Stay Curious.
Dig Deeper.
Nurture What Matters.
Be BoldHeart.
Enjoy Your Life.

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The BoldHeartMama desires to enjoy living out the choices that she’s made for herself and for her family. She is a relentless learner: curious, inquisitive, and open to the possibilities of her life and of the human condition. She understands that there isn't one right way—she asks questions that dig deeper to make sense of it all and to find her own path.

She pays attention to and nurtures whatever it is she really cares about, letting go of the rest (for now) knowing she can't do and be everything all at once. She embraces her imperfections in favor of "good enough"—her imperfect self, her imperfect home, her imperfect mothering, her imperfect desires—and she never stops evolving as a woman and mother. She is a BoldHeart, authentic and true to herself.

The BoldHeartMama knows there is only this one life and she's all in. She is present and engaged and making things happen. Her intuition is her guide. She seeks to be inspired and relies on her creativity and her resourcefulness to solve the big and little challenges that she and her family face together as they navigate their relationships and their world.

The BoldHeartMama is willing to take calculated risks to make her biggest dreams come true. She is living out her BoldHeart in the moment, making small moves and taking little steps that add up, and she's cultivating a good life for herself and her family in the process. Read More!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

36 hours later

The Sears house is under quarantine.

It all began yesterday afternoon when I called Andy to see if he could come home early from work to relieve me of my parental duties--I was not feeling well at all. Pregnancy? Exhaustion? I wasn't sure. He came home at 5:00 complaining that he didn't feel well either. I tried to rest but nothing helped. By 6:30 Andy and I were trading off Roscoe and alternately running to the bathroom to throw up. Oh ew.

I put Roscoe to sleep at 7:40, and Andy and I headed to bed to rest as much as possible in between getting sick. Both of us happened to be up at 12:30am when I heard retching from Roscoe's room. And then crying. Baby was throwing up too! A family event.

I brought him into our room and we set up the blow up mattress, whose pump was low on batteries and so it would only inflate the bed halfway. Uncomfortable, but we didn't have the energy to care. So we made it and slept on it.

Ten hours and ten pukes later it seemed we had finally rid ourselves of the icky barf bug. We fell asleep around 4:00am.

Today has been tough. I miss sick days before kids. I took leave from work, as did Andy, but of course our little charge still needed as much love and attention as ever. So there were no couch naps, talk shows, hot cocoa, or novel reads. Instead, we had diaper changes, snack and meal preparation, sticker art, book reading, truck vrrrooommming! and lots of toddler chasing.

My mom brought dinner by, which was a highlight and, otherwise, I just put Roscoe down for the night and took my first shower in two days--I even brushed my teeth. Rehydration has been my personal goal. Hopefully, Little Sears fared okay through the ordeal.

How do you juggle the needs of your kids and yourself when sickness strikes everyone at once?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I'll admit that if it weren't for the support, encouragement, and advocacy of my current boss I would have opted out of the workforce at the end of my 20 week maternity leave. With her help I negotiated a new title, and a part-time position (with content actually relevant to my education and interests), which allowed me to be a Momma first and foremost. I'll be forever grateful for the opportunity.

I've been fortunate to not only invest in my professional career over the past year and a half, but to also nurture my relationship with Roscoe. And I've grown to love this one foot in, one foot out arrangement. I couldn't ask for more.

Next week I'll begin a new schedule working four days a week, which leaves me feeling uneasy and maybe even a little anxious because I love love love my "off" days with Roscoe and I hate the idea of missing out on our time together.

On the other hand, I'm strategically front-loading my effort this fiscal year in order to take maternity leave at 37 weeks and then to be home with Roscoe and Little Sears once he/she is born. FOR GOOD!! Or at least until the mood strikes to opt back in.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Momma's Monday Check-in: 12/40

Note: McFatty Mondays is no longer!! Instead, I will be posting Momma's Monday Check-in. Join me as I eat and exercise my way through the next 28 weeks.

