Thursday, September 30, 2010

9 to 5

Now that we're finally moved in our permanent home, it's time to start the settling process and get back to real life which unfortunately means work. Looks like the vacation is over.

Last week Ben officially started his new job at Quality Stone Veneer, his dad's company which was started the same year little Benji was born.
Here's our handsome bread winner on his first day of work, posing next to his shiny new truck. So far he likes it, even though his 9 to 5 has been looking more like 7 to 6.

As he rolled north up Highway 77, I got started on some work of my own. Now I may not be bringing home any bacon yet, but don't ya'll be thinking that I'm sitting on my duff at home watchin' soap operas and drinkin' sweet tea all day. I've got plenty to do and it looks like this....

and this...

and this.

And when all of those boxes are broken down and out of sight, then I'll think about getting myself the kind of job where I can also earn some greenbacks! Since I wasn't exactly in love with my last job, I really want to find one that I like....maybe not love, but at least somewhat like. And since I know the square root of nobody in Charlotte and haven't heard boo about anything remotely related to the field of Speech Pathology, I'm going to have to do some research to help me find "the one". In the mean time, the holiday season is approaching and that means my old friend "retail" is going to need some holiday help, which sounds like something I just might enjoy.

Moving on, I think I may have mentioned before that this little old house of ours is a fixer upper. It's certainly livable by most standards, but that doesn't mean that every surface doesn't need touched. Yes, it's true. There isn't 1 thing in this house that is going to stay as is. At the very very least it all needs a nice coat of paint, and more than likely, quite a bit more. If you know me at all, you surely know that my #1 passion is home decor, but I won't even be thinking about decorating this place for a long long while. I'll clean it up, unpack our old things, settle us in and help with the renovations, and when it's no longer looking like a war zone, then I'll put my finishing touches on it. Of course knowing that it's better to wait is absolutely KILLING ME, I keeping telling myself it's better to save our money than waste on hasty decorating. Most definitely though I'll find myself a few DIY projects to work on until I get the husband's go-ahead on the bigger projects. Lucky for me, my new neighborhood has 3 or 4 antique and second-hand stores withing walking distance, so surely I can find a few diamonds in the rough in one of them!

Oh & did I mention that my home making duties now include laundry since these bad boys arrived last Friday?

Can't wait.

Stay tuned later this week for our first of many house tours (if I can figure out how to upload a giant file)!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

High 5!

Imagine my surprise when I opened up my inbox the other day to find an email from Go! Overseas informing me that From Colfax to Xela was voted one of Guatemala's top travel blogs!! Who knew?

Now go check out the others right here!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

PA: Part 2

The drive to Lancaster from Clarion was a really beautiful one. Autumn was in full force just a half hour or so east of Clarion and it made me so anxious for the leaves to change in my neck of the woods.

It's about 5 hours between our parents home and a drive that I normally dread, but this time around it wasn't bad at all. Maybe it had something to do with the way I've adjusted to being in the car!

When we got there the farm was looking beautiful.

A year or so ago, my in-laws did some major renovations to the inside of their old farmhouse and this was going to be our first time seeing it. W.O.W. It looked so amazing! Definitely a place where I can envision the whole family spending lots of time together. Even the barns got all spiffed up! (Sorry I didn't take any photos of the inside of the house this time.)

With acres and acres of grass and even a creek to play in, Mia was in doggy heaven. And even old Taffy (a 13-year-old Golden) seemed to perk up with all the puppy energy. (Oops, I didn't get her photo either.)

Although she loved her freedom, she didn't love the resident ram so much!

We spent most of our time playing with these 3 little cuties! Goodness, how they have grown since we last saw them. Although they didn't really remember us, it didn't take us long at all to win them over!
Chloe, Addie & Isaiah

On Sunday after church and before meeting up with our old friend Chris, we did manage to squeeze in a quick trip to the Pottery Barn outlet. Our mission was rugs and beds and we didn't come home empty handed. We landed a huge sisal rug (9 x12) for a killer price. Now hopefully it will fit in our dining room!

Glen & Ben wrapping up the rug for the long drive back.

And of course we found time for a dip in the pool before it gets closed for the season.
(Well, truthfully it was little too cold for most of us!)

Somebody loved her first dip in a real swimming pool!

Mia may have even met someone who loves the water more than she does.

He's a wild man,

jumping off the diving board with Cisco!

The whole trip was so fun, even thought it went by a little to quickly.
Most definitely the best part was getting to know was getting to know our nieces and nephews much better.

Although Charlotte doesn't quite feel like home yet, we certainly love having our other homes much closer by and can't wait to visit more often.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

It's fall!

It may still be roasty toasty back in Charlotte, but not here in Pennsylvania where we are now. Yup, that's right. I think I may have forgotten to mention that pretty much as soon as we unloaded the boxes from the truck, we loaded our pup back up in the car and hit the road again. We just can't get enough driving, can we? Pretty ironic coming from 2 people who have shared 1 car for the past 5 years and pretty much kept it parked all weekend long. Sadly, in order to live out some dreams, we've had to increase our carbon footprint when it comes to travel (but to balance it out we really lessened it in other ways).

Anyway, back to the point. It's chilly here in PA and I'm sort of liking it, despite the fact that I couldn't locate my cool weather clothes when packing my suitcase! My hometown of Clarion is best known for it's Autumn Leaf Festival and the signs of fall are everywhere. Last weekend we took a boat ride down the river where we spotted some of the first signs of the changing leaves. In a couple of weeks the banks of that very same river will be covered in a quilt of reds, oranges & yellows. I hope I can come back to see it. It's been a long time.

