Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye 2009!

2009 has been a super eventful year for our little family, and I'm not sure if 2010 will be able to top it! Here's a quick recap of the year for the L family:

We started the New Year with a kiss while celebrating with great friends

K started her last set of classes before her student teaching.
L ended his first peak season at
We also had our engagement photos taken by Bryan Newfield of Studio Blue Photography

We celebrated our last Valentines day as non-married people.
K visited EO with EK & R in Platteville, WI at the end of the month

Lastly, we finalized our wedding cake at Bread Art Bakery in Bayport, MN
K started student teaching full-time at Champlin Park High School, and taught 9th grade Honors English to a great group of kids.
L continues to do a great job at :-)
LKMB attended the last Twin's home opener at the Metrodome!
K attended her first real job fair at the Minneapolis Convention Center

On the 18th, we celebrated our 6th year together as a couple and the 1 year anniversary of our engagement at the Science Museum, Rice Park, and Pazzaluna.

We attended the last wedding that stood between us and our wedding in Arizona for a good family friend of L's family.
M hosted a bridal shower for me at the end of the month
K finished her student teachingK and L had their bachelor/ette parties on the same night, but in different cities. The ladies took on Downtown Minneapolis, while the guys invaded Paynesville, MN.
None of the guys would release photographic evidence from the bachelor party...
We attended the final wedding that stood in the way of ours, and had a blast at my cousin's wedding in Lake City, MN
Then it was OUR weekend! It started with the rehearsal dinner at Brines in Stillwater, MN, complete with good food, drinks, and a pinata filled with goodies for our tropical honeymoon.
After a sleepless night, and hours of getting ready and endless photos, we finally became Mr & Mrs L at the Water Street Inn in Stillwater, MN and had a fantastic reception with lots of dancing!
Photo credit: Studio Blue Photography
The next day, after opening gifts, we started our 14 hour journey to A
ruba and spent way too much time in airports. We stayed at the Aruba Occidental Grand All Inclusive for 5 nights and had a perfect honeymoon that included a life-risking jeep tour around Aruba, a submarine dive, and way too many strong drinks and tasty meals to count.

It was an amazing way to end 15 months of wedding planning!
I turned 23 and L turned 24, we tried new restaurants (such as Fogo de Chao and Heidi's), and had fun turning older. I finally started subbing in a couple of school districts and L started his second peak season at K took a trip down to Decorah, IA to visit EO with EK and R again.
These were also the months of house hunting and when I started this blog. There were lots of ups and downs during the house hunting process (scroll back through my entries if you want details), but eventually we found THE one.

We took a trip up to Lutsen, MN with a group of friends to celebrate the start of H's 24th year and had a lot of fun! Of course we made him wear a silly hat when we ventured into Grand Marais for a few hours.The next weekend, we closed on our little bungalow and officially became residents of Ramsey County! We had 9 days after closing to prepare to host our very first Christmas Eve party with both my family and L's family together. It was a success and we'll probably end up hosting again next year!

This has been one hell of a year, and I'm looking forward to what 2010 has in store for us. While it is guaranteed to not be as busy as 2009, there will still be changes and challenges throughout the year, and we're excited to meet them head on and have a fantastic year.

Happy 2010 everyone!

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Since I'm basically snowed in at the moment (L's car is too light to drive on the roads right now, so I've gotta wait to go feed M&B's cat until later this afternoon when L gets home with my car), I thought that I would share some pictures of my favorite room in the house right now- the front living room. L and I had a plan with this room, and while I'm sure it will change eventually, I'm really happy with how it has turned out so far. We decided that we wanted the room to have a tobacco feeling to it (dark browns and creams). Luckily, the room was already painted a neutral color, so all we had to do was find the furnishings to go with it!

First thing we did was buy two vine patterned armless chairs from Target. We got them on sale for $99 each (normally $160 each).

Our next purchase was a storage ottoman (my new obsession- I want them everywhere in my house!), a bookshelf and a console table from another Target collection:

This is my favorite wall in the house so far :-)

You can see the bookshelf in the left corner of the picture, next to Vine Chair #2

The latest addition to the front living room was a couch from IKEA. When we were in the store, they claimed to be out of the sofa size, and only had the love seat, so we were set on getting the love seat. Once we went down the aisle to collect our items, we saw that there were about 3 of the sofas in stock, so we grabbed the larger one instead of the love seat (and there was only a $20 dollar difference between the two sizes!)

Next, we want to get a cool rug comprised of browns and creams to go in front of the couch once we get rid of the Christmas tree.

Speaking of Christmas trees, over the last 3 years, L and I have always just gotten a little 5.5 foot tree for our apartment:But this year, we actually have room for a larger tree, so we got one that reached our ceiling!

Every year, L and I each get a new ornament for the tree, so here are this year's newbies:I continued to support Pixar this year :-)

While L continued to support his love for Star Trek:

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

The Weather Outside is Frightful...

