Monday, November 11, 2019

Weekend Highlights

We had a really nice long weekend up north at my parents. It was nice to get away after a busy/stressful period of preparing our house to list. Here are the highlights from our time at the lake!

- I'll start with the big news - we accepted an offer on our house last night! We were really happy with the offer and if everything goes well, we will close on the sale of our house on 12/17. I'm glad we will likely only own 2 homes for a little over a month. I'm crossing my fingers and toes that we don't get much/any snow so Phil doesn't have to shovel 2 corner lots!! Fingers crossed the inspection and appraisal go smoothly!

- Seeing Paul play with toys from my childhood. He had so much fun playing with this box of trucks that belonged to my brothers.


 - I also got to see Paul learn some new things or show off things he had learned at school. It turns out he knows more than we realize. My mom pulled out this box of magnetic letters/numbers while we were there. He picked up the letter O, turned to my mom, and said, "owl!" He picked out several other letters and numbers that he learned in school and showed off some of his Spanish skills. I ordered some magnetic letters for our house since he really enjoyed playing with the letters at my parents.


- As usual, my mom totally spoiled us with delicious food. Egg bake, homemade soups, homemade cookies, spaghetti with homemade sauce, etc. We ate very well! We also enjoyed one meal out on Saturday night. Paul is still at a good age for eating out so he did very well. He loves looking around and waving at people.

- My mom watched Paul on Saturday and Sunday morning so I could go back to bed and get a little more sleep. He was up early both days so I was very grateful that she was happy (thrilled, really) to watch him as I did not sleep well up at the lake so needed some extra sleep. This also gave her a chance to hold him and read to him. When Phil and I were around, he was very clingy and would not sit on her lap. I think the change over the last couple of weeks has been hard on Paul (for example, we've moved his crib to 3 different places in his room as we prepared to go on the market and all his toys were packed away). He's been extra clingy in general. He's got more change ahead of him since we move into the new house a week from Friday but hopefully he adapts to the new house quickly.

We couldn't have asked for a better weekend up north! Well, it could have been warmer - it snowed there on Saturday and the temps were in the teens to 20s. Burr! But coming home to an offer was the best way to cap off the weekend. What was the highlight of your weekend?

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

A crazy week

The process of buying and selling a house is not for the faint of heart. Dang it is so much work, most of which has fallen on poor Phil since a lot of it required manual labor/heavy lifting. So he took on the physical work while I handled caring for Paul. That said, I know we are lucky to be able to buy a house before selling ours so we can declutter/move things to the new house!

We moved a lot of stuff out of our house on Saturday. This before and after picture doesn't do it justice but gives you an idea of how much got moved out. Not pictured is the office which was full of furniture from upstairs/other areas of the house - the office is now empty.



Our house will get staged this week, photos will be taken on Wednesday after the cleaners come through and it goes on the market on Thursday. We will head to the lake after work on Thursday and hope/pray that our house sells that weekend. If it doesn't, we'll allow showings up until 6:30pm on week nights and will either hang out with friends or at the new house until Paul's bedtime. I don't think anyone would want to see the house after 6:30 on a week night anyways since it's very dark at that point, especially after "falling back" this past weekend.

We've decided to replace the upstairs carpet in the new house so all the stuff we moved out of our current home is sitting in the living room of the new place. We meet with the carpet people on Thursday afternoon and hopefully the new carpet can be installed ASAP so we can empty out the living room before the big move.

So our current house feels empty/echoy and our new house feels like a hot mess. For a type-A person who craves order, this all makes me feel kind of "twitchy." But I am reminding myself that 2 weeks from Friday, we'll fully move into the new house and can get settled! I don't like to wish time away but I would like to go to bed and wake up on Thanksgiving when we are moved/settled into our new house. I say settled because we are the kind of people who unpack right away! Plus since we rented boxes for the move, we don't have the option to pile them up - they need to be emptied within a week of moving so they can be picked up by the company that provides them.

One fun positive is that we went shopping for a new guest bed/headboard for the guest room. It will be delivered at the new house on 11/16 so my parents can stay there the weekend of Thanksgiving. I'm so excited to have a dedicated guest room/bathroom as we have a lot of out of town family/friends. It was very hard to host people in our tiny current home but now we are set up well to host family!

So in short, send us allll the good vibes that our (adorable) house sells this weekend so we can focus on the move! I'm looking forward to a weekend of relaxation at the lake - especially for Phil as he has not relaxed much in the last 6 weeks! We'll get some extra sleep since my mom can help with Paul in the morning and we'll be well-fed by my mom! I'll talk to you on the other side of this week/weekend - hopefully I'll have good news to share next week!

