Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Obligatory Christmas post (part two)

We packed and headed to Texas to visit my family early on Christmas Eve day. I haven’t been back in so long – it’s always good to go “home home” as I call it.

It was snowing when we landed.

Who knew we would have a White Christmas in Texas? So crazy.


Christmas Eve is traditionally spent at my uncle and aunt’s house with their three big lugs of teens and pre-teens. There’s a grand buffet of every food imaginable (but of course, I didn’t get a picture). Lots of drinks and then a game or two.

We ended up skipping Midnight Mass that night because of the ice buildup on the bridges. Texas doesn’t do well with winter weathers.

The next morning, we opened up presents before Mass.

I got my Cricut! Well, technically I opened a card that had a picture of one. Husband hid the actual box from me for weeks while waiting for Christmas. My family is so sneaky!

Plus, the awesome hippopotamus ornament! Do you know the Christmas song from the 60s about wanting a hippo for Christmas? It’s my favorite song ever and my dad found a Hallmark ornament dedicated to it! So neat. :)

It was a good trip and I was missing everyone the minute we got to the airport. Someday I want to live in the same city as my parents again.

WWFM: Taking the day off before vacation

Before we move on to the next Christmas post [and before I jet off to Disneyworld in 18 hours - squeel!], I wanted to put my two cents in for this week's WWFM hosted by We are THAT Family.

This year, I did something out of the ordinary - I took off a vacation day on Christmas Eve Eve. We had so much going on and I was so tired from tons of event at work that I just needed a day to sleep in and pack before leaving for Texas to spend Christmas with my family.

And you know what?

It was amazing!


We didn't end up sleeping in, but got up at my normal work-wake-up time and got to movin'. There were errands to run - the post office, the bank, Target, the library, and a bunch of other places. Then we went back to the townhouse and I started a few loads of laundry while Husband worked on organizing the crap-ola that had to go in suitcases for the trip. I piled my stuff on the bed and went to clean the kitchen while he packed everything for us [he is DEFINITELY the packer/traveler in the family - and I'm happy to let him! :)]. The only thing left to do was to put toiletries in the bag the next morning. Pretty impressive!

We got to bed early, I had my coffee and orange rolls the next morning [to save $ by not stopping at the Golden Arches] and off to the airport we went at the crack of dawn.

Taking a day off from work before leaving town DEFINITELY works for me. I would highly suggest it if you are able!

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Obligatory Christmas post (part one)

It’s been quite an eventful week.

Last Saturday, we had Christmas with my in-laws ahead of the actual holiday. Lots of food, fun and presents were had by all.

Moose was FASCINATED by the snowglobe that plays Christmas music. My brother-in-law was helping him out with it.

Click was being a pre-teen and hanging out before we actually stated to open presents. I think he was giving his cousin that look – apparently the sugar hadn’t kicked in yet!

Scrappy and Husband were playing with princesses on Nina, my mother-in-law’s cabinets. She loves them!

Christmas presents at this exchange included a beautiful white down and feather-filled coat with a fur-trimmed hood from Costco. I fell in love with it a few weeks ago on a shopping trip with my mother-in-law and I figured it might end up beneath the tree! I haven’t gotten a chance to get a picture of, though.

I was really surprised, however, to find out that Husband and I are both getting a nook come February! I had talked to my in-laws about Husband getting one but I didn’t expect one for myself. :)

Did you know that the nook can let you borrow books from friends? Our local library also has a website that allows you to “borrow” from the library just like you would a hardback! Now I can read all those classic books with lots of pages that I never wanted to carry around in my purse.  I can’t wait until February!

My in-laws are so generous, there were lots of other fun things for us to open – like chocolates (my favorite!) and my Page-a-Day calendar (a tradition in their family).

After opening presents, Mike’s younger cousins (Click, Scrappy and Moose, our godson) learned that they would be spending New Year’s in Walt Disney World! The look on their faces were less than impressive, however. We knew they were excited though! They only had to wait 10 more days. 

Before the secret reveal:

After the reveal:

Do they look excited? I promise they are – no, really, they are definitely excited about going to Disneyworld in ten days.

Only two more sleeps at this point!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day REDUX

Remember the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad 12 hours?

Well, I may have just beat it.

Here are the yays and nays from the last 72 hours:

Yay! The nice technician at the Saturn dealership finally came up with a fix for the Saturn – the positive battery cable that connects the battery to the rest of the car had become corroded from the inside out. Apparently, there were 12 inches of corrosion in that cable [probably the original one from eleven years of service]. No wonder it was ruining the batteries! After 4 batteries in three years, I decided it was time to ask the technician at the dealership what in the world was going on. He fixed it. I liked it. It was good!

Nay! This morning, the newly-fixed Saturn wouldn’t start. Yup, you guessed it – the same clicking and lights flickering that it has been doing for months. The battery cable wasn’t the problem?! UGH.

Yay! AAA was able to come out rather quickly and the nice gentleman was able to convince corporate to give me ONE MORE BATTERY. I promised that I wouldn’t call again and that we would sell the car before it needed another one.

Nay! I need to careful and not call AAA for service again, because they just might cancel my membership. NOT GOOD!

Yay! We have a back up plan [or two or three] for when the Saturn dies again AND IT WILL. Because it’s eleven years old and it’s time to go to that big used car lot in the sky. SERIOUSLY.

Nay! This means we have to cut out all fluff from the budget, get down to brass tacks, eat ramen and rice and hope to hell we can save enough money for a new car before the Saturn dies. This will not be a fun year.

Yay! However, we had Christmas at my in-laws house over the weekend … post forthcoming, I promise.

Nay! I have to wait until February for my nook. :)

Yay! One more day of work and then it’s off to Texas to visit my parents! I haven’t been in MONTHS so I absolutely can’t wait to be there.

Nay! Husband’s relatively new computer (that he bought for law school a few months ago) has officially bit the dust. Something in the LCD screen broke and the crystal display is black in places and isn’t quite working. So tonight commenced the search for a new netbook.

Yay! There is the possibility of post-Christmas sales, so maybe we can some save cash on that one. That’s the one upside of the whole day.

Yeah, it’s been a crappy 72 hours. Let’s hope tomorrow goes by quickly.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…

Photo Credit

That was my motto this week. Yes, it may be strange that I find my philosophies in movies made for children, but sometimes you gotta find it where you can.

And it got me thru just fine, thank you!

It’s that time of year, and we had a few holiday parties, one of which I had to plan at work (not surprising, as I’m an event planner!), and one at the apartment complex. Much fun and good food was had by all.

Then there was that small matter of a live show at a concert hall with 700 of my nearest and dearest friends and donors. Whoever decided to set up a major event one week before Christmas and the day after the office holiday party needs to be run of out town! It was insane. I’ve never seen so many people in this concert hall!

In any case, everything went off without a hitch and it was a great event! I received many compliments that everyone really enjoyed the show and the food and I even got an on-air credit for the broadcast. Isn’t that nice of them? I was quite touched. :)

Today in the office was quiet, filled with more holiday card stuffing and mailing and a bit of clean up. I’ve only got Monday and Tuesday and then Christmas vacation begins! I won’t have to be back until the 28th. Good thing too, because we’re off to Fort Worth to visit the parents! Yippee for Texas at Christmas!

