Our Winter Wonderland

This may seem strange to post now that spring is in full swing, but our first snow day was so fun I had to write about it.

The third weekend we were here we got a real treat, our first NC snow.  It was in the forecast but I didn’t expect much because I heard the snow in Charlotte isn’t usually the stuff of holiday movies.  I had heard it was icy and didn’t really stay around long enough to create our perception of a winter wonderland.  I have seen snow before when traveling but Honey had never seen it fall before so I hoped it would at least stick round for the morning.

When we woke up that Saturday it was raining but not a snowflake in sight, so I started making waffles because we were finally getting a chance to stay home and relax on a weekend (our first time in months!).  At first we didn’t see that the rain had turned into little snowflakes, but once we did we were kids again.  We went ran out to the back deck in our pjs and warm hats and let the the flakes catch on our hair and on our clothes.  As expected they melted quickly but that didn’t stop us from grabbing our cameras and taking pictures of the snow lightly dusting our back yard and catching in the trees.

Eventually we went back in, I finished making the waffles and played music from my laptop.  Trying to set a mood, I typed in the word “snow” to my iTunes library and it gave me a song from The Fountain soundtrack called “First Snow”.  It is an instrumental piece that  has that feeling of building with a  melancholy backbone, I highly recommend giving it a listen.  As time passed we noticed the snow had not let up. I was impressed when the snow fell hard enough to stay on the ground and not melt away…

Snow just startingI started really turning into a giddy girl when I saw it become what I had always imagined a snow day to be.

More Snow

 

Our Snow People

BloomIt was absolutely gorgeous! We were outside for at least three hours taking pictures, feeling the snow crush under our shoes, and throwing the occasional snow ball.  Sorry about that Honey.  And yes we were the only people in or neighborhood that were out playing in the snow.  I could just imagine them coming to their windows watching us and thinking those “crazy Californians.”  We even let Bailey out onto the deck to examine the snow.  He loved it so much we had to escort him back inside.

It snowed into the night but stopped by the next morning so we went for a walk around the neighborhood.

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The sun was out and the snow melted by Sunday night, so in a way it was a perfect little snow storm because it came on the weekend and all evidence of it was gone by rush hour on Monday morning.  I spoke with my cousin later that week and she said that was not the typical snowfall here so I took as an incredible welcome to our new home.

 

 

 

 

Moving Spaces

The decision to move wasn’t as complicated as I thought it would be.  I made up a list of Pros and Cons -with the Pros outweighing the Cons.  So I started looking up stores we frequented (most of them are out here), then started getting quotes and making up scenarios of how to get across the country.  My former job as a Office Manager/ Operations Coordinator/ Shipping Guru helped me out a lot with this.  Throughout the process, that began sometime in mid-October to when we actual set a plan in early January we must have run through about three dozen scenarios.

We could drive across country in a UHaul, we could ship everything including the cats, cars, and furniture, we could sell everything and just ship ourselves and the cats, we could just use professionals and be done with it…the possibilities were endless.  Things of course changed as the process went on and the quotes came in.  While we knew there was a strong possibility of Honey getting the position in Charlotte we did not know for sure it was happening until mid-December and then they wanted him at the job by the end of January.  I was doing all the things I could do that couldn’t be undone if it didn’t happen, I felt like a dam holding back the chaos that would spill everywhere once we got the green light.  I did all the little things around the house that we had been meaning to do, got the yard in excellent shape, began planning a yard sale, trying to meet up with friends as much as possible, and then making a San Diego Bucket list.  By the time we announced to our friends and family that we were moving I had the items priced for the garage sale, a realtor picked out, and a general plan of how we were going to transport our life East.  I should have been taking notes when Kudra talked about her move to North Carolina.  It was ironic that we ended up in the same state, though hours apart.

We chose not to tell a single person before we knew it was a for sure thing, so for two months Honey I shared this secret that dominated almost every other thought that ran through our heads.  He was so excited about getting to tell people that most of time he just blurt it out when we told them the news.  We realized soon after that we had to talk strategy before meeting with people, because of course the immediate question after Honey said, “We have big news” was “Are you pregnant?”.  I tried to at least order a drink if we were at a restaurant or have a glass in hand if we were at home when we told people.  Sadly this strategy didn’t work because I was still asked if I was with child a few times.  Once after drinking a mimosa, once while ordering off a Saki menu, and while drinking a double espresso.  I know when married couples say they have big news, that is usually the next sentence but I really didn’t want to know what people’s reactions would be to something like that.  Luckily no one did anything that couldn’t be unseen.  We decided an email would be better strategy.

The other reason was because I didn’t want to hear people’s opinions on it.  We once brought up moving out of state (another state) as a what if? a few years back and we got an earful about how horrible it would be.  They said  that we were stupid to want to go somewhere with weather, that we couldn’t handle how different it was, and that the locals would hate us there because we were from California.  Frankly I didn’t want to hear it.  So I felt telling people when it was an absolute instead of a possibility was the way to go.  In the end I only heard a few grumbles and unsolicited opinions from two people (one of which a relative), our friends and a good portion of my family were excited for us and wished us the best.  I miss our friends, but thanks to social media and Skype our friends don’t seem as far away.  And there are always visits, San Diego will be a whole different town when we’re tourists.

