Thursday, May 28, 2009
Go here now - I'll wait. Her positivity and peaceful words and so uplifting it's a pleasure to visit.
I've been randomly clicking around various blogs and what I've found is sometimes disconcerting. I think I'm getting old - things shock me now that didn't used to. My sensibilities have gotten more delicate as well. I was clicking on some blogs and my stomach turned at some of the things I saw. I won't make links to any of it - besides, I'm sure I'm not seeing anything that anyone else hasn't seen a million times already. I also won't make links because if that's how you want to live, I will not judge - I will just click away as fast as I can. Interestingly, there were some other blogs that were so sickly sweet I literally got a stomachache. I found myself questioning whether these people and their lives were actually real. 'Pretty blogs' indeed. I found that it made me value those who keep it real, who are unafraid to simply document their lives, without trying to shock or sugar-coat. Those people are on my reading list - I mean the real people, not the design blogs. I understand those people have blogs about their businesses and not their personal lives.
I don't know about anyone else, but I'm here to reach out, to connect. It's been said so many times over that we are more technologically connected than any other generation but we are more personally disconnected than we've ever been. I'm here to get affirmation, to find that reassurance that I'm not alone in what I feel and what I'm thinking. And I've been successful - I've found people with hair like mine, with thoughts and fears like mine, even with a sense of humor like mine. It is my hope that perhaps I too can offer the same sense of solidarity, that same feeling of 'I'm with ya girl! You're not the only one!'
I'm stressed and I'm sad, but I know just where to go to pull myself up by the boostraps. Thanks, my blog peeps!
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
That night we went to our neighbor's house for a happy hour where we met a bunch of our other neighbors. I'm really pleased - it's a good mix of people and all were really warm and welcoming to us. Of course, everyone wanted to see Maya - it seems that everyone in the neighborhood has a giant dog. Yippee. We did bring her over after our neighbors put their giant dogs in the other room and everyone went nuts over her. Apparently, charcoal labs are rare and everyone loves puppies. What shocked the crap out of me is that she behaved! She didn't bite or pee or anything! I think she smelled the other dogs and that did something to her. I told our neighbors that we were moving in because I'd never seen her that well behaved.
Saturday, we had some of Drew's work friends over for dinner. Drew cooked an AMAZING meal! Did I get pictures? Of course not. I suck at this blog illustrating thing. ;-) We hung out with them and it was really nice to just chill instead of a loud restaurant with bad service or something like that. I could get used to home-cooked meals all the time.
Sunday Drew woke me up at the crack of dawn asking did I want to go to Lowe's with him. Wha??? I just wanted to sleep! But he wanted me to go so I dragged myself out of bed at 9am to go buy a grill. Ever since we moved in, he's been talking about the grill. Well, finally we have the grill. Along with a lawnmower, leaf blower, an edger (I think), and some other Tim the Toolman stuff. You should have seen him - he was like a kid in a candy store. My girlfriend Betsy came over with her family and her boys were just loving Maya. So much so that she actually came inside of her own accord and went to her crate to get some peace! I thought that was hilarious - those boys were wearing her out! Again, only a couple of pictures.
We had lunch outside because it was so nice. I think Drew just wanted to be close to the grill.
We had a great time and I really enjoyed it. Later that night Milton came over with his girlfriend and we hung out by the chiminea he got us for our housewarming gift. It was really cool!
All day Monday Drew was in the garage putting all his tools together and arranging them the way he wants them. It was really cute - it warms my heart to see him excited, it really does. I cleaned inside and we took a break to go out to Crate and Barell outlet and see what they had. I wasn't super impressed - they just had a lot of accessories, fillers for when your house is already done and you need a finishing touch. But at least we know where it is. We also went to Salvation Army and I got a desk! It's my first refinishing project! I'm super excited and can't wait to get started. I'll definitely take pictures of this one and I can't wait to see how it will turn out. I have no idea what I'm doing and I'm positive I'll make mistakes but I honestly don't care; I've been wanting to do this ever since I started looking at all the design blogs.
