You've Got A Friend in Me

Lately Ethan has be OBSESSED with Toy Story. He knows every character by name from Toy Story 1, 2 and 3. He's watched it so many times that he says the words to the entire movie right along with it. In fact, he loves the movie so much that he could sing the song "You've Got a Friend in Me" in his sleep. Wait...he actually DOES sing it in his sleep. It's really kinda creepy when your 3 year old who has abandoned his own bed at 3am to sneak in bed next to you in yours begins singing while he is SOUND ASLEEP.

While recording him singing in his sleep may be the most successful option to catch it on tape (because it's literally the only time he is still) - I think taping him while he sleeps might be even creepier. So today, I bribed. I asked Ethan to sit on the steps very still and sing for the camera. And if he did, I'd let him stay up a little later tonight. It worked. (Well, Ethan stayed relatively still...Aiden on the other hand did not.)

So now, ladies and gentleman, prepare to be serenaded by my handsome, hot-shot, "next big thing" 3 year old...Ethan Anthony Skees!

PS - don't forget to scroll all the way down the blog to "pause" the music on my playlist so that you can hear the video!

A Lifted Weight

While the title of this post may sound as if I've finally gotten around to hitting the gym and getting my butt back in shape (again...) it actually is referring to the HUGE elephant that has been sitting on mine and Ricky's chest for the past, well, uh, YEAR AND A HALF!

We put our house on the market in the spring of '09 with hopes of a quick sale and a move to a neighborhood. We actually put an offer on a home in New Albany in a cute area with a community clubhouse, block parties and neighborhood swimming pool. Obviously our offer was contingent upon the sale of our home.

The contingency date came and went. Our house still hadn't sold.

Then we adjusted our plan and figured we might as well look at all of our options - perhaps moving back to Louisville was worth a shot, as this was something we had talked about doing since we lived there when we were first married. We looked and looked and looked for something that struck our fancy (and that we could afford). But with no nibbles on our house, we started to lose hope. Maybe a move just wasn't in the cards for us at the time.

Then, an opportunity presented itself amidst all of this that was very appealing. A possible move to Texas where Ricky would remain with his current company, but take on a new role. We couldn't help but think that just maybe THIS was why our house hadn't sold yet. Maybe moving to Texas was what was supposed to happen.

We changed realtors, scraped together money from our savings to update our kitchen, and made other small improvements that would possibly help us get an offer. In the meantime, Ricky immersed himself in the new role in TX, traveling once a month for a week at a time to begin establishing relationships for his new role in sales. He and I were both very optimistic that in no time we would be packing up our things and heading to the Lonestar state.

A month went by. Then two. Then two more.

While our realtor was doing all she could to move our home - lots of showings, good advertising, open houses - the market just hasn't rebounded like people thought it would and even though interest rates are at an *all time low*, it still wasn't enough to allow us to sell our home for a price that we could live with.

All the while I am at home trying to plan Little Fire Big Heart, take care of 2 kids AND clean the house on a moment's notice...because, you know, THIS could be THE ONE! And Ricky was transitioning from his current role to the new one, without having any clue if this move was even going to work out. We had to sell our house after all and at this point it just wasn't looking promising.

Stress with a capital "S" doesn't even begin to describe the emotional state of all individuals within our household for the past few months (well, I guess the kids weren't really stressed, but they could definitely tell that we were...and that just breaks my heart). We tried our best to wake up each morning with a renewed sense of hope and a good attitude - but eventually we had drained our positivity tanks.

I'm a planner by nature. I'm a Virgo. So when I don't have a vision in my head of what the future holds (even though I also know that things rarely go as you plan), I get really preturbed. When I would think about where the kids would start preschool or where we might go trick-or-treating or where we'd be putting up our Christmas tree, I saw a big blank picture. There was absolutely no plan. Which to me = chaos. It drives me batty.

And then, just when we had reached our lowest point, we got an offer. Even though it was a low-ball by $30k, we went ahead and countered, only to find that they had only been pre-approved for what their offer was. We just couldn't take that big of a hit.

I was ready to throw in the towel on this whole move thing. We gave it our all. Even St. Joseph must have given up - I pictured the little statue we planted near our For Sale sign tapping it's little foot and wondering under his breath "Guys? Can you just come get me out of the ground now? Please?" I was preparing myself to resign to the fact that I guess we had already gotten the answer we'd been praying for. And it must have been that we were meant to stay put.

Fast forward 10 days...the couple who gave us the low-ball offer scheduled a 2nd showing. We got another offer from them - this time, one that both of us were able to make work.

We have no doubt that THIS is how it was supposed to happen.

We are looking at a Sept. 15th closing and a move by Oct. 1. Please pray that all goes smoothly. We are ready to start this new and exciting chapter in our lives!

Goodbye elephant. And goodbye Indiana.