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Monday, December 29, 2014

On the heels of 2015...

I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas!  Mine was quite nice.  I spent Tuesday night with BF celebrating our Christmas.  We went to Capital City Brewery for dinner, which is one of our favorite spots to stop.  We then made a last minute trip to Best Buy.  My beloved ipod Classic decided to completely die that day at work right before all my holiday travels.  Unlike most of the masses these days, I prefer to have a separate gadget for my music, so I picked up an ipod Touch as my Christmas gift to myself.  ;-)

Back at my place we exchanged gifts.  BF went over the top with too many gifts, but it was a good mix of the ideas from my Etsy favorites and his own ideas.  I got two cute pairs of earrings, some new Fitbit bands, a Stay Puft marshmallow man coffee mug (!!!) from Ghostbusters, and some Nebraska and Mizzou football gear!  He did such a good job, and I think he really enjoyed his gifts from me as well.  Successful first Christmas!  I also LOVED the card he got me.

I left at the crack of dawn the next morning and my travels went very smoothly.  The next few days were comprised of cookie baking, Christmas dinners, gift exchanges, shopping and watching the Nebraska bowl game.  I also went to see "Big Eyes" with my mom.  We were originally going to see "Wild", but it was sold out both times we tried to go, so this was our second choice.  I actually really enjoyed it!

I got back yesterday around 5 pm after a hellish day of travel that started with a 4:10 am wakeup and included delayed flights, incredibly long security lines, airline changes, flight changes, hours spent in airports, and an almost lost bag.  I was so glad to get home!  The travel problems nixed my afternoon plans to hang out with BF and his daughter, so instead he came over after he dropped her off.

We ordered in pizza because the weather was crappy and my day was so long.  It was nice to just spend time together after a hectic day!

Back to work today and I was not happy about it!  I was really enjoying the time off.  This work week is weird because of NY's.  My office is open the full day on NY's Eve, so I will be here until 5 pm unless I decide to be brave and ask my supervisor for an early departure!  Then I have Thursday off. I'll be driving out to BF's house after work on Wednesday, then driving back Thursday night so I can go to work Friday, then back there on Friday.  Sigh.  Neither of us can take that Friday off, so it's just a bummer!

Our New Year's Eve plans are incredibly low key.  We're going to go out to dinner locally and then come back to watch the NY countdowns on TV, then toast and share our first NY's kiss at his house at midnight.  :-)  I'm really looking forward to it!  I'm going to pick up some libations this evening in preparation!

Saturday is our year anniversary, which is craziness!  He has his daughter until 6pm that evening (sigh) and then we'll head out for dinner at an undecided location.  We'll be spending the night at a local hotel just for something different.  The room has a whirlpool tub (yay!) and the hotel has a pool and hot tub, and it will just be nice to do something a little out of the ordinary!

I got BF a really lovely anniversary card,but that's it at this point.  We just did Christmas gifts, so I don't know if either of us were expecting to do gifts for anniversary times.  My thought is that a card and a night out is enough of a gift.  Should I get something small just in case?  I don't know what I should do.

Anyway, that's my holiday summary.  I hope everyone is having a great end of the holiday season!  :-)

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Upswing

So last night after work I decided to go to the new PromptCare by my apartment.  With traveling only a couple days away and with me still feeling so crappy, I wanted to be sure I hadn't acquired some sort of secondary infection.  The place was fancy and new and there was nearly no wait, which was awesome.  The Dr. I saw was also awesome and explained that basically, this is just the last chapter of the horrific flu that I had.  My throat is hurting from all the coughing, and the coughing is often the last thing to go in this case.  So he gave me a new RX for a cough medicine with hydrocodone in it. It's the strongest one he could give me and what he rec'd based on my coughing and how much it was disrupting everything.

It tastes disgusting, but I think it's really helping, so I'll suck it up!  It does make me a bit sleepy, but luckily I just have one work day to get through and I can fight through the sleepiness.  I slept really well last night and woke up feeling the best I've felt in days.  Still nearly no voice, but I'm trying to rest it as much as I can and hoping that it will return by the end of the week!

After the Dr. visit I came home, ordered dinner and spent the evening wrapping gifts for BF and watching DVR.  It was lovely, but lonely since BF has my cat right now.  He's going to watch him while I'm out of town, and it made more logical sense to just leave him there Sunday night when I came home than to drive back this week to take him there.  So it was just me at home with a pile of presents!  I'm pretty happy with my gifts for BF even though they are pretty random!

I got him, in ranking order from silly to real gifts:

Boxers- because some of his look a little worn LOL
A stocking full of his favorite lip balm, body spray, candy and a meat thermometer (because he needs one, and it seemed funny to stick in there with that other stuff!)
A binder with proctector pages and a three hole punch to put all of his recipes in one place.  He and his daughter (and now me) love finding things online to make, and he saves all the recipes, but they are EVERYWHERE in no organized form.
Redskins Christmas Ornament
George Foreman Grill-we love to grill, but during the winter season we need a substitute
Michigan State Hoodie Sweatshirt-his favorite college team, but he has no Michigan State gear!

So it's a very, very random collection of things, but I'm confident he'll like everything, and it's a lot of little things to open, so it should be fun.  :-)

He's coming over tonight after work.  I imagine we'll go out for dinner since my house is grocery-less in light of my upcoming travel tomorrow, then we'll exchange gifts and just get some quality time hanging out before we probably get to bed fairly early.  My flight is at 6 am, so it's going to be a very early wake up call tomorrow!  :-o

My holiday plans should be fun.  If all goes as planned, I get into Omaha around 11 am and my mom will pick me up.  We'll get a quick lunch at Taco Johns (tradition!) and then go to my brother and sister in law's house to make Christmas cookies.  That night we'll go to my grandfather's house for dinner, and back at my mom's we're going to watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation to close out the evening.  I'll also have some wrapping to do since I'm bringing a few presents and can't wrap them (unless I plan ahead to check my bag..which I may do).

Christmas Day will be back at my grandfather's house, and then I think the plan is for me to go to my brother's that night.  We're going to watch Home Alone and just hang out, and then the day after I'll go back to my mom's.  I'm hoping to see a couple of girlfriends at some point for breakfast/lunch, and other than that it will just be time spent hanging out with the family!  I'm excited to give all my gifts, to see the family and friends, to see my mom's cats and my brother's dog.  I love having away animals!

I haven't officially packed, but 95% of what I'm taking is stacked together in my room, ready to be packed.  I'll do that tonight and be ready to go hopefully!  I'm crossing my fingers that none of this crazy weather on the horizon across the country affects my travel.  I'm hoping my super early flight helps me out, esp. since my layover is at Chicago O'Hare.  :-o

On a separate note....I want to wish everyone a super happy Christmas and a wonderful holiday.  I really love following along with all of your lives on your blogs, and  I love sharing this window into my own life with you all.  You guys are a great source of support and I really do feel like I have friends all over the place as a result of this blog.  I wish you the merriest of holidays and even though I hope to post again before this, a fantastic new year!  Cheers to a very happy and healthy and lucky and wonderful 2015!  :-)

Monday, December 22, 2014

Sick.