Just keep swimming… just keep swimming…

Photo Credit

Btw, even though I love me some Dorie, I think Peach is my favorite. :) She’s just awesome.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Lights in the Cold

Driving thru the Snows with the top down on the Mustang… doesn’t really sound like my version of a good time. But that’s exactly what we did a few nights ago!

After our usual Sunday night dinner, our friends M and D wanted to go see Christmas lights – M absolutely loves them, just like me! So we picked the Way of Lights display at Our Lady of the Snows.

We had hoped there wouldn’t be too many people since it was already 8 o’clock on a school night. We were pleasantly surprised when we drove straight into the Shrine turn off and into the lights.

After going thru the lights twice, we stopped for a camel ride! Yes, I thought it was odd combination – beautiful white lights, the story of Christ’s birth told in lights, and camels? But everyone wanted to try it – well, except me that is. I ride horses, not camels. I was NOT getting up there. I had to take pictures after all!

This was the best shot of M I could find – for some reason that camel would not stand still for me to take his picture!

D poses kinda funny – but that’s why we like him.

And of course, dear Husband, striking a Heismann pose.
Inside the visitor’s center, they had a bunch of other displays set up. We saw a whole room dedicated to different themed Christmas trees. Down the hall there was a children’s village – and we fell in love with this candy cane made of legos! How cool is that?

They also had an auction of themed wreaths on display. This one below was my favorite – and I’m hoping it will inspire me to take on a wreath project next year and make my own.

On the whole, even though it was cold, we had a blast! I love spending the night out with friends. :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I came home to Christmas Decorations!

I came home last night to find my wonderful husband had decorated for Christmas! I had an awful day at work and he knew just what to do to surprise me! :)

My real pine wreath on the front door

We decorated the tree that night, after he got it all set up in my craft room

The small nativity is set up in my craft room under the window

The stockings are hung on the bookshelves, because we have no fireplace anymore. :(

This is the small nativity on the front entryway table.

Of course, I had to try out the kissing ball.

See what a great job he did?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Fresh flowers.. err.. wreath this month

We stopped by Ted Drewes on Sunday …

and picked up this great pine wreath for the front door.

This is a St. Louis tradition – grab your real tree and a frozen custard. It was so cold that we just got our wreath and avoided the lines at the custard stand.

Husband and I had such fun picking this one out (even though it’s more money than I wanted to spend; whoops!).

The neat thing is I can take the decorations off and use them again next year. And it just makes me smile when I pull up to the townhouse and see this gorgeous wreath hanging on my door.

This satisfies month one of my monthly flower rule! Um, sort of.. right?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Cleaning is Good for the Soul

#5. Clear out RSS feed and keep only those blogs that I truly enjoy reading – DONE!

Yesterday, I spent the evening looking at every single item in my Google Reader and evaluating whether or not I truly enjoy reading it.

I started with over 400 subscriptions. 400. I KNOW! I could not BELIEVE I had so many in my reader. No wonder it took me so long to read everything each day! It was starting to become a job in and of itself.

There were still some feeds in there from when I first discovered blogging and subscribed to anything that seemed remotely interesting. I have recently had a “Come to Jesus” talk with myself – I realized that I don’t need to read about other people’s children poopy diapers or hundreds of wedding blogs [I’ve already planned my own wedding] or bunches of crafting pages that have projects too complicated or not in my taste.

So… drumroll please… we are now down to 300 subscriptions. YIPPEE!

It feels good to check another thing off my 101 in 1001 list. :)

Monday, December 7, 2009

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas…

I saw this on Sonya's blog for a Christmas meme. I was drawing a blank so it seemed like fun!

After you finish this tag be sure to link up with Heather @ Top Ten Christmas, she originated the meme and wants to share everyone's posts.

1. Have you started your Christmas shopping?
We had to start our Christmas shopping early because of our situation – we spend Thanksgiving in Kansas City with my side of the extended family. Since we don’t go back for Christmas, there’s always Christmas present opening on that same weekend. It’s just so much more fun to open them in front of people! So half of my shopping is done. :)

2. Tell me about one of your special traditions.
We always open presents on Christmas morning, have a big breakfast, go to Mass if we haven’t gone the night before, and then end up at the movies in the afternoon. It’s my favorite thing!

3. When do you put up your Tree?
I would like to say it happens the day after Thanksgiving, but that’s Black Friday, so it’s usually that Saturday. This year, however, it isn’t happening! There’s no room in the new townhouse so it’s a little less Christmas-y around here.

4. Are you a Black Friday shopper?
Not until I met my husband – now I’m addicted! But we slept in this year until 6:30 am. It was grand and I still got the boots I wanted!

5. Do you Travel at Christmas or Stay home?
Our holiday season is pretty crazy. We usually travel for Thanksgiving and then again for Christmas and most years for New Year’s. Whoopee!

6. What is your funniest Christmas memory?
I remember the first time that I watched my husband’s home videos from Christmases past. I fell out of my chair laughing! Now we all are in on the joke about waiting until my father-in-law gets the video camera out to tape us coming down the stairs before we open presents – even though we are all grown and aren’t waiting on Christmas morning upstairs. Does that make any sense to anybody but me? :)

7. What is your favorite Christmas Movie of All time?
I don’t have a favorite – is that bad?

8. Do you do your own Christmas Baking, what’s your favorite treat?
I haven’t really done a lot of baking on my own, mostly in my mom’s kitchen when we’re home for the holidays. My favorite has to be old fashioned sugar cookies with way too many sprinkles. :)

9. Fake or Real Tree?
All my years growing up we had an artificial tree that got replaced with a bigger one every few years. We had a real tree our first married Christmas but now the husband has pretty much declared we’re going to be a fake tree family.

10. What day does the actual panic set in to get it all done?
Mine happens the week after Thanksgiving. That’s when I realize we have about four weeks to get it all done and I freak out. So yeah, I’m good at this point!

11. Are you still wrapping presents on Christmas Eve?
Since we travel, I don’t wrap those presents until we get to my parents’ house. So yup, we’re normally wrapping on Christmas Eve!

12. What is your favorite family fun time at Christmas?
I love decorating the tree, wherever we are. Somehow, that just makes it feel like Christmas.

13. What Christmas craft do you like the best?
I haven’t really done any crafting around Christmas. I really enjoy putting up the cards in a place where I can see them everyday. Does that count?

14. Christmas music? Yes or No, and if yes What is your favorite song?
Oh my gosh – yes! My favorite song has to be Mannheim Steamroller. Any song.

15. When do you plan to finish all your shopping?
I hope to be done sometime next weekend. Only a few more gifts to go!

Do you want to play along?
Just simply copy and paste the questions into your blog, and then answer them.
•Then tag 5 or more of your favorite blogs, and leave them a comment telling them they’ve been tagged.
•When you post on your blog, please spread some Christmas Cheer, and leave a link back to Heather's blog (Top 10 Christmas), and the blog that you were tagged by.
Heather would like any blogger to participate in this meme, even if you have not been tagged. She will go back and add your blog link to the list if you want play along.

