Monday, January 16, 2012

Some explainin' to do


Big news.

Bigger-than-a-house news.

But I haven't been keeping quiet to be mean.

Priorities kinda shift when babies enter the picture.

Suddenly, the blogging endeavor that you once kept up quite easily becomes merely a thought in the back of your head at 2 am when you're trying to roll over from one side of your body to the other while your belly sloshes and kicks.

But what a ride it was.  The most terrifying, exciting, nerve-racking experience of my life.  But in a good way! 

So for a bit of backstory:

When we made an offer on our house I was working a ton of hours at work.  It was the end of November.  End of Year.  End of Month.  Physical Inventory.  I think I worked about 50-60 hours that week, just cleaning up Open Orders and Inventory and customer's accounts and getting things in order.  (Clue #1: Sleep Deprived)  When I got home at night I would just collapse on the couch with Blake and fall asleep to the TV (Clue #2: Lack of Energy).  Work bought us dinner for like a week straight since they were keeping us all from our families so I felt like crap (Clue #3: Tummy Ache).  Practically every night I'd mention to Blake that I felt really wierd, not sick, but just... wierd.  A little queasy, a little grumpy (Hm. Morning Sickness anyone? Clue #4).  When I went to bed and if I laid on my stomach I felt like I was laying on a ping pong ball.  (Clue #5: There's a baby in there!!)  Of course, having a fever and the shakes & chills didn't help either.  I don't think it had to do with pregnancy but maybe all my hours working?  Who knew!  On top of that the heater on my car blew out and it was really cold that week too.  Didn't climb above freezing.

So yeah.  Lots going on and lots on my mind.  I attributed everything to long hours at work and dumb luck with the car.  (I mean really; why can't the heater blow out when it's 80 degrees??)

It wasn't until I looked at my pocket calendar (because I had been keeping track of my "monthlies" since we weren't trying but weren't preventing either, if you know what I mean) and realized after giving it a half-hour's thought that I missed a period.  Did I really miss it or am I just not remembering?  So I mentioned it to him that night.  Simple conversation.  "Uh Honey?  I think I missed a period."  "Oh really?"  "I'll probably get a pregnancy test while I'm out tomorrow."  "Ok then."  The next day was a Saturday, and while I was Christmas shopping at Target I picked up a preg test.  Freaked out about it then, and again on Saturday night.  I woke up early on Sunday morning to take Pearl out for her morning pee.  Saturday night before bed I opened the test and read the instructions.  Test in the morning when your pee's the most concentrated.  Pee in a cup or put the stick under your butt and pee on it.  I opted for the former because my hands were shaking so bad that I couldn't imagine getting a good result trying to aim for a stick!!  So I rummaged thru the kitchen cabinets for a disposable cup because there was no way I was going to pee in a glass or mug!  Managed to get enough in my cup and stuck the stick in for the required 20 seconds.  Then give it 2-3 minutes to process.  Good thing I had a dog crossing her legs to take my mind off it all.  Outside we went into the cold to clear my mind.  When I came back in, my hands shook even more and my heart hammered in my chest when I saw the result.  Blake was still sleeping so I had a couple hours to digest our news and think about it and pray about it.  My news to him when he got up pretty much went the same as a couple nights ago.  "So... I took that test..."  "Yeah?" He answered the same time he saw the test on the bathroom counter.  "Uh... that looks... uh... Hey!  Okay then!"  Hugs and kisses and you're-going-to-be-a-daddy/mommy congratulative statements followed.  Our house inspection was that morning so we piled into the Jeep and headed over to the house.  By then morning sickness settled in so I sat on a cold folding chair in the kitchen, put my head in my hands and willed the queasiness away.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Announcement in Pictures


We began our demolition around early March. A very good friend of Blake's parents, more like a brother, actually, drove out from Omaha to help/take on/do the work of giving us the house we dreamed of and wanted.

Free of charge!

And no, I don't think he's available for other jobs.

Ike (and Tyler), we love you. Thanks for helping us start off our lives with a great kitchen.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Q: What happens when Life grabs you by your wrist?

