September 18th, 2014

I know I said I’d try to keep everybody updated on stuff that’s happening more often, but it’s going to be a bit spotty for the next couple weeks because things are INSANE at work right now. We have this very important meeting happening next Friday that I’ve been doing a lot of work to prepare for. To say it mildly, things are not going well.

We had what was supposed to be a dry run, rough rehearsal today and it was TERRIBLE. No one was ready. People hadn’t updated their presentations. Big things were missing. No one knew was was supposed to be going on. The director looked at me at one point and made a comment about it and I assured him that Monday would be much better. I’m going in to work for several hours tomorrow for the sole purpose of formatting PowerPoint presentations and working up an agenda for the Monday meeting. And a few other things. But mostly: FORMATTING and AGENDA.

Because heaven help me, if Monday’s meeting isn’t a least a LITTLE more organized, I’m going to be pulling my hair out.

To give a little bit of scope to the meeting next Friday, the invitee list is at about 100 people, several flying in from other locations, the meeting lasts from 9:00 – 3:00, and it’s the culmination of MONTHS of work. And I’m in charge of making it run smoothly.

I expect to work 60 hours next week between Monday morning and leaving the meeting Friday afternoon. I fully expect to be at the office Thursday evening at 10:00 at night making sure that everything is ready to go the next morning.

In short: Next week is going to SUCK.

So don’t be surprised if you don’t hear from me.

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Tags: | Posted in Living! |
September 14th, 2014

We looked at more places to move to this weekend. We saw several apartments, a house, and a townhouse. It’s astonishing the things that you learn when you’re looking for a new place to live. Things that turn out to be more important than expected. For example, we’re moving to somewhere closer to where I work. And we looked at some nice places that are not far from work, but that require I take a specific route to and from there. And that route is the same route that LOTS of other people are also taking at that time time of day. The exit off the interstate to get to that neck of the woods backs up about a mile every workday. So while I might not have as far to go, I might still be stuck in traffic for that same length of time. Or longer. So while the houses in that area are nice and quite large and sometimes quite inexpensive, other options that are smaller and a little more expensive but don’t require me to take that a road home are MUCH more appealing.

But it’s a tough call on some of them because there was one townhouse that had hardwood-looking floors throughout (except the stairs) and had a small dining room plus a formal dining room, three bedrooms upstairs, including a master that was ENORMOUS and a nice big laundry room, and two and a half baths that’s listed for exactly what we’re paying in rent right now. But there’s no pool or other amenities in the community and no outdoor storage options and the community isn’t kept up very well, so the roads have potholes and things just look run down. And it’s off the exit of doom. But WOW was that place nice looking inside.

There was another apartment building that had really nice amenities — a great exercise room with windows on three sides and an additional room for doing aerobics or yoga and even had a small ballet barre. It had a gorgeous pool with a pergola covering seating all around one edge and gas grills available for people to use at the end. But the apartment was small, with hardly enough room for our dining room table and absolutely not enough room for our sectional sofa. It had a cute built-in desk outside the guest room (that had three windows!) and the closets were both nice and big, but it was all around just too small inside.

And it turns out that things that are important to us include space for both of us to be in the kitchen at the same time, space for us to host dinner parties of at least 5 people, options for outdoor storage, lots of closet space, ease for me to get to work, and a nice, well kept outdoor space for us to wander around in.

So looking for the perfect apartment turns into this puzzle-piece thing of finding places that fit what we like but don’t quite fit all the important requirements and figuring out which ones are ones we’ll compromise on and which ones are deal breakers. And looking and looking to see if we can find one that matches all our requirements and still fits our price range and distance requirements and everything. Or if that one doesn’t exist, which is the one that we love the most of the options we’ve found.

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September 11th, 2014

In an interesting change from the normal way that I handle stress — namely to eat all the chocolate and sugar in sight or driving distance — currently I’m handling stress by mostly NOT being interested in food and by exercising. It’s healthier this way, right? And it’s not like I’m not eating — I eat when my stomach rumbles to remind me that I need to eat and when the food set in front of me looks really delicious (like the cheese curds my coworker brought me yesterday).

