Monday, July 26, 2010

So long Storybook.



Today is the day.
All of our possessions (that wouldn't fit in the Mercedes or VW) were loaded into a moving truck, and will soon be headed south.

A HUGE thanks to Todd & Julie (and David), for taking care of the place since we left, and even mowing the weeds that were taking up residence on Race Street.

We closed on the Storybook House two weeks ago, and the buyer gets the keys tomorrow. SO SURREAL.

In the meantime our "still needs a name" new house is SO CLOSE to being done. SO CLOSE. We found SMASHING DEALS on our appliances (well, maybe except the microwave), and delivered the refrigerator and range on Saturday. From my "not construction oriented perspective" - I think the only things they have left to do are:

hang all the interior doors
tile the hearth
install two more countertops (the small ones by the range)
put all the doorknobs/locks on
pour the driveway
pour a sidewalk (we think)
lay hardwood and carpet
put up towel bars, etc
CLEAN!

I really think that's it.
We seriously can't even describe how excited we are to move in...
officially AUGUST 14!!!!


You might be wondering what I do with all my free time! And how I'm managing having so much. Quite honestly I wasn't sure I would adjust well, but it has been a HUGE HUGE blessing. I've had a couple of opportunities to observe groups at The Soderquist Center. I've been slowly working on DIY Christmas present ideas. Reading lots and lots of reviews of baby stuff. Updating the blog. And...reading for fun!

So far I finished:
The Glass Castle - Wow, an eye-opening look at poverty; the how and why people get there from one insider's perspective. Frustrating at times.

Kabul Beauty School - Inspiring, to say the least. Great, quirky author. Another inside look at the layers of oppression women face in so many other cultures. And how a little bit of gumption can go a long way!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Baby Registry

Well, it's about that time...baby is on it's way. Hopefully we are in the house BEFORE baby shows up....but, we'll wait patiently.

Meanwhile, we're planning to have a shower back in Indiana and Ohio sometime in October (yes, will be a post-baby shower). But for those who have been asking about a registry before then, we have put together a list of some things that we'd like to have on an Amazon registry (link below). Please, please do not feel obligated to buy something off of this list, or even to buy from Amazon (or whatever retailer is listed). The only thing we'd ask - please let us know if you do purchase something off the registry (but not through it) so that we can remove it from the list to avoid duplicates.

Thank you!

Who drives 5 hours for food?

Last November, I (Matt) was on a busines trip to Dallas. Texas, the everything's bigger-in state. I was there with my boss, and the whole flight there he kept talking about this restaurant and their amazing fajitas. Pappasito's Tex-Mex.

Well, we ate there...twice on that 2 day trip. Some of the best Mexican food I've ever had. Plus they have this amazing machine in the back that is cranking out fresh tortillas. I want a machine like that.

So since that trip, I've wanted to go back. The day we found out we were moving to Arkansas, I looked to see where the closest Pappasito's was...sure enough, Dallas.

So, this past weekend, we loaded up the Sportwagen and off we went. Yum.

(we also hit up Ikea and REI while we were there...but the primary motivation for the trip was the fajitas!)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Not such a bump anymore...

33 weeks 4 days... And counting!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Waiting Game

yeah...I'm not very good at it.
Why is it that so many of life's major changes involve SO MUCH waiting.
Getting engaged - waiting for him to pop the question
Marriage - waiting for the wedding day
Jobs - waiting to hear they received your resume, waiting for an interview, waiting for their decision
Babies - waiting 9 months (excluding adoption, and other situations)
Buying or selling a house - waiting on an offer, accepting/rejecting the offer, waiting for the keys.

Waiting, waiting, waiting.

Matt and I are getting good at it. Kind of.
Actually we've been incredibly, unforseeably, and unexplainably blessed!
Yes, we had the standard waiting to get engaged and get married (and add in there - waiting to find each other, which took us a little longer than the average IWU grad!).

We didn't really have to wait for baby (oops.) - well, outside of the expected 9 months or 40 weeks, hopefully in our case - 41 or 41.5!

We haven't REALLY had to wait on a house to sell. We've sold two houses in the last 360 days (yeah - I don't think that's normal)...both of which were on the market for about 10 days. Abnormal for Marion and Fishers, at the point in time we sold.

And now we are waiting for our house in Arkansas to be finished. In the builder's defense, at least we don't have to live in the mess and the smell. Thanks to my pregnant nose - paint smells SO MUCH WORSE than it did a few months ago! In the waiting, we have become professionals at breaking in to our own house. Legitimately. Every couple of days we stop by after dinner and hope that they forgot to lock one of the windows. Last night, using the heat pump and some impressive acrobatic skills, Matt was able to get in one of the windows, and then let me in the side door! Not in my current state - you know I would have just followed his lead. Our house is getting to the point, where it's so close to being done, it's almost painful to visit, and then go back to the chicken coop.