I tag:
Anybody – have at it! :)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Why My Husband is Amazing

He’s an amazing plumber. I didn’t know this until this afternoon when showed off his skills!

The toilet in the powder bath backed up and before I knew it, Husband was yelling at me from the basement to grab all the towels in the house and get down there NOW. When he uses that voice, I don’t argue – I just MOVE!

The water had spread all through the powder bath and into the hallway and on the tile in the entry way. Husband had seen a river of water rushing down from the eaves above the utility room. I have never seen so much water where it wasn’t supposed to be!

We spent the next hour sopping up the water in the front hallway and moving boxes around to make sure all the water was cleaned up in the basement. Other than a few cardboard boxes that were trashed, I think we dodged a big bullet. It could have been so much worse!

So it just goes to show… if your husband yells at you to grab towels NOW, you better move your butt! You never know what’s going on in the man cave down in the basement. :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

WWFM – Gift Lists on Google Docs

This week’s carnival is themed – what’s your best gift tip!

Mine is pretty simple and I think many people know it, but I have a little twist.

Some write down their Christmas shopping lists on the back of napkins, some in a notebook and some keep them online. I’ve switched to keeping almost every note of mine in an online notebook – either on Evernote or Google. My Christmas list is hosted on the latter.

Last year, we created a shopping list with a budget on Google Spreadsheets. I tracked how much we spent and what we gave each family member. That made it very easy this year to create a new budget and start shopping all over again. However, it solved one problem I didn’t even realize we would have!

I was looking at ideas for my dad when I couldn’t remember what we got him last year. I was able to look at my previous list and double check that I didn’t give him the same thing!

Keeping my memory online instead of in my head works for me!

You can check out other great tips at the WWFM main post.

You Learn Something New Every Day

You know when you’re really in a rush and you just need to get dinner on the table so you can head to your audition that starts shortly and you haven’t even decided what to wear yet?

Yeah, neither do I. :)

That’s where I was last night and I discovered something I didn’t know before!

Apparently, you can make your very own food poisoning delivery device and yourself nice and sick!

As it stands, I’ve thrown up once (last night) and am now sitting in my tv room hoping I can keep down this orange freeze my loving husband brought from Steak N Shake. I haven’t had anything in my stomach that stayed there until yesterday at lunch. I’m STARVING but I really don’t need to throw up again, so  I don’t know what I can eat. Husband suggested plain waffles – it’s starting to sound really good.

Now I’m debating whether it was just that pound of beef combined with the helper mix that was bad or if I should toss the entire batch I bougtht  from Costco and subsequently froze in the freezer. I hate the thought of throwing it away if it’s ok!

I said I wanted a day off work because I’m exhausted, but this is not what I meant!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

#6 – Go out with friends at least once a month

Before I headed to KC for a family Thanksgiving, the girls and I went to see IT. NEW MOON.

For my monthly outing with friends for my 101 in 1001 list, we caught a movie and then grabbed drinks at a local pub.

Oh. My. God.

I knew I had to see it with friends who really wanted to see it and boy howdy did we want to see it. The friends who got me addicted to the book series bailed on me after hating the first movie, so they were going to be no help with this new movie. My best friend had to wait until her sister was in town, so once that happened on Wednesday, we were so THERE! It was definitely hard to get thru that last day of work before a holiday weekend knowing that NEW MOON was waiting for me!

I sat in the theatre for a half hour before the previews started just fidgeting in our seats, so impatiently!

And then this came on…

When I read the books, I was most definitely on Team Edward but after seeing the most amazing Taylor Lautner, I’m definitely leaning towards the other side!

But, as our conversation in the pub afterwards brought out, the idea of a soul mate wins out over a beautiful body every time (even if it’s an AMAZING body).

Is it wrong that a 26-year-old is obsessed with a 17-year-old like I am? Is anyone else having these inappropriate feelings?!

Monday, November 30, 2009

#20 - Go to the gym at least 3 days a week

I feel quite accomplished. :)

Last week, I worked out three times in as many days. This was working towards #20 in my 101 in 1001 list. I felt so good afterwards!

On the second day of my workout week, I decided to start on my Couch to 5K program. I bought the application for my iPhone and it really works! The basic idea is that it builds up your endurance by having you run for thirty seconds and then walk for ninety seconds. You do this for twenty minutes plus a warm up and cool down. The nine week program will get you into shape!

I’m determined to make this thing work! I think I’m going to get up early tomorrow morning in order to get my work out in before work.

One week down, 146 to go!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

101 in 1001 days

Carly @ Being Carly has inspired me to take on this project. I’m always wanting to do lots of things so I hope this deadline will help me get my butt in gear!

The Mission: Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria: Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).

Why 1001 Days? Many people have created lists in the past - frequently simple goals such as New Year's resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organizing and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.

Start Date: November 22, 2009
End Date: August 19, 2012

Here’s a list of the things that I will accomplish before my dear law school spouse starts his last semester of law school!

1. Finish honeymoon scrapbook
2. Scrapbook at least one page per month

3. Blog about each completed task
4. Blog every day for a month.
5. Clear out RSS feed and keep only those blogs that I truly enjoy reading.

6. Go out with friends at least once a month

7. Have a pizza delivered to a friend in another city as a surprise
8. Host a game night
9. Make cookies from scratch and mail them to five people
10. Send 10 cards to friends just because
11. Send a random care package to a friend
12. Put change in someone’s parking meter
13. Play five video games with Husband
14. Make Husband his favorite dinner and dessert by request

15. Make it all the way through 10 push ups
16. Refinish/redecorate one piece of furniture
17. Go down 2 clothing sizes
18. Take a photography class
19. Upgrade my point-and-shoot camera to an SLR
20. Go to the gym at least 3 days a week
21. Complete Couch to 5K program
22. Learn to drive a manual transmission
23. Spend at least one night in a really classy hotel
24. Write someone a thank-you letter, but not for a present (e.g., old teacher, author of a book I read)
25. At least BEGIN learning French
26. Drive the speed limit for five days
27. Take more photos!
28. Take at least one Continuing Education class
29. Drink only water & tea for one week
30. Organize a girl’s night/weekend with my closest friends
31. No fast food for one week
32. Write a business plan for my wedding planning business
33. Get laser eye surgery to fix my eyesight
34. Prepare monologue for a professional theatrical audition
35. Audition for a professional (i.e. paying) company

36. Learn how to make my mother-in-law’s Italian pasta sauce
37. Try a kind of fruit I've never had before
38. Try a kind of vegetable I've never had before
39. Start a new Christmas tradition
40. Attend a New Year’s Eve celebration
41. Try 5 new recipes
42. Host a movie night at my home
43. Build a snowman and photograph it
44. Go to the movies… ALONE
45. Try 10 new restaurants

46. Go to a pub trivia night.
47. Buy and beautiful dress and have Husband take me somewhere nice
48. Attend a midnight movie premier
49. Make breakfast for dinner
50. Attend a St. Louis Symphony concert
51. Bake a pie from scratch
52. Go to a free summer concert
53. Attend a dance class

54. Visit friend and new baby in DC
55. Visit a National Park
56. Visit Universal Orlando when the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opens
57. Take a week’s vacation to a place other than Disneyworld
58. Visit a country outside of North America
59. Take a hot air balloon ride
60. Go on a roadtrip with no predetermined destination

Money and Finances
61. Save at least $1000 for our joint account cushion
62. Have 3 months of income in the bank
63. Create and stick to a solid budget
64. Start, manage and then spend a Christmas fund

65. Read five Jane Austen books
66. Read 5 “classics” that I never read in high school or college
67. Join a book club
68. Ask 5 friends to recommend a book, read all 5

List Related
69. Write a list of tasks to do in 1001 days.
70. Post this on my blog so I can be accountable.
71. Put a counter on the blog to remind of the time remaining for these tasks.
72. Put $5 in savings for each completed task
73. Celebrate the completion of 101 things with a bottle of champagne!