Monday, November 4, 2019

What We Read in October

October was definitely a slower reading month for me. Between feeling pretty sick with pregnancy symptoms, then dealing with the miscarriage, followed by buying a house and starting to move things over, I didn't read nearly as much as I usually do. But I still managed to read 5 books, bringing my 2019 total to 86!!

I feel like these reading recap posts are getting really long and not so interesting to read so I'm shortening the format and will focus on "hits" and "misses" with brief comments about the books that fell into those 2 categories.


Hits

- It's no surprise that I loved A Better Man by Louise Penny which is the 15th book in this series. I really hope she writes more - I will be sad to see this series come to a close!

- I also really loved The Huntress by Kate Quinn. It's a WWII novel but focuses on tracking down a Nazi war criminal in the US after the war is over. It took awhile to get into it, but once I was hooked into the story line, it was tough to put down.

Misses

- Time After Time by Lisa Grunwald was very 'meh'. I had trouble getting into it initially but it was a Modern Mrs. Darcy summer reading guide pick and I usually love the books she suggests so I stuck with it. I should have abandoned it as it just wasn't the book for me!

Paul's Reads:

Paul is really into this lift the flap book that I got at Half Priced Books this summer. It's all about farms which is theme he enjoys!


He's also still drawn to this "touch and feel" book that my parents got him about a year ago!


And he still loves the Little Blue Truck books! A new one came out this month called, "Good Night, Little Blue Truck." It's not available in board book form yet but so far he's done well with the format and hasn't torn any pages!


 Did you read anything great this month?

Friday, November 1, 2019

TGIF

As usual, I'm greeting the weekend with open arms! We have A LOT to do this weekend but I'm still looking forward to it. Here's what's happening in my world!

The book I'm reading is Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans. I was drawn to this book after the author tragically died earlier this year from complications from a flu virus. She was just shy of 38 (my age) and left behind a husband and 2 kids, ages 3 and 1. :( She is a well-known Christian author and I had been meaning to check out her work for awhile but her death prompted me to request her book from the library. 

The high of my week was picking up Paul from daycare after my 2-day work trip. When he saw me, he ran over and gave me the biggest, longest hug. It was a different reaction from when I usually pick him up so I know he missed me! I missed him, too.

The low of my week was being away from Paul (I really struggle being away from him!) and coming down with another bug of some sort. I haven't really felt "great" since the miscarriage. I think my body is under stress/healing so I've felt off for the last 2 weeks but now I have a cold. Hopefully I am back to full health soon!

A recipe I made was pasta puttanesca. This is an easy recipe - the only prep work is chopping half an onion and some garlic! I skipped the anchovies. I know they would give it more flavor but I knew we wouldn't use whole can so it seemed wasteful to buy them. It was still delicious without the anchovies!

The best money spent was on nothing? I didn't spend any notable money this week since I was traveling for work. I even resisted a 50% off Friends and Family sale at Banana Republic. I was tempted to buy a couple new sweaters but then asked myself if I REALLY needed more clothes. The answer is no! I mean, we did just buy a house a week ago and have plenty of expenses coming our way related to that so now is not the time for frivolous, unnecessary spending!

My plans this weekend include lots of moving stuff!! We rented a U-Haul truck on Saturday morning so we could move a lot of small furniture over to the new house - like book cases, end tables, rugs, a glider, chairs, etc. Our realtor wants to stage our house with her inventory when we list our house next week so a lot of things will be moved out this weekend. Luckily we have 3 friends who are going to help and my parents are going to help out with Paul and my dad is going to help with a few maintenance things around both houses. On Sunday, Phil and I are going to shop for a new guest bed while my parents watch Paul. Our current guest bed is his grandparent's bed so it is VERY old! We are hoping we'll have a new bed by the time we move is so my parents can spend a night with us over Thanksgiving weekend. It's going to be a productive and busy weekend!

Bonus (mostly) Paul Pics!

Phil sent me this picture while I was traveling. Paul tends to do most things with his right hand, but he eats with his left hand - just like daddy! Phil's parents were both left handed so he does a lot of things left handed since he was taught by lefties (eats, uses a computer mouse, brushes his teeth). Maybe Paul will be slightly ambidextrous, too?



Last Sunday we gathered with Phil's college friends for our annual pumpkin carving party! We usually host but this year another couple hosted since we have too much going on with our move. Ours is the cat pumpkin, of course!


We didn't send a costume with Paul for Halloween since it's a pain to put a toddler in a costume. Instead he wore a very Halloweeny outfit!


What was the high of your week? Are you doing anything fun this weekend?