I've been sick for days.  The wednesday night before my holiday party I felt off.  I wasn't sure what the problem was, but I just didn't feel good.  I went home and felt accomplished to have gotten my nails painted, as I felt so bad that even that was in question at one point.

Thursday I woke up feeling crappy.  I desperately tried to rally as the day wore on.  I went to my hair appt. even though my throat was hurting really badly and I had very little voice.  My guess was that it was a sinus infection coming on, and that the sore throat was a yucky side effect.  I went to the holiday party with barely any voice, feeling pretty lousy.  It was loud and I had no appetite.  I had no voice and spent my evening trying to be heard over the music and the people. I took pictures with friends and with BF, and I looked great.  But I felt awful, and by 9pm I couldn't handle it anymore.  I was exhausted, sick, and we had to leave.

Friday morning I woke up feeling like death.  I called in sick and we went to the CVS Minute Clinic. The Dr. tested me for the flu on a whim and bam....there it was.  Influenza A.

The next few days were an awful, awful blur.  My throat was killing me, I was coughing like crazy, I had a 101 fever with accompanying chills/sweats.  BF stayed until late Friday afternoon when he had to go pick up his daughter.  I had to miss our plans that night to go see "A Christmas Carol" in Old Town Alexandria.  They went without me, and then headed home because J, his daughter, hadn't had the flu shot.

BF came back over Monday after work, and I was still miserable.  I didn't get back to work until Wednesday, and I felt pretty awful.  Tamiflu was gone by Tuesday, fever gone so I could return to work, but I was barely functioning.  Thursday and Friday weren't a ton better.  I missed my second holiday party at my old firm on Friday.

Saturday I finally felt like maybe I was improving a bit.  Still no voice, but the coughing, in particular overnight, was calming a bit and the sore throat was improving.  Same thing on Sunday.  However, at one point on sunday I coughed really hard and suddenly my ribs were hurting on the left side.  They are still hurting today---I managed to actually hurt myself coughing.

Today I woke up with a sore throat, and my cough has felt like more of a problem again.  I'm tired and frustrated and so OVER being sick.

I don't know if this is normal, residual flu crap, or a secondary infection or what.  I predict I'm going to end up back at the CVS Minute Clinic tonight just to find out for sure.  I'm supposed to fly to Omaha Wednesday, and I do NOT want to fly feeling like this.  I'm supposed to celebrate Christmas with BF tomorrow night, and I do NOT want to feel like this.  In general?  I do NOT want to feel like this anymore!!!  I truly have not had a voice to speak of in 10+ days!

Glad I took my feeling better energy last night to go wrap up my Christmas shopping, as I am NOT feeling it tonight.  Tonight is probably Minute Clinic, wrapping presents and packing, and hopefully early to bed.  I cannot handle this anymore!!

I don't want to even think about everything this flu has ruined....the holiday party I was so excited about.  A Christmas Carol.  The second holiday party.  Holiday dinner with two girlfriends.  Ugly sweater party on Saturday where I finally met some of BF's friends, but I had no voice to use, so I was about half as much of myself as I wanted to be.  I'm tired of this thing ruining everything I'd been looking so forward to.  I want my remaining Christmas to be left in tact!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Picture Pages

And now for a picture post, just because I can!


Gold Digger Glitter Eye Top Coat

Eyes and cheeks, minus the gold above!

My standard holiday party earrings :-)

My two layers of gold polish

Not the most comfortable, but they're cute!

This is a scandalous amount of cleavage for me.  Ha!

Mirror selfie as a preview
Good times ahead tomorrow!  Super excited for my luxurious hair appt. for a trim and a blowout to get the day started.  Tonight will be painting my nails, gathering all my things to take tomorrow, and hopefully a workout to start the night off right....and to make me feel less guilty about all the eating and drinking that will take place tomorrow!  :-)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

10 Things

* I'm so hooked on the Serial podcast that I now regularly listen to two other podcasts that exist solely to DISCUSS Serial. Can't believe tomorrow is only Wednesday...

** I picked up my party dress from the tailor last night and now I suddenly love it after being MEH about it since it's purchase.  That may also have to do with the fact that my only frame of reference prior to that was the dressing room at Macy's, which was bathed in DRESSING ROOM LIGHTING, which is the devil.  I already own shoes that will work with the dress, I'm going with jewelry I already have.

*** There is a strong possibility of a picture filled post in the next day or two, detailing all aspects of Holiday Party attire, just because I can.  :-)  

**** The weather outside is frightful, but not snowy.  It's cold and rainy, which is one of the worst combinations.  I have to go to the trainer at 8:30 PM tonight and it's a real bummer knowing I'll have to leave the house after getting to hang out where it's warm and dry for an hour or so first.  No trainer on Thursday because of the party, though.

***** I haven't received any Christmas cards yet, which feels a little surprising.  However, they are not as popular as they used to be, and I don't often send them anymore, so I can't complain.  They are fun additions to my mailbox, though!

****** Last night at Ulta I bought this sparkly, pixie dust-ish nail polish for the party.  I also got a couple of eye shadow colors and a golden, glittery eye shadow topcoat I'm going to try out.  I'm weirdly excited about each of these items!  Please see **.  :-)

******* Can't wait to get started on my Christmas shopping this week!  I am a late starter, that happens often.  :-)  I pretty much know what I'm getting everyone, so it shouldn't be too challenging. Most will be online shopping, too.  I ship everything for my family straight to Omaha and so only my gifts for friends, BF and BF's daughter will come here.  I found a cute pair of earrings on Etsy for BF's daughter that I think she'll really like.  

******** I've pretty well sorted out BF's Christmas gift.  I'm going with things I know  he wants, no matter how practical or boring they seem to me!  Right now the main gifts are a Michigan State hoodie and a George Foreman grill. His is on death's door, and we love to grill, even in the wintertime, so faux grill it is!  I also plan to fill a stocking with things that are a mix of practical and fun, like socks, boxers, lip balm, a Christmas ornament or two (as he has woefully few personal ones), etc.  I may get him a dress shirt or two, I may get him Big Bang Theory Season 6 on Blu Ray...it all depends on how generous I'm feeling and how much everything I'm planning to get him costs.  

I decided to help the poor man out and gave him a link to my list of Etsy Favorites.  He was really struggling with what to get me, and has been struggling on what to get his family and his daughter. He did a good job on my birthday, so that counts for something, so I don't ultimately see anything wrong with helping him out a little.  I guess it's not much different than him asking me what I want!  I don't want gift giving to be stressful, you know?  I'm more interested in our time baking cookies with his daughter, or watching Christmas movies in the coming days, or him showing up on my arm for my holiday party.  

