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week one. check.

27 Mar

well we survived our first week of living up North!  at first the weather was warm and sunny, but it quickly deteriorated to a monsoon, a crazy hailstorm and then snow and low temps in the teens.

our house is pretty well unpacked.  some things have found a home, some have not.  the kitchen is done and i actually cooked 3 meals in a row this week!  that’s a pretty good string, especially considering i hadn’t cooked 3 meals in a row in a couple of months.  [it doesn’t matter that one meal consisted entirely of IKEA food–swedish meatballs, gravy and potato pancakes–right?  RIGHT??  EVERYONE loved it.]

the move went very smoothly.  it was chaotic that day and we literally swam through a sea of boxes and paper for a couple of days, but now we have a nice, tall, flat stack of boxes 4 feet high on our front porch.  only a couple of things were broken and it was mostly stuff that i had packed for the big red boxes.

school is going well for the boys.  we kinda feel like we’re living in the twilight zone, 

or rather pleasantville, because this little nook of pittsburgh seems so perfect.  we walked into the school on their first day and when we were introduced, multiple people exclaimed, “oh! the owens boys are here!”  their teachers already had their desk prepared with supplies labeled with their names. every single person who we met was so very nice to us.

the next day, i walked the boys to the bus stop, which is just down the hill from our house.  about 15 kids and 8 or 9 parents were there, all chit chatting and drinking their coffee.  a 5th grade girl shouted, “bus alert!” and all of the kids lined up rather orderly.  they filed on the bus and as the bus started to pull away, every single parent waved and shouted “good bye! have a great day! love you!”  i left with that whole twilight zone feeling again. crazy.

neighbors continue to walk over with muffins and phone numbers and it’s just. so. nice.

let’s see…..other things….

  • our house leans.  i mean REALLY leans.  i guess after 102 years, a house is bound to settle.  every single room sorta sinks in around the edges.  shims have become will’s best friend for stabilizing furniture.  a game of marbles is just not possible here.
  • the tire swing and playground outside entertain our kids for hours.
  • our bedroom feels like what i imagine an igloo to feel like.
  • i love having laundry in the basement.  it helps that we have a laundry chute. i went to ikea and got several bins to have an organized system.  when i find my camera, i’ll take a picture and show you cuz it’s THAT awesome.
  • stinkbugs are the PA version of palmetto bugs.
  • thanks to MB, i’m now sleeping soundly.  this house is quite loud.  and i’m a light sleeper.
  • i convinced will to have our giant picnic table that was on our porch in the old house as our new dining room table. and once the stuff gets cleared off the top, it will be delicious. i love it there.
  • doors don’t close in this house. but the kids don’t understand that, so they insist on slamming the doors shut. every. single. time. and they don’t close so they slam them again. and again. and again.
  • the different minerals in the water here have done a number on maggie’s digestive system.
  • baseball practices start this week.  woot woot!

 

and with that, i better run. we’re visiting our first church this morning.  i need to find the cutest smocked dress and biggest hairbow for amelia to wear.  happy sunday!

a good day.

3 Mar

this week has been hard.  really, really tough.  really, really sad.  we’ve officially started saying our real goodbyes and are tying up loose ends from morning until night.  it’s exhausting, physically and emotionally.

so indulge me and let me tell you about my wonderful day yesterday.

my friend gwen and i had planned on spending the morning together, as we have for the last few months.  we had planned on going for a really long run, but i just didn’t have it in me.  fortunately allison called 2 minutes before gwen and i met up and told me about a matilda jane trunk show.  i hadn’t ever been to one and i really wanted to check it out.

so gwen hopped in the car and we went to the trunk show.  fun, fun, adorable clothes.  i got amelia a cute dress and matching skirts for both of us:

oh so cute.  so then gwen and i tightened up our running shoes and headed out for a great run on a beautiful morning.

great conversation.  i love that girl.  a whole lot.

we finished up and got back to the van.  gwen needed water, so we headed down to the gas station on the corner.  as she’s got out of the car she pulled out a big ol’ bag of doritos.  oh how i love doritos.  and gwen loves them just as much.  she headed into the gas station to get water and returned with a bottle of water and 2-12 oz. cans of bud light.

oh yes she did.

and at 11am on a thursday morning, we found a corner of a park far, far away from any kiddies, pulled out my reusable grocery bags, sat down and ate doritos and drank beer.  and it was good.

so very good.

it was just what i needed and i suspect it was just what she needed too.

