We're livin' it up on the U.P. - that's Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Punkie is 6 and LOVED Kindergarten! Isaboo is 2 and she's a smiley whirl wind. We also call her Busy-Isi. This year we welcomed little Lorenzo to our family.

Life is great!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Our House, In the Middle of Our Street

Ok, our house isn't really in the middle of our street. 
But, that is a favorite 80's song of mine - Our House by Madness - go look it up, you'll recognize it. 
If I remember correctly our house is on the corner of our street.
 And technically it's a duplex not a house.  ;-) 

Here goes the virtual tour.
The pictures are courtesy of our landlord.

Let's start from the street, shall we?
It looks really snowy because... well...they say it is. 
That is our front door, actually it's a porch/breezeway door...not the actual front door.
That white fence in the back is our back yard and no one is in back of us.

This is a view of  the porch breeze way door from the inside.  The door on the right is the door to our garage. If you turn to your right, you will see.....

This!
The breeze way between the garages and the houses. That broken washer is no longer there. However, almost directly across from the washer is another front door.  We have the porch door, the front door and then that kitchen front door across from the washer. Does that even make sense?

Now here is the front door from the inside. In the entry we have (on the left) a utility closet/room with the water heater and stuff. Then a coat closet and then the stairs which are on the other side of that left wall.
We'll go up the stairs later.

That little door is a cubby that is under the stairs.  Marley will love playing in that.

If we we back up a little we get a nice view of the living room, which is carpeted.
 If we take a few steps to the right and turn to our left we see the living room windows.
Just out of view on the left is the back door, which also has a window in it.
If we turn around and back up we have a nice view of the dinning room, tile floor.
Back door to the right of the dinning windows.
 
If we walk forward into the dinning area and turn left, there's the kitchen!
This is a good view of the inside of the kitchen front door.
The fridge is right there at the left edge of the picture.
 
So if we take a few side steps to the right and turn slightly to the left we see the fridge, stove, cabinets and sink.
If we walk into the kitchen and turn around we see....the laundry area!
My mom and dad just purchased a new washer and dryer just so we could take their old ones!
That is such a relief for me!
 
Then if we turn to our right, here is another view of the kitchen.
Kitchen/laundry...who's ever heard of that? 
Well, now we have!  ;-)
 
Now let's go up the stairs!
At the top of the stairs turn left and you see....

The built in linen cabinet and drawers. Just left of that is the bathroom.
Upstairs we have three bedrooms.
Bedroom 1
Bedroom 2
And the master bedroom with linoleum tile! Fancy huh!?!? ;-)
Master bedroom closets.
View of the hall from the master bedroom.
Now back down the stairs.
Here's a garage view.
It's a one car garage but it is pretty long so I think we will be able to store some stuff and park our car in it.
Here's the backyard.
There is a cement tile patio outside the door that runs along under the back windows to the right.
And see that circle of rocks in the snow? That's a fire pit! There is a bench turned over on the right and we can have a little garden between the patio and the side fence.

Here's the lattice partition between the houses.


Nathan moved in today with his luggage, a sleeping bag, a pillow, some towels and all his clothes.

He had dinner with some members of the branch and the missionaries today.

I miss him so much! I can't wait to join him there.

My last day of work is tomorrow.

We pack an ABF semi trailer on Saturday.

My dad is driving out with me and Marley.

We leave at 4am on the 30th and plan on getting to the U.P. (upper peninsula) around 9pm on the 31st.

Then my dad will take the train home. He is SO excited!

Marley is missing her daddy and can't wait for me to take her to Michigan.

She frequently asks, "Daddy in Missigan?"

"Yes!"

"Mommy? You take me to Missigan wis you?"

"Yes! In about 18 days we'll be in Michigan with daddy!"

"Yea! I love Missigan!"

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Big Fat Update

I just got back from Sault Ste Marie last night. Whirlwind.

We flew into Detroit last Thursday night. Stayed in D that night at a run down Super 8...it was dreamy. Friday we drove up to Soo from D and it was rainy and icy. We passed about a dozen cars that had slid off the road. After driving very carefully for about an hour we stopped at Bob's Big Boy for breakfast. We took our time eating and hoping the sun would pop out and melt the road. It got a little better but still saw slide offs for a while longer. Thankfully we did not slide or glide. A drive that takes a little over 5 hours in good weather took about 8 1/2 hours. We got to the Soo just in time to catch the Realtors right before they went home for the weekend.

