Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sentimentality is lost on 9 year olds...

Emma asked to see my wedding dress this evening. As I pulled it out of the great white box that lives in my closet, she said, "Ewww! It smells like lobsters!"

Sure enough, it really did. It's age, of course, but in this case, age smells like lobsters!

Fortunately not old lobsters. *shudder and gag*

So as she sat on my bed, holding her nose, she admired the dress.  She loved the poofiness and puffed sleeves.

I told her the story of the dress...

When I studied in Scotland, Scott and I were already engaged. Just for the fun of it one day, I went to Laura Ashely with my friend, Kat, to try on wedding gowns. Naturally, the very first one I tried on was The. One.

Perfection in a gown.  Ahhhhh...  Soft white cotton brocade, cloth-covered buttons running down the back of the bodice, a full skirt and puffed sleeves.  So simple. So elegant.

So me.

Buying it then was an impossibility.  Number 1... I was a broke college student.  Number 2...  Shipping to the US would have put me in the whole till our fiftieth wedding anniversary.  So I wrote down the dress style and left the shop in a cloud of romantic dreams.

Back in the States, I searched for the gown. The Laura Ashley stores no longer carried it. I was crushed. But one kind employee told me that one of their outlet stores might have one. So I called them all.

And I found one! And it was a fraction of the cost! Only one tiny issue remained... the dress was a size 18, just a touch too big for my size 4 body. I bought it anyway, figuring I'd have it tailored.

I had no idea of the challenge I'd face in finding a tailor willing to do it. The one I finally found? A mere 100 miles away. But she did it and it turned out beautifully. I managed to secure my dream dress after all.

This is me today.

This is me then. Our 15th anniversary is in three weeks. Holy cow!

As I was folding it back into the box, I said to the girls, "Maybe you two will want to wear it on your wedding days."

Emma, ever practical, replied, "Maybe. But only if I don't find something I like better."

So much for sentimentality. LOL

Monday, June 28, 2010

Today is brought to you by the letter S.

S as in sick.

I came down with a cold yesterday.  Kept thinking it was allergies seeing as I spent the afternoon and evening packing dusty things.  (I do dust my house.  Really, I do.  Dust breeds. I'm sure of it.)

When I woke up this morning, I realized it was definitely not allergies but a  full-fledged cold.

*sniff* *blow* *moan*

On the upside of the day, though, most of the house is packed already. I haven't touched Emma's room yet since I want her life to be "normal" as long as possible. My studio, our bedroom, Hayley's room, the living room and the family room are packed as much as they can be. That leaves a few books and some knick-knacks in the dining room, the kitchen in its entirety and...

The. Garage.

Scott's overwhelmed just thinking about it. Not me, I'm ready to tackle the insanity.

Maybe tomorrow.

I'll take lots of photos just for your viewing pleasure. I know you're just dying to see the progress of my soon-to-be packed garage. LOL

Saturday, June 26, 2010

How could I forget to mention this in my last post??

I ignored my craving for seven and a half years.  Since we left San Diego.  But at lunch on Thursday, I felt completely and totally fulfilled.

I ate a Pat & Oscar's bread stick.

These things put Olive Garden's bread sticks to shame. They're garlicky and buttery and crispy and soft all at once.

They are, quite simply, Heaven.

(Not to self: When writing something down after eating a buttery bread stick and you feel something wet on your hand, don't assume it's butter without looking at it.  'Cause pink pen ink doesn't taste anything like butter.  Nor does it look like lipstick when it's smeared on only parts of your lips.)

Those bread sticks are a huge reason of why I haven't yet run screaming away from the idea of returning to Southern California. Says a lot, doesn't it? LOL

Kate in the Box

And so the packing begins...

I love this part!

Packing is so much fun! You amass great piles for Good Will. You overflow your trash can. Your house is a disaster and it's totally acceptable! 


And this is what 9 year old's do with the boxes...

In the day since I've taken this photo, she's written "Respect the Flag" (regarding the green flag at the top) on all the sides of all the boxes.

A Thursday in San Diego

Suffice it to say that it was one of the most stressful days I've had in several years. 

I'm an easy-going person. Flexible, go with the flow, don't worry. My closest friends can repeat my mantra in their sleep: "It's all good!"

So when I say my six hours in San Diego was stressful, I really mean that it was ulcer-inducing, swear word-producing and grey hair-breeding.

Up at 4am, I had almost no sleep at all. But I was excited, so all was good. I had a game plan, with addresses and phone numbers and an order in which to see several houses. We all know what happens to best-laid plans. Mine flew away on the perfect San Diego breeze.

