Friday, February 25, 2011

fun february

A few years ago, Wesley (the campus ministry Matt and I attended/interned at/met at) started a thing called "Fun February." This was after we had already left, but I believe the idea was that February is typically a lame and boring month, so they decided to jazz it up a bit to keep things, well, fun! Random fun activities and themes, surprises...I don't know, just lots of things intentionally planned to make February less drudgery, more fun.

I like the idea. So in late January, Matt and I decided we would have our own "Fun February." You know, when you're as exciting as we are and your life consists of such exciting things as working, working out, walking the dog, and...sleeping...well, it's hard to imagine incorporating any more fun than that, but we figured we could try. We're ambitious like that. So during that extremely long and boring wait at the naturopath's office in early February, I single-handedly came up with our Fun February list on the back of some random paper I found in the depths of my purse. Since then we've added a few more things, and made some solid progress towards crossing most things off. The goal was just to do as many of the fun things as we could. No pressure to do it all, but...well, we do like to finish things we set out to do. So we're feeling the crunch, since it's the last weekend in February and all. Anyway, without further adieu, here's the list!

In case you're really interested, here's the breakdown:

1. rock climbing Done and done.
2. sour Twizzlers
A few months ago, a girl at work had some of these Twizzlers and I ate some. They were amazing. And I'm not really a Twizzler fan. I told Matt (who is a Twizzler fan) about them and he was very intrigued. We spent the next FOREVER trying to find them in a store. It took TWO MONTHS. Then once we found them, we didn't get them because...who just buys a bag of Twizzlers and eats it? Anyway, we did. This month. For Fun February. And oh, it was worth it.
3. $2 movies
4. dog park
5. play flute to see if Lola sings along (she didn't, but she was completely terrified.)
6. eat dinner with friends
7. take Lola to see the cows (there's a huge cow pasture about a mile from our house. Lola loves going there to see the cows, whom I imagine she thinks are her mommy and daddy and family, since they're just huge black versions of herself. She likes to bark at them.)
8. let Aidan come in the house for a little while (he's our outside cat who hasn't been indoors in...5 years? And is completely terrified of our dog. I think the reason this one hasn't/won't be crossed off is Matt is completely anti. Oh well. It woulda been fun.)
9. do taxes (guess who picked this as being fun?)
10. paint beautiful pictures
11. eat 3 Kings (our favorite appetizer at our favorite Mexican restaurant)
12. take a class at Lowes or Home Depot
13. go yardsaling
14. get a firetruck soundtrack and play for Lola (she HOWLS for real firetrucks and it's awesome. She was not tricked by a soundtrack. Oh well.)
15. go to a thrift store (I got 3 books)

So, that's the status of Fun February. I thought about adding on "get a smartphone" so that Matt would feel the pressure, but that might be too mean. Maybe for Marvelous March.

PS. Glad yall all like the new design...thanks for leaving the comfort and convenience of your Readers to come all the way I have to think of a new scheme to get yall to come back!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

destined to disappoint

Yes, this is my second post in about 8 hours. Please don't judge me. I have a lot of deep thoughts when I'm staying home sick, and I've never been one to keep thoughts to myself.

Especially thoughts about food.

Especially food that is consistently disappointing. Because I feel like it's my duty, as a human being and good citizen, to whine about anything remotely disappointing.

And one thing that is ALWAYS disappointing? Canned soup.

Say it with me now: blech.

I always have high hopes for canned soup. I am a sucker for marketing and pretty pictures, I'll be the first to admit it. And canned soup just looks so good in its pretty can...photographs of bountiful vegetables and steaming meats...thick broths and delicate seasonings. Oh, a soup can can paint a pretty picture in your mind, my friend.

But then you eat it. And it tastes like Canned. Soup.

Always. They all taste the same. It could be a Beef Barley or Italian Wedding...Reduced Sodium Vegetable or Chicken with Egg Noodles...Clam Chowder or Chicken and Dumplings. They all taste the SAME. Like canned soup.

