Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Little Pumpkin Witch

Lucy was a Pumpkin Witch for Halloween, whatever that is! Basically we decided it's a good witch with an orange skirt. She got some special treats, and got to see many relatives! Not quite ready for trick-or-treating this year... I'd rather take her when she can actually say "Trick or Treat!" and "Thank You".

She was a good sport about wearing the hat most of the afternoon - which we "trained" her to do by putting it on her head throughout the past week and getting her used to it. She even wore tights for the first time!

Wouldn't you know it - there was actually a beautiful pink sky with a rainbow this evening - what an oddity for Halloween - but the sun was setting as it was raining, and this is what I saw from my grandparents' front porch. If you look closely, you can see it's actually a double rainbow:

Hope everyone had a great Halloween!


Today Lucy was playing around after breakfast and I figured I'd put her in the black bodysuit (long-sleeved onesie) that she is going to wear under her costume later, and change her out of her PJ's. What could it hurt? Well let me give you some background information...

Lucy stopped spitting up quite a few months ago. It used to be her "thing" but then one day she decided she was over it, and ever since then it's extremely rare. Unless of course you decide to stick a xylophone wand down your throat when your mom turns away for a split second.

I turn around to see part of Lucy's breakfast running down the front of her clothes. So, I guess don't put your kids in any part of their costume until the last possible moment. Now I'm washing it and don't want to put it in the dryer, so I'll hang it up and hope it's dry by this afternoon! Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Watching Over Us

Autumn of Life

Trying to enjoy the "peak" of the fall colors, on a glorious sunny day, we went to Hager Park again with Lucy to take some photos, while she got to explore some new aspects of nature.

We also met an old woman wandering around picking up colored leaves... she had lived in Hawaii and Alaska most of her life, but was born here. She seemed to have quite an interesting life behind her, but was making the most of the present as well. She celebrated her 60th anniversary with her husband earlier this month and told us a little bit about her family. We'll probably never meet her again, but we were both glad we stopped to talk. Ron and I both enjoy talking to strangers and just getting a glimpse of their lives and personality, like reading the back cover of a book. Most people you meet are extremely friendly and you never know what connections you will find with them. Of course I wouldn't recommend children talking to strangers! But we figured a little old lady picking up leaves was probably safe ;)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Paint Blob Tradition

Today my mom and Lucy and I ran some errands, but first we stopped by my Grandma and Grandpa Hiddema's house - Lucy's great-grandparents - so that Lucy could make her artistic contribution to the Halloween slider mural. Every year since forever my grandma turns her slider into a watercolor canvas for her grandchildren... and this year a great-grandchild! Lucy didn't initially understand what we were making her do - a paintbrush thrust into her hand (a first) and my mom, grandma, and me giving her instructions for what to do with it! With a little guidance she figured it out, and got to work creating a pretty pumpkin.

Some of my younger cousins still add their artwork to the slider, although I have kind of grown out of it. I have to say, many of them are incredible artists and it makes me wonder if at least a tiny bit of that can be attributed to how much Grandma encouraged us to draw and paint when we were at her house (which was quite often). It was just something we always did there, and she loved to display our work where everyone could see it.

My grandparents have always gone above-and-beyond when it comes to celebrating holidays in a way that makes it especially fun for kids... especially the 4th of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. I can really appreciate that now more than ever, as I get to still "participate" in all the traditions and watch our own child become enveloped in them as well.

Home Work

I may be done painting the great room. Last night I did the last of the high "peaks" and I think it covered well enough to not have to do any more touch-ups. I still have the paint out because there are areas of the wall that, after being repaired, will need some paint, but for the most part this messy and tedious job is finished! We still have to install the cabinetry for the island and counter(s) but Ron is working all day today, so we might be putting work on hold a bit. Tonight we can puts at a couple little things and clean up some more. We took some tools and the cast-iron sink out of here and it really is getting a lot better. I just can't wait to post some finished "before and after" photos... but it's not ready for that yet.

