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For Those Still Wondering

21 Nov

(That envelope says “Boy or Girl?”, by the way.)





IT’S A GIRL!!!!! 

**I completely thought we were having a boy.  I was totally shocked when we found out.  Steve thought it was a girl all along.  As you can see, his face was a bit less surprised than mine.



Holy Moly

21 Aug

Due January 29, 2013!

I like to move it, move it

1 Jul

If I ever say “Soon, I promise,” again, correct me.  Tell me that I mean “Soon, I hope.”  Or “Soon, I’ll try.”  Or “Soon, so long as nothing interesting is on TV.” 

After all, doesn’t the bible say, “Let your yes mean yes and your no mean no.”  

Anyway, that’s mostly to say that I’m sorry and that I always wait so long to write a new post.  But, in my defense, some big changes have been happening since I last wrote.  BIG changes.

Here’s a hint:


Did you see it?  Here’s a closer hint.


Got it now?  That’s right…we sold our house.  I know what you’re thinking, “What?!?!?  You just bought that house!  Why would you sell it now?”  Well, I’ll try to answer you the best I can.

Steve and I both really liked Boy Blue when we bought it.  And we still like it today.  But when we bought, we bought in a bit of a down market and at a time of the year when not a lot of houses were available.  So Boy Blue ended up being, not the best house for us, but the best house available to us.  But we were excited about it and hopeful about it, despite its flaws.

Fast forward a few months and some of those flaws became more and more obvious and more and more frustrating.  Things that we knew would bother us, such as having 1100 finished square feet of basement that we didn’t use, really started to get on our nerves.  Why were we paying a mortgage and taxes for space that we couldn’t use now and couldn’t envision ourselves using on a regular basis even if we had five kids?  And things that we didn’t know would bother us, like having two furnaces that both need maintenance multiple times a year, really started to get on our nerves.  The question of “why are we still in this house” kept coming up.  So, we decided to look at the option of selling.

We didn’t have a plan to sell this year.  We looked at options for selling in two years or three or five.  But when we called our Realtor to find out what his opinion on the subject was, he thought we should put our house on the market right away.  No use continuing to pay for a house you don’t want, he said.  And the market is stable from where we bought, he told us.  Not to mention that it’s still an incredible time to buy. 

So, we took the plunge and listed the house (after a week’s worth of tearing down more wallpaper, repainting, fixing some windows, and other minor projects).  We listed the house at a fair market price that would have made us just a little bit of money.  In the first weekend on the market, we had 11 showings.  The following Wednesday, we had another showing and that Friday we had an offer.   We are so blessed to have our house sell after only 8 days on the market.  Granted, it took a little more time to finish the inspection and get signed papers, but within two weeks everything was complete.

At that point, we had to begin a rapid search for a new home.  We only had about two months to find a place so we immediately began the search.  Within a few days, our Realtor had sent the links to over 200 houses for us to look at.  We narrowed down our possibilities to under 30 and split them up into two LONG days of house hunting. 

During those first days, we saw some contenders but nothing that we felt comfortable putting an offer on.  We waited, knowing that we could go back to the homes we saw if nothing else panned out.  A few days later, we saw another batch of houses and this time saw one that we felt would work for us.  We went home that night with a plan to go back to the house the next day to look at it again and to write an offer.

The next day we requested to see two more houses that had just come on the market.  They both looked like nice options and we just wanted to be thorough before we saw the house we wanted to put an offer on.  The first house was okay.  It was a foreclosure so it needed some work but the part that really turned us off was that it was on a corner lot and across the street was a school.  We thought it would get a lot of traffic and that’s not something we wanted to deal with.  The second house we saw was a nice contender.  It was similar to the house we wanted to put an offer on, though set up slightly differently.  We kept it in mind, but decided to move on to the house we wanted. 

But our second trip to that house wasn’t what we wanted it to be.  The house was still nice and we still liked it as an option but on our second trip, we took a closer look at the neighborhood and realized it wasn’t exactly what we wanted.  We decided to head home for the night and think about our options.

