Friday, October 28, 2011

Home Hunting: The Hunt for our Next Home

Obviously this post is purely window shopping at this point. Josh and I aren't even in South Carolina yet, and it would be ideal to have employment in place before hopping into our next home (paying your bills is good, mkay). Looking for a home in AZ is primarily related to location. Unless you are getting a super custom home, or a much older home, the term "cookie cutter" is very appropriate. HOA's are the rule, not the exception. This results in most homes not only being practically on top of each other in master planned subdivisions, but also most homes being the same variation of a shade of one color, with similar trims, front yards, etc.

Perhaps I am biased. My mother complained about the homes in AZ as long as I can remember. For the most part, I didn't really care, until I started visiting places in other states. It really came to the forefront of my mind when we made our first trip to NY in 2007. Oh, the homes in Wading River are just magical. I was entranced driving around and seeing these super old homes, all on large plots of land in wooded areas, and all so unique. I didn't know that was what I wanted until I saw it.

I would love to share pictures of homes in the area with you, however, I am unable to at the moment considering my current location. As soon as we arrive at our destination, I will get busy snapping up pictures of our new cozy habitat in Taylors, SC. Turns out, pretty much no one takes pictures in SC. Except for J's parents, because I made them, ha. So, here is my one glorious example of a magnificent home in SC:

I've been showing this picture of Grandma & Papa's house to Mikey on a regular basis. Isn't it lovely? Mikey is very excited about playing in those trees behind the house :)

I should probably clarify that some folks DO enjoy living right on top of one another in the land of the Palmetto. However, our dream of a nice wooded lot with trees for the kiddos to romp around in doesn't seem like such an impossibility anymore.

Anyway, I look to make this a regular part of the blog in about 2 months. It is going to be so much fun finding a place to dwell!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rolling forward...

So, the moving company just finished their "survey" (aka, how much crap do you have, so I can figure out how much it is going to cost to haul your life across the country).

Yikes! This is all getting realer by the second. It is so strange to go from dreaming about something, to "hey, this is actually happening" to "Oh shit, this really IS happening."

I've been slowly getting after parts of the house trying to get things in order so that when we are finally ready to finish boxing up our stuff, it won't be so tough. Of course, the movers threw a wrench in that today when they explained that THEY actually pack everything up. In some ways, that makes things even tougher. I'm really going to need to push myself to throw things out and donate items ahead of time so I'm not tempted to allow them to box up things we no longer wish to have in our lives.

Last night I was able to work on one of our "clutter" hot spots - the master bedroom closet! I hung up or folded any clothing on the floor, trashed all the crap that needed to be thrown out, and then made a small pile of linens that needed to be washed. now everything is fairly orderly in their.

In other more exciting news, I've obtained a copy of "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown," which I am thoroughly looking forward to showing to Mikey this afternoon. He is still a bit young for my other favorites (Hocus Pocus, and the Nightmare Before Christmas) but he will be able to enjoy our copy of "Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were Rabbit" as well.

Monday, October 24, 2011


I'm procrastinating. Badly. My home is actually becoming messier (maybe). Instead of checking the 10 day weather forecast, I probably should be repacking the boxes in the garage that are falling apart at the seams. Finally doing something with all these dang clothes. Purging. Purging. Purging. 

I think this event might call for a to do list, strategically placed in a new "to-do" notebook just for our move to SC :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011


We've entered the calm before the storm. After a week of standing shocked, the dust has settled. We have direction, and a plan. 

After all the craziness of last week, I've had more time to think about what this all means. One thing that quickly occurred to me is that this is the perfect opportunity to *reinvent* ourselves. Maybe reinvention isn't the right word. In my mind, it would really amount to allowing ourselves to seize on the little & big dreams that we've always had. Living more healthily. Owning a home {again}. Planting flowers and gardens. Slowing down. Brewing tea. Enjoying and exploring our surroundings. Career changes. The possibilities seem limitless.

But, before we can get to all that, we've got to start boxing up this life. The goal this time {this will be J & I's 6th move together, but by far the largest undertaking) is to move through this operation slowly, deliberately, and to end up with an organized system that is easy to "unpack," as soon as we are in our own place. 

We've been flip-flopping on the size of the move, and whether or not we are going to bring certain items. At first we wanted to ditch it all and run across the country with the clothes on our back. From there it included all of the children's belongings. It wasn't soon after that I began realizing there was definitely certain furniture that would be silly to discard (aka, leather lazy boy recliner) knowing that we would need them again in a matter of months after heading out on our own.

So, the move has continued to grow in scope, but we are still determined to weed out the junk, donate things that do not meet our definition of "beautiful or useful" and to hopefully shed quite a bit before we close the doors on the moving truck.

I still can't believe that we finally get to move to SC! Greenville is such a beautiful place! Just look at these pictures of Table Rock State Park (in Pickens, very near where we will be).

