Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Moving Update


Hey y'all! I hope your week is off to a great start! I have a few *big* updates to share since my last post about our move. First up, our current home is officially under contract as of last Friday! We are absolutely thrilled to check that big to do list item off. Also, we are so grateful for each and every person who took the time to share our house listing and a huge thank you to our amazing realtor, Kendra DeBari, who helped us get under contract in just a little over a week of listing. If you are local or planning to head this way, Kendra is amazing to work with.

And... this beautiful brick home is *almost* ours! Josh has always wanted an older home with character and over the past few years, I have wanted the same thing. So, when we were house hunting, we knew that we wanted to find an older home. Something built between 1960-1980ish. We wanted something different than the home we have lived in for the past 14 years. As we were searching, I really wasn't finding anything that I particularly liked or that I could see our family living in. A lot of older homes needed way too much work, weren't big enough (not enough bathrooms), or they were just really expensive. One night, we spotted this home on Zillow but at the time, it wasn't in our price range. I saved it anyway because I loved it. Literally within the next 24 hours, the listing price dropped $20,000! I couldn't believe it! The weekend before Josh officially got his job offer (we knew it was coming asap), we scheduled an appointment to see the house in person.

As soon as we got into town, we had to see the house. I felt so much peace when we pulled up to it. It felt like it was meant for us and I hadn't even seen the inside yet. As much as I loved it, Josh did too. Finding something that we both loved was super important, especially with a big, life changing move like this. One of my favorite things about the house is the screened in back porch. I have *always* wanted one! I absolutely love to be outside as much as possible and I can already see myself enjoying coffee on that porch every morning. I was even more excited to see the pretty blooms!

Our agent in Jacksonville gave us a tour of the inside of the home and it was everything we hoped for... well, except the bathroom in the primary bedroom, lol. Our bathroom isn't my favorite but there is room to do some renovations in the future to make the bathroom a better space. There are two good sized walk-in closets in our bedroom so we could lose a closet to get a bigger bathroom later on. Julianna has been the most hesitant about this move. She would literally walk out of the room if we were discussing it before we made the final decision. But, once she saw the inside of the house and found a bedroom that she wanted, she was on board. She definitely still has her reservations but there's definitely some excitement from her now. We just need to get her to love the beach as much as the rest of the family does... maybe we can turn her into a beach lover, too.

The last update for today is another BIG update that I'm so excited to share with y'all. Other than selling our current home, another big task was figuring out what I was going to do job wise when we moved. I've had the same job since January of 2013 and I couldn't even imagine myself doing anything else. I was honestly really stressed about finding something that I would enjoy doing and that I would also find fulfilling. I currently work as a STEM and enrichment educator at an afterschool program for at-risk students, The Dream Center. I absolutely love the work that I get to do there. Before this job, I worked as a third grade teacher so I've been in education since 2008, when I graduated from college. My heart belongs in education and I have really enjoyed educating students outside of school time. I randomly decided to look at Indeed one evening a couple of weeks ago... just out of curiosity to see what was even out there jobwise. Within a minute of searching my field and location, I see a job that looks absolutely *perfect* for me. I just couldn't believe it. I stayed up late that night creating my resume (I haven't put one together since 2012) and submitted my application. I was nervous because I haven't applied for a job in years and I was worried about my timeline, since I'm actually not moving until the end of May. Well, I had an interview for that job last week and I am so proud to say that I got the job! I will be sharing more specific details in the coming weeks but this job is being held for me until I get to Jacksonville. God is so good!

The last thing I wanted to share today is that we have a Meal Train that has been setup by our friend Pam. Some of our friends and family have asked how they can best support or help us during this transition and the biggest thing we can think of is through food. We are incredibly grateful to those of you who have already donated to the meal train but more importantly, prayed for us during this time. Your support means so much to us. Thank you!

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Currently Loving .262

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Hey y'all! I hope your week is off to a great start! I have been on a pretty strict spending freeze for the past month because moving is so expensive. There have been so many expenses to take care of that I definitely wasn't expecting! But, I did grab a few things online this past weekend to fill in some wardrobe gaps and prepare for warmer weather. It's going to really feel like spring towards the end of this week and I cannot wait. Bring on 80 degrees! Today, I'm sharing what I'm Currently Loving, including the items that I just added to my warm weather wardrobe.

I ordered this tank in black and white because I have been needing to upgrade my tanks. These will be great for layering in the spring or on their own in the summertime.

I am a big fan of flowers so I had to have these earrings! They are so pretty and are the perfect finishing touch for my spring outfits.

I've had this denim shirt on my wish list for about a month and I finally ordered it. I have a different denim shirt but I wanted a more oversized fit. From the reviews, it runs big but I stuck with my normal shirt size. It will be perfect for layering with the tanks I just got from Old Navy, too.

I love a straw bag during the spring and summer! They are such a fun accessory and they go with every outfit! I am loving the unique style of this straw tote.

This patchwork peplum top is currently on my wish list. I absolutely love the colors and the fun patchwork design. It's so cute!

I also ordered this pair of black denim shorts this past weekend. I got the regular denim pair last spring and I wore them nonstop. They are the perfect length with a 5 inch inseam. I love the high rise, too! They are a true denim and break in perfectly. I'm excited to have a second pair!

