November 28, 2011

Good Feeling

Like many of you, we're feeling all warm and fuzzy about life and love and family this month.

For one, Merritt turned nine months and Roscoe turned two and a half on the 18th and 19th. Merritt recently started crawling and pulls up now to stand. Roscoe has been testing limits and surprising us daily with the way that he strings together his thoughts, and his incredible vocabulary and imagination.

We closed on our old house today. We are very, very happily no longer home owners!  We relocated to the capital of Virginia two weekends ago, and the last 25% of our stuff has yet to be unpacked and organized. Despite the fact that the kitchen--what I would consider the engine and workhouse of our home--is currently held hostage by miscellaneous gadgets and servingware without space enough to be given a home, the (more important) stockings are hung along with the rest of our Christmas cheer.

I've fallen in love with our little place and pretty much everything around us. I go on walks every day with the kids and remain fascinated by the grand architecture and idyllic nature of this small city.  The people are charming, the community is authentic, and I am a huge fan. Of course, we were familiar with this area before now--both Andy and I have degrees from the local university--when we lived here for seven years and bought our very first home across the river in 2003. Living here again, and looking at all that the area offers from the perspective of a parent and as an adult, all I can say is that Richmond is a true gem and I'm so thankful we get to call it home.

Speaking of which, it is weird to me how quickly this house and this neighborhood felt like home once our furniture was placed.  It's like we never skipped a beat.  It's also unreal how drastically our daily life has changed for the better.

I'm thankful for early morning walks to Black Hand for a new favorite the Dirty Chai (a chai latte with two shots of espresso) and breakfast sandwiches

I'm appreciative and grateful to have nearby a year 'round farmer's market where, on our first Saturday, we met farmers offering raw milk cow shares (we're signing up!), a berry CSA (this too!), local seafood and pasta vendors, not to mention some pre-tty ahmazing sourdough doughnuts.

We're thankful for a wildly fun and equally popular neighborhood playground just around the block that has served well to burn off energy before (and after) dinner on many a night.

On Saturday I walked to Carytown, with Merritt in the ErgoBaby, to shop for Christmas and to pick out some treats for our advent calendar--an unheard of luxury in our old county. New neighbors, with equally cumbersome double strollers and volatile two year olds, have welcomed us warmly and our ability to get around town on foot has alleviated any lingering post-Northern Virginia sense of disconnection or isolation.

The boys' new nanny starts tomorrow, marking the end of a long and twisted search for good help.  I'm relieved that I'll be able to work in peace and hope that she'll stay with us for the remaining 6 months of my position.

And then there's the cupcakery down the street. No really, I think they rival Georgetown's.

This week holds more of the same unpacking, ongoing Christmas decorating, and city exploring.

Happy Thanksgiving to you!  What are you most thankful for this season?

November 10, 2011

In the throes of moving

Our approach has been to pack up a little at a time, when we find time.  It was easy to feel overwhelmed at first, but I've been pleasantly surprised with the number of boxes we can fill up in a few hours set aside for the purpose. We've made several trips South to drop off the latest boxes, and slowly but surely one house fills up as the other one empties. Next Saturday is our official move-out day, and we're hiring help for all the big and heavy stuff--mainly furniture, and boxes and boxes of books.

Motivated by the thrill of a more streamlined abode on the other side, we've been throwing out and giving away clothes and decor that we've outgrown, a hoard of stacked and filed papers from past jobs and college projects, old textbooks (why did we think we would need those?!), and an embarrassing number of magazine back issues. It feels good to lighten up and our smaller digs will be brighter for not bringing with us unnecessary clutter.

Roscoe is an enthusiastic packer and throws whatever is nearby into the designated cardboard boxes. We've had to keep a close eye on him though, because we've found trash in the packing boxes and toys, books, and other miscellaneous items in the trash.

We dismantled Merritt's nursery a couple days ago. The move has me feeling sentimental about very few things, but the babies' spaces are an exception. I hate that we can't deconstruct Roscoe's tree from it's sunny little place on his wall but, sadly, we can't take it with us. Roscoe has become very protective of the contents of his room and so we have decided to leave it intact until the last moment, when the guys will be packing up whatever is left here and the kids and I will be entertaining ourselves with unpacking at the new house.

The boys and I have taken many weekday trips to our new city to check things out and to interview a range of potential nannies. I can't seem to stay away for very long because my excitement for our future there feels so big, I wish we lived there now. The kids inevitably fall asleep on the ride down and then we have the whole afternoon for marveling at nature in the backyard, or traipsing around town in search for a treat, or waiting around for nanny's who stand us up.  That has become an unfortunate trend.

In less than two weeks I imagine we'll be unpacked, and settling in for Thanksgiving feast!
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