Alright, time for less blogging, and more sleeping. Looking forward to documenting our moving process in the VERY near future :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

To Do: Make a To Do List

I love to make lists, but I have to admit, I've never been tasked with a long distance move before. Luckily (for me) Josh's last day is a few weeks before mine, so he is going to have time before we move to get things organized. But, just in case you were wondering, here is a list of all the things you are supposed to do before you move:

  1. Make sure to obtain copies of your personal records and ask for referrals for your new residence.
  2. About six weeks before your long distance move date, you’ll want to start organizing and packing your belongings. Make sure to label all of your moving boxes as you pack them to make the unpacking process much smoother. If you determine you need additional PODS® containers for your move, call us and we’ll bring you additional container(s).
  3. Track down all of your important papers, such as auto registration, passport, birth certificate, insurance policies, etc. You will want to carry these and any small valuables with you.
  4. If your employer has offered to pay for your relocation, this is the time to figure out which expenses and responsibilities are yours and which are theirs. If they are reimbursing you after the fact, you will need to make sure to save all of your receipts and documentation. If you are paying for some or all of your relocation yourself, consult the IRS or your personal accountant to figure out which expenses might be tax deductible.
  5. Four weeks prior to your move, you’ll want to arrange to have your utilities (gas, electric, water, cable) turned off or transferred.
  6. If you are renting, four weeks prior to your cross country move would also be a good time to start cleaning as you pack so that you don't have such an overwhelming task when moving day comes around. Remember, if you want to get your full deposit back, you will need to clean things like vents and behind appliances such as the fridge and stove.
  7. About two weeks prior to cross country moves, you’ll want to fill out a change of address form, which is available at the Post Office, or by visiting:
    1. Now is a good time to start transferring bank accounts.
    2. If you plan to drive your car across the country, it may be a good time to have your car serviced.
  8. One week before the move is a good time to cancel any local memberships and drain gas and oil from equipment like lawn mowers and snow blowers.
I took this from the PODS website, since that is who we are planning on using at this point. Though Josh has informed me that my depth perception is weak, and there is no way that even the meager amount of belongings that we wish to bring will fit in an 8x7x7 container. He went so far as to spread out on the floor to demonstrate just how "not enough" room it will be. I'm of half a mind to declare that "if it doesn't fit, it doesn't go!" I'll probably just call PODS to get a quote on the bigger unit.

Things I am looking forward to getting rid of? The mish mash of furniture we have accumulated over our last 10 years living together. I didn't bring much furniture (if any) to our relationship, but over the years we've received lots of hand me downs. Also looking forward to ditching all the dishes that I no longer care about (somewhere along the line practicality kicked in, and I realized that all white dishes are the way to go - if one breaks, it is easy enough to slip in another without disturbing the "set"). The random assortment of glassware (*cough* pint glasses *cough*) will be seriously culled. Tonight I'm going to go through ALL of the clothing in the garage and in our master bedroom closet, because there is actually a clothing drive in the office, so this is the perfect opportunity to take care of getting rid of excess and unworn clothing. Besides, there is no turning back. Johnny's butt is never going to fit into a 12M again. Johnny is miserable in bouncers, chairs, swings, etc., so those should all probably be donated as well.

Last, I've let a small collection of junk mail grow in a basket in a closet in the 2 years we have lived in this house here in Gilbert. I am vowing that not one piece of junk mail will follow us to SC!

We are in week 10 of a ten week countdown to the move. Or 70 days to go. However you want to look at it. It is almost here!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Gilbert vs. Greenville

Just the Facts:

Average High:

Gilbert - 87
Greenville - 70

Average Low:

Gilbert - 57
Greenville - 49


Gilbert - 9.2 inches
Greenville - 50.2 inches

In Greenville it rains about 119 days a year, and it snows a few days a year, too. My closet full of flip flops is woefully inadequate.

Just sayin'. 

South Bound!

What a difference a day or two makes.

On Sunday night I was bitching about having to blowdry my hair, and by Tuesday morning, Josh and I had both been laid off from our jobs.


So weird the way things work out. Josh and I have had a pipe dream of moving to South Carolina for a few years now. In fact, we were all ready to jump ship, quit our jobs and trot along after them in October of 2009. We chickened out. I guess we figured that we would go for it again once the economy improved. Anyway, our company broke up with us, so now we get two severance packages. For us, this means we can all of a sudden pay to move across the country, and have enough to live on while we find work. In the meantime, we'll be living with Josh's folks. The hope is to get established quickly, and get our own place in the neighborhood so we aren't in their hair for too long.

What an excellent time to start a new blog. Should be interesting to look back on these next few years and the adventures that we have ahead of us in Greenville, SC (or Taylors, SC to be more specific).

Only 10 more weeks of living in hell on earth (aka, Phoenix, AZ)!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

More hip. Less frump.

As usual, my best laid plans were not laid well enough. But, I don't even really care that much this time, because afterall, this is "The Kerith Blog." All Kerith, all the time. My erratic posting fits my personality perfectly :) I spent a lot of time reflecting this weekend. Honestly, I've been reflecting on these particular thoughts for quite some time - but my brain really got to simmering away this weekend over a range of issues that have been bothering me. Let's start at the top.

