Tuesday, September 30, 2008

So We're Not Moving to Chicago.

The company Bob works for is Catholic. We're not. Before he was officially offered his current job, he had to be approved by the Catholic bishop here, Bishop Higi. So before they could offer him this job in Chicago, he had to be approved by the bishop in Chicago. And he wasn't. Cardinal George had said from the start that he wanted a Catholic Director of Pastoral Care there at that community (which seems reasonable to me), but Bob's boss thought he might be persuaded since Bob's worked in the company for several years now, and we're Orthodox. Which shares a good bit of common ground and history with the Catholic Church. But not enough.

Cardinal George's response was something to the effect of "the candidate sounds great, but this is a Catholic company and the Director of Pastoral Care should be Catholic." I was so disappointed, and so was Bob. The job would have included some things he was really excited about, and we had really wrapped our minds around living in a city again.

But here's the thing: we love living here. We never wanted to leave, and each time this position in Chicago came up, Bob and I shot it down. I think we decided three times not to apply for it. Finally, when they asked Bob the last time, we decided that he should give it a shot. After all, they kept asking him, not the other way around.

Bob told me yesterday morning what the Cardinal had said. I had a good cry. And by the end of the day, I was really excited to be staying here.

What a roller coaster ride this has been.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Uncertainty, Anxiety, Hope...

So... we don't know if Bob will be getting a job offer.

We have decided to sell the house regardless. This is a relief and incredibly sad.

Since I like to deal with stress by looking at houses, I'm not sure if I'm wasting time looking at apartments (online) in Chicago, or if I should be looking for houses here (which I am). (I haven't found anything in town that I want.) (Which doesn't mean anything.) (End of parenthetical inserts.)

Yesterday, an appraiser came to the house. The woman who looked at the house on Saturday had arranged for an appraisal and an inspection prior to making an offer. The inspection was today. Lots of anxiety, though Bob and I agreed that we didn't think we'd really be surprised by anything in the inspection report. We pretty much know everything that's wrong with the house. We think.

After the inspection, the woman came back in and we talked (for an hour maybe? I'm really bad at gauging time) about the house, our plans, her ideas, etc. Bob and I really like her and would love for her to buy the house. After all we've put into it, we really want someone else to love it, too. And she does.

So... we don't have any idea what the house will appraise for. This is a little stressful. If I were still selling real estate, I could get into the MLS and find comps, but since that's what the appraiser's doing, I guess I could just let him do his job. I pray with the girls every day about all of this (how wonderful it is, to pray with children!), and we trust that God will provide for us. But I want to know WHERE He'll be providing for us!

After the inspection, I came down with a doozy of a headache, and heartburn, and who knows what all... Though I felt good about all that had happened today, I still think I managed to internalize all my stress. And now it's throbbing, back behind my eyes.

Bob came home in the middle of the day to hang smoke detectors, light fixtures, etc., and then went back to work with Caroline so that I only had to take Emily, Lucy, and Lily (the Great Dane) on a walk during the whole-house inspection. He wasn't entirely productive while Caroline was with him at work. Really? I don't understand that! :) So he's been at work since dinner, and it's now 11:30. I rented a sappy romance and sat upstairs by myself to escape the realities of my life.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Message from a DoodlePro.

Because Bob has interviewed for a job in Chicago and we are probably selling our house. I showed the house today to a woman who loves it and wants to garden. Perfect! But when she left, I cried. I love our house. I don't want to sell it.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I love...

my avocado plant. I know, I know. But it is such a pleasure to watch it grow that I must share it with you.


And I plunked the big table top on top of our dining room table, just to see how it would work in there. Then we moved out the three (3!) chests of drawers that had been residing in there since the drywalling work upstairs. The picture is before we moved out the extra furniture, but I like the way it looks. Of course, it's a little too high, what with being on top of the other table top, but I'm still happy.

Oh, and Bob thinks Caroline got bitten by something. Her eyelid is all red and puffy.

She doesn't seem bothered at all. Except when I make her shut her eyes so I can take a picture...

Thursday Confession

Bob and I have a Great Dane named Lily. She's a fantastic dog, and we love how gentle she is with the girls. I grew up with dogs (well, so did Bob), and when we got married, I felt dog-deprived for the first time in my life.

I started lobbying for a dog. Bob insisted he did not want a dog. So I said, "how about a labrador?" No. How about a weimeraner? No. If he were to get a dog, he would want a standard poodle or a labradoodle. No. Anything that ends in -oodle is too wussy. (For me.)

He proposed a chihuahua. Nope.
By this point, we were living in a little two-bedroom bungalow and discussing the possibility of children. I researched various breeds and one day casually mentioned, "what about a Great Dane?" Oh, he said, I've always liked Great Danes. !! What?? So what I read told me that they do well in small spaces and are very good with young children. Hmm... I said, "There are puppies in town!"

