Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Staging Our Home to Sell (Pictures)

My husband and I decided we are going to put our condo on the market on September 1st. We have been rushing to meet this deadline. We rented a storage unit this last weekend and put quite a bit of stuff in it to clear out any clutter. I've been doing a lot of packing and looking for cheap deals at Khol's and Target to help stage our place. 

We finally have two rooms officially staged! 

Dining Room BEFORE:

Dining Room STAGED (New tile):

Living Room BEFORE:

Living Room STAGED (New Carpet):
Different angle:

I will post more pictures of different rooms as they become ready. I can't wait until this is all over because it's so much darn work!!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Finding Hope in the Midst of Postpartum Depression

My mom called me this morning and asked me to turn on AM 630. I quickly turned it on and heard a woman talking about her experience with Postpartum Depression. Within minutes, I was in tears because I could relate to her so much. I had experienced Postpartum Depression (PPD) with my first daughter and am now fully recovered. I was surprised to find out that she is a pastor's wife and she has even written books before she experienced this horrible illness.

After she successfully recovered from PPD, she wrote a book called "Living Beyond Postpartum Depression." Click Here to Buy on Amazon.com

Information about the Author

Jerusha ClarkJerusha Clark is an author, a speaker and the founder of Be Transformedministries. Her books include Living Beyond Postpartum Depression, When I Get Married, and The Life You Crave. Jerusha's husband, Jeramy, is a pastor, and they are active in their church ministry. The couple resides in southern California and has two daughters.

You can also listen to her story online on Focus on the Family. Here is the link:
Finding Hope in the Midst of Postpartum Depression

Here is a link to my own story with PPD:
My Postpartum Nightmare

Please forward this to any mom you know who is struggling with depression. Thank you.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Remodeled with new carpet and tile

I haven't blogged in awhile because I have been crazy busy with my girls and getting our condo ready to be put on the market. It's been quite the stressful past few weeks and I am thankful our condo is almost ready.

Our newest project on the condo was new tile and new carpet in the living room. Our dining used to have carpet in it and that doesn't work well when you have an 18 month old that loves to throw her food on the floor. I tried putting a tarp underneath her highchair but Ellie always managed to throw it far enough to miss it. She throws like her daddy. We decided to put tile in there and my dad and his friend laid it for a great price.

The living room carpet was stained and was really worn from walking on it. We replaced that also and it was just put in this morning! It looks so good. Here are some before and after photos.

Dining Room with carpet pulled. 

My Living Room with the all the stuff from the dining room in it. Ellie is in her highchair on the left and my dad, Jim, is on the right.

Doug grouting the tile.

Now everything goes in the dining room so I could rip up the carpet in the living room.

Living room with old carpet.

I pulled up the carpet by myself in 90 degree heat. It was so much work! Great workout though. My husband is very sick with an ear infection and a URI so he was at the doctor when I was pulling it up. He was mad I did it by myself but I'm stubborn and I knew the carpet guys were coming the next day.

Beautiful, new, soft carpet!

Anna playing on the floor. My parents took Ellie over night which helped me so much.

Beautiful tile in the dining room lined up against the new carpet.

You are probably wondering why we are putting money into our condo when we are planning to sell it. We felt that putting a little more money into our place would help it sell. We decided that we aren't doing anything else to it though. 

Our condo should be on the market very soon!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I Deserve This Ice Cream (Ellie update)

Ever feel like you are having the most stressful week ever? I'm sure you have. 

This week has been a super stressful mommy week. I spend hours at Children's Hospital yesterday trying to get the root of my daughter's booty issue. It was exhausting and I broke down crying in front of the doctor and the receptionist (not in my character to do, believe it or not.) I been kind of a crying mess lately. Not to mention I broke down crying in front of my cousins the other day too. Seriously, I better not be pregnant. 

I'm pretty disappointed in Children's Hospital. General Surgery, GI, and her primary doctor were all arguing on who should see her. General Surgery told GI that Ellie need to be seen there and GI told General Surgery that she would need be seen there. It was a bunch of back and forth garbage. So annoying. Everyone finally decided that Ellie needs to go to Children's GI and we are trying a new medication which is suppose to help her. We'll see. Ellie doesn't need surgery which I'm incredibly grateful for. There is good news that General Surgery feels her anatomy is now completely normal which never was fully explained to me properly until yesterday. 

Of course the medication she needed was extremely hard to find. 

I tried...
Walgreens..didn't have it. Then 2 different Rite Aids..didn't have it. Then Albertson's..didn't have it. Then finally Target had something similar to it. Did I mention I had both kids with me when I was looking in each store? All the lifting helped my weight loss though because I'm down 2.2 pounds this week so I'm not complaining.

