my mom at our first McDonald's stop!

We were on our way again, and this time I stayed up for a pretty long time while Adam slept on my lap. I talked with my mom and dad about all the places that we've been together. We also talked with the Morris' on our walkie talkies.This was pretty much what our whole trip was like. I was cramped in the corner with Adam sleepin' like a baby. It was so not fair.

We finally got to our hotel in New Mexico at about 5 o'clock that night. When we got to Alba-turkey it started snowing like crazy, and we were traveling like 30 miles per hour. We usually stay in Alba-turkey, but for some reason my dad choose not to. I was kinda sad because I like it there, and we've always stayed there. Our hotel was really good though. I'm so glad that my dad is high maintenance, that means we get to stay in nice normal places. We unloaded all of our stuff, and went to McDonald's for dinner. We don't usually do that, but since that was only the place we could find we decided to eat there. When we got back we were all so tired from traveling that we just went to bed. The next morning, we got up early and got ready to leave. We went down to the lobby to eat breakfast, and my parents forgot to tell me that I had a clip holding my bangs, and I didn't even realize it. I felt like such a dork, but at least I'm blond so I kinda have an excuse, right?
This is what I looked like when I went to breakfast. No wonder so many people were giving me weird looks. I took Kimber with me to eat breakfast, and we ate cereal and fruit, and like every possible carbohydrate. While we were waiting in line she said to me," I love yours eyes, where'd you get em'?" I almost peed my pants laughing. She is the funniest little kid. Then she wanted to cut my muffin for me, so I was teaching her how to use a knife. Since my parents know how well I am with knives they just laughed at me. (My parents still have to cut my food for me. I know, I'm special.) Kimber was playing with my camera in our room and she kept taking pictures of my mom and I and of herself in the mirror over and over again because none of them would turn out. It was really funny to watch her get so frustrated.

We were back on the road by 7 o'clock. Texas is kinda boring to drive through. It's mostly just desert, and weird ugly building that look like they need a makeover. But it starts lookin' a whole lot better when you get to Tyler, Texas. (I'm pretty sure that's the name.) We always get gas in Tyler, and it's only about 15 minutes out of Abilene. It's kinda our family joke that it takes 45 minutes for my dad to get gas. We've actually timed it, and it's true. Adam and I hanging out in the car, trying to kill some time while my dad gets gas.

We got to my Mee-mee's house are 6:00 p.m, and we were so happy to be there! The Haile's came over, and we all stayed up late catchin' up. My sister and I went to Target real quick for some last minute gifts, and while we were on our way there we got kinda lost, and almost ran into Micah's girlfriend, Holly. We drove back to Mee-mee's house and picked her up. The Abilene Target is so weird, and it always smells like stinky feet and popcorn, but it's a tradition to always go to Target at least once. Which really turns out to be about 4 times. When we got back all the boys had gone to Best Buy and bought two little remote control helicopters. Everyone was flying them around the living room.

The next day was Christmas Eve, and my mom and Aunt Sharee wanted to get my grandma a laptop for Christmas. We went to back 4 different stores looking for the right laptop. Shopping with my mom and Aunt Sharee is always an adventure. When we got back we started making dinner. We just decided to eat finger foods for Christmas Eve dinner, and it was so good. We had jalapeno poppers and fruit dip. After everyone ate, my sister and I helped my Aunt finish wrapping the rest of her presents. Then we loaded up the car, and went over to my grandma's. We always open our presents at my grandma's house, and it's so much fun. All of us cram into her living room, along with the millions of presents. Our Texas family always opens their presents on Christmas Eve, and I don't understand why. It was fun to watch everyone open their presents, but I decided to save mine for tomorrow because I'm stubborn like that.

 The only present I opened was my Christmas Eve pajamas. Doesn't Adam look so....pretty in his? The next morning I got up early, and came back over to my grandma's to open my presents with my parents. I got so much good stuff. A really cute purse from Mexico, a beautiful Christmas tree ornament, some awesome hair stuff, a cute key chain, lotion and a watch. Kimber came over, and opened her presents from Santa Claus. She was so excited, and it's really fun to watch her open presents. After I opened presents, we went back over to my Aunt's house to make Christmas dinner. Christmas is always really fun in Texas, and it's so nice to visit with our family for so long. The next day, I went with my mom and Aunt Sharee to see the movie War Horse. I'm not a real big fan of horse movies, but this one was so good! I recommend it to everyone. After the movie we went to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in Abilene called Abuelos. They have the best mexican food ever! The rest of the week was filled with shopping, and eating at our favorite places, hanging out in my grandma's living room, playing Nintendo and watching movies.

On one of the days we went to dinner at this really good local Italian restaurant for my mom and dad's and Aunt Sharee and Uncle Roy's wedding anniversary. My sister wasn't feeling good so she didn't come to dinner. I had Kyle drop me off and went to see if she was okay. She was sleeping so I played princess' with Kimber. At one point I fell asleep for a second, and I kept hearing, "Can you fix this?" "Can you put this on?" and it was Kimber asking me over and over if I can put Belle's dress back on. I was laughing really hard, and finally I got her to go to sleep. We also made a trip to the zoo, and had tons of fun. I love the zoo, and we used to go to the Abilene zoo all the time when we were little. All five of us crammed into this little tiny train, and rode around the zoo. I'm pretty sure all of our legs were numb when we got out.
A few days later it was time to go home. My parents picked us up that morning at 5:00 a.m. and we were ready for the journey home. It's never fun to say good-bye to our favorite Texas family, but we will hopefully see them again way soon! On our way back we went to Carlsbad Caverns. We've been there a few times, and it's such an awesome cave! It was really fun to walk around in there, but I was really disappointed that they took out the restaurant that in the bottom. I didn't shower, so don't make fun of my greasy hair.

We stopped in Squirrel, New Mexico to sleep for the night. It was New Year's Eve, and we didn't even know anything about this weird little town. We just took a shower and watched Big Band Theory. I'm pretty sure I was asleep by 10 o'clock on New Years Eve. That is really sad! Next year I'm going to plan something super fun. The next day we left, and drove all day long! We finally got home at about 9 o'clock at night. We transferred all the stuff from the truck to my car, and headed home. I was so excited to sleep in my own bed, and not live out of a suitcase. We had such a good Christmas break, and we're so glad we got to go to Texas this year.