Catchup.com – 2016

Helllllllllo, internet!

I’ll never take unmetered internet for granted ever again. On Saturday I had a two hour phone chat with my parents, and it was glorious.

It’s been a while, huh? Yes. So let’s catch up!

Moving – We moved on the hottest weekend in January, and I had an estimated 442 panic attacks that weekend. I was nervous about what Joel would think of the place, whether our stuff would fit, if the removalists would show, if they’d steal our stuff, whether I’d love it as much as I remembered… it’s always a risk when you move, but the risk is a bit bigger when you and your partner have signed a lease and you’re the only one who’s seen it.

But, all’s well that ends well. This is possibly the most organised move I’ve ever had. For the first time in my life I woke up on moving day with only the “can’t be packed until last minute” items left unpacked. Joel was a little skeptical of the size when we first walked in, and I’ll admit, I was too. With no furniture in it, the place looked even smaller than it is. Our removalists were late (expected) and manipulated me into accepting being overcharged by $100 (also expected – and after some rationalising I’m ok with this. Well, mostly. It was a hot day and we were their 3rd move and we had stairs, but they weren’t without their faults and – let’s not get into it).

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At the end of the day though, as we ate pizza on the floor, we were happy. And a month later, we still are. It’s a different energy and a different feeling than in Balmain. And since it’s an old building, full of quirks too. Our water temperature is Hoth or Center of the Sun, the toilet runs if you don’t release the flush at a precise moment, most of our windows either don’t open or don’t stay open without spacers, our bedroom balcony door leaks when it rains, there’s a ghost living in our shower, we hear our neighbors above us when they shuffle their feet – the usual.

 

We haven’t replaced our washer yet (I learned the “measure important spaces” rule the hard way), but there’s a laundromat not too far from where we live, and it’s never crowded. And to dry off with a dryer dried towel after not having dryer dried towels for a year and a half was almost a religious experience.

 

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Time to get real (i.e. shallow) I’ve always wanted to live in a historic building, in a place with high ceilings, large windows, exposed brick and pipes, beams, and track lighting. The large covered patio and bedroom Juliet balcony are just bonuses.

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This is turning really smug, really quick, and I’m sorry – but not sorry. It’s important to love the place you call home. And I really feel like I can call this place home.

Ikea – We decided to splurge a bit at Ikea for a new couch and a new bookshelf. I love Ikea. Joel does not. But we braved the Scandanavian wonderland on a Saturday morning and emerged with a new couch, bookshelf, lamp, and night stands.

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Before!
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During: box 1 of 5

 

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AHH!
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After! Wheee

A weekend devoted to Ikea shopping and Ikea construction and reorganising and rearranging? My inner Monica Gellar was all yesssssssss.

Work – So. Busy. Since mid-January. Re-launching a website and releasing a new product line at the same time = many long days/nights, weekend time working, migraines and actually – insane amounts of excitement. I have a really great job with amazing people. After all, I’ve pulled the same long hours in the same high stress environment in different jobs and have felt completely alone.

I’ve been with this team for 4 months, and most days, it feels like I’ve been there for years. Other days, it feels like I’ve only been there for 4 months. It’s frustrating to be a Noob, but I’m learning more every day. Getting more knowledgable about advertising and marketing (which will shock college Audrey – who transferred schools because the communications program she started to major in was going to focus on marketing), design, photography, and how to run a small business. My boss is inspiring, and the company I work for makes so proud. It’s a good fit.

Summer – we were fortunate enough to have  really mild start to the summer, but now we’re making up for lost time. Most of February has been a damp, humid mess. But to be honest, I’ve been so distracted with work that I haven’t really noticed. And since we moved, my twice a day showers haven’t been needed quite as often. But still – I’m so glad for cooler temps coming in about a month.

oh, and the cold weather that will hopefully kill off the cockroaches that I now see almost every day. /shudder

And what else…

Actually – that about catches you up.

Since January, it’s all been planning to move or moving or unpacking or not having enough internet or working long hours and burning through our expendable energy. I wore myself out to the point where a greasy cookie and a few drinks of sour milk in my coffee sent me into a six hour bout of food poisoning. I think I’ve definitely learned over the past few months that I can’t run on empty anymore. That whole “work/life” balance thing that my boss keeps insisting I implement might be a good idea.

But now, it’s the first day of March. It’s the first day of Autumn. The dust is settling, and I’m looking forward to the end of summer (i.e. humidity) – even though I’ve done nothing I thought I would this summer. Woooops

So… what’s everyone been up to?

Adventures in Moving: Ep 2 – Moving Day!

