For the past 48 hours I’ve spent more time using cleaning products than the last 48 days. I would say 48 years…but I’m only 29…remember? It’s not really exciting news. Just the most boring to-do list item ever….
I did get to scrape up some wax off the hardwood floor in the dining room. Wait…THAT was the most boring news ever.
Jeremy got a call at 8am from the HVAC guys. They had showed up at the Dream House this mornin’ and we forgot to leave a key. I also forgot that I left both backdoors wide open so thankfully they had access to the basement. I am glad to report that no critters crawled inside….
Yes…Jeremy gave me the dirtiest look in his expression-collection for that one. It burned my retinas to look at him.
On a positive note, the furnace in the basement is halfway complete.
The basement ceiling and walls are patched…and it looks like dog doo. Color me not-surprised.
The thing I am going to miss the most about being in the new house is this guy:
Cole is my 6 year old nephew. My sister is a single mom…and since she works fulltime and my mom works a long day on Wednesdays and can’t watch him, I get Cole-baby all to myself one day a week. I am really going to miss our Wednesday date with him. We always seem to have a grand ole time. Will loves it too.
We tell Cole all the time that he is a big brother to Will. He knows the truth. Just like he knows that his Pappap (who he says is his dad) is not really his father. Those labels are roles to him…and we are happy to know that Cole is going to have the responsibility of being a big brother to Will….and that Will will have someone to look up to. We like to color outside the lines when it comes to love.
One of our favorite things to do when Cole comes over is go into the woods. It is the same woods that Jeremy carved bike paths into. Technically it isn’t our land.
Some guy that lives in North Carolina owns it. Five acres. We walked all the way through it. Most of it is lowlying. Our favorite part was the creek. I did my maternity photos there. A few months ago a couple trees fell and dammed it up….it’s not as pretty now…but we would walk through it together and pretend that it was ours.
I let Will use my Rebel camera last time we were in the woods. I dare say he is a natural. And check out those ears on Will. He looks positively adorable as an elf…and yes, I do plan on making him an costume for Christmas now that I’ve seen how well he could pull it off.
Do you want to know why we are so excited about the Dream House? I mean, sure there is the shmancy moldings and the pretty front porch and the space and the windows and the foreclosure price….but do you want to know what won over my heart? what made me fall deeply in love? what drew me in and grabbed hold and didn’t let go? It was this:
The house sits on a five acre wooded lot. FIVE ACRES. It’s like a dream come true for me. I literally want to cry just thinking about it. And the line is this creek. This beautiful trickling stream of water….
Some people live for excitement. Some can’t live without being near people or shopping or parks….but me? This is what does it for me. the sound of a babbling brook….the sitting and throwing in of leaves and watching them float out of sight….the mystery of a foggy morning in the trees. Those still and small moments in a forest make me feel alive. (enter Colors of the Wind music here!) I am being completely serious. If I could say that anything in this new house was just for me…it would be this…
I know that some people aren’t going to believe that we would buy that spacious home just so that we could have acreage….and those people are right. We aren’t buying just five acres. We are buying five acres of land in a neighborhood. That means that Will can still go trick or treating…that we still will have a sense of community…that we will have folks to wave at on our daily walks….and then in the middle of the afternoon, we get to experience nature. We get to escape and play and go on adventures.
When I was a little girl growing up in South Jersey, we lived in a home that had woods behind the property. I used to pretend that I was Pocohantas…except my Indian name was Cheetah girl. And my special skill was running swiftly through the trees without making a noise. Literally, I would practice walking in the woods without making a single snap, crackle or pop. Ask my sister…she’ll tell you.
Granted, there are treasures in this forest that I am sure Miss Pocohantas didn’t ever see….
So that is what is going on with me.
