All is Well

All is Well: New House! New House!

All is well: All went well with both closings, and voila! We have a new house.

It’s pretty much my dream house and since we had new flooring done two days after closing (a week ago now), I am even starting to forget what the old flooring looked like. The boys’ bedrooms and the hallway have been painted, and movers move us in this next Thursday.

We went with pleated shades instead of keeping the original mini-blinds. We’ve replaced a handful of light fixtures, and our painter has the goal of having the main living areas done before move-in on Thursday.

The Babies

MowMow, our cat, moved directly from the old house to the new house the day of closing on the new house. She desperately wishes we were already living there full-time– she has made it abundantly clear that she is lonely even though we check in on her at least twice a day and try to spend some time with her.

All is well: Trixie and Abby have been champs at Mama and Daddy’s with us. Mama said she would keep Abby, which is high praise indeed for Abby. But she is my baby.

We’ve got to have the new furnace looked at because when Jared tried to change out the old thermostat for a new Nest thermostat, it gave a wire warning code. We don’t know what that means.

Goodbyes

I fell off the wagon and reached out to Steve, the ex, but I have now blocked him again. He is not making long-term good choices that will help him and the reality is, my mind is more peaceful and I am happier with that distance and not knowing what is going on in his life.

All is Well: Booster Shot

I got my Covid booster shot yesterday. I felt mostly fine today, though in retrospect I have probably been more tired than is typical. Mostly, I just have a sore right arm from the shot. I’m a Moderna girl, and I’m not unhappy that I stumbled into that choice. I went to Cedartown to get my shot, and there was no wait at all. I also got a next-day appointment, which I was thankful for.

In random family trivia, my grandmother Ike’s 105th birthday would have been today. She died 26 and a half years ago, when I was 14. If I am completely honest, I only remember her in snippets. I remember that even when I was a teenager she still liked to kiss me. And, she made the very BEST banana bread and I’ve never had any as good anywhere else. And she gave the best presents, always toys and always the perfect thing for a little girl.

I guess that is all for now.

love, Caroline

Moving, Photos, and Hard Stuff

Moving

Moving, photos, and hard stuff– We are moving out of our house a week from two days from now. The initial closing disclosures for the loan on the new house have arrived and been signed. It’s a for sure real thing, and I am excited. We drive by the new house at least once a day.

Moving, photos, and hard stuff– I feel like I should be more in my feelings about this change, but I really only see it as a positive change. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to live in our current house. It has been a great place to live. It has made me less afraid of storms. It is a rock solid house. I feel like I have mellowed a lot in living here. And goodness knows, the equity that grew while we lived here the past five years has only helped our economic position.

Moving

The new house, though…..that is my dream house. That is the house we can move into and I will immediately feel like it is ours. There won’t be a million things I want to change about it. We are having painting and flooring done and a door for Porter’s room. I might change out a few light fixtures, curtains. That’s it. Ever since Jared and I moved back to Georgia and started house hunting, I really wanted an all brick house on one level in a nice neighborhood. That’s exactly what this house is. I have a lengthy now wish-list I intend to begin purchasing from at http://amazon.com once we are in the house.

Jared is talking about holding back our camping stuff from the movers. That way we can actually stay in the new house whenever we want after closing. We’ll see if that happens, but I am super-excited. Thankfully, Jared seems to be happy about the move, too.


Moving, Photos, and Hard Stuff

This month has been hard. Steve, my ex, has been in jail. I am coming to terms with the fact that he is an alcoholic. I am coming to terms with the fact that he has likely been an alcoholic all along and I just never knew it. I have made the decision to not try to be his friend anymore. He is too dangerous and his circumstances are too desperate to be safe. He really has no one.

For a long time I tried to save him from himself because I’ve known about his capacity to be self-destructive for the entire time I have known him. I tried to be there for him as his friend as much as he would let me. Because that was always our thing. He told me when I was 15 that he was suicidal and from then on I took his life as my responsibility. He is an alcoholic, and I am a codependent. We were what we are when we were babies.

Hard Stuff

Moving, photos, and hard stuff– Nevermind the fact that I have known for over 20 years that he is dangerous. We were mostly incommunicado for 10 years and during that time, I was terrified he would show up and kill me. I thought he would try to kill me when we were braking up 20 years ago, and there were a couple of scary episodes that justified that fear during that time.

But, during that time we were incommunicado after we broke up, I was mostly a happier person in general. A big part of staying in touch with him for the past ten years was keeping him where I knew where he was. Nevermind the fact that I am a very happily married woman (to someone else).

My therapist says codependence is like heroin– an addiction. I will learn to resist. So far, so good. As I said in my last post, it is way beyond time to say goodbye. I do not have to watch someone I once loved quite a lot self-destruct. I can focus on my own life and my marriage. Life is better when I am more mindful and do not let my mind drift into he past.


Photos

I have filled my next two weekends with photo sessions. I am determined to stay busy as a photographer even if I am not actively doing weddings right now.

Moving, photos, and hard stuff– *sigh* As for weddings….