Oh and we can use the sink in the kitchen like normal people... so the dish situation is under control, and consequently our bathroom is cleaner now too (and the coffee maker is on the kitchen counter where it belongs!).

Friday, October 26, 2007

What Happens When We Buy A House

This is a photo of the kitchen area after everything was torn out... more later.

Amusing Myself

I know this looks mean, but sometimes Lucy just has to play along with my weird ideas. She grabbed Ron's sweatshirt... so I figured this was what she wanted me to do. She didn't cry one bit.

Soapy Mohawk

Baby Steps

Last night was a late one. After my bath I hung out in the living room while Ron continued to work on the sink and faucet. He got it all hooked up and it works beautifully, but there is a drain "branch" that will be hooked up to the dishwasher in the future... so when water drains in the sink, having this open pipe creates a vacuum that pulls small amounts of water out. So that's not good. So, we can use the sink... just not the drain. He should be able to find a plug for it today. We went to bed around 12:30 (which is extremely late for us). It doesn't seem like much got done on the kitchen last night, but we were both working so hard! As long as we get a little bit done every day, eventually these projects will get finished.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Paint Day

Well I am taking a break from painting. It seems like I have been working on this great room and hallway all day long, off and on (basically during Lucy's two naps, and then after we put her to bed). I was just up on a ledge that is only topped off by drywall... so I had to pretend I was on a balance beam and stand only where the joists were (as indicated by where the board was nailed down), while trying to do a neat paint job! Mission: accomplished... but I definitely do not want to have to go back up there. I also painted some other really high spots by using an extension ladder. I feel that an extension ladder does not belong in a living room, however I am grateful that our living room has such high ceilings! For some areas I didn't want to go up the ladder any higher, I used the a paintbrush taped to a giant stir stick. But before I could really paint I had to use a dusting wand to knock down some dead spiders/webs (which of course fell on my head). So I am taking a break. I'm so grossed out right now, I am going to have to take a nice bath before I go to bed tonight.

Kitchen Update

We'd lost our connection for a while since we didn't 'register' with yahoo yada yada yada... I didn't realize all that was necessary to keep the connection, since it was activated a few weeks ago, and then went away unexpectedly. Oh well, we're back on again.

The kitchen was torn apart last weekend and most of the cabinets are installed - all but the island. The counter over by the sink is attached, but sadly our endcap was missing/damaged and a new one needed to be ordered. It will arrive in a few days. I am not too bothered but it was definitely disappointing to discover that when they brought it in and put it in place. Our counters are the "splurge" of the kitchen and finding a defect sent me into a tailspin. It will be easy to repair though... and otherwise they look beautiful!

Also the hole for the sink was cut and the sink put in place (just to check) - that will all be attached and plumbed up tonight so we will get to use the kitchen sink and stop doing dishes in the bathroom! We also set our new faucet in place to see how it will look and we couldn't be happier with it. Not only will we have a SINK to use, but a fairly sweet-looking one at that.

The great room paint color is a light warm tan color... but only after a couple misses on the right hue. First it was too light (lighter than the original off-white). Then it was too pink - which the swatch didn't appear to be at Menards. The third time was the charm, and the nice girl spent an hour adjusting my 5-gallon bucket of paint to the new, correct color. Not always possible to do, either, so I was very glad that it turned out right and I didn't have to start over with a new bucket - which you may or may not know, 5 gallons of mixed paint isn't cheap (all the adjustments were free).

The room is a disaster still, but it shouldn't be for too much longer. Old drawers, small appliances, old cast-iron sink, an extension ladder, and countless tools etc. are all kind of strewn about - so we have a designated "clean" area for Lucy to play in, as well as her playroom. I'm looking forward to the day where she can freely again. I'll post pics soon.

