Thursday, August 15, 2013

Welcome to the South

I promise I'll post pictures.  I wanted to get my house settled a little bit more before I show the world.  It is no fun unpacking box after box, but let me get through a couple more so it's not so cluttery and then I'll take pictures of each room for you all, actually I guess that should be ya'll now.

My kids have adjusted really well to this house.  I was expected more problems but they just feel at home here I guess.  The one problem is my children are suburban kids.  They are used to sidewalks, manicured lawns, woodchipped playgrounds, and street lights.  We moved to a pretty rural area.  There are no street lights, no sidewalks, and when you play outside the grass touches you!  There are also bugs bugs and more bugs.  This is the south after all.  Drew has a little trouble with all the bugs but he's getting used to them, Kara on the other hand screams every time a bug lands on her and her favorite place to play is in the garage with the door closed.  You would think someone was stabbing her the way she screams.  We've gotten many looks when we are out and a tiny gnat flies near her.  Hopefully she'll get over this soon and learn how to be a country girl.  Both my kids now walk outside and say spray me and hold out their different body parts for me to apply bug spray.  Kara even holds her hair up and says neck too.  The mosquitos are horrible this year and my children must taste delicious.  My poor kids have been bit so much already.  I am trying to keep bug spray around but these mosquitos are brutal and bite us even with spray on.
It will be nice if the temperature dips down low enough to kill off some of these bugs.

Here's some pictures from my phone of my kids enjoying the outside and some of the critters that live around us.

On our first NC walk (at the hotel actually)

Our first treasures

Swinging on his swing right after our house closing

Our new buddy, he eats spiders! 

splashing in a puddle in the driveway

peeking out at big brother and mommy

Our playground.  We have to make a few improvements but it's sturdy.  

Welcome home my little ones.  We will make lots of memories in this house. 

Here comes our stuff! 

We found a splash park.  Good thing, it's HOT down here

chillin' at our first mom's club party

Look at these huge mushrooms that pop up overnight

little lizards that are everywhere.  Drew tries so hard to catch them, they are just too fast

The little beach area on the lake near us

A little turtle friend that roams around our yard

Our lake

Beach baby

Getting our mail for the first time.  My kids didn't really know what a mailbox was.  We had a lock box before. 

doing some yard work

look closely, it's a peeper.  It's tiny!  We also have small brown toads all over the back yard. 

Huge moth that looks like a dead leaf

They love having a swing set in the backyard.  

