Tuesday, September 25, 2007

moving stress

We are moving in four days and the stress is starting to really kick in. The biggest things are that we're waiting for the paint on the main floor and all the carpet to be finished (neither have been started yet...) It's been hard to move too much since at this point there's no where to put it. We've been doing what we can, like the kitchen stuff, garage stuff, and storage room stuff, but there's still a lot here. I have moments where I think we're doing good and moments where I see everything that isn't packed yet and start to freak out. We will have quite a bit of help with the kids on Thursday and Friday, so I'm hoping we can get a lot done (there's the obvious problem of trying to be productive with two little kids under foot...it just doesn't happen!)

In addition to the packing/moving, Matt is finishing up the paint in the bedrooms and bathrooms and switching out all the light fixtures. We both have personalities where we want it all done at once because unfinished things drive us crazy...I think we're going to have to learn how to relax a bit :).

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Thursday Night Lights

We have been spending some time watching Hudsonville football on Thursday nights. Matt's little sister, Cara, is a JV cheerleader, and our good friend, Derk, is a coach for the JV football team. The weather has been perfect the last couple of weeks, the company is great, and the Eagles keep winning!

I can't resist posting another picture of these two cuties! Bethany and I were wondering if they might go to some football games together when they're older too :)

Yay cheerleaders! (Cara's the flyer on the far left.)


Is this a child of the 21st century, or what? Sometime soon (before he turns 16 anyway), we'll have to have a talk about the dangers of talking on a cell phone while driving.

House Update

Matt has been working furiously at his two jobs: 1) selling cars at Grand Buick Pontiac, and 2) painting every square inch of our new house (OK, not quite every square inch, but close). All of the ceilings and closets are done as well as three of the four bedrooms (Ella's room = Stem Green, Dylan's room = Gingham Blue, Guest room = Straw Yellow). The master bedroom has been cut it and it will be rolled today by Matt's dad (we're going neutral here...there's a limit to how much color I can handle in one house). Then we "just" have the three bathrooms to go. Most of the carpet in the house has been torn up too.

Matt's dad and brothers Brandon and Chad have been a big help these past few days, coming over after work to help out. Matt has a great job in that they're really flexible about stuff like this. He's been able to leave early a few days this week and take some extra time off (of course it helps that he's straight commission...what do they care if he's not there :))

Hopefully we'll be done with the major projects by this weekend so we can concentrate on moving next week. The "professional" painters start Monday on the main floor and the carpet goes in beginning next Wednesday.

Monday, September 17, 2007

a sentimental sort of day

We closed on our (current/no longer really ours) house today. I was doing good with the whole change thing (definitely NOT someone who loves change), but today I'm feeling a little sad and sentimental. I'm sure it doesn't help that I'm tired and worn out from working on the new place, but it will be hard to say good bye to this house even though we have a great house to move to. This was our first house and we bought it when we had been married for just 8 months...we landscaped like crazy, finished our "denim blue" basement (our favorite room in the house), brought two kids home from the hospital, and then watched them take their first crawls/steps here. I basically spend most of my life trying to avoid hard, heart-wrenching changes like this, but it was going to happen sooner or later. We were outgrowing this house and then we found a house with everything we were looking for. I know the excitement will take over again soon, but for now I think I will just be sentimental...

(Oh, on a positive note, the people who are buying our house seem really nice and like just the sort who will take care of this place. They are engaged and getting married in November and they are very excited. At least that makes me feel a little better about leaving!)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Work Weekend #2

Matt took Friday and Saturday off and worked about 25-30 hours at the new house this weekend. Things accomplished this weekend...

Finished changing interior door knobs to brushed nickel
Added deadbolts to exterior doors (thanks Gpa Austin)
Painted most of the ceilings (thanks Dad T.)
Painted most of the closets (thanks Pastor Harmon)
Painted Ella's room (Stem Green...very cute. I'll take a picture soon.)
Picked out blinds
Ordered carpet and lined up carpet guy
Lined up painters to do main floor - they start tomorrow
Ordered new light fixtures (happened to hit The Lighting Corner's 40% off everything sale which definitely helped)
Mowed both lawns (I actually mowed our current lawn and it's in our marraige vows that I would never do such a thing)
Moved some more kitchen and closet stuff

The moral of this story is that when you walk into a house and think "looks great, we won't have to change much," you are WRONG. I don't think it helps when the house is empty because you see every little thing that's not quite right. I know we'll be glad when it's all done and hopefully we'll have a relaxing fall/winter :)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Splish Splash

The kids have discovered taking baths together. They have a lot of fun, but Matt and I usually end up soaked. Ella loves baths; anytime she hears the bath water running, she crawls at full speed to the tub.