74. Purge wardrobe of anything I haven't worn in the past two years
75. Join a parish closer to my new townhouse
76. Attend church every Sunday for 15 weeks consecutively to develop a habit
77. Participate in a walk/run for a good cause
78. Put my business card into at least 10 free lunch contests
79. Finalize wedding album from two and a half years ago!
80. Buy fresh flowers once a month
81. Buy a "new" outfit from the thrift store
82. Take a very girly bubble bath
83. Spend a day, or a morning, going to garage sales
84. Get a massage
85. Buy something from 5 different Etsy stores

86. Make a headboard for the guest bedroom
87. Find out my blood type!
88. Catalog or record all the books I read/have read. [Bookpedia]
89. Go for one week without buying anything from or of Starbucks
90. Buy and keep at least one houseplant alive or decide to decorate with fake plants.
91. Get a new laptop
92. Put away the last lingering box from the move to the new townhouse
93. Research my ancestors to create a family tree with anecdotes from family members
94. Scan my printed photos
95. Scan Husband’s family photos
96. Hang artwork in the new townhouse
97. Organize the storage room
98. Organize crafting room
99. Watch 26 movies, each one starting with a different letter

100. Get a pet. Any kind will do!
101. Buy a new washer and dryer

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (well, 12 hours…)


Last night in the rain, I had an accident on the way home from work. A mini van was making a turn and the sedan between us slammed on their breaks to avoid an accident – which made me slam my breaks. I avoided hitting the sedan, but another mini van behind me wasn’t so lucky. But there wasn’t damage to my back bumper, which is good!

The next morning, it was still raining but I was able to get to the car and make my way to the office. This was after pulling myself out of bed and just hoping the hair would look ok without styling it – I wasn’t feeling very good.

When I got into the parking lot at the office, I stepped out of the car and opened my umbrella. Well, sort of, because it doesn’t really want to work – the fabric part doesn’t falls off the skeleton of the umbrella. Kind of makes it hard to keep the rain off your head when the fabric doesn’t stay stretched out, if you know what I mean.

I put my coffee on the top of the car when I tried to gather up my bags and head into the office. Then that stupid umbrella knocked off my travel mug and it splashed all over me – on my new red peacoat, black pants and turtleneck. UGH.

I brushed off the coffee from my coat and was trying to shrug things off (I can live with a cup of coffee from the office pot, rather than my yummy Dunkin Donuts blend from home), when the door to my car shut itself. No biggie, right?

Then the car alarm started to go off. Don’t ask me why. Usually my Saturn Coupe has an alarm that gets triggered when you try to unlock the door with the key fob when you locked it a different way – I guess that’s for security in case your car gets stolen.

I reached into my bag to get the keys to silence the stupid alarm so the other offices don’t notice that it’s mine that’s going off, when it hits me – the keys aren’t in my purse. I look over at the closed car door and see my pink fake carabiners with the Saturn key fob. They’re sitting on my front seat.

Imagine me in the rain with a broken umbrella with a bunch of bags on my shoulder, the car alarm going off, and my keys sitting inches away, but with a locked door between me and them. FML!

Then to boot, after dropping everything off at my desk and in the bathroom to fix myself again, I realized that the coffee, complete with sugar and creamer, managed to get itself splashed into my hair.

What a rotten day!

(But did I mention that Husband got a scholarship and a graduate assistantship for the MBA program this afternoon? YIPPEE!)

Monday, November 16, 2009

In the home stretch…

Husband is officially in the final weeks of law school. Well, the first semester anyway!

Unfortunately, we had to make a tough decision last week. Husband and I won’t be spending Thanksgiving together. I know. IT SUCKS! [And not just because we won’t be doing our Black Friday shopping together!]

Because his exams start the Tuesday after the holiday, a trip to Kansas City just wouldn’t allow him enough time to prepare for the exams. And after all this money and time spent on his education [and it’s only the beginning!], I want him to do as well as he can, so I’m removing any distractions to that end!

As so begins the not-seeing-husband for the next few weeks. I’m going to be single again for the time being! :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Place Where Everyone Knows Your Name

I see a lot of theatre. St. Louis has a great big theatre scene, both professional, semi-professional and community – and it’s still growing. I know lots of the theatre people and therefore, see a lot of shows to keep up with all of them!

Sometimes when you see a bunch of shows, you think you know the actors but of course, they have no idea who you are! You see them from your place in the audience and all they see onstage is a big blur from behind the lights.

It took me by surprise tonight at a theatre party when a local Equity [that’s the professional acting union] actor called me by my maiden name. He had played a part in the first show I was involved with at this theatre, four years ago when I was an intern. I’m not sure if we had said anything to each other since that show closed!

So I explained that I have a new name, he congratulated on me on my two-year old marriage, and the conversation moved on.

He even said he remembered me from the first row of the show he performed in on Friday night. I called him out on it, but he insisted that he saw me!

It seems silly to get so excited about something trivial, but it really made my day. :)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Day in the Theatre

A few weeks ago, I was given the opportunity to stage manage a show at the same theatre that gave me the chance to play a beaver onstage. I was so excited – Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of my absolute favorite Shakespearean pieces!

But after a long month at work, it turns out that due to conflicts, I can’t do it. I’m so BUMMED!

So I offered to help run auditions and do other things with the show as my time allowed. Really, anything to be in the theatre!

I spent the day in the theatre with auditions and then call backs. The turn-out was better than expected, around thirty actors or so. I think the director can get a cast with the group that came out. 

Oh but you have no idea how much it KILLED me to not to be able to audition! Sitting there and watching everyone go up and read, it was all I could do not to debate in my mind back and forth the merits of asking the director if I could read a monologue. My friends at the audition tried to convince me to read, too.

But I knew that my schedule would not work out if I got the part. And even if I did, I would be so stressed about it that it just kill me – literally! With the work fundraiser and Husband’s Barrister Ball in January, it would be too much.

I’m impressed with myself – and proud too - that I was able to stick to my guns and not audition even though I REALLY wanted to. I think I just might be growing up.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

My First Blogging Award

I was recently given my first award! For a few years now, I’ve been reading about bloggers give each other awards and wondered how one goes about it.

