Tuesday, August 31, 2010
First off, we're not pregnant, just to clear the air on that one. For the most part I'm really ok with that and know it will happen when it happens. It gets a little tougher to take when you hear comments from friends like:
"You guys aren't using protection???? Wow, you must not be very fertile..." (no lie, this was her exact words)
"I predict it's going to take a year plus for you guys to conceive, your fertility is low" (this said by a casual acquaintance who believes they can predict any woman's fertility by her personality-no, they didn't know we were already trying)
Please give me a minute or two to rant... Hearing comments like these, boy do I get all fired up and mad.
First off, what has happened to tact or manners??? I don't know why on earth people would ever think it was appropriate to say these things to others.
Secondly, other than a select few friends of mine and my parents, we've not been telling people that we're trying. If people point blank ask us, we don't lie. If evasive techniques don't work, we say yes and change the subject, so it's not like we're soliciting opinions. I talk about it on the blog because this is my personal space to write and record my thoughts.
Thirdly, what the heck is wrong with my personality that gives me a "non-fertile" personality??? I mean seriously!?! Ugh...sometimes I almost wish that everyone had to go through something like this, just so that they could have some empathy...
Moving on, I had several blood tests done over the last couple of weeks that I should be getting results for any day. For some of them its been nearly a month and I'm starting to get antsy on why I haven't heard anything!
So far they've been unable to find anything wrong and everything seems to point to the fact that we should be able to get pregnant no problemo, unfortunately that's not proven very comforting so far as we're no further along then when we started. We now have friends that are preggo with #2 and we haven't even gotten pregnant with number one yet. It's not a competition and I stress that point to make sure that no thinks that it is for us. It's not at all. We know where we long to be, regardless of where other's are. It's just a small spark of jealousy when you wish so bad that that could be you. *sigh*
I think I am going to try a new tactic this fall of saying no more often, relaxing and keeping it more low key. I just wonder if all the craziness in our lives with working on the house, vacations, moving, settling in, parties, more traveling...over the past many many months has just gotten things out of whack and my body just hasn't had a chance.
Or maybe I'm doing it all wrong? For those of you either in the same boat as I am or familiar with NFP, perhaps you all can help me out?
I've read Taking Charge of Your Fertility a few times. I chart my temperature every day and it's pretty consistent. 18 days low temps, 10 days high temps = complete cycle. I know the temps and the cervical fluids are supposed to be the fertility gauge but I definitely find myself second guessing when attempting to match it up to the book.
I really hesitate to go further than taking my temps and monitoring my body on a daily basis. My body is so consistent that I feel that if I start using ovulation kits every month or the clear blue fertility monitor that it will get out of control for me and send me into depression if it doesn't work... Note I said out of control for me. I have nothing against people that use these tools and have seriously considered using them myself, I know people have had a lot of success with them! I just wonder if it's trying to take control too much into my own hands and not trusting in God enough?
Sometimes life can be quite confusing...
Monday, August 30, 2010
Saturday we started off the day heading down to a local Italian market to stock up on fresh bread, cheeses, meats, pastas, olive oil and Italian desserts. It's been a favorite stop for my family for years and we were so excited to see them featured on Groupon recently! We all bought as many of the giftcards as we were allowed, they were 50% off their already fabulously cheap prices!
Once we got back, we cleaned the garage in preparation for Sunday's party and I discovered mice had been having a party on top of one of our refrigerators where we had left some bags of chips. The top of the fridge was literally so covered in mouse poop it looked like gravel. Needless to say it was disgusting. I vacuumed it up and then sprayed it down with disinfectant and then had my landlord (aka Dad :)) set a bunch of traps, all the traps were full the next day and my dad set then again last night.
I don't like to deal with that sort of thing so I have no idea if there were more this morning. We do know we haven't caught them all though because even though the traps were full, the peanut butter was gone and there was more poop on the fridge (though not as much) so some mice came along after the first set triggered the traps and ate the food in the traps with the dead mice! Yuck!
Moving on, in response to the one-car situation, we're taking a slightly new tactic. My parents were given a car two years ago in need of a new timing belt and a few other small repairs but in otherwise impeccable condition. It's a 1994 Mitsubishi gallant with 194k miles on it. It's been sitting in the yard waiting for one of my siblings to fix it and use as their first car. So Saturday, hubs and I hauled the car out with my dad and spent several hours cleaning the thing inside and out. I will post pictures later, it was disgusting.