And bonus! We have rose bushes on the side of the house! The previous owners didn't take very good care of them so Drew and I are going to nurse them back to health. We got the rose food and everything - from Lowe's of course. These are some of the blooms from our rosebushes. I've got them on my nightstand and I can't wait till we've got more. I've never been a fan of buying flowers and putting them on display so you can just watch them wilt up close - I much prefer to go to a garden where I can admire them and they don't have to die. However, with our roses, you have to prune them so they'll grow so I don't feel bad about doing it - plus, they came from our very own yard!
All in all, it was a good weekend and I really enjoyed seeing our friends and hanging out with them. I want to start on the desk this week - I'm really curious to see how this stripping stuff works and I'm excited to see what's underneath. I'm looking forward to the day when I can say that I found it at Salvation Army and refinished it with my own two little hands! I'll keep y'all posted...
Drew and Maya when they're not being bad
Friday, May 22, 2009
BUT, I just have to share what just happened - my mouth is still hanging open. I'm a receptionist and in my short almost-six months here I've heard some really interesting calls. It's ranged from people wanting to speak to the CEO because there are roaches in their apartment in California (what exactly do you want the CEO in Dallas to do about it?) to people calling because they shouldn't have to pay rent because they got laid off. I feel sorry for those people and it sucks out loud that you got laid off but why does that mean that all of a sudden you're exempt from paying your bills? I don't know about people sometimes.
But this one takes the cake. This guy just called our office wanting to know what our phone number was. Think on that for a quick second. You called here, and you want to know what our number is? I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt, thinking that he perhaps dialed information and they transferred him and he didn't take down the number that they gave him. Nope - he looked it up on the internet. Which means he had the number right in front of him and he dialed it, and then asked what our number was.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
This dog has invaded my sanctuary.
For me, home has been the anchor that allowed me to float freely, knowing that I was securely rooted somewhere. It's what allowed to explore and travel and try new things, because I always knew that no matter what I had a place to call home. Now I feel like the strings have been cut and I'm flailing. I think back to previous posts, when I actually said I would miss the dog when I was gone. I know now that was definitely before reality set in. Reality has smacked me upside the head - no, it has bitten my ankles and I. don't. like it. Last night she bit me on the soft part of my ankle, in the back right next to the bone. You know, the super soft part that hurts like sh*t but you didn't know it would hurt like sh*t because no one has ever BITTEN you there before.
I'm actually sitting here at my desk wondering if I'm having a panic attack right now. There's a tightness in my chest and I want to cry and it's all because I don't want to go home. I feel cut off from my sanctuary. I've never had a pet before and frankly, I'm suprised at how strong a reaction I'm having to this perfectly innocent puppy who's just doing what puppies do. I wish I could turn the clock back so I could have done more research on dogs, choosing the calmest, most chill, laid-back breed in existance. But I chose to stay out of it, foolishly thinking that if I didn't participate that somehow it wouldn't happen. Stupid subconcious. Instead, we got the most hyper, most attention-needy dog out there. She's now learned to cry and whine non-stop, even after feeding and going out to potty. There's no place to put her that's out of earshot so it's quite the treat let me tell you. At night, it goes on for a good twenty minutes until she goes to sleep and then it's right up again a couple hours later. Get her out of the crate, go potty, back in the crate, twenty minutes or more of crying, sleep for a few hours. Lather, rinse, repeat.
But I'm still human and I feel sorry for the dog - she truly sounds pitiful. I don't know about dogs - are we scarring her for life by keeping her in the crate? Does she know I can't stand her? How do you discipline the dog without programming her for aggression for the rest of her life? How do you ignore the dog without programming her to have separation anxiety (I didn't even know dogs could have that)? The dog training book I read is all about fear - 'you only have one chance to do it right when they're a puppy and if you mess up, you're screwed forever because the dog is already programmed'. Great.
And if one more person says it's just like having a kid, I'm going to punch them square in the gut. I did not have nine months to spiritually and physically bond with the dog while I carried it in me (eww). My body chemistry was not permanently altered by the dog. It doesn't carry my genes, forever binding us. It's not a kid.
