Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Another Year

Hello there, Birthday Cheesecake. You are looking mighty fine.

We had a little birthday celebration for me with Cory's parents this weekend. Luna's pizza (delicious!) and some Tasty Pastry cheesecake. It did not disappoint.

Today is my real birthday, and as most birthdays do, it seems a lot like any other day to everyone around me. But I know it's special.

Another year gone! 23 years now, for those who are counting.

I feel like not a whole lot has changed, but when you look closely, a whole lot of things are different. Sneaky, subtle, change.

I made it through my first year of real, health-insuranced, full-time, contributing-member-of -society work. I'm starting to miss the grind of research papers and weekly assigned readings. Maybe I should go back??

We're one year closer to Cory completing his undergraduate work, and the talk of a Masters degree for him creeps into our conversations every now and then. It is both terrifying and exciting to me.

My faithful red Chrysler died this year. May you rest in peace. I don't know what to do with it, so it sits in the parking lot month after month, annoying the neighbors. I should really do something about that.

We didn't move for once, and that has been so nice. I've moved every year since leaving my parents house 5 years ago.

Tonight Cory is going to take me somewhere to eat. One of my nearest and dearest friends, Lara, may come along for the ride. If so, we're in for a treat.

My mom once told Lara, "You know, you don't HAVE to laugh at ALL of her jokes, Lara." Lara replied, "I know, but they're all SO funny." Oh, she gets me. I love her.

If I'm feeling truly wild, I might buy a celebratory throw pillow. I know--you can't stop this crazy train!

In a few days the new dining chairs could arrive, and that could be a BIG deal.

I've never purchased 100% legitimate furniture before people. I'm really hoping those chairs come in. They are orange-y and tufted and don't need any TLC or DIY magic. In a word, they will be wonderful.

Happy birthday to me!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Whale-y Fun Party

Anchors. Stripes. Excessive puns on the word "whale". If loving these things is wrong, I don't want to be right. And all of these things were present at Kristen's baby shower this weekend. It was awesome.

Kristen and I became fast friends shortly after I moved to Tallahassee. When I was just a bonny lass fresh off the farm. That was about 5 years ago. Since then we've bunked our beds (so we could have more room to do activities), built a magical raft, taken a dog to get pictures with Santa, and made monkey faces in public places. We planned each others bridal showers, and attened  eachother's weddings. And now, she's going  to be a mom to a little tiny human in a month (give or take.). Life is crazy! Here's to friends who I'd throw a million parties for, if they so desired.

Luckily, Kristen has a lot of friends, so the shower was a cinch. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, when it comes to party planning, the more the merrier. We all got together one Saturday, talked it out, and that was that. A shower was born.

Freya took care of designing the invites, and all the other graphics for the party. Sister has mad graphic design skills. Maybe she'll post templates for you on her blog... 
Invites designed by Freya
I think I creeped Kristen out a little with my stalker skills. The other day we went to Jason's Deli for their most excellent salad bar. I may have taken note of Kristen's preferences...and made sure we had sunflower seeds, croutons, and pepperoncini peppers for the salad. I'm creepy because I care, m'kay? 

Kendal made fresh hummus that was divine. I need that recipe, stat.

Oh, do you like that ribbon streamer banner thing back there? If you'd like to make one, I recommend buying ribbon wholesale. Click here for my favorite dealer

Yes. I have a dealer. Like drugs.

 I can stop anytime I want.

Joanna and I got together the night before and tied all the ribbon on a string. I'm so glad I have friends that don't blink an eye when I make Friday night plans with them to tie ribbon to string.  People who not only don't laugh in your face and tell you you're crazy, but actually suggest fancy knots to make the ribbons hang perfectly. 

Alyse made the croissants and chicken salad. I could have eaten five of those delicious sandwiches. Sooo good.  And Melissa hit it out of the park with her cupcakes. I mean, seriously. Can you even believe these?

I had some whale cut outs imported from Texas. My sister Kourtney got busy with her silhouette, and made us a ton of these cuties! (She sells and ships this stuff out, so contact her if you're interested!) We put them all over the food tables, and now Kristen is going to use them in her nursery. Win-Win-Win.

