Monday, October 31, 2011

Ten Day Challenge -- Five Foods

All the way down to Five -- look at me go!

Five foods (AKA the things I need to limit myself from eating huge portions of otherwise I might be morbidly obese):

1. Cheese. Any. Kind. Of. Cheese.

2. Seafood. I realize that's probably a cheat since it is more of a category of food but y'all just need to cut me some slack. Love anything seafood. Crabcakes, Shrimp. Salmon. Swordfish. Scallops. All of it. Yes, please.

3. Potatoes. Mash em. Fry em. Scallop em. Bake em. Hash brown em. Turn em into tots. Really there is nothing you could do to em that I wouldn't eat up.

4. Soup in breadbowls. Preferably of the sourdough variety and if I am very lucky, also from Bourdin. Who came up with that concept? They are a freaking genius.

5. Soft Pretzels with Mustard. I shudder to think of all the pretzels I manage to shove in every time I visit family in PA/NJ. It's got to be a scary amount. I'm proud and ashamed all at the same time.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Does anyone remember the Ten Day Challenge??

Probably not because I semi-abandoned it sometime last month. Not on was more that my life has felt like a toy being batted around by some crazy cat. And for the most part, it still does. But I am finding a quiet tiny space of time right now to do something that I enjoy. To clarify, something that I enjoy that is NOT eating something I shouldn't or purchasing things I don't need on the internet.

So when I last left off, I was at Six Places.

•1• Costco. There, I said it. I freaking love Costco. I have very little real need for anything there but want everything I see. A couple nights after work has been especially difficult, I have stopped there before going home. Just to walk around. I have no idea what it is about seeing bulk produce and huuuuuuge boxes of cereal that calms me, but it does. Don't judge.

•2• The airport. Any airport. Yes, even you Kansas City International Airport. I know it's such an odd place to list, but many years ago, I had a job for one year before grad school where I all but lived in airports. I was on the road for 6-8 weeks at a time, and would be in 2 or 3 places each week. My head feels dizzy trying to tally all the miles I logged that year. But being in an airport anytime since then, and that's all I think about. How much I did that one little year in my life and how it changed me and instilled in me a lot of the qualities I have today. Oh and the fact that they are amazing for people watching :)

•3• My grandparent's house at the shore. I spent every summer there while I was growing up and realize now how spoiled I was not only to be able to stay there every summer, but to have all that time with my Gram and Pop-Pop. I have some of my strongest memories of my Gram there and whenever I go back, I usually tear up at least once or twice thinking of her. And how much she must hate it that you are now allowed to have food and non-clear beverages past the kitchen. You would not believe the tight ship she ran and the clean house she had as a result. My summers down the shore (and the cleaning training I got there!) are the very reason I make my bed. Every. Single. Day.

•4• Disney. I'm not one of those over the top, semi-cultish, borderline crazies by ANY means. But I love me some Disney. I only went once as a kid but have been 4 or 5 times as an adult. Twice for Thanksgiving. You cannot help but be happy there and feel like you are 12 years old without a care in the world. Now, I will fully admit that as an adult I have only ever been with other adults there, so I imagine there may be some less-than-sunny moments with children who may be hopped up on sugar, in need of a nap, or on the verge of a meltdown. I'm sure my day with all of that will come too. But even with that, I'd still take a crappy day at Disney over the best day at work!

•5• My college sorority house. I know, I cliche and cheesy. But also, so true. That house was and is still one of my favorite places. I get to go back there on a regular basis since I volunteer time as a chapter advisor and every time I go there it just makes me feel happy. I get the serious warm and fuzzies and I feel....home. I had some of my happiest times and fondest memories living in that house. I met some of my closest friends there. I love watching the hustle and bustle there and remembering that there was actually a time when my biggest stress was what my costume was going to be for a theme party and who was going to be my big sister. You know...REAL problems.