Friday, October 19, 2007


We went to Hagar Park again last night... I love how close our home is to such a nice park! We went late, so Lucy was already tired, but we wanted to burn through some time before putting her to bed. We went around 6:15 PM and managed to beat the storm. We went to the "old" playground part, and just sort of hung out casually. Lucy rode on the merry-go-round with Ron. I even took some photos of a couple of really beautiful girls who were hanging out on the swings smoking. A couple turned out pretty well, but I wish they would've looked less "posed"... they were happy to oblige though. Just goes to show you how talented Bill Wadman is with his portrait project. I wanted to practice on people I've never met before... and the weird thing is, older kids and teens are more conscious of the camera than a baby or toddler. So, I think it's actually more challenging to take their picture and have it look "natural" or capture their personality. Teenagers tend to put on an act when there is a camera pointed at them. Nothing remarkable came out, but this is just a nice "basic" portrait of one of the girls.

Anyway, this photo of Lucy turned out neat, with me on the merry-go-round with them - it made the background streak across. I should've thought of this a long time ago! Anyway, she was sleepy and the light was poor, but we might have to try something like this later...

Ron was playing around with the camera a little bit too... and came up with this very cool image:

It shouldn't be too difficult to figure out what it is, if you think about where we were. Another really cool effect that could be used when taking pictures of kids (as long as they're old enough to be safe!). However, it looks neat as is.

Cats and Dogs

Taken looking out the window last night


Our cabinets are in! Ron looked it up using the order number before they even sent us a notice... that way we were able to schedule delivery for tomorrow afternoon instead of having to wait. We still have some prep work to do, but we're hoping to start installing new cabinets/counters on Sunday. They are delivering them between noon and 6:00 Saturday - and can't narrow the time frame down at all... blah. I'm not going to complain though, because we're going to have a new kitchen soon!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Clutter For Sale

Since moving in a few truckloads of stuff into our new home, I have felt the need to eliminate anything that we don't use regularly, or don't need to save for very important personal reasons. There are things that 'might' come in handy one day, or aren't necessarily useless, but still it is better to get rid of them any way we can... to free up space, improve our feng shui, and maybe make someone else happy in the process. At our last house I collected a bunch of coffee bean bags (the kind used to ship to-be-roasted beans from other countries). They had some pretty decorative logos, etc. on them, and I hung some up on the walls of our breezeway. We no longer have a breezeway (a.k.a. "room to build up huge amounts of clutter"... at least in our case), and I listed them on CraigsList... within less than a day I got a call and the lady is coming to get them tonight... and she's "so excited"! So am I, because now I don't have to figure out where to store them, and I get $20.. and she can use them to make throw pillows for her window seat.

It's like having a garage sale without having a garage sale... just list it, it's free (for most cities) and easy and efficient. We also have our old range hood listed, and easily got rid of the old dishwasher (free). I am very anti-clutter right now, especially with a little one who wants to destroy everything she touches. Craig didn't pay me anything to say this either... I was just having an I Love CraigsList moment that I wanted to share.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Welcome Tooth #3

Today I noticed a new tooth has popped through - one on top (her right front tooth)... I looked and didn't see any others, but she fights me a lot when I try to stick my finger in her mouth, so I don't push the issue. They're coming in, slowly but surely.


I just went to the downstairs bathroom (which we haven't done anything with yet, except give Killian a bath), to vacuum some spiders...

I am not your typical freaked-out-by-spiders kind of gal, but I literally had goosebumps on my arms as I reached up with the extension to get the ones by the ceiling... 3 of which would not fit into the vacuum attachment - they just batted it away with one of their giant legs and sauntered away, laughing. Meanwhile I was ditching the vacuum cleaner, trying to shake off the heebie jeebies, and heading back upstairs. I've done enough, I'll let Ron tackle the big ones when he gets home tonight!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

'Tis the Season... Already?

Our neighbors across the street have their Christmas lights up.

What Do You Think?

