The Big Move

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I moved! I’m completely moved. It’s amazing. I can’t believe I did it.

I cleaned out my old apartment the other day and stood in the now bare living room and said goodbye to my beloved turquoise wall. So much happened in that room. So much good. I wish the apartment complex would leave it turquoise and it could bring all kinds of good luck and love to whoever new moves in but I know they won’t do that. They have a formula and it’s called white, probably white number 327 with beige number 402 or something like that. They do everything rigidly by the books there and I can’t really fault them since it was the clean white walls that made me fall in love with my apartment in the first place.

Remember how I used to struggle with taking pictures in my old mobile home that belonged to my Grandpa? I was always cloning out the smudges and glue remnants leftover from some wallpaper job that had half-hazardly removed. I longed for clean white walls and then I got them. It was a beautiful chapter of my life. I’m so glad I was able to be on my own for three whole years.

It’s funny how life twists and turns. I would never have expected to be moving in with someone the way I am. But here I am. I’m excited for this new big change. So far it’s been amazing.

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I’m not completely unpacked but all of my belongings are out of my old apartment and stuffed into Payam’s house, literally. It’s a real challenge to combine all the trappings of two 43-year-old’s who were both pretty used to being by themselves and attached to their things. I used to go visit Payam and look around his beautiful house and wonder how in tarnation I could ever fit there. There really wasn’t room for me and my style. I’ve come to really love decorating my own place. It’s part of who I am these days. I love creating little vignettes all over my home.  How could I fit my *beautiful* clutter into his house?

It seemed impossible. He has a very different style than mine. Not bad at all. It’s beautiful but it’s masculine and Persian and he has a lot of stuff! You know, car models and car magazines, buddha posters and expedit bookcases filled with philosophy books…I didn’t want to change him at all but how could I fit into his life without taking over? I’m a very visual person and I just couldn’t see myself putting all my things in storage and living as a guest.

I’m in this for the long haul so we combined.  I’m so glad to say we came out on the other side and we still love each other. If you’ve done a combination of households like this yourself, you know how hard it really is. Thankfully, we’re both pleasers and we try really hard to make sacrifices to make the other person happy but it was a comedy at some points. (And between you and me, I worry that he’s sacrificed too much.)

I have to be careful what I ask for with Payam because he will give away the shirt off his back for me. Well, actually that’s a bad example because I borrow his undershirts all the time for pajamas but you know what I mean. I can’t just mention that I’m craving a latte from the next town over because he will get in his car and go get it for me no matter how inconvenient it might be. He’s like that.

The cats on the other hand have had no trouble at all not getting along with each other. It’s been growl city in the hallway for days but that’s to be expected. We followed all the rules, letting them play with each under the door, introducing them gradually, I even bought that cat-calming hormone stuff you plug into the wall like a fragrance dispenser.  Aqui and Lucy (Payam’s cat) are making eye contact and ignoring each other but Fiesta has taken up residence in my closet and growls at anything resembling Lucy in the slightest, including her mother, Aqui. But Fiesta has always been the grumpy cat.

joon-the-photographerI can’t really report on how the kids are doing in this big combination because Bug has been in Hungary with her dad on vacation the whole time. I know, right?!! Lucky kid! They are visiting Toby’s girlfriend’s family and having a great time. We’ve skyped a few times but she’s more interested in talking about Minecraft and showing me the Rubiks Cube she bought in Budapest than worrying about how I unpack her room (a blessing!).

Joon however has been my constant companion. It’s been hard for her to be stuck in the house with grown-ups who are more interested in unpacking boxes and purging unneeded clutter than going outside and having bike rides. She misses Bug terribly.

Bug and Joon are a funny pair. Bug is an introvert, like her dad, and Joon is an extrovert who thrives on activity. Joon will go and go and go until she drops dead from exhaustion whereas Bug is the complete opposite and is content to sit alone in her room for hours on end. I have to force her off her computer to play. It’s really no surprise that the kids are like this since they are a lot like their parents but I know we will have many many challenges in the future. And they do love each other, you know, like siblings.

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We haven’t been all work and no play though. Joon has convinced me to go out at least once a day for some fun and I have yet to regret it. She’s going to keep me active and I need that.

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We’ve taken a few epic bike rides and come home bruised and sore. We live in such a great town that has twisting bike trails for miles and miles. You really have to be careful how far you go exploring because coming back can take forever. Especially when your biking companion has no interest in coming back.

helpersWe’ve also had a few visits from Lubna. She’s been an amazing, incredible help to me in this move and I am forever thankful to her. She never tires and she is incredibly focused. We’ve tackled packing up my house, lifting boxes up and down stairs for days in heat and humidity that reminds you of a monsoon, (Of all times to move, did I have to pick August?? It’s been so awful and humid lately. If you exert one calorie of energy you are drenched in sweat. Dusty, dirty, sweaty box-moving…you get the picture.) reorganizing and cleaning Payam’s kitchen (and that required taking EVERYTHING out and putting it ALL BACK IN –gasp–) AND cleaning and reorganizing Payam’s entire garage. She is a force.

Lubna and her family threw me a going away party (so sweet, right?!!)  but she still only lives a quick 10 minute walk away. We just don’t live in the same apartment complex anymore and it’s hard because now she has to ask permission to visit me. Her Dad doesn’t always grant his permission because well, you know how protective dads can be of their beautiful sixteen year-old daughters and that’s not even counting that she’s Muslim and needs a chaperone at all times. Before she could stop by whenever she wanted and she practically lived at our house. But thankfully her family values her being helpful so they’ve sent her over a few times and I am so thankful. I know our families will always be close.

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And that’s pretty much it! I probably could blog a thousand more things but life calls. Busy is good. I miss you guys. I’m glad so many of you keep track of me in instagram. :) I try to put up mini blogs there.

