I guess I feel slightly guilty….

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….that while the husband has gone off to the gym, I’m on the couch polishing off the Girl Scout cookies with my third cup of tea and reading (finally! An English copy!) Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy. (Holy mother of Merlin, it’s true! Was hoping sad news was a marketing ploy, but he’s really dead…) And telling myself that it’s likely best not to get sweaty due to a mysterious allergic reaction I’ve been having. Am wondering if I’m allergic to something in my house, because despite slathering anti-histamine cream all over, this annoying little itchy-burny-redness won’t go away. In fact, it seems to be getting worse. I actually feel a bit like a leper at this point. Debating on venturing out to the farmacia when the husband returns from the gym.

I bet you new followers are super excited to see that the first post in your reader from me involves a skin rash! Aha!

In other, more normal news, I’ve signed up for an official half marathon in my city, which I really ought to be training for every day (and will, as soon as I stop allergicly reacting to mystery substance). Signing my life away to the government is so far proving to be a rather good choice, since I’ve got my first paycheck and am having more fun than should be allowed at my job. And adult interaction on a daily basis, woot! I’ve also celebrated my wedding anniversary by going to a fancy restaurant in the city and getting pleasantly tipsy on fine wine, then belting out The Dan Band’s version of Total Eclipse of the Heart from the car at bewildered Italians on the street. If you aren’t familiar with this version, it’s basically the same song but with a lot of “fucks” thrown in, i.e., And I need you now tonight, I fuckin’ need you more than evah!” It was quite a romantic evening.

Well, back to Bridget Jones and the last of the now-cold tea.

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The Liebster Award! My very first blogging award nomination.

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Wow, I am just super surprised and excited about this! I’ve never been nominated for a blogging award before, so a big {THANK YOU SO MUCH!} to the lovely Nicola over at http://tenthousandladybirds.wordpress.com/?ref=spelling for picking my odd little blog! And to all my 26-27 readers, go check out Nicola’s blog because her posts are always enjoyable and often completely adorable thanks to the cute-kid factor!

Apparently it’s an award for smaller blogs of less than 200 followers, to point people to little-known spots of coolness on the Web. According to the rules, I need to–wait. I need to make a list.

LIEBSTER AWARD RULES!
– Acknowledge the blogger who nominated you and display the award.
– Answer 11 questions the blogger gives you.
– Give 11 random facts about yourself.
– Nominate 11 blogs you think are worthy of the award (but they must have less than 200 followers).
– Let the bloggers know you nominated them.
– Give them 11 questions to answer.

Right then, I’ve acknowledged the wonderful . Now I’ll answer these 11 questions given to me.

1) What made you want to start your blog?
Well, I love to write and I love to talk…I guess in lieu of gabbing my husband’s ear off in the evenings about trivial things, I type it all out on here. And I like the sound and feel of typing better than writing with pen and paper…
Hmm, weird reasons but there it is.

2) If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you be?
Goodness, this one is tough. I love where I am, in Italy…but I would also love to live in Spain, where my best friend is from and will be moving permanently…though it would be nice to have a historical house in Beaufort, NC….I think if I had the choice, I’d keep travelling and living in different places forever!

3) Who would you like to play you in the movie of your life?
Most definitely Jennifer Lawrence.

4) What’s the last book you read?
Moonshot: The Inside Story of Man’s Greatest Adventure by Dan Parry. EXCELLENT read, even if you’re not a space nut like me.

5) Favourite time of day?
I guess it depends on what is going on that day….I like sunrise for running, sunset for kayaking or generally being out near water, midday if I brought something yummy for lunch, and any time I’m going somewhere new.

6) What is your earliest memory?
I have this odd, vague memory of being slightly higher than an old brown, orange, and green couch cushion. It was dim, like lamplight….

7) What would you say is your biggest achievement in life so far?
Well I am super proud of running a half marathon, but I’d have to say my biggest achievement is having two healthy, intelligent, and polite children.

6) What is your greatest fear?
Losing someone I love while being far away from family and not being able to say goodbye.
Also nuclear radiation.

7) Which of your physical features would you say is the best?
My eyes and nose look just like my grandma’s, which makes me happy. My legs are short and not awesome-looking, but I like them a lot because they will keep going for hours and not fail me!