A: You try your best to stay on your feet and not perform a stellar faceplant!!

When we got back from New Mexico, we were crazy enough to seriously consider buying a house. Were we nuts?! Don't get me wrong; we'd been saving like crazy for a down payment for a while and that was the plan all along but we didn't know if we were ready for the big jump. We had a real estate agent/office practically built in to the family and there was not doubt we'd eventually use their services. Our wishlist was that we wanted a 2-car garage, a big yard for Pearl, a larger kitchen (as we like to cook & entertain), at least 3 bedrooms and 2 baths and to be in the Cherry Creek School District; one of the best districts in the Denver area, if not the state. We embarked on a few Saturdays' worth of house hunting and narrowed down our search to a few listings in Centennial & Aurora. The place we eventually agreed on, which we'll call Kalispell, was updated and remodeled: the kitchen, bathrooms, floors... everything inside had a fresh coat of paint too. Blake didn't like it so much, mainly because it had a pretty dinky kitchen. I saw the potential but he couldn't see it yet.

"The Elephant" from the living room...

And from the kitchen. Just an empty wall.

It took a showing of another house with a similar layout for him to finally get what I was talking about; that wall's gotta go! It served a purpose as an eat-in kitchen, but we needed some serious storage space!

This was pretty much the kitchen, from the left side of the picture to the right!

So we put an offer on Kalispell with the full confidence that we could tear down that wall and put in more cabinets and countertops. The remodel was completed recently so finding matching everything wouldn't be hard. The only counteroffer the sellers gave us was a closing date change! Easy stuff! So naturally we accepted.

The inspection went well with no major problems. The inspector was worried about the roof and the furnace mostly. We asked the sellers if they'd go halvsies on one or the other. They responded by replacing the furnace free of charge, so we thought we'd better not push it.

We closed on December 30 in the middle of a huge snowstorm! We have a house!!

(Can you find the puppeh?)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Now THAT'S a Cave!

The Crazy Visitor Center Lady also said the last elevator down to the cave at Carlsbad left at 3:30 so we busted butt to get to Carlsbad in time. We put Roswell to our "rudder" and almost broke the speed limit to get there (Carlsbad is about 2 hours from Roswell, plus another half-hour to the caves). The landscape turned from dusty grassland to desert with towering yuccas and prickly pear cactus.

Naturally, once we hit Carlsbad, construction was being done on the main drag through town, which put us way behind schedule! We had only 20 minutes to make a 30 minute trip south to the caves! Would we make it in time?!

Thank God we did; we wound our way through the national park, marveling at the beautiful scenery as best we could as we whizzed past it all. We arrived at the visitor's center with 2 minutes to spare; Blake dropped me off at the front and went to park. I bought both our tickets (which, by the way are like 6 bucks for 3 days- totally worth it!!) and waited nervously for him. With one minute to go he arrived and we made it into the last elevator! Hooray!! Down, down, down we went. Ears were popping and climate was cooling to a very comfortable 56 degrees!

The park closed at 5 pm so we had to hurry thru and look at as much as possible. We didn't bring the tripod with us so not all our shots ended up like we wanted. As we made our way thru we decided that an hour-and-a-half wasn't nearly enough time and that we'd have to come back the next day, with our tripod! We drove back to Carlsbad, took in a late dinner at Chili's and spent the worst night at Motel 6 EVAR. But we were only there to sleep, for the next day held this in store for us:

If there is a way to lend depth-perception to cave photographs I sure would like to know how to do it! That was a big problem I had with these pictures. I couldn't get a feel for depth and sometimes texture with these... then again, maybe it was the subject matter! :-)

I shall give you some neato photos:

I think this photo requires a background story before my mother calls me up and asks what's wrong with me... You know what that looks like, right? As Blake & I were wandering through the main room we occasionally would pass and get passed on the trails by various people. Behind us were three younger guys, maybe in their early 20's. (First off, need I say more??) "Heh heh..." came a quiet voice behind us upon approaching this particular formation, "look - it's Titty Rock!" One guy said to his friends (My apologies to Mom). Click, click went their digital cameras. They spent a lot of time there. And yes, we passed them.

