Wednesday, July 9, 2014

six months in.

its about time for a mid-year checkup on my non-resolutions. so let's take a look at how i'm doing so far this year! (my comments are in italics.)

carry-overs from years past:

1. curtains.
real curtains. really on my windows. i can do this.
2. read at least 3 non-fiction books. started my first one last night.
    read one so far. currently in the middle of The Kite Runner, which is
    technically fiction.
3. have pretty flowerbeds. a little tree removal, a little mulching, and then (hopefully) planting a lot of flowers.
4. budget. and then stick to it.
5. ride my bike. i don't think it got out of the shed at all last year.
6. read through my Bible. or maybe listen through it?
7. close my other bank account. this is just pathetic.
8. big book of everything. i have lost one too many passwords. time to get organized.

i am beginning to think none of these things are EVER going to happen. they have just been sitting on lists, patiently waiting for YEARS for me to care enough to actually carry through with them. maybe i'll get around to at least some of them sometime in the next 6 months or so.

new for this year:

9. pass the PE. and feel no guilt for basically disappearing for the next 4 months while i study.
10. overcome my fear of the lawnmower. we got a riding lawn tractor. i want to be able to use it.
     part way there. helped mow the grass over the weekend. which means
    Mark left me a big solid square in the backyard for me to practice on.
    next step: practicing all the hard parts like not hitting trees or the deck
    or the well.
11. run. i think new shoes are in order.
    bought the shoes...
12. sew a cushion for the entryway bench. top of the sewing list.
    currently sitting 3/4 of the way done in the basement. and then it just
    got too nice outside to spend all of my project time inside with my
    sewing machine.
13. get the air ducts cleaned. this should just take a phone call.
    UGH. stupid air duct guy never showed up for our appointment.
14. yoga. just because.
    bought a new yoga DVD. did it once so far.
15. start the kitchen renovation. it's the next major project on the major project list. kind of a long shot, but we'll see.
    have a meeting with the cabinet guy in a few weeks to hopefully
    nail down a layout!

well. i was fully expecting that to be much worse. but i guess i did spend 4 out of the past 6 months working almost exclusively on number 9, so if you think about it that way its kind of impressive that i've managed to successfully start so many things in just two months... yeah, i'mma go ahead and think about it that way. i'm awesome.

Monday, June 30, 2014

awesomely easy party decorations.

*hard emphasis on the AWESOME*

over the weekend we celebrated my friend Ed's 27th birthday. over the past few years, his party has become THE event of the summer, if only because there is not much better than hanging out with good friends from near and far on a warm evening in June. there is afternoon basketball for the boys, evening wiffleball for everyone, and late night mario kart for anyone still awake. the food is always delicious, and the company cannot be beat.

the decorations have generally been low-key: a quick dollar store run the day of the party pretty much covers it. there was a pinata once, and last year we strung some white balloonss in the tree. but this year, we stepped it up one notch: we put glowsticks IN the balloons!

yes, it is totally pinteresty, but this is the kind of pinterest thing that is actually attainable, and actually as simple as the caption promises. "put glowsticks in balloons." bam. intant party ambiance.

 also, those magic color packets for the fire. just because.


Friday, June 13, 2014

a day of crabs and carnivals.

last weekend, the nephieces came to visit. they were really only here for one full day, but oh what a day it was! we woke up early and spent the morning dollar shopping (yardsailing) with our friend Nadine. the kids each had a dollar to spend, and thanks to some generous sellers the adults managed to fill up our car without spending much more than the kids!
after lunch we made crab cakes, because this is maryland after all. but instead of old bay, we spiced them up with frosting and candy. sound gross? not by a long shot. check out these cuties!

and ok, maybe an alien or two slipped in there too...
 original pinspiration here

and then, because our day hadn't been packed full of enough fun already, we headed to the carnival for the evening!  the kids were almost too excited to eat any carnival food, but once they did we were all about the rides.

first stop: roller coaster. hands in the air the whole time. best thing ever.

N was close to tears over not being tall enough to ride the giant slide...

...but he made up for it by driving the big-rigs.


the spinning dragons were a hit - its so fun that they are big enough to spin them all by themselves!

i have never seen a kid more excited to go fishing. there werent even any worms involved, but both N and C caught a shark and walked away with a fun little prize.

 these cars (dune buggys?) bounced up and down as they went around, and made the absolute best 'sproing!' noise.

