Friday, February 28, 2014

Time will tell...

...if this was a good idea or not!
On a side note, I got a HUGE goodbye wave from Parker this morning at daycare drop-off.  He is still pretty hit or miss with them so it was a big deal.  I had a bit of a stressful week so it was a great way to cap it off.  Made my Friday perfect!  Have a great weekend!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Playdate with Sage

We had a dinner/playdate with some great friends tonight!  Leah is a friend from high school (she was at the party on Tuesday.)  She also set Jimmy and I up and was my maid of honor!  We try to get together more often, but life gets in the way!  Sage is 6 months younger than Parker and they had fun playing together.  Like most toddlers, they only wanted whatever the other was playing with at the moment!

Both got to stay up WELL beyond bedtime, but you only live once!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Crazy Ice/Snow Storm

The last 36 hours have been very dicey here in MN.  I left my office at noon yesterday (Thursday) knowing it was going to get bad! I am lucky to have the ability to work from home.  It was raining on my way home and started to snow shortly after I got there.  The afternoon was big heavy flakes that stuck to everything.  Even in poor weather Jimmy normally has a decent commute, but I think a lot of others were going home early because it took him over an hour to go 10 miles.

I went out for round #1 of snow removal after dinner.  So optimistic at this point!  I wanted to get the layer of slush and heavy snow off because temps were going to drop that night!
I was going to go out for round #2 around 9pm, but the wind had picked up significantly and I knew that anything I removed that night would end up drifted by morning.  Woo, it was howling!
I told Jimmy to wake me up if the snow looked too deep so I could help him leave for work.  He thought he might be able to make it, but got stuck.  I had been watching out the window and started getting dressed as soon I saw the tires spinning.  We got him out and he was only 3 minutes late!  I stayed up and cleared the rest of the driveway and sidewalk.  During a normal snow I can usually finish in about 35 minutes, but this was no normal snow!  There were drifts knee deep in the driveway and the sidewalk was almost waist deep.  We have a small electric snow blower which normally does the trick, but not this time.  I was able to use it for most of the time, but had to shovel the walkway.  My attitude had changed a bit by this point (see below.)
In my defense, I had been outside for over an hour and it wasn't even 6 am yet!  I did luck out and have the plow come by shortly after finishing the rest so I was able to clear that too.  I was still planning to go into the office, but I had a message from my dad saying the roads were like ice rinks, cars spinning and sliding everywhere!  My boss also sent out notice that we should stay home, at least until roads improved (they did not.)

I did try to take some pictures of the drifts and snow depth, but white is hard to photograph!  This is out our back door, that drift is a couple feet above the door sill.
The corner of our sidewalk and driveway always ends up with a big pile, but this is the first year it is as tall as me!  It is always the last spot to will probably be there until June!
 The pile on the right below is close to 6' tall!  This is the biggest snow pack I can remember seeing!
It doesn't happen often here, but MNDot was advising NO TRAVEL all day.  The freeways were glare ice and cars and trucks were getting stuck everywhere.  Semis were jackknifing and getting stuff on ramp and inclines (even small ones.)  The pictures from traffic cams was scary!  Daycare is just down the street so I was able to work from home again today since our side streets had been plowed.  They said on the news that it could be a couple days before the roads improve because of the depth of ice present and the low temperatures.  The chemicals don't work well below zero and it will get that cold overnight for the next 5-6 days.  Just for fun I took a look at the traffic map at 9 pm today and it was mostly still yellow and red!
We did have big plans for date night, but hunkered down and ordered pizza instead!  Parker also had some indoor fun.  He did not want his pants back on after his last diaper change...
Stay warm and safe wherever you are!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

5 Years in our Home!

This is a pretty exciting post for me.  First, it is my 200th post!  I am actually keeping up pretty well with this blogging thing!  Second, this post means I have my pictures back!  Yay, they are all there (I am pretty sure!)  Here is a quick rundown of our journey over that last 5 years.
Home Owners!  Closing on January 29th, 2009
We spent the first couple months doing some "basic" renovations to make it livable.
 We sanded and refinished the hardwood floors

Removed (fabric) wallpaper, reupholstered the banquet and replaced the floor in the kitchen.

