May 30, 2005

Moving stinks!!

So we are in the part of packing where we have lots of little things around and now we just have to deal with it. We have finished the dining room, my office, Mike’s office and almost the whole living room and dining room. The kitchen is about 80% there. The last things are the dishes, pots and pans and the stuff in the fridge which will all go out in the garbage on Friday morning. The final details of the house painting are done (note to self, finish painting in same week you start, so you dont have to do it a year later when you are moving ). The garage is 85% there. We identified everything to be tossed and kept and divided it all up. Large item pickup comes Friday and then the garage will be completed. The upstairs is the last big part left to be packed. I am finding it very hard to pack up my clothes since we still have a week here, and then I have to essentially pack two bags – one for Philadelphia (Wedding clothes, An outfit for Mike’s college reunion, etc…) and one for our trip. We're also nervous that the truck we rented may not be big enough...but we shall see.

So far, I have made three trips to Goodwill, and put a bunch of stuff on freecycle, which was snapped up. I also sold some furniture to a consignment shop here in town, and got rid of the washer dryer combo on freecycle too, which killed me to give away... but when they guy came to pick it up, I felt like I had just done a good thing. It is so interesting, the people that show up for freecycle things. This guy drive over from the mountains. His name was Beeny. He clearly didn’t have much, so I felt good giving it to someone who I knew was really going to appreciate it and use it.

The online garage sale idea went over well too. We made about $300…. So today I went and bought myself a new pair of sandals to reward myself for the sale profits. They are sort of like Teva’s, but with a toe strap. Chacos I think they are called. They are really comfortable. Although they were kind of expensive. But now my tevas are going in the trash. They are about 12 years old and I noticed after wearing them for 3 days, my feet were killing me. Mike will get a pair of sandals too, and then we will also buy a camp stove with the money we made.

We spent some time with our friends over the weekend and mostly we have just been trying to stay motivated (it is hard!) and to keep plugging away at this packing and purge-ing stuff. I can’t believe that this time next week, we will be done! I bought Mike tickets to the Phillies game on Monday afternoon so that we could just goof off a little bit and kind of get in “vacation mode”. I can't wait for the trip to start!!

okay off to dinner.

May 24, 2005

The week after graduation

so we are packing and packing here at the house. Our plan is to move all of the stuff into our U-Haul truck on Thursday, June 2nd. We'll stay one last night in the house and then spend the morning cleaning and packing last minute things. We'll hit the highway after lunch and roll into Philadelphia Friday night. On Saturday the 4th, we will unpack the truck into our storage facility and then rest up.

We have lots planned fo rour first week in Philadelphia -- concerts, a Phillies game, lots of doctors appointmens, haircuts, conferences, dinners and the like. The following weekend we will attend a graduation party, wedding and reunion cocktail party all in one night (all on friday). Then we have several additional things scheduled for the rest of the weekend and then we "push off" on our trip on Monday morning. We can't wait to go!!!!!!

Mike's Graduated!!

I am pleased to report that on Sunday, May 22nd Mike graduated – and it was wonderful to watch him receive his diploma and to celebrate all of our hard work over the last two years. He also received an award for academic excellence and the future promise within the profession. I am very proud!

It was a long weekend of partying, and it took almost all day yesterday for us to recover!

Here are some photos!

En route to graduation

Leigh had this bagel breakfast for graduates and their partners. That's millie Anne, Leigh and Leigh's boyfriend Mike.

Mike had to make a pit stop on the way to the Lawn exercises.

Then time for putting on the hats...
And finally, here we are at Graduation Day. Mike's waiting for me to find my helmet. We were running late for the bagel breakfast and toast at Leigh's.

Mike and his parents

Mike and his parents after commencement

Mike and I after his commencement
That's Mike getting his diploma from Dean vanLegen

Charlottesville friends

some of the graduation
there we are leaving graduation
Here are all the people hanging at the rotunda watchng/listening to Graduation
there goes Mike, walking away

May 21, 2005

Partying on the Vespa

That's us getting ready to go to Matt Robbie's Graduation party.

last bonfire photo

That's Millie Anne, Mike, Tom and Melissa at the bonfire. then my camera ran out of batteries.

another bonfire photo

okay, I was a bit blurry towards the end of the night... but that's Summer's head, then Emily, nicky, leigh and Kirt hanging by the bonfire.

