New House

I’ve been sooo neglectful of this blog and I’m finally feeling guilty enough that I’m going to post! It’s been quite awhile since my last post, but I think the best place to start is with our new home! After all the craziness of searching for a place and having so many fall through, we ended up in a house that we have been so incredibly happy with. I can’t even tell you how nice it is not to have any more “house anxiety” – our living situations in Detroit were just not ideal and caused a lot of peripheral but constant stress for us. Here in San Antonio, our house is beautiful, everything works, our neighborhood is safe, we’ve never had a problem with our landlord… I could go on and on. It’s just really nice to feel like we finally have a place that’s ours that doesn’t look like a heap of crap!

So here are some photos of the place. I took these awhile back so we’ve had some changes/updates since they were taken, but these will at least give you a good sense of the place. I’ll apologize in advance for the quality of some of these – I didn’t realize some of them were so dark until I got them off my camera!

The front of our house! It's a cute little one-story on a quiet cul-de-sac.

The front of our house! It’s a cute little one-story on a quiet cul-de-sac.

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Our front entryway. The white door on the right leads to our garage (!!).

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Our garage is actually pretty empty but we did buy a new lawn mower when we moved here. I had never mowed a lawn before – it’s actually pretty fun.

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Sorry this is so dark!! But this is the living room. Kurt got creative with some furniture pieces to make the setup – I totally love it. We’re lucky because a lot of the pieces we already had work well with the warm, earth tones of the house’s painted walls.

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Another view of the living room. Not crazy about the red wall (on the far left there) but oh well! The tiny hallway in the left corner leads to the guest room, guest bath, and Kurt’s office.

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Kurt’s office. Pretty basic for now. We’re hoping to get some bookshelves in there eventually, but there are definitely other priorities for the house right now.

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The guest bedroom. We’ve since gotten full sheets/blankets for it :) Still need some end-tables though… sorry houseguests!

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Here’s the guest bath. I’m totally in love with the Finnish Marimekko Kaiku shower curtain my mom got me awhile ago. We’ve even got lime green towels to match.

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Toward the other end of the house we find the pantry/laundry room. Not wild about the shelving in here but it does the job well enough.

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We got an awesome deal on this washer and dryer set. It’s so great being able to do laundry in super-efficient machines. They even play songs to let you know your laundry is done – I’m a sucker for a modern marvel that sings to me…

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Across from the pantry is the kitchen (also accessible from the living room). This is obviously my favorite part of the whole house… I love the cabinets/counters and the fact that I have so much space! The island is a great bonus. We also have a little breakfast bar to the right. My in-laws got us some barstools I had my eye on for Christmas and it’s so nice to finally use that feature. We’re very lucky we managed to rent a house that came with both a stove and a fridge – fridges do not come standard with rentals here in San Antonio!

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The kitchen is eat-in and has a beautiful bay window that our cat loves. To the right are double doors that lead to the porch and backyard.

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Having this much cabinet space is pretty amazing. I actually have EMPTY cabinets, there’s so much room. This is the first time I haven’t struggled to find a place for everything.

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Here is half of our backyard – it continues around the corner. It’s mostly weeds, to be honest, but it’s easy to mow and it’s nice to have totally fenced-in space. When it’s warm (by which I mean above 65 – I’m a wuss already from living here!) I like to have my morning coffee/tea on the porch. We don’t have proper porch furniture yet – hopefully we’ll get some soon so we can enjoy the coming spring before the blistering heat sets in.

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Past the kitchen and pantry is the master. We got this beautiful bed frame from Kurt’s aunt – the sage green goes amazingly in this house. We also got the matching bedspread and couldn’t be more grateful that we didn’t have to outfit the whole thing ourselves! Queen beds feel so small now – we’re totally spoiled.

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The master closet is a walk-in with some shelving space, and plenty of room to hang our clothes. No more fighting about whose clothes get hung up and where!

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The closet continues behind the wall for even more space. There were also tons of hooks left on the wall so we’re able to hang our scarves and hats. Very nice.

