Posts Tagged With: new home

tricked out kitchen in a smart house

When it comes to the new house, YBW is eager to make it a smart house. He’d love for there to be a central command (thingie) that we can tell to do what we want it to do. You know, like saying “OK Google” or “Alexa” but it’ll be connected to all of our house and have it’s own name.
It feels so Varrick to me.

(For those of y’all that don’t know, this is a The Legend of Korra reference. I did not enjoy Korra anywhere near as much as it’s predecessor, Avatar: The Last Airbender, which I absolutely adored.)

Anyway…
YBW is all about making the house work for us. To be able to control lights and thermostat and even the garage door from a tablet. That if we weren’t sure we’d turned out the lights on the ground floor he could push a button from the bedroom so we didn’t have to go down and back two flights of stairs. He wants the house to do as much as possible from a central hub.
I love to watch his brain work. See his face get all excited at the smart house possibilities. He’s committed to making our forever home one that does all the things we need, and many of the things we want.
For the most part, I’m interested in learning how to use it once it’s set up, but I’m less enthusiastic about choosing how to set it up. He’s cool with that, as long as he can get his geek on. He’s super patient when I ask questions that probably aren’t applicable, or he just explained to me.
I’m more concerned about surround sound for the big tv, and speakers around the house so I can play music. But there is a bit of pleasure at the thought of being able to turn things on and off from a screen…
We each love what we love, right?
My husband loves science and math and tech and super cool nerdy things. He is getting to play with that in creating a smart house that works for him.
I support this fully!
I’m like, get your geek on, bud! Hook it all up and make it do your bidding. (But please let the command be “Zhu Li do the thing” so I’m constantly amused.)

I want to get my geek on in the kitchen!


This picture is the kitchen at the model.

My kitchen will have a bigger island (my favorite design option). It will have another row of cabinets above the wall cabinets up to the ceiling. The hood vent will be hidden behind cabinetry. And the lower cabinets will have more drawer units than cabinets with doors.
All the cabinetry will be navy and look a little something like this.

I’m salty about paying so much for a brand new house and having wire shelving, so…
I may want to trick out the pantry.
I’m already designing closet systems for our closet, probably Pax from IKEA, but I’m also looking at Easy Closets.

The laundry room is on the bedroom level (thaaaaaank yooooou) it’ll start out boring, but I’ll fancy it up too.
With a roof deck, main level porch deck, and ground level back yard, I’m getting excited about designing outdoor spaces too. Plant life and lighting, water features and accessories will create beautiful spaces for us to be outside.

Now, if YBW’s smart house can control outdoor lights and fountains, etc. or could somehow make my laundry run, I’d be inclined to get as excited as he is!
“Zhu Li do ALL the things!”

Categories: around the house | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Friday feels

Today is the first day I’ve stopped and taken a big breath this week.
I needed it!
Of course, stopping and breathing gave me the opportunity to be all in my feels.

gratitude
Even though it took two full weeks, Thing 2’s covid test came back negative
I got to hug Meredith and her Mommy when their family returned from a forty-five day cross-country trip
My gloriously supportive friends who encourage me to think outside the box

than central air

joy
YBW and I put down the deposit for our house yesterday, and will sign the contract Wednesday

excitement
Road trip with YBW (we leave for GA in the morning and return with Thing 1’s family on Monday)
Baby K will be here all the time
I’m going to tutor select students this virtual school year (kind of like being an ‘at home’ substitute teacher)

It was an exceptionally great week to be me!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

the hard hat tour

YBW and I are planning to move.
We have chosen the perfect home in the perfect spot.

These townhomes are within walking distance to YBW’s office. Literally right across the street from our favorite grocery store. And closer to the university where I’ll be spending so much time in the next two years.
We’ve been tracking this neighborhood since the first rumors of building in the area began.
We’ve become rather friendly with the sales staff. They know exactly which unit in which building we want. They know we’re unwilling to settle for anything else.

Of course as with all building everything happens in phases.
The unit we want is in the far end of the fourth building, which is the end of the second building phase. The builder opened the first two buildings for deposits before construction even started, but put sales on hold for a while until building really gets going. Of the first fifteen units, there are only four or five that remain.
The latest information we have is deposits for the third building will open in the spring, and for the fourth building in the late summer or early fall. Each with delivery approximately a year after.

