Friday Morning Coffee Date

Coffee Mug

In just a few hours, I will be headed to an “in person” coffee date with all of my bestie girls from church, but before we get ahead of ourselves, I am going to drink my coffee here and chat. (You can check out all of my coffee dates here).

If we were having coffee together right now, I’d tell you that….

Jesse and I had the “when should we have a 3rd baby” talk the other night. An actual serious talk. It kind of freaked me out, which tells me that I am NOT ready to have another baby, mostly because I hate pregnancy (there, I said it! now you know my secret!). The whole conversation actually reached this place where I said, “No, Jesse, tell me what you MEAN.” He looked confused, so I said, “No, tell me what your FEELINGS are about this.” We both looked at each other and then burst out laughing hysterically because of how stereotypical that all came out– guy says what he thinks, girl asks to know what he FEELS.

But, just to be clear, Baby #3 is far off, I can assure you. I’d much rather adopt than be pregnant again.

And yet, I bought a few baby girl clothes at a garage sale last Saturday (I know! I know! I have a problem!!). Just looking at them made my heart hurt, so I stopped the pain by buying them 🙂 I love having rambunctious little boys, but I want to buy pink things! Someday. Or now. Depends on my self control in the moment, really.

I have not done much Preschooling with Gregory this semester. I teach an elementary class online 4 days a week, and after I get done with the lesson planning and grading, part of me is just DONE. I feel bad about this, and I am making a concerted effort to do more things with him this coming year. He just turned 4, and he’s already sounding out words and reading some, so I think we can’t be too far behind in getting ready for Kindergarten, right? He’s always singing or painting too (he says, Momma, I’m your Painter Boy!).

Gregory watched the “Thriller” music video on Halloween, and hasn’t stopped talking about “the monster song” and practicing Michael Jackson-esque moves (especially in church!). I’m partly ashamed and partly proud. I don’t know which to be, really. Michael Jackson or Sesame Street? Motherhood is so confusing.

My family is FLYING OUT TO DALLAS FOR THANKSGIVING!!! I am so crazy excited about this, I can’t even put it into words. A whole week with my family, here in Dallas, the city I love! Both of my brothers got leave from the military, so it will the FIRST TIME we’ve all been together in over 2 years!!

I’m officially a yoga addict. More on that later. And I think I’m kind of good at it? Or I’m really bad and no one has the heart to tell me. Any-hoo.

We’ve been going to church a lot during the week. We try to go on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and then of course on Sundays. I mention this because I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about it. If church is something that keeps us spiritually healthy, shouldn’t we be going as often as possible? I mean, we get gym memberships to keep us physically fit, don’t we need church to keep us spiritually fit? I don’t think that church is something we can “grow out of”, and, personally, anybody who thinks they don’t need church is either in denial or going to the wrong church. I can say, there are a lot of churches out there that would not help me AT ALL spiritually, and I can definitely understand those people that leave in droves. I go to church because my life depends on it, quite literally. Mini-Rant-Over-and-Out.

Our foster boys were finally moved from the home we found for them in CA. I can already tell that this is for the best, and that they are doing much better as a result. Kids know when they’re not wanted, and it must be such a relief to be settled again! They have been separated, which breaks my heart, but God knows what they need. Gregory and I have been lighting candles for them every Sunday in front of St. John of San Francisco’s icon (he founded an orphanage and cares deeply for orphans and foster children). I also have been able to text one of the boys regularly, which does my Momma Heart good.

It’s SO COLD here now! Winter has definitely arrived. The leaves were just beginning to turn, due to our late and long Indian Summer here, but I kind of don’t care. I WANT SNOW!!! Speaking of which, I need to keep my eye out for snow boots for both boys. Last time we lived in Dallas, Gregory was just a bitty baby! I just know that both boys are going to want to play in the snow lots this winter, so boots I must find! I’d like them to also double as rain boots, so, you know, that challenge should get interesting.

I moved my herb garden into our sunroom, and the boys have mistaken it for a second sandbox. Sad Momma….

I went on a date with Jesse last night. An actual, real life, no kids allowed, date! This is only our second one since moving to Dallas. We hung out at the Galleria mall, spied on all the ice skaters, ate a few GIANT bacon burgers. Gregory got really jealous as we were about to leave, saying that only HE was allowed to go on dates with me, and that we should leave Dadda at home (awww!). He settled down with the promise of us bringing him back a small candy from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.

I’ve been getting a lot of cool opportunities to work with people in this blogging community. It’s been exciting, and for a blogger who just made it out of her rookie year? I’m all star struck and excited over here. More coming later!

I should probably throw on some pants and go to my ladies church gathering now…this was fun!

My Life Is Full of Drama (or, how moving is hard)

Dallas Townhome front

For some reason, Jesse and I do NOT have an easy time moving. We never have. I don’t know if we’re cursed, if we are picky, or if we aim too high, but for some reason, we always wind up in the most weird and stressful moving situations.

Remember in 2007, when we had to live in a drug-infested motel because our apartment wasn’t ready yet?

Or how I found out I was pregnant and Jesse totaled our car 5 days before we moved back to CA?

Or how about our horrific house-hunting saga where we endured close to 10 different escrows?

I don’t know why I expected this move to be any different. I mean, I have been preparing for this thing ALL frickin summer, trying my darndst to break the cycle. In some ways, moving so slowly over the course of 3 months was good because we got to say goodbye in stages. In other ways, however, it’s been like ripping off a bandaid in the slowest and most excruciating way possible.

But I should have known. Moving, despite how much ANYONE prepares, is always crummy. We rely on our home for safety when the storms blow. What to do when your home is in boxes, you can’t find anything, and you work sun-up to sun-down, dealing with countless frustrations and set backs?

