Thursday, September 16, 2010

Learning to let go...

Left: Hallway after renovation

Right: Hallway before renovation

Well I guess if I'm going to really blog I need to enter more than one post. A lot has happened since my last post. We took our house hunting trip to Charleston which basically consisted of a few days of disheartening house hunting in which we realized we were going to have to spend way more to get a less attractive house in a so so neighborhood followed by a few wonderful days of discovering Summerville. The commute to Summerville is only about ten minutes longer to Dave's work and we can afford twice the house (for less). In addition it is an ADORABLE small town. More on Summerville later.

Fast forward to today: We own a house in Summerville and we have our Alabama house on the market...slightly stressful. For today I'll start posting photos of our Alabama house transformation and later we will move on to the South Carolina house.

Above are the photos of the hallway. Dave and I went through the house room by room (while living there) and took out the old plaster walls (which were very rough and in bad shape), replaced them with drywall, and painted. We took up the old floors that had been covered with carpet and replaced them with new hickory. The old floors had too many defects to be saved and the light color of the hickory really opened up the space and made it feel bigger. In addition, we got a really good deal by buying BLC pre-finished hardwoods. BLC is an established lumber company that recently began making pre-finished floors. Because their product is new to the market you can get it at a really good price. The hallway had a floor furnace (interesting to walk on with carpet covering it) which Dave removed. We found the oversized schoolhouse light at a local lighting store. The cross detail on the columns going into the kitchen and living room are something I saw in Cottage Living. We had our trim guy add new crown and baseboards. Dave installed new 5-panel doors (my favorite style) throughout and widened the doorways from the hall to the living room and kitchen and added arches. One I figure out a little better how to post photos on here I will post photos of the living room.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

So Long Seattle

A lot of crazy things have happened since last Fall. When we first found out that we might be sent to Seattle we thought we would be going around Thanksgiving of last year. Dave was told on a Friday that we might be sent and that we would probably be leaving on the following Monday. We were less than thrilled about possibly being suddenly uprooted and sent across the country for an unknown length of time or even worse: that only Dave would be sent for several two to four week stints. Luckily, we weren't sent with the first wave of guys and were told that we would probably be sent after Christmas. While we were visiting in NC over Christmas, my uncle gave us "Total Money Makeover" by Dave Ramsey. It encourages you to pay off all debts and save up for an emergency fund among other things. We thought it was a great idea and thought we might be able to use the principles over time to pay off the car and save up some money for emergencies. At the beginning of January we were sent to Seattle. With the mandatory overtime we were able to pay off our car and save for an emergency fund. We were excited about it but had no idea how God was preparing us for the near future.

Just before graduating college in the fall of 2006 Dave and I were trying to figure out where we would want to move after we got married. We knew that if he wanted to work on airplanes we would have to make a move from NC (especially if he wanted to stay with Boeing after his summer internship with them in Seattle). We talked about where our ideal place to live would be and two romantic ideas topped our list: Charleston and Savannah. We didn't see any promising opportunities in Charleston but Dave did apply to Gulf Stream in Savannah. We never heard back from Gulf Stream and could either go to Texas with Exxon Mobil, Florida with Lockheed Martin, or Seattle with Boeing. We decided to stay with Boeing but hoped to find an opportunity closer to home. Just before we got married a position opened up in Huntsville, AL. We decided to go for it even though we had never been to Alabama and had no real desire to live there. We thought we would stay for two to three years and then try to relocate somewhere more interesting. Once we "landed" in Huntsville we realized that it was a much nicer place than we expected and we began to think that it might be our permanent home. God brought us to a great church and gave us amazing friends. We got to buy and remodel an old cottage (pretty much my dream) and really enjoyed our life in North Alabama. We are so thankful that God moved us somewhere completely unexpected and that we have had the opportunity to live in such a wonderful area and make such wonderful friends. However, when we were expecting our daughter it began to hit us that we lived 11 hours from family and that the distance would be more and more difficult as we had more children. At the end of October 2009 Boeing announced that they would be opening a large assembly line in Charleston. We were excited and thought that there might be opportunities within the next few years when they started to hire. We tried to prepare ourselves for a possible move in a couples years. Little did we know how soon that opportunity would come. After being sent to Washington there was an email asking for volunteers to do temporary assignments in Charleston. We were so disappointed that we were stuck in WA while others were being sent to the place we would really like to be on assignment. However, God was gracious in keeping us here because Charleston cancelled their temporary assignments not long after and began offering full-time positions. This meant that we continued to have the financial perks of being on assignment in WA but also were given the opportunity to apply for full-time work in Charleston. Dave applied for a few positions and ended up getting the job he wanted. As we prepare to move we are so thankful for all of the things God did to prepare us even though we weren't expecting to be moving so quickly. Paying off our car will allow us to have the extra monthly income needed to bridge the gap between how much our housing in Alabama costs and how much it will cost in Charleston. In addition, the emergency fund will help us be able to carry two mortgages for a time if needed or just help with other moving costs. Had we not been sent to WA the prospect of moving would have been much more difficult.

So this Saturday we start our journey. We will go to Charleston for a week to look at houses, then back to AL to get our house ready to sell, then back to Charleston so Dave can start work there. Hopefully I can post some before and after photos of our AL house in a few weeks. Prayers are appreciated!