Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 in review

I normally don't do these "answer questions" things, but 2012 has been so awesome that I wanted to think back and remember it all for a minute. So here goes.

1. What did you do in 2012 that you'd never done before?
Went to Iceland! (Still excited about that almost a year later).  Hiked on a glacier, floated in a volcanic hot spring. Drank schnapps made from moss (SO gross).  Ziplined over a forest in Quebec.  

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
No, did not keep resolutions. Even though I didn't make many. Might make one for 2013. I heard something on the radio about making resolutions tied into relationships. Like not saying you want to lose weight, but signing up for a race to raise money for a cause you care about and training.  That I can see me doing. 

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
A friend at church.  I don't think anyone else, but I'm not a huge fan of babies and so it wouldn't have been particularly memorable.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, praise God!
5. What countries did you visit?
Iceland! (Again, still excited).  Canada (BC, Ontario and Quebec).  US (Virginia, Oregon, Washington, California)
6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you didn't have in 2012?
Patience with my children. Particularly with Ethan
7. What dates from 2012 will be etched upon your memory, and why?
February 25- our 6th wedding anniversary. We spent the majority of it in Iceland and then flew back to Seattle that evening, so the day was 30 something hours long. Kind of cool. August 20th- the day I started grad school again. And my new job, that same day. Whee!
8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?
I got an A in Constitutional Law while packing to move, and juggling the travel job and the kids. 
9. What was your biggest failure?
I got fatter instead of thinner. Sigh.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I fell over in the bathroom one night and banged up my nose and cheek. But nothing major.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
I would say our new house, but technically I don't own it (yet- long, long story).  Love my Keurig, but got that for the review blog... Can't think of anything off the top of my head.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Daniel. My goodness am I blessed with him. He works insane hours, comes home, puts the kids to bed without ANY complaint or comment. He supported me mentally and financially and never batted an eye when I told him that I wanted to work at a company that doesn't pay me and also go back to grad school on our own dime.  He is patient and thinks my craziness is funny and hasn't once threatened to have me locked up.  I could NEVER pull off even a fraction of the things that I do without him as a partner.  He is amazing.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Pretty much just my own :)
14. Where did most your money go?
Target. And tuition for Vivian's preschool and my grad school. We've written some large checks this year. 
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Disneyland- there is something in the air there! And our new house.  Between the time we offered on it and moved in, I drove by pretty much every day. Or looked at the virtual tour online. I have issues.
16. What song will always remind you of 2012?
"It's gonna be a good life, a good good life!" It was on the Disneyland commercial and after we went to Disneyland, Ethan was obsessed with the song.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
a) Happier (and better medicated)
b) Fatter. Again, sigh.
c) I honestly don't know.  This house buying thing has been complicated and money has been moving around between our accounts and investment accounts and accounts for the other properties and I have no idea.  Probably about the same as last year.  

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Yell at my kids when they were just being loud little kids and not really harming anything
20. How did you spend Christmas?
  Church, dim sum, driving back home to Seattle.  This was the most non-Christmas year ever. 
21. Did you fall in love in 2012?
With our new house. Maintained other loves as they were :)
22. What was your favorite TV program?
Big Bang Theory
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I don't have the attention span to hate people. I lose interest and wander off.
24. What was the best book you read?
Kate Morton's The Secret Keeper. LOVE her books.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I don't really listen to music. Which is funny, because I'm very musical.  But I prefer podcasts and NPR.
26. What did you want and get?
This new house. Although I didn't know I wanted it until I saw it. We weren't even planning to move.
27. What did you want and not get?
I generally get pretty much everything I want :)
28. What was your favorite film of 2012?
Nothing really stands out... but I don't watch a lot of movies. Again, short attention span.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
35.  Still having a hard time believing I'm that old.  I totally did not remember my birthday, but then I went and looked at my blog entry and remembered that I spent the morning at the doctor with Ethan and his suddenly non-functional hip.  SUCH a weird illness.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If I'd gotten my butt in gear and out to exercise more.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2012?
Chubby Seattle mom.
32. What kept you sane?
God and Daniel

