Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Renovation Bathroom Phase 1....DONE!

The bathroom renovation is complete. Two and a half days worth of hard work by my wonderful husband gave these results. Check out the before and after and let me know what you think. I am in LOVE with the new faucet. It has this old time water pump look to it and the water just looks beautiful flowing out. I couldn't be more happy than I am right now.




Totally cool faucet:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

So it begins...

Yesterday was the start of our bathroom renovation. I talked about this awhile back and posted "before" pictures, which I will put up again once the transformation is completed. My husband installed our new toilet (yes...exciting, I know) yesterday. He got the old blue rusted sink out and has been preparing the area for the new one. We found some old tile behind the sink, which was the same lovely shade of blue/green, guess that was the "thing" back in the 60's. I am super glad to know that wasn't covering all the walls. At least the previous old couple did us a service to have that removed prior to selling.

Though it is only a toilet and vanity, I am still super excited about these changes to my home. I feel like each little thing we do in there is a HUGE step towards the final goal. We have a big project to replace the tub and add in real plumbing for a shower. We would love to tile the shower with slate and put in a new window. We actually have a window to install, but it isn't the same size so it will take some work to make the changes. I think in the end it will be quite a costly project to do the tub, so it waits. However, the vanity and toilet get us one step closer to the end result, which totally excites me. Plus, to no longer have to look at that nasty rusty sink will be a beautiful thing!

Pictures to come later today...I HOPE!

Monday, December 21, 2009

I made it...barely

I swear I just knew bad things were coming for this weekend. Do you ever get that feeling in the pit of your stomach where you can just tell something is off. Well, it was off big time! The in-laws came down to our town for the weekend as Jared's younger brother graduated from our local university. It has been a long road for him so I'm super proud he made it.

Anyway, the day was bitter cold and parking is hard to come by so my wonderful husband decided he would drop me off near the door so I didn't have to walk in the cold. (Insert awwwww here) There were many other husbands and families doing the same so we sorta just pulled into the drop off line and I jumped out. Had my much to large purse with our camera bag in my hands. I had to walk through a patch of snowy grass to reach the pavement. As I reached the pavement, it looked like normal; however, what I failed to see was that there was a thick covering of grayish MUD on the edge where I had to walk. I hit it, slipped and fell smack on my right knee. In front of hundreds of people I totally busted ass. Extremely embarrassed and muddy, I picked myself up and went inside. My MIL was standing there and wondered why I was muddy. I said, "oh yeah, I decided to run through the mud before coming really I fell". She wasn't listening and laughed. I just thought okay whatever. Jared comes rushing in to check on me and re-explains to MIL that I fell. She still didn't hear it. Finally when we got up to our seats and I am pulling up my muddy pant leg to look at my knee and she sees it is all banged up she says, "oh you FELL!" NO SHIT? REALLY? Did we not try to tell you that twice?

So yeah, not the best day I've ever had. But to make it even worse, after the graduation we all went to the brother-in-laws house for a party. We had dinner and drinks and talked for awhile. Finally we decided to go home, but as soon as we walked in the door we got a call that Jared's grandmother, who was still at brother-in-laws house, fell and cut her leg open. She had to be rushed to the ER and have 18 stitches put in her leg. Needless to say, I should have listened to my gut and STAYED AT HOME! Haha.

Today, my knee seems a bit better. Not as swollen but still hurty some. It is getting easier to walk and stand on it, but still pretty sore when it comes to standing up or sitting down. I haven't had it looked at yet and since it seems to be getting better I doubt I will. I'd guess I strained it and it will continue to improve with rest, elevation, and ice, which is pretty much how I treated it all day yesterday.

Back at work today and it's going to be a week from hell. I hope I can get through it without any real big incidents!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Rant and Rave Wednesday

I've started to enjoy this whole rant and rave deal. Go check out Little Ms. Blogger to see what she is ranting and raving about this week.

Rave-I had two full hours without work to do today. I was supposed to be reviewing material, which I pretended to do, but it was wonderful to have some down time to sit and think.

Rant-Typically my work is very slow this time of year, but this year we are still keeping pretty busy. I guess it keeps me with a job, but I miss the down time.

Rave-Tomorrow is my last day of work for the week. Oh how I am ready for my Friday off.

Rant-I'll be spending my whole day off cleaning and getting ready for company over the weekend. The in-laws will be around Saturday and my family on Sunday.

Rant-I really wish I could totally skip over Saturday and not deal with those people.

Rave-My little niece is super excited to come see me on Sunday so she can check out our Christmas decorations. I hope she approves!

Well that's about it for me today. What's got your ranting and raving?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Thinking about the past...and the future

So last year at this time I was sitting in my small overcrowded apartment dreaming of the day I would get to have my own home, my own space, my own everything. Little did I know that a few short weeks away that dream would come reality and I would get to start work on my very own place. Here I sit a year later thinking back to the long process it took to get to this day. We are not close to being "finished" with this house but it is wild to think about how far we have come in such a short time. Much work, dedication, and love has gone into creating this thing I call my home. I can still picture in my head what it was like that first day we walked in the door. The walls were white and bare, the floors new and shiny, the curtains and shades old and worn. Such contrasting features it had. This house sat empty on the market for nearly two years as the couple who once called it home aged and slowly faded out of this world. Jared and I, a young couple just getting started on our life journey together, stepped in to pick up where they left off. That old couple lived most of their lives right here, raised a family, cared for one another. I think alot about that and how we are living our lives. I feel like we take pride in this home and in a weird way, maybe that makes me feel like we are honoring those who lived here before us. Though we never got to meet them or know them, our neighbors speak highly of the old couple. I like to think they can look down at their old place and see it is still well cared for and loved.

