Category Archives: Life in General

Happy Pancake Day

We have been trying to get into the “spirit of the season” lately. Somehow it is hard this year. But, last weekend, we finally started our Christmas shopping. While we were at Crate & Barrel we picked up a couple fun-looking pancake molds, as well as some batter mix and syrup. We had been itching to try them out ever since, so we decided that today was Happy Pancake Day!

We truly expected it to really be Pancake Fail Day though, as we had our doubts about the molds, as well as about mix bought from a home goods store. There was a little trial and error at first, but we got the hang of it pretty quickly. We had one failed snowflake, and one slightly malformed snowman… but the rest turned out alright. The mix and syrup were surprisingly good; I think that is our new favorite syrup. And, somehow, the fun shapes seemed to make the pancakes taste even better! I want to scout out more fun pancake molds now. Maybe every Saturday can be Happy Pancake Day from now on.

After a yummy pancake breakfast it was time to go get a Christmas tree, which we had been putting for weeks. We first tried Lowes since they were nearby, but the selection was terrible and the trees were dry and squished from lying in a pile. Our second try was more successful, and we found several good candidates at the lot by Kohl’s in Brier Creek. After a short debate we finally selected what looked to be a good tree, and the tree people quickly lashed it to the car.

When we got the tree home and in the stand we quickly learned that trees look a lot larger once they are in your house. I think I recall a similar lesson with a TV. So, the place we had selected near the fireplace didn’t really work out… it ended up in the dining room. It isn’t the ideal location for a tree, but it fits and it is only for a few weeks. After quickly cleaning up the trail of pine needles that lead from one corner of the house to the other, it was once again time to head out.

We met several friends (that also happen to be guild mates) at Brixx for dinner, and then headed to Frankie’s. It was a lot of fun to watch the braver people ride go carts in 38 degree weather, although Sean and I weren’t about to do it! There were three kids in the group, the youngest of which was a three year old girl. It was so funny to watch her go round (two seater carts) because her head wasn’t even above the wheel. When they went past you could only see a tiny set of hands holding onto the steering wheel.

It wasn’t long before we headed back inside where it was warm. We had a lot of fun playing games and somehow ended up winning a lot of tickets at skee ball. Since we don’t really care much about tickets we gave them to the kids… it was fun to see them so happy about getting tickets. It made me recall the days when I would hang out in the arcade, collecting my tickets and gazing longingly at a shiny glass case full of prizes… but never having enough tickets for anything more exciting than chinese fingercuffs or a bouncy ball.

After Frankie’s Sean and I headed back home for a nice mug of hot cocoa while we decorated the tree. We haven’t quite finished the tree though, so no pictures yet. It just looks like it is missing something, but we are too tired to care about it right now. We decided to find some garland we don’t hate tomorrow… for now we are going to head to bed. We feel so old to be this tired at 10pm!

Macross Ace Frontier

Robyn surprised me last week – for my birthday? See my birthday is in December very close to Christmas. My parents always tried not to merge the two together and did a pretty good job at it. Robyn still thinks it’s a bum wrap to only get presents once a year and I’m not going to disagree with her. So we decided that I would have a birthday in June from now on. Since June had already passed I figured she would wait until next year to start.

A few months ago we decided that our house needed some art on the walls. So Robyn and I took a signed “Do You Remember Love” poster, and an original Kawamori sketch to Michael’s to be framed. Those two items are the prizes of my anime collection. It turned out to be a bit pricey so I said it could be my birthday present. We are really happy with how they look, and are even thinking of hitting the convention circuit again to score more signed artwork.

So anyways… a while back during my Macross Frontier kick we found a PSP game called Macross Ace Frontier. I mentioned I finally had an excuse to get a PSP. Not expecting to get a PSP anytime soon I kinda blew it off because while I would buy a system to play Grand Turismo I probably wouldn’t to play another version of Digital Mission VFX. Well, Wednesday Robyn surprised me with a copy of the game, and a silver PSP to play it on!

I had given up on ever playing the game so I was very surprised to get a copy. Turns out it’s really fun and plays just like any of the older Digital Mission VFX series with a little camera issue. The music is enjoyable – of course I’m already a fan so take that with caution. I’ve seen pics online that show many playable characters and Vakyries from all the series. If you have a PSP, and like Macross, just go ahead and get this as you won’t be disappointed, playing somewhat representative missions taken from the different series. If anything the music and screen loading art is worth it!

