Tuesday, July 31, 2007

We're officially homeowners!

We closed on the house this morning...it was a couple of days early, but we were ready and the builder was more than ready to go considering how long it has been empty. We went and got lunch and had a picnic in the middle of the living room floor as our first official act in our very own house! I am headed over there this evening to do some cleaning and then the moving fun will begin!

In a freaky "it's a small world" twist of coincidence, I checked out the Pioneer Woman blog that Carrie had commented on a couple of days ago. In one of the pictures was a nice shot of my butt...I'll leave any comments on that part of my anatomy alone. Anyway, I thought it was kind of weird that we were there at the same time, that this woman got a picture of me and that Carrie put two and two together. I was truly shocked when I looked more closely at her other pictures today and found a picture that Pioneer Woman had taken at Navy Pier on a different day that had my cousins daughter in it! Tell me how it happens that in a city of millions, my family ends up in two of her photos? Truly weird.

I'm now off to do a "bead craft" with my daughter. I told her we could do something special together because she has been so sweet lately as we drag her around for various house and family related errands. I am thinking a nice mother/daughter lunch and movie date; she is thinking bead craft...I guess she is saving me a penny or two on this date!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Home sweet home

We made it home late last night and I am already going at full speed trying to get things squared away before closing on Tuesday. It will be nice when it is all done!

The trip to Chicago was a lot of fun. I think it was the most stress free Hudson family function I have ever attended! Bryn really bonded with cousin Lili and they had a lot of fun playing hide and seek and various animal games together. We stopped on the way home to visit some friends in Iowa - we had a nice dinner and got to watch a whole lot of hot air balloons fly over as it was hot air balloon festival time there.

My friend, Tiffani, had her baby girl on Friday - hopefully Bryn and I can head over there today to see her.

No specific plans for this week - just packing and preparing for the move. We can't wait to be in and settled - it is still hard to believe we will finally have our own house!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Field museum and family

We went to the field Museum today and saw all kinds of great stuff... stuffed animals of all kinds, dinosaurs, a mummy and a really cool underground exhibit where you "shrink" to 1/2 inch and see all the living things in the soil. Pretty cool. We didn't even see it all - it is hard to cram it all into the few hours we have!

The rest of the family made it into town today and we had dinner at the grandparents. It was kind of crazy, but actually quite stress free (not a usual state of affairs in this family!). Bryn really bonded with one of the second cousins, Lili, and they played horsey and hide and seek for a lot of the evening. There was a Happy 65th anniversary cake and we got to hear the stories about how my grandparents meet plus various other family lore (my great-grandfather and his brother were the first people to get into the University of Illinois without a high school diploma. Their father thought formal schooling should only last until age 12 when the boys should go to work, so they worked with him at the railroad by day and studied with their mother at night after their dad went to sleep). All in all, quite a pleasant evening.

We are going to stick around the hotel tomorrow (and fore go the trip to the Art Museum and/or bicycling around the city). We decided we need some down time as we have been going nonstop for a couple of days.

Dolls, museums and margaritas

The American Girl Cafe was an experience. Every little girl in the place had at least one doll and most had two. Each doll got its own little chair and cup and plate and all of the food was served on heart shaped plates. There were lots of flowers and lots of hot pink - a little girl utopia! And the American Girl marketing team has done their job well because the most exciting part of her day was Grandpa and Nana shelling out a pile of cash for a new doll and accessories. For a little girl that hasn't ever been very into dolls, she is becoming quite a fan of her American Girl dolls.

We went to the Science and Industry Museum yesterday. I must admit I remember loving it more when I was a kid, but I think that may have something to do with the fact that I wasn't trying to keep an eye on a 5 year old then! I did find the hatching chicks and the fairy castle just as fascinating as I did when I was young - and it must be genetic because Bryn was quite into the chicks, too!

Aaron and I met up with my high school friend, Dustin, and we went out for dinner and drinks. We drank beer and margaritas and had a great time- I always love hanging out with an old friends. That shared history just makes for a connection that is sometimes hard to establish once we are grown-ups!

