Friday, February 19, 2016

Bye Brisas, Hello Tarwater

Jeff and I struggled with this decision so much that we almost settled on a house we didn't love just to keep the boys in their school district. So glad we didn't do that!

Once we found our new home, we knew the boys would be changing schools. :( This is truly heartbreaking for us, as we've built a real family at Brisas. Connor was there for a couple years as an infant and for the last 4 years. Bear just started there this year for kinder. Some of our closest friends teach at the school or work for the district in another capacity. I'm involved in the lowest level possible, but still able to say I'm involved. We hate that we'll be leaving their school, but we just weren't able to find anything in their school boundary and we really want them to attend their home school. I want the kids down the block to be the same ones they have class with.

Their new school is awesome - ranked very high and it's only like 12 houses away so they can walk to school. If we were to keep them at Brisas, we'd be looking at about 20-25 minutes to drive them to school - as if mornings aren't already crazy enough, let's add in a commute. 7 miles doesn't seem very far, but in our town you'd pass like 6 elementary schools in those 7 miles. Plus, since I work from home 90% of my time, I'm driving them to school at 730, home for a few hours to work and then headed back to get them around 230. That's silly.

So they'll finish out this year as Brisas Geckos and next year they'll be Tarwater Toros!

The boys were immediately excited about their new school which surprised us. They are stoked to be so close to their new school next year. I don't think it's really sunk in yet that they'll be the new kids next year. Connor will be 100% fine - he makes friends everywhere he goes. Bear may take a bit more time to adjust as he's slower to warm up - plus we'll have to explain to everyone that yes, his name is Bear.

We've promised them that we'll stay in touch with their friends from Brisas and we really will. We've become such good friends with so many of the parents and some of these boys have been friends since they were infants.

Connor and Aidan bff est 2007
I think that their transition is going to be so much easier because they are already good friends with all the kiddos in our hood. I didn't know that kids really knocked on our doors to ask if the boys could come out to play. TO PLAY!? We love it. The kids play football outside, ride bikes, play video games, whatever. On our cul-de-sac there are more than 20 kids - mostly boys - ranging from toddler to teen and most are right around 4th/5th grade. We're thrilled that Connor and Bear will start at their new school already having dozens of friends. Such a relief.

That's it for now - next time I'll fill ya in on the work we've done to the new house!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Notes from my move...

What I discovered today is that when you buy a home twice as large, you spend twice the amount of time running around trying to find your stuff in boxes. #MoveItBarnes

Monday, January 25, 2016

Moving Day!

So we closed on our dream home last Friday (cue the singing angels) and now we start the never ending task of home improvement stuff. We’re desperate to actually LIVE in our home, call us crazy. Unfortunately there were a couple things we wanted to take care of before we had the movers haul our stuff to the new house.

I’m not a project manager, but I am a busy, working mom with too many of my own activities plus my overscheduled kids’ calendars so I’m kinda good at juggling and scheduling shit. We closed Friday, had our tile regrout project start on Saturday morning and gave him a few days to make some progress before the painters started Tuesday (today). They should both likely wrap up Saturday and we have to get the floors sealed Sunday before the movers arrive at noon on Monday. Last night I realized that we never hired someone to seal the floors. Again, not a project manager.

I just googled “can I seal my own tile” and there were several YouTube videos instantly available. Danger! I am not handy. Jeff is not handy. We should NOT be considering sealing very expensive natural stone floors.

I really get that people like painters, tilers, etc want to SEE the project before they give you a bid but sheesh it’s inconvenient to have to drive to the home we’re not yet living in to meet them at all different times just to get quotes. This is the epitome of a first world problem, I get it.

So once the floors are all done, the house is all painted and we’re moved in, we have a whole other giant list of stuff to tackle. Our landscaper will be removing all the desert landscaping in the yard, installing irrigation and putting down sod so the giant lot we live on will actually be usable. The backyard is amazing with lemons, key limes, oranges and figs (figs!?) but they are all spread out and we know we won’t be able to transplant them which is a bummer. We’ll save the lemon tree since it’s off to the side, but the other 3 will likely be sacrificed for the sake of playspace for the boys.

Another project is refacing our ugly, dark cabinets into pretty white cabinets that look awesome with our counters. Can’t wait for that to happen but we have a LOT of cabinets – kitchen, laundry, bathrooms, linen closet in hallway…and that adds up! We’ve got one quote so far and I feel like we may as well just get new cabinets!

see: ugly brown cabinets that we hate. 