8) What is your guilty pleasure?
Nero d’Avola + chocolate + anime/fanfic. All alone. That makes for a great evening!

9) What’s your fancy dress costume of choice?
In real life…I tend to go for flapper style. In my dream world…I’d wear 18th century, Marie-Antoinette-style dresses every time.

10) What is your happiest memory?
My wedding, and a couple of years ago for Mother’s Day, a picnic on a sandbar at sunset.

11) What’s your favourite meme?
Oh, so many….most referencing Harry Potter or Avengers…but this one is totally me:

e21e54aeaccd7b416dd754ad126f6825

Now, 11 facts about me…

1. I have lived in a tiny log cabin in the woods with no heating or A/C, just like Laura Ingalls.
2. I would love to one day have my own completely self-sufficient homestead.
3. I declined moving to Japan just because I am terrified of nuclear radiation.
4. I would drop everything and go to Syria in a heartbeat to aid humanitarian missions if I had long-term child care or a stay-at-home spouse.
5. I have wandered all over a small town in the heart of Germany with a German lady (who had never been there) and a Russian lady, neither of which spoke English, I don’t speak German…and had one of the most fun times in my life, laughing like loons and linking arms like old friends.
6. I have overcome substance abuse.
7. I constantly quote or reference Harry Potter and hardly anyone gets it! :(
8. I am a huge HIM fan and have a heartagram tattoo. (Also a deathly hallows tattoo if you must know..)
9. I still live in the 90s as far as music and entertainment go.
10. Sometimes….I read the Daily Mail….(winces)
11. When I was younger I wanted to be an astronaut or a fighter pilot.

All right then, here’s the part where I share the love and nominate 11 more blogs for the Liebster Award! This gave me some trouble, since basically all of the few blogs I follow have more than 200 followers. So I had to go out searching to find my favorite small blogs! It was a fun experience, and also why it took me so long to publish this post.

The nominees are……….

1.http://candiesandcrunches.com/ Okay, technically she has 280 followers, but she writes a fun fitness blog, and is super sweet to boot!

2. http://thesardoniclibrarian.wordpress.com/bio/ Honestly, I think we could be good friends in real life.

3. http://heymiyuki.wordpress.com/ Cutest post images ever, and awesomely inspiring posts. Was a bit confused since the number of followers says 119 but then elsewhere there are many more.

4. http://legendinmylunchbox.wordpress.com/ Great recipes and tips for plant-based lifestyles!

5. http://dangermencooking2.wordpress.com/ Lots of vegan recipes that this dad has made kid-friendly!

6. http://samandmurphy.wordpress.com/ A man and his dog; adorable cartoons!

7. http://40islikethenew30.wordpress.com/ Fun read!

8. http://imightbeageek.wordpress.com/ Yet another total stranger I feel I could be friends with.

9. http://sassandbelleblog.com/ Florence the Owl, plus cute gifts!

10. http://runbritchickrun.wordpress.com/ Awesome Mum, and inspiring runner!

11. http://mooddressing.wordpress.com/ Outfits of the day, and funny blurbs!

All right, you eleven bloggers, here are your questions to answer:

1. What is your favorite word or phrase?
2. Dogs, cats, or other–and why?
3. What was the best part of living where you grew up?
4. What’s the best part of living where you are now?
5. What was your last dream about?
6. Have you ever pranked someone in an epic way?
7. If you could ask your future self anything, what would it be?
8. How would you describe your personal style?
9. Have you ever met a celebrity?
10. What is your favorite thing to do in downtime?
11. What is the last thing you photographed?

Sorry for horrible linking skills, I could not get the code to work!

Sometimes…

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…the guise of being a mature, responsible adult becomes simply too hard to maintain. When this happens, it’s helpful to reflect your temporary resignation from the mature adult world with your clothing choices.

This hoodie says, “Hey, just a heads up, if you want to have a reasonable conversation about meaningful topics, you’re not going to get it here.” It also says, “Hey world, it’s a fuck-all kind of day so carry on without me.” And tonight, it says, “I’m too lazy to even walk over to my best friend’s house so I’m going to sit here with my Franz Ferdinand albums and my red wine and hope she comes to me instead.”

