Fall Wish List

School starts in just under a week, and I. AM. PUMPED.  I’m serious!  I am very excited to meet my new students, and I am in pretty in love with my new school so far.  I kind of think my new vice principal wants to be best friends for life (in a completely platonic way).

Going back to school wouldn’t be complete without a little perusing of the fall fashions, and there are a few pieces I would love to get my hands on:

1.  Thick black leggings/jeggings

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My post on not understanding leggings as pants is one of my post popular posts (you all need to lay off looking for photos of people’s bums through see-through leggings…), but this is different.  I have a problem with thin leggings as pants.  Thick ones, as long as you can rock them with confidence, are fine with me.  Really.  I want a pair that I am not afraid to show my bum in, so they have to be thick material.  Anyone have any good places to look?

2.  Black riding boots

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I am in shoe love with riding boots.  My brown ones were definitely worn a LOT last year, and I would love to expand my boot collection with a pair of black or gray boots.

3.  Fall dresses

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Pinterest does two things to me:  makes me hungry and makes me wish I could shop without money being an issue.  I see all of these beautiful fall dresses that inspire me, and I want them all!  Just look at how scrumptious these dresses are.  Don’t you want them, too?  No?  Well, you could always buy them for me then.  Just a thought.

4.  Chambray shirt

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This trend totally got me today.  During my district new teacher orientation, one of the special education directors was wearing a gorgeous tailored chambray shirt.  I was sold.  Please find me one, oh fashion gods.  For next to nothing, if you could.

If only we didn’t need to budget so much and save money… Maybe I’ll find some this weekend when B and I hit the thrift stores in the Boston area this weekend!

What are you loving this fall?

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Celebrating in Edited Style

A couple days after my dad’s birthday, there was another birthday to celebrate.  My grandmother was turning the big 8-0, and we knew as a family that we needed to do something more than just a cake and a big happy birthday.  We had started planning months before the big day; we had people involved, we had a location secured, and we had a food plan.  What we hadn’t planned on was my uncle losing the lower half of his left leg in a motorcycle accident on June 10.

It was around 9 PM, and my uncle decided to ride into town on his motorcycle, just two or three miles down the road.  My dad said that if he could have foreseen what would happen, he would have driven to his house and slashed his tires.  On his way back, my uncle’s motorcycle was clipped by a woman in an SUV who apparently didn’t see him (how do you not see an on-coming headlight?!).  I won’t get graphic with the rest of the details, but his lower left leg was severed on scene and everyone considered it a miracle he’s still with us.  After numerous surgeries and a month and a half in the hospital, he was finally able to go home at the beginning of August.  His struggle is anything but over, but going home is at least one little start.

Needless to say, this whole situation put a damper on our family, and as a secondary thought, the party planning.  It certainly took an emotional toll on everyone, so instead of pushing everything along and acting like we’re all in the mood for a large room of people, we decided to have a smaller party, one that would involve my uncle in his new rehab hospital he was in at that point.

So what is a girl to wear to a surprise party at a hospital?  I thought something festive but casual.  Something like this:The tank top is from Gap Outlet for $5 (on sale at the time), and the skirt was from Goodwill for $4.99.  The hair flower was something I had already made for our wedding rehearsal dinner back in 2010.  The colors would work well with the party attitude, and the skirt made it a little more formal.  I paired it with navy blue flip flops to round out the casual vibe.  The party was pretty successful.  Tons of Chinese food and cake were eaten, presents were opened, and my grandmother was surprised.  Was it the party we wanted to give her?  No.  Definitely not when compared to what we originally had planned.  But sometimes life needs to be edited in order to celebrate what you have.  Sometimes you just never know.  So we celebrated a big birthday and celebrated being a family. 

That’s what’s important.

Thoughts from the Displaced

We moved in on Sunday, and it’s already Friday.  Where did that go?  I feel like that has been the question of the week, and I’m not talking about the time.  Living out of boxes is totally not my thing.  Observations and knowing where my junk is is more my speed.

My observations on moving and living in a new state from the past five days:

1.  Hearing your father-in-law call your dad a “beast” in a torrential downpour while moving giant furniture is hilarious.

2.  Giant furniture, and the moving thereof, sucks.  These pieces lead to giant bruises.

3.  These giant bruises will surface when you want them the least, like, oh, the day you have an interview to become a coach at your new school district.  No, sir, I wasn’t beaten recently; I just had a run-in with a lot of furniture that needed to go up and down four flights of stairs.

