Thankful for…

Alternately Titled: How mom saved Thanksgiving and why Ham isn’t the same

Under normal circumstances, my Thanksgiving is spent at my Aunt’s house on the shores of Lake Champlain. There is laughing, booze, and lots of family members. Football/The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade are on the big screen television and the sound of pitter pattering feet stifle the sound of the adults gossiping in the cramped kitchen.

This year, the first Thanksgiving of my newlywedness, I was hoping to bring Hubs back to that. To be in the crowd of my beloved family, hoping for snow, and enjoying a full thanksgiving meal – to finally celebrate with the family that couldn’t be bothered to travel to my wedding make it down for the wedding.

There was drama, too many little kids around because of cousins having…what I would deem as unsavory people with a few illegitimate children (between two cousins – 8 illegitimate children, not including the other 2 who are legit), my Aunt that usually hosts didn’t want to host the crowd of kiddos that my other aunt’s kids would be bringing along to the festivities. Thanksgiving was split up.

I found out about it a few days before. My Nana informed me, she’d be cooking dinner. We’d head over there for a noon dinner – as per usual, nothing new there.

Dinner, though wonderful, was ham, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, homemade pickles, and rolls. It was delish. But it wasn’t turkey. It wasn’t stuffing, candied carrots, green bean casserole, and there wasn’t pie. Not that I like pie to begin with, but I brought Hubs home to experience my beloved thanksgiving traditions, and they didn’t happen.

Thanksgiving, was dead.

Later, we had plans to meet my sister to see New Moon. We decided to stay at my Nana’s that night, and my cousin wanted to tag along, unfortunately, we had to run home to Mom’s – 30 minutes away – to grab our bags, especially since my sister and I had plans to go shopping at 6am. (shut up. It’s tradition.)

En route back to pick up my cousin, after Hubs and I discovered how hungry we were and after convincing mom to cook a turkey, I was in a rush. A 6:20 movie. We weren’t sure if there would be lines (hey you never know how hardcore those twi-hards are), so sister and I wanted to meet at 5:45. It was 5:20. I was going to be late.

Getting on the highway, I sped. Who doesn’t? Then there he was. An Essex Cop. Earlier, I had been bragging to Hubs about how “I’ve never been pulled over.”

Who get’s pulled over for the first time on Thanksgiving??

I got a warning. 61 in a 50 zone. Out of state plates. No ticket. Lucky. Purely. Lucky.

Still. I wanted to cry. I hadn’t given Hubs Turkey, he was hungry when he should have been in a food coma and I got pulled over making me even more late.

*sigh*

The movie was great, my bff T-pup met up with us to see it – so there was five of us, Hubs proudly proclaimed he was on Team Jacob “the werewolf totally gets the short end of the stick!” he proclaimed later in the car. Post-movie, we headed over to Colchester to a trashy townie bar. Granted the area is littered with them outside of downtown Burlington.

T-pup, myself and Hubs walked into the bar, ordered up a round and immediately asked if the kitchen was open. It had closed at 9p.

Drat!

The bartender however, told us she’d start up the deep fryer. We had – for our thanksgiving dinner – fried mozzerella, fried ravioli, and chicken wings.

We toasted to good friends, trashy townie bars that play too much country music, and to fried food.

Six hours later, after getting dropped off back at my Nana’s, I was waiting in line at K-Mart with my big sister ready to take on Black Friday.

We finished today with Turkey, Stuffing, and all the fixings that mom whipped up today. Seriously, I have the best mom ever.

In short:

I am thankful for….

  • My Husband
  • My family (mom, nana, sister, brother, aunts, uncles, cousins)
  • Black Friday ($20 down comforter, $110 blu-ray player, $15 sweaters, etc…)
  • My mom. Especially her. She saved our thanksgiving.
  • My friends – who I miss every freakin’ day.
  • Movie theaters that are open Thanksgiving Day – hellllllo New Moon!!!
  • That nice Essex PD officer who decided not to give my sorry speeding butt a ticket even though I maybe sorta kinda lied and said I was late to Thanksgiving dinner (and by thanksgiving dinner I meant late to get our butts to the theater to see New Moon but I wasn’t going to tell him that…)

All in all a good thanksgiving was had. Happy Thanksgiving freaders!!!!