God, give me strength.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
But it got me thinking... I have a whole house to furnish and I fully intend to hit up all the Goodwills and Salvation Army's and Craigslist posts to get it done. I'm fantasizing about sanding something down in the garage and painting it and then having friends come over and marvel at my creative skill. I'll then breezily say, 'Oh I refinished that with my own two hands', and they'll collectively gasp at my amazing talent. Or something like that.
The problem is, I can't expect Milton to be on call to come out to some random Goodwill because I've found the perfect piece and I simply have to have it now. I'm going to have to figure out a way to haul stuff on my own. So I'm thinking I need a truck. Not a pickup truck mind you - I'm not that Texan. I'm thinking more along the lines of an old SUV, a Forerunner maybe. That way, when I'm at the Salvation Army and see the greatest cabinet for the dining room, I can get it right then and my big strong boyfriend can unload it at home and I can get all Martha Stewart on it. That's my plan - I wonder if he'll go for it. Maybe if I tell him we can haul outdoor stuff in it too that will reel him in. I don't owe that much on my car and it's got really low mileage because I never drive so I'm pretty sure I could get rid of it fairly easily.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
After Drew got home, we went to Bed Bath and Beyond and Target and I lost my mind getting stuff for the bathrooms! When we moved in, almost everything structural was already done so we don't have to paint or renovate anything. That was the biggest draw for us - it was already painted in the style we liked, so all we had to do was decorate. We got some awesome shelves for the bathroom and the greatest soap dispenser and tumbler! Then at Target we found the best frame that perfectly matched them! All I have to do now is hang the bamboo shade in the bathroom and it will be done. Now, the soap dispenser and tumbler we were using went in the other bathroom and once we hang the toilet paper holder, that bathroom will be done as well. It feels so good to finish another little thing without too much effort.
A friend of ours is an interior designer and is coming over this week to give me some pointers. Once I get a sense of direction from her, I'm going to town - I'm excited to feather our nest! Everywhere I've lived in the past has been decorated very quickly after I've moved in. Granted, this is a house with way more to decorate than a one-bedroom apartment, but I'm going to do my best. Living 'Money Pit' style is not my cup of tea.
Sunday we were very domestic and spent a good part of the day weeding the landscaping in the front and back. Drew cleaned out the gutters and we pulled all the dead stuff out of the yard. It was very clear that the previous homeowners paid waaay more attention to the inside of the house than the outside but that's ok - it felt really good to get down there and clear away all the weeds. I'd love to put some flowers in but I don't know about the dog. It would break my heart to plant something and have her chew/dig it up or otherwise destroy it. She's on thin ice with me as it is. So for now, I'll settle for just cleaning up the yard and sprucing up what's already there and perhaps later I'll venture out.
It was a good weekend!
Friday, May 15, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
As this is my first 'house project' I understandably messed up, but I'm super cool with it. I applied the adhesive incorrectly for the top of my drawer unit and I got three storage cubes for the top shelf. Unfortunately, it's too big for the second shelf so now it lives in the linen closet - my measurements were a bit off. I just feel awesome that I got it done and it made me realize I have a lot of shoes!! Being limited to the four pair that I was wearing kind of made me forget that I had so many - they're everywhere. But have a gander at my organized closet - I'm so proud!
My awesome storage unit with a new top and new drawers from The Container Store - on sale!!
Lined up from light to dark, similar items grouped together, I love it!
Storage cubes for my purses - on sale! I'm going to re-fold the second shelf; I don't like how it looks but I petered out at the end.
As far as me and the bed monster, I had a little better luck this morning, largely due to the fact that I didn't have to wash my hair. Still no makeup, but at least I didn't miss the bus. Baby steps; right now I'm just tickled that I got the closet done. And of course, now that it looks pretty I want all wooden hangers so it looks even cleaner. I remember seeing some at Big Lots... Yup, I definitely have a problem!
The bathrooms are next!
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
I started putting together the storage cubes that I got from The Container Store and that did so much to lighten my mood (victory!). I'm not done because the neighbors came over (grrr) but I have high hopes that I'll make a big dent tonight. I hope no other neighbors come over tonight - everybody wants a peek at the newest kids on the block - but if they do, I'm just going to be anti-social and lock myself in the closet. I'm going to organize that closet if it's the last thing I do! I feel so much better today and bonus - I'm wearing the cutest outfit if I do say so myself. One of the biggest gripes I had when we were living in boxes is that I couldn't wear my jewelery. I've worn one ring, one necklace, small diamond studs and my watch since February. I have taken such joy in changing it up since we moved to the house and I'm wearing pretty blue danglies with a blue bracelet with a top I got when I was in KC, a pencil skirt and my Jessica Simpson heels. I feel super cute! Victory!
