Our biggest hurdle was trying to figure out what to do with all of our kitchen stuff. Our current kitchen doesn't have a lot of storage space and we knew from the time we bought the house that we'd be remodeling the kitchen fairly soon after we moved in. We ended up bringing about half of our kitchen items into the kitchen and the rest are currently stored in the garage. Once we get the kitchen remodeled - scheduled completion for mid/late May - we'll be able to move all of our stuff into the kitchen and that will free up some space in the garage to make that space more organized. It's like one of those puzzles where you only have one free space so you have to move one piece before you can move another piece, and sometimes you need to move multiple pieces to get to the one you want. The layout of our house (one-story, on a slab) makes me miss basements in Minneapolis. It's nice to be able to store stuff out of the way and out of sight that you don't use all the time. I also like being able to store root vegetables and onions in a dark, cooler place. Ah, basements. How I miss you.
We've been busy with home projects since we've moved in. There was a stretch there where we went to Home Depot six days in a row. One the seventh day we went to Lowe's, just because we needed to mix it up. Zac was to the point that he felt uncomfortable when he didn't exit the freeway and swing by Home Depot on the way home from work. It has taken some hard work and long hours, but we've got some of the pressing projects completed. We've got plenty more to come. Zac is getting handier by the day, which is fun to watch. He's become a master at sanding metal things down and spray-painting them (two firepits, our outdoor furniture and a file cabinet). When we're not working on the house, we're getting to know the neighborhood. We've successfully found a delicious local taco shop, which was priority #1 for living in San Diego. So far, being a home-owner rocks.
Like I mentioned above, we had our first house guests in the middle of March - my aunt and uncle from Minnesota. It was great seeing them. They have two daughters, around the same age as Megan and I. We spent a lot of time together growing up. My family gets together regularly, probably at least once a month, to celebrate birthdays or holidays. It was a hard adjustment being away from the regular family contact when Zac and I moved to Hawaii. My aunt and uncle are great people, very cordial and easy-going. I was a little nervous about hosting them, as I knew they'd report back to my mother about the house, my well-being, etc. Not that they're spies, but if I know my Mom, she wants to know that everything is going okay. I know Dad does too, but I think Mom gets a little more antsy about knowing this stuff. Love you, Mom. :)
The first two days my aunt and uncle were here it rained. It was awful. Welcome to beautiful, sunny, temperate Southern California! Instead they found a winter storm that dropped inches of rain in a cold 45-40 degrees. We found activities to keep us entertained indoors and by Monday the weather had cleared to what it should be and we were able to visit some of the local beaches and watch the pelicans and seals hang out. Tuesday was picture-perfect and we spent the day up at the San Diego Zoo's Safari Park. One of the great things about having company come to visit is that it forces us to take the time to go see some of the cool attractions that San Diego has to offer. (And try out restaurants I've been meaning to eat at.) I prefer checking out places before company arrives so that I have a better understanding of parking, how long it takes to see the attraction, whether it's worth the money, etc., but sometimes it makes a better story to go on the adventure with family or friends for the first visit.
We had last weekend off, but tomorrow brings round two of company. Zac's brother's family arrives after spending a few days up at Disneyland. I wonder how our five-year-old nephew and three-year-old niece are doing after all the traveling and excitement. They're good kids, so I'm sure they'll be fine, but I think I may go rent a couple of kid's movies to have in the house in case they need a decompress-in-our-pajamas-because-of-Mickey-overload day. Two weeks after that my parents come out for a quick weekend visit and then Zac's sister might come out at the end of April.
Dear family and friends,
I know that many of you don't have each other's e-mails or phone numbers, but if you could telepathically coordinate your visits so that they don't all occur within a two-month window, that would be terrific. Thanks!
Ok, I'm kidding, but when it rains visitors, it pours visitors. I suppose most people have time off during the spring, and many people are looking for some warm weather and sunshine this time of year as they're escaping the doldrums of winter. And since everyone is visiting so soon after we moved to San Diego, hopefully they'll all be able to return in a year or two to see us again before the Navy moves us to someplace new. And of course we love having people here, because we miss our friends and family. I'm not sure how much we'll be able to travel now that Zac is on sea duty and will have trainings, schools, and deployments. So c'mon down to SoCal! The guestroom is ready!