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).

Advertisements

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!

How Do You Shoe?

It is a rare day for me when I can walk into a Goodwill and find shoes that both A) fit me and my size 10 feet and B) are stylish.  Heck, it’s a rare day for me to walk into most stores and find shoes that fit those criteria.  It’s like all the people who share my foot size keep their shoes until they are worn to pieces.  Honestly, I don’t blame them.  Good looking size 10 shoes are hard to come by at a good price.  I wear mine until I just cannot wear them anymore.

But that rare day occurred!  It did!  It really did!  I was stopping by Goodwill to drop off my second load of stuff in our “we’re moving so we need to go through everything to purge when we don’t need” apartment cleaning.  Of course, I had to go in to see if they had a whiteboard for a craft project I am making for B, which of course led me to the shoe department.

Holy mecca of shoes day.  I think I tried on around 8 pairs of shoes, all of which could have been contenders (except for the first pair of Bass shoes I tried on… someone put a pair of 8.5s in the 9.5 section), but money and space are both issues.  I ended up picking two pairs that will look great as my new “school” shoes.  It wouldn’t be a new school year without having something I could point to and say, “These are my new shoes for school!”  You know what I am talking about.

So what are my new school shoes?  Check them out.

These are my soft, purpley-brown Bass shoes.  Bass, like the company that asks you to pay $90 a pair.  Many of their women’s shoe choices are at least $99 each.  My price?  $4.99… that’s it.  And check out the soles.  They are barely worn!

The second pair was a double score.  If you have heard anything about the upcoming fall footwear trends, you may have heard that loafers are making a casual comeback.  To get into the spirit with a cheap pair, I snatched up these AK Anne Klein babies.  They had a gray tag on them, so even though they were marked at a mere $2.99 originally, I scooped them up for $1.50!  Not bad for costing around $79 at a retail store.Look at that little tassel!  So cute!

The shoes I left behind would have been nice, especially those tall black boots made for the snow, but to be fair, we’re moving.  I need to be realistic (and remember that my shoe bin has zero room as it is!).

Have you found any shoes lately?

Friday Five

There are so many times in life where I probably don’t pay attention to how lucky I am.  I am a very lucky girl, and I would love to make myself more aware of that, especially when it comes to just how lucky I am to have B.  So with a little lot of inspiration from C’est Law Vie, I want to start my own Friday posts to remind myself what I love and am thankful for with B.

1.  You always ask if you can take my plate for me when we’re done with a meal so I won’t have to deal with the dishes.

2.  You took sick time to take me to get my first filling and hugged me until I stopped crying right before it.

3.  You let me have space when even I don’t know why I am upset.

4.  You are always willing to share your lip balm with my chapped lips.

5.  You help me understand sports by talking it out with me, not rolling your eyes when I don’t get a call and just deem it stupid.

The First Man in My Life

Today is a great day in the B (and, of course, H) household.  Today, 52 years ago, the first man in my life started a life of his own.  Today, my dad turns 52! 

B and I got together with my parents and my grandmother to celebrate with a picnic on a local hill that overlooks the nearby mountain ranges.  Absolutely gorgeous.  What is even better is the man we celebrated today.  My dad has always been my hero, even though I haven’t always thought about it that way.  He has taught me how to be strong in my convictions, not be afraid to go against popular belief, and hold my own when it comes to getting quality service, especially when it comes to cars.  Yes, I am a girl, and no, that doesn’t mean I should be taken advantage of because I supposedly know nothing about cars.  During wedding planning, he wanted to be a part of anything I asked of him, and he always made sure that B had a say in the decisions we were making (he always did).The man made dozens of crepes at my bridal shower.  He has tried hard to understand field hockey and all of its rules and whistles.  He let my sister and I put his hair in pigtails.  He wrestled with us and didn’t back down just because “we were girls.”  He fixed our Barbies by making them wooden prosthetic arms, and when prosthetic parts didn’t work, he made them wheelchairs.  He’s been on our side, and while we didn’t always see eye to eye on topics, we can agree to disagree.He’s the best dad, and I am so lucky to have him as my dad.  Happy birthday, Dad!  Here’s to another 52 years!  I love you!

Where in the World is My Wife?

I’m sure B has asked himself that question a few times over the last couple months.  I have definitely hit the road a few times, with and without him, in and out of state.  Travel is my mistress, and I don’t care if loving her is wrong!

