Friday, June 6, 2014

Quick Takes: Edition 13

I started writing this last-o'-randoms for last week's Quick Takes link-up, and subsequently wrote several other blog posts in my head.  It just seems that the mind-to-screen ratio is pretty low on this front.  Alas, at least something new to read:


First, and probably most exciting, we have finally decided on a name!  Unlike Anna's name, which came to us quickly and with little debate, choosing a name for little lady #2 took a bit longer (and more lists and more discussions, etc).  She still needs a concrete middle name, but I'd like to introduce to you Baby Julia.  (Also known as "oolie" to big sister)

I'm sure that Justin would add a disclaimer that we reserve the right to change her name up until the time we write it on birth certificate paperwork at the hospital, but we've been calling her Julia now for a few weeks, and it seems right.

(For more on my theory about naming babies before birth, see here).  One additional bonus I hadn't realized is I think calling Julie (not a typo - that's a nickname) by name is helping Anna understand the totally crazy concept that there's another person in mommy's belly, and we're hoping it will ease the transition come October!


We effectively have 3 weeks to pack everything (it's technically 34 days until we load the truck, but we'll be away visiting family during some of that time and hosting others for part as well).  After a super busy spring where we were focused on one big thing at a time, it was sort of crazy to recover from graduation weekend and realize that the move is the next big thing!

I switched my room-by-room strategy from an extensive deep-cleaning to a clean-all-visible-surfaces cleaning in efforts to move the picture taking along.  This was significantly inspired by Tuesday's arrival:

Literally, boxes full of boxes.
For the record, U-Haul has the best quality/prices I could find,
plus they offered free delivery and will buy back unused boxes.


The good news is that I have 3 more rooms completely photographed and ready to share (as soon as I work on that mind-to-screen thing; I've shared them several times over in my head!)  It's a little tedious and feels a bit silly to get every room "perfect" when I'm about to start packing things, but I know I'll be so happy to have the pictures to counter my files full of "before" pictures!


I recently treated myself to a stack of books from Amazon, mostly related to motherhood and homemaking as they relate to the faith.  I've realized that I spent 4 years studying and earning a degree in management/sociology, and while it's somewhat applicable, I spend my days doing things for which I have no specific training.  I have a strong desire to not just do this stay-at-home mom thing, but to do it well, and have therefore committed myself to studying/learning/thinking/over-analyzing - not just the practicalities, but the philosophy of why we do what we do, too.  I'm hoping to add a tab of "My Bookshelf" to the blog as a central point to share all of the great books I've found in case anyone else is interested in a similar sort of study.

This week's recommendation (until I get around to actually adding that new blog section): 

If you've read any blogs recently, I'm sure you've come across this, but I finally bought it and it lives up to all the positive reviews I've seen.

I of course welcome additional suggestions on things to read!


Speaking of advice, moving/packing tips are also welcomed.  Our situation is a little bit unique because we'll be house-sitting for the first 10-months.  So rather than simply getting all of our possessions safely to the new location, we have to do so in an organized manner, dividing everything into three categories: (1) things we'll need right away, during the month or so we'll overlap with the current family (like clothes, some of Anna's toys, etc), (2) things we'll want after they head overseas and we move upstairs from the basement apartment to the main floor (some books, some kitchen things, a few personal pictures/knickknacks), (3) things we won't need until we move into our own place next summer.  This is a somewhat tedious project for me, as I look around the house and look at each item in turn saying "HOW CAN I LIVE WITHOUT THIS FOR 10 MONTHS!?!" and once I talk myself down from that ledge, that leads me to a "well, gee, if I don't need it for that long, do I really even need it" guilt trip about having any possessions at all.  It's an interesting process, but I think long-term it will help us determine what possessions really are important and what are not, and a probably healthy detachment from our stuff in general.


Despite all the packing drama, I'm actually really excited for the move.  I spent plenty of time being sad, but I think I'm moving more towards the sweet in the bittersweet.  I'm sure it will be difficult at times, but we're headed to a place with an incredible and welcoming community (I can't even keep track of how many of Justin's new colleagues have offered come unpack our u-haul) and thinking about moving is probably more difficult than actually moving is going to be.

We have a great relationship with the new owner of our house, which makes me comfortable leaving because I know this home will be in good hands.

And, we've started to look at real estate listings, which means that my mind is going a mile a minute with plans for renovations and decorating and new paint colors (and opening all my boxes of stuff), and dreaming about a new project always cheers me up!


This graduation speech by Admiral McRaven at University of Texas was making its rounds on social media last week, and I wanted to link to it here, particularly for his first tip in the "lessons from a Navy SEAL:" "If you want to change the world, start by making your bed."  I think his explanation is excellent (and I will certainly remember when Anna, Julia, and future siblings challenge the necessity of such a chore).

So there you have it, it's not just little-old-me who thinks that the old wisdom of having a neat house and neat appearance will affect other aspects of your life.  A Navy SEAL agrees.

Visit Jen @ Conversion Diary for lots of other quick takes!


  1. Gah! Congrats! I must have missed that you guys are expecting around the same time we are! That's so exciting :-) We're also in the process of moving - wish I had more advice lol. But I'm in survival mode right now ;-)

  2. I'm so excited to see the before/after pictures!

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