Moving

We’re finally moved in to a point where I can sit down and write a blog post. It’s been a crazy week, with a lot of unexpecteds (which I suppose it to be expected? haha). The walk-through was the most never-wracking things for me, by far. As we were driving to the house, my husband was giddy with excitement, singing to the radio and trying to talk to me. But I totally just shut down and couldn’t explain why. We definitely had some ‘close calls’ with getting this house, and at times it seemed like it was never going to happen. Everyone kept trying to convince me that the walk-through was the easy part, but until we signed those papers, it was just hard to believe.

Moving in that night went quickly, and we had a lot of help. After everyone left, Dennis and I returned the U-Haul and picked up some beers to celebrate our first night. A wicked thunderstorm started right after we walked back through the doors, so we spent the better part of the night ripping boxes open, trying to find flashlights! Alas, the power did not go out, which was good because all we found was one tiny flashlight with no batteries.

We had expected to start with the living room and den and kitchen – the rooms which most people would see – and slowly work our way back to the office and bedroom. But what we found was that the bedroom carpet, the only carpet in the entire house, was completely disgusting. So we slept in the office the first night and on day two, my husband and father-in-law ripped that carpet right up to reveal the disgusting laminate tile underneath. With the carpet gone, my sister and I rushed to get that room painted, and day two ended with me in tears from being so overwhelmed and slightly PMS’ing.

On the third day, God created floors. Well, Dennis and his father did. They laid down beautiful Pergo flooring in the bedroom, and we were finally able to move our bed in and sleep in the room that was meant to be slept in. Meanwhile, the girls (sister and mom) and I were busy unpacking the kitchen. Seriously, there were a million boxes marked ‘kitchen.’

Which brings us to Friday. Dennis and his father finished the floors and we called it an early day. On Saturday, Dennis was throwing a bachelor party for his brother, but they both came home an hour later, because his brother had a phantom pain under his rib. So my sister, Dennis, and I had our first BBQ in our new home, complete with a pitcher of sangria.

From Sunday until yesterday, Wednesday, it has been all-blinds, all the time, in this house. No windows had blinds except for, fittingly, the bathroom when we moved in. So we went back and forth to Home Depot five times over four days to get blinds that fit. First of all, I didn’t realize that every single window is a different size. And then, they never cut the exact measurement that I asked for, which I didn’t realize until after I brought them back home. So blinds got hung literally one by one over the past few days. Just the living room is left, because those had to be special ordered. Four hundred dollars later and we will finally be able to take down those peel-and-stick paper shades that are now hanging.

We’ve gotten so much done in just a week, but we both keep forgetting about the upstairs! This was colonial that was made into two living areas – the downstairs, which we’re living in, and the upstairs, which is currently a two bedroom apartment. It’s in decidedly worse shape than the downstairs and days go by where we completely forget it exists. We just have to get up there and paint and clean – then the idea is to rent it out by mid-July or August.

All in all, we are thrilled to be homeowners. Every day brings something new to the table, but this is really such a great experience to share with my husband. He’s been so incredibly supportive throughout all of this, always looking out for me even when he’s not around. They (who?) say that if you can move together, you can do anything. We can definitely do anything.

Prisoner

Welp, the school year has officially ended for me, so it’s full-time freelancing around here. We’re still not in our house yet (two more weeks!), which means that I’m confined to my small office area in the back of our apartment living room. Working for nine hours straight, my eyes tend to glaze over around hour 5, which is right about now. I need to figure out a new routine, I think. Something that will motivate me to put pants on and maybe wash my hair. You’d think being newly married would be that motivation, but nope – it’s all sweats, all the time around here. Sexy, I know.

When my husband gets in the door, I can’t wait to get out of this house. It’s like I’m his pet dog that he leaves home all day and has to walk when he returns. I sit by the door and beg until he takes me out. Okay, not quite. But we love to just get in the car after a long day, pick up an iced coffee, and just drive around the neighborhood. It’s one of my favorite things to do with him. It’s just the two of us, listening to music, and pointing out things that we notice as we get lost and find our way back. We eventually make our way home to settle in and watch our shows on TV until we crawl into bed. I love it.

It will be different soon, though, once we get in our house. There is going to be so much to get done, and I know that we’ll be busy all the time – I’m anxious just thinking about it! But I’m excited to close this chapter of our lives and move on. We even have an office to share, so I can move my crap out of the living room and actually… live in it. I just feel so blessed to have such an incredible husband who supports everything I do, take such good care of me, and takes me for walks when he gets home. ;)

Signs of Life

Okay, I said I couldn’t put down Fifty Shades, but this took it to a whole new level. 320 pages went down like 100 as I devoured this book cover to cover. Author Natalie Taylor lost her husband in a tragic accident while she was five months pregnant with their first child, a boy. This memoir grew out of the journal she kept for the years following his death.

To say I cried during the book would be a blatant understatment. I  bawled - belly-aching bawled – when I read at home on the couch with my own husband of six months sitting on the chair next to me. Obviously, it’s impossible to read this book without thinking of your own relationship, and Taylor certainly gets the point across that you don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring.

