Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday Round Up

Play List:
  • Barrister's Ball! We had SO much fun this weekend! I'll post some of the pictures later this week.
  • Lunch with the in-laws. Cracker Barrel and I have an unhealthy relationship - I eat waaaaaay too much when I go there.
  • Project Life. I actually printed some of my pictures and journaled for the first two weeks of January. I am LOVING this process.
To Finish:
  • Errands. The oil is changed in the Camry, the Ion is picked up from the body shop after the accident, PLUS my gold watch was resized by my favorite jeweler - they even did it for free! I thought that was awfully nice of them.
  • Master bedroom clean up. I really need to clean up more often, because wow. When the room is clean, I feel SO much better about it! I love my new clean room.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Finish It Friday

Yup, it's Friday again. I am SO excited! It's going to be a really fun, yet busy, weekend.

Play List:
  • Barrister's Ball! This is the annual law school formal that Husband and I went to last year and the year before. Since Hubs is in France right now, he can't exactly be my date. I hadn't been planning on going, but at an engagement party last week, all the law school kids really wanted me to go, and who am I to disappoint? The remaining question, now that I have decided to go and secured a ticket, is what in the world to wear?
  • Lunch with the in-laws. The errands I'm doing this weekend call for heading out to the suburb where the in-laws live, so they wanted to have lunch, too. That's always fun!
  • Project Life. I'm going to print pictures this weekend and journal. I will!
To Finish:
  • Errands. The car needs its tire looked at and I need to get a gold watch that I got for Christmas sized so I can wear it without it falling off my wrist.
  • Master bedroom clean up. Seriously, I'm going to fold all my husband's laundry that has spilled out of the closet, put up the ironing board and be able to walk around my bed. Seriously.
What are you going to be doing this weekend?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

And God Blessed the Broken Road, Part 7

To catch up, you can read Our Love Story here.

After only dating a few months, future Husband and I were already looking at rings. Crazy, I know. Let’s just say I didn’t bring that up in conversation with my parents on our weekly call! I think that might have freaked them out, no matter how much they liked the guy or not.

In those late night conversations that college seniors are wont to have, we dreamed about our future together – what types of jobs we might get after graduation (side note: before I met future Husband, I had my sights set on a cruise ship after graduation to be a cruise director! What a different life God had in mind for me), where we could live, how many kids we might have. I told him during one of those dreaming sessions that he couldn’t propose until May. Because that was so much closer to graduation (the same month even!) and that’s the only way that this thing was going to work. Mom and Dad wanted to see me close to being done with college, and know that their little girl would be on the right path and officially out of the nest. So that’s the way it had to happen.

But before one can propose, one has to find a ring. In between studying, rehearsals, and other fun senior things, Future Husband and I spent a bunch of weekends at the mall, going to every ring shop there was, over and over again. One afternoon, we were at a store that no longer exists in the Galleria, and we found it. The one. Well, it was a gorgeous engagement ring by itself, but it wasn’t until they added the wedding band on one side and the anniversary band on the other side that I fell for it. So many sparkles! [By the way, I’m still waiting for that engagement band to appear! I think five years would be a perfect time. ;)]

We picked out a few others that were also gorgeous and called it a day. We didn’t walk out of there with a ring because I wanted some kind of a surprise on the day of our engagement. We discussed what I wanted in a ring, in addition to the styles we had just looked at it. I thought color was more important than clarity, because let’s face it, who carries a jeweler’s loop with them wherever they go to see the microscopic inclusions in a particular diamond? Yeah, me neither. ;)

Our closest friends and roommates knew that future Husband was getting very close to purchasing the ring but we tried to keep it under wraps for the time being. But we had a looooong few months to go and as time passed, we started telling more and more people our little secret.

During those spring months, future Husband apparently bought the ring with his father, without me knowing it. While he waited for the ring to come in from the manufacturer (it had to be specially made to fit my small ring ringer – it’s a size 3.75!), we started planning the trip to my parents’ house in Texas for the Easter break.

Because Future Husband had to ask my dad for permission before he popped the question. Oh boy.

