Jeff and Nichole Kladder

The last couple weeks have been pretty exciting here at the Kladder household (I can say 'house' now, awesome). We moved, found out we're expecting a little girl in May, spent lots of time with our families celebrating Christmas, and even hosted friends at our place for New Years Eve. 

We're slowly starting to find our groove in the new house. With snow on the ground, the garage is really convenient. I also love the gigantic standup shower in our upstairs bathroom as well as the separate-roomy-soaking tub - I still think it's an odd use of space for the bathroom however. I'm still getting used to hiking up and down three sets of stairs for laundry (in our loft the washer and dryer was stacked in a closet in our bedroom - it was nice) and cleaning takes me a bit longer than it did with an 800 square foot apartment. 

This week we found out that in East Grand Rapids the trash service doesn't require you to take your can to the curb, they come into your backyard, roll it out and put it back once emptied. We had given credit to a thoughtful neighbor for emptying our trash over Christmas break. 

On New Years Day we walked to Derby Station for dinner. It took us 13 minutes. But this wasn't until after we had already walked to Harmony Brewing Company which was closed for the holiday. Harmony took us 4 minutes door to door. Also last week, I biked to my office on Cherry Street (before it snowed) which is a 1.1 mile trip, .1 miles less than my bike commute from downtown. 

We are loving our new location. Still extremely close to both our offices, walking distance to Eastown and Gaslight Village, very close to friends who also live in the neighborhood, and in a few years, we'll be able to walk our kids to elementary school. 

We keep getting asked if we plan to purchase a second car now that we live outside of downtown. Jeff and I have talked it over and still don't think we need one. A usual follow up question from friends to whom we answer 'No' is, "But what if after you have the baby, Jeff has the car and you need to get to the hospital?" While I definitely appreciate everyone being concerned over the urgent care of our future newborn there's a pretty solid chance that I'm still going to get to the hospital faster than the large majority of Grand Rapidians - Spectrum Health on Wealthy is 2 blocks from us. I'll walk. As for anything else transportation wise, it just takes a little extra communication and planning just like it did when we lived downtown. 

Christmas was spent with family in Schoolcraft, Grandville, and Rockford while for New Years Eve we hosted friends at our new house. We broke in the dart board that Jeff received for Christmas LAST year and opened the bar with a bang! Our biggest obstacle for hosting the party was getting the TV mounted on the wall. An embarrassing 21 holes later (the mount only takes 4 screws) we tackled our stud finding adventure. Quick tip: plaster is a little tougher to work with than drywall - stud finders don't work, use a powerful magnet instead. 

And while we aren't ones for making resolutions, we can tell you that in 2015 we plan to make a dent in our long list of house projects, have a baby sometime this summer, and enjoy each day as much as possible because life is precious and short. 

Happy New Year everyone. 

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