Friday, June 29, 2012

our garden.

wait. scratch that. from now on, let's just call it Mark's garden. because as much as i would like to take a little bit of credit for this thing, you know since we both own the house and we'll both be eating whatever we manage to harvest out of there, i really have nothing to do with it. he has done all of the planning, sprouting, planting, watering, and de-bugging, and i have stayed very far away from the whole operation. and there is a very good reason for this: i have a black thumb.

i kill everything i touch, whether it be a strawberry plant, rose bush, or the lovely impatiens that Mark bought me last year. all dead within a few months. you doubt? a demonstration! this is was the oregano plant that Mark's aunt brought to our house as a house-warming present on mothers day:

it only took me 6 weeks to turn it into a pile of dead brown sticks. that might be a new record.

so in contrast, now let's all marvel in amazement at all the things we Mark is growing out in the garden (and keeping alive!)

our Mark's garden. 


adorable little green tomato! 

crazy giant beans. 


watermelon on the left. and i think the tall one is a cucumber? zuchinni? 



and a turnip! (anyone know how to eat these?) 

i know that the garden also has broccoli, carrots, and garlic in it, and possibly a few other things that i don't remember. all i know is that i'm pretty much in awe over this whole gardening thing, and pretty excited to get to eat things that we Mark grew in our own backyard.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

check up.

i can't believe that its the end of June. 2012 is halfway over already! so i guess that means its probably as good a time as any to take a quick look back at how i'm doing with all those non-resolutions that i declared back in January.

this list is in no particular order, since i originally made it stream-of-consciousness style, just typing stuff as i thought of it. i haven't added anything, or taken anything off the list. all i did was copy and paste it from this post, and put it into a bulleted list for easier reading. it probably goes without saying, but anything that has been crossed off is something that i have done. the ones that have a comment but are not yet crossed off are things that i have started but i do not yet feel as though they are complete for one reason or another. and all the rest? well, i've still got plenty of time to get around to those, since there really isnt an expiration date on this list.

so without further ado...
  • make a reasonable meal plan. Meal Plan Mondays seem to have stuck pretty well so far...
  • paint the front door.
  • run a 5K.
  • go to Europe. been there, done that.
  • enjoy that trip thoroughly. ohmygoodness yes! and i would go back in a heartbeat.
  • bring home at least one good souvenir. i never told you about them, but we picked up our Christmas ornaments for this year, and also managed to find something good for a bunch of other people too.
  • feel good about myself in a bathing suit.
  • sit-ups.
  • clean the front porch. its dirty again already, but i did clean it.
  • have pretty flower beds.
  • shower with the door closed.  we still need to install a fan in the guest bathroom though.
  • read the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
  • then watch the movies.
  • paint and organize my kitchen.
  • invite more people to our house. this one's kind of a work in progress.
  • smile. pretty much every day!
  • make curtains for all my naked windows. we'll call this one 30% complete.
  • clean regularly.
  • use my crockpot. i still dont think i'm using this to its full potential.
  • read through my bible. reading plan has been started, and reasonably kept up with so far.
  • run.
  • dismantle the mountain-o-junk in the basement. dismantled, but still not completely reorganized.
  • decorate for seasons other than Christmas.
  • yard sale.
  • read a book by Jane Austin Austen.
  • hang things on the walls. one thing so far.
  • build something.
  • laugh. as much as possible.
  • organize the office. maybe 50% on this one?
  • carve a jack-o-lantern.
  • buy pants that fit and make me feel fantastic. i have one amazing pair of jeans. still on the hunt for good work pants.
  • clean out my closet.
  • put new music on my iPod.
  • be a good friend. i dont really know that there's a way to quantify this...
  • quilt our old t-shirts. 98% done with Mark's quilt. still not sure if i'm going to do mine or not.
  • close my other bank account.
  • hit 'play all' on abs and buns of steel and not want to die.
  • go to the dentist.
  • give more homemade gifts.
  • play outside. a few times. not nearly enough though.
  • ride my bike. once or twice so far. not as ready for the tour as i'd like to be.
  • the big book of everything.
  • go to a baseball game. i've got 2 in so far this season, and 2 softball games. any more at this point are purely bonus.
  • swim.
  • paint something little.
  • have fun. yes.oh so much yes.

