Monday, April 30, 2012

May Resolutions

I've been thinking lately that I want to do some things in my life better, make some resolutions. I didn't make resolutions in December for the New Year because quite frankly, I was still trying to survive emotionally. I'm in a better place now, where I feel I'm coming out of a sort of haze and I can start focusing on things that make me happier and feel more well-rounded. I've been doing little things to be happier, but they were more like busy work, distractions. What I want now is things to focus on, and not just do blindly because they keep me from feeling bored or sad.

So here are my May Resolutions:
  • Be a better friend. I'm pretty darn lucky in the friend department. I have friends all over the place - real-life friends, blog buddies, girls from my message boards. I appreciate them all. What I don't feel I do enough of is reaching out to them. I've never been great at initiating conversations or keeping up with correspondence. But in the last eight months, when life has just feel so HARD sometimes, there have been ladies who really went above and beyond to let me know they were there. And I need to do that more, because it meant so much to me. I'm not the only one with problems, the only one who needs an e-hug. Everyone needs them, in good times and in bad. I'm going to focus on being that person for more people more often.
  • Work on my advisor skills. I have six lia sophia shows scheduled in May (and actually already have 2 done) and this month has the potential to really set the tone of my business for the next several months. I want to work harder at being a great advisor for my hostesses and making sure they get all the best benefits through better communication with their guests. I had two shows this weekend and didn't feel as prepared as I should have for Saturday, so I'm going to focus on giving myself more preparation time and not getting my shit together on the fly.
  • Get organized. Dan and I have talked about rearranging the kitchen and making more space in the cabinets for my baking stuff. We used to have a dresser in the dining room with my pans and everything in it, but we got rid of it, and now we need to make better space. Also, we still haven't started on building my craft room work space, and that would really help with organizing a lot of the stuff I have scattered about the house. I just feel that, in general, I need to have a better sense of everything having its place.
  • Be healthier. I have a few health-related items on my 101 in 1001, and I want to focus on being serious about those. More water, more moving, better food choices on the weekends. We tend to do really well during the week with our protein-and-a-veggie meals, and then the weekend comes and we're busy and I'm tried of cooking. I need to focus on having more leftovers at the end of the week and - you know - actually eating them.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Random Friday Musings

Happy Friday, all! It's felt like a heck of a long week, but it's been a great one. Our coming "out" during National Infertility Awareness Week has been an incredible success - everyone has bee so supportive. Even better, there are ladies who weren't planning to come out, but did when they heard how great the experience was for many of us. I also "celebrated" NIAW by attending my first Resolve group meeting. It was great - it's so nice to meet other women who understand and be able to talk face-to-face.

Alright, on to my musings.

  • I was driving home from a lia sophia party Wednesday night and saw this guy come up weaving between a few other cars and generally going pretty fast behind me at a light. I'm kind of surprised he didn't run it when it turned red. Anyway, he sat there drumming his fingers like he was all impatient at the light and when it turned green, I kind of watched in amazed horror as he (I presume) accidentally put his car into reverse (why was it in park at a light anyway?) and FLOORED it into the car behind him. Maybe slow down a little and have some more patience, eh bud? The time lost sitting at that light was nothing compared to having to pull over and exchange insurance, now was it?
  • Have you all seen the new Kony2012 posters? With the donkey and elephant's heads merged and the line "something we can all agree about?" I can't help but think we're all supposed to elect him President now. I'm willing to bet some idiot will write in his name on a ballot somewhere.
  • I downloaded an app to make notes of random musings, and the only thing in it this week is "mush pot." I know what "mush pot" refers to, but I have no idea why it's in there.
  • Oh wait, yes I do. So, I've never been a very emotional person. I don't cry at movies and stuff. And then I got engaged. Ever since then, it's like the mush pot (the term Dan uses for me when I'm emotional) inside me has been awakened and I cry at everything. Like the cheeseball movie Armageddon. And certain commercials. I don't like Mush Pot me.
  • I got the best compliment yesterday from a friend who's a bit of a blunt little hard-ass. She told me she would eat food I brought to a pot luck. You have NO idea how much that means to me.
  • Lastly, how the fluck is Jessica Simpson STILL pregnant? I'm convinced she's gestating a horse. What baby wouldn't want to stay in there when it gets fed Pop Tarts?
Alright, I'm out. Enjoy your Friday, and have a fun weekend. I'm crazy jealous that Shana is with Allyson this weekend, so I don't think there's a link-up. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Weekend Ins and Outs

Blech .Monday. As much as I love Friday, Monday is full of suckage. And this Monday started off rough. Paisley has had hives all weekend and when her Benadryl wears off, she gets itchy, which never happens. So I had Paisley scratching and crazy and generally restless next to me in bed at 2:00 this morning. We went to the vet and got some medicine, so hopefully it'll take care of it. Anyway, you can imagine I'm more tired on a Monday than I usually am.

