Friday, December 27, 2013

D.I.Whyyyyyy am I doing this to myself?

Pinterest is simultaneously the best and worst invention of all time.  In the same way that Facebook is the best and worst invention of all time.  Today I focus on Pinterest.

My college roommate introduced me to Pinterest a good 6 months before it took the world by storm.  I immediately fell in love with the site.  Perusing it for hours, looking at recipes and planning my entire wedding from centerpieces to my dress, an embarrassing number of months before Peter proposed (but at least I was in a serious relationship that was certainly going to turn into marriage??) decorating my future house including signs that said ROMENESKO est. xxxx, ##, 201# and a nursery.  Pinterest allowed me to create my perfect world that included a restaurant sized kitchen with the most high-tech appliances and a house complete with a spiral staircase, hidden playroom beyond my future child's closet (a la Chronicles of Narnia) and an infinity pool in the backyard that was complete with a fire pit smack dab in the center.  To achieve these dreams, I would have to either find a sugar daddy or win the lottery, none of which looked bright in my future.

Since my wedding was planned by YOU, I only ended up using one idea from Pinterest during the entire day (adorable ring bearer carrying a sign that said "Peter, here comes your bride" - that I paid someone to do), but honestly couldn't have been happier, since we had the best wedding of all time.  Another reason that I was soooo happy my Pinterest wedding didn't work out was because About 97% of the things that I was planning on including in my wedding were DIY (do-it-yourself for you incredibly smart, non-Pinterest, non-craft junkies).

THAT is what makes Pinterest ABSOLUTELY AWFUL.  I mean seriously, whyyyy do I think that I am a super duper craft queen with all the time and patience in the world to be able to do some of these things?  I WANT TO BE TALENTED LIKE THESE OTHER CRAFT QUEENS, and it usually doesn't work out.

When Peter and I bought our house, I was like OHMYGOD NOW ALL OF MY PINTEREST DREAMS CAN COME TRUE!!!!!!!!  

Well.  We've been living in the house for over a year now, and let me tell you the God honest truth: Pinterest can suck it.  

There are a few projects that I've done that I've found on Pinterest that have been successful and made me happy.  This ornament wreath, for one.  



It's into it's second Christmas season and cost about $5.00 to make.  I don't calculate my time into that equation... But that's another story.

I'm mentally walking through every corner of our house trying to find other Pinterest projects and can't think of any that are completed.  I'm finding several spaces where I'm thinking "OMG, Sar!  Remember when you were going to do THIS????  Better make a note of it."  I'm also finding several unfinished projects, ideas which originally sprouted from Pinterest.

Exhibit A: The tale of the wood paneled basement.



Our house was built in 2010.  Why the original owners would put wood paneling in the basement is beyond us, ugly, and quite honestly has become a huge pain in the tush.  So, one day I was looking for house ideas on Pinterest and after several clicks, I came across a horribly wonderful blog called Young House Love.  These people are the ULTIMATE DIYers, and my GAWD are they amazing.  One of their projects was painting the wood paneling in their house that they were remodeling.  

Ah ha!  What a splendid idea!  I proposed the idea to Peter, who was less than wild about the project.  He was all "Why don't we just pay someone to finish the basement?"  and I was all "Because we can save so much money, and I don't want to finish the basement because it will give me another level of house to clean."  And he was all "I am not supporting this idea."  And then I made a HUGE mistake and was all "I'll make it my project!  You don't even have to help me!"  And he was all "We'll see....."  And let me tell you: a Peter never forgets...

So I was super motivated to paint the basement.  I did a lot of research, including making B take pictures of her parents house where they painted the wood paneling to show Peter that NORMAL PEOPLE can do this too, not just professional DIYers.  And "Peter, if B's family can do it, I can TOTALLY do it!!"

Peter and I went to the hardware store in town and got all of the necessary equipment.  The next day, I went down to the basement and I started priming.  

And I primed.

And primed.

And THREE COATS of primer, about 6 gallons of sweat, and a few tears later, I was done.  Done in the sense of mentally and emotionally.  Unfortunately, not physically.  I hated this project.  HATED.  WHYYYYY did I ever think that I could do this on my own?  Why had a confidently told Peter that this would be my project and it would look fabulous?

I started this project at the end of September after we picked out new living room furniture.  My goal was to have the basement FINISHED (primed, painted, AND trim painted) before the new furniture arrived.

