Monday, January 31, 2011

breakin the streak

It was August of '08 that I went blonde. Like totally blonde. I've been so happy with it, never stayed with a color that long! But I got bored this time and asked my stylist to do something different. Maybe some red, but I didn't want to look like an ad for McDonald's. And this is what she came up with...


I quite like it :) But I may switch back to blonde with just red bangs or somethin next time!


Monday, January 24, 2011

touring the apartment (living room edition)

Moving right along with the apartment touring, today you get to see the living room. If you've missed any of it you can catch up here and here.

So here it is. I realized that this first picture is hard to tell what it is on the left side, but it's a dyptic showing my beloved shoe shelf that Steve mounted for me. Mounting things in this apartment is scary, because the walls are plaster. If you have plaster walls you know what I'm talking about... if you don't, you're lucky!

There are pictures hung on the wall in here, and with the exception of the bw collage everything you see hung is only there because there was already a nail and I needed to place to put frames because there was nowhere better to store them!

That random half wall behind the couch is actually a staircase leading to the downstairs apartment. It's also the "catch-all" here. Which I hate. But I am 50% of the problem so I can't complain much ;)


This is the bw collage I was referring to. I actually put nails in for that. Which I have to say, I'm not happy with the arrangement... but again, I needed somewhere besides a box for all my frames. They are sad when they have to stay in boxes :(

Anyways, there you have it. Next up is the bathroom. Much like the bathroom in my old apartment, I am quite taken with this one as well, I really love the way it looks :)


Thursday, January 20, 2011


Before Christmas, I was busy. Now, after Christmas, I'm still busy. Surprise surprise!

But it's not the same kind of busy. Thankfully this current time of busy is more manageable. When I get busy I usually throw cleaning to the wind. Not because I enjoy living with messes, but simply because, you guessed it, I'm too busy to care!

Truthfully though, my life is not so crazy and hectic and busy as I make it sound, but I do manage to get through each and every hour of every day wishing I had more time!

Today I've been home alone since 8am. I told myself all day yesterday that today I would cleeeeaaannnn. But wait a second, American Idol recorded last night... I had no intention of watching it this year, but it saved my record settings from last season... and since it was there, I had to watch! Long about 10 o'clock I decided enough was enough and if I didn't start now, the whole day would be down the drain.

So I set the timer for 1 hour. And I resolved to not check my email, facebook, phone, anything for sixty minutes. And it worked! I got a ton done! It was so inspirational, I set the timer for another half hour and kept going.

And then since I had done the stuff I don't like so much, I decided to make some granola (because baking I don't consider housework or even work at all. I love to bake... and I love sending it to work with Steve for his co-workers ;) Well, the granola was a big fat flop. Really gross in my opinion. I had never made it before and I'm pretty disappointed. I did learn one thing about making granola though... the flag batch should probably not be enough to feed 10 small children for a year.

I have a lot of gross granola in my house now.

Depressing as that was I decided to make banana muffins. Which are in fact, something I make regularly. I am a banana snob. I love them, but only before they turn all the way yellow. Once they're all yellow I'm just like blech. So they get made into muffins!

Oh! And I took a picture of it. See how my day just flies by when I'm so busy ;)


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

adoption is the new pregnant

To share all my feelings about adoption in this post would be more than this blog could hold! To say it succinctly, I have a huge heart for adoption. I sincerely hope that one day we can adopt children, regardless of whether we have biological as well!

This post is not about my heart for adoption however, I want to share with you about a friend of mine who is in the process of adopting their second child. They had 2 little girls before they adopted their son and since have had one more daughter. The road to adoption is long, difficult and expensive. But so rewarding. By supporting adoption, we support the pro-life movement and foster the spirit of adoption we've been given by God.


So this is Lara, and she is wearing one of the shirt dresses they are selling to fund this second adoption. There are also T-shirts, and kids T-shirts. The Etsy store where they're all available is right here, and her kids are the models :) They also happen to be the silhouettes on the shirts! Underneath it reads "adoption is the new pregnant." And when you purchase a shirt, it comes in a tote bag that also says "adoption is the new pregnant."

