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Should Resolutions Be Forgot …

I’m in the middle of moving, which is a month-long process for someone with a Mad Scientist Husband, so obviously my Resolutions are going bad so far. However, I don’t look at these things with an all-or-nothing mentality, so as soon as the new place is rebuilt (not “unpacked” – literally “rebuilt”), I’ll get going.

As far as monthly resolutions go, I haven’t had many chances to do crunches. Every floor I have is covered in sawdust, screws, road salt, or Lord knows what. So instead, I’ve been getting a jumpstart on one of next month’s resolutions. I will kick off the crunches as soon as we unroll our new rugs this weekend. I AM SO TIRED.

Despite all of the exhaustion at home, work, and other insane drama, I haven’t had a drop to drink. This may end tonight due to the most terrifying, heartbreaking day I’ve had since my Grandma got sick. I can’t detail it here but fearing for someone’s life is pretty nerve-wracking and I’m trying to wean off of my Ativan. We’ll see.

The new place is looking incredible. I’ll post pictures when we get closer to completion, though you can see a lot of the progress on my Instagram.

I had my first Scriptwriting class and I almost cried from happiness afterward. I love school so much! I think one key to my ongoing quest for happiness is to always have a class to attend. There are so many more I want to take. I want Justin to get a new job, but I also want like 5 more Master’s degrees for free? What do I do?

Anyway, life is hopefully close to being back to normal. Though, I say that every time.

 

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New Year’s Resolutions

2014 is a year I’m really looking forward to. I know I’m a girl so the year of my wedding was supposed to be the big thing that I shit my pants about, but aside from Iceland, I’m so glad that crap is over. Besides, the whole year was just … intense. Incredible highs and unbelievable lows. I’m ready for a steady year of taking care of myself, enjoying my new husband, and positive changes. It’s going to be a good.

Things to Look Forward To

  • New Office – I have a massive office with a wall of windows, a giant monitor, space for tons of plants, and it will be far away from distractions. The first day I moved into it, campus closed early for Christmas vacation and I didn’t want to leave.
  • New Apartment – Justin and I are moving in a week or two. It’s still in our building, but it will be so much bigger and hopefully far less cluttered. My pack-rat, mad scientist husband hasn’t moved in 10 years. This will be interesting. Plus: another massive wall of windows! Next year is looking much brighter!
  • Grown-Up Furniture – While we’re financially ready for a house, we don’t want one yet … but we can finally buy some things we’ve never had: a bedroom set, an actual table for eating, a non-shitty coffee table, a giant quality couch, and a mattress that costs more than $299. We plan on finishing these purchases in the next couple of weeks.
  • No Debt! – It only took 3 years, but I finally paid off my twenties … at least in terms of credit cards, medical loans and other fun stuff. I still have a student loan, but my payments are so small and my interest is so low that it doesn’t weigh on me. (I am 70% done with my student loans, though!)
  • Scriptwriting – This would have been my major at Webster if I had known these classes exist. However, they were offered through the Media department instead of Creative Writing, so no one bothered to tell me about them until it was too late. It has been my 10-year regret, but I currently get free tuition and I’m going to milk it while I can. I can’t wait!
  • Free Time – Jesus Christ, I miss free time.
  • Grilled Cheese Party 2: Back in The Habit – That’s right, y’all. Grilled Cheese/Birthday/Housewarming Party, coming soon.
  • Seattle – Justin and I are going to visit Erin, Graham, Courtney, Mike, Dan, Kerri and Charlie in a few months. We even have a night booked at The Great Northern from Twin Peaks, Justin’s Christmas gift to me. I’m so excited!
  • Washington D.C. – Visiting my brother and fam for his big ceremony. I hate politics but for some reason I can’t wait to see all of the sights.
  • Justin’s New Job – I don’t know where or when this will happen, but hopefully this is the year that all of his incredibly hard work pays off. No matter what happens, I’m so proud of him!
  • Baby? – Growing up adopted has made me very conscious of the fact that some people can’t make babies. So I’m trying to be very realistic about family planning. I don’t know when we will start trying (I think we’re going to write a few months on the Brolette wheel and spin; clearly this means we’re ready), but this could be the year!
  • My Promotion – I don’t know if this will happen, either, but let’s just put it here and see what sticks.

