Friday, June 29, 2012

Seven Quick Takes (8)


1. A student doctor let Peter use the fetal doppler to find our baby's heartbeat at my appointment this week. Peter found the heartbeat right away because he is awesome. Our baby's heartrate was a loud and robust 140 beats per minute.

2. To cheer myself up, I changed the background on our laptop to this photo. Looking at the Peter and Lola half of the picture always makes me smile. (The half with me, Mango and Big Papi is less hilarious.)


3. My favourite chore is cleaning the fridge. My least favourites are vacuuming, washing the floors and taking out the garbage. I did all of those chores yesterday. 

4. Our friends from church threw a make-your-own pizza party on Sunday to say goodbye to Peter. My photos are still on my camera, which is on its way to B.C., so you'll just have to imagine how delicious the pizza was.

5. I'm trying to develop a new habit by tackling the most important thing I need to accomplish each day first thing in the morning. Right now I'm working on three memos for my professor that are all due next week.

6. Now that I'm in my 28th week of pregnancy, my doctor told me I need to start counting the baby's movements. He or she is supposed to move at least six times in two hours. Fortunately our baby is very active so it never takes that long to identify six kicks. 

7. Here is an actual conversation from earlier this week:
Peter: Woah! I think your belly grew while you were napping.
Carolynne: Strange! I was just thinking the same thing.

More quick takes here.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thankful Thursday (8)


Today I am thankful for:

• Peter getting to Winnipeg safely.
• My amazing baby shower. (Peter took my camera with him before I downloaded the photos so I haven't been able to post them yet.)
• The visits, phone calls, emails and messages from my wonderful friends who are trying to cheer me up now that Peter is gone
• Two more of my former coworkers finding jobs (one temporary, one permanent.) 
• The wonderful support network we've developed at our church. 
• Another doctor's appointment that showed our baby is doing well and everything is normal. 
• Finding a doctor in Prince George to deliver our baby in September. 
• My brother arriving safely in England after his volunteer trip to Ghana. 
• The amazing Ottawa summer weather.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sad Cat

Peter left today for B.C. (via Winnipeg and Calgary.)

If I were a cat, this is what I would look like:


Monday, June 25, 2012

Another Setback

Our realtor called this morning to say that the bid on our home fell through.

We are very disappointed and frustrated. All our viewings were cancelled over the weekend because of the bid and none of them have been re-booked so far.

Since I'm here in Ottawa until our sale is finalized, I am praying that we will get another bid soon.

Also, did you know that there are patron saints for preventing pirate attacks, horse theft and rodent infestation, but none to help you sell your home?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

27 Weeks

I've made it to the third trimester and I'm still feeling great. The first trimester dragged on and the second flew by. I'm so excited to meet the baby.


Inanimate comparison: Rutabaga. Peter thinks that a rutabaga is smaller than a lettuce and a cauliflower, but we'll just have to trust the Internet that the baby isn't shrinking.

Maternity clothes: Like last week, I can still fit into my leggings and shorts if they fit below my belly.

Stretch marks: Still none.

Sleep: Terrible this week. I'm blaming the hot weather and the excitement.

Best moment this week: Selling our home. Reaching the third trimester.

Miss anything: Nothing this week. I'm so excited for the next few months.

Movement: Lots of kicking. Eight weeks have passed since I felt the baby kick for the first time and the novelty still hasn't worn off.

Cravings: None.

Sickness: None.

Gender: Still a surprise.

Labour signs: None. Hopefully this baby will stay put for another three months.

Symptoms: None.

Belly button: Still in.

Wedding rings: Still on.

Happy or moody: Happy and excited.

Looking forward to: Buying a new home and getting settled in Prince George.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Another Crazy Day

Yesterday wasn't as life-changing as last Friday, but it was still a crazy day.

Our house went up for sale on Wednesday and showings started yesterday. We initially had four showings booked, but one was cancelled.

Because we were out running errands all day, I only met one of the potential buyers. He came over in the afternoon while Peter and his friend Don were taking my brother's many, many shoes (and bed, dresser and other stuff) to a storage locker. He only spent about 15 minutes looking at our house and he didn't seem very happy so I was certain he wasn't going to put in a bid. 

But I was wrong.

Yesterday evening, my girlfriend threw me a baby shower. (Look out for an upcoming blog post about how glorious it was.) Peter called me about half-way through to tell me that we had a bid and we agreed to accept it. 