Her blog talks more about their life and I personally find her sarcastic sense of humor hilarious. It would be so awesome if anyone wanted to repost this in hopes that more people will see and help support them :)


Sunday, January 16, 2011

winter colds stink

Maybe I'm the only one out there who feels this way, but I am personally afraid to write on facebook when I have a cold! I feel like noone will want me near them for the next 7-9 days just in case any germs hop off me onto them and that noone will want to hang out ever again.

I mean, maybe that's a little dramatic, but I find it very annoying. I am not talking about someone being like ill to the point of totally bedridden and throwing up both ends on the hour, I'm talking about the common cold. The kind you get every.single.winter possibly more than once. I don't want someone to come and hang out with me if I'm on my deathbed necessarily but I hate getting the stink-eye if I have a sniffle or a cough.

And truth be told, if someone who has kids puts on facebook that their kids are sick, oh lord help us. The comments that will ensue saying to keep your kids home and away from theirs (obviously sprinkled with some "I hope you all feel better soon!"s in there) But reality is, they will most likely be banned from all social activity for weeks! I am not an advocate of exposing sick children to other sick children intentionally, but at the same time, I'm not about living holed up all winter.

So, if I had a cold, would you still go out with me? *grin*


Thursday, January 13, 2011

turn into the skid

Us northerners have this thing that most southerners fear with immense fortitude. It's called SNOW.


Every year the seasons cycle their full gamut of weather. We have sun, rain, snow, heat, sub-zero, humidity, slush, hail you name it. Have you ever heard anyone complain about too many sunny days? Well, here we should be thankful to have such variety...

That's just me trying to make myself feel better.

At any rate, the purpose here is to talk about the crazy and unpredictablity of driving in super snowy conditions. Normally I'm not one to not go out in the snow. It's gotta be really bad. I mean reeeeaallly BAD before I say uncle.

For example, a few years ago it was the beginning of January. There were only a few days before classes started at the community college I was attending. I had no clue how to find my way around the school and was just petrified that I was going to be wandering around aimlessly and embarassed that I had no clue where I was going. So my younger brother who had already been there a semester longer than me said he would take me around and show me where each of my classes would be.

However, it snowed so much that night that there was about 6 inches on the main roads. They tried to plow but it didn't matter, it was just snowing that much. But we went anyways. In my parent's old '91 Caprice with the snow tires, nothin was stoppin that bad boy.

That was pretty extreme and most definitely not advisable, but still, my point is that I usually just drive. I don't care.

My observation this year has been something new however. I found that the first snowfall incites this sort of panic among the locals though they have been experiencing crazy snow for years. Have you ever seen the movie "10 Things I Hate About You"? There is a phrase Cat says referring to driving skills that runs through my mind as I see moron after moron spun out on the side of the basically clear roads that involves removing your head from a certain body part.

Yes, I'm a meanie head. I'm cynical when it comes to driving dumb. However, I was straightened out a couple weeks ago when I had a near deadly mishap. Since then I've calmed down a little and learned a few things about how I can drive better to avoid a second occurrence and also on how to handle my car.

It is my belief that most people end up in ditches because they are either distracted, inattentive drivers who haven't been scared enough yet to get it together or they don't know how to drive their vehicle properly.

Clearly I am stating some very harsh opinions that I will not apologize for. I wish that everyone would learn to drive from someone like my dad who worked for 35 years at UPS earning continuous safe driving awards. It's because he was very conscientious about his driving and learning always how to do things better.

I understand also that accidents are called accidents because noone means to drive their car in a ditch or rear end someone or pull out into oncoming traffic, but that word does not satisfy the need for careful drivers.

So my request to all drivers out there, whether it's snow or rain or slush or honestly just plain good weather, please keep your eyes on the road and your mind engaged!

Love to all :) That's my way of showing insecurity for expressing such opinions!


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

out with the funk

Over the last several months I've been weeding through some foreign to me feelings. I've struggled with a lot of insecurity (which btw is not a foreign feeling, it was just in addition to the other things in a different way than I'm used to) Mostly I've felt weird about sharing my day to day life with a lot of people. And with people who I don't even know I'm sharing with.

Like facebook for example, I had 535 friends. Do I even know 535 people? Well, apparently I know close to that. And I'm sharing my status updates with all these people. As well as my blog posts since it publishes to facebook everytime I post.

