Tuesday, January 31, 2012

With every ending comes a new beginning

I'm still processing all my feelings surrounding L's departure. I got a little flustered this morning and before I knew it I had started to cry a little when I got into the car. Knowing that today I will go back to the apartment to say goodbye to L. Dealing with so much transition and change. I'm sure it is normal to just feel overwhelmed by so many emotions right now...but knowing that it's normal sure doesn't make it any easier.

So on the heels of yesterday's sad news about L moving out, comes a bit of happy news that MVP is moving in. Yup, we are gonna be cohabitating. Big step. BIG. STEP.

We had had conversations about it for awhile, LONG before L had ever brought up the possibility of her leaving. MVP and I knew quite some time ago that living together was what we wanted to head towards in our relationship, and it was just a matter of planning it out and mapping out the time frame that would be best for both of us.

When L announced her decision to move, it created a clear opportunity for us to go ahead and act on that desire to live together. We were both month-to-month on our leases, moving into one place or the other made good sense for now. That way we still have the option to look for a different place together, without having to time our moving out of two separate places and plotting out two separate moves. I mean, can we all agree that moving totally stinks? Trying to keep all of it to a minimum is the best option for reals.

So when I went a few weeks ago to buy a couch? It was MVP and I purchasing our couch. Together. Really wonderful and really scary at the same time. I have never lived with a significant other before. I know that I have a lot to learn and adjustments to make. But I know without any shadow of a doubt that I want to do that with MVP. As corny as it may sound, while this whole thing is pretty darn a little scary to me...I don't know that I have ever felt so comfortable and confident with a decision in my life.

So we are going to have a home together. I am not foolish enough to think it is all going to be a picnic. We aren't "playing house" here. It's going to be work. It's going to be wonderful. It's going to take time to adjust. It's going to be a whole new experience.

While I am so sad for L to leave and move so far away, I'm excited for this new chapter in my life. And very grateful for the person I get to write that chapter with.

(And that super sweet and charming sign in the photo is a fabulous DIY project I saw on pinterest and you can read her blog posting on how to make it here.)

Monday, January 30, 2012

My own version of Blue Monday

So last week, I had posted about Blue Monday, which is apparently the most depressing day of the year. The date is calculated by using many factors, including: weather conditions, debt level (the difference between debt accumulated and our ability to pay), time since Christmas, time since failing our new year’s resolutions, low motivational levels and feeling of a need to take action.

Not that I am having my own version of "Groundhog's Day" or anything, but today feels like another Blue Monday. I feel tired and grouchy. Worse-than-usual traffic got me into work late. For every "to do" item I have checked off my list at work, 3 more seem to have sprung up in their place. Calling into my doctor's office to ask about an upcoming appointment I was hung up on, then scolded when I called back that someone incorrectly told me I could do all things I needed during that one appointment (how is that MY fault?) and that I would have to book a second appointment...and they couldn't do that until April. When I noted that I was now essentially being asked to prioritize which of my conditions and related medications was most important to my health, the lovely receptionist laughed and said "Well that ain't my problem!"

Add FIND A NEW DOCTOR'S OFFICE to my to do list.....

On any Monday -- heck ANY day of the week -- that would be enough to get you a little blue.

But today. Well there is some sad news to report. L -- my good pal and roomie of four-and-a-half years -- is moving away. She's taking an opportunity with her company that will have her helping them open a new office way on the other side of the country.

And she is leaving on Wednesday.

This has been a done deal for awhile. Even knew about the opportunity before that when she was thinking it over. But today, it all finally hit me. And I started to cry a bit at my desk.

L is leaving.

No more Monday nights watching The Bachelor/ette. No more leaving notes for each other on the dry erase board. No one to play fashion show with when you buy new jeans or shoes. No one to cheer me up by shouting "We're going to Auuuuuustraaaaaliaaaa" just like Oprah.

I don't think I have been in denial all these weeks. It just felt so far away, and I didn't really have to deal with all the feelings that went along with her departure.

But now here it is, less than 48 hours away, and I feel sad. I'm so excited for L and can't wait to hear all about her new adventure. And I know that we haven't spent as much time together in recent months because of different schedules, me being at MVP's house, a combination of things. But knowing that if I needed her, she was there. Coming home and seeing her updates on our DVR info board. There was just such a comfort to all of that and maybe I took it for granted.

I know L will always "be there" for me, no matter where she is actually living at the time. I'm just feeling a little sad today, finally realizing that she is going...and already feeling the empty space she is leaving behind.

Friday, January 27, 2012

All over the map

I feel all over the place this week....mentally and emotionally.

It's been a busy week at work, on top of the first full 5-day work week in what feels like forever.

I have been working like crazy outside of work for a group I volunteer my time with.

There are some major changes going on, and unfortuntaely, a few sad goodbyes.