And yet I keep buying it. For one thing, with the couponing, I can usually get it for next to nothing. And mind you, I'm not talking about off-brand soups from concentrate or something. These are your mainstream, name-brand cans. I pulled a few cans out of the stockpile to illustrate:

Boring, boring, boring, boring, boring. Except for the can on top, the King of Canned Items: Dinty Moore Beef Stew. Now I've got no beef (hardee har har) with Dinty Moore. But then, it's not really soup, and it's not even sold in the soup aisle. Dinty Moore is a god amongst mere mortal cans of soup. That's why I put it on the top of the pyramid.

But canned soup? Such a disappointment. Pretty much the only kind that doesn't bother me is tomato. For some reason it doesn't have that same flavor every other kind gets. But's tomato soup. *yawn*

Is there any hope out in soup-land? Anyone know some brand and flavor I've missed out on? Because I keep going back, hoping for redemption. It would be so convenient if soup were good. What an easy lunch or dinner! However, I'm not willing to stoop to the level of eating nastiness just for convenience's sake. I stooped there today, because I was sick and eating soup seems right when you're sick. After about 5 bites, I lovingly gave the rest to Lola. She looked hungry, and she's known to have an indiscriminate tongue.

Anyway...the part of my lunch that did not disappoint?

 Blood oranges. Um, yeah. Matt and I decided to walk on the wild side with our citrus this week, and wild it was. They taste pretty much like regular oranges. But you look like a vampire with blood dripping down your face when you eat them (I guess. I don't eat in front of a mirror. But my fingers looked like that.). Um, and they're called blood oranges. I don't usually like to associate blood with what I'm eating. So, definitely weird, but fun nonetheless.

And at least it took my mind off the Colossal Disappointment of Canned Soup.

EDIT: With all the time I had on my hands, I figured out how to make a "real" header and changed my blog theme! If you're viewing this in Reader, come check it out live so you can marvel at my handywork...and leave a comment *ahem*...

ramblings of the sleep-deprived

Hello to all you mothers-of-young-babies out there. I would like to join your club for the sleep-deprived. Up all night? Check. Deliriously exhausted? Check. Cute baby to snuggle with? Um, no. Still have to function all day and take care of said baby? Well, consolation prize is called a "sick day" which means I still get paid by my work, only I don't actually go. I stay home and sleep. It's brilliant, really. It also means I have extra time with which to ramble on incessantly on my blog: bonus!!

I'm sick. It started Tuesday night at the gym when I couldn't catch my breath. I figured it was workout-related, but even though I puffed away on my inhaler all night, I could never breathe deeply. All day yesterday my chest/throat felt like an elephant was sitting on it and I lost my voice because there wasn't enough air to make it be loud. That makes for a pretty useless pre-k teacher, I'll tell you that much. Plus, well...I like breathing. Not breathing= sad me. I figured that it was probably asthma-related bronchitis or happens frequently...suddenly my asthma just decides to go nuts and my bronchial tubes get all swollen. Matt wanted me to go to the Urgent Care last night, and let me just admit how lame I am: Yes, I wanted to go so that I could get some steroids (to open my tubes back up). But...I really didn't want to be weighed. It infuriates me that they think knowing your weight is somehow necessary when you clearly just have an upper-respiratory problem. I mean, I guess if I were obviously morbidly obese or something, there could be a connection...but since I'm not, I don't see why they need to know. Anyway, after debating for about an hour whether it would be worth the trauma of getting weighed, I decided to just go. As it turned out, they didn't weigh me. But we did have to wait in the waiting room for like an hour with the most obnoxious 4 children in North Georgia. I'm not sure which would have been worse. Scales or bratty kids. Tough call.

