Thursday, July 19, 2012

We've come full circle as Landlords

We spend a lot of time joking about how we own 3 homes...and wish we owned one. Being a landlord is a means to an end for us. We've been very fortunate in recent years to have great renters.

Most of our friends know about how our experience as a Landlord started. Our first renters were Meghan's best friend Beth and her husband. Less than a half year into their time renting our Rochester house, we had a catastrophe. Sewer water flooded the house and destroyed our entire lower level and tons of Beth and Karls property. In the coming months, God came through in amazing ways for both us and them though and in the end it felt like we were being blessed through the tragedy. Our faith was increased greatly through that event.

A year or so later, we decided to relocate back to Minnesota. We struggled to sell the house and thought (incorrectly) the market was bottoming out so we decided to rent out our house. It was our first time renting to strangers and we had NO clue what we were doing. We were so excited to get renters and move on that we overlooked things and made a poor decision. In the end our poor decision cost us over $5000 in lost rent and damages. After trying to amicably collect this from the ex-tenants (who moved out willingly) we gave up and sent it to collections about 4-5 years ago. We wrote it off mentally as a loss, money we'd never see again but hoped that eventually these people would want to restore their credit and their name and would pay us back the money owed. Today, amazingly, I received a check from our collection agency from this renter. I literally couldn't believe my eyes. I hope they continue to make these payments (looks like they are making 10 payments) but the fact that they even made one payment is amazing to me.

We only get half of the debt (the agency earns the other half...which I am happy to pay them for actually collecting on it) but almost $3000 is way better than NOTHING. Feeling so blessed and hopeful this continues so it can end with a happy resolve!!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?

There are so many things that bring me joy, its hard to narrow it down but these are clearly some of the biggest ones!

  1. My wife: Meghan and I have an amazing gift. We can spend entire days around each other and not drive each other crazy. I know not every couple is like this, but I consider it a gift. I am a homebody and I couldn't be if Meghan and I couldn't live around each all the time harmoniously. She is my best friend and my one true love.
  2. My kids: Its amazing how much I love these kids. Sure from time to time they make me crazy but the next moment they can completely flip it back and bring me so much joy. There is nothing like getting up in the morning and snuggling with them. I love being a part of their lives and having this extra time right now to be with them so much, I know its something I won't have for long so I am trying to cherish this time I have!
  3. Summer: I love summer. I love the warm weather, I love wearing shorts and tshirts and swimming and being outside all the time. I don't know why I live in MN since I love the warm weather so much, but MN is just home to me. 
  4. My small group at church: I can't imagine a more grouping...God was clearly a part of putting this group together. I love that our kids are all right around the same ages and just love playing with each other so much. We all have unique backgrounds and goals but our friendships are amazingly deep because they have God at the center. I couldn't imagine my life without this group of people in it! 
  5. Sports: Whether its playing or watching, I love sports. I will choose playing basketball, ultimate frisbee, or football over just about anything (except maybe the four things above this on the list). I wasn't blessed with the most athletic body but I love the challenge of competing with people and winning! 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

List 10 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could.

