Sunday, December 30, 2012

#61. Adopting a Family

Every year, Christmas with Sean's family is the same. We draw names, and then we buy each other gift cards. It's always Target or Best Buy or Bass Pro - not even creative gift cards. We were literally just exchanging money. It was silly. What's the point? Honestly, the $40 limit we had for each person didn't get us the expensive things we're all looking to buy, and we really don't need the money either.

This year, my sister in law and I came up with a brilliant plan - we were going to adopt a family with that money. We went through Sts. Joachim & Ann, a parish church that runs a care service that provides a food panty, housing assistance, career centers, and adopt-a-family programs - it's a great great organization. Also, I'm a HUGE fan of the fact that .96 to every dollar goes into the programs - it's a completely volunteer organization and the only operational costs are things like electricity, internet, and website fees. A family has to be at 50% below the state median income (which for Missouri is less than $24,000).

We adopted a 3 person family - a mom, dad, and daughter. We split them up so that each couple had one person (meaning $80 of fabulous gifts they couldn't otherwise afford), and Sean's parents took up the "toiletries" aspect - buying them cleaning supplies, household goods, and a large gift card to a grocery store. Sean and I did our shopping for our girl on Black Friday - meaning she got the most bang for her buck. Her list reminded me so much of myself when I was 13 - hoodies, fuzzy pajamas, fun socks, etc. It was wonderful knowing we were helping a family in need.

Here's a picture of the back of my sister-in-law's car taking everything up there - she literally filled her ENTIRE trunk and backseat. I think we did good. :D
Here's to making someone's Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

#11. 50 Questions that Will Free Your Mind

This one is on my 101 in 1001 list, and I'm finally knocking it out. Here goes nothing!

  1. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? I would definitely be older than I am now. I've always acted older, which is sometimes kind of lame. I'd probably say late 20s or early 30s (everyone at work already thinks I'm that age!)
  2. Which is worse, failing or never trying? Definitely never trying. Always try for things. Always shoot for the moon - even if you miss, you land among the stars.
  3. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do? It's a means to the ends. Being a productive member of society is necessary for society to function. Like it or not, there are things we just have to do. The key, I think, is not getting caught up in those things.
  4. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done? Probably. I'm a talker ;) I have great ideas and inspirational words, but I'm lazy as hell. I try to make up for that, but it doesn't always work.
  5. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world? I wish I could end bigotry. I wish I could end people judging others for illnesses, skin colors, abilities, political beliefs and religions.
  6. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich? Any sort of job where I'm helping people. In fact, I love my job right now. I think the other other job I could like more is owning a bakery (without the threat of failure). And I'd love to have a bakery with young people working, where profits could be donated.
  7. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing? A little of both. I don't believe my job is settling in any way, but it's not a job I'd ever see myself in. A lot of people don't see my job as necessary or helping people, but I'm helping goods get across the country - and helping people move. It's a great job.
  8. If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently? I would have gotten married earlier, and I would have had kids sooner. It's something I definitely don't want to miss out on. Sean and I wanted to get married years before we did, but it was important to us to finish school first. We don't regret it at all. But, if I knew I was going to die in 16 years, yeah, I'd totally change my views on that. I'd also go on more mission trips - so much more fulfilling than regular vacays.
  9. To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken? I think it's been pretty well controlled. I chose my school and to marry Sean. I think the hardest thing for me was giving up control when Sean got into law school.
  10. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things? Honestly? Doing things right. But at the same time, 95% of the time, those are the right things.
  11. You’re having lunch with three people you respect and admire.  They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend.  The criticism is distasteful and unjustified.  What do you do? I definitely defend people. Especially my friends. And my friends know how stubborn I can get when I'm defending something/someone I believe in.
  12. If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be? Find something to believe in, and believe in it always.
  13. Would you break the law to save a loved one? Absolutely.
  14. Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity? Yes. A lot of people I thought were absolutely crazy in high school, but they are some of the most creative people I know now.
  15. What’s something you know you do differently than most people? Say windmill :D I do a lot of things differently - we have a weird family closeness, we celebrate birthdays weird (seriously, we call you a horse's ass), I'm a lefty - the list goes on.
  16. How come the things that make you happy don’t make everyone happy? A lot of the things that make me happy are simple...I think a lot of people have come to rely on materialistic things or things you have to spend ridiculous amounts of money on to be happy. Plus, I get more happiness out of things I work for - not everyone is like that.
  17. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do?  What’s holding you back? Skydive. The ONLY thing that's holding back is the cost. And trust me, it's in the works.
  18. Are you holding onto something you need to let go of? I've been trying really hard to let go of the idea that when Sean graduates he'll get a job in St. Louis and we'll move back, find a perfect house in South County, I'll be transferred, and have lotsa babies. Bad self. You know life doesn't ever work out like that.
  19. If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why? Texas or Florida. We have family in both states, and I hate the cold. Plus, who can say no to the beach?
  20. Do you push the elevator button more than once?  Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster? I rarely do actually, because I don't think it makes it go any faster. I will push the door close button though :)
  21. Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton? Oh that's a tough one. I think I'd rather be a joyful simpleton - the happy things make life what it is, not your intelligence.
  22. Why are you, you? Because I am.
  23. Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend? Most of the time, yes I think so. The only thing I don't agree with is that I tend to lose touch with people. I wish I didn't, and I'm trying to work into not doing that - but I'm having a hard time. But I'm working on it!
  24. Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you? A good friend moving away. I think losing touch with friends is natural - people grow and change. But losing someone you're still close to? Bummer.
  25. What are you most grateful for? My family. I have an incredible family - they're ridiculous, but I love them. I know they'll help with anything we ever need, and I'm so grateful I was given such an awesome set of relatives.
  26. Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones? I'd rather never be able to make new ones. My old memories are things I can never get back - memories of grandparents and friends gone, memories of simpler times, and memories that make me who I am. I think there would be a great void in my life without my old memories.
  27. Is is possible to know the truth without challenging it first? No. Everyone should question the truth and really search for it. Forgetting how to question things causes us to stop learning, and to stop knowing. After all, how can one explain and defend the truth without first challenging it themselves?
  28. Has your greatest fear ever come true? No.
  29. Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset?  Does it really matter now? Yes, I remember. And while it wasn't quite 5 years ago that it happens, I'm still upset about it. It still affects me, and so yes, it does still matter. It definitely affected my opinion and my relationship with the people involved too (at least for a while it did).
  30. What is your happiest childhood memory?  What makes it so special? Making cookies with my grandma. I lost her when I was 8, and while I can't remember much, I still have a perfect memory of rolling cookies in powdered sugar.
  31. At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive? You know, it's happening pretty often lately. When the surge of customers hits me at 7 am, I feel passionate about my job. At a wedding, I feel passionate about the choice I've made to be with Sean and how we're doing. But it was probably our time in Europe that hit me the most - how fortunate we are to experience that, how awesome it was that we traveled spur of the moment to places, how well we did in foreign countries, how miraculous it was to see things that have existed for thousands of years, and how beautiful everything in the world truly is.
  32. If not now, then when? When the time is right.
  33. If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose? The opportunity.
  34. Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever? Absolutely. It's amazing how a few minutes of being with someone that you don't see often can seem like an eternity.
  35. Why do religions that support love cause so many wars? I think it's a sense of pride. Pride that everyone's religion is better than any other.
  36. Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil? Nope. What may seem evil to one person, could be saving and good for another. You can't judge someone - you don't know the path he/she has walked.
  37. If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job? Nope. I love my job. I love how it makes me feel - I love the people I work with. I have no intention of ever EVER leaving it. Plus, if I won a million dollars, I wouldn't tell anyone but Sean. ;)
  38. Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing? More work I enjoy. Like I said above, I love my job. Plus, being bored drives me crazy.
  39. Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a hundred times before? Nope. I think every day is new and interesting. It's a gift.
  40. When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in? When we moved to KC. We moved here blind - no jobs, no apartment - nothing. We moved with the idea that God will provide, and that we're motivated enough to make things work. And we were!
  41. If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today? My besties. Seriously. Life only works because I have a deadline on when I'll see them next.
  42. Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous? No. I don't think so anyway. Though I might agree to it if it meant that things always worked out perfectly and that we could live comfortably.
  43. What is the difference between being alive and truly living? Someone who is truly living is vibrant and has a reason to be alive. They have a spirit.
  44. When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right? When your head starts to hurt from doing the math. Just go for it!
  45. If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake? Cause then we have to learn!! ;) Kidding! Our society definitely puts an emphasis on being perfect, and mistakes aren't perfect. 
  46. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you? Honestly? A lot of things. I'd move somewhere new. I'd paint my house green. I'd probably be lazy about recycling.
  47. When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing? Probably in youth group from high school - we spent a lot of time quietly meditating/praying. 
  48. What do you love?  Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love? I love life - everything about it. I'm trying my hardest to appreciate it - stop and think for a bit, getting healthy to live longer, putting my phone down, and really enjoying my moments.
  49. In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday?  What about the day before that?  Or the day before that? Well, Facebook and Twitter will. ;) I won't remember the daily things, no doubt. But I'm sure I'll remember the milestones. That's why I blog, facebook, twitter, and instagram.
  50. Decisions are being made right now.  The question is:  Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you? A little of both. I can't make every decision for my life - things like my boss dictate that. But I am making decisions to the be the best person I can be in order to get to where I ultimately want to be. You can't decide fate. But, you can put yourself in the best possible position for things. You can make yourself the best person you can be. You can change yourself.

