Saturday, December 29, 2018

Show time

My parents treated our family to a trip to the movies this afternoon. We haven't all been to the movies since the very beginning of the year when we accidentally had the kids skip school so that we could go to Coco. That's because going to the movies as a family is both (a) expensive and (b) hard

Actually, the four oldest kids were all super well behaved. It was just Alexander being a handful—and, boy, was he ever a handful!

I watched 95% of the movie from the little entrance hallway thing, which was fine. After 2+ hours of wrangling Alexander, however, I was about wiped out! 

We saw the new Mary Poppins movie, which was charming. In Durham we once checked out all of P. L. Travers' Mary Poppins books and I read them out loud to the children. I think it was because we had watched Saving Mr. Banks and then because of that we introduced the kids to Mary Poppins, both on the screen and on the page.

It was fun background knowledge to have because I could say (to myself, and later to Andrew), "Yes, yes. The bowl incident. That happened in one of the books." 

A lot of things in the movie happened also in the books, which was nice. And it was nice that it wasn't simply a scene-by-scene remake of the original Mary Poppins but was, instead, a continuation of the story (similar to how the books work) with new music and adventures. 

I think we all enjoyed it, though I may have enjoyed it more if Alexander had truly been free to crawl around and make a nuisance of himself (he was determined that we would not sit in our seats). 

After the movie we headed over to my parents' house for a pizza dinner and the kids had fun exploring the big box of stuffed animals in the basement (mostly Josie's (though the troll is mine—haha)). 

When we got home, as if we hadn't had our fill of screen time, Andrew and the three oldest kids watched Two Towers while I put babies to bed and then looked at houses. 

I have no idea how to buy a house, guys, and it's kind of stressing me out.


  1. Do you have a Realtor? Maybe ask some Atlanta-area acquaintances if they know of a good Realtor (or two). A good Realtor can be a huge help in finding what you are looking for, especially in an area that is totally new to you. S/he should be able to tell you the "good" schools, steer you to homes in your price range, tell you what to avoid (e.g. one of our church friends helped us buy our first house years ago, and she gave some good tips about what she liked/didn't like in houses.) We also did our share of looking at houses online, but she was able to show us things that just came on the market that hadn't made it to the MLS yet.

    Just an idea. :) And how exciting to be buying a house!!

    Glad you were able to enjoy a movie although I wish Alexander had been a bit more cooperative so YOU could enjoy it better!

    1. We've had several suggestions for realtors, which will definitely help. And we have some realtor friends here who are going to walk us through the process. I guess...owning a house has never been a dream of mine so it never occurred to me that it would ever actually happen. But it's the next logical step, I guess. :D It's intimidating because Atlanta is SO HUGE and we're looking at schools and demographics and crime and commute and SO MANY other logistics. It's mind-boggling. Which is why we need a realtor, I suppose. :D

    2. I didn't know much about buying a house, either. I think my brother in law recommended HomeBuying for Dummies or something like that, which I read. I like your idea of realtor friends walking you through the process.

      I asked my friend in the Atlanta region, and she messaged me back:

      " Atlanta is so huge that people usually know someone local to the area they are looking for. Any idea what part of town they’d need? Is this the ga state guy? Most folks opt to live in suburbs and commute in for different reasons."

      So I'm glad you have some people helping you. I'm eager to see your new house! :)

  2. Ugh, house hunting is the worst! I rather enjoy looking at house listings when I'm not looking to buy one. But it's so stressful. And when we bought ours we actually knew the area - trying to find housing without knowing the area is even more terrifying to me. When we moved to VA we talked with future coworkers and got advice from them, which was helpful. And, obviously, working with a realtor helps.

    One thing I did find when we were looking for a rental home here was that people tended to try to push us out to the suburbs and to what we'd stated was our maximum (but definitely not preferred) commute time we'd consider. That was frustrating and annoying and pretty clearly was due to thinly veiled racism and classism and perceptions that the city schools are horrible due to things that had happened a decade earlier (the district is huge and does have its issues, but all the schools and teachers have been good). We ignored them to a certain extent and figured out what was most important to us (commute, preferably by public transit or bike) and the rest fell into place.

    By the time we were looking to buy, we had been in the area long enough to be able to easily set our geographical boundary around our current lives. And we had a realtor who'd purchased and fixed up several homes themselves, so they were great about knowing the signs of water in the basement or what to look for in a roof. But it was still stressful and frustrating to muddle through the process (earnest money, mortgage, inspection, etc, etc). In some ways, it kinda feels like a thing you have to figure out by just jumping in and doing it then learning from the mistakes you inevitably make for when you do it the next time. Good luck!