Joseph 2.4


Another month of summer fun! Swimming, playing outside, going to the park and playground, this is the life!


Mom and Dad took me to see a parade on July 4th! It was so cool! I loved the fire trucks, bands, floats, cars, and seeing all the other kids. It was great. They also got me a sandbox. Mom said that I needed a better place to dig that in dirt under the tree, but I don’t think it was that bad. Although my “sea turtle” is a great place it dig!


My cousin Luke has come to visit a lot and we have so much fun. We make tents, wrestle, play in the pool, and just hang out together. He’s my best friend.


Mommy and Dad tell me that we’ll be moving into our house soon. I can’t wait to see all of my toys, books, and my old friend the vacuum! I like Grandma’s but it isn’t the same. Not enough power!


Colley Manor: Under Construction

I thought I’d share some construction photos from the house. Tons of work going on, way more than these few shots imply. You’d be surprised how difficult it is to photograph everything. Depth perception, light, and angles are hard to discern when there are no walls, holes in the ceiling, etc.

The plumbing, electric, and drywall are done. We are now working on getting the tile and cabinetry installed. Then, things should go pretty fast!






101 Things: 84. Join or start a book club

Mom started up a book club this winter with some neighbors and friends from school and asked me to become a member. I’ve been participating for the past few months and its been fun. I’ve enjoyed discussing books with others – reading can be such a solitary pursuit – and hearing such similar/different points of view regarding the same material. I’ve also been branching out to different authors and genres that I might have passed over. Some I’ve enjoyed, some not, but either way its been great to stretch out and try new things.

I still hope to start/join a book club that is a little closer to the genres I enjoy. It would be great to be able to discuss and dissect something like Annihilation or The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

Joseph 2.3



This month has been all about being outside! I’ve been able to swim in the pool at Grandma and Grandpa’s house – finally! I just love being in the water, splashing around, riding on my “boat” (pool lounger), jumping off the ladder, and playing silly games with Dad and Grandpa.

I help Grandma water the plants and ride the tractor with Grandpa. Its fun to be able to explore in the yard and pick up rocks and sticks. My favorite thing is sitting under the big oak tree and digging in the dirt and playing with my trucks. Mom says that she’ll get me a sand box when we move into our house, but I’m pretty happy with my little patch of earth.


My love for all things Thomas is still  as strong as ever, but I’ve got a new jam: Bob the Builder! I really dig him. (Get it?) I watch the shows all the time, sing the songs, and pretend with my bobcat and bulldozer.


Mom has been working very hard with me to get ready to potty train. I’ve gone in the potty a few times, but I’m not really too interested in it so we’re taking our time. Although, I love to flush the toilet. It goes WHOOOOSH and I yell “Woohoo!” when it goes down. Can’t I just skip the potty part and just flush all the time?


Colley Manor: Before

I thought I’d share a few of the “before” photos of the interior of the house. These are pulled from the original realtor photos, so they are a bit more polished than how it looked in real life. (Notice the photoshopped fire in the fireplace.)

Demo has occurred and framing and utility work is almost complete. I’ll share some “action shots” soon. But let’s just take a moment and rejoice that the kitchen has been put out of its misery and can join the rest of 1981 in the history books.






101 Things: 38, 49, 50, & 86

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Both 38. Take Joe to the beach and  86. Take Joe on a plane were crossed off when we went on our trip to Hilton Head, SC.  He was a champ on the plane and at the airport. Thank goodness! As for the beach, technically, this was his second time there, but he was too little last year to really enjoy it. He absolutely loved the sand and waves. I can’t wait to bring him back again.

49. Get new business cards – done. Ordered and updated with new address.

50. Get new address stamp -done. I loved my old one so much, I got the same one with the new address for the house.


A Trip to the Illinois DMV



Yesterday, I went to the local DMV to have the titles and registration on both of our cars changed over from Ohio to Illinois now that we have an official address.

Before I tell this tale, I need to provide some back story: This will be my third trip to the DMV to complete this task. The first time we went, Shawn and I got our Illinois licenses and attempted to change over the title and registration, but ran into a roadblock. (See what I did there?) My car is a lease, so we needed a limited POA from the leasing company to process the change -something that was not noted on the State DMV site. So, we got all of the forms needed from the clerk and went home, had the POA sent to us and attempted to go back to on Saturday. Unfortunately, the place was closed for the holiday – also not noted on the website – so, we drove home and I planned to go during the week. Which brings us to yesterday’s outing. 

Yesterday morning, I drive out to the DMV with my father and Joe. Dad was awesome enough to go with me so I wouldn’t have to struggle with keeping Joe entertained while waiting in line, filling out forms, etc.

We get to the DMV and I go inside to wait in line while he takes Joe for a walk around the area in his stroller. I wait. I am next up, waiting while an older man – grey hair, mustache, older aviator style glasses- is at the window going over his title with the clerk. In comes a DMV employee from outside, yelling “Whoever has a silver Pontiac in the lot, its on FIRE!” The older man does a double take, says something to the clerk and runs outside, taking his paperwork with him. There is a small commotion with some people checking to see if there car is parked near the one in flames. Clerks are yelling at each other: “Call 911!” “What do I tell them?” “Tell them that there’s a car on fire in the parking lot!” Things calm down as there was a parks n’ recreation truck there that had a fire extinguisher and put the fire out. I’m inside the entire time, waiting in line.

Meanwhile, Dad is outside with Joe in the stroller. Here’s his breakdown of the scene: I’m pushing Joe in the stroller, I smell something like burning rubber. I look around and I see a kid in a car with his cellphone taking pictures of the car near his. I look over and its on fire. I bring Joe back around the corner so we are out of the way, but have a good view of the scene. Guy comes running out  and pops the hood. WHoooosshh! Flames! Another guy pulls out an extinguisher just as the cops and firetrucks pull up. They check it all out. Fire chief saw me with Joe and brought him over a fire hat from the back of his squad. Nice guy. Was pretty entertaining. 

After the chaos of the conflagration has passed, the clerks get back to business. I get called up. Clerk goes over my paperwork. Says I have the wrong form. I state that these were the forms given to me by her office when we came in previously. She tells me to fill out “correct” form and come back to her window. I do so. When I get back to the window, I am told that she is taking her break now. I inquiry what to do since she was in the middle of processing things for me. She tells me to wait. I wait. Ten minutes later an different clerk comes to the window to assist me. We start over. She tells me I need to have the physical title, not a copy, since the lease holder has an Illinois address. I inquire why, since it was an Ohio title. She says she isn’t sure. (?!?) She says that this is a “special situation” and has to “make a call” to find out what to do. I run outside to check on dad and give him a status update, admire Joe’s new fire hat, and go back inside. The clerk hangs up the phone and states that “they” told her that I have to contact the leasing company and tell them to obtain the physical title, send it to me, so I can bring it in to have the state re-file it and send it back. My brain has exploded just like that man’s Pontiac.

Joseph 2.2


This month, mom and dad bought me a new house! They are getting it ready before we move in, but I like it just the way it is. No furniture so I can run all over and have plenty of room to play with my trains! I also have a great yard I like to explore, i can’t wait to be able to play every day there.


I am so happy the weather is finally better. I help Grandpa and Dad with the yard work. I get to ride on Grandpa’s tractor and dad gave me a ride in the wheelbarrow. I also climbed up a huge mountain of mulch!


Right now mommy, dad, and I are on vacation at the beach. I flew on an airplane for the first time, mom and dad said I was a pro! The ocean and sand are the best ever, I could make sand castles all day. Plus, there’s a pool right outside we can swim in. I never want to leave.