*********  I feel like Clark Griswold waiting to have my review and get my bonus memo.  My speculation is that I'll get all the numbers on Friday, December 19th, as last year we got them on the corresponding Friday.  We don't get the money until the January 15th check, but I'm a big nerd and I like to plan out how it will be allocated once I find out.  Last year was my firm's worst year since it's inception, and this year was it's best, so I'm hoping for good things, but reminding myself that bonuses are just that...bonuses!

********** I have thirty three minutes left until I can leave this office, commute home and spend a little time on my couch, eating leftover homemade tortilla soup from Tuesday and relaxing under the glow of all the Christmas lights in my apartment with my little Riley cat.  Can't wait.  :-)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Twinkle, twinkle

I seriously love Christmas!  We got my two trees up and decorated last night.  One is my little original tree, which I think I will be putting in my bedroom.  The other was the bigger 6 ft. tree I inherited from BF when he got a new 7.5 ft. one last weekend.  We had to go to Target to get more lights, as some of mine died, and so we were a bit slowed in the process.  I did get stockings hung and a couple of decorations out aside from the trees, but I still have other lights to hang probably tonight. Love it!

Must give serious props to BF today.  My little tree was pre-lit, and I'd had it for a few years.  Well, the lights on it died.  We ended up spending a good hour on the floor of my apartment untangling and unhooking these lights from that tree, which was seriously tedious!  I was losing my mind and I only did half the work!  In the end we got the lights off and put new ones on, so it was a success.  But thank god for his help or I probably would have just tossed the whole thing.  :-)

Tonight I have trainer again.  My inner thighs are insanely sore from my workout with him tuesday. He warned me we would be doing assisted pull-ups today again.  We've done them once before and they are NOT my favorite.  I feel very spotlighted when I do these, and I'm not a fan of that.  Plus, the machine is really loud so I feel like it just calls more attention.  Can't wait to get it over with!

Weather is chilly, but not freezing, and it's Thursday, which is almost Friday.  I'll take it!

No big weekend plans.  Will go to BF's tomorrow night after work.  We may try to go see Mockingjay in the early afternoon since we never managed to see it in Charleston.  Beyond that we'll be watching the Big 10 football championship game and the SEC Championship game, which my alma mater is actually playing in....Go Mizzou!  BF's daughter will be there until Saturday at 6pm, and then we're on our own.  Looking forward to a nice, low key weekend!




Tuesday, December 2, 2014

December!

Seriously guys, how is it December already?  :-o  I really can't fully wrap my head around it. Suddenly it's December and that means it's time to start Christmas shopping and going to holiday parties and decorating trees and looking for mistletoe to kiss under.

Thanksgiving was nice!  We spent nine hours in a car driving to Charleston for three days and then nine hours back.  It was long and tedious, but we all made it and it was good to see BF's family.  We stayed with his sister, BIL, mom, 3 year old nephew, 2 dogs and a cat.  :-o  It was quite overwhelming!  We managed, though, and the Thanksgiving dinner was delicious.  I got an ornament in the Market area of downtown Charleston and also a really cool art print that I fell in love with.  It's waiting to get framed soon!

I feel like this trip really solidified my bond with BF's daughter.  We had a really good time, and we were often stuck in the third row seating of a large SUV that we traveled around Charleston in.  It allowed for much goofy quiz taking and showing of multitudes of pictures on her phone.  :-)  

Dropped my holiday party dress off for alterations last night.  Wasn't going to buy a new  one, but found one on clearance that I liked at Macy's so I grabbed it.  The length was a bit awkward, just below my knee, so I took it to get it shortened a bit.  I think just that small alteration will make a big difference in how cute the dress will be on me!  Now just trying to sort out what shoes to wear!  Party is a week from Thursday.

December is a pretty crazy month.  Two holiday parties, one ugly sweater party, lots of Christmas shopping to do, holiday luncheons at work, decorating my apartment and my tree, and making plans for celebrating Christmas with BF before I go out of town, and then making NY's plans, and then making one year anniversary plans for January 3rd.  Craziness!

I'm super excited to decorate tomorrow night with BF.  I can't wait to have my pretty tree up all glowing and sparkly.  Just makes my apartment feel so warm and festive!  I have a new ornament that I got in OBX this summer as well to add to my collection.

Boring update, I know, but I wanted to check in!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Swoon!


So yesterday around noon I went to my supervisor's office right around the corner to discuss a few things.  Ten minutes later I came back to my office to find a huge box on my desk.  Tucked inside were these beauties in this super adorable pitcher!  They came with a note that said, "Happy Hump Day!  I can't wait to see you tonight and I love you so much."- BF

I was so surprised!  Wednesdays are our standard week day that we spend together, placed right in the middle of the work week.  I cannot begin to describe how much I love getting flowers for no reason.  My birthday flowers were fabulous, but getting them out of the blue just because? Spectacular!  They are brightening up my desk so much, and I'm just madly in love with them, and with the sender.  :-)

Every day I am continually reminded of how lucky I am to be with this person, in this relationship.

Rant

BEGIN RANT.

Is anyone else seriously over seeing Kim Kardashian's naked body splashed all over everything all the time?  In the last couple of days you can't go anywhere online without reading about or worse yet, seeing her overexposed body.  Today's news is the release of full frontal pics because we haven't seen enough.

Twitter is all atwitter talking about her.  My biggest pet peeve are the Kim K defenders who proclaim that you're only mad about it if you're jealous.  Are we really pretending this is empowering?  Are we really pretending this is artistic?  Get real.  She's an attention whore who stays relevant by exploiting her ridiculous, photoshopped body.  She got famous for, as Joel McHale of The Soup always says, having a big ass and a sex tape.  Seriously.  What a legacy.

This blind, asinine worship of talentless attention whores drives me up the wall and is frankly embarrassing.  She is overexposed, desperate and can't seem to survive without masses of public attention that never comes for anything positive.  Any press is good press, right Kim?  Jebus.

Good for her for having a baby and working hard to get her body back.  That's awesome.  More power to her.  But will there ever be a day when she can just be satisfied with feeling good about herself and having her husband find her attractive?  Will she always need millions of strangers ogling her and poring over her latest nude spreads in magazines to feel validated?  Newsflash, Kim:  There are some people in the world who do NOT want to see your boobs, your ass and your crotch all over social media.  And some of those who do want to see want to see to make you the butt of their jokes, or to objectify you since you seem to trade on the fact that you're a sex object and nothing more. Sigh.  Yes, she has "businesses" like fashion lines, perfumes, blah blah.  But we all know what she's really famous for.

