Woman sitting on the beach, battery level indicator rising

We were on vacation last week.  Usually for me, a stay at home Mom, vacation means doing the same job in a different place, with fewer resources and less sleep.  We have one income, so we don't have the budget for big easy vacations with lots of entertainment.  Luckily we went on vacation at the grandparent's cottages and this year the kids weren't glued to my side.  They played a lot with their grandparents and cousins, leaving me with precious time to myself.  I got to read a book!  I got to sleep in!  I barely went in the kitchen!

It felt amazing to recharge my batteries.

I wonder, what does vacation look like for other parents of young children?

Conflicted Yoga

I decided to stop waiting until I could afford the expensive classes at a fancy yoga studio.  Instead, the whole family got a membership at our local YMCA and they have really decent Yoga classes (plus 2 hours of free childcare!)  The serene music sort of drowns out the sound of the weight lifting next door.

I realize that I'm really out of shape and a lot less flexible and balanced than I used to be.

 

2

staging day

As I was saying in my first post, we sold our house in Stouffville.

When the work on the house was done, our realtor and an entire real estate team came to our house and got to work.  They arrived with assistants and husbands and a cube van full of pretty furniture...and decorated it for us.

Thank goodness for them, because I don't have an eye for design.  We lived in the house for 6 years and I didn't have any art on the wall.  Not a throw cushion to be found.  They came in and made our house look like a magazine feature.

Staged house

 

Doesn't it look amazing?  After we saw the staged version of our house, we weren't sure we wanted to sell!

And then it was time to list, and wait.  And somehow manage to keep the house clean during the selling process.

Luckily, we didn't have to wait long, because it sort of went like this...

the house sold quickly

 

That's how the house sale went.  It was grueling, but mercifully quick, and the kids were minimally impacted.  We were happy and excited, so for a good couple of minutes, we looked like this...

House sold celebration

And then reality set in...

 

house sale worries

Will is 6 by the way, and really did have a serious best friend/girlfriend that he was quite concerned about leaving.  They're working on a long distance relationship at the moment.

Next week is busy for us, but I hope I'll get around to posting about buying a house.  We got lucky in that department too, and the process wasn't as painful as I worried about.

Have a great weekend!

Tori

 

4

Hi there strangers

Hi, I'm back!  I have to apologize for my long absence.  I'm hoping to put a lot more time in to drawing in the next little while, and I've got a few ideas and changes coming up for my little blog.  But first, I thought I'd catch my few loyal followers up on what we've been doing while I was gone.

We moved!

For those that don't know, we recently moved.  Not just houses, but towns.   And we're so happy with our decision!  But, it was sort of spur of the moment, chaotic, time-consuming, and stressful, so my hobbies took the backseat for a while.

Here's the longer story (with pictures!)

We'd toyed with the idea of moving to this area for ages.  I wanted to be closer to my family, and we had the general sense that we could afford more if we moved a little further out of the Greater Toronto Area.  We talked about it fairly often and I regularly stalked houses here on MLS, but we knew we shouldn't uproot unless the benefits of moving really outweighed the comfort and ease of staying put.

We found our dream house in a town south of Toronto

Then, one late fall day of last year, the kids fell asleep in the car close to bedtime.  So, on a lark, we took an hour and a half road trip just to drive by this beautiful 4 bedroom Queen Anne that I'd seen on MLS (and had been daydreaming about for months.)

It was lovely. I swooned like a teenager as we drove by four or five times.

We did some quick math and realized that we could buy this house with a much lower mortgage payment than the bungalow we were currently outgrowing.  As a single income family, we were feeling pretty house poor, so the idea of more month at the end of our money was very appealing.  And, we were looking at more space in a beautifully restored century home close to my family (yet not much further from Scott's).  We went from undecided to totally on board with the idea of relocating.

(Spoiler alert: this isn't the house we ended up buying, but it did set the plan in motion.)

Then we found a real estate agent.