Fast forward to tomorrow, Tuesday, and we’re actually moving in – yay! It’s gonna be a crazy day so if you feel like randomly stopping by tomorrow would be the day to see some chaos. We have our movers delivering our stuff, two different furniture companies dropping off new stuff, appliances being delivered, internet being hooked up, one person coming to give us a quote on shutters and another to give us a quote for cabinets. This may have been a scheduling mistake. Your invitation is rescinded. Sorry, another time.

This was us like all weekend just hanging out at our empty house

The boys got to pick an accent wall color for their rooms. Miami Dolphins Teal & Chicago Bears Navy

We had pizza on the floor the night we closed. Then we had to leave our house since we had no furniture.

We’re so excited to actually get to live in the house we’ve been visiting nonstop for the last month. This time tomorrow we'll be back in our OWN BEDS!

Watch for more updates!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Casa de Barnes 2.0 Update!

We did it! We made an offer on a house, got it accepted and are super excited!

It hits on all of our wish list, except that 3rd bathroom...sorry guests!! You'll still have to venture into the same bathroom where the boys pee. I don't go in there, but you must. 

We close on February 3rd and so that's a month after our house closes. A month. Luckily, my clients have great taste in houses and we'll be moving into my quasi step mom's townhouse I sold her last year. She had some plumbing work done so she moved out for a few weeks and is just going to postpone her return until we're outta there. We're lucky and Corliss - we left your thank you gift on your washer and dryer cause we're super scatterbrained right now but you can find it there :)

We love the house so much. We've been looking for years, literally. We've been seriously looking for months though. A couple weeks ago, we checked out about 12 homes and were fortunate that there were 6 that were serious contenders. Having a lot of options is just as tough as having too few. I know that sounds bonkers but I mean it. We kept coming back to two different houses - Oriole and Tumbleweed. Oriole had the single story we wanted, an awesome pantry, a great neighborhood and the pool of our dreams. Tumbleweed had the boys' dream backyard with basketball court, trampoline and pool plus they really wanted stairs in the house. The finishes in Tumbleweed were better and we could easily move in immediately without doing anything. The area was good, but farther to the school and parks. We even became those buyers who brought their entire family to the houses to get input. No effing joke here. My parents, my in laws and one of my sisters met us at both houses to give input. Thank God I'm a Realtor and I didn't have to subject another agent to this chaos. The sellers can however, see every time we go and look at the house which is shameful enough. 

This house has 4 great size bedrooms and a den/formal dining room that we'll likely use as an office since we eat on the couch watching tv like all honest human beings. right? Can we all just admit this once and for all?

The backyard is amazing and the house is more than twice the size of Orchid Lane. Also, the address is oddly similar to the one we've memorized for the last 13 years. 

We've got projects to do, but nothing crazy. The lot is about 1/4 acre and about half of it is full of pool, decking and an outdoor kitchen. The other half is desert landscaped with lime, lemon, orange and fig trees. Love the trees but we want grass space for the boys. Boys need to run. We will maybe put in a sport court too since they missed out on that with this house. 

The home has gorgeous 20" travertine tiles throughout and we planned to remove those and install the wood tile planks we LOVE, but then we found out that travertine is like $5/ft just to remove the damn stuff. That's bonkers. Also, every tile contractor or designer we brought in to quote us for flooring said we were idiots to even consider removing the gorgeous tile. Fine you win, it will stay. 

We'll be painting but I'm going to just skip the entire drama of selecting a paint color by going with the color we painted the Orchid house. Revisit here. We told the boys that they can each pick out an accent wall for their bedrooms. Bear picked Chicago Bears navy and Connor will have Miami Dolphins teal. I'm so completely outnumbered up in here friends. 

So we'll just have some tile regrouted, the house painted and I think we'll have the cabinets refinished in the kitchen, laundry, baths and hallway. There are like 10 fans in the house and every damn one is different so we'll be giving our 401k to Home Depot soon. Fixtures make so much difference...and add up pretty quick!

The buyer wanted our washer and dryer on Orchid so we'll have to grab a new pair of those. Any tips? The range from $400-2000 for a washer is beyond intense. 

There's a built in bbq but it needs some love so we're shooting to have that all rebuilt by summatime so clear your schedules and we'll maybe get around to a housewarming party around June. :) No promises.