I take comfort in the fact that as a general rule, attention whores fade over the years.  We used to see Madonna, Paris Hilton, etc., etc. in various states of exposure and now they're gone from the front pages.  They aged out or had a lightbulb moment or better yet, maybe people stopped caring (Paris!). I'm just going to wait for that eventual fade of the Kim K obsession, though I suspect that if given the chance this woman will be dropping all her clothes for years to come, gladly welcoming the attention any way she can get it.  Sad.

END RANT.


Monday, November 10, 2014

Wondrawerful

After 10 months of dating, it's happening....I'm accepting his offer of a drawer...or two.  I've dismissed the offer for a few months now, but practicality knocked on the door this weekend, and I'm listening.

I'm legitimately there EVERY SINGLE WEEKEND.  Maybe not the whole weekend, but part of it unless I'm out of town.  Every weekend I pack up all of my toiletries except for shampoo/conditioner, body wash and loofah.  In the last month I got a lip balm and a body lotion for the bedside table.

This weekend I decided it's time to give in and accept the drawers so I can leave all the toiletries there.  I'm going to have all the essentials:  deodorant, face lotion, a toothbrush, shave lotion, a razor, hair product, flossing picks, makeup remover wipes.  I'm probably also going to bring a couple of pairs of socks and underthings, maybe a sleep t-shirt, those kind of things to place in said drawer(s). He also offered me a bathroom drawer, so that's where all the actual toiletries will go.

All I can think is how much easier it will be to pack every weekend when all I'm grabbing is clothes and my makeup bag.  Cheers to the small things!

In many ways his home feels like my home.  There are definitely more and more little touches of me around there, which is so nice since I spend so much time there!  The good thing is that neither of us have to worry (not that I think we would) that I'm moving in there gradually, as I would NEVER live there outside of weekends as it's massively inconvenient to my office in downtown DC.  I'm a weekend stowaway only!  :-)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Happy Go Lucky

Have I mentioned lately how happy I am?  I think I have, but I'm telling you-I wake up every morning feeling so grateful for all of the good things in my life.  I am so madly in love with BF, I can't even describe it.  The levels of happiness I've plateaued at lately are just incredible.  I know life can get bumpy sometimes, and those times always come again, but I'm so glad I have this fantastic person in my life who makes me laugh, supports me, understands me, comforts and takes care of me when I need it and enjoys being around when I'm a crazy person laughing hysterically over god knows what again.  <3

We went to our movie last night, but not until after we'd just laid together on the bed together for a bit, talking and holding onto each other.  We headed out to the movie and chatted the whole way, joking and laughing about random things.  In the movie we held hands or had some kind of physical connection the whole time, and we came home and just snuggled so nicely on the bed again.  We were silly and goofy and damn, do I feel loved unconditionally by this person.  It's such a spectacular thing.

I have trainer tonight and I'm looking forward to it.  Lately he's been raving about how strong I'm getting, in particular my legs.  I know I need to tone all over, including my calves, but just knowing that I'm so much stronger than I was before is awesome.  Love it!  I've finally gotten out of the habit of bitching (however sarcastically) about the reps he has me doing and just doing them, concentrating and working hard.  It feels good, especially when I get a good cardio workout in first!

Tomorrow night I'm doing a happy hour with some friends, including some former co-workers from my last firm.  We're going to the same bar/restaurant we went to for my b-day happy hour and I'm really looking forward to it.  Should be a good group and it's a nice way to wrap up a long week!  My part-time clerk starts tomorrow morning as well, so I'll be working with him on getting him trained and situated.  I don't love training, but I love the end result where I get some help catching up on all of these organizational and clean up projects.

Weather this weekend is supposed to get a bit cooler again after a week of sixties, meaning highs in the 50s.  Can't complain too much as we've been very lucky this fall so far and we're supposed to be back in the sixties at least for the early part of next week.  On the weekends with BF I kind of love relaxing in warmer things.  I have a pair of leggings I bought last year and never wore, and I randomly unearthed them last week.   With hesitation I wore them last Saturday afternoon after our errands and discovered two things.  1)  Boyfriend is a big fan!  2) They are insanely comfortable.  So I did a crazy thing and went and bought one additional pair for now. Don't think I'm ballsy enough to wear them in for real public (aside from grocery store or something), but I will definitely rock those comfortable things like it's my job on the weekend!

It's so nice when I wear something like that and feel a tiny bit insecure about it (ie I wish my thighs were a little tighter, my stomach a little flatter) to have boyfriend remind me that he thinks I'm sexy just as I am.  As a general rule I'm pretty happy with myself, but I know it's normal to have those moments, and I'm grateful to have him there to remind me that what I am is good enough!  It's good to have a cheerleader!

I won't be heading out to BF's until Saturday this weekend in light of the happy hour.  I don't think it will run very late, but I'm going to try to take advantage of the evening afterward to get to the gym (maybe!) and catch up on a little Bluemoon DVR!  I'll pack up and head out Saturday early afternoon and spend the rest of the weekend with BF and his daughter.  It's a full weekend with her after not having her at all last weekend.  Looks like next weekend might be a no daughter weekend, too, as she has plans Friday and we may be going to the Maryland-MSU football game that Saturday night, IF MSU beats Ohio State this Saturday night.  Guess we'll see how it all shakes out!

Happy thursday to all!


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

November

How on earth is it already November?  I feel like I just got used to October and now it's gone, and it took the daylight with it.

It's really crazy to think that Thanksgiving is just three weeks away.  Three weeks from today I'll hopefully be at BF's family's house, having survived a crazy holiday drive with all of the other kind souls in the DC metro area trying to get out of town.  We plan on leaving really early Wednesday morning, so I'll be heading over there Tuesday night after work.

My mom emailed me this week to ask for Christmas ideas, which is even crazier.  My firm sent out their email about our holiday party, which will be on December 11th this year.  I'm really excited about it, as always, but more so this year because I'll get to bring BF, and my friend A is probably bringing her boyfriend, and they get along pretty well (based on the one time they've met!).  I think it will be nice for them to have one another as company.

I don't know that I'll buy another party dress, as I just don't wear them enough for that to make much fiscal sense, but you never know.  I need to take inventory of my party dresses and see what I have to work with!  Maybe I can use one I have and mix it up with different jewelry or hair or shoes.

Again, I can't get over that I'm talking about Thanksgiving, holiday parties and Christmas!

BF is coming over tonight, as he does on Wednesdays.  I think we are going to go see "Birdman" and have a late dinner at home.  I have some fish fillets in the fridge, some jasmine rice and steamer veggies, so that should be fairly painless to manage.

