7 Things About Our NEW HOUSE!



Well, what do you know, we are moving!  For real this time!

A few weeks ago, we were driving home from a weekend outing, and something in our conversation made me pull out my phone and check our local real estate website.  I don't even know what we were talking about, but I looked at the web page and saw a new house had popped up for sale.

I kind of liked it.

I showed Derek and he liked it too.  We drove by it.  We called up our realtor, and we went to see it.

It was weird to think about moving again, because as you all know, we put in an offer on a different house a couple months ago that was rejected.  The whole experience reminded me of all the things I loved about our house, and I expected to enjoy another quiet fall in our family home.  But Derek and I both agreed we'd still keep an eye out, because even though I love where we are, we are crowded.  The kids are only going to get bigger, and sometimes I look at our small living room space and squint my eyes, trying to figure out how we could fit another couch in there so we could sit seven people in the living room.  It would be nice to all be able to sit together to watch a movie as the kids grow older.

After mulling it over and praying about it, we decided to put in an offer on this new house.  This house would check most of our boxes, and it would be a little bigger for our family, which is something we knew we were going to need someday.  We made our offer contingent on selling our own house, because as I wrote a couple months ago, I don't want to leave a house we love without having another house we love to move into.  I wasn't confident it would be accepted, because contingent offers are not as desirable in this seller's market.

But what do you know, they accepted our offer!

(Georgie behind the very dusty glass door at the new place!)

(Our kids running around in what will soon be our land.)

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind, but also not as terrible as I would have thought.  We had ten days to sell our home, and the Lord brought us a buyer in less than four days of our house being on the market.  Everything is falling into place in a way that gives me confidence in what we are doing; I think the Lord is working things out for us!  People have told me that moving is one of the most stressful life events to go through, and while I can see why, it hasn't been as much stress as I expected.  Now I'm just looking forward to getting into our new place at the end of October!

Now to the part you all are REALLY interested in - what's the new place like?



The carpets are pink.

Yes...pink.  It was built in the early 90's, hand in hand with the 80's, when pink carpet was a thing.  When we visited the house for our inspection, the current owner was there, and the first thing she asked was if we would change the carpet.  She was so glad when we said yes, and told us she has just been telling herself it's beige.  Ha!

The toilets are black (and pink).

The bathtubs are pink. Basically there is just a lot of pink in this house.

It's about five minutes from our current house.

When we have considered moving in the past we have always hoped to get closer to town, but over the last year I have felt my heart settling into our small mountain community more.  When we saw this house, we decided we wouldn't mind staying in our current area for the time being.  The benefits to this are that we can get a better place for the price here, we are in my favorite part of the mountains - and this is where our roots are.

We can walk to the local library!

Even though our local library is nothing to write home about, obviously this is perfect for me.

A guy down the street is basically building a medieval castle.

I kind of want to knock on the door and ask him to give us a tour since we're studying the Middle Ages this year.

We have three acres.

I am pretty excited that the kids will have a bigger area to run around and explore!  The property also looks like great Capture The Flag terrain.  Derek already has plans to build the biggest, most glorious swing set you ever did see.

We will be remodeling.

We decided that this time we would do some updates right off the bat (instead of waiting five years like we did with our current house).  First thing to go - the pink carpet!  We hope to paint, update the kitchen, update the bathrooms, and replace all the light fixtures - we will see how far we can stretch the budget.  I am not looking forward to the remodel, because our last remodel was so much work, but I'm hoping to have the bulk of it done by Christmas (this may be definitely is optimistic).



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Overall, I'm quite excited about the new place, but honestly a little sad to leave our old house as well. We've lived in our first house for ten years, and we have so many memories here.  The new place will be in rough shape for a while.  But I feel prepared for that, because over the last couple years, the Lord has really been working with me on contentment.  Those lessons on being content with what I have are not going to go to waste just because we are leaving the place God used to teach me. I feel blessed to have a new place in which to practice being happy right where I am.

Any questions about the new house?  Do some of you veteran movers have some moving tips for this newbie?

