On Transition.

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Everett's  Babiators , a birthday gift from his buddy Evie.

Everett's Babiators, a birthday gift from his buddy Evie.

Oh, this week. It's been a week. Can I go ahead and say TGIF even though it's so early on Friday morning?

These pictures make me laugh, which is what you have to do when you have a long week of moving and unpacking and your baby throwing your dirty laundry around the new house so that when people come over THEY CAN SEE IT. So much awesomeness happening here. So much.

This move has been the most mammoth of them all. I mean, of all the moves I've ever made. And I've moved across this entire country, from Georgia to California (4X!!!), from Atlanta to Boston, From New York back to the Georgia burbs (with a few extra moves in between.) But of all these transitions, this little 20-minute trek from one town to another? It's been epic. Annoyingly so.

Because now we have a baby.

Babies make moving HARD.

He doesn't like moving. My kid. Now I see why people don't move when they have children. It's just easier to stay put. For real.

But we have moved! And although I feel like we will probably continue to move in over the next several weeks, we are actually living in this space, occupying and making messes and unstuffing boxes and making piles that we don't know what to do with. You could call it a disaster zone. You could call it unsafe for children. You could call it a lot of things. I like to call it the stuff I avoid while I wander from room to room, munching on fruit snacks. Or the stuff I call my mom to come over and help me with. Because I am overwhelmed with where to begin. So many rooms! So much STUFF! And seriously guys, I got rid of SO MUCH before we moved. I don't know how, but people just tend to accumulate stuff whilst living. I am one of those! But I am also such a firm believer in tossing things. Just getting rid of crap feels so good! It's worth it.

This is a bit of a ramble because I have nothing to offer you this week except a mushy, soggy, exhausted brain full of Pinterest decor ideas and prayers that my son will survive preschool without terrorizing all the teachers. So far, he has terrorized all the teachers. Another element that is wearing me down, truthfully.

In the mean time, I am actually super excited about the spaces in my home and how things are coming together. We have new floors and a fresh new stairway being installed (we are currently in a bit of a construction zone until that project is completed next week), and I am unpacking and beginning to style the different rooms which is excellent fun. Next week I will start breaking out the chalk paint and going to town on some furniture that I was so generously gifted! It's all happening up in here. Being an adult never felt so, well, adult. It's ironic that I'm finding a lot of this process fun. It's also ironic when I think back to those pre-baby days when Stevie and I would NEVER work on house projects and just go out to dinner on the weekends and play in the city on Saturdays. And like, go to museums. What?! Oh my. How things have changed. Now my Google searches are all lowes.com-related and my Saturdays involve disinfecting something. Can I just say, life is sooooo glamorous. I am living proof. Now excuse me while I go clean my stove and eat a dollop of Nutella. And book a babysitter because clearly, I need to get OUT of this house this weekend.

Happy Friday to you, cuties! XOX.

Moving Weekend.

This weekend we moved!

We are so, so happy in our cozy abode. We've only slept here a total of two nights, but it already feels like home. Our home. OUR GREEN HOME. By green, I mean the color, not the eco-conscious. I keep looking out in the yard and seeing MY TREES and MY GRASS and the little baby playset in the yard. EVERETT'S PLAYSET. Gosh I guess this is what suburbia and domesticity and the American dream feel like, all rolled into one. I never ever thought I would want these things, like a house with a fence. I actually used to tease Stevie and tell him that he got lucky with me, because I was thrilled to live in tiny city apartments forever, but oh, now I'm the girl with the house and the fence. And how I am loving this fresh new season of life. It's just sweet and wonderful.

I knew this house was The One when I went into the backyard. There are at least ten birdhouses tucked in the trees! Back in January,  I vowed to birdwatch as part of my New Year's Resolutions , so walking through this yard and seeing all these rustic wooden birdhouses was A SIGN. I love watching birds. And now I have homes for them! Guys, I'm not a cat lady. So bird watching is okay. I think you can only be into one of them, otherwise that's crossing into some testy territory...

