Saturday, June 29, 2013

Sold! Part 1: Waiting

Now that all the dust has settled and we have all the approvals we need, we can share that we have sold our home on Bell Lake Road! And what a rollercoaster ride it has been.

We knew we needed to do something when we saw a car overturned on the sidewalk where Logan and I walk almost every day. The quiet suburban/country road we lived on was opened a few years ago (some of you might remember the construction mess when you came to our engagement party in Summer 2009) to connect two major roads in Land O' Lakes. Since then it has become a major road itself with cars and trucks zooming by above 50 mph. Accidents happen too frequently right in front of our own driveway. It just isn't safe for children to be riding bikes or even playing in the yard.

We decided to put our house up for sale immediately. The next day, Kathy Muscatell came into Ryan's dealership, a realtor who has sold property to another person Ryan works with, and Ryan and her struck up a conversation. This is the first instance of God's leading in this saga of selling our home. Kathy came over the next Sunday to meet with us and discuss putting our house up for sale.

The credit-card shaped cake at our final Financial Peace University meeting--
at every weekly meeting we had a credit-card cutting ceremony 
We listed our home January 29. Shortly thereafter, we attended a church service where we were introduced to Financial Peace University (I know I bring this program up a lot!) which teaches financial planning based on biblical principles. The theme of the class is, owe no debt to anyone except love (Rom. 13:8). This means living without credit card debt, car loans or even a mortgage. This course gave us a second reason to sell our home: downsize, use the rest to pay off debt, and start attacking remaining long-term debt with "gazelle-like intensity."

For a long time, we were doing a lot of showings with almost no signs of follow-up interest. Requests for showings came in clusters, people said they liked the house (or didn't) and we never heard from them again. Logan and I scrubbed and cleaned and then headed out to the pool or the library so that potential buyers could see our home privately, and nothing ever came of it.  We even invested in updating and fixing up our home, as I described in another post. We got a short and intense burst of activity after this, but again, nothing came of it except a few verbal offers way below asking price that we didn't even bother countering. As the weeks ticked by and my belly got bigger and bigger, we got a little more discouraged. We thought we were doing the right thing in selling a home we both loved, because a different place would better suit our children's needs and our financial goals, but it just didn't seem like the right time.

Grandpa and Memere's community pool was a great place
to hang out during afternoon showings.
In May, we decided it was best to take our home off the market and wait until after Lily arrived, as keeping the house in show-ready order was becoming difficult for me as my belly got bigger and Lily started kicking and pushing more and more. It is very disappointing to believe you are doing the right thing and following God's will for your life, only to be told, "not now" or "wait."

To be continued...

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Father's Day and Dropping Some Dead Weight!

We had a big yard sale on Saturday where we sold several big items, including a treadmill, a kayak and some wakeboard equipment that we hadn't used in a while. We also sold a lot of clothes and home items that were starting to gather dust. The garage sale was a big success, and the weather was perfect. It was overcast and on the verge of raining--but never actually rained-- for the entire morning. By noon we were pretty much cleaned out and ready to haul the rest off to Christian Social Services. My mom and dad helped us and we definitely could not have done it without them, because Ryan was working as he usually does on Saturdays. It feels so good to get all of that dead weight out of our home and to have nice clean, clear shelves and closets at least for a little while.

Sunday was Father's Day, and Logan gave his daddy a ceramic cereal bowl that he made for him at You Do the Dishes. We have some really cute pictures of Logan sponging the bowl with light blue paint and then making a big hand print right in the middle. He wore a cute little apron and had a lot of fun working with the paint. I think its time to get him some finger paint to experiment with at home very soon. We went to Bonefish for dinner with Mom and Dad and all had a delicious seafood dinner. It was a great end to a fun Father's Day.

Logan making Ryan's Father's Day present

Ryan lost 13 pounds over the past few months.

Ryan also got a t-shirt that says "World's Greatest Dad." In the photo you can see that he looks a little thinner than in previous photos-- its not just the angle! Ryan has lost about thirteen pounds over the last few months, without trying. We think its because he rough plays with Logan and works out in the yard and around the house so much, and also because we have started Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University program, which teaches you to budget and save more. We really enjoyed the program and feel as though it has improved our budget as well as strengthening our marriage. As a result, there are much fewer impromptu stops at McDonalds and pizzas ordered in when we don't feel like cooking, so Ryan has dropped some excess weight. People are really starting to notice the change in him and I think he looks great and more handsome than ever.

To close, here is a cute photo of Logan and his sweet buddy Connor enjoying some oversized slices of watermelon on Memorial Day. Happy Summer Everyone!

Connor Atwell and Logan on Memorial Day

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Lily's Check Up and Details of Her Birthday

Lily Ryan Husmann at 20 weeks
This past Friday, Lily and I went to see Dr. Bray, the doctor who delivered Logan. Lily is 31 weeks and going strong. Dr. Bray said that she will probably be more average-sized than Logan, which may make the surgery easier, especially if she is also breech. Logan was 8 lbs 12 oz, but she thinks Lily will be closer to 7.5 lbs. Its a bit early to tell, but my gut feeling is that she will also be breech. I feel a big lump just below my rib cage just like I did with Logan (this would be her head). Could also be her little bottom but I think I might just be a woman who has babies upside down. Thank God for medical technology that makes breech births no big deal. We are so blessed to live in a time when a breech baby just means a C-section, and isn't life threatening. The actual statistics show that vaginal breech deliveries turn out okay 95% of the time (not a horrible number), which I thought was kind of interesting. But obviously no one wants to gamble on that 5% in modern times.

Dr. Caryn Bray (green) and me before Logan's birth

I really like my OB-GYN group. I go to Women's Care Florida, next to Florida Hospital Tampa. Since I was just there with Logan, I know all the doctors, nursing staff and office staff and they all know me. There have been a few times when I have come in with scary symptoms (once late on a Friday afternoon) with no appointment and they have shifted around other patients and stayed late to squeeze me in so that I wouldn't go home not knowing whether the baby was okay. One of our favorite staff members is Monique, the sonographer. We have seen her a lot (more than the average patient) and she has been there for some very special and unforgettable moments in our lives. When I thought something was wrong with Logan, she is the one who told us that his heart was beating away and nothing appeared out of place in my belly. I think all three of us cried that day. We always try to schedule a sonogram for when she is scheduled to work because both Ryan and I like her.

Dr. Young (left) and Dr. Bray (right) delivering Logan
Dr. Bray and Dr. Young are my two favorite doctors. They are the doctors who delivered Logan. When you have a C-section, you have two surgeons present in the OR, one is the head surgeon and one assists. In both my deliveries, Dr. Bray will be the head surgeon and Dr. Young will assist. They are calm, even-keeled and deliberate in everything they do. They are straight-forward and understanding, and they always spend extra time making sure I have no other questions at every visit. I really appreciate the great doctors at this practice and the incredible staff.

We have scheduled Lily's birth for Thursday, August 1, at 7:30 am. Ryan and I are scheduled to arrive at 5:30 am for pre-op. We are so excited to meet our daughter and introduce her to Logan. When I think about holding the two of them in my arms I am just overwhelmed with happiness and love. We are truly blessed family.

We have other big news but its still in the works and I will post about it next time.