Timeline: 
September 21 - We picked out new living room furniture.
September 28 - I started the basement project.
October 17 - New furniture was delivered and I had to tell the furniture movers to put the old furniture in the center of the basement because I needed to finish painting the damn walls.
December 26 - I avoid going down to the basement because I hate looking at the unfinished walls.


It is physically paining me to look at this picture.

Now that I've exposed myself to the entire world, I have a new goal: to FINISH painting the basement before I start traveling at the end of January.  

SO IT SHALL BE WRITTEN; SO IT SHALL BE DONE.  (The Ten Commandments, anyone?)

In similar news, the project that I started in MAY is FINALLY (almost) finished because my mom gave me the best Christmas present ever (see item #7 on my Christmas list: "White picture frames (all sizes) so that I can finish the STUPID hallway project.")

Another Pinterest project that I made SO MUCH MORE COMPLICATED THAN NECESSARY by wanting to paint cool frames white and hang them on the wall, when instead I could have just gone to Wal-Mart as my genius mother did and bought white frames.  All I have to do is buy a few more picture frames and I'll be good to go!  Woohoo!



The hallway has had some variation of the above picture for ummmmm 6 months.  I thought I was being a genius when I decided to scrounge Goodwill for cool looking picture frames and then painted them white.  I then (PINTEREST ALERT) traced the frames onto wrapping paper so that I could space them out perfectly and see almost exactly what the wall would look like.

Well, it was all going fantastically until I didn't read the instructions on the spray paint can.  Did you know that there is a small window of time that is less than overnight that you can do another layer of spray paint?  Well, you do now.  Alas, all of my frames were ruined.  So then, obviously I was REALLY discouraged and hated the STUPID project and STUPID Pinterest for telling me how EASY this DUMB idea was.

In comes my superwoman mother, buying me nice, simple, wonderful frames to put in the hallway.  This sparked a new motivation for me, and a few hours later, all the nails are in place and I'm THIS CLOSE [----] to having the hallway finished.  


Now on to choosing pictures to put in the frames.... 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Second Annual Virtual Christmas Letter

Dear family and friends,

I wasn't going to write a Christmas letter this year, because 2012 was kind of one of the greatest years of all time.  But then I thought that maybe I would write a Christmas letter because I did it last year, and I like to write and talk about our life.  

Our year was a lot calmer than it was last year, though seems to have gone doubly fast.  We celebrated our first anniversary two months before our original wedding date - June 8, 2013 - which is still really weird to think about.  My parents hosted a wonderful brunch and we had wedding cake and my mom even went as far as getting a floral arrangement that was put together with the same flowers that were in the arrangements on our wedding day. 






For our first anniversary, Peter and I talked about no gifts because we were looking for new living room furniture.  So I didn't get Peter anything.  And then two days before our anniversary, one of Peter's close friends from his hometown got drafted to the Cowboys.  It was wonderful and exciting.  And then, one of my coworkers said, "You know Sara, the Packers play the Cowboys in Dallas this year."  

After a few hours of deliberation, I decided that for our anniversary, I would get Peter tickets to the Cowboys v. Packers game in Dallas, with one stipulation: he had to bring ME to Dallas with him.  I made sure that I delivered that news when he was elated that I got him the tickets.

I kept the secret for about 10 minutes after Peter got home from work the day before our anniversary and then legitimately practically forced him to open it.  It was a good thing that I got him the tickets, too, because he got me beautiful diamond earrings.  Win-win for everyone, I'd say.  Though I DID tell him not to expect such an extravagant/creative gift for anniversary number 2.




Our friends had a lot of babies, and then we welcomed our nephew Josh into the world.  All of these babies around kind of makes Peter and I like ummm maybe we're not super ready for kids since sometimes we like to eat ice cream for dinner, but we DO love snuggling the new babies in our lives!

The rest of the year was pretty mellow and awesome.  So mellow that I can't remember specific details until closer to the fall.

We went to quite a few Packer games this year.  Peter bleeds green and gold.  I do not.  Although, I do think that in general you could say that I enjoy the Packers.  All it took was marrying a die hard Packer fan, living in the Frozen Tundra for 3 years, and going to 3 Packer games in one season.  GREEN AND GOLD OVERLOAD.

Packers vs. Lions
October 2013

The Detroit game was SO FUN because we went with a whole plethora of people.  7 Mexicans, 1 South African, and 2 gringos.  

