Heeeeeeey. What’s up? Anything new and exciting? Not much here, you know, normal stuff. Just…. well, we live in California now. And have new jobs. New friends. New life, basically. I don’t even know where to start, exactly, so just picture me kind of jumping up and down excitedly, in a not-quite-unpacked house.
Well, ok, wait. Let’s back up. I missed some things.
Someone turned ONE, which seems… well, it still seems not true. But pictures and the calendar indicate that it is indeed a thing that happened, a month and half ago.
We had a little last minute “party” – just us, our nanny and her mom, and Kevin’s mom. Birthday cake (technically for Hazel AND me) and presents, both of which Hazel enjoyed immensely.
Eliza is really into birthdays lately – she knows the song, she knows there is cake, and presents – so she had a pretty awesome time too. Hazel got a tea set and some baby dolls from the grandparents, both of which are very big hits with both of the ladies.
Hazel’s birthday was right in the midst of our moving insanity – We had Kevin’s mom coming out to visit for Hazel’s birthday, and a vague sense that we might need a hand, but not sure exactly when. We found out with about four days’ notice when we would be getting packed up. Fortunately, our Washington besties were having a graduation party that week, so we got to see everyone one last time despite the short notice. My last day of work was a Wednesday, and our house got packed up the next day. It was chaotic and insane and thank god for my mother-in-law and our nanny, and also the Cramers for letting us play in their empty house for a few hours. We dropped Sherry off at the airport on Friday morning, spent Friday night in a hotel in Richland, and flew to California way too early on Saturday morning. Especially considering Hazel doesn’t sleep in hotels. At all.
(I’m going to just gloss over the part where I lost my wallet, and had to take a pop quiz on Susie’s Life History from a TSA agent so I could get on the plane. Fun!)
Once in CA, we did a walk through of our rental house, and then descended on poor Miranda and her lovely family. They were kind enough to let us hang out at their house alllllllll day long, despite our overtired, overstimulated, and slightly ill children. All the next day too. Was amazing. I totally recommend having a best friend available at your new location when you are moving. Among other things, she also lent us air mattresses and blankets for our week in a completely empty house, so we wouldn’t have to “sleep” in a hotel for ten (10!) days until our stuff arrived.
A week in an empty house with two small kids and a husband who is already working a good bit: DO NOT RECOMMEND. (But definitely better than a hotel would have been.) Empty houses with wood floors: super loud. Toddlers: also super loud. Combine them, and you will want to jump out a window. I spent most of the week marching the ladies around town, or letting them eat as much dirt as they wanted in the backyard, because omg please be quiet and calm. It’s been long enough now that I can remember it fondly (….ish), but I hope never to do that again.
Our stuff eventually showed up, as did the nanny, so the following week was spent unpacking our house. That was a physically punishing experience. It’s mostly done. We moved into a smaller house, so there is still a fair amount of stuff that is boxed and stacked in the garage until we have time to triage it, and hopefully better organize whatever remains. A lot of decor stuff is still in stacks on bookshelves, because we don’t have everything where we want it quite yet. We have to get bookshelves and so forth tethered (earthquakes, small children), and bah. Hey, at least there isn’t an extra couch sitting in the driveway anymore.
It’s funny how my mentality has shifted after four plus years of home ownership – we might only be here for a year! I don’t want to go to great lengths to get the house perfectly set up and decorated, if we are just going to move. But who knows how that will all unfold. We LOVE the town we are living in, and we love our neighbors. It would be awesome if we could stay here longer, but it will be awhile before we know more on that front.
The ladies are adjusting well – Eliza ran around for a week or two, pointing to all our stuff and talking excitedly about how each object came back too!, which was adorable. Our neighbors on both sides also have little girls, very similar in age to Hazel and Eliza (like, a few weeks different. Insane). We even have a gate through our back yard into one neighbor’s yard, and Eliza and Lily knock on the gate and talk to each other. Sometimes we leave the gate open while we are cooking dinner, and the girls run back and forth playing.
We also get to see Miranda et al. a couple times a week – the kids are taking swimming lessons together, and Miranda makes lunch after, and holy crap that girl can cook. We’ve been having them over for dinner once a week, but we’re going to have to step up our menu planning game. Fortunately, I care more about how adorable our kids are, playing together, than I do about my culinary prowess. It’s funny – Eliza has mostly paired off with Hayley, even though Hayley is a few years older and Damien is basically her age. Damien has taken a shine to Hazel, and it’s adorable. He chases her around in slow motion, and helps her when she falls over, and oh. So cute.
So, yeah, things are hopping socially – such a contrast to when we first moved to WA in the middle of winter and didn’t know a soul. I also got to go hang out with Erica and Hillary for an internet baby play date, which was amazing. And we got to see some college friends over July 4th weekend. We haven’t had half a chance to do any sightseeing or exploring beyond our town yet, but we have a list of things we want to do if we ever find ourselves bored.
Work is fantastic so far – it’s a huge change, in terms of the science, the application, the atmosphere, the pace. I’m enjoying it a lot. I like the people, especially my boss. I’m really excited to see how things unfold here for me.
It’s weird, I have this persistent sense that things are just… the way they should be. So many little things have happened perfectly, easily, with this move. We found an ideal house (In law suite! Close to my transit needs! Walking distance to work for Kevin!) available exactly when we needed it, within our budget. It’s turned out to be in an amazing location, surrounded by built in buddies for both kids, and us. And there is a possibility it could work out long term. We both found jobs that we are truly excited about, with coworkers who seem wonderful. The timing on a bunch of little things has worked out perfectly – and things just FIT, in a way that feels so lucky. I don’t know. There have been little not-perfect things here and there (like, oh, my ankle situation flaring up so badly that I couldn’t walk all weekend, or Hazel choosing not to sleep at all during the move), and of course we miss our friends in Washington, but this just feels like it was the unequivocally right decision for us.
That’s it, really – I’m being persistently optimistic about everything lately. This is not my standard setting. CALIFORNIA, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO ME.