 Painted the kitchen cabinets.  I couldn't find a completed picture and I am too lazy to go take one!
We have steadily done more projects since then.  One of the biggest was painting the exterior in 2010.  Go ahead, scroll back up and look at that hideous Big Bird yellow!  Our neighbors were thanking us!
Replaced most of the orange interior doors with lovely oak 2-panel doors.
Refinished our basement living room (you saw this journey!)

So many more projects still to come.  We are finally settling in and it feels so nice!  Despite the challenges an older home can bring, I really love living here.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Being Silly

I woke up this morning with an icky cold.  Runny nose, sneezing, general "ugh" feeling.  Certainly did not want to be at work knowing Jimmy was home playing with Parker.  But, the video below really brightened up my day.  Jimmy sent the first two clips to me, so I had to play along once I got home.  I hope you are feeling better than I am, but if you need/want some cheering up, this will be the best medicine!

Old Friends

I got together with all my high school school friends last night!  I have mentioned that we try to get together as much as possible, but it is tough when we don't all live in MN anymore and half of us have kids.  I can't remember the last time all of us were together.  There was also some new friends and family members there as well.
 It's not a party without food!
 We played Bunco (my first time), which is officially one of the most fun games ever!  WHY has it taken 28 1/2 years to discover this?  I even lost more than anyone, but it was a blast!
 What a lovely group of ladies.  I am so blessed to have them in my life.  No matter how much time passes, it is just like it was yesterday.  We spent so many Friday and Saturday nights in this very house!

 Most of the rest of the group!
Can't wait until we are together again!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Isabel's Birthday

To the north again, but we always have so much fun.  It is really only about an hour drive so it's an easy trip.  This time we were celebrating my niece Izzy's birthday.  Parker had a blast chasing the dog again, but he was most curious of baby Hazel!  He showed a surprising amount of interest in her, until he found her pacifier, then he just wanted that!  It may have also been because Jimmy was holding her.  She is so adorable!
 Ready for another one Jimmy?  Haha!
 My sister-in-law also made another knockout birthday cake, it was tie-dye and zebra print.  I am pretty sure I would have picked the same thing at 11!

Another great party!  Too bad the next one is much farther off.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

6 Months of Progress

Exactly 6 months ago I was sitting in the same spot I am right now.  Crying. Sobbing.  I was so heartbroken and it felt as if my life had just been torn into a million pieces.  It was the day we got Parker's autism diagnosis.  I had been preparing myself for months to hear those words, but none of it made that moment any easier.  We have been on a crazy ride since that day.  There was several weeks of numbness and chaos, a few days of feeling hopeless and finally some clarity and direction.

I have been floored by the support and resources we have been given.  I finally feel like we are in a great groove.  We have a schedule and it runs pretty smoothly.  It doesn't feel nearly as busy as it looks on iCal!  We have an amazing team that works with Parker and I am so excited about the progress he has made.  We still have so far to go, but he is only 2. TWO!  As much stress and craziness as this process has been I am so happy that early intervention is becoming so common.  I can't wait to see the next places this journey takes us and I could not be more proud Parker.  He is my rockstar.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Low-Key Valentine's Day

Since we just had to purchase a new computer, we decided to keep it low-key for Valentine's Day.  At most, we would give each other a card, but it was not required.  I was so blessed to come home to my two favorite guys and card that Jimmy and Parker handmade the day before.  I love Parker's smile in this picture as he is painting.
 Certainly tops the list of best Valentine's card ever.  It made me think of the first Valentine I got from Jimmy.  We had only been dating a few months.  He spent 2 days making a HUGE card for me (center).  I still keep it pinned to the wall in my craft room 6 years later.  I am so, so blessed!
I surprised Jimmy with Chinese food for dinner, plus I got THREE fortunes in my cookie!  They were all so wonderful, but at least one won't be happening!  We spent the rest of the evening playing and having fun as a family.  Parker's new favorite activity is "somersaults" and flipping of any kind!  The video below shows what I am talking about.  He wants to do this constantly, it is so cute!
I hope you felt loved today and know that I love you all so much and am grateful to have the opportunity to share my life with you.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Winter Olympics Party

You may remember the awesome party we attended for the London Olympics.  We had another housewarming/opening ceremony party for the Sochi Olympics on Friday night!  There was another great buffet, but no costumes.

Kyle was enjoying his plate full of food that included: lefse, cream puffs, bacon-wrapped brats, Swedish meatballs, Czech pork roast, jerk chicken, pierogi, buffalo chicken dip and ice cream (originated in China apparently!)
German chocolate torch cupcakes and White Russian cupcakes (gotta represent the host country!)