The car inside was COVERED in mold-every bit of plastic and leather and even a great deal of the cloth. It was also filled with spider webs and other grossness. Guess who got to climb into the car and steer it while the menfolk pushed it down to our house where we cleaned it? It was like something out of a horror movie to me, I was just waiting for a snake to crawl out from under the seat... *shudder* Anyway, we got the whole thing cleaned up after several hours of work and we're going to have it towed into our mechanic this week to see if it would be worth it to have it repaired and put on the road.
MD inspection is the toughest inspection process but thankfully my parents could transfer the title to us and we could bypass the inspection process that way. The only cost to us would be repairs to the car and new tags. We are desperately praying that this solution works out as we've been incredibly frustrated in the car search so far.
Saturday evening we stopped by the library and stocked up on chick-lit for me, finance and religion books for both of us and a ton of fun movies (confessions of a shopaholic, fantastic mr. fox, definitely maybe, dear john etc.). I ended up picking up a book early evening and didn't put the thing down until I had finished a few hours later...lol, I haven't down that in years!
Saturday night I woke up feeling sick and lousy and dozed on and off the rest of the night. I managed to drag myself to church on Sunday and Hubs and I managed to get all the food down and house cleaned in a couple of hours before Sunday's party started but I still didn't feel like myself... I'm wondering if it was all the toxins (mouse poop and mold) that I was around Saturday? Maybe I didn't get it all cleaned off and inhaled some of it? I tried to be super careful but I'm awfully suspicious that somehow the days events may have been related. I still feel pretty average today but I'm hoping my system kicks it soon. I've been loading up on lemon water (good for the digestive track), cranberry pills (in case it happens to be a UTI or kidney infection) and multi-vitamins and immune boosts. Hopefully my body kicks it soon!
We finished out last night with Confessions of a Shopaholic. It's actually the first time we've ever seen it! Parts of it were rather ridiculous but overall it was quite a fun movie! I think Hubs feels waaaaaaay better about my shopping now! lol, I've never carried a credit card balance in my life!
I think that's enough updates for now, I'll update this post with pictures of the car later and look for a fertility post later this week! Hope you are all well my friends!
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Monday: Leftovers from yesterday's party. Grilled chicken sandwhiches, cheesy hashbrowns & pasta caprese salad with yummy s'more bars for dessert.
Tuesday: Grilled chicken salads with some fresh made garlic herb bread from the local Italian market.
Wednesday: We'll be out for the evening so a picnic of chicken patty sandwhiches & a few other snacks
Thursday: Basil Pesto pasta
Friday: Grilled pizzas
Sunday: Cookout with the church
I've been bad about consistently planning ahead the last couple of weeks, hopefully we'll be able to get back on track this week!
Friday, August 27, 2010
could single-handily bring down our new budget! I
Unfortunately, I've already gone through my closest and returned anything I could possibly find to help pay for hubs car so my usual tactic is a bust! Mark my words, I will find a way to bring at least one of these babies home!
In the meantime...don't be surprised if you see this blog plastered in advertisements/sponsors and a million blog sales... ;) Anyone want to sponser me to wear this jacket? Or my birthday is coming up in less than a month, it would make a great birthday gift! ;)
Happy Friday everyone! Hope everyone has an amazing relaxing weekend!
p.s. I made the pictures clickable, the jacket is from Anthropologie!
Thursday, August 26, 2010
I thought of a great Wedded Wednesday post Tuesday night but when I finally had a chance to sit down and write the post, the thought was gone and I couldn't for the life of me come up with anything clever! I figured I'd have something yesterday and wouldn't you know...the day was incredibly busy and totally got away from me!
This has just been one of those weeks...Hubs and I were driving into work today and we both just looked over at each other through bleary eyes and said "I'm sooo tired", funny enough we couldn't figure out why we were so tired. Then we realized we have had something after work every single day this week plus a family reunion, church, hockey game and errands on Sunday plus the same on Saturday plus the same last Friday. There has been barely a minute's rest!
