Changes…

29 Mar

After almost 11 years in South Carolina we are packing up this show and headed back to Michigan.  This decision has been VERY difficult to make.  Greenville SC is our home.  John and I got engaged here, have been a married couple here for almost 8 years, bought our first home, and had our little Fredster.  We have wonderful friends here that have been our extended family.

We have been kicking around the idea of going back home to Michigan for a few years now. The urge usually hits strong after we visit during the summer.  But the feeling of homesickness wears off after we get back into the swing of our busy lives.

They say kids change things.  For us, “They”are right. Freddie has changed almost everything for us. It’s no longer about what is home to John and I.  It’s thinking about what we want home to be for Freddie. We want him to know his grandparents and extended family.  This is really a difficult challenge to do living 14 hours away.

Everyone has been surprised about how quickly things are moving along; we are too!  I started putting in applications in the Grand Rapids area to see how the job market is there.  Needless to say we were both shocked when I got a call for an interview so quickly after only putting in a couple of applications.  Before we knew it I was flying up for a second interview.  I will be starting April 11th as the supervisor of the Housing Assessment Program (HAP) through the Salvation Army, Social Services of Kent County.  I will be working on quality assurance, staff training/management, developing a relationship with the local universities to get social work interns at the site, and being the community liaison for the assessment program…wheww..  It’s a new position and one that has some serious creative potential.  I’m looking forward to the challenge.

In the meantime, we will be living with John’s parent in Otsego until John can get a job in GR.  I will be commuting about 40 miles one way to work..boo.  Once John finds a job we will hopefully be buying a house. I’m hoping we will be moving to our new home before winter starts, but we will see.

We will miss you Greenville, but we hope to be back to visit soon!

Family visit & Thankfulness

27 Nov

We recently had J’s family visit us for a week.  We had a great time getting projects done around the house –wahoo!  Then to top off the goodness, Chloe came to visit for a long weekend. We had a great time catching up and being silly. I love girl time.

Here are some pics from the visit.

 

In other news, I am learning to be thankful for the many blessings that we have.  It’s been a year of personal and spiritual growth for us. We have experienced personal loss and health scares that can only be described as…difficult.  Other friends and family members have experienced difficult times this year as well.  With Thanksgiving tomorrow and a birthday creeping up on me, I’m thankful for another year and looking forward to more.

 

 

Baltimore trip!

23 Jun

I recently visited a best buddy, Chloe and her hubby Matt who live in Baltimore. I had a fantastic visit and wanted to share some pics!

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Their apartment building! Fun fact–if you watch House of Cards it’s filmed on a street in Baltimore. For the second season they filmed on this street. I have touched the same street as Kevin Spacey–weird.

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Beautiful murals and chandeliers in their 1800’s apartment–so cool.

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Street art, art from the Baltimore Museum of Art, lanterns in a Turkish restaurant.

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Gluten free bakery and a restaurant attached. We also had dinner at the restaurant. It was completely gluten free and awesome!

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Haha! We didn’t get any good photos together only blurry silly ones!
Baltimore, I miss you, can’t wait to go back!

Spring backyard tour 2013 part 1

7 Apr

Spring has started!  I’m typing this as I sit outside in the warm sun.  It will be in the 70s today…don’t be too jealous.😉  Spring and fall are my favorite times of the year here. Even though it seems that spring seems too short and blazing heat quickly moves in.

We moved into our new place in the winter so we really don’t know what type of vegetation we have going on.  Right now there are surprises  of color all over the backyard. It’s great! I know for sure we have Camilia bushes/trees around the house and in the backyard that were blooming (and are still blooming) throughout the winter. We have several huge azalea bushes in the back that are gorgeous.  I also think we will have a few dogwood trees but these haven’t started blooming yet.  I’m trying to keep an eye on what types of plants grow well  and where the sun falls so I can put in a small garden at some point next year, maybe?  We have a ton of rocky red-clay dirt so it will likely have to be a raised bed.

In other news, the semester is wrapping up for me. I have three more weeks of class. I’m very, very, ready for a break. It’s been a fun run, but I am going to savor the summer months of Saturday morning freedom.  I’m not sure what the plan is for fall yet.

ImageThree large azalea bushes in the back. The one in the middle hasn’t bloomed yet but it looks like there are small white buds on it.

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Light pink Azaleas.

ImageTo the left of the backyard we have this little garden-ish area. It needs some TLC. I think this tree might be a dogwood and there are some azaleas grasping on for dear life.

ImageWhite Azaleas holding on..