I am so thrilled and relieved. This is one bet that I'm happy to let Peter win.

Provided our home passes the inspection, we will turn over possession on July 20.

Here are the photos the realtor took of our home for the MLS listing. They feature Mango and Big Papi, but sadly not Lola:








Friday, June 22, 2012

Seven Quick Takes (7)




1. Here is an actual conversation from this week:
Carolynne: You know that song "Call Me Maybe"?
Peter: No.
Carolynne: Wow. This is just like that time when I told you I didn't know who Lanny McDonald was.

2. Peter saw that Burger King has started serving bacon sundaes and is now planning to make his own version. Here's a photo of a KFC Double Down that Peter made:



Yes, that's a breaded chicken breast instead of a bun.

3. I went out for dinner this week with a bunch of ladies from church. We played a game where the organizer listed a bunch of random items and you got a poker chip for each one you had in your purse. I only got two poker chips, one for having lipstick and another for having a book. The only person who got fewer chips than me was our priest, who was invited as a special guest. Among the things I didn't have were a cloth handkerchief, a rosary, a photo, a safety pin, hand sanitizer and cigarettes.

4. Four sets of potential buyers are coming to look at our house today. We are crossing our fingers and cat paws.

5. A moving company sent a representative yesterday to look at our home and give us an estimate. The average three-bedroom home has between 8,000 and 10,000 pounds of stuff. Based on an online calculator, we thought we had just under 5,000 pounds, but we actually only have 4,500 pounds. This move is going to be cheaper than we thought.

6. Today is my mother's birthday. My sister's birthday was last week, Father's Day was earlier this week and my brother's birthday is next week. June is a big month for our family.

7. The NHL schedule was released yesterday and the Winnipeg Jets aren't coming to Vancouver or Calgary in 2012-13. Hopefully Peter will be able to go to a game in Winnipeg sometime this season.

More quick takes here.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thankful Thursday (7)



Today I am thankful for:
• Peter's newest job.
• The opportunity to live in the same city as my sister and 100 kilometres from my parents for the first time in seven years.
• Our minivan.
• All the hand-me-downs our friends have given us. I don't think we'll have to buy the baby any clothes.
• Working enough hours to qualify for 12 months of maternity leave.
• Our cats getting along. Mango and Papi don't gang up on Lola anymore.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Random Things

I have been having trouble sleeping lately. I'm not sure if it's the pregnancy, the weather or the excitement, but likely it's a combination of all three.

So here are some random middle-of-the night things:

• Peter is leaving next Wednesday. He's flying to Winnipeg and spending a few days at the cottage with his family and then driving to Prince George in time for work on Monday.

• The main reason Peter is going to Winnipeg is because his parents are selling us a minivan. I never thought I would be so excited to have a minivan. In high school, I used to drive my parents' minivan and I thought it was embarrassing. My priorities have changed over the past 10 years.

• The reason we're buying a minivan is because our car broke down the same day we lost our jobs. Peter was on his way back home from the mechanic's shop when our boss called him in for the meeting. The car had initially broke down a week before and we paid to get it fixed. Then the transmission blew and we lost our jobs so we decided that it wasn't worth fixing again.

• The floor upstairs is finished and it looks amazing. I hope the new owners love it.

• We have decided that we are never going to renovate a home again.

• Our house is going on the market today and it will be posted on MLS with photos by the end of the week.

• Our realtor told us that houses in our price range take an average of 21 days to sell. If ours sells that quickly, I would be thrilled.

• Peter set the over-under line on our house sale at July 12. I took over, even though the house will have been listed for 21 days on July 11. Hopefully he wins that bet.

• Peter loves to bet so I come up with wagers on all sorts of silly things like: which of our friends will finish their degrees first and who will be the next to propose.

• The temperature this week is supposed to hit 35 C. If that happens, it will be the hottest weather I've ever experienced.

• I just wrote replies to a bunch of emails but I'm going to wait until the morning to send them because I think emailing people at 3 a.m. is weird.

• I feel bad for my brother because his favourite basketball team is in the finals for the first time and he can't watch any games because he's volunteering at an orphanage in Ghana. (I was going to refer to this as a "first-world problem" and then I realized the problem with that term in this context.)

