Friday, September 30, 2005

Fan Girl


I'M SO HYPED THAT SERENITY FINALLY STARTS PLAYING THIS WEEKEND!! Oh, the endless months of waiting while cursing Fox for cancelling my beloved television show are finally over!

We're going to see it tomorrow and I'm sure I will laugh and cry and have my heart stomped on because that's just what Joss Whedon does and I will LOVE HIM FOR IT.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Good Weekend. Bad Cat.

I'm feeling better today! We went to Milwaukee yesterday to drive by some houses I found online and just check out the different neighborhoods. I was a little bit disappointed to see that a few of the huge old Victorian homes I really liked were in lets say, not so desirable neighborhoods. There was a specific block we drove down that was nice and we could tell people were trying to revive the area and restore the houses but on the whole I wasn't too sure if it would be a good place to have kids if only a couple blocks away things turned kind of ghetto-ish. It made me sad to see all these beautiful, historic homes just gone to waste. I can just imagine how gorgeous they all must have been a hundred years ago. Its such a shame to see them now.

We also drove down to the south side (or Bay View) where our friends Russ and Julie live and really liked that area (of course I already knew this so it was nothing new.) I'm torn between a Victorian home and those adorable stone bungalow or Tudor style houses. I suppose once we start going into places with our realtor we'll be able to narrow it down. I have a feeling that when we walk into the house we end up buying it will hit us immediately that we absolutely need to live there.

In not so good news, one of my cats peed on my beautiful red couch. I've been spending a lot of time shampooing the upholstery trying to rid it of the god awful smell. I swear if I believed in a Hell it would totally smell like cat pee.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Elaboration. Sort of.

Hmmmm. I guess my last post was a bit cryptic. Without stepping on anyone's toes I'll just say that something I did ended up causing a fight between two people and I've been feeling miserable about it today. Again, without giving anything away I was trying to do something fun and good spirited and it ended up exploding in my face. I hate it when people I love fight instead of enjoying each other. You never know when you may not have that person around anymore to argue with.

I also have this problem where I want to make everyone in my life happy all the time and I hate it when I fail,

Ok, that was pretty much just as cryptic. Sorry.

Advice From Big Bird

Today has been a very grey, yucky, and stressful day. My favorite Sesame Street video that the girls have features a good song that Bird Bird sings. It goes like this:

Cheep, cheep! Chirp, chirp!
Cheer up, Cheer up, Cheer up!
Cheep, cheep! Chirp, chirp!
Cheer up, Cheer up, Cheer up!
Chirping's the way we keep our spirits up, so
Cheep, cheep! Chirp, chirp!
Cheer up, Cheer up, Cheer up!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Now We're Talking


I'm Breaking Up With You, Bartlett.

It's not you, it's me.

Over the past four years that we've lived out here, I've kind of re-adjusted my expectations of the ideal place for us to be. When I was little, I used to think about where I might live when I grew up and there were two things I would dream about. The first was having an old two-story Victorian home that I could renovate and fix up. (Yes, I thought about renovating and decorating even when I was a kid. Maybe I should have gone to school for that?) Second, I always wanted to live in a big city- namely Chicago. Luckily, for five years after we graduated high school Jason and I were able to live in the city and it was the perfect place for us to be at the time (despite the cramped living quarters and no air conditioning.) However, after we had Juliana and wanted to upgrade out of apartment living, we discovered that our finances wouldn't allow for us to purchase the type of home we wanted and needed inside of the city,

So I re-adjusted myself to accept the suburbs. I didn't really want to live there but the idea of being a homeowner won out. I also didn't want a townhouse at first, but the size and quality of home you get for the money in a condo as opposed to a single-family home drew me in. I remember saying, "It doesn't matter what it looks on the outside. We'll make it ours on the inside." That part is true. Our house is pretty awesome on the inside. It's quite obviously a newer, more contemporary style home rather than the older, vintage homes I like but hey, it's a "starter house" as they call it. We'll only be here five years or so, we said.

