Wednesday, June 25, 2008

My Last Wednesday

It's my last Wednesday in this apartment. Hooray and boo hoo at the same time. Still no house to live in - still no daycare - still no packed boxes. What is wrong with this picture? It's weird to think about being away from DH and the girls evenings in a row. I wonder what kind of aftermath I'll return to each Friday.

But I am caught up on freelance and consulting work - and laundry. It's tough to pack up when more than half of the family will be staying here. Grant doesn't have much to pack - all of his clothes are already in containers/drawers. As for me and my skinny clothes - I still haven't found all of them after hours of searching. I guess this means I'll have a somewhat limited wardrobe for the next month or so. Hopefully not any longer than that. Maybe I'll have to do some shopping during my weeknights in the new town.

I'll be back home each weekend to help DH and the girls prepare for their week ahead and to get packed up, too. Why don't we ever wait to move until winter, when we're sick of being at the lake?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Guess how many boxes I've packed?

Not a single one. Honest. It's so unlike me. I'm still trying to wrap up my freelance work, and not having daycare for 6 business days has thrown me off. Lucky for me, the girls go to Grandma Becky's tomorrow for the rest of the week.

Add to that that house hunting from afar is awful. We spent yet another weekend scouting neighborhoods - we've had to get two oil changes in less than four weeks. We did end up putting in two offers yesterday, so hopefully one of them takes. In such a depressed market, it takes forever to weed through all the garbage out there. There have been a few gems, but they're very few and far between. You truly never know until you walk in the door. And most prices are similar, regardless of how much gutting would need to be done. Gah!

The one that put me over the edge yesterday was a beautiful 2-year-old rambler. Lovely landscaping. Friendly neighborhood. Classy stonework around the whole thing. Picket fence. Good windows. And then we walked inside. We could have filled buckets of mold for hours. Seriously, it was around every window and door and along the baseboard of every outside wall. And that was on the main level. The basement was apparently a lot worse - I took DH's word. I'd seen enough and wanted to get my precious lungs out of there before I breathed in any more. Unreal. Of course, DH is curious beyond belief - he's convinced it was a shoddy construction issue. So he wants to figure it out and I just want to forget that whole experience. He keeps bringing it up - different theories about how so much mold could accumulate so quickly. And I keep getting the willies.

Oh well. We did put in offers on two non-molded homes, so something's bound to happen. We're all healthy and doing fine except for the stress of how last minute it's all becoming. Grant has become quite a talker and a squealer - and a giggler. The girls are singing and conversing more than ever. They ran through sprinklers at the lake this past weekend with my folks. And DH and I still haven't killed each other after all this time in the car. He's a pretty good driver and I think I'm a pretty good navigator, so we team up well. And we don't get sick of rhyming back and forth, so that's a plus.

That's all that's new. Still no place to call home. Still haven't begun looking for daycare. Still haven't found my summer-colored suits. And still haven't found my good dress pants. Oh boy.

P.S. While I was spellchecking at the end of writing this post, I heard a lot of commotion from the girls' bedroom. I went in to find Breanna in Lilli's crib with her. It looked like a WWF ring in there. Only with giggles instead of boos. My suspicions of crib climbing are now confirmed. Look out.

Friday, June 13, 2008

I often wonder

I often wonder how things received their names. Who decided to call a box a box? Or cheese cheese? Some are obvious- orange. (Aah, but then who decided to name the color? Or did the fruit have its name first?) I could go on for hours. But I won't until we get into the car for another road trip to go house hunting tonight.

The girls make me wonder more than ever. They have a Daddy Bunny. Not sure why it's named that, but it very clearly is. They have lots of different bunnies in different sizes, colors and textures. And the Daddy Bunny looks just like another one we have, only Daddy Bunny has aqua overalls and the unnamed one has lavender overalls. They kiss Daddy Bunny and then hold it up for others to kiss. The unnamed one just sits on the shelf, always ignored.

