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.

Moved.

Moved Out.

I can't believe we did it. I can't believe we moved TO New York, and I can't believe we are already moved OUT. In the blink of an eye, you can do some really wild stuff. And we are tired. So many of you were incredibly encouraging and supportive when we shared about why we chose to leave the big city for a quieter, suburban year - thanks for all the loving comments and support!

I thought it was time to give you an update on our moving status: IT IS FINISHED. Well, sort of. We have moved, but we are most certainly not settled. This past week has been a whirlwind. Emotionally and physically. Moving across the country at 8 months pregnant is no small feat, and my husband has been the BOMB. He took care of every detail, hiring people to pack us and move us and then unpack us, just so that I wouldn't have to deal with the leaning over/bending/lifting shenanigans. He's the best. However, we were still completely exhausted when our plane touched down at Hartsfield Jackson Airport in Atlanta, slightly dumbfounded at our willingness to leave the greatest city on Earth. How could we do this? Are we insane? We have LOVED our time in New York, and yet, here we are, toting all our belongings and moving back to where we started? LITERALLY?! We were both born in this town. We are such homebodies, its silly.

I could gloriously elaborate paragraph upon paragraph about the emotional processing that we've both experienced, but that would be insanely boring. I like you too much to do that. Just know that we are processing, adjusting, unpacking, tearing up every now and then, and joyous to be here, all at once. We are at peace with this decision. And yet baffled, too.

One good thing that Stevie pointed out: Everywhere we've lived, we've been sad to leave. And that's a good sign because it means we have a valued investment in that place. When we left northern California to move back to Atlanta for school/work, we were sad. And when we moved from Atlanta to Boston for Stevie to go to grad school, we were suuuuuper nervous/excited but sad to leave our loving world. Moving from Boston to New York? WE WERE SO SAD. Although it was a little easier because all our friends were moving on, too. And now? Leaving NYC to go back to Atlanta? While we are extremely happy about coming home and getting to spend time with our loved ones, we are just sad. NYC has been such a dreamy experience for us. And I mean, Atlanta is just not New York. It's just NOT. But I love my husband's positivity, because he's right: it's good to leave a place and be sad about it, because that means its been an enriching, positive experience. And I know this won't be our last move, either, so... we have to start getting good at processing these kinds of transitions. Oh life.

// I got to sip my coffee while my belongings were packed. THANK YOU JESUS. //

// A few snapshots of the last day in our beloved apartment. Isn't he cute? I think I'll marry him. And have his baby. Oh wait. //

// Moved out! Waiting on our UberX to take us to the airport. Trying not to get too teary. The struggle. //

Because Moving Wasn't Crazy Enough...

After arriving in Atlanta and getting our stuff moved in 24 hours later, we jumped in our bro/sis-in-law's car (thanks, guys!!) and road tripped down to Florida where all Stevie's family was vacationing. The trip? Marvelous. The drive? Ridiculous. No more road trips for me until this baby is done being inside of me. Although the quiet comfort of the beach was a really relaxing reward after all the transitioning/shifting/relocating. We took practically no photos at the beach, just detoxed from the move and slept our little hearts out. But I found a few of these gems on my phone:

I'm just gonna go ahead and say "you're welcome" for that delicious eye candy I just served you. If you're feeling at all insecure about your summer bathing suit bod, keep in mind that I will only keep expanding for the next two months. So if you think you're not looking hot, just keep in mind that my personal summer uniform consists of a stretched-out bathing suit and chunky tennis shoes. Because that is what is most refreshing and comfortable. Yeah.

That's the update for now! I still have lots of NYC funsies to share with you. Our last 6 weeks in the city were partylicious - we visited a ton of new restaurants and explored the town with gusto. So look forward to more additions to the 50 NYC Adventures. And think of us as we, ya know, wear our bathing suits and unpack and car shop. Summertime in the 'burbs!

Our Next Adventure.

An Adventuresome Timeline.