We got to spend the whole Halloween weekend together, which was lovely.  His daughter had a lock-in at her school Friday and plans with her Mom Saturday.  I got off work a couple of hours early on Friday and headed out his way.  We got our new fire pit set up and fiery in the driveway, pulled up some chairs and spent the next few hours warming ourselves by the fire and handing out candy.  It felt so old school Halloween, with tons of kids out trick or treating, and parents with most of them, some of them dressed up, too.  Everyone was so polite and the costumes were great, and I just had the best time!

We closed out the night ordering pizza and watching Halloween, which seems ideal!

Saturday we ran some errands and did some shopping, had a crockpot roast and veggies for dinner and watched football while getting a little tipsy together.  It was a nice evening and I laughed until my stomach hurt and I couldn't breathe more than once!  Sunday was leftovers for lunch, NFL and cooking dinner together before I headed home.  Love that man.  We had a lot of really good convos over the weekend and I love continuing to learn new things about him.  Learning about someone's past and how they've gotten where they are can really offer such good insight into who they are now and why, and I love watching the pieces come together!

Work day is wrapping up in less than an hour and I'm so ready.  Can't wait to go home and change out of work clothes and into comfy movie clothes so I can spend an hour in a theater being entertained and maybe holding my boyfriend's hand sometimes.  <3

Thursday, October 23, 2014

this is how it should be

It's been a good week!  Last night was my usual Wednesday night with BF.  I had put chili together in the crockpot that morning, so that's what we had for dinner.  My first chili of the year!  So good. After dinner we met up with a couple of my girlfriends along with a guy one of them has been dating.We went to the Dairy Godmother for the Tollhouse Cookie flavor of frozen custard that we adore.  We had such a good time hanging out there for about an hour, just talking and laughing.  It was one of those groups that just clicked well even though that particular incarnation of it hadn't happened before.  

It's finally Thursday, so I'm pleased about that.  I have chili leftovers for lunch so that's a perk. Tonight after work I will be heading to my hair salon to get my high/lowlights done.  I'm super excited to see how it turns out, though a bit nervous as I've never had any part of my hair made darker!  I trust my hair guy totally, though, so I'm sure it will be good.  After that I will likely head home and just enjoy a few hours at home with my cat, watching the Broncos v. Chargers game and maybe some DVR.  It's been a busy week!

Tomorrow is our Halloween Hullaballoo for the kids of firm employees.  It's basically our Halloween Parade for the kids.  They trick or treat around the office in their costumes around 3:30 and then afterwards there is pizza and cookies for all.  It's always a fun time and something I really enjoy! Supposedly a group of the younger associates are dressing up as Disney characters, which will be really fun to see, as usually it's just HR that dresses up.

After the work festivities I'll head home and get my stuff together to get out the door to BF's.  This is BF's half weekend with his daughter, so she'll be with us until Saturday at 6pm.  We have plans to pick out pumpkins somewhere and get them carved.  I also want to roast the seeds as somehow BF has never done that before!  I love being able to do something new to him together.  

The weekend will also include football (OF COURSE) and hopefully a visit to Markoff's Haunted Forest, which is probably my very favorite Halloween attraction here.  He's never been, so I'm hoping we find time to go!  It's just a cool experience that I think he would enjoy.

I still have a list of Halloween movies I'd like to watch sometime between now and next Friday. We'll see if I can manage to get any of those watched!  The original Halloween is a necessity.

Monday night I have plans with my girlfriend, A to get together to carve pumpkins, roast seeds, eat baked mac & cheese (me) and baked goods (her).  I'm pretty pumped for that kind of an evening, especially when my DVR is waiting with "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown", too!  :-)

I really love October!  I'm sad (and kind of shocked!) that it's already on it's way out the door.  Where has this month gone???

Monday, October 20, 2014

hashtag i love you!

This isn't a real post, this is a post to commemorate something cute BF did last night.

On Friday I went to Kings Dominion Haunt with BF, his daughter and my friend, AC.  AC and J got along insanely well and at times seemed more like peers than people with 15+ years between them.  
:-)  Throughout the evening they kept getting into excessive use of the whole "hashtag" phenomenon, speaking whole paragraphs in just hashtags.  It was entertaining, yet it also made me feel very old as I don't speak in hashtags like the kids do.  ;-)

Last night I left BF's house to head home after the weekend and he texted me, "Hashtag I love you!" Not quite right in terms of execution, but I'll be damned if it didn't make me smile so big.

#ilovemyboyfriend

:-)  <3

Thursday, October 16, 2014

little epiphanies

It's been a week of little epiphanies.  They've varied in significance from very small and incidental to pretty big stuff.