• My third trimester starts on Sunday. I feel so lucky that I haven't had any pregnancy problems so far (nausea, vomiting, backache . . . and the unmentionable ones.) Hopefully this will continue for the next three months.

• I went out for dinner with some ladies from our church last night. They were concerned about me eating sushi, but I made sure I only ate the cooked kind and not the raw kind. It was delicious.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Survivor Guilt

Forty-three days ago, Peter and I were laid off along with 23 of our coworkers. 

Everyone assumed we were the worst off because we suddenly went from two incomes to none when I was five months pregnant.

Of course, we were shocked and devastated. But some things made this easier on us than on others:

• We were willing to move anywhere in Canada. Finding work is much easier if you're not tied to one location. Most of our coworkers have wives who work for the government, which means they are stuck here in Ottawa. 

• We had worked for the same company for more than 10 years between us so we both got significant severance packages. Some of our coworkers had only been there for a few months.

• We're both young. Finding work is much easier when you're in your late 20s or early 30s. 

• We were both planning to leave our jobs in the next few years anyway, so this just changed the timeline. 

• We're both great at living on a budget and we have no debt except our mortgage.

Over the past 43 days, another person has been laid off and eight more were told that their jobs were moving to Hamilton and four opted not to go.

Only seven of those 28 people now have full-time jobs. One of our coworkers has found a permanent job in Ottawa, another has a contract in B.C., three were hired back in Hamilton and two were hired back temporarily in Ottawa. 

I feel terribly guilty that Peter had two job offers last week and 21 of our coworkers are still looking for work. 

I wish there was something I could do to help.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Big Announcement

On Monday, Peter was offered a job in Hamilton and we started making plans to move.

Then on Friday, everything changed. 

At about 1 p.m., Peter was watching soccer and waiting for our appointment with our realtor and I was napping on the couch and waiting for our friend to come over to pick up some of our donations. 

I heard answer Peter answer his phone. I dozed off again until I heard him say something about Prince George. 

A few weeks ago, Peter applied for a job at the daily newspaper in Prince George. He didn't hear back right away and, with all the Hamilton excitement, we were no longer thinking about that job.

Right then, our friend arrived to pick up our donations. (We haven't replaced our car yet, so he was kind enough to offer to drop off our stuff at Value Village.) I was disorientated from being woken up and distracted by Peter's phone call, but I made an attempt to be coherent.

After Dave left, Peter finished his phone call and came back downstairs. He hadn't been offered the job yet, but he was optimistic. He texted his references to tell them to expect a call and we got ready for our appointment with our realtor.

When our realtor left, we sat down and discussed the two jobs. During our discussion, the managing editor from Prince George called and offered Peter a job as a reporter and copy editor. So we had a decision to make.

Here are some of the good points about Prince George that we discussed:

• I used to live in Prince George, my sister still lives there and my parents live an hour away. I also have extended family in the Lower Mainland, Peter has family in Calgary and the Okanagan and we both have lots of friends in B.C. 
• The cost of living is even cheaper than Hamilton, which is cheaper than Ottawa, which is cheaper than most other cities in Canada. We can easily afford a house, not just a townhouse.
• The city has a WHL team, a CIS basketball team and a professional theatre company. 
• The Prince George job is primarily reporting and the Hamilton job is primarily doing lay-out. Peter likes reporting better than lay-out. 
• The Prince George job is a day job and the Hamilton job is a night job. Although I'm used to him working the night shift, I love Peter being home in the evening. It makes such a difference to our quality of life. 
• The Prince George job pays significantly more. 
• Because of Hamilton's proximity to Toronto, it will likely be easier for me to find an articling position in Prince George.

Here are some of the not-so-good points that we discussed:

• Lots of our friends are moving to Hamilton. We were really looking forward to reuniting with them.
• We were also excited about living closer to several of our friends and Peter's Toronto-area extended family. 
• The closest law school is 5 1/2 hours away from Prince George. (However, this is likely a moot point because we have another plan that I will post about later.)
• Moving across the country is going to be a logistical challenge, especially with the cats.

In about 30 minutes, we made our decision: We're moving to Prince George. Peter starts on July 3 and I'll fly out with the cats when our house is sold.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

26 Weeks


I'm not actually 26 weeks until tomorrow. However, we have a big announcement to make tomorrow so I'm going to post this today. Stay tuned for the biggest and best news of a newsworthy week . . . 