•6• Bed time chats with MVP. Ok I have NO IDEA who has recently hijacked the usual Deviled Megs and replaced her with this sappy facsimile, but let's just all try and deal with it, shall we? Right now in my life, when so many things feel uncertain and scary and stressful, laying in bed and talking to MVP makes me feel grounded and calm. We talk about what may be going on at work, how I'm feeling, what he can do to help me, what I can do to help myself feel better. We talk about tomorrow, next week, next month and next year. I go to bed feeling a little bit more peaceful and I wake up and feel a little bit better about being able to make it through the day. I know how special that is and am feeling really grateful to have that in my life right now.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

I'm still having a tough time of things with work lately. It continues to get me down that some days I feel like I worked so hard and didn't make any headway, and probably even lost some ground. I sunk to the point of bringing mini muffins to a meeting yesterday, hoping that if I could at least associate myself with treats, people might be a little nicer. Jury's out on that one. I am still doing my usual cycle through all the emotions -- stressed, defeated, hopeless, helpless, and worst of all...really alone. It's gotten even better that I have not started to slide down that oh-so-slippery slope of staying late, finally going home and working more at night, and the one that trumps them all, working through the weekend. I'm trying to set small goals or benchmarks for myself because looking any father ahead than a week or two, just terrifies the bajeezus outta me.

So right now, I need a little WILW break to stop thinking about how many things I am NOT loving at the moment.

What I'm Loving Wednesday

I'm loving...Trader Joe's. Just knowing that when I eventually make it home I have some tasty things to heat and eat for dinner makes things a little more tolerable.

I'm loving...those times that I remember to set up my DVR to record my favorites. While it doesn't cure any of my current woes, laying in bed late at night watching "Jerseylicious" can sometimes make me forget about whatever hardships I may have faced that day.

Now, you may want to stop reading here. It's about to get a little too sappy for the usual blog fare...

I'm helpful and supportive MVP has been during all the mess at work lately. He called me in my office and sat on the phone with me for nearly 40 minutes on Monday when I felt like I was going to have a total collapse. He lets me vent and cry when I need to (even though I am sure I don't make that much sense and I know for sure I am not a cute sorta crier.) He makes me feel like I can make it through another day when all I want to do is cry in the shower (side note, has anyone else out there ever had THAT bad of a time at work where that really and truly is how you start your day?!?) I'm not used to any of this. I'm used to a guy flaking out, or making himself scarce when things get hard. I'm used to someone saying they support you but not actually acting as though they do. I feel beyond grateful that MVP is one of the good ones, and even more that he can look past the hot mess of a girl I am on most days now and still see who I am on the inside. I don't know what I did to deserve him. But in the midst of all that feels like it's falling apart at the moment, I feel like he keeps me from totally giving up on myself. I guess I waited a really long time to find someone who was such a good match for me, and in times like this I feel like I got everything I wanted and then some. MVP was very much worth the wait.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Powerful Love Story

It doesn't matter if you are single, dating, engaged, married, divorced. It doesn't matter if you feel hopeful or hopeless when it comes to love. It doesn't matter how old or young you are, what color hair you have, how much you weigh, how smart you are, how much money you have. We all deserve love like this. I promise you the story below is worth a read if you haven't seen it already. I can also let you know you might want to have a tissue or two handy.

Read this story. Now. Don't wait.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

I'm having one of those weeks where it really feels like it should be Friday already. Work has been finding new and creative ways to kick my ass and completely beat the stuffing out of me. It gets depressing some days to not only feel like you worked so hard and didn't make any headway, but that you maybe even lost some ground too. I feel like I go through so many emotions every day -- stressed, defeated, hopeless, helpless, and worst of all...really alone. It's hard to imagine that I felt more support and sense of camradarie at my previous position when I was geographically in a different location than the rest of my department. It was one of the things I longed for most at a new position, to really and truly be part of a team and have a collegial environment. But lately everyone seems very quick to remind me of what is/isn't their job and not offering anything in terms of help or even clueing me on on where I should go to find my answer. I just feel like I am wandering around with no hope of things feeling settled or starting to "click" for me. Sorry for the somewhat depressing rant, I am just not feeling good about the current state of affairs today (or this week in general), and I don't think the gloomy, gray weather in DC is helping things.