As we were enjoying our peaceful meal out, it sounds like the typical family fun was starting. Gotta love family, but our gatherings always include a lot of stress and craziness and a fair amount of bitching and moaning. I can never figure out why all the spouses didn't run screaming into the night at the first introduction, but bless them for sticking around! Despite the unrest, it is still fun to see everyone and catch up on the latest happenings and we all always seem to survive!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Made it to the Windy City

Hotel wireless...gotta love it! I can be on vacation and still blog!

In the last 36 hours we have driven 500+ miles, been swimming twice and have eaten more meals out than should be legal! Tomorrow we are headed to brunch at the American Girl Place Cafe, the Science and Industry Museum and then Aaron and I are going out to eat with my high school friend, Dustin. Busy times, but we're having fun.

After 33 years with my curly hair, I actually have a cut that will allow me to wash and air dry and have decent hair. The hairdresser spent an hour cutting and showing me how to deal with my hair - who knew there was somebody on the planet that knows that a haircut that looks adorable on a straight haired person doesn't always work on curly hair. I think when my hair grows about 6 more inches, I'll have the hair I have always wanted. I know it sounds corny, but it is so exciting I could just about cry!

Off to bed - our fun starts early tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

We're off!

We are heading out to Chicago this morning...the trip should only take us about 8 hours, but we're going to break the driving up over 2 days. I actually thought it was closer to a 10 or 12 hour trip. Oh well! It will be nice and leisurely!

Nothing else exciting around here. Still packing and cleaning and staying busy. I am going to get my haircut this morning...I found a girl that supposedly specializes in curly hair. We'll see...

I talked to Cheryl last night and Mema's cancer treatments are going pretty well. She has radiation every day for seven weeks (she is in her 4th week now) and chemo once a week. The chemo is altering her sense of taste and she is starting to have a hard time eating. We are all just hoping that it will all be worth it and at the end of treatment the cancer is gone.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Truly crazy

Like a truly crazy person I stayed up until 4 am finishing the new Harry Potter book. I really intended to read it in reasonable chunks over the next week, but I just couldn't help myself when I got to the meat of the story! I won't spoil it for any other Harry Potter readers out there that haven't read it yet, but it is a great ending!

We are still in house mode...yesterday we went and ordered some furniture and got the "floor model as-is" dresser for our bedroom at 1/2 price. It is a little scratched on the top, but I figure a good polish and some kinck-knacks will cover that up!

I am also trying to get the house in reasonable shape before we leave tomorrow for Chicago. Between that, washing cloths, packing for the trip and packing to move I figure I'll be ready to turn in early tomight!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Loving life...

I didn't realize it had been so long since I last posted - time flies!

Aaron and I had a wonderful night out last night for our anniversary ( I didn't even make him got to the bookstore at midnight for my copy of the new Harry Potter book). We had a nice dinner at the Outback, saw the new Harry Potter movie and stayed at a really cool hotel with themed rooms with big jacuzzi tubs and chilled cider included. Our room had a "Serengeti" theme with a big alligator statue, rock walls and a big (fake) rhino head on the wall. It was fun to do something a little different, anyway!

We bought all of our appliances for our new house today - it's all getting pretty exciting now that we are getting closer to the move in day. So now we just have to tackle the furniture issue and we are all set!

Aaron finally got his official offer letter signed, so all is well in our world! Busy and well...it doesn't get any better than that!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Things are looking better...

Thanks for the encouragement and support, but I made everyone feel sorrier for me than I deserved...the surgery will be on August 7th, not on the same day as house closing. And I did talk to the surgeon today (that squeaky wheel/grease thing is true) and she reassured me that the surgery will be quick and outpatient b/c the lump is right below the skin. She is not concerned about it being anything scary and said there is no need to modify anything I am doing between now and then. Which means I can pack and lift all the boxes I want! Kind of scary when that is the good news!

Another day of VBS down...whew! A few of us went to lunch afterwards at McDonald's and let the kids run wild. We decided it was worth wearing our kids out in the hopes of getting them to nap despite the lack of nutritional value!

Aaron and I are celebrating our 8 year anniversary today (celebrate might be a bit of an overstatement as we didn't even get each other cards and may or may not go to the local diner for dinner!). We will have nice night out on Friday after this crazy week is over.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Good news and not so good news

Good news-

Our house inspection went pretty well with only a few things needing to be fixed. We should be closing on August 2nd.

Bryn and Aaron had a good time fishing and caught some little fish. I meant to post a picture but can't seem to get to it - maybe tomorrow!