Friday, August 9, 2013


I am in the middle of a sea of boxes.
    Our moving truck arrived only to find that they couldn't fit in our driveway and we live on a 2 lane road without a shoulder so they legally couldn't block the road.  This was a little bit of an issue but our driver decided to break the rules a bit and block the road but unload everything into the garage instead of taking it to the proper room like they said they would when we booked them.  Not a huge deal but now everything is all mixed up in stacks and stacks in the garage.  I'm working to get through them but it's overwhelming.
Here's my tips if you're moving...
     Don't just label the boxes with a sharpie, put a piece of colored duct tape around the box that you can see from all sides.  Use a different color for each room or section of the house.  That way boxes can easily be carried to that room or if they can't be delivered to that room like in my case you can tell the drivers to make piles of those colors.  So you don't end up with a box of kitchen stuff on the bottom of the garage pile.  My drivers just didn't have time to turn the boxes and read all the words.
     Bring a suitcase with typical overnight stuff (clothes, toothbrush...) toilet paper, some towels, bedding, change of clothes, kids cup if they need one, night light (very important, kids and adults get nervous when they can't find the bathroom in a new house at night), and instant coffee things like Starbucks Via (When unpacking or waiting for your moving truck it sure would be nice to have a cup of coffee) and snacks.  I bought a 100 calorie pack of a variety of cookies and crackers.  This was nice to just open or give kids since we had no dishes yet.  We did make a grocery store run for pb&J, paper plates, napkins, and plastic silverware since we were going to be here 3 days without our stuff but it's just nice to always have snacks.   Also good snacks to have on hand are things like gogurts, cheese sticks, and granola bars.  Simple grab and go.  I hate being interupted right in the middle of a good unpacking session with the dreaded, 'Mom, I'm hungry'.  These items kids can grab themselves and there's no mess.  A lamp would also be good if you know your house doesn't have overheard lights.  We knew every room had light except the living room so we didn't worry about a lamp.
     Unpack some toys first and your kitchen stuff.  Nothing feels like home faster than stepping on a lego.  But seriously if you want to actually get work done and make your kids feel like they live here too you have to have something for them to do.  My kids were overjoyed to see their own toys.  I think they doubted that they were ever going to see them again.  Drew kept saying hey this is just like my toys in Illinois.  I opened two boxes of toys, didn't even worry about organization yet and then went on to the kitchen.  You have to eat and eating a home cooked meal is wonderful in your new home.  I'm still unpacking but I think next I'll do clothing since we are still living out of our suitcases, then bathrooms since we have a few towels and the stuff from our suitcase, then we'll move onto office and living room.  I hope to get the boxes all opened within 2 weeks and deal with organizing the best I can.  We really own nothing!  We have so much empty space and space that needs organizers.  Like the silverware drawer, ours is just tossed in there.  We have so many little things like that to buy.  It's just amazing how much it takes to bring an empty house into feeling like a home.  Oh, one more thought.  We live in the middle of nowhere and the previous owners left the blinds and curtains but you might need to think of window coverings if you were moving to a city.  Heck, even taping up a big roll of paper would get you through the night without people peeking in on you sleeping.
    And here's my best tip of all.  When you are packing up your house go out and buy yourself a couple presents.  Bring them home and immediately wrap them up and pack them.  I bought myself some new kitchen goodies when packing.  Today I unwrapped them and it felt like Christmas.  I was so happy to see them again.  I bought myself a new cheese grater, a new wine bottle opener and a new can opener that were on clearance at Target.  Nothing fancy or expensive but something fun to make the task of unpacking more fun.  I wish I had bought myself a new diamond pendant or cartier watch but the can opener is way more practical I guess :)
     Remember to expect the unexpected.  Nothing goes as planned.  While unpacking my daughter shoved styrofoam packing balls up her nose.  That was fun.  I tried to get her to blow them out but she was scared and isn't good at blowing her nose anyway.  Here's what you do if that should happen to you.  Lay the child down, pinch the good nostril closed (assuming there is a good one), then place your mouth over the kids mouth just like CPR and give a good strong blow.  The object should fly out and hit you in the cheek.  Kara laughed.  The next day the same little girl locked herself in her room.  Our old house had push button locks so if that happened you could just pop the lock with a paperclip or kitchen skewer.  This house has traditional turn button locks so I had to find a tiny screwdriver that would fit in the hole and actually turn the lock.  Our toolbox wasn't unpacked yet so it took me a while to locate what I needed but no one was freaking out because Kara had fallen asleep.  When she woke up she was free to roam around again.  I see myself using that screwdriver many many times in the next few years.  I put it on top of the doorframe so I can always find it.  Now that I think about it this might come in handy in teenage years too.

It's Ours!

Finally I can update!  We had no internet at our house until today.

