Back to School

Somehow the holidays are over, already.

It feels as though I literally JUST packed up my classroom ready for the Christmas holiday break. Suddenly, it's back to work tomorrow - ready for a whole new class, a whole new year, a whole new set of challenges.

This year, my class is going from 23 students to 29. That may not sound like much, but it's a huge increase when you're talking about the ability to work with each child 1:1. I'm kind of bummed about it, but it's out of my hands.  All we can do is cross our fingers and hope for some new enrolments that will bring our numbers back up to where they need to be. It bugs me though, seeing as the government is constantly pushing for us to have smaller class sizes - yet they're being difficult and refusing to pay the school the funding to employ another teacher. Politics + education = disaster.

It's back to planning and programming. It's back to early mornings and late nights. It's back to new parents, new kiddies, new responsibilities. Here's hoping 2012 is a great year!

Our Home - Downstairs

I've come to the conclusion that it's REALLY hard to take decent photographs of our home. One of the perks of our home design was that it came with dozens of large windows, perfect for natural light - not so much for quick snapshots taken on my phone!

Now... how about a virtual tour?

We'll start with downstairs, since that was all I got around to cleaning today.

As you walk in the front door, the formal living room is off to your right hand side. It's mostly empty for now, save a few moving boxes. There are two square windows in the room, as well as the regular windows, and we'll eventually be placing a lounge underneath them. It's on order, and due to arrive in March. Can't wait!

In the meantime, we have a gorgeous glass and timber dining table set up. I'm loving the mirror that we found, too.

We haven't hung much up on the walls yet; we have loads of wedding photos and canvases ready to go, though. Thing is, we've lived in apartments for so long, I'm terrified of hanging things up and ruining our walls! The mirrors were the first thing we tackled, and it took ages. Now, back to our tour...

As you walk through the hallway, the internal garage entrance door is off to the left, while the laundry, linen cupboard and downstairs bathroom is off to the right. I love how our colour scheme in the powder room turned out - which is good, since we opted to do all of the bathrooms in a similar pattern.

And then, my favourite room - the one you saw a sneak peek of a few days ago. It's our open plan kitchen, lounge & dining room. First up, the kitchen. I love how open it is, with lots of cupboards and lots of space.

The door you see there is to the pantry. It's not a full walk-in, but more of a 'lean-in', with a nice corner side shelf for extra storage. If you stand directly in front of the island bench in the kitchen, you look out over the lounge area. You can chat to people sitting on the lounge in front of you, or watch television while you're cooking. Yes, please!

See what I mean about all the light? Oh hey, I just realised Oscar was lounging around in those pictures, too. That's his spot, right there. The lounges are actually a deep chocolate brown {almost black} and the rug is a sandy beige colour. It really pops against the timber floorboards! Off to the left of the lounges is our biggest splurge.

And last but not least, the dining part of the room. The furniture here is matching timber too, and we've kept it fairly simply decorated to start with. There's so much potential to add things and change things around, but that'll happen in time. This is another mirror that I'm in love with {that frame!} - Jase bought it for me just before Christmas, when I fell in love with it in a furniture store. I'm really happy with how it turned out: the size is perfect!

And there you have it; the downstairs of our home, in a nutshell. I'm all unpacked down here; upstairs is a different story! I thought I was done - but turns out I have more work to do. The low cabinet that the television is resting on had a big dent in the side upon installation, so it's being replaced this week. I'll be busy unpacking and repacking those cabinets again soon. :)

So... got any decorating tips for me?

Who Knew?

... that two fur-babies could bring us so much joy?
... that I'd become a CAT lady - me, who only ever had dogs growing up?
... that Oscar would be such a good big brother?
... that these two would so quickly take over their new house?
These two cats: love them.
Evie & Oscar - January 2012

We're In!

Why, hello there... from our new house!

We moved in on Thursday - and it's starting to feel a little more like home and a little less like 'the new house'.

There's still loads to do. Blinds are being installed this week, the cable television is being put in, and if we're lucky and the weather is good, the driveway should be laid on Thursday. And let's not even talk about the unpacking, or the cleaning, or the organising. I'm slightly {completely?} obsessive-compulsive about how I want things to be, so it's probably taking me a little longer than it would a regular person... but I hope it'll be worth it in the end.

Oscar and Evie are loving the new place just as much as Jase and I do. They've gotten really comfortable, really quickly - and they've already scoped out their new favourite places. Oscar is up and down the stairs constantly, which we're hoping will help him loose his gigantic pooch belly. Evie is getting bigger every day, and is such a snuggler. The last few nights have seen all four of us relaxing in our new living room - Oscar and Jase on one sofa, Evie and I on the other. It's lovely.

I don't have too many pictures just yet, but I promise once the house doesn't resemble a pig-sty, I'll get a whole batch up here for you. In the meantime - how about a sneak peak? It's not the greatest one, with all the sun glare and what-not, but it's cozy all the same.

M-6 days

This time next week, we'll be in our new house.

Say... what?

I am counting down the days until Thursday. I'm so tired of running back and forth between our apartment and the house, but that's going to be my life for the next 6 days while Jase is working. We have appointments and deliveries and tradesmen coming in to the house daily, so I need to be there to let them in and to be there if they need me.

We thought we'd get lucky and not have to worry about a real estate inspection before we move out, but we spoke too soon - there's an open home on the apartment tomorrow. So, instead of just relaxing and packing at our leisure, I've spent today cleaning like a fiend and removing every trace of cat fur in the place. (Yes, our two kitties are living here illegally. But only for SIX MORE DAYS.)

The flooring is looking really good - timber downstairs, on the staircase & in the upstairs living room. The carpet is already completed in the four bedrooms and looks great too.

I'm so, so relieved that this is going to be our final big move for a long while. I've packed and unpacked and moved about way too much for my liking in the last three years! :) I don't have a lot of pictures uploaded at the moment, but I promise I'll take more once the new furniture and appliances are in later this week. For now, here's a sneak peek of the floorboards.

Hello, Goodbye

Goodbye to 2011, which:

... was one pretty busy year!
... will stay in my heart always as the year I married my soul-mate. I'm so happy!
... saw us begin building our brand new home. Stressful, but exhilarating at the same time.
... somehow had me fall into a teaching position where I've never felt quite so at home. So thrilled to be back there again this next year.
... let me get back into a 'bff' routine, seeing my favourite person on a weekly basis. Huzzah!
... saw us adopt Evie and add her to our family of four. Oscar continues to be such a sweet boy.
... brought about some fertility struggles for J & I and just a little sadness in that respect.

But now, it's a brand new year. Hello to 2012, which:

... is going to be the year of the house. I can't wait to get moved in {12 days!} and start making it our own - our house. I can't believe we're almost there
... is going to be about perseverance. I need to keep on working towards the things that I want, without letting myself get dejected and throw in the towel
... is all about baby steps. I'm keeping it simple: eat well, move more
... is going to see us get more aggressive on the baby front. We've tried things out for this past year, the unmonitored cycles aren't resulting in ovulation & I am going to be on the look-out for a new RE in the coming months
... is going to be about saving vs. spending money. Unless, of course, it's house related - in which it doesn't count
... is going to be a cracker of a year. I can feel it in my bones!

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