Staging and Storing

My goodness, I knew getting our house together to be put on the market would be a lot of work but man, it never ends! Between oh working 45-50 hours a week plus two kids under the age of 3, life is crazy as it is. Add working on your house plus planning your sister’s baby shower and you have one very tired mama.

I have to give a huge shout out to my hubby- he has been incredible this whole process and whenever he has a free second, he is painting or cleaning. Here is a few things we have been doing.

1- Find an amazing realtor. We are using a new realtor this time around just because Michele, our previous one is in the process of moving to Florida herself so she has a lot on her plate. We are using our friend Laura and she has been going above and beyond for us. From coming over day 1 with a pile of local comps for us to talking me off a ledge when I get a tad bit stressed over this process to hiring us a handyman. I think this is KEY when selling & buying a new home.

2-Storing/Cleaning up. I have gotten rid of a ton of our baby stuff by giving bags of clothes, seats, (why do kids need so many seats?) and toys to my sister. (YAY!) Then we started doing little things like putting all of our DVD’s in a cd case holder- the space we have saved by throwing out cases is so awesome. (we don’t buy dvds anymore but we or should I say Dave, had a ton from years past haha!) We stored away a bunch of my girl’s books- keeping plenty out but cleaning up our living room turned library. We rented out a storage unit starting last weekend and filled it up with our mess in the garage. Futon, book shelf, extra chairs from the kitchen, bins of decorations etc. I know when I look at homes, I tend to lean towards ones with less clutter so I think that is important on our end to do the same. Tip: find a storage unit where you can borrow their truck for the day. Saved us $$!

3. Curb Appeal. My dad came over last week and cleaned our picket fence then painted the doors and many spots that have seen a lot of sun, snow and Bradley the last few years. (Thanks Dad!!) Dave has been working on the lawn, new mulch, weeding, making sure our trees and hedges are all done and put some new stones up the side of our driveway. I would like to say I helped in this process by buying new front/side door mats. You’re welcome.

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4. The Handyman Can. Like I mentioned early, our realtor not only hired us a handyman but picked up the cost. (Whattt?!) yes. amazing. We have had 2 holes in our basement ceiling for oh about 3 years now after we had a new gas line put in. We had those closed up, bathroom drain fixed, & some molding fixed up. Every little bit helps and now everything is all ready to go! We took a ton of pictures down in the house so Dave has been spackling and doing paint touch ups all week.

5. Staging. Last but not least…this part I thought would be the most fun since I watch HGTV and I think I know what I’m doing. Like I said, we took pictures down, cleaned up and did little things like taking down the million magnets and artwork that filled our fridge, putting away appliances we don’t use, taking some furniture out- like the large nursery chair we had in Kayla’s room that no one uses anymore except to throw toys or clothes on. Laura is going to assist when we have pictures taken- whew! Some days I want to take everything down but, we still live here. This is a loved house with 2 little kids and a 65lb dog, so we can only do so much. I want people to picture their lives here and see how wonderful of a house it is!

Next week our house will be listed, I will keep sharing more of this journey! 🙂 Have a great day all! I can’t wait to post next week about my sister’s shower we are having this weekend. yay!

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Is the grass always greener?

Good morning and Happy Friday! 🙂 This week has been so busy with work, kids, starting to finally get back to working out (more on that in another post) and just life. Whew.

Dave and I have lived in our current home in January 2010. We got engaged October 2009 and were so excited to purchase our first home! It started with the two of us but we quickly adopted Bradley 12/2010 and 5 years later our Kayla joined us and Madison soon after! Our house quickly started to get smaller with cribs, toys, books…you name it. On top of this, Dave & I both work at home…two desks, computers, printers, phones. It is a lot. We started talking about moving last year, but where?

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Did we want to stay in NJ? Well, our family and friends are here. The Beach. NYC close by. All 4 seasons…though I could easily skip January-March. But…NJ is expensive. Taxes. Houses. Everything. And NJ is fast paced, did we want this for our girls? We started to focus on the Carolinas, specifically North Carolina- the houses you can get are incredible. Weather- good most of the year. Slower pace? I think so. Colleges- pretty darn amazing. We got so serious about it we reached out to friends who have moved, looked into pricing and were trying to plan out how the heck to get down there to look when we can barely get to Target some days.

