Thursday, October 10, 2019

Time to come down a notch


We're coming up on 4 months ago that I had a hair-brained idea to sell our house, change careers and move back to Southern Idaho.

And my body is going, "Yeah, this has been great but let's go on vacation instead. I need a break STAT."

I told my sister this morning that I can feel the all pent up adrenaline finally starting to wind down and now that we are getting most of the loose ends settled around here my physical body is kinda deflating like when you let the air out of a balloon all at once. I feel like I have hit a wall and I could sleep for a solid week. Don't mind me...I'll be over here zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

So the latest development is that we have moved out of my sister's 5th wheel and into an apartment much closer to my work. No more 1+ hr commute!  I'm 15 minutes from my office and when Ken has to sub or take Liv to preschool he is driving against all the bad traffic. Woop! Woop!

It's a little weird living in an apartment again...reminds me of college...but those were good years :)  It's a cute 2 bedroom with just enough space for us, our downsized life and a 6lb cat. Clean, relatively quiet, with a pool I plan to enjoy this summer and a little playground for Liv.  The neighbor across the patio from us who greeted us our first day moving in is 108 years old, deaf as a doornail and absolutely adorable with a cute puppy named Barkley Liv will instantly be friends with. So far, no complaints.





The 5th wheel was fun and all...*cough*...a MAJOR shout out to my sister and her extremely patient hubby for sharing their home, trailer, kitchen, kids bathroom, backyard lawn and garage refrigerator with us for 6 weeks.  It was...well, we're all still friends and that's what matters most! In all seriousness, they were generous, kind and patient with a crazeball family of 3 in full upheaval.

I've settled into work at a RE/MAX office in Boise that I'm more than qualified to be a part of thanks to all my years of experience keeping Rocky in line. Frankly, this is a walk in the park so far!  LOL! For the time being I have my own office (subject to change as we grow), super kind co-workers and the anticipation of office growth that will let me do more Transaction Coordinating which is what I want to do more of. Every new adventure comes with quirks and the need to be flexible but all in all I think I landed a good gig and it's paying the bills so no complaints.

Ken recently passed his 4th class of the semester and should have just enough time to finish a 5th before we pay for another set of classes at the end of the year.  His mentor thinks he's a rockstar (and of course, he is) and seems impressed with his focus and drive to knock out these classes.  He's substitute teaching for one of the school districts and hasn't had any trouble picking up 1-2 sub jobs a week to get his foot in the door teaching and networking...not to mention bringing in another needed paycheck.

Liv started preschool last month and loves it as I knew she would.  Her teacher is so fabulous and Ken is Mr Mom dropping her off twice a week and chaperoning her class field trip to the pumpkin patch next week. She comes home with the cutest artwork some of which makes its debut in my office...my favorite being a painting of a racoon that she brought home and proudly told my mom was a painting of a "macaroon."

My mom and sister each watch Liv 1 day a week while Ken subs so she gets lots of cuddle time with Nana and Papa and playtime with her cousins.  Next week they are taking all 3 cousins to a harvest-themed bouncy playground and we plan to trunk or treat with my bestie and her little boy for Halloween.

Plus, Ken and I can actually go on more dates now!  Say what?  We bought tickets for the PBR this month and I have my eye on a weekend jaunt to McCall in November for our 15th anniversary. More babysitters to choose from here...something I'm not used to calling on and is taking some adjusting to my pride to ask for help.  Ken was subpoenaed for court this month and the back and forth with the prosecutor with my mom on standby for last minute Liv duty was super stressful to me.  Thankfully he didn't end up having to drive back to Okanogan county for court but I'm so thankful that I have more options here for help since I don't have flexibility in this job to stay home with her.  That too is a big adjustment.  As much as I struggled being a stay at home mom I miss the mom camaraderie and time letting Buggy hang with friends. Jamie and Kaila...Tim Horton's iced caps are calling my name!  SNIFF

Well...fall is here...it's getting freaking cold outside but that also means holidays are coming.  Super excited to be in Boise for Christmas and do all the Christmasy things that were hit and miss before depending on when/if I was in town.  Back home and feeling so good :)

Missing our Oroville family...our little church and all the wonderful people there...my girlfriends, MOPS group, RE/MAX co-workers, my beloved Blue Hairs and my neighbor, Priya. Not missing any drama. Bye Felicia.

