Monday, August 30, 2010

The Fall Classic

I love the really cool "R" that Mom and I found for the mantle. However, it's a little short in comparison to the monster clock and tall black bird. We decided that a few books would look good under the letter. Mom found a few that have meaning in our family and I was going to shop around online to see what I could find.

Then somehow on Friday night, Chris and I go to talking decided that I have not read enough literary classics. For the remainder of the year, we are going to read together (but individually), like a book club. That's when it hit me! Wouldn't Catcher in the Rye, To Kill a Mocking Bird, Huckleberry Finn and Little Women look FANTASTIC under the "R"? I sure think so!

So, for the foreseeable future I will balance my free time between "Barefoot Running" and "To Kill a Mockingbird". All this reading makes me wonder why we even pay for TV!

And by the way, Barnes & Noble carries nice looking hardback versions of these books as well as $8 paperbacks.

And Lisa K., I bought the Vibram's yesterday. I think I love them already!

Friday, August 27, 2010

You know you're home when...

The list that completes that sentence is long. Very long. Here are 5 my favorites:

1. you sleep restfully
2. you can walk around in your pajamas for an inappropriate amount of time with nobody looking at you funny.
3. you want to keep the kitchen clean and the house picked up...all the time!
4. you can't wait to have company and parties.
5. you go through an entire bag of charcoal for the Weber grill in only 10 days!

It's been wonderful getting settled. And by settled, I don't just mean unpacking boxes and hanging's the sense of inner peace and calmness that came with having my own space and a permanent residence. I heart home.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Moment to Breathe

Work has been absolutely insane this week. I worked until almost 7 pm last night, just to get caught up. And it worked. I finally have a moment to breathe (or blog!) before I dive in to the next project due on Tuesday.Mom and I had a great time over the weekend and week. She worked so hard and whipped my house (and me) into shape! Case in point, the family room.

We have always loved that clock! With a few new pieces, this is my favorite room EVER!
We just love our new furniture, and the tables/ottoman
from Mom and Dad make the room perfect!

Then there's our "front room." That's what Grandma Melanie always called her formal living room. Being lazy and not wanting to add "formal" to "living room," and not wanting to confuse the rooms, we have adopted the same terminology. So, I introduce to you, the Front Room.
I know. I should have turned the pillow so the zipper was on the bottom.

And just one more picture for today (it's the last room that's been finished.
The Dining room. Well, I guess we have two of those so you can have two more pictures! You want to come visit and eat in our dining rooms, don't you!

Cute dogs and all!

Ok,this is the kitchen table that we are absolutely in love with! It fits our space perfectly.

Ok, that's the tour of the main floor. I have some work to do upstairs this weekend. Mom and Dad are driving here in September and bringing several pictures for us to hang in the house. Until those arrive I am hesitant to hang anything else. I'd hate to have to have to fill in holes and repaint the spots. Mom and I did enough of that this week! I work hard to get the rest of the house in order and blog the pictures next week!

Until then...

Friday, August 20, 2010

The weekend

I don't have a lot to say other than I am totally procrastinating today. I am really excited for Mom to come tomorrow. And I can't wait to get more of the house "in order" this weekend. Hang some pictures, touch up some paint. It should be a GREAT weekend and I am really looking forward to spending some quality time with Mom.

We are even going to do a girls night out one night. SO excited!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

And all is right with the world.

It's been a long time coming, but it's finally here. Ok, well we've only been waiting since Tuesday night. But we have been without a real put together family room for almost a year. I am so happy! I took these pictures with my cell phone. Once we get pictures on the wall I will take real pictures and send them along :-) YAY FOR US!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"Remember: Owning a Home is Fun."

Yesterday afternoon Chris walked in my office holding a piece of paper and uttered that phrase. And all I could think was "weird thing to say with a piece of paper = no good can come from this."

Rewind time a little. Our seller informed us (after closing) that the city water provider had replaced the connection that's on the side of the driveway but needed to replace the meeter in the basement too. She had so much stuff in the basement that they couldn't get to the meter. So it was our responsibility to contact them to get the meter replaced and until we did there would be a $25 fee on our water bill each month.

