Friday, June 14, 2019

Five Things for Friday

1. I somehow hurt my arm and tore a muscle or something in the side of my left bicep (or maybe it's a tricep? 
I don't know). It's hurt so much this week. I haven't been able to lift my arm to do my hair, turn on the left-hand turning signal in the car, reach back to fasten my seatbelt, or other previously mindless things like those. It feels like I got stabbed or shot in the arm. But there's no bruise or anything. I've been taking ibuprofen all week and that's helped. Today it's almost back to normal. It's such a weird injury, especially since I have no idea how I got it.

2. The plumber came and fixed the low water flow problem in the shower. It was a problem with the showerhead. He put on a new one and it's amazing. My shower is now a glorious experience each morning. 

3. I got my eyebrows microbladed. I'd been wanting to try it because I have light, sparse eyebrows and I wanted them to be more defined without having to fill them in myself anymore. So I did it, and and I looked like Frida Kahlo for a week because they were so dark and dramatic-looking. I looked ridiculous and had to go into hiding as much as I possibly could last week! But then they healed and lightened up and now I really like how they look. I'll post pictures at some point if I feel okay about publicizing how funny I looked. Oh what am I talking about, I'll do it, I have no shame.

4. There was a cursed day recently when in the span of just a few hours I was confronted with three dead/almost dead animals. It was so random. And so gross, especially the third one.

First, Boo Boo got something that looked like a mouse that was hiding in some stones near the front porch. He ran off onto the lawn with it and I called him in so he dropped it and I think I saved its life because it wasn't there when I very gingerly looked later. 

Second, there was a dead bird at the base of the front porch steps when Sam got home from school that day, which I had John dispose of because I just can't with dead animals. I don't know if Boo Boo got him too. If he did he was really on a roll that day. 

And finally, the horrors of the pool filter baskets happened again. Sam and I were checking them and he opened one up and there was a dead furry animal with a long tail floating in there. 😱😱😱 I only caught a glimpse and then shouted for him to put the cover back on right away!! This was even worse than the dead frog with the white eyeballs, and I didn't think much could top that! My mom is a brave woman and took care of it a couple of days later. It was a bloated mouse. I may never look at the pool the same way again. 

5. The law of threes happened again, but this time it was in a much better way. In the span of just a few weeks, I received three different Edible Arrangements. Two of them were completely unexpected. That has never happened to me before! The boys and I ate them all up. 😋 Chocolate-covered strawberries are one of my favorite things (especially when it's premium dark chocolate, which Edible Arrangements uses!).

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Welcome (Back) to Massachusetts

I'm still mourning the loss of my phone pictures because there were some good ones in there of our last days in Iowa and of our trip East and of our first couple of months in the new house, but maybe someday in the (hopefully near) future they'll turn up and I'll be able to do a belated post about them. Crazier things have happened. In the meantime, at least I have my camera pictures and the phone pictures that I'd posted on Facebook! 

We got to Massachusetts on Wednesday, June 27th. Despite the heartache of moving from Iowa, it was good to be back in my home state--for good this time!

The house officially became ours when we closed on June 29th.

It's a pretty house in a pretty neighborhood. The neighborhood was in the early stages of development when I was graduating from high school and this house was built when I was in college. I used to babysit at a house nearby when I was in high school and during summers home from college, and I'd drive through the streets of this neighborhood scoping out the nice houses that were being built. I never thought I'd actually own one of them and get to live there!

The movers didn't come until the next day so we got to explore our empty new house. Sam staked his claim for his new room. He wanted a back bedroom that overlooked the pool.

The previous owners were very nice and we got to meet them briefly on closing day as they were leaving and we were coming. They left us a lot of helpful information and a bottle of wine (which we appreciated but did not imbibe).
I'll forever be grateful to them for accepting our offer when they had another competitive one on the table. And you know what's weird? Their last name is the same last name as the couple who my parents bought their house from when my family moved to Hopkinton in 1993, 25 years earlier! And it's not that common of a last name. Is that a sign or what!?

The boys took the opportunity to jump in the pool that day. It was hot out!

It was going to be so fun having our own pool! But then the water turned green less than ten days later! I had no idea how to take care of a pool. I hired the pool company to do it pretty quickly after that!

There were a few pieces of furniture in the house that we'd bought from the previous owners, which was nice because there was a comfortable place to sit in this otherwise empty house.

Snuggling with Sam.

When I see this picture I'm reminded of how tired I was. It had been a physically and emotionally exhausting week/month/season.

