Tuesday, December 28, 2010

the thanksgiving weekend adventure part 2.

i did not realize how many things happened in such a short amount of time!  continuing on...

after we finished our own black friday shopping we headed back to the hotel to see what the rest of the family was up to.  the original plan was to hang out near the beach friday and then saturday wake up and head to pasadena to revisit memory lane and stats.  when we got back to the hotel we realized that things were quickly changing, as they often do in my family.  there were so many things we wanted to do and just not enough time.  we went to lunch with my aunt and uncle, while deciding to forgo the original plan and go to pasadena/stats that day and go to the swap meet on saturday instead.  i wasnt sure how ready richard was for this adventure, but he was all in, especially with the hour nap we took on the way up while mom drove!

once passing the panda we got lost driving around downtown pasadena trying to remember which street stats was on.  upon finding and fighting with my sometimes lame brother we were ready to enter.  now by this time stats had been built up so much for richard.  we used to go all the time growing up, it was my favorite christmas store on the planet.  it has everything you could ever want in a christmas store.  it was to the point though that i was afraid he was going to be disappointed when we took him in there.  we kept telling him how fantastic and amazing it was, what if he thought it was the lamest place on the planet?  i was so excited to share that and the whole pasadena experience with him, but wasnt sure he was excited at all.  living in las vegas as long as we both have you cant really take a person home and show off your whole life.  this was going to be my chance, the same chance he had when we went to florida over the summer.  it really was the whole weekend, my chance to show off my family and previous life.

once we got into stats he was totally engulfed.  everywhere you looked was amazing displays and more christmas decorations than any place i had ever seen.  he loved it, thank goodness.  we only bought a few decorations, the cash register can total up quite quickly there, but they were going to be great in our apartment.  we later ate at a fantastic italian restaurant with my family, nice to get away from the big huge family.

saturday morning we got up bright and early to go the orange county swap meet.  mom and kyle had decided we should all go together.  i walked across the street from our hotel for coffee and a few breakfast goodies, while richard moved his car into the ralphs parking lot.  there was only 1 vehicle allowed in the hotel parking lot and he didnt want to pay the meter all day to keep it on the street.  so off to the orange county fairgrounds we went.  now this is not your ordinary etchy sketchy swap meet.  this is a magical land with real furniture, serious name brand perfume, sunglasses shops at every other booth, cars, backyard landscapes, socks, california t-shirts, and kitchenware.  i love wandering around this place and if you get there before 8am its free.  this was another place i was afraid richard would not like.  he would get bored or not find anything or think it was all to expensive for a traditional swap meet (which this one in its location is anything but).  but he loved it!

afterwards we decided that we needed to hit rogers garden, another one of my favorite places, but we were hungry.   we needed to hit chick-fil-a at some point that day, because they were closed on sunday, and richard had to have it when were down there.  so we convinced my mom and brother to go while my dad drove up to where we were to go to rogers garden.  he even got a souvenir shot. 
shortly after we joined dad at rogers garden and was totally impressed with all the new things they had come out with this year.  now mind you this is not a place you expect to walk out with a lot of things either.  its more of a look and marvel along with a few things you can actually afford.  richard did however find one of the coolest christmas trees ever, an itree.  like made in conjunction with apple.  you could actually hook your ipod up to it would coregraph the light blinking to the music, it was awesome.  and i got a souvenir shot at rogers garden.
we finished up fairly quickly after, we needed to head to grandpas house for turkey day part 2.  see originally we would do thanksgiving on thursday, well then family started to move to other parts of california or out of state and it became harder and harder to do it on thursday.  so we created saturday as our big official get together out at a restaurant so no one had to cook twice.  we have been doing it for close to 5 years now, expect this year was going to be at grandpas house again, it was a little weird.  we all trekked over there and hung out for the evening.

