Sunday, May 10, 2015

New Home Sweet Home!

On Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 we were finally able to move into our new home!  To say we were excited would have been an understatement!  The previous owners told us they would be out by 12:00.  So early in the morning my sister Natalie and my mom came up to help me pack up and clean up the Boudwins home.  It took us a lot longer than we anticipated - I still can't believe how much stuff we have, and most of our stuff was in storage.  By 3:00 we were finally at a place where we couldn't really move forward until we emptied some boxes into the new house, but the previous owners were still there packing up.  We tried to be patient, but it was hard - it was funny how the roles had reversed.  By 4:00 we could not wait any longer so we dropped a few things off and my mom and sister had to leave.  I went back to the Boudwins and continued working hard until Jared came home around 6:00, we kept working and moving more over Cami and Derrick tried to help in any way they could, but Derrick was still recovering from his stay at the hospital and Cami was pregnant.  I was so happy and impressed when our new next door neighbor (Lynett McNaughten) came over and started helping right away, and she called her husband who was in his bishopbric mtg.  He, our new Bishop and the second counselor all came over, each with their truck and started helping - they each moved over our mattresses as well as a few other belonging.  There was a lot of cleaning that needed to be done before we got too settled in, so we limited our move in to the family room.  Because we moved in on a Wednesday we knew we wouldn't be getting the rest of our stuff out of storage until the following Saturday when more people would be able to help us.  So we planned on camping for the next few nights in the family room, but after one night Jared's allergies reacted to the previous owners dog and cats fur, it was covering the floor - there had been no cleaning done, when they left which was very disappointing.  Once again we were blessed when several women from our old ward and my mom came to help me clean.  These women worked SO hard scrubbing bathrooms, vacuuming, sweeping and mopping and cleaning kitchen cupboards and shelves.  Kelli Winn, Cami Boudwin, Sharece Rowser, Karen Edwards, Dana Brosnahan, my mom and myself made an amazing team.  
 While we worked hard cleaning the kids had a lot of fun exploring the big open basement, and the shelves in the food storage room made for a great place to play. :)
 The next day, Friday, I had carpet cleaners come to deep clean and hopefully get a lot of the pet hair and dander removed so Jared allergies would relax.  We spent that night sleeping in the living room with sheet and blankets draped over the windows.  It was another fun night of camping out. :)  That Saturday we were blessed with another army of people to help us move in.  The Kellers, Boudwins, my parents, several YM from the first ward, and another handful of men from the 1st ward all showed up to help us move in.  It was a very busy day trying to direct traffic and belongings.  Derrick and Cami Boudwin were very gracious to treat everyone to pizza for lunch and then when everything was finished we treated everyone to shakes from Dairy Keen.  By the time the day was over we had each of our bedrooms set up to sleep in, most of the kitchen unpacked and put away, and clothes and toiletries ready to go for church the next day.  We were SO tired, lucky for us we finally got to sleep in our real beds!!  Wahoo!!!!  And fortunately church didn't begin until 1:00 the next day, so we had time to get ready amidst the chaos.  On Sunday the boys were super happy to have their bathes in our new giant soaker tub. :)
 The next month was very busy unpacking and organizing our new home, my mom was wonderful to come up at least twice a week to help out.  I began each morning enjoying my time walking Brandon to school with Grant on his bike and Trent in the stroller, seeing hot air balloons always felt like a great start to the day. :)  Our home is less than half a mile from the elementary school and I can see 3/4 of the walk to and from the school, so Brandon has been able to go to and from school on his own without me being too worried. :)
We were SO busy settling in that mowing the lawn was the farthest thing from our priorities.  After nearly 4 weeks of going unmowed it was time to cut the lawn, but our poor mower had been in storage for nearly 2 months and it struggled badly with the nearly foot long grass.  We went over it on the highest setting and it still stalled often, but we persevered and got it done.  Our yard is HUGE, just mowing the lawn will take several hours each week, but the space will be so much fun!  We have so many fun projects in mind for the future. :) 

