May 25, 2006

Pictures of our NEW HOME

Picture me with a dark red door and blue shutters with white molding around door and under the windows. And a flag pole. And maybe a lamp post. And lots of flowers. Okay, I'm stopping now. Oh wait, I forgot to mention the brick chimney on the right side.*
(*this is the house talking...I, the creator of this fabulous blog, have nothing at all to do with these labor intensive plans.)

Here is what our house looks like now that it is spring and everything is turning GREEN. I can't wait to work on the yard and plant flowers!!!

We have an excellent Realtor named Lori and she took a bunch of pictures for us during the inspection today. There are no problems, so things will proceed on schedule. This picture is the upstairs living area looking from the kitchen. The wall on the left that you can't see is the same color red as the stairway wall on the right. Notice the "Dunkin' Donuts" cup on the kitchen bar on the right side of the picture.

Here we have the master bedroom...MUCH bigger than our current shoe box sized one. (Of course, it's not hard to find a room bigger than our current one.) The color isn't bad, but I'll probably change it to something I like better. (Are you bored yet? Hold on...only one more after this.)
And finally, LOOK AT THE YARD!!! Hooray for grass!!! The boys don't have to play in a concrete courtyard anymore! All we need now is a BOUNCE HOUSE to put in it!!!! (Oh wait...)
This is the side yard to the right of the house. Unfortunately, the boat in the background doesn't come with the house. There is, however, water nearby where we can park the inflatable raft* we're planning to get at Costco.

*I'm just kidding. We don't actually buy inflatable non-essentials on impulse. (Oh wait...)

May 24, 2006

10 Things I'll Miss About San Francisco

10. Painted Ladies and all of the other old buildings and cool architecture.

9. Tons of awesome parks

8. Sour Dough Bread and fresh seafood

7. The "Diversity" : )

6. Fog rolling up our hill

5. The Weather

4. The Restaurants
"Chou Chou" French Bistro and "Silverspoon Thai Kitchen" are two favorites.

3. The Golden Gate Bridge (The color is actually "International Orange")

2. The Most Beautiful Scenery on Earth

1. Awesome friends we've made and crazy people we've met!

May 19, 2006

One family down, six to go...

Boys l- r: Aaron C, Doug W, Brett B, Jeff N, Justin W, Nate S, Lee A
Girls l- r: Jess C, Me, Kim B, Marissa N, Emily S, Lanie W, Ginger A
Today we said good-bye to the first of our friends who are graduating and moving on. Let's call them "El Norte's*." The El Norte's moved to San Francisco at the same time we did into the building next door. A few weeks later, their first daughter, Sadie, was born.
Hailey followed a little later and is the same age as Samuel.
Since that time, we (that would be me and Dug**), the Norte's, and five other couples have become great friends. We all moved into the same housing so our husbands could attend either Dental or Medical school at UCSF, we all have kids close to the same age, and all attend the same church. We've traded babysitting, gossip, toys, clothes, germs and recipes. We've hunted for lost kids together, shopped, explored the city, and played together. Our kids have grown up for the last four years together. They know their "Aldea" friends better than their cousins.
We're going to miss them!

Marissa and Sadie

Sadie and Maxwell

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent. **Grammar has not been changed because I'm lazy.

May 17, 2006

We Bought a House!!!

After months of on-line shopping, a plethora of e-mailed listings from our realtor, and one quick trip to New England, (by myself) we've finally found a home and are in the process of buying it! (It's the white one)

A few days ago we made an offer, which the owners abruptly countered, after which we (in a more leisurely fashion) countered their counter which they immediately/finally accepted!!!!!

We're very excited because it is a newer home (only 9 years old) in a great school district, with a big yard, surrounded by millions of trees and has only one neighbor. (Not including the airport and train tracks which at least the boys will appreciate being close to.)

Doug is already scheming how he'll landscape the yard and I'm planning to add some (very simple--yeah, right) architectural interest to the exterior with molding around the door and windows, and possibly a different front porch. See the yellow house. (Did I say "I'm planning to add?" I meant I'm planning to have DOUG add... Does anyone know how to build a chimney or two?)

Of course, we're both living in fantasy land because once we get there we'll probably have no time and no money. But what the heck--it's fun daydreaming about it.

Max gets slightly excited about the move when we remind him they have snow. (He'll probably be pretty ticked when we get there in mid-June, but we'll worry about that later.) We've showed him pictures of the new house, but his only comment on it was "OHH!!! I wanted the one with the swimming cool!!!" (Yes, cool...not a typo.)

I told him we could get a plastic one and he was happy once more. (Kids have relatively simple needs once you scale them down a bit.)

Speaking of being simple, one day while I was diligently hunting for a home, Doug called to tell me he was on his way to a Sporting Goods store in the mall that's going out of business. I asked him why and he said "to buy a bounce house!" Huh? A what? and WHY? Turns out, they were on sale and the neighbor two doors down had already snapped his up so Doug and a THIRD student father, were racing to the mall in an attempt to keep up with the Browns. We now have a NIB, million pound bounce house sitting by the front door.
See my e-bay auction for more details.

Well, it's almost exactly one month until graduation and then we're flying back east the next day. Our stuff will already be in route and will get there a few days after us. We'll have one week together in the new house and then Doug is off to Brooklyn for three weeks of training. Hopefully I'll be able to visit but although I consider myself pretty adventurous, I don't know if I want to explore New York City alone, on-foot, with two crazy boys in tow. It's mostly that last thing that intimidates me. We'll see what happens.

In the mean time, anyone is welcome to visit our new home and help us explore New England!

May 2, 2006

I don't get it, but I like this guys style.

While visiting Rhode Island, I made an interesting discovery. It just so happens that it is the "Dunkin Donuts" capital of the world. Not only are they on every corner, they're on every corner of each side of the street. I don't think I've ever before darkened the doorway of the afore mentioned establishment, but while house-hunting with my realtor we stoped for mid-day refreshment two days in a row. She for iced coffee, me for a chocolate chip muffin. Which is how I came to be searching for chocolate chip muffin recipes at home a week later and stumbled on the website. Turns out, although the recipe I tested didn't turn out, I appreciate this guys style. See below example: Tom Cruise And Hominy Grits - By Mr Breakfast
The other night, I was sitting in the hot tub of my apartment building thinking about grits. I had been struggling to understand grits for sometime and that evening was no exception. The difference between hominy grits and corn grits was particularly perplexing. I gently laid my hand on the surface of the bubbling water and allowed my thoughts to relax with my body. The water supported the weight of my open fingers and my entire arm seemed to float. I extended the other arm into the state of weightlessness. Next went my feet. With every limb now floating and my body in the shape of a limp letter "U", I had an unusual thought.

I wondered if Tom Cruise had ever done what I was doing. Certainly he had a hot tub. Was it possible that Tom Cruise sometimes sat in the hot tub and mused about his hand floating? Had he ever tried to block the jets of air with his toes as I often did? In that moment, Tom Cruise didn't seem so different from me. We were both human… made of the same basic stuff. Most of things I did, he did too. He brushed his teeth. He watched TV. He caught colds. And he might have even enjoyed his own hand floating in the hot tub. We were just two kernels of corn prepared in different ways. And alas, I had my answer!

Tom Cruise is to humanity what grits are to corn. It was so simple, yet so genius. My struggle was at an end.