I don’t know why I am so tired, but it’s just after 7 and I am ready for bedtime! I think it might be my body’s way of cramming in every last bit of laziness before work starts. Regardless, I am shamelessly sporting this Ausfahrt hoodie that I once thought was hilarious while indulging in fine German beer in Ramstein. Party on, Garth.

I’ve Finally Done It!

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YES! I’m so excited to say that I have met my goal of running a half marathon!

True, it was only me and my favorite playlists, and a few planes overhead since I run around an airfield. But I did it, and jumped up and down (painfully) and squealed like a crazy person at the end!

I am so proud of myself for having the willpower and strength to keep going even when no one would have seen if I stopped. I don’t even care if I’m tooting my own horn here, I just accomplished a major goal for myself! Sure, my time could definitely be better–and it will be! Instead of feeling like the goal is complete and over, now I’m having a strange desire to go straight back out there and do it again and again. (I’m going to drag a friend out there next time, though, it got just a teeny bit boring after 8 miles alone.) 

Naturally, when I came home, I ate half a pizza. -_- 

I like to think since it was entirely handmade from fresh, local ingredients that it isn’t that bad, but still. I ate half a pizza. Oh well.

Wednesday Night Insomnia…

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I can never go to sleep at a decent time on Wednesday evenings, because Wednesday evenings are my favourite! This is Krav Maga night! And thanks to my high-powered pre-workout supplements, I am wired for the rest of the night even after 2.5 hours of non-stop hand-to-hand combat and calisthenics. 

Sometimes I even feel like going for a run when I get home, but I don’t…because that would be slightly obsessive and insane. 

Tonight we worked on knife combat. Super fun, but…. who gets cut (and actually bleeds) with a rubber training knife? Yep, THIS GIRL. I felt like a dumbass. Oh well. At least now I’m pretty confident in my ability to stealthily stab a random guy on the street with no one being the wiser. (No plans on doing that anytime soon, but hey, life skills.) I am, however, now resolved to purchase a training knife for use at home to work on properly catching said knife without cutting myself. Because if I can manage blood with a rubber knife, it would not be pretty with a real one!!

 

Signing My Life Away…

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Well, okay, it’s not that dramatic. But for a traveling free spirit like yours truly, accepting a job offer is a little bit scary.

I’ll do a list, I like lists. And I’m waiting for Human Resources to correct my name so I can actually get on with the process of giving up my life to the government.

I will not:

  • Be able to build Thomas the Tank track systems all day.
  • Have time to read novel-length fanfic. Or possibly any sort of novel-length anything, including novels.
  • Have a super-clean house anymore…because with two small kids, one husband, and a dog, that takes up a lot of my day.
  • Be able to suddenly fly to Germany, or the US, or anywhere else really. Also won’t be able to spontaneously decide to stay an extra week or two in any destination.
  • Go to the market, as they’re all closed up by noon-ish.

I will:

  • Double our household income, woot woot!
  • Get to actually use my training and education.
  • Pay off my car in a couple of months, ayyy!
  • Have lots of adult interaction.
  • Do a helluva lot more shopping!
  • Get full benefits and retirement, which I suppose I’ll be grateful for when I’m older..
  • Possibly hire a housekeeper.

I’ve been staying at home with my youngest for nearly two years, I suppose it is time to get back into the workforce and use this well-earned degree that’s been collecting dust. I am excited for the opportunity, because it seems like it will be a really fun job. And, well, Lululemon isn’t exactly cheap so some extra shopping money will be nice…

I will miss lazy days with my little buddy though, and getting my bigger buddy off the school bus every day. I’ll miss taking the kids off on extended vacations around the world during the summer. I’ve enjoyed my leisure time. I haven’t felt guilty at all about not working, but having worked full-time when both kids were much younger, I won’t feel guilty about working either. I do expect to be exhausted the first week or so, especially since my new job can get physically demanding. But I think overall I will be happy!