So I deleted a bunch of people. Yep, I did. At first I felt bad, but then I realized that it was just ridiculous to have so many people connected to something that I feel is personal. Sure, facebook can be funny and light, but in all truthfulness, I don't even want that stuff being shared with everyone.

I now have 154 friends. That number varies as I do occasionally add or delete other people. But now, I view it as a tool to keep in touch with people I really care to. Not people who I barely know or who I went to kindergarten with. If our friendship didn't make it through kindergarten then it's not gonna make it on facebook :P Really, you might be a wonderful person and you are probably someone else's best friend. But you're not mine. That sounds mean, but if you actually think about it, you aren't everyone's best friend either.

Anyways, all that to say, I've hesitated posting much at all about my current life. Sure I've said stuff about the obvious but for the most part it's been kept private.

So now, I want to share a little piece of my life with the blog-o-sphere that is very special to me. As you may have read in my Christmas letter I started nannying for a little 4 month old baby named Robbie in September. I swear, everytime I say I'm not gonna nanny again another one comes along and I'm just such a sucker I always say yes!

I am so glad I said yes to this little guy. He has been an absolute joy to watch and I'm so thankful for such a great family to work for :)

He's not 4 months old anymore! Obviously ;)

He's actually 8 months and it's just amazing to me how quickly babies change in the first year. It seems like every day there is something new.

times 2
He tends to be very serious. Not to say that he doesn't laugh and giggle, but it's almost like he takes the world in for everything it is. He is always looking around scopin out the land and figuring things out. Sometimes I think he's really an old man in a baby body.

But he's learning that his actions make others laugh more recently and it's so funny to see him do things to make me laugh! Like for example, the other day I went to get him after his nap, which happened to be pretty short. I hoped that he would go back to sleep if I put his nuk back in, but no such luck. He shook his head back and forth to avoid the nuk and at first I was annoyed, but then I laughed. And when I did, he stopped and looked at me and started laughing too.

So he got his way because of his charm... oh boy ;)



This is pretty much the extent of him holding his own bottle. On the one hand, it would be nice if he would hold it himself, and I know he knows how to because he would do it when he was only 4 months! But he just likes it to be held for him :) Now I'm not there for every bottle so it may get annoying after awhile, but I quite like to feed him and I don't mind holding his bottle at all :)

In fact, this is how we do lunch time most days. Like I said earlier, he likes to look around, so facing away like this with his hiney on my knees is the preferred eating method ;)

It's all silly little things, but they make me so happy. He is a huge part of making my life enjoyable right now, I can only imagine how boring my life would be without him.

So now that I feel as though I'm on the other side of my funk I'll probably be posting more about Robbie and other things like that. And seriously, who doesn't want to see more pictures of this adorable face? ;)


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Christmas presents

I kinda feel like I failed this year at Christmas gifts. I mean, I know that's not what Christmas is all about, seriously. But usually I at least give non-lame gifts. I even got pretty sweet gifts. The ones of note were my new monitor and a label-maker. Yep, I'm a dork like that. I love it and I use it all the time.

But this post is to show you my most non-lame gift that I actually gave this year. It was for the parents, mine and his.

I first made these flippy books back in June after a wedding I shot and I totally fell in love with them. I had resolved at that point to make my own for gifts at Christmas.

This is the front on the left, my very favorite picture of the day :) and the back is on the right. It's a close up of my bouquet. Which I thought was the most exquisite bouquet I've ever seen. And it just so happened to be my own! The covers are both in metallic so they are slightly reflective and very eye-catching.

front and back
Then first is the inside when you open it up. It was hard to pick for this book, honestly because I felt like I had so many good ones! But I was really happy with the ones I chose in the end :) From left to right, there is a picture with the 5 guys, then the picture of my hand was taken when I was writing a card to Steve. I wanted to have a close up of my ring and I really liked the character in this one. Then the next picture was taken at Mendon Ponds after the wedding and the last is me with the 5 of my girls. I just looooove that picture :)

This now is the back side of the book. I decided to do only one picture per page here so that I could fit in a few more. Plus, the vertical pictures don't pan out over two spaces very well ;) Left to right there is my favorite close-up of me that day. Then my Dad and I walking across the bridge, the pastor blessing our rings, our parents praying over us, the recessional and then my favorite clos-up of Steve :)

Here's a view of just the back. It's size is 2.5x3.5 inches and is just so adorable I could eat it. Ok, so maybe not, but ya, it's really just that cute :)

So, what was your favorite Christmas gift to give and get this year?


