Honey, We’re Home – Literally!
We’ve been living in our new house for one week as of today. It seems crazy to me. So much has happened in a short time.
Last Monday & Tuesday were moving days, and Tuesday night was our first night here. The whole move went really well, and like any moving/building project we had some interesting issues pop up.
The main one, was when we moved the fridge from the round house into the new house to put in the storage room for Chris to use as his brew fridge and the pop fridge for when we send pop out with the delivery crew. When the guys got it out to the house and started to head for the door they quickly realized it wasn’t going to go in without taking the fridge doors off, so they did. They moved it into it’s place and then put the doors back on. Yeah, when you buy exterior doors it’s a good idea to measure them. We found out during this process that our exterior doors only had a 28 ½” opening. I’m not sure who thought that was a reasonable size for an exterior door, but that’s what they are. We started thinking about all the other things we needed to move in and there was a bit of stress. Thankfully almost everything else went in without issue. I say “almost” because the one thing that didn’t want to go? Our main fridge. Yep.
On Wednesday I had to go to Port to do some much needed errands, like buying groceries, and at the top of my list was a new door to replace the one in the office so we’d actually have a door that we could bring things in and out of for the indefinite future. Sadly, I wasn’t able to find a door. But, when I called Chris about it he said, “Don’t worry about it. The fridge is going in today. We’ll get another door some other time.” He went on to explain that the guys had already started taking out the office door, and they would put the fridge in place, then put the door back in. And, that’s just what they did. I thought I would come home to this big bashed in wall that needed a lot of cement work, but they were able to unbolt the door, and tap it out of place, then put it back. There’s only a small line of mortar missing and we’ll worry about finding a new door in the new year.
The rest of the furniture went in pretty easily, probably more easily than I expected. The other big stress item for me was our bed. I made it a few years ago, and it’s beautiful. I had these visions of the surface getting all scratched up and what not, because people tend not to worry too much about that kind of thing here. Well, when it came time to start taking it apart I hit a roadblock in that I apparently used a mish-mash of screws to put the frame together, and some of those got stripped in the process of being screwed in. Yeah, they weren’t coming out. So, Chris and two guys wrangled the bed out of our room, and down to the driveway by literally sliding it along the top of the railings of the deck of our apartment. Then we got it to the new house, and unpacked everything else around it. It was the last thing, besides the fridge, that needed to go in. Problem? We have a staircase that goes around a corner. We knew it wasn’t going to go up the stairs. So, how does one get a bed onto the second floor?
So, that was our big moving adventure. Everything else went ridiculously well. Our staff were amazing and so enthusiastic and excited for us. Spirits were high, there was a lot of laughter, and those that came in later in the day after being out on filter follow-up were congratulating us on the move when they came in the house to see everything. It was really touching to Chris and I because we’d had a lot of hard years with our staff, and it just showed us that we’re in a completely different place now. Wednesday was our first morning of work at the new location, and we thought for sure that people would be late as we adjusted, but every person was early, and it was like that through the end of the week. We’re so thankful for these people and that we get to do this with them.
Friday was our last day of work, and we did what we usually do – quit at noon, then had a staff Christmas party. We had everyone in the house for pizza and cake, gave out gifts, said a few words, and just relaxed. I kept looking around at everyone and wondering if people were missing because it felt like we weren’t all there, but we were and it made me realized what having more space looks like when you fill it with people.
I think I mentioned last week that we were getting puppies, you know, just to add to the crazy. Well, Elsa, Anna and Kristoff have been here since Wednesday night and are settling in well. They’re still pretty small so a couple of them have been able to find holes to squeeze through the fence in places. Now that they’re settling in more we’re seeing their personalities come out, and they’re hysterical. Anna is definitely the feisty one, and loves to run and attack the others. The kids have been so great with looking after them. They go and feed them and make sure the have water. I’m really proud of them. And, I’m glad we ended up getting puppies instead of a full grown dog because the kids are attaching to them really well, and so are we.
So, how are we liking the new house and community?
In a nutshell, we LOVE it.
That’s not to say that it hasn’t been, and won’t continue to be an adjustment. There are lots of things that are so different, but we know it’s a matter of time, and all of it will feel normal. These are my observations of life in the new place over the last week…
The house feels huge to us. After living in about 950 square feet having over double that space (office included) feels huge. And, I guess it is. I know that as I look around and things feel big now, as the kids grow up and we get into life, it will feel normal. It’s just an adjustment we need to go through. It feels strange walking down a hallway past our kids rooms to our room. It feels strange having two bathrooms. It feels strange having room to move around each other. But, we’ll adjust :)
We have so much storage! I’m thankful that we were really intentional about building in lots of storage, and we’re actually not done yet. One of the things put on the “do in January” list is the closets. Until those are finished things won’t land in their permanent places, but even in the interim, we have places to put things in a mostly organized way. Because of that we were able to be fully unpacked by Saturday. Don’t hate me.