 

 

 

Random Blogables

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I am in a war with my daughter over reading a book. All I ask is: if she wants to play Minecraft all day or watch Stampy Cat youtube videos that she spend one (only ONE!) hour reading a book. She refuses. Books are so boooooooring.

Unfortunately, the only books we have available, because of my over-zealous packing, are The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King, Island of the Blue Dolphins, the Kon Marie decluttering book and the latest Lisa See book that I’m reading. I vote for the Stephen King Dragon book because I remember LOVING it as a kid. But maybe I was fourteen and not nine and maybe it’s slightly inappropriate for her age. (The first chapter does talk about how the prince was conceived…) I also want her to read the Island of the Blue Dolphin’s book but I’ve tried to read it to her chapter by chapter at night and we haven’t gotten further than chapter two so maybe it’s a little boring for her generation. I’ll give her that. So I’m forcing her to sit for an hour and stare at the books. Sooner or later she’ll get into one of them. Maybe she’s just not bored enough yet. It is a battle of wills.

And this is Summer vacation.

Packing and working and fighting with my kid.

What else is new you ask? Well, moving is super exciting. My house is full of boxes, stacked strategically so I can still take photos for my alphamom crafts and various other projects.

We’re planning and plotting Bug’s new room design. I can’t take over Payam’s already-decorated house (that would be rude) but I can help Bug design her own room because it’s mostly a blank slate. So far she’s picked mint green paint. It’s been a painful compromise.  She wanted black and green stripes with neon peace signs and floral graffiti. I wanted peaceful ocean tones with a giant mettaprints mural of the beach, some coachella macrame dreamcatchers in soft white ropey yarn… so we’re meeting in the middle over a zebra print pillow she found at Target that was mint green and gray. Isn’t it funny how much we don’t like each other’s taste? It’s a generational thing. I always hated my mother’s choices and Bug hates mine. Payback’s a bitch I guess.

randombloggables-2Lest you think Bug has turned into a trouble child let me exhibit her wonderfulness. She’s actually not very bad at all and gives me no trouble. That is the trouble! Her bad habits can be 100% attributed to my lack of parenting. It’s so much easier to get things done when the house is quiet and since she’s naturally an introvert like her dad it’s super easy for me to let her drift into quiet peacefulness, plugged into her laptop hour after hour.

When we both unplug and escape to our favorite haunts, we always have a lovely time.

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These pictures have nothing to do with anything other than the fact that the colors sort of match. It’s randomness. Instagrammed photos that are all blog posts in themselves but I have no time to write. The top picture is of some pretty pitchers that I’ve had to make hard decisions about. I can’t keep all my things because Payam has a house full of things and they just won’t fit. And so I whittle my collections down to the favorite of the favorites. It’s not easy but it’s not really a bad problem to have either.

The top right are some new shoes that are adorable and perfect except that they are just slightly too tight on the top of my foot (high arch) and so I’m afraid to wear them on days when I might have long adventures that cause blisters. This is a big drag because I might have adventure everyday! You just never know!  One perk of working in an office with no adventure in sight: you can wear uncomfortable pretty shoes.

The jeans on the lower left are Bug’s favorite, favorite, favorite butterfly-butt jean shorts. She’s worn them to death. They are size five and she is nine. You get the picture. So I convinced her to let me make them into a pillow. She thought that was a great idea but then after I finished lining them (so there would be pretty lace hanging out the bottom and the holes wouldn’t let stuffing out) she decided she wanted to wear the half lined pillow as a skirt. We’ll see how long that lasts. (See exhibit right hand picture: long legs for days.)

On/off buttons. Hmmm… I instagrammed that. Just more mood struggles that I think are more chemical/hormonal than situational because right now my life pretty much is awesome.

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And speaking of AWESOME, I booked a trip to Japan! In October. Yay!  I have a new travel agent friend who hooked me up. She seriously hooked me up, like under a thousand dollars hooked me up. (Please email me if you need her contact info.) If I had known that traveling the world could be so affordable I would have traveled a long time ago! So I’m super excited about that and I’m sure I will blog the entire thing.

Also, who is awesome? My boyfriend. I won’t go on and on because I know it will bore you all to tears and you’d rather read juicy stories about my dysfunctional relationships but he really IS great. Who else would wear a rapunzel wig and still look hot? Maybe it’s just me. This coming weekend he’s taking me to see Rent for my birthday. Awesome squared.

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Colorful awesomeness! I’ve been taking lots of pictures of my turquoise wall because I know I’m going to be leaving it soon. And no, I’m not painting one at Payam’s house because his house has very high ceilings and it would be a pain in the butt and also his house looks pretty great as it is. Don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll photograph the hell out of it once I move there and you will see for yourselves. And also I’m sure I will sneak in bits of my personality here and there. I just can’t go paint a whole wall.

So Rapunzel was in town with her purple hair and that was fun. She’s never one to be boring with her hair.

Did you know I have an entire small-size Home Depot box of lunch box crap? A whole box. You know, bento box things, small containers, that metal Minion lunch box that Bug refuses to use but I refuse to get rid of because it’s so cute? These are the things that are going to be super challenging when we move into Payam’s house. For such a big house, he has a pretty small kitchen with next to no storage space. So I’m going to be inventing interesting solutions for my stuff. Colorful plastic egg-mold hanging-mobile anyone?

randombloggables-6Lastly, some muted furry cat photos with a side of peach pie that actually turned out to be peach soup because I forgot to put the quarter cup of flour into the filling that the recipe called for. Plus, the peaches from my parents’ garden were sooper duper juicy. The store-bought pie crust was no match for their water content. But hey, peach soup is great for breakfast, right?