Tuesday, January 31, 2012

tacos and blueberry muffins.













































The suit that caused me great pains in my butts.  But it is now shipped and on it's way to Chicago.  Go suit go! 































Pringles and Mall Madness with McKenna.  The jury is still out on this game.  I'm enough of a bad influence when it comes to shopping.  
Do we really need a game to encourage this behavior?




























5:10pm and it's still light out.  There is hope.














































A friendly bird in the grocery store.  Nope, I didn't get any wine.  :( 



























Taco's and blueberry muffins.  I don't know how the combination first began, but it's quite popular at our house.

Tonight Husband joined us for dinner via speaker phone.  It was great to hear from him and of course, listen to each of the kids talk about what they've been up to.  Even though he is gone, we still eat dinner at the table as a family and we still do dishes together afterwards.  It's my favorite time of the day.  It's a bit hectic now, to rush home on school days and get food on the table {some days I have to pick something up on the way home}, but it's worth it when we are all gathered together.  And then soon the meal is over and we are off to study or talk on the phone or play video games.  There's always something.  So, for dinner time, I am thankful.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

she said.

the drive into Spokane.  always a good sight after the drive from EWU.
























my morning snuggle bug.
























look who finally painted her toenails.  finally.
























look who changed the light bulb above the stairs.  it was tricky but I'm a ninja warrior.
























at the carwash.












































































mojo sleeping on husband's side of the bed.
























Today was about getting things checked off my to-do list.  I had an epiphany on my drive home from class yesterday.  I was starting to get a little bit mopey and whiny about how much I have to do these days.  I mean, I am literally onthegogogo from sunup to sundown.  But I didn't like my attitude.  It needed an adjustment.  So, right there in the car, I decided I was just going to go ahead and be happy.  I gave myself permission to be joyful and enjoy what I am doing.  Why can't I be busy and jubilant at the same time?  Why can't I be super grateful while I am sitting in class or doing tons of homework?  Why can't I dance in the car, while I'm driving myself and everyone to everywhere we need to go?  Why can't I laugh it off when dinner doesn't get served until 7:30pm?  Why can't I just put down my task list and watch a movie, cuddled up with my kids?  
Ya know, I don't have a good answer for any of those questions.  Because the answer is that I can do all of those things.  And since yesterday's attitude adjustment, I have been doing those things.  Today, I have so much more energy and was able to accomplish so much.  Most importantly, I was able to remain calm and sane and feel the awesomeness that comes along with accomplishing things.  Tonight the kids and I are going to make dinner and watch a movie together.  And I'm going to let myself relax and enjoy.  :)

You should too.

he said.


weekend laundry duty.
























lonely breakfast at Margie's in Rochester, NY.  highly recommend. 

























grocery stores we've never heard of.  no Albertson's, Rosaurs, or Safeway.


























license plates we never see in Spokane.

much needed spa time.

cheat day breakfast for Sunday {carb-load}.

Husband leaves snowy, windy Rochester, NY tomorrow and it's on to Chicago for a week!  What he has learned is that he packed way too much stuff.  He brought to many casual items, anticipating he would be having a social life.  First week on the job, in strange, foreign lands, not so much.  He has already bought a smaller suitcase, so I'm not sure if that means he's carrying two suitcases now or dumped the large one???  I'll have to ask him about that.  Any.way...He's looking forward to Chicago...and the fact that there is a Costco right near his hotel.  It's the small things, isn't it?  

Friday, January 27, 2012

the weekend.


I am so very much looking forward to the weekend.  I plan on tackling my cleaning, homework, organizing, and sleeping in.  I am somewhat used to Mr. Husband being away during the week, but it will be really weird having him gone for the weekend.  No football, no brewed coffee, no Sunday pastries, no newspaper scattered across the coffee table, no going out to eat justfortheheckofit.  
But I will have this beautiful bouquet of flowers to keep me company.  :)

Thank you, Sweetheart!


