Friday, February 25, 2011

Home, Sweet Home

Three full days into being Austinites and already it feels like home. So far our move has gone off without a hitch - we are so lucky everything we planned actually happened on schedule! Tuesday morning we loaded up the car and drove two and a half hours to Austin. After signing our lives away filling out the final paperwork we received our keys and walked into our empty loft-style apartment. We had a lot of work ahead of us. Minutes after walking into our new home the mattress delivery crew arrived with our brand spankin' new king sized mattress. Shortly thereafter, Brian's car - the one we shared in Santa Monica - arrived via flatbed trailer.

Over the next few days we did the usual Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, IKEA and Costco runs between unpacking and deciding what not to unpack.* We have been working like machines and I must say we make an excellent team. The place is starting to not only look, but feel like home - not too shabby for only three full days.

Oh, yes, our matching t-shirts say,
"Born in Texas Got Back as Fast as I could!"
(A play on the ever popular "I wasn't born in Texas,
but I got here as fast as I could" bumper sticker.)

GPS snapshot - 15 minutes into our drive.

On the road to Austin!

We stopped at Hruska's - a famous kolache
bakery between Houston and Austin.

Brian standing in our new, empty apartment.

This farmer's market and puppy/kid mecca
outside of our apartment building.

Our kitchen!

The living/dining/TV room!

Better view of where living room and dining "rooms" intersect.

The guest room featuring a reading nook with printer,
private bathroom, continental breakfast and free wifi.
Now accepting reservations!

So now that the unpacking is done, you may be wondering what we will do our first weekend in Austin?! All I'll say is it involves shelters and puppies!!

Happy Go Texan Day!

*The Santa Monica Luskeys plan to buy a home in the near future. We decided not to unpack all of our belongings in hopes to make the next move slightly easier. Becoming homeowners in the great state of Texas might be just the push we need to change the title of this little blog of ours. Only time will tell!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Our Newest Addition!

Holding up our new keys!

The Santa Monica Luskeys are the proud owners of a brand new Subaru Forester! We thought this would be the perfect car to drive to Houston, take to the Ranch, cart around a puppy (yup, we'll need to get one of those) and just enjoy! Isn't it cute?!

I jokingly complained that I had never gotten the chance to pick out my car. I shared a car in high school with my older brother, used my boyfriend's car in college (yes, that boyfriend was Brian), didn't need one in Chicago and used my husband's car in LA (yes, that husband was Brian). So when it came time to purchase our second family car - I think we are the only couple who shared a car in the greater Los Angeles area and needed a second car for Austin - Brian let me decide. He really does spoil me and I really do love him for it!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

All my bags are packed I'm ready to go...

February 17, my 27th birthday, was our last night in Santa Monica. After celebrating with our closest LA friends, and unloading our remaining canned goods and cleaning supplies onto our unsuspecting party guests, we slept our last sleep as Santa Monica residents. Luckily, we didn't have to stay on our air mattress as planned - our good friends/neighbors took us in and we couldn't be more thankful. Friday morning we removed the remaining evidence of our life in apartment #201 and were off to the airport. Leaving LA was bittersweet to say the least. This move is bigger than I can describe at this given moment and although I know in my heart it is the best move for us as a family, it does still mean a chapter in my life is ending. And as my Mom reminds me on a daily basis, my list of dreams is a mile long. Now all I have to do is remind myself which dream is next on the list and I'm all set!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Once Upon an Air Mattress

This morning there were two packers, three movers and two Santa Monica Luskeys in our one bedroom apartment by the beach. We watched as movers loaded our boxes into their 18 wheeler and held our breath as they wrapped each of our fragile items with care. They worked like machines yet somehow understood that although it was a job to them, this was our life they were handling.

The view of the inside of the moving truck!

Our car getting loaded onto a different truck!

Who needs stairwells when you can
just hoist things over the balcony?

He-Man just caught the couch and gently
set it onto the dolly. Amazing.

Moving was exhausting, exciting and a little bit sad. Today we became a little bit less Santa Monica and that's okay. We still have a going away party (and, ehem, a birthday) to celebrate and then we're off to the Lone Star State! Our apartment is now empty, I sit typing from our air mattress, the only remaining possession that is neither edible or wearable left in our keeping. Although I have to be careful not get bounced off the blob every time Brian makes a move, I finally feel like I am exactly where I am supposed to be. And that, my dear, is excellent.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

T - 20 HOURS

At this time tomorrow, the movers will have been here for four hours already. Every few boxes I have to take a break and Facebook stalk or look at Target bed-in-a-bags or just stand in the middle of the living room and stare at our ever growing mountain of boxed belongings.

