Friday, July 25, 2014


Jack and Lilly, saying goodbye to their bedroom
Jim and I have moved around a lot.  We didn't set out to move often, but each time we've moved, we have been ready to start a new phase of our lives and this move was no exception.  We know we want to live in other parts of the country and different parts of the world at some point in our lives, which is why it has taken us 11 years of living in Connecticut to buy a house.  It may seem counterintuitive--we want to travel so we bought a house in Connecticut.  But, Jim and I have decided this move is right for us and for our family at this point in time.  It was not a choice we took lightly.  It was the product of many conversations; of going back and forth and thinking up various scenarios in our mind.  We knew that we had to move out of our house on South Pine Creek Road, which we really loved.  Unfortunately, moving out every 11 months, when the owners come back to live there is just not feasible so we had to make some decisions.  Our goal at the end of this move, was that wherever we were going, we wanted to be excited about it. We looked at other houses to rent, but the rents were astronomical and the houses were not particularly appealing.  We looked at houses to buy, and so many times were discouraged at the speed with which houses in our price range would come on and go off the market.  Everything seemed to be too expensive or too small or not the right location.  We kept saying we don't really need much to make us happy, so how come it seemed impossible to find a house for the five of us to call home?

Just as has happened so many times before, things worked out at just the right time.  We found this house in a great little neighborhood on a cute street, Quaker Lane.  The owners wanted to close within a day of our lease ending.  We have 4 bedrooms and a great fenced in yard.  We have a basement that is already the childrens' favorite room--it has space for all their toys and for lots of books.  It will soon have an art corner for Lilly and places to park all of Jack's trucks.  We want to get bean bags for them and we'll have music set up down there.  We moved in a week ago, and it already feels like home.  Lilly and Jack have stopped calling it "the new house"; instead, this house is now "home" and the house on S Pine Creek has quickly become "the old house."

moving day bagels
It is amazing how adaptable children are.  We're not setting up any furniture or unpacking most things until after we come home from the lake in a few weeks as we're going to redo the floors while we are away.  I thought living amidst boxes would be unsettling and throw everyone off balance, and although it is not ideal, the little ones don't mind at all.  They play hide and seek around the boxes.  Lilly and Jack are sleeping on their mattresses on the floor in their bedroom and think it's amazing.  They keep saying they're camping and having sleepovers.  Hannah has her crib in her bedroom, and nothing else (aside from her sleep sack which she is way too big to wear but we have no idea how to take it away! She uses it for her blanket while she sucks her thumb to fall asleep so at the moment, she wears it like a cape; unzipped and with her feet out).  Jim and I are sleeping on an aerobed.  We have no real furniture here.  And yet, it is already our home.

Saying goodbye to South Pine Creek was not easy.  When we moved in there, Lilly had just turned 3, Jack was 10 months old and I was 2 months pregnant with Hannah.  Jim and I were 31.  While that was our home, Lilly started school; Jack learned how to walk and talk; Hannah was born; Jim and I celebrated 7 years of being married; Lilly learned how to ride a bike; Jack grew to love Thomas and trains and trucks and dirt.  Hannah learned how to crawl and walk and talk; Lilly said goodbye to her toddler years and became a real little girl, who is self sufficient and a big help to me with the little ones;  Jack put his books away in the "suitcase" (bookcase) and would ask us to help him build car transporters and dump trucks and acela trains out of lego; by the time we left, Hannah was in the mix, following the older two around, chasing them in circles around the house and dancing when they danced; some of Lilly's favorite expressions included "Don't Forget Cuckoo Head", telling me that Jack or Hannah was having a "grand old time," or when asked why there was such a mess at the end of quiet time, would respond with, "Mum, I mean, I'm astonished.  I have no idea how this mess got here."  Hannah said "hi" and "bye" to everything, especially the vacuum, which she doesn't like.  So, upon seeing the vacuum, this tiny little opinionated person would walk right up to it saying, "Bye bye vacuum."  Jack would tell us that he was "very so cold" or "very so hungry" to really emphasize what he wanted.  What amazing little people they are, and what wonderful memories we have from that house.

Jim and I enjoyed cold beers outside while watching the little ones play in the pool.  We shoveled feet of snow into mountains for sledding.  We had glasses of wine on the couch together, deciding how we would like to spend the next 10 years of our life.  We made wonderful, genuine friends who we know will be a part of our lives forever. We had cups of coffee on our "lazy" weekend mornings that we had to reheat 39050325987 times because it's truly impossible to drink a hot cup of coffee with three small children by your side.  We had discussions about jobs and children and marriage and what's really important in life.  We talked about how a house is just a house, and how it will never define us or hold us back.  If we want to live abroad in 5 years, we'll sell the house.  If an opportunity arises before then, we'll find renters.  Whatever the circumstances are, a house will not limit us and our future.

We had every member of our families come to visit at some point over the past two years.  Some for a few hours; others stayed a few weeks; and we even had a visitor for a few months, who learned to drive while she stayed with us!!!  (Sorry Auntie's too monumental not to mention).  Jim's dad was known for his mysterious late night visits, arriving at 2am and leaving by 6am.  We had the entire Clark family over for a Christmas party this year.  Mum and Dad came over from Singapore and were once again on call when Hannah was born.  One of my most vivid memories from South Pine Creek is coming downstairs when we knew I was in labor with Hannah, seeing Dad...having a quick conversation and having to stop mid way through because I was having a contraction...running (or more likely, waddling) upstairs to give Mum a hug goodbye, and heading to Greenwich Hospital at 4:30am where Hannah was born an hour later.

We have so many memories; we have pictures and stories; and now, we get to create a whole new set of memories.  Bring it on, Quaker Lane.  I hope you're ready for us!  

Oh, how we loved this house!

Everyone needs goggles when they're playing in the water table

watching a show, with Elmo and Dottie

our cardinal
Jack and his dump truck
Playing a little "red light, green light" to kick off the weekend!

"I just jumped out of a truck!"
The biggest help of all

Our beach

a picnic in the moving truck!

Welcome home!!!!
The train table is our dining room table at the moment!

Gorgeous flowers from Marie and beautiful champagne from Mum and Dad

First task: get a (yellow) bike for Jack and a (yellow dump truck) helmet to ride around the new neighborhood!

The new bath is a hit!

We're officially CT residents...11 years later.

Hannah's favorite place.  The stairs.   

Hello, Quaker Lane!