I’ve been away…

I’m sorry I’ve been away. A lot has happened in the past few months. Life has been scary, exciting, and blissfully happy lately.

You may recall me saying that I wasn’t sure what to do with this little piece of me. One morning I woke up and didn’t feel like writing anymore. I didn’t see the point.

After I converted the blog back to a WordPress-hosted blog, I didn’t really see the point. Why was I putting myself out there? Why was I letting this stress me out? Why do I care? I didn’t want to do it anymore, so I stopped.

I feel like I’ve gotten away from what I wanted this to be. I want readers, but I don’t want to write about things just to gain them. I really don’t care about being “Pinterest perfect” because honestly, it’s too much work. My time is more valuable than that.

So I decided to take a break. I was unsure if I’d come back or if the blog would just one day disappear.

Then life happened.

I was unhappy in Texas. As much as I thought I would love it, I didn’t. Tony could tell I was unhappy. We discussed moving back to Florida. We decided that he would start looking for a job there and to put it in God’s hands.

Two weeks later, Tony was laid off. It was sudden and unexpected. He was anticipating a promotion, not to be let go. This horrible blow to our family was actually a blessing. We decided to sell everything (again) and drive back to Florida. We prayed, a lot.

We moved back to Florida just before Thanksgiving. It was so wonderful to spend Thanksgiving with my family. We all crammed into my sister’ college apartment where I cooked an amazing meal from scratch. It was amazing.

So here we are. I feel happy where we’re at and excited for our future. We are home. That is something you can never replace. We are home with our family, our church, and our friends.

I think I’m ready to pick this back up again, but maybe in a slightly different way. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

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Finally… Some Space

I’m sitting here on our new sofa, that I got free, by the way. I’m patiently waiting for the 15th to roll around. Why the 15th you ask? We’re moving!

Don’t worry, we’re not moving 4,300 miles like last time. We’re moving to a townhouse not far from here.

For the past 4 months, we’ve been staying with Tony’s mom and her family. It’s been wonderful and all, but it’s time to go!

We’ve gone back and forth on whether we should buy or rent. Ultimately, we decided to rent for the next year and see where life takes us. Who knows, maybe Cabo? You never know. It’s easier to pack up and go when you don’t own a house.

Part of me is bummed about not buying, ya know, being all DIY. I want to paint, change light fixtures, and maybe wallpaper. (Yes, wallpaper!) I’ve decided to make the best of it and do what I can with what I have. There are still plenty of DIY projects I can tackle in a rental house.

So about our rental! It’s 1,800+ square feet, which is gigantic to us. After living in super small spaces for the last 10 months, an entire house is a little overwhelming. It has 3 bedrooms and 2 1/2 bathrooms. Our oldest nephew Rylan has come to stay with us for the school year (he’s 9, BTW), so it’s just the right size. I am very much looking forward to having our own bathroom, with a tub that’s not filled with squeaky toys. Yay!

Don’t worry, I’ll definitely be posting pictures as soon as we move in. Well, as soon as they hook up the Internet.

We are super excited to share our new home and adventures with you!

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Change of Plans

Sorry for the lack of posts since our announcement. Our computer got a virus and we haven’t taken it in to get it fixed yet. In the meantime, I’ll be posting from my phone (boo).

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Photo by: Kuster & Wildhaber Photography

So we’ve had a slight change in plans. We are still going to Houston, but we will not be driving. After thinking about it, Tony and I decided that it was a suicide mission trying to drive the 4300 miles from Alaska to Texas with a toddler. It’s also much less expensive to fly.

Although it’s much less expensive, it’s a little more complicated. Flying means that we have to sell our truck. This makes me sad. I love our truck. It’s a used (but well taken care of) Land Rover Freelander. I love this truck more than any other vehicle I’ve ever owned. I’m slightly heartbroken.

When we decided to sell it, we had just over two weeks before our take off date. I wasn’t sure we would find a buyer. Well, we had lots of interest and we have a buyer. It’s someone we know and they have been nice enough to wait until right before we leave to do the paperwork. Perfect timing! Now we have to go car shopping in Houston. I hate car shopping.

We are all set to fly out on the 15th. We are just a week out. I’m not going to lie, I’m totally dreaming of 80 degrees and lots of humidity. Poor Ava’s skin is so dry.

I was hoping to eliminate one of our suitcases, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. My uncle is coming to Anchorage the day before we leave and has volunteered to take one of our suitcases back to Florida for us. TSA may or may not wonder why my uncle has a child’s size grocery cart in his suitcase.

That leaves us with 4 suitcases. That’s not bad considering we came up here with 5, plus we shipped a few things, and the stuff we bought in the past 6 months. We’re actually going to Texas with less stuff than we came to Alaska with. That’s always nice.

Now I just have to keep the four suitcases under 50 pounds each. Do you have any tips for that?

We’re Moving!

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Photo by: jetalone

And not around the corner, I might add.  The Scacchi family is moving to Houston, Texas! I know, I know, we just got here. We have been in Alaska for 6 months now (Tony has been here for 7) and we were offered an opportunity that we just couldn’t turn down.

