I think I need a little blog therapy... our lives have been a little nutty lately! And I thought a monarch caterpillar infestation was enough :)
Darren and I took a wonderful vacation to Alaska for our 15th wedding anniversary. We got to spend some time with my aunt who lives in Anchorage, take a train to Denali National Park and back, see Mt. McKinley in all its glory, drive the Seward Highway, take a dinner cruise in Seward, and see a pod of around 14 humpback whales feeding (of which I took a VIDEO http://youtu.be/JSdk6uny6xM ). It was an awe inspiring trip. We would love to return sometime, hopefully sooner rather than later. In the meantime, we will enjoy eating all the wild Alaskan fish we brought back from the fish market.
We are very thankful for Darren's parents who had our children for an entire week (seven nights, which was "perfect" in Eliana's book). The kids and the grandparents had a equally nice week by the sounds of it. Well, if it weren't for the dog. He can be a true pain, but we love him. Hopefully we don't run out of people who are willing to watch him for us. I know it's nice for a dog with separation anxiety to be with his kids and in a place that's familiar. It's always helpful when he comes home. He is more trusting every time we come back for him. So we are even more grateful for grandparents who watch our dog :)
ONE CAR FAMILY
Days before we departed on our vacation, we decided to sell our van to Darren's sister. They were looking to upgrade their van which they put a lot more miles on than we do. We had been seriously considering downsizing. It seemed like a win-win for everyone. Only problem was, we didn't know what we should buy. No problem. We were going away for a week. We'd have lots of time to weigh our options and shop when we got back.
Enter the tax forfeited land auction. Sunday evening, a full 24-hours after returning from our Alaskan vacation, (the laundry was almost finished) Darren discovers that the land auction is happening the following night. Some of the lots we had looked at half a dozen years ago and decided we couldn't afford were now up for public auction (go figure). Should he go? Then he notices a lot on a small river that we'd never seen before. Should he work from home the next day so we can go check it out and do some research? Why not? We have less than 24 hours in which to make the decision. Long story short, we now own a 1.86 acre river lot in the city. I guess we'll be needing to design, build, sell and move into a house! That will take some time.
LIFE GOES ON
Thankfully, it's been a very rainy week so we don't feel too bad that the lawn hasn't been mowed since we've been back. We've been quite busy researching property, car shopping, catching up from vacation, and getting the kids to their activities (this week and next happen to be the busiest weeks of their summer).
As all of this craziness was ensuing in our lives, we also lost some really great next door neighbors. Our kids loved to play with their girls. We got to see them one more time when they came to get the last of their stuff. It makes it easier to move ourselves when we aren't as attached to any of our other neighbors. But we'll still miss them. The new neighborhood is, as William says, "a ghost town." It's got lovely curbs, gutters and sidewalks. We look forward to getting a couple kayaks and paddling around on the little river. Hopefully others will see the potential and the neighbors will come shortly. We will welcome them with open arms! Our house will be at the end of the cul-de-sac, which I hope will be filled with children before long. Otherwise, our kids will have lots of open space to ride their bikes :)
Three butterflies have been released, there are four chrysalises in the tank, one lonely caterpillar is munching away, and three babies were lost by a junior entomologist who hopefully learned a valuable lesson as to why mom (who was on vacation in lovely Alaska) makes him keep and refer to the notes in his scientific journal.
I should probably also mention that Eliana had an asthma flare-up this week. It's been a loooong time since she's had one this bad - probably before she started on her medication, which we had been weaning her off of. So, unfortunately, it looks like she still needs it. I wanted to mention this so that it will be in the record books. Maybe we'll find out it's related to seasonal allergies or something. I also don't want this bit of craziness to get lost in the rest of the craziness of our lives right now. Our family's health and well being is the #1 priority. The rest is all "stuff."