by jcastles | Jan 31, 2017 | Family, Moving
Back in May I posted that we were building a home near Austin, Tx. If you follow me on Instagram you know that we did not move into that home. I am sad about it but I’m totally happy where we wound up. Here’s the story of what happened.
Over the summer last year we went to my husbands grandfather’s funeral. After, we went to a family members house and chatted for hours. It’s then we realized we really missed being around family. For weeks we talked about it. So the hubs decided to just ask his boss if he could work from home and we move back home. Lots of people do it at his company so we figured it’d be ok….and it was. We decided to pull out on the house we were building, that was 2 weeks before closing. Better than after though.
We spent a few weekends looking for a house in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. We really wanted to be near family that lived near Dallas but Fort Worth has all our friends. Yah, it seems close to those not in Texas but it’s really an hour distance or more with traffic and just isn’t one of those hop in the car in the afternoon to go to a friends house. We found a few houses in the Fort Worth area and were out bid every time. In the end we wound up in the Dallas area near family, which was our goal anyways. So it worked out.
It’s been a month since we closed on our house and I can’t tell you how happy I am!!! Even friends on FB are noticing my mood change. I’m just a family person! I’m always here for anyone really. We’ve made some friends in the neighborhood already too. It’s nice to be home.
by jcastles | May 6, 2016 | Family, Moving, Uncategorized
After 17 years of renting homes and apartments we decided it was time. We finally feel like we’re in a place where we’ll stay for years to come. So we decided to BUY A HOUSE just similar to those dream houses here!!!! I actually grew up in Arlington, Tx. Met my hubs in 1999 and from there we went to Keller, Texas where we spent most of life together. We lived in the Frisco, Tx area for a few years but quickly moved back to Keller. In 2013 we had the chance to move to Washington state. We lived there for a miserable 2 years there we started looking to come home. Hubs found out that the company he worked for (Amazon btw) had an office in Austin, Tx. Not home home but 3 hours away was better than 35 hours. So we jumped at it. We’ve actually been back in Texas a whole year now!
We couldn’t find a house to rent before our corporate housing ran out and I just so happen to find an apartment complex in a good area that had 4 bedrooms. Smaller than we’re use to, yes. But doable. So we did it, luckily there are Residential Moving Companies which help, so moving wasn’t a big deal. And we HATE it! We’d been renting houses for so long we haven’t had to deal with maintenance crews coming on their schedule, loud neighbors, smells coming through the walls, etc. Since our lease will expire in August we decided to start looking for rent houses. Then we thought….wonder if we could buy (lots of past job lay-offs have really damaged our credit…reason we jumped at Seattle). So we started looking and getting advice from lenders and BAM! We can actually do it. Never thought we could. We’ve always rented big homes. But we quickly found out that buying a home at the size we want with the upgrades we want was going to be difficult. Especially in the Austin market. So we looked and looked and looked. Yes, we bribed our kids with candy and eating out on the weekends. We brought iPads and iPhones for them to play with too.
We looked at so many areas and so many models we had no idea what we wanted. Some sales guy said when you walk into a home you’ll know if it’s yours. And you know what….that totally happened. Unfortunately not with his builder but the one next to him. We went with Chesmar Homes. Why? Well they have really nice freaking homes! The base price of our home is not bad at all, but of course we have upgrades. But not the kind you’d think. See, the reason we liked Chesmar is the homes sounded solid. By that I mean when we walked into a KB Home you could hear so much outside noise, kids upstairs, etc. This home you couldn’t hear all that. They use a cellulose spray insulation which helps reduce sound. And since we’re in a typical neighborhood where you can practically hear the neighbors in their home next-door you want quiet. And this home offered that. Not only that but wood faux blinds are standard, 12×12 tile is standard, large master shower is standard, huge kitchen island is standard, granite counter tops in the kitchen is standard, garage door opener is standard, full sod and sprinklers front and back is standard!! All those were upgrades in the other homes we were looking at and it was making it to where we wouldn’t be able to buy a home. But not Chesmar. And it’s still all quality brand names that they were selling too. And it was in the same neighborhood we wanted. So yah, why wouldn’t we go with that!
So we picked all of our choices (and upgrades–mostly electrical) out and gave them a check to start the contract!! We are now waiting on our pre-construction meeting. We expect to close on the house in late October for an early November move in!!
Here’s the spot of dirt/rock where our house will go!!
Here’s our choices!! I’m ready! Is it done yet?!?!
by jcastles | Jul 24, 2015 | Family, Moving, Uncategorized
Our kids are not good in the car….well they can be. Problem is they hate being in the car (we like to drive around and explore….a lot). But when we told them we could stay in Washington or move home to Texas they obviously chose to deal with the long road trip….like they had a choice, lol!!!
We have an 11 yr old and a 6 yr old that would be traveling with us. They each have an iPhone with the best mobile plans (don’t worry…no service is on my 6 yr olds….it’s and old phone of ours and is basically a Nintendo DS but with better games, lol!!) and iPad (and these were handed down so it’s not like we completely spoil our kids with new flashy items). So first things first on a long trip like this is you have to completely give up all rules and allow them to use them…a lot!!!