The next day, we decided that the right house to make on offer on was the second house we’d seen the day prior, the nice contender that we didn’t want to put an offer on till we saw the other house again.  We wrote up an offer and submitted it on a Friday morning.  The sellers made us wait the entire weekend before submitting a counter offer to us.  We replied with another counter offer and, again, waited.  Eventually they came back with a take it or leave it offer.  We took it.  We’re working out the details of the inspection right now but at the end of July, we’ll be moving in here:


So, that’s why we’re moving.  We’ll give you more details on the new house once we get in there.  We’ll also try to fill you in on what we’ve done to this house since our last update.  Until then, here’s a picture of my baby napping with his toys. 




Reggie’s 3rd Birthday

21 Mar

I have a number of posts on the docket for you.

We’re thisclose to having our chalkboard wall done and you will get some after photos of that project soon.  The last step is taking longer than expected (as expected) so you’ll just have to come back for that post.  I also owe you an update on that hole Stevareno cut into our ceiling and have two posts about smaller projects that we’ve been working on.

But in the mean time, I have a video for you.  It was Reggie’s third (#canyoubelieveit #theygrowupsofast) birthday on March 13th so we treated him to a special day.  All the footage in this video is from his birthday and included some extended playtime outside (since it was nice out), a walk around the neighborhood, and some present opening.  Since you can’t see it in the video, Reggie got a Kong brand squeaky stick and a marrow filled chew bone.  He loved both gifts.

I love my dog.

Do Wah Diddy, Diddy Dum, Diddy (New) Do

4 Mar

I hate putting pictures of myself on the blog.  I also hate taking pictures of myself.  If I had it my way, I would always, always, always be on the hidden side of the camera.

But, if I did that, I’d never have pictures of me and Steve or me and my mom or me and anyone because, obviously, I’d never be in a picture.

I’d also never have these lovely pictures to show you of my new hair do.  That’s right, a new do!

Some of you may not know this but I only go to a salon about once every 2 years or so.  I find it difficult to articulate what I want and absolutely abhor talking to the hair stylists…not because they’re mean or snobby or anything, but mostly because I am convinced they don’t give a darn about anything I have to say and they feel forced (much like I do) to maintain a polite conversation for my benefit.  But this weekend, I did it.  I went and endured two (mostly pleasant) hours of small talk and nerves.

Before I went, I asked Steve if he thought I should jump on the bangs band wagon.  And his exact words to me were, “be bold.”  So behold, the bold:

I don’t think it’s half bad.  I like the color, which is a lot more red than these images suggest.  And it took about a day but I got used to the bangs.  Now, if only I could grow into that nose.


At least your mother didn’t name you Lenora Nell

28 Jan

We have a large, on-going house project again.  Walls.  Walls always take a long time.  So, while you wait, here’s a peek into my family life.  I noticed on this blog that there are a number of posts about Steve McQueen’s family but many fewer of mine.  That’s because Stevie’s family visits more because his uncles are also here.  So we see his grandma and his aunts a lot more than I see mine.  But that doesn’t mean we don’t see my spectacular family at all!  In fact, we’re looking at an Enderiffic spring coming up this year.  I am eagerly anticipating the Spring Garage Sale extravaganza.  Pining even.

I digress.  Here’s the scoop.  WAY back in September, for labor day, my family got together in little old Cataract WI for my Aunt Lori’s 50th birthday.  Lori is my mom’s little sister and what you need to know about her is that she loves the Packers (who doesn’t?) and is hysterical.

Steve and I drove down to Cataract for the day.  The party was actually on a side road that was conveniently unnamed so we drove back and forth through the city of Cataract five times before we finally found the place we needed to turn.  And each time we drove through the city, we passed Lori’s house.  And each time we passed I was convinced she’d see our MN license plate and figure out something was up.  But she didn’t and when we finally got to the house where the party was, Steve and I awkwardly stood around chatting with a bunch of Lori’s friends whom we had met the first time that day.