Here's one of many articles discussing the April 2 ceremony in Poland, marking the 2nd anniversary of Pope John Paul II's death. The images were just shown on the Today Show so I Google'd it. Pretty interesting. I know sometimes people can be skeptical about images, such as ones in smoke, fire, potato chips, etc. Especially in this digital era - things can be doctored up afterward and made to look like just about anything. The photographer claims he had no idea what he had until he took his camera home and his family pointed it out. I'm not as skeptical, and I tend to believe in strange things like this - even if people think I'm weird. Miracles have been happening for forever, but when they're caught on film people don't want to think it's real... unless they see it "live" with their own two eyes. Of course I wouldn't bet my life on the notion that the Pope made an appearance in a bonfire, but I'm not so quick to dismiss it either. I'm not crazy, I just either find it to be an amazing coincidence, or someone with too much time on their hands to edit photographs.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Kitchen Demolition Begun

We learned last week that our countertops are in, and today found out that our cabinets will probably be delivered sometime in the middle of this week - which means it would be wise to start preparing now, to avoid wasting time when they do arrive. The upper cabinets in the kitchen were the first to be removed, and it went more smoothly than we expected, as Ron easily pried them off with a crowbar. The base cabinets will probably be a bit more difficult, because they will also involve the counter, appliances, old-school toekick, plumbing, and electrical. Then we will probably remove flooring. However, by later in the week they will all be out, even if it means doing some dishes in the bathroom. I know it sounds glamorous, doesn't it?

Currently our great room looks like it was hit by a tornado. Our job tonight, instead of making more messes, is to try to pick up this one, so we can still function around here without me "freaking out" as Ron would call it.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Abstract Expressionist

Lucy has been introduced to the world of Crayola, but until recently, she only seemed interested in two things: 1) eat the crayon and 2) poke it on the paper. Now she gets the "scribbling" concept and we wanted to let her create her own masterpiece - one that we weren't messing up with our own demonstrational marks. We thought it would be nice to keep her first piece of artwork in a frame, so without further ado:

"Trapped in High Chair" by Lucy Denning

October 12

Today is a special day that I will always remember - it is the date that we got engaged on the pier in Grand Haven (in 2003), that year on this date it was warm and sunny. It was also when Lucy was due last year. However, by October 12 she was 11 days old, and it snowed 2 inches in Grand Rapids... even more in other areas of the state! Goofy Michigan weather... gotta love it!

(The picture is actually from the night we got engaged - the best I could do with a FunSaver)

Pretty in Sink

Yay - this is going to be our kitchen faucet. It's beautiful (I always wanted one with the goose-neck style), and has a pull-down end, and we got it for a steal on eBay, beloved eBay. I think we may try to fix up this house with as much eBay and Craigslist stuff as possible. It's brand new (in a box) so we're not worried about it being faulty. Normally we'd never be able to splurge on a faucet like this, but we paid a lot less than retail. It retails for more than Ron paid for his car! Ha ha... that sounds outrageous but it's true (but that's not saying much about the vehicle my husband drives). Ron entered his first bid with 20 seconds left last night and won it, stunning the competition...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Strange Visitor

This was strange - I'm sitting on the couch reading, and I see a young man (older teenager) look into the window next to our front door. He dashes off, and I go to the window to see him riding away on his bike. A minute or two later, he returns, and rings the doorbell, so I answered the door. He said he used to live here, and just saw that the sign in the yard was gone - he had no idea someone had bought it, since it had been on the market for so long. I introduced myself and shook his hand, and he told me his name: Chris.

The funny thing is, I knew his name because of a card he saved (Valentine's Day, maybe?) that was hidden toward the back of the highest shelf in a bedroom closet. When I was wiping the shelves down (in what is now Lucy's nursery), I found this card... a rambling love letter written with the drama of an obsessed high-schooler. It must have been important to him, but also a secret, since he kept it so well-hidden that even HE forgot to take it with him when he moved out.

So he told me how he grew up here, and how he loves this house and neighborhood... and I felt a little weird because I know that some bad things have happened in his family... I believe it was his mother who passed away from cancer a few years ago, and obviously his family lost the house because it was in foreclosure. I guess I just wanted him to know that we're going to enjoy living here as much as he did, and we'll take good care of the house. I almost wish I had made him wait so I could retrieve the card (which we still have) and give it back to him... maybe he would have been embarrassed, since it's safe to assume we read it, but not giving it back is just as well... it'll probably never even cross his mind.