Okay, time for resolutions. I’m a big sucker for this stuff. I don’t care if you’re sick of this! I know you know I’ll fail! Here we go!

Stretch Goals

  • Lose 40 pounds*
  • Run 5 miles in 50 minutes*
  • Cook at least one new recipe a week
  • Write here at least once a week
  • Have (and complete) 2 monthly mini resolutions, and try to maintain at least some of those habits long-term

*I don’t know if this is the year I will get pregnant (if I can even get pregnant) but obviously these will have to be put on hold when that happens. I AM determined to tone up and lose weight beforehand, because I am basically okay with how tubby I am right now. If this is what I look like when I’m 9 months pregnant then I will be stoked!

I reeeeally missed my monthly goals this last year. Between wedding planning, the honeymoon, packing up my parents’ house, losing my grandma, crippling depression, two flus and about 600 work/family trips, there was just no time or motivation. So this time around, I want to try to do two at once. Let’s see how long that lasts!

January’s Monthly Goals:

1. Do Crunches Every Day: I basically look like the Kool-Aid Man right now. Yes, I know I need to do other things besides crunches.

2. No Drinking: I did this last January. It was insanely easy and I lost 10 pounds. Pretty sure my belly is 99% wine. This is a good goal.

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Obstruction

Heh heh heh.

I feel bad that I left that last post up for so long without explaining: Justin has nothing to do with my depression. In fact, he’s one of the few things that consistently makes me happy. He’s my best friend and my favorite person, and I’ll never stop being amazed that I’m the one who got to marry him.

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However, he’s working full time, going to school full time, working at an internship and he’s the layout editor for his school paper. And while his schedule is, shockingly, not as crazy as it has been in recent semesters, he’s gone during weekend days and sometimes three weeknights in a row. When I’m coping with stuff (and don’t consider drinking “coping”), it makes things hard. But I’m so proud of him and I’m always amazed by the work he’s doing.

I could name about 1,000 reasons why I was sad, but not a specific reason, and that’s when you know it’s depression. It started creeping up about a month before my Grandma got sick. I think it started with selling my family home. There was one day where I woke up happy, walked to work in gorgeous weather, and was excited to see all of my friends that night, but then I got a call that my Grandma was in the emergency room. Moral of story: always stay depressed?

It really was the perfect storm of stuff: bad project at work, feeling left out, missing my Grandma and my dad and my house, gaining weight, not sleeping at all. And you know, when you’re getting married, you get used to an insane amount of attention… and then it all goes away. So the sad, lonely, empty times felt a million times worse thanks to that extra deprivation.

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Anyway, I’m slowly but surely getting back to normal. Here’s some ways I kicked myself in the ass:

1. Quit Facebook

I don’t like broadcasting shit on Facebook like I do here, so I took the temptation away by deactivating my account. (Also, at the time, tons of my friends were on this road trip together and thanks to a seating limit I wasn’t invited, so it was nice to not look at their 8 million posts and pictures. I wasn’t mad, but that timing could not have been worse. I was literally like, “I need help; today I’ll make an effort to spend time with friends,” and then NO YOU CAN’T BECAUSE THEY’RE ALL HAVING FUN WITHOUT YOU HAHAHA)

I did not miss Facebook. At all. I liked being forced to call/text my friends and develop real friendships. I LOVED not hearing about politics or worrying about how to please everyone I know all at once. My day felt cleaner and easier when it wasn’t clogged up with the lamest, stupidest details about everyone’s day. (I know people say this is a Twitter thing, but I only follow clever people there.)

Not feeling the urge to check a website 6,000 times a day? Freedom. Pure freedom.

Of course, I’m back for now… there are cancer updates, trial news, and long-distance bffs I need to keep track of. I missed some friends’ jokes. BUT I don’t have the app on my phone anymore, I delete/unfollow people every day, and I know that when I deactivate it again, I’ll be able to go even longer. I know it’s like the most dramatic thing you can do in this day and age, but it’s worth it every now and then.