And now it's 4 1/2 years later! We've outgrown the space and quite frankly, outgrown the 'burbs. I've joked a lot since we've been here that I've turned into a suburban soccer mom but in all honesty, I SERIOUSLY don't fit in with all the other moms around here. First of all, when we moved here I was only 23. I used to go take aerobics and kickboxing classes at the gym and though I enjoyed the workout, I felt horribly out of place. Everyone was older than me, drove mini-vans and SUVS and had multiple kids already. Plus being as young as I was, whenever I went shopping with Juliana I had the feeling that people weren't sure if I was her mother or her older sister (or possibly even the nanny.) Basically, I felt like a baby. A very weird baby.

Over the years here I have slowly adjusted to suburban life. I've grown up a bit and actually feel like an adult now but I've still never connected with other moms in the area. I've talked to plenty of nice, friendly people at the park or on the street but I've never met anyone in the neighborhood to go have coffee with or have over for dinner. Jason and I are like a pair of odd ducks in a sea of oversized SUVs and neutral decor. But as I keep saying, I accepted that as just the way things had to be. If I wanted to have a dinner party, I could call friends in Rockford, or Milwaukee or Chicago and have them drive out to our house. And after every one of those gatherings I would think, "Boy, wouldn't it be nice if we lived closer to them so we could do this all the time."

Moving to Chicago was out simply because of the outrageous real estate market there. Rockford was out because there is no train from Rockford to Chicago for Jason to ride and despite the friends and family there, I spent too many years wanting to leave that town for me to justify moving back. Milwaukee was my absolute first choice but again, there was the question of Jason's job. He works in Chicago and a train ride for an hour and a half each way every day is quite a hike.

That is, of course, if you HAVE to ride the train every day. And therein lies the solution. If Jason could work out a deal with his job where he only has to go into the office 3 or 4 days a week and work from home the other days WE COULD ACTUALLY MOVE TO A TOWN WHERE WE HAVE FRIENDS! WHEEE!

So we're doing it. And pretty quickly too. After the holidays are over we're going to put our townhouse on the market and start looking for a house in Milwaukee. We should be making enough profit from the sale of our condo to buy a pretty sweet place up there too, hopefully in the style that I've always wanted. We're even driving up there on Sunday to tour some neighborhoods and get an idea for what we can afford. And I can't even begin to tell you HOW! EXCITED! I! AM! I feel like a little kid. I want to move right now but we still have some small projects to finish around here and think it would be best to wait until after Thanksgiving and Christmas are over. (Can you believe I'm talking about Thanksgiving and Christmas? Is it almost OCTOBER already?)

So sorry, Bartlett. We've had a good run but you're really just not my type. We can still be friends though. Dont' take it too hard. It' s not you. It's me.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Too Tired For a Snappy Title But Hey Look! Pictures!

So, I bet you really want to know how we arrived at the decision to leave the burbs for good old Milwaukee? (Ok, if you're Steph, we've already been on the phone jumping up and down and squealing but a few of you out there may still be wondering.)

But first, a few vacation pics!

glamour girl
Juliana could be found most of the time in Grandma Joanie's bathroom, applying copius amounts of PINK lipstick and gobs of eye makeup.

sticker face
Ava could often be found applying stickers to her face.

As usual, Juliana loved floating in the pool. At times she had water wings, an inner tube AND a foam noodle at the same time.

Ava enjoyed struting around in ensembles like this one. Ohmigosh, the LEGS! I can hardly stand it!

And now for two of my favorite photos from the drive back:

Juliana stands in front of the Superman statue in Metropolis, Illinois. At the time I was annoyed that we were stopping again (at Jason's request) but now I'm happy we got shots like this one.


The BIGGEST crucifix you ever did see just outside of Effingham, Illinois. If I could have fallen out of my seat when I saw this emerge in the distance, believe me I would have. Instead, I just started shouting at Jason, "OH MY GOD! CAMERA! CAM-ER-A!!

And you thought southern Illinois was boring. Getting pictures of this almost made of for me missing the billboard in Florida that read "THE UNITIED NATIONS WANTS TO TAKE YOUR GUN!!!"