So anyway, thinking about where I was this time last year gets me thinking about where I will be this time next year. What dreams do I have now that I didn't have then. What dreams do I still dream that have yet to be reached? Hard work got us to this home. We got focused and had a goal set and we made it. I have so many other things in my life I want to do, goals to meet. Some easy, some hard, and some I feel like I will never attain. Why is that? Why should some seem so easy and some not reachable at all?

I dream of creating a family for this home. We would outgrow these walls very quickly but that is a different bridge to cross. Right now I dream of the sound of a baby, the smell and feel of soft skin, the joy of being a mother. This dream...I am so unsure if I will reach. I know it is not in the cards for this year but when I look back at this time next year will it be time? I have a huge barrier standing before me. I know at the weight I am, pregnancy is not only likely not possible to achieve, but extremely risky to the health of myself and a child if it were to happen.

I dream of a day when I can be comfortable in my body. Dream not to be thin but to FEEL GOOD and know I'm healthy. I have been on this roller coaster of diets in the past and it's like everyone says, diets don't work. Lifestyle change is what I need, but how? Where do I start? What resources do I use? I am lost. I've got a great support system with friends and family who dream the same dream I do. They want to see me healthy and happy and free from this burden that has weighed me down my whole life. Yet, I can't seem to figure this out for myself. This is my demon. I sit and think I REALLY want to be different yet at night I sit in my chair instead of going to the gym. I feel like this is an insurmountable mountain to climb. Like I have tried to conquer this thing for nearly my whole life and all I accomplish is failure. So, since every single time I've tried it has ended in failure; then why try? Yet, it holds me back. I can't do the things I want to do, can't really be who I want to be. I cheat not only myself but everyone I know. I am not the wife, friend, daughter, sister I want to be. The people most important in my life deserve more out of me than what they get.

How do I stop feeling sorry for myself and actually get past it? I have looked into surgical options. I am an excellent candidate for bypass; however, I have insurance that refuses to pay for obesity related treatments. Not even treatment with a dietitian. How sad is that? So, as surgery is about 25,000 bucks, it is not an option for me to pay this out of pocket.

The Biggest Loser? Yes, I have thought long and hard about wanting to sign up for this show. I do feel like I could be a good choice for them. I have a deep dark history, a good story some might say. Is it enough for them to choose me as a contestant? It's like a one in a million shot. Even if I did apply and beat out other people and be chosen to participate, where does that leave my job? my husband? house? etc? It would be like going away knowing I am going to lose everything I've worked hard for. My husband could not pay the mortgage without my income; so how could I know this and drop everything to leave for months. What would I be coming home to? Plus, not everyone gets to be gone 3 months. What if I give up my job to go and get voted off the first week? Then I'm left with nothing and will have nothing to show for it!

What are other choices? Pay out of pocket for a nutritionist and personal trainer. These don't really work on my budget either. I am feeling helpless, hopeless, scared. I wish lightening would strike and empower me and show me the way to fix this. Even the thought of death is not enough to "scare" me to change. What a loser this makes me and how I hate myself for thinking that I am less scared to die than to try! "When there is a will there is a way." Really? I don't see it.

And the worst part of all this is that friends/family just don't "get it." They see it from one side. The side that says, just get off your fat lazy ass and go to the gym, stop eating, stop thinking...just do it. It just isn't that simple. I have a real problem here! I CAN'T just stop eating. I wish alcohol or drugs were the problem, I can live without those. But food, I HAVE to eat. So enough of my "pity party" they say. But they don't have to feel the things I do each day. Don't feel how much it hurts to go to the gym, to be hungry. Don't understand the internal pain and turmoil I feel with even thinking about letting go of this fat. How shedding pounds is forcing me to let go of a "protection" I have created for myself and how letting go of that is scary and difficult. Maybe I will never win against all these demons. Maybe it will just be like this for me until it kills me. Regardless of all this, I still dream the dream of health for the year ahead.

What are your dreams?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Rant and Rave Wednesday

Well I decided to do another Rant and Rave Wednesday for all my blogger friends. If you haven't ever seen this before go check out LittleMsB and see what all the rantin and ravin is all about.

Rant: The weather has turned bitter cold but instead of getting lovely snow with it we simply get rain and flurries.

Rave: The fact that it is cold means that eventually snow will fall. I love the snow, most likely because I don't have to venture out in it unless I so choose. It looks beautiful, smells beautiful, and makes the holidays even more magical. I hope it snows before Christmas.

Rant: I don't have nearly enough of my Christmas shopping done and am afraid I'll be forced to go out with all those mean last minute shoppers. Why can't everyone have a good attitude about things regardless of the day the shop?

Rant: My wedding photos should be done within the next week and a half and I have to pay a good chunk in order to get them. The extra kick at my already strained budget leaves me feeling a bit worried.

Rave: I finally get to see the lovely reminders of our beautiful day.
Rant: I am feeling terribly down in the dumps the last few weeks and I want more than anything to feel like myself again. There are some real serious things weighing on my mind and no matter how hard I try to push them aside, they just won't let me sweep them under the rug.
Rave: The work day is coming to a close. Gosh I'm ready for a few hours to myself!
What's got you ranting and raving this week?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Rigging up the lights!

This morning as I'm catching up on my e-mail, I come across this one sent from my brother-in-law. I loved it so much I thought I would share it with all of you. I think this is a fantastic way to decorate your house! What do you think?

