ICYMI: We Unpacked Our Bags

While I’m pretty sure it’s no longer a secret, I am writing this post to let you know that you’re stuck with us, Ohio. Mat and I recently purchased a home in Cincinnati. After over 3 years of 6 month leases and over 10 moves (if you count the moves to Arizona for spring training), we are ecstatic to finally have a place to call “home”. You know… a place to unpack our bags and maybe even stay a while.

As you can imagine, there were about 6 trillion factors that went into the decision of where we would buy our first home. I am from California and Mat is from Florida. Our families are essentially on opposite sides of the country. Then of course you have to consider the weather, traffic, lifestyle… Oh… and let us not forget- baseball.

Baseball is fun in the sense that you can be traded at any time so there’s really no such thing as planning how long you’ll be working anywhere. This is a big reason why many athletes don’t spend their off-season where they work as it makes more sense to just buy a home wherever they want to live. It has also made people curious about why we would buy a home in Cincinnati when Mat currently only has a two year contract to play for the Reds. Let me tell you why…

As you may or may not know, the trade from the San Diego Padres to the Reds caught us wildly off-guard. If you would have asked me at the time, I couldn’t have even pointed to Ohio on a map (don’t judge me- I suck at geography). When we came to visit for the first time in January 2012, I felt like I was in a foreign country. This may sound dramatic but I assure you, mid-westerners who go to California for the first time often feel the same way. For lack of better words, it’s just a culture shock.

Last season, we were welcomed by the entire Reds organization with open arms. I’m talking the whole Castellini family, the clubhouse staff, the media department, the ushers at the ballpark- EVERYONE was there to offer their support. It was pretty clear that we were in over our heads, extremely unfamiliar with the area, and more or less overwhelmed yet also excited… but overwhelmed. Having that support system made a world of difference. If any other baseball wives are reading this and you ever get traded to Cincinnati, have no fear- you are in GREAT hands.

Rewind… Only a week prior to the trade, we signed a lease on a home for the season in San Diego. We were made to believe that Mat wasn’t getting traded so we were pretty confident in finding housing for the upcoming season in the off-season. It also seemed like a good way to avoid some stress to just stay in the San Diego area until we figured out where in the world we would set up shop and buy a home.

If you recall, the trade was announced right before the holidays. We already had movers and everything arranged and we were headed out of town to visit my in-laws for a few weeks. Fancy.

Fast forward… picture me sitting in Virginia practically in tears for a few days trying to figure out what we were going to do with our things, our pets, our lives, etc, It didn’t make any sense to move to this house but our lease was up where we were currently living and they already had a new occupant lined up. We would have had nowhere to live until Spring Training if we didn’t move from downtown San Diego into this house. We were on the other side of the country with very limited time to figure anything out prior to our moving day. The stress was so overwhelming that we eventually decided to just go along with our original plan to move from downtown instead of trying to get out of the lease. By “went along with the move”, I mean that our boxes went from one San Diego residence to another- never to be unpacked.

I begrudgingly wrote rent checks for that San Diego home/storage unit all last season while we lived at the Banks for 6 months. We didn’t have a plan at the time but we knew that we never wanted to be in this situation again (paying two leases simultaneously). It is one thing (a very common thing) to pay a mortgage on your home in whatever city you choose to live in and have an additional short-term lease on a another residence where you work during season but if you’re anything like me, you don’t like throwing away money and that’s essentially what we had to do. GROSS GROSS GROSS.

Last off-season we spent countless hours looking at properties on the internet. We even went down to the Florida Keys to look at some homes. I love the Keys but I wasn’t exactly sold. We looked around Naples (Florida) , Austin (Texas), Dallas (Texas) but there was always the question of, “How the hell is this going to work when we are now looking at a timeline of buying a home during the season?”. Essentially- it would have been a giant pain in my ass. One day Mat said, “Why don’t we look at homes in Cincinnati?”. UMMMM. Excuse me? You want to do something reasonable that makes a ton of sense that we have never thought of before? WHAT IS THIS WITCH CRAFT?! Wait, wait… this idea is GENIUS.

I will admit that it took me a few minutes to wrap my brain around this. We had been looking at homes on the water in Florida because we love the ocean and fishing. Plus, the weather in the off-season is not too shabby. The Texas idea came up because it’s centrally located. Cincinnati… well… Mat only has a 2-year contract so let’s just consider all of the factors and say that he gets traded after that, are we still going to want to live in Cincinnati? Spoiler alert- after not much consideration, the answer was yes. Cincinnati has it’s charms and it really REALLY grew on me. Something about the way of life and simplicity of things puts me at ease. I have lived in California my whole life and quite frankly, it was time for us to turn the page.

