Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Oh, It Is Love…

…from the first time I set my eyes upon you…  And by “you”, I mean my house.  ;)  I LOVE my new house!  We moved in mid-January and although it was later than expected, it was well worth the wait.  Since then I continue to convince myself that I can’t possibly love it more, but as days go by I continue to find new things that I love.

I love the house itself.  I love the floorplan – it’s exactly what we were looking for.  I love that I have a dedicated office, albeit it desperately needs organized.  I love the finishes that we chose – sorry to my neighbors, but I still think it’s the best looking house on the street.  J  I love that everything came together – the granite, the counters, the floor, the tile… so hard to choose, but totally nailed it!  I do have a love-hate relationship with my wood floors though – they are impossible to keep clean (but beautiful when they are)!  I love finally having a pantry.  I love my double sliding door.  I LOVE my slightly ridiculous master suite.  I feel like I’m in a hotel!  I love the over-the-top walk-in tile shower.  I love my massive closet, although I’m positive I need more clothes to fill it (although I'm having other issues in that department).  I love the built-ins – all the closets (so much easier for kid clothes!) and around the fireplace (although they are a bit bare).  I love the coffered ceilings and the beams in my living room.  I love my backyard – the comfortably shaded patio with a view of my beautiful green grass, a field, and the mountains, with the babbling sound of the irrigation ditch nearby.  I even love mowing it with the new mower we got (that I also love!).

I love the stuff we put in the new house – new couch and loveseat, new appliances, new bed.  I LOVE my washer and dryer – I actually don’t mind doing laundry or dishes anymore.  I love my pics I put in the entryway.  I love my shrine to my Bailey Jo in the living room.  I love the beautiful exhibition of the flower painting Loren’s dad gave us (one of the main focal points in the living room).  I can’t wait to decorate more (all these new things have strapped my budget a bit).

I love the area – quiet and safe with friendly neighbors.  I love going for walks in the neighborhood and that I can let the kids and dog play in the front of the house without constantly fretting.  I’m loving Star in general – such a small town feel while being minutes from city comforts.  I love the post office and city hall – so quiet and personable.  I love that there are town and neighborhood events.  I love that my mom is 1 mile away.  I love the 15 minute highway drive to Nampa (it’s quite a beautiful ride with an open view of fields, mountains, and sky) with Costco and everything else I might need.  I love the Star Merc, that has a little bit of everything.  I’m not even minding the drive to work and the kids’ school – traffic usually isn’t too bad and I grew up with highway driving that I don't mind (SO much better than city driving!).  I’d much rather spend 40 minutes of highway driving home than the 20 minutes of city driving I had before (especially in my Rav, that I also love).  Stop, go, stop, go, stop, go, stop, effing GO!!!  It gives me a bit of time to unwind from the day and I can enjoy some music.

I’ve had people ask how the new house is, so there you go.  I have to send out a huge thank you to Donnie Dwyer, our builder – he made me pull my hair out at times, but he’s a good guy and I know I could have never built this house with another builder for the price.  If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have my dream house!  And I think I owe an even bigger thank you to Miss Jennifer Hickey, from Boise Real Estate Pros.  Without her, I don’t think I would have survived this build.  Heck, it would have never even happened.  She listened to what we wanted/needed, knew even better than we did what would be a good match, and was there every step of the way, cracking the whip with no questions asked.  Totally got us the hook-up too, on several things!  She is, put simply, pretty freaking awesome.  ;)

Now, the hardest part…  finding the motivation to do anything but enjoy my new house this summer!  It really feels like there is something else I need to be doing…  some pesky little thing…  oh yes, a dissertation…  :P

*sidenote* Holy crap, it's been a year since I written on this!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Beach Trip: Day 5

A day in pics...

Half Moon Bay

A day of discovery...

...driftwood huts...

...sticks for dragging and for shooting...


...pretty girls... time...



... and swinging!

Girls will be girls.

And boys will be boys.

These shenanigans were followed by chowder at the pier, boat and sea lion (seal?  I don't know...) watching, delicious ice cream, and a dip in the hot tub!

