Archive for the ‘house’ Category

Sacrifice- June 26, 2014

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

I’m feeling foolish as I write this. Foolish because my last post was begging for your advice about strollers as my brain was consumed with our upcoming travels. We had grandiose plans to take our family of four to a family reunion in Nebraska this weekend. Now that it’s almost here I’m a little embarrassed to say we had to cancel at the last minute. Why, you ask? The short answer, money.

money pic

So often money is a taboo thing to discuss. I figure I talk about my leaking boobs and stitched up lady-parts on my mommy blog, so why should I be ashamed of discussing finances? I don’t know, but money is a touchy subject for most people. It’s private. It shows how vulnerable we are. That’s funny for a generation of people who are putting every mundane personal detail of their lives on the Internet to say that money is the thing that most shows our vulnerability, but it’s true.

Don’t get me wrong. Technically our family could afford to go on this trip, but at the price of some real financial strain later this year. It was going to cost an absurd amount to fly, rent a car and get a hotel room. We didn’t want to put a ton on credit cards. You know, credit cards. The cards people our age got when they walked on campus freshman year with their school logo on it.

Here’s the thing, we REALLY wanted to go on this trip. Bad. We had talked it up to our 3-year-old. We told her how great the zoo was going to be and how she was going to get to play with 50 million cousins she’d never met. We promised aunts they would get snuggle time with our squishy 7-month-old. I planned outfits and did laundry. I made arrangements for friends to dog sit. We bought plane tickets. We were going. We had our hearts set on it.

That’s the problem. We had our hearts set on going and wanted to go. I’ve found that Gen X/Millennials like us typically get what we want. Think about it. We came of age in the 1980′s and 1990′s. People my age knew nothing but mostly peace and prosperity until the economic collapse five years ago. Growing up, I figured things would always keep getting better and better. No, seriously. I just assumed my parents would always make more money than they did the year before, ensuring great family vacations and my college tuition taken care of.

This is not to say our generation is not innovative and hardworking. We are. I’m proud of how hard my husband and I have worked for many years to provide a great life for our children. We have a nice home near a good school, two cars and enough for preschool and dance classes.

Now that we are a single income household, we have had to make some adjustments. Sadly, we didn’t adjust enough. We didn’t plan. If we wanted to go on this trip so badly, we should have planned for it better than we did. Yeah, we did have some unexpected expenses pop up, but if we had planned better, it wouldn’t have been a problem. We made the choice for our family to have me stay home with our children. We don’t regret that decision, but we’ve still been living life as we were a double income household. We didn’t sacrifice.

Staying home from this trip is our sacrifice. We are learning the lesson of our generation. We can’t have everything we want all the time. Now, we have to raise the next generation to understand the same thing.


Settling In- April 28, 2013

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

We’re learning which lightswitch turns the light out and which one grinds up our food scraps. I’ve discovered drawers in the bathroom to stash extra shampoo and the best way to load this dishwasher. We’re going to be naked if the new washer/dryer doesn’t arrive as scheduled on Tuesday. Despite this house being about as “move-in ready” as a house can be, my couches clash with the accent wall in the living room and we spent more than expected changing the locks at Lowe’s. But, I mean, show me someone who doesn’t spend more than they plan to at freakin’ Lowe’s.

I’m having trouble looking away from Pinterest’s endless “Home Decor” category. I guess I’m a glutton for punishment who needs Pinterest to remind me of how much work I have to do and how woefully inadequate my decorating skills are. Yes! I get it Pinterest! Everything at West Elm is amazing, but $45 for a throw pillow is a little more than I want to spend right now.

In other words, we’re settling in.

I have to say, despite the boxes and misplaced serving bowl, it already feels like home. Tonight Charlotte and I built a tower higher than we’ve ever made. I was so proud of her matching the colors of her blocks and her telling me about the animals on each one of them. We’re already making memories.



New memories- April 25, 2013

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

I’m sitting with my feet up in my new living room with boxes scattered around and my darling husband talking to the TV about NFL draft picks. I’m deliriously tired and deliriously happy.  We almost didn’t get to move in because of idiot underwriters’ contract mistakes and slow bank workers, but we’re here.  This week I’ve felt stretched very thin between demands at work and the demands of moving, but we made it.  I keep looking around in disbelief that we are finally here.