2. Excercise

I joined this app called Gym-Pact; you commit to a number of workouts and put up money for each one. For example, I commit to 6 days a week at $20 a workout. If I miss one of those workouts, I would have to pay. So far, I haven’t. I’ve made every workout, which means I make money, thanks to everyone who failed. Like my BodyBugg, it turns things into a game and forces me to get off my ass. I love it.

I’ve also joined other apps like DietBet and Luminosity, but I’ll talk about those some other day.

3. My basic formula

Sleep, exercise, Vitamin B and sunshine. Now that it’s cool outside, I can walk to work–and I’m definitely feeling the results.

4. Drugs

So, I thought I could ween off of Ativan to be ahead of the game when Baby Time happens, but this was not the time to have trouble sleeping. All it did was help create the Perfect Storm. Maybe when I get back up to running 6 miles every morning, I’ll try again.

5. Distractions

Since Justin is gone two or three weeknights in a row, I try to stay distracted during those times. Walking with Veronica. Evening trips to the Y. Visits with my shrink. TV time with Jen and Ron. I also go out more on the weekends: parties, dinners, girl’s nights with my work friends, “Friday Night Grown-Up Time!” with Jen. As long as I’m not here alone, thinking about my Grandma and my Dad, I seem to do fine.

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6. West Coast

I wasn’t broadcasting my depression on Facebook and I was trying to keep my crying at a minimum around BFFs like Jen and Vee, but I was very honest about it on Instagram and Twitter. And while I wasn’t trolling for attention, Erin and Janet both sent me out-of-the-blue Cheer Up presents. I literally burst into tears when I opened these–happy tears. It made me feel like someone heard me, that someone cared. And sometimes, that’s really all you need.

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I’m still feeling fat thanks to the Post-Wedding 15, but apparently women are happiest at Size 12? So maybe I should gain some weight and see how that body feels. Ha!

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You Know It’s Time For My Annual Nervous Breakdown When …

… I write an entry about how depressed and lonely I am and how I have no friends …

… and then I delete it …

… and then I post it again …

… and then I edit it to be like, “Except for Jen and Ron, as usual, obviously” …

… and then I delete it again …

… and then I cry in the bathroom and go run 5 miles and finish a book about Scientology and feel better.

I’m glad only like 20 people read my blog these days (and one is in India?) so only a few people get to witness the chaos (and thank you for loving me and/or hate-reading me). This is so much better than when I would write massive, epically embarrassing entries on Ambien and like 300 people would read it before I woke up and deleted it in a panic. There are people out there who still think I’m a psycho because of that.

Anyway, I’m still really sad about what happened a week ago and I will probably be sad about it forever, but I think I’m feeling better.

… well, I watched Breaking Bad last night, so “better” might not be the right word. “Feeling okay about real life but totally fucking sick to my stomach about fictional characters” might be a better description. Like, I feel hungover from the stress of that show. Yikes.

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Gluten-Free Stephie

Did you know that I stopped eating gluten? I stopped eating gluten about a month ago.

We’re not trying to have a baby right now, but we’re talking and planning … and for the first time, I realized that I would have to stop taking all of my daily meds. I don’t take a lot of medicine, but I take stuff for allergies, sleeping … and (in the summer) sweating. I have a friend who sweats even more than I do, and she told me that she found out that her sweating was because of a gluten intolerance. I read up on gluten intolerance symptoms, and so many of them are things that I suffer from (joint pain, anxiety, sleep issues, etc).

I have friends with serious, severe Celiac Disease and I’ve witnessed how hard it is for them. I also used to work in a health food store, where people with gluten allergies have always had to shop until recently, so I’ve been aware of this issue for a long time. I am very, very grateful that I do not have Celiac Disease, so let’s make it clear that I don’t just think of this as a fun experiment. But if there’s any time to try avoiding gluten and find out for myself if this is my problem, it’s now.

These days, people tend to roll their eyes when someone mentions they’re avoiding gluten because they think it is just a fad diet. They bring up the low carb craze and try to mansplain to me that it’s not actually going to help me lose weight. I love telling those people that I wrote my master’s thesis ab0ut the low carb diet and the marketing and advertising behind it, so I fully understand how those diets and fads gain momentum.