Packers vs. Bears :(
November 2013 

In November Peter and I went to Las Vegas for a small vacation.  It. was. wonderful.  Every year, the Romenesko men go to Las Vegas for Grandpa Romenesko's birthday, but this year was the 10th annual 75th birthday (which you would think equalled 85 years old, but a couple of Peter's cousins and I figured out that he was only 84.  Anyways...), so the ladies were invited.  The ladies ended up being Peter's two cousins and I, but we all had a wonderful time.  I had been to Vegas one time before in January 2011, but this year was the first time I played table games.  I love Roulette.  The trip can be summed up in one phrase - win big, lose big.  We came home down, but happy.

The only picture from our Vegas trip - on the flight over.

In December we finally reaped the benefits of Peter's anniversary gift and took a 3 day vacation to Dallas.  It was so much fun, and Peter was so happy to see his friend.  I must say though, that Peter is not a man of conflict.  He is a great decision-maker, bringing much balance to my slow decision making.  However, I had never seen him so conflicted: do I cheer for the Pack?  Do I cheer for Trav?  I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO!

The result was cheering for the offense of both teams, but with minimal cheering.  It was limited to slight fist pumps and whispered "yes" and "alright"s.  Kind of hilarious, but then I felt really bad for him.  What a game to watch, though!  The feel in the stadium was amazing.  Such a huge place - like having all of Green Bay in one stadium!


Amazingly huge.

Hi Trav!

Packers at Cowboys
December 2013

I think that our greatest accomplishment for 2013 was that we survived our first year of home-ownership, though just barely.  JUST barely.  

We are soooo lucky to have such great neighbors that were (and still are) VERY willing to help us when they realized that we were helpless.  One couple actually told me that they couldn't believe that I grew up on a farm, because we were some big city slickers.  I can't help that we didn't have a vegetable OR flower garden.  And that we didn't think about what it meant to own 3 acres.  Or need a lawn mower.  Anyways, they seem to enjoy or company and our naiveness, so that's nice.

In conclusion, our year has flown by, and every day we find that we are far more blessed than we could ever deserve.  We are at a wonderful place in our marriage, relationships, and careers.  What we could have ever done to arrive here is unknown, but we could never be more gracious.

We are also thankful for all of you who add so much to our adventure by sharing in our stories.

Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals.
Sara & Peter

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Off a cliff

One of my friends told me that he never has to guess what I'm thinking because either my face reads like a book or I blurt it out.

I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing.  

I actually told him this story, and he said, "Why would you ever tell anyone that?"  And I responded that it's a funny, albeit quite embarrassing, story and that it's too good not to share.

I have a friend that I've been referring to as "my new friend B" for months now.  Like, almost a year.  I don't know why I do it either, because we talk on an almost daily basis about things that you don't talk to about with new friends.  Like telling stories about the time you were traveling and got a nosebleed in the hotel shower and it looked like an effing crime scene and you didn't know what to do because THE BLOOD WOULD NOT STOP AND BLOOD MIXING WITH WATER LOOKS LIKE A SHIT TON OF BLOOD.  And then she'll laugh with you and say, "I'm sure that was horrible, but it sounds hilarious." And then you think, it wasn't really that horrible, and I'm so glad we're friends.

I suppose that I can stop calling her my new friend now, after sharing my horror stories like that with her.

Anyways, the other day B and I went to lunch.  There is a new Mexican restaurant in town and we thought we'd give it a shot.  Note: It's delicious and cheap, and we will be returning.

B and I hadn't seen each other for a while because I was out of the office for work for about 2 weeks, so we had a lot to catch up on.  We took my car to the Mexican restaurant.  This is important because you need to understand that we were sitting low to the ground.

The parking lot for this restaurant is kind of confusing.  As we were getting closer, B and I had the following conversation:

Sara: Can I get in through the Subway parking lot?  It looks like they're connected.
B: I think so.
Sara: Ok!

As I continued driving, we were chatting and being friends and having a grand time.  I pulled into the Subway parking lot and was getting ready to cross over into the Mexican place parking lot when all of a sudden 
BA BOOM.


We went off a CLIFF and I was like OH MY GOD PETER IS GOING TO KILL ME BECAUSE WE ARE GOING TO TRADE MY CAR IN NEXT WEEK AND ALL I HAD TO DO WAS KEEP MY HONDA SAFE.

Dialogue in the car when we thought we were plummeting to our deaths:

Sara: OOOOOOOOOOOOOOHMYYYYYYYYYYGAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD! AGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

B: HOLY SHIT!