Ever feel like you could just crawl in bed after work on Friday and stay there until it was time to go back to work on Monday morning?

Yeah, that's where I am at right now.

So I'm going to try to take advantage in a last minute change to my weekend schedule and take advantage of some doing nothing. Lots and lots of sleeping. And hopefully I can come back Monday a bit recharged.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Blue Monday

Have y'all heard about Blue Monday? I hadn't until a co-worker brought it to my attention. Basically today is THE most depressing day of the year.

That makes me feel just an eeeensy bit better about feeling like I am in a cruddy funk today.

How are the rest of you holding up today? Do you have an especially rotten case of the Mondays like I do?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Gettin' my hair did

This week has been...well I don't have words. I just have this.

Yeah....that face about sums it up.

But tonight I am going to see P to get my hair done and I think it will be the best remedy for my current state of grumbliness. So I am recycling one of my all time favorite posts about him, originally posted here. But I'm gonna post it below too. Cause I don't need y'all to click one more click then you absolutely have to. Lookin' out for you ;)

A Good Man is Hard to Find
ESPECIALLY when you are going to trust that man with something as important as your hair. I mean I may date some real losers, but I am much, much pickier when it comes to my hair.

When I first moved to DC, I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of salons and stylists. Then I was in complete and total sticker shock over the cost of these places. I went to one place recommended by someone who I thought had good hair. When all was said and done sure my hair looked alright (nothing special), but I also couldn’t afford to eat for the next 6 weeks.

So I asked around and had one salon in DC recommended by a lot of different people. And this time I made sure to poll people like me that were working for next-to-nothing salaries at low level jobs and for who “super sizing that value meal” was an expensive treat reserved for very special occasions.

The first guy I saw at the salon was nice enough. Really eerily quiet but hey, I am not much of a talker myself, so I kind of liked not having to make chit-chat. Hair turned out ok, didn’t kill my wallet, so off I went. Looking back at some photos of me taken at a wedding a few weeks later, I realized that I was far too blond and bobbed for my own damn good. I looked like I should be giving the traffic report somewhere or passing out free keychains at a bar, it was just not a look I could pull off.

So while I wanted to go back to that same salon, I wasn’t really wedded to seeing that guy again (such a hair floozy I was!) The next time I let them schedule me an appointment with P. It was one of those occurrences where I truly believe there is something out there bigger than me, because some force stepped in and made a match up for me (and my hair!)that I will be forever grateful for.

I know there are all the lame jokes and stereotypes about women and their hair stylists. But this isn’t some wannabe therapy session. I look forward to our time together the way most girls look forward to a date with Prince Charming. We like the same things – like music that is far too young for us and making fun of other people. We talk about important things – things that MATTER. Like who’s going home that week on American Idol or if Jillian Michaels would beat Jackie Warner in a cage match (I totes agree with him that Jillian would knock the stuffing out of Jackie)

P has saved my hair and my sanity so many times I have lost track. I will never forget (because I don’t know if he would ever stop reminding me) of the fateful day I walked into the salon literally in tears. I had spent the course of that day discovering my identity had been compromised and had to go through the long process of shutting down all my credit cards, bank accounts, even my damn Blockbuster card as some @sshole went on a spending spree. My boyfriend-at-the-time’s reaction? "That sucks, babe. I will do an extra shot for you later." P’s reaction? "You can come back and pay me whenever it all gets straightened out but you need your hair done today more than ever." THAT is love people.

P has even met my mother. I brought her down here for her birthday one year and surprised her by bringing her to P and letting him fix the whole situation she had going on on top of her head at the time. My mom probably felt like she woke up on an episode of the Tyra show or something. But she STILL talks about that appointment with P to this day and wishes she could go see him all the time.

My relationship with P has lasted longer than any other relationship with a guy. And I’m fine with that. When I finally find a guy who makes me laugh half as much as P does, I will know I’ve found a keeper. Oh and straight too. Sorry, as long as I’m throwing wishes out there, I should be specific. Straight and can sing showtunes with me?? Well that would be like finding a leprechaun riding a unicorn, but maybe it exists. I mean, someone like Mr. Shuster could exist in real life, right?

So I will sit here at my desk watching the minutes tick by and looking forward to my date with P later. I should be making use of this time by deciding what I’d like him to do to my hair later on, but it’s so much more fun to see his pissed off expression when I tell him “I don’t know….just something different” P, if you read this, I hope you are always the Ken Paves to my Jessica Simpson. Unless you let me out of the house in mom jeans. Then we may need to break up.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Lessons you learn from getting a new couch

So on Friday, I went to purchase a new couch. This process has been weeeeeeeeeks in the making. I mean I am the girl who can usually NEVER make a decision, but I am also the same girl who went to "just look" at cars a few years ago and ended up driving one off the lot that same night. But a couch.....oy, this has taken a long time.

