No, I’m not expecting a baby. Sadly, that store is closed… unless anyone has a baby they’d like to give me, in which case, YAY! That would be some EXTRA big news! What I’m sharing today is pretty big for our family though probably much less dramatic for others. It’s been a rollercoaster of yes, no, maybe so and I have to say a huge weight is being lifted now that I can let you in on what has been going on.
You may have noticed I’ve been weirdly addicted to touring model homes on Instagram, pinning hundreds of gorgeous home photos on Pinterest, and snapchatting flooring samples. Aside from my general home obsession, there is good reason for this behavior. And no, it’s not stalking the pretend families that live in model homes, though I would like to ask them why they need like 3 master closets. 😉 Deep breaths… drumroll please… we have put down a deposit to build a house in Cary, North Carolina– which at the moment seems very far from our current home outside of Philadelphia.
My husband’s company was acquired over the summer, and the new company has an office in Cary, so North Carolina it is! Back when I was younger, stupider, and braver I moved quite a bit. Despite having lived in the same hometown for 18 years, I went to college 8 hours away, then moved to Charlotte, then to Philly. Moving isn’t a big deal for me, but what it means for my family is pretty huge. My husband has lived in Pennsylvania his whole life, as have my kids. As wonderful as it was for me to grow up in a small, close-knit community I hope they also see the benefit to moving outside of their comfort zones, embracing change, and (hopefully) flourishing.
Speaking of, how are the kids handling the news? Quite honestly, my daughter channels her inner 14-year-old each time we mention it. Stomping, tears, crossed arms, and this new thing where she points her finger in the air and waves it around. She is not happy about leaving her school. She keeps begging us to stay until after 4th grade so she can be a school safety and wear the neon green sash.
My son is excited that he will be near a train museum. He’s been my happy-go-lucky guy about the news so far, but I feel it’s the calm before the storm when he realizes he will be moving away from his buddies and his favorite Panera. You know, the Panera that must use different ingredients than the others because the mac and cheese is not as good at all the other locations. <—- his exact words
We spent spring break at the South Carolina beaches hoping it would sway my daughter. She loved it there. But just to visit, not to live there, mommy! (eye roll, stomp stomp, weird finger pointing thing)
Our friends have been incredibly supportive. My bestie drove up from Charlotte twice to help with house hunting, even when she was literally in the middle of a move herself! Others have sent real estate listings in their (Pennsylvania) neighborhoods, with the words ‘Don’t gooooooooo!’, which is also supportive, albeit in a different and awesome way. Our friends are family to us, so this is going to be tough.
No YOU’RE crying.
It took months to find the right home, even before we knew for sure we were moving I was scouring the internet and real estate listings. After not finding anything that fit exactly with what we were looking for, we finally found a brand new community that didn’t have homes built on top of each other and snagged a lot with a wooded backyard.
Ahhhhh, that Carolina Blue sky!
It’s a nice sized lot, though it is difficult to picture how our home will be situated on it. The project manager got out there in his nice shoes and showed me all the property lines, even hiking through the woods and waving to show where the lot ended. See him back there? These Carolina people sure are nice.
There have been a million decisions to make, big ones such as which home plan to buy to small ones like do we want pulls on the cabinets and knobs on the drawers (or knobs on the cabinets and pulls on the drawers?) Do we move before school starts and rent until our house is ready, or pull the kids from school and move mid-year? Hardwoods or tile? This mortgage company or that one? When do we put up our home for sale, and can we live here through the summer? Last week alone, I had FIVE meetings with the builders in the span of 3 days. Head. Spinning.
Terrifying. Exciting. Happy. Scared. Curious. Regretting. And that’s just what I’ve felt in the last 5 minutes. From butterflies in my tummy to a big ol’ rock sitting in there. To move my kids from everything and everyone they know feels momentous, and not in a good way. But the possibilities of a great school system, meeting new friends, and living where the weather hugs you back has it’s appeal, and I’ve wanted this for awhile. It’s like a blender of emotions in my head!
This home will be very different from our current abode. When bought here in PA, we could see the home had ‘great bones’ but the functionality and decor was, shall we put it mildly, ‘not our style’. Leaky hot tub in the sunroom, mauve carpeting, paneling, green laminate countertops, and a well-hidden crack in the master bathroom shower that the previous owners covered up and cost us a pretty penny to fix. We stripped room after room of wallpaper, added new flooring, took the bathroom down to the studs. Added central air. Fenced in the yard, made over the deck. Added a gas fireplace and built-ins. Tweaked, toned, polished. Now that home so beautifully reflects our family, leaving it will be tough. Whoever is buying it will get the deal of the century when you calculate how much money we’ve put into renovations.
Our North Carolina home is built from scratch with our tastes in mind, but to keep costs down, we’re going to have to go with ‘builders grade’ on many of the finishes. It was important for us to add what we needed structurally since we know we can upgrade the smaller things later. It’s quite clear I’d better learn to tile and install faucets ASAP.
That’s where we’re at. No more secrets (not that we were holding back, we truly didn’t know it was happening for sure until the ink was dry). This may explain why I haven’t done much DIY-ing lately, or gotten further on the KonMari series. Both will play important roles in my move but doing them and finding time to blog about them are two separate things! Getting our home show-worthy, staging it to sell, decluttering, packing, storing, moving, keeping the kids happy and emotionally stable, renting, building, home design, decorating the new place… it’s all going to come out here, in as real time as possible. Plus running my blog and essential oils business. Not overwhelmed at all. HA.
In the meantime, advice on moving with kids, packing, building a new home, and the Raleigh area in general are all appreciated more than you know.
I’m excited with a side dish of terrified and a sip of anxiety. With a large helping of hope and optimism for dessert. It’s going to be an interesting year. Who’s ready for the ride?
Read the entire Building Up series about building a new construction home from the ground up here: