Buying a New Home in Southern California

Newport Beach, California

My dream of living in California and owning a home is about to come true. Assuming everything goes well with the closing process, we will live in our new Orange County home on June 30th. It’s not even half the size of our home in North Carolina and our backyard is basically non-existent, but our playground is the beach and the mountains and it’s open 365 days a year. Continue reading

DIY Bucket List

“Move into our home and finish decorating” is on this year’s bucket list, but it’s a much New Home, Charlotte, North Carolinabigger undertaking than I anticipated. We have an entire house to fill and too many ideas floating around to make concrete decisions. Whew… it’s a real challenge! We did manage to design and create a few amazing pieces that we are truly proud to have in our house. Some projects came from craigslist.com and we added our own touches while others came from scrap wood that we found around the community; that’s one of the perks of living in a newly developing area. We have a long way to go, but we’re starting to feel like we’re home.  Continue reading

The Life of Our Home

We wanted to build our first home as a family in Charlotte, North Carolina; why try to fit intoNew House, Charlotte, North Carolina someone else’s mold? We made a list of “must-haves” and wants and began our search. With tons of new houses and builders in the area, we had lots of options. A loft, 4+ bedrooms, a 3 car garage, 2.5+ bathrooms, walk-in closets, a fireplace, granite counter tops, lots of windows, high ceilings, hardwood floors, a community pool, walking trails, sidewalks, trees, a short driving distance from work, groceries, shopping, and food… the must-have list was hefty. Was it unrealistic? Of course. But a bucket list life comes with big dreams. And we’d left a life on the beach in California for a family environment and a roomy home for Athena. After searching north, south, east, and west over and over again, we found a builder. Ryan Homes offered a house in a community that had every detail we had listed on both the “must-have” and the “want” list and the life of our home began. Continue reading

Are We Home Yet?

Where should it be located? How many bedrooms do we need? What towns should we THE PRESTON by Orleans Homesconsider? Do we want brick, or maybe siding, or even yet… HardiePlank? Should the master bedroom be on the main floor or upstairs? What lot should we choose? Building a house can be taxing… oh yeah, we need to consider the community tax as well. AHHHHHHH! After months of searching, Darren and I might have found the house for us. The community, the neighbors, the amenities, and the house design all bring a smile to our faces and a “home” feeling to our hearts.  Continue reading

Feeling Like a Kid Again – Nova Scotia, Canada

Flying a jetpack, seeing a wonder of the world, sleeping on the beach, taking a helicopterFamily Travel flight lesson, giving birth, finding the best Italian restaurant, volunteering for a new organization, and seeing immediate family may seem like an odd grouping, but it’s just part of my 2012 Bucket List. It wasn’t until this month that I’ve been able to accomplish one of the most important items (Obviously under delivering my baby girl). On July 7th, 2012, I returned to eastern Canada so Athena could meet her family. The complete happiness that filled my grandfather as he held her in his arms for the first time was one of the most memorable moments of my life; the look on my mother’s face when she gazed into Athena’s eyes warmed my heart; and watching my little sister, Gabriella, play with Athena like I played with her made me feel like I was in the Lion King and listening to Mufasa talk about the circle of life. Although only number 7 on my 2012 Bucket List, seeing all of my immediate family was one of the greatest highlights of the year.   Continue reading

“Home for a Rest” – Iona, Nova Scotia, Canada

Iona, Nova Scotia is my family’s home. I’ll be relaxing Cape Breton style for the next two weeks at Highland Heights Inn so you may not hear much from me. My beautiful sister, Gabriella, and my precious daughter, Athena, will do their best to keep me busy, but I’m sure I’ll find time to sit and enjoy the scenery.

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Feels Like Home to Me

Charlotte, NC is currently our home. We’ve only lived here for two weeks, but our goal is to buy a house and make North Carolina our permanent residence, a place where we’ve lived long enough to remember the address, have family for neighbors, and be part of the community. Before moving here, we lived in California. It was a like being on permanent vacation with the perfect weather, unlimited possibilities, and endless adventures, but it was never my home. I never felt that connection to my environment. Growing up in Nova Scotia gave me a true feeling of “home”. It wasn’t only because I was surrounded by family, but because I was surrounded by community; I smiled and waved at the people around me and they smiled and waved back.  I want that friendly-neighbor association for Athena, which is what prompted the move from our permanent vacation in California to our new home in North Carolina. Moving back to the east coast is a reminder of all the great things that surrounded me as a child in Nova Scotia. Beautiful, majestic trees, fishing off of a pier or in a lake, swinging from a tree, vacationing at the beach, and parties with family and friends, thinking about Nova Scotia warms my heart and reminds me that I am home. Continue reading