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June 29, 2008

An Afternoon Walk

Gabe and I have been doing a lot of things with the house lately. Basically, the house is what we have been doing for the past few days. Thursday Gabe and I went to the movies and watched The Love Guru. It was not as funny as I expected. In my opinion, the humor was a little gross. We finished watching The Legend of Zorro last night. It was okay, but didn't really manage to keep our interest, so we played Life while we watched the movie.
This afternoon we decided to go for a walk. We usually walk in the evenings, but Gabe wanted to go out a little earlier today. The skies were a little overcast, and it had sprinkled a little while Gabe was grilling lunch. We were on our way back and it started sprinkling. Hey, at least it wasn't pouring. Then it started pouring. We both started laughing. Gabe offered to let me hang out under a tree or at the school while he would go to get the car. I told him we were already soaked, we might as well finish our walk. I jumped in the shower when we returned home...all I needed was soap.

June 23, 2008

It's a...


For those of you that don't know, Gabe and I are having a baby. We found out today that it is a boy! We are both really excited. He is due to arrive in the beginning of November.


Our life has been pretty hectic lately. Our house is back in order (though it was never really that bad). Yesterday we worked on the house and then we decided to go to the zoo for fun. To our surprise, there was a free concert going on at the zoo (Sister Hazel).

Gabe and me at the concert.

If you squint, you can see Sister Hazel.

We stayed for about an hour listening to the music and then we left to catch a 6:00 p.m. movie. Someone was showing our house between 5:00 and 6:30 so we couldn't be in the house anyway. We ended up watching The Incredible Hulk. The movie was pretty good. I like Edward Norton. He always does a great job acting (at least in the movies I have watched).

Arizona Part IV (the conclusion)

So, we went back to the hotel room to think about our decision and decided to purchase the house that would be ready in August. We are having a baby and it is due at the beginning of November. A baby and moving would just be too hectic. The November house had a view of the desert (via view fencing) and the August house had a view of a power pole and a cinder block wall. We were up the next Wednesday morning and headed to the bank to open a bank account. We needed a check to write for the earnest money (we had already written our last check to the other builder for earnest money). After opening the bank account we headed to the builder at 10:00 a.m. to buy a house. Pulte didn't open for another 2 hours, but our Realtor explained our situation and they were really nice and didn't call in on a conference call that was scheduled for 10:00 a.m. in order to help us. Gabe really, really wanted the view fencing, so we ended up buying the November house. We will be living in an apartment until our house is ready. Gabe and I made a deal though, he has to unpack the house and I get to point :) We filled out everything in around 20 minutes and next we needed to head to the design center to customize our home. Before we could head out, we first had to cancel our contract with the other builder. Derek spoke with our Realtor and went to work on his day off because he just knew that we were going to purchase the house. Once our Realtor told him no, we stopping by to cancel our contract, Derek was no longer so happy. He left the office and said that we could deal with someone else. So we went in and told them that we would like to cancel our contract. The lady said ok. I asked if there was a paper that we needed to sign and she said no, verbal was good enough. What is it with these people and verbal agreements...they don't even keep their verbal agreements! I told her I would like it on paper. She said she though that she could print out a form. She did and as we were signing I noticed she stated that we gave them $0.00 in earnest money. I corrected her and we fixed it. When we asked for our check back (they never accepted or declined our offer officially) they had already sent it off with our contract. They were not supposed to do anything with the check until something was decided. I think that we pretty much called their bluff. I believe they thought that they "had us" since we were leaving the same day. Oh well, too bad for them (I just checked and the house is still listed for sale). We made it to the design center around 12:15 p.m. They didn't think that we would finish our customization in time since it normally takes between 4-8 hours to complete. We did it in about an hour. This was a very good thing since we had to catch a plane and the designer had a 1:00 p.m. We left at 1:20 and apparently the 1:00 was running late and called to say that they would be there around 1:30. I don't know who you are, but thanks for running late. We made it to the airport a little after 2:00. Our flight was scheduled to board at 3:20, but it ended up leaving an hour late. The point is that we made it! Everything fell into place or we would not have a house being built. That is basically the very long story of how we went on a week long trip to purchase a house and ended up doing it in the last 5 hours of our trip.

