Thursday, January 11, 2007

Coming Down to the Wire

So the boxes are starting to fill up the open spaces in the old house as I start to fill up the boxes. The cabinets and closets are slowly starting to be free of stuff, as are the drawers and hampers (yes, I'm finally catching up on some laundry that I've been putting off...) . It is a quick move, but the stuff int he boxes will be inaccessible for a week or so, so every box begs the question -What can I put in here that I won't need for the next two weeks or so? Fortunately we have lots of stuff that falls into that category (which them begs the questions of whether we need it at all, but that's Tom's questions and that's why I pack while he's at work!). So, the boxes are slowly filling up the empty spaces and things are progressing.

Found out something exciting today. Well, exciting for me isn't like I won the lottery or found a long lost friend or anything. We have trash pick up at the new place TWO times per week! At both of our houses in Texas and our current house we have one day a week trash pick up. Growing up we had two day a week, so I assumed that was the norm, but guess not. I signed up for a company that does two day a week, plus recycling on a third day (and in the Spring and Summer yard waste on yet another day). So, basically any day of the week you can drive by our house and see trash out front. Hmmm...that doesn't sound so appealing now. Anyway, imagine a family of five plus two cats trying to fit into one of those big garbage cans each week. Tom is a creative packer, but we grew out of the single can years ago and have adopted a second can. Where we are now that's fine, irritating that trash has to sit for a whole week, but we have dealt with it. Now, we get TWO days, and so we'll be able to get rid of all of our trash each week! Very exciting for me!

Also, I found out yesterday that Max's bus to his current school won't take an hour to get there. Max is in a very cool school - he's in a Spanish partial immersion program and loves it. We are moving outside the boundaries of the school but because he's in this special magnet program he can stay at the school as long as he's in the county. Don't know if you realize this, but Fairfax County is huge. It encompasses 395 square miles, which is about 253,000 acres of land. We are at the far eastern side of this, so getting across the county takes a long, long time. So, while it's not tough tot stay within the boundaries of the county to keep Max at the school, we were worried that the bus would take forever to get to the school. Yes, they bus the magnet kids to school as well as the neighborhood kids. They bus them from Vienna, McLean, and Fairfax. They come from 10, 15, 20 miles away (around here it takes a long time to get anywhere, so it's more like driving in Houston's rush hour for most of the day!). Tom and I assumed that the bus would either run out there in the morning, and Max would have to get on at like 7am, or that it would go out in the afternoon, and he'd get home after 4:30 or so. Well, the new bus picks him up at the local elementary five minutes after the bus picks him up now. In the afternoon, the bus will drop him off at 3:45, which is well after the bus should arrive, but for some reason never does (His current bus gets him home - generally late - between 3:45 and 4 almost every day). So, we were thrilled to hear this. He can ride the bus to and from school and not spend hours on it, and we don't need to drive him all the way in to school either! Another good piece of news about the new place.

So, the time ticks away and there are still boxes to pack. We have movers coming on Wednesday to move all the boxes and furniture, so I need to continue on my quest to find things to put into boxes. The kitchen, the boys rooms, my clothes and assorted stuff, and the media room are mostly packed. After today's rounds of laundry I'll get the kids clothes all packed up as well as Tom's clothes. Then, my office is about half done, so that needs to be finished up as well. On Tuesday we hope to disassemble furniture so that the movers don't have to do it on Wednesday. We are right on schedule to do this, and so we are in great shape.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Newspaper Delivery

Yes, I ask my little man go out in his daddy's slippers to get the morning paper...thanks Max...

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Isn't He Cute?

Isn't it sweet that Tom curls up and falls asleep with his Acoustics book? Say it with me - Awwwwwwww....

Sunday, January 07, 2007


And so it begins. We are planning on moving in the next two weeks or so (weather permitting) and the boxes are slowly taking over the house. It's a very different thing to prepare for a move a few miles away than across the country - it is a whole lot easier. The packing and unpacking is going quickly and we will end up with a bunch of boxes that are the same size and shape that all stack neatly on top of each other. We are already piling these boxes up in corners, against the railing, and in the garage. We are going to hire folks to load and unload boxes as well as move the big pieces of furniture. Hopefully we can be moved over in a day. For now we just have packing on the list.

There's some sort of emotional high for me when I pop open that nice new box and fill it with my stuff. It that first time I use a box, the first time I write on it that for some unknown reason makes me smile. Who knows why...I dig these new boxes.

We're calling movers tomorrow to arrange the rest of the move as well as getting all of our utilities set up. Shouldn't be too hard, but it's amazing how many of these utilities don't have online connections and disconnections available. That would make life so much easier. Anyway, we're slowly but surely making progress. It's a low stress move for us thus far and we want it to stay that way. I'll keep you posted on how it goes, but we are in great shape - about 1/2 packed up so far and are making rapid progress!

