The Move.

Oh hey there! It has been quite awhile since I have written, probably because life has been INSANE. In October we were in the process of finalizing selling our house, buying a new house, the girl’s birthday party, Halloween, packing and working 45 hours a week. I feel like I am not giving enough of myself to my children, husband, friends and family…I am hoping after the Holidays everything settles down. So let’s go back to the beginning…

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Here we goooooo!

We listed our house for sale at the end of July. We worked all June and early July to clean, throw a lot out, fill a storage unit of stuff and get everything in order for pictures. (Which I have to say hire a professional photographer for your pictures but man, you have to literally put everything away for it. No even our toaster was on the counter…it was quite the task haha!) Our realtor hit the ground running and the day we put it on the market we had request after request for showings and an open house. Of course it was going to smoothly until we were thrown a HUGE curveball. I had to travel to Boston for work and the day I left, Kayla got very sick. So sick that she had to go to the hospital for fluids and I had to fly right home from my trip. It was so scary and I would never wish CDIFF on anyone. We just put the house on the market (literally a day before this happened) and the demand was so high to come see it and yet we had to turn people away left and right. When we thought we turned a corner, Madison then became very sick with stomach issues as well! We had an open house scheduled and decided to go through with it (after disinfecting every inch of it) and we spent the afternoon at my dad’s and driving around to make the time go faster. Nightmare. (Don’t forget every time we had to leave the house we had to take Bradley with us! Two toddlers and a dog in the car each time wasn’t fun!)

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My baby girl in the hospital. So thankful for her amazing Daddy and Pop Pop that day.

Finally, both girls are feeling better and back at school…whew. We continued to get a ton of traffic to come see our house, which is amazing yet exhausting. Keeping a house clean with 2 toddlers and a dog plus working at home and having to run out when someone wanted to come over was quite the challenge. We received our first offer- very low and where we were not ready to go to so we said thank you but no. Then we received two more offers- wahoo! What was more exciting to me was that we found a house WE wanted to buy. We put in an offer of course with a contingency on selling ours but YES this was working out great! We agreed to an all cash offer on 8/13 and were waiting to hear back to see if our sellers accepted our bid when it started to rain. 8 inches in 2 hours. Our entire town was under a state of emergency and both buyers who had offers in on our house drove by and saw the water in our streets. Within 1 hour they both walked away. It was heart breaking. It was a once in a lifetime rain and just so happened on this day.  We were so close to our dream home and within a few hours we were at the highest of highs to the lowest of lows.

We took a week off of showings to regroup and have another open house. (Which my realtor is amazing and I believe we had 3 total but always had so many people show up! From marketing our open house with free breakfast or to watch football, she got people in the door). We had another offer, another lowball AND the first couple who offered came back through again but not willing to budge from their offer. 4 offers. Yet still not there yet.

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Keeping busy in our millionth car ride while we have people in our house.

FINALLY! We had a young couple come in and just like we did when we first saw our house, they fell in love with it. It is the perfect house in my opinion for a family starting out. Great location, decent size and a perfect starter home. With a little back and forth we finally agreed on a price and just like that, finally, end of September– our house off the market. Even better news, the house we wanted was available and the sellers accepted our offer. WIN/WIN! This process is so draining because while you are so excited you still have so much more ahead of you. First up, inspection. (OH and my daughter turned 3 and my nephew was born while this was going on!) The inspection on our old house went well but they came up with a few things that were even on our inspection 8 years earlier. Our buyers were focused on one issue and had a few people come out to give quotes for what it would take to fix it. There is never a dull moment because they soon came back to us with a crazy amount of money they were looking for back on closing costs. We were so close to finishing this process and yet we had another hurdle we had to get over. I was so ready to call it a day but thankfully after quite a few sleepless nights and going back and forth again…. we were good to GO. Then appraisal. Both houses came in within $500-$1000 of the sell price…we could not believe it. Dave and I, no joke took a shot of vodka when we got the approval on both locations. WE CAN FINALLY MOVE!!!!!11

Onwards with packing! We got rid of SO MUCH STUFF. Old toys, random decorations, pieces of furniture, old clothes etc. It felt so good to cleanse ourselves from so much…I highly recommend ha!