And I’m not beating myself up with exercising because all I’ve done in the last couple days was run from my house up to the stoplight and back, which is almost exactly 1 mile. I’m running it instead of walking because I need the concentration that comes with me pacing myself well enough to get the entire distance, up a moderate slope for a good ways, without losing my breath or pushing my heart rate up too high. I’m not fast, so it’s a slow 15 minute mile there and back, but it’s 15 minutes where I’m mosty thinking “Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. DON’T. STOP. RUNNING.” And I’m not thinking about the things that I need to get cleaned up for people to come look at the house and the things that I could start packing up now and which of the apartments that we looked at last week was the one that I liked the best.

On that note, our landlady called yesterday afternoon with three appointments for people to come view the house on Saturday and more to come later in the week. And then a woman knocked on the door and asked if she could look at the back yard. I think our landlady is going to be able to rent this place out JUST FINE.

No other news right now. I’m excitied to be back at the weight I was at before the family reunion again. And we’re working on getting the house show-worthy for the weekend and then heading out to look for places of our own. :) Should be fun!

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September 10th, 2014

Just putting it up here that we have notified our landlady our intention to vacate the house we currently call home. She accepted that information and we are working through the details involved.

More information will be coming soon, but probably via emails and phone calls more than posted on this website.

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September 7th, 2014

Okay, so I said I’d try to update more frequently again because there’s a lot going on right now and I’m sure you’d all like to know how it’s going.

Well, I don’t have a lot about the current stuff that I can talk about on here just yet because I’m not sure who reads this and since things are still in flux, I’m not willing to write about stuff that might still yet change. So. Yeah. It’s still in works and we will definitely have something to talk about in a day or two.

That said, I can write about the couple of days we had after the family reunion. We had such a great time hanging out with everybody at the family reunion, by the way! Always one of the highlights of the year. And I really need to go see what’s available for cabins in the driving-distance for everybody area, but let’s be honest. It’s not going to happen ANY TIME SOON.

OK. Monday, after seeing Luke & Krista and Mom & Dad off on their ways home, Justin and I went to the MN Renaissance Festival. Julie met us there (because she didn’t really feel comfortable standing around during our heartfelt goodbyes when she doesn’t really know anyone) and we wandered around for a while. It was a muddy mess from the rain the night previous, but the weather was still really nice and cool and it was lovely. I put on sunscreen three times during the day and I still got a sunburn. Go figure.

I’d forgotten how much bigger the MN faire is compared to the GA faire. It’s ENORMOUS. There are so many shops to look at and so many different stages with musicians and entertainment groups. They also have a petting zoo with either sheep or very fuzzy goats, I’m honestly not sure which. To my GREAT ENJOYMENT, the petting zoo is right next to the elephant rides where there were two beautiful creatures, one giving rides at that time while the other ate some breakfast. And just when I thought I couldn’t get any more happy, two baby highland cows walked over and into the pen just next to where I was staring enraptured at the elephants.

And that was when I started crying at the Renaissance festival. True fact. I stood there looking at those beautiful soft pink noses on those cows and those wonderful floppy ears on the elephants, knowing that as soon as I had the chance, I was going to go over and pet those goats (or sheep, whatever they were), and I was so happy in that space and time that I started to cry. Which Justin and Julie both thought was amusingly appropriate for me.

Anyway, after about 20 minutes of letting me spend time in the petting zoo (I swear it was only 5 minutes, maybe 10, but they both insist it was at least 20), they dragged me away to look at the rest of the faire.

We saw a lot of beautiful handcrafted items, like musical instruments and jewelry. We saw a lot of shows and musical groups.We saw a terribly inappropriate gentleman doing bawdry poetry who would stop anytime anyone younger than 18 years old walked into hearing range and just stare at them uncomfortably. Or he’d switch over to “And the LORD saith to Moses!” in the hopes that they’d keep on walking. If they stopped, he walk over to the parents and ask “Do you know what kind of show this is? Do you REALLY want your children here?” It’s quite possible that watching him deal with the fact that kids kept stopping was more funny than his inappropriate poetry.

We saw the Tortuga Twins show, during which they completely lost the script at least 3 different times, made up jokes about mailing packages through the USPS and the Affordable Care Act, and one of them essentially mooned the entire audience. And then they were flashed by a member of the audience. This is a very different show than the one they do in Georgia! Turns out, that’s what happens when more than half of the people are drunk by that time of the day.

It was still a whole lot of fun, though! And I found this really gorgeous clay cup that has mountains and trees and flowers on it and as soon as I saw it (Justin showed it to me), it made my heart beat faster because it’s just THAT perfect! It’s sitting on the desk here next to me but I can’t get any pictures right now, so I’ll have to show you another time.