I knew this house was The One when I went into the backyard. There are at least ten birdhouses tucked in the trees! Back in January, I vowed to birdwatch as part of my New Year's Resolutions, so walking through this yard and seeing all these rustic wooden birdhouses was A SIGN. I love watching birds. And now I have homes for them! Guys, I'm not a cat lady. So bird watching is okay. I think you can only be into one of them, otherwise that's crossing into some testy territory...

Though, I will admit. It's been challenging through out moments of this process. Because what an absolute CRAZY few weeks its been!

Every day, starting last Monday, I've been taking Everett to "preschool", which is actually a Mother's Morning Out program. Because of his first-day-of-school behavior (incessant, top-of-the-lungs screaming for a seriously extended period of time), the administration thought it would be a good idea if I helped "immerse" him by going every day with him until he feels comfortable. He won't normally go every day, but the hope is that my presence there will help him feel safer around his teachers and the environment, so we have been there every week day. Together. I am back in preschool. And proud to say that my coloring skills haven't rusted even a bit. After spending just a little bit of time in the classroom, I am convinced that those preschool workers are goddesses. I am exhausted and I'm only there a fraction of the time they are. Goddesses, all of them.

On top of this big transition for my son, we have been in the process of packing and slowly moving over loads of stuff to the new house. Last week I started driving a car load of boxes over each day, unloading them, unpacking and working on the house. Starting loads of laundry, running the dishwasher and unpacking my beloved long-lost teacups. And I have been doing all of this with Everett, usually in the Ergo. IT'S EXHAUSTING. That kid is so heavy. I actually feel old and decrepit. I have got to get to the gym more and improve my lack of physical strength because goodness, I am feeling it.

This past weekend was the big kahuna; the final move with all the legit, grown up furniture. We were SO LUCKY AND BLESSED to have our family come over and help. I am so outrageously proud that I inherited so many amazing, muscled brothers and cousins. They took care of our stuff as if it were their own and stayed with us until the last large item was moved. Thank you guys SO MUCH! I didn't give you enough donut holes, I'm sure of it.

Now here's for the TRULY AMAZING PART. We had a family friend who is in the process of downsizing from their home. They were generous enough to give us their ENTIRE HOUSE OF FURNITURE. When I say entire, I'm not embellishing. They gave us a dining room set, bedroom sets, lamps, pictures, mirrors, tables, chairs, THE WORKS. We are still flabbergasted and a little bit overwhelmed by the sheer generosity and kindness of this family, who wouldn't let me pay them for any of it. They simply "wanted to bless us" and they wouldn't let us do anything more for them. Thank you Mr. Gary and Mrs. Angela! You've made our house already feel like a home!

We are living in the house now, but mostly downstairs. We have new carpet getting installed upstairs next week, so we are keeping the furniture up there to a minimum. Our bed in on the floor and not much else. It will be fun to fully move in, but for now, I am just focused on the downstairs. Between that and keeping up with Everett's school situation, I'm feeling like the days are endlessly full. But it's all wonderful stuff, so I am tired, but really happy!

Now we are onto rearranging, decorating, and purchasing for the house! Everything from rakes to bathroom towels, rugs to extension cords. Houses are expensive! And the project list is getting loooooong with each passing day. Don't worry friends, I will be including some in-depth home tours as the rooms get put together.

Thanks for your prayers and well-wishes. It means so much!

If you like moving stories, there's the time I moved right before our Euro Trip, and the time I was so hugely pregnant that I didn't lift a finger. Good times, all of them.

Happening Lately.

I keep telling myself to breathe.

Create boundaries.

Say no.

Because there is a lot happening in the Hale household these days. And when I say household, I mean it, because we are in the midst of purchasing our first household.

I shared a few weeks ago about how we put an offer in on a short sale house, and we would have to wait quite a while to hear back on it. In the mean time, we decided to keep house hunting. One day we stumbled upon an amazing opportunity - our house. The one we are buying. Today.