Beach Trip: Days 3 and 4

Slacking already!  :P  Thursday morning we hit the breakfast at our hotel and then Addie HAD to hit the hottub ONE more time.  She was quite proud that she could touch the bottom of both the hottub and pool without being under the water.  Hayden finally warmed up to both by the time we were leaving, and then of course he didn't want to leave!  We finally convinced him it was time to go, loaded up our stuff, and headed out.  We actually stayed on Hayden Island north of Portland, which has direct access to the freeway that one would normally take to Tokeland.  But after our ventures to Astoria 2 years ago led to the Goonies house, but NOT the actual beach in the movie, we were a bit disappointed -- and Loren still had it in his head that he needed to see that beach.  So we decided to take a little different route to Tokeland and headed west to Cannon Beach.  It was a nice drive and just happened to go directly past a Trader Joe's where we grabbed a picnic lunch for later.  :)  We made it to Cannon Beach and saw the famous Haystack Rock that is pictured in the movie, but were unable to find a good beach access point there so we went a bit more north to Ecola State Park.  Beautiful park with narrow windy roads and decent beach access.  It was overcast and a bit chilly, but nothing unexpected at an Oregon beach.  :)

Hayden threw rocks, Addie looked for shells, and both played in the sand and played chase with the waves.  We even scored a new sandcastle-building kit left by some teenage girls who said they didn't want it anymore (they were from Wyoming and didn't see much use for it there).

We had lunch, which included two aggressive (but cute) squirrels and annoying crows (is it just me, or do beach animals always seem much more aggressive?  I remember Hayden being chased down by seagulls last time.).

Once we were tired and windblown we hit the road again, taking 101 up through Astoria and into Washington.  Quick pitstop in Raymond for pizza and we made it to the beach house by early evening.  Unloaded our stuff, went for a brief walk around the neighborhood (and spotted multiple slugs, all of which Addie wanted to bring home but we've made a sorely needed no-critters-in-the-house rule), and settled in for the night.

We did get to see a raccoon on our way in and had a visit from these deer before bed (we got to see them yesterday too).

Yesterday (Friday) began with a trip into Westport for some groceries (and into Grayland for some deliciously fresh seafood) and we hit the beach shortly after lunch.  There is beach access from the house, but it's a bit of a trek and for some reason they have a bunch of orange construction fencing up all over (yet to figure out the reasoning there) so we decided to drive up the road a few minutes to Washaway Beach.  Addie was in seashell and critter heaven.  She quickly filled up her bucket as we discovered shells and neat rocks and enjoyed holding baby crabs and starfish.  It was a beautiful day out -- sunny up until we left with no rain and just the normal beach wind.

Both kids got to fly kites for the first time.  I'm so used to kite flying in Idaho, where you have to attempt a running start only to enjoy a few second flight before it crashes to the ground.  Beach kite flying is so easy!  Other than when Hayden let go of his (you had to hold on TIGHT!) and I had to sprint across the beach to get it (and I'm proud to say I was successful in my rescue!).

We climbed on the rocks a bit and Hayden played in the sand a little.  Came back to the house for a quick bath and some rest before enjoying an absolutely delicious dinner of fresh crab and oysters.  Yum!  Finished out the night with a short walk to the water (not the ocean, the water that fills up the inlet during high tide) where Addie found even more treasures and both kids waded in pjs into muddy murky water.

We're having a good time, but I'm not sure how I convinced myself that this would be a relaxing vacation to rejuvenate me before 8 credits of summer school.  I'm exhausted!  That's why I'm already slacking on the blog -- I've been crashing out, often before the kids!  The kids are demanding entertainment at all times (when do they get old enough to just enjoy going outside to explore?  oh wait, I never wanted to go outside...) and if it's not whining about being bored, it's whining about something else, fighting between the two of them, or getting into something they shouldn't (seriously, way too many breakable items around this place).  And yes, I know that one day soon they will want little to nothing to do with me and so I try to cherish these times but it gets a bit challenging when I can maybe read 1 sentence in a book (have I mentioned that I have SEVEN books to read for summer school in 5 weeks, not including all the articles, assignments, and 5 hours of class everyday?  This would be me whining!) before hearing "Mom!  Mom!  Mom!  Mom!  Mom!" or breaking up a fight or running to rescue something from the hands of Hayden.  May I remind you that Hayden is 2, almost 3?  I say you move from Terrible Twos (which are really only troublesome towards the end) into Tantruming Threes (and we are there!).  Sidenote:  As I finished adding pics there was a major fight over a bottle of water (even though Addie currently has 3 and there is a whole case in the laundry room) and Hayden is going on at least 10 minutes of tantrum after the fight was finally settled by dad.  But we are enjoying our adventures and, I hope, creating great memories.  I'll just be surprised if we actually end up staying 9 days... ;)