Going Big and Going Home

VW Atlas front

Thanks to VW for loaning us the 2018 VW Atlas this week. It’s spacious interior, panoramic sunroof, and easy handling made our move-in week nothing but smooth. It was the perfect fit for the theme of Going Big and Going Home.

This last 12 months have held a lot of change for the Chase family. There are a number of stories I’ve been holding onto. It’s been a big season of learning, feeling, and letting go. Seasons like that are awesome. There is so much growth that happens during that time but it can also feel like just SO MUCH. It’s messy and it takes time to process. Kind of like cleaning out a closet or kid’s room, it always looks worse before it looks better, ya know? Well, that was our life but man, do I have stories. It’s going to get good around here. (*insert shameless plug to ask you to subscribe to our newsletter in the upper right hand corner of the home page* so you don’t miss anything) It’s finally time to release a few of those because there is a lot of new stuff coming up too. Stuff I think we’re all going to be pretty excited to talk about! Let’s get on with it….

First thing first…the BIG news…… Are you ready?

WE MOVED!! And we are loving our new home! We are seriously in love with our new setup. After months of renting, temporary living, being the weekend wife etc- we finally have a home we love being in. We finally feel settled. I can’t tell you what a good feeling that is.  We are in the same city right outside of Dallas but in a more permanent home.

Leaving Austin was really tough, mostly on me. Randall LOVES his job. The kids are doing well in their new school. I do still miss living in Austin. When I go back to visit, it feels like “going home” more than any other place I’ve lived. Maybe one day I’ll live there again but for now this is where we are making a home.

Soooooo…… Who’s ready for the NEW HOME TOUR???

Going Big and Going Home: The Outside

Our new home has approximately 1000 more square feet than the home we were previously leasing so we knew we were going to be working with more space but didn’t know how much happier having more space would really make us feel. We have 5 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, a three car garage, half basketball court and a yard with enough space for Kaitlyn to build a garden. We totally made due in the space we had before but there is just so much more we can do now.

The same week we were moving into our new home Volkswagen generously offered us the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas to drive for the week. It was the perfect theme to add to complete ” Going Big AND Going Home”.

VW Atlas front

The Atlas is a three row SUV with an incredible amount of headroom, legroom, and cargo space. Now that our kids are bigger we need the most room and if One Tiny Human is coming along the Atlas still has trunk storage for her stroller, highchair, play-yard, or ANYTHING else we want to bring along.

VW Atlas Cargo storage empty

Let’s talk about that cargo space though, shall we? With the 2nd and 3rd rows folded down, the Atlas has 96.8 cubic feet of cargo space. What exactly does 96.8 feet of cargo space look like? We needed a new sofa for the formal living room and 96.8 feet of cargo space WILL successfully move a 6 foot sofa and allow the rear door to close completely. I was stunned. I seriously felt like I could do anything in this vehicle.

VW Atlas Cargo storage

Going Big and Going Home : Inside

You guys probably want to see where that sofa went once we got it home right? I can’t wait to give you the full tour!

The entry way and staircase to the second floor bedrooms: Right as you enter our home your can either go upstairs, turn left into the formal living room or go straight to the formal dining. Upstairs there are the kids bedrooms, 2 guest rooms, the study/library, and an open living area where we watch movies. We’re not really big TV watchers so having one television centrally located upstairs works well for our family.

New House Staircase second floor

The Formal Living room : This house has THREE Living areas! At first it seemed like overkill but I am really loving it. I cant wait to have people over and the formal living will be perfect for holiday pictures and entertaining.

New House Formal Living room empty

Remember that sofa we packed in the VW Atlas? here it is all set up in the formal living room. We’ll be getting a new rug but keeping Doug. She’ll probably be in that same position when you come to visit.

New House Formal Living room

The Kitchen: This kitchen is awesome. Granite counters, plenty of cabinets for storage, great bright backsplash and stainless appliances.

New House Kitchen

Second living room: This living room is more casual and we spend almost every evening in this room. We have a smaller dinette set up on one side near the kitchen and a small apartment sized sofa/sectional near the fireplace. It’s perfect for the kids to hang out pre/post dinnertime and if they have guests over ( since we don’t allow mixed company upstairs without an adult. Sorry, but we are totally those parents.)

New House Second Living room

Master Bedroom: Ahhhhh, THIS is one of my favorite rooms in the house and the next few photos will show you why. I have always wanted a bedroom I loved and  this one is pretty fabulous. Guysssss, I HAVE A FIREPLACE IN MY BEDROOM!! And a jetted tub for two! AND wait there’s more….DOUBLE VANITY!! Our last house was a mid-century build but the master had not yet been updated. One vanity nearly wrecked us getting ready in the morning. It was like dorm life all over again. No longer! You get a sink and you get a sink….

New House Master Bedroom

Jetted tub for two…c’mon. It’s perfect, right?

New House Master Bath

His and hers sinks. Also the height difference was like it was built for us.

