Monday, September 22, 2014

Relationship Report Cards

In the eight months and change that I've been dating BF, I've had to re-learn a very basic life lesson that I'd forgotten in my few years of singledom.

Relationships are hard work.

It's not the sexy thing to say.  It doesn't play into the rom-com version of relationships where you have one issue that's resolved with a pretty bow in ninety minutes.  It also goes against a very popular notion that good relationships are easy.

I've heard both arguments:

1) Good relationships are easy.  They won't feel like work.

2) Good relationships require work to remain good.

So which one is right?  I'm not going to pretend to have some sort of expertise on the matter.  My personal inclination is that both are true to a degree. All I can really speak to are my own experiences. They can be summed up as follows, with a work rating of 1-10, 1 being no work, 10 being work all the time:

  • Ex-H:  We started dating when I was 19, and he was the first person I ever dated, kissed, and so forth.  We were full of good intentions, and I was in love with him.  Ultimately, I think we married too young without getting enough experience under our respective belts.  I realized after the fact that we were probably better off as really good friends for the last half of our relationship at least.  Ah, the joys of hindsight. WORK RATING: 5 for me.  I put in a good amount of effort, but I didn't know any better than what I had in front of me, so I didn't fight it too hard until the very end.  2 for him.  He was so damn passive.
  • M:  He was a rebound in many ways, the exact opposite of Ex-H, and a casualty of timing.  We started dating just a few months after Ex-H moved out, and it was an emotionally volatile time for both of us.  That relationship relied heavily on a need for someone to save us from ourselves, and it suffered because of it.  WORK RATING: 8 for me.  It was either giddy good or sobbing mess bad, and more often than not, the bad outweighed the good.  5 for him because he tried, but he could step away more easily than I could.  
  • Angry Ex:  I ignored all the red flags in the beginning, and they ended up being the same things that caused us to break up two years later.  I loved him, but it was a very unhealthy relationship.  I'd never felt so bad about myself as I did when I was with him, and the relationship was codependent and weird.  WORK RATING:  10.  It was work.  From the first month to the last.  I put all of my energy into making him happy, then making us okay, and nothing was left for taking care of me. 3 for him.  He talked a good game on rare occasions, but never actually put the work in.  The burden always fell on me to fix everything.
Now I've got a new relationship to add to the list, and we're heading towards matching and exceeding the length of the shortest of the bunch above.  I'm years older and hopefully somewhat wiser, but here's my summary of this relationship:  It's good, but it can be hard.  It's not effortless.  It's not without it's struggles.  It doesn't feel awesome every second of every day of every week.  But damn, I wouldn't trade it for any of those other relationships for the world.  The difference is reciprocity.  I would honestly say that the WORK RATING for both of us is probably a 4*, but with an asterisk to indicate that it feels like such a HEALTHY 4 comparatively.  We have disagreements, mostly misunderstandings.  But EVERY SINGLE TIME, we have sat down and talked through them, and come out on the other end better for it.  I may have cried, we may have felt a bit lost, but we always, always come together to sort it out.  

I've never had that before.  The difficulties seem so much more manageable when you're not the only one working to resolve them.  The misunderstandings clear up so much more quickly when you're both taking a second look.  

BF and I are not perfect.  We have our moments where he drives me up a wall and vice versa.  But I spent ten days straight with this man on a vacation, eight of them with no one else around, and I DID NOT GET TIRED OF HIM.  I was happy to see him every morning, and happy to fall asleep next to him every night.

He listens to me.  I see the proof of that in our interactions after a misunderstanding, and I'd like to think he sees the same from me.  We are both trying, even though we are at times woefully out of practice with relationships, and have been operating as independent creatures for a long time.  It's hard to shift out of that solo position after being in it for so long! There are growing pains that crop up periodically, but we're still here.  I still feel in love with him, and I still see the possibility of a future with him, but we aren't rushing anything.  He makes me laugh, we have some interests in common, but not all, we like to be together, but don't need each other to survive.  

In summary, this relationship is good, even when it's hard, even when it feels like I'm stretching my relationship muscles in new and unfamiliar ways.  At the end of the day, I think it's a healthy relationship, and I'm grateful for that.

Maybe good relationships never feel like work.  Maybe good relationships require work.  I don't really know if there's a universal truth.  I hear people sometimes declaring that "My significant other and I never fight".  Well, I can't say that about my relationship.  But I also know that for me, that means that I'm not sitting on hurt feelings or powering through lingering past offenses.  Things upset me, things upset him, and we address them within a fairly timely fashion.  That's us.  That's what I know for my life and my relationship. 

