All moved in!

We’re finally moved into our Connecticut home. It’s been a long time coming, as we first learned about the possibility of moving to the Tri-State area back in March. We closed on Tuesday, the movers came and dropped all of the boxes off in the appropriate rooms on Wednesday, and here I am Thursday with the rest of the work that moving entails.

I wanted to take a break from unpacking, laundry, and the madness to show y’all some before photos from our new house. I just love the space. It’s smaller than our first house in Houston, but it’s much cozier, the floor plan works better for us, and there’s not going to be any minimally used spaces like we had before.

Another big difference between this house and our Houston house is that it’s been recently completely redone. New windows, roof, kitchen, baths, everything. And everything is WHITE. As the cable installation man left yesterday, he said to us, “I can finally say that I’ve visited the white house.”

This is perfect for me, because it is a blank slate to decorate as I wish, but without the headaches and never-ending project of remodeling.

Without further ado… Continue reading

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Our First Home: Before and After

It’s happening! We accepted an offer on our home and as of today, we are under contract. Knowing that in less than a month’s time, we’ll be saying goodbye to our old home and hello to New England, I’m feeling all of the nostalgic feels.

We bought this house in late 2011 as our first place as a family. We had been looking for a couple of weeks, with no luck, when it was listed as a foreclosure. The day it was listed, I saw it. (Without an email alert. I was lurking that hard.) It didn’t have any photos listed yet, but I read the stats and was so excited it had a POOL(!) for my triathlon training that we went and saw it in person that very day.

It wasn’t all that pretty.

Home Outside Before - home before and after

But I walked in, and I knew. I hadn’t seen pictures, I hadn’t seen the rest of the house, but I remember walking in the front door and thinking it was perfect. Woman’s intuition. (Or maybe I just really wanted that pool.)

It had been uninhabited for over a year, and neglected for some time before that. We had a lot of initial work done to it, and we moved in, all three of us, in February 2012. Over nearly four years, we poured love into this house and filled it with joy, memories, and laughter.

Oreta Place After Scroll through the photos of the evolution of that old foreclosure to our first home, and click on the photos to enlarge. Continue reading

Our Tri-State Trip: Looking into New York City & its Suburbs

As the move became more likely and my online searching was nearly incessant, we booked a flight for us to see the areas I had been researching firsthand. We decided to bring along our seven year old, to do a trial run of parenting around the city.

Initial thoughts on our move

When the possibility of us moving to NYC first came up, I envisioned this super hip, chic lifestyle awaiting us. New York seemed like the coolest place to raise a child, period. The diversity, the learning opportunities, all of the arts and culture–the possibilities of things to do there are endless, of course. I thought I had a pretty good idea of what to expect based on other peoples’ encounters, New York online publication write-ups about the different areas, (and honestly, maybe a little bit based on movies and TV shows).

Mark, on the other hand, was more interested in the suburbs. This came as no surprise to me: he grew up in the suburbs of Houston and had, many times, tried to convince me into moving out of the city. We butted heads a bit on the matter.

Our visit: Manhattan

Our first days in the city, Mark had to work. Tobias and I took advantage of the free time by exploring Times Square, sitting in the first row of a Broadway show, touring Central Park, and visiting an art exhibit that I had been seeing all over Instagram.

visiting new york city with kids (2 of 32)

We stayed at The W Hotel – Times Square. The views were great!

visiting new york city with kids (3 of 32) Continue reading