As We Left It

This is how it was the day we left.  

Fresh paint on the outside, fresh carpets on the inside, clean and emptier then even when we moved in. 

This is my homage to a good house. 

Of course, people will move in and it will change. It will never be exactly how we left it. But my memories will remain the same. 


away we go

The movers came on Monday, and suddenly our house was empty. We kept our sleeping bags, all of our travel needs, and the fragile/valuable/irreplaceable items we'd carry ourselves; but that was it. Our home of the past 10 years was empty.

Tuesday the carpet installers came. Suddenly the carpets we'd despised for the past decade were gone. In their stead a durable, neutral without being bland, new carpet. Something that would hide dirt and pet hair nicely, though we would neither get the chance to dirty them, nor would Daisy even set foot on them. Oh those repairs we make in preparation for the next person.

It all made me a bit sad, and I had to fight tears at points. But the excitement was there too.

Wednesday we gave all the rooms one last look around, walked out the door, turned the key, and left for the last time.

There was no fighting the tears that time. 

Since then, we've been crossing the country! I'll write more about our journey later, but I hope you'll forgive me if there are some breaks in posting. Busy times, but much to report soon.


Semi-Wordless Wednesday {left behind}

It may seem silly to get sad about plants, but these particular plants have been sitting behind me at work for at least the past 8 years.

The orchid in particular was a gift from Travis, and has lasted so long, it pains me to leave it behind... but it was so big and heavy, and we just didn't have the room.

I did find it a sweet new owner to take care of it, so hopefully it creates beautiful flowers for years to come.


boxed in

My life last week was boxes. Honestly, by Thursday it felt like I was in packing purgatory. Like all my life would ever be from that point on was packing. Maybe I was a little melodramatic at that point.

I knew it would get done in the end. I knew everything would eventually get where it needed to be, but it was a long long week.

Another week and we will be in Colorado. Another week and I will instead be unpacking those boxes. Maybe then it will all feel real.

I guess we'll see.

Right now it feels like my grasp of the reality of it all, and my emotions covering everything are as boxed in as our dining room.

But, we're getting there...


endings and celebrations

Last Friday was my last day at work. It was also the day I picked Babs up from the airport to celebrate my birthday! You can probably guess that it was a very... surreal day.

Eleven years went so fast. I guess that's what happens when you get to work with an amazing, smart, fun group of people that you really genuinely like.

I'm lucky in that regard.

I may not have always loved the work (in fact, I frequently didn't), but the people and the mission were ones worth working hard for. Leaving at the end of the day was really, really hard. In a way that surprised me. I teared up more then once, and walking down the street it felt like everything should be different.

Its not, but I guess I already am.

I will miss this place. 

That night it was time to pick Babs up from the airport. It was good to have her there that evening.

Saturday was my birthday!
33 is shaping up to be a pretty big year already, wouldn't you say? I celebrating by getting up early and spending a long, hot day manning our yardsale with Trav, Babs, and Gwen. We did get visits from some neighbors and friends, which made the day really nice.

That night Babs took me to dinner.

Sushi + Babs = a happy birthday indeed.

It was a good and exhausting set of days.

Just one of many!  5 days to go...


wordless wednesday {ice skating}

Where better to spend a super hot, humid summer day then on ice?!
Gwen's second time!

First time on the ice in probably 20 years!

Trying it without the helper stand.

Trav and I took turns taking her for faster laps.


there and back again...adventures in apartment hunting!

The Friday before last Trav, my Mom, and I all left work early. My Mom to come down to our place for the weekend to hang out with Gwen and Daisy; Trav and I to hop on a flight to Denver! Auntie Ro played her part too, picking Gwen up from daycare to drop her off at our place. It was a bit of a whirlwind.

We arrived late enough Friday that all we did was pick up our rental car and head to the hotel. Saturday we were up bright and early to hit up 4 apartment complexes. After that we had a late lunch on a table full of papers and apartment brochures. By the time we finished eating, we had made our choice.

We headed back over and signed our lease!

Its a great place, right next to Gwen's new elementary school (we will be able to walk there everyday!), with a pool and movie room, abutting an Ecological Park with bike trails! In fact, our apartment will overlook that park. We're a thirty second drive from a Sprout's Farmers Market and a Target. Its 5 minutes from a movie theater, 15 from an off-leash dog park. Trav's commute will be about 15-20 minutes vs. his current 40.