Monday we closed on our house, it was so quick and easy.  I've heard some closing are long and awkward and stressful.  We were laughing and having a good time, eating candy, and it only took about 15 minutes.  That lawyer sure knows how to make his money.
Then we got handed our keys.  Our keys to our new home.  Now you might think we got handed 3 or 4 keys, but no.  We got handed at least 20 keys.  that's right, 20.  We have 6 doors, six different locks and each family member must have had a copy of all of them, and none of them were labeled.  More amusing than a problem, still something we will remember about moving in.
We then came to our house and let the kids run around.  Drew instantly saw the 2 garage doors and wanted to know who else lived here.  I thought that was cute.  Our old home was a townhouse with connecting garages so when he saw the 2 doors he thought we had a neighbor.  He accepted that both of those doors were ours, one for daddy's car, one for mommy's.  Then we walked around the house.  We saw the side door, the front door, and the porch door.  Drew again asked who lived behind that door.  He wasn't use to a house having more than one outside door.  Little did he know we had 3 more, the garage door, the yard door, and the deck door.  There are so many doors!!
Inside the kids were pretty quiet, just taking it all in.  We more than doubled our square footage from our old home so it is an amazing feeling to walk around in a house where you have enough room.  Don't think we have some 6,000 sqft mansion now, we had just over 1000 sqft in our old place so it wouldn't have taken a lot to double it.
When we went upstairs we showed Kara her room first.  As soon as she walked in she gasped Ooohhh, and then kept saying 'me room' 'me room'.  It was so cute.  Drew was excited about his room for about 5 minutes, then he told me he likes orange, not blue.  He did have an orange room at our old house, now he has a blue room.  I told him we could add orange decorations and he said no, he wants orange. Well, I'm not painting anything any time soon so he's stuck with blue.  I know he really likes his room, he just doesn't show excitement well.
That night we slept in sleeping bags.  It was so quiet.  SO QUIET!  All I heard were crickets, thousands and thousands of crickets.  No cars, no neighbors, no music, no garage doors, no dogs barking, no police sirens, just crickets.  Our moving truck wasn't scheduled to arrive until Wednesday so we just ran around the empty house until it could get here.  The kids love the space and were out of breath by the time they stopped running.
Pictures to come...I have to upload them.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Drive

Yesterday I drove from IL to NC with the kids.  It took us 16.5 hours.  That is a looooong drive, I was so ready to be in the hotel by then.  But the kids were amazing.  Truly amazing.  I had no fighting, no arguing, no screaming, no asking a million times if we were there.  I seriously think Drew only asked me maybe 10 times if we were there or how far away we were, and that's well under once an hour so that's awesome.  Kara freaked out a little bit when our DVD player broke in the middle of the movie she picked out but that was over in about 5 minutes and then she went on to something else.  I was so proud of my kids.  Drew was even helpful when Kara would drop things out of her reach.  He was so helpful.
I planned to leave between 6 and 7am and I left at 6:30, perfect.  I stopped about every 4 hours at fast food places that have play areas and let the kids run off energy.  In between stops I gave the kids lunch bags full of goodies.  I had plastic bracelets, lacing beads, stickers, rubber ducks, crackers, hershey kisses, and a few other little trinkets and treats.  I tried to limit the amount of junk the kids had and the fun tiny toys kept them from saying they were hungry.
Drew told me he was going to leave all his grumpies in Illinois and I think he did!  He enjoyed the drive and it was fun to talk to him on this trip.  At one point he became very concerned that we took the weather and everyone back in IL wasn't going to have any weather.  I assured him that weather would continue without him.  When we drove through Kentucky he asked me why they had mountains of trees and where those big rocks came from.  Kentucky is so pretty, we saw so many beautiful horse farms.  In Tennessee we approached some mountains and Drew said 'Hey, those mountains look pretty smokey"  I started laughing out loud.  Well kid, those are the smokey mountains.  Then he was concerned that someone would just let the mountains smoke like that without putting them out, they could burn up all the trees.  He's so cute.  He did get a little mad at me that I wouldn't stop and explore the mountains with him.  But I assured him that we would come back as a family and explore the mountains.  It's a very drivable distance for a night away sometime.  Just about when we got to NC Drew asked if we were headed back home because it was taking so long.
Kara doesn't talk a lot so I don't have much from her but she made me cry.  She was looking at a picture book that my friend made us.  It has pictures of our old hometown, my kids and of her and her family.  It's such a beautiful gift and my kids love it.  Well Kara was looking at the pictures saying Amy, more Amy.  Then she closed the book and said bye bye home, no more Amy.  It makes me cry just thinking about it now.
Oh I forgot the 'best' part.  About 4 or 5 hours into the drive Drew tells me there's a spider in the car.  I don't know if I can believe him or not, so I say it's probably just a little fly, where is it I ask.  Drew says above my head and sure enough there's a grapefruit size spider (dime size) with large fangs (no fangs) swaying above my head trying to eat me (terrified that he's been stuck in the car with us for 4 or 5 hours).  I swat at it and it flies to the passenger side of the car.  There isn't really anything I can do, so I just keep driving and every stray hair or breeze I feel on my I assume is the spider and freak out a bit.  A couple hours later Drew says the spider is back behind his head and I give him a tissue and calmly ask him to smoosh him (squeal like a baby to please kill that spider dead!).  Drew says he does but who knows.  In my head that spider is gone but I know one of these days I'll be driving down the road and Bam!  He'll just drop down right in front of my face, and it's probably a girl and she had babies in my car overnight.
Now today and tomorrow we are at the hotel and then Monday we close on our house.  I can't even believe it!  My new house.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The last day

