Voluntarily moving, why do we do it?

I am simultaneously asking myself this and packing up the house at the same time.  We’re moving again, a year after our most recent move (which was 6 months after our previous, and that was 5  months after the one before, which was 6 months after the one before… etc.)  why?  Well here’s our timeline:  Move in together in November 2013, move about 650 miles in April 2014, move to opposite coast in November 2014, move into base housing March 2015, move back to original coast September 2015, and now moving across the neighborhood in October 2016.  Yep. That is how frequently we’ve moved, it’s hard to believe but somewhat exciting all in the same.

The house we are in is on a grid-pattern lined street, so we are shoved between 2 other houses practically spooning each other, and our back yards face directly into the back yards of other houses (field grade houses, I’m sorry Lt Col that my dog barks at you sometimes!)…  The house we’re looking into moving into is on the water, its back windows and sliding glass doors (YAASSS)  face water, and a beautiful view of it, too.  Did I also mention that this house is the last on the street?  And it has a little playground across the road from it?  That’s right, it doesn’t even have a house across the street.  It’s still in the same neighborhood as our current house but rather than having a home literally on all sides of it, it only has 1 house around it.  I know better than to keep my fingers crossed about things like this but I’m having a hard time not doing it.

Regardless of whether we are able to get that exact house or not, we will be moving.  The floor plan is much more conducive than what we’re living in currently.  We live in about 1700 square feet and the new (to us) floor plan is about 1600, however our house has an enormous hallway upstairs, a staircase, additional half bath for the downstairs, and other unusable square footage where this other house really has no wasted square footage whatsoever, and is sans-half bath so that adds square footage elsewhere.

We will be losing a room, though, which is somewhat of a bummer but will be worth it in the long run.  Our house has what used to be a screened in porch attached to our living room.  This screened in porch has since been closed in, but is still too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter to use fully.  The door to this room makes the “flow” of our living room impossible.  We have re-situated our living room furniture every few months because we cannot figure out how to do it without going insane.  This door sits perfectly opposite of the fireplace, and the room isn’t wide enough to put the sofa in front of the fire place with a coffee table and chairs to accompany it. Bleh.

 The new house has a more open concept and what we live in now is all choppy and separated by claustrophobic doorways and a staircase in the center of the house.  I’m hoping my husband and I will be able to move into this specific house but it’s the floor plan and water front aspects that I want the most.  The absolute biggest catch is that my little baby is due October 4th, and our lease runs out October 1st.  Call us crazy.  We are genuinely crazy.

Wish us luck! ❤

Exploring Swansboro, NC

I love ice cream.  You could say that ice cream is a guilty pleasure of mine, or just simply understand that I become a child if there is an opportunity for me to get some ice cream, it’s just so good.  Swansboro has the cutest little candy store that I have seen, and inside of that store they sell ice cream, candy (of course), pop corn, fudge, and cotton candy.  This store is Candy Edventure and it is my favorite place in Swansboro.  They have very accommodating hours which allows for you to enjoy a delicious treat after an early dinner on a weekend, whereas most other shops close late afternoon or early evening.

For dinner I have enjoyed Saltwater Grill which is absolutely delicious and comfortable inside, but we don’t regular the joint because it is a little bit more expensive than we typically prefer to spend.

With that being said, Church Street Deli is delicious and affordable.  I have been dreaming about their sandwiches for a month now since I first ate there.  They don’t have many options on their menu but what they do have is worth it.  I don’t think an addition of fried pickles would hurt anything though. 😉

Hammocks Beach State Park is such a nice place as well, the mainland portion of the park is beautiful with a nicely landscaped waterfront and rentals or ferry rides to Bear Island.  I highly recommend a visit to Hammocks Beach if you’re in the area.

What is your favorite Swansboro hidden or not-so-hidden gem?

Elizabeth’s 12 month update

July 14, 2016 | 12 months

Elizabeth is 20 lbs 29 inches.  She takes a few steps at a time but still prefers crawling and bear crawling. She says a handful of words, growls when asked what Charlie says and pants when asked what Oscar says.  She eats like an absolute champ!  Carbs, fruit and Mexican food are her favorites, but she doesn’t like water or sippy cups.  She snuggles fleece and anything soft she can get her hands on including puppies and friends, and still loves being outside and in water!

Exploring New Bern, NC

If it were not for the absurd heat we experienced the day we spent in New Bern, we would have accomplished much more than we did.

This little town is adorable.  The shops are so much fun, the streets are clean and well kept, the landscaping is top notch, and I was only there for a few hours.  Imagine all of the wonderful things I haven’t experienced yet!

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Tryon Palace in New Bern was beautiful.  We didn’t purchase tickets to tour the inside of the home but we got tickets for the gardens.  However, there were absolutely no flowers in bloom at the time we toured.  Just our luck! haha, I can imagine the gardens are stunning when they are full of blooms and that the inside of the mansion is breathtaking as well.

