Adventures in Philly!

Family outings in a chilly Philly!

In April we spent a lot of time organizing, rearranging and trying to get settled in the house.  We found out quickly that we needed a few more items of furniture to fill the new space. In our old home we didn’t have a kitchen table or some of the standard items to furnish a house – so it was time to do a little shopping.

I also had the fortunate opportunity to attend a two day intensive conference on propensity score matching – a statistical technique I’m using in some of my thesis work. I was really excited for this opportunity. It required a road trip to Philadelphia, so Paul and the little guy decided to come along for some adventure time.  While I was in class they toured the city and all of the historical sites.  I would occasionally get pictures from the different landmarks – and my favorite was the picture of my little guy passed out in front of the Liberty Bell – apparently he’s not much for history.

Independence Hall

After class we met for walks and went out for dinner down the road from our hotel. We bought the obligatory Philly Cheesesteaks and enjoyed the city.

Dinner at a nice restaurant with a tired little man saved by fruit snacks!

On the way home we stopped by the outlets in Lancaster – which was wild. They have a Pottery Barn furniture outlet – and were running a 40% off your entire purchase sale, which is rare! 40% off outlet prices, now that is something to be excited about.  It was a deal (many deals) meant to be – so we went over the top and rented a U-Haul truck to bring all of our goodies back to Pittsburgh. Hahah!

Our little guy was so extremely patient with us as we made the round through the furniture store, sat on every couch, and debated between kitchen tables. After the day was done we canceled our original kitchen table purchase from West Elm, and filled both the U-Haul and the Pilot with outlet furniture.  We even took a few rugs and items home from another couple who was heading back to Shadyside in Pittsburgh  – what are the odds?!

All packed up and ready to go!

We made the drive back to Pittsburgh and and unloaded all of the furniture into the house with the late night help of Taylor and Katie. It was a spontaneous adventure which resulted in a lot of fun and plenty of furniture!

In March – we moved!

March was wild – now you can start to see why I have been a little behind with my online presence. 🙂  On March 10th, we closed on our new home!! It was moving time!  Here are pictures of our VERY first home as a couple…  We certainly miss all the charm of our first home – it was absolutely perfect for us. After four years of working, Curty’s help and many small improvement projects, was a completely different home from when we bought it – we showered it with love – and it sure shows!

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One only realizes how much unnecessary stuff is in your house until you go to move it all.  Which has fueled my minimalism and simplicity goals even further. Thank goodness for SUV’s and Curty’s truck.  In just two short days we were able to move almost all the “stuff” out of our old house and in our new home.  I wanted the best possible chance at selling our old home, so we left some of our furniture their to stage the home.  I don’t watch a lot of HGTV (or any TV for that matter), but when Paul and I were looking at homes  – it was clear that a staged home looks amazing. Simple, clean, and soon to be yours… that was our goal.

Maplewood meats on the grill after a long day of moving!

Friday we cleaned the new place and continued to move the non essentials. Saturday was the big day. We moved all day long and then we swapped out real mattresses for air mattresses. Saturday March 10th, we spent our first night in the new home!  (Well, my mom, Dad and I did… Paul was working a in house night shift at the hospital.)

Getting ready to say good bye to our first home – I cannot believe it!

It was a whirlwind Marsh trip – my parents had to get home by Sunday night – so they had to leave almost immediately after moving us in. I was in pure awe of how much work we accomplished in such a short amount of time. Just like that – we moved!  Now it was on to staging our old place, touching up things and getting it ready for the market.

Luckily we had more visitors to help us with the task! John and Kathy joined us for a week in March. Although it was complicated by a virus (we we originally blamed on Cheesecake factory)… we got a fair amount of work done! We painted the exterior of the garage which added a major facelift. When we were ready to sell, the house and yard were stunning. That is of course when you second guess why you’re moving – when the house your selling looks awesome.  It was hard to say goodbye, but its more the memories than the dwelling – we will miss our first home and all its love and quirks!! Paul and I were married there, got a dog (ohh dale…), and welcomed home our first child. A lot of beautiful memories 🙂

Drew inspecting the new back yard!

New Year 2017!

Family packer game!

The brand new year was upon us. We didn’t have too much going on in the way of activities in January. I knew at the start of 2017 I was going to really have to start putting in additional time and effort in order to wrap up my remaining thesis projects.  However, we did make time for fun and visitors.