we left pretty early heading back to laguna and decided we all wanted to go out for a drink.  richard and i stopped at ralphs across the street to move his car in front of the hotel because you did not have to pay for parking after 7pm, and we figured it couldnt be good to leave it over night.  i dropped him off and went to park moms car.  he met me back in the parking lot pissed as all get out because his car had been towed!  he instantly started yelling and throwing things on the floor, and blaming me that i had told him to park in there.  now yes, i will take some responsibility that i did say to park there, or we could go and try to find a place in the neighborhoods above our hotel.  my parents were walking back from parking my dads car and saw what was happening, my dad turned into an instant im right dad mode with, well shouldnt have parked there.  while they were no help i walked away trying to find richard, who was still pissed as all get out at me and the whole situation.  i convinced him to go into ralphs and ask if they know the towing company phone number so we can try and track down his car before we need to leave the next day.  meanwhile my parents came over offering to help and what did we need.  we needed to borrow moms car if we could track down his mostly, and mom offered to take me home the next day if richard wanted to leave that night, which i was praying he wouldnt leave without me.  he called the number they gave him and someone actually answered.  we were able to go that night, which was a miracle they were open 24 hours.  he clearly needed space, still throwing things and really upset, so i went across the street to the hotel parking lot and told him to let me know when he was ready.

no car ride had ever been so silent as it was on the way to the towing place.  after getting lost and finally finding it we had to call someone to let us in.  as if the ordeal wasnt sucky enough, the car is in his dads name and the new registration had not arrived at the apartment by the time we left for the weekend, so we werent even sure they were going to let us have the car.  luckily the guy did not ask for any kind of car info, just ricahrds id and cash.  we got into our respective cars and drove back to the hotel with tears in my eyes the whole time, sure he was going to blame me forever.  i had asked my family if they could give us the room for a little bit so we could talk and they could leave us alone.  they decided they were going to go to wahoos fish tacos and then we could meet up with them to go to the bar.  once we got back he had decided he was going home that night, he needed to work the next day, and honestly i think he was still really mad at me.  i couldnt imagine him driving home like this and without me.  i finally convinced him to sit down with me on the bed and just think for a minute.  well thinking turned into a little bit of talking, which turned into more talking, and crying-on my part.  i had been determined to leave with him, whenever he was leaving.  i felt if he left without me, we would be in serious trouble.  after the talking and the reassuring of both of us and our relationship, thankfully, he decided to stay.  he also dropped being so mad at me, and i finally caught on that it was a lot more at the situation rather than just me (its the natural girly thing to do).  he realized that you can make a mistake and i wasnt going to leave, it was going to make us stronger.  and i realized how much i truly love him and that he was really opening up to me.  this was a big step for us, able to turn something that was potentially really sucky to something that didnt need blame on either person.  besides, we could always blame ralphs and the towing company instead.

my parents came back to pick us up and tried their best to make light of it all.  richard realized they were just trying to make him feel better, and laughed a little, i think he thought they were going to make the situation a blame on him.  he was going to come out, have a drink, or 7 with us and we would go home together rather early in the morning. while out with my parents, brother, and aunt and uncle, we both let it go.  he turned to me at one point and thanked me for being me and caring and believing as much as i did.  i looked at him in that moment and knew that we were going to be ok, we were going to get through this.

we drove home the next day with an uneventful trip.  we also realized this was the first trip we were taking together and would be able to go home together.  no dropping each other off at our own houses, we could go home together.  and that night we would be able to sleep in the same bed, we couldnt in the hotel, we arent married yet, you know.  now it was time for our next adventure, decorating the apartment for christmas, the first one in our place together.

Monday, December 20, 2010

the thanksgiving weekend adventure part 1.

while it is my favorite time of the year, thanksgiving is one of the best things about it.  instead of trying to coordinate a gathering at christmas, in my family it is the one true time of the year that we get together.  we have been going to southern california to my grandparents forever, the only time i remember anything different was the year we went north, and it felt really weird.  we drive down late wednesday night once dad got off work and stay until early sunday.  when i went away to college i always flew there, no question.  once i started working in retail it all changed.  the first two years i would literally went down for about 24 hours, long enough for the actual day of thanksgiving and then quickly came back for black friday.  last year i started at a new store the week of thanksgiving and couldnt go down to california at all.  so this year i was so excited to finally see my whole family again.

this year was also going to be interesting, because richard was going to come with me and meet the whole family.  he had met and spent time with my parents a ton.  and had met my dads parents, but this would be the first large family gathering he would participate in.  my family is a little nuts, as are all families.  i would leak a little bit of information here and there to richard as thanksgiving got closer, just enough not to scare him.  we decided that we would drive down early thursday morning and be there around 12 noon.  he had to work the night before and it seemed silly to drive down and midnight and be tired the whole next day.