Make sure to read story at bottom…

Fantastic. Greg sends along this DIY FYI:

"Good news is that I truly out did myself this year with my Christmas decorations. The bad news is that I had to take him down after 2 days. I had more people come screaming up to my house than ever. Great stories....but two things made me take it down.

First, the cops advised me that it would cause traffic accidents as they almost wrecked when they drove by.

Second, a 55 year old lady grabbed the 75 pound ladder almost killed herself putting it against my house and didn't realize it was fake until she climbed to the top (she was not happy). By the way, she was one of many people who attempted to do that. My yard couldn't take it either. I have more than a few tire tracks where people literally drove up my yard."

Monday, December 7, 2009

Weekend Review

My weekend was nothing all that special. The hubby and I attempted to get some Christmas shopping done on Saturday and had to go into the city to do it. I knew just what I was looking for and knew where to find it. I had just seen these things not two months ago and knew it was the exact price I wanted to spend. This was going to clear out 3 of the 11 people I needed to buy gifts for. I got to the store only to find that THEY RAISED THE PRICES! How ridiculous is that? I was there not two months before and these gifts were exactly what I needed to pay to keep myself in the budget. They had gone up 25% in price. I refused to pay the marked up prices so I was left to figure out new gift ideas for 3 people. UGH!

I was actually quite mad about this. I spent a good bit of my time and a good bit of gas driving down to this mall where I bought not one gift. Very ridiculous. Anyway, Jared and I decided we were done shopping for the day. I think we were both disgusted at the situation.

Sunday, we did absolutely nothing. We sat in front of our huge Christmas tree and watched it spin round and round. (We have a spinning tree stand) We talked about life and the holidays. It was nice and something I think I really needed. Trying to plan Christmas with multiple families is very challenging. I'm getting to the point where I can't even enjoy my favorite time of year as it only seems to end with arguments on where to spend most of our time. I thought we had a decent compromise for this year, but apparently Jared doesn't feel the same. Though once I pointed out we would be spending the majority of the day with his family, he realized he had no room to complain.

I am excited about one decision we made. This Christmas eve, instead of driving ourselves insane going 4 different places, we are staying at home. We will go to our own church for our very first Christmas eve service and spend Christmas morning in our own home. Though we aren't giving each other gifts, I am very excited to know I get to wake up in my own bed, drink a cup of my own coffee, and mentally prepare for the long day ahead. I think we will both be quite thankful for the time alone before the long day of travel. There is just something nice about knowing you can start your own traditions after getting married. I would love to see Christmas eve become "our" time to have each year. At this point, I realize this is more than likely just wishful thinking.

So here we are, back to Monday. How was your weekend?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Finally Friday

This has been one of the worst weeks I've had in a very long time. You all know about the dog issues but because of having to deal with taking the dog to the vet, I missed time from work and now am walking on eggshells with my employer. It seems they make up new "rules" each week with what we can and cannot do. In the past, we could take time off through the week as long as we made our hours up before Friday at 5pm. That was awesome because if you needed to see the doctor or something, you could just schedule it and go, then make up your time. Now, ANY and ALL time off must be scheduled at least 2 weeks in advance. Really? So you aren't allowed to call out sick, or if you do you risk losing your position. If your child has an emergency or gets ill, you must plan that out in advance. I mean what kind of dumbass shit is that? No person sits at home and says, geez...I think I'll be getting the flu in a couple of weeks so I better go ahead and schedule that in.

Anyway, I don't know if it's all the stress of the week or what but I am finding it hard to function. I feel useless, worthless, and sad. No Happy Hour Friday for me. I just want a hot cup of tea and honey and then my big bed. Blekkk I hate feeling like this!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

This has been a bad week

Tuesday morning a little after 10am my door bell rings. As I get up from my desk chair to see who is at the door, my dog Dudley jumps down to bark and greet our guests. As I reach the front door I notice something is wrong with my pooch. I couldn't quite figure it out at first and greeted two bible thumpers. As I say hello to them I am focused on my dog. He is stumbling about in a very uncoordinated fashion. He looked scared and I couldn't tell what was wrong. I knew this was bad. I quickly told my guests I had to go, and they tried to keep me there and told me they wanted to "spread the word about Jesus". By this time, Dudley's distress sunk into my brain and I knew what was going on. I shouted to the bible bitches that I was having an emergency and slammed the door in their faces.

Dudley was having a seizure. He was shaking all over and his eyes were wide with confusion and fear. I talked to him and tried to calm him, for I knew I could do nothing for him until the seizure stopped. I called my husband and he started home from work. I called the vet, who explained that I didn't need to rush him in. They asked for us to monitor him over the next weeks and if he had another seizure within a month, to bring him in. By this time, he had calmed and the seizure had stopped. He looked so scared and so was I. Immediately following the completion of the seizure, he vomited. I felt helpless. Before my husband arrived, I watched as my poor pooch began to have a second seizure. I knew it was time to take him to the vet. He was scared, I could tell. He fumbled over to where his crate was and he crawled inside the best he could. I knew it was a safe place for him. I sat in front of him trying to calm him down and within a minute the second seizure stopped. He again vomited. We rushed him to the vet and for the next several hours were forced to wait for news of what was going on.

I was scared.

Turns out he had pancreatitis, which was responsible for the seizures. We brought him home Tuesday night but he was left with an IV catheter in his arm. We were instructed to closely monitor him. I don't think I got much sleep. Yesterday we took him back and things were better. Now my little puggle his home and happy. I pray nothing like this comes about again. He is so sweet and doesn't deserve to feel bad. I mean look at that face! Thank God he make it through.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts

-Don't you think it's strange how life moves on? Weather someone we love passes on, gets sick, moves away, gets robbed, suffers personal strife, etc. Life ALWAYS moves on. No matter how bad things are, they eventually do get better and we keep pressing forward and forget about the past.