33. What political issue stirred you the most?
I do not discuss politics on my blog- but would be happy to talk about them in person! I'm pretty apolitical (even though I'm studying law and public policy in grad school), but there are some things that I cared about this year.
34. Who did you miss?
I tend to not miss people much. I'm a pretty out-of-sight, out-of-mind person, and I communicate with people all around the world on Facebook all the time. I do miss my best friend though- haven't seen her since my wedding and we haven't met each others' kids.

35. Who was the best new person you met?
I really didn't meet many people- did make one new friend who is insanely outgoing and friendly and she's a fun new person to have as a friend.
36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.
 God is faithful, even when things are crazy!
37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
"a good, good life"! 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

I think I might be a grown up now.

I bought a laundry basket last week and am suddenly feeling grown up.  I also purchased an ironing board. It seemed like a grown up thing to do, even if it's unlikely that I will ever use it. We'd rather be wrinkled than iron :)

Fairly settled in the new house now. Right now I'm supposed to be in the basement helping Daniel organize the random stuff we threw in there, but it's cold in the basement and warm up here in the kitchen. So I left and came up where it was warm. Honestly, that's been one of the biggest adjustments for me in this new house- I'm cold all the time. Our old condo never got cold- rarely got below 70 even in the winter and we never turned on the heat in the 6 1/2 years we lived there.  Now we're in this townhouse with lots of floors and windows (good ones, but still) and it is cold in here.  I'm using the heat nervously- I have no idea what to expect from our first electric bill!

We had a nice Christmas.  We drove up to Vancouver, hung out with his parents for an hour or so, then went out for dinner sans kiddos.  The next morning we slept late, and went out for dim sum, which took several hours. Back  to his parents' house where I let the kids open some presents, then out for Christmas Eve dinner with the extended family- again for several hours.  Christmas morning was church, and then off to another dim sum restaurant with most of the same relatives. 45 hours in Canada- 4 eating out experiences. 

Daniel's parents are coming down with his brother and sister-in-law on Monday, so they can stay at the condo and watch the fireworks. It'll be weird for us to not be able to just step outside and watch the fireworks on the Space Needle. It was fun to be a part of city life and stand in the street with everyone from the bar and restaurants and watch the new year come in.  But it'll also be great to celebrate in our new home.  Probably by going to sleep at 10 PM. :)

In school news- got Ethan's kindergarten assignment info this week. My baby is going to Kindergarten next year! And my other baby the year after that! (Secretly very excited!)  And my school is gearing up again- just printed out my first week's assignments for my class that starts next Monday- getting to study International Human Rights this term- so looking forward to it! Need to get my brain working again though- it's definitely been on vacation this month.

Hope everyone had a great Christmas!  

Monday, December 17, 2012


Friday was a hard day for me, as it was for everyone in the world who had access to the news, I'm pretty sure.  I spent all day waiting to hear about the fate of a friend's nephew and cried on my keyboard when the worst was revealed to have happened.  Still praying hard for comfort for everyone involved. I know it's going to be a long healing process.

Saturday we got up early and went back to the condo to pack up all the many things that were still there, then some friends showed up to help us move the rest of the boxes and furniture.  Daniel, in typical compulsive fashion, stayed up until 3 AM building our new bed. 

Yesterday is just a blur of tiredness and running around the city to church and to buy cookware that I can use on my induction stove and swim lessons and unpacking boxes and home fellowship and grocery shopping and tiredness.

Today I am determined to get as many things unpacked and put away as possible. I can do it!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Whining. And other miscellaneous stuff.

