Monday, August 18, 2014

An Empty Shell

We closed on the sale of our home on Friday, August 15, 2014.  It had been our home for a little over 10 years.  We took a beat up and neglected house and turned it into a home.  It will always be the place that helped me grow into a (more) responsible adult, Wife and Mother.

An Empty Kitchen
Many delicious meals (and some not so great - lemon pepper tilapia comes to mind!) were prepared in this kitchen and served at our little round table.  Our kids began to learn to eat solid foods at the table.  We had conversations, birthday parties and arguments in this kitchen and around our table.  Wesley the dog ate cookies off the table and begged for food while on this floor.
Dining Room Table is gone
We spent time together as a family watching television in our living room, pizza picnics on the living room floor and even slept here a time or two when we were sick or had sick babies that needed to be held through the night.
Empty Living Room
When Elizabeth was born, she had jaundice and we spent time in the sunroom trying to get as much natural light on her little body as we possibly could.  My jade tree lived in this room for many years before it finally grew too large.  Our kids put on their winter jackets and snowpants here to get ready for outdoor adventures.  Many adventures.
Bare Sunroom.
It was very sad to see our home empty.  I was hoping that once all our belongings were out of the home, it wouldn't feel like our home anymore.  I was wrong.  It still felt like our home. 

The memories we made in this little home will be with me the rest of my life.  And I realized that I wasn't envisioning my stuff in the home - it was the memories I could still see there.  And since I get to take those with me, the home will always be mine in a small way.  Even if I don't live there anymore.
Our Home - February 2004 to August 2014
Now it is off to our next adventure.  For two weeks, we are living in a basement until we can close on our new house.  The first few nights have been rough, but I have hope that we will thrive and come out of this mini-adventure with a new-found appreciation for a place of our own.  Even if we are starting all over again!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Around the House - August 5, 2014

The reminders that we are leaving this house are now everywhere.  Finding it hard to want to pack anymore.  Emotionally draining.  Hopefully by Friday morning I will be ready to go again as I need to get more done when I have the time off without the kids at home. 

Front Deck

Front Yard

Hostas & Peonies


Backyard Fun



The daily reminder I am leaving this house.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Lovely Parting Gift

Libby left me a lovely gift this morning - a heart drawn on my storm door.  Complete with eyes, huge smile and another heart for hair.

She loves to do this and I know that in another 10 years when she is over this stage and I once again have clean windows, I will miss it.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Early Morning Beauty in my Garden

We made an offer on a home the other day. 

Last night, we made a counter-offer on that same home.  While I don't know how this will play out, I am confident in our decision and will trust that all is going to happen the way it is supposed to.

July 24, 2014 6:30 AM - Peppers, Tomatoes, Cabbage, Broccoli
The best part about the home we made an offer on is the yard.  Two acres of space to set up a wonderful garden and orchard.  There are many restrictions/covenants on the property regarding what we can and cannot do there, but for the most part, I can do almost everything I would want to (except have a few chickens). 
Pole Beans
The worst part about the yard is that we have no way to mow that much land right now - and I am pretty sure it needs to be maintained based on the covenants. We will need to hire someone to mow the rest of this season (unless we can find a decent riding mower for fairly cheap!) and save money over the winter to buy one next spring. Then there is the issue of snow removal - our snowblower could probably do it, but it would take a LONG time. Not something we really have a lot of in the morning before work!
Chives and Kale - Color is funny - the Kale really is green, not yellow!
I am looking forward to seeing how our counter-offer is received today. Hopefully, it will be accepted and we can begin to plan for our next chapter. But if the offer is rejected, we will just start to look again and see what else is available. Honestly I am not worried about the situation at all as I know that no matter what, we will find a wonderful place to call home.
July 24, 2014 - Early morning sunshine on my happy place.
For the next three weeks, I will enjoy my little home in the center of town and all that it has to offer. We were playing with the kids in the back yard last night and it seemed almost sad that we will be leaving this place. After 10 years of putting our stamp on this 1/3 of an acre, it truly has become a place I love. Seeing the beauty in the backyard this morning made me remember (once again!) that no matter where we end up next, if I can take our current backyard from where it was when we bought the place to how it is now, there isn't anything I can't make beautiful!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Garden Harvest - July 16

We had a great garden harvest last night for this early in the year (Zone 3).