We got a lot done this weekend. Dan did a side job for his parents' neighbor all weekend, and I went to Joann Fabrics because they were having an awesome sale. They had a deal where if you spend $50, you'd get a 30% coupon - for regular AND sale price items - to use the next week. So I thought of everything I needed from there and headed off with my list. OF COURSE everything was already on sale, so I couldn't even get to freaking $50 with my fairly-large list, which is awesome, but I still wanted that 30% off. Oh well. Anyway, here's what I did with it.

I'm not really sure who this wreath-loving person I've become is, but I found a super cute summery wreath on Pinterest and followed the links through to find the tutorial. I used yellow yarn to wrap the wreath and felt for the flowers, and finished it with a wooden monogram to make this for the front door:

 The flowers were actually super easy to make, thanks to the tutorial I found on Craft Snob

Next up, I also purchased some spray paint. Spray paint, FYI, might by my new glue gun in terms of most appreciated tool for "crafting." I had seen these really cute lamps at Target and thought they would be really fun in the bedroom to go with the blue/green color scheme we have going on. Unfortunately, I'm a cheap-ass when it comes to things that are not something you use (meaning DO something with, like lamps) so I wasn't keen on the $40 it would cost to purchase them, especially considering we had lamps that work. But what I could justify was a can of spray paint (at 50% off no less, as I had a coupon for Joann, and it was the most expensive thing at regular price, so said 50% off coupon went toward it). So Dan helped me turn my boring black metal lamps into these fun blue versions of themselves:

I'm not crazy about the shade, but with all the money I saved on the lamps themselves, I could replace them for the right price. And here's Paisley chilling with the new addition - you can kind of get a feel for the colors in the room and how the blue ties in.

She digs it. I dig it, too.

(FYI, with this new blogger layout, I can't tell which pics are showing and which aren't, even though the HTML looks right. Considering there's also a firewall to contend with, I'm not sure what you can and can't see. So, sorry if they're not showing up. The wreath is on my FB, and I'll post pics of the lamps, too).

I also got a frame and mat for the awesome print my friend Kathy gave me. I didn't take a picture, but it looks beautiful, and I'll be sure to include a photo of it as I get more of the craft room decorating done.

So that's kind of it for the crafting and my Joann spending. It doesn't seem like much, but I saved over $30 and only spent $40 with everything being on sale and got three things done. Not bad.

I also came "out" about our infertility on Facebook. I was pretty nervous, but I got absolutely nothing but positive feedback and an out-pouring of love from everyone. The jewelry that Allyson created for National Infertility Awareness Week (link in this post) sold very well and I was so happy her project was successful. I'm glad to finally be out and making the conversation about the struggles of infertility one that we should not be ashamed to have.

Oh, and a funny conversation between me and Dan. He did a side job for a neighbor which included spreading some 28 tons of rock, and in the process, he had to remove her mailbox. So yesterday, he went to go put it back in. When we got in the car for him to take me to dinner, there was a pipe laying on the seat.

Me: What's that?
Dan: Conduit. It's for running electrical wires. I used it to reinforce [neighbor's] mailbox
Me: She has an electric mail box?

Yeah. Brains. I got 'em.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Random Musings Friday

Happy Friday, everyone! Hang on to your butts - I'm about to make up for last week.

- I went to the restroom in the office yesterday, and as I was washing my hands, a woman came in with an apple and set it on the counter before picking a stall. Really? You bring FOOD into a public bathroom? That grossed me out beyond measure. Maybe.... MAYBE I could see it if it was something like an orange or a banana where you peel the skin off and the fruit underneath hasn't been exposed to bathroom air. But an APPLE? You eat the skin! Ugh, gross.

