Why, Hello December

So I suppose it seems like I fell off the grid for a couple of weeks, at least in the blogging world. Write something about life being hard and crazy sometimes and then go silent. Not exactly the most reflective of the latest. To be honest, I have a blog post or two just sitting, waiting to go public but haven’t hit the button. Something about this time of the year feels like everything is in fast forward, and I can’t keep up.

We are a third of the way through the month! Can you believe it? I sure can’t. There’s parties to attend, gifts to get, people to see, stuff to do. Between all that and everything ramping back up for both of us work-wise, I go back and forth between scrambling like a crazy lady and wanting to snuggle under some soft, warm blankets without tending to any of it.

Sometimes I feel like I have to fight and struggle to accomplish all the normal boring life things like paying bills and ordering checks (yes, I still use those), so adding anything else seems like a big deal. But somehow I’m going to find the time to sit still. To be. Be with people and not have to run to the other room to check something or do something else. My prayer today was that I could have a home that’s open and more importantly, available. I am so grateful for our house as it truly feels like a home and want it to reflect how I want to live. I want to see everyone and do everything, but not at the expense of our sanity. I don’t want to be a little stressball when things aren’t done yet, pushing out the people I want to be with and love on. I want to show love and care to others but not be so exhausted from running around that I have nothing left to offer. But hopefully what I lack in checked off to-dos I can make up for in sweet winter moments—alone, with the hubby, with friends, with family, with neighbors and with strangers.

That Girl

Five years ago on a warm spring day with the sense of change in the air, I found this skirt. Feeling artistic after visiting too many art galleries and in the mood to be spontaneous, I bought it on a whim. I was having fun with friends at a cute little vintage shop downtown when I saw it and knew in that moment I could become that girl.

green skirt

That girl in the bright green skirt with red lace. That girl who was cool and confident—able to wear anything that fit. That girl who was fun and inspiring, with a sense of adventure and excitement. I wanted it all and knew $14 later, I would be that much closer.

Guess what?

The tags are still on it. That skirt has moved with me 6 times now, always with the hope that one day I’d find the top that somehow matches and the right occasion to take it off the hanger. It’s time to stop. Stuff can’t define someone. That skirt was not going to change me any more than yesterday’s haircut. Furthermore, it’s well past time to stop romanticizing about the power of such a gaudy skirt. It’s time instead to open it up for someone else to own it. With any luck it will actually be worn in the next five years.

goodwill box

We Made It

I am so tired, and sore, and exhausted that I am struggling to lift my fork to eat this crepe (you read that correctly – there’s a crepe place where I live! And I can eat them!). My little arms are screaming at me but my brain is racing. The past 24 hours have been insane. I think I’d like to take a week-long nap followed by a day-long shower.

But as of this moment, we have a home. We live somewhere. And we slept in our own bed last night for the first time in over three weeks.

We also have too much stuff.

Taking all of our worldly possessions down from the storage unit, out to the truck, down the ramp and sidewalk stairs and then finally up the flight of stairs to our new apartment has left us with this realization. We have too much stuff. We aren’t sure how or why or when we acquired all of these things, but the new way of life is “less is more” from here on out. That or, next time we move we’ll sell everything we own and then buy it all back over time. With each step we questioned the worth of the items we spent so much time, money and physical pain to keep. Over a thousand dollars to rent a truck and drive it halfway across the country (Penske is the way to go), another hundred for a climate controlled storage unit for a month, a couple hundred dollars in boxes/tape/rope/blankets (even with the donation of boxes from friends)…it all adds up. And for what? A life lesson learned the hard way. Less is more.

We did have a garage sale beforehand though and felt we got rid of things, which freed us up to make some purchases that we are so glad we acquired here instead of lugging across the country. Before loading up the truck, we snagged some major craigslist deals. We bought our first washer and dryer, a nice couch set, a bike rack and the hubby upgraded his bike for his new daily commute. We left a car back in Iowa to sell and will try and live on just one car for awhile.

Everything went so quickly, and overall, so smoothly. We’ve really been blessed by that and all we’ve been given. We had great friends help us pack the truck, wonderful relatives providing us with a “home base” (and friendship, meals and muscles too) and have been blessed by the kindness of strangers as we pick up these miscellaneous items and navigate around town. As we made a midnight run to Walmart last night for cleaning supplies and ice cream, we looked at each other and said, We did it. We made it. It certainly wasn’t done alone, but we did it together. We drove across the country, just us. We packed the bulk of our house and moved the bulk of our things and will inevitably unpack all of those things – just us. Hubby said last night that he felt like we were newlyweds all over again. Just figuring things out with a fresh start. Stuff or no stuff, the best thing we’ve had on this move was each other. Call me cheesy, but I’m pretty thankful for my husband and getting to do this thing together, with him. This thing called life.