N was a little ladies man in his jeep. and dont think his car filled up just because all of the other cars were full - there were completely empty cars on this ride. N is just that handsome.
and can you believe that C is big enough to ride her very own motorcycle?  crazypants.  its kind of impresive the amount of fun that can be had with a limited number of tickets.
and then, just when we thought our tickets were all gone and it was time to head home, a woman offered us the rest of her family's unused tickets. there were enough for the kids to each do one more ride, so we circled back to the rollercoaster for one last ride!


 before heading home, Uncle Mark suggested a detour to the Creamery to round out the night with ice cream. we ate our cones outside on the patio because it was just that perfect of a summer evening.

what a great day. lets do it again soon, mmk?

Monday, June 9, 2014

my MIL is funnier than your MIL.

Mark's grandfather had surgery last week to fix a deteriorated disk in his spine. Over the weekend, we got an update when we saw Mark's mom:

M: how's everything going?
C: well, Pop didn't make it...


C: time to come to church this morning.

we about died laughing. her ability to spread news and rumors simultaneously is a true gift. see also another recent incident:

C: have you heard Mark and Amanda's big news?
C: They passed their PE exams!

**not pregnant. just to be clear. our big news really is that we passed the exam, its just the presentation of the information that may lead people to believe otherwise.**

Friday, May 23, 2014


four years of school.
four years of work experience.
one crazy long application process.
four months of studying.
eight hours of examination.
six weeks of waiting.
combine, shake well, and just like that,

 bam. professional.

i still don't quite have my head wrapped all the way around this one. which is pretty understandable, given the fact that i just found out yesterday afternoon in a flurry of frantic half-panicked emails between me and the hubs. (he passed too, btw!) so we plan to spend our memorial day relaxing, workin on some projects around the house (remember that one time i told you mark was building a bed frame? and have i mentioned my new upholstery project?) and calling each other "professional" as much as we can stand.

"my, aren't you looking professional this morning?" "why yes i am, thanks for noticing. what would my professional spouse desire for their professional dinner this evening?" "oh, i think some professional tacos would suffice quite nicely." "i whole-heartedly concur my good professional."

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

this is the best idea i've had in a while.

so i dont know if i've ever mentioned it before, (that's a lie. i know i have) but my kitchen is pretty tiny. like, i-can-fit-the-entire-thing-in-one-picture tiny.

 yeah, that's it. teeny-tiny. as i was taking this picture, my back was up against the wall with the pot rack/shelf over my head, and the fridge is just to my right out of the frame. the cabinets aren't that yellow in real life, but i snapped this picture before work yesterday morning and was too lazy to try and take a better one.

we're actually in the very early planning stages of a GIANT kitchen overhaul. that's not to say that the end result will be a giant kitchen, but the process and effort to get from here to there has the potential to be huge. but until then, i am all about attempting to find little ways to maximize my itsybitsy bit of counter space to keep the kitchen as functional as possible.

so with an exhausting investment of 10 minutes and two command hooks from the basement, i freed up a few square feet of counter space by relocating our lunchboxes. ta-da!

why did i not do this sooner? i really don't know. its such a little thing, but it makes a huge difference in keeping the counters clear and useable.

of course, now i'm a little worried about myself, because if THIS  is the best idea i've had all year, (seriously, two basic command hooks on the wall) i'm thinking i'm either going to need to step up my creative game, or just give up completely at ever having a good, original thought ever again. someone send help. or ideas. or chocolate. or all of the above.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

so we went to florida.

and it was absolutely lovely. the perfect little getaway to celebrate FINALLY being done studying for and taking the PE exam. we stayed at my Aunt's beautiful beach house in Panama City Beach, and thanks to how wonderful this trip was, "own a beach house" has now moved up a few places on my bucket list.

 5 days full of sunshiney, warm, fun, breeziness with only a little bit of thunderstormy, tornado-ish, floodedness at the end.

the beach was gorgeous and not at all crowded. the water was a pleasant temperature once  you got used to it, and the surf was calm at first, but picked up a bit as the days went on, so we got some good wave jumping in later in the week.

 we lounged, we played games, we swam in the gulf, we relaxed, we rode bikes, we ate ice cream, we got sunburnt, and there was at least one day we just didnt wear pants because we were sunburnt and it was thunderstormy and we had no real reason to leave the house because pizza delivery is a great invention.
i got my camera out of its case for the second time since February (seriously, zero pictures of March this year) and it was nice to excercise my shutter finger again. 

10 pictures of this bird. only one decently non-blurry one.

 i needed this. we needed this. this winter was cold and nasty and long and full of drudgery, so this little taste of early summer with the sunshine and the warmth and the chilling out was perfect.