Thank You, Panera.

I still don’t have internet at my new home. I had some issues last week with Comcast not showing up to turn on our service. I bitched online. Several Comcast people contacted me, reassured me it was isolated, sent a nice guy out last Thursday to get things set up. He gave me his cell phone number because he was going to have to come back Friday since one of the jacks we needed required special tools. I was okay with this! I’m okay with most issues that arise with service because I’m a reasonable customer! And he stood me up yesterday. Didn’t return my phone calls. *sigh*

So, I’m at Panera just to relieve the anxiety that is building up from not blogging. I was thinking how I didn’t want to show you pictures of the house until it was “done” – then I realized it will never be done. So, here are just some pictures of random things I want to tell you about. YAY! Random!

New House

My new fridge with my old personality finally put on it. The house didn’t have a fridge and the one at our old house is staying with the house, so we bought a new one last week. It didn’t feel right until I put my stuff on it. I still have a few postcards I haven’t found yet, but for the most part? It’s my fridge.

New House

Our aprons. Mine and Nikki’s were gifts and came from Anthropologie. I got Wes’s from Etsy.

New House

We set aside money for furniture when we started shopping for houses because we knew we’d need some if we found the size house we wanted, and we haven’t bought hardly any real furniture as adults. This was our first purchase and still our favorite. It’s from a new little import furniture store in town called Nadeau. It’s brilliant and we’ve bought several other pieces there – all reasonably priced. I may or may not have kissed this table several times.

New House

Dad’s Shelf. I put all of his books I salvaged for sentimental reasons (he had hundreds of books) and several of the miscellaneous items that were special to me for a variety of reasons.

New House

The built-ins in the “Man Room” – which will be the room Donnie watches football. He’s going to finally get a sound system that he’s been wanting for years but our old house had a too-small living room for such a thing. This one is huge. I took charge of putting the books in the built-ins and made sure to keep it as masculine as possible. In other words – the Twilight books? In the “Girl Room” downstairs. Next to my hot-pink hardback copy of Alice in Wonderland.

New House

NikkiZ in her Big Girl bed. LilZ got a new bed and this is his old one. She is not transitioning as well as I’d hoped but she loves it – nonetheless. I painted this room and Wes’s – but I painted them last so they look much better than LilZ’s and the playroom. I learned a lot in the two weeks I spent painting. NikkiZ really wanted a pink room but I couldn’t do it. There is already more pink in our lives than I can stomach on most days…lavender was our compromise.

New House

Was she happy to have pictures of her family in her room? No. Was she happy when this one finally found it’s way out of a box? Of Course.

New House

I bought these little butterflies on clearance at Hobby Lobby over a year ago. I told NikkiZ we had to leave the in the packaging because they’d be for her own room when we finally bought a new house. It was very cathartic to finally hang them up. She wishes they were pink.

New House

We are going to have an upstairs “office” area for the kids to use. This is it. Since we only have one desk, it looks a little pitiful right now. But since Comcast hasn’t turned on our internet yet? We see no reason to stress about it.

New House

Wes’s room. (I painted it!) He was already transitioning sleeping in the trundle at the old house, but then his sister was in the top part. He’s actually transitioned quite well but I think that has more to do with him being exhausted at the end of the day and less to do with anything on my part. When we feel comfortable that he won’t roll out of the bed, we’ll push the trundle back under the real bed, but until then? He’s sleeping ground level.

New House

MrZ’s old abacus and Wes’s piggy bank. They look cute on display. When the kids shared a room nothing was displayed except for a few figurines of NikkiZ’s on a shelf on the wall. I’m looking forward to setting things out in their rooms now.

New House

We scored this table on Craig’s List. I’ll be reupholstering it eventually, but it’s perfect for the kitchen. And since it’s used I have no concerns with it getting destroyed. Love this find.

New House

I’m very weird about coffee. I have to have it every morning but only my coffee in my house. Take the same brand, same coffee maker, same sweetener and same creamer and put it somewhere else? And I’ll swear to you it tastes funny. This coffee tasted perfect the first morning. That’s how I knew we were home.


Well…the coffee and the monster pile of recycling. That is when it truly felt like home. And for the record – the beer bottles? Not all ours. We had our first family dinner at our house on Sunday. Most of those are from other people. I SWEAR. The diet cokes, however? ALL ME, BABY.

Hopefully we’ll have internet again soon. I’ve missed you all and truly hated doing the whole “Mark All As Read” thing in my feed reader this morning. But several hundred entries? In the 20 minutes I’d have internet? No. Can. Do. Gotta blog instead.

And watch the new full-lenght Harry Potter trailer a million times too – of course.

The End Is In Sight. Kinda.

I have been reminded these last 10 days why I hate moving. Not that I had ever forgotten, I’ve always known I hate moving. But I guess I had forgotten how much I hate it. Which is to say: I HATE IT A LOT.