Our brother in law knew of someone who wanted to put their house on the market, in the same neighborhood we had been looking to buy. Only this house wasn't a short sale. It wasn't even listed. But we called the owner up, went and looked at the house at 5pm on a Tuesday evening, and put in an offer later that evening.

We squealed a lot.

Then the next morning we got on a plane for NYC.

We've had a few weeks of due diligence, which included inspections and, you know, furniture dreaming. But today at 9am we are closing on our first home purchase and it feels a tiny bit magical. 8 years of marriage, 4 cities of adventure and 1 phenomenal baby later, we are actually committing to this location.

I feel the oncoming swell of moving, renovations, new furniture, new projects, new routines, new everything, and I am a bit overwhelmed. Just a bit. Actually I'm sort of immobilized by the enormity of all of it. I'm nervous about how my kid is going to react. I'm nervous about the idea of putting down roots. If you know me at all, you know I have a bit of a complex about settling down. I love love love adventure, traveling, dreaming about changing the world and the idea of settling down in the suburbs, one where I grew up, it's like, WHOA. What the heck. What. The. Heck.

And yet, I know that this house and this purchase is the right choice for our family. It's time. We have lived small for years, exploring amazing cities and constantly downsizing what we own, constantly being forced to live light. But with a 1-year old in the picture, things have changed. We are spewing with baby gear at any given moment. Need a diaper? I am never more than 6 feet away from a diaper, a pack of wipes, and at least 4 toys that probably need some disinfecting. In other words, having a little more room (and a lot more storage!) just seems to fit our new phase of life. And it's so good! I just have to keep reminding myself that I'm not 23 and goofing off in Boston or New York. I am 27, I am a mom, and I spend the majority of my time in the kitchen. Having a little more space wouldn't hurt. And this house! We love it so much, it's just the kind of place that feels like home. It's green! I'm buying a green house!

I am so excited about having a home. I'm just a bit nervous about the unknown.

Is all of this silly? This is what has been happening lately. Prayers and advice for the moving, reminiscing, slightly frazzled lass would be much appreciated!

I Thought I Should Tell You.

Photo by  Rachel Koontz .

Photo by Rachel Koontz.

I hope you had a Happy 4th of July weekend! I love this part of the summer, the absolute center of the season when bathing suits are appropriate apparel pretty much everywhere and a makeup free face is the only kind of face to have.

I thought I should give you a little update about what's been going on in our household lately. It's been wild. And I'm not exaggerating.

Some of you know that my husband's job has taken us to a few different locations over the past several years, and we are coming up on another year of opportunities. Oh, I'll just give it to you straight.

6 weeks ago, we were considering a move to Madrid. Remember that little trip we took?

4 weeks ago, after making the tough decision not to move to Madrid, we considered moving back to New York. We considered options in the city and in upstate.

2 weeks ago, after deciding not to return to New York, we decided to stay put right here and live in our suburban hometown.

I was probably the most surprised of all. Because I actually wanted it. And I've never wanted it.

1 week ago, we put in an offer to buy a house here. So did 2 other people. Our offer was rejected, and i cried over the loss. Someone else is picking out a couch to plop right in front of that John Wieland-designed fireplace. Drat.

Now I have to interrupt myself and say that, while it is a bummer to miss out on the house, I'm pretty sure that my tears weren't solely over brick and mortar. Or in this case, a celestial collaboration of stone, siding and heaven's own paint choices. The sheer emotional exhaustion of the potential scenarios truly had my panties in a twist. MOVING TO MADRID. LEARNING SPANISH. MY BABY LEARNING SPANISH. HOW TO I BUY GROCERIES IN SPANISH. JUST KIDDING. MOVING TO NEW YORK. MY BABY ON THE SUBWAY. SO MANY GERMS. SO SO MANY GERMS. JUST KIDDING. STAYING IN THIS HOMETOWN. WHAT. I NEED A CIGARETTE. OH WAIT. I DON'T SMOKE.

