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.


:-)  <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 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!

A crazy version of Bluemoon

Monday, October 6, 2014


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! 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.  :-)