Anyway, it was a wonderful day at the faire and then we went back to Erica’s house to see the kids before they went to bed. After that, Justin, Julie and I went out to get some dinner, before coming back home, sending photos to Walgreens for processing, and then heading to bed.

The next morning, Justin and I got to walk with Chloe down to her bus stop for her first day of kindergarten and that was a terrifically fun time. I think I was the most sad of everybody there. What’s up with that?! She got onto that bus like a pro! Except for the part where her backpack was so big she almost didn’t fit in between the rows of seats. After seeing her off, we got all packed up and then sat and chatted with Erica for a while after that before heading off to drive down to Madison, WI.

That part of the trip was mostly uneventful. We were running later than expected, so I called and chatted with Mom about whether or not we should actually go and see Grandma Mick and we decided that it would probably be better to just head to Grandma Fritz’s and not worry about it. There are a lot of reasons behind that, and I don’t feel guilty about it.

We made it to Madison, picked up the photos from the Walgreens and then picked up the rental car and said our goodbye’s to Julie. She’s staying with her parents there until she flies out to Nevada to spend time traveling with Becky — her flight is actually Monday morning!

From Madison, we drove to Grandma’s house, where she and Dee had dinner just about finished. We chatted and I showed her the photos we’d brought for her. She didn’t think we were leaving them for her at first and was delighted to hear that they were hers to keep! We ate a delicious dinner and then honestly just sat around chatting and looking at photos and chatting some more. Paul came over to pick up Dee before it got too terribly late, but Grandma and Justin and I sat up talking until almost 11:00 at night! I learned more about Great-grandma Egan than I’d ever expected to know! Apparently she really did not like Grandma and made it very clear. It was actually quite sad to hear, but it emphasized to me so much more about what a gentle and kind woman Grandma Fritz is and how she’s possibly the most loving woman I’ve ever met.

And I want to guilt all of my siblings into going to go visit her because she is truly a DELIGHT and I don’t know why none of you go visit her if you’re in the area. Our cousins don’t visit her much, either, but she keeps track of all of us and keeps photos on her walls and on tables (because she ran out of wall space) and loves to hear about what we’re doing. You should at least be sending her letters and photos now and then. Justin and I are the least interesting, I think, because we don’t have adorable kids to ooh and aaah over and you should be allowing her that opportunity. And she’s great to chat with and has a great sense of humor and the 6 hours that we sat there chatting went by so quickly because we were having such a wonderful time.

Seriously. She’s a lovely woman and I wish you’d all spend more time thinking about her. I know that she is hard to talk with on the phone because she doesn’t hear well, but she pours over every letter and photo she gets and shows them off to anyone she possibly can. (Did you know Molly and Aimee both have several kids?) She’s so very proud of all of us and loves to hear about what we’re doing!

Write to your Grandma.

Okay, I’ll stop guilting you all now.

Justin and I spent a very short night (5 hours or so and I woke up just about every hour thinking I’d missed my alarm) before dragging ourselves downstairs where Grandma had juice and cereal set up and made me a cup of coffee (she told Justin it’s the first cup of coffee she’d made for anyone in 7 years). We spent as long as we could lingering over breakfast, but eventually we had to tear ourselves away and head to the Milwaukee airport and hop onto a plane.

Sadly, we didn’t get to sit in business class like we did on the way up. This was very disappointing, as you can imagine. But the flight was uneventful and we landed and collected our slightly more damaged luggage and got on the shuttle back to where we’d parked the car and then drove back home again. We got into town in the late afternoon, hauled everything into the house, showered FINALLY, and then went to get chiropractic adjustments because I NEEDED ONE.

And then I climbed into bed around 9:30 completely exhausted so I could get up at 5:00 to get ready for a long day at work. Which it was. And so was Friday. Saturday, we made it through all the washing and did some research on that other thing that’s going on. And we continued more of that research this afternoon. I promise I’ll write about that as soon as I can. I think we should have decisions made by Wednesday.

Anyway! That’s what I can write about for the last week or so. And it’s now 30 minute past my bed time and I have a meeting at 7:00 tomorrow morning that’s going to be NO FUN, so I’ve got to get some sleep.

I hope you’re all doing great! I’ll try to write again soon.

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