Paul had his annual Christmas party where we caught up with his coworkers and I was able to meet many of the lovely people he works with. Always a treat to go out for an adult night!

Paul and Dan at the Xmas party, accidentally twinning!

Shortly after we had the pleasure of family visiting! Kathy and Dooze were able to find time to drive out and visit with us! We of course went out to dinner after much deliberating over the perfect spot to try.

We also called up our relator who helped us find our perfect first home to see if she was available to talk about the possibility of moving. Paul, Katie, Taylor and I were all randomly on Zillow one evening looking at homes – and we found a home with brilliant curb appeal that was really close to us. Even though we weren’t truly in the market for a new home, we let curiosity get the best of us and we checked it out.  It was gorgeous, with a beautiful wrap around porch… but, it was not on the best street, overpriced, and didn’t have a garage. We let it slide, but did some comparison shopping and snooped around a few open houses.

I was pretty set that we could enjoy our very cozy home for the next few years while I finished medical school.  However, after a complete turn of events and a little convincing – we put an offer in on a house that we were merely looking at for comparison.  So, January wasn’t all that dull at all!


In February things continued to move on the house and Paul and I each had the opportunity to fly back to Wisconsin to visit with our parents. Drew took the little guy with him the first week so I could put in some focused time at work. The second week, I went home, snagged my little man and Paul returned for work. Drew had an extended holiday stay in Wisconsin, which I’m sure he loved!!

Hi goat! Visiting the animals at the New Zoo in Green Bay!

It was all fun and games in Wisconsin until I ended up in the Emergency Room three times due to an insanely painful bout of viral something or other. I thought I was having stomach problems or a stricture the pain was so intense.  Overall I have a substantial pain tolerance, so it sent everyone into a bit of a scare.  With time things started to figure themselves out and I made it back safe and sound to Pittsburgh.  Nothing like spending your time with family in the ER!

February night out at the play!

Early this new year we were fotunate to get a few days of snow! The winters are a bit more mild that I’m used to, so it is not often the snow sticks around long enough for us to enjoy it. On our snow day, we decided to play outside and try to go down the slow shallow hill on the inner tube!  Luckily we had Dale to pull us down the hill a few times, because otherwise we were moving pretty slow. Drew was a good sport about the whole adventure that was mainly for me…

All smiles in the snow – that’s my boy!

Hey Dale, what are you doing in my sled?

At the end of February, Paul and I were both back in Pittsburgh to celebrate Joel’s Birthday!  I always like to do a little something special on Joel’s day. Even though I sat in the doctors office for a bit, this year was extra wonderful and I could truly feel his presence and support when I most needed it.  Cheers Buck!

Happy Birthday Buck!

Holidays in Wisconsin 

Smiles with G.G. Marsh!

Because my husband is a saint, I was able to sneak back for the holidays! Paul had to work the holidays this year, which is generally what happens in medicine. Surgeries do not necessarily avoid the holiday rush. If anything, I think the unexpected emergencies tend to flock to the holidays as people are traveling, vacationing, and getting creative with their turkey friers!  Regardless, the little guy and I decided to take advantage of the holiday time and run back to Wisconsin to visit family.

Thank you Aunt Lyssa!!

We visited Great Grandma Marsh and Great Grandpa VB, as well as the first generation grand parents. We bundled up and went for a few walks around the Polo Point neighborhood.  Drew was rocking the snazzy PJ’s.  We were able to bum around at Lyssa’s house for a while and Drew got to try out his super cool Christmas present  – a John Deere Buck!  He loved it! A big fan of the blinkers.

We met up for another wild night at Polo Point for New Years, where Lyssa, Drew and I took our “Three Best Friends” picture – haha! It was a nice social gathering with the people from the condo association. My parents neighbor was super excited to join and brought her little smokies for everyone to try!

…and we’re the three best friends!

On the way home we stopped in the United Club where we enjoyed snacks, yogurt, sausage and melon. Drew looks way too comfortable in the United Club. He is slowly creeping up on being 2 years old, so this luxury isn’t going to last much longer once we have to start paying for his tickets! Regardless, enjoy it while you can bud!

Little guy feeling way too comfortable in the United Club!

It was a nice trip home to see family – and Paul was able to fly into Minneapolis for a weekend to see his family at the cabin! I’m so glad that it worked out for both of us to sneak in a little family time to start off the New Year!  2017, you’re certainly going to be full of adventure!