Thursday, January 24, 2008

Exciting News

Josh and I found out on Friday we are coming home earlier than expected. We are really excited to return back to the US after three and a half years but we are also somewhat stressed by the change of plans. We had planned to return by June 1 so now we are rushing around like crazy trying to secure movers and sell our apartment.

The good news is we were able to list our apartment in one day, luckily we had already started the process and only needed to pick a realator. We have had four visits this week and I am expecting two more today. We are praying it will sell quickly as there is a three month wait between selling and exchanging the money. We are going to have to get somewhat creative with our finances to deal with the three month wait but everything has a way of working out, at least that is what I tell myself when I lay awake at night worrying!

We have created a crazy spread sheet with all the houses we are considering in the Pennsylvania. Right now we have narrowed our list down to 65 which we have broken down into three groups, most see, maybe see and safety houses. My first priority is location, I figure we can also do upgrades in the future but we can't move the house. I am partial to Malvern but there are some nice houses in Exton which is really great for Josh's commute. We also have to keep an eye on taxes which can be ridiculous in Downingtown school district.

We are headed home February 6 for one week to look for a house. If we don't find something we love we have another week planned to return and look more in March. The March trip is when we will bring the cats and Julien and I plan to stay for good. It is crazy to think we only have seven more weeks in Paris. I am a little sad but we had a good run for almost four years, it is time to come home.

Please email me if you want to get together while we are home in February. It seems a lot less urgent now because we will be back for good soon enough but we are around if anyone is free.

Sorry for the lack of pictures Josh has been traveling a lot and I don't actually know how to upload them. I think we might be able to get something posted this weekend.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Play group and other fun stuff

I am taking a break from cleaning our apartment to write this blog. We are getting another estimate on our apartment this Saturday morning so I have to get the apartment prepared. I have started today because we are fully booked tomorrow.

Julien and I are meeting my friend Alex for lunch where I used to work. After lunch I plan to introduce Julien to my ex-coworkers and hopefully some of Josh's co-workers. Josh is in Paris for a meeting which is supposed to end after lunch when he will go to my old building for the afternoon. Hopefully the timing works because we also have a doctors appointment scheduled at 3:30. I hope Julien is okay being out and about for the entire day. He is used to his afternoon nap but he can always sleep in the bjorn while I carry him.

On Tuesday Julien and I went to a baby play group. The play group was for "non mobile" babies so it was perfect for us. It was lovely to meet some other moms with babies the same age as Julien. I am looking forward to this weekly meeting. I was also invited to a mommy tea and a CPR class so those things should be fun.

I somehow managed to end up in the wrong building when I set out for the play date. I was across the street but the building matched the description so I was sure it was correct. I walked up and down the stairs knocking on all doors looking for the babies. Luckily it was the middle of the afternoon so not many people were home. I finally gave up after about half an hour and went outside only to look at the number and realize my mistake. I was lugging Julien in the Bjorn the whole time so when I finally showed up at the play group I was all sweaty and red in the face. Nothing like making a great first impression, but it was okay the other moms just smiled like it was normal to be drenched in sweat in 35 degree weather. Julien slept through the entire thing and then was a happy nice baby for the play date.

In other news Josh and I are totally obsessed with finding a house to buy in the States. Josh has compiled this huge spread sheet documenting every last detail we could want. We have looked at every home for sale in our price range and narrowed it down to 60 places. We plan to narrow it down further and things are sold daily but we wanted to make sure we didn't miss anything. There seems to be a huge variance in what you get for your money. We are concentrating on Downingtown, West Chester, Great Valley and TE school districts. Downingtown has the most for sale but the taxes are really high. I would love to be in TE but the houses are insanely expensive compared to other places. West Chester has the lowest taxes but it is also the furthest from our parents. I really like Great Valley too but it is somewhat expensive and has less for sale. All in all I am confident we will find something.

Maybe I should have cleaned rather than blogged because now Julien is awake and needs my full attention. He is teething and sometimes not the happiest baby. I put him in his crib for a nap but I have been up there three times in ten minutes so maybe a nap isn't going to happen right now.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Back in Paris

We had a wonderful time in Pennsylvania for the Holiday's. We received way too many presents and ate entirely too many cheesteaks and soft pretzels. We stayed at Glenda and Mikes for over two weeks, we managed to use all three of their guest rooms and keep their dishwasher running daily. They were lovely and gracious hosts, as usual.

Julien was a terrific traveler even with a four hour delay on the way to Philly. He seems to be doing better with the baby jet lag this trip. He is still fussy through the night but nothing like coming back from California. He had so much fun at home and was spoiled rotten by his grandparents! The poor baby is already bored here with only me and the cat's for entertainment, Josh is in Spain for work.

Josh and I were able to go out on our own quite often thanks to GG and Pappa. It was nice to have some time to see our friends and to shop without lugging the baby around in his Bjorn. The Drafting Room has a lot of our money but it was worth it for the good times.

We started the great house search of 2008. Christine took us out to look at new construction because we would have to start building now to be ready in the spring. We saw a lot of beautiful places but nothing that was absolutely perfect. We thought there would be some price incentives because of the housing market but there wasn't much where we were looking. We also went to see a couple resales to see what was available in our price range. We feel pretty confident we will be able to find something in the spring when we are more prepared to make an offer. Now, we just need to sell the Paris apartment and we will be good to go.

It was hard coming back to Paris after spending two weeks at home. I have had such a great time living in France but I am ready to move home. We are starting the exit from Paris and while I am somewhat sad to leave such a beautiful city I am more excited about our future in Pennsylvania. I will miss the travel but the daily life is much better for me living near our friends and family.