XOXO and peace out from the Treasure Valley.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Counting Chickens

I've worked in real estate for over 10 years and I have 1 major rule:

Don't. Count. Your. Chickens. πŸ”



As in...don't count your chickens before they've hatched.  For real estate this means don't say you've sold your house until it has actually recorded.  Don't assume it's a done deal when you sign the purchase and sale!!!!  I've seen deals fall apart the DAY OF CLOSING!  Yes, you read that right.  The Buyer goes to the title company to sign their closing docs only to find our the Lender just called and pulled their financing.  I've seen deals fall apart because a high maintenance Seller needed one more set of initials and he was tired of driving to town to get the fax and send it back so he flat out refused. Even though EVERYTHING else was completed and the money wired to the title company.  Seriously.

So only a handful of people know the exact story behind the sale of our house for this very reason.  Not because I'm superstitious or even faithless but because I've seen super weird stuff happen.  I was trying VERY hard not to count my chickens.

And Friday we recorded so now I can tell you my impossible story.

Again, I've been doing this for over 10 years so I have a fairly good grasp on my Oroville market. I've watched the market rise and fall, change, stall, and inventory go up and down. Even though we only recently decided to sell our house and move, I've been watching what my house was worth for years as the sales changed the values around me. I'm always curious how long I'd be upside down in the house and what it would take to pay it off if I absolutely had to sell.  That information was front and center at the end of June when we decided to take this leap and list.

Let me say that we purchased our home in a relatively good market but it has certainly softened since we bought in 2010. We had a very simple residential home on the south side of town.  Not too long ago there were real estate signs in practically every yard around us...all of them comparable to ours: 3 beds, 1 bath, in town...ours had a couple of advantages: corner lot and giant garage.  Many homes were sandwiched between others with no covered parking.  But other than that, I knew what to expect from our home.  IF WE WERE VERY LUCKY we would break even.  I was sure of it.  Could back it up with comps.  I did an official CMA (comparative market analysis) like the ones we do for other listings on my own home and the results were less than favorable.  I actually sent an email to our title company asking for closing costs on my worst case scenario so I would know how much cash I'd have to bring to the table to close and not actually have to short sell.

I told Ken all of this and we decided that the bottom line was a move to Boise was the best thing for our family even if it wasn't the best time to sell our home.  I'd never been under any illusions that we'd ever really make any money on the sale of our home no matter how long we lived in it because the market changes so often.  Oroville is simply not a place where you can easily flip homes for profit just by living in it a few years.

So we listed.   I knew a home like mine would likely attract first time home buyers with no down payment so I assumed I would need to cover someone's closing costs.  I factored that into my list price along with closing costs and commission and added a tiny bit of room so I could negotiate.

The pros of my listing: large corner lot in town, giant garage, new flooring, updated windows, well cared for and staged pretty well ifidosaysomyself.  Most importantly: almost no competition of inventory.  Suddenly there were very few options in town to buy in our price range.

Cons of my listing: only 1 bath, no central heat or air, appraisal values feeling a bit like a crapshoot.

I DO have to say, Rocky did a fabulous job on our photos.  Oroville isn't exactly the kind of place where you also spend $1,000 on a fancy photographer to manipulate the way your home looks in real life.  Rocky has several beautiful cameras and an eye for real estate photography and that does just fine thankyouverymuch.

