Goodbye Tom & Amy

Today Tom and Amy rolled out of town after two very busy weeks filled with camping and home renovations. As I write this I’m looking around the main floor of our house, and I honestly can’t believe how nice everything looks. Even though we carefully chose the dark bamboo floors, the tall white trim, and the paint colors for the walls, you still can’t be 100% sure how it’s all going to look together until you see the finished product. Luckily for us, the finished product was even better than I had ever imagined. I can’t thank Tom and Amy enough for the help they gave us. As usual, we couldn’t have done it without them and we appreciate everything so much.

It’s also crazy to see our house all put back together. For the last two weeks it’s been a huge mess of materials, tools, and toys, but yesterday Jessica, Amy, and Tom worked all day to get everything cleaned up and put back together. Again, seeing the finished product was so exciting, and since then we’ve both been finding ourselves randomly looking around in awe and appreciating all the hard work that went into it.

Not only did we end up with a beautiful finished product, but we both learned a lot from Tom throughout the project. I’ve never taken on something like this before, so it was really interesting to see how it’s all done. As it turns out, we purchased way too much flooring, so we’ve decided to hang onto it and do new floors in our master bedroom as well. We’re confident that we can get it done together after everything we’ve learned over the past week, but just in case we mess anything up, Amy and Tom will be back up here in two months for Thanksgiving. For now we just need to focus on finishing up the last bit of painting before we jump into anything new.

In addition to all the hard work, we were able to sneak away last weekend for the Foo Fighters concert at the Gorge. We dropped the girls off with Kristy and Madi, then rolled out to Eastern Washington in the bus. I ended up driving the final hour on our way there and found that I rather enjoyed being in control of such a massive vehicle. I like driving/riding pretty much anything, so it was no surprise, although this one definitely took some getting used to. There’s a lot of play in the steering, so you’re constantly making fine adjustments to the wheel just to keep it going straight. Plus you’ve got a switch-activated engine break to use when going down hills, which helps keep your normal brakes as fresh as possible. I ended up driving us all the way home the following day, and soon I found myself passing 18 wheelers in the left lane going uphill into the mountains. It was pretty badass.

As for the show, it was amazing. The Foo Fighters completely rocked, even though their front-man Dave Grohl had a broken leg, it was still really fun. Plus the scenery there is unbelievable. You’re sitting there on the lawn with the sun setting behind you, and you’ve got the stage and Columbia River gorge in front of you. It’s just amazing. We had Enzo with us, so it was his first concert, and let’s just say that he was quite a hit. If you’re ever wondering how to get a lot of attention at a concert, just strap a cute kid to your chest and give him a fedora to wear. People were constantly coming up to me to chat and check out baby Enzo. One lady even said “I don’t care what you think, I’m kissing him” and then proceeded to follow through with her promise.

Although most people thought it was awesome that we had him with us, at least one person seemed to think it was a bad idea. While we were on the bus from the camping grounds to the concert venue, a lady standing several rows behind me said something like “Did you see that guy with the baby? What’s he doing bringing a baby to something like this!?” Unfortunately for her, Jessica happened to be standing next to her, and she was told to watch it because “that’s my baby you’re talking about.” It was pretty badass.

With all the house work and camping trips behind us, it feels a bit weird to be having a normal night at home. The girls are both less than 100% right now, so Jess kept everyone home today to rest and relax. We’ve still got a lot to do around the house, including a bunch of yard work this weekend, but today everyone was all about downtime for the kids.

Tomorrow will be an interesting day for me because several of my teammates and I will be participating in something called “Day of Caring.” Basically we had approval from Microsoft to spend a workday doing some type of volunteer work for the community. Our team chose to build a covered area for homeless people to wait under when it’s raining and they’re trying to get into a shelter. I’m bringing a bunch of tools, and hopefully I’ll be coming in hot after all this work we’ve been doing at home. My main concern is that you’re going to have a bunch of software engineers trying to construct a physical structure and we’re not going to know what the hell is going on, but hopefully everything will turn out fine. Keep an eye out for an update on this sometime soon.

With all the hard work complete, it’s time for some down time around here. Looks like we’ll be getting a visit from my Mom for Halloween (which is her birthday), but other than that we don’t have a whole lot going on until our trip to Austin in late November. I’m actually saying this somewhat in jest because I know better than anyone that we never manage not being busy with something for long. The idea’s still novel though. Better just toss some recent pics out there and say, “see you soon.”

The powder room
The powder room

The front room
The front room

Ava & Peanut hanging out
Ava & Peanut hanging out

Hanging out in the bus
Hanging out in the bus

The Gorge
The Gorge

Getting settled into our spot
Getting settled into our spot

Jessica

The little E’s
The little E’s

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