Making Moves

The wait has finally ended, as have our days in a small apartment with none of our own stuff. Over Labor Day weekend we moved into our new house! Of course our camera is currently holding the good pictures hostage.

new house

After closing on the Thursday night prior to the holiday weekend, we drove up with our first load of clothes and such from the apartment. Josh continued our tradition of carrying me over the threshold of our new house. We cleared out our cars and walked the kids around the house again as it had been nearly two months since we were in it last.

New house living room

Ella and I picked up a pizza and we had a little picnic in our new kitchen.

Kitchen picnic

Josh’s parents were nice enough to come up for the weekend to help us get somewhat settled which was really nice. They were even on board with having a ridiculous amount of Mexican food after my 20 miler. Even though I never wanted a hot tub, I really enjoyed the one in our backyard that night.

hot tubbing

Ella really enjoyed playing with her grandparents. She was so sad when it was time to say goodbye.

We have a lot of furniture to buy so we have some empty rooms and incomplete rooms like Ella’s which desperately needs a new dresser. We’ll get there.

Our neighbors have been very welcoming. We even had one bring over muffins. I thought that only happened in movies. It was so sweet. There seem to be lots of kids in the neighborhood and just a 10 minute walk from our house is a great park and a swimming beach which we will be able to utilize more next summer.

Weaver Lake

I’m so excited to be settling in. The return to some normalcy will be great. I may even have a chance to get back to blogging. Imagine that.

 

Ripe for Picking

Our exploration of Minnesota continues. A few weeks ago when we were talking about the fall it occurred to me that there is probably good apple picking here. When I did a quick Google search I found there are way more pick your own fruit options, including fresh strawberries. Last week marked the start of strawberry picking season and we were ready to get our hands dirty.

Instead of heading North like we normally do, we picked a farm about 45 minutes south of Minnetonka near Northfield. It wasn’t until we arrived that we realized they probably only took cash. Of course we had none, so we drove to Northfield which had a super cute downtown. When we have more time we will visit again and walk around the area, grab some lunch.

northfield minnesota 550p jpg

Source

Cash in hand, kids awake from their short naps, we were ready to pick. We were given a box and walked to our row and started picking.

strawberry picking farm

strawberry picking 2

It only took about 10 minutes for Anderson to decide he wanted out of the carrier to get in on the action. He was a strawberry fiend.

strawberry picking 1

strawberry picking 3

strawberry picking 4

We spent about an hour and half picking and eating berries before we decided our box was full enough.

strawberry picking 7

strawberry picking 8

Nearly 12 lbs of strawberries, 12 pounds!

strawberries

We’re working our way through them. I made a pie and picked up an Angel food cake at the store. We eat them with breakfast, lunch and dinner. What we don’t eat will go into the freezer. It’s really too bad that all of our canning stuff is in our moving truck.

Something us prime for picking – our new house!

new house

We are officially under contract on a house. Unfortunately the current owners are building a new house and would not budge on closing before the end of August. We feel like it was worth the wait. Come Labor Day weekend, we’ll be ready for visitors! Well that is as long as you don’t mind a partially empty house. We’ve definitely upgraded a bit and need to buy quite a bit of new furniture.

House Hunting Begins

Well good news, we sold our house in a matter of hours. Even better, we only had to clean once and don’t have to deal with shuttling the kids and dog around during showings. Icing on the cake, we’re getting $9k above our asking price and the buyer is paying closing costs! Though our best case scenario, its sad knowing someone else will be living in our house after we close on the 9th of June. Here are a few pictures for the curious:

house 1 Hosue 2 House 4 hosue 3 House 6 House 5

Last weekend while our house was busy, we had a very busy trip of our own to Minneapolis. We had two major goals:

  • Find somewhere to land when we get to town in a few weeks
  • Find the area we want to live in

I’ve been stalking various locations on the internet for weeks, well, months now but there is only so much you can determine from pictures online. We got hooked up with a Realtor who offered to drive us all over the northwest metro area. He was well prepared for the kids. Built-in DVD player with movies on hand, yes please!

First order of business was finding temporary housing. We definitely do not want to unpack all of our stuff twice. Ideally we wanted an apartment or condo that was furnished, leaving us responsible only for bringing clothes, books and toys. We toured two and decided on one in Minnetonka. In addition to meeting the furnished requirement, it’s also pet friendly (can’t forget about Lucky), has a pool and newly updated fitness center. It’s also nestled in huge trees and near a lake that offers a playground, picnic area and swimming. I plan on us being outside a lot this summer.

With that accomplished, it was onto city and house touring. We gave our Realtor some parameters to try to help narrow down options.

  1. Good schools are a must. Private schools are an option we may look into when the time comes, but we don’t want it to be our only option.
  2. Three bedroom minimum, four would be better so I can have a dedicated office. I’m going to try out consulting for a while. Having a work space is a must.
  3. Easy access to running trails and parks.
  4. We like communities that have a lot of community events – parades, art walks, etc.
  5. Under 30 minute commute for Josh.

