Wow. I can not express how exciting it is for us to finally be in our new home. It is an amazing feeling to open the door to a little house that has our names written all over it. [ In fact, Tim was so enthusiastic he insisted on carrying me over the door step. I wasn't in the mood, so he just grabbed me under the arms and lifted me over about two inches off the ground. ]
There are a lot of "firsts" here for us. For one, we've never made a permanent move. By permanent, I mean moved somewhere with the intention of staying for 3+ years at least. I think we thought that about Washington, D.C. but quickly changed our minds after living there a bit. We never felt at home in the District. We loved so many things about it, we thoroughly enjoyed the years we spent living there and all the wonderful people we met, we had some really great experiences, and it holds many happy memories for us. Mostly this is what I miss . . . we just don't get fall here in Texas, and unfortunately for me, it's my favorite season.
But it never felt like home.
Of course, this idea of "Home" means different things to different people. For Tim and I, Home isn't just a house that we live in. It's a city that we feel fits our nature and personalities, celebrates its culture, and takes responsibility for the environment. It's surrounding ourselves with diverse, yet like-minded people: a type of people who not only are good citizens, but also appreciate hospitality, community, and peaceful living. And yes, it is definitely having a home to come home to.
This time it's a house. That's another first. We've never lived in an actual house together before, ever. We welcome the new responsibility of caring for a lawn, planning landscaped areas, gardening, pruning, weeding, and enjoying the fruits (hopefully) of our labors. We like having to get out a hammer every now and then to fix something. We like having multiple living spaces! You think I'm joking . . . . [ You mean we can cook in one room and dine in another? Sleep in a bedroom and watch TV elsewhere? Have an actual office space? All luxuries Austin has to offer us for less than the cost of a one room apartment in central D.C. that doesn't even accept pets. ] We like this domestic life that we have never had the pleasure of experiencing. This morning was one of our two days a week we could water outdoors. We set up the oscillating sprinklers and just sat there and watched them go baaaaack and forth. We are ridiculous. But it was a pleasant morning, still cool and early, and our porch just felt so cozy.
We knew we would love Austin people, and we were right. This morning our next door neighbor came over to meet Mr. Dog. He returned the gesture by peeing on her tomato plants and sunbathing on her lawn. She was A-OK with both of those things. Just this evening I was saying goodbye to a friend on our front sidewalk (we have a sidewalk!) and two neighbors walking their dog stopped to introduce themselves. They noticed we'd been moving in and wanted to know our dog's name. I was thrilled . . . even though the gentleman was holding a steaming bag of dog poop in his hand as I went to shake it.
|Oscar sunbathed with me.|
|Then he wanted to be wrapped up in his beach towel to nap on the sofa.|
Our location couldn't be more convenient or feel more safe. We're not on a busy street, clearly we have loyal and friendly neighbors, and people watch out for each other. We're less than a minute drive (10 minute walk) from cafes, bakery, coffee shops, grocery, a reputable theater, and gym. Really, what more could you ask for?
Tim went out for about four hours yesterday afternoon and while he was gone I did some rearranging and some little bits of decorating. These are just some "trial runs" if you will. I'm a full believer that you have to live in a house for a while to understand how you will truly "live" in it. That means that furniture moves around quite a bit, the cabinets get reorganized multiple times, and we just plain experiment before we settle in. Here are some sneak peeks of things I'm tossing around. Don't judge. They are incomplete!
|Dining table. Chairs from our wedding in Mint Green.|
|Cake plate courtesy Sunday Hatch : )|
|My old dresser - this will be a "redo" project this fall!|
|So happy to have our bed back! (so is Mr. Dog)|
|(I couldn't help myself... he's just so gosh darned cute!)|
I probably moved furniture around in the living - dining room 12 times or so.
First this corner by the front door looked like this . . .
But ended up like this . . .
And in case you were wondering, this is what I'm reading these days . . .
|The Greece travel guide is the same that Tim proposed with and the "help books" are from the Mama-in-Law.|
We haven't quite situated the sofa and we're still missing our antique buffet which will go next to the wicker chair you see in the picture above. And we love our antique theater seats on permanent loan from Circle Arts Theatre that you see under the window by the front door! So far ZERO progress on our office area, or the bathroom. I sort of wince every time I go in to use the toilet -- there's so much to be done! And the spare bedroom still looks like this . . . EEK!
And this is a complete tangent, but some of you know I quit drinking milk about three years ago. I'm not lactose intolerant (that I know of), but decided after a bit of reading and some documentaries to try erasing it from my diet. Part of this was because of the questionable nature of milk these days - especially anything that's not organically processed or from grass-fed cows. I love milk, but even when I was drinking the best of the best, it still made me feel sluggish, bloated, and full. (TMI?) I tried Coconut, Soy, and Rice milk before fearing I'd never find a substitute I could tolerate. Then a friend suggested Almond milk and I gave it a try yesterday. SUPER! I can do this! So if you're looking for an alternative, this is what I now endorse. The plain flavor is pretty much tasteless, but still creamy like a good milk should be, and it doesn't leave a sweet aftertaste like so many of the other substitutes do.
And paired with Oreos to celebrate yesterday's first-day-in-the-house?
|(don't my new bowls from Anthropologie look cute?)|
. . . doubly delightful!
* * *
Well, at 2:00am this morning Tim left for Bonnaroo music festival in Nashville TN. He'll be gone for four days. The first time we've been apart since marriage. I plan on getting a lot done while he's off having fun, but since he was leaving I decided to forgive him forgetting to call the gas company before we moved in to have them turn our gas on. Two days and counting with no hot water. Gotta love the man! Plus, Madeleine Peyroux was on Austin City Limits last night and, cold shower or no, probably no other sound could make me feel as forgiving . . . .