  When we moved in there were two places in the basement that Brandon could hardly wait to turn into dragon caves.  One was a crawl space (yes, another crawl space) the sits under our mud room/laundry room between the house and the garage, and the other was the space under the stairs to the basement.  The crawl space is a very involved project, which we simply can not do on our own, but the one under the stairs was very doable.  So for his birthday (11 days after moving in) My mom and sister gave him, a large piece of carpet, a curtain, and two cans of left over paint, as well as a few lights to make the dragon cave more appealing.  Brandon and I spent a Saturday together painting and putting his cave together.  He was sure proud of it!
 Half of the basement is dedicated to the children for playing in, that is where all their toys live as well as our old set of green leather couches, a basketball standard, a play structure, and most of the empty cardboard boxes from when we moved.  It is a child's paradise as far as I am concerned, but the boys don't want to spend a whole lot of time down there.  At first we thought it was because it was so dark, so my dad came and installed four more lights for their space, but that doesn't seem to have helped.  I think what it really boils down to, is they are still not used to having so much space to live and play in, and they are not used to being so far away from me.  The basement is a bit scary when mom is all the way upstairs - or worse, up two flights of stairs.  :)
 So now we are all moved in and settled - so here is the grand tour of our wonderful new home.
When you walk in the front door immediately to your right is a set of french doors that lead to our formal living room.  The hard wood, fireplace and beautiful mantle sold us on this house from the minute we saw it.  I love that I have a place now to put my future baby grand black piano, and then a place to have piano recitals. :)  I also love that this room can be a formal dining room when I need it to be.  The furniture that we inherited from Wyn and Dee Anns IF condo fits beautifully in this room.  We searched all over for curtains that would be a balance of modern and classic to suit my personality and the furniture's personality.  I love the curtains we found.  We also bought new throw pillows to tie things together.  We still need a rug, but they are super expensive and finding just the right one is very tricky!  We also need to someday find something to go on the wall opposite the fireplace.  But for now, it is perfect - we love this room it is so cozy and inviting, the light from the windows is bright and refreshing and it is the perfect Christmas room!
 I also love that the room can be closed off when we are not in it with french doors at both entrances.
After you walk through the living room you exit the second pair of french doors into the kitchen/dining room.
 This kitchen is so much bigger than our old one, and the cupboard space is amazing!  I wasn't sure I would love the tile floor which is actually a dark green and white color, but I actually do like it a lot.  Unfortunately several of the tiles and cracked and the grout is wearing away, so some day it will need to be replaced, but until then we will enjoy it!  We were also surprised when we moved in that there was no fridge, we missed that part where they said they were taking theirs with them.  It was an unexpected cost, but it is sure nice to have a fancy brand new fridge!  I love the storage, and the french door style that has so much space.  It was a hassle to live for the first week with no fridge - coolers aren't all that fun.  But the new fridge is wonderful.  I love having SO much counter space, and I really like the double level counter at the bar - it is great for working on.  The counters are made of white tiles - who ever thought tiles on a counter was a good idea, must have been crazy!  I'll never understand it - cleaning the grout between the tiles is a nightmare - another project for some future day.  For now I will just be tremendously happy about the space, and lighting in the kitchen, and of course me wonderful new fridge!!
 And a space for a kitchen table - what a concept.  This is something our old house simply did not have.  We can now comfortably sit six people around the table and still have space to spare.  I also love all the light that comes from the sliding door to the back yard!  I love my decorative shelves in the corner.  OH - and that white door in the back by the fridge leads to the mudroom/laundry room which then leads to the garage.  It is a very big space, where the dogs kennels can live and it has LOTS of storage space and another big bright window that looks out the front yard and drive way, so I can watch the kids playing outside while I am doing laundry.  For the first few months of living in our new home our old washer and dryer worked well, but then one day - for who know what reason, besides age the dryer died - no more dry clothes.  For a couple of weeks we were able to air dry clothes on the bed in the guest room, until we finally got a new washer and dryer.  We were once again blessed when one of Jared's co-workers told us that his dad sold high end washer and dryers and he could get us a set for an excellent cost.  Will the blessing ever cease?  I certainly hope not!  I love my new washer and dryer - they work SO well, much better that the other ones we had were old and didn't always work well, but these new ones are amazing!!
 The family room is so cozy and I love having it as part of the great room with the kitchen and dining room.  We had planned on moving our very old broken green leather couches into this room, but a few weeks prior to us moving in my mom found this set which was practically brand new at the DI for $200.00.  She and my dad gave them to us for a moving in gift (as well as so many other things along the way).  The couches look so nice and they are comfy and not broken ;) a nice touch, don't you think?  :)  But they are very deep and my short little legs don't even come close to reaching the floor when I want to lean back, so we started looking for throw pillows to fill it out.  When I say we, I mean my mom.  She was my personal shopper for several weeks after we moved in, she is blessed with both the time, interest, and great location to be able to shop around, so if she found something she thought I would like she would send me a picture for Jared and I to decide.  That is my kind of shopping!  I love the pillows that she found!  Then I was thinking I just needed a good blanket to throw it all together and I remembered that I had requested to have the yellow, blue and white afghan the Dee Ann had made.  It went perfectly well in that space - I love it!  
 From the dining room/family room you can either go through a door and down the stairs to the unfinished basement (which I have no pictures of) or you can go down the hall which leads to the man floor bathroom, the office, the front door, and the stairs leading to the top floor.  I love this little hall way, with a perfect space for my entry table and mirror, and the beautiful hard wood floors.  I also love having a coat closet that is just for coats, and I am super grateful the previous owners left the cute coat rack and mirror, they look great and get used often!
 This main floor bathroom has so much storage and space, I love it.  I also love the natural light and fresh air from the window!  And I really appreciate that we can have a bathroom for visitors that doesn't double as the kids bathroom!
 Our office - do you know - I love having a room dedicated as an office space and not having the office in my bedroom.  The closet in this room is huge with several built in shelves to house all of my crafting supplies, all of our games and puzzles and much much more.  All of the furniture in this room was handed down from Wyn and Dee Ann.  I love having a big high quality desk (that I didn't build myself and doesn't fall apart) I love the extra book cases, and the filing cabinet with tons of space for files and a place to put the printer and other electronics.  I love having a place to finally put up Jared decorations, it makes it look like the perfect man cave for him.  I also love that there is a dedicated nook in front of the desk which our fish tank fits perfectly in.  I no longer have to look at an ugly dirty fish tank right when I walk into the house or when I am sitting in the main part of our house - it is hidden, out of the way, but still in a place that Jared can enjoy it - and for some crazy reason it doesn't get dirty in its place - we have yet to have to really get in a clean it!  YAY!  Another great feature to this room is the big window that looks out to our front porch (a very southern, cozy front porch - which we love) and the front yard and flag pole.  Its a beautiful space!
 And up the stairs we go - this is the view from the front door.  My boys were so happy to finally live in a house that has stairs, because for eight years we were the only people in their world who didn't have stairs.  Its funny the things that are a big deal to kids.  My legs are still getting used to stairs, they are a lot of work :)
 At the top of the stairs just to your right is our master bedroom.  This room actually deserves to be called a master bedroom.  It is luxury at its finest and I feel spoiled every time I am in this room.  I love all the light and the view from our windows, both day and night.  I love that the little window above our room don't need coverings for privacy, so I get to sleep under the stars and the moonlight. :)
 Our bedroom has space to spare, the reading corner is so cozy and inviting, it is a favorite place to spend quiet time.  Another blessing came when Natalie moved out of her apartment and no longer had space for her treadmill.  We knew we wanted to get one, but getting one for free is much better!  I love being able to watch TV and exercise in the comfort of my room with a shower immediately available!   This room also has his and hers closets and they are big, (nearly walk in) with built in shelves!  The storage in this house is amazing and wonderful!

