Saturday, January 18, 2014

Goodbye Bismark Street

Early in December we had a couple potential buyers, who then both came back for a second showing on the same evening (nothing like a little competition). Within 24 hours they had both put in offers. We countered. They accepted. We SOLD our sweet little Bismark home. The home we opened all our wedding gifts in. The home we got our masters degrees in, the home we rescued two cats in, the home we got our forever jobs in, the home we brought our baby's home from the hospital to. While this is what we ultimately wanted to happen, it was still a bittersweet reality. 

Welcome home babies!

And the timing was both good and bad. Good because we had Christmas break to pack and move, bad because Christmas break wouldn't be much of a break with packing and moving! We did commit to not doing anything moving related until after Christmas. So the first few days were relaxing (well, as relaxing as the few days leading up to Christmas can be with an excited 3 year old!). Then it was GO TIME!  My parents had great timing and came over after Christmas (maybe not so great for them though). It really helped having the extra hands on deck with the kids, a few last minute fix it things my dad was able to help with, and of course packing and cleaning. Sorry guys! 

When we made our plans for how to pack efficiently we had no idea the depth of all our cupboards---each one revealed so much more than we knew could fit, it was just like the clown car at the circus! I'd estimate an hour to tackle the medicine cabinet and half a day later I'd have several large boxes filled. The trickiest part of it all was that some things were moving with us to Keith's dads house (where we are staying until April), other things were going to a storage unit. Therefore everything needed a decision. "Will we need this in the next few months?" Some rooms/areas were easier than others. Like the bathroom and bedrooms where pretty much everything was coming with us. The kitchen was tricky because we wouldn't need any dishes, we would need our food, but what about all the random spices that you use for that one special recipe? Spices are expensive people! You don't want to have to go out and just buy another one. Okay, maybe spices aren't the best example, but there were certainly some things that were harder to know where or how to pack. With all the extra help, including Keith's family too, (which obviously, everyone was amazing, and we in no way could have done it in such a short time without them), sometimes I got a little overwhelmed and wanted to just do it all myself. I think if we had been moving into our next home it wouldn't have mattered as much to me as to where/how things were packed because I'd have known we'd eventually get everything back out in the next couple weeks. I wanted to know I could have access to things like the kids next size of hand me down bins, and we'll likely be changing seasons during this time so I will need to know where to find the stroller and Kendall's bike. Maybe I'm weird but this process was way more stressful than I expected. 

 Eventually it all made it out of the house and into a moving truck. Keith borrowed his buddy's truck to load our stuff to Lanny's house and we started to settle in on new years. Keith's sister and mom and nieces and nephews helped us out a ton on this day getting the house child proofed and moved in. Keith's awesome friends, brother and sister in laws, and a couple golf kids, made moving day go super smooth. It took two loads to the storage unit and then over the next few days we gradually got the rest of our stuff out to where it needed to be. Thank you thank you thank you to our family and friends! We are so blessed!
After the house closed we went back to say our official goodbyes to the neighbors and deliver banana bread, and get our official SOLD sign pictures. It was a little eerie being in the empty house, and pretty sad. Kendall loved running all over and hearing the echo-y sounds of the doors closing and feet stomping. 

One last picture of the branch I painted for the first baby in my tummy. I did it late in the night because I just knew the baby was coming early (and she did). 

SO BIG without any furniture or kid toys in it! 

It was a funny process taking everything out and realizing how many little improvements we have done over the 8 years we lived here. We first took fruit wall paper down and painted the kitchen red (our first real marital test---never again will we willingly take down wall paper!). Next up was painting the obnoxious bright blue bedroom in the basement into a warm and inviting yellow guest bedroom. Then we painted the mailbox white and the fire place black (both used to be gold). With the fireplace all black and new looking we were inspired to repaint the bricks and mortar white (they were a dirty, faded white and the mortar was still dark). Next up was the bathroom remodel which we never could have done without Jon and my dad helping us (or basically doing it, cause we are NOT handy). At some point we changed out all the light fixtures. Then I painted the "craft room" a soft mint, knowing in the back of my mind it'd someday be a nursery. I have great memories of Leah helping me do the final coat of paint in that room so that we could move forward with the real crafting. A year before we had Kendall we had new lighter colored carpet installed (after peeling some up and realizing the real wood underneath was too much work to redo). The carpet did lead to new baseboards and new furniture which made a huge difference in how modern our house looked. Each spring/summer we made improvements to our yard, changing it from a mostly dirt yard all dug up by dogs, to a grassy yard for kids to play in. The impending showing and pre-inspection revealed many undone projects that we quickly finished up, leaky sinks, bad outlets, ugly banisters, etc. and the big one being replacing the inside of the chimney---boo! But when it was all said and done we are so glad that we put in the work we did to make it all the more sell-able. But we have learned that a newer house with less fix its would be a better fit for us (it's just not fair to our handy friends and family).