I don't understand how we end up so busy, I still feel like I get nothing done and there is always a big to-do list to catch up on. *sigh* Visions of fall and laying around in comfy clothes curled up in front of the tv or with a book, baking and bonfires are calling to me.
I think I need to figure out how to be better organized but I'm not sure where the answer lies. All the lists in the world don't help if you forget your list at home! :) The saddest part to me is the thought that this is the easiest it gets, right? No kids yet, so it should be easier with two adults? Yeah....
At the same time, I can't help but think it would be a lot simpler with kids because then only one of us would be working...the other would have time to get all this stuff done that we run around after hours to attend to. Feel free to disagree moms, I'm sure I'll laugh at myself on the other side.
Here is a bit of what's been going on:
Summer hockey season is done, which means a break for the guys for a few weeks but that I'm running around collecting fees, paying dues, setting up the roster and ensuring everyone is registered.
I've finally finished proofing our wedding album, we've only been married for nearly two years. I just need to translate my chicken scratch into notes to send to the photographer.
Finalizing the new budget, which you guys saw Tuesday.
Returning anything and everything that has tags in my closet and is still within the return window in order to get as much money as possible for a new car for Hubs.
Looking for a new car for hubs.
And here is what I have not been doing:
Responding to emails in a timely fashion.
Menu-planning and cooking new more elaborate style meals (read something more than pasta).
Cleaning and organizing the house.
Blah...isn't that just the sorriest list you have ever seen? I'm just so tired and run-down, feel like I'm missing that spark! To top it all off, we are hosting another small party on Sunday....I know, I know, so many parties, who am I to complain about busyness? The fact is, every group we've been involved in has wanted a summer cookout and we said yes to each group long before our schedules filled up with everything else. I think after this party I'm gonna need a break before fall parties start ramping up. Someone else needs to host for a change!
Anyone have any extra inspiration to share?
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I appreciate all your sympathy in yesterday's post. Today is another rainy day (which is what it was like the last two times the car wouldn't start) so fingers crossed my car holds up and continues to run.
Like I said yesterday, we are continuing to look for cars but we are finding ourselves rather dissatisfied with what's out there. We're definitely feeling a bit stuck. Do we take what we have saved up now and get a car or do we wait another month and use that additional one month's savings to get a much nicer car? It's quite the dilemma... Neither one of us really wants to go through this whole process in another year or two so we'd like to get a car that will last a good five years, until we can afford Hubs a little hot rod (hah!). But at the same time, my car is quite literally on it's last leg and could go any day, every day it's a risk that it could die...
Neither of us are believers in car payments and incurring unnecessary debt so we're hoping we can stick to our guns and find something we can afford. We appreciate your prayers!
In the meantime, remember how I mentioned we revamped our budget? I've been having the time of my life running numbers all weekend (seriously!) and am super excited to debut our new budget September 1st! We intend to use the last couple days of August to get things all straightened out (not because we want to get in last minute splurges), so that it'll all be a go in a week! Since I know so many of you love budget breakdowns, I thought I'd share our targeted percentages (they are tentative and will most likely change though as we work out the kinks):
Rent & Utilities 14%
Car expenses, Transportation % Insurance: 6%
Savings & Loans: 43%
We have multiple separate accounts all linked together to divvy up the money into categories already. They have all been renamed and assigned the new categories from above. After the first month has been successfully completed, all the accounts will have automatic transfers that transfer out the portion/percentage for that category as paychecks are deposited. If you are of the Dave Ramsey school of thought, you'd be paying cash for a lot of the categories above but we like the security of our credit cards waaaay too much for that. Instead, I will use quicken & spreadsheets to track the credit cards and assign categories and when the credit card bill gets paid each month, however much we spent in that category each month will be put towards the bill.
Sound complicated? Hopefully not, it's actually a pretty easy system once it's automated. We both find it much more helpful to look at accounts broken out that one large sum sitting in a checking/saving account. When you break it out, you don't feel quite so rich! :)
Since we are hoping to add to our family size soon, our hope is that this budget helps us both stay serious about staying on track so we'll be prepared when we welcome a little one and be in a good position to afford it!