 so that's where i stand so far. not too shabby if i do say so myself. in fact, (if these were actual resolutions that needed to be completed by the end of the year) i'm pretty much right on track numbers-wise, having either completed or made progress on exactly 50% of all the things on the list. go me!
so right now blogger is giving me a STRONG warning about HTML and tags and opening and closing and CANNOT BE ACCEPTED but they also give me an option to "Ignore Warning." so i'm just going to go ahead and do that. walkin on the wild side over here. fingers crossed that this doesnt blow up my computer or anything...


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

softball news.

so remember last year when i went to watch Mark play softball and i missed his TWO spectacular diving catches in the outfield because i have the attention span of a goldfish? well i decided to try that whole 'watching softball' thing again this year. i actually went to two games last week. and guess how many times the ball got hit to Mark in left center field? none. that's how many. and i was even waiting patiently and paying attention and not getting lost in conversation with the other spectators. (mostly because most of the time, i was their ONLY spectator) i guess its not his fault that all of the action just happened to be in left field, diving catches and all.

i was forced to settle for seeing the hubs slide into home as the winning run in a nail-biter of a comeback win. i mean its cool, but i dont know that it quite compares to the spectacularity of a diving catch. BUT! i took pictures this year!

do you like his pants? they're new this season. he decided he needed them to help keep his knees safe and unscraped what with all the sliding into bases he tends to do. they worked pretty well for a while, until he ripped a big hole in them and his knee on a particularly nasty slide. so, being a good wife and all, i sewed them up for him. he hasnt slid again since, so i guess i'll have to wait and see how well my stitchery holds up.

so i guess there's really not much newsworthy here. mark's playing softball again. he's wearing pants instead of shorts. nothing real earth-shattering. but i made it to see him play, i paid attention the whole time, and i had pictures i wanted to share. so i shared them. but now i can't come up with a witty way to end this. or even a non-witty way to end this.

the end.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

this weekend in history.

(my written records go all the way back to my high-school days. anything farther back than that is too hard to remember.)

2004: this was just before i started blogging. which at that point was just journaling on the internet, and immensely embarrasing.

2005: i started surveying with Pap for the summer.
"Hey all...and so begins the rest of my summer away! yah, i'm at the grandparents right now...and for a good while too. but hey, i'm happy. I got here yesterday, and already today i went out on my first day of "surveying"... i got to play around on the roads with a metal detector like u see stupid ppl have goin down the beach and stuff...and we dug big holes in the road, and tromped around in ppl's yards and all that good stuff... I'm also spending a lot of time with my cousins, Sammy and Colton. They're funny... I love all y'all and i'll keep u updated as much as i can...much love. i'm out."

2006: i took a summer speech class.
"i have decided that i really like 3 week summer classes... my first day of class was last thursday. i gave my second speech today, and my (opennote) midterm is tomorrow. then i have a week in which i have 2 speeches to do, then a long weekend, a review day, and my final. im done by the second weekend in July, just in time for the not-a-fiesta. i am firmly convinced that some classes, like speech, should just work that way all the time."

2007: i endured a really rough day at work
"...ten things i did today: 1. i sat in a lawn chair in the shade. 2. i played with two adorable dogs. 3. i enjoyed the sunshine and a nice breeze. 4. i did a sudoku. 5. i ate lunch. 6. i accepted a bottle of water from a nice lady. 7. i sat under a tree. 8. i ran the power dead on my ipod. 9. i cleaned out my car (a little). 10. i chatted with a friend from Lancaster about his and his girlfriends jobs...have i mentioned that i am a fan of state employment?"

2008: i contemplated how to better manage my time at work.
" people who smoke at work take smoke breaks. people at penndot smoke a LOT. and the only break they count is a half hour for lunch. BUT if they're smoking a pack a day at work (thats 20 cigarettes... i had to ask someone that) and it takes about 5 or 6 minutes to smoke one, thats like 2 hours of time. so why are they allowed to get paid for smoking? why am i missing out on this bonus?"

