Pregnancy Update: 28 Weeks with Baby #2

How far along? Just over 28 weeks.



My SIL and I at 27 weeks. We have the same due date!

Gender? Girl!

Baby’s size? She’s the size of a large eggplant, about 2 1/4 pounds.

Weight gain? I think about 15-16 pounds.



Belly button in or out? Very much out! Finley loves poking it. Actually, it’s so far out, I wonder if it’s a hernia.

Wedding rings on or off? On.

Sleep? Good! I’ve been sleeping with a pillow between my legs on some nights. I’m up to use the bathroom two times a night.

Best moment of the week? Being outside last week was amazing! It felt so great to have sunshine on my skin, watch Finley play at the park and color with chalk, and sit on our back patio.



Looking forward to? Hopefully passing my glucose tolerance test on Tuesday. This time around, my blood is drawn at 7:40am, and I’ll avoid eating breakfast to throw off the results. Last time, I failed the first test and had to take the three hour test, which I passed, but it still was not a fun way to spend that much time.

Miss anything? Wine and not being in almost constant discomfort (from the varicose veins).

Movement? Yes – a lot! This baby likes to move, especially at night after dinner when we’re watching tv or lying in bed. I love it!

Food cravings? Nothing really. Brody and I each had a hankering for a peanut butter milkshake after seeing one on tv, and we’ve since had two.

Anything making you sick or queasy? Nope.

Exercise? I had a strong start to the week and worked out the first three days, but it didn’t happen after that. There was a lot more walking this week, though, and I guess that counts.

Symptoms? Heartburn (I heart Tums), varicose veins, and linea nigra.

Labor signs? I believe I’m feeling Braxton Hicks at times, especially when I’m working out. 

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend!

Meal Plan for Saturday, January 31 – Thursday, Feb. 5

Happy Sunday!

I did my meal planning on Saturday morning because I knew I’d have the opportunity to grocery shop alone during Finley’s nap. Brody’s dad is visiting from Switzerland, so while he and Brody watched a documentary about The Basement Tapes (amazing by the way!), I drove to Copps in Middleton.

I prefer to do my grocery shopping at Woodmans, but I knew it would be busy and I didn’t feel like driving into Sun Prairie for the fifth time in a week. One benefit of this store is there’s a Starbucks in the same strip mall area, so I picked up a decaf Americano with a few pumps of skinny mocha.

This week’s meals are nothing spectacular and include lots of leftover nights because Brody will be gone skiing and my mom will be visiting. This was a chance to make a couple things Brody doesn’t love or won’t eat that I will enjoy and make for good leftovers.

Saturday: carry out from Salvatore’s (we had the Forestiere and Forza)
*Brody’s dad loves their pizza like we do, so we knew we’d have it one night he was here. We picked it up after taking Finley ice skating for the first time.

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Sunday: Ohio Farmhouse Sausage Chili (from The Joy of Cooking), cornbread, and side salad

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Monday: leftovers and/or something from the freezer

Tuesday: Emily’s sloppy joes on baked potatoes

Wednesday: The Pioneer Woman’s chicken spaghetti

Thursday: leftovers

Friday: leftovers

Are you watching the Super Bowl? We will be, although I may be hitting up a prenatal yoga class from 4:30-5:30pm. Then I’ll come home to watch football, chase Finley around and eat yummy food.

Pregnancy Update: 22 weeks with Baby #2

Hi! Happy Tuesday afternoon!

I’m blogging again – crazy. Let’s talk about pregnancy. I doubt I’ll do pregnancy updates as often as I did with my first, but here’s at least one to get things started. 

   How far along? Almost 22 weeks

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*picture from about a week ago 

 
Gender? Girl!

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Baby’s size? Spaghetti squash (11 inches, almost 1 pound). 

 

Weight gain? 11 lbs. This is more than I had gained at this point with Finley but I was about five pounds less starting out than I was pre-pregnancy with Finley. So whatever. 

Belly button in or out? Kind of out already.

Wedding rings on or off? On. I had forgotten I took them off at night during my first pregnancy.

Sleep? Good. I go to sleep around 9:30pm, wake up twice to use the bathroom around 11pm and 3am, and I’m up for the day around 6am. 

Best moment(s) of the week? Family trip to Chicago! Brody took Friday off and we drove down Thursday night. On Friday morning, we had breakfast at The Bongo Room and spent two and a half hours at the Shedd Aquarium.

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Miss anything? Stomach sleeping. 

Looking forward to? Brody’s dad is visiting and staying with us this weekend. We’re excited for him to spend a lot of time with Finley. On the baby front, we looking at decor for her room, so that’s fun. 