I finally started this blog earlier this year to chronicle my life, but more importantly, to meet other people out there in the blogosphere! I’ve met a few bloggers that are young newlyweds without children – just like me! It’s a small niche, but it’s nice to meet people in a similar situation. So I wanted to thank Marissa of Married to a Medical Student for this award! Thank you!!!

Here are the rules :

  1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
  2. Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
  3. Name 7 things about yourself that people may not know.
  4. Nominate 7 Kreative Bloggers, post links to the 7 blogs you nominate and leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they've been nominated.

So here goes:

  1. Sometimes I can eat an entire package of chocolate chip cookie dough instead of dinner.
  2. It might be sick, but I actually like filing, hole punching and organizing.  Even more, labeling! I would label EVERYTHING in this house if Husband would let me.
  3. I hated Madame Bovary. While trying to re-educate myself in the classics, I picked it up and couldn’t get past page 50. Is there something wrong with me?
  4. I’m addicted to TV. My DVR is absolutely bursting at the seams during this fall premiere season! It’s how I relax… I sit in front of my television with a glass of unwind and just stop thinking about everything for just a little bit.
  5. I adore sleeping in – but even more, hitting the snooze button AT LEAST ten times. Something about that in-between sleeping and being awake, but knowing that you can sneak in just a few more minutes before that alarm clangs again. I just love it. :)
  6. I’m an actor but I hate being the center of attention. It goes back to number four above, but I really enjoy being by myself.
  7. I can’t cook breakfast. I can follow directions on recipes for ANY other meal or dish, but for some reason, eggs, waffles and anything else breakfast-related seem to elude me. Friends have tried to help me but to no avail. It’s hopeless!

My nominations are:

  1. Mrs. D @ Life of a Doctors Wife
  2. Meredith @ Tales Out of School
  3. Bobbie @ 40 Shades of Pink
  4. Jen @ After the Alter
  5. Katie @ Loves of Life
  6. The Nifty Newlywed
  7. Meghan @ Unintended Housewife

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Adventures in Moving

Note to self: pack ahead of time. SERIOUSLY.

This was a crazy move. Let’s go back to September 30… come on… not that long ago… are we there yet? Good!

We got the keys for the new townhouse a full month before we had to be out of the old place in order to give us PLENTY of time to pack and move out. I mean, c’mon, we have a lot of crap! I knew it was going to take a while.

But remember that work life has been pretty crazy? And that, um, my husband is in his first semester of law school? Both of those things played a part in this adventure.

I took the day off before the move, to pack and get ready. Husband and I headed to my in-laws to get the brand new mattress and take it to the new townhouse. Yay for new mattresses!

But when we lifted the box springs up to slide it into the back of the minivan, no amount of shoving or contortion was going to get that thing to fit. I could NOT believe it. Husband insisted to me over and over that a queen size mattress would fit in the van, no problem! Hmph.

That wasn’t the last time something wouldn’t fit where it was going. After a long day of errands and then another long morning of packing on Saturday, we finally had two car loads ready to unload at the new place. My FIL and Husband took the oversized couch around the back of the townhouse complex in order to get it in the walkout basement rec room. I knew it was never going to make the tight turn in the first floor to go down the stairs to the rec room, so we decided to make it easier on ourselves by going thru the walkout first. 

I about hit the roof when Husband came back up and told me that no matter what they did, that couch was not going to fit thru the glass doors. His solution? Leave the huge couch and loveseat upstairs in my sitting room with a slipcover and let him buy new furniture for downstairs. Um, how about no? A phone call to the property manager and a few minutes later, I had an appointment with maintenance the next day to remove the glass doors and help get the couch inside the house.

Things are slowly getting put away and I’m struggling to clean any article of clothing that may have touched the floor or the inside of  box at some point during the move. I’m loving the wall colors in the new house, my beautiful new master bedroom comforter and wonderful grey curtains with a pretty curtain rod in the dining room. There are high points to living in my new townhouse! As soon as everything is set up, I may just show pictures!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Best Thing about a New House

We recently moved into a new townhouse that we’ll be living in for at least the next three years until Husband is out of law school and we know where we can start to put down roots.

Hence the blogging absence. That, and work has been insane.

But the best thing about my new house? I’m loving the new mattress that we got a few weeks before moving in. It was a compromise between Husband and myself – I wanted something softer, a la our guest bed, and he wanted something much firmer, a la a rock. (Heh. :))

So here was the issue – we couldn’t put sheets on the new bed in the master bedroom until we found the brand new mattress pad we bought specifically for this, because they said it prevents stains and keeps smells out, plus if the mattress gets stained it voids the warranty (WHAT?!). So yeah, we had to find that damn mattress pad. Needless to say, we looked in almost every box in the entire box-filled three story townhouse and COULD NOT FIND IT.

I was crushed. We had bought this beautiful thing to replace the mattress my MIL had purchased when Husband was twelve. TWELVE. And I’m pretty sure she got it used! It was DEFINITELY time for a new one. But I had to wait weeks because we didn’t want to move it to the old house just to have to move it again in two weeks.

So I waited until mid-October when we moved. Then the whole mattress-not-fitting-in-the-minivan incident happened. That’s a completely different post. BUT ANYWAY – we set up the bed and can’t find the mattress pad. I thought I was going to throw something.

A few days later, we were at the old house clearing out trash and moving the final few things when lo and behold, what did I find in a white unmarked shopping bag in the garage? MY BELOVED MATTRESS PAD. I whooped and hollered and generally made a nuisance of myself until Husband came over and did not find the situation as exciting as I did.

We got home and I was able to make up my beautiful new bed. This new mattress is just amazing – so comfortable! Combine that with new pillows and a new comforter we got just for the new place – a pretty brown with a design to coordinate with the blue wall in the master bedroom – I was so excited to sleep in the bed for the first time!

So that’s what I’m currently enjoying about the new townhouse. The boxes are SLOWLY going away. I never realized how much crap two people can accumulate after two and a half years of marriage.

We sent a huge car load or two to Goodwill and filled a small dumpster in the alley a few times over. I’m hoping we can do the same now that we’re moved and need to fit the same stuff in a smaller space. It’s time to purge!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday – Google Reader Settings

I’ve been on the Google Reader bandwagon for a long time. It just makes reading the hundreds of blogs I follow that much easier. Mostly, I end up skimming the entries to see if there is anything interesting I should read further.

The other day I found something that made my Google Reader experience THAT much better.

Did you know that you can rearrange the feed to sort by oldest, rather than the newest postings? THIS HAS CHANGED MY LIFE.

I used to go thru the list and not understand the latest post in my favorite blog because I never read the post before – since it was lower down in my reading, sorted by newest to oldest.

Now that its sorted right, I don’t feel guilty if my reader backs up, because I know that I can always read them in the right order, the oldest one first.

Google Reader settings works for me!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I’m horrible at Rock Band!

Apparently I don’t have any rhythm. I just had to do the drum beat tutorial on the game. No song, just a repeating rhythm that I went thru over and over in order to get myself oriented to the beat.

And I don’t think it worked.