I hadn't planned on spending 35 minutes in line at the rental car place when I'd already made a reservation. Nor getting a car with no gas. Nor having to wait for someone to fill it up with gas.

An hour later, I was on my way to my third appoint, not my first. I canceled the first completely after I realized it backed up to a very busy street. And I called the second to reschedule for later in the day.

That first house? Tiny and right next to a busy street. The second house? Ew. It would be preferable to being homeless, but that's about it.

I peeked in the windows of another house and called to have the owner come meet me after my 2pm appointment.  It looked promising if the carpets were cleaned and the kitchen cabinets refinished. 

Now all this time I was on the phone with Scott every few minutes. Back home, he was scouring the web for newly posted rentals. And working. And trying to coordinate the kids. 

His stress added to my stress level tremendously. I needed his help, though. I couldn't make his day easier by handling this trip all on my own.

So at 2pm, I finally made it to the house which should have been second on the schedule. I knew instantly that it was The House.

You'd think much of my stress would have dissipated, right? Wrong-O.

I read and signed the contract, then had to run to the bank to get a cashier's check for first month's rent and the deposit. We're talking San Diego here. Not rural Kansas. Thus, the check had to be exceedingly large.

Of course, it was the day before payday. And while I had most of the money needed in the bank, I didn't have all of it.

I called Scott. Can you deposit your paycheck early? No.

I called American Express. Can I get a cash advance? Yes, but only $500. Not enough, but it's a start. Just as the rep was giving me my "emergency" pin number, my phone died.


It'd been charging for an hour, yet the battery still rolled over with its feet up in the air.

So there I was... in front of the bank with no phone and not enough money. I decided to get a check for the rent amount and pray that it would be okay.  When the teller asked for the landlord's name, I had no idea how to spell his last name. All I knew was that it was three letters.  And without a phone, I was screwed.  I had no choice but to guess and of course, I guessed wrong and had to go back to the bank to fix it.

This wonderful landlord must have the middle name of "Flexible". He was okay without the deposit check as long I as promised to FedEx it to him on Friday.  

Deal Done.

I got the house!

I could go on about the stress of returning the rental car, checking in, not having a working phone, etc. etc., but I think you get the picture.

Aside from actually getting the house I wanted, something else was afoot.  Every time a problem arose, I prayed and God solved the problem.  Every. Single. Time.  How awesome is that?

I tell ya, that Guy in the Sky is truly amazing. 

Friday, June 25, 2010

Dun Da Dun!!!!!

(I actually wrote this post a few days ago, but couldn't post it till now.)

I finally get to quit being so darned cryptic with all you Delicious Readers!

Are you ready for the big news?

We are moving back to San Diego!

My amazing husband took a job with a large, stable company (operative word being stable) as a consulting engineer. I worried that he'd consider it a step down from his current executive-level position, but he doesn't feel that way at all.  He's excited to expand on his engineering background and learn so much more from this company.

He's so awesome. *big, smiley sigh*

We'll probably hit the road within the next month. It's really a tough call because July is a busy month for us here... I've got Vacation Bible School, then Hayley has Confirmation Camp. Do we stay for those? Or leave asap?

I guess it all depends on the house we rent. I'm flying down to San Diego in a few days to look at houses but since I'll only be there for a day, I need to pack a lot into a tiny amount of time.

We've found several possible homes via Craig's List. They're going fast, though, so I feel a bit pressured. What if all the possibilities get snatched up and there's nothing left that we're interested in?

I know, I know. Everything will be fine. Our move date is flexible, so as long as we're there in time for the girls to start school in August, all is good.

I can't say we're exactly excited to move again. And San Diego certainly isn't on our list of preferred places to live since it doesn't snow. But knowing that God has a plan for us has made it so much easier for me, at least, to take the emotion out of the equation.

The girls go up and down with their feelings about the move. Hayley is definitely pro-move, but occasionally starts feeling the pressure. Emma is on the fence. Given the choice, she wouldn't move. But since she has no choice, she's okay with it. All we really had to say was "Sea World" and "LegoLand" and she was ready to pack. LOL

So off we go to pack. And find a house. And pack. And clean. And pack. And hire movers. And, most importantly, remember to breathe.

Good thing I wrote a book about moving, right? Heeheehee!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Summer vacation started today. The girls are so happy to be released from their school (prison) walls, but not so happy that they'll stop bickering and actually enjoy the summer.

