Friday, June 29, 2007


the dogs had their vet appointment yesterday. big ups for both dogs on their pretty sparkly teeth as usual, but while examining ally, the vet found a small lump on her left hind leg. she performed a biopsy to be safe. i spoke with the vet this morning, and they have determined that it is mast cell cancer. they recommend surgery. they are putting together a plan and will call me back.
i'm feeling nervous. i've done a lot of reading on this type of cancer in dogs over the last hour. it seems that the stage the cancer is at cannot be determined until the tumor is removed, nor can they determine if the cancer has spread to her tissue, bone marrow, or lymphs nodes until they do so. i am hoping that we caught it early enough that surgery, and perhaps follow up prednisone treatments, will be enough. i'm at a loss at what to do, and for those of you who know me, you know that is something i like very little. i guess we'll just have to wait and see. please keep her in your prayers.

Monday, June 25, 2007

a little ambition never hurt anyone (but a lot might have)

forgive the picture quality. it was taken at about 9pm last night, on my phone, with the aid of work lights, which i'm pretty sure could land commercial aircraft.

so, we're in the house. not living there, but we have keys. ;) we learned friday evening that our neighbor's property line goes right up to our driveway. which means bryan has to plant fence posts in the driveway. that's going to be fun, isn't it? if you want to help, by all means, call me - you're more than welcome to join.

saturday morning we trucked over to the new house with supplies. my parents showed up to help out. while mom primed the living room and dining room, dad and bryan ripped out some cabinets and moved a gas line. bryan spent the afternoon with his buddy dirk and a 2 man auger, drilling 2.5 ft deep holes for fence posts. it took them a little while to get the hang of it, but once they got going they made good progress. our appliances were delivered (woohoo!), and they are gorgeous. i managed to convince bryan that we needed to pull down the full wall of wallpaper in the master before painting. i ended up skipping a trip to chicago to visit a friend who was in town in order to stick around and help out, even though i couldn't do everything. i ended up doing a lot nontheless. pretty much everything we want to paint got primed, with the exception of the master bedroom. we dragged our butts home around 10:30pm for some frozen pizza (you know i was tired and desparate) and then fell into bed.

sunday morning we got up as early as we could. i headed to the new house to spackle and tape, then back to the old house to pack up whatever i could. bryan and dad spent the morning digging more fence post holes. they completed the back and side, holes dug and posts cemented in. dad also did some electrical work, and bryan ran some new plumbing to the new fridge for our ice maker (with options for 3 sizes of cubes, fancy schmancy). we found a broken part on the fridge and a missing gas connector for the stove. mom and shannon had found a way to strip wallpaper without chemicals (diluted fabric softener), so we spent about 4 - 5 hours yesterday doing that. it was easy, just tedious and time consuming. it's down now, though, which is great. i have a feeling though that the room will smell like fabric softener for some time to come. bryan got the color cut in in the dining room, and it is going to be great!

today i am working and mom and bryan are laboring. he is working on getting fence panels up, and they're also working on painting the master bedroom. mom washed the previously wallpapered wall with chemicals to remove the glue, which i am sure was fun. last i heard, it was almost all primed, and they were starting on paint for the ceiling. that's the one room we have to finish up tonight before the movers come tomorrow! shannon got off of work early so, lucky her, she doesn't get out of painting today, muhaha. i need to head to the appliance store to get the gas connector, and they've ordered us a replacement for the broken drawer part we need. i think i'm also going to order the silk for the bedroom drapes, since i didn't pick that up when shan, mom, and i spent 3 hours at joanns last week poring over fabrics. i also need to call for big trash and brush pick up. funny story, i called atlanta watershed management to find out why they sent me a water bill (albeit for a credit) even though i closed my account in march (and didn't receive anything in april or may). atlanta watershed management is seriously f'd up. turns out even though they closed my account in march, they billed me for april and may on the final bill. so i am due an even larger credit! the nice gentleman i spoke with is actually in the billing dept, he was helping out on the phones. so he's going to help me out. i am sooooo lucky to have gotten someone smart. last time i had to call about a problem (they were billing me for *2* houses and the bill was over $1000), i got some snippy little queen who refused to help.

tomorrow is moving day. the movers show up around 9am. i'll be in IL again until wednesday night, which is unfortunate. then i get to unpack all our stuff, which is exciting. next saturday bryan is going to rent whatever it is he needs to core holes in the concrete to get that fencing up. that may suck a bunch. hannah arrives sunday though! we're pretty excited about that. we've got a busy july planned. and we're cramming as much into this week as possible so we don't have to do too much house stuff while she is here.

nothing else to say. home depot is our new favorite store. they may get to know us by sight there. luckily, it's not far, though it sure wouldn't hurt if there was one closer. i'm pretty beat, and i haven't even been doing the hard work. makes it tough when the baby gets all my blood! speaking of baby, i think he wants a candy bar. i wonder if an orange will suffice instead...

