Monday, August 31, 2015

Last First Day!

I can't believe it... it's actually here...Zack's Last First Day of school.  I understand he'll have other first day's of school at college, but I won't be there to document it and I'll have to rely on him to send me pics.  So, for me... Last First Day! :o(
Had to include the traditional First First Day and the Last First Day pictures.  It's hard to believe how freaking cute this boy is and was! Someone pointed out to me, he's got the exact same smile in both pictures!  Too funny and too precious!

Off he goes... I sort of want to run after him and make him stop growing up and stay with me forever, but I know I can't so I'm going to try and handle this as gracefully as I possibly can.  Some people can't talk about religion, some can't talk about politics... I can't talk about Zack's senior year!   #forbiddentopic, #ohnohesnot, #mybabyisasenior

Here's our girl on her way to her First First Day of her Masters Degree!!  Couldn't be prouder!

Her home away from home away from home!  The Natural Resources building!

I don't know how my kids grew up so quickly, it makes my heart swell with pride while at the same time breaking it into little pieces!  

Friday, August 28, 2015

Brenna's home away from home and her home away from home away from home!

Brenna was finally able to move all the way into her house (her home away from home, I still consider us her real home).  She went to town decorating and making it her own!  She's just like her mother in that she likes to make her own special space!  She's definitely a nester! The room is actually pretty small, but she's managed to get all her stuff into it and made it quite a reflection of herself.  She's so much like me in that she wants/needs to surround herself with all the things she loves.  Really like mother, like daughter!

I'm very proud of her for doing this all by herself!  When we left, she was still in the hotel, so she had to get all her stuff into the room by herself.  She also had to put the bookcases together all on her own.  She's turned quite self-suffcient!  What a girl!
She also has her own office now at work (her home away from home away from home).  She shares it with 3 other graduate students.  But again making it her own space.

I love the little bats, flying around her walls.  I sound like a broken record, but she's so damn cute and I'm so darn proud of her!  

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

To Do... almost To Done...

I started out the summer with a pretty hefty To Do list and kept adding to it as the summer wore on....

Now that summer is over, I made pretty good progress on the list.  The big things I really wanted to get done and still undone... but that's okay.  I'll get them done eventually.  All in all, pretty busy summer.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Slurpee Summer - Seriously

I've tried to make Operation Slimdown and Healthy Up a success this summer, but I'm not going to lie... it's been a struggle.  I've been in a running funk for probably the last 3 months - I just can't get my run groove going. I can't find my happy pace - which, in turn, discourages me - which then makes me eat more.  Then there's this...  We had a brand new 7-11 open up on OUR CORNER!  Which means you can't really leave our housing area without seeing it and no matter which way you are going... it's right there conveniently located.  It wasn't really a problem during the winter, or the spring because I was working and crewing so much, but then summer hit... and I had plenty of time to just "pop by" the 7-11. I just needed to "run in" real quick. Not to mention its been a hotter than hell summer and a slurp just hits the spot!
I used to have "fat pants," but now not only are my "fat pants" starting to fit better, but I think I'm going to have to start calling them my Slurpee Pants.  I don't seem to be able to control myself...

First slurpee of the summer - the one that started it all!

Dragging everyone into my madness!

Hot weather slurpee

Walmart trip slurpee - no one wants to go to Walmart.  The only thing making it okay, a slurpee
Heading out for a college visit slurpee with my boy

Post college visit "stay awake on the drive home" slurpee

"Trying to cut back and do better" Baby Slurpee

Cabin in the Woods slurpee
Finally back in Virginia celebration slurpees

Last slurpee of the summer!  I swear!
First day back at work went fine.  It was actually a little slower than I expected, but I'm sure all those teachers were busy in their rooms filling out their copy requests and it's only going to get busier and crazier!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Home Sweet Home

We made it home.  The trip back was much nicer.  We split it up exactly in half, 2 - 8 hour days and they were really pretty easy.  Zack was with me again, mainly because the van was empty and he could stretch out in the back seat.  So again, perfect traveling partner! :o)

I like big cows and cannot lie...

Finally back in Virginia, first stop Slurpees!  There are no 7-11 in the midwest!  Tragic!
 Tomorrow it's back to work.  Hard to believe the summer is almost over!

