Introducing: Home Number Three

If you’ve been reading for a while, you may know that my little family is now living in house number three. The first was a little mid-century ranch in the the Westbury subdivision of Houston, Texas. It was a foreclosure and we did quite a bit of renovations prior to moving in. We lived there for a little over three years, decided we were moving to Connecticut, then I shared a before and after of our first home.

Next up, we owned a little Cape Cod style home. It was smaller than our previous home, but newly gutted with brand new just about everything–pipes, electric, windows, drywall. Brand new. It was small and on a small lot, but it had a really lovely view of a pond directly behind it, and I’d hop in my kayak in my backyard and row around a bit sometimes. We also had the pleasure of seeing a lot of wildlife in our backyard. It was lovely, but then came time to move, again. So, I shared a before and after of our second home and a subsequent post about maximalist decor in a small space.

Now that I’m back to blogging, I’ll introduce you to home number three.

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Tour Our Second Home, On the Market Before and After

I loved this house well and I had so much fun making it ours, adding my personal style everywhere. The following pictures don’t fully reflect my personal style, because these were the listing photos for the house just prior to us buying it (sight unseen!) and after my friend Ky and I pulled up our bootstraps and prepared the house for showings.

If you haven’t sold a home before, you probably don’t know: you don’t just take pictures of how you’re living in it. You’re going to want to do quite a few things before you put it up.

Prepping a House for the Market

  1. Take down personal items. Photography especially–you want the potential buyer to picture themselves there, not you.
  2. Remove all clutter. Your kitchen counters should be devoid of appliances, your fireplace mantle shouldn’t have any tchochkes.
  3. Take a LOT of furniture out. Open up the space as much as you can.
  4. Take the books out of the shelves and style them instead. Creating space even on your furniture opens up the room to the eye. It’s like magic.
  5. The more you move out of site, the better. Use the garage or the basement, if you have one, to put these items away. If not, rent a short-term storage unit.

As mentioned in our moving announcement, our house sold in three days! We had an offer and a back up offer quicker than we could have imagined.

The Home Tour, Before and After

These are photos that we had listed online of our house when it was on the market in 2015 when we bought it, and months ago when we listed it.

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We’re Moving…Again!

I didn’t expect to write this post this soon, or at this stage in our lives. I admit, I knew this wasn’t our forever home. When we sold our first home in Texas and moved to Connecticut, I became a bit more realistic about my expectations about how long I would live in one place.

We bought our Texas house with “forever” in mind, and we started making preparations and decisions to move to the East Coast after living there for a little over three years. I was devastated but excited. I was scared but adventurous. And then we moved 1,600 miles away.

Before I had fully unpacked, boxes still strewn about, Mark was surely high from the experience of leaving it all behind + what new experience awaited us. Then he said, “Maybe in a few years, we’ll move to the West Coast.”

The nerve! But I didn’t take it that way. He was just reminding me that adventure awaits, and to leave my heart open for possibilities. I knew I was going to take good care of it, try to not get too attached, and make it full of art, memories, laughter, souvenirs and a lot of love. That I did. And now we’re moving. But, where? Continue reading

7 Things I should have known before I moved across the country

Last week, I celebrated six months of living 1,690 miles from what I’ve known most of my life.

I use the term celebrated loosely. What really happened was that I started crying over something completely minuscule right after my son got on the bus, and minor setbacks throughout the day had me crying all.day.long.. Around 1 p.m. was when I realized it was actually the six month mark, so I can’t say it had anything to do with it. Upsets carried on into the next day, as well as my crying.

knew this was going to be hard.

I knew that growing pains occur with all change–that’s just how it is. But, still, I don’t think I was ready for this. Continue reading

Are we Yankees yet?

Fun fact: Yankee Doodle Dandy is the state song of Connecticut.

Come Thursday, we’ll have been residents of coastal Connecticut for four months. A third of a year! The time has gone by a lot more quickly than I thought it would, but I guess that’s how things usually go. We’ve settled in pretty well, I’ll say. Looking back, it’s almost hard to believe how much I hated the idea of the move.

Tobias warmed up to our new town quicker than anyone could have guessed. His first day coming home on the school bus, (after calling for him through the doors, “Tobias! It’s your stop!”) a boy that had just gotten off said, “Tobias, this is your stop, too?!” I soon learned the two boys, who are in the same class, had bonded in the bus line over their love of all things science and their passion for making art. In world full of hockey-loving, football-watching, soccer-kicking, all-thing-sports boys, it’s great that Tobias was able to quickly meet a boy that shared his interests–who lives down the street!

One of my favorite things about the new house, other than the backyard and the wildlife I spot in it, is the 5+ acres of open space that we have to explore down our street. An off-the-leash area, it’s Laser’s very favorite thing and right up there in Tobias’ list. On my runs, I’ve stumbled upon other open space areas that vary in topography and size, and it’s been such a pleasure hiking through and exploring. Between the nearby beaches and these open areas, my nature-loving hippie side is satiated.

Open Space law ConnecticutOpen Space Law CTSasco Beach Connecticut

There’s more great things in store for our little corner of coastal Connecticut. This past Sunday, a Michael’s craft store opened it’s doors that is in walking distance to our house. I can see its sign lit up at night from my 2nd story window–it’s that close. Within weeks, a vegetarian restaurant/juice bar is opening nearby, and across the street, a health food market is being built. All in under a 5-10 minute walk! My favorite things!

love michael's craft stores.JPG

One of the things I was most worried about when moving here, was not being able to meet people and that strangers would have the hardness about them that NYC is known for. I had believed, all these years, that Southern Hospitality meant that people up north lacked the kindness and considerateness I took for granted.  Boy, was I wrong.

Now, it’s different in the city. In fact, the closer you get to the city, the more often you’ll come across someone who’s…well, snobby. But all-in-all, I’ve had more conversations with friendly strangers in the grocery line and the like than ever, and I’m slowly but surely finding out how to make friends in a new town.

I knew going in to the move that the worst thing would be Mark’s commute. And it has taken some getting used to for the whole family. The good thing is, we’re really carving out for quality time more than quantity. And, as spring nears and things warm up, we’re getting back into our triathlon training with better scenery than ever.

Sherwood Island State Park Connecticut

All in all, it’s been a great experience. Do I miss my family, and the friends I’ve had for over a decade? Of course. But, despite my sadness upon learning of the move, I always knew that this would be an experience worth having: the kind of out-of-my-comfort-zone, scary-as-hell, learning adventure that I’m made for.

This February, I’m getting out of my funk

Man, what I year this last one was.

I know, I know. This started out sounding like the post that everyone makes during the first week of January. I’m okay with that.

Last March, after going through the first months of 2015 with fervor, focus, and a plan for the goals I wanted to achieve, I was caught off guard by a sudden life change: we were moving cross country. If you’ve read my blog the few times I’ve posted in the last year, you know this well. Maybe a little too well.

I touched on the subject a bit, but I hardly elaborated on the despair that I went through in the months preceding the move. Continue reading