Sunday, March 19, 2023

We Are Moving!

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Hey y'all! If you know me personally then this is old news but I wanted to write up a post to share about our move and answer some frequently asked questions. Also, we don't plan to do this again for a really, really long time so I thought it would be fun to document the process to look back on.

Ok, first up: where and why?

My husband was offered a job at the coast with a new company. He's in the safety field and accepted a new position in that field in a brand new *to him* industry. He's really excited for this new challenge! Our ten-fifteen year plan was to move to the coast once the girls were out of school but this was an opportunity we just couldn't pass up. If you know us, you know that the Soto's love an adventure and this certainly will be one! He starts his new job at the beginning of April and we are praying it's a great transition for him.

Next, are the girls excited?

Yes... and they are also nervous. Basically, we are all feeling the same way. It's definitely bittersweet to leave our hometown and the area we all grew up. Walking away from our current jobs is really hard, too. But, the girls understand that we have made this decision with careful consideration and LOTS of prayer. The girls will be finishing out their school year at their current school so the girls and I won't officially be moving until the end of May. They also have school performances and a dance recital that they definitely don't want to miss. I just couldn't imagine having them start a brand new school in a brand new town for just the last few weeks of the school year. The girls and I will be staying with family during this transitional time.

Also, where are you moving to and have you found a house?

We are moving to Jacksonville, NC, which will be about half an hour from Josh's job. At the beginning of March, we visited the Jacksonville area and loved it. We also planned that trip to do some house visits. We fell in love with a home that we toured! It was a house I found on Zillow and I couldn't stop thinking about it. It just seemed *so perfect* for our family. We loved it even more in person and the girls were already choosing rooms during our showing. We are currently under contract on that house and should close on it in about a month or so. Our home is currently on the market and we are hoping to be under contract on it soon!

And, which beaches are close by?

The closest beaches are North Topsail, Surf City, and Emerald Isle. I am already looking forward to very frequent beach days! The beach is about 25-30 minutes away from our future home in Jacksonville. So, it's close to go to often but far enough away that we won't get tired of it... if that is even possible for me. I honestly don't think I could ever get tired of going to the beach!

I'll definitely be sharing more details as our journey progresses. We are currently in the nitty gritty of home selling and home buying. It's quite the process! Here's to new adventures!

Friday, March 3, 2023

Five Favorites .13

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Happy Friday! I hope you've had a wonderful week! Today, I'm sharing my weekly round of five of my favorite things that I am currently loving and enjoying.

1. LET'S READ THE GOSPELS PODCAST: I am a big fan of podcasts. I start every single day listening to one and since the beginning of the year, this is the one I start my day with. This month, she is reading the Gospels in chronological order and I feel like I hear/learn something new every single day!

Join Annie F. Downs as she guides you through a monthly reading of the Gospels - Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Because these books share the stories of Jesus’ life and ministry on earth, this show is a chance to get to know Jesus in new ways through the voice of your friend Annie and in just 3 chapters a day.

2. SUN BUM GLOW SUNSCREEN: Are you wearing sunscreen everyday?! If not, this is your friendly reminder that you should. I wear this glow sunscreen year round! After I moisturize, I apply it before applying my makeup every single day. During the summer, it's great all on it's own to give you sun protection and a little hint of glow. I love it!

3. POLAR SPARKLING WATER: I am a big fan of sparkling water. I don't leave home without a can or two! I recently grabbed this brand from the grocery store and it did not disappoint. This raspberry pink lemonade flavor is so delicious and refreshing!

4. CHUCK 70 VINTAGE CANVAS SNEAKERS: These are my favorite Converse style of all time. I never thought I'd love high top sneakers but these changed my mind. I own the parchment color and the black pair. They run big! I'm a women's size 8 but for the best fit I got the men's 5.5 (women's 7.5).

5. PAPERCLIP NECKLACE: I've had the 18k gold version of this necklace for almost two years and I wear it every single day. It still looks as good as new! It's the perfect everyday necklace to wear on it's own or layered with other necklaces.

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Madewell Spring Collection


Hey y'all and Happy First Day of March! We are getting *so close* to springtime and that makes me so happy. Spring and summer are my favorite seasons! In celebration, today I'm sharing some of my favorite finds from the Madewell Spring Collection. I have my eye on so many items! This time of year is definitely my favorite time of shop.

This dress is my favorite from the Spring Collection! It reminds me of something that I had when I was a teenager. I am really loving denim for spring this year and *every* year!

I have owned this pair of sneakers for a couple of years and they are still my favorite pair of everyday shoes. They are so comfortable, true to size, and go with everything from jeans to dresses!

This classic white button up top in a breezy lights spun fabric looks so perfect for warm weather. I love a white top with denim in the spring and summer!

This woven leather bag is also on my wish list. I love the details! It also comes in lots of great color options.

I've shared about these baggy flare jeans before and I'm still loving them for spring. I love the light wash!

The prettiest medium size hoops! I am loving the pink stone in these earrings.

I bought a super similar pair of shorts last year in this mid length style and I literally wore them almost every single day. They are so comfortable and the perfect length for everyday wear!