Finding a new place to call home…

When your life changes, we have to make adjustments. What is possible in one place, might not be exactly possible in the other. There are ways to cope and deal with things. I believe that learning to adjust or adapt is one of the most important life skills you can have. But it takes a little time.

After two weeks in the apartment we have adapted quite well I would say. The girls and I have started running little errands around the small little town we are currently living in, and cooking doesn’t seem so impossible anymore either. We had two house hunting trips and after the first one ended with us being very disappointed the second one was as successful as it could have been.

It is hard to make your predictions at the beginning on what place you can end up with. We had an idea what we wanted, what we were willing to do to get it, but when you face reality and each houses problem you “adjust” your thoughts quickly. The prices in the area we were looking are much higher than in Texas. Not a surprise really. Finding a Mcmansion  as perfect as our old one was unrealistic with our budget that we have already adjusted as high as we could. Nearly double the old one. Than you are looking at pretty high taxes in some areas and your options kind of sink quickly. We literally had everything on our list, complete renovations, city houses, or houses in the forests with lots of acres. After dealing with the situations of the wildfires down there, the possibility of being out there in the woods, did scare me a little too much. with the possibility of hubby having to travel here and there, it just didn’t feel right at this point. The renovations we were facing in each of the homes seemed way too much as well, and we were just not willing to be nearly at the top of our budget to then start a year of renovations

So we had to adjust our wishes a little and unfortunately size was one of them a little bit. But I have talked about downsizing a lot and how important it is to me in some matters. We don’t want to live and work for the house. We rather want time to enjoy it. After cleaning over 3,000 sq. feet in Texas just a little less is just fine with me. Some of our furniture pieces have honestly seen better days as well and it won’t hurt to say goodbye to some of the old things that we have owned for nearly 12 years. It’s all part of the journey. The important things are all being met in this beautiful house we have chosen and I fell in love with it the moment I literally saw it.

As we stepped out from a neighboring house, I looked down the street and spotted the blue house surrounded by trees on a corner lot. Thinking out loud, I asked our realtor ” Wow, I bet this one is out of our budget”. She quickly agreed, thinking it was way higher. Then we stepped in the car, not knowing what was really next on the list.. and guess what , we stopped on the next corner… I believe in little signs and as I entered the house everything else just confirmed my first thoughts. I was as giddy as I could have been. My husbands dear wish for a bigger garage was being met, great storage all around the house with great build ins, large kids rooms a small loft upstairs, a beautiful kitchen and large master with my jetted tub and many other things, all settled into a beautiful secluded lot with trees and many places to garden, all in a lovely little neighborhood in the town we really wanted to be.

I know I will be facing some problems with some furniture and some stuff, but it might just be the right time to let go of some more things. We will not have a dedicated guest room either, but with the kids rooms being quite large I don’t see it as a problem at all. Nearly the last 6 months the girls have been doing sleepovers and I’m sure we can make enough room for everyone to come visit us whenever they like 🙂

So all in all I couldn’t be happier and I am very excited to start this new chapter in our lives and hopefully call this place our new home very, very soon !!

grants pass

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Just a few differences

To put some facts more into perspective and show how different Oregon and Texas really are.

Texas has a population of over 26, 96 Million people.

Oregon has a population of  3, 97 Million people.

The Dallas Ft.Worth Metroplex alone has over 6, 7 Million and Dallas is the 3rd largest city in Texas and the 9th largest in the US.

The city we came from, McKinney has a population of 148, 559 people, the largest city in the district we are looking at moving has about 77,000 people and one of the smaller cities I like the most only about 8,000 people.

After two years in the big city I think I am definitely ready for things to be a little smaller again and enjoy the slower bit of life. Living in Dallas was great but also brought a lot of trouble with it, we had insane Tax increases and in the matter of two years the area had changed so much and grown so much that it was seriously stressing. So much growth, nature disappearing nearly by the minute. I know Oregon will have its on problems, and I’m sure we will get to feel some sooner or later but I am excited for new things…

Anyways, thought the facts were fun to share 🙂

Adjusting to apartment living or culture shock ?

I have lived in a few different places in the world now and visited quite many I would say. I watch a lot of travel shows and normally adjust well and I did not think I would actually feel some sort of culture shock. But I must admit I feel it a little. I guess after 11+ in Texas it is to be expected. Plus I don’t think I have recovered fully from that car journey yet. All in all our apartment is really awesome and I feel incredibly thankful that my husband’s new company has provided this for us while we try to find a new house. But it is definitely a different sort of life after being in a really big house of 3,000 sq feet. I don’t want to complain but rather make things fun and laugh at the little differences. I know this won’t be for long and I actually think it is a very good opportunity for the girls to learn that many people live with much less, than we normally do. And funny enough they are actually loving it ( at least for now).