Husband got paid for a research project he worked on, so we decided to splurge and get ourselves a new game for the Wii. We had it set up within ten minutes of getting it home and it’s really fun. But after a song or two, hubs just laughed at me and went upstairs to work on his latest law school paper.

I don’t even want to THINK about the guitar part – my hands barely fit around the thing.

Does anyone have any pointers for me?

Monday, October 5, 2009

This Week in Law School – Halfway There! (sort of)

At the end of the week, Husband will have finished half of his first semester of his 1L year.

Six weeks have just flown by! I can’t believe he’s done with a quarter of his first year of law school.

Since he is working towards his JD/MBA, he needs to actually apply for his MBA admission. He’ll be taking the one year full time program, which will allow him to finish the JD degree quicker because some classes count for each program. That deadline for admission is coming up pretty soon, so it’s application-writing time again!

Goodie! Another time for writing… and waiting… and then probably wait some more.

We hope to hear back from the business school by Thanksgiving or Christmas – and then he can start planning the next step. If all goes according to plan, he’ll enter the MBA program two weeks after his 1L year ends in May.

Which basically means I’ll see even less of Husband come next May. Kind of a bummer, but worth it in the long run.

Friday, October 2, 2009

When you can’t think of something to say…

Four things

Four jobs I’ve had
  1. Event coordinator (currently)
  2. Hostess @ Saltgrass Steak House
  3. Marketing intern @ Austin non-profit
  4. Wife :)
Four movies I can watch over and over
  1. Waiting for Guffman
  2. Center Stage
  3. North By Northwest
  4. Best in Show
Four places I’ve lived
  1. Smithville, MO
  2. Austin, TX
  3. Houston
  4. Arlington, TX
Four TV shows I love [so hard to choose just four!]
  1. The Dollhouse
  2. Fringe
  3. FlashForward
  4. So You Think You Can Dance
Four places I’ve vacationed
  1. Paris [our honeymoon]
  2. Grand Canyon [our first vacation, spring break of senior year in college]
  3. Eastern Caribbean [on a cruise]
  4. New York, NY [for college trips plus a bit of Broadway!]
Four of my favorite dishes
  1. Arancinis @ Vito’s [fried risotto balls – YUM]
  2. The old seafood ravioli at the Olive Garden
  3. Shrimp and crab risotto at Triumph Grill
  4. Grandma’s mashed potatoes
Four sites I visit daily
  1. The Hunger Site
  2. Facebook
  3. My Google Reader
  4. Twitter
Four places I would rather be right now
  1. On a beach in the Caribbean.
  2. Walking the Louvre.
  3. In a Broadway theatre watching an amazing show.
  4. Snuggling on the couch with husband.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

There are no small parts, only small actors

Sometimes having a 30 second role where I only walk across the stage is a blessing.

Take tonight, for example.

I showed up fifteen minutes early to rehearsal, as always. Tonight was the brush-up rehearsal. When a theatre company has been off for a few nights, it’s typical for the director to schedule a rehearsal the day before performances resume to make sure that everyone remembers line and entrances and the like.

We try to run this rehearsal as quickly as possible. Sometimes it’s called a speed thru or Italian run thru – you say the lines as quickly as you possibly can while still getting all the words out and most of the emotion with it as well. Just to get the feel for the play again.

My part in the script comes about ten pages in. I walked onstage and did my lines quite quickly and was on to my exit in a matter of seconds.

I was out of the theatre by 7:20 pm, twenty minutes into the rehearsal.

Which is good, because the remaining piles of laundry weren’t going to wash themselves this evening.

Did I mention that I have to get the house in order for a cast party this weekend and I have two work events and two performances between now and then? I’m definitely looking forward to Monday, when things can get back to normal.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I really wish Ted Drewes delivered

This is a great business model – ice cream or donut delivery service. Like pizza to your doorstep, but even more awesome!

When I got home from work tonight, I cooked dinner, cleaned the house, and started on the mountain of laundry that has been calling my name for weeks. Now I’m sitting here watching Gossip Girl (yay fall premieres!) and I really want some frozen custard with marshmellow creme and hot fudge.

But that would require finding shoes, driving to Ted Drewes and spending money. All things that don’t sound appealing right now!

Maybe we have some ice cream in the freezer… one can only hope. I’m off to see!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Is it bad that I schedule my life around the Fall TV premieres?

Or, at least, I used to.

Now that I have my DVR, I can’t imagine how I did things before.

Oh yes, that’s right – I would make myself come home to see a particular episode of Grey’s Anatomy rather than going out with friends. My DVR really saved my social life!

But I still really love the Fall TV season. Here’s what I’m looking to this year:

The Good

Glee – HOLY CRAP. This is probably the best show I have seen in SUCH a long time. When I came home Wednesday night and the cable was out, I think I had what could be called a hissy fit. I managed to catch it on the repeat on Friday night, but STILL. Taking my GLEE away was NOT a nice thing to do.

Grey’s Anatomy – I guess we’ll see how this season plays out.. it’s an oldie, but a goodie.

Fringe – I don’t like the Twilight Zone or other scary type shows, but for some reason, this one just caught my attention and has kept it for the whole season. I can’t wait to get more questions answered!

Ugly Betty – I love the story lines of this one, plus the costumes and neat camera work.

Dollhouse – Very strange, but I love Eliza Dushku. So neat to watch.

My Guilty Pleasures

Gossip Girl – It’s totally like our 90210. I LOVE it. :)

So You Think You Can Dance – I could never do even HALF of what these kids do, and that’s why I love watching. Even though I never vote and STILL yet at the tv screen on Thursday nights when they kick off the wrong dancer.

The Untested

Modern Family  - This is a new comedy and I think might be a good one. We’ll keep it on the list and see if it can keep up.

Flash ForwardThis is a show I’ve heard a lot about, but haven’t seen a preview. It’s a bit like Fringe and maybe Jericho from two seasons ago on CBS that never made it beyond the second season. Looks interesting!

Why, yes, I do watch too much television… I should get on that.

Opening Weekend

It’s come and gone. Thank goodness.

Sometimes I’m so ready for a show to be open and in front of an audience. This is one of them.

The Friday night audience loved it and reacted favorably to every joke or funny situation. Saturday night we wanted to take the pulse of the ladies and gents out there. It’s the worst thing in a comedy when the audience is liking what they see, but not vocalizing! It makes us wonder if they were awake! Sunday was a combination of the two previous audiences.

It’s sad, but I’m already looking forward to my next gig. I approached another community theatre that I’ve worked with in the past to see if I could stage manage an upcoming show. We’ll see what they have to say. I can’t audition for that one due to a conflict with Husband’s law school prom – I OBVIOUSLY can’t miss that one. :) I’m already shopping for a dress!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Tech week = hell week

I become a ghost the week before a show opens.

It’s like an old-fashioned confinement when ladies in the medieval times would go into seclusion before they went into labor and gave birth.

I go into hiding and don’t emerge until I need to get dressed up for opening night on a Friday evening.

There’s a need to completely immerse myself in the world of the play and ignore everything else – work, housework, and even eating sometimes.

This tech week may be different. We have some major events and meetings going on at work this week, so I have to be on my toes during the day and hopefully not work too long so I’m not late to rehearsal.

