Sunday, November 16, 2014

Gratitude

It's been a month since we moved in our new home. I'm just so happy to be here. No, really. I'm very, very happy to finally feel that I'm home. There hasn't been a day since October 19 that I haven't thanked God. And my husband too. I try to let him know every day how grateful I am that he did everything in his power to allow us to move sooner rather than later. It wasn't easy (we're still on one income) but he made it work. This man never ceases to inspire me with his courage and generosity. He truly has the biggest heart ever.

In the past month we've done a lot of unpacking, obviously, but we're almost done minus a few boxes. I still need to set up my work space, which I'll probably do tomorrow or Tuesday. I'm meeting with a graphic designer this week who's looking for freelance translators for her business. Now that Kaid is six months old I feel I can probably take on the occasional contract to help my husband with our finances. It's kind of exciting actually!

I've been keeping up with all your blogs.  I try to comment when I can but it's harder now with baby.

I hope you all are enjoying this beautiful season.

(a gratitude shrine in our new home)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

How we prepared for this move

There comes a moment, during a move, when everything is packed, the house is empty, and a feeling of chaos sets in. A feeling of being "in between" homes: out of one house, not yet in the other, when all belongings are crammed in a moving truck.

I experienced this feeling twice this year.  To be honest, the first time was much worse. And it's not just because we moved during a full week of January snow storms.

However, thanks to that awful January move, I learned a lot.  This time, I was prepared! 

So what worked better this move around?
 
1. Movers: the first time we move, we assumed a couple of good reviews and a good rating at the Better Business Bureau was enough to guarantee good service.  It wasn't.  It cost us $400 more the first time and they ended up sending too small of truck (even though the manager came in person to assess how much stuff we had).  Legally, this put us in an uncomfortable situation because someone had bought our house and we were handing over the keys.... however, some of our stuff was left!  Anyway, long story but we had to make a bunch of calls to our lawyer to contact the buyer's lawyer to make sure it was ok to leave some our stuff because the company was running late and had to get the rest the next day.   It was awful.  They also went way over the estimate they gave us.  The movers worked hard, and I don't blame them individually, but I do blame management for sending 3 new workers and only one experienced mover for such a big move.  It was chaos.

What I learned and applied in our recent move this past weekend? A good rating at the BBB does not guarantee anything.  Shop around.  Ask questions.  Make sure at least half of the team they send have years of experience with moving full houses.  We had 2 experienced movers and one beginner for our move last weekend.  Like I said, it ended up costing us $400 less than the first time.  They came under their estimate and their service was impeccable.

2.  Identifying boxes with a system: This might be very obvious to some.  We had no idea how important this was until we experienced chaos in our first move.

What I learned and applied in our recent move this past weekend?  Identify where each box is to go once at the new house.  Our system was:
M for main floor.
B for basement.
U-K for upper level Kaid's room.
U-A for upper level Alex's room.
U-Master for master bedroom.
G for garage.

3.  We moved our family a day before the movers brought all our stuff.  We prepared lists of necessities and made a few trips ourselves.  We had blowup mattresses, blankets and pillows, toiletries and a few meals worth that include all our fridge stuff.  It was so worth it. It made everything go so much smoother.  And we even had fun as a family "camping" in our new house, having dinner and watching Teletubbies with the little one!

It's been two days and everything is going flawlessly.  I'm loving this new home and being closer to the city.   

Thursday, October 16, 2014

2014 living in boxes: Part 2

We're doing well.

The house is almost all packed up.  There's boxes everywhere. This move so far is going a lot better than the first one.  We have a lot less stuff (thank goodness for keeping up with decluttering).  We've gotten rid of so much during our first move this year and we're even sorting through more stuff as we pack.  It's truly incredible the amount of stuff we carry around that does not serve us.  I'm glad Sean is on board with me on this.  He's really seeing and feeling the positive impact decluttering is having on our lives.  If anything at all, moving twice this year was cleansing.  We have less than half of the stuff we used to have.  If you're wondering where it all went/goes... well some of it, garbage unfortunately, some we give away and the rest, we sell.

