Tag Archive | "moving"

2012 in Review- The Year of the Elf

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Despite being the slowest year of my blog’s existence thanks to a LOT going on around the homefront 2012 was also the best year yet for DDL!  The blog has steadily grown since it started back in April 2009.  In fact readership has increaded 65% in 2012 compared to 2011!  That is with blogging a lot less than I did last year too.  Plus I had a little help from an Elf.

January was in insane month and thanks to the generosity of a lot of sponsors we raised enough money for the non-profit organization Giving Diapers, Giving Hope to help them apply for their non-profit status!  In case you haven’t heard of them yet GDGH provides cloth diapers for families in need who qualify.  In January something else pretty big happened- we bid on a home in Tampa FL and planned to move from our home in Syracuse.  At the time we had no idea what we would be entering into…

February was when I made an announcement here on the blog that we were moving.  I was unsure of how moving would impact the work I was doing here but I figured I would be around less during the transition.  I didn’t know then that the transition would take 6 months.  That month I also re-designed the look of the blog and did away with the old blue header in favor of what is still up today.

By March the boys and I had moved out to Charlotte NC.  Because the home we bid on was a short sale there was no timeline saying it would take 30, 60, or even 90 days until closing.  It was a stressful roller coaster ride of emotions as we waited for word.  We were in limbo- not in our old home where Everett was born and not yet to what we hoped would be a perfect home for our family.  March is also when I started taking a serious interest in learning how to use my DSLR so that was keeping me busy and giving me a hobby to focus on while living with my in-laws and impatiently waiting for news about our home.

April was a VERY big month.  Life had to go on and with no end in sight about our home I decided to find a NC screenprinter for a design I had made while still in Syracuse.  Then DDL Apparel was born and my dream of providing stylish cloth diaper advocacy shirts came to life!   I started printing in March but blogged about the new venture in April. April was a big month for cloth diaper advocacy as well thanks to the 2nd Annual Great Cloth Diaper Change.  I participated in the Charlotte location hosted by Jack Be Natural and even sold a few of my shirts there too.  To go with the vibe that month I also published one of my favorite posts of the year- “How to be a better cloth diaper advocate.”  This month I also hit my breaking point and vented about the frustrations of living 10 hours away from my husband and not receiving any word about the status of our short sale.

May.  The 2nd Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge came and went even though I was living with family.  They looked at me like I had a third eye while I used a camp style washer and handwashed diapers.  They have always been a little wary of my regular cloth diapers so this was a real treat for them.  Once again we had a lot of participation and helped spread the message that cloth diapering CAN be done no matter what if you really need to.

June was the month I started working on another dream project of mine that I’ve wanted to do for years.  I set out to record a video interview with my grandparents about cloth diapering.  It was such an amazing experience.  It took me almost 6 months to actually publish the video after wanting to make sure it was perfect.  That month I also asked the question “Are Cloth Diapers Too Advanced?” and discussed why sometimes the simplest diapers are the best.

July 4th 2012 was the day my family was reunited.  We closed on the home at the end of June and packed into our car for the 10 hour drive to Tampa.  It was a very long 6 months; and even though I can’t say we didn’t enjoy the chance to reconnect with our families in Charlotte that we lived apart from for 5 years it was nice to be in our new home.  The waiting was the hardest part but what was to come was hard in another way.  Unpacking, and remodeling a home that was sold “as is” and needed a lot of TLC.  Still, it was so nice to have a place to call home.   That month I fit in very little blogging but did make time to make another video I really loved- “Washing Cloth Diapers is the Easy Part.”  Oh, and July 24 marked my 5 Year Wedding Anniversary.  I’m just glad we were together for that because it didn’t seem like that would happen the month before.

In August I left my family for a quick trip to BlogHer in NYC.  I had the time of my LIFE getting the chance to be with my other blogging friends and learning more about this craft I’ve been perfecting for almost 4 years.  It was difficult to move and then leave for a work trip because all I really wanted to do was conitnue beautifying the home.  August also became the month DDL started morphing into a “DIY” blog while I began documenting the work on our home.   ALready I had painted the entryway, the front livingroom, and the guest bedroom (which is designed to be a Golden Girls Room).  My husband and I also started working on remodeling the second bathroom and launched a 4 month long project that took that room down to the studs and back.  Lets just say it was difficult with 2 kids constantly at home.  

