Friday, July 26, 2013

A Decision I Never Wanted To Make

Before I get into this post you must understand that I have nothing but love for my little baby Tank. He's been nothing but a joy to have in my life but there comes a time when you know your baby would be better off with God!

The day we brought Tank home!
Two years ago my little Min Pin Tank (7 years old now) was diagnosed with diabetes. It hurt so much to hear that he had such a horrible disease. The oddest part about it was that it came on literally over night. Apparently that's not uncommon in dogs. We spent hours with our vet weighing the options and figuring out what we wanted to do. When we were told we could manage his diabetes with insulin (which I honestly didn't know was possible) I fought hard knowing full well that I could do it. I would be the one to keep him alive for as long as he wanted to stay with us.

Two years later and I just can't do it anymore. I can't watch him get sicker by the month, lose more hair, get sores just because he lays wrong, and basically get by until the time of day that I give him the insulin his body needs to stay in balance. We used to be able to give him a set dosage every morning and every night but now I have to test him daily (which means taking blood from my little man on the inside of his lip every morning and night). He's lost the muscles in his head right behind his eyes (which even my vet can't explain) so every time he yawns his eyes sink back into his head so far you can't even see them anymore. He lost his sight because of the diabetes as well so he couldn't see anyway. About 3 years ago I fell on top of him (which still pains me to this day) and I broke his poor little leg. We had to travel 4 hours to see a specialist to surgically fix his leg. There are times you'll see him limping for no apparent reason. This didn't happen until he got diabetes. The vet said it's just because his body is breaking down faster than it normally would and any discomfort is amplified.

This is where the decision I never wanted to make comes in.

Earlier today I took my baby into the vet to meet God. He's happier now, I know that. He's healthy now, I know that as well. I just can't help but think I could have done this for longer so that he could live out the rest of his days with us. He will always have a piece of my heart and I will never stop loving that little cuss.

With that said I'll probably be away from blogging for a little bit. I need to process this and I honestly don't know how long this will take. I need to figure out how to forgive myself for not fighting longer for him. I understand it's not my fault and sometimes hard choices need to be made but that's just how things go in my mind.

Have you ever had to put a pet down? How did you cope with the loss? Any tips?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Irrationality Runs Rampant Around Here

I feel like I've had a forward to every post I've made in the last little while but I feel they're all warranted. This warning is one of love. I absolutely love my husband to death so before you drill me about this post know that.

Onto the post.

My husband is SOOOOO irrational. It's been a hectic few months in our house because monsoon season in Arizona is here. Now we don't live in Arizona but that happens to be the place we visit at least 3 times a week. That's a lot, I know. That also happens to be where we launch our boat onto Lake Powell. Now do you see it?

Not only is it monsoon season in Arizona the weather in my neck of the woods has been about the same. Rainy, muggy, horribly windy which is all around terrible boating weather.

We haven't been able to go out on our boat for nearly a month. It's eating at my husband. I'm doing fine since I'm more of an in the water type of person than an on the water girl. For my DH though it's driving him insane.

Here's where the irrational part comes into play.

Instead of saying that we'll just wait it out and go the next chance we get he's talking about selling the boat. A boat we only purchased last year. A brand new boat that only has 20 hours on it. Yes, seriously, he's talking about selling the boat because he hasn't gotten to use it. UH ... WHAT

This is an actual picture of our boat before we bought it.
You mean to tell me we spent 40K+ CASH on a boat and because the weather is bad, something no one can control, you want to sell it? Does this make as much sense to you as it did to me? 

Normally I just brush his words off and leave the room but I finally had enough the other day. I got up on my high horse and told him, more like yelled at him, that I was selling my sewing machine because I haven't used it in a couple weeks. I told him I was also selling his beloved 2012 Ford F-350 truck because he only uses it once a week and when we go out to the lake.

He then tried to tell me he was also upset that he couldn't find people to go out on the boat with him. I didn't back down because he is constantly saying that he's not a people person. I feel a little bad for what I then said to him (which was "When you bought the boat who did you think was going to go out on it with us? The friends you don't have or the people you don't know?") but I just couldn't take it anymore.

Can I just say he hasn't mentioned selling the boat, or going to the lake, as much as he normally does since that day. I think my wake up call was just what he needed ... until next month.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Things I Learned From Buying My First Home

I saw THIS POST on a blog that I follow and I knew I had to chime in. Be warned this is a wordy post with no pictures. I can't explain these with photos.

I'd always heard that house hunting, and buying a house, were difficult and the process is something you never want to go through twice but I didn't realize how right everyone was. Last year (7/12) my husband and I bought our first house. We had some of the greatest, and worst, experiences of our entire life. I thought I'd share what I learned through the process in the hopes that I can help at least one person in their quest to find their first, or second, or 15th, home.

1. Do your research.
This is something we wish we would have done a little better (in regards to our mortgage broker) before purchasing our house. We didn't research our agent but he came highly recommended from everyone in the county. We didn't research where we wanted to live because I've lived in the area for 30+ years,  and we've rented in almost every town possible in the county. We didn't research our inspector but his ratings are through the roof, and he came top recommended from our agent. (He also sends us monthly updates on when it's time to do certain maintenance on our home.) We knew which areas we did and didn't want to live. (Funny story, we ended up buying in the one town we didn't want to live.) We didn't research our mortgage broker either and we regret that more than anything else. Which brings me to #2.