June 22, 2008

Arizona Part III

Our Realtor made it clear to each builder (we were only looking at new houses) that we had to be on a plane Wednesday morning. So, we didn't have time to go back and forth with offers and counter offers. So, Derek (not his real name), said he could call his broker to find out if our offer would be accepted. Derek also said that they could drop the price of the house $10,000. Gabe offered $9,000 less and Derek called his broker. His broker said that they would accept our offer and we would have all of the officially signed paper work by Monday, maybe Tuesday, but most likely Monday. We stayed for 2 hours filling out paperwork. Monday came around and we headed to Tubac, AZ and Tombstone,AZ. In Tubac we went through a museum. Tubac is a very artsy community. I would like to go back in February when they have their craft fair. You might have guessed it, Tombstone is an old west town. It was pretty fun to walk around and see everything.

Tombstone, AZ

Gabe in Tombstone.

Stephanie in Tombstone.

We headed back to fax some documents from the builder's office. While we were there I asked Derek for the signed paperwork. Derek informed us that it would not be ready until Thursday! What? I reminded him that we were leaving Wednesday and we were originally told that the paperwork would be ready by Tuesday at the latest. Derek said nope, Thursday. Whatever! We faxed our stuff and he gave us the key to house so we could take pictures of the rooms and measure the rooms. We called our Realtor. His parents are also Realtors and they happened to know the broker. So, they called in order to speed up the process. Around 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday (we are leaving to come back on Wednesday) they called our Realtor to let him know that they wanted $9,000 more. This really bothers both of us since they had already "accepted" our offer of $9,000 less. Gabe wanted to look at more houses by this builder and I reluctantly agreed, but I told him I didn't want a house from them anymore. After looking at a few more houses (we didn't like them) we asked Derek if we offered the $9,000 more on the original house it would be ours, right? Um, no. Derek said that they could still ask for more money! Our Realtor chimed in with you made a counteroffer. So, that if we pay that amount then we should get the house. Apparently it doesn't work that way with this builder...they never put the counteroffer in writing! So, around 5:30 p.m. we head out to another builder, Pulte, to look at their homes. We avoided them previously due to the time frame of a finished house. We are looking to move in mid-July and the earliest house would be completed at the end of August. We liked both of the houses that we saw. One would be ready at the end of August with no customization options and the other at the end of October/beginning of November with full customization options. I must end the story here...I will continue later.

Arizona Part II

I finished unpacking and picking up our house. Now I am doing some laundry...I was finished with it a few days ago, but our hamper was full again. Gabe is mowing the lawn, so I decided to write a little more about our adventures in Arizona.
We woke up Thursday morning and started getting ready to leave. We had to leave the house with everything in order since they might show our house while we were gone. We had around 15 minutes to find a UPS drop box. After searching our suburb we had no such luck and decided maybe the airport would have a drop-off location. Commercial planes ship cargo right? Well, apparently the box to drop off packages was removed about a year ago. So, I placed the meds in my checked luggage. They are liquid so carry-on wasn't an option...I had packed them in a pound of packing tape and they weren't coming out of the box anytime soon. After getting through security I called my Dad and told him to take the dog to the vet and I would just pay him for it when I get back. Elsa had already been to the vet for allergies...they started acting up. We got on the plane and arrived in Tucson around noon. We looked at houses all day until 6:30 p.m. (8:30 p.m. Central Time - Tucson is 2 hours ahead of my local timezone right now). We were both tired and went back to eat and shower. We decided to meet the Realtor around 10:00 a.m. (basically so it would feel like I was able to sleep until noon). However, Gabe and I were both up at 5:58 a.m. and we could not go back to sleep. We looked at houses all day on Friday as well. Then we ventured to Green Valley, AZ on Saturday to take a look at the Pecan Groves and the Pecan Store.

