Tuesday, December 19, 2017

First Mission Accomplished. (plus a few bonuses!)

Fermin and I, along with Lucy and Ricky, have spent the last couple of weeks in Colorado.  Phase 1 of "The Big Move". For this trip, our main goal was to find our longer term rental house that we could come back to in January.

We have only one full day left before heading back to Dallas, and it's just now that we've finalized where we'll be living in January. And I'm SO EFFING EXCITED.

That is not to say it hasn't been an emotional roller coaster ride tho.  I've had plenty of meltdowns along the way.  The market here in Denver, and all it's surrounding suburbs, is hot.  So hot that there just isn't that much available, whether you're buying or renting.

Fortunately for us, VRBO and AirBnB exist, which created another avenue for a longer term rental for us.  We are so glad not to be locked into a 12-month lease.  Instead, the deal we worked out is that we are staying in a house for up to 6 months, and just renewing on a monthly basis.  So, if we decide we don't like the area we have chosen to stay in, no big deal- we can hop along to a new spot the very next month.  Or, if in a few months, we find a house we love and decide to buy it (and that would be a perfect world!) we can, without being penalized for breaking a rental agreement.

I did run across one "landlord" that was only willing to offer us a discounted monthly rate (which is pretty standard for VRBO properties) if we would use she and her husband as our realtors.  She was still going to require we pay the full amount, but they would "credit" us a daily $20 that would roll into one big payback once we close on our house that they would be the brokers for.  I was so disappointed, because for a few days, I had my heart set on their property.  But I realize now how grateful I am to have learned about their shadiness now vs. later.  I don't want to rent from someone like that, and I for sure don't want a realtor that has to coerce me into using them by offering me a discounted rental property.  That all seemed shady and gross.

Oh!  But speaking of real estate agents: We found the best ones! A friend from Dallas that had moved to Denver several years ago put me in touch with a married couple that have their own real estate brokerage.  The second Fermin and I met Molly and Sean, I knew these were the people for us.  Funny, enthusiastic, not pushy at all, and just so helpful.

So maybe I didn't get my #1 pick for the rental house, but that's just a temporary thing anyway.  We found a house with a nice owner who is being so nice and flexible in working with us.  It's in a good, central location and has everything we need.  AND, most importantly, we found a team of great real estate brokers that I know will help us find a great home here in Colorado.

Things are feeling really good.

So, Phase 1: Mission Accomplished.  We accomplished all that we set out to do on this trip.  We found our rent house and we got a little familiar with some of the areas around here.  As a huge bonus, we've already found our realtors.  And the added icing on the cake- we had such a great time each day.  Like I said, moments of meltdowns? Yes.  But I'm all about the ups and downs and yins and yangs of living.  And all's well that ends well.

Onward and upward! Colorado here we come. ❤️
that ONE snowy morning

Monday, December 4, 2017


A few weeks ago, I was on the phone with our friend Kelly, talking about our plans to move to Colorado.  As we spoke, we both realized how much there is to do to make it happen as soon.  And by soon, I mean lickity split.  January.

Fermin and I have lived in our house for the past 17 years, and although I've been Konmarie-ing my ass off the last couple of years, there's still a lot to do as far as packing up.  Let alone, to get it ready to sell.  I admitted to her I was a little overwhelmed and didn't even quite know my next step, but knew that I wanted to get as much done in advance of our trip to Colorado in early December as possible.

She said, "Hey! I could fly into Dallas and help you.  We could organize and pack up so that when you come back, you can be ready to list your house and then move soon after."  Of course, I said that sounded like a great offer.  I mean really, who even gets that kind of offer?  For a friend to give their time like that to help you clean and pack up your house?!

The next thing I knew, even before I mentioned the idea to Fermin, Kelly texted me with her travel internary. As a bonus, her daughter Abby was also going to fly in for the last two days of Kelly's time here.

I got the feeling, when I told Fermin the plan Kelly and I came up with, he thought we were getting a little ahead of ourselves.  He always has the attitude of just going with the flow- a little too loosely sometimes, in my opinion.  At some point a few months ago, he said something like "Once it's time to move, we can pack this house up in just a couple of days- tops!" (Um.  No.)  So to do something a whole month in advance seemed unneccesary to him.

I think he thought we'd mainly just be laughing and having fun, but not necessarily getting any "work" done. And I figured letting him think that initially was fine. He had no idea of the the transformation that was about to happen to our house.