Thursday, January 26, 2012

the lonely coffee pot.













































Somebody is missing you, Sweetheart.  And even though I don't like the stuff, I sure do miss the smell of coffee in the morning.  It means you're home.  :)

{don't worry.  the filter has been removed, as not to collect mold while you are away}

NYC and awesome socks.






Awesome socks.  Another flight.  The Hudson.  Central Park.  LaGuardia.  NYC.

After a short stint in Connecticut, Husband is now in New York.  Rochester, to be exact.  What he has learned about the NE so far... 1) Inhabitants use the term "magical" to describe Manhattan and 2) the people are super friendly, but seem to be in a hurry.  Can we blame them?  I mean, there's just so much to do and see!








Wednesday, January 25, 2012

three hours.



























While it is 11:03pm here in Spokane, Husband is sound asleep at 2:03am in Connecticut.  I should be catching z's too, but it's hard to fall asleep when that man is gone.  Even the cat doesn't know what to do. It just sits at the front window, awaiting his return {only getting up intermittently to catbarf on the stairs or catpoop under the corner of my bed}.  Anyhoo, every once in a while, I'll look at the time and wonder what's going on on the East Coast.  And I am reminded that once American Idol really gets going, I am just a text away from finding out who gets voted off.  No, that's not cheating.  And yes, I do read the last few pages of the book before I am even close to being done.  And yes, my family gives me a hard time about it.  But does that stop me?

Good morning, Husband!  Because you'll be awake way before I will!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

24 hours.



























Dunkin' Donuts is open 24 hours, says he.  :)

the adventure begins.














































Hartford.

Husband is finally on the ground after a long day of flights and delays and delayed flights.  This morning's goodbyes were mixed.  Elyssa and Jackson were fine, but McKenna was a little emotional.  Three weeks without Dad is a little hard to take.  My stress exerted itself in the form of stomach pains.  ouch.  But by this afternoon, everyone was happy and smiling again and my own nerves had settled.  I have realized quickly just how strong this family is and how much we all rely on one another and help out.  I love these guys.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

packing for three weeks.









Husband is learning the art of living out of a suitcase.  He has done his studying on the subject of packing minimally {in other words, how to cram as much as possible into one suitcase as to last three whole weeks}.  Monday, he will be putting his research to the test, as he begins his work in the Northeast.  The children and I will be learning how to manage without him here at home, while he learns the ropes in his new position, in a strange foreign land.  

This weekend, my emotions are all over the place.  I am trying to remain calm and collected, focusing on one moment at a time, but every once in a while I freak out.  First of all, I am going to miss Husband.  This in itself is wreaking havoc on my brain.  Subconsciously, I push him away so I'll be prepared when he leaves {that's dumb}.  I really need to enjoy the time we do have together, instead of preparing for when he's away.  Second, I worry how I will be able to do it all.  You know, go to school - go to work - make dinner - monitor homework - get kids to activities - shovel snow - get groceries - keep showered - clean the house - sell the house - monitor contractors - work with realtor....eek!  See, why I try to focus on one moment at a time?  

Anyway, the worries and stresses are short-term.  Soon, the adventure will begin!  For now, it's about getting Husband off on the right foot, knowing that all will be well here at home.  I can do this.  We can do this.  I am blessed to be in this situation and I need to remember that.  :)

Any packing tips out there?  

Thursday, January 19, 2012

update from my hiding place.


The bathroom is being updated right this second!  Two guys are up there, doing who knows what... but hopefully they are refinishing the tub and painting the tile!  In the meantime, I am hiding out downstairs.  I had to turn off the heat to the house, so the guys didn't get blasted with heat in the little space.  So I am cuddled on the couch with a warm blanket, warm laptop, and a warm space heater aimed right at me.  Oh, and a warm bag of Doritos too.  While they work away upstairs, I am going to work on the humungous pile of laundry and get a whole bunch of my homework done too!  



Tuesday, January 17, 2012

the to-do list.



