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Originally from Texas, I am a reader, writer, pseudo-gardener, baker, record collecting student working on my Ph.D. in the Midwest.

Monday, January 31

The Toilet Paper Conundrum

If you think, just by looking at the title, that this might be a bit too much information for you, please enjoy this video of kittens.

One of the amazing things about being married is the kind of arguments which happen. I don't really think this is partial only to marriage; we all fight about random things in any relationship that we enter. That's just part of the contract we sign when we have friends, partners, kids, and family.

Anyway, I'm prone to argue with only certain people (this is a vulnerability thing) and one is my husband.

And our most typical argument (ahem, disagreement) centers around toilet paper.

Yup, toilet paper.

We've been disagreeing about toilet paper since the early points of our relationship. Back then, it was mainly who was going to purchase the toilet paper, since we were still far too caught up in the haze and romantics of being in a new relationship (I typically purchased, FYI).

We've also disagreed about when to purchase toilet paper (um... does anyone actually buy a new pack before they use the last roll? If you do, kudos) Also, which direction said paper should be going.

But, now, it's what type of toilet paper to purchase. And, really, have you looked at all the options? I mean, it's kind of terrifying walking down that aisle and having to select something.

For me, I want something strong that will make sure all is clean and happy. The husband, while agreeing with this, also wants something soft. Remember those commercials with the toilet paper turning to fluff when tossed? That's what the husband prefers.

This has lead to some disagreements in our house, clearly. And we've never been able to find something which made us both happy.

Until last night.

We were out of toilet paper. We walked, hesitantly, down the toilet paper aisle worrying about what to purchase. This really shouldn't be this difficult, you know.We long ago decided that Charmin was the best option, so we usually just bounce to that, grab the first thing, and then check out, imagining that the choice will just surprise us when we get home. It's a pretty legitimate tactic.

But last night, we saw Charmin sensitive and thought, why the hell not.

And, it's lovely. It's kind of the best of both worlds. And they'll probably discontinue it just because it has caused a truce in our house.

C'est la vie.

Happy Monday my friends, and I do mean that.

P.S. If you thought this post was awkward, enjoy this video!

Wednesday, January 26


I had a beautiful post that I wanted to put up today about being more gentle with myself and more authentic with others.

But, it my flu state, it felt far to vulnerable to share.

Instead, I wanted to show you this incredible comic I ran across tonight.

Found at Kafka's Koffee

Enough said.

Monday, January 24

Warm Fuzzies While Sick

The husband and I are sick. The kind that makes you want to do nothing but lie in bed or on the couch until the illness will just give up on you.

The husband decided to share his cold with me, and while I appreciate, I would have been okay with him not giving it to me. I'm achy and whiny and cranky and sleepy and coughy and blah. Needless to say, I'm not exactly pleasant to be around currently. On the brightside for my friends, I can't talk so all the whiny is with hand motions.

I'm also currently trying to file our taxes. Whoop! Isn't this a good night?

There is one silver lining though. While searching for tax stuffs, I found a piece of paper on which the husband had drawn a mock up of a website for me. And it totally warmed my heart. It's funny how little things like that can make me smile and dissipate the headache and coughing for a moment while I remember exactly why I married him.

Hope you all are healthy and happy

Friday, January 21

Film Love

For Christmas, my in-laws bought me a Diana F+ Kit. That means that I got the camera and everything that you could think of with it. 

Do you know how pretty this is? 

Well, within the first week of having it, I took two rolls of films: A 35mm roll and a 120 roll.

I dropped them off about two weeks ago and picked them up last night. 

Out of 39 photos, about 24 turned out (e.g., they weren't over exposed!). From those 24, I really liked 9 of them but scanned 15.

And now, because I can, I'm gonna show you a couple... or six.

 This was a double exposure. You can see the husband in two places; can you find him?

 This one is my absolute favorite out of the whole batch. 

 With the pinhole and cable release.

Happy Friday (night!), dear internets. I hope everyone has an incredible weekend.

Thursday, January 20

Etsy Love

Dear Etsy:

I don't do a whole lot of shopping online, honestly. I do some on amazon, mainly for textbooks and birthday gifts for friends far away. I'll occasionally look at ebay when I'm feeling super bored. And, I'll compare prices for things like cameras and film online. But other than that, I don't really like online shopping.

Except for you.

You came to my aid during the wedding planning. I bought a lot of things from different vendors during that time and I was hooked. There is so much pretty. Granted, I don't buy a lot, but I do love searching. It's like my form of Porn for Women.

Wall Prints
...oh my.

You're like a giant indie movie set where I can actually purchase the beautiful things I see. It's like walking into an antique junk store without the smell.

