Monday, September 27, 2010

A Swiftly Approaching Moving Day

I hate moving.

I've done it waaaay too many times in the last few years, even across state lines. It was one thing when it was just Dan and I, but now... Addison has lived in 4 different homes in her 3 1/2 years. Needless to say, it's getting very old. Packing up our whole life and moving it to a different location never ceases to blow my mind-- reminds me of a line from a Jewel song that says "everything's temporary if you give it enough time."

The benefit this time is that it's the last, or at least the last for many, many years. We are settling on our first home purchase on Wednesday and moving Saturday, finally putting down roots for our family of 4. We bought at the top of our price range, solely because our intention was to find a place big enough and nice enough to house our family permanently; not that we are insisting this is the house we will live and die in, although it's possible... just saying we don't have any intention of moving anytime in the immediate or distant forseeable future.

Packing 2 people's stuff was hard. Packing 3 people's stuff was painful. Packing 4 people's stuff is turning out to be torturous. Addison has 3 times as many possessions as Dan and I combined, I think... and Owen's not far behind. With Dan working full time, he hasn't been able to offer much in the way of help with the packing (especially this past week, when he was on call...) and I am exhausting myself trying to get everything done. I started packing almost a month ago, knowing that whatever I could get done that far in advance would benefit me at this stage; however, I still have a lot to go.

Addison, to her credit, is being helpful in the only ways that she can-- staying out of the way, entertaining herself while I'm working, and not complaining when I pack up some of her toys (although she reminds me daily not to pack her binnie, and tells me almost every day that she can't seem to find her crocodile...). She's an old pro at moving, and it gets easier every time, although I'm glad we are moving into a house before she starts school and she doesn't have to worry about being separated from any friends. Owen has no idea what's going on... I don't think he'll even realize he's in a new house, and he'll obviously have no memories of the house that we brought him home to.

Which brings me to the emotional part... no matter how desperate I am to get out of this tiny townhouse, I will miss it desperately. It has the dual connection of being the home we regrouped as a family of 3 in, when Dan returned from Massachusetts after a year of school-imposed separation, AND it is the home where we first became a family of 4. I still feel emotional thinking about the dumpy old apartment we brought Addison home to, even though I hated every moment of the last year or so we lived there, and I suppose I will always feel emotionally connected to the home that we are leaving now.

I can't help being excited about all of the memories we're going to be making in our new house, even if it's been a long, difficult road to get there-- I think by this point, we've earned a bright, happy place for our family to grow up in. Together.

(Pictured-- our new home.)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Not-So-Unfamiliar Conflict

When it comes to my hair, I've done it all. Super short, super long, spiky, permed, crimped, dyed... I'm not afraid to experiment. The problem is, whatever sense of vanity I have has not been able to overcome my extreme sense of laziness when it comes to my overall "look". I wear what's easy to put on and keep up, I don't often paint my nails because the idea of having to repaint them nullifies painting them in the first place, I wear minimal makeup, minimal jewelry, and above all, I like to have easy hair.

About two or so months after Owen was born, I got my hair cut. I had been keeping it on the longer side, pulling it into a low ponytail daily and wearing various "hair wrap" headbands to keep my growing bangs out of my face. But since Owen was starting to outgrow the "hold me all the time" phase, I decided I could spend an extra 5 minutes a day on my hair, and got it cut in a chin-length bob. It was much lighter and more seasonal... the 90+ degree days were making my longer 'do unimaginably hot. It didn't take long to style, and overall I was happier with my hair.

Alas, it never lasts long. Now, Addison has started school, shortening the amount of time I have every morning to get ready. Sure, I could wake up earlier, but considering I was blessed with two late sleeping children, I have been used to getting out of bed between 10 and 11 am for the past 3 years, and getting up at 7:30 to get everyone ready on school days is enough of an adjustment for me. I've taken to washing and drying my hair at night, saving time in the morning... the problem with this is I tend to wake up with hair that is completely devoid of volume, save for the amount of frizz.

It's apparent to me that this is not going to work, but now I am back to questioning what to do with my hair. Should I keep growing it out, so that pulling it back into an easy ponytail is possible? Should I get it cut shorter again, so that the bob requires slightly less styling? Should I get it all cut off again? (An option I dismiss almost immediately, as I repeatedly have promised myself I won't do it every again... however, if I could find a style that was super short but still enabled me to look feminine, I'd consider it.) My hair is thick but fine, gets greasy easily, and despite trying every product I can find, still frizzes immediately upon drying. I can't let it air dry because although it looks straight, it's not... "kinky" is the only word I can think of to describe the way it looks naturally. Not curly, not wavy, not straight... just kind of looks like I fell asleep with wet hair on a bus.

Stay tuned to see what I decide to do... and if anyone has any thoughts, I would LOVE to hear them!

Monday, September 20, 2010

A New Identity

I have been posting on this blog for almost two years now... It's always interesting to look back and see what kinds of things I wrote about back then. Addison was not-quite-one-and-a-half when I started this, and we were living in Massachusetts. I had started a different blog when we moved to Mass in January of '08, but switched to this one in September '08 because using just my name in the web address was easier for people to remember.

I called the blog "The Church Bulletin" because our last name is Church and I was starting this blog in order to give family and friends a way to keep up with us (mainly Addison) while we were living so far away. But now, 2 years later, the blog has largely become reflective of my personal thoughts and experiences, rather than an "update about the family"kind of blog (although they are often featured) , and I think it's time to change the name.

Unfortunately, I'm moving in 2 weeks and don't have the creativity or brain power to come up with anything original. So I'm asking for help. If anyone has any witty or creative suggestions for a name for my blog, post them here in the comments or as a comment on my facebook page. All ideas appreciated!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Break for Creativity

Being a mom, it should come as no surprise that I don't have much time for projects anymore. Most of my free time is put into chores, and that which isn't is spent doing as little as possible... starting anything crafty takes too much time and just creates another mess to clean up. And in our small townhouse, I have no place to set things up in any kind of useful way (which will change when we move into our new house! Yay!) But now and again, I find occasion to do something creative, which I always enjoy, even if it creates a lot of extra work.

Today, I had 2 cards to make. The first was a thank you card for a blanket that a friend made for Owen. Perfect opportunity to use the owl stamp I recently bought! (because really, who doesn't love owls?) I thought it turned out pretty cute, and I use the combination of brown and navy blue as often as I can (at least until I run out of navy blue cardstock.)

Next, I made a card for a friend who just had a baby girl. Because I know she's going to be buried in a pile of pink, I opted for a pretty-but-neutral green, cream, and blue color scheme. Sticking with the bird theme again, I thought this turned out pretty cute.

Finally, I tackled an idea that hit me walking through Michaels today-- a custom gift bag for a soon-to-be 6 year old girl. Because I am working on packing for our move and realized I buried my wrapping-paper-gift-bag tub, I decided to buy a plain white gift bag and fun tissue paper for the present I was buying. On my way to the check out I saw those long-stemmed (long sticked?) lollipops that are always super cute and an idea was born. I mean, who wouldn't be excited to get a gift bag decorated with yummy and super cute lollipops?

So although it ate up about 3 hours of my night and pushed my cleaning routine back significantly, I am very satisfied with what I was able to accomplish, and renewed my excitement at the prospect of having a space of my own in our new house to continue crafting and experimenting.