 

i picked amelia up from mother’s day out and met up with my sweet friend Mary Beth at Groucho’s and put a hurtin’ on an STP sandwich.  mb is awesome.  she is one of the most real, tell it like it is people i know and i love that about her.  and she loves jesus a whole, whole, lot.

 

in the afternoon i was able to take some sweet photos of allison’s kids mac and lawson.  one day i’ll actually have a minute to look at them, but that may not be for a few days or weeks.  i seriously cannot remember when my life has ever been this nonstop.

 

we capped off the day with a great dinner with some friends at pawley’s front porch.  and by the time i pulled the covers up, i was asleep.

 

we’ve got a great few days up ahead–william turns 8 this weekend!

scoping out pittsburgh.

19 Jan

it’s been a whole week since i’ve posted!  before the guilt sets in any more than it already has, i’ll update you a little with what’s been going on.

 

all 5 of us packed our bags and flew up to pittsburgh last friday.  it was the first flight for amelia, the first flight as a family and the 2nd flight for the boys since they were really little.  some of the highlights of the trip (it’s a list kinda day):

 

  • seeing their sweet faces watching the planes from the terminal
  • wearing ***1*** pair of shoes the entire time–SNOW BOOTS!!!
  • seeing my sweet friend hannah for the first time since high school and meeting her son, max
  • going ice skating at PPG Place
  • watching the boys fall 100 times each while teaching themselves to ice skate
  • touring the boys’ new school
  • busting through not one, but both of our suitcases
  • meeting a real estate agent (admittedly a cat lady who calls her blackberry “andrew”) and seeing rental properties
  • meeting a sweet family and checking out their crib that we’re hoping to purchase
  • seeing ben avon (our neighborhood-to-be) and falling in love with it all over again
  • listening to amazement in our kids’ voices as we drove through tunnels
  • riding the monongahela incline
  • riding the pittsburgh metro, the “T”
  • realizing we’ll only be 15 minutes from an IKEA
  • showing the kids will’s new hospitals (here’s one and another one)
  • having a delicious sunday lunch with will’s new boss and family
  • stomping around in snow boots
  • watching the snow fall from our hotel window
  • returning to the hotyssey at the charlotte airport, only to realize the battery was dead
  • coming to grips that it’s NOT THAT COLD and it’s NOTHING like our friends lucas and jamie live with (in siberia)
  • playing in a wooden park, reminiscent of my childhood, that was covered in 6 inches of fresh powdery snow

 

those are a few of the highlights.  it was a PACKED weekend trip and i think we’re still recovering.

 

will you please continue to pray for our housing situtation?  we’re in limbo a bit again and are trying to figure out the route the Lord is taking us.  we’re not doubting our decision ONE BIT.  now it’s just a matter of figuring out a place and time.  our tentative move date is still february 17…exactly 29 days away.  woof.

POLAR BEAR CLUB!

12 Jan

I have absolutely nothing to blame on this insanity.  Will loves a good Polar Bear Club.  That is it.

It’s been quite cold here (for SC anyway) over the last week.  We got 4″ of snow on Sunday night/Monday and the temps haven’t gotten out of the 30s yet.  (And the kids are now home for the third day in a row.)  Will texted his buddies, seeing if anyone wanted to jump in the pool.  Nothing.

Until last night @ 5:30, I was on the phone with one of my closest friends, Jeannie.  Her husband Kelly was up for it.

He really was.

So, I called Allison and Leighton and Uncle Chris.  At 7:00 it was on.  And it was no more than 30* outside, 40* water temp.

I don’t know what came over me,  but I suddenly had the urge, for the first time ever, to jump too.  And somehow I managed to talk Jeannie and Allison into doing it with me.  Uncle Chris was having none of it and agreed to be the videographer.  We went first because if we waited any longer, we knew we’d bail.

You can’t see much in the videos, which is probably a good thing.  But turn the sound up a little and you’ll be very entertained.  (We actually jump around the 1:45 mark, if you don’t want to listen to the pre-jump party.)

The guys were much more carefree, let’s just say that.

No one’s heart stopped.  No one sank to the bottom of the pool.  And  I’m happy to report I can check that off of my life list.

snow day!

10 Jan

so in case you haven’t heard, it snowed in columbia.  like really snowed.  i think columbians are starting to get bored of the white stuff b/c yet again, there were not that many people out and playing in it.

and they missed a good time.

we. were. ready. for. it.  we have stocked up on snow pants, thermals, and REAL SNOW BOOTS (for pittsburgh).  will’s best buddy, whom we have always called uncle chris, gave the kids a suh-weet toboggan for christmas.  he made it very clear that the gift did not come with our health insurance co-pay for any injuries acquired.  it’s similar to this one, but slightly awesomer.

we were enjoying a nice, leisurely morning and i asked the kids if they wanted to play in the snow?

nah, not right now, mom.

are you sure?

silence…

william and i made eye contact and we both screamed at the same time, “THE TOBOGGANNNNNN!!!!!!”