Due Date: April 8, 2011

Total weight gain: 4
Morning Sickness: I thought it was gone, but I was wrong.
Cravings: Orange juice, gummy bears
Aversions: Butter and cheese
Sleep: I'm still very tired all the time but I'm more or less sleeping through the night
I can't live without: Maternity pants. I think I'm over the Bella Band. I swore by it last pregnancy, but this time it's really getting on my nerves. I need some pants made for pregnant people, the end.
I miss: My waistline--this in between period is presenting a real wardrobe challenge
I am looking forward to: a big baby belly
Aha Moment: 12.5 weeks completed, all signs point to a healthy baby, yippee!! I'm really growing another person!
Milestones: This week was full of them: first prenatal appointment, heard the heart beat on Doppler for the first time, saw the baby on ultrasound, and I think I've officially entered the second trimester. Sah-WEET!!
Best moment this week: Watching Little Sears Rock'n and Roll'n in 3-D.

Exercise: A couple interval runs and some long morning walks. Better than last week, but not good enough :) When I made my big plans I forgot that Andy had to work late twice, and that we would be out of town over the weekend. I may or may not have mentioned that I signed up for a 10K race on November 14th. Six weeks to work my way back up to 6 miles. Can I do it!?
Diet: I'm not feeling quite as picky as I have been the last month or so, and definitely better able to make healthy choices since the fatigue hasn't been as great. Luckily, I've had aversions to overtly fatty food options, finally.

Goal's for the upcoming week: Ohhhh, the same as last week! I miss my old routine.

Belly Shot:

Movement: none

Gender: unknown

Labor Signs: none

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Baby Shop Hop

After a strange twist of events (more on that later) we found ourselves in Richmond for the weekend. We packed all of our favorite activities into two days, including my adored pastime of baby shop hopping.

A lot hasn't changed since we left the area 4 years ago, but certain neighborhoods are almost unrecognizable, and natural turnover of restaurants and boutiques has changed the look and feel by a landslide. I was left with the impression that Richmond is feeling rather progressive these days?

The weekend's best find was a new baby shop called Franklin Goose, nestled in the heart of Carytown. The storefront is a little less than two weeks old, but the owners have been successfully honing their product lines online for over a year.

Not to overlook their impressive array of feeding accessories, organic clothing, and upscale toy collection, but I was most excited about their extensive selection of cloth diapers, which I was more than happy to explore in person. After lengthy hemming and hawing I decided to add to Little Sears's fluffy butt stash an Organic Caboose size newborn All-In-One.

It's made of super soft wool (the power of wick!), and best of all doesn't require a diaper cover. ***EDIT: I've since learned that I DO need a diaper cover with this diaper. Oh, am I disappointed since that's the reason I bought it.

Since we rarely make it down to Richmond I'm thrilled that they've invested in a website so that I can resume happily perusing their inventory from the comfort of home. You should check them out!

Do you like what you see?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Roscoe's Turn

After so much attention on Little Sears this week, Roscoe had his 15 month appointment this afternoon--even though he just turned 16 months.

We arrived early and played outside in the (hot) sunshine for 20 minutes. Then on our way inside Roscoe tripped and cut his lip so we made a grand, bleeding entrance. After stickers and snacks he was feeling much better but his little wound continued to bleed for most of the visit.

We got to see yet another nurse practitioner that I did not care for. Do any other moms nursing toddlers get the side eye when breastfeeding is brought up? I do not get it. Otherwise, Roscoe got his vaccinations, and a flu shot--and they gave me mine too, which was convenient!

He's now in the 43rd percentile for weight, and 11th percentile for height. Little Shorty!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Little Sears at 12 weeks

Here's Little Sears at today's NT scan. Heartrate was 158--exactly the same as Roscoe's at his NT scan (at 12 weeks, 5 days). All the markers looked great, and the baby is even measuring ahead by another few days--must be the cookies!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Home Birth: a blog series

I know that home birth isn't for every family, and that not every Momma is a candidate to safely give birth at home. However, my experience giving birth to Roscoe was life changing and as we begin to plan for a second home birth I would like to take the opportunity to share why we chose home birth over birthing centers and top rated hospitals, how prenatal care works with an independent midwife (home visits!!) and how it might be different from more traditional care, how we prepared ourselves and our house for birth, and the realities of giving birth at home.

I would also like to discuss some common concerns expressed about home birth (we had them too!), and how those concerns are addressed in real life. I may even ask a few of my friends to guest post their personal experiences with home birth, which were very different from mine.

If you have any questions you'd like me to address, send them my way! I'll be posting Part 1: Our Journey to the Other Side in the next few weeks.

We got the beat

Today we heard Little Sears's heart beat for the first time. It was as sweet and emotional for me as it was when we first heard Roscoe's.