Inanimate comparison: Lettuce. I actually think a cauliflower is bigger than a lettuce, but I'll have to trust the Internet on this one. 

Maternity clothes: I've outgrown all my non-maternity shirts, but some of my leggings and shorts still fit if I roll them down below my belly.

Stretch marks: None. 

Sleep: Not great this week. I've been waking up extremely early and falling asleep during the day.

Best moment this week: It's still a secret. Stay tuned for the news coming tomorrow. 

Miss anything: The ability to walk quickly for an extended period of time. 

Movement: Lots of kicking. The baby flipping over.

Cravings: None.

Sickness: None.

Gender: Still a surprise.

Labour signs: None.

Symptoms: None aside from my poor sleeping habits.

Belly button: Still in. 

Wedding rings: Still on. 

Happy or moody: Extremely happy.

Looking forward to: Announcing our news. Selling our home.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Seven Quick Takes (6)



1. The nurse at my obstetrician's office called me at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday while I was having a nap. The message didn't say why she called and by the time I listened to it, the office was closed. I spent the entire evening worrying, but it turns out she called to say I don't have gestational diabetes. I am so relieved. 

2. The Tuesday New York Times Crossword this week was ridiculously hard. They are supposed to get harder from Monday to Saturday. (Sundays are like Thursdays, but bigger.) I almost always finish Wednesday without help, sometimes finish Thursday and seldom finish Friday. This was the first time I've had trouble with a Tuesday crossword.

3. Peter's last day of work was May 11. He got his new job on June 11. This past month has flown by.

4. Our baby flipped over so he or she is the right way up for the first time. Now our baby is kicking near my ribs instead of my hips.

5. While I was in Montreal on Monday, our neighbour knocked on our door and asked Peter if our orange cat was in her house. Mango had escaped from our house, walked into her house and started attacking her cats.

6. I wish I knew how to get telemarketers off the phone without being rude. I don't have a problem saying no, but I hate being rude. When I refuse nicely, they just keep talking. Every phone call ends with me getting angry, feeling guilty, and reporting them to the Do Not Call Registry. I wish everyone would stop giving telemarketers their money and then the business model would become unprofitable.

7. Peter and I have only been to Hamilton once. We spent about four hours there two years ago eating dinner and watching the Hamilton Tigers-Cats beat the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. (They ate 'em raw.) This isn't the first time we've moved to an unfamiliar city. Neither of us had been to Ottawa before we moved here and Peter also moved to Red Deer, Alta., without visiting first.

More quick takes here.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thankful Thursday (6)




Today I am thankful for:

• Peter's new job
• Not having gestational diabetes. 
• A fun and relaxing trip to Montreal with my girlfriend on Monday.
• Peter's new job. 
• The beautiful weather.
• All the people who have offered to help me pack up our house.
• Did I mention Peter's new job?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

More Hamilton Details

The Job

Peter is going to be a sports editor for Postmedia Editorial Services. It's a different division in the same company that just laid us off. In his old job as a sports editor, he spent most of his time editing and the rest reporting. Now he will spend most of his time laying out pages and the rest editing. He will continue to work for Postmedia's newspaper clients all across Canada

At least four of our friends are also moving to Hamilton to work for the same operation, either because they were transferred or, like Peter, they were laid off and rehired. I'm so thrilled that we already have a support network. Plus, we will live much closer to Peter's extended family and some of my girlfriends. 

The Timeline

On Friday, Peter found out he had a job interview in Hamilton and by Monday he had the job. He starts on June 25.

I'm going to stay here in Ottawa until we sell the house. We're planning to put it on the market next week when the floor is finished. I'm confident we won't have trouble finding a buyer. Once this house is sold, we will buy a place in Hamilton.

Peter is going to live in a hotel in the meantime. Since Hamilton is only five hours away, he is going to come home most weekends to visit and help me pack. 

Future Plans

I am going to take a year off to care for our baby and then go back to school in September 2013. Unfortunately, Hamilton does not have a law school but we have several options that I will post about later.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Great News

Peter just got a job as a sports editor in Hamilton.

We are very excited. I will write more later.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Staying at Home

After we lost our jobs last month, Peter and I decided that he would be the only one to look for work.

Logistically, this makes sense. I'm almost six months pregnant and my belly is enormous, which means it would be difficult for me to find employment.