Anyway, I was correct on all my diagnoses, so I got my 'roid prescription and was good to go. Let me tell you. I am definitely that girl that reads the entire printout that they stick in the pharmacy bag regarding all the rules and regulations for the drug you're about to take. This particular steroid gets high marks that one of the possible side effects is WEIGHT LOSS. I'm sorry, what? I think you should re-market that as a BIG OL' BONUS. Hey-- you can breathe again AND you got skinnier!! Sign me up! However, other side effects that were not-so-great include heartburn (yeah, you must be kidding me. I'm so over that.), upset stomach, and sleeplessness. CHECK on the sleeplessness. Thanks. Why can't I have the weight-loss side effect? Why so quickly the sleeplessness? This world is so unfair.

Adding to my sleeplessness last night: a 2am LEG CRAMP. Um...why, God? Why me? Did I not eat 2.5 bananas yesterday (oh yes, I did)?I haven't had a leg cramp in like 2 years. Why on the night I'm also fighting the 'roids? I never recovered from the cramp. If it was already hard to sleep, it's now impossible with a mangled-feeling leg. So much for feeling good enough to go to work today.

Anyway, my plans for today now include:

1) Sleeping, if possible. (I have to take the 'roids 2x/day, so we'll see if they keep me up all day as well. What is this stuff, speed?)
2) Reading this book that I started over the weekend:
3. Cleaning the bathroom (nah, too sick for sure.)
4. Thinking about getting this phone

5. Thinking about going *big breath* back to school this summer to obtain a paralegal license.
6. Working on my Esther study (which is SUPER AWESOME OMG I LOVE IT)

7. Well...let's just be honest here. You know that all of the above things will be completed whilst I waste away my life viewing quality reality TV programming. Because there's nothing that makes you feel good quite like watching really rich people totally screw up life.

Hope your day is exciting as mine. That is, if you have any time left after checking out the 11,000 links I just gave you. Good luck and Godspeed! :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

weekend A-Z

Alright, friends. I'm trying to mix things up. So here we go with an A to Z about my weekend (so far). We'll see how this goes.

A- Amazing Race: Unfinished Business starts tonight! I am totally excited because one of my all-time faves, The Cowboys, will be racing again. Since the home shopping girls aren't going to be on, my loyalties will be undivided: Cowboys for the win!
B- Beautiful weather yesterday. I love living in Georgia.
C- Couponing takes a lot of time. But it's worth it.
D- Digging the old plants out of my garden/flower beds. I can't wait to start planting!
E- Eggs. It's what we had for breakfast Saturday.
F- Furniture shopping with Matt's mom and uncle. I was called upon for my interior decorating expertise. Unfortunately I suffer Furniture Store ADD whereby I can't focus on anything and instead run from chair to trunk exclaiming "I need this! I need this! Wouldn't this look great in my ___?! I need this!"
G- Gym. Saturdays are definitely my favorite days to go to the gym.
H- Housewives, Real. What I just spent 3 hours catching up with via my DVR.
I- Ice cream. I haven't had any all weekend.
J- Jake, my brother, got engaged last weekend...looking forward to his wedding this summer!
K- Kelly's Korner blog carnival was what I participated in on Friday night. I had fun looking through tons of old UGA pictures.
L- Lack of funds. The reason my furniture shopping trip ended empty-handed. (Well, we technically weren't shopping for me in the first place, anyway.)
M- Monday. This week, I don't have to dread it!
N- Neighbors. When it's nice outside, we see and talk to our neighbors a lot more. It's nice.
O- Ovulation. Just another thing I managed to squeeze into this busy weekend.
P- Presidents' Day. The reason I took tomorrow off so that I could have a 3 day weekend with Matt. (How unpatriotic is the school system that that isn't already a holiday?)
Q- This really has nothing to do with this weekend, but Q was definitely not my favorite person on Biggest Loser this season and I'm glad he's gone.
R- Reflux, acid. Um...sick. I had acid reflux TWICE this week (including Friday night) and it is truly miserable. So miserable that we ended up making a late-night run to a gas station (only option in our small town) and buying some extremely over-priced Rolaids. $1.29 for EIGHT. You have got to be kidding me.
S- Sun. The reason I spent all day Saturday playing outside.
T- Thirty dollars. That's how much extra I need to earn (per month) in order to get a smartphone. Accepting all suggestions for how to get that $30. (Babysitting? Selling platelets? Dog walking? Get the water turned off at our house?)
U- UGA. My alma mater, and the topic of my previous blog post.
V- Vineyard. I love my church. Today was awesome.
W- Weeds. How they managed to grow all winter long, I will never understand.
X- X-ray. I did not have an x-ray this weekend. (Come on, what else was I supposed to come up with for X??)
Y- Yardsale. We went to one on Saturday. Didn't find anything.
Z-  Zedonks. I can't believe I still haven't been out to the wildlife preserve to see one!

