Tuesday, April 30, 2013



Zoe's class is learning about wants and needs this week.

We need food to live.
I want to eat an entire chocolate cake.

She came home with a little booklet she made, called "Zoe's Wants and Needs Castle." Each page had exercises where she noted which things are wants and which things are needs.

And then, on the very last page, I hit pay dirt.

In my opinion, this should be interpreted as:

I want ice cream.
My mom and dad need our house done. (We have obviously moved well beyond the "would like" stage.)


(In other news, The House is creeping nearer to completion. I came home and updated the punch list, and was thrilled to see it back down to just under one page, with most of the Big Freakin' Things struck due to completion. I was so damn happy that I started packing again. Let's GO!)

Monday, April 29, 2013

girls night


M flew out to Vegas today, so we hit the Custard Station to drown our loneliness in creamy goodness. It was beautiful outside, and although we're supposed to get yet more rain later this week and big stuff STILL isn't done on the house I couldn't help but feel optimistic.

Sunday, April 28, 2013



Despite the never ending to-do list, I gave myself 30 minutes off tonight, to chill on the couch and read. It was lovely.

Then M came home and was chatty, which invariably leads to having to be productive about something (usually The Budget, as it was tonight) and lo - the Kindle has not been touched since.

We have, however, visited several spreadsheets and discussed saving for retirement. AGAIN. (For what it's worth, we've both been saving for retirement since we graduated from college and got our first jobs, so we're doing okay. It's just that this happens to be one of M's favorite topics to discuss and since he can't work on Christmas yet...)

Stand back, girls. He's mine.

Saturday, April 27, 2013



Although the day was rain-soaked and covered by clouds, there were fantastic bursts of color.

I spent the morning with Zozer.
(That alone will always be a bright spot.)

We picked up the remaining pieces of our closet organizers, so those are ready for install.


Soccer game in which Zoe played extremely well.
(Girl is getting aggressive!)

Date night, which included dinner at one of our favorite restaurants (paid for with a gift card, so it was nearly free to boot!), followed by a quick stop at our nearly completed home where we admired everything done thus far (we inch closer each day). Then I turned the lights off, played our song on my iPhone, set the phone down on the island, and danced with my husband in the great room.

That, I think, was my favorite part of the day. The best few minutes of color in the darkest room.

Friday, April 26, 2013

down stairs


Damn. I even love the way artificial light plays in this house.

Thursday, April 25, 2013



The kitchen and rec room backsplash tile was installed today (will be grouted tomorrow). It's a deep gray glass tile. I hadn't realized just how reflective they'd be, all laid out together. It's a pretty incredible effect and another "whew!" moment.

More than the tile, I love Zozo's little photobomb.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013



Mama robin now has four eggs in her nest. It makes me feel good to peek out the back door and see her sitting there, beak poking out one side and tail the other. We are anxiously awaiting the hatch, which according to the internets is 10-12 days after the last egg is laid. We're not exactly sure when that was, but we estimate last Saturday or Sunday.

We've been calling her Mama Robin, but Zoe would like to give her a proper name. I couldn't come up with anything earlier (even my brain is tired these days), but now I think that Frankie might be nice. After FLLW.

I went to a big volunteer luncheon for work today mainly to snap photos for use on the school's website. I mingled and introduced myself and played the role of party-pic girl even though I was dead tired and could have curled up on the couch right there in the country club and gone to sleep amidst all the happy, chatty ladies.

And then, right after dessert was served, the president of the group gave her remarks and introduced the next board. She thanked the various staff groups for their support and I dug into my raspberry sorbet with determination.

That's when she said, "And I have to call attention to one person in particular..." I spooned the sorbet in and concentrated on not getting a brain freeze while waiting for heaps of praise to be bestowed upon the director of development, who works her butt off and deserves it. But she didn't say Julie's name. She said mine. I stopped chewing and felt my face go red. When she was done talking about the things I have done since I started last June everyone applauded and I was pretty much in shock. The sorbet was forgotten.