He seemed nice enough, and just probably wanted to meet whoever bought his house. I can understand that. So, now there is a face to go with the name... the boy who's childhood is left behind here with little clues - a romantic card, a Power Ranger, a ragged teddy bear, surf brand stickers on his door, and dusty old puzzle pieces.


This is a first - this morning Lucy crawled quick as she could to the dining table, crawled through a chair, and started standing up under the table (which she is a little too tall to do safely). At first I thought it was cute, and then I saw a couple of bolts on the underside of the table that could have hurt her if she bumped them too hard. I started trying to get her out from under the table, but she was standing and wouldn't sit down or crawl out. I think we both learned our lesson.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Ready for Fall

Our little girl is having a lot of fun lately. Today she went to the mall with me, and she got a stuffed ghost, a new shirt, and a fleece hat and mittens from her great aunt Ginger! They're a little big, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that when I put them on, she did not have a panic attack to get them off! Usually she can't stand to have more than a barrette touching her head, and forget about messing with her hands. I love the hat and mittens though, now she's all ready for the cold weather...

She took her nap and then we went to Moelker Orchards (in Walker), so we could go to the pumpkin patch and wander around the orchard. We got there right before they closed and bought some homemade salsa and apple butter, as well as a small bag of "gingergold" apples. This is the 100th year of this family-owned orchard, and it was really nice to wander around for a little while. Lucy got nice and dirty.
More New Photos

Forcing My Beliefs

Today I went to Rivertown Crossings mall to meet with my grandparents, as well as my aunt, and my cousin who just got his braces off today! We had lunch in the food court, and then my grandpa had to head home, and my aunt had to take her son back to school. So my Grandma stuck around to entertain Lucy and push her around and feed her Cheerios while I went on a quest for pants. I'm pleased to announce that I found jeans that fit me at The Gap! After I found the jeans I went next door to the Gap Kids side and found a (RED) t-shirt for Lucy. It was only $6, so it was easy to justify. She can wear a long-sleeved shirt underneath... and it's a little bit big so it should fit her later. They also had "DIAPE(RED)" which I thought was a cute phrase, but I wasn't crazy about the off-white it came in.

Then, as planned, I scooted over to New York & Co. but didn't see anything I was crazy about. I was also pretty sure that Lucy was getting tired, so I decided to call it quits. Finding a good pair of jeans was a successful enough for one day.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Weekend Break

Saturday Ron and I went to Evanston to visit Kelly and Heath. We got there around lunchtime and watched some football, and then went to the Chicago Botanic Garden, where I took plenty of pictures. After that we went to a restaurant for dinner and drinks, and then back to their place to play some Trivial Pursuit. Sunday we just went to downtown Evanston and had breakfast, wandered through some stores, etc. It's a really lovely city with a relaxing but fun atmosphere. We headed home around 3:00 and picked up Lucy... who we were told was very well behaved at Grandma and Grandpa's house.


Some plant life at the Chicago Botanic Garden in GLENCOE, IL.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Which Candidate Suits You?

Ron showed me this quiz at which asks 11 questions about various issues, and gives you the candidate that you are most aligned with. The field will get narrowed down before election day, of course, but it's interesting to see it organized this way.

I'm not a super-politically obsessed person. I have my opinions about issues, but it's not necessarily my usual choice of blog material. I just liked how this gives a clear explanation of the different people in the running and where they all stand, so we can make a wise decision next November. I was surprised by my results.

Thursday, October 04, 2007


This afternoon I took Lucy to one of (in my opinion) Grand Rapids' most beautiful places - Johnson Park by the Grand River. The Grand River isn't known for its cleanliness, but I glanced down the slope and could see the sand at the bottom of the river! I have to admit I haven't been down to that edge many times in my life, but I'm glad I was there today. The leaves are so pretty right now, and the sky was bright, so I wanted to take Lucy there for some photos.