To be continued…

Monday, January 23, 2012

Monday Round Up

I feel like I was really productive this weekend, and I think some credit has to go to my Finish it Friday post. It helped me stay accountable on the things I said I wanted to accomplish this weekend!

To Do List

  • Get the Camry's oil changed. Husband asked me to do this the day he left for France, since it's VERY overdue. Whoops! 

Yup, got this one done on Saturday morning. But I made the mistake of asking them to run the code and see why the check engine light was on. And they told me. Something about fuel vapors and it needing more diagnostic testing. And oh yeah, it won’t pass inspection without it, and a fix in the tail lights that were out, and oh did I notice a knot in the back tire? I guess we’ll have to dump some money in that car too in the next few months.

  • Take our Samsonite roll-aboard suitcase fixed - the wheel fell off and it doesn't so much "roll" anymore.

Turns out that the repair place doesn’t stock the particular wheel and I have to call Samsonite and get the part shipped to us. THEN he can fix it for about $20. Wish me luck in trying to get a part for free out of that ridiculous company.

  • Put away clean laundry from the vacation clean up, fold Husband's clothes that are still out from the France packing escapade weeks ago and switch the master bedroom sheets for clean ones.

This one is partly accomplished – laundry is put away and sheets are clean. I couldn’t bring myself to deal with the other piles of clothes. Oh well. There’s always next weekend!

Play List

Oh my. What more could a girl want on a Sunday afternoon, but chocolate paired with wine? It was SO much fun!


  • Print my first few weeks of the Project Life daily pictures and journal.

I wish I could say I got these printed. But alas, I was having issues with the website to upload pictures and I really wanted to use CVS and apparently, I put in my order too late and they can’t be done until tomorrow. So I think I may end up waiting until next week and do most of the month then.

I think I was most certainly productive this weekend!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Finish It Friday

Oh dear. I haven't posted one of these in over a year! Well, let's fix that...

To Do List

  • Get the Camry's oil changed. Husband asked me to do this the day he left for France, since it's VERY overdue. Whoops!
  • Take our Samsonite roll-aboard suitcase fixed - the wheel fell off and it doesn't so much "roll" anymore.
  • Put away clean laundry from the vacation clean up, fold Husband's clothes that are still out from the France packing escapade weeks ago and switch the master bedroom sheets for clean ones.

Play List

  • The Art of Chocolate and Wine event on Sunday at a local wine bar - SO excited for this one!
  • Print my first few weeks of the Project Life daily pictures and journal.
It is going to be a good weekend!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Raising Kids Is Not a Contest

I visited one of my favorite college roommates (ok, they’re all my favorites, since I only had three!) over the weekend in DC and met her most adorable toddler. When you’re visiting a family for an extended period of time (and a long weekend definitely counts), you really get to know them, even more so than you already do. For example, you see how they drink organic milk to give their kiddo the best nutrition or how cold they keep the thermostat (my friends must have lived in igloos in a previous life – it was cold all weekend! ). You also get to know their parenting style.

I am not surprised that CR’s toddler is BRILLIANT and so verbal. I mean, CR and her husband are the two smartest people I know – so it was obvious to me that their kid would be amazing. And he is.

But watching them raise their child, I mean I literally saw their parenting going on in front of my face, watching them mold and grow their child in their faith and otherwise. It was truly amazing. I realized at that moment that there is a reason I waited to have children. Because all that work that CR is doing? How she spends hours with him on the floor, reinforcing concepts like colors, and numbers, and Latin prayers? It is exhausting. And I was only watching her do those things, not even doing them myself! She loves it. She is such an amazing mom and this kid will go on to do amazing things because he had two wonderful parental figures in his life that were SO involved wit him.

After seeing her interact with her toddler all day every day for three days, I know that being a mom is a full time job, no matter if you have a job outside of the home in addition to that or not. Period.

Towards the end of the weekend, I found myself wondering how I can stay home with my kid when I have them, how I can instruct them in all those things they should know at each development stage in their life, how I can get my kid to read before going to preschool.

And then I stopped.

Because you know what? Raising children is not a contest. It’s not a race. There is not a winner. Just because CR’s toddler knows all of those amazing things at this point doesn’t mean that MY kid would be a failure if they don’t. And they might not. Because every kid is different.