Wow. What a day.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013



The rain delays landscaping progress, which is both understandable and unavoidable.

I don't know what the f*ck the issues are with the inside of the house.

Yeah. I'm a bit cranky tonight.

But hey, they switched out some brass door plates today for the correct black ones, and screwed the remaining LED bulbs into my chandeliers, so hey, we're almost there, right?

No shower glass.
No tile backsplash.
No chimney cover.
No finished hardwood floor.
No picture hangers.
No shower heads.
No mailbox.

Yep. Almost there.


Monday, April 22, 2013



She wanted a "special ponytail" for school today. It's the first time all year she's kept one in the whole day, so I think she liked it.

Also, she has dirt on her nose which I think is adorable. She was pretty much a total dirtball when I picked her up from aftercare. "What happened?" "Well, Mr. D. told us we had to stop throwing mulch..."

I think she has a fun, happy life. Which pleases us to no end.

Sunday, April 21, 2013





Today, for the most part, felt spectacularly normal. Zoe had a softball game, and we celebrated niece Emma's third birthday, and Zoe went to her BFF's birthday party/sleepover, and we had a date night.

Except that Zozer hit her first grand slam, which was so freakin' awesome. She walloped it over the infielders' heads out to left center, then ran her butt off. Her mother and father may or may not have been screaming "RUN RUN RUN RUN RUN!" the entire time, and then jumping up and down with joy after.

And that on our date night we actually did date night things. Like go bowling and hit Ted Drewes and drive around in a car built for two with our favorite music blasting.

I was almost able to forget that we are still living in transition, still waiting.

It was lovely.

Friday, April 19, 2013



Yay! Someone moved in to our new house! Or rather, on to our new house. Industrious robins built a beautiful little nest on top of one of our Frank Lloyd Wright style lights. We've been waiting for the eggs to appear. Zozo was so excited to find them there after school today.

This is gonna be a kickass house for us. I can tell already.

Welcome to the neighborhood, birdies!

Thursday, April 18, 2013



My last bricks can't be laid and my landscaping is on hold, but there is a silver lining: all this moisture in the air is making my skin look great!

(Yes, at this point I'll take what I can get.)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013



Tuesday, April 16, 2013



This day was considerably better than the last. And this cupcake was delicious.

Monday, April 15, 2013



I got beaned in the head pretty bad while photographing a dodgeball game.

We made peanut butter cookies.

My head still hurts but my sweet tooth is satisfied.

I'm gonna call it a wash.

Sunday, April 14, 2013



Watched a cousin play ultimate frisbee.
Led Liturgy of the Word for Children.
Attended the robotics end-of-season picnic.
Got a crapload of work done around the house. (The bungalow, not our real home.) (Nope, still no idea when we can move in.)

Time for bed.

Saturday, April 13, 2013



Today the Girl Scouts dropped off bags for April Showers. They went door to door at hundreds of homes and dropped off plastic grocery bags. Residents are supposed to fill them with personal care items and leave them on their front porch for the scouts to pick up next weekend. We had a blast, pairing with Zoe's favorite friend from her school (and the friend's mom, who happens to be one of my most favorite people on earth), and diligently hit our route with lots of laughter. We took more time than any other pair from our troop, but I doubt anyone else had more fun.

After that we had a softball game for Zoe, played on the very campus where I work (yay! I love being there, even when I'm off) which meant more time (and laughs) with other first-grade parents.

Tonight M and Zo had a father/daughter dance at her school (yes, we are three for three!). I was out running my errands - which go much faster when I'm flying solo - when I got a text from a first grade mom: "Gina invited us over when the guys are gone. Are you in?" Hell yes! The dads created an awesome game plan that included miniature golf before the dance, so they had extra fun and I was able to get some much-needed tasks complete before hanging out with the other moms. It was perfect.

Crashed at my friend's with a cooler of beer, my girls, and my laptop, which enabled me to edit photos while hanging out with some of my favorite people. That's me alright: fun + productivity!