Saturday, January 06, 2007


Balance. That is what 2007 is all about for me. Balance in life, in play, in work, in everything. Ali Edwards (a scrapbooking inspiration for me - if you aren't familiar wither her work you should really check it out here) wrote on her blog that we need to choose a word that represents what we want for ourselves in 2007. So, I chose balance. 2006 was such a wacky year from start to finish, and in all aspects of my life. It seemed at points as if it was all or nothing, extreme highs and lows. I am choosing to create more balance in my life in 2007 in any are that I can affect directly.

I will play more
I will go out on more dates with my hubby
I will watch less TV
I will scrapbook at least a bit every day
I will play more board games with the kids
I will take better care of my aging body
I will spend more afternoons and weekends outside
I will watch my business take off
I will not let the laundry get the best of me
I will skateboard often
I will continue to exercise three times a week
I will see more current movies in the theater
I will enjoy my family

My balance will come naturally and without and stress or fussing. My balance will be evident throughout my life. You will see me smiling more, more comfortable in my own body, and more relaxed. 2007 will be a banner year for me.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Happy New Year!

So after ending 2006 with a bang (great Xmas visit from Baba, great New Year's visit from Dr. Auntie Ray, FSU AND UT winning their bowl games) it is time for the year in review. This 2006 year really took our family for a spin. We had some high highs and some very low lows. We laughed, we cried, but we always kept our heads high and looked toward the future. The kids grew some, Tom and I grew some (yeah, we need to fix that part...), the kids learned bunches, my brain leaked out of my head (you hang around with three little guys all day and see how much of your mental capacity you retain!), and I started blogging. So, it's only natural at this point that I take a look back at 2006. It is definitely a year that we won't forget.

Got my cool new glasses
Ian and Sam were evaluated for a speech delay
I take Ian, Sam, and Baba to see the Monster Jam in San Antonio (Max was sick so Tom stayed home)
We began preparing to move to VA
I got to go to the SPA!

Tom and I took the boys to see Elmo perform
Ian starts school for his speech delay - at Mason Elementary (Rode the bus and everything)
Grandma Sybil passes away
A week later Grandpa Kermit passes away (He commented to me at her funeral that he was just waiting for her to go first so he didn't leave her here alone - he died a few days later)
My first trip to NY for a funeral
Ian and Sam had a great Birthday Party at the Little Gym

My second trip to NY for a funeral
Continue getting the house ready to sell
We get packed up and MOVE to VA over Spring Break
We live in a hotel through the end of the month
Find a house and sign a lease and all the things that accompany that
Max starts at a new school

Our cats finally arrive in DC
I discover the local MOMS Club and the National Zoo
Max starts U-6 Arlington soccer
Ian and Sam start Smart Start soccer
I find a new gym
Head back to NY one more time to help Dad and Aunt Gail clear out the Grandparent's house
We unpack boxes, and more boxes, and then a few more boxes
(pretty slow month here...)

Ian starts speech with Shannon
Matt B.'s Car arrives as does Matt B. (old college friend)
I hit the gym hard and fast (actually quite slowly - it's been a while since I've worked out with a personal trainer and he pulled out all the stops in causing me great muscle pain)
Again, nothing much this month - oh, we keep finding more boxes

Mom was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor June 2 - we find out while out on a date - something we rarely do
I headed to SA immediately
The little boys see their first movie in a theater - CARS!
I work at a scrapbook convention here in Chantilly, VA
Tom heads to IL for his grandma's memorial service


We take the boys to SA for a last visit with Mimi - it was s wonderful time for everyone

We get to ride on Tom's boss's boat - the boys love it
Sam is evaluated for a speech delay
Both vans break down within a week of each other and cost us an arm and a leg
Another trip for me to see Mom
Mom passes away July 26
I head back to SA to be with Dad

Dad comes to VA to visit join us at Max's birthday party
Max has a cool 6th birthday with family and friends (Yes, we gave the three year olds golf clubs...HEY - it was putt-putt!)
I take the boys to Totally Trucks in Reston (all the big work trucks were there!)
Peapod starts bringing us food!!! (they deliver groceries)
Tom heads to Univ. of Washington for several days
Max gets stung by his first hornet and we all learn what a Giant European Hornet is (and see their very cool hives look like)

We all head to San Francisco for Moms' Memorial Luncheon
Beth and Sami arrive in DC (Matt's wife and daughter) - we hang out a bunch with them while they are here

I do my first demo at a scrapbook store
We all head to San Antonio for Mom's memorial luncheon
Max starts First Grade
Ian potty trains himself (with a little help from mom and dad)
Max starts Arlington U-6 soccer again
Ian and Sam start Smart Start Soccer again
Our landlord threatens to evict us (long & quite funny story will come very soon)

Dr. Auntie Ray comes to visit
Max cuts his head open by bouncing on the bed - gets staples
Sam starts speech with Shannon
Ian and Sam go to the dentist for the first time
Kate come to visit (Tom's friend from HS)
Ian and Sam start Turbo Tumbling at the gym
I hold my first local crop
Baba comes to DC for Halloween - dresses up with the kids
Tom, the boys and I hit the Boo at the Zoo - VERY COOL!

