Todd Family Blog

Welcome! Read below for our latest news and pictures.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Chicago 2

We had so much fun last time we decided we had to do it again. Nina, Miriam and I headed up to Chicago this past weekend to visit Kat and take part in a pup crawl. First of all, I have to recommend our mode of transportation: the Megabus. What a great idea! For $40 (easily the cost of gas, parking, and the energy of driving) it picks you up in downtown Indy and drops you off downtown in Chicago with no stops along the way (save a bathroom break). Great! I loved being able to sleep or read on the ride up.

Once we arrived, Kat ordered really, really tasty pizza. (Not a surprise - this IS Chicago, afterall!) Then we met up with a bunch of her work friends for a tour of the Southport Pubs and Bars. I found the trick to a pup crawl is to alternate a drink and Diet Coke at every other bar. Works like a charm - I only had three drinks and was no worse for the wear. After about six bars we headed back to Kat's to relax, have dinner, and then grab a cocktail at one of our favorite new spots, Fulton Lounge.

The next morning we had a WONDERFUL brunch at Orange, which I also highly recommend. But, of course, the best part of the weekend is really just catching up and chatting with old college friends. Can't wait for the next get together!

When I returned on Sunday Brad and I went over to Tim and Steve's for a great dinner. Tim spoiled us with feta stuffed pork, great veggies, artichoke dip and wonderful homemade salad dressing. I tried to return the favor by bringing some handmade truffles. Can't hurt to end with chocolate, right? I wish I had remembered to take a picture. They have done such a wonderful job decorating their house. I love wandering around and stealing ideas! And it makes me so happy to know that I can finally have everyone over soon to reciprocate all the wonderful evenings at our friends' homes.

Hope you all had a great weekend, too!

Kat, Nina and me in our fancy car on the way to the first pub. No cab for us! Ha!

Miriam got shotgun with James, the driver. Lover her hat. If it fit my giant head I would try to steal it.

Miriam and Nina at our second pub.

The manager and bouncer asked me to guard their Golden Tee game while they had to go actually work. No one was going to mess with that game on my watch! (You definitely want the manager and bouncer on your side, right?)

Our last bar - Nina had gotten her hands on Miriam's hat by that point.

This picture cracks me up. Miriam and I are both "hand talkers" and this is probably what we look like 90% of the time we are together.

The next morning - Also love this picture. It's very Miriam and Meagan, I think.

And this one cracks me up, too! Don't you wish you knew what we were talking about?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Homeless No More

I think it is finally safe to create this post. I've been waiting and waiting, not wanting to jinx anything. Some of you may know our crazy story about our move back to Indy and the fact that we had originally made an offer on a house in Thorntown. Of course, we had to take back that offer when things fell through with Brad's job and we have been living with the Todds for about three months now. (P.S. I have the best in-laws!) Unfortunately, our drama didn't end there. We kept up the house hunt as Brad searched for a new job, and when he got the position at Roche (literally that same day!) we made an offer on a house with which we were COMPLETELY in love. It was basically our dream house that we never thought we would find. Long story short, we lost it thanks to a buyer that everyone thought was going to back out (and then didn't). Not only were we CRUSHED, but we learned that we lost the house during Brad's first day at Roche. Talk about a stressful week!

So, we continued on, and a couple weeks later found a house in Pendleton. We really felt good about the house and town, though the house wasn't quite as wonderful as the one we had lost. Just before we were about to make an offer on the Pendleton home, we got THE CALL. (Lots of CAPS in this post, but I must get the emotion across!) The evil buyer trying to steal our dream house away backed out after all! Thankfully, we had the backup offer, so Dream House fell right back into our laps. Oh joy! It was a wonderful day.

Now all the logistics are officially okayed (inspection, mortgage, etc., etc....Whew!) and we are just waiting for our closing on Friday! I think it is safe to say that we are actually going to get our house now. Apparently, 3rd time really is the charm. We'll soon be living on Little Eagle Creek Road just south of 32, behind "Eagletown". Our address will be Westfield, but we're not officially part of the town, though there is a strong possibility of annexation soon. We also found out some wonderful development plans are in the works for Eagletown. They won't directly affect our view/property, but will add some amenities in the vicinity (great shopping, a connection to The Monon, nice houses, etc.). It's all coming together really well!