Better than the game is how nice it was to get a thoughtful surprise from my wife ;)

Catching up

I know, we’re getting slack about posting again. Sorry. We just haven’t had much going on lately, nothing very interesting anyhow. The most exciting things that have happened of late is that we finally got a futon for upstairs, a TV for downstairs, and had our first get together at the house.

The futon (for the upstairs game/guest room) was delivered on the 3rd… we aren’t very happy with the mattress because it is very very firm, but still have no clue what we want to do about it. Maybe we will just deal with it, and get an aerobed or something to put on top for guests. It doesn’t seem to matter as much now that we have the TV downstairs. We got the TV on the same day, and since then I think Sean has been in there a couple times to play Force Unleashed… but that is it. I have been watching TV downstairs or playing WoW so I have kind of been ignoring the mattress problem. Maybe it will fix itself?

The TV is awesome and I am so glad we got it. We hadn’t really planned on buying it so soon, but we found one on clearance at a good price and it worked out well. Mounting it was easier than expected, although Sean and I did have to spend some time thinking about how we would accomplish it and then debating the best solution. So far it seems to be staying where we put it, so I suppose we did a good job. I think it is a bit too high though, as you can see all the cables behind it. Maybe we can come up with some ingenious way to hide that… since I am not sure we will ever be able to get it down to lower the brackets!

We had several friends over for hot dogs and hamburgers on the 4th. Since all of our friends seem to come in twos now, “several” is really like 12 adults, two children, and a baby. I only wish we had more space, there were many others we would have liked to invite.

It was great to finally make use of our deck, since we have been envisioning entertaining since the first time we saw it. The TV was great timing too. It worked out well to have everyone hanging out together to play Rock Band, rather than having to set it up upstairs. I hope everyone had a good time, I know we did.

Well, those are the highlights of the last few weeks. Other than that we have just been doing the usual. I didn’t really have any relevant photos to post, so the above photo is from Saturday. We took our critters to the vet (inside Petsmart) for their check-ups. My kitty doesn’t handle carriers very well, so I just put a harness on her. She usually behaves better than the dog! She just hung out on the bench while we waited, and everyone seemed very impressed and wanted to come meet her.

Good news, we found the counters

We finally finished in the kitchen a few days ago, it feels great to finally have all the clutter off of our counters. They were so covered for the past week that I could barely see them, and now that they are clear of junk we continue to marvel at how shiny and mirror-like the granite is. It was also a relief to find that we have ample cabinet space, as we were a little worried about that. The only task remaining for the kitchen is to find some manner of spice rack for the pantry door.

Now that there are only a few odds and ends left downstairs, we are feeling pretty accomplished. Or at least, I was feeling that way until I looked in the computer room last night. There are still so many boxes in that small room that it is hard to navigate in there. Oh well, at least the rest of the house is somewhat orderly now. I think Sean and I are both kind of avoiding the computer room until we find desks anyway… so maybe we will just make the stacks of boxes a little more orderly for now.

The new grill I mentioned in the last post is great by the way, Sean made an excellent choice. We are loving the grill so much that we haven’t even cooked inside yet. Unfortunately it is supposed to rain all week though, so looks like we are going to break in the kitchen tonight. So far the only thing the oven has been used for was last night’s tasty cookie treat.

We also finally got the TV moved over this weekend, but still no cable or internet; that should come Sunday afternoon. Although Sean hooked up the PS3 last night for a much deserved break in housework, and played a little Grant Theft Auto. So I guess we at least have some form of entertainment in the house now… as long as you don’t mind sitting on the floor. We still don’t have any furniture! Although, we did order some for the living room (not the TV room) and it should be here Friday. So, at least we will have a place to sit and relax pretty soon. I am also hoping to find a futon or something for the TV room this weekend, but I am not sure how much time we will have for that between my grandfather’s out-of-town birthday party on Saturday, and the cable guy on Sunday.

Well, that is about all that is happening in our exciting lives at the moment… just continuing to settle into our new home and loving every minute of it.

 

Settling in…

We are enjoying our new house! Everything went well with the move, and I can’t tell you how much we appreciate all the help we received from our friends and family. Thanks to everyone’s help, the move went smoothly and everything made it to the new house safely.

There are still plenty of boxes sitting around, but we are working our way through it as fast as we can. We won’t have cable or internets for a couple weeks, so that will help us stay focused I guess. The first goal is the kitchen… I can’t wait until everything is in it’s place and we are able to start cooking again. I am getting so tired of eating out! I think we are down to just a couple more tubs for the kitchen though, so things are moving along nicely.

