Today, we're being treated to a tour of Lenae's stunning home in Azerbaijan. And I DO mean treat -- I've been curious about Lenae's home since she moved across the world last winter, and the little glimpses she shares on her blog, Lime Tree City, are tantalizing. I wanted more, which she graciously provided. Thank you, sweet Lenae!
Hi, everyone! I'm Lenae, the resident Filipina at Lime Tree City, mother of four-almost-five, and matriarch to an Air Force family currently living in Baku, Azerbaijan, where my husband works in the United States Embassy. We arrived in Baku in December 2011, right in the middle of an historic winter for the city. The large amounts of snow delayed us moving into our house for several weeks (so... hotel-living with three rambunctious boys and a baby? Not so much fun), but once we saw the home selected for us, any angst vanished quite quickly.
This house is pretty enormous; by far, the largest place we have ever lived in to date. We were matched with it primarily because of our family size, and I can't emphasize how grateful I am to have such grand amounts of space for my growing brood to run around in. My favorite details can be found in the floor and ceilings: I've never seen hardwood in such intricate designs, and the geometric cutouts in the ceilings vary from room to room. My kids would tell you that their favorite details are the front courtyard where they ride their bikes and the two flights of stairs which are perfect for cushion sliding. As a family, we love spending time on the top floor, where the family room is located.
The tricky parts: Well, the house is enormous enough that the cleaning list can pile up pretty quickly. I've had to learn how to tackle different zones depending on the day of week... and accept that this place just isn't going to sparkle from top to bottom all the time. Three stories (and a basement) also make it fairly easy to lose the children... just kidding! Actually, the high ceilings provide the ideal acoustics to reveal telltale, mischievous giggling, and facilitate the ultimate Wrathful Mommy voice ("Gooooo to your roooooooooooooom!") Oh, and half the bathrooms are pink, which might have caused my husband to audibly choke upon first sight. You get used to them, but a warning to all of you who suddenly started fantasizing about your own Barbie Dream House hopes finally coming true ("Lenae has pink bathrooms, honey!"): Pink tile shows dirt like nothing else, and has landed itself on my short list of arch nemeses.
(Now be honest -- who wants to move to Azerbaijan and live with Lenae? Me, too!)