Progress is being made at our new apartment! Yesterday saw the VERY happy completion of all the shopping. I am not sad at all to have that phase behind me. John and I learned to be very decisive shoppers. We would go into a store, scan briefly, and then if we liked something, start bargaining for the price. Lots of these places (like light fixtures, for example) group themselves together, which was helpful in the scanning-window shopping phase. There is a HUGE light fixture super-mall very close to our city. It is three floors and then some of shop after shop after shop of nothing but lights! It's the same with furniture; all in the same section of town are huge areas of nothing but furniture stores. There are probably 30 curtain stores within one of the furniture places--all grouped together.
So, we tried to make the most of our time and I'm so happy to say that the last item on our list--a coffeetable and end table for the living room--was crossed off yesterday! No more shopping! Also, the apartment is really starting to look like a home. John set up our living room furniture earlier in the week, so at least now we have somewhere to sit down when we are there working. The table and chairs were delivered that same day, and the girls' bedroom furniture came yesterday. The bathrooms are almost complete; just some cabinets being built that will be installed early next week, hopefully.
The final hurdle is the kitchen. As soon as the kitchen is done, we can move! Right now it is an empty space with absolutely nothing inside. John and I had talked through what we wanted and then he designed it; after showing the designs to the kitchen store that we're using the manager there was pretty impressed with John's drafting ability! They are building the cabinets now and will install everything at the end of this week or the beginning of next week.
And, we had our first time of taking the girls to the house to play yesterday. One distinct advantage of this apartment complex is its beautiful layout. There is a natural spring coming up at the one end which trickles its way through the complex, with trees, bushes, and winding paths all around. The water is filled with schools of goldfish which delighted my girls. It's so lovely and green and full of places to sit and take in the view for awhile. Yesterday my friend Rachel and I met there and took our girls to play at the playground as well as the sand pit which are all within the complex. They got extremely dirty but had lots of fun! It will be SO wonderful to have a place outside for the girls to run and play--at our current apartment we were surrounded by lots of dirty concrete and pavement. I'm really excited for them about this--visions of bike rides, picnics, strolls, and fun times are dancing through my head!
I'm not the only one that thinks it's a great play location for kids--there were tons of other kids out and about yesterday! I'm hoping that Clara Anne can make a few friends, too, and we can go out and play together. It'll probably be a great way for me to make friends, too!
So, in response to my friend Becky's question about "Is it [all the remodeling] worth it?" I will have to say yes. Other than the painting, things have really gone smoothly and we are really excited to see all of our plans and long-delayed ideas come to fruition. Things I bought more than a year ago in the US for "our new house" are finally now getting to be used! That being said, though, I do hope we will not have to move for a very, very long time. Most people feel that way after moving, though, right? But especially in our situation, if something were to happen where we would need to leave quickly, we are willing and ready to leave it all behind. We hope and pray that won't be the case, however!
I sort of wish that I had been taking pictures when all this was happening so that you could see the before and after, but you'll have to be content with the after when it's all finally done! In my mind there is still a crystal clear mental picture of the day some workers were installing new tile walls in our kitchen--with a pile of cement that they had mixed up directly on the floor. A sight to behold, that's for sure! Amazingly, it did all come clean later on.
So we'll wait eagerly for the kitchen people to call, and then it's time to go! John has already done a substantial amount of packing at home so we are nearly ready to actually move. I'm happy for the progress--we'll see what the next week brings!