Happy New Year!
I can’t believe we’re in 2016 already!
2015 just started, didn’t it?
I can’t believe how quickly 2015 has come and gone, and I can’t believe what an AMAZING year it has been!!!
It really is true how life can change in the blink of an eye.
Here are just a few of the highlights from this unforgettable year:
If you’ve read my blog, you know I LOVE travel, and part of my travel bucket list was to do a Caribbean Cruise with my husband.
Well, at the beginning of 2015, our travel dreams came true!
We boarded the Carnival Valor and took to the seas to soak in all of the wonder and breathtaking beauty of the Caribbean!
It ranks right up there as one of my favorite trips!
Check out our adventures here!
Taking the Leap into Wedding Anniversary #5!
My husband and I celebrated our 5th Wedding Anniversary in August.
Ever since we were married in 2010, we talked about doing something fun for our 5th, and we threw around some ideas…you know…like a romantic road trip, or wine tasting…or exiting an airplane and freefalling 13,000 feet above the earth!!!
As our 5th anniversary approached, hubby brought up the idea of skydiving again.
Even though I skydived over 10 years ago in New Zealand, I wasn’t sure if I was daring enough to do it again. I mean, I was younger, single, and taking an “adventure” tour of the island with likeminded people. I went to New Zealand seeking out the thrill of life.
10 years later, I’m still adventurous, but in a different way. Falling out of an airplane wasn’t really something I needed to do again..but hubby hadn’t experienced the thrill I always raved about.
Well, as the date approached, I decided that life was too short, and this opportunity may not come around again, so after 5 years of wedded bliss, we decided to take the next big step!
Stay tuned for an in-depth review of our thrilling anniversary!
Home Sweet Home!
At the beginning of summer, my husband and I decided that it was time to start looking for a house. We lived in our 1 bedroom 1 bathroom cozy condo for over 5 years, and it was time to find something a little bigger because we knew that eventually, our adoption dreams would come true, and we would need an extra bedroom.
What an adventure in home buying it was! Who knew it could be so difficult! It seemed like we weren’t the only ones in search of a new home, and these buyers meant business!
Our first offer was on this beautiful home in a perfect neighborhood…it was a dream house! We made an offer at asking price confident that we would be homeowners soon!
To our dismay, there were several other offers made that were way above the asking price. The owners countered our offer and requested $20,000 MORE than what we offered!
Talk about rude awakening! Unfortunately, we couldn’t meet their offer, so with a bitter taste in our mouth, we continued looking.
What we soon realized was that if the house was a family trust, then they don’t really care who you are…they just want the biggest and best offer, and that’s that! Even our “About Us” letters that we sent to the families did nothing in swaying their decision. Every family trust offer we made was outbid by other buyers, and we lost out on all of them. Very disheartening.
The months dragged on, and every weekend was spent with our patient realtor searching for homes – everything from houses in almost perfect condition to houses that were still stuck in the 60’s!
After walking away from a house we made an offer on only to discover the myriad of problems, we came across 2 houses that we knew we couldn’t pass up.
House #1 was in a nice neighborhood across the street from a quaint school and walking distance to a mall. It wasn’t move-in ready and needed lots of work, but we could see ourselves there. And it wasn’t a family trust – bonus!!!
House #2 was a beautiful ranch style home in a quiet neighborhood. It wasn’t located near too many stores, but it was almost ideal in every way. The only thing I didn’t like was that the back fence backed up into an apartment complex.
After waiting anxiously for an answer, our offer on house #1 was accepted, and we happily made the decision that yes, that was our home!
We decided not to wait on an answer for house #2, and in mid November, we officially made this cute house our home!
Boy Oh Boy!
Five days after getting our house and 2 days before Thanksgiving, we got a phone call that we’ve been waiting for for over 4 years…and it changed our lives overnight!
And I mean overnight!!!
Our adoption lawyer informed us that there was a newly born baby boy in the hospital who needed a home…by the next day!
Usually adoptive parents meet with the birth parents a few months before the birth, but in our case, little Samuel had already arrived!
So with much excitement, we met with our lawyer and the birth parents that night, and after a positive, yet emotional evening, the birth parents chose us to be Samuel’s parents!
Early next morning, my mother and I raided Target and filled our carts with everything Samuel needed!
What a thrilling morning it was!
At noon, my husband and I arrived at the hospital, and by 3:00pm, we were holding our new son in our arms!
Talk about a Thanksgiving to remember!!!
Since November, it has been a nonstop roller coaster of new house renovations, packing and moving into the house, adjusting to instant parenthood, rearranging our lives and finding balance between it all!
Now that everything is falling into place and we’ve adjusted into our new normal, it’s nice to sit down, take a few minutes and just marvel at what an amazing and blessed year it has been!
I look forward to writing about the new adventures ahead: Adventures in parenthood, home ownership, owning my own business, balancing life, and yes, traveling with our bundle of joy!
I hope you join me for this exciting ride into 2016 and beyond!