We sold our first home.

Kyler's first Christmas(es) (And Kendall 4th)

 Christmas #1: Keith's sisters & families

 It's been a while since our little family has been in town for this big family Christmas party so it was fun to see everyone all together. Kendall is at a fun age to get to play with all her cousins (and 1st cousins once removed).
 Kelli was a fabulous host!
 All the younger kids got gifts. Kendall got this fun Doc McStuffin's clinic (where lots of important medical work is preformed daily) and Kyler got an air popper ball toy.

Sassy Summer

Fun day with cousins = zonked out kids!

Christmas #2: Christmas Eve
 Here Kendall is outside our church singing (and dancing) to silent night (don't worry, her candle was NOT lit!)

Kyler was scoping out which presents were his (or which ones had the most dissolvable paper).

Crazy family picture (Kendall was roaring like a dinosaur)

The Schuermans

Girl cousins

Boy cousins

Family togetherness: Watching a funny YouTube video

Family togetherness: playing Trivial Pursuit

After we got home Kendall made sure the cookies were out, reindeer food was ready, and Twas' the Night Before Christmas was read...and she was OUT like a light! Although she was a bit concerned that if we didn't also go to bed at the same time as her that Santa might not come. 

Christmas #3: Christmas Morning with our little family

Santa delivered!

Kendall got a Dora and Boots tree house and Kyler got some baby instruments.

The story is that Kendall had asked Santa for a new dolly. So Santa purchased a Rapunzel doll. But then the next few times people asked her what she had asked Santa for she told them Dora and Boot dolls. Santa was a little confused about what to do! But when he found a cute little tree house set he decided to let Keith and I give Kendall Rapunzel. Kendall loves both toys and plays with both a ton, but also insists that it's all from Santa. Oh well, we are happy to give him the credit. 

After each toy we had to take a play break. It was a low stress way to do gifts, and fun to see Kendall truly enjoy each gift. She also got a Minnie Mouse dress up dress, nail polish and pretend make up, and lego storage bag. Kyler got a sippy cup, a toy car and a toy tv remote (and a mini baby food maker but that was really more for me), and both kids got some new clothes and tons of books.

Finishing up Santa's left overs. Even though we made a nice breakfast casserole, she chose sugar for every meal---Merry Christmas Kendall!

The lute (Keith got me a Keurig and I got him a Sonicare and some clothes he's had his eye on---we're practical)

I got my nails done by Kendall

Kendall was showing Kyler the ropes of unwrapping gifts...he was only interested in putting absolutely everything into his mouth.

We woke up to the coolest frost! So before we left for the afternoon I snapped a few pics.

Christmas #4: Christmas afternoon with Keith's family

The kids got a few more Santa gifts and were totally spoiled with gifts from all our extended family! Kyler's favorite gift from the day was a stacking snail toy, and Kendall was enamored with another new dolly.

Bernie made us a delicious dinner. CHEERS!

We are so thankful for our thoughtful and generous family!

Christmas #5: Williams and Rettele's on the 26th
Papa John and Grandma Denise came into town the day after Christmas. Marissa had a string of days off from work too so it was perfect timing to have our final Christmas gift exchange.

Luke and Riss came over since we really wanted to host one last Christmas at our house before we move. (notice the adorable pillow my mom made---I got a teal one!)

One theme was that Kendall seemed to enjoy all of Kyler's gifts almost more than her own. Note to self: get the 3 year old baby gifts next time. ;)

And so did Aslan. 

Kendall got a fun new game but hasn't totally figured out that there are certain rules that make a game fun for everyone. She prefers to make new rules up each time we play and gets pretty "fuwustawaited" if we aren't on the same page. 

Christmas is exhausting! Now it's time to start packing up the whole house to move!