I survived day 1 of vacation Bible school!

Aaron and I had a great time last night at the BBQ hanging out with about 6 other couples from church.

Tomorrow is the last day of my online classes for the summer.

Bad news-

I am trying to get info out of a rock (i.e. doctor's office) as I will likely be going in for exploratory surgery on August 2nd to have a mass checked out. It may just be scar tissue from my c-section, but trying to get info from a surgeon's office is about as painful as dry sockets after having your wisdom teeth pulled (if you haven't experienced it yourself, trust me - EXTREMELY painful!)

So I am trying to focus on the positive and not worry about the rest of it along the way - sometimes that is a lot easier said than done.

Friday, July 13, 2007


We signed the papers to agree to the final counter offer on the house today, so the process is now underway! Hooray!

We have another busy weekend ahead - Bryn and Aaron are going fishing in the morning (I plan on sleeping!), I have a VBS planning/set up meeting Sunday and we are going to a cookout at some friends' on Sunday evening. I bet it just flies by like the weekends always seem to do!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

It will be over soon, right?

So I finally freaked out about the whole house situation. Maybe it's not perfect, maybe it's too expensive, maybe we'll never be able to sell it if we need to, maybe we don't want to buy from a builder that refuses to put a garage door opener on the third car garage door, maybe the sky is falling...you know the drill! I tried to convince Aaron I was overdue on a little craziness since I haven't gotten too bent out of shape during the whole job search. He wasn't convinced.

After spending about a half an hour over at the house communing with it and deciding that it is indeed a fantastic house, I had a little nagging feeling about the refrigerator space that a friend had pointed out looked a little small. We measured the height and width against the picked out fridge, but hmmmmmm...what about the depth. OMG! The space is only 27" deep and the fridge is 34" deep and the drawer won't open if a fridge is put in. O.K., let's be reasonable and measure the cheap rental fridge instead of the new sleek fridge - surely it would fit. Still 2 inches too deep...are you kidding? So I did the logical thing - called the realtor and freaked him out so much he went over to measure the space so we could both worry about it. I agreed to research fridge sizes and call him back tomorrow. How can we buy a house that can only accommodate a micro fridge? What kind of moronic builder does something like that?

Evidently a builder that is smart enough to know they make something called a counter-depth fridge that will indeed fit and the extra $500 a counter-depth fridge costs will be no problem for him since he is not putting in any appliances. Gotta love it.

And on top of all of it, the official written job documents Aaron needs to sign that were supposed to be here at the beginning of the week have been postponed by the dean being out of town. Kind of scary to sign on the house before signing on the job, so now we are trying to figure out whether to put the house stuff on hold until the job is 100% squared away. Aaaaaaargh!

At least in a month this will all be a memory - whether we're laughing or crying it will all be over soon. Right?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

There's no place like home!

We signed the papers today to make an offer on the house - it is so exciting! If all goes well, we will close on August 2nd and then begin the 2 mile trek back and forth between new and old to move all of our stuff! We obviously have quite a way to go between now and then as far as working out details and particulars, but it feels good to have the ball rolling.

My biopsy results came back and although it did show abnormal cells, there was evidently nothing scary going on. I'll go back in 6 months for a recheck. Although I didn't get too worked up over this particular problem, it is still a load off to know there is nothing to worry about at this point.

The bridesmaid dress saga continues...the dresses won't be in until the end of August so there will be a little over a month to have the thing altered. Hopefully the dress and I will be about the same size and all that will need to be done is a little (O.K., a lot since I am only 5'1") hemming. Or some seamstress will have to perform a miracle. We'll see...

I'm off to cook dinner and then head out to a Friends of the Library meeting. Before the meeting I have to frantically update the checkbook in an attempt to give an accurate and current report of the finances - who thought that the person who can barely get receipts entered into Quicken would be a good treasurer? Fortunately the Friends does not do many major money transactions!

Monday, July 9, 2007

So I can't seem to title my blog today - the little cursor won't click in the title field. I guess that's O.K. since I didn't have a title anyway!

We had a great weekend. The baseball game was fun, mostly because tickets are dirt cheap and we sat right behind home plate and ate $1 hot dogs! "Ratatouille" was very cute and Bryn is already looking forward to getting it on video.