 And we have an on suite master bathroom.  I always felt a bit funny calling our bathroom in the old house an on suite master bathroom because it hardly felt deserving of the title, but this bathroom definitely deserves the title.  We have our own sinks - it was never a real big deal before, we like each other well enough that we could share a sink just fine ;) but having our own is so fun!  And that tub!!!  It may not get used often, because the stall shower is more efficient on the day to day, but it is such a luxury when we do get to use it.  It is almost too big - I never thought that was possible!  :)  The boys get to use it much more regularly, and it so fun that all three boys get to have their baths together, (for a little bit longer anyway) it is a party every time!

 From our bedroom you have this big wrap around hall with the boys bathroom followed by Trents bedroom, a beautiful window, then the guest bedroom and lastly Brandon and Grants bedroom.  I know it is silly, but this hall way is wonderful, I love being able to look over the banister to the main floor, and being able to look to the other side of the hall to the other rooms - it feels so spacious and open.  And it is of course a fun place to cause trouble for little boys who love to throw things over the railings. :)
 The boys bathroom is another big space with lots of storage - I actually have drawers that are empty - I never could have dreamed of such a thing!
 Trent's room is wonderful!  He has two big windows for LOTS of natural light.  He has a view of the corner so he gets to watch lots of cars drive by - he loves it!  In fact - car was his first word!  He has a huge closet with built in shelves and lots of space to play.  I love sitting in his room and watching him learn and grow as he explores all that is around him!
 A guest room!  What a wonderful thing!  For eight years we either couldn't have guests, or Wyn and Dee Ann who are our most frequent guest would sleep on the couch or a blow up mattress, or if they were lucky in their motor home.  None were ideal situations, but now we have a beautiful and very comfortable room for our guests to stay.  This room does not have a closet, weird, but fine as we don't need the storage and our guests don't really need a closet, but the windows more than make up for the lack of a closet.  There are two big windows which let in lots of light and one has the best view in the house.  We enjoy the room so much, that if we are having a hard time sleeping in our own bed, we sleep in this room instead. :)  I also love that I know have a place to display the art work that Jared's maternal grandma (Grandma Erma Ward) painted.
 The last room is the boys room.  It is the smallest room in the house, but with the boys having a whole basement of space to enjoy they don't really need a lot of room.  This has plenty of space for sleeping, reading, and storing clothes as well as a very few select toys.

I feel so tremendously blessed to live in this wonderful home of ours!  Eight years in our little humble and well loved home was more than we anticipated spending their.  There were day when we wondered if we would ever be able to move into something bigger.  There were days when it was really hard to be grateful for our small home, and we wondered why we being punished.  I am still ashamed about those feelings, because really we were SO blessed to have our little home when compared with the many other people in the world who would have loved to live there.  And truly in many ways, less is more.  Less house meant less house work - more time for other activities.  But with this new home I can see our future.  I can't wait to host many family parties comfortably.  I can't wait to watch our kids grow up in this house and not feel like we are on top of each other all the time.  This house is truly a dream come true, and a tremendous blessing that I don't feel deserving of.  I couldn't be more grateful!!

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