2009: i celebrated the start of the summer at Gram and Paps.
"First Day of Summer. almost check. when i was looking at the calendar to figure out that fathers day wasnt last sunday, i also found out that june 21 was also the first day of summer! what a surprise. especially cuz its cold and gray and rainy here in the 'burg."

2010: things were a bit crazy what with all the house-hunting and wedding planning going on.
 " up and went to early service. chatted with youth pastor about DJing our wedding. drove to BBnB. registered for some wedding presents. drove back to fiances house for fiances dad's birthday party. played with beads for bridesmaids jewelry with fiances aunt. continued to discuss making an offer on the house. got frustrated that we couldnt do anything cuz it was sunday. drove home. febreezed whole apartment cuz it reeked of smoke thanks to my new next door neighbors. went to bed."

2011: i continued to surprise and amaze with my prowess in the kitchen.
 "i was almost certain that i would undercook the fish, burn the topping, and give us both some sort of fish-disease...mark claims it was restaurant quality. i think it was the parsley garnish that put it over the top."

2012: we hung something on the wall!

yes, we've owned our house for just under two years, and we just now finally hung something decorative on the walls. i guess it took us that long to reprogram ourselves out of our command-hook loving ways that we learned thanks to years of college and renting. and then since we spent so much time fixing and painting the walls when we bought this place, it felt almost counter-productive to willingly put holes in them. but we did it. and i like it.

i got this mirror last year for $2 at a yardsale. it floated around the house, moving from the basement to the guest room to the front room while it waited for us to figure out where to hang it. i'm still not quite convinced that its absolutely perfect, (it might need some company up there on the wall to fill out the space?) but its definitely better than nothing... and at the very least, its another thing we can cross off the list!

and since we decided that the majority of our time this weekend was better spent outside of the house, that's really all i've got to share on the home improvement front. painting the office will have to wait for another weekend.

Monday, June 25, 2012

meal plan monday: june 25.

so if you havent noticed by now, these meal planning posts are pretty much just blog-filler - a predetermined monday morning feature to jumpstart my posting for the week, even when i'm at my sleepiest. i'm pretty sure that very few people read these posts and/or actually give a hoot what i'm eating on what day, but i keep doing them because they really are extremely helpful to me. they force me to sit down for 15 minutes or so every monday (if i could ever get my act together on the weekends it would be awesome to change this to sunday) and plan ahead just enough to take most of the stress out of grocery shopping and make me feel like i'm not a complete and utter failure at being an adult-type person.

unrelated picture is unrelated.

and since i'm being all ADULT and RESPONSIBLE, this week's plan is pretty light so that we can empty our fridge of anything that would be likely to rot and/or grow mold before we leave for vacation this weekend. yeah, you heard me. we are  vacating the premesis for 5 whole days while we escape to the mountains of PA with my entire extended family. but just in case you think its kind of the opposite of adult and responsible to tell all of the thieves and robbers on the internets that we're going away, let me tell you that we have absolutely nothing of real value in our house, my in-laws are borderline obsessive about checking on our house when we're gone, and also our neighbor is a COP Y'ALL. break and enter at your own risk.

we are counting down the days until vacation, and this is what we'll be eating while we wait.

Monday: leftover chicken tacos. (best.thing.EVAR!)
Tuesday: quesadillas with salsa.
Wednesday: breakfast for dinner.
Thursday: frozen raviolis.
Friday: most likely grab Subway for the road.
Saturday-Wednesday: family vacation!

