life at the beginning of 2018

The last sunset of 2017

For the first time in years, we had a good New Year's Eve. Three years ago, I woke up largely pregnant with the flu and my great aunt died. Two years ago, we had major car problems. Last year, we had more car problems AND in the middle of the night.

This year I was bracing myself for a crisis to come. And while I did discover our fridge is leaking inside from some kind of defrost issue and so is a window (seriously, if there's a water situation to be had, we've had it), we had a good day. We spent the evening at a friends' house, hung out, and ate pizza and brownies. They have a daughter Gracie's age, and they play together so well. It was such a good night. I'm not always one for social activities, but the second they invited us I jumped on it. I've been craving some time with other people and it is weirding me out. New year, new me?

However, I did just make an appointment to get my car fixed after I drove it into the garage, so technically we're keeping our New Years' tradition of car repairs for the third year running.

On New Year's Day we went to look at refrigerators. I don't know when we'll upgrade our 16 year old hideous, janky fridge, but it was nice to look and get an idea. We discovered that almost every fridge available is 70 inches tall, and the opening in our house for the fridge is 65 inches, 68 if we take down some woodwork. So that makes things interesting. Our wall oven is much smaller than an average oven, but our sink is the size of a bathtub. They did strange things in 1964.

I told James the other night that the early stages of homeownership (and other stages, I'm sure) feel a lot like having a newborn. It's not that I'm not grateful, and I don't want to go back to shared walls and living under someone else's rules, but MAN. Every day it seems like there's something new to worry about, to fix, to Google. We've gone through so much caulk it's insane. It's like we're walking on eggshells, waiting for something else to break or go wrong. The house has been a bit more of a fixer than we realized. Our lives feel a little turned upside down and it's been a huge adjustment and learning curve. Not even the house, but adjusting to a new town, new grocery stores, constantly trying to reorient my brain to where I am and where everything is. Throw in the holidays, traveling, a sick, cranky, extra clingy toddler, and I am in survival mode just trying to hang on.

I feel guilty saying anything even slightly negative about our house after the agony it took to get us here, but this is a harder adjustment than I bargained for, and it's just going to take me some time. Throw in temperatures and wind chills in the -20s for weeks at a time and I'm having nightmares about frozen pipes and giving a prayer of thanks every time our old furnace turns back on. Some days I'm so excited about our house and the possibilities, and other days I wonder if we were completely crazy. But this is just how I am. It takes me a long time to adjust and warm up to new things, even things I desperately wanted. Just IMAGINE how well I handled those newborn weeks ;)

There's also been a full moon lately. I firmly believe that full moons make everything go a little bit crazy. It's happened so many times I can't deny it. For example, Gracie has been screaming in the middle of the night and waking me out of a dead sleep all week. This is not normal and there's no discernible reason for it. The other night she screamed at 4am and I started to fall back to sleep just as James had to leave for work. Last night, she screamed at 3am. I got her back to sleep just in time for the cat to go WILD. I mean, feral. This morning, I discovered that she had knocked an unopened bag of cat food off the kitchen counter and CLAWED IT OPEN. She never does things like this; she usually sleeps on my feet all night long. Once the cat settled down, Gracie started screaming again. She finally went back to sleep, and then I fell back to sleep just as James had to leave again. Gracie woke up just as James was leaving, and like the good mom I am, I let her play in her crib for another hour so I could get a little more sleep. And I feel 0% guilty about that decision. We are hanging on by a thread over here. I won't even confess that our Christmas tree is still up and Gracie has been wearing the same thing day and night for....I lost count. It's hard to get dressed when it's -24.

Last night, I felt a rush of -15 degree air. The old wooden window was lined up incorrectly with the trim and was letting in a ton of air. I tried to fix it and only made it worse, so I shoved a towel in there to try to staunch the flow of arctic air until James could fix it this morning. Drafty house aside, it has been so cold it's been hard to stay warm. I got an Ugg robe for Christmas. It's the most luxurious thing I've ever worn, and I wear it all day every day. I picked the right year to ask for a new robe. And then I think about Laura Ingalls Wilder and people like her. How on earth did people survive those frigid winters without our modern conveniences? We are so spoiled and soft. This morning when I was in the shower, the shower curtain rod spontaneously fell down and scared me half to death. I know that's not exactly relevant, but it's one of those days where the crazy is off the charts.

I've been affected by the crazies too. After waiting years, I finally upgraded my old sluggish iPhone. It came last night. I always get black phones, but I went with the gold this time because I was feeling fancy when I ordered it. I opened the box and saw that they sent me rose gold instead of gold. Rose gold is fine, but I'd much rather have straight gold. After activating it and setting it up, I plugged it in to charge, and nothing. I had just unleashed my concerns on the poor Verizon Customer Service Rep when it suddenly dawned on me that the iPhone 8 doesn't even come in rose gold and I'm just losing my mind. I also looked down at my phone and realized it actually was charging. Even though I was doing the online chat with customer service, I could practically hear him tapping his coworker on the shoulder to tell him about the crazy girl who doesn't know her colors.