I pulled some properties up online, contacted a real estate agent and explained what we were looking for. We had narrowed it down to about 5 listings and planned to see them when we got to Cincinnati for the season to avoid making an additional trip in the off-season. The house that I thought I really liked was sold by the time we got here. I was kind of bummed but confident that we would find something we loved. The house that Mat really liked (all he cared about was that there was a pond on the property- literally- ALL) but that I was not so sure about from the photos was our number 2 and became the first house that we would see in Cincinnati. It was also the last.

From the minute we got to the house, we knew it was “the one”. The location was great, the layout was great and it had everything we were looking for. We waited and waited and waited for our closing date to come and lived out of suitcases at our friend Dave’s house in the meantime (this is going to have to be another blog post entirely- it was positively funny and ridiculous).

Our closing date finally came around and we got the keys to our new home and we were SO excited! Except that we had no furniture and were headed out of town for a 10 day road trip a few days later. CAN A GIRL CATCH A BREAK AROUND HERE?! I have never wanted to be settled so badly in my entire life so that 10 day road trip felt like a lifetime. A lifetime in which I couldn’t sleep, eat or function because i was so anxious and stressed. I’m talking sitting in the bathtub in the hotel room at 4 am ordering linens so as to not wake Mat up with my aggressive typing because I had SO much to do.

While I could have further stressed myself out beyond reason and took on this whole project by myself, I chose not to. I’m sure those close to me would agree that I may have capped out on the amount of stress I could survive through without cracking between the trade in 2011 up until this point.

I called for the help of Kelly Straka, owner of Lux Living Homes to get the interior of our new home to fit our style and to get this bad boy furnished. As you may have seen last week no thanks to the local media who tweeted out our address and photos from the previous owner’s listing, the home had a very country vibe to it. It was gorgeous, just not our style. Kelly suggested that we use paint and swap out light fixtures to update the general vibe and let me tell you- it made a world of difference. We are still working on the furnishing aspect but it has been fantastic to work with someone with such a creative eye and knack for finding really unique pieces that fit our personal style.

Then there was the whole unpacking thing… keep in mind we had boxes from the past few years stored at the ballpark, at David’s house in Cincinnati, in San Diego, in northern California and in Virginia. I’m good at a lot of things but tedious projects and organizing just aren’t for me. Like they say, patience is a virtue (that I don’t have).

My friend and fellow baseball wife, Alexis Rosenbaum recently began offering her services as a home organizer. While you may be reading this and thinking I’m lazy or awful for not figuring it out on my own, let me just tell you this- there is nothing I like more than efficiency and I will be the first to admit my short comings and figure out a better solution.

You can check out Alexis’ post about this project here: TheHouseWifesHouseWife. This post doesn’t do all of her work justice but you can get an idea of why I needed her so desperately. Due to all of the traveling and moving around, I often acquire multiples of basically everything. Had I been the one to have to go through all of that, I probably would have thrown it away in frustration.

With the help of the container store, Alexis had everything sorted out and easy to find. The even better thing about how well she organized our belongings is that everything has a place and it’s now ridiculously easy for me to stay organized. While her rates are more than reasonable for her services, the truth is- you can’t put a price on your sanity. If you’re like me and you have made it a habit to ignore the chaos because you think it doesn’t affect you- I will bet you a turkey sandwich that you’re wrong.

Now that I have typed an entire novel and essentially explained why I haven’t posted any blogs recently, let me end on this note. It feels so good to be home.

- D

55 Comments

Congratulations! Home is a nice feeling.

Welcome home! Cincinnati is proud to be a part of the Latos’ Legion! Two very talented people that I hope will be belching Skyline for years to come.

We’re so glad that y’all found a place to call home in Cincinnati! Wish CVG was more reasonably priced for your flights tho. It must have been hard to leave for this roadtrip after finally getting all your animals & stuff in you new home. The Midwest is a great place to live & I for one hope Mat gets to stay with the Reds for many years.Many blessings on your new house!

Welcome to Cincinnati home ownership, Mat & Dallas! We love it here & hope you guys will too. So much to see & do…you know, like going to GABP & watching my REDS play! 😃

So happy you have found Cincinnati to be welcoming! Hoping Mat stays a Red for many years to come.