Anybody else on a 48 hour cleaning streak? Or maybe you just want to tell me that you are a woodsy-type girl too? Perhaps you just want to say how impressive Cole’s photos are? I know…I wouldn’t be surprised if National Geographic picked him up for their next issue. Or maybe you just want to say that Will’s ears are the cutest thing ever….they really are….okay…gotta run…I got elfin ears to go slather with kisses 🙂
p.s. Guess what?! I finally downloaded the video of the basement…WITH THE LIGHTS ON! So be on the look out for that later today!
blog is the new black says
48 hour cleaning streak- you go girl! The sense of accomplishment you will get will be worth it!
Jane @ The Borrowed Abode says
I 150% understand wanting the property more for the land than the home! I grew up in a very nice old neighborhood that actually had deep lots with woods, and communal streams in park-like areas. I played in the streams, got muddy, caught tadpoles and fish, and all that jazz…all while enjoying a neighborhood. ANd when I got older and saw that most neighborhoods weren’t like that, I realized that I was going to have a tough time finding that when I was ready to raise kids.
So consider me drooling over that “yard” of yours. It’s truly the perfect combo, if you ask me.
Erica @ Erica's Inspirations says
Just curious, why can’t you watch Cole anymore? Are you too far away?
Your property sounds absolutely dreamy! 🙂
you said you let will use the camera in the woods instead of cole 🙂
I love your “100 acre woods” that is a reference to my kids favorite book “Winnie the Pooh” and his adventures in the woods with all those other adorable characters!
The woods and creek would be my favorite part too…love that you get a neighborhood with tricker treating too! So cool when kids get to grow up “exploring”!
Congrats and happy cleaning!
I totally agree with you. I would LOVE to find that for our family when we figure out the general area we want to live in. I grew up in Maryland but live in Florida now and we lived on 2 1/2 acres and in a neighborhood. Each house had at least an acre and they all had woods and streams behind them. There was a stream that ran throughout the neighhborhood it’s hard to explain but it was somewhere in almost everyone’s backyards.
Julie B says
I totally know what you mean about loving nature! I grew up on a farm. Our nearest neighbors were a mile away…and they were relatives! It was great. My sisters, cousins, and I would build forts, ride our bikes (and when we got older, 4-wheelers), cut paths through the woods and go on “Little House on the Prairie” walks through the pasture. Those were the days. We all still LOVE going back to the farm for frequent visits. It’s so peaceful!
Awesome! We live on 3 acres with a stream, in a neighborhood! What a great place to raise kids! Will and Cole are cute, and so are you! Good Luck with your dream house. Can’t wait to see what you do with it!
Rebecca @ the lil house that could says
I live in NJ now and I live tecnically in South Jersey. We have much more land than where I grew up further North, but finding those lots with a few acres, in a neighborhood, with easy access to major roadways to get to work and for family to visit is extremely difficult here! I would LOVE to have a stream in our yard. We settled for a half an acre (which is large for new construction around here) and we chose the most densely wooded lot the builder had. So we have nice woods and no one behind us for a while, but no stream. At least we can still build our future kids a nice tree house back there! 🙂
I haven’t checked in on your blog for a while and WOAH!! You have a new house! I am seriously waaayyy behind 🙂 It is amazing and your family is beautiful! Congratulations on the new house and selling the first home! I promise to check in more often 😉
We always had woods, creeks, fields, and ponds around to play in growing up – what a great way to grow up. These days we live where the Army tells us but we sure look forward to getting some acreage some day. Room for the (future) kids, a big vegetable garden…maybe even chickens!
Relevant Notes says
When it comes to love, color outside the lines.
I’m sensing an awesome new line for a print 🙂 (if you’re still doing that)
Beautiful. Just beautiful.
Your son is so fortunate to grow up with his very own woods to run and play in. He’s going to have an imagination on par with his Cheetah Girl mama. 🙂
Melanie Scott says
What a sweet post! Your Cole seems like a special guy and what a blessing to have you and your family in his life!
Oh man, that part about Cole and coloring outside the lines when it comes to love made me tear up a bit….very cute 🙂
I second Erica’s question. Not trying to be nosey, but curious too!
