Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Maybe I'm not cut out for this.

Today was....unpleasant. That's a nice way to put it. I'm finding this step in the moving process especially hard as Shane has started his job, yet there is still so much more to do to get us settled. On top of that, the regular daily messes and chores inevitably demand attention, so our house is basically chaos + laundry piles + moving boxes + Kid's Meal wrappers. I used to make fast food a very once in a while treat. Um now, not so much. Try every other day since we started the move. I know. I hang my head in shame. Jamie Oliver would beat me with a french fry.

So, getting back to today. First thing in the morning, Lydia is begging me for a particular dress to wear to tour her new preschool. It's in the dryer, so I head over to pull it out. I wonder how long it's been since the lint trap was cleaned, and I discover (with slight gagging) that it has picked up much more than link in the moving van. Gross. I don't want that lint wad loose in the garbage, so I stuff it in a half empty Sobe bottle that was left out over night, screw on the lid and toss it.

I'm quickly trying to get breakfast ready with Lydia begging to get me to be involved with her pretenting. This is hard as Collin is screaming for his breakfast. He immediately believes he has been starved for a week once I start to prepare any meal, and it makes the cooking process unfortunate at best. Suddenly I am struck by a moment of silence which could only mean one thing. Trouble. I whirl around to see Collin drinking the lint wad filled Sobe!!!! I scream, lunge at him and smack the bottle away from him. I pry his mouth open to pull out any visible globs.

Moments later I am standing in the once clean kitchen that is now covered in discusting lint juice. My baby is screaming at deafening decibels and Lydia is in the background still whining "play with me!". I look at the clock. 7:53am. 10 hours until Shane gets home from work.

It doesn't get much better from there on. After breakfast is finally finished and cleaned up, we head over to the bank to open a new account so Shane can get paid. Lydia quietly colors, but Collin sees only one option. Escape. I soon find myself the woman I swore I would never become, as I sprint around the bank every 2 minutes as Collin dashes into bank managers offices and tripping innocent customers. I, of course, try to hold him on my lap, but the shrill desperate screaming tends to bother the rest of bank staff. No rookie mommy, I have snacks on hand, but the moment I unzip the baggy of cherrios, Collin rips them from my fingers and dumps them unceremoniously over the stack of papers I was just asked to sign. Lydia immediately drops to the floor and starts to eat the discarded cereal, and I try to pull her from her imitation of a hover vacuum as Collin continues to shriek at the loss of his munchies. (He polished off the fruit bars on the way to the bank.)

The bank agent was very sweet. She even slipped me a card with the name of her daytime babysitter whom she highly recommends. Is it wrong I am thinking of putting Collin in daycare twice a month or so, just for a break?

We ate Wendy's hamburgers in the car.

Now I am sitting on the bathroom floor, laptop propped on my knees, ignoring my bathing children who have discovered that they can make a "tooting" noise with the nasal aspirator and are laughing hysterically. I am literally covered with a dozen unknown substances that have made their way onto my clothes with verbs like: smear, spit, throw, wipe, cry...and others I won't name. I know Shane secretly wonders why I only choose the Target t-shirts from my closet during the weekday. However, I have lost too many cute little numbers due to a thrown roasted beet or spit spaghetti sauce, to risk it.

I know I have so much to be grateful for. Truly, my children are usually very well behaved. But right now, all I can think is THIS IS REALLY HARD.


In better news, I have exactly two places in the house just they way I want them.

A Barefoot Contessa cookbook corner in the kitchen. (Did anyone else die laughing when Liz Lemon started talking about the Barefoot Contessa on 30 Rock last week? Awesome!)

Some happy yellow behind the kitchen sink.

Oh. Did you think I meant entire rooms? Ha ha, no. In fact, I am still getting over the paralyzing terror of walking in to our living room the day we moved to find this:

I claim no talent in home decorating. I don't even know where to start. 
I must must must start watching HGTV.

Bath is done. I think we are all going to bed early today.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Birthdays and Farewells

Forgive me. This post could also be titled "A whole lot of photos with me smiling at the camera." 


My birthday week was lovely yet sad. I was reminded how much my Chattanooga friends mean to me and how much I will miss them. 

A very last minute birthday dinner. (That tends to happen when you announce, "Oh, by the way, I'm moving in 12 days." We talked so long, we almost got kicked out of the restaurant. My sister Emily was there too. She took the photo. Still so sad we didn't get her in a photo.

How incredible is this cake?!? So yellow.... and don't even get me started about the darling (themed!) gifts. My friends are seriously rad. I'm going to go into Girl's Night mourning in Boise.