Monday, December 3, 2012

#9. 30 days of Thanks.

I was one of those people. I did the 30 days of thanks (though, admittedly, I did forget to post the 29th and 30th on the Face). I was one of those people that everyone hated :p

But you know what? I'm really glad I did it. I actually learned something from it. Do you know how hard it is to come up with 30 individual things you're thankful for? I mean, sure, I probably could have said "I'm thankful for pizza" or "I'm thankful for awesome sex with my hubs" time and time again, but I really wanted things that were meaningful. Most of the time. Cause sometimes you just can't be meaningful on days when everything is wrong and the only thing that truly makes it right is the glass of $6/bottle wine that comes with a screw top.

But anyway. Here's my list, top to bottom (with the missed items). Because I AM thankful. I'm thankful for everything I have. And sometimes, it really is necessary for me to sit down and actually list out what I'm thankful for - rather than just an all-encompassing "everything". There's a lot of things I don't sit and take the time to appreciate.

Side note: Sorry - I've totally become one of those people who refers to her husband as "hubs". Whoops. How did that happen?! I'm still not going to fight it. No judging!

Day 1: I'm thankful to have such an amazing family, including an awesome husband and two furbabies.
Day 2: I'm so thankful for the rest of my family - for my parents, my aunts and uncles, my grandparents, my cousins, and all of Sean's family - they've truly helped shape me into what I am today, and I know they'd be there for us if we needed them!
Day 3: I'm thankful for a great job. One that I can enjoy having a weekend from :)
Day 4: I'm thankful for our fantastic church. For our priest who believes in marriage equality to the people we see. I love it so much!
Day 5: I am thankful for this great opportunity Sean and I have had to move to Kansas City - we've had a great chance to grow and we seriously love it here!
Day 6: I am thankful we live in a democratic republic that allows us to vote for our leader at regular intervals. No matter what the outcome of today is, I am still grateful for the opportunity.   
Day 7: I am thankful for my friends. The ones I see daily, the ones I see monthly, and even the ones I see once a year - I am so thankful to be able to call them my friends, and I know they would be by my side in a heartbeat. ♥ you all.
Day 8: I am thankful for a great, reliable car. It's taken me to San Antonio, Dallas, Chicago, Orlando, Destin, Des Moines, across Missouri more times than I can count, and now? Knoxville!
Day 9: I am super thankful for a fabulous road trip partner. I can't think of anything better than hopping in the car and driving all day with the hubs!
Day 10: I am thankful for a fabulous football association. I bleed black&gold for all time.
Day 11: I am thankful for our Veterans. To all those who have served, past and present, thank you.
Day 12: I'm thankful for my home. It may be a tiny little rental with single pane windows and plaster walls, but it's our tiny home and it's so wonderful to come home to. House, thanks for being so good to us in the last year. Here's to one more!
Day 13: I'm thankful I have fabulous recipes. Food is love, and the recipes of my family are truly wonderful and I'm so grateful to have them all!
Day 14: I'm thankful for my coworkers. Y'all are awesome (and give me free steak and donuts), and seriously make my job enjoyable. I couldn't imagine moving districts and having to leave everyone!
Day 15: I'm thankful I don't have to drive downtown through rush hour. Seriously.
Day 16: I am thankful for my education. I am so grateful for the resilience of Catholic school, the openness of public school, and everything of college. I've learned so much in my schooling, and I honestly know I wouldn't have as good of a life without it. The skills I've learned are the most valuable I could ever have.
Day 17: I am thankful for delicious, tasty drinks.
Day 18: I'm thankful I was raised without traditional gender roles. I'm thankful to be raised knowing that a man can cook, a woman can be the breadwinner, and a dad can take care of children just as well as a woman can. I'm thankful to know that a woman can wield a circular saw, and a man can rock an iron. I'm thankful that my parents, aunts, and uncles have all taught me this so well.
Day 19: I am thankful for the access to modern medical care. I cannot imagine a world without allergy meds, high blood pressure Meds, or painkillers, A world where smallpox and influenza killed thousands, or a world without regular doctors visits.
Day 20: I'm thankful for paid vacation. Not everyone gets to spend the holidays with their families (let alone get paid for it), and I'm truly appreciative that I have a great job where I can.
Day 21: I'm thankful for rest stops. Can you imagine having to stop at gas stations the whole way? I just need grass for my pup and a potty! 
Day 22: I am thankful for LIFE.
Day 23: I'm thankful for traditions. From thanksgiving to Black Friday to all the holidays coming soon, I love them all!
Day 24: I'm thankful to have a hunter in the family. Bacon wrapped duck? Yes please.
Day 25: I'm thankful for access to the internet. I love being able to communicate with everyone everywhere, and the vast amount of knowledge that we can gain from it is incredible! 
Day 26: I'm thankful for hot showers. I remember cold showers from my mission trips in Mexico, and I'm totally okay with warm and steamy. Not everyone gets them.
Day 27: I am thankful I can cook and bake. It's something I love to do, and (thankfully) can do well. Now if only I could eat everything without gaining weight...     
Day 28: I am thankful that we can fill our fridge with good, healthy food.            
Day 29: I'm thankful that my hubs has turned me into a nerd. I was always on my way, but I truly acknowledge it now. And it's opened a whole new world to me of entertainment and amusement for me.  
Day 30: I am thankful that I took the time to do this, and truly appreciate what I've been blessed with.  
 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