First of all I love reading your blogs, tweets, basically anything you write. With that being said I know you have no clue who I am but I think I can safely say many of us Ohioans are glad you have chosen to settle down here! There is nothing better than a piece of mind! Hopefully things calm down from here and you can appreciate all that surrounds you!

Good choice…and I hope Matt get at least a five year extension with the Reds. You both ROCK and we are lucky to have you.

I agree with George!! #TeamLatos (Mat&Dallas!)

Welcome home! I’m so happy the Latos’ can call Cincinnati home now. I hope Mat gets a long term contract because I’d love to see him remain a Red for many years. As a lifelong resident of this area, the winters suck, but this is a pretty nice place to live.

I definitely understand your situation with being traded! My fiance signed a contract with Minnesota this summer, and all of our stuff is in storage in Nashville. We bought a house in California last year for the offseason, and finally moved in like 10 months later (in May). Our offseason is quickly coming to a close, and I’m beginning to feel anxiety about shipping a car (and buying a new winter-friendly car in Minnesota), finding somewhere dog-friendly to live during the season and coordinating getting our stuff shipped from our storage unit in Nashville without having to sleep on the floor for weeks.

People don’t give athlete’s wives/gf’s/fiance’s enough credit! All they think we do is shop and lay around all day. Totally untrue!

I agree with all the posts prior to mine. Everyone deserves that place that they can call home. Congratulations to you all!

I have quickly become a Latos fan! Welcome to Ohio!

So glad you found a home. Hope you love Cincy!! It is a great city with a ton of fun things to do. We are so glad you guys are here and hope you are here for years to come. I love your blog and twitter posts… Keep um coming :)

Welcome to Cincinnati!!!!
So glad you’ve put down roots here & I hope the Reds & Mat can work out a long-term deal.

Welcome “home” to Cincinnati! We’re glad you all decided to stay here!

congrats! love the house and love you two, but you know that.. haha. just want to say that Alexis is great. a machine. definitely organized and gets any job done. not to mention, a great person.

I knew you would love cincinnati now you have a home to come home to CONGRATS Hope to see you around the ball park for more details

Congrats on your home! I hope you and Mat are a part of the Reds organization for many years to come. If/when the day arrives where you move on to another team, I will continue to be a fan of you both! Welcome to Ohio!

Having been a lifelong resident of the Cincinnati area and forced to leave for employment reasons, just let me tell you that you are so blessed to call Cincinnati home!! We miss it like crazy and go “home” whenever possible…you will love it and our hearts are forever in the Nati!! ENJOY…because “there is no place like HOME!”

Welcome home to you and Mat. My wife and I moved to Cincy shortly after we were married and 18 years later, I still am glad to call it home!

So glad you have a home here in Cincinnati. You are really fun to follow on your blog and twitter. My husband and I live in the country just over the boarder in Indiana. Great place to get away if it ever gets too crazy. You can never have too many friends!

WELCOME HOME!!! Let’s get Mat signed up long term and make him a Red for life! You two are a breath of fresh air and just what this town needed.

Yay! Welcome to Ohio, where you witness four seasons at random times throughout the year. I hope you’ll be residents for years to come. Enjoy your new home :)

I lived in Forest Park for 7 years…I loved the Cincinnati area! Miss it dearly. You will enjoy living there.

I love seeing you say you WANT to live here. We moved here from the Southwest a few years ago, and we love it! People don’t understand that it is a lovely place to make a life. Winter is going to be a shock, but I personally like that too….sorta.

Love it!

Excellent! Glad u home in Cincinnati. Mat was very good to r Shane at Redsfest last December. Awesome meeting him and we hope he’s a Red 4 long long time. ⚾👈

WELCOME!!

Congratulations! Here’s to a long, happy life in Cincinnati for both of you. I predict after a winter or two here, you will get around to finding that second home on the water. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to take a nice vacation when Ice-a-apolooza hits. Also: No need to apologize for calling on expert help. There are plenty of tasks best left in professional hands. Enjoy!

We’re so glad to have you in Cincy! We love watching Mat get wins for the Reds. I hope you stay for a while.

Fantastic that you chose Cincinnati to call “home”. Cincinnati, NKY and the Reds community welcome you with open arms!!

nice blog. glad you are happy in Cincinnati. Lived in C 8 years. we still think of it as home (along with Disney World)

You are most welcome here in the Queen City. You can borrow a cup of sugar anytime.