Friday, June 22, 2012

i almost did something crazy.

my husband has a lot of really good qualities. he is kind, loving, thoughtful, helpful, encouraging, compassionate, undeniably handsome, and a million other wonderful things. but these good qualities are not the focus of todays post, so i will refrain from listing all of them. (also, i dont want you to get a stomachache from all the sweetness and then vomit all over your computer, because that is a mess that i most definitely do not have any time or desire to clean up.)

my husband also has a few really annoying qualities. he can be forgetful, he is compeletly incapable of multi-tasking, and he tends to put off doing little things like clipping his toenails until they get to the point where i am forced to consider him in posession of a deadly weapon. (i'm sure there are others, but i still want my husband to love me and trust me to not air all our dirty laundry on the internet and again - not the point of this post)

one thing that i either love about my husband or find extremely frustrating, depending on the day, is the fact that he is extremely reasonable. he is not a big risk-taker. he does not make quick decisions. he researches and makes extremely detailed plans before he will tackle a project. whereas i have a tendency to lose myself in irrationality, make impulsive decisions, and begin a project where my only plan is to fly by the seat of my pants and see what happens, he is the one who will talk me down and help us come to a very reasonable compromise.

this trait saved me recently from dropping $1500 on a rug for our dining room, (it was on sale! down from $5000!) and we found a perfectly acceptable and possibly superior substitute a few weeks later for $50.

this week, my husbands reasonability also saved me from signing myself up for an intense physically demanding experience that in my mind was intended to jumpstart my desire to start working out more which was fueled by my at-work health screening at which i was informed that while all my numbers were good and within range, there were still approximately 3 million things that i needed to be doing better.

it really did seem like a good idea, and i was pretty sure that the hubs would be on board. after all, there was a groupon involved! a savings of over $100 if we both signed up!

but then the hubs said no. he didnt really want to do it. he didnt think he was physically able to do something so demanding on such short notice. he thought it sounded like fun, but the timetable was just too short.

i fought back. i argued. i bargained. i might have shed a few manipulative tears. and then i began to lose my impulsive resolve and doubt myself. because if Mark, my ultimate guide when it comes to all things exercisey, didnt think HE was up for it? how could i have deluded myself into thinking that I would be up for it? and after a while, i started to come to terms with the reality that i was over-estimating my physical ability at this particular moment in time.

so all of that just to say that i did not sign up for the rebel race that is going to be in our area in two weeks.

oh, just jumping over FIRE. nbd. 

yeah. somehow in my head i thought that i, who has not run anywhere close to 3 miles in the last several months and gets tired just thinking about going for a saturday morning bike ride, would miraculously be competent enough to tackle a race that is basically a 5K on steroids complete with mud, fire, barbed wire, and other various obstacles.

can you imagine me doing this 2 weeks from now? yeah, me neither.

it looks like a ton of fun, but as my husband so lovingly pointed out, it might take me a little more than 2 weeks to be even a little bit ready for this kind of thing, so that i could walk away from it with the desired sense of pride and accomplishment instead of the more likely feeling of failure and self-loathing. i'm still kind of bummed about giving up on this plan and admitting defeat of my insane impulsiveness to his calculated reason. but of course (this time) he is right.

so i'm going to start a little smaller. i think i might just start with a regular 5K first. but by next year i plan on being in much better shape, and then i am SO doing this.

(PS the Groupon is apparently still good for a few more days if anyone is interested and in better shape than me...)

Thursday, June 21, 2012


i got to Skype with my parents last night. they live really far away, so we dont get to see nearly enough of each other. we chatted about our upcoming family vacation, i toured them around my house, and they not-so-subtly reminded me that today is their anniversary, by way of a mention of french-kissing that made my 14-yr old inner self be all BLECH while my sentimental side was all AWWW HOW SWEET.

my parents have been happily married for 32 years. (that's over 3 decades more than Mark and me, and some days i feel like the two of us have been married for-ev-er.) they are still very much in love, and i feel immensely blessed to be their daughter, and to have them in my life as a wonderful example of a loving, Godly marriage.

dancing at our wedding, October 2010

i turned to the Google to check up on the traditional anniversary gift, just to see if 'phone call' would finally be recognized as an acceptable gift, but i came up with nothing. i guess (traditionally) when you've been married as long as these two, you're no longer really expected to remember your anniversary every. single. year, just every 5 or so.

