Monday, June 30, 2014

CLE Goodbye Party

We wanted to be able to hang out with people for the last time before we left, so we sort of kind of threw ourselves a going-away party. 
I didn't really feel bad about it, because it's not like you bring gifts for people to a going-away party, but it did feel weird to have a bunch of people in our crazy looking house. Whatever. They brought appetizers and desserts, and we just hung out. Quite a few people came out, although I'm not sure how many. There were a number of people inside, hanging out where it was cool, and others in the shade outdoors. It was casual, and not really "about us" or official and sappy in any way, which I really loved.

The Wilsons have been some of our greatest friends here. They moved to Cleveland about a month before we did, for Cory to join the church as a pastor/elder. We used to attend their community group, until they kicked us out to start our own. Carson's favorite baby is little Liam, and we've babysat or just stopped by unannounced before (they live down the street). Cory is from Mississippi, so it's been fun to hear a southern accent in the Midwest.

Thanks, Sam.

Deanna and I.

Carrie and I.

Rachel, me, Deanna, Beth, Carrie and Cherise.

We tried the sorority squat, and I'm guessing that none of us have been in a sorority because we were clueless.

I didn't take a million pictures, but it was fun talking and enjoying our friends just the same. We miss you already!

Moving Tips

Am I writing this for your benefit? Yes.
Am I writing it more for mine and so I remember? Absolutely.

The last time we moved, we used Amtrak and the USPS (shipped books via media mail). It was WAY cheaper to move from Spokane to Cleveland that way, and we're glad we did that. It was stressful, but also nice just having our car as we drove.

This time, we rented a truck from Penske. Because the distance wasn't so far, we probably spent a little less on this move. I haven't budgeted it all out to compare, but it wasn't too bad. Carson discovered that booking in advance at a lower quote rate will save money, but continuing to call and ask if the prices have lowered at all might save money too. Additionally, asking if there are discounts when you get there can't hurt. Signing up for a AAA membership somehow knocked off $200 from the rental price, and now we have AAA to boot.

Go through your stuff. Don't stress this too much, but as you pack up books or clothing items ask yourself, "Do I really need/want/wear/use this?" We found that helped us get rid of lots of things. Carson had a HUGE collection of books and still does, but he got rid of about half of them by just taking the time to sort through.

Save money for your move and expect it to cost more than you've estimated.

If you have time before you move and an idea of the new place, go ahead and buy things over time for that place, like shower curtain liners. Those things add up if purchased all at once, but aren't so bad if you're buying one little thing at a time.

Greatest advice: Have a "when we get there" box. Things that you'll use in the house right away, like those shower curtain liners, clean towels, light bulbs, TOILET PAPER, paper plates and paper towels, plastic silverware, box cutters, maybe even sheets for the beds. Cleaning supplies couldn't hurt just in case. Anything that you'll be using when you first get there. We put most of these things in our car, which we towed behind the van, and it was helpful to have, say, Duct tape, which came in handy more than I expected when unpacking.

Label everything. Don't rely on your memory. If you put some picture frames, a toaster and some books in a box together, label all of those or you'll never find that toaster. We weren't consistent on this, and it set us back.

Let people help. We moved from Spokane to Cleveland pretty much by ourselves and it wasn't great, but wasn't the worst thing ever. When we moved to Tallahassee, we had people who helped us pack the truck, and my parents who came down to help us move in. Amazing. It's great to have those extra hands when you're loading or squeezing things into boxes, and even better to have extra eyes when you hang things on walls and can't decide where to put the beds. Mom and Dad did so many little things, like thinking to buy shelf paper, checking out the filters on our air conditioner and the battery on the smoke detector. Help is needed, and if you must, ask. I'd imagine you'll find willing people.

Plot things out before you go. I realized this time that it would have been really helpful to find the nearest Wal-Mart on a map. nearby grocery stores, or to plan our routes to work and school. You'll figure it out if you don't, but if you look those things up first, you'll likely thank yourself. I bought a Florida map that also had city maps... this will be helpful, not just for finding things, but for figuring our way around the city and being able to visualize it. If you can procure a map before your move, do it!

Figure out if the utilities will be turned on when you get there. We didn't think about this until my parents said something, and because of that we sweet-talked some poor soul into coming out and turning those things on on a Saturday... or we'd have needed to wait until the day after we got there. If you're able, maybe call around and get quotes on internet and cable, so that you don't have to do those things when you arrive.

Change your address! You don't even have to go to the post office. Just go onto and select "Change address" from the menu. Couldn't be easier, and they will forward all your info.

Keep a master sheet of bills and things whose addresses you'll have to manually change. Donations, credit card companies, your insurance and bank...

Friday, June 27, 2014

Last Community Group

Our community group was one of the best things about living in Cleveland. Each Monday, people crammed into our living room for fellowship, sermon discussion and prayer. These people became our closest friends in Ohio and we loved spending time with them. 

For our last group with them (they still continue to meet), we wanted to do something different, so Bryan and Jen suggested meeting at Mitchell's Ice Cream and possibly walking across the street to the Acacia Metropark. Done. 

It was casual and fun. Great last times with these great people. 