More power to the people who really do never fight.  Maybe they just get along that well, who knows!  For me, it's not that easy, and that's okay.  I actually don't mind the work I'm putting into this relationship.  For one, like I said, reciprocity.  Huge difference.  I'm not alone!  And for two, I see the work as a sign of the growth I've experienced since my last relationships.  I see it as a sign of me fighting my history, my old bad habits and patterns, and choosing to be better.  To be different.  BF feels the same per some of our post fight/misunderstanding/rumble situations.  I have to say, I'll take it.  I like knowing that people in general are capable of change with thoughtful, mindful consideration, and I like knowing that I'm one of them.  I've earned all these relationship stripes, both good and bad.

Eight months, nineteen days.  :-)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

vacation download

So vacation was fantastic.  :-) I had ten days off from work for the first time in over a decade, and it was glorious.  Friday and Saturday of the first weekend were spent with BF and his daughter.  We went and saw Ghostbusters in the theater, which was super fun, as that's one of my all time favorites.  BF's daughter left that Saturday evening, and we mostly spent the time getting everything situated for our morning departure.

The drive to OBX was not bad.  I'd never been through so much of Virginia, and I'd never been to North Carolina at all, so it was an interesting drive at times.  The actual beach trip was fantastic.  We grilled.  We mini golfed (twice).  We did the paddleboats, dined out at local restaurants, spent time at the beach and in the ocean every single day.  Lounged on the varying decks of the beach house, reading, talking, relaxing.  We utilized the hot tub, mostly late at night once it had cooled off enough to be bearable.  I ate way too much fudge and way too many donuts from this amazing donut place that makes fresh, hot donuts made to order.  We went to all the little shops, and I found unique jewelry (2 rings, one pair of earrings) and my Christmas ornament for this year.  I got a touristy OBX hat for the beach to protect my pale scalp.  And because we are who we are, we watched football.  ;-)

It was a gorgeous place to spend a week.  I managed to avoid getting sunburnt thanks to my diligent use of sunscreen, I got good sleep, I roasted s'mores and we laughed and talked and kissed and were closer and it all felt amazing.  I didn't check work email once!

I was so sad to leave a week later.  I felt like I was letting go of this glorious little moment in time where I was unencumbered by work, bills, chores, obligations.  It was just all my time to do with as I pleased.  The day we left was gray and drizzly.  We'd had a gorgeous week of weather, so it felt like we were leaving at just the right time.  We left early on that Sunday morning so we could get back in time to watch NFL football.  Sidenote:  Both of our teams lost!

I stayed at BF's house until Monday evening.  Monday was mostly lazy.  I slept in until 10 and then we had leftover pizza for lunch, and ran a couple of errands.  Lazy afternoon, and once rush hour traffic was wrapped I headed home for the first time in what felt like forever.

Took me ages to unpack the car of my things.  I spent the evening unpacking my bags, doing a tiny bit of cleaning in my apartment and zoning out to some DVR.

Tuesday brought me crashing back to reality, and when my alarm went off I was right back in the grind of things.  It was a hectic day catching up on things, going through all the emails and fixing what was missed in my absence.  It was totally worth the chaos, though!

Including a few pictures.  :-)
View one evening at sunset in Duck, the town we stayed in

Porch swing moon gazing


Jockey's Ridge State Park---a desert in the middle of the OBX!

Beach.  :-)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

OMFG, vacation is nigh

Vacation is finally almost here!  I feel like I've been waiting for this for so long.  We booked the beach house back in June and were talking about it for about a month prior.  All I know is that when I booked it, summer wasn't even here yet by an official count, and I didn't want to wish the summer away in order to get to my vacation.

Today is August 28th, and I can now say I'm ready for vacation.  Labor Day weekend is the unofficial end of summer, but we're going to push it for an extra week.  ;-)

I have about half an hour of work left today.  Once I get home I'm going to become a Bluemoon whirlwind of productivity.  I have a load of laundry to do, I need to get to the gym for an hour. I *MAY* brave the horror that is Walmart, albeit a new, shiny Walmart, near me all in the name of cheap allergy meds.  Most importantly, I need to pack!  I've got to retrieve the large suitcase I hope I have (!!) from my storage downstairs and get to packing.  I had a list going all week long, so at least I have that part mostly under control.  Still need to definitively decide on clothes for the week, though I have lots of ideas.

I love the anticipation of vacation.  I've taken mini-vacations over the years, but nothing this long, and I still don't quite believe it's happening!  Maybe on Sunday when the car is all loaded and we're on the road?  :-) I'm also just really looking forward to tomorrow at 5pm, when I get to walk out of my office building like John Bender in "The Breakfast Club", throwing my pumping fist into the air, victorious in my escape!

