Saturday, June 11, 2011

Summer 2011 Bucket List

I thought it would be fun to write down all of the fun things that we are looking forward to doing this summer and keep track of what we have actually done. Here goes...
  • Go to the zoo (both Como and Minnesota)
  • Roast marshmellows around a bonfire
  • Go to a water park
  • Go play on rides at Camp Snoopy (or whatever it's called these days)
  • Go check out the Maple Grove Farmers Market (done!)
  • Spend a lazy rainy day watching movies together
  • Go rollerskating
  • Go to the MN Arboretum
  • Make homemade ice cream
  • Go to an outdoor concert
  • Let Madison decide what we do for an entire day (within reason)
  • Go back to the huge playground at Highland Park and go on another paddleboat ride
  • Go the the drive in movies
  • Go walk around and take pictures at Minnehaha Falls
  • Have a BBQ with friends
  • Get Madison started in swimming lessons
  • Take Madison to the beach for the first time
  • Get ice cream from the ice cream man
  • Learn how to work my camera
  • Take a day trip somewhere fun (Stillwater, Duluth/Two Harbors, Taylors Falls)
  • Go back to the deer farm
  • Go back to Color Me Mine and paint more ceramics
  • Get another pedicure with Madison

Where I've Been

The past couple months have been really hectic for us. After my gramma passed away a few months ago, my mom and uncle had to make a decision about what to do with her townhome. They didn't really want to sell it because of the market, but the homeowners association doesn't allow owners to rent out the houses. However, immediate family can move in if needed. Sharing a house with my parents had started to put a strain on our relationship and just didn't seem to be the right fit anymore. We started talking about the possibility of Zach, Madison and I moving into her place, and at first it was almost said in a joking way. After a while we started to talk about it a little bit more seriously to see if we could make it work for the 3 of us because my parents didn't think that it was big enough for the 2 of them (they have a LOT of stuff!) and would need alot of modifications if my uncle were to move in because he is in a wheelchair. Ultimately it is a little bit smaller than what we would like, but we can make it work and were excited to have a place of our own again after 4 years of sharing our rental house with my parents.

Because our lease was up at the end of May we needed to make a decision pretty quickly so that we could give our 2 month notice that we wouldn't be renewing our lease. Once we had pretty much decided that we were for sure going to move to Maple Grove (about an hour north of our old house), my parents decided to focus on finding a place in the north metro that was close to where we were moving. After they looked at maybe 5-6 places they found out that there was a townhome for sale that was right next to where we were going to be living. Each section has 4 units (2 upstairs and 2 downstairs) that share a main entrance area and my parents are buying a unit in the next set of 4 down from us. So when we go to our main entrance door and they go the theirs we are maybe 30 feet apart and can see each other. So far this setup has been amazing. We each have our own space and don't see each other every day, but are still super close which was important to us. Madison has lived with them her whole life and was used to going back and forth pretty much whenever she wanted. Part of why we moved in together in the first place was so that they could help out when I was in the hospital or not feeling well, but because we are so close we still have that if/when it is needed.

So over the past 3 months we have had to get through all of my gramma's things, figure out who was taking what, donate what no one wanted (and there is still a ton of stuff in our garage that hasn't been figured out yet), sort/pack all of our stuff up, and all of the cleaning/moving/organizing that comes along with a move. We, mostly Zach, also helped my parents move a lot of their stuff too. We didn't get a moving truck because we figured we would just gradually move stuff out there since we planned to be staying there at least a few weeks before we needed to be out of our old place. About half way through we realized that we had made a dumb choice and overall spent WAY more in gas for all of those trips than what we would have to just rent a truck. I guess we will know better for next time!

At this point we are almost completely settled in, we just have a few more boxes and need to get stuff up on the walls but we are waiting until after they get painted. The garage is still a disaster with some of my grammas stuff, some of my parents stuff, a bunch of things from when Madison was younger that at first we planned on keeping but have decided to sell, and some of our random stuff that we will organize on the shelves out there once we get the other stuff figured out.

So far we are really enjoying our new place. We are closer to Zach's parents, and my cousins and their families, and my uncle will be moving to the Maple Grove area in the next few months now that we are up here as well as his kids. We are looking forward to seeing everyone more often now that it is not such a long drive both ways to see each other. We are very excited that Madison will be able to be around her (2nd, 3rd, twice removed?) cousins, especially Isobel who is about a year older than her. We are going the get Madison in swim lessons and after she does level 1 then we are going to try and let the girls do it together.

So there you go, that's what we've been up to and why I have been slacking on bloging even more than usual. I have a bunch of ideas for different posts, and lots of cute pictures that I want to get up in the next few days and weeks, so I am going to try and get better about posting on a more consistant basis. Just so that this isn't just a long boring post that doesn't even have any pictures, I will leave you with one of my favorite recent pictures.