The weather firmly refused to cooperate on this First Day.  It was 56 and rainy.  Okay by me, Rain Lover at Heart, but the rest of the Pacific Northwest is completely sick of it.

I'm going to enjoy it while I can. *sniff sniff*

Hopefully tomorrow -- Wednesday -- I'll be able to fill you in on why exactly I said that. It's really hard keeping stuff from you guys! That's probably why I haven't been blogging much these past weeks.  I haven't been able to concentrate on anything but the stress that consumes our household on a daily basis.

God is great, though, and everything is for a blessed reason.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Dreaded "Variety Show"

Remember when I posted several weeks ago about Emma being devastated that she wasn't selected to be in the school "variety show"?

Her devastation is still wrenching her poor little heart. Tonight was the show and she cried herself to sleep when we got home.

Apparently, she didn't make it into the show because they needed to have "variety". Oh, and it would help if she played something more entertaining than Bach (or whichever famous classical composer she was planning to play).

I try very hard not to cuss.  This is a family-friendly website. But I'm going to.

Bull. Shit.

More variety? How exactly does eight singers and five pianists constitute variety? Oh, and by the way, one kid played the piano TWICE!

There was one violinist. One. And granted, this little tiny thing (a kindergartner) played beautifully. I'm not begrudging her the right to play in the show.

I'm just completely pissed off at the injustice.

The director couldn't possibly put in all the kids who tried out. The show would have been much too long. But  here's a solution: cut down each act from  5-6 minutes to 2 minutes! How many more kids could she have gotten in?

And for goodness' sakes, take out the inane MC's. I just wanted to throw up. I really did.

And while I'm ranting about all this, why exactly did the principal have a singing act in the show when it was a STUDENT show? Hhhmmm....

Now you might be wondering why we went to the show at all if we knew it would upset Emma so much. Good question. Both clubs she participates in were doing acts, so she had to go.

I am so glad this whole thing is over. Maybe now Emma's emotional trauma (and mine) can start to heal.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I'm here! I'm here!

No, I didn't get lost in cyber-space nor did I forget all about my Delicious peeps.

I just got busy. Way too busy.

Scott got a job offer! Yay!

Of course, it's in another city. A much more expensive city than you'd find in the good ol' Pacific Northwest.  And while the offered salary would be commensurate with the cost-of-living increase, we're still trying to decide if it's worth it to move.

Stability? Old job: no New job: yes
Regularly paid paychecks? Old: no New: yes
401k: Old: no New: yes
Dental and vision coverage: Old: no New: yes
State tax: Old: no New: yes (bummer on this one)
Pay for health insurance: Old: no New: yes (bummer on this one, too)

Sounds pretty cut and dry, right? Well, consider this...

Car registration? Here: $36/year There: $336/year
Rent? Here: $1545/mo There: $2400/mo (for an equivalent house, neighborhood, etc.) And if we wanted to buy? Here: $250K There: $600K.
Traffic: Here: almost non-existent There: Horrendous (He would be working from home but driving to clients every day. And it's a big place. With horrendous traffic. Oh, yeah. I already said that.)
Food: Higher there than here
Utilities: About the same
Car insurance: Probably more there
Music lessons: Here: $17/30 min. There: $30/$30 min.

And then there's this... we've lived in this same place before. We have friends there. We know the area. We know the churches. We know the schools.

See our dilemma? What would you all do? Having the above knowledge and keeping in mind the trauma of uprooting our family yet again, how would you make this decisions? Are we missing anything crucial?

I wrote a book on moving, for goodness' sakes. I should have all my bases covered. But we want to be 1000% sure.

And we need to make a decision, like, yesterday. I've found a house that is perfect and also an amazing deal. I'm afraid it will go to someone else if we don't get it immediately. *sigh*

What to do... What to do...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Yummy, yummy bugs

Our yard is apparently filled with a plethora of yummy bugs and worms.  And for once that doesn't bother me!

'Cause we have baby blue jays that hop around with their mama and daddy all the day long. They just came out of their next for the first time this weekend and have already learned to fly to the fence, the ground and up again. They hop around our porch and even watch us sometimes when they see us inside.

I watched the mama feed one of the babes yesterday and it was so cute! The babe just peep, peep, peeped for more and the mama went back to grass to hunt. 

These little guys hardly look like babies at all.  They're now the same size as their parents and even look bigger because of their floofy, downy feathers.

Hooray for Spring! And hooray for the rain for bringing up the worm food for the babies!