Tomorrow night I'll be heading to BF's to hang out with him and his daughter.  Saturday we're going to see Ghostbusters and watching the Mizzou game at home after.  His daughter will get picked up at five, and we'll spend the evening in final prep and planning and such for the vacation, and Sunday, we leave!  CANNOT WAIT.  :-)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Read All About It

Still on a pretty good reading run lately.  I've finished a couple of books in recent weeks.  The first was "This Is Where Leave You" by Jonathan Tropper.  The book has been out for awhile, and I'd always heard good things, but for some reason I just never felt compelled to read it.  Now that it's coming out as a movie soon, with a pretty great cast, I felt like it was time to give in, as I generally prefer to read the books before their movie adaptations come out.  It was a really good book.  Very well written, interesting characters, and I enjoyed it.  I will say that it was one of those books that, while I liked it and recognized it was strongly written, I didn't feel enamored by it.  I wasn't particularly disappointed when it ended.  Strange, but true.  I think sometimes I can appreciate the quality of something while also knowing it's not the kind of thing that really speaks to me on a personal level.

After that I read "Me Before You" by Jojo Moyes.  I'd heard a fair amount of good things about this book as well, but delayed reading it for a bit because it sounded possibly depressing.  I decided that after the dark humor of the previous book, I could handle it.  This was a very good book.  It wasn't nearly as depressing as I expected, and it was just a good story.  Again, not a book I was madly in love with, but I connected with it a little bit better emotionally.  I recommend it.

Right now I'm getting ready to read two more books.  I have the hardcover version of "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" by Neil Gaiman.  Got the book ages ago, but never read it.  I've repeatedly seen it mentioned as one of the best books of the year, and so I'm going to give it a go.  I also just bought the Kindle version of "Wonder" by RJ Palacio since it was only $2.50 today!  I've heard nothing but fantastic things about that book, so I'm looking forward to it as well.  Both of these books are on the shorter side, so it's possible I'll get through them prior to vacation.

I have two books lined up to bring on vacation with me, though my Kindle will be at the ready in case I need more.  ;-)  The current ones include:

"Before I Go to Sleep" by S.J. Watson.  Saw a preview for a movie coming out soon that is based on this book.  I'd never heard of it, but it sounded good, so I snagged it in mass market paperback as a beach read.

"Bittersweet" by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore.  This is just one that sounded good that I got in hardback for my birthday.  Sounds like an interesting beach read as well.  Of course the Kindle version is currently only $1.99...go figure!  ;-)

I love all the reading I've been doing this summer.  I still have several large hardback books waiting to be read, but they are harder to plan for in light of their size in terms of commuting and such.  Eventually I'll get there!

I'm really hoping to discover my next book I'm really in love with, where I hate putting it down and can't wait to get a minute to read it again, and where I'm truly sad when it's over.  I'm due for one!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


I've come in here to start a post probably half a dozen times in the last week or so, but I end up just staring at the screen and then calling it a day.

I lost one of my cats a week ago this past Monday.  I found out he was really sick on that Saturday and spent the rest of the weekend spending time with him.  I let him go on Monday morning, and it was ridiculously difficult and horribly sad.  Still is.

I don't have kids.  I don't expect I will have kids.  Say what you will, but my animals have been the closest thing I've had to kids, and they mean the world to me.  I had them all since they were babies, and they survived many moves, a marriage and divorce and other relationships.  They've all made me laugh so often, but also been there when I cried.  They were my little family.

My little family is reduced down to one cat now.  It's a lot more lonely around my apartment with just the two of us.  There's definitely a void without my big, orange, cuddly tabby around anymore.

It was an incredibly stressful few days.  BF and I got into a fight because of the heightened emotions, and it was just one more thing to deal with.  We sorted it out pretty quickly Monday night, but  it took a few days to feel OK in the relationship again.  Everything started because I still SUCK at letting people in when things are hard.  I don't know how to accept help very well, and it made things challenging.  I'm glad we worked through it, but it was intensely stressful nonetheless.

I really cannot wait for my vacation.  I desperately need to check out of the real world for a week and just have time to myself.  I'm hoping for good weather, and I look forward to beach time, hot tub time, grilling, mini golf, reading and talking and relaxing on the deck and just spending time together when it's only about us, away from work and pets and kids.  I personally really need it and cannot wait.  Two weeks from Friday at 5 pm marks the beginning of my ten days of freedom!

Week has been all right, though it's moving really slowly.  Had trainer last night, and tonight BF is coming over.  I'm going to get him out of my apartment for the evening so we can get a quick dinner somewhere and then play some miniature golf.  It's supposed to be a really nice day outside, so I thought it would be a good time to spend some of our evening outside.

Tomorrow night I'm going to see either "What If" or "Boyhood" with a couple of girlfriends.  Really want to see both, so I'm not sure how we'll decide.  Maybe based on times.