-Why is the damn Midwest weather so ridiculous? I mean how can it be December 1st and going to be 60 degrees today? Then tomorrow it will be in the 40's. I don't ever remember it being 60 degrees and sunny in December.

-Why does my dog want to sleep ON my back during the work day? I sit in my big comfy desk chair and have to spend half my day fighting to keep him from jumping over to wedge himself between my back and the back of the chair. He is heavy and it is uncomfortable. To my right is a HUGE queen sized bed he could have all for himself, but nope....he wants my back.

-I hate colds. They make me feel miserable all over. My head hurts, face hurts, nose hurts, throat hurts, chest hurts. I mean seriously, can this crap end like now.

-Do you ever randomly find money in your home? I never do. My husband once found 100 bucks in a birthday card he had stashed away and forgot about. He found that money 2 years after it was given to him. Recently someone else I knew found 112 bucks in a random bag. They had gotten it from a wedding and forgot they had stashed it in a closet. Now they come across it over a year later. Just very random isn't it!

-Why is it that even though my name has changed from getting married, I still think of myself by my old name? I have to FORCE myself to say or write the new name. I wonder how long it will take for me to finally recognize that I am this new name.

Anyway, those are my thoughts for this random Tuesday. What's on your mind?

Monday, November 30, 2009

What a weekend

I haven't had such a bittersweet holiday in a very long time. Thanksgiving proved to be a wonderful day. I spend time with my old family and new family and enjoyed every moment. It was alot of travel, but worth it in the end to spend good quality time with the people I love. Jared and I stuck to our schedule and made it everywhere on time. The night ended with a hot game of uno to please my 5 year old niece.

Friday came and I was feeling pretty crappy. Jared had a bad cold early last week and I picked it up. I typically love the Black Friday shopping and go with my Mother every year. This was the first year I had to miss. I was just not feeling up to the long lines and crowds. She understood and took Jared out with her. They had a good time and the rest of the day I spent with the family.

Saturday, as per my tradition, I helped my mom decorate her home for Christmas. We had a wonderful time despite me not being 100%. It was a long busy day but worth it. At the end of the evening the rest of the family came to enjoy a dinner, drinks, and more games. I played in one game and decided to call it a night. That's where the bitterness begins.

At some point while I was asleep I heard my mother yelling for my father. I knew something was wrong and got up to see what was going on. Turns out, while we all sat playing games, my younger brother and his wife, who live 12 houses down the street from my parents, were being robbed. When they got home, they didn't even have to go inside to know things were not right. They immediately called us and the police. We all got dressed and walked the 12 houses down the street. A long night with police, tears, anger, fear, disgust all rolled into the matter of a few hours was what we were all in for. We were only a short block away, only 12 houses up the street, enjoying our lives and our family. All the while some low life dick wads were robbing the hardest working people I know. My brother and sister don't make alot of money but what they have they EARN from 100% hard work. I felt completely destroyed for them and wanted to kill whoever did this to them.

Luckily everything can be replaced and they have good insurance to take care of it. But, neither of them feel safe and can't seem to sleep or eat or live like normal people do. Very bittersweet. What is the joy people get from stealing? Is there a high in it or did it happen simply because they were desperate for the "goods". Can't these people find jobs and work for the things they want? As I stood there with them, my heart ached and there was nothing I could say or do to make it better. They had already wrapped every Christmas present and had it under the tree. The dirt bags went through and opened each gift taking what they wanted. What a horrible thing!

I always wanted to be the big sister that could protect my family; however, there I stood watching my brother hurt, knowing there wasn't a damn thing I could do. I gazed at the mess they left and was thankful nobody was hurt and that everything important to them was still in the house. It was obvious the thieves weren't there long, but they left enough destruction for my brother to be very unsettled. I hate that more than anything. But what can you do to help? I told them I'm a phone call away and offered to help with anything, but all in all I feel like I should have been able to do more.

Looks like tough times are abroad for this holiday season and prayers are needed to help all of us pull through this.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


In about 12 hours I will be heading out of town to go spend Thanksgiving with the family. As I have said in previous posts I am somewhat apprehensive about how the holiday will play out but am making it my mission to think positive. Despite that, the MIL is already causing drama for Jared and I. We are taking it in stride though, sticking to our plan and not letting her rain on our holiday.

I have had to put in some crazy work hour this week. Damn mandatory overtime. I am exhausted and have this horrible cold. Yet, I push on to get ready to spend some good old quality family time at home.

What do you have to give thanks for? This last year has been a blur for me, but I haven't lost sight of all the good things going on. I have someone in my life who loves me unconditionally and I love him back just the same. We got married and are head over heels in love. I have a job that is wonderful and pays me well, albeit I hate the overtime. We bought our first home this year. I never knew how unsettled my life really was until we got moved in. My family is amazing and my new extended family is wonderful (for the most part). Jared and I are surrounded by people who love and support us. In the end there is really nothing better than knowing you have people in your life who care about what you do.

I am looking forward to the weekend. More the weekend than the holiday as I get to spend some wonderful quality time with my Mom. She is my #1 best friend and I never get tired of sharing time with her. Over the years we have formed a Thanksgiving tradition. Black Friday, we will rise out of bed early and shop till we drop. We agree it is exciting and fun but more from the atmosphere and the thrill of victory when you find that super door buster bargain that someone else didn't get. By mid morning we will be sitting down for a yummy breakfast and talking about all the good or bad shopping we did. All that matters to us is that we are in it together.