I wasn't going to brag all over the internet, then I realized that I share virtually everything all over the internet and why would I stop now. I got an A in my grad school class! I decided I could brag because this A is due to two things.  1) Daniel is amazing and supportive and could not have been more helpful and gracious and patient with me this semester. He did whatever it took to help me succeed.  I am grateful and blessed. 2) I actually worked hard. I've never really done that in a class before.  In high school and college, I was able to get decent grades with relatively little effort. And in my last round of grad school, we pretty much always passed. I have no idea what my grades were, but I didn't really enjoy most of the classes and just of endured them.

This time though I loved the study material. And using my brain. And having to think outside the box.  Loved, loved, loved it. And this was a class that I just took because it was on my list of classes for this program and nothing more interesting was available this term.  Next semester I get to take a class that's actually something I'm already interested in. Even better!

In other news, still loving the new house. It's great to have rooms to put things in! We're not jammed in anymore! And when the kids are getting too crazy, I can send them to a different floor! I can still hear them, but they aren't touching me all the time!

It's weird to look out the window and not see people though.  Living on a busy city street, there were people to watch pretty much 24/7.  I knew about the lives of people I never met. Like the people who had the giant dog and lived down the street. They walked to the coffee shop every day and I saw the man wait outside with the seriously enormous dog while the woman got coffee.  I watched this for years. And then this last month- she had a tiny baby strapped to her! I was so excited that I called Daniel and he knew exactly who I was talking about.  And these are people we never met. 

It worked the other way around too.  One day a gentleman walked by us while we waited for Ethan's bus and he stopped to tell me how entertaining he finds Vivian when we're outside, because she's always dancing and leaping and being silly.  He apparently could see us from his home up the street. 

But now there are just trees and squirrels.  Fortunately though, I'm going to have the car a lot more, so that will help.

*Here comes the whiny part.  I warned you.

I have been sick since last Friday night.  Thanks to Miss Germy germ. It's just a cold, but it's a rough one. And I'm sleeping on the couch with Vivian (our beds aren't moved yet) and spending every day moving boxes and unpacking.  And I've been keeping up. Last night, Daniel told me that he was going to swing by the condo and just pick up our little pantry cupboard. That was it. He wasn't going to move anything else and he was going to be home in time for us to have dinner and get the kids to bed on time.

I should have known better and I probably would have done the same thing because I am JUST compulsive as he is.  But I still was so unhappy when he finally got home at 8 PM (traffic was bad, and that did factor in. A bit.) with a car load of the kids' toys and other miscellaneous things. Which the kids immediately dumped everywhere while we were busy unloading the car.  And they did not get to bed on time. 

I know that everything has to move soon, but I feel awful and I just wanted one day to enjoy what I've accomplished so far.  We're hiring a van on Saturday and we can move everything that's left then. We did not need that car load last night.  I just want to lie on the couch and cough.

You are probably saying "why don't you just not deal with the boxes and stuff that he brought last night?" For the same reason that Daniel couldn't help building our new entertainment center last night from 10 PM-1AM. We have a serious inability to leave things undone.  Even though I'm whining, I probably would have brought the car load and stayed up building the entertainment center too.

I am SO buying myself something sparkly when we go to Target this morning.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Skipping Christmas

When I was packing up all of our boxes and bins, I deliberately packed the Christmas stuff separately so that I could easily identify it and decorate our new house. I was dreaming of how pretty it would look.

Yeah, I'm SO not doing that.  :)  Now that we're in and I'm knee deep in boxes (another load comes tonight with Daniel after work!), I just want to unpack and get things in the right place and get my regular decor up so that I can rearrange things obsessively.  I just want to settle.  Christmas decorations be damned.

We're not having Christmas here anyway, so it doesn't matter. And Ethan made his grandparents buy him a tree so that he could have one at their house. 

I moved the cats here yesterday and they seem to be settling in okay.  Totally confused about all of the floors, since all they've really ever known is our 3-room condo.  Our crazy cat hid in the under the stairs storage area for the first night, and now she's taken up residence behind the kids' bookshelf. But honestly, she's really annoying, so I don't mind her hiding. Our good cat has mostly been sleeping on the bunk bed that Ethan's using, since all of his stuff is there and familiar. But she comes out to explore every now and then.

