Monday, January 16, 2012

First Week


Hello there, all! What a crazy, busy, happy first week it's been. I knew I wasn't going to be able to sit down to my computer much with all the moving activities, but we are now closer to being unpacked and I can share a bit of our first week in our new home in Minnesota.

God was so good to us; our travel flew by seamlessly! We didn't meet one snowflake on the road. In fact, the countryside looked more like November than January. I was struck with the muted colors - just as I was once struck with Florida's brights - and snapped a few pictures. I found the palette to be inspiring and wanted a couple of samples for future paintings.

Nothing spectacular here composition-wise; I just wanted, again, to capture the colors: cadet blue, yellow ochre, raw and burnt umber and dark greens next to a quiet, blue sky.

I thought I'd post a few pictures of our new, old house! This is our rental for at least the next 6 months while we settle into our new lives. Parts of this house have been updated, and parts have not, but I am absolutely charmed with all of it. This house will have her 100 year old birthday next year!

As we haven't finished unpacking everything yet, I'll just show a few shots as we go along and fill everything in.

The house has three levels: an upstairs (a converted attic space), a main living area, and a basement. It's got 1600 square feet which is quite a drop from our former 2000 sq. ft. home, so our basement is pretty full of boxes that will need to remain stored. Part of that storage isn't necessarily that we don't have space for what is down there, but that some of it is decoration (family photos, some of my paintings, other pictures, mementos, etc.) that I'm just not pulling out until we are permanently settled.  Also, our main sofa couldn't make it through the front entry and so it is living on the cold, front porch!

Honestly, I don't mind. I really like living smaller and prefer downsizing to up sizing, though I do wish, for the girls' sakes, that they had a little bit more room in their bedrooms. Eve, in particular, has the smallest room in the house. When I asked her how she felt about her room she said, "Well I would like a little more room, but I don't need it." She's such a good sport. :) They both are, really, and have been enjoying setting up their new rooms.

So, the upstairs bathroom is new and has a wonderful, claw-foot tub that I have already enjoyed! I love this little room. The window faces east, so we get the morning sun and it's just lovely. :)


Here is some more of our upstairs space. It's waiting to be turned into our schoolroom and office area.


Living right in the city has it's perks; I love urban living! A favorite, local coffee shop, Jerabeck's New Bohemian coffeehouse is just around the corner from us. My husband is Bohemian, so it's cool to me to be in a neighborhood with a few things that are culturally connected to him and my daughters. We had a great breakfast there on Monday. My sister, who found our house for us, also lives in the neighborhood - just blocks away!! - and took the day off work to show us around town.

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My brother also stopped over that afternoon and we spent some time hanging out before we walked down to my sister's place for supper, as there was still nothing except our suitcases and air mattresses in the house at that time!

Tuesday brought with it a breakfast out... and then my first case of food poisoning. Not fun, I'll tell you that. But thankfully, it was all over in a short period of time and 24 hours later I was feeling much more normal again. It had been challenging waiting in an empty house for a few days, but I was thankful that our things didn't actually arrive until Thursday so that I could fully recover.

In the meantime, my friend, Liz, also stopped in and brought a "Welcome Back to MN" present for us: museum brochures, local papers, city and park maps, and more. What a great gift! We've spent a few days over meals checking out all the cool things we've yet to explore. :)

The first thing I always unpack is the kitchen. The faster you can get that done and organized, the easier everything else goes, because you don't have to keep going out for food. Having access to our regular, family dishes always helps to make things begin to feel normal.

So, the kitchen. It's small and quirky, and is where the updating stopped. The sink and the dishwasher are newer, but I have no idea about the rest. The set-up is funky and has taken some creative arranging and thought in order to get everything in, but I can tell you that when I was done, I felt victorious!!


It's definitely, "A place for everything, and everything in it's place" in here, but it's a good practice to have generally. I don't know whose idea it was for maroon, laminate counter-tops, but they liked it so well they also put it on the wall behind the stove!

I want to change out the little curtains above the sink; the autumn leaf motif and colors don't go at all with the rest of the room - especially the "neuron curtain" on the far window (such a funny print; I think I've seen it at Ikea before). I'd also like to find some white, twinkle lights just for fun. I don't know what kind of luck I'll have with that now that Christmas is past, but I'll keep a lookout.


Here's our little, eat-in nook with that funky pattered curtain. It's hard to see the design in the picture here though.


By Saturday the living room and dining room were pretty much done (pics to come) and so we had family over to watch the playoff games. My neice, Celia, was enjoying herself playing dolls on the cat tower and couldn't resist trying it out for herself. :)


And, finally, tonight, we got to enjoy a quintissential northern sport: hockey! My twin nephews have played since they were four years old. They''ll be 17 in a few weeks and are juniors in high school now. I've only seen them play one time before when we visited, but now we'll get more opportunities to watch them in their last couple of years of school.



For Mom: That's Devon with the orange glove and Avery to the right of him. :)

Below: Avery sets up and...


skates by...


It helped that it was a winning game for their team! A fun night of free entertainment (though their parents would beg to differ: hockey is an expensive sport!) for us that we'll do again soon. In the meantime, tomorrow is our last day off before we're back to the books. It's supposed to be in the 30's tomorrow before it gets colder later in the week, so our own bit of ice skating is on tap! I managed to find ice skates for both girls at the thrift store today, so we're set for skating with Celia and friends tomorrow morning. I'll be digging out the books and planning out our school week in the afternoon. There's still some unpacking to do, classes to register for, insurance to buy, etc., etc. But the first week is done now. It's time to settle in to our new normal, our new home. :)
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