Saturday will come and I will help my Mom decorate her house. It is fun for me and help to her. I feel like a kid pulling out all those familiar old Christmas trinkets. My mom is a big "knick knack" collector (wonder where I got it). We will listen to Christmas tunes, talk, laugh, cry, and have one wonderful day together. The weekend after Thanksgiving is one of my favorites all year. So much love surrounds me in those days and I can't wait to be submerged it in again this year.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

All for the holidays (LONG)

Phew what a busy few days I've had. The weekend was fantastic. Jared and I spent our time putting out our Christmas decorations as well as went shopping for some new fancy items for our bathroom. I should take a before photo to show you how gorgeous...erm I mean ugly our bathroom is. That was a big down side to this house when we bought it. All of the bathroom fixtures are this blue/green color, which was obviously the original to the house back in the 60's. Be right back, I'll take a photo. Okay so if you notice, I've tried to "cute" it up a bit but I am severely limited as I am stuck to a color palate to match these horrible fixtures. I got lucky to find a shower curtain with the same colors and went from there. The photo doesn't show the orange on the curtain very well but it is there, hence why we have orange rugs. Any who, we decided the rusty dirty sink and toilet had to go. We have shiny new ones to go in complete with a granite top vanity! I am very excited to see the transformation, but will have to wait about 3 or 4 weeks to see the final results. Jared is going to install the new items when he is on a 2 week break from work in the middle of December. (click the pictures to enlarge)

So, yes that was exciting for us to be updating such an ugly bathroom. Better than that for me was getting to dig out all my beloved Christmas decorations. I just LOVE the holiday! I Have gathered what I like to call, "knick knacks" over the years and get giddy with each year I get to display them. Some are old, some are new, some have meaning, some have none. In the end, they all make me happy in some little way.

I decided to keep some of them in storage this year, as I just haven't quite figure out to maximize my decorating space in the new house. I decided I want to share pictures of some of my favorite things. I think I'm going to show them in order of my most favorite down.

1) The small music box you see in the middle of this table (it is round and has a little snowman on it) was given to me by my Dad's parents during my first Christmas. So, it is 30 years old this year. It still plays and frosty still dances on the ice even though I dropped it when I was young and it cracked completely in half. My Daddy glued it together and he still works to this day. I feel like it is NOT Christmas until frosty is out in my home. To the right of it is another music box, which also came from my Dad's parents. A few years ago, my grandparents found it and gave it to me as a replacement for my broken one. Little do they know, they could NEVER replace my original. I still cherish them both dearly and know I will even more when my grandparents are no longer alive. 2) Before my Mom's mom passed away, she gave me her Christmas village. I have always been a fan of the department 56 village sets; yet I refuse to pay such high prices for little light up houses. Anyway, when Gram gave me her village I was thrilled. She was moving to a nursing home at that time and wanted someone to enjoy it as she use to. It has been extremely important to me since that time. I have added a few pieces here and there over the last couple of years but no new houses. I'm sure some day I will add more to it, but for now it makes me happy just they way it is. The best part is that every time I walk into my living room and look at it, I get to remember what a wonderful person my Gram was. I miss her terribly, she passed last January, but that village makes me feel her near me again. Here are some shots I took of the village.

3) The other things I love create sort of a general category of "knick knacks". My whole life I have been somewhat obsessed with the old children's move, "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer". You know the one! I'm sure you do! I could recite the whole thing by heart....but I'll spare you. Anyway, it has become my love to collect Rudolph themed junk to help decorate my home. Here is a glimpse of some of my oddities.
I could go on forever with these Christmas loves of mine. I just think this one post is getting long enough. Let me not forget that Thanksgiving comes first and boy do I ever have a lot to give thanks for this year; hwoever, I am finding it difficult to get into this holiday. My employer has me run ragged. Last week was full of mandatory OT and now this week is as well. I'm working crazy long days and not only am I exhausted but Jared and I are both sick. It might make for one miserable holiday weekend, but I'm hoping we get better soon and are able to enjoy it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thoughts for Thursday

I really don't have much to say today. I've been in a funk the last couple of weeks. I dunno if I'm in the let down phase after the wedding or what, but it seems like I'm just off. I've been really up and down. Super happy then super sad. I have had troubles in the past with depression and anxiety so I started to wonder if some of that was coming back but I realized it's not the same as before so I don't believe it is. I just think I've been very busy with work and taking the days as they come. The good ones are fun and make me excited and the bad ones suck and piss me off. That should be normal right?

I admit that I am a bit nervous about the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. This is my first year spending the day with Jared's family and there is always that potential for drama. We have a schedule to keep so that we can visit both of our families. More frequently than not my MIL plays this game where she will try to stall us as long as possible. I hate the game and get very annoyed that my husband lets her win. We do have a game plan in place this year so I am trying to remain positive and hope for the very best; however, I can't help but feel a bit anxious that there will be issues. I like to think she understands that just as we work hard to spend time on both sides and show up on time, we have to keep a schedule to get to my families festivities on time. Yet I doubt that concept reaches her brain. Maybe that is why I am funky right now. I'm nervous about the holiday. I hope once it passes and is wonderful it will reassure me that we can have fun with both families and that both can understand how difficult it is to travel and make everyone happy.

