December 2015 – Christmas in SC

After a fun-filled Thanksgiving in Arizona, Michael and I parted ways. I took Colt & Finn to South Carolina and he returned to Brazil. Although we all flew together through Washington DC, my flight from DC to SC was the first time I ever flew solo with the boys. The flight is just an hour though and since Michael helped us until we boarded and my parents were waiting for us upon arrival, it was hardly a thing.

So, while Michael was looking at this:

IMG_4230

Cheers, Trentchy.

IMG_4241

Final mass at our favorite Catholic church in SP.

I was looking at these sweet faces:

IMG_3443

Finn, happy to be at Gigi & Pasha’s.

IMG_3449

“Nerd Bear” Colt.

IMG_3455

Colt helping Gigi make chicken.

IMG_0664

She’s braver than I am!

IMG_0667

December 3: Papa Fincher with Baby Fincher.

IMG_0669

Nanny & Papa Fincher.

IMG_3476

Gigi & Pasha got Colt a new bike!

IMG_0670IMG_3480

IMG_0671

December 4: Uncle Brad meeting Finn!

IMG_3482

IMG_3484

Brad also did us a huge favor bringing some of their old baby stuff for Finn to use while we were in SC. 

IMG_3485

Finn loved the mirror and all of the animal faces.

IMG_3488

What baby doesn’t love a swing? So thankful to have some places to put Finn!

IMG_3495

December 5: Grocery shopping with Gigi gets you a balloon!

IMG_3497

Loves Pasha, loves bikes, loves balloons. #winning.

So again, at this point Michael was back in Brazil getting us fully moved out of our apartment and working. We had planned on meeting in DC on Wednesday, December 16 to look at houses together for the first time, with hopes that we would find something we loved. Every night my mom and I would look on Zillow and one night, a house that I had been eyeing got a price-reduction. I loved the house and became convinced that it was “the one” so on Saturday, December 5, we decided to throw the boys in the car, drive the 10 hours and go to the open house the next day.

The boys actually did great on the drive. We arrived late at night, brought their sleeping bodies into the hotel room and were off the next morning. Open houses were starting at 1pm so we decided to spend the morning eating and playing at McDonalds.

IMG_0672

Play Place!

I already posted about our house-buying process but to re-cap, the house I had fallen in love with online was actually already under contract by the time the open house started. I was heartbroken but we kept on with our search. When we came to our house (the one that we bought), I ran in and did an initial pass while my mom entertained the kids in the car (read: gave Colt crackers). I really liked it so I asked my mom to walk through to get her opinion. She came back to the car and agreed that it was awesome. I went back in and eventually she brought both of the kids in as well so we could really all get a feel for it together. I was pretty sure that this was the house for us but obviously wanted Michael to be able to see it too. He was set to arrive in 10 days but unfortunately the realtor told us that we would need to have our offer in within TWO days in order to be considered. My mom called our family friend and local realtor, Pam Campbell, and she met us at the house. We looked around some more and ultimately decided to go for it!

That evening as my mom and I drove the 10 hours home with the boys, we talked through the process. Pam sent us all of the paperwork the next day and thankfully we had already gone through the mortgage approval process with our bank and they were very responsive in providing any & all documents (we love you First Republic!). So, we worked our tails off to get our offer in by Tuesday only to have their agent come back and tell us that there were 10 offers on the table. We had included a letter & photo and he said that although the sellers liked us, our offer would need to be stronger in order to be considered. Over the next 36 hours we ended up having to adjust and readjust a bunch of times and I was so stressed out and frustrated by the process that I almost wanted to walk away, but our love for the house kept us in and ultimately we got it! It turns out that we didn’t even have the very best offer on the table but the sellers did like us and felt confident that we would take it to close (thanks to some phone calls from our bankers to the sellers’ agent) so they chose us!

I think that any time you’re buying a house, especially in a competitive situation, it’s very stressful but this was particularly stressful to me since Michael hadn’t been able to see the house or drive through the neighborhood or walk around the area. And truthfully he hardly had time to talk through each revised offer since he was so busy packing up our apartment in Brazil, not to mention working! But then, just like that, we were under contract!