i was really nervous to take him down there with me.  this would be the first time my family would meet a serious boyfriend i had been with for a significant amount of time, and we lived together.  as if i wasnt nervous enough, we had been fighting what seemed like more than normal that week.  it was just little things that didnt even matter, but for some reason that week they did.  i snapped at him about stupid things.  so he would get mad and i would just get more mad cause he was.  then i felt like an idiot for even snapping and it would take me a long time to apologize.  and being the amazing boyfriend that he is, would always tell that it was ok, when i knew it wasnt and i was just being mean for no reason.  i was almost afraid he was going to say he didnt want to go and would just stay here.  thank goodness he still went.

this thanksgiving felt very different for multiple reasons.  i was bringing a boyfriend, we were staying in a hotel, we didnt all drive down together, grandpa and myrna were doing thanksgiving and saturday dinner at their house, and still grandma was not here with us.  she passed away in 2004 and whenever we go down, it still feels weird she isnt there to celebrate.  luckily grandpa found a really great new partner named myrna, who definitely keeps him on his toes. 

once we finally got down there we went straight to grandpas house.  we arrived just about the same time as everyone else.  as we went in, i was getting really excited to show off my boyfriend, and i think richard was just getting more and more nervous.  the family took him well and never really drilled him with questions.  he spent a lot of time watching football with the guys and i spent a lot of time with my other uncles, aunts, and cousins.  there was lots of new family drama to catch up on.  i kept checking on him to make sure he was ok, and he did really well holding his own.  which i by the way, never had a doubt.
later that evening we went down to the hotel in laguna with my parents.  we had convinced them to let us stay with them and save everyone money in hotel.  it was a tight fit to say the least.  we had brought richards air mattress with us, one because there were 5 people in the room, and two because he and i couldnt sleep together.  we escaped the family for a little bit and walked around in hopes of food, didnt find much though.  i really just wanted to go to bed so we could get up early to experience our 1st black friday shopping, but he wasnt tired at all, and it was nice to just walk around with him.

the next morning at 3am the alarms started going off so we could get up and start the shopping!  this was going to be quite the adventure, number one it was my 1st black friday on the customer side.  number two he and i were going by ourselves.  number three 2 of my other aunts, mom and cousin all decided they were now going to go experience black friday since we didnt let them go with us.  we left pretty close to 330am and after getting lost and having to turn around and miss the 4am opening of target, we made it to the costa mesa target with a pretty empty parking lot.  we were stoked, thinking we had found the best target.  turns out that store specifically didnt open till 7am!  this meant we were already late and now were going to definitely miss out on the $3 grill cheese maker i desperately wanted at any other target.  we found another one super close and actually closer to south coast plaza.  we entered and made mad dashes to the electronics and kitchen areas.  my mission was to see the tv on dvd sales and his mission to find the $3 grill cheese maker.  i found sex and the city 2 for $10, but no big bang.  he came up empty handed with a grill cheese maker.  we were trying to decide whether we were going to brave the line for sex and the city 2 when we saw a huge george foreman grill on sale for $28!  we definitely decided to stand in line after that.  then while standing in line i found big bang season 3 for $13 along with 2 other movies for $4 each.  i also found the entire series of friends on sale for $10 per season and legit had all 10 boxes in my hand with richard looking at me like a crazy person, i realized i may have gotten a little caught up in the craziness.  i put friends back and joined richard back in line to pay for our awesome finds.  target was definitely successful.

we moved on to south coast plaza where we really didnt find that many lines.  i think the line i stood in at starbucks was longer than any line we stood in for a store.  i made great purchases at victoria secret and h&m where richard said the best thing to me, "you can never have too many coats."  (i think you may need to understand my obsession with outerwear to fully know why i loved that so much, but its ok.)  many stores werent even open and the line at gap looked like a club with a bouncer to get in.  we made our way across the street to old navy where i just shook my head and chuckled the whole time we were in there, reminding myself how glad i was to be on the other side.  we even braved best buy, which by 9am wasnt even bad at all.  we walked to our car with our fantastic purchases we damn near could have sold our rockin parking spot and gone back shopping for more.

our next stop realistically was phillys best for the most amazing cheese steaks and chicken phillys on the planet.  we just had to make a walmart detour, it was only 930 in the morning.  on our detour though, we ended up buying a christmas tree.  it was just like the one we had been looking at in vegas.  richard kept saying we can just go buy it on sunday when we get home, but i kept saying, why go out when we can buy it now and be done.  in the end the tree rode all the way home in the backseat.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

the christmas decorations.

