Thursday, June 21, 2012

See Ya Texas!

Our adventures in the Lone Star State have come to an end!  We are off on another exciting journey now.  Find us out west at!  See ya'll over there!

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Yep.  That about sums up life in these parts right now.  We are running full throttle ahead in move mode.  Or rather.  I am.  Notice the "I".  It's a nice one letter word.  One little letter.  All alone.  That's kind of me right now.  One mom.  All alone.  Trying to get it ALL done.  Grrrr.  I'm wavering tonight between exhaustion, tears, anger, resentment, being TOTALLY and completely overwhelmed and feeling like I've got this.  I have been steadily packing.  I feel like I have.  But often through the day, I think...what if it's not enough?  What if my pace is not fast enough?  And what if moving day gets here (and it WILL...and VERY SOON) and I'm not ready?  This is the first time since Clara was two years old that I've had to totally pack us and get us ready for the move.  The last two big moves, the company we were working for has handled it all.  NOT the case this time.  It's all on us.   And of course...US is cheap!  US does not want to spend a whole lot more out of pocket than we really have to. Just so we are clear...I am TOTALLY on team US.  I agree with not putting out more cash than we have to.  Of sounds a lot better than when it actually plays out.  As I am shoving things into boxes late at night and every spare moment that I have (which happen to be few and far between right now), I start to second guess that whole money saving strategy.  I start to think that it's worth every penny to have packers come and just DO IT and do it efficiently and quickly.  I'm really thinking MY TIME is worth the whole $2000 or so that we saved by doing it "ourselves".  Which...who are we kidding?  Is MYSELF???!!!!  Here's what I am thinking tonight.  1)  We have a LOT of shit.  It's ridiculous.  Period.  2)  I can't BELIEVE I have wedding presents, UNUSED, still in their original boxes, that I have just packed for the 8th time in 18 years.  WHY do I still have them?  WHY am I not using them?  These are the questions some counselor would probably have a field day with.  Some day.  When I had some time.  3)  I am setting a goal to throw a party when I get to my new house and actually use all those UNUSED wedding gifts so that I do not pack them ever again UNUSED and shiny brand new. about ridiculous!!!!  4)  I am thinking "thank you God for wine.".  Just thought I would throw that one out there because I am SERIOUSLY thinking it after this week.

This week has been LONG.  Everything that can go wrong, HAS gone wrong.  I probably shouldn't have typed that on a Thursday night with a whole day left in this week that things can still go wrong!  I may very well regret that.  What's gone wrong you ask?  It might be easier to tell you what HASN"T gone wrong!  Nah...just kidding.  Here's what hasn't gone according to schedule...Mother Nature.   I started my period three days early.  I've been known to start A DAY early...but never three.  But this week is special.  Of course it is.  And so...I get to be bleeding to death while all the other things go off schedule and I deal with them.  For instance...the call from the school nurse telling me my son isn't feeling well and "just doesn't look well".  That's probably due to the strep throat diagnosis we got.  AGAIN.  Good grief, I am SICK of Texas and the endless supply of strep throat that seems so rampant here.  My kids have NEVER had it before we moved here.  Grrrrrrr.  Poor Max.  Never had an antibiotic in his entire 15 years of life.  But Texas...we are on our third round THIS SCHOOL YEAR!!!!!!!  What else has not gone according to schedule?  The pool pump breaking...that was most definitely NOT on the schedule.  And then, there's the needing to notarize a whole pile of papers for me to give Chris Power of Attorney so he can close on the house in Tucson without me.  When what we realized we really needed was papers for Chris giving ME power of attorney to close on this house in Texas without him.  Grrrr.  Add in the glitch with the dance studio pictures which left one of the fields on my dance tags BLANK, plus the 4th grade recorder concert, plus the crazy AP world history testing schedule.  Let's not forget my forgetting to order poor Clara a "fun pack" for the fun day activities tomorrow, and let's add in the water polo banquet that is this weekend a good 40 minute drive from home.  I love driving 40 minutes each way for a two hour dinner.  Grrrrr.

 At this point, I am tired.  And cranky.  Overwhelmed.  Exhausted.  Pushed to the limit.  Out of patience.  And feeling like I might just snap at any moment.  Thank you, God for wine.  That's all I have to say on that matter tonight.  I'm off to bed, because it's late and more than 6 hours of sleep is a luxury I am still treating myself to.  For this week at least!   Utter craziness.  It's the speed of life around these parts!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Two Weeks and 153 Chocolate Chip Cookies Later...