Kelly got in on Friday so that she could go to my gig at Four Bullets Brewery.  It was to be my last gig of the year possibly, and probably my last gig while living in Dallas.  Having Kelly there made it extra special. I was so happy some of our favorite friends here in Dallas got to meet her, and vice versa.
the Four Bullets Brewery after party.  i LOVE everyone in this picture. ❤️
So Fermin was right- we had loads of fun while Kelly was here.
one night, out at dinner 
another night out, another great meal and fun
BUT, we also got tons done.  In fact, Kelly and I made a list of things we hoped to accomplish, and we not only did all of that, but we did a few extra things too!

We boxed up stuff we won't need until after we move (and labeled them well!), we dropped off lots of things to Goodwill, I sold a few things, and I trashed a lot of things.
sorting my office "before" it's transformation

sorting through things to throw out on the blow up mattress Kelly slept on

Abby cleaned our shutters and blinds
We moved every single thing out of each room, cleaned it thoroughly and then moved (some) things back in.  Kelly had great vision of moving some of our things around that made our rooms look bigger.  We pulled up all the area rugs to expose our beautiful hardwood floors.  I feel mad at myself that we ever covered them up in the first place.  They're just beautiful!!! I love the sound of the rooms now that there are no carpets.  It sounds like an "older" house, which it is, and I LOVE that.

We worked hard each day, and even though Ricky and Lucy weren't actually given any jobs to do, they were just exhausted watching all we did, evidently.
watching our hard work was exhausting
On our last night to have Kelly and Abby here, we decided to go to a nearby Foot Spa for some well deserved R&R.  I was told I snored.  But I don't even care.  It was so awesome.

everything's zen
The sprucing up of the house was happening up until final minutes of Kelly's visit.  I'm not kidding- 20 minutes before she left for the airport, she made this gorgeous arrangement for my living room.  My favorite thing about it is that she used pecan shells from our yard in the vase.  I will take this to Colorado with us after we sell our house.  It will be a great memory of this fun and productive weekend we had together.
this arrangement alone will probably sell our house!
I'll post some before and after photos eventually, although we often forgot to do the before pictures~ we were just so busy!  But it's impressive, all that we accomplished.  Fermin and I (and Lucy and Ricky) are so thankful to Kelly, and Abby- I don't think we could have pulled this off without them, and I am SURE it wouldn't have been nearly as fun.

17 years of living in one house- I realize it's the longest I've ever lived in one house.  And although I loved this house and this neighborhood, I have no reservations that we are ready for the change of scene.  And now, our house looks ready too!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Intro to the Adventure

As this year is winding down, we are getting ready for an exciting 2018.  Our family of 4 is just about to head to Denver for a couple of weeks to get started on a new chapter of our lives.
It's a bit of a complicated adventure because at this point, there are a lot of unknowns- But wow! What an exiting time full of so many possibilities. 

We don't know any specifics, but we know we will be moving to Colorado soon.  It's one of those situations where you look at your life and ask, "If not now, when?"  And right now seems like the perfect time for us to do this.  Our first move out of the state of Texas.  Yee-haw.  (Spoken like a true Texan.)

This first trip is just mainly to locate where we want to rent for a while while we look for something more long term.  Then we'll really get the (snow)ball rolling!

I thought documenting it here on my blog, as it all unfolds, would be fun for me and something that would be so fun to look back on a little later down the road.  And so... it begins.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

The Right People Always Show Up

My friend Ro is having his annual art show tonight.  And I will show up for him.  Tomorrow, another friend, Kathy, is having her annual "holiday pottery show" at her home where she sells her handmade ceramics.  I will also show up for her.  I will choose to be there for my friends over staying in my comfortable warm home (or whatever else might be an option) because I know how meaningful it is when people actually show up.

Over the past few months, as I’ve been gigging out again, I’ve been experiencing both the stress (and excitement) of wondering if anyone will show up to hear me.  As a musician, I need people to show up, or I probably won’t get that gig offered to me again.  When a place hires “music”, it’s not just to make for a nice experience for existing customers, but it’s to bring in new customers as well.  And that responsibility feels stressful to me.  Because although I can promote a show,I never really know if people will show up.  And when they don’t, it’s hard not to take it personally.

I have such social anxiety over this sometimes.  Honestly, I think it’s the main reason I had lost interest in performance for the past several years.  I hate the feeling of twisting someone’s arm into coming out to hear me sing.  It’s just so uncomfortable and it takes me right back to a lot of feelings I had in junior high. I’m not cool enough.

The other night, I was lamenting to a friend about this very thing.  I was nervous about who was going to show up for what I knew would be my last public gig of the year.  She said this simple but wise thing to me: The right people will show up.

And ultimately, she was right.  

So, if you decide to have a holiday party during the season or an art show, or a holiday bazaar, or whatever, please remember what my friend told me. The right people will show up.  And to me, that’s a lot more important than the total headcount.
Here I am with some of the people who not only showed up for me, but stuck around until the bitter end. 💙