So beyond our trip to Ohio to check out OSU, B and I have tried saving a lot of our money because of our upcoming move.  But you better believe that when an opportunity to get away for very little cash came up, I jumped on it like it was a runaway horse.  Wow, I am full of metaphors and similes tonight.  We’ll roll with it.

One of the first trips I jumped on was going to New York City with my seniors.  Every year, the senior class goes on a trip somewhere as their senior trip during senior week (yes, everything does need to be labeled with “senior”).  Last year, I joined in on a trip to Six Flags New England.  This year, the class went somewhere new, somewhere bigger, somewhere called New York City.  Many of my students hadn’t ever been out of Maine or New Hampshire, let alone outside of New England, so it was exciting to show them a new place.  We went all over the city; they discovered street food (though they refused to eat anywhere without running water at first), they discovered the subway (some where thrilled, some swore they would never ride one again), and they learned that people in New York really can be nice (there’s a rumor going around that sometimes they, well, aren’t). 

Then, of course, there were the many, many, many trips back and forth between Maine and Massachusetts to interview and do sample lessons for jobs.  But those weren’t really picture-worthy, and no one probably wants to hear about that.  I know I certainly don’t want to drive that much for quite a while.

B got to join me for the next few trips.  He and I went to my friend Kristin’s wedding at the same mountain where we got married and had a blast!  The wedding was gorgeous (as were the bride and groom), the band rocked, and we had such a good time getting back to such a special location for us as a couple.

And then… Bestie Alana came to visit!  And we. went. everywhere.  Holy cats.  The first part was Vermont, specifically the Burlington and Waterbury regions.  Then she and I went to Lowell to visit Bestie Alexandra and her husband Jimmy.  A beach day to catch up together was in order, and we all came home a little pink.  Throw in some time in our hometown for Fourth of July and some day trips here and there, and you have all of the trips we have been on.  It’s been a little tiring, but totally worth it!
What trips have you been on lately?

Pack Your Trunks

As I alluded to before, B and I are on the move.  Waaaaay back in February, we came home to a letter from The Ohio State that offered B a place in one of their Ph.D. programs.  Hooray!  We flew out to see the campus, meet the people, and get the true feel of what it would be like to become Buckeyes (and I got the email from Goodwill NNE about blogging for them!). 

The campus was HUGE!  It was definitely a beautiful campus, and I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with B.  I did not, however, enjoy some of the quirks to the campus, i.e. one professor who told me it was “cute” that I was a public school teacher.  Um, back up, woman.  You do the same. damn. thing.  If I called your job cute, you wouldn’t like it, would you?  Please put that holier than thou attitude away and come up with a better statue for your theatre department lobby.  My thoughts aside, I let B feel out whether the program would be the right fit for him.  I could continue to mock that professor in my head if need be.The next letter came from a smaller liberal arts college in Boston.  Boston, where a lot of our friends live.  Boston, where B went to school already for his undergrad and his Master’s.  Massachusetts, where I am already certified to teach.  Hmmm… this had potential.  But, of course, B had to check it out on his own (no vacation time for me on this one!) and feel it for himself.  He seemed pretty excited when he returned, so I had my fingers crossed for the financial statement to be in our favor.

So it was down to two.  B had applied to three, but school numero three decided to drag its feet and we wrote them off.  You snooze, you lose, suckah!  Please read that in your head using Mr. T voices.

Or so we thought.  Yeah, UMaryland decided to give B a very tempting offer, so he jumped on a plane at 4 AM, toured the campus, met the people, and then jumped back on a plane to get home by midnight.  It was a long day for him, to say the least.  He was very tempted by their financial aid offer, and the flexibility of the program was a definite bonus.

The decision period was LOOOOOOONNNGGGGG.  I set my own deadline for him to make up his frickin mind already! a well thought out decision for our future, and he made it right before Easter.  Drum roll, please!  These boxes (almost all of which are JUST our BOOKS!) will be moving on down to Massachusetts in a few short weeks!  The school B will be attending has a great reputation, a great location, and a pretty solid financial offering, which means that we will be getting paid for him to attend in addition to me bring in the real bacon.  I never thought I would be the breadwinner as a public school teacher.  I suppose B should just start calling me his sugar mama.

So this is our life in boxes… or at least our bookshelves in boxes.  August 5 is the day.  Have I mentioned how much I hate packing up all of my belongings and praying they fit into all of my family’s cars and a rental truck?  Oh sure, it may fit, but where is it all going to go in our new apartment?  Where, I ask, WHERE?!