Later that day, our family was over to dinner at my in-laws. I was so stressed and wiped out from the day that I felt I deserved to cheat. My mother-in-law had ice cream for dessert and I was out of points. "You deserve this, Jessica. You had a hard week." It was like I had a miniature devil on my shoulder trying to get me to splurge. 

I did end up passing on the ice cream, but as I was driving home I was deep in thought of why I thought I deserved ice cream. I thought:

"Why ice cream? How about I deserve a break from the kids or a nice long nap? Or maybe a hot bubble bath? Why am I comforting myself with food when I'm stressed?"

"Seriously, Jessica, do you deserve to be plus size? Do you deserve to hate your body? Do you deserve to be embarrassed about your size?"

After much thought, I realized I DESERVE to be healthy and to be an average size. I DESERVE to not be depressed when I try to pull on a pair jeans. I DESERVE to look in the mirror and not be ashamed of how I look. I DESERVE to be happy about my body.

That's what I DESERVE

Thursday, August 5, 2010

House Cleaning Madness (Before and After Pictures)

Today was a very stressful mommy day. Actually, the past few days have been stressful. My house was, seriously, clean two days ago, but it was a mess this morning. I don't know about you, but if I am already stressed about something and my house is a mess, it makes me feel worse. I decided to motivate myself and take pictures of my disgusting home. Then I decided I would take pictures after I cleaned it. I worked my little tail off and I feel so much better. 

Cleaning helps me relieve so much stress. I had to stop about a million times to tend to my kids, but it was so worth it. I used my phone camera for the "before pictures" because I couldn't find my real camera. Crazy how when I started cleaning I found my regular camera. Ha! So the "after pictures" are with the better camera.

Living Room Before (Notice Ellie is sitting in a basket)

Dining Room Before

Kitchen Before
After (Notice all the clean pans drying. I guess I was just a little behind :))

Our Bedroom Before (Yikes!)

Feeling productive for the day feels great. If I'm going to be stuck here all day, it might as well be clean, right??

Free Kids Mini Water Park in Snohomish

I have like a million aunts and cousins and it's super fun to get together with all of them and their kiddos. They invited me to Willis-Tucker Park for a get-together. I didn't know that there is a free kids mini water park in the Snohomish area. It was awesome and Ellie had a blast. She was a little busy bee and only fell once. Anna took a nap. :)

This is a great free place to take your kids for some water fun in the sun. 

Here's the address:
Willis-Tucker Park
6705 Puget Park
Snohomish 98296

Here's the website:

I'm all about keeping it cheap. :)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Short Sell or Foreclosure?

Many of my friends and family know the situation we are in with our condo. If you do not know, I will give you a little rundown of the situation.

Our condo is an balloon interest only 80/20 mortgage. It will balloon in about 10 months to double our mortgage payment (around $3000.) We are not eligible to refinance so our only option is to sell. Like all homes, our condo has lost value and is worth $65,000 less then when Doug purchased it four years ago. Because our condo is interest only we have no equity in our home. Therefore, short sell is our only option. If you do not know, a short sell is selling your property for what it is worth market value right now and the bank agrees to the sell. This is different from a foreclosure but effects your credit about the same. The benefit of doing a short sell is you can make a deal with the bank to not come after you for the difference. Yes, we could possibly get a big fat bill from the bank for the difference. This is the same if we foreclose also. 

It cost the bank about $50,000 to $75,000 to foreclose a home so we figure if the difference of our condo is about $65,000 then we have a good shot of the bank accepting a short sell. The bank also gets more with a short sell then if we foreclose and the bank sells it on it's own. 

A good friend of ours did a short sell on his condo in Arizona. In the paperwork, the bank put that he is free from any recourse. This will effect his credit, but who cares because he is protected from recourse. This is what we are desperately praying for. 

Sadly, many families are in this situation. We have a Dave Ramsey certified realtor and he is going to put our condo on the market in the next 30 days. We knew since we first got married that this was going to happen and I am happy the process has finally started. It's definitely in God's hands and if we do end up foreclosing then so be it. I know God will take care of us and I'm excited to see where God will put us once we move out. I'm trying to learn to be content in all situations and trust in God. It's super hard!

Some articles I found regarding this to topic:

Do Homeowners Still Owe Money After a Foreclosure?

Do I Owe Money After I Have Been Foreclosed On?

Short sale is no salvation

Homeowner frustrations mount as foreclosure proceedings double in Snohomish County

Homeowners at a loss

Second mortgage can limit options

Fannie Mae fights strategic defaults

Many bail on mortgage bailouts

Snohomish County foreclosures mount