Thursday, October 24, 2013

I've Never Kept Up With ANYTHING For A Whole Decade

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The longest I've kept up with an exercise program was the C25K and it lasted 5 weeks. 

The longest I've kept up with a diet was Weight Watchers and it lasted 3.5 months.  

I've only kept a child alive and healthy for two years so far.

The longest I've ever kept a car is 4 years. 

Those pesky cats are skating on thin ice at 9 years. (Well, Tuna is skating on thin ice. Reese shouldn't be lumped in the same category as Tuna.)

But John. John I've had in my life for a DECADE. It's so hard to believe because I remember those first few months like they were yesterday. 

It was Christmas Eve 2003. In typical John fashion, he decided he would come over for Christmas morning at my family's home at the last second. Like, 3pm on Christmas Eve last second. I called to tell my mom that he had decided to come and she panicked thinking she was going to have to wrap cans of soup from the pantry as his gift. Lucky for her I worked at the mall and was still there that afternoon, so I quickly ran around and picked up a Carolina Tarheels toboggan (a winter hat for you crazy northerners) and a CD - I think it was The Offspring, which, ew, no idea why that was what I picked up at one of those ancient music stores that used to exist in the mall. Christmas was saved and the new boyfriend of only a month or so was coming to Christmas for the very first time. He brought a gift for me as well - the typical "I don't really know you well just yet so here's a basket of lotions from Bath and Body Works". 

He's never missed a Christmas since. Don't get me wrong; just as anyone else we had our fair share of ups and downs, but luckily we made it through. He did break up with me once for a total of about 2 hours. Just enough for me to cry my eyes out and call my parents while they were vacationing in the mountains only to call them back 2 hours later and say he changed his mind. Are we sensing a theme?

Although he has changed his mind over a million things (he's going to hate me for saying that! He lives in mind-changing-denial.) I'm most thankful that he's never changed his mind about me (except for those 2 hours, but we choose to forget about that). I'm lucky. He's so so good to me and Charley. We don't exchange love letters or gifts and we didn't write our own vows at our wedding or even have a first dance. At parties or social gatherings, you can typically find us away from each other catching up with others we see less often. Our love is just understood and that's just the way I like it. It's very comforting to not have to constantly seek out reassurance that we're still good. 

And when I do get the occasional sweet remark it makes it all the more special. From just the other day:

John: Buying this house is the third best decision I've ever made.
Me: Third? What was second?
John: Having Charley.
Me: And the first? (knowing the answer but just wanting to hear it to be sure it wasn't like 'choosing to go on that ski trip next year')
John: Marrying you.


I then very sweetly replied that I can't pick between him and Charley for first and second, but he told me that without him there would be no Charley so it's an understood first/second. Okay. I'll take it. Aren't I just the sweetest?

It was four years ago today that we got married. 



We're good. 

I love him.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

She's Like Me, She's Like Me Not

First Love

Charley goes to the church childcare once a week while my sister goes to Bible study. A few weeks ago a little boy pushed her down and made her "bonk her head" and ever since, she gets huge tears in her eyes each week when they pull up to the church parking lot. You hurt her feelings and her tender heart remembers. She's like me.

John, Charley and I go to a fall festival. The children can go for rides on horses on lead ropes and we ask Charley if she'd like to do it. She says yes and without ever looking back she rides the horse all the way around the loop. She's so brave and not shy at all. She's like me not.

(When I told my mom about this she said "Do you think baby/toddler Lacey would have ever done that?" To which I replied "Absolutely not. Not even 8 year old Lacey would have done that.")

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Charley cries; like, really cries. Her face instantly gets all red and splotchy. It takes quite a few minutes for the splotchiness to subside afterwards. There's just no way to hide it when you've been crying, baby girl. She's like me.

She loves fruit. She eats vegetables. She's like me not.

She's not really a morning person. She takes a little bit to wake up and get going. It's not that she's grumpy, it's just that she's not ready to talk yet. Or wake up quite yet. Or get out of her crib just yet. Or eat breakfast quite yet. Don't force her, she'll do it on her own in just a few minutes. She's totally like me. 

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Charley has great balance and coordination. My dad lowered one of the swings at their house so Charley could reach the ground and swing like a big girl. She LOVES it. She has had a few close calls with almost falling (which I'm not afraid of since she's so close to the ground to start with) but always manages to regain her balance and start over. She's like me not.
 
