Sunday, December 30, 2012

Raise Your Glass

It was a good year. Nate's uncle Steve requested some sort of "year in summary" from each family at the Bosscher Christmas gathering this year. Nate did a great job putting ours together on the 2.5 hour drive Friday evening. Lots of the photos and videos will probably look familiar to you faithful readers, but hopefully you'll enjoying seeing them again set to some special music. Ray Lamontagne's Hey Mama is special for two reasons: it was Nate's first public banjo performance and also the song Lou first recognized and sang along to (only saying/singing the "Mama" part)...

Happy New Year. May our paths cross often in 2013!

Love,
Nate, Alicia, Louisa and Ries

Friday, December 28, 2012

Merry Christmas!

It's been a lovely, white Christmas in Wisconsin.  We arrived on Saturday night after two uneventful flights with a happy but squirmy 20-month old on our laps. A plastic candy cane full of Reese's Pieces and other treasures packed in her zebra backpack brought happiness to Louisa during our day of travel.

The other baby is growing well and enjoying the sweets that Christmas has to offer. Cousins Baby Bosscher (26 weeks) and Baby Ooms (31 weeks) did lots of leaping for joy in each others' presence. Ugh! Writing that just made me realize that we never took a belly-specific picture! Sad because we won't see each other again before the babies are born. Sad.

With our families living only 1-hour apart, we've been able to spend a few days with each and even brought them all together for a nice Christmas-Eve dinner. Ries has even enjoyed the vacation, visiting with Kip in Madison and Caesar and Cleo in Oconomowoc. She absolutely prefers to sleep with my parents in Oconomowoc and with Marcia in Madison.  Fine with me! :)

Tonight we'll head to Chicago for Nate's extended family's gathering and New Year's Eve should be a relaxing evening with friends in Madison.

Peace and love to you this week and always!





Friday, December 21, 2012

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Rebel Jesus

I've been loving an album lately: From the Realm of Glory by Bebo Norman. This song is my favorite, even though it makes my heart sink and guilt creep in. I think the message is that this "heathen and pagan," Jackson Brown, thinks of Christians as hypocrites. It wouldn't matter so much what he thought of me, unless, as a Christian, I felt the truth of his lyrics in my heart and life. The line that I'm still trying to understand is in bold below. Maybe it means that those Christians who might be daring enough to care about the poor, as Jesus did, get scorned and mocked, as Jesus did?  So we don't, which makes us hypocrites? Thoughts? It's been a hard, ongoing Advent reflection for me the last week or so.

The streets are filled with laughter and light
And the music of the season
And the merchants' windows are all bright
With the faces of the children
And the families hurrying to their homes
As the sky darkens and freezes
Will be gathering around the hearths and tables
Giving thanks for all God's graces
And the birth of the rebel Jesus

They call him by the "Prince of Peace"
And they call him by "The Saviour"
And they pray to him upon the sea
And in every bold endeavor
As they fill his churches with their pride and gold
And their faith in him increases
But they've turned the nature that I worshipped in
From a temple to a robber's den
In the words of the rebel Jesus

We guard our world with locks and guns
And we guard our fine possessions
And once a year when Christmas comes
We give to our relations
And perhaps we give a little to the poor
If the generosity should seize us
But if any one of us should interfere
In the business of why there are poor
They get the same as the rebel Jesus

But pardon me if I have seemed
To take the tone of judgement
For I've no wish to come between
This day and your enjoyment
In this life of hardship and of earthly toil
There's a need for anything that frees us
So I bid you pleasure and I bid you cheer
From a heathen and a pagan
On the side of the rebel Jesus


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Free Subscriptions!

Free today! Free tomorrow! I finally added a way for you to "subscribe" to our blog.  That means that if you choose to do so, you can have our posts sent directly to your inbox.  I will not be offended if you don't want to clutter your box with my silly prose and pictures, but some have asked, so here it is.

I subscribed to A lot of Bright - Anne's brilliant blog, and honestly, it's so helpful because I always know when she's posted something new.  My other blogging friends...I want to do the same for you, but I think you need to add a gadget!  Please?

So this is what you do.  Scroll down below our last post and you'll see a empty field that says "GET OUR POSTS SENT TO YOUR INBOX."  Type your email address in there and click submit.  It's that easy! When you get an email with a post, you can read it directly, or click on the post title to be taken directly to the actual blog, where you can view any pictures in the post.