Friday, June 22, 2007

i'm a homeowner!

the closing on our new home went smooth as can be this morning. we are so blessed to have had this process be so incredibly easy. bryan is at the house now, prepping for painting and dealing with the fencing delivery. appliances get delievered tomorrow, and the movers come tuesday. let's hope the weather cooperates so bryan can get the fence up by tuesday, so we can move over with the dogs. too cool. :)

Monday, June 18, 2007

well, it's a boy! :) we had our ultrasound this morning. it was pretty cool. he actually looks like a baby now! he was moving around a LOT during the ultrasound. i had been thinking i'd been feeling him moving and kicking quite a bit over the past few weeks. he'll be an athletic one. ;) we're totally thrilled and couldn't be more excited. the family as well. i've been waiting to buy anything until we knew - i may have to go to target tonight! :) i can't wait to talk to hannah too - she was hoping against a little brother! i'm pretty sure she'll still be excited (she already designed his halloween costume about a month ago, after all).

we're all set to close on the new house this friday. during our saturday errands, we drove by the house, and the seller was actually there doing some stuff. he invited us in and showed us a few things (indoor garage opened, hidden light switches for outdoor sockets, etc). he's a really nice guy. every time i go to the house i get more excited about living there. hopefully bryan gets the keys right away on friday so he can get started. he'd like to start painting friday, so he can concentrate on getting all the fencing up over the weekend. the movers come next tuesday to help with the furniture and then ta-da! we're home owners. so very exciting. i'm glad half our stuff is still packed up!!

i've been working on scheduling service transfers to the new house. always a fun time, luckily most places have online forms. hopefully it all goes smoothly.

bryan and i checked out the toyota prius, which is the car he currently would like to get. it's really rather cute. while he has until this point wanted 0 features in his cars, now that he has sat in a fully loaded prius, he's starting to think maybe a few features would be nice (or maybe just the fanciest package, since that has BLUETOOTH, and that's the Magic Word). once we get settled down into the house (and our bank account settles after closing, fencing, painting, light fixtures, baby stuff...) he'll get a new car. it's definitely a bryan car. i can still smell the leather, mmmmm.

i can't believe june is getting close to being done. the month has flown by, i suppose because we've been so busy! that also means hannah comes soon and we are sooooooo excited. she is freaking out and can't wait. we're going to have a blast.

i guess that's it at the moment. :) going out of town again this week and next for the new project at work. not fun to spend the night in a hotel away from bryan and the dogs, but pretty excited to be involved in this project. luckily they're short trips!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

come on feel the (illi)noise

taking a little chocolate break at work.

spent the last 2 days in sunny, flat illinois for work. a new project is kicking off with a client there, and i'm being pulled in. my manager hasn't told me which piece will be mine yet, but one of the team members clued me in. i'm pretty excited. the trip was fun. the drive wasn't too bad (3.5 hours), just flat and boring. after our recent atlanta/milwaukee drives, i don't think i'll have too many problems with road trips under 5 hours. we had a lot of fun. the team is great, and the project is very interesting.

getting ourselves ready to close on the house next friday. bryan's trying to line up his permits for the fence (i think), and i've packed a few things up already. how fast we move in will depend on how fast bryan (and dad, and shannon) can get the fencing up and some rooms painted.

a friend from atlanta will be in chicago next weekend so i think i'm going to visit him for lunch. it'll be good to see him again, and i know he's just dying to make fun of my ever fattening tummy (the baby grows so fast). thinking of dropping by ikea. i mean, as long as i'm there, right?

Thursday, June 7, 2007

holy crap, i'm (almost) a homeowner

so the sellers have agreed to fix the basement issue (see my post earlier today, below). our mortgage stuff is all set (pending appraisal, slated for early next week), as is insurance. we'll be in our new place before 6/23, and as early as *next week friday.* that's some pretty crazy stuff. i have to say, we were extremely lucky and had an awesome experience. we had one of the best realties in the state working for us, and our realtor was kick ass. she has worked hard to find the right place for us and then get us in it, all the while being someone we enjoyed spending time with. we were doubly lucky to be working with easy sellers as well. i've heard horror stories, and these sellers have done nothing but agree with our offers. easy peasy.

the long way home

the share drive is down today, and since my documentation is complete for my current project, that means i am having a slow day (as is the printer). at least the meetings start soon and there are always plenty of those around here.