this is my absolute favorite time of the year.  hands down, without a doubt.  right before halloween until the new year is the best part of the calendar year.  most people think that it is a little crazy that i worked in retail for 3 holidays and still could get this excited.  this happens to also be richards favorite time of year, thank goodness.  last year we spent our 1st christmas together and it was so much fun.  this year though, he will be living with me,  a whole new type of experience for him.  insert large laughs and eye rolls here.  i like to go all out, decorating the day after thanksgiving, listening to christmas music right before thanksgiving and wanting to completely change the whole house to match the season.  i have always looked forward to the day when i would one day have my own place to decorate.

when richard and i talked about moving in together somehow our talks always made their way to christmas decorations.  we agreed and disagreed pretty equally with the other person.  i however, was not really sure how this was going to work.  we decided instead of "saving" all of this imaginary money to buy christmas things, we would start buying a couple things each week after halloween.  i always think i am going to save, then i find other things i want, forget about the saving, and now end up buying way more things than i should have on both fronts.  i thought this was an excellent plan.

we began looking the next weekend after the halloween party.  most places already had christmas decorations out, so this was an easy task.  we had to start with the most important thing, the tree.  we werent ready to buy, but knew we needed to agree on something to start with.  when the discussions first started richard was positive we were going to have a white tree.  are you kidding me.  christmas trees are green, lets just say we decided on a green tree.  we knew that we did want a fake one, but which one would come later.  the next discussion was the type of lights that went on a tree.  now, not only did he want a white tree, he wanted white lights to go on the tree.  once i finally convinced him on colored strands, he then decided we could just buy single colors and put that on the tree.  oh how i had to hold back!  i am all about the multi-colored and at least some need to be blinky.  that was a whole other discussion, because blinky would drive him crazy.

by this point just about all of my friends and family knew about the discussions we were having about just the tree and laughing hysterically on the side.  then we had to decided on pre-lit or not.  i was soooo far against that as well.  you must put your own lights on the tree.  finally we came to the decision to combine our two ideas.  we would have a green tree, with mostly multi-colored lights, only one strand of blinky (ps they were 150 count, yes), and one or more strand of white.  i wasnt really sure how that was going to look, but we will get to that next time.

while all of these discussions were going on, we were shopping around for other decorations.  we did a lot of looking and not much buying.  it seemed like richard just would not commit to buying anything.  now, i am all about looking and knowing what my options are, but it gets to a point where we cant go look at target anymore, because they still have the same things they did 2 days ago.  there were quite a few things we disagreed on in this category too.  i am all about color, if you couldnt tell from the previous tree discussion.  i am totally stoked that christmas decorations are now including pinks, purples, whites, blacks, oranges, and blues.  richard, not so much.  he is very much a traditionalist gravitating towards the red/green/gold themed items.  now luckily for me, these items have become somewhat more modern so i couldnt completely rule them out.  plus i love the new updated classics they are coming out with now.  not just an old looking train, but one that has new colors and graphics.  garland made out of christmas balls.  and table cloths that are no longer just gold sparkly.

as we did finally start buying we knew we didnt really have anywhere to store these things.  so they least it was all centrally located! 

it all started to come together then.  richard accepted that i would buy a few out there things he wasnt used to yet.  and i accepted that he would always love his white lights.  plus none of it really mattered when he told me that of course we are decorating the day after thanksgiving!  the little piddly stuff doesnt really matter.  and really who cares if he wants to buy single colored light strands, its going to look fantastic in the windows.  and i learned i need to compromise a little on christmas decorations, there are 2 of us living here silly.

Monday, November 29, 2010

the coffee.

i am an avid coffee drinker.  there is no denying it.  however, i am picky.  i used to only drink the frilly drinks from starbucks.  that is until i started working at old navy north mesa and was introduced to the wonder of flavored creamer.  after that i purchased my own small 4 cup coffee pot and a rotating stock of creamer for home.  i figured this way i would save money on coffee, i mean i was damn near going to starbucks everyday on the way to work.  i also realized how many calories i was saving by drinking coffee at home. 
the absolute best time of the year for coffee is the holidays.  first because starbucks comes out with holiday drinks, i am always up for a grande nonfat no whip peppermint mocha, and they are made in the fantastic red cups.  i have had holiday drinks in the regular white cups and they really just dont taste the same.  also the pumpkin spice creamer comes out right before halloween, that is the best grocery shopping trip.  trust me, if you have ever been on the phone the first time i see it, you would understand. 