Move-in day was Saturday, June 30th. It was hot and humid and we couldn't figure out how to get the central air turned on. I felt bad for the movers! We did get it figured out later in the day, but by then most of their work was done.

It was good and comforting to have all of our furniture and things back again. And overwhelming!

I definitely had my work cut out for me for the next several weeks!

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Niagara Falls

We made a quick evening stop at beautiful Niagara Falls on the drive East. I'd been there before on a stake youth church trip in high school over twenty years ago and I'd always wanted to go back. We're going to have to go back (yet again, for me) and give it the proper time it deserves, but we did get to do the Maid of the Mist boat ride down at the bottom of the falls, which was the biggest thing we wanted to do. We enjoyed the stunning up-close views of the falls, and all that water mist felt pretty good at the end of a long day in the car!

I love how rainbows shoot through the air down there!

I took these pictures when we weren't on the boat anymore (I guess that's obvious).

I don't know how people have gone over the falls in a barrel and survived! There is so much power and strength in the force of all that water.

Niagara Falls is definitely a wonder of the world in my book!

Monday, June 10, 2019

Good Times on the Road Trip East

We left Iowa 😔 on Saturday, June 23rd (2018) and got to Massachusetts on Wednesday the 27th. In the interim, we stopped and did some fun things along the way, things we hadn't taken the time to do on all of our drives between the two points in the years prior. This time, we had the time to do some of them!

We stayed at Kalahari waterpark in Sandusky, Ohio from Saturday to Tuesday morning. We'd been to Kalahari in Wisconsin Dells before but not to the one in Ohio. It had a fun zip-lining course that the boys did and a little zoo, neither of which the Wisconsin one had. It was a lot of fun (although I prefer the Wisconsin Dells Kalahari overall--I liked the layout of the indoor waterpark and the resort better there).

There's the figure of John in the distance, zip-lining.

And there's my babydoll Sam, zip-lining for the first time ever! He loved it!
A backward glance...

This was part of the view from the balcony of our room. We spent most of our time at the indoor waterpark rather than the outdoor one (it's a lot bigger inside, and shaded!).  

Also from our room's balcony I had a good view of the boys on this part of the zipline. In this picture Sam is up on the platform and John is headed through the air towards him.

There goes Sam... 

...and there goes John! 
 They make it looks so easy. I would have been scared. But someday I think I'll be courageous and do this in a rainforest or over a Caribbean beach or something.

On Monday we went to nearby Cedar Point, a popular amusement park that's known as "America's Roller Coaster Capital." That is why we went, and it was solely for the boys! They'd been watching lots of YouTube videos in the previous months about the coasters there and they couldn't wait to go on them. Cedar Point didn't disappoint and they rode every roller coaster they could (John went on all of them, Sam went on most--he wasn't tall enough for some. Peter and I went on a few.) 

View of some of the park from the parking lot. Look at all those coasters!

This is the Top Thrill Dragster. It's VERY high, very fast, and very steep. I will NEVER go on this ride. The boys rode it twice and loved it. Their only complaint was that it wasn't a longer ride. I don't know why they would have wanted to be on that horror show for any longer than they were. I don't know where their thrill-seeking comes from. It skipped a generation with me and Peter! 

The park's newest crown jewel is Steel Vengeance, an amazing roller coaster that's so popular that sometimes it has up to a 4-hour wait. Luckily the boys only had to wait about an hour to ride it--and that was with FastPass! In retrospect, I wish I'd gone on it too. I let my fear stop me, but I think it would have been more fun and thrilling than terrifying. If we go back I'll go on it. And we will likely go back at some point--Sam made me promise, and I can't break a promise to Sam.
The boys loved Steel Vengeance; it was their favorite coaster in the whole park!

Some other coasters the boys went on...

John's face cracks me up in this one. 😆

They're in the front row towards the left in both pictures (I don't know why there are two of the same picture).

 While John was going on some of the coasters that Sam couldn't, I took Sam to play some games, and he won this big sequined snake. It wasn't easy to do either, but he did it on his last try. He was so happy!
My favorite ride in the park was Maverick, a really fun coaster that doesn't go too far up from the ground (those ones are my favorites!) but has some really fun and suprising twists and turns and things. It's one of Cedar Point's most popular rides and I can see why.

(None of these is Maverick, I just thought this was very picturesque.)
It was a fun day at Cedar Point! And then it was nice to go back to Kalahari that evening and cool off on the slides and soak in the hot tub. I'm going to give the third thing we stopped to do its own post because the pictures are pretty and plentiful enough to merit their own post. Stay tuned!