Jobs in journalism are also difficult to find, which is why we'll probably have to move to wherever Peter finds work. The chance of us both finding jobs in journalism in the same location is slim to none.

Plus, I was planning to change careers soon anyway. I've finished two years of law school and I only have one to go. Now I'll probably end up staying home with the baby until he or she is 11 months old and then go back to school full-time.

Thankfully, my severance package is set up so that I'm still eligible for a year of maternity-leave benefits. That is such a relief and a blessing.

Despite all these reasons, this was a difficult decision for me. Aside from cleaning and organizing, domestic tasks certainly aren't my specialty.

I also love to work. I started my first job in journalism before I finished my master's degree and I've been working since.

I have absolute confidence in Peter's ability to find a job and provide for our family. I'm just praying for the same confidence in myself to fulfill the role our family needs right now.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

25 Weeks



Inanimate comparison: Cauliflower. I just bought one on sale this week and it was huge.

Maternity clothes: I can still fit into my pre-pregnancy leggings, but I don't think that will last much longer.

Stretch marks: None. My mother was pregnant three times and never had any stretch marks so hopefully I inherited that trait.

Sleep: I'm exhausted in the evening if I don't nap, but I'm sleeping great.

Best moment this week: Finishing painting. I'm so relieved to have one home improvement project over with. 

Miss anything: The ability to plan my life more than a few weeks in advance. 

Movement: Lots of kicking. 

Cravings: Hummus. 

Sickness: None.

Gender: Both the needle and thread test and my poll say we're having a boy. 

Labour signs: None.

Symptoms: The inability to stay up past 9 p.m. if I don't nap during the day. Other than that, I feel fantastic.

Belly button: Still in. 

Wedding rings: Still on. Even with all the weight I've gained, they haven't got any tighter. 

Happy or moody: Mostly happy.

Looking forward to: My trip to Montreal on Monday.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Friday by the Numbers


Yesterday Peter and I went through our entire house and decided what to keep, what to throw out and what to donate.

Here was our experience by the numbers:

Hours: 2
Garbage bags: 2
Donation boxes: 6
Cat "helpers": 3
Bottle openers: 5
Stuffed tigers: 2
Christmas crackers: 4
Christmas cracker hats worn: 2
Natalie-made cards found: 3
Natalie-made cards kept: 3

It was possibly the most productive few hours we've had since we got married. There is nothing like an impending move to inspire cleaning, sorting and organizing.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Seven Quick Takes (5)


1. I had the weirdest test this week. Pregnant women in Ontario are routinely screened for gestational diabetes even if they have no risk factors. You go to the blood clinic and they give you a bottle of juice. You have five minutes to drink it and then you sit there for an hour. They won't let you leave the facility, use the washroom, or sleep. After the hour is up, they test your blood. Two other girls were doing the same test while I was there. I'll know the results next week, but I'm not too concerned. 

2. Yesterday, Peter and I went to a skills retraining session our company hosted for the 25 of us who lost our jobs. I mostly went to see my friends again because I miss them, but I enjoyed learning about networking. 

3. This weekend, Peter and I are going through everything in the house to decide what to throw out, what to donate, and what to keep. Since I love cleaning and organizing and hate clutter, I'm actually excited about this.

4. I just got a message from the law school library saying that a thesis I borrowed for an hour last week is now overdue. I returned it with a pile of other books so I hope they didn't lose track of it. I have to wait until the library opens at 8 a.m. to straighten this out.

5. The baby is now viable and, in just over two weeks, I'll begin my third trimester. The first trimester felt like it dragged on forever, but the second trimester has flown by. I'm excited to begin the last phase of pregnancy because I'm so excited to meet the baby, but my mother and mother-in-law have warned me that the third trimester is much harder than the first two.

6. I am going to Montreal on Monday with my friend to look for a bridesmaid dress. We were supposed to go today, but with the Grand Prix and the student protest, we decided to wait until Monday.

7. A woman who works at the law school predicted my baby's gender using a needle and thread. She wouldn't tell me the result but, judging from my friend's reaction, I think it said I'm having a boy.

More quick takes here.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Thankful Thursday (5)



Today I am thankful for:

• Peter, for everything he does around the house. There are too many things to list.
• A healthy and active baby.
• The completion of our house painting project.
• Two more of our former coworkers finding new, albeit temporary, jobs.
• All the support from our friends and family.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Painting

Our home has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, one kitchen, two hallways, one dining room, one living room, two stairwells and a huge finished basement.

