Saturday, July 26, 2014


As of last night all the boxes for the upstairs are unpacked. As of this morning, everything has found it's proper home in this new space. It is starting to look more like home. Yay!
Now to finish up the downstairs. Yesterday I was not as productive as I had hoped to be due to feeling quite terrible. (Pretty sure it was something I ate.) I am not 100% today but feeling much better so I am going to get back to it. I sure would like to meet my goal of having it all done by tomorrow eve. :)

Friday, July 25, 2014


As I mentioned in my last post, we picked up a few new things from Ikea on Sunday. 

We replaced our card table and chairs in the eat-in kitchen with this:
The table has a self-storing leaf and will seat six. The chairs came from Amazon and
I am considering getting two more. I not only like the size, but the fact that we
can easily stack them if needed.

We replaced the camp chairs in the sunroom with this:
I do not plan on covering the windows so the white slipcovers are a perfect no-fade
solution. Having slipcover furniture has proven to be a great option for us, the ease of
washing allows for no worry living spaces. 

On Wednesday there was a big auction up near Iowa City. I really wanted to go but knew it was not the wisest use of my time considering the amount of boxes still populating the house. Instead, I bought this little table off Craigslist. It was kinda the same. Or not.

We still need a few things to finish off the room but I have yet to hit any of the local thrift stores. I had really hoped to get more things secondhand, like the kitchen table set, but the reality is that we wanted some of the main pieces before the kids
arrive for family vacation the first of August. We are pleased with the pieces we
have acquired so far. They are not too terribly expensive but sturdy enough
to hold up for this season, in this house. 

I made great progress on the storeroom yesterday.
I purged as I went, boxing a lot of things up for a future garage sale. Since I needed space in the garage to stack all those boxes, N brought in all the ones they had piled out there while we waited for the carpet installation. I have spent most of the morning unpacking those and now need to get back to it. Just thought I would pop
in with a few more progress pictures. :)

N is heading to MI for the weekend to help his brother move and drop off our utility trailer. [Another thing our HOA frowns upon, having it sitting in the backyard. This is one thing I agree with, though. :)] While he is gone I am hoping to get the rest of the boxes that are inside unpacked. While the garage is still chocked full, that is more his responsibility and once the inside is box free I can get down to the task
of really making this house our home, aka making it pretty.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


I feel like the unpacking process at this house is moving slowly. Maybe it is because we are older, I personally do not have the energy for the nearly all nighters I pulled to get some of our houses set up. (When you have young ones, the best time to work is when they're all asleep, right?) Maybe it is because we needed to purchase a few things to make rooms come together. Maybe it is because I was not feeling 100%. Although I am not really sure why, the fact remains that it seems like it is taking longer than previous moves. (When we moved in to Pine Street on December 1 I had it all unpacked and decorated for Christmas by December 20!) I really thought we would be done by the start of family vacation on August 3, I am beginning to doubt that.

Nonetheless, progress has been made.
On Monday the new carpet was finally installed. While the guys who were doing the work were quite productive, we were not so much. The fact that we were surrounded by furniture and backed into a small corner of the kitchen did not help. Since they were also doing the steps going downstairs it pretty much prevented any sort of unpacking. 

Yesterday was spent cleaning and organizing. Carpet installation makes a very big mess, doesn't it? It has been a while since I had that done and I forget about the dust factor. Bleh. 
Thankfully this baby does a mighty fine job of getting rid of said dust and carpet fibers. I didn't think I would like the central vac, it seemed like the long hose would be cumbersome, but I am a fan. Anyone want to buy a Dyson? ;)
Having the carpet done meant I could finally put things in the rooms affected. All these dishes have been taking up space on my counter since move in day, it is nice to get them into the china hutch where they belong. The cabinet used to reside in my craft room, filled with buttons. It is so nice to have an actual dining room to put it in. (It is actually an auction win of M's, but he is graciously letting me borrow it.) 
Yesterday also turned into slipcover washing day. Although our HOA frowns upon clotheslines, one is an absolute necessity on such a day. N went down and strung one up under the sunroom and deck. It may be quite ghetto looking, but it does the job.
While all the rooms received a good scrubbing (It was VERY needed. As K said, regarding the state of the kitchen floor, "I was wondering what we had become!"), I was especially pleased with our master bath. We finally got towels and a rug and it is one of the few rooms that feels put together. I plan on soaking in that spa tub soon. 
Sunday found N and me on the road to the closest Ikea near Chicago, purchasing various items of furniture and miscellany. We have a few extra rooms here and decided not to invest too much money filling them. A little round table for our eat in kitchen, some furniture for the sunroom, a cabinet for my craft supplies, various towels/sheets/shelves and we had the van packed to the rim. I hope to have pictures of the rooms, filled with furniture soon. 

