Monday, August 31, 2009

More house...

I wish I had a million dollars.

That way I could get in shape, make crafty tidbits, and go back to school to become a teacher.
Unfortunately, we did not win the lottery on Saturday, even though we bought 5, here I am.

The house saga drags on and on and on.
First we needed an inspection, so we scheduled it. Then we found out that the bank hadn't turned on the water, so we had to cancel. Then we found out that the water wasn't on because there was an unpaid bill. So the bank paid the bill, but THEN found out that the water meter was broken. So the bank fixed the water meter, but THEN they found out that there was a cracked pipe leading up to the house - so now we're waiting for them to fix that.

Once that's fixed, we have to get written confirmation from the bank that ALL the utilities are turned on.

Le sigh. We're getting nervous because our closing date is quickly approaching. But, at this point we've done all we can do, and it's up to the bank to get the rest taken care of.

I haven't gotten excited about this yet. Partially because I'm the one that does our finances, so I see how expensive it is, and it's terrifying. But, partially because we do still have a ways to go.

I don't think I'll be excited until I have the keys in my hand, and Mike and I are INSIDE the house.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Buying a house

Things I've learned while buying a house:

1) When you think you have enough saved up for a down payment - save $5,000 more. Closing costs are more than you think.

2) Don't account for money given as a gift, unless you have the check in hand.

Whelp, that's about it.


In other news, buying this house has made me breakout like I'm pre-pubescent all over again. Gross. Thanks, Stress. I owe you.

Mike and I are ridiculously poor for the time being. BARF. But hey, we're gonna have a house. We'll be eating generic brand rice and beans, and invite our friends over for BYOR parties (Bring Your Own Ramen). We'll supply the microwave - BECAUSE WE WON'T HAVE A STOVE ON WHICH TO BOIL WATER.

That's right - our house has no appliances! We'll get due time.

I'm losing my mind.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Normal Lady

First of all - thanks for tolerating my tantrum yesterday. It was a doozy.
But I went home, and read some Sookie Sackhouse, watched some Dead Like Me and order was restored to the universe.

On a more upbeat note: mad props to Glamour for including images of a normal sized woman! (When is the last time anyone said "mad props"? Whatever. I'm still cool.)

(image from

Apparently the internets are all about a model named Lizzie Miller (20 years old, 5'11, 180 lbs, size 12-14). And personally I love her. Adore her. Wish models looked like her.

And even more encouraging, the picture has received an overwhelming support and praise.

I would be happy in a world where models like Lizzie Miller were on the runway, or covers of magazines or featured in TV shows.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Holy crap.
I'm going totally stir crazy.

I feel completely trapped by my commute and by my living situation.

We're living with my parents. So there's no space!
My commute is 2ish hours. So there's no time!

No space for organizing, or sewing, or storing.
No time for exercise, for crafts, for cooking, for blogging.

I'm completely losing my grip.

On days like today, I research the internet for jobs in Thailand. Or Teaching Fellowships in under served schools in inner city Chicago. Or AmeriCorps programs in Oregon.

I realize that the end of our housing situation is in sight, and that September 23rd isn't that far away. But...UGH. Dumb.

I'm irrational, and mad and I'm going to stomp around here for a little while until I tire myself out. Because this is STUPID. And the forclosure bank is UGLY. And I hate EVERYTHING.

Wedding Pictures

Our wedding pictures came in.

And they're badass.

And these are just from the first disk.

Unrelated, but still necessary - I need new music, any suggestions?
I haven't bought or uploaded anything in SO long.
My tastes are eclectic.
Jason Mraz, Wilco, Josh Ritter, The Shins, Fiest, Imogen Heap, Sufjan Stevens, Lynn O'Brien (for real, click on that link), Rachel Yamagata, Regina Spektor


Friday, August 21, 2009

Fitness Friday

I'm pathetic.

Friday 8/14: FAIL
Saturday 8/15: Hiked approx. 10 miles?
Sunday 8/16: Hiked approx. 6 miles?
Monday 8/17: FAIL
Tuesday 8/18: .....
Wednesday 8/19: HAHAHA
Thursday 8/20: I think this is a pattern.

Here's the deal. I've been punched in the gut with apathy, and I'm going to AGAIN postpone my fitness dreams. I just don't have it in me at the moment. Mike and I have resolved (over and over and over again) to basically start our lives over again when we move into the house. Well, to be honest, since we've been married, we've been kind of in limbo - living at my parents'. It's our way of starting fresh with a clean slate.

Yeah...excuses, excuses. That's me.

