We’ve Been Keeping a BIG Secret from You!

Posted by Chelsea on Monday Apr 19, 2010 Under Toddler

We are MOVING TO BOISE, IDAHO at the end of June!!!!

Why? You ask.  Well the main reason:

We’ve actually been talking about moving for a VERY long time-WAY before we even had Lucy.  Living in the Bay Area is great but it’s EXPENSIVE and not sustainable.  Even more so now that we have Lucy.

We have a list of what’s important to us and when I went to Boise in February for Tessa’s birthday in dawned on me that Boise fit our list.  Before that, we had always said that we would move to Pennsylvania by Shaun’s family but the fact that we couldn’t find a town near his family that fit our list always stopped us.

Here’s the list.  What’s highlighted in purple is what Boise has that is much harder to find in Pennsylvania near Shaun’s family:

-Family (Pennsylvania actually wins out here since Shaun’s ENTIRE family is there and his brothers live within 3 miles of each other)
-Affordable
-4 seasons
-Good public schools
-Good place to raise a family with lots of young families (Something the Bay Area IS NOT!)
-Walk-able downtown with nice houses nearby
-Access to ethnic food-Thai, Indian, Japanese, Mexican, Vietnamese, etc.
-College Town-think major college
-Mountain biking nearly year round
-Very outdoorsy community
-Natural grocery store where I can easily get Gluten Free food and organic, grass-fed meat
-A nice gym where I could imagine working out
-Jobs! That PAY!
-Short commute

Another thing Pennsylvania had but that Boise does not is a big city within driving distance.  In PA we would have been close to New York City, Washington, DC, and Philadelphia.  In Boise?  Not so much.

When we were making the decision, we first did a pros and cons list for staying vs. leaving and the pros WAY out weighed the cons.  But then when we were deciding between Idaho and PA we sat down and PA almost won out.  Shaun and I were willing to overlook all of the things that Boise had that PA didn’t because of his family.  Shaun REALLY misses his family (as do I) but then we sat down and did a budget and looked at housing.  It turns out that it is SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper to rent a nice house in Boise than it is in the Wilkes-Barre-Scranton area.  When we were comparing Shaun said “This isn’t fair-there’s no comparison.”  Add to that our projected heating bill and gas bill (for a long commute for Shaun) and the decision was made with the stipulation that we visit PA at least once a year and for at least 2 weeks per year-it got built into our budget.

So Boise it was!  Before we could move forward though I had to see if I could work remotely.  The only way we were willing to make such a huge life change was if I could keep my job.  I was SO nervous going into that meeting to talk to my manager BUT she gave me a resounding YES!  She fully supports this move and come July 1st I will be working from home!  Shaun will be a stay at home Dad while he looks for a job in Boise and we’ll be sharing a baby-sitter with my sister for about 20 hours per week.

When we went out earlier this month, it was to scope it out and make sure that this was the right decision.  We went to look at neighborhoods to see where we wanted to live, I went grocery shopping, Shaun went mountain biking (everyday), we went hiking.  We did things that we would do if we were to live there.  And, even though the weather was absolutely miserable, we LOVED it.

While out on our neighborhood scouting trip, we came upon a house that was for rent and Shaun called.  The property manager said that he was having a open house and that we should come to meet him and tell him what we like so that he could look for properties for us when we came out.  We were planning to go back in June to secure housing.

Well…we went to the open house and we fell in love.  Shaun kept looking at me like OMFG.  When we got back in the car, my super conservative, hates to waste money, husband said, “We’re renting that house and just swallowing the 2 months that we can’t live there.”

Before I agreed to that, I said that we had to look at EVERYTHING in that price range (inside and out) and if we still thought this house was the one, then we would get it.  That house was still the one.

We sign our lease TODAY!

Welcome to our new home:

It’s set off the street and the street is not very busy.  It’s half a block from the mountain biking and hiking trail heads (yes! HALF a block!), 2 miles from my sister, 1 mile from downtown, and 1/2 mile from the Greenbelt-which is a running/biking path that runs along the river.  It’s also about a mile and a half from the Y and I’ll be riding there with Lucy in the bike trailer A LOT!