Right now I need to go downstairs and unpack boxes. The storeroom is by far the slowest room to come together. I need some major organization mojo. Wish me luck!

Friday, July 18, 2014


Just thought I would give a quick update...

The eye doc gave me another prescription, the third in ten days,
and some additional care instructions. He said if it is not better
by Tuesday he will refer me on. I am already seeing improvement
so I do not think that will be necessary. 

As far as my leg, I decided not to pursue an MRI as recommended
by the ER staff. The swelling has gone down substantially and it is
not particularly painful, as long as I do not try to stretch my quad.
We are calling it a muscle strain, although how it was strained 
will continue to be a mystery as I have not exercised less. :)
I look forward to getting back to a better exercise routine, 
to go along with my better eating routines that were
reestablished this week, in the coming week.
As long as I can do what I want pain free,
I will be happy. 

And now, I will go organize the storage room. 

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


This is how I spent my Friday afternoon.
Thankfully, I did not have the blood clot in my leg they were worried about. 
Tomorrow I will head to the doctor to follow up on that as well
as back to the eye doctor, as I have an eye infection
that I have been battling since my last day in Minnesota. 
Prayers that I can get rid of this annoying infection (it has
been so frustrating not being able to see clearly for nearly
two weeks) and we can figure out whether the lump
in my leg is something to be genuinely concerned
about would be appreciated.
I would like to get back to unpacking. :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Or lack thereof.

Once I finished the kitchen, the rest of the upstairs was made liveable and I have not really done much since.
By Friday all the boxes in our bedroom were finally unpacked and the furniture was arranged to make things a bit more homey. After that, I seemed to have lost some momentum.

Here's hoping I find it again soon.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


This is what it looked like this morning:
This is what it looks like this evening:
The kitchen is finally done! I just wiped the floor, put down the rug, and we're digging out the card table and chairs to use until we find an inexpensive table for four second hand. (I want to paint it to counteract all the wood, so we're looking for something that has seen quite a bit of use.) 

Also completed is the laundry room and the supply closet at the top of the stairs is well under way. Next up, the entry and linen closets. 

Is it weird that I am having fun organizing my stuff in new ways? (Just say no.)

Sunday, July 6, 2014


Operation Lighten Up This House is officially complete. I just finished the second coat in IR's room and am ready to hang up my overalls. 

Now to get the house ready for the onslaught of boxes. We have piles in almost every room from emptying our vehicles. The driver is actually coming in about 2.5 hours to set up the beds and prep the house (put down flooring protection, etc.). Then tomorrow the real fun begins. 

First on the agenda is getting my kitchen set up. I am tired of eating out, and am ready for some fresh, organic veggies. I want to do another whole30, as my body has not been too appreciative of all the dietary changes as of late. I feel like I am doing my best to make wise choices - although that white chocolate raspberry cheesecake was a mighty fine indulgence - but the reality is my body is super sensitive to additives and there are too many out there when you eat out. Occasionally is not bad but these last three weeks have found us frequenting too many restaurants.

We also found out our carpeting needs to be replaced. A combination of cheap carpet, shoes worn inside, and a black lab have left it dirtier/stained beyond what a professional can remove. While we could live with it, it will have to be replaced before selling so we decided we might as well get it now and enjoy it. Until that is done it will limit unpacking in the upper level. 

There are plenty of other boxes to keep me busy for days though. Or weeks for that matter! If you don't hear from me, it's because I am buried under a mound of packing paper and cardboard.

Friday, July 4, 2014


Yesterday, at approximately 3:00, I pulled away from an empty house and headed toward a new home. It was definitely bittersweet, more than I thought it would be.

After the few folks I had grown closest to moved away the past few years, I really did not have any deep friendships to leave behind. However, I did do life with others at different times these past nine years and tears were shed in those final good-byes.

Our time in New Ulm may not have been all sunshine and rainbows, but it is the  longest we have stayed in one place. A lot of living happened within those walls. We moved in with kids and are leaving with young adults (most having left the nest). We welcomed six foreign exchange students, which opened our eyes to different cultures and is directly responsible for the fact that my boys are currently traipsing around Europe. We learned things we never would have if we had stayed in New York. We followed God's leading to Minnesota and, as always, He was faithful.

Now we embark on a new adventure. We left behind a house and prepare to make a home. I have done this enough times to know that there are challenges ahead for us all but I also know that God has met us as we have faced those challenges before, and He will again. 