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Then, my sister got pregnant. My thoughts on everything changed. I want my girls to be near their aunt, uncle and pop pop. I really want them near their cousins. I drove around one day by myself to think, through all of the smaller Jersey Shore towns I grew up in. Down Ocean Ave where I worked for many summers with a view of the ocean. By the best pizza, bagel and sub places you could find. By beautiful parks that are almost hidden all through our town. I traveled into NYC for work and a Broadway show and forgot just how lucky I am to be a one hour train ride away from this magical city. What was I thinking? How could I leave where I grew up and love so much? How could I leave our family and friends? We have made some really close friends the last few years and I want our kids to grow up together.

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The grass isn’t always greener. Money may be tight while we are paying basically a mortgage payment monthly for daycare and our new house may not be the dream house I always wanted- but I will have my dream family in it. I will have our family just a few miles away and that is what matters. My babies LOVE the beach, boardwalk and seeing their family. I just want them to be happy and healthy. Maybe we will move down to NC one day, but for right now…NJ is our home.

So today, take a break from your phone, work, all the stresses around you & take a look at what you have. There truly is beauty everywhere and you don’t always have to be looking for what you think is the next best thing. You see Instagram posts and you compare yourself to someone else’s lifestyle and we all forget it is just a tiny, tiny snapshot of their day. I will do my best to make our house a home for my family, there are ways to keep out the busyness and craziness of the house world. So many memories to be made and I’m so excited for it.

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Have a wonderful weekend friends! (All the pictures I have taken randomly thought out the past few years.) ❤

Summer Reading

For those who know me, know I am obsessed with reading and have been since I was a kid. My favorite thing to do when I was younger was walk into a bookstore and spend an hour deciding my next read. It definitely has changed over the years with now having a kindle, I still love to browse the library and Barnes & Noble but instead of buying, I will write a list of what to order online.

The other day I was in target and I just had such a pull towards the paperback book section, I bought myself 2 books- first time in years!! I sometimes miss holding a book though I find it so much easier to read in bed at night with my kindle. I wanted to share some of my new favorites that I read the past month. I just loveeeee summer reading because all of my favorite authors come out with new ones. I also joined an online book club on facebook, that an author I love to read started. I now have the longest list of books that I want and have zero time to read. #momproblems

First up- emily

Could. Not. Put. Down. If you don’t have much time to read this summer, make time for this one. I pretty much like anything Emily Giffin writes but as mom of 2 girls, I felt like this book really made me think. I won’t go too much into it but a half-naked photo of a drunk high school girl at a party goes up on snapchat and it changes everything for her, her father and especially the mother of the boy everyone thought posted it.  So damn good.

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Another page turner. Honestly, I thought I knew where this was going but about 1/4 into it, everything completely changed and my mouth was open for a good 10 minutes while I read as fast as I could to figure out what just happened. I could have devoured this in one sitting if I had the time, kept me on my toes…read it!

Have you been so in love with a book you vow to read everything the author touches after that? I LOVED “Luckiest Girl Alive” and was super excited to read Jessica Knoll’s new one…

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I enjoyed it, don’t get me wrong but I am a pretty fast reader and this book took me more time than I wanted to read it. It didn’t read smooth, if that makes sense. I had to keep rereading parts and taking my time on some scenes. All in all, I would recommend it just a bit disappointed in her writing. (Also- a lot more chick lit than thriller!- which I don’t mind).

Last one…

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I actually got this book as an ARC (Advanced Reader’s Copy) from Netgalley.com. An amazing new site I discovered from facebook book club. You request to read books from publishers and they will approve or deny you based on your profile and past reviews. I have received about 8 books for free since I joined the site a month or so ago. Of course some of the books are duds but then you receive a book like this and it makes it so worth it. What an incredible story of a mother’s strength and love. I adored everything about it and so happy I found it on netgalley because I may not have stumbled across it on amazon.

What are you reading this summer?! Next up for me: “The Couple Next Door.” Can’t wait!

 

I’m backkkk!