However, while avoiding gluten is tied to one fad diet (paleo), it’s also an easy way for grocery stores to bring in an entire segment of people that couldn’t shop at their store before. And because of Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, grocery stores need to compete with health food stores more than ever, so they are paying attention. This may stick for a while. I don’t think that stores will keep their giant gluten-free aisles for more than a couple years, but hopefully places will be permanently conscious of carrying gluten-free alternatives.

To be honest, I am eating more paleo than anything these days. Aside from gluten-free pizzas when I go out with friends and the occasional bowl of corn/rice cereal, I haven’t bought any products that are specifically gluten free. I don’t usually buy bread or baked goods anyway. So the only change I’ve really made is that I stopped buying fast food or pigging out on goodies at work. I don’t have to worry about cross-contamination or anything, so while this is by no means an easy lifestyle for people with Celiac, it has been relatively painless for me.

It’s been working, believe it or not. I still sweat in 90-degree weather, that is just science, but I’ve been more comfortable outside recently than most of my friends and I’m not afraid of going out at all. Justin is usually the one to turn on the air conditioning, not me. I don’t need a fan when I’m getting ready in our muggy bathroom. These are huge developments. And because the main reason I’m avoiding gluten is sweating, I’ll be able to slip up occasionally in the winter. I plan on avoiding gluten year-round, but I can still eat stuffing on Thanksgiving or an Easter casserole and suffer through the side effects with minimal discomfort.

I also feel amazing these days, but the fact that I do all of my shopping at the Farmers Market probably has something to do with it. This boost in my mood is much needed because I’m also cutting out sleeping pills and we all know how great that works for me. Shit’s been rough. At least I can take my old friend Benadryl.

My goal to sit up straight this month was serendipitous because work is nuts and I will be spending all month sitting at my desk. Anyway, that’s going well.

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Charlotte

“You have been my friend,” replied Charlotte. “That in itself is a tremendous thing…after all, what’s a life anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die…By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that.” ― E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web

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I’ve been trying all week to write some beautiful, elegant entry about the past 3 weeks, but then it feels like I’m too detailed, too intimate, too self-absorbed, too wordy. So I’ll just say it.

I watched my Grandma die last week. I sat with her for her last hour on earth. I watched each breath take longer and longer, I saw the panic in her eyes, I told her it was okay, I told her that I loved her, and I held her hand until I felt her let go.

A week earlier, exactly a week earlier, I had a great visit with her. I said goodbye, then popped back into her room – and she was sitting up, having a major stroke. I held her hand during that, too. There was nothing they could do to stop it, so I just sat with her. She cracked joke after joke with a half-frozen face, slurring her words. I was the only person who could understand her. I stayed until she fell asleep.

Part of me feels like this has profoundly changed me–that I’ll appreciate life more or magically become a wiser, better person. The other half can’t believe how natural it all feels, to the point where maybe it hasn’t changed me at all.

I mean, when I lost my dad, the grief was normal and manageable but what I witnessed during the year leading up to that moment messed me up beyond belief. So I have no idea what I’m like right now. I’m not drinking. I’m reading, sleeping and walking a lot. Every time she said goodbye to me, she would say, “Take care of yourself.” So I’m treading lightly.

She was my Dad’s mom. So going through all of her papers and pictures hasn’t just been a reminder about her–it’s been a reminder of my Dad and my Grandpa, too. My Dad’s 70th birthday is coming up, so he was already on my mind. It gets a little overwhelming.

A few days before she died, she hugged me and said, “Thank God he gave us to each other.” That’s all I can think about. I know it was her time; I know it was natural. But it hurts so much. She was so incredible, so funny, so talented, so brave. I could write about her forever. She was one of my best friends. I really just fucking miss her.

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Long Form, Short Fuse

Don’t expend energy in writing and publishing that would be better used in your family or community. Become tempered by life. Make compromises for love. Provide a service to the world.

