Polar opposites

One thing Mookie mentioned, as we were walking the bike trail behind our house throughout our new neighborhood one evening, is that we really went from one end of the spectrum to the other. We left the epitome of urban living for the quintessential suburban environment. It's true: we're neck deep in the kind of life that's featured on Desperate Housewives, only not as ritzy, and with a lot less scandal. It's been a surprisingly easy adjustment. We did some grocery shopping at Cub Foods the other day and they had a blood pressure machine. My blood pressure has always been good, but lately it's so low I almost wonder how I'm standing. There's space everywhere, and a noticeable lack of crowds. I feel very calm.

Right now Husband is getting a hair cut (he starts work tomorrow) and I'm waiting for our family room (in the finished basement) furniture to get delivered. Because the door to the basement is very narrow, we've had a horrible time getting furniture that will fit but also meets our standards of "floppy", "deep", "squishy", and "big", since the family room will be home to the Movietron, our movie screen and projector. Cross your fingers for us that this one, which meets all our needs and comes in small enough sections that it should work, fits.

After that we need to continue our hunt for a second car, which is also proving challenging.

All in all things are good at this end. I found a job I'm interested in applying for so we'll how that goes. The family room furniture should be the last batch for now, thank God. And every day brings new adventures, a little progress on the learning curve, and a lot of weariness. We're looking forward to having some fun once we're settled!


Status report

Mostly furnished! Delivery tomorrow! Now we have to unpack like bandits!

I won't post any pictures until the furniture's in, so you don't have to endure another post of our living space full of boxes, as you did with our Boston abode.


Puzzle pieces

I'm spent. We furniture shopped all day long. Determination? Our house is funny shaped. Challenging when trying to fit stuff where you want it to go.


From there to here

We just hooked up Husband's computer in our study (I have no desk and no computer as of yet, hoping to rectify that with a trip to Target and an iBook), so I figured I'd write a quick post. I took a bunch of pictures of the inside of the house (in all its boxes-piled-to-ceilings glory) and will upload those soon. But here's the short, I'm-exhausted-and-sleep-deprived update: getting out of Boston was hellish, the drive to Minnesota was loooooooong, I drove the truck!, the house is great, someone hit our car, and we're in the midst of major furniture/second car hunting right now, on top of unpacking. Mookie just flew back to Missouri this afternoon, and it's been a happy barrage of family and friends for over a week straight (when you count all the lovely souls who showed up in Boston to help us load the truck - truly generous of them given the unpleasantness of the project).

Anyway, I'm so tired I can barely see straight. Minnesota is thus far a HUGE adjustment but a very positive one. I think we made a good choice coming here - I love it already. More soon!


So many goodbyes

When I think of our time in Boston, I'll look back very fondly on our tiny downtown apartment on the Common. True, it was a cramped 700 square feet. But it was cozy, and it was where we officially started our lives together. So I can remember it properly, I've taken some photos. Keep in mind, however, that I'm a very neat person and a good housekeeper - we're just in the midst of moving, and so our entire place is a shambles. So subtract the boxes and stacks of random shit everywhere, and mentally insert some nice decoration :) It used to look like a home, honest...

Our livingroom was always one of my favorite places. (It didn't normally have a drying rack set up in the corner, or bubble wrap strewn across the coffee table!) I loved to sit on the couch and listen to all the city noises below, bathed in the red light glow from the Loews movie theater across the street.

This is another view of the living room. We didn't have two TVs set up there, but my parents gave us one a few weeks ago and we had nowhere else to put it.

Our dining room joined onto our living room (with the apartment being only 700 square feet, everything joined onto everything else!). When we first got our pub height table Husband thought I would hate it because my feet wouldn't touch the ground, but I actually loved it. I felt really high up!

Another view into dining room, from the living room. (Again, the drying rack wasn't a typical feature.) (Can you tell I'm totally embarrassed about the disaster that is the current state of our apartment!?)

I loved our kitchen, although it was tight. It was an galley kitchen, but Husband and I found it pretty easy to maneuver around one another.

This was our bedroom. It had a sailing theme. It was small too, but a great place to retreat at the end of a long day. I always found it cozy and charming.

This was our guest room. It was a mess. That's not just because we're moving - that shot is pretty true to everyday life.

This was Husband's studio! I think he'll miss this space. Hopefully he'll like his new studio space in our Minnesota home.

This was Husband's desk. It was also usually this messy. In fact, this is a view of it after most of it has been packed up, so this is the one shot where things are actually neater than they typically were!

This was my desk, but it's all cleaned off in this picture.

This was our entryway. It is now nothing but a maze of boxes.

And I don't think I wrote about the giant stack of boxes near the kitchen that fell over one night at 3am a week ago? Well, there it is, upright (for now) and looking unstable...

So anyway, this was our Boston home. I loved it here. I'll miss it a lot. Sometimes when I say that Husband looks so surprised, like he can't imagine I would prefer our current digs to our new spacious house. But I just loved it. Our new master bathroom has two sinks so we won't have to share, but I loved squishing in underneath Husband's arm to spit out my toothpaste while he was at the sink. Our new kitchen is enormous compared to this one, but I'll miss pushing past Husband to get what I need, or climbing on top of the cabinets to reach above the fridge.