Can you tell which of us is more dramatic?

If it was just me in the car, I would tell you to take my word for it and believe me that it was a CLIFF that we drove off of, and then expect you not to believe me.  But guess what.  B was in the car too and she attests to the fact that it looked like flat ground and NOT A CLIFF.

When I parked the car, I immediately got out to check the front bumper, because by the sound of our off-roading experience, there was SURELY damage.


All I saw was a little crack.  PHEW.  B was like, "But there's a crack" and I said, "oh, that's been there for a while.... Don't tell Peter about that one either."

We had a good laugh about the little incident after there was no visible damage, but then B told me that she hoped there wasn't undercarriage damage.  So that was unsettling.

A few days after my off-roading experience, Peter and I went car shopping and got a new SUV (yahoo!).  I was kind of nervous when they took my Honda away to appraise it.

Peter: Sar, why are you so nervous? We know the car is in good condition!
Sara: Oh, well, you know how I get nervous over stupid things! *wipes sweat from brow*
Peter: You're being ridiculous.
Sara: Yep, just me overreacting about nothing again ha.ha. *gulp*

The good news is that there was nothing wrong with the undercarriage of my car.  On our way home, I told Peter about my and B's little adventure.  

I always know how to make him proud. 

Last week, I got this text from B:



I got the text when I was with some coworkers and I had to start coughing to cover up my laugh.  And then I was smiling like an idiot because I was trying not to laugh.

Finally I started laughing.  Of course I shared our adventure with my coworkers and that's when I was told that I should keep stories like these to myself.

I am standing my ground that too many people were asking the Mexican restaurant to pay for car damages after driving off a cliff to get to their delicious food.

I wonder how many times I'm going to have to drive past this fence before I don't let out a chuckle.

(But seriously, from that picture, DOESN'T IT LOOK LIKE THERE ISN'T A CLIFF?)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Pathetic day.

As an abnormally overly emotional being a woman, sometimes you just have those moments when you start to cry even though something isn't even a big deal and you KNOW it's stupid but you just can't stop.  Especially when you're overly hormonal for womanly reasons.

And so begins the story of one of the most sadly pathetic days of my life.  

As you know, I have had little success in finding someone to replace the best hair stylist ever.  And by little I mean none.  Therefore, my hair had grown to the longest it had ever been, and I had become unknowingly attached to said blonde locks.  For the first time in my 26 years of life I could reach behind my back and touch my hair with my fingers.  It was glorious, but alas, all good things must come to an end.

A couple of weeks ago, I called a salon that I had gone to a couple times before and had luck with good trims and made an appointment for that same evening.  I had decided that I was going to go all out and cut off a whopping 3 inches of hair.  I sat down in the chair and Yana asked me what I wanted.  I've learned that I should be very specific with these stylists because I don't want to leave disappointed and going to get your hair cut is expensive.

"Three inches off the bottom, my layers need to be re-shaped - my other stylist usually uses a razor to do that - and I'd also like my bangs reshaped.  My hair DEFINITELY still needs to be able to go in a ponytail." 

I thought that I was being clear.  

Until she took the first snip.  And it was a snip of eight inches.  EIGHT INCHES.  
EIGHT INCHES.

To say that I was shocked is an understatement.  But after the first cut, when the cut is way way WAY shorter than you were anticipating, there's nothing you can do.  I didn't want a HORRIBLE haircut, so I just sat and watched my hair fall around me.  I was sweating profusely underneath the cape and I was trying to continue on with normal conversation.

An HOUR AND A HALF LATER she was done and had styled it HORRIBLY.  She didn't fully straighten it, my cowlick was out of control and it was SO FRIZZY.  And THEN she was like "Oh, you can still put it in a pony tail!"  And started to gather my ABOVE THE SHOULDER length hair together and was like "... You might need a pin or two..."  Yeah.  There's no way this is going into a ponytail.  More like a NUB.  

I had her do a few more layers because at this point I figured I should own it instead of take the following day off work to drive to Lake Geneva for an emergency revival haircut from the best stylist ever.  I have had my hair this short before, so I knew how to style it and how she should layer it, etc.  I had to do a lot more guiding than I'm used to. 

It was just a shock.  A big shock.  

And THEN she had the NERVE to tell me that I would need my hair cut EVERY SIX WEEKS and that I should probably SCHEDULE MY NEXT APPOINTMENT RIGHT NOW.  

NO.