Here's a bit of what we've been doing on the first leg of our PA trip.

Cruising the Clarion River

One of us wasn't happy until she got in the water.

Playing ball with Uncle Ryan

Cooking up some brats

Color coordinated family

Got our cracked windshield repaired!

And we played lots with little Sadie Boo....

...who is so quick she looks like this most of the time!

Pennsylvania Part II begins tomorrow!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Here goes nothing!

Friday morning, September 3rd we signed our lives away.

We are officially now proud 1st time home owners!

Here it is!

Let the DIYing begin.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

East Coast Bound

After nearly a whole decade living in the mountain time zone, we sadly said our final goodbye to the Mile High City the morning of August 29th, 2010. Having met at Penn State six short months before Ben graduated and moved out west and me following 2 years later, the majority of our lives together were spent in Denver. Although we always thought the day would come when we would head back east, it seems like it crept up on us too quickly. There was a time when we could have easily pack up and moved away no one the wiser, but now our roots have grown deep and our feelings strong and leaving isn't so easy.

If there is one thing that we have learned about ourselves over the past couple of years, it's that we don't really like change even though it's good for us. We are creatures of habit, which has been both a good and bad thing. We now are able to say that we probably got a little too comfortable in our pre-Guatemala life, so making the decision to give it all up for a life in Latin America was huge for us. In the end though, we both agree that it was the best thing we have ever done. Change is hard for us but generally we're happy with the outcome, so when the opportunity came up for yet another big move, we felt like we owed ourselves this chance. After all, sometimes you need to see if the grass really is greener on the other side in order to appreciate what you had. In other words, if Charlotte doesn't work out we'll always have a home in Denver......and in Guatemala!

After loading Dewey up for one more big trip we hit the highway, east coast bound.

Goodbye big blue skies.

Denver, you've been so good to us.

Colorado we'll miss you more than you'll ever know.

And then the boredom began.

One of us passed the time in dreamland.

By nightfall we recovered from our sadness just in
time to to be Kush's first visitors at Hesston College!
(sorry for the poor quality night photo)

The next day we buzzed on through Little Rock and spent the night in Memphis.
Unfortunately our tight schedule didn't allow for much sight seeing,
later that morning we arrived in Nashville!

We spend the better part of one day taking in the sights in the country music capitol,
Nashville, TN. What a cool city!

As much fun as we had, our final destination was calling us to leave.

Don't worry Nashville, you're only a day trip away!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Seamless (but not effortless!)

We've finally arrived to the Queen City (Charlotte!!). Honestly after 1 seriously long day of packing and loading, 4 days straight on the road, & now doing all the necessary steps to get this house ready to move into, I just haven't had any blogging in me. Today however, I was revived. Today we visited our soon to be house!

Ok, I'm not going to lie. It wasn't quite like we remembered it - definitely a bit more needy than either of us had recalled. And in typical Ben & Krista fashion, we freaked - on the inside (since we were accompanied by our realtor & the current home owner) - but after pep-talking ourselves back up, we now feel ready for the challenge. Just like everything else we do, we'll be taking the long way around with this house, but it's exactly the right amount of work we have long dreamed of, so let the DIYing begin!

Before I go on and on about the plethora of ideas and tasks that lie in our near future, let's back up a bit. I'd like to share a bit about what it took to get us here. As many of you may or may not have known, the majority of our personal belongings remained in Denver during our time in Guatemala. We could have (and probably should have) made it easy on ourselves and kept in all in 1 storage unit, but that didn't happen. We tried - we seriously tried, but it just wasn't possible. Fortunately we have some really great friends that had some really nice basement & garage storage space available. So in the end it turned out that we had most of our stuff in a 10 x 15ft. on the 3rd floor of a climate controlled storage unit, with a few exceptions, the major one being that all clothes, gear & 2 wheeled vehicles were left under the careful watch of our friends Brian & Angie. Horacio & Nicole helped us out by babysitting pretty much our entire 2nd bedroom & all of my work materials lived under Marie's basement stairs. Of course, we came back to find everything (everything, yay!) just as we had left it and are so very thankful to our wonderful friends for lending out a space in their homes (and providing us with a sense of total security).

Fast forward to the week before the big cross-country move. We put forth our best effort to combine our goods into 1 location and w
hen the big day arrived we were super fortunate to have the help of some great friends.

First let me explain a few things. As it turned out that the managers of our lovely storage unit would not allow our moving 28 ft. U-Pack truck to park inside the storage complex, so instead we rented a 26 ft. U-Haul to use to shuttle our things to the U-Pack facility where we then reloaded into the actual trailer that will deliver the goods to Charlotte. Double the work, certainly. Double the fun, perhaps.

So this is what it looked like when the big day began.
Unit #303 (how very appropriate).


In rolled this 26 ft. bad boy.

And within a few hours, it was packed full.

And we were saying goodbye to unit #303.

After a pizza break and an emergency visit to the optometrist for our head helper (who hopefully learned the importance of safety goggles) we got back to work.

The volunteers were dropping like flies (understandably so) but there were 2 who stuck it out to the end, and would probably have packed themselves right into the truck to come along if it wasn't so freakin' hot in there!

We had prepaid for 21 ft. of the 28 ft. truck, but had permission to go over if necessary (and we'd pay the difference). But when posed with a challenge, these 2 will always win....even it if took half the night to make it happen. And that's how it went down. Sometime around 9 pm we secured the bulk head at 21 ft.

Mission accomplished.

All of the moving certainly would not have been possible without the help of our friends, so thank you immensely Denver crew! If this Charlotte thing doesn't work out, we know where you are.
In the mean time, our house is your house. Come see us soon!