Thursday, March 29, 2012

sigh

They were junky. And that is putting it nicely.

Looks like we're taking our search to Dublin, Worthington, Bexley, and Grandview... with a 20-30K increase in price tag. I guess if you only pay 134K in UA, you can't expect decency, let alone quality. Well, hopefully some of our 145-165K homes are more pleasing! Keep you updated next week after more viewings...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Oh, I hope these homes are nice...

This whole property search thing is a rollar coaster! I feel like I am constantly redefining my search parameters in the hopes that something perfect will come up...

well, I may have struck gold this time! I kept the bedrooms at 3 because that is non-negotiable, but I reduced the sq ft desire down to 1000 (the size of our current apartment), the bathrooms to 1 (I think we can manage), and eliminated the 'fence' requirement (I figure we can put up a fence for way less than 10K)...

and found 6 new homes in Upper Arlington (the BEST school district in the city, super close to campus, and the BEST resale rate!) that fit the bill for between 130K and 160K! I'm stoked! I'm driving by to take a look after I pick Gwen up from preschool... and my hope is that maybe 2 or 3 will be good enough in real life (i.e. never trust a real estate picture) to request a tour! Keep your fingers crossed and your prayers a-prayin!

ps. probably tomorrow I'll be back at it, changing parameters again... but you never know. One of these days we're going to hit the jackpot! :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Rain

We had a rainy weekend. The girls wanted to go get out in it... especially the littlest gal.
notice the tippy toes? :)
So when it abated, we headed to Antrim Lake. Everything was still damp, but the gray skies made the colors really beautiful, I think.
Gwen was obsessed with sitting on every single bench (all 10 or so of them) along the 1.something mile loop.
and the cheesy grin
Caroline loved riding on daddy's shoulders
Gwen was more interested in running! Which she did a lot of... Here she has made a dandelion her special friend and was trying to keep him safe in her coat while she ran.
feeding the ducks and fish rotten bread

and some pretty landscapes, just for your viewing pleasure

Caroline 11 months 2 weeks
Love this one because of the weathered wood, her upwards glance, and the uneven button job from a hasty mom...:)

you can see her newest tooth in this one. 3 on the bottom now.
my man. such a good daddy.
Gwen had a FABULOUS time and didn't want to come home.
obsessing about her dandelion. I actually really like the color pop that her obsession provides in these overcast photos.
My beautiful family.

I guess we don't mind a little dampness so much, eh? :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Real Estate

We met with a realtor for the first time last night. An exciting... and more than a little daunting... task of finding a good home is on our minds right now.

We are green in the property world.

I believe they call that 'Virgin buyers'. We've always been renters. And now we are looking for our first home. Since we're serious about it, this process is a tiny bit stressful because we aren't 'window shopping' and trying on outfits just for fun without any thought of purchase. No. We're at the mall with a specific item we are looking for and don't want to spend our precious funds on the wrong purchase. That kind of shopping.
Great to think of all the possibilities, but since we are also realistic about our price range and what that will get us, we aren't expecting a dream house. It does, however, HAVE to be desirable so that we can re-sell in 5 years after residency. And that is where the stress comes in. Because finding an affordable home in an area that sells well... let's just say, we don't get a lot of bang for our buck. And we're going to have to make lots of hard decisions. We'll be going out to see our first 5 homes next week, with some possibilities... but I keep praying that a killer deal of a home will come on the market so that we can be in a great re-sell area but still have a manageable monthly mortgage. Is that so much to dream for? :)

I can't help but be excited to finally complete the journey to 'adulthood' by having a home. Won't we feel so grown up? :) but still, I would be glossing things over if I didn't admit that my insomnia is flaring up from all this...

what about you? What was your first home-buying experience like?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Festivities

For Family Home Evening activity Gwen helped me make a leprechaun trap.



Gwen's contribution to the bait
the finished trap
the bait
the lovely golden ladder

We checked it every morning and she was starting to lose interest, actually, because we never caught one. But this morning we found tons of Leprechaun gold, so I guess he came on St. Patrick's Day Eve!
Gwen has been very excited about eating her special gold coin chocolates...

notice that OUR leprechaun happens to be Jewish? :) (that's because he saved the gold coins from the after-Hanukkah sale)

We made some festive green block jello, using the instructions here:

Caroline enjoying her jello treat

And my favorite part: the corned beef (my first time to try it), cabbage, carrots, and whole wheat Irish Soda Bread for dinner!
For the record, I actually wasn't the biggest fan of corned beef-- too fatty. But the FLAVOR of the corned beef ON the cabbage and carrots was AWESOME. and I loved the whole wheat Irish Soda Bread. All in all a delicious dinner, even if the protein wasn't my favorite ever.
Gwen 'enjoying' her dinner (aka, playing with her food)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Match Day...And we are going to....