September was a month dedicated to Cloth Diapers in Daycare.  I was able to showcase the cloth diapers that work best for care providers and picked several that I loved.  I also had many guest articles that month from readers willing to share their experiences.  I continued sharing progress posts about our work in the house, this time about our entryway and my amazing thrift store chairs.  

In October my youngest baby turned 2.  I still can’t believe that.  When my babies have birthdays I’m usually busy making their epic yearly video and October was no exeption.  It was a great one!  We took a drive back up to NC for my Sister-in-law’s wedding and got to play around with my new camera- the Nikon D90.  We were still in love with our new house and getting close to the finish line with our big projects.

November was insane.  Steven and I were literally scurrying around like crazy people getting things wrapped up in time for visitors.  We had to complete the bathroom so that people had a place to use the restroom other than the one in our bedroom.  I painted the kitchen, the front door, and refinished 2 doors that month.  Plus we finished our huge bathroom remodel.    Then there was Thanksgiving AND my son’s 4th birthday and these fell on the same day!  That was fun.  So was working for 8 hours straight until 5 am on Fletcher’s birthday video.  It is my best one yet.

December has been a really amazing month.  Mostly because we are finally feeling settled in our new home after working tirelessly on it for 6 months.  We celebrated Christmas here as a family for the first time, and even though we didn’t have our extended family with us it was still really wonderful.  I did work extra hard to bring cheer to our home for the holidays since it is weird to wear a tank top in December.  This was also the month I finally got my butt in gear and completed the video interview with my grandparents.  I’m so proud of that video and consider it the best film I’ve done yet.  I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my Elf on the Shelf hack.  December was the biggest month for my blog thanks to a post from last year about hacking your Elf on the Shelf.  Thank you Wyatt and Pinterest for bringing gobs of new visitors to DDL.  The Elf also brought a lot of strife too after a photo of mine was stolen and went viral.  I was mad.  

With 2013 around the corner I’m ready to face it head on.  I’ve decided to devote more time to creating more videos beyond just cloth diaper reviews.  Video editing is something I very much enjoy and the most fun (and hardest) thing about this blog.  I’ll never be a huge blog like so many of my friends who began at the same time as me.  As much as I get down on myself about this fact as I watch others become household blog names I know that as a cloth diaper blog that will never be the case.   And I don’t think I want that either.  Blogging takes a lot of work and a lot of time away from my children.  By slowing down this year I’ve realized how much time away I spent when I was at a break neck blogging speed.  These days we spend most of our time playing outside and that is better than the headaches of running a huge blog any day.  I only have 2 more rooms to paint in our new home, a few doors to refinish, and some door trims to re-paint then it is done.  I’m really excited to eventually post a Before/After showing the entire house and how different it looks.

I have lots of video ideas and I really can’t wait to get started.  2013 will hopefully be the year I have no babies in diapers.  Then what?  I’m not sure.  Will I let others review diapers for me?  Will I continue filming diapers but not publish reviews?  Will I start focusing more on my life and less on cloth diapering?  I really just don’t know and I’m not a good planner.  It is a miracle when you see an event here because that means I planned ahead!

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So Worth The Wait…

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Almost 4 months ago the boys and I moved into our new home in Florida where we reunited with my husband after a very long 6 months.  For those new here the short version is this:  Husband got a new job in Florida and we announced our move.  We looked online for homes near Tampa from our home in Syracuse, found one we loved, Steven toured it, we bid on it.  House was a short sale with an unknown closing date- could be 3-6 months.  Bank accepted our bid but it took 6 months to close and we never knew an end date.  The kids and I lived with family while Steven lived in Florida.  The house needed lots of TLC and was purchased “as-is.”  We picked the house because it met all of our ideals: cul-de-sac, 4 bedrooms, on a street with character and shade, no backyard neighbors, plenty of yard, open floor plan, and the bonus was that it had a pool.  The only drawback was the wait and that it wasn’t exactly “turn-key” ready.