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One of her favorite things to do right now is play with Play-Doh. I think Play-Doh is most parent's worst nightmare, but with artsy/crafty parents like us we don't mind it at all and pretty much play with it every evening before bed. Charley of course loves it and benefits from the competition between John and I to make the best Play-Doh creature for Charley. She's like us.

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It's a beautiful day. 75 degrees and just a tiny bit of breeze. I enjoy the entire drive down to my sister's to pick up Charley with the windows down. I pick her up, buckle her in and as we leave the neighborhood at 15mph I hear "TOO WINDY MAMA! NO LIKE IT!" and the windows go up. She's like me not.

 It's bedtime and we tell Charley it's time to go to sleep. She protests a little bit but after thinking it over, she's content with going to sleep. She climbs into her bed with some assistance, lays down and lets us tuck her in. Before we know it she's asleep. Charley really likes sleep. Thank goodness she's like me.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Keeping You Hanging

Sorry to keep you all hanging on a few things I've mentioned lately. Let's catch you up.

First and foremost, it was just as I had suspected. I'm okay, honestly. I was pretty grumpy over the two week limbo period and I don't think I even realized how grumpy I was until the appointment was over yesterday. And even though the news wasn't good, it was exactly what I expected and it was AN ANSWER. And oh my goodness the relief I've felt since yesterday afternoon is unbelievable. I almost feel bad for feeling so much happier.

All of a sudden I feel like if I was an innocent suspect or victim in a major crime and the media was judging me by my behavior after the crime, the media would not believe I was innocent at all. You know those types? Like Amanda Knox and the California girl that was kidnapped. I think people are surprised and maybe even a little uncomfortable with how I'm dealing with it. I can't help it though. I mean, it sucks, obviously, since we do want another baby. But it's life. And we are healthy and will hopefully have the chance to try again. And if it's meant to be it will be. This little baby just wasn't the one.

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Secondly, here's the latest with the Pampered Chef issue. John met up with the consultant that following day and she actually did show up and give him a very small percentage of the products that were ordered. I have pretty much figured out what she did too.

So, two of my guests were actually charged through Pampered Chef and amazingly, everything they ordered was in the bag the consultant gave us. One of those two guests requested a receipt for her order which said her order was placed under someone else's party, meaning, I didn't even get credit for those two guest's orders even though I had the party and I bought the food and I invited them, etc. No fault of their own of course.

Anyways, the rest of my guests (minus one) all had the Paypal charge which our banks took care of for us. Shockingly, a few items were also in that bag from Robin which we feel a little bit guilty about since we didn't pay for them due to the Paypal disputes. I think there were 5 items TOTAL that we got. ONE of those items: those steak knives I coveted. I do feel bad, but damn it, I shouldn't right?

The last guest I'm still trying to figure out. She paid with check which the consultant cashed. She got none of her items so I'm TRYING to work with Pampered Chef to get those items to her, but I have YET to talk to Pampered Chef again. It's constant phone tag, they refuse to email, and won't give me a direct line to call back (and I rarely have 25 minutes to sit on hold while I wait to be transferred from department to department to find the lady that's supposed to be handling all of this). So, I'm still very frustrated with it all. I am most likely just going to buy those items my guest purchased and send them to her myself since I feel so awful about it. I'm giving Pampered Chef one more week, and I think that's being very generous.

You know what though? Those steak knives are pretty amazing. Sucks that I can't endorse the company that makes them at the moment. Make it right, Pampered Chef!

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I showed you a desk from Pinterest that I liked and was trying to mimic. It's finished, but I don't love it.

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See, it's too solid. I was expecting much less solidness and much more rusticness. But between my communication and John's follow through that got lost. He used primer underneath which made the diamonds very solid. I've tried to sand them down some (see that top left diamond) but its not working too well. And if I try to sand the whole thing, the finish on the wood diamonds would be sanded too. So I've just been stuck looking at it like this and wondering how I could fix it. I have no ideas yet.

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TV-less is going awesome. We seriously were just throwing money away every month. We have yet to subscribe to any other subscription service besides the free Netflix trial we still have and have yet to feel the need to. John will start watching Walking Dead which starts back this Sunday by buying the individual episodes the next day from Amazon and watching them a day behind. I have had zero issues watching Amazing Race and Survivor on their regular network channels which are broadcast for FREE. If I happened to miss them, I could watch them the next day on CBS.com, so I don't really even miss the DVR. It's amazing. I just wish I knew where that extra money was going each month. Crazy how you can cut down on a bill and not even really see a difference.