We are still waiting on the written contract for Aaron's new job to get the whole house offer thing rolling. We are anxious to get going on it and I just can't seem to get motivated to do much without everything being official. Hopefully tomorrow.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Quiet day

We have had a couple of pretty quiet days here. I spent the morning cleaning the bathrooms (tons of fun) and washing sheets to prepare for a visit from the in laws. We are going to a baseball game tonight, T-Rex Cafe and "Ratatouille" tomorrow. Unfortunately, it looks like only Jim is going to make it as Sherry has a really bad cold and is going to stay home and try to recover.

We had a mellow evening last night - the most exciting part being trying to pick up a zillion pieces of firework detritus that was all over our driveway and yard. And we didn't shoot any firecrackers. Yep...more compliments of our extremely considerate neighbors. Needless to say, we won't be missing them when we move.

Our landlord agreed to give us another month here, so we will at least have time to breathe while we try to get moved. I am very glad as it was looking like it was going to be very interesting trying to get everything done in 3 weeks with a 5 day vacation somewhere in the middle of that!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Moving right along

We are definitely in house mode now...as soon as Aaron gets his written offer we are going to make an offer on a house and try to get moved quickly. The house we are interested in has been for sale for quite a while and we are hoping that the builder is as anxious to sell as we are to buy. We have been thinking about furniture and window treatments and all the other stuff there is to spend money on...unfortunately our garage sale proceeds aren't going to cover all the new stuff we would like! We'll just be so happy to not be renting we'd probably be fine sitting on the floor with open windows for quite a while!

We planned to go to see fireworks tonight for the 4th, but Bryn is going to spend the night with a friend and Aaron and I have not decided yet what we are going to do. We may just hang out and relax and listen to the neighbor kids shoot off fireworks (they have been going for 3 days and nights now!). We'll just see how it goes, I guess!

Monday, July 2, 2007

A real job!

I am soooooo excited! All of the agony over turning down offers and not getting jobs and waiting and waiting and waiting is over! Aaron got an offer from UMKC and it is even better than he expected. He is waiting for the other shoe to drop because it seems to good to be true. I, on the other hand, and ready to go find a house and get started on our "real" life! He will not get the written offer until next week, but I am not even going to allow myself to think (for very long, anyway) that something could go wrong between now and then.

I talked to the landlord today and he is not sure he is willing to extend our lease by a month or two. He may have a buyer for the place and he would obviously rather have the place purchased than rented. So that would give us until July 31 to find a place and move out. Could be a problem since neither Aaron nor I have ever purchased a home and have no idea what we are doing (although I have a good handle on what kind of houses I like since I am an open house junkie - thanks Mom!). If anyone has any dos or don'ts, let me know!

Having an extra kid around the house today has been fun, but I have been reminded that they are a lot more work at 11 months than they are at 5! And Levi is a really good natured little guy and he's way less difficult than Bryn was at his age, but it is still hard work!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Time flies!

It feels like I just sat down to write my before the weekend blog and now the weekend is over! We ended up having a nice relaxing movie night last night instead of going to the party (which was cancelled due to rain) and watched "Eight Below". A good movie, but maybe not the best for a sensitive 5 year old who is particualrly fond of dogs since two of the dogs die in the movie. I have gotten pretty lax about screening movies before Bryn watches them - I may have to get a little more vigilant again. I know that I can't shield her from all the sad things in life, but I am thinking I can shield myself from having to watch her get upset during a movie!

We had a nice Sunday...The Bridges of Hope soup kitchen foray went well this morning - we fed about 135 today. We went to Christina and Jake's tonight for dinner and had a nice time. I am going to watch their 11 month old son Levi tomorrow - her parents were planning to be here but are flooded in in southern Kansas. I know many parts of the country are praying for rain, but it sure is causing some problems here. Evidently some of the oil refineries are under water and there is oil all over the town - Kansas has definitely had a bad year for weather related disasters this year. We have been very fortunate to only have minor flooding here that affected me only once when I had to backtrack due to a closed road trying to get to the college to teach a class.

Aaron hasn't heard yet from UMKC - not that big of a deal except I am sure our landlord is wondering if we are ever going to tell him whether we are going to stay or go! I figure as long as we are paying him, he is probably not going to get too upset...that is what I am hoping for anyway!