Happy subscribing (or not) :)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Christmas is Coming...

We're so in the spirit already!  Tree is up, stockings are hung and the Christmas card is being printed.  While I definitely have time to stitch each card again this year, I'd rather make little flannel pants for my nephews :)

Without the final touch...an elastic waistband
Nate cut it down all by himself :)
I wish I was better at making fires
Buckeyes: my favorite Christmas "cookie"

p.s. I'm posting a sneak-preview of our card because I get a $10 off coupon if I do. If you planned to use Shutterfly, let me know and I'll give you the coupon, assuming it's transferable!

Stationery card
View the entire collection of cards.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thankfulness

Our time with my family was wonderful. It was a short visit (Monday afternoon/evening to Friday late-morning), but very relaxing and filled with good food, baby entertainment and lots of walks and runs.  Our visit to Sonoma on Tuesday was lovely despite the rain and a shattered tasting glass!

On Wednesday, we ladies had our nails done at Whole Body before relieving the men of their babysitting duties so they could go watch Skyfall. Thanksgiving day was about as laid-back as one could expect with all the food coming from one kitchen. Oh, except for the beautiful assortment of cheeses that our frined Aaron brought for pre-meal munching. Afterwards, we all kicked-off the Christmas season by watching Elf and eating pie.

Sarah and Dan left California at 1 pm on Friday with a goal of submitting resumes to local companies so they can move out here too. We have it all planned out...shared house, shared nanny...it will be great! My parents left around noon as well, but in car instead of a plane, to visit my grandparents in San Diego. Los Angeles traffic caught them by surprise but they made it by 10 pm or so.

Fun pictures from our week together:








Monday, November 19, 2012

Word Games

Here is a video from Marcia's visit...all the extra attention really got Louisa talking!


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Bye Oma. Hi Belle Mare

You know how they say you can't spoil a baby? Well, I'm wondering if you can spoil a 19-month old? I guess it doesn't matter, because either way, Lou's living the good life and we wouldn't change it. Marcia (a.k.a Oma) just left today and my mom (Belle Mare), dad (Papa), Sarah, Dan and Oliver all arrive on Monday. Lou loved having Marcia here just as much as I did. I've started doing some very part-time nutrition consulting work during the last month and it was great to be able to work without getting a babysitter.  Next week, with my family here, I purposefully have nothing scheduled because Nate has the whole week off and we hope to explore Napa, Half Moon Bay and San Fran with them.

Nate and I also got to go on a date last night while Louisa and her Oma hung out at home. We noticed that we're out of practice though because we expected to be able to eat at a really good restaurant without a reservation and I thought that I'd be able stay awake at a movie that started at 9:40 pm. Ha! Oh well. Regardless of where we ate or the fact that I paid $11.50 for a nap, we both decided that it was nice to spend time together. I was proud of the fact that we hardly talked about Lou or our 20-week old, banana-sized baby.

I didn't take many pictures in the last two weeks, so here are a couple from Louisa's first frisbee lesson two weeks ago in Golden Gate Park.

Hold your hands out like this...
then I'll throw it...
and you'll catch it!


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Our Bag Lady Baby

Someday I'll get fancy with my video editing, but for now, here's what Lou is up to this afternoon...this warm, sunny, election afternoon...






Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trick-or-Treat!

Last year Louisa "dressed up" as a ladybug (thanks, TJMaxx), but it was more of a warm, cute outfit and less of a costume, and she didn't go trick-or-treating.  This year, with a little time on my hands, I decided to make a costume. My trip back to Wisconsin had excellent timing, because 8-days pre-Halloween, I realized the pattern was more complicated than I thought.  Marcia, Nate's mom, was a HUGE help interpreting directions for the chef's hat and sewing the collar and cuffs on the jacket. Thanks to her enthusiasm and sewing skills, the costume was ready for yesterday's big events!

We met Nate's cousin's wife in Los Altos for "downtown trick-or-treat" in the afternoon before meeting up with friends - Heather, Shawn, Jacob and Charlotte - for pizza, salad and nighttime trick-or-treating. Who knew that people give king-sized candy bars to toddlers?! Nate and I were grateful. Louisa caught on very quickly, eagerly marching up to doors, knocking on the door (with a flat palm) and reaching in candy bowls like it was her job. Thankfully Jacob was along to say the obligatory, "trick-or-treat" and "thank you." Fun day!

