Samuel Jerome and Richnightder

Samuel Jerome and Richnightder
Our boys in Haiti

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I'm not a tourist, I live here

We've been to the Mall of America many times, but this time I was happy to claim that mall as my 'home' mall.  Finally, after living 9 years in purgatory (North Dakota) we are returning to civilization again.  Walking thru the mall on Sunday afternoon, I was annoyed by the mass of people there that were sight-seeing.  Don't these people know that it's MY MALL?  Sheesh

The movers come on December 10th and will spend two days packing us up and two days loading.  We will be in our new home about December 14th and all of us are excited beyond word.  Marc is really happy about his new office.  We went into meet everyone there and Marc hit the jackpot!  His office is on the 8th floor, and overlooks the Mississippi River.  He has the enviable corner office with floor to ceiling windows and a couch and occasional chairs.  It's officially a big boy office.  His agency occupies 34,000 square feet on the 7th and 8th floor and is really, really impressive. It's honestly a fully contained mini city.  But the best part of his new office is.....wait......because of the building's location and the fact that he has underground parking, we can walk from there to the Twin's Stadium, the Timberwolve's venue and the Viking's Stadium.  I have some very happy boys in my house right now!

Our new home is exactly 32 miles from the Mall of America.  Trust me, Madison is pretty darn happy with that one!  My Nordstrom card was used exhaustively the past 10 days and will enjoy future exercise.  There is so much more to do and explore there than there is here.

I've had numerous people in Bismarck tell me what a great place Bismarck is to raise a family.  All I can say to that is, that might be true if your family is homogeneously white.  But if you have black kids, this is not the place I want my kids to grow up.  I'm tired of people expressing out-rage at our racial incidents, but being too cowardly to make a stand for us and the 'right' thing.  It takes a strong person stand up for those who have been maligned, but sadly, we haven't met any of those strong people in Bismarck.  The incident at church this past summer was a true blessing.  It brought to light the meek and cowardly nature of those whom we had once respected and pushed Marc's agency to move us quickly....and give him a promotion to boot!

We still marvel at the fabulous good fortune that came our way soon after the loss of our church family.  From this, good things have continued and we can't wait to begin the next phase of our life.  Change is good!  More people need to embrace that belief.  Isolation and insulation from change causes the narrow and spiteful, racial comments and ignorance we encountered. 

The next few weeks will be busy, busy, busy.  So busy that we might forget to be thankful to God for His blessings, but each time we get overwhelmed with all we have to get done, we remember that we could be stuck here and very bored and lonely.  God is good and we look forward to sharing our new home and fabulous new city with our dear friends and family.  To the Watkins and Dorcheus families, you will always, always have room in our home and we won't consider it our official new home until you have come and stayed with us and broken the house in with  our collective gaggle of children.  See you soon!

Monday, November 5, 2012

House hunting is for the birds

This sucks!  10 days to find a new home is just not enough time.  Today we looked at 4 houses scattered throughout the western edge of Minneapolis.  We took our time and were methodical in sizing up each homes potential and likelihood of meeting our needs.

The first home was lovely and was by far the nicest house in the neighborhood.....which probably explains why it's been on the market 500+ days.  Great house in a not so great neighborhood equals no resale value.

The second home has a fabulous barn and indoor riding arena.  It also had a wonderful built in pool and was in a fantastic location.  The house was nice, but needed a little up dating.  What you ask, was the problem with this one? Well it had a small heaving problem where the patio foundation would heave up in the winter and drop back in the summer.  Yep, not buying that problem no matter how nice the property.

The third house is in Buffalo and is a lovely, lovely home in a great small suburb of Buffalo, MN.  It has a barn with 4 gorgeous stalls and we would have to add a few more, but completely doable.  The house is move in ready.  Great house.  HUGE! seems to be a little over priced.  We'll have to see about this one, but as of today it's number one on my list.

Fourth house was also a nice house...HUGE at 4800 square feet.  Great jack-and-jill bath for the boys and a ginormous bedroom for Madison and bachelor pad for Thomas.    A little further out than we would like, but it's on 22 acres but has no horse fencing and is close to a busy road. 

Decisions, decision.  One thing I do know is that Marc's government per diem for food is not nearly enough to cover happy hour needs.  Cocktails are most needed when we must choose a home in a few days.  Mas bebidas, por favor!