Saturday, July 28, 2012

8 Things I've been thinking about this week

12 days since my last post.

Why yes, I did fall off the face of the Earth.

I landed amid a week long mess of moving apartments.
Remind me that I never want to move again.
Then remind me that I have to wait until after our school-is-over-move-to-a-new-state move.

8 Things I've been thinking about this week:

1. How it really really sucks when I try so dang hard to save money but then it ends up being more expensive in the end because something fell through. That happened to me twice in the past 5 days. Urgghh!!

2. How those last two odds and ends boxes of moving in are so annoying! Can't live with them, can't live without them. Perhaps into storage they go?

3. How I have mopped my kitchen floor 4 times in 7 days. One of which was hands and knees Cinderella style. Why are my feet are still getting black??

4. How 65 degrees feels like arctic after 7 days of 105 degrees.

5. How much I really, really, love our new apartment!!

6. How I have figured out the "Perfect Cookie Dough." It really is quite perfect and I really am quite proud of it.

7. I'm also proud that I ran 7.5 miles this morning. A new PR for me in distance. Wahoo! Can I go eat more of my perfect cookie dough now?

8. How I really need to write a more eloquent, detailed, and funny, entry (or two) about our moving adventures and other silly things going on in my life. For now, I need to catch up on sleep and think about something other than cleaning!!!!

p.s. my mom is in town and it's awesome. :-)

Monday, July 16, 2012

My Disaster of a Life.

Last week I had a most wonderful and desirable vacation trip sans kid and dog to the beautiful island of St. Lucia.

HA! my dreams.
And then there was a tornado and we had to take shelter and I had to carry my child out of the zip tent-like room, where he was getting soaking wet from rain, into the shelter room while he was still sleeping in his pack n' play. Then right before the storm hit, the mom of the daughter I was babysitting came home and said we needed to leave. Right then. During the storm.


In a weird way it might be kind of like my life lately.
I must admit, while I may seem perfectly happy and hunky dory on the outside, on my inside there is a seriously turbulent storm going on.
Today is not the day for details of that.
Just know that home to me does not seem like home much at all anymore. Except for the house.
I'm not talking about my current home-home with my hubby and our baby and his puppy.

Moving on.

Literally, moving.
This is what my life has been for about 2 weeks now:

We're moving.
Can you tell?
I hope so. Because if I was really this messy I'd probably die and never come back.

Why yes, there are two pairs of heels on the ground because I can never decide what to wear to church until the last possible second before walking out the door.
Anyone who knows me should know that I really hate living in a messy home.
For more than 2 days.
It drives me crazy. Psycho. Insane.

And when my kitchen looks like this?
Chicken nuggets,  pasta, cold cereal, and whatever else takes 2 minutes and 2 dishes or less to prepare.
Unless it includes chocolate.

If you've never played Puerto Rico, I highly recommend it.
Better yet, come over, but not today, and we'll teach you how to play.
But beware, you will probably lose to Mr. Man because he is Puerto Rico extraordinaire.
I really hope your house looks like this when you move.
Please just nod your head and agree that it does.
It will make me feel better.

Knick Knacks.
This shelf is a prime example of reason #428 Why I hate moving: the knick knacks that don't fit into any other category so they just sit there and clutter your counters and floors until you finally toss them all in a box to figure out later.

An old phone case, a lint roller, some glasses cleaner, sunscreen, and glow sticks? Seriously.
Can't I just throw it all away?

Instead of bravely attacking the filth, I am cowering in the corner of a clean table with my laptop, some ice cream, and a cup of water.

And just in case you didn't get the full effect of our lack of food, 
Exhibit A:

Anyone have a recipe with soy sauce, apple juice, sour cream, and olives? 

You may also be thinking "man, she really needs to clean her fridge!" 
Well, it's true. I really do need to clean my fridge.
And my oven.
And my dishwasher.
And my microwave.
And my sink.
And my counters.
And my bathrooms.
And my whole apartment actually.
Would you like to help?

Instead of buckling down and getting to work, I decided to have a nice, big, bowl of this:

I feel better now.

And see this?
My pre-lunch snack.
A from-scratch, fudgy, chocolately brownie, chock-full of chopped oreos, layered with peanut butter then a marshmallow fluff/peanut butter icing.
Rich, heavenly, chocolate in your mouth.

And finally, because of those sinful indulgences, I've been doing lots, and lots of this:

One day Mr. Man unexpectedly surprised me with some sweet running shorts.
But since I can't pay full price for anything, we shopped around later that day and found these "on sale" (mis-marked and price honored). 
Amen. Hallelujah. I love running shorts.
I logged 17.9 miles last week, 6.5 of which were while out of town, I'm proud of myself.
Now if I can just learn how to eat like a runner, we might start making progress...

