Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Hi all! Things are settling down around here, and I finally had a chance to upload some pictures from our Florida trip. It's alot of family stuff, but hopefully you won't get too bored sitting through the little slideshow I put together. The trip went wonderfully, and couldn't have come at a better time for us. Caroline was great during both flights (with the exception of a little meltdown prior to take off as we left Washington), which I totally have Dora the Explorer to thank for that! I told the people around us that they had a choice - to listen to the muffled sounds of her DVD, or to our daughter having a meltdown for the duration of the flight. Thank goodness we were all in agreement that the DVD was the way to go...

It was a fabulous vacation, not just with family, but with friends, too! Many of our friends from our beach house days in Dewey Beach, DE also made it down for the weekend, so it was sort of a getaway with the adults/family vacation all rolled in to one - which was perfect! We even found a local dive bar in Ft. Myers Beach called The Beached Whale, which we dubbed Dewey South, as we seemed to find ourselves there two nights of the trip. Even though they weren't serving Starboard Specials or Captains in blue cups, it had the makings of a good story right from the start.

All of the wedding festivities were so much fun. We first had a rehearsal dinner at a restaurant called Snug Harbor, overlooking the sound. Then it was on to The Beached Whale. We had all day Friday to head to the beach and pool, followed by a sunset cocktail reception at Gulf Shore Grill, a Gulf-front bar and restaurant. The wedding was Saturday morning, with a mid-afternoon reception at The Lighthouse, followed by sunset cocktails back at our resort, The Pink Shell (which I would highly recommend to couples or families). We spent the last days of the trip just relaxing with the family before heading home on Tuesday. It was such a nice time!

So, as mentioned, here's a little montage from our trip. REMEMBER: Stop the music player to the left of this screen before playing so that you can here the sound!!!

Sunday, May 18, 2008


I have finally had a moment to get on here to post! What a week it has been since getting home from our trip to Fort Myers Beach for my cousin Brian's wedding to his new bride, Kara. I'll spare you most of the details, mainly because I'm finally a little less furious and don't really feel like getting myself all worked up again. Let's just say that the installation of the granite countertops, which our friend, who is our realtor, promised to supervise (and who decided that oversight, not to mention the promise he made to us, wasn't necessary and therefore wasn't in our home with these strangers for most of the day), didn't go so well.

We came home from our lovely family vacation to find bottles of Drano and Windex - which had been under the sink - out on the kitchen floor where Caroline made a beeline for them, chunks of drywall missing behind the backsplash that needed to be spackled and repainted, our plumbing disconnected so that when we turned the water on we had floods in not only the crawlspace under the kitchen but also under our sink, and our pantry, and every shelf in the pantry cabinet - which is adjacent to the counters - collapsed and in need of clean-up. We also found the old backsplash out on our deck and the old sink in our garage, apparently left for us to dispose of. Needless to say, it was not a happy scene at our house that night and in the days after.

People often talk about feeling violated when they have had a break-in or after being pick-pocketed or something. That's exactly how I felt upon seeing my kitchen. We had not contracted this work - our realtor had done this on our behalf. People I didn't know were in my home while I was not, and took something that I have loved for almost 5 years - our very first house, the place we brought our daughter home to for the first time - and tore it apart. While our realtor thought he could trust these people - as he had done business with them many times before, and whose children his children often play with - they clearly didn't hold as much value in this place as we do. The realtor has since apologized, and knows that his relationship with the contractor, as well as us, will never be the same.

Fortunately, my father is quite adept at lots of things related to home maintanence, and he helped us to put our little house back together again. He and Steve spackled and painted, cleared out and cleaned up the debris, and things are back to normal again. My Mom and Aunt Karen helped me to reconstruct the pantry while I chased Caroline and worked on packing the other parts of our house. We got everything fixed and ready for the dual baby shower I hosted this past Friday for my good friends Kristy and Michelle, who are due next month - just a week apart! While my trust in some people is still somewhat broken, my home is not, and should be ready to put on the market this week. I'll be posting next about our trip, but I wanted to share why I've been so out of the loop for the past few days...

Thursday, May 8, 2008


We're heading south for the next 6 days for my fabulous cousin Brian's wedding to my future cousin-in-law Kara. We'll be in Fort Myers Beach, to be exact. After the craziness with the house and all the time Steve's been spending on his thesis, it will be nice to get away for a few days as a family. Lots of my family and friends will be there too, which will make the whole trip quite the party!

Interestingly enough, Flo Rida's song "Low" (you know, "Apple bottom jeans, boots with the fur..."), has become one of Caroline's favorite songs after listening to it quite a bit with Daddy in the car (it would appear), as just the other day it came on, she sang along to the chorus "Shorty got low, low, low, low..." while smacking her knees and bopping her head to the beat. Hmm. I think we need to watch what we're listening to these days as it seems she's developed quite the little memory... Here's a video from Ellen in case you don't know the song (and therefore still think Steve and I are responsible parents):

On that note, I'll update everyone on our adventures when I get back. Try not to miss me too much while you are gone!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


UGH!!! I mean, I know that when you contract work out to people (especially where houses are concerned), you have to allow for the fact that things will most likely wrap up after the promised turn-around date, but I think I've officially met my limit with patience.

As you know, we are readying this house for sale, and one of the things we decided to do was upgrade our countertops to granite. A couple weeks ago, our realtor had a few companies come in to give estimates, and decided on one who would give us a decent price for decent stuff. I guess that translates to "We'll give you a deal if you won't bitch at us when we are several hours late, tear up your kitchen and leave items such as cerrated-edge cling wrap on your floor for your daughter to get into, do something to your dishwasher to make it impossible to close without lifting up your countertop, cut the hole for the sink in the wrong spot, don't call you to tell you what happened, and have to come back 3 days later to redo the job - while you are in Florida for a wedding, mind you." I am so glad that I am not going to be living through a full-scale renovation. I know that for sure I would have become a raging alcoholic, been committed, or both.

Sunday, May 4, 2008


Our current house, prior to the landscaping done this weekend, and another shot of our new house, with plants in bloom (yay!)

Hee hee... Just kidding. That's what Steve and I have been calling ourselves to help distract ourselves from the fact that we now own two homes (one of which will be sold soon, hopefully!). Our closing this past Friday was uneventful, thank goodness, and we took ownership around 4:00. We have spent this past weekend packing up and moving some stuff to empty out our current house so that it will show better when we put it on the market in the next week.

Fabulous weather made this weekend just perfect. Our current house is looking great, thanks to some contractors who have been making some of the minor cosmetic repairs we needed to make, as well as Steve's best friend Marc, who not only helped him move 2 large U-Haul loads to the new house starting at 8:30 this morning, but also helped us to update landscape the front of the house to give it a bit more curb appeal - all after he spent all day drinking at a wedding in Annapolis yesterday. Tomorrow, the contractors will be back to tinker, and the granite guy will be here to put in new counter tops (the one part of the kitchen that hasn't been updated). Hopefully all this hard work will help us to sell quickly so that Steve and I can breathe a sigh of relief (and I can start thinking about furniture for the new house!).

On the elevator front, we met with a great builder last Wednesday who not only had great ideas for the shaft and elevator, but also helped us think about things we could incorporate into the design so that we could make our new house even more user-friendly in the future. It was really nice to hear the architect ask questions about what my needs were before I even had the chance to bring them up. Hopefully, their estimate will come in at a reasonable enough level that we can work with them!

All in all, it's been a busy but productive weekend! I think the fact that we are heading forward has helped both Steve and me to feel more confident in our decision to move. As I get a chance to take more pictures, I'll put them up! I hope everyone had a great weekend...