A very tiny portion of the pecan grove.

Saturday we also discussed what we saw and decided to make an offer on a house on Sunday. We had the decision narrowed down to two houses and we went back to each house to "see what they could do for us". The story ends again...Gabe just came in and we are going to eat.

June 21, 2008


This entry is not a continuation of Arizona, but I thought I would blog a little about today. I will try to write more about Arizona tomorrow. Gabe and I headed to Trader Joe's this morning to purchase peanut butter (it is yummy). We were pleasantly surprised while we were there. They were grilling and having a mini-picnic for all of the customers. Gabe played a couple of video games at home. For dinner we walked to a pizza place not too far from our house. Now we are back home and I really need to put my clothes away from the trip. They are in our bedroom right now and they don't look so hot. Gabe and I each need to put clothing away just in case our house is shown anytime soon.

Arizona Part I

Since my blog entries have been lacking lately I am going to catch everyone up...though it might take a couple of entries. Saturday, June 7, I headed to work and Gabe watched a race in Joliet with his dad and brother. After I was finished with work for the day and Gabe had returned from the race, we headed south to meet my parents. We handed our dogs over to them since we would be heading out to Arizona on Thursday. Then we headed back north. On Sunday I am pretty sure that we worked on picking up the house and laundry. Monday and Tuesday we both worked and our days consisted of laundry at night...how fun. We also watched Mr. Woodcock. I must say that Billy Bob Thornton is becoming one of my favorite actors. I really liked him in School for Scoundrels. Wednesday after work (my last day), we headed to the Melting Pot for dinner with Aaron. We still owed him dinner for picking me up from the airport back in April and for helping us transport couches to the Goodwill.The food was very yummy! Our dinner reservations were at 8:00 p.m. and we finally returned home around 10:30 or so for some cheesecake that I had from work because is was my last day. Around this time my dad called to tell me that our dog has another ear infection. She had one a couple of weeks ago. So, we packaged up the medicine and headed out to the post office to mail it at the automated postal system. The system at our local post office was down, so we headed to the next closest post office. The system there was down too. We headed back around 12:30 a.m. attempting to figure out how to mail the medicine (we had to leave for the airport around 7:00 a.m.). Gabe decided to buy UPS postage online and then we would be able to drop it off at a drop box on the way to the airport. All of this sounded like a great idea at 1:00 a.m. We FINALLY packed for our trip and our heads hit the pillows around 2:00 a.m. I will continue this entry a little later...there will be a few pictures.

June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day!

June 7, 2008


The garage still has not been tackled, but the rest of the house looks really good...including the outside. Tuesday the house inspector and termite inspector came over to look at our house. I am pretty sure that everything is fine.
Thursday we were going to the movies, but instead we ended up donating our couches and miscellaneous items to the Goodwill instead of the Chicagoland charity. Aside from poor communication the charity kept pushing back the day that they would be able to pick up the items. They we supposed to pick the items up on Wednesday, then Thursday, then Friday. I told them Friday would be fine, but they needed to get them out of the house by noon Friday (the Realtor was coming over on Friday). On Thursday they called to say that it would be next Wednesday. So, Gabe, Aaron, and I drove the stuff to the Goodwill. It would have been around three weeks after contacting them that they finally managed to pick up the items. We couldn't wait that long, and the way things were going they would have probably pushed the pickup time even later into the week. I dealt with a different contact in the charity this time, it was not nearly as smooth as the first interaction several months ago.
For those of you that don't know, Gabe and I are moving to Arizona. He is being transferred with his job and I think I will learn to appreciate the warm weather. We are in the process of getting things together. We currently have a very packed schedule.
We did manage to watch Semi-Pro on Wednesday. It wasn't as funny as I expected. Will Ferrell has been letting me down lately. I hope that you are all having a great Saturday...hopefully I won't have to work many more after this one!