What are you thankful for???

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Monday Wants – Wish List edition (part 1)

With less than five weeks till Christmas, Hubs and I have been talking about Christmas. I’ve pretty much decided that I’ll be shopping for myself (sans one gift that will be a surprise from hubs)

so for christmas this year? I’m looking at things that i may…justified as being needs. The following? Is my christmas list

1. Argyle Sweat from {the gap}; 2. Boot Cut Cords {the gap}; 3. Striped Sweater {old navy}; 4. Ruffled Sweater {old navy}; 5. Cady Knee High Boot {target}; 6. Argyle Tote {ll bean}.

There’s actually not that much that I legitimately want for the Holidays this year – I have everything I could want – my husband, a nice home, a crazy, cuddly puppy. We have a car to take us to visit our family and friends, we have our health, and hubs has a job. I would love the following less tangible items…

my brother to stay safe in Afghanistan over the next year

a teaching job

my mother and sister to be…legitimately happy. Especially my mum.

Feeling successful and happy.

Feeling in shape again.

There’s very little I want – sure clothes and books are nice, and it’s great having gifts under the tree but really? Isn’t it what’s around us that really matters? Family? Friends? Health? Happiness? That’s all I really care about this year. I’ve had an amazing year with many ups and downs but ultimately, everything that we go through – obstacles and all – make us stronger and bring us to where we are today. Today? I am MUCH happier than I was a year ago. We are in a much better place and…we’re married! What could be better than that?!?!

What are you wishing for this holiday season?

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Loving It…

While Hubs was up here working, pre-official #movenorth, I had a lot of free time in DC that I probably should have spent packing to catch up on my favorite television.

It was then I fell in severe love with Glee. Aside from the major hotties on screen… {insert swooning here}…

…the fashion doesn’t hurt either – most specifically Emma Pillsbury.

A while ago, Chic and Charming put up some CUTE polyvore collages for some Halloween costume inspiration. Me? I fell in love with the style.

Check these out:

I mean, holy cuteness! Also? I found these other 2 adorable sets on Polyvore thanks to Fashion Me Fabulous – I could never ever take credit for these fabulous collages – this is why I don’t consider myself a fashion blogger – definitely the furthest thing from it. I’m just a blogger with a shopping problem 😉

When I get me a real job (post grad school that is…) I am TOTALLY going to be the best dressed teacher at whatever school I teach at because these outfits? Are totally profressional, adorable and so my style it’s not even funny. Especially that pink one. Love.

Which celebrity/ TV character you wish you dressed more like??

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What I’m Wearing Wednesday

I love trying out new features on my blog to see which are popular with you freaders and I do my best to keep up with the good ones (stay tuned for Monday Wants – wishlist edition next week!), but I’m going to try something a little different. There’s all sorts of blogs out there – fashion blogs – that show off their own style. Now I’m no stylista but I figure once a week I can get out of my sweatpants and show off my “style.” Let’s see if I can keep it up!

Next Wednesday, I know a lot of people will be traveling for thanksgiving (including me! We’re going to Vermont to see family! Huzzah!!!) but post your fabulous Wednesday Wear!

Dress: Old Navy
Leggings: Forever 21
Necklace: Forever 21
Shoes: Gap


Excuse the awful, blurry iPhone pictures.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got guests to prepare dinner for!

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On Adjusting

Alternatively Titled: Why I’m afraid I’ll never make new friends and be forced to spend my day playing ball with Pup

I’ve been adjusting this week. Unpacking. Throwing out boxes and more crap that shouldn’t have even made the move to begin with.

My biggest fear is beside me though. The same fear I had within months of moving to DC.

What if I don’t make any friends?

I left behind a pretty bad-ass group of gal pals in DC. I was extraordinarily sad to leave them behind, to have to say goodbye knowing that no where else in this world would I find friends like them. I should note, that it is because of this here blog that I made many of those friends to begin with. How else does a 20 something gal with a boyfriend (now husband), a gal who can’t seem to find a job in a company that has people her age make friends (that’s not entirely true, I did make a few good friends from my previous jobs)?

Blogging. Why not right? I mean, I met so many of my freaders at BlogHer 09, and now I’m just a train ride away from BlogHer 2010 (NYC BABY!) which is going to fabulous!