Today is my last day in Illinois, my last day in my home, my last day where I know my way around, where my kids have friends.
I actually do know about half a dozen people that live around Charlotte because I went to college near there.  So I do have a few friends that I could call if I was feeling lonely so I'm not as worried about me, I actually know people that live all over the US and even some in England.  Pretty soon my kids will be able to say the same thing.  There is something exciting about having friends all over.
I have known about this move for a while and have been packing and planning and yet here it is the last day and there's so much left to do, so many people that I didn't get to say a formal goodbye to.  I can't believe how many boxes it takes to pack up a home.  I've packed and packed and packed and yet I look around and still see a bunch of stuff!  This is way more work than packing for vacation! I've looked at every magnet, every sticker, every odd battery and sock that have been shoved and pushed into corners.  I've purged and sorted and cleaned as I packed and while it made this process long and hard I can only hope that not taking clutter with me will help with the unpacking.
The movers come in about 16 hours.  I just have to figure out what toys to put on the moving truck and what toys to take in the car and then clean out the bathrooms and finish up packing our suitcases.  This was a little tricky since our moving truck won't be there for almost 2 weeks.  So I had to pack like a vacation and then pack everything else.
I'm looking forward to getting settled in my new home.  I'm looking forward to the kids being excited about our new life.  There's so much in their future that they can't even comprehend.  I can't wait to show them their rooms and their yard.
I am leaving so many wonderful friends behind I will be posting a lot about my new home, getting settled into a new place, and meeting new people.  There'll be pictures and video clips too :)  But now, I have to go back to packing more boxes.  Ugh, I would never want to be a professional mover.  I am so tired of cardboard boxes!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Sunny Side of the Street

I'm so excited to be moving!
It's always fun to start something new.  Everyone loves new!  I can't wait to get into our new home, set up a new garden, raise new chickens, decorate new rooms, meet new people, go to new places.
For so long I've felt like I've been mourning the life in my head.  Not really mourning but I've had to accept the fact that living where I do, I most likely will never own a farm house.  I most likely will never live in an area that allows you to have chickens, and I most likely will never be able to afford enough land for a garden.  Not a couple plants garden but a garden to sustain my family on.
I'm so excited to be moving into a house that has enough bedrooms for my kids, that is a farm house style home, that has a huge fenced in back yard.  I can't wait to plant my garden, to sit on my porch, to raise my chickens.  There are so many things that I had almost given up on that I will get to have and do in my new home.
I can't wait to decorate!  I live in a town home now, and it's just felt like apartment style living that lacks any clear style.  I'm so excited to be moving into a farm house style home so I can decorate and have it come together the way I want.  I know this seems insignificant but it's the little things that make up life, right.
I also can't wait to go to the mountains with my kids, to go camping, to go to the ocean.  Oh how I love the ocean and have missed it these last 9 years.  I will be so close to it all!  I can't wait to go to the lake, only 5 minutes from my house.  So much of how I grew up will be right in my own back yard.  I can't wait for my kids to experience the nature that I experienced.  I like looking at pictures of midwest fields and farms but I would rather climb a mountain than walk through a field.
I can't wait to just have my own single family home.  My own yard.  No rules, no HOA, no one telling me what I can or can not do. No neighbors looking at my every move and small sense of safety and freedom for my kids.  Where I live I can't have a fence.  There's always a fear when I run one kid into the potty that I shouldn't be leaving my other kid on the patio.  Someone could take them, they could wander off but having my own yard will allow my kids a larger area to explore without the fear that there's somebody watching their every move.  Right now to explore we have to go to public parks and it will be nice to have the space to roam and explore on our own property.  I'm not foolish, I know no place is 100% safe.
I am ready for this move to happy and can't wait to show my kids the life I've been missing for 9 years!