Monday, August 23, 2010
Thursday night we thought we had a lead on a car for hubs. We went and test drove it, it was beautiful and things seemed to be looking great. That is until we went to purchase it on Friday and met a man who only spoke Russian and had his 11 year old son named Boris translate the conversation...I'm not even kidding...
The car was listed for sale in MD, the title was in PA, the "dealership" was in Delaware, the assignment of ownership was from DE and was written in PENCIL and had clearly been erased and re-written.
Oh and the "business card" the guy offered? It was thin flimsy paper with a name that google couldn't pull up in any searches and a phone number in NY (even though the business was in DE) and when the phone was answered, it was another person that barely spoke English.
...we were supposed to meet the guy at the MVA (which is the first time we got a look at the penciled assignment of ownership nonsense) and the gal at the window took one look at it and gave me a look that said run far away! lol, needless to say, we didn't buy that car!
I had called in sick Friday as I woke up with a stiff neck that didn't want to move and hurt so bad it was making me nauseous. My guess was/is, the whole car scenario was, quite literally, a pain in my neck!
Sooooo we stopped by a dealership on the way back from car fiasco #1 (oh yes, there has been more than one!) had the expected lousy experience and then drove home where I NAPPED for two hours!
Holy cow, I haven't skipped work and had a nap on a Friday in years! I clearly needed the three day weekend, I have been feeling so run-down and frazzled lately! I'm definitely still not feeling well-rested but it feels like it was a start in the right direction.
We also spent the weekend looking at other cars that bombed out and overhauling our entire budget. To say the purse strings have been tightened would be a bit of an understatement, but it is sort of a relief at the same time to know that life is still feasible!
I'm hoping the week is a short one but regardless, I think it will go fast. We have a nerts party at the house tonight, Hub's hockey championship tomorrow, small group Wednesday and a possible date Friday. Hopefully time will fly!!!
How was everybody's elses weekend?
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Anyway, if it was possible to ramp up the search for another car any further...we are.
In brighter news, Gap is offering a $50 giftcard on Groupon today in Baltimore for only $25! It's good for in-store purchases only but can be used on anything in the store (even on sale). Anyone can access any deal, you don't have to be "in" Baltimore to access a deal, you just select the city who's deal you want to check out. It's also good nationwide at any Gap store. I've been drooling over several of Gaps latest arrivals including:
If you're interested in signing up for Groupon, you can click here, I've used them for several deals including a shabby apple giftcard, grocery store giftcards, rounds of Golf and restaurant giftcards!
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Thank you for all your sweet comments with regards to yesterday's post. I must admit, it made me feel a bit better to know that all of you commiserated with how awful it was. I'm still having nightmares about it and I am exhausted today at work but hopefully the memories and the SOUNDS reverberating in my brain will fade with time.
In the meantime there are plenty of other things to keep me distracted! Hubs and I have hit a point where just about everything big and expensive in our lives that could possibly need to be replaced (minus the few upgrades we've made in the last year), needed to be replaced yesterday.
Hub's car is dead-transmission done. The cost to repair it is far more than the vehicle itself...
My car is old and has a lot of miles and is working overtime getting the two of us to and from work and activities 7 days a week and is acting up.
Our cell phones are both more than 3 years old and are NOT of the smart phone variety type. The phone upgrade should cover most of the cost of new phones but we'll be getting smart phones with data plans when we upgrade so that will add an additional cost to the monthly bill. We've decided to make this an anniversary present to ourselves, only two more months to make it!
Hub's computer is dead and he's been surviving on his work computer which has a short lifetime.
My computer is on it's last leg, it's old and every time I restart I get a fatal boot lan error and it takes about ten minutes to load the operating system.
My camera is 6ish years old and struggles to take non-blurry, non-grainy photos (and before you go telling me it's the operator-I have changed and unchanged all settings and consulted the manual-nothing changes). Hubs is getting me a new one for my birthday next month as long as we don't have to make a huge emergency purchase like say....a car?!
This is all on top of our other "needs" that we had been saving up for and hoping to get off our Toys list for awhile....printer, gps, ipod, wii, wii fit, bikes, tv for our bedroom and a garmin. Hopefully this doesn't read as extremely superficial.