bryan and i found a house that meets our needs wonderfully. we made an offer last tuesday night, and they accepted without counter on wednesday! we had the inspection done friday, and he found some electrical updates which would be wise to complete (and which we're willing to pay for) and some movement in the basement walls (estimate to fix: $7200). so we're asking the sellers to fix the basement prior to close, as we'd like to put up drywall down there soon after we move in. they're already out of the house and want to close quickly, so we're hoping both that they accept and that they are willing to get right on it. with any luck, we'll close in the next 2 weeks and have a place of our own! shannon and i have already been all over the home depot and lowe's paint departments and chosen all of our colors. i am so lucky to have shannon working interior design for free! she has measured every bit of the house and is already creating her architectural space planning design and will be making up design boards as well. she's pretty excited about shopping with my money. while there is nothing that needs to be done to the house (except putting up fencing for the doggies), we do plan on making some updates and changes, probably in a 5 year plan. we're going to reno the kitchen pretty quickly, as well as finish out the basement. we've already ordered our new kitchen appliances and i looooooove them. we were finally able to agree on a fridge, which was a big relief. i wanted a bottom freezer with french doors on the fridge, stainless, and while bryan agreed in theory, he didn't agree in price. we worked through that though, and i managed to get what i wanted without breaking the bank. ;) i finally get a 5 burner stove with a separate warming oven, so i'm in heaven. shannon and i need to hit up some more places to figure out cabinets, flooring, and countertops. there are so many options out there it makes it toughto decide. plus, once you buy it, you're stuck with it! but i'm extremely excited to be able to design our new kitchen. we'll also be doing lots of paint, which will involve pulling down wallpaper. luckily, shannon and bryan are experienced at that! we'll eventually want to update both bathrooms, and put french doors off the back of the house, but those are not top priorities right now. don't worry though, i have spreadsheets going already, and those will soon feed into project plans. you can never be too organized, especially when you're spending a whole ton of money. we're meeting with the lender tonight to sign all the paperwork there, and we should be hearing from the sellers before the end of today regarding the basement, so with any luck we'll be able to set a close date before tomorrow is through. keep your fingers crossed for us!

the house stuff has been consuming the majority of our time lately. i'm trying not to be overly anxious while we wait for all this decisioning to be over, but i'm so excited to move that it's tough. at least i have work now to fill some of my time.

the new job has been going well. i am definitely learning a lot. the banking/insurance business is pretty interesting. my first project is winding down soon, and i've already been pulled into their new project, so that's pretty exciting. i am looking forward to having more to do and be in the full swing of things. getting a paycheck now is pretty cool too. still trying to find my comfort level with consulting, which is new to me. so far i like it just fine, just need to get used to not being permanent.

i found out yesteday i've been taking the long way to/from work, which i figured was the case, but didn't know which was was better. one of the women here turned me on to a highway no one uses. that's pretty cool. saves me 10 miles round trip, AND even though it's still twice as far as my drive to work was in atlanta, it takes me less time. go figure. i can't tell you how very much i DO NOT miss atlanta traffic. atlanta traffic made me hate that city cometimes, and even at it's worst, milwaukee traffic's got nothing on that mess in atlanta.

hannah comes soon and we couldn't be more excited. we have so much planned for while she's here. i've made our reservations for our long weekend in the wisconsin dells, which should be a blast. i haven't been there in ages, and i think it will be so much fun to show hannah my childhood vacation spot. i'm also trying to find a close camp spot so we could camp one weekend (or, "mobile cabin" as bryan insists on calling it, since i want to take my parents' camper). all the good places are further away from the city, so we'll see. hannah and i should be planning the menu for the baby shower/birthday party two birds/one stone party tonight. we're going to do a full on bbq, so that should be fun. i wonder if dad would let me pit roast a pig in the garden (nothing is planted so it's all dead space currently). that could be fun. shannon's invites for the event turned out AMAZING. they look so freakin good. i'm pretty excited. it should be fun. i'm looking forward to seeing some folks from out of town, and there are some who have to come or they're not my friends anymore. ;) i'll be calling them to warn them soon.

everything has been going well baby wise. we find out in a week and a half if it's a boy or a girl, so we're pretty excited. that will help us focus our talks about names and hopefully agree on one. :) that will also allow me to start shopping! not to mention my family - my sisters have been dying to know so they can start sending cute clothes. i'm all for that! i luckily have had no real complaints, as this pregnancy has been very easy. i'm not too thrilled about the growing belly and the achy feet, though. i do now love elastic wasited pants, and that is something i thought i would never say. i've bought some very supportive shoes, since i don't want my feet to expand and not fit into my shoe collection (horror of horrors!). but all in all, it's been a smooth ride, and i'm hoping it will stay that way.

lucinda williams is coming to the pabst theater at the end of july. we may be lucky enough to see her twice in one year! mom and shannon want to go, so that could be a lot of fun. tickets go on sale tomorrow, so we shall see!!

that's all for now!