And the vendors are all so lovely. I've yet to have a bad experience with someone, and I've done a lot of messaging with people.

Really, Etsy, I'm smitten. I have been since I first found you two years ago. Thank you for being my healthier version of chocolate and taking Visa.


Wednesday, January 19

A few of my favorite things...

Winter Edition

 My red mittens with a button so my fingers can be free. 

 My black sweater which allows me to see the actual shape of snowflakes.

My very first scarf wrapped around my neck and a comfy pair of jeans. 

What are some of your favorite things?

Tuesday, January 18

A Charming Marriage Proposal

Isn't that just a cool proposal? I fell in love with it the second I pressed play.

Have I told you guys about how the husband proposed to me?

It was October 2008. We had just spent a week in San Diego where I just knew, I KNEW, that he was going to pop the question. We even did a sunset cruise with champagne (ahem, neither of us was old enough to drink, legally at least). Alas, we made it back to Texas and I was sorely lacking a fiance. I had a great boyfriend, but the fiance was seeming elusive.

So, this particular Sunday, I had attended a meeting for over-achieving college students and one of the girls told me she was engaged. I was seething. I was so excited for her, but she had just been dating him for like a year and they would be married in May. I had been dating him for like 3 years! And no ring! Ugh.

Needless to say, I came home a bit perturbed and feeling like he didn't love me and, never loved me, and would never love me enough to propose. I believe I even said as much to him. Oh the pity party.

And when I throw myself a pity party, I go all out. Poor guy.

Around 11, he asked me if I wanted to sit outside and look at the stars. Not an uncommon request, but I was pissed. See, the pity parties always last too long and end up with me just being annoyed and angry. You would think I would learn.

Regardless, I got dressed grabbed a blanket and we went outside. We were sitting down, talking and looking at the stars when I felt him shift a bit. I looked over at him and he said, "So, are you sure that you want to spend the rest of your life with me?"

I looked at him and said "Well, of course."

My stomach started fluttering as he pulled out the ring and asked me to be his wife. And, internet, it was lovely. The proposal was so us, low key and quiet. And the ring. Oh my but that ring.

Monday, January 17

Further Transformation

On Friday afternoon, the husband and I chowed down on some of my favorite Chinese food. It's not necessarily good or real Chinese food. It just comes in these boxes and that makes my heart unbelievably happy.  My heart probably smiles every time we have it delivered.

This, blog, however is not about the food which was delivered (and tasty as always). It's actually about what happens after one finishes a meal that consisted of sweet and sour chicken or general tso's chicken.

It's about the fortune cookies. More specifically about how spot-on fortune cookies always seem to be with me. Especially this one. What was my fortune? you may be wondering. Well, here it is:

Now, this fortune might now seem all that life shattering to anyone other than me. You see, there are words which get tossed around the blogs I read like: Wholeheartedness, Vulnerability, Authenticity. They're almost like catch phrases right now, except that they hold a weight behind them that is hard to describe.

Anyhow, I struggle with those words. And, I also struggle with making real connections with people. It has a lot to do with things that went down when I was younger and the way which I protect myself. But, recently, I've started becoming frustrated with that. I want the real relationships. I want the hurt that can come from them because only then can I get the love and connection. I also want to be real with myself.

This leads me to where I am this year. I want to be gentle with my soul. I want to listen and grow, embrace my imperfections and let go.

And, I'm starting this, which brings me back to my fortune. I am taking a photography class with a friend and we're learning all kinds of amazing things. And, I'm taking a Mondo Beyondo Dream Lab, which is all about community and happens to be with Brené Brown who, you know, studies this stuff for a living. The stars have aligned for me and I am feeling woah blessed right now. I'm also feeling safe and ready to explore.

Happy Monday my friends.

Friday, January 14

Cocktails: #1-#5

I have a goal. And, it's on my life list. It's to try 100 Cocktails. There aren't any rules for it, and I decided to do it because I normally order the same thing. I wanted to find something new and different.
Here are the first 5.. Ready?

First up, we have my "signature" drink. It's called a Dirty Shirley and it's comprised of Grenadine, Sprite and a shot of vodka. I love how this tastes, especially when someone makes it right, which rarely happens.

Next, we have a no name drink. I asked the husband to go to the bar and order me something sweet that didn't have coconut in it. See, I'm allergic. Melon liqueur, citrus vodka and some Sprite. Not too bad. I bet on the sour side (whoduha thunk it?).

The night before my folks flew home, my mom and I drank a couple of these lovelies. It was a watermelon something or other and it was in the bar of the Casino we stayed out. I don't know what was in it, and I thought I wrote it down. Alas. I do remember, though, that it lacked the kick that most alcohol has. I find that often to be the case in large places.