Holy crap, it’s the end of January. We’re half way through summer, and it’s moving day. And guess who is so excited and anxious that they woke up at 4:30 AM and have been tossing and turning since? Thiiiiiiisssss guy.

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We’ve been packing all week, and we’re all about done, except for some can’t be packed til last minute bits and bobs. And yesterday when I was in the PACKING AND CLEANING ZONE, it was the most humid day we’ve had all summer. So hot I had to bring my own personal fan into the kitchen with me, and I got heat rash all over my arms. Like, I took two showers – one when I took a load of clothes to the donate station, and another before bed, not just because I “felt like it” but because I was so sweaty and over heated that I broke out in heat rash. I also got a small sun burn in the shape of a triangle on the back of my neck when we were walking to our new real estate agent’s office. So that was fun.

Last night, we picked up our keys and signed away the next year of our lives. In a couple of hours, a friend of ours will be here to help take the first load or two over, and then the removalists show up to take the rest. On Tuesday the cleaners will be here, and as of Feb 4, we officially don’t live in Balmain anymore.

I’m a bit anxious to leave – mostly because Joel hasn’t seen the new apartment yet and I’m freaking out that he’s going to hate or I won’t love it as much as I did when I first saw it or that we’ll be crowded out or that our washing machine won’t fit or the fridge will be broken or the bathroom won’t have a fan or there will be new, scarier bugs and and and and…

I just pulled out a giant chunk out of my hair.

I’m a bit sad to be leaving this place, as it’s the only home I’ve known in Australia. It’s not a big deal, this is just an apartment, and people move all the time (I’ve moved like 4 times in the last 3 years) so it’s really nothing in the grand scheme of things, but it’s a big deal to me. It’s exciting and sad and ohmygod all rolled up into one.

But I just stepped outside to take a picture of the sunrise and the Giant Balcony Spider is back, so maybe it’s a good time to move after all.

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See ya, Balmain! You’ve been good to us.

Adventures in Moving: ep 1

I love moving, I really do. I owe it to moving around a lot as a military brat. I love moving into a new house and unpacking and getting things ready. I also love organising and culling and packing. I don’t particularly care for moving said items once they’re all packed, mostly because I don’t like sweating, (and I’m a terrible packer whose boxes always weigh at least 50 lbs) but the before and after parts are some of my favourite parts. Probably because I’m a closeted control freak and obsessive cleaning and organising is my go-to coping mechanism so hey. I could have worse personality traits.

But speaking of worse personality traits, my nostalgia has been in overtime lately and I’ve been trying to remind myself that I will miss this place once it’s gone. Because the same thing happens every time I move, without fail: I get so excited for the new place and the fresh start that I don’t think about saying goodbye. And being the sap that I am, I’ll start to miss the old place like it was a person I knew and never got to spend enough time with.

So today, we managed to move the moving mess from room to room so Joel could take photos of the property for the rental agency. And in the split moments when there wasn’t bags of donate clothes and piles of shoes or stacks of camera gear and books and packing trash and magazines and fans and de-humidifiers and clothes and old mail and what not – the place looked sparkling. And for a split second – I almost felt like I didn’t want to leave.

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With its sweaty kitchen.

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And its tiny-mirror-no-fan-and-no-way-to-not-splash-water-everywhere-while-showering-bathroom

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And its no air conditioning.

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And its one power outlet per room electrical snakes.

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And its uncovered-hunstman-and-magpie-haven-balcony.

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And its mildew-prone closet.

Despite all its flaws, it’s been a constant for the entire time I’ve known Joel. I met and bonded with him in this living room. We got to know each other through Skypes in this apartment. I wrote letters and sent care packages to this address for almost 2 years. It was our first home. So I’ve been taking the time every day to be happy in the memories I have of this place, to see if I can lessen the severity of when/if I’m hit with a landslide of feels on Jan.30 (spoiler alert: invevitable)

As Joel reads over my shoulder saying, “it’s just a house, people move all time.” And we’re only moving 15 minutes away. But still. I can’t help but feel sorry for Joel’s cold black heart sentimental, like I’m leaving an old friend. I’ll miss our big green trees and seeing fireworks from the balcony. I’ll miss how good the sunsets are and how quiet and slowly the living room fills with daylight. I’ll miss the window in the bathroom and how it’s the perfect ledge for a shower beer. I’ll miss listening to the bats in the tree outside our window. And I’ll miss that coffee shop and the barista who knows every detail about my life and how I take my coffee but whose name I still don’t know (I’m awkward).

But, we’re on to new things. And new trees and new windows and new spiders and new home offices and new day light. And we’ll have fantastic memories of our first little landing pad.

Thanks, #9. You’ve been a good pal.