HULA RAFFLE!

•June 2, 2011 • Leave a Comment

HULA RAFFLE! DONT FORGET TO BUY YOUR RAFFLE TICKETS! We are raffling off tickets to a movie (for the winner and a friend). They are $1 a ticket AND if you pay your HULA dues for the semester you will be given a FREE ticket for the raffle!

Two months in…

•November 24, 2009 • Leave a Comment

So basically I’ve been living in the Atlanta area (technically Woodstock) for two months.  I still feel “in transition” and I’m sure that feeling will go away soon.

So what do I like about Atlanta so far?  I like the friendliness of just about every person I’ve met so far.  I like the MARTA (the transit system), it’s a lot like St. Louis’ Metrolink but I think they take better care of their trains here in Atlanta.  I like the weather! (Well, if you skip all the rain we’ve had) I like that there’s such diverse food here. We haven’t found our favorite restaurant yet, but I’m sure some day we’ll find it.

And the bad…  I wish Atlanta had a local grocery store chain. (I’m really big on “mom and pop stores” but I’ll probably get into that later)  I wish Publix didn’t charge an arm and a leg for produce.  I wish the best produce wasn’t at Whole Foods. I wish communicating with the schools’ wasn’t so hard.

We’re a few days away from Thanksgiving now.  I’ve got to be honest, I’m feeling a little somber about it.  I am used to spending our Thanksgiving with Cam’s family, and this year we’re going to do it at my Mom & Dad’s.  Thanksgiving at my parents is always a little strange.  Because my Mom is Japanese, it doesn’t have that sense of traditionalism to it.  You got your staples like turkey, potatoes and gravy.  I just feel a little more “at home” at Cam’s family’s house.  And Ana this year is in St Louis with Cam’s parents. (She flew on Saturday).  She’s had a really rough month at school (her grades have plummeted) and she missed St. Louis desperately.   So we drive down to McMinnville on Wednesday.  Celebrate the day with my family. Maybe Thursday night hang out with a few of my old High School friends.  Probably go back late on Friday.  On Saturday afternoon, we pick up Ana from the airport. And Sunday, we have another Thanksgiving party with a new friend I made online.

In other news, we’re down to one car.  The Kia has had it.  The engine light is on, Cam thinks it’s probably something to do with the transmission… which isn’t cheap. So … we’ll hold on to it til about January, and Cam will trade it in for a truck.  We’ll see how that goes.

Sorry for the darkening mood of this blog post.  Hopefully things will lighten up closer to the holidays.

 

 

We’re here!

•October 14, 2009 • 2 Comments

I should have written this weeks ago, so apologies for not keeping up with this blog.  Quite a lot has happened in the last month.  The move itself went as expected, I guess.  There was some damage in our stuff… dent in the deep freezer door, a wheel was broken on the push lawnmower, the 57″ tv was broken.  But all and all, most of everything seemed to make it here OK.

A week after we moved here, Atlanta experienced a “once in 500 years” flood.  Luckily our stuff and the house was fine.  But the city of Atlanta  itself was under water.  The owner of the property we are renting had many other properties that were under water.  We were the driest of his houses, thankfully.  His damages (and he didn’t have flood insurance because none of his homes are technically on a flood plain)  came to about $20,000 … and from everything I’ve seen from the area — he got off lucky.  So many people had to walk away from their homes.  I added a few pictures to document the destruction of the flood.

So after the flooding wasn’t really a pressing issue anymore… we got serious about school.  Luckily, the week that we had the flood Cherokee County had the week off from school.  So the kids were registered for their classes.  Ana was a little disappointed as she wasn’t able to take any foreign language as a 7th grader.  Next year, she may be able to take Spanish if it’s recommended by her teachers.  She did get into band (finally, there were lots of scheduled changes for her)  and she seems to like it.  Crestview’s 7th grade band  was quite a bit larger than her new school’s band program.  However I think she’s doing great… she has a concert next week.  We can’t wait to see her perform! She’s made some friends already, and has a new friend named Georgette… they share a common interest in horses.  I’m sure I’ll see around the house before long.  Rachael had a little bit of a rough start.  She misses her friends at Westridge and it took her a little bit to warm up to kids at her new school.  She was used to being “the big fish” at Westridge and her new school goes to grade 6 (Rach is only in 5th grade)… so she was kind of bummed by that.  She wanted to be in Chorus, but tryouts had already happened by the time she got there and won’t be able to sing until next year.   Things seem to be stabilizing for her at school, she’s made quite a few friends.  Ethan is in first grade and he really had a hard transition from Westridge to Little River.  There was an obvious discrepancy from what he was taught in MO to the things they are teaching in GA.  Over the last couple of weeks, (Cam and I even had a talk with his teacher) we think we’re getting Ethan on the right track.  We’re still going to have him tested to make sure he’s getting all the help and support he needs at school. I’ll try to keep up the updates on the kids… as they happen.