And,  we revived the icecream bar! Blue Bell's frozen yogurt with some of the things Kristen's been craving for toppings. Nutella and marshmallow fluff definitely made an appearance.
Why yes, those are pickles in our toppings bar. She didn't actually crave those...we just thought it was hilarious. I know, we're just too much.

We wanted a few low key activites to keep the party going. Here's the advice card and "Guess how many whale crackers are in this jar" (That's the official name...) table:

Then everyone could saunter over and make a guess on the diameter of Kristen's baby bump. Once their cut their guess, they tied their name on, and the closest guess got a sweet prize.
Our last little game station was the classic, "Gauge their Age" game. Look at those cute little babies! What a gene pool.

Best shower tip ever: Have people write their name and address on envelopes for thank you cards. Life saver for thank you note writing!

Lance's Mom knit that sweet blankie! Lady Anderson's got talent.

Finding all the baby bumps in this room is like playing Where's Waldo. Hint: There's eight.

Kristen and her Mama made this adorable quilt together. Awww.

Because it was just too hard to resist, the baby bumps lined up for a photo shoot (in order of due date). And, get this, two of the preggo ladies left, before we snapped this picture! Bump city!
Its official: We're having the water tested.
Shower elves with the Mama-to-be. (Shower elves MIA: Joanna, Liz, & Lori)
Anyway, we can't wait to meet Baby A! Come any day now! I'm quite at my leisure. ;)

Sunday, August 12, 2012


Yesterday morning was FSU's summer graduation ceremony. I spent the morning the same way I have every 14 weeks for the past 4 years. Assigning seats to late arrivals, breaking bad news ("I'm sorry...your GPA does not qualify you for a degree of distinction"), breaking good news ("Your son that you haven't heard from in two days, and you're about to have declared missing? He just arrived....in flip flops and reeking of alcohol." (Good job with him, you two.)) and trying very hard not to throw-up as I assisted hung over graduates in the dark, dirty bathroom stalls typically reserved for basketball referees ("Umm... Can I get you some water? Are you passed out in a pool of your own vomit?"). 

And that's my job. Well, a part of it. Graduation ceremonies stress me out a little bit, and (aside from eating an entire carton of chocolate chip cookie dough) I've found that a craft project is really the best way to decompress afterwards. So, when I got home yesterday afternoon I decided to do something with the embroidery hoops I bought a while ago because Freya's were so cute. 

I didn't know what I wanted to do, so I experimented for a while. And naturally, things got a little messy. Cory was very impressed with my little craft nest/living room.  I was surrounded by sheets of felt, buttons, balls of yarn, every scrap of material I own, ribbons, and a warm glue gun.  Ah, my craft nest.

Anyway, after way too many combinations of felt, fabric, and horrible attempts at embroidery I found a combination I liked enough to commit to. 

At this point Cory says, "So...my friend wants to come over and hang out tonight." And I look at my craft nest which has engulfed the living room. And I look at the dishes which have engulfed the kitchen. And I think about the laundry, which has engulfed our bedroom. And I think, we should probably get the house ready for company then. 

And instead we watched another episode of the The Glades on Netflix. 

Time slipped by, and about half an hour before his friend was due to arrive,  I had resigned myself to the fact that this person was going to witness my every failing as a housekeeper, and I felt okay about it. (It's a home, not a museum, right?).

Without saying anything, Cory gets up, and starts unloading the dishes. Quickly. So, I start cleaning up the craft nest. Quickly. And then he washes the pots and pans while I dry and put them away. Very quickly. And he runs the trash out to the dumpsters, while I vacuum the  carpets and make the bed (which distracts from the pile of clean laundry that needs to be folded...so, its kind of a solution.)

And then it was clean. It only took 20 minutes to create the illusion that our apartment always looks like this, and we don't even know any other way to live, and no, I don't have a hoarder-esque pile of scrap fabric hidden away ready to be turned into a beautiful, warm, crafting nest at a moment's notice.

And in the midst of our cleaning spree, I looked at this guy scrubbing the dishes because he knows I really don't like other people to see how many dishes I'm okay with us not washing, and I thought, "Man, I like being married to you."

My dear sweet enabler. I'm looking forward to many frantic cleaning sprees to come.