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11/4- the day before closing and moving day. We had our walk through in our new house and we were finally all boxed up and ready to go. I had so many emotions, it truly was so bittersweet. For months I wanted to move so badly but we truly turned that house into a home. We got married while living there, we adopted Bradley, we went through 3+ years of infertility and then brought home BOTH babies to this house. It is truly so special and a house I will forever miss and love.

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Last night before the big move 🙂 Photo Cred: Our Realtor Laura! (Bradley saw a dog…hence the beginning of his run)

You would think our story would end there but nope. Moving day comes (raining of course, like our wedding day) and we got everything on to the truck- literally our entire life on 2 trucks and we get word there is a technical glitch on our buyer’s end with their paperwork. We met with our attorney and signed what was needed at the time….with our life on a truck….and yet they couldn’t close. Now what?! I have never been so anxious and worried in my life, this process and nightmare is never ending for us. (Mind you something came up, also not on our end, a week prior to closing. So we had a very stressful time with that as well). We were so thankful our sellers let us move in because if not we would have had to sleep at my dad’s and pay an extra day for our movers (damn they are pricey!!). So we moved in that afternoon and did not close until the following day! Pretty much unheard of (which seems to always be the case with something Dave & I do) lol.

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Good bye house :/

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Last two items we packed up…my girl’s signs from their rooms.

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How did we get rid of so much yet have 2 trucks and 2 cars full of stuff?!

If you are still reading this (HEY!), we are finally settled into our new place. Christmas decorations are up and each day it becomes more like a home to us. I have vowed to never move again. 🙂 When you are in it, you are stressed but you just keep going and you get stuff done. Looking back, I don’t know how we got through August-October but I am so glad it is all behind us. I will forever love my first house with Dave but I am looking forward to the memories and life we will have in our forever home.

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Today, I am Grateful.

Good morning Friends! Today is my 35th Birthday and I set my alarm for 5:10AM to start my day right. I started my day with something new and something I think I need to continue every morning. I woke up and thanked God for every thing I have in this life. Have you sat down lately and listed what you are grateful for? It is life changing because we so often focus on the negative in our lives, we forget the many blessings we have.

I am grateful for:

  • My beautiful family. My two daughters, hubby and pup. I prayed and struggled for many years to have my babies and I am SO SO Thankful. While some days I want to pull my hair out and hide in my bed from exhaustion, I have never been so happy in my life.
  • My parents who are both HAPPY and HEALTHY. They may not be married anymore or my mom even living in the state, but they are alive. They always have my back and I know how lucky I am to have them a text or call away.
  • My new nephew, baby Anthony! …thanks to my sister and brother in law. A new life is so beautiful and even better when he will call me Auntie one day. I am so grateful my sister was ok during labor- she has a heart condition and has had a stroke so this was a very scary and high risk pregnancy. She is amazing.
  • A roof over my head. We are going through some stuff right now in the process of selling our house (more on that when I can share), but for now, I am so very thankful for this beautiful, warm and cozy home.
  • My incredible friends who have become family. I am so blessed to have such a strong group of girlfriends. While we don’t get together as much as we would like (cuz life. kids. work.), but I know if I ever needed anything I have so many close to me who are there. We text all times of the night with questions and updates on each other’s kids and lives. They are my village!
  • Tacos, bagels, wine and pizza. (are you laughing?) Yes. It is ridiculous but these are some things many people can’t afford or indulge in. Food makes me happy and for that I am grateful. 🙂
  • Books, books and more books. My nightly escape. Yes, I fall asleep most nights just a few pages in but reading makes me so happy and relaxed.
  • Bubble baths. Oh how I love these. It is hard for me to take quiet ones lately because my girls always find me or bang down the door but when I have 20 minutes to myself, I will be in the tub.
  • Everything Fall. Candles, Pumpkins, Sweaters, Apples, Hot Chocolate, Chilly weather- the list goes on and on. Look outside today people. We get to experience this beautiful Earth every single day. Take the time today to see it.
  • Having a job where I can work from home and have flexibility with my family life. I am back working for a company I love, have been meeting some amazing people along the way and doing what I believe I am good at.
  • Working out when I can, when I want to and right in my own basement. I am making this good habit stick. Proud of myself and how I feel.
  • Living less than 10 minutes from the beach. The salt water and my toes in the sand can cure pretty much anything.