It took our midwife almost two minutes to find it, and we waited anxiously while she searched. Then, an unmistakable little gallop in the 150's came through and I couldn't help it: the tears just welled up.

I assumed that a second pregnancy would be old hat. That there might not be time (or desire) to dwell and obsess over the details, and that the little things might not bring as much joy as they did the first time. Not true!

And I'm glad that it's so.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Momma's Monday Check-in: 11/40

Note: McFatty Mondays is no longer!! Instead, I will be posting Momma's Monday Check-in. Join me as I eat and exercise my way through the next 29 weeks.

Due Date: April 8, 2011

Total weight gain: No weighing in for me this week!! No news is good news.
Morning Sickness: I had a few days of nausea, but I'm feeling much better.
Cravings/Aversions: No cravings, all aversions. It takes a very long time to figure out what I want to eat, and once the food is in front of me, I don't want to eat it.
Sleep: I have a lot of catching up to do. I'm still feeling hungover from the crazy Cleveland schedule.
I can't live without: Andy's patience and support. I've been a real gem of late :)
I miss: A well-stocked fridge
I am looking forward to: My first prenatal appointment tomorrow (finally!) and the NT scan on Wednesday.
Aha Moment: Now that the nausea has subsided, it's time to refocus on nutrition. No excuses!
Milestones: Nothing significant this week...
Best moment this week: Coming home, sweet home!

Exercise: Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Diet: Travel and vacation are tough on the diet of a first tri Momma. I made the best choices I could considering that very little of what was available appealed to me. I did eat a few too many cookies on the day I was too busy to eat the provided lunch, and it's hard to plan out meals when on the go. When hunger struck, I had only enough time and energy to locate the food closest in proximity.

Goal's for the upcoming week: Work out! I think I'm feeling consistently well enough to recommit to exercise four days a week. I'm going to try my kickboxing classes again to see how I feel. If it's too difficult to modify, or if the modifications eliminate the workout, then I'll probably put my membership on hold until after the baby is born. I'm also going to begin again with my weightlifting routine. As for diet, I'm feeling motivated to eat clean and without the nausea I'm hoping that I won't need food as a remedy every 20 to 30 minutes.

Belly Shot:

Movement: none
Gender: unknown

Labor Signs: none

Sunday, September 19, 2010


To sum it up, last week's adventure was exhausting and stressful, but professionally rewarding, and sprinkled with some memorable family fun.

We flew to Cleveland on Monday for a conference that I've been working on for the better part of the last year. Twelve and thirteen hour days + the pregnancy + mothering Roscoe in my "off" time to include nursing him at nap each day, made it particularly tiring for me. There was very little downtime while the conference was in session, sleep at night was impossible, and morning sickness persisted in the form of food aversions galore. Of course, over-sized half-baked cookies and other sugar laden junk were the exception to the rule, which was ironic, and by the end of the week I was feeling gross and frustrated. Little Sears will probably be born with cavities.

Roscoe and Andy entertained each other at the pool, and in the city. They found a few fun spots within walking distance to include a police museum, and some parks. Once my professional duties were fulfilled Thursday afternoon we set out as a threesome to sample the local cuisine, introduce Roscoe to bowling (Roscoe beat me, if that's even believable—he did have the advantage of bumpers, and I really am that bad.), and ride the bus to the children's museum.

Unlucky for us, the week we were in town the Great Lakes Science Center was CLOSED, and our hotel was located directly in the middle of the city which meant that we didn't have easy access to a lot of the activities that are traditionally "Cleveland". I really wanted to visit Ralphie's house from A Christmas Story, but we never made it.

The most disappointing part of the trip was that I forgot my camera's SD card, so the only documentation we have are the following five pictures. Sad. Sad. Sad.

Police Museum

On the Lake

Finger painting


Water Table

Roscoe was delighted by his first visits to the airport (planes make him crazy with excitement), and we were again impressed with his flexibility when it comes to new faces and places. He slept through both flights, and had no issues with keeping to his bedtime routine. We brought along our travel cot, as well as a few surprises (stickers, crayons, a new truck, a new animal book, and a stack and sort board) and all was well in the world of Roscoe. The biggest challenges we faced were to find appropriate whole foods for all of Roscoe's meals and snacks (we weren't entirely successful on this front), and to navigate his and my first extended separation.