4.  I have the greatest college friends ever!  Carolyn and Aaron got up relatively early in the morning and loaded a ton of our stuff into the parking lot for the “boys” to pack into the moving truck.  If that isn’t impressive enough, it was about 85 degrees out with 70% humidity on Sunday.  We were all drenched in our own sweat.  Gross.  We owe them big time when they move into their new house (which is hopefully soon!).

5.  Remember our neighbor who used to live below us in Maine who constantly coughed and I thought she was going to pass out each time?  Yeah, she’s been replaced by a constantly ringing phone next door.  Who gets that many phone calls during the day?  I think they are running a mail-order bride business.  Also, who still have everyone call their home phones?  Oh.  Right.  My parents who don’t have cell phones.

6.  Whoever designed the lighting in our apartment was on crack.  There are three light switches to the front hallway light.  This light is just for a five-foot hallway.  That’s it.  And there are three light switches.  The bathroom’s light switch is in this five-foot hallway.  Not in the bathroom, oh no!  That would make too much sense!  It’s not like there isn’t space on the wall for it.  There is.  Lots.  The light in the kitchen is also all the way on the other side of this skinny little kitchen, no where near where you think it should be.  Plain and simple – the electrician was on crack.

7.  Why does everyone in Massachusetts have to drive like they are in labor and about to give birth?  Sure, I like to get where I am going too, but I have no urge to get to the grocery store ten miles away in 60 seconds flat.  Also, honking makes few situations better.

8.  The grocery store carries something called “New Age Beverages.”  Um… what the hell is that?

9.  Massachusetts has the FREAKIEST tree frogs.  They sound like they have little sinister laughs.  Nightmares are made of these.

10.  It only seems to rain here when you want to move something, be it all of your apartment goods, groceries, or the bajillion boxes you now have clogging up your five-foot hallway with three light switches.  Where was the rain on the days I was sweating my butt off?

11.  There is a reason people pay a crap ton of money for water from Maine.  I have now discovered why.  When your husband tells you that your new water, even after being run through a water filter, has a different “tang,” prepare for your body to reject it and become best friends with the bathroom.

12.  My in-laws have this weird thing where they like to turn on all of the lights and then just leave them on.  It drives me nuts.  I don’t want to pay to have every light in the house on at the same time, mmkay?  As a side note, I have discovered that I am completely anal retentive about shutting off lights and will only turn them on or use any electricity when absolutely necessary.  You can only see five feet in front of you?  Meh, you’re fine.  No need for lighting.

There are, of course, hundreds of other thoughts bouncing around in my head, like why do 3M velcro strips have to cost so dang much?  And will that stupid phone EVER stop ringing?!  No, sir, Olga isn’t available anymore, but we do have a lovely Marta model if you are interested!  You should also check out Svetlana while she’s available.  Please call back later!

Moving is tough.

Castle Out of Boxes

The vagabond lifestyle is not for me.  Traveling?  Yes.  Constantly moving and having your belongings not in their places where you can reach for them time after time because everything you want to make seems to call for those pesky measuring cups you stupidly packed away two days too early?  Not having it.

This is currently our living situation.

All of our stuff is crammed into boxes, bags, and the random hampers that lived behind our living room door.  It will probably be like this for a day or two.  Today, though, is the day it all makes a journey.

Today, we move to Massachusetts!

It’s taken me a while to come around to the idea of moving, not because I hate the idea, but because I love the people around me.  My coworkers spoiled me in the past couple days, not to mention how wonderful they have been for the past two or three years.  We have laughed, we have cried, and we have determined that we are not necessarily all going to heaven.  Our family lives here.  Our pets (who all live with our parents) live here.  One of my best friends lives two doors down the hall from our apartment.  I love the outdoors.  Why on earth would I want to leave?

Well, for the adventure.  This is a time where we are married, but we don’t have the extra responsibility of dragging kids along with us.  We also need to do it for B.  This is a time for him to play with his professional dreams and succeed in his own endeavors.  Moving back to Maine wasn’t something he thought he would be doing, but he did it for me to be successful in teaching (and paying back some loans).  It’s time.

So, with our parents’ trucks, our two cars, and a moving van loaded down, we bid Maine adieu for now.  Of course we’ll be back for visits (though everyone keeps talking about Massachusetts as this super far off place where no one ever returns).  Here’s to adventure!  See you again from a place a little bit more southern!