In the meantime, I’m making sure to live up these last days of freedom by coloring on all the windows, playing endless Super Smash Bros. tournaments, building train tracks around the entire house, reading all my back issues of Cosmo and also some fanfics, decorating our driveway with chalk, cooking three meals a day, and generally acting like a big kid. 

Achievement Unlocked: Infinite Nerdiness….

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I mean, you know it’s bad when your unconscious mind entertains itself with dreams of some sort of weird, frantic adventure with Draco Malfoy, while wearing a Dragonball Z t-shirt. (Which, in my dream, I was so excited to find in the drawer because I’d forgotten I had it?) 

And this was a completely random dream; I haven’t reread my Harry Potter books or watched old episodes of DBZ lately. That’s just my brain, reminding me that though I may look and act like a normal, functioning and responsible adult, it’s all a big fat lie. I’m still an awkward nineties kid in Paris Blues jeans, wondering why everyone has to be stuck on their smartphones and tablets, and why the hell my kids are more interested in the Wii than the Super Nintendo.

And that’s okay with me. (I mean the fact that I’m still a dorky kid at heart, not the fact that my kids can’t appreciate classic gaming.) I don’t mind indulging in full-on dorkiness every now and then. I take out my contact lenses, put on my boot camp “birth control” glasses and some sort of grunge band shirt or shirt involving dragons (with kanji symbols, even better). Once I’m sufficiently un-sexy, I play my GameBoy (Pokemon Blue, y’all!) or break out my old anime DVDs or some Disney films. My husband hides his face in shame, and my kids think it’s hilarious. Though they laugh, I know they enjoy it…..as evidenced by the time I was walking down the street with the boys and my oldest suddenly jumped into an odd sort of fighting stance and yelled, “Power Pole Extend!” and proceeded to hit imaginary targets with his imaginary Power Pole. 

Anyway, it’s a good thing for parents not to lose sight of their childhood. It brings us closer to our kids, and causes much fun and mayhem in the household. Also much confusion when my husband innocently asks what the temp is outside and I yell “It’s over 9,000!!!!” He does not get it. Or any of my other daily references, unless from Pulp Fiction or Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas. Oh well. I don’t get his Stepbrothers references, either.

Inadequacy in Paris

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Paris really is one of the fashion capitals of the world, and it’s more than evident when you stroll down the city streets at any time of day. French girls have mastered the stiletto heel. Holy five inches, Batman.

These chicks were walking past me (in my sensible and comfortable Toms or low-heeled knee boots) at alarming rates of speed, in literally some of the highest, most tiny-heeled pumps and platforms I have ever seen. And I live in Italy, where we dress for the Auchan as if we were going to a classy restaurant. Don’t even get me started on their complexions and flawless wine-colored lip stains. It must be a requirement that to live in certain areas of Paris, if you are between the ages of 18 and 30, you must appear to have walked straight out of the pages of Vogue magazine. It’s enough to make a girl feel more than a little inadequate, especially when she’s a good foot shorter than most of the French model-types, unable to walk in any shoes higher than three inches, and not even wearing lip stain. 

However, I had one quite important thing going for me….

I was being escorted around by my hot hunk of a husband, who’d surprised me with a trip to Paris for Valentine’s Day, and who even presented me with diamonds once we’d arrived as if a minibreak wasn’t enough; who’d patiently talked me into coming out onto the top platform of the Eiffel Tower despite my fear of heights because I’d never forgive myself if I didn’t actually do it; who’d taken me almost an hour out of the way of anything just so I could get a photo of a scene on a canvas we have hanging at home; and who’d gotten drunk at the Hard Rock and flirted with me like we were teenagers. He doesn’t care if my lips aren’t perfectly pouty all the time, and he doesn’t care if I fall on my ass in heels unless I’m holding on to his arm for dear life. He’s pretty much awesome, and we had a lovely time.

 

I will not spend this next week in listless lethargy (and will add alliteration always)

The past week has been a bit of a rough one for several reasons, and I have to admit to spending a small but still too large part of the last seven days on my couch in a toxic haze of apathy and discouragement. First, a situation with the small nonprofit organization–for which I have worked many, many unpaid hours from the office and home–left me feeling very used and taken advantage of….not a nice feeling at all. As a mother of two young children who is not currently working, I had really come to enjoy being in the office and sharing adult conversation and interaction, and I really do believe in the cause the organization supports. I felt like I was doing a lot of good. Unfortunately, in light of recent events, I no longer look forward to going in. But at the same time, after accepting responsibility for a department (still unpaid), I don’t feel like I can just stop working for them. Even though I know it’s only a volunteer position, and I know that I have been taken advantage of, my sense of integrity won’t let me “quit.”

