I came home to find that J had partially set up the kids' bedrooms and the dining room!!! It meant so much to me that I hugged him and cried.
We've been pushing it so hard for so many months. Last week, we did as much as possible and had to crash most of this weekend. It was necessary!
It was J's day off and he said he slept most of the day. I didn't think twice about that because I knew he needed it. When I got home, both kids' beds were moved and on their frames, their night stands and computer was set up, and he managed to setup part of our dining room.
This is a pic of the first thing J hung in our house today. It's one of the last gifts Grandma Barbara gave us.
One week ago, we moved out of Widney Loft. I took one last tour of Widney Loft on Sunday evening, after everything had been cleared and cleaned. As I looked at the skyline view one last time, I broke down and cried. J came over and held me and kissed me. We stood staring at the skyline for a bit. After walking around each room, we locked the door on our first home in Chicago.
Mini Me was two years old when we moved to Chicago. Living in a loft, Mini Me didn't have a ceiling or a window in her bedroom. The walls went up to the 8-foot height and the ceiling was at the 16-foot height.
Mini Me was so excited at the prospect of having a ceiling. This is a pic of her the first night in her new bedroom. There is even a window!
The doorbell rang and the kids asked what that sound was. Interestingly enough, five years in a loft condo has affected our kids' perceptions. I think it's great that our children have had the opportunity to experience a different style of home than the average person.
We are all excited about our new place and the new experiences it will bring.
Mini Me learned to ride her bike without training wheels on Easter. I kinda bullied her into it.
Last year, we thought Mini Me would grasp the no training wheels concept before Motor Mouth. She almost got it then Motor Mouth fell and she chickened out. All summer.
This year, J was at work and my BFF Usher was in town. I had him take off her training wheels. But first, I told Mini Me that she is seven years old and it's time to ride without wheels. I told her I wasn't going to deal with her whining and that she was going to get on that bike and ride it without training wheels.
One year ago tomorrow, April 25, 2012, my friend, Lindsay Laneigh Ferrill, was taken from her daughter, her mother, her family and friends.
I don't remember when I first met Lindsay but I know it was at the church we both attended in Tulsa. Later, we worked at the same company for awhile. I was around for lots of major life changes for Lindsay. I remember when her father passed away. I remember when she got engaged. I attended her wedding. My husband took post wedding pics after the wedding at Widney Manor. It was one of the most fun shoots we've ever done! Lindsay was so beautiful and the camera LOVED her!!! I remember the last time I saw Lindsay after the end of her marriage and before we both moved from Tulsa.
Lindsay was sweet and kind and hard-working and TALENTED!!! She could draw anything. Lindsay made the best cakes! I used to love looking at her Facebook when she posted new pics of her cakes. When Lindsay had her daughter, I loved looking at her Facebook to see pics of her mini me. To say that I was proud of Lindsay is an understatement. She knew how I felt about her. For this, I am supremely grateful.
When I think of Lindsay, I remember her smile. Her laugh was infectious. She was shy but we were friends so I tended to forget that she was shy. I can't think of Lindsay without thinking of how beautiful she was. And fun. Lindsay was fun to be around.
Last spring was a crazy busy recruiting season for me that went into a crazy Widney summer. Lindsay had not posted much but there had been a few pics of her posted. In September, I went over to Lindsay's Facebook to see pics of her cakes and to see how her daughter had grown. That's when I realized that Lindsay had not actually posted anything on her wall. It was all posts by other people. And they were talking about how they missed her so much. I Googled Lindsay's name. Then I messaged her mother. I just wanted her mom to know how much I love Lindsay. Shari has helped me get through the loss of Lindsay more than I've helped her! That's the kind of person Shari is. It's the kind of person Lindsay was.
I'm not the kind of person to look at the Facebook wall of someone that is no longer with us. I've always thought people who wrote on the wall of someone gone was odd. I get it now. I really do. It is so comforting to visit Lindsay's wall and see her life. See her daughter as she grows. Read what her friends say about her and how they also miss Lindsay. I'm also not the type to believe that someone that is gone is visiting me when I see a butterfly. But now I get it. And I believe it. And I hope for it.
I haven't made sense of Lindsay's death. I am not sure I ever will. But Lindsay was much more than how she was taken from us. Lindsay Laneigh Ferrill lived. She continues to live in her daughter. In her family. In her friends.
A few days ago I had a bad dream. Two bad dreams actually. BAD dreams. When I was in a pre-wake state I had the sense that some bad things were going to happen to us but to not worry because it was all going to be okay.