#48. Whackity whack - Hair Chop!

At the beginning of the week, my hair looked like this:


My hair hasn't been cut (other than trims) since May of 2010, when Sean and I moved to Kansas City. Then, it was up to my chin - beautifully short. Then I grew it out for our wedding - I loved it short, but I needed a little more hair for the wedding. And then, I just kept growing it out. I never chopped it after that - I didn't want to be a part of the standard "post wedding chop" gang. 

So Thursday, I changed things up. I changed it up in a big way. In a 13" kind of way. 


And yes, I am donating it to Locks of Love. It'll be mailed off this week - after all, tis the season of giving, right? All and all, here's the new 'do - I'm absolutely LOVING it! 


Make a change - it's awesome.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Future Plans

Our lives are about to change in big big ways. (and no, I'm not pregnant)

Sean graduates in May. He'll have a law degree, a doctorate! It Europe, that means he has a title (Barrister). It's pretty damn cool.

It also means that we're no longer bound to Kansas City. But, we've come to love it. And we're thinking about staying - much to our families' dismay.

We're seriously considering buying a house. So much, in fact, that we're going to talk to a bank in January. The biggest issue is that I'm the only person who can be on the loan - Sean's loans will completely negate anything else. We've got plenty for a downpayment on an FHA loan - as long as my salary is enough for a loan (which it should be, since the only debt tied to me is my student loans).

While I would love to stay here in south KC - we don't want to spend the amount we'd have to in order to live down here (and we can't afford that either!). We'll have to work up to it. But a house in north KC? We can get a LOT of space in a fix-it up home for super cheap. As long as it's liveable, we're totally okay with fixing it up - we'd rather flip a house anyway.

We're about to transition our lives. With Sean graduating, we're no longer attached to the school - we're starting to hang out more with our north town friends (another pro to living up there), and the places we hang about equidistant anyway. We're thinking about real jobs, company cars, and babies. We're gonna wait until January on this - mostly so I can pay off at least one of my student loans (there's only $300 left - hellllloooo Christmas money!).

But right now? Right now I'm just thinking about a new haircut. ;)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Selling My Wedding Dress?

I'm seriously thinking about it folks. It's on my 101in1001 list, but I was never sure that I would actually do it. The more I think about it though, the more I think I should.

My dress is literally hanging in a closet in Sean's mom's house. The same place I left it nearly 2 years ago. I haven't touched it. I'm not going to make it into a Christening gown or First Communion dress for a daughter of mine. Nor will I ever make it into pillows or whatever people do with old dresses. It won't be in style if/when any of my daughters get married - and it will probably be yellowed before then anyway. Sean's mom's dress was professional preserved and it was still yellow and brown.

So. I'm going to clean it up, post some pics on a website that saved my life when planning, and cross my fingers that it sells. It's definitely money that we could use for our house fund. 

I'm thinking about asking $300 for it. It's a $700 dress, with a $200 18 point underbustle. There's no alterations, and it's fairly clean (though, I'll get it professionally cleaned before I sell it). I'd definitely include shipping too, if I sell it outside of KC.

What do you think? Think it would be worth it? Has anyone ever sold their dress before? 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

70 years young

Last weekend, I took an impromptu trip to Pekin, IL.

It's where my maternal grandma's family is from (my mom's mom) is from, including my great great aunt Marge. Aunt Marge is 89, has been a smoker since she was 18, and is still going strong (well, as strong as an almost 90 year old woman can be) - and so is her husband. Of SEVENTY YEARS.

I feel like most people don't even live to be 70, let alone be married for that long. It's amazing. They had a small little family, and my Uncle Jim worked at CAT until the 80s. It's amazing. They still live on their own, and (frightening enough) drive themselves wherever they need to go. Which, admittedly, is really just the senior center for card games and the grocery store.

Aunt Marge remembered me perfectly - but Uncle Jim only remembered me by my nickname (Miss Jones lol). It's crazy that these folks have outlived my grandparents, who were a generation below them. I also was able to see many of my cousins whom I haven't seen in YEARS - I was probably 14 the last time. I didn't get nearly enough photos, but I did snag one of my aunt and uncle - and one of a picture of their wedding photo (they got married right before Jim got deployed, so no wedding getups for them!)

Then: 1942 
Now: 2012

Congrats to the happy, spunky couple!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

We're now an iPhone family

Yup. You heard right - we both got the iPhone 5 yesterday. Yes, my husband, the anti-Apple, got the phone. And he loves it. (can I get a BOOMBABY?)

For those of you wondering about price, it actually comes down to be cheaper for us. I've been wanting one for forever, but I'm a loyal Sprint customer - I was holding out. When Sprint came out with the iPhone last year, I knew it was going to be what we got. Plus, I was able to sell my Evo to a girl at work for $75, which means my cost for it was only $100 :D



Things that I love about the new iPhone?
- Size. I HATE how big phones are becoming - I want something that I can use one-handed.
- Syncing. I have an Apple computer, so it's natural to have a matching phone. My calendars and iTunes sync together and with Sean's phone, so he never has an excuse to not know what's going on. It's already been a game-changer.
- App selection. Apple apps nearly always come out first - and it's super frustrating. Plus, I love that I can find apps on iTunes instead of having to always use the app store.
- Camera - it's super fast. Like, faster than my android's by a long shot. I wasn't really buying the phone for it, but I'm very impressed with the camera.

I haven't really used Siri much, so I can't actually relate on it.

My favorite apps so far?
-Waze. It's the maps alternative - it was even recommended by Apple's CEO when AppleMaps sucked balls coming out. It records speeds of traffic, construction, accidents, and even where cops are hiding. Pretty rocking.
-OpenTable. I'm not sure it's something I'll use often, as we don't eat out often. But it's an app that makes reservations for you at restaurants - sweet!