Friday I am finally (and begrudgingly) getting moved from my current office to another office on a different (less fun) floor.  Better office space, just crappy location.  Such is life!  At least it's still an office with a door. Late that morning I have a hair appt. (Yay!) and in the afternoon our CFO is having a twee little "welcome" get together for me joining the rest of my dept. on this new floor with some sort of sweets to make the afternoon brighter.

That night I'll head to BF's house for the evening.  I'm sure we'll just relax.  Saturday late morning we'll return to my apt., where I'll get ready for a wedding we're going to.  It's about an hour drive away, and another gf is going with us, so it's going to consume the bulk of the day between getting ready, the drive and the actual wedding and reception.  We're spending the night at my place after, and I suspect BF will leave by noon Sunday to get home in time for his NASCAR race LOL.  I plan to spend my day at the gym, cleaning up my apartment and maybe hanging out with a gf in the evening.  Good weekend ahead, I think.

I'm glad there are good things coming up on the horizon.  I'm looking forward to tonight with BF, and tomorrow with my gfs, and the whole weekend of fun.  Anything after that is just inching me closer to my vacation, and the time when I can start planning and prepping for that with my usual packing lists and such.  I definitely need all of this, as it's been a tough couple of weeks.

Anyway, meeting a girlfriend for lunch today shortly, which is good because I'm super hungry!  Nothing fancy, just a quick Potbelly lunch where I'm going to try out one of their new flatbread sandwiches.  Fairly healthy as far as lunches out and about go, except for the INSANE SODIUM.  :-o  I will be drinking LOTS O WATER today to flush that nonsense out.

I've managed to lose almost 6 pounds since buckling down with trainer again, and have been making good strides in slowly modifying my diet: making  better choices, tracking food and just being really aware of what I'm eating.  It's way too easy to just eat like total hell when you aren't thinking about it.

Feels like thursday today.  Wish it were, aside from the date night with BF tonight...  :-) Can't wait to see him and hug him.

Friday, August 1, 2014

August and everything after

I truly cannot believe it is already August.  Where is the summer going?  It's one of those strange things about life that once you're out of school, time has no logical beginning and ending points throughout each year. Days turn into weeks turn into months turn into entire seasons and suddenly summer is almost over.

On the other hand, I've been waiting a long time for August.  While I never wished for summer to be over, I definitely wished for my vacation to get closer.  The second and last installment of our vacation was paid today, so we are officially all set!  I can now honestly say that I am really looking forward to leaving for my vacation LATER THIS MONTH!  Sure, it's not until August 31st, but it's true all the same.  :-)

I have been sitting here racking my brain and I can't think if I've *ever* taken ten days off for anything before, not even my wedding and honeymoon.  If I did it at all, that would have been the time, and that was in 2002.  So best case scenario, it's been TWELVE YEARS since I've had that much time off.  It's five actual work days thanks to the Labor Day holiday, and we'll be at the beach from Sunday-Sunday, so I get a little cushion of down time at home before and after, which is lovely.

Last night all of my plans went kind of awry.  Initially it was a trainer night, but I'd asked about rescheduling to an earlier session in the evening since a friend was possibly going to be in town.  He couldn't swing the reschedule, and ended up not feeling well, so we just cancelled the session entirely.  I ended up heading out around 9 pm to pick up my friend from his hotel.  R is just in town until this evening, so we managed to get together for a late dinner/dessert.  It was good to catch up, as he's got a lot of things going on right now and I think he needed an outlet.  He remains entertaining, too, but it was nice to see the real side of him instead of the usual entertainer every single second.

In other news, today is the first day of my tracking using My Fitness Pal.  Time to start taking note of everything I eat and drink, as well as logging my exercise.  I'm not going to lie-I'm not excited.  But I am hoping that this level of accountability, not only tracking it myself, but having to send my trainer the weekly report, will at the very least shame me into making better choices.  ;-)  My willpower can be decent, but I'm way out of practice, so I know the next few days in particular will be very tough.  I hate the feeling of being so crazy hungry because I'm used to ingesting so many empty, useless calories all the time.

Taking a step back in terms of my eating habits can only be a good thing, though.  I definitely eat way too much sugar on a daily basis, and I definitely eat a wholly inadequate amount of vegetables.  Fruits I'm hit or miss on.  I'm not going to be too obsessive about sugar levels just yet.  I don't want to beat myself up over eating a greek yogurt that has a fair amount of sugar when I'd have been eating chocolate chip cookies otherwise, you know?  Change is slow, especially the lasting kind.  I've done this before, I just have to focus and do it again.

I figure it's not a bad time to start with my vacation a month away.  Sure, it would have been better to start three months ago if I wanted to look and feel my best for my beach time, but a month of change is better than no change!