Our apartment consists of two bedrooms, a small kitchen, a small dining area, tv area, and two bathrooms. Laundry is built into the hallway and we even have a small balcony with a wonderful view into the valley and trees. Our girls share the second bedroom and even though there is hardly any room to play in there, they have had tons of fun playing. We had brought a few small boxes of toys ( since my husband had made the trip by himself before we were able to haul a few extra things the first time). The kitties have adjusted well, they immediately found their old cat tree and we covered up most of the furniture to make sure they wouldn’t scratch anything. I have a small desk to put the laptop on and a comfy couch for us to watch TV. they even thought of a dvd player, so we have the opportunity to watch some favorite movies and of course there is always cable TV. With our awesome
Yakima Skybox 18 Carbonite Cargo Box we even had extra room for the girls scooters and we have almost used them daily already and found the little playground on day two.
But nevertheless living in an apartment is different. I have to keep reminding everyone to be quiet,not jump around constantly, bounce or sing as loud as we normally do. Running and playing catch has to wait for outside time and areas to set up for imaginary toy worlds are pretty limited. The kitchen is probably the size of a quarter of my kitchen from texas and since we aren’t staying here I don’t have much to cook with either. So I am trying to think of very small, easy to cook meals. Rather the opposite of what I am used to making. I don’t have many ingredients to even cook with , and so far it has been pasta, pizza and mac and cheese. Honestly I am ready to cook some bigger meals again.
We haven’t met anyone yet and I have felt too tired to drive out by myself yet. Last night we took a little drive all together, it was already rather late and got dark quickly. I was surprised to see so many people outside, walking, hanging out etc.. In Texas people walking is a rare sight lol and you won’t see many people sitting outside anywhere either. Most places in texas are very (overly) bright at night, it almost won’t feel like nighttime driving through some areas. Here it reminded me more of Germany instantly. Many, many small streets with just small lights if any at all. most highways aren’t covered in lights and I must say taking the turns through the trees etc felt a little like I was in Twilight 😉 ( sorry couldn’t help it ).

So far I have loved our days here, but just being inside the apartment isn’t all that fun of course. We have a long journey ahead of us this weekend again as we go house hunting though, and everyone deserves a relaxing break…

As far as homeschooling goes, we actually brought some of our supplies and I had prepared a few extra things before. Yesterday we spent some time talking about Smokey the bear http://www.smokeybear.com/ and talked lots about wildfires, since this is a pretty heavy subject around here right now with all the ongoing fires. The girls had fun learning about the 5 rules, and making a smokey mask.
We even continued some MBTP lessons and even tough it takes some adjusting we are having lots of fun with it all…

So long… XOXo

The roadtrip, our journey to the Northwest

Well the day we left Texas arrived pretty quickly after all. Last Friday we closed on our house in Texas, had some amazing BBQ one last time and said our farewells. Friday morning we left Texas and started our 2,000 mile drive to the pacific northwest. What a crazy drive it was, simply amazing. There are simply no words or images well enough taken that can describe some of the amazing landscapes we have crossed. Some really made me speechless, and well there were some… when I closed my eyes for an hour, woke back up and everything outside still looked the same.

In the matter of three days, we crossed a big part of Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho and then Oregon, our final destination. It was pretty epic.

We were very concerned with our three cats, we have two younger ones and one older kitty. The older one complained right from the start, vomited, pooped in her cage.. you name it… 30minutes  into the drive we had to pull over. Not fun and I thought we would never even just get out of Dallas. Luckily after a few hours in, and a few kitty lunches out, they all adjusted. We noticed that our choice of music played a slight role in their happiness, so we drowned out the base a little. The kids were excited and happy to just look out the window for quite some time. Of course we had multiple devices ready, iPods loaded with audiobooks (Geronimo, Judy moody, etc) and they had a blast just listening. The secret weapon, the kindle fire, didn’t hurt too much later either but on our second day caused some issues for our little one, and she got car sick.  Fun stuff when you are in the middle of nowhere ,Wyoming and have a car seat and child full of vomit…. again being prepared is everything. I was able to pull out fresh clothes from the little suitcase, clean off the worst with some bottles of water and the towel underneath the car seat had caught most of the damage. The rest of the clean up would have to wait.

It all taught us a lesson, take a few more breaks to get up and get some food rather than just the snack bag i had packed, and for her not to look down too much while driving. Needless to say the kindle got a break after that, and we tried to play some road games together in the car. I think we saw a licenseplate from pretty much every state along this drive.

We drove nearly 12 hours the second day and where just happy to get to the hotel in Idaho that night. Everything worked out with the cats, luckily we were able to sneak three in each time. Most times you are only allowed two per room, but if are just a little sneaky and the cats don’t cause too much of a ruckus, you will be able to pull it off. We made sure to close of the bottoms of the beds, so none could hide underneath, covered some of the furniture with blankets. All in all it worked out great.

On day three we faced our last part of the journey and we were very concerned about the wildfires in Idaho and in Oregon. Many highways had been closed the last few weeks, and one we needed to take was closed completely the day before. Luckily it had reopened that morning and we were able to cross the area fairly fast. It was however shocking to see so much burnt area all at once. We didn’t see active flames, but crossed many, many parts that were very smoky and the fire had just raced through a day or so before. Very scary situations and I can only hope the weather will be in the firefighters favours and they can gain more control over them. The area where we will be moving to, has many active fires going on right now. After one year of wildfires in texas, I know how scary this all can be, and I’m just thankful for the people who actively work on these fires. When we lived in Austin, my husband’s job also required him to drive out to the fires with the helicopters and it was such a scary time.

We entered Oregon early afternoon on Sunday and it took us several more hours to get across all the way to Portland. The drive was amazing from this point on, we crossed so many different landscapes in (compared to the rest of the drive) short amount of time. Desert, plains, rocks, mountains, rivers, hills and forests… just breathtaking.

When we drove through one of the first forests, I couldn’t hold back the tears anymore. When your favorite song comes along with it at the same moment, it’s just one of those moments when you think, this was the right thing to do…

We hit some Portland traffic after driving along the Columbia river for several hours and the last few miles seemed to go on forever. Driving through Portland briefly was pretty amazing as well, and I hope we find a house fast, so that there might be a free weekend in between where we can explore Portland just a little bit. after  we have our house, Portland will be about 5 hours away from us.

So for now we are in a sweet little apartment and everyone is pretty happy. Apartment life is very different after owning a house for 11 years but I will write more about that on the next post !!

Thanks for listening,

XOXO