Saturday, July 18, 2015

Snicker Doodle Saturday

The birds are chirping and the sky is a soft smoky blue. I do love my morning birds calling out to tell me hello as the day breaks. When my nieces were little, I watched them for a weekend and I still remember the joy that then 3-year-old Ellie bellie had one morning as I got her out of bed and she saw the big sun coming up in the sky, exclaiming, "The sun ith tumming up, the sun ith tumming up!" I think of her most times I see the sun rising and embrace her simple joy.

It's Saturday and I'm home, and as Martha Stewart would say, "That is a good thing." You'll never get me to say that spending two Saturdays in a row at Walt Disney World is a bad thing, and oh, how fun it was!, but being home today on this hot sultry day of summer feels especially delicious. It's been a tumultuous few weeks since my last Snickerdoodle Saturday post! I don't even know where to begin to bring you up to speed. But every story is best spun from the beginning, so I guess I will head in that direction. Even though I want to blurt out the ending! ;-)

Both boys are working at school this summer. It is my oldest son's second summer to work away from home, and my youngest son I don't believe ever plans to spend another summer in Texas. He was already too hot when he was here in May for two weeks. ;-) We have adapted fairly well to all the change, and are slowly accepting and realizing that the boys are coming home, more than likely, only on holidays, if even then. Both sons traveled at spring break....Oldest son traveled one year at Thanksgiving....Both sons will be in Europe this Thanksgiving....Times change! We press on and we change with them.

On Saturday, June 6, Steve, who rises out of bed later than me when he is off, came out to the front porch where I was sitting, iPad in hand, reading glasses on, and said, "Am I crazy if I am thinking about how to move closer to Florida?" And that was the beginning of the end of life as we now know it! He worked Sunday, June 7, and I researched housing in Florida and emailed a realtor that day about listing our house. On Monday, June 8, he talked to his HR and was advised to talk to his boss in an already scheduled meeting on Wednesday, June 8, but I chickened out! Quickly. I knew by Monday afternoon that I couldn't do it - couldn't leave Texas! We both decided it made so much more sense for him to keep working in his current market, and stay under his known and trusted management rather than move and start over.

But, an itch was created that needed to be scratched. So many hours alone in my big sprawling house have sewn seeds of discontent. I had fallen in love on Sunday with the idea of a smaller garden home, and Monday night after work, I ran north 12 miles to McKinney to peek at something I had found online during lunch - a little neighborhood of cottages. And I fell in love. And crazy as I am, my husband loves me enough to have agreed to meet me there in his suit, in the middle of grass and weeds in the hot Texas June setting sun, to check out the model and look at lots -- and hatch a new dream. We walked the model, loved it immediately, and decided it had definite possibilities for us. The next day I went back after work and looked again, knowing the realtor was coming to our home on Friday night. Going back for a second glance, because I was needing to know if we were going to change things up, or if I needed to cancel that Friday appointment. On Wednesday the 10th, we both went back to the new neighborhood again, and I had three visible and known confirmations that it was for us. Realtor appointment on.

We met with the realtor on Friday, put money down on the new home on Saturday, hustled the rest of the weekend for the photo shoot that was the following Tuesday morning, the house listed on Thursday the 18th, and we got an offer on Friday. It was a full price offer, but with a contingency, and that offer did not result in a contract. The house showed a total of 12 times from Thursday - Monday, and then the show traffic died. I told Steve that I knew God was saving our house for that couple, until they sold their house. Well, on Sunday June 28, we got a request for a second showing, and I looked up the requesting agent online, and saw it was them. I knew then I had them - like giving candy to a baby. ;-) And they came back with their second offer on our home and we accepted, signed the contract, and, gulp, we close July 30. Less than two weeks from today. 

It's been a whirlwind of activity. Lots to do, decisions to make, meetings to attend...Everything in the big house is being triaged: sell, store, or shuffle. The new house is being built and won't be ready until the super vague day of "January/February". {We will know more when ground actually breaks. The housing market here is off the chain and permitting right now is taking 6-8 weeks.} We have had our selection meetings. It took 4 of them. Ugh. Thank goodness we are "right-sizing", going down 35% on our square footage.  Five bedrooms to three. Two dining areas to one. Three living areas to two. But the change in the size of real estate is what is driving the three sell, store, or shuffle piles. And it's brutal. And seemingly unending. And getting down to the wire.