The upstairs has been recently remodeled. And the kitchen is BEAUTIFUL.

Large living room:

Master bath with a deep tub with JETS!

Master Bedroom (which has a walk in closet):

I didn’t get pictures of the down stairs but there are 2 bedrooms down there, a den, an OFFICE, and a laundry room.

The other thing it has? A HUGE backyard (that needs some love and care 🙂 ) and 2 car garage with extra storage:

And an AWESOME deck that is right off the kitchen.  This house is PERFECT for entertaining.

Goodbye 1200 square foot condo with almost no storage, NO yard, and NO family around.  Hello 1700 square foot house with an additional 2 car garage, HUGE yard, and Lissa, Tessa, and Willy 2 miles away.  I love you!

Needless to say, we are VERY excited.  I wish we could move now but Shaun is working through the beginning of June and then his brother and nephew are coming to visit (which we are VERY excited about) and THEN we drive to Boise, Idaho to start our new, less hectic, more family oriented life.

YIPPEE!

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13 MOMs!

Posted by Chelsea on Sunday Apr 18, 2010 Under Toddler

When I was pregnant with Lucy, I joined an online board for Mommies who were expecting in October 2008.  Over two years later we’re still going strong.  We talk about the triumphs and trial of having kids.  These are the ladies that I turn to whenever I have an issue, question, or something exciting to share.  We’ve becoming incredibly close over the years.  Remember Kelli and Jessica from Hawaii?  I met Kelli “on the board” and we had such a great time in Hawaii.  Kelli is originally from Salt Lake City and was coming over to the mainland to be with her sister while she gave birth.  Kelli planned to stop in San Francisco for a long weekend on her way back to hang out with Lu and me.

When she posted that she’d be here, MANY Moms decided to come and visit as well.  There were 13 Mommies from the board here over the last few days.  One from Hawaii, 2 from Ohio, 1 from Arizona, 2 from Oregon, 1 from Nevada, 2 from the Los Angeles Area, 1 from Sacramento, and 3 from the Bay Area (including me).  It was a fun but HECTIC weekend!

The first night I had 6 babies and their parents over.  We tried to get a group picture before Lu went to bed (notice the jammies) and here’s what happened.

Aiden, Sophia, Aiden, and Lucy:                       Lucy Sandwich with Aiden bread!

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Look at this heartbreaker:

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Lu and VV:

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Lu basically sat there and everyone took their turn.  Jessica (from HI) was here but she wasn’t feeling picture friendly :).

The next day, we went to the Aquarium but had lunch over at my place first with those kiddos who were staying in San Mateo.

Lisa with her daughter, Aviya (VV) and Lu:

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After the aquarium it was time to try for a group picture again.  See if you notice a theme.

VV, Becklyn, Sasha, Lucy, and Aiden

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Here comes Amy!

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Don’t miss him, there’s the other Aiden!

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Becklyn and Lu.

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Oh there’s Jessica!!!

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Once again, Lu sat for the entire thing.  She really likes to sit on benches and couches!!!

The last day some families went to Alcatraz and then we met at the park for a picnic.

Sophia and Aiden:

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Sophia REALLY likes Aiden 🙂

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Group picture again!

Jessica, Becklyn, and Lu

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Add a Sasha!

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And an Aiden!

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And a VV!

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An Olivia and a JORDAN!  One of the Mommies didn’t bring her October baby but did bring her September baby-from 20 years ago or so!

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Add a Sophia (take a way a Jordan):

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Oh look-there’s a Lucas!!

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Almost all of them!

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Lucas and Jessica have had it!

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Minus a Jessica and add an Amy!

