Week Links [15 August]

So, in the past two weeks, I’ve rushed my cat to the vet thinking she was dying (she’s fine and was just dehydrated), my house caught on fire, and we bought an SUV. And those are just the highlights!

To briefly recap the fire, which is something that you never anticipate will happen to you: We had a plumber in swapping out our old steam radiators with a more modern system (I understand nothing about this, so that’s as specific as I can be). Apparently, when he was soldering the pipes in the basement, he must have singed the surrounding wood, because there was a lingering smoke smell. This wasn’t his first time at our house—he’d started the job months ago and he’d done our plumbing when our addition got built a few years ago—and there’s always a bit of a lingering smell, so I didn’t think much of it. But it hadn’t gone away by morning. Last Friday morning I woke up really early, ate a bagel, watched Ginny & Georgia, did a load of laundry, and outside of the smell, nothing seemed amiss. My washer and dryer are in the basement, where the fire was, and I didn’t notice any smoke. About 20 minutes later, my smoke detector started going off, and I walked into my living room to see smoke billowing up through the heater. I grabbed my husband, explained to him what was going on, called my father-in-law (who is the primary one doing the work on our house) and then, like an IDIOT, I ran down into the smoky basement to see what was going on. At no point did it occur to me to call the fire department, and what’s worse, I LIVE ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE FIRE STATION. I could have just gone outside and gotten help. I learned the very important lesson that I can’t be trusted in a crisis.

My father-in-law raced over in record time and ran straight into the burning basement. He was able to put out the actual flames rather quickly, because the fire was contained in the ceiling and hadn’t yet started to spread. I was banished outside with the cat to protect us both from smoke inhalation. I watched from the porch as he carried out smoldering chunks of wood and insulation with his bare hands. My husband helped clear the area near the fire, and was luckily able to save a ton of our photos and holiday decorations. Only one box of our actual possessions got destroyed, which I’m so grateful for. Once we’d aired out the upstairs sufficiently, I went back inside, grabbed some stuff, and camped out at my in-laws for a few hours to escape the smell and stay out of the way. As fires go, the actual impact was extremely minimal, but on the off-chance we hadn’t been home at the time, the whole house could have gone up with our cat inside. I was an evangelist for work-from-home before the fire, but now I think offices should be abolished entirely, if only to protect cats!

If we hadn’t experienced enough stress on Friday, the next day I decided to knock an item off of my endless baby-preparation to-do list—getting an estimate for my husband’s car. We knew we’d have to sell one of our cars and get something big enough to accommodate our growing family, but I didn’t expect a 10-hour total turnaround. The second I put the info into Carfax, my phone started blowing up with emails, texts, and calls from dealerships offering to appraise and buy the car (a 2005 Camry with 84,000 miles, for reference). Apparently the demand for used cars is insane right now. I made an appointment with a local dealership for 5:30 (the same dealership, incidentally, where my first car was purchased 18 years ago and my husband’s car was initially purchased 16 years ago). The appraisal didn’t go as well as I’d hoped, but we were still offered a decent chunk of change for the car. We went to the lot and toured their inventory, but nothing I liked was jumping out at me. I was just about to tell the guy we’d take the cash for the car and come back another time to buy, when the car pulled up right beside us. I don’t know if it was being test-driven, or if it had just come in, but it was a jade green 2019 Toyota Highlander XLE with only 12,000 miles on it. 12,000 miles! Our runner up was a boring gray 2018 with 35,000 miles. The 2019 checked every single one of my boxes. The thing is a tank, but an extremely attractive tank. I hate big cars (I currently drive a 2019 Honda Fit), but between twins, their carseats, and the sheer amount of gear they require, I knew that we’d have to go for something that could grow with us, and the Highlander has a fold-down third row. It’s like a mini-van, without being a mini-van. I still want to absolutely vomit when I think about how expensive it is (last time I bought a car, it was the Fit after a trade-in, so I’m not used to making big, scary purchases), but Toyotas live forever, so we could have it until the kids are in high school.

see the whip pullin’ up i’m like skrrrr

So, basically, after a year and a half of being at home and doing nothing, all of our major life events happened at once, while I was 25 weeks pregnant.

  1. Binged Ginny & Georgia on Netflix. I’m obsessed and can’t wait for the new season.
  2. Treated myself to a total mom purse (the small Landon Carryall) during the Dagne Dover refresh sale. My color (Dune) is out of stock now, but they’re still 25% off! They’re re-releasing their baby bags, so I’m hoping to snag one for when my twins arrive!
  3. Did everyone know that Ulta released a Gilmore Girls-inspired line? I have every single thing in my cart.
  4. Rothy’s started making kids shoes? I’m firmly in the camp of not buying kids anything expensive until they stop growing but these will test my willpower.
  5. Ordered these as prescription sunglasses. I love a cat-eye!
  6. My cribs got put together! We went with the Babyletto Hudson model because it was really highly rated and super stylish. And when I say “we went with,” I mean that my husband’s gorgeous, generous, iconic cousins insisted that they give them to us as a gift. The generosity people have shown me during this pregnancy continues to absolutely blow my mind.
  7. This budget-friendly Mid-Century Play Set Makeover is so inspiring! I know I have to wait so long before my kids are actually old enough to play, but I’m so excited for that season of life.
  8. After hearing Elise on the A Beautiful Mess podcast, I treated myself to a Get to Work Book, a Project Breakdown Notebook, and a Perpetual Calendar Notepad. I have always wanted to become a planner person, so I challenged myself to keep up with a planner for a full month before I invested in a nice one.
  9. I read Kristen Arnett’s With Teeth and it has been a real…journey. I loved Mostly Dead Things, so I jumped at the chance to reserve her new book through my library, but I must warn you…maybe put off reading it if you’re pregnant or a new mom. It’s not a favorable portrayal.
  10. I’m having this animal print and this travel alphabet printed today to hang up in the Nursery. The room is so close to being done–I’m excited to share the finished product! It has truly been a labor of love…pun intended.

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