365 week 21

(is my math right? i know i've gotten off track here and there. this may end up being a 48 week year or something ... )

time for last week in pictures:


the day we all fell in love. with the ipad.



the day i went to see "sex and the city 2" with a dear friend. and we smuggled in some wee little bottles of wine.


the day the kids painted birdhouses.



the day we saw our kids do nothing out of the ordinary.



the day henry's class field trip to the state capitol included going out on the roof balcony and getting up close and personal with the gold statue atop the building.


the day i took pix of twins. and my photo-taking abilities went out the window and i was most displeased with the results.


the day my youngest worked on her backstroke technique.



voila. happy weekend! we have our last track meet of the season, so fingers crossed it won't get rained out like the last one!

365/52 week 20

check it out: i'm on time!! the upside of hot, humid days during which harper and i won't set foot outdoors and all she wants to do is play with her zhu zhu pet or color.


wonder how long she'll let me do this?



reminder: my car is getting old.



our first glimpse of the new twins' stadium. it was amazing.



meet harper's new pet: inchy yoshi lime inchworm. she named it.



another nameless pretty, blooming in my yard. (i really need to remember just what it is that i plant ...)



ahh, lantana! you i *do* remember! aren't you sweet, with your little butterfly buds?



a sweet surprises awaited me when i got back from picking up harper from school: marc sent flowers. and a sweet note. guess i can dial back on the guilt trips for awhile.


. . . . .

maybe next week i'll get pix of stuff other than flowers. to whit, my youngest "graduates" from preschool on friday, and our dirt officially becomes ours. there may be pix from those little events. have a happy, happy holiday weekend!

365/52 week 19

just a quickie tonight ... i'm beat. we went to see the twins play in the new stadium today - awesome (i'll share pix soon), but also 90 degrees. i'm w.i.p.e.d. out.


day five of daddy being gone. i gave up on both cooking and caring about just what the heck my kids are doing.


i spent last saturday antiquing with my friend, sue, and finding some amazing new goodies for the house (i'll tell you more about them later, including the $20 chandelier for the new mudroom. remember the mudroom?). this building did not come home with me, but it was sure pretty.


sunday morning ... and my heart melted just a little.



(then harper gave me the stink-eye, so i took that as my cue to get lost so they could finish reading about ariel and her beautiful pony.)


ahh ... monday.


took pix of some beautiful kiddos who are getting ready to say goodbye to their daddy, who is heading to iraq soon. we'll miss you, jay!


on an errand to macy's, harper caught sight of this bed, gave a little gasp, and ran full-steam toward it and, wrapping her arms around it's atrocious brightness, delared, "mommy!! can i please please have this hawaii bed for my new room??" picked out a new bedspread for her room in the new house. (have i mentioned her new life-plan? to move to hawaii and be a fisherman by day, beader/dress maker by night?)


mchotness came home.



and that, my friends, was week 19.

365/52 week 17. and 18.

we've had interminable rain, interminable absence from marc, and my energy and chipperness have pretty much left the building. but i have pix ... so, okay.


henry and i have been watching "jamie oliver's food revolution," and henry expressed interest in cooking the stir fry jamie got the town to cook. so i bought the cookbook, harper and i chopped the ingredients, and henry cooked the entire meal. and loved it. one less chore i need to worry about, i guess.


first track meet. henry did a great job, considering this was his first organized team sport ever. he even chose to run the mile ... amazing!!






started getting prices for tile for the bathrooms next year. i'm fixated, i tell you.



trying to learn headstands. funny stuff to watch, truth be told.



we can now accessorize the ponies. it's a good day when she gets a bow.



i really, really, really just want to stay in bed some days.


daddy was home for three hours this week, during which we attended harper's kindergarten (ack!!) open house and rode a school bus.


another day at the track. my son has the dubious honor of being one of the only kids able to climb the goal post.



what i got for mother's day.


drove by our dirt. saw the new neighbor's house going up. which further solidified the fact that we'll be the smallest house in the neighborhood.



the unceasing rain has made the world lush and green. it can stop now.



mall of america sugar rush with emma.


sending my child off for yet another day of school. in the rain.



seacrest out.

365/52 week 16 (i think)

my orderly process was waylaid by puerto rico, so my numbering is probably off, and the order of this week's pix are most definitely off.


and i'm back-tracking a bit, starting the day after we returned home. that seems fair.



harper and her cousin, kayla, hugging goodbye. (yes, harper is really that much taller than her cousin, who is almost exactly the same age ... to. the. day.)



marc's new toy.



henry's track clinic. (he's in the hoodie.) he hated shot-put.



my 10-year-old's feet are officially bigger than mine.


harp's turn as "star child of the day." she took her most special things: her baby chuck taylors, tiny stuffed puppy, softy blanket, yadda-yadda.


first swim meet ... she kicked 5-and-under butt.



painting daddy's new toy's shipping box and turning it into a modest cape cod.



my lilacs are amazing.



we've been all over the caprese salad lately. can't wait until the tomatoes are fresh off the vine!


the inspiration color/porch for our build.


maybe next week i can be back on my game.