Jacob, Heather, Charlotte, me and Louisa.  Nice face, Loubear.

Ries got to be in the family photo because it was her 4th/28th birthday




Meanwhile, back at our house, I was conducting a grand experiment. I had thought about buying candy, but felt too cheap when I actually had the opportunity. Besides, I knew we wouldn't be home and hated the thought of greedy teenagers taking the whole bowl. After getting a little bit of gut rot after Lou's afternoon treat collecting, I decided to offer something healthy (and free) to the ghosts and goblins in our neighborhood. Another reason for my late opt-in was the guilt I was feeling this week leading up to Halloween. Most of our neighbors had elaborate decorations and the thought of being that dark, scrooge-like house was not appealing.  SO, I took a ladder out to our bountiful apple treses, carved a pumpkin with Nate's power-drill and made a quick sign to encourage people to take the apples.  LO AND BEHOLD...all of the apples were gone when we got home at 8:45! Success. My dad thinks all the parents made the kids take an apple each, but I like to think that people wanted something to balance out all that sugar :)



Friday, October 12, 2012

My Job = Fun

Louisa has been really pleasant lately...sleeping 12 hours at night and napping 2 hours during the day.  She's eating almost everything we put in front of her and laughing a lot.  That makes me happy to be a stay-at-home mom. Here's a video from today. She makes me laugh.



And here's one from earlier this week. Ries finally got a bath after last weekend's camping trip, so she was ready for prime time.



Love to you all,
Alicia (and Lou and Nate and Ries)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Goals for me, Goals for Lou

I've always been into setting goals. Of course we all set goals at different times in our lives whether we label it a goal or not: finish the semester, find a new job, run a marathon, learn to like tomatoes...

Those are important, but my current goals are not nearly as grand. I just want to do a few simple things that I KNOW make me better. The nice thing about my goals is that while they will require discipline, they won't take up that much time. Although, just writing that made me say to myself, "you do have quite a bit of free time right now." Regardless, I've learned that it's important to set easy goals that you are somewhat passionate about, otherwise you'll get overwhelmed or lose interest.

So what are my goals? Goal number one: yoga at home at least twice per week. I use yoga download.com and recently have been trying to get back into their prenatal offerings. When I was pregnant with Louisa, Abbie and I were pretty consistent about going to prenatal yoga classes on Monday nights. Stretching my body while remembering to breath feels soooooo good, especially when pregnant.

Goal number two: pray more. Ideally I would have a whole devotional routine each day, but again, I want to start easy and get into a habit, so dedicated time for prayer - even for five minutes each day - is where I'm at. God is good and I need to acknowledge that more often. Guidance on my job situation would also be very welcome.

Goal number three: floss more. I hate flossing, especially the teeth that have a permanent retainer, but every time I go to the dentist (every six months!) I feel guilty. Plus, it's healthy and I'm into health.

Louisa's only goal these days is to rock the hipster look.






Friday, October 5, 2012

Hang loose, Hawai'i

Before we moved to California in June, my parents and grandparents had planned a 2-week vacation in Hawai'i.  Once we had made the decision to move our lives to Silicon Valley, I joked that if I wasn't working by September, Lou and I would come to Hawai'i for a visit.  Well, Nate was able to take time off, so we took off for a Hawaiian adventure - our first time to the BIG ISLAND - Friday through Tuesday.

We stayed in Kona and had a wonderful, relaxing time.  Louisa instantly re-bonded with her Belle Mere (my mom) which was no surprise.  The awesome surprise was the love that developed for my dad, her Papa.  They walked outside after dinner to find the moon and played silly games together.  Such a nice break for me!  She also holds a special place in her heart for my grandma, who taught her how to "throw kisses" this summer.

On Saturday I was showered with attention, as if I was going to have a hard time leaving my twenties behind.  We went on a short but steep hike to Pololu Valley Beach.  Our guide book described it this way: The beach itself is a nice wide expanse of fine black sand surrounded by sheer green cliffs and backed by high dunes dotted with pine trees. Yes, I agree. It was gorgeous.

A view from the top
Giving Nate extra-long arms with the wide-angle lens
After a nice lunch at Bamboo in Hawi, we headed back to Kona on a highway lined by black lava fields where visitors often stop with white rocks to design messages.  We didn't have any white rocks and I felt guilty using Nate's suggestion of rearranging someone else's message into our own, so we just drove on by.