Tonight's plans, weather allowing, revolve around going to a Nats game with my friend, A. We got our firm's seats, which we've had before and are awesome.  The weather is really gray and gloomy today, with rain predicted throughout most of the weekend, including today.  I'm hoping that the forecast of off and on rain with a likely lull during the evening hours holds so I can get to this game, as I've been to only a couple this season.

Time to wrap it up for now I suppose.  Happy friday to all!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Clever, Clever

This past weekend was a bit of an unexpected ego boost for me.  There's a guy IRL with whom there was a mutual interest in the late fall and  through the holidays.  I think we were on the verge of maybe testing the waters right when I met BF.  I'd talked myself out of it since we work together and on paper, he's totally NOT my type or someone I could see anything long term with.  Anyway, we were talking Friday about why he won't settle down to just dating one woman.  He finally said, "I'm waiting for you and BF to break up!"

Mind you, he said it in a joking fashion, but I think we both know that a small window was missed, and I think he definitely regrets that.  If I ever found myself single again, I'm sure the flirtation would flare right back up, but I still feel like it's better at that...a flirtation.  Nonetheless, still good to know I've got it, right?  ;-)

Then, this weekend on my drive out to BF's house, I noticed a business card in my windshield wiper.  Forgot to grab it off until Saturday when BF and I pulled into Costco.  I glanced at it and it was a card for a landscaping company.  I mused out loud on why a company would put cards for a landscaping business on the cars of people who live in an apartment complex, then tossed it in my purse to get rid of later.  Back at BF's house I took it out to throw it away, but noticed that my name was written on the back.  I took a closer look and there was a message that said, "Bluemoon, are you interested in getting a cocktail sometime? Bill (guy across the street with a beagle)".


I can honestly say that's the first time I've ever been asked out like that.  I was super surprised and BF saw the card and asked who it was from, and how he knew my name.  I explained that he was one of the "dog people" in my complex whom I knew from when I had my dog.  This guy has lived in the complex as long as me, and we've always said hi.  He walks his dog every morning at the same time as I'm at the bus stop, so we always wave or say hi.  About a month ago he finally introduced himself, but I didn't think anything of it.  He's just another neighbor, you know?

In retrospect, he's previously complimented me on my hair when it was blown out, or my overall appearance when I've been dressed up.  Honestly, the thought never ever crossed my mind that he was interested in me. I guess I'm just oblivious!  I think it was mostly because he's got to be at least ten years older than me, and for some reason always comes off fatherly to me.  :-/  Oof.

Anyway, I was a total loser Monday when I went to catch my bus.  I was running late and only saw him out of the corner of my eye, so I pretended not to see him.  The last two mornings he's not been out there for the particular bus I've caught, so I've yet to deal with this like a grown up.  He's a perfectly nice guy who did nothing wrong, he just put himself out there to ask me out.  I need to be respectful and mature and just honestly acknowledge receipt of the note and let him know I have a boyfriend.  No huge explanation, no awkward apologies or justification or guilt, just being straightforward.  I still want to wave when I see him or do the usual chatter.  No reason not to!

In summary, apparently in the last week(s) I've been putting off an easy, breezy, approachable and appealing Bluemoon vibe, HA!  Still flattering all the same.

Quick summary of other things:

Costco resulted in the purchase of beach chair #2, as we are slowly accruing the items needed for our long-awaited beach trip.  These chairs have come a long way...they can be carried like a backback, it has a built in pillow, a phone holder, a beverage holder, a small cooler on the back, and so on.  And mine is a lovely sea green.  :-)

This weekend BF and I had a daughter-free weekend.  Love her, but it was great to have a full weekend to ourselves.  We were pretty un-exciting in terms of out and about activities.  Friday night we grilled a pizza, which was delicious.  Saturday was Costco and the grocery store, and we made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies from scratch to follow up our dinner of sausage and peppers.  Sunday we made turkey burgers and spent some time outside. So much cooking!  :-)

Been working out with my trainer 2x/week still.  The good thing is that I've gotten back to my 5x/week workouts, which I'd slacked on for way too long.  It's only been a couple of weeks, but I'm proud of myself nonetheless.  Last night he asked me to download the MyFitnessPal app to start tracking my food, and wants me to send it to him weekly.  :-o  Oh boy.  Maybe I will be shamed into eating better LOL.

Lastly, booked my trip back home to visit the family for late September.  I'm really looking forward to seeing my girlfriends, watching the Nebraska game with my brother and his wife, and seeing my family, in particular my grandfather.  He is still struggling with his health, and I think we all have a slow building sense of concern. It's always something and it's often the same things...breathing issues, constant exhaustion, and other issues that are leading him to want to have another surgery, this time for his prostate, this fall.  But he wants to put that off until he's feeling better, so who knows.  I'm glad I'll be home in September and then in December just because you never know what can happen, and I try to be mindful of that especially with him.

