I didn’t leave myself much time to chime in with a happy Monday post, or more so, organize photos to complement. As you might understand if you followed my photos on instagram, facebook, and twitter, we’ve been wildly in motion, moving about like crazy people almost non-stop since closing on our house last Wednesday. And can I say, I really liked reverting back to simple photo progress updates.It’s how I maintained my first home blog, the one I had before I got all wordy, and it was refreshing to go back to an easy to update-on-the-fly formula. Thanks also to everyone for the nice comments on last week’s video tour (see it right here if you haven’t already), I know owe you better pictures of the interior and exterior.
Thursday was spent with a U-Haul, a modest 11-footer manned by Pete and both of our dads. It was a one-day effort to move anything in from the house that we suspected Pete wouldn’t be able to carry or maneuver independently, and big ticket items that would fit easily in our cars, like the couch, mattresses, tables, etc. They moved lots of boxes that I had pre-packed too, and made serious progress while I watched on, continued to pack, and helped orchestrate. Not being able to physically help is the hardest thing about being pregnant so far, since I know I’m perfectly capable of carrying boxes or slinging a 35-lb bag of dog foor over my shoulder. It was pouring rain and an exhausting day, but we were able to sleep in our new house for real that first night. We learned a few things in those first 12 straight hours at home: The living room and dining room are not carpet covering hardwood like we expected, only the bedrooms are, which seems backwards. The shower drain sounds like water dripping into a dungeon, the bedroom ceiling light is operated by an old school remote control, and around 6am, an bird tenaciously pecks at our bedroom window with all it’s might for two straight hours, until you wake up and tap back furiously, or until you begin rifling through boxes for your BB gun.
I woke up feeling like I was in a hotel, like we had a check-out deadline, with an overwhelming need to get dressed, and get out of the house as fast as we could to continue with Day 2 of moving. We spent the day navigating our personal cars, loaded to the brim, from the old house to the new house, and then spent one final night in the almost-completely-vacated old home with Julia, all three of us and the dog sleeping on the dining room floor on an old futon mattress the same way we had grown accustomed to having weekend movie night sleepovers. It was a perfect last night in the old house, the kind of fun thing that I want us to remember forever. I would like to forget, however, that futons are horribly uncomfortable, and this particular one was about 25 years old, and 50 lbs. heavier with dirt than any futon should be (handed down from my parents). We tossed it to the curb yesterday morning and I wish we were going to be around to watch the garbage truck with the chompers eat it up. New chapter, new sleepover futon to come.
We spent the rest of the weekend trying to make sense of this new house, figuring out how to utilize the kitchen storage and closets, setting up furniture and cheering as we slowly began to empty the cardboard boxes (12 boxes down, 30-ish to go). Julia spent as much time outdoors as she could, collecting slugs and frogs and picking wildflowers, and eagerly accepted the challenge of reseeding some thin areas of the yard while Pete cleared brush and I mowed the lawn once the skies cleared.
There’s still a lot to move, which I mean to imply that we have about 10 carloads of stuff that I know we’d both rather abandon because who really needs the fourth string trimmer, third lawn mower, or all of that scrap wood. We’re surprised in hindsight that we thought we could have had the house cleared and cleaned in just two days, when even now we probably have at least two more days worth of car trips to take care of our belongings in the attic, basement, garage, and shed.
This is the first time Pete and I have moved together, and we’re taking things a little bit differently than I did when I bought my first home, or any dwelling experience he’s had before. We have no paint colors picked out. We have no products on order to fill our enormous living room. We don’t know what the long-term plan is for 1950’s bathroom, or for the kitchen for that matter, we don’t even know if we’ll remove the wallpaper immediately. This home is a big evolution for us, and we both want to live here forever with our family; neither of us have owned a ranch, neither of us have had and been responsible for the kind of property that we have now, and the style of the home we’re envisioning is like nothing we’ve achieved before, so there’s a big freaking awesome learning curve ahead of us.
With this project, we’re inevitably going to take a lot of time to make it right, both in long-term aesthetic and function, and right for us. This home has to have a chance at standing the test of time, an evolution of its original 1950’s form, a place that’s very purposeful, efficient, and defined, a place that can withstand a lot of foot traffic, growing kids, furry pets, and all the while embrace the nature that we’re embedded within. It’s going to be so much different, and I’m so happy to be here. Until I start doing actual projects again – the how-to variety, I mean to say – I’ll be continuing to write here to share the progression of this house, the type of posts that really document the broad developments the home undertakes, so that we can look back on the before + after and all the in betweens many years from now. I’m so happy it has started, it’s going to be the best summer ever.