Well, that was interesting. Obviously some letters were harder to think of things for than others! I will say, though, that this was a fun way to kill some time and reflect on the weekend (that is NOT OVER YET!!!!!) give it a try if you're lacking inspiration!

Friday, February 18, 2011

SUYL: Alma Maters

Today is another Show Us Your Life carnival at Kelly's Korner, and today we're showing off our alma maters!

I am a proud alumna of the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia...class of 2005, if you must know. I know, I'm ancient history. Sheesh.

I grew up around Augusta, Ga, and decided about midway through my junior year of high school that I probably wanted to go to UGA. My main reasons were that I had friends already attending there who loved it, I had other friends planning to attend there (and I'm a follower), it was beautiful and picturesque, and it was only 1.5 hours from my home, which seemed to be the perfect distance. Additionally, it was HUGE, which was great because I love being anonymous and also I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, so I felt confident I could figure it out there. (Note: I didn't.)

I started in the fall of 2001 and it was everything I'd hoped for and more. Check out my sweet dorm room!

 Ummm...okay, so it doesn't look that great here, but trust me: it was awesome. I lived in the dorms for two years and then moved into "the 115" (pronounced one-one-five, of course) with my BFFs for the last two years of school.

If there's anything I can say for UGA, it's that it offers the quintessential college "experience." The glossy color brochures definitely do not lie, nor are they staged. People REALLY DO lay on blankets on grassy lawns, studying and napping and picnicking. It's ridiculous, really. Being a gigantic school, there is no lack of clubs, organizations, and people: you can absolutely find your niche. I found mine in the Wesley Foundation, where I made friends (and found a husband) I'll have forever.

Perhaps most importantly (and most picturesquely), there is football. Gobs and gobs of glorious UGA football. That was probably the most fun part of being an undergrad. Gamedays and traveling for away games...that was the stuff college dreams were made of. It's also pretty much the bulk of the pictures I have of college! And please note: if you think we're overdressed for a football game, you are obviously not from the SEC.

 Me, Elizabeth, Lisa Marie, Dana, and Kristina...probably 2003?
 Laura, me, Elizabeth, and Kristina at the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party (aka Georgia/Florida) 2003.

Our sweet ride to Ga/Fl that year. Thanks, Elizabeth's parents!
 James posing with the Stone sisters (me and my sis...bottom left and top right), Lobello sisters (top left and middle), and his future-wife Kristina.

Graduation was a great day, in the sense that it marked the end of my easy, predictable life, and the beginning of a new one where I held two useless degrees and no marketable skills. Oh, to be young and stupid and picking a major again...

I absolutely loved my time at UGA. Athens is one of the most awesome cities in the world (and since I've traveled so extensively, I'm surely qualified to make that statement...), which is why in the 6 years since I graduated, I've moved exactly like 25 miles away from campus. Ambitious of me, I know. 

I have thousands more pictures, but I came across only one more that I really felt obligated to share. As you know (or maybe you don't, if you're new-- hi!), my life-goal for the past several years has been to get pregnant. When that glorious day finally comes, and then 9 months goes by and I have a baby, then you can guarantee you'll be seeing a picture somewhere along these lines: 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Check it out, yo. It's post #200! I'm sure you were all keeping close track. 