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The master bath is an en suite with a double vanity, stall shower, garden tub, and linen closet. I confess I’ve had a few bubble baths with candles and sparkling wine since we moved here!

So there you have it! Our new place. No house is ever perfect, but I have very, very few complaints about it here. I actually really love it… as evidenced by the fact that I spend time in almost all the rooms. Now if only we could get back to a typical, warm San Antonio winter…

The Enormous, Overdue TEXAS Update

Well, here it is – the update I’ve been saying I’ll write for two months and am just now getting to. In my defense – the last two months have been totally nuts and new things have happened pretty much weekly.

Kurt and I arrived in San Antonio yesterday after a 20-hour trip down. I had never been in a car that long, and let’s just say I’d rather not do it again if I can help it! Kurt did most of the driving but I did handle the trek across Oklahoma on Sunday morning. We were very glad once the drive was over… and so was our cat!

But I guess I should start from the beginning! As I said in my last post, Kurt received a promotion. His new position is as a Field Service Engineer (FSE), which encompasses a lot of things, but basically:

  1. He acts as the liaison between Ford dealerships and Ford corporate;
  2. He sells Ford-endorsed tools and upgrades to dealerships;
  3. He handles escalated or exceptionally difficult mechanical/technical issues when the in-house techs and the Ford technical hotline can’t figure out what’s wrong.

This is a very exciting professional opportunity for Kurt on a lot of different levels. It’s obviously a step up in hierarchy, which comes with its own perks. It’s also a fast-track into being an official Ford employee, which is much better than working as a contractor (as Kurt has been doing since he started working post-college). It will allow him greater benefits and, eventually, greater mobility.

Originally, they told us we were going to be moving to Dallas for the position, but a few weeks later Kurt got a call from his boss saying he would be going to San Antonio instead. Kurt has loved San Antonio since he was a kid and was thrilled to be able to live there, so it was a welcome surprise. He is in a unique position here in San Antonio because he will be taking over for the FSE that has handled the San Antonio region for decades. The old FSE has opted for a phased retirement, so he’ll be supervising Kurt in the beginning with reduced frequency as time goes on. We’re hoping this will build a little more trust with the dealers in Kurt’s region, rather than suddenly having to deal with a new (and very young) FSE. Kurt’s region is primarily southern San Antonio, but he is responsible for some dealers down by Corpus Christi and even down on the border of Mexico.

Kurt left his work at the technical hotline mid-July to begin the transition to his new job. He’s been doing a lot of online training courses, most of which overlap with his work and academic experience. While in Michigan, he also did some ride-alongs with the local FSEs to get a feel for the job. So far, he has really enjoyed interacting with dealers and learning the ropes on the sales end of things. Today, he flew to Dallas to pick up his company car (a white 2014 Ford Fusion hybrid) and he’ll be there until Tuesday or Wednesday meeting with his boss and doing training.

Our housing situation has been a bit more complicated. We broke our least in Belleville and moved out at the end of August. The week before we moved out, I actually flew down to San Antonio for the weekend while Kurt was here on business. We saw several houses, some of which we liked. However, we didn’t realize how fast-moving and competitive the rental housing market is down here so we lost the houses we wanted, some of them in less than 24 hours. I had to fly back to Belleville and pack up the apartment, but Kurt and I were able to arrange some meetings with a realtor him during his last day in Texas. Even then, the two houses he really liked were also rented by the time we got the paperwork for them so we’ve been dealing with a lot of disappointment… We did manage to get an application in on one house in the hopes that we would at least have a place to go by the time Kurt had to start work in SA today, but there were a bunch of complications trying to coordinate between our realtor and our former apartment complex (legal stuff) so it didn’t happen.

What does that mean? Well, Kurt and I are living in a hotel this week. We did finally get word today that our application had been approved for the one house, but seeing as we’re already here and didn’t really like that house in the first place, we’re planning to meet with our realtor again this week and find a place we’re both excited about as quickly as possible. Please send positive vibes that we’ll have a home by next week!

I haven’t had the greatest first impression of San Antonio so far, but overall, people are extremely nice. The economy is also significantly better here so I’m excited about job prospects. I also have a trip to Finland with a friend of mine coming up later this month, so things are busy, to say the least. Fingers crossed that my next post is one full of pictures of our new house.