In other news, my professor still hasn't posted our final grades, so I'm spending every minute when I'm not unpacking on the worth task of obsessively checking the website. 

In other other news, it's 3:45 here and rainy and almost dark.  You win, Seattle.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Things to adjust to

This house is making me feel like a grown-up, for some reason. Maybe because we met the people that we bought it from and they are retired and definitely grown ups?  I don't know.  It just is.

Daniel is a saint and spent the whole day yesterday going back and forth between the condo and here and unloading piles of stuff in the cold and drizzle.  I can't imagine how happy he was to go to work today. We still have stuff left at the condo, but we're making pretty good progress. Today I get to go pick up the cats, which will be nice.

This place is definitely different from our old condo.  In many ways.
1) There are trees. We had a few trees near our old place, but they were city trees. These are wild, tall trees.  There was a squirrel right outside our window when the kids were eating breakfast and they were thrilled to watch it run around.

2) Stairs.  Oh, the stairs.  This place is a townhouse with 4 half levels.  So there are three flights of stairs. And since everything is still in disarray, we are going up and down them a lot.  I need to get in shape to live in this house.

3) We actually have to run the heat and it's still cold.  We never ever turned on the heat in the condo because it was always so stinking warm in there. So this is a novel idea for us.

4) The house has hardwood floors and lots of openings in walls, so it's a very loud house. I was worried about what the kids would get up to when they weren't always in the same room with me. As it turns out, I can hear them from almost anywhere.  I feel like a spy :)

5) This house is fabulous. Our condo was not. The end.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

In case he hadn't noticed that I was crazy

I woke up this morning on the wrong side of a strange bed. We moved enough stuff yesterday to make it feasible to live in the new house. And at bedtime we set up air mattresses for us and for the kids and then... Ethan (in typical special needs kid fashion) freaked out because he wasn't sleeping "up above".  So then we all trekked down to the basement with our sheets and the few blankets that I'd remembered to pack and slept on the bunk beds in there.  I started out the night on the outside of the bed, but at some point  woke up and got in bed with us (shocker) and Daniel shifted me to the inside of the bed.  So I was a little confused when I woke up.

And then I couldn't see a clock or reach my iPod and I cannot sleep if I don't know what time it is. Seriously, that's a thing for me.  I actually was a participant in a sleep study when I was in grad school (round 1) and all I remember of that is not being able to fall asleep because I couldn't see a clock. I'm that crazy. True story.

Anyway, so this morning I shifted and sniffed and Daniel eventually woke up to go to the bathroom and then I just happened to ask him what time it was. And he informed me that it was 6:45 and then I got up. Even though it was dark. Because it is always dark in Seattle in the winter.

So I got the key to the house on Friday night. And since I was meeting the realtor here, we decided to bring a car load of stuff over at the same time.  So it was 5 PM on Friday night and I drove over to the house and tried to pull into the driveway. Only to discover that the driveway a) was at a weird angle on a crazy steep hill (I knew about the crazy hill, but not the weird angle) and b) was lined with sharp rocks.  I discovered that with the front of my car. So there I was in the pitch dark (always dark in Seattle in the winter!) with a car full of stuff, unable to see out the back mirror, trying to figure out how to get untangled from the rock and how to get into the driveway.

I eventually got off the rock and went to the bottom of the crazy hill that our house is on and called Daniel and panicked. He suggested parking up on a nearby street and walking down, which I tried to do and then that got complicated too, so then I drove DOWN the crazy hill and discovered that it was simple to get into the driveway that way. When I called Daniel back and mentioned that I'd figured things out, he helpfully said "oh yeah. the driveway is impossible from the bottom of the hill. I always turn around and come in from up above." And that is why he can't be upset with me about all the scratches and dented panels on our car, because HE KNEW about the driveway and the rocks and didn't think to mention it to me when I was driving to the house in the dark with a car load of kids and boxes.