Something I've downloaded but haven't used yet?
-Cloth. It's a way to categorize your outfits. I've been trying to par down my closet to things I only really use, so it's really useful to take pictures of things I'm actually going to use on a daily basis. I can't wait to use it regularly!

I still need to find a good grocery app. I'm not sure everything that I want in it, so I might download a few free ones to see which I like.  Also, I'm slightly annoyed that there aren't many accessories yet - but I completely understand. After all, they've only been out for 2 weeks. I can't wait to get a dock for my car, a wireless radio transmitter, and an armband. *le sigh* Christmas gifts I suppose. :p

Friday, September 21, 2012

Five Question Friday!

Yea, I haven't posted since last Friday. It's been a whirlwind of a week. I promise I'm trying to post more! Even if that feels like I'm lying. Oh well. 

The weather's beautiful, so it's time for a bonfire/BBQ night! 



1. What is one grammar issue you cannot let go without correction?
Ugh grammar. It's the worst thing about working in the trucking industry - half of the time, the people I work with didn't even graduate high school, much less know the proper form of English. But the things I hate the most? Spelling (you have a SPELL CHECKER), your/you're and they're/their/there, and commas/apostrophes. Put AWAY the comma shaker. KNOW that things aren't always possessive. ERG. 
2. What's your favorite thing about fall?
 SWEATERS. I love them. I have WAY too many of them. But I wear them all!

3. What's your favourite dish to take to a potluck?
It depends on the potluck. I should bring an appetizer/dip? Cheesy Bacon Ranch Dip. Bread? Garlic butter pinwheels. Side? Corn pudding or baked beans (depending on time). Vegetarians? Mac n cheese. Dessert? Anything in my list. No, seriously - I'm not kidding.

4. When do you start Christmas (Holiday) shopping?
Black Friday. Or rather, the night of Thanksgiving. It's family tradition to share all the ads and make lists (for ourselves or for others). We then spread out and tackle stores together throughout the day - it's a ton of fun! I then buy for others throughout the rest of the season up until Christmas. 

5. Did you move homes a lot growing up?
Nope. My parents bought a "starter" house right before I was born (move in day happened when I was a month old!). They still live in that same house, 3 kids and 24+ years later. And I'll have to sell it one day, because they will never move. Needless to say, it's no longer a "starter" home, and they've definitely made a TON of upgrades. 
Until next time! 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Five Question Friday!

 

1. How long did it take for you to find your wedding dress? (Wedding dress pics anyone?)

Um, it was the second dress I tried on. Kid. You. Not. And the first one was WAY out of my budget, so it wasn't even really an option (but it was Maggie Sottero, and I HAD to try it on). It fit perfect - no alterations needed. And I loved everything about it. The sweetheart neckline, the layered bottom, the lace, the train - it's beautiful. Which is probably why, even though I told myself over and over I wouldn't sell it, I just can't bring myself too. Guess I ought to go ahead and get it preserved then...


2. Someone in your general vicinity releases a NASTY smelling fart. Do you say anything or blow it off?

Depends on how well I know them.  Sean or a close friend? Totally calling you out. Someone else? I'll find a reason to leave the room.

3. What is the scariest thing that happened to you or scared you recently?


Well there's currently a terrorist bomb threat going on downtown in my city. Sean works downtown.  Thankfully it took me only a text to find out he's a good 10 blocks from the action. Whew.

4. Favorite brand and flavor of ice cream.


Ben & Jerry's Brownie Fudge whatever. Brownie pieces, fudge, and chocolate ice cream? Sold. 

5. Are you able to sleep well in hotels?


Depends. I sleep like a baby at an Sheraton or Hilton brand - even the cheap ones. Their pillows are just amazing. I sleep terrible at Microtels and Drurys :\ The bed just doesn't work for me - though I tend to like their amenities better. 

 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Ugh.

So I've had a cough for 2+ months. It's awful. It's worse at night - I have to use my inhaler and/or take Nyquil every single night to sleep. I wake up coughing and sputtering, and Sean isn't sleeping well because he's afraid I'll stop breathing in the middle of the night. I'm terrified of an asthma attack that puts me in the hospital (or worse). Should I remind everyone that 4 years ago my dad had to be revived from an asthma attack? Yeah. Kinda scary.

I went to the doctor today (who by the way, I love). I've always had seasonal allergies - which created asthma. I'd have an asthma attack once or twice a year, use my rescue inhaler, and that'd be it. Well, not anymore. I'm officially an asthmatic. I have a month of steroids for my lungs, and hopefully I'll be back to my more normal self. We'll see.

But even worse? I was diagnosed with high blood pressure.

What?

Yeah. It threw my doc for a loop too. I'm young, I'm fairly healthy, and I'm only slightly overweight. According to her, there's no reason I should naturally have high blood pressure. Sooo we're fighting it. I'm currently taking high blood pressure meds. It could just be that this asthma is affecting my body so much that it's raising my blood pressure. Or it could be something more. Luckily Sean and I are already on a diet makeover, so we're 1 step into the process. One thing for sure? I have to go back in 2-3 weeks, and there will be an ass-kicking of lab work. My mom has already had blood clots at 45, and her mom died from her heart stopping. Terrifying!!!

Hopefully I can really kick up the being healthy. Hopefully I can beat this.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Snippets.

 ONE
We paid off my car!! Whooo! What are we going to DO with that extra $330 a month?! Oh right. We're gonna put it to work. We'll be adding $150 of that to my student loans, and start tackling them. The rest will be stashed into the house fund. Now that Sean's in his last year, we really need to kick it into gear with the savings.

 TWO
Speaking of savings...has anyone ever used an INGDirect saving account? It's an online savings account, but it means a higher interest rate and a separate area to save. I HATE the hassle of opening accounts with our traditional bank, plus I feel like seeing all of the money on one site makes me think we have more than we have (which is NOT good in the money department!). I just don't know anyone who's ever used one. :\

THREE
Sean and I are starting a super makeover. Sort of. Basically, we're competing with each other Biggest Loser style (first weigh in is Monday!). It means more salads (only spinach please), veggies, and fruit. It also means our grocery bills are a tad more expensive, which sucks. But it means healthier us - which is huge. Being healthier will definitely help with my asthma, fitting into my shirts, and being able to play with Bowser more. Plus, we want to start trying for kids in the next year - and I want to be healthy for that too. The winner gets a new Mizzou jersey at Homecoming, but I'm kinda hoping for an exact tie. I'm using MyFitnessPal to help track everything (and super fell off the wagon today - oops) - my username is AFbacher if you want to join up!


FOUR
Speaking of Bowser...we're thinking about training him to be a therapy dog. We already wanted him to take (and pass) the Good Citizen test, which is the first step for therapy dogs. Plus, he has to be 3 years old (so the puppy is grown out of him and he's much calmer) for us to sign up. We're thinking more along the lines of a Reading Therapy dog - we'd go to schools, and he'd let kids read to him. It's a great program - Bowser can't judge or correct kids that are struggling with their reading, and they get to spend time with a dog too.