As we are settling in, we are finding lots of little things we need or want to improve. We have already been to Lowes about a dozen times since Friday, and somehow I think this is just the beginning. Our list of small improvements include adding a shelf in the laundry room; a caddy for the cabinet door under the kitchen sink; new shower heads; an under the sink trash can; a towel hook in the bathroom; locks for the gates; and tonight we will go back to Lowes for some garage shelves.

The best new addition is our grill! Sean picked one up today, I haven’t seen it yet. From what he has told me about it though, it is very nice. It is also very heavy… but luckily Wendell has volunteered to help us drag it out of Sean’s car tonight. Now I am excited to get home and see what he picked out; we have been looking forward to a new grill for a long time.

Next up on our list is furniture for the living room.   Last night we went by La-Z-Boy and picked out some furniture and colors we liked, and tomorrow their designer is supposed to come out and bring the swatches so we an see what the colors will look like in our house. She will also be able to give us some suggestions on arrangement, accessories, and paint colors. I am looking forward to getting a designer’s input on that… we have been struggling with the color for the fireplace accent wall, and it will be good to see if she has any furniture arrangement ideas we haven’t thought of.

Well, that is about all that is going on… just a lot of unpacking between trips to Lowes. I am looking forward to going home tonight; I just love being at our house, even if the only form of entertainment at the moment is unpacking boxes. This organizing, arranging, planning, and minor handy-work has been pretty fun!

 

We need a montage!

(yes, that is a Team America reference)

We are now officially home owners! Everything went well today. Our final inspection was at noon; the seller had cleaned out the house, and everything seemed to be in working order. The seller even left some pictures and things on the walls for us, which is good since we don’t have any. I am not sure we would have chosen any of the pictures he left… but it is better than blank walls until we find things we want to hang up.

After the inspection we headed to the lawyer’s office and ended up getting there about half an hour early. Not too long after we arrived, our agent arrived as well. It is nice that our agent is always early. So, by the time the seller and his agent showed up a bit past one o’clock we had already signed most of the paperwork. We were out of there about fifteen minutes later! I had expected the closing to take an hour or so from some of the comments I had heard, but it was all very fast and simple.

After the closing we headed back to the house to stock up the fridge for the people helping us move, then headed back to the apartment to meet Sean’s Aunt Lisa. With her help we moved some things over that we didn’t really want going in the moving truck (thanks, Lisa!).

After we had unpacked the vehicles, Dena came over and brought Jack with her. Jack was going nuts! He ran all over the house, up and down the stairs, and all around in the back yard. It looks like he definitely approves of our choice.

Tomorrow, the real fun starts. We have lots of volunteers to help us move to the new house. Its exciting to think this is our last night of apartment life! There is so much to do though… which is why we have decided that we definitely need a montage. I can’t wait until we are done with the moving part!

 

One Week!

I can’t believe we only have one week left before the move. It feels like we have hardly done any packing, and that is starting to worry me a little bit. I keep trying to tell myself we have done more that it looks like, given the amount of crap we have thrown out over the past couple weeks.

We didn’t get much packed last weekend, and decided we would try to make up for that by packing after work this past week… of course that didn’t happen. Monday we succeeded in packing most of one room… but then Tuesday we were pretty tired after work and I think we managed to get a box or two packed just so we wouldn’t feel bad. Wednesday was my birthday, so we went out to eat… then last night we were again very tired after work, and the martinis didn’t help matters much. I did manage to get a few boxes packed in the living room though. Tonight will also be a waste… Sean is going to meet up with a bunch of old work friends for dinner at Sunset Grille. I think I might stay in and try to get some more packing done though, because I have a feeling it will be almost 9 before he gets back from that… despite his assurances he will be home earlier.

Due to this lack of progress in packing, we will be trying to make up for that this weekend. The goal is to have everything we don’t need on a daily basis packed by Sunday night. I am feeling the pressure to get it done, so maybe we will actually succeed. We already reserved the truck for the 16th, and have several volunteers (thank you!!!) lined up for that day… so we can’t delay the move.

Moving stress aside… we are so excited! In one week we will be in our first house! We are counting down the days, and making plans for what we will do with the house. There are so many things to do once we are in the house, like picking out furniture and finding a paint color we can agree on to cover up the red walls. I can’t wait to start on these things!

We are also constantly day dreaming about using the deck. I really think we bought the deck and got a house as a bonus lol. Grilling out is going to be awesome on our new deck, and we can’t wait to have a cook out with all of our friends!