Sweet Home Briarwood

Elliot & I may be some of the world’s worst bloggers, since we’ve gone a month since our first update. Sorry about that. But we have lots of exciting news in exchange for the wait, so hopefully that makes up for it. First, after 1.5 months of staying in condos/hotels/friends’ living room floors, Elliot & I have officially been in our own apartment for a little over three weeks. I can’t even believe it’s been that long already! As everybody who’s ever moved probably knows, it’s easy to get caught up in all the details of what still needs to be done, so all the unpacking/settling in has made the time fly by pretty quickly, hence the failure to post. But that’s all behind us now, because here we are, postin’ it up from Briarwood, Queens. Briarwood is a tiny neighborhood that’s best-known as the former site of United Nations housing, as well as home of the Catholic high school responsible for educating New York’s current governor AND David Caruso from CSI: Miami(!!). Maybe one day we’ll run into him when he comes back to visit his alma mater. We can only hope.

Anyway, we’re doing a pretty good job making ourselves at home in between Elliot’s work schedule and my…not-having-anything-to-do-but-unpack-and-clean-for-three-weeks. We have no couch or dresser at the moment and we’re short at least one bookshelf, but our kitchen is totally well-stocked, our dining room chairs have been painted, and we were so, so blessed by all our family and friends when we got married that we’ve been able to get pretty much everything we’ve needed with gift cards. Seriously, without all the support of the people in our lives, we would be eating ramen and sleeping on the floor. We are really grateful.

And, of course, we don’t only spend our time unpacking or at Target. We make time to watch episodes of Lost on Netflix and cook very tasty dinners together a few nights a week, along with visiting churches, so we’re definitely taking time to enjoy each other’s company and develop some sort of routine together, which is good, since I start school on Thursday. It’s been a luxury to have so much time together, for sure (a two month honeymoon, some might say), but it’ll definitely be nice to have some new stuff added to the mix.

With all that said, we thought we’d give everybody a look at our new home, since some of you will hopefully come up for a visit or two it in the next year, eh?? To preface, our building, neighborhood, and apartment are not without quirks. An upstairs neighbor who regularly throws Indian food out the window and onto the space outside our apartment/our window sill? Yes, we have one of those. And neither one of us has ever lived somewhere with radiator heat, so we’re pretty curious to see what that’s like this winter, but it’s fun figuring all this stuff out with each other. Yay for adventure!

Anyway. On with the tour. Please excuse the maybe excessive detail. Since we can’t have all of you over to show you around and make dinner for you, this is what we do instead. Here’s the outside of our building:

Our street is really residential, which we like, because it keeps things pretty quiet. Our neighbors also seem to do an awesome job keeping their gardens well-planted, so we get to admire lots of nice yards on the walk to our plant-less apartment.

Here’s our front door, complete with the welcome mat given to us by some friendly, anonymous person in the building:

We’ve only met a few of our neighbors, but so far they seem like pretty nice people.

Here’s our little foyer area.

Notice Guard Duck, who made it safely all the way from Elliot’s room in Tulsa. Elliot really loves that ceramic duck. In fact, when he reminded me to mention Guard Duck right here, he actually said, “Let’s all just hug Guard Duck,” and picked him up to take a picture together. Good friends.

This is the dining…area? Hallway? Something.

Whatever it is, we’re so happy to have this little space in our apartment. Most places we’ve seen in the city have eat-in kitchens or combined dining/living rooms, so even though it’s a small area, we’re happy to be able to separate it a little bit from the other parts of the apartment. Of course, these chairs are not permanent. They’re stand-ins while I finish painting/covering the seats on the chairs that came with the table, and they’ve also taken the place of a couch for the time being (thanks for the chairs, Aunt Terri!!). We also have plans to refinish the table, but we’re trying to pace ourselves and not have too much unfinished furniture at a time.

The first room to be finished once we moved in was the kitchen:

We were very ready to be able to cook our own meals and buy groceries, so having a livable kitchen with everything we needed took precedence over everything else in the apartment (except a shower curtain). It’s small, but it has enough space for us, with the help of the big cabinet we found on Craigslist for $30. Heyo! It was a huge hassle to pick up and bring back to the apartment (I begged to just leave it on the sidewalk in Brooklyn) but it’s been so worth it to have all the extra space. Also, check out the Crock-Pot on the counter. BBQ pork sandwiches for dinner. Happy Labor Day!
Here’s our spacious but mostly empty living room:

The dining room chairs have made this their temporary home, along with our board game cabinet, this nice yellow chair we found, and a couple of boxes of decorative things and blankets that are begging for a couch to be draped over.

Here’s Elliot’s work area:

One day, we’ll have some shelves to put those speakers on instead of boxes. But they’ll work for now.

Next is our very short hallway:

Then on the left, we have the bathroom:

I have to say, I really love having a medicine cabinet. It’s maybe one of my favorite things; all the apartments here have them. I guess if your bathroom is big enough to put things in drawers, you don’t need one, but we have no bathroom drawers, so I personally think it is very cool.

