Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Waiting Game

This is a typical daily scenario:

Check the clock in our kitchen constantly until 11AM. Grab the nearest available footwear. Proceed cautiously with toddler in tow down the driveway. Heart starts fluttering and stomach starts flipping as we open the mailbox. Peak in box for large white envelope among the advertisements for gutter cleaning and million dollar home lotteries. Realize that the mailman has delivered only bills, junk and an unknowing dose of heartache.... still no letter for our Immigration Interview Date!!!

We are going to be homeless in a matter of 3 weeks and we still do not know when Ben is going to be finished with all of this US immigration hoopla. Our lives and plans are in limbo until we receive a letter stating the date of the Greencard interview. We are a little bit discouraged to say the least...

If you are so inclined, we would appreciate any prayer coming our way for this situation.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I know that I have done a similar sleeping post in the past but I couldn't resist. I love it when people first wake up- red cheeks, puffy faces and incoherent smiles (or snarls depending on the person).

Taking a snooze with 'Big Ben.' Lil's dad also used to sleep with the bear when he was little (like 17).

'Umm...are you just going to keep me trapped in here or what?'

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Rub a Dub

Monday, September 21, 2009

Stupendous September

September has been a bit of a blur for us! I have good news my friends- the house is officially rented. This is for real! The paperwork has been signed and the deposit is in-hand. We will find out later this week if we have to move out on October 1st or November 1st- either way things are accelerating nicely. I always fancied myself a pseudo-realtor type before this whole rental debacle. But after the last few weeks I now have a better respect for realtors and anyone in property management- there are some real psychos out there and people can act like slippery little eels when it comes to negotiations. I am going to stick to my day job.

I just had the chance to download 250 pics of the lovely Lil and all of her activities from the past couple of weekends. I feel that many of these pics capture the current essence of Lil. This kid is always moving, yelling (sometimes crying) and bossing us around.

Playgrounds are a great outlet for the lil climber.

Bocce and Bikinis with our friends the Brachats and the Carrs.

Two glamorous ladies enjoying the September sunshine.

Playing with cousin Mattias- he is a cute one.

COWS! Lil's favorite animal ever.

Bursts of wind (or is that just energy?).

Dads, the best form of private transportation.

BFF Danica in the kiddie train at the fair.

This expression encapsulates the 'mood' of the last few weeks.

Trying out a new set of wheels.

OK, definitely had enough.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Spoke Too Soon

I have a tendency to get excited about things and then I end up eating my words. Take a bite out of this. In my last post I celebrated the acquisition of renters for our house and to my disappointment I learned the hard way that just because people verbally confirm something does not mean that it is said and done.So the hunt for the ultimate renters is still on. The most difficult part of the process is keeping our house immaculate when I have a little 16 month-old 'helper' following me around. Hopefully I will have more concrete and 'in-writing' news about renters in the next couple of days.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Let the Good Times Roll

I am pleased to announce that our house is officially (drum-roll please) RENTED!! Hooray! A super nice family with 3 kids will be moving into our home on October 1st. They are the exact type of tenants we were praying for :) We are now one step closer to making the big move.

In the meantime the following needs to happen-
- Move out of our house to the in-law's guest cottage for a month.
- Get Ben's immigration paperwork in the mail.
- Ben needs to fly to Montreal for his US immigration interview.
- Find a place to live in California.
- Move down to the new place.
- Find a job!
WOW, the next few months are going to be a very interesting time in our life.

On another note, Ben's sister Heidi recently finished her schooling in Hawaii and has been visiting Victoria with her boyfriend Ralph. Lil had a chance to hang out with Auntie Heidi and Ralph for a couple of hours over at Beacon Hill Park.

Lil loved petting all of the animals. She could be heard squealing in delight for the entire 30 minutes we visited the petting zoo.

The ubiquitous 'family shot.'

Hanging with Auntie and Ralph.

'No, we do not give our daughter sugary, strawberry milkshakes for lunch!' Shoot, I guess there is incriminating digital evidence.

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Perfect Melody

This is one of the coolest things I have seen in a while.

This is what the composer Jarbas Agnelli said in regard to his video-

"Reading a newspaper, I saw a picture of birds on the electric wires. I cut out the photo and decided to make a song, using the exact location of the birds as notes (no Photoshop edit). I knew it wasn't the most original idea in the universe. I was just curious to hear what melody the birds were creating."

