2011 has been a roller coaster of a year for my family and I, one I wish I could have stepped off of before the year began. The year started as a blur, my mind in a complete fog. We buried dad New Year’s Eve and the following months would prove to challenge me in unexpected ways which I’m still dealing with and slowly processing. Mom moved into our “cozy” home, a home my husband and I bought eleven years ago. When we bought this place it was a complete fixer, pink bathroom tile included. It was a seller’s housing market back then and even the dumpiest of homes commanded premium dollars. But we were newly married with a determined vision. Together, we would roll up our sleeves and work on remodeling our house one room every year as our budget allowed. The sweat equity would eventually pay off as years went by. All my cake decorating experience would serve me well when it came to smoothing out drywall puddy. As a contractor friend once told me, if you can frost a cake smooth, smoothing drywall will be a cinch for you.
Slowly but surely our ugly, dumpy home started to transform into something beautiful and permanent. We gutted rooms, opened up walls, designed our kitchen, and added finishing touches like crown molding throughout the house. The process in which our home turned into a butterfly from a lowly caterpillar has been a remarkable journey of perseverance and celebration. This has been the only home my three children have ever known and our plans were to stay here until they were old enough to move out on their own. But sometimes life circumstances have a pesky way of changing plans.
After dad’s death mom came to live with us. At first it felt like we were hosting a guest. But her extended stay became a reality check that our “cozy” home with one bathroom suddenly has become too cozy. Three adults plus three children plus one bathroom equals a lot of waiting and conflict. Over the years Rob and I discussed pushing our home back and expanding our house. Although this option would address the bathroom issue, it did not make sense from other perspectives, especially from a financial point of view. Over the years I would “window shop” homes online to see if any homes peaked our interest within our price range. It would take a special home to tempt us to leave ours. Last month I spotted a beautiful home which caught my eye. I forwarded the link to my husband who laughed the whole thing off. We had been through this song and dance before with two other homes in the last few years. He gave me his typical response, “Oh ya, that’s a nice home. What’s for dinner?” But I insisted, we, at the very least call our realtor to go take a look. So we went to look at this house without any real seriousness to it other than to satisfy my curiosity. The home was as beautiful as I thought it would be with plenty of space for a growing family including mom. This made my husband very nervous. I think he was secretly hoping I would walk through this home and that would be the end of our discussion. But this wasn’t the case. The next thing I knew we were signing real estate forms making an official offer which was accepted by the seller. The following week our current house went on the market and we received a full price offer the same day it listed. Pricing to sell really does work despite the current (depressing) Seattle real estate market.
So we’re moving – Rob, the kids, mom, and me. Our new home is not very far from where we live now except we will live closer to our daughters’ school. We close right before school starts and we are busy packing our belongings, de-cluttering items, and savoring our last few weeks in this home we’ve come to love along with our amazing neighbors. In fact, it is bittersweet we leave our neighborhood solely based on our neighbors and the strong sense of community we’ve been a part of for over a decade. They will be a wonderful unexpected gift to the new owners of our house and have a special place in our hearts forever.
In the mean time, I’ve been doing less cooking around here. We’ve been trying to keep our house clean and I’ve been preparing really quick and easy dishes to keep me sane through this process. Although it has been a little quiet around here on Savory Sweet Life, once we move into our new home I promise I’ll get to posting more regularly. In the mean time, here is a recipe for Tomato Basil Mozzarella Salad. I’ve been enjoying this salad for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There is something about ripe cherry tomotoes and mini “pearl” mozzerella balls I have found to be irrisistable. Add slivers of fresh basil, a drizzle of olive oil, and salt and pepper, and this salad represents the essence of summer. Enjoy!
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 8 ounces fresh "mini" mozzerella pearls
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 18 basil leaves, chopped
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Add the cherry tomatoes and mozzerella cheese to a medium bowl. Drizzle the olive oil over the tomatoes and mozzerella. Add the basil, salt, and pepper, and gently toss all the ingredients.