Movement? I’ve been feeling movement inside for a few weeks, and recently, movement with my hand on the belly.

Food cravings? A few weeks back, I was into Raisin Bran, but otherwise, not much. I have been loving oranges but I wouldn’t say it’s a craving.

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Anything making you sick or queasy? As with my first pregnancy, whole chicken breasts gross me out.  

Exercise? Meh. I try to get to the gym twice a week, whether that’s for a kickboxing class or a session on the elliptical. I did attend a prenatal yoga class at Dragonfly in Middleton with my other pregnant friend, Mel. I bought a ten class package, so that’ll be good for me. 

Symptoms? The varicose veins (on legs and elsewhere) are baaaaack. Yuck. They’re so much worse than last time. I got fitted for compression leggings but haven’t been good about wearing them. The waistband hits at an awkward spot and either gives me ridiculous muffin top or two pregnant bellies. I spoke to my doctor about options if these don’t go away after giving birth. They did with Finley, so fingers crossed they will disappear again…immediately. 

Labor signs? Nope. 

 Have a good day!

Meal Plan 1/11/15-1/17/15

Brody and I have let our preferred way of eating slide over the last couple months. We both felt great sticking to a mainly grain-free diet, and as I mentioned, Brody dropped a significant amount of weight.

Then I got pregnant. All I wanted to eat for the month of October was carbs. Tortilla chips (GF, but still). Bagels with cream cheese. Bread. Cereal. I went to town. I felt nauseated almost every day for a month, and the thought of food, especially meat, would make me want to hurl (which I never did, thank goodness). I could barely meal plan. I’d go to Costco and come home with Aussie bites (which Finley ate most of), mozzarella sticks, fish sticks, pre-made Caesar salad and tomato basil soup.

My grain-loving self then rubbed off on Brody, and he found himself “cheating” more.

The last straw was the holidays. There’s no avoiding all the sugar, carbs and booze (unless you have an allergy and/or are pregnant).

Now that life has returned to normal and my appetite is back, Brody and I are trying to get back on track. Much of this falls on me since I’m the one who grocery shops and meal plans. While pregnant, though, I’m still going to keep some grains in my diet. They do not cause me discomfort, I’m not looking to lose weight, and they make me happy.

Lunches (for me): beef and barley soup
*I used the broth, which had been in our deep freezer, I made from the leftover rib roasts from Christmas.

Sunday: Calzones (from Brittany Angel’s book, Every Last Crumb)

Monday: Steak stir fry

Tuesday: Crock Pot ginger chicken (a freezer meal) and roasted broccoli

Wednesday: Smoked kielbasa (from Costco) and roasted potatoes

Thursday: Pork Szechuan stir fry

Friday: Wing it/order takeout

Saturday: Dinner at The Immigrant Room at The American Club in Kohler!!!

Sorry I don’t have many actual recipes this week, as this was kind of a “clean out the freezer” week. Next week maybe I’ll be more adventurous and interesting.

Christmas 2014

We bought the house we did because we wanted to be able to host our families and give as many people beds as possible. This Christmas was the first go at that, and I’d say it went splendidly!

I’ll avoid a detailed recap and just share pictures (which are mostly of Finley) with some captions/explanations.

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We watched Mickey Mouse Christmas Carol on Wednesday.

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Brody ordered matching pajamas. We modeled them for the rest of our family Christmas Eve after Finley had gone to sleep. Nothing says “the holidays” like footie Christmas jammies and booze (for Brody, not me obv).

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Finley ate the rest of the cookies left behind by Santa Christmas morning. She had a lot of sugar that day.

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We did manage to take a sleepy-eyed family shot.

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Here’s a good view of our tree and Finley’s new kitchen, a gift from her grandpa.

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The tea set from Grandma Lee was a hit.

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Breaks from gift opening were needed Christmas morning, mainly to eat Sara Lee coffee cake and drink coffee.

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We helped Finley get started on the unwrapping, but once a corner was torn, she did a pretty good job finishing up.

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Finley had lots of gifts to open, including a ton of books.

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We saved a few presents for Finley to open once Grandma Chris, Aunt Laura and future Uncle Ben arrived.

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Grandma Lee reading a new book to Finley.

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Uncle Dan was a trooper and put up with a lot of estrogen during their visit.

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This is how we managed to prevent a meltdown during Christmas dinner. She loves the episode Mickey Mouse Saves Santa.

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The holidays were exhausting for Moose as well.

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Finley and her Aunt Erin made a delicious eggnog loaf the day after Christmas.

Thanks to my sister and SIL for taking some of the photos above (which I stole off of Facebook).

