Monday, April 23, 2007

The Month of April

Okay... we're breathing again... Wow, this was a month that has been CRAZY busy. It's the 23th now and this is the first time I'm actually able to sit down and write a blog-update. So what all happened:
1) Moved my apartment over to the Arlington house
2) Moved Jen's house over to the Arlington house
3) Hosted friends on 2 weekends
4) Unpacked many a box
5) Got a lawn-mower
6) Changed many a light bulbs
Oh yeah, and I actually worked a couple days as well ;-)

My move went relatively smooth, with a much appreciated visit of my best man and his wife, Joel and Carolyn. Love you guys!! No major issues, quick in-and-out, pretty much according to plan. Jen's move, well... that was another story. It was one of those weekends you just don't wanna have.

Jen went up to Michigan on the Monday before the move for some appointments and to pack. She also had a speaking gig on the Friday before the move. On that same Friday I got up at 5.30am to goto work and left work around 4pm. I went over to Crocker Park in Westlake to meet-up with my moving crew for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. Everything was still nice and smooth...

We left around 6.30pm heading for a 10.30pm ETA in Grand Rapids. I called Jen to let her know we were on our way and she told me she had just one of days where nothing kinda went the way she wanted. Time was her enemy and the hand-outs of the speaking gig were the first victim. The next victim was herself, since due to rising stress-levels she couldn't find the location the first time around, so she actually was over an hour late... and hadn't eaten yet... Anyway, that all turned out well in the end and it was a VERY satisfying gig for her.

On the way back from the speaking gig, she called us for directions since the signs for Grand Rapids weren't around as plentiful as desired. I kinda told her where to go since we were still driving ourselves. We actually arrived earlier around 11pm and called her to guide her in. Around 11.45pm she was finally in and I was out... ;-)

Yeah, right... still had to drive Jason and myself to the boys' hotel (the vV's, thanks for letting us use your house...) since the girls (Rachel, Natalie and Jen) were staying at Jen's house. We finally hit the sack around 2am. The end of a 21hr day. And that was only day 1...

Day 2 ment we got up at 8.30am to head over to Krispy Kream and Starbucks for breakfast (drive-through for all of us) before we were allowed back into Jen's house. We dropped-off the food and headed over to Penske for the truck. Around 10.30am we parked the truck in front of the garage (and blocked the rest of the road...) and the planning was to be done around 2pm since Jen had neatly packed everything up in boxes and only the big-ticket items remained.

Well, as you might have guessed it, it didn't really work out like that. She had a few more things than originally planned, so half-way through we had to re-pack the truck before the other half fitted. A few other things took longer than expected, like removing the feet from the couches which was a royal... Thank you Gabe for helping with that.

So, 4.30pm came around and we were able to leave the house for the first leg of the drive to Ohio, Panera's which is only about 5 min away, for some much needed food. We finally left Grand Rapids around 6pm and we actually had a nice drive (short of the tears by Jen and the incredible noise of the truck). Rachel and Natalie drove my car, Jason and Bailey drove Jen's car. No issues so far... until we hit the Ohio Turnpike.

Mid April, nice and warm in Michigan and around 9pm in Ohio we end-up in a major... SNOW-STORM!!! Hello, Mid April... We had to slow down to 35mph on a day that already was running far longer as intended. Nice! By the time we found a decent place to stop (read: service plaza) the snow was tapering off, but it was already after 10pm and we were still on the Turnpike... yaiks.

Finally, a little after midnight we parked the truck in our drive-way, with room to spare... love that!! We all packed into my car to first drop-off Rachel and Natalie before heading over to Jason and Tony's house for some much anticipated hot-tub time. So we soaked from 2 to 3am and stayed over (read: out-of-juice!!!)

Next morning at 8.30am (and another 5-hour night) we went back to the house to unpack the truck. Thank God for friends, since otherwise we would have never had it empty by 1pm, but with the help of the Tinnins, Jason, Corey and Fantasia we actually did it. In time even to make it to Church. Well, sorta, since Jen crashed after 11am. She was on 'reserve' for a day-and-a-half, so I was very pleasantly surprised she lasted that long.

I was kinda running on fumes myself and finally around 2.30pm I hit empty and fell asleep on the coach in the basement of the Prices. I woke up at 5pm, still groggy, but at least a bit better. I headed back to the house and didn't do anything more than just watch a movie with Jen before we were finally able to get some actual sleep.

I was actually able to get to work on Monday, but Jen's crash took a few more days, but after Wednesday she also kinda regained consciousness... ;-)

Needless to say we didn't do much the next couple of days and this past weekend we actually were able to do some fun things with our guests Gabe and Emily. We visited the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Highly recommended as a 'thing-to-do' during the wedding visits... ;-)

Yesterday, we actually had our first day of Summer, with 75F / 25C weather and a nice sunshine that allowed us to use the grill... It was about time. We really enjoyed it all and instantly forgot the snow of last week, yes only last week.

Anyway, gotta run... time for bed. G'night all!!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Pictures of the move and Catan

For the pictures belonging to the last two posts: The House With Niels' Things

First Church service in the new house

On Sunday April 1, 2007 (no joke) we hosted the house church for the first time in our new house. For the regular readers of this blog, yes 1 day after we moved my things in.

The drive-way, not the smallest, was a bit crowded as was the overflow... but everybody was able to park.

We had a great lent-service hosted by Tony (thanks for the last minute change!!) and we had my friends Joel and Carolyn vistiting as well as Natalie, one of the girls from Wide Eyed Life.

Before and after the service we all went out on the deck as the weather was gorgeous. The Lord was shining upon us... ;-)

Anyway after everybody left Jen and I played some Catan, the original German version, and guess what... I won !!

So you see, a lot can happen in week. Unfortunately I had to take Monday off since it kinda hit my a little bit harder than I thought. I even missed a turn-opver test-session for work (thank you Jeff for covering and caring).

House update

The past week - directly after the Europe trip - we started working on the house since most of my things were to be moved on Saturday Mar 31, 2007. So we did some painting. Ahum, some...

Some means the whole first floor (short of the back living room) which includes the front living room, the dining room, the kitchen, the hall way and the laundry room. Oh and don't forget the master bedroom and the guest bedroom on the 2nd floor as well... (for the Dutch readers: begane grond en de 1e verdieping... ;-))

Fortunately all painting was ready on Friday night, short of a 2nd coat for the laundry room and afterwards a bit of cleaning. Well, Jen kinda got an old-fashioned 2nd wind and wasnt' done until 5.30am on Saturday... the day of the move !!!

My friends Joel and Carolyn came over on Friday night to see the house and help out with the move. With Jen pretty much out for Saturday we all got up around 9am for some breakfast and to get the truck since around 10am the rest of the movers were to show up.

Come 11am we got everybody lined-up. Jen and Tina were staying at the house, the rest (Trevor, Tyler, Tony, Jared, Doug, Natalie, Joel, Carolyn and me) were to be the movers and either were already in Cleveland or drove up following a big yellow Penske truck (he, what else would you expect...)

We didn't reserve any elevator time, but with the big group we had the apartment empty in about 90 minutes and loaded in the truck. After a small after-party involving some hilarious beer-scenes in the apartment kitchen we closed-up and left for North Canton.

The unloading went as quick as the loading, with the exception of the office desk which - in its assembled state - couldn't make the turns on the landing and had to be dissasembled on the spot. Since that was the only thing you can imagine that the unloading didn't take all that long either.

Mission accomplished.