it's been AGES since i posted anything on this blog! i hope you haven't forgotten about us!
we've been busy... buying a house and all. moving, unpacking, cleaning things out, cutting down trees (more on that later), making friends, fixing the roof, trying to not float away with all the damn rain we've had in the last 2 months... but finally, things are almost normal around here. so i have a couple of moments to get you caught up. there are so many stories to tell, though, that i'll just have to go one at a time.
let's see... i guess i should start at the beginning: what it was like to buy our first house!
we got here in the early part of august, and stayed at a friend's house in a nearby suburb. it was really nice to have a huge, furnished house all to ourselves -- plus a pool! -- but it really wasn't our style, and we were anxious to move into a place of our own. luckily, we found a house we loved only a few days after we moved down here, and the owners accepted our offer within hours of us making it! we felt comfortable making an offer on this place, because i had been doing a ton of research on denton for several months, asking our realtor to send us links to places that fit our criteria. plus, i had been in contact with lots of people from around here, asking which neighborhoods to avoid and which ones to focus on. by the time we arrived, i felt like i already knew this town and what it had to offer.
we only spent a day househunting, but we saw 8 houses in that time, so we got a good feel for what was out there and which places were reasonably priced. and we both knew, the moment we walked in to this house, that it was going to be ours. in fact, a few days after our offer was accepted, i drove gracie past here so she could see it for the first time -- she looked out the car window and said "home!". i think she approved. it sent goosebumps down my arms and legs... it's like, she KNEW, and she thought it was a good fit too. amazing. we owed a HUGE thanks to our realtor, judy howard at remax/dfw, who totally TOTALLY bent over backwards and worked crazy hours to get us this house -- including helping us get our offer in in time (there was another offer that was only hours away from being accepted, and she totally trumped them!woohoo!).
anyway, next came all the paperwork -- who knew that owning property in this country was such a big deal?! i mean, when i got married, i signed one, maybe two pieces of paper, then got a new social security card, and that was about it. when i got pregnant, i didn't have to sign anything at all -- and when gracie was born i think all we had to do was register her at the gemeentehuis in hengelo, which adam tells me took all of 10 minutes. i think he signed one piece of paper to make it official. but that's it.
buying a house, however, requires countless signatures on a stack of papers three inches thick. and that's just with the lender, to find out if we even qualify for a loan in the amount we're asking for! once that was all squared away (which at the time seemed like a huge deal, but in retrospect really went rather smoothly), we just kind of had to sit and wait for all the money to get lined up so we could get the keys. we were actually able to close a week ahead of schedule, too! a big shout out to jennifer smith at 1st national bank! she was awesome!
finally it was closing day: we sat in that title company for nearly an hour and a half, and all we did was sign our names on the dotted lines. it was kind of a big deal! we take property ownership really seriously in this capitalistic society of ours! it was almost bigger than easter sunday mass, swear to god... all the ritual and order and seriousness to explain to us what a HUGE deal this was. i was exhausted at the end of it! gracie was an angel, as usual, and the title company sure did what they could to make us feel welcome, putting our names on a sign and making us cookies :-) . both judy and jennifer were there, too, to answer questions and congratulate us. they were wonderful from beginning to end!
so. we signed all these papers, but then we STILL didn't get the keys. we had to wait for the previous owners to come in and sign their house over to us. which took a couple of hours. so in the meantime, we went out for lunch at a restaurant/bar called MG's, which is only about a half mile from our new house! of COURSE we had to go there -- we call mary grace "mg" all the time, so it's "her" restaurant! it was a cute little burger place with pool tables and cheap food, and we've actually been there a couple of times since then cuz we love it so much. and because it's named after our daughter, so there's that too.
adam had to go back to work that day, i took mg back to our friend's house for a nap, and on adam's way home he swung by the title company to get the keys! hooray! it was ours, all ours! we were now homeowners! i could hardly sleep that night i was so freaking excited!