A few days before we were to leave for our moving adventure I decided I should get some things for the kids to do so they’re not completely bored or on devices all the time.
Since we’d be going through 7 states I went to the Crayola website for some free state color pages. I printed 2 of each state we’d be going to so each kiddo had their own color page. The great thing is it also had state facts on them. I also printed a US map so they could follow our route. That helps eliminate questions.
Since we’d be traveling on July 4th I printed out a color page for that holiday. I also printed out a few miscellaneous color pages I knew the kids would enjoy. I printed out the kids favorite zoo animals since we’d be visiting the San Diego Zoo. I put all the prints in order of travel, in a sheet protector, clipped to their travel clipboards we’d made a few years back. I also added our Surprise destination of LegoLand!!! I took their favorite Lego character from google images and edited it in photoshop. I didn’t edit the photo…I adjusted the size so I could add words to the top. I added Let’s Go to LEGOLAND!! They were ecstatic when we revealed the packets and saw LEGOLAND was one of our destinations!!
Did our kids do all the activities in their packet…no. But they did read them and learn about each state. They also knew where we were going and what we were doing in each state. And that itself was awesome because it lessens the amount of what are we doing here questions.
I hope this helps you plan a long road trip. They barely fought, were not bored much, and overall just had a great trip.
by jcastles | Jul 24, 2015 | Family, Moving, Uncategorized
I believe it was the last day of school when we were finally told we’d be moving in one week. In Washington state school didn’t end until June 19th. The flyttebyrå Oslo. movers would be at our house on June 26th. We’d already started to declutter but we didn’t think we’d decluttered enough. on the go moving in bellevue company arrived at like 8:15 that Friday morning…..three guys. They had almost everything packed by 5pm!!!! The only things they didn’t pack was the bedding so we could sleep that night and the few bathroom things we weren’t letting them pack just yet (shower curtain and towels). They weren’t bothered by it as it’s normal for them I suppose. They had actually started loading the 18 wheeler believe it or not. Good movers like the Big T Moving (Alpharetta Location) are flexible and helpful like that.
The next morning they got there at like 8:30/8:45. They immediately started tagging and loading. They also finished up the packing and were done by like 3pm!!! I was able to clean and let them take the vacuum cleaner and they left. It was definitely a better experience than the move to Seattle. Those movers were slow.
We took up 3/4 of that dang truck!!!
We dropped my husbands car off with friends (for transit pickup in a week). We finally got to our hotel nearby by 10pm and we got a pretty good nights sleep before we headed out the next morning. And since this was a vacation as well as a move we were taking it kinda slow in the mornings. Trying to make sure we were all ready and stuff, since packing everything well is important for this, as explained by Sky Van Lines an expert moving company that help people with this difficult task.
Sunday morning came, we ate the hotel breakfast, loaded the jeep up and we were off for our adventure!!
30 days of clothes and necessities!!
Dog needs, medications, snacks, and of course the ice chest!
The backseat trio! Btw, I recommend a dog seat belt! That was a lifesaver!
by jcastles | Jun 12, 2015 | Family, Moving, Uncategorized
So about a month ago the hubs interviewed for a job back home. But it’s still with Amazon just a different department so that’s freaking awesome!
Things are moving slow yet fast. We need to get there the first week of July but the moving company is taking it’s sweet time. So everything might get pushed into the second week of July.
We want to drive home to Texas instead of flying. We plan on taking a vacation through California. The boys want to see the beach. What better place than there right?! We want to go to the San Diego Zoo and try to fit Legoland in (SHHHHH! That’ll be a surprise).
I can’t wait for Texas. Even though we’re moving 3 hours away from “home” it’s still a whole 30 hours closer! So if your in the DFW area don’t worry…we’ll visit a lot!
When I get to Texas I plan on eating as much Mexican Food as I can handle. Drink as many frozen sangria’s as I want. And be in the sun a lot!!! So if your looking for me check in a Mexican restaurant or by a pool.
by jcastles | Apr 29, 2014 | Family, Moving
There I said it!!! The amount of stupid people here amaze me more and more every day!!! I’m really not kidding.
The drivers are my main complaint. Not a day goes by that someone doesn’t nearly hit me or someone near me. Even in parking lots people back out of their spot at the same time thinking the other will give up and let them go. In the end they both drive forward and do it all over again.
And just because pedestrians have the right of way pedestrians still need to look for cars. Sometimes us drivers don’t see you running/walking/strolling along then BAM…your in the street running and we’re doing 30-40 mph and YOU expect us to stop on a dime!
The non friendliness is so irritating. The only people that are friendly are not from here. And you’ll know who they are cause they’ll be the ones talking to you!
I look so forward to moving back to Texas. My trip there in 2.5 weeks is going to be so nice…I’m definitely not going to want to leave!!!