On the right in the hallway is our bedroom:

I hope it isn’t the most depressing room you’ve ever seen. We’re just glad to have a bed that’s not on the floor. It’s also still too hot to sleep with a comforter or quilt when you don’t have air conditioning, so the bed looks a little sad at the moment. Still. It’ll come together sometime. Maybe next year we’ll invest in A/C so at least the bed can stay stylish year-round.

And at the end of the hallway is our nursery:

Hey! Yeah, that’s the even more exciting news we have for you (although it’s old news for some). Come January, that awesome handmade (but unassembled) crib in the corner will be home to a lil’ baby Butay!

We’re 20 weeks along as of yesterday, so we’re halfway to meeting this little guy or girl, and we’re way beyond excited! I’ve been able to feel it moving around a lot these days, and I’ve (finally!) started to get a little bit of a belly, so someday soon I’ll be able to give people glances on the subway when they announce that people should give their seats to elderly, disabled, and pregnant people, and maybe I won’t have to stand so much. Obviously, that’s not what I’m most excited about, but I’d say it’ll definitely be a perk.

So those are the main things going on for us right now. Having an apartment, starting school, working, and getting ready for a little pumpkin to join our family very soon. It might seem a little silly to some for us to share so many of these details on a blog, but we sort of figure that, in addition to keeping people up-to-date, it’s also a great way for us to keep track of everything that’s going on right now in our lives. Having so many things going on at once can sometimes keep us from being really focused and present in any of those things, so this is our attempt to keep track of what’s going on, what we’re learning, and what it’s all like, so we don’t get too distracted by everything to be grateful. It’ll be so fun to look back in a couple of years & remember what the very beginning was like for us, so hopefully we can keep this up a little more consistently now.

On that note, since everyone has the big details now, we hope nobody’s too disappointed if the blog starts to fill up a little more with the smaller things that go on in our lives or thoughts. We’re looking forward to all the work and learning this is bringing our way, so we’re happy to have everybody in our lives to share it with. Woowoo! Had to add that after all the seriousness.

We love you guys!
Elliot & Chelsea

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13 thoughts on “Sweet Home Briarwood

  1. At first, I was going to make a comment about how the toothbrushes form a perfect cross, but….
    UM HAVING A BABY IS A PRETTY BIG DEAL. MAYBE IT SHOULD BE ITS OWN BLOG POST. SO EXCITED FOR YOU GUYS!!!!

  2. Such a fun adventure! I’m excited to continue to watch you guys find peace and strength in your marriage and the coming of the little one! You are loved, friends. Thanks for the update, Chelsea!

  3. Yay! So excited for the updates, thanks for sharing guys! I like the new place, it’s coming together quite nicely. Even more excited to see it in person eventually 🙂 and again, great that the news about little baby Butay has been shared. So much great news! Love you both!

  4. Happy happy joy joy! I love all the details and pictures of your place and you know I am sharing the excitement of becoming a grandma with you. I love you both and am aching to visit. Keep the blogs coming and I’ll see you soon on Skype. Love mom

  5. Glad things are coming together for y’all! So many people get caught up in trappings and never get to enjoy the fun of an “adventure in affordable living!” lol How do you tell the kids and grandkids “I remember when…” if it is never tough? It just makes anniversaries sweeter, too, when you can look back and say, “Look at what we’ve made it through! Look how far we’ve come together!” Be incredibly careful, keep that little bit bundled up in the crazy weather up there, and don’t get too overwhelmed with all the stuff you gotta do!
    Love the place! Dig the shower curtain! Enjoy the living space while you have it. Once you start getting stuff, you’ll wonder how you ever thought it was big enough for two people… hahahaha!!! Enjoy and explore while y’all can! Off four days in a row this week so I guess I’ll scoot over to Granny’s and pull up your update for her to see. 😉

    (On another note, 803 FOLLOWERS? Crikey! Eh, I guess if I sit down and map out the Smiths… Yeah, kinda sounds a little low in light of THOSE numbers… ;-D)

    love y’all_
    tressie

  6. I love your apartment! Cant wait to come visit you!!!! And no, not too late. It was a nice surprise to wake up too…and I LOVE the ceilings in the living room.

  7. Love your new home & am thrilled for you in the coming of baby B!! It’s wonderful to hear all that’s going on with you two. You’ll continue to be in my prayers. 🙂 Love you!

  8. I first read this on my iPhone’s WordPress app while I was brushing my teeth this morning and I almost choked on the toothpaste (in surprise) when I saw you were pregnant, Chelsea. =) HUGE congrats to you both on the upcoming Chelliot 2.0!

  9. Okay, seriously, I love that last picture so much. It was the first thing I wanted to look at when I woke up this morning. Every time I’ve gotten bored in class I have pulled it up. I’m thinking about setting it as my screensaver I love it so much. On a less obsessed note, the apartment looks great! Maybe there will be a “smaller thing” blog post about the dining room chair project you’ve got going on (wink wink). Love you guys.

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