I find clearing space brings so much peace and clarity.

Even my teenager at some point was like "what did you do in here Mom, it's different" after I had decluttered the dining room.  He wasn't sure what I did but he felt the change in energy.  It's hard to explain with words, but it feels lighter.  Inspiring.  Joyful.

Now I (try to) bring in and keep only things that inspire us and bring us joy.  It's an ongoing project, but moving, twice in one year, certainly helps.
 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Some big news

WE'RE MOVING.

Next week.


My apologies for not having told you sooner. And for using caps. I know it can be considered a bit rude, but I'm using it as emphasis. WE'RE MOVING!!! (I think this calls for the triple exclamation points as well.)

We made this decision in early September.  It slowly built in our heads and hearts after we decided that I'm not going back to full-time work, but instead, I'm staying home with our infant son (cute photo above) for his first year of life.  I actually meant to blog about it sooner.   I'm sorry.   I do promise to be more open and transparent on my blog.  I guess we struggled with how and when we were going to tell our friends and family.  We were a bit embarrassed by this whole ordeal since we just bought this house. No one buys a house and then sells it the same year, unless it was to flip it.  In a way, we can say we did a mini-flip.   We used some of money we made with the sale of our last house to put in new kitchen cabinets, a new hot water tank and a new furnace when we moved in; and we also painted a couple of rooms.

But yea.  With me not going back to work as originally planned, we'll remain on one income for another year ( and this will be year #3.)  That means all other major renovations planned for our current house (that we bought only this past January) won't happen.  One of our main short-term renovation goals with this house was that we were going to finish the attic for my teenage son to have his own space where he can hang out with friends.  Not going to happen.  And this is what pushed us over the edge to finally decide to sell and move again (this will be move #2 this year.)

Obviously, there are other aspects of our situation that factor in to our decision to move.  A big one being that we never felt "at home" in this house. It is/was simply not a good fit for us.  We do feel some sadness in selling (moving always involves emotions -and in my case, strong emotions), but we'd feel more sad if we stayed.  So we chose the option that made us the happiest even though both options involved heartache.

Our current home has been on the market for about three weeks now.  We've had a couple of viewing, but no offers.  We're praying and hoping that it sells asap. 

So next weekend we'll be moving back to the city.  Hallelujah.  A suburb of Ottawa to be exact.  We'll be renting for a couple of years (maybe three) until I'm back at work and we have two incomes.  My teenage son will get a finished basement where he can have his friends over every weekend if he wants.

Even though this huge decision comes with its share of stress and disappointment (we did move here with a few dreams in our hearts after all), I can't wait to be closer to the city.  I really miss it; more than I anticipated that's for sure. Our new place is also on a much quieter street.  I know my husband can't wait for that part, more quiet, more green.  Man, we've learn so much about ourselves these past eight months.

We get the key to the new house next Friday. We'll be moving a few things during that weekend and sleeping over on Sunday night.  The movers will be moving the rest of our stuff the next day, Monday.

For my friends and family who do pray, may I kindly ask that you pray for my family.  We pray that this house sells quickly and to the perfect family who will need it, love it and nurture it.  We also pray for an easy transition and for everyone's highest good.  Amen.  

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Kaid - 4 months

Kaid turned 4 months on September 4th.

This has been the hardest month so far.  We still don't get more than 2-3 hours of sleep at a time.  Some have suggested that I supplement with formula in the evening to see if that would help.  We've tried; it doesn't.  Ah well.  Someday I will have a full night of sleep again! It is certainly all worth it when he smiles that handsome toothless grin at me.  I love him so much!

Handsome toothless grin makes our sleepless nights worth it!
On a more positive note, this has been the month that Sean and I have made big decisions relating to our work/financial situation.  I will be staying home with Kaid until he's about a year old (perhaps with a few part-time hours if I find something that fits and allows me to still breastfeed.)  If you missed that post, you can read it here.

And, the milestone for this month: Kaid turned from back to front.  It's so cute to watch his surprised little face when he starts seeing the world from another perspective.  Oh, and he also started making bubbles :)