(This is the first time I have actually moved in my adult life - packing up my bedroom at my parents house when I got married doesn't count.)




Ferries And Lakes And Orcas, Oh My! (Seattle Part Two)



Back to our Seattle trip!

Sunday

After finding out our whale-watching tour was cancelled a few days before we were supposed to leave, we scrambled and scheduled a different whale-watching tour for Sunday.  I was glad we could find another one, because whale-watching was an expected highlight for us - we just don't get a chance to see ocean life in our land-locked state, and we didn't want to miss our chance!

When we arrived, we asked the rental car guy if native Seattlans would roll their eyes at the tourists pointing at the whales.  Where we live, the tourists always stop traffic for elk, and it's so annoying because we see them often enough to not stop anymore.  He assured us that seeing a whale was still pretty cool, even for people who live there.







(This was the water in the wake behind out boat - look at that color!)

(I wish I had a better lens - orcas!)

(You can kind of see the baby in this one!)



We loved the whale-watching trip!  We saw 15+ different orcas, all part of an orca family in the Puget Sound.  We learned that different sub-species (ecotypes) of orcas will not breed with each other, because each ecotype has it's own culture and traditions that the mother orcas pass down.  They could identify all the orcas by the white patches on their backs.  The mothers lead the groups, and the male orcas will stay with their moms throughout their life, because the mother orcas have more social connections and can help them find a lady orca (ha!).  We learned so much from the naturalist onboard, and I interrogated her about her career path because I have a certain marine-life-obsessed little boy at home who would love that job.  

We also saw a bunch of seals and young bald eagles, which was cool too!

We went with the Puget Sound Express, and though they were a little pricier, they were one of the only tour companies that left from a suburb of Seattle, and we were only gone a half day.  I was just glad we got to go after our other tour was cancelled!

When we got back we went over to Gas Works, which is a park they made out of an old industrial area.  Why don't they do this in every city?  It was so cool!








We dressed up for dinner, and took a couple pictures together by the lake.  Then we went out to dinner at Five Guys after deciding to skip the fancy restaurant after all.







Monday

On Monday we said goodbye to our great little lake cottage, our spider friend, and the Market (I just had to go back one more time).  




We went by the market one more time and bought some loose-leaf tea, but we got a little lost on our way back to the car and stumbled upon Seattle gum wall!  I may have had hard time finishing my breakfast after that.  Blech!




After our Market stop, we had just enough time to ride the ferry over to Bainbridge Island for a quick lunch and walk, before we rode the ferry back to catch our plane!







I have to tell you, I was really impressed with the ferries.  You could hardly tell you were on a boat unless you went to the passenger decks.  I don't know much about engineering, but I feel like the ferries were a pretty amazing feat!

Overall, I really enjoyed Seattle!  One of the guys working at the Market told us that Seattle and our city feel pretty similar to him, and I could certainly see that.  The mountains and friendliness of the city definitely reminded me of home, but the fish market, whales, campfires all over the place, abundant greenery, and lakes and water everywhere were beautiful and different.  If I couldn't live where I live, Seattle might be my next choice!  I loved it.

Goodbye Seattle!







Permit Me To Gush (Pike Place - Seattle Part One)


Derek and I hit double digits in our marriage this year!  When we were first married, we dreamed of taking a trip to Europe for our tenth anniversary.  I'm not really sure what we were thinking, because even with our original "plan" for kids (the Lord was just laughing at us), we would have been smack dab in the middle of baby years.  And what do you know, despite having more babies faster than we originally thought, the baby years is exactly the stage we are still in!  Sorry, Callie-from-the-past, but there is no way I'm flying off to Europe with five little kids at home, even if we could afford it (which we can't).

So, we improvised, signed up for the Frontier Airlines credit card solely in order to get the two free domestic tickets, and we chose Seattle!  I have a few blogging buddies from Seattle or the Pacific Northwest, so I had a vision of the area in my head already, but I have never been anywhere on the West Coast at all.  I was excited to check it out!