Perhaps Cleveland deserves a second chance? If you know the area, what did we miss?!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Momma's Monday Check-in: 10/40

Note: McFatty Mondays is no longer!! Instead, I will be posting Momma's Monday Check-in. Join me as I eat and exercise my way through the next 30 weeks.

Due Date: April 8, 2011

Total weight gain: 3
Morning Sickness: Saturday was the first day in three weeks that I didn't have any nausea. Sunday = only a half day of misery. Dare I say that I think this may be the turning point? I really hope so!
Cravings: Cheese and tomatoes, cheez-its, spaghetti sauce--notice a trend?
Sleep: Not good!
I can't live without: Hello bella band, we meet again!
I miss: Feeling fit and productive
I am looking forward to: The second trimester--or whenever "normal" resumes.
Aha Moment: I love baby clothes!
Milestones: Little Sears has graduated from an embryo to a fetus!
Best moment this week: Apple picking! It felt really good to be out together, sans morning sickness, and it was the first time I'd really had a chance to fully enjoy the day, the family, and our babe on the way.

Exercise: I went for one run. The end.

Diet: Still just trying to survive on the food front. I'm starting to feel a little stressed about the lack of exercise + quirky early pregnancy eating. It's on my mind all the time. Some nights I wake up thinking about my "plan" for exercise once I'm back in the swing of things. I feel like I'm really close so I'm trying not to let it get me down.

Goal's for the upcoming week: To make it through 5 days of Cleveland travel/conference/vacation with Andy and Roscoe in tow.

No belly shot this week, we're on our way to the airport!

Movement: none
Gender: unknown

Labor Signs: none

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Apple Picking

Fall is heeere!! How to celebrate?

Almost to the day this time last year, we took Roscoe for his first apple picking adventure. He was only 3.5 months old and when I look back I almost can't believe THAT baby is the same Roscoe that ran today through the orchard, pail in hand, like a little wild man. It's fun to think of baby Roscoe, so bald and wide eyed.

This year, we went to a local "green" orchard which I really liked. Yes we had to sift through some less than perfect apples, and yes we had to dodge swarms of hornets feasting on rotting apple ground cover, but the orchard itself was so expansive, pretty, and natural, it was hard not to appreciate it. The Crooked Run Orchard harvest includes fruit, vegetables, herbs and even winter wreaths! We were bummed to have missed blackberry picking by only a week. We will be first in line next year.

After lunch we took a nice 10 minute walk to the Jonagold and Gala apple trees. Roscoe was intent on independent mobility and spent quite a bit of the walk stumbling and rolling around in the dirt. He wasn't phased--the kid loves nature. We passed by a gorgeous berry field on the way, and when we finally arrived we got to work, or should I say play.

I even climbed an apple tree to take my pick.

We'll be in Cleveland all next week, for business, so I'm not sure that we'll get to use up all of our apples. However, applesauce is on tomorrow's agenda and perhaps some peeling, cutting, and freezing will be in order for some apple treats later this month.

How does your family like to greet the Fall Season?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

New(er) tricks

Roscoe has recently become sneaky with his diaper, tearing it off at a moments notice and gallivanting around buck naked. We think it's great, besides the occasional accident.

Our labor day barbecue provided the perfect opportunity to show off.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A place to store your stuff

A treasured pastime for most expectant Momma's: The pursuit of the perfect diaper bag.

Luxury and function rolled into one loaded (and often expensive) purchase. Who can't relate to hoisting that baby purse over your shoulder, and imagining what a hot momma you'll be toting those tiny diapers, sweetly embroidered burp cloths, and brightly colored squeeker toys?

Since Roscoe was born, I've used the same tote bag by Dwell Studio in Gio Lemon print. I bought it because I thought it was cute and functional, and reasonably priced. It did meet my needs for the first 6 months or so, before packing and transporting food and messy snacks became part of its job description.

Then I spilled some pureed squash inside one of the pockets, managed not to clean it out properly and mold started to grow! Over time the two main compartments became filled with crumbs, trash bits, pens, and miscellaneous things like bottle caps. And a few months later, outings necessitated no less than 5 truck books, 3 trucks, and 2 cars, in addition to snacks, diapers, and changes of clothing. Suddenly my formerly adorable diaper bag was not only gross, but too small.

That's when I ditched it in favor of a rotating selection of several of my well-loved canvas tote bags, of which I have many. They do the job just fine and are more convenient at this stage than a cutesy diaper bag.