I had a late night last night (my pa needed to pick up some keys from me at about 2am), so when I got the phone call from L at 6:15am saying that he was stuck in the alleyway, I was less than thrilled to have to jump into some pants, put on my winter gear, grab a shovel and start digging a way out of our un-plowed alley. I'm really wishing that I had put a snowblower on my wish list this year... After lots of shoveling (thank goodness we're only three houses in!) and pushing, we finally got L on the road and off to work. Unfortunately, all of that work left me feeling more awake, so I made good use of the energy and finished shoveling the driveway and the walkway leading up to the side door.

After going back inside to take a 3 hour nap, I woke up to finish shoveling so that our Christmas guests can find their way to the front door (and to avoid a fine from the City of St. Paul...), and found that apparently L and I have made friends with someone who has a snowblower! When I got to the front of the house to shovel, our sidewalk had been mostly cleared by someone else, so all I had to do was finish scraping the little chunks of snow off the pavement. When I looked to the back of the house, our snowblower fairy was just finishing up our driveway, so I was able to run back really quick to say thanks (though I'm still not sure who it was, since I wasn't wearing my glasses and the lady was all bundled up so I couldn't see her face).

T-4 hours until guests start arriving for our first ever K-L combined Christmas Eve party! I'm super excited :-)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Home Sweet Home

It's amazing how quickly a strange house can start feeling like one's home. We've only been living here for about 2 days, and while there is still the random noise that sounds every once and a while that makes me jump, this house feels like it is ours.

Here's an update on what has been going on with us the last 5 days:

Monday- We were scheduled to close at 8:30am at the Roseville office. It had been snowing a bit the night before, and since we were driving there during the morning rush hour, traffic was pretty horrendous. We somehow missed our turn, had to turn around, drive in even worse traffic, and were about 10 minutes late. Apparently everyone was running late, because after our mortgage broker's assistant, the seller, and our closer we were amongst the first there (we were still waiting on the listing agent, the seller's daughter, the seller's closer, and D- our realtor). After everyone finally arrived, I was able to supervise L sign his name an ungodly amount of times (one time our closer had L make his middle initial more clear- it looked like a C rather than an A), and there were even some documents for me to sign as well (I haven't had to sign anything since we decided to use D as our realtor). After all the documents were signed by both L and the seller, we had to wait on TCF to fax something over to the office for about an hour. While this is something that could have upset some people, that hour turned out to be a great time for L and I to talk with the seller and his daughter about the house and the area. After, L and I realized how sad the seller must have been- he'd lived here for over 44 years, raised his daughter, and eventually lost his wife while living in this house... Anyways, we got the keys, celebrated at The Olive Garden down the street, and then made a couple trips with my parent's Ford Excursion from the apartment to the house with the help of B.

Tuesday- I don't know how we though that we'd be able to move by only using the Excursion and be done by Monday night. Thank goodness we had the common sense to rent a moving truck for Tuesday. We ended up having to make two trips with the moving truck (luckily the house is only about 13 miles from the apartment). B was a Godsend on Tuesday. We definitely would not have been able to get nearly everything in and out of the truck without him. I also want to thank H and K for bringing over pizza for lunch (we probably wouldn't have eaten all day if it hadn't been for you two!), and for assisting us in loading the truck. While moving the furniture out of the apartment, we found out very quickly where our rodent friends enjoyed hiding when we let them run around (under both beds, the couch and behind the bookcase were lovely guinea pig and rabbit droppings- gross.). I guess that's what happens when you don't move your furniture for 3+ years in a tiny apartment... By 8pm, we had unloaded the truck for the final time, and L and I treated his parents and B to a well-deserved dinner. After returning the rental truck, and picking up L's car, we created a nest of blankets on the floor of the back living room, let out Dwight and got about 4 hours of fitful sleep.

Wednesday- L came home early from work (he wasn't feeling well), and it was a good thing that he did. My task for Wednesday was to completely clean the apartment so that it was in showing condition. I thought that it would just take a couple of hours on my own to get it done. Little did I know... even with our combined forces (yes I put the sick hubby to work), it took us over 3 hours to clean the apartment. After all of our hard work, we went to Target to pick up some stuff for the house and ended up getting a new console table and bookshelf for the front living room, and some other odds and ends that we had already realized that we needed (for me, the most important item was the step stool that enables me to be able to actually put things away in the kitchen, as the cupboards go all the way to the ceiling...). It was a long day, and turning on the space heater and jumping into our freshly made bed, we finally got some much-needed rest.

Thursday- I spent the WHOLE day unpacking, and I felt like I hadn't gotten anywhere. I woke up with Luke at 5:45am, and couldn't fall back asleep, so I spent that time putting together our new furniture and setting up the front living room. Now all we need is a couch and a large mirror and that room will be complete. My reward for finishing that room was a Christmas tree when L got home, so now our house smells like Christmas!