Loved this post!! The woods are SO gorgeous! I know exactly what you mean.. it will be so peaceful and beautiful to take your family out there. And Cole is an excellent photographer.. lol he could teach me a lesson or two! 🙂
Mike @HA says
Nice work! The first few days of owning the house are the worst! You realize how dirty it really is and how many things there are to fix. It’s a great house!!
Bummer about the patch job. Can you get them back to fix it? Did they just use spackle??
Katie, I was prepared to list all the things I love about this post, but as I continued to read, the list kept getting longer and longer! You are a genuine and talented and beautiful and blessed woman with an adorable family. Cole is already a better photographer than I am! lol
Eek! That ran off the page. LOL
I love the woods and the stream you have!!! My absolute favorite thing to do with my boyfriend is go hiking in the woods north of Baltimore.
Now I need to know where you grew up in Dirty South Jersey! I’m living there now and love it!
We have a small babbling creek bordered by woods at the very edge of our property, which was exactly what hooked us as well. 🙂
You guys are going to have a blast in those woods. My dad had a lot of acerage when I was growing up and it was fan-freaking-tastic to play in and explore.
Hey Katie have fun cleaning! I noticed you had a ton of cleaning products and most of those aren’t “Will safe” so have you thought about switching to eco and baby friendly cleaning products? I use a ton of white vinegar , lemon and baking sofa and it cleans a lot of things. Google it if you are interested!
Also why are you scraping your hardwoods? Maybe I just don’t understand but why do you have wax on them?
I would absolutely LOVE to live on 5 acres of land with woods and a creek? AHH! So jealous! Congratulations on your new house!!
“We color outside the lines when it comes to love.”
This quote is echoing throughout my whole body right now. Wow, girl. Amazing. It’s as if I was just reading a novel and I put it down after reading an amazing quote that speaks to me and sums up all that I believe.
Can you sell prints of that? Pretty please?
Just like Dee, I was so touched by your ” We like to color outside the lines when it comes to love.”
And I love the house and the property and Will and his ears…
I will be back later for more posts!!!
Felicity @ Our Little Beehive says
Your post made me home sick. I grew up on 20 acres of land in a big old colonial. My parents still live there and when I go home, I stay for weeks and don’t want to leave. We have 6,000 square feet of land at our house. I cry about it often. Will is one lucky boy to grow up with woods.
My dream house (which I have not located yet) is by water; a river, a creek, a lake… I’m not picky as long as I can wake up in the morning and drink my coffee and look out at the water. That is all I want, not too much to ask for I don’t think. I do live in MN the land of 10000 lakes it shouldn’t prove to be too hard to locate this pre-requisite when searching for my dream home 😉
And yes Will’s elf ears are the cutest thing ever!!!
well this post hit home for me! I too have an adorable 2 year old nephew. My sister is a single mom & my nephew has never met his dad, so his grandpa is the closest thing to a father figure (and boy does he love his grandpa!) My mom watches my nephew 5 days a week and I take a night to help her and I get to spend a quality date night with my nephew each week. Its such a special time for me and my husband when he is able to watch him with me. I treasure those date nights with my nephew so much because he is just so loved by my whole family, with or without a father…. might have to use that coloring outside the lines line. 🙂
Amy L. says
Pangs of jealousy for your wooded lot. I grew up in a house that had some awesome woods behind it and spent most of my childhood playing there. When house hunting in the area we live now, we couldn’t find anything even close so I’ll have to settle for the nearby park. Loving the posts on the Dream House! How blessed you are!
Cait @ Hernando House says
I second what Dee said! (Or I might just make one to hangin my house, if that’s ok.)
Cait @ Hernando House says
I love all the pictures of the stream! (And the ones Cole took are awesome!) And is it weird that I like the photo with the trash cans a lot? I guess I am weird, I did also take&frame a picture of a beer bottle my husband left on the bumper/winch mount of his CJ-7….