Shane's gift to me was to watch the kids, and my friend Jenn's kids (her husband helped too) while Jenn and I went out for the day. While we were gone they made us a birthday cake. You can see the top of my "girls night" birthday cake didn't go to rest. 

Took Lydia on a last "Tea Party" playdate with her best friend Kate. Click here to see more of the fun. Seriously, you want to check them out. They might even bring a little tear to your eye.

A little b-day cake with some of our favorite friends. Shane is going to miss his best friend Todd. 
(You may see him in the new Tyler Perry movie. So fun being friends with a movie star!)

One last wednesday lunch at Lupis. (Best whole wheat bruschetta in the world!) If you could hear the screaming that was emanating from our children while this photo was taken, most of them off camera, you would be amazed how we could keep our smiles on.

My actual birthday was in Spokane with my parents, Lydia and Collin. I took a 3 hour nap. Woke up to almond poppyseed cake. Ended with playing liverpool rummy. So yea, it was awesome. 

Such a beautiful day, we had a little birthday picnic with Grandma too.

While in Spokane, my best friend Carrie drove down with her two sons so we could celebrate our birthdays together. We have been doing this since we were 16 years old. Whenever we are in Spokane, we head to the Coeur d'Alene resort for a gynormous ice cream sundae. They taste as good as ever. We used to want to go dancing at the bar, but we always got kicked out for being underage. Now we probably wouldn't even get carded. sigh

Look familiar? My friend Wendy got me a cupcake that looks just like the one I posted in my birthday countdown post. And in regards to that post, I should address my goal to fit into those fabulous linen pants by my birthday. So yes, I was able to wear them for a birthday outing. However, after these last couple weeks of celebrating, they don't fit anymore. As soon as we are settled in, I am (once again) starting to run. And NO MORE CAKE! 

Well. Actually, I have a cake themed giveaway coming up. But after that, I'm going on a sugar detox.

Thanks for all the birthday love.

Monday, September 20, 2010

We're here! And moving sucks.

We finally arrived in Boise. (I may have lingered in Spokane for a bit longer than planned.) I am now staring at piles of moving boxes and mounds of "random" that must be addressed. I miss my friends and I really really really miss the Mexican restaurant that was just a few miles from my house. I just keep saying over and over, "I love Idaho. I love Idaho. I love Idaho."

While the desert part of things is going to take a bit to get used to, our new house is lovely. I can't wait to get her all gussied up. I'll show you some photos as I get things finished. By the way, anyone know where I can get great Mexican food around here?

idaho pillow source

"Hi. I'm trashed. Do our exorbitant moving costs include a day at the spa?"

Thursday, September 16, 2010

holding on to summer a bit longer

While waiting for our movers to arrive in Boise, the kids and I stayed in Spokane for a bit. The weather was so lovely, we decided to go up to Greenbluff to pick peaches. Now, I have had some good peaches. A lot of Georgia peaches, fresh from the orchard. However, these Spokane peaches were the best, most succulent peaches I have ever had.  Luckily we had tons of hand sanitizer available so we could peel the peaches straight off the tree. Oh my. It was like actually tasting late summer. 

Collin didn't pull his face out of a peach for like an hour. 

Everything is more fun with Grandma and Papa!

The smell just walking through the trees was intoxicating. I really want to live on an orchard. Well, next door to an orchard maybe. With friendly neighbors who let me pick fruit anytime I want. Maybe a nice older Italian couple who also bring over extra Osso Buco and peach gelato. You never know. Could happen. Probably not in Boise though.

The only thing that might be comparable to these peaches are Greenbluff Harvest House's fresh pumpkin doughnuts, made right in front of you.  We ate a dozen between the 4 of us. We contemplated buying more.
Eating them is like tasting early Autumn. 

With the boxes of peaches that came home, we made a peach cobbler using this recipe. It was more of a cakey texture than I was used to, but still yummy. I recommend adding a 1/4 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp cinnamon to the dry ingredients. 

I think I'll go apple picking this weekend. I am so excited for Fall!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Starting from Scratch...and needing some advice.

I have this strange fascination with what people buy at the grocery store. While I'm waiting in the checkout line, I like to figure out what meals the person in front of me has planed. Single men are always a little random, big packs of beer, twinkies, beef jerky and microwave dinners. Once I saw an old lady purchasing over a 100 cans of pinto beans...and one box of plastic gloves. I don't even want to know. It was soon after that I started shopping exclusively at Earthfare. 

