Thursday, May 26, 2011

Saying so long to the Sac

It's official. Our old house is now someone's new house.

We moved over Christmas, but the house had not sold. It sold a whopping 21 hours before the company buy out was to happen. OH to have all of those hours of my life back spent keeping it show ready!

That was back in January.

The new peeps didn't want to move until school was out (which I kind of understand, but I kind of don't because our school system ROCKS), so they've been slowly bringing stuff up on the weekends. Word on the Sac (as in cul de sac) is that they are finally moving in this weekend.

So here is an open letter to the newest occupants of one of the best houses in the most awesomest neighborhoods on the greatest cul de sac ever:

Dear New Neighbors,

Congratulations on moving into your new home! We hope you enjoy living there as much as we did. True, we were only there a little over two years, but we packed in enough memories to last a lifetime.

While it may look like any other cedar plank house in the town, there are a few things you should know. First, I'm not sure who was against overhead lighting in 1989, but as I'm sure you've discovered, it can get a little dark upstairs! If the outlets go out in the bathrooms, do NOT call an electrician. There is a reset button on a random outlet in the garage. Don't ask. It was probably the same guy who was against overhead lighting but all for white tile countertops in the kitchen.

You have an awesome tree in the front yard. In the winter, it will look like this

It's fantastic! It will stay this way from November until about March, and you will start to think that it's dead and will never come back again, but then you will go to Augusta for the Masters (ok, maybe not, but sometime in April) and see this when you return

And out come the most beautiful leaves you've ever seen that match the front door PERFECTLY!

Now about trees. In the back yard, you get to see this lovely, that is not technically yours, but you can sit on your deck and admire it

And the big tree that is perfect for climbing drops leaves the size of your kids' head! No kidding!

And as much fun as they are to jump in, be careful because a few good gusts and your yard looks like this
But enough about the trees! Well, one more, just because I love snow

Let's talk about the fence.

The split rail makes a nice neighborhood marker, but our, I mean, your fence in the back is a cute little one. I originally didn't like it and wanted to put up a privacy one like we had in Florida.

That would have been the biggest mistake ever.

Because on the other side of that fence are some of the greatest people on this planet.

Sure, the circle isn't made up of cookie cutter early 20's couples with 2 kids a dog and a cat, but that's what makes our, I mean, your cul de sac so great.

On your left, you have a fabulous family of six. They are awesome for multiple reasons. The older two kids give you a glimpse of what you'll be dealing with in a few years and you can learn from what they do, but there are still littles to enjoy playing with and pass your favorite outfits down to. You couldn't not get along with the wife if you tried and the husband is hilarious (although be warned, he HAS to get the last word in and will argue with a rock, but that's kind of his job!).

On the other side is another family, but with older kids. She is great to swap book ideas with, and he has the greatest smelling cigars on earth (and that's coming from someone who hates the smell of smoke). These are the people who will see you shoveling snow and bring their blower over to clear your drive and walkway without even asking. They'll watch your dog when you're out of town and sit on your back deck to keep you company.

Next to them is a lovely family who kind of keep to themselves, but are awesome. They just finished majority renovating their master bath and kitchen so they can help you out in that area. She is also a phenomenal cook!

Moving on around is another great family. They have older kids, high school and college, but love having kids running around the Sac. They even left their basketball hoop up and love letting all the kids shoot hoops (although the snow plow may have taken it out in December). He makes a mean loaf of pumpkin bread and she is super sweet. They got a new baby named Daisy a year or so ago. She's a golden and she's kind of nuts, but sweet and I'm sure she's calmed down by now.

And the last house on the Sac is another family of four. They have a fantastic driveway that is perfect for racing down. You never know what adventure will be going on in their front yard! It might be a picnic blanket of toys or a bounce house, but regardless, you're invited to join in the fun.