But, Stamford, CT , isn’t exactly a blogger meca so I’ve found. Seriously, I’ve scoured the 20 somethings, NaNoWriMo, Twitter, Tumblr and everything in between to find another lonely 20 something married gal in the blogosphere and they just aren’t out there.

I have to admit, I did make one gal pal back at BlogHer that recently moved to the area, so I’m not entirely alone but I? Am a pack kind of gal. I travel better in threes or fours. When I was a two-some in college with J, things got messy and I realized later on, that we didn’t have much in common aside from our love of cheap beer, DJ Jerry, dudes who played hockey, and a few mutual friends. Needless to say, after college it was a friendship that had a natural ending (when she moved back home to the midwest) and I didn’t get too bent out of shape about it but it was…sad. As any ending is.

So what does this mean? I feel like I’m in a holding pattern til I get my grad school reply. I mean, I’d love to join junior league but if I’m working from 7-3 and then taking classes from 4-8 for ten months I don’t see that being a viable option just yet (after yes. In January no). Book clubs, volunteering, harranguing bloggers until someone actually pipes up and will do something like go to JCrew sample sale with me? All are very possible alternatives (though I think my bank card is tired. I don’t feel like shopping anymore for a little while. I say that now though….)

I’m lonely though. I’m trying to be positive. Hubs and I weren’t in a good place anymore back in DC. We were both unemployed (as opposed to just me now), in a space that was too small (by about 500 sq. ft) and were living in a previously flooded basement that we didn’t quite have the resources to repair.

Our new apartment? Is quite bad ass. Friends – well, Hubs’s high school pals – are near by and me? I’ve got tickets to a homecoming hockey game next weekend to party like I’m 23 again (I kid, I kid. Kind of.). But something’s missing. I feel like I’m fifteen all over again…eating lunch in the bathroom by myself because I have no one to sit with in the cafeteria. I hate feeling like this, because ultimately, I know that I’m fun, I may seem shallow but I swear I’m not, I have opinions (and not just on the latest Merona shoe line at Target), I read (avidly), I run (when I feel like it) and enjoy yoga (but not paying for it). I can spend time alone but after spending the better portion of a week? I’m getting bored and lonely…especially on nights like tonight when Hubs is going to be at work till almost 11pm. *sigh*

“something’s missing and I don’t know how to fix it…” –John Mayer something’s missing

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I Caved

Currently reading….

Full review to come upon completion.

[Author’s note: depsite my previous…anti-Twilight tendencies, curiousity got the best of me. And with all the press for New Moon in the tabs recently (and all my trips to Target that have allowed me to read said tabs) curiousity got the best of me, and my subconscious dreamed about Twilight earlier this week. Since then, I’ve been curious. Eager almost. Today, my mum being the awesome mum she is, bought it for me at the Tar-jay. I don’t have high expectations and I probably won’t watch the movie. No promises though.]

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No. 4 and No. 5 Coming Up…

I’m slowly getting back into running. I’m a little nervous, I’ve always been a little hard on my knees and while moving large, heavy boxes (sorry I packed those so heavy now!) I felt a few sharp pains around my knee. Not good. But I figure with a little ice, and some good sneaks I can ward off any real damage.

Getting back to my point, last night I sent in my application for the 2010 NYC Marathon lottery. I’m pretty stoked, and keeping my fingers crossed that I actually get a lottery number.

This month, I’m registerring for VT City again, hoping, praying that I can run a sub 5:00:00 marathon. Then, if all goes well? NYC will be #5.

But here it is…proof of my goals. Come on 2010. Bring. It. On.

There might not be any guarantees but…I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Some lofty goals, that are even loftier assuming entrance into my grad school program (still crossing my fingers on that!), but it’ll keep me moving and running.

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Keep Breathing

Sans this past weekend, I’ve been holding down the fort in DC while Hubs started his new job up in Stamford.

This being apart thing and living on my own? I admire Military wives and widows because I have no idea how they do it.

This of course has left me with the sole responsibility of packing up our apartment before this weekend when we move for reals. I never minded packing, of course packing in college when I’d move across the quad was much easier than packing up an entire apartment filled with 26 years of belongings from both of us. Twice as much to throw away, twice as much to sort through and twice as much to pack. Without the help of a bin that I can just throw stuff in and haul across the quad.