So, when we move in, it should be late September, early October. Mike and I want to both get into shape, and we think that during the winter (when we're hibernating) we'll be able to get back into the 30 Day Shred, which is also on my list

Sigh. I'm OK with this, for now.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

40. Go camping.

Me, Mike and two of our friends spend the weekend camping at Starved Rock State Park (8/14 - 8/16) - thereby accomplishing #40 on my list

Camping was...aah...well.
I really wanted to like it. I did. I was actually convinced I would get totally into it: suddenly becoming outdoorsy, all about campfires, and tents and then I would go out and buy a pair of Tevas.

Well...unfortunately, I prefer lounging in the shade poolside, while reading a book and drinking a Daiquiri.
Which is all I could think about doing this weekend.

The hiking in sweet canyons was pretty awesome, because you never expect to see that sort of thing in the middle of Illinois. AND, I give myself a pat on the back, because I was able to hike for HOURS even though I am ridiculously out of shape, and I was moving pretty fast.

Illinois mostly looks like this:

(image from Wake Forest University)

The aftermath of hiking - being sweaty and tired and having nowhere comfortable to sit or lay was where it got dicey. I mostly kept it to myself that I wasn't having a jolly-good-time, and I'm glad I did, because Mike enjoyed the hell out of it, and I didn't want to be responsible for raining on his parade.

Overall, it was a learning experience. I feel like I gave camping a fair shot and maybe I'll go again in the distant future. But, for the time being, I'd rather sleep in my own bed.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

22. Visit the main Chicago Museums (Museum of Science and Industry)

(image via - actual movie props!)

On 7/18/09, Mike and I went to the Museum of Science and Industry...specifically to see the Harry Potter exhibit, unfortunately we could not take pictures in the exhibit, so this stock image will have to do.

Because I am a rabid Harry Potter fan, clearly we had to make this a Harry Potter Day and get tickets to the new movie, in addition to our long day at the museum. Our day started at 11am, when we left the suburbs, and didn't end until 10pm, when the movie ended and we headed home.

The exhibit was kickass - they had props from all of the movies, including actual outfits Harry, Rom and Hermione wore (OMFG! They were sooooo tiny.), a replica of Hagrid's cabin, a mini Quidditch setup. It was kind of awesome, albeit crowded. Very crowded. But, that's what we get for going on a Saturday afternoon.

Once we were done in the exhibit, we had the rest of the day to meader around the actual museum, and we were less than impressed, unfortunately. The museum seems really...dated? The exhibits are in need of some updating, specifically the automotive display.

Beyond all that, I am a Harry Potter trivia wiz. Except for one question, where a small boy bested me. (Q: What spell does Prof. McGonnagall use to change a rat into a teacup? A: Fera Verto).

Gah! Curses.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Fitness Friday


Friday 8/7: FAIL
Saturday 8/8: FAIL
Sunday 8/9: FAIL
Monday 8/10: FAIL
Tuesday 8/11: FAIL
Wednesday 8/12: FAIL
Thursday 8/13: FAIL

Let's just call this week an Epic Fail.

I'm actually really embarrassed about it, but I figure I need to own up to my laziness, so I'm posting it here for all the world to see (as if the world reads this).

Here's my excuse: we got the news about the house, and my mom had a jewelry party, and I had to pack to go camping, and I was tiiiiiired because I started my new job.

BUT! This weekend I'm going camping and I will be active and physical and I have faith that it will give me another jump start.

If next week is another epic fail, I'm going to put Fitness Fridays, and the thought of getting back into an exercise routine, on the back burner until we've moved into the new house. New house, new lease on life.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Under contract!


We are now under contract!


Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I'm not a huge blog, but I feel like I should do whatever I can to support LGBTQ rights, so I am going to repost a blog from Rachel at mominreallife

Support her cause!

This is the most important post I have ever written.
I am asking for your help.
I need the help of my regulars, my lurkers, my scanners, my haters.
I need you to help me spread the word.

As many of you know I am heavily involved in the March on DC for LGBTQ equal federal rights. I am involved in the Chicago chapter of Join The Impact, but this March goes further than the borders of Chicagoland. There are LGBTQ needing help, needing support all over the country. This March is for them.

We are not marching for gay marriage, we are not marching to hate on the Bible, we are marching to get federal rights for all of America's citizens. We are marching so that a person who fights and risks their lives for their country should be able to carry a picture of their partner in the uniform. We are marching so that when a gay man gets beaten and tied to a fence post to die it is considered a hate crime. We are marching so that a good teacher will not lose her job because she loves another woman. We are marching so that a senior citizen can honor the wishes of their partner of 50 years when they get seriously ill and be allowed to stay by their bedside to provide comfort.