 New Year's had me tasting this thinking it would uh-mazing! It was Pink UV Vodka and Champagne, I really didn't think it could go wrong. Au contraire. It was horrid. I think that was mainly because they forgot the champagne and basically served me vodka in a champagne glass. For $6. I had to drink it and I will admit it kept me warm for the frigid walk to the ball. But, it tasted like rubbing alcohol. Ick.

And number 5 is something which Holly Lynn and I made up. It was a shot of vodka, apple-cherry juice, lime, and a bit of sugar. It was alright, for something we were playing with.

As I'm reading this, I'm noticing that vodka seems to be the key to my drinks. I'm making a decision that the next five must not include vodka as the main mixer.

What do you like to drink, dear internets? Do you have a favorite cocktail? shot? beer? wine? Please share!

Thursday, January 13

Back to School with a Resounding Thought

I stepped foot on campus again today. Well, I had class yesterday, but today I went into my building.

It's been a month since I was in my office.

And, as I was talking to our clinic assistant, faculty members, some classmates, and the secretary for my department, I had one resounding thought:

"I am so lucky"

It hit me as I was bouncing up the stairs from the clinic to my classroom. I had this huge smile on my face, I could just imagine what I looked like if I were to step in front of mirror. But I didn't care. I am so lucky because I love what I do. And, I see a lot of people and know a lot of people, who don't love what they do.

But me? I honest-to-God love it. I love my classes, even when they are terrible. I love my clients, and how they force me to think outside of the box and expand myself. I love my fellow students and the relationships that I have formed with them. I adore my professors. I may not adore them all the time, but I can appreciate how they force me to be a better clinician, researcher, and teacher. And the staff. Oh, but, I love the staff. They make my life unbelievably easy and have so much knowledge.

I am doing what I was made to do. I really am. I am in the exact program at the right time. I am going to get to do what I love for the rest of my life.

I have worked my ass off to get to this point and it has been totally worth it.

I really am lucky.

Wednesday, January 12

Christmas & Dishes

I'm sitting at my dining room table currently, slighty distracted by the mess which is our home.

It's a lived in mess, but it's a mess none-the-less.

Taking down the sewing stuff helped tons, but the buffet still has the remnants of Christmas dishes (yes, I have them) on it.

In the corner where our tree was, stands the boxes ready to be packed into our storage unit in the basement.

The kitchen has clean dishes in the drying rack and dishes ready to be washed in the sink.  Our dining table has decorations for the windows sitting on it, along with books that we received today as gifts.

It's a mess, but it's home.

I'm not perfect by any means. Actually, I walked into the apartment from a coffee date this afternoon and was fairly perturbed that the husband was hanging out in his "gaming chair" playing video games and hadn't touched the few dishes out or the Christmas decorations, which he was supposed to do today.

But, I take a deep breath and I think, "Okay. That's okay."

It is and it isn't. I can tell you, dear internets, that the most common disagreement in our home is that my mister doesn't do his fair share, in my eyes.

He cooks amazing dinners, which means I don't have to. If it were me, I would probably eat grilled cheese, pimento on celery, and maybe a salad on occasion. Or Chipotle. However, for example, while creating* dinner last night, he used:
  • three plastics bowls 
  • two baking pans -- a pie pan and a baking sheet
  • four knives 
  • a cast iron pan
  • two cutting boards.
Not to mention the silverware we used, the cups with water sporadically around the house, and the dishes we ate from.

So, I walk in and sigh and shrug him off when he comes to hug me because I'm frustrated.

And, when I'm honest, he totally gets the short end of that stick, whether it's frustration with him or with the world in general, and typically it's both. But, I don't really know how to fix it. I want a clean house. I want dishes put away and Christmas decorations out of sight, since we took them down over a week ago.

That's me.

And yet, I don't have time to do it.

But I'm tired of throwing the cutting words out. For example, when he was trying to pour out something in the sink so that I could wash it, I threw out: "If you wanted to do the dishes, you should have done them while I was gone."

Oh, that's lovely. And sure to keep our marriage stable and strong.

There is true feeling in those words.

I'm often met with a hurtful gaze and the words hang in the air, imaginary words like, "You should just tell me to do it." But, love, I did tell you. I asked you to. And it didn't get done. So, yes, I'm frustrated.

So, what's a girl to do?

*He really does create food. I promise.

Tuesday, January 11

Sick Days and Snow Days

Sick days and snow days don't overlap, or so a friend told the husband in response to my illness yesterday.

Remember that snow? Well, it turned into 5ish inches between Sunday afternoon and Monday afternoon.

Pretty cool huh? Today, it's just cold. Really cold. Like -14 with windchill cold.