Yesterday a guy came out to replace the meter and Chris asked about our water pressure. It seems pretty low and is so bad in the master shower that I am not washing my hair because I can't get the soap out of it. The guy measured the pressure and apparently there is a valve under the basement floor that regulates this. The pressure should be set at 70 psi but is measuring 90 psi (like golf, lower is better when it comes to water pressure). Apparently this is not something the city can fix, we will have to call a plumber who "shouldn't charge more than a couple hundred bucks" to replace it.

And so it begins. The joys of home ownership. But I will say that if that's the biggest problem we have right now, I'll take two bad water pressure valves! Everything else is WONDERFUL and we are settling in nicely. Mom will be here this weekend for a few days to help me do things like clean the apartment and hand in the keys, hang pictures around the house and enjoy the back deck. I am so excited to have her here that I can hardly stand it! How lucky am I that my mom is not just willing to come help but is actually excited about it! BEST. MOM. EVER!!

Monday, August 16, 2010


I know that many of my recent blogs have provided great humor for all of us. Today I want to be a little more serious.

Today I feel peaceful. Strangely, I didn't know that I hadn't been feeling peaceful.

There are still boxes to unpack (mostly just my clothes and pictures to put on the walls), patches of wall to paint (that story's for tomorrow--with pictures!) and money to spend on start-up groceries, more furniture and office essentials. But none of that is bothering me.

I feel like I am sitting up straighter. I think my shoulders have dropped about 3 inches. Colors are brighter and the air fresher. And to top it all off I sleep. I sleep well. So comfortably and soundly. No random airplanes buzzing the rooftop certainly helps (apartment was about a mile from an airport...or about a city block by airspace!).

I have cried a few times this weekend because I am so happy. For the last 14 months it has felt like we were playing house. Going through the motions of life but living in a land of make-believe. It would have been more fun as "Never Never Land" but no dice here. It was more like "Dharma and Greg" meets "Mad About You" only with more craziness and chaos. While I have had moments of pure happiness along the way, it never felt like this. It's just so... peaceful.

Today I write from my new office and I LOVE it. Finally we can pick up where we left off.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A little relaxation

As I write this, I am sitting on the love seat with my wonderful husband, watching a little HGTV with coffee in had. It's an hour of relaxation before day two of hard work begins...or is it day ten? I guess it depends on perspective.

Our move was EASY! Movers were at the apartment by 8:30, loaded everything up, drove the 45 minutes to Highlands Ranch and had everything unloaded by 1:00. Not too shabby.

While I unpacked the kitchen, Chris went to Home Depot to buy a Weber grill so that we could have great steaks for dinner. The kitchen and living room are DONE! Today I tackle my office and the master bedroom.

Our washer and dryer will be here between 10 and noon today and I can't wait to do a load of laundry.

Also on the list today is shopping. Grocery shopping, curtain shopping (bedroom gets a little toasty in the afternoon/evenings), dog bed shopping, etc. etc. etc. Maybe when the sun sets tonight I can veg out on the love seat.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday the 13th

That explains this entire week in all its wonderful lessons in finding humor in things that make most people angry and laughing when others would scream. It's been absolutely insane.

We decided to have the dogs bathed and FurMinated (fancy brush that reduces shedding) so they'd be clean and not shedding in clumps in our new home. Yesterday afternoon we walked them, loaded them in the car and dropped them off at PetSmart. Several hours later, they were finally finished with their spa day and looked FANTASTIC! I actually like to pet them again!

So, it's now 7:00 pm we've been packing and are hungry. As we pull out of the PetSmart parking lot with dogs in tow, we discuss what's for dinner. Just then, only 2 blocks away from where Reuger had stopped to pee, and standing in the back of the 4Runner, he begins to poop. IN THE CAR. Gross. I have no other words. Just gross.

We pulled over, picked up the poo with a grocery sack (I always keep one in the car for emergencies...learned that from Grandma Melanie!), wrapped it in newspaper and drove home with the windows down. Gross. Just gross. I cleaned the carpets in the car when we got home and they are as good as new. Glad that day was over!

So, this morning the alarm went off and the radio station was playing Chris' favorite Coldplay song ("Clocks"). Ironically, it was the end of the song when the lead singer sings "Home....Home...Home..." Chris though I had stacked the deck and it was my iPhone, but nope, it was the actual radio. You all know I believe in signs. So, I got up, jumped on the bed like a kid for a minute then got ready to start the day.