BUT the modern anniversary gift for your 32nd year is listed as 'Conveyances.' i'm not 100% sure what this means, but i think its supposed to be something like a car. or a fire truck. maybe a bike or a scooter would suffice.  perhaps for the exceptionally cash-strapped, a walk would be a good substitute. most likely a combination is expected, since conveyances is obviously plural. but i'm pretty sure what it does NOT mean is a couples' dentist appointment, which is what my parents have planned for their day. talk about romantic!

happy anniversary you two crazy kids... and may your conveyance to your dentist appointments be extra special today!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

eatin' good.

sometimes i forget that cooking doesnt always necessitate hours of prep-work and stress and mess to create deliciousness. sometimes you just need to find the right recipe - one that understands your human limitations and allows you to throw together an impressive dinner in a half-hour or less because pretty much everyone has things they would like to do during their evenings that are kind of impossible if you are spending the entire evening in the kitchen.

this is one of those recipes. its a crock-pot recipe, which are the kind that i usually plan it out so that i can do all the prep work the night before, (i think i spent a grand total of 35 minutes of prep in the evening) and then all i have to do in the morning is remember to plug it in and turn it on.

Prep Step 1: gather ingredients. dont forget to snap the all-important stereotypically-obligatory-obviously-overstaged-food-blogger-ingredient shot. because without this, no one will ever take you seriously.

Prep Step 2: form meatballs. i ended up with 22 out of a pound of turkey, but that number could vary wildly depending on how big you prefer your meatballs to be. i put mine on a waxpaper covered plate and left them in the freezer overnight. i had every intention of transferring them into a ziploc freezer bag before i went to bed, but i forgot. they survived.

Prep Step 3: mix up sauce.  this turned out at least 10x better than the last time i tried to make crockpot sauce... i think probably because this time i actually got the right kind of canned tomatoes. (note to self: diced is NOT an acceptable substitute for crushed) i mixed everything in a ziploc bag and let it sit in the fridge overnight.

Actual Step 1a: make any and all necessary alterations. you see, my wonderful crockpot is not one of the fancy ones with a built in timer. this is usually not an issue, except for when recipes call for any cooking time that is less than 10 hours. which is most of them. i used to just ignore these recommended cooking times, until the great overdone rubbery mac n cheese debacle of 2012, after which i realized that they put cooking times on these recipes for a reason. so, borrowing the sort of ingienuity previously only seen in my kitchen during episodes of 'cooking with men,' i added my own make-shift crock pot timer of sorts by making use of Mark's plant-light timer, so that the crockpot would theoretically turn on a few hours after i left, and turn off right around the time i got home.

Actual Step 1b: dump everything into the crockpot. it really is just that simple. as you head out the door to work, cross your fingers that the timer will actually turn everything on when its supposed to and you wont just come home to a pot full of cold defrosted tomatoey mush.

Actual Step 2: enjoy! the timer worked, which is a good thing because these really are quite delicious and it would have been a real shame to miss out on them. we chose to make our meatballs into subs. we also plan to eat the rest of the leftovers on pasta for dinner tonight.

and look at that! less than 3 steps for dinner prep! that is my kind of cooking right there.

Bonus Recipe:
this meal took me about an hour to make, which is pretty impressive since i was simultaneously baking cupcakes, all while working with even less counter space than i usually have in my teeny tiny kitchen because i was behind on the dishes. i used yellow squash instead of zuchinni, and i just chunked it up instead of shredding/julienne-ing it. (ps the only reason i knew what julienne meant was thanks to that crazy merchant guy in Aladdin. or was it Return of Jafar?)(it also makes julienne fries!) the only thing i would have done differently would be to take more time chopping the tomatoes, so i wouldnt have so many seeds in the final product. you should totally eat this. it was good.

so those are my latest kitchen adventures! i know i'm supposed to be cooking less and less now, but even though its summer, it was really nice to remind myself that i am in fact capable of greater culinary feats beyond what i sometimes let myself believe.

Monday, June 18, 2012

meal plan monday: june 18.

today, i was planning to tell you all about the awesomeness that was last week, wherein i defied all summertime kitchen conventions and cooked real food twice! in the same week and lived to tell about it.
you doubt? a demonstration!

i MADE that. go ahead... be impressed.

i have more to say about that. but this morning i am tired and brain-foggy and can barely focus long enough to figure out the few meals that i'll have to plan for this week, since its shaping up to be another busy one.

