Monday, November 29, 2010

The big move...

Well...we did it! This past weekend we successfully moved out of our shoebox and into our new home!

The weekend started with Thanksgiving at my aunt's house. We do most of the traditional stuff, minus the things we don't like (read: green bean casserole and gravy. Both are foods which my Grandfather has not-so-fondly named, "snot")

We did a bit of Black Friday shopping, scoring a BluRay player, a GPS for Jeremy, DVD player for our gym. And then I had this idiotic idea to brave the shopping mall. Dumb idea. It took me 30 minutes to find a parking space. I was so overwhelmed within 20 minutes that I had to flee the mall in frustration in about 30 seconds.

And Saturday...the big move!
The movers started at the shoebox, then picked up more belongings stored at both my parents house, and finally, my aunt's house - and then on to our new house!  
The day was totally uneventful, and went off without a hitch. Which lead me to begin thinking...what is wrong. Why did this all work out so smoothly? There were no strange occurrences. No bizarre mover stories. The day had seemed just too boring and unremarkable.

Until Sunday evening. We had visitors in and out of the house, arriving to see our new digs that they had heard so much about. Our friends Dave and Amy were in town, so they were over, touring, and we were waiting for our other friends, Adam and Sally to arrive to see the house as well.


I had just finished telling Dave and Amy why there was a big wooden box in our back yard - the reason being that the house was still on temporary power service until our power lines were dug by the power company on Wednesday.
"So you see...we have about 1/6 of the power typically used to run an average house right now, so we need to be careful of what we do" I said.
..and then we hear the fateful noise that sounded something like a spaceship landing.
And the lights went out.

Isn't that a song? Baby when the lights go out....ohhhhh....

Sorry...random interlude.

To make a long story short, our builder had called and asked us to turn on some space heaters in the basement to warm it up for the flooring guys that were coming on Monday. They needed the concrete floors to warm a bit so they could install the flooring. We followed her instructions, but she...and we....forgot that we had very little power, and thus that fateful act would shut us down.

And so, we welcomed our friends into our dark house. We told them that we were going Au Naturale, we don't need power, we are totally rustic. Sure.

And so we promptly left and had to get a ride to my parents house (since our cars were stuck inside the garage...no power...no garage door). About 4 hours later we got ahold of the electrician and Jeremy, my dad and I managed to get the power back on. Big Win. Power...pretty critical.

Though in the hours of no power, I complained to Jeremy, "What am I supposed to do, I have to go to work tomorrow, and I can't sleep without lights."

Yes Kara, yes you can sleep without lights. In fact lights are not recommended for sleep.

So minus the power outage, the move was spot on perfect. Now who wants to come over and unpack boxes?!

But I did realize,  that would be a good way to conserve energy, if households use too much power - zap them and shut them down!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Am I dreaming?

This past weekend was, by far, one of the strangest weekends in remembered history.

Saturday began like a typical day, got up, went to the gym, and then dropped Jeremy off at our friends, Debra and Alex's condo about 5 blocks away from the shoebox. You see, Saturday was Alex's bachelor party and they had a day filled with "Manly" activities planned, shooting guns, eating, drinking, playing pool...manly stuff. They had rented a van to drive for the day, so they could all remain in one vehicle. Okay, fine.

After dropping him off, I went home, got ready for the day, and then drove to my parents house. My family owns an apartment complex in Fairbult Minnesota, where the average age of the residents is 95. And I don't just mean the average age of the apartment dwellers, though they too, are quite old, but I honestly believe there is not a resident in town under the age of 55. It's quite odd. Our whole family went up there for the afternoon for the annual Thanksgiving, "Dinner" (which was at noon, which qualifies it as lunch, but apparently old people get confused and call lunch...dinner.)  

We ate the Thanksgiving, "Dinner" with the residents. Appreciated the fine decor that the residents enjoy, including paintings of wolves, floral chairs, and valances filled with newspaper. Ya know, typical old people decor.

After "Dinner" we drove home from the parallel universe that was Fairbult, Minnesota, population: 1,000, nobody under the age of 55.

I then went to buy Jeremy a car. (Long and unnecessary story) Debra came with me to pick up the car, as I thought it would be a quick trip, the price was already negotiated, so we would sign some paperwork, learn how to fill the car with gas, and then leave. Not so much.
I filled out this sheet of paper
wait 20 minutes
fill out that survey
wait 10 minutes
go meet with the finance guy (whose role still seems largely unnecessary)
wait 30 minutes
The whole process took almost 2 hours.