Friday Five (Before Our Internet Cuts Off)

1.  You are patient with me when I get cranky because I haven’t been fed (and then you feed me!).

2.  You are always willing to do the dishes, even when you did them the last time, just because you know I loathe washing dishes.

3.  You are willing to talk about money issues with an open mind and will walk me through bank rules I just don’t understand on my own.

4.  You tell me you love me at least five times a day.

5.  No matter how much you love your meal, you let me steal a bite or two from your food (and sometimes you don’t even go for one or two from mine).

Cool Running

Best movie from the 1990s, right?  Okay, definitely one of the best.  Who doesn’t love a Jamaican bobsled team?

To answer your immediate question, no.  I did not join the Jamaican bobsled team.  They told me I was just too see-through in the winter and my accent was off.  Better luck next time.

I did, however, knock another one of my goals off from my 30 Before 30 list.  I ran not one, not two, but THREE races this year, and I frickin’ ran them.  Sure, there were definitely a few moments of walking, but I didn’t do it that much.  Maybe a minute or two here or there, and certainly less than a mile total per race.

The first race was the one that meant the most to me.  I was running it by myself; no one else was buddied up with me, and I wanted it that way.  I do a lot better when I can set my own pace and pick out people in the crowd of runners to beat.  You in the pink hat?  I don’t like the way your ponytail is swinging.  I’m going to beat you now.  Dear dude ahead of me, you kind of smell from back here.  Peace out.  It was even worse when I knew the guy who stunk during the third race… side note:  I was related to him.

The race started bright and early on a relatively cool June morning.  It was the morning my seniors would be graduating from high school.  It was an emotionally loaded day.  B made me some toast and peanut butter, put together with a side of aspirin to help control the feeling created in my throat when I run.  (I have been told this may be part of asthma, maybe not.  Super helpful, doctor people…).  I put on my new running shoes and jumped in the car for the short drive to the registration area.

I wore a t-shirt I made with my colleagues for Winter Carnival two years ago.  It was the first t-shirt I had with my married name on the back.  This would be the first time I got to achieve a running goal with my married name.  It sounded like a good combination.  And, of course, I had to wear my pink running shorts.  Who doesn’t want to run in those.

My mom and dad came to cheer me on with B.  My mom wonders where some of my cousins and I got the running motivation because no one in her set of siblings runs.  I haven’t the foggiest.  We just have goals, and some of them involve running.

When the race started, I wanted to make sure that I paced myself to run most of it.  There were little kids running the race in bare feet.  This race took place through the downtown areas of TWO CITIES.  Note to self:  When I have kids, they will not run races in cities with bare feet.  No.  The first song on my iPod to randomly play was Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger.”  Thanks for the pep talk, Kelly.  Much appreciated!  I didn’t end up walking until a little after the second mile marker.  Not too shabby.

The end was a little rough, but as I rounded the last corner and ran along the river portion of the course, my iPod decided to have a sense of humor again.  Anyone remember this somewhat inappropriate song?

How did my mom let me listen to this when I was 14?  Questionable.  Very questionable.  Either way, it came on for the “liquid” part of my race finish.  I kicked it into gear for the rest of the race, and ended up coming in with a time that surprised me.  29:48.  I was under a half an hour!  Sweet!  Oh, and yes, I will take some water now, thanks.After getting the first one in, I wanted to see just how well I could run the Four on the Fourth (a race in our hometown on the fourth of July).  I told B we would be running the first mile, and then we would only separate at the two mile marker.  Well… once I started running the first mile, I was gone.  Sorry, hunny.  I walked a good portion of second mile to wait for him, but he never showed up.  So I ran.  And walked a little.  And ran some more.

And guess what?  For the first time, I beat B.  By three minutes.  Do you know how long three minutes is?  When it’s the first time you beat your husband in a race, it’s a frickin’ long time!  I was pleased.

The third race wasn’t so great only because I didn’t pace myself correctly and blew it.  Womp womp.  But I finished, and I am still glad I ran it.  You can’t beat your time every single time, right?

Running is turning into something nice for me, and I can proudly say that I have proven my high school field hockey coach wrong.  Oh so wrong.  She said the last day of field hockey practice my senior year would be my last day holding a stick.  She also said that I just wasn’t cut out to run.  You know what?  Now that I am 26, I can confidently say, “Suck it.  You have no idea what you are talking about.”  Happy early early early early 30th birthday to me!