Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Don't you hate it when...

Your seedless watermelon has seeds...

Your garbage starts to smell the day after pick up day...

Something that should take five minutes ends up taking two hours...

A TV show goes over the scheduled time by two minutes and your DVR didn't get the last two minutes...

Your brand new clothes shrink the first time through the wash...

You're running late and everybody is out for a Sunday drive...

Your kid decides she wants to be sweet and cuddly right when you have to get something else done...

You hold open a door for someone and they don't even acknowledge it with a smile, much less a "Thank You"...

You get a song stuck in your head but you don't know all the words...

People don't listen to what you say the first time and then ask you to repeat yourself repeatedly...

Other people don't do their job correctly thus making life difficult for you...

iTunes doesn't have the original song by the original artist...

Reality shows are obviously scripted...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I'm a Crafting Fool

And I have no idea what I'm doing.

I've never been much of a crafty person. In school, art was not my favorite subject; I had trouble even drawing stick figures. In junior high home-ec, we had to do a semester of sewing and a semester of cooking. While I got an A in cooking, I got a D in sewing. In high school, I took creative writing, and I wasn't too bad at that. In college, I majored in engineering and they didn't give a rat's ass about creative outlets.

So, other than cooking, I've never had a creative outlet. And as much as I love to cook, I love to eat what I cook. And I like butter. So, having just joined Weight Watchers, cooking the foods that I actually like to cook is out.

After Madeline was born, I tried to put together some scrapbook pages with ultrasound pictures and hospital bracelets. I bought a scrapbook kit from Michael's and thought I did a pretty good job. Until I actually went into a real scrapbooking store and realized how horrible they were. So I gave it up.

I started with scrapbooking again last summer after my sister-in-law got my mother hooked on it. My mom helped me to get some decent layouts, even if they are a little simple. But, I just never kept up with it.

Since having Madeline and moving to Omaha, I've met a great group of women. However, most of them seem to have at least one crafting hobby. I've gone to several craft nights (and even hosted a craft brunch myself) in the past few months. And I've come to really like it (well, most of it).

I don't think I will ever enjoy sewing/embroidery. I did a project for Mother's Day. I embroidered a saying about mothers and children on a piece of muslin cloth. I've never felt so much relief in my life as when I finished that project. I was miserable the whole time doing it and vowed I would never do it again.

But, I have really enjoyed the paper crafts and the beading. I have made a couple of holiday-themed letter blocks, one for Thanksgiving and one for Christmas. This was a really easy project and something that fits perfectly on my mantelpiece. I have also covered cut-out letters for Madeline's room.

And now I've taken up beading. I made my first bracelet last week. After doing this with the help (and tools) of my friend Candace, I took myself to Hobby Lobby and bought a whole bunch of tools and beads to make a necklace and matching earrings.

And I didn't stop there. I then went to a bead store and bought the stuff to make my own watch, which I love. I've needed a new watch for awhile now, but I haven't found anything that I'm willing to spend money on. Everything is either not appealing, or I like it and it's really expensive. Even after I had to pay for a new battery in the watch face that I just bought, I still didn't spend as much as I would have on a new Fossil.

And all of this is well and good. I do need some sort of hobby, and I will appreciate it as Madeline gets older and more independent. But, I now have a "list."
  1. I need to either paint or use paper to cover wooden letters for Madeline's bathroom.

  2. I need to come up with a word and then make letter blocks similar to the holiday ones for my kitchen.

  3. I've got scrapbooking to finish. I have all the elements for several pages, I just need some help in trying to get them together.

  4. Make a necklace.

  5. Learn how to make earrings.

  6. Finish the bracelet I started last week.

And all of this on top of the digital scrapbooking that I've always done for grandparents as Christmas gifts. I believe my crafting is quickly spiralling out of control!!!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Life is not fair...

I tell ya, kids have it so easy these days. And I'm not talking about all the hand held video games and portable DVD players. I'll admit, that DVD player makes life easier for me as well as Madeline. I think that's a great invention.

No, I'm talking about college kids. The amount of stuff available to them boggles my mind.