I was so traumatized.  I did not reschedule.  I've never gotten my hair cut every six weeks.  Sigh.

I left the salon and called Jenna.  And started to cry.  Jenna, true to her big sister, I'm-going-to-solve-this-problem-for-my-younger-sister-because-it's-my-DUTY form, the form the I know and love and needed from her, was wonderful.

S: "Jen.  My hair is SO short.  It is SO SHORT.  I hate it.  I HATE IT.  She did a HORRIBLE job styling it and I HATE IT."  

J: "Did you pay for that?  I hope you didn't pay for that.  Did you TELL her that you hated it?  You BETTER have told her that you hated it, Sara."

S: *sob* "No, I paid and I didn't say anything because it's not like she can put the hair back on my head after she cuts it off!"

J: "Sara.  You need to CALL THE SALON and tell them what a HORRIBLE job she did!  You need to complain!!"

S: "I don't want to."

J: "You know what?  You give me the number and I'LL call the salon!  I WILL CALL THEM and tell them how unhappy you are!!!"

S: "I have to go.  You really are the best."

Peter and I were meeting for dinner after my hair cut.  I was thirty minutes late because YANA took so long to cut my hair.  I saw his car in the parking lot, and pulled in to the spot that was right next to him.  He was still in his car.  I was done crying at this point.  

When I parked my car, I looked over at Peter.  He looked at me.  And his eyes got wide.  Then I saw him mouth "Your hair is so short!"  And then I started crying again.

Now, Peter grew up with two brothers and is not used to hormones and haircuts and girly things.  So he didn't really know what to do.  He'd never seen me in this state over my hair and I was going ballistic.  He sat down in the passenger seat of my car.

S: "I HATE MY HAIR.  I told her to cut off three inches.  THREE INCHES!!  It's SO short.  IT. IS. SO. SHORT.  I hate it.  I hate it!!"

P: *Looking at me really sadly and not knowing how to comfort me.*

S: "I KNEW YOU WOULD HATE IT!  YOU'VE TOLD ME BEFORE THAT YOU LIKED MY LONG HAIR.  I KNEW YOU WOULD HATE IT THIS SHORT!"

P: "I don't hate it!  I like it!  It looks good!"

S: "You're just saying that.  I know you're lying." *still crying*

I then decided to get my shit together and stop crying.  After fixing my makeup and fanning my eyes to dry the tears that were still threatening to spill over, we went to dinner.  But not before I texted my mom and my sisters the tragedy that had occurred.  They are the best ever.

*Note: At this point I thought that she only cut off 7 inches.  
Peter later told me that it was closer to 8 or 9.  
Sigh.

Probably one of the most pathetic pictures that I've ever taken.
Ever.
I had Peter take this picture of me so that I could show my sisters my hair.
After he took the picture, he was like "Sar, you look SO SAD in that picture."
And I told him I was glad because it is a true depiction of my feelings.

My wonderful sisters' and mom's responses to my hair.
Look at that support.  Adrianna even swears!  Twice!!
They are so wonderful.

The next day I woke up feeling sad and used way too much shampoo and conditioner in my hair.  The good news is that since I've had my hair this length before, I knew how to style it, etc.  After I was done, I liked it.  I think that I was just so shocked because it was NOT what I was expecting.  Or what I had asked for... But anyways.


Look at how pretty Jenna is.
Look at how big Josh is getting!

Much happier.

At work the next day, people started asking me if I donated my hair.  I WOULD have had I known EIGHT INCHES were going to be cut off.

So there you have the story of one of the most pathetic, lowest moments of my life.  I'm not proud.

Now let's look at Nora having the opposite reaction to her first haircut than I had to my umpteenth haircut.



Now let's look at how cute Josh is.  (Ignore the drool.)


And now look at this conversation that Jenna and I had with our mom a few weeks ago.


This must have been on a Saturday, because Peter and I were driving somewhere when this conversation took place because I was laughing SO HARD that tears were streaming down my cheeks and Peter thought I had gone senile.  

Jenna was having a shitty day so I wanted to cheer her up.  

Pun intended.

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Mystery of the Freshly Mowed Lawn

We live in a neighborhood in which people take pride in their lawns, which is obviously not the worst thing in the world.  We could live in a dump.

Our neighbor across the street is out on his lawnmower every 4 days, double mowing his lawn so it has those fancy criss-cross lines in it.  We compliment his lawn.  He says "I'm just putzin'."  Well.  If that's putzing... We're assholes.

