Archive of ‘Mass Appeal’ category

One Week

It’s been one week since we got possession¬†of The Ranch. One crazy, long, hard week.

The day we signed our share of the paperwork to get the home, we arrived at the closing but our bank in Colorado had failed to mention to us that they wouldn’t be able to wire the money needed for closing to us without us actually being there…in person….after hours and hours of time spent on the phone with managers and loan officers, the only solution was for Kirk to drive to the nearest branch of our bank…in Tulsa, Oklahoma.. What a shit storm.

He did it though, like he does everything. With a smile on his face and with no complaints. Clearly, he and I are COMPLETE opposites in that regard (among many others)!

On the day we closed, we had been staying with my parents, my best friend and my brother in random periods of 1-5 days at a time. We intended to not move in until several days or even a week after closing to allow the painters as much time as possible to get a head start on painting the interior of the WHOLE house, but we were all just tired of living out of a suitcase that we borrowed an air mattress, some sheets and towels and spent the next four nights on the floor (the very UNCLEAN floor of our new home).

Painters started painting before we even got possession of the home that morning!

Over the weekend, we shopped for necessities, I bought 49 paint samples, unpacked what we could from what we brought with us, got some groceries and continued on with our 99th meal eating out. Our truck was set to arrive that Monday at 9am.

We got a phone call from a very confused truck driver who let us know that it was absolutely impossible for the VERY large moving truck to make it down our hill! We argued that it WAS possible and it HAD been done, but he assured us even if he got down, there was no way the truck would make it back out. They had to locate a local UHaul and get a smaller truck to the top of our hill where they unloaded the big truck in 4 loads onto the small truck then unloaded it back into our house. Overall, though delayed, it went as smoothly as possible.

My BFF, Whitney, took Reeve for THE WHOLE DAY and Lowe napped in the car out front for 3 hours. My sister-in-law, Connie, helped me unpack the WHOLE kitchen and organized it and here it is Saturday night and we are 98% unpacked. We were just given the go ahead yesterday when the painters left for the weekend after finishing up painting the trim to move our large furniture into place.

Kirk was dreading the unpacking part, but I love it. We get to purge EVEN more and organize! I can’t believe we are less than a week with our stuff and it’s all put away. The only items that aren’t are the rugs (waiting for paint to get finished) and pictures on the wall.

I can’t wait to share the Before & After pictures with everyone. Your eyes can’t even take the amount of oak in the Befores! Mine hurt when I look at them.

We are loving Lawrence so far and basking in all of the help we’ve received from family and friends. It’s almost overwhelming…to go from having NO help to people VOLUNTEERING to take your kid for 8+ hours! We have spent more time doing things with people this week than we did in the 5 years we lived in Highlands Ranch. It definitely takes some getting used to.

We are enjoying exploring the city and finding local spots to enjoy (from ice cream shops to the library and random stores on Mass Street).

Our hearts are full!

We could not love our home and our land more! Each morning the same family of 3 deer come eat out back and Reeve loves watching them. He says, “They’re so cute” and has named the baby Cutie Bear. Birds flutter, squirrels chase each other. I swear, it’s like a Disney movie back there.

The horses are gorgeous and learning to get to know us more every day. Reeve LOVES feeding them with daddy and has to do so either morning or night.

His bedroom is “awesome” and he loves having all of his toys in there with him. Lowe is sleeping all night long or waking up only once. A VERY welcome change from just two weeks ago when he was up 7 times a night.

More later…I’m pretty tired. It was a 70 degree day here in Kansas and a full afternoon out in the sun has me downright pooped. I leave you with this adorable picture of Reeve & Kirk watching the deer out the window.

*note how similar they look and stand. 12783597_10208932696019568_21454204118041882_o

College Town

When we started talking about leaving Denver I would over and over ask Kirk, “are you sure?” and everytime he’d say, “Jessie, I’ve always wanted to live in a college town.”

I had to stop and think about that.

I mean, I HAD lived in a college town (the exact one we are moving to, in fact) and wasn’t really sure what he meant. I mean, he had lived in one too (he went to college, didn’t he? TWO, in fact)….and his middle name is Denver (Reeve’s too)….so how could he think about leaving it?

Then, I had to step back and think about what it means to live in a college town.

In Lawrence, EVERYONE is a Jayhawk fan (except for maybe a very few Kansas State Power Cat fans). And everyone wears red and blue and the mythical bird on their clothes, everyone has a flag, a license plate, you name it touting their college pride. Was he prepared to leave the Rocky Mountains for a bird?

It’s more than that though. It’s the locally-owned shops and restaurants that residents are so loyal to that small mom-n-pop shops stay afloat while Barnes & Nobles goes out of business.

It’s the tailgating.

It’s the Rock Chalk chant and all the acronyms and legends only residents know (RCJH, LFK, etc).

It’s the parades down Mass Street and Santa landing on Weaver’s rooftop.

It’s the local celebrities like Dennis and Rob.

It’s Mount Oread and the rolling hills (Kansas is NOT flat)…

It’s the Granada, the Replay Lounge and the Bottleneck for live music.

It’s The Java Hut, Amy’s Fabrics, Jeffersons…

It’s the “Beware of the Phog” and Allen Fieldhouse.

For God’s sake, we wouldn’t even HAVE baseketball without Lawrence, KS….

As someone who has frequented all of these places as a college student, I can attest to how unique and great they all are. To Kirk, an *outsider*, I totally get their appeal.

While we saw all of the great *places* to visit, what we didn’t *see* but definitely *felt* was that good old Midwestern friendliness. EVERYONE waves. Everyone supports the same college and 2 high schools. Friday night football games are BIG! Everyone loves their Jayhawks, but also their KC Royals…

It’s a COMMUNITY!

You walk down Mass Street and people know your name.

We NEVER had that in Colorado. We missed that.

Every time we would go back to visit, we would always laugh and grin at the tables full of old men sitting at restaurants talking about “the game” and “the score.” It was just so quaint…so promising coming from a city of people who are always ON THE GO! Sure, Denver has great museums and restaurants and skiing and shoppings and lots to do…but everyone is always rushing, in a hurry! The rats are racing, the Joneses’ have a new car and everyone has so much STUFF their homes are overflowing and then they have to build a newer, bigger home.

Denver was feeling crowded and rushed. Buildings and highways…

We wanted our outsides to match our insides.

For God’s sake, we tried to explain to Reeve that people have to “work the land” and farm b/c “where do you think food comes from, boy?” and he’s all “Target?”

NOT how we wanted to raise our children.

I often tell Kirk about this dream I had where we have land and three little boys and green farm truck and I play Keith Urban’s Raise ‘Em Up for him and I cry when he sings:

So you meet someone
The only one
You take her by the hand
Make a stand
Buy some land
Make some love
And then babies come
Raise em’ up
Raise em’ up

We don’t want to be so busy that after an hour spent in traffic trying to get home Kirk only gets an hour each day with the boys before it’s bedtime.

We wanted a life where we PAID ATTENTION. To corn growing in rows. To a neighbor who may need our help. To a community with one goal. To details. TO EACH OTHER!

It’s hard to focus on your family, on your MARRIAGE, with just a few hours together every week.

And so we did it….

we bought some land with a couple of horses on it and we are slowing down!

Our new home

Lawrence, Kansas

Something in each of us changed. And we can’t wait for the adventure that awaits us in Lawrence, Kansas.