One of the Realtors emailed us a list of Landlords or people who own multiple rental properties and I called all of them to see if they had any openings or would have an opening soon. The ones I was able to make contact with didn't have any. I left a lot of messages and for the next three days people called us back to either say no openings or yes, come see it.  I also called 2-3 rental property management places but I didn't catch any of them before they left for the weekend.  As I was making all the calls Nathan was driving and we looked for houses with "For Rent" signs. We found NONE.

Saturday all the real estate agencies were closed and 2 out of the three didn't email me what they said they were going to so we were resigned to having to wait until Monday. Those 2 emailed and said, "I forget what you were inquiring about. Please let me know what you need."  I guess we called too close to quittin' time on Friday so we were put off til Monday.  However, we were able to see a duplex in a nearby little town.  It was three bedrooms and had a semi finished basement. Our hope was restored. We got to see SOMETHING!

Since the bank and agencies were closed we went to JC Penney and got Nathan two new long sleeved shirts for work, buy one get one for $.99....why can't it just be buy one get one free?  I don't know but it was still a good deal.  We also bought him a nice pair of Sorel boots. 

Sunday we went to church.  It's a SMALL branch and apparently half the branch had the flu and wasn't there but the people that were there were SO nice and so welcoming. One of the members of the RS presidency invited us over for dinner for Monday night. She was also very helpful in rental suggestions and advice and even offered to drive us around to show us the area. She will be Marley's surrogate Grandmother...Noel can't wait to meet Marley.

Sunday after church we got to see a 4 bedroom house in Soo and it was a crap hole. The guy usually rents to college guys and it was trashed....and old....and run down. The guy also said "sh*t" about a bazillion times and though that is my swear word of choice at times....I just wasn't feelin' it. We were not interested.

Monday was packed.....as in busy. We started off trying to figure out the bus system and half way understood it by the time we had to move on to something else. Which was looking for a "temporary" place for Nathan to stay until our rental (had no idea where that would even be at this point) would be available.  We went to the Sault Ste Marie housing commission and found that to be no help. We looked into a few other places that didn't help either and then ended up stopping at a few motels to see if and what their monthly rates were.  By this time I was starting to think this move was not going to work.

We went to Human Resource at Nate's work because we needed a letter verifying employment. They were very helpful, not only did they get us a letter they also gave us multiple copies and hooked us up with meeting Nate's boss....they gave us her phone number. Nathan called her and she was available right away to meet us. We drove across town to the building he will work in and met Kathie.  Kathie and our meeting Kathie is a whole other story/post etc. But lets just say she is amazing.  Nathan's job is going to be awesome!  Exactly want he wants to do plus more and excellent experience for his career! He will be building the GIS program. He will be working with great people too.  We only met one other besides Kathie, Joe, but he was really nice too.  This restored my confidence in moving for the job.

We went to lunch.

After lunch we got to see another house in Soo.  It was beautiful.....perfect....the only reason the cute little family was moving out was because they had out grown it. Only problem, it was out of our price range.  Thankfully we had some appointments to see more duplexes out of town. One we loved but it had a huge list of applicants. The other wasn't as cute but it had a garage and it was definitely livable. So, that afternoon we filled out three applications for the three duplexes we saw out of town.

Monday night, as mentioned, we had dinner with Noel and Gary Alexander. Such a cute couple. Noel is LDS and Gary is Catholic. He basically said he'd be Mormon if he could stop smoking and drinking ;-)  They are both so kind and generous and I can tell they already love us.  And we love love love them! I was able to print my boarding pass at their house too.

Tuesday morning again we had a TON to do.  Finish figuring out the bus systems. Yes, there were two at play and we didn't even realize it...that's why it was so confusing on Monday morning.  We got Nathan bus passes for the two bus systems.  We opened a bank account there in town and we just happened to choose the bank that gives perks to the tribe workers.  Wahooo!  And we signed a one year lease for the cheapest place we found, the one with the garage and that is definitely livable. It was a huge relief. Nathan got the keys too but will not "move in" until Sunday because the landlord wanted to go through and give it a good cleaning before he moved in....which is great!  So we booked 5 more nights in the motel we were already staying in.  Convenient and pretty affordable.

Tuesday morning it was snowing and I was dreading the drive back to Detroit by myself.  I haven't mentioned this but I cried most of Monday and Tuesday.  It was hard to leave Nathan up there all alone, but he's a big boy and he is doing fine. I made the drive just fine. Once I crossed the Mackinaw Bridge it was sunny and dry.  Perfect. 

Nathan is at orientation today.

The adventure has begun. 

I didn't take many pictures on the trip because we were focused on house hunting and not so much sight seeing and picture taking.  BUT, I will post the pictures I did take, plus pictures of our new place....soon.  Very soon.