After working nearly every single day on fixing the house I can say now that we are to a “live-able” state where the home isn’t in boxes, there aren’t tools in every room, and each room is functioning as the room it is intended to be.  The best part is where we live.  It has always been my dream to live somewhere that the kids can play safely.  With a large backyard and a cul-de-sac this home is most definitely living up to my dream.  Virtually every single day the kids and I go for walks on our shaded street, play on our ride on toys in the cul-de-sac, go for a bike ride around the neighborhoods, and visit the neighbor kitties.  My children are so happy here and it really shows.  In fact, I am really happy here too and that shows.  For the first time in recent memory I can’t complain about anything and I’m not wishing to be somewhere or someone else.

When we lived in Syracuse I can safely say I was suffering from depression.  I would call it seasonal and it coincided with the winter months when I was trapped inside with the boys for almost 6 months a year.  The effort of leaving in the snow and getting everyone properly dressed and undressed and re-dressed was sometimes too much for me.  So we stayed at home or took drives without ever leaving the car.  With no family or friends I was alone except the people who lived with me.  Steven would leave early in the morning, and in the winter, returned after dark.  It was a miserable existence and one I longed to leave behind for another place.  Florida is just about as opposite as we could get and so I begged my husband to look for opportunities there.  We knew eventually this would be where we ended up but I wanted it sooner, for my own sanity and happiness.  We lived in Syracuse for 5 years.  That is a long time to be miserable.

When we first moved here the stress was preventing us from enjoying the home.  And the state of the home wasn’t enjoyable yet either.  We called the house “A Temple to the Color Orange” since every room was some shade of it.  We had a mile long list of projects to tackle as soon as we moved in.  I knew if we didn’t jump on them immediately at some point we would start to become complacent and the projects would never get done.  To my husband’s dismay I became the project manager and barked orders and assigned tasks for every day and especially every weekend when he was around to help.  Each week I would paint 1-2 rooms and on the weekends we would work together on remodeling the bathroom.  I would try to work every other day and choose to spend the day off playing outside with the kids or taking them somewhere special to make up for painting the previous day.

To date I have painted the entryway, front living room, office, bedroom hallway, Fletcher’s room, the Golden Girls Room, the remodeled bathroom, and the great room which was all wood paneling and took 5 solid days to complete.  Every other room only took 1 full day each to paint except the bathroom which only took about 2 hours including priming the new drywall.  At this point I have the kitchen, Everett’s room, our bedroom, the master bathroom, the front door, the laundry room, and 7 closets left to paint.  Just naming all the rooms made me realize I have a few first world painting problems.

 

As of this weekend our bathroom has working sinks and a working toilet.  The last project to tackle before we can say she is completely functioning is the tiling of the shower walls.  I’m really and truly amazed at what my husband and I have done.  We have completely built an entire room and saved about $3-5,000 by DIYing it.  I won’t lie and say it was easy because it wasn’t at all.  Every time we thought something would be simple it never was.  I keep going into the bathroom, turning on the lights, looking around, smiling, and then leaving.  My husband and I make a pretty great team.  He gets most of the credit but I have done my fair share of the labor in that bathroom including lifting heavy toilets, sinks, vanities, drywall, and bathtubs.

It feels so good to live somewhere you love and in a home that isn’t the color orange.  I am thankful everyday that we waited that 6 months and trusted our gut.  We knew there was potential in the home if we were willing to put the money, sweat, and tears into it.  At this point we have exhausted our home renovation budget and the largest projects have been tackled so I’m looking forward to slowing down and finally just living in the home.  We do have a long list of small projects to finish before family comes for Thanksgiving but it is nothing like “take the bathroom down to the studs and rebuild it.”  Sometimes I just want to cry because we are finally settled and have a place to call home.  With the stress lifted my husband and I are once again having fun together.  One thing is for sure- major home renovations can throw a wrench in a marriage, even the strongest ones.

I’m looking forward to slowing down.

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Finally, a place to call HOME

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It’s been 6 months in the making but I can finally say that my family is living in our new home in Florida!  We bid on the short sale home on January 26 and we got our keys on June 28.  My husband moved down from Syracuse to Florida after our home was packed up at the end of February.  Earlier that week the boys and I flew to Charlotte, NC to stay with family.  We all assumed we would move into the hotel with my husband for the expected 3 month wait.  Thankfully we stayed behind because it took much longer than we anticipated. More on that story in a previous post.