However, I've had a minor fail with the hair and makeup and I'm blaming the bed. Yes, the king-size unbelievably comfortable bed with the awesome pillows and the plush duvet cover. I'm also blaming the bedroom - that dark, cool, quiet sanctuary. The bed and the bedroom are conspiring against me - they want to keep me in their clutches and make me late for work. I could. not. get out of bed this morning. The puppy is still not sleeping through the night, although we're getting longer stints, and she only had one accident yesterday (victory!).
I got up at 3 this morning to let her out and the disruption in sleep is not conducive to getting out of bed on time. Drew is up and in the kitchen making coffee before the alarm even finishes going off where I hit the snooze over and over again. I have to be out of bed no later than 6:20 in order to be at work on time; I didn't roll out of bed till 6:50 this morning. It was the bed! The pillows molded themselves around me! The duvet worked itself up under my chin and I had no choice! It took all the strength I had to tear myself away from their grasp. I fought to turn on the lights, to triumph over the cool, inviting darkness telling me I had a few more minutes, I could lay there a few more minutes...
I finally get in the shower and wash my hair where I begin to wake up. Of course, it's 7:20 by the time I get out and the bus comes between 7:45-7:55. I'm still new to the bus thing, and by the time I get all my crap together and get outside by 7:53, I've missed the bus. Thank God I take the bus because my company pays for it and not because I have to or I'd be in duck soup! I holler to Drew to move his car so I can drive to work and I get to my desk at 8:31 with no makeup on and my hair all crazy. It was windy while I was waiting for the bus and wet hair and wind make for a hot mess! Sure glad my outfit was cute! :-)
I have to plan my defense against the bed and the bedroom! Tomorrow: No snooze, I'll pack my lunch the night before, and I will leave the house with hair and makeup done. They will not best me!
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
All I want in the world is some peace and quiet. All I want is to sleep. For the past several weekends I've had neither. I spent Mother's Day with my family in KC and while it was wonderful, it was overwhelming. We had a cookout Saturday at my aunt's house with a kabillion people there, half of whom I didn't know. They all had babies and they were running around screaming, laughing, talking - doing what kids do. But they were also putting dirt in their mouths, eating food off the ground, wandering off and I simply couldn't take it. I wanted all the mothers to do something! I was getting so anxious just being around all of it - I had to leave.
I didn't see or talk to my father either. Part of me knew better, that he would stay away but the other part of me is really hurt by all of this. Why is he acting this way? Why is he being such a jerk to me and punishing me when he has no right. Pity for him is the only reason right now that keeps me from hating him. And of course my mom acts like it's all her fault, as if that helps anything. I've gotten to where I don't even want to go home to KC anymore because it reminds me of how my father is behaving.
My flight to KC left at 6am Saturday morning so Friday night I wanted to get to bed early as I am in no way a morning person and I need a giant head start in order to be able to function that early in the morning. Did the puppy cooperate? Of course not. I got about 3 hours sleep and hit the ground running and said cookout was Saturday afternoon. By Saturday night I was so worn out but had to get up early Sunday morning to do it all again for Mother's Day. I didn't get to bed again until after 11pm, only to be woken at 7:30 Monday morning by my cousin wanting to go to breakfast! I couldn't get it together till almost noon so it was more like lunch. More family time till my flight left at 5 and I landed in Dallas at 10pm. We slept from midnight-5 when the puppy decided that was plenty and started crying. I took her outside to potty and crawled back in bed, begging for a few more minutes. At 6:30 that was it - she was done and promptly peed on the floor, just as we were getting ready to take her back outside to go again!
