Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Rainy Days

Only froggy boots can make rainy days fun. Oliver is eager to go outside . . .

Yes, that door has been childproofed.

 Yes, Oliver has outwitted the childproofing.

 No, my boots do not match my raincoat, which is at least one size too big. But I don't care! Only moms care about things like that!

Ahh, the simple joys of childhood!

 You lookin' at me?

In the interest of full disclosure..although it is raining like cats and dogs today, these were taken on two different days a few weeks ago. The inside shots were done with the fancy camera, the outside with the old point and shoot. I didn't want to get the fancy camera wet! I know, the outside pics would have been much better if I had risked it. I'm learning!

Bird's Eye Views

Look what Marty found online! Our new house, X marks the spot!



You'll want to click on the pics to see them bigger; I've marked our driveway with an orange X. The woods around us will never be developed. The river is behind the houses across the street, and our street is up on a ridge top that slopes back down behind us. Look at all those trees! We're in denial about all the raking come fall. Time to get a leaf blower!

Saturday, March 27, 2010



We put a little video clip of just the backyard on YouTube since there were no photos of it online anywhere. Remember, it's March in Iowa, so everything is brown. Also, Marty shot this in wide screen, but it saved on my computer in standard, so things may look a bit scrunched in on the sides. Still, you get the idea. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


That's the word that we kept saying when we first contemplated this idea. And the word that numerous people uttered when they heard about it. And what I keep saying to myself over and over again since it's done. What's this all about, you ask? You ready?

Is it crazy to buy a house that you aren't going to live in for over a year, if you already own one that you also don't live in?

'Cause, we just did. !

We didn't do it on purpose, really. It just sort of happened. Marty & I have been looking at houses for years. We're the couple that spends their Sunday afternoon visiting open houses for homes they'll never buy. We had a specific neighborhood that we always wanted to live in, but the houses were usually out of our price range and/or needed a ton of work. While we love our current (Iowa current) neighborhood, the house has its limits. So we figured that after we returned from our jaunt in Connecticut, I'd get a job again, Oliver would go into pre-school, and we'd start serious house hunting. That was the plan.

Since we've been in Connecticut, we'll occasionally watch the local Iowa real estate show that airs on Sunday mornings (the real estate company airs it online). Just to keep our eye on prices, and out of curiosity. A few weeks ago we were watching, and this house came up. We both perked up because it was in the neighborhood we like, was in our price range, and looked nice from the photos they showed. So we looked it up online and read the description. "Wow, it really has everything we want for a great price in that neighborhood," we said, but then quickly added, "Oh well, bad timing."

Maybe it was another week later, and I noticed Marty looking at it on the computer. "You're thinking about that house, aren't you?" So we started talking about it. A lot. We felt like it was an opportunity we couldn't leave alone in this market. So Marty called a friend who kindly visited the open house planned for the next Sunday, just to look it over and see if there were any glaring problems. His report was all good. So then Marty got pre-approved for the financing, booked himself a plane ticket, packed the video camera, and flew to Iowa and back in one day to see the house for himself (and for me, thus the video camera).

After seeing the video, we agreed that we had to at least make an offer and see what happened. I'll spare you the details, but the seller really wasn't interested in negotiating, and so at one point we dropped it completely. Then they came back to us with a floated counteroffer, and in the long run, we met in a place that we were all comfortable with. Marty signed the papers yesterday, and now we are just waiting for the inspections. If all goes well with the inspections, we'll be dual homeowners starting in May!!!

We have a lot of details to work out, but the year actually gives us some time to do some minor fix ups on the new house and the old one to get it ready to go on the market. Oliver and I may spend a little more time in the Midwest this summer, which I know some friends and family there will be happy to hear.

Wanna see?

So yeah, it is a little crazy, but I'm ok with that. Sometimes you need a little crazy to keep life interesting!

Monday, March 22, 2010


Oliver got his hair cut today! It was way past the point of being too shaggy, and I have to just accept that he'll never have cute baby curls. He's a big boy now, sigh. He did pretty well. He liked riding in the car, and he was ok with the clippers until she was working on the back of his neck, then he freaked out for a bit. Then he was fine the rest of the time as she finished up with scissors. Of course, I have pictures!

Before (yes, he's giving me that annoyed "Will you stop taking my picture!" look)





Sunday, March 21, 2010


It has been an absolutely gorgeous weekend here, and though we're told that cold and rain is on it's way, we are celebrating the sunshine and short sleeves! Yesterday, we decided to enjoy it with a round of miniature golf! It was lots of fun, and Oliver enjoyed chasing his ball around and lining up his putts with Dad. Take a look at his form...think we've got a Tiger Phil Mickelson on our hands?

Waiting his turn

Lining up his shot

Dad helps with his grip

Is it going in?

This is a far easier way of getting it in the hole!

See Dad, we did it!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Photo Friday

A beautiful day spent walking on the trail. These are taken with the fancy camera, some by Marty, some by me. Enjoy!

Looking for alligators in the creek

Trying to capture him for a diaper change (I'll spare you the fresh air butt shot)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Playing with Angels

There's a new angel in heaven today, and her name is Layla Grace. While I know there are, sadly, too many sweet little girls and boys sick and dying from some form of childhood cancer, this is one of those stories that just touched my heart. I've only known about Layla for a few weeks, when one of my friends posted a link to her parent's blog on a message board, with the warning that it was heartbreaking. At first, I didn't want to read it. I didn't need to take on a stranger's sadness, did I? But as my friends talked about how sweet she was, I couldn't help it, I clicked the link and read the blog.

As I read the story of this sweet little girl, I was touched by the strength of her parents. If this were me I'd be in a puddle on the floor, incapable of anything productive, much less meaningful. But the grace and honesty with which they've dealt with this family tragedy and used it to raise awareness is just moving. Since Layla was just a few months older than Oliver, one particular post struck a chord with me, the first paragraph in particular. I hope I always remember those words. There are too many moments, too many days, when I count the minutes to nap time or bedtime. What do I have to do that is more important than spending time with my son? Yes, it's hard when he's whiny or full of tantrums, but he's healthy and alive, and that's too easy to take for granted.

I've mentioned my online parenting after a loss friends previously. We are a group who have experienced loss through miscarriage and stillbirth. There is something about that experience that changes who you are. But losing a child whose tears you've wiped and laughter you've heard . . . I just cannot imagine. It has to be simply unbearable. Today, as we all wished Layla Grace and her family a little peace, we were comforted by the words her mother wrote when she announced her death, that "Layla went to play with the angels early this morning." I said that I'd like to believe that the angel babies she was playing with are ours, laughing and singing and dancing together.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Photo (and drawing) Friday

My Budding Artist