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I am a sucker for archways whether they’re man-made in gardens or natural trees along roadways, they always make me swoon.

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If it were not for the temperatures that day we would have done a self guided Nicholas Sparks tour, but we were already struggling so we decided against it.

The shops along Middle Street are amazing and fun to wander through.  Its impossible to come off of that street empty handed.

Fitness update – Diastasis Recti

Talk about a bummer.  My abs are currently sitting about 2-3 finger widths apart and I learned that I should not do any impact workouts including jogging and cize, in case you noticed that I had stopped doing both.  How typical.  This time I had a legitimate reason.

Diastasis Rectus Abdominis can be caused by many things, mine was caused by my pregnancy with Elizabeth.  I was able to receive a referral for physical therapy from my primary care manager and have been going for a few weeks now.  The workouts are very simple, but require quite a bit of thought to keep up.  It is so tough for me to know that although I’m doing these things I cannot expect any improvement because of my current pregnancy, but it is comforting knowing that being aware of my typical movements and doing many things differently will help prevent it from worsening.

It will get better, and I’m learning the correct way to get it there, I just need to be patient and continue working on it through this pregnancy (only 3 months left) and afterwards until it is resolved.  The main thing that I have learned is that in order to correct the diastasis you need to stop focusing on the ab muscles because working them can cause them to separate even more.  The correction is not in the muscles but in the linea alba.  In order to correct it, you need to learn how to work the transverse abdominis, which is interesting to say the least!  Essentially after learning how to engage that muscle you then include it with other motions and that is your workout. 🙂

Since I had to stop any impact-involving workout regimens I decided to purchase PiYo, on ebay of course, and am excited for it to arrive.  I will need to adjust or skip some of the positions they require in order to prevent unnecessary stress on my core, but I am so excited to get it and get back to working out.  It is such a bummer to have the drive to become fit and healthy but not the body conducive to getting fit and healthy.  It’ll get there, I just need to be patient.

Exploring Beaufort, NC

This was a cool little town.

We began our day in Beaufort by taking a ferry to Shackleford Banks.  This island was awesome.  My largest piece of advice is bring a beach umbrella.  We were on the island for about 3.5 hours without any form of shade whatsoever; we are very fortunate that Elizabeth had her stroller to lounge in without being in the sun because besides her, we all got too much sun this day.

The major selling point about visiting Shackleford Banks is the wild mustangs that reside on the island, two of them can be seen in the photos above.  Elizabeth was ecstatic about them, but not so excited that they took away from the thrill of being in the sand, shells, and water.

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The strength of the tide was more than I expected and have experienced in any of the other beaches in this area, so that is one major thing to consider with young children.

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This photo shows Baby Butler #2, too!

The Maritime Museum was on our to-do list but unfortunately we just barely missed it because we toured the awesome shops along Front St.  We also had hopes that we would be able to partake in a ghost walk that evening but decided an hour before the walk began that it was better to head home and not push E’s limits too much.

Instead of doing the walk, we visited the Old Burying Grounds but could not enter due to it being after-hours, and drove by Blackbeard’s former home.  The historic houses in the area are stunning and bode impressive erection dates.

This is another town I cannot wait to get another opportunity to explore.  The next time we go, I would love to get to Fort Macon as well as the Maritime Museum and the ghost walk.

Exploring Wilmington, NC

Since leaving Twentynine Palms and realizing we missed out on some touristy opportunities in that region, we’ve made a vow to really properly explore the areas we are stationed in.  We spent an afternoon in Wilmington and had an amazing time, the city is truly wonderful and I have been eager to go back and explore since we left.

We started our afternoon touring the USS North Carolina Battleship.

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This was such a fun boat to experience with great history.  Did you know there have been numerous USS North Carolina ships in history?!  I didn’t.

Elizabeth enjoyed walking around holding hands with us on the teak flooring on the deck of the ship.

After exploring the USS North Carolina we had dinner at Front Street Brewery (conveniently located on Front St) which was phenomenal!  The fried pickles were to die for, but I’m a huge fried pickle fiend so it’s difficult to not impress me if those are on your menu.

After dinner we took a horse drawn carriage ride through historic Wilmington.  The horses were beautiful grey percherons pulling an old trolley car.  We explored a few blocks of historic homes but didn’t learn nearly as much as I had expected us to, mainly just a quick sentence or two of about 10 homes throughout the trip.  What made the tour worth it was the pure bliss Elizabeth showed from the horses the entire tour.

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She truly is an animal lover.

I am hoping to get us back down to Wilmington to further dig into what the city has to give and hopefully get some better photos because these do not do anything justice.