(plus, i'm pushing my grocery shopping day back until tomorrow, and so that slightly complicates things. but i have some errands to run and very fun people to visit after work today, and very fun people will totally trump the grocery store every single time.)

Monday: dinner out with a college buddy.
Tuesday: spaghetti with leftover meatballs.
Wednesday: fish. rice. veggie. (i put this on every week. we never eat it.)
Thursday: chicken tacos. (like this, but without the camping)
Friday: whatever the in-laws feed me before the O's game.
Saturday: leftovers. or frozen raviolis if there are no leftovers.
Sunday: church picnic!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


**this post was inspired by one of my favorite books, which i've been re-reading... see if you can guess which one** 

in the master bathroom, there was a shower. the shower was without a fan, and darkness was over the face of the waters. and Mark said, 'let there be light!'

and then because Mark is not God, Mark spent all day Saturday installing said light. he woke up super early. he referenced three different books about fans and wiring to make sure everything was done safely and done well. he made several trips to the Depot. he climbed up into the attic on a 90 degree day through the impossibly small attic-hole.  

and then he climbed back down, covered in insulation.
(and then he climbed up and down several more times)

 he ran wiring through the walls. he installed a brand new light switch.

and there was light! (and a fan!) and Mark saw that the light was good.

and Mark said, 'let there be lights to separate the day from night.' and the fan manufacturer included the two great lights: the greater light to rule the day...

...and the lesser light to rule the night.

and Mark saw everything that he had done, and behold, it was very good.

and there was morning, and there was evening, one very long day.

**shower with the door closed. cross it off the list, y'all!**

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

lessons learned: drywall.

so as i mentioned last week, i spent my (gorgeous, sunny, HOT) weekend in the basement attempting to tackle the mountain-o-junk, our disorganized office area, and its less-than-functional closet. i made progress on all of those things, but none of them are quite done yet. because in order to truly finish any one of those projects, we had to take care of the elephant in the room: the moldy corner.

this corner of our basement got wet last fall during the hurricane. it was the only part of our basement that got wet, and we were happy to ignore it for a while. but this past weekend, i decided that it was high time we got around to fixing that, since it needed to be done if we wanted to paint the office. the hubs helped me with the icky demo parts on Friday night, but since he already had plans to be super busy all day Saturday working in the master bathroom, the rebuilding part of this project was going to be all me.

 this is what i learned from my first solo foray into drywall.

1. defective downspouts are never a good idea. this is especially true during a hurricane.

2. water in the basement + drywall = wet moldy mess.

3. bleach water will kill mold. it will also discolor your carpet. beware of drips.

4. dehumidifiers are da bomb-diggity. extra bonus points if they came with your house for free and have saved your basement multiple times in the past few weeks.

5. cutting drywall down to size is empowering and awesome. dont be embarrased to jump up and down and squeal with delight after you make your first cut.

6. don't get too cocky about your beautiful drywall installation. chances are, you forget to replace the insulation first and now you have to take it all back apart and start over.

7. always cut insulation from the kraft paper side. its easier and much less itchy. (and when your husband tells you this, just pretend that you knew that all along... you just like a challenge.)

8. you can push as hard as you want, but that screw is not going anywhere if your drill is set in reverse.

9a. your husband may tell you that taping and spackle-ing is simple and easy and that you'll have no problem with it...

9b. your husband is a liar. as soon as you proudly show him your handiwork, he will tear it all apart and tell you to try again tomorrow. to his credit, he will also apologize, which actually does help a little considering he just smashed all your drywalling hopes and dreams against the rocky shores of reality.

 10. if at first you don't succeed... just get your husband to do it.

still on my office/basement to-do list:
- finish spackling/sanding the corner.
- paint.
- install baseboard?
- get a new desk.
- move the futon into the office.
- put some boxes in the attic.
- figure out what to do with the zillion CDs we own.

Monday, June 11, 2012

meal plan monday: june 11.

so for the minimal amount of planning that went into last week, coupled with a haphazard, list-less grocery run, but encouraged by some of your meal suggestions, we actually wound up eating pretty well.