Saturday, January 8, 2011

touring the apartment (bedroom edition)

I've been meaning to post more pictures of my apartment since the last time when I showed you the kitchen but something always got in the way. It was either a mess or not organized enough blabbity bla bla bla. Well, I realized it's never going to be perfect and even if I pretended it was it wouldn't be fair to anyone since I don't want to give them impression of "having altogether" because lord knows that's not true.

The other day my bedroom was pretty clean. OK who am I kidding, it was spectacular compared to the way it usually is. I always find such satisfaction in having my bed made and back when we first got married it got made almost daily... now, notsomuch. I'm trying to change that though, because for some reason, when the bed is made, I feel so much more at peace! Weird, I know.

So here is the view of the bedroom from the doorway walking in. To the right not pictured are two dressers side by side, one Steve's, one mine. For the first 2 months of our marriage I had no dresser at all... leaving all my clothes in laundry baskets and strewn about the room. I'm terrible at hanging up my clothes though and putting them away so I'm trying to be better about that, because again, it makes me feel more peaceful when it's all put away :)

Then here we have the adjacent view where you can see our "headboard" which I just love. We just have a standard bedframe that came with the bed and when we received that painting as a wedding gift I saw it above the bed right away! For the time being that will be its purpose, but I love that painting so much it may end up in a new place someday as I have lots of other ideas for headboards ;) I just have to get my craft on, and let me tell you, that doesn't happen often lol.

Also, I'm sure you noticed the array of pictures we have on the far wall there. I just love it, but there is a piece missing. It's not really the way I wanted it when I designed it to begin with. I have these shelves that are different lengths that hold knick knacky type stuff that I originally intended to go between and under or over certain pictures, but being that the walls in here are plaster, they just weren't holding.

So the gaps remain, and it's not so noticeable if you are just looking, but to me it's still a work in progress... that will not be completed until we live somewhere else. At any rate, I'm very happy that I have so many beautiful wedding and engagement pictures thanks to Rachel and Andrea.

The big square picture in the center is some scrapbook paper that I pieced together to fit in there, but my original intent was to do a 9 frame square arrangement like this. I've wanted to do this since I saw her wall 2 1/2 years ago! However, due to the fact that it's a very expensive project to complete and I didn't have any real solid place to carry it out, I have put it on hold... and I only have one 20x20 frame... I need 8 more. And ikea stopped selling those frames last year. Good thing other places do finally, but I love idea and I always stocked up on the clip frames when I was there. I have a bajillion and I love them :)

Anyways, so there's the bedroom. Next room (not like there's a lot to choose from lol!) maybe the living room. It's really boring, so I don't know, but in all reality it would be nice to have pictures of the place we first lived :) And I didn't take pictures of my last apartment, which I already regret. So I will probably end up doing it. Then we're on to the second bedroom/office. it's a disaster area. But I have incentive to clean up more because one of my Christmas presents was a new monitor! So now I have to clear up space on my desk for the 2nd monitor and I will feel all cool sitting in front of my two monitors. err, or something like that ;)


Friday, January 7, 2011

i love you, no i hate you

This is the conversation I had over and over with my Christmas tree. While I have no pictures of our trek through the tree farm to find it, I do have the picture I showed you yesterday.


There were so many things about this tree that I loved. It was near perfectly shaped, though I really do like a good Charlie Brown Christmas tree. The tradition in me says I have to have a perfect tree but someday maybe I'll have two trees. One perfect and one scrawny gangly tree ;)

For the last 4 years I have waited to use these hibiscus lights I got from IKEA. They hung in my bedroom for a looooong time, but I knew they would be just perfect on a Christmas tree. A little bit of tropical to this symbol of the cold winter we are enduring.


I also came across some vintage flower petal lights that I had saved from one of my Mom's merciless attic cleanings. She had used them when I was a kid and knowing someday I would like to see them used again, I stashed them away.

Someday also I hope to steer away from the dozens of ornaments I have like this:


They're certainly pretty I think, but they are lacking in style. I like things to be different and a little funky. This just seems too traditional.