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The whole group (minus Stacy and Aiden from Marin because Stacy got a migraine 🙁 )

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Top Row (L to R): Jen and Olivia (Sacramento, CA), Kelli and Jessica (HI), Brandi and Aiden (OR), Lisa and VV (OR), Tamara (OH), Diana and Sasha (AZ), Laura and Lucas (Orange County, CA)

Bottom Row (L to R): Jen and Becklyn (OH), Chelsea and Lucy (San Mateo, CA), Rachel and Amy (Orange County, CA), Amanda and Aubrey (NV), and Laurin and Sophia (San Jose, CA)

Looking at that picture makes me tear up a little bit.  That is a bunch of really amazing friends and mommies.  We have about another 100 that need to be in that picture!

Here are the Crappers!

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And our last dinner.  One tired Lu.

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I miss everyone already.

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Reunited and it Feels SO GOOD!

Posted by Chelsea on Wednesday Apr 7, 2010 Under Toddler

We just got back from Boise and we had SO.MUCH.FUN!  The weather was awful (it snowed almost every day we were there) but we made the most of it.  Shaun still mountain biked 3 times and we went on walks and hikes-we just bundled up!

Onto PICTURES!

There was lots of this happening:

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Anytime I picked up or held Tessa, Lu got jealous.

There was also LOTS of eating.  Yes, my daughter is shirtless.  She was “hot, hot, hot”.

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She was still hot after dinner when she took Tessa’s bike for a spin.

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Riding in Tessa’s wagon on the way to the park.

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At the park:

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How cute is Tessa??!?!?!

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Lu went down the slide all by herself with NO injuries!

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Later that night, a bath was had!

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With the requisite crazy hair pictures!

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On Easter, the Dads took the girls out on a hike while the Easter Bunny did her magic.  It was a cold hike and Lu had to borrow some clothes from Cousin Tessa.  If you didn’t already notice, Tessa is a colorful dresser.  This is what happened when Lu visited her closet.

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OH but it gets better!

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She’s stylin’!

The Easter Bunny did, in fact, do her job.

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Lu’s garden boots:

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And Tessa’s:

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Mimi sent rolling backpacks with horsies.

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Mimi also sent some bunnies to be taken care of:

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Lu’s face upon seeing the loot!

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Checking it out.

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Lissa’s crazy Mom face in this picture cracks me up.

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The backpacks were a HUGE hit.

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Then we headed over to Grandma Sandy’s (Tessa’s Grandma) for an Easter Egg hunt and brunch.

On the way to the hunt:

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EASTER EGG HUNT!

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Lu LOVED IT!  She went running around saying “Egg? Egg? Egg?!?!?”  She totally got it.

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Tessa was more interested in that blue plate of water you see in the lower right hand of the picture.

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Lucy almost got ALL the eggs.

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The basket got so full it started overflowing. 

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Once inside, we gave Tessa half and Lu half and they discovered what was in them.  STICKERS!

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Later in the day, Lu discovered that Tessa’s toy box (that Papa made her) was a great “boat”.

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They were quite proud of themselves:

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Uh-oh, Daddy picked up Tessa.  This resulted.

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On our last night, the girls got a bath and wrapped in hooded towels that Mimi made them for Easter.

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We flew home today and Shaun got a bug in his butt to go get Lu a “running bike”.  Shaun’s brother sent a very generous gift certificate for the local toy store for Christmas and Shaun earmarked it for a Strider.  He decided today was the day.

We tried it out.

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LU LOVED IT!!!  We got her pink.

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We didn’t take her helmet to the store (though we should have) but from now on she WILL be wearing a helmet!!!

Today, Lu got to wear her Easter outfit.  It was too cold on actual Easter to rock it.

 

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And, showing Mommy her tummy:

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She’s also at the stage where she likes to lift MY shirt up to show me MY tummy.  I’m pretty sure the plane full of strangers didn’t want to see that!

Lu has started saying things like “Help, please.” and “Up, please.”  And she LOVED Cousin Tessa’s dogs.  Oh my-Mommy and Daddy may be in trouble in the dog department!  The cousins were again-SUPER CUTE.  I can’t wait until they get to see each other again.  It should be SOON!

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