Drove downtown and bought a house. Easy, breezy, no catches or glitches and absolutely perfect. And our Realtor gave us a Wine of the Month subscription for a year. That's a cool gift.

Oh, and did I mention this is it! Only one last sleep in this apartment. But let's be honest. Who's gonna sleep tonight? This is my Christmas Eve and I don't think I have been this happy in the 14 months.

Thanks Karma! I knew it would work out in the end :-)

Now it's time to turn the page and start the next chapter in the adventures of The Puckstopper's Wife!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

You are never going to believe this one...

After my exhaustive travels for the last two days, I decided to call it a night at 9:00 last night. It was lights out, good night Irene for my be 9:30. It was wonderful and I slept so well. Until 3:37 this morning.

I know the time because I looked at the clock. Something woke me up. Just enough to make me roll over and be annoyed that I was awake. Then I heard the POUND POUND POUND on the door. The beagle took off like a rocket barking and running toward the door. And for any who have met Abby, you know we have trained her not to bark. Someone was pounding on our door at 3:37 this morning.

I wasn't about to get up so I made Chris do it. He looked out the peephole and saw the police. That's right THE POLICE WERE POUNDING ON OUR DOOR at 3:37 this morning.

After a brief chat, the cop asked to come in and look around. I was in bed, dressed inappropriately for company, thinking he was thinking we were harboring a fugitive or something. Then he came in our room with his mini-maglight and this was the following conversation:

Cop: "I went in right around here" pointing to the wall in our bedroom with his flashlight.

Chris: "Then where would it be."

Me: think to myself, "this is weird. I must be dreaming, and that cop is cute. Must be thinking of the CA family."

Cop: "Can we go in there and aldkfaienngareiwno;" Yeah, I didn't catch all of that either.

Chris: "Sure, but there's not much room in there, it's my wife's office and we've got boxes everywhere."

Me: thinking to myself again, "getting weirder by the minute."

a few scratches on the wall, a little more unintelligible conversation then they walk in to the hallway and I hear this:

Cop: "...the bullet..."

Me: rudely interrupting, "I'm sorry did you just say bullet?"

Cop: "Yes, ma'am."

Me: laugh really hard as if to communicate that it's just another day in the life of Jenna.

Cop leaves, Chris comes back to bed and says this:

"So apparently Wheelie Tom downstairs was securing his weapon--a .45-- when it accidentally went off and shot upward through the wall at a 45 degree angle in his master bedroom. The bullet is either lodged in the wall somewhere or on the floor in your office. If we find it, the police want us to call them so they can come retrieve it as evidence. Goodnight"

To which I reply, "Ok. Goodnight"

5 minutes later, "why does he have a gun in the first place?"

10 minutes later, "why was he securing his weapon in the middle of the night?"

11 minutes later, "does anyone around here besides me understand that guns don't accidentally shoot themselves?"

12 minutes later began all the "what-ifs"

14 minutes later, the jokes started rolling with the uncontrollable laughing, causing the bed to shake making us both laugh harder. I am sure the rest of the neighbors loved that part.

By 4:30 the lights were back out and we tried to go back to sleep.

My life is nothing if not interesting!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Travel Giggles

It's no secret to anyone who knows me that I don't have the best travel luck on earth. Delays, cancellations, really weird experiences, you name it. This week I went to Minneapolis for 24 hours. Here's how it played out:

Flight scheduled to depart Denver at 8:15 pm

9:15 am- check in on line message "you are on the waitlist for an upgrade. online check in is not available at this time. Please try again later."

noon- see above message

2:00- still see above message

3:00- Monsoon season in Denver. Storms roll in.

4:30- still no check in available

5:00- wanting to avoid any issues, I leave for the airport in a flash flood warning from above named storm. Had to pull over on the tollway because wipers couldn't keep up with rainfall.

6:00- finally get to airport. Park. Escalator to second level for check in. Get in line to check in. get to front of line and lady says, "I don't work for United. You'll have to go down there to the first class line to check in."

6:30- get to front of first class line and lady says "ma'am, this line is for first class passengers only." I replied with, "I know. But the line for status holders down there is being manned by a woman who doesn't work for United and is sending us all down here. Maybe you should talk to her about that." Pissy, I know.