Monday by 5pm: listing hits the MLS (multiple listing service)
Tuesday: 2 showings and an offer (yes you read that right...an offer the next day)
Wednesday day: another showing. (This amount of interest is a bit unusual)
Wednesday evening: another offer. (Say WHAT?)  Both offers were the same price but different details.

So we asked for highest and best which means, "you guys are at the same number and you might not know you're competing with another offer so double check your numbers and come back with your very best offer cuz I might not counteroffer..." also...this is sometimes called a bidding war.  NEVER thought I'd have a bidding war on my hands.

Both offers came back strong. But one of them was ultimately OVER ASKING PRICE with an escalation clause!!!!!!!  An escalation clause means they want the house so bad they are willing to beat anyone else's offer by a certain amount up to a maximum number. (BTW, in 10 years I've only ever seen 1 escalation clause.  This summer, my home was one of 4 escalation clauses that came through the office.  so. weird.)

Oh yeah. And it was cash. πŸ’΅ NO APPRAISAL.

yes.

The only hitch was that this Buyer had to sell a home in order to have the cash to buy mine.  However, they were coming from a much larger Washington city so after a phone call to a RE/MAX office in that area to chat about their market I felt confident that I wouldn't be waiting forever for the sale of their home.

And I was right.
Friday: accepted their offer and opened escrow

They listed their home 2 days later, accepted and offer on their home within 2 days of listing and passed the home inspection on it the following day.

Then we had our home inspection and THEY ASKED FOR NOTHING.  That almost NEVER happens.  It just doesn't happen.  No matter how short or long the list everyone asks for SOMETHING.  They didn't.

Finally: we closed on time.  So very rare. Nearly every deal needs an extra day here or there for all kinds of reasons.  or 2 weeks. or a month. We didn't.  Neither did the sale of their home.  Closed exactly when it was supposed to so we could close when we were supposed to.


Multiple offers. 
Bidding wars. 
Escalation clauses. 
Cash. 
No home inspection call-outs. 
No appraisal. 
Closed on time.

God made the way for us to move. Sure, our sale could have had none of these things and it would have just been the usual run around that often happens when you sell a house and we still would have trusted that God wanted us to move...but the path was so clear it just amazes me.  And Ken has heard enough of my stories over the years that as our sale unfolded he was every bit as shocked as me for how smoothly it happened.

For sure the easiest residential sale I've ever seen 10 years.

Bonus: we really felt like our kitty Phoebe wouldn't make a move to Boise very well so I went looking for a new home for her.  After a few leads didn't pan out I posted a picture of her on local Facebook groups.  Somehow our Buyers saw the posting and knew it was me (I'm not sure how...I don't use my last name of FB) and she contacted her Agent.  They said Pheebs could stay with the home and they would adopt her. 🐾🐈

SERIOUSLY???? What kind of a God thing is it that our own territorial cat who loves that home as much as we did would actually get to stay with the home as new owners took over?

God is so good.
So. Good.

So it's goodbye Blue house (as Liv called it) and hello 5th Wheel in my sisters backyard
🀣🏑πŸ₯”πŸš™

Idaho is home but Washington has been good to us. I loved that blue house. I'll miss putting in the garden each year, decorating for Christmas, Liv's nursery. The fabulous neighbors we came to know and love. I made that house my home. It will be missed. But it's time for a new adventure and a new home. πŸ’™




Tuesday, May 7, 2019

I have a 3 year old?

What is this madness?  Liv is THREE???





Girlfriend has personality coming out of every part of her.  She looks more and more like her daddy every day but has more and more of her mom's spunk and sass every day too.  It's fun and terrifying.

