Forward

I have been having fantasies lately.

Prints.  Carpets.  Color.  Organization.

Yes, décor fantasies.

The thing is, I got pregnant at 25 years old.  Then we got married once Carlitos turned one.  We lived in Washington, D.C., and then moved to Maryland.  Suddenly we were in Harlem.  Next up, Brooklyn.

Basically we have done everything backwards.  Or wildly?  Certainly ‘our way’ if nothing else.  But it has been somewhat difficult.

And not always so pretty.  Yes, I mean months without sleep, moves, one salary…life.  But, I also literally mean it is not always so pretty.

The hand-me-down, clearance or street-found furniture we had as single 20-somethings turned into the furniture in our apartment while I was pregnant.  Life has been too busy with changes in family size, jobs, cities and homes to deal with redecorating, let alone to finance something like that.  Plus, each home has felt temporary.  We are renters and always seem to be in an apartment that we know won’t ultimately fulfill all of our needs.

So I never feel settled.

Recently everything came to a head.  I’ve watched my sisters-in-law move into new apartments and create spaces within them that are glamorous, elegant, creative.  Oh, and clean.  For awhile now we have also been dreaming of having some sort of backyard for the boys.  And a third bedroom.  High prices in Brooklyn make that seem unlikely for us. Then, of course, there are the roaches that are the size of limes…with wings.  They like to pop in and say hello after hard rains.  How do we know it’s raining, you ask?  Oh, because it rains inside of our apartment whenever it rains outside our apartment.

So, when a friend of ours mentioned that he and his wife were no longer moving to Chicago, but instead to New Jersey, my husband and I looked at each other.  Something clicked.  We had looked at all surrounding towns, cities and states when we were ready to move out of Manhattan a year and a half ago and ultimately ended up in Brooklyn.  I guess at the time we weren’t ready to really make the big jump.  The suburbs. Somehow, after living in New York City for two years, those two words tasted sour in our mouths, as they do to many city folk.

Something has changed in both of us, however.  And thankfully, we are on the same page.  We realized we were living a more difficult life than necessary.  And for what?  To prove something?  To whom?  I don’t recall making any promises to anyone about where I would or would not raise my kids.  But living in New York can feel that way.  Like you’re letting people down or giving up if you leave the boroughs.  We are suddenly so ready, though.

We drove out to scope out towns in New Jersey the very next day.  And fell in love with one of them.  One that literally has a shorter commute for my husband than his current one from Brooklyn.  And where we can afford a 4 bedroom house with front and back yards, a finished attic and a finished basement.  Where the schools offer everything we are able to obtain here.

I am excited for this future life change.  So excited.  It feels like a better fit for our whole family and it feels right.

But like I said, it’s giving me fantasies.

Honestly, I don’t care if our entire home is empty – save for the boys’ bunk beds – when we first move.  I want to get rid of almost all of our furniture.  Start fresh.  Even if it means buying one new piece per month because that’s all we can afford.  I can not wait to not have mismatched, hanging on by a thread pieces of furniture.

And I can’t wait to carve out a little space to make a home office.  Just for me and my computer.  Peaceful.  Inspired.

The one part I’m not mentioning?

My design skills are pretty much the worst.

So my husband, mom and third ‘sister-in-law’ will be handling the actually design choices.   I have faith in all of them to do a better job than I have done.  It would be hard not to exceed the bar I have set though.  Let’s be honest.

Mostly, I am excited and ready for all of it.  The new prints, carpets, colors and organization.  An office.  Bedrooms.  A yard.  Space.  Green.

I am so ready for this change.  So until we are ready to move, if you find me daydreaming now you’ll know why.

And if you have any good interior design links to share, please do!

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12 Responses to Forward

  1. Shannon says:

    Where are you looking in NJ? Literally until the day we found out about Miami we had been searching seriously in Maplewood, South Orange and Montclair…I still think about it now–it was so beautiful last fall! Can’t wait to hear where you guys end up!

  2. Monica says:

    Hooray! Having a backyard is absolutely KEY for sanity sake. You will love it!! BTW we have been here almost 3 years and have barely decorated and have old furniture. We agree on so many things but decor we have trouble settling on. Wish I could farm that out too! :)

  3. Shannon – Ding! Ding! Ding! ;) Maplewood or South Orange – same school district, as I’m sure you know – so either one would make us really happy. Just have to wait for Carlitos to finish Kindergarten and my husband to finish grad school this Spring!
    Are you still loving Florida???

  4. Monica – Thanks for the support. I am so happy you guys found the right spot! :)
    Decor always just kind of fell to me by default but honestly, I am so, so bad at it. I can look at rooms and items and tell you if I like them or not, but I could never create one myself. Time to hand off the duty! ;)

    I know an AMAZING interior decorator in your neck of the woods if you guys ever want!

  5. Carly says:

    That is a really nice area of NJ! Good for you guys for knowing what you want!! We need some direction!

  6. Nina says:

    This is super exciting! :)

  7. Carly – Here is your direction: Come with us! I mean…you already followed us from Harlem to Brooklyn. What’s one more move?!? ;)

    Thank you for your support. And seriously…you guys should explore it if you haven’t. Way more affordable and a shorter commute depending on where in the city you are headed….
    xo

  8. Nina – Thank you! We feel that way, too! I kind of wish Carlitos hated Kindergarten so we could just move NOW. ;)

  9. Shannon says:

    AHHHH! We would have known someone! Ha. We loved it for lots of reasons and would have likely ended up there if not for the move to Fla. We hit the same point, where the apartment living was just not making as much sense anymore. We are really enjoying it here, but still adjusting. Home ownership is awesome…and a lot of work! Good stuff though, worth the time and effort. Well- we said if we ever moved back we would take a look in that area again- so who knows! Good luck with the house hunt (guess you will be looking in spring time?)…Maplewood in the fall felt like a Norman Rockwell painting :-)

  10. Shannon – How awesome would that be?!? :) It’s always nice to know someone going in. Or to have someone you know move to where you live! ;)

    Yes, Normal Rockwell with a slight hippie/creative vibe sounds about right. ha

    So happy you guys are doing well in Florida and loving your new home! :)

  11. autumn says:

    i am a huge fan of apartmenttherapy.com. they have great ideas for creating inspired rooms that are well curated and most importantly, they help you refine your own aesthetic. I visit it daily! Sounds like a great plan!

  12. Autumn – Thank you! That’s right, I’ve heard you talk about that site! I will be looking at it daily now, too I think. ;)

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