Tony was offered to be relocated. It wasn’t a “must go,” more like a “would you like to go?” I don’t know if we would have said “Yes!” to any other city, but Houston is special. Why, you ask?

  1. Tony’s mom lives in Houston!  What could be better than Ava getting to spend time with her MomMom (that’s her “grandma” name)!  I’m also extremely excited for one word (two actually): DATE NIGHT!  Being in a city where you know no one (other than a few of Tony’s guy friends) is very difficult.  I won’t leave Ava with a stranger, so we have had ZERO mommy and daddy time since we have been up here.  We will be in Houston just in time for our anniversary!  Thank you MomMom!
  2. Cost of living.  Houston is cheap!  For being such a big city, everything is very inexpensive there.  It’s even cheaper than where we came from in Florida.  Alaska is expensive in comparison to Houston, but not compared to a lot of other places in the US (California, New York, etc.).  Essentially it will be like Tony getting a nice raise!
  3. Proximity to family.  I will be less than 1000 miles away from my family in Florida, even closer to my little sis once she’s away at college!  Most of Tony’s family lives in Texas too.
  4. Climate.  Don’t get me wrong, we have thoroughly enjoyed the snow.  That being said, I’m a Florida girl.  I have never been more excited for a sweltering, humid summer before in my life!  Bring on the flip-flops, sundresses, and bikinis!  Also, my gardening season will longer than the 3 months I have in Alaska.

Logistics

We plan on leaving in the next 2-3 weeks.  We are driving. With a toddler.  We may or may not be crazy.  It will take us approximately 7 days to get there.  It’s definitely going to be an exciting road trip.  You can be sure that we will keep you updated along the way!

2012 in a Nutshell

A lot has happened here at The Scacchi House in 2012.  The blog was born and then we became self-hosted.  Here is a list of interesting facts from 2012.

  1. We had 2,100 views in 2012.  That’s not a lot in comparison with some other blogs, but it means we’re growing!
  2. The busiest day here on the blog was the day I posted this picture.  It also happens to be our first day here in Alaska!
  3. Our most popular post from 2012 was Ava’s DIY Headband Holder.  It still continues to get daily traffic.
  4. Most of our readers come from the USA, with Canada and Sweden almost tied for second.Scacchi Family Photo

So tell me a bit about yourself.  Who are you?  What keeps bringing you back to The Scacchi House?  What would you like to see more of?

And most of all, thanks for reading and supporting us!

 

Feeling a Little Bit of Organization

Last week I got the itch, the itch to organize.  Ava received a bunch of new clothes for her birthday and Christmas, so things had become a little unruly.  It was to the point where I felt like she had a million outfits but she only wore 4 of them because they were the most convenient to get to.  I had to fix that.

Photo by: http://www.flickr.com/photos/perry-moore-photography/

Photo by: SeanLeonardPerry

I pulled out everything and made a few dividers out of a cardboard box, nothing fancy.  I began to fold and sort each item, grouping them together.  She now has a neatly organized space with designated spots for her pants and skirts, shirts, onesies, outfits, pajamas, leggings and tights, and socks.  I also made a home for her hats, gloves, and sweaters.  It’s all so cute now in their own spaces and I can actually find things.

I also somewhat organized Tony’s clothes and some of mine too.  Nothing as elaborate as Ava’s, but everything is a little easier to find.  Our current place is furnished, but it’s lacking enough drawer space for all three of us. Some of our clothes are still in our suitcases.  I makes you realize that you don’t actually wear everything you own.  It will be nice when we get into our house and have room to spread out, but for now, this is working out just fine.

I also sat down and organized my Pinterest.  If you follow me, you probably noticed my hundreds of pins within a few hours.  If you don’t follow me, you should!

I had all of my house ideas on one board.  I decided that it would be a little overwhelming when it actually came time to look for something, so I broke it down by room.  I also took my “Holiday” board and broke it down by each individual holiday or season.  Much better.  My “Food” board has always been a huge mess.  I broke it down by different meals.  So much easier to find that french onion soup recipe when it’s on the “Soup” board and not pinned with 1,000 other food pins.  I feel so much better now.

Do you ever get to that point where you just break down and organize something that’s been bothering you?

What Alaska Is REALLY Like

We had many people try to keep us from moving to Alaska.  Most were for selfish reasons (not wanting our precious baby to be so far away).  I had countless people tell me all kinds of crazy things about Alaska.  So here are my favorites, along with how things really are up here in the last frontier.

