To be perfectly honest: we love it. LOVE New England. I know it’s only the second week but at least we are starting out well :) The first week was full of waiting for our things to arrive, stuff being delayed and spending copious amounts of money on everything from a pack n’ play to pillows to a coffee maker to pre-school admission; trying to entertain the boys in a cold, empty house and making our infant to sleep in a box; and driving around the woods in search of authentic pizza. It wasn’t nearly as horrible as I had imagined, in fact it wasn’t horrible at all.

The house is, well let’s not beat around the bush: it’s HUGE. I mean huge. So much larger than any house I have ever lived in–the living room alone is as big as our first house in Sherwood and larger than our entire downstairs in our last two houses. So to say we have minimal furniture is an understatement.  And to try to make this cavernous structure feel like a home, last weekend we traveled about an hour and 15 mins to New Haven where the nearest IKEA resides. New Haven just happens to be the oldest town in the USA. Of course it is. Everything we pass looks like George Washington himself lived in it. New Haven is also where Yale is…I believe you saw my Instagram on that little excursion…
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We had some things to return at the Apple store and J.Crew–both of which are on the Yale campus (of course they are)–and just as we are talking with an Apple geek, I look over at my husband as he playfully held Dub up in the air and I notice a huge orange, liquid sweet potato stain engulfing my infant’s body. Tyler exits. I stay to make the return and run to the Crew with the boys, and I get a text explaining my chaotic mother brain forgot wipes and a set of extra clothes (of course I did). What the…crap. Enter the $28 Yale onesie and what should have been a guarantee for a athletic scholarship in 18 years. And that was just the beginning of our day :) Needless to say, when we finally arrived to IKEA we were one of those families.  Don’t pretend you aren’t already judging.  Yeah, that’s right, the ones who don’t clothe their babies in 30 degree weather and let their children sleep on the bed displays and eat meatballs, and show up in the check out line with mounds of items and two crying children.  Ok, now stop judging.

There we are–

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We had some other stops to make that day, but in the midst of this, Tyler and I just smiled at each other and knew that this is life now. That when we need something beyond groceries and gas, we pack up the wagon and set out on an adventure across uncharted territory; full of long days, eating fast food, getting lost and praying we don’t need to call for an Amber Alert for a missing child. We knew at that moment we have reached a better understanding of our family and there is no need to find this stressful or burdensome or even unenjoyable, because this is just us. And we love it.

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Right now, we have almost every box opened and unpacked. And what hasn’t been is garage stuff or summer toys that are in the basement. (Of course we have a basement). It feels good to get it all done and organized. Oh how I love to organize! Most of the rooms are too big for us to properly fill or decorate but I guess I’ll just have to get used to it.  My anal, overly-obsessed-with-aesthetics side of me kinda shakes and twitches when I let the unfinished nature of this beautiful colonial dream-house get to me but that’s just ridiculous…sorta…kinda…or at least I’m trying to convince my self it is.

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This place is so big…the master is huge as well. And who cares about the master, right? No one sees it anyway. The boy’s room is ok–I hope Tyler still wants to paint because it looks like a hospital room outfitted with Star Wars bedding. The baby room looks the same with his pretty baby things in a sterile box. The kid’s play room is a disaster but this weekend Tyler should be able to put together the bookcases and I’ll hang the drapes and posters. It’s really a pretty room and the kids enjoy it, I just hate that it’s a mess right now…the guest room is a work in progress. Yes, there is an extra bathroom down there, just for the guests, as well at the laundry room. The kid’s bathroom is a perfect size for them and just across the way from their room. Whew! That’s the upstairs. Downstairs we have a formal dinning room and the kitchen is a dream–so much space! There is a large breakfast nook area connected to the kitchen. A bathroom and mudroom rounds out the space before you hit the 3 car garage…the mudroom is huge (ok, so everything seems huge when coming from a 1,400 sq ft home) and I can’t wait to organize it. We need so much storage for all of the boots, coats, gloves, hats, socks, snow pants, shoes, backpacks and bags that land there!!! Ahhhhh!

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I just can’t believe we live here. It’s amazing to me that the Lord had this for us. After all of the house tribulations we have gone through, Tyler and I just sit here and marvel at this place and what we get to enjoy for the next year. Albeit it costs a fortune and we may never raise the heat past 65 degrees or turn on any lights, BUT it’s a dream :) The other day I was vacuuming and Tyler made an honest observation, “Honey, are you cleaning again?” and I responded, “I think that is going to be my mantra here:  Cleaning.  Again.” So much to keep up. And oddly enough I find fulfillment in keeping this home. And at the risk of sounding like some crazy church lady, I’ll admit that something inside of me feels extra happy to know that I have a domain to maintain (he he he).

The boys absolutely love their school and so do I. Amazing teachers and a wonderful community of kind and generous families. I was not expecting that. All you hear about the East Coast is how rude everyone is–this is New England people, and they are nice! Especially in the woods. The boys have friends already and haven’t skipped a beat. Soo thankful! They are the perfect age to do this. Not young enough to be toddler-crazy and not old enough to notice a drastic change in their life. It might help they are boys too–girls think too much ;) The drive to school is a little longer than expected, but everything is new and fun right now so I don’t mind. Plus the drive itself is just gorgeous. We live in a Norman Rockwell painting for goodness sakes–clear sunny days with 3-5 inches of snow in the fields and 2 inches of snow piled up on rooftops and winter branches lining the one lane, curvy rural roads. Just beautiful. Tyler works onsite in a little cottage (of course he does) and it’s on our way to pre-school. His schedule allows for him to be home in the morning and have breakfast with us. It’s so special. He usually would leave the house at 5:30 or 6:00 am and we wouldn’t see him at all. Next week he’ll start bringing the boys to school some of the days–

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This time is and will continue to be a family building experience. And the Lord has given us nothing but time to spend together. Our prayer is that we don’t squander this priceless gift. Because we Tyler and I are both homebodies, we find it easy to sit the day away. Good sometimes, bad most. We are determined to plan and get out–plan big things like going to The Cape for a week in the summer, visiting New York and Vermont, but also the day to day things like playing cards as a family, exploring the woods and lots of snow wars. We want these things to become staples in our home and we have no excuse not to! We spent almost 3 weeks together as a family through this whole process and it’s amazing how much we have grown and already learned.

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I can’t thank all of you enough for supporting us and praying for us as we spend this time away.  We love you and can’t wait to see you all when we visit soon.  And thank you for even being interested in my ramblings–most other posts shouldn’t be this long, but who knows :) Comment back please! I want to hear from you: email, text, write–don’t call.  Let’s just be real, I may not get back to you for a while and we all know having 3 kids isn’t much for chatting on the phone…

Since this is a private blog, if there is anyone who has expressed interest in our crazy New England life, just have them shoot me a text or email and I can invite them!

Love!

–dani