The Five of Us, Spring 2014

The Five of Us, Spring 2014

The New News

We are moving! To our very own house, where I was stripping wallpaper last week (what kind of stripping did you think I was talking about?!). Before you start worrying about anything, rest assured that I'm continuing my work with Acres of Hope, and we'll hardly miss a beat. (If you're an AOH client, please check out our website for more details about the transition.) So, why the move then? Well, Aaron was the victim of a collusion of two important factors: (1) being that he's not a businessman, he brought the office up to the highest level he could and sort of worked himself out of a job and (2) he was missing his sciency experimenting stuff. So, he's going back to research and development engineering, this time with Corning Fiber Optics in North Carolina.

He's thrilled to be on the verge of returning to the science world and just a tish nervous about the new field (apparently making fiber optic threads is somehow quite similiar to making smaller, better computer memory chips, but don't ask me how!). I'm looking forward to living in a neighborhood (ours has walking trails and a pool and mind-boggling racial diversity and lots of families with children of all ages) and small city. Just think--TJMaxx, Target, Linens and Things, Bed Bath and Beyond, Home Depot, Lowes, THE AIRPORT, and everything else you could want, including the ocean-beach within a FIFTEEN minute (rather than a minimum of a FOUR HOUR) drive away!!!! I'm grinning just thinking of it!

We don't really love our new house, but it's pretty darn suitable for us and we got a good deal on it. We are having some work done (replacing all the flooring and paint and removing part of a load-bearing wall), nothing major ya know. Yeah right! Aaron removed about 800 sq feet of horribly ugly tile that was thinsetted (of course that's a word!) directly to the concrete slab foundation. Yeah. That took him like three solid days of very hard work and 2 cookies-and-cream shakes. I stripped wallpaper from the two downstairs bathrooms, filled holes (there were a ton of them!) in the bathrooms and three bedrooms, repainted one bedroom and bathroom completely and got the other bathroom down to just the second coat of paint. So, only two bedrooms and all the living spaces to go!!! (did I mention that the previous owners were TERRIBLE painters?!)

Our new house is a 5-10 minute commute for Aaron, which of course, is longer than we've had for the last year. But, ya know, everything's a trade off and I still have the same length of commute. The new house has 4 big bedrooms (11x14, 14x14, 14x15, and 15x19--huge, huh?!), a formal living room which is becoming our study, a formal dining room which is becoming a formal living room, a kitchen, a casual eating area and a family room (the last two were separated by a half-height wall which I also removed last week to make something of a great room). I'm looking forward to adding "Paprika" to my paint pallette for the family room and the study. We're using Bond Street Teak laminate for most of the flooring, oatmeal colored carpeting in the bedrooms and rich, warm cork in the kitchen. All this on a half-acre lot, a short stroll from the community pool.

With all the renovations underway, I snapped a few "before" shots last week before we started working. I'll add the "afters" later. Enjoy the tour!

This is the view from the front door, what you'd see if you'd just been invited in (which, by the way, we would love to do for you!). What you see here are the "stylish columns" (according to the MLS listing, but not necessarily my taste) deliniating the study and living room and holding up the roofs. Ahead is the kitchen. We're also having that wall between those tiny "windows" removed to open it up more. The load-bearing wall that is being receded is on the right there behind the columns, next to the kitchen wall. We're lopping off three feet of it to make room for people to pass efficiently.
This is the current dining room which is becoming the living room. Notice there is more wallpaper to be removed underneath the chair rail. We also removed the "bruisers" (the sharply pointed moldings) from these posts. This room is to your right if you've just entered through the front door.
Here we have the old living room which will be our study. Aaron and I will both have desks in here (thanks Mom for the beautiful oak rolltop!). We'll also be lining the walls with bookcases (as soon as Aaron makes them!). I love the huge window in this room which is to your left if you've just come in. This is the room where we're removing 3 feet of wall.

Welcome to the new great room! This is the half-wall I removed that was separating the dining area from the family room. They are now one uninterrupted space, allowing flexibility for large parties around a large table! Straight ahead of the half-wall is the wall that's being recessed. Can you see how tight that passage is?! Yipes! You can also see into the kitchen a bit on the left there, and notice the gas fireplace off to the left.Here's the kitchen as seen from the dining area. Notice the paint chips on the half-wall? We're going with the middle one for an accent in the family room and study. I took this shot above the kitchen sink primarily to show the window space which wil be enlarged to bridge the entire space.This is the "Master 1" bathroom. Doesn't it make you feel like you're in a stylish 90's prison? Eventually, this will be the "girls' bathroom." It's off the 14x15 bedroom and is perfect for two little girls who will quickly become two teen girls! Yes, the plan is to eventually adopt another daughter, and another son. But, you'll have to wait for that news!Evidence of the depravity of the painting skills that used to live here! Can you believe this? Here are the stairs leading to the "Master Haven," the 15x19 room with it's own bathroom and walk-through (yes, walk-through. I'll explain in a moment). This suite is bound for renovation too, but not just yet.
This is the tiny bathroom adjoining the upstairs master. Hence the renovation.This is the walk-through closet as seen from the bedroom. See that room in the back of the closet? They billed that as a "home office" in the MLS listing. It's kinda creepy, though, because it has no windows and is in the center of the home. Not my idea of a nice office. Closet, sure. Office, not so much. So, the present closet will become part of the new-improved master bathroom and the "home office" (panic room? time out room?) will take over the closet's duties. But, like I said, that's a future project and we have our hands full with the renovations downstairs.Another view of the someday closet. See the kiddy-corner wall? Remind you of anything? It's right above the kitchen sink wall that has the matching angle. Oh, and that little door in the back of the room? It leads into the attic, via an immediate 4-ft step up!So, when's all this going to happen? Tomorrow, in fact. Well sorta. The movers are coming tomorrow to pack everything up (thank goodness we never unpacked about half of the stuff we moved here from Idaho!). Friday they come back to load the truck and we head to my folks' house. Saturday we rest! Sunday we're having a family birthday party for the kids and Aaron. Monday morning Aaron leaves to drive the Big Blueberry down to the house. He'll be finishing the bed and bath painting, supervise the revision of the load-bearing wall, and direct the move-in activities. He may also try to get some of the flooring in, depending on the pace of the wall revision. I'll be staying with the kids at my folks house. We'll join Aaron on the weeknd (by plane). Aaron starts work on Monday and I begin my new office hours. Pshew!


