Monday, February 28, 2011

A Work in Progress

Once again my blog has been pushed aside for more important things.  It has been well over a month since my last post and it doesn’t seem like life is getting any less crazy.  Since my last post we have moved into our new home and celebrated 2 birthdays.  We have spent even more time with family and friends and I have put several coats of paint on the walls of my house.  I have packed and unpacked boxes and I have organized rooms, dressers, cabinets and so much more!  I have cooked meals for friends, gone out on dates, eaten out with family, and have plans of so much more.  Morgan has started her new school and Ava her new daycare.  They both love their new settings and are adjusting well.  The weather has had its ups and downs, but Spring is just around the corner, the sun is shining and all is good!  I have so much to do in my house, but I am in no hurry to finish.  I have forever to do what I need to do and am hoping to hit up some great flea markets and antique shows this summer to help me decorate!  It is a work in progress and I am ok with that because it is mine!  We LOVE living in small town Iowa and can’t wait for warm weather so we can play at the park and meet more friends.  Our neighborhood is full of kids and I am excited for my girls to be able to play outside safely, in a small town, with a neighborhood full of the screams and giggles of kids enjoying summer! 

I have to say that I have been horrible at taking pictures since we have moved.  I have friends asking me to post pictures of my new house and I promise that I will.  I hope that once it warms up a bit we can get outside and take more photos!  Now that I have a huge basement maybe I will even have space for a few backdrops.  Since I hate to post without photos I will share a couple birthday pictures.  They are not the best, but still memories of the whirlwind we have been through over the past couple months.  I feel a little bad that the girls got kind of cheated out of their birthday this year.  Ava’s was celebrated on the floor of our new house before we even moved furniture in and Morgan’s was celebrated with one set of grandparents coming to visit.  Otherwise we have had various meals out with grandparents, cards in the mail, etc. but no real party for either of them.  We have promised a trip to the Mall of America for their birthday so look for pictures in the next couple months for that trip! 

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Overall, this move has been the best one so far and will be the last for a very very very long time!  We did have to get rid of Butterfinger the cat though.  Morgan was pretty sad about it, but she went to a very good home and is just as spoiled with her new family.  I have promised the girls a puppy someday so we will see…….. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

On the Move!

This week we will make our final journey to our “forever home”.  Of course we have to pick one of the coldest weeks of the year to move, but I keep telling myself it will be worth it!  When we moved to Austin this summer we had no intentions of moving again so soon, but Dana took a job45 miles away which made us decide to move sooner.  And…to be quite honest, the house we are in right now kind of sucks!  I hate renting to begin with.  I hate throwing my money away.  I hate it even more when you think you are getting into something decent based on what the owner tells you and then it turns out he was wrong or misleading.  UGH!  But enough about that!  I am moving! 

We chose a small little town not far from where I grew up.  It is only about a 15 minute drive to Dana’s job and about 25 minutes to my job.  Ava goes to a family daycare and Morgan will have 35 kids in her entire grade.  She starts school on January 31.  We have visited the school, the superintendent’s office and Dana made a trip to the Post Office and City Hall today.  It seems as if everyone knows us already and knew that a new family with children was moving to town!  Everyone has been very kind and welcoming, just as I remember growing up in a small town.  I know there are opportunities that larger towns have to offer, but nothing compares to being known personally by every person you encounter during the day.  You become a person, not just a number.  This is what I want for my girls. 

The process it took to get to our new home was a little stressful, but it’s almost over.  Yes, I said “almost over”.  You see, we were scheduled to close on the house today, which was first delayed from 10 am to 2pm and then cancelled at 4:30 (after we had been sitting and waiting for 2 1/2 hours).  But, because of a HUGE issue with our lender, they made arrangements for us to move into the house this weekend with papers to be signed on Monday.  It’s a long story, but it has all worked out and we get to move!  No more drafty windows, no more unplowed gravel roads or county highways, no more way too high electric bills, no more LP tank, and no more chickens!!  (Yeah, they were cute for the first month or so!)  I am so not a farm girl!  Glad we discovered that through renting and not buying! 