Indecision

Indecision of the culinary type, that is. I’m on my own for the first time in awhile tonight (Kurt is on business in Ohio) so I decided to spoil myself and cook something I was really excited to eat. I decided on pasta, but the big question was: how to dress it?? Ultimately I was craving a bunch of different flavors and ended making three different kinds. I probably made a little too much, but it’s rare that I get to satisfy all the tastes I’m looking for so I was pretty happy with it. And two of the three feature ingredients that Kurt doesn’t like so I rarely use them – it was fun to cook solely for my own palate today.

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Mashed avocado with tomato and garlic, homemade spinach/basil/sunflower seed pesto, and eggplant puttanesca (I’m a sucker for kalamata olives so I think this was my favorite by a small margin).

Usually I don’t make things that require more than minimal effort if it’s just for me, but sometimes you just have to spoil yourself. I have a feeling I’m not the only one who rarely goes all out unless they’re cooking for someone else… I’d love to know if you have a recipe that you love but only make every once in awhile when you really feel like doing something special purely for your own enjoyment!

Also, I know most people who read this blog know about Kurt’s promotion and I PROMISE I will do an entry about his new job soon – it’s just that we learn more about it everyday so I still feel like I can’t answer all the questions adequately yet. I will say though, that for those of you who we told we were going to Dallas, we are not! We got word this week that we will actually be moving to San Antonio. It’s better in a lot of ways for Kurt (personally and professionally) so that’s good news. I just put in our thirty day notice for our apartment and wrote our final rent check. Pretty crazy! More to come.

Quarter-Centenarian

Epic fail on my part catching up with blog posts – between family happenings, personal life, and professional developments on Kurt’s side (more to come on that soon), the last few weeks have been pretty crazy.

But here’s a little post to wish Kurt a very lovely 25th birthday! We’ve been celebrating since last weekend and plan to carry on the celebrations all week. It’s hard to believe we’ve been best friends since we were both 17 years old in high school P.E. class…

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What a cool kid.

Happy birthday to one of the most handsome, thoughtful, driven, and wonderful people I have the honor to know. (Kurt, I know you rarely read my blog and will probably be mad at me for posting this photo once you finally see it months later, but I love you! Happy, happy birthday!)

Visits

I know I’ve been really neglectful about posting over the last two months – I’m going to try to play catch up over the next week by doing a bunch of smaller posts about various things that have happened since my last post.

Way back in May, Kurt’s best friends came up from Illinois/Wisconsin for the weekend. It was so great to host friends for the first time ever! The guys enjoyed local pizza and video games, as is their way. We also took a day trip to Ann Arbor, where we explored the heart of the University of Michigan campus (absolutely gorgeous that time of year, with all the flowering trees in bloom), comic books stores, and the brewpub for Ann Arbor Brewing Company. I was in the middle of my no-drinking month, so no craft beer for me, but they had so many awesome vegan options on the menu and I would absolutely go back again to eat AND drink.

Later that month, my mom came to visit us in our new apartment – I could hardly believe that this was only the second time she came while we’ve been in eastern Michigan and the first time she stayed overnight! It was really fun to have her here. She came bearing all sorts of gifts and goodies, including Ikea dishes that I’ve had for ages but never brought to Michigan, Iittala Essence glasses that I’ve been coveting for years, and a beautiful Marimekko tablecloth that I’d also had my eye on ever since it appeared in Crate & Barrel’s Marimekko section of their website. What a lovely housewarming surprise! (Sorry for the bad quality of the photos – I’ve mostly been using my phone but the camera on it is so much worse than my last phone!)

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Ikea dishes, Iittala glasses, Marimekko tablecloth. Nordic table FTW!