My favorite ornament this year though was our "first Christmas" ornament. We bought it while we were on our honeymoon and if I didn't tell you it was a first Christmas ornament you would never know. That's why I love it ;) It's special :)


There were a few other special ornaments on the tree this year. I didn't take pictures of all of them, but a few that I really love.

This is one of my first ornaments. It's not my first Christmas one, my mom still has that. But I just love this rocking horse. It's been around literally as long as I can remember.


Then this one is one I remember picking out on vacation one year when I was very young. Probably 6 or 7. I don't often see ornaments that pop out at me, I don't like ornaments for the sake of ornaments. Which is probably why I don't really like the Christmas balls I have so many of. But I do like them when they have a meaning or I think are exceptionally pretty.


And the most special of all is this one.


It found its place front and center on the tree flagged by two of my other favorites, the dragonfly and butterfly. It was the ornament Steve gave to me on the night he proposed :)

Now, here's where the part about how I hate this Christmas tree comes in.

It was big. Our apartment is small. I had to move our loveseat into our bedroom and my dresser into the living room to make space for it. So for a month, I had a 2 inch passageway to squeeze into the laundry room and was putting my underwear away in front of anyone who happened to be visiting at the time.

At first it was ok. Because I loved that beautiful tree. But as the weeks wore on, I grew to despise the lack of space. Then there was the fact that from the time we chopped that sucker down it dropped copious amounts of needles. Everyone asks me the same questions:

Was it a fresh cut? Yes

Did you water it daily? Yes

Check and check. But still, the amount of needles dropped from that thing were almost incomprehensible. I don't think there is a way I could explain how many needles dropped without sounding like I'm exagerrating... but trust me when I say I scooped up enough to fill at least 1 gallon jug INSIDE the house, and what was left at the burn pile may have been another half gallon jug.

IMG_8223 - blog

IMG_8224 - blog

This was obviously after the tree was taken down... and I had already vacuumed about 4 times in the process of undecorating the tree. Which, in retrospect, I learned a valuable lesson about. Vacuums don't like pine needles. The entire length of my vacuum hose was chock full of needles. I had to scoop them out with a fork. Then instead of vacuuming up the mess above I swept most of it first and tossed them in a bag by hand.

Thank goodness that tree is gone. I can only hope that by next Christmas we have a better place to put one. Since if we had space for it, I'd be happier to deal with the mess it made ;)


Thursday, January 6, 2011

out with the old, in with the new

My first rule about blogging was to never post about how little I blogged. But I feel like I'm going through some stuff right now that is spiraling into a big combination of things I am not doing that is just making me feel worse.

That probably doesn't make much sense. The only thing I can think is that marriage changed my life in ways I wasn't prepared for. I was prepared for the fact that I would have a new immediate family and that I would have a roommate for the first time in years... but I think the details were overshadowed a bit by the drama of the wedding and everything surrounding it.

This summer was really hard for me. I worked about 9 hours a day watching kids. I left for work before Steve and got home after he did. It was awful quite honestly. We spent evenings very much in love but straining to find temperature control in our second story of a very old house apartment.

It's also been difficult managing the flux time we are spending here until we find a bigger place to fit all our junk. I've vacillated so many times on cleaning house and throwing so much stuff out or giving it away irrationally, but it just doesn't make sense. Our plan is not to be here long so it would be counter-productive to get rid of stuff. In the meantime we just live like this.

But it's hard. And not hard like some people know hard. That's part of my problem. I feel like I can't complain because there are other people out there (probably people who will read this too) who could only wish for problems like mine.

The reality is though that this is my world. And while I have a fantastic life, some of the pieces don't always fit perfectly. Big shocker!

I've taken very few (unpaid) pictures over the last couple months and even the ones I do take I'm afraid to show for fear that some of my unwarranted complaining will spill over and offend someone. But I'm sick of living in this place mentally (and literally too!)

So I'll start now... it's a new year and a new day. I don't want to live holed up the way I have been. Blogging was always so much fun for me. I enjoy reading other people's blogs and I hope other people enjoy reading mine too. But even if they don't I still like the outlet.

This is a picture I've had about a month now, sitting and waiting to be posted. In fact, there are more like it but I'm not sure they'll get posted now so far past their time. This seemed appropriate though because there's a good clean up story which I'll share next ;)



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