And every parent is different. I get to make those decisions when the time comes, and as long as I do my research and my husband and I are in agreement, then that’s what we’ll do. I don’t have to race my friends to a certain point with our children.

It’s not a race. I have to remember that in a few years when I’m feeling the pressure. Because there isn’t a winner, really. Except the kids that we’re trying to raise to be good human beings. Isn’t that enough?

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Long Weekend to Visit a College Roommate

This weekend, I reconnected with my college roommate, CR for short, and had an absolute blast falling in love with her two year old son. Oh my goodness. He was adorable! We hung out, ate, and hung out some more. It was just wonderful.

CR is married to a friend of mine from high school, so reconnecting them was sooo much fun! I hadn’t seen CR since before she got pregnant with her little one, so it was definitely time. And with husband gone, it was great timing, too!

MLK Weekend 2012 in DC (3)

I love plane snacks and drinks. Bloody Mary for the win!

MLK Weekend 2012 in DC (7)

Such is a euphemism in DC for speed bumps. Made me laugh so hard I had to take a picture!

MLK Weekend 2012 in DC (11)

Apparently, parking is kind of tough in DC but they have an app for paying for that parking! What a brilliant idea. I wish St. Louis would pick up on this idea.

MLK Weekend 2012 in DC (22)

The National Building Museum was our stop for Saturday afternoon. I walked inside and as an event planner, basically started planning events for this space. Oh my goodness – it was BEAUTIFUL! A wedding or gala or concert, the possibilities were endless. The area is carpeted and there was a big fountain in the middle surrounded by a tile surround and plants to keep the kids from jumping in the water.

MLK Weekend 2012 in DC (20)

These columns went up forever, but realistically, it was probably five stories.

MLK Weekend 2012 in DC (18)

You could probably seat at least 600-700 people in this space. It was huge! and gorgeous.

MLK Weekend 2012 in DC (37)

There was a lego exhibit upstairs and CR’s son really got a kick out of playing with the blocks. We built all kinds of houses! Another part of the exhibit were displays of buildings, houses and the Gateway Arch made of legos! This one apparently took over 100 hours to design (without the aid of a computer) and over 200 hours to assemble. It even had the little windows at the top, just like the real one!

MLK Weekend 2012 in DC (54)

My favorite family portrait from the weekend – aren’t they cute!

Oh DC, even though you were FREEZING and I didn’t get down to Paul’s Bakery and only hit one museum, we will definitely be back again to continue all that sight seeing. We had so much fun on this short weekend on a mini vacation.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

“You Take The Good, You Take The Bad”

“You take them both and there you have The Facts of Life.”

This morning…

car damage

This afternoon…

cake truffles

This evening…

I’m home, packing for my weekend in DC, and self-medicating for a nasty headache and aching shoulders, possibly from the icy accident this morning. The car has been in the shop for an estimate and let’s just say thank goodness we have insurance! They can get me in at the end of the month to get it fixed. Until then, I’ll be driving dear husband’s car that is just sitting outside in the parking lot.

To add insult to injury to whatever, those yummy cake truffles up there? I think they upset my stomach this afternoon. Which is just so MEAN. So I’m already in PJs and trying to figure out how to pack for a whole long weekend in DC with only carry ons so I don’t have to deal with checked bags. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I’ll Admit, Life is Kind of Boring Right Now

Want to know how I’m dealing with the temporary single life again?

bloody mary

Chicago Bloody Mary at O’Charley’s. BEST I’ve ever had.


Sweatshirts to a basketball tailgate on Saturday. Love comfy clothes.


I set up the Keurig that hubs and I bought over the weekend with Christmas gift cards and returns. I used it for the first time this morning and I think I’m in love!