Friday night bonfire

On Friday night, we had a bonfire in the backyard. this is Melissa and Tom wnjoying the warm fireside seats!

May 20, 2005

Cross Country Trip planning

Speaking of the cross country trip (weren't we?), its starting to take shape.

We have a few family and college reunion-type obligations the weekend of June 10th, but we plan to leave almost immediately after those, so I think we will be leaving Philadelphia on June 12th and driving through Ohio where hopefully we wills top and see some of my college friends (Ohio State) and their kids. From there we will propbably head straight to Minneapolis, MN for the Walt Mink rock show on June 17th at the Triple Rock Social Club. Luckily, we are on the guest list for this sold out show, and are looking forward to seeing our friend Chris Butler do his final taping for
Walt Mink the Movie ...which we are excited to see him complete. He and what he has done with this movie, is actually pretty inspiring all around when you think about it, and if you know him, you know how hard he is working on this.

After we leave Minneapolis we will be well on our way to taking "the Northern Route", so next we will probably hit Yellowstone and try to camp there for a few days. We'll take our time getting to Seattle, then we will drive down the coast stopping in Portland to see some folks, and then making our way down to the Bay Area where we hope to visit with lots of friends and family, and also attend the wedding of my cousin Scott McGrath and his awesome fiance, Lisa McDonnell.

May 19, 2005

Another quick photo of Maggie

Week before Graduation

Well I have just posted a lot of photos of what we've been up to so scroll down to view them.

What I haven't taken photos of, is the disaster zone of our house. We're moving out on june 3rd, and so we're trying to do five boxes a day, so that we don't kill ourselves and can have a little fun over memorial day weekend. But the truth is, we arent so motivated, plus we have a million loose ends to tie up with the old house and new house before we go on our cross country trip.

So other than the beginning of the week, which was a little rocky due to some family stuff, we're doing pretty good and plugging away at our lists. This weekend should be a lot of fun. We are having a bonfire at our house on Friday night (so we are hoping the rain holds off). So far, we have the usual suspects coming as well as some neighbors, some friends of Mike's from Designing Matter (the course he student taught) , the Engineering school and GreenBlue (where he worked during much of Grad school).

on Saturday Mike wants to take some time to hang out with one another before the madness begins so we may just do a visit to the farmer's market or a nice hike on Saturday. on Saturday afternoon, we will be attending Matt Robbie's barbeque. On Sunday, its graduation day and so we are going to try to make it as fun as possible...we'll be zipping off on the Vespa to check Mike in and then meeting some friends for Mimosa's before the ceremony begins. The graduation exercises are basically ALL DAY LONG, so after all of that, we are fortunate enough to be hitting a good party with our good friend and neighbor (who lives across the street) Summer. We know it will be great because Summer is busy cookin up a storm. So that will be a fun way to end our day, with friends and good cheer. And it will probably be the last time we see everyone from the Planning program in one place.

More Maggie

Maggie wasn't real happy about her carseat.

Maggie and the boys

That's Mike and Bryan calming Maggie down in front of our house before we went to Sunday brunch. I guess she was hungry!

Maggie's first party

Mike's brother Bryan and his family showed up on Saturday and came to the final planning party. Maggie (in the sack) was a total hit.

Wine Tasting 1

That's Magnum PI (I mean Brent) staking out the wine tasting room for us.

Wine Tasting 2

Okay we are starting to have some fun!!!

Wine tasting 4

Some of the kids (matt, Lauren, Summer, Leigh)

Wine Tasting 3

That's Jess getting a fill-up by our schoolmarm tasting room lady. Mike is trying to trick her by going to the end of the line for another refill.

Wine tasting 5

The Planning Association put on this great wine tasting day for us all -- so here we are about to start the marathon wine tasting at Oakencroft.