Sunday morning we rented snorkles and saw some beautiful fish and one terrifying eel at Kahaluu Beach Park. My mom and grandparents stayed with a napping Loubear on the beach while I snorkled with Nate...yet another attempt to get over my silly fear of fish. I would say I was at my bravest that day.  Sunday afternoon we took a tour of the Kona Brewing Company and sadly learned that all of their bottled beer we had drank was brewed and bottled in Oregon. Apparently they just keg beer at the actual Kona Brewing Company.  That wasn't nearly enough for me to finally agree to let Nate start kegging his beer.


Monday, our last full day on the island, started off with a visit to Magic Sands beach, where we hoped to let Lou ride around on a boogie board.  Unfortunately the waves were surf-able, so too big for Louisa.  Instead, Nate dove around in the waves while Lou dipped her toes in.


Standing up to the waves
We re-grouped at the resort before heading to the south-east portion of the island for a visit to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Unfortunately there was no active flow during our visit, but it was still very cool to see the crater and the steam vents.

Nice of us to bring jackets for ourselves but not for Lou, huh?

The crater formed after the last eruption
So much fun with Belle Mere and Papa

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Lovely wilderness, Ansel Adams

This past weekend I did something I haven't done ever before. I left Louisa and Nate for two whole nights. I've actually never even left her for one. Karen, our pastor's wife, wanted to go backpacking for her birthday. She has three kids under the age of five and stays home with them full-time, so I'm sure she's been looking forward to a get-a-way sans kids for quite some time. The plans started to evolve when I asked when the "women in the mountains" weekend was. Nate went car camping three weeks ago with the men of the church, so I felt my question was valid.  There isn't a women's camping trip, was the answer, but Karen tries to escape to the woods once each year with friends, and she immediately invited me along.






The quiet. The beauty. The lack of chores. It was amazing. Betsy, a good friend of Karen's and recently mine, also came along. We hiked 5.5 miles to Lady Lake on Friday afternoon, attempted a summit hike on Saturday morning and hiked 8 miles back to our car on Sunday morning. Why the discrepancy?  Let's just say we weren't tired enough yet and wanted to hike a couple extra miles. New Orleans style BBQ awaited us at Todd's BBQ in Oakhurst. French fries and icy soda water never tasted so good.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Hello Little Baby!

It's hard to believe this little thing is in my belly. It looks so big on the screen, but I don't look pregnant yet. Well, I look a little pregnant if I just ate. A friend of mine who is about 20 weeks told me that last week, she went to bed with a flat stomach and woke up the next morning with a cantaloupe sized bump. I think that sounds exciting.



In the video, the doctor - who is from Madison, says, "oh and the nuchal looks fine - no worries there."  She's referring to a space near the spine that, when enlarged, could indicate down syndrome or other chromosomal abnormalities.  Nate and I decided that we wanted to forego the nuchal translucency screening like we did with Louisa and my doctor was fine with that, but wanted to do a brief ultrasound just to check the growth.  I'm not sure what we avoided in the end...maybe just blood work that goes along with the ultrasound? I have to admit, I didn't mind seeing the cute little one now that it's a bit more human like than the 8 week "pregnancy verification" ultrasound.  I think Baby Bosscher 2 is going to look like Nate, just like Loubear did/does.

In case you were wondering (because most people do) we are not going to find out the gender and BB2 is due early April.  So let's take a poll: should I attempt to potty train Louisa, who will be 23 months at the time, before BB2 is born? Sounds too ambitious.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

When life gives you time, make videos

Nate and I both used to be very good at taking iPod videos of Louisa for our blog. And even if Anne and Marcia are the only ones that are entertained, I feel like I need to step it up.  Nothing too exciting in this one, but you can see one of Lou's favorite "playgrounds" - our back patio. She often will play outside while I'm in the kitchen which is great because they say independent play is important, right? She has only fallen off the step once and it was while I was outside too, so I figure things can't go too wrong while I'm inside within earshot. Don't worry, the video rotates once you press play!



Louisa has been going to sleep before Nate gets home these days. It's sad for him, but necessary for me (and her). She actually has been super-pleasant lately as long as she eats 3 meals and 2-3 snacks each day and we make time for a two hour nap somewhere around noon. My fig-to-plum sized baby has been tiring me out lately and I've been trying to nap too, although it can be hard. Sometimes it's just too enticing to get a bunch of around-the-house stuff done while Lou is sleeping. Today I did sit down and watch TV instead of sleeping (or doing chores). That has to count as rest on some level, right?