Welcome to cincinnati! My (new) husband (then) boyfriend and i moved to Cincy back in July of 2007. I was 21, he was 22. We had a sparse apartment, a lot of video games, and no interior decorating sense. Now, we own a house, have slightly more interior decorating sense (though there is al ove seat in my dining room), and recently got married. Owning a home is fun, even when it has its challenges. It’s fun to ahve a place to truly call “yours.”

Welcome to Cincy and I very much hope you all are here for MANY years !!!

Welcome to cincy

Every real estate transaction is part of public record regardless if you are a professional athlete or a professional dipshit.

My impression is that UW cstnisneotly has a higher dewpoint reading than the airport. As I type this, UW has 24.2 and the airport has 21.4. I haven’t watched this closely, but I feel like pretty much every time I’ve ever looked (which is very rarely lately, but fairly frequently when I lived in K-W for a few years, a number of years ago), it’s been that way.

So glad you decided to settle in Cincinnati! Welcome! As a frequent visitor to California, I am sure it is very different! Embrace the differences, and enjoy every moment! And go Reds!

Welcome to Cincinnati! I move companies for a living and I hate to move myself (I have moved plenty over my lifetime), so I understand your frustration and uncertainty. The thing that I really related to was that you have multiples of things. I live in Columbus and frequently get assigned to projects out of town that range from 6 months to a year, so I would have two sets of almost everything. I have so many towels!

You did not live at the banks… You lived at a hotel. I know, I went there with Mat. You are a liar and an embarrassment to cincinnati. I don’t ever want my kid to know who you are. The reds orginazation is better off without you. I will actually never go to a game I know you will be at. You are scum of the earth and we don’t want you here. Must be nice spending his money and staying home drinking and getting fat. He’ll wise up one day. He’s already cheating, maybe he will get the balls to finally leave your swamp ass.

Why would you sign up for Dallas’ blog just to write something like this?

Dallas & Mat, welcome!

Because its the truth. Even though I cannot stand her, she needs to know the truth.

awful! you are an evil person.

How is it awful if its the truth? She doesn’t know what he does behind her back. She should know. As well as half of the wags.

I’m not sure why you feel it is your role to tell her these things. nor do I see this as the proper forum. this is a quite hurtful thing. If you have Provable facts that you feel you are obligated to tell her, do it in a private, supportive way.

I can’t be supportive, I don’t know her and I don’t feel sorry for her. Just think she should know. And you can’t talk to her in public because she thinks holier than thou. She’s not and the way she acts in public is disgusting. She doesn’t get that she is just a wag that’s getting the wool pulled over her eyes. She also doesn’t get how many people don’t like her and talk about her. Wags especially. I really just feel sorry for her. Money isn’t everything and I hope she figures that out one day. I’m done here. She’ll find out on her own one day when she catches him.

I think that your comments tell more about you than they do about Dallas!! Maybe you should be taking a look at your own issues before commenting on hers! Which BTW are none of your business!! Besides…have some class and deal with PRIVATE issues in PRIVATE! Not a public forum!

thanks, for your valid comments.

Just keepin it real Ed!! I’m sure Dallas is laughing about it all anyway! Appreciate the “thank you” though! :-)

Ok, let me call her personal cell or email her. I DO NOT KNOW HER! Maybe I can reach her if I call Mat. Do you think he would let me talk to her? You people are idiots.

Our point exactly….if you DO NOT KNOW HER as you say, then what are you doing on a public forum judging & bashing her and her marriage? What makes you think you have the right to inform of her of anything regarding her personal life if you DO NOT KNOW HER? You just do not make any sense….. Why is there marriage and how they conduct it, your business? ..WTH….I stand by what I said before YOU are the one with issues….Obviously your comments are a joke to Dallas or she would have removed this blog by now… i feel sorry for you and hope you get the help you obviously need!

Well if she knows how he is and doesn’t care, that’s sad and she deserves him and his money, that will run out very soon. I wish them all the best! HAHA!

Who knew? You have the best blog on Reds.com. No kidding. I love baseball, cooking, and laughing. Oh, and love to hear about your charity work. Keep the recipes and stories coming! Good luck this season.

Megan, You have no idea of what you’re talking about! They did live at the Banks! Mat and Dallas have a great relationship! Maybe if you had their kind of happiness, you’d be a much happier person. Talking crap about people because you don’t feel good about yourself? What a crazy, dilusional looser!

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