After a while, the family got there and we started goofing around.

That’s my cousin, Adam, above there.  He’s such a nice guy and a good sport when I say, “Adam, stand there like those are your horns.”  He didn’t even correct the horns part.  And notice that Packers t-shirt.  Like mother, like son.

At some point after the guests had arrived, it started to poor rain which was unfortunate as the chicken and fish was being fried out in the yard.

They ended up setting up a tarp over the deep fryers.  Looking back, probably not the best idea we’ve ever had but the food was good.

Finally, after about an hour of raining and waiting, Lori came through the door.

Surprised?  Yes.  Totally and utterly happy and excited about her party? Um…  A good sport?  Always.  (And notice that shirt.  It was even a Saturday so not even a game day.)

The rest of the night was spent eating and chatting and playing with a tiny dog that looked like a pint sized German Shepherd and was the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen.

I love that picture of my dad.  I have a similar one of Steve’s dad that I like a lot.  They’re both looking off the the right.  Their right, my left.  Only in the picture of Steve’s dad, he looks like the captain of a ship.  Both our dads are named Tom, by the way.  Isn’t that crazy?

I love the picture of my grandma talking to my little cousin Brian.  I like when older people and kids interact.

I also love my mom’s haircut.

At some point, Lori opened her presents.  She had a wide variety of things, including these “saggy boobs” from a friend of hers:

I hope you wanted this picture all over the internet Aunt Lori.  Now a Google search for “saggy boobs” will return a picture of you.

But the piece de resistance was the gift from my mom, sisters and I.  At least I think so.  You see, Aunt Lori’s given name is Lenora Nell, after her grandmothers Eleanora and Anelia.  Aunt Lori always complains about this name while my mom and her sisters reminisce about their childhood woes, saying, “At least your mother didn’t name you Lenora Nell.  Try growing up with a name like Le-Noooooooor-Ah.”  And we all laugh, because she’s funny and has great voices when she wants to be dramatic about something.

But that is what inspired our gift:

I love her face in the first picture.  A genuine laugh.

So that was how we enjoyed our day before labor day…celebrating a woman who has labored away for 50 years with a name like Lenora Nell.

Fairly Odd Behnkes

23 Oct

Steve McQueen and I had a busy labor day weekend. Yes, labor day.  I’m that far behind.  In fact, I still haven’t blogged about stuff that happened in July.  I know.  I’m sorry.

We went to Sparta, WI on Saturday for my aunt Lori’s 50th birthday (whose pictures will be in another post) and then on Sunday went to the State Fair with Stevie’s family.  On Sunday we hosted Steve’s aunt Julie and uncle James for brunch, which was delightful, though we didn’t take any pictures.  I made a German pancake which is quite possibly the most delicious breakfast item in the world.

But today’s post is about State Fair.  So without further ado, here’s some photos.

We saw lots of people.

We ate lots of things.  I tried fried pickles for the first time, which I thought would be phenomenal but were really just okay.  They didn’t really taste like pickles…they tasted like warm vinegar surrounded by crunchy.  But I’m still glad I tried them because otherwise I’d be thinking about it for years.  Like how Stevie and I used to go to Breakfast on the Farm back in college and I always wanted to hold a baby chick but never did because I was too embarrassed to charge into all the little kids and ask to hold a baby chick.  And I still regret it. But, what can you do.

We saw fair type things like agriculture flowers and veggies.

We saw 4H stuff like Mother Theresa made out of macaroni and Harry Potter made out of gourds.

Steve is growing a beard and he found a kindred soul.

We saw cows and other things.

But my favorite part of the day was the giant sing along.  It was a big screen with karaoke and a bunch of microphones. Don’t stop bein’ Steven was a little embarrassed to sing so I sang with Julie and Kellie and Al.

I love the State Fair!