What a great day.

Friday, April 12, 2013



Thursday, April 11, 2013



Our door levers arrived yesterday and were installed today. Our cabinet pulls were also installed, which makes me happy. Several things are not making me happy, but I'm sick of whining about it and so I won't.

ZoBug has a half day tomorrow, and so our Girl Scout troop has planned a hike. It'll be chilly, but should be sunny so I'm sure we'll have a good time. This Saturday we're doing April Showers, where we drop off shopping bags at homes, kind and generous people fill them with personal care items, and then they put them back out for collection. We are partnering with another troop at school, so we're handling the drop-off and they are doing the pick-up next weekend. It's definitely a Girl Scout week.

M picked up Zoe's softball uniform from school tonight - she's number 13! That's been his number for years so he's quite pleased. She was hitting up a storm at practice the other night; it was so much fun to watch. We need to work on fielding a bit, which is easy enough when we don't have 52 things to do each night or tornado warnings. I'm looking forward to playing catch with our daughter in our new back yard (which looks awesome with its sod, by the way).

I am also looking forward to soaking up the light in our new home. I don't know if it's the transoms or the clerestory or the high ceilings or what, but the light in that house is just incredible. No matter what time of day, it's gorgeous. Sunny or cloudy...doesn't make a difference. I want to live in that light. See it daily and feast on it.

When I discovered the door levers in a box by the front door this morning I wanted to snap a quick picture to text to M. The box was in a shadow, so I pulled out one lever and set it down a foot away, in front of the all-glass front door. It was about 7:50 or 8 o'clock, and the light was soft and gorgeous. This means after we move in passersby may frequently catch sight of the female homeowner crouched in front of her front door with a camera. Well, there are worse things they could see, I suppose.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013



Today, I went to a wide variety of places:

My job site.
A weekly status meeting.
Another weekly status meeting.
My office.
The Dining Hall.
A poetry reading.
A Girl Scout meeting.
The fireplace store.
A restaurant.
A soccer game.
The basement of the soccer place for a tornado warning.
My temporary residence.

My bed.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013



Most of the back yard received sod today.

And slowly we creep along.

Monday, April 08, 2013



Donated blood today after work. This is nice because it's a good reminder that it's not all about me. There are people in far worse circumstances. Like, for instance, my general contractor who did NO work on my house today AND went to the Cardinals season home opener.

Oh, wait a minute...

Sunday, April 07, 2013



Zozer requested a bubble bath tonight in lieu of her regular shower. She had a blast. I love hearing, "Mama! Come take a picture of my bubble beard!" and her usual melodies (she always sings in the shower - her current favorite is Ode to Joy).

My kid is awesome.



We went to a trivia night tonight, where technically we scored squarely in the middle (kings of mediocrity! Bastions of the average!) but totally ruled in terms of how much fun we had. (This is impressive, and shows how much I've relaxed since my high school days when not setting the curve on one test could ruin my whole week.)

We (okay I) had some beer and some fun, and was able to finally laugh instead of cry when most people started conversations with us by saying, "Wow, getting close, huh?! About ready to move in, eh?"

This was a night we needed. A night where all that was expected of us was to show up with a meat tray, some cheese puffs, and a willingness to laugh. It was good.

Today's shot was taken as we barreled down Manchester going to something. Maybe the trivia night. I don't remember. Anyway, the sunset was so amazing that it needed no editing. This is straight out of camera (sooc for those of us photography snobs) with no fun Instagram filter to make it "art." I think it's very pretty without that stuff, but then again I've had a few beers and came in squarely in the middle at trivia night so what do I know.

I did try to crop it approximately square, as that's the Instagram format and I'd like to be consistent with my other 365 shots, but that's it. Given my current state of sobriety, I shall claim that as victory.

And with that, I'm off to bed!

Friday, April 05, 2013



Zo and I hit The Custard Station for the first time this season. Only good thing that happened this whole damn day.