I actually think the "anxiousness" we are both feeling to be in our house, is probably very similar to what parents at this same stage feel (34 weeks). For the first time this morning, I was actually frightened. I receive an email every day from "whattoexpect.com". Today, "pack your bag for the hospital". Uhm. Uhm. Uhh. No...not yet. Seriously? No...that's crazy. We're still 6 weeks out. I'm sure there are other moms of summer babies out there who couldn't wait to escape the discomfort of swollen feet and fingers, and bring their little one into the world. Nope. I'll take another 7 weeks! I mean, yes, swollen feet, fingers, pretty much everything swollen - is NOT fun. Heartburn, also not my favorite side effect. Incredibly diminished stomach capacity, when you're supposed to be consuming 300 more calories/day, kind of a bummer. I'm allowed and encouraged to eat more (there's not many opportunities for that as a female in America!) - and I'm full after a granola bar, only to be unbelievably hungry one hour later. But, I really want our stuff from Indiana to be here and have some time to unpack our house before baby comes, especially that one box of baby stuff we acquired. Those onesies might be handy when baby gets here!

So here's hoping that our adorable new house is inhabitable before baby gets tired of its current habitat.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Chicken Coops...








We live in chicken country. Seriously.
Northwest Arkansas is home too:
Tyson Foods, "the world’s largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef and pork, the second-largest food production company in the Fortune 500 and a member of the S&P 500." (http://www.tyson.com/Corporate/Factbook/2009/AboutTysonFoods.aspx)

Simmons Foods, "one of the country's top ten privately held poultry processors." (http://www.simmonsfoods.com/about-thecompanytoday.php)

and Cobb-Vantress, "...the world's oldest poultry breeding company. Beginning in 1916 in Massachusetts, USA, Cobb has developed into the global leader in broiler breeding." (http://www.cobb-vantress.com/AboutUs/CobbHistory.aspx)

Actually, Simmons and Cobb are headquartered in Siloam Springs, where we live. And rumor has it that our current "temporary housing" was formerly owned by Cobb and used for temporary housing or entertaining - the reason I refer to it as "the chicken coop". Not only is it small, but all of the fabulous things pictured are decoration. A ceramic chicken, weather vane, tailor-made seat cushions, and the spice rack (and coordinating towel). I didn't include pictures of the Cobb core values or the chicken lamp (that we don't use) - but those are definite bonuses as well!

I also like the term "chicken coop" because...well...it's a bit lacking in size (and storage). Okay, okay - I can't complain too much - it is cheap, furnished, temporary housing that we could rent month to month...BUT...it's tiny. Especially the circular stairway that goes upstairs. I'm hoping baby doesn't get too big before we move out...otherwise I will have to squeeze to fit. Needless to say, we are VERY excited to move into our new house in mid-August.

Back to the kitchen...and the challenge it has created! It's "furnished" - but for anyone that likes to cook, 1 skillet, and a limited supply of utensils doesn't suffice. When I moved permanently I did bring some more kitchen stuff (mixer, cookie sheet, bigger skillet, measuring cup, spatula, blender, and we found a mixing bowl and baking dish at goodwill) - so we had a few more options. It's still quite a challenge. For example, I have this GORGEOUS zucchini from someone at Matt's office, but I had to borrow a loaf pan to even make bread. If I make something in the casserole dish, well, it's out of commission until you finish it. However, I actually haven't missed having a microwave as much as I thought I would. And the lack of microwave has forced me to plan ahead.

Here is a look at some of the recipes that have worked for me (and we are TOTALLY sacrificing the healthy side either):

Zucchini, Corn, and Basil Fusilli with Bacon
(I used chicken instead, and it's DELICIOUS!)
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Zucchini-Corn-and-Basil-Fusilli-with-Bacon-242838">

Pasta Salad with Grilled Summer Vegetables and Fresh Mozzarella
(I used shredded mozzarella, and left out the spinach because I didn't have any.)
http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/1920

Roasted Vegetable and Black Bean Quesadillas
http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/1908">

Italian Bread Pizza
(day old italian bread from the bakery with pizza toppings)

Zucchini Bars with Browned Butter Frosting
http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/zucchini-bars-with-browned-butter-frosting/50aafca1-5ebf-4f51-b58b-4fecd16db746">

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Where's the beef?



Apparently there's a Wendy's commercial (from the early 80s) that poses that question. If you know anything about Lynette's childhood, you know she doesn't know anything about television shows or commercials from that period. However, Matt has this keen ability to remember all commercials and their jingles, and is super disappointed whenever he tries to WOW Lynette with his random knowledge, and she remains a) clueless and b)rather unimpressed. Although sometimes Matt makes references that are HILARIOUS, and Lynette doesn't know that it's not a Matt original.

Today we are asking the question, "where's the beef", because we are sitting at the Branson Missouri airport, and literally the only restaurant option in the airport is Famous Dave's. And neither of us have ever been! Lynette has seen Famous Dave speak, live, in person, but never eaten there. In honor of our brother-in-law, David Slabaugh, and our lack of options, we'll be eating dinner there before we board our plane for Atlanta!

And another thing about the Branson airport.
- Make sure you get there three hours early...it's that busy. Or I'm lying. Similar to the lack of eating establishments, are the lack of airlines. The only airlines that fly to Branson are AirTran and Frontier.

So, the Branson airport in numbers:
3 gates.
2 airlines (unless you count "Branson Air Express" as an airline. I don't.)
1 fine eating establishment.
This leg of our journey: Priceless! (thanks to our airtran vouchers!)