Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Chocolatey Christmas Eve

Hot chocolate, brother, husband, and storybook lamp lighting. Happy Christmas break from our flannel-clad home to yours.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Things I'm Thinking About While At Home

Ohio is super, super dreary. Low gray clouds and exhaust-y cars and puddles in the road where it needs repaired. These are the things that I couldn't stand when I lived here but that have become so enchanting now that I don't. There are, like, houses, just in fields. Not exclusively in neat little straight neighborhoods everywhere. Also, the houses have siding. Siding isn't a thing, in Phoenix. Phoenicians love stucco.

I brought my red flannel pajamas and you can't convince me out of them. If you don't have red flannel pajamas at Christmas time, you really aren't being the best you can be, and I'm kind of judging you. It's not too late to ask Santa. Here. Just, you know, button your shirt please. And don't...don't sit like that. You know what, just don't click on that link actually.

My parents... really you won't find any like them anywhere else. They'll tell you you did a good job with equal enthusiasm whether you run a marathon or, you know, finish your big helping of mashed potatoes before eating dessert. They have so much love in them that it comes out of their pores and gets all over everything. Tonight we ate out at the Hartville Kitchen (our Amish food tradition for Dad's birthday) and they were really making a spectacle. Hugging everyone and talking about how wonderful we are and being smiley. It takes a lot of nerve to be that wonderful and not live in my basement.

Why don't things change when I leave? There I am in Phoenix being married and working full-time and paying my own car bills and making my own breakfast every day and Summit Mall has the nerve to be in the same place when I get back to Akron. Doesn't that feel weird? Doesn't Akron know that my life feels big and years away from here? Why is there still a gravel lot next to the Sunoco on Highway 18? I am so glad there is. I guess when I left, the world didn't swallow itself. Disappointing, but really lessens the pressure.

Tomorrow I get to see my very best friend that has ever lived, and meet her fiance. MEET her fiance. I CAN'T WAIT AND I MAY NOT SLEEP TONIGHT.

Then we're going to go to Christmas Eve mass with my new dress, and then we'll read from Luke, and then we'll play Rummy in Joey's room (if Aaron wins again he has to sleep in the basement this year) and then we'll get up and have Cinnamon rolls and presents and see the whole family...and it will be cloudy and hopefully snowy and we still have to make one last trip to Barnes and Noble. Do you know what it feels like to have all those sentences be true?!

It feels like the way it would feel if you lived in a world where all you could do was wait, and hope, that someone would save you from how awful you were, and then a little baby was born and you realized he was The Guy, and your waiting was over, and now you could live in expectation and joy and embarrassed gratitude for what a big thing He was doing. (Can you imagine having to wait for that?) We are lucky we don't, and that we just get to celebrate it. With hot chocolate and family and low-hanging Ohio clouds, like full bellies.

Merry Christmas, everyone. Be merry!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

New Digs

Here's a little old preview. Sorry it's dark. It's winter and besides that, my calendar's full enough to get the old ulcer party started all over again, so play nice.

There's a huge giant Tim Burton cactus just out of frame to the left, and I plan to chain unruly guests to it when I don't want them inside.

Here's the kitchen and the french doors out to our backyard. I can't wait to get my beanie baby collection up in that cupboard. And yes, the landlord even threw in that cute guy. A nice paint job and he'll be good as new.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Closing Up Shop

When I was a kid, we lived in a cute little neighborhood in Jackson, Ohio. Our house was on a cul-de-sac and had a huge, huge tree in the backyard. When it was dark I was afraid the tree would fall on the house but during the daytime I loved it. We also had an apple tree, and our front yard was perfect for wiffle ball games.

But when I turned 8, my family moved to Louisville, Ohio. It was the cruelest most meanest thing anyone could ever have done to me. I remember sitting in my room at our new, big house - my very own room - and vowing that I wouldn't talk to Mom or Dad for at least 2 weeks. Then, later, I grew up in that house.

When I went away to Ohio U in the fall of 2005, Mom and Dad decided to move again, this time to Akron. They were building their own house this time. I refused to see it. Literally- we were in the Akron area once before the house was ready and they drove us all by the plot, and I ducked behind the front seat and wouldn't look. Because I do what I want, that's why. Then, at Christmas, when Dad brought me home for break I didn't even know which house was ours. But when I walked in I said... we're this kind of people? The house has a huge loft that overlooks a huge, beautiful living room. It is lovely. But, you know. I still drove down to Louisville one time, broke into our old house before it was sold and sat on the kitchen counter for a while. If you think I'm kidding, I'd like to thank you for still hesitating to accept that I'm a crazy as you suspect.

Now, Aar and I are moving. We've lived in this little apartment since the day we stepped off the plane from our honeymoon, smack into a new state and a marriage and adult life where we make our own peanut butter sandwiches to pack for lunch. In some ways I hate this place. There are too many windows and they face west. That's a death wish in Scottsdale. Also, sometimes a girl just wants to read the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants in peace. But when that Xbox gets rolling, ain't no room in this tiny box where you can't hear it. (You can feel bad for me if you want, and also you should tell me about it and give me things.)