So really, I need WILW in a big way today, to try and pick me up a bit. Because I am two cups of coffee in already and have found zero pep for my step.

What I'm Loving Wednesday

I'm loving...driving to work. On a day like today, even though there was a little more traffic than usual (because people in DC freak out when they have to drive in the rain!), I was much happier to be in my car with a travel mug of coffee than standing in the rain at the bus stop.

I'm loving...some new work clothes. Did any of you take advantage of that crazy Ann Taylor sale a few weeks ago where things were like $19?! I treated myself to a few new things and must say that it makes coming to work the teensiest bit easier when you have something new to wear.
Look good--->feel good--->do good, right?

I'm loving...getting rid of what I do not need. I've been doing some select purging from my closet in advance of switching out my spring/summer clothes for my fall/winter stuff. I've been better about tossing things that are worse for their wear - as in, worn too much that they now look pretty schlubby. I also did a clean up of my makeup last night, tossing out older things that are probably past their prime or shades that I know I don't/won't wear. Sparkly pale blue eyeshadow? Yeahhhhh...probs don't need to keep that.

I'm loving...Costco. I think I may have previously professed my love of Costco on here numerous times, but it is worth mentioning again today. My office is now *this close* to a Costco, so I can go right after work (again, YAY for driving to work now) and there are NO crowds. I can get in there and wander around to my heart's content without feeling like everyone is right on top of me or getting shoved out of the way so someone can get a free sample.

I'm loving...this past weekend. While I was sad not to go to my alma mater for Homecoming as I had originally planned, it was beyond wonderful to have a weekend where I didn't have to do something or go somewhere. No alarm to set, leisurely breakfast out on Saturday, cleaning up around MVP's apartment (complete with a cleaning playlist I created), lazy Sunday on the couch. It really helped me to try and relax and take a break from all that has had me feeling stressed lately.

I'm loving...the new Voluminous False Fiber Lashes mascara from L'Oreal. Two to three coats and you seriously do look like you have falsies on. In an alluring kind of way, not a semi-drag queen kind of way, I promise.

I'm loving...that I have set myself up with a pseudo nail salon at my apartment. I love the look/wear of gel manicures, but the expense can add up in addition to finding the time to go and get yourself properly manicured every 2-3 weeks. So I went online and outfit myself with all the supplies, including the UV nail dryer/lamp. I gave myself an at-home gel pedicure 2 weeks ago and it is unreal how good it still looks. It was nice to go home last night after a particularly hellatious end of my work day and after having dinner and getting some work done around the house, I could unwind with a glass of wine and give myself a pretty salon-quality manicure while catching up on DVR. It was as close to heaven as I could possibly get yesterday.

I'm loving...that after a really loooong Monday, I made a switch in my plan and went to stay at MVP's house. Sometimes it just makes me feel better to spend some with time him after a particularly long and brutal day. Knowing that I hadn't eaten dinner, he had tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich waiting for me when I got there. It was so thoughtful and sweet and I appreciated it more than I could say. I love that we try to find ways to support each other -- whether that's me helping him clean and organize his apartment or him taking my car to get inspected because I have no time. We make a good team and some days, that makes all the difference in the world to know I have someone in my corner like that.

Friday, October 14, 2011


We all know what that M is standing for, right kids?

WHAT a week. While I am always supremely grateful for a federal holiday and a shortened work week, trying to cram 5 days of work into 4 never ceases to kick my ass. And I feel like I have had my ass kicked from here to the moon and back again this week. I had a meeting that just got cancelled (side note, who the EFF schedules a meeting from 4-5:30 on a FRIDAY?!?) and while I should be using this reclaimed time to get a few more things brain feels like scrambled eggs. I think I have officially mentally powered down for the week. I don't even think I could tie my own shoes right now, that's how brain dead I feel.