And if you are reading this, and you are a salesperson of any type, I recommend you avoid the following sentence which was said in front of my by the car salesman: "John, I need to talk to you about this one in the other room"  Oh good, I've got real confidence in this deal, now that you two are going to go talk about me in the other room. Maybe have a code phrase? Like, "Hey John, can you help me find the car's manual in the other room?" or "Hey John, come see these really cool tires over here".

Anyways, we finally go the car and went on our way. We did a bit of shopping, and then I got a call from the dealer. She had forgotten to give me the temporary window sticker for the car, since it is new, and did not yet have plates. So...the car saleswoman drove out to Lululemon to bring me the temporary license plate for the car. Yes, she walked into the dressing room, found us, trying on yoga clothes, and gave me the sticker for the car. Totally normal.

And now, on to the final stages of the weirdest day in remembered history. Debra and I then proceeded home to hang out at her place with our respective dogs. They were going to play, and we would order dinner and watch a movie. Well we did just that, minus the dinner. Our dinner took almost 2 hours to arrive from the restaurant, located just 1/2 mile away from the condo. After yelling at the driver, we go the food for free, but we were still baffled by the length of service.

Until we received a call from Jeremy.
"Kara, it is freezing rain outside, I am on my way back to Debra's with Mike (Debra's dad), Harvey (Debra's Father-in-law to be) and Todd (Debra's brother-in-law). The roads are really bad, we are driving slow, we need to get off the highway"

I passed the message along to Debra, assuming, per usual, that Jeremy was being a little dramatic. You see - turbulence in a plane - means the plane is going down, snow on the roads - means we are going to wind up in an embankment, and lightening - means we will likely be electrocuted shortly.

However, when they were not home in 30 minutes, I called him back.
"Kara, the roads are still really bad, they're horrible, we are barely moving, I think we are all staying over at Debra's tonight"
I hung up quickly, as I was barely able to contain my laughter. It was not snowing outside, and we could not even see rain. I thought this was some big Bachelor party joke that they had concocted. Wouldn't it be hilarious if they all slept over. Debra and I joked about it for a while.

An hour and a half later they called to say they were on their way in to the building, walking from several blocks away, and would be sleeping over. In order to get into the building, the 4 of them literally attached themselves to eachother making a human chain, and yanked one another up the hill, and into the condo building. Jeremy coaching them along the way, telling them to, "Stay low, get down". Quite the soldier that Jeremy.

And so we had a sleepover. All of us.
Two dogs...

One Father-in-law...

One Father....

Two Franks (this was our 'bed)...

One Brother-in-law
(not pictured, Alex (the fiance), and Dwight (the friend)..who were also at the sleepover)

And then...
Jeremy, crawling out of the building the next day...







Yes, it was that bad. And yes, the weekend was that strange.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Footprints in Time

With that title..you thought I was going to bring on the cheesy factor again...right? Not so much.

Last night Jeremy and I went to visit our house after attending a birthday party for our builder. We opened the door, and I did as I typically do there, and everywhere, and bounded into the house. I quickly walked around to see what had been completed, what changes had occured since we had last been there, a few days prior.

I noticed a strong smell, and Jeremy remarked that it smelled like varnish. Hmph, I thought. Whatever.
I bounded downstairs, and on my second step down, noticed that my foot was stuck to the stair.
"SH%$" I screamed
"What seems to be the problem Kara?" Jeremy asks, in a way as if he knows I have just done something stupid.
"I'm stuck to the stairs!" I scream (followed by a few more expletives)

This is where Jeremy proceeds to laugh hysterically, having no pity upon my situation. Yes, they had just varnished the steps, and I walked right on through them. So, there is now a footprint in the middle of the stair. In a very visible location.

Some people put their hand prints in the cement. Other people walk through wet varnish. Really, I was just trying to make my mark. And hope that when the carpenter comes back today, he thinks that someone else did it so I don't get in trouble. Whoops!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is just 1 week away, so I thought I should give a little thanks. Thank you first to all of my blog readers. I don't know all of you, but I love that you read my blog. I started this thing as a bit of an experiment.  A way to tell everyone about wedding planning, without shoving it down their throat. If they wanted to know, they could read my blog. If they didn't care, they wouldn't read. It quickly evolved into something much more, and the response I have received has been overwhelming. Three years ago, I made a truly a life changing decision to start blogging. So, thank you so much for reading. For allowing me to write who I am, in the rawest, and more honest way possible. This is me, this is my life, this is the journey I am on.

