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!