Please enjoy your Monday, everyone. 
And be completely, utterly, unmistakably, proud of me for pictating and blogging my disaster of a life. 

I think I need a nap.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Apartment Dwelling

There are a few major perks to living in a big apartment complex.

1. Anything that breaks is only a phone call away from being fixed, and you don't have to foot the bill.
2. There is usually free access to a nice gym, pool, tennis courts, basketball courts, etc.
3. There's lots of people which is good for: people watching, feeling un-alone, and noise.

Okay, so maybe that last one is not a major perk.
But for me sometimes it is.

You see, I really enjoy people watching. I enjoy creating a life story or background on someone. Have you ever sat in a restaurant and narrated other diner's conversations? It's actually quite fun, and entertaining. Especially when one girl shows up with about 16 guys. That really happened once.

In honor of us moving to a new, big, apartment complex in less than 10 days (should I start packing yet?), here are some of the unique characters that dwell in our cul-de-sac.

Short, awkward, grey-haired Grandma. This lady really is quite nice. But also rather awkward. Mostly because her huge dog tried to eat my puppy and bite my baby one afternoon yet Grandma is still convinced he wouldn't hurt a flee. She wears bermuda shorts or capris with black ballet flats and round, wire, glasses. She drives a baby blue Hyundai and got upset when the Frat Boys were picking someone up and blocked her parking space for two minutes.

Frat Boys. I'm not entirely sure how many occupy one apartment. Sometimes I see one, sometimes I see three or four. They're not overly loud, except when they have a window open at lunch time and belch deeper than the ocean. It was only a little gross. They can often be seen hanging out by their car, drinking beer, and skateboarding around. At least one or two of them have girlfriends that enter, or exit, the apartment at random times, most recently seen exiting at 7 am dressed in his clothes. Hmm.

The Hispanic Couple. I haven't actually really talked to these folks, but we've shared a wave or a brief "hello" in passing. They seem like nice people. However, they have a dog that is quite literally taller than their waist. They are both pretty short. The dog is beautiful, but also very strong and somewhat scary. Both them and us are a little wary of their dog eating our puppy, so we keep our distance when out for a walk.

The Interesting Kid. We had only been living here for a short time when a random kid, maybe 12-14 years old, struck up a conversation with me:
"Do you have internet?"
"Can I come use it?"
"To check my email."
You're going to have to ask your parents.
"Well, my mom isn't home, and my dad grounded me..."
Then I'm sorry, you can't use it.

Or something like that. It was pretty awkward, very odd, and a little bit hilarious. He can be seen riding his scooter around the cul-de-sac or on his bike in the neighborhood. I haven't talked to him since.

The Couple Next Door. I really actually like these people! The live directly across from our door and have a small, wiry, dog that I can't remember the breed of. For the longest time we weren't sure if they were married, dating, roommates, or siblings. We don't know their names or their relationship status, but we now assume they're dating. She is really nice and very friendly. He likes shooting guns and works as a security officer somewhere. I think.

and our favorites:

The Car Salesman and Pharm Rep. To be honest, we have no idea what their actual occupations are, but based on their appearances, this is who they are to us. He is so friendly and very nice. He always strikes up a brief conversation in passing and he drives a beautiful suburban *drool*. She is always, always, always, dressed to the nine's, and usually not skanky. But also not modest. Neither of us had seen someone pull it off so well, but she seems to, which is why she's a Pharm Rep. Also, I've never talked to her. They used to have a dog, but she was put to sleep from old age and a tumor in her brain that made her blind.

As you can see, Mr. Man and I are SO, super outgoing and overly friendly and gracious to anyone we don't know!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hahaha, we're really not.
In reality, we are very friendly and very nice people, but I think we're also both shy when it comes to meeting new people and striking up conversations. Weird, right?

Right. But you don't have to agree with me.

Bubs is the most friendly and outgoing of all of us! He never fails to wave and say "hi!" to anyone and everyone, including empty cars. He also has been known to run up to complete strangers and hug their leg.

I can't wait to see what our new place brings us!
Hopefully less dog poop, less smokers, and better grass.

Friday, July 6, 2012

A lesson in dipping chocolate.

This year on the Fourth of July, hubby and I spent a few minutes chatting about our past Fourth's. I know you're just dying to read a recap, so here ya go! You can thank me later.

