Friday, May 27, 2011

Home is where your heart is

Michael locked in our new home in London this morning before heading back to Chicago. Grace and I said goodbye to him last Wednesday and are SO excited to see him tonight. His flight has been delayed a bit, but who cares as long as he safely arrives home tonight. :)

Alright...back to the house hunting update. Michael had one day to take off work and go around London looking for an apartment for us last Friday. The turn around was literally less than 24 hours. Michael and I were checking out 12 apartments online Thursday night and by the morning 4 of them were already taken! The real estate companies have a difficult time keeping their websites updated. Can you imagine putting your place on the market and within 24 hours having a bidding war between several potential renters? Must be nice--anyone want to invest in real estate in London?

Michael had a long discouraging day until his last stop. It fit my 2 little requirements- first floor or a lift because of the stroller and preferably walking distance from the Blossoms! After meeting with the owner who was envisioning a business couple and not a family, he and Michael were able to come to an agreement this morning.  Below are the pictures Michael took on his phone of our new home for the next 7 months! That's right, folks, Michael 100% picked out our place on his own and all I have are these pictures until I get to see it in person next week. I trust Michael's decision- I've always liked his taste and he is definitely the pickier one out of the two of us. South we come...

The movers packed up our things Monday, which will hopefully be waiting for us in their storage unit in London until we are able to move in. Our new place is fully furnished so I basically packed our clothes and baby stuff. When I say I packed, what I really meant was decided what goes. The moving company literally did everything! It was amazing. I felt like such a brat- just sitting there while 3 men packed up and moved our stuff out. If I had packed anything prior they would have basically had to repack it for liability reasons. They have to sign off saying they know what is in every package. 3 hours was the best moving experience of my life!

Our first big purchase will be a crib, otherwise it's a pack-n-play for Miss Grace. We didn't think it made sense to ship ours since it would take 6-8 weeks via boat. We're not sure when move in day is going to be so we'll be hanging out in a hotel in the meantime. I figure hotel living (as small as it is in Europe) should be fine for a while since we need somewhere to literally only sleep. I plan on being out and about and exploring as much as possible, especially in the beginning.  That or hanging out at the Blossoms! ;)


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Summer time

Grace had her first swim lesson this week. Thanks to Grammie Mo's baby shower gift, Grace was all decked out in adorable swimwear- sunglasses and all! She was in a very expressionless mood- no smiles or tears. She might have been pretty confused. What are these things on my eyes? Why is Mommy in the bath tub with me? Most importantly- why does Mommy keep blowing on my face and dunking me under the water?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Rock-A-Bye Baby

Dennis made this beautiful cradle for Michael when he was born and it was handed down to Grace at her Nierengarten family baby shower. I wanted to make sure to take some pictures of her in it before everything gets packed up tomorrow. Grandpa Den, thanks so much for making such a beautiful and special thing for our family to have forever and ever. It will be perfect for play time when Grace is old enough to play with dolls and stuffed animals. What a special gift for a granddaughter.

 Side note- her pjs are covered in colored teapots- all ready to be a part time London baby...
Grace quickly wanted to sit/stand up and play during this photo shoot. Aunt Susan was there to help out- eating her hand and staring at her fellow red-headed family member was way more interesting to Grace.
Mommy and me hanging out in our pjs! 


Click "like" on her picture on the Bella Life Photography facebook page. The contest ends on Monday. Oops-- I didn't realize it had already started so she's behind! It only takes 2 seconds.

There are only 2 quick steps:

1.) Go to the Bella Life Photography facebook page and "like" their page first. Click here for the Bella Life   fb page.

2.) Then "like" Grace's photo. Click here.

This is the picture I used! :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Chicago tourists

Grace, Papa Lon and I used Heather and Grandma Neda as an excuse to check out the Sears Tower (sorry, I don't know if I will ever think of it as the Willis tower) for our first time. I definitely think it's worth checking out- beautiful views of the city and beyond, great play time with the camera, and the perfect tourist spot of the city. On your journey to the sky deck, they have interactive touch screen exhibits of all the main landmarks in Chicago.  If you're planning to vacation to, the mini exhibits are a perfect way to plan out what you want to do with touring the city. 
The car was going 40 mph as I was taking this picture out the back window! 

New blog on the block

Megan Graykowski, one of my fellow work colleagues, has started a blog.  She has given my blog credit for inspiring her to start it- what a nice compliment! She's an English teacher at Kahler so I'm sure it's going to be interesting. (Megan- sorry for my poor writing skills) Check it out yourself- her first post gives me a shout out. Thanks Megan and welcome to the blogging world.


Megan's writing style and sense of humor reminds me of my sister's friend, Adair, who also has a fun non-baby talk blog. (if you have been following me for a while you probably remember me mentioning her a time or two. Adair's cousin is the one who sent me a copy of her adorable children's book about triathlons.

Family celebrations

We spent the weekend celebrating many things and starting to say goodbye to family. Michael's family went over to his parents' house Saturday afternoon- everyone from the area was there which was so nice. A special shout out goes out to Patrick who even made time to hang out the day of his senior prom. I told him that was the difference between guys and girls...

