A Little Life Update and The Move from You-Know-Where

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fun activities for kids in north carolina!

Howdy! Or should I say, ‘ hey y’all!’ now that we’re settling in the south?

This summer sure has been an adventure and roller coaster of emotions. Like those extreme roller coasters that are featured on the Discovery Channel and then they get stuck at the top and people need to be evacuated after 5 hours of sitting under the hot sun while a helicopter flies overhead and it’s live broadcasted on the evening news, but then everyone makes it down safely and they eat popsicles and chatter about their ‘adventure’ while kissing the ground.

Sort of like that.

So yes. We’ve sold our home and moved to North Carolina TOTALLY stress free. Kinda stress free. Okay, mostly stress free with a side of deranged wife there at the end.

fun activities for kids in north carolina!

I’d pretty much kept the stress under wraps until 9PM the Friday before closing when we were informed the financing of our buyer’s buyer (the people buying their home) hit a snag and our closing date would ‘probably’ be delayed.

Delayed. DELAYED?! Our stuff was scheduled to be on a truck three days later, and, along with my husband, moved to North Carolina. In other words, our house would be empty and I had two (very unhappy because they DIDN’T want to move) kids in my care, plus all the closing details to handle solo. That’s when my stress level hit the fan so to speak and it WAS NOT PRETTY.

When I look back at that week, I feel like my skin is frozen and my brain starts buzzing. We were lucky to be able to stay with friends during the delay, but I hate when plans go south. Or MidAtlantic, which is where PA is, not south, that was where I wanted to go. They need to change that expression.

saying goodbye to the NICU where she spent 2 months by donating Care Bags for other critically ill newborns

fun activities for kids in north carolina!

I’d mentally prepared to be in North Carolina, so every extra second we were still in Pennsylvania felt like pain. When a car almost pushed me off the highway merging onto the Blue Route I almost said ‘Bye Felicia!’ and kept driving south, screaming about Philly drivers, of which I was still currently one.

No one ever said selling your house and moving out of state and then building a new house while living in an apartment with half your stuff still in storage was stress-free. In fact, I think that’s a direct quote from Abraham Lincoln.

fun activities for kids in north carolina!

Our former closing date came and went, and finally a few days later we had a new closing date scheduled. With the new date locked, I decided the stress of sticking around while homeless (or, we had a home, but it was empty and therefore not of use to us) was just too much for the kids. They loved sleeping at our friends house but it was time to be back together as a family and start our new life. I arranged with our real estate agent to sign for us at closing, so after a few frenzied overnight letters with signatures back and forth I was given the green light to leave.

Abby’s best friend consoling her the weekend before we moved; this one tears me up

fun activities for kids in north carolina!

We said one last goodbye to our house (I sent the kids to the car and may have stood there sobbing for a moment, thinking about just how much we’d done in the 10 years we’d lived there and how our family had grown within it’s walls). The kitchen just looked so CLEAN. And it was seeing the dining room chandelier that I’d scored for $35 at ReStore that did it to me, leaving it behind was like closing a chapter in my life. We’d allowed the new owners to move in their items as a courtesy since they also had their stuff on a truck when the closing date got pushed, and their kitchen table was the EXACT one we first had in that kitchen too! It was a sign that this was meant to be, and as much as they say to keep emotions out of selling your home it made me smile for the first time in a week.

The kids and I arrived in Cary just after a major storm had passed through, the streets glistening with rapidly evaporating rain and leaves and branches strewn about the road. I took an accidental side trip through Durham because I was turned around and about fell out of my seat when a driver waved me in front of him at a stoplight because I was in the wrong lane. It was a far cry from the intentional sideswipe back in PA.

My husband had supervised the move with our crew of hungover movers (who must have been ready to report us for cruelty when they realized what moving things into a third floor apartment felt like on a 100 degree day, especially after jamming our storage unit full of a truck of possessions that morning), so everything was all set up when we arrived.

The kids coming ‘home’ to a strange place where the beds were made and their toys set up was a blessing I’m not sure I’ll ever forget. The fridge was stocked with our favorite food and drinks. Casey had also unpacked all the kitchen boxes so we could immediately use real dishes and glasses instead of the plastic and paper we’d been using the previous week. It’s the little things!

