Recapping May [Insert Face Screaming Emoji HERE]


I have to say that this May has been one of the hardest, most exhausting, highly frustrating, intensely challenging and abundantly rewarding months of our lives. I don’t even think my over-worked, under-rested brain can muster up the intellectual energy required to come up with the perfect adjective to portray what the past four weeks have looked like for us, so I’ll just go ahead and say it: “They were CRAZY!” (bold caps intended and definitely needed)

We moved. Ugh.

We closed on our new house on April 30th, or rather I closed on it since Ryan was traveling for work. Over the past ten months as we’ve been building, the topic of the actual move came up quite a bit, and we resolved that we were going to opt to overlap our rental agreement and closing date so that we had two weeks to get ourselves out of Amityville. When we left our townhouse three years ago, the process of packing/moving/closing all in a few short days was horrible, and so we ended up in that panicked “just throw it on the truck and we’ll deal with it later” mentality — which is the absolute worst. And, let’s be honest, we didn’t deal with it later…until now. Oh the decluttering that needed to be done!

The closer we got to our house finally being complete, the more I talked to Ryan about what those two weeks would look like: We would clean out bit-by-bit and move only the items we intended on keeping over to the new house one room at a time; we would have movers come just to get the big pieces of furniture and to help us pull up all the junk from the basement (stairs + a million boxes = worth the cost). I purposely did nothing to pack up prior to our closing date (and instead attempted to close out existing design projects and such), which was part of the plan. HOWEVER, once Ryan got back into town after our closing, he revealed that he had never, in fact, agreed with how I had proposed our slow move would go, but failed to ever verbalize his opinions to me. (Men. Ugh.) [insert a few, um, tense conversations]

So, the night before the movers came, I had to rethink my entire game plan, which made our move HORRENDOUS. The movers had to come twice because despite staying up literally all night before the first move, I could not physically get everything cleaned out and packed in time. Things got intensely more complicated and difficult because Ryan had to travel almost the entire two weeks that we had left in Amityville, and I, of course, had two rug rats begging for my attention. I have never been more exhausted and scattered and crazed than I have in those two weeks. We had no unpacked clothes or toiletries or dishes…and life was a mess. Most days I would just look around and not even know where to start.

We said goodbye to Amityville…with no tears.

At the end of my last trip to Amityville, I went to grab one yellow rose from the random bush that blossomed every year by our garage by which to remember our time there. I had envisioned placing it on display in our new home and then eventually pressing it in the pages of our family bible to preserve it forever. However, in true Amityville fashion, my attempt to have one final, sweet momento was totally obliterated when I accidentally pulled up the whole bush, which, it turned out, seemed to be barely hanging on as it was. The roses died like one day later. Go figure.


When I handed over my keys to our landlord for the last time, I had no emotions. It was strange; I guess the mass chaos that ensued kind of overshadowed any reflective time I might’ve had about our years spent there. There was no pomp or circumstance or final moment for us as a family in Amityville because Ryan was out of town on our last day, so I literally just dropped my keys and garage clicker in our landlord’s mailbox and drove away. When Ryan returned, he asked me if I felt anything when I did so. I’m not sure if he expected me to say that I had cried or that I had cheered, but I suspect that there would’ve been a 50/50 chance of either extreme of emotion. I replied, “Strangely, no. Actually it feels like a dream already. Like one of those things where I’d wake up in the middle of the night and roll over to you, saying, ‘I just had the weirdest dream that we lived in this awful house we called “Amityville.” It smelled like the 70s died inside of it, and there were ants and spiders and mosquitoes everywhere. We even had a mouse and a squirrel. Oh! And our neighbors were these Russians we called “The Russians,” and they brought us crazy Russian food over all the time.’” Dear Future Talie, Amityville was no dream. It was real. It really happened. I promise.

I’ve had to go back to Amityville once or twice already to pick up late packages and mail, but today I saw the new tenants moving in. It’s about 100 college dudes cramming into that tiny house. I just laughed. I know that we’ll glance over at Amityville as we drive past it every day of our lives for the next 20 years (because it’s so close by and on our way to the highway) and always wonder who’s living there. The poor suckers!

Of course, though, in searching for a few pictures for this post, I ran across the pictures below of the girls from our last few nights in Amityville and had to sigh. *Maybe* it wasn’t so bad after all? ;)

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We had houseguests!

It’s a sign of true friendship to invite people into your mess of a move just days after throwing the last box off the truck and onto your floor and not worry about their judgement. We heart our D.C. friends, the Engerts, and couldn’t have been more thrilled to have them as our first official guests at the new house. True, we had no blinds, no cable, no groceries — and I literally handed Joe a bag with a shower curtain and rod and asked him to hang it before he showered — but, hey, isn’t that what true friendship is about? Actually, I suppose the true test of friendship will be to see if they come back to stay again another time, haha!