Of course, no time spent with my mom would be complete without amazing food. We spent a day in Ann Arbor and had lunch at Seva, a vegan/vegetarian place that is very popular, even with meat-eaters. It was so cute and “hippie”-ish and made me a little bit heartsick for Portland. We also hit up Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods to stock up on delicious things to eat. (For all of my friends who don’t know what Trader Joe’s is, I am so sorry. It’s a lovely little grocery chain that offers low-cost versions of many high-end brands, is incredibly vegan-friendly, has made major commitments to sustainability – especially in seafood – and most importantly sells surprisingly decent wine for ~3 dollars a bottle. AWESOME.) We had a great combo of vegan and non-vegan eats, but I was pretty proud to cook some of my favorite vegan things for my mom. It’s rare that I get to cook for her, instead of the other way around.

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I just had to do my vegan enchiladas – homemade sauce AND tortillas? Yes please.

Funnily enough, when my mother and I were living together, we rarely did a proper “sit down dinner.” We’re grazers at heart, so while it was wonderful to do a full meal, the rest of the weekend was dedicated to making meals out of lots of snacks.

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Chips, Swedish flatbread, crackers, grass-fed cheeses, olives, salsa, hummus, fruit, smoked fish, and champagne… everybody was happy.

Having people in our home made it REALLY feel like a home. I’ve moved so many times since I lived in Finland the first time that it’s often hard to feel like any place is truly my own. I get caught in the weird place of falling in love with almost every place I’ve been and then having to leave it shortly thereafter. Maybe someday the craziness will end and I’ll stick somewhere for at least a few years! I always thought I’d be the nomadic, jet-setter type, but being married and never really feeling settled has made me value the idea of having one place to call “home” far more than I ever did when I was younger. Moving all the time feels less glamorous every time I do it. But fingers crossed that my traveling will never end!

Oh, and by the way – my challenge to myself for May went extremely well! I worked out every day, lost a decent amount of weight, and above all, just felt better. In June I’ve eased off a little bit (not working out everyday, drinking wine again), but all my hard work showed me that it’s actually not all that hard to take care of yourself and be active if you make it a priority and find a way to make it a part of your routine. I’m trying to figure out exactly what I want my routine to be from here on out, but I think I’m off to a really solid start and I look forward to seeing where I end up at the end of the year in terms of strength and stamina.

May was a great month, and June has been too – more to come this week!

P.S. Sorry to my friends and family who follow me on other media, I know these pictures are redundant for you! :(

Lohturuoka (Comfort Food)

Kurt and I went to Ikea yesterday to hunt for some new furniture (we didn’t buy anything, bummer!). I used to love going to Ikea with my mom and getting the meatballs with mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam, but obviously that doesn’t really work with my vegan lifestyle! Still, I had a hankering for those little guys, which are pretty much exactly the same as what my host families served in Finland. I’ve had some Boca burgers in the freezer for months and while I haven’t had a Finnish or Swedish meatball for a very long time and therefore might be remembering incorrectly, I remember thinking that the Boca burger tasted somewhat similar to the meatballs I so dearly loved. So I decided to make do with what I had and prepare a Finnish-inspired vegan dinner! And of course I had to add something green to the plate, even though green beans aren’t a traditional part of the meal.

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The Boca patties held together really well once I formed them into balls and were very easy to brown in a skillet (though next time I’d love to attempt making veggieballs from scratch). I made my own gravy using almond milk, flour, nutritional yeast, spices, and various other things. It wasn’t really like traditional Finnish gravy but it was still great! And my favorite part is probably the lingonberries… I’m so glad Ikea sells this Nordic treat. I usually eat at least as much lingonberry jam as meatball, haha. Reminds me of picking lingonberries in the forest for my Finnish grandmother while at the summer cabin. I miss those simple moments a lot – what I wouldn’t give for a patch of land where I could pick wild blueberries, strawberries, lingonberries, and chanterelle mushrooms! Food like this is definitely comfort food for me, not just for the richness, but for the happy memories eating it brings back.

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Of course, in true Finnish fashion, I had to get as many things onto my fork as possible. I actually was not able to finish the whole plate, but I’m not complaining about having leftovers of such a yummy meal!

What are some of your comfort foods? Have you ever turned one of your favorite restaurant meals into something you make at home?