You're entering into a great group, so treat them well! We've been through a lot together. Celebrating the birth of a new baby, mourning in the loss of a teen, things that bring you together and make you realize what a family you've become. These are people who will watch your kids sleep while you drive yourself to the er, clear off your snowy driveway, mow your front lawn while you're out of town, shoot fireworks off in their driveway, come hang on your deck and watch movies on the side of your house, and share a margarita with you while you wait for the school bus on a not-so-awesome birthday declaring it "Margarita Monday!" They will celebrate your wins and cry with you on your losses. They'll support and encourage your kids and throw a tennis ball for your dog, help you build a swing set and let you cook in their ovens.

So play in the snow, jump in the leaves, curse the lack of lighting and bleach the kitchen counters, but get to know your neighbors. They are the greatest ones you could ask for!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Ode to a Strip

And somehow, in the madness of the last few weeks, my baby, my first-born, my little angel turned six. SIX!

She's workin' on a whole new hand!

So here's to you, my sweet girl! Thank you for stumbling through this crazy thing called parenthood with us!

Everything about you has taken us completely by surprise! We joked that our little shoebox house was too small to have a baby in and the only way we'd be able to have one was if the dog were constantly in motion. In early fall of 2004, we told June to start shuffling around the house because there was a new kid coming to town!

I felt fantastic during my entire pregnancy with you, and boy did it show. I stopped looking at the scale when I hit the 55 pound gain, both because I didn't want to know the number and I was too big to see my feet, where the digital read out was!

The surprises kept coming when the doctor served you with an eviction notice at 37 weeks! After 24 hours in labor and a swift c-section, you were here! I remember one of the nurses saying, "8,
9!" to which I screamed, "S
he's 8lbs 9 oz?!? She was three weeks early!!!" but they quickly told me that was just your APGAR score. When I finally got a good look at you (after the ped on call telling me you had small, deformed ears that might never be normal - totally wrong by the way), we were surprised again to see that head full of hair! I expected a bald baby and could almost give you pigtails! And you were a thumb sucker from the start. Wanted nothing to do with a binkie, but would suck your thumb (or my pinkie finger) happily!

Not that I'm biased, but you were always ahead of the game. Sitting up early, waving, clapping, crawling, walking, all your milestones you hit early, which means I was always on my toes trying to catch up to you! You were always a pretty happy baby and loved discovering new things. You and Taylor got a kick out of the spinnie balls on your exersaucer!

You were one before we knew it, and became a big sister just
before you turned two. You took over your roll nicely and were always Mommy's little helper. You fell in love with your baby brother the minute you saw him and were always by his side.

You started school with Ms. Nancy and quickly wrapped her around her finger. You were the best puzzle putter together-er and cutter in the class. Your patience always astounded me. You would sit and just keep trying until you got whatever it was right, whether it was your putting on your sandals or snapping your car seat, YOU were going to do it.

At one point, you told me you wanted to be God when you grew up. When I asked why, you told me it was because you wanted to create lots of things. I told you God already cornered the market on that one and you've now settled for and author, illustrator and a teacher, but not a mom ("Because who wants to change poopie diapers? Not me!"). When I was your age, I told Ma I wanted to be a blue crayon, a teenager and a cheerleader. What can I say, I aimed high!

Your attention to details is crazy scary. Take for example the free art project you did in school a few months ago:

My computer, according to Strip

Which is hilarious because my actual computer? Looks like this:

An apple on the top and 900 windows open at all times. And I wonder why my battery goes so quickly!

Sometimes I worry that you take life too seriously.

You freak out if your brother is swinging on the swing set or if two people are swinging next to each other because he MIGHT get hurt, or the MIGHT bump into each other. Seeing kids get balloons makes you anxious because all you can think about is what will happen if they let go of the balloon and the thought of them being sad makes you sad.

Don't over-think things and miss out on some fun!

You transition beautifully. It's hard for me to believe that you've laid your little head down on your pillow in four different rooms in five years. You've moved more times before your 6th birthday than some people have in their entire lives. And in every step along the way you embrace life and find all new friends. At one point, after this move, you told me, "It' so weird how people down here remind me a lot of people I already know. It's like God gives us the same people, just different faces." You always find the good in people.