Really getting sick of people being pissed at me with little to no provocation. Also tired of people being so pissed at other people that things blow up when I happen to get caught in the crossfire.

Yeah, I'm being cryptic. Because I can't come right out and say that M and I just had yet another fight because one of us is hacked about the way things are going (or not going) with construction. That would be unseemly.

At what point am I allowed to call uncle? To say, "I give up. You win."

I'm tired. I've got no more fight left in me. My stomach has been in knots for about a month straight now and I cry and/or rage daily. I can't sleep most nights and I worry continuously.

Uncle. I give up. You win.

Thursday, April 04, 2013



Today Zoe's class celebrated Mass with the other first graders, second graders and third graders. In first grade they start having the children actively participate in the liturgy. (I love this about her school.)

Zozo's teacher asked the class what they'd like to do. Some kids wanted to read, others wanted the petitions. Zoe wanted to take up the gifts. She LOVES it when we are randomly chosen to present the gifts during Sunday Mass. She was selected, with two friends, for the offertory and could barely contain her excitement.

So this morning M and I watched with pride, while holding our breath, as three seven-year-olds took up the hosts. We were a little nervous because first graders are sometimes pretty clumsy. When we present the gifts as a family we always give Zozer the donations basket. If she drops that, no big deal. The hosts, though? The most precious blood? We're talking catastrophic disaster of biblical proportions.

We sat next to our friends, whose boy was in the offertory group. They were as nervous as we. "Jack told us the teacher instructed him to carry the heaviest thing. You don't think that's the wine, do you?!" she asked with wide eyes. Yes, it was, but he carried the crystal decanter just fine.

They did really great, and all three turned around upon returning to their pews to see if their parents were watching. We were, proudly.

They're growing up way, way too fast.

(My photo isn't great, but you can kinda tell what's going on. She's on the left there, in front of the priest.)

Wednesday, April 03, 2013



This probably isn't the best way to start our landscaping.

Another day of absolute disgust regarding progress. Was there with five guys this morning. Working inside. Returned after work to an empty house with nothing done. No light fixtures. No final trim. No finished staircase. Among a litany of other things.

Really? I am convinced they show up, have a cup of coffee, and head out for the day.

To give some credit, outside we do have another driveway slab (one more. woo hoo.), our walkway poured, and more gutters. Not all of the gutters, mind you. No final brickwork and no start to the mailbox.

I'm not freaking out this time, so I'm either getting better at handling things or I'm growing immune to the lack of progress.

When the landscaper lodged his truck in my front yard this evening, all I could do was laugh. And be thankful it wasn't my car. And that he hadn't laid sod or finished grading yet.

On a positive note, a stranger with a big 4wd truck pulled in to help. They hooked up a chain and had the red truck out within 10 minutes. Sometimes people are awesome.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

stir crazy


Top 10 answers to my least favorite question: "So when are you moving into your house?"

1. I dunno.
2. Beats me.
3. {shrug}
4. When hell freezes over, apparently.
5. What new house?
6. I like living out of boxes, using approximately 10% of my belongings, so I think I'll stay.
7. Well, if I could live without gutters, a driveway, a mailbox, toilet flush buttons, backsplash tile, a kitchen faucet, handrails on the basement steps, a sidewalk, finished brickwork, a yard, door levers, light fixtures and general cleanliness...right now.*
8. Summer of '69, baby! 2069.
9. Oh, we've enjoyed this process so much that once it's done, we're gonna flip it and start over with a new property.
10. F*ck if I know. Or anyone else for that matter. Care to hazard a guess?

I really need to get out of this place. I'm going a bit batty.

(*Seriously, these are all things still missing from the house our contractor says will be done in three days. I'll have what he's smoking.)

Monday, April 01, 2013



Too bare and raw to write much tonight.

I'm not sure what else is happening in the world, or the various universes of those I care for. Too mired in my own misery and anger right now.

This isn't healthy.