In the middle of all the madness of picking up and packing up our home, and dreaming of and designing our new home, we had to find a place for the little window of time in between. We decided if we were moving 15 miles northwest of where we live, that it would be logical to go ahead and head that way, and begin building our new life. 15 miles is a lot of ground in the metroplex. All "my stores" will change and of course our city changes, but we are in the same county. We were incredibly blessed by God to find just the right apartment for us, and it is on the first floor. I love that the name of the floor plan is called the Trinity. Our lease on the apartment begins 7/30. Most of my freaking out comes from trying to corral Scrap Central into the eating alcove at the apartment that will be my Interim Scrap Central. I, unfortunately, cannot take my built-ins with me, and I will have more cabinets at Scrap Central 2.0, and so in the apartment I will just have boxes and boxes of stuff everywhere. I am pulling a Scarlett O'Hara and deciding, everyday, to think about that tomorrow. :-)

House is selling, apartment is selected, new house is selected and in process. This is really happening. After having put off the tearing apart of my home for as long as possible, I finally gave way on Thursday. We broke down the dining room table and guest bed Thursday night. The media room has long been disassembled. There's a lot still to do. Both boys are flying home on 7/31 to help. To mostly help me. To give this mom heart have some family closure as we say goodbye to our home of the last 9 1/2 years. Yes, they will move boxes and some furniture. Shuffle things into the Pods and off to the 1,300 s.f. apartment. But, sweet hubby is compassionate enough to know that I needed them here briefly, for us all to be together one last time around hearth and home. 

I am excited. And giddy. And nervous. And curious. And questioning. And doubtful. And still excited. New color palettes, and a different floor plan, less space, and varying room configurations. It's overwhelming, and it's invigorating. The next several months will seem to go slow I know. Apartment living has its challenges I know. Moving into a new home is a lot of work I know. Things won't be the same again for a long time I know. 

But I am infinitely excited about the new possibilities that lie ahead. And I am making my to do lists like crazy in the meantime. ;-) Today is "big packing day one". Steve has knocked out about 80% of the upstairs. I am his big hindrance. His big sentimental "I want to keep that because ...." hindrance. It doesn't help that I have been somewhat in a state of denial. {If I don't begin packing, this surely isn't happening, right?} ;-) But it is. Thankfully, he is off all this coming week and will spend it doing stuff on the LISTS. And mom is coming Thursday and she will do stuff on her LIST. And the boys will come home after she lives and so the stuff on their LIST. And I have my LISTS and the management of all their LISTS. 

But right now, for this moment, I am sipping coffee in what we lovingly nicknamed Murphy Manor 9 1/2 years ago. Savoring the last few days I get to spend with her. Remembering silly adolescent boys, curious cats, a sweet Yorkie, crazy big family holidays. And later today I will scrap some. Going to work on my Month in Review layouts for April, May, June if I am lucky. It's getting down to the wire on how many more times I will create here. Putting off packing up Scrap Central, even while I deliciously dream of and design Scrap Central 2.0. 

Sometimes you get a little curve thrown into your life. And sometimes you ask for it. I know that life goes pretty fast. I know there aren't any do-overs. I know this is a big change for all four of us. I have a co-worker my age that is also building a home. She's going from 1,900 s.f. to 4,000 s.f. I can't believe she wants to. I am ready for some changes. I am ready for our little cottage. And in the meantime, in the wintery months in the small apartment, I will have my scrapping to keep me sane. Because no matter where you are, there is room to create. I knew my 2015 word, create, would hold much more meaning than I envisioned, and I knew from the beginning definitely it was beyond the 12x12 piece of paper. I didn't have any idea, though, that it would be about creating for us an entire new life. I thought maybe purge a few things, freshen up a few things. Ha, ha.

What are you creating right now? What's going on in your world? Do you have lots of lists going? Are you scrapping today? Are you with me? 


  1. Ahhh Penny, such tender times. Congratulations again on this new chapter in your lives.

  2. Wow.. what a exciting time for both of you.. Congratulations on your new chapter!