  1. “You know it’s dark all the time up there.” – I think I got this one the most.  It is not dark all the time up here.  I got up this morning at 9:30am and it definitely wasn’t dark out.
  2. “It’s dark and dreary all the time and everyone’s depressed.” – Ava and I have been here for almost a month.  It has only been overcast TWO days.  You should have seen the sun shining yesterday!
  3. “All construction stops in the winter.” – I originally believed this one to be true, until I got here.  They continue to build throughout the winter by covering the job site with giant plastic covers.  Construction crews work under toasty warm heated plastic all winter.
  4. “Everyone in Alaska drives a 4-wheel-drive truck or SUV.” – Again, laughable.  There are just as many cars on the road up here as there are trucks and SUVs.  All you need is a good set of snow or all-season tires.
  5. “Everything in Alaska is more expensive.” – The first week I was here, I went through the grocery store to see if this was true.  The only items that really stood out were 12-packs of Coke for $8.45 and a few produce items were 50 cents more than in Florida.  Bananas were 15 cents more per pound.  Alaska actually has quite a bit of agriculture.  There is a whole “Alaska Grown” movement up here.  Restaurants are also the same price.  Housing is comparable to a larger city like Tampa or Orlando.

I did learn something new!  I learned of the concept of an “Eskimo Fridge.”  Basically, you put your food in Tupperware or whatever like you normally would… then you put it out on your porch.  That’s it.  It’s perfect if you are just going to reheat leftovers the next day.

If you have any questions about our family, or just living in Alaska, please email us at scacchihouse@yahoo.com or you can post on our Facebook page!

Going Away

I have some of the most wonderful family.  My mom hosted a little get together last Saturday night before Ava and I flew out on Wednesday.  She used the opportunity to have a pre-birthday party for Ava, since everyone will miss her 1st birthday.  My mom made Ava this cute little bear cake for her smash and eat.20121013-174655.jpg

My mom made one of my favorite meals.  Pot roast, mashed potatoes, green beans, salad, and potato rolls!  It was delicious.  It was a great opportunity for us to see some of the family all together before we left.  My cousin Brett and his girlfriend Ali came.

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Pot roast is one of my favorite meals.  Yummy, fall apart goodness!  And of course, Mom makes it the best!  I was joking around with my sister Susie and told her that I will make this same meal in Alaska, but only with reindeer or moose (the large mammal, not our cat).  I was only half-joking, it’s totally going to happen.

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Ava’s “Aunt Janet The Great” and Uncle Brian also came.  Aunt Janet wanted to send me away to Alaska properly, so she brought all the supplies to make homemade pina coladas.  All I can say is YUM!  She predicted that I will probably have a hard time finding a good pina colada in Alaska.  I would have to agree.  My grandma also baked some of her amazing pumpkin pies for dessert.

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And as if the pina coladas were not amazing already, Aunt Janet added flaming bananas!

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Ava decided that my glasses do not belong on my face, they belong in my mashed potatoes.  Nice!

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Not only did my mom bake Ava a cake, she baked a total of four cakes.  This was Ava’s candle cake.  We all sang Happy Birthday while she looked at us like we were crazy.

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Ava is no stranger to cake, so she dug right in.  She knew exactly what to do.

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I love this face!

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Don’t forget to wash it all down with some water.

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It was a great night.  I so appreciate my family’s support.  We are going to miss everyone terribly, but we will be back to visit very soon.

Packing for a Flight

Moving to Alaska is not cheap.  You may have figured out by now that we sold everything except our clothes and a few small items.  It has been very difficult trying to decide what is worth shipping and what has to stay.  My sister is on the receiving end of most of our stuff.  She is a senior in high school and will be going away to college next June.  Perfect timing!

I am taking three suitcases on the airplane with us, fee free!  But, that being said, I need to use every square inch of the suitcases.  I have gone through my wardrobe at least three times to eliminate things.  I gave a lot of my clothes away to my students, the rest will be donated.  I invested in a few Space Bags and my mom donated (read: I made her dump her stuff out of them and give them to me) a few more.

I was able to pack 95% of my wardrobe into one large Space Bag Cube.  This is everything, including my coat.  I apologize for the poor picture quality.  The lighting in our dining room is horrible.  So, I packed it all up and sealed the bag.  Below you can also see one of my $10.36 Goodwill suitcases!20121010-210124.jpg

Next, I vacuumed all of the air out.  This helped a lot as you can see, but it was still a little bulky.20121010-210134.jpg

I then put the Space Bag in the suitcases on its side.  I realized that I needed to make it a little bit more flat.20121010-210141.jpg

After I put the bag on its side, I opened the valve and let the air back in.  I promise this is not counterproductive.  The bag wouldn’t have fit in the suitcase before I removed the air the first time.20121010-210148.jpg

Finally, I removed all of the air from the bag again, pushing down on the bag to form it to the size and shape of the suitcase.20121010-210153.jpg

Take a look at that!  So much better.  And, there is still room in the suitcase to stuff small things around my clothes.  Now I need to tackle Ava’s suitcase.  That will be an adventure in itself.  I am hoping to have enough room in our third suitcase to pack some miscellaneous items and some of Ava’s toys.  Keep in mind, packing this many clothes into one suitcase may make it over weight.  I have no earthly clue how much mine weighs because I sold my scale already.  I’m willing to pay an overweight bag fee.  It will still be cheaper than shipping a few boxes.

Do you have any crafty ways to pack a suitcase?