Friday, October 25, 2019

What happened to my wanderlust?

Hey there! Today is the day we close on our new house! It will be a hectic morning as we have Paul's teacher conferences at 8, the walk through at the new house at 9, and the closing at 10. Luckily everything is fairly close together! I'm looking forward to Paul's conference as it will be nice to have a longer conversation with his teachers about how his transition to the toddler room has gone. He seems really happy in his new room but I'll be curious to hear what his teachers say about the adjustment/how he's doing overall.

But today I'm sharing a reflection that was prompted by a lunch date this past week. Earlier this week, I had lunch with two former co-workers from a previous job. It was so fun to catch up with them. We got on the topic of travel as one of them (a recent empty nester!) is going to Spain in January so I was sharing insights from my Spain trip in 2016 (which feels like a lifetime ago!). The other co-worker told us about a high school friend of hers who is a "social media influencer" which basically means she earns a living by promoting brands on instagram/twitter, etc. This friend had planned to move around the world with her husband/children every 3 years. She started in Costa Rica and then moved to Spain but they are so happy there that they plan to stay there until their youngest daughter graduates from high school. My friend had gone to Mexico with this influencer last winter and the friend's entire trip was comped by the resort since she would be promoting the resort on social media.

My former co-worker said - "can you imagine that lifestyle and being able to travel for free?"

You know what I said? I said: "Honestly, that sounds awful!"

Who am I and what happened to my wanderlust? I used to plan my next trip before I was finished with the trip I was on. I took so many flights/year between work and personal travel that I always made at least silver status with Delta. This year, I've taken 2 flights total and only expect to take 2 more next week. And I'm not exactly looking forward to the flights I'll be taking next week for an off-site meeting as they will take me away from Paul and Phil.

I love looking at pictures of others trips on Instagram. In the past I probably felt a bit of envy or jealousy when I saw the awesome trips others were taking. Now when I see pictures, I think - that's really cool/beautiful, but I have no desire to be there right now.

I'm new to this whole mom thing so maybe I'll rediscover my wanderlust when Paul is older and an easier traveler. I know not all moms feel this way as I know plenty of moms who have traveled after having kids - both with and without their kids. I just have zero desire for that right now. And that's ok - just as it's ok to still have wanderlust as a mom! I tell myself that I lived the heck out of the years before I had Paul - I took lots of trips both domestically and internationally. That was a travel-heavy season of life, and this season is light on the travel. We take about 1 plane trip/year with Paul and so far both trips have been/will be to Florida where we won't do much sight seeing and will instead soak up the sun and surf during our bitterly cold winter. Life is just so different than it was several years ago!

I guess all this is to say that you never know how your life and your desires will change, and what will prompt that change. My wanderlust might come back when we are in a different season of life. But for now, I'm happy to live vicariously through others experiences and to ooh and ahh over their photos from the comfort of my couch! But you told the Lisa from 5 years ago that travel would be so, well, unappealing to her, I think she would have been really surprised!

Have you ever experienced a huge shift in your mindset about something like travel? 

Monday, October 21, 2019

Checking In

After dropping our bad news bomb last week, I thought I'd check in. Overall, we are doing ok. Turns out buying a house and preparing to sell a house is a really good distraction. My physical recovery has not been bad at all. The emotional recovery will take time. We're giving ourselves grace during this time and I'm allowing myself to feel all the feeling. We've been so surrounded by love. Our table has several flower arrangements and we've received lots of cards, emails, and text messages. We are so lucky to have such supportive and caring family and friends.

On Saturday we went out to Grandma Joan's for the afternoon. We brought Oscar out to stay with her until after the move. She's stayed out there plenty of times before but this will be her longest stay as she'll be there for about a month. She cried a lot while Phil mowed/collected leaves outside. :( I hope she adjusts quickly. Grandma Joan adores Oscar so I know she's in good hands and will get sooooo many treats! She won't let Joan touch her (really, only Phil can touch her - she will initiate contact with me by jumping into my lap but doesn't really let me touch her otherwise!) but she gets lots of play time with Joan and more human company than she gets at home since Joan is home all day. Oscar isn't a fan of being alone so I know she'll enjoy her time out there.

Paul spent some time in grandma's lap looking at books...


Joan pulled out Phil's matchbox cars and Paul had fun lining them up. This little boy loves anything with wheels!


On Sunday, we woke up to a beautiful fall day - finally! Saturday was nice, too, but Sunday was just absolutely perfect. We had a slow morning indoors with lots of book reading.

Then we headed outdoors to get some pictures of Paul for our Christmas card. Here are a few out-takes. He was a very, very good sport and we got a really great picture for our card!