6:45- First class check in lady give me a non-first class boarding pass, much to her chagrin, and sends me on my way.

7:45- board the plane ON TIME! HOORAY!!

8:15- plane pushes back from gate.

8:30- we are #6 for take off

8:45- the wind switches directions and we have to change runways.

9:00- we finally take off. Bumpy as all get out. Have to resort to some meditation I learned from Yoga and a "How to Meditate" book. The alternative is crying. I think I chose the right way to deal with the fear.

11:15- scheduled to land in Minneapolis

11:30- actually land. 15 minutes late is not that bad.

11:33- call hotel shuttle. It will be there in 5 or 10 minutes.

Midnight- call hotel shuttle again. It will be there in 5 or 10 minutes. Coworkers specifically said NOT to take a cab by myself. Not sure why. They are locals. I trust them.

12:15 am- really annoyed. Got in a cab. He starts driving and I haven't told him where I am going. I said Hilton and he said something in Haitian and kept driving. Sent text message to Chris telling him I am in cab and should be at hotel in 10 minutes. if not, send search party.

12:30 am- check in to Hilton near airport. Desk clerk says, "I see you booked a king room for one night." Indeed. Other desk clerk runs over and says, "no, we are holding that king room for another guest. you will have to give her another room." First clerk says, "sorry about that. How about 2 double beds." Whatever. I booked a king, it's the middle of the night, any bed in a non smoking room will be fine.

12:45 am- booked in room 712. Get to 7th floor, walk the green mile (seriously, really long hallway with green carpet!) only to find a Do-Not-Disturb sign hung on the door. Walk the green mile back to the elevator bank to find hotel phone. Call.

12:47. Idiot clerk says he'll meet me here and bring me a key to a different room.

12:55- Idiot clerk brings me key to room 601 and offers to walk me to my room. Then offered to carry my luggage. I have a backpack. Just a backpack. Nope, thanks, I got it.

1:00- Open my door and start tearing through backpack to find toiletries to get ready for bed. Brush teeth.

1:10 - Idiot clerk knocks on door to apologize for all the trouble and give me access to the executive lounge during my stay. I look at the clock. Coworker picking me up in 6 hours. Thanks for the offer. The lounge is closed. Confirms in my mind he's an idiot. He said it included breakfast. maybe a little less of an idiot now.

1:25- finally lights out. Toss, turn, toss turn.

6:00- get out of bed. Shower and go to breakfast.

7:00- fancy-pants executive lounge breakfast. Hot and Fresh. No hot or fresh anything. Attendant going to make more. Be back in 15-20 minutes. Yeah. I've heard that one before. Settle for 2 cans of diet coke (one for the road) and some cantaloupe (they were out of bananas and all other fresh fruits) and call it a morning.

7:20- laugh to myself that I thought breakfast would redeem the Hilton. Sigh. There's always the emergency Kashi bar in my backpack.

7:30- Katie picked me up, 4 of us worked from a Caribou coffee all day.

5:00- Katie takes me back to the airport.

The rest was so uneventful in comparison that it's not even worth mentioning. Home and in my own bed by 10:15.

And in three more sleeps I will be in my new house!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Oh My Aching...

Yeah. Oh my aching EVERYTHING! It was a rough weekend. When you move across town you pay by the hour (across the county is weight + miles). So, in order to save a few extra bucks, we are putting as much stuff in the garage as we can get down there between now and Saturday morning at 9:00 am.

I am not in the BEST shape of my life, nor am I in the WORST shape of my life. But if you want a good workout, try this:
Move these:

Down these: (this is the view looking up--great perspective of steepness!)
One box at at time. That is 18 very steep steps down with a heavy box. Then back up 18 steps empty handed. It's the only time EVER when going UP the stairs is easier than going DOWN the stairs!

So far there is only one box that I cannot get into the garage. It's the first box of dishes... mostly the serving pieces. I would bet that I have 5 to 10 boxes to pack and move to the garage. The movers can move the furniture!

Only 5 more sleeps! Oh, and one of them will be in Minneapolis, MN! Gotta love my job and the impeccable timing of business trips!

Friday, August 6, 2010

New Food Find

I typically drink my coffee black. No frills, no creamers, no sugars. Mostly because real sugar kind of grosses me out in coffee and my nutritionist says that artificial sweeteners are one of the worst things you can put in your mouth. I make exceptions for Vernors and the occasional Diet Coke.