Wednesday's dinner. sometimes i impress myself. 

this week, i'm being a bit more deliberate in my meal planning, if not even a little bit ambitious. i have two new recipes to try, both from skinnytaste, that sound delicious, reasonable, and probably even a little healthy.

Monday: Quesadillas.
Tuesday: Crock-Pot Meatball Subs. (recipe-ish)
Wednesday: Angel Hair with Zuchinni and Tomatoes. (recipe)
Thursday: Fish and Rice.
Friday: Grilled Citrus Herb Chicken.
Saturday: if i'm being honest, probably Frozen Raviolis.
Sunday: Fathers Day/Dan's birthday with the inlaws.

Friday, June 8, 2012

so what next?

i'm a little bit scattered lately when it comes to project planning - i am having trouble focusing on any one thing. this means that not much has been getting done around our house apart from mostly keeping on top of everyday things like dishes and laundry and the occasional 10-second-tidy on community group nights. granted, my free time has been somewhat limited lately, since a lot of my focus has been on wedding-related things. but now that Vic and Russ are happily married and off on their honeymoon, i'm free to focus on house-stuff again, but i'm having trouble landing on any one specific project.

Mark is going to be spending his weekend in one or both of the bathrooms, installing new exhaust fans. i already offered my extensive expertise in things like wiring and electricity and the fine art of flashlight-holding, but he said he probably wouldnt need my help too much. which means i'm on my own to find another project to tackle.

first on my list: the flower beds. they are in desperate need of some weeding and plants and mulch, since they are no longer looking quite as good as they did after their initial spring cleaning. but taking on this project would require actual weeding. and mulch. and a big strong hubs to heft around heavy bags of mulch because i am a wuss with no real upper body strength or desire to heft bags of mulch on 90 degree days. and the hubs is busy. moving on.

there's always the hand-me-down dresser that needs to be refinished thats been taking up space in our basement since last fall... but that is pretty far down on the priority list, since no one in our house is in desperate need of a dresser anytime soon.

another thing that could use some attention: the mountain-o-junk in the basement.

yes, its basically all my stuff. (Darth is Mark's) and no, i havent even looked in most of the boxes since we moved in almost two years ago. which means that probably half of it could just disappear and i wouldnt even notice. so whats my holdup? i'm glad you asked, because its the next thing on my list.

the office closet. this is probably the most poorly planned closet layout in the history of closets.

i want to load it up with all the stuff from the mountain-o-junk, but i can't. because the shelving system is partially supported in the middle by little skinny legs. they break up the floorspace and make it impossible to put any decent-sized box underneath the shelves, which is just downright inefficient. and annoying. and the annoyance is compounded by the fact that most of the things in this closet (on the shelves anyway) are Mark's, which means that i dont have the final authority on what can get tossed and what has to stay. but as previously mentioned, the hubs is too busy this weekend to sit in the basement with me and tell me that everything has to stay.

so why dont i just focus on the rest of the office then, you ask? well what exactly are you implying, i ask?! are you saying that my office area is a disaster? that it has no useable storage and is ugly and uninspiring and depressing and unorganized and messy and is that MOLD in the corner?!? how do i expect to ever pass this space off as a functional office/guest room you ask? well HOW DO YOU KNOW THIS MUCH ABOUT MY OFFICE, I ASK?????  there's a reason i've never shown you this space before. because it is all of those things. and i have no idea where to start.

actually, that's a lie - i have an idea, but Mark doesnt agree with me. i think we need a new desk. he thinks thats too big of an investment for something that might not be permanent. i want this desk. he wants to wait until we really overhaul the basement. i just want to get started.

either way, desk or no desk, i dont think i can take it much longer in the state its in. and we need to spend some time in there soon looking over financial stuffs. so... i guess there's my answer, huh? looks like i'll be spending my weekend in the basement office, just working with what i've got...

