Tag Archives: moving

New Adventures!

I can’t believe it’s been so long since my last post. So much has happened in the jkwdesigns household that I don’t even know where to begin! Not long after the school year began, I was elected PTO president at my boys’ school, and that part of my life simply took over EVERYTHING. It certainly didn’t help that my husband had to leave for a 6-week long work trip right around the same time. He returned from his trip at the beginning of November, and within weeks, he was offered a job in Pittsburgh that we simply couldn’t turn down, so from my whirlwind “term” (haha!) as PTO president to packing up an entire household and moving across the Pacific Ocean right before Christmas, spending the holidays with relatives that I hadn’t seen in over 3 years, house-shopping, and finding a short-term place to live while we wait to close on the house…all while juggling 3 kids who were battling jet-lag for what felt like WEEKS… Well, it’s been a busy couple of months!

However, life is returning to some kind of normal now. We’re settled into a little 2 bedroom apartment for the next 5 weeks, the boys started at their new school THIS MORNING (wahoo!!!), and I have become downright obsessed with what I’m going to do with our beautiful new home! It’s been a while since I’ve had the freedom to decorate and to indulge my DIY side. Seoul is an absolute dream when it comes to certain things such as art supplies and sewing and knitting, but painting and refinishing furniture and all the DIY glory of Home Depot—NADA!

Our new house, although it’s pretty much move-in ready, has so many possibilities, and it’s driving my husband absolutely crazy that I’ve already compiled a huge list of projects for the house. With our apartment in Seoul, the bright, open spaces really was perfect for the modern, minimalist style that I adore, but our new house is such an interesting space with lots of character, and I’ve already decided that I’ll be going with a slightly more eclectic look for the house.

The front part of the house is the original home, built in the 1940s, so the rooms are a bit smaller and there are some strange hallways, doors, and staircases, but it has beautiful, original hardwood floors, and the previous owners did quite a bit of renovations and updates to the space.  Somewhere along the road, a massive addition was built onto the back of the house, and this space is just amazing. There’s a large gourmet kitchen with vaulted ceilings that is open to a huge great room, and alongside the great room is a massive, indoor basketball court.

Yes, an indoor basketball court. My husband, who is not a huge basketball fan, wasn’t sold on the idea of having this huge, open space because what in the world do we do with it??? But oh, the possibilities!!! As a mom, having a giant space where I could just give the kids a ball and tell them to go run amuck on those rainy, bad weather days is PRICELESS. As a self-proclaimed party-planner, just imagine the kind of shindig I could put together in that space–I just need to make some friends in the area to invite over to party with me! 😉 And as someone who is absolutely obsessed with art and design and DIY projects… Seriously, what CAN’T I do with a giant, indoor gymnasium?

So stay tuned!!! I’ve already begun collecting inexpensive thrift-store finds to makeover into fun, updated pieces for the new house. Can’t wait to share the details with you!

Happy New Year!

Wishing everyone a beautiful 2013! I’m still holed up in the hotel, but there is light at the end of the tunnel… We should be moving in to the new house in just 2 short days. I can’t wait to have my boys with me and to be out of this place! Living out of a hotel really bites. 🙁

It was a bit sad to ring in the new year without my little boys, but we have lots of things to look forward to this year. We have so many things to be grateful for… We really can’t complain.

On the crafting front, I really DO have some new patterns in the works. Actually, I have A LOT of new patterns on the brain. I just need to make them a reality. A knit hat, cowl and fingerless mitt set will debut soon, and I’ll leak some sneak peaks at other projects in the coming weeks.

Also, Santa (and by Santa, I mean my dear, sweet husband) got me a sewing machine for Christmas this year, so I have new things to work on. I don’t really know where I’m going to find the time for all this stuff… But whatever. :-p

Anyway, I have to get back to the needles. Lots of things to finish!

More House Hunting

In my last blog post, I was so naively optimistic about our search for a new home here in Seoul. Apparently, DH and I were unaware of the cutthroat business of renting apartments, and the one we picked out–the smaller home in a great location–was swept out from under us. We found ourselves nearly a month into the house search without anything to show for it because during the time that we believed we had a new home to when we found out the landlord wasn’t exactly forthcoming, two other apartments on our list of possibilities were rented out. So we started back from the beginning, and we felt rather discouraged since nothing we saw even came close to what we thought we had.