New Year’s Resolution? Nah…

I’ve never really gotten on board with the whole “New Year’s Resolution” thing. I believe that if there’s something you want to change or do, you should just do it! Moving has given me the feeling of starting over, and with that, I’m resolving to make some lifestyle changes. I was really fit and eating well for awhile in college, but a series of foot and ankle injuries kept me from running for a few months and I never really got back into good habits after that. My body was able to keep up with my not-so-healthy lifestyle for awhile, but as I’ve progressed into my 20s my metabolism has changed pretty dramatically – as well as my body. It’s no secret to those who have seen me over the last few years that I put on quite a bit of weight. When I changed my diet last year, I dropped 20 pounds and have managed to keep it off consistently and without much effort, but I think now is the time to take things to the next step and really take care of myself. I’m turning 25 this year and I know that the older I get it, the harder it will be to get myself into good habits and see good results, so there’s no time like the present to make changes.

Starting today, I’m beginning a consistent exercise regimen. I already got my workout in this morning and it’s pretty shocking what terrible shape I’m in – I’m really looking forward to building up my strength and stamina! I’m also not going to be drinking wine at all during May (definitely my biggest vice, even in moderation) and I’m going to make an effort to eat even better and cleaner than I already do. Michigan harvests at low prices are already starting to show up in the stores so I really have no excuse not to eat well. I’m going to make an effort to be more proactive about my mental health as well. I’d say my mental health is actually pretty good, especially considering how troubled I was in my teens and early 20s. However, there is always something to work on and you can’t deny the links between negative emotional status and negative physical/social behaviors, so I want to do my best to stay on top of everything and improve myself in general. I have pretty high anxiety at times which leads me to make bad lifestyle choices as a source of comfort, and I want to change those bad behaviors into good ones. There’s something about turning 25 that’s flicking a switch in my brain and telling me it’s time to start pursuing being the best person I can be with fervor!

I’ve also been taking a lot of time to reflect on my life over the last two years. Kurt and I will have our second anniversary in June, which is totally crazy to me! Some days it feels like we just got married, others, like we’ve been doing this forever. I also realized that had I stayed in Finland for graduate school, I would have been completing my thesis right now and graduating this summer. Coming back to the US was an incredibly rocky, difficult process and I’d say it took me about a year to work through all of the negative emotions there, which certainly took a toll on me and Kurt. Even so, I know that coming back was the right decision because the growth Kurt and I have experienced as a couple working through things and the peace of mind I’ve been able to achieve were worth every second of doubt and unhappiness. I feel content with the time I’ve put in as a wife and housekeeper over the last year or so and I’m proud of how far we’ve come together. Now I know that our foundation is solid and I feel more than ready to tackle new goals in life. I haven’t been this excited for the next chapter in a long time.

Are there any milestones in your life that made you realize you wanted to change something?

Puzzling

Oh yeah, I forgot to throw this in – Kurt bought me a four-pack of puzzles as a silly little housewarming gift. I’m a puzzle junkie but haven’t had any in the house since we moved to Detroit. I did all four in the first four days we were here…

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The one of Red Square was probably the least fun puzzle I’ve ever done. That black sky kept me busy for hours! I’d do all the other ones again though. Kurt asked if I wanted to frame them and put them up on the walls. I’ve seen people do that but never really thought about doing it myself. None of these are anything I’d want to put on the wall, but I suppose I would if it were the right puzzle. I love seeing unique wall art ideas – if only I were more creative so I could come up with them myself!

Beginnings in Belleville

Well, we’ve been here just over a week and it’s still safe to say we love it here! I feel like I have a refreshed attitude since we moved in… Belleville has a completely different feel and this apartment truly feels like “our space.” We still have a ways to go in terms of getting moved in, but I did take a few photos just to give you an idea of the place. Sorry the rooms are still so cluttered. I’ll take more photos as we finalize each room, but that will probably happen slowly over the next few months.

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Here’s a photo I took at the old place… it was pretty unreal seeing all of our things get condensed from six rooms to two in preparation for loading up the truck. There’s nothing quite like moving to make you realize how much crap you actually own, haha. We ended up putting several pieces of furniture we didn’t want anymore in the alley, and all of them got picked up by various people in the neighborhood. Love it! We were really hoping that would happen because we didn’t want to put anything in the trash, but didn’t really want to load up the cars and find a Goodwill.