Charlottesville Friends on the roof

Those are some of our Charlottesville pals. from Left to right top row, that's Reid, Chris, Kirt, Matt, Mike. bottom Row, Melissa, Summer, Jen, Karin.

Charlottesville Fridays

Fridays After Five in Charlottesville. At this particular one, we saw a lot of friends and neighbors. We were a little woozy from the Meters of Beer though. (Well I was...)
One last college try...
Look at Matt go!!!
There's Matt and Matt. Looking Happy to be done school!!!
That's us drinking a METER of Beer on Mike's last day of school. wow, that was a lot of beer.
the Planners chatting it up at the party

May 12, 2005

Final day of school work!!!

I am not making much headway here with packing, and I need to clean up the house as well as make some more calls to line up the movers and storage unit and stuff. We have an electrician going to the new house to estimate the cost of remediation to the electrical stuff on Friday and so by Saturday morning we will know how much its likely to cost and then we'll ask for the current owners to give us a credit towards that work and the chimney stuff.

Mike is still working on his last (30 page) paper, which is due tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. I haven't seen him much this week, so we probably will just goof off on Saturday and then start packing and cleaning in earnest next Monday. I am so excited for him to be done! its been 3 weeks of nonstop work for him, and I know he is really ready to move on!
The Trekkers returned from Bhutan last week. That's my mom saying hello to one of the kids who lived along the Trek!

May 11, 2005

Inspection negotiations

So we received the inspection report and just talked to our realtor, Greg about it all. Seems that the biggest and most concerning issues are getting the chimney cleared out of debris, and getting a liner; which is estimated to cost about $2000.00! Yikes!!! The other thing we have to do is repair the circuit breaker box and wiring and then figure out where the tube and knob is connected, as well as repair some of the outlets. So now Greg is getting an electrician to go over there on Friday and give us an estimate on the electrical repairs, and then we will go back to the sellers to ask for some remediation.

There are some other things we’ll need to repair eventually -- coating the roof with some kind of aluminum oxide paint to help preserve the life of the roof and removing three asbestos pipe wrappers in the basement as well as repairing one of the radiators on the third floor, but we aren’t asking for remediation on those items. We’re most concerned about the air quality and safety issues and we’d rather put all of our attention into getting those items remediated immediately.

So, now, before we do anything else in the house, we will be having the chimney cleaned, the liner installed and the electrical work done. Hopefully we can schedule the work for the first week that we move in, and at the same time, we can work on ripping up the rugs and tearing down wallpaper, and then we’ll have the movers (mambo movers) come to deliver our furniture and boxes in the 2nd or 3rd week of August.

May 10, 2005

Happy Photos

Emma and Maya McCain. Christy sent me these adorable photos last week. I miss them!!!!

Mike's approval

Mike is excited about the house! But he cant believe how big it is. (Me niether) and how much wallpaper there is to take down.

House Inspection Day

So the house inspection went pretty well. Mike loved the layout of the house and the flow and the high ceilings but he was floored by the amount of wallpaper. Its almost everywhere, especially in the master bedroom – its this very thick striped paper. He said “I don’t think I can sleep in there even one night, its so busy in there!”. There are some other funky kinds of things in the house besides the wallpaper – the bathrooms will need a little help to look their best and the third floor – well we aren’t going to do anything to it for a while, but it will need some major cosmetic work since its all paneling up there.

The only things that we found that are “of real note” are:
  • Some tube & knob wiring (third floor but rest of house appears to be newer wiring)
  • Some rearranging needs to be done to the circuit box
  • The chimney needs a liner, and needs to be cleared of debris
  • The basement stairs need some sure-ing up.
Now we talk to the realtor after we get the actual report and we’ll then negotiate those items. The tube and knob wiring and electrical stuff, we will ask for a credit towards changing it out, since it’s a “have to” item based on modern day needs (like computers) and since it’s a fire hazard. I have no idea how much it would cost if we had an electrician do it. And I’d like the liner and cleaning of fireplace done before we move in, but I would also be happy if they provided credit towards it and then we could do it after we’re in. The roof isn’t new – its about ten years old, so it may have to be maintained, but otherwise it looked okay. The second floor roof has a great view, and Mike was excited about the prospect of a roof deck. But I felt pretty good that there wasn’t much else. The inspector was very helpful and full of good information.