By now several people have asked me “Was it worth the wait?”  I’m not sure how to answer that question.  Truth be told, the wait wasn’t the hardest part.  It was not knowing if waiting was going to result in the home, or when the waiting would end.  Had we been told “You will definitely get the home in 6 months.” it would have been a piece of cake and totally worth waiting for.  Instead we were told “It should only take 3 months.  You won’t know if you are getting the home until the bank tells you and there is no way of knowing how long that will take.”  We were in for an insane emotional roller coaster but finally, we are home!

Now that the wait, and uncertainty are over, the real fun begins.  We purchased a 4 bedroom 1976 ranch home on a cul-de-sac with old growth oak trees.  We also purchased the home “as-is.”  Before I list the many issues I don’t want you to think I hate my new home so I’ll explain WHY we bought the home.

Shade!  This house has shade tress all around and these beautiful oak trees also have romantic spanish moss hanging from them.  There are several palm trees and other plants around too but the trees mean that my kids can play outside even on hot summer days.

 

 

 
Cul-de-sac!  As a parent I am trying to keep my kids as safe as possible.  Living on a cul-de-sac allows us to also get some asphalt playing time with our ride on toys.  If you have never lived/played in a cul-de-sac then you don’t know what you are missing out on.

 

 

 

 

Charm!  Our street is so charming.  Or creepy.  Or both.  When I saw it for the first time it was at dusk and the orange sky was behind the shady oaks with their spanish moss hanging down.  It was a picturesque Halloween Street.  Every home is unique- most are ranches and a few are 2 story.  Some are brick, some have stone facades.  Each home has a unique mail box that matches their home’s style or bricks.

 

 

 

One level!  I despise stairs.  I like to have access to my kids.  Even though the home is fairly large I can be right at the scene of the crime as soon as a cry is heard.  I’m a bit of a worry wart and an paranoid of NOt hearing a cry so this is perfect.  Also, I don’t like carrying laundry up and down stairs.  Call me lazy… In Florida having one story makes it easier too cool the house too.

Pool!  Okay, so this one is a plus and minus but my husband really loves the idea of a pool.  He just had to shock the water tonight so the reality of pool upkeep is creeping up on us.  However, the kids both LOVE swimming and since it’s Florida almost everyone has a pool.  We have some more childproofing to do on this one too.  I’m a “worst case scenario” kinda mom so I’m thinking of every far fetched (but still plausible) way the kids could get to the pool when we are sleeping/showering/blinking.

When my husband and I were  younger and would talk about our dream home I said “Victorian” and he said “Brand new.  I don’t want anything old and dirty.”   Somehow we ended up with an old and very dirty home.  The bones are great, the layout is good, but the interior is YUCK.  Think 1970′s outlets, paneling, shell shaped sinks, and random stone planter in the great room.

It’s renovation time.

Since we are mostly unpacked (don’t tell that to the 20 boxes left in the garage… shhh) the real hard work begins.  The guest bathroom is getting completely remodeled.  We are removing the paneling from the walls where it exists and hanging dry wall, then painting.  We also have to replace all of the interior doors, repaint every single wall, remove the stone planter and fireplace, and somehow make our kitchen work with no pantry and very little overhead storage.  The lawn is just miserable and we’ve already had landscapers come just to remove the massive amount of leaves left over from years of neglect.  There are electrical issues, holes in walls, grime, and a deck that is just sad looking.

I have BIG plans and a tiny budget.  Pinterest, take me away…..

I’m not a home renovation or DIY blog but you might see some posts here and there about our home progress.  It might be interesting to some of you and if not, just skip to the next article.  As you can imagine our family is undergoing a lot of change at the moment.  I just got my Internet back and still haven’t unpacked my filming equipment.  Family (and sanity) come first so please bear with me during this time in our life when I might not be updating the blog as much as usual.  Thank you all for your kind words of encouragement and support over these long 6 months.