Let's start from the smallest and work our way up:
  • I am madly in love with Andrew Belle as a musical artist.  Saw him about a year ago at a small venue in Northern Virginia with some girlfriends, and his music just keeps sticking with me.  The album I can't get enough of is "Black Bear".  The three songs I can't get enough of are "Black Bear", "Dark Matter" & "Pieces", though the whole album is great.  "Pieces" is truly one of my favorite songs ever.  I listen to it and I think how beautiful it is every time.  Love it!  He recently released an album called "Hush" which is comprised of remixes and reworkings of these same songs.  Intriguing!
  • I love my stylist and what he does with my hair.  Yesterday was just a cut because I was crunched for time, but I love it.  My hair feels so bouncy and healthy and swingy every time I leave the salon, and it smells amazing, and he's amazing.  I go back a week from today after work for my highlights and lowlights.  I've never had any lowlights before, but I'm seriously excited to see how this will look!  He says it's a really good look for the fall, and my current highlights are pretty grown out.
  • I love Halloween.  The weather, the pumpkins, the decorations and lights and spooky movies, the haunted houses.  A co-worker called today to ask if I would consider dressing up as the victim to his vampire for our Firm's Halloween parade event (for the kids of firm employees) next Friday.  I'm currently considering it because a) it's not the costume I'd pick if I were to dress up and b) I've only dressed up once as an adult, and it was pirate themed and it was with the Angry Ex.  I had fun dressing up, but we had a Halloween costume party to go to, so it made sense!  I told coworker I'd think about it today, but in the meantime I started considering dressing up on my own either way, at least for Halloween.  I was scouring for costumes and randomly came across a really cute scarecrow concept.  No pre-purchased costume, just something along the lines of boots, skinny jeans, a plaid button down shirt, a floppy straw hat, strategically placed patchwork and leaves, and accompanying face makeup.  Simple, cute and decidedly NOT in the vein of the ever so common "sexy" costumes that flood the selections for women.  In the right circumstances I would definitely be open to a sexy costume, but for a work dress up?  Pass!  I'm kind of crushing on this whole scarecrow idea, so we'll see...
  • Work related epiphany:  while my supervisor is driving me all kinds of nuts, I feel valued in a whole other way.  They put an offer out today to a student who is in his third year of undergrad (graduating early in May) to work part-time as an assistant to me.  It's just from background clearance point until he graduates in May, but I'm so excited for this.  He is being hired exclusively for me, and I will be in charge of delegating his workload, and basically he will be helping me catch up on a backlog of projects that are important, but that I simply don't have time for in the daily course of my day.  The prospect of getting this backlog caught up and then exclusively dealing with items going forward is spectacular, and I'm so grateful one of the Co-Managing Partners recommended me as a spot for him to HR.  I look forward to truly adding some supervisory experience to my repertoire as well.  I was part of his interview along with the HR rep, and it was pretty cool to be involved in that capacity.  He should be starting in the next couple of weeks!
  • Time Management:  I'm capable of doing a decent job at this.  In spite of my freakout earlier this week, I'm managing!  I don't get everything done everyday, but you know...that's okay.  The world keeps turning, and if the occasional thing slides by and it means I'm a little less stressed, then that's all right!  I do all the big, important things!  My apartment is currently super clean since BF and J came over last night, and I love it.  I've talked to my trainer and he's looking at his schedule to see if he has any availability for morning sessions for me, so that would be a possible compromise....early morning workouts two days a week, freeing up two more nights a week, which would be awesome.  We'll see!  I feel like that's a better starting point because if I have a booked session with him, I'll definitely show and I won't slack, because he won't let me!  At this point I'm not sure if I trust myself to just show up that early and work out alone. It's a start.  :-)
  • J: This is BF's daughter.  She's 14, fiercely smart, sarcastic, challenging and witty.  Last night BF brought her over after picking her up from school.  They waited at my apt for me to get home from work, J doing her homework, BF just hanging out.  I got home and opened my front door to find them both sitting cross legged on the floor in front of the door...as it turned out, they were mimicking my cat's everyday behavior upon my arrival from work.  It was legit adorable. We chatted for a bit while I took care of a couple things and got changed, and then we headed to dinner.  We laughed, we joked, we talked about her school, about our KD Haunt plans for Friday, about food, about the rest of the weekend.  At J's request, we got frozen yogurt afterwards and brought it back to my place to eat.  More laughter, more joking, more chatting.  J was so engaged because she couldn't do the normal teenage girl thing and go off on her own, and it was kind of awesome.  And it felt really easy and normal and familiar.  
When they left that night I instantly missed them, but reminded myself I'd get to see them very soon. Then I was struck by the strangest, most unexpected realization.  I knew I loved BF months ago.  It was suddenly so clear and true and unavoidable, and it was a great moment.  Last night I had this crazy unexpected epiphany---I love J, too.  Seriously, I feel invested in her as a person, as BF's daughter, and as a person in my life.  She's beginning to feel as integral to our dynamic as BF is.  I love when we all cook together.  I love hearing about her schoolwork and activities.  I like when she gossips about her friends and everything going on in her world.  I like that we "have" to take her hoodie shopping this weekend, even though she'll probably ditch us outside the stores in the mall on occasion.  I like that we have running jokes, and that she loves my cat, and that we have such similar senses of humor. I love how much she looks like BF, and how many little personality traits they share.

I have these random moments where we're all hanging out and it feels so normal and right and I think...this could be our little family.  I'll never replace her mom, and I'd never try, but our little trio works pretty well. Even though she's 14, I still get to see glimpses of the childlike stuff with her, and hear her precocious declarations and see her perceived wisdom, and know that really, she's so young and she's got so much to come.

I had a stepmom I hated growing up.  She was fiercely threatened by me, she was fake and sneaky and manipulative.  I will never be that person if my future means that J becomes my stepdaughter eventually.  I love the idea of it.  I love knowing that we'll get to be part of each other's lives in that possible future, and that I'll easily love her and accept her because she is BF's daughter and she is awesome.  I love knowing that if that happens, I'll be around to see her graduate high school, go to college, find her career, fall in love, build a life, maybe have kids of her own.  

None of these are sure things, of course.  BF and I are just dating, not living together, not engaged. It's not even been a year yet. But we're committed and we see potential and lately I just feel so damn good about all of it, and maybe that's why this clicked into place.  Talk about an epiphany.  :-)

Follow Up, Buttercup!

To quickly summarize the weekend situation with BF:

* His daughter:  BF has her every weekend as a general rule.  It alternates between a full weekend and a half weekend.  That necessitates him being at home for those times.
* Space:  My apt. is a 1BR, 1BA 600 square foot space.  The kitchen is tiny, the bathroom is tiny, I have no outdoor space of my own.  He has a three story townhouse with a deck, a yard, a grill, 3BR, 2 Full BA, 2 1/2 BA and a big kitchen where we can all cook together, which we often do.

BF spends Wednesday nights at my house.  We're stuck on Wednesdays right now since Tues/Thurs are trainer nights, and also, it's the best way to break up a week of not seeing each other.  During the week my place makes sense because he works closer to my house than his own.

On rare occasions, BF doesn't have J at all.  In the past, we have spent a random Friday night at my place in those instances, but it's not super common and usually only occurs if we have specific plans in my area that night.

Friday nights are generally my flexible night.  I do occasionally choose to stay in my area on Fridays so that I can do happy hours, dinner/movies, or other activities with friends, without BF.  I've also done it on occasion when I just wanted a night to myself.  Other times I pack up my stuff and head to BF's Friday after work; it really just depends.  Lately I've done more Fridays out there just because he didn't have J at all or until Saturday after last minute plan changes by J, and wanted to take advantage of the alone time we would get.

As a result of the custody arrangement, we will never by default get to stay a weekend at my place, and honestly, unless something noteworthy was going on, I probably wouldn't want to stay the full weekend there!  His place is bigger, nicer and has more amenities, and I really do feel like it's my weekend getaway.  :-)  I think I just need to make an effort, on those rare fully J-free weekends, to suggest a Friday night at my house.  It gives me more of a chance for us to be social with my friends or to be in closer proximity to a better variety of activities.  For the record, BF has also said that if my schedule during the week were more free, he'd be available to come out more often.  Right now it's just not workable.

Anyway, I hope that clarifies a little.  The main point is that in general, I don't mind doing weekends at his place because for the three of us, it works better, and even for the two of us, I do feel like it's the overall winner.  I think I just need to know that the option is there to stay there when it works out, and that is something BF has never argued.  I just rarely suggest it!  I always feel like the hassle of me driving out there every weekend is balanced out by the fact that he cooks most of the meals while I'm out there, lets me do laundry for free as opposed to the tiny pay W/D in my building, and I get to reap the benefits of his nicer, bigger, more comfortable home that in many ways, is starting to feel like a second home to me.

I must note that this week we're doing something brand new, most likely.  We have plans to go to Kings Dominion Haunt that evening, which is about an hour and a half away from my place.  We're meeting at my apartment Friday late afternoon and picking up my gf, A before we head out.  Since the event doesn't start until 7pm (we're leaving early just because of traffic going that way), we probably won't be back to my place until midnight at least.  We have a contingency plan, which I feel is the 90% likely plan, to spend the night at my house.  J has already advised she's fine sleeping on the couch, as it will probably be too late and we'll be too tired to drive another hour back to BF's house.  So this is a unicorn moment when my little apartment will be base camp because of it's convenience.  :-)


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Time Management

There's not enough time.