Until last Thursday, that it. On a lark, our real estate agent took us to see a place that isn’t exactly far away from DH’s work, but it’s not close either. And we absolutely loved it. With 5 bedrooms and 3 baths, there’s enough room for the whole family, and with space for DH to have his entertainment room/man cave, for me to have an office/crafting room, and for the kids to have a designated play area–it met almost all of our criteria. There were a couple of drawbacks with the place. The fact that it doesn’t have a dishwasher is quite an inconvenience, but not necessarily a deal breaker, but what I really couldn’t overcome was the fact that it doesn’t have a clothes dryer. According to the current tenants, a dryer could not be installed. Something about the gas lines not existing. And well, we just couldn’t believe her. How could a relatively recently remodeled apartment not have gas lines for a dryer? So our realtor took some initiative and called out a professional who informed us that a dryer could, in fact, be installed relatively easily. Just not right next to the washing machine.

Then, this morning, our realtor took us to see another apartment in the same complex as our original first choice. And it was even better than what we lost the first time around. But despite the great location, we couldn’t get over the fact that the other place–the 5 bedroom–offered so much more. For the location, we’d be giving up the kids’ playroom, DH’s man-cave, and my office/crafting room. That’s a lot just for a slightly shorter commute.

So, we’ve made our choice and it’s going to be 10 days until everything is official, but I’m cautiously optimistic. I’ve spoken with the landlord’s representative, and he seemed very nice and forthcoming. We just may have our home for the next 5 years. 🙂

7000 miles later…

I can’t believe that it’s been 2 months already since I last posted. What’s even crazier is that in that time, DH has changed jobs, we packed up our house, shipped our cars and moved 7000 miles to the opposite side of the earth! Right now, I’m sitting in a hotel room in Seoul, South Korea. My baby girl’s fast asleep in the other room, and my little boys are playing at grandma and grandpa’s house. It’s so quiet without them… You’d think that I’d take advantage of the quiet time to get some knitting done, but I haven’t really knit since just before leaving the States. I think I’ve got too much going on inside my head to sit and relax, think of nothing and just knit. The view from our hotel room is beautiful, but it hasn’t done much to inspire my creativity these days…

We’re deep in the middle of house hunting. I think today may be the last day of looking at apartments before making a decision. There are two that we like more than all the others, but the one that’s in the perfect location with lots of great facilities (fitness center, sauna, indoor playground, etc.) is just a tad small, and the one that has all the space we need and is just perfect for our big family is in a not-so-great area. If only we could transplant that house in a nicer neighborhood! Unless the realtor shows us something amazing today, I think we’ll be sticking with option one–the smaller space in the perfect location.

I’ve also been tentatively planning Miss Penelope’s first birthday party. She’s (already!!!) 9 months old, and the way time has been flying by, it’ll be February before I know it. First birthdays (or dol in Korean) are a HUGE deal in Korean culture, and the parties are completely over-the-top. The boys’ dol was pretty crazy… We rented a reception hall and had 100+ guests–all in the midst of a great Snowpocalypse of 2010 on the East Coast. Penelope’s dol is sure to be a circus as well since we have so many relatives here in Korea. If everyone actually travels up to Seoul for the party, the family guest list will be at least 70 people. And since the boys’ birthday is the day before Penelope’s… Well, the boys will have a small party the weekend before. But there’s lots of planning to do and lots of crafty projects that I need to undertake between now and then! I’m thinking of a cherry blossom theme for Penelope’s dol and I may have to do a combination of pirates and firetrucks for the boys’ party or one will be left weeping!

As for my knitting, I’m currently working on two projects. The first one is almost finished. I used the $5 in Paris pattern, available for free on the Knitting Up A Storm blog, to make a sweater dress. I just have one sleeve to finish up and the dreaded weaving in of ends to complete.

The second is a cute little cardigan for one of my nieces. I haven’t gotten very far on it, but so far, the pattern is quite easy to follow. The pattern’s called in threes: a baby cardigan, and for $6, it comes in 6 different sizes (0 to 5T)–not bad. I’m sure that once I finish this one, I’ll be working up another one for my little peanut.

Anyway, I have some phone calls to make before Penelope wakes from her nap… So until next time…