Other than these things, I'm also thinking about Christmas. I'm not trying to whine about the negative things going on as I realize we have it better than a good number of people. Yet, I still worry about it as the wedding pinched our budget really tightly and we have flat our run out of money. It's a scary feeling for us since the last two years have been so easy. We have been able to do what we wanted, save money, buy a home, and feel secure. The wedding was way over what I ever wanted to pay and Jared just didn't understand how tight it would make us. Looking back now, I know he regrets using all of our money for the wedding, but what's done is done. I don't really regret it, I mean it was a beautiful and perfect day; however, I think we could have gotten the same feelings from a less expensive ordeal. What does that have to do with Christmas? Everything and nothing. We will still enjoy the holiday just in a different way. Last year we spent big because we could. It was easy and fun shopping. This year, we are going to be squeezing ever ounce of cash from our paychecks to get everyone something to enjoy. There just hasn't been enough time passed to allow us to rebuild our extra cash flow to where I want it to be. Though I know it will only take a few of months for us to be back in the comfort zone, right now it's a bummer.

This weekend, to try and boost my holiday spirit and forget about the other downers, I am going to decorate my house. It is early but like I said earlier in the week we are going to be gone over Thanksgiving and I want to be able to enjoy it as soon as we get home. This is our first Christmas in our home and I cannot wait to get the tree up and start enjoying the things we have been blessed with. The air will be filled with good old holiday music and the scent of pine from Christmas candles. Just that one thought makes me smile. It has become my mission to try and see the good in all things. Even when there is darkness, there is ALWAYS some light to see. I find this very difficult as I am a huge pessimist, but right now I doubt there is a better goal for me to strive for.

Anyway, these are the thoughts running through my brain on this rainy Thursday. Is there anything on your mind?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Rant and Rave Wednesday

Rant- I am forced to work overtime this week, which means an already long 10 hour work day becomes miserable after 12 or 14 hours. This is why I was up and working at 6:30am. I hate mornings and I hate OT!

Rave- The OT will give me some much needed extra money, so despite all the hate I have for it come pay day I will be grateful.

Rant- The weather is turning colder. I was quite enjoying our abnormally warm November and am somewhat saddened to see it leave. I know the long and bitter winter is right around the corner.

Rave- Goose's wedding is coming up and some of the more finalized plans are starting to come into place. I am excited for her to feel the joy you get on your wedding day and feel really blessed she has chosen me to be a part of her day.

Rant- I am feeling that thing alot of women go through....the desire to have children. I am 30 years old and feeling more ready than ever to take on a baby. My husband feels the opposite. He is not as settled as I am and wishes to finish his education first. While I too would like for him to finish school I understand there is a limit on how long we could put off having a baby. I feel in my heart that right now is not the right time, but I still ache for it to happen. I keep praying that it will be in my future, yet something inside tells me it won't be. It's confusing. For now all I can do is wait and keep praying.

Rave- The prospect of having a child at some point is something that makes me happy. Though I don't know what my future holds I am excited about what will come of it all.

So there you have it! Whats got you happy/sad/angry/excited this week?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sneak Peek

Today I got an e-mail from our wedding photographer with a sneak peek of what's to come in a few weeks. After seeing the shot she sent, I'm even more excited to see the final results of all our photos.
What a long weekend we had. I was working my butt off the entire weekend, yet there was something rewarding about all the work. My house is now in order and clean. There is just something about having your life in order. When my house looks chaotic then my life always feel chaotic. I'm glad to have things back in order again.
Jared and I spent our entire Saturday outside in the yard. We raked the last of our leaves. 23 bags later we finished. It was quite the work out but it felt great to be out in the sun. For this time of year our temps are typically in the 50's but Saturday our high was 71. Was a beautiful day and I'm glad I got to enjoy the fresh air.
The warmth continued into Sunday, though it was a bit cooler (in the 60's) we wanted to be out again. So...we put up our outside Christmas lights. Yes it's a bit early and no we don't have them turned on. We are always gone the weekend after Thanksgiving, which is when I like to decorate so doing it early allows for us to enjoy it from the time we get home after Thanksgiving until Christmas day. Like I said before, Christmas is my favorite time of year so I want it to last as long as possible. Therefore, we took advantage of the unusually warm weather and got the lights up.
Hope everyone had an equally wonderful weekend.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Happy Hour Friday

Well I decided to join in and rave about all the thing's I'm happy about today.

- Today is Friday and my day off. That in itself makes this a WONDERFUL day!

- I just paid all the bills. Why does this make me happy? Because I have a job that pays me well and allows me to pay my bills and enjoy my life. Not only that, but I have a job that I love so it makes all the weekly hard work worth it.

- Jared and I ordered new flatware last weekend and it should be delivered here today. I've never had new silverware. What we are using was a very old set of my grandmother's. While I am a little sad to stop using it because it was my grandmothers, even she would have agreed that change is good.

- I'm getting ready to clean my house. Doesn't sound like a happy thing to you? No...well I don't mind it and the end result makes me HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY! Nothing better than a clean house.

- I get to open all my new pots and pans from the wedding and start cooking with them tonight. I can't wait! I got new cookware when I first moved out on my own but it was very generic and cheap. It's all but fallen apart and we were lucky enough to get a beautiful new set of Calphalon for our wedding. I am very excited to have new things to cook with.

-Thanksgiving is growing ever closer, which means my all time favorite holiday will be right around the corner. I love Christmas! Everything about it puts me in good spirits and I am looking so forward to decorating my own house for the very first time.

Well that about sums it up for me today. What makes you happy?

Check out Otin and RxBambi to see what makes them happy as well.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The joys of being a home owner!

