Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Ease of Recycling...Once Again!

Despite the usual lack of sleep I get (two toddlers) lately I have still been having some pretty memorable and interesting dreams. The other night I dreamt about having to make my way through an entire staff of school officials to get the information I needed about recycling a stack of papers. When someone finally gave me the correct information about the recycling BUS (yes, a bus) I watched as it passed me by and continued driving away off into the distance. Not too far off from the frustration I used to feel living in middle GA where if you brought your own bags to the grocery store people assumed you were going to shop lift (a cashier once told me this) and recycling was still a thing of the future.

It is so exciting to once again live in a community where recycling is a given, bringing your own bags is encouraged and green living is the norm, not the exception. I will tell you this though- my experience in GA taught me a great deal about living creatively green. Buying in bulk so as to use less material, being more aware of products I brought into my home, and re-using more often are among the many different changes I enacted so my family could still make a difference.

With 2009 right around the corner, I pledge to continue making more of a difference in my green living...what changes are you thinking of making?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas 2008

A wonderful Christmas.....really, I swear! It was so great to be in our new house for the holiday, and especially wonderful to have some of our family here to celebrate with us. Nate got his bike and all kinds of pirate gear, Jules got her kitchen, I got Coach, and Pete and I got a new camera! Trust me, you'll be seeing a lot more photos around here...Hope everyone's Christmas was magical, full of love and memorable.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Joyful Season!

Wow, this holiday season in particular is leaving me drained, feeling guilty and a tad bit frustrated. Drained, because I am still unpacking, trying to organize the new house, hand curtains and paintings, do the laundry, grocery shop, bath and feed the kids, spend quality time with them, and prep for Christmas and a few guests who'll be staying here for Christmas....

I'm feeling guilty because I hate spending money on frivolous items for significant people and of course with all that is going on that seems to be what I am doing.

And of course that also leads me to the frustrated part...every year, I swear things will be different. I promise myself I will start thinking of thoughtful, meaningful and sensible gifts for the next Christmas as soon as this one is over. But alas, I just can't seem to learn my lesson. So each year I panic the week before Christmas and find myself waking up in the middle of the night wondering if my sister has already read that bestseller I just bought her?

The other issue on my mind is the amount of material goods we all feel so pressured to buy this time of year...it's insane! After spending about two hours opening up gifts last year, my family decided that things were getting out of control...granted there were 10 of us and 2 of them were the kids, but really, 30+year-old siblings do not need to give each other 10 presents! So hopefully, things will be a little more subdued around here. As my children get older I hope they learn by example that the holiday season is not just about getting, it is about giving as well. And this doesn't mean having to spend money on frivolous items...I am starting to realize that giving of time is one of the most treasured gifts anyone can give or receive.

I hope you are all staying stress free right now and enjoying the holiday in the way it is meant to be enjoyed...with your families and friends...not in long lines at the mall!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What a difference!

The view of our backyard here in SC (a few weeks ago)....

And, the view of our backyard in GA afew years ago....

Despite having to rake up loads of leaves, I am soooo happy to be rid of PINE TREES!!!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Ups and Downs of Our Move

The ups and downs of moving into a new house....

1. Down: Having the movers show up at your old house and tell you that they can't come back the next day to complete the 2-day job, so they will have to pack and load everything in one day. Sorry if we'll still be packing and loading at 2 a.m....

ups: at least they left you bedding in which they agreed to pick up in the morning....

2. Having your husband away on business during the whole move process...

ups: at least he was able to get a new job and a salary increase in this drowning economy....

3. Down: Having to entertain two children in a house after the movers have already packed up their toys...

ups: having two amazing friends who were available to help me with them....

4. Forgetting that the moving company will not pack any cleaning supplies, flammable materials, including candles, gasoline and propane tanks, paint, art supplies, hairspray, bug spray, wasp spray...or anything else that could combust spontaneously while they are driving your home goods to the storage unit...Hummm, okay, I need to drive all of these things in the back of my SUV with two children in the car?

Ups: not really sure there is one?

5. Down: Once in our temporary apartment, having to take two large dogs out on leashes 500 times a day, when they used to an acre of fenced in back yard in which to roam free.

ups: They will once again experience the joy of a large fenced in yard...

6. Down: Having to take two large dogs out on leashes 500 times a day with two small children in tow (who want to run in opposite directions!) and having to pick up doggie poop at the same time.

ups: At least the apartment allowed pets...

7. Down: Yes, they allowed pets, but of course for a non refundable $300 deposit...for the four weeks we were there!

7. Down: Having to drive 35 minutes away to drop off and pick up your son at his new preschool...

ups: at least he got into one of the best schools in town half way through the year....

8. Finding out that the realtor representing the purchasers of your old home, stole a key to your home, let strangers into your home against your wishes, allowed them to do work on your home (while you still owned it), and then gave permission to the purchasers to move in BEFORE the closing...humpf....Contacting the BBB and filing a police report...!!!!

ups: Still haven't thought of one yet....No, wait, we sold our house within a two month period in a down housing economy...for a profit!

9. Finally seeing move in day to the new house only to discover that there are several, no, many, no a LOT of damaged items, and on top of that, the movers are in a really, really bad and unfriendly mood.

ups: We finally moved into our new and amazing house!!! I am so beyond thrilled and humbled to live here!

10. Having a water pipe in one of the bathrooms burst open at full force, sending tons of gallons of water massively swimming onto our floor and down into our heating/air ducts.....Thank God for neighbors who know where the water shut off valves are on your lawn and professionals who are available to come over on a Friday night and get the job done.

ups: Thank God for our being able to have water coming into our house in the first place! You never appreciate it until you have to go without it for a few hours....

these are just a few of the crazy situations we faced in our moving process. Overall, it has been worth it though! We love living outside of Columbia and are thrilled to be back in a community that offers so much diversity, culture and possibility....hopefully we won't have to do it again for at least another 20 years....

Friday, December 5, 2008

Homeless Juliana

My little homeless girl taking a nap in box!!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

All Moved In!!!

I am so ashamed that I haven't posted in so long!!! We are finally in our new house in SC and with the exception of a few bumps in the road, all is going smooth so far. We LOVE the house, LOVE the community and LOVE having access to so much nearby!

Nate attends preschool twice a week and has adjusted very well. Juliana is also doing well and loves climbing up and down our staircase! We've been busy unpacking, buying a few new pieces of furniture as well as appliances, and getting acquainted with the neighborhood and community.

I'll try and post some pictures later and now that the dust is settling- I'll be posting more often, I promise!!!

Thanks for sticking with me!