Tom goes to Providence for the day
Aunt Sue comes to visit
I take the little boys to see Banjo Man in DC (they have more fun on the Metro and don't care about the show at all!)
I do my first Scrapbook Demo at a major craft store
Have Thanksgiving Dinner here with the Matt, Beth, and Sami
Took Max to the Dr. for a smashed hand (he caught his hand in the van door on the way to the Reston holiday Parade) - X-rays show that it is fine - squished, but fine
Go to a Tiny Tots Concert at a local HS with Beth and Sami - kids and the moms love it

We sneak off to Disney World on a whim (found $54 one way tickets from here to there - couldn't pass it up)
Ian gets sick at Disney
The rest of us catch it when we get home
We start looking for a new place to live and find it - signing the lease towards the end of the month
Tom, Ian, Sam and I attend Matt's graduation from the Dept of State Diplomatic Security Training - he heads off with Beth and Sami to New Jersey (working in NY)
Dad comes to visit
Dr. Auntie Ray comes to visit
Max starts U-6 Indoor Soccer (talk about a fun thing to watch!)

And here we are! So, I sit here at 12:30 am on the end of the first day of 2007 wondering what it has in store for us. (Actually I'm watching a GREAT football game - Boise State and OK - just went into overtime or I'd be in bed already!) We are ready and looking forward to the new year.

Here's what I know will happen next year:
We'll move into a new house.
Max will go from First Grade to Second Grade.
Ian and Sam will start Preschool.
Tom's commute will go from 12 minutes to about 25 minutes (yeah, not so fun).
We'll head to California to visit and celebrate.
We'll hit Disney World again (go Southwest!).
We'll enjoy watching the kids grow and learn.
I will continue blogging and sharing our adventures.
Welcome 2007!

P.S. - I finally got all the pics loaded up, so here it is for real! Enjoy 2007! -Suzie

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

What a GAME!

If you read my last blog entry, you know that I was up late last night. What you might not know is that I am a HUGE football fan (I'm sure you've seen the FSU/UT posts here and there) and that I was watching football with Tom. We are in the middle of bowl season with a new game every day, sometimes two or three...four...five. I digress. Last night Tom and I watched a fantastic game that kept us up late. In the end, David slew Goliath, as he always seems to do in those stories. Growing up in Texas I was bred to hate Oklahoma (although that's a strong word - I consider it more of a strong dislike) - not the state, not the people, but the school there - OU. So it's only natural to root for whomever they are playing (same thing for the Florida schools when FSU has a bad year - we're rooting for all KINDS of Florida schools this year.

So last night OU was playing in a bowl game against what everyone is calling the Cinderella team Boise State. Who knew that there was even a football player int he state, let alone a bunch that could put together a winning program, a winning season, and a winning game against the #7 team in the country. Did I mention that Boise State was ranked #9? Well, they play in the WAC conference, so one would assume that this team, after playing all those middle school girls teams out there in the west would have a good record. What you don't know (because no one thought much of them at any point along the way this year) is that they are good. Not just win the WAC and have a perfect record good, but beat OU good. They put together a solid game, stopped OU at every turn, and even pulled a trick play at the end of the first overtime to beat the Sooners. They chose to take the risk and win the game rather than force a second overtime.

Tom said with 1:42 left in the game "Oh, this is the game." He was wrong - OU scored and Boise marched right back down the field and scored as well. Then he was in knots. FSU does this to you on their so-so years - you know the feeling. It starts with a pit in your stomach then rolls into a tight ball, followed by a huge knot. The relief only comes after the loss. But last night there was no loss - a trick play and some solid football work from a bunch of guys whom no one else wants won the Fiesta Bowl for the Broncos. As it is reported, the two teams combined for 22 points in the final 86 seconds. Talk about knots in your stomach for everyone. Led by a quarterback who went to therapy to boost his confidence (and speaks about it openly), and supported by a team without an automatic bid for a BCS game, the Broncos made a statement last night. Unfortunately this is the first time they have yelled loudly and while they believe they deserve a shot at the National Championship after going 13-0 this season and then beating a team that was a strong favorite (from a "strong" conference), not sure who will hear them yell. They are no Ohio State, Florida, or even Michigan or USC, but they certainly have brought themselves into the mix. Next season folks will wonder what Boise State is up to. They will watch the games and pick their players for their Fantasy Football teams. The kids on the team have the right attitude as well - all they are saying is that they deserve a look, a chance for the National Title. They most likely won't the title itself, but they will have folks talking, and that's all they are asking for. What a game...