The Apartment is a three-bedroom with a split floor plan. One of the two front bedrooms was awarded to the boys, who initially complained about having to share - but then I reminded them that, basically, they share a room at home: yes, Parker has his own room, but he never sleeps there. He sleeps on Connor's bottom bunk, and Connor sleeps up top.
Their room in the apartment also has bunk beds - a rental unit very close in style to the one back home. And Connor immediately called "top," so Parker sleeps on the bottom.
Just like home.
The second of the front bedrooms was designated Parnell's office. At home, Parnell's office doubles as a den. His office at The Apartment bears no resemblance to a den - no sofa, no non-office-y furniture to speak of.
Nevertheless, the kids insist on calling it "the den." "Where's Dad?" "In the den."
Just like home.
The insurance company sprang for two (rental) televisions, and at the last minute (after the movers carted off to storage the small TV/VCR combo that we intended to take with us) Parnell decided to bring over two largish televisions of our own. That means that there is a TV in each of "the den," the boys' room, our room and the living room. All of them are hooked up to U-Verse (what the heck - it was $7 per extra hookup, and if you're going to live in exile, you might as well have unlimited premium movie channel access). This means that, when Daddy's in "the den" and the kids are in their room, I would actually have the option of watching something that I want to watch in a room other than the master bedroom - the master being my office-slash-retreat, for all intents and purposes, back home. However, largely out of force of habit, I end up camped out in the bedroom more often than not.
Just like home.
THIS bedroom is bigger than mine at home, though, and it has a fireplace (which has not been utilized as such - but I do enjoy having a mantel to decorate). It also has a "retreat." I think that's what you call it - small sitting area off of the main room where the bed is?
THIS is the retreat.
The furniture comes courtesy of the insurance company. Desk was initially designated for Parnell, but he needed a SERIOUS desk, so the movers brought over his office furniture, and now I have a desk of my own.
Did you notice the seasonal decor in the corner?
Truth in advertising.
The nice thing about having a large dresser with nothing on top of it (ours at home supports a television) is that you can put geegaws on it. Like pictures. Lots of pictures.
Here are some of the photos that made the trip with us.
Our holiday card photo a couple of years BP (Before Parker). Taken - obviously - at Sea World. Taken completely against my will, and against Connor's. Here's the scenario: emcee announced that Shamu would be available to pose for pictures (which you would have to pay for, of course) after the whale show. Parnell was intrigued by the concept of Shamu posing (really, who wouldn't be?) and advised us that we WOULD be having our picture made. And so the protesting began. We had been in the water for hours. I wasn't wearing a stitch of makeup, and my hair had dried on its own. I had no idea what my hair looked like, given that a mirror had not accompanied me to Sea World (and what belongings I had toted with me were locked in a locker on the other side of the park). Connor wasn't concerned about his own appearance; he was concerned about Shamu's. To a little kid, Shamu is, apparently, scary as hell - big, and powerful, with a very obvious mouthful of sort-of-sharklike teeth. Connor was none too thrilled with the concept of getting up close and personal with Shamu - panel of thick aquarium glass notwithstanding.
As is typical in our household, Parnell prevailed, and Shamu posed (if you are wondering, frozen fish tossed into the front of the tank near the glass is involved). And danged if the picture didn't come out fabulous.
And, also as is typical in our household, Parnell gloated.
Photo #2: me and 2/5 of my frimily, taken at the pre-party for the 2010 Junior Woman's Club "Queen of Hearts" gala. Good times.
Photo #3: Another frimily photo. All members of the frimily present and accounted for. This is one of the many fun shots that resulted from the five of us descending on Portrait Innovations last November. In addition to various boa shots, we also took photos in Santa hats and Christmas pajamas.
Also good times.
Photo #4 is of #2 Son. Note the dark chocolate color of his eyes. My husband has a theory: his eyes are that dark brown because the poop (that's not the word that my husband uses - feel free to insert a better one) rises that high.
If you know my #2 Son, you will understand why my husband says this.