 

girls.jpgHi all! It has been forever since I last posted. I was just thinking earlier this week I wanted to get back to sharing about mom stuff, books I read and just random things I feel like talking about. I came on today to look back at an older post because a dear friend had a question in regards to IVF and it just made me so happy to have these pictures and stories saved.

Well, not too much has changed since I last wrote. Kayla is going to be 3 in September (what?!) and Madison is 20 months. Time is flying! I am officially back working (Started in May) and both girls are now in daycare. They LOVE it! I was so lucky to stay home for 18 months with my babies. We had a lot of fun in different music classes, little gym, play café, Library story times…you name it! It was time for me to get back into corporate life though, my girls were ready to make some new friends and school keeps them so busy it makes me happy. They are always coming home with new artwork, new songs they learned, they do yoga, play outside and have fun shows like a magic or bubble show. It really is the best of both worlds.

I am loving summertime this year with 2 toddlers. While naptime is still high priority (HA!), we are enjoying not always rushing home for bedtime and if we have ice cream for dinner- so be it! They are so much fun and loving our beach days, BBQs and evening walks. Don’t you just love this time of year when you can walk outside with no jacket or shoes on and be comfortable? My all time favorite.

I have been reading a ton lately (will write another post on it soon!) and enjoying my summer reality shows- Big Brother, Outdaughtered and any Real Housewife I can find.

What have you all been up to? Any fun NJ spots we must hit up this summer?

Talk soon!

Dear Embryos,

This is a very hard post to share with you all but I have had so much support my whole Infertility journey and after talking to so many people (I hope I’ve helped you all), I wanted to share the end of our story.

To the two embryos that tried so hard to stick during our first IVF, that ended in a chemical pregnancy and to the 3 that didn’t make it to freeze- thank you for teaching me how much I wanted to be a mommy and how strong I am.  To my beautiful 6 week and 4 day old baby that we saw grow and get to love for a short period of time, I miss you but thank you for putting us on a different path and a new doctor that would eventually give us your sister Kayla. To my little fighter embryo that was trying to grow but just not in the right place and ended in an ectopic pregnancy, you made me so brave and strong, thank you. To my embryo that really had no chance of finding a home inside of me because your fierce and strong willed sister Kayla, took up all the room (lol), thank you for letting her have all of that room and for officially making me a mommy.  To my Kayla, I’m pretty sure you were the toughest embryo I’ve seen and you haven’t changed one bit. To my miracle embryo- my Madison. I cannot wait to tell you the story of how amazing you just are and how I still cannot believe we made you.

And for my 3  frozen embryos we said good bye to this week and decided to donate to research- please know it was the hardest decision we had to make. To know we had three healthy girl embryos, this was not an easy decision but one in the end is right for our family. What makes this a little easier is to know we potentially could be helping doctors and embryologists in finding something new they haven’t seen in an embryo ,(because let’s be serious my kids are gorgeous and brilliant) (haha JK…kind of…) makes our decision a bit easier.

This closes our book on our journey with Infertility and becoming parents. Thank you all so much for following along, your support, kind words, prayers, gifts and hugs meant the world to us. Please know I am always here to help anyone who has a question, needs a prayer or to vent….don’t stop messaging me, I hope I can help more with what I’ve been through. As I sit here crying over the past few years, I know just how blessed and lucky I am because there still are many people who fight harder than I have and still don’t have ending like we did. As I think back to my procedures, dozens and dozens of early morning appointments, scans, bloodwork, and losses and then look over to my two babies….I would do it all over again 100 times over… in a heartbeat.  oxoxox

 

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Morning out with my Kayla 

I definitely want to make it a point to spend time individually with my girls. This morning I got some time away with K and we had a blast! We hit up the car wash, Starbucks and Claire’s (they still have those lol). It’s 60 and sunny so we took our time walking around and I think I have a shopper on my hands… she yelled no when I said we had to leave. 😂 Anyone have any fun ideas how to split your time between two? 

Future gymnast??

Kayla LOVES the Little Gym (also one of my favorite times of the week) so much. She’s become a pro at hanging from the bar, tucking her head for a somersault (tries on her own but it scares the crap out of me!) and with my help walks the balance beam. I always joked after the 1996 Olympics my kid would be a gymnast and hey maybe it will happen! 🙂