Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The novelty hasn't worn off

We've lived in Bellingham for more than 2 months now and the novelty hasn't worn off yet. I thought I knew what the next however many chapters of our lives looked like, and now they look different. I knew we'd live in Seattle forever, maybe even in our house forever. Fighting over fussy remodels and maybe never totally finishing them. Like, ever. I was actually in the process of reconciling myself to that future when we made the decision to change all that. And then it all happened so fast. Even when we decided to move, I thought for sure it would take a year to find a house that would make the upheaval of a big move worth it.

Our Seattle house sold. There is now a nice Finnish couple living there, expecting their first baby any day now. Jeff and I were talking about it the other day and surprised ourselves by admitting that we don't miss our house. Not even a little.

I was starting to feel like there were very few big surprises left when I fast-forwarded my life 10-15 years. Maybe we would move, but it would be to a slightly bigger house in Seattle, or maybe the same size, but a more finished house in a slightly different neighborhood. Sure, we might take a cool trip or two and of course there's the big surprise of finding out what Edie will be, do and love. But aside from that, I thought I kind of had it tied up. I would buy my groceries at the Roosevelt Safeway and Trader Joe's. I would shop at UVillage and sometimes we would go to Chutney's in Wallingford Center for Indian Food and then treat ourselves to a cupcake upstairs at Trophy. Maple Leaf Park would be our park and Edie would figure out the Seattle School District. I would worry about her learning to drive in a big city later.

The fact that Jeff and I, after all these years, still have the ability to surprise ourselves as a couple has been one of the best things about this move. Every single morning I wake up looking at the ocean and feel like I've been picked up and dropped into someone else's life. Jeff and I are relating differently here and Edie said the other day that she doesn't miss anything about Seattle. She told Jeff we spend more time all together in Bellingham and that she loves our basement playroom.  She did say she doesn't like that we walk everywhere in Bellingham - apparently it's going to take a little longer to toughen up this city kid. She is not as charmed by our morning walks to school as Jeff and I are. Yet.

Jeff and I are trying to use this move as a "reset" button in some ways. Problems have a way of catching up with you eventually, but ours are apparently still stuck in Everett traffic and I hope they never arrive. Instead of viewing our Seattle house as our "forever house", I see it now as a 10 year long teaching moment. How can we take the good things we did there and repeat them here and how can we leave the less pleasant parts behind. I keep joking that Jeffrey is almost unrecognizable here - we recently picked out two couches, a bed, and a TV in 2 DAYS. Those of you who know my husband will know how shocking and amazing this is. Bellingham Jeff is fun.

Everything about this move feels so unexpected that it makes me realize that I have no idea what the future holds, and actually, I never really did. For example - we have been invited on a big group camping trip with other Lowell Elementary families this Spring and we sort of accepted. WHO AM I? I HAVE NO IDEA.

ps: does anyone have any camping gear we can borrow this Spring?

Thursday, September 10, 2015


The house is officially pending. Which means we have accepted an offer and assuming nothing goes haywire with the title and financing, we have sold our house. Cross your fingers and toes it all goes off without a hitch!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Our house is listed. OUR HOUSE IS LISTED. Please somebody buy it. Actually, let me rephrase - please, let multiple people try to buy it and create a bidding war to end all bidding wars. Power of positive thinking, right?

Monday, August 31, 2015

Edie turns 6 and has a Cat Party

Edie's Cat themed party yesterday was so, so fun. I was worried about the guest count for a number of reasons - we have a ton of family in Bellingham and wanted them all there, we invited a bunch of Seattle friends who we assumed wouldn't be able to make it up (but who DID and are amazing) and then the weather said rain so then I imagined everyone indoors and got nervous. BUT - it all went off without a hitch. Photos below:

I love these cat banners that I made after seeing something similar on Pinterest:

Art table with paw print stamps that Edie use to make it look like a cat had walked across.
Edie's "Kitty Adoption Center" for guests to choose a cat to bring home, and supplies to decorate a collar and tag. Handy carrying cases below. I was sort of proud of this. Especially because we bought all the stuffed animals at Goodwill and Salvation Army for like 85 cents each and then just washed them with super detergent. It was less expensive than the goody bags I usually give out.

Some of the girls in Edie's room during the party:
Sydney with her kitty that she named Jewel:
Caroline decorating her collar with tons of sticker jewels:
Edie requested chocolate cake with caramel frosting. I made tiny party hats for cats I ordered from Amazon:
I love Edie holding Shreya's hand as everyone sings her Happy Birthday:
My parents brought over their bouncy castle and the sun came out and it was such a great outlet for energy. I will never throw another party without one. Here they are trying to take it down:
Watching videos in the basement while the party wound down:
After the guests left, Edie opened her veterinarian kit and administered aid to her new stuffed Lemur who she named Coconut:
"I'm looking for lice":
Ponies from her friend Eliza:
Lego kit work in her new rainbow dress:

I love this house and its ability to accommodate all the people we love. It was a birthday party and house warming wrapped into one.  

