Friday, May 01, 2015

Moving Month

Well, it is finally here...moving month.  We actually have less than a month left in this place we have called home for almost 10 years.  The only home my children have known.  And loved.  Rena, my oldest, is, interestingly, the one who is most looking forward to the move.  Riley, not so much.  And with Rachel, it's just kind of hard to say.  I am looking forward to this all being over.  It's been almost a year since I found out we were going to have to move.  I don't regret staying here this last year, but, seriously, I'm over it.  I've packed, sorted, thrown away, organized, sold and given away and yet, if you walked in my house, you probably wouldn't be able to tell!  Where does all of this stuff come from.  I'm tired of having strangers in my house. I'm tired of worrying about if it's 'show-ready'.  I'm tired of talking about moving, looking at houses, thinking about what needs be done when...all of it.  As sad as I am about leaving our little school, my friends, the girls' friends and my comfort zone, I'm done.  Because of pets, the logistics of the move are going to be a pain in the ass.  My cats are totally going to be freaked out.  The dog will probably love it.  And there is so much work left to do.  But I just have to figure what I don't get to here will be coming to Maryland with me.  :P 

So, the countdown begins.  I'm not exactly stressed.  But I think I'd better sharpen my pencil for the to-do list.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Oh what a difference a week (or 2) makes.  At the risk of jinxing myself, let me just say things are falling into place.  I will say, so far, the largest stress of this whole thing has been getting ready to get the pictures taken so the realtor could put the house on the market.  I literally have not been that stressed since I don't know when.  I mean, truly, mentally, physically, emotionally stressed.  It was awful.  It was bad enough that I cancelled our Spring Break plans.  And to be perfectly honest, I'm so glad I did.  My hubby came home and we just hung out here at the house.  No pressure.  Exactly what I needed.  And the girls got to sleep in, hang out with friends and even spend the night out.  Poor Blair was bored.
So, the showings began, but that wasn't as stressful as I thought.  Most of the work had already been done. 

I love how my house looks from the outside.  It has not been my favorite on the inside, although it is a pretty's just not 'me'.  However, this truly has been a wonderful place to raise my children.  And I am so fortunate that we have had the wonderful neighbors that we have had.  I truly get choked up when I think about leaving them.  So, I don't spend much time thinking about that. 

I am excited about where we are moving.  We had narrowed it down to 2 different counties, Anne Arundel and Howard.  I had been leaning toward Howard but I didn't want to rule anything out.  I don't know what it is, but I truly feel like this is the place we belong.  I hope I'm right.  Blair found us a rental house in a neighborhood in Ellicott City that I have been eying for the last several months.  It's much smaller....a 3 bedroom 2 1/2 bath, but I think it's going to be the perfect transition house for us.  I was/am not thrilled about having to rent, but I'll admit, it has taken a great deal of pressure off of me.  And this place is so close to everything!  The possibilities are endless and I can't wait to get up there and begin exploring.

So, things are beginning to fall into place.  We have an offer on our house.  We have a place rented.  The intense stress is gone.  And now, it's just a matter of fulfilling our obligations here, saying goodbye to our friends and this very important chapter in our lives, and setting out for our next adventure.

Wish us luck!

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Stressssssseeeeddddd is my middle name.  So I went to Charleston last weekend with my best friend and her sisters and had a blast!  We met up with an old high school friend for drinks, toured old houses and ate delicious food.  Hubby kept the home fires burning.  And started to put the finishing touches on the house to get it ready to go on the market.  Can I just tell you what a big fat pain in the ass it is to move.  Well, it is. 

I got home Sunday night to find tons of stuff piled in boxes in the garage.  There was still plenty to do though.  And literally, I think the stress of it all might kill me.  I can't find anything and there is still so much to do.  Stressed.  Did I mention I'm stressed?

So today, the house had to be ready for the Realtor to come take pictures.  Oh, so much work.  I can't even....

But she came.  And made pictures.  And that part is done.  The house looks really good.  I'm exhausted.  And my closets and cabinets are crammed full of crap.  And will be until we move.  Hate it.  But, I have to admit that a little bit of the pressure is off.  Let the showings begin.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Good Golly, Miss Molly.  This is the first time I've had to sit down and think in weeks.  The first weekend in March, I left the girls and flew up to Maryland to start searching for a new home.  Sounds easy enough.  ha!  I managed to get all the clothes washed and put away before I left...if you have children, you know that is a major feat!  One of the girls' past teachers came and stayed with them.  They LOVE her...and so do I.  A really cool chick.  And taking over my day to day is no easy task.  The girls had softball practice and a birthday party so they were pretty busy.  And Ms. Kelley had obligations of her own that the girls got to help with.  Oh, and did I mention that's the first time I've left them except for one quick overnight trip where they stayed with their grandparents...and texted us the whole time!  This time, I could barely get them to talk to me on the phone...and they wanted me to stay gone longer!  Well, um, not really, (so they said) they just didn't want Ms. Kelley to leave!

Anyway, house hunting went well even though we are not quite ready to make a purchase, unfortunately.  I found this house that I really loved.  Who knows, maybe it will still be available when we are ready.  Or maybe our dream home is somewhere else completely.

I have a little better feel for the area, so that is a good thing.  And after looking at several houses, I am excited about the possibility of finding a really great house for our family.  I can't even begin to be hopeful for the kind of built in friends we have on our street now, though.  The longer the Spring goes on, the closer we get to the friends that we will soon have to leave.  That is very hard.  I really can't imagine not having these children in my life and the lives of my own children.

Another plus of the trip is that Blair and I got to spend some time together as a couple.  It was really nice.  We even went out with his best friend and his real adults!  I've missed that!  Most of my company is the tween crowd.