Our neighbors to the north have a bagger and mow trails into a part of their 5 acres so that their 5 children (all boys - our new favorite entertainment... more on them later) can ride their 4-wheelers and dirt bikes along the paths.  

Our neighbors to the south have beautiful landscaping with no weeds and so many pretty shrubs and flowers.  Their son is the one we've contracted to mow our lawn for the summer.

And then there's us.  New homeowners.  Moved into our house at the end of last summer with no thoughts of a lawnmower or weed-wacker, let alone a bagger.  (I should say that I didn't think about a lawnmower - my logical husband did.)  We have a ton of landscaping that weeds seem to love, a huge garden that we are have no idea what to do with, and a lawn that grows faster than you can even SAY lawnmower.  We are the assholes that have a huge beautiful lawn without the means NOR the knowledge to take care of it.

Last week, Peter and I were both traveling for work, him in Houston, me in Canada.  We were both gone for only 3 days, so we didn't even have anyone pick up our mail.  On Friday when we got home from work, I told Peter that he should ask our contracted lawnmower to mow the lawn.  He said ok.

On Saturday, we were gone all morning and for the first part of the afternoon.  As we were pulling up our road around 3, Peter said, "Hey, I think our lawn was mowed!"  Great news!  And then we drove closer.  I said, "Hey, I think our neighbor weed-wacked around the landscape!"  What a fantastic day!

And then we pulled up our drive-way.

Sara: ... I don't think Neighbor Kid did this.  The lawn is cut... diagonally.
Peter:  Oh my God.  Did Neighbor Across The Street mow our lawn?

When we got into the house, I looked out back.  There weren't any lawn cuttings in our lawn. And it was DEFINITELY mowed diagonally.  I went back out to the garage.

Sara:  Umm, Pete?  I don't think Neighbor Kid did this...

Pete: Oh my GAWD this is SO EMBARRASSING.  I THINK NEIGHBOR ACROSS THE STREET MOWED OUR LAWN.  

Sara: How are we going to find out who mowed our lawn?  This is SO embarrassing.

Pete: I'm not sure if someone did this because they're nice and they think we're nice, or if it's a passive aggressive sign to get our shit together and keep our lawn mowed.

Sara:  I'm SOOOOO embarrassed.

So then we stood on our patio and stared at our freshly mowed lawn a little bit longer.  And then we started laughing because we were so embarrassed and in disbelief that our lawn was not only mowed, but also bagged.  

A little bit later, our neighbors to the south were outside, so we went over to their house.  Separating our yards is a mini creek, and it rained quite a bit at the end of last week, so the creek was basically a raging river.  



What the creek actually looks like:



We were talking to our neighbors and Peter had the brilliant idea of hopping across the river to see their garden.  I was like ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh now I'M going to have to hop across this river, and I have the grace of a newborn calf.  So, Peter jumped.  And obviously made it just fine.

So then I jumped.

This is what I was hoping I would look like:


Of course that's not what happened.


I jumped.
I slipped.
I fell.
Into the creek.
And was soaking wet from the waist down.

But I prevailed, and admired their garden boxes while swatting mosquitoes that were obviously quite attracted to my wet clothes.  And legs.  And feet.  (I'm itchy.)

While we were chatting, we asked (hoped) if their son mowed our lawn.  

Neighbors: No... We actually saw Neighbor Across The Street zip over with his huge lawn mower and started mowing.

*Sara and Peter's jaws drop*

Neighbors: And then, Neighbor To The North came over with his lawnmower and started bagging the cut grass.

*Sara and Peter put their hands to their faces*

Neighbors: And then, Neighbor Across The Street said he thought you guys were going to be away for work for 2 weeks, so he thought he'd help you out.  So then Neighbor To The North thought he would help too.

We. Were. HORRIFIED.  Good LORD.  So our faces were all red and we were laughing embarrassingly saying how embarrassed we were and my WORD are we assholes.

When we got back home from our neighbor's house, we sat and stared at each other.

Sara: I feel juvenile.  And that we're DEFINITELY in WAY over our heads.
Peter: I feel like the football team beat me up and now the teachers feel bad for me.

So on Sunday morning I made a big ol' batch of peanut butter cookies.  Before I got the chance to bring them over to our neighbors to the north, the wife and 2nd oldest came over and knocked on our door.  

Neighbor: Are you ready to plant your vegetable garden?  I've got extra tomatoes and peppers, and also a bunch of flowers and shrubs.  I'll just bring them on over and put them in the sandbox.