Really cool stalactite (holds "tite" to the ceiling, remember?)

Shot from the highest point in the main room; they say you can fit a Boeing 747 in here!

Stalag-mite make it to the top! :)

Doll's Theater

We wrapped up our cave tour about noon; we still had to make it home to Denver that evening for work in the morning. We did consider going south another 20 miles just to say we visited Texas too, but in the end decided against it. The ride back was uneventful (aside from realizing 100 miles north of Carlsbad that we forgot our pillows at the motel) and we got into Denver at 10:30 that night. Blake went to work the next day and I stayed home the rest of the week to do laundry, run errands and collect Pearl. All in all, it was an awesome trip; we had the best time together, and came home with great memories to last a lifetime. Would I recommend New Mexico for your next vacation destination? YOU BET!! Just go in the fall, and fit White Sands National Monument into your plans and take lots of pictures for me!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

It's about time!

This is the first day I've had where I've had nothing planned that I've been able to update our humble blog. So much is going on right now but I have to save that for later. It's been five months since our vacation to New Mexico, can you believe it? Last I left off I believe we were just about to head to Roswell & Carlsbad.

About 9 in the morning we put lovely Santa Fe behind us and began the long, half-state journey south on 285 through the almost-deserted town of Vaughn. We rolled into Roswell around eleven.

In Roswell, for those of you who weren't aware or thought was just rumor, the way of life revolves around aliens. All the storefronts have some sort of alien-theme or application present:

Mexican restaurants...

Storage Companies... strange... we didn't see any UFOs stored there!

Where they say the WB show Roswell once was filmed. Now it's a souvenir shop.

We stopped by the visitor center on Main St to get advise on what to hit first, since we were only passing through and had a couple of hours to spend there. Blake decided just to stay in the car and send me in to get pamphlets so we'd only be there for a few minutes. I walked in to a deserted center where a video on aliens played to an absent audience. Cardboard aliens stood everywhere, and I started to wonder if they were open. All of a sudden, from behind the wall, a woman popped out and scared the crap out of me! She told me what we should see, helped me stick a pin into a map to show we were from Denver, and sent me on my way with the parting words "Have an out-of-this-world time!" Okaaaayyyy. Someone doesn't get out enough...

I made my way to the car, only to find it was empty. I didn't think alien abduction happened that quickly, I said to myself. And dangit! He locked the doors before he was beamed up!! As fun as that sounds, I really did figure he had to use the restroom so I waited. And waited. Then went to check on him in case he "fell in". I met him on his way out, completely unharmed!

The Crazy Visitor Center Lady told us to go to the UFO Museum so that's what we did.

I have to tell you that these people take their aliens very seriously. Inside, everything is presented in a timeline-like fashion, from the first witness accounts, to the first telephone call and radio address, to the alleged government cover-up and the subsequent sightings.

According to witness statements and affidavits, the government threatened their lives and the lives of their families if they told anyone about what they saw: alien bodies, ship wreckage, government movements, etc. However, with the recent popularity of anything alien in the past few decades, the government has pretty much turned a blind eye to everything that happened 70 years ago. The museum claims to show visitors the evidence; it's up to us to decide if it happened or not. I am still unconvinced about aliens, but convinced the government covered something up that happened here.

The UFO Museum also presented photographs that the public has sent them: hubcaps, hats, lenticular clouds (of all things), balloons, things that people have thought are UFOs but the pros at the museum have ruled out as such. But they also have photos that are pretty convincing. Crop circles, Mayan theories and Pop Culture are also on display.

Government-Issued Aircraft ID Chart :-)

What do you think?? Are they out there??

Friday, January 21, 2011

What a beautiful life


You bet I don't remember having a blog.

I do remember! I think about it a lot and even more about the fact that it sits neglected.

I have a good excuse. A few really good excuses, actually.

When things settle down I promise I'll come back to it. I'm hoping February. Of this year. Before I forget all things New Mexico... still have Carlsbad Caverns and Roswell! Stay tuned!