It really is true what they say about home being where your family is.  My fears about adjusting to life together again were quelled immediately as we all just went back to life as usual like it was 6 months ago in Syracuse.  Except now we have more room to play and more sunshine!

Gallery of the inside of our home before any work has been done.  The theme is orange.

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Daddy is an iPhone- Why You Should Stay Away From Short Sales-Updated 6/4

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{warning- adult language} {Scroll to bottom for the update} With 2 months 3 Months of living in separate states under our belts a few things have become clear- Everett thinks his father is an iPhone and Fletcher believes Daddy is always “at the office” or finding a house in Florida.

3 months ago we put a bid on a home we fell in love with that had a large back yard with old oak trees all around. It was on a cul-de-sac so the kids could play in the street and it had a lovely pool. There is work to be done on the home (built in the 70′s and has had some updating but still needs TLC) but the price was good and the location was better. Problem? It was a short sale.

Originally we took “short sales” out of our search because we read that the process took 3-6 months. Short sales, come to find out, aren’t short. Short refers to the fact that the mortgage holder will receive less money than they are owed because the owners are in danger of foreclosure. A short sale is better on their credit than a foreclosure but the paperwork and process is a bit of a nightmare. (better explanation of a short sale) (Also I need to stop googling about Bank of America Short Sales because every post/blog/article is nothing but bad news.)

Florida homes in our price range were lack luster, cookie cutter, boxy, and had no yard and definitely no trees for shade so after weighing our options and speaking with out realtor we took a gamble. One that isn’t paying off and that is threatening to drive us up the wall.

We were reassured that the stars were aligned in this case and it shouldn’t take longer than 3 months (we are pre-approved, they are HAFA approved, etc). I was planning to move down with my husband into an extended stay hotel, paid for by his company for 2 months, but we both decided it would be easier for the boys if we stayed behind at his parents in North Carolina after moving from Syracuse. It has definitely been easier in many ways- my Mother-in-Law has no shortage of toys for them and there is plenty of space. They have made friends in the cul-de-sac and I’m loving having “Oma” make them lunches and dinner everyday. I’m lucky that my in-laws are not typical and seem to like me. I do get whiffs of judgement here and there, usually concerning my choice to still nurse my 18 month old on demand and to sleep with him at night, but they leak that out passive aggressively. I expected it and I ignore it or reply back kindly that we are doing what we think is best.

Yesterday was when panic set in that it has been 3 months and we are no closer to having a home than we were before we moved! (Thank you Bank of America employee who went on vacation with our paperwork on your desk to work through- I can not tell you how fucking much I appreciate your consideration in this matter. I kinda hope you got sun burnt). We’ve been told “Your paperwork has been escalated and your (infuriating) negotiator (who went on fucking VACATION before getting to our paperwork like they were supposed to) has 48 hours to complete it (which was 1.5 weeks ago.) Then “You should hear back on Monday” (Which was 6 days ago). So we signed an extension on our bid until mid May. After that I don’t feel like I can wait any longer. We are currently browsing for homes now so if there is no news by then we can promptly bid on another house. Either way it seems the earliest we will have a home is mid to late JUNE.

During all of this time my husband has lived in Florida. He has 4 days to find another place to live. I won’t go into more detail but this is stressing us both out because it is either rent some room who knows where, rent a $$$ furnished apartment maybe? Then there is the cluster-fuck of what is happening with our entire earthly possessions in storage which was only originally meant to be temporary. This is another mess.

funny screencap from a late night FaceTime session. We look awesome

2 months in baby world is a lot. Everett has changed so much since we arrived in NC. He is saying many more words, expressing himself through sign language and hand gestures of his own invention, running and climbing like a boss, and really just turning into a little person! Fletcher has just blossomed even more and his verbal ability is just amazing me! We chat with my husband on the phone and we often do family FaceTime. Thank goodness for technology. It does break my heart than Everett learned to say “dada” when his father wasn’t even here to hear it and used it for the first time to refer to my iPhone. He knows who Daddy is and can point him out but he also knows Daddy is always in the phone so he brings it to me and says “dada” in his sweet voice then proceeds to mash the screen and try to navigate his way to the phone to call him. He associates my iPhone with his father in every way. Fletcher always says “Daddy is working” to Everett when he calls for him. He also tells everyone who will listen that “Our house is all packed up with bockes (boxes.)”