Even when I moved here, a moment I’ll remember for a long time, I had 3 oversized suitcases, and two carry on pieces. Filled with clothes, pictures, books I couldn’t live without and shoes that I “needed.” I’m a hoarder what can I say. A few weeks later my father would drive down to DC and bring me the rest of my belongings. They all fit in the family mini-van – that’s how you live in college and fresh off the graduation boat, things weren’t much different for me. The school furnished much of our apartment’s furniture so I had no oversized pieces and when you move eight times in five years, you learn to condense your life. Keeping the small things and getting rid of the oversized baggage that you don’t need.

I condensed my life when I moved to Washington. I was running away from a relationship that was intense, unhealthy and yet all-encompassing so much that we would have traveled around the world to make it work. I was running away from a family that I didn’t believe believed in me at times. I was running away from my past that I didn’t have the balls to say no to. I packed up my life in three days and hopped on a plane and said “sayonara” to the old and welcomed the new with Red Headed Slut shots with the boys who took me under their wings and helped me move on from everything I was running from. I didn’t want to be the awkward girl anymore. I wanted passion, ambition and success and came to DC naive enough to think I could achieve all of it without succumbing to the brown-nosing, name-dropping, ass-kissing nature of the game. I’m not any of those things, I don’t think I ever was, though that could be debatable.

At one point in life, we’re all self-important. I was in college and let me tell you, I had a lot of fun feeling on top of the world in a school of 15,000. I wasn’t really, but it was a welcomed change from being at the bottom of the totem pole in high school. I wasn’t self-important enough, however, to be as successful as some of my counterparts here in DC.

I fell into my quarter-life crisis holding the hand of a man that I’d never let go of. Everything I thought I wanted – success, passion and ambition seemed to be squandered with failed jobs, leaving me feeling like the biggest failure. I had always gotten what I wanted and I didn’t know how anymore. I was broken. He held me up, supported me and told me, repeatedly, that I am not a failure.

Thankfully, when you’re broken you can be fixed. With the help of supportive friends, and a now husband who adores me, and is often too good to me, I figured myself out. I thought back to what I wanted initially. I re-discovered ambitions I thought were lost and remembered what it was all about to begin with – inspiration. I wanted to inspire the way I had been. Professors and teachers that left such a profound impact on me and my values and ideals that I couldn’t thank them enough for the ways they shaped who I am today – the only way to thank them? To go into the line and do unto others as others have done unto me.

Thankfully, my longing to teach doesn’t need to be in a city that I have come to loathe. I thought my future was here. I came here to be successful and maybe, I just didn’t work hard enough for it; maybe I didn’t want it bad enough, but maybe, on top of that all, it wasn’t for me.

We’re starting a new. One month into married life, Hubs got the job offer he wanted and we’re moving on – closer to families and friends. It was pretty perfect as far as timing went – by the time we hit the two month mark we’ll be settling into a new routine in a new home.

But I can’t help but feeling like I failed, multiple failed jobs, and a chunk of credit card debt I didn’t have when I got here. I made amazing friends who have made the past three years such a learning experience – a fun one at that. I found a passion in blogging and have met the most amazing people because of it – here in DC and elsewhere – Boston, Chicago and soon to be New York/Fairfield County. You can’t ask for a better “hobby” than this. One that introduces you to people you’d never meet, takes you across the country, and opens your eyes to new opportunities and lifestyles. I didn’t fail, I just changed courses. Sometimes, I just need to remind myself of that.

I did succeed in a few things though – that husband that I met by chance? He’s pretty amazing, and I’m beyond lucky to have him. That ex? I got over him. The friends? I found some amazing ones to add alongside the old, fabulous ones. And I’ve found a passion for writing, running, and life. I know where I’m going, I’m up for the challenge of getting there and I have a pretty awesome army to keep me in line when I feel like running away again.

Blogging is going to sparse around here for the next few days – I will have some best of DC posts with some picture of the past three years, reliving memories just so I don’t forget them. Packing is taking over my life as well as some sad goodbyes in the next few days. We leave saturday morning, so in the next week…I’ll be coming at you all from Stamford, CT.