Unfortunately (or not, depending on your perspective), this will probably be a quick post. One of those "promise I haven't fallen off a cliff" deals. But it's okay. At least I have a few pictures to share.

We've had a whirlwind of a two weeks. But at least our last weekend-whirlwind was pretty awesome.

We decided a few weeks ago that we wanted to try some indoor rock-climbing. Neither of us has been (well, I went a few times about 12 years ago...suffice it to say I don't really think that qualifies me as a competent rock climber) and it just seemed like it would be fun. Unfortunately, rock climbing excursions (at the local climbing gym) aren't really within our normal entertainment budget (which is like $2/weekend or something). BUT with it being Valentine's and all, we decided to cash out some of our credit card reward points (hahaha) to fund some rock-climbing. Last Saturday was our big day.

And it. Was. Awesome!!!

We took a quick belay class (that means "we learned how to do the rope things so that neither of us plummeted to our deaths and/or had to pay a professional to stand there and babysit us") and then we were on our own for a couple hours of climbing madness. Although we are regulars at our gym...might I forearms were NOT prepared for this kind of workout!! Neither were my fingers. Matt and I decided that a person with really long arms and short fingers would have the ideal body type for climbing.

Speaking of bodies...I show you the next picture only to prove that I did something other than supervise Matt. You have to pinky swear you'll never try to right click-save this picture and view it larger than it is. Trust me, you don't need to see my thighs at this angle in any sort of detail. This is definitely the least flattering angle that could ever exist.
 Um yeah, back to pictures that only show the upper half of my body...

Anyway. We had a blast and are definitely going to scrape some change together to make a return trip sometime soon. I also enjoy that I now have a good reason to workout my upper body at the gym. I normally don't bother since I don't really do any heavy lifting in my normal life...but since I think I might become a professional rock climber now...I have motivation!

After our rock climbing excursion, I got to go to a Georgia GymDawgs meet with Mollyanne. Even though we lost, I still had a lot of fun. It's just nice to get away and do something different and fun with a friend every once in awhile! Normally when I'm at any kind of display-of-athleticism-event I have moments of lingering regret, like oh woe is me, I am old and past my athletic prime...and I never even had an athletic prime...and I feel sad about things like the fact that I will probably never learn to do a back layout or flip-flop on a balance beam. But I think the fact that I went rock climbing directly prior to attending the gym meet helped this time. I still might not ever do twists and tucks through the air, but I might like climb up the side of a mountain (you know, the kind of mountain that's inside a building in downtown Athens, of course). And that's pretty good, right?

Well, I've lingered too long. My bed is calling.

Happy 200, Blog! Here's to 200 more...or something.

PS. It's going to be 73 degrees this weekend!!!!!!!! This is me dying of excitement. Watch out sun, here comes my pale legs!

Friday, February 11, 2011

five years ago

Have I ever told yall how Matt and I started dating? No? Well, pull up a chair. It's Friday night. Let's chat awhile.

It's our five-year dating anniversary today. February 11, 2006 was the day we officially became "us."

I told our "how we met" story once last year, for one of the Kelly's Korner blog carnivals. Go re-read it if you're fuzzy, cause I'm not going to just re-tell what's already been said. I'm going to give yall the down-low on our actual DTR (that's 'define the relationship' if you're not from...I don't even know what circles use that lingo. Mine did, though). Trust me, this isn't going to be a mushy-gushy blog. There are about to be some hilarious pictures. And awkward moments.

So we'd been casual friends for a few months by late January. We saw each other every day at work and frequently at other social events. We tended to find a spot in the corner where we could ignore everyone else and focus on our own extremely deep conversations, usually about pirates or aliens or Matt's unfortunate choices in facial hair. Wait, what was that, Erika?? Oh, yeah. At this point, the previously-cute Matt had decided to grow a MUSTACHE.That's the only picture I could find, so squint real hard and you can see it. A true molest-ache. Ew.

