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Slow and steady, right?  Isn’t that the fable’s answer to getting ahead?

Oh, good.  We’re right on track for winning the Get Your House Unpacked marathon.  Woo hoo!

It’s been more challenging than we anticipated, figuring out each room’s use and finding ways to house the odds and ends we have.  Our garage sale pile is growing (again, slowly but steadily), but we do want to keep some of our stuff.  Garage sales, trips to Ikea, Craigslist purchases…bit by bit, we’re organizing and storing.  Stay tuned for some updates in that arena!

As a placeholder, how about one of my favorite Bench Monday shots to date?

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I know a lot of you have heard of it: Project 365.  I’ve seen blips and blurbs about it, on blogs, on Flickr, and I must admit, it intrigued me.  Taking a photograph a day for a whole year?  Sounds easy enough!  Then I thought about it.  It really is quite a commitment.  Goodness knows, I’ve nearly forgotten my Bench Monday shots now and again, and that’s only once a week.  Not only are we talking about a commitment and follow-through in general…it’s a commitment to be creative – if only a teensy bit – every single day!

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Ooh, now there’s a challenge worth pursuing!  Daily creativity feeds the mind and soul, right?  So, I decided to jump in with our first day in Seattle.  It should be an interesting documentation of our first year here, don’t you think?  For those of you who read my blog through an RSS reader, please click through just this once, and you’ll see a Flickr widget on the left, streaming my photographs.  Just wanted to let you know it’s there.  (And if you want to receive my 365 in your reader, here’s the RSS feed.)

As for the rest of life…moving in is going a bit slowly, but as soon as today’s chiropractic visit catches up with my body, I’ll be hitting it hard again.  I’m loving our house, and I’m beyond excited about fitting everything into place, decorating, and making it ours.

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Happy Bench Monday!

Did we make it to Seattle?

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Did the movers get here with all our stuff?

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Do we have too much of said stuff?

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Have we gotten any unpacking done?

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Is it just beyond great to have the family back together again?

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Okay, I’m beat!  The movers came and loaded up all our stuff yesterday, and the resulting adrenaline crash has been something else.  As I’m in a very uncreative (and tired) mood, this month’s 12 of 12 is a collection of photos of things that are not here.  Welcome to my Not 12 of 12.  (My apologies for what I fear is a rather boring series of photos.  They’re the result of an exciting process, I assure you!)

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1. My parents’ garage is Not full of boxes and furniture! (They are so excited at the prospect of actually parking in there again.)

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2. The top of the driveway, where my car is Not parked.  (Where my car Is parked: Seattle!  Jason took delivery of it last night – woot!)

100_23003. This is Not the kids’ sandbox.  The porch no longer says, “Welcome, small children live here.”

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4. Welcome to the spot that does Not house our grill and outside garbage cans.

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5. This is Not my yarn; it’s all Mom’s!  She does Not have to share stash space with me.

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6. This corner does Not house the old English wardrobe Mom and Dad used for their linens.  Now it’s home to the old leather chair we found at a garage sale last week.  (The wardrobe’s moving with me!)

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7. Not my closet.  (You can tell by the absence of elfa.)

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8. The wall my desk was on, where I am Not sitting while I post my 12 of 12.

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9. These are Not the boys’ beds.  I mean, well, they are beds (camping cots), and the boys are sleeping on them this week, but…  Ack, you know what I mean.

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10. The playroom is Not housing a train table, but there’s so much more room to run around!

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11. …and I do believe these are Not all of the boys’ toys!

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12. Now that our bicycles are Not taking up this whole space, we have a much better view of the water heater, dehumidifier, and crawl space entrance – thank goodness!

Stay tuned for next month’s 12, which will be brought to you directly from the great state of Washington!  Happy 12th, everyone!

Tomorrow at this time, most of our stuff will probably be packed on the moving truck.  I wonder if the whole moving thing will hit me then.  Or will it be when we’re getting on the plane?  Or will it be in a few weeks, when we don’t “come home” from Seattle?

I have been a packing fiend the past few days.  I didn’t realize quite how much stuff we had scattered through Mom and Dad’s house, but it’s all done now, except for a few key entertainment things: the Wii, a bin of DVD’s, the lego bin, my computer.  Easy enough to finish up this afternoon and evening.  (And in the case of my computer, probably late tonight.)

This may be my last post before we hit Seattle, so here’s a proper Bench Monday send-off:

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The tape gun and I are very close friends now!  We have a lot in common.  You need to keep us fed to keep us working, and neither of us works as well out in the humid garage as here in the nice air conditioning.  It bites when it’s in a bad mood, though.  I don’t tend to bare my teeth that often.  (I hope.)

As I was lying in bed last night, a list of people began forming in my mind.  These are the people without whom this move might not have happened.  I think I’ve thanked them all profusely in private, but they also deserve a public hip-hip-hooray:

Mom and Dad: Duh.  Hello, they offered up their home long before the thought would have occurred to us.  They rearranged the house, gave up grandparental spoiling rights for a few months, and allowed us the greatest gift of all: choice.  Because of them, we had the choice of following our dreams when Jason was laid of.