It is such a strange feeling when you have no “home” and don’t even know when you will be a family again. Steven says he is doing ok and that he is at least happy his parents are getting to spend time with our kids since he never knew his own grandparents. I understand that- I’ve actually been able to see my own family more too since they are all in North Carolina. Still- I am really missing my husband, and miss him seeing our kids grow. I also miss the extra help! I’m running on E and need a little time to myself and some extra sleep. Steven will be visiting again next week and I’m already excited!

Moral of the story- unless you have somewhere to live and infinite patience stay the heck away from short sales! The crazy thing is we could wait this whole time and not even be approved to buy- in which case I might just go bat shit crazy. It almost seems that BOA would rather the homes go into foreclosure than let a short sale be approved. Why else would the process be so convoluted and complicated that it takes 6 or more months to complete?! Don’t these people know that families are waiting for these homes? In our case, 3/4 of a family in one state and 1/4 in another? I don’t know who I’m angrier at- the bank, the employee who set us back who knows how long, the sellers who haven’t been cooperative either, or myself for expecting this to work out and putting us all through this nightmare. The entire short sale process needs to either be completely changed or done away with altogether.

UPDATE: May 8 we received word that our short sale was approved. This was a verbal message. Bank of America stated we should have an approval letter Friday or Monday. That was almost 4 weeks ago. 4 weeks where every. single. time. my phone rings my heart jumps because I think it is my husband calling to tell me we got the paper we need to move forward. 3 weekends where each Sunday I think “Monday is the day. It’s going to happen. We are going to get good news.” And then each time the clock rolls around to 6 PM and nothing happened my hopes are dashed and instead of playing with my kids, getting them dinner, bathing them, and putting them to bed I would much rather just hide in my room. In this time my Sister-in-Law has house hunted, bid on a home, been approved, supervised the remaining contruction, and closed. She became a homeowner in the time it has taken for one remaining document to be mailed to us. As happy as I am for her I can’t help but feel……. bitter? Jealous? Hopeless? While my family lives in different states and my heart is heavy from this ordeal I watched the easiest home sale in history happen for a family member. I wouldn’t wish our situation on anyone but that didn’t help my mental stability.

Tomorrow is Monday. Right now I am part anxious because I’m hoping to get good news. And part of me is dreading another day of dissapointment that is sure to come. Even after being in touch with the social media team of Bank of America, even after they escalated our file once again, and then again, and were reasured it was being working on and would be complete in 3 days (this was 2 weeks ago) there are no indications that this process will ever, ever, end.

For 5 weeks I have been physically ill off and on and I am sure it is stress related. (Not pregnant…. your question was pre-answered) If buying a home is an emotional roller coaster then buying a short sale (especially with BOA apparently) is like sky diving, but without a parachute.  

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Living Life in Limbo- Somewhere between the old home and the new home…

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The boys and I bid farewell to our home in Syracuse NY on February 23.  We boarded a plane and flew to Charlotte, NC to stay with my husband’s family.  Steven, my husband, stayed behind for a week to help pack our things.  After a short visit with us in NC he flew to Tampa, FL to start work at his new office.  The kids and I stayed behind to avoid hotel life as long as possible.

As much as I have been looking forward to moving to Tampa I also have to keep my own sanity and the well being of my children the number one priority.  Living with family so far has been great for everyone.   My boys love spending time with their Oma and Pawpaw and they have made friends with the entire cul-de-sac of children.  Each evening they get to play outside (the weather was too cold for that back in NY) and they go to bed officially exhausted.  It has been wonderful!

I have even been able to meet with a fellow cloth diapering mom- Stacy, owner of Jack be Natural, on a few different occasions.  It is always fun to make friends with someone who shares your passions in life.

The best part about staying with family has been that I haven’t cooked a meal or done any laundry (except cloth diapers, I wash those) for 2 weeks!

The worst part has been being apart from my husband.  We all miss him but technology has helped.  We Facetimed before bed and he told Fletcher a story while I poured him a glass of milk.  He even played a game of peek-a-boo with Everett who was laughing hysterically.