The fact is, both Hubs and I have always tried to leave a more frugal lifestyle. We try not to get too caught up as consumerists. We don't buy things if we don't have the money for them, we save and pay down our student loans and tithe before buying anything fun (and there is not much leftover at this point). I bargain shop as much as possible and rarely buy things that aren't on sale. And I will return anything if we haven't used it and the store will still take it back. We rarely vacation or eat out expensively and we both drive (or drove in my hubby's case) old beat-up cars that are paid for. Neither of us have ever owned an ipod, we purchased our first flatscreen tv this year (part of Hubs birthday present) and prior to that have always used old tvs people were getting rid of. Our computers were part of our school tuition money and are left over from college days and our cell phones get laughed at routinely for the fact that they look like quite the dinosaurs.
I write all this to say, we are at the point now where we are rather overwhelmed. Putting all the "toys" aside for a second, a car and a computer are our priority. Given that we only have one car right now, if that one decides to up and stop working (and it's been giving us the warning signs, aka deciding to NOT START on Sunday randomly), we will be screwed. We won't even be able to get to work in order to be able to earn the money to get another car as we don't live in an area that has public transportation and it's 20+ miles of unwalkeable/unbikeable roads. We've been saving up, knowing this point was coming, but you can only save up so much based on the money coming in...
On top of all this, Hub's job ends in 6 months and at this point, we are not sure where God wants him. You all should be proud of me, I'm not even panicking yet! It's rather crazy to look back and see that we've gone from two horrible jobs to two supposedly secure much better jobs back to one job ending and the other potentially blowing up any day. God just likes to keep us on our toes I guess?
And yet in the midst of all of this, yes, we still desperately want kids and are willing to make the sacrifice to make it work. We both know far too many people who waited until their lives were just right to start trying and at that point, they were no longer able to conceive. I've joked with Hubs that it's going to be awfully hilarious if I end up being the sole breadwinner for a bit next Spring, several months pregnant while he is at home waiting/looking for a job. Har har har... He didn't find the thought quite as entertaining... Through it all, I cling to these two scriptures:
"We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God-those whom he has called according to his plan."
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
I feel that both perfectly capture the range of emotions we are both experiencing right now. Sometimes it's just tough not to have answers, you know?
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
IF you are a parent or a sibling or a relative of mine and you happen to have found and read my blog without my knowledge, you may NOT under any circumstances keep reading. I will disown you! And if you are a friend who knows my family, you may not under any circumstances ever utter a word about it. Just so we have that all cleared up. The rest of you may keep reading...
A friend that we helped move a month ago is having to move again and on our way down to help her in my parent's borrowed 15 passenger van, we stopped at the mall to pick up a grill that a group of our friends are buying for a wedding present. I cleared the 6'8 sign at the front of the garage no problem at all, the antenna even cleared it which is slightly higher than the van but we SCRAPED the cement beams half way up and ended up pretty much stuck in the garage.
Talk about nightmarish. My stomach still twists thinking about it. The garage is broken up into multiple sections, 6ish stories high with narrow twisty curves all over the place. Large sections of it are one way and with all the twists-you have to be super careful even in a small car that you look for someone coming the other way when there's two way traffic as there is actually not enough space for two vehicles to go through at the same time. There was no way to backup and going forward we were faced with a ledge so large it would have smashed several inches down the windshield. Basically there's no maneuvering room and the mall was PACKED as it was rainy and a Sunday!
Gosh it was awful. I was stuck and felt like there is no way out. I tried calling mall security...my husband was behind me in my car so I didn't even have his calming presence and we were just screwed.
Cars were honking and coming at me from every which way...it was literally like a terrible nightmare that you wake up in a sweaty panic.
The beams were several feet wide and as I cleared under one I heard the roof of the van make a popping noise as if it were caving in. *Puke*
On top of that, every single sign in that garage came down more than a foot below the low cement beams so I had to go around these signs in front of ongoing traffic!!!! *vomit*
I've been driving that van since I was 16. Heck, I learned to drive on it! But all the experience in the world didn't seem to make it any less stressful trying to get out of there, my heart rate still hasn't returned to normal. It was the worse kind of adrenaline rush. Ensue panic attack.
Eventually I was able to maneuver up and around and turn around and get out the one ramp that didn't have a lower ledge that would have hit the windshield but the ramps were so steep that going down we hit the roof so much worse that we hit going up. I thought we were going to bring down the garage and destroy the van in the process.
