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:
Final mass at our favorite Catholic church in SP.
I was looking at these sweet faces:
Finn, happy to be at Gigi & Pasha’s.
“Nerd Bear” Colt.
Colt helping Gigi make chicken.
She’s braver than I am!
December 3: Papa Fincher with Baby Fincher.
Nanny & Papa Fincher.
Gigi & Pasha got Colt a new bike!
December 4: Uncle Brad meeting Finn!
Brad also did us a huge favor bringing some of their old baby stuff for Finn to use while we were in SC.
Finn loved the mirror and all of the animal faces.
What baby doesn’t love a swing? So thankful to have some places to put Finn!
December 5: Grocery shopping with Gigi gets you a balloon!
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.
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…
Colt & Pasha bringing in the Christmas tree!!
And this guy!
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.
Feeding the llamas.
Colt & Papa are always getting up to something!
Pony rides! (Thankful Colt does NOT seem to be allergic like his daddy…)
The eyes on this guy!
And the chin & cheeks!
Just like Jake!
Colt has always been so good with Finn.
Love watching their friendship develop.
Now Colt’s turn!
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.
Coffee break with Finn!
While Michael and I were in DC, my parents took Colt back to Charleston to celebrate May’s first birthday.
Augusta Clare, Brad & Colt!
Then Michael and I returned to SC where we stayed through Christmas.
Live Nativity at my parents’ church.
Colt & donkey.
Our little Christmas elf.
Heart eyes emoji.
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.
Then, Gigi decided to let them make Christmas cookies…!
December 23: My brother’s family came to my parents’ house to stay the night and my grandparents visited for dinner & gifts!
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.
Christmas Eve Church service.
Pasha teaching Colt the art of the shoe-shine.
Colt decked out in sweet winter gear from his godparents! Thanks Mike & Mo!
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.
**Up Next: New Years in Arizona!