When I went off to college (let's just say more than 10 years ago, but less than 20), my options were limited.

My first year, I lived in a dorm. I was one of the lucky ones in my dorm. I had what was called a Plex Room. We had three bedrooms, a small living room, and a private bathroom. What sold me on the room was the private bathroom. In the dorm (which was the only one on campus at that time), the communal bathrooms had open locker-room style showers. Absolutely no privacy. For a girl who rarely even wears tanks tops, the thought of being nekkid with everyone else every morning was enough to bring a halt to my college career.

We had two girls in each bedroom. The six of us got along pretty well, in fact, three of them are now Facebook friends (yes, I graduated college before Facebook). We were the only six girls on the first three floors of the dorm (there are only four floors total). So, we pretty much had to stick together.

Preparing for that first year of college was difficult for me. Not emotionally or mentally. I was ready to leave the nest and be on my own. I went to a school 500 miles away where not a single person I went to high school with was going. No, for me, it was difficult to find the basics to live comfortably away from home for the first time.

Like most dorms, our beds were Twin Extra Long. Which meant that your normal twin sheets, didn't fit on the bed. I had to order my sheets from the JC Penney catalog and there were no trendy colors available. I think I had beige and pastel blue.

There were no compact, modular storage systems. I had to use milk crates stacked on their sides because I couldn't fit any additional shelving in my room. There were no little handy shower caddies (although I didn't really need one).

There were no replica posters of the Beatles or Jimi Hendrix available at Target. In fact, there was no "dorm line" available at Target or Bed Bath and Beyond or Wal-Mart. We had to make do with normal products available for any home.

And we actually had to get creative to decorate our space. We didn't buy a hot pink plastic beaded curtain at Wal-Mart. No, we actually went to a bead store and found a hand-made curtain. We didn't have mass-produced, pre-framed art from Target. We found pictures from magazines, catalogs, old calendars that actually showed our individual personalities and interests. We somehow ended up with a gift of a single, discarded hub cap, which we then painted to look like a globe. We all had artwork from home that represented a place we had visited or a special person in our life.

Now, granted I haven't visited a dorm room since I lived in one, but judging from the increased availability of mass-produced, trendy items with brand names like College '09 or Dorm '09, kids these days do not have to work to piece together a comfortable and functional living space. And that makes me long for the days of Kurt Cobain.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wild and Crazy Wednesday

Yes, I have gotten a little crazy this morning. And you'll never guess what I did.

I am wearing navy blue pants!!!!!

I know you're probably thinking, she's lost her mind. How is that crazy?

Well, let me tell you, I have three main types of pants: khaki, black/gray, and jeans. Yes, I really am that boring.

I do love a plaid pant, and I have several pair of plaid shorts. But for some reason, over the last few years I have only bought practical, wear-with-anything pants. Oh and I do have a pair of paisley pants that look like my friend Trina's dining room chairs. But they're Ralph Lauren (that I only paid $20 for!!!) so by default they must be cool or hip or whatever it is the kids say nowadays.

Well, I hit the awesome clearance sale at a local department store this weekend and found the perfect pair of pants. They are a soft twill with just a hint of stretch. They have the perfect rise; I don't look like I'm 60 years old and my bum is completely covered. They have perfectly straight legs, to balance out my hips. And they are navy blue.

Navy blue is not normally a color I wear. It just reminds me too much of little old ladies (I don't know why, it just does). But lately, I've been thinking of the virtues of navy blue.
  1. It's a softer color than black. When you're as pasty white as I am, black can be a little harsh.
  2. It really is a neutral (I really should listen to Stacey and Clinton a little more often). I am surprised how many shirts I already own that go with navy rather nicely.
  3. It puts a little bit of color into some of my more monochromatic outfits. I tend to wear a lot of black and gray together when dressing for business. Now I can wear navy blue and gray.
My typical summer uniform is khaki capris and a polo shirt. But today, I have stepped outside of my comfortable little box and I am wearing navy blue pants and a polo shirt! I am really quite proud of myself.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Say Yes to the Dress

I am completely addicted to this show. I love seeing the dresses and the brides when they have finally found the perfect dress. Yes, I have a sappy side. But, I think I have wedding envy.