Feeling Blue

Moving is sad.
I've lived in IL for 9 years, over 1/4 of my life.  I've lived in my town home longer than any other home in my whole life.  I went from a newlywed, to a wife, to a mom all in the state of IL.  I am leaving so many memories behind.  So many special places.  I won't be able to drive by and point out my kids favorite places to them, or where they were born, or the house I brought them to when we came home from the hospital.  Not that they will care but it's sad to think that this part of my life is over.
The other day I picked out a couple presents for special friends and found myself crying in Hallmark.  I'm sure I'm not the first woman to break out the tissues in that store but it just made me realize how close I've gotten to my friends out here and how I'm going to have to start over, with new people, in a new town.
Not only am I missing what I have out here I'm missing things I've planned in the future.  My best friend and I talked about hanging out next this fall with just our littlests since the bigger kids would be in preschool and then the following year our littles would be in preschool while our boys were in Kindergarten.  We had grand plans of roaming the boutiques and eating peaceful lunches while our kids were in class.  We joked about my daughter dating one of her sons, about them being prom dates.  Knowing quite well that this probably wouldn't happen but also knowing our kids would be friends for along time and when they graduated highschool we could look back on pictures of them starting preschool together.  We could look back on pictures of us pregnant together.  I am getting teary eyed just typing this.  I have other friends out here who have known me since before I got pregnant and I've patiently waited for them to get through the tough baby stage to hang out again and they patiently waited for me.  Now we are all at points of our lives that hanging out it becoming much easier and I'm leaving.  I'm going to miss so much.  Some of my friends are getting married, having babies, having grandbabies and I'm not going to be here to celebrate those things.  Not just that, I'm going to miss the little celebrations too.  I know technology helps you feel close but it's not the same as meeting for coffee and laughing in person.
Sometimes I think my circle of friends is rather small but this past week I've started to say goodbye to so many people and I realize many people have touched my life out here.  Some people I see almost daily, some every couple weeks, and some maybe only a couple times a year but we are always there for each other.  Now I have to find those friends all over again.  The ones I get together with occasional, the ones I talk to every day, the ones that can count on me in a pinch, and the ones I can trust with my kids.  I have friends I can shop with, cry with, eat with, lesson plan with.  I hadn't realized the network of friends I had built and now I have to leave it all behind.
But moving isn't all sad...happy post coming up.

Almost Time

Okay.  So I've been sitting at the computer for over half an hour, typed 4 versions of what to say and I still have a blank screen.
I don't know if I should write how excited I am to be moving or if I should write how sad I am to be leaving.  I'm stuck in the middle and the middle just makes for a jumbled piece of writing.
So I'm going to organize my thoughts and come back....

Saturday, June 29, 2013

33 Days

33 days is all I have left in Illinois.
I've been trying to visit all our favorite places on more time and making the kids say goodbye to them.  I know Drew is the type of kid that will ask to go back to these places and I wanted to be able to say remember, we said goodbye to that playground.  It's sad and breaks my heart each time we leave a place and I think in the back of my head that we won't be coming back there.  Drew understands a little that we are moving and we won't be coming back but he doesn't fully understand.  He's asked if we are taking the trees and plants outside and he's said maybe sometimes we can visit and I try not to sound to harsh but I tell him that probably isn't going to happen.  If we come back at all it would be very very infrequently.  The things I will miss the most aren't even big places like zoos and museums, every city has those, it's just the pond, the soccer fields, the playgrounds, my sidewalks.  Oh how I will miss my sidewalks.  I love taking walks at any time day or night with the kids.  I love being able to just take all their ride ons, push toys, and bikes to the sidewalk and having a place to play and ride without getting in the car.  I love that we can walk to the playground, the pond, the river, and if we were feeling ambitious we could walk to Panera (we did when I locked ourselves out of the house one day).  I will also miss having a paved driveway to play with chalks on.  When I was very young I grew up in the country and I missed having sidewalks and driveways but I know I loved my land with trees, and a pond, and room to explore and play.  You can't have it all and I hope my kids will be happy with what we've chosen for them.  We will have a large yard that they can play in and a house with enough rooms for everyone.  I've been working on a goodbye book for the kids that they can look at if they start to miss their old home and I hope to get that done in the next 2 weeks so we can see it before we go and then when we get to our new house.  I'm so excited to start the life I want in my own place but it's so sad leaving the life that I know here.  Change is scary, but change can be great too.
Our new home (to be)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

