celebrating his due date

Now that we live less than four miles from my work, I get home at a decent hour and I don’t get full of rage on my way home. The benefits are that I get home by 5:15 and I don’t want to punch anyone. 

Today, I ditched out a few minutes early so I could get home in time to take a certain almost one year old to the park two blocks from our house. 

He seemed pleased with my decision. 


the evolution of my Halloween costumes 

I have never really been a huge Halloween fan. I can’t tell you why either. I just don’t care about it. I have, however, had a good run with costumes!

2015-2012: Halloween Scrooge. 

2011: Censored. No pictures were even published. It was that bad. 

2010: Censored. It involved a blanket, a hat and strategically placed makeup. 

2009: Jon Gosselin. I don’t remember why this happened. I just know I carried eight babies across my chest on a bandolier all night and Jenni dressed up as Octomom. We had the market controlled with tiny baby dolls and I bought an Ed Hardy shirt at the thrift store to complete my costume. 

2008: Oddly missing from my online social media archive. 

2007: Kevin Federline. I also brought Sean Preston Federeline with me and carried him in a Taco Bell bag. I was unemployed at the time so it made sense to go as K-Fed instead of Kanye West. 

2006: Shockerman. I came up with this whole award-winning concept by myself, including the costume design that included a customized cape, swim cap, goggles and knee pads. If you can find the picture on the Internet on your own, you win. 

2005 – 1992: I don’t even know what I was for Halloween. Or if I even remembered it was Halloween. 

1991-birth: I don’t know for sure, but I can somewhat recall dressing as a rabbit with a creepy plastic mask, a witch, a rock star and a bum. There may have been a lion costume in there that was recycled from a third grade play. 

I’m so good at Halloween ideas. My kid is so lucky. 

the evolution of this blog

You guys… How many of you have been reading these nonsensical posts since this blog started? That was over 15 years ago. WHAT.

It was February 2000 when I made the jump from members.tripod.com/~TwoDollas to this domain, where I made the executive decision to drop the ‘s’ and pretend I was some kind of organization. At 22, those were some pretty intense decisions, especially considering my other important decision was between Bud Light and Coors Light when I went to the bar. Every night. Blogging wasn’t a thing yet, but, let me tell you, I was doing it anyway.

In those 15 years, I’ve had seven jobs, had 11 addresses, owned four cars, adopted three pets, wound up with two sons and met my wife. There’s been some crap, but there’s also been a whole lot of really awesome to counterbalance that anyway.

Updating a notepad file in .txt format and uploading it in some illegally downloaded FTP application all while walking to school uphill both ways shoeless in a snowstorm was what it was like back then. There was none of this posting via your PHONE. Are you kidding? I HAD A PAGER. 143!!!!!!

I used to post multiple times a day, some of those being less than 140 characters. I’m pretty sure that means I invented Twitter. I posted pictures from a sweet digital camera that could only hold 36 pictures at a time before you plugged it in to your computer and pulled all of the pictures off of it. I took self-portraits of myself using my camera’s timer; I did not use a selfie stick NOR WILL I EVER USE ONE.

The past few years, this blog of mine, which is as old as Justin Bieber was when he released his first album, has taken a back seat to things like a relationship, a couple of kids, pursuing a couple of college degrees, a super sweet job and complete distractions like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other things that don’t make me feel like I have to commit so much to writing. IT’S HARD SOMETIMES. I need something to convince me to update more and that time has come.

My pal Veronica reminded me that it was NaNoWriMo this month and, while that always sounds fun and like a challenge I’d be up for, the only thing I’d want to write 50,000 words about is me. WHAT? They (whoever they is) always says write about what you know. I’d just be following something I read on the internet, which is totally true and you know it.

I’m not writing a dang novel. I bet if I threw a month’s worth of blog entries and all of the papers I have to write this month into one pile of writing, it’d be at least 50,000 words and I would self publish the hell out of that. Stories about My Baby’s Poopy Diapers and Theories of Group Development in the Area of Organizational Behavior will be available via Kindle just in time for the holidays. I might even do an audio book, so keep an eye out for that one.

There’s a thing – NaBloPoMo – and I’m doing it. I’ve always talked about trying to blog once a day for a month, but then I always spend the first day trying to decide what to blog about and I fall asleep only to ruin the whole month. Looks like I finally broke that bad habit!