My list can go and on but I wanted to share with you some of the HUGE and not so huge aspects of my life that I will focus on today. Remember, you can be grateful for something as small as watching your favorite show before bed and that is ok. My goal for the rest of 2018 and 2019 is to not allow myself to dwell on all things negative. I know our world is a scary place and we have so many obstacles in life but man, we have so many incredible things going on too. What are you grateful for today? Please share it with me!

 

“Me Time.”

As a mom of an almost 3 year old and 21 month old plus working full time (45 hours a week), I needed a change. I needed some me time. We put the girls down to bed by 8pm, so I have a few hours at night but that usually consists of dinner with my hubby, cleaning up, catching up on one of our shows, reading for a few minutes and passing out. Weekends now I want to devote my time to my girls as well as running errands, house stuff and just trying to keep my head above water. It is a lot. And I work at home! I can throw laundry in during the day and do stuff that is needed around the house.

There are always excuses, I am too tired. A kid is sick. I have to travel for work. Enough. Mid-July I made a life style change and it has been one of the best things I have done for myself in years. I started working out…something I haven’t done in forever. (3 years of Fertility treatments + back to back pregnancies will do that to you.) I joined Beach Body and I have not looked back.

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Guys, it is so easy. It is right on my phone, I can do it anywhere, anytime. How awesome is that?! And guess what? I feel better. Not only physically, but mentally, which is huge as a mom. I get up 4 days a week around 5:30am and I walk down to my basement and I give myself 30-40 minutes of me time. I work out in my pjs, can’t get any more simple. It has turned into one of my favorite times of the day, I actually look forward to working out. Who am I?

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No excuses. I went away to Boston for work and streamed a workout in the hotel gym. It felt so good after sitting on a plane and traveling. My babies were sick so I took 3 days off (that. is. ok.) and when everyone was feeling better and I had some sleep, I started up again. No guilt, because my family always comes first and I knew I would get back into my routine. My girls get up early…ugh so early. So most mornings I have a buddy with me in the basement and they usually join in! I love that they see me working out and trying to take care of myself. They watch everything.

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Want to know what else is so amazing about this program? You are apart of a community of other moms who are doing the same thing as you. We have Facebook groups where we hold each other accountable and that is what I need. It pushes me some days when I feel a tad lazy but I see what they are up to and I jump out of bed. We share recipes. fun pictures of our workouts and we cheer each other on. Such a big benefit for me.

What change do you want to make today? If you are interested in learning more about BeachBody, please let me know. If I can do this, so you can you. Trust me, it really is life changing.

 

Staging and Storing

My goodness, I knew getting our house together to be put on the market would be a lot of work but man, it never ends! Between oh working 45-50 hours a week plus two kids under the age of 3, life is crazy as it is. Add working on your house plus planning your sister’s baby shower and you have one very tired mama.

I have to give a huge shout out to my hubby- he has been incredible this whole process and whenever he has a free second, he is painting or cleaning. Here is a few things we have been doing.

1- Find an amazing realtor. We are using a new realtor this time around just because Michele, our previous one is in the process of moving to Florida herself so she has a lot on her plate. We are using our friend Laura and she has been going above and beyond for us. From coming over day 1 with a pile of local comps for us to talking me off a ledge when I get a tad bit stressed over this process to hiring us a handyman. I think this is KEY when selling & buying a new home.

2-Storing/Cleaning up. I have gotten rid of a ton of our baby stuff by giving bags of clothes, seats, (why do kids need so many seats?) and toys to my sister. (YAY!) Then we started doing little things like putting all of our DVD’s in a cd case holder- the space we have saved by throwing out cases is so awesome. (we don’t buy dvds anymore but we or should I say Dave, had a ton from years past haha!) We stored away a bunch of my girl’s books- keeping plenty out but cleaning up our living room turned library. We rented out a storage unit starting last weekend and filled it up with our mess in the garage. Futon, book shelf, extra chairs from the kitchen, bins of decorations etc. I know when I look at homes, I tend to lean towards ones with less clutter so I think that is important on our end to do the same. Tip: find a storage unit where you can borrow their truck for the day. Saved us $$!

