Monday, October 28, 2013

Vlog Tag

I feel like I've been living in extremes in recent months. High highs and low lows, but it's been very much the former lately. One of my best friends gave birth to a sweet baby girl last week, another best friend and her husband are moving to Nashville (which is so much closer than San Diego), I received my nephew's first school/daycare photo, and I am reveling in the challenge of my new-ish job.

Life is starting to feel normal again, and I'm settling back into a work-life groove. This blog got the short end of the stick this summer. While it was the best choice to make at the time, I missed it. But I'm back... and with perfect timing! Whitney tagged me for a vlog, so... here I am!

I have a hunch that the people I want to tag will go running in the opposite direction, so I'll pose this to anyone who wants to jump in. :) Answer some of these questions, make up your own, put out a call for questions on social media, or do a song and dance. Ha! I want to hear what all you bloggers sound like.

Thanks to the following for questions:
Mom <-- Cool mom alert!

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Long Distance Birthday Party

Not too long ago, Lauren was preparing for her move to Chicago – a move that meant her sister would no longer be down the street for her. Being that Kate will be bringing a beautiful baby boy into the world later this year, Lauren asked me (in an e-mail conversation):
“I have a feeling that once my nephew is born, I'll wish I was back in NC. 
How do you do it?!   
Especially with a nephew as adorable as yours!”

My best advice was to take advantage of all forms of technology. My family has become quite adept at this. I get a daily photo of my nephew. I FaceTime with my parents and brother. I Skype with my sister and BIL. Phone calls. E-mails. Text messages. Facebook. Instagram. We’re so “now”!

My phone rang on Saturday night, and I ended up attending an impromptu party in honor of my sister’s birthday. It was amazing.

A Long Distance Birthday Party 1
A Long Distance Birthday Party 2
A Long Distance Birthday Party 3
Long Distance Birthday Party 02
Long Distance Birthday Party 06

A Long Distance Birthday Party

 I do think that smart phones and social media can distract people from daily face-to-face communication, but when used appropriately, they are life-savers. Wouldn’t you agree? 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

On This Day 33 Years Ago

On This Day 33 Years Ago
On this day 33 years ago, a wonderful lady was born. Even my sister can’t believe she’s 33 today, but I think she’s headed into her best year yet. Being four years younger, I have looked up to her my whole life. Even now as adults. We are very different people, but I still find myself staring at her – dissecting how beautiful she is, her voice, her clothes, how successful she is in her career, her humor, and her joy as a wife and mother – admiring her.

I miss her so, and I can’t wait to squeeze her neck and kiss her face in exactly two months.

I love you, Summer! Happy birthday!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

What Happened in September, Stays in September

Housewarming gift from Emily: One thing that is leaving September with me!

The human body is a resilient thing. When you are attentive, you realize how strong it is and how communicative it can be. The problem is that I haven't been very in tune with mine for months. The whirlwind that life has been since June left me frazzled, but you know how it is. You think to yourself, That's life. Everyone's life is stressful in one way or another. I just need more sleep... or hours in the day.

Those thoughts floated through m head countless times over the summer. Had I been attentive, I would have recognized my own need to slow down/reflect/vent to my husband/do yoga/sleep a lot more/[insert all things "calm" here]. But my mind was clouded with excitement about the new doors opening for us in a new city. 

However, change is change, and change is stressful -- even positive change.

I knew I was progressively losing steam, and my body was losing its patience with me. Emotions manifest physically, especially after being neglected, so it was only a matter of time before my body gave me the good ol' "Listen up when I'm talkin' to you!" To make a long story short, a series of curious lumps on my head (with subsequent hair loss) landed me an appointment with a dermatologist who performed a biopsy which, thankfully, came back clean. 

The root cause of all the hoop-la? Stress.