Back on Track

Right, where were we?  Ah, right before my birthday with a pre-birthday Goodwill haul.  B is so good at planning birthday dates, and that one was an excellent one to be sure.  My actual birthday was a bit chilly, and, dare I say, a bit less fun.  Thanks to hormones and some untimely not-so-kind words, I was upset, and nothing seemed to go right.  People were too cold at the baseball game.  The restaurant I picked didn’t suit everyone.  I ended up crying in front of everyone and feeling stupid.  It was not the best birthday.  There were, however, some excellent highlights, like seeing these people:

and getting my new baby, a sewing machine!  B and my parents had pooled their birthday funds and purchased an AWESOME sewing machine for me!  I need to take a class to get myself started, but I cannot wait to start creating!

I also made a stop by Goodwill to use my birthday 25% discount with my Goodwill card.  I only ended up picking up a few necklaces because we were in a time crunch to get to the baseball game, but it was kind of fun to tell the cashier it was my birthday.  Yes, I am one of those people who loves to tell others that it’s her birthday.  I have a countdown starting April 1.  B is well aware of when my birthday is, and there is little opportunity for him to forget when my birthday is because I refuse to stop reminding him.  I wouldn’t say I nag, per se, I just like to get excited about events.  I had a day-by-day countdown for our wedding.  I keep countdowns for trips or when people come to visit (and I also post them on those people’s Facebook walls for good measure).  I just like getting enthusiastic!  All of you Debbie Downers can exit here.

But fear not!  Even with my blah birthday, I am bound and determined to make year 26 pretty darn great.  And you know what?  So far, it hasn’t treated me too badly.  I have, after all, done a bit of traveling…

But those are all stories for another day!

Have a wonderful (hopefully less humid) week, everyone!

Oh, Hey

So… it’s been since April.  And it’s July.  Yeah…

I could come up with a million reasons why I have neglected writing for a while, but what it really boils down to is that losing one of my students in January hit me like a smack in the face.  Was I being a quality teacher?  Was I trying as hard as I could to plan quality lessons and activities that made a difference to my students?  Some of the time, the answer was no.  Sometimes I was being a flake.  I needed to look at my goals and reevaluate.  And just like going to the gym when you want to be lazy, ignoring the fact that I hadn’t been writing was easier as time went on.  Sad, but true.

You know what?  I was actually nervous to start writing again.  I probably have no readers anymore, or if I do, I’ll pop up on the reader page and that person will be like, “Um… when did I subscribe to this?”  So let’s recap what’s been going on, shall we?

Hi!  I’m Erin!  I currently live in Maine, but that’ll change reeeaaallllyyyy soon.  I love clothing, accessories, and shoes simply because it is my new outlet for self expression.  It took me 25 years to realize that, and I am learning how to put outfits together successfully without just channeling my inner scrub.  (You know you just started singing TLC’s “Scrub” in your head.  If it stays there all day, you’re welcome!)

I am currently trying to lose another ten pounds to get into shape.  I lost ten pounds last summer, and I would love to have a similar pattern this summer.

A lot has been going on in the past year four months, all of which I will write about (because I really do want to start writing again!):

1.  B got into all three grad schools he applied to, we visited all of them, and he chose one!

2.  I have been writing more for the Goodwill blog.

3.  I shot my first maternity shoot, and just a couple days ago, I got to shoot their new family photos with their four-month old!

4.  I ran my first 5k!  And then I ran a four-miler and beat B, and then I ran another 5k.  Yeah.  I’ve been running.

5.  We’re moving!  We’re in the middle of trying to pack everything right now, which is a total pain in the butt.

6.  I turned 26, and I’m pretty sure B and I are going through quarter-life crises.

7.  Bestie Al came to visit!  We wore B out with everywhere we went during her short two-week stay.

8.  I had to say goodbye to my awesome coworkers and my students.  I bawled for a week.

9.  One of my friends got married!

That’s just a small list of what has been going on in the H household.  Trust me, I’ll fill you ALL in.

To get myself on track for sustainable writing, I have decided that I’m not going to try to write every single day.  Nope, I have learned that I cannot do that.  Instead, I am going to write two days a week on average, typically Sunday and Wednesday.  There may be times when I write more, and that’s okay.  But to get myself back in the game, I’m sticking to my plan, mmmkay?

Welcome back, readers!  Oh, how I have missed you!