I think you are adorable and love your blog. Congrats on the new home. I, grew up in NJ and would love to know what town you are from? Keep up the great work!
Maggie @ Cheneyhome says
The passion and love you already have for your new home is such a blessing to the neglect it has had. I’m probably a little biased since we too rescued a short sale/foreclosure, but I think what you’re doing is great! And those woods? Amazing. Color me jealous. 🙂
Love it! This new house looks like it was an amazing find. You’re very lucky to be able to explore nature with Will every day. I am not a mom yet, but that is one of the things I’m most looking forward to. 🙂
Melissa @ HOUSEography says
You are a brave and crazy girl with all of that cleaning. I’m not sure I would be as brave as you because that house is HUGE and, as you said, very dirty. It will all be perfect in the end though.
Also, I played in woods behind my house when I was growing up. We didn’t own them but no one cared and we rode our bikes, raked leaves, made teepees, built snow forts and tree houses (very unsafe ones with rotten wood and rusty nails), and no one cared. My parents never worried that we were going to be kidnapped or seriously injured (other than occasional rusty nail through a foot – ouch). We were also VERY tired at night. I wish I had that for my kids now so count yourselves VERY lucky – I know you do.
Hi Katie, I haven’t been to your blog in a while but saw the link at YHL today and thought Let me pop over. Well I just killed about 2 hours going through past posts of yours. You’re so funny and I love your writing style. Your posts always make me laugh. I’m bookmarking you with my daily blog reads cuz I can’t wait to see what you do with this big beautiful house. Good luck in your new home! Love you guys!
I totally feel the 48 hour cleaning streak!! I’m currently months pregnant and last weekend I started “nesting” like a crazy woman and cleaning every surface of our house! Last night after work I was running around with a bottle of pledge and a rag and working on all of our wood furniture and accessories with reckless abandon. Glad to not be the only one on a crazed cleaning streak. 😉 Good luck with the new house!!
I was gonna say, wills blinding on the camera for his age!!! Hehe
Kate @ biggirllittlegirl.com says
Katie, I just wanted to tell you how touched I was by your line: “We like to color outside the lines when it comes to love.”
I lost my husband when our first baby was just two weeks old and my parents are playing a much more hands-on role in my daughter’s caretaking than normal grandparents would. What a perfect description for our untraditional family.
Thanks for sharing.
When I was a little girl growing up in Arizona, I also used to pretend that I was Pocahontas as well! My cousin and I would also try and use our”special skills” trying to walk or run without making a sound. We had no forest or creek like you – but, I guess that is what the imagination was for and we definitely had an imaginary forest and creek! We would make “healing remedies” by squashing different plants with rocks and we’d jump into the pool like Pocahontas jumped into the ocean. We also had a huge tree that we would climb that was like Mother Willow. It was awesome!
So many great memories growing up! Those memories will always be something I cherish and I hope that one day my kids will use their imagination playing for hours and hours outside without their face in front of the TV. I hope these “100 acre woods” will be an imaginary place for Will to love and grow and imagine, for there is no other precious memory that a child could have than the use of his or her imagination!
I ADORE the woods. So much so that my son’s first birthday party was a woodland theme, as well as his nursery (he’s 14 months now).
I’m with you. The house is stunning. The natural light just kills me it is so beautiful. But the woods? The river? Will is going to have the best childhood ever. I think after the house is fixed up you might need to help build Will a fort out in those woods.
I’m in love….
I love this post. I love that you are a nature girl, too. As someone who grew up on 21 acres, can I just ask? Did you get permission to use those 5 acres at your old place? People always trespassed on our property, regardless of fencing or signs. And then they left trash. And hunted (to which we are opposed). Please don’t take this as one of those snotty people who read your blog just to complain, because that is not the purpose. I enjoy reading your blog. I was just recalling my own childhood home with people on our property when they weren’t supposed to be.