  1. Enough garden peas for a meal (blanched and frozen last night)
  2. Enough kale for two large pots of soup (blanched and frozen last night)
  3. Two cucumbers - which will be sliced and eaten on crackers tonight
  4. A few small carrots from thinning out the patch (most were eaten directly in the garden!)
  5. Enough beans for two large meals (my absolute favorite summer vegetable!)

I am going to get everything possible out of this garden before August 15 when we have to be out of our house for the closing.  Everything I can get my fingers on will be preserved or eaten.  Of course, the garden looks great this year too - hopefully the new owner will appreciate it. 

Eddie and Libby helped me pick the green beans - Libby picked beans, Eddie picked plants.  I know he wants to help, but it is hard for me to see him pull up an entire plant that is heavy with blossoms, knowing we will not get to eat those beans!  He also tried to pull out my sunflower plant.  Luckily, I stopped him in time!

On a side note, so far my use of grass clippings as mulch to keep down the weeds is working wonderful.  I need to have William save a few more loads to mulch the kale and carrots, now that they are properly thinned.  Should have had him do it last night when he mowed!

I am going to miss my little garden.  But I am going to enjoy creating a new one!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

First Tomato of the 2014 Garden

The first tomato of the season (zone 3) --  Yes, its small, but it's there!!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Garden - July 9

I finally made it out to weed the garden last night.

It really needed it - but now it has been weeded, mulched and will be good for another week or so!

July 9

July 8 Harvest of Radishes
I sure am going to miss this little garden when we move.  But within a couple years I am sure I will have another one ready to plant.  Hopefully, it will be even a little larger!

Monday, July 7, 2014

A Perfect Week (on Vacation!)

Last week was the most perfect week. 

It felt like I was on vacation for at least two weeks instead of just one.

So grateful for the time to spend with my family and extended family at the lake in Minnesota.  We are truly thankful for them opening their houses, cabins and campers to us for the holiday week!


Ice Cream eating with a black eye from the waterpark.  (She ran into a chair when she wasn't looking!)

Breakfast at Grandpa's house.

Waterpark fun with the Kids!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Peonie Love*

The complexity of a single flower and its life cycle.

How much joy it has brought me today and how much it is teaching me about life. 

Today is tough.  I am not even going to pretend I have the energy or the strength to make it through today.  Being a parent is HARD.  Especially when you want to excel at everything you do!  Sometimes, I just need a day like today to make me step back and realize I am not in control and that I can only do so much - the rest is in God's hands.  Children are only little for such a short time - a lot like the blooming of a flower.

The peonie season is just too short, but I will be grateful and enjoy every moment of it.  Just like I will with my children in the short time I have with them - no matter how difficult it is, I will choose to be grateful.

This post shared at Gratituesday - Hosted by Laura at Heavenly Homemakers.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Eddie's 2nd Birthday Party

Eddie turned two last week. 

Not sure how that happened as I am pretty sure I just gave birth to him a few months ago...

He is such a joyful kid (for the most part - he can throw a temper tantrum with the best of them) and I am so grateful he is part of our family.  His smile is infectious, his laugh is contagious and his kisses and hugs are the very best.

Here are a few photos of his party, which was very small, but so perfect. 

The Big Boy with his Birthday Cake.

Eddie & Libby enjoying the cake.

Excitement over a Slinky.  Love the simple gifts!

The fishing pole.  I had to pry it out of his hands to get him to go to bed!

Grandma Connie trying to teach Eddie how to play his new harmonica!

He needs to grow a little bit before he can start riding his balance bike, but I am exited for him to have the opportunity to learn to ride without training wheels!

It was such a wonderful day - we were supposed to have storms and rain showers most of the day, but it cleared up nicely and we were able to play outside and get some fresh air.  It is always more fun when we can play outside instead of being stuck indoors! 
Eddie has enjoyed playing with all of his presents this past week.  Not a single one has gone untouched!  Even the balance bike has been used (by Libby though!). 
Thanks to everyone for a wonderful party!  It was so nice to see you all (and even nice that the family members who were sick earlier in the week that didn't show up - they didn't want to share their germs - and I truly appreciated it!)