I hope everyone had a happy holiday! Now is it just me or is it time for all these decorations to come down? 😄

Christmas Cookie Frosting Tradition

It’s December 17, and I have yet to bake a Christmas cookie. Whaaat?!?! As someone with a giant sweet tooth, that is so very wrong. Normally I do a cookie exchange with two teacher friends I met during my semester long stint at a high school in Janesville, but that didn’t happen this year. Also, Brody’s office has been a sugar bomb lately, and the last thing he wants to come home to are cookies. Or does he…?

Growing up, my grandparents (my mom’s folks) would come over before Christmas every year to help my sister and I frost sugar cookies. My mom would make the dough, cut them out, and bake them (and maybe we helped?), while Laura and I got to do the fun stuff with Grandma and Grandpa.

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Sweet rollers, huh?

*Random fact: My grandma’s name is Shirley, but my grandpa calls her Kate. It’s more of a “pet” name, but I’ve never heard him call her by her real name.

Even when my sister and I were in college, we’d find time to continue this tradition.

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There’d be frosting made from milk, butter and powdered sugar of all different colors, sprinkles, and red hot candies. My grandpa would show us his “Indian trick” where he’d swirl two different colors of frosting on one cookie. We’d end up with snowmen, Santa Clauses, Christmas trees, boots, stars, and angels all in various colors.

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Of course the tradition of it made this so special. I hope to continue this with our kids, whether they frost cookies with Brody and I, their grandparents, or aunts and uncles. But, I’d say the other special part of making cookies was eating them. My mom’s sugar cookies are incredible. She sent me a text picture of her recipe, and you lucky people are going to see it now, in all of its buttery glory.

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Can’t you see the love and happiness in the worn and torn edges?

This afternoon while Finley napped, I made the dough.

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My plan was to make a half batch, but I accidentally forgot to halve the sugar, so in went two more sticks of butter. Because we have plans this afternoon post-nap, I didn’t make any of the cookies. I think I’ll bake and frost some tomorrow to bring to a kids’ holiday party through my weekly play group. Maybe this weekend, Finley, Brody and I can all frost cookies together.

A Day in the Life [12-11-14]

What better way to fill you in on my life than a this-is-what-I-did-in-day-if-you-care-at-all post. Oh, and it never shows up in what we did today, but I’m pregnant and due June 4! Finley will have a little brother or sister who is almost two years younger than her.

5:50am: Finley is awake but it’s too early for everyone.

5:55am: I’ve successfully soothed her back to sleep.

6:20am: Now she’s awake for real.

6:25am: Diaper change

6:30am: Sesame Street in Mom and Dad’s bed

7:00am: Breakfast with The Today Show playing in the background

7:30am: Bake pumpkin muffins

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7:40am: Finley watches the rest of the Sesame Street episode.

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8:00am: Diaper change

8:05am: Play time with breaks to sample the muffins

9:30am: Drop off at gym’s daycare

9:35am: Kickboxing class for Mama

10:25am: Shower…alone with no toddler trying to open my hairspray or use Qtips

10:35am: Pick up Finley from daycare

11:00am: Home and diaper change

11:10am: Lunch

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11:35am: Play with Mom’s wallet and attempt to eat coins

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11:45am: Read books in Finley’s room

12:00pm: Diaper change

12:10am: Sing “Twinkle Twinkle” and put Finley in her crib

12:20pm: Finley is asleep.

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12:25pm: Make Starbucks hot chocolate

12:45pm: Address Christmas cards in the basement

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1:20pm: Work on this post

2:00pm: Odds and ends: make guac (avocados were on their last legs), fold laundry, brush teeth (whoops, hadn’t done that yet today), pick up a little, etc.

2:30pm: Relax on the couch, meal plan, and make grocery list

2:55pm: Finley is awake – quite a nap!

3:00pm: She has a kids Chobani tube and we watch Mickey’s Christmas Carol. *Normally we only watch an hour or less of tv a day (typically Sesame Street), but I saw this recorded and wanted to see it too.

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3:30pm: Finley eats peanut butter granola with milk, and I have crackers and cheese.

4:00pm: Walk the dogs – Finley cries for the last half of it while I try to keep her happy by singing “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and the ABCs.

4:30pm: Home and diaper change

4:40pm: Play and wait for Dad to come home (plus another diaper change at some point)

5:25pm: Brody is home, and I watch while he entertains Finley.

6:10pm: Dinner – we all fend for ourselves.

6:40pm: Finley gets a bath.

6:55pm: Brody and I read Finley holiday books.