Anyway, so we'd been hanging out, but never really alone. We tended to include a third party, which I'm sure was not at all awkward for said third party (sorry Alyssa and Catherine!). In fact, here we are with Catherine on one of our first times hanging out at a park. I actually have no idea who took the picture, because I'm almost 100% sure it was just the three of us at the park!

We make a cute trio, right??

Anyway, I knew I liked Matt, but I really didn't know how to "do" this whole relationship thing. You see, I'd never really had a boyfriend before. In fact, at the ripe old age of 22, I thought I was probably so old and past-my-prime that I may never get to have a boyfriend. Ah, the drama of the early 20s...but anyway. So even though I was pretty sure he must at least be somewhat interested in me, due to the amount of time he spent talking to me, texting me, and otherwise stalking me, I didn't know how or when we would ever be anything more than friends-who-stalked-and-flirted. It has a romantic ring to it, doesn't it?

But one night Alyssa and I went out to dinner (Doc Cheys, YUM!) and she tried to set me straight: "Look. You guys need to either make it official, or you need to stop. It's sketchy." Those may not have been her exact words, but I got the point. Unfortunately, I didn't feel like it was my job to bring this up with Matt. I'm pretty sure it says somewhere that that's the boy's job.

On Saturday, February 11, I went to my usual 8:30-3:30 shift at the store. Matt worked a similar shift at Chick-fil-a that day, and we each knew the other would be getting off at around 3:30. We hadn't made plans to meet up, but it just so happened that we would often "stop by" the other person's work after he/she got off...I know, isn't that such a coincidence?? Fancy seeing you here! So when I got off, I headed towards the mall. About 1/2 a mile down the road, I saw a familiar car going in the other direction. Yup, we were crossing paths on our ways to see each other. Isn't that presh.

We both pulled over into the closest parking lot: the Cingular store.

We pulled into the back of the parking lot and rolled down our windows, staying in our respective cars with our respective heaters blowing. We chatted about nothing for awhile, and our conversation was full of those long awkward pauses I've come to cherish. I now know that Matt thinks about what he's going to say (imagine that!) long before he says it. If we're in a group, it frequently happens that he thinks about his words for so long that everyone else has moved on to a new topic and he never had a chance to speak. Being rather shy, he never just jumps in and interjects his thoughts...he just stays quiet. Well anyway, apparently that day, he had something especially important on his mind.

He started the DTR with a disclaimer: "Well, I know that it's about to be summer [it was February!] and you're going to Mexico and I'm going to Europe...and next year I might be moving to Alabama and you'll probably be going to law school [my how plans change]...but do you think you want to date me?"

Those were some really good points. I'm glad I thought them over for about 1.2 seconds before I said YES, YES I DO. And I think I might have even smiled like an idiot.

As I sat there in my Pathfinder, looking at the mustached boy in the blue Honda.

I figured that yeah, it could be hard...but it could also be really worth it.

We stayed in our cars a little longer, talking about nothing in particular. Then we had to part ways. I don't remember what he was doing, but I was going to a movie with a friend. And although she was a really good friend, I didn't want to tell her what had just happened. For some reason, I was just so happy being the only one that knew that my life had just changed. That I was so excited. That I was so nervous.

She figured it out anyway, though. Friends are like that. And only a short day or so later, we were Facebook-official, which is the crowning achievement of any relationship, right?

Valentine's Day came a mere three days after we started dating. I'm pretty sure we both pretended it didn't exist. I mean...awkward. Our relationship was slightly too young to merit celebrating V-Day. I did, however, find this picture of myself from V-Day. Obviously I was still committed to looking my Valentines-iest best!

So that's pretty much our story. We "made it official" sitting in SEPARATE cars in a Cingular parking lot. We pass that building (which later became AT&T, which they then later abandoned, and it is still not occupied) every day on our drive to and from work and it always makes me smile. One day we'll drive our kids past there and say "look, kids. That's where Daddy sat in his car like a total dork and asked Mommy out!"