Friday (today)- Put more stuff away, moved all the empty cardboard boxes into the garage (recycling comes on Tuesday) and we finally got a visit from the Comcast guy, so now we're back online with the rest of the world. I walked about a mile around the neighborhood looking for a mailbox and finally got our Christmas cards sent out (if you don't get one in the next few days and attended our wedding, let me know, as I don't have your most current mailing address...)

The rest of the weekend will consist of working for my parents and continuing to unpack so that we're ready to host the first ever Christmas Eve party attended by both of our families :-)

P.S. I applaud you if you actually made it all the way through this post! Now that we've finally purchased our first home, I'll be writing a lot about cooking, DIY renovations, and just life in general. I'm also hoping to start using my camera to it's full potential and start documenting photographically, so be looking forward to that next week!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

U-Haul or We-Haul?

The biggest debate that we've been having around the apartment as of lately is how exactly are we going to actually move all of our stuff? We are fortunate enough that my parents own a Ford Excursion that will help us move our boxes and smaller items, but we were trying to figure out if it would still be beneficial to us to rent a moving truck for Tuesday. Technically, 90% of the large items in our apartment were brought here in the Excursion, so theoretically, we should be able to move everything the 12.1 miles it takes to get to the new house. That being said, to actually be able to move all of the large furniture pieces would take trip after trip, and since we live in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, the weather can take a turn for the worse with little or no warning. So do we really want to get stuck taking multiple trips in the middle of a blizzard (even though the forecast is calling for cold, but partly sunny weather that day)? Probably not. After comparing the costs and reviews of trailers vs. trucks, u-haul vs. budget, we've decided to rent ourselves a 16' moving truck from Budget Rental (they seemed to have the best reviews/deals compared to their competition). As long as everything is going according to plan, all of our boxes will be moved in after we're done scrubbing and disinfecting every surface imaginable in the house. The next morning we'll pick up our truck at 9am, and with the help of some muscle, we'll attempt to get everything else we were unable to load the day before to the house in one load.

After this week, my posts will be a bit sparse for awhile (we'll be canceling the Qwest internet we currently have and then once we're settled in, well be giving Comcast a go), but once we get the internet up and running again, I'll be able to update y'all on decorating progress I'll be making over the holidays, and how hosting our first Christmas in our new home goes!

For the next 5 days, please keep you fingers crossed for Monday to be a smooth and successful closing day! L and I definitely appreciate it :-)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


I 'm starting to realize how the number of major changes that I've been through has been relatively few. This move into the new house will probably only be my 3rd or 4th major change in my life, and as I sit on the couch in my living room, I'm seeing that leaving this crappy apartment might take more of a psychological toll on me than I had originally thought. Every year, Luke and I discussed moving to a new apartment, but then when June would come around, we'd sign the intention to stay- not wanting the uncertainty of whether or not we could find a place to live by the time our lease was up, if the new place would accept our zoo without charging us an arm and a leg (our current apartment manager could care less about how many animals we have, and doesn't charge us a pet rent), etc. We figured that the only way that we could really move on from this place was if we bought a house where we can do whatever we want and now that part is coming true. There have been a lot of really great memories here (our first home together as a boy/girlfriend couple, engaged couple, and married couple, introducing M and B here, finding Darla the guinea pig, graduating from college, L getting his first grownup job, me getting into grad school for teaching, plus many many more), and it will be sad to leave them. The prospect of not having to hear strangers walking above my bed, or their shitty, loud, bassy music that they play at all hours without considering who might be sleeping keeps me packing! Thinking forward to all of the new memories we'll make in the new house makes me happy, so I know that moving is the right thing for us.

That being said, we've only got FIVE more days until we get the keys to our cute little bungalow! Only five more days until we are no longer residents of Hennepin County (a first for the both of us)! Only five more days until we can keep or cars parked in a garage! Only five more days until we have our own deck! Only five more days until we have 2 bathrooms! Only five more days until we pack up all of the stuff we've accumulated over the last 3 1/2 years into a truck and start our lives in a new city. Only five more days :-)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Getting there!

A s of right now, L and I are 14 days away from owning our first house! That's right, after viewing dozens of houses, writing up 3 purchase offers (one of which was a short sale going nowhere, and the other sellers bailed out on the sale), we are going to be closing on our home on December 14th.

Everything has been going very well with the negotiation side of the process and it looks like we've come to a final agreement on the price, closing costs (which the seller is going to pay), and he has agreed to complete the electrical repairs that we asked to be done, along with handing over a certified check for $500 to complete the other repairs that will need to be done in the spring! Today was spent gathering L's pay stubs, account summaries, and signing document after document before going over to D's to have him help us scan and send to our mortgage broker. Basically, all we need to do now is wait for our financing to go through and then we'll be all set to close!

I've also become much more excited about the upcoming holidays, as it looks like we might even be hosting Christmas Eve in our new home!

Everything is moving so quickly- so many boxes to pack and so little time.