Tuesday, May 15, 2012

10 Amazing Things I've Discovered As An Adult

  1. Bleu cheese
  2. Mushrooms
  3. Mushrooms with bleu cheese
  4. Nude colored bras
  5. The necessity of thongs for reasons other than the bedroom
  6. What I want to be when I grow up (what I am now!)
  7. Silence is a powerful tool
  8. How to spend time by myself and, further, that I need it
  9. That I was damn lucky to be born into the family and country I was
  10. It is okay, and sometimes better, to say no

Monday, April 23, 2012

Vacations, dates, and school

Well, the house swapping attempt failed.  None of the Chicago houses/apartments/whatever that we were interested in were available when we wanted to vacation.  I have, however, gotten several inquiries a month about people wanting to come to our house (France, Canada, Seattle, Spain...), none of which I could accommodate.  Guess that's how it goes.

I went on two dates with my husband this weekend.  He surprised me with a Groupon to a steak house, Embers, on Friday night which was good but not excellent (I prefer Jags).  Then, on Saturday we double dated with a co-worker of mine and his wife and saw the Hunger Games.  I gave the movie a B+ and the company an A.  Had that awkward (for me at least) moment at the end of the night where I didn't know if I should shake hands, hug, or just say bye and walk away.  I chose the last option and assume that was socially acceptable.

Nicole's kindergarten packet came in the mail.  I read her the dress code and she frowned (no temporary tattoos!  Only white/navy/black tights!  no nail polish!) but her excitement is stronger than her disappointment.  She goes for testing on May 7 (9th?) at a time yet to be determined.  I wish I'd get a report about her results on said placement test but I don't think I will....

My desk is getting clearer.  This is a good thing (makes me feel organized and on top of things) and a bad thing (gives me anxiety that I'll run out of things to do).  On to keeping busy...

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Looking to Swap

I'm loading information about our house on homeexchange.com. We're paying a discounted rate of ~$12/mo for 3 months. Goal is for the homeowners of this house http://www.homeexchange.com/show.php?id=177365 to want to come to Cincinnati in June.

Now, our willingness to house-swap is getting some raised eyebrows from Jim's co-workers. One guy says "I'm cheap, but I'm not trading houses to go on vacation cheap." We don't see it that way at all (and I suspect everyone else registered on the site sees it our way too).

For the record:
  • I am not worried at all about theft
  • I am a little freaked out about someone else having sex in my bed but I'm reminding myself that if I was at a hotel THOUSANDS of people would have had sex in the bed I'd be sleeping in each night.
  • I hope that the kid-themed bedrooms Chris and Nic have aren't too big of a turn-off.
  • If we can't find a swap partner in Chi-town for this summer, our intention is to renew for a 1-year term next time, potentially determining the location of the vacation itself by the availability of a property
  • I am not sure how to feel that we're just the fourth property in Cincinnati to be listed. Is this good (no competition) or bad (no one wants to come here)?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Yeah, still around

I never realized how NOT busy i was at my old job until i started my new job. Strangely, i have the same amount of stress but a hell of a lot less time at the new gig. At my old job i actively maintained my own blog and kept up with lots of others on a daily basis. My blog was so emotionally important to me that i asked for a paper version of it for Christmas just in case something happened to the electronic record. Now, if you look at the dates and infrequency of my posts you'd think i'd died.

Well, i'm here. Behind on sending baby congrats cards, birthday gifts for Nicole/Chris's cousins, etc. but i did get Valentines cards + desserts done on time. :)