- Also related to food, a group in the building had a potluck the other day. You know that Chex Puppy Chow mix? That's so delicious? Well, one girl brought it in and served it in a dog food bowl. Literally, a DOG food bowl. I can't decide if I find that to be genius or disturbing.

- Apparently, I have food on my mind. Every day as I drive to work, I pass by a lot of sign spinners. And I drive to work fairly early, so it always kind of surprises me that they're out already. I hate sign spinners. They annoy me. If I see one, I make a mental note to avoid the establishment they're advertising for. Here's where this ties in to food. One of the places along my commute that has a spinner is a burrito shack. Their pictures look delicious. I enjoy breakfast burritos. But I can never go there, because every morning, there's a jackass in a chili pepper costume spinning a sign for them. First world problems.

- Non-food related: also on my route to work but closer to our neighborhood, there's this big sign that has a lot written on it, but the first part is "my dog was stolen." That sucks, I feel for you. But here's the thing about this sign. It's VERY elaborately painted. As in, the outlines of the letters are all in white, and the inner colors of each word rotate between 4 or 5 colors. It's busy as hell to look at. Also, the sign is tacked to a street sign on a corner that is nowhere near a stop light. Thus, I'm traveling at about 40mph when I drive by it, so not only can I not take a picture to show you, I can't READ it. Between the busy colorful lettering and its placement, all I know is that some guy with a lot of time on his hands had his dog stolen. Here's a thought, dude. In the time it took you to make that sign, you could have been looking for your dog.

- I may have mentioned something about this before, but some friends of ours went through some unfortunate junk in January, and it's still going on. I'm not going to get all into it, because it doesn't all matter, but let's just say there are "sides." Dan and I are apparently on side A, and pretty much the entire rest of our group of "friends" is on side B. More accurately, we're on side The Kids (yes, there are kids involved in all this) and side B shut us out, essentially choosing side A for us. Anyway, this is how dumb this all is. And keep in mind that the youngest person involved in all this (besides The Kids) (and also, I use "involved" loosely, because if I really told you the whole thing, I think you'd agree that we're not involved at all) is Dan at age TWENTY-SEVEN. So, we're over on side A, right? Our tattoo artist and our hairstylist are on side B (though, really, it's their significant others who are on side B, and they're both more like Sweden. Or Switzerland. Whichever one doesn't get involved). Anyway, this big thing I've been leading up to is this: we no longer get reminder calls from our hairstylist's salon because the guy who makes said reminder calls is on side B. That's right. Someone whose job it is to make reminder calls for an appointment so we can come in and GIVE THEM OUR MONEY refuses to call us because we're on the wrong side of a situation that we're not even in. We need new friends. Now accepting applications. And they might have found this somehow, and that's fine. Hopefully in reading this, y'all realize how ridiculous this all is. This is the most I've ever put out on the webs about this situation, and that's a big difference from all the crap that's been said about me.

- Speaking of stupid fighting, I had a dream last night where I argued with Dan. It wasn't even something we would ever fight over in real life, and it was so stupid, but I was mean. Do you ever do that? So I woke up feeling bad that I'd been so awful and apologized to him. Is that normal? I apologized for something I didn't even actually say, just because I thought of it in a dream.

- Okay, let's end on a happy note. I am so honored to be a part of this. Allyson of Magnolias & Mimosas and Daisy and Elm Jewelry and Rosaries designed a line of jewelry for National Infertility Awareness Week, and it is fabulous! She took ideas from me (and some fellow IFers) for words and phrases that are meaningful to us and made some truly fabulous pieces. It goes on sale on Sunday at 1pm EDT, but you can preview it on her Facebook page here in the "Perennials" album. Ally, I am truly grateful for the thoughtfulness of your work, and I'm thankful for your friendship <3

I hope everyone has a wonderful Friday and a fabulous weekend!

Also, I am a chickenshit, so that part about our friend situation might come down later. But feel free to comment on it for now.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

What is "a lot?"

I was cruising my Facebook newsfeed when I saw an interesting status post - "I just laugh when people think they've been through a lot." It struck me as odd. The girl who posted it is dealing with both health issues and infertility. She's had numerous surgeries and is a very brave and lucky lady. To me, I'd agree she's been through "a lot" and I genuinely admire her. At the same time, I wondered (and asked), "who gets to decide what 'a lot' is?" Is there some arbitrary amount of physical or emotional distress one must go through to earn compassion and sympathy?