Birds on the Wires from Jarbas Agnelli on Vimeo.

It is through things like this that I see His intricate beauty and perfect design.

Luck of the Cheap

I debated whether or not to share this with everyone (you know wanting to keep up a 'cool' facade and everything) but I was just too excited not to share my experience!

Last night while going for a walk I noticed a discarded hoodie sweatshirt laying near the side of the road. It had obviously been out there for a couple of days because it was soaking wet and we have had rain for the last few days. Most normal people wouldn't even notice the discarded clothing or at least they would just keep walking even if they did spy an unwanted hoodie. Not this girl. I full on stopped the stroller went over to the sweatshirt and checked it out. To my delight, not only was it my size but it was also a particularly pricey brand name! Since there are no lost and founds on random residential roads and it had obviously been sitting outside for a while (rationalizing in my mind), I snagged the soaking garment and stored it in the bottom of the stroller. For the rest of the walk I reveled in my incredibly good luck! When we arrived home I promptly placed the hoodie in the wash and waited in anticipation to try on a cleaner version of my find. After the hoodie was washed and dried I threw it on over my nightgown and paraded around our living room showing off my new outfit to Ben. He was not quite as excited as I was...

Does this make me sound like a homeless person scrounging up clothes from the street? Does this make me sound unbelievably cheap? Yep, but I could care less because I am thrilled to bits with my new hoodie! Notice that I did not mention the actual brand name or the color of my new find? Yeah, that was on purpose. I can't give away all of my secrets. Next time you see me you will have to figure out if I actually paid for my clothing or swiped it from the side of the road.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Woes of Renting

This moving business sucks.

This past weekend we decided to post our house up for rent and pray for the best. We were thrilled when we had response to our ads within a couple of hours! Wow, will it be this easy? Um, apparently not. We had 3 showings yesterday and I felt like a bonafide realtor.We took all the necessary steps to make the place presentable- we de-cluttered, put on soothing spa-like music, lit a scented candle and sent the maniac toddler to play at Grandma and Far-Far's. Everyone claimed the home was 'beautiful' but nobody was ready to commit.

What gives?! In part I think people in Victoria are looking for a killer deal. Do you know that someone actually had the nerve to ask us to lower our rental price by $500 a month? When I didn't budge they wanted to know if the place could come with the furniture. At this point I told them to get lost... Rent in Victoria is bizarre. Considering the cost of real estate is pricey (even comparable to much of the Bay Area now) rent is still pretty low. I think the only landlords making a profit (or even covering their mortgage) on this island are ones that purchased their property 20 years ago. OK, I am done with my rant now...

Please pray that our home will rent quickly to awesome tenants. It would be a huge load off our shoulders to have our housing situation wrapped up...

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Seaside Sojourn

We decided to take advantage of a beautiful autumn morning and go for a family constitutional out on Dallas Road.

As you can see, Lil was not such a big fan of 'family time' to start with.

As soon as we set her loose she was thrilled to be able to snack on a few rocks.

She did some rock walking with Mom.

Can you find the baby?

Cute Daddy/Daughter shot.

Sharing- something we have been trying to work on lately.

Someone was too squirmy for BOB the stroller so her strong Daddy had to carry her back to the car.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Sorting and Selling

We have been busy prepping for the upcoming 'international' move. We are planning on leaving around Nov. 1st, but figured that it was better to have a garage sale and rid ourselves of unused treasures ahead of time.

Since our sale, people have been inquiring 'how did it go?' and my answer is 'OK.' We encountered a bit of a garage sale phenomenon- people purchased most of the items that barely escaped the garbage bin (i.e. junk) and left the relatively decent items untouched. Another rather sketchy incident also happened at the sale. We had two 65+ ladies literally shouting at each other over a mirror. Things even escalated to the point where the mirror was being yanked between the two of them. Unsure of what to do, we stepped into the background and let them have it out. The bizarre thing is that in the end neither of them even bought the stinkin thing! I guess they caught a case of 'want what they can't have' syndrome.

Packing away one of our treasures.

Lil thought she was in heaven while Mom and Dad 'played' with loads of old toys.

Baby for sale. A good price for you my friend...

Most of the items you see above are still kicking around our house. Let me know if you need a 'piano bar' or Christmas items.