I never thought of myself as claustrophobic but after this situation and DUCKING inside the van because the ceiling of the garage was right on top of us, I have discovered that I am definitely claustrophobic and hate tight spaces!
On top of all this, we have the whole moving situation with the friend that is stressful enough because we have already moved her once and were having to move her again and store all her stuff at our house while she stays with us and finds another place to go, which means we'll be moving her a third time and I'm overtired just thinking about it. Plus we also had a stressful hockey game with the other team CHEATING and guess who got to be the one to call the league to complain and work it out?
Yeah, but really it just came down to the parking garage, I could have taken everything else no problem if not for the garage....one of the worst days of my life.
Monday, August 16, 2010
The weekend started out with a lovely double date with another couple at Melting Pot! They just had a baby girl about two months ago and it was their first time out without her! They managed to get through though and we all had a wonderful time. It was the first time Hubs and I had sat at a double burner table at Melting Pot, which meant there were two pots of fondue going at all times! We ended up sharing four pots of cheese fondue and two pots of chocolate...it was incredibly fun and delicious and I'll be burning off those calories for the next month!
The party Saturday went really well. A lot of work, but a lot of fun. Saturday morning I had to go in to get some blood drawn for some fertility tests. They have to be done at a specific time so there was no getting around it. It was rather inconvenient to start, then stop the food prep and than start up again an hour later but...it was something that needed to be done and will hopefully shed some more light on why we haven't gotten pregnant yet.
I was able to get all the food prep done except the rolls before the party, which I definitely did not expect to get it all done! I ended up mixing up the dough real fast while people were outside enjoying appetizers and then all I had to do was cover it and let it rise for two hours. We had about 15-20 people come which seemed like the perfect crowd and the weather was perfect! A bit overcast, temps in the low 80s. Absolutely gorgeous for August!
We played 7 on 7 football for two hours out in the pasture with a field length the size of about 70-75 yards and about the normal width of a regular football field. The pasture also has a very slight incline that becomes extremely noticeable when you're running up it. To say everyone was exhausted and sweaty would be an understatement but no one wanted to stop! I finally had to call the game at 7:45 because we hadn't eaten yet!
We grilled and ate until 9ish and then most everyone laid out in the fields for awhile enjoying the cool air and looking at the stars. Around 9:30ish we sojourned to the gym and party room behind our house and played Nerts, ping-pong and watched Are You Afraid of The Dark (Nickelodeon anyone?) until midnight when everyone headed home to grab a few hours of sleep before church. You could tell everyone who attended the party the next day at church, all you had to do was look for the people hobbling and limping along! :)
While Saturday was great and I woke up on a high from it Sunday, Sunday plummeted downhill rapidly and will pretty much go down as one of the worst days in my life. If there was any chance I was pregnant before, I'm pretty sure the adrenaline rush and the panic that enused on Sunday wiped out any hope in my mind that this month would result in a positive test. *sigh* Everything happens for a reason right?
How was your-all's weekend?
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Dress & cardigan: Jcrew
Shoes: Old Navy
Skirt, top & shoes: Anthropologie
Dress, headband & cardigan: Jcrew
Tank, skirt, belt & shoes: Anthropologie
I should note that I am wearing a different dress on Thursday than I am on Monday. Monday was navy blue, Thursday was black. However, it started raining Thursday and I was freezing, thankfully I had the cardigan to go on and it even coordinated with my necklace! It's weird, Saturday I needed a "pants" outfit (or shorts) and I had the toughest time picking something out. I can't believe how accustomed I have gotten to wearing skirts and dresses!
Friday, August 13, 2010
I tried the dress on, on a whim Wednesday night and fell in love! Generally I avoid buying items full price from Anthropologie but these items might just have to break that rule! The cardigan also comes in a wine/burgundy color and both are just gorgeous and so comfortable! The belt is a stretchy navy one of which I have NONE of and am I always wishing stretchy belts were made in more colors than black, brown and gray, so really it's fate, right? :)
Fall is just killing me with all the lovely new clothes. Stores that I can usually write off have all stepped up their games and made it tough to keep the blinders on. Can't I just get pregnant already so the clothes won't fit me and I can get over them??? ;) My resolve is weakening...