I feel like I see this in the IF community sometimes. As understanding, supportive, and empathetic as we are to each other, there is sometimes a sense of "I've been through more than you. You don't understand my battle." There can be a bit of an underlying hierarchy. And it is true - I haven't been through treatment. I've never had surgery. I've never shot myself in the butt with needles trying to grow multiple eggs. I've never been through egg retreival or transfer. I've never suffered a loss, as many, many ladies have. I've been very fortunate in my non-IF health, too, and in my family. My happily married parents and beautiful sister are alive. I have a home, a car, a job, two healthy pups, and a loving husband. It's true that I don't understand a lot about what some others go through.

However, where does lack of understanding and shared experience turn into absence of compassion? I know we all have moods and bad days when we think "I'm dealing with this mountain, and you're being a sissy la la over a mole hill." But maybe that mole hill IS a mountain to them. Unfortunately, life experience sometimes makes us jaded to the struggles of others. While it can serve to give us compassion and an ability to comfort someone who's trying to tame their mountain, sometimes all we can think about how much bigger and more daunting our own is.

I'm not saying I'm not guilty of it. I have my days for sure when the struggles of others seem trivial. But I'm working to remember that I don't know what else that person has dealt with. I don't know that they didn't suffer a loss or that their family life or marriage is struggling or they have an illness that is striking fear into them. I don't know if they're drowning in debt or worried about how they'll put food on the table. People don't always share all their struggles, and sometimes that last little "mole hill" is just the tip of their mountain, the last straw that makes them crack and pushes them to no longer keep it to themselves, but to hint that they need some love.

Moral of the story (I suppose): be kind to everyone, for we're all fighting a battle.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Random Musings Friday

Hurray for Friday! This is an exciting one. My parents and sister and brother-in-law are coming tonight and we're spending the day together tomorrow. I also am going to Food Truck Friday today, and I am making cupcakes later for my friend's daughter's birthday party. Fun stuff.

- The stupidity of people never ceases to amaze me. My route to work takes me through the industrial part of town - the road I take is along the train tracks, so there are factories, scrap yards, and other such establishments. All the scrap yards have signs advertising the price they'll pay for a pound of this or a ton of that. One of them had a sign with ".75 [cent sign] per pound for cans" (keyboards don't have cent signs anymore? Did they ever?). Um, do they not realize they're saying that they'll pay a fraction of a penny for a pound rather than seventy-five cents? Dumb.

- Infertility Awareness Week is coming up, and Dan and I finally had a good talk about what I want to do about it. He's private, and doesn't see the need to talk about all this in a public forum. For me, it's therapeutic and also makes me feel as though I'm reaching out to other women to let them know they're not alone. We've finally come to an agreement about me posting some facts and such on FB during IFAW, and I'm excited. I've been keeping a list of facts on my phone as I think of them, and I hope to make it meaningful and educational. This will also be the official public coming out for us, and I'm anxious to see how it goes, but I'm tried of feeling like I'm hiding.

- Social media is a powerful thing. I admit, I use my Twitter account to rant about companies sometimes. But, it works. Dan and I are having banking issues - sometimes having separate checking accounts causes problems, and our bank recently overhauled their transfer system to allow easier transfers of funds to customers at other banks. Ironically, it made intra-bank transfers screwy. Figuring out the problem has resulted in four different answers from four different customer service reps, none of whom actually provided a solution. So I ranted about it on Twitter and guess what? Five minutes later, I had the number to the executive customer service office and a referral to speak to an online banking pro. That's probably not a huge deal, but calling customer service 4 times didn't work. One Tweet did.

Alright, I think I'm out of stuff. I wasn't very good at making a list this week. Go visit Shana for the link-up and see what everyone else is thinking about this Friday. Happy Weekend!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Two years

Today marks two years since we started trying for a family. It also marks a year since infertility has officially been a part of our lives. A lot has changed since two years ago. I remember how excited I was, assuming we’d be expecting in no time. We talked about names and I thought about how we would announce to our families. We thought about how we would decorate and I had a mental list of baby gear I liked. Things are very different now. The room that I once walked by thinking, “that’ll be our nursery” is now part-way through its craft room transformation. I’m working daily at dealing with the loss (even just infertility itself is a big life-changer for couples, much less deciding to walk away from trying anymore) and taking care of myself and my husband emotionally. Still, it’s a sad day for us. I miss this day two years ago when we were hopeful and optimistic for a family. I’m hopeful and optimistic for new things now, but there’s an empty space where a dream once was.