Sadly, I was very, very sick yesterday, which was not what I had planned for my snow day. Hopefully, though, the illness has passed and I am venturing out into the country and taking photos, because there are some amazing shots to be had when it comes to snow.

For now, enjoy some of these from Sunday, and I will be back soon.

This one might just be my favorite.

Friday, January 7

Maybe Pensive, Maybe Weary

I'm sitting at our party table right now. It's set up in between the dining room and the living room and taking up way too much space.

My sewing machine is happily resting on it with a wedding quilt laid out on the floor begging me to finish it. I have a cup of strawberry tea next to me and the cat is curled up next to the husband on the couch.

Out the window, it's snowing my favorite kind of snow. It's the fluffy kind that doesn't really stick because it's too "warm" to stick at 33 degrees. I love snow, by the way. It's one of my favorite things about moving here... it snows.

It's the last day of my break. I go back to clients and classes, work and demands on Monday. I'm not ready. But for now, I'm going to sit here and drink my tea and think about finishing this quilt.

Happy Friday my friends.

December 2010 Blizzard Timelapse from Michael Black on Vimeo.

This is not my favorite snow, fyi :) Just a pretty amazing timelapse video.

Thursday, January 6

Being an 80's kid

I read an article today which made me pretty sad.

The article is about the things which babies born in 2011 won't know or care about.

Things like maps, pictures in frames, landlines, film, the written word - both books and letters, and watches. They won't understand the frustration and adrenaline that comes from arguing something which is mundane and no one can actually look up. And there won't be separation of home and work. They also won't ever actually hear dial up. Or, "You've Got Mail!"*

But, it makes me sad.  I love my giant US map that has stars by where the husband and I have traveled. I love the frames we have with photos of friends and family in them... and the photos which are tucked away in books and in the corner of mirror, tacked on my office wall and hung with magnets on the 'fridge.

I love books. We have 4 bookshelves full and I stock up at the library constantly. I love the way the smell, feel, and look. I like the way it feels when I crack open a brand new book and dive into a story. A Kindle or iPad will never give me that.

I just mailed out New Year's Cards and Christmas Thank you notes. I wrote a letter to a dear friend and tossed it in the mailbox on my way to dropping off the husband at work. In fact I have a goal (not a resolution, mind you) to write more handwritten notes to people. Love notes, if you will. In fact, if you would like one, click on that "love notes" tab and email me. I will gladly send you one.

I got a Diana for Christmas and just left the film at the developers to see what came of it all. I love that I have no fricken idea what I took or how they will turn out. There's mystery in that.

I adore my new Canon which leaves no mystery but takes amazing photos that I dump on my hard drive. And watches. Oooo watches. I own 6 that I rotate daily. I love them. I hate looking at my phone for the time; I kind of think it's rude, if I'm honest.

And the separation of home and work just breaks my heart. When we moved here for my program, I promised the husband that I wouldn't bring work home.  We've made some concessions, especially during finals, but I have kept that promise. It stemmed from people repeatedly telling me that ~70% of people who are married in graduate school end up divorced.

Why thank you for that cheeriness and now I'm going to ignore you.

Either way, keeping work at work and home at home has been beneficial for us because when I'm home, I'm home and paying attention to our life here. And when I'm working, I'm working and paying attention to that part of my life. I really feel for people who won't be able to, through choice or the type of job or whatever, separate their home and work.

Now, I won't knock technology, mind you. I miss landlines, but it's nice to only give out one number. And boy do I love flickr, and facebook, blogger, and reader. I do love technology, in a lot of ways.

However, I so hate to see stuff I adore become obsolete.

*Side note: My parents and I used to collect those AOL discs.

Wednesday, January 5

Winter Holidays in 2010

Wanna see my holidays?

Belated Family Thanksgiving

Last year, we started a tradition of doing Thanksgiving after the fact.  We wanted one holiday which we could spend with all of our friends, since a lot of people travel for the others. Last year was a lot of fun, and this year did not disappoint.

And, we went to a Hanukkah party. Remember?

Ugly Sweater Party
And then there was an ugly sweater party with some past coworkers. I wore a Santa sweater.

In between, I turned 23 which meant a spectacular spaghetti party with good friends. Have I told you that I kind of love my life?

Christmas presents!
Then, of course my parents were in town for a week which was a blast. I love the wrapping paper EVERYWHERE after opening gifts. Some of my favorite photos.

Masquerade Ball

And finally, we make it to New Years Eve where we went to a masquerade ball. I made our masks, curled my hair, wore make up and a cute blue party dress. It felt like -15 outside but it was worth it. We danced to the Beatles and we rang in the New Year. That put 2011 off to an amazing start.

How were your holidays?