We've never really celebrated our date-iversary. By the time our one-year anniversary rolled around, we were already engaged, which sort-of trumped the one-year anniversary. In the following years, it's never really occurred to me to celebrate it too much, especially with it being so close to Valentine's Day. But when I thought about it today, and I realized that it symbolizes Matt and I being together for five years...well, it made me really happy.

We've come a long way since then. And we have a long way to go. But I'm so glad we took the chance.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

faxes and taxes

Strangely enough, Matt and I both had Close Encounters of the Fax Machine Kind today. His story was better than mine…but isn’t it a little weird that we both dealt with faxes today? I mean…unless you’re in real estate…or an athlete on College Signing Day…I just didn’t think people used faxes that much. Hence the reason I created my whole “fax machines” ‘tag’ a few years ago. I thought it would be funny since that was surely the only fax story I would ever tell.

Not so!

My story is rather boring. Pretty much your basic how the heck do these things WORK???? story that involves me standing in the office, randomly mashing buttons on a fax machine for an hour until I just give up and re-type all the information on the form to email it to the girl who needs it while I inter-office-mail the actual form. Right. Boring.

Matt’s story was better. An agent called him and requested that he fax some insurance information to him. Matt repeatedly tried faxing to the number the guy gave him, but the fax kept coming back with no answer. Shortly thereafter, a woman called the bank’s call center and asked to be transferred to Matt. The lady runs a sex phone line on the West coast and Matt was tying up her line by trying to send faxes. Could he please stop already?? Um…okay? Ha!!! I thought that was pretty funny. If you knew my husband in real life, you would think it’s pretty funny too.

Now on an unrelated-but-rhyming-note…taxes.

We did our taxes last weekend. I am always super excited to do taxes because I think it’s fun to fill in lots of little boxes. It could be strange, but it’s true. I do not like to give other people (ie: accountants, my husband…) the joy of doing my taxes for me because then I wouldn’t get to feel like I’m crunching lots of numbers, and also because it makes me feel like a really good citizen to do my own taxes. Oh, it also makes me feel smart to do my own taxes. Because lots of people have to go pay someone else to do it for them, right? So somehow it makes me superior since I don’t.

Just a little over-the-top honesty for ya, there. But please know that I realize we have the easiest taxes ever. I realize most people’s are much more complicated and need more expertise. We have no dependents, no self-employment, no energy-efficient upgrades, no stock-selling-that-led-to-gambling-losses…just two W-2s and not a whole lot else. Anyway. I’ve digressed.

For some reason, one of the other reasons I so eagerly anticipate doing my taxes is that I was led to believe that we would get this windfall of cash known as a “tax refund.” That hasn’t always been the case. Back when I was single (and the first year we were married) I had a lot (relatively speaking, of course) of self-employment income. (Note: and I paid an accountant to do my taxes for me. So I’m not above that.) That meant I always owed lots of money come tax season, so naturally I did not look forward to that day and I procrastinated it as long as possible, even filing for extensions some years! Woohoo, I was THAT excited about taxes. But now that I don’t nanny for a living, and we own a house that we pay lots of interest on our mortgage, and we file jointly, and we have a lot of deductions…I don’t know, I just thought that somehow all that meant you were supposed to GET money come tax day. I didn’t even know how much most people got, but it seems like it must be a lot since I hear about people going on vacations and re-doing their floors and buying TVs with their tax refunds.

I couldn’t wait to get a piece of that pie.

Last year I sure did. But I knew it would be an exception: We bought a house and got the $8000 first-time homebuyers credit. So that was fun and all, but I certainly knew it wouldn’t always be that good.

But, long story short: all my excitement about taxes was for naught. I mean, it was still fun filling in the boxes and feeling all smarty pants and superior. But that cash windfall?? Didn’t happen. Actually, we OWED money to the federal government…$82 to be precise. On the plus side, we do get a nice refund from the state (enough that we’ll still end up on the positive side)…but that owing $82 was just enough to break my heart. I mean, it’s no big deal…it’s 82 bucks. But I was so thinking we were going to GET money. Not GIVE. Tax fail.