- Sarah Manguso

If anyone needs me, I’m still at Instagram and Tumblr and Twitter. If I’m not there, then I’m obsessively binge-watching Orange Is The New Black and rewatching Orphan Black. You guys. Those shows. Do it.

The internet has been leaving a really bad taste in my mouth lately. Not all of it; mainly just blogs and Facebook. The majority of the blogs I read have evolved into a sort of “I don’t understand this thing so I’m going to bitch about how it’s stupid” attitude (and I’m sure I have too; shit’s contagious). I have trouble reading that stuff. I want to comment on it, to tell people they’re wrong, to ask why they care if they’ve never been there/done that, but if they have enough energy to bitch about something for 500 words then they certainly have no problem arguing with me*. And I can’t tell them to not care if I care that they care. You know? Anyway.

And Facebook is just, like, a shitty family arguing about politics and social issues at the dinner table 24/7. We shouldn’t be allowed to interact like that with every person we’ve ever met all at once, you guys. And even though I try so hard to avoid commenting and getting myself in trouble/unfriended, I just watch it happen and seethe. And it’s not even Republican/racist/religious stuff! It’s like, nice stuff posted by people who RSVP’d to my wedding and didn’t show up. “Oh, a picture of flowers? SCREW YOU.”**

All the negativity is making me sick to my stomach and it’s also making me a bad person. So I’m just trying to stay away for a while, sticking to little snippets and jokes and a little bitching, but just 140-character baby bitching.

I’m finally able to run again, thanks to my dad’s old podiatrist/roommate. I can’t run long distances yet because I took such a long break, so I’m finally able to build up my speed without tiring myself out. Just a couple 10-minute miles a day along with some walking. And p90x in the evenings. These 2-a-days aren’t helping me lose weight faster, but they’re making me feel amazing and helping me sleep like a baby, so Imma keep it up.

I realized that next year will be this blog’s 10-year anniversary, so I’m not ready to give it up just yet. Just … taking a vacation in a few other spots, is all, until I have something of substance to say. Come find me! I’m fun over there.

*Erin probably thinks this is referring to her post about not believing in fibromyalgia, and it’s not. It is a little bit about her cool friend who called me a “retard”  in the comments, though.

**I don’t usually lord this over people, but I went to a wedding when my dad was on hospice and I had a top secret emergency plan in place in case he died that day (which included Erin, thanks girl) because when you RSVP that means YOU SHOW UP.

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Warrior One

My PTSD about my dad is back with a vengeance. I’m learning that it gets the worst in the summer because weather can be the easiest trigger, and that’s when I really took care of him and things got super traumatizing. So I have at least another month of this.

Life is so much easier when you understand exactly what is happening to you emotionally and physically. More important, it’s easier when you understand why. Even if it’s just PMS or being tired. Even if it’s full-blown depression. It’s a chance to be proactive or give yourself permission to cocoon up and rest.

Justin is gone several nights in a row again, and I hurt my ankle so I can’t go to the Y and run. (It will probably be safe to walk in a couple weeks and I will; I just have a history of not waiting long enough for these things to get better.)

Anyway, my way of coping for the longest time was just, like, wine and Totino’s and a Netflix marathon. But I’m trying to read and cook time-consuming-yet-healthy dinners and do p90x, which I couldn’t bring myself to do last time around but now that I can’t go to the Y, it’s nice to have.

I need to just make an effort to spend time with friends on those nights but it’s so hot and I’m so tired and emotionally drained from all of this. It’s not something I can really talk about with friends because they treat it like I’m still deeply grieving after 3 years and that’s not what PTSD is about at all. The last thing I need is someone talking to me like I’m a little kid, which is what a lot of my friends tend to do for some reason. Anyway. I’m fragile but I know I’ll snap out of it when the weather changes.

I’m doing fine about the big move; I automatically stuck memories of the house into that big box in the back of my brain where I keep memories of my dad, my grandpa and my dog. Do you guys have a box like that? One where small memories and stories escape and it’s okay, but you never open it up and look inside because everything floods out and it would hurt too much? Anyway, 908 is there.