I am thankful that the most important thing - my wonderful husband - hasn't changed. He continues to be my rock, and we continue to be strong and loving. The last year especially has had big challenges and disappointments for us, but if we can get through this, I know we can get through anything life throws our way.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Drawestin: Things Storks Bring

DRAWSTIN a Draw Something Linkup with @AmandaAustin and @AwesomeHutch

I was playing Draw Something with a friend the other night, and she got the word "stork." So she drew me a cute little grey-ish stork with an orange beak and feet. Very cute. And the stork, of course, was holding a bundle with a baby inside. I texted her (kind of) jokingly that not all storks bring babies (I've semi told her about our trouble, but not sure if she realized I was serious or not). So anyway, I told her I want the kind of stork that brings a baby elephant and plays a harmonica, like in "Dumbo" (one of the best movies ever, if y'all didn't know). We decided it would be pretty awesome to have a baby elephant deposited in the backyard, and that Clover could be it's mom (which would be HI-larious).

Well, in pure serendipity, for her next turn, she actually go "Dumbo" as a choice, and she drew me this:

Obviously, since she'd just drawn me a stork with a baby I was super confused and started looking for the letters to spell stork. Then I thought maybe the game was broken and was showing me an old drawing but the letters for a new word. And then she started drawing Dumbo, and I just started laughing. Dan thought I was nuts. I love the confused look on Clover's new baby's face.

Well played, Draw Something. Well played.

Share your awesome Draw Something screen shots on It's Blogworthy's #Drawestin Link-up

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Free Your Mind Monday... the finale

Yeah, I know, it's Tuesday.

I've reached the end of the list of questions. I'm not sure my mind really feels freed by this exercise, honestly. I didn't feel particularly torn by any of them, and none of them really required any deep thought. But oh, well. Maybe my expectations were too high.

46. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you? Not much, honestly. I'm thankful to have reached some arbitrary age in life where people's opinions hopefully don't matter as much, and if they do, I remember that their life isn't affected by what I do. So I don't think I'd change much about what I do, say, or am just based on the notion of being free from criticism.

47. When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing? Just now. (see, deep questions)

48. What do you love? Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love? Always first and foremost, I love my husband. I wouldn't be the relatively sane person I am without him. I love my family and my friends, my dogs (babies!!), and my home. I try to show them all love every day.

49. In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday? What about the day before that? Or the day before that? Probably not, since it’s a fairly arbitrary day. I think it’s fine to not remember every day in detail if there’s nothing monumental about it. I’d rather save my memory for the important stuff.

50. Decisions are being made right now. The question is: Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you? At this stage of my life, my decisions directly affect only me and my husband. Therefore, we make them together. I don’t believe he makes decisions for me, or vice versa. We make decisions for us. There may be compromise at times, but I'm thankful that I met a partner in life who sees eye to eye with me, and thus far, I've never had to "sign off" on a decision that I couldn't be happy with.

And done.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Check, check, check!

Holy moly, what a productive weekend we had. My unexpected Friday off was spent playing Draw Something in the morning, then having lunch with TJ and Penny (who pinches now, people. PINches.), then helping our roommate get his stuff out and reclaiming this:

Our spare bedroom! This was prior to vacuuming, so sorry for the mess. After I took this and sent it to Dan with a message that read, "it's just you and me again, Buddy!" I got to work cleaning. We were waiting on the move-out to clean our carpets again, so first I had to vacuum the whole house. Dan shampooed the carpets when he got home, and then we set up our old bed in the new guest room - we have an actual GUEST room, OMG.

Then, on Saturday, I went yard sale-ing. We have an extra TV that Dan thought would be nice for our guests in our guest room, but we needed something to put it on. So I was in search of a small dresser that we could also use for storage. And on the last street I hit before giving up and going home, I found something! And it was only $15. But it was ugly. Not a problem for me, though. I know how to solve ugly dresser problems. And so I present to you, the little brother of the Most Awesome Dresser in the Universe, Fabulous Little Blue Dresser:

Gorgeous, huh? I primed and spray painted it with Valspar Indigo Cloth, and I love it. It's still sitting there curing in the sun, but it came with nice gold and cream hardware that is literally going to POP against that blue. I can't wait to put it in the room. I might have a dresser painting problem. I hope I don't end up on Intervention with a room full of people who love me like crazy and want me back.