Kelly @ youngmidwesthome.blogspot.com/ says
It just gets better & better! We have a large backyard, but we live in the city. So I envy you having that land to walk & walk & walk on. That would be soooo nice…not to mention, beautiful!
It’s incredible! You are so blessed!
I certainly don’t want to be a downer, but living in the south and having woods like that, please become educated on the lyme disease. Yep, the disease you rarely hear about and often what is heard is completely false (it is not curable past a certain stage). Please protect yourself and Will with repellents. Myself and my son (who got it congentially) are living proof of what one little itty bitty bug can do. I got bit (never saw the stupid thing) by the bug at a child’s amusement park in Marietta, it was a year later when it was discovered what my illness was. I will forever be infected with lyme.
Just a few months ago, my oldest son had a lone star crawling on his leg. In our fenced backyard in Forsyth County. Luckily, he is very educated at 6 years old and knew what to do.
For more information, visit http://www.georgialymedisease.org/
We bought our house because it sits on four acres of land. The Mister walks the dogs through the property twice a day. Unfortunately it’s also a tick have as soon as the weather warms up, yick.
I am very jealous. I wish we had that kind of land in a neighborhood here out West. I am also jealous of Cole’s photography abilities. I have been sporadically trying for the past couple years and I can say with confidence that I do not have natural talent.
wait a minute… you said “but I’m only 29…remember” …. as i recall, someone just turned the big 3-0, right my dear? :o)
(i’m only poking fun b/c my 3-0 is coming up soon too!)
ps: LOVE the acreage with the dream house! my husb and i are home-shopping and land is on our must-have list , there’s just something about being able to go out back and mosey around and know that no one’s gonna ask you to leave b/c its yours :o)
Katie J. says
Wow, look at all that space! Some of my favorite memories are from roaming my Grandpa’s wooded 10-acre lot. I hope Will gets to make many of those memories, too 🙂
Amy B says
OH, I hope that new neighborhood of yours is in Morgan county… that is where we will eventually be moving (for good) and you have found exactly what me & the hubs will be looking for! All that land and those woods AND the neighborhood?! Swooooon… Heck, I’d live in a tent for that kinda lot! Congrats, Bower fam!
Love it. My In-laws have amazing property with a pond that is a mile and a half around it in a prime spot of town but the house is really old and part of it smells like wood paneling from the 70s but we love the land. It is close enought to all the necessary stores but you feel like your in the country.
“We like to color outside the lines when it comes to love.”
This line simultaneously brought a tear to my eye and a smile to my face. I work with kids in foster care and so often we are not dealing with traditional families. It really doesn’t matter who loves you just how much someone loves you. Defined roles don’t matter to kids. Thank you, thank you Katie Bower for these words!
So after reading this post I can say that my heart met yours with the whole 5 acres thing!
Just wanted to tell you about a typo.. right above the pictures Cole took you said
I let Will use my Rebel camera last time we were in the woods. I dare say he is a natural.
I think you meant I let Cole.
Ooops! you are right! I should fix that, huh? Maybe not…just for fun 🙂
xo – kb
Oh Michelle, my body has been on this earth for 30 years but I’m still only 29 🙂
xo – kb
Actually when we lived in NJ, it was very common to have lyme disease week….even in elementary school! So I am well versed in looking for ticks after walking through the woods…and yes, I do tuck my jeans into my socks 🙂
xo – kb
No we didn’t get permission because we just recently found out it belonged to an individual. Some paperwork showed that it was lowlying state owned property…and we always walked through and picked up trash (no because of any other reason but that litter has no place in a beautiful place!).
xo – kb
A little town called Pemberton….and then another little town from Tabernacle 🙂
xo – kb
No…I haven’t thought of switching to eco or baby friendly cleaning products. Mostly because I get the regular cleaning stuff so cheap and the coupons never are for the eco version. And the hardwoods had wax on them (from the previous owners)…so in order to clean them, I got out my paint scraper.