3. Curb Appeal. My dad came over last week and cleaned our picket fence then painted the doors and many spots that have seen a lot of sun, snow and Bradley the last few years. (Thanks Dad!!) Dave has been working on the lawn, new mulch, weeding, making sure our trees and hedges are all done and put some new stones up the side of our driveway. I would like to say I helped in this process by buying new front/side door mats. You’re welcome.

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4. The Handyman Can. Like I mentioned early, our realtor not only hired us a handyman but picked up the cost. (Whattt?!) yes. amazing. We have had 2 holes in our basement ceiling for oh about 3 years now after we had a new gas line put in. We had those closed up, bathroom drain fixed, & some molding fixed up. Every little bit helps and now everything is all ready to go! We took a ton of pictures down in the house so Dave has been spackling and doing paint touch ups all week.

5. Staging. Last but not least…this part I thought would be the most fun since I watch HGTV and I think I know what I’m doing. Like I said, we took pictures down, cleaned up and did little things like taking down the million magnets and artwork that filled our fridge, putting away appliances we don’t use, taking some furniture out- like the large nursery chair we had in Kayla’s room that no one uses anymore except to throw toys or clothes on. Laura is going to assist when we have pictures taken- whew! Some days I want to take everything down but, we still live here. This is a loved house with 2 little kids and a 65lb dog, so we can only do so much. I want people to picture their lives here and see how wonderful of a house it is!

Next week our house will be listed, I will keep sharing more of this journey! 🙂 Have a great day all! I can’t wait to post next week about my sister’s shower we are having this weekend. yay!

Is the grass always greener?

Good morning and Happy Friday! 🙂 This week has been so busy with work, kids, starting to finally get back to working out (more on that in another post) and just life. Whew.

Dave and I have lived in our current home in January 2010. We got engaged October 2009 and were so excited to purchase our first home! It started with the two of us but we quickly adopted Bradley 12/2010 and 5 years later our Kayla joined us and Madison soon after! Our house quickly started to get smaller with cribs, toys, books…you name it. On top of this, Dave & I both work at home…two desks, computers, printers, phones. It is a lot. We started talking about moving last year, but where?

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Did we want to stay in NJ? Well, our family and friends are here. The Beach. NYC close by. All 4 seasons…though I could easily skip January-March. But…NJ is expensive. Taxes. Houses. Everything. And NJ is fast paced, did we want this for our girls? We started to focus on the Carolinas, specifically North Carolina- the houses you can get are incredible. Weather- good most of the year. Slower pace? I think so. Colleges- pretty darn amazing. We got so serious about it we reached out to friends who have moved, looked into pricing and were trying to plan out how the heck to get down there to look when we can barely get to Target some days.

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Then, my sister got pregnant. My thoughts on everything changed. I want my girls to be near their aunt, uncle and pop pop. I really want them near their cousins. I drove around one day by myself to think, through all of the smaller Jersey Shore towns I grew up in. Down Ocean Ave where I worked for many summers with a view of the ocean. By the best pizza, bagel and sub places you could find. By beautiful parks that are almost hidden all through our town. I traveled into NYC for work and a Broadway show and forgot just how lucky I am to be a one hour train ride away from this magical city. What was I thinking? How could I leave where I grew up and love so much? How could I leave our family and friends? We have made some really close friends the last few years and I want our kids to grow up together.

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The grass isn’t always greener. Money may be tight while we are paying basically a mortgage payment monthly for daycare and our new house may not be the dream house I always wanted- but I will have my dream family in it. I will have our family just a few miles away and that is what matters. My babies LOVE the beach, boardwalk and seeing their family. I just want them to be happy and healthy. Maybe we will move down to NC one day, but for right now…NJ is our home.

So today, take a break from your phone, work, all the stresses around you & take a look at what you have. There truly is beauty everywhere and you don’t always have to be looking for what you think is the next best thing. You see Instagram posts and you compare yourself to someone else’s lifestyle and we all forget it is just a tiny, tiny snapshot of their day. I will do my best to make our house a home for my family, there are ways to keep out the busyness and craziness of the house world. So many memories to be made and I’m so excited for it.