Pre-Birthday Date Goodwilling

My husband is ridiculously adorable.  For the past two years, he has taken it upon himself to plan a special date day for me right before my birthday (April 28, for those of you who are counting).  My birthday is two days after my younger sister’s, so we have to share our birthdays typically.  My actual birthday is either a weekday, so no real time to go out and celebrate, or taken over with family plans because of the double birthday.  I certainly don’t mind celebrating double birthdays with my family, but it’s so nice to have a great day out with B.

This year, B surprised me with a day out in Portland.  We started off by going to the Goodwill Buy the Pound location, which really says something about how much B loves me.  He detests thrifting because it takes so much time and it’s not organized.  But for me, he made an exception.

For some reason, the bins seemed to be filled with only children’s clothing.  Good for people with kids, but people, I’m only turning 26.  Is this some sort of cosmic sign from our mothers?  Erin, see?  Look at all of the little clothing at Goodwill.  You know you want to create a person to go into them!  Um, not now, universal messages.  I’ve got some clothing to dig through.  This is what I found after some major digging:

Dexter bronze ballet flats: Retail: $22.99

Brand new with tags still on them!  Who says you can’t find new stuff at Goodwill?

Nine West cross-body white leather with gold chain purse: Retail : $69

Nine West chestnut brown satchel: Retail: $89

Nine West chocolate brown tote bag: Retail: $109

Nine West purple purse: Retail:  $69

Estee Lauder camel colored large tote:  Retail: ~$30

Belts! (Two colorful random ones and a Banana Republic leather red one):  Retail: ~$15 + $50 + ~$15 = ~$80

Bonjour colorblocking in that last one!  Love it!

Scarves! Dark purple pashmina, brown printed pashmina, mint green linen infinity scarf, Apt. 9 box blocked scarf:  Retail: ~$15 + ~$15 + ~$15 + ~$20 = ~$65

Mint green!  I found something in that color!  Weeeeee!  The last scarf is super soft and for B.  He’s a very dapper gentleman.

Express navy blue cable knit V-neck sweater:  Retail: $59

I know it seems kind of silly to be getting sweaters right now, but the three that I got were too good to pass up.  You never know, I could still face sweater weather here in Maine before summer actually begins.

Soffe baby blue sports skirt: Retail: $8.99

No brand magenta summer cover-up dress: Retail: ~$20

The tags were all cut out, but with a belt, this dress will be great for summer.  Without a belt, it kind of does a tent number off from my chest.  I’m wondering if I should make the neckline into a V neck.

GAP cream crew neck sweater: Retail: $59

Express red silk mix V-neck sweater: Retail: $59

All told, I think we made out brilliantly.  B also picked up a copy of the Bible to do some reading as he prepares for graduate work.  I suppose some spiritual work may come out of it, too.  So what was the damage?  Well, check this out:

What I would have paid shopping retail:  ~$749.98      What we paid at Goodwill:  $15

DIFFERENCE:  ~$734.98

Beck also got me this awesome blue NAS clutch/purse for Easter.

NAS cobalt blue clutch (style number 370GY):  Paid: $2.49 / Retail: ~$30

PEOPLE!  Why isn’t everyone thrift shopping?  I get to be a name brand snot AND not pay much at all.  You can be really picky about clothing and purse conditions and still get great stuff.

After our Goodwill run, B whisked me away to the Portland Art Museum.  They currently have some great exhibits, my favorite being one where a woman went into the homes of every person she’s friends with on Facebook to photograph them in real life.  The concept between real friends and online friends and how they seem to have replaced each other is fascinating (that may be my psychology minor talking).  The photos were intense.  And, like every single time I go into an art museum, I got yelled at.  What did I do wrong this time?  I wasn’t carrying my purse far enough forward on my body.  Yep.  I get yelled at for dumb stuff in art museums.  Some gelato after totally made up for it.

We also decided that we had enough time to run by the Maine Mall (yes, that really is its name.  Maine doesn’t have a ton of malls.  Live with it.) and I browsed Forever 21 because I had a gift card from a birthday probably three years ago.  I was determined not to spend more than what the card had on it ($10), so I got these two pieces:

Price: $6.80

Price: $1.50

Seriously, who can resist a little neon yellow locket?  I thought it was too cute to pass up – especially after the bracelets ended up being far too big for my gumby hands.

Overall verdict?  Birthday date 2012 was a complete success!  B can plan dates with the best of them.  I plan on going to Goodwill on my birthday this week because I get 25% off on the actual day of my birthday, and I know what I’ll be looking for:  jewelry.  I am on an accessories kick right now.

Have you gone thrifting lately?  What did you find?  If you don’t thrift, what are you waiting for?!  Go, go, go!