As he handed me my Harris Teeter VIC card for the local grocery store, I knew I was home.

The next day, I laid on the couch for what felt like the first time in years.

fun activities for kids in north carolina!

The first week I packed our schedule, determined to visit EVERY. SINGLE. PLAYGROUND. in the area and try to convince my kids to love it here. Of course, it was 95 degrees and all the smart people were inside the air conditioning. Needless to say we found a very nice urgent care when my daughter developed a ring around a bugbite thanks to being ‘fresh meat’, as the nurse put it when she found out we’d moved from up north. The doctor determined it wasn’t Lyme but rather a reaction to whatever flying insect bit her. The funny thing was I’d sprayed ourselves silly with commercial bug spray before she’d gotten bitten; that’s it, I’m going back to my essential oils!

fun activities for kids in north carolina!

I slowed our roll on the playground hopping and the ‘making them love Raleigh’ stuff when I realized it was doing more harm than good. Now we typcally spend mornings in our pjs ’till noon playing LEGOs and doing what they’ve dubbed ‘Mommy Camp’, and then head out on adventures, which means happy kids and a happy mommy. School starts on Monday, so I let go of the ‘we should at least get dressed before noon’ guilt and embraced the rare chance to live without an alarm or running around like a crazy person.

We’ve had a lot of fun with it. And eaten A LOT of cupcakes.

fun activities for kids in north carolina!

I’ve been able to see my BFF twice since we’ve been here, and had more playdates and lunch dates than the last year in PA combined. I’ve connected with old friends, blog friends who are real friends, and even our future new neighbors– it’s almost scary how much we have in common, growing up in the same small town in Massachusetts and wearing the exact same sandals to lunch. When we decided our next ‘date’ would be to HomeGoods, I pinched myself because it’s almost too good to be true.

showing off their new Simply Southern shirts, which is a thing here in the south– along with something called a Yeti, which I am now convinced I totally need but may need to take out a second mortgage to get one

fun activities for kids in north carolina!

Our typical 8 hour drive to our beloved Outer Banks now takes 3.5 hours. It was crazy to leave at 8AM and not 4AM for our beach vacation. We even stopped for lunch on the way home, not worried about ‘shore traffic’ or bedtimes. The kids slept almost the whole way home, which made it feel like a literal hop-skip-jump. Learning that OBX was part of their new state upped the points for NC on the ‘but we love Pennsylvania’ scoreboard.

fun activities for kids in north carolina!

They went from telling me every few minutes that they want to move back to reminding me about it just once a day.


fun activities for kids in north carolina!

Getting back to blogging as been slow. Repairing my crashed computer is a nightmare. Even though it’s just 2 years old and a Mac it’s still on the brink and I haven’t had time to restore the backup yet. It’s putting a major cramp in my blogging, but so has being home with the kids– which is why I work from home, to be my own boss– so I’m viewing this as a season where my full time and attention is going to the kids.

‘When in doubt, choose the kids.’

fun activities for kids in north carolina!

When they return to school on Monday, IT’S ON LIKE DONKEY KONG.  Guilt-free.

I’ve also had to let my exercise routine go after my gym membership and personal training sessions expired at the end of June. I’ve yet to find a gym I love here (any recommendations in the west Cary area?!), and can’t do my emergency ‘squeeze in a workout’ videos because we are on the third floor and am loath to do that to our downstairs neighbors. My arms are now jelly and I’m looking more and more like a marshmallow. Eating out in the name of ‘discovering’ new restaurants isn’t helping either, no matter how many grilled chicken topped salads I order.

stop taunting me, Raleigh food trucks

fun activities for kids in north carolina!

Well this ‘little’ life update turned into quite a long one. Thanks again for sticking with us during this big life transition. More exciting stuff is on the horizon: wait until you see how much the new house has progressed in just a few weeks, plus I’m giving you the one printable I CAN NOT function without. Plus organizing, cleaning, sharing inspiration boards and room makeover plans for the new house, plus DIY projects as we get closer to our move-in date. I also haven’t forgotten about KonMari; I did it at full speed before we moved so lots to share once I get my photos restored. Back to school is like New Years for moms, and I’m ready more than you know.

