Tuesday, February 28th, 2017 • No Comments on Settled.
Moving, unpacking, decorating, learning the quirks of the a new house, getting the children enrolled in school and helping them navigate this new experience, learning the neighborhood/community, finding my place. Getting settled. That’s what I’ve been doing for the last… 9 months? Almost 9 months.
It takes 9 months to create a human being and I suppose it should take at least that long to create a new life after a move. Even when the new life looks a lot like the old life, just in a new geographic location (and in a house we love, love, love). I’m not sure I feel settled yet– as I recall, it took me about 2 years in each of my previous cities to feel truly “settled.”
Jasper (above) was born around the time we moved into this house. I found him in the middle of the street one October morning and brought him home, hoping to find his family. I didn’t realize, of course, that I was his new family. Don’t get me started on people who dump animals, but in this case it has worked out well. I love this cat. He is home. And, I guess, so am I.
Monday, July 25th, 2016 • No Comments on Hey there! Wanna see my bookshelves?
Has it been three months since we sold our house and bought a new house? I guess it has. Sometimes it seems much longer, given how long we were getting ready to sell/buy; other times it seems like we blinked and–poof!– here we are. Mid-July, sweltering summer heat and the living is about as easy as it can be when you’re settling into a new house with two kids.
Seriously, it’s been a whirlwind. Despite the dread I had over the logistics of moving, everything went just about as smoothly as it possibly could. We sold our house in a heartbeat, which I wasn’t prepared for even though everyone said it would happen, and everything with the new house went super fast and seamless. It was just a matter of finding the house.
Oh, what a house! Even after six weeks, Jay and I still say it at least a few times every day– Oh, what a house! I love this house so much. It isn’t perfect, no house is, but it’s so incredible. With the boys (and Jay) out of school, it feels a bit like a vacation home with the lake view, wildlife, neighborhood pool and just beautiful, beautiful scenery. It’s perfect for us in so many ways. And getting more perfect every day as we do things to make it our own.
It’s funny how we said it was the perfect house, bought it and have proceeded to do so much to change it. Ha. But it needed a fenced yard for kids and dog, and it is in desperate need of paint because neither of the previous owners bothered to paint most of the rooms! So we have painters in for the next couple of weeks, painting the bedrooms and bathrooms and the tall, tall cathedral walls. I love those walls and the airiness of the entire living room space, but I would not want to be climbing a ladder to paint it. I’m grateful for the pros.
And then there are the bookcases. My whole life, I have always wanted built in bookcases. Pretty bookcases. I’ve had shelves and small bookcases and ones that we moved around, but I’ve never had bookcases designed to my specifications. Until now. Before we even closed on the house, I got an estimate from a local woodworking company to built the bookcases I wanted. And soon after we moved in, they began working. We’ve only had them for about 3 weeks now, but it seems like they were always there. They’re perfect. Behold!
Doesn’t that wall of bookcases look like it belongs there? We went over a month without a couch. But I’m loving how the room is coming together. Paint and art next!
Why yes, that is a sliding library ladder. Isn’t it gorgeous? It was also a freaking expensive part of the project, but I think the look is worth it! The designer included grommets in each of the bookcase sections with access to the outlets inside the cabinets so that we could put lighting on the shelves. I found these cute little silver touch lamps and they look like they were made for the space.
The reading nook upstairs in the loft area. The bookcases and window seat make the space useful, plus there’s a ton of storage for board games and crafts! We opted for drawers in the window seat bench rather than lids so we wouldn’t have to move any cushions or pillows to get to anything. Like downstairs, there are also grommets in the bookcases for access to the outlets inside the cabinets. The painters painted it the same lovely blue as the accent wall opposite it. Now I just need a cushion for the window seat, a bunch of comfy pillows and some art!
I’m in love with these bookcases. Except for one thing. They barely contain my book collection. Sigh. The cabinets underneath the main bookcase was supposed to be for DVDs and CDs and instead it is packed– packed!– with more books. I guess I’ll just need to find a place for more bookcases, hmm?
And so the new house experience goes… with me geeking out over bookcases and finally having a couch that will hold all four of us and making the place our own. I have big plans for other rooms, too, but we’ll get there. I’m trying to remember that I don’t have to rush and get everything done at once– we have time!– but I’m also anxious to be finished. We’ve already had friends visit (and spend the night) and I just want it all done and pretty! In time, in time.
So, besides the house selling, house buying and house decorating, I’ve been entertaining two kids on summer break, writing for my regular gigs Mom.me and BookBub and trying to get some new stuff out in the world, and just enjoying the summer. I hope you are too!
Thursday, April 14th, 2016 • No Comments on Our House
Our dream house!
The story of our house…
It’s been over a year since we decided we wanted to move and started looking at houses. We began looking in South Carolina and from last spring until late summer, we thought we’d end up in Summerville, just outside of Charleston. But come last fall, realizing we’d miss the change of seasons (among other things), we changed our minds and started looking farther north in Virginia and ultimately focused around Richmond. I don’t know how many houses we’ve been in–probably over 50 in 2 states–and we’ve ruled out hundreds more online.
We liked one house well enough to consider making an offer, but the house sold before we could get a second look. We were quicker to make an offer on the next house we liked, but someone else beat our offer. The third house seemed to be a sure thing–on the market for nearly a year–and we made an offer last Tuesday. The owners bought it at the height of the market and wanted to go back and forth over what they wanted vs. what it was worth and what we were willing to pay. Had they accepted our first offer, or even the second, we would not have seen the fourth house. And while I liked those three houses well enough to be able to imagine living there, none of them seemed to be THE house. None were our house.
Jay found the fourth house last Thursday while we were negotiating on the third house. Since he was on spring break this week, we drove up to see it Friday morning. I had joked after losing the first house we liked before we could even make an offer that I need longer than 30 minutes in a house to decide whether I want to live in it the rest of my life. Turns out, I was wrong. We both immediately fell in love with this house and were ready to make an offer before we’d even seen the upstairs. I literally teared up at the thought of living there. We made an offer within 2 hours and signed the contract on the drive home (yay, technology). We were told there was another offer coming in and more showings over the weekend and they wouldn’t be deciding until Sunday evening. In the meantime, we sold our house Friday night after only 2 days on the market and amended our offer to sweeten the deal and hopefully beat any other offers.
It’s all happened very fast and it was an incredibly long and stressful weekend. But on Sunday evening right before we sat down to have dinner, our real estate agent texted, “Congratulations!”
We got our house. ❤