Friday, August 21, 2015

What a freaking week... Wisconsin style

OMG!  What a freaking week it's been... talk about stress and strain.  We looked at 5 places on Weds. A house that was okay, a little weird, it was like a studio - no bedroom only a living space, kitchen and bathroom.  It did have a little storage room that would be a perfect room to keep Autumn in, but also a summer creepy basement.  It did have a yard, but no fence.  Next a cute, tiny apartment with one roommate over a tattoo parlor, but right in the middle of the "downtown" area.  Super cute, and would be perfect, but not very dog friendly.  Not a lot of room and nowhere to really walk her without making an effort.  It would be a pain in the winter, down the stairs and a bit of a hike to any sort of grass.  One house with 5 word...DUMP!  Then we met an apartment manager, she showed us a really adorable one bedroom apartment.  It was a little more expensive than we hoped, but certainly workable.  Another 2 bedroom, but it was too far away... and then the hammer dropped.... she found out about Autumn.  They were fine with dogs, but not pitbulls!  They have an aggressive dog clause with about 25 breeds on it and at the top of the list...our precious Autumn.  We had one more apartment to look at, but again as soon as the pitbull word was dropped they wouldn't even let us in the door.  Needless to say, pretty discouraging and stressful.  We still had the tattoo apartment on the back burner, but it really wasn't ideal.  We had one last chance, Brenna found a post on Facebook from a girl looking for a roommate that is "willing to live with a dog."  It sounded ideal, but we couldn't get ahold of her to find out if she still needed a roommate.   Really our last chance... I was starting to freak out...internally...In between all the stress we did manage to visit the University and see where Brenna will be working.
Natural resources building

Fried cheese curds

It's a beautiful campus and a lovely little town.  I think Brenna will be very happy here if we can just find her a freaking place to live!

Hanging in the hotel room.  She's pretty vicious.  Thank goodness we're all being kept safe from dogs like her.

Plenty of time for eating and drinking

Tired of the car and house hunting!

We finally heard back from the "last chance" girl.  She hadn't found a roommate yet and we immediate raced over to meet her and see the house...
It turned out to be PERFECT!!
The house is tiny, the room Brenna will get is even tinier, but definitely workable. It's a little shabby on the outside, but the inside is perfectly nice and she will be able to make it very nice.  The pluses are price - just what we were planning on, fenced backyard and it is literally across the street from the campus.  Brenna will be able to walk everyday and not worry about driving in the winter weather.  Her roomie, Ashley, is adorable and seems really very nice.  Her dog, Kessler, is older and just doesn't care, we brought Autumn for a visit and they got along perfectly.  What a freaking relief!!!  
Right now, Ashley's boyfriend is living in the house so Brenna won't be able to move in until next Friday, but that's okay we can deal.  We'll just put her in the hotel for a week.  The best part, the house has a garage for storage, so while she's in the hotel we can at least unload all her stuff out of the cars and put it in the garage.  We are saved and everyone is happy!! We leave tomorrow, it's going to be hard to leave my girl, but I think she's in a good place and I think she's going to be very happy here.  I just wish it were closer!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

On the Road... Wisconsin style

We survived the 2 day drive.  Zack rode with me the whole way.  The first day we drove 13 hours... we stopped in Chicago and stayed with John and Colleen.  They were very nice and it was good to see them, but it was TOO LONG to drive just to visit people we know.  Not going to happen again.  The good thing was we only have about 4 hours today.
Zack is a great traveling partner.  Quiet when we need quiet and willing to chat for minimal bits of time.  I even convinced him to listen to a book on tape with me for a little while.

This is how he spent a good portion of the trip.  See... good travel companion. :o)

We made it back to our girl!!  Went out for a nice dinner, Zack stayed at the hotel, a little too much family togetherness for him.  So, good to see our girl again.  A little relaxing before the insanity of house hunting begins!  We've got about 5 places lined up for tomorrow.  Fingers crossed we find something perfect.  Sure would be nice to get everything unloaded and settled and have a few days to relax and explore the area.  

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Pre-Trip Wisconsin

In just about a week, we are heading up to Wisconsin to see our girl!  Let the packing begin.  I finally convinced John that we are going to have to take 2 cars.  He's been adamantly against it, but Brenna has a lot of stuff we need to get to her.
Of course it's all "critical" and she can't live without it!

It was quite a puzzle test... but we managed to get it all into the cars, every bit of it!  Now it's all done by the driving.  I"m sort of relieved that we're taking separate cars, I find that I don't travel well anymore, at least not trapped in the car.  I don't mind driving by myself, but I get cranky with other people. Zack doesn't really bother me, because he's a lot like me, he just sleeps or plugs in and really doesn't interact except occasionally.  The perfect traveling partner. :o)