Okay so it wasn't just an "sense" but rather I felt like God (or the Universe if you are my dear friend, Oprah) was saying don't stress it because it will work out. Either way, I'm hanging on to that!
We've had a few crazy things pop up this week and I'm just letting it all go. I have just let it be. Well, there was one situation that REALLY pissed me off yesterday but that was resolved within a few hours.
Overall though, less than 2 weeks to move day and I am in such a peaceful zen state that if I didn't know better, I'd say I was smoking the good stuff.
Bad dreams with good take home points are wonderful.
Our kids are going through such a season of CHANGE!!!
- New job for J which means a new church for us.
- For the first time in their little lives, they are the only Caucasian children at church.
- Motor Mouth is on a new swim team.
- Mini Me starts a running club for first time.
- Mini Me starts a new chess club for the first time.
- Moving at an age when they are more aware of what a move entails.
- We are moving to new home in a new neighborhood.
- We will live on two floors for the first time and our master will be on a different floor.
- Our children will be the only Caucasian children in our new neighborhood.
The kids are troopers. I'm planning lots of play dates and trying to make special moments for them. I am looking ahead as much as possible to reduce their stress. We have to keep in mind the amount of change they are dealing with and love them through it. I love them so much!!!
The good news is that we will still be bad ass parents. Fortunately, some things never change.
Maybe. Maybe not. Just in case, I packed them face up so they can breathe and talk to each other. And I popped holes in the box so they can definitely breathe and so it won't be quite so dark for them.
Meet my new friend, Amanda Bell. I got lucky and met Amanda during our recent home search in Chicago. Not many people know that I used to be a real estate agent. Yup. So as a former realtor I know who is good and who is not. Amanda Bell is a top notch realtor.
Amanda listened to what we asked for and delivered what our family requested. When we met in person, Amanda was on-time every time, all locations were completely lined up and ready for viewing, and she had insights on each location. She gave us all the time we needed to view and never made us feel rushed.
More importantly, Amanda fought for our best interests. She was supportive and let me have my whiny meltdown and didn't skip a beat! Throughout the experience, it felt like Amanda was a really knowledgeable friend. So I friended her on FB so we can keep in touch!
One of my high school friends I grew up with in Canada made this cake and posted on FB. This is the next birthday cake I want to make. Inside is a vanilla cake. I want to do a vanilla layer cake with a filling in the middle because this is not nearly decadent enough! That's "Smarties" on top of that cake. Not sold in America. My BFF is literally on a plane there right now. I'm going to ask him to bring some Smarties back for me.
Both of our kids' birthdays have passed as has my BFF and our other really close friend's birthday. It's months until the next birthday. So, I am going to make it when we move in to our new home, as a housewarming treat for the kids!
Today was my box pick up day. I drove around collecting boxes I had stashed at our offices or arranged to pick up.
I had purchased about 45 boxes and packing materials on Craigslist for $30. The rest I got from work, a dear friend (Dr. C), and a toy store hook up I made through a co-worker. There's more in the living room. This is a good start. ;-)
My itty bitty city car is at capacity with moving boxes laid flat across the folded down back seats and the trunk. So, this child's booster seat is up front. It is exactly what the law and car handbook say is wrong, wrong, wrong. Bad parenting.
After I get the boxes up to our loft, I am going to leave this in the front seat. Can you imagine what would go through some mom's head if she looks in and sees it?! Bahahahaha!
If only I had a full car seat or a rear-facing car seat... Clearly, I watched too many Jackass movies.
I love this view. This is beautiful to me. This screams city living as much as our beautiful skyline view does.
As much as driving on Lake Shore Drive in the summer in evening traffic makes my eyes well up with tears of joy. My heart sings when I see the boats in the floating marina on the right as we pass Museum Campus which is home to three world class museums. In the distance is the gentle blue of Lake Michigan. Next to us are joggers and cyclists exercising on the waterfront trails. Beautiful trees.
In front of me is a sea of cars. Each outfitted with drivers and some with passengers. All have stories to tell. Some lead simple lives while others are larger than life characters. I want to know their stories.
On the left is the center median, filled with an amazing mix of flowers. Beyond that is Chicago's front lawn complete with flowers, grass, tennis courts.
To see the tall buildings against the trees is an irony not lost on me.
We drive with the windows open. Music playing. It is Chicago in all it's glory.
Event for Motor Mouth's class. It's a Learning Showcase of student writing and a Reader's Theater. J is at home with Mini Me. My BFF is lit up already. I'm sure it will be great but to be honest, I am jealous. I would rather be tipsy at home....LoL!