In all actuality, it was great to have our close, comfortable friends in our new home, as discombobulated as we were. The girls had fun chasing each other around and watching “Stella and Sam” on repeat. I got to enjoy the benefits of having a playroom with a door finally, and at the end of each night I simply shut in the girls’ mess and proceeded to completely ignore it until the Engerts left. It. Was. Amazing. Life-changing in fact!


As a side note, E.V. now refers to our guest room as “Mr. Joe’s Room,” so there’s the origin of that inevitable family lore.


Emma Vance finished up preschool.

I’m all about milestones, but the last few weeks of preschool were a messy blur for me. I’m sure E.V.’s teachers were on the verge of calling DFACS by the last day because her wardrobe slowly deteriorated into basically whatever I could find or wash that morning (and oftentimes a diaper-only Cricket was on my hip as I dropped E.V. off…yikes!). I forgot her bag one day. I didn’t realize she needed a packed lunch for a picnic one day. I got all of my end-of-year dates confused and mixed up…all the makings of a stellar future PTA President, right?? Ha. Oh, well! We survived, she graduated, and now it’s summer…and time for summer activities to begin! (I have NO IDEA where the pictures of her last day are!)

In fact, tomorrow is the first day of camp for both of my girls and I couldn’t be more pumped. They’ll have fun; I’ll have time to unpack! Win-win! We also participated in our church’s summer kick-off last Sunday, which is themed The Rootin’ Tootin’ Round Up, by dressing up all cowgirly for this morning. How cute are they??

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And, as a side note, we have so much going on this summer that we have preemptively delayed E.V.’s birthday party until August 1st…FIVE WEEKS after her actual birthday. Yikes! Remind me that she won’t know the difference??? #momguilt


The contractors have taken over my life.

Although we built our house from scratch, there were a lot of things that we opted not to do with the builder for various reasons (read: WAY OVERPRICED). We knew, then, going into this month that we were going to have contractors in and out of our home doing this-n-that, but I had no idea how intense and impacting having dust and drills and dudes in my house 24/7 would be. I’ll post more Before & After stuff soon (well, hopefully soon!), but I’ll be glad in a week or two when the work goes from indoors to outdoors (because the backyard is about to get overhauled next).

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While it’s been total chaos around here, Ryan’s been working and traveling a ton; I’ve been trying to manage the household to the best of my exhausted abilities; the dogs are beside themselves with anxiety over the recent changes, but my heart really hurts mostly for Emma Vance and Cricket. My poor girls are definitely bearing the brunt of this upheaval, and thus bedtimes and tensions have been interesting this month. Lord help us all! I promise we’ll get back to our beloved routine soon, girls!

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I’m living in The Dark Ages. Literally.

How in the world a TV/internet company doesn’t look at a new neighborhood of over 100 homes and see dollar signs, I’ll never know. However, much to my chagrin, there are no cable or internet providers in our subdivision yet. Ryan’s been on the phone countless hours over the past month trying to get someone (anyone) to give us internet (and thus also my best friend, Netflix). How did people survive without before the internet?!? This is the WORST. We’ve been cautiously using a hotspot just for basic needs, but our bill is going to be OUTRAGEOUS. If you’ve tried to contact me or Ryan via email or social media this month, I promise we’re not trying to ignore you. We’re just logged off until Comcast decides to ride in on a white horse like a knight in shining armor and rescue us from the dragon of disconnected-ness.

In other news, we realized rather quickly that our new neighborhood hasn’t been picked up by GPS yet, which has made for an interesting month for mail and packages. I’ve started including directions in the notes on all my orders, but since Amazon Prime is pretty much the easy first cousin of my one true love, Target, we rely on our daily packages from them to keep our household running. I’ve taken to answering unknown callers on my cellphone by saying, “So I assume you’re lost and looking for my house?” instead of hello nowadays. I’ve put in requests with TeleAtlas and Google Maps, so I’m hoping to see the GoogleMaps car driving down my street any day now. I’ll greet them with ice cream and a ticker tape parade.

Also, I put blogging and photographing our lives on the back burner for May due to limited time, exhaustion, lack of internet, and because, well, our lives and house are a MESS right now. Because Ryan’s been traveling so much and because our house is filled with contractors, I’ve been on baby duty constantly, and I learned early-on that unpacking with two toddlers in tow is pretty much worthless. I did stay up all night one night to get our master closet unpacked, but the majority of stuff is still in boxes for the moment. In fact, if you’ve seen E.V. or Cricket recently they’ve most likely been in one of four outfits I have unpacked and been rewashing each night…or in some randomly concocted outfit my eldest has schemed up from the small assortment of clothing scattered on her closet floor. #dontjudge


Okay, that’s about it in a nutshell. To recap, May 2015 can be summed up with the Screaming Face Emoji. Yeah, that seems pretty accurate. Now, on to JUNE!

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