Kirsi did surprisingly well with the whole moving process! For the first time ever, she was actually very interested in everything being moved around and didn’t freak out until Gaven showed up to help us move (she is very scared of new men, for some reason!). She even found a new, fun perch to watch Kurt and I slaving away. Ever the princess of the house…

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I left this little tidbit out of my last post because I didn’t want to talk about anything negative, but I realized it might be helpful for someone else – we had a major problem when we went to pick up our U-Haul. We made the reservation online with no problem, but when we went to get it, they would not give us the truck because we don’t have Michigan driver’s licenses. (Yeah, we are still technically Illinois residents. Oops.) Apparently you cannot drive a U-Haul truck in-state if you don’t carry that state’s license. It would have been fine had we been driving the truck to Illinois, though. So bizarre! Luckily Gaven agreed to put the truck in his name instead for us. He saved the day for sure. The guys did a great job loading up the truck, too. They didn’t have the truck we originally reserved so we ended up with a 17-footer that was WAY more space than needed, but they managed to secure everything with some jute.

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So anyway, yes, now we’re officially in Belleville! Kurt returned the keys to the Hamtramck place yesterday (YES!) so we are officially done with that terrible place aside from having our deposit returned! I feel positively great. It’s so fun deciding where to put things in a new home! I ordered some cabinet liners last week and they arrived on Friday, so I got the kitchen (mostly) set up this last weekend. We’d been eating like peasants up to that point so the extra space is awesome to have. I even drove to the grocery store all by myself yesterday and we ate fresh food for the first time in awhile! Now, maybe driving to the store doesn’t seem like such a big deal, but it’s a huge deal for me. I absolutely HATED driving in Hamtramck/Detroit and I can’t parallel park (the only option in our neighborhood) so I think I took my car out all of three times in the last year. Yay for being inadvertently green, but boo for Kurt having to be my gracious chauffeur. Driving my car from Hamtramck to here was the first time I’d driven my car in six months. But driving in Belleville is basically stress-free. I feel like I can function more like a normal human being for the first time in over a year!

I didn’t take photos of the whole apartment (the set up of the bathrooms makes it hard to photograph anything but the toilet, haha) but hopefully this will provide something of an idea of the place.

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Living room. This set-up is EXTREMELY temporary. We are planning to get a proper entertainment center – the filing cabinet and chair really don’t do it for me, haha. We used bookshelves at the old apartment but they’re going to go in other rooms this time so we’re stuck with this ugly mess until we decide what we want instead. Oh well. Kurt’s best friends from Illinois are coming to visit in two weeks and they’re big gamers, so Kurt promised he would have this taken care of before then. I can live with that! I love the giant sliding doors in this room – despite only getting direct sun in the morning, the apartment stays bright almost all day, yet the blinds are really effective at closing out the light if we need them. And I know Kirsi is loving having windows that go all the way down to her level.

That couch actually has a corner piece that’s in my mom’s basement at the moment, and while it wouldn’t have worked at all at the old place, I think it would work really well here. We’re planning to orient the couch so one of the sides extends out to where I’m standing to take the photos and close off the living room a bit, since right now it runs into the area with the dining table.

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This is SUCH a mess and I’m almost embarrassed to post this photo, but we simply haven’t gotten around to moving our boxes into the storage unit yet. I’m not crazy about having the table on carpet, but there’s not much I can do about it! I do like that the area feels like a fluid part of the house, though. In our old apartment, the table went nicely in the kitchen but felt so isolated from the rest of the living space so it was usually only used for food prep, not actual dining. Kurt and I have actually had some meals at the table here! We also have a coat closet on the right side there, which is SO great. The amount of closet space here is phenomenal compared to Hamtramck – between the coat closet, pantry, linen closet, and two walk-ins, we’re finally able to put things in places where they feel like they belong.