Meanwhile, back in South Carolina…

IMG_0676

Happy Finn.

IMG_3518

Colt & Pasha bringing in the Christmas tree!!

IMG_3519

Yard picnic.

IMG_0696

These two…

IMG_0704

And this guy!

IMG_4259

At May’s baptism in Charleston!

Nanny & Papa are members of the Columbia zoo and we always love going with them when we’re in town.

IMG_0725

Feeding the llamas.

IMG_0734IMG_0738

IMG_0742

Colt & Papa are always getting up to something!

IMG_0743

IMG_4262

Pony rides! (Thankful Colt does NOT seem to be allergic like his daddy…)

IMG_4261

Gorilla watching.

IMG_0717

The eyes on this guy!

IMG_0718

And the chin & cheeks! 

IMG_0745

Just like Jake!

IMG_0710

Colt has always been so good with Finn.

IMG_0711

Love watching their friendship develop.

IMG_0715

Selfie!

IMG_0721

Now Colt’s turn!

IMG_0723

Copycat. 

When Michael finally flew to DC mid December, he was actually able to go to our home inspection! He totally trusted me but upon seeing the house in person he was even more excited about it and the whole neighborhood so that was a huge relief. I left Colt with my parents for a couple days and flew up with Finn to meet Michael there.

IMG_0752

Coffee break with Finn!

IMG_4264

While Michael and I were in DC, my parents took Colt back to Charleston to celebrate May’s first birthday.

P1040432

Augusta Clare, Brad & Colt!

Then Michael and I returned to SC where we stayed through Christmas.

IMG_0011

Christmas Coltchie.

IMG_0849

Live Nativity at my parents’ church.

IMG_0854

Colt & donkey. 

IMG_0856

Our little Christmas elf.

IMG_0866

Heart eyes emoji.

IMG_0891

Captivated.

IMG_0896

My dad & cousin took Michael to the shooting club for an afternoon of “fun”

December 22: Augusta Clare came to stay one night early so that she and Colt could get a little extra time together. They adore each other and are so freakin cute together. IMG_0904IMG_0906IMG_0909IMG_0924IMG_0928

Then, Gigi decided to let them make Christmas cookies…! IMG_0933IMG_0934IMG_0935IMG_0937IMG_0941

December 23: My brother’s family came to my parents’ house to stay the night and my grandparents visited for dinner & gifts!IMG_0942IMG_0944IMG_0947IMG_0952IMG_0954IMG_0959IMG_0038

IMG_0970

The 4 grandkids! Ages: 2.5, 1, 4, and 4 months

The next morning – Christmas Eve – we all went to the Governor’s Mansion for pictures. My mom got the cute outfits for the grandkids and I think the pictures are adorable.

11917755_10208491461673206_674818869793304976_nZais Family - 2015-0003Zais Family - 2015-00011468776_10208491457353098_5039044569738260417_n1917206_10208487741860213_5455608365110797674_nView More: http://calico-photography.pass.us/zais-family-2015View More: http://calico-photography.pass.us/zais-family-201512419369_10208491458953138_3267862404047963605_o12419062_10208491460313172_8008481958875067187_o1412568_10208491455273046_2060200900692906632_o1936506_10208491461793209_783465534773299476_n

IMG_1037

Christmas Eve Church service.

IMG_1045

Pasha teaching Colt the art of the shoe-shine.

IMG_1124

Colt decked out in sweet winter gear from his godparents! Thanks Mike & Mo!

IMG_1100

Finn rocking his sweet “necker-chew”

Then on December 27, we flew west to Arizona to get ready for our New Years celebrations and for Finn’s baptism. IMG_1102IMG_1103

**Up Next: New Years in Arizona!

 

One thought on “December 2015 – Christmas in SC

  1. Pingback: New Years in Arizona | Jeans & A T-Shirt

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s