Marriage is awesome. I suppose right now we’re starting to talk about getting a bigger place, and that will eventually lead to babies, so maybe in a month or so I will be like OH MY GOD JUSTIN STOP MAKING CHARTS AND JUST PICK A HOUSE GAH but for now I am really digging marriage and I feel so lucky that Justin is my husband.

I will try to tell you all about our trip to Iceland soon. Is there anything else you want me to write about? Random requests really help me get off of my ass, so to speak.

I love you guys.

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Breaking Bride

Sorry for the lack of posts; I am getting RILL sick of talking about myself.

7 more weeks of answering questions and harassing people and stressing about literally every worst case scenario, then an avalanche of Iceland pictures, and then hopefully I will get back to regular blogging about … home renovations? Recipes? Fertility? What the hell do married people blog about? (I keed, but really. Nothing will be as interesting as when I was single; sorry.)

My RSVP due date is aligning nicely with my PMS, resulting in some hilarious silent rage and borderline passive-aggressive texts on my end.

Meanwhile I have been doing a lot of “Blogging for Lazy People” aka Tumblr.* You can find me at secretlystephie.tumblr.com.

Mortified Monday update: I haven’t really lost weight but I’ve been noticing some serious Michelle Obama muscles on my arms and I actually wore size 6 skinny jeans without being run out of town with pitchforks. So maybe that “muscle weighs more than fat” thing isn’t just a lie that I tell myself when I’m fat? Anyway, these days I have enough teeth bleach and spray tan in my system to feel pretty in spite of my weight, so whatever.

*I don’t want to hear your sass, Erin; rebloggling is lay-zay.

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The Dave Painting

Last weekend, my work friends and I threw a surprise 30th birthday party for our friend Ben. 90% of the hilarity that ensued is based on inside jokes or Breaking Bad humor (homemade blue rock candy, anyone?), but I need to tell you about Dave’s painting.

Dave and his wife hosted the party in their gorgeous new house, and he mentioned some of the things that he found in the move. Many of my co-workers have known each other for at least a decade, so when he mentioned the painting they all cracked up. But since Justin, Liz and I are a little new to the party, he told us the story.

Dave had a cleaning lady who would sometimes buy him strange presents. “But she wouldn’t give them to me; she would just put them on my mantel or nightstand.” When he would ask her about them, she would just say, “Oh, I thought that would look nice there.”

“Then,” Dave said, “She just started rearranging my furniture? Like full rooms. Without asking.”

“And then I guess I left some pictures of me laying around? Old ones,” he continued. “And then one day, she said, ‘I painted this for you.’”

And then

she gave

him this:

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Did she sign it? No. She kissed the back:

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“AAAAAND that’s when I fired her.”

P.S. Look at Kim’s Bencakes!

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Things I Am Afraid Will Happen On My Wedding Day

  • Conversations about politics.
  • Someone freaks out about my “something blue“.
  • My fake tooth falls out.
  • My dress rips.
  • My Grandma dies.
  • Grandma calls me fat.
  • Grandma calls one of my friends fat.
  • Grandma sees Erin and Rachael’s tattoos, then dies.
  • Our family members’ reaction to Rob. Any reaction. This will be weird.
  • My parents’ friends try to “save” my friends who are gay.
  • I cry my fake eyelashes off in front of everyone.
  • I spend my whole wedding like I always spend weddings: drunk on the smoking patio.
  • Grandma will ask my bosses to give me a raise.
  • I TRIP WHILE WALKING DOWN THE AISLE NOOO
  • I pull a, “Take thee, Rachel” even though I’m not in love with someone else.
  • I develop gall bladder stones and have to get my gall bladder removed.
  • I develop kidney stones and have to pee them out on my wedding day.
  • I develop Tourettes at the alter. Like, all of a sudden.
  • Tony, Peter or Teets ends up hitting on my boss.
  • My sister-in-law says something that puts one of my friends in therapy for years.
  • My cousin’s husband calls everything “gay”.
  • Frank and Erik do a scathing review of my wedding on their podcast. “Two tall, handsome thumbs DOWN.”
  • The wedding venue is bombed by North Korea.
  • Tony sees my friends and starts telling incredibly dated “hipster jokes”.
  • Ty farts just as we are all walking down the aisle.
  • Someone gets in a car accident.
  • Someone has a seizure.
  • Someone has a heart attack.
  • Liz’s speech is embarrassing. (I am not worried about Jen’s speech.)
  • Justin’s family somehow ends up in East St. Louis.
  • My mothers-in-law catch me having a cigarette.
  • My hair. Just, you know, in general.
  • The DJ makes an error and I have to walk down the aisle to “Fergalicious.”
  • My bosses talk to someone who once made a gravity bong on my porch.
  • Someone offers to pray for the bride and groom and ends up speaking in tongues.
  • Adam throws in a final “big boobs” joke before I am wed, ending a 20-year tradition.
  • I get pregnant before the big day (even though I am clearly still a virgin).
  • Someone insults the Indiana Hoosiers; a tall, polite riot ensues.

