We’re wearing coats and socks and sweaters and long sleeves! Though sometimes I forget the socks. Four years in the Philippines is hard to undo.
There are colorful leaves on (and off) the trees. And it’s cold outside. Like chattering teeth and dry skin kind of cold. Well, except for today, and yesterday, and Sunday and Saturday and even Halloween. Our little warm spell is making it hard to hide the fact that I started this blog update a week ago.
Still, it's our first fall since 2004, and it’s fabulous. Gorgeous. So nice to be shivering instead of sweating.
We visited a pumpkin patch with the kids a few weekends back. We bundled up in cozy sweaters and everything. Of course it was 80 degrees that day, but at least the pics of us in our sweaters look fall-appropriate.
The husband and I drove to Chicago on the 18th to watch a preseason Jazz/Bulls game. The seats were tenth row, the closest I’ve ever been to the floor. As a die-hard Jazz fan it felt a little weird to be in enemy territory, but it was still very cool to see a game at the United Center. Plus I’m 90 percent sure I saw Cameron (Alan Ruck) from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off sitting courtside with his kids. He seemed like a great dad. Very cool.
Now that we’re Midwesterners, we’re slowly getting accustomed to rooting for Illinois teams, plus the Cardinals since they’re so close. I’ve been to see Wicked in Chicago and the arch in St. Louis. It’s amazing to live in a completely new part of the country and visit places I’ve never seen before.
Owning cars and a home again has not been pretty. Since June we’ve experienced:
-Flooded basement, not covered by insurance or home warranty. On the upside, we did get to replace the yellow paint and ugly blue carpet down there.
-Broken garage door spring, not covered by home warranty, though we had to pay the warranty-approved garage guy $95 just to come out and tell us it wasn’t covered. The spring was an extra $350.
-Broken pool pump, partially covered by home warranty. Cost of redeeming the disgusting, algae-filled pool: not covered.
-Broken truck (starter)
-Broken car stereo
Add this to all the things we bought for the house when we got here (planned and unplanned), and our savings is gut-churningly small. Scary stuff, considering the state of the economy these days.
But we also have these gorgeous woods behind our house, with wild turkeys and squirrels and all kinds of birds I’ve never seen before. Apparently once the leaves are gone we’ll be more likely to spot deer. It’s a lovely, quiet street. I love that the kids can go out and play all day and be safe and happy. It’s a very good thing for my peace of mind.
The boys love school. It’s great having them in the US school system again. Of course it helps that they both got glowing reviews at their first parent/teacher conferences. \0/ Kid #1 even made the honor roll.
I’m taking a photography class at the local art guild. It’s fabulous, and something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I’ve got this great camera the dear husband bought me for Christmas last year and I’ve been too afraid to use anything other than the auto feature. I’m about two years behind on photos, so scrapbooking is probably a thing of the past. I’ve scrapbooked each of the kids’ first years, basically, so that’s good enough for now. I’m stuck with a ton of supplies though. And I love buying supplies, I do, I do! Guess that’s part of the problem.
I can’t wait to take pictures of the kids when we get our first snowfall.
What I miss about Manila (because I have days when I do, weirdly enough):
Our neighbors, the Ross family
Garrett and Kelly, even though they had already moved to China. At least they were CLOSER than they are now.
Our favorite mall/restaurant hangouts
Cheap kid clothes
Every once in a while I’ll have a nightmare where we didn’t get out of Manila and we still have a ton of paperwork for the adoption, and I’m running around yelling at people and freaking out. I think it’s the new version of that old dream where it’s the end of the semester and I have a math final and haven’t gone to class all year. The other twist is the one where I’m in a play on opening day and don’t know my lines. I’m afraid the books on dream interpretation wouldn’t have good things to say about how this reflects on my state of mind and/or organizational skills.
Lastly: The writing is slow, slow going. For goodness’ sake, I’m just now getting around to updating my blog after five months. I’m still working on my most recent YA story a few times a week. Maybe when I finally manage a first draft I’ll allow myself back on the writing message boards. At the moment I’m in no state to handle other people’s writing success. (It’s petty, I know, but all too true!)