Packing makes you triage your life's possessions and decide what you really need and what you really want - and the difference between the two. When listing our high value items on the moving company's standardized form I quickly remembered that of all of the china, crystal stemware, glass vases and serving pieces we have one irreplaceable item that belongs to the two of us - our ketubah.

That combined with the fact that 85% of our boxes are labeled "NOT URGENT: OPEN LAST" I guess what they say is true - all you need is love.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

This Boot Was Made for Movin'!

You may be asking yourself, "Wait a minute! Is that an oversized, rusted, iron, cowboy boot?!" And the answer is - you bet your lucky stars. I found this beauty at a funky store in Los Gatos called Frank's. I immediately fell in love with how it perfecly embodied Brian's boot legacy with my iron and metal heritage. And the timing of my discovery couldn't be better! My in-laws bought the boot on the spot and are having it shipped to Austin (which will probaby cost more than the boot itself) just in time for our move-in!

Happy Birthay to me!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My Life in Boxes

Need I say more?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Our Hawaiian NewLifeMoon

Most married couples are lucky enough to go on a Honeymoon - the trip a couple takes as they begin their life together. Some even luckier couples enjoy the newly popular BabyMoon - the trip expectant parents take before they welcome their first baby into the world. And the luckiest of the lucky get to experience a NewLifeMoon - the trip a couple takes before they begin the next chapter of their already wonderful life together.

The Santa Monica Luskeys spent the last week in Maui. Once Brian accepted his new job and was given a start date, we knew we had a limited window to travel the world before buckling down and surrendering our vacations days to his work. Two of our closest friends - the Horns and the Nottberg/Buchbinders - had already planned to be in Hawaii during our golden opportunity window so the decision was easy. With the help of my uber-generous mother-in-law, we were planned, packed and flying to Hawaii within an 10 day span!

Here are some of the highlights of our trip:

After we landed, we hunted down this food truck.
Best decision of our lives.

Hawaiian Shrimp, Crab Macaroni Salad & White Rice.
I was literally drinking the sauce. Amazing.

Our first full day in Maui - drinks by the
followed by swimming in the ocean!

Aaah, paradise!
(And, yes, Mom, I see my horrendous posture.)

Brian and Dave were banished to the
ocean to discuss you-know-what. (Fantasy sports...


The First Triple Date Evening: Pacific'O

We went outside to take pictures while the sun was setting.

Brian, Scott & David.

Yup, that's goin' in a frame.

The Santa Monica Luskeys in front of
the coolest banyan tree ever!

Brian's, um, view by the resort pool.

View of Brian by the resort pool.

Paleness known to cause blindness in direct sunlight.

After a long morning of laying out by the pool,
we refueled at Eskimo Candy. Our order: Seafood Chowder,
Wasabi Poke & Coconut Shrimp/Fish'N Chips Plate.

Brian enjoying the poke!

Dinner at Mala - delish!

The team* also went snorkeling

(No pictures taken under water.)
*And by team I mean everyone else. I have an uncanny ability drink an unimaginable amount of ocean water when given a breathing apparatus through which I am supposed to be receiving oxygen. I'm just gifted in that way.

Oopsie. Did we go back to Eskimo Candy again? Whoops!

Dinner at Matteo's Pizza
(An excellent place to dine when needing a break
from seafood and heart-stoppingly high food bills.)

Takin' it all in...

Walking into the sunset. Hand in hand.
(Thank you, Rachel, for taking this!)

The silhouette's of the Santa Monica Luskeys.

Mai Tai and a beer, yes please!

Touring O'o Farms

Picking lettuce for our O'o Farms picnic lunch.

So proud of his selection!

Lunch at O'o Farms

Scott & Brian at the Lavender Fields.

Lavender Fields embrace.

How could we resist this picture?

How could we resist this goat
cheese sampler, ice cream and smoothie?

We had such a great time in Hawaii together and with our friends. We couldn't stop pinching ourselves because at this point in the game our live are completely unrecognizable from, say, two months ago. We are so thankful for so much - a Mom/mother-in-law who would do anything for us (including pulling some major strings to get us into one of the nicest resorts on the island at a rate we could actually afford and with zero planning time), good friends who would willingly travel with us and put up with our deal-hunting and review reading, the amazing Hawaiian food and views we were lucky enough to enjoy, and most of all the ability to appreciate each bite and step along the way.

Man, I hope we don't wake up from this dream any time soon!