Cam seems to be doing well. He’s VERY busy… much more busier than he’s ever been.  He enjoys it, but I know it wears him out.  On top of a busy work schedule, he continues to work out every day at a local gym.  To date, he’s lost at least fifty pounds since he left St. Louis in late July.  I’m so proud of him! He’s really motivated and inspired me to get healthier too.  I seem to have lost weight (30 lbs since January)… my wedding rings don’t fit my fingers anymore.  We’re eating better, we’re exercising more often.  Our lifestyle has definitely changed… and for the better.

I’m trying to get used to things in Georgia.  Things are a little slower, people talk a little slower too.  I always seem to have this “go go go” attitude and I need to learn to take a down a few notches. LOL!  We’ve found a few grocery stores nearby… though I haven’t really found a place I *really* like. I’m really big on buying local and supporting local mom & pop businesses. Though,  I do have to say I like that Trader Joe’s is very close to my house as is a Super Target.  We found a neat Vietnamese & Thai cafe down the street from our house… I like the Pad Thai and drinking Bubble Tea.  Though Cam misses the Thai restaurant (yes the one that sent him to the hospital!) in O’Fallon.

We haven’t seen the Zoo yet.  We miss how things are in St. Louis, like the Zoo.  The amount of money it costs us to get inside the Zoo is truly sticker shock for us.  (St. Louis Zoo is free)  Our family of five will cost us around $80.  I’ll probably wind up getting the family pass ($99) but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.  There’s also a Children’s Museum (like The Magic House) but again… kinda pricey.  There’s not an equivalent to The Butterfly House unfortunately, so I guess we’ll have to go up to St Louis for that (darn!).  Another thing I don’t really care for is the local paper, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC).  Seems the stories are very flat and well, anemic.  A couple of lines here and a couple of lines there. Wow. On some of their stories, I would have gathered more information if I talked to my neighbor.  I still read The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, if not to keep up with local news there, to read commentary from the readership, and to feel like I’m reading a real paper.  I’m actually quite surprised Atlanta doesn’t have a better paper (despite the newspaper economy) considering they have CNN in the same city.   Maybe things will get better on the newspaper end, but  I don’t think I’m going to hold my breath.  I hope it does.

I don’t want people to think I don’t like living here.  I really do, I’m getting used to the area.  There are things about St. Louis that I miss, but there are definitely things about St. Louis I don’t.  I like how people here are so helpful and friendly.  The weather here is fantastic (ok, once we get out of this “monsoon” season).  The lowest it gets (on average) is 48 in January. THAT I can deal with.  No snow. No ice. I’ve also found a forum of a group of moms online that I post on frequently.  Everyone seems very friendly and welcoming to newcomers.  I like to learn new things and places every week that I’m here.  Last week we found a park near the house. The kids had fun, there’s a pond that ducks hang out at.  The kids had fun with them.

Well that’s all I have to write about today.  See you on FB or my blog.

It’s Labor Day

•September 7, 2009 • Leave a Comment

That means three days before the packers arrive to pack up the house, here in Missouri.  I can safely say that I’m prepared at this point for the move.  All laundry is caught up, items have been donated to Goodwill, house is pretty much cleaned up.  In the next few days, I’ll be catching up with doctors visits.    If I can fend off the anxiety that I feel about moving away…things will be good.

One more week…

•September 4, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I have about 1 week before I move! I’m so nervous and excited!

I have contacted all the utility companies to transfer service or get services started (minus the water company, in which I will do business with them personally when I get down there).

The kids have gotten their doctor visits and shots to start the school year down there. My garage sale/moving sale is set for Monday. The packers are coming on Thursday (Sept 10) to pack everything up, movers are coming on Friday (Sept 11) to load the truck!
The kids’  last day of school is either Thursday or Friday. I’m not sure which yet, I haven’t quite decided.  I’m leaning towards Thursday.


