At last the story can be told

Whew! I've been keeping secrets for a long time. Now I can finally talk about some things that have been going on. Buckle up, because we've got a lot of ground to cover.

Both my readers will surely recall that we put our house back on the market this year after failing to sell it (twice) in 2009. Well, we thought about living there for a few more years, but that changed as soon as we found our dream house in the country. It was a foreclosure and we didn't want to miss this opportunity, so we negotiated with the bank for a couple of weeks and then signed a deal to buy it. Which was very exciting, but also terrifying, because our offer was non-contingent and we still had to sell our house in St. Paul!

I don't want to jinx anything, but I feel like we're at the point where I can finally share all of this. We officially passed the appraisal (which is what screwed us over the last time) so it looks like we will definitely be able to sell our city house. Also, as of today, we cleared the FHA inspection on the new place! Country roads, take me home.


Tokyo biker, originally uploaded by manganite

I've been circling the question of what to do about my motorcycle, while not riding it all along, for a couple of years now. My emotions clouded my judgment. When it comes to stuff, and whether to keep it or toss it, there's only one criterion that matters. I asked myself, "Does this make my life better?" The short answer is "no."

My father-in-law was a bit disappointed, and that was holding me back. Then I remembered that I don't have to live the way other people expect me to. I'm happy because (as one of my Twitter followees likes to say:) I do what I want, not what I think you want me to do. So I sold the bike.

The new owner is a lady my age, and it will be her first bike. Thanks to my girlish figure, she was able to fit into almost all my riding gear, and so I was able to get some extra cash for that too. As her dad rode the bike away, I felt at peace with the decision. Plus my wallet was a little heavier, and that doesn't hurt!

Imperfect Archivist

I'm under no illusions about my audience for this blog; I know that its primary reader is myself. That's true now but especially in the future. So my goal is to keep a history of fatherhood that is both worthy of re-reading and as comprehensive as possible.

Ideally I would like to chronicle every aspect of Natalie's life. A post for each new word, first step, and precious moment. Natalie will do something adorable and I'll think, "that needs to go on the blog right away," but real life is rarely that convenient.

So I do the best I can, capturing snippets of information with minutes of stolen time, snapshots of a young girl's development. Here she is doing the "gigga gigga" dance. It is her interpretation of "Hold Still (Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle Go)" from Yo Gabba Gabba... the cutest thing of all time of the day.

We All Scream

iceblingtruck, originally uploaded by don gelato a.k.a iceblingking

My latest craze is making ice cream. I could eat ice cream every day, and it's fun to make, so there's no lack of motivation to keep churning it out. The first batch of French vanilla was a revelation. So rich and creamy.

I tried this Fresh Mint Ice Cream Recipe which sounded interesting because it involved making crème fraîche, which is a fancy sour cream. The crème fraîche came out alright but I couldn't see how a sour cream base was going to make a delicious, sweet, ice cream. As it turned out, it didn't. It was just a frozen, mint-flavored, sour cream blob.

My two recent successes were Rocky Road + Irish Whiskey. I could double the batch for the latter recipe and still easily fit into our KitchenAid ice cream maker. I am in love with that thing. It may be the best appliance we've ever bought.

A True Minnesotan

Now that we're having great Spring weather, Natalie wants to spend every waking minute outside. Chasing bubbles, making chalk drawings on the patio furniture, stomping the strawberry plants; there's no end of fun activities. When we bring her inside she cries, "out!" "Shoe!" (as in, "put back on my").

At the end of the day, she has dirty hands and scraped knees, and I'm proud to see her making the most of it. It's a joy to watch her explore her world.


threesixtyfive day:203, originally uploaded by bigcrustyape

Natalie has learned to say "stuck." As it turns out, this is a terribly useful word for a toddler to know. She manages to get herself stuck in all kinds of places and now she can tell us about it so that we can get her out.

I was also feeling a bit stuck recently, in my career. Although my day-to-day tasks have changed drastically, I've been working in essentially the same position for nearly three years, the longest I've ever stayed in one job. I actually love that job, and I'm good at it, but that's kind of the problem. I was too comfortable; essentially spinning my wheels, doing the work but not moving forward.

So it was the perfect time for a promotion! I'll be taking on a more challenging role, with greater responsibility and more visibility with the company. I can't wait to get started! Now we just need to hire someone to do my old job...

Happy Easter!

"He is Risen!!", originally uploaded by Jim Vail Photos

And he said to them, "Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him."

-Mark 16:6 (NASB)

House (for sale)

Our house is on the market again. Would you like to buy it? It will look like this again soon. We're getting into that beautiful spring growing season and many of our flowers and plants are already popping out of the ground.