Nothing much else new to tell.  It's wednesday, so BF will be over tonight.  I think we're doing spaghetti and turkey meatballs tonight with garlic bread for dinner.  That's my idea, anyway, I haven't floated it by him yet.  ;-)  I'd also like to go on a walk because a) the weather is really nice and b) today is one of my off days from the gym, so any extra incidental exercise I can swing is a good thing!

Trainer tomorrow, and then my friend R is supposed to be in town very briefly.  He mentioned maybe getting together for a quick, late drink tomorrow night, so hopefully that will come together.  Not sure how I'll swing it logistically with trainer at 8:30-9:30, esp. when I leave him looking AWFUL every session.  :-p  We'll see! Friday night, if the weather holds (!!) I have plans to go to a Nationals baseball game with my gf, A.  I'm concerned, though, as the weather forecast keeps upping rain chances as the week goes on, GRR.  I've been to a woefully inadequate number of games this season!

Anyway, that's all I know for now!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Late to the Party

So I got into "Orange is the New Black" at the behest of EVERYONE, and I loved it.  I plowed through season one and then anxiously awaited season 2, which I then roared through.  Fantastic show.

Similar thing has been happening with "House of Cards".  I've had this show recommended to me so many times with such great enthusiasm, and I *finally* watched an episode last night.  It was insanely compelling, and Kevin Spacey is brilliant as always.  Can't wait to watch more, and I love knowing that I have two seasons to watch!

I would have watched more House of Cards yesterday, but it was a crazy busy and productive day.  I got my oil changed and my emissions test done so I can renew my car registration.  I had a chiro appt., had dinner and dessert with a girlfriend and went to the gym, capping off the night with a home manicure and a relaxing bath.  Good times!

Today I randomly checked out the Bleachers album, Strange Desire, and I am crushing on it fiercely.  It's got a good sound and it's like pleasing ear candy to me.  I'm excited to be listening to it in its entirety after buying it on Amazon this afternoon.

I'm reading books like crazy lately, though the last couple have been sort of meh.  Good, but nothing amazing.  I read Rainbow Rowell's latest book, "Landline".  Like I said, good, but definitely my least favorite of her books.  I guess I just feel like I've read 3-4 books with a somewhat similar time traveling plotline recently, and I liked the others better!  For the record, those were "Class of '98" by A.L. Player, "Here I Go Again" by Jen Lancaster and "Your Perfect Life" by Liz Fenton.  I really loved "Your Perfect Life" and enjoyed it a lot.

Beyond that, I also read "The Geography of You and Me" by Jennifer E. Smith.  It was okay.  Not great, just ok.  Before these books I read "Before I Fall" by Lauren Oliver.  I really, really enjoyed this book. It's another SORT of time traveling book, but more closely a YA Groundhog Day.  For whatever reason, I really liked it and I enjoyed the writing and the message and everything.  It was well written, thoughtful YA.

My current read is one I'm pretty much madly in love with.  It's called "After I Do" by Taylor Jenkins Reid. It's about a marriage that isn't working anymore wherein the couple decides to take a year break from each other to see if they either want to come back together or go their own way.  The book is so strange and wonderful so far, in that it's made me laugh out loud and made my eyes tear up in different moments.  It is brutal and honest and real.  The characters are flawed and unsympathetic at times, and at other times I can identify so much with both of them that it throws me back to my marriage falling apart, and subsequent relationships going to crap.  I'm halfway through and it's one of those books I cannot wait to get on the train to read again tonight.  I wouldn't be surprised if I finish it tonight.

So many books...some mediocre, some awful, some beautiful.  I've loved reading so many of them lately!

Good books, good music, good TV it!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

stamp that birthday as successful

So boyfriend's birthday was a success.  :-)  I met him for dinner on Friday along with his daughter, J.  The company was good and he seemed happy to have us both there, as we are most weekends! I let the restaurant know it was his birthday, so he got a birthday brownie sundae, but sadly they don't sing to birthday patrons there.  Too bad.  He did get to blow out a  candle, though!

Back at his house he opened up his gifts, which he really seemed to enjoy.  He's super excited to use the wok and is already perusing recipes and reading about how to season it properly.  Add it to our future kitchen adventures.  He also liked the T-shirt, the kitchen gadgets and had a childlike moment of joy upon receiving the Mario Kart happy meal toys LOL.