Every one of those rooms has now been painted.

Peter finished the upstairs and most of the ground floor months ago, but we finally finished off the last few rooms over the past week with some help from our friends.

Now I can cross another item off my Done is Good list.

I hope our home's new owners like our colour choices. When we moved in, our bedroom was lime green, the spare bedroom was dark navy and our living room was pale pink. I think anything is an improvement over that!

When Peter was cleaning up after our friends left on Saturday, he found this footprint on the floor. I guess one of the cats wanted to help us paint. Fortunately it washed right off.


Monday, June 4, 2012

Our New Normal

Peter and I worked the late shift for the past five years, which means we rarely spent our evenings at home together. But now that we're no longer working, we spend every evening at home together.

During the day, Peter works on home renovation projects and applies for jobs. I work on my research projects and sort, clean and organize our home.

But our evenings are much more fun.

Here is what we've been up to:

• We eat dinner together every night. Most of the time we barbecue. Peter also recently discovered this website. You type in everything you have in your kitchen and then it suggests recipes using the ingredients you already have. You only need to type in your ingredients once because the website remembers them for you. You can also emphasize ingredients that you need to use up. It is amazing!


• We play board games. Peter usually wins. Sometimes Mango plays too.

• We go for long walks.

• Peter watches sports while I work on my research projects or do crossword puzzles.

• We watch television or movies. My Big Fat Greek Wedding was on a few nights ago. I had forgotten how cute that movie is.

Obviously, we'd both rather be working. But we're making the best of our new normal.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

24 Weeks





Inanimate comparison: Cantaloupe.

Maternity clothes: Almost exclusively. I put all my clothes that no longer fit in storage. 

Stretch marks: None. 

Sleep: I have a new routine now that I'm no longer working the evening shift. I get up around 7 a.m., nap in the afternoon, and go to sleep between 10 p.m. and midnight. I feel great and well-rested.

Best moment this week: Hearing once again that our baby is progressing "normally." Spending lots of time with Peter. 

Miss anything: My friends from work.

Movement: My belly moves when the baby kicks. It's so exciting!

Cravings: An A&W Mozza Burger, which is strange because I'm not usually a huge fan.

Sickness: None.

Gender: My poll says most people think he's a boy. 

Labour signs: None.

Symptoms: Leg cramps at night.

Belly button: Still in. 

Wedding rings: Still on.

Happy or moody: Happy most of the time.

Looking forward to: The end of home renovations.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Unknown

One of the hardest things about losing our jobs is "the unknown."

I now realize that the chance of us staying in Ottawa is virtually none and the chance of us being in Ottawa when the baby is born is slim to none.

I'm not worried about Peter getting a job. He has tons of experience, a variety of skills, great references and, best of all, a solid reputation in the business.

I'm also not concerned about selling our home or buying a home somewhere else. Our house here is a starter home in a great location and we'll price it to sell. We also have tons of equity so we'll be able to afford something no matter where we move.

But there are so many things that are still unknown.

Where we'll be living: 

We could end up somewhere where we already have a support network of family and friends (almost anywhere in B.C., Winnipeg, Toronto, Calgary). Or we could end up somewhere where we know no one (anywhere east of Ottawa, Edmonton, Saskatchewan).

I only knew two people in Ottawa when I moved here almost five years ago, so I know I can make friends wherever we go. But dealing with "the unknown" is still hard.

When we'll be moving:

Once Peter gets a job, they will probably want him to start right away. This means he'll fly to wherever we are moving and I'll stay here, pack and sell our home.

The move could be weeks from now or it could be months from now. I'm just praying the renovations are finished by then.

How much the move will cost: 

According to calculators on the Internet, our move will cost between $1,500 and $11,000 depending on where we're moving to. If the cost is near the upper end of that range, we decided it would be cheaper to sell everything and start over.

What do to with the stuff stored in our basement:

My brother, who is in France studying for a year, stored all his furniture in our basement. We'll have to find a home for it before we move.

What do to about the cats:

We will bring them with us, of course, but getting them to wherever we are going will be a challenge. Mango loves road trips, but the other two can't handle being in a car for a few minutes, let alone a few hours.

Where I will finish my law degree:

I still have 10 courses to go. I know I'll finish my degree, but it might not be at the University of Ottawa.