7:10pm: Lights out for our little one

7:15pm: Couch, pineapple, tv (Blackhawks are playing), Facebook, blogs, Instagram, text with my sister, and this post

8:45pm: Get ready for bed

9:00pm: Lights out for the adults

A Weekend in DC

Good morning!

I’ve got some free time while all the kiddos (Finley plus the two I watch a couple days a week) sleep and wanted to share our weekend trip to DC.

We flew in late Thursday night, and Finley fell asleep sprawled out across our laps. She stayed asleep in our arms as we got off the plane and walked to get our bags.

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Erin and Dan have a one bedroom condo and were kind enough to give us their bedroom for the weekend. Erin’s friend loaned us all the baby gear we needed (pack n play, car seat, high chair, etc), and the pack n play was already set up in their bedroom.

Friday morning began around 7:15am (Finley slept in!!!). Erin and Dan both had to work, so the morning was ours. Brody, Finley and I walked to Starbucks and Target and then strolled around for a bit.

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Erin was able to come home early, so we went to lunch with her. We drove to Union Market.

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What a cool place! There were lots of food vendors and “stores” set up inside. Brody got a burger, Finley ordered a grilled cheese, and Erin and I had Korean tacos. Yum!

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We hung out at their condo for the rest of the day. We drank, relaxed on the couch, watched Finley chase Chester, and ate dinner on the back patio.

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Saturday morning, Finley woke us up before 7am, and to let Erin and Dan sleep a little more, we took a walk to Starbucks (basically the only coffee shop open before 8am – crazy!!!) and a bakery for croissants.

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After her (and my) morning nap, Finley took her first ever train ride.

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We took the train to a BBQ place. I had the BBQ Chef Salad because it had four kinds of meat on it – the perfect sampler!

Next up was the zoo. Unfortunately the rain cut our stay there short, but we still had fun seeing elephants, gorillas, and pandas. It was even one of the pandas first birthdays.

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We decided to walk back to the condo from the zoo even though it was still raining. Finley didn’t mind, and we were already wet from being at the zoo. At the condo, everyone napped. Yes, that means I took two naps on Saturday. Pretty amazing vacation, right?

Once again, we stayed at the condo for the rest of the day and had a delicious meal.

On Sunday our flight didn’t leave until 2pm, so we spent the morning being lazy and eating eggs and bacon.

The flight home went just fine. The problems arose once we got back to our car in Milwaukee. The battery was dead, and we couldn’t find the parking ticket. Yikes! My smart husband called the airport’s information desk, who sent out a guy with jumper cables. He was at our car in two minutes, and a few minutes later, the car was running. Phew! Then, while Brody packed the car, I searched by the driver’s seat for the ticket. And I found it! Phew again! Two potentially pricey mishaps avoided.

It was a fabulous trip and so good to spend time with Erin and Dan!

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I Whine for a Bit and Then List Ten Happies (not a real word)

Like everyone, I’m in shock that it’s August already. In my previous life as an English teacher, this is when I would start to freak out/get excited about the beginning of a new school year. I’d be planning units, getting my classroom ready, and reconnecting with colleagues. I miss that. Whoa – I didn’t intend for this post to get all down-in-the-dumps so quickly, but it’s been a little rough around here lately.

Big “first world problems” happening in our household. For one, as I explained already, we sold our house. Fast. Now we don’t have a new house to move into…that is unless you count our friends’ basement. We’ve been packing up the last seven years of our lives, and our dining and living rooms are filled with boxes. The walls are empty and closets are half full. It’s sad, but I’m okay. We are so incredible fortunate to have amazing friends who have offered up space in their house to live and/or store some of our belongings that we don’t want in storage.

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This week, we were THIS close to having a great house. The house was on the market last year, didn’t sell, and was for sale again. We put in a few informal offers, and it seemed like she may accept. Then she changed her mind. And then we almost had it again. And then she said she was going to take it off the market. Hope, sadness, hope, sadness. After this last rejection, Brody and I have both moved on and realized this house will not be our forever home.

Our options now are to either wait for a house (in our price range that we like) to come on the market in the one neighborhood (fully developed, elementary school, pool, sidewalks, green space, etc.) we like, or build in a different neighborhood (which is also a really nice area but still being developed obviously). If we build and commit by September 1, the house would be complete by January 15. Such big decisions.

Another “first world problem” we’re dealing with is Finley. Oh my. Fevers, crabbiness, runny noses, night wakings, and did I mention crabbiness? I keep reminding myself of how horrible she must feel. I’ve heard that if adults experienced the pain babies feel when their teeth come in, we’d all be on high strength pain killers.

