Posted by: thequaches | November 29, 2009


Looks like Christmas lights are going up… trees are  being trimmed… and we are… packing!  Yep, you read that correctly… we are packing up and moving in with my mom.

We are selling the house… our first house… the house we spent very little time in picking out, actually.  Vince and I are very quick to agree on things…(most of the time!).  We saw this house on Cabral Avenue and knew right away it was going to be OUR first home purchase. We were so thrilled to have purchased this home from a wonderful family – the Chinns.  Brad and Jenell happen to be home with their family the second time we came to look at the house again… we met the entire family (and pets).  When we decided to buy the home, they also knew we would be the next owners.  The day they turned in the keys to us, Brad and Jenell held our hands, we stood in the kitchen in a big circle — Vince and I, Brad and Jenell, our Realtor, Hendra, and I think my mom… then Brad said a wonderful prayer wishing us luck and love as we take over their home.  I cried and cried… I was so happy but I was also very scared… me, a homeowner!  Imagine that!  we just got married… now we are homeowners!

Everything about this house makes me happy — the rooms we set up for Vince’s office and another as my craft room… which remained Vince’s office but my craft room was converted to Baby Quach’s room… which then turned into Morgan’s room and Matthew’s room… (Vince was booted to the den/garage)…and now it is Morgan’s room (not that she sleeps in it!) and Matthew and Ethan’s room…

We remodeled the interior when Morgan was 6 months and learning to sit up and crawl.  We had to live in the garage/den for a couple of months while the walls were being textured, corners being rounded, ceilings removed of popcorn, crown molding put in, and all fixtures were changed. This was rough on all of us — but so worth the wait!  When that was completed, we went to visit my sister in Switzerland!  A break from the garage living!  🙂

Then while pregnant with Matthew we tore out the backyard basically.  We removed all the tall hedges and put in a low retaining wall and made a garden area — which I will miss dearly.  So many fond memories of our first gardening experiments – just Morgan and I…She grew her first set of pumpkins and they grew to be HUGE!  I learned about zucchinis and cucumbers — yummy!  I learned about plants — their location makes a huge difference – duh!  But overall, a wonderful learning experience for everyone!  I think all 3 of our children enjoy eating fresh vegetables because of this garden.

And then when I was pregnant with Ethan, we removed all the carpet in the house and put in Brazilian Teak hardwood flooring… man, that was a nightmare!  Because of this remodeling, we sold most of our furniture!  Thank goodness for Craigslist we did not have to store anything outside or put  in storage!  Morgan loved sitting on “pillow chairs” for a couple of months while we shopped for new furniture!  I remember having lunch on the lawn with the contractors because we couldn’t be in the house — but I also did not trust leaving them in my house while I was gone!  We spent many a days running in the backyard, playing games, watching movies in my bedroom…  When all was done, the Yeh family came to have dinner.  We had to sit on pillow chairs because the dining table and chairs had not arrived yet!  Thank goodness it was just pizzas!  But the floor is gorgeous and I love them — a pain to clean (because I’m anal that way), but I love them anyway!

So, why are we selling the house?  Because we are getting ready to move… eventually… to Georgia.  The longer we are grounded in this home, the less likely I will want to leave.  So we are taking baby steps…. and also because we are preparing for the inevitable… in case Vince losses his job!  Being a stay at home mom has its bonuses… but the flip side means if Vince losses his job, we are in BIG trouble!  How will we manage, what will we do?  We want to be the one in control, so we are making this difficult decision now so we are prepared IF anything goes wrong.  In addition, mom just found out that her job position will terminate at the end of December… yep, I think this is the right time… When we move in with her, we can help pay her remaining mortgage, something we cannot do if we have our own mortgage to pay.  We will pay her bills and taxes, and she will pay her own health insurance.  She is really excited about us moving in with her — more time with the children!

So… really, I should be thankful.  I am thankful that things are falling into place and I know that we are making the right decisions…

I am thankful for my health, family, and friends… and hopefully a less stressful future!  I will keep you posted as to when we move out of California.  As of now, we are looking at another 2-3 years.  We need to save up for a down payment – because we are going to loss out when we sell our house soon.  It is not the best time to sell, but we cannot wait any longer — we just don’t have the funds to wait!

I just received an email from a friend reminding me how important it is this year to spend less… and give to those who are less fortunate, rather than spending money on each other.  I consider myself very fortunate – to have family and friends who are always at my side whenever I need them.  There are others out there who do not have anyone or anything… so this Christmas, rather than buying a gift for someone because you feel “obligated” or feel you “need” to buy something… you might want to consider the following organizations that we have been researching with the children.  This year, our children will receive ONE gift from us.  (Because as I am packing and cleaning their rooms, I am overwhelmed at the amount of toys they own!  Holy Moly!  I’ve been to the Goodwill truck twice already this week!  A few more trip will be necessary before I am satisfied!  In seeing how many things they have… I realize how little they truly need!  But alas, they are children and if I can, I will offer what I am able.  But seeing all that they have, I will be more thoughtful in my purchases.)  We will look into these organizations and begin our contribution, rather than buying LOTS of gifts this year:

1. Christian Foundation for Children and Aging



4.  Three Cups of Tea (Morgan has already collected $62 for this organization thanks to Clare’s friend, Margaret Bradford!  I have a post introducing this organization in the draft box….)

5. Heifer International

If you know of an organization that you feel you strongly about, please let me know so we can look into it.

Until my next post — thank YOU… thank you for always being there for me – you know who you are!  XXOO, Steph



  1. Gee Steph, you’ve made me cry tears of sadness *and* happiness. I know this must be incredibly hard for you. Just keep remembering that all you really need is your family, a safe place to live, and a few material necessities.

    I love you!

    • Thank you Amanda! I will miss my dear friends so much… so taking small steps will help in the process… and I love you right back, dear friend!

  2. moving to Georgia?! it seems so far away! I can’t believe it! what’s out there? I’d always thought your sister would move back one day, not you joining them. oh my! what a drastic change! I thought Vince ran his own wedding photography business…what do u mean he might lose his job?

    well, I’m sure things will work out for you guys…I’m excited for you, but sad to hear you’re leaving!

    • no, my sister will never move back — haven’t you heard the saying — once you leave CA, you never come back?! She loves her life in GA and the life style is a bit slower paced there… So… yes, things will work out… we just need to be one step ahead so that we are prepared. GA is far away… but a great place to visit! 🙂

  3. Here are a few other organizations that I support:

    Habitat for Humanity:


    And I really like Heifer Int’l and Kiva, too.

    I will miss you but look forward to visiting you in Georgia. You’ll be a Georgia peach and Southern Belle, too.

    • GREAT organizations! I had thought about those and did not include them — duh! Thank you for adding them to our list, Anita! And you are ALWAYS welcome in our home, no matter where we live! 🙂

  4. Hi Stephanie,
    A truly heartfelt post! I was so touched reading about your early beginnings, your trials and tribulations, and your decision to move to Georgia. It’s like going through the chapters of a well-written novel. In the short time I’ve known you, and based on what I glean from your blog, your positive, upbeat disposition clearly stands out. I know you will make the best out of any situation your encounter.
    Mary and I haven’t been able to spend much time at the playground lately; but I hope to get to know you and your adorable boys better in the time we have before you move.
    Thank you, too, for your comment on my blog!

    • Hi Michelle! I was just thinking today that we have not seen you and Mary lately! Matthew’s last day of preschool is 12/4, afterwards, hopefully we can stay and play longer on the playground after morning drop off. Thank you for your comments and encouraging words.

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