We have our first contract on the house!  It came in last technically, we got our contract exactly 2 weeks from the day that we listed it on the market.  Nothing is final yet.  We are negotiating said contract right now.  We plan to kick back a counter offer.  Play a bit of hard ball.  You know how that all goes.  It's not exactly the contract we would have we are hoping to improve the terms a little bit and then...if we can get it all to gel...we should be good to GO!  I am anxious this afternoon and tired and so ready to pull some closure on this one.  Mostly, I am ready to just get the heck out of Texas and get on with life in AZ!  THAT is what I am most ready for!  The kids have just about 35 days until school is OUT for the year.  And when that day comes we would SO love to be loading up and hitting the road for our NEW house and new town.  We have had SO many showings in these two weeks.  17 different showings...which means the house has been beyond perfect and spotless 17 different times in the last 14 days.  And each and every time I have baked a pan of fresh, hot, chocolate chip cookies and left them out on a plate on the counter by the "information about this house" folder.  9 cookies, to be exact.  So nine cookies, times 17 showings adds up to a grand total of 153 hot, gooey, fresh baked goodness. The buyers have enjoyed many of those.  But nearly ALL of those.   I'm sure you can imagine what 153 (give or take two or three cookies a showing) cookies is doing to my diet plan right time is of the essence here.  We have GOT to get this house SOLD so the cookie madness can just stop.  I am going to need to run many MANY miles to work all of this off!  But enough about that!  Pray for a good resolution to the contract.  I'm stressed.  And stressed.  And anxious.  And stressed out about it all.  We need to sell the house.  Tonight.  The end.  Please pray that that is exactly what happens!

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Today's house showing went well.  Well, I think it did.  From what I could tell.  A young couple with two small children viewed the house today.  That's a good sign.  We've had a couple of older couples look at it, and to tell you the truth, I just don't feel like this is an older couple kind of house.  Why in the world would an older couple want or need nearly 5000 square feet on two floors?  It just does not compute.  But a young family....ahhh.  THAT's more like what I envision.  Anyway.  The family stayed for 17 minutes. Not that I was sitting up the street and watching from a distance.  You know...stalking.  Okay.  Who am I kidding?  I was totally stalking my house and watching to see who, what and how long it lasted.  17 minutes was a good amount of time.  If they had hated it, they would have been in and out.  17 minutes is significant.  The little chairs at the desks in the gameroom were pulled out and I do believe two little boys had been sitting in them.  I take that as a good sign.  They were making themselves at home.  There were 4 mini chocolates and 2 granola bars missing from our "Take One and Refresh" basket we have out on the counter for visitors.  Snacking is a good sign.  They took one of the papers with the picture of the house and information concerning it with them.  For future reference.  I'll take that as another good sign.  And so....on day 5 of house selling...I am happy with today's showing.  Happy.  Hopeful.  Anxious.  And now TOTALLY anticipating.  Come on contract!  Mama needs a new house.  In Arizona.  Soon!  Next week would be great!

House For Sale...Day 5

Well, as of late this afternoon, the house will have been on the market for five days.  We are scheduled for our 6th showing about 30 minutes from now.  The house has NEVER looked better.  It's clean.  Shiny.  The carpets are newly shampooed.  The windows are clean and sparkling.  There is not a speck of dust or grime ANYWHERE.  Every lightbulb is working.  Every surface extra shiny.  No mess lingers.  Anywhere.  AT ALL!  It's all a giant pain.  And at the same time...I am LOVING it!  The whole house is CLEAN.  And at the SAME TIME!!!  Not just one floor.  Not just one room.  The whole house!  It's been great to discover just how much my family can accomplish in an hour.  Or 20 minutes.  For example.  We got a last minute showing request this morning for a noon to 1:00 time slot.  No big deal.  The house is clean and ready.  But there's the doggies.  We don't like to leave them here while strangers are in the house.  Cooper will bark his fool head off and it is NOT an enjoyable experience.  So we are making a concerted effort to take them with us each and every time we possibly can.  That means I am bagging some activities and sacrificing some things to make sure that that happens.  This week, it was bible study on Wednesday.  And then church this morning.  I hate it...but it's worth it to sell the house sooner.  However...because we didn't end up going to church, we DID end up with just over an hour of unexpected time to "get ready" for the showing.  So Chris and the kids managed to make GREAT strides in straightening up the garage.  AND repainting the workbench and cabinet doors out there.  It looks brand new and shiny!  In addition, Ben hit the walls with the magic eraser.  It's amazing how awesome it looks and what they accomplished in ONE HOUR!!!  I'm telling you...many hands make for light work FOR SURE!  And so...the house is, yet again, even cleaner, and shinier than it has been for the previous five showings.  Someone is braving the rain and nastiness today to come out and see our home.  I'm praying that THIS is the one!  I'm so excited about moving away from Texas I can hardly stand it.  I KNOW that this is only day 5 on the market...but I'll be the first to tell you that I am not real patient!  I like to get it done.  I'm anxious to have this one checked off my list, so to speak.  And so...I'm about to flip on all the lights and pray that THIS is it!!!  Join me, huh?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

It's Official!

