Breathe in...hold it.  And exhale.......... Wow, this is the first time in about two weeks that I've sat down to take a breather.   Two weeks ago, Sarah left Charlotte with the girls and I stayed behind to pack up the house.  That Friday night, we loaded the truck.  The next day, with a little help, I got our house ready for our new tenants.  Step one to becoming a landlord complete.  I drove the huge truck up the highway with my dad following behind in my car to find our next adventure!

You see, we rented a house in Charlottesville, VA that we had only seen one time for about 5 minutes.  It seemed like a great fit - an older house with a HUGE front yard in the city limits walking distance to some cool places...not to mention directly across the street from good friends.  Well, it seems that it had done nothing but rain since our last visit so the driveway was complete VA red clay mud and the driveway and house was so overgrown in tree limbs and vines we couldn't even fit the truck down the driveway!  So after a quick trip to Lowe's, my dad and I beat back the bush (in the rain) in order to get the truck in place so we could unload the next morning.

The unload went well and Sarah and the girls rejoined me that evening.  We knew we had some work ahead of us and we had worked out some repairs out with the landlord.  We agreed that we could arrange the work if he would pay for it.  Sounded good to start off with - getting a dishwasher and counter top installed sounded good.  Calling the carpenter to replace the windows sounded ok.  But then the roof started leaking and the trips to Lowe's became a daily task.  We started getting nervous about mold growing in the  wet ceiling in adition to living over a moist basement.  The thought of settling in there and have lots of odd jobs to accomplish on top of raising kids and working like we do became overwhelming.

Thankfully, our landlord is gracious and realized that this was not the right place for us and we agreed that we needed to find another place to be.  He seemed to think that having the house empty would be better for him to get the repairs done as well, so it seems like the best plan all around.

So.....we find ourselves house hunting once again.  Remember the good friends across the street?  They just bought a house and are moving out in August-ish.  We love the house and it looks like we'll take over their lease when they move out.  What to do now?  Well, I'm thankful to have the best in-laws in the world!  They've agreed for us to crash at their house outside of Richmond until we can move into our new place!  Thankfully, we're not too far from Charlottesville (about an hour) so I can still get up there and do the photo shoots I had planned through the summer.  It also means I'm super-available for anything in Richmond this summer, so let me know what you need!

Now we're headed out to Los Angeles Thursday morning!  WE CANNOT WAIT for a little R and R!  We're shooting our friend Nate's wedding Saturday and we can't wait to meet Courtney.  I also got a call last night from our good friend Veronique in Simi Valley.  She was instrumental in getting me started in the photography business by letting me borrow her equipment when I didn't have what I needed!  She's shooting a wedding in Santa Barbara Friday night and her second shooter is sick.  So it looks like now I'm shooting two weddings this weekend.  I love shooting with her and can't wait for a day trip to beautiful Santa Barbara!

I'll do my best to post up some pictures of the weekend as we go, but honestly I think I'm planning on laying as low as possible and enjoying some vacation time with my wonderful wife who I feel like I haven't really seen in the past two weeks amidst all the craziness!  By the way, those great in-laws are keeping the kids while we travel so we get to sleep in!!!  Don't call me early in the morning while we're gone please and don't foget about the time difference!

I'm off to play some tennis with dad-in-law!  Oh, and here are a few pictures of our front yard of the place we were going to live!



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