1. There are a LOT of choices out there. Almost too many. It has been overwhelming.

2. My tastes are more expensive than my budget. No surprise there.

3. Some places will take you to the cleaners on delivery charges. Like, adding an additional $25-50 for each set of stairs the furniture must be carried up. So living on the top floor of a garden apartment building can run you $150 extra in delivery fees. Note I said EXTRA...that would be $150 over and above what they are automatically going to charge you for delivery.

4. I have found another job to add to the "Oh my lord, I would never ever want to do that job" list. Furniture salesperson. Sometimes you could see them just circling the door of the store when they saw you walking up. I was always upfront and honest about what I was shopping for but that I was not in a position to make a purchase that day. One or two places were great....the rest followed you mercilessly around the store, sometimes being very aggressive and pushy with their sales tactics. To the point of me being made to feel so uncomfortable that I would never consider purchasing anything from that store.

5. Some furniture out there is U-G-L-Y. I mean way past simply not being my cup of tea...like I wanted to ask if people actually BOUGHT that crap.

6. Costco sells some pretty good furniture. And because it is good stuff at a good price, it sells out. Quickly.

The new couch!!

7. Always jot down the item number at Costco so you can keep calling all the Costcos in a 15 mile radius to find out when they have that item back in stock.

8. Shoppers in Costco, for the most part, are jerks. They are oblivious to those around them and will walk right into you in an attempt to get to their next free sample. Even as MVP and I struggled to get a huge box onto our cart, people wanted to push us out of the way to get down the aisle. The FURNITURE aisle. You have a box of frozen waffles and a big tub of cashews in your cart. Are you also in the market for a new bedroom set today? I'm thinking no, so turn around and go cut down a different aisle.

9. On that same note of free samples, MVP will NOT see the humor in my asking him if I can leave the furniture unattended to go see about a free sample of something for myself.

10. You MUST pay attention to how many boxes there are. I incorrectly thought it was one big box and a smaller box for the ottoman. WRONG. TWO big boxes and a smaller box for the ottoman that could not all fit into the back of a rental van does NOT make for a happy MVP.

11. If you are renting a van, ALWAYS spring to add the furniture mover on wheels. That thing was a lifesaver.

12. If you try to stay calm and focused, you can pick up your rental van, go to Costco and purchase a sectional sofa, move two pieces away and into an apartment, return for the last piece, go move that into the apartment, and then go back and return the rental van all in under 4 hours. I know that may SEEM like a long time, but trust me, it went by FAST.

13. If MVP and I can make it through that ordeal without seriously losing our cool, I feel like we can do just about anything.

Friday, January 13, 2012

How I will be spending my Friday afternoon...

So this afternoon, I'm renting a Uhaul van and picking up a new couch. I'm realizing now that maybe planning this sort of an activity for Friday the 13th is just asking for trouble.

I'll have MVP to help me, thank goodness. Oh and to drive the van, driving the van makes me nervous. Then it will be just him and I getting it into the apartment. Yikes. Please everyone, keep your fingers crossed that we survive this afternoon in one piece and in good spirits. And, more importantly, that my afternoon doesn't turn into a real life version of that "Friends" episode....

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Random Etiquette Question...

I am usually SO on top of things like this, but juts had a random thought and didn't know what the rule of thumb was for this. I was unfortunately unable to attend a wedding last year, but sent a gift to the bride and groom. It was technically "off registry" but was a small little token and then a gift card to one of the stores they were registered at, so they could put it towards anything they ended up not getting.

How long, give or take, is the amount of time in which the bride and groom would send a thank you note? I'm asking because I am just wondering if they ever even received the gift. I don't want to be tres-tacky and ASK her if she ever got it, but now I am just curious....

Have no clue WHY this thought popped up in my head today. Or why I seem to be so hung up on it!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

This whole post-holiday back to work grind is for the birds. I can't put my finger on it exactly, but have just felt in a bit of a funk this week. Am stressed out about a few things and finding it really hard to just unwind/relax. Hoping that some down time over the upcoming holiday weekend will be just the ticket to un-funk-ing myself.

But no matter the mood, it is ALWAYS a good idea to take a little break and link up with with What I'm Loving Wednesday.

I'm loving....plans for lunch on Saturday with girlfriends. I love any chance to see them and catch up -- especially when one that I never get to see happens to be passing through town.

I'm loving.... this recipe for Crock Pot Buffalo chicken from My Kitchen Apron. MVP and I gave it a try on Sunday and it could not have been easier or tastier. MVP, who considers himself a conneseur of all things buffalo chicken, said it might have been the best buffalo chicken sandwhich he has ever had. I cannot tell you how freaking tasty it was and I can see using the leftovers for all sorts of things -- nachos, salad, maybe mix it in with some mac & cheese. This is seriously going to become a staple in my rotation.