And now, a guest blogger...the one, the only, Nate, our Mac Daddy...

(he's here to share a bit about his job, for those who are curious and keep asking Marcia for updates)

Hi Everyone!  I'm a little over three months into my job now and am feeling fairly settled in.  The hours are longer than I would like, but the job is proving to be challenging and interesting.  I am working a lot with the China supply end of things right now, which is fascinating.  Mass production of consumer goods is something that is new to me and the learning curve has been quite steep.  Only after my second trip to China did I really start to feel that I knew what I was doing.  You may have noticed my company's big announcement last week... it was pretty exciting to be apart of the work that went into these new products.  We'll see whether the workload slows down a bit this fall, but for now I am enjoying my work and relishing the time I get to spend with Alicia and Lou at home.

We'll see if I can't get Nate to talk about the work he does at this mysterious company more often. :)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Little Trail Runners

The main event of Abbie and Paul's visit happened this morning: the Title 9K - one of the few organized running races that allows baby joggers (strollers).  Even if we hadn't done awesome, placing third and fourth in our stroller division, I would have felt proud that the morning leading up to the race went as well as it did:

1. Woke up on time (6:45 am)
2. Ate breakfast (cereal with blueberries, toast with peanut butter and jelly, banana)
3. Fed the kids breakfast (banana, blueberries, oatmeal with raspberries)
4. Swapped the carseats into the appropriate vehicle (Paul helped here)
5. Loaded up the BOBs (Paul also did this)
6. Found Quarry Park Recreation Area (30-ish minutes from our house)
7. Parked, re-assembled the strollers, picked up our packets, waited in the port-a-potty line...

This all happened without tears or whines from Louisa or Max and they both happily rode along for 5.38 miles.  Because this was a race only for women, there was a lot of "YOU GO GIRL" sentiment, especially if you were pushing a stroller.  Next year, I think we'll try to win...we would just have to run 8 minute miles instead of 9:30 miles.  The other option would be for the over-achieving winner to run without her stroller, because we only finished one minute behind the second place stroller.  Regardless, it was a fun event!




Saturday, September 15, 2012

Wasabi Wonder

Abbie, Paul and Max are visiting this week.  How fun to have a live-in friend for Louisa!  Since Abbie babysat Lou regularly while she was an infant, she has an instant re-bond with her every time we get together.  On Thursday we went to Santa Cruz to meet a midwife.  Abbie and Max played at a park with hot slides during the appointment and then the babes and the moms went to the beach.  It was a gorgeous day and the kids had fun dipping their toes in the ocean.

Yesterday, Friday, we drove to Cupertino to have lunch with Nate at Mac Cafe.  The options are seemingly endless so we were all able to satisfy our cravings - including me, the pregnant woman who craves (non raw fish) sushi.  Lou and I have been to lunch at Nate's office four times and haven't noticed high chairs, so as usual, I set her on my lap to eat.  Unfortunately her curiosity and hunger got the best of her when she reached out and grabbed some wasabi from my plate.  I heard a wimper and a cough and looked down.  Poor Lou was moving her tongue around, trying to spit out the horribly spicy green stuff.  Nate said, "it's wasabi!" and I prepared to run away from the crowd of Apple-folk so Lou could cry it off.  Wasabi is cool like that though - the pain goes away pretty darn quickly.  I gave her a blackberry and a sip of melon-infused water (fancy, I know) and she was over it.  Maybe her tolerance comes from the time I accepted $20 from my dad to eat a teaspoon of straight wasabi?  Regardless of how we all escaped without making a scene, it was great!  Of course this all happened quickly so we didn't get a picture, but this picture sort of invokes that same image - tasting something green that's a bit disappointing...

Tasting apples in the front yard
Today, Saturday, we plan to do a little family wine-tasting.  It's a family wine tasting trip only in the sense that the babes are coming along to Sonoma with us.  Don't worry, the pregnant lady can't ingest wine, so I'll be in charge.

Lou's favorite little Packer fan, Mr. Max

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Dear Diary,

I'm sure the thought has crossed my mind that a blog is like a diary, but I haven't approached our blog that way before today. From time to time since about fifth grade, I've journaled like crazy, mostly writing prayers to God about what was good, offfering praise, or bad, asking for help.  Lately I haven't been in this habit but I'd like to get back to it.  Today though, I'm absolutely using our blog as an outlet...to write things down so I don't hold 'em in.  Now you probably think I'm going to get all serious and sappy. Nope, I just want to complain for a minute.