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end…” – Semisonic “Closing Time”

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#Movenorth makeover

I got bored.

I’ve been contemplating it for a while, but I finally did it.

Mostly, because I’m picky. I wanted it done at a place I trust. I didn’t want to scrounge for a decent place in Stamford. I just wanted to get it over with. Not to mention the fact that it had been a while.

Except, I didn’t realize she was there. Whoops? The man at the desk took me, showed me the book, we picked it out together…he was fabulous and despite how he kept dropping “girlfriend” into the conversation, I couldn’t help but sense the Gay-dar coming out. I loved him more for that.

What am I talking about? I went brunette. Dark brunette, about a shade darker than I probably would have liked but m’eh. It’s about a shade (maybe 2?) darker than my natural color, which you can see in the roots in the before picture. Also, I cut it all off. I had grown my hair out slightly for the wedding, it was getting longer than I like it to be.

(excuse the awful pictures via iPhone)

Before. Pardon the awful ponytail bump, bad roots and awkward smile.

After. Excuse the dirty mirror, and “I just ran a few errands, haven’t showered because I’m going to be taking the dog for a run soon” look. You can’t really see the length but it brushes the top of my shoulder. Much shorter than before.

I have to give a review though, I’ve been going to Bubbles Salon for about the past year. It’s a great salon right on the hill and a chain that has locations in a few different spots around DC including the Pentagon City Galleria. I had one stylist, that did my highlights and my trims leading up to the wedding, but yesterday I went in and a dude took me. I didn’t realize she was working until later when she said hello to me and asked how my wedding was – I liked her well enough but I never fully warmed up to her for some unknown reason. I’m picky, in my five years in Boston I got my hair cut exactly twice and both times they were disasters by small Asian women who barely spoke english. After those two experiences, I went home to the stylist I had been using since I was fifteen. Even for my first year or so in DC, I still only got my hair cut when I went home, even if it meant going up to six months without doing anything to my hair.

Trust issues with my hair? I haz ‘dem.

But the dude yesterday? That I quasi-cheated on my stylist with? He was incredible. I’d come back to DC just to have him do my hair.

Alas, I know hubs won’t allow that, so I’ll just have to find a stylist up in CT after the beginning of the year to do mine. Maybe I’ll use the one that my MIL and SIL use up in his hometown…we’ll see.

Do you have trust issues with your hair????

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Back At It

I’ve been feeling really blah lately. Very sedentary and unhealthy.

Usually, around this time of year, I’m training for a marathon but not this fall. With the wedding I just wasn’t motivated enough to stick to a training plan and it wasn’t worth it for me to risk injurying myself – especially sans health insurance.

But today, we were both inspired. Perhaps it was the grease from our Waffle House breakfast, or the fact that in two days we’ve sat in a car for about 9 hours and another 6 or so hours coming up on Wednesday but we were inspired to get better – for reals – about our health/fitness.

My plan:

*Eat better. I’ve been eating HORRIBLY since the wedding and well, my pants are feeling it. This is…unacceptable. I need to do better. This will be remedied by eating IN, eating more fruits and veggies, eating a hearty breakfast each morning

*Now that I’m back to working AM’s, I plan to work out after each shift like I was before. Three days of strength and five days of cardio/yoga/running (alternating? combo?)

*Walk more…with Hubs and Pupski. It needs to be done for all three of our sake.

*Drink less. It’s been a celebratory month. A great month! But time to cut WAYYY back for many reasons.

*Weight goal? I’m still trying to get back to 125-130. It’s about 15-20 lbs but entirely doable. Over time. If I stick with my goals.

It’ll all get done but for the next month, until my habits change, I’m going to keep track once/week here.

What say you? How are you feeling before the slippery slope of the holidays? I have TWO subscriptions to Fitness magazine that I happened to come across in my mail (they come with my renewal and are valued at $17) so if you’re with me for getting healthy, leave a comment with YOUR getting healthy tips/tricks/goals and I’ll draw two winners Friday October 9th for a free subscription to Fitness magazine. This isn’t sponsored, just from me, because if nothing else I’m feeling generous 🙂 And, it leaves me accountable by putting it here and if others are with me? That’s even more fun! Right? Right.

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