I’ve already turned down one inquiry. And it broke my heart because it was my favorite venue. I have started upping my physical activity in the effort to get into better shape. I feel awfully young to be giving into physical complaints. My mama joked at church a couple of weeks ago that I am a 100 year old woman and in many ways, she is not wrong. If I can build my upper body strength sigificantly, I may throw my name back in the wedding industry. Just not now.

But I won’t lie– doing portrait sessions has been extremely satisfying in a way that weddings just never were. The time with the client is less pressure, and the post processing has been intentionally more intense but the nature means there are inherently less photos to process. Which means I have more time to give each of them more attention, and it shows in the outcome of the work.

All in all, life is good.

Love, Caroline

Goodbyes

Goodbyes: I don’t know what to say.

Goodbyes and Codependence

I am writing someone out of my life permanently.

I am a codependent. It’s time to deal with that codependent side of my mind.

Thankfully, my marriage is not very codependent. And, also thankfully, my husband is very understanding.

But, another friendship is very codependent. And, that person is very quickly reaching the self-destruct point. I have an intense urge to save him from himself, but that is not my place. Even if I could save him from himself, which I can’t, I shouldn’t interfere. It’s not healthy for me, or my family, and it doesn’t do the person himself any favors.

It sucks. Feels like someone has died. It also feels like a part of me is dying. I am grieving.

Goodbyes: I have gone through cycles of blocking and unblocking this person’s number, as well as on my Facebook. But, It’s time to block him permanently.

I don’t know what I would say to that person should he ever come across this post. Honestly, it feels like there’s nothing left to say.


This is the time of year I am at my most delicate. My psyche can turn on a dime with a bad night’s sleep this time of year, in particular. I am watching my sleep schedule like a hawk. Thankfully, on nights when I don’t get to bed until late, Jared is being good to let me sleep in and handle the boys’ morning routines himself.


We have a Moving Date!

The new house is super great. We move in December 2.

Goodbyes: We are saying goodbye to our refuge of stability on November 19, 2021. The moving date is November 18.

My psychiatrist says moving away from this house is a type of loss, as well. And, it’s true: We have had very stable, happy family time in this house. While I am confident the new house can provide the same situation, change is scary.

Change is scary even when it is good change. I think this move will be very good change, and I am very excited about moving to our forever home.

Love, Caroline

A New Home

As I said in my last post, we are buying a new home. The featured photo is a photo of our current home. This home has been home for 5 years and 4 months. It has seen me through the entirety of my photography career. Also, it has seen the big boys through their middle school years.

On November 19, this home will belong to someone else. I wish them well with this house.

On November 19, we will get to close on our forever home.

I am starting to think about furniture and wall-hanging placements in the new house. It’s kind of important to do it now. I also suspect I will have to get rid of a bunch of wall hangings.

We took a couch to Goodwill yesterday. Someone is coming to pick up my armoire and a roll-top desk on Friday. The desk area in our new kitchen is enough storage area for my gear and bags, so no need for the armoire anymore.

We are going to have to buy a new fridge. The fridge in the new house is leaking at the water dispenser. However, the people buying our house are keeping the fridge here, which is perfectly fine by me.

A New Home: Flooring

We have ordered flooring: here it is. We are putting in luxury vinyl plank, in a light brown/reddish shade with random knots. I love it. It is not the same shade of stain as the current woodwork in the house. However, I think that it will contrast nicely with the current woodwork and our furniture. There was a picture on the back of the sample with contrasting furniture like ours and it looked absolutely beautiful.

Jared and JJ are going to network the entire house. They are going to put ing hardwire internet everywhere there is a phone line currently. Everywhere, that is, except the bathrooms. The bathrooms currently have phones, as well, but we do not need internet by the toilets.

We meet a painter on Monday for a quote to paint the entirety of the inside of the new house. We are hoping to get painting and flooring in before we move in.

I was just going to live with the current lighting fixtures in the new house, but Jared gets more and more vocal about the gold 1990’s fixtures as time gets closer to moving in. It suits me fine to change them out. I just wasn’t going to worry with the expense until further down the road. So, I guess it is time to start adding to my Amazon wishlist.

A New Home: Turning Three Bedrooms into Four Bedrooms

Porter chose the office as his bedroom. Our new home is technically a three bedroom house, but it has an office that has a closet. The office is really bigger than either of the other two bedrooms for the boys, but it lacks a door by the foyer. Jared decided he wanted to have our friend Johnny build a secret bookcase door, and Porter loves this idea. I worry that Porter won’t like having a bedroom so close to the living room and dining room and front door because of the noise factor, but Porter is pretty adamant that he wants that room. Whatever gets him excited about this move makes me happy. Porter is my most sentimental boy (he is truly a younger version of myself that hasn’t quite gotten beaten up by life yet). He is very attached to our current home and his current room. We may eventually paint one of the walls in his new bedroom red, to match his current bedroom.

I worry that we are overextending ourselves with this new house, and Jared says we probably are overextending ourselves. But Jared also says that the updates we are doing to the new house will definitely increase the value, such that if we have to sell because we cannot afford it, we will be able to do so fairly easily.

