Thursday, December 5, 2013

We're moving again...but for the LAST TIME

Hello blog readers.

It's been awhile. Like over a year. I was worried I wouldn't know how to do this anymore. I'm not very tech-y. But I figured it out and didn't even have to ask Brad for help! I miss blogging. It's the best journal I've ever kept. I just lack the motivation to do it anymore. Anyway...

We're moving again. Let me explain. You may or may not remember this post, in which I outlined Brad's PhD program and announced that we were moving to Lawrence, KS. We came to Lawrence with open hearts and minds, willing to make it our permanent location if it felt right. And while we have loved the people here and the friends we have made, it just never felt right. It could have something to do with the fact that from January-July of this year we didn't go more than 2 weeks without going to visit family or having family come and visit us. It became abundantly clear at that point that the quality of our lives would improve if we could just get closer to one of them. All of our spare time and money was spent going to see them or hosting them (which we loved and we so appreciate that our families love us and want to come see us...I was just exhausted by the end of July!). Brad loves his job at KU. Loves his department, loves what he does. But we decided to just apply to 3 schools and see what happened. And if nothing happened, we were happy to stay here for awhile. But something happened. A great job offer happened. And so we're moving to

O H I O.

Brad is going to teach finance in the business school at Miami University. Not in Florida (although given today's balmy temperature of 12, that doesn't sound so bad). Ohio. The school was named for the Miami river that is nearby. And the Miami Indians. According to Brad, the keeper of all useless knowledge (and some very useful knowledge, too), there was a Miami Valley, OH before there was ever a Miami, Florida. Take that, Florida.

Here are some fuzzy pictures of campus. It's old - like charming old. Founded in 1809:
And here's a little blurb about the school from the most accurate website ever, Wikipedia:

"Miami University (informally known as MiamiMiami UMiami of Ohio, and MU) is a public research university located inOxford, OhioUnited States. Founded in 1809.] In its 2014 edition, U.S. News & World Report ranked the university 75th among national universities, and third for best undergraduate teaching at national universities, behind only Dartmouth and Princeton and tied with the College of William and Mary. Forbes also ranked Miami University as 31st among U.S. public universities and first among public universities within Ohio.[5][6][7][8] Miami has been labeled one of the "Public Ivies," a publicly funded university considered as providing a quality of education comparable to those of the Ivy League."

Oxford is about 30 minutes away from the suburbs of Cincinnati, which is where we'll live. This will put us about 40 minutes away from Brad's family, which is excellent! They're great and we love them. The other great thing is that Brad's childhood best friend (and pretty much his only close friend as an know how boys are) lives in the very suburbs we're moving to. He and his wife are awesome and we're excited to have some built in friends. Brad is seriously like a giddy school boy about all of this. He hasn't lived in OH since he was 17 but he loves it. He calls it The Motherland and thinks it's the greatest state in the nation (as do all Ohio-ans that I've met). I'm excited, too. I cried for a few days, but I know it's the right thing for us. I just really love my family and would love to live near them. So it's a good thing I love Brad's family, too. I'm focusing on the positive. Like how for the first time in 7 years I'll live in the same town as an Old Navy. And Ikea. And Costco. And like the fact that it cost us almost $500 to register our car in KS but will cost us $30 in OH. And we won't have to pay a 9.5% tax on food anymore. Or social security tax. And there are hardly any chiggers (the bugs here in KS also played a big role in our decision to move. You think I'm joking but I'm not). And the schools are awesome in the suburbs we're moving to. More than awesome. Incredible. And we'll finally get to buy a house and feel settled. After 10 years of marriage and living in 5 states, I can't tell you what a comforting thought that is to me. So here we come, Ohio! We're moving the first week of June.

If you're ever in the area and want to stop by, feel free! Cincinnati is a lovely city with lots to do. Here are some pictures:

Thanks for reading my long post. I'm too wordy for facebook. ;)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Upstairs at the Ashworth House

One day, as our move neared, I noticed that my house was semi-clean (although there are signs of the impending move especially in our room and office area). It's weird to me that one day our days in PA will only be vague memories for Nick and Chase and that Cora won't remember it at all. I decided to snatch some pictures of the upstairs of our townhouse, so that they'll remember where we spent five great years and so Chase and Cora will see the house they came home to from the hospital. 