Next up on my busy list was our school's Bingo Night.  I was 'chair-person' but really I was only in charge of getting the prizes.  I got some cool prizes too!  Then I got to sit up on stage and tell what the prizes were for each round.  My head wasn't really in that game, but I managed to get it done. 

Then, I had to get items ready for a consignment sale.  I managed to get over 200 items tagged and ready for the sale.  It took me three solid days.  I was literally exhausted after that and finally took a day off.  That was last Monday, and I'm still tired!  But all that hard work paid off, and I made the most I've ever made consigning clothes.  Over $400!  I'm still excited about that!  But I have literally hundreds more pieces I need to get rid of.  That is next weeks assignment.

Then yesterday, the painters came to freshen up some rooms for me.  Only I forgot they were coming  and I was still in bed when they got here.  (It was a rare day that I got to sleep in because Blair was in town and was a WATCHDOGS dad at school.  So he was in charge of getting the girls ready and to school and I got to relax and sleep in...until the doorbell rang!)  That started my day off in a bit of a scramble, but having other people working in the house motivated me to get some stuff done.  So, laundry is largely caught up and I got a few more things packed up and into the garage.  And some stuff thrown away.  (I have to take advantage of THAT feeling when it hits!) 

Today, I will spend putting things back in place and cleaning up from the painters.  Then the carpet cleaners come Thursday.  Then the listing agent.  And the machine keeps on moving.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Snow Days

The sounds in my house have been a constant babble of girls, freed from the confines of school by the beauty of snow.  The unexpected break has afforded my girls endless hours of friendship and confidences shared with some of their best friends that, luckily, live right across the street.  The five girls have been virtually inseparable over the last 3 days.  Much like the snow, they swirl from one space to another, settling in drifts to play Minecraft or watch Disney channel.  Warming up to cups of hot cocoa, only to become unsettled again and disappear into the cold once more. 
Currently, Riley is explaining to her best friend how she is going to dress up the family dog for Halloween this year with a Beware of Dog sign around the harmless dog’s neck.  I listen from the semi-privacy of my own space.  I am overwhelmed with a melancholy sadness knowing that this Halloween will not be spent with friends that we have grown so comfortable with.  Friends that we have played dress up with in a plethora of cast aside costumes from Halloween’s past.  Friends that know that the dog is most definitely not the kind of dog anyone needs to beware of.  Instead, we will be in a new place, celebrating the new milestones of our life with people that are, to us now, strangers.  In my overwhelming sadness, I cannot be excited today about all the interesting things our future new home will bring.  I can only be broken by the sadness of what we will be leaving behind.

Friday, February 20, 2015

As a general rule, I'm trying to stay positive about the upcoming move.  I think we are moving to a great area.  There are going to be lots of new, positive experiences for my girls, and hopefully me.  I spent the morning researching schools on Niche and discovered that 16 elementary schools from the county I want to move to, ranked in the top 20 in the state.  13 of the middle schools ranked in the top 20 and 8 of the high schools.  It's a great area and there is going to be so much to do.

But the reality is my children are going to be leaving behind some pretty special friends.  Rena, who is in 5th grade, is finally starting to make some really good friends here.  I know that sounds like she has trouble making friends, but that's not true.  She has just been content with her best friend (across the street) and hasn't really needed or shown interest too much in connecting with others.  She enjoys other friends, but I just haven't really seen her bond with anyone too very much.  Until recently.  My twins, however, make lots of friends wherever they go.  Especially Riley.  I swear, she's going to be the kind of girl that has 20 bridesmaids.  But even they are growing their social circles every day. 

We just finished up our basketball season and there is/was real potential to facilitate some bonding among the teams.  If the temperature will ever make it out of the teens, we will be starting our softball season.  I'm sure it's going to be a great experience.  The girls already know several team mates and softball here is very serious.  At least 2 if not 3 practices a week and then games.  There will be lots of time for friendships to form and bonds to strengthen.  And yet I'm torn.  It's difficult to put the time and effort into connecting with new people knowing that there really is no point.  We'll be gone in about 15 weeks.  Wow.  That's it.  All of those connections for my children will be lost.  So, I'm left deciding how much I want to encourage these fresh friendships and how much I want to insulate my children from the pain of leaving it all behind.  Moving sucks.  Even when you get to go to some place better.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

So, I'm trying to clean out at least one area a day.  Really clean it out.  Throwing things away is difficult for a pack rat, but I'm feeling pretty good about what I'm getting just doesn't feel like it's fast enough.  More crap piles into this house on a daily basis than is manageable.  It's truly astonishing!

I tackled the linen closet the other day.  And I think what strikes me the most is the amount of disorganization that has taken over the house.  There is stuff everywhere!  I finally managed to get about 1/2 the towels and all sorts of mix and match sheets packed away.  I got 3 huge boxes done.  I figure the more I can pack away now, the less I have to clean around next month.  If I was able to actually declutter/clean/organize one room a day, it would take me over 2 weeks.  That's not going to happen though because life has not stopped for us to get ready to move.  Au contraire, the schedule has rampppppeeeeeedddddd up significantly.  We are finishing up basketball (2 teams) this week, but we are/were starting softball this week.  Except mother nature decided to cast us all in ice.  So that is postponed a little.  Of course, it's a totally will we/won't we email fest everyday.  And the girls are on their 3 day of missed school. 

And all of this is getting me closer to the emotional part of moving...something I've been able to completely ignore so far.  The first two days of our snow day, the girls best friends spend the whole day over here and then the next day they were back and forth between houses and ended up sleeping over at the friends house.  All 3 of them.  I really missed them.  But I also realize the we aren't going to have that easy comfort for a while once we move.  These girls have grown up together.  They are more like sister/cousins than neighbors.  The are going to miss each other.  I'm going to miss them.  But truly, I can't think about that now.