Monday, January 16, 2012

What just happened...?!

Is it really January 15th, 2012? Really? b/c I swear I just posted yesterday about our move South. It has been more overwhelming for all parties involved in our lives over the last six months, I feel. So much so fast. My little girl is starting to lose the chub on her arms and her legs are long even for a three year old, which she is not. I think she's trying to even talk herself out of her naps at present...something I am not down with.

This time last year, I was starting to hit my seasonal low, with 5 months of winter ahead of me. So we seriously started getting Ash's resume updated, researching cities, and firms. We decided to start networking with friends in those locations. Then he sent off the first batch of resumes to Nashville. Then Atlanta. A couple in Chattanooga. And we waited. And kind of half-heartedly prayed. And waited. And found more firms in those cities to apply to. More resumes. More waiting. More praying and wondering. Then in April, a firm or two responded that they loved his work/resume, but had no ability to hire at the moment. Same thing a couple of times over. Then a firm emailed for an interview. Then another. And another. Shock. So we headed South for a vacation on 30-A before the interview.

Beach trip with family was lovely. So much fun. I wept when I finally got to the beach by myself.  So grateful to end our 9 month winter digging our toes into the sand and staring out over the gulf...riding bikes along the beach and warming our bones in the sun. Drinking way too much, too early in the day, and letting cousins play together and grandparents watch them. *Sigh* We tried to push back thoughts of what we were too afraid to hope for all week until the interviews. It worked, mostly.

After the interviews, we waited on numbers and serious considerations...both ours and theirs. In June, Ash made a commitment to Square Feet Studio. They needed him there asap. So we had to pack up apartment and studio in less than 5 weeks...which would have been no problem sans toddler.

We had the help of Ash's fam to fly up and watch Ellery the last few days of our time in Boston and then fly back South with her. We had amazing friends show up and help us move all of our crap out of our apartment and organize it in the truck (which is actually a talent)...the bestie was just off a 6 week super-intensive stint at Vassar the day before and still showed up to help and laugh at the nondiscreet items that were to be found around the apartment. Ooops! We threw our own going away party for Ellery's birthday sake...and b/c we wanted to make it fairly easy to see everyone before we headed out. It is still beyond me to think about the kind of people that we met in Boston. I will have to save some of my thoughts about these dear friends for another blog post, but suffice it to say that we survived our first year in Boston being pretty empty and lonely, but we left with friendships that deepened who we are and challenged us at our very core. We are thankful.

We landed in Atlanta in the Old Fourth Ward (O4W) in a tiny little 2BR apartment. Dad helped us navigate the roads South, which coming out of New England is no easy task, esp if you are driving a 15' high truck and suddenly, the bridge ahead has a height restriction of say, 11'6". Not Fun. Three weeks before we were to leave, we finally found an apartment. Harder than you might imagine since we would be renting sight-unseen. We landed in a little community within walking distance of Ash's new Inman Park firm, and is called the Wigwam. It was perfect. Historic. Art Deco. Part of a national park (MLK district). Great neighbors. So warm and welcoming and we almost hated to attempt looking for homes to buy. Esp since our look-see went bust in June.

July - Present: We arrived. Had a family birthday party for our little 2-year old sweetie. Did first ATL show for Olaria. Got a new realtor. Put an offer on a Fannie Mae house in late August. Went to Bhm for a show. Ellery started new CMO program. Got bids for contract work on said house in Sept. Waited on due diligence responses from FM. Lost contract on house b/c of FM in Oct. Disappointment. (I)started this Emory depression study. Good friends moved from Boston to Atlanta for a job. Did another show. Starting looking at homes again in late Oct. Put offer in on another home. More shows. Ash's birthday (the day our mortgage fell apart). Went through Dante's Inferno to get mortgage closed (again, another blog post there). Thanksgiving in Bhm. Pulled our hair out for a solid week after missing our initial closing. Finally closed on house December 2nd. Moved December 3rd. Had another show that same day. Unpacked. Another show the next weekend in Chattanooga. Unpacking/decorating the house for xmas. My birthday. Christmas travel. New Year's retreat at home as the McClure Three. (I)quit depression study in frustration. Somewhere in there, we had no less than 7 house guests come and suffer on the living room air mattress before we moved. And another set come this past week now that the cloud has been setup in the 3rd bedroom. Whew! More about the house in another post. We love it.