Photo #5: Our wedding day. Let the record show that I did not blow sunshine up the bridesmaids' rear ends and tell them "you'll love the dress, and I know that you'll want to wear it again." I believe my exact words were, "They're big, and they're green, and you're only going to wear them once, so I'm underwriting most of the cost. You're welcome." Funny story about my bridesmaids, who are all ladylike and modest women (MUCH more so than yours truly): none of them remembered to pack a strapless bra. Fortunately, the dresses had a peplum jacket that went over them, so no one noticed. But I thought it was kind of amusing. Still do.
The little guy on the end is my youngest brother-in-law, who was just barely a teenager when Parnell and I started dating - really, not much older than Connor. He just got engaged, which makes me feel both old and nostalgic at the same time.
Photo #6: My sweet father-in-law as a Boy Scout. He went on to become an Eagle Scout, and then he quarterbacked the first football team at Aledo High School - scoring the first touchdown in school history. As a grown-up, he was a Naval officer, a U. S. Attorney and, finally, a federal judge. Yup - Boy Scout sums it up. But he was a quick-witted and hilarious (and occasionally downright wacky) Boy Scout, and I miss him to pieces.
Photo #7: Me and the 'rents. They cleaned up nicely, didn't they? The Asian child in the middle is me. Seriously, I looked Asian in my toddler years. It's a Hungarian thing. Every generation has at least one throwback to the Mongol Horde. In my mom's generation, it was her younger sister, Kathy, and Kathy's daughter also got the almond eyes (which, let me tell you, are downright cute next to the freckles that she inherited from her dad). I had them early on (the Asian eyes - the freckles came later), but I guess the proportions of my face changed as I grew. Oh, well - at least I kept the cheekbones.
My eyes were squintier than usual in this picture, because I had been crying. Reason: the evil photographer had tried to pry out of my chubby fists the two mini-Barbie dolls that I am clutching in the picture. See the way the flash glances off of their long synthetic hair? Yup, Kathryn 1, Photographer 0. It was the only way that they could get me to cooperate. The dolls are cropped out of the individual shots that came out of the same session - except for one pose, where I am basically brandishing the dolls like weapons, with a semi-evil grin on my face. "Come one step closer with that camera, and I'll cut you with the wire protruding from the rubber calves of these babies, which is exposed because I am totally orally fixated and have chewed the legs to shreds." You can't tell in this shot, but the dolls are wearing go-go boots (very 1973) which is actually silver duct tape that my mother wrapped around their legs to keep the dolls' wire skeletons from cutting the inside of my cheeks.
Photo #8: Connor's first year at camp. He's embedded in the cargo net at top left, and the red curls in the blue shirt belong to his best preschool friend, Jake, who is now taller than I am.
Photo #9: One of the pictures that my in-laws had taken shortly before his passing. If something seems a bit off about the pic, it's because the photographer Photoshopped my father-in-law's head from another shot into this one. My dad-in-law just decided he liked the other head better. The other funny memory from this photo shoot: there were wardrobe changes involved, and in some of the other photos my mom-in-law is wearing a mauve dinner suit and my dad-in-law is wearing a sportscoat and a tie to coordinate with her outfit. She bought her getup first, and she got it for a song (it was an expensive designer ensemble, marked down to next for nothing). Then she went out in search of a tie to match, had a heck of a time finding one, and ended up buying an expensive designer model that was not something that my dad-in-law would ever pick out for himself, but he wore it enthusiastically, because it afforded him the opportunity to tell EVERYONE WHO SAW THE PICTURE that "my tie cost significantly more than her dress."
Photo #10: #1 Son posing in front of the TCU goal post. Note the gap-toothed fake smile. This was during our fake-smiling years. Oh, wait - we're still in our fake-smiling years.
Photo #11: Me and my two best drinking buddies from law school. I eventually married the one in the Delta Gamma cap. I am, maybe, 23 in this picture. Pre-mortgage, pre-homeowners' insurance, pre-Event, pre-everything. Don't I look happy? Back then, insurance was something that one carried for one's car (and the bill went to one's parents for payment). Back then, a swatch was a watch with brightly colored rubber straps and an illustrated face.
Back then, I didn't have a care in the world. But I also didn't have a master retreat, with a rented dresser bearing 40-plus years' worth of photographic memories
Grown-up Kathryn 1, young Kathryn 0.