I know people who love the whole, Upgrade-The-House-And-Sell lifestyle. They make a small bit of money off of it every 4+ years or so and upgrade each move. I think this is insane. Not only do I find the prospect of settling into a new house scary, but I always find leaving the old one depressing. I get very attached to my domiciles. I spent all day yesterday working at the new home and waiting for the cable guy. I came home for just long enough to give the kids baths and put them to bed. Then I went back to the new house for more painting. When I got home around 10:30pm last night I said, “Ah. Home Sweet Home.” And then got very sad because after Saturday? This will no longer be where I rest my head.

The new house is great, of course, but it will be awhile before it feels like home. It’s bigger, so it’s a bit scary, and it’s older, so it’s still a bit scary. I tend to be scared of new places anyway – add extra places for monsters to hide bugs to live – and I’m a total mess.

So – basically? I’m a scaredy-cat agoraphobic. This is why I have no social life.

I’m finishing up NikkiZ’s room and starting on AndyZ’s room and hopefully will be done with all pre-move painting by Thursday. Which is when we have the carpets cleaned, (8 kids + 1 dog living there before us – we can’t afford to replace it so we’re cleaning the hell out of it and thanking the gods that most of the common areas have hardwoods.) the cable turned on (HOPEFULLY!) and the roofers begin. We rent a truck on Saturday and move whatever big furniture won’t fit in my minivan. (Which – surprisingly – holds a LOT of stuff.) I haven’t boxed anything up yet because I’ve been painting so the moving day ought to be AWESOME.

Either way – I see the finish line. I see the finish-line of another race, anyway. Because once we’re living in the new house, we begin the process of making it home. Making it so I don’t jump at every strange sound and where I feel that since of relief when I pull into that driveway – instead of the other one. And maybe – JUST MAYBE – I’ll have other things to talk about once again.

A Few Miscellaneous Follow-Ups:

  • You’re right! Hardwoods are much easier to deal with than carpet. The copious amounts of painting have yielded a few paint-on-the-floor incidents (Not just from me! From the professionals too!) which are easy-as-pie to clean up on the hardwoods. (Once you let it dry, of course. Peels right off!)
  • Still haven’t committed to new dishes. Everytime I think I’ve made up my mind with brand/color/scheme – I get gun shy and worry about the commitment. I may end up putting this decision off for awhile.
  • We are going to take down the wallpaper after many of your horror stories…but…we have since discovered that wallpaper may have been painting over in at least one of our rooms. And we wouldn’t have noticed if we hadn’t replaced toilets or taken down smoke detectors. (To Replace! Don’t Panic!) So, I’m having mixed feelings about the issue. There is one room they did some sort of spackled/texture treatment to that we think resulted from the destruction of removing wallpaper – so obviously that room was bad. But there are two others we think were painted over and we didn’t notice. See? Mixed feelings. Either way – since it’s a hall we’re working we have the luxury of time so we’ll take it down, one inch at a time if necessary.

Happy Father’s Day


Today marks the second Father’s Day without my Dad. As most of you assured me, it has gotten easier. Sometimes I feel a little guilty about this. I believe I’d feel more guilty if my Dad’s dying wish hadn’t been, Get on with your life, already. Jeezus. It’s hard to feel too guilty for healing when you have actually felt more guilty for grieving since the person you loved wanted you to stop grieving EVEN BEFORE HE DIED. But grieve, I have. And on today, I miss him. I want to tell him about our new house and about me installing light fixtures, and putting screwdriver’s in my ponytail. I want to tell him about MrZ’s triathalon training group and LilZ’s class schedule for next year. I want to tell him about NikkiZ’s first tball season and about how it looks like she has her Daddy’s athletic talent. So, I miss him. I feel lonely sometimes, without him to talk to. But I would also want to tell him how close my brother and I have gotten since he died. About how he has helped me so much in the last year. I think that would make my Dad so happy. He was always thrilled we were close, but to know we’ve gotten even closer? That I often refer to my brother as “My BFF” – that would make my Dad very proud. Once I explained what a BFF was.

So — I don’t cry (as much) today as last year. I focus more on the fathers in my life. The wonderful Dad to my children and his wonderful Dad. Then there is my brother-in-law who is months away from becoming a Dad for the first time. I celebrate all of them today. And am blessed that my children have so man strong and wonderful male influences in their lives. Dad, Granddads, uncles and big brothers. I celebrate all of them today with a smile on my face and joy in my heart. And I say a silent Thank You to my own Dad for all he’s done for me in the past and all he’ll continue to do for me in my memories.