Ries was up most of last night with diarrhea. And Louisa went to bed at a reasonable hour, but then insisted on being up (with Nate, thankfully) from 12 to 1 o'clock in the morning.  She partially-redeemed herself by sleeping until nine this morning.  Around 10 am, we went to run some errands, leaving the diarrhea-dog at home.  When we came home, Ries had thrown up on the carpet.  At this point, Louisa asks for food, so I sit her in her chair and give her some crackers.  She eats one, then gives one to Ries. "NO," I say, "food is for Lou, not for Ries," and I go clean up the vomit.  I hear giggling in the kitchen, and go back in to see Lou purposefully throwing goldfish crackers on either side of her chair, down to Ries. What really got me is that the vomit I was cleaning up was yellow/orange.  In a split second, no doubt carried away by fatigue and nausea, I decided to give Louisa her first timeout.  I plucked her from her chair and carried her into her bedroom, laying her down in her crib.  Yes, she cried this time.  I calmly closed the door and proceeded to vacuum to drown out the sobbing.  Sorry Louisa, you might be too young for a timeout, but I reached my limit.

Thankfully she is now happily playing by herself with her toys that were somewhat hidden behind the red couch I was trying to sell on Craigslist for the past two weeks.  It's like Christmas now that the couch is gone!  With all this free time, I may just read about how early timeouts are effective.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

She's Back and I'm Relieved

Louisa and I returned from DC last week Wednesday and Nate returned from China on Thursday. While we were all happy to be reunited, we were disappointed to realize that Louisa was not her normal self.  On Saturday night we used our digital thermometer for the first time and quickly consulted the American Academy of Pediatrics book to figure out that magic cutoff for consulting the doctor.  Tricky: if it's over 103, call the doctor, but also consider other symptoms.  Well, hers was 103.2 but she didn't have any other symptoms.  Long story short, the fever came down on Sunday but she was tired, cranky and spotted until Tuesday when I finally took her to the doctor. The verdict? Roseola. Nothing serious and no treatment needed.

The GREAT news is that today she was finally, absolutely back to her normal, funny, happy self.  The one AWESOME "side effect" that has stuck around is that she goes down without a cry at naps and at bedtime. Nice work Loubear!

To celebrate normal life with a toddler, we went to Happy Hollow Park & Zoo in San Jose. Fun! As the name implies, it's a park (with play structures, picnic areas and carnival rides) and a zoo (with interesting animals like lemurs and capybaras).  I didn't blog about our trip to Half Moon Bay on Sunday, but the highlight was Louisa touching a "wild" starfish.  She stayed true to her wild side today - eagerly touching a python and a small tortoise.  Way more daring than her mother.  Speaking of her mother, I have something in common with the goat pictured below: I'm pregnant!

Mehhhh

I'm not sure why Lou's hair is so crazy, I guess the cars were faster than I thought?

The python Lou touched

Plums from the neighbor for dessert

Monday, August 27, 2012

It Costs Money

When I was younger, my mom always used to say, "it costs money just to stay alive."  I don't remember the circumstances, but I imagine it came up most often when I was a teenager and complained about how much things cost and the lack of money I had.

Today that phrase rang through my head over and over again.  I'm sort of in house-hunter mode, but the trouble is, we need to save a whole lot of money before we can actually buy a house out here.  So being in house-hunter mode makes me be in money-saving mode as well.  It's good, and I think I'm pretty good at saving money, but it can be so frustrating when unexpected expenses pop up!  You can't say "wait" or "no" to these.  For example, if your new (used) car has a leaky coolant line, you have to pay more than $400 to fix it.

I'm a big coupon girl, so today when I went to get the oil changed on aforementioned car, I printed off a coupon: $21.95 for a premium oil change. What did I end up paying? $69.95 plus tax! And that was a special offer. Ugh. I learned about synthetic oil today.

Those pesky little (and big) expenses that you don't anticipate. No fun.

What a downer blog post! I think I'll add a picture of Louisa to try and make this visit worth your time. Let me know if that did the trick.

The tide pools of Bean Hollow Beach

Enjoying the smooth pebbles on the beach

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