State of the Heart…And move-in recap (act 1)

Aug 14

…State of my emotions.

…State of the blog.

…State of the house.

So much to say, so little brain cells to adequately share my true feelings. There is much to share – good, sad, exciting, ugly – but with the energy I’m outputting to get this house unpacked (and now with the kids here – they love it!), my blog time comes early morning or late night. Late night is technically considered early morning. And those wee hours mean my brain Isn’t operating on all cylinders.

My apologies in advance if this post appears to be all over the place. It’s a reflection of the way my heart and mind are operating this week.

In regards to my emotional state regarding this move, my heart is in a full-on tug of war. I completely miss living in the south and my heart’s aching to return to my southern friends/life….But I am hopelessly head over heels in love with being back home in San Francisco. Home. I love working on the house with the windows wide open, fresh air blowing in. Love seeing friends and family that I’ve missed living within driving distance of. Love taking the train to see a giants game or meet friends for drinks.By the way, did both of those last week – too fun!…


But I desperately miss a less populated environment, southern hospitality, a simple way of life, and southern food! But San Francisco is amazing in its own unique way – the people, the beauty, the opportunity, and the food. And it’s home for me.

Told you….Tug. Of. War.Did the above leave your head spinning? Am feeling all over the map, but know this will pass and soon it will be as if I never moved away from home. A switch will flip.

For the last 13 years i’ve been visiting home. No matter what the reason for the trip, it always came to a bittersweet end. Last week, I caught myself trying to quickly knock out my to-do list so I could leave town Sunday feeling accomplished. Each time that thought occurred, I had to smack myself…”Hey! girl, you’re staying. This is it. You’re not going back to the south!”. I still have those moments even though Sunday has come and gone.It’s surreal.

My mind is excited about living here and my heart is coming around. Soon enough my heart will catch up with my mind…And then it will speed past it faster than I was going a few weeks ago when I received that “welcome home speeding ticket”. (yup – I totally did that. Way to go, Sam.)
Moving on to the blog/my business – this little blog. You guys. Wow. It’s my little slice of heaven away from motherhood. My little bit of sanity away from all things move. It’s my escape from the day to day. Am so grateful I have 3 readers that are interested in what I’m up to around here. Wishing deeply that i had more time to post during this period. Have so much to share, but am feeling that pull in other directions…Mainly the direction of my bed for a good nights sleep.Organization is absolutely, no question about it, my passion in life. Having the ability to write about and share my ideas, the new house projects, and anything organization related – and knowing you’re here reading along? Or that businesses are reaching out to partner up for exciting projects? Thoroughly inspires me. Keeps me going. Keeps me motivated on the road map to bring this blog to the next level. And toward my real organization business.

There are exciting opportunities on the horizon. I’ll be sharing more about the business side later, but will say that I have this excited feeling deep in my bones about a “simply organized” business here in the bay area. Now that I’m firmly planted somewhere and won’t be moving again, I’m determined, excited, motivated, and thrilled about getting this business off the ground. Maybe even employing some fun and capable friends. Friends that are willing to work closely with this crazy lady.

(blog side note – be sure to check in here next week for a fun Martha Stewart week … And an awesome giveaway! I pinch myself daily knowing i’m working with her people/company. Pinch myself. Hard.)

Am sure you’re tired of reading text and emotional garbage. Want to see some pictures? Hear some updates? Listen to some hair-raising travel and home tales?

The original title of this blog post was “the ugly side of moving”. I thought that was a little extreme but, let’s face it, it’s accurate. Moving is an ugly beast. There is all the prep work on the pack-up end. Then the in-between process, like where am I going to go while the entire contents of my house are on 3 moving trucks driving across the country? Then there’s the new house prep. Then, as excited as I was to see those Arkansas boys pull into my driveway, there was theeee moment. I was suddenly overwhelmed….”Where am I going to put all this stuff??!!”.

Remember that huge stack of bricks in the backyard?…

The bricks that were torn up from the patio and sitting nicely stacked for weeks beside an empty, unfinished swimming pool?

Yup, imagine those being chucked at my head, one by one. The moment I realize this beautiful, spacious, clean, freshly painted / carpeted house would soon be inundated with boxes. And boxes. And even more…Yes…boxes. Lord help me.

Let me back up a minute (or a week) though. Let’s talk about how I got from Arkansas to San Francisco…And most of what happened in between. At least what I can remember. This will be part 1, because I tend to get wordy when emotional (I am a girl – hello!) and there is an entire week of stuff to share with you.

First came the flight west with an antsy 1 year old cat. I landed with charlie in San Francisco late Saturday night. I was more anxious traveling with 1 cat than I’ve ever felt traveling with 3 children…

The first flight (one hour) was filled with meowing and howling. Thankfully, I was seated near 2 cat lovers. The second flight (4 hours) was made eventful when he escaped from the bag and made his way to first class. I  was blissfully unaware listening to Michael Buble and blogging away on my laptop when I glanced down at my feet to find an empty cat carrier.

*Insert freak out moment here*

I hopped out of my seat wondering which direction he could possibly have run off to. I was smack in the middle of the plane so it was anyone’s guess. Thankfully, I first looked straight ahead and there was a man holding him in first class. Of course. After rigging the bag to prevent additional escapes, we landed safely. Thank you united airlines for the free drink coupons – the timing on those couldn’t have been better.

What I wouldn’t do for my kids – they adore their cat. Payback? They owe me good behavior for 2 weeks so I can get this house unpacked.