That, plus work, makes for a boring few days. I guess that’s why I got hit with a huge lonely bomb this afternoon on the way to work. Hubs called me on Skype and it was really good to see his smiling face. I know he’s there for an awesome reason, and getting good experience, but these weeks are going to be harder than I thought. It doesn’t help that Hubs told me yesterday he has a week-long break in his program at the end of February that we didn’t think he was going to have, and it would make a perfect time for me to come over to visit him. I just don’t know if I can change a foot surgery and work things enough to be able to get over there. Gah. First world problems, right? I’m just feeling yucky today!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Wallowing is a Good Thing, Sometimes

So yesterday I said “see ya later” to my husband, while he studies abroad. We didn’t say goodbye, because that has a real finality to it. So we just said “see you in a few months” instead. After he got on the plane, I went and had lunch with my mother-in-law, who was waiting on the other side of security. Honestly, I pretty much wanted to go home and be by myself, but it was nice to chat with her after seeing hubby leave.

Besides that, I also had a SLU young alumni function later that day that I really didn’t want to go to. I ended up going, because I figured I needed the social interaction while I was down in the dumps. After being out at the basketball tailgate for a bit, I bailed and went home to be by myself. Because? I wanted to wallow in my sadness.

You know how a good hard cry can just make you feel a million times better, when it’s a long time coming and it just has that cathartic feeling afterwards? I felt the same way about being home alone last night. Lots of friends had asked if I wanted to come over and hang out, go to dinner, go to the basketball game. But honestly? I just wanted to be alone. I was sad and I wanted to alone and wallow in that sadness.

I came home and changed into pjs, poured a huge glass of white zin and put on Downton Abbey and a bunch of other DVRed shows. I went through the backlog of my Google Reader, drank my wine and watched TV. Then I fell asleep on the couch. After dragging myself to bed for a good night’s sleep, I feel like a million bucks this morning.

I allowed myself to wallow in the sadness of my husband being gone for a bit, because I knew that’s what I needed. Had I just put aside the feelings and gone out or just forced myself to be happy, I would have dragged out the sadness of being alone.

But I only allowed myself to wallow for the day. One afternoon and evening of sadness was all I was going to give myself. Now, I’m doing laundry and cleaning the house, including removing an entire Christmas tree worth of needles from my carpet. Because those things need to get done. I’m done being sad – because I don’t have time to be sad anymore!

Had I not allowed the sadness to take over my day yesterday, it would have dragged out for weeks. But now I can be productive because I know that he’ll be back just a few months. I can keep myself busy for that long, right?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Airport Goodbyes Aren’t Fun

Grand Floridian

After spending a few gorgeous days in Disney and then a few freezing days, and then another good day (please don’t ask my why the weather is always crazy for New Year’s when we spend it at Walt Disney World), Husband and I flew home to St. Louis and spent an insane 32 hours of unpacking, laundry, errands and repacking.

At noon today, my husband boarded a plane for Europe; Paris, to be exact. He is going to be there for at least three months, studying European business law. Saying goodbye at the airport was maybe one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. They let me get a companion pass so I got to sit next to him at the gate while the clock ticked down the minutes we had left together before he jetted off to Europe. And then when they called his row to board? I really kind of lost it. For the second time today.

As we were leaving the house, he realized he didn’t have his phone. It must have still been plugged in upstairs. He looked and me smiled, and said he guessed he didn’t need it! We didn’t do the international phone package, because we are planning on using Skype to stay in touch. That way, we can actually see each other’s faces when we catch up! But when he said that he didn’t need his phone, it dawned on me that he was going to another continent where I wouldn’t be able to pick up the phone and call him, or text him, or get in touch with him instantly as I’m used to doing. He was going to be staying at an apartment with a roommate, an apartment where I don’t know where it is, or anything about his living arrangements. Honestly, it scared the scrap out of me. And I lost it. Literally, it was the biggest ugly cry I had let him see in a looooong while. He put down his bags, enveloped me in his big arms, and told me it was going to be alright.

And then he had me get his phone. I’m not sure if he really thought he needed it, or if it was just to calm me down, but it does make me feel better. Long distance charges be damned, if he needs to call me, I sure don’t care about those costs!

If all goes according to plan, I will see him again in May when he comes home for some family graduations. We are all keeping our fingers crossed about his internship possibilities in Europe, which would keep him there until August. I’m not sure I’m hoping that he gets the internship or that he doesn’t, because he would come home earlier if he doesn’t.

Honestly, I just want him to get the education and experience that he needs in Europe and comes back to me as quickly as possible. Because this townhouse is awfully quiet this afternoon with only me here.