Dylan and I started a Kindermusik class this past week. I first heard about Kindermusik from my neighbor who was planning on doing the baby class with her little girl. I looked it up on-line earlier this summer and they still had openings for Dylan's age group, which is 1 1/2 to 3 years. We're not a super music oriented family, but I figure it never hurts to have a little music in your life. I thought it would be nice too, to have something each week that Dylan and I did together, one-on-one. I feel like I spend a lot of time with my kids, but a lot of that time is with both of them together, and I want to make sure they are getting individual time too.

As we were driving to his class last week, he kept saying "I no want to go to music class," but he had fun once we got there. It's funny to watch his little personality because he's a lot like Matt and me in that he doesn't rush into new things. He definitely prefers to observe and go at his own pace. There are 12 kids and 12 moms and it was also a relief to see that Dylan is completely normal (maybe even better behaved!) when you put him in a group of toddlers/preschoolers. I think his favorite part was the "free dance" portion of the class. That boy has got some moves. I'm pretty sure sure Matt and Dylan watch MTV and have mini-dance parties more than I know.

Breaking it down in the 'Hamas with Isaac and Nicko

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Sketchy. (With a Capital S)

If you live around here, you might have seen in the paper or on the news, the story about the rundown apartment building in Wyoming and the deadbeat landlord. We are more aware of this story than we had hoped to be because the deadbeat landlord is actually (drumroll please) THE GUY WE JUST BOUGHT OUR HOUSE FROM.

Isn't that super? We first realized it when our new address was in the GR Press on Sunday, listed as the residence of the landlord (who of course they couldn't reach at the time). My mom actually called and brought it to our attention. So Matt called the Press on Monday and told them the guy didn't live there anymore and to please print a correction (we do NOT need disgruntled tenants showing up at our door). They were very nice about it and apologized but said it was unavoidable because all the records show the guy as still living there (he actually has a company that owns the property and that address is listed as ours...incidentally he never bothered to change that because we are getting all kinds of mail addressed to the company including bank statements, utility bills and ominious letters from the City of Wyoming.)

And it keeps getting better...yesterday I was at the house in the afternoon doing a couple of things and two of our ever-so-friendly neighbors came over to tell me that Channel 3 news was at the house about an hour earlier WITH a camera. They talked to one of the neighbors and she told them the people had moved out but that didn't stop them from shooting footage of our house. So then Matt started calling Channel 3 along with all the other news channels in the area. Channel 3 were complete slimeballs and refused to say they wouldn't air our house on the news, even after our realtor faxed over copies of everything saying we had bought the house. Channels 8 and 13 said they were aware of the story but weren't actively covering it. Fox 17 was on the way to our house when Matt called, but they apologized profously and turned around. Incidentally, Channel 3 did air the footage last night. On the 5:00 news they said it was this guy's residence and on the later news they said it was his former residence.

The couple we bought the house from also owns property and a house they just built on the Grand River, which is public record and could have been verified by Channel 3, but to them, apparantly the story was bigger than the truth. There are many morals to this story. One, these people are in WAY in over their heads. They are building what is probably a half a million dollar house on the Grand River and driving an over $60,000 vehicle, yet they can't keep up the apartment building (which just went into foreclosure). Two, Channel 3 is slimey! I am officially boycotting them for life (please do the same...they probably won't notice but it will make me feel better :))

The neighbors all assured us these people were great people and great neighbors, but it does leave you with a feeling of uneasiness. It is a great house and we're happy to be there, but we are going to do major praying over the house before we move in because you can never have too much Jesus :) It also compounded our already out of control stress levels and made me realize just how tired I am. Hopefully things start calming down soon before I collapse.

Remember...no watching News 3!!!

Sunday, September 9, 2007


We have spent the last three days working like CRAZY at the new house. My parents had the kids Friday afternoon and Saturday afternoon, so we had to take full advantage of our kid-free time. Things we can now check off the To Do list...