Finding time to work has been a challenge but I’m doing my best to keep up with emails and comments from Facebook and adding content to the blog.  I also have an exciting new product coming soon that I can’t wait to share.  The timing could be better but I’m working hard to make it available for sale soon.  It is NOT a cloth diaper.

Here are a few pictures from our time in Charlotte so far.  I’ve been having so much fun capturing our time here in photos.

With Oma in the Sunroom

Running with Oma (or is it from...)

Playing with Pawpaw outside

Sitting with the neighbor

Cruising the neighborhood

Showing his true, goofy self

Playing cars and jets with the neighbor

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The Rosas Family is Moving!

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At the end of this month my family will be relocating from Syracuse, NY to Tampa, FL.  I’ve hinted at some Big Changes coming our way and now I can finally tell everyone.  My husband is being transferred to a different office and we couldn’t be happier.  Syracuse was never home for us, partly because we knew this day would come eventually, and partly because we never felt like we fit in.

Living life in limbo- never feeling settled, never buying a home because you know you will be leaving it at an unknown time, and never investing in friendships for the same reason; these have been tough years.  Both of my boys were born in Syracuse, one at a hospital and one in the home we currently live in.  It will be bittersweet to leave the place they were born.  But again, I never considered Syracuse home for us.

I had never moved states until we moved here to NY, previously I lived in North Carolina.  The biggest move I ever made was from Salisbury to Charlotte.  It wasn’t traumatic to move.  Only after we found out we were expecting did the reality set in that my child would not have any family nearby.  Now that we have two children it has been a struggle to live without a “village” and stay sane.  The closest I have come to having a village has been my weekly Friday babysitter.  She has come once a week for four hours a day since Fletcher was 21 months old.  She has helped me learn to leave my children without feeling guilty.  When my husband was out of town and I suffered an eye injury that left me unable to open my eye and I was in terrible pain she came and cared for the kids while I moaned in pain.  (Seriously, an eye injury severe enough is worse than any pain I’ve felt before and leaves you utterly useless).  Today I realized next week will be her last day with the kids and that is so sad for us both.  I lucked out in finding someone I trust and she loves my boys.

We have been looking at homes for quite some time and finally settled on one that we agreed would be perfect for our family.  Unfortunately the home is a “Short Sale” which means we may not even know if our bid was accepted for another 3-6 months.  We’ve decided to take the chance and live in a hotel for a few months, then re-evaluate the situation in April.

I’m still in pretty heavy denial even though we have known for years this day would come.  We’ve only known with 80% certainty that moving would be in the next few months since September, and only last month did we get the official timeline.  What a frustrating 6 months this has been.

I think as a family we are excited.  We are looking forward to having more family friendly activities to do and better weather to do it in.  We are also hopeful that our family will actually visit us.  Unfortunately there are no selling points to our town unless you like snow.  Yes, it does hurt that practically no one came to visit us during our 5 years here except for my husband’s parents.  Typically Syracuse is cold and covered in snow up to 6 months a year.  Strangely, this year we have seen almost no snow.  It’s like the city is mocking us for wanting to leave that white stuff behind and begging us to reconsider.

Many people see Syracuse to Tampa as a huge move, and logistically, it is.  Things are getting increasingly complicated.  We have 3 cars, a house full of stuff, and 2 kids. In my mind it isn’t as huge, geographically, because I felt like I never left North Carolina.  I’ve already shaved off half the miles right there!

What moving means to DDL

Obviously I cannot continue working on DDL with as much fervor as I normally do.  There may be many days between posts and my videos might not post every Monday as I am used to doing.  Because I have known for a very long time I have been filming in advance, however, the date kept getting pushed farther down… I’ve got 5 reviews filmed but after that I don’t think I’ll be able to film in a hotel.  If we are moved in earlier than expected I might not miss too many weeks.

I’ve also enlisted the help of some friends to fill in with a few guest posts.  I hope my readers will enjoy a fresh perspective since I am quite the cloth diaper veteran at this point.  I often forget what it felt like to know absolutely nothing!

Wish us luck as we start a new adventure!

See you later winter….. hello palm trees!

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