Three weeks later, we had Lily.

Bob says I use the Chinese water torture method to wear him down.

Now here's the confession: Bob cares for her at least as much, if not more, than I do. And by "cares for her", I mean walks her, cleans up after her, feeds her, etc. He's a good sport, mostly. But I do feel bad sometimes.

Monday, September 15, 2008

P.S.

I checked out my route today (you can use GIS maps to figure out your distance), and I ran 17 miles at a 9:46 pace.

I thought I was running about 13-minute miles, there at the end.

I'm really glad that I was only a mile short, and now I know that I MUST eat before I run. I'm glad this happened Saturday, and not the day of the marathon.

Mad Dash to the Altar

(Not really, on that title. I just liked the sound of it.)

So Saturday was supposed to be my twenty mile run. Then, thanks be to God, I got an email from my coach, saying that we should only do eighteen, so we weren't running too much too close to the actual marathon. I was a little worried about this, since we would have gotten in late (we always get in late) to Murfreesboro, and I'd be tired, and L. won't take a bottle, so I have to run RIGHT AFTER I nurse her, so she won't be screaming by the time I get back from my three-ish hour run.

I decided to run on a trail that's 4.5 miles long, so I'd have to run out and back twice. As I started running, I felt bored already by the thought of doing the same route: out, back, out, back, so I decided to just run around when I got to the end of the trail, kill some time (so to speak) by running 9 miles in town, then heading back down the trail.

Oh, and did I mention it was getting really hot?

I realize that I could drag this story out, but the long and the short of it is that when I was about two miles from my van (parked at the trailhead), I could go no further. It was hot, I was worn out, and out of juice. I had had a bit of water before I started, and then maybe a half glass at the halfway point, but I had not eaten anything since the night before, and I started getting shakier and shakier. I started hyperventilating and almost blacked out a couple times.

Finally, I sat down on a bench, and when a nice gentleman walking by asked if I was ok, I confessed that I wasn't. He let me use his cell phone, and I called Mom, who informed me that Dad and Bob had just left to start looking for me. Bob has a pretty good sense of my pace and thought they should have heard from me by then.

I had Mom call them and send them to the "bark park" which (I thought) was just around the bend. I second-guessed myself when the guy said, didn't you just pass the dog park? But I hadn't. Anyway. I had to climb a very slight hill and when I got up to the bark park parking lot, I sat on the curb and tried not to cry. Dad and Bob didn't know where the park was, so Mom gave them the phone number I'd called from, and that man gave them directions, and boy, were we relieved to see each other...

It had taken me 25 minutes to walk a quarter of a mile.

I was whupped.

I had Bob take a picture before I went to hibernate in a hot bath. (On a sidenote, Mom and Dad have THE BEST soaker tub ever. It's long and deep and just plain heavenly.)

And then we hopped in the car to drive to Muscle Shoals, Alabama, where one of my favorite cousins was getting married.

Nothing like heels and a baby strapped to you when EVERYTHING hurts...

It was a gorgeous wedding, and I was so glad we were there. And, for the record, if Bob and I had had an outdoor wedding, I would have wanted Allison's idea for the fans-- they were both the fan and the program... Very cool. And they also served as entertainment for a feisty two-year-old.

Congratulations, John & Allison!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Fatigue.

We went to bed at three this morning (Saturday morning), then I was up and running at 9 -- 16/17/18ish miles. The run was a learning experience. More on that later. Then back home (to my parents') to shower, get dressed, and drive to Alabama for my cousin John's wedding. Now we're back in Murfreesboro, and I'm heading to bed. Tomorrow: church, then the six hour drive back home. A long weekend, but I'm really glad we came down for this wedding. It was beautiful, and I'm so happy for John & Allison. May God grant you many happy and blessed years together!

Pictures coming in the next day or two.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A List of Seven

One of the blogs I read is Ryan's, and today, he posted several things in sets of seven and encouraged his readers to do the same.

Seven random thoughts of the day:

1. I want to live an environmentally-friendly life, but when it's hard, I sometimes waffle. Case-in-point: light bulbs. Bob recently installed the new kitchen light fixture, and all he could find were CFL's, so he put those in. I love that they last so much longer and use so much less electricity, but here's the problem: I don't like the color of the light. Light is really important to me (I struggle with SAD anyway, and I have no control over the quantity or quality of the light outside, but I should inside...), and I've been struggling with this ever since he put the light up. I'm probably going to wimp out and [ask him to] change the bulbs.