Cam is flying into St Louis late on Friday, and we’ll be driving down (as a family) on Sunday morning. (He wants to take Saturday to clean up the house and say good bye to his family)

Sunday we’ll be driving to my parents house in TN and spending the night there. Monday morning we’re driving to GA… so I can take care of some “business” at the water company.

I am so glad this is finally happening! I feel like it’s been forever since our family was together. Ahhh!!! Next week is going to be crazy though!

Forgive the pictures please!

•August 28, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I posted some pictures my future landlord sent before we went to Atlanta to view the house.  I finally got around to resizing them and posting them.  The former tenant had a thing for the southwest apparently.  Brian says “it just looks really southern” LOL … he’s right.  Anyway, there they are to give you an idea of our new domicile.

AT&T.  What’s the deal with AT&T and Atlanta?  The first trip I took down there, we stayed at my good friend Cherri’s house (Thanks Cherri, BTW!!)  in Buford.  You’d think with all the crazy AT&T commercials with their annoying bars, there wouldn’t be a place on Earth that didn’t have bars.  Well, apparently Cherri’s house doesn’t like AT&T.  As soon as we drove around her subdivision, the bars fell to 1.  Then the moment we got in her house, NO BARS!! WTH?  We just thought it was a freak thing, maybe she lives behind a weird hill or something.  Then Cam and Freddy move into Freddy’s new apartment… different part of town, but same story.  NO BARS.   So I hope Atlanta figures out this AT&T problem.  I’m wondering if the new house has bars, I didn’t look to check. I should have.

I found a new online community for me, it’s for northwest Atlanta mommies.  I’ve been having a blast over there, I felt “at home” instantly  … it’s making me feel more and more that Atlanta was a great decision for us, and for me personally.

Speaking of St. Louis, leaving, and great decisions…Cam sent me an email today from dice.com.

This is a graph detailing IT jobs coming into St. Louis through this particular job search engine.  In this particular write-up, it was also mentioned that “since July 2008, the number of tech jobs in St. Louis posted on Dice declined nearly 55 percent, from 987 last year to 446 last month.”

And also  “The overall employment picture for St. Louis looks bleak. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the city¿s unemployment rate was at 9.9 percent in June, up from the 9 percent recorded in May.”

So with this in mind, I am very very glad that Cam found thìs job in Atlanta, that he’s moving us … even though I know I will miss a lot of things in St. Louis… our unified family is what’s really important… and I see a great future for us in Atlanta.

It’s getting nearer…

•August 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

First of all, I just wanted to say that I’m probably going to run out of witty titles for posts.  Ha! I hope my creative juices don’t stop flowing.

So, it’s been awhile since I posted last, I think.   We went down to Atlanta last weekend to see about a house.  I had been talking to a would-be landlord about a house in the Woodstock area.  BTW — I scrutinized for a long time trying to find a home for our family.  We ran into a lot of obstacles… the size of our family, the schools, proximity to Cam’s job, etc.  After researching Woodstock (and Cherokee County) I decided this was where we needed to be.  But that was only part of the solution.  After MUCH communication (and luckily being first in line in application) with the would-be landlord, we were able to see the house last Sunday.  Perfect size really.  The bedrooms very large, the kitchen wasn’t as big as mine (but then again, what kitchen IS as big as mine LOL)  but definitely do able (and comes with an island!), cat doors, a screened-in porch, little landscaping for Cam to deal with, 2 car garage!  Schools definitely as good as I’ve ever seen.  Finding a home was the hardest thing… after going through apartment after apartment.  Nothing felt right.  This house feels right.

We also saw a creepy house that we all thought was haunted.   Cam was creeped out… the guy that doesn’t believe in ghosts. He said if there were ghosts, definitely there are some in this house! Well it was a strange house.  Main floor had vents for A/C… but the upstairs had window unit air conditioners.  Walls were dirty, the house just wasn’t kept up at all.  So a big no on that one. It made our decision with the first house even more definitive.

So, now we wait for the relocation company to get a hold of us.  Cam’s been working at Sapient for nearly a month — I’m just somewhat suprised they haven’t talked to us yet.  Well, up until this point we didn’t have a place we were moving to… but now that we do… we definitely want to press forward quickly and have all our ducks in a row.

Cam comes home for the first time since he left in July tomorrow.  I can’t wait.  Though I did see him last weekend, his family will be glad to see him. He’s excited because he’s lost so much weight in that month.  Atlanta has been VERY good to him.