I'm sleepy now. I'm hoping to post more vacation photos to Flickr tomorrow and of course:


Sunday, September 18, 2005

Oh, And I Forgot To Mention...


I will elaborate soon. I promise.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Mission Accomplished

Jason took this picture of me on Day Two of our road trip back from Naples, Florida. At this point we had been driving on highway 57 for about 3 hours and I was beginning to feel like the state of Illinois had opened up and swallowed us whole. Really, you haven't lived until you've drivein 1400 miles across the country with these jokers. All kidding aside though, we had a really great vacation and other from the neverending stretch of BORING highways through Illinois and Kentucky, the drive was pretty tolerable. Plus, NEW CAR! I also got to pump gas in a southern Illinois town straight out of the movie "What's Eating Gilbert Grape?" We felt like hoity-toity city folk and everything.

Wednesday, September 7, 2005


As usual, Jon and his crew are spot on about, well, just about everything. (Quicktime movie link)

Plus, Obama puts it all in perspcective.

And finally, my favorite: Keith Olbermann rulz.

I've been so sad and angry about the hurricane tragedy and the lack of leadership in our country this past week or so. Sometimes when I'm watching government officials or pundits on television I think to myself that somebody must be playing a cruel, cruel joke and the people I'm seeing cannot be for real. The catch phrase of the past coulple days has been "blame game." I prefer to think of it as accountability. I originally intended to unload all my frustrations in this blog post, complete with a laundry list of articles and web links but now that I've gotten through my morning news/blog reading I'm just so tired and frustrated about the whole thing and sad, sad, sad.


We're going on vacation tomrrow. Thankfully, I'm lucky enough to be able to do that. See ya'll next Sunday.

Mild Inner Turmoil

You may have noticed that I've become a little bit obsessive about our home search. When I get an idea I tend to focus in on it and that's all I can think about until the task is accomplished. Plus, one thing I really enjoy is taking care of and decorating my surroundings so if I have the opportunity to change my entire home environment it is not only exciting, but pretty all-consuming. Since wherever we choose to live will become our "family home" that we stay in for ten years or more I want to be sure that we get it just right. The one thing about the area that we live in though is that the suburbs dont' really have a sense of community. I can't believe I'm going to say this but I almost think I miss living in the city! I joke about being a suburban soccer mom a lot but the truth is that in the four years we've been out here we've had a hard time connecting with the people in our area. I may be a stay-at-home soccer mom but let's face it, I'm kind of an odd ball. I like old-timey music and weird movies and this thing called modern dance. I've met some people in the neighborhood who are very friendly and nice but for the most part (with a couple of exceptions) my real friends remain in urban areas like Chicago and more specifically Milwaukee, which is almost TWO HOURS away. On one hand, I am very excited that we've decided that to look for an older, vintage-style home rather than a cookie-cutter house like all the new developments going up, but a lot of the time I find myself wishing that I could meet my best friend at a coffee shop for lunch or have dinner parties that don't require people driving for hours and bringing an overnight bag.

Sunday, September 4, 2005

New Game Plan On The Home Front!

Oh. My. God. I want to live in Batavia, Illinois. Look at this house. And this house. Or even this house in Geneva.

I actually emailed a realtor in the Batavia area tonight. I am completely obsessed with this area now. These are the kinds of houses I've always wanted to live in and I'm so excited to find an area where they're not half a million dollars.

Friday, September 2, 2005

What Was Said vs. What Was Really Happening

I know this stuff is already all over the news and it's practically inescapable but I found this one article to be particularly disturbing.

Why is it so hard for people to own up and tell the truth?

Thursday, September 1, 2005

Support a Real Culture of Life

Next week we will be driving back from Florida, quite possible paying $4.00 per gallon of gas. Yet I still have a roof over my head, my family, food, clean water, clothing, diapers, toys and more junk than I know what to do with. We will be ok. I just wish I could do more to help people from here in my midwestern oasis.