This house-breaking thing is no fun whatsoever and I'm getting really frustrated. Between the peeing and the nipping at my toes and ankles, I'm ready to cry. I know it's not her fault and she can't help it and we just have to be more vigilant and firmer with our training. I know these things but it doesn't keep me from wanting to avoid going home tonight. I just want some peace and quiet. I don't want to think or talk and this is the hormonal me talking: I want to organize the closets. The Container Store had a sale right before I left and I bought a bunch of stuff and it's just sitting on the closet floor right now. I want to do the bathrooms too. They're unfinished projects that I could take care of very quickly if I could just find some blessed time to do it!
And of course the phones are going mad today - or it could be me. I want to hang up on people who start to tell me their life stories. I want to holler at them 'I'm just the receptionist, I can't do anything!'
I really need a good cry. I feel it in my chest and behind my eyes and I'm either going to have to let it out or sit in quiet until it passes. Either one will work for me.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Once I was awake, he hit the snooze one more time and she actually settled down with a chew toy. We silently laid there holding hands, with the puppy between us and it was so sweet. We could hear the birds and it's such a welcome change from the noise of the city. That's somewhat comforting in it's own way, but this feels so much more right. I didn't want to get out of bed.
I'm leaving tomorrow morning for KC and I'm going to miss Maya! Not that I don't want to see my family, but I'd love to spend the weekend at home playing with the puppy (and organizing some more - the Container Store is having a sale!). But it's okay, we're going to have lots more weekends at home hanging out.
I've become such a softie.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Before this time, I had not gone more than a day without speaking to either of my parents and I usually spoke to my dad multiple times a day. Our conversations were never long or involved, more like checking in periodically. So for us to have gone this long without speaking was certainly painful in the beginning, but now it's more like an afterthought. Things are definitely awkward in the family but I can't say that it's been all bad. The past few times I've gone home I've stayed with my best friend or my cousin which has allowed me more time to get out and visit with my other friends in KC. Previously, I would stay at my parent's house and my dad would insist that I go everywhere with him - I was practically glued to his hip and he would make the biggest deal if I went out with friends.
However, I can't say that it's all good. It's weird not talking to my dad and I wish that it didn't have to be this way. But in the same vein, we have both made our choices. He is no doubt the most stubborn man on the planet and when he believes he's right, his conviction is unshakable. Too bad he's the only one who thinks he's right and that he'd rather cling to that over having a relationship with me.
I'm very hurt that he's turned his back on me and has pretty much rejected me. At the height of one of our fights, he told me he wouldn't come when I got married. Why, when we know our loved ones' Achilles heels, do we go there first? Why do we take the cheap shot first? What is the benefit of hitting below the belt? Does it really make you feel that much better to know that you've crushed someone you claim to love?
I want to believe that he doesn't mean it, but at the same time I wonder if I would have the strength to welcome him and forgive him enough for him to be present at our wedding. I pray on that one constantly.
My mom told me the other day that he was beginning to mellow out. My only thought was, 'Oh great, now that he's getting his head around things, everything's cool? He doesn't have to apologize for what he said or how he treated me?'
I pray that God will take this pain out of my heart and leave in it's place a peace that will allow me to forgive my father and once again open my arms and heart to him. And it will have to come from God *cuz I ain't got it*. I want to use my extensive vocabulary to the fullest and let him know in no uncertain terms how little I think of his behavior and how cruel he is. *sigh* But then I remember that no matter how hard I try or how much I want to, I will never be able to inflict the same pain on him that he has on me. Furthermore, I'm not the judge and it's not my place - God will handle things better than I ever could.
I do still love him and it would give me no satisfaction to crush him or hurt his feelings. I couldn't be just full-out mean to my dad. I know he's hurt by the decisions that I've made in my life but it's not like I'm a drug-dealing prostitute or something (no offense to drug-dealing prostitutes - if that's your path, go for it). We just don't see eye to eye on things and I wish we could simply agree to disagree and get on with our lives. But because we disagree, he has chosen not to speak to me, claiming that I'm in fact making him do it. That if I would just live my life the way he feels is right, everything would be just fine.
I was unaware I had such power over him, that I could make him do things. During one of our fights I said as much and then 'commanded' him to be nice to me. It didn't work.