There have been some very good moments too in the past couple weeks. It’s not like me to be such a Debbie Downer, so here are ten awesome things about my life:

1. Finley is becoming a walker! It’s so cool to see her moving like a person.

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2. We took a family trip to the zoo (on Finley’s super crabby day), and we had a great time. It’s some good and interesting people watching there on the weekends! Finley seemed to like the ostrich the most.

3. As we pack, we’ve also been purging. Lots of trips to Goodwill and lots of crap thrown away (we bought a Bagster and will have Waste Management pick it up before we move).

4. I’ve had a few good long runs alone and with friends. However, Brody and I have decided to not run the Madison Mini anymore. This was going to be a race we ran together, and with him getting sick and injured and us moving, we’re not ready. We’d like to do a fall half marathon instead.

5. My mom sold her condo and is moving up north to the cottage permanently. She’s officially retired and will be living in a beautiful house on the best lake ever.

6. I made a delicious dinner two nights ago: PaleOMG’s Thai Pork and Veggie Meatballs. The sauce is ridiculous. If I wasn’t trying to clean out the random food in my freezer, I’d buy more pork and curry powder and make it again soon.

7. Finley loves her Radio Flyer. Every time we walk past it in the garage, she points and grunts. She holds on to the handlebars, and it’s pretty much the cutest thing ever.

8. Starbuck’s iced caramel machiaccto with whole milk = yum. I crave these all the time. I mean, why wouldn’t I? It’s the perfect combination of sugar, fat, and caffeine.

9. Today Brody and I are taking a pasta cooking class at A Pig in a Fur Coat with a bunch of other friends. We went in with two other couples and bid on the class through a raffle at a charity event. Yes, I know pasta is a grain and not Paleo/Primal. It’s a conscious cheat and will be worth it.

10. I read a book! My friend loaned me A Fault in Our Stars, and I really enjoyed it. I haven’t read a book for MONTHS (my previous English teacher self is scolding current SAHM self), and how I missed it. I once owned this book, but a student borrowed it and never returned it. Anyways, I’d like to see the movie now. Ha! Like that’ll happen.

Happy Saturday folks! Have a good weekend!

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From Conception to Reality

No, I’m not pregnant. I know that’s probably what you were thinking when you saw the title. However, what is happening in my life right now feels similar to pregnancy. Let me explain.

Brody and I bought our house just over seven years ago. He had finished law school a year before, and I was wrapping up student teaching. We only looked at a few houses, found this one, and bought it for the asking price. That was May 2007. And then the recession hit.

When we bought the house, we didn’t think about how long we’d be in it, the school district, etc. We liked it, so we bought it. Now with two large dogs, a kid, and me watching other littles, more space would be nice. Also, we enjoy hosting our families for holidays and would like to have enough bedrooms for most of them.

So, after talking about it for a year, we put our house on the market.

On Tuesday, July 1, it went “live” (i.e. It was on MLS).

On Thursday, July 3, the sign in the front yard went up.

On Tuesday, July 8, we had our second ever showing.

On Thursday, July 10, we had an offer (from the second showing people).

Now here’s my pregnancy analogy:

When I took the pregnancy test and it was positive, it was such a unique feeling. I (and if I can speak for Brody too) was excited, scared, happy, and lots of other emotions. When Brody told me we had an offer, I felt almost the same way. Up until that moment, selling and moving had been a topic of discussion, an idea. Now, it was happening. Life was going to change.

With this big moment, however, came some sadness. I’ll miss neighbors, the comfort of our space, being close to good friends in Sun Prairie and lots of stores, the PAC, and even the three mile running loop I’ve done a gazillion times.

The selling of our house is moving (pun intended) along well. The inspection is happening right now, and the appraisal is this afternoon. We’ll be (again, hopefully) closing August 18 with a move out date of August 15. Obviously it’s not sold until then, and I’m aware offers can fall through. I don’t even want to think about that, though.

Aside from the shock and stress of selling our house so quickly, we have no new house to move into. Brody is exploring temporary housing options, and we’ll continue to look at houses that come on the market in our desired area. Unfortunately, lots of the houses in our price range and with our must-haves have sold in the past couple months, and the rate of new houses for sale is slowing down. As many people have told us, this is a good problem to have. I don’t like “good” problems.

So that’s where I’m at. Many of you who know me in real life may not know this was going on. It’s been such a whirlwind that I’ve been horrible at returning calls (Claire, Susan, and Tina – I’m sorry!!!). Also, I think Brody and I haven’t wanted to jinx anything by sharing via FB.

Things will work out, and like my friend Jena said, one day we’ll look back at this time and say “Remember when…”

And just because, here are a few Finley pictures.

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