We are feeling good about this place.

With that big check mark done, we finally had some time to relax. So we drove to Trav's new work (so he knew what the building looked like on his first day!), then just drove towards the mountains.

It was beautiful there.

It was early to bed that night though, since Sunday dawned at 3 a.m.! Our plane left at 5:45, and we were back in Philly by mid-afternoon!

Like I said, a whirlwind.

Before we left the airport, we had one quick stop...

This girl just so happened to be flying out of Terminal B as we were landing in Terminal C. We honestly had no idea that we'd be in the airport at the same time, until I saw her killing time text when we landed. Life as a traveler...  ;-)

Now that we have our apartment (and the address to go with it) we can start to really take care of details!


6 Things You May Not Know About Me

And now for something completely random...

6 Things You May (or May Not) Know about Me. 

I am a Procrastinator 
Sometimes I'm so on top of things, especially if its something I'm super excited about, then I want to just plan it all and do everything for it before its even really time to. Example: fighting the urge to pack for Wanderlust 3 weeks beforehand. But if its not something I'm super excited about, or once I get past that initial excited burst, well I'm a huge procrastinator and have trouble getting myself psyched up to do something until its the last minute and it has to get. done. NOW. See: actually packing for Wanderlust the night before, when I should have been going to bed. Oops. 

I'm a Touchy-Feely Shopper 
If you find yourself shopping with me, you'll notice something quickly... I have to touch everything. Especially clothes. It needs to be soft and nice to the touch for me to want to buy it, so I go to town. My friends lovingly call me (no offense intended) a "clothes molester," and I can't argue.

I Am Chalk-full of Wanderlust
My urge to go, to travel, to see new places and experience new things runs through my veins like something incurable. The longer I go between trips, especially to places new, the more antsy I feel. My goal is to visit all 50 states, and as many foreign countries as possible. So far I have been to China, Ireland, and Mexico; and 21 of 50 states (I'll get to cross a few more of those off soon!).

But I'm Still a Homebody
I know, it makes no sense... but with all my longing to travel, I still need a home base. I long to go and go and go; then come back home to recharge, resettle, reconnect. That home doesn't have to be the same house (though it was for 13 of my years as a child, and 10 years now as an adult), but I need a place to call mine.

I Never Though Home Would be Out West! 
I have always lived in Pennsylvania (7 places!), and up until recently I thought I always would live in Pennsylvania! Obviously that changed, and I'm excited for that change, but while my parents are here, this place will always be at least partially my home.

I Still Sleep with a Blanket
Not ashamed! I still have two blankets that I have had since I was an itty-bitty. They are soft and comforting and I sleep with one of the two every night.

Tell me something I don't know about you!

Thanks for the inspiration Rachel!


Semi-Wordless Wednesday {Buried} and Nostalgia

All of the past months worth of Wordless Wednesday posts have made me wistful/nostalgic, and this one is certainly no exception. I am the type of person that longs for trees and mountains infinitely more then sandy beaches, but Cape Cod is different. Cape Cod is home away from home. It is comfortable and relaxing, and for every sandy beachy moment, there is another that is just us in the comfortable house, being with family.

Though, those beaches aren't so bad either...
There is something to be said for periodically drenching yourself in sun and salt water, and burying your sweet preschooler girl in the sand! 

I'm already looking forward to next year.


the mad rush

So, in general I would advise that if you plan to move 3/4 of the way across the country, you give yourself more then 5 weeks from decision day until move in day... especially if you are driving there! But, when push comes to shove, and crunch time happens, you just get it done.

There are definitely things in this area that I wish I could have had time to do before we left, but there are definite bonuses to doing it this way too. We certainly aren't dwelling on our sadness over here!

Immediately after the decision we chose a weekend to fly there to find our apartment and sign our lease. We arranged for my mom to come stay with Gwen, and we booked airplane tickets, a rental car, and a hotel. We arranged tours with 4 pet-friendly apartments in the area (and school district) we wanted and the price range we needed.