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Mortified Monday – Austin Stephie Limits

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Currently eating my way through Austin. Um, for work. See you next week.

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Mortified Monday #8 – Fat Tuesday Edition

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Last week the drinking ban ended, just when about 5 shitstorms hit all at once. So I figured I’d live a little. I was a little scared to see what I weighed last week. And then …

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WILD CARD!

Justin is currently in Vegas with his brothers and bffs for his bachelor party. A lot of girls would be concerned if their fiance was partying in Vegas. What if he gets a hooker? What if he gambles away all our savings? What if he ends up missing, Hangover-style?

Well, most girls aren’t engaged to Justin.

Because when Justin goes to Vegas …
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… he makes a fucking game show wheel full of Vegas activities.

Oh, there’s more:
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I helped him assemble all the velcro backing a few nights ago. Chauncey also helped in typical fashion:
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My favorite ones are “Solve a murder”, “Watch Bachelor Party” and visiting the Sex & The City penny slots. The descriptions on the back are the best part (click to expand if needed; it’s worth it):
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Most girls say, “Please don’t tell me if there’s a stripper.” I say, “Please don’t tell me how much those arts & crafts supplies cost.” That wheel is dry-erase, and obviously I will be trotting it out for every party I have until the end of time.
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.I can never say this enough: I’m marrying a mad scientist.
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Mortified Monday #7

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AAAAAGGGHHHHH Continue reading

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Mortified Monday #6

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Over The ‘Möön

We’re going to Iceland on our honeymoon! Iceland was something we bonded over from the beginning of our relationship, but I don’t know if I expected us to visit so soon. When we got engaged, Justin insisted on planning and paying for the honeymoon himself. He would always just say, “I’m working on it,” when I asked him, plus he’s a full-time student, so I was starting to worry that we would end up in Branson. I’m still in shock.

The best part was how he told me. We had just returned from visiting both of Justin’s parents, who don’t celebrate Christmas so much as they throw their own version of “Oprah’s Favorite Things”. I grew up in a disabled family, so Christmas was pretty tame when I was a kid and I’m still a little freaked out by their generosity. I won’t get braggy and tell you what I got (okay, except for my yellow Fjällräven Kånken), but I was basically already like this:

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and then Justin asked if I wanted to know where we were going. He pulled out a binder with Iceland on the cover, and told me that we’d be spending 7 days in Iceland with our own travel agent, a rented car, a full itinerary, all expenses paid. He saved up and paid for everything himself and planned it all in secret. Then he pulled up a video of the glacier that we get to stand on. I just sat there, looking at the TV and the living room full of presents and my sweet, adorable future husband, then I literally burst into tears like he proposed all over again.

Okay, so I got braggy. I’ll keep going! This is all the stuff we’re going to see!

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Hobbit Houses!

Iceland-Glacier

Glaciers!

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A Geothermal Spa!

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Gullfoss!

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The Great Geysir!

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Reykjavík!

Oh, the next day Justin left to go BACK to his dad’s, so aside from a couple hours at my grandma’s house, I got to celebrate what will probably be my last Home Alone Christmas. Next year, I’ll have three families, and while they are all a total blast, I’m going to miss spoiling myself rotten … as well as any excuse to use my favorite burglar alarm:

Photo on 2012-12-25 at 20.28 #2

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Easy Does It

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Happy New Year!