Stay right here in Columbus!!!!

Eric's intern year is at Riverside and his residency is at OSU in radiation oncology so that means we are in Columbus for another 5 years!!!

We are so thrilled for the next phase of our lives!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sur La Table Date Night

I asked Eric for a 'special' date with him for Christmas--anything from rock climbing to pottery to dancing--and he came up with a wonderful gift! We went to a date night cooking class at Sur La Table! So we asked our dear friends John and Tricia to watch our girls (actually put them to bed, whoo, that's a pretty big favor round here!) and prayed that their first experience with a real sitter (not family) would go well while we headed off to Easton.

We got to wear stylish aprons, but I think we still look pretty happenin! :)
Of course we were usually too busy cooking and then eating to take time for photos of the food, so it is kind of sad that those beautiful plates aren't going to make an appearance on my blog. But take my word for it, everything was aesthetic... and SOOOOO delicious!
We opened with wild mushroom risotto
(which was the menu item I was most eager to learn how to properly prepare),
followed by butter-seared asparagus with a caramelized shallot-red pepper relish,
then the entree was pepper-crusted tuna pan seared
(but still delectably raw in the middle, only the edges getting the crust),
with goat-cheese chocolate truffles for dessert!
Oooh, it was all tantalizingly delicious!

wouldn't you know I'd be the only one in the entire class to cut myself? LITERALLY right after I asked the chef if anyone ever gets cut. How embarrassing. But pretty cool SpongeBob bandaid. Gwen complimented it the next morning first thing. :)

getting that perfect sear on the tuna.
My handsome man who made the whole evening possible!

Final assessment: the food was amazing, the date was a blast, but I think as far as cooking instruction goes, the only thing that really was awesome was the risotto. Nothing like hands-on instruction for something like that. So was it worth the dough? That's debatable. The risotto portion earned its keep, but the rest was more a collection of delicious recipes that we got to chop and saute. Nothing too challenging. We're definitely not sorry we went, but it probably won't be a repeat date because we want something more than awesome recipes with instruction. Next time we want to know how to gut and prepare lobster.
(that is a joke)

so there you have Sur La Table date night!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pi


Happy Pi Day everyone! March 14th (3.14) is an essential holiday for all nerdy people to acknowledge... or just those who want an excuse to eat pizza (a savory pie) and pie (the sweet kind).

since today is also Albert Einstein's birthday, I gave myself the challenge to make German-themed pies! So we're having saurkraut and brat pizza (sounds strange, but it's gonna be good!) and black forest pie (the chocolate filling is creamy like pudding but thick like custard). Original recipes here:
Now you can't tell me that saurkraut pizza doesn't look good! :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Match!

We matched, folks! That means we are definitely going to residency SOMEWHERE! We'll find out where on Friday... I'm pretty stoked to know for sure! :)

and don't worry, we will definitely be letting you know where...

Preschool Dad's Night

Technically, I wasn't supposed to be at Dad's Night. But since Eric has had such late evenings, I was there with the hope that he would get off in time to come spend some time with Gwen before it was over. And he did get there about 25 minutes before the end! The bonus was that I was the only mom lucky enough to observe my lil gal interacting with her daddy...and I got pictures!

Gwen showed us some of her favorite things at school:
sand
painting
and the hilarious 'portrait' she made of her daddy complete with red nostrils all over his face
and the even more hilarious description of her daddy's favorite things
she and daddy enjoyed snack time together
and topped the evening off with some chicken dance!
this is only a snippet of the video I took...and can I just tell you she is obsessed with being in the center of the circle? How come she's the only kid who keeps running around in the middle? :)
video
Gwen loves her school and her daddy, so getting to do both was pretty awesome for her! and I'm glad I got to smile throughout my observations! Sure do love these two characters! :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

COSI

Cosi on a torrential downpour day. What a blessing to have friends with guest passes that extend such lovely invitations! Here is what my munchkins did for entertainment:

Caroline: after allowing me to snap a few pics of her cute self, she found one of these.
and that was all she wanted to do for the next hour. She was either pushing it or riding on it. What a cute gal!






Gwen: found the duck
and then the science tools
and then the doctor paraphernalia

and then had to carry the entire loot around for the remaining 30 minutes
playing the laser harp by the entrance
Once again, thanks go to Erica for inviting us to play as her guests on her pass!

check out Caroline pushing that blue thing around:

video