Here is a link to some photos that we took of the house!!

May 7, 2005

Millie Anne's Birthday

Mille Anne's 29th birthday. She looks excited for Sushi!!! And look at that boat of food they polished off!!! YUM!!!!

May 6, 2005

More Maggie. Boy she's slippery!!

Little Maggie at 4 weeks

Mike's mom, Bernadette, decided to come for a visit to Virginia to see us and Bryan's family and their new baby. So after we got the house, Bernadette and I drove down together and then she stayed the night. The next day we went and had lunch with Meredith and Maggie in Richmond. She looks a bit nervous about having me hold her...geez, as if I was thinking about eating her for lunch or something!

We took Maggie on her first shopping trip. She hasnt changed all that much yet but she is still very very cute. She still has these very big hands, which makes me happy...I wont be the only big footed, big handed girl in the family anymore!!
Here is Maggie looking a bit weary with Bernadette after a long day of shopping. I think we wore her out (even though she slept almost the whole time).

May 4, 2005

Found a House!!

So after what felt like days of searching, Greg took me down to South Philly to look around. And when I walked on to this block on 13th Street, I felt really really good about it. I really felt like it was a place where I felt comfortable and like I would be able to get involved with neighbors. It reminded me of Brooklyn a bit. The hosue was a bit crazy inside with wallpaper but it had good bones.The owner had obviously taken very good care of it. Later, I met the neighbor across the street who is bringing trees back to the streets down there. I just like that people sit on their stoops and know everyone. So maybe that says it right there. The other thing that helped me is that David, Mike's brother, and his partner Robin, live RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET. They moved in to their apartment in March and they seem to really like the nieghborhood.

A few days later, after I had looked at a million other places, my dad I rode around the city and went back past the 13th street house. He noticed how well kept it looked, and how the brick had just been repointed. He really liked the block and then asked “So why haven’t you made an offer on it?”. We talked through the issues, and he told me he thought it met our criteria even though it looked like a grandmother’s house inside (good amount of space, well kept, has potential, good block, walking distance…13 blocks to 11th and spruce, etc…etc…) and that the grandmother-like cosmetics like venetian blinds, wallpaper and carpet were all lot easier than making structural repairs or putting on a new roof. He was I made an offer....and negotiated...and now we have a house!

Its on a beautiful block, but in South Philly of all places!!! 1416 S. 13th street. We’ll call it mummer’s headquarters for 2006. I will have to hurry and order the plastic slipcovers for my sofa. Inspection is next Monday. It is obviously not exactly my decorating taste inside, so we will be doing some wallpaper removal and carpet replacing ASAP (Clear the week of July 29 would you? ha ha), I also hate the country-time look of the kitchen cabinets, but don’t know that I can change those for a while….we’ll see - my Dad seems to think he can help me work some magic to make it more modern looking. But it has an awesome roof for a roofdeck, a little backyard and, best of all, it is literally located right across the street from Mike’s brother David and Robin’s house, so the Dunn’s will be taking over the block! The block is really cute and full of trees and stuff. I have my own stoop. And the victor cafĂ© is right around the corner. It’s a bit bigger than we had wanted and not as close-in town, but the subway is right there and the price was competitive, and so I think we are just going to rent a room out for a while so I have some company while Mike is away.

We settle July 28 and move in early August pending all things going well with inspection.

May 1, 2005

Prom Queen part 2

Katie and her prom date in front of their house. She looked amazing in this gorgeous green dress that she and my mom bought in Philadelphia.

Senior Prom

So that's my cousin Katie, going to her Senior Prom. I stopped over there to see her off after a day of househunting.

Meeting new babies

While I was home I got to see my friend Denise and her adorable new baby, Camille. We had lunch in Glenside where Denise and Danny just bought a totally adorable house.