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Here’s the kitchen! It’s small, but it will do the job. I’ll get my dream kitchen with miles of counter space someday, I swear… :) The kitchen is pretty dated, but oh well. We do have new countertops, which is nice. And a dishwasher! AH! I still plan to do a bunch by hand, but being able to throw things in there instead of having them take up counter space is awesome. And now that I’ve got most of the dishes put away, I can get back to my normal routine – I made beans, broth, and hummus yesterday! We’re still trying to decide where to put the microwave, since I’m pretty protective of my counter space! Personally, I’ve loved not using it and told Kurt if he wants to use it, he can keep it in his office… but he wasn’t too sold on that idea. Shocker!

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Here is the second bedroom, which Kurt has claimed as his office. It’s nowhere close to being organized yet, but I will say that I’m thrilled to have a large closet in there where he can keep all of his boxes and electronics out of sight. You can see that he also has a sliding door onto the balcony!

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I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to have this balcony. Sure, the view of the parking lot isn’t exactly luxury, but I really don’t care. It’s been wonderful sitting out here with my morning coffee in the sunshine! It’s much bigger than it looks in this photo – it stretches from the living room to Kurt’s office and even has a storage closet. I think we might actually have to get a grill!

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And finally, the master bedroom. Also a total mess still. I’m not quite sure where my cello’s new home will be yet! I love the bedroom though. The floor to ceiling window is awesome – I have no problem getting up in the morning with all the light that comes in. There’s a walk-in closet behind me in the photo which leads to our bathroom (the other bathroom is in the hall across from Kurt’s office).

This place almost feels like more space than we know what to do with – not a bad problem to have. We’ll probably be playing with furniture configuration for awhile before we figure out what works best for us. We also have a great deal more wall space here so we will probably get some art soon. The rooms feel pretty boring right now with so much white space above everything. Both Kurt and I are pretty excited at the possibilities for making this apartment feel more and more like ours than our last two places! And the fact that we’re going to be hosting friends for the first time since we moved to southeastern Michigan makes it even sweeter.

 

Almost There

Well, after a few hiccups, we managed to get the majority of our stuff over to the new apartment and spent our first night there! We decided against hiring movers and instead Kurt’s friend Gaven offered to help us. So we got a giant U-Haul truck yesterday and practically emptied the house. We’ve still got a few odds and ends left in Hamtramck, but it mostly just needs to be cleaned. I’m sitting on the floor of our old apartment typing this since we haven’t got our internet set up at the new place yet. It’s so weird to have it so empty.

I’d say the whole move went really well, despite a couple things out of our control. Nothing got damaged in the truck and we got it all done in about four hours from loading up to emptying the truck. Not bad! It was the least stressful move I’ve had yet. We’re so lucky Gaven offered his services, though. I don’t have nearly enough strength/stamina to schlep heavy furniture up stairs to the third floor, even with Kurt’s help. I promised I’d buy him craft beer and cook him some meat (!) as a thank you.

Now that all the furniture is in Belleville and starting to get arranged, I’m actually starting to love what we have. It fits the space so much better and the color of our carpet somehow really works with all of our pieces perfectly so that the living room looks much more cohesive than it ever did in Hamtramck. Maybe we’ll hold off on buying new furniture after all! It’s still not all set up how we want it, so no pictures yet, but hopefully I’ll have some for you later this week.

I’m probably going to have to rethink the balcony garden, which totally stinks! There are trees that surround our balcony so while we get really nice morning sun right now, Gaven pointed out that we’ll probably have full shade by early summer. Bummer! But I found out I can rent a cheap plot from the park district just down the road from our complex for the season so I’ll probably end up doing that. I gotta have my fresh veggies.

Kurt and I are already feeling really positive about the new place, having gotten our things in there. It feels more like home than Hamtramck ever did, despite only having spent a day there. The neighbors we’ve met seem nice but private (fine by us). The new noises will take some getting used to (we traded subwoofers and late-night hollering for planes, trains, and automobiles) but I imagine that won’t be an issue after a week or two. I’m just so excited we have a new place. And as soon as we tie up loose ends in Hamtramck, I’m off on the job hunt full throttle. Wish me (us) luck!