Friday, January 29, 2010

All about the Benjamins

My sleeping rhythms are all off.

Every morning at about 3:30 my eyes pop open and I find myself staring at the red Christmas lights that are currently hanging over our bed. And most of my thoughts have one unifying characteristic. The thing I worry most about. The topic I can't ever tear out of my mind.


Which is probably why if someone peeped into my house at 3:47 last Tuesday morning they would find me sitting in my underwear at the dining room table writing checks and paying my bills online.


You don't pay your bills in your underwear?


Anyway, since buying the house in October we've also had Christmas and nearly completed a kitchen renovation. My poor bank account is starting to feel like a hemophiliac. Always ebbing, never clotting.

Sometimes I wish I could just be one of those people who doesn't worry about money all the time. A person who isn't paralyzed by an unpaid credit card balance. Like a college co-ed whose tuition is taken care of. A girl whose crumby dirty apartment rent can be found between the cushions of a couch.

But, alas, I'm not.

Are you?

How do you do it?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Liquid or Powder detergent?

Usually I'm much better at getting the laundry done. There are only the two of us and we really don't stack up the dirty clothes that fast, so if I just toss a load in every other morning it's typically a pretty simple thing to conquer.

But twice in the last month I've opened my underwear drawer at 6 in the morning and found not a single clean item to wear under my clothes.

My solution both times this has happened is pretty simple. I get the laundry going and curl back up in bed to wait out the dryer. Which is what I was doing this morning when I woke the ear doctor up on accident. Typically we are pretty isolated sleepers, but this morning we cuddled up together and fell back to sleep in a pile. Just as I was drifting off I thought to myself, "enjoy this Katie...when you have kids these moments will be few and far between"

That was the first time in my life the vision of me being a mother, of us being parents, has really, clearly come to me.

And it was really nice.

But if I'm ever going to be a good mom I'm going to have to get better at the laundry...

Monday, January 25, 2010


You know what we do well in our family?

Wear awesome hats:

Saturday we spent the day running around after our niece and nephew at the National Western Stock show. They got to feed goats and eat their weight in funnel cakes. It was pretty rad.

What's not rad? They gave me the lovely little cold they've been incubating all week.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dining room revisited

The kitchen renovation is *this close* to being done. We're just waiting on a final cabinet being delivered from Home Depot (since they messed up our original order). We can't put up the backsplash until that's done.

Oh, and there isn't any real floor in yet...trying to install what we got ourselves was a nightmare. It made me sink into the very depths of despair.

Anyway, with a lull in kitchen design upon me, my sights have switched to the dining room. In November this was my idea for the dining room:

It was alright, but there were a few things I wasn't loving. First, there wasn't a whole lot of color. Or pattern for that matter. Plus I found out that those curtains are really shear so they weren't really going to give us the privacy I was hoping for. Also that rug? A bit sedate, right?

So here is my latest idea:

More color? Check! More Pattern? You bet.

Since our dining room is part of our living room I wanted to keep the feel pretty casual, and I think having different chairs around the table is a cool way to do that. We'd really get 4 white chairs (instead of the 2 pictured) and I LOVE those two wood chairs for either end of the rectangular table. Plus, these chairs are so functional. I really like the idea of being able to use the chairs in other ways when we move into our next house should that house have a more formal dining area.

My only reservation with this look is the curtains. I want a double curtain because it'll give us much more privacy. The ear doctor hates people looking into our house at night. I already have the white shears for underneath, but I need something heavy to go on top. What I have pictured is some fabric from Amy Butler, but I'm not totally in love with the idea. What do you think? Any alternate ideas?

The kiddies are here!

Last night I picked my sister and her to adorable kiddos up at the airport. After a day of FRANTICALLY trying to get the kitchen into a toddler-friendly condition I flew out to get them. As I drove down the passenger pick up lane where "ONLY WAITING FOR PASSENGERS, NO PARKING" is allowed I spied my adorable sister in a beautiful red trenchcoat and and adorable black cloche hat.

But what really caught my eye was the almost 3 year old standing up on her tippy toes in the back of the double stroller. There was a open mouthed grin from ear to ear and it was clear that the squeal of joy coming from her mouth was probably reverberating off every cement beam in the structure.

I can't be sure.

I was still in the car.

I stopped, jumped out as quickly as my home-renovation-sore muscles would allow and ran to my little Charlotte girl. After a hug I was presented with a gift.

An art project colored on a white paper airplane barf bag.

It has officially become the first and perfect piece of art that is prominently displayed on my brand spankin new beautiful space-aged fridge.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Great news

2 items of great news my friends:

First, our Appliances are being delivered today!!!!!!!!!

We purchased our appliances the Saturday after Thanksgiving. They were initially scheduled to be delivered to the house on December 15th, and since they are only 1 month late I guess I shouldn't be too upset? Right....

Second, I have found my new passion in home repair/remodeling.

Patching and repairing drywall.

Sweet Moses, this is a fun little job. If you like frosting cakes, this is the job for you. It's quick and totally fulfills the little perfectionist living deep inside my soul.