Becky said...

Wow! I'm tired for you just reading this post. : )

Actually, I'm really excited for you even if you are moving in the wrong direction. : )

Can't wait to see the after pictures.


P.S. I'm so jealous of the pool in your neighborhood.

From Five to Eight said...

Good thing you are young!
I'd love living that close to the beach. Have fun!

Anonymous said...

congratulations! We love the NC coast...hmmm...fresh seafood, ocean breezes!! Good for you!! Love, Deni(I know you'll miss the snow next winter, haha)

Tanya said...

I love your house! Beautiful pictures and well explained. If we can manage to consider road tripping with our newly enlarged family we'll have to take you up on your offer of a visit:)

eric said...

We've just returned from Topsail Beach (a short drive from Wilmington). I miss it already and reading your post made me a little jealous! Wilmington is a great little city. Praying you all get settled smoothly! Maybe we'll drop in and say "hi" next year when we're at Topsail!
Kerri Stetler

Tarah said...

How exciting. I have been dying with this HUGE secret.

Will you e-mail me your phone number again. (new one.)

I think your house will look great!

Carolyn said...

Thanks for the home tour. You could be a Realtor! Moving is such fun, isn't it? New faces, new places. No wonder you've needed personal business time!!! :-) Have a great move and God's blessings to you and Aaron on his new job.

amber said...

Fifteen minutes from TJMaxx!?!?? Now you're making ME jealous! :0)
I know all too well the four hour drive thing...

The new house is great -- and sounds like it will keep you busy!


Melodie said... sure know how to get a lot done in a short time! Oh, and I can't wait to see the "after" pictures too :-)

I sent you details on my new you might want to check your email. Consider yourself privileged to be one of the few who is in on my secret!

Anonymous said...

Rachel, we are in NC--maybe we could "officially" meet!!

Laura & Cameron

Zandy said...


I am so excited for you, sounds like you have alot of work ahead of you. The house looks really nice, can't wait to see your after pictures though. Good Luck with everything. Tell Aaron Good Luck with his new job, I hope he loves it.


My Man and Me

My Man and Me
married 7/7/2001


ours through biology, born 7/25/2004, home 8/1/2004


ours through adoption from Liberia, West Africa, born 7/15/2005, home 10/25/2007


ours through domestic adoption, born 1/15/2011, home 2/10/2011, final 8/3/2011

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Round Two Timeline

  • 9/24/08 Home study update home visit for Ghana adoption
  • 10/15/08 Dossier sent to AOHG
  • 10/15/08 I600A application sent to USCIS
  • 10/30/08 First heard about possible domestic private adoption
  • 11/18/08 Last spoke with contact about possible domestic adoption; expected to hear back about meeting with birthmother
  • 12/3/08 Withdrew application from AOHG
  • 1/6/09 Found out another family had been chosen for possible domestic adoption
  • 1/21/09 USCIS fingerprinting appointment
  • 1/8/09 Received USCIS fingerprinting appointment notice
  • 4/11/09 Sent Pre-Application to Covenant Care Adoptions for Domestic Infant Adoption program
  • 6/8/09 Social worker visit to update home study from International to Domestic
  • 7/24/09 Received completed home study update
  • 8/25/09 Went "on the list" for birthfamilies to choose from
  • 4/28/10 Found out a birth mom had chosen us
  • 5/8/10 Met the birth mom
  • 5/11/10 Got the call that birth mom changed her mind
  • 5/19/10 Birth mom's scheduled c-section
  • 11/30/10 Visit from DSS sw about foster parenting
  • 11/30/10 Got the call that another birth mom had chosen us
  • 12/21/10 Met with the birth mom
  • 1/15/11 @1:42 PM BB was born!
  • 1/19/11 ICPC (interstate) paperwork sent to GA for approval
  • 1/31/11 ICPC Clearance Approved
  • 2/10/11 Placement Ceremony and Pup comes home!!!!
  • 8/3/11 It's Official! Pup's Adoption Decree was issued