We continued on our walk and then Phil encouraged me to take a picture with Paul. I have tons of pictures of Paul but very few WITH Paul. I need to be better about taking photos together. I almost didn't take a picture with him as I wasn't wearing make-up and was wearing super casual clothes. But I sure am glad we took this picture as it turned out perfectly! I'm so thankful for this little boy - he's been the best source of light and love while we are grieving.


In the afternoon, we headed out for a Halloween event with my mom's group. I had to wake Paul up from his nap. He had napped for 2 hours and 20 minutes which is a super long nap but I think he was still tired as he was a very quiet, serious duck!



It was fun to see Paul's little buddies. 6 of the 8 moms/toddlers in our group were able to come to the event. We got the toddlers to all sit on a bench - getting them to smile just wasn't possible but you take what you get when it comes to toddlers.


All in all, it was a good weekend. We close on our new house this Friday, list ours on November 7th, and will move on November 22nd so I think the coming month is going to be quite the whirlwind. I'm grateful for the distraction and excitement that our big move is providing.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

A Week of Loss

I debated whether to write anything about the week we've had, but ultimately decided that it wasn't something I could pretend didn't happen or gloss over. I believe in vulnerability and sharing our real life in all its sorrow and joy, so here goes.

We had found out we were pregnant in mid-September - on Friday the 13th of all days. That following Monday, the house we are buying came on the market. In the span of 4 days we had found out we were expecting and found a house. It felt like everything was falling perfectly into place.

I've been feeling pretty awful for the last several weeks. Some days I slept for 11-12 hours total between night time sleep and naps. On the weekends, I napped when Paul napped and would still go to bed between 8-9pm. Phil was totally carrying the load around here - especially with the list of things our realtor wanted to do before listing our house. I was nauseated and so many foods turned me off (coffee, bananas, yogurt, anything sweet - so many things). I had no energy to do much outside of working and caring for Paul.

Our ultrasound was this past Monday. Phil and I went into the ultrasound room with such hubris. Phil had the front desk person and ultrasound tech cracking up with his dry wit. I was feeling awful and statistically, bad pregnancy symptoms are a really good sign for pregnancy so we had no reason to expect anything but good news. The ultrasound tech started the ultrasound and we said "oh phew, there is only one baby" as I had wondered if my intense nausea/exhaustion meant we were having twins. There was a long pause and the tech said she was just pausing on the baby to try to find the heartbeat but it was quickly apparent that there wasn't a heartbeat. I was 8 weeks 4 days on Monday and the baby measured 8 weeks so the miscarriage had recently happened and my body hadn't caught on yet. I don't know that I've ever experience such a 180 of emotions. We went from laughing/joking/feeling excited to Phil grabbing my hand and putting his head down next to me.

Phil and I are both extremely logical people so when the nurse practitioner and ultrasound tech assured us that the loss was not in our control and was most likely due to a chromosomal issue that wasn't compatible with life, we accepted that. I don't blame myself, although I do wonder if my age is a factor as the older you are, the greater your risk of miscarriage. But we can't control the fact that we are trying to grow a family in our late 30s and there are plenty of women who have had healthy pregnancies in their late 30s and early 40s. Wwe are trying to trust that it will all work out for us.

I had a D and C on Tuesday morning. My OB was able to do the procedure which was comforting as she has been through so much with us and is such a kind, caring physician. They will do genetic testing on the baby to see if there is a reason for the miscarriage. I think having that info will be helpful for Phil and I as we process this loss and move forward.

I share all of this because I will probably be quiet in the weeks to come. I only knew about our tiny, growing baby for about a month but the love for an unborn baby is so instant - at least for us. It's crazy how fast something tiny turns your life upside down - so much of my day to day life from September 13 to October 15 was impacted by the life growing inside of me. I'd already started to envision our life as a family of 4 next summer as the baby would have been born in mid-May.

As we've shared this news with family and friends, so many couples have told us about their own pregnancy losses and shared in our sorrow. We know we are not in the minority to be experiencing this loss. Time will heal this wound but this is something I'll always carry with me.

Paul is definitely such a huge blessing during this time of sadness. I have given him so many hugs and kisses and have said I love you with more fervor than I ever have before. My heart goes out to anyone who has experienced a loss like this without a beautiful child at home to hug. His light, love and laughter has eased our sadness.


And our dear kitty has stayed close by my side and has been very generous with her snuggles.


I know Phil and I are very lucky to have been able to conceive this child. It was harder this time around than with Paul but we know we are lucky to be able to conceive without medical intervention. This loss is real and sad but I'm trying to hold onto hope for a future that includes another baby.