Monday, January 31, 2011

Shopping at the library

I have recently rediscovered my love of the library.  Bookstores be damned!  The library is FREE!  My favorite feature of the library?  Online requests.  It's like online shopping but it doesn't cost anything!  So, last week The Decemberists, one of my favoritest groups, released a new album and my library had it on the release day.  So I be-bopped on over the the website, searched, clicked request, and was sixth in line to get the new album.  When I was a kid I didn't understand getting tapes and then CDs from the library because you had to return them.  But in the age of itunes and digital files, well, it's the gift that keeps on giving.  Plus, our local library is quite literally over the river (well, creek) and through the tiny little woods from our house.  I can see it through the trees during the winter.  Hi library! 

When I was a kid we could check out 14 items at a time from our county library, good thing because that's about how many Baby-sitter's Club books I could carry at one time.  Here I can check out SEVENTY-FIVE items at one time.  75?  That's a heckuva lotta items!  Your assignment today is to find out how many items you can have checked out at one time at your local library.  And then get a library card.  

Here ends my love letter to the library.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Did someone say FREE?

Amanda over at Our Humble A{Bowe}d periodically shares free printables for different holidays and occasions.  Today she is sharing some Valentine's Day goodies!  (<-----click here to get the PDFs)





They are all formatted to print 8.5x11 and to fit in an 8x10 frame but I'm printing different sizes to use for different projects.  So cute, right?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Thank you for indulging the pet parent

I love it when Buddy cuddles in our pillows during the day. 

Doesn't it look like he just finished reading and sat his glasses down to take a snooze?

I don't know why it is particularly adorable.  Maybe because I like to think that it's his way of being "close" to us while he's accomplishing his 12 hours of napping.  Maybe because he's on my side of the bed, obviously signaling his deep and abiding affection for his human mom. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sometimes you DO win!

I love blog giveaways!  I enter almost every one I come across.  I am forever leaving comments like

"I would use the sander to refinish our bedroom furniture!"
"Love your blog!  And I would love that tshirt!"
"That lotion would come in handy for this pesky rash I can't seem to shake!"
"I totally need that book about monster truck repair so that I can repair my monster truck!"

But I've never won.  Actually, that's not true.  I won a fantastic Skeeda bag that I use almost everyday from my friend Carrie's blog via random number generator but I didn't even realize I was entering her giveaway at the time, I was just commenting on my friend's blog, so it's not exactly the same.

So back to my half truth, I've never won one of these random giveaways.  Until yesterday.

I won!  I won!
I did my happy dance.

Want to see what I won?

Awesome right?  And here's my comment.

I wasn't lying.  I really am going to take all this stuff to Alaska in April!

S and I are going to meet our niece.

And to do some of this.

And hopefully see one of these.

We're very excited!  And I will be well equipped with my new travel supplies.

Psssssst - I don't really have a rash.  Please don't be grossed out.  I don't have a monster truck either but you probably guessed that already.  

Monday, January 17, 2011

Some will win, some will lose.

Some were born to sing the blues.

Are you tired of that song yet?  Let's all agree to go on a "Don't Stop Believin'" hiatus for a little while, I could use it.

Yesterday, some were losing more than they were winning but that's not really the story here.  The important thing is that I cared.  That's right, I cared about an NFL playoff game.  Cared as in "bought a t-shirt and knew all the players and stats and had been following 'our' team all season."  See?

Totally pumped for the Atlanta Falcons playoff game!  We totally rock!  We're so gonna win this thing!  We have pizza and nachos and ice cream and beer!

And then we sucked.  Bad.  So I took a nap.  Under our friends' Falcons blanket.  I was draped in shame.

Ugh.  Matty Ice, you broke my heart.  It's less exhausting to not care about professional sports.  But after I married S I found out that this will be a part of my life whether I like it or not so I decided to like it.  I even made an NFL reference in a joke/insult/observation.  Wanna hear it?

(Something or someone, I don't remember what or who)?
That's like being in first place in the NFC West!

It doesn't really translate via blog but trust me, S was proud.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Let's be useful...

As well as ornamental. Shall we?

My grandma, who we call Precious, says this.
Which means my mom, who we call mom, says this.
Which means that I, who we call me, says this too.

My mom & her mom

Me & my mom
Here's the thing, I am at home A LOT. A LOT as in all day most days except for about on hour each afternoon and Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. So, amazing right? So much time at home, so much time to do so much.

Except, I suck at being at home. I'm really bad at it. Really. I sleep in, I wonder around trying to think of things to do, none of which seem right. I want to be lazy and then feel guilty for being lazy. I calculate how much money I could make for our family if I had another job that filled these hours. I panic about my future and what if I never find a career that fills these hours with meaningful work and what if I am miserable forever and what if nothing ever works out!?