As a result, I am feeling beyond grateful for this weekend. In the good old days of my mid-twenties, I am sure I would be planning some debaucherous weekend with friends who had had similar craptastic weeks at work. You know, back when we could go out and get tore up from the floor up two days in a row and recuperate in time for a new work week on Monday morning. If I tried that now, I'd probably be sick for days on end.

So my extent of exciting weekend plans involve cleaning and organizing at MVP's apartment. And I should maybe be a little embarrassed to admit I am stoked about it. Not that his place is a total disaster or anything, but I think it would help to get things in order and do some fall cleaning. I think it would help him feel a little more at ease to have things tidy and organized. And I think I would feel less stressed about my stuff being there if I didn't feel like it was in the way.

Now, I didn't go forcing this on him or anything. I just suggested that since neither of us had travel or weekend plans this week (for a change!) that I could help him with that kind of a project if he wanted. And let's be real, it's easier to help someone ELSE throw THEIR old junk away than it is to convince yourself to part with YOUR OWN old junk. Yes, I know I need to do a bit of cleaning and purging myself, but that will have to wait for another weekend.

There will also be lots of football to be watched, maybe something cooked in the crockpot....but damn if I am not super excited to not have anywhere to go or anything I HAVE to do this weekend. A break is long overdue.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Can hardly believe it is already Wednesday! Although I have a shortened week (Thanks Christopher Columbus!), I feel like I more than made up for that day off with a looooong work day yesterday.

What I'm Loving Wednesday

I'm loving...that I spent the Columbus Day holiday at Taste of DC. It was an absolutely beautiful day outside and MVP and I got to sample lots of tasty treats. Who knew a grilled cheese with tomato and bacon on a WAFFLE instead of bread could be so freaking good?

I'm loving...that I made it through ANOTHER MVP family wedding weekend! This past weekend we got to head up to PA, not far from my old stomping grounds. I had such a nice time and loved getting to meet more of MVP's family.

I'm loving...that MVP wore saddle shoes and a bow tie to the wedding. And that's his choice/style, not my influence people. I mean, does anyone remember this post? So weird, right?

I'm loving...that we passed another big hurdle this weekend. MVP's mom was in PA for the wedding and actually met my mom and Coach. It was a little impromptu and not exactly planned out, but I think (hope!) it went well.

I'm loving...that I woke up super early on Sunday and while MVP was still asleep, I busted out the laptop and got caught up on "Parenthood." Do you all watch? LOVE that show. Haddie's break up and all of that??? I was crying. In the dark, with the Macbook on my lap and my earbuds in. Embarrassingly enough, it woke up MVP who was I think a little concerned that I was crying at my laptop first thing on a Sunday morning.

I'm own breakup with Metro. I hadn't gotten around to blogging about it (because seriously, things have been too busy lately to keep up with things here -- sorry!!) but I recently decided to make a major change and ditch mass transit to drive to work every day. I'll try and be better about recycling and all to help offset my carbon footprint. It's a tiny bit more expensive than Metro, but I cannot begin to describe the HUGE reduction in my stress level.

I'm loving...good news from good friends. I got one of those emails yesterday that makes you want to bounce out of your seat because you are so excited about the person's good news. Was able to swap a few emails back and forth to catch up on work and life and what's new with me and MVP (who she has gotten to meet a couple times) and my friend so so sweetly wrote, "I'm really happy for you. You deserve it." It warmed my heart probably more than she knows.

I'm IRL friends. I usually get on here and rave about all my lovely bloggy friends so I should temper that by raving about my real life friends too. Even though we may not get to see each other as often as we would like -- busy with work, family, and obligations or separated by many states and thousands of miles -- I always feel very connected to them. I know that I could call or email any of them and they would be there for me in any way they could. I'm very lucky to have had such good fortune to have so many wonderful friends come into my life at different points in time.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday -- we DON'T want the funk

I am trying very, VERY hard today to pull myself out of the job and other atrocities related funk I currently find myself in. It feels like a daunting task for sure, because I just have so very much that feels like it is overwhelming me at the moment. I am trying to take it one day at a time, and sometimes one hour at a time, and keep breathing. I need to lay off the sweets though; I just absentmindedly crunched my way through MANY cherry lifesavers and think I may be able to actually *feel* the cavities forming.