Earlier in the week on Wednesday night we very impulsively decided to take a tiny trip to Ocean City, MD to celebrate his b-day weekend.  We booked the hotel room and let J know of our plans.  We headed out Saturday morning for the drive and went straight to the beach.  We spent our afternoon lounging in the sand, enjoying the gorgeous weather and playing in the ocean.  We lucked out and got a really fantastic parking spot right by the beach, too.

After beach time we checked into our hotel and everyone got cleaned up and showered.  We then headed back to the beach, this time to the Boardwalk area.  We walked the full length of the Boardwalk, people watching, going into some shops, buying fudge (me!).  We had dinner at a restaurant along the Boardwalk where we got to sit outside and watch a supremely gorgeous sunset as we ate.  The weather was superb and it was really just a lovely evening.

We headed back to the DC area Sunday morning and enjoyed the rest of the day at BF's house.  We grilled burgers and all just hung out until J got picked up by her mom.  We got a couple of hours of solo time to spend together before I made the trek back to my house that evening.  Overall it was a great weekend and BF thanked me for making it so, and for including J in our celebratory plans.

It's interesting because so often, it's surprising to me how easily I've acclimated to dating someone with a kid. I love J-she's bright, well-spoken and has a great sense of humor.  I actually feel like she reminds me a lot of myself at that age in some ways----she's so precocious and funny.  In other ways she's an entirely different person than me in that she's self-possessed, confident and decidedly not shy.  I was very quiet at that age except with my very close friends, and you couldn't have paid me to get on stage in front of any size of group.  Bottom line is that I really enjoy her and I think having me around on her weekends with her dad is actually something she enjoys.  He bothers her a little less when I'm there (though not a ton less!) and I think activities and even cooking adventures are more fun with the three of us.  I'm not there all the time when she is, but quite often, and she seems to really enjoy chatting with me at times.

However, there are other times when I realize what a foreign thing this really is to me.  For many months, as a result of her play and then just various other social calendar items, he would have periodic weekends where he didn't have her at all.  They were flukes, but they happened rather frequently for awhile.  Now she's off school for the summer and her schedule is a lot easier, and as a result, there haven't been any weekends off in awhile.  Technically his schedule with her is supposed to be alternating full weekends and half weekends.  At this moment, we just had a full weekend and I think we're on the verge of a second full weekend.

It's hard.  I love having her around, and I know he loves it.  But our weekends are definitely very different when she's not there.  We do what we want instead of 98% of the time struggling to figure out what she wants to do and doing that.  She's a teenager so she's got her moments of being difficult, in that she will gladly groan about certain activities, but has no better ideas of what to do.  She'd be happy just staying at home and playing on her various devices or watching a movie or playing some Mario game and never leaving the house, ha!

Besides that, there's another aspect to this whole dynamic, and I have no idea if this is normal or not, as I've never dealt with it.  The thing is that thus far, after 6+ months and me being around too many weekends to count off the top of my head while J is there, BF and I do not get to do much more than kiss or make out for a few minutes in the morning.  I don't know if it's a conscious decision on his part, but it's the reality of things so far.

I've not said anything until this point because I thought maybe he just needed to get used to all three of us being there together a lot, and getting her used to me being around and being okay with me.  But she's used to me, she likes me, I like her, we're good.  And most often when we go to bed she's two floors down watching Netflix/on the computer/playing video games/chatting with her friends.  She tends to go to bed at least two hours after we retire upstairs.

The thing is, though....I only see him once during the week, and it's a weeknight, and i don't get home until nearly 6:30, and we go to bed around 11.  And lately she's there every weekend, the full weekend.  If he's uncomfortable being physically intimate with me in any way while she's in the house even after six months, and if that's some stance that he has taken for some reason, that's going to be a real challenge for me.  It bums me out to not have the option to be close to my boyfriend when he's RIGHT THERE.

I'm not asking him to lock himself in the bedroom with me for two hours while she's awake.  I'm not asking for wild escapades, walls shaking, loud, obnoxious displays of affection.  I just don't think it's hugely unreasonable to think that once we've gone to bed, and if we're cognizant of the fact that we're not alone, that we should be able to take advantage of that particular alone time.  Between our differing bed times and our hugely differing waking times (she sleeps until AT LEAST 10:30 every morning, usually later), there's plenty of time for BF and I to spend together without anyone being the wiser.

I mean, come on, she's almost 14.  She's not stupid, she knows what's happening as a general rule.  She surely has no desire to have it confirmed, but there's no need for it to go that far.  I just don't want to have to stick around until 5 pm every Sunday to have any solo time with my BF when I only see him once during the week otherwise.

