Friday, June 21, 2013

Moving day!

Who knew it would come so quickly? But here we go - northward bound. Two cars, 4 kids, 2 cats and a dog. Should be a relaxing afternoon and evening. BAHAHAHA! Of course I'm kidding. But honestly it shouldn't be too bad. No rush to get there. Especially with Michael driving the van hauling a UHaul - yes we are equal opportunity movers - Penske for the first part of the move - UHaul for today.

I am so proud of myself for the few tears that I have personally shed. I will so miss my Florida friends but I honestly believe these are friendships, not unlike my high school friendships, that will stand the tests of time and distance. The friends we have made here will never be out of our lives. We will make plans to get our families together and continue to celebrate milestones in each others lives. I believe that is what is truly helping ease the departure. That and as my dear friend Pam says, "See you in heaven!" True Pam, but hopefully we will be together MANY more times this side of eternity. :)

My only significant tears thus far have been watching R say her farewell to her friend after their beach vacation last weekend. Though I know I have the means and skills to see my friends whenever I want my heart does ache to know that Facetime will become the primary means of communication for these sweet girls to maintain their friendship. Not that it isn't already a large part of their friendship - trips to the mall and sleepovers will be missing from their times together.

I'm actually writing this Thursday night, we just have to pick up R from camp tomorrow and head north. I spoke with R today and she has had a fabulous week, as we knew she would. She said they've learned about sharing their testimonies, had a session on "change" - how timely for her. She said that was very helpful. I love how my kids come home from camp "filled-up." Youth camp with our church is a highly emotional event. The kids and the staff develop bonds that are significant. It is always sad to say "Goodbye - I'll see you Sunday" when the kids get off the bus. So the challenge of "Goodbye - I'll see you in heaven" will likely be overwhelming for R & her friends after a week at camp. Nothing will make me cry faster than seeing someone I care about cry.

I too will have friends picking up their middle schoolers tomorrow. I will be sporting my prescription sunglasses because it will be a long sunny drive to the new house - not at all to hide my red teary eyes as I hug my friends goodbye and watch R part with her friends.

Update - campers are arriving an hour late to church - one more hour to soak in the hot Florida sunshine. :) Prayers for a safe journey are much appreciated.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Pretty Yellow Penske Truck

So we are taking rather a unique approach to moving this time around. Because this is an independent move that Michael's company supports but has not required, we are paying for our own move. This means my dear hubby drove this baby to the new house. 

As large as this pretty yellow Penske truck is it didn't hold all our stuff. So we will be transporting the rest of our "stuff" at a later date. 
Also moving to the new home at a later date... the people. :)

Uprooting your children is no easy decision. Having two of said children graduate high school and start a new phase in their life made it easier for them than most as all of their friends are headed in different directions. Having a newly adopted son who has been home schooled for the past year while challenging on an entirely different level is doable and lots of long talks about how a family stays together and so on and so forth seems to be covering things with him. However a preteen on the verge of her 13th birthday leaving behind 7 years of important friendships from church and school - not so easy. I think of myself at her age and I know I would have thrown a  couple of multiple full on tantrums about how my parents were ruining my life. She has not done this and is really trying to put on a brave face. It is for her that we are staying on in Florida an extra two weeks. She has beach vacation plans with a friend this week and next week is church camp for middle schoolers. As patient as we are all trying to be with one another we have told her that upon arriving at church from camp we will meet her there and travel directly to the new house. She did ask if we could spend just one more night in the Florida house. By that point we will have said so many "farewells" that I don't think my heart could take one more night. Not to mention that on that pretty yellow Penske truck are all of our beds, box springs and mattresses. So one more night on an air mattress and two weeks of dirty laundry - the washer & the dryer also made the trip on the pretty yellow Penske truck. 

Yes we will be driving straight from church to the new home.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

McIntoshes on the move....again

So here it is we have decided to make another BIG move and become what is "affectionately" known as half-backers. Apparently the definition of a half-backer is a person from the north (can't get much further north than Canada) who moves south - Florida counts as south - then decides they miss the change of seasons but not the harsh winters and moves half-way back home. We are moving to North Carolina so technically this would make us "third-backers" but who's going to be that picky about the details.

We have been throwing around the idea of eventually moving closer to home for a few years now. We have loved our lives in Florida and it really has seemed like a permanent vacation by times. So much to do that I'm sure we've barely touched on all there is to do in Florida. We have visited all the major theme parks multiple times. We have been to the beaches and Disney World, Busch Gardens, Universal Studios and Lego land. We have visited historical sites like St Augustine and Tarpon Springs. Most recently we celebrated two of our girls high school graduations in a private dining room at Bern's Steakhouse, where we toured the kitchen & wine cellar and finished the evening in the Harry Waugh Dessert Room. Memorable to say the least.

Aside from the tourist traps we have built a life here that centers around church, friends, work and our children's awesome schools. The youth program at our church has been absolutely the best for our kiddos. The friendships we have made will follow us wherever we move. We have made friends through church and through adoption that we will cherish forever. With our two oldest children graduating high school this year it just seems like the right time to make the move. The younger two have been home schooled this past year and will be returning to public school (grades 5 & 8) in North Carolina. Michael's job offers him the flexibility to leave the Tampa office and work out of the Charlotte office.

So we took the opportunity to travel to the Charlotte, NC area over Spring Break in March to go house hunting. We are taking this opportunity to maintain the Dave Ramsey life style we have embraced. We looked for a home in foreclosure that would obviously need cosmetic work but we could pay off in 10-12 years max. Enter our 1979 foreclosed fixer-upper. We LOVE the house. We looked at about 13 different properties and this was the only one that the kids all said "this feels like home" they also made comments about how much Grammy Susan and Grampy Terry would like the house. Michael & I walked around with dollar signs in our eyes for each and every room - cha-ching!!! 

We officially closed on our house a couple of weeks ago. We will be making the permanent move mid-June. Immediately after closing we were able to stay (camped-out on air mattresses) in our new home. This was our third time in the house and our first really close up look at the things we need/want to change. We scrubbed down the bathrooms and got to work painting closets. We painted 5 of 8 closets in the house, all three girls closets are ready to fill when we move. Two hallway closets are ready to store whatever we deem storable. The master closet & the son's closet along with 1 more hallway closet (which will be a special project) remain to be completed when we return in June.

I'd like to say this will be a total DIY (do-it-yourself) renovation but seriously who'd believe that? My mother gave me the suggestion of DDIY (don't-do-it-yourself) I'm hoping for a good combination of these two approaches. Painting closets definitely fell into DIY territory and I'm very proud to say each of the girls painted the majority of their own closets - including the prep work of cleaning and filling in holes. Here are their before and after photos. We used Benjamin Moore Aura in Decorator's White eggshell finish.


Here is the exterior of the new house. It is located on 2 1/4 acres which will be a huge change from the teeny tiny lots in FishHawk. As you can see the property is heavily treed and in need of a few hours (days? weeks?) of raking.