We cried when we left the old house for the last time thinking of all the memories in that house.  It’s funny, just a few days later it feels right to be here. Let the new memories begin…

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Buying and Selling Again- February 25, 2013

Monday, February 25th, 2013

7704 Astoria Pl. 2

7704 Astoria Pl. 3

7704 Astoria Pl. 20

7704 Astoria Pl. 9

Here it is, once again in all it’s glory.  This weekend we cleaned, staged and de-personalized to yet again try to convince someone to buy our house.  It’s sadly stark to see the cheap, generic art deco that has replaced our family pictures.  No one will ever know who we are by walking our halls. Just try to guess our race, creed or religion!  Bwa ha ha ha!

See those counter tops? Yeah baby.  I want to lay my naked body on that cold stone.  Too much? I don’t care.  I’ve waited a long time for granite.

We have upgraded the counter tops, the floors have been refinished.  The house is going back on the market!  It hasn’t all been rosy with the house selling so we’re anxious to get this done.  We took it off the market during the holidays because no one buys a house at Christmas, except for all the people who told us they sold their house on freakin’ December 23.  (Shut up.)

So here is our house that  I’m so anxious to sell, yet will cry when I leave.  This is where we loved and lived and it would be perfect for someone else.  If you are in the market for an adorable town home in Raleigh, NC with new granite, hard wood floors and a first floor master bedroom, then I have the place for you!  But, you better appreciate the granite!


Sesame Street Party- November 5, 2012

Monday, November 5th, 2012

When I asked my husband and brother-in-law to move the couch and the love seat out of the house and into the garage I think they thought I had gone a little overboard.  Maybe I had, but it was totally worth it.  I wanted to open up space for Charlotte and her friends to run around and be 2-year-olds.  I got a lot of inspiration from Pinterest and other bloggers, but I really wanted to make this special and personal for Charlotte.

The fabulous Brooke from Brooke Wolfe Photography took these pictures for me.  Check her out here and here.

I wanted a line from the Sesame Street theme song on the front door.  I chose “On my way to where the air is sweet” to greet guests as they walked in the door.  Grover made sure they had a spot to drop their gifts.

Charlotte was ready to party!

The party was brought to you by the letter “C” and the number “2″.  I tried to include “C’s” and “2′s” everywhere.  We had pizza along with the veggie and fruit heads of Oscar and Cookie Monster, goldfish, juice, and cupcakes.

I found a lot of my supplies for the party at our local dollar store and Michael’s.  Take a look at the bottom of my china cabinet.  I covered our open fireplace, the lower part of our china cabinet, and bar with Sesame Street wrapping paper to block out little hands.

All around the room I had toddler friendly activities to keep the kids busy.  I think Big Bird’s “nest” was the most popular attraction.

Elmo’s station was coloring “C” and “2″ coloring sheets I printed online.  Cookie Monster’s station was playing with cookie “doh”.  Every kid got an Abby Cadabby wand.

I used some of Charlotte’s blocks so the kids could build a “Flying Fairy School” and they tossed paper into “Oscar’s Trash Can”.

Elmo brought the house down when he danced through the door.  (Actually, he had to walk very carefully since he really couldn’t see anything.)  He did bust out “The Robot” once he got inside.  (It was my brother-in-law, Kevin in the costume.  Shhh!)  Kids either came to Elmo running, or ran away in fear.  I expect some parents will be sending their therapy bills our way.  My sister Julie had a friend who happened to have this costume that we could borrow.

If you couldn’t tell already by the Elmo suit, Kevin was the biggest kid at the party.  I love him!  He’s so awesome.  I love the picture of Greyson holding up Charlotte to Big Bird.  When she saw that plastic backdrop I got for like $6.00, she went crazy and had to kiss all of them.   That backdrop was by far her favorite thing.  She was all like, “I’ve been telling ya’ll to decorate like this for 2 years!”

We got a family shot in front of the backdrop.  Greyson and I also rocked our SS apparel.  If you’ll notice from Greyson’s shirt, Governor Romney did not fire Big Bird from our party.  Ha!  (Don’t hate, the party was just a few days before the election.)  Charlotte had a custom “2″ Elmo shirt I found on Etsy.

Our party girl was wiped by the end.  She almost fell asleep in the nest with her wand.  This shot is proof of a good party.