(A blog post about my blog is what I chose to write? Is radio silence better than that??)

and then we bought a house

  1. Got married.
  2. Had a baby.
  3. Sent a kid to college.
  4. Bought a house.

Yeah, I think we’re officially grownups now.

We closed on a house on Thursday in a suburb about 20 miles away from our current house. The good news is that it’s less than four miles from my work and the commute involves no freeway and a maximum of two stoplights. That’s hard to be mad about even if we did end up leaving the confines of our beautiful city of Minneapolis. I will miss it dearly, so it’s nice that we can get there in less than 15 minutes.

We started house-shopping in the end of June. We were kind of guessing at what we could afford and what we wanted to afford. We’ve been paying a CRAZY low amount for rent the past few years, so we’re spoiled when it comes to leftover money for living expenses. The biggest thing we knew we wanted to do is avoid being broke as hell all the time, sitting in our living room pissed off because all of our money was going towards a house payment.

We found our realtor (Joe Anderson with Re/Max) from a referral on Twitter. I mean, where else do you find anyone anymore, right? But then we realized we probably needed to figure out how much money some crazy financial institution was going to give us, so we found a super awesome loan officer (Cheryl Stuntebeck). We found Cheryl’s information on Joe’s blog, because if you’re not finding a referral to some sort of professional on Twitter, you might as well look at blogs. THE INTERNET, YOU GUYS. IT’S GOING TO TAKE OFF. (I seriously cannot say enough about Joe and Cheryl, so if you’re buying a house or selling a house or doing something that required financing for something to do with your house, these two are A+ individuals, the cat’s pajamas, the bee’s knees, and stand up solid dudes and ladies.

We got pre-qualified and it wasn’t anywhere as scary as I thought it would be, plus we had a heck of a lot of information we actually understood when we left Cheryl’s office. We let Joe know we had money to spend and we were off.

At first, we wanted to live in Minneapolis and only Minneapolis. Joe took us around to a few houses one night and then we realized maybe Minneapolis wasn’t the exact right answer. We expanded to Richfield and St. Paul, and then we added West St. Paul and Bloomington. My real hope was to stay as central as possible, just meaning I didn’t want it to take a half an hour to get to my friends’ houses in Minneapolis and I didn’t want to spend more than half an hour commuting one-way.

We looked at a house that was in the path of about 19 runways from the MSP airport, which was super cute and would have fit us nicely, except it was also right next to the freeway. While both of us grew up next to train tracks, this was more like growing up in a box car. That same trip, we went into a house that had been flipped and the doorways were so narrow my shoulders barely fit through. There was a super awesome house on that trip that we absolutely adored and then we got into the one part of the basement where the teenager would be sleeping when he was home from college… and the ceiling was less than six feet tall. We like our teenager’s head and face, so we decided that probably wouldn’t work.

We looked at a house in St. Paul that had a heavy punching bag hanging in the kitchen and one near our current house that smelled like fourteen cats decided to have a pissing contest in the front room. We saw gorgeous old houses that would do great on shows like Property Brothers. We saw so, so many stucco houses.

Our checklist wasn’t terrible. We wanted at least three bedrooms, with at least two of those bedrooms on the same floor. We wanted a decent sized kitchen with more counter space than we have now and it needed to be upgraded enough to where we wouldn’t have to do any major  updates on it for the next few years. We didn’t want to walk into a house that would require a ton of work, but we were open to a few projects! And we really wanted to make sure the big ticket items weren’t anything that would have to be immediately replaced, like the roof or electrical or central air, etc.

Our dream list included things like central air, fenced in backyard, main floor laundry, no stucco, decent neighborhood, four bedrooms, finished basement and a two car garage.

We somehow ended up with everything on our checklist and our dream checklist. Not only that, but we came in way under what we were approved for and feel super comfortable about that six digit figure we’ll be paying on for the next 30 years.

We packed in a load of boxes on Thursday right after we closed and another two car loads yesterday. Today, we took over a carload full of our wall art and stopped to pick up a new TV stand we bought. We also headed to the furniture store where we bough a new coach and loveseat. So, things are moving along at a pretty good clip. We have movers coming on Labor Day to deal with the heavy furniture crap, so we’re hoping to be able to move most everything the rest of the week and be living in our new home on September 8th!

And then, I swear to everything, we are done with anything major in our lives because I’m about exhausted from all of these life changing events. I mean, there’s probably nothing else left to do anyway until retirement, right?