Ugh. Shut that lady up already. See what I have to put up with all day? She's so obnoxious.

I think my biggest problem is that I can't seem to find a way to be useful. I want to be used (in a good way) to do something to make the world a better place each day but most of the time I just hang out on facebook and wait for people to post stuff.

"There is a world of difference between being a woman and being an old female. If you're born a girl, grow up, and live long enough, you can become an old female. But, to become a woman is a serious matter. A woman takes responsibility for the time she takes up and the space she occupies." - Maya Angelou

This is where I fail. I wait for other people to tell me how to be useful, to give me a responsibility, rather than taking it upon myself to create something new each day.

Another challenge is that you can't do this by yourself and in our current location I have not found those friends and colleagues who inspire me, push me, encourage me, and give me the little "oomphs" that I need to do on a daily basis. I wish I didn't need the oomphs, but I do, it's just how I'm wired I guess. I have S but that is a mighty big responsibility for one person.

We have about six more months here in Georgia before we are off on our next adventure (aka we have absolutely no idea what's next). I really hope I can find a way to be useful.

But if I can't, could you possibly increase the frequency of your facebook and blog posts? It would really help me pass the time.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Day 4 in solitary

Tomorrow is day four of SNOW WEEK 2011.  S doesn't have school, I don't have anywhere to was amazing on Monday, okay on Tuesday, less than exciting today, but tomorrow?  Let's get this thing over with already!

This little image, courtesy of an Atlanta resident on facebook explains our predicament nicely.

Here's what we've done so far:
  • Found out school's canceled!  Do the happy dance!
  • Sleep in.
  • Go for a hike.  The snow is beautiful!
  • Watch local new coverage.  Guess what??? It snowed ALL OVER THE CITY!
  • Drink a warm beverage.
  • Take a nap.
  • Play Wii.
  • Bake banana muffins.  Aren't snow days the best?
  • Take pictures of the amazing miracle of snow.
  • Watch local news coverage.  There's still snow.
  • Cook dinner.  
  • Have a Frasier marathon.  
  • Found out school's canceled again!  Yay!
  • Sleep in.
  • Wonder what to do.
  • Watch local news coverage.
  • Finish a book.
  • Clean out a closet.
  • Drink a warm beverage.
  • Watch more local news coverage.
  • Wonder what to do.
  • Play more Wii.
  • Really?  School's canceled again?
  • Once again force Buddy to go do his business in the ice.  What happened to the snow?
  • Enjoy the hospitality of nearby friends.  Carefully walk to their house.
  • Sleep in.  Why get up?
  • Three days at home, shouldn't we be accomplishing something?
  • Oh look, it's still there.
  • Walk our trash down to the dumpster.  It was necessary.  But dangerous.
  • Thank God for our four-wheel drive SUV and go to REI.
  • Guess what?  When there's snow on the ground it turns out you need EVERYTHING at REI!  We would totally use this!!!
  • Pay off S's car!  (A pretty good high point.)
  • Celebrate with a careful drive to Community Q BBQ.
  • Take a nap.
  • Oh, look, white stuff's still there.
  • Wonder what to do.
  • Oh, look, school's canceled again.  Sheesh.
  • Create our own Mythbusters marathon via Netflix instant play.
  • Drink a warm beverage. 
  • Watch local news coverage.  Can't get enough!
  • Wonder what to do.
  • Exhaust the contents of the internet.
  • Redesign blog in honor of current weather conditions.
  • Wonder what to do.
 What magic will tomorrow bring?  Only time will tell.  In the meantime, we are grateful for a warm house and plenty of food. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Navigating the Crazy

I just read a post from a favorite blogger about her postpartum depression after the birth of her daughter and how she's preparing for the birth of her son in a few weeks. I worry about this. She writes about how she's so angry about her depression, how it robbed her of the joy and happiness that she thought she deserved to have after her child was born. I've written a little bit about my experience with depression after S and I got engaged that extended into our first two years of marriage. I am angry too. I'm angry that I cried more out of frustration than joy during that time period. I'm angry that our first year of marriage was overshadowed by this specter of sadness and anxiety. I'm angry that is took S down with me. I'm angry that I didn't feel like I could be honest about how I was feeling.

And I am grateful that we've made it this far and made it together.

There's a term for depression after giving birth. Whether Tom Cruise thinks it's real or not, it turns out more women deal with this than we ever thought and I am glad that so many people are coming forward to talk about it. There's not a term for depression after other seemingly joyous occasions, except just depression, but I think we can still talk about it.

Before I read this blogger's post, here's what I thought: Oh man, she's super cute and she writes hilariously and she makes super cute stuff and sells it on etsy and she gets like lots of comments and she has this great kid and this super cute husband and her life is obviously infinitely better than man and I suck and use the phrase "super cute" more often than any 28-year-old ever should. Tells you more about me than it does about her, right?

