Monday, September 26, 2016

And then we were in...

The Friday of closing took it's toll on me both physically and emotionally. We closed on both homes back to back that afternoon and the attorney/other realtor basically held the keys to our new home hostage until the deed was recorded. With the caveat that "we HOPE to get this deed recorded at the Courthouse before 5pm today."

Um, what?

So yeah, basically, we were homeless for about an hour or so.

With all our worldly belongings in 4 vehicles and 3 U-hauls.

Good times.

But when the deed was done (ha.), we hightailed it to our new home and went to work unloading said vehicles and U-hauls so I could get those suckers returned.

Forever.

Cause, like, uh, we are never moving again.


Over the weekend, we had some awesome help from family and friends. I have a BUNCH of pictures of all our projects, but I promise that you will appreciate them more when you see an "after" picture to go with the "before" picture.

(Me too.)

So, here are two cuties for you:


And the chairs that I hope to one day sit in when the inside of the home is more presentable and my mind can shut down from all the paint colors, floor samples, tile and grout choices, and furniture purchasing.

(But we did escape to the pool for one last day at Pappy's that weekend.)

So, for now, I leave you with the promise that when we complete some projects in the house, I will share them here totally interrupting regularly scheduled programming. Until then, I will backtrack, oh, about 8 months, and start to catch you all up on non-house-related family happenings...

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Saying goodbye is never easy...

...but when you've been packing until the wee hours of the morning and then back again at 7am to load up one last load and then scrub a place down, you start to let go just a little.

But seriously, saying goodbye to AF Parkway was a tough one.

We didn't HAVE to move. We hadn't outgrown it. It wasn't run down and falling apart. It suited us just fine. We just knew it was time to move on. It was time to head north (as in about 8 miles farther north) and start a new adventure.

But, when the time came to turn off that last night and close that door one last time, I struggled.

Because, yes, I know that home is where your family is. I know that memories stay with you. But I also know that my dad and my father in law, Larry, worked their butts off the first weekend we moved here to give me the bead board in my dining room that I had always wanted...

And I know that Larry tiled this bathroom floor by himself, with bad knees, just because he knew we wanted tile. And he had the time to give.

(And I am pretty sure that there is still white paint in the bushes in the front of the house from when Larry was painting the trim on the front windows and a bucket of paint fell off the ladder and landed ON HIS HEAD.)

And so yes, while this is just a kitchen, I look past that kitchen counter and see a table where Larry would sit and color with Jake or turn his chair towards the living room and join in whatever conversation was happening wherever it was happening.

And I realize that those memories will not ever happen in our new house. No matter how special this new place will be- no matter how big and beautiful and spacious and close to school and church and how many new memories we will make- they won't include our "Pops."

So, yes, I struggled with saying goodbye. Amidst the fleet of U-hauls and the stress and the sweat, I struggled. I texted my sweet Carolina Girls while scrubbing the fridge at 7:30am on the Friday we were to close through my tears, and they talked me through it.

And those memories are always in my heart among the other ones. They just came pouring out at high speeds that Friday morning.

So, yes, saying goodbye is never easy.



But saying hello later that same day brings sunshine and light and the promise of new beginnings.



Thursday, September 22, 2016

Adventures in U-hauling...

(Disclaimer: For some reason, all previous posts' pictures are not showing due to some Picaso/BlogPress/Blogger upgrade. It's making me mad but nothing I can do about it right now, so if you are a new reader, you have no cute kid pictures to look at between 2012 and today. Grrrr.)

But anyways, back to our story.

So, let me give you the shortened version between end of July and September 9.

  • We received an offer on the house somewhere in Pennsylvania and signed the first offer in a taxi cab in NYC and then the final counter offer standing in line to get milkshakes in Times Square (gotta love technology).
  • Came home on a Friday, saw 8 houses on Saturday, and decided to make an offer on what became our house. (Let's not be fooled, though. This was 8 houses out of about 35 houses that I had seen between Sunday Open Houses and our realtor scheduling appointments since March- she's a saint and I am, apparently, a local record-breaker.)
  • Once that offer was accepted and signed, we started the process of inspections, appraisals, etc.
  • This is where most people continue to move along, start packing, etc. 
  • This is where our process had a (what I considered major-ish) hiccup.
  • Want to know what happens when your house doesn't appraise? (Well, you cuss a lot but ultimately you can't really do a dang thing except trust your amazing realtor and she takes care of everything for you.)
  • But needless to say, this hiccup caused me to not believe we were really moving.
  • Until oh, about September 2-ish. 
  • Have you ever packed an entire 1800 sq foot house in about a week?
Me either. Cause I kinda put it off a few more days and didn't really get serious until the day before.


Completely going against my Type A personality.

So, I did at least hire movers but, because of the timing of when we had to be out of the house, we had to pack one day, sleep at my parents one night, and then close on both homes and unpack the second day. We used U-haul with licensed professional movers. We went and picked up this beaut Wednesday afternoon to which the guy said and, I quote, "How big is your house? Are you sure you need 26 feet?" Me- "It's three bedrooms and bonus room but it's ok...we have some yard equipment and such that we can slide in at the last minute if there is extra room."

Famous. Last. Words.

So, the movers came at 2pm and started working. They were great but again, shortened version, 5 hours later they were still packing. (Side note: I paid for two hours. These are now extra hours I am paying for at a nice fee.)
And we then were out of room.