Saturday afternoon the sales office hosted a ‘hard hat tour’.
An invitation to come ask questions, have nibbles, and check out construction.
Also in this new neighborhood there are smaller townhomes and multi level condos. These units were open for touring in their initial state of construction. The larger townhomes (the ones we’re interested in) only have preliminary building started.
After chatting with the sales staff and getting an updated deposit date, YBW and I bundled up to brave snow, sleet, and cold winds to check out the new construction and walk the property to where our building will be.

This snow covered pile of rocks and semi-frozen mud upon which YBW stands is where we plan to live in late summer/early fall 2021.

It’s an interesting bit of living and retail space in a larger office and (light) industrial area. But none of it feels out of place. The development of the area makes sense for the way people in Northern Virginia live.
We’re looking forward to being in a less suburban area. We like the idea of being able to walk more and drive less. And YBW is all about walking to and from work every day!

There are walking trails and an adorable creek down the hill behind the building site.

Of course it’ll be prettier in the spring, summer, and fall than it is now, but even now, it’s not too bad.

While we’re excited about the prospect of making this our home, we’re keeping in the back of our mind that it may not go the way we plan.
But, we’re doing everything we can to make sure it goes our way.
I am hopeful our plans will become reality.
I have faith that this is meant for us.
I can be mindful and excited at the same time.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

a great break

I spent my Spring Break visiting Thing 1 and husband N in their new (to them) home! I enjoyed being in a new role with my daughter. Being on her turf. Though she was quick to utilize my mad organizational skills to help her finish getting settled.
With all sincerity, we enjoyed being together in this new way. Our love was deep and wide and so pure. Even though the drive was a bite in my ass, I’m so pleased I went and shared that time with her.

At the county plant farm I was amazed to find affordably priced plants of top quality. So many herbs I couldn’t even choose! Trees priced for real people, with real incomes. I was awed by the plant life and garden supplies. One trip just isn’t enough.
Thing 1 went home with this gorgeous hanging basket fuchsia.

My mobile carrier has no towers in this particular part of Georgia, so I spent the week with spotty cell signal. And you know what? It was kind of cool to be disconnected! I did speak with YBW every couple days just to touch base.
What I found myself missing was baseball. (natch) But to my delight, I was able to take in a T ball game while I was there. Husband N’s little cousin plays in the county rec league for the Yankees. So Thing 1 and I went to watch that sweet little dude play ball.
I loved this sign reminding us to pay attention.

As much HGTV as I watch, you’d think I’d know how sugar molds are huge in home decor right now. Yet I found myself surprised to discover sugar molds at Corner Market Trading Company. This little shop run by these precious people made me oh so happy!
Thing 1, Husband N, and I were as kids in a candy shop in this place! I found several things I’d like to have at home, but what I actually ended up purchasing was a sugar mold. In addition to it being painted the perfect Robynbird color, it reminded me of our honeymoon in Barbados visiting the sugar plantations. I simply couldn’t leave without it.
Wanna see what I did with it?
Yeah, I knew you would!

I debated between making the sugar mold a home for these gel pens or my amazing colored pencils. In the end, the gel pens won out because I couldn’t bear to mix up the ordered perfection of the colored pencils in their metal box.
YBW walked by my desk and chuckled, “You put them in color order.”
Well duh!
Then he patted my bottom when he passed me and said, “Of course you did.”
I could hear the smile in his voice.

I had a great Spring Break!
Spent time with my girl and her sweet husband.
Got to see gorgeous plants.
Went to a ball game.
Did a little shopping.
Bought a super stylish (and meaningful) way to sort my ever growing collection of pens.
And I got home in time to go to see the Nats beat the Phillies!
I forgot being on a school schedule is the absolute best!