Johnson Park has special meaning to me because it is the "home course" for Grandville Cross Country and that brings back some very wonderful memories. I don't try to live in the past, but I do hold it near and dear... for the same reason a person would rescue their photo albums if their house were on fire. I had a great experience in high school and I am always thankful for that. This time of year when I see the runners in the park I think back on the challenges I faced on that course, the fun times, and some of my best friends. It makes me think of Jim, Shannon, Kevin, Ray, and all the other people who made my high school years so outstanding. The road through the park is also the one that I have always taken back to Mom and Dad's house, so it's really "home" to me in more ways than one. Bringing my daughter there somehow connects the past, present, and future parts of my life. It's hard to explain how that feels... maybe comforting? Complete?
More Photos Here

Just What We Needed...

Last night's Google search, around 10:15 PM: "dog sprayed by skunk get odor out".

I found a MythBusters reference that said a mixture of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and dish soap works best (I was looking for alternatives to anything involving tomato juice). We're not ones to carry hydrogen peroxide regularly... maybe someday when we pierce Lucy's ears... so we went with diluted white vinegar (a tried-and-true odor neutralizer) and Suave. It seemed to do the trick on Killian. Since she was still damp and potentially smelly, she was confined to the mudroom last night, and thankfully didn't whine.

Unfortunately we had windows open and since this incident occurred in our not-so-big backyard, we went to bed with the aroma of skunk musk in the air. Now I'm really glad we found a house with an attic fan!

More unfortunately, when washing Killian last night, I discovered a fairly significant lump on the right-front of her throat. It's located underneath where her collar usually sits (which had been taken off for the bath), which might be why it has gone overlooked. Either way we both are worried about it, and Ron is going to take her in for an examination on Friday. It could be anything, so we're trying not to jump to conclusions. I am going to go find my box of candles now and try to make the house smell pretty.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Today Lucy had her 1 year checkup with Dr. Joe - everything went fine. Her hemoglobin is 14.5 - which apparently is really good. Okay, whatever! She is 22 lb. 12 oz., and 32.25 inches. Her weight is normal (78%), but I figured she'd be closer to 25 pounds so I was pretty surprised about that. However, her height (length) is about 3 inches more than the average one-year-old, and doesn't really register on the graph. Yikes. So that's why her pants all look too short...

She got a few shots and screamed her lungs out for a minute... and now she's back to her usual self. Time for lunch!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Craig Strikes Again

Ron is out getting a new sofa and chair for our downstairs rec/family room! No more laying on the floor to watch a movie! They are a matching set and are from a non-smoking house... and they are in very good shape. They will certainly work for what we need, and are a red-green-blue plaid (you know the type). We got the set for only $100 on Craigslist. Not the most stylish design, but it's a downstairs REC ROOM! We don't care what it looks like as long as it's clean and not falling apart.

I finally finished painting the main floor bathroom in the light grayish purple I spoke about. I had to prime it all first, since you may remember from photos that it was dark red and tan. I put it off for a few days when things got hectic and decided to get it over with after I put Lucy to bed.

Speaking of Lucy, every day she walks better and better... it's so weird, because she just walks around where she wants to go. I'm sure others can relate to that seeming kind of surreal... like your baby suddenly became a kid. Anyway, she might fall a few times here and there, but for the most part we don't have to stand there as a "safety net" anymore. In a way it's nice, but she's going to be able to get into a lot more trouble now too!



I had Lucy's portrait taken today... they got a few pretty good ones, but I decided not to get out of control with ordering prints. We're getting a "package" and a few extra 5x7's but all the photos will be in their system for 60 days if I want to go back for more. We went to Wal-Mart but not Target because Lucy was getting hungry, so we just went home. She had a couple taken with her favorite lovey, Pink Bear, which is good since we won't want to forget just how attached she is to this thing. It'll be a little over a week until the prints come in, then we can give some away to our family. I'm glad I went ahead and did it, and it went really well. Lucy smiled nice and didn't try to climb face first off the side of the table thing!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Old School

I discovered that no matter where in the crate I place it, Lucy always goes for the Leo Sayer album, and pulls it out and studies his face. Weirdo.

