But. We moved to Philly in early December. Crossing the border went without a hitch, and although the drive felt long with Huz in the U-Haul and me following behind with all the girlies in our van, we powered through and were so, so happy to arrive at our new home.
We arrived at our new place at around 9 PM, and we already had a very long to do list for the following day (going in person to get hydro hooked up, picking up internet stuff, groceries, etc.), so Huz and I unloaded the U-Haul the night we arrived. This photo is of Honey Bee and Mouse in the playpen, watching the iPad, and eating McDonald's while we unloaded the U-Haul. Rock star parenting.
Since arriving, our days have mainly consisted of unpacking, getting furniture, driving around to meet up with Craigslist sellers of various items, making phone calls and googling stuff to try and figure out the minutiae of moving to another country, and occasionally, doing something fun like taking Dog for a walk or the girls to a playground. (The day we went to IKEA also counted as "something fun," since Honey Bee is now big enough to play in "Smaland" and the ice creams are $1).
So far, we really love our new house. There are a few fiddly things to sort out, like any new place you move into, but already it feels like we are "home". And even more, we really love our neighbourhood. We actually don't live in Philly itself, but are in an area called the Main Line, which is a group of suburbs west of the city. Its a really beautiful area and it seems like it will be a great place for the girls. Although not nearly as much as in Vancouver, there's still a fair bit of stuff within walking distance of our home, so although we're out in the suburbs, it doesn't feel too suburbany.
Here are a few shots of the new home:
Setting up our tree. I really don't care for fake trees--since moving to Vancouver we've always had beautiful, real trees--but Huz pointed out that Mouse is particularly mischevious right now, and pulling the tree down is not outside the realm of the possible, and so suggested we go the artificial route, just this once. So we picked this little guy up at the thrift shop. The decorations are spending more time off the tree than on, but its still fun to have a tree, and without the risk of a 1 year old dumping a bunch of tree water on the hardwood floors.
Our living room, including new couch, purchased from Bob's Discount Furniture. 'Cause we're fancy like that. Note the puny little tree with the decorations all on the bottom two feet of the tree (and many on the floor beside. . .).
Our kitchen. This was the night our couch was delivered, and we decided to celebrate by having a family movie night. We made popcorn with our awesome new popcorn maker--our housewarming gift from Mom and Dad, whose popcorn maker we used quite a bit to celebrate movie night while living in Ottawa). Popcorn and movies are two of Honey Bee's favourite things, and so she is pretty jazzed here.
Of all of us, Dog seems to have had the hardest time adjusting. Honey Bee loves "our new house," Mouse seems mainly indifferent to the change, but Dog spent the better part of the first week feeling restless and ill. She's no longer sick, but she still seems a little lost at times. It probably doesn't help that her oversized pillow seems to get moved every time we acquire a new piece of furniture (tonight, she was displaced by our new kitchen table).
A week after we arrived in Philly, I left Huz alone with the girls to fly back to Vancouver (!!!) for a very good friend's wedding. I was too busy crying my eyes out during her ceremony to take a decent picture, but it was an incredible wedding. The bride--and later, the groom--was part of our Wednesday Night Potluck group. This group of friends has been getting together for the past 7 years, just about every Wednesday night, to share an amazing meal, catch up on our lives, and bear witness to all of our major life events. So it was so beautiful for us all to share in our friends' wedding day, and as we often do, we celebrated this momentous occasion with much joy (and a fair bit of wine).
The night before the wedding, I also went out for a Girls' Night with the fantastic women from my book club. I could go on and on (and on and on and on) about the incredible book club I belonged to while we lived in Vancouver and the even more incredible women who belong to it, but for now, all I'll say is that I feel so blessed to have been a part of this wonderful group of kindred spirits, who have touched my life in innumerable ways.
Huz did an incredible job while I was away, searching out fun places to take the girls, going to the dog park, grocery shopping, assembling furniture, cooking, etc. I came home to a very tidy house, two happy little girls, and a rather exhausted husband. But I was so grateful for the opportunity to go to Vancouver. I treasured my time with our dear friends and the opportunity to remind myself that even though we no longer live there, Vancouver and our friends there will always be with us, in one way or another.
One last highlight to report is that Mouse has started walking! She was taking the odd step or two at Mom and Dad's house, but in the last two weeks, she's upped her game and can now make it most of the way across a room before doing a bum drop. She's a squirrelly little baby, getting into everything and making sure we've done a good job of babyproofing the new place, but we enjoy watching her mischevious antics and her adorable little smirk.