The master bedroom

 Cora's room (which was once decorated for a boy and was Nick's and Chase's room).

 The kids bathroom

 The boys room (Nick and I will NOT miss making that loft bed!).

 View from the top of the staircase (usually covered with my kids artwork, but I had taken it down in preparation for the move).
I meant to take pictures of the downstairs but I never did. At least I have photos of the kitchen and family room from this post after my mom and I redecorated.

I was very ready to leave this house. 1300 square feet, no storage besides a closet under the stairs, no garage, and a smoking neighbor often tried my patience. But now that we're gone I look back at it with fond memories. My kids grew up and all had many very important "firsts" here. We loved our neighborhood and all the friends we made there. The school system we were in was fantastic. I can tell I have some sentimental posts coming up as I sift through our "moving" pictures. Five years is a long time and we were very attached. We'll always love PA.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A summer schedule

As excited as I was for Nick to get out of school it didn't take more than two days for me to be reminded of one very simple fact: MY.BOYS.FIGHT. And it drives me nuts. We only had about three weeks after Nick got out of school before we moved and we had a lot of "lasts" to cross of our list. Some days we were gone all day but other days we just had one activity in the morning or afternoon. I quickly learned that I HAD to have a schedule ready for the kids when they got up in the morning. If I kept them busy and they knew what was next, we were all happier. Here's a sample of our daily schedule:

And here's a picture of Cora in a basket, just because she's so dang cute:

Monday, October 29, 2012

Last Day of School/ First Day of Summer

You may or may not remember how hard Nick's first day of school was for me, so you can only imagine how happy I was for the last day of school to finally arrive. Here's my big kindergarten graduate:

Who loves to comb his own hair in the morning
Walking to the bus for the last time

To celebrate, we went to a cool new park with our best friends, the Smith's, Shades, Shepherd's and Farnsworth's.

The next day, our first day of summer, we went to one of my favorite places in PA. Our friend Shawn was Nick's nursery leader at church and she took a liking to him. Every summer she has us out to her place to pick strawberries and ride her horses and we love it! It's so beautiful and my kids love picking strawberries and they L.O.V.E horses.

Oh, and the night before I was somehow persuaded to carry on our one-time tradition of letting Nick shave his head on the last day of school--

It was the perfect way to bring in summer!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The other preschool

Along with Tuesday/Thursday preschool at the presbyterian church, I also did the co-op preschool with my friends on Wednesday mornings. It was a little crazy (NINE KIDS) but was also really fun. On the last day we met up at the neighborhood playground for an end-of-year party.

 I had to document this moment because Chase It drives Nick crazy, but it seems that wherever we go he spots pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters on the ground.
 Here are the kids in their silly face picture; although I'm pretty sure this is what Chase was doing in every picture; and I don't know why I don't have a better one than this. Bottom row: Cooper, Lorraine, Bella. Middle row: Chase and Joshua. Upper middle row: Isabelle and Parker: Top: Cole. Rhett is missing from the picture.
 After popsicles and scrapbook pages these boys got to doing what they love best: wrestling! We had the best friends in PA!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Memorial Day 2012

I've blogged about my little towns Memorial Day festivals a time or two before, but as it's something we attended each of the five years we lived there, I couldn't possibly leave out our last Memorial Day HURRAH. We attended the overly-priced-semi-ghetto carnival on Friday night where we smelled-but-did-not-partake-of every fried concoction on the face of the planet, rode some rides, and chatted with our neighbors and friends. 

Chase fell in love with the fun house and spent all of his allotted tickets going through it (except for per above dragon ride picture). He was pretty bummed when all his tickets were gone.

The next night we attended the fancy-shmancy parade, complete with 5 baton twirling groups and about twenty gazillion fire trucks, and that's about it. Oh, except for this tow truck, a real gem that made us all chuckle.

 Doesn't Cora look like my mom in this picture...and all the time?

 It had rained earlier in the day and there was mud-o-plenty for this girl to get into. I think she thoroughly enjoyed herself (the candy being thrown by the gazillion fire trucks helped as well).

We miss PA!