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Hello from Toa Alta Puerto Rico!

Hello from Toa Alta Puerto Rico!

We are officially one week into our vacation time in Puerto Rico. Man, oh man, do I love this island and its people and the sea air and food and (of course) my family. My aunt picked us up from the airport. Actually, my aunt, uncle and cousin came in two cars for us. One car for us, one car for the luggage because, you probably know well that, traveling with children can require a lot.

We went to the kids godparents house and relaxed for the rest of the day. We ate some good food and drank some even better coffee. We all settled in and I quickly focused in on trying to use my Spanish as best as I could. Let me tell you, it has been rough. LOL. I’ll give myself credit in the sense that I understand more than I had previously accepted. I do not, on the other hand, know how to speak it very well…..like, at all. Luckily the kids godparents, as well as their kids, know english well.

In the past week, we have gone to Dorado beach, San Juan, Old San Juan, and all along the southeast side of the island to enjoy the views. This has been a very uneventful trip so far and I am not complaining. Actually, I’m really enjoying myself. We all are. Traveling to Puerto Rico, for me, has always been about family so I have never really taken the time to do a bunch of “tourist” activities. I thought this trip might be different now that the kids are a little older but it’s looking like that will not be the case. We had a few plans fall through because the island is still struggling to bounce back from Hurricane Maria. There is still so much to be done and Puerto Rico will never be the same but the people are so strong and hold on to such high and content spirits; it really is an amazing thing to witness.

The last time we visited Puerto Rico was a little over a year ago. Red’s birthday is in January and celebrated his birthday with my family on the island. It was a quiet and simple trip and this trip is looking like it will be something of the same.

I definitely plan on taking the kids to the children’s museum and (maybe) the sunflower farm. The only thing that is for sure is beach time. We are soaking up the sun and while the kids don’t particularly like hot weather, they are 100-percent happy with being outside, no matter the temperature, as long as there is water play involved.

We are planning to drive to the other side of the island in a couple of days and that will give us a new opportunity for adventure.

Until next time!

-Ashly

 

 

We Moved And Bought A House!

We Moved And Bought A House!

I know, I know, we just moved. Life happened and we have found ourselves in San Antonio: my childhood city. I am so excited to raise my kids in my hometown. We will be closer to my family and my kids will have an entire slew of cousins to see as much as they want.

Yes, we were sad to leave Marshall. We gave up a lot to get there and get settled and I had lots of plans for the land and for homeschooling the kids; now, I’m not so sure but more on that later.

When we found out that we would be moving (again), I headed to San Antonio first to start scoping out possible areas for us to buy a house. My mother had been laid off, in a FIFO situation from her pharmacy position and was taking advantage of it by relaxing (which she never does!). We moved in with her and the kids gave her a run for her money and peace-n-quiet. I knew that being a full-time grandma would be good for and give me an opportunity to look for a house.

I was connected with an amazing relator and we got to work. Ms. Teresa, from Brown Reality, asked all the standard questions: What part of town do you want to live in?, How many rooms? Baths?, What style of home do you like? We hashed out all of the details and started the search.

In the end, we looked at about 30 homes. First off, I would like to say that HGTV had my expectations all out of whack. I figured I would see 3-5 houses and find my dream home. WRONG. So, so, wrong.

When I first saw the house that we would eventually purchase, I got that good vibes, butterflies in the stomach kind-of-feeling. Red wasn’t in town so I had to Face Time him while I was at the house to show him all the details. Ultimately, he trusted what I said about the house and we put in our bid. The house, at that point, had been on the market for less than 12 hours but I knew it would move quick. By the end of the day, the house had 9 bids, ours included, and so we waited. The seller reached out to all of the bidders asking for “highest and best” but we didn’t budge. We had gone all in on our first offer and had nowhere else to go. We wanted to buy our first home, cash, outright, with no payments and our offer reflected that.

Three days later, Ms. Teresa received a call letting us know that our offer had been accepted. We were so excited but (of course) nothing good comes easy. Ms. T called me as I was leaving town and I would not be returning for 3 days and I worried that the seller would think that we were flaking and accept another offer. They were assured, through several phone calls that we absolutely were going to buy the home.

Red and I made it back into town, did our last walk-through and met with the sellers to sign all of the very intimidating paperwork. They handed us the keys and that was it! We are now officially homeowners.

After two kids, three apartments, one rental home, and an entire year of moving from city to city we officially have planted roots. The kiddos get their own rooms and we actually have a spare room to boot.

2018 has been a hell of a journey for us. Now, we are off to Puerto Rico for a much-needed vacation while our house sits for some time with a lot of boxes and tape on the ground. I almost cancelled our trip because of the move to San Antonio but I knew I would regret it. I did what I could in the month after purchase leading up to our trip and then wiped my hands clean of the moving project for the time being. This vacation was exactly what the doctor ordered.

Puerto Rico, here we come!

Until next time.

-Ashly

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