Daddy showing her the bases


A Few (More) Things About Painting

  • The professionals are painting parts of the house while I do the kid’s rooms. They paint doorways and windows and chair-rail FIRST with no taping. Then walls (with taping). Then baseboard and crown-moulding (with taping). I definitely see the logic in that as it allows for the cutting in at the easiest points (in my opinions) but going from white to color back to white again would KILL ME.
  • I walked in our master bedroom yesterday and the walls were painted there and in my bathroom. I hadn’t even taken “before” photos in there yet! THAT made the investment worth it right there. Just finishing up my day of painting (and cursing and crying) and walking into a different room that looks 10 times better requiring NO effort on my part. Yeah – the money could have bought us furniture but instead? It bought me sanity AND joy. Totally worth it.
  • Trim
  • Several of you ask why we have to paint before we move in. I’ll tell you why. See this fantastic wallpaper trim above? And by “fantastic” I mean “kinda ugly” – it was on our bedroom walls when we bought our current house five years ago. The walls were cream-ish and the trim and door were MAUVE. We ran out of time to re-do it and swore we’d do it after we moved in. Well, we’re doing it now. Because we’re selling it and moving out. If we weren’t going anywhere? It might have been another 5 years before we got around to it. This time? Since we’re hoping this is our Forever Home? We’re doing all rooms first we’re even considering doing in the near future. Because we know that the truth is – once we’re in the house? It will be pushed back for ninety million years.
  • The owner of the business doing our painting told MrZ yesterday that he peaked in the rooms I was painting when he was looking for me and they weren’t “bad at all.” That made me feel very good because I think I’ve made no less than nineteen million mistakes. I’m already planning what to hang where in the playroom to cover up my errros so they wont eat at MrZ’s brain forever. But still – Not bad at all! From a professional! Yay, Me.
  • What are your thoughts on painting over wallpaper. We have some in our upstairs hall where my sewing nook will be. It’s on the walls pretty good so we know we won’t be able to tear it off without damaging the drywall. Have you painting over wallpaper before? What lessons did you learn? Would you do it again or do you wish you had just taken it down and dealt with the damaged drywall later?

I promise I will do a real non-bullet point entry soon. The paint fumes have temporarily muted the part of my brain I used to form cohesive thoughts.

Cheating with the blog entries this week…BECAUSE THE PAINT FUMES ARE ROTTING MY BRAIN.

Idea stolen from Average Jane who stole it from other people. Perfect entry for a busy week.

30 Questions:

1. It’s 2AM and you are not home. You are more than likely:
In jail or the hospital. I’m never not at home at 2am.

2. What’s the last thing you spent more than $100 on?
Our new dining room table.

3. What do your bank checks look like?
Standard issue style from the bank.

4. Where did the shirt you are currently wearing come from?
Alabama Outdoor. It’s a Life Is Good shirt that I paint in.

5. Name something that will be on your Christmas wish list:
Hmmm. I have a birthday coming up and I guess I really want a day off. A day where the stuff I need to do gets done, but not by me.

6. What color is your toothbrush?
Green and white.

7. Name something you collect and tell us about it.
I kinda collect teacups because I inherited several from my Grandmother when she died my Junior year in high school.

8. Last restaurant you ate at. Who were you with? How was it?
We tried a new BBQ place (Moe’s) in town. It was very different and good, but also very expensive for a BBQ joint.

9. Who was the last person you bought a birthday card for?
MrZ’s brother a few weeks ago.

10. What is your worst bad habit?
Drinking waaaay too much diet coke.

11. Name a magazine to which you subscribe?
Entertainment Weekly

12. Your favorite pizza toppings?
I like pineapple and ham but I never get it because no one else likes it.

13. Whose number were you looking up the last time you used a phone book?
No clue.

14. Other than family, who is the person that you love most?
Cat Deeley – host from So You Think You Can Dance. (What? It’s a dumb question so I’m not taking it seriously.)

15. What is the last thing you cooked?
This weekend I cooked 2 casseroles and 1 vegetarian lasagna to bake this week while I painted. I can’t remember what order I did it in because it was kinda simultaneous.

16. Name something you wouldn’t want to buy used?
17. Which shoe do you put on first?
No clue

18. What is the last thing you remember losing?
Probably sunglasses

19. What is the ugliest piece of furniture in your house?
We have several. I’d say our couches win just because they’ve been destroyed by the animals. But our old dining room table is kinda hideous too.

20. Last thing you bought and ended up returning?
I’ll be returning some cabinet handles today because we bought the wrong size.

21. What perfume/cologne do you wear? If none, why?
I prefer scented lotions if I’m going to wear anything.

22. Your favorite board game?
I like Taboo but it doesn’t have a board so I’m not sure if that counts.

23. What was the last board game you played?
Curious George game of NikkiZ’s

24. Where did your vehicle come from?
Bill Penney Toyota in Huntsville

25. If a movie was made about your life what would the theme song be?
No idea. The question is too hard.

26. You’re sad, who can cheer you up easily?
My teenager, he’s the one who consistently can get me laughing so hard I cry.

27. What was the color of the bridesmaid dresses of the last wedding you went to?

28. What house cleaning chore do you hate to do the most?
Anything that isn’t obvious it was done, like cleaning blinds or baseboards. I hate doing work no one notices so mostly I just don’t do it.

29. What is your favorite way to eat chicken?
It the “Chicken Lip” form at the restaurant Wings here in town. With a “mild” sauce and ranch dressing for dipping.

30. It is your birthday. You hope the cake is?
Not a cake. I would just like a double helping of Half Baked ice cream from Ben & Jerry’s – thank you very much.