However, the instant we found this adorable new little stucco house with a gorgeous, fenced-in backyard heaven for little doggie Jethro and french doors opening to our patio from the master bedroom, my world caved in a little bit. WE'RE MOVING. Suddenly I want to take pictures of everything here. Our stupid tiny closet where my shoes don't fit. The gym at our apartment complex's office where I've spent an obscene amount of time in the last two years. The kitchen were Aaron looked at me over the sink one time and said "If you want to do something new in your life, you can do it, you know."

Moving is weird, but I think it could be fun. Though I still may not talk to our realtor for two weeks.

The worst is that I know that there will be a night after we move in January where I'll wake up and not know where I am for a second. Can I call you when that happens?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My Windshield Wipers Thank You

This. All week. It's so magical. After I bought my lottery tickets (is that joke getting old?) I was on my way to a meeting downtown when I remembered that Arizonans don't know how to drive in the rain. They don't drive poorly necessarily, just like terrified slowpokes. So... something happened. I was going to be late due to "rain traffic" on the I-10 and I... I used the HOV lane. During the restricted hours. I didn't even have a manikin to prop up in the passenger seat. I have always known that the only way the HOV remains useful is when we all pay it the respect it deserves. But now I have become her. The Woman Who Will Render It Useless. It's the beginning of the end. And the worst part is... I was cackling. Cackling like Mother Earth when she opens the floodgates of heaven on a desert that doesn't drain well.

In unrelated news, I wasn't late.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Birthday Post

Tomorrow, I'm turning 25. Weirdly (or, expectedly) the only thing I can think of is how when you fill out surveys or sweepstakes online, the age groups are always 18-24 and then 25-39, and this is the year I make that hop. This thought alone almost inspired a night-long downward spiral to the bottom of one of those plastic tubs of Betty Crocker icing, but luckily I rose above that. Kind of. I basically just put the icing on a cake for Aaron instead, and then ate it.

Also you should really know about me that I enter every single sweepstakes I ever find. You might think that this makes me ambitious, or hopeful, or optimistic or cutely pitiful, but really it's just a symptom of my general, daily state of soul-crushing guilt. Let me explain - my Dad always told me when I failed at something (which was like of course almost never I mean come on seriously) that as long as I had at least tried, he would never be disappointed. So if I see a sweepstakes and I don't enter... omg Dad would never recover from finding out I didn't even take the TIME to enter my NAME to win that emergency flat tire repair kit for 4 wheelers.

Anyway, beyond the monumental difference this 25th birthday is going to make in my world of sweepstakes-entering, and the fact that I can legitimately now call my neuroses a "quarter-life crisis," it's gotten me thinking about all the weird stuff that's happened this year and some other stuff I learned from it.

1. First, older people don't like it when you act like the two of you deserve an equal amount of respect. (I don't mean elderly, I mean older people who are still working. Late 40's to 50's.) This is disappointing and not really that logical, but I learned that it's not only true, but that recognizing it and moving on from it is really your only helpful reaction.

2. Secondly, it's worth it to take time to consider how people will respond to you. Some people will respond in weird or illogical ways to completely appropriate behavior. But that doesn't mean you can't take a moment to try to avoid that if possible. That's part of being kind. People are weird and you are too. Get on board.

3. Thirdly, don't put all the food in the blender at once. Put the almond milk in and some of the frozen fruit and liquify that first, and then add the banana and the spinach. You may be thinking this is a great metaphor for something that means a lot to you. So yes, it is.

4. You can't get in God's way. So don't try to, and don't get sad when you think you have.

5. If you leave the pantry door open, your dog WILL get into the trash. Yep, metaphor. So deep, right? I better see this on postsecret tomorrow. (Is post secret still a thing?)

6. Post Secret may not still be a thing.

7. I don't think I could run a marathon. The sad thing is, I am writing this to try to challenge 25-year-old me to do it. But I don't think I should. I have way too addictive a personality. If I trained for a marathon, after it was over I'd have to run at least 26.2 miles every day because I then knew I could. It is such work being me. You don't even know.

8. Being 24 was weird, and things changed a lot more than I wished that they would. 25 might be similar so I should probably put on my big girl shoes and get ok with it. I think I am.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Oh, hi.

I'm back to blogging. No, I don't want to talk about it, but I do want to talk about absolutely everything else, ever.

We're moving into a house. Aaron's birthday is tomorrow. I've discovered almond milk. That's pretty much everything that's happened since I up and hiatus-ed on ya'll.

Just kidding - I also highlighted my roots.

Go ahead and scroll down and peep some of the posts I wrote while I was "offline" too, if you'd like. I'm really quite insufferable.

In all seriousness, I'm looking forward to getting back into one of my exceptionally favorite outlets for my inescapable (yet charming) psychosis. I've been doing a lot of blog-reading and have gotten lots of new ideas and inspirations. So let's do this. Tomorrow.