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.

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