My eyes rolled back into my head as I laughed at his expert opinion. Of course, I thought. Not only had I been neglecting my stress of the last four months, but a trusty Google search had me convinced that I had a brain tumor or Lupus. Life, you have a twisted sense of humor, sometimes!

I've made a promise to myself to be attentive and keep myself in check physically, mentally, and emotionally. More sleep. Less TV. More sunshine. Less internet. More yoga. Less processed food. More fun. I'm leaving the painful lumps and hair loss in September. 

The only downside is that you won't see anymore "sexy side ponytail biopsy prep" photos on my Instagram.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Window (and a Red Door)

Even though our last move was on short notice, we ended up in a really great house in a family-friendly neighborhood. (Increased safety! Hooray!) We have a fireplace, a garage, and more square footage than we know what to do with. The cozy space gets plenty of natural light – something beloved cabin lacked. Packing and moving can be a pain, but I always love unpacking. I enjoy the process of rearranging furniture and envisioning our changing decorations with each season and holiday. The proverbial “clean slate” always feels good, doesn’t it?

The first time we saw the house, one thing pulled at my heart immediately. The front door is red! I only ever see when pulling in and out of the garage, but boy, oh, boy! It makes me smile every time. For the sake of privacy, we wanted to cover the small window beside it, and I knew exactly what I wanted to do: Decorative window film to match the red door! S was not sold on the stained glass design, but… he decided to let me win that battle. It’s only temporary, after all. :)

After 75 minutes of very careful measuring, trimming, spraying, and squeegee-ing… ta-da! I’m kind of in love with it. (Thanks for appeasing my inner Old Lady, honey!)

Supplies from Home Depot:

I am by no means an experienced DIY-er, but I'm pretty proud of this little project! When we move out, all I have to do it peel it off and wipe down the window. Easy. I like that!

** This post is not sponsored by Home Depot, but I do highly recommend their window film.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

"We're LOADS of Fun!"

So here's the thing. September was a crappy month. It sucked a whole lot, and it wouldn't have been fun to write about -- or read about. (I know this to be true from Facebook and the resulting handful of people whom I have un-friended or hidden from my news feed!) I was trapped in the type of disappointment that makes one feel like it is permanent, and that can drive a person crazy. I was exhausted and angry and lonely with only splashes of overall good days.

To set the record straight, nothing happened to us at the cabin. The move was preemptive following the news that our neighbors' cabin was broken into for the second time in six weeks. The first time, the thieves broke in through a window, snatched the flat screen TV, and exited through the front door. This prompted the neighbors to install a security system, but it didn't do the job. The police suspect that the robbers were watching from the woods. When the coast was clear, they hit up the cabin for the replacement flat screen TV. Not only did our neighbor return to a broken door and missing TV, but Molly, his dog, was gone for 26 hours. They aren't sure if she was taken or if she ran away, but at least she came back home.

Things are expensive, but they are just things. You can't replace your family and pets. Mr. TBS and I couldn't bear the thought of losing Amelie or Boone in a situation like that. Also, there was no way I was staying in that place alone when Mr. TBS was out of town for work. Safety first! So we moved.

Reasons Why I Hate Thieves:

- For starters, they straight-up steal stuff.
- They threaten the safety and comfort of others.
- It cost us a pretty penny to break a lease and then take on a new one.
- I had to put off school until January.

Reasons Why My Husband and I Are Awesome:

+ We packed and moved by ourselves in 27 hours.+ We didn't kill each other.
+ We overcame a 13-inch height difference which really takes a toll when carrying furniture!
+ We did not require chiropractic services afterward.
+ We decided that we are going to start our own moving company. We don't know what the name will be, but our tag line will be "We're LOADS of Fun!" (The true humor lies in the lifeless tone with which my husband said those words.)

To all you kiddos out there: Don't steal. It doesn't make you cool; it makes you a jerk. Karma is real, and it will kick your ass.

To the thieves in the woods: Ha! We beat you to the punch! You're not going to get our TV or cats. Suckers.