House Hunters

Over the past 2 months we've been house hunting online and planning when we could go look and what we would like to see.  We made our list, picked 50 homes from the 650 that matched our online search and headed down to NC.  We were set up to see between 15 and 30 homes a day, it was intense.  We met with our fabulous agent who drove around with us, provided us with snacks, and a wealth of information about the area, the homes, the schools.  She scheduled and rescheduled, she called and got last minute showings as we drove by houses we liked.  When we finished a long day (12 hours) of looking at homes and didn't like any of them she stayed up all night searching for homes we may have missed.  Our last day to look at homes was approaching and we didn't have anything.  We were going to have to do this again and hope something, anything popped up on the market.  The problem was houses are selling in DAYS in the areas we liked.  Some homes we wanted to see were only on the market 4 days, we didn't even get a chance to see them before they were gone.  To say we were discouraged was an understatement.
Finally it came down to the last day and we revisited 2 homes that we had seen already, just 2.  The funny this was is it was home #1 and home #4.  We saw these homes within the first 2 hours of looking.  I laugh at the show house hunters because they show the family looking at 3 homes and then they choose, there's always something wrong with the houses and I always think, well if you don't like them keep looking and why are they only looking at 3 homes.  But here we were after sifting through over 700 homes online and looking at 40+, we were down to 3, none of which were a perfect fit for us.
Now we had to start our compromise.
*Home 1 is country living within minutes of the city.  It has a large yard for the kids and is move in ready.  However the square footage of the home is less than desired.
*Home 2 is a more spacious newer construction in a community with a pool and playground.  The bedrooms are smaller but it has more rooms.  The backyard is nice size for a development, though unfenced.  The drawback to this home is the strict HOA.
*Home 3 is a unique 1970's split level that has been immaculately taken care of.  It features a beautiful pool and spacious deck.  However there is no garage and it is the furthest from work meaning at least a 40 minute commute without problematic traffic.

What will the buyers do?

We thought about waiting to see if anything pops up on the market but that is a gamble.  What if something doesn't and you've lost your chance at what you originally liked?  I know we could rent but rents are more than mortgages down there and we would have to pay to move our stuff now and then pay again to move our stuff to a home when we found one.  It's a tough call to make.  We don't want to settle for something we don't want but we also don't have a vault of money to throw away.

We had to eliminate one house and that was house #3.  With it being the furthest from work and having very little yard (due to the pool) we thought one of the other houses would be better.
We were down to #1 and #2.  The deciding factor ended up being the HOA.  We live with a strict HOA now and are not happy with having to ask permission to even plant a lilac bush.
We decided to put an offer in on home #1.  While it's missing the extra room that we wanted it does have a very private back yard and there is room we could add an above ground pool if we wanted to.  It is also 10 minutes to work which means we will see more of daddy.
We now play the waiting game and see if the buyers accept our offer.  I'll keep you posted.  We may have found our next home!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Mommy and me

Today I went to Jo-Ann fabric without kids (which is dangerous) and I came out with a bag full of red line clearance material.  One of them was $2.50 yard.  I bought 1.5 yards of this cute pattern fabric, it just screamed 'SKIRT' to me.

I haven't made any skirts but I figured why not, and came up with this adorable elastic waist skirt for myself and Kara.  I made it in about 20 minutes.  I measured my waist, cut the elastic and then used double the fabric (example: a 30 inch waist would use 60 inches of material).  Of course it doesn't have to be exact but just to give you a rough idea.  I actually used 1 inch navy blue elastic and just zigzag sewed the fabric to the back of the elastic, I didn't even make a casing.  It looks great, it fits great.  Then I made Kara a tiny skirt with the same idea, measured her waist, used double the material and sewed it to the elastic.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Another party

Today I had a birthday party for my babies.  My son turned 4, my daughter is turning 2.  Isn't it amazing how the hours in the day drag on seemingly never-ending some days but then one night you look back and realize a whole year has passed again.  365 precious days in the memory books.  So many things happen in one little year.  There's times I wish I had a pensieve (from Harry Potter) to store all my memories in and look back at them any time I wanted.  How much my kids have changed in just this one year.