So, here's my plea: Please be real. If you social media-ize and it's not to make money or promote a business, please be your real self, flaws and all. Please turn off the "here's why I'm awesome" show and let us see you fail, not so we feel sorry for you but because we all do and sometimes it feels like I'm the only one. I love it when my DYI bloggers post about a project and halfway through tell us, "then I hated it and I cried and we made 15 trips to Home Depot and I cried some more and then it worked." Oh, so you're not perfect. Thank goodness!

Sometime S and I are sad about something and we don't talk about it for a while until one of us says, "um, I'm a little bit sad about this" and the other one will say "um, I'm a little bit sad about that too" and then we might share a few tears and talk and by the end it all seems manageable because we realize that it's not just one of us, we're not alone, and the enormity of whatever it was that was bothering us is greatly reduced.

I think life with friends should be the same way, don't you? "I feel a little bit crazy." "I feel a little bit crazy too." "Oh, well then, let's navigate the crazy together."

Maybe I should rename our blog. Let's call it Navigating the Crazy Together.

Snow day(s)!

I am magic, I tell you!  Magic!

I made snowflakes last week.  On Sunday evening, snow fell from the sky.

See?  Magic!

Yesterday was a snow day, today is a snow day -- S is more than a little excited.  Have I mentioned he teaches 9th grade math?

When you have a warm home and plenty of food, snow days are the best!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Decorating for winter

Did I mention that I have a hard time coming down off of Christmas?  Well, I do.  To make matters only slightly worse, my work schedule changes every 6 months or so, projects end and things get rescheduled, so currently I am home all day and then work for about an hour each afternoon.

I do not like this schedule.

So I decided to cheer myself up preschool style with some paper crafts.

Side note: do you know why I could never be a professional blogger? I never take pictures of the process. Which brings us to...

So, after googling "how to cut a paper snowflake" and breaking out the white cardstock, I ended up with this.


Yes, that's a stick in a vase.  I'm going for "winter austere."  
Whatever, it points to the cheesy snowflakes 
hanging on the off-center ugly brass light fixture. 


Pretty, right?  RIGHT?
They make me happy anyway.  
And I'm rather proud of them.  
Do you see that detail?

Can't forget the front door.
On which still hangs our Christmas wreath on the other side.
It's "alive" so it's going to "live" there until it doesn't anymore.

Now everyone who walks by our house thinks a child lives here.
Or that Buddy is REALLY talented.

Yarn wreath inspired by Mrs. Priss.  
It needs some felt flower love to make it complete.
And maybe a different ribbon.

I used to make fun of people who decorated seasonally.  Then tonight I added white napkins with silver snowflake napkin rings to our table.  Not to use, just to look at.  

Myrtle, I think we have a problem.

What?  You want to make snowflakes too?  Well look no further!  There are great instructions here.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Merry New Year!

Merry Christmas!
Happy New Year!
Welcome 2011!
Happy 11th Day of Christmas!

We hope you had an amazing holiday season.  I'm having trouble letting go.  Post-Christmas is not my best time.  In fact, I secretly detest January.  Shhhh....don't tell anyone.  It's okay because I am stubbornly hanging on to the Christmas spirit and listening to festive music as I type.  What did you do for the holidays?  Did you have a family-filled hectic travel-about-town type Christmas?  Or are you more the stay at home for a quiet hunkered-down affair?  

We packed up the car and headed out on December 20th for a two-week road trip:
Tulsa, OK --> Hurst, TX --> Oklahoma City, OK -->
Richardson, TX --> Hurst, TX --> Slidell, LA --> back home 

Buddy loves riding in the car.  He looked like this for 13 hours.

Buddy and his new BFF Drake in Tulsa.

 After the Philip pick up, we drive to Texas.

My parents' beautiful Christmas tree covered in memories.

 Breakfast on Christmas morning and me looking appropriately maid-like.  I even covered my hair.

The always-important family Wii time.

Buddy loved the pig he got from his grand"paw"rents.  (Harharhar)

This his new human toy, which we also call Mason.

Happy family.

And I got to re-cover my parents' dining room chairs as part of my mom's Christmas present!

Now we're home and my past-Christmas blues have set in.  Do you get this affliction?  Or are you happy to finally move on?   I get it BAD.  This year it was tempered by new storage bins for our Christmas decor. 

They're purple!  S picked the purple.  Thank you, S.  

Also, this Pottery Barn tree skirt marked down to $29.99 from it's original $119.00 didn't hurt either.

So, now on to the new year.  2011 will be a year of change and uncertainty for us so we rang in the new year looking a little bit like this:

But more on that later.  In the meantime, we'll going to be working for more positive emoticons.  In the spirit of positive emoticons, on to the fabric store! :-)
See?  It's working already!