FIVE
I'm getting really anxious to settle down. It frustrates me to no end that I feel like I can't take a promotion because I don't know where we'll be in a year. I hope it's KC - I love my coworkers, I love the feel of this city, and I love that Google Fiber is coming here. I love our friends, and all the opportunities here.

That's about it for now - maybe I'll start posting more often? Heh. Don't count on it. :D

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Bits and Pieces.

Another school year is starting. You know what this rolls us into? Sean's third and LAST year of law school. This time next year, I'll be married to a lawyer. We'll be done with school (well, he'll still have Continuing Education Classes and he might get his LLM - lawyer teaching degree - and if I get bored I might go for my MBA). It's crazy to think about.

Sean's working at a MedMal (medical malpractice) law firm. He's really not a fan, but it's a foot in the door, a paying gig, and something to put on his resume. Everyone has to start somewhere, right? He's also starting up an IP Clinic at the law school. The clinic division is for people that can't pay for things (like taxes and and child custody cases), and has never had an IP version before. It'll be for entrepreneurs and start up businesses, so they can make sure they're not violating copyright laws and putting themselves in the ground before they're even alive. It's great to show that he's pioneering this new clinic, and he'll be working with area lawyers too. Connections!

I've paid off my car this month! It's an extra $335 in our pockets, which is being split between paying my school loans off and savings for a house.

Speaking of a house...no not yet. We're waiting until Sean gets a permanent job. It's really frustrating because there are a bunch of houses in the area we like for less than $200k, but we just have to be patient. Our CD with our wedding money matured this month and just went into a savings account instead of being renewed. This is driving me crazy - there's so much more money than I'm used to, just hanging out! Argh! Must not touch it!

We're also going to have to start saving for Sean's bar. It's going to cost us rought $5k for Sean to graduate. Seriously? Between bar prep classes ($1-3k) and the bar itself (which is a thousand dollar test), it's going to cost him that much after school. I think it's a cheap shot, but he can't practice without it, so the charges are sky high.

There's not much else going on, other than weddings galore. Makes me miss planning my own!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Ch Ch Ch Changes - From Consumer to Crunchy.

Guys, I'm going crunchy.

And it's weird. And kinda scary (but not really).

I've never been an all-natural, no medication kinda girl. Ever. Nature and I don't really get along - hell, I almost went to the emergency room when they did my allergy test when I was 8. I did go to the hospital the first time I rode a horse. I probably would be dead from an asthma attack if not for inhalers, allergy shots, and regular doses of antihistamines.

But then I got married to a law student, and started supporting a family of 2 (+2 pets) on a single, entry level income. And I started getting thrifty. And all-natural? Yea, turns out it can be pretty cheap.

I don't really go out of my way for it either. I have a very limited amount of things too. I make my own frozen dog treats, I make my own face wash, and my own lotion. And I've started using oat flour and almond oil. And I make my own bread (sometimes).

I'm going slow. Maybe one day I'll make my own laundry detergent. But until then, know that I'm not crazy. Some of the crunchy stuff? Yea it doesn't work as well. So I don't continue it. But the stuff that does work? True Believer.

Oh, and as for allergy medications? I'll never give those up. And the local honey thing doesn't work when you're as bad as me.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

2012 Olympics!

First of all, I'm incredibly ticked off at NBC's Olympic coverage. As in, can we elect a different news channel to cover Rio? I'd rather watch anything other than NBC.

1. They cut the opening ceremony. Because the "program is tailored for the U.S. television audience", clearly we wouldn't appreciate a tribute to the London bombings. Clearly we would rather see an overplayed Michael Phelps with the hasbeen of Ryan Seacrest. Thanks for making THAT choice for us NBC. I think the choreographer has it absolutely correct when he says "It brings to mind the question ... that maybe it's too truthful."

2. The NBC commentators talked over the ENTIRE opening ceremony. There were parts that we missed (either because of talking or just plain editing it out), parts we couldn't hear, and dumb comments that most people could care less about.

3. Why can we not see anything live? Nothing. Unless we have cable of course. But really? NOTHING?

4. NBC isn't playing coverage of less popular sports. So fencing, judo, and archery? Nope, no exposure. They'd rather broadcast the entirety of a 5 hour bike race than cut to anything else.

/frustration

Among the positives though? I loved what I saw of the opening ceremony. I think Britain knew they couldn't compete with the sheer mass of China's, so they went a completely different route. I know they made the right choice. It told a history in a very creative way. I wasn't a big fan of the MTVish section, but I LOVED that they included the creator of the WWW. Sure, the torch lighting wasn't "creative", but it was meaningful with a perfect impact. To be honest, I thought the entire ceremony was very...London. Understated. Meaningful. Poised.

Now, let's go Team USA!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Budgeting.

I've never really followed a budget before. Seriously. I've just always followed the idea of "spend as little as possible" - it sounds terrible, but it's true. But now that Sean has a job where he's labeled as an independent contractor, we have to make sure we track his income and save for his taxes - as nothing gets taken out of his paycheck.

So what better time than to calculate how much we spend? Our first goal is to just track our expenses. We want to be able to make a realistic budget that we can be following by next year, but without knowing what we spend in the first place, it would be near impossible. And tracking we are.

And it's almost sickening what we spend in some areas.

We've spent $170 eating out this month. ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY. Now granted, it was kind of a strange month, but still. We over spent on groceries too, but we also hosted a 30+ person BBQ for the 4th of July. Clearly food is our biggest vice. I started budgeting on the 3rd of the month, and after seeing what we spent on food the first weekend, we've definitely been watching that already. It holds us accountable for what we spend. With Sean working, we have that money to spend, but we shouldn't be, ya know? We could be using that to pay off our car loan, or student loans, or savings for a house. Even if we only saved HALF of that money, we would have $720 in a year. That's 2 car payments (which is almost a mute point, because my car is paid off next month!).

In any case, keeping a budget (or even just a record), is amazing. Never realized how good it would be for us. :)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Thursday Night Catch-Up

First and foremost, for those who don't know, Sean got a(nother) job!! He's making calls to follow up on claims for a malpractice suit - it's not what he wants to do, it's not glamorous or fun, but it makes $12/hr and it's an actual paying job. And something on the resume.

So now he's working two jobs - one paid and one unpaid (at the free tax clinic). He's still also got his summer courses. He's been super busy, but that's how it goes. I've lost my housedude though. Guess I'll have to do some laundry :p

Work's settled down a lot, even though we're smack in the busiest season - guess it helps to have a full staff! I've been working my normal 40 a week, which is sooo wonderful. I just got back from a business trip to St. Louis. It was just a short 2 day trip, but I got a company car (and credit card) for a few days for it! It was a great trip, and we got to meet a lot of the big guns in the area. I love meeting the higher ups, and learning about all of the opportunities I have within the company. The whole having a career thing? It's pretty awesome. I seriously love my job.