I was looking back through my journal of stuff I keep about her and here are a few gems from this last year:

  • I was singing songs from the Sound of Music at the top of my lungs across the house from her and her dad who were in our bed.  As I yelled from the kitchen, "love my song?" she absolutely didn't miss a stinking beat yelling back, "NO SONG!"
  • "Baby's head (meaning hair), Brown!"  I say, "Yes, Baby, your hair is brown.  Good job."  The she says, "Mommy head: red!"  "Yes, Baby, Mommy's hair is red!"  "Daddy head: grey."  😲
  • She calls Ken's patrol car the Woo-Woo because of the noise its siren makes.  She also has shoes that light up red and blue when she stomps which she calls her Woo-Woo-Shoes.
  • She knows her numbers 1-20 but when she learned the teens she got very literal and calls them 1-teen, 2-teen, 3-teen...hahahaha  close.
  • Lately when she crawls in bed with me in the morning I say, "Good morning, Baby" and she returns, "Morning, Mama.  Nice to meet you."
  • She ran to me the other day to tell me she was "skeered."  I could tell she wasn't actually afraid so I asked, what is scary, Liv?  "Dragon."  Oh? Where do you see a dragon? "The mountain" pointing to the mountain west of our house.  Ken asked her what color it was. "Orange."  Okay then.  She also sees a Mommy kangaroo and Olivia Kangaroo down the street in the neighbor's trees and apparently they are yellow.  now you know.
She loves Minnie Mouse, painting, being chased by her daddy, play-doh and kinetic sand, jumping, reading books, in particular the Pigeon books (she has the Pigeon finds a hot dog memorized and can "read" it to me.)

The ladies at church conduct "Olivia Church" on Sunday mornings so she gets her own Sunday School class.  We go to MOPS twice a month and a playgroup twice a month and fill in lots of other activities in the meantime.  This summer we look forward to swimming, kayaking, splash pads, park days in Canada (WOOOOOP Tim Hortons!!) and other fun stuff.  

I have to watch my filthy mouth now because she picked up "Oh my gosh" from me...coulda been much worse.  She's never met a stranger and I'm terrified she'll just wander off with someone someday if I don't watch her like a hawk.  She'll start preschool in the fall (WHAAAAAAAT??)  I know.  I'm dead.

OK 3.  Here we go!  
πŸ’žπŸ’žπŸ’žπŸ’žπŸ’žπŸ’žπŸ’ž

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The 2's are herrrrrre

dun. dun. duuuuunnnnnnnnn.



Aaaaaaaand we've hit the big TWO.  As in, Olivia Hope is 2 years old and how in the HECK did I get a two year old?  For YEARS I would have said I wasn't a baby person and then after Jaxson and infertility and everything I was so desperate to be a mom I kinda forgot about the non-baby-person thing.

Now I don't have a baby anymore.  I have a toddler and I want to amend my previous statement.  I'm not a toddler person.  BUT.  I really, really, really, really, really, really, really, REALLY love MY toddler.

But she's still 2.

Honestly, she's hysterical.  I mean, some of my friends with kiddos coming up on 2 are mourning the baby months and are ready to have another.  Not me.  I think every new thing Liv does is better than the last thing she did.



Except.  Well, she's still 2.  So let's start with the not-as-stellar stuff.  Like:

1. She's taken to throwing things when she's not happy.  And we're really trying to not pick up after her but have her learn first of all, not to throw, and second of all, that she has to pick up whatever she threw.  But ya'll know that's an imperfect and lengthy learning curve so basically the bottoms of my feet are bruised and beaten from stepping on said thrown items.  sigh.

2. She's a screamer.  She screams when she's happy but more often she screams when she's angry.  And when she doesn't get her way.  Or when she's been told no.  Or when she wants to watch Peppa and I haven't been fast enough with the remote.  sigh.

3.  Why didn't anyone tell me baby-proofing your house is not for when they're babies?  I thought you baby-proofed when they start crawling and toddling about learning to walk so they don't fall into stuff.  Now I know.  It should be called toddler-proofing and it's for when she falls behind the TV while I'm in the shower.  Or when she climbs up the front of the microwave cart for whatever she thinks she needs off the top.

C'est la vie.

