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TEC @ the Railway Exchange Building is my new office space. Arch Grants (I'm not posting the web link quite yet b/c it's under revision and looks pretty archaic at the moment) is my latest project and a team of four amazing individuals pitched in to relocate our entire office for me last night. Here are some photos so you can see the massive piles of office supplies we basically pilfered from an office that went out of business. Ok, full disclosure: we did NOT steal these supplies, we just got them for a steal. Turns out office desks can be pretty darn heavy but thankfully John and the Arch Grants' intern, Carter, were on-hand for the heavy lifting. John's turning into quite a mover after helping a Nepali family on Sunday relocate a few blocks away. So anyway, this is where I'm now spending my days. No views of the Arch but I do have a window that looks onto an old building with lions' and dogs'(?) heads attached (look closely since my computer camera doesn't zoom).

beginning to feel more like home

before you worry, st. louis will probably never be "home home" for either of us but i had the thought last night that john and i were beginning to make ourselves at home in this city. a couple vignettes that come to mind . . .

john watching the football game with a few guys from church;
wandering about downtown, getting to know my area better and appreciating the local architectural marvels like the Old Cathedral and Old Courthouse;
actually having people to hug or say, "hi" to when we go to church.

i'll keep building the list because it helps to recognize how blessed we are to be here!

home tour

Many have been asking about a tour of our home so here ya go. I'll walk you through it . . .

First you enter our entryway. We hung
onto a couple small tables our landlord left in the house and have a favorite verse hanging near family photos.
Through the door on the left of the entryway, you enter the kitchen. We've had to be creative with storage and use the island shown and another island that came
with the home for pots and pans then there's another cupboard in the hallway,
opposite the powder room where we store mugs, our veggie steamer, plates, bowls, etc.
Moving through the door on the
right side of the kitchen photo, you enter the hallway with the cupboard and the pow
der room which is really a fancy name for a half bath but since the home was built in 1921 it is actually correct to call it the powder room (not pretentious at all!).
Moving through the hallway, you enter the dining room where we also have our Christmas tree. There's a ton of light
in our home during the day which I love. We've decided next weekend we'll take down the tree but we're still enjoying it with all our new Christmas decorations.
On the right side of the dining room shot, there's a doorway that op

ens into the living room where John's studying and watching
the Florida State basketball game simultaneously. John was a student manager of the team while at FSU so there's a natural affinity. We've lined all our Christmas cards up on the mantle in the living room.
To the right of the living room photos,
there's a doorway that leads back into the entryway. Our stairway has a couple landings, typical of homes in our neighborhood.
The movers had a few choice words for this arrangement when they arrived with John's household goods; their words were less than complimentary. We, however, enjoy the "old world charm" of our home.
The room into which you're looking at the top of the stairs is
our bedroom. We just got our bed frame from World Market and John assembled it the day before we left for Christmas. The quilt is the king-sister of the quilt Mom talks about in the long-version of the wedding video.
On the right side of our bedroom's picture, there's another
doorway that leads into the spare bedroom. Some of my lovely belongings have found a home. This is the first home in which I've dared to lay out the Kashmiri carpet I bought while with Lauren in Gulmarg, Kashmir. John and I took a trip to a local antique mall to find the desk and my ballerina paintings adorn the walls in this room. I also love that we have four (nonfunctioning) fireplaces. They add to that old world charm.
Along the same right wall as the guest bedroom, facing the st
reet, and to the right of the top of the stairs is the office cum Florida State shrine. This is actually the second bedroom as the guest bedroom does not have a closet so it's technically not a bedroom. The office has a closet that's been dedicated to gear, everything from a wet suit and headlamps to a skateboard deck.
Opposite the office, across the landing at the top of the stairs is our full bathroom. It's a unique design in that the shower is behind a half wall situated behind our sinks. Yes, we do have a toilet in here, too, which is to the right of the photo, opposite the sinks.
And I'll finish the illustrious tour with another odd element of this old home: the walk-in closet, complete with (drafty) window and all. This is situated immediately on the left as one ascends the stairs, directly across from our bedroom.
Thanks for taking the tour of 1109 Lami (pronounced lamb'-eye by the locals) St. in the Soulard neighborhood of Saint Louis.
Fun fact: Soulard boasts the second largest Mardi Gras celebration after New Orleans and John informs me that the Mardi Gras flag is now flying proudly in Soulard since last night kicked off the official start of the season.

reason for survey

Yes, Kelly was right. The survey derived from a game of Apples to Apples where Kelly and I held that fundraising was more violent than Dracula (who Grant and John thought surely more violent than fundraising). Due to the low response rate, John might have to pose this question to his facebook friends. For a moment, however, consider those evening fundraising calls or images of opponents used to raise funds for political campaigns or the marketing tactics of organizations that prey upon the elderly. Surely those could be deemed violent, at least at times. Furthermore, fundraising really exists whereas Dracula is merely fictitious so any supposed violence is pretend. There. I rest my case.