now, there are millions of people all over the us that drink coffee everyday.  some cant start their day properly until there is coffee involved.  i can make it through the day no problem, long about 230pm though, i get a nasty headache.  plus, the day just goes so much smoother with coffee. it smells good, it warms your heart and your throat, and its like a comfort food.  most of the mornings when i make coffee at home i get in the shower and make my first cup once i am out.  it starts brewing while i make my lunch so i am very close and can begin pouring as soon as i am finished.  i wander around in the closet getting dressed and in the bathroom putting on my makeup with my cup in hand.  when i make the starbucks run i wake up 15 minutes early to make sure i leave plenty of time for the stop on the way to work. 
my family just came to understand these things.  my dad always drank coffee growing up, i always thought it was really gross and smelled awful.  i started drinking the frilly coffee in my senior year of high school and now it is an everyday thing.  however, now that i live with a non-coffee drinker its a little more entertaining.  i will never forget the look on his face the first time we went grocery shopping and i needed coffee and it was about $10 because it wasnt on sale that week.  i thought he was going to throw a fit in the grocery store.  he doesnt quite understand the big deal with having coffee every morning.  one day he even asked, "you are already up, why do you need to have coffee?"  i chuckled all day from that one. 

in the beginning of november is the fateful day that starbucks comes out with the red cups.  i found out from a friend via facebook, where else, the day before they were released.  now that i am counting calories i had to factor that cup in, but man it was soooo worth it.
thats right i even took a picture.  that morning i came home from the gym all excited to leave a few minutes early to stop for red cup.  richard looked at me the whole time in my giddiness like i had lost my mind.  i mean yes, it is a pretty silly thing to get this excited about, but im easily amused.  as i was running out the door richard just stood there smiling shaking his head at me.

i realized this is another thing you have always had as part of your person, but for the person you live with it may be something entirely new.  its one of the quirks that you learn about each other when you live together.  who knew coffee would be so entertaining.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

the very first set of bills.

when you begin the moving out process one of the first tasks that must be tackled is the budget.  you plot and plan and try to fit everything in.  now not living on my complete own before there were a few bills that needed to be guessed at for the moment.  so naturally i googled it.  i did my research and figured out an average i thought would work.  i had a pretty tight budget and knew what i could afford in the way of rent.  when we found the apartment to move into i was so excited and it actually was something i could put into the budget! 

we moved in with pretty low moving costs, thankfully.  we did however have a lot to purchase otherwise, who knew the actual moving costs would add up so quickly.  we moved in at the beginning of the month so i had a whole month to get things in order and be setting aside the right amount of money each check.  but of course the reality quickly leaves your head with all the other excitement going on .

all of that changed when the real reality set in and the first bill showed up at the end of the month.  first came the electricity bill, which thankfully we knew was going to have an extra deposit on it.  thank you jennifer.  then the cable, which we scored a smokin deal and had our first month free.  so then the questions came.  how do we pay the bill?  do i pay one and richard pays the other?  which one does each of us pay?  do we each set up accounts?  who writes the check to the other person?  and we hadnt even gotten the rent bill yet.

so we came up with a plan.  we would each pay half to each bill from our own accounts.  whether that meant through the bank or creating a new account with the company.  it sounded like such a good plan, again until reality hit.  i thought the convenience of online bill pay was that it went straight to your bill right away.  not so much, it seems take a few days, lame.  this now means our bills are late.

once we got that figured out, we thought we had it made.  then it came time to pay the rent.  when we moved in they told us we could pay online instead of having to write a check every month.  we thought, awesome, this is going to be so easy.  again, not so much.  we set up separate accounts both going to the same apartment.  all ready to pay the bill and it wont let you unless you pay the whole amount.  lame.  so now, on a sunday, halloween, we have to try and figure out how to get our rent paid on time the next day.  we decided that i would write a check to richard for my half, deposit it in the atm on the way to the grocery store, and then he would pay the amount online in the morning.

the next day i get a text from richard to call him asap.  concerned something is seriously wrong i called right away.  he tells me that the check still hasnt cleared his account and he cant pay the rent.  apparently when you deposit in the atm they only allow you to have 25% of the amount on the initial day, until the check clears.  and wells fargo does not process the checks on site, so it could take up to 3-4 days for the check to actually clear.  now mind you all of this is happening on the 1st when our rent is actually due.  frantic i call our apartment office and they tell me not to worry, we can come in the morning and figure out something.