(on an obscurely related note, anyone know where we can get a futon mattress without breaking the bank?)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

hair raising?

i have a favor to ask of you all. but first, for your pleasure and enjoyment, allow me to take you on a historical journey documenting some of the different styles my hair has seen over the past 25 years:

Third Grade - 1995

my hair looked pretty much like this for the first 8 or so years of my life, (yes, it was a bowl cut, and shut up it was ADORABLE) until 5th grade, when i decided to grow it out. but since i did not like to have hair covering my ears, i requested that they be cut around. and since the customer is always right, my lovely hairdresser gave me my very own mullet. (thanks, Dar! love you!)  by the time i realized my folly, it was too late and i was stuck in middle school, in a new town, trying desperately to fit in, all while growing out a spectacularly hideous haircut. let's just say i'm kind of glad i couldnt find any pictures of those years to share.

by 8th grade my hair had (finally!) grown out, and it was probably as long as its ever been - about to the middle of my back. (i have a picture somewhere, but this was pre-digital cameras and my scanner isnt working right now... maybe later.) 

**UPDATED** Found It! - circa 2000

as i started high school, i decided to chop it off, just for something different. then over the next 4 years it fluctuated between being short, then shoulder length, then short again.

Fall '04 - Senior band banquet. 

it was sometime after graduation that i stopped parting my hair straight down the middle of my head and started rocking the side part. i know this because my graduation hair was hideous, and then after that i seem to have figured it out a little. if i remember correctly, there were threats from a hairdresser involved in this particular transformation.  

college passed in much the same way as high school, at least as far as my hair was concerned. it started short, then would grow long-ish for a while, become more hair than hairstyle, and then i would cut it short again.

 Fall '05 - Freshman

somewhere around sophomore year, i re-introduced bangs into my life in the form of long side-swept bangs, after not having had any sort of bangs since the mullet-years. they mostly fell into my face, made me feel cool, and drove my grandmother crazy. i also got into the habit of straightening my hair on a fairly regular basis.

Fall '06 - Sophomore

i included this picture, not to show any major difference in my hair from sophomore to junior year, but just because it looked really, really good.

Summer '08 - Junior

somewhere between junior and senior year, i transitioned from the side bangs to more blunt, straight-across bangs... probably as a result of trimming my own bangs. i also let my hair grow out extra long during my senior year, so it would be nice and long and easy to style while wearing a mortarboard...

Spring '09 - Graduation

...and then after graduation, i chopped it all off again. that particular haircut was kind of traumatizing, since it wound up being a WAY shorter bob than i had intended. but my hair grows kind of quickly, and i didnt have a real job at the time, so it was able to grow out to a reasonable length pretty much in obscurity.

Fall '09 - first day of work.

then i went and got myself engaged in the spring, so i let my hair really grow out again, and my bangs turned back into side-bangs, so that i could have a lovely updo for our wedding.

 Summer '10 - engagement session

...and then (anyone have a guess?) i chopped if off again less than a week after our wedding. i let a random woman in a random hair salon that we found on our honeymoon do whatever she wanted to my hair, and i walked away with blunt-ish bangs and an angled bob that was chin-length in the front and stacked in the back.

 Fall '10 - one of my only Honeymoon pictures... stupid harddrive...

i loved that style, but it required more upkeep than i was interested in, so i let it grow out to about shoulder length, and then actually managed to maintain that style for about a year. 

 Spring '11 - my 24th birthday

until my sister-in-law went and got engaged, and i felt compelled to both grow my bangs out and let my hair get extra long again so i could have a fun style for her wedding.

Spring '12 - Easter

so all that to say, i have a tendency to grow my hair in cycles: i grow it out for a while. i get sick of it. i chop it off short again. wash, rinse, and repeat.

so here's where you come in: i need opinions. i am at the point in the cycle where i have been growing it out for a while, and i am about to get sick of it, but i am kind of torn as to what i should do with my hair now.

- should i continue to let it grow and possibly donate it? if i chopped it to my earlobes right now, i would be getting rid of 4-5" of hair, so would it really be that much of a stretch to let it grow a few more?
- or should i just go ahead and chop it off again for the summer?
- should i wait to chop it until my bangs get a little more grown out?
- should i bring back the bangs that i've been growing out? they're almost long enough now to all tuck behind my ears and/or pull back into a ponytail!
- has anyone seen any fun hairstyles lately that they would like to submit for consideration?
help a girl out here!