Thursday, September 3, 2015

Locked Out

I stopped exercising around the time of our move and then procrastinated resuming because it was so. dang. hot. most of July and August. It's still hot, but as the sun rises later the mornings stay cooler longer so a couple weeks ago I started getting out of the house again with my baby toddler in the stroller to walk/jog around the neighborhood, local parks, or the Poudre River Trail (local butchered French pronunciation: "POO-der" River). I've already noticed an encouraging difference in my stamina and strength.

Yesterday I got ready as usual, strapped the kid in her stroller, and took off for a round of the neighborhood.  I didn't take snacks or water or sunscreen or a hat for the kid (I use a blanket to block the sun when I'm lazy) because we needed to return soon to head to a play group at a park. It would just be a quick jaunt.

Our neighborhood is next to cornfields and there's a nice wide, paved path along the border between the homes and open space lined with bushes and trees and other vegetation. It's a very pretty route and hardly anyone else uses it so we aren't ever interrupted by bikers or other pedestrians.

We traversed the length of the path and returned home. I opened the compartment on the tray to pull out my keys to get back inside the house to open the garage. No keys. NO KEYS? I am usually paranoid about leaving my keys and triple check they are in the stroller before locking up the house but somehow grabbing the keys completely slipped my mind that morning.

We've talked about giving spare keys to a local relative and placing a hide-a-key somewhere outside but of course hadn't executed these plans yet. I texted my husband to please come home at lunchtime to let us in then prepared to hang out on the porch or lawn till then.

Thankfully, I recently made friends with a family down the street that go to our church. I texted her my predicament to let her know we'd miss play group. She turned around and came back to rescue us. She had an extra car seat, grabbed sunscreen and some water bottles for us, and we piled into her little Mitsubishi with her daughters and headed to the park to pass the time till we could get back in the house.

It was much nicer to pass the time with friends and eating their snacks than sitting like a lame duck at home for three hours. That afternoon I wasted no time strategically planting a spare key for future episodes of Mom-Brain, but I am so grateful to have new friends nearby willing to help us out in a pinch if I ever end up in a similar situation again.

Baby Girl enjoying her current favorite pastime 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Now that we're settled into the house, I have time to discover and appreciate benefits of the move that extend beyond the house itself.

I lived and/or worked in the Denver metro area for five years. I could get around pretty well. I knew which route to take depending on the time of day. I never tried to do errands before 10 AM or after 3 PM because traffic would make the trip twice as long.

After moving I kept up the same pattern of thinking, then one day I was on the other side of our new town and it was getting late in the afternoon. When I realized it was nearly 4:30 PM I internally groaned and resigned myself. But then as I climbed into the car I thought to check traffic on my phone first to see the damage. Green everywhere. I was shocked. Then I felt dumb. Duh! I'm not in Denver anymore! As I started driving there were more vehicles on the road than earlier, but I wasn't actually delayed by the heavier volume.

When I brought up this experience to relatives who live nearby they chuckled. They clarified they call it "rush minute" around here instead of rush hour. Traffic gets slow for about 15 minutes at 5PM then clears right up. I feel like my days are suddenly wide open and full of new possibilities now that I can go anywhere at anytime!

Though I was used to it while I lived there, I do not miss the crowds of the big city.  In addition to traffic not existing around here, I've yet to have to wait for a checker at the grocery store no matter when we go, even on evenings and weekends. Costco feels relatively abandoned. We found a parking space right in front at the farmers market. I love it!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Pros and Cons of Homeownership

We'll start with cons, because there aren't many.

  • We had to buy a new fridge. That wasn't the bummer. The bummer is after it was installed, it did not get cold. Thursday after we moved was the earliest a technician could come look at it. Turns out it had no frion. Whoever let a fridge be sold without frion is a nincompoop. The good news is we have a loaner fridge while we wait for the new fridge to come (it has to be special ordered). While we waited for servicing we scraped by with a mini-fridge so it's nice to have a full size and be able to buy some fresh food again.
Um... yeah. That's it for cons. (Yes, other things may go wrong later, home ownership, blah blah blah. Don't rain on my home honeymoon.)

