2012: Jan 14

Growing up in the Bay Area we had zero snow days that I can recall. I'm sure there was a slushy day here or there, and plenty of mornings with stubborn rimy coats on windshields and shrubbery. But having been in the Northwest for the past decade and a half (minus that couple of years in much warmer climes) the novelty of snow has pretty well worn off, replaced with the annoyance at the interference with my marathon training, and dread at the prospects of Monday morning commute. Still, with the right camera phone filters, it can be pretty.

2012: Jan 2

Out to lunch on the last day before routine sets back in, we stumbled across a mysterious message in the form of an in-the-sidewalk panel.

Status: pending


So, our Seattle home has been scouted, procured and submitted to the banking and escrow pros to work their paper-pushing magic. While I have yet to see the house for myself (Mr. New Media is a perfectly fit emissary for this task), I imagine that out front, above that realtor sign is one of those "Pending" slats, marking that particular territory as ours. It's an exciting development, one that has set the rest of the wheels in full-throttle motion. 


Crafty activities have mostly been suspended. Boxing up scrappy bits and pondering over the practicality of relocating the stockpile of cereal empties has become the new pastime. It's not altogether unenjoyable, although every time I place The Girlie down next to a half-packed box, it ends up becoming a haphazardly strewn-out unboxing. In no time flat. You've never before seen such a display of entropy. But I've got it down to a science, pretty much. And the secret is bankers boxes. Many, many bankers boxes. The perfect size for books, toys and the sentimental curios that accumulate at an alarming rate around here. These boxes have seen a lot of action, having moved me from state to state since I left home for college. They get packed, unpacked, deconstructed and stored away, lent out out to friends for their moves, coming back home after a couple months to await the next relocation.

Anyway, in lieu of any exposition of my latest experimentation with needle and thread, I thought I'd share the letter of introduction we submitted along with the offer we drew up for the house. I like to think it won us our new home, which is in the exact neighborhood we'd been aiming for, close enough to smell the doughnuts from our favorite coffee shop and a few short blocks to my favorite running trail. In actuality, our eventual possession of the house has everything to do with the ass-kicking awesomeness that is our realtor who managed to wrest it (the house, not her awesomeness) away from other out-bidding offers (we're not asking questions), and has probably very little to do with this bit of self-promotional pap. Still, it's the most I've made in the past few weeks, so I share.

Two years ago we left Seattle for Houston which offered a dream job for one of us and an adventure for rest of us. We've added another number to our ranks since then and have been given the opportunity to take that dream job wherever we want, and so now we're looking to return home to Seattle.
We're a family of four + kitty, a deeply flawed, but happy and tight little unit. 
 We adults both work in newspapers and media, a tough racket in this market, to be sure. But we're passionate about it and are committed to both evolving with the industry and attempting to guide it back toward viability. One works in developing products and strategies for online publications. The other makes print pretty. On occasion, she also writes. Our hobbies, the ones that don't involve chasing the kids around the yard, sound a lot like our professions. One of us enjoys reading up on new media and hashing ideas out on ginormous whiteboards. The other spends way too much time on her personal website, discussing the minutiae of making things and making them pretty. 
 At least one of us will be spending a good deal of time working from home, which promises to further blur that line between work and play.
 The kids are adorable and aggravating and hilarious, squealing non-stop and very much excited at the prospect of being able to spend the summer months outdoors. And maybe having fewer summer months to contend with. The elder has spent the last half of his life, the only half he actually remembers, in the world's most inhospitable summer climate. From the months of April through October, spending any time outdoors while the sun is also out is pure suicide. And once the sun finally goes down, you're still left with the crazy humidity. And the mosquitoes. You've never seen a playground so deserted as one in Houston in the summer. The elder just got a real big-boy bike for his fourth birthday, and it will be a nice thing to actually be able to ride it outside.
 The younger was born during our stay in Houston. We'll try not to hold that against her. She's got a killer smile, six teeth and a birthmark by her right eye that we've been told will start fading any day now. She will absolutely adore Seattle. We've been dreaming of the wading pools and community playgrounds and the general progressiveness in attitudes towards families and children that we found lacking in Houston. 
 Other things we've been missing: a comprehensive recycling program, public transportation that doesn't make us sad, access to Trader Joe's and Uwajimaya, an aquarium that isn't owned by a restaurant chain, running on tree-shaded trails, not fearing for our lives every time we get into the car, arguing amongst ourselves as to the viability of the monorail as a mode of transportation.
 We've always considered Seattle home. With this house, we hope to make ourselves permanent fixtures.

Homecoming and other to-dos


Travel isn't really my bag. I admire those who, passport books stamp-full, rattle off their favorite destinations and boast an equally impressive list of places they will one day visit. Me, I like being home. It probably makes me a poor citizen of the world, having less of an understanding of different people and cultures than my more travelled friends. But I have an intense discomfort with being a tourist, being out of my element. It somehow just makes me feel like a transient in my own life, not quite fitting in even in the place I call home. Call it a self-consciousness, a hyper-sensitivity about race, or a quashing of any spirit of adventure that may have threatened to poke out its head in my development, or a lack of travel to places that didn't involve staying with relatives during that same period. Whatever. I'm just not comfortable when I'm not home.

So, while our recent trip to Vegas, our first vacation in ages, was a nice little departure from the routine of our days, I was happy enough to board a plane and head home. The problem is, for the past two years that we've been in Houston, homecomings have been a bittersweet affair. We arrive back at the doorstep to our rented home in the city that, for many reasons, we've never quite settled into, and turning the key just doesn't give me that warm fuzzy comfort that "home" should. 


Our solution? House-hunting in Seattle. Not the idle just-curious-what-the-housing-market-looks-like-right-now kind of house search. No. Honest-to-goodness financing-pre-approval, moving-pod-reservation-making house-hunting. We're coming home, aiming for an arrival date around July. Which leaves me a tad preoccupied in the meantime. Right now, things are still rather in limbo. Housing needs procurement. Travel needs arrangement. Belongings need sorting and packing away into many, many boxes. 

And yet I have time to browse through projects I'd like to one day, maybe, kind of get to, when I once again have spaces designated for things like craft detritus and plants I'll forget to water. 

The short list: 


Lightbulb terrarium so I can play a little with glass and metal and plantlife. Sweet.

Twig hooks and pins to better organize ideas, light rain jackets, projects, and everything else. Right.

Pocket mirror to feed my inner narcissist.

Fabric tape because the combination of tape and fabric is quite possibly pure magic.


Bloomers so my tooshie might be as cute as The Girlie's.

Bottle garden to give me an excuse to get glass cutting supplies.

Paper because it seems like a project suitably messy enough to entertain The Boy for a couple minutes.

Bird's nest helpers because, while the Seattle birds don't have all the flash and glam that these Southern ones strut around with, they deserve to live in fancy, technicolor homes.