There's a billboard in New York City, an advertisement for a storage company, that says: "If you move out of New York City, you'll have to live in America."
New York was definitely an interesting place to live - and immersing ourselves in the city for a year made us really live the NYC lifestyle - but boy is it nice to be back in the real world. While there are positives and negatives to every life experience - and we definitely loved the good times - living in NYC is hard, overall. It was cool seeing Lilly become a city girl - hailing taxi's, holding elevators for people in our building, buying fruit on the street, and asking the doormen if we have packages - all while begging each day if we can see another play on Broadway - but now, being back outside the Big Apple, we are finally breathing again.
In the past week, we went to Atlanta after spending 7 hours at the airport for a 5 hour delayed flight (arriving at my parent's house at 3:30 am Saturday), I was the matron of honor in my best friend Melanie's wedding (congrats Mel and Rick!), Jon and I drove 14 hours from Atlanta to New York City, we packed up and moved out of our NYC apartment, all while working a few days last week too, and started the rest of our life.
Lilly stayed in Atlanta with her grandparents while we moved out - no use in making her life more nuts than it is. Meanwhile, Jon and I drove from NYC to Bethesda MD on Thursday with my 9 year old niece to see the house for the first time - Jon picked it out but I hadn't seen it yet. I was really nervous - but - thank goodness - it's beautiful. The owners were transferred out of the country on an unexpected job assignment for a year or more, so they really cared for their house - it's not a typical "rental property." They had just built on an addition recently - a beautiful kitchen and family room - and their vegetable garden is showing signs of squash, basil, bell peppers, and tomatoes, among other things. I think I love them.
We spent Thursday night in Charlottesville getting the move started from our storage unit (we drove from NYC with just a U-Haul that we packed ourselves but had real movers do the heavy lifting from C-ville) and got to see our old best friends along the way - Lesley, Jamie, Dar and Jen. How amazing to catch up with friends that we used to spend so much time with.
And, yesterday we officially moved in to our new house. My parents and Lilly and my other niece joined us, so there are 7 of us here for the weekend. Moving is relatively smooth - most of our "stuff" we haven't seen in a year or 3 years (we had to pack up a lot of stuff prior to rent our house out for the New Zealand year) - so I think we might throw out a bunch of "important" things that turns out, aren't so important.
Lilly was happy to see her new house, although she's in so many houses & vacations I don't know if she realizes yet this is where she's living for the next year or more. We did set up her bedroom right away, and she is loving it. Shout out again to Land of Nod for their pink ruffle flower duvet/bedding which has followed us from Charlottesville to NYC to Bethesda.
Lilly's having an identity crisis: the same week she had to learn to say she's "five" instead of "four," she also has to say she lives in "DC" instead of "NYC" so a few times when I correct her she tells me she lives in "ABC." Oh well.
And the highlight of the day today was getting Lilly a trampoline. Love it, she is so happy to have a backyard that's all hers and a trampoline and all that comes with living back in "America."
We are all exhausted from our move - and we still have so much more to do (can anyone recommend furniture stores in the DC area? we're not having luck, and need lots of furniture!). But, we look forward to the next two weeks of settling in (which involves throwing out my old Barbri books, I hope), and then heading off to Europe - before coming back to really enjoy our new life here in "America."