Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Home Sweet Home...For Sale!

We have a beautiful home that I love, but we have decided to sell it. It was a simple decision really when the Lord prompted us to reconsider our finances and our family priorities, but it is a not so simple thing, emotionally or physically, to accomplish! We actually put a For Sale By Owner sign out in the yard November 15th, 2007. About 80 fliers have been taken by people driving by (and our neighbors and real estate agents). We have received 12 phone calls about the house with only 4 of those calls being from interested buyers wanting to schedule a showing. The other 8 calls were real estate agents trying to get our house as their listing. Of the 4 scheduled showings, 2 parties showed up and 1 of them was a private investor trying to get us to keep the mortgage in our name in order to allow someone else to basically come in and rent our home. That is not exactly what we had in mind. We are planning to use some professional real estate help, but with the current condition of the housing market and the fact that we live in a neighborhood where 95% of our competition is new construction, selling this house is going to continue to be a frustrating (at times) and challenging task. Especially the keeping the house spotless with a young child and a sick, pregnant mama part. HOWEVER, I do have faith that this is in the Lord's hands and whatever happens and however long it takes is all a part of His plan for our family! Now, on to the fun part. I have lots of out of state family and friends that would like to see some pictures of our home before it is no longer our home, so here they are. I just took some new ones for a new flier! I will start with the entryway when you walk in the house...
the family room
the kitchen
the "formal" dining area (although I would hardly describe our mealtimes as "formal" :))
the "formal" living room which we have made a reading/music room
the guest bedroom (always available if anyone would like to come for a visit!)
Sophie's bedroom - the only room we painted (pink of course!)
the master bedroom (which will look much more like a bedroom once we get some furniture in there!)
the master bathroom
We will keep the blog posted about the sale of our home and the purchase of a new home. I can't believe there is another move in our future!! I have lived at 10 different addresses in 9 years and poor Sophie has lived at 5 different addresses in 4 years. Clint has also moved an average of once every two years since college so it is time for the Halsted family to stay put and allow some roots to grow down deep. Amen to that!

Friday, January 18, 2008

12 weeks...we made it!

Just a quick post to say that I'm sorry I have not been keeping up with the blog to those who are checking in. These last few weeks of this pregnancy have been difficult as I have been experiencing nausea and/or headaches among other symptoms daily. The countdown to 12 weeks has finally ended as I have completed the first trimester today...yeah! I have high hopes that these symptoms will decrease as my hormone levels become stable now. I am also very relieved that the baby has made it through the most fragile weeks of his or her development. I feel so blessed to be pregnant and all of these tiring and trying days will be well worth it in the end, but I also felt the need to explain for my absence to the blog world and to record this for future reference :). I'll have to post a picture of my rapidly expanding belly this weekend (I seem to be showing much faster the second time around!) Love to all!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Happy 4th Birthday Sophie!

I can not believe it has been 4 years since Sophie was born! Thinking back to the day she came into my life still brings tears to my eyes (who am I kidding...I was sobbing most of the day on her birthday)! January 4th was the actual day, but we celebrated with a royal tea party with some of her little friends on Saturday. It was so precious! We didn't take very many pictures because we were busy partying, but here are a few. I am also going to try to post my first video!

Pretty in PINK! At the birthday girl's request, there was pink as far as the eye could see. We had pink lemonade (our "tea"), pink cupcakes, pink cookies, pink flowers, pink balloons, pink feather boas, and more pink! Did I mention that Sophie likes pink?

Katie and Sarah are modeling the latest in princess fashion...our party hat craft that kicked off the morning!We played some fun tea party-themed games

And of course, we had to do some music activities! This was the cupcake march with our lollipop drums!

Time to sing Happy Birthday...

The kids enjoyed their tea and cupcake treats!

Sophie's favorite part was the pink frosting.

Sophie had lots of little helpers during present opening time. All of the kids seemed to enjoy seeing what was in those pretty packages!

Clint and I got Sophie her first big girl bike (with the Disney princesses on it of course) and she couldn't wait to ride it later that afternoon.

Here is Sophie with all of her protective biker girl gear on. When she went for her first ride, I was holding onto the handlebar with a white-knuckled grip, but after a while she wanted to ride on her own. I cautiously let go saying, "Be careful, don't go too fast, remember to break...!" Sophie (sounding like quite the grown up) said, "Mooooom, I know what to do." And she was off. It was such a symbolic moment. She is growing up so fast and I know there will be many more moments over the years when I will have to let go and let her become Sophie. I am so proud of her already. She has shown me how strong, smart, and self-sufficient that she is. By the way, she did a great job riding that bike. She looked like a pro her first ride down the street handling curves and breaking when she got going too fast. I officially have a big girl and I love her more today than ever! Happy 4th Birthday my sweet Sophie!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

I love Raleigh! We went to the First Night Raleigh celebration downtown yesterday and it was great! Sophie got to see, hear, and dance with a great kids band - Stacy Clearman's Little Land Band, we explored the Museum of Natural Sciences, we made crafts, and Sophie got to be a part of the parade! She said, "This is the greatest parade ever!" She got to hold part of a large puppet with some other kids. The city did an early countdown to the New Year at 7:00pm for all of the kids (and their parents) and Sophie loved watching the giant acorn drop and the fireworks display afterwards. I am so glad that we were able to enjoy this family friendly event to celebrate the New Year and get home by 8:00pm! It's a good thing Clint and I got to see the early countdown as well because we both fell asleep waiting for the ball to drop in Times Square. I missed the midnight celebration for the first time in my life...I felt a little older this morning. :)

We really enjoyed the Little Land Band! Stacy Clearman is also known as Pastor Stacy, worship leader/music director, at the church we have been going to, Church Alive in Fuquay-Varina.

Our beautiful tissue paper hair bow craft :)

This is the very large puppet that Sophie got to help hold up during the parade. We just happened to be in the right place at the right time and Sophie was able to help some other kids hold up the back. She was so excited!

Having a little fun before the acorn drop...

3, 2, 1 ... Happy New Year!!!

We hope your New Year is filled with many blessings! Happy 2008!!