I loved my torch cupcake!
 Ezra wasn't there, but Parker found all him books and had a great time reading them!
 Parker also loved playing on the castle in the basement.
 But had to share with Isaac.
 I guess this is "sharing."
The boys had so much playing, it had been way too long since they had a play date together.
I am really enjoying the Olympics coverage so far, but am also a little bummed I have to wait 2 1/2 years for the Rio games...What are your favorite events to watch?  I would try to pick one, but it is hard.  I pretty much love them all!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

New Computer!

We got a lovely new computer Monday night! I am currently trying to restore our data from Carbonite. I really hope this is as easy as it seems. Kind of annoying, but so greatful we had it all backed up!

On a positive note, Jimmy says the most expensive hot sauce EVER is really good. I guess that makes it sting a little less. 

I must say that I do love the new computer. It is a lot thinner and lighter than our previous one and the retina display is beautiful! I have been very protective of it already, I know that will fade, but I am still nervous! Once it is back up and running I have some fun things to share. As of last week, we have owned our home for 5 years! Kind of crazy to think about. We have done so many projects over the years and I will share photos of where we started.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Tough Luck!

Remember that laptop battery I got replaced yesterday? Well, we were having trouble getting it to charge and I assumed it was the cord. I made another Genius Bar appointment for today to make sure. I finally got it to charge so I decided not to move it from the spot on the kitchen counter. I opened the cupboard above and a bottle of hot sauce fell out, leaving this lovely dent.
It seemed pretty innocuous and I even sent Jimmy these texts.
I love the part about not breaking it. After getting home from our playdate I realized it was acting funny so I went to reboot and it wouldn't.  I kept my appointment with the Apple Store hoping they could fix it, but it turns out that lovely dent is right where the hard drive is. 

Ugh, my heart sank. I was hoping to get some more time out of it with a new battery and then I essentially murdered it. We could replace the hard drive and power cord, but putting the money into it seems wasteful. It has lasted us a very long time and we were planning to upgrade in a year or so anyway (just what happened with my totaled car!) It looks like a new computer may be in our future. Luckily, we are pretty good at backing stuff up so we should be able to pull everything from the cloud. All I really care about are pictures and videos of Parker and I am confident they are there.

I was able to laugh a little bit later tonight. The bottle that fell was a .69 generic hot sauce that we grabbed "just to try" at the grocery store last night. I guess this is a lesson in budgeting and frugality as well. Just say no next time, it may save a bigger headache!

On the bright side, the amazing folks at the Apple Store refunded my battery! They didn't have to do that, but I also wasn't surprised. We have gotten nothing but stellar customer service from them and will remain loyal. Makes it $127 easier to pull the trigger on a new one. 

Growing Smaller: Slow Going

Anyone who manages to lose weight over the holidays should be praised! I am NOT one of those people.  I started December doing really well, but then came Christmas celebration after Christmas celebration, New Years, more Christmas, laziness, etc. that managed to undo all of the good.  I finally managed to get back in gear about 2 weeks ago.  I can say I lost 4 pounds in those 2 weeks. That puts me at 204, still shy of the elusive One-derland, but progress nonetheless. Plus, I finally have some big plans in the works.

I have finally chosen a new race to train for.  With how cold this winter has been, I am glad I didn't try to train for an early spring one.  We are going to do the Color Run in July. Yes, WE! Jimmy had agreed to do it with me. I am really excited to have a training buddy! Official training program will start in April.  As for the next 2 months, I am not giving myself a specific goal. I just want to focus on getting as healthy as possible and losing weight.  I know I will make it to One-derland in the next 2 months and you will all hear about it when I do.  Thanks again for all your support!

On a separate random and funny note, I went to the mall yesterday to get a new laptop battery.  Because of Thursday's storm the parking lot was compacted with snow so parking was a bit of a bear since you couldn't see the lines. I found a good lines of cars are parked.  When I came out I found this.
That is my car in the middle, parked in.  After a little bit of panicking, I walked back in to find mall security.  Their office was on the other side so I opted to call them instead.  I am not sure what they could have done, but luckily, the owner of the SUV that parked me in walked out just after I got off the phone.  She was a sweet little old lady that saw me by my car and said, "oh, is that a problem?" Well, it was, but at least it wasn't for long.