Since it's been a couple of weeks since I've written, I thought I'd give a few updates about what's been going on in our lives. It seems every day has brought a new adventure and either a new celebration or a new frustration. However, as difficult as it's been for me, I'm trying to figure out how to remain joyful in the small things when the big things seem discouraging. I've been deliberate about not forgetting this holiday and the reason behind it, and not getting too caught up in worry to miss all of the fun happenings this season in Portland has to offer. God is good and He does only good (whether we understand what that "good" looks like or not)... and this is something I've had to remain completely focused on, even when things haven't seemed like they were going the way we wanted them to in our lives.

Update #1: Our loan was approved! After waiting 7 weeks from putting our offer in between two different lenders, we finally were approved through the awesome guys at Infinity Home Loans. Amazing company and amazing employees. The hold up (that I was growing increasingly impatient with) was because dozens of other people in our positions had submitted applications for refinancing or purchasing homes and they were majorly backed up.  It was filled with contingencies, but on that day last week that we received the news we were both majorly excited and ran to Lowe's to start picking out paint samples. :)

Update #2: Our contingencies were approved! We went through major stress this week reading through the list of things we needed to take care of before closing and one we were almost certain we couldn't do. Because of the grace of people at the bank and from God of course, they permitted the particular item holding us up to be removed from the list, so everything else checked out totally fine! That was a huge blessing to us because it would have prevented us from getting the home altogether. Hurdle #2 out of the way!

Update #3: We move in December 15th... but only if the appraisal checks out! This is our last remaining hurdle for this process as appraisals for new construction can be a bit tedious. We'll get the appraisal results next week, then if all goes well, will sign papers for closing and get our keys the 15th-- just in time for Christmas!

Our home is nearly finished with just a few touch-ups remaining overall, and we are totally excited about making it our own. I cannot even begin to believe how incredibly stressful this entire process has been and how unprepared we were for it all. We figured hey, we have money for a down payment, we make enough, we can afford the monthly payment... but no. That's definitely not been enough for financing anymore. I feel like I will finally be able to be excited and relax when the keys are in our hands... but, we're closer than we ever have been to getting our new home!

We've made sure to do fun things around Portland so far this month and had a super fun time Black Friday shopping and spending time in the city over Thanksgiving break. We got our Christmas tree, we stayed downtown at Hotel Monaco for our annual "Christmas in the City" evening (AMAZING hotel!!!), we packed our house a little, ate turkey leftovers for about 6 days... (burritos, soup, sandwiches, pasta... it's amazing what you can do with extra turkey), and slept in. 

We're currently on the hunt for fun and affordable things to do in Portland on the weekends in December... So far we've:

  • Visited a silent auction cookie & coffee party at the Beaverton City Library and won some DVDs
  • Visited Washington Square and listened to carolers
  • Went out to breakfast at Red Star Tavern in downtown Portland
  • Shopped Midnight Madness on Black Friday at Washington Square and saved (literally) over $100... worth it! 
  • Drove around listening to Christmas music in the car and looking at neighborhood Christmas lights

and it's only December 2nd! 

We are some blessed people and we totally know that. We could seriously have so many more things to worry about. 

Buying this house has completely tested us and to be honest, I've probably failed the test 9 out of 10 times. Thankfully I'm married to someone who hasn't, and I feel bad for not being like him most of the time. I feel like that's one of a million reasons why marriage is a good thing-- our spouses show us where we need to do better.

That's probably why they're called our better halves.    


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