PROS! In no particular order:
  • Attached Garage! My car is a dark blue so in the summer it reaches about 1000 degrees sitting in the sun. I love parking in a garage again! Also, I don't have to carry in/out EVERYTHING at the same time up/down 4 flights of stairs while carrying a toddler.  Shuttling stuff to/from the garage is now a delight.
  • Baby has her own room! As a result, she is sleeping much better and we can spend our evenings after her bedtime in the living room, our bedroom, or both! I always heard a move can disrupt sleep for kids for a while. I'm so grateful that we've had the opposite experience. She goes down for bed an naps without a fuss and one nap a day lasts one hour. ONE HOUR. Guys! Look, I'm blogging again!
  • Flowers! Our yard has beautiful and simple landscaping. All the plants are still relatively young, but I have roses and lilies that started blooming the week we moved and they are gorgeous!
  • Linoleum! Namely, in the entry and dining area. It's not as ritzy as tile or wood, but it ain't beige carpet and that's what matters. 
  • Shed! We have a cute, sturdy shed only a couple years old. Perfect place to keep the recreational equipment we've been keeping in our living room/cars for years.
  • Kitchen Island! When we were house shopping, one of my requirements was at least one span of unadulterated counter space. I was so tired of rolling out dough and running into a wall. Now I have at least 30 square feet of unbounded counter top.
  • Raised garden beds! Never though I'd be excited about that. I'm not much of a gardener, but I spent all morning pulling weeds from the flower beds and didn't hate life so that bodes well for the vegetable garden.
  • Private laundry room! Past are the days of paying per load. Our situation at the apartment wasn't terrible; there was a laundry room on each floor of the building and I could do multiple loads at a time. But since I had to pay the same amount per load I always waited till I had a full load before washing anything. Now I have options galore! 
  • Basement! We have a full unfinished basement. Finally space for food storage, camping equipment, and other random stuff that doesn't belong in our living space.
  • Linen closet! I don't have to store all the extra sheets and towels in my closet, under the bed, or on the bathroom floor.
  • No wall sharing! Every so often we catch ourselves thinking something that is no longer necessary. "Is the music too loud? Will somebody hate us for hammering/vacuuming to early/late?" Then we remember we are the sole occupants of our building and shake our heads, feel a little silly, and smile.
  • Amazing shower head! We bought this for ourselves as a housewarming gift. It has like 10 different spray settings and an articulating arm so we can raise the head high enough that my husband can shower standing up straight. He's very tall, so this is very exciting.
That's all for now. There are definitely others, but baby girl is laughing in the next room which means her nap is over, which means blogging is over. 

Welcome home!

We are officially moved in! Moving day was a little stressful. I mean more stressful than it we anticipated it would be. As I'm married to Mr. Prepared, he lined up a crew of people to help load the truck weeks in advance. Then suddenly the night before/day of we learned only 2 guys could actually help after all. After some desperate calls to anyone we could think of, a couple of angels showed up and everything was loaded without working anyone to death. All the friends who committed to help me clean showed up so that was wonderful.  We definitely left the place cleaner than we found it.

At the other end, the truck was unloaded in a mere 30 minutes by 4 guys because apparently unloading goods and carrying them 20 feet is a little easier than transporting them from the 5th floor across the building, down an elevator, and across a parking lot into the truck.

I'm sure this was easiest move of our married lives, going from a small apartment to a house, so I'm fully appreciating that. I hope we don't have to move again for a long time.

Now comes the part that for some people is fun but for me is very stressful.: decorating. I'm a bit of an overthinker so facing a house full of decisions about colors, wall hangings, window treatments, bedding, pillows, etc. is overwhelming especially when I don't have a clear idea of what I like and what fits our style. It took me a year to finally decide which pictures to hang in the apartment, and where, and how, and then actually hang them.

The awesome thing about decorating though is we can do whatever we want! Paint! Hang! Nails everywhere! #nodeposit. Yay for home ownership!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

BIG NEWS! No, I'm not pregnant.

I'm taking advantage of a rare moment to blog. The miniature human that lives with me freaks out when I sit down at the computer and insists on sitting in my lap for the duration of my computer task which makes typing very difficult.

Why don't you blog while she naps? you ask. Because she still takes 30-freaking-minute naps. (Please, no advice. Trust me, I've tried it.) I use that precious time to shower alone, exercise, eat food I don't want to share, fold laundry, or just do nothing because caring for a child means you are hyper vigilant pretty much every waking moment so the best thing ever is just to lie down and do nothing or something else just as mindless like play a dumb app or peruse Facebook.  Blogging takes mind work, so it does not get priority.

Why don't you blog after she goes to bed? Because my husband goes to work before I wake up and comes home 12 hours later so the only time we get to hang out is between baby's bedtime and our bedtime so anytime we get to spend together is precious, non-blogging time.

But tonight I actually have some time all to myself because baby's down for the night and my husband is sick in bed so I have some rare me-time wherein I'm limited to 1. computer stuff or 2. listening to music or a book with headphones because baby's sleeping in the living room and husband is in the bedroom. I can't turn on any lights unless I go in the bathroom or closet, neither of which is particularly cozy. Oh the joys of a one bedroom apartment... the joys of which are soon to end!


I've mentioned before that once in a while I have these moments where I feel like a real adult. Getting approved for a loan and being told to start shopping for a house was one of those moments. Buying major appliances this week was another.

