Our New Home

Well, we've been at this for well over a year: house hunting, falling in love, offer making, disappointment, then repeating it.

This last home we've had our eyes on closed last week and now we're waiting for keys. We've been waiting for this moment for so long that I've been imagining my dream home and decorating it in my mind.

Here's my mind's living room! I am beyond excited. Brian called the Mr. and told him we're very likely getting the keys tomorrow. We have technically heard that a lot: "We'll hear something tomorrow!" or "They're gonna let us know this week" or "The bank's gonna sign off on everything in two months". So I have to admit, it's a tough thing to hear when we've been let down some much with this housing market. But even after all that, I have my hopes up.

Tomorrow, we're getting those darn keys! I know it.

My Big Brother, The Cook

Did I mention he cooks?

We always love when my brother, Dave, comes over to cook us a meal! It's always fun because it usually turns into a cooking class, too. And I somehow always get a little gift in the form of a new knife or pans. This time it was tons of leftovers--and I mean tons. The photo above is actually of the leftovers. I just heated it all up and topped it off with a fried egg for the Mr. and me for a very, very rich, very heavy breakfast the next day. All thanks again, to my big bro for the idea.

He made steak Diana--haha, Diana--get it? Our little one is Dianna! Anyway, he made steak Diana with roasted potatoes. I'd put the recipe on here, but...maybe another time! Just feast your eyes on that picture with some slight jealousy and eager hunger until I let you in on the secret!

After dinner, he and the Mr. stayed up until three in the morning playing video games together. They'll never grow up, but I say that with a smile because I really don't mind. They always enjoy themselves that way and I'm thankful for the meal and family time. Especially thankful because Dave works long hours cooking on the Strip at a few different restaurants. It's always nice to see him on his only day off for the week, and truly touching that he chooses to spend that night with us.

Thanks again, big bro, for the steak lesson!

My Failed Book Club with the Boys

Meet the boys.

The boys hate reading.

I love reading.

One of the boys sucks at spelling. One of the boys sucks at reading comprehension.

My solution was to pay them to read a book a week. I'd give them an oral quiz on the book and they get ten bucks. Does that sound like it would completely and utterly fail the first week out? Well it did. I tried to get them to read The Giver, which is an incredible book. I'm honestly sad they didn't give it a chance, because the Mr. and I read it together and loved it.

Maybe we should have begun reading it together to get past the slow beginnning bits? Maybe I should have picked a less heavy book? Should I use another kind of prize?

All I know is I'm going to try one more time with Candy Shop War by Brandon Mull. Mull is the same author of the Fablehaven series, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The book should be right up their alley. I mean, the Mr. even read it without me and that's a big step!

I hope my little one just likes reading enough on its own without monetary gain. That's why we're starting her early!

So Far This Summer

Summer is nearly over and it's been the most fun we've had. So far, we've been in a pool a pretty good amount of the time, and Dianna has been loving it.

The Mr. has also discovered the joy of grilling, which he has demonstrated for nearly all our family members--the most recent of which were his cousins and their family, who came to visit this past weekend. He stood at the grill with large pounds of meat with a beer (literally the only time he prefers a beer over a wine cooler) like every other American man so proudly. I've loved seeing him actually enjoy cooking. And I guess it also helps that I don't have to cook for that meal. I think I speak for both of us, though, when I say that I think we're both good on the burgers for now!

We celebrated Father's Day for the first time, too. I love giving gifts, because I really try to consider what the receiver would realistically like for themselves. It's especially fun to think of gifts for the Mr., because he always seems to be surprised no matter how much he shakes the gifts to guess what's inside. Since we moved to our current house, which is right across the street from mountains, the Mr. has started dirtbiking. Every month, he has either gotten a new bike or new gear. There are only a few things he really needs now, and I took the liberty of getting him something his poor feet needed terribly.

And, something that's not much of a surprise, the little one is growing like crazy! She's passing all these milestones and the Mr. and I are endlessly humored by her blossoming personality. She can feed herself now, for crying out loud and cruisin' like a champ. With the seventh coming, she's closing in on becoming a whopping ten months old.

I feel like everyone says this, but now that I'm a parent, I see the reason why. The first year goes by so fast! I think it's because so much happens in one year, changes that people are used to occurring over a much longer course of time. Now we're on the hunt for some real baby shoes. Enter Stride Rite. Whoo dog, talk about biting the bullet! More on that later. For now, Dianna's about to wake up from her nap.
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