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August 2011
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October 2011

long story short:

we closed on the new house today.

there are more pix and more things to say, but for now i'm out of here. so, so tired. and so, so much packing to do before the moving truck arrives at 8 a.m. sunday.

yes, even though it's finally ours, we won't sleep there until sunday.

it's kinda like taking christmas morning reeeeeeaaaaaaallllllyyyyyy slowly.

anyway, i'll be back in a couple of days. just wanted to let you know it's finally, officially, ours.

there are things i will miss ...

and i'm sure, as we pack up our house this weekend, i will get misty-eyed about leaving this place.

but i'll spare you the nostalgia right now and let it stew for a few more days.

as perfect as the new house is and will be, there are a few things that i can already tell i will miss dearly from our now house. namely, mature trees.

because our current house was built in 1965, it's in a neighborhood of trees that have been growing for the past 50 years. and they are tall and lovely. they provide shade in the summer, color in the fall, and a beautiful place for snow to rest in the winter. our backyard looks like a park, and it never ceases to strike me how lovely the streets are as i drive through them.

by the time the new trees reach that sort of maturity, marc and i will be ... well ... we'll be staring down 90.


i've loved these trees for the past seven years. the lilac by the garage, the trees lining the street side of the house and keeping the neighbors at bay, the pines in the back that shelter the deck, the trees in our neighbors' yards that provide us with lovely color in the summer and fall when we look out the back of the house.

i love these trees.

luckily, the new place has trees in the distance, so it won't be like we're just looking out over a flat, empty tract of land. we're surrounded by trees, just as a perimeter, and not as landscaping. at least, not yet.

we meet with the landscaper tomorrow. there are a few trees in our future.

but today? today we had our final walk-through with our building supervisor, billy, and a few dozen little post-it notes.

we walked slowly through the house, room by room, looking up each wall and running our hands across all the trim, seeking out and marking imperfections, like a plastic surgeon marking up a middle aged socialite, noting all the things that were missed, that are unseen at a first glance and at a distance but stand out upon further notice. things that need to be remedied and addressed.

between now and 9:30 a.m. friday.

when the house officially becomes ours.

and the next stage officially begins.

fyi: i love my new tub.



also? it's so big that i feel like a four-year-old when i sit in it.

also? i think i could put on goggles and snorkle while bathing.

also? seriously ... it's ginormous.

also? we close in nine days.



(regardless of the fact that the painters haven't yet returned, the exterior still isn't painted, the hardware still isn't on, the shower handle is missing a part, the plumbers can't figure out the mounting for the kids' sink and kohler keeps giving them conflicting information, two countertops are delayed three weeks and thus two sinks can't be installed, the tv room lights' mounting plate is too small to cover the electrical socket and we need to order new lights, and who knows what else. but carpet is going in today. and you can see here what else IS done. and i have a glorious, ridiculously deep tub.)

and that is all i have today.

glub glub.

lumping stuff together

i had zero time last week, so today you get a smorgasbord.

first off all, happy belated labor day. what did we do? well, marc had meetings on friday in milwaukee, so the kids and i tagged along for a cheap 36 hour mini-only break we've had since april vacation.

while marc was working, i took the kids to the little hotel pool.

they had fun ...

they practiced synchronized forward somersaults ...

and then played a little marco polo, which led to this:

sad little lip.

she got over whatever it was within moments, though, and they were soon having a water fight. which was all sorts of fun ...

until it wasn't ...

kills you, doesn't it?

so while she pouted, henry decided to try out the hot tub ...

all of his screaming and weirdness got a smile out of harper, so she then forgave henry for whatever it was he'd done and decided to experience the sensation of boiling alive, too ...

once they were both hot and melty, they decided to jump back in the pool to freeze themselves ...

which, within minutes, became this ...

(are you kidding me with this face, harper? seriously, is it that bad?!)

apparently, no, not that bad. within moments, they were trying water ballet ...


and all was well.

ding dongs.

after cleaning up, we waited for marc to come get us, then we headed to the mitchell park conservatory dome gardens.

i took many lovely pictures. all of plants. you get this one:

after that, we drove to the shore of lake michigan and took a walk. lake michigan, wherever i happen to find it, always brings me peace (see: this and this), and this was no exception. the breeze ... the water ... it was a great walk.

until the kids got into it over something, harper threw a fit, she had to sit in time-out under a tree, and i watched the boats in the marina and tried to "ohm" my way back to peace.

after that, we ate dinner, went back to the hotel, swam again, and called it a day.

saturday morning, we detoured to blue mounds, wis., on the way home so we could take the kids to the cave of the mounds park. a real, live, millions-of-years-old cave near madison.

the kids thought we were the bomb for taking them there ... score one for us.

the tour took about an hour, and both of the kids were fascinated and interested the whole time. (that never happens.)

once back in daylight, we stopped in the gift shop, where henry declared he didn't need anything (my boy is growing up!) and harper picked out a geode to crack open.

when we took it outside to clean off ...

henry spent time creating a dam system out of the quarry sluice and the sifting pans.


given that he's been doing this at every water feature he's ever found since the age of two, i told henry it seemed like his natural dream job would be a hydrologist, a dam engineer. which then became us going the whole "national lampoon's vegas vacation/hoover dam" sequence route ...

"henry, you should be a dam engineer."

"i'd have a dam job! i'd get a dam paycheck! i could use the dam bathroom!"

which caused him a great amount of pleasure, to be saying that in front of his mom. and it was not only totally okay, it was totally hilarious.

(three days later, on the first day of school, he had to write up a survey in science about how he's a scientist, and how his future would include science. and he wrote about wanting to become a hydrologist ... he even squeaked in phrases like "dam engineer" and "dam job." oh, my.)

speaking of first day of school ...

middle school. first grade.

fingers crossed.

actually, so far, so good. they both had a great first week and have started making new friends. it helps that i'm driving them out to the new neighborhood to ride the bus ... a dozen kids get on and off for middle school, and there are nearly 30 kids at our bus stop for elementary school. they basically take up the whole bus ... it's crazy. crazy good.

speaking of the house ...

we now have electrical:

and water ...

and appliances ...

(appliances that i really, really can't wait to play with ...)

yeah, baby.

oh, and remember that ikea maskros light i was going to hack?


and soon it looked kinda like this?

well, now it looks like this:

(broader spectrum of updated photos here)

so now we are TWO weeks from closing. we went out this morning and found that all the barn doors are now up, the hardware will be on soon, driveway is done, and this week should see the return of the painters, exterior paint, carpet installation, finalization of electrical and plumbing ... we're in the home stretch. to the untrained eye, it looks like an impossible list. but hey ... not my problem. we close on the 23rd ... it's up to them to meet their deadline. right?