Cleve Jones is hoping to have every district in the country represented at Washington DC. To do that we need to get people there. How can you help?

*if you live in the Chicago area or are willing to travel to Chicago you can join me! For $100 (given to JTI Chicago) you can get on a bus Saturday night, march on DC Sunday, be back home early Monday morning. I'm going! We can watch movies, talk, take a million pictures, do some good! What a way to start your fall!

*if you can't make it but want to help you can donate! See that beautiful yellow paypal button? For the price of a beer or a coffee you can help someone that can't afford to go, someone that desperately needs to find some support. This money is NOT for me, all money will go to JTI Chicago which they put towards getting people on buses.

*if you can't spare the funds you can help spread the word! Post this post on your blog. Reference this if you write a post in your own words. Link to it. Tweet about it (#mominreallifefundraiser). Tumblr it. Facebook it. Digg or Reddit it. I don't care what, just keep it going. Be honest, how much work does it take? Let those know out there that you want to help!

Help me help them.



Since writing this she has gotten the attention of the RedEye through a Twitter "attack" campaign, and is now looking to get the attention of Ellen Degeneres the same way. Head over to her blog to read the post

While you're at it, go on Twitter, an tweet this:
Hey @theellenshow! @mominreallife needs your help for her LGBTQ cause! #Rachelwantstotalktoyou


On Friday Mike and I saw Julie and Julia, and I was...disappointed. I still can't really figure out what was such a letdown, but I left feeling hollow.

However, let me rave for a moment about Meryl Streep, and omg-howmuchilove her. She could pretty much murder puppies onscreen and I would be able to compliment how she committed!! to the role. Aside from being a fan-girl, she really is an amazing actress, and she was a lovable Julia Child.

I didn't like Amy Adams' character. She embodied the "Me, Me, ME!" aspect of blogging that I've been struggling with lately, and in the movie her husband totally called her out on it. Mike and I had a long conversation about it on Saturday morning, and I realized that my blog needs to be a resource before I can expect people to be actually interested in what I have to say. I mean, why would a bunch of strangers want to read about my life? It's not very spectacular at the moment, and I'm generally pretty drama free - so there's not even a good story or saga.

Herein lies my problem! I'm not a chef, or a foodie, hell...I don't even have my own kitchen to cook in - so being a food blogger is out. I'm no photographer! I don't have kids, so blogging about parenthood isn't an option. I don't have the space to be crafty, or refinish furniture, or decorate - so that's a no.

Where does this leave me? Nowhere.

I guess I'll just keep plugging along, trying to find my niche in the blog world, just like I keep trying to find my niche in the real world.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


This is the man I married:

He's my best friend and high school sweetheart. He's my other half.

He's pretty cool...

even when I am relentlessly annoying, very sleepy and irrationally crabby.

Friday, August 7, 2009

101 Things in 1001 Days

START DATE: Saturday, May 30, 2009
END DATE: Saturday, February 25, 2012
(>> EDIT: I've moved my date backwards - because I started accomplishing things before I actually published the list on the blog.)

Day Zero Project
There's an awesome Ning site

Items in bold are complete
Items in italics are in progress

1. Start an etsy shop.
2. Have a working knowledge of Photoshop.
3. Buy a home.
4. Find a job I love.
5. Own a piece of designer clothing.
6. Travel internationally.
7. Grow my hair long enough to donate to Locks of Love. Fail. I'm an asshole.
8. ...Then cut my hair like this:

OR this:

9. Run a 10K.
10. Frame and hang some of Mike's artwork.
11. Build a compost bin, and use it daily.
12. Plant a vegetable, herb and flower garden.
13. Teach myself Amigurumi, and make animals as birthday gifts for a whole year - sending them with beautiful cards and pretty packaging.
14. Host 3 (or more) full dinner parties. Complete with invitations, linens, signature cocktails, centerpieces and multiple course mealshome made food. (2/3 - Kentucky Derby Party 5/1/10, Kentucky Derby Party 5/7/11)
15. Buy Rosetta Stone in preparation to learn Japanese or Spanish
16. Invest in a really good camera
17. Join swap-bot, and participate in 10 swaps. (0/10)
18. Volunteer 5 times. (1/5)
19. Contribute regularly to a 401K.
20. Acquire a taste for wine.
21. Play the flute again...regularly. Either by taking lessons, or reteaching myself.
>> EDIT: I really have no desire to do this. Whatsoever. See new #21 below
21. Get Mike guitar lessons
22. Visit the main Chicago Museums (Field Museum, Museum of Science and Industry, Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art, Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium) at least once.
23. Take a road trip with Mike along Rte. 66, from Chicago to Los Angeles, camping along the way.
24. Buy my own domain name and have a bitchin' working site.
25. Attend a sporting event for these Chicago teams: Chicago Bulls, Chicago Bears, Chicago Cubs, Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Wolves, and The Windy City Rollers
>> EDIT: Attend a Chicago sporting event
26. Blog 3+ times a week...more as time goes on.
27. Spend a month doing yoga 5x a week. Either with a DVD or in a studio.
28. Find a dermatologist and have a base head-to-toe skin appraisal. Keep track of my moles.
29. Adopt a second dog.
30. Send one postcard, letter or greeting card per week for 3 months, making sure to switch up the recipient. (0/12)
31. Finish 5 sewing projects with my sewing machine. (4/5; living room drapes, Mike's Blancho, Brittany's Blancho, Brittany's classroom monster)
32. Purchase a KitchenAid stand mixer.
33. Make a "30 Days of Recipes" book that consists of Mike and my 30 favorite recipes.
34. Paint my kitchen table white...and maybe add designs?
>> EDIT: Refinish my kitchen table, possibly not white.
35. Subscribe to a Community Supported Agriculture delivery service.
36. Convert entirely to reusable grocery bags.
37. Give handmade keepsake gifts to soon-to-be-married friends.
38. Build a bookshelf with Mike.
39. Learn to embroider, and create a wall hanging.
40. Go camping.
41. Attend a beer tasting. (9/5/10 - Goose Island Brewery)
42. Attend a wine tasting.
43. Go to the Bristol Renaissance Faire
44. Start a Flikr account, and keep up with it.
45. Make 5 pieces of jewelry to give as gifts. (0/5)
46. Host a giveaway on my blog.
47. Go to an event at the Arlington Racetrack.
48. Restore our savings account to the pre-house level.
49. Create and bury a time capsule.
50. Watch 10 CLASSIC movies. (0/10)
51. Dye my hair brown.
52. Finish my pre-wedding scrapbook.
53. Scrapbook the wedding.
54. Scrapbook the honeymoon.
55. Legally change my name.
56. Learn canning and spend a summer making jams, jellies, pickles and preserving produce.
57. Pay off my credit card, and do not exceed $1000 in charges.
58. Go on monthly dates with Mike - complete with getting dolled up, and planning in advance.
59. Sew myself a wiggle dress.
60. Organize my recipes as I make them.
61. Knit a big, fat, merino wool neckwarmer.
62. Complete Mike's Blancho, and make a brown one for Cam.
63. Know enough about html to feel comfortable including it on my resume.
64. Visit Cam in San Diego. (4/28 - 5/3)
65. Spend a month running 5x a week. See if I get addicted.
66. Try Indian food.
67. See a burlesque show.
68. Earn 50 followers on my blog.
69. Attend a blogger meetup. Either a Chicago blogger, Blogher, or 20sb meetup. Anything, really. (Labor Day weekend 2010 - Meetup with Britt and Emily)
70. Randomly send flowers to a loved one three times.
71. Go horseback riding. Even if it's just on a guided trail.
72. Start and finish a handwritten journal.
73. Become ELITE on
74. Finally get that Harry Potter tattoo I've been dreaming about. (7/15/11 - day the very last movie came out)
75. Get a drink at The Violet Hour, and try not to look like an asshole.
76. Teach Maddie to walk on a leash like a polite dogger, and not like a beast on acid.
77. See Josh Ritter in concert.
>> EDIT: See a concert...though preferably Josh Ritter (Saturday, Sept. 18th 2010 - Jason Mraz and Dave Matthews at Wrigley Field)
78. Read 100 books. (28/100)
*****Dead Until Dawn; Living Dead in Dallas; Club Dead; Dead to the World; Dead as a Doornail; Definitely Dead; All Together Dead; From Dead to Worse; Dead and Gone; Geek Love; New Moon; A Million Little Pieces; The Lost Symbol; Up in the Air, Precious, Dead in the Family, Middlesex, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Look Me in the Eye, The Year of the Flood, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay, The Help, Dead Reckoning, Valley of the Dolls
79. Get a library card and use it.
80. Write a really honest and soul-baring blog post.
81. Make a big to-do over our 1 year anniversary. Stay in a hotel, wear suits and dresses, have a fancy meal. The works.
82. Decide what I want to do with my wedding dress - and get it done. Dry cleaned and preserved? Dyed and altered? Leave it in the garment bag?
83. Go to the shooting range.
84. Upload pictures and music to an external hard drive.
85. Rekindle friendships with two people. (0/2)
86. Get a facial.
87. Complete the 30 Day Shred, and get Mike to do it with me. Admire results. (0/30)
88. Stay up allllllll night. Watch the sunrise.
89. Make a new friend who I actually socialize with in the real world, one-on-one.
90. Donate blood, and don't pass out.
>> EDIT: I may not be able to do this...I've gotten a tattoo too recently, and it needs to be fixed.
91. Play video games with Mike 30 times. (10/30; Rock Band, Borderlands, New Super Mario, ilo milo, Little Big Planet)
92. Enroll in school to become a teacher or advisor, or librarian
93. Learn a new vocabulary word every day for a month. (0/30)
94. Learn to make my mom's pasta sauce.
95. Get a safe deposit box...or a safe for our house.
96. See The Nutcracker.
97. Make a pie and a bread from scratch. (0/2)
98. Quit smoking...forever. And ever.
99. Get my groove back
100. Donate $5 to saving for every incomplete item at the end of the 1001 days
101. Finish my next list.