Aaaaanyway, I also grew stuff. See?

Dan says it could be a weed or something left over from the reused soil (he got it from his parents' yard), but I don't care. I put seeds all over that planter and I watered it, and there was nothing there before and there is now, so I grew it. I win at growing things.

And finally, the biggest most exciting thing of my weekend, my stripes are DONE!! That's right, I finally finished pretty much the biggest project I've ever done. It was exhausting and my body hurts from crouching and reaching and rolling and brushing, but it's done and so very worth it.

So, start to finish. First, we painted all four walls Valspar Frosted Lilac (4 weeks ago, but whatever). Then, Dan used a level to pencil on lines for me to follow with tape all around the room. To make it so we wouldn't have to go near the pesky baseboards again with a second color and risk drippage, the bottom and top 4" of the wall stayed Frosted Lilac, and we divided up the rest of the wall into roughly 12" stripes. It took me a good 2 hours to lay the tape down.

Then, you have to seal that tape with paint, so I had to use the Frosted Lilac again and paint onto the tape from the wall to make sure I'd have sharp lines and no seepage from the darker paint when I went over it. This is the part that had me questioning my sanity for wanting striped walls. It was meticulous and not in a fun way at all. Not to mention, it was my first time being on the ladder (Dan did the Frosted Lilac weeks ago, including the cutting in near the ceiling), and that just makes me about 6 kinds of anxious (hello, I'm Brooke, and I'm a wuss).

Finally, that was done and I could paint on the Valspar Silverberry on every other stripe. I was so incredibly paranoid about painting the wrong stripe, I wrote "D" for dark at every corner to make sure I didn't screw it up. But it looked really cool when it was done, even with the tape still down.

At this point, it was like 8:30 Saturday night and I'd been couped up in the room for what felt like days and wanted to be done, but you have to pull the tape off while the paint is still wet, so I grabbed a glass of wine, took a deep breath and started pulling. And I discovered that I'd done a really decent job taping and sealing and it had actually worked!

It looked awesome, aside from one little issue. When Dan penciled on my lines and I went over them with tape, I wasn't very smart or thoughtful about the fact that if I covered the pencil, it wouldn't get painted. So I had very minimal seepage under the tape, but I had a lot of pencil line left exposed. Kind of a bummer, but yesterday morning while Dan went dirtbike riding, I whipped out a small brush, put on some tunes and slowly worked my way around the room painting over the pencil and evening out the lines by also covering seepage and hitting the areas that needed to be otherwise touched up.

I love love love how it came out. I love how bold and fun it looks. I love how the colors change with the light - sometimes it looks very obviously purple, and in other light it looks very grey. I couldn't be happier with it.

We spent the rest of the day yesterday having lunch, hanging out with my in-law's dog (they're out of town), and doing some more cleaning and reorganizing. It was a perfectly productive weekend, and I feel like I got so much accomplished. This weekend, my parents and sister and brother-in-law are coming to visit and I'm very excited! I can't wait to see them all and show them our projects :)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Random Friday Musings

Happy Friday! Hurray for a surprise day off - I thought I had to work, but thanks to Mrs. ESPN, I asked my boss and he told me we were off. So, yay! I've got some errands to run, and then I'm having lunch with Temerity Jane & Penny, and I might treat myself to a pedicure. Not to mention, I have about 20 games of Draw Something to keep up with.

- Today is roomie move-out day! And I feel a little bad putting the exclamation point in, but I'm ready to have our house back to ourselves. By the end of this weekend, we'll hopefully get quite a few things scratched off the list - we'll have an actual guest bedroom in the 3rd room, Dan has "paint stripes on craft room walls" as mission #1 on his to-do list, and we'll take care of some of storage issues since Dan can move some of his stuff back into bedroom #3.

- On the way to work the other day, I saw just a random beat-up Camry with a crooked sign that read "Hurry Transportation" on it. No phone number or anything, but it struck me that it was some kind of self-employed taxi service. And I admit, I judge books by covers sometimes. The guy driving was not someone I'd want to be trapped in the back seat with. Not to mention, he had no sense of urgency. I'm not sure "Hurry" anything was appropriate for this guy's business. It just all struck me as odd.