From our apartment we walked or took the train pretty much everywhere we wanted to go, and for the most part left our car tucked away in the garage under the Common. Everything we wanted or needed has been in a mile radius. Every couple of weeks we drove to the grocery store, Costco, and Target, but in between if we needed something we walked up to the small grocer on Charles Street. I had my pick of Starbucks, all within one block. And work and my gym were within a block as well.

It's time to move on. But my memories are very fond. Our first apartment definitely has a huge spot in my heart.


A closet sentimentalist

My office is all packed up, except for my computer/printer/phone, some documents I'm finishing, and a bunch of random pharmaceutical pens. It's weird. My leaving is coinciding with the Center reconstruction, so cardboard boxes clutter my home and my work space.

I guess it's really done, then.

Farewell, closet-they-call-an-office! Sorry about all the Starbucks stains from when the empty cup toss missed the trash can.

(My last day at work isn't actually till Tuesday, so no need to start crying and hugging the ergonomic furniture just yet...)


Code name: LadyBug

I've decided I want my CB code name to be LadyBug. Husband calls me Bug instead of Elle (seriously, when he does call me Elle it's SO weird because normally he never uses my real name) so I've decided to add the "Lady" onto it to make it sound more trucker chick.

Over and out.


Are you gonna go my way?

Husband has ordered walkie talkies for us to use on our road trip from Boston to Champlin! I think we need walkie talkie nicknames. Do truckers have nicknames?


As they tend to...

What goes down must come up - things are looking better:

I passed my certification exam!!!!! With a 90%!!!


Whippet good!

Husband has decided we can have a Whippet!!! I'm not sure what factored into this change of heart. Could it have been the half hour of nonstop crying last night, to the point where all I could manage to get out over and over was "Nubink is goink my way! *Sniff* Nubink!" Cue new onslaught of big fat wet ones sliding down my puffy cheeks.

(Yeah, minor meltdown last night.)

Whatever his reasons, I'll take his generous compromise. I really want one. (They can run up to 35 miles per hour! And are very sweet and cuddly, though perhaps ever so slightly neurotic...)



I want a Whippet, and I want to name our Whippet Whippet. So she'd be Whippet the Whippet. Husband doesn't want this.

Boo Sunday. Nothing is going my way.



Today we signed over power of attorney to Husband's dad to close on our house for us. I can't believe we close in two weeks! I can't believe we won't be there! (Actually I don't really care if we'll be there or not, it sounds kind of boring...)


Keep on movin' don't stop

I feel like my life will never be normal, day-to-day life again. I know it will be, and that transitions are hard but do, eventually, pass. But it's just slightly ironic. We're moving to settle down. But on the road to settling down, we'll be more unsettled than ever. After we arrive in Minnesota, we still need to furnish our house. It will take months to get the place set up and decorated. Especially because we'll probably run out of money partway through ;) And we need to buy a second car. (Okay, actually that part is kind of fun.) But you get the idea - it'll be a life in progress for a year, probably.

I feel sleepy all the time. I want to come home from work and be able to lie on the couch with a good paperback.


Don't go to the scary place

Yesterday I created our new Minnesota budget.


I thought buying a house would make us feel more secure. I'm not feeling secure. I'm feeling wary of our mortgage payment.

I need a job. Right? Yeah.



While we were in NJ for Memorial Day, we spent some time at one of my childhood haunts: the old, washed up, closed to the public beach in Deal.

C, P and I used to ride our bikes out here and spend the day doing I don't even know what. But I remember it was always fun, and adventurous!

We also took a different kind of trip back in time while we were with my folks. My stepfather Jack got a new antique car to refurbish. He has an old Hudson that he's finished remodeling, so he picked up a 1930s Ford to keep him busy.

While we were visiting my parents in New Jersey Husband and I went for a ride in the rumbler seat. That black travel chest is the trunk - how cute! The rumbler seat folds up from what nowadays would be the trunk.

Jack was going to drop Husband and I off at the beach and my mom would pick us up later, but sadly the Ford started to backfire (I totally jumped out of my seat like I have gunshot PTSD or something - I am very easily startled). So we only ended up going the long way around the block. Not to worry, though - Jack later discovered it was driver error - he's still getting used to driving the Ford and apparently it's a pretty sensitive car.

Husband and I headed back up to Boston early on Memorial Day to avoid traffic, but Jack and my mom drove the Ford in the local parade.

I didn't write much about our trip to NJ. My parents are doing well - they're so happy. It was nice to see them. The weekend went quickly, but as always it was good to be home.


Places we hide

Last night after two intense hours of packing (this one hour plan is genius - teach me to skip a night - two hours crosses some sort of invisible line into hellish!) Husband and I watched Lars and the Real Girl. We had planned to walk down to the dock on the Charles River and have a picnic dinner, but yours truly ducked out. In my defense, I'd just finished some serious closet dismantling. Of course, had I known today would be wet, cold and miserable I would have pushed though. I wasn't aware that the 80 degree temps and warm sunshine were of such limited supply.