2. I'm training for a marathon (the big day is October 12, coming right up), I'm in pretty darn good shape, I'm running regularly, I'm starting to lose the last of the baby weight from L., but I am not really thinking of myself as a runner. Go figure. Running helped pay for my college education, but I'm not a runner. I'm not sure what would convince me that I am.



This rather dorky picture was taken with the timer yesterday. I had the camera propped on the highchair, so I could send a picture of the new double jogger to my mom. I took the girls out for the inaugural double jogger run yesterday, we did 4.5 miles, and it worked really well. Woohoo!

3. Cloth diapers just aren't that bad. Actually, they're pretty darn cool. We use bumGeniuses, and, though they're expensive, we never have to buy disposables. Well, I say never, but the first time I bought disposables was when C was 14 months or so, we were moving, I had no laundry room, etc. I felt it was excusable. I but I still didn't like them. I've discovered that if I have them on hand, I'll use them (disposables, that is), but if I don't, I never need them.

4. I really love my husband. Some things I appreciate about him: he loves our girls so much; he's incredibly capable; he is my biggest supporter, from staying home with the girls, to breastfeeding, to running a marathon, etc.; he likes everything I cook (with one exception: the casserole I made, following my great-grandmother's recipe, shortly after we were married); he's hootie, which delights my soul.

5. I can get a lot done when all the girls (mine, plus Emily) are napping.

6. Facebook is addictive. So, of course, I love it.

7. Clean sheets make me really happy. (I have sheets in the washer as I type...)

Monday, September 8, 2008

She knows the routine

So I watch my friend Michelle's daughter during the school year, and there are a variety of reasons why I like this. Caroline likes having another playmate, Lucy likes having another playmate, I like getting to see Michelle, and sometimes Brian, Elijah, or Mary, on a regular basis. (Brian and Michelle are Caroline's godparents, so it's great that she gets to see them six times a week -- she misses them on Saturdays...)

Anyway, Michelle usually comes by to pick up Emily around 4:15 or 4:30, and by 3:00, Caroline's watching for her out the window. Today, as Caroline ate a late-afternoon snack, she started asking for Michelle. I like how she pronounces Michelle, so I recorded it for your viewing pleasure. Please excuse the spinach soup remnants on her face. (And I didn't edit out Caroline's quick follow-up with "Daddy" on the video.)

video

Oh wait. This blog is supposed to be about the house? Ok, then. Updates:

Kitchen light fixture, done. Thank you, Bob.

I potted the avocado. I guess I'm mildly obsessed with growing avocado trees. Please humor me. Oh, and the pot itself? Purchased down at the Indianapolis Museum of Art garden shop. It's biodegradable, though I'm not sure if this is counter-productive, when filled with soil. We've had it for over a year, though, and it shows no biodegradation (?) yet.

Upcoming project: installing the ringy part of the doorbell. The pushy part is up, just not the ringy. This throws people off when they come to the front door. Here's where the ringy part will go (in the kitchen).

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Family

I've been lucky to spend a good bit of time with my family over the summer, so here are some pictures of some of the girls' favorite people...
Here's Caroline with her Aunt Ellen and Uncle EJ, as well as little cousin Emily.

Here are the babies, born fewer than two months apart:

And here are Pokey & Poppy with their girls. (Note that Cecil's stealing a hat from a defenseless baby.) This may be the best of the pictures. There's not one where both Mom and Dad are looking at the cameras and the babies aren't looking down...

Tripping up the Back Stairs

Our house has a front and a back stairway, which is one of the features that I love about it. When we bought it, I had a hunch that we'd never use the back stairway, but, of course, I use it more than the front.

When we had all the drywalling done upstairs, they took down the light fixture in the back stairway, and Bob put it up in another room, since we were having company. We then had a dark stairway. Every night, I would either trip or be paranoid about tripping, so when we were out buying a toilet, I spotted a light fixture that I liked "well enough" for the back stairs.

It was on clearance, but I couldn't find one on the shelves. Long story short: I ended up buying the display model for $10. My mom would be proud. Bob hung it up, and I do like it, but I think it will look better when the ceiling's painted.


The kitchen light fixture has arrived, so we'll go from this (left) to this (right):















The avocado is growing roots:

I'm going to need to put it in some soil soon, and I can't wait... as long as the cats don't take it upon themselves to prune it themselves, which they have been known to do.

While my sister, brother-in-law, and niece were here, my brother-in-law helped Bob work in the yard, and one of the things they accomplished was the hacking-down of an annoying bush/shrub/tree of the honeysuckle variety (maybe?) that I can't mow under without practically getting on my hands and knees.

As you can see, there's still some hacking to do, but I'm so thankful to not have to stoop down and grumble each time I mow the grass...