1st: We were in Twin Falls at the Dodds annual 4th of July BBQ bash. We spent the morning at a pancake breakfast and kid's parade, the afternoon playing on a giant bouncy house water slide, and the evening grilling burgers with extended family. After which we, of course, lit off an abundance of fireworks. It was the perfect way for me to be welcomed into a new family.
2nd: We invited as many of the Dodds in Utah over to our "conjoined" house, I'll spare the details, and once again fired up the grill and fireworks. Hubby played grill master for the first time and loved it. I played hostess and chef with all other side dishes. We had a wonderful time and even saw the Stadium of Fire fireworks show while parked under an overpass on University Ave. We flipped a U-ee the second it was over and beat all traffic home. Another fabulous fourth. 
3rd: This time we were in a new town. Thankfully, St. Louis is party capital Midwest, at least in my opinion. I coerced my parents into coming for a visit, so we grilled it up with them, then hauled the crew to the Arch to visit Fair St. Louis. So awesome!! We saw the last half hour of the air show, walked around to all the booths, enjoyed a free concert from Montgomery Gentry, and saw the most spectacular fireworks show I've ever seen, all under the Arch. It was glorious and thrilling. I also saw more people crowded and smushed together than I've ever seen in my life. Seriously, walls of people. It was insane. So was traffic. I try to forget that part. 

This year was our 4th Fourth together and we stayed a little more low key, but still had a great time. 

The morning dawned bright and early at a whopping 8:30 am, the latest we've slept in since....well, probably since we had a baby. It was lovely. Then I whipped up an amazing breakfast of french toast, bacon, and scrambled eggs. Bubs and I took a leisurely walk around the oven neighborhood, and within minutes we were hot and sweaty in the balmy 99 degrees. During his nap time I threw together a lovely masterpiece of dessert. And this is where your free lesson in dipping chocolates comes in:

Do NOT add water-based food coloring to melted chocolate!!!!!!!

Because your beautifully smooth, creamy, nice and melty, chocolate will turn to a stiff frosting right before your eyes. 
I must admit, once I got over the horror of what was occurring, it was a little cool to see the consistency change so fast. 
In the end, I ended up with cake bites that were not so lusciously dipped and smooth, but rather more of a unique, sorta gloppy, almost frosted looking cake bite. I was only slightly disappointed.

Oh yeah, and gel food coloring is just as much water based as liquid. 

So, now that I learned the hard way, I know if I want pretty, colorful, cake bites, I have to splurge on the pre-colored dipping chocolate.
My life is complicated.
Here's my creation!

After I finished the cake bite disaster flag, I moved on to my next endeavor: pie.
Now, I have absolutely no idea where my sudden desire to be cutesy and festive came from, but evidently, I had a strong desire for such.
A quick search of google images prompted me to make a star on my pie.

My other pie was really cute too, for no apparent reason, but it was not patriotic so it didn't make the cut. Or maybe I didn't take a picture. Who knows. Use your imagination.
I must say, this fruity pie was quite spectacular. I found my all time favorite pie recipe from Our Best Bites, and I haven't looked back since. Especially because it is just so darn versatile. I mean, the same base for a vanilla cream fruit pie as for a chocolate peanut butter banana? Mmmm.

Have you ever tried putting a 2 year old and an 18 month old together for a photo shoot?
You won't have any luck. 
I can almost guarantee it.

They had no desire to look at me when I called their names.
Or clucked.
Or chirped.
Or danced around like a crazy woman.

My awesome friend made this creation with fruit. It was so fun to have such festive food!

My child + water = endless fun and happiness
Especially when a hose is involved.
Except for the poor onlookers, (sorry!)
Oh yeah, this is also the only picture I got all day where he was actually looking at me and holding still. 

They most definitely enjoyed spraying each other and waving the water everywhere.

These kiddos really love playing together.
They're pretty awesome with each other's names too.
All day Bubs was saying "Na-nuh?" and when we arrived he knew exactly who "Na-nuh" was!
She also used to call him "Buh-lake" and it was about the cutest thing ever.

We enjoyed BBQing and playing water balloon games with some good friends. It was our first Fourth without family, but when you make good enough friends, they sure feel like family! 
It was also the hottest, driest, most fireworks-less Fourth I've seen, but I was happy to watch the Macy's day display on TV. I know in the future we will be in a position where hubby won't have to study, baby won't have to sleep, and fireworks will be legal (and not banned due to drought!), so we can have even more fun!

For this year, we still had an amazing day!
If you just read this entire post, please, give yourself a hug and go find something more productive to do. 

teehee, Happy Summer everyone!