Now, one final note as all this drama comes to a close: We feel so incredibly humbled and blessed by this whole experience. I definitely had some "stamp my foot" moments over the last four months, and I certainly don't feel that I deserve how wonderfully everything is turning out. Brad really thinks that he has found his dream job. Now we got our dream home, too. We found the support of our friends and family is incredible and that faith will truly see you through. I know now why they say, "Tell God your plans and he will laugh." His plans are SO much better! Thank you all for everything you've done the last four months. Can't wait to have you over to the new place!

Some pics:

Views of the front:
The house is a log home on 2.24 acres (room for the dogs!). We both have always loved log homes, and this one has a wrap around stone porch with a swing - Something else I really wanted for our house. Ah, the wine that we will drink on that front porch :).

View of the Back:
Can't wait to get some patio furniture and a fire pit!

Walking in the front door - the smell of the wood makes me feel like I'm on vacation in Michigan. I also really love the loft above the living room/kitchen. That's where our wine bar is going! (Wine is important, if you can't tell.)

The Loft - Pool table isn't staying. We're not big on pool, I'm afraid, and my parents have one if we ever need it. Besides, gotta have enough room for that wine bar!

Part of the yard to the side of the house is planted with tons of little maples. The sellers are landscapers and thought they might use them, but didn't.

I love the 3 + car garage. We're going to put a workout area in there, too. That red door leads to a separate little room with a spiral staircase. The staircase leads directly up into the office/my studio. So, my students will have their own entrance! Very convenient.

The office/my studio with it's huge built-in desk. I will finally have room to write at my desk! I've always had to write on my lap while working at our tiny desk we had in CA. It's the little things, isn't it?

A mud room! I've always wanted a mud room! This is just as you come into the house from the garage.

From the road so that you all will know what to look for when you stop by:

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Hope you all had a WONDERFUL 4th! I used to not care much about plans for the 4th. However, the past few years I've had such an excellent holiday that it's becoming a favorite. Three years ago Brad and I went to Jefferson's home, Monticello, while I was singing in VA for the summer, and watched the Naturalization Ceremony. Seeing all of the new citizens taking their oaths after all their hard work, and then listening to their excited comments was extremely humbling. Then, last year, we celebrated on the deck of the USS Midway with Bob and Bonnie while living in San Diego. (There's an archived post about that, I believe!) It was pretty amazing celebrating on the deck of a famous battleship.

This year we were invited to Symphony on the Prairie by our good friends, Jason and Lauren Brown. Bill and Abby Hoskins and John Hough came, as well. Jason and Lauren even had the forsight to rent a table towards the front. It was SUCH a fun night. The Symphony had planned a wonderful program, "Abe Lincoln" read the Gettysburg Address over music from The Patriot and there were even Howitzer's going off during the 1812 Overture, all followed by amazing fireworks right overhead. If you live in the Indy area I highly suggest a visit to any of the Symphony on the Prairie concerts this summer.

Perhaps the best moment was when they played a medley of the Armed Forces' songs. If you served in any of the five you were invited to stand during that theme. (See Jason standing below.) When they played the Army's song, the family of a very, very elderly woman at the next table helped her to stand. She was so proud and clapped along very enthusiastically. Yeah, I cried.

Thanks, Lauren and Jason for thinking of this great idea! We might have a new tradition on our hands!

Getting settled at our table.

Period-dressed soldiers paraded the flags as the symphony played. There was such a wonderful, patriotic atmosphere. Everyone immediately stood every time the flag came into view. At different points in the concert people joined in the singing of the National Anthem and also God Bless America. I kept getting teary! (Well, I do cry at just about EVERYTHING, but it really was very touching.)

Jason standing during the Air Force's song.

Great fireworks!

We've been over to Jason and Lauren's a couple times now and I want to steal their dog, Reggie. Unfortunately, one of our dogs would want to eat him (Cal - not so good with the little dogs), so I'm leaving Reggie with Jason and Lauren for safe-keeping. It's so funny - he clings to your shoulder and won't let go!