Anyway, it an effort to de-funk, I thought I would link up with What I'm Loving Wednesday and try very hard to find some things to love today. Not saying these are gonna be all that good, but just know that I am trying here, people.

I'm loving...the wonderful weekend I had in Charleston. MVP's family could not have been any nicer and I think it went very well. At least I hope it did! The wedding was so lovely and the food...well the food was out of this world.

I'm loving...Charleston in general. It was my very first time there and am already thinking about when I could go back. It was a busy weekend so we didn't get to see/do all that there is to see/do there, so a return trip (or trips!) are definitely in order.

I'm loving...that MVP and I survived our first real trip together. Sure, there has already been a long drive up to NJ to spend time with some of my family, but flying and airports add a lot more stress and headaches to the travel equation. But we remarked on Sunday after FINALLY getting back to DC (delayed over an hour flying out of Charleston), that it all went really well for us travel-wise. MVP even said it seemed so much easier than he had though. So we passed this travel test with flying colors. Sorry, so so bad but I couldn't help myself with that one.

I'm loving...that it finally feels like fall. Crisp weather, pumpkins on sale at the grocery store, Halloween around the corner. I even used some Sierra Nevada Tumblr Autumn Brown Ale to make a Beer & Bacon mac and cheese on Monday night. (Thanks for sharing, Morgan!)

I'm loving...that I have leftover mac and cheese for the whole week :) Although I am sure my cholesterol and pants aren't necessarily loving it!

I'm loving...lots of new fall shows and the return of lots of favorites. Although I am far, far behind on my watching and have a DVR that is busting at the seams.

I'm loving...playoff baseball. Would be loving it THAT MUCH more if my Phillies can close out their series later today.

I'm loving...Procter & Gamble. They sent me a HAUL of stuff from BlogHer. No joke, the box has probably at least $100+ worth of products in it. It is amazeballs and I will seriously be brand loyal to them after this.

I'm BlogHer buddy, Morgan. She sends me fabulous cards in the mail (the REAL mail -- like with a stamp and everything!) and finds ways to pick up my spirits when I am feeling like gum scraped off the bottom of someone's shoe. She is all around lovely and the best thing I got out of attending the BlogHer conference.

I'm loving...all my other bloggy buddies, you know who you are. Seriously, how amazing is it that you can make such strong connections with people over the Internet and develop honest-to-goodness friends?!?! So cool right?? Internet connections have come sooooooo far since To Catch a Predator and the Craigslist Killer, haven't they?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The devil you know may be better than the one you don't

I am sure I should be posting a recap of my weekend meeting MVP’s family. It would be a much happier, sunnier post. But right now, I just can’t muster it. I feel overcome by my situation at work and just feel like maybe it would help to vent. So you’ve been warned…this might be a tad long and rambling and might not come to any conclusion. But I am so on edge and frazzled and upset at the moment, I need this space right now to try and let some of that go. If you aren’t up for the below vent/rant, then you should definitely stop reading now.

It feels like 3 years when I posted how excited I was about the new job. The reality is it’s only been 3 months. And I am struggling. Struggling to find my way, struggling to make peace with this choice I made. When in reality, I want to kick the crap out of me for making this choice.

I had a feeling. A small, little tug in my gut that made me hesitant to accept the job offer. I had no feeling of excitement over the work I would be doing, a feeling I definitely had when I was salivating over the job I was interviewing for back in the spring. I didn’t necessarily feel that I was going to kick-butt at this new job. I knew I was going to try. But I was really nervous over how it might all play out. My excitement and joy wasn’t over what I was going towards. It was over what I would be leaving behind.