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Have a wonderful weekend friends! (All the pictures I have taken randomly thought out the past few years.) ❤

Summer Reading

For those who know me, know I am obsessed with reading and have been since I was a kid. My favorite thing to do when I was younger was walk into a bookstore and spend an hour deciding my next read. It definitely has changed over the years with now having a kindle, I still love to browse the library and Barnes & Noble but instead of buying, I will write a list of what to order online.

The other day I was in target and I just had such a pull towards the paperback book section, I bought myself 2 books- first time in years!! I sometimes miss holding a book though I find it so much easier to read in bed at night with my kindle. I wanted to share some of my new favorites that I read the past month. I just loveeeee summer reading because all of my favorite authors come out with new ones. I also joined an online book club on facebook, that an author I love to read started. I now have the longest list of books that I want and have zero time to read. #momproblems

First up- emily

Could. Not. Put. Down. If you don’t have much time to read this summer, make time for this one. I pretty much like anything Emily Giffin writes but as mom of 2 girls, I felt like this book really made me think. I won’t go too much into it but a half-naked photo of a drunk high school girl at a party goes up on snapchat and it changes everything for her, her father and especially the mother of the boy everyone thought posted it.  So damn good.

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Another page turner. Honestly, I thought I knew where this was going but about 1/4 into it, everything completely changed and my mouth was open for a good 10 minutes while I read as fast as I could to figure out what just happened. I could have devoured this in one sitting if I had the time, kept me on my toes…read it!

Have you been so in love with a book you vow to read everything the author touches after that? I LOVED “Luckiest Girl Alive” and was super excited to read Jessica Knoll’s new one…

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I enjoyed it, don’t get me wrong but I am a pretty fast reader and this book took me more time than I wanted to read it. It didn’t read smooth, if that makes sense. I had to keep rereading parts and taking my time on some scenes. All in all, I would recommend it just a bit disappointed in her writing. (Also- a lot more chick lit than thriller!- which I don’t mind).

Last one…

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I actually got this book as an ARC (Advanced Reader’s Copy) from Netgalley.com. An amazing new site I discovered from facebook book club. You request to read books from publishers and they will approve or deny you based on your profile and past reviews. I have received about 8 books for free since I joined the site a month or so ago. Of course some of the books are duds but then you receive a book like this and it makes it so worth it. What an incredible story of a mother’s strength and love. I adored everything about it and so happy I found it on netgalley because I may not have stumbled across it on amazon.

What are you reading this summer?! Next up for me: “The Couple Next Door.” Can’t wait!

 

I’m backkkk!

 

girls.jpgHi all! It has been forever since I last posted. I was just thinking earlier this week I wanted to get back to sharing about mom stuff, books I read and just random things I feel like talking about. I came on today to look back at an older post because a dear friend had a question in regards to IVF and it just made me so happy to have these pictures and stories saved.

Well, not too much has changed since I last wrote. Kayla is going to be 3 in September (what?!) and Madison is 20 months. Time is flying! I am officially back working (Started in May) and both girls are now in daycare. They LOVE it! I was so lucky to stay home for 18 months with my babies. We had a lot of fun in different music classes, little gym, play café, Library story times…you name it! It was time for me to get back into corporate life though, my girls were ready to make some new friends and school keeps them so busy it makes me happy. They are always coming home with new artwork, new songs they learned, they do yoga, play outside and have fun shows like a magic or bubble show. It really is the best of both worlds.

I am loving summertime this year with 2 toddlers. While naptime is still high priority (HA!), we are enjoying not always rushing home for bedtime and if we have ice cream for dinner- so be it! They are so much fun and loving our beach days, BBQs and evening walks. Don’t you just love this time of year when you can walk outside with no jacket or shoes on and be comfortable? My all time favorite.

I have been reading a ton lately (will write another post on it soon!) and enjoying my summer reality shows- Big Brother, Outdaughtered and any Real Housewife I can find.

What have you all been up to? Any fun NJ spots we must hit up this summer?

Talk soon!