So, two moves and 6 months later, there is your update. Thanks for reading. We are tired and miss our friends in Boston deeply. We are glad to be closer to family and Bhm friends, and in our OWN home. We are hopeful as we stand at the front end of new life in a new city, despite the loneliness we feel right now. We are so thankful for all the help we have had to bring us so far. We are hoping for 2012 to be one of just as much adventure, with a little less heavy lifting. And we hope to laugh more this year than last, as least I do.

Whew. I'm working on a New Year's card since we obviously didn't get the chance to send a Christmas one out. I know we don't have to, but we like our daughter's face to retain the prime real estate it has on your fridge...

Friday, July 15, 2011

Summah Catch Up + Top Secret Revealed!

Hello friends. Sorry for the delay in updating. It has been a whirlwind 6 weeks for us. We returned home from our trip to Rosemary Beach (and after Ash had interviewed in Atlanta), to the slow fastness of change. We couldn't talk on the interwebs about it, so that was our top-secret project. We had to wait until he could tell his employers to actually say anything on FB, which is just the world we live in now. Crazy. The new firm is Square Feet Studio in Inman Park and Ash seems pretty excited about it. Lots of high end restaurant and modern stuff. I think. Less educational institution work. So we have been in logistics mode big time, so that's my excuse for not blogging. Once he accepted their offer, we flew down to look at homes to buy. That was a gigantic waste of time b/c the inventory in our price range absolutely sucks in Atlanta/Decatur right now. Really surprised by that. So we are renting for 6 months while we figure out the area more. We are moving with another move to come - glorious. UGH. Basically, I'm packing up everything except the essentials b/c I do not want to unpack it to pack it up again. Slim living we will be doing. We will be living less that .3 miles from Ash's new work, so hopefully we will see more of him b/c he will just walk to and fro and we can stay a one car family a little longer. YES!  I thought I'd let you see some pics of the other fun things we've gotten to squeeze in as we finish out what is left of our Boston summer. I am glad to move back, but I think I was SO looking forward to the Boston summer that I'm disappointed in the timing. I know I'll be grateful in Jan/Feb, but really, we are moving to Atlanta in their HOTTEST month of the year. Moving in Nov. would have made me feel like I was escaping winter. Oh well. Enjoy the pics!

Here are some pics of our little super-hero (we are attempting this in lieu of princess mentality. We'll see how long it lasts):
 I think she just looks like a baby hipster right here, minus the fanny pack and awkward glasses.

For Father's Day, we rented a boat and rowed around the Jamaica Pond in our neighborhood. :)

This is from the week we spent in Atlanta looking for houses. Ellery hung out with two of her favorite people all week. Noah and Jonah, who also fancy her just as much. Yay cousins (and Unkie and Anise!) We were so thankful they were so willing to hang out with her all week while we trekked through homes out of our price range and awesome, or ones that fit our budget and smelled like cat-pee. Awesome.

I'm including this one b/c this is what I walked in to find one morning. She really does wake up happy most days. And this day was ridiculous. LOVE her. And not totally sure how she did that with her shirt. She is starting to get obsessed with taking her clothes off. 

We had a slow weekend of July 4th and just hung out together and enjoyed the city. Sat morning we went to the Franklin Park Zoo (yes, the one where they filmed that new Kevin James movie, Zookeeper. Re: stupid). Anyway. She loved it. And we loved the baby gorilla they had there too. As my friend Candice would say, Adorbs.

We went down to Horseneck Beach in Westport, MA one morning too. It was REALLY foggy until about 11am and surreal. You couldn't even see past the shoreline out into the water. Props to my friend Heather for getting Ellers this cute suit.

Last weekend, we took our last trip up to Rockport, which is one of our favorite places to visit. Just an old fishing village...