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Settling In, kind of

The last few weeks have been a confusing mix of amazing Bellingham sunsets; peaceful evening walks; good times with family and friends in town; and stress related to the Seattle house; hodge-podged childcare; and work. The Seattle house is soooo close to being listed, and our lives will really feel 100% less crazy when this happens. The hope is that it won't stay on the market long, and given the Seattle real estate scene, we are hopeful it will get bought quickly. We've had to (and by "we" I largely mean Jeff) finish a lot of projects on the house to ready it for the market and this feels extra draining given that we have already physically moved and would like to mentally move on as well. Jeff's been sleeping 3-4 nights a week in Seattle on an air bed to manage all the house work (not to mention his jobby job - the one that actually pays money) and I've been single parenting without full time childcare but WITH a full time job. It's not ideal. But Bellingham is lovely and our house is so filled with amazing light. And the sunsets. Have I mentioned the sunsets? Our Seattle house never saw the sunset because of a giant 1990's box house built 24 inches from the west side of our house. The sun set at approximately 1:30pm every day behind their behemoth of a home. Watching the sun set every night is very life affirming.

Tomorrow is the first day of Kindergarten for Edie. We had our "assessment" today with her teacher, Ms. Linville, who I'm told is awesome by other parents at Lowell. There are only 2 kindergarten classes at Lowell (compared to 4 classes at our Seattle school) and Ms. Linville said most of the kids don't know each other from preschool - so this will be nice for Edie to not be the only "new" kid. Edie scored 127 out of 130 on her Kindergarten "readiness" assessment today. Luckily, her teacher taught 1st grade for many years before moving to Kindergarten 4 years ago, and she said there were 2 other kids that scored high as well, so she'll have a little cohort in the class of kids who she can pull out as needed to challenge and keep her from getting bored. There's also another little girl we are told who has a birthday this week and will be 6 all year, so Edie won't be the oldest in class.

Edie seems excited, but is playing it down when quizzed. She's picked out her outfit for tomorrow and I can hardly wait to walk her to school and see her with all the kids. Tomorrow and Friday are half days for the kindergarteners and then the regular, full-day schedule begins on Monday. Her birthday falls between and we are having a cat-themed party for her on Sunday in our half-unpacked house.

A few pictures until I can upload more below. I didn't take any of me doing some mediocre parenting while trying to work at the same time, so this slide show is a little skewed toward the "lovely" part of moving…

Just a glass of white wine sangria at a bar we walked to from our house. No big deal. The view is only so-so here.

Edie and I went to the outdoor cinema in Fairhaven last Saturday with my friend Kristin and her brother Eric. They showed "Up" and the whole experience was super fun and charming. We brought blankets and chairs and snuggled in the back with a giant zip lock bag of home made snicker doodles.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Spoiler Alert: Edie likes Farm Camp

So Monday morning's drop off was a fluke. When I met her with her babysitter that afternoon she was chatty and happy as a clam. Her babysitter has Rapunzel hair in a thick braid down to her waist and Edie had decorated it with flowers. Then her babysitter had returned the favor by french braiding her hair and decorating it with tons of clovers and buttercups. Edie was VERY PROUD of her fancy hair.

She was excited to be dropped off at camp yesterday and sad that today is her last day with her afternoon babysitter, who tells her old timey folk tales that I've never heard and helps her identify different plants and flowers all over the Western campus.

We played at the Lowell playground after dinner last night again and met about 6 kids who go to Lowell, one was a boy starting Kindergarten this year. His older sister told me all about the 2 kindergarten teachers and how nice they are. 2 older sisters in 3rd and 5th grade showed her tricks on the bars. It was adorable.

The sunset views from our house every night are an amazing reminder that our lifestyle has changed dramatically. This move feels more right every day. Now if we can just get our Seattle house finished and ready to sell!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Highs and Lows

Last night Edie and Jeff went to the Lowell playground down the street and made a new friend. They are both monkey bar obsessed and she was also there with her Dad, who happened to be cool AND be good friends with one of Jeff's high school friends. They needed to use the bathroom, so Jeff invited them back to our place and they stayed for like 3 hours with the girls playing in the basement with Legos the whole time.

Then this morning it rained and I dropped Edie off at a new camp in the woods of Western's campus called Farm Camp. She hated it, clung to my leg and asked me to stay with her. This has NEVER happened with Edie. She loves new things and is so outgoing that it made me feel terrible. I had to kiss her goodbye, tell her it would be fun and walk away. She sat on a bench next to two other girls, looking sadly at the ground. One of the counselors at this camp is supposed to babysit her all afternoon, so I won't pick her up until 4pm on Western's campus. Cross your fingers the rain lets up and they get to do fun things and Edie has a change of heart.