My new house is a new construction.  Never been lived in.  Blank canvas.  White walls.  It will need lots of paint!  It will be a work in progress for the rest of my life and I will love it!  It will probably have white walls for awhile until I can decide what to do with each room.  The first to get painted is the kitchen.  The appliances arrive on Wednesday so the walls will be painted this weekend.  The kitchen will be red.  The next rooms to be painted are Ava and Morgan’s rooms.   Morgan wants turquoise and Ava wants hot pink.  They will each have a chalkboard wall in their room!  Can’t wait!  And in a couple weeks I will host our first party in our new house.  Ava turns 4 tomorrow and Morgan turns 9 on February 16. 

This is a picture of my house off the realtor’s web-site.  I will post more as we get settled.  It has 4 bedrooms and 2 baths.  I’m sure it’s still not big enough for all our junk, but I am great at organizing and using all the available space I can find!  Besides all the stuff that’s in my house now use to fit in a 2 bedroom 1 bathroom house! 

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Now let’s hope for a quiet weather week, no snow and warmer temps would be great!  Wish us luck!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays!

I love this time of year!  I love it even more now that we live closer to family and friends!  I have seen my mom, dad, brother and in-laws more in the last 6 months than I did in the 11 years we lived in Kansas.  It is so nice being able to drive a couple hours, spend the day with family and drive back home and sleep in our own beds.  We don’t have to pack for a week and jump from place to place.  It’s more quality time rather than the stress of spending hours upon hours on the road and of course the time it takes to pack and unpack at each place!  My mom and Dan spent last weekend at our house for Christmas.  They even spent Saturday with the girls so Dana and I could finish our Christmas shopping.  Christmas day will be spent at my brother’s house then the day after we will head to Dana’s family Christmas. 

This Christmas Santa will be able to leave gifts at our house instead of searching for us on the many adventures we have taken over the years driving back to Iowa.  He has found us every year, but never in our own home (with the exception of the year I was pregnant with Ava and not traveling). 

For Christmas this year I want to be surrounded by my family and friends and I would really really really like a new house!  :-)  Oh, and a few dozen bottles of my new favorite wine, STELLA ROSA, discovered at a wine tasting that I went to last month with friends from work. 

Ava wants a Baby All Gone Baby Alive doll and has asked Santa for it many times.  Santa has left hints that he is pretty sure if she is a good little girl she will get what she asked for.

Morgan wants a lot of things for Christmas and changes her mind daily!  It must be those pre-teen girl hormones.  I can’t believe she is going to be 9 in less than 2 months.  Some days she acts like she is a CrAzY 13 year old!  She has also discovered texting with a friend!  UGH!  Santa thinks it could be possible she might get the camera she asked for this year, but if the attitude continues she may be getting coal!

We are not really sure what Dana wants.  He doesn’t ask for much.  Tools are always a safe bet with him, but this year I am guessing he would really like to not have to blow so much snow!  I think he also really really really wants a new house!

Here’s hoping the holidays are filled with joy and you get all that you wish for! 

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

December Snow

I told the girls that when we moved to Minnesota that we would get TONS of snow!  It figures that the year we move back we would have breaking records of snow in the month of December!  It hasn’t been too bad.  I admit that I hate the winter driving, but we have done quite well so far.  Poor Dana gets to spend a lot of time snow blowing though!  Living in the country has its drawbacks when it comes to winter weather.  It takes a lot longer to clear the driveway and even then there are no guarantees the gravel road or highway will be plowed when we leave for work (even though the landlord said they would be). 

Some of you may already know that Dana started working in Osage a couple months ago.  Because of this we have decided to move to St. Ansgar.  This will put him much closer to work and my drive will only be 10 minutes further.  We put an offer in on a house and are now just waiting through the financing process.  Not much fun in my opinion and I hate the wait!  The house is in town so hopefully this beautiful snow will be less annoying when we don’t have so much to clear when we get dumped on like we have this month!  I will share more about the house as we know more.  I hate to be too optimistic because I don’t want to get my hopes up and then be let down if it doesn’t work out. 