A few TINY changesI got in touch with Adele, a book club friend and amazing real estate agent.  She came over to do a property assessment.

She had a home stager come by to give us a list of everything we needed to do to get the house ready to sell.  We still had work to be done from a renovation the year before, so a few small changes was actually a pretty big list of to-do's, including painting, drywall work, plumbing, and taking out about 75% of our clutter.

And then we got to work

We were taken aback by the amount of to-do's on our list

I, of course, worried about everything that could go wrong...as I'm known to do.  Scott, on the other hand, took everything in stride and assumed the best outcome.  As he's known to do.

We went from the daydreaming stage to selling our home in under two months, so things moved really quickly.  (This is probably when I stopped drawing and started staring blankly at my phone in my free time.)

Luckily, we had help

sd

 

Luckily for us, we had some great help from friends and family.  Especially this guy, who really kept the project on track.  Nothing motivates you like having your volunteer helper start work before you've finished your morning cup of coffee.  Without him, we'd probably still be in our old house daydreaming about this move.  (In case he's reading this, he should know that we're very grateful.)  

And, by some miracle, despite kids and work and some medical adventures thrown in the mix, we got our old house ready in about a month.  Next up was staging, selling, and moving.  Which I've done a bit of doodling about, so stay tuned for more next week 🙂

I haven't been very active on the blog lately, but did complete some Inktober (but, of course not the whole challenge because, well, life.)

I'm not sure why these never made it to the blog.  Here is my Inktober roundup.

Inktober 2016 Day 2
Day 2, just doodling about the Occupational Therapy exercises that I'm doing with my young man.
Inktober 2016 Day 3
Day 3, not following themes at this point, just doodling some girls
Inktober 2016 Day 4
Day 4 - A flowy floral wreath
Inktober 2016 Day 8
Day 8 - Trying out a dip pen
Inktober 2016 Day 9
Day 9 - A's with a dip pen
Inktober 2016 Day 13
Day 13 - All sorts of ladies
Inktober 2016 Day 14
Day 14 - More ladies
Inktober 2016 Day 16
Day 16 - Went on theme for this one. Wet. (Not sure why I said it was Day 4?)
Inktober 2016 Day 17
Day 17 - Battle. This is my son's 'Team' at school, called The Catastrophe Crew.
Inktober 2016 Day 18
Day 18 - Escape. Luckily neither of my kids have done this one!
Inktober 2016 Day 19
Day 19 - Escape. Luckily neither of my kids have done this either...yet!
Inktober 2016 Day 20
Day 20 - Squeeze. Clara's hugs always come with an extra special squeeze
Inktober 2016 Day 21-22-23
Days 21, 22, and 23 - A few days wrapped into one (a cheat, yes, I know!) Big, Little, and Slow respectively
Inktober 2016 Day 24
Day 24 - Getting Hallowe'en-y now. One Dozen eyes
Inktober 2016 Day 25
Day 25 - My last one before life got in the way. Tired. Dead Tired

 

On my wish list as a kid was to fly in a hot air balloon.  I've been bungee jumping, skydiving, and piloted an ultralight plane, but no hot air balloon yet!
Maybe one day these two kiddos will join me. For now, though, I'll have to be content with making up Doodles and Stories for them about high flying adventures.

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Doodles of a perfect late summer day at the cottage.

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A joint project by Clara and I. Somehow her finishing touches totally complement the feel of the drawing.

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Back to school is on Tuesday and my little man is entering Senior Kindergarten.  I could use a lot more lazy summer days, and to tell the truth, I'm sending him off with a trepid heart.  I'd like to wrap him in bubble wrap and keep him safe from all the challenges, both emotional and physical, that school can offer.  But, I'll keep a brave face, trust that he'll find his way, and focus on pinning cool back to school lunch ideas.

 

 

 

Coloured line drawing of man and woman embracing
William saw this drawing and asked if it was Mom and Dad on their wedding day, which I thought was sweet.

I'm working on a little comic.  If the stars align, I'm hoping to finish it by midweek.