20 minutes later (we’re still getting used to this snow dressing thing), we were all outside.  the boys were dragging each other around the yard in the toboggan.  then they all piled in and that’s when the real fun began.

I was perfectly content going down the nice, gentle hill.  Not Will.  So we set off in search of the “big hill” in the neighborhood.  We brought along Maggie and I think she has a love/hate relationship with the snow.  There were lots of our friends and neighbors there and Will’s dad watched from his window.  He likes neither wet, nor cold.

This is my husband not killing himself.

Kay Jewelry Moment

7 Jan

Last Christmas (2009) Will and I were sitting on the couch, ready to exchange Christmas gifts.  We were headed up to the mountains with my family, so we decided to exchange ahead of time.  The kids were in bed.  The bags were packed.  The fire was going.  I was ready for my “Kay Jewelry moment.”  You know, the cheesy commercials on tv??  No?  Well, here…

There, now isn’t that romantic???  Well, Will opens the gifts I carefully selected and he loved them.  My turn.  He hands me one small box, wrapped beautifully and I get all gooey, excited about it being my turn.  I open slowly….slowly….slowly…to reveal…a phone.  A Droid, to be exact.  Definitely not the Kay Jewelers moment I had prepared myself for.  And then he pulled out another Droid from underneath the cushion.  Matching Droids.  So romantic!!!

Needless to say, I’m still waiting for my Kay Jewelry moment.  But Will knows I don’t want anything from Kay Jewelry.  And I’m not pining away for anything in particular.  It’s the moment.

So, anyway, I loooooooooove my Droid.  I really do.  Except I HATE the camera on it.  It’s horrible.  Everyone else in my family has an iPhone, which is great, but in my opinion, the only place it has the Droid beat is in the camera.  So I don’t take THAT many pics on it b/c they’re terrible.  BUT!  I uploaded them the other day when I had to use the computer to charge my phone.  I thought I would post a few of my favorites.  Enjoy!

 

favorite things 2010: GETTING IN SHAPE!

30 Dec

Will and I got serious about getting in REAL shape this year and I have to say, I’m pretty proud of us!  Will joined Gold’s Gym in the fall of 2009 and he has been working out like a machine.  I decided that I was going to run a half-marathon before I turned 31.  I trained for about 16 weeks using this plan.  It was by far the hardest I’ve ever worked to attain a goal.  But on February 27, I DID IT!

I ran the inaugural Columbia Half-Marathon and finished in 2 hours, 13 minutes.  Not bad for a first timer!  My sweet brother and his girlfriend Lindsay surprised me at the finish line, along with my precious friends Jeannie and Allison.  But when I saw the Will and the kids, I completely lost it and started bawling.  Who does that after running for 2 hours?????

 

After a few other races this year, Will and I ran the Marine Corps Mud Run.  It’s the largest mud run in the country, over 4.5 miles and 32 obstacles and 10,000 people worked together in teams of 4.  We ran it with our friends Hoyt and Sarah.  Hoyt had previously run the race, but it was the first time for the rest of us.  Just to give you an idea of the intensity, watch this short video.

 

 

This is what we looked like AFTER the race.

It was SO MUCH FUN!!!  The race was definitely not for people who are afraid of heights, dirt or Marines yelling at you.  But we did it!

 

I took a break from running in the summer and have been going to KORE Wellness since then.  If you are looking for a place to SERIOUSLY get in shape in Columbia, this is it.  Elise offers several classes, but I’ve been doing the kettlebell training.  For the first time in my life, I’m enjoying weight training.  It’s sorta like cardio and weights mixed in one 30 minute workout…a workout that burns 600 calories!  Honestly, it’s like personal training in a group setting, usually 4 or 5 people.  Elise gives one-on-one instruction and makes sure your mechanics are right.  After 5 solid months of doing kettlebells, I can’t believe how much more toned and how much stronger I am!  I love it!  I love it so much, in fact, that Elise is going to help me set up a home kettlebell gym and I’ll follow the workouts online in Pittsburgh, doing them at home.  It’s like e-training, I guess.

 

So it’s definitely been a great year for us physically!  Here’s to 2011!

 

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