2. Find the right people before you do anything else.
It was easy as pie to keep in contact with our agent. We knew the minute we met him that he was the agent for us.  He sent us an email almost everyday with listings he thought we'd like. He always answered his phone and always had the answer we needed. Our broker, on the other hand, was exactly the opposite. There was an entire week in the middle of our buying process that I couldn't get a hold of him. Every time we called he was in a meeting. We could call him 5 times a day to ask a question and each time he was in a meeting. We didn't know until it was too late that he'd switched companies in the middle of working with us. This was huge for us because we'd heard nothing but good things about the company. We weren't sure we'd even got the house until a couple days before closing. It took over a week, and numerous phone calls from us and our agent, to get an appraisal done on the house. He claims that the appraisal dept. thought we were just looking and we weren't serious. WE'D ALREADY MADE AN OFFER! By the time we realized how horrible our broker was it was too late to get a new one. Needless to say our agent will never work with that broker again and I always tell people that the company he's with has made him useless. (Yes, we are that upset with the job he did.)

3. Be as specific as you can and know what you DON'T want.
Our agent was amazing. We told him that the easiest way for us to see houses was on our terms. He did exactly as we asked. He punched our wish list into an automated system that sent him listings everyday. He then sent us the listings by email so that we could look at them, decline them, or pursue a further look with him. When I say be specific, though, I mean in what you want. Know how much square footage you want, how much land you want, the city you want to live in. What a lot of people forget is to tell their agent what they don't want. We didn't want to be in an HOA, we wouldn't accept less than 1/2 acre, and there was no way we were living with a septic tank. I think it's far more important to know what you don't want than what you do. Everything can be modified but if a home is full of "that has to be replaced because I didn't want that" you're not going to like it.

4. Don't ever ever ever ever ever ever settle.
Home buying is hard, looking is hard, but never settle for something you're not happy with. Some time before my husband and I found the house we're in, which is 99.9% our dream home, we found another home that was probably 75% dream 25% what do we do with this? We were so close to making an offer when we sat down and had a chat about settling. We both used the word settle and knew this wasn't the house for us. It took a couple weeks before we found the home we're in but we're so happy that we didn't settle for the other one.

5. Don't get attached to a house.
This is probably the hardest one. The second we saw our house we knew we wanted it. I fell in love with it. My husband is a lot better at controlling his emotions though. I have a feeling that's what made the month it took to close so hard for me. He was ready to pull out at week 3 but I made him stick it out because I wanted this house so badly. Never let your emotions run your process. I did and I regret it.

6. Always get a home inspection/specialty inspection.
Even if the house is sold as is get an inspection done for yourself. If the seller won't accept a contingency clause where an inspection is required I say walk away. When we purchased our home it was only 6 months old. We still had an inspector come in. He did a 4+ hour inspection and found a couple things that we wouldn't have even known mattered. When I talk about a specialty inspection I'm saying electrical, HVAC, etc. The things our inspector found were related to electrical and HVAC. We called in our electrician and our "AC guy" the next day to check things out before we went any further. Thankfully they weren't a big deal and things kept moving.

7. Be prepared for everyone emotion you can think of.
I didn't know buying a house would make me happy, and sad, and angry, and devastated all in one day. If you've never experienced such a wide range of emotions be prepared because they're all coming.

8. Make sure you can explain everything in your past/present/future to everyone involved.
If you don't earn your money in the conventional way, make sure you can explain it. My husband has an annuity from the loss of his leg when he was a child. We had to write a note explaining how he got the money and where it came from. If you don't have all the paperwork you need because of something out of your control, make sure you can explain it. My husband's mother is on our checking account. When it was time to turn in our bank statements we realized we hadn't been getting them. The bank in CA screwed something up and started sending statements to his mother instead of us. That was such a headache and it's still not sorted out. If you haven't worked in a while, make sure you can explain why. I've heard of people having to explain why they, as a married couple, were living with their parents. You're going to find that you have to explain some of the stupidest things you can think of. It seems meaningless to you but apparently it's important to everyone else.


9. Take a break for yourself and your sanity.
I don't mean from the looking process or the buying process, unless it's something you feel you need to do in order to maintain some sense of normalcy, but make sure you take time for yourself through this whole process. If that means staying in bed one day just to read or going on a mini vacation to a town a couple hours away, do it. The stress can kill you or cause other problems, as my husband and I are finding out a year later. Stress is something you can't cure easily. Don't let it get to you.

No matter how hard the process was or how much I hated certain aspects of it I'm so glad we finally have our house. I couldn't be happier. It's always nice to know your money isn't going toward someone else's mortgage payment.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Mary Kay VoxBox Unboxing (Influenster)

I'm absolutely in love with Influenster. This is the second box that I've received from them and I couldn't be more excited to try out these products. Here is a quick unboxing video.

So look for reviews on all these products either in video form or just here on my blog. Yay for free stuff!
I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are my own.