They Come Bearing Bread

Hey today we bought another appliance from The Craig's List: a clothes dryer! (See reference to The Google). We had a washer and dryer in our old house... then the washer died... so we bought a new one. The buyers of the house had their own, but wanted our dryer to stay, so we took with us the washer. New house did not have a dryer, so there we were without the other half of the set (again). After a week of doing laundry at my parents' house we found a great deal on a very nice looking KitchenAid (who knew) dryer in excellent condition. Riveting, I know.

A couple more neighbors stopped by tonight... one was a little boy with a card from his parents and a loaf of banana bread - he was so cute as he sort of recited the information he wanted to share. He told us what his parents were busy with that night, and when I read the card after he left it said that they were planning on stopping by tomorrow but their son was too excited to come over and bring us their gift. We got a loaf of pumpkin bread last week from the family next door. I am planning to return the favor with my gingerbread cookies later this fall for the holidays. Another woman stopped by after Lucy had gone to bed and I talked with her on the front porch for probably a half hour! She is really nice, and I (shamefully) had to ask her her name again before she left, because I'm terrible with that kind of thing. I get the name at the beginning of the conversation and part way into talking with the new person, a voice inside my head goes, "you can't remember her name, can you?" and I figured it would be better to admit my habit, laugh about it, and find out the name than to have her leave without knowing for the next time. Donna. Donna. Okay.

I'm taking Lucy to get a real "professional" portrait taken tomorrow. I will be taking her to the prestigious Wal-Mart studio, and then possibly to Target as well (since I just found out about a special they are running which is too good to pass up). I figure getting portraits at least once a year would be good... if not more often. I know there are copyright issues with making prints, but if one of them turns out really great I may just have to scan it and post it here :) which isn't like having more prints made... so it should be legal-ish, right?

** Ron informed me that it wasn't the Bargain Corner, so I fixed my post for accuracy. The point is, when it comes to appliances, we're shopping for deals!

Back Online!

It has been very frustrating not having Internet access for the past week and a half or so. We got our phone here turned on at the correct time, but for some reason it has taken AT&T a bit longer for our DSL service. Oh well, now I can catch up. Sorry to anyone who has visited and not seen any new posts in quite a while!

Sunday the 23rd we got a U-Haul and did our big move into our new house. With help from a couple friends and relatives, we were able to get most everything in just a few hours. We thought we were more or less in the clear, but found out throughout the week that a lot of “little things” left at Taft added up to quite a few more car and truck loads. By Saturday, however, we were all done and the keys have been handed over. Ron said that that morning he realized as he was locking up the house for the last time, that he would never again go in there. I don’t feel like I got to say a proper “goodbye” but that’s okay. Our first home held a lot of memories, but we brought those with us when we moved.

Sunday was Lucy’s first birthday party (a day before her actual birthday, October 1st), around lunchtime. The weather was very cooperative and it was actually hotter than I expected it to be, especially in the sun. I couldn’t help but remember that a year ago, on September 30, the weather was also quite beautiful. Most of our close friends and relatives were able to come and celebrate with us, and Lucy was so well-behaved the entire time, which made us very happy! She enjoyed playing with her new toys and got some adorable outfits. She loved her cake too, but that’s no surprise… once she figured out that she had full access to a mountain of frosting in front of her she went to town! I have uploaded photos to a gallery on SmugMug of the party.

As far as the new house goes – I painted a few rooms, but not the great room with vaulted ceilings yet… that is going to be a huge job and I’ve been putting it off. I will attempt to have it done before our new cabinets and counters are delivered, so within a couple of weeks this place will see a major transformation. Things have been so hectic with moving, unpacking, and trying to make Lucy’s party nice, that I haven’t really even thought about home-improvements lately, but now we can get to work on it. We got a new refrigerator (there was not one at the house) and no longer have to use Ron’s old dorm fridge. Our new fridge currently has Lucy’s brand new magnetic letters stuck all over it, but I found out quickly that her game is to take them off and throw them on the floor. I’m glad that we have an extra bedroom on the main floor (until Lucy has to move out of the nursery) that we can use as her “playroom”, and Sunday night we actually watched a movie in the basement, which is starting to resemble a decent family room.