I felt desperate to get out of my previous field. I sometimes felt like screaming at the top of my lungs “Would someone just give me a chance?!?!” I have tons of valuable experience. I am a hard worker. I generally have a lot going for me and can do well in an interview. But I feel like HR folks took a look at my resume, so my most recent years spent in law firms, and just dismissed me. I had calls from headhunters and recruiters to go and work in other law firms, but that’s not what I was interested in. I wanted out. But more than out, I wanted up. Up to something new and better and exciting. Up to something where I could make an impact and be successful.

When this offer came in, part of me felt like I just had to take it. I was not happy in the law firm setting. I didn’t want to be “on call” 24-7 and sleep with my blackberry. I didn’t want to be talked to like I was “less than” anymore because I didn’t have a J.D. Or talked to like I was “less than” by some particularly b*tchy non-lawyer colleague just because she felt like she could. And the fact was, she could. No one did anything to stop her from talking to me like I was gum scraped from the bottom of her shoe.

But I guess it is true that sometimes the devil you know is better than the one you don’t. It isn’t just about the uncertainty that the sale of the current company has brought. Truth be told, I could sort of deal with that because really, it happened one month in so if things were to change, I could roll with those punches. Hell, if I were to go the road of “last one hired, first one fired” I could even deal with it. No, I wouldn’t be doing cartwheels over my new unemployed status, but I know that these things happen and there was no way for me to be able to see that company change coming.

What I can’t deal with is this feeling of confusion, and not being able to clear a path. I get bounced around like a ping pong ball here. Sometimes I may get taken advantage of because I am so new and people tell me to do things that aren’t necessarily in my domain but I struggle to get them done anyway because hey, I don’t know any better.

I tried to take the attitude recently of just come in, get done what I could get done in the span of that day, and be eternally grateful for the end of each day so that I could go home and be one day closer to the weekend. Awesome way to be? Not really. But better than anything else I could figure at the moment. Still better than being unemployed.

But then this morning I had a visitor to my office to tell me that, while she wouldn’t “rat me out” per say, it was completely unacceptable for me to have a personal package delivered to the office. See, I had had a delivery problem when a recent package needed to be signed for. I tried to get it delivered when L might be home at the apartment, but no luck. When I called the company to see what we could arrange, I gave them my work address. Then had that moment of clarity that no, that wouldn’t work because I would be out Thursday afternoon and all day Friday so I wouldn’t actually be here to accept it. I explained to them that the office wasn’t really secure and there was a huge theft problem here. So they said that’s fine, we won’t deliver it there, and if UPS couldn’t make that 3rd delivery at my apartment, the package would be held at a local UPS facility for a week and I could pick it up then. Perfect, let’s do that and thank you so much for your help. Thought I had taken care of everything.

So I was surprised when I arrived in the office yesterday and saw the huge box waiting for me here. I was annoyed that the company hadn’t done what it said it was going to do but oh well; at least the thing got delivered. And then today I get reprimanded for it and made to feel like Big Brother is watching me, and my packages, and I could be very much “in trouble” for having this box delivered at the office.

And now I just feel like crap about being here all over again. I can’t win here. And the saddest part is, I don’t know how much I feel like trying any more. I feel eternally defeated. I feel thrown into the deep end without a life jacket. And I am not swimming. I’m not even able to tread water. I feel like I am going to drown.

As much as it makes me cringe to say it, I sometimes find myself wishing I hadn't left the firm. Was I skipping to work every day? Hell no. But I knew my place there. Knew how to try and get things done. Had at least one friend/ally in my assistant and we could try and wade through the crap together. Knew what was expected of me and tried as best as I could to achieve it. Sadly, I don't feel a whole lot of that here. At least not now. And I am not sure I will any time soon.

I said to MVP this weekend that I know I can't unring this bell and there is not a lot of good going to come out of regretting my choice. Maybe I am doing this job now to prepare me for a better one to come later on. The trouble is, every single day I keep thinking I don't know how patient I can be with waiting to see what might come later on.

So like I said…this post has no conclusion. Just needed to get some of this out of my head for now so that I can at least try to pick myself up and trudge through this day. And it’s only Tuesday. Fabulous.