For once I got the good end of the deal. While I stayed inside yesterday, working my lonnng 10 hour shift. Jared was off for Veteran's day. I wasn't sure if I would be thrilled about him being home all day while I work, as many times it can be a distraction, but in the end it was a wonderful day. He took care of me and cooked me meals as well as pretty much stayed out of my way. Additionally, he did the one thing I've come to hate most about being a home owner, which is RAKE the 5 million leaves in the yard.

During the summer I came to love our three large trees for the wonderful shade they provide for our tiny house. We have two sweet gums and one very huge oak tree, which is pictured below (well really just a part of the tree is seen) Anyway, the trees create lovely shade from the hot summer sun; however, once the summer ended and the leaves began to fall, I started to dispise those damn trees! Anyway, my wonderful husband spent his day off out in the yard raking leaves. I couldnt resist taking a break from work to pop out to capture some shots of his progress as well as some pictures of our little man Dudley playing in the nicely raked piles. He was having a blast!


Also I decided I wanted to play around and make something funky. So this is what I got.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Getting to know me (stolen from Goose)

Well I am completely bored and have been out of things to blog about as of late but saw that Goose put this up on her blog and I thought it was interesting so I'm stealing it from her, much as she stole it from someone else. As most of you know, I'm Becki and the hubby is Jared. Here is some more useless information for you about each of us.

1. What are your middle names?
Ann and Andrew

2. How long have you been together?
Dated 6 years 7 months and have been married almost 2 months

3. How long did you know each other before you started dating?
We met in college and lived in the same dorm, about 6 suites away from one another. His suite mate became a good friend of mine and through virtue of that I started hanging out with Jared about 4 or 5 months before we started dated. We started out just doing stuff around campus together but before I knew it we were together all the time. I had such a huge crush on him but that was really nothing new for me, guys were just never interested back. But...turns out Jared was very interested back haha.

4. Who asked who out?
Well I'm not really sure one asked the other really. Jared made the first move but we had asked one another to go places before we really started dating. I was slowing trying to build up the courage to tell him how I felt, which was a painfully slow process. Apparently, he was sorta doing the same thing. Then one night after we had gone to Mardi Gras in St. Louis we were in his dorm room with a couple of friends. The friends eventually left and I stayed. I was sitting on his bed, which was about 4 feet off the ground. He was standing in front of me. We talked for awhile and before I knew it, he leaned in and kissed me. My heart was pounding out of my chest and even now when I think back to that kiss...I get butterflies in my stomach. was THAT good!

5. How old are each of you?
I'm 30 and he is 28

6. Did you go to the same school?
High school no. College yes

7. Are you from the same home town?
Nope. His hometown is about an hour north of where I grew up.

8. Who is the smartest?
Oh I like to think we are both smart about certain things. He is much more "book" smart than I am. While I feel like I have a step up when it comes to common sense smarts.

9. Who majored in what?
My degree is in nursing and Jared is not finished with school yet. Like alot of us, he has had a tough road but is hoping to go back and finish soon. His degree will be civil engineering.

10. Who is the most sensitive?
Oh lord I am. I cry about everything!

11. Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
San Francisco, CA

12. Who has the worst temper?
Ohh, I dunno this is hard. We are both pretty hot headed about certain things. I'd say when I get angry I am more explosive and he more shuts down and doesn't want to talk. But both nasty in different ways

13. How many children do you want?
I'd love to have 2 but really don't know if that is in the cards for us or not.

14. Who does the cooking?
98% of the time I cook. Jared likes to grill so he will do that but I enjoy it too so we flop back and forth.

15. Who is more social?
Geez I dunno. In college I would have said me. I was very outgoing and social but the older I get the more that seems to ease off. Jared is fairly social but not overly so either.

16. Who is the neat freak?

17. Who is the most stubborn?
Jared. If he thinks he is right about something he will ride it till it dies. Sorta like beating a dead horse. Drives me nuts! I can even prove to him that he is wrong but he won't listen. Very stubborn.

18. Who wakes up earlier?
On work days, Jared. On weekends, me. He has to get up before me for work so that is really the only reason he does but on weekends the man likes to sleep and if I let him he would sleep the day away.

19. Where was your first date?
Well like I said earlier we sorta went on dates before we were dating. But if you want to be technical about it, I'd say it was at a bar in my hometown.

20. Who has the bigger family?
Me for sure.

21. Do you get flowers often?
Nope, but I love when I do get them. Usually I have to drop little hints that I might love to have some but there are times he brings them home for no reason other than to make me happy. Those are the best ones!

22. How do you spend the holidays?
Well pre-marriage we tried all sorts of things and what worked best at that time was going it alone to our own families. Since they don't live really close it was difficult to juggle the schedule to fit it all in plus we didn't really feel like we HAD to be with the other person on the holidays. Now this year, there is a new expectation since we are married. We are going to try and juggle going everywhere so I have a feeling the holidays will be a pretty big train wreck for us.

23. Who is more jealous?

24. How long did it take to get serious?
Not terribly long really. We were really good friends before we started dating so I think that helped us know more what we were looking for. I just felt from the moment we started dating that I could stand by him forever. Good thing it stuck!

25. Who eats more?
Humm...we both eat too much but I'd say Jared eats more than me. Little bastard doesn't get fat from it either. Yeah he has a little belly on him but as much as he eats he should be a BIG guy.

26. What do you do for a living?
I work as a medical writer and Jared is a engineering technician

27. Who does the laundry?
We take turns...ahahaha! No really I do most of the laundry but from time to time Jared will do it. I'm just sort of picky about it so I find it easier to just do it than have him mess up my clothes.

28. Who's better with the computer?
We are both computer savvy but all in all I like to think I'm a bit better than he is. There are alot of times I've had to help him with different things.

