As Laryssa and I are relaxing at home tonight, covered in our new weighted blanket as we watch Elf, we can’t help but feel thankful as we looked around us at our beautiful home. Like we mentioned in yesterday’s post, decorating our house this year has been especially sweet as it was something we didn’t get to do last year. Let us tell you more.
It all began in September 2018. We had just moved back to the area, and we were so excited when our real estate agent showed us our future house, just a few days after it had been listed. We were so excited that we immediately made an offer, and after a few counter offers back and forth, the seller agreed. Our original closing date was November 1 – the day after Halloween – but we were wide-eyed and optimist that everything would move along flawlessly and we’d be able to move in before Halloween – or have “second-chance Halloween” if we didn’t close until the 1st. So young, so naive, so clueless.
The next few months pretty much looked like the same thing; a constant stop and go with closing on the house, and it seemed like every time we got two steps forward, we took one (or several) steps back. Long story short, it was one hoop to jump through after another – would our bank approve our FHA loan? Would the sellers agree to the required repairs? When could the required exterior painting be completed? Most of the time, we just felt confused, frustrated, and unsure if we’d ever end up moving in. It seemed like every time we found a solution to one problem, another came up, and each time, we got more and more frustrated, concerned, and just ready to be done with it.
Sometime in early-December, we found out that our new closing date would be December 20; five days before Christmas. We were ecstatic; our vision of getting a Christmas tree last minute and decorating it just in time for Christmas was about to come true. We even found the perfect “our new home” ornament while we were window shopping one day. Even if it was the only ornament on our tree last year, we knew it would be perfect.
And then, as luck would have it, the State of Michigan went into a government shutdown, backing up the Michigan State Housing Development office (who was a part of processing our loan), for a solid three weeks. Our dream of decorating our house for Christmas fell through. And as grateful as we were to be able to stay with Laryssa’s mom and dad during this entire process, but we both just so heartbroken that we wouldn’t have a house to call our own for Christmas.
After a long and tedious process, we finally closed on our house on January 15, 2019. It was such an exciting day for us. We both had goosebumps as we walked into this house – our house – for the first time. And although we didn’t get to decorate for Christmas last year, we were able to dive right in with painting our kitchen, dining room, and family room, thanks to five consecutive snow days in late January. Since then, we planned a wedding and a honeymoon, had our siding and exterior trim painted, spent endless hours out in the workshop, and completed (and partially completed) other projects around the house – all while making this beautiful house our home.
So as Laryssa and I sit on our couch tonight, watching one of our favorite Christmas movies, we can’t help but feel grateful, excited, fortunate, and blessed. Merry Christmas, everyone, from our home to yours!