I would really like to avoid some big dramatic scene where he all of a sudden shows up at my five-year-old's birthday party wanting to mend fences. I pray for God to keep my heart from hardening such that I can't forgive him. It's a tall order - I've already gone from anger to hurt to mild indifference and I know those are the first steps to complete detachment. I really don't want that...
Monday, May 4, 2009
With each box I opened and subsequently threw out, I felt progressively lighter. A very real weight has been sitting squarely on my shoulders since February. That's how long we've been living out of boxes - February 20 to be exact. That was the day we were to have moved to the townhouse. We had been living like squatters in the apartment, surrounded by the boxes, pictures taken down from the walls, subsisting on the bare essentials so we wouldn't have to unpack everything. Let me tell you, it takes a toll on your mental health and it was taking a toll on our relationship. You underestimate how important your living space is to you - at least it is to me. I thrive on order and having the place where I live, my sanctuary, in such a state of upheaval was so incredibly stressful.
But I am elated to say, it's over!! I was overjoyed to unpack those boxes - it was like Christmas because I hadn't seen these things in so long. I lovingly put all my books on our built-in bookshelves and just stood there looking at them. They had a home - I have a home. I unpacked all the suitcases that had been piled up at the apartment and joyfully folded all the clothes and put them in our dressers. The sense of relief that washed over me was so healing - it's hard living like you're homeless! So many times, I would go for something only to remember it was in some box somewhere.
But again, I have learned another valuable lesson. This has made me stronger and I know it has it has strengthened our relationship. I feel like we have been tested and we've passed - with a C- but we passed and that's all that matters! Sometimes you gotta win dirty.
Sunday we went to BigLots, Ross, Target and Home Depot in search of home organizing stuff and I was so excited! We got kitchen and shower organizers and scoped out closet organizers. You should have seen me - I had a little notepad and was writing down measurements of all these things to check when I got home - I'm so HGTV. Drew is gone for the next three days so I've got the closets to myself and my goal is to have it all in place and organized when he comes home. I'm honestly wishing I were at home right now so I could be doing it. I'm fantasizing about shelves and drawers and labels - I think I'm developing a habit.
Cheesy moment coming...
I'm finally starting to exhale. (I know, I know.)
At first I felt weird putting up a picture of the house but then I looked on Google Earth and there's a photo of it so I figured since it's already out there why not. However, I'm not sure about posting pics of the inside - for some reason, I'm feeling kind of protective of my house....
Friday, May 1, 2009
HUGE MASSIVE THANK YOU to my awesome boyfriend for making this happen. Baby, despite the nonsense it was a wonderful trip and thank you so much for taking me. I love you!!
My beloved Eiffel Tower - I played with the photo effects in Picasa.
Fish lips under the Eiffel Tower.
Drew in front of Notre Dame - a lot of the pictures are of only one of us. We were paranoid about giving either of our cameras to strangers.
Arc de Triomphe at night - they hang a giant French flag in the middle and it's soooo cool.
Drew in front of the pyramid at the Louvre.
Us in front of the Mona Lisa. It was ridiculously crowded and kind of uncomfortable. Lots of shoving and cameras and general rudeness - we got the picture and left that room.
Admiring the opulence in Napoleon's apartments.
This is so Drew.
There is no one more stubborn than my man.Dinner at the tres chic French restaurant with the Eiffel Tower lit up and sparkling in the distance.
In the Grand Salon/Hall of Mirrors at Versailles. Again, nasty crowded with lots of pushing and shoving but still totally worth it. We both were enthralled by the opulence of the ceiling here and at the Louvre. We took tons of pictures of the ceilings.
Looking out over the gardens at Versailles - Louis XIV's backyard was 65 acres!! Marie Antoinette had her own smaller palace at the other end of the gardens. Marital bliss, anyone??
The train ride back to the hotel from Versailles - we were kind of loopy from walking a kabillion miles, I mean metres that day.
My new screensaver.
Like I said, I have a ton more pictures. There were beautiful gardens everywhere and there were people just hanging out, reading, chatting with friends and playing with their kids. Drew got some great shots of the gorgeous flowers and overall it was a wonderful time. I couldn't have asked for better weather - even when it rained it seemed appropriate somehow. It truly is a magical romantic city and I'm so glad we got to go.