Bowser got his manly bits chopped today, but he's taking it like a champ!

I've gotten 2 wedding invitations in the mail this week, and I'll get at least one more by the time the year ends. Two of the weddings are on the east coast, which kinda sucks, but we'll make it work (especially with Sean's new job!!). I'm excited though! I <3 weddings.

Life. Awesome.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Sunscreen Allergy - Solved!!

For as long as I can remember, I've been allergic to sunscreen. My grandparents owned a neighborhood pool, so sun was a frequent summertime friend for us. My family started noticing that I would burn more and get little red bumps (like ingrown hairs) all over whenever I wore sunscreen of any kind. I'm a naturally darker skinned person though - I'd burn once or twice, and that would be it each summer (go go Native American blood!!). It was never really a worry in my family though - we were poolside or at Six Flags pretty regularly, and so we were always tan. Even when my grandpa got skin cancer...my family treated it as a "let's cut it out and go on our merry way" kind of thing. It was never really like cancer.

But. I know that the sun isn't very nice to skin in general. I know that I should be protecting myself in some way. I'd rather not deal with ridiculous wrinkles and skin cancer when I'm 50. I already have ridiculous complications (like Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is combated with Vitamin D, but my body ONLY absorbs Vitamin D through sun exposure - so in the winter, my options are depression or tanning beds. My body hates me, and wants cancer). I needed a sunscreen I could wear!

A blogger friend of mine mentioned that she had an Oxybenzone allergy, which caused the exact same symptoms that I was getting whenever she tried sunscreen. She also suggested the EWG's Skin Deep website - some sunscreens are better for you than others. Thanks to the site, I found a great sunscreen, Coppertone Sport Pro with Duraflex. It's spray, so it doesn't absorb as much into my skin (which helps with my allergies to other things), and there's absolutely no Oxybenzone in it.

Thank you, for protecting me from cancery things.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

7 Years Ago

7 years ago, I shared a kiss with a man that would forever change my life. A kiss that changed us from close friends to girlfriend and boyfriend, which soon transitioned to lovers. A kiss that brought Sean and I together - forever.

It's crazy to think about. I feel like I've been with him forever, and that it happened yesterday. And even though we started off kind of crazy, we have this great, awesome life happening. We've had 7 fantastic years, with 1 1/2 of them being married.

Happy (doesn't count) anniversary!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Week 1 down.

You guys, I survived. I survived an entire week of waking up at 4 am, being at work by 5:30 am, working 10-12 hour days, and doing it every day. My work went through a ton of changes this week - a new assistant district manager started, all but TWO of us went out of town for a two day business meeting, and it was the end of the month.

And you know what? I didn't just survive. I was amazing. I rocked it. I did so much stuff at work this week, and it so empowering. I get how people become workaholics - it feels good.

Too bad I like being at home too much :)

I like my new shift too - I love that I can get off work, run a few errands, come home and make dinner (at a reasonable hour), and still have time to be with Sean. It's a nice change from the late hours I had. Nice, but drastic. I'm still adjusting.

Hopefully next week I can get used to it enough that I don't want to go to sleep at 8 pm!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

#43. And Bowser Makes 4!

We grew our family by one this weekend - that's right, we adopted a dog!

Sean's been begging for a dog for quite awhile, but I've been balking at the idea because we didn't have the time to train one. And while I love pups, I loathe untrained ones. Well, as luck would have it, Sean took his last final on Thursday - and he has a full 3 weeks off before his summer class and two internships start.

So Saturday, we stopped into Wayside Waifs, which is where we got our kitten, Ella.

As luck would have it, there weren't any puppies available - but there was Bowser. He's a 1 1/2 year old Akita mix. The best part? He came house trained! He knows sit too, though we're working on down, stay, and leash training.
 (Bowser at Wayside)

Bowser was found as a stray, dragging a chain behind him. Poor pup! We're glad to give him a new forever home - and hopefully he's glad to be here. He sure likes our yard though :)

He's exhausting though. Akitas are super high energy, and he definitely runs a good 10 minutes in the backyard two or three times a day. I don't know how we would have handled him if we didn't have a fenced in backyard. At the casualty of a remote and DS left out, we also had to get him several chew toys. Well - we've meaning to get a universal remote for a while, and now Sean will pick up his toys :O
 (loving his bone)

We're big fans of our new addition. Welcome to the family Bows-man!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

KC Weather - You Kill Me.

What the EFF?!?! This is the five day weather forecast. Can we just have some normal weather? Thanks.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Life as it is

Okay. It's been forever and a day (or two) since I've last posted. Fail on me. I've been busy. Really busy. I'm exhausted mentally and physically, but at the same time, I absolutely love life.

-I think I've discovered what it means to be a workaholic. Now, don't get me wrong, I love my weekends and my time off. But I feel like if I don't do something, it isn't done right. And I want to get everything possible done there. I love that my work makes me want to strive to be the best. And I got a fantastic annual review because of it. However, I think I'm really starting to get stressed out lately. Thankfully, a new guy has been hired, and our part timer is coming back. Thank. God. The crazy part? I still love my job - and my bosses. I think this could really be a career for me.

-I've also been terrible about cleaning in every way. Laundry? Nope. Dishes? Maybe. Other things? Not a chance.

-I seriously wish I had the same craft inspiration that I had back in college right now. This weekend, I was ITCHING to do something crafty, but I couldn't for the life of me come up with anything. I finally did on Sunday, so now I'm working on a Cardinals wreath.

-We might seriously be getting a puppy this weekend. We've been talking about it for forever, and I think it's finally time. Sean will have 3 full weeks off from school/internships, so it'll be perfect training time.

-My car may need new brakes soon. It makes me super sad. :(

-Sean is wrapping up his 2nd year in law school this week. Imagine that! He has 2 more semesters (then the bar, then of course the real task of finding a job) left of this degree, and it amazes me. I cannot wait though!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Snips.

-Last week was hella busy. I'm super grateful for the new guy at work. And the overtime that will be on my paycheck.

-I have to donate stuff this week. SHOES!! But I'm determined that all of my shoes will fit in my 24 underbed storage pockets, and my shoe shelf.

-The law school prom is Saturday night. I'm ridiculously excited for the chance to get dolled up, get my nails done, do my hair fancy, and go out. Plus the top shelf open bar :)

-Sean and I had a baby talk on our Florida trip. We're currently aiming for next spring to start trying (or at least, stop preventing). We're just not quite ready to give up spontaneous vacations that we can barely afford.

-I definitely need to clean this weekend. I'm actually excited that it's supposed to be rainy.

-Sean and I have to dress up TWICE this week. He has a Phi Alpha Delta honors society induction tomorrow night, and then on Saturday we have the Barrister's Ball. It's going to be fantastic!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Live from...the beach!