And now for the stellar stuff:

1. Girlfriend knows how to run a ruse to get you out of the way so she can steal your chair.  It's unreal.  She'll bat her eyes at you and say please and when you get up to find out what it is that she's asking so nicely for she cuts left, runs around you and straight up steals the recliner.

2.  She's. So. Ticklish.

3.  I love hearing her learn new words.  Like "mouf" for mouse.  And Two.  Now that she IS two she's been saying the word two a lot more.  She so chatty (TOTES like her momma that way) there's a sort of nonsense bunch of sounds she makes before she says an actual word you'd recognize...but I absolutely love trying to figure out what she's trying to tell me because she's trying so hard to get me to understand.

4.  or funny...sometimes she won't say the word but instead uses a sound.  Like water...she won't say the word water.  She has a very specific sound for that.  And she won't say the word monkey...she makes the sound a monkey makes when she refers to them.

5. She LOVES to be outside.  She digs in the dirt in a large basin I  used to plant flowers in.  Now it's for digging, naturally.  She had swimming lessons this spring and she really loves the water.  Yesterday I bought her a tiny swimming pool for the yard and I have a feeling it's going to be a major hit.  She loves stomping all over my ground cover in the front yard, squishing bugs, blowing bubbles and playing with sidewalk chalk.

6.  She's got a major crush on our friend Max who is about to graduation high school.  I've been friends with Max's parents since college and remember when he was born...so to have him be so grown up now and playing so well with Liv is adorable.  Last night at youth group, Max's little sister came through the door first and she shot up and ran towards her but immediately kept going past her looking around the corner for Max.  She knew he was coming.  And she knew he'd hide behind the wall in our living room and jump out and scare her.  She runs and dives into the couch and gives Max a great workout.  But it wears her out before bed so I'm grateful.


Oh my heart.  I love you so much and I can't believe you're 2.  sniff.  They say it goes by fast.  I had no idea just how fast.  xoxoxo






Monday, October 23, 2017

Almost a year and a half...



My kid said, "Dang it all" the other day.

One guess who she learned that from.  :/

She can say "shoe" but it comes out more like "shoo-hoo"

She can say "Phoebe" (beebee), diaper (dye-puh), mama and daddy.  and kitty-kitty-kitty

18 months old is a scream. 

She is asserting her preferences whenever possible. Demanding where her morning bottle will be consumed: NOT in her room in the dark where mom hopes she might fall back asleep at 6am but out in the living room with all the lights turned on and cats accounted for.  She points to different places in the kitchen depending on what she is hungry for: the bread box, the fruit basket, the cupboard with the goldfish crackers, etc. 

She wants to pet the kitties SO BADLY.  She's getting much better about not hitting them but instead pets gently and wants to cuddle them.  All. Day. 

 
 
The other day she was watching Goofy cartoons with a fistful of Cheerios in one hand and a graham cracker in the other.  She was leaning on 1 foot against the couch and when Goofy did his yell off a cliff she giggled.  It was so...innocent.  pure. fresh.  the laughter of a child that made all the drama in the world just drain off and fade away.  She brings so much light into our world.  The way she pads around the house in her sleep sack in the morning looking like a little ghost or how she runs across the kitchen floor when Ken is on all fours chasing her.  The belly laugh she does when either of us makes puking noises (still not sure why that's so funny...apparently she has the sense of humor of a 12 year old boy.) 
 
She's in a very lovey phase right now.  She might crawl up in your lap, grab your cheeks with both hands to make her face her and then plant a kiss right on your lips.  over. and over. and over. and over.  and she won't let you turn your face away.  We're going to have to go over this kissing etiquette eventually...
 
Case in point...this is Liv trying to give her friend Noah a kiss...
 
 
She's also really attached to me right now.  I knew that would be a hard phase but it's especially hard that she won't let Ken give her a bottle before bed.  Now that it's much more difficult to have her with me all day at work occasionally it makes it harder for me to consider some child care options with her being like this.  Ahhhhhhh, the transitions of babyhood.  sniff.
 