Anyway. I’m sure this is a story no one cares about, but I just wanted you to know that NO, we will not be joining you on your tax-refund-funded vacations or car-buying sprees. We’ll be sitting at home (where at least we have INTERNET now!), trying to figure out how to make next year’s tax day a little less anticlimactic.

Probably by filing via fax machine!! Now there’s a scenario that couldn’t possibly go awry.

I love when I can bring a blog full circle.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Let me repeat: EEEEEEKKKKK!!!

(A good "eeeek." Not a I just saw the hugest roach ever and it crawled behind my bed "eeeeek." Although I've screamed plenty of those in my day, too. Plenty.)

We came home from work today, changed into workout clothes, and decided to bite the bullet and call the tech guy to come back out and see if he could perform one last miracle on our computer/internet situation.

Over the phone, he gave Matt a few suggestions of what he did last time to fix it. Things we've tried, oh...500 times since then (it's been since NOVEMBER FIRST. TWO THOUSAND AND TEN.)? At least a few times a week. I was like....why are you suggesting this again. I promise, it will not fix it.

Except that it did.

You heard me. I'm typing this from the comfort of my very own couch!!!!!!!!!

Miracle of miracles. The internet works. I think I feel the way the Israelites felt the day they walked into the Promised Land after wandering around the desert for 40 years.

Or maybe not. Maybe this is just the Erika version of the Promised Land. The land where coffee and internet flow freely.

Either way, it's a great feeling.

And while I feel idiotic that for some reason we couldn't make it work these past 4 months (when I swear we tried this same thing a million times)...and then it ends up being no big deal to fix...and maybe all we had needed to do was pick up the phone a few months earlier and he could have told us this...well, on the one hand I feel really dumb. But on the other hand, I don't care. I have internet and I don't care how long it took to get it.

Maybe this is how I'll feel the day I finally get pregnant. Maybe. Just maybe.

Well, I know we have a lot to catch up on. I have a LOT of blog-commenting and stalking to catch up on. But I'm going to try to be a good girl and go to the gym first. I got new running shoes last week and they compel me to be used (a.k.a. I hate wasting money, so I buy expensive shoes to convince myself to work out).

I read this article today and I thought it was really funny/interesting. It's about how text/Twitter lingo has made it into our spoken language. I was at a meeting on Sunday where some people were discussing the same phenomenon. If you have a minute, read it...let's discuss! Do you text-talk out loud??

Thursday, February 3, 2011

grocery stores have wifi?

Um, yeah. I'm using the free wi-fi offered in a KROGER. Now, I have a perfectly good reason for why I'm sitting in a Kroger with time to kill, but I'm wondering if the average grocery shopper actually takes a time-out to enjoy the cafe area here with its free wi-fi?? I dunno. I'd probably be more concerned about the ice cream melting in the buggy. But maybe I'm wrong.

Anyway. So today Matt and I have gone off the deep end to a nearby city in order to visit a naturopath. Yep! You see, we start to get antsy if we feel like we're not going to enough doctors appointments and spending enough money on this infertility thing. We actually look for MORE MORE MORE!!

I'm only half-kidding. We've actually gone to hardly any doctors lately because, well, they don't have anything left to offer us. By their admission, I'm not just making that up. So, we're departing from the comforts of Western medicine and looking outside the box a little. I'm actually really excited.

So in a few minutes Mattie will be all hooked up to like a billion electrode thingies and we'll be finding out all sorts of cool things and if nothing else, it should at least be entertaining. We've had a friend visit this naturopath recently and find it to be incredibly enlightening and more helpful than anything her usual doctors have had to offer. So that would be nice if it turned out that way for us, too.

But if not, no biggie. The worst that can happen is that we spent a relatively small amount of money and found a grocery store that offers free wireless and tables on which to enjoy the wireless. Not a bad Thursday afternoon.

Hopefully someday soon I'll be less busy and more able to blog regularly. I miss it! I miss you guys! Alright, time to go get electrified. Peace.