Sean's aunt Chrissy lives in Destin, Florida. She and her family have lived there for years, and it's generally the vacation spot of the family. Well, it's been 3 years since we've been last (because the last summers have been filled with Disney World, moving/starting law school, and Europe - woe is us, right?), and we were really itching for a relaxed beach visit.

So, it's Sean's spring break, and I begged for a couple of days off (which did involve begging, due to the fact it's month end - love my boss!). We drove 17 hours (yup, seventeen) right after I got off work on Wednesday, got into town on Thursday afternoon, and stuck our toes in the sand. We also did a bit of outlet mall shopping, and I scored myself a sweet new coach purse (for over 40% off), and we got Sean a new watch for his birthday. Of course, at this point, I had been up for roughly 36 hours, and we crashed early.

Yesterday and today were spent beachside, hanging out with family, and eating out at the location hot spots. We've been down here so often that we don't really feel like tourists, which is why we love it.

Unfortunately, our whirlwind trip is about to come to an end. Tonight's our last night here. We leave bright and early tomorrow, and I have to work Monday morning. Sad day. But even though we've only had roughly 48 here, it's been sooo amazing and relaxing. I couldn't have asked for more for this little short trip!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Bright Bright Sun Shiney Day

The weather is turning warmer, the days are longer, and just like that, everything seems to be looking up.

-This week, we bought a patio table. Basically, Sean's parents gave me some money for my birthday, and that's what I chose to spend it on. We put it together tonight, and it's sooo nice to be able to  sit outside and eat dinner in the 80 degree weather. And tomorrow, we break out the BBQ for the season!

-My boss is having me do my annual review now (2 months early!), which means I'll get my raise a little bit earlier

-Sean has a summer internship! He'll be working at the tax clinic - it'll give him court experience and looks great on a resume (at least, this is what his graduated, friends-with-jobs say). It's unpaid, which actually means he'll be paying to work (since it's also 2 credit hours). But it's only a few hours a week, and they're flexible enough that he should be able to work a job if he can find one. *fingers crossed*

-We're going home this weekend to celebrate St. Pat's - Sean's family is hugely Irish, so it's a big holiday. We'll be drinking in the streets (literally), eating corned beef and cabbage (and Irish soda bread), and celebrating my birthday a bit more with my family.

-We're going to Florida at the end of the month!! Sean's spring break is the last week of the month, and I was able to get 2 days off work despite it being month end, so we're road-tripping down to Destin for a quick 4 day vacation. We'll be staying with his aunt, which means all we need to pay for is the gas to get there (though we'll take her and her daughter out to dinner as a thanks). It might be colder than it is here, but it's a getaway with a pretty beach.

This past winter, it seems like everything was moving at a snail's pace. We were getting along just fine, but there wasn't any progression in our lives. It feels like things are finally changing (or maybe I'm just in a better mood with the weather), and I'm so grateful for that. Hopefully, thing keep moving forward!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Day 10 – A photo of your favorite place to eat.

I love food. It's no exaggeration. I've always loved it. I love the flavors, the textures, the satisfaction - everything. I honestly can't nail down my favorite place to eat. It depends on my mood. I love  everything from McDonald's to Taj Mahal Indian.

Here lately though, my favorite place is Waldo Pizza (though Taj Mahal is a close second!).



It's St. Louis style pizza, which is a welcome feel-like-I'm-home treat in KC. It's thin crusted (though they also have a wheat crust which I love), and perfectly crackery. They also sell Ted Drewes custard and gooey butter cake and toasted ravs - all strange obsessions of St. Louis homelanders.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Day 9 – A photo of the item you last purchased.

This weekend, my in-laws came into town. My mother and sister-in-law both have an affinity for shopping, and lots of shopping at that. We went out to the outlet mall, and had a great time!

Anyway, we popped into a Wilson's Leather, and I picked up a new wallet. My old one, a Fossil, has served me well for the last 5 years. But it was time for an upgrade. I've been in a yellow mood lately, and I can't help but love the color this spring!! Yellow and teal - those are totally my colors right now (um, and purple).

Anyway. I snagged this Nine West beauty for $18, and it's bright and sunny - perfect for spring.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Ashes.

Wednesday was Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent in those of us that live in Catholic-land (actually, several religions observe Lent, but I suppose we make the biggest deal about it). For us, Lent marks a time of sacrifice and restriction. We give things up. We work to better ourselves. It's a reserved time throughout the Church.

 (the ashes are made from palms from last year's Palm Sunday)

Ash Wednesday itself is a day of fasting. For us, this means 2 small meals, one regular meal, and no snacking. Coffee, tea, juice, and water are allowed to be drank - but generally drinks like milkshakes, pop, and alcohol (other than wine at church) are avoided. We also don't eat meat on Fridays - only fish. It can be done pretty easily, but for someone who eats meat regularly (like me), it requires some planning - or I end up having PBJ for lunch.

Traditionally, the idea is to give something up for these 40 days (not including Sundays, which I think is weird). I haven't given anything up since high school - instead, I make a goal to better myself. This year, it's to work out 3 times a week and pray more.

It's also a very reserved time in the Church. We don't say "Hallelujah". Weddings and baptisms don't happen very often during Lent (because they're celebrations). Often parts of our mass that are usually accompanied by singing are now silent. Penance and reconciliation are encourage.

It's a strange time. But it's calming. And I kinda like it. It makes Easter so much sweeter.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

New Year, Better Me.

One of the blogs I follow, Make It and Love It, is participating in a New Year New You thingamabob. She keeps blogging about all of this healthy stuff, and it's really inspiring. Yes, she gets a bunch of freebies from sponsors, but still. I've decided that this year my goal is to be healthier. I can't afford to live in the college life of chips and pizza 3 meals a day (yes, I would do that, and not gain a pound!). I'm getting older (hah! I'm only 23...but it's happening). I can tell my metabolism is slowing down - I need more sleep at night and I gain weight easier. My hangovers after a night out are much worse. I need to start taking care of myself.

The past two months, I've been doing that like it's my job. Sean and I joined a gym, and we go no less than 2x a week (though we shoot for 3 or 4). Thursday, I ran a mile for the first time since 2009. It took me 12 minutes, sure, but I did it. We found some gift cards left from the wedding (a year ago - whoops), and we bought a scale with it - it tells us body fat, water, and muscle mass percentage too. It gives us motivation to target the smaller numbers, as opposed to just our weight.

I've been trying to cook healthier, and we eat out less. I finally went to the dentist last week after 2 years (because let's face, dental health is still a part of your health!). Thankfully I only had one cavity, and I got that taken care of today. 

I need to get new glasses, now that I have eye insurance again.

I'm also thinking about looking into a chiropractor - I've never been to one, but it seems like I have a headache at least every third day lately, and I hear they can work wonders for stuff like that. Do I need to get a referral to go? Anyone know?

In any case, I'm really glad we're doing this. I find myself happier now (and the seasons are helping with that!). It makes me feel good about myself when I hit those goals. Here's to hoping I can keep it up this year!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Creative Funk.