I called Chad at 4:30pm. "Can you pick up a trailer to tow behind your truck? I think we need a little extra space for the patio furniture and such."

Chad comes home. We fill the trailer.

Still bunch of stuff left.

6:45pm- Chad and his mom head to U-haul to get the if-you-are-keeping-count THIRD U-haul for our family.

10:30pm- We have packed three U-hauls, the back of my mom's jeep, mother-in-law's car, my van, Chad's truck....and possibly a neighbor or two's vehicle. It got dark and I wasn't sure where I started shoving stuff.

And there is still s--- in the garage.

What. The. Frick.

Where the heck did this stuff come from? And where did it reside for 8 years?

Um, apparently a 16x20 shed in the backyard holds a bunch.

So, here we are 10:30pm the night before we are due to close. Exhausted. Frustrated. Completely in awe of how much stuff we own and already making plans to sell all our possessions and live simply in our next home.

And still looking at stuff in the garage.

Monday, September 19, 2016

How we got to where we are...

...which, currently, is complete chaos.

I've been a terrible blogger (same story, different year). But I will tell you that literally days after I last posted about the birth of my nephew, our lives went nuts. Our sweet Crosby was hospitalized with RSV which threw our family in a tailspin. (He's, thankfully, perfectly healthy now but it was enough to rock our worlds.)

Shortly after that, we put our house on the market. March 7 to be exact. And I had to start my new mantra...

You see, I don't do well with change. Or transition. Or [insert any other synonym here].

I'm German. I'm Type A. I'm a ES-something or another on Myers-Briggs. You get the idea. This and me don't do well together.

My heart knew it was time for our family to move, but my head said "Nope. Don't. Never. Stay put."

But, nevertheless, we dove into decluttering, house staging, and house showings. AKA- I had to make all beds every morning before leaving the house and made checking the toilets a regular pre-exit strategy.

We had great showing traffic but, alas, our driveway deterred several most all who came by.

So, weeks went by and then months. I even addressed the elephant in the room.

It was getting frustrating, but I know the timing would be exactly perfect. I just wished I could have a hint of when that perfect timing would happen.

Fast forward to July 20 while in a taxi cab in NYC headed to see our dear friend, Drew, in Waitress. We accepted an offer on our house and were officially under Due Diligence.

These are some happy faces right here...

(BTW- best show ever. More on that later....like hopefully still in 2016 later)

I let out a teeny sigh of relief when the status officially changed from A (active) to D (due diligence). And celebrated by not making my bed that day.

So, Step 1 was done. And I quickly realized that we needed a new home now. So, I emailed our most awesome realtor, Barbara, from our hotel in NYC a list of houses I wanted to see and she made the appointments for when we got back that Saturday. And so began our quest to find a new home...

Monday, February 8, 2016

My newest little love...

On Tuesday, January 26, our family grew by 8 pounds 7 ounces in the form of this sweet little man.

Our nephew, Crosby, was born in the early afternoon with a head full of hair and the squishiest cheeks you ever did see.

We patiently waited in the waiting room and because of the visitor restrictions, we had to go back three at a time. Jake was sooooo excited about meeting his littlest cousin, so I sent him on with Gramma and Claire. Uncle Drew sent me these sweet pics...


Claire wasn't quite sure what to think, but it only took her about 24 hours to become smitten.

Proud Aunt Jaclyn...

The squishiest, right?







Welcome to the world, Crosby. We love you so much and are so blessed that God brought you to our family.

Friday, February 5, 2016

#scout2016

Hey- good news! I've made it into 2016!

So, do you all remember last year when I mentioned something about a third vehicle for our family?

Well, meet the newest addition to the Johnson Family...

It arrived to our home via our friend, Patrick's, father, who graciously (and I am pretty sure sadly) sold it to Chad the Saturday we came home from Myrtle Beach.





Since that Saturday, this car truck SUV (?) vehicle, has taken residence in our garage and provided hours of entertainment (and sweat) as Chad works to spruce it up piece by piece.



It's a marathon, not a sprint, with this revitalization project, but it's been fun for Chad, and we even took it out on a Friday night for some family fun. :-)


#scout2016
We will keep you posted...

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Beachin' in the New Year!

After a crazy two weeks of Christmas vacation, we were very fortunate enough to escape to Myrtle Beach with 4/6 of our Carolina Family to celebrate New Year's.
Day 1 was awesome weather and, though overcast, it hit mid-60's so the kids were so excited to enjoy the beach.




A little Duck, Duck, Goose with "camp counselors," Loryn and Jon. :-)




The scariest, yet also funniest game ever- Lightning Reaction.


Getting shocked for fun? Sure! But only if you are the slowest...


The kids were all so great and played so well together MOST of the time. (I mean, they are real, normal kids after all.)


New Year's Eve craziness...G-rated.

"Kids, if you sit and take picture you can open your Secret Santa gifts..."


A little "Happy Birthday, Jesus" on New Year's, too...

Watching the "9pm ball" drop...

An adult pic! Nice to have a 10 year old in attendance...




The next day, we drove to the Boardwalk and played arcade games and ate funnel cake and ice cream for lunch.


And then crab legs for dinner. 2016 was already the best year ever at this point!


It was a wonderful way to ring in the New Year, and we were so thankful for the getaway. While 2015 was much better than 2014, we are still so excited about all the hope and promise that 2016 should offer us.

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