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home, moving

New Home!

After a year of planning and dreaming about our new house, we moved this summer!  We spent the last 5 years as renters and we are so excited to be homeowners again.  We spent most of June unpacking and settling into the house and finalizing some of our plans.  The kids and I did a lot of traveling in July and now that we’re almost finished with August, I feel like I have finally had a chance to live here and enjoy the house…while still planning more updates.

Let’s start with the exterior.  Our neighborhood has a lot of beachy looking houses with pretty pastel colors.  Ours is a little more Americana with the blue and light grey colors.  I love the two level front porch and I was very excited to get some bunting for the 4th of July!

Online Stores Printed Polyester Pleated Fan, 3 by 6-Feet

Front of Lakeside House with Bunting


We have a screened in area in the back and our garage is all the way in the back.  Our long driveway has a gate in the middle – we like that we can close the gate and let the dog play in the backyard.  This has added a few steps to the process of leaving the house.  The garage is connected to the house but there is no door directly from the garage to the house.  There is a short walkway from the side/back door to the garage that is covered and screened.  So we have to lock the house door (and make sure the other two are locked), open the gates and go back through the screened area to get into the garage and open the garage door.  Luckily I often have two helpers who are in charge of the gates.

We have a small back yard and almost no front yard, but across the street is a waterfront park area.  There are walking trails, a big pond, a fishing dock and a small playground a few steps away.  We love that we have a large area of open space nearby…for football, baseball, softball, tag, etc… and we don’t have to mow it!  The view from the front porch is great…we can watch the storms roll in, like this one that came through within an hour of our arrival at our new home!

This was the view on my morning walk with Eve (our dog) last week.

Pond on Morning Walk

We have already added adirondack chairs to the front porch and are looking forward to working on the backyard and screened porch area a bit too.

moving, Navy life, Tampa home

In the Navy – Our Next Adventure

Even though we move a lot, courtesy of the US Navy, we generally have a good idea of how long we are going to be in a certain location.  We knew that we would have two years in Memphis and about two years here in Tampa.  And luckily, we already know when and where we are going next!  But in the meantime, I’m going to eke out another year in Tampa.

We know that we’ll be moving next summer but Pat will be done with his job here in Tampa soon and will be doing some training over this school year.  The kids and I will be enjoying one more year with our friends in this area.

I’ve been meaning to blog more of our Tampa home recently, but there has been a lot of work going on “behind the scenes” so to say.  We have already purchased the house we are going to be living in next and we are very excited about it!  I am so looking forward to owning a house again and I have spent a lot of time planning how things are going to work and fit in the next house.  I’ve been getting tight with Pinterest and graph paper.  But I haven’t spent much time planning and writing blog posts here.

The behemoth we live in now is a little too much for us at over 3000 square feet.  It has five bedrooms plus a big office and a big playroom and a formal dining room.  We have certainly figured out how to spread into all this space but we don’t need it and it’s a lot to take care of.

Our next house will be closer to 2700 square feet.  We will be using the formal dining room as the office and the playroom is going to be much smaller.  Plus we’re going down to 4 bedrooms.

Already knowing where we’re going to move in a year is kind of a luxury and I’m super excited about being able to plan the spaces.  While our Tampa house has a lot of space, the storage is awkward and it’s been difficult to organize using the existing systems and keeping spending minimal.  The fifth bedroom is essentially just a catch all for all random things.  The new house will probably have even less storage but I’m determined to think it all though and figure out where everything will fit and create the custom systems we will need.

Planning the next house has meant some changes here in Tampa lately.  Part of that means some serious purging and really thinking about what we use now and will use in the future.  Part of that is figuring out where we’re going to store certain items in the future and making a few changes here to “practice”.  I’m looking at every single thing in this house and asking myself where it is going to go in the next house.