At the end of winter my husband ended up getting hired on as a regular employee after all at the place he'd been temping so that was an awesome blessing. He loves his job and has been working long days as he finds his groove with his team. The 60 mile commute? Not so awesome. Since our lease is up this summer we weighed our housing options going forward and moving closer to work and maybe buying a house seemed like the way to go. Turns out we had great credit and someone willing to loan us a crap load of money to buy some real estate so we proceeded full steam ahead!

After weeks of house hunting and four offers, we finally had an offer accepted. Though it was frustrating to deal with such a competitive market (houses we liked were getting a dozen offers and selling for $10-$25K OVER list price) we are so blessed with the house we ended up snagging. It's a convenient to work for my husband, it's relatively new so nothing is falling apart and the inspection went well, the sellers don't have terrible taste so we don't need to re-carpet or paint to make the place livable, it's in a nice neighborhood, we have some family nearby, and it has a yard and shed and beautiful landscaping that is pretty but not too fussy (because I'm a lazy gardener. Remember basil #1?), and a full unfinished basement so if we end up staying there forever, we have plenty of space to spread out a family. Bonus: we'll close in a comfortable amount of time to get pre-move-in-details accomplished before we move for keeps and before we have to be out of the apartment.

For privacy reasons, I'm purposefully not providing pictures or specifics about where it's at or what it looks like, but if you're dying to know shoot me a message and if you aren't a creeper I don't know I'll send you details.

It's really nice to know that though we're moving to a new town, we aren't moving so far that things will be completely unfamiliar. We'll still be in Colorado and close enough to Denver to come into "The City" for special things. I'm glad we don't have to relocate to a whole new state for a whole new job that we may or may not love.

We're at this awkward phase now where it's still too early to start packing but I feel like I should be productive doing something to make the move easier, so I made a head start on deep cleaning the apartment. Our shower tile never looked so good.

Yay for happy changes! We'll miss Denver (mostly the food... ok we'll miss the friends too. and the parks) but we are soooo ready to have a house, and soon enough it'll feel like home.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Birthday Trifecta

It's that time again wherein we celebrated our existence.  I had a great birthday because it was the first birthday my husband didn't have to work through the evening. He has always worked nights since we've been together and always had to work on my birthday. Now that he has a day job I made our evening birthday celebration mandatory for all family members. We ate steak and it was delicious.

The Birthday Girl

Next up, Baby Girl had her first birthday! We celebrated by visiting puppies. She loves puppies. We celebrated more later in the week when we met up with her dad in Chicago. He won a trip to a convention through a class his last semester so we met him in Chicago at the end of the convention to have a family trip.

Last of all it was this guy's birthday. Last year was so great he probably thought it couldn't get better, but it did. I'm good like that. Besides, how could getting a robot ball NOT make the greatest birthday a boy could want?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Hey there

I've been rereading last year's blog posts to remind myself what I've talked about. Lots of baby stuff. Understandable. I was on a steep learning curve, and it's a job that doesn't allow for many other concurrent occupations or interests.

Speaking of concurrent occupations, who has two thumbs and no longer is a regularly scheduled employee? This girl! I thought I might need to work a bit longer, but everything worked out to leave after the new year. I will provide support to the office on occasion but I'm confident things are under control without me.

As expected, my husband graduated from his university in December in what has to be the longest but most efficient ceremony I've ever been to. He's working as a month to month contract employee but looking for a full time position somewhere else since this company can't bring him on full time. No, he doesn't have any solid prospects yet, and no we aren't confining searches to a particular geographical location. He won a design competition in one of his final classes and as part of his prize the client is taking him to Chicago in March for an international product show. That will be an excellent networking opportunity for him.

The child we made is taking tentative steps already. She's still a crawler but will be walking in no time. She's so dang light she has no bulk to carry around. She's almost 10 months old and wearing size 3 MO pants today. She has 3 teeth with more coming. It's making her life miserable this week on top of having a cold, but I don't mind because she's the only thing I have to worry about and I've been getting great sleep. Starting on New Year's Day she miraculously began to sleep through the night for the first time ever. It's amazing how quality of life and emotional endurance improve after a night of uninterrupted slumber! I feel like I can take on anything right now.

I work with the young women at church now. Our congregation is so small that we combine with the young women who share our church building and there are still only a handful of girls. It's been fun getting to know them and interesting experiencing the program as a leader instead of a participant.

That brings you up to speed on our current status. This is going to be a year of big changes for us. Already it's different with me no longer working and my husband no longer in school. It's exciting and a little scary to know other things are going to happen, but have no idea what form they will take or when. Maybe we'll stay here in Colorado or maybe we'll end up on the other side of the world! Ready or not, life as I know it is changing again.

Stay tuned.
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