365/52 week 14

and this is all i have for you this week. the past six days have left me fried. so, you get pix and that's it. and worse than that, the last three days of the week were all technically taken yesterday ... the camera didn't come out on tuesday or wednesday.

whatever. i can't worry about that now.

enjoy, and enjoy your weekend! i know we will ... we'll actually see marc for most of it. that's HUGE.



harper's easter craft from preschool. i thought it was pretty genius ... especially the little flowers.



green fingers, a rainbow of eggs.



i think i already posted this one, but tough. i like it.


these pretty little flowers showed up in my yard last week. i should know what they are ... i planted them ...  but i don't. i do like them, though, and wish i had them all across the front bed.



a bird in hand is worth a sweet little photo op.



cool sculpture at the macy's/bachman's spring garden show downtown.


per tradition, we went with our friends, heather and kate (and baby evie). kate and harp even played nice for a sec, which was misleadingly sweet.


okay then. friday is half over, we may see marc by dinnertime, and then we can just chill for a day and a half. then, more company. then, three more days of crazy. then ... i'll tell you monday. it needs its own post.

365/52 week 13

i'm avoiding vacuuming the basement and cleaning the upstairs bathroom in order to bring you this week's photos of the day.

you can thank me later.


it's sidewalk chalk season.



did a little future-master-bath-hardware daydreaming.


my new favorite piece of art, from local artist/illustrator katie daisy.



we blew lots and lots of bubbles.


mommy's helper.



yesterday was so gorgeous that the play date turned into a few hours at the beach park. heavenly! (yes, buck hill's snow is still melting. give us time ... it JUST became spring around here.)


how my little helper helped this morning. yes, that's cat food. a whole bucket of it. yes, that's clean laundry at the bottom of the steps. five loads of it. i told harper it was okay if she wanted to stop helping now.


the plumber came and went this morning. he also said the smell was probably just a leak in the joint, and $200 later we have new pipes leading from the laundry tub. fingers crossed that there will be no more pain involved.

my parents will be here around dinnertime, enchiladas are in the crock pot, marc should be home mid-afternoon, and the sun is shining. things are looking waaayyy up from where they were at 9 a.m.

happy april fool's day! i always forget to pull one over on the kids ... maybe next year. any suggestions?

365/52 week 12, and my house stinks.

like a sewer. we smelled it yesterday and spent quite a bit of time walking around the house sniffing at things, cleaning out the litterbox, cleaning out the sink disposal ... you name it. as the day went on, it seemed to grow a little stronger, and i decided i would call this morning if i could still smell it.

at 3 a.m., harper got up, and as i was putting her back to bed i noticed i could still smell it and it was getting stronger. i got up and googled "house smells like a sewer" and started reading over possible causes and solutions. one recommended it could be caused by a dry trap and to flush the basement drain with water. i decided to try that in the morning and went back to bed.

by 5 a.m., i gave up on sleeping because the odor was noxious, went around the house opening windows (even though it was about 38 degrees outside), wandered out of the house to the garage, got a heavy-duty bucket, trudged back to the basement, and proceeded to flush that drain. then tried to go back to sleep with the sheets over my head.

at 8 a.m. it was still horrendous. i got the kids off to school then came home and called the city works department. they sent a guy out this afternoon, and he said it could be something as simple as a leak in a pipe leading from the laundry tub to sewer pipe in the laundry room, to something bigger, like a crack in the actual sewer pipes leading into the house through the yard.

good. lord. no. this is NOT the time in our lives when we need a big, expensive sewer project and the bill that goes along with it.

the smell has abated, but then again there has been air flowing through the house all day. the real test will be tonight, when all the windows are closed again. if it's still stinky tomorrow, i'll get under the laundry tub (because marc is, of course, in texas right now) and address the part of the drain pipe that the guy said looked suspicious, then cross my fingers that the cause was just that easy to fix.

on that note, here is thursday's pix recap:



harper and mario, enjoying the sunshine. (i will miss this window seat terribly when we move.)


spring in a vase.



harper's best girl, blowing bubbles at harp's b'day party.



day one of spring break: jammie day. also, pokemon day. also, i didn't have to deal with them day.


we spent day two at mall of america. the kids rode rides for hours, we had lunch, and they sat for a caricature artist. doesn't totally look like them, but it's pretty cute.



we're goin' green!


thursday was spent with henry's friends at grand slam, where they played miniature golf, ball blast, arcade games, bumper cars, and laser tag. watching harper play laser tag was stinkin' funny.


fun stuff, spring break.

thank goodness it's over.

the scary part is, that just means there are only two months until summer vacation.