Friday

We flew in on Friday evening, just as it was starting to get dark.  I've always thought my state was one of the prettiest from the air (I still do), but I must say, Washington is definitely in the running now too.  Look!



We picked up our rental car, and the guy talked Derek into splurging for the luxury car (it wasn't hard).  We always regretted that we didn't rent a really cool vintage car to drive away in on our wedding day, so getting the luxury car for our anniversary trip was fun.  I'm not a car person, but all I know is that it smelled good, talked to us when we got lost, and went from zero to sixty pretty darn quick.



We set off in search of our lodgings.  We decided to try something different this time and rent an AirBnB - partly for the experience, partly because the hotels in Seattle were more expensive than we thought they would be.  Derek and I were a little worried as we drove through a not-great part of town, in the dark, looking for our lakeside cottage.  

We finally found it, and the owners stopped by to welcome us!  They showed us around, and we immediately decided the AirBnB was the best idea.  Not only was it adorable (click here for pictures), but outside the owners had a fire pit set up, and they had a dock/shed thing with kayaks and paddle boards to use on the lake.  Derek and I were wishing we had thought to bring out swimsuits so we could have tried it out!  They even left a bottle of wine in the kitchen for us with a note that said "Happy Anniversary!" (we cooked with the wine).  It was great!

Saturday

The next morning we got a better look at the lake and our little cottage, and it was even better than we thought.  It was like a secret garden back there!






The last picture requires explanation.  There were a bunch of these spiders everywhere near the lake.  I have no idea what kind of spider they are, or if they bite (it's better if I don't know), but this particular spider built a web across our walkway every single day we were there.  Derek had to brush it away several times.  I almost felt bad for it by the third time we destroyed it's web.  It's just a little spider trying to get some food!  I called him our little spider friend.  The very last day it finally got the hint and built it's web on a bush instead, and I got to watch it capture a gnat for it's breakfast.  

We started off our trip by checking out Pike Place Market, because I feel like you can't even say you've experienced Seattle without going to the market.  


















All I can say is I love the Market.  If I lived in Seattle, I would be over there all the time! There was so much there, we visited a couple times, and I still feel like we didn't even get to see it all.  A few observations:

-The flowers!  They smelled so good, and it was an interesting counter-point to all the food smells.  Derek bought me this bouquet for $10, and it felt like a steal!  Where we live, a bouquet like that would cost at least double.

-We ate pastries at Piroshky Piroshky, and after trying a cream-cheese pastry called Oscar's Star, and the cardamom cinnamon bread, I think I like their subtle breads better than the super-sweet pastries.  

-We got to see the guys who throw fish around and sing, and while I was highly amused, my introverted side was cringing, because I couldn't imagine working there unless you were a strong extrovert.  It was cool to watch though!

-We bought tea at MarketSpice, and oh my goodness.  I'm drinking it every night at home now, and it is so good.  I got the Spicy Seattle Chai, and the Caramel Rose Rooibus tea.

-I took a picture in front of the original Starbucks, but we did not actually get coffee there.  We got coffee at Storyville, and the view up there is wonderful.

-We ate mac and cheese at Beecher's, and I can see why people say it's the best mac and cheese they've ever had.

-I bought books at one of the several bookstores in the Market (of course).  I snagged two books in "The Railway Series" by Rev. W. Awdry, which is the book series that Thomas the Train was based on.  They are so cute!

-I kept looking at all the buildings, trying to figure out where Frasier Crane's apartment would be.

After the Market, we drove out to Snoqualmie Falls!  We originally thought it was going to be a little hike to reach the falls, but you can walk right up to it.  I wish we could get closer, but I get why they don't let you.  The falls were gorgeous!



I might have brought my tripod so we could get a couple decent pictures together on this trip.



After our adventure in the forest (at home we have woods - this was a forest), we went back to the cottage and Derek cooked me a very delicious dinner and dessert with the chardonnay our hosts gave us!



This post is getting long, so stay tuned for Seattle Part Two - including whale watching!

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