Sunday, November 29, 2009

2nd Annual Twinkle Bus Ride

We were so excited that our friends, the Lamothe's, invited us to join them on the Twinkle Bus again this year. The Twinkle Bus is a decked out Minneapolis Transit Bus that with a flip of a few switches becomes one of the floats in the Holidazzle Parade. The parade runs Wed-Sun nights Thanksgiving through Christmas in downtown Minneapolis. We were fortunate to have a beautiful night for the parade this year...last year we rode in the middle of a snowstorm! Either way, we are the lucky ones getting to ride in a heated bus while the other floats and their characters have to walk or ride in the cold! It always amazes me how many people come out for the parade even in the coldest of temperatures.

Like last year, we had a nice dinner before hand with Chloe and Jonny's families. This was Luke's first ride, so he was especially excited! The kids did a fantastic job of waving at the onlookers and yelling "Merry Christmas." Luke got a lot of practice saying his new word - "tree" - too. Afterward, we had a quick stop at Sebastian Joe's Ice Cream Shop...Yummy!! That might have been Luke's favorite part of the night! We had so much fun and are already looking forward to next year! Thank you Lamothe family!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving - A Decade in Minnesota

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! It's hard to believe that this is our 10th Minnesota Thanksgiving! Where on Earth did the time go?? I've been thinking a lot today about how blessed we are to have such wonderful children, family and friends in our lives. We are so incredibly lucky to have two happy, handsome and healthy little boys. We simply can't imagine life without them (except on the weekends sometimes when all we want to do is lay around and watch something other than Mickey Mouse on tv!). We are so thankful for our wonderful Minnesota friends who act as our surrogate family and provide us with a constant helping hand. We are grateful for our families and friends back in Indiana who loved us enough to let us go and move here to follow our dreams. We are fortunate that we both work for companies that value our contributions and have allowed us to build careers. We are thankful that we are able to build this new home and move our boys to a wonderful neighborhood full of other kids and with better schools. We hope everyone has had a chance to reflect on the great things life has brought their way this year and are hopeful that the next year will be even better! Happy Holidays everyone...and let the shopping begin! And don't forget - SHOP TARGET.COM!!!

Where the green grass grows...

This might be one of the last yards with green grass in Minnesota if this cold snap hangs around. As you can see we got our sod this week. We were very excited that the landscaping could be done this year instead of waiting until next spring. I wasn't loving the idea of having a muddy dog every time she went outside to potty. Unfortunately if the cold snap stays we won't have painted garage doors until next spring.
Quite a bit of the tile work was finished this week and the stone on the fireplace was installed. There will be some work done tomorrow and Saturday too. They are working really fast now that we are down to less than 3 weeks! I'm starting to get to the point where I want to wait for everything to be done before I go back in, but I know I'll never be able to stay away! We are still pleased with how our choices are coming together.

Pocket Office

Our backyard!

We love the fireplace!

Basement bathroom

Mudroom "dumping station" with a bench. There will also be a corkboard above the countertop.

I am loving the subway tile around my bathtub!

Our shower

Our bathroom vanity


Saturday, November 21, 2009

So close we can smell it...literally.

This week the cabinets, doors and trim were stained. It definitely smells like a new house now! They also started some of the tile work and landscaping. This next week the wood floors will be stained, tile work will be finished and countertops will be installed. After that the main thing will be grass, carpet, appliances, lighting and finish the plumbing. And a really good cleaning...there is so much dust everywhere! I think I've almost come out of my denial that this actually happening and might begin packing tomorrow. Some great friends have invited the boys over for a play date tomorrow morning so hopefully we will get a good chunk done in those couple of hours.

The island will be painted and glazed a creamy color.

Fireplace - still waiting on the stone.

Boys' Bathroom

Wet Bar - can't wait to have my first margarita from this spot!

My Boys

My boys...oh how I love them so. They both had doctor's appt this week and are officially only 5 lbs different. Sadly, my Lou-Bug will probably start to thin out soon now that he is nearly running. This little guy has his first (and hopefully last) case of athlete's foot. Who knew a 16 month old could get athlete's foot. It's the result of those fat, sweaty little baby feet! He loves to be right next to Blake and involved in whatever Blake is doing at the time. And he's a brute. He can wrestle with the best of them and is the fastest stair climber I have ever seen. Blake never had a ton of interest in the stairs. Luke knows it is the sure fire way to get attention from us. Luke is still our Mr. Sensitive (or "touchpoints" as Daddy likes to call him) and requires some anti-stimulation time every day. He talks up a storm (in baby babble mostly), but is starting to use some words correctly. He has especially enjoyed getting to watch his brother at swim lessons this fall. You can tell he is dying to jump right in too! He can now tell you the sounds of a car, train, cow, horse, sheep, dog, cat, lion, and monkey. We are working on frog and turkey this week! He has started saying Blake in his own special way, but this week has even started to get the "bl" part right. This boy still has a voracious appetite and out eats his brother at nearly every meal.