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We still haven't purchased a new light fixture for our breakfast area which means the one the builder placed there is still hanging in the totally wrong spot. I was eyeing one on the Pottery Barn website for a while, but I just checked on it this week to see if it had miraculously gone on major clearance and the darn thing is gone. If anyone sees one at a Pottery Barn outlet or something I would be forever grateful.

 
 
 
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I think that's about it, right? Anything else I've mentioned but never came back to update you on? 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Traveling Solo

I'm a procrastinator, we all know this, right? So keep that in mind when I say I've wanted to participate in this from the very beginning and I'm just now getting around to it.

I'm participating in Ginger/Ramble Ramble's Bring Back the Words prompt for week 16. Yes, I said week 16. It took me 16 weeks to get myself together and start participating.

This week's prompt is this:

Do you/have you traveled solo? What do you like about it? What don’t you like? What makes it so different from traveling with other people?

So. Traveling solo doesn't happen often for me, a member of a really close family of 17 members. Why would I need to travel solo with that many possible companions? Especially when 13 of us like to cram ourselves in a 3 bedroom house each year for vacation, or how we grew up camping in a pop-up camper where space is at a premium. So, traveling solo is a rarity for sure.

I think my first solo traveling was a short flight on my way home from that cramped 13-people-in-a-3-bedroom-house vacation. I couldn't stay as long as the rest of the fam so I flew home by myself after I had rode down with someone else. Sure, it was nice to fly solo, but it was just over an hour flight which is one of those flights that you feel like starts descending as soon as you reach cruising altitude. But I did enjoy it, I did. No one to argue with over which way to go in the airport to find our gate, or no one to roll their eyes at me when I inevitably start walking the wrong way every time. I walked the wrong way, did a little u-turnage and walked back the way I was supposed to go with nary an eye a-rollin'. So, that was nice. But, I don't really consider that traveling solo per say.

I did that exact same scenario the next year as well while 32 weeks pregnant. Basically the same results with a few added kicks in the stomach area.

The next closest solo traveling I did was to last year's Blathering. (Wah. This year's Blathering starts today an I'm not there and I could have DRIVEN there. Not that work would let me have any days at the beginning of the month off anyways (accounting busy time), so I'll blame it on that.) But even that couldn't really be considered traveling solo. I ended up meeting a fellow Blathering member at the airport and we sat together on the plane and chatted the whole time. Not that I didn't enjoy it (I did! I did!) but it is immensely different than traveling solo. No Kindle-ing. No crossword puzzling. No napping. Which, I didn't go on that trip to be alone anyways, so all that was 100% okay with me. I really liked my traveling mate.

And then once I got to New Orleans, I met up with my roomie/across the hall roomie and never left their sides. Again, not really very solo. But I LOVED meeting those girls and I am dying to see them again. So, in this case, the things I liked about NOT traveling solo were this:


  1. Having someone to grab a beer with in the airport without looking like a lone lush.
  2. Guaranteeing a good seat neighbor on the plane. 
  3. The whole safety aspect of having a couple people to walk around the iffy streets of New Orleans with. 

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And then this year I felt like a real grown-up when I got to go on my very first business trip to NYC.

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I flew up with my coworkers, and sat next to one of them on the plane where we chatted the whole way so no solo traveling here either. But then we got to NYC and checked into our hotel and went up to our rooms to put our things down and that's when it hit me: this was my very first hotel room to MYSELF. 

I plopped down on the bed and messed up BOTH sides of the bed, looked out the window for as long as I wanted without someone else trying to look or questioning what I was looking at (nothing but scaffolding! But it's scaffolding in NYC and I'm in my own hotel room and I can look for as long as I want to!). It was glorious. Glorious, glorious, glorious.

So during the day we worked or sight-saw (is there a past tense of sight-see?) and then in the evenings - the glorious, glorious evenings - I'd come up to my room and watch TV or not. Play Candy Crush or not. Read my Kindle or not. Not have to worry about turning out the light so someone else could go to sleep earlier. And y'all. (Oops, I mean 'you guys'. I'm talking about NYC here, no y'alls allowed.) I loved it. Had I ever lived by myself I'm thinking it would have been like this. 

The things I miss when traveling solo: having someone to go get me a Dr. Pepper when I'm already in jammies and don't want to get dressed to go find the vending machine, non-selfie vacation pictures, among other things. And this little girl.  

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I constantly think how much she would/wouldn't like whatever we were doing. And of course my husband. Especially when I'm in a place he's never been either.

But that's about the extent of my solo traveling. What about you? Do you prefer to leave those pesky family members at home and explore by yourself? Discuss.