Sara: YEP!  We're ready!  After we go to town and buy seeds!  We are SO ready.
(Sometimes over-confidence is a sign of 'oh shit I didn't know we were actually going to do this'.)

Neighbor: Alright!  I'll go get them!

I brought them the cookies after they helped us out even MORE and we feel like HORRIBLE neighbors AND PEOPLE because we are SO incapable/stupid.  Seriously.  

The good news is that they mowed down the really tall grass that was separating our lawns, and they told us that they did it because they like us, so now BOTH of our lawns look good and we can be friends.  So THAT is a GREAT sign.  

Here are some pics of our lawn, landscape, and vegetable garden that is staked out and will be planted tomorrow, weather permitting.  

Peter roto-tilling the garden.

Roto-tilling again - I want you to appreciate the size of this massive garden.


Freshly mowed lawn.  I was standing in the kitchen when I took this picture.  It's huge.

Landscape in the back that is WEED FREE.

Landscape in the front that is NOT weed free.

When I see our house straight-on, I get a little less annoyed about all of the grass and weeds and huge vegetable garden.  Because I really do love this house. 

So now we have a money saving jar that we're putting our change into to save for a lawnmower so we don't look like schmucks anymore.

Donations are welcome.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The time I thought someone broke into our house

If you know me for even five seconds, you know that I am a huge scaredy cat.  Like, afraid of my own shadow scaredy cat.  

Anyways, owning a home has not made me any less of a scaredy cat.  One day the power went out in our cul-du-sac, and Peter wasn't home from work yet.  I called him to tell him the power went out, and he told me that I had to go in the DARK SCARY BASEMENT to check to see if it was flooded.  I ran down, put my foot down and it was dry, and then I ran back up the stairs and declared that I would NOT be doing that again.  

And once it's in my head that I'm scared about something, I am a wreck, jumping at the littlest things and gasping when I hear any noise.

The other day when I got home from work, as I was pulling into the garage, I noticed something was off.  A big something.

The door from the garage into our entryway/kitchen was wide open.  

Too many episodes of Law & Order flashed through my mind as I considered backing out of the garage, closing the door, and waiting until Pete got home from work so he could be manly and check everything out.  But then I thought that the murderer in the house would have heard the garage door open, and was probably hiding somewhere so that he could get me when I came in.

So I sat in my car considering what I should do, and TRYING to think logically about the situation.  The man-door to the garage was still locked.  Nothing in our garage was out of place.  

As I got out of my car, I left the garage door open in case I had to make a fast get away.  And then I glanced around the garage looking for something to carry with me as I went into the house (note: buy a baseball bat).  Tennis racket?  No.  Plastic shovel with metal edge?  Maybe...  New garden shears that aren't out of the cardboard?  Yes.  So I folded the edge of the cardboard down so that I could stab someone if needed.  Kind of like this...
You get the point.

I had also taken out my phone and dialed 9-1-1 into the keypad with my thumb hovering over the "call" button just in case I had to stab anyone.  I was ready to enter.

I walked through the house turning on all the lights with the garden shears leading the way.  I was suddenly very aware at how loudly I breathe.  




After I checked all of the closets, behind the shower curtains, and all corners of our suddenly gigantic house, I walked over to the basement door and chain-locked it.  That thing has never come in so handy.  

I texted Pete that he left the door to the house wide open and that I thought someone broke in, and his response was "whoopsie."  Uhhhh, yeah.  Whoopsie is right.

When he got home I made him check the basement.  No one was hiding down there.


Then he saw the hedge trimmers on the kitchen counter, and asked what they were doing there.  I told him that I needed them to protect myself.  


He laughed.

I asked for a home security system.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Adult Life: Living on 3 acres

So last summer when we saw our house for the first time is was sooooo nicely landscaped and had a HUGE yard and Pete was like "This yard is perfect for a dog!" and at the same time I was all "This yard is perfect for a pool!" And then we stared each other down while our real estate agent got uncomfortable.

We are especially good at making people feel uncomfortable.

Since we moved into our house on the last day of August (30 days has September, April, June, and November) August 31, and last summer there was a drought, we were all "Look at how great this landscape is!  Look at how awesome this yard is!!  We have a fire pit!  Let's have a party!!!" and we paid the neighbor kid to mow the lawn once and we were happy and naive.  