Trav started interviewing moving companies. We started culling our belongings, deciding what we would take and what we would get rid of. We cut our book stash in half (wahhhhh), I got rid of a quarter of my purses/bags. Even Gwen got in on it, going through her books and toys to pick out the things too young for her or no longer desired. We posted a few bigger/nicer things on Craigslist, and planned a day for a yard sale (with a Purple Heart pick up for the next day!). We gifted a few items to friends we knew would enjoy them.

We started packing those things that we are taking, but that we won't need over the following weeks. That is definitely going to be the longest/hardest part, the packing, and its the big reason that my last work day is a week earlier then Trav's. It will be a busy week full of boxes for me.

Then there is the contacting of doctors for copies of records, of utility companies for shut off and turning on, of address changing and mailing forwarding. There is the contract with the rental agency for our house here. There are some houses fixes that need to be done before renting.

There is an actual route to Colorado that needs to be planned! 

And there are the goodbyes. Its a lot; its intense. But in such a short time we will be settling into a new house and this all will be done with!

Who's done a long distance move before? Any advice?


kitchen updating

Nothing like fixing things in preparation for leaving, right? We've been in our house for 10 years now, hating the kitchen floor the entire time, but knowing that sometime soon we'll be selling/renting our house finally pushed us to make the change!

Before (hello 70s!):


Its really such a nice change, and was so much faster then we thought it would be, we're kicking ourselves for not doing (well, having it done... we didn't do it ourselves) it ages ago!

Such a little change, such big results!

Now we'll enjoy it for the whole month that we actually get to use it... 


“For West is where we all plan to go some day.*"

Mid-July, when I was writing this post about trying to let go of the things I can't control, and this post about distractions, we were in the process of making appointments to see two houses. This is not something new or exciting... at that point, we'd been looking at houses for 10 months already (ho-ly $#!%). But at the same time that we were making those appointments, we were wondering if we were even going to be keeping them, because Trav was in the process of applying for a job.

In Colorado (holy $#!% again).

He was actually invited to apply, by a former coworker who was buying a company and needed a Comptroller. So he did, and well, he got it.

And come the last week of August, we will be moving to Denver.


This is so not where I thought we would be ending up back when we started this crazy house-hunting journey.  To put it lightly!

But here's the thing about the universe, about life, it takes you where you least expect; and I truly believe there is a plan. I am so excited, and terrified, and happy, and sad, and... everything! I am every emotion right now. But I'm mostly excited.

I have 2 weeks left of work, at the place that's grown me for the past 11 years. A place that frankly, I had outgrown, and that wasn't leading me where I needed to go anymore, but a place full of good people, doing good things, that I had grown to love. A place that I probably would have stayed in for a long time more if not for this.

We have 3.5 weeks left in the house that we've lived in for a decade, the house we brought our baby home to, the only house she's ever known! Yes, we were going to leave it soon anyway, but I would have been sad then too! And this feels very... final. It feels different.

But in about 3.5 weeks, we will start an epic roadtrip half way across the country! I will be able to cross a few more states off the "to visit" list. And in 4 weeks, we will start our lives in a new city. Gwen will start kindergarten. Trav will start his new job. I will enjoy some time off of work. I will get to be the one that picks Gwenie up from school, and makes dinners for her family. I will unpack our boxes, and set up our household. I will hopefully take the steps to work towards a new career direction, while having the time to help my family adjust to this transition.


The other night I lay in bed next to Gwen, after a long discussion of the movie Inside Out, especially about joy and sadness and anger. We talked about how they are all important, and they are all okay to feel. She talked about how all the change lately is making her a little sad, and I told her that I felt that too; but that I also felt excited because there is so much joy to come. Then I sang her the song that I used to sing her every night when she was a baby, in the very same bed that used to be her crib, and let myself feel sad for all we were leaving behind.

Then I got back to feeling exciting... because there is so much joy and adventure in our future!

* “For West is where we all plan to go some day. It is where you go when the land gives out and the old-field pines encroach. It is where you go when you get the letter saying: Flee, all is discovered. It is where you go when you look down at the blade in your hand and the blood on it. It is where you go when you are told that you are a bubble on the tide of empire. It is where you go when you hear that thar's gold in them-thar hills. It is where you go to grow up with the country. It is where you go to spend your old age. Or it is just where you go.”  ― Robert Penn Warren