- Not long ago, my coworker C told the nail-clipping co-irker to stop trimming his nails in his cubicle. He called it "disturbing" and something that should be done at home. Well, C was out yesterday, so Clipper figured it would be okay. Not so much, because I just happened to grow a pair yesterday and sent Clipper an IM asking him to save the nail clipping for home and that it's really not appropriate to do in an office. He shot back, "I thought I was safe with C out of the office." I responded, "no, C being gone doesn't make it okay." So he told me he'd be more "careful." Careful? WTF? No. I... er, WE, actually... are trying to politely tell this disheveled doofus loser that what he's doing at work is inappropriate for the setting and he's clearly not getting it. And because he talks to his wife (who I hear looks like Tammy Faye Baker) 70 times a day, I'm sure this would have come up. If my husband told me he'd been called out by multiple people for doing that at work, I'd be mortified. But I guess performing acts of grooming and hygiene in close public spaces is the kind of ship they're running. Freaking weirdos.

- Today is a local radio station's Big Red Easter Keg Hunt. They hide 98 kegs around the city and one is worth $5,000. Usually, there's a concert the night of, and anyone who finds a keg brings theirs to find out if they're a winner, but this year, it's just some thing at an arcade. Anyway, every year I get all hyped up thinking I'm going to go find a keg. And then I get lazy. There are clues, but I figure by the time I get there, it'll be gone. Two years ago I did go out and drive around in my pajamas for about 12 minutes, but I got over it pretty quickly. I wish someone would just hide a keg in my yard and call it a day.

- My in-laws flew to MD to see my brother- and sister-in-law yesterday. Dan slept through his alarm and was about 45 minutes late picking them up to get them to the airport. Still, they made their flight... barely. That's good, because I know Dan would have felt awful. I would, however, like to apologize to any passengers who had to listen to my father-in-law complain and stuff for five hours.

- Happy Birthday to my sweet friend, Kathy! She's the one who sent me the beautiful print a little while ago. I hope you have a fabulous time in Boston!

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! We're not really Easter celebraters (aside from indulging in Cadbury Mini Eggs), but I know many of you are, so I hope it's special for you and your families :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Drawestin: Seriously Brilliant Digital Art

There used to be a time that I was pretty obsessed with a fun little game called Words With Friends. And then people kind of just stopped playing as much because something better came along. And that something is Draw Something. It's basically playing pictionary with 40 of your closest friends on your phone. It's incredibly awesome. It's hilarious because depending on how far along you are in earning points, you have to make do with the colors you have and sometimes you end up with blue grass and red eyes.

The problem for me is that I don't have an iPhone, and playing on my rinky dink little LG phone (I love LG phones, but the Draw Something capability is lacking) is crappy. The battery can't support the huge draw on power, and the size of the download means I can keep exactly 15 texts or 2.6 pictures on my phone at once. Lame. So I deleted it. And I've missed it so. I've been watching the Android market for a Kindle Fire version and there still isn't one (WTF, Android market/Amazon?). BUT. Yesterday, I found instructions for downloading it as an outside app and! Only problem - I can only play when I'm at home or where I can get Wifi. Oh well, better than nothing.

Anyway, Amanda and Hutch are having this awesome link-up of your best Draw Something screen shots. Because I don't have screen shot on the Kindle, I'm limited to being able to share the only two shots of brilliant work that have been saved and posted by others.

First, I present to you pretty much one of the very first pictures I ever had to guess, drawn by Temerity Jane:

I didn't freaking guess this one and she'll never ever let me live it down. It's Tupac. Obviously. Except to me at the time. My excuse: "I thought he was a Blood." ::hangs head in shame::

And then there's this, drawn by yours truly for a friend:

Also obvious... Carmelo (Anthony). I didn't know what team he plays for or what color jerseys that team would wear. All I know is that he's brown (and yes, I used yellow when I had to draw that Jeremy Lin guy), his name sounds like Caramello, and that's like a Rolo. Brilliant.