Recently Casey’s room has gotten an update and is almost finished.  I loved her furniture when we got it but it was feeling too dark for the room and for our bright and happy child and it wasn’t all going to fit in the new house.  At first we thought we should wait and buy new furniture after we move so we don’t have to move it and risk it getting damaged.  But I already knew what I wanted to get in her room and that it would work well in the new room and hopefully it will survive the move.  Her room is now the brightest room in the house and I’m so pleased with how it turned out.  Just a few more projects to finish and it will be done!

I’m also working on the craft room/office.  There is no closet in the office in the new house and it is also open to the front entry.  I’ll need a good storage system…one that holds a lot of stuff but also looks good!  I have never been completely pleased with the craft room here which is why I’ve only ever shown part of it.  I’ve moved furniture around in it three times but there’s always a problem wall or spot.  I’m determined to get a good shot of the whole room soon!

So stay tuned for some updates on the Tampa house and maybe some plans for the new house.  And once I restore the craft room from it’s chaos, I’ll get some sewing done too!



family, moving

Getting Ready to Move

I was looking forward to the kids being out of school so that I could get ready to move without having any obligations of being anywhere.  Every day I’m trying to do a hundred things around the house and the kids are playing around me, sometimes even helping in their own way.  But it seems like for every one thing I accomplish, they pull out 5 toys and leave them around the house.  So even though I am getting things done and checking them off my list(s), it looks like nothing is getting done.  Today I finally cleaned up all the toys and what a difference it makes.

We are 4 days, 1 birthday party, 2 play dates, 1 dinner get together, 1 church picnic and a few dozen to-do list items away from the day the packers arrive.  (And then I have new to-do lists of what to do while they’re here.) Plus we need to pack/segregate the items we are bringing in the car with us.  I have tried to find a balance of me working around the house and taking the kids to do fun things but they are getting a little cranky.  And I am ready to be done getting ready!

I’m trying to prioritize items by what I really need to do versus what the really organized, somewhat OCD me wants to get done.  When I get ready to go on vacation, I have to have my house really clean before I can leave it.  I love coming home to a clean house.  So getting ready to move out of a house…it’s even worse.  I’m trying to leave it clean for the renters because I’ve realized that my cleaning standards are pretty high and I’ve worked too hard the past few months to then pay cleaners to do only a few extra things.  It’s the “I-own-a-house” version of a room inspection at Norwich.

We have done some fun things though –  a day at the beach for an air show and the Blue Angels, a morning in downtown Norfolk to see the parade of ships, Casey’s Little Gym show, and playing with neighbors and friends.

moving, Navy life


Time to jump back into the blogging saddle!  I had a weird dream this morning about another blogger…someone I’ve never met and she doesn’t even know I exist.  But we were supposedly working together to sell some things and I ended up slapping her in the face two times because I was so mad at her.  She eventually slapped me in the face and then we were even and figured out how to sell some things.  I had to explain to her that I am not a salesperson but I would be really good at the organizing part of our business.  Anyway, I took this weird dream to mean that I should blog more often again.

Pat left on Saturday for his new job in Tennessee.  He drove most of the night and then got up early to look at some houses that we are interested in renting.  A few weeks ago, there were several nice houses on the rental market and then a lot of schools around the country had spring break.  Since I’m planning to go house hunting during our upcoming spring break it makes sense that other people were doing the same during theirs and the houses found renters or vice versa.  We started to feel like we might miss out on some great houses if we didn’t act soon.  So Pat started looking at houses before he’d barely even realized he was in Tennessee.

I have a feeling we are going to rent a place soon and it will be sight unseen for me.  I asked Pat as many questions as I could about the places but it’s not the same as seeing it with my own eyes.  All the elementary schools in the area are pretty good so that’s not a worry.  Basically I want a nice driveway and place for the kids to play outside, a fenced in backyard for Tugger and a good kitchen.  I’m sure Pat will do a good job of finding the best place for us…but it’s hard to give up control, especially of the place I will spend all my time and will turn into a home for us.