This post is sponsored by my Young Living business! Check out my essential oils page for more information on how you can get these amazing oils in your hands too along with helpful freebies, a gift from me, and tons of support:

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  1. Welcome to the South and to North Carolina. I love it here. Beaches close, mountains close, can not lose.

    I love NC dearly. You will have to choose your colors. Fighting colors, Carolina blue, Duke blue, or State Red. I’m partial to State red myself. I hope you learn to love us as much as I do. People down here are sweet. Get to know us before judging us.

    Welcome. If you need anything, just give me a call.


    1. Jenn, I LOVE it here. Totally, 100% in love. North Carolina has always had my heart, and the people are wonderful! I should have put that in my update, truly, we feel very welcomed. It’s my kids that are having a hard time because they miss their friends and familiar lifestyle. They are slowly coming around though, and I think meeting new friends will be key. <3

  2. Hi Carrie – So happy to see you are getting settled in…the Harris Teeter card … you are officially a southerner. XO In SC… it is Publix.

    1. Ha, we are getting a Publix down the street! I hear they have a good gluten-free selection. It’s funny to have a Teeter on every corner… and now a Publix too. In PA I had to actually drive 15 minutes to get groceries. 😉 XOXO!

  3. Congratulations on making the big move with your mind, amazingly, still intact. North Carolina is a beautiful state with so much natural beauty. And its people are, as you’ve discovered, warm and friendly. Your kids are well on their way to become southerners and will be so caught up with new friends and activities that PA will soon be a distant memory. And you’ve got your bff nearby. Sounds like the lemonade is ready to be enjoyed. Looking forward to hearing about the progress on your new home. Welcome to the South, from a native of Long Island, NY who was transplanted to Ocala, FL almost 18 years ago and hasn’t looked back. ☺

    1. Thank you!! Though my mind my not be as intact as I appear– yesterday I almost put my coffee cup in my handbag (distracted parenting, ha!) I bet Florida is wonderful, especially after winters on Long Island. There’s so much to love about the east coast and the south for sure!

  4. Love this post (you are so witty with your writing…I laugh out loud reading blog entries!) And love you back in the South, of course!!

    1. A million kisses to you, NN. You guys are definitely our favorite part about living here, and there are a LOT of favorite parts! (least favorite part? Palmetto bugs, ACK!)

  5. Congratulations again on the move. Although I really was waiting for you to take me with you (being that we’re both PA girls!)…but it’s nice knowing that things are finally coming along for you. I wish you and your family well and hope to continue to be entertained by your blogposts!

    1. You should have come along in the moving truck, there was a teeny bit of room left (ha!) Thanks for the good wishes and my children are SO jealous you are still in PA. 😉

  6. I’ve bee in SC for 46 years now and continue to love it! Our sister state, NC, is wonderful too as you know. Come visit us in Charleston and Beaufort, SC. Lovely beach towns! I Enjoy your blog !

    1. I adore Charleston but haven’t yet been to Beaufort– it’s been on my travel wish list for years! I hope to visit both this fall… and then again in the spring… oh how I love that area!

  7. That Yeti made me realize that living in the south means Year-Round Iced Coffee. Now I know why you’re so in love with it! 😉

  8. Glad you are settling in to your new life Carolina. Thanks for sharing what’s been going on 🙂

  9. Wow, really exciting 🙂 New chapter of your life! We will be moving to another city in couple of months, I hope everything will go stress-free!

  10. Carrie- I could not help but smile reading this post that I stumbled upon after searching for the best way to hang outdoor globe lights…we share very similar transitions and mirror our timeframes in becoming true North Carolinians! My family and I lived here for 3 years and then this summer, we ended a 1 year attempt at settling back “home” in Massachuetts to come back to beloved Chapel Hill and call it our real home. The commutes and the high paced life up north was so different from when I grew up there and just was not for us. Welcome home! I hope we bump into each other in Homegoods someday-enjoy the southern life!

    1. Ashley, I love this! As much as I loved Massachusetts (I grew up in Bedford) I just can’t get used to being back up north. So much happier with this weather and friendliness of the people! Hopefully our paths will grow someday, I also discovered the At Home store in Durham and Inspirations in Raleigh. NC is a treasure trove of awesome decor spots!

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