Speaking of delicious...I'm loving.... another recipe I tried a few weeks back that I am going to call Pub Chicken. It had first piqued my interest when I saw it as a pinterest find by Jenn over at Going The Distance. You can find the recipe at Taste and Tell and I promise you, you will not be dissapointed. MVP helped me fix this up and we seriously had no words for how delicious this was. The Mustard Cheddar sauce really sets the whole thing off. I served it with some roasted potatoes and steamed broccoli and drizzled a little of the sauce over the sides too....heaven. I'm almost drooling on my keyboard right now just thinking about it.

I'm loving....that my favorite night of the year is just a few days away....The Golden Globes! Seriously, I enjoy the red carpet arrivals and this award show like you would not believe. You mix TV Stars with Movie Stars and give them unlimited drinks...I mean, how can that NOT be entertaining?!?

I'm loving....that my new pajamas arrived in time to wear on Sunday. I buy myself a new pair every year to wear for the Golden Globes. So freaking corny, I know. But it's my own little tradition and I love it.

I'm loving....coming up with my menu for Sunday night's viewing party. I always say "party" like I'm hosting people at my house. I'm not. It's only ever me and maybe L or someone else watching with me. But for every awards show viewing party, I like to have a spread of different tasty appetizers for dinner. Again, my own little tradition and I love it.

I'm loving....that MVP doesn't make fun of this tradition. In fact, back in the fall when I had a late afternoon meeting I had to go to the day of the Emmy's, he recorded the show for me so I could watch later at his place, and even had a spread of appetizers waiting for me when I got there. That's when I knew that he really *got* me ;)

I'm loving....that I have off on Monday so I can stay up as late as I want watching all the post-show interviews, and maybe even enjoy an extra glass or two of champagne.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday

I am definitely not loving this back to the grind thing, but thankful to at least have a shortened work week.

What I'm Loving Wednesday

I'm loving....that my Nordstrom happened to get these Tom's back in stock when I there two weeks ago. I had my eye on them awhile back and they sold out lightning fast. I wish I could get away with wearing them to work...maybe on "casual" Friday?

I'm loving....my new Kate Spade tote. I fell in serious lust with it when I saw pics of it months and months ago...and now that it was finally available for sale...well, I couldn't help myself. I love it because it makes me think if this story and makes me smile.

I'm loving....playing Words With Friends on the iPad...something about that bigger screen makes the game even more addictive for me. (I'm TerpGirl99 if you want to play!)

I'm loving....my other latest game obsession, Word Shaker. Just like playing boggle...I played for nearly two hours when I woke up Saturday morning without even realizing how much time had passed.

I'm loving....that tonight after work I am doing laundry. I have not washed clothes in well over two weeks and it is frustrating me to no end when I want to wear something and go to look for it, only to remember it is in the laundry basket. Cannot wait to tackle that chore tonight!

I'm loving....new episodes of TV. Days like today when it is bitter cold outside, I look forward to going home and having a huge bowl of soup for dinner and watching tv. Ah, simple pleasures.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Holiday Hangover & Christmas Recap part one

I'm sure I'm not the only one feeling that way today. It was so stinking hard to get up this morning and come into work knowing it was officially "back to the grind"...no more travelling around, no more get-togethers, no more lazy days. So I'm thinking the best way for me to delay the inevitable is to finish catching up on my Christmas recaps! Oh, just indulge me...seriously, I am struggling to get back in to the swing of things.

The Monday after Christmas Day of Adventure, MVP and I had our own Christmas, so we could exchange gifts just the two of us before heading off on our travels. I had been fretting for a while about what to get MVP. I got a bunch of "little things" like some books, and a DVD, and some Wawa sweatpants (which are awesome, BTW), and finally settled on a nice watch as his "big gift"; he had been looking around at some and thinking about getting one. BUT, I was careful to keep the packaging slip and everything in case it needed to go back. Turns out I chose well and he loved the watch - yay!

I had opened all my little gifts and MVP slid over to me my "big gift"...I nervously tore off the wrapping then sat there in total silence as I stared at the box. I was speechless. I looked up at MVP who was smiling and anxious to get my reaction. Like a moron I asked "Is this real?" "Yes, of course it's real!" he said. "I know how much you would like to have one but knew you would never go and get one for yourself. But I wanted you to have one."

MVP had gifted me this lovely.

He said he knew I would be able to make a lot of use for it, and that I could always keep up with "that Pinterest thing" and writing and reading the blogs I liked. It wasn't that it was such a generous gift that made it so wonderful. It was that he had really put thought into it and he just looked so happy with himself (in a good way!) when he saw my reaction.

And YES, I can attest that I am in fact making very good use of the iPad. That I have named Frankie. Long story.