Lately that's a constant refrain tumbling through my mind.  I don't have enough time to run the errands I need to run, to read the books I want to read, to write the things I want to write, to spend time with my friends, to spend time with my boyfriend, to work out with my trainer, to go to the gym alone, to clean my apartment, to do my laundry, to see a movie on my own, to spend an hour laying uselessly on my living room floor doing nothing.

Sometimes I get so overwhelmed by the minutiae of daily life and all the obligations we have as adults.  Often times I feel hugely put out by the fact that even if I'm comfortable in bed watching TV, I'm supposed to get up and wash my face and brush my teeth and floss and moisturize and take vitamins and shave and put on eye cream and hand lotion and turn everything off in the apartment and clean up the messes from my cat's food.

I truly do not know how people with kids do it.  I am completely overwhelmed at times with the prospect of taking care of myself and my cat.  I sometimes just want to hide under my covers and shirk all responsibility.  Sometimes I don't floss before bed, or even brush.  More often than not I say screw it to eye cream and general moisturizing.  I remember to take my birth control pill every evening, isn't that enough?

My schedule feels too stuck.  Mondays are my only theoretical "free" night.  Tuesdays and Thursdays are trainer, right smack in the middle of the evening.  I get home about 6:15-6:30, have to leave for gym about 7:45, get home about 9:45.  Those nights are mostly a wash.  If I'm lucky I get to pit stop by a grocery store to pick up a couple items to eat. Wednesday is my week night time with BF, and Friday-Sunday is mostly spent out at his house, which is an hour away from my everything.  I sometimes keep Fridays to myself, but only sometimes.

Last night I had dinner plans.  Luckily for me, my stupid office didn't close for the holiday, so I got a ride home with my gf and got home an hour earlier than usual.  I took advantage and got three errands done before dinner, and still got home after 10pm.  I was supposed to go to the gym, but I didn't.  I was tired, it was a long day, and my cat had legit been alone since 7:30 that morning basically.  I just wanted to lay down and watch some DVR before bed, so I did.  But I felt guilty. And then I felt petulant, and I didn't wash my face and I didn't brush my teeth or floss, and nothing was moisturized and no vitamins were taken.

There's not enough time.  Everything is too scheduled.  Once a month my "free" monday is reserved for acupuncture, and beyond that, it's really the only "guaranteed" free time I have to do mid-week get togethers with girlfriends.

I have a hair appt. scheduled for tomorrow.  Originally it was supposed to be for highlights, lowlights and a cut.  Today I had to pare it down to just a cut, and I'm pissed.  I wanted the whole experience at once.  I wanted the wow factor.  But I don't have time for 3+ hours at the salon during the work day, and I'll be damned if I can find time to do it during the week nights.  Right now my best guess is Monday for the color because they said it would take two hours, and I can't do that on Thursday because of trainer and I just want to scream.

I asked for Friday afternoon off from 12pm and on for a Dr. appt. at 2 in Alexandria.  I got MASSIVE amounts of grief about it from my supervisor, and if I didn't need to do the appt. I would have just conceded to make it stop.  I have 100+ sick hours that I will lose at the end of the year if not used.  I have vacation days.  But even when I request things off in advance, I get shit about it.  I get guilted and manipulated and it's shitty.

It makes me want to call in sick one day and just do whatever the hell I want.  Telling the truth does me no favors.  Every year I get a tiny ding on  my performance review about my attendance even though I call in sick maybe once or twice a year and everything else is scheduled well in advance.

I'm considering going to one session a week with trainer just to get another day available.  But I know I need the workout, and I'm not sure I can be trusted to do it on my own at this point.  Sometimes I think I need to get up and do workouts in the morning to get it off my list, but HELL, I hate morning workouts.  So much. I'm torn.  I just HATE having almost no flexibility in my schedule EVERY WEEK.

All of this makes me really daydream for the possible day in the future when BF and I can live together and time isn't such a precious, hard to come by commodity.  Even if he just lived closer it would be so much easier, but he doesn't, and so it's not.  It doesn't fix everything, but at least it would fix something.

This post is primarily a vent.  I'm just feeling really frustrated right now, and damn, I really needed that full salon experience tomorrow.

Did I mention its supposed to be a downpour of rain tomorrow on the day of my haircut and subsequent blowout?  Figures.

I need a life re-boot.  I have GOT to figure out a way to make this feel better for my own mental well being.  Is the solution in more scheduling?  Do I need to train myself to do morning workouts and cut down to one evening trainer session a week?  Maybe I do need input.  Help me fix my chaotic mess of a life!

Signed,
A crazy version of Bluemoon

Monday, October 6, 2014

Happy.

I am really happy.  I keep marveling over it because it feels so good, and lately each day it gets better. I'm just really happy with my life right now.

It's the little things.  For one, it's October, which is my favorite month, and it's fall, which is my favorite season.  We've been having this spectacular fall weather in recent days, and I am loving it! Jackets in the morning and evening, the air getting that crisp autumn smell to it, and leaves starting to dance around outside.  There's football on more days in the week than not, and I got to break in my new electric throw blanket last night at bedtime, after a weekend where I wore a hoodie and it was weather appropriate.

Beyond that?  I love my family, my friends, my boyfriend, the animals in my life.  I'm so glad I got to visit Omaha recently and spend time with my crazy family.  I went shopping with my mom, watched football with my brother and sister in law, played with my bulldog nephew, and got to spend time with my grandfather, even if it was in the hospital (he's okay and released the day after I left).  My ticket home for Christmas is bought, so that's one less thing to worry about.

My friends.  I got to see a few of my Omaha girlfriends when I was home, and this included meeting one friend's fiance.  It was so amazingly lovely to see her so happy and with someone who clearly loves her dearly.  She deserves it, and I can't wait to celebrate her marriage next year!  I also got to see another friend's adorable two kids who are smart and funny and energetic and so fun to interact with.

I also adore my friends here in the DC area.  It's such a mixed group, coming from my old job, my current job, meetups, online dating (ha!), meeting through a friend of a friend.  I'm going out for dinner tonight with my two favorite girlfriends in DC and I'm really looking forward to it.  I also just love that I can keep in such good contact with so many people all over the country via texting, IMing, Facebook, Instagram and this blog.  It's really pretty amazing!

