Sunday, January 31, 2016


Two trips to the paint store, too much deliberation over off-white paints, one incredibly helpful Oma, and one incredibly not helpful toddler makes for an eventual weekend. 

Every few years we go through a color phase where we want color throughout the house. Unfortunatly we are not in the midst of one of these phases now, so the previous home owners' take on the rainbow house doesn't fly. First up was the living area which was failing miserably in a sulky rusty red. 

Troy filled all the holes for us and then Oma and I got to work. I rolled while she did the trim work. Between the prime and the paint it took us the whole day to finish. 

It felt so good to get a fresh coat on the walls that we carried the party into the girls' rooms. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Settling In

Still finding our way around here.

The girls are enjoying their new rooms. After sharing a room they are thrilled to have their own spaces. A lot of toys are still in boxes (que basement unpacking) but the colors and legos are out which means that we've bought ourselves atleast 2 more weeks.

The wheels are already spinning with all of the projects that this house has in store. Happy.

Saturday, January 23, 2016


I've never heard anyone say "Man, I can't wait to move so that I can pack everything!"
No, I'm fairly certain those words have never been uttered. 

With Mom's help we've been able get through about 90% of the boxes. We still have most of the basement but the main level and upstairs are in working order. The bedrooms are unpacked, the internet is working, laundry is done (thank you Mom!), and the kitchen is functional.

After literally filling a whole room with collapsed boxes and packing paper we posted a pile of boxes on craigslist and saw them off for a second round of use. 

We're' getting there. In the mean time we'll take a break for Saturday morning cartoons. 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Moving Day!!!!!

It's finally here. After a very long 6 months we've made it to moving day.
I haven't mentioned much about our move. Maybe for fear of jinxing it. It's been a long road getting here.
We had never intended to move. Certainly not one and a half years after buying our first home here. But one day we found ourselves driving home a new way, and we spotted a for sale sign in a corner yard. It took one text to our realtor to arrange a showing the next day "just to look". It took another 24 hours for our offer to be sent through and another 24 hours after that for the sellers to accept. 3 days in total to decide we were buying a new house and selling ours.

On day number 4 we came home to a basement that was flooding with sewer backup. We spent the next 2 months frantically putting our house back together and installing a very expensive and invasive overhead sewer system that we hoped if nothing else would be a good selling point.

We had a number of showings and quite a few second and third showings. In the end it took a lot of negotiations, more compromises that we would have liked, and a lot of patience on behalf of the sellers of our new home.

More than once we were convinced that it wasn't meant to be.

6 months later we've finally reached moving day.

Seeing that Mom has been a part of our last 15 years worth of moves she wasn't about to miss this one. I'm quite certain though that if we were to do it again anytime soon that she would book a vacation during moving week. I really have no idea why she puts up with us.

Now for the unpacking....

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Letter to Charlotte: Five Years

Dear Charlotte, 

Today you turned five. For five years now you've been a part of this big beautiful messy chaotic world. Five years is longer than you'll spend in high school and likely longer than you'll stay at your first job.  It is twice as long as we will have lived in our first two houses and longer than a first term president has to prove himself. In my own experience five years has the potential to be significantly impactful while being just a blip in a person's life timeline. 

I know that you'll only remember a fraction of this time as you get older. I know that your mind will recall isolated incidents that feel almost like dreams at times. Other moments will be blurred and the exactness of the memory will fade and the corners will curl slightly leaving you to wonder if it ever truly happened. This is just part of growing up. This is the beautiful way that our minds work making room for new memories, new experiences, letting us forget some of those dusty ones so that we can relive the feeling of pride, excitement, curiosity, and love over and over again. 

Let your mind do what it does best. Try not to cling to those things that you've already done. Instead fill those newly empty spaces with new experiences, new people, and new memories. Don't be afraid of looking behind the next curtain, or going through the next door. Turn the handle and walk in. Hold your head high. Eyes wide open and keep breathing. 

In the best of situations, and also in the worst, just breathe. You have been blessed with a wonderfully intuitive soul. You may not always make the right decision, but you know what it is. Knowing though,  you'll learn, is only half the battle. Be brave enough Charlie to actually choose the path that is best. Not all decisions are easy and the hardest one's to make are generally those that have the most impact on your life as well as others. Keep breathing, think through the situation, and listen to your soul. That voice in there is more resourceful and clever than you'll give her credit for at times. - and she hates being ignored. 

Here's to the next five years. We are truly blessed to have you in this family. To the moon and back and every star further out we love you Charlotte!

Love, Dad and Mom

Birthday Party

We celebrated this five year old's birthday with a small group of friends Saturday morning. We opted for a pizza party where the kids could make their own pizzas and decorate cupcakes (that they could then take home to share the sugar rush with their parents). We of course enjoyed cake at the party too - a Tinker Bell decorated cake that we let Charlotte pick out on her own. 

We had aprons and hats for the kids to decorated and plenty of balloons (that would randomly pop throughout the party and render everyone breathless for a few moments). 

With a house full of moving boxes it was a welcome break from the chaos of all things moving. Charlotte had a fantastic time as did her little sister who was next to her the whole time. 

Here's to another birthday party in the books/blog. 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Blueberry Pie

We made a pie. We used blueberries from our annual trip to Michigan.
And used lard in the pie crust.
The critics licked their plates clean. 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Christmas Round 2

We're back in Iowa this weekend celebrating Christmas with Grandma and Oma.
By the time we made it back home for me to download pictures I realized I hadn't really taken many.
I was too busy relaxing.