I've been thinking ahead to my second diaper bag, and have decided that this time I will seek out function over form. I know I'll have twice as much stuff to carry when Little Sears arrives and I need a bag that's easy to clean, and doesn't feature one hundred compartments in which to lose everything and collect garbage.

This tote bag made of oil cloth seems to fit the bill:

So modest, and brown. I think it will be perfect!

What's your favorite diaper bag and what features do you think are most important?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Momma's Monday Check-in: 9/40

Note: McFatty Mondays is no longer!! Instead, I will be posting Momma's Monday Check-in. Join me as I eat and exercise my way through the next 31 weeks.

Due Date: April 8, 2011

Total weight gain: 1
Morning Sickness: I had some of my worst days this past week. I'm hoping this means that it's peaking and going to go away soon!
Cravings: I love you cheddar cheese. and tomato sauce.
Sleep: Horrible, horrible, horrible! Even the littlest disturbance wakes me up and it's been impossible to get back to sleep.
I can't live without: Bump It Up. A (mostly) practical, fun to read guide to pregnancy fashion. The easy to follow guidelines developed for each trimester have been really helpful so far.
I miss: My former, less moody self
I am looking forward to: Nausea, nausea, go away!
Aha Moment: I should embrace maternity clothes and make the investment because I'm going to be spending much of the next 7 or 8 years either pregnant or postpartum.
Milestones: Belly sleep is getting a little uncomfortable!
Best moment this week: I went on a shopping spree at Gap Maternity and bought a mini wardrobe of maternity basics to get me through the fall and winter. I bought almost no maternity clothes last pregnancy so I'm excited to have cute, comfy stuff to wear this time. (Last time I made due with the Bella Band and a "uniform" of slacks, heels (I know!), stretchy tees, and suit jackets. It was great for the office, but not ideal otherwise.)

Exercise: Week 2 of "too ill to make an effort" COMPLETE!! I did go to kickboxing one evening, and twice ran 3 miles, but otherwise nothing!

Diet: The past two weeks have been ones of survival. I'm not keeping track of what I eat because it would probably stress me out. Eating every 30 minutes adds up at the end of the day.

Goal's for the upcoming week: Continue to take advantage of the mornings when I typically feel good and continue to try not to eat the whole house.

Belly Shot:

Movement: none
Gender: unknown

Labor Signs: none

Friday, September 3, 2010

Tour of Homes

Navigating The Mothership is one of my favorite blogs--it is a dose of entertainment and reality all rolled into one. Laura is mom to Bella who is exactly (practically speaking) the same age as Roscoe. Bella is one of the most "with-it" 15 month olds I've ever seen and I'm convinced that Roscoe and Bella are a match made in heaven. Laura and her family are intending to move from their current digs in Minneapolis and so they are preparing their home as a rental. When Laura posted about her current home (here and here), the response from her readers demanded more house posts and so she has been inviting guest bloggers to present their homes in pictures and words. I've enjoyed reading about how real people live from areas all across the country, and I'm thrilled to share our place with you too! Thanks Laura! Check out the other Tour of Homes posts from Texas, Ohio, Massachusetts, Canada, and Connecticut.

My husband and I met in high school, shortly after my family moved from the West Coast. He was a Northern Virginia native, and I was a shorts and flip-flop sporting California Girl. After we graduated we moved to Virginia's capital city of Richmond, and during our Junior year of undergrad we bought our very first house: a 1950's ranch on 1/3 acre of land. It cost $82,000 dollars--can you believe it? We loved every square inch of that house and the labor intensive home improvement projects that we tackled to make it our home. Our sah-weet labor of love.

After college, now married and looking for professional work, it only made sense to move back to the area in which both sets of our parents still lived, and closer to the rich job market within Washington DC's city limits, or so we thought. At that point we were feeling quite done with older house maintenance and improvements and hoped to find a more modern, and updated place to live.

We carefully considered what could be purchased inside the city, outside the city, and in the suburbs, and we were pretty quickly lured by how far we could stretch our money in choosing to live just 25 miles south of DC. We compromised our values in some ways--urban sprawl is the devil (!)--in order to buy a house that we could be proud of.

So we signed the contract, picked out the features we wanted, participated in daily drive-bys as it was constructed, and moved in just a few days before Christmas in December 2007.

Ha! This feels like forever ago!!

