As you all know by now and are probably SO tired of hearing about, we have bought a home and it needs a lot of love! So buckle up for lots of “before and after” pics and lots of troubleshooting on decorating as we move towards making it home. As Seth says I have probably had too many years to think of ideas for our one day home. Now I have to pare them down for our space and really think about how I want to use what we have to have it be a beautiful welcoming place!

I am in the process now of picking some paint colors for the house. A week from today we will meet with our contractor to finalize the kitchen details (a lot of prep work is underway!), pick all of the paint for Seth and his dad to get started on and we will meet with the guy who is currently refinishing our wood floors to pick the stain. It is going to be interesting to do this with jetlag BUT my sister in law has graciously offered to help us with the boys so while we might be groggy and make terrible choices on colors our children will be not be disowned in the process!

My goal will for sure be to spend as little as possible and to use as much as I can of what we already have. We have been diligently saving for this time but we want to make every penny go as far as it can!  There are sure to be lots of stories to share as we power wash, paint, scrub, demo, recontruct and decorate our way to a cozy place.  There will be good days and bad! You might just have to hear about both sides of the story.

This blog might just get a wee bit boring for you globe trotters out there that just don’t see a need for roots but I hope that as I share our journey of making some roots we will encourage you along the way! Because someday in the midst of the travel and transition you might find yourselves like us, looking for a nest to call home. Our time overseas is not likely done but this time in DC will certainly be a sort of hiatus and time to really process what we have learned thus far.

Back to the online paint chips (and packing for the final shipment tomorrow, baking a cake for Jackson’s class farewell, moving to temp housing and packing 8 suitcases)!! Wish me luck!

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This is the last in our mini series on packing! If you missed the first couple of posts you can find them here: Packing Advice?! From us?! {Part 1} and Packing {Part 2} UAB.







Last but not least is a list of food items that I would tuck in the shipment if you can. Again, some people don’t have the space or weight to do this but if you do these these are things I always include when going overseas just in case we can’t find them or in our case now they are out of the budget.

~taco seasoning

~ranch dip packets

~onion soup packets- good for dips and roasts, etc

~lots of spices. Spices are pricey in the US  and can be hard to find or expensive overseas. Take an extra bottle of things  you use often just to give you time to hunt locally or mail them. Add extra of things like Cajun seasonings and Mexican seasonings!

~vanilla extract..and any other extracts you like to bake with.

~chili mixes

~cream of whatever soups….so even if your mom never cooked casseroles with cream of chicken soup there is something about being far from home that will occasionally make you crave an American casserole and somehow the Campbell’s gods have engraved it in our brains that such a casserole might include such a soup.

~salsa. you might be able to find some for a price or some that just doesn’t taste good but you will miss the good stuff! if you have the space bring some along!  We have learned to make different salsas but sometimes it’s nice to have some handy.

~Bisquick/pancake mix

~syrup (or bring some maple extract so you can make something similar!

~peanut butter, again you might not eat it much now but for some crazy reason when you can’t get it you crave it!

~chocolate chips or whatever baking things you like for holiday baking…instant yeast is a good one to take!

~cake mix/brownie mix….even if you normally do it from scratch throw a few in. On days when you are culture shocked by the inconvenience of life you will have a new appreciation for brownies that smell like home and you didn’t have to measure

~crystal light or similar drink mixes…sounds silly but sometimes lemonade or cranberry juice sounds so good and either can’t be found or…you guessed it, is super expensive. The individual packs are light for packing but will brighten a summer day abroad!

~liquid smoke (for all you Texan’s)…pack this one well! can you imagine your entire household smelling permanently like smoked meat?…Seth’s response to that question would be “but I like smoked meat”. Precisely why his involvement in minimal with the ziplocking!

~macaroni and cheese…I have heard you can even just buy the cheese powder now without having to buy the whole box. All you need is the yellow #5 right?!

*Remember to ask for your favorite family recipes! You will miss your mom’s home cooking and you might just have to learn to make all of it since you can’t pop over to moms house!    Even with this big list of things we would take I have to say mostly we have just learned to make most of the things we miss! While I would love to hop out to a restaurant to get a break from cooking I am glad that these 2 years in Switzerland have pushed me to learn so much with cooking. SO if you can’t take food items or if you forget something google what you miss and be brave enough to try something new!

*Don’t whatever you do become a hoarder!!! Share the treats with others you know are missing home! Trust me, they taste better when you share them.

Of course when you go back stateside be prepared to crave things that you learned to love overseas!! I am sure we will be on the hunt for fondue and Swiss chocolate just like we searched for ajiaco and arepas when we left Colombia!

If you aren’t packing and moving or going overseas consider sending a package to a friend abroad with some of these goodies above. you will make their day and give them a taste of home!



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This weekend has been packed. Yesterday I made a baby shower cake for a friends shower that I attended in the afternoon. Today we spent the morning with Jackson’s school at a local farm for the end of the year party. They served a traditional Swiss brunch. This evening we had a potluck at church! Our last weeks in Switzerland have been so full of fun times with friends making memories that we will for sure not forget.

Baby Shower

The cake looks grey in this lighting but I promise it was pale purple. I made a cream cheese icing and I guess because it was so hot outside it was super thin. Instead of piping on decorations like I had planned I had to find a plan B quickly because the icing was just running off. So it looked artsier than I had planned but tasted good and the makeshift clothes line looked cute in the end! The shower was beautifully done by my friends, Karen and Merve. They decorated with lots of flowers and purple decor and had a beautiful spread of fruits, veggies, cookies, etc.  The favors were little flower pots with seeds displayed on a cupcake stand. Such a cute idea. Beautiful job, ladies!






































Preschool Farm Brunch
















get this boy a pup!
















king of the mountain
















class sing along






















succulents in the roof gutter! so pretty!







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Summer lovelies

It’s Friday in our neck of the woods…some of you are still fast asleep but it’s definitely day time here!   We have had a packed week with what feels like a dozen play/coffee dates and lots of chipping away at the cleaning of the house before move out.  We have a busy weekend ahead and then next week we pack suitcases, clean the house, hand over the keys and head to temp housing until we fly out a week from Monday. Follow that? Me either. Just learning to roll with it. My roll isn’t so smooth though.   Here are some happy summer pictures to leave you with this Friday!






yum! looking forward to our blueberry bush at our new home







jackson’s collection on our front door step..he’s been working on this for over a year. he finds so many treasures!










couldn’t resist, consider it wages from laboring in the fields







the “fill a bag” deal at the store last week was everything you need for ratatouille!!  Reminded me of my mom!










not sure what this poor farmer boy is doing. but he sure is cute!








house work is underway. Not enjoying 10 pm phone calls with the contractor but pleased that something is going! So ready to see it finally and make it our own.


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