It's kind of been a lot.

Thankfully, I've learned to roll with the punches and detach from old dreams and get on board with new ones. Good or bad, that's the stance our little family has taken lately. We aren't going to ignore our bummed-out feelings. But we are going to get excited about the new potentials.

I'm not done yet though.

Yesterday we put another offer in on a house. This one is special. Idyllic location, charming farmhouse-esque features. Only problem, it's a short sale. That's a really misleading term for what it actually means. We've been advised that it could take the bank 3 months to respond to our offer. So. We wait. We keep house hunting. We do that dreaming thing. Oh, did I mention that the house is a borderline dump and needs a ton of work?

The house is a borderline dump. It needs a magnificent amount of work.

I'm not being cute. Like every room of the house needs major amounts of attention. In over our heads with a fixer upper? Yeah probably. But such is life, amiright? If anyone knows John Wieland's availability, that would be great. Or Jonathan Scott. He will do just fine. Actually, Stevie truly sweats about my crushing status on the Scott brothers. I NEED CABLE AGAIN.

Whew. That's really all I wanted to say. I just wanted to fill you in! We are here, living on the southside of Atlanta, for at least another 12-18 months. And although it's been a whirlwind, whiplashing journey to arrive at this conclusion, I AM SO HAPPY. My baby gets to hang out with his cousins. My husband gets to jump into his dream role at work (did I mention? He's super amped about this new role. Side note.) We get to stay close to our family and make more memories with our hometown friends. And I get to dive into some new dreams. I'm brewing over some things now :)

Life is crazy and good. Crazy good, actually.

Thanks for all the love and support, friends!

PS - Oh, and I forgot to mention that I went blonde. And got a new car. When I said that things are happening, they are!

PPS - If you haven't already entered my Sonnet James dress giveaway, you should! This rad giveaway ends Tuesday at midnight!

 

Welcome to the NEW Oy! Site!

New Website

The new Oy! site is here! I am so thrilled about this new space, and even more excited to finally share it with you! I started dreaming about this site almost a year ago, when I felt like I was beginning to outgrow the perimeters of my previous blog. Deciding to leave Blogger and move over the the Squarespace platform was daunting, but I've taken time to learn my way around this new space and it's confirmed to me that this was the right move. And I love it here! I hope you will, too.

So what's new? A cleaner, more gender-neutral aesthetic, a travel hub complete with adventurous tales and my hard-earned traveling tips, sections for the different types of recipes that I love to create, and pages devoted entirely to the crazy, transformative experience that is pregnancy and, of course, motherhood. I hope you will find your experience on this site easy, calming, and even more fun! I hope to continue to grow in new areas and expand the kind of content I create.

I really appreciate you for reading along. This blog has become integral to what I do on a daily, monthly and yearly basis, and it's purpose has become so much more than what it was in the beginning - just recording life's happenings. It's become a haven that has challenged me as a writer and a woman, and I hope I will continue to be up for that challenge. I want to create lively, relevant content that is true to who I am while being helpful and hopefully, a bit inspiring to you.

To be honest with you, I might get ten minutes a day that I am able to read someone else's blog. And when I do, I want to drink my cup of coffee and read to be uplifted, inspired, and feel better about myself and my family. I want to be challenged. I want to gather new ideas and become even more creative. I want to laugh. I want to feel camaraderie with women who are like me. I want to understand those who are unlike me. With all of that in mind, I hope that this site can serve you in the same way - leaving you feeling loved, connected to others, proud of who you are, and able to laugh at your circumstances.

Thank you for reading! I'd love for you to click around the new site and hear what you think it - please feel free to comment and let me know what you like about this new space and what you'd like to see more of. I READ EVERY COMMENT. So you've pretty much got me at hello.

Thanks for being here, friends. Your support means so much. Lots of love to you! XOX

PS - Don't forget to subscribe to this blog on bloglovin', so you don't miss a post!