Tech week is always a stressful time – it’s the time where you work out timing, when to change costumes, how many people can be in the wings at one time, and how long you have before you have to be onstage. I love it because it’s when a show really comes together. The cast may not have been hanging out backstage, they may have been reading or checking e-mail while sitting in the house. This is the first time we really become like family backstage and learn how to live with each other for the life of the play.

The first time I put on my costume and actually run the show under the stage lights, something magical happens. I may have studied the script, done my character analysis and memorized my lines – but when I step onstage with that costume on, it completely changes and the characters becomes real.

That’s why I act.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Work hard, play hard

I’m pretty sure Husband has spent more time out with friends than he has in class. And that’s saying something!

Out of his 14 classes, 11 of them are before Wednesday afternoon. That means, by the middle of the week, he’s zonked and just wants to get something to eat and drink all night.

Many of his classmates are from out of town so Husband has been the unofficial tour guide to the city. He’s been taking the 1Ls out to the great stops in St. Louis – O’Connell’s, Humphreys and Imo’s.

We haven’t made it to Ted Drewes, Bailey’s Chocolate Bar or The Fountain, but there are plans. Oh believe me, there are plans! Most of these places are simply must-sees in St. Louis – Ted Drewes especially. It’s a classic!

But it’s good for him to hang out with friends and relax. The classes are hard (they should be!) and he’s reading upwards of a thousand pages in cases in each week. Something about grabbing a beer and laughing at the end of the day makes facing that large textbook a little easier.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

It’s fancy dress time!

I’ll serving as a hostess (or something, I can’t remember my  volunteer assignment) next month for the Mid-West Regional Emmy Awards.

And I need something to wear. I figured they wouldn’t appreciate it if I showed up naked.

So where can I find a good, cheap, evening gown? I can get two wears out of the thing – the Emmys plus the Barrister Ball in January for SLU Law.

Where would you go for an evening gown? I think I’d prefer something long, preferably something that covers my chest and doesn’t show off the goods too much.

Any ideas?

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Best Birthday Present Ever…

My aunt sang me “Happy Birthday” today, two weeks and a day after a major stroke. And I cried.

She’s on the rehabilitation floor of the hospital and is doing much better. Every day she gains something that she didn’t have the day before. Like certain words and the ability to walk with a cane while someone helps her balance.

But today, I turned 26, and Mom called me to wish me a happy birthday. She said hold on, and put the phone up to my aunt’s ear and started singing. Then my aunt picked up the tune and finished the song with “and many more!” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

Her singing to me was the best present I could imagine getting today. I love my husband and the beautiful lavender pearls from Shane Co that he surprised with me at lunch, but the gift of my aunt singing – it’s priceless.

It just goes to show – there are many things that are more important than material possessions. Things like love and life and hope are worth more than anything else.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Key Issue

I’m in a funk.

I know I’m getting lots of sleep – maybe too much.

On the way home from work, I have such grand hopes for the evening – do the dishes, sort the mail, clean up after my husband in the living room, do my filing, finish my wedding scrapbook, solve world peace.

Once I pull into the garage, my thoughts turn to dinner and cleaning up the kitchen. Inevitably once dinner is served, I head into the craft room and watch the latest episode of Masters of Reception or an old Step by Step, my secret vices.

Then I get on this computer (‘cause I haven’t been on one enough during the day at work!) and do God knows what all evening.

Before I realize it, it’s 10 p.m. and time to go to bed. Where did the evening go? I was going to be so productive, I just knew it! But then somehow, nothing got done. AGAIN.

I know that so much needs to be done, not just to keep the house up, but looking ahead to the move, to get rid of crap that we just don’t need, nor will we have room to store in the new smaller townhouse.

The key issue? I have no motivation.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I’m good at …

  1. Planning events. It’s what I do during the day for a living and I think I’m pretty darn good at it.
  2. Acting. It’s what I do in the evenings to make me sane while planning events during the day.
  3. Making my friends and family laugh, even if I didn’t really mean to.
  4. Making guests feel at ease at events or parties.
  5. Giving tours – after I’ve been trained. Mine are always so much fun!
  6. Talking to strangers in elevators.
  7. Finding the closest chocolate bar when necessary.
  8. Getting pretty tipsy off of one drink. I’m a cheap date!
  9. Wanting to get organized but not really accomplishing anything.
  10. Loving my husband. That one’s easy.

I’m good at all of those things, if I do say so myself. Sometimes you need to remind yourself!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Two weeks until opening night…

And nothing could be heard thru the theatre…

But giggles and guffaws on a Friday night rehearsal to fix problem spots.

[I never said I was good with words… just saying them onstage!]

The director said we had to run my one and only scene because damn, we haven’t seen it in weeks and we DEFINITELY needed to run it!

It seems like I keep running thru my lines too quickly. Thebes said I should slow down, like Gretchen needs to RELISH each word and love how it feels in the mouth. I also need to float down the stairs so I won’t fall on my ass. Gotcha.

Good points, but sometimes it’s so hard to put all of those notes together in one performance when I’m still trying to remember lines. I know I’m only onstage for a minute, but I need to try to stretch out my time and make it memorable. The other characters talk about Gretchen for the rest of the show.

Glad I’ve got a few more weeks before we open.. and a few more times to run it. This weekend I have to come up with a way to get my hair into a 1950s hairstyle. I’m thinking curly pony tail.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A really tough weekend

Last Thursday, I was prepping for a small event at work. While printing the name tags and waiting for the caterer to arrive, my personal cell phone rang. I grabbed it and saw that it was my parents’ home line, so that meant Dad was calling in the middle of the day, since Mom would still be at work. I figured he was calling to ask about Thanksgiving arrangements, since they were about to purchase tickets for everyone and start to arrange the hotel for the trip.

It was definitely not the call that I expected.

My dad started out with “Jess, I’ve got some bad news.” Words that you never want to hear!

My mother’s only sister, her younger sister, was found a few minutes before passed out, and the paramedics thought she had a stroke. Her son and daughter-in-law who live with my aunt found her and called my mom to ask for their advice.

After a few hours and a bunch of expensive tests later, they had administered the blood clot-busting medicine inter-cranially and she was resting comfortably in the ICU.

My mom was on a plane, and I was cleaning up from my event, mentally going thru my closet to make the packing easier when I got home. The next morning, I was up early and after grabbing a Starbucks to get me thru the long trip across Missouri, I was off.

I’m glad I went, because it was better to be around my family and to see the doctors working to help my aunt. We’re a really close family – only two kids and three grandchildren.

We had a few ups and downs, but she’s ok and getting better every day. Once they figure out why she had a blood clot and fix the whole in her heart that allowed the clot to enter the arterial side and up to the brain, then we’ll be ok.

She’ll be ok and we’ll work thru this. We just have to!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

It’s all about the Benjamins

At some point, I asked Mike why the school’s financial aid office couldn’t just tell us what the best bank for us was. Apparently there was this scandal back in the ‘80s that prevents them from doing that.

So we were on our own.