In the meantime, check out Jaime over at Thrifty Threads! She's having a giveaway in honor of her birthday, Happy Birthday Jaime! Hope it was a great one!
Happy Friday Ya'll!!!
Thursday, August 12, 2010
We're hosting another barbeQue on Saturday and I'm hoping we can turn it into a "Welcome Back" party for my brother. He graduates from OCS training today at the top of his class and is being given all sorts of awards and fancy titles. My whole family made the trip down to Georgia for the graduation and have been gone all week, I was so sad that Hubs and I weren't able to attend! Rumor has it that there is a very small chance he might be able to stop home for a few weeks and do a recruiting gig before having to report from duty, no matter how small the chance, I am desperately hoping he'll be able to come home for at least a little while!
The get-together on Saturday has a lot of mutual friends coming over and while it wasn't planned initially to be a welcome home party, how perfect would it be if we got to add that little perk on?!?
Only time will tell, but in the meantime, I've been surprising lazy about putting together a menu, tidying the house and picking up the food supplies. Definitely a stark difference from the last parties! I jotted a few notes down this morning and this is what I've come up with:
7 Layer Bean Dip
Spicy Black Bean Dip w/chips
Caresse pasta salad
Garlic & Herb Grilled Chicken
Honey Yeast Rolls
Fudge Reveal Bars
Iced Sugar Cookie Bars
Cherry Brown Butter Bars
Rocky Road Bars
Watermelon Lemonade or Strawberry Lemonade (watermelon was a big hit last time but I'm tempted to try strawberry this time around)
Soda, beer etc.
What do you all think? Anything I'm missing? I plan to do desserts and dips tonight...we have a double date tomorrow with another couple so I don't think I'm going to have much if any time to prepare tomorrow. Saturday is looking like it will be a run-around-like-crazy day...I'll probably just do my 18 minute house-over and devote the rest of the time to cooking.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
It's amazing the generational differences that occur in marriages. The expectations and way of life are often a stark difference a few generations back in comparison to the way we live life today.
To give you an example, one side of my extended family a few generations back grew up in a very blue-collar town/state. People grew up, married and died in the same town. The men worked extremely long hours seven days a week and often lived life hard. Smoking, drinking, etc. While the woman stayed home working equally as hard, raising many children (and often having many children die) and generally living life just as hard with the smoking & drinking.
Once my extended families immigrated over from Europe and picked where they wanted to settle, they didn't move around too much, guess moving across the oceans was enough! Both my grandparents married quite young. On one side of my family, my grandparent's actually eloped when my grandmother was still a teenager! My mom was a honeymoon baby and 50+ years later they are still together!
The lifestyle they have lived, however, is quite different than my own marriage and I often wonder how they made it work. Even today, now that my grandparents are retired and the kids are out of the house, my grandfather does not really ever step foot into the kitchen. For the most part, his expectations are that meals will be prepared for him, if he want's a drink, more often than not he'll ask my grandmother, and I don't think I've ever seen him wash a dish in his life. I've also never seen him touch a vacuum cleaner or clean anything indoors. My grandmother handles it with exceptional grace for the most part (though I've seen an occasional eye roll and heard her tell him he'll have to wait), I do not think I could handle the same circumstances with the same level of grace.
I do love to serve my husband but I think that if the above situation defined Hubs and my situation, I would look him and say something along the lines of "you have two good hands and feet, why don't you try using them." :) What can I say, I'm still working on the servant's heart...
I guess I find the whole thing interesting and am curious about how the rest of you divide and conquer tasks within your own relationships. Hubs and I enjoy cooking and cleaning together, the job gets done in half the time and we get to enjoy each other's company in the process. Though, that's not to say that one of us can't or doesn't take over for the other occassionally when there is a need.
Do you all see the obvious generational differences in your extended families?
On a more humerous note, just as I was getting ready to post this, I spotted these photos over on Allison's blog and just about died laughing, I just had to share with you all (I hope she doesn't mind-all photography credit goes to her) as it goes perfectly with what I was thinking about today!