365/52 week 11: better late than never

so, quick  recap from last-last thursday until last thursday:


easter stuff started to come out.



harper got crafty with paint and glitter glue.



marc and our neighbor compared home security systems.



pre-business trip birthday morning snuggle.



no one wants to get ready for school on a dreary, drizzly day.


st patty's parade, downtown minneapolis. the kids and i channeled our inner irish. marc wore a boston celtics shirt.


what greets us in the bathroom after one of henry's showers.

okay. back up to date.

harper's b'day party was yesterday ... i'll get to that tomorrow.


right now, i have spring break kiddos to take to target to blow birthday money on the new pokemon game. then, they shall retreat to their rooms to play said game until dinner time. and i can nurse my sore hip and catch up on oprah. and maybe tonight we'll go to the gym for family swim, minus daddy.

ahh ... spring break!


365/52 week 10

trying to get back into the groove this week, only to have my mostly-brand-new 50mm 1.4 DIE sometime between using it friday and trying to use it monday. nice. so off i went with it and my receipt to the camera store today, they checked it out, said yup ... dead, and swapped it out on the spot for a new one.

buy local, people.

(and by that i mean national camera ROCKS.)

so, there are some iphone photos this week:


chicago traffic. and i had to pee like crazy. and saw nothing but brake lights. awesome.



a little scrappiness that may or may not have occurred on saturday, that may or may not be for that memory makers call i told you about on tuesday.


yes, i arrange my sock drawer.



the color palette of our next house ... aqua, green, gray, white. fresh and delicious.



speaking of next house ... we bought our dirt. oh yes we did. long story ... i'll get to it in a minute.



and yes, i immediately superimposed a picture of the front elevation of the house we're planning to build over a picture of our dirt. and colored in the roof and front door. and added a porch. that's totally normal, right?


harper, on the right, showing great form at not-yet-five, and kicking the butt of the darlin' next to her. she's totally going to be my swimmer. in fact, i think her skill level will catch up to henry's in about three months.

. . . . .

so, about that dirt story:

i know i've mentioned our saga with moving into henry's school district, finding a lot we loved, going through builders' plans and pro/conning what we want, and ultimately having to make the decision of just what we want to do about the whole thing.

we finally came to the conclusion that given the price of the lot going down so significantly and the cost of the build coming in under our budget, it was a sign. and we couldn't ignore the obvious quality of life factors of moving out there ... nature trails, a lake just down the street for boating and fishing and swimming, living across the street from a park and almost next door to our former neighbor whom we like so, so much, quiet streets, close to the schools and henry's friends, being surrounded by protected natural areas so the neighborhood won't sprawl, etc. so we decided that at the end of march we would put a purchase agreement on the lot and start planning for next year.

well, last thursday while i was at becca's house, i got a message from our former neighbor and he said the three lots on his block - including the one we loved - were all now reserved and to please tell him one was for us. i immediately called marc to see if he'd gone to the bank yet for preapproval, etc. (that was his one thing i needed him to do while i was gone), and he of course said no. immediately i was heartbroken. sure, there are other lots in that neighborhood, but this one was perfect. i tried so hard to be philosophical about it, that it just wasn't meant to be, that we'd be okay in a different lot, etc. deep down, though, i knew i was crushed.

monday morning i was still bumming, and then it occurred to me: wasn't it odd that after all these months all three lots went at the exact same time?? did another developer snap them up to re-sell at a profit because they'd dropped so low? did three families jump the gun without getting financing lined up? could we get lucky? so i called the rep we've been using through the builder we like, told her what happened, and asked if she could please check on the lots' statuses and see what she could find out.

about 10 minutes later i got a text from her: good news. call me asap.

apparently, another developer DID reserve all three lots for its own clients, and lots #2 and 3 are under contract. but lot 4, OUR lot, is only under verbal contract and there is a contingency on it because they need to sell their house.

ohmigosh. a glimmer of serendipitous light.

our rep laughed and said she took the liberty of putting our name down on the lot without a contingency, meaning we would get first right of refusal over the other party, and said that if we still want the lot it could be ours if we signed a purchase agreement asap, and she ran it over to us monday afternoon.

so first thing tuesday morning, marc jetted to the bank, got the pre-approval, got all the paperwork in order, and that afternoon i skipped into the developer's office and handed over a big fat check and our signed purchase agreement papers.

and .68 acres became ours. well, mostly ours. we close in less than a month. THEN it's really ours.

i'm already planning a picnic on our dirt on the first nice spring day.

i think marc and i are both in denial a bit that it actually just happened and happened that fast, but the timing of absolutely every part of the past seven days has been incredibly fortuitous. meant to be, i say.

and i can't wait to get on with the rest of it, but now i need to be patient. our house needs a little attention this summer, our bank account needs attention for the next 10 months, and a year from now we'll cross our fingers, put our house on the market, and let the bulldozers start digging.

until then, we'll pray real hard that nothing monumentally earth-shattering happens between now and next summer and we're stuck with this dirt and its price tag.

and that's my high/low for the week.