  • still loving my job. A lot of my life is my job right now. I'm on a lot of committees which keeps me in meetings on a daily basis. I'm on the building committee for our new space, head of the branding committee, just joined the Athena Award committee & 2 new committees through GCMCP, a minority attorney association that i technically can't even be a part of but who wants to benefit from my skill-set. This is on top of participating in every practice group meeting, attending networking meetings & fancy after-hours dinners for the firm. Whew. I still like to be involved so this laundry list looks like a lot but fits me just fine. Not sure i can add much more and still keep up though.... I got a raise and a bonus at the end of 2011 and get regular accolades from my boss and the Partners. This was a great career and general move for me.
  • being so busy means that my book writing has taken a WAY back seat. I had friends edit it a year ago then i revised and had 2 people i trusted re-read it and edit again. I'm on my fifth round of editing. I'm honest enough to say that it's good enough but not great. I have no time to find an agent (that process was taking up hours a night in research, writing inquiries, etc.) so i think i'll head down the self-publishing route. i do think, regularly, that i should take out all sex scenes. i get embarrassed just thinking about my mother or grandmother reading them. I need to finish this editing process and just get it out there but my free time is so valuable that the idea of sitting down to do it is a drag.
  • XU teaching is going well. Good class, good students. I got asked to teach the selling class again in the fall. I thought before answering the request from the department chair 'do i really have enough time and energy to keep doing this?' but ultimately i enjoy it and am professionally rewarded by the effort so i said yes. besides, its way-cool to say i'm an adjunct professor. :)
  • though i've not said anything to him about it, i feel that my relationship with my husband took a turn in the last several months. if i reflect i think it was at the same time that he got snipped (sorry dear if you didn't want that public). I don't know - maybe it's the fact that he took medical action to solidify our family and that sealed the deal that we're 'whole'. ?? I know part of it is the extra time we spend together carpooling to work where we get an extra hour of 'us' time a day. Maybe it's a blend of all this + raising the kids and feeling professionally successful. I think it's the sum of it that means i have reached a point that I personally fulfilled in about every way. anyway, i've felt a deeper connection with him both emotionally and physically that i find very very very rewarding.
  • I think BECAUSE i've reached a point that i feel very 'whole' as a person i've actually come up with what i'd tattoo on me. My whole life i thought tattoos were great but nothing ever stuck out as something i'd want on me permanently. now i have a concept but not yet an image in mind. Jim says go ahead if i feel strongly about it.
  • I can't tell you how much i'm looking forward to the end of March when i'm going to Wheeling, VA with the girls. I literally get emotional when i think about how much i love them and miss them. like right now as my eyes are all welled just writing about them. *deep breaths*
  • TV shows that DVR/DVDs have allowed me to come to love: Big Bang Theory, Revenge, Parenthood, Design Star, Shark Tank & So You Think You Can Dance. People said it but man it's true - DVR changed my life.
The kids
  • They say the frickin' cutest things. I keep meeting to make a box to write them all down in and like the theme of this post, never make the time.
  • Nicole is in ballet again and loving it. She's so smart. I know all parents say that about their kids but man, is she. Her vocabulary and thought process are a marvel. I take a lot of pride that i am the one that taught her to read. we picked her kindergarten and are REALLY excited about St. James.
  • Chris is an iPad fiend. his favorite game is park math which is actually above his paygrade but who am i to downplay enthusiasm for learning? He also likes doing flashcards because Nicole does them and he's rewarded with gum. We sound out words letter-by-letter (he knows the phonetics for each) and i coach him to put it all together. My goal is to have him reading by 3 1/2. He's in tumbling classes which are ridiculously expensive but they get justified by 'that's why we work' like all expensive things.
  • Softball starts soon & he's hiring a hitting coach. I'm interested to see the result
  • His work is good - busy but manageable. He too got a nice raise at the end of 2011 and i'm quite proud of him.
  • He and i are getting ready to be busy again with a second rental property we're in the process of buying. Good investment for a reasonable amount of work. That house, provided this all goes through (short sale) will start rehab in March/April most likely.

Looking forward to November's elections - my office is VERY political which leads to both good conversations and razzing. I'm certain that my friends and i will continue the debate as well. I have some hope of converting Lisa to vote Republican (too bad there isn't a Libertarian with a realistic chance...) but she'll probably vote for Obama again just to spite me. ha! *wink*

Thursday, September 08, 2011

September Post about random things

1. I feel disappointed that I was surprised when I un-lidded my soup and discovered it's homemade. Am I really that processed!?

2. My youngest brother is getting married Saturday. Doesn't feel real. I know he's an adult and he's been with Jenna for years, but it's still a little surreal. I think part of that weird feeling is that Greg's marriage is kind of the fin
al nail in the coffin that my siblings and i are all grown-ups.

3. I went to Jenna's bachelorette party two weekends ago. I
hadn't been clubbing in over half a decade so I had no idea what to wear. Went with the classic little black dress. Can't fail with a classic. For those of you who are also out of the clubbing scene, let me report this: 1) Cincinnati clubs aren't in Over the Rhine anymore. They're all downtown with lots of well-lit parking and cops. SO much safer than when we went out. 2) heels arent' required anymore. I looked H-O-T (i'm exaggerating) in my 4" black sandals but no one cared and my feet felt like hell the next morning. Girls today wear flats and dance all night. Not as cute as we were but that's a move in the right direction in my opinion.

4. Nicole's manners are frequently SO good she can be slightly annoying. Literally every sentence is "excuse me, mommy", "can i please", "thank you so much", or "i just shared my ___ with Chris". But she's so proud of being polite and it's a characteristic so sorely lacking in today's society how can i do anything but further encourage her?