The G Family: Who have put Jason up rent-free since he got to Seattle in early March.  They gave up their privacy and their guest room (a special Thanks to all their other visitors during this time, who were displaced to couches and play rooms), and they provided transportation to and from the airport, great advice, and amazing friendship.  Also to their boys for being our boys’ built-in, ready-and-waiting friends in a new place.

Jason’s Mom and Dad: Their basement/garage has been our storage area since December, when we started getting the house ready for market.  Like my parents, they have also been extremely supportive of our decision to move so far away.

My Swister: She told me it was okay if I couldn’t afford to come up for her law school graduation in May, which was incredibly selfless and made me more determined than ever to be there.

The R Family, here in the ATL: Heather keeps me sane (and sometimes simply identifies with and validates my insanity), their pool kept us entertained, and the whole family are the best friends we could ask for.

The O Family in OKC, and the E Family in Wyoming: They provided housing on our drive across country, and they both gave me awesome birthday celebrations, too.  Not to mention, they’re simply great people & friends!  (Best of luck to the O Family with your own move this weekend!)

The June Mommies: They keep me sane, too, and are an amazing gift.

Our Awesome Realtor, Cheryl: She worked hard and was so helpful in selling our home.  She had an emotional interest in doing the best she could for us, and it showed.

Dave Ramsey and his Total Money Makeover: We’d been following his plan for nearly two years when this thing began, and without that plan, we would have been in much more dire straits.

Everyone Else: Who has prayed for us, visualized us in Seattle, bit their tongue if they thought we were nuts, and loved us.

…and last but definitely not least, Jason, Nicolas and Kalen: Jason made the biggest leap possible outside his comfort zone in moving three thousand miles away, not knowing how long it would last, and never having lived apart from family before.  The stress has been unbelievable, I know.  The boys have handled this thing with amazing grace for nine- and six-year-old kids.

To all of you (and to anyone else I’ve forgotten in my current scatterbrained state):

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none of the above!

I promised an update last week on the house hunt.  Unfortunately, we went back and forth (mostly in our own minds), and nothing was settled when the end of the week rolled around.  We Jason commenced hunting again over the weekend, and as of today we’re happy to welcome The Sprinkle House into the family.

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During the hunt, Jason and I took to nicknaming all the houses we were considering.  With the odd naming convention in the Seattle suburbs (Every street is numbered!  Like for miiiiles out into the suburbs.  It’s weird, I tell you.), we couldn’t keep them straight.  So, we had Aimee’s house (my early favorite), the Pink House (which was taupe, but apparently photographed poorly), the Bathroom House (you don’t want to know), etc.  This little yellow charmer was quickly dubbed the Sprinkle House, because the listing mentioned a “sprinkle system” in the front yard.  The missing ‘r’ tickled me, and the name stuck.

So The Sprinkle House will be our home for the next year, at least, as we settle in on Seattle’s Eastside.  Jason gains possession a day or so before the boys and I fly in.  The plan is coming together.*  It still doesn’t seem real, and I wonder when it will start to sink in.

Tomorrow the car carrier comes to take my little car.  Tuesday, the movers come to take all our stuff.  The following Monday, the boys and I get on the plane.  The sinking in should happen somewhere in there, don’t you think?

*Go ahead, say it.  You know you want to!

The hunt for our new sweet home is on!

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Dozens looked at online…school districts, pricing, Google street view…narrowing it down…

Several visited…Jason’s favorite has been rented out.  My favorite doesn’t have a washer and dryer (we left ours behind when we sold our house).  One was painted throughout in bright lime greens and pinks (which, yes, we could redo, but why when there are so many other choices?).  Getting a few more out of the way…

We knocked it down to two today…

Jason’s calling the leasing agent about the one we think we want.  Which?  I’ll share later this week!

So, anyway, yeah.  Jason has a job!  I’ve gotten over my initial shock and awe, and it’s time to get down to business.  The big to do list looks something like this:

  • Find a place to live
  • Find a way to get Aimee, boys, and household goods across country

We’re taking a divide-and-conquer approach.  Jason is handling the former; I am taking the latter.  It makes sense, given our locations, but it is weird not to be there looking at houses with him.  If we were buying, I’d make the investment in airfare to get out there and be part of it, but we’re renting, he knows what I like in a home and what areas I prefer, and I trust him, so that’s one cost I’m happy to avoid.

The move (my half of this deal) is going to involve packing, lists, quotes, organization.  Yep – my cuppa!  I knew there was a reason this thick little spiral notebook called to me from the clearance corner of The Container Store last weekend.

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It already has a couple of different lists:

Things To Do in Atlanta Before We Leave: officially withdraw them from the school district, visit my friend and her new baby, replace a letterbox we’d taken out of its hiding place for some first aid, etc.

Prepare For Move: sort toys for Goodwill vs. Seattle, go through every room of the house and gather our items, decide when and how the three of us will get out there, etc.

Things To Do Upon Arrival in Seattle: Get new drivers’ licenses, register the boys for school & schedule IEP meeting, register the cars, change address with USPS, design and send out moving announcements, etc.

So much to do!  And I’m excited about every bit of it.

As if Bench Monday weren’t enough…

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…from now on, Monday will hereafter also be known as the day of the week Jason was offered (and accepted) a job, setting the wheels in motion to move the boys and me out to Seattle.

Happy Monday!!!  We’re moving to Seattle!!!

My boys

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