The twins also are very hung up on socks and shoes. Especially now that sandal season is here. If they see someone without socks, they immediately notice and ask, "Gee gee gock?" (Where's your sock?) They'll ask at least a dozen times - until someone tells them that that person isn't wearing socks. Same goes for shoes, except you can understand "shoes."

Someday when I have time (insert uproarious laughter here), I'm going to take Latin classes so I can learn more about root words. But until then, I'll just have to ponder. And drive DH crazy with my car conversation topics.

Happy weekend! Enjoy the sunshine if you get a glimpse of any!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


It seems like the more you don't or can't have of something, the more you crave it. That's always the case when I reach the bottom of a can of black olives. Or when the alarm clock goes off.

Today, I crave the free time to bake. Something almondy with some cherry or chocolate. But, alas, instead I must be strict with my freetime. I'll have to settle for a Bliss dark chocolate square with my coffee. I brewed a half pot of decaf this morning instead of my usual single cup. It's just that kind of day.

Master Grant is recovering from the longest-lasting cold of all time (at least it seems so). He also is recovering from an ear infection. And yet, he's still the smileyest baby I've ever known. The girls are recovering from a long weekend and what appears to be an out-of-routine sleep schedule.

And I'm still just trying to find a place to live come just a few short weeks from now.
Now back to the grind I go. Happy bake day!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Why I Like Central MN

As we drove all over all day long Saturday and Sunday, seriously only stopping to get out and examine a few properties and take a few potty breaks, we saw lots of beautiful things. Besides the trees, lakes, deer, birds, cocks, bald eagles, etc., we also were welcomed by some of the friendliest people around. Even at the restaurant where we stopped after all our searching was done for the day, the boy behind the counter asked us all kinds of friendly small talk questions.

We laughed yesterday as we admired all the "unique" things there. I hadn't realized what a chained society we've become. It was like driving around a pretty version of Fargo's 13th Avenue. Same restaurants. Same carpet stores. Same auto body shops. Same mall stores. Same realty companies. Same lots of stuff.

The housing market is in quite a different state, though. We were shocked at how unkept many of the homes were. Not only were many folks living like pigs, but they didn't even bother to remotely tidy up the places. And a lot of homes were already empty. Yikes. The ones who did clean (and even stage) their homes really stood out. And it's not like we were looking at poverty-level homes.

We did find some wonderful neighborhoods and several homes on our short list. The one we'd planned to make an offer on today accepted a purchase agreement first thing this morning, before we even had time to check out the place at the courthouse. Now on to Plan B.

The more we got to know the area, the more our list of must-haves has changed. We no longer need a huge yard/acreage. The lots are plenty big in pretty much every neighborhood. We no longer need a rambler. They are super hard to find, and the ones we found that were below our budget were way below the budget and disgusting. But now we do need a 3-stall garage or an option to build an additional garage. And we do need a 4th bedroom for office space. Three just won't cut it. Our poor realtor. He's really earning this commission. But what a cheerful fella! Thank goodness!

I've found a few more places to check online today, so we'll see what we can set up for this weekend. I'm ready to get the show on the road - and get everything taken care of before I need to look for couches to crash on come July 1.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Before I forget

Finally, I'm taking a breather to post a few pictures and sip a coffee - it's even still hot! Grant is as adorable as ever - the smiliest baby I've ever known.

And then here is DH's dad with the twins. He bailed me out this week after I'd arrived at daycare Wednesday morning to find the lights off and the doors locked. Grandma Becky had the throw-ups, as she called it. After we got all loaded back up into the van, I called DH, frantic because I knew I had work to catch up on still after being on the road all day Monday. Before I even pulled into the garage, my father-in-law called to say he'd like to pick up the girls and take them to their house for a long weekend. Thank the Lord!

GB also let us know that she's taking a Monday - Monday vacation starting June 16. Less than 2 weeks notice in the middle of a move. Oh boy.