Intercoms

The new house has an intercom system. I like this, but Jared is sort of dreading it. The boys are super excited to be able to talk to each other through the intercom system. Jared wants to take the intercoms out and patch the walls over because he thinks the boys will abuse the system. I tell him regularly, though, that if the intercom is there, I am much less likely to yell for people to come bring me something or whatever. I think it is a nice feature.

A New Home: The Yard

Ironically, the boys are very excited about the new yard. I say ironically because there is dramatically less grass there, and so many more trees and wild growth and bushes. Part of what I fell in love with about our current house was the idea that the boys would love to play in this yard. In their younger years, Porter and Liam did play outside more regularly. Oliver and Liam still go out in our current yard occasionally, even now. But Oliver says there is a lot more mysterious stuff to explore in the new yard.

However, the new front yard also features a circular driveway, and Liam and Oliver are excited about riding bikes in the circular driveway and the nearby cul de sac. Liam is excited because we have given him permission to ride his bike to the nearby rec center to meet his friends.


This change is sort of scary, and a few things could still go wrong even though all is going well so far. If for some reason the entire thing falls apart, this house we have loved for so many years would still be a great home for us. In fact, I like our family room with the only one couch now, and I look forward to using it for the next month or so as it is now.

Love, Caroline

Changes

Changes: Housing

Changes: It’s been nearly a month and life has changed.

Remember all that house talk? Yeah. Assuming all goes well with each transaction, we are selling our house and moving to our forever home. We had an offer on our house 6 days after listing.

It’s odd… We have done so many changes to this house. As many wonderful memories as we have made here (and it does feel like home)… I don’t know. Something about this house just never set quite right with me. I did what I could to make the aesthetics feel more like my style. I think I succeeded to that end. It is a wonderful, sturdy house. If something does happen, and for some reason we continue living here, I would not be despondent. This house and I have made peace with one another. This house has been a stabilizing force in our lives. I will be forever grateful about that fact.

There is something a tad fatalistic about moving into a house I know will be appropriate for us should we make it to our 80’s. The new house is a beautiful house, too and I am happy we are moving there. I am happy we will have memories with all our babies around us in that house. Porter is a tad upset that he won’t finish high school in this house, but as I told him, this next house will be the house he will ALWAYS come home to visit us in.

It’s something I rarely talk about in public, but I have always slightly resented that the houses I like are always found to be lacking. The new house is the first house I have picked out all on my own. I’m pretty proud of that fact, and proud that both my family and Jared like it, as well.

Equity and Neighborhood

The new house costs a lot more than I envisioned paying when I was talking about cashing in on equity. But, it is what it is and it is an equivalent quality house to our current house. It is seven years newer than our current house. We are hoping to be able to have the inside painted and the flooring replaced prior to moving in. I hate to give up our 2.25% interest rate that we have on the current house, but the new interest rate isn’t terrible, at 2.875%.

Liam and Oliver are excited about the house changes, about the house and the yard and neighborhood. The new house is close enough for Liam to ride his bike to the rec center to meet up with our current neighbor. The new neighborhood is bicycle friendly. It’s strange that they are excited about the new yard because there is dramatically less green space at the new house. There are more trees and leaf covering and bushes. But, it does have a circular driveway that is at least as long as our current driveway, which is great for bikes and skates and such.

No More Weddings

Changes: I am giving up photographing weddings. My body is just not in shape for it anymore, and I can admit now that it only barely ever was in shape for it. I love weddings. I am grateful to have fulfilled the dream of photographing weddings in my lifetime.

My last wedding will be October 16, 2021.

The business will still be open. I will still continue to do family, senior, and lifestyle sessions. Photography is still my heart and I am still committed to my art. I am just less concerned with making money from it. I am going to be much more purposefully selfish in my art. Documenting our family life like I used to do is going to become much more of a priority. I am coming to be content with the business being a hobby business.

I’ve also had a good “come to Jesus” with myself about my obsession over medium format photography. The reality is that I do NOT need changes with my gear. With the larger sensor issue, would come more difficult focusing issues. Aside from one of Fuji’s lenses, the medium format lenses do not make for more creamy bokeh like I love. I have all the perfect equipment for that already.

Honestly, I am relieved about the wedding decision. I’ve been a little concerned over not having a third camera as a backup. Removing the wedding issue only makes it necessary to have the two cameras I have.

Changes: Finances

Changes to finances: In general, I have been trying to be more frugal in the past month. We spent approximately $3k less in September than we did in August, aside from the earnest money for the new house (which was graciously provided by my parents). No more Monat products. I was horrified when I added up how much I have spent with that company since March of 2021. My previous staunch anti-MLM stance has made its way full-circle. My body did not like the withdrawal from Monat’s wellness products. I am making a more concerted effort to know exactly what is going into my body.

I am getting back to my biking routine, which has been interrupted a lot the past month. Water intake is becoming a higher priority. I have started seeing a massage therapist for my back issues. She has reminded me how very important nutrition and water intake are. I am still tracking calories and macros and nutrients, and am in general just taking each day at the time. Holistic wellness and becoming more in touch with my body is really important to me right now.

That’s all.

Love, Caroline