So this isn't usually the tone of my blog, because well...I'm just not good at the sugary sweet. And I mean that in the nicest way. I'm just not the kind of girl who walks around hugging everyone. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but that's just not me. I also have this great inability to cry. Unless it relates to animals. At which time I cry like a baby if anything happens to a puppy.

And I cry for really sad things, but I can't cry for like weddings, or happy occasions.  There's something wrong with me - anyone want to diagnose? One of my very best friends is about to get married (in case you don't read my blog, and you haven't heard my 87 references to this wedding), but the chances are slim that I will cry. I will be blissfully happy for her, but I just can't cry. I didn't even cry at my own wedding.

So here goes with my once in a lifetime sugary sweet blog post....with all of the changes coming up in December, I thought it was time to say a little 'Thanks'. I can't mention everyone - but just a little thanks.

*I am thankful for this house that we are about to move into. I am thankful for the ability to build it, for the support from my family and friends, and I am thankful to be moving out of the shoebox. (Okay, I'm trying to be sweet)

*I am thankful for my family -
               My mom, well if you haven't met her, you probably should - she's about the coolest lady ever. And I know I'm bias, but seriously, she's pretty freaking amazing. And she takes my 47 calls per day, freaking out about my issue du jour.
              My dad - he drives me nuts, but in a good way. Well most of the time. He's a pretty funny guy (just ask him), and he's the most helpful guy you'll ever meet. He offered to take off work after we move and just unpack all of my stuff for me so I wouldn't have to worry about it. I politely declined because, he would do just that, but he would organize it in some crazy way. For example, he would decide that he should organize the closets by color - so every item that we own that is red - should go in one closet. Red plates, red shirts, red towels, in one closet. But seriously, how nice is that?
            Jers -  My husband. Have I mentioned that I married the greatest guy around? Sure, he says the most ridiculous things, but isn't that the charm? And he is the best dog dad you'll ever find. Yea, I'm lucky - he's pretty darn spectacular
            My sister - Second only to my dad, the most helpful girl around. The only thing that would make her even more spectacular than she already is? If she would bring me a niece or nephew :-)

*My friends - I'm pretty darn lucky to have amazing friends from every stage of my life. My elementary school best friend is still, my very best friend/sister/soulmate/confidant. My college roomate/best friend remains the person that knows knows me better than I know myself, the one who has changed me more than any person I have ever met, and the mother to my "nephew". And my after college girlfriends (friends of my husband that I stole) remind me everyday to be myself, and enjoy each day, and live with passion.

So....life is not perfect. It never is. Very close people (and dogs:-( ) in our lives are very sick. But for a little while, just stop and find reasons to be thankful. There is a lot.

So this December I am thankful for...
Our Home
Our niece, who turns 2 in December, and our nephew, who will be born in December!
Our friends, who will marry in December

Lots to be thankful for. Much love.     

Next blog...back to the ridiculous.     

Monday, November 15, 2010

Killing time

In case you have been living under a rock (i.e. not reading this blog), we are moving into our new house in a little less than 2 weeks!
We packed up half of our belongings last December and put our condo on the market.
Sold our condo at the beginning of March
Purchased the junky house March 17th.
From March - May, we packed up half of what was left of our belongings to be put in storage.
Moved into the shoebox apartment June 1.
Started construction on said junky house on July 5th
And now, November 27th, we will finally be moving into our new home!

So, it has been a bit of a long road. A wonderful road. But a long, stressful, "I can't find the shoes I want, and need to buy a new dress because I can't find anything I own" ...kind of road. A road, I am not sad to see go.

Needless to say, now that it is not so nice outside, we go a bit stir crazy on the weekends. For obvious reasons, we would rather not stay home, in our 500 square foot apartment, but it is no longer 'walk around the lake' weather. There is nothing to do, nowhere to go, and it makes you feel a bit like you are being punished for something.

So thus...we spend our weekends running random errands. But at the same time, attempting not to spend money. Since well...we're building a house. And that is not free.

So this weekend, we decided to go on a shopping spree. Well a free shopping spree. We had a ton of gift certificates, credits, coupons and rebates, mostly from wedding gifts, and others from Birthdays etc...

We started our free shopping spree at Restoration Hardware on Friday. We had registered there for our wedding, and loved the wall of beautiful towels, and racks of amazing sheets. Well, we hadn't been there in over a year...and since we are going on 2 years of marriage, decided we should use up the store credit. Well they have now turned the store into a, "Gallery" as they call it.

And what do I mean by this? Well they literally mean a gallery. You walk through and it looks like someone's home, and if you like the...towel on the towel bar, you ask a very eagar salesperson, who calls on their headset to the back room, who then transfers it to a stock person, who then brings out my 1 freaking towel to set at the register.