 1. I'm 28. Ok, 28 and a 1/2. By most standards, I'm still somewhat youngish. Alas, somewhere between getting married and having babies, I took a stopover through the town of Frump. It isn't even necessarily that I don't put in the time or effort to look my age (or even presentable) because I feel that even if I DID put forth the effort, I never really allowed myself to develop a sense of style. I suppose if I really think about it, and if you asked someone on the street what my sense of style was, they might say "compound sister wife." Dowdy loose fitting clothing from the clearance rack. Long, mousy hair that is typically tucked back in a floppy bun or low pony tail. Some women lack for time, others for money, and some lack for drive, and even still, some just don't give a shit what they look like. At times I have lingered in all those categories, but obviously this has been gnawing at my heart because over the last few months, I've been stowing and hoarding apparel and product a little at a time. It started with a small splurge on several dresses and Ross (until money isn't an issue, I doubt I'll be hitting up fancy department stores). 5 dresses for a few bucks a piece. Some makeup. A new curling iron. This weekend I bought some polishing spray from Target that promises to make my hair glorious. But if all of a sudden you were to drop a fat wad of cash into my lap to buy a new wardrobe, I wouldn't have the faintest idea where to begin. I work in an office that pretty closely adheres to "Business Casual" attire. I've got two little boys at home, and outside of work you will usually find me crawling around on the carpet (that probably needs to be vacuumed) with them. So, most days at work you can find me in a skirt and blouse (for some reason I had it in my head that this combo flattered my out of shape figure, but recently I discovered that, no, in fact it accentuates the desperate situation my midsection is in) and at home I romp around in jeans and a t-shirt. The clothing/style thing isn't going to work itself out overnight. I'm going to need to spend some time perusing magazines and whatever resources are available online to build up a catalog of what appeals to me. Hopefully I'll finally be able to put Pinterest to use and make a pinboard of what is catching my eye. What I can do in the immediate future is start making a weekly recap blog post of the efforts I put in each day to start moving myself away from the Frump mom category, and closer to the... well... Cute mom? Cool Mom? Young and Hip mom category? That sounds about right.

A little less this:

And a lot more... this type of thing...

 2. Ugh. Groan. Sigh. My house. My house that I simultaneously adore and loathe. On the one hand, it is kind of cool that we are renting, so when I finally get fed up with the shitty shitiness of this place, we can just pack up our crap and go. But on the other hand, this old cookie cutter POS has its charm. You just have to look really hard past the tape falling from the patio cover, and the warped cabinets in the kitchen. The trees that have been totally wack and out of control since before we even moved in (yet the landlord expects us to pay to fix...). But still, the blank walls, lack of personality (outside of the personality that already existed before we got here) is pretty much my fault. I haven't taken the time to make any place Josh and I have called "home" actually look like one. I'm going to tie this back into issue # 1, which is the sheer lack of idea of what the hell my style is. My sister's house is pretty, but it totally isn't my style (it does look like a model home). I love retro, and cozy, and beach cottage. My brain hurts even trying to think of a way to mesh that together. I think I can have a cozy retro home, or a cozy beach cottage, but not all three, lol. Again, I shall look towards Pinterest, and my plan is to tackle one project a week to make this place a little less rental shanty, and a little more "home."

 3. Mikey still isn't potty trained. Argh. I'm probably breaking every rule other there at this point. Bribery and positive reinforcement didn't work, so today we tried "you aren't getting off the toilet until you poop." As it turned out, the poor little dude is stopped up, so that plan backfired. There goes my mother of the year award. Luckily Mikey forgives faster than anyone I know, and he still let me read him Dumbo at bedtime. I'll load him up with fiberous vegetables for the next few days, and hopefully that will help make things happen. Or I might just have to resort to my old methods:

4. Mikey and Johnny are, like, the best brothers ever. Really - I just want to eat their faces when they insist on being all sorts of precious.

(Ok, Mikey really just was mad that Johnny figured out how to get on his dump truck, and was trying to slide his way in, hoping that Johnny would fall over easily, but Johnny has a grip that is no joke. Little dude was not budging.)

That is all for this evening. I suppose I better get a head start on trying not to look like shit, which means washing and blowdrying my hair at night, rather than sleeping on it wet. Eeek.

Monday, October 3, 2011


I know, I know. I picked a terrible month to start my new official blog. It seemed like a great idea - to start up during national blog your ass off and write a post each an everyday for 31 whole days. Except, I sort of forgot it was October. Oops.

September ended sweetly enough. The weather is dropping (albeit, not quickly enough) and I'm sooo looking forward to it dip into the low 90's so I can let M out to play and not worry about him dropping like a fly from heat stroke.

ANYWAY, enough about the weather. On to the task at hand - writing for the remainder of October each day. Today is obviously going to be used just for making excuses for my absence for days 1 and 2 (and a small part at the end for a little fall playlist). But, for the rest of the month, I'd like to document my attempts at whipping our home into shape for the holidays. I'm going to try and keep it loose, because if I try to force some hard schedule, I'll abandon my project before I get to Tuesday. The only rule I will put into place is that I must document my project for the day with the ole' camera and attach a picture to the post. Ok, I leave you with this lovely playlist to usher in the fall. I'll probably end the month with a fun playlist for Halloween!