The Roberts family is getting out of Texas!  That's right!  We are on the move!!!  Our destination?  Right back to that great state that we came from!  Chris has accepted a position with a new company and we are moving to Oro Valley, Arizona.  The details have all been finalized.  The house went on the market TODAY and we are counting down the weeks until we can bid this state GOODBYE!!!!!  I have lived in many places.  Texas has BY FAR been my least favorite.  And of all the places I have lived, Arizona has been, BY FAR my very MOST favorite!  So I am downright giddy this afternoon.  Of course...that COULD have something to do with the crazy paint fumes I've been inhaling all day long!  Whew!  The painters are here polishing everything up all pretty for us.  Repainting a bathroom.  Taking care of a few small repairs.  The fumes are a bit, ummm, heavy.   I probably need a breath of fresh air right about now.  And so...on that note...I will you to ponder and rejoice in our VERY exciting news!  Pray for us on our new adventure.  And that our house sells.  This week!  Just kidding.  I'm patient about all that.  I'm totally fine with it if it takes, you know...three weeks.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Weekend

Our family did something totally different for Easter this year.  We left town.  We took our trailer and went to Lake Ray Roberts, one of the state parks here in Texas.  We've been once before and really enjoyed it, so we decided to head up there once more since the kids were out of school on Friday.  We had a FANTASTIC weekend.  We didn't get there nearly as early as I had hoped.  Didn't get a spot right on the lake as I had hoped.  But we DID end up in a beautiful shady spot up on the hill, kind of off by itself.  In the end, I couldn't have been happier with our site!  We didn't hunt for Easter eggs, but rather, were sent out geocaching for information about egg laying animals.  That was a total first for us.  Following a compass and coordinates to find small hidden clues.  It turned out to be a lot of fun.  Clara totally loved it.  It was different being away for Easter.  To just wake up with my family on Easter morning and not be rushing out the door to church.  Not worrying about being dressed in our Easter finest...just shorts and t-shirts.  It was pouring rain this morning when we woke up. Which was a neat treat and made for a particularly cozy morning.  By the time breakfast was done and it was time to pack up, the rain had stopped and so we were dry while we packed it all in and got on the road.  Here are a few fun pictures from our weekend away! Enjoy!

Chris caught some fish out on the lake!

Cooper was VERY interested in those wiggly fish.

SO interested that he decided he'd just borrow one!

He's an opportunist.  If he sees the opportunity...he can't resist.  

Not sure what he thinks he's going to do with it.

But there he goes with our dinner!

He's very proud of himself and his "catch"!

Clara steps in to remove his prize.  Sorry Cooper!

She's not a fan of fish...but did well with this one!

In addition to retrieving fish from crazy dog jowls...she is an excellent cook!

One of the best things about camping is the lack of electronics....which often results in the miracle of READING by the teenagers!

Oscar and Max just chilling out and relaxing!

Chef Ben manning the grill to make sure we don't burn up his fish!

Indian Paintbrush wildflowers.  They were everywhere!

He's all worn out!

He's hungry!

ALWAYS hungry!

Found some time for some impromptu family photos.  All of these were shot in about 10 minutes!  Not bad really!

Cannot believe how big this girl of mine is getting.

I loved this rustic little enclosure the minute I came upon it during our last camping trip.  I knew I just had to haul my crew over there for a quick snapshot!  I love this one because even Cooper and Oscar are with us!


My three stooges.

A rare picture of the two of us.  Ben did these.  I think he has talent!

18 years and going strong!

Ben's big catch of the weekend!

Clara is beyond thrilled to have her own bunk in the new trailer.  

Being silly by the campfire.

Ben showing off his farmer's tan.

Clara geocaching at the Easter egg hunt and leading the charge with the compass.  It was a first for us...but fun!

She was in charge of the technology.  We followed coordinates in order to "hunt" for information about egg layers.

Hoping she's found something...

And she DID find it!  First one of the day!

Clara and her daddy consulting of which direction we should head next.

Another great find!

And another!

Clara with her GeoCache find!
It's very serious business!  She's having a BLAST!

What the heck???!!!!!

ONLY IN TEXAS do they give kids a piece of laminated snake skin as their Easter egg hunt prize!  What the heck happened to chocolate and jellybeans???!!!  I think I am scarred for life after this one!