Thanks for keeping up with us. We are sad to leave our Boston friends. Very sad. And though we've wanted to move back to the South for sometime, this is way harder than I imagined.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The past 6 days have been so fun. Holly came to town and we have been together nonstop. Without even a tiff, which normally happens about 2 days into constant Amy/Holly time. I think b/c I have been so starved of time with much of anyone but Ellery & Ash, her presence felt like sunshine to my soul. I swear I feel like 2 of the six months of winter have been peeled off of my heart. I love that girl. And it was so fun to see Ellery wake up everyday and run to her door to wake her up saying, "Lollylollylollylolly." She left this morning and I am more sad than I thought I would be, especially since I'm going to see her again in just over three weeks. What can I say, I'm selfish. And weepy. But she left me clothes and shoes to wear until I see her again.
(thanks for making us smile, then capturing the moment, Steph)

So, Easter happened as well this weekend. And we took pictures of all the cutesy stuff that went down...

These pictures pretty much tells you how Easter went for Ellery. BUNNIES! (or as she says, "munies!") Nathan and Liz brought bunnies to our brunch. It went exactly how you think it would have gone. Snuggles and squeals and more....with most of the squealing from the adults present getting a moment with the bunnies. Not sure how the bunnies felt about it.

sweet face

The next few photos are all out of order b/c blogger is acting funny today. This is a quick trip over to Harvard Square for some fun on Friday with Holly.
singing on the train.
seriously having a good time on the train.
more singing. i think.

entertaining Hols with her antics. as well as everyone else.

All dressed up for the brunch in a dress I wore when I was little. It was one my mom made, unsurprisingly.

A few shots of her enjoying her Easter "basket" goodies. A basket that may or may not have come together just minutes before presenting it to her...notice the Christmas pjs. Apropro, I think.

she was double-fisting the peeps, but then again, aren't they made to be double-fisted?

we made birds' nests from our faithful haystack recipe, with the addition of jelly beans for brunch. And a bunny cake. Obvs.

Saturday trip to Rockport. In the cold, drizzley rain. I'm not really sure why we did that again, but we got out of the house, which is never a bad thing in my opinion. Either way, Ellery was content to just stomp every puddle she came across. Winning.

I love this look she has. Like she somehow already knows how cheesey it is that we would be entertained by putting her in a picture with a stuffed bear at the Rockport fudgery.

Also on deck was our Thursday trip to the Sam Adams Brewery Tour. One I have been on more times than I can count. But fun. This is Ellers holding a rootbeer. I have to say that on here b/c I know random people can find this blog and will think I actually gave my child beer. And others that will argue that giving a 20 month old 2oz (of a 12oz bottle) of sugary rootbeer is probably worse than the beer. I'll stick with the lesser of the two judgements. So here it is again, ROOTBEER.

We did also make it to the Harpoon beer tasting on Monday. What can I say? Do you know us? I hope everyone had a fantastic Easter weekend. I'm leaving you with two of my favorite pictures of the weekend:
my beautiful sister. a girl who is stronger than she thinks she is. and is in store for an adventure far bigger than she thinks in the months ahead.

And my two favorite girls in the whole world.

Hols, we miss you already. Come back soon (and stay longer).

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Rainy Days...

 So today is this cold drizzly rain in Boston, hence we are staying indoors. And trying to find something to do other than watch TV. Anything. So we have been painting. And I have to admit, she gets it honest. Or maybe she just "gets" the opportunity to get dirty honest. At any rate, I haven't posted much about this darling little girl, so I wanted to today. I really do enjoy my time with her, despite my general frustration I have with the suit of motherhood overall...

 This is one of the few pictures I could actually get her to look up at me for...this girl is intense about her artwork.
 I love that smile, even if I had to act REEEdiculous to get her to do it.

 Nom nom. I love watercolors.

I love this little girl. I know you're like, yeah, we get it, you're her mom, of course you love her.  I can't help how squishy lovey dovey she makes me feel. Somedays I really can't contain it. It makes it easy to slough off the sarcasm and frustration I so often feel.  As she gets older, I am overcome by the thought of how limited my time with her really is...even with as loooong as rainy days indoors can seem. I'm thinking we need a dance party if the rain doesn't let up after her nap. 

And if it does: puddle-jumping!