Luckily, she also takes pretty well to people fairly quickly.  I love watching her play with Sami and Grandma Dixie at church, Rocky and Michelle at the office and Macy and Brooklyn whenever she sees them.  She plays so well with kids of all ages...so grown up on the inside....as evidenced here by curling up in a blanket just like daddy:
 
And blessed is she who believed that there would be a
fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”  
Luke 1:45
 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Thoughts on marriage

" I see you, Devil.  And I declare war."

A wrote this on my Facebook wall a few weeks ago.  Not surprisingly, I've felt like a target has been on my back, so to speak, ever since.

You can't shine a spotlight on the undercover plans of the enemy and not expect them to come out swinging.  And so he has.  Bring it on.  All it's really done is riled me up even more.

I'm seeing the goal: undermine an individual. destroy a marriage. bomb a family. forfeit a society. repeat.

Gotta start somewhere if you want to take the system down.  Personally, I'm seeing the strategy where I live as taking out marriages.  The devil feeds a bunch of lies to one spouse, who gulps them down, turns on the other spouse and bails.  By taking out 1 person you effectively take out an entire family.

The consequences of those decisions then send a ripple effect for YEARS.

In a couple of generations of this you end up with a broken society with a bunch of hopeless, confused, angry, wounded people running around inflicting their own pain on everyone around them.

I'm aware that I'm seriously over simplifying here and I'm aware that both spouses have a share of blame in the demise of a marriage...but in general, this is what I see at work.  And to set off the chain of dominoes you really only have to take out 1 person.

In the 8 years we've lived in Oroville I personally know of 24 divorces that have been filed.  In a town of less than 2,000 people, 24 is a ridiculously high number for those more or less in my circle.

Now let me temporarily flash side-ways.

Have you heard of the Nashville Statement?  It's an evangelical "manifesto" of marriage and gender identity.  And it's blowing up social media.  Of course there is a ton of backlash on anyone having the nerve to state that the Bible declares marriage to be between 1 man and 1 woman in lifetime covenant under God. 

My point isn't to argue the 14 points of the manifesto, or whether or not it should have been named after a city in TN, or argue about how we should treat people who genuinely feel that were born in the wrong body or fight about if someone should be allowed to name their domestic partner in their insurance papers.  I have varying opinions on these matters that could fill a blog another time.

My point is to state that the objective of the enemy is clear: If we can break down the family unit, we can destroy society. 

And newsflash:  it's working.

Without going into a lot of detail, I've been privy to some statistics recently concerning kids in my community and some of the details are alarming.  I'm shocked at the number of kids saying they are depressed or full of anger they don't know how to direct.  They find illicit substances in their own homes and have easy access to alcohol.  Rarely is anyone policing these items especially if there is only 1 legal guardian in the home (and frequently that person is not a parent but another family member.) 

Why would a child find themselves in need of medicating their depression and anger?  Why would they need to numb low self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness? Why would they turn to addictive substances if they felt loved and cared for at home?  If their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs were being met?  For a millions reasons, really, but there is NO WAY you can convince me that there isn't a connection between rising emotional and mental issues with kids and the increasing number of broken homes in our society.

I'm a firm believer in something called Generational blessing and cursing.  There is a strong correlation between 1 generation experiencing things like addiction, divorce and teen pregnancy and the next generation following in it's footsteps.  Often broken homes beget broken homes.  Teen mothers have kids that also become teen mothers.  And so I firmly believe that our society doesn't function within a bubble.  The choices we individually make absolutely DO affect those around us.  The Apostle Paul wrote in his second letter to the Corinthian church that when 1 part of the body suffers, the whole body suffers.  This isn't just in reference to the Christian Body but is also a picture of human interaction.  We do not live isolated lives.