It's interesting what we live with and/or without in our homes.  There are minor improvements we keep telling ourselves we'll get around to, yet months {and even years} go by, and we get busy and life goes on and these jobs never get done.  And then one day, you find yourself talking to a realtor about selling your home and suddenly those things you put on the back burner now must be accomplished.  While in this buyer's market, it's true that sellers should not invest in major remodels {as they won't get much of a return on it}, houses do need to be spruced up to compete with all of the homes for sale out there.  In the recommendation of the realtors who have walked through our house, we have a short to-do list and we are to spend as little dough as possible on the improvements.  

In order to be competitive in our area, here is a look at the list:
  1. The pink tile in the bathroom has got to go.  No, we did not have that installed when we moved in.  Our bathtub needs also to be refinished.  So, we are simply having a company come in and refinish the tub to a bright, spanking white and they are also going to paint a nice white right over all of the tile in the bathroom.  I cannot wait to see that update.  
  2. The kitchen flooring needs to be replaced.  When we moved in seven years ago, we opted for the peel-and-stick linoleum tiles.  They were supposed to last forever.  But they did not.  I don't recommend them for a kitchen or bathroom, as moisture is prominent in those rooms and the tiles don't like it.  They start to curl up over time, which makes for annoyance.  I'm not sure what we will replace it with, but it won't be expensive.
  3. Say ba-bye to the dishwasher.  We had always meant to remodel the kitchen and build the dishwasher into the cabinets, but oh well.  Our dishwasher sits alone next to the window.  We use the top as a cutting board and it's work well for us, but it's an eye-sore {no offense to us}, and as soon as the house goes on the market, it's outta here.  We will place a nice shelving, cutting board type-thing in that area, move the microwave on top of that, and place a dish rack next to the sink.  The realtor will promote the idea of "going green" with no dishwasher.  Nice.
  4. The unfinished wall in the basement, hiding behind the couch {sorry, no photo}.  This is a case of us being just plain lazy.  It's actually just a small piece of sheetrock that is missing, but it has been out of sight, out of mind.  It simply means cutting a small piece of sheetrock to size, mud and tape, texture, and then paint.  No more putting that task off.  
And that's it for the big jobs.  Not too shabby. This week the bathroom is getting done and that will be checked off the list!  Don't you worry, before and after photos will be posted!!!


Sunday, January 15, 2012

resilient.


















































Husband:    I just realized, I might not be here {spokane} for my birthday.

McKenna:  That's okay because we can just mail you your presents and watch you 
                   open them on video chat.

And yet again, my children amaze me.

Friday, January 13, 2012

how do you tell your kids?





































Here I am with McKenna this morning.  As you can see, she looks like she loves me.  It doesn't appear that I've ruined her life or anything.  And I'm happy about that.  :)

Just seven days ago, Husband and I broke the news of our move to the children.  We had planned on telling them a little sooner than that, but chickened out a few times.  Timing is everything and we wanted to get it right {or as right as possible}.  We made our announcement at the dinner table, once everyone had finished eating.  I honestly don't know how I even managed to eat anything, I was so nervous.  But we did it.  We started with the good news first {new job} and then went into the tough news {super duper far away}, and the mood changed from resounding hoorays to heart clenching boohoos.  There we sat, one mean dad + one mean mom + 3 sobbing kids = agony.  We let the kids ask questions and share their thoughts.  We tried our best to put them at ease.  We gave them permission to be sad and mad and scared and feel whatever they were feeling.  We understood.

And after just a short while, the tears stopped.  There were smiles again.  The silent treatment was nixed.  When we should have been tucking the kids in for the night, we instead all piled into Mom & Dad's bed and rummaged the internet for houses in Pittsburgh.  We shared our likes and dislikes, we imagined and dreamt.  We made requests for our future home.  The kid's requests had no budget, of course.  They are smart, you know.  It's best to dish out ridiculous wants when parents feel guilty.