During the move I kept on waiting from some big wave of emotion to hit me and make me feel the gravity of the situation.  I didn’t really cry when I said good-bye to people, maybe because I knew it wouldn’t be the last time I saw them.  My dad said I was just numb so I could keep on going, but weeks later and still no tears.  I didn’t press my face to the window of the car watching as we drove away from our San Diego house for the last time as I expected to.  It was the place that had made me a “grown up” and that I had poured countless hours of work into to make something beautiful and something I was proud of but I said good bye and drove away.   I think it’s because I knew my real feeling of home was sitting next to me as we drove across the country and sleeping next to me every night.

Moving is a yucky business whether it be down the street, across town, across country, or across oceans.  It’s more than just packing and putting stuff in a new place; it is prioritizing and organizing your current life, it’s shedding off old skins and picking at scabs of old wounds, and skimming away what is uncessary for your updated version of home.  Honey and I each had our own minor moments of freak outs but luckily we took turns and never had one at the same time   That was important and good planning on our subconscious parts.  Because not only were we dealing with our move, we were simultaneously selling the house (which lucking was only on the market for five days).  For those who have never sold a house when it’s on the market you have have it looking perfect all of the time, you have to make it look like no one lives there but cleaning fairies come by every two hours to keep the place looking nice.  Trying to give this impression and pack was an interesting balancing act, but I think I nailed it.  Of course I found myself pondering if things like massages and Red Bulls were acceptable Moving Expense tax deductions.  But we got here in one piece and still taking to one another. We’re settled in (minus a dining room table) and Honey has already started gardening for the Spring and summer vegetables.

Hello, Again

Hello Blog World! I haven’t written for the last couple of months for many reasons…

The first of which is that I have been a very, very busy bee.

The second was that I wasn’t really being The Novel Housewife, I was more like a project manager of sorts so my material for housewife subjects was scarce.

And the third reason was that for half of my absence I was keeping a big secret.  A secret that had reached its tentacles into almost every aspect of my life, so strategically omitting it seemed wrong.  The secret only spilled to the people I know in mid-December when everything became official and then the whirlwind of preparations began.

So what have I been up to…last month the husband and I moved across country to Charlotte, North Carolina.  An opportunity came up with his work and we went for it.  We sold the house, packed what we could into a POD, sold or gave away what we couldn’t, got an XL carrier for Bailey, and drove across country with a massive storm 24 hours behind us.  It was a emotionally freeing and frightening all at the same time.  I will dedicate some future posts to the various aspects of doing a move like this in a little more than 6 weeks, but while it was happening I couldn’t stop to analyze it and write it all down. I feared it would open a can of emotions I didn’t have time to deal with and I wanted to just be present. I did do some video diaries to chronicle some events but more so I could remember things that might get suppressed over time.

If you are on the actual blog page you might have noticed it looks a little different and a little empty.  I figured in a new city I would get a fresh start.  The old entires are still around and I will probably start slowly unlocking them once I have time to see if they are worth putting back up for all to see.  I changed the format because it didn’t seem right to have the flowers that were outside our SoCal home as a featured photo.  I will be playing around with the theme for the next couple of weeks until I find something that works.

I’ll fast forward to the Now part of the story and give you some flashbacks in the next couple of days. It will be like one of those movies that gives away the ending before you even know the story.   Right now I am sitting at my new desk in my new home office, which is in the den of the house we’re renting.   Up until last week this room was pretty much a walkthrough from the stairs to the kitchen.  We had four areas in the house that were furniture-less, now we just have three.  I found my last drops of sanity were going to evaporate if I didn’t have a space to sit down and write, so I made a day trip to IKEA and picked something out.  It seemed like most of things we sold or gave away were flat surfaces so I had nowhere to put my laptop that didn’t cramp up my neck.  Our dining room table was long over due for removal from our house (remnants of a past relationship), my desk didn’t fit in the POD but found a home with another writer, and various other tables were left behind for personal or logistical reasons.  So I had nowhere besides our bed or the couch to run off too.  Since it is shared space, I felt rushed.

desk in the den

It has been hard for me to nest here, since we are just renting I can’t do much and it has made me feel a little unsettled.  I feel guilty for even putting in a new nail in the wall to hang a picture, but I had to just mark a little bit or teritory.  Most of the decorating choices are not in line with my own tastes; nothing horrific, just more pastel and muted colors than I am used to, I’m trying to make it work.

There are actual seasons in North Carolina, something our SoCal skin has been deprived of but we are acclimating.  40 degrees used to be almost painful back in SoCal but now I can go out and hardly notice it.    It was 57 a few days back and I half debated wearing a skirt!  I know- we were spoiled. Spring is just getting underway here and we can’t wait to see the transformation.

This weekend was the first time we have been able to open the windows and let non-machine generated warm air in since we moved in.  Now we try to have the windows open wherever we can, this all-the-time heater thing is new and my sinuses hate it.  The is sun poking in and out here, it’s still warm but a storm is coming in this evening to save me from having to water the yard.  It has rained at least once a week since we have been here, it has already become normal to me.  I haven’t had to water once.  We have also had snow, but that’s a whole other post. =)