After some Google-ing, I came up with three contenders:

  • Wachovia Securities
  • Bank of America

All of the companies I researched had the same fees, same repayment schedule and other various details were the same as well. Since graduate school loans are backed by the federal government, this makes sense! But it makes choosing a loan servicer hard, because there’s basically no difference.

MOHELA is the biggest loan servicer in Missouri, and happened to hold Husband’s undergraduate loans. Unfortunately, the customer service that he has experienced over the years and my experience with their phone responders didn’t give me the most confidence in them.

I truly think that whichever company you decide to go with, you have to trust them. You’re going to be working with them for a long time, and spending a lot of money with them. You gotta have confidence in their business.

Monday, August 24, 2009

We survived the first week… God only knows how many more to go!

Husband had a great first week of law school!

He had a bunch of homework, and spent the weekend going over the professor’s power point presentations for the week.

He has three people in a study group and as soon as they get a fourth, they’ll have a complete one. He also spent a bunch of time socializing with other people in his group and making friends!

It’s kind of odd that he has this whole new world with new people and learning new things. I hope I can keep up with him.

The good news is – he still wants to be a lawyer! I told him that’s a good thing because we have a lot riding on his education.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Law School Swag

I stumbled on this website tonight – and I might be spending a lot of money there!

It’s Cafe Press and this area of the site features stuff for law students!

You can get these different sayings on lots of different things, like coffee mugs and onesies. :)

This one would be great for the little one – if we had one!

Well, this one was a no-brainer.. hehe.

I don’t even GET this one. Do you?

What about this one for May?

Can anyone the movie that this one is from?

This one makes me giggle.

I could have this one right now…

What if there were no hypothetical questions?

I love it! :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

We did it!

Husband started law school yesterday. He was at SLU for most of the work day, starting at 8 am with contracts and going throughout the day with all of his other classes.

He called me when he was done with class and he still wants to be a lawyer! So yay!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I’m really glad that we have a microwave… or else, we’d starve.

I can’t cook.

My aspirations are great but the skills are not.

Tonight, I defrosted a pound of ground beef and made cheesy baked potato Hamburger Helper. How SAD is that?

I’m so jealous of those who always have a stocked fridge and a healthy meal on the table each night. How do they do that?

With law school upon us, I’m determined to start my meal planning up again. That way, each night I’ll know what to make and what we need to buy while it’s on sale to make that happen.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

How law school is like elementary school

Husband starts law school on Monday. As long as we’ve been planning for it, I’m actually surprised it’s here so quickly.

I really feel like a mom sending her kid to school for the first time. I don’t know how I’m going to do this for real, like when it’s OUR kid! There are so many loose ends to tie up, but I think we’re on our way:

  • Tuition – We’ve paid a ridiculously large sum of money to SLU for the pleasure of Hubs to sit thru long hours of classes and do lots of homework.
  • Books  - We have killed a small forest in order to give him the knowledge he needs to get thru his first semester of classes.
  • Uniform -
    • Clothes – Apparently his other polos weren’t good enough and he needed new ones for law school! Add in a new suit for all those presentations and we’re set.
    • Shoes – Oh but he’s going to be walking around campus more than he has been! Since his tennis shoes had holes in them, I figured he would need some new ones. Have you priced tennis shoes lately? Highway robbery!

As we count down the hours (now only one day and eleven hours before his first class), I am trying to set everything in our lives in order so he won’t have to worry about a thing. I’ve done his laundry and bought his shoes, and worried about how to pay for his parking fee that apparently is due in September. I think he’s ready but I’m not sure I am!

It’s scary to think that he’s moving into this new phase of his life while I’m still at my same job. I’m doing everything the same but he’s moving on. I know he’s not leaving me behind – he’s doing this for the both of us – but I don’t think I ever put two and two together until now.

We’ll see where this journey leads us…

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

This is why I’m not a master electrician

Last week, my director of Sabrina Fair asked if anyone in the cast was able to help out with set construction, since our usual helpers are out of town for this show.

I offered up myself, Husband and a friend of mine from college who now builds set for a local events firm. I figured that I had done enough of this in college to be able to help on a community theatre show.

So early morning Sunday comes and we grab our doughnuts and head to the theatre. After going over the basic set idea with my friend from college (MC), we ventured down to the basement to see what the Guild had left over from other shows.

We actually were able to find lots of extra wood, some flats (walls) plus a few platforms that would work for us. That means we only needed some new 2x4s and some plywood to build the steps and other decorative walls. MC said it wouldn’t be a problem.

This is what we ended up with at the hardware store:

Not bad for $300, right?

When we got back to theatre, we had another girl from the cast to help us out with the building. MC basically went to town with his special tools and started building platforms while Husband and I installed platforms. We got a lot done for only a few hours’ work.

MC said he was going back on Monday to finish things up before they had rehearsal that night. In the afternoon, I get a FB message that the set wasn’t going so well.

So the Theatre Guild has some peculiarities – like the stage slopes backward as you go upstage plus the ceiling is very low. We didn’t take that into consideration. When MC went to install the flats atop the platforms, they didn’t fit under the pipes and other various things hanging from the ceiling over the stage.

WHOOPS! MC said we have to build the flats and every door frame from scratch rather than using all the pieces we found in the basement. More money, more time.

THIS is why the Guild never uses platforms – they just don’t fit on the stage!

Looks like I’ll be spending next weekend at the Guild with Husband’s new screw gun.

Monday, August 10, 2009

This Week in Law School - Orientation

So after the bills have been paid, books have been purchased and we’ve even bought Husband new boxer and socks, it’s come time.

Time for orientation. He took a tour of the law library today and made two friends! Oh, I’m so proud!! :)

He has an orientation party tomorrow evening and then major orientation-type stuff on Wednesday and Thursday.

Did you know that all incoming 1Ls into SLU Law must take the Student Oath? It’s even administered by a judge. We have no idea what the oath consists of, but it’s pretty funny to see it as an agenda item in his orientation packet. I guess that’s because he’s training to be an officer of the court? I can’t wait to hear what he has to promise to do!

And so it begins… he’s excited, and I’m wondering how this is going to affect us as a couple. I’m preparing myself for the fact that I won’t see him a lot and that I can’t ask him to help out as much around the house. God help us all! These next three and a half years will be interesting…

Friday, July 31, 2009

Loving a summer Friday afternoon

Today was our company picnic. I’m loving company picnic days because I get to leave early! But before that, I had to plan and set up said picnic. Ugh.

There was a water balloon toss, volleyball and some awesome St. Louis-style ribs. Mmm! I think the staff had a good time, even if most of them ate and then left for an afternoon off.

I will say this as a public service announcement - if you’re going to use water balloons for a tossing game, don’t get the ones labeled “water balloons.” They are made with some magic NASA-strong rubber that WON’T break, no matter how hard you toss it to your partner over a THIRTY feet span of grass.

Photo by kaibara87

It was RIDICULOUS how much abuse these balloons took! Last year we had a few tosses and most everybody was out – and wet. This year, I think it went on for at least twenty minutes and people were fifty feet away from each other, still tossing and catching these balloons. Insane!

Glad that everyone had fun, but I’m hoping that someone else can take over it next year! It was a lot of work.