Amanda and Hutch are hosting their link-up called Drawestin all through April as a feature of their conglomeration #AwesomeAustin. I honestly don't know if I have an SN on Draw Something because I sign on through Facebook, but you can email me with your SN and I'll find you to play. You can also play with Amanda (AmandaAustin) and Hutch (AwesomeHutch). And if you Tweet it, use the hashtags #AwesomeAustin and #Drawestin

DRAWSTIN a Draw Something Linkup with @AmandaAustin and @AwesomeHutch

Monday, April 2, 2012

Free Your Mind Monday

It's time for another thrilling installment of the 50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind...

41. If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today? Do I have a limit? I'd visit my immediate family - my parents and sister, of course. And my grandparents. And I'd spend the bulk of my time with my husband. As for my friends, I would take the time to call and text them. I'd hope they would understand that with such a short timeline, a personal visit wouldn't be feasible.

42. Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous? No.

43. What is the difference between being alive and truly living? Being alive is biological - eating, breathing, sleeping. Truly living is doing what makes you happy and fulfilled.

44. When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right? It totally depends on the decision at hand. I make a lot of decisions based on the information that is presented, but I do also account for gut feelings. There is no universal answer to this for everyone.

45. If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake? Because some mistakes are too costly, even with a lesson learned. And some lessons I don’t care to have to learn from a mistake.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Crossing things off the list...

Whew, what a week! It was awesome, and I got to cross a couple things off various lists. I also did some fun things that aren't on the list.

First, last week during my 51 hour trip to New Jersey, I took care of #78 on my 101 in 1001 and met Shana! She came up to my hotel room and then we went over to a cute Italian restaurant across the street that her friend recommended. It was delicious. I had this amazing melt-in-your-mouth filet mignon. After dinner, during which we had a great conversation the whole time, we went back to my hotel and chatted some more. She even got to meet Mrs. ESPN (who scared the crap out of me with a sneak-up) catch a glimpse of The Clipper. When she had to leave, it felt like far too soon - it's amazing how just interacting through blogs, Twitter, and email can make you feel like you really know someone and be completely comfortable with them. The only pic of the meeting is one she took of me, and you know what I look like, but you can check out Shana's blog for my cheesy smile. It was truly awesome meeting you, Shana, and I hope to see you again soon!

Next, Dan woke up yesterday with some awful back pain. Not good... at all. But the good thing that came out of it is that his mom and I were able to open him up to the idea of buying a new bed. A little ahead of schedule, but the timing works. Our roommate moves out next weekend and my family (parents, sister, and brother-in-law) are visiting the 13th through the 15th, so having an extra bed will really work. We got a fabulous deal on a king-sized nice firm memory foam bed with cool gel. Also exciting about getting a new bed: bedding. We have great bedding that we LOVE for winter (and purchased in king size in anticipation of this purchase), but a down comforter just doesn't work in Arizona in the summer. We don't have anything but said winter bedding in a king size, so we needed something. So I spent some lia sophia money on summer bedding - t-shirt sheets at Dan's request, and a lightweight quilt in colors that match the overall color scheme of the master bedroom.
Also, I did a Pinterest product yesterday. My lovely friend, Kathy and I are both planning on putting together a display of monograms, and I had found a really cute yarn-wrapped monogram from Etsy that I decided to try out. So I got a cardboard K from Joann Fabrics which I wrapped with a thick cream yarn. I also used a tutorial I found on Pinterest to make rolled fabric flowers that I used to embelish it. I'll probably add a couple more fabric flowers or some other cute findings, but you get the idea. This one will probably end of in the craft room, seeing as how the purple will fit my theme. Oh, and speaking of the craft room, we pencil-lined the stripes, so the next step is taping and finally painting. I keep saying I hope for next week, but I'm really hoping we can get going on it so we can finish by the time my family visits. Anyway, here's my K:
Cute, right?
We also did a couple other house projects today. We purchased window screen kits and sun-blocking screen for our windows and Dan put them together. They block 80% of sunlight, and in an Arizona summer, that can make a huge difference on both comfort and power bills. I also gardened - we bought some seeds and I planted zinnias, marigolds, and some other kind of flower in little planters Dan made with bricks from the yard that the previous owners left. I'm sure they probably won't survive very long with the heat, but I'm curious to see if I can get them to grow.

So it was a super busy few days, but so incredibly productive and fun. Tomorrow, it's back to the grind, but for now, I'm enjoying the finale of Worst Cooks in America and hanging out with Dan and the pups.