I worked as a Customer Service Rep for Verizon for 6 months out of college, so I know I'm right about this. It was the worst job EVER. I get night terrors just thinking about it, but those are different stories for different days.

In other news, I went crazy the other day ordering things for Gracie's room. James finished painting it over the weekend, and after weeks of searching, we finally found her curtains. They were packed with some of my clothes? I don't know, but at least she doesn't have an upside down snuggie hanging over her window anymore. I'm keeping her Singin' in the Rain theme, but updating it a bit and adding some new things. I found cloud shelves, raindrop hooks, rainbow and cloud decals, a new rug, bedding, THE WORKS. I'm so excited. I put her new rug on the floor today and she thought it was her new bed. I have about a quarter of the kitchen clean and organized and looking decent. The rest of the house is pure chaos and making my hyperventilate every 17 seconds. Unpacking a new house always SOUNDS so fun and exciting, but then I actually have to do it and I get so overwhelmed I don't even know where to begin. I think the bigger issue is that we are clearly not getting much sleep at night and Gracie is so clingy I can't walk out of the room without high drama. Then James comes home from working a full day and paints the kitchen. So really, what's my excuse?

Anyway, that's where we stand at the beginning of 2018. Excited for the future of our house and also a little terrified of it. I'm not one for resolutions, so my goals are to have fewer car repairs and floods. Not off to a great start, but the year is young.


  1. New houses are so stressful. I kept thinking our shingles would all blow off and break our neighbour's windows and we would be in big trouble. Landlords are like the parents of the housing world. They look after everything!

    When I had the stomach flu and Karl was away last month Parker woke up screaming every night for no reason. Or maybe he could sense the fact that I was up and felt the need for company. I was not impressed. Almost two whole years of sleeping through the night and he chose then to stop. You are not alone. Fortunately Molly hasn't crawled out of her crib and ripped own the Cheerios in the middle of the night yet.

  2. I'm glad you had a good New Year's Eve with no catastrophes!

    Comparing buying a home to having a newborn is pretty spot on; exciting and stressful, terrifying and wonderful.

  3. I feel like the new house/newborn comparison is probably very apt. There's got to be a big learning curve and a whole bunch of crazy stuff at the beginning, but things will settle down with time.
    Your new iPhone story reminded me of when we were visiting my grandparents this summer and my 76 year old grandpa wanted some help with his iPhone (never-had-a-smartphone Angel and owns-the-cheapest-Samsung-model-that-exists Rachel are PERFECT people to ask for iPhone advice...we had to call Angel's brother on our Walmart trackphone/flip phone in order to figure out what to do with the iPhone), and he took the cover off and I was surprised by what I saw, so I said, "Oh, you have the rose gold phone?" and he was like, "Yeah, I thought this was such a nice color!" and inside I was cracking up because apparently along with every basic blogger and instagram star, my farmer grandfather is a fan of rose gold iPhones.

  4. Patrick has been doing weird stuff with his sleep the past few nights, but I didn’t even think about it being the full moon! Last night, he woke up FOUR times. Well, he screamed like a banshee four times, but when we checked the monitor he looked like he was in a dead sleep. So weird! It’s nice that he’s going back to sleep without us, but waking up to a child screaming like they’re being forced to eat broccoli does not make for a peaceful night’s sleep.

    1. What is with these crazy kids?! Gracie was crying half the night last night for no reason at all. I don't get it but I'm starting to lose my mind.

  5. That phone situation reminds of that time one of my children turned off the cellular data on my phone and I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t send or receive text messages. I’m convinced children, especially young ones, make us mommas crazy!

    You’ve got this! You are going to rock this year even if right now it feels like your faltering.

  6. We had such a hard time finding a fridge that would fit our space when we got into our house! Mainly because my husband wanted to get the biggest fridge that would fit in our space, but also because the laundry room door swings weirdly into the kitchen and makes it really awkward to have a fridge. After tons of deliberating, we picked a fridge the weekend that we were moving and the next day my husband measured and realized it wouldn't fit, so he had to cancel the order and we had to find a new fridge! I hope you guys are able to find a fridge that works and makes y'all happy! Also, that is way, way too cold over there. And here I was going stir crazy and freezing when we had single digits for the first few days this week...oh man, hang in there!

  7. I never had a landlord, but I imagine it would be nice to just be able to call them when things go wrong, haha! You get used to it after a while though. It always feels like there's something to do, no matter how new or old your house is!


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