Then winter happened and we had the Amazon River at the end of our driveway aka a lot of moisture going on.  THEN spring came about 2 months late, and everything started growing.

And by everything I mean the grass.  The flowers.  The plants.  And the weeds.  At this point, I regretted two things.  1) Not taking pictures of the landscape when the previous owners had it done so that I could tell what should stay and what should go. 2) Buying a house that had a shit ton of landscaping and lawn.  

Finally one day in May when it was nice outside, I was all motivated and feeling earthy, so I decided to go out and pull weeds.  And pull weeds I did.  For two and a half hours.  

No, I could not move the next day.  But I went back outside and pulled weeds for three more hours.  And then the NEXT day I was like OH MY GOD I WANT TO DIE HAVING NICE LANDSCAPE SUCKS WHEN YOU CAN'T AFFORD TO HAVE SOMEONE PULL WEEDS FOR YOU AND YOU DON'T HAVE KIDS THAT YOU CAN MAKE DO IT.  (We are clearly not ready to have kids if the two times we've talked about having kids were when we wanted slave labor to shovel the driveway in the winter and pull weeds last week.)


BUT.  Worse than not being able to move for a week is looking like a schmuck for the summer.  Ok, well, I looked like a schmuck when I could hardly walk/stand/sit/move, but we live in a nice little cul-du-sac that has 5 houses, and our house is the dink.  I mean, I ADORE our house, but it really is the dink of the neighborhood.  

What I'm trying to say is that we need to keep up with the Jonses, so to speak.  They all have nice lawns and landscape, so come hell or high water, we will have a nice lawn and landscape too.

The landscape part we have mostly under control with the help of my supportive Facebook friends, and NOT the help of my a-hole sister who just said, "I don't think you should have pulled that one."  Well.  I KNOW that.  But we had to pull the plant because there was a huge grass plant intertwined and there was no way to get rid of the grass without getting rid of the whole plant.  But seriously, right now on my Facebook there are some pictures of plants that I don't know if I should pull or ignore.  Help.  Also - you Facebook friends are really making me laugh because a handful of you were like "You are cracking me up!" with my questions about plants, and I'm not trying to be funny.  I just have no idea how to figure this shit out.  So if you want to come to our house and identify plants vs. weeds, you are more than welcome.  I will cook for you.  And Peter will buy you a Summer Shandy.

ANYWAYS.

After many trips to the local hardware store (Tangent: One day Peter came home from the hardware store, and he declared, "Today was the best day of my life!" and then I glared at him and he said, "The SECOND best day of my life!!!!" And then he proceeded to tell me that Vern, who owns Vern's hardware, knew his name.  "Sar.  It was amazing.  He said, 'Hey Pete!  Come here, I want to show you something!'  So then I looked around, and I realized hey! he's talking to me! So, he showed me a joke that his sister-in-law sent him on the computer, and it was really funny!  Can you believe he knows my name?!"), we came home with a shovel thing, a little hand hoe thing, some gardening gloves, weed killer, and some candy.  I actually don't remember where I was going with this because I'm watching Newlyweds: the First Year on Bravo right now and I keep getting distracted.

I'll start over.

Over the weekend, Peter and I spent all day Saturday working outside again doing more weeding and looking at our huge effing vegetable garden (Ok, we think it's huge, but all of our super outdoorsy neighbors are like "That's tiny!" uhhhh... riiiiiiight...) and trying to think about what we're going to do with it.  I got sunburned and Peter got a little pink, but now he's already really tan.  On Sunday, we were both hobbling around the house because clearly we are NOT outdoorsy people.

The best news of the day is that the neighbor kid is going to mow the lawn this summer, so we REALLY won't look like the schmucks of the neighborhood.  

Also, we have a ton of mosquitos already, so we both have tons of mosquito bites.  

I'll put up pictures of our lawn soon.  I should actually take the pictures like, tomorrow because the lawn is mown and the weeds are pulled.  I think.


It's only May.  What the hay am I going to do when it's 100 degrees and 100% humidity in JULY and I have to pull those damn weeds??  Because we all KNOW that the last thing I want is for people to judge me based on the outdoor appearance of my house!

Disclaimer: I know that this whole post is categorized as the hashtag that I see people putting on Facebook #firstworldproblems.  I also know that it is classified as #stopbeingspoiledandappreciateyourlawn (it's really hard to type that without using spaces).  But hey!  Freedom of Speech - I can do what I want.  But don't stop reading; I like you!  I won't complain in the next post!!