Around here we are...
...enjoying the springtime weather. It's finally warm enough (but not too warm) to keep our windows open. I love sleeping with the fresh air and waking up to birds chirping outside.
...anticipating the installation of our solar panels. We signed up for solar panels through Next Step Living, after having the free energy audit as part of the Mass Save program. After a very long, thorough presentation, we jumped on these. They won't cost us a penny. Nothing up front, and they will make money in the long term. This is managed through several methods. A huge rebate from the Federal government, a smaller rebate from MA. An instant rebate from Next Step Living. A loan that is split into two pieces, the longer portion being low interest. Savings on energy bills and, over the next ten years, National Grid will also pay us annually for everything our solar panels produce. Once the panels are paid off they just save you money on your electric bill, and they're guaranteed for 25 years. Only a small percentage of homes can actually have solar panels, so being qualified is pretty neat. They should be installed and running sometime around September.
...looking forward to two upcoming vacations. We'll be bringing both Austin and Summer to Las Vegas, then on to California to visit Brad's parents, with a stop at Disneyland and California Adventure in the middle. We're also going to be going on our second Disney cruise, a 7 night Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Disney Fantasy. We absolutely loved our cruise last year, more than we ever expected to, so going for longer this year is just going to be amazing.
...loving Pac-Man and Paw Patrol (Austin) and Game of Thrones (Brad and I). Austin has been all about playing Pac-Man or watching Pac-Man videos on YouTube. He also has been starting to watch Paw Patrol after collecting a few of the toys. Game of Thrones Season 5 started last month and Brad and I of course tune in every Sunday on time to watch. I can't believe the season is half over already. We do hate the year long break between seasons.
...starting a new job (Summer). She's picked up a new waitress position at a fancy steakhouse nearby, and she's quite excited.
...eating healthy. Mostly. We are counting calories and cooking things like pork with veggies and brown rice. We are also working out often. Both of us have extra pounds that we're trying to shed, and both of us would like to drop at least some of them before our trip to California. We like using the My Fitness Pal app for tracking our calories, and I sync it with my Fitbit too.
...preparing for a semester in Spain (Summer). She'll be attending Berklee's Valencia campus for the fall semester. It's going to be hard on Brad having her so far away but we know this is a really big opportunity for her. She's going to have a blast.
...reading all the time. (Me). I'm on book number 51 of 2015, and I'm currently wrapped up in the After series from Anna Todd. Which is driving me bananas. It's entirely too long but I just have to know how it ends! Other recent favorites of mine (I'm sorry these are all romance, but that's what I'm hooked on) have been Tangled and Twisted from Emma Chase, the Hacker series from Meredith Wild, and anything from Beth Kendrick. I also LOVED The Duff (which is now a movie that I can't wait to also see). And for a pretty amazing non-fiction book, read Brain on Fire.
...listening to the Serial podcast. I had this bookmarked for a long time but never got a chance to listen. Once I started I had to hear the whole thing, so I listened to it all in one weekend. It was so good. It was kind of like listening to an episode of Dateline, which I love.
I hope you are all enjoying your springtime (or fall, if you're in that part of the world).