I've had so much fun getting to know you over the past 6 years and can't wait to see what the next year brings! Happy Birthday, Strip!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

And the beat goes on...

Training for the half has been going well. I've been hitting the pavement and have logged some personal bests in both distance and time. I've just started thinking to myself that I just might be able to do this!

Outside of work, Hubs and I have been hanging out with coworker of mine (J) and her husband (T). We were chatting up the half and got J interested. Hubs worked on T and the next thing I know, they've signed up to run it, too! Yay! We had also been talking about this crossfit kind of gym really close to work and J mentions how we could totally workout there together before work while the kids are in summer camp.

"Yeah! That sounds awesome! I've ALWAYS wanted to try one of those programs, and I know it will really help me with my half training!"

Next thing I know, I'm getting text blasts from her this morning about the training schedule and pricing. THEN she texts me to say, "There's an evaluation tonight and it's free, so I'm getting a sitter for the kids."

Umm. I think I just signed on for this?

So, while I was cooking dinner, Hubs put in 3 miles, I got one kid bathed and pj'd fed them both, Hubs and I weighed on the wii, and I got ready to leave. Before grabbing my water bottle, I decided to brush my teeth again as a courtesy to whomever I assumed would be resuscitating later.

We got there earlier to sign all of the paperwork stating that we wouldn't sue the facility if we had a heart attack mid-session. The saving grace was that the main sessions had ended, so the gym was pretty much empty. Except for the class of 5 high school boys doing v-ups and sprints.

It started out innocently enough. We had to take off our shoes, sit down, put our feet on this scale thing, lean forward and measure our flexibility. I did pretty well on this part! Then, shoes back on and we hit the bikes to warm up. We both got a little nervous when Fitness Man pulled out the measuring tape and medicine ball. We had to sit on the floor and chunk the 9 lb ball as far as we could without moving our backs. Awesome.

As we got a little water, he was saying something about a shuffle and left turn something. We walked to the other end of the gym and he spelled out what we were supposed to do.

"Oh! Suicides! That's what we called them in high school, anyway."

Exactly. Down and back, down and back, down and back. Now do it again.

Still doing ok. Back to the bike. Level 10, TEN, 3 minutes on the clock and go as far as you can.

Three minutes later, 2 sets of jelly legs wobbled over to the scale, because apparently it was weigh in time. J said they probably did it that way so we wouldn't fight it. You're just so happy to stand still you don't care that there's an ugly number facing you!

After writing down my height, I stepped up. Mr. Fitness was holding the digital readout, so I peeked over a little to see what it said, which lead Mr. Fitness to say it out loud, and I mean LOUD. I watched him write it down and then I told him, "That's the last time you'll see that number on my page. It's all down from here."

And back to the wall.

"Now you just need to run all the way down to that cone and back."

"Oh the farthest one?"


"Nice. Down and back?"

"You got it! 5 times, ready?"

I'm sorry, what? He was perfectly nice and cheery for us, but I've got to admit, I need someone SCREAMING at me. I need a good, "PICK UP THE PACE!" or "I'VE SEEN 70 YEAR-OLDS RUN FASTER THAN THAT!"

We got some water, and he started describing what the classes really look like. I'd like to describe them for you, but he just started sounding like the teachers on Charlie Brown movies.

But, alas, they have my debit card number, so I guess I'm in for the long haul! As we staggered out to our cars, J was pretty silent. When I got out of the shower, Hubs was laughing and said I had a text.

So I got home, said hi to my sitter and then
went straight to my bathroom to throw up.
Fun :-)

I texted her back about how awesome we were going to feel after the first two weeks and we'd be itching to work out, to which she responded, Ms. Optimistic are we? Um nope, but they have access to my money, so I'm GOING to get something out of this!

Now, apparently, I'll be crazy training 3x per week in addition to running. But as I told J while we were biking our butts off, "Just think! In a few months, we'll be sipping our celebratory beer before the boys even make it to the Animal Kingdom!" Boo yow!