And so when someone hurts and feels broken and makes broken choices, it 100% affects those around them.  First and foremost, your marriage partner, your children, your immediate family, your extended family and then on to your neighbors and friends.  Think of the last time you knew a friend was struggling with something...you felt their hurt, right?  And when you see the consequences of someone's actions you feel those consequences yourself.

Why does it matter that I'm writing about this?  Because the broken lives of friends around me...those 24 broken marriages... makes my heart hurt.  The suffering they are experiencing is walking around in their spouse.   In their children.  In their church.  In their workplace.  The broken identity, the hopelessness, the anger, the entitlement, the pride...it rubs off on others and we wear the stains of each other on ourselves because we are bound together. 

So yeah.  It matters to me.  It matters to me if you walk out on your marriage.  It matters to me when your addiction makes your children feel like they have to compete for your attention.  It matters to me when your identity is skewed by the devil's lies...an entire generation's morals is being re-written to accommodate your choices. It matters to me if you are imprisoned in depression, anger, greed, fear or hatred. 

Why do we Christians talk about our faith and supposedly interfere in the lives of other people?   The World says, "They should just mind their own business.  They just want to make everyone exactly like them.  They want to strip everyone of their rights and interrupt everyone's fun."

If there's a way out of your chains, don't you want to know about it?  If there is a light at the end of the tunnel don't you want to be led there?  If there are answers to the things you search for and are not finding do you want someone to tell you?

This is the Good News.  That Jesus Saves.  That faith in Him can CHANGE YOU.  That we don't all have to be exactly the same but when we see another in bondage we should SAY SOMETHING.

World:  I'm not always going to say what you want to hear.  I can't always pat you on the back and tell you the path you're on is going to eventually make you happy.  I can't always tell you it'll eventually be OK.  Sometimes you gotta hear that you're wrong.  That what you've been fed is a bunch of lies.  That you're letting the enemy win.

I'm speaking my truth.  #sorrynotsorry

Thursday, August 3, 2017

I have a toddler

sniff.

I cannot believe how fast that happened.  One minute she's 6 pounds and seems so breakable.  I'm terrified that she's not breathing in her sleep and check on her every 10 minutes.  I worry about her rolling off something or being swaddled too tight or the cats licking her face.

Now she's walking.  Toddling everywhere.  She's absolutely filthy from the office tile floors and the other day I caught her just as she was about to eat a bug.  I pick Cheerios up off the floor and give them to back to her.

Liv is such a JOY.  My bestie mentioned the other day that she seems to be such a happy baby and I couldn't agree more.  She is CONSTANTLY babbling happily.  When we drove to Sunnyside a few weekends ago she talked. the. entire. way. all. 5. hours.  :/

She's also quite...shall we say, aggressive?  :/  Hilarity ensued when she and her twin cousins wrestled at Grandma's.  All 3 just giggled and rolled all over each other.  But Liv was extra WWE.  She body slammed poor Teddy.  Thank goodness they are so gentle with her but as she gets bigger we may be giving them permission to deck her in order to get her off them.  #girlscanwrestletoo

Now that's she's walking I can REALLY see her babiness melt away into this feisty little girl.  She also finally learned to take a sippy cup.  She wandered past my desk drinking the sippy and holding graham cracker and I just though, "where did this kid come from?"  I thought I had a newborn still.

She just LOVES to be outside with me while I garden and she LOVES animals.  It's joy overload when she's in the front yard and all the neighborhood dogs are barking.  We all have chain link fences so she can see them running, jumping and barking.  What usually annoys me about these loud animals roaming the streets has turned into a laugh fest as I hear her happy screeches.

Ken and I laughed so hard the other day by some expressions on her little face...she cracks herself up and has this certain hahaha that lets us know she knows something is a special treat just for her.

I honestly don't even know how to end this post...I never ever knew how much fun babies could be.  Never really having been a good baby-person (give me teenagers any day)  I just love how much joy bubbles up in me when I'm with this child :D