Categories: on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

hearth-fires and holocausts

Thing 2 is here!
It’s been really positive and she’s enthusiastic about starting over. She decided she was ready to go back to proper brick and mortar high school. (This was a difficult choice for her as she has to be a junior again instead of being a senior. But she made it and she’s feeling strongly about it.)
We went back to school clothes shopping and got everything she needed from skivvies to sweaters. Shopping is interesting with Thing 2, I always learn something new about her and we have hilarious dressing room conversations!
She got a job today and a brand new do. Things are certainly going her way.
We go tomorrow to register her for classes. She’s picked out what she’s going to wear and has a notebook and pens in her new school bags.
It has been VERY positive. I overheard her tell someone she was so glad she was here and it was a good choice.

And then…
She just came downstairs with tears in her eyes and told me she was going to bed. I asked if she was OK and she just shook her head. I asked if I could help and she shook her head. She headed back up the steps and I asked if she needed to talk about it. She called back, “It won’t help.”

My initial inclination is to rush to her and work my ass off to make it better for her. But something strange is happening. It occurred to me that she needed to feel whatever it is she’s feeling. She needs to mourn the loss of her friends. She needs to shed that old layer in order to feel at home in her new environment.
She can cope with sadness. She can cope with feeling stressed about all the change. She can even cope, albeit not really well, with the anxiety of starting a new school.
It is extremely difficult for me to “sit this one out”, but I can’t fix this for her, I can only be available when she needs me.

She’s anxious about meeting people. “Cool people, not because they’re popular, but because they look like cool people I’d like to hang out with.”
She’s a bit of a hipster, that Thing 2 of mine. She wants to hang out with quirky people like her, but not end up in social Siberia. She doesn’t want to be popular, she wants to be real. She likes to play D & D. She likes eclectic music. She’s got a sassy personal fashion style. She wants to be engaged while functioning through her own special brand of awkward.

I want to go up and get all snuggly in her bed with her and feel as though I’m helping her feel better. I think that’s about me.
I trust her to sort it.
On the other hand, she’s been left to sort it for the last year all by herself.
So, I can offer love. I can listen. I can encourage.

When I think of my baby, I am reminded of Jimmy Stewart’s beautiful words in The Philadelphia Story: “You’re lit from within. You’ve got fires banked down in you, hearth-fires and holocausts. You’re made out of flesh and blood. That’s the blank, unholy surprise of it. You’re the golden girl. Full of life and warmth and delight.
I believe there is a part of her that realizes this about herself.
I aim to make sure of that.

Categories: love, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

a hole in the ground creates home for something

I dragged YBW out to my dad’s house Sunday to dig up tons of plants and bring them home to our yard. Forsythia, mock orange, lilac, weigela, sweet shrub, and a deep garnet red peony came home in two vehicles. The forsythia and lilac originally came from my yard when I lived here long ago, the sweet shrub from Grandaddy’s where I grew up, the weigela from yard at Great Grandma’s house. So in addition to having all these new wonderful plants for our yard, there are special and important family connections.

I’m so excited to get these into the ground here, this home I share with YBW is his, was his home with the Things’ mother, though I’ve been welcomed into it, and things have and are changing to make it YBW and Robynbird’s home it will be wonderful to feel as though I’m connected to the plant life here.

We walked a goodly amount of the three acres in the warm sunshine with three big Boxers following us wherever we went, stopping to dig when we found what we were looking for. I’m quite gifted with a shovel and together we able to gather up just the right amount of plant and root to give them the best chance transplanting at this time of year.

After all was said and done and we had the back of my car and my dad’s pick up loaded, YBW and I were walking back up to the house so we could gather our things to go home and I hugged him and said, “you didn’t know what you were getting into, did you?”
To which he replied, “Baby, when I decided to marry you, I knew what I was getting into.”
I giggled and kept walking…I believe him, you know? I believe he is absolutely prepared for whatever life with me brings.

What it brought this weekend was an enormous load of plant life waiting in our back yard to be put into the ground in its new home.

plants from Daddie's

What it brings in the future…well, we’ll just have to see about that.
I know we’re both ready.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

settling in

Well, I’ve been at home with YBW for nine days…in the first two days I landed a cold, he so kindly shared his germs with not only me, but his own two Things. My Thing 2 was miraculously untouched by these icky germs. (If you knew her and her immune system this would be ubershocking.) 

