Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Moving and Emily's 6th Birthday

There's not much hope for me ever catching up on my blog. Life is SO busy and full. The last little bit of time I had to do it has been taken up with Anna Kate's care (and she's an inconsistent napper.) Most nights I'm too exhausted to do any writing after they go to bed. I hope to eventually catch up on at least their birthdays and vacations. We got a new computer when we moved and now a lot of our old photos are harder for me to access until they all get transferred to the external hard drive....another project.

Emily turned six on the same week we moved. Our new lease started August 1st. Our moving truck came on August 4th. Emily turned six on the 8th. We spent several days taking boxes over to the new house prior to the big move because we were moving just a half mile away! By moving a little bit at a time over a period of about a week, we were able to manage much more  "easily." My MOPS group really stepped up to help us during a difficult time with no family here. There was no way for me to do much packing when I'm the primary person completely responsible for ALL the needs of three little people! Plus, Emily wasn't even in school at this time. I still don't know how we managed to do it. There were late nights of packing, combined with friends who watched the kids from time to time, and a hired Task Rabbit employee who mostly packed the kitchen and somehow we got it done.

 I'm extremely grateful for the help we had. I'm thankful that Jeremy was able to take time off from work during and after the move to help get us settled. He's so good to always put our needs first. Our new house is very different than our other one. First of all, we have a much larger home and we have the whole thing! No more duplex! :) I think it's about 2400 sq ft., 3 bedroom, 3 1/2 bathroom. This house is a custom built mid-century home whereas our other home was a cute Victorian. The midcentury has been updated nicely with great appliances (I have a Subzero fridge!), but it hasn't been updated as far as the wallpaper in a couple of the bathrooms. The house is well suited to having parties. I hope I can take advantage of that and be more hospitable now that we actually have room to entertain. It's definitely a unique home. Do I want to live here forever? Umm, no. Is it almost perfect for our needs now? Yes!

We are still leasing. This house's monthly rent is significantly higher than our first CA house, but we felt like it was worth it for several reasons. 1) We are still in the same school district for Emily! We are so happy that she did not have to switch schools. She still has an easy, pleasant walk/bike to school. Today I hopped on my bike and was there in less than five minutes and we rode home together. I love being so close to her school. 2) We are still in arguably the prettiest area of Alameda! I love how pretty the homes are here and how walkable the neighborhood. 3) We are just a half mile from the beach! (Not a big change--I think we were just 0.7 miles away before we moved.) 4) The house is much larger than our previous home and with more usable outdoor space. 5) The kids have a long driveway to ride their bikes and scooters. Our road is like a driveway just off the dead end of another street. 6) We have more privacy than our other house. Many people remark that they didn't know our tiny street even existed until they visited us the first time. I  may end up regretting this, but so far, I have been able to leave out our scooters, strollers, etc. unlocked in our carport and there is no through traffic to spot these things to steal them. We do have some outdoor storage we can lock, but some days it is too much hassle to get them in/out all day. 7) I have a carport and my own parking space! Yay! We used to live on the corner of a street and next to a private Catholic elementary school. I didn't have my own driveway--just street parking. I can't tell you how many times I would come home and circle the house trying to find a place to park. With groceries. With kids in tow. It really did stink. Of course, it was fine in the evenings, during school breaks, etc., but it was still a frequent inconvenience!

I'm not mentioning any of these things to brag. Believe me, this house keeps me humble in many ways when compared to what my friends own in Kentucky. Just saying that for a move that we didn't plan or WANT to do, I'm happy that this home fits our family's needs better. Like I told Jeremy, if we HAVE to move, let's pick something that makes all the trouble worth it! Not sure if/when I will get around to posting house pics. I'm really self conscious because everything usually looks worse in a photo compared to real life. We are pretty settled, but I've bought few new things specific for this
house. Just trying to make do with what we have. We still could use more furniture to fill it up, area rugs, etc.

As far as Emily's birthday, I wasted a lot of mental energy trying to decide if we could manage a "simple" park party for her with her friends. Ultimately, even a simple party was just out of the question. We were just trying to survive the move and get settled as soon as possible. I had zero energy to put towards a party. I'm just as happy with what we decided to do instead. Without having to spend hundreds of dollars on food, party supplies, jumpy house, etc., we had money to go shopping at the American Girl Store in Palo Alto! I had wanted to take her there for about a year. This was the perfect chance! We completely surprised her on her birthday. We did a little day trip there, bought lots of cute stuff for her dolls, ate lunch nearby, and then visited Stanford's campus before heading home. We did an ice cream cake for her birthday. Honestly, I just loved doing an outing and something simple and meaningful for her! She was very happy, too! We allowed her to have a friend over after church on Sunday. She and S.G. went to see a movie with Dad. Six year olds are very social so I was happy that we managed to do both family and friend things for her.

I'll end this post with a few iPhone pics from our day at the American Girl Store in Palo Alto!

Emily's surprise sign!

LOVE my six year old cutie. (Check out the license plate!)

So cute of Jeremy and Emily!

I kind of want this doll outfit for her next. There's a matching big girl version, too. Just a nod to our KY roots!

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