Fitness Friday

On Friday, July 31, I decided that I was tired of being shapes. And I went for a run. I'm planning to continue to run, and get into a more defined shape, to lose my unnecessary wobbles, and to make it so I can run up the stairs without wanting to die.

Starting today, I'm going to use Fridays to force me to be accountable for my progress. I invite you to join me, if you are so inclined (and if you aren't that's cool too!). My intentions aren't to be super svelte (but that's a pretty awesome bonus), or to go exercise-insane, but I lead a very sedentary lifestyle, and I need to actively combat it.

Here's my week so far
Friday 7/31: Ran 1 mile
Saturday 8/1: oops
Sunday 8/2: Ran 1 mile
Monday 8/3: Ran 1 mile
Tuesday 8/4: Ran 1 mile
Wednesday 8/5: oops
Thursday 8/6: Ran 1.3 miles
Today (Friday 8/7) I am PLANNING to run 1.3 miles, but I won't count it until I've actually done it.

This doubles over into my 101 Things in 1001 Days resolution (#65 Spend a month running 5x a week. See if I get addicted.)

I haven't finished or posted my list yet, and I think I have like 15 left to fill out, but I'm blocked. I've got nothing. I think I'm going to post it regardless. Screw it. That's what I'm doing. I'll post it today, and fill it in as I figure it out. It's to my detriment, because I have less time to accomplish the things I add.

As I type this fitness post, all I can think about is a Burger King Whopper


Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I feel crazier than usual.

Maybe that has to do with all the upheaval at work - including my transition into a new job. Maybe because I am sooooo tired of living in my parents' house. Maybe because I want to know what we're doing.

Mike and I...we don't know what we're doing. We're working, so that's nice. And we're trying to get a house, and that's nice. But what are we going to accomplish? I mean this isn't like an existential rant, all "What's the point? Why are we here?" But really? Why are we working these jobs? What do we want to be? Do we want to look towards making our world better? Do we want to make money? Do we just want to be OK with getting up for work?
I guess I need to focus on making my little corner of this life comfortable, and liveable and pleasant for us, and our families and our future-kids.

But, OH-HO! Speaking of future-kids. Mike and I went to his parents' last night for his bro's bday, and EV.ERY.ONE was asking when we were going to have babies. Our time frame is somewhere within 5-8 years. Partially because we want to be financially stable (yeah, yeah, everyone says that...but if we buy this house, we can't even afford cable...let alone a baby). We need to spend a little time growing into our mortgage. But another BIG part is that I'm not ready yet, and neither is he. I definitely want kids, and so does Mike, but right now, we're enjoying going out for sushi, staying up late (well, he stays up late), being able to drop $100 at Borders, or, buying new Apple gadgets, going away for the weekend. A baby just would NOT play into that. Just not yet. I want to be married, and get my married-legs before I start getting morning sickness.

I dunno dude. Turmoil? I haz it.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Always, Sometimes, Never

I always...
* dream about my future-house.
* hit the snooze button. I need those 10 minutes.
* wear a scarf, regardless of the weather. It's an accessory.
* have a bottle of water and chapstick with me.
* get excited when Mike comes home.

I sometimes...
* want to quit my job, cut off my hair and move to Oregon.
* get too excited about gossip.
* idealize other people's lives. Then I take a minute and realize my own is pretty good.
* wear slippers at work.
* wish for Winter. And in Winter, I sometimes wish for Summer. The grass is always greener.

I never...
* arrive on time to a casual event. Important events, however, I am early.
* feel totally put together.
* wear any jewelry beyond my wedding rings.
* leave Target without buying something. I love Target. A lot.
* thought I would be the kinda girl who loves shoes...but, here I am.

(Thanks to wishcake for the idea!)


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