June 15, 2010

T-minus Three Days Until the Trek!

The week of the Trek is upon us and I am getting super excited!

May 3, 2010

Riders Up!

The training for the Trek is going very well. Yesterday included a 52 mile ride topped off with the Kentucky Derby on TV and homemade mint juleps. I always watch the Derby, but this year it seems to mean more to me... fond remembrance of life and traditions from the Midwest. I love the Derby--beautiful horses and drinking is always in fashion.

However, I love The Indianapolis 500 more. I miss the 500. Granted, I haven't been in the last couple of years, but it is an event that has been the bounty of plenty of good times. It's always great to wake up on Sunday, start the day with bloody marys before a pool of drivers freshly cut from The Indianapolis Star are placed into a hat for the low price of $10 a pull. Socialize for a while then wander on over to the track. Find your seats (hopefully high in the first turn) and settle in for Jim Nabors and Florence Henderson. Then  the words you've been waiting the whole month of May (at least) to hear, "Ladies and gentlemen start your engines."

The Training is now in Full Swing

When R first talked about the Trek Across Maine there were two things I noted: 1) he didn't address me when asking for participants, only his (male) best friend and 2) I had no idea what the Trek Across Maine was. The company R works for has a time and they were trying to recruit riders.

The Trek Across Maine is a three day, 170 mile cycling event that raises money for the American Lung Association. Each rider is required to raise $500. You can camp or stay in a dorm as the stopping points Friday and Saturday are at colleges.

Anyway, R came home and immediately asked J to do it with him. Really? What am I, chopped liver? I'm not sure if he didn't think I wanted to or that I couldn't do it, but when J realized he had a prior commitment, guess who was next on the list to ask. I'm only a casual bike rider and I there is no way I would want to ride my Trek mountain bike 170 miles. So I tell him this and I'm suddenly in the market for a new bike.

After doing some research and checking out some bikes, I was sold on the Giant. R has a Giant he really likes and I recently found out that two friends in Indiana had the same bike I was looking at and they loved them. I picked her up a month ago and so far, so good!

April 4, 2010

Welcome to the Neighborhood

We have been unpacking all weekend. Rearranging and moving things to their destination in the house. Yesterday, we had the side door open and were in and out, up and down all over the house. We returned our Budget truck in the morning and started in.


After taking care of quite a bit of stuff, R and I walked into the kitchen only to find a small white paper sack on our baker's rack. It had some writing on it which said simply, "Welcome to the neighborhood." Hmm. No other note, no signature, nothing. After scarfing down a delicious cranberry muffin and just as delicious cheese danish we headed to tear apart the desk to transport to the office.


Suddenly our neighbor right next door appeared. I had met him earlier on Friday, but R hadn't. I asked suspiciously if he was the bearer of tasty bakery treats and he confirmed my suspicion. I'm so happy we live here already... even more so with the (free) breakfast from Scratch Bakery. Yay!


I think he made a good impression on R.


And yes, it was like Christmas unpacking everything. There are so many little things you miss like, for me, kitchen and office stuff. I just needed a great whisk and pencil cup to make me happy.

March 30, 2010

Six Month Check-up

The countdown to the close is so on I can barely stand it. Finally after six months of living with another couple (don't get me wrong--they're great!) and two dogs in a small Cape, we are well on our way of purchasing a home here. It's sort of surreal and at the same time a definitive indicator that we are here for the long haul.

I'm anxious to close and finally get all of our stuff that our (waterfront) storage unit has been holding hostage. It will be like Christmas when we finally unpack all of the things we've lived without for so long!

March 18, 2010

All Systems Go

Purchase agreement: check. Home inspection: check. Appraisal: check. Mortgage approved: check.

February 17, 2010

I'm in Love.

The house hunt has begun... again. The first time I came to Maine on vacation with the potential of moving here I had Ryan call some real estate agents to show us houses because I wanted to know what we would get here versus the Midwest. We ended up walking through about six houses (including one with an aluminum foil covered backsplash because, "they like to fry") and I was thoroughly unimpressed. What else would one expect when one moves from the Most Affordable City in the country (thank you very much CNN Money)?