From there we went over to my parent's house. Libbie graduated from IU last weekend, which we had to miss due to Lauren's wedding. It was so sad not to be there- going down to Bloomington to watch Lib graduate and walk around campus to take fun pictures is always something I thought I would do. I just always pictured myself being there. I'm so glad my parents had a graduation gathering for Libbie (and Samantha & Heather) last night. Just like my mom many things to celebrate- 3 college graduates, 2 engagements (Libbie & Matt, and Samantha & Ben), 2 moves (the Burkes are moving to Florida, and we're moving to London), and the future Dr. Matt finished his 1st year of optometry school! Even though my mom was polite with her toast, we were really there for the graduates. I could not be more proud of my sister. She has such a wonderful personality, and has accomplished so much already. I can't wait to watch her story continue to unfold. Alright...enough of the cheesiness.
It was so cool how many family members came in town for her. Grandma Neda and Heather flew in from Minnesota. Aunt Donita and Samantha drove up from Lexington. Matt's parents and Michael's parents were there, and so many of the families from my Mom's side were represented- the Lundbergs, Papa Jerry, the Burkes, and the Schackmuths.

Gotta love the generations pictures. This was the first time Grace was able to meet my Grandma Neda, my Dad's Mom. Grace just loved her- so many smiles and "conversations."

I hope you enjoy these pictures as much as I do. I definitely was the annoying person making everyone stop to take pictures, but hopefully I was right when I said you would get over it and thank me later.        

First picture of Grace with all of her uncles ... all 3 Uncle Matts 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Happy 5 months, Grace

I could have stopped after taking the first picture- but what fun would that have been?
Can you tell she has started the phase where she puts everything in her mouth?
I decided to compromise, but then I lost her attention... 

Mirror Mirror

...who's the cutest of them all?

I'm starting to work on my iPhoto and photography skills. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

London bound

We have some big news to announce and no, we're not pregnant. A couple of weeks ago, Michael learned that we would have the opportunity to live in London for the rest of this calendar year. He was offered a work assignment to cover a lady's maternity leave. We immediately accepted and will be moved in by early June at the latest. These past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind- getting the necessary paperwork for our passports and Visas (yes, Grace has a passport and soon to have a Visa at the age of 5 months). I have resigned from my job- such a bitter sweet moment for me. Trying to figure out what type of place we will be staying in London and packing up all of our necessities for less than a year. Michael leaves either Sunday or Monday depending on when our Visas arrive. He will be back the Thursday before Memorial Day, which is when Grace and I will be returning with him.

It's funny because everyone keeps asking Michael and me how I am doing. I (we) couldn't be happier or more excited for this unique experience. What a cool opportunity! I'll be honest- there are two major reasons why I am able to calmingly go through this much of a crazy change in such a short amount of time.

#1 The Blossoms- Sam Blossom was a former Fiji pledge brother and Little 500 teammate of Michael's who just moved to London in December with his family. His wife, Amber, stays home to take care of their two young boys. What a relief---we have already been nonstop with picking their brains on health care, daily necessities, locations to live, etc. We already don't know what we would do without them.

#2 The future Weinheimers- they will not only be moving in to our place when we leave, but they will also be taking care of L. Gumball, who is still alive and loving life.

If you happen to be going through Europe or London, don't hesitate to contact us so we can head down to the local pub for a pint. Cheers! 

People keep asking if Grace will come back with a British accent. Her new favorite lullaby-"London bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down. London bridge is falling down, my fair lady."

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mr. and Mrs. Grant

This past weekend we took a family road trip to Minneapolis, MN for Lauren Freeland and Patrick Grant's wedding. We decided to leave around Grace's bedtime on Thursday which brought us to our destination just after 1 AM. As exhausted as we were, we would have done it again since Grace slept the entire time.

During the day, the boys played golf and the ladies went out for lunch and champagne. Ali, George, and Kat watched Grace Friday night while Michael and I went to the rehearsal and groom's dinner. In Minnesota they call the rehearsal dinner the groom's dinner- I think that sounds sweeter. We loved the outdoor cocktail area, steak dinner (yummy!), movie honoring the couple thanks to Tammy Freeland, the mother of the bride, and picking Katie Roger's brain about traveling around Europe (more on that at a later post)...

We spent Saturday morning and afternoon relaxing and getting beautiful in the bridal suite. It was so impressive and wonderful how laid back the entire day was. Spending Lauren's wedding day with her was so fun and such an honor. She was cool, calm, and collected the entire time. As you will see in her pictures, she looked gorgeous! Thanks to Jamie and his fiance, Megan, Michael and I were able to have a second date night and go to the reception together- just the two of us! We were beyond grateful for our sitters this past weekend and would definitely do the same for them in the future- we owe them one. Some of my favorite highlights of the event were watching Lauren getting her hair done (I know it sounds silly, but she got hair extensions-I'm still in aw), seeing Lauren and Pat together for the first time as they joined us on the trolley to the church (they are contagiously happy), the letters Pat and Lauren wrote to each other that the priest shared with everyone during the homily, their vows- Pat was adorable as he was getting emotional- you can tell how much he loves her (major points Pat!), watching Michael and Grace getting communion and a blessing (one of the hottest guy moments EVER is watching your husband taking care of your daughter), driving around in the trolley with the bridal party (I can't wait to see their photographer's pictures), the photo booth at the reception along with the outdoor area which overlooked a lake, the father-of-the bride speech,  the live band and dancing.
Definitely my new favorite family picture. xoxo
the following pictures were taken by Emily Storie, one of Lauren & Pat's guests...
With everything on Lauren's plate last week, she even gave me a first Mother's Day card. It was so thoughtful of Lauren Freeland as well as Lauren Ziemba to remember me and give me a card. 
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