Heading onward while looking upward!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


This is the current state of my house:
I am so lucky to have a crew sent to my house that
packs each and every item for me.

However, I am dismayed by the amount of boxes.
As I unpack each one, the contents will be evaluated. 
I see a large garage sale in my future. 

Monday, June 30, 2014


As of today we have officially sold our home.

When I leave later this week the relocation company will
take over and close for us in mid-July.
There is no doubt, corporate moves are the best. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014


Yesterday was our 27th wedding anniversary.

After a crazy day filled with all that life entails when you are in the midst of moving from one state to another, we were heading back to Minnesota about 5:00. As my husband climbed into the drivers seat, he leaned over, tenderly kissed me, told me how much he loved me, and said he wished he had made time to plan something special.

It reminded me of our 25th anniversary, which I had meant to blog about but never did. 2012 found us in a different season with each day bringing the reality of my dad's death closer. It was year of many challenges and changes. I felt like our 25th anniversary was going to pass by without much hoopla and, to be honest, I was okay with that. We had been to Michigan in May for a wedding, had IR's graduation a few weeks later, I had gone back to Michigan for Father's Day, I was okay with a quiet evening out with my man. Hoopla could wait until another time.

We went back to Michigan to spend the fourth of July at my dad's as was the plan. My brother had joined us, we were having a relaxing time when suddenly my husband said that I needed to be ready to go somewhere after dinner. Ordinarily, I love spontaneous adventures but this one threw me for a loop. We were planning on watching fireworks from dad's back deck, my focus was on spending time with him. I was caught completely off guard and was having a difficult time processing this change of plans. I stepped into the house to compose myself (Which my brother, who knew of the surprise, said made him think "Oh boy, this could go either way."). When I came back out my dad said, "It's okay, S, go with your husband, he has a surprise. I'll see you on your way back." And so, I gathered my things and we were off.

My husband had planned a little getaway that took us back to some of the places we honeymooned at. We started by watching the fireworks from The Amway Grand, after enjoying a cocktail provided by dad. The next day we headed to Traverse City. Although he was disappointed not to be able to book us at the same bed and breakfast we had stayed at many years prior, he did get us a place right on the bay. We spent the next couple days doing absolutely nothing but relaxing by the water, playing around on jet skis, eating delicious food, playing miniature golf (just like we did on our honeymoon) and enjoying one another's company. In the midst of all that was going on, it was just what we needed.
When he was lamenting about not doing anything special as we were about to embark on a nearly six hour road trip, I remembered a few years ago. It was amazing and lovely and made me feel very special and loved. But that was 2012 and this is 2014. Yesterday I booked a service to come on Tuesday afternoon and clean the house from top to bottom so that when I arrive late Thursday or early Friday I will not have to spend the weekend doing it myself. This is the eighth time we have moved and I have never done that before. When I told my husband the various quotes, he asked me if it was a necessary expense. I told him absolutely not but it would make my life a little easier and he said to go ahead and schedule it. And truthfully? That made me feel very special and loved too.

Sometimes anniversary gifts look like surprise getaways and sometimes they look like cleaning services. Over the years our anniversary has been spent in a myriad of ways, celebrated loudly and quietly, together and apart, but one thing has always held true: I have always felt very special and loved.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


Operation Lighten Up This House is going well, as these pictures show:
The difference in the foyer/entry/halls is amazing. That part of the house felt like a dark hole, but not any more!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


What a difference nearly 48 hours makes!

Thanks to the blessing of having a friend (who brought a friend) to help, and hiring the gal who was recommended, I am feeling much more optimistic about having the house ready by the time our stuff arrives on July 7. 

At the end of the day today we have an additional three rooms completely finished (master bedroom and bath - which did require two coats, and upstairs guest room). Plus, the kitchen is completely primed, all the greenish mustardy walls upstairs are cut in and one of the downstairs bedrooms is partially cut in as well.

Tomorrow we will get our phone/TV/internet installed, I will get a first coat on the kitchen and (hopefully) upstairs bathroom, schedule the carpet cleaning and research cleaning services. My husband has told me to price out having someone come in and wipe down baseboards, clean light fixtures/bathrooms/kitchen, wipe floors, etc. Basically everything I would spend the weekend before the furniture arrives doing. 

I am feeling like we have made great progress this evening and that is certainly quite a difference than how I felt yesterday morning. Yay!

I am loving this color, SW Sundew, in the front bedroom. 
Just a coat of primer makes me love the kitchen 100x more, the red was too dark.