Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Movin' On Up

After what seemed like forever, we finally sold our house.
This was the house that we bought when we first got married, before we were even married, actually.  We ripped up carpet, scrapped off wallpaper, torn out plumbing and made it our own.  We raised a puppy here, brought two babies home to this house and made countless memories.  So, if you ask if we were sad to see it go...the answer is no.  No, we were not.
The morning of June 14, the movers arrived and as we drank coffee and watched them pack the truck from the deck, Bryan and I agreed that it was the most relaxed and happy that we had felt in weeks.
 Our house was sold and we were moving on to bigger and better things.
 We had finally found what we had always wanted:  A farmhouse in the country.
Had we sold our house when we first listed it, we would have missed out on this.  Had I not emailed the right realtor at the right time about the dump down the street, she never would have mentioned this place, owned by her brother, not even on the market yet, the first house we had both ever agreed on.  It just felt like home from the minute we walked in.
Of course, in a 1940's farm house there is always work to be done.  We got a new septic system, and subsequently a new back yard.  But, we were happy with our choice and the kids were thrilled.  Who wouldn't love a full acre surrounded by fields?  The only neighbor we can see is a beautifully kept horse farm across the street.
 Our first major purchase was a riding lawn mower for Bryan, and a trailer for the lawn mower for me (a Mother's Day gift gone totally wrong).  But, the kids liked it.
 Getting ready for my 'We've Moved' picture.
 There was/is a lot of work to be done, but it is the fun kind of work that we have all looked forward to.  And, we've had lots of help.  On moving day my mom came and helped, while Bryan's parents took the kids for the day.  Then, later that week my mom, Aunt Tracy, Cousin Margaret Ellen, and Grandma came, cleaned, and unpacked all of the boxes that they had themselves packed only a week before.  We've been here three short months, but a lot has happened and we are just now starting to really get settled. 

North Side Story

After the graduation celebrations were over we packed up our car, including an extra person and headed north.  Morgan was planning to spend just over a week with us before flying back to Alabama. 
We made a few stops on the way to prevent our guest from having to ride too long in between the kids on the 12 hour drive home.  The first was at the Ave Maria Grotto in Cullman Alabama.  We have passed it several times and never timed it right to stop.  It is a park located on the property of St. Bernard Abbey.  The Grotto consists of a winding pathway through the woods in which 125 tiny replicas of religious and noteworthy structures are built from concrete, stone, wood, glass, and random other materials.  The tiny buildings represent the life's work of Brother Joseph Zoettl. 
Jack, taking a break on one of the benches.
I took plenty of pictures, but this just gives you an idea of what we saw.
 After a long drive which caused Morgan to consider going back to the abbey to become and nun, we arrived home.  We had plans, activities and fun.  And, I took very few pictures.  But, I did capture cake pop making.  Lilly received this no bake cake pop kit for her birthday and we thought it would be a great idea to let her make dessert for everyone.
The cake pops were fun to make and decorate, but only Lilly was brave enough to try one...and then eat the rest.
Later that week we tried to think of activities that everyone would like.  We went to the zoo, where Lilly insisted that I take her picture on almost every rock we passed,
 Jack got a shoulder ride.
 We saw a lion.
 Lilly raced a cheetah...and Morgan dodged the camera.
We did several other things; went to a movie, ate Greek food, Morgan and I commandeered the living room TV for chick flicks every night and sent Bryan high tailing it to the bedroom TV.
But, the icing on the cake, and the main reason for Morgan's visit was this, our Big Night Out to see 'West Side Story' at Clowes Hall.  It was Morgan's first time to see a live  Broadway musical, and my first time to see 'West Side Story'...not to mention my first time to see a live Broadway musical with someone who was as excited about it as I was.