Ugh of course this would make me go back to high school, the least favorite years of my life. I think a lot of mine are going to be re-affirming myself as that is the age where I really started to make some smart decisions in my life. This is the age where I really figured out what would be important in my life and who would be important in my life so here we go:
  1. You are making the right decision in dumping ALL your friends and investing in the kids at church. These kids are going to be amazingly important in defining who you are and who you will become. Many of them will be people you keep in touch with throughout college and even as an adult through this great invention called Facebook (its on the internet which is this great tool you know very little about but will one day take up a little too much of your time).
  2. Try to find some more challenging jobs. Sure working at Mr. Cinders was an interesting experience but its not going to get you a career as a waiter, Al doesn't like male servers. Just go look for some jobs in the business world that will get you an edge in the future! 
  3. You are right, prom is WAY overrated and not worth your time. I know there were a lot of factors about why you didn't go (not interested in anyone at that time, anti-prom, a little bit afraid of rejection, etc) but honestly as you suspect its not something you will ever regret missing. 
  4. Be more bold. This affects a lot of areas of your life but you were kind of a chicken in high school and it extended into college. Be more bold in asking girls out, rejection isn't THAT bad and its fun getting to know people one on one like that. Share about your faith and the things that are important to you. If you don't open yourself up you are stunting your growth as a person! 
  5. Work on forming good habits now. Start spending time in the Bible every only gets harder when those habits aren't there. 
  6. Find a best friend. I know you just dumped all your friends but you need someone that you can talk to about anything. You didn't really have one of those in high school, so find one and invest heavily! 
  7. Brush off the jerks. Honestly kids in high school are so insecure they are usually picking out the things they are insecure about and projecting it onto you. Don't let their insecurities change who you are! 
  8. Do stuff to make the world a better place. Take advantage of not having responsibilities and get out there and experience the world. Do missions trips with church. Help out those who need help. These are the things that mold you into a great person.
  9. Listen to your parents. Believe it or not, they are pretty smart people and only want to see you succeed in life. One day you will realize this and wish you would have shown them all the love and respect they deserved (though you were pretty good to them compared to others). 
  10. Keep pursuing music. Sure you won't make a career out of it but heck Karaoke is a blast and it makes you feel good about yourself that you are great at something! 
So there we advice to 16 year old Trevor who was actually a pretty well adjusted kid. It was a challenge but a fun exercise to look back at what I would have changed or re-affirmed! 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Describe your relationship with your parents...

My relationship with my parents has always been great. I've been blessed with wonderful parents who were (and are) amazing...sure not perfect but very very good! When I was young, I never remember them not being there for me and supporting me. I tried the sports thing and realized that I wasn't going to excel as an athlete...not sure if that was disappointing to my dad but I never saw that once. They always encouraged me to pursue music as it was clear that was where I was gifted.

I am very close to my parents. I've always been very close with my mom, your typical mother/son kind of bond. She was my source of unconditional love and a person I could always count on to love me and be there for me. My dad was the provider for our family which unfortunately meant he wasn't around as much. I never once thought it was a reflection on me though. He made it a point to be very involved in my life despite being very busy. He and I got a LOT closer after I left for school though. He was a source of wisdom and advice for me as I pursued my career in business. He's the first person I call when I am struggling with something for work and the first person I call when I have something exciting happening.

My parents are amazing. I can't imagine having anyone else in my life. Seeing them interact with my kids is something I get so much joy from! I wish we didn't have so much distance between us so they could see even more of each other. I am very blessed.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Describe 3 legitimate fears...

Okay so I forgot about the blog thing so we'll try this again. haha Day two a week or so later is about describing three legitimate fears you have and how they became your fears.

  1. Losing Job/Being Unemployed - This is a tough one because I am living through one of my biggest fears. Back in February I got a tough call from my boss that they were letting me go as part of a reduction in workforce. My world began to close in on me. See as a man, the leader of the house, and the primary money maker of the house, I get a lot of my pride and joy out of knowing that I am providing for my family. Right now, my income has taken a dramatic hit, that is hard to adjust to. Its also a pride issue. Being out of a job, even if its of no fault of your own, makes you feel like somewhat of a failure... failure to myself, my family, everything. God has something great in store though and I still have full faith that something great is coming down the line but this has been a tough, learning experience. 
  2. Something Happening to Meghan - This one is kind of obvious. There isn't a more important person in my life. She is my best friend, the person I spend the most time with, and the last person I talk to every night before bed. I can't imagine how my life would change if she got really sick, hurt or died. Not only would it change how I lived but it would affect me emotionally like nothing else.
  3. Something Happening to the Kids - I was watching a preview for a new movie and they said "You haven't truly loved someone until you've wiped someone's butt" and while its funny, its so true! I can't even put into words the depth of love I have for these two kids. If someone harmed them, I would go absolutely crazy on that person. I can't imagine getting up in the morning and not getting hugs from them. I can't imagine not hearing "I love you daddy" from one of them. 
So these were somewhat obvious but I don't have a ton of fears. I worked through my fear of speaking in front of people and now actually enjoy it and seek out jobs that will allow me to be in front of people. I do have a legitimate fear of heights doesn't stop me from things like roller coasters or tall buildings BUT bungee jumping or skydiving are OUT of the question. What are your fears!?!?