I had a nice wedding. It was a small ceremony in a church with the reception in a hotel. There were about 50 people there. The ceremony was only about 15 minutes (that was awesome!!!) and since we had no booze at the reception, there were no crazy drunks (and believe me, they would have come out).

But, I didn't really get to make a lot of choices about my wedding. We were so young; Bob had only graduated the week before the wedding, and I still had three semesters left. Two college students really don't have the money to fly everyone to Turks and Caicos for a wedding on the beach at sunset. And neither my parents nor Bob's parents have a ton of disposable income. No $10,000 dress for me (not that I want one).

We got married in Butte, Montana. That's where we went to school. Yes, we are college sweethearts. Awww. But, it's a small town and not a lot of options. It was about half-way between my family and Bob's family, so it seemed like that was fair. But as far as venues, not so many. The reception was at the Comfort Inn. Not the fanciest place, but it was cheap, and that's where all the out of town guests were staying, so it worked.

The flowers were minimal. We only had one attendant each, so I only had to buy two bouquets. We had one arrangement on the altar, and a few sprays of greenery on the pews. Simple corsages for the moms, boutineers for the men. At the reception we had lillies floating in bowls.

The food was pretty much all homemade. We ordered deli trays from the Safeway, my mom, grandma, and aunt made a few salads. The in-laws made some fruit salads and they brought tons of home-baked cookies (some of the best I've ever had). And of course cake.

Don't ask about the pictures.

All in all, it was a very nice wedding. It was just a crazy time to get married. As I said before, Bob graduated the week before the wedding. Three days afterwards, we moved to California. I think we were a little insane.

So now, when I see these shows about weddings, I get a little envious. I know that they don't show you behind the scenes on TV, but I just imagine that these brides get pampered a little bit more than I did. They probably weren't recovering from finals week and getting ready to move 1,500 miles to a city they've never even visited.

But, I have a plan. Next year will be 10 years and Madeline will be 3. We're going to DisneyWorld!!! Hopefully I can talk my hubby into "renewing our vows." I really just want a pretty dress...

Thursday, July 16, 2009


I need to learn to relax!!!! And I'm not talking about unwinding and letting go of the stresses of daily life. I'm talking about my inherent desire to have things match, line up, or generally look nice. Today at work, I edited an entire PowerPoint presentation that was a group effort because two people didn't line up their text properly. I mean really, this presentation is for a large audience, at least make it look like we know what we're doing.

This desire to have things just so also translates to Madeline. Even though she's only two, I still want her shoes to go with her outfit. No light-up Dora shoes in this house! Well, my precious offspring has decided that she only wants to wear barrettes in her hair. No ponytails, no headbands, and definitely no leaving it down. She MUST have barrettes. Which is fine.

EXCEPT, they rarely make it home from daycare. At some point during her busy day, she somehow (or maybe one of her friends) finds the time to rip the barrettes out of her hair and leave them on the playground, or who knows where. So...I'm getting kind of fed up with going to the store and paying $3 for 12 pairs that last two weeks. Now, I know this doesn't seem like a lot of money, but it is when you are only giving in to the whim of a two-year old.

Well, today I got a BRILLIANT idea! I went to the dollar store to buy some barrettes. I figured that they were 1/3 of the cost of what I have been buying, so that wouldn't be as bad. And to my delight, the packages at the dollar store have 30 pair!!! I was in awe of my own brilliance.

Until...I got home and opened the package. There is a reason they were only a dollar. Unlike the $3 packages that I normally buy, these were not perfectly matched in pairs. Not good for my peace of mind. So, did I spend the absolutely gorgeous summer night outside enjoying some gardening or a leisurely walk around the lake? Nope, I sat upstairs and matched barrettes.I did end up with about 90 pairs out of what should have been 120. And I do have a pile of mismatched barrettes for that day when I finally throw caution to the wind...