So, with the girls at the in-laws, DH, Grant and I are heading down to our new community to shop for a house. The market down there is in really bad shape compared to up here. I heard about one home that was appraised at $179,000, sat on the market for 7 months, and ended up selling for $119,000. I'm so thankful to be on the buying end and not the selling end right now.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

For the Love of Organic

Before we learned we'd be moving, we purchased a 1/4 share of a CSA. In case you're unfamiliar, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. It's a farm that people buy shares of, and then the farmers grow organic produce and deliver a box or more of fresh food each week to you - whatever is prime for picking that week.

There are drop-off sites in different cities, including Fargo. Each Thursday afternoon from mid-June to mid-October or so, one of the farmers delivers the boxes to a drop-off site (a home with a porch in North Fargo).

I've bought this before and found that a half share was too much veggie for just DH and me because we're on the go so much. So I went in on a half share with my chiropractor this season, each of us getting a quarter share. When I did the math my first year of share ownership, the cost for CSA veggies was slightly less than grocery store rates for standard (non-organic) veggies. Grocery store veggies are up quite a bit since then, but the CSA rate is the same.

The variety of what you get is fantastic! And if something grows in abundance, you automatically get more of it. (I love picking up my box to find a plastic grocery sack filled with fresh basil on top!)

The farmer's wife sends out a weekly email with an explanation of what's in that week's box, along with storage and preparation tips, and even some recipes. It's an awesome resource, which is why I continue to buy shares. Unfortunately, because of the move, I won't be around to pick up or enjoy the produce.

I already paid my $200 for the share. Are any readers willing to buy my share? Please let me know - either through a comment, email, or phone call. The first shipment has not yet arrived.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Storm Before the Calm

It's official. I'm a glutton. But a glutton with a plan.

I met with Bishop Kinney of the Saint Cloud Diocese and accepted his job offer to be the Director of Communications for the Diocese. I plan to start on July 1. I am very excited about this for many reasons (including a steady salary, a tree-ful locale, a nice benefits package, and a quick jaunt to see my pals in the Twin Cities or my folks, among many other perks), but I'm also a little sad.

I'll be leaving behind my only sister, who is expecting her first baby in July. And though I'll still be just a few hours drive away, it won't be nearly so convenient to lunch together on her days off or to visit on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I'm committed to making sure she doesn't feel like we've left her, and I'm committed to making sure I don't cry every time I see her during this last month of living nearby. (She's one of the most beautiful pregnant women I've ever seen, by the way.)

I'll also be leaving behind some very dear friends. Although I don't see a lot of them in great big doses, I choose quality over quantity any day. Friends from church, my mothers of multiples family, the ad agencies I've worked with, the gals from Microsoft, the folks from Bank of the West, and friends from long ago - I value them all.

Thanks, folks, for the memories. And thanks for your love and support, especially with all the craziness that knowing me sometimes entails. If I have anything of yours that you've graciously lent me, please remind me so that I am sure to get it back to you before we move. (e.g. Shyla - thanks for the cute boy clothes - I must return them to you.) (Or if you have stuff to return to me, please let me know before moving day so we can plan appropriately for space.)

We have a lot to do in the coming weeks - a lot - including finding a new house, a new daycare, a new church, and new work for my DH in our new region. (He's so on the ball. I called him with my good news at 3 this afternoon and he already has a month worth of contracting work lined up down there. Wow!) And then we have to physically move. Oy.

I'd like to have a TTFN social (ta ta for now - for those who aren't big Pooh readers) some evening before we leave. Maybe we'll grill dogs at a park or something simple. I'll let you know once we've set a date.

Please join me in a little happy dance as we enter another chaotic month, but one with some sanity (true sanity) to follow in the not-so distant future. Hooray for me leaving self employment - finally! And hooray for the promise of 40-hour work weeks and paid vacations! BIG yay!