The kids have all had a week to absorb the news and I am so happy to report that they are strong, healthy, and ready for the adventure.  They have each shared the news with their friends and have had much support from those relationships.  They also realize that they still have plenty of time to spend doing the things they love, with the people they love.  They are happy to be finishing the school year here in Spokane.  We are thankful for a long, slow goodbye.




Tuesday, January 10, 2012

how do you share the news?

"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step."  Lao Tsu


Husband and I kept hush-hush about absolutely everything, until we knew for sure we were going to move.  The deal was signed, sealed, delivered and it still took a few days to muster up the strength to tell our children.  But we didn't start with the children.  We first told our own parents.  Well, I take that back.  Husband first told his parents.  For him it was easy.  His immediate family is represented in four different states already.  For me, I am the first one in my entire family of relatives and relatives-twice-removed and ancestors, to leave the Pacific Northwest {well, there was my aunt & uncle who moved to Texas for a year and came back}.  For me and my family, this is a MOVE, not just a move.  In fairness though, I really have already been moved away these past 7 years.  I am a 6-hour drive from my immediate family.  So, they have had some time to adjust to me being away.  Nevertheless, the phone call to announce the news was hard.  And made me want to throw up.

I mean, how do you tell someone you're moving?  It really deserves a proper announcement because it's huge news, especially when the move is taking you so far away.  But you can't go around making proper announcements.  That's silly.  So, you have to face that it's going to be awkward.  And be prepared for almost any reaction.  There is no way to say it that takes away the random surprise.  You call or talk to a friend or coworker in person and the conversation usually begins with catching up and sharing the latest news.  And then...what?  Well, you just have to say it.  "Hey guess what?  I'm moving.  Husband is kicking some serious booty at his work."  Whoa, wait, what?  I compare it to ripping off a band-aid.  You just have to rush to get it all out so they know all the details at once.  Then, after your rapid-fire overview of the promotion, the move, the where, the how far, the when, etc., you can finally breathe and give the listener a chance to respond while you wince in pain.  

The good news is that my parents, as usual, are super supportive and plan to visit often.  My brother is stoked about how many things we can go see when he comes to stay.  The conversation was reassuring and good and I know that I have the best family in the world.  And that we will be visiting Vermont, all together, for as many winters as we possibly can.  

The family has been told.  But now how to tell everyone else?  I still haven't.  In my defense, my kids and I still have plenty of time left in Spokane.  So, we are keeping it off Facebook for now and taking our time.  McKenna has told her friends and Jackson has told his, so some families know.  But I really haven't talked to anyone about it.  No, I'm not in denial or anything.  I just don't know quite how to start that conversation.  But I will.  And of course, I'll share how it goes.

Do you have any ideas for how to tell the news to friends and coworkers?  Doesn't Facebook kind of add a whole new dimension to the sharing of important news?  


Sunday, January 8, 2012

it's official!








































After seven wonderful years in Spokane, Washington, this family is off to experience another part of our fine country!  As a family, we love road trips and have already had amazing opportunities to see much of the United States.  However, our travels have never taken us to the Northeast, which is where my husband has been relocated through his employer.  Hello, Pittsburgh!  We have no idea what to expect, except for what we have researched on the interwebs and what we have been told by friends and family {which is not much}.

This is our adventure, and I invite you to follow along!  I plan to document and share the processes, as we make our way into unknown territory.  We will definitely be learning as we go!  The first thing you should know is how important it is for my husband and I to make this as smooth as possible for our children.  Saying goodbye to friends and familiar places and faces is tough stuff.  We aren't going to sugarcoat that.  Leaving is hard and tears are completely acceptable anytime, anywhere.  We have decided that Husband will stake out our new town first, while the kids and I finish out the school year in Spokane.  While he gets acquainted with his new job in a new area, the kids and I will continue our normal daily lives, while also dealing with home repairs, realtors, and movers.  Sounds like a deal, right?

So that's enough for a first introduction post.  I will totally fill you in on more details later {pinky swear}.

Wish us luck!

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