The fact we were all sick kind of put a damper on the fun we had planned before his two Things went back to their mom’s, and also cut into our special YBW, Robynbird, and Thing 2 time.
So the last nine days have been less productive (oh how this frustrates me) than hoped, also less “normal”. But we’re all finally beginning to feel human again…except Thing 2 finally succumbed to the icky germs yesterday. (DAMMIT!)

I finally began to open boxes of books and began to breathe. What is it that makes me feel so strongly about those books? I have no idea, but I can tell you how happy I was to unpack, stack and shelve them! Thing 2, with her uncanny timing, wandered in just in time to read about her boyfriend’s birthday in the Birthday book and their compatibility in the Relationship book.

a few stacks waiting to be shelved

a few stacks waiting to be shelved

a few yet to be unpacked

a few boxes yet to be unpacked

Thing 2 is "helping"

Thing 2 is “helping”

The bookshelf is no longer naked and my books can breathe again…
Recovering diningroom chairs and unpacking kitchen items are up next. The kitchen will be a curious event…

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

But where are the feels?

Everyone keeps asking if I’m “so excited”. Of course, I say I am but I’m sitting here this morning and I’m feeling pretty much anything but excited.
This morning I’m pouting because (I am not really a grown up) I can’t swing a visit with my friend and mentor before I leave next week.
I’m pouting, but I don’t feel petulant, I’m sad, I’m disappointed. My heart is heavy. But I had to make a responsible choice…a responsible financial choice. (Huh! Maybe I really am a grown up after all.)

I don’t feel excited. I don’t feel anything. (Well, obviously I feel pouty, I just said that.) But I want to feel excited! I want to be jumping up and down “pants peeing” excited!!
Am I so displaced at the moment I just can’t feel anything?
OR (this just occurred to me as I’m writing) is it that I’m suppressing my feelings, good and bad, so as not become overwhelmed by them? This actually seems more like me…so I’m not excited because I’m not feeling grief for the life I’m leaving, sadness at not being with Thing 2, anxiety about having to assimilate into YBW’s life, my new job, and how that might be.
(This is one of those moments I want to “Gibbs-slap” myself.) Instead, I’ll treat myself with kindness and love, and take the time to allow myself to feel all these things so I can begin to feel excited.
OH! WAIT! It’s because I don’t feel safe! I’m not settled! I’m struggling to write, I’m struggling to feel because I’m displaced…to quote Elvis Costello, “a man out of time”. (Except, of course I’m a girl and I’m not really out of time, I’m out of “home”…that song seemed applicable in my head so I went with it.)

And why am I judging how I “should” be feeling? Why don’t I just accept how it is?
I’m going to have to let myself feel or not feel as is natural!
I’m processing. I’m on the journey. I’m going to let go of the wheel for a split second and let it take me…
(Did I mention I’m a destination girl? The journey makes my ass twitch.)
I’m processing…I’ll feel what I feel when I feel it.
I think I’m excited somewhere in there…I know I’m ready for the next week to hurry up and go so I can get in my car with my precious Thing 2 and go home.
Yall get to come with me.

Categories: loss, love, me, peace and wellbeing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Goodbye. ~ Hello!

hello goodbye

Less than two weeks and I’ll live with YBW!

Thing 2 and I are making plans for the two weeks she’ll spend with us…what to pack for her room there, what we want to do, who we want to see…she wants to see her Aunt Sundance and cousins the mostest. (Me too!!) She wants to go to IKEA with YBW so they can eat in the restaurant and piddle around the store then have ice cream as they leave. (They both love IKEA like crazy.) She wants to have lots of snuggles. (My favorite!!)
I want to kiss YBW, see Sundance, and unpack my books. After that, it’s gravy.

I’m sad to leave my friends here, I’m sad to leave my doctor and our patients…I’m sad I won’t be close to Thing 1 and Thing 2’s daddy anymore.
Moving is hard…moving on is hard too.

Excitement is big though! Not only will I be with my darling YBW, I’ll be “going back to my roots” teaching at a wonderful, emergent curriculum-based preschool only 4 miles from home! Oh how I’m ready to be in a room full of toddlers!

Life will sort itself as I move through the process of saying goodbye to one life and hello to another…I’m going into this adventure with eyes, heart, and arms wide open.
Wish me luck!

Categories: love, me, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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