Animals....my animal count has depleted significantly over the last couple of years.  My heart still misses Mercy every single day, and now Gatsby is with Mercy, and I miss both of them all the time. Found a really cute video on my phone yesterday of Gatsby and Riley wrestling, it made me smile!  I do have an adopted second cat in the form of BF's cat.  She is so sweet and affectionate and loves to sit with me when I'm over.  The cats are getting along so much better now, as I bring Riley with me every weekend.  I love that they've made peace after an initially rocky start!

And BF.  Oh, boyfriend.  God, do I love him.  I love spending time with him, I love his sense of humor, I love how thoughtful he is and how he factors me into everything he does.  I love that we love to watch football together, and that he will go see movies he doesn't really want to see with me, like Gone Girl.  ;-)  I love that even though he told me a few weeks ago he doesn't decorate for Halloween, he has now bought decorations with me on three separate occasions, and has his living room properly spooked out with lights and pumpkins and skeletons and all sorts of Halloween coolness.  There is nothing better than opening someone up to something they'd not really been into before and having them enjoy it!

We also bought a picture to hang in this same living room this weekend, and I LOVE that I got to help choose it out.  I don't know why that mattered to me so much, but it did.  He really trusts my taste, and this spans from things like this to relying on my football picks for the weekend as a first line of information when doing picks with his friends in his Fantasy Football League.  He wears a certain scent because he knows I love it, even though he would have changed otherwise just for variety....even though I've told him he can obviously wear whatever he wants!  He likes wearing what I love, and I love him for that because I have such a strong scent association with people, and the one he wears is perfect.

We  have plans to carve pumpkins, to go to fall festivals and pumpkin patches with his daughter in coming weekends.  I brought him a couple of things from Nebraska including a random t-shirt and a coffee mug, and he wore the t-shirt this weekend.  I'm gradually accruing more and more small things at his house, and he's offered me a drawer awhile back.  I didn't accept yet only because I'm too indecisive about clothes and can't think of anything I want to decidedly abandon there during the work weeks.  :-p  But I love seeing even the gray zipper hoodie, the lip balm, my yogurt in the fridge. I feel more and more a part of his household and his family and his life every day.

I gave him a couple of the prints I got from our vacation this weekend, and he framed them both. One is at his house, now the second of us together, and it's right in the living room on prominent display. The other is on his desk at work as of this morning, right next to his monitor.  This just made my morning!

In summary?  I am just really, really happy right now.  I feel like there are so many things to look forward to, and I also just really love that I have my own things going on, too.  I still work out with my trainer, I still run my miscellaneous errands.  I'm going to make chili this week to nosh on for a few days, and finish my Halloween decorations tonight.  I'm considering a random day off soon to just go see a movie or two, just to indulge.  I've been reading so many good books lately, and getting into some really good TV shows.  I listen to my music loudly when I'm driving and sing along even though I can't sing.  I consider if I need an oil change before we drive to Charleston in November for Thanksgiving.  I make lists and I make plans and while I abide by them sometimes, other times I just do what I want, and that's just as lovely.

Did I mention that I'm happy?  :-)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

9 Months Eve

Tomorrow marks 9 months since I started dating BF. I can't believe we're there already!  I'd been single for so long this last time and had honestly started to wonder if I just wasn't suited for dating anymore.  I'm glad I was proven wrong and I'm glad to have found someone who makes me laugh, indulges my weird and random moments.  I'm always happy to see him and I'm grateful to have him in my life!

We actually get a full weekend together this weekend thanks to some ridiculousness on his daughter's mom's part.  He will have her for ten days starting next weekend, though, so that will be a bit different.  Really won't effect me personally aside from making our usual Wednesday overnight date into a wednesday dinner date for the three of us, and him having her two full consecutive weekends as opposed to the usual full weekend/half weekend schedule.

I'm trying to figure out what we should do this weekend.  Now that it's October it's finally time to do all the fallish, Halloween things I love!  I'm currently trying to sort through which things to save for kid weekends and which to do for non-kid times.  I do know that I'd love to get out and see "Gone Girl" this weekend, and I know we'll be watching the Nebraska v. MSU game, for which we will spend one evening rooting for opposing teams!  :-)  Sunday I think the Chiefs game may be on in the 4pm hour, so we'd watch that, too, in that case.  The only other plans we have are to decorate his house for Halloween and maybe go shopping for a few additional Halloween items.

I'm definitely going to have to find a couple other things to do for the weekend, just to enjoy the fallish weather we should be having and the couple time.  Our usual guaranteed couple time is Wednesday nights after work, which isn't a ton of time because it's a work night.  Love having the flexibility to spend a whole weekend together with no obligations!  I'm also glad I'll get to spend the actual nine month anniversary date with him.  I know it's not a year, it's just a monthly anniversary, but it's been a long time since I've been in a relationship, and I'm grateful and happy for what I've found every day, and holding him extra tight or saying "Happy nine months" is just a bonus.  :-)


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wednesday is my thursday

So today is the Thursday of my work week since I'll be flying to Omaha Friday for a few days.  I'm looking forward to seeing my friends and family, as well as watching the Nebraska homecoming football game with my brother and his wife.  Good times!

I got offered the firm tickets for the Nationals baseball game tonight.  I accepted happily with plans to take BF, as he's a big Nats fan, but has somehow never been to a game!  The firm seats are, of course, pretty awesome, and I was looking forward to him getting to enjoy the game from a pretty sweet spot. However, much needed rain is looming over our area, and it's supposed to roll in round one mid-afternoon, but with the bulk of the rain coming later this evening.  Best forecast I've heard is for the rain to hold off for a few innings of the game before settling in, but it's such a gamble.  BF will have to park at a Metro station, take the train in, which involves a transfer (and he's not a Metro professional like me, LOL), and meet me in the city for the game.  I'd hate to have him go through all that hassle just to have it rain two innings in!  Guess we'll see.

In unrelated news...I'm currently trying to convert two of my girlfriends to WhatsApp.  It's a messaging app that I use to talk to BF all the time, as well as a couple other people.  I love it way more than all the other messaging apps for whatever reason, and I'm pushing it hardcore with these two for one reason:  group messaging.  They both have iphones, and I'm Android.  For some reason, our group texts are a mess for me, and it shows up as a group text and an individual text in a separate tab, and it's annoying.  Group texting is so much easier on WhatsApp, so I'm trying to convert them. I'd like to convert EVERYONE to it.  :-)

All personnel luncheon at work today.  It's the same old thing they love to get every other month, but I can't complain too much since it's a free meal:  Peruvian chicken, rice, salad, fruit and cookies.  At least I didn't have to worry about rummaging something up at home!  My cupboards are pretty bare, and since I'll be gone for four days this weekend I didn't feel motivated to shop much.  My grocery store trip last night was mostly soup and crackers for Thursday and a few Greek yogurts.  :-p

I'm not super motivated today.  I feel like I'm just waiting for the firm luncheon to start!  Guess I should do something....




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

DUCK DONUTS!!

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

Redo

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!