It's a weird situation, and it's totally new to me.  I don't know if this is even a specific choice he's made, or if it's just something he hasn't dealt with since she has been older and more aware.  That's wholly possible, and I get it, I do.  But at a certain point I guess I just thought he would relax about it.  Couples with kids do this in their daily lives, and no one is emotionally scarred.  Honestly, J seeing her dad in a happy, affectionate (to a reasonable degree) relationship is probably a good thing for her.  Her parents have never been together, and her mom's bf sounds like he is an on/off situation.

Again, I'm not in any way saying that J should be privy at all to what we do behind closed doors.  I'm just saying that I don't think that the fact that she's in the house should mean that we are banned from anything more than innocuous kissing.  Am I way off base her?


All I know is that I love him, I'm very attracted to him, I like feeling close to him.  Right now I feel like I'm grabbing the time when I can find it, and there aren't a ton of choices.  I find myself checking the calendar and wondering how many days it is until our Outer Banks vacation when it will just be the two of us for seven days, LOL.  Worst of all, I find myself wishing that just occasionally, J would have more plans that precluded her from spending a full weekend at BF's house, and I feel super guilty about that!  Even if we could just manage to get back to the supposed real schedule, wherein every other weekend she leaves Saturday at 5pm, I could work with that if he still hasn't loosened up about things.

In the end, I guess I'm just hoping that eventually BF will relax, and that he'll realize that we can sneak those moments when she is around, and the world won't grind to a halt as a result.  :-)  I feel like that HAS to happen eventually, right???  FINGERS CROSSED.

Patience is a virtue, blah blah blah.  :-)

I'd rather be washing my hair

I bought two different new sets of shampoo/conditioner last night because I couldn't decide between them.  I also like to alternate between two on a normal basis, anyway, so this wasn't as crazy as it seemed.  I was hoping for a hair miracle this morning when I used one of the new ones, but as usual, my curly hair was just a fuzzy mess.  I started with one product mixed with an argan oil, like I often do, but my hair seemed super awful.  So I added another one, and before I knew it, another one just on a couple spots.  I left the house at that point because I was going to miss my bus, and I immediately knew I'd made a huge error in judgment.

Today Bluemoon's hair is a product-laden mess!  I am burning with the desire to go home and wash all of this crap out, but I've got many more hours left in this workday, and there will be no hair washing for at least 8 hours.  Sigh.  I go through phases where I love my curls and they're working for me, and other times I just feel exasperated with my hair at all times, and nothing I do fixes it...cuts, styling products, finger curling, diffusing, air drying, etc.

In other news, looks like I'm getting moved from my current office at work to a different one on a different floor.  Same building, as we occupy three floors.  The main problem is that I'm getting moved from the floor I love, with most of my work friends on it, to what is basically the most boring space we have.  My biggest gripe aside from getting wrenched away from the social center of things is that I will be several floors away from the two people I work with most in my position, which is our General Counsel and one of the Approving Partners.  Right now they are not only on my same floor, but just down the hallway on either side of my current office.  It's easy to drop things off, pick things up, and stop by for quick meetings.  They are both insanely busy, so usually it's much easier to just catch them spontaneously than it is to schedule with them.  This move is going to add many measures of inconvenience to my job.  In addition, secretaries and attorneys stop by all the time to ask questions or run things by me, and they will NOT be doing that to nearly the same degree once I get moved.  The only people on the floor where I'm going are the CFO, the HR Director, my supervisor, the finance dept. and at times batches of miscellaneous contract attorneys.

I'm not complaining too much because I know that a) it won't make a difference and b) I'm moving to another office and not getting demoted to a cubicle, and the new office does have a window (even if it looks into an alley between our building and the one next to it).  It could be worse, but it's a bummer.  I know the move is coming, but I don't know exactly when.  I've been told it should happen before August, so we'll see. The only little perk is that I do get a weird joy out of organizing new spaces, and so that will be fun.  They'll move all my files and whatever I box up for me, but I will get to figure out how I want everything situated, and I will be leaving behind this awful, gigantic and weirdly laid out desk in favor of a new, more modern and streamlined style.  Cheers to that!

We've had a lot of rain and storms in the last few days, which I do love.  Hot days, stormy evenings.  Today the storms are gone and we've been left with a pretty lovely day in the low to mid eighties without insane humidity.  I'm enjoying it!

BF is coming over tonight as he does most Wednesdays.  I have some chicken breasts cooking in the crockpot with hot sauce for sandwiches tonight, and we'll be having some mixed veggies and probably a small pasta or rice side. I prefer having meals planned in advance if I can swing it when he comes over on week nights so we don't spend a ton of time cooking when we really only get a few useful hours of time to relax together.

I'm going to do a separate post for birthday recap and all other BF related stuff just to avoid this particular post getting too wordy!

In summary, my hair is gross today and while I love my boyfriend, the first thing I want to do when I get home is dunk my head under the shower and wash everything out of my hair!  :-o