And plain cream doesn't appeal to me at all. All those Coffeemate creamers are yummy I think but not a habit I want to get in to so I just have never used them. Chris needs cream in his coffee and has been using Silk French Vanilla flavor. Made from soy milk, it's a MUCH better alternative but I find it rather...well...disgusting. Just not a taste I like I guess.

From time to time, I like to have "special" coffee. Our version of "special" coffee is made by putting cinnamon and Mexican vanilla in the grounds before brewing. When it brews it not only smells incredible but usually tastes pretty good too. But the vanilla can make it weird sometimes. It almost leaves a film of bitterness on your tongue. I have found that a little cream and sugar can help but then I go back to my problem summarized above.

But guess what I found at the store yesterday!! Coconut milk creamer in French Vanilla flavor! It was cheap (on sale) so I decided to try it.

When we were in Belize for our honeymoon we stayed at the Victoria House. There were staff members dedicated to removing the coconuts from the trees because that beach breeze can launch a coconut (more like a lob than a launch I guess) and cause significant damage to the thatch-roofed casita and injure a guest! In making friends with the staff I inquired about what's inside and what is coconut milk and what they do with the coconuts after they take them down. Sometimes I am not that different from a child with all my questions!

The answer is they use as many as they can and toss the rest. And inside was coconut water. The following day I was lounging at the pool when Jose brought me a fresh coconut with a straw sticking out of it. The water inside was warm and weird but I could appreciate how it would be really good cold.

Needless to say, this creamer is pretty yummy too! I wonder if I can get Chris to switch?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Crisp Mornings and Hot Coffee

Quite possibly my favorite combination of beverage and weather. Better than cold beer and a warm evening. Better than hot chocolate and frigid ski run. Crisp mornings and hot coffee are the preface to sweatshirt and football weather.

Our crisp morning actually came and went in the amount of time it took me to write that paragraph. We aren't quite there yet, but every day is a hint cooler and every morning the cool lasts for an extra few minutes. I am so excited to get in our new house and open all the windows, throw on my favorite sweatshirt and enjoy some hot coffee in any room that I deem worthy on that day. Only 9 more sleeps until that beautiful house is all ours!

I can hear the CMU fight song already!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Only 11 More Sleeps

Until we get in our incredible new home. My patience is running out in this apartment. Maybe it's the tight quarters, maybe it's the lack of a good gym, maybe it's the lack of good open space for running, or maybe, just maybe it's having to put the dogs in a harness every morning and walk them in snow, blizzards, heat, rain and thunderstorms. Regardless, I need to keep things in perspective.

Lisa inspired me to make a list of 11 things. Here are the 11 things I am grateful for today:
1. I have a job. And one that likes me as much as I like it!
2. I have a roof over my head.
3. I am healthy.
4. I have a family who loves me for who I am.
5. There is fresh coffee in the coffee pot!
6. I have a dining room table to work at when I can't use my office.
7. I have some beautiful art on my walls.
8. Most nights I sleep pretty well. That's fairly new to me.
9. I have a wonderful husband that I love very much.
10. There is an amazing view out my window. The Colorado Flatirons are beautiful in the morning.
11. I will own an incredible house in 11 days.

Not the best list I have ever made. I had to really think about it. Some days are more positive than others. Tomorrow will be a better day. I get my office back!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Office Distractions

As if I need help finding distractions from my work load these days...

For the next 12 days, my "office" is in the spare bedroom. For the next three days we have company staying in our spare bedroom. So, I am working from Panera Bread. Their seats are more comfortable than Starbucks, they have free wi-fi like Starbucks but it is much quieter here. It's not such a bad gig. I got to have scrambled eggs for breakfast and somebody else had to do the dishes!

Right now there are about 5 of us working from booths (they put outlets in their booth spaces for people like us!) and there are an additional ten-ish people here enjoying conversation and coffee. So this is what Denverites do when they retire! Who knew!

It's quite sweet to see all these husbands and wives sharing the paper and a pastry (and in one instance a napkin!!). It makes me smile. Now I have to get back to work. I am really glad I brought my iPod with me! At least I can't hear their conversations!