My Bug.  You're 4 years old now.  You are such a challenge.  I feel like we are from different planets some days but I love who you are.  I love being your mom.  Yes there are days where I wish you would stop talking but I can't imagine going just one day without hearing your little voice.  I know you are going to keep challenging my point of view, keep arguing your reason and keep right on using your logic and I know it's going to be great.  Your mind works in amazing ways and I can't wait to see where it takes you.  You're so sharp and have a memory that astounds me.  Right now you are still between my little boy and a big kid, but I know when you start pre-school this fall you will grow up a lot.  While I'm ready for this it will also be sad to see you take that jump.  You are momma's boy now and I hope you always will be, even if someday you tell me to stop singing nighttime songs to you.

Baby girl, you are 2 (almost).  Two!  It doesn't even seem possible.  You are my baby, but you're getting so big and so independent.  I hear 'no me' from you all day.  You don't want me to help you anymore, you're bold and fearless and ready to take on the world.  I am so proud of the way you stand up for yourself, you are going to be one strong woman.  But please, just be my baby girl a little bit longer.  Let me cherish the mornings where you come wondering down the hall in your tiny nightgown dragging your blankie for just a little longer.  Thank you for giving me the best hugs and then saying 'more ug'

Sunday, May 12, 2013

If these walls could talk

As much as I am excited to be looking at homes it is sad to think about leaving our home (Let me just say I am also the person that gets sad leaving a car at the dealer when you buy a new one).  At times when I'm all alone with my thoughts I think about everything my house has seen.  Truly, if these walls could talk.
I have lived here 9 years.  That's the longest I've ever lived anyplace.  My house has seen me go from a newlywed, to a wife, to a mom, to a mom again!  My house has seen me figure out how to cook and bake.  It has seen me make Christmas cookies, birthday cakes, and anniversary meals.  My house has seen me finish my 20's and enter my 30's.  My house has seen me finally finish my Bachelor's degree.  It has seen me change jobs, change hair color, and change friends.  My house has seen me cry through lost pets, lost pregnancies, and lost grandparents.  It has gone from a quiet home of two working adults to loud and cluttered home of a family.
It was this house where I brought both my babies home to.  I sat upstairs in the bunny decorated nursery and rocked them to sleep every night (several times a night).  I wonder how many hours I've rocked in the kids room, how many lullabies have these walls heard, how many I love yous, how many giggles.  I know our next home will have many more of these but this house holds the firsts.  The first steps, first words, first hugs were all made in this house.  My kids won't remember living here but I won't forget where we became a family.
Next week I take my first trip to Charlotte to look for the house that my children will remember as their home.  I want it to be the perfect backdrop for all their memories.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A change of soil

There is a common phrase I've seen floating around the internet and home decor recently and that is "Bloom where you're planted."

I get what it's saying, make the best of your situation and be your best.  Don't make excuses why you can't succeed just do it.  Makes sense, but while plants DO bloom wherever they are planted they bloom bigger and brighter when they are planted in the soil they like best.

I'm excited to say I am changing soil!  I've tried to bloom here in the Chicago-land area but neither my husband nor I have taken to it well.  I have really dug deep and tried to shine and the be the person I really wanted to be but it's just muted in a way that it's hard for me to write about.  It's just not us, we just don't like it here.  There are a number of very specific reasons why but I don't want to ruin anyone's outlook if their dream is to move to the Chicago-land area.  For some people I can see why they would want to live here, but it's not for our family.  This summer we are digging up our roots and transplanting ourselves to the Charlotte area.  It is going to be a huge change and stressful too but I am so excited to start this next chapter in our lives.

So why did I come back to my blog?  Because in a time of great change I just wanted someplace to put all my thoughts.  I am also going to be leaving some wonderful wonderful people behind when I move and I would like have a place they can check in on my move, my house, and my life in general if they should ever miss me.