So if this whole Aerospace engineer thing doesn't work out I'm pretty sure I've found my fall-back career.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

All in the details

The hardest part of designing this new kitchen has not been the demo. It has not been going more than 2 months without cooking my own food. It has not even been the sore muscles from lifting pulling and dropping things on my foot.

It's been the details. The hundreds of choices that all need to be made all at once. There are just too many options out there. Everything from cabinet finish, to door hinges to countertop finish to faucet style! It's not like designing a living room or bedroom where things can come together staggered and over time. Things in a kitchen can't be easily tweaked if it's not quite right either. once we've picked a countertop, we've picked it.

And even when you've selected a style, color and size there are STILL choices to be made.

For example...should we go with these drawer pulls:

or these:
For someone who does not like to mull choices over very much this has been tortuous.

Which pull do you like better? Should the door knobs be round or oval shaped? Will it matter if this dumb design process transforms me to into a mean harpy of a wife, causing my dear, patient husband to leave me thereby necessitating the sale of our house because I can't bear to live in it alone?

Alone with ugly drawer pulls?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Vital tools

I was racing through the mall during my lunch break and happened to see this little gem prominently displayed in the Williams-Sonoma window:

In case you can't tell what it is, it's a baking sheet with individual circular wells that are about 1/4 inch deep, intended to help you make perfectly round cookies for whoopie pies.

And it initiated the following sequence of thoughts in my head:

You've got to be kidding me! Who would ever buy such a lame stupid kitchen tool? Who on God's green earth has one extra little slot in their kitchen cabinetry to house such a trendy single-use instrument? What would it be like to have a kitchen so big and spacious that picking up this silly little baking pan would seem like a good idea? What would it be like to have a kitchen at all? I'm never going to have a kitchen life will be filled from now on with greasy take out food. Going out to dinner will never again be a luxury that I look forward to. Instead it is a pain that takes time out of my day and forces my little dog to spend way more time locked up in his crate. Because we can't let him out just in case he decides to dump again on our bare, exposed sub floor of the room that formerly was known as the kitchen but is now only a symbol of the overwhelmingly oppressive existence that is known as MY LIFE!!!!!!

It was at this point that my brain exploded.

Which is really kind of convenient because I will now be fed directly into my stomach with a tube and have no need for cooking or a kitchen whatsoever.

Sensing a theme

Is anyone else watching the new show Modern Family on ABC? Because last night when the ear doctor and I got around to watching the most recent episode we ended up doubled over on the floor laughing so hard.

What made us laugh until tears came streaming across our cheeks?

The dad had a kidney stone.

Yup, seeing someone else writhe in pain sent us over the edge.

Now, I've never had a kidney stone myself, but my little sister has and she said it was awful. The ear doctor had one when he was living in a dirt-floored, non-airconditioned, pantry-converted-into-bedroom on a rural Mexican ranch. And I think for him, for some reason, having gone through the tortuous event himself made the episode so remarkably funny that we had to rewind and watch it over and over again...

...Just like the time we laughed with abandon when we saw the Amazing Race episode where the girl who had a prosthetic leg had to scoot across the rice paddy in Gollum-esque fashion because she didn't have the right attachment on....

...Or pretty much every episode of that dumb yet addictive show Wipe Out where contestants endlessly attempted to walk in front of a wall of mechanical punching fists and without exception ended up in a trough of mud...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Put on Pause

After driving for 3 days straight we've returned to Colorado from our Californian Christmas Adventure. But, since we've arrived we've been working non stop to get the kitchen renovation buttoned up. And in the process it seems like I've lost all semblance of excited New Year Spirit.

My house is a mess

My clothes/dishes/furniture are all over the place

My hair is grown to an uncomfortable length

My waist is the biggest it's ever been

My work is the same exact pile of stuff I left here in December

My food is basically expensive take out that is starting to taste the same

Nothing seems new or fresh right now

Well, that's not entirely true...

As each screw goes into the wall to anchor our brand new kitchen cabinets my heart starts to beat a little more excited. And when my husband and dad had the beautiful new white farmhouse sink in place last night I may have done a little happy dance across the room. And my sister is coming to visit next week.

So when LG decides to finally ship us our appliances (topic for another post) I might take the ear doctor out to a fancy dinner and stay up until midnight to re-ring in 2010. Until then, I'm just going to pretend that the new year hasn't happened yet.

Is that OK?

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Not to brag but...

Well, the decade of the 2010's is off to a great start. Which is more than I can say for the last decade.

The last decade was rung in by me staying up late in my grandma's basement all alone finishing up the latest installment of Harry Potter.

Try not to be too impressed by my total and utter coolness.

No, this decade started off right...with a smooch from my best friend and husband.

The next day? Staying home all day in pj's watching TV and eating until I practically exploded.

Since then I've done the following:
  • Spent all day at Disneyland and got to see the Christmas decorations up. No one does festive like the happiest place on earth
  • Took my first trip to bloggers weren't kidding about that place. It's AMAZING.
  • Went out to dinner steps from the ocean with my best friend from high school who is just as awesome as I remember her.
  • Got to go to the San Diego Wild Animal park on a day when it was practically deserted.
  • Saw Avatar, Young Victoria, and Sherlock Holmes. All were AWESOME!

If the past week is any indication of the upcoming events of the decade I'm in for a pretty unbelievable new year!