5. Jim and I filled out these surveys for Redbook magazine. It was about how many "points" you should get or give for certain activities. For example, if he gives me a backrub with no intention of sex how many points does he deserve (6). If i cook him a full meal 50's style how many points do i get? (10) I haven't read all his answers yet but i'll say that what i've read so far was ENLIGHTENING (really).

6. The last two days were co-workers birthdays, both women i really like, and i brought in goodies. I'm thinking though that my birthday might be an overkill for people who return this favor... I'll be super grateful and touched, but i don't want to have a banquet in my honor or anything. I'd feel awkward since some folks get little/nothing on their day.

7. Miss my blogging?

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Hello, world!

It's been months since i've posted. I never thought that would happen. The direct correlation - my new job. I'm busy at work all day - i'm not saying 'super-busy' because one of the great things about my new job is my ability to balance my workload and therefore stress-levels.

So, let me catch you/me up on a few things going on in life:
1) new job is great - love my boss, love the possibilities that I can directly affect that i think will lead to possibilities of great (as in positive) change for the culture and the future. I really feel like i'm a part of something bigger. Perhaps it's the respect i've already earned. perhaps it's the positive feedback from different people at different levels of the organization. maybe i just really found the right place at the right time of my life. Whatever it is, i love it.

2) one of my resolutions has been to enjoy the little things in life. More than ever that's difficult to do. my natural inclination is to plan, check things off the plan, and work to do this as efficiently and quickly as possible. Therefore, i have to make a concerted effort to stop and enjoy the moment when Jim comes behind me for a hug while i'm in the middle of cooking. Or to not tell Chris "go look at that, we haven't seen that yet" when he wanders back to the goats for a third time. I think taking these little moments will make life richer for me but so far i'm still in the phase where i'm consciously doing them. When it's totally natural i think it'll be worth it. Practice makes perfect no matter what the activity, right?

3) I cried when i left my old job and the old people. I knew it wouldn't be the same and it's not. relationships fade, especially when you used to see someone every day and now you don't. Fortunately some really solid ones haven't changed too badly (Tom P, Jason R) and have been replaced by a new friendship (Bryan T) with a co-worker that i really like/respect.

4) kids are growing so big. I'm at a point where i eagerly count the words in the sentences chris's saying (record = 7) because his language is developing so rapidly and he's finally able to express it all. Nicole's beginning to read some flashcards (homemade ones and store bought) but i know we need to do them more/more consistently. This knowledge directly contradicts item #2 above.

5) My little brother is getting married in just over a month. it's certain to be the wedding of the year. Jenna gave us Coach purses as our bridesmaids gifts! My first one ever!

6) We bought a rental house and have been busy fixing it, setting up the business, etc. I'm in charge of all administrative functions. I think we have one more weekend before the first two tenants move in - exciting stuff! We're already looking at the second property in Lima, OH - this one for one of our partners' sisters.

7) Looking forward to our staycation activities over the next month. On the agenda: Coney Island (none of us have ever been!), Indianapolis for the children's museum and indoor water park, Louisville for some horse activities. Perhaps the Erdahls would be interested in joining us?

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Yeah, i'm alive

I never realized how much i blogged at work until i got a job that consistently keeps me busy and guilty about even reading blogs 8-5.

  • In a three week period we got rid of Chris's crib (he prefers to sleep on the floor, not in the toddler bed though. Jim and I both say 'who cares, as long as he stays in his room all night'), the highchair and whole milk. i officially no longer have a baby.
  • both kids are moving up in school to the 2 and 4 year old rooms.
  • My book has been sent to ~20 agents and i've gotten 7 official dings. i'm relatively unphased though because i'm holding self-publishing in my back pocket
  • the rain has been INSANE but of course as soon as i plant my veggie garden it frickin' stops.
  • new job is great. boss is great. stress levels are great. working downtown is awesome. all-around good decision to move and i have no regrets.
  • we are now in business with jim's cousins - bought a rental property in Lima, OH which we spent 2.5 full days rehabbing. made some good progress but still a long way to go. intention is to rent it to college guys. we have some interested parties already.
  • i'm making 2 cakes a month for work and jim says it's getting out of control time and expense-wise. i agree but find it hard to say no. so far some new things i've tried are mostly flavors - mint icing cupcakes accessorized with andes mints (tasted like thin mint cookies), a peanut-butter icing'ed gecko that tasted JUST LIKE a cake version of a reece cup, sarah's melting icing technique, strawberry cake. So far all successes and i've built quite a reputation.... :)
  • lots of parties and weddings in June. we're super-busy. can anyone babysit june 11th?