Lately, I've been in a creative funk. I don't know what's going on...but the things that normally inspire me, the things I'm itching to do...no desire. Not a bit. Craftiness is my hobby, and I've always been crafty. Hell, I'm sure if I was 5-10 years older, I'd be in the mommy-blogger gangs of craftiness and hominess and baby activities (hopefully I can sort of avoid that urge).

A lot of it has to do with my lack of home-ownership I think. It seems that lately so many people I know are buying houses, and I desperately want to join those ranks. Now, don't get me wrong - I love my little rental house, and it's definitely the hominess place I've ever lived in, but it's not MY house. And I know that. I also know that we can't afford to buy a house and then have to sell it right away. Plus, I'm really trying to get my car paid off before buying a house.

I just feel stalemated. I feel like I'm trapped here in this moment and at this intersection in my life. But until Sean graduates, there's nothing I can do about it. It's frustrating, but I knew this going in. I knew this was how it was going to be. And we only have a little over a year and a half of this left, and we'll be free.

And then.

Then we will buy a house, and I will create like a mofo for it. And life will be good.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Smidgens.

-We're super short handed at work. I've been working 10 hour days lately, and I'm constantly switching between locations. Hopefully they'll hire a new full timer soon, and I can have a little bit of my life back.

-I'm really frustrated by my taxes this year. I have to pay two state taxes this year, which majorly sucks. Normally I use TurboTax, but the idea of paying $28 for EACH state kinda makes me angry. The money is going to debts anyway, so I'm not overly anxious for it. So I'll wait a bit while I decide what to do.

-Sean's been applying for jobs all over the place. He had an interview for tomorrow, but they called him today saying that they've already filled the position. It's really frustrating that he doesn't even get a chance to interview.

-I've kinda lost motivation for everything lately. I get into funks every once in a while, and this is definitely one. I just want to curl up in bed. I'm hoping to take this weekend to recoup and get stuff done. That should help immensely.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Day 8 - A Song to Match Your Mood.

Erg. This one is super hard, so I've been avoiding it. I mean, what's my mood right now? Laid back, but excited to see people and wear heels tonight? What's a song for that? I'm not sure. I've got one song though, that pretty much always matches my mood - or at least my thoughts. "Alright" by Darius Rucker.

Lately I've been super frustrated by our stagnant position in life. I mean, we can't really work towards something more, because I'm the only one that's working and my paycheck sustains us pretty well, but doesn't lend to much else. I'm frustrated that Sean doesn't have a job like I hoped he would this year - even a non-paying one. I'm frustrated because I want to move forward - I've been at my job for almost a year now, and I'm ready to start looking for a home, have kids, pay off loans - all that good stuff. I don't want to say that I'm being held back - I knew all of this was happening going in. But sometimes, I just have one of those moments where I can't help but get frustrated and dejected and feel like nothing will ever change.

But I have to remember - it's alright. I've got a loving husband, a place to sleep at night, and a job that pays the bills - and that's more than a lot of people have. I have to be grateful for what we do have now, rather than just lament on what we can't afford.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Death Folder?

So here's the deal.

Sean and I don't really share passwords. We know several passwords that the other uses for things, but not for the things they use them for. We don't have an issue saying, "hey, what's your password for this?" - and most of our passwords are saved on the sites we use frequently anyway. It's one of those situations where we're so open about it and don't have anything to hide, that we don't share about it.

Well we've been watching HIMYM, and we recently watched the Death Folder episode - each one of them writes a letter to the other with "Instructions for After Death" kinda thing. When Patty died, no one knew anything, or the things to close. Her Facebook is still alive and kicking - but who knows how many messages and game invites she has. I worked for a security company, and too often people would call to cancel an account due to a death, but no one had the password information. I mean, what do people do in that scenario? What would you do? It made me think.

I'm the runner of the household. I don't think bills would get paid if Sean was in charge of them. I have accounts to the internet, the water, the electricity, the bank stuff (plus we each have our own accounts)...he would be at a complete loss as to what to close and when to pay things. Not to mention how to access certain accounts. Just like I would be at a loss on how to close his D&D subscription, his GameFly account, and deal with his student loans.

We've been kind of thinking of a way to get all of our information in one place, but we can't seem to come to terms on an efficient way. Do any of you have "death folders" or something of the like? How do you keep stuff straight? Do you have a plan if your significant other were to die suddenly?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Day 7 – Your dream wedding.

I've been really hesitate to post this one. Why? Because I think it says something when a woman says that her wedding wasn't her dream wedding.

But I shouldn't worry about that. It wasn't possible to have my dream wedding. My dream wedding would have family and friends that died years ago, friends that I've long since lost a connection with, and divorced exes of family members. It would have had my 3rd cousins, which I couldn't possible afford to invite (it would have easily added 100+ people). It would've had the cost of a January wedding, with a partly cloudy 70 degree sky, and a two hour long sunset for gorgeous shots. It would have had the priest that knew us, but happened to be on a mission trip in Brazil. And the day would have lasted another 24 hours - because it was such a great day.

My wedding was fabulous. It was all that I could have hoped it to be. It wasn't my dream wedding - because a dream wedding is just that - a fantasy that can't be made real. And that is perfectly okay.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

#71. Newlywed Map

I just realized that I never blogged about this totally awesome map Sean and I made. 

It's technically called a Newlywed Map (the idea is to mark all of the places you've been together), but it's basically a travel map. We busted it out after we got back from our honeymoon, because we were excited to add tacks to the other side of the ocean! It was super easy to make though. We basically followed this tutorial, with a few mini changes.

I found a sweet, slightly distressed frame at Hobby Lobby for $8, and got it half off that because the glass was broken (which I didn't need anyway!). It was an awkward lightish darkish brown, so I painted with leftovers from the bathroom. I ordered both the map and map tacks from Mapcenter.com. I couldn't find the right size foam board though, so I bought one of those tri-folds that we used to use for science fair projects and cut the two flaps off. I already had spray adhesive too - other glues don't work because the map will wrinkle!

 (Our pretty European tacks!)

(fun fact: that Atlanta pin? Happened the winter of 2003...yup, we traveled together with our high school band NINE years ago! We're still counting it though)

I love this map. It makes want to travel more, and it's fun to document where we've been together. We even made Sean's dad one for Christmas!! It's classy too, so we have no qualms about it hanging in our living room. :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

365 Photo Project.

Yesterday, I started the 365 photo project.

Basically, every day for an entire year, I will take a photo. It can be anything - even if it's just as simple as my breakfast. Our first year of marriage was so crazy and hectic, and I missed a lot of little, simple things. I want to find those again.

I don't want to bombard people on any of my social media networks (someone once did that to me on blogger, and I about killed them!), so I created a Flickr account.

I'm excited for it. My phone uploads directly to Flickr, so I have no excuse to miss days. Hopefully it turns out just as fun as I hope it will!!