She prefaces this book with explaining that these are the feelings she was going through at that moment in time, and she admits that they may not be fair or right. And as I was reading through, particularly the things she wrote about her mom- and sister-in-law, I found myself thinking, “Yikes, what happens when they read this?” But that’s just the point. Taylor suddenly lost her husband, and getting annoyed at her in-laws was a true and real emotion that she felt afterwards. If anything, her lack of sugar-coating can only help validate the truthfulness of the beautiful memoir.

Taylor ends her story with a poignant triathlon that she runs with her sister about a year after her husband’s death – something she never would have done when she was alive. For me, it left it on a note that said, “I’ll be okay. I can grow and mature and move on in some ways, while still honoring and loving and missing my husband.” A truly beautiful read.

 

Fifty Shades More

So I’ve finally finished the Fifty Shades  trilogy and can finally move on with my life. For the last week, I have been completely unable to put these books down, which made it very hard to do things like work and eat. Seriously, I read everywhere – red lights, bars, class. But of course, while discreetly hiding the cover every time. I imagine this is a problem that all Fifty Shades readers have – an inability to read this book in public.

The final two books follow predictably from the first, with the second picking up only days after the first ends. As the series goes on, there is less sex and more storyline, and it felt as though James packed as much as she possibly could into the third book in order to put a nice bow on it and go on her way.

It wasn’t until I was halfway through the first book that I heard James describe this as a ‘love story.’ Until then, I was just waiting for Anastasia to come to her senses and run the eff away from Christian. But once I heard that it was a love story, I could pretty much see where the story was going. On 20/20, the reporter explained how today’s women are attracted to this book, because the idea of an attentive man like Christian Grey is so appealing. Women are now expected to work, clean, cook, and take care of the children – women’s rights and all – but there is this yearning to be taken care of and worried about. What these women fail to take into account is the psychotic and jealous nature of Mr. Grey and all his crazy baggage. This, at least, is not for me. And speaking of crazy baggage, I’m glad to put this series to rest.

Fifty Shades of Grey

It’s very much not like me to jump on the pop-literary bandwagon, which is why I’ve successfully steered clear of both the Harry Potter and Twilight series (well, that, and because I don’t like neither wizards nor vampires). But I heard some hype about Fifty Shades of Grey and thought I would give it a try. I went into B&N without doing much research on the book, but once I walked in, I realized that I had no idea where to look for it. Was it a new release? Historical fiction? New in paperback? No, no, no. It’s erotic fiction. Which I learned only after I asked the woman who works there for it, she handed it to me from behind the counter, and I turned the book over to read the back cover once I was in my car. There it is, right on the cover – erotic fiction, mature audiences. Whatt?! Intrigued, I read the first few pages right there in the parking lot and basically didn’t put it down for two days straight. I’m talking, reading at red lights. This book is that enthralling. Five-hundred twenty eight pages went down like water, and I found myself gasping for air once it ended.

The book follows the love/sex/BDSM story of recent college grad Anastasia Steele and the amazingly handsome and filthy rich entrepreneur Christian Grey. Grey comes with an entire history of messed-up-ness, and Anastasia has to make a choice to go along with his demands while trying to figure him out, or to walk away. The story-line, interspersed throughout crazy sex scenes, is well-written and interesting.

I went only after finishing to see if there were any interviews with EL James, and I found one where she said this was the first thing she had ever written. She was inspired by Stephenie Meyer, author of the Twilight series for those of you who just crawled out from under your rock, and just got to typing one day. In fact, the novel was first published online at a  Twilight fan site. It got picked up by an independent publisher, gained national fame, and was then re-released by Random House, I believe.

The one gripe I have about this book? It seems to end pretty suddenly. But I’ve never read books from a series before, so perhaps this is the way that they work? I have to say, though, it picks up pretty seamlessly in the second book (which I bought immediately and am now working my way through). A word of caution, however: be careful reading it in public!

uncomfortable

Caring what people think and do is something that I’ve dealt with my entire life. People (my husband) don’t believe me when I say that I truly try hard not to care so much, and I know it’s such a “young girl” type of thing to do, but I really can’t help myself. At time, I feel hyper-aware of what’s going on around me, and once I get slightly uncomfortable, there is no coming back. It’s true that I wear my emotions on my sleeve, or on my face, as the case may be, but it’s such a detriment when I’m around people who don’t understand me. Once I’m annoyed at someone, I reach a point of no return – regardless on where we are. And, according to my husband, I succeed in making everyone else around me uncomfortable as well.

This is something that I seriously need to work on and want to change. I would love to go talk to a therapist, just because I feel like I have so much on my chest that I need to get off and that I can’t talk to anyone else about. But it’s probably not financially feasible, nor do I really have the time. I could always buy a book or something, but reading self-help books seems so odd to me. And then what? Do I put it on my bookshelf? Hide it under the bed? I just don’t know…