Oh, and then I woke up Saturday morning (still at the old house) and rolled over and picked up my iPod (yes, that's the first thing I do! Addict!) and discovered that Comcast had cut off our cable, even though Daniel had called them back on Friday to change the cable moving date from Saturday to Sunday, and I didn't really need cable except for the internet. To take my final exam. Which was only 40% of my grade.  Thankfully Daniel realized that he had a perfectly good office at work with internet, so we traipsed over there and I shut myself in his office and took the exam. And it was kind of great because it was quiet and I wasn't distracted by cats or boxes.

After my final (I don't know how I did yet), we went to IKEA and then back to the condo to pack more bins and load up more boxes and then came back to the new house and unloaded and built furniture and collapsed onto our air mattresses and then we're back to the beginning of this rambling blog post.

I'm pretty tired. And Vivian and I both have a cold, which is not awesome but we're sick in our new house at least!

Oh my goodness. We're in our new house!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

I may cry with relief when I get the key tomorrow

This has been, hands down, the craziest 6 weeks of my life. And one of the most stressful, but not in a bad way, necessarily.  I am greatly looking forward to being done with my semester when I click the "submit answers" button on my final exam on Saturday morning.  But I loved the class and it was great to use my brain again and learn and do well (at least so far- lots of my grade to be determined Saturday!). And I'm uber excited about the new house. Although its going to take us all week to get moved, since we're moving things ourselves.  We bought a new bed and they sold us the couch that was in the house, so we're not moving much furniture, so it worked okay to do it this way. And we're only going a few miles, so making lots of trips is doable. Slow and steady, slow and steady.

The loan went through at 5:30 last night. The paperwork got done at 1 PM today and we signed at 2:30. Not cutting it close or anything. Getting a loan these days is awful. So much paperwork- it's totally insane.

Tomorrow we wait for the recording number (again, I have no idea what that means) and then at 5 or so, our realtor will give me the key. She's also a friend of mine and knows I'm anxious to move.  And she's anxious for me to move so that I stop freaking out and sending stressed out messages to her on Facebook. She earned her commission on this one, let me tell you. 

I'm moving! Tomorrow! And all weekend! But I'm moving!!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Hurry up and wait

Everything about this move has been hurry up and wait. We had to put in an offer right away, then wait on the counter. Then we had to move quickly to accept and even more quickly on the inspection. Then more waiting. Then a flurry of mortgage documents and more waiting.  We've been in underwriting for days now and yesterday I had to write a two-paragraph essay detailing why we want to move.  They are NOT messing around with mortgages these days, people. We're supposed to be closing on Thursday and my BIL and SIL are coming tomorrow night to be here for signing (they're on the title) and we don't actually know when the appointment is.  Maybe in 46 hours? I DO NOT KNOW.

I've told the transportation department to have the bus pick up Ethan at the new house on Monday, so hopefully we can be in by then. Or else I'll be hanging out in the driveway with him, because I am not going to mess things up by trying to explain something else to them.  Anytime a message gets across correctly to the school district, you stick with that. 

We're now surrounded by even more boxes, and I think I've gotten to the point where I'm done packing and everything that's left can go in suitcases and bins and we can dump those out at the new place and repeat the process.  That's the good part of only moving a few miles and not having a real timeframe for moving (other than I'm off for break starting Saturday afternoon and I need us to get settled before classes pick up again in January).

I am just so ready to move now. I'm ready to be able to have friends over again, without fear of their kids being crushed by falling boxes.  I'm ready to know where to have things sent and where I'm going to be living.  I'm ready for our new start!  (Can you tell that patience is not my strong point?)

I have to go. The kids are eyeing the tallest pile of boxes and saying something about being hang gliders. This cannot end well...