This, in turn, has caused arguments between me and my husband because he is adamant that I stop working for them. Actually, most of my friends and family agree with my husband. But still I can’t bring myself to just walk out and leave projects and tasks unfinished. So this unsettling used feeling and the stress from indecision as to what to do and how to best handle things has all been wearing on me quite a bit.

(I know this may not make much sense, but I am being vague to protect my identity and that of the organization!)

However, it is somewhat endearing to watch my husband showing his rare protective side.

Meanwhile, probably due to the stress and hormones that rear their ugly heads despite missing my period this time around, my face is breaking out! Just in time for our Valentine’s trip! I’m frantically dabbing liqui-gels and moisturizing with tea tree oil but ugh! Am also positively evil today, and bloated to boot.

This beer is not helping, but hey it’s Saturday night and I survived a three hour birthday party at the bowling alley with some of the most ill-behaved children I’ve seen in a while (not mine!). And tomorrow is my long distance running day, so it will all balance out…eventually. Somehow. Or maybe not.

On the bright side, this time next week I will be in Paris. I just hope my skinny jeans fit again by then. So, this week…..

I will:
– Eat a raw vegan diet to fully cleanse and get rid of pseudo-period bloating, not counting tonight’s German treat.
– Finally get my hair cut and enjoy a good two hours with my salon friends whom I haven’t seen in too long.
– Possibly get a Brazilian blowout treatment while I’m there, hmm.
– Spend my days productively and actually be packed before the morning of my flight.

I will not:
– Hide in my house with curtains drawn.
– Wear yoga pants for anything other than yoga.
– Skip yoga practice in favor of curling up in a sad little ball on the couch.
– Skip evening runs with the bestie just to avoid movement from sad couch ball.
– Eat the damn Reese’s Cups on the counter.

Shopping fail…

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I really only needed to buy toilet paper and paper towels, and then my husband requested a six pack and a tray of crackers and cheese. Oh, and a new pack of glow chalk because I royally screwed up the kit earlier today. Easy enough trip, nice and quick.

Wrong. When I walked in the building, my brain decided to stay outside. Completely forgetting what I was actually looking for, I wandered back into the shoe section. After trying on several pairs, I chose some new Tom’s (yay!). Then I remembered the chalk, and headed toward the toy section. On the way, I was sidetracked by the pretty Valentine’s lingerie on display….and about ten minutes later had added two (adorable) new bras to my basket. Thinking about Valentine’s Day made me remember that I’d thought about getting some new nail polish for our trip, so I went and browsed through that for a while….ended up with OPI Princesses Rule (can’t wait to try that out!) Oh yes, the glow chalk….I looked on every toy aisle and in the art section and found nothing! Sooo it was on to the grocery part of the trip.

I could not find the snack tray. I wandered all over the store and could not find it. I picked up a couple of bags of pita chips and a can of chick peas, thinking I’d make myself some homemade hummus tonight. Then a half-formed idea of making a snack tray for my husband to take to his Super Bowl party struck, and I picked up two kinds of cheese. Then I forgot all about the crackers and meat when I ran into the babysitter and started talking…

I made it to the line (which was stretched halfway back into the store) where I promptly recalled the need for beer tonight….had to go back for it. Naturally they were all out of my husband’s preferred brew, so I grabbed a nice German Pilsner knowing he wouldn’t want to bring it with him…..

Arrived back home and realized I had forgotten the most important things, the toilet paper and paper towels!

Things I Needed To Buy:
– Toilet Paper
– Paper Towels
– Glow Chalk
– Snack Tray
– Bud Light Platinum

Things I Actually Bought:
– Tom’s Shoes
– Two Bras
– OPI Princesses Rule
– Pita Chips and Chick Peas
– Pilsner

I have no idea how this happened.