The girls have enjoyed the snow.  Below is a picture of them after the first snowfall.  We have at least a foot more than that on the ground now (maybe even 18 in. more)!  There are huge piles in the yard that the girls like to sled down.  They can’t wait to go sledding on a real hill, although I am a bit hesitant to take them!  I want to take them to Sunny Brae, but I remember it being really big and falling out of the sled a lot!  Not sure I’m ready for Ava to do that, but we will see!  The last time I was at Sunny Brae was when I was a kid.  Things always seemed bigger when I was little!

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Blog Neglect

Once again, time has gotten away from  me!  It has been over a month since my last blog post.  I really need to find more time for updates, but “more time” just doesn’t exist for us right now!  The only reason I am able to post today is because I am home sick.  I guess sick days do have their advantages.  November flew by for us and December is half over!  We found time in November to spend time with family for Thanksgiving and do fun things with the kids.  Morgan had her first couple swim meets which filled up a couple Saturdays.  We also started house hunting, which took up some of our time.  We are done with renting and ready to be in a home of our own again so we can finally feel settled. 

Below are pictures I took of the kids at Spring Park in the month of November.  Morgan loves going to Spring Park and looking for “seashells” in the river.  We spent some time hiking the trails, playing at the park and drinking from the spring.  It is still one of my favorite places to visit and holds memories from when I was a kid! 

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Monday, November 8, 2010

Trick-or-Treat

Halloween was so much fun this year!  It’s one of my favorite holidays and this year didn’t disappoint!  Dana’s parents spent the weekend with us, attending some of the kid friendly festivities and then watching the girls so we could enjoy some grown-up fun!  On Friday after school I took the girls to the Haunted Hotel.  They went trick-or-treating through the hotel and then got their picture taken at the end.  On Saturday we took them to the Hormel Historic Home for the Haunted Mansion tour.  While there, we got to take a short (kid friendly) haunted tour of the mansion, participate in a costume contest and dance with lots of little ghouls and goblins.  Ava had the most fun with this, dancing her little heart out!  Don’t mind the red-eye on the photo of her dancing.  I thought this was appropriate considering her costume! 

After the dance we took Grandma, Grandpa and the girls home then headed out to a Halloween party in Osage sponsored by the Hennessey’s.  It’s always nice to spend time with a bunch of grown-ups  in costume, enjoying some snacks, drinks and Rock Band!  Lucky for us the girls slept in on Sunday and Grandma and Grandpa were still here to help entertain the girls for the day!  Then of course later that night we had to go out in costume one more time for trick-or-treating.  We went to the small town of Blooming Prairie a few miles north of us and walked several blocks until our bags were about half full.  I don’t think we could have done much more than that!  I enjoyed the small town trick-or-treating much better.  There was very little traffic and the kids were so spread out that we didn’t have to worry about losing our own kids when they ran from house to house! 

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Meet Butterfinger

Farm living has been an interesting experience for us.  I wasn’t sure if I would like it, but it’s not too bad.  We will see what the future holds for us, because we hope to find a home to buy in the next 6-9 months and it may or may not be in the country.  I think for me I will know where I want to live when I walk into that perfect home that feels like the place I can live for a very long time.  Until then we will continue to enjoy living in the country and hope that no more animals adopt us.  A few weeks ago we had this pretty orange and white cat show up on our doorstep.  I felt bad for her so fed her and have been taking care of her since then.  The girls fell head over heels in love with her, play with her every day, feed and water her.  Yes, she is an outdoor cat because I am terribly allergic, but if I wasn’t I am pretty sure I would let her inside.  For a stray she is so sweet and tolerates the girls handling her very well.  Every now and then she gets mad at Ava, but I kind of understand!   As I type, Dana and the girls are in the shop building a box for her so she doesn’t get too cold this winter.  She has a little bed we bought her to go inside the box.  Over the past week or so we have had a couple other cats hanging out too.  I think they belong to the neighbor, but every now and then one of the kittens will be sleeping with Butterfinger.  We named one of the neighborhood cats Snickers to go with Butterfinger.  As much as we feel sorry for the poor stray cats, only Butterfinger will be moving with us when we find a house! 

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