ImageWe FINALLY got our fence!  We are all much happier now–especially the doggies.

ImageHUGE magnolia tree to the right of our house. Can’t wait until it blooms and fills out. Supposedly these are get climbing trees. The house in the background is the neighbor’s house.ImageAnother angle of the fence and backyard.  That tree in the middle is a huge holly tree. The berries are poisonous to dogs..so it will be a fun adventure to get them to not eat them!

2013!!

18 Feb

Well, it’s mid-February and 2013 is in full swing.  We have been settling into our new place. The move went well, we had a handful of our beautiful friends to help us out.  We couldn’t have done it without them.  I still have room full of boxes and things to put away.  I think we exhausted ourselves and now I’m just staring at the boxes hoping to get the motivation to unpack the stragglers. It’s odd moving in the middle of winter because everything is hibernating.  The trees, the flowers, the people!  

We were a bit worried because the first month we had a few things to repair–the shower started leaking (just angling the shower head a different direction now), the garage door crinkled up on one side and jammed (fixed) the screened in porch apparently leaks when it rains really hard (haven’t fixed yet), oh and our dishwasher broke around Christmas time (replaced).  Apparently this is the reality of homeownership. Everything sort of comes in waves.  After 10 years renting, we don’t have a landlord we can call anymore.  There is something nice about that regardless of the hassle of the repairs.

Right now I’m working on painting the kitchen a nice dark grey (pictures to come).  I have sanded the walls a bit, wiped them down, and am now taping the cabinets and window frames.  Well during that process, I took down a wall hook the previous owners had up.  I definitely pulled the paint off the wall and it’s down to the drywall paper…So I will be learning how to repair that now.:/ I think it’s going to take me awhile to actually get to the painting!

We hope to put a fence up in the backyard for the dogs (something we budgeted for during the homebuying process) because we have to take them out 3-4 times our on a leash.  We are spoiled after having a fenced in yard, because this stinks!  I know the dogs will be happy to be able to run around soon.

ImageHere is a picture of our kitchen before–there is a streak of the new paint sample on the wall.  This will be the new color. It isn’t really good example…

 

 

 

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Oh and it snowed this weekend in SC–awesome!

Hello December!?

1 Dec

Hello December, how did you get here so fast??!!  What have we been doing ? Oh, just buying a house.  That’s right folks, J and I will be closing on a house this month.  It’s official–we are adults.  Seems fitting that I will be turning 30 in a week.  Seems very American Dreamy…or something like that.  No but seriously, we are buying a house!  Weird. 

Here are some pics from the listing–they look beefed up since they were listed by the real estate agent.  The home is older (build in the 70s..which means it has character). Three bedroom, two bathroom with a little sunroom and a nice backyard.  Fortunately the folks that lived in it before us made some upgrades (helllooo kitchen–so excited!).  More pics to come in the future, but here are a few teasers.  Needless to say we are going to be busy fixing and updating things.  Let the painting begin!

Oh and if you are interested in getting blog updates consider subscribing via RSS or email. I’m considering taking my updates off Facebook…because mainly Facebook is not my fav these days and I don’t want to bug folks who don’t give a rip about my blog.  

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Life is Good.

21 Sep

I have been terribly slack on updating the old blog. In fact, I shouldn’t be doing it right now since there is so much to do but whatev.. I have a beautiful piece of furniture that should be on this blog. It was painted months ago, but do I have the energy or attention span to photograph it? Nope. I will get to it soon.

I need to start documenting more of our lives because I’m convinced one day my memory will be completely gone. So when I’m in my 90s (if I make that long) I hope to have this as a memento of when I was young, energetic, and so on.

This is an incredibly busy season of our lives right now. I started working for USC this August teaching a class. It has been an incredibly fun and stressful time. I remember back in 2005 being so excited to start my social work career–I was ready to change the world! Seeing students takes me back to those days, with all the good and bad. Eight years later, my thoughts of how I change the world are quite different but the passion is still there. It is good to be reminded why this is what I do. I’m still in love with my profession. The good and the bad. J makes fun of me when I listen to The Social Work Podcast in the mornings..I can’t help it, I’m a nerd at heart.

During this season, I am feeling very blessed. Many of our friends are getting married and having babies, or their careers are starting and/or blossoming. It’s just a very peaceful, fruitful time. It’s one of those time that God is very obvious and throwing his blessing around (I think this is always happening, but sometimes it’s just harder to see). I’m grateful that I can take a step back and savor the here and now before it whizzes past us.