New House Master Bathroom double sinks

There is a lot more I want to show you so maybe I’ll do a facebook live once more of the boxes are unpacked and we’ve decorated. I’m just so in love with this place it was made for our family during this season. Here is a quick peek at the upstairs: A guest room and library. Randall is in love with the study/library. He’s talked about having that in our house for-ever and now that he’s talking about possibly working on his doctorate, I’m glad we have the space for him to do that.

New House Guest room

New House Library

We’ve live in a lot of houses/apartments together in the sixteen years we’ve been together. The truth is the building or location is never what makes a “home”. It’s the people. It’s the way you feel when you are there. The warmth, the love, and the memories that are made.  I hope we get to make a lot of wonderful memories here. Maybe you’ll even get to come and visit sometime. We’d love to have you.

Volkswagen Passat 2016 : The Dad Review

The first question that many folks are asking about regarding VW, is emissions and what’s the deal? We will let them talk about that topic and fix whatever needs to be done to get the TDIs off the loading docks. For this review, we are focused on the gasoline model, specifically the 2016 Volkswagen Passat. OK that’s covered, I feel better now. 

Upon arriving in Vermont at Top Notch Resort I was greeted with some amazing smiling faces and VW logos galore. They know how to treat a guy, and I would recommend Top Notch if you are vacationing in Vermont any time soon. The town was like out of a movie… Picture the great small town in BeetleJuice. Minus a crazy Michael Keeton in the outfit that would be revived by Robin Thick and a melancholy Wynona Ryder.

vermontrobin thicke Beetlejuice

Now that you are properly in the mental frame of mind let’s get into the joy that is driving the New Passat.  For starters the new 2016 has a great new high end exterior trim, that gives it a bit of attitude from the get go.

Volkswagen Passat 2016

passat 2016

The redesigned standard front and rear include slimmer energy-efficient LED headlights and taillights for the first time on a VW sedan for brings this car more class than its prior 2015 counterpart. Fully chromed four-bar grille, new clean lined domed hood, plus newly standard chrome window surrounding and trim, new bumper and trunk lid. Basically all body panels with the exception of doors and roof have been redesigned.

2015-2016 vw passat

The redesigned interior has some additional features not found on the 2015 like an updated instrument panel and a center stack that gives a more premium feel.

interior vw passat 2016

front USB port standard and additional ports in the higher end models, and Standard MIB II infotainment integration, plug and play with your already attached digital appendage whether it’s an IPhone Android or other supported device with available VW Car-Net®APP-Connect Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™ and MirrorLink®, yet another feature that isn’t expected in its more standard featured competitors.
As a 6’1” 220ish I can say that the back seat had ample room and gave up nothing for comfort, I would have been more than happy to road trip back there and nap while someone else drove.

vw passat rear interior view 2016

The new driver assistance systems are standard features on select trim levels. And as a dad that helps with the shopping I loved the available Easy Open hands-free trunk, plus keyless entry with push button start, one less thing to have to fumble with.

While it didn’t’ rain today, I really wanted to play with the automatic rain-sensing wipers and ask my wife I’m always up for setting the mood the 2016 Passat has ambient front lighting, a Fender® Premium Audio System and Vienna leather seating surfaces, that’s right dads, this car gets the groove going. (start that Pitbull Pandora playlist now…. Or whatever playlist you like)

audio vw passat 2016

While the 2016 Passat isn’t the lowest cost vehicle in its class it is one of the better equipped vehicles and has great ratings, which make up the difference. It is by far not the most expensive either, staying remarkably close to its 2015 price point.
Pricing starts at $22,440, with new features representing a $1,315 value compared to the 2015 Passat 1.8T S
Considering it includes standard of every 2016 Passat Volkswagen’s Automatic Post-Collision Breaking System its now one of the safest cars. Available Driver Assistance features include: Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC); Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist); Blind Spot Monitor; Active Blind Spot Monitor; Rear Traffic Alert with braking; Lane Departure Warning (Lane Assist) with active steering; front and rear Park Distance Control (Park Pilot); and Parking Steering Assistant (Park Assist)

The get up and go on the new Passat is great, as well as the handling, which we put into good use in the winding hills. I really enjoyed driving it and it was no surprise that VW delivered as usual.
Bottom Line:
• Striking new front and rear design
• New interior with updated instrument panel and center stack for a more premium feel
• Standard MIB II infotainment system includes USB connectivity
• Available VW Car-Net® App-Connect offers compatible smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™ and MirrorLink®
• Energy-efficient LED headlights available for the first time on a VW sedan
• New driver assistance systems are standard features on select trim levels
• First-ever R-Line® trim on Passat offers sportier styling
• Pricing starts at $22,440 for the 1.8T S model with automatic transmission
• Two engine options at launch: 1.8 TSI® gasoline and powerful VR6®
• Revised trim lineup provides enhanced value throughout the Passat range
• Built in America, at the world’s only LEED Platinum-certified manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

vw passat grid info 2016