Stevie and I have been on a LOT of adventures since we've been together. When I think back over all the trips and moves we made together, my head swims through a messy wonderful kaleidoscope of memories. As we look forward to what is coming next, I can't help but smile at our milestones:

2006:

- Moved across the country in a hippie-ish caravan of our brothers, sisters, cousins and friends. We saw penguins in Tennessee, marveled at the Grand Canyon, bathed in the Colorado River (epic mistake), mountain biked in Moab and finally found our way into the city of Redding, Ca.

- Encountered Jesus in a whole new way during our time in ministry school. Life changer.

- Got engaged at Christmastime in Atlanta's Centennial Park.

- Trekked to Kenya together. We watched Nacho Libre with the Masai in the middle of the Masai Mara National Reserve. Not to mention, we saw some crazy big animals.

2007:

- Got married on a sunny southern plantation in the wonderful month of June.

- Went to Ecuador. Fell in love with the Andes.

- Went garage sale-ing on the weekends. Cuz that's a wild Saturday while living in Redding.

2008:

- Attempted to uproot the Redwoods and take them with us when we journeyed back across the country a year later. Moved back to Atlanta.

- Stevie got a job.

- I went to college.

- We made the best friends of our life.

2010:

- Had the pleasure of creating sweet music with some of our favorite people.

- Ate a lot of family dinners. Because, you know, we could. (Hi Mom!)

2011:

- Stevie got accepted into Harvard Business School

. Whoa. He's so smart.

- I figured out a way to work and go to school in Atlanta. While living in Cambridge. (Someone please pound a sarcastic "That was easy" Staples button)

- Made more best friends.

2012:

- Stevie went to India with his classmates to play with multi-million dollar diamonds. "For school purposes". I whined the entire time he was gone. LIKE THE GIRL I AM.

- Discovered the glory of Martha's Vineyard, Cape Cod and all things Maine.

- Surfed in Puerto Rico. Where I performed mild surgery on my husband because he stepped on an urchin.

- I graduated! Go Owls!

2013:

- Stevie graduated! Go...Crimson??

- We took off to Europe for a month and had the trip of our life.

Moved to New York City.

And now? Well...

Oh Baby.

Here we go... and we are thrilled! Bring on this next adventure!

Hello September!

Don't you love New York in the fall?

It makes me wanna buy school supplies.

I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.

On the other hand, this not knowing has its charms. - Joe Fox, You've Got Mail

So We Meet Again.

September is absolutely, hands-down my favorite month of the year. And it only mostly has to do with the fact that it's my birthday month (wink wink.) I love the subtle transition from lazy, late summer to watercolor hints of autumn. The trees begin to turn up their crisp noses at the air's humidity, and in timely obedience to the magnificent weatherman in the sky, the temperature drops accordingly and the boots march out from their safely-tucked hiding places to do some walking. I am just captured by the colors: evergreen, scarlet, marigold, auburn and amethyst. These coy shades manage to catch me off-guard every year, and yet I relish the moment because it feels so good to be, yes, seduced by the luxe wonders of fall. Walking down the street and watching a gently falling leaf from an old oak tree; you can't make this stuff up. Well, you could, but I wouldn't because it sounds all-too cliche. Yet there it is, you can't help but spot it: that petite brittle leaf, aimlessly letting go, falling, and papering the bustling streets with its chilled quiet.

Labor Day.

We went on a bike ride this weekend along the West Side Highway from the Upper West Side down to Chelsea, had a taste of brunch and traipsed around the uber-hip Chelsea Market for a bit. We stopped midway to gaze at the Hudson, and stayed resting in the grass for a long time, enamored at the fact that someone was swimming laps in the river. Yikes. That's bravery.

City Garden.

I had to halt our bike ride once again when I came upon this fantastic little garden in the middle of Riverside Park.

The Garden Peoples' Garden is a mesmerizing little treasure trove, perfectly manicured and stocked with giddy, mismatched plants. It was such a lovely way to spend the first day of the month, biking around our new town and sensing that the joy would only increase with the coming months. I realized that September was back again, ushering in her charms of fall. I am so ready for you, September. Let's have a whirlwind month, shall we?