I know that usually I make a big effort with my annual or monthly resolutions, but last year’s goal went right out the window when I got engaged on New Year’s Eve. Also, while I’ve logged 1200 miles if you count walking, my goal to run 1200 miles in one year had to be put on hold after multiple injuries.

So this year, I only have a few goals, at least until my wedding:
1. No drinking in January.
2. Make it through my wedding alive.
3. Blog weekly, even though no one really blogs anymore and my life can easily be summed up on Facebook/Twitter.
4. Lose 20 pounds (I mean it this time?).

New Year’s Eve was pretty great, even if it was lazy. Justin and I went over to Rob’s house for his annual chicken dinner, where we saw a lot of old friends, talked about even more old friends, laughed our asses off and ate some amazing food. (I’m pretty relieved we left right after Keith showed up with bacon-wrapped dates because I only had time to shove three in my mouth.)

Most of the Squids have either moved or had some sort of falling out, so we never get together the way we used to. Last night made me really nostalgic, and also very grateful considering the Squids are how I met my future husband.

Speaking of Justin, we’re both getting over colds so we decided to leave at 9 and just take it easy for the rest of the night. We had a little mini-celebration for the year anniversary of our engagement by watching “The Five-Year Engagement”, drinking champagne, and toasting the New Year.

This was the first time we’ve rung in the new year with our cat, so we joked that we should make him a hat. Then while Justin was in the bathroom, I whipped this up with a piece of origami paper (in Squid Colors; hay):

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He was super pumped:

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Things That Make Me Happy

Even though my body is tricking me into being sad right now, there are still plenty of reasons to smile and I’m grateful for all of them:

1. Baby Viola

Jen and Ron, my favorite people in the world, a love which is well documented on this blog, have procreated. This is great news for humanity, but more importantly, it’s great news for them. She is beautiful, Jen is rocking motherhood, and Ron somehow has even more enthusiasm and energy than usual which, if you know him, is pretty remarkable. I’m secretly a little jealous of this baby because she has some of the best parents a kid could ever have. Seeing them with her made me happier than I’ve felt in weeks.

2. Kendra and Jane and Pi

Jane and Kendra and I try to get together for drinks and dinner every few months. I’ve never had girlfriends that are, you know, “girlfriends” that do lunch and vacation together and stuff, so I get a big kick out of it every time we hang out. They live far away from me so it’s rare that I see them, but it’s always a highlight when I do. They’re so awesome. Also awesome: Pi. Yum.

3. Tennis Balls

Remember this? And my 3-day video shoot? Well, it’s finally up! I don’t really want the video to link back to my blog in the stats, and for some reason I can’t hack a Google redirect anymore. So if you aren’t my Facebook friend, go to youtube and put this after youtube.com – /watch?v=hBOVy5GR4to .

4. What High School Should We Call Me

This means nothing if you don’t live in St. Louis, but I won a caption contest on the best blog in STL (out of 95 people) and got a gift certificate to Nick’s Pub. I can drink $1 draft beers for the rest of my life now!

5. Chauncey is Home

There’s nothing worse than a family member in the hospital, and that includes pets. For about 6 hours, we really thought we were going to have to put him to sleep. A sad Justin is the most heartbreaking thing in the world, and Chauncey is one of the few reasons I smile every day. Even after we knew he would be okay, he was still under observation for 3 days and being home alone was the saddest thing in the world.

6. My Back is Getting Better

I’m not at 100% yet and I’m still too scared to run, but at least I can sit down and bend over without crying. I walked to the store today and carried my groceries home, which was a big deal. I went to a chiropractor this week and while she gave me some great stretches and snapped my neck like Sayid from Lost, I was not expecting the length or massive cost of her care.  Maybe my vertebrae have been scared straight? I’m hoping I can heal on my own with some TLC and good habits.

It also helps that Chauncey has volunteered to be my neck pillow:

Photo on 2012-12-07 at 16.53 #3

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Natalie Dee Perfectly Sums Up Last Week

 

 

 

Just change “Bejeweled” to “Tetris Battle” and “PTO Mom” to “Writer” and it’s uncanny.

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