R and I are pretty all in when it comes to things as this. We take it all seriously and do our research more than anything. Whether we're buying a car or kitchen gadget or throwing some serious money down on a house, we want to know all there is about it. We researched neighborhoods, schools, parks, taxes, grocery stores, distance to water and Greenbelts, garage space, basements, potential remodels, room for kids and it seems, everything one takes into consideration when buying a home.

So now we're on the list. Anytime something comes matching our criteria, we get an email. Earlier today, just as a precaution, R emails me the pre-approval letter and the brokers comments were, "You could make an offer today". I sweep that to the back of my mind and think, "Yeah, right". This afternoon I get a match, open it up and I am in looooove. Totally enamored and immediately call our broker to show it. 4:30.

R was late from work but when he finally showed up I warned him. "I'm in love." That's really all I needed to say at that point. He walks through the first floor and basement and he's totally feeling it. Once he finishes the walk through, we talk for a bit and we make an offer.

February 15, 2010

Greetings from Poland

Ryan and I started dating roughly a year ago. A week after our first date was Valentine's Day, and he was in Poland. We had tried to get as much time together in as possible before he left as after that he was in India for two weeks. So he leaves and I'm still thinking about him and our dates. He calls during the week to see how I am... and to my pleasant surprise, those calls were wonderful.

Valentine's Day rolls around and I'm forced to call Ryan in Poland and thank him for the ridiculously embarrassing display of roses I received at my office with a note that said, "Greetings from Poland". So I have to then walk through my office of almost 100% men with all the comments and questions and comments from the peanut gallery: "Somebody likes you", "Who's the guy, Brooke?" "Tell me about him." Embarrassed... and completely smitten.

Fast forward one year: we're married, we live in Maine, I get a dozen roses (again) on Valentine's Day. We decide to cook a seafood feast for dinner--yes, for the two of us. Menu: Blackened Tuna, Scallops Provencal, Crusted Haddock, Lemon Rice Pilaf and Steamed Brocolli. I know, it's a lot for two. But it was sooo delicious. And, we cooked it all together, which was the best part. My first time cooking scallops and they were amazing! Ryan's tuna turned out well too and the haddock we have down pat.

Today while driving around with our realtor he informs us that, "Everyone wants a great kitchen but when it comes down to it, nobody really cooks." Obviously, he hasn't been to our house.

February 4, 2010

The DINK is back, baby!

Last Friday morning, I had a meeting with a woman here in Portland I find to be pretty insightful. I'm also checking in with her to see if she has any freelance graphic design work for me, talk about jobs and Portland in general. Her outlook about the job economy is not optimistic and I am a bit down after meeting with her.

Prior to my departure from the house that morning I had found and applied for a job that I seemed to be pretty qualified for. Like all the rest (42 to be exact), I expect not to get a call back and go about my day. Later, I get a call from them asking for an interview and I'm all about it. I go on Tuesday and am offered the job the next day.

Ryan has been applying for jobs since August and not really much as worked out. Today, he gets a job offer.

Here's to the DINK.

January 11, 2010

More Ski Legs

Ever since Friday cross country skiing has been a topic of conversation. Ryan has insisted that we go and so I oblige him. We go to Sebago Lake which has groomed trails but no tracks carved into the snow. I have never been cross country skiing before and have no idea what to expect, only that I know it can't be as bad as being out of control flying down a hill waiting to be pummeled.

I borrow our roommates skis since she is my size (the best part about living with someone the same size as you) and we're off. After 30 or 40 minutes I'm thinking this isn't bad, in fact, I actually like it. So we had a great time and all the way home, R is like, "We have to get you skis".

We get home and I'm in full cross country ski research mode. I am bound and determined to find a great deal on skis and actually learn what I'm buying and why. So I find some skis on craigslist and they are like new Rossignols with boots and poles for $100 and I'm thinking there's no way these are still available. But they are and I come to the conclusion that they will be mine.

Arrangements are made and we drive 30 minutes north where the seller has agreed to meet us in the parking lot of a gas station. As we're pulling up I have this total movie moment like we're about to embark in a drug deal. She has the goods and I have cash.