Thursday, June 21, 2012

Third Time's a Charm!

Our first mailbox!  Not a PO Box and not a community mail center, but a real live mailbox!

We bought a house in 2005 on Water Street.  It flooded.  Why we didn't see that plot twist coming is beyond me.

In 2009, we bought a townhome.  It was working well for us until we started outgrowing it. And until the neighbors had loud parties well into the early morning hours.  And until I tried to play soccer with Topher in our 10 foot strip of grass.

And now here we are, in 2012, and we own a dwelling for the third time in our life.  Only this time we hope  that we carefully left the bad luck behind as we were packing up and moving.

In a conversation with our new neighbor the other day, it sounded like we might have gotten it right this time.  "Not to worry you guys, but no one stays in your house for too long.  Something good always happens to them, like a promotion, and then they move along."

Finally, finally we bought a good luck charm.  A whole lucky house has got to be better than a horrible rabbit appendage dangling from my keys, right?

But honestly, even if a promotion were in our future (come on, lucky house!) we bought this house to last us  for a long, long time.  

Want to know what we loved so much about this location?  We are 5 blocks from the elementary school, a mile from the library and middle school, and they are building a new high school just a mile down the road.  There's also a park a few blocks away.  Oh, and my sister Aimee and her family just happen to live 1.5 miles away.  

This house could have been half as nice and we probably still would have seriously considered buying it.

It's not a perfect house, but for once the quirks feel like charm and not like a chain around my neck.  There's way too much oak, the living room is small, the linoleum is simply hideous, and the master bathroom is the tiniest full bath I've ever seen.

But the kitchen is a great space, and with some new floors and counter tops it could be a show-stopper.  The deck is amazing, even if the yard isn't huge, and the landscaping is clean and abundant.  The paint is all professionally finished (straight lines, no drips!!) and we just feel happy here.        

Our to-do list is too long and our money supply too short, but we'll get there over the years.  Our first stop will be a trip to Ikea for some much-needed furniture (we are eating at a card table and our couch didn't fit in the living room so it had to go downstairs.)

Oh, did you want to see some pictures rather than having me drone on and on?  I will oblige.

Front view:

 Our flag:

Entering the house, living room on the left:

Living room other direction, looking at front door:



Looking from kitchen to the eating area:

Half bath/laundry room off eating area:


 Weight room:

Office/hobby room:

Master bedroom (accurate portrayal of where to always find the dog):

Master bath & closet:

Topher's "Mario" room:

Topher's bathroom:

Some landscaping:

Our backyard.  Ahh, heaven.

Accurate portrayal of where to find Topher every morning, in his sandbox:

 My pepper plants:

 I hope to add more and more potted plants cascading down the stairs each year:

The house faces East so Topher takes advantage of the morning shade every day:

I know this isn't a big, fancy house.  But it might as well be.  We are just so, so grateful to be here, to own a home that we love and where we feel safe and settled.  Sometimes I just walk slowly from room to room, wondering what happy memories we'll make here together.

And there is just so much beauty in that.


P.S. I cannot NOT mention that my sister, Regina Sirois, just won the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest for her first young-adult novel On Little Wings.  And while it doesn't surprise me, the thrill of her success just keeps hitting me over and over again.  She is a national award-winning author and has a publishing contract with Penguin Publishers!  And the very very best part is how lovable she is, how humble and how ridiculously talented.  My very most heartfelt congratulations go out across a couple state lines to reach you, Regina.  I cried like a baby when I watched your acceptance speech and I cannot WAIT to squeeze you in my most tightest hug.  You inspire me.  Your writing speaks to me.  And I'm so glad you're always a phone call away.  CONGRATULATIONS!!! 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Lego Store

Today Topher's Grandma & Grandpa took us to Reiman Gardens, which is a botanical garden in Ames, IA owned by Iowa State and located just south of the ISU Jack Trice stadium.  

They have Lego sculptures on display throughout the garden, and when I was trying to explain our destination to Topher, he simplified my garden-with-interspersed-Lego-statues explanation by saying, "You mean we're going to the Lego store?"  

Yep.  That was easier to say.  So off we went to the Lego store.

It was a beautifully overcast day, and we had so much fun chasing Topher through the beautiful gardens, searching for all the Lego sculptures.  He loved the butterfly garden, all the wide paths, and--of course--all those Legos.

Unfortunately, daddy was at work but we hope to go again with him sometime soon.  To grandma & grandpa, Topher and I would like to say thanks for a wonderful time!

We only have 9 more days until we move into the new house, and I think Topher will be dealing with a major grandma and grandpa withdrawal at that time.  What a lucky boy to be surrounded by so many people who adore him and encourage him to explore his world.

We had such a great morning and we'd highly recommend the Lego store to anyone in central Iowa.  :)