Our movers are arriving this week in Boise, so we will be able to move in soon. That means I will be restocking my pantry and fridge. I'm really excited to do this for some reason. An opportunity to try new things perhaps. (Also, my pantry is adorable with a glass door that actually says "pantry".)

So I was wondering, what are some of the things you always have on hand? I'm talking specific products here. What kinds of salad dressings, cereals, yogurts, soups, snack foods and freezer goods do you find yourself buying over and over again? Seriously, I really want to know. Also, what are your go-to meals that you find yourself making often? I am at such a loss lately. If I didn't have a family to cook for, I would have air-popped popcorn or Mexican take-out every dinner.

As for this photo, I just found it when I was looking through some pics of my visit to Spokane this May. This is the "milk fridge" at my parents home when the entire family was home. Not visible: gallon of whole milk and several bottles of breast milk. Also a 44 oz cup of Diet Coke, which I also like to call "Mother's Milk". That is one thing I ALWAYS have on hand.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Deep Breaths. Deep breaths.

Not next week. No, we are moving out today. Flying out in an hour. Things are going even faster than expected. I haven't had time to absorb this. It just isn't real yet. I am leaving my home for the last time. Except for what I can fit into two suitcases, everything I own is on a moving truck.

I haven't broken down yet, but I know just when it will happen. When I am flying away from Chattanooga and I look down and see the trees. When I see, stretching out below me, this place that has seen the birth of my babies and the majority of my marriage. The place that helped me fall in love with lightening storms and fireflies, chicken and dumplings and étouffée. The place that has shown me forests full of changing leaves and summer nights listening to a bluegrass band. The place that has given me some of the greatest friendships I have known.

No, I was wrong. My breakdown won't start on the plane. It's already starting. 

Good bye to the South for now. Thank you for the past seven years. They have been wonderful. I will miss you desperately. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

We're Moving to Boise!

So we have some big news. We are soon leaving Chattanooga and moving west. And when I say soon, I mean next week.

Let me backtrack a bit and fill you in on the last month.

Shane and I have been feeling for a while that we would like to move closer to family. However, with the economy the way it is, we felt like it was very unlikely we would find any opportunities that filled all of our requirements. (Same or better pay, in the West, less travel.) Have I ever mentioned that Shane is gone much of the work week? Now you know how I have time to blog.

A few weeks ago Shane was approached about a prospect in Boise. Next thing we know Shane was made a great offer and we had to decide if this was the move we wanted to make. Sufficed to say, after much prayer, we felt this was the right thing for our family.

Now why are we moving so dang fast? Well, that is another story.

I'm at a playdate with a friend, watching our kids play together in the kiddie pool. I'm telling her about this new job. Then she tells me about how her house just went under contract and the buyer wants to move in right away and she has to look for a rental until her new house is built.

By the end of the playdate we had made arrangements for her family to rent my house. Nice timing no? Problem is, she and her family would need to move in ASAP. Thus, even though Shane doesn't start his new job until later in September, we need to vacate our home. Shane is going stay with friends for a couple weeks until he gets his current job wrapped up. The kids and I are heading out to stay with family until our Boise home is ready for us. - Our Chattanooga home is on the market by the way. Let me know if you are looking for a super cute two story!

So. Big big changes in store.

How am I feeling about it all? Well, honestly I devastated to leave Chattanooga. I love it here. I love the landscape, the smells, the charm. I love my friends. I have been in the south for 7 years, 6 of them being in Chattanooga. It's home. Knowing I only have a few days left here is heart breaking.

Also, I'm a little scared. The first time I visited Boise was about 13 years ago and I remember very clearly thinking, "This place is so not me." I was there a week ago and that same feeling came over me. I'm not a desert girl. I like the green. I like rain and snow.

One thing that gives me assurance is every person I have talked to who lives, or has lived, in Boise says they love it. If you live in Boise, or have ever lived there, could you let me know what your thoughts are about the city? Good or bad, I just need some more "inside" information. (Truth be told, I didn't think I would like the South either, but I love it now.)

Of course, somewhere pushed behind the packing boxes and tearful goodbyes is excitement. What an incredible adventure for my family. The house we are moving into is perfect for us - finally a guest bedroom whoo who! We will be 6 hours away from my parents and three hours away from our cowboy relatives in Pendleton Oregon.

The morning we woke up in Boise, I stepped outside and breathed in the fresh cool air. All I could think was "No more humidity". Thank the heavens.

Now you are up to date. I have some posts ready to go during this transition time. A fantastic giveaway posts next Monday. I'll keep you posted on the move as it progresses. Wish us luck!

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