xo – kb
It is a bummer – but there were other areas that needed smoothing out so we just plan to smooth it out whenever we decide to repaint down there. I think that they did just use spackle – but I can’t be sure until later 🙂
xo – kb
I don’t get to watch him because he comes over after school. My sister has to leave work to go pick him up and then drops him off, eats lunch and has to be back at work before the boss (my dad) notices she’s gone for too long. Since we are moving twenty minutes farther away – it would definitely make it impossible for him to come over. We told Nornie that we would just have to have sleep over nights.
xo – kb
Stephanie B says
“We like to color outside the lines when it comes to love.”
So poignant! Cole’s a cutie patootie and very talented!
We lived in a neighborhood growing up and had woods adjacent to our property that my sisters and I played in every day. We “accidently” used to fall in the creek all the time until our mom told us there were snakes in the water. LOL we still played in the water but were more careful after seeing a few big snakes. We had made our own trails and secret hiding spots too. Thanks for your post… it brought back wonderful memories 🙂
just wondering…did you mean you let “Cole” use your camera…and he’s a natural…you said Will but Cole makes more sense…..anyways wish you much cleaning fairy powder…looks like you’re gonna need it!
Oh, that makes me happy. You are obviously much better neighbors than ours were. 🙂
Yes – Cole…not Will…although that would be a first for the little guy 🙂
xo – kb
wow, your nephew has ‘the eye’! He took great photos, I can’t even get my husband to take a non-blurry photo of me. ever.
5 acres is a massive chunk of earth to own at age 29, congrats to you!! I too have been on a cleaning rampage as my husband comes back tomorrow from deployment…he can NEVER know that I juuuuust might live like a little piggy & hardly clean when he’s away.
I can totally relate to being excited about owning land and not just a house. We live on a tiny lot in the center of the city. Having a wide open space is looking nicer every.single.day.
I grew up in a suburb but my parents’ house has 3 acres. I was always outside. Barefoot. Climbing trees. Playing in the hayloft of the barn. Finding nature’s little treasures. It was perfect. And the more I think about it the more I want to give that to my sons.
We’re going to look at our first house on Sunday. It has 3 acres and I’ve never been so excited to look at a house!
Renee Smith says
Your woods remind me of my Grandpa’s growing up; when he moved out of that house to a smaller home/lot also in the city, he bought a 98ish acre “farm” out in the country (just 1 hour from Houston)… the house on the farm was a mess, but we were rarely inside of the house! Fishing in the retention ponds, hiking in the woods, riding a go-cart around or walking to the rooster farm down the dirt road… untamed childhood is a beautiful thing! Can I also borrow that “we color outside of the lines” quote to decorate a wall in my house? It got me teary…
I also wanted to share a cool money saving cleaning trick I got from the Grocery Shrink blog’s newsletter. If you sign up for her newsletter, she sends out two e-mails chock full of cleaner recipes that are SO inexpensive (like… cheaper than lysol with a coupon AND totally natural!). I, too rarely clean… (48 years is hardly an exaggeration, and I’m only 25), so I’ve been a little unmotivated to try them. She’s super practical, though, and I’ve noticed that she’ll post when a money-saving alternative isn’t working as well as its conventional counterpart so I am pretty confident that she’d only give recommendations that she uses AND loves to use (like when she decided to return to paper tissues instead of cloth hankies for her family). Anyway, thought I’d pass along a little frugal mama tip in case you’d be interested. Hopefully your cleaning saga is coming to a close… did I mention that I don’t really like cleaning either?!
Renee Smith says
P.S. LOVE your rubber gloves. LOVE THEM.
Cleaning is so theraputic to me so I hope that it is for you as well or else 48 hours of it might be rather stressful. I love those woods. and yes, Cole is awesome. You could get him a Rebel for his birthday and then have all of the Christmas, birthday and graduation presents taken care for him for the rest of his life!