And now for my Blakey he reminds Kurt and I at least once a day, "I'm a big boy." One day we were trying to help him with something and in the most sincere voice he says to us, "I'm NOT a baby." It made me sad because he is right. He is such a funny and spirited little guy. He's always talking or singing in what I would classify as his "outside voice." Today he finished his first round of swim lessons and got a passing grade. He is learning so much at school and amazes us all the time with his memory, observations or questions about the world/life we live in . He's our go to guy when we need someone to remember buying dog food at Target. Last night as he was making himself comfortable between Kurt and I in bed (which is a rare thing as he truly loves sleeping in his own bed) he was asking us to go get his "Monkey George" to sleep with us too. Kurt was trying his best to negotiate out of this situation by saying "Monkey George said he wants to sleep in your bed and he wants you to sleep in there too." Blake's response in his "you can't fool me voice" - "Dad, Monkey George can't talk."

They are both so precious and we try so hard to absorb all these special moments!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

"All of My Sillies Lined Up"

That's how Kurt described this picture to me after he took it! We were having so much fun exploring the house today. When we went into the house Luke had a nuk and Blake had a sucker. At some point Blake got the nuk (which was promptly confiscated for fear of a relapse) and Luke got the very blue sucker. Needless to say his excitment is due to the sucker...not the house! I can't wait for these guys to get moved into their new house and start meeting all of their little neighbor friends!

1 Month to Go!!!

I can't begin to describe how excited (and a little stressed) we are getting anticipating our upcoming move! It's hard to believe that what kind of started on a whim back in March is finally happening. We had originally planned to move in another 2 or 3 years, but with the market as it is and the ability to move up for a lot less than in years past, we decided to give it a shot. There was a point a time when we were okay with the idea of "if it sells, it sells...if not, oh well." Then we found this neighborhood, really liked the builder and worked out a pretty good deal. So, here we are...a month out from closing!

The house is really moving along quickly...unlike our packing and other move arrangements. This week was pretty major - almost all the cabinets and wood floors were installed. Tomorrow we pick out our stains and I believe the tile work starts this week too. It's been tough only getting to see the house on the weekends now. We literally leave the house when it's dark and get home when it's dark so there's not much to see at the new house until the lighting is installed.

A glimpse at our backyard which was graded this week. It's actually a lot bigger in person which anyone who has been to our current house will understand our excitment in that. Kurt met with the landscaper this week and finalized those plans too!

Our Great Room - the mantel was installed this week. The built-ins which will go on each side are still sitting in the dining room, so I anticipate those to go in this week.

View from the Great Room to the front door.

The "pocket" office...might be one of my favorite little additions.

Mud Room "dumping station" and bench...another feature I am super excited about. Now we will have place to put all the stuff that tends to come and go with us every day.

Dining Room - I was having second thoughts about the green last week, but really liked it today. Those are the cabinets that will go on each side of the fireplace. They will be finished to look like actual pieces of furniture even though they will be secured to the wall.

The boys playing in the future media cabinet again. I don't have the heart to tell them that this feature will not exist as they know it once we move in.

Wet bar, future home of our pool table (we actually ordered it today, so it's official) and what I am certain will be Kurt's favorite room in the house.

The kitchen - I am SOOOO excited for this room! I've already been plotting out what fantastic things I am going to learn how to cook/bake once I have that island and MORE counterspace! Homemade ravioli is on the top of the list!
That's the recap from this week! As you can tell things are really taking shape and we have so much fun seeing a few more of our decisions come to life each week. Stay tuned...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Less than 6 weeks to go!

Now that it's dark by 4 pm here, we have to wait and get pictures of the house on the weekend. Today was a BEAUTIFUL and very unseasonal November day in Minnesota. There has been quite a bit of work going on at the house this week, though it probably isn't as obvious to everyone. We were very excited to see our brick pillars done today. Seeing the address permanently in the stone was also pretty cool! It made it seem a little more real. We also got a driveway, a deck, ceilings and the first pass at interior paint! I was so nervous about my paint selections, but I'm feeling better now that I can see them on a sample bigger than the 1 inch by 3 inch paint chip from Sherwin Williams. This week they will start laying the hardwood floors though it will still be a few more weeks before they come through and stain and finish them. And I believe our cabinetry starts going in. Hopefully there will be lots of progress to show next week!
Foyer - dining room to the left (we will have a different front door)


"Come in to my new house!"

Basement - Family Room

Kitchen / Great Room

The boys playing in the hole in the wall where the media equipment will be in the basement.

View from Foyer to Great Room

Boys' Blue Bathroom

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween 2009

Happy belated Halloween! The boys both had a fun filled Halloween this year. The fun (and candy) started on Friday with parties at school. Then on Saturday evening we had our second annual trick or treating with Chloe and Jonny. This year Blake and Chloe were pirates and Jonny was a tiger. They got a lot of loot! This was Luke's first year making the rounds. He and Mommy lasted about 15 minutes and then we went back to the Lamothe's. This was the first time we have been over to their house since he has started walking and boy oh boy did he have fun. Chloe has some great toys and he was finally able to enjoy them to their fullest extent and all by himself! Even when the gang got back he still continued to go strong and stayed up until after 9!