There is a lot to love about our current house. For instance, I love how our "street" is made up of 2 rows of homes that face each other with a courtyard in between. The road is to the back of the house and offers entry to the garages. This style of house is referred to as a "semi-detached" town home, because all the houses are connected at their garages.

A few of the characteristics that really won us over when we were debating the decision to buy this particular house was the stone front, and details like crown moulding and thick round pillars that are typical to a Craftsman Bungalow--our dream style of home. Hardwood floors, and ample space also helped to seal the deal.

This is our entryway:

The first floor is essentially one big greatroom. Our kitchen is on one side, with a combined dining and living area. This arrangement works great for entertaining. The cabinet space in our kitchen seemed unreal, but believe it or not, every single cabinet is filled to the brim with dishes, serving pieces, appliances, and cookbooks. A well equipped kitchen keeps me energized and the generous counter space makes for plenty of room to spread out and get to work at a moments notice.

Moving towards the back of the house, there is a powder room, a small pantry, and an unnecessarily huge second entry. We have attempted to decorate with a jute rug and a lovely bench that we adore, but that is as far as we have come. It's an oddly awkward space that is relatively low on our list of decorating priorities. Eventually, I would love to add a standing coat rack, an entry table, a pendant lamp, and perhaps a canvas or two of our family.

But for now, it looks like this:

Our garage can very tightly accommodate two cars, however, Roscoe's summer play toys and an expansive assortment of storage items make this an impossibility.

stairs leading up; doors to powder room, pantry, and second entry; powder room

Moving upstairs!

On the second floor, is a long hallway that leads in one direction to our bedroom, and in another to two smaller bedrooms and a full bath.

view towards Roscoe's room, view toward our room, stairs leading up

Our bedroom is my favorite room in the whole house (well second to Roscoe's, maybe). Large windows line the front, and vaulted ceilings lend an airy, luxurious feel. Our favorite painting from a life changing trip to Kauai hangs above our bed, and I have a soft spot for every piece of furniture in this room. Our son was born here, and it is the place out of all places that I am most "at home".

Our bathroom features two sinks, even though most of the time mine is completely unusable, filled with makeup, lotions, brushes, and a hairdryer. There is a walk-in closet at the end, and a teeny tiny room with a toilet that opens into yet another teeny tiny storage closet. My favorite element is the over-sized tub, and separate shower stall. The whole family can be in here at once, doing something, and there's plenty of space for everyone.

Just outside our bedroom is a laundry room--which makes all the sense in the world. The convenience of having a washer and dryer on the bedroom level is grand.

On the other end of the hall is Roscoe's Room, Little Sears's Room--which is currently a storage space with an indoor tent that Roscoe likes to hang out in--and another bathroom.

Roscoe's room was the most fun to decorate. The color scheme is a dream, and every item within was picked just for him. The nursery has already transitioned into a toddler room, and I love how effortlessly it has grown with him.

The third, and final floor is home to our loft. We added chair molding and crown molding to distinguish the space as slightly more formal, and then we set up two distinct areas: a home theater, of sorts, and a home office. This is where I do my blogging, and where I work! After Roscoe's nail polish fiasco, we are seriously considering replacing the carpet with hardwood and then finally getting to work decorating this comfy and highly used space.

Another full bath exists up here, as does a humongous walk in closet that we use for storage.

At the end of the day, the general layout of the house lends itself to shutting down each floor, and moving upward. After dinner it's bath and bedtime routine on the bedroom level, then Andy and I almost always make our way to the loft to unwind and catch up.

We've now lived in this house for almost 4 years, and when the market turned our mortgage flipped upside down. In truth, we do not love living in the suburbs. And we especially dislike paying an inflated mortgage! We've realized through this experience that we are city folk, and that we thrive on access to good food, entertainment, and culture, and that we HATE long commutes, traffic jams, and not having outdoor spaces in which to stretch our legs.

If we could do it all over again, hands-down we would choose an older, smaller house closer to where we like to work and play. Especially now that we have children to consider. There's nothing worse than having the world at your fingertips (i.e., Washington DC adventures), but finding yourself trapped behind 2 hours of bumper to bumper traffic. We would love the opportunity to have an intimate relationship with the area in which we live, and to explore our community on foot. Furthermore, it would be awesome to live in an area where a true sense of community actually existed.

For now, we're riding the market, enjoying a home that we really do feel happy to live in, and looking forward to the first opportunity to make our next move—hopefully back to California—where we can settle in long-term to raise our brood.

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