But the movie was fantastic - if you haven't seen it I highly recommend it. Ryan Gosling is perfect. And the story is just so sweet. It totally tugs at your heart strings. I can relate to Lars. At its premise the movie seems ridiculous, but it isn't. I think it speaks to most of us. As an introvert, I'm only a few scraps of sanity away from entering into my own fantasy world fulltime, rather than just for a scant five minutes before I drift off to sleep at night. Give me a trauma or take away all things good in my reality, and it could happen.


The best laid plans

Yesterday evening Husband and I had dinner in the North End at the same restaurant where we had our rehearsal dinner. His parents had given me a gift certificate for one last meal there for my birthday. Over wine, we started talking about what we should do with all of our newfound space. (Seeing as we're going from 700 square feet to 2700.) The big question on the table is this: do we leave the two designated "kids" rooms empty for now, use them for something else, or just go ahead and set them up for the kids? The tricky thing about the kids, as you know, is that we don't currently have any. Just plans. And plans alone don't fill a nursery.

And I'm optimistic. But to be fair, things don't always work out. I have to acknowledge that we might not get pregnant. Or if we do, it might not be right away or on our predicted timeline. And then what? We avoid walking into two empty rooms for years?

At the same time, we don't want to invest in a lot of expensive furniture to create rooms we'll eventually (if all does go according to plan) just have to turn into rooms for tots.

You see our dilemma?

I feel like we should turn them into something else for now (what, I don't really know, since we already have office and studio space elsewhere in the house) but just keep in mind that those rooms will eventually need to be re-designated.

I was talking to C today and she thought we should just leave the rooms empty. It would be less work in the long run. She's right, but I'm still not sure it's a good way to go. Expectation - especially when it's physically represented by say, oh, completely dead space - stifles. And life... well, let's just say life has a way of throwing curve balls.


Snoozin' and cruisin'

Last night I fell asleep at around 10pm, and this morning I woke up at 5:45am. I ate some cereal and lay in bed reading. Husband was wide awake painting, checking emails, and watching VH1 countdowns on tv. But at around 6:40am or so I fell back to sleep. And I'm really sorry I did.

I had the worst nightmare. Husband and I were on a very small cruise ship that was hijacked. We weren't sure why or by whom, but every once in a while they would gather us all together on deck and choose one or two people to videotape for ransom. The first person chosen was a diplomat's daughter, but the second people chosen were Husband and I. I thought that they chose us because we were so affectionate with one another, and I assumed their plan would be to shoot one of us to show the devastation they were reeking. They didn't shoot either of us, but for the entire nightmare I was convinced that Husband would get shot. In part because he was mouthing off a bit, trying to figure out who the bad guys were and how to stop them. I kept telling him to please shut up, so that I didn't end up a widow. In the end they shot one young girl who recognized them and threatened to expose their plan, and they threw her overboard. But the rest of us were escorted off the ship and onto the dock moments later.

I'm annoyed that I didn't just stay awake this morning - it feels like time wasted. It's not like I felt rested after that. I felt emotionally drained and stressed. Last night I was so tired after our dinner in the North End that I didn't have the energy to pack for my required one hour, so tonight I have to do two hours to make up for it. If I'd ignored the urge to roll back over this morning I could have used that time to put a dent in my packing debt.


And I'm takin' my church with me when I go

For my birthday Mookie sent me a beautifully framed retouched photo of the Old North Church.


Ready, set...

Last night we started our official move countdown - we haul out on the 19th. We have each agreed to pack for one hour a day until our move date. Last night I packed up my books and Husband packed up some sweaters.

We've rented our moving truck and solidified our plans. J and A have graciously agreed to let us park the truck overnight at their place, so we'll load it up Wednesday and drop it off in Winchester and then drive out to Winchester Thursday morning to start the journey (we have no parking in downtown Boston, so our only option is to pack up the truck and immediately hit the road or enlist the help (and/or driveways) of friends). Mookie is flying in from Missouri to help us make the three day trek from Boston to our new home in Champlin, Minnesota.

On our way to Minnesota we'll be able to detour through Cincinnati to see Husband's art in a show! His work will be displayed in the Manifest Gallery as part of the Magnitude 7 exhibit. Works from the exhibit cycle through the home page of the gallery, so you can see it if you wait for a while - it's the lollipop.

Our weekend was productive but fun. On Friday I saw the Sex and the City movie (good, but sadder than expected) and caught up with some friends I haven't seen in a while. Saturday I finally dropped off my wedding dress to be professionally cleaned and ran some errands in Arlington, and then took a very long nap (the anti-anxiety meds are working wonderfully but the nausea and exhaustion are truly starting to SUCK). (And no, I'm not pregnant - I promise.) After I regained consciousness I did some good work on my resume. Sunday we went to a surprise birthday party for J. We ate some yummy food and watched a bunch of kids whack the sh*t out of a piƱata for a what felt like ages (plastic bat, need I say more?). Ironically, we were the only couple there without progeny, and were also the only couple who ended up breaking a sweat running around the front yard, flailing our arms and yelling, "I'm going to get you!". What can I say? Husband and I ROCK at tag.