Jesse always says that the only difference between moving and a bar fight is that at least at the end of a bar fight, you know where your stuff is.

Anyways, back to our moving drama. Since we had decided to rent our house, Jesse and I decided we were okay renting in TX, since we are building equity somewhere. We figured renting would be less stressful than buying.

Read: Less stressful. So, instead of it feeling like a crowbar to the face, it just felt like someone breaking our toes.

After weighing the pros and cons of lots of places, we decided to rent sight-unseen. I had read the reviews, all of which stated that the complex was older but well maintained. We aren’t familiar with the area of Dallas we’re moving to, but I’ve been assiduously checking the crime reports for months and I felt okay about this neighborhood. The 5 minute proximity to Jesse’s job and 2 of our best friends helped the deal too. Not to mention the fact that it was a dream come true for our budget (around $900/month for a 3 bedroom, utilities mostly paid).

When Jesse arrived in Dallas at the beginning of last week, it was almost 2 days before he could check out the complex. Mind you, we’d already paid a couple hundred of dollars to secure it, but we hadn’t “signed our names on the dotted line”, so to speak.

He hated it. Hate hate hated it. When he called me, his exact words were, “It’s not about to fall down, but…”

Maybe this part of the story would be better told in pictures.

A picture from the website

A picture from the website

lakefront villas 2

What Jesse saw when we got there

I knew that if Jesse was saying it was bad, it had to BA-HA-AD. If the roles were reversed? Perhaps not, but Jesse’s a go-with-the-flow guy, and for him to knowingly walk away from something we’d already set up and put money down on (not to mention, we’d already hooked up the utilities!), it had to mean it wasn’t going to work.

So, instead of spending all of his time and effort getting acquainted with his new job, Jesse had to drive around Dallas for 3 days, looking for new places for us to live, with less than a week until the boys and I were due to fly out. I was worried sick on this end in CA, spending all day on the phone calling places.

I called about one particular house, and a realtor/property manager picked up the phone. Right off the bat, I asked if the property was even available any more. She said, “Yes, it is, but why are you asking these questions? A good realtor would be able to help you with all of this.”

Silence on my end.

She continued: “Do you HAVE a realtor?”

“No.”

“Do you want some help?” she asked.

“YESSSS!!!!” I half sobbed, and then I proceeded to start crying on the phone.

Within 3 hours, she had already found us the perfect place and had driven Jesse to the bank to get the deposit money and sign the lease. BOOM.

And that, my friends, is the dramatic story of how we ended up with a 2 bedroom town home with nearly the same square footage as our house in CA, but half the monthly price of our mortgage. The best part is that it’s only a 2 minute drive from Jesse’s work (around a 20 minute walk, if the weather is permitting!).  It’s on a quiet and safe culdesac, and the HOA pays for a pool and a playground! There are even hardwood floors! 🙂 But my FAVORITE part is that there is a large sunroom in the back, something I’ve always wanted in a home. It’s right off the kitchen, so it will make the perfect playroom for the boys.

The boys and I drive to LA tomorrow to pick up Jesse from the airport, where we will then go to his brother’s wedding and fly out to Dallas on Friday. Pray for a safe and uneventful last chapter of our move!

Did I Really Just Play Basketball???

Last night, we had an alumni basketball game. The first game was for the alumni girls (Jesse watched all 4 of our boys in the stands!), and since only 10 of us showed up, it was 5 on 5, the entire 40 minutes! No breaks!

Now, I know I’ve talked before about how much I love Blogilates, but as faithful as I am, those give me a strong core–NOT the ability to run nonstop up and down the court for nearly an hour!

HOLY MOLY. I was so sore and so winded, I thought I was going to die. My team kept joking that we weren’t looking to win, just to survive.

I tell you what, though. It was a ton of fun. For the first time in my life, I was able to put aside any competitive spirit and just let loose and have a blast. I didn’t even know that my team was up by 10 until the half. I definitely made stupid mistakes (the ball actually hit me in the face because I was looking into the stands to make sure my kids were okay, haha!). But I actually made 10 points! And I didn’t barf!

This is what I call a win.

In case you couldn’t tell, I’m #1, by the way. They had actually phased out my number by the time they made these newer uniforms, so I had to pick a random one (get it?).

Here are some highlights!

1. I swished both of my freethrows!

Alumni Game 5

2. I kept trying to find the photographer and flash peace signs.

Alumni Basketball game

 

3. They announced us by our graduation year. I was the oldest year (2003), but not the oldest player, since I skipped a grade.

Alumni Game 6

 

4. We ran around forEVER…

Alumni Game 2

 

5. … we tried to catch a breath during free throws…

Alumni Game 4

6. And we had a really good time resting once it was over!

Alumni Game 7

Halloween, Maternity Style

No, this is not a pregnancy announcement. For today, I’ve decided to reminisce about our Halloween 2 years ago, when we dressed Gregory up for the very first time as a 12 month old and went Trick or Treating around the block.

Halloween 2011

 

It may be hard to see what my costume was–after all, this picture was back in my Blackberry camera days. At the last minute, I decided to put a box around my 17 week preggo self and declare it an oven.  “Bun in the oven”. Get it?

This costume of Gregory’s was the first and last I’ll ever make. Since our last name is “Cone”, I made him into a cute little icecream cone, complete with the cherry on top! Within 5 minutes of this picture he had already ripped it to shreds. After all the work that went into it.

Needless to say, I’ve been buying costumes off of eBay ever since.

What are some great maternity costume ideas? Heaven knows, I’ll probably need another one SOMEDAY (again, this is SO not a pregnancy announcement, for reals for reals).