With that he took us around Maple Grove, Plymouth, Osseo (cute but not great schools) and Minnetonka. We toured almost a dozen houses over two days. Most of them had some of the desired features but we didn’t find one house with all of them. Ella however, judged every house by two things – pink items and bathrooms. She had to use the bathroom in nearly every single house, even if she’d just gone five minutes earlier. Her favorite house was one that had a pink castle on the wall of one of the bedrooms. Any house that had no pink, she was not interested in. Priorities…

On our way to the airport Josh and I drove around a bit more. We found a neighborhood we loved in Plymouth that was about $80-100k out of our price range…of course. We also like Wayzata’s charm. When we get back into town permanently, I’ll be hitting it hard with our agent, bringing Josh only to those houses I think could be the one.

I have a feeling it’s not going to be nearly as much fun to be on the buyer’s side as it was on the seller’s. Minnesotans, city guidance is welcome!

The House That Became Home

A house is just a building. A shelter from the elements, a place to keep your stuff and to lay your head down at night. That is how our house started. It was to be our three year house. After all we never really wanted to live in Longmont, it was simply the place that was in between Fort Collins and Boulder (where we were working respectively) and within our budget.

Jess and Josh bought a house

When we bought it, we walked (side note: Josh actually carried me over the threshold) into a house that had holes in the carpet, pet stains, linoleum, wall paper in the bathrooms, a bright red Husker bedroom and another bedroom that had only backer board on the floor. Beer cans and bottle tops were strewn about the dead lawn, signs of one last party before the previous homeowner had been booted during the foreclosure process.

Slowly we made it our own. We spent evenings and weekends laying wood floors, painting walls, removing wall paper, laying tile, etc. The years started creeping by and before we knew it, we hit the three year mark. It came and went, with it, our plans to uproot. We thought, oh maybe next year or the one after that.

Here we are 6.5 years later. The house we bought has become our home. It’s been filled with joy, sadness, laughter and tears. It is the house we came home to after we got married, the house we brought our babies home to. It’s where Ella learned to walk and Anderson to crawl. Each room is filled with memories of moments that are not significant in the grand scheme of life, but have left an impression in my mind and heart.

family xmas morning

This week we did the final preparations to put our house on the market. It sparkles with the dream of becoming a home to another family. The first showings are tomorrow. We’re hopeful that someone else will walk in the front door and realize that it is the house that will become their home just as we hope to have happen this weekend when we’re in Minneapolis.

Leaving our house on the day we move is going to be really hard. There will be laughter as we recount the good times and tears (mainly from me) as we say goodbye to our first home.

*Totally on the verge of tears just writing this. Oye, I need to get it together! I’ll post pictures of our listing once it’s up!

Productivity at its best

A three day weekend was just what I needed to get all of my stuff done. Thank you for the sweet comments on Peanut’s room. Hopefully she’ll like it so much she’ll love sleeping in there (wishful thinking…).

In addition to getting her room done, I was able to organize her closet, pack her hospital bag, mine (minus a few things I’m still wearing regularly), and make three frozen entrees for Josh and I. I made Josh’s mom’s lasagna with some fresh spinach from our garden, my Grandma Sutton’s chicken and broccoli casserole with some brown rice and some delicious smelling and looking chicken and black bean enchiladas. I was a cooking fool on Sunday. I think I spent a good 5 hours in there.  I feel much better knowing that at least we’ll have a few go to meals so that we aren’t worrying about cooking or eating out all the time.

Oh and did I mention we bought a car.

Here’s my new ride! I got a 2010 Nissan Altima. Quite a step up from my 1997 Honda Accord that went out in a blaze of glory at 209,000 miles. Side note: so sad, we sold it to a scrap yard for $700. Poor thing is probably in a million different pieces now.

This is the newest car I’ve ever owned. My favorite thing about it, it has a push button start and as long as I have the key with me, I can lock, unlock and start the car without having to dig them out of my purse. One less thing to worry about when trying to load up the baby and all of her stuff in the car.  Not to worry, it has a huge trunk and back seat.

I can’t even tell you all how much weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. Granted there was a few crying sessions freaking out about money, I mean who plans on having to buy a new car 9 months pregnant?  I feel so much better now that I’ve checked so much off of my to-do list. 

Few things left:

-Find a pediatrician…we’re so behind on this one.

-Order a baby book. I LOVE this one with some of the extra pages, but after previously states money-freakout breakdowns, I’m going to see if I can find something a little more affordable.

-Hire cleaning people I have a LivingSocial deal for to come clean before Peanut is born.

-Finish buying some necessities including the ever expensive breast pump…ouch! Did you know that the FDA recommends not buying a used one? Of course.

-Take a deep breath and enjoy my last few weeks, or maybe just days? (wishful thinking again) alone with Josh and Lucky