Saturday night was spent at my mom’s, then we headed to the house early the next morning. I was anxious to see the interior paint. My painter said he would completely be out of the house the previous Friday. All that remained was the garage. So you can imagine my fright when I walked into this scene…






I could share 100 more images that look just like the above. Every square inch of the house was covered in painter’s paper, paint cans, rollers, brushes, painter’s tape, plastic sheeting, doors randomly scattered throughout the house…The list goes on. Normally, I wouldn’t care much, but the fact I had a zillion house appointments between Monday and Wednesday, a cleaning crew scheduled to clean the interior on Tuesday….oh, and don’t forget the MOVERS arriving on Wednesday?

*Insert the next freak out moment here*

Although it was a Sunday, I called my painter to find out what was going on and reminded him of my schedule this week. Reminded him I would actually be moving INTO the house in just a couple days. At this point he had been in the house for one full month. He quickly calmed me and by Monday afternoon I was sitting on the paper-free, albeit scratched to high heaven, hardwood living room floor…

But check out that wall color people! Right? Heaven! Forget the floors. Look at those walls, baby! Perfection.

With all of the junk out of the interior, they got started on the garage….

After a quick 2 hours, we called it a wrap and were left with this beautiful blank slate…



I know, this view pretty much made me not want those moving trucks to pull in. Now could I possibly put anything into this garage? It’s too clean and pretty.

With everything out of the house and a clean space to work, I set up shop on the kitchen counter…

By end of day Monday the painter’s had vacated the property, I had wireless internet service up and running, my dad helped me drag the new fridge into the house, I arranged for a plumber to fix some minor issues and got them scheduled to come back for the washer/dryer hook up, made another painfully large payment to the pool company, knocked several errands off the list, fielded many phone calls, and started a long home to-do list….First item of business, a grocery list with wine in line item slots 1 through 5.

Tuesday was another busy day. Up early to meet with my hardwood flooring guy. Many of you have noticed the hardwoods and asked why I want to replace them. There are many reasons. The floors in the family room and new master suite are hickory – one of the softest woods out there. Sadly, after the movers left and the kids arrived, the flooring is already showing significant scratches. I knew this would happen so am not stressing over it.

In addition to having the hickory floors replaced, there is a wide variety of flooring throughout the rest of the house – 3 kinds of tile and 4 kinds of hardwood – some of which is original 1960 flooring. Not only had I planned on streamlining the floors during the kitchen remodel, but during the home inspection the pest control company found powder post beetles taking up residence in a few chunks of the living room and dining spaces. My hardwood guy came in to repair the damages made, but this is a temporary fix. Repaired area in the dining room…


and living room…



The seller’s agent paid for these repairs, which came in at around $1k. Since there was a small budget, my flooring guy did what he could to patch and give us a temporary floor until the kitchen remodel.

We spent time talking floor options and his various opinions on how I can cut costs. We’ll be talking a lot about flooring in here over the next several months.

The rest of Tuesday involved errands around town – A new town i am totally lost in, my sister came by to hang out in the late afternoon and my cleaning crew came through to blow out the dirt/dust from all of the indoor and outdoor work. Sure, the movers would make a big mess again the next day – but at least i had a clean toilet to sit on after weeks of workers in and out of the house. *Cringe*

Back soon with part 2, including master closet design drawings, carpeting, swing set install, and my southern boys pulling into california like they own the place…

Back soon!

comments +

  1. Sarah says:

    I get where you are with being torn between 2 places. Our family moved from Oklahoma to Oregon in February and I felt like I was caught in a tornado of emotions. I wanted to be in Oregon but I also wanted to be back home. Hopefully it will all even out and you will be back in the swing of things soon.

  2. I know I've said it before, but I really do enjoy these "moving" posts! Bless your heart, I bet you're stressed out to the max right now, but it sounds like you're handling it well. It's so nice to have your family close by. 🙂 I had to laugh at the Charlie story! Sweet boy was probably totally confused as to what was going on! LOL! Love the mover dude surfing on the truck!

  3. Simply LKJ says:

    Oh my…I am exhausted just reading what you have been dealing with!! So glad all made it there safe and sound. Too funny about the cat. That would so happen to me. Can't wait to see the progress.

  4. Shari says:

    We're a military family so I totally get the mixed emotions. I have to say, I laughed so loud at the cat story that *my* cat came to see what was going on! 😀

  5. Carol says:

    This is so exciting, Samantha! Bless your heart for all the chaos you are going through, but it certainly makes for great reading for those of us who enjoy following your blog. Can't wait for the next installment!

  6. Oh my goodness, Sam! My hubby and I are praying to move back to my hometown by Christmas. I know I'll be feeling all those feelings you described! Hope everything goes well in the next few days and thanks for sharing it with us!!

  7. Melissa says:

    Love this long recap!!! I love reading longer blog posts when they tell a story like this =)

    Glad you guys are safely in your house! Enjoy every second of organizing everything!!!!

  8. JA says:

    Excited to hear more about your new business ventures. Organizing is my passion as well…just need to do something about it. Want a business partner in the Seattle area? 🙂

    Good luck with the unpacking! Moving is such an emotional affair. We recently sold our house and are temporarily living in an apartment while our new house is being built. Such melancholy about leaving the house we brought our kids home from the hospital to and excitement about the new memories to be made in the new house.

  9. […] share the final move-in recap post. if you missed the two previous installments, here is the first and the second.  at this point of move-in, i had 1.5 days to unpack as much kid-related […]

  10. […] back today with part 2 of the move-in process. thank you so much for the comments and support in act 1. one of my favorite blogging perks? hearing from […]

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