  • Stripped wall paper in dining room (not as bad as anticipated...a big thanks to Katie and Bethany for their help)
  • Started stripping wall paper in half bath
  • Changed locks
  • Cleaned out all the kitchen cupboards as well as the bathroom cupboards (thanks Yesenia and Mom!)
  • Changed most of the hardware from brass (yuck) to brushed nickel (so much better)
  • Started changing interior door knobs (see above)
  • Bought new towel bars, TP holders, etc. for the bathrooms
  • New toilet seats!!
  • Mowed the lawn
  • Brought multiple loads of STUFF over
  • Took down all the curtains and rods to take home and wash...some we might keep and others are getting donated
  • Vacuumed
  • Picked out carpet and linoleum
  • Finalized paint colors
  • Met all the neighbors (and we might even remember all their names, since one of our new neighbors drew us a map with everyone's names, kids' names, kids' ages and phone numbers...I kid you not!)

We are realizing that we want to change more things than we thought we did at first. There's just something about making a house your own. Our next big things are getting the paint and carpet done. We will be very excited to have it all done, so we can relax and enjoy our new home :).

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Bella Bonkers*

Ella's major accomplishments, this week, in no particular order:

Climbed up the first half of our steps (we live in a bi-level) in about two seconds while my back was turned. This was the first time she had ever done more than one step in a row.

Wriggled out of her stroller buckle (again, while my back was turned). I turned around and she was STANDING in her stroller.

Removed her diaper while she was supposed to be napping and then fell asleep buck naked.

This girl is going to be trouble, I tell you.

*One of our favorite nicknames for her...Bonkers, or just The Bonks for short.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Done deal.

We closed on our new house, so we are officially the owners of two homes (for the next week and a half anyway). We also got possession today which was a few days sooner than we thought we would. The old owners are all moved out so they brought the keys to close. We were able to go over there tonight and check everything out. It's been almost two months since we were last in there, so it was nice to see that everything was like we remembered it.

Two observations...

1) The neighbors in the new neighborhood are ridiculously friendly. We pulled up and were almost instantly greeted by the family who live across the street. They were so excited to meet us and chatted away like we were old friends. There were also a lot of kids out playing and Dylan loved running around with them. Most of the kids are older (elementary school aged) but they seemed happy to play with our little guy and thought Ella was cute.

2) You know how when you stay in a hotel and there is always a phone in the bathroom right at the level of the toilet and you think "hmmmm, that's kind of weird?" Apparently I missed this the first four times we were through the house before we bought it, but there is a phone just like that in the master bathroom. Hilarious. I think Matt's really going to enjoy that :)

Monday, September 3, 2007

Another one for the wedding slideshow...

...the future bride and groom licking sand off their toes :)

Happy Labor Day!

Hope you all had a great holiday weekend. We celebrated Labor Day by being typical consumers and buying a table for our new house (we have the privilege of having an eating area and a formal dining room which seems like a bit much for a family that rarely cooks :)). Cute, huh?

Sunday, September 2, 2007


Dylan went tubing today for the first time! He felt pretty safe with Daddy, but he was ready to be done after one ride around the lake.

One last summer night...

We spent this past Saturday evening with our friends Derk and Bethany and their little guy Jalen out in Grand Haven. We enjoyed dinner at Sung Harbor (all three kids did OK!) and then we walked all the way out to the pier and then all the way back for ice cream. Dylan walked (or rather, ran) the entire way which must have been at least three miles and enjoyed his first very own ice cream cone. Ella and Jalen had fun playing in the sand and being photogenic (we're hoping we can use this picture in the wedding slideshow someday :)).

Saturday, September 1, 2007

One month to go...

Now that it's September, it suddenly feels like the move is getting very close. We will have possession on Friday and then the big move is set for the 29th. Right now it sort of feels like the calm before the storm. There's not much to do this next week, but then after that it will be a hectic few weeks. We're going to be picking out appliances, replacing bathroom flooring, striping wall paper, and moving as much of the little stuff as possible ahead of time. We're hoping to hire someone to do most the painting which will take a big project off of our plate. I've started to pack an initial set of boxes filled with things we won't need at this house during the next month. The plan is to fill, load, and unload these boxes as many times as we can. The only hitch is doing all of this with a toddler and a baby...hmmm...Grandma?!?
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