29. Who drives when you are together?
Mostly Jared though from time to time he makes me do it haha.

30. What is your song?

Monday, November 2, 2009

What a weekend!!

Phew I had one of the best weekends ever. Seems hard to top the wedding, and it didn't quite make that but it was a close second. I went to my hometown this weekend to attend the annual Halloween party I talked about in my previous post. I had no idea I was in for so much more. Friday night the hubby and I packed up and headed north. My hometown is about an hour north of where I live. We had plans made with my family to go out for a Friday night dinner. This is sort of a tradition in my family and a means for all of us to get together without much work. As we got into town, we took our dog to my parent's house to drop him off on our way to go eat. My younger brother called Jared and asks if we can stop off where he works on his way to dinner. He says he got called in to fix a problem and he can't do it alone. Naturally, we say no problem and head to the place he works, which is a city park. When we get there he meets us at the door and tells us to follow him that the heater broke and he needs both of us to help fix it. Okay, no problem. As he leads us through the botanical garden and into a hallway I see these large neon pink footprints on the floor. My brother tells me there is going to be a party in this great room later on and he needs to get the heater fixed before it begins. Once again, I say sure no biggie. As we follow the neon pink foot prints I see this 7 foot tall replica of The Pink Panther, which just happened to be my all time favorite childhood toy and cartoon. I say, "wow a pink panther party! I want to stay here!". My brother and Jared just sorta laugh at me. I round the corner into this great room and hear, "SURPRISE!!!!!" All of my family is standing there. Little did I know I got to stay for the Pink Panther party after all. It was a surprise 30th birthday party for me!

In years past I have had some not so great birthdays where I always feel sort of forgotten. Last year was no exception. My younger brother has a birthday 5 days after mine and growing up we always had a 'combined' party cause it was easier on my parents and family. Well, I always hated that, it made my day feel less special! So over the last several years, my special day has felt anything but special and I started to complain that I wanted my own special day. They listened! My younger brother's wife put this party in the works almost a year ago. Everyone knew about it and kept it quiet the whole time. I knew absolutely NOTHING about it. It was fantastic. My dad made this 7 foot tall pink panther and everything in the room was done in signature color. I guess a key piece of why I didn't ever suspect anything was because my birthday was awhile ago, Oct. 20th to be exact. 3 days after the wedding. I celebrated with Jared but nobody else. Per the usual routine, my family called that day and though I knew I would be getting birthday gifts and celebrating the birthdays this weekend; I never suspected I'd get my OWN party!
I guess 30 is a milestone age. I feel older, more adult-like now. I always thought of people in their 30's as being adult. I guess in my head I knew when I reached it I would be seen in a different light. Anyway, I had the time of my life! I can't say thanks enough for all the hard work everyone did to put on such a great event for me. Here are some pictures to show off the evening.

Now, the fun didn't end there. Saturday night was the annual Halloween party. What a blast. The only down side is that we do this outside and it was FREEZING! My costume was the board game Operation.

I thought it was pretty creative! Other costumes included an Oktoberfest girl (Goose), Hans and Frans (E and Jared) from SNL, Mr. T, Zombies, Bees, Cowboys, Cowgirls, and a Hippie among others. I love getting to see what creative ideas people come up with. Jared and I have already picked out our costumes for next years festivities. Here are some pictures from the party including our dog as Dudley Vader. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Halloween = Pumpkin Carving

Halloween is almost here. Though I can't say it is my favorite holiday....or even a holiday for that matter. Yet I do enjoy this time of year. You all know I love fall and all the changes in store for the world and Halloween just fits right in to this season. One of my favorite things about Halloween is carving pumpkins. Jared I have dated for a long time now and have yet to cave a pumpkin together. Until this year! In years past we haven't done it for various reasons, sometimes because we had no money to buy them and other times because we were to busy. In addition, my brother and his wife throw a costume party each year for Halloween so most often we are gone and figure it is a waste. Well there is a party this year, which I am excited about as usual, but we decided to go ahead and carve one anyway and just take it with us for the party. I did the digging of the guts and some of the carving and Jared did the rest of the carving. He had a blast so I had to capture photo's of our first pumpkin carving extravaganza!

So there you have it. Our pumpkin with the cat, spider, and other pumpkin in the window. Cute eh? Okay so it's not fantastic but it was fun and that's really all that mattered to us. So like I said, we are going to a costume party. I am thrilled about it, every year we have such a blast. We have it outside around a fire and friends and family come all dressed up. We cook hot dogs and everyone brings a dish to share. Always makes for such fun to see what costumes everyone comes up with. I like to think I have a good one this year. I'm going to be the board game "Operation" complete with red nose and all the fun body parts. Jared is hooking up with Goose's fiance' to do a couple's costume. Very unique and very funny though I can't tell what it is right now. I'm sure pictures will follow next week to show off our fun time. Have a look at one of our only Halloween decorations. Its a small pumpkin with a tea light candle in it. I think the picture came out really good! You can even see the dust on the top of it! (it was in storage and i was too lazy to dust it off last night)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Learning how to shoot

Like I said in my previous post. The hubby and I bought a nice camera for a wedding gift. I decided to get it out and take some shots with it. Nothing spectacular, just things around the house but I want to post them for you all to see. Give me feedback if you can!


My bridal bouquet

Same shot, focused on the flower instead of the berries

Add my ring in and you get this

My cats...Jerome is the black one and Basher is the tabby

Our puggle Dudley

So, what do you think? I think so far the pictures look pretty good. Can't wait to get better at it as well as have time to go out and take some pretty photos.