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Monday, November 30, 2015

Moving Part I: California Goodbyes

All has been quiet on the blog for the past couple of weeks. First we were totally consumed with packing and getting all of our stuff and ourselves moved out of our apartment in California. Then, we finally made it to Georgia and have spent the past week enjoying time with friends and family. We are in a nice lull in the process of moving. The work of packing up our home in California is behind us, and the job of unpacking in our new home in North Carolina is ahead of us.

In the short time that we had in between James signing his new job offer and the day the moving truck came, we managed to get together with some of our California friends and family to say our goodbyes.

Packing up our home of 8 years was a much harder, bigger, crazier task than was reasonable for the two of us in the time we gave ourselves. It was a nightmare and I'm so glad it's over! Somehow, and with a little bit of help, we managed to get it done and soon enough the moving truck was packed up and on its way. The silver lining on the whole horrible rushed packing experience was that the movers were really kind and patient. It took them 8 hours to load up the truck because there was so much boxing-up left to do, but they didn't give us a hard time about it. Calvin was at preschool for most of the day - his last day at his first preschool! - but Henry was basically underfoot, toddling around among the boxes in the living room. Thank goodness the movers didn't seem bothered by Henry at all, in fact they were really friendly to him. Lola Coring was a big help with Henry. She stayed with him and made sure he didn't sneak out of the living room or eat packing tape or anything like that :)

The moving truck left in the evening, and our plane to Atlanta left the following morning. Saying our rushed airport-morning goodbyes was a whole other kind of hard. We were able to see our friends who live around the corner, our cousins who live down the street, my aunt, and of course, my Lola Coring on the morning that we left for the airport. It was strange and bittersweet saying goodbye to people whom we have been so close to for the past several years. Trying to take a moment to push aside thoughts about when the car would be arriving to pick us up... which keys to leave with my aunt... whether we had enough diapers for the airplane... whether we had missed any items that needed to be packed... Trying to let all that go for brief moments in order to be present with these important friends and family, and be able to say and feel: I love you. I will miss you. Thank you for being such a big part of our lives.  

It is a bittersweet transition for our family. There are many people we will miss, and many things about our life in California that we will miss. But we are looking forward to the next part of our story, and as always, we are trying to be present in each part of this transition: focus on what there is to do, to enjoy, to be thankful for, in each step along the way.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Big News: A Big Move!

We've got big news around here...


We are saying goodbye to Northern California and hello to North Carolina!

I'm so excited anxious nervous stressed happy hopeful grateful.

OK, I'm a mess. But I am pulling it together along with James, who, as you might imagine, is not a mess, and we are hiring movers and making phone calls and doing paperwork and getting ready to pack our worldly possessions into boxes in a moving truck! Whew! It's a lot, and it's happening fast. We will be saying our California goodbyes before Thanksgiving. 

James and I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2007 just weeks after our wedding. 

2007, just after we arrived in CA

Over the past 8 years, we've enjoyed California's beautiful mountains, beaches, and redwood forests. We've been spoiled by San Francisco's amazing restaurants, museums, and festivals. We've toasted many celebrations with California wines and brews (wine tasting in Napa might just be my favorite thing to do in NorCal!). We've been here to cheer on our San Francisco Giants to three World Series wins. We have made friendships that we hope will last a lifetime. We have loved being close to our west coast cousins, aunts, uncles, and of course, our Lola Coring. We arrived as newlyweds, and we will leave as a family of four. California will always be a special place for us, and an important part of our family's story.

Though there will be a lot of things that we'll miss about our home here by the bay, we are looking forward to new adventures awaiting us in North Carolina. 

James is excited about his new position at Duke University - back to the field of biomechanics and orthopedics which was the focus of his doctorate research at Stanford. North Carolina is beautiful and the Raleigh-Durham area where we'll be is really charming. We are looking forward to being closer to our parents and the rest of our east coast family, and we even have a few friends in Raleigh and Durham. 

We have been wanting to re-locate to the east coast for the past year or so, and we are thrilled and thankful to finally have the opportunity. It's bittersweet, of course, but we really believe that this move is the right thing for our family right now. 

So, cheers farewell to California! And cheers hello to North Carolina! 

Send us prayers, wish us luck!!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween 2015: Jurassic World!

Hope everyone had a Happy Halloween!! We had some Halloween fun despite Henry still being under the weather. And our family costume pics turned out so much better than I had imagined! 

Calvin and Henry love dinosaurs, so James and I decided to do a little spin on their dinosaur costumes since the movie Jurassic World came out this past summer. James and I very rarely get to go to the movies, but we did manage to get out and see this one. The boys, of course, don't know anything about Jurassic World - they're too little for that one - so we explained our costumes to them by saying that we were "friends of dinosaurs." ;) James is dressed as Chris Pratt's character, Owen, the "dinosaur whisperer" who trains velociraptors in the movie. I'm supposed to be Bryce Dallas Howard's character, Claire, who is the operations manager of the dinosaur theme park and spends a lot of time on her cell phone, if you ask me. Calvin would tell you that he and Henry are T-rexes, but for the purposes of the Jurassic World theme, they could also be two of Owen's clever and cunning raptors. 

If you haven't seen the film, here are some stills from the movie from

And here's our version: 

This backdrop at the zoo was perfect for these themed costume pics! And we really just kind of lucked out, we hadn't planned this out ahead of time. We had brought the boys to the zoo just as a Halloween treat, and Calvin was asking to go see the rainforest building. This dinosaur-swampy area is just outside the rainforest building and there happened to be a zoo docent sitting by this dinosaur swamp area taking her break and she was kind enough to snap a few photos for us! I still can't believe how great these turned out. You can tell that Henry was not really a happy camper, but a grumpy toddler makes a decent velociraptor, ha ha. He also would not wear his dinosaur head, even when he wasn't feeling sick, but we decided it was not worth worrying about!

It was a great day to be at the zoo! The big zoo Halloween party was actually the weekend before, so it was pretty quiet on Halloween. Of course we had to let Calvin ride the zoo train in his dinosaur costume and pretend he was riding the Dinosaur Train! 

Later that afternoon, James carved some special dinosaur jack-o-lanterns, as commissioned by Calvin. He did an awesome job! We call them Pumpkinceratops and Pumpkinsaurus Rex.

Poor sick Henry went to bed early with a fever, but Calvin got to go to a Halloween party at our friends' house and do a little trick-or-treating. 

And now it's November!! Can you believe it?? 

How did you spend your Halloween? Any other family theme costumes?