Isn't it crazy how times have changed?I think my favorite is the comment about wives being allowed (pretty much expected in fact!) to charge any "needs" to the husband's charge account! :)
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
- First things first, Congratulations and prayers go out to Callie for the announcement of her pregnancy! I was so over the top excited for her when she told me her news! Can't wait to follow along and hear all about it girl!
- Update: Congratulations and prayers to mommy-to-be Mrs. A as well, SOOOO excited for you!
Looks like March is going to be a busy month! I'm afraid the rest of my randomness isn't nearly exciting...feel free to hit the snooze button...
- Friends from one of our small groups have requested a party this weekend at our house, so we're throwing a party! I have done no prep-work other than doodling out a possible menu while we were at church Sunday. Strangely I am taking a laid-back-it'll-work-out approach right now. Apparently I must think that groceries and party food will just magically appear in my fridge come Saturday...I am predicting a major freak out by the end of the week.
- We've canceled our second New England trip that was scheduled to commence in a week and a half...booo! Hub's parents have decided extremely last minute to come visit us and they picked the one weekend we had planned to be out of town! Argh... That on top of the cost of airfare/hotel/parking has caused us to cancel our trip. We have so many expenses popping up right now (new car, new computer, new phones, my birthday, student loans, fertility bills) that it made more sense to vacation at home. I've posted our Red Sox tickets on ebay in hopes of making some of the money back...we had Loge box tickets too!
- I am working on finalizing our Wedding album this week. The project has been hanging over my head for nearly two years now (I've worked on it in spurts). My goal is to have the details finalized by the end of the week. Not sure how that is going to work with the party though...
- My brother graduates OCS on Thursday and I'm pretty bummed I'm not going to be there to celebrate with him. Work won't give me the time off and see above for the financial reasons.
- We received some of the results back from fertility tests, never have I been so happy to see normal in my life!
- We are again in a holding pattern, waiting to find out if this month was the month, gotta love that two week wait, right???
- Lastly, I know that many of us are trying and hoping to get pregnant, I've been trying to research and understand the whole process but there is quite an abundance of information out there and I'm wondering if maybe others would find it helpful as well? If anyone's interested in me doing fertility updates every now and then on the blog, feel free to leave a comment and let me know or shoot me an email if you want to remain semi-anonymous.
Regardless, I'm going to keep reading and researching, but I'd be happy to share what I'm learning and hear from others on what worked/didn't work for them!
Monday, August 9, 2010
Anyway, once up, we scurried downtown and waited in line for about an hour to take on the Sear's tower. If we hadn't had to go through metal detectors and shuttled through a 10-15 minute film, the line would have been nonexistent but we eventually got up to the top!
The views were just as spectacular as from the Hancock tower but we had the added bonus of going out in one of the "glass boxes" that jut out from the building and seem to hang in mid air over the streets of Chicago.
After the Sears tower, we hit up a local bakery for some food and then headed on over to the Art Institute, where we wandered around enjoying the gorgeous pieces there until they closed at 5.
From the art institute we headed to Lou Malnatis, the other popular & famous deep dish pizza place that people had recommended. I forgot to take a picture but this pizza was incredible. Hubs and I decided that their pizza was definitely better (in our opinion anyway) than Giordanos. It wasn't nearly as heavy but we still struggled to finish the delicious pizza because it was quite filling. We tried to get the same toppings that we had gotten at Giordanos so we could do an accurate comparision. The only difference between the two pizzas was that we had mozzarella and cheddar at Lou Malnatis (only mozzarella at Giordanos), plus their special buttercrust!
While we waited for our pizza, we relaxed at one of the many nearby parks and then from dinner we grabbed the "El" (Chicago's public transportation system) and took it down to the White Sox stadium for a White Sox vs. Mariners game. White Sox ended up winning the game and we got to enjoy fireworks after one of the players hit a home run!
Thankfully the game didn't go too late and we were able to make it back in time to pack before we passed out for the night. Our flight took off mid-day Tuesday, so we didn't have time to do any touring, what with taking public transportation back to the airport.
That wraps up our Chicago trip! We really had an amazing time and are definitely planning to do a trip back, we're hoping maybe next fall at the latest! Hope you guys enjoyed the recaps! If you have any questions about anything we did/saw, feel free to leave me a comment or shoot me an email, though I am by no means an expert on Chicago!