And don't try to take a towel off the rack...I did that. And go scolded. Literally. The saleslady told me to, "Put that back, that is not how the 'gallery' works". Well Sorr-y lady. Let me use up my credit and leave your gallery. At the stores I shop in, I see something I like, and I take it to the counter. I dunno - doesn't seem so tough. So we spent our credit on the world's most random items, (Iron letters that said...K&J), expensive sheets, and towels that I dared to remove from the rack.

I still like their products, well some of them, but I don't think I'm game for this whole Gallery thing. It's not my style. But visit and see what you think. Maybe it's just us. We were driven crazy by this new model. Driven so crazy that Jeremy let into the salesperson about his thoughts on merchandising and how to sell products. She didn't seem to care about his opinion. Maybe we're crazy. I'll stick with normal stores instead of Galleries from now on.

Our free shopping spree then took us to the Foursome, where Jer found a fancy pair of slippers, some random gift shop in Ridgedale where we found a large pink mixing bowl (we seriously had to struggle to find something at this store), Best Buy where we purchased a TiVo and Target for folding tables and pillows. All for free!

I seriously recommend storing up your gift cards for a free shopping spree. It is quite fun! Without the pain at the end!

I don't however recommend living in a shoebox.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

Sorry for my sporadic posting...life has been busy. Well that is a bit of a lie. Life is about to get busy. But you know when you are about to be really busy, and you get yourself all worked up about the impending busyness that is about to ensue. Well that is me. Now.

We are moving out of the shoebox, and into the new house on November 27th!!!!! Huge, fantastic, amazing, exciting news. In case I haven't mentioned it, I hate the shoebox. We have had a broken bathroom sink for 2 1/2 weeks and still, the management company has not come to fix it. You would think that my second phone call, literally spelling out B-A-T-H-R-O-O-M would have prompted a response (as the first time they came, they said..no, there is nothing wrong with the kitchen sink). But alas, no response. So, we still sit with a broken bathroom sink. And I refuse to fix it myself. Because I am stubborn. And I feel that it is their responsibility. In the world's tiniest apartment. But it will all end on November 27th when we move into our very first, real house!!!!

Can you tell I'm a little excited?

In other huge, baby related, time consuming, very exciting news....we're expecting a baby...

a brown, furry, Shih-tzu/Bichon baby...

Got you all excited - didn't I?

Yes, we have decided to adopt another dog. Punky has been asking for a brother for quite some time, and we have finally decided to oblige. She will meet her brother at the end of December, after we have moved into our nice new house. Just in time for him to pee all over it.  I will post pictures when I have them. The ones I have right now cannot be saved into my blog for some reason. But if you want to see pictures, just comment, and I'll email them to you. He is freaking adorable.

In other busy news, one of my best friends is getting married in early December. So ya know, that's kind of a big deal. I'm a bridesmaid. She's the bride. Her fiance is the groom. That's how this whole wedding thing works. I've heard she's going to wear a big white dress too.

And the final busy news is that we have a new nephew who is due to be born at the end of December. I'm not sure if he will match the awesomeness that is our niece, but we're pretty excited to meet him.

Oh, and Jeremy is running off to Bangalore, India for work for10 days right after we move. So yea, that is impending stress.

So you see...none of these events have occurred yet. And none of them require my immediate attention, but it's the anticipation of lots of activities that you know - just makes you feel busy.

Truth be told, I am actually quite bored right now - but I totally anticipate being busy soon.

Friday, November 5, 2010

When Hairdryers Attack

This morning I went to a yoga class, as I often do early in the morning before work. I did my downward facing dog thing, and all of my Warriors, and then it was time to jet into the locker room to get ready for work.

You see...I go to the latest possible morning Yoga class, cherishing my last few minutes in bed, with the knowledge that I would rather stay in bed for another half hour, and, as a consequence, race to shower and get ready after class. It's a sacrifice I will happily make.

So this morning, I pulled out my hairdryer, after showering, towel drying my hair, and literally throwing on my clothing. I begin to blow dry my hair - and then all of a sudden, what feels like shards of glass, begin to come blowing out of my hair dryer.

Now I know...this sounds like some teeny bopper horror movie, right? Sorority girl blow drys her hair, and then someone has secretly planted shards of glass in the blow dryer for the unsuspecting girl to find when she turns on the blow dryer.