Our kids have their own rooms. I didn’t know how much I would love this until it happened. I love that we can send them to their rooms for discipline stuff, and that they each have their own rooms for getting time on their own. I got them new bedding as a surprise for move in day, so when they came home from school their beds were all made up and their rooms were unpacked, and they were so excited. Olivia, especially, has loved having her own space. She’s at that age where she’s starting to need down time, and she’s fallen in love with reading, so she loves having a place where she can hide away and read a book.
We have places for everything. The mission has had some old furniture that I’ve loved and held onto for a decade, even though we didn’t have room for it in our house in particular. Now we’ve got places for everything and it’s fun to see it all being used. One of the things I’ve loved for a long time is a buffet that had a detachable shelf on top. The shelf was a weird size, so it had been put away a long time ago, and we just used the bottom. The bottom needed some TLC, so I had the guys bring it out the week before we moved, and glued, filled and painted the whole thing. Now it’s in our living room just waiting for me to unpack our games (the last box), and holds the computer screen we use to watch movies. It’s a fun green color with new knobs, and I love it. I’ll try to post a picture some time when our internet cooperates.
Our internet sucks. Downside to living in a rural area is that they don’t think they need to provide good cell service which means no good internet service. We have our satellite internet connected, but it’s slow too. We’re trying to work on getting a booster to see if that will make a difference. At any rate, we’ve been spending much less time online, and doing a lot of other things in it’s place, which is actually a really good thing.
It’s so nice and quiet. At our old place, things had just been progressively getting louder over the years. We lived just off the national highway, so there was always traffic noise. On top of that, our property was divided by a government ease-way, so there was always foot traffic going by right under our windows since our house butted right up to the path. More motos had been coming down there in the past year too. We also had a canal that was used as a foot path on another side of our building for people walking down to the beach, which they were doing at all hours of the night. The first night out here the only thing we heard, aside from random donkey’s and horses, was crickets. Just crickets. It was so quiet and peaceful, and while I thought we might have a hard time adjusting and sleeping well, we all slept like rocks. And, we have every night since. I’ve still woken up at least once a night because of Alex, or to go to the bathroom, but fall back asleep easily and sleep hard. It feels so good.
Our kids finally have freedom. Because of past security and community things, and being right by the highway, our kids didn’t get to play outside our gate. Here, they can go run to the neighbors and we just have to yell for them to come home. Between that and the neighbor kids coming over to play, and the puppies, we haven’t once heard them utter the words “I’m bored!” I didn’t know that was possible.
We have power and hot water all the time. Chris worked hard at setting up a solar system that would give the mission plenty of power, and so far it’s been amazing. Yes, we’re still on holidays and things will be different when we go back to work and the guys are doing normal day to day stuff here, but we’ve already seen big things. Like, for example, the batteries being fully charged by mid-morning. We’ve never seen that. We can run the pump for two hours, and not worry about what it’s doing to our battery levels. We also got a solar hot water tank, like what we had at the old place, and this one is just set up better so the water is almost instant rather than taking several minutes to run through the system. It’s all such a blessing.
I love the kitchen. I’m still getting used to having more space to spread out, but so far I love it. I made cookies with the kids yesterday and we had lots of room. I love having a peninsula. So great! I do want to write more details about the kitchen and other areas after, but for now, even in it’s not quite finished state (no drawer fronts) I love it so much.
It’s cooler here. We’ve noticed a difference in temperature since moving. I’ve slept with a blanket on every night, not because I’m freezing, but because it’s just comfortable. We have a thermometer that measures inside and outside temps and it always used to be only a degree or two different. Now it’s about 5-7 degrees different. And, we notice that right after the sun goes down you can feel the temperature drop a bit, and then it cools off through the night and stays cool until the sun comes over the mountains. Our old place always had the conflict between ocean breeze and mountain breeze, so things never really cooled off. Here things are open enough, and there’s a nice breeze through the day, that even if it’s hot, the air is still moving. We put insulating foam in the roof of the house, and we know that’s made a big difference because the walls feel cooler, but it’s also just cooler here in general at night, so the whole building lets off the heat from the day. It’s so pleasant.
Okay, I’m going to stop there because I’m not sure how long it’s going to take for this to post. I really want to write more, but until we get our internet figured out we’re going to act like it’s 2005 again and find other things to do.
Have a great Christmas week!