We miss you, Monday night CG!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

How to Remove Putty from Flat Paint

In October of 2012, I was tired of staring at this big blank wall, and didn't know what I wanted there long term, so I put up a collage of pictures. I loved looking at it

Overall, it wasn't the look I was going for in our living room. It made the room seem cluttered, and it was distracting. Anytime anyone was in there, they'd gaze over at the wall. Fine, but not great if you're in the middle of a conversation. Also, the pictures would fall off all the time. Mainly when there was only one person (me), and the sound would scare me half to death. 

So the following summer, I decided to take the pictures down. Over one hundred pictures came down, and the blue sticky tack holding them there... didn't. Since they had the habit of falling down, this surprised me. I thought it would be a piece of cake to take down (it was in college), but no. Apparently flat paint and blue putty aren't a match made in heaven. So there were tiny pieces of it, which I tried to mostly hide with this collage wall. You can't see it in the pictures and it wasn't glaringly obvious, but it wasn't a good look.

Of course when we moved, I knew the tack would have to come down, and I dreaded that. Here's what it looked like, and the mess left behind.

And here's the cast of characters I used to get rid of this mess: Dawn, water, a white cloth (anything with any sort of color I could see making further damage to the walls), various scraping tools (credit cards and a pan scraper).

I began with a credit card. It wasn't a good choice because it took the tack off but left behind markings because it was colorful. I switched to a white Starbucks gift card and had more success. The gift card took off most of the blue.

So it was time to bring out the big guns. I mixed Dawn and water in a cup, completely unscientifically, and worried that the blue color would show on the wall, so I tested it on a more hidden patch of wall somewhere else. Fine.

Then I dipped my cloth into the Dawn mixture and washed the walls. The left side had been done in this picture and I was working toward the right. It would change the color for a second because it was wet, but would remove the remnants of the tack the gift card wasn't able to scrape off, plus any scrapes or bumps on the wall.

So it worked! I'd recommend using a mixture of Dawn and water after carefully scraping larger pieces of putty to make the walls good as new.

Even though this worked for me, I do have one incident: The one problem I ran into, unique to this house, was that there was soot on the walls. I can't remember if I ever mentioned it here, but the two or three times we turned the (gas) fireplace on here, it wasn't great. It was warm and felt quite nice, but it burned our eyes and when we turned it off, we noticed soot on everything. The toilet even had a layer of it. So we used it a couple of times in 2012, and then never again (bummer). Unfortunately, I've been able to find nothing that will remove the soot. My dawn mixture might have worked, but the problem was that I'd put the pictures up and the outline of them remained on the wall thanks to the fireplace. Nearly every picture on the walls created an imprint, thanks to that fireplace. So the wall isn't perfect and isn't good as new, but that's because that stuff is stubborn. No amount of scrubbing has been able to get soot off of paint, even on glossy painted surfaces (like the trim around the fireplace).

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Odds and Ends

We did nursery for the last time at the beginning of June. It's Carson's favorite thing and he loved playing with the little kids. Each week, he'll stop by the nursery and check to see if his "favorites" are in there. 

Just a date night. Coworkers of mine gave us a whole list of places to eat and we didn't go to many of them, but we did try this Thai place one night.

Carson has apparently long-wanted to drive the wrong way down a one-way street at John Carroll. He says that apparently it's a "rite of passage" to do so, which meant that it was of course added to the bucket list. Absolutely no one was on campus, so it wasn't much of a thrill, but now he's done it.

My friend Lindsay and I at her Rosie the Riveter themed baby shower for her sweet baby Rosie, to arrive in August. The cutest shower I've ever attended, complete with a requirement to wear a bandana in your hair.

The public library in South Euclid is beautiful. We've been inside, where it is equally nice, but on this particular day, Carson wandered around outside with my camera, taking pictures. It looks like an old castle, doesn't it?

Friday, June 13, 2014

Brandywine Falls and Faltinowskis

Zack had never been to Chic-fil-A, so we decided that it would be a good place to meet up for dinner, when he and Erica were in town. When we arrived, there was a girl's softball team having some sort of fundraiser where people would pay a dollar, spin a wheel, and win something. Everyone would win, whether free food or prizes, so Carson and Zack went for it. Zack won free coffee and Carson won a stuffed cow, which was perfect for him. We ate, talked, and had a great time over chicken and ice cream.

Talk shifted to nearby sights, and we found ourselves taking a drive at dusk to see Brandywine Falls. It was easy to get down to the falls, thanks to wooden stairways, so I was fine in my dress and non-outdoorsy shoes. The cow went along for the journey as well.

Not only did we have a lovely time together, but Brandywine Falls was on our bucket list, and it was an item we didn't think we'd have time to check off.

Erica's from a town nearby here and currently lives in Michigan so we've been able to see these two more than any of our other Spokane friends (we were able to see them for their wedding, at Christmas [only picture of that meetup is at the bottom of this post], 4th of July, in Grand Rapids last fall, Christmas again [also no post], and for a week in the spring).

And a blast-from-the-past picture, because there are so many pictures here that why the heck wouldn't I include this? From the year we roomed together and spent every spare second in the sunshine, even skipping class to get our tan on. 

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