But alas...this was real life! I don't know what happened, I'm not a techno wiz, but I can say that something must have exploded inside my hairdryer and then decided to attack me, its unsuspecting victim, who was innocently trying to quickly dry her hair after yoga.

Bad Karma hair dryer.

And then, as though this was not uncomfortable enough to have shards of glass heated up by a hair dryer, blown at your chest...I was standing in the middle of the yoga locker room. If I was at home, I would have screamed at the top of my lungs, made Jeremy come and investigate the situation, we would have dismantled the hair dryer, and I would have complained for at least a half hour about how I almost died.

But no, I was amongst strangers in the yoga locker room. And so I looked around. And thought about screaming - "Did you all see that?? Glass came flying out of my hair dryer and burned my hand and chest"  But I decided that if I ever intended on returning to my beloved Corepower, I best not scream in the locker room. They might think me a bit on the crazy side.

You know that feeling? When something happens and you just want to tell everyone? And you are in the world's most akward place, and there is nobody to tell?

Well it happens to me a lot. But weird stuff happens to me a lot too. So maybe I'm more prone to wanting to shout what just happened in an awkward locale.

And if you are wondering, I am okay. I managed to live. Amazingly. A small pea sized battle wound lays upon my hand and chest. But luckily, I made it. In the battle against dry hair, I won.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Body Work

So yesterday I was showing commercial warehouse space to this guy(that's what I do for a living)...who was 30 minutes late. I can't handle when people are late. It drives me nuts. Unless you were caught up by a fleet of charging rhinos, I see no reason why you should be late.

So I went into this showing slightly annoyed, and slightly edgy. We walk into the space and the perfectly nice prospective tenant gives me his business card. The business card reads, "A Crime & Trauma Scene Clean-up Company". I freak. I assume that he is going to kill me in this warehouse, so he can get more business and clean up the crime.

I am certain that this is my last day. In the back of an old warehouse in St. Paul.

So we walk through the dark warehouse space, and towards the back of the building he turns to me and says:
"Do you think the city would allow me to do body work in here?"

To which I respond, in a somewhat screaming bloody murder tone, "YOU MEAN LIKE HUMAN BODY WORK???"

The confused prospect looks at me and says, "No, like cars. Body work. Auto body work". Stated in a tone that says, "You crazy nut job, what are you thinking?"

Oh yea, cars. Body work. That would be vehicles, wouldn't it, eh?

Sorry buddy...didn't mean to scream in your face. Cars...not people.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The weekend of Debra....

One of my closest girlfriends is getting married in just 6 short weeks. Jeremy and I will be standing up in the wedding, and are honored to be a part of the celebration.

This particular friend does not do anything half way. She likes BIG parties for small occasions (Superbowl, grilling season etc...), and HUGE celebrations for medium occasions (Birthdays, Anniversaries)....so just imagine what a wedding would bring. More pomp and circumstance than anyone could imagine. Now picture an upcoming wedding, combined with her Birthday which also occurred last week...recipe for a massive celebration.

And so ....we celebrated!
First....the Birthday celebration at Manny's. Here,  pictured with a little Birthday dessert. Massive dessert, for a massive birthday....30!!!!

What better way to ring in the new Birthday century, than with a bludgeon of beef???!!!

And the next day...on to Izaty's to celebrate her last few weeks as a Bachelorette....

There are very few photos that are PG enough to post. And really this one is not even PG, but it needed to make it on here regardless. I never said this was a family friendly blog.

Debra and her inflatable Peeper. I spared you the photo of Debra, holding it like a baby. I think this gives you a pretty good idea of the weekend's activities.

As I'm sure you can imagine, we had a great time knitting sweaters, and darning socks, while chatting about politics over cups of tea.

Absolutely not.

Saturday night we went out in Onamia, Minnesota, dressed up in our most attractive former bridesmaid's dresses, and Debra in a lovely vintage 1990 wedding dress. My dress, courtesy of my brother-in-law's sister, was lauded with great applause for it's color, style, and the massive pink sparkly bow adorning the side.
It was quite sexy. Please also note the massive sleeves, which also had crinoline inside of them to increase their height and poufyness. And yes, that was a real bridesmaids dress. And yes, it was horribly uncomfortable, and insanely scratchy, and yes, I do intend on wearing my hair and makeup like that every day going forward.

Again...further details of this weekend are shrouded in secrecy. You should have seen the stripper - and his crazy dance moves. He made Jeremy and I look like we were ready for Dancing with the stars.

Woops. shrouded in secrecy.


Congratulations to the happy couple! Your friends are exhausted. Time to get married so we can all rest.

Kidding. We love you!