on my way out the door the next morning to the gym richard informs me the check actually cleared overnight and we could pay online that day.  thank god!  i went into the office anyway to make sure of our final amount.  as i was getting ready for work after the gym richard got up to pay the rent.  however he tried to pay with his debit card instead of as an e-check and it was going to charge an extra $33 to process.

we eventually figured out a system.  and realized that we really need to be on top of these things in the future.  we have so many things we do separately with money that we let the bills we have together slip through.  guess we will see how it goes in the coming months!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

the halloween party.

i really go back and forth on my love for halloween.  now part of me likes the costumes and candy and the fact that it usually means we are finally getting cooler weather.  the other part of me hates the scariness factor and the need for girls to dress like whores and the pressure to come up with the perfect costume.   last year i spent so much money on my dorothy costume.  now it was cute as hell, and probably shorter then it should have been, but i made a vow this year to not spend nearly the money.  see last year i waited so long to figure out if i was going to dress up and what i would be that to get all the parts of my costume i needed to do express shipping to get them all here on time.  big mistake for a costume i have one picture in and spent about 4 hours in.

this year my priorities were a little different.  first i participated in a really fun 5k on thursday night with my mom.  i actually dragged up enough courage to run through 2 graveyards in an etchy-sketchy part of las vegas for a really good cause, the easter seals of nevada.  you also had to dress up for the event!  now that i am a running costume pro i was actually excited to go.  i went as a fairy and mom went as a deviled egg!  we both shattered our 5k times mine @26:38 and mom @38:26.  and mom even won 2nd place in her age group!  we celebrated at metro pizza naturally:)

friday was all about voting, the start of my 3-day weekend, and carving pumpkins.  it was the last day for early voter registration and unless i wanted to drive back up to shelia tarr on tuesday i had to vote friday.  so after a delicious lunch at raising canes with tiffany i went off to do my patriotic duty and cast my early vote.  as i was pulling in richard calls to say he finally going to get the pumpkin carving kit we found 2 weeks ago, that i had been asking hime to pick back up since he was home during the day.  i had just come from picking up the same kit.  there was quite a line, but it went through really quickly.  i made a bee line for home because i was so excited about carving pumpkins.  i hadnt carved one in a few years and richard had never carved one, this was going to be fun.

we had picked our pumpkins the weekend before at the grocery store and each had weighed in at about 16 pounds with excellent stems.  those are very important you know.  once you have the perfect pumpkin it is all about the perfect pattern to carve.  i had chosen a very cute mummy, but richard was all over the place being super indecisive.  so we lay out all the newspaper on the kitchen floor, tools ready, and big knives set to carve.  as i start to cut out the lid, richard starts reading the directions from the pattern book and looking at me like i am doing it all wrong.  of all things i know how to carve a perfect pumpkin.  once the lid is off i start digging out all the gooey stuff inside, loving every minute.  richard takes one look inside my pumpkin and the things i am pulling out and i thought he was going to tell me i am on my own!  finally he starts carving out the lid and begins gingerly pulling out the gooey guts. 

he looks so uncomfortable, at this point i cant help but laugh.  he pulls out the bare minimum and claims he is finished and has a idea for his pumpkin.  earlier he decided we will both carve individual pumpkins and then we let his friends decide, who were coming over the next evening, who the better pumpkin was.

after helping in the search for a thundercat logo and hearing the complaints about the printer, i knew my pumpkin carving championship was over.  i mean it was a really good idea and i wish i come up with something cool as well, but come on your friends and thundercats, there was no way i was winning.  as he started poking out the pattern he realized he hadnt cleaned out the pumpkin nearly enough, so he started digging again.  about an hour later our pumpkins were complete!  the thundercat logo did look really cool and when it was lit up, man you could tell i wasnt going to win.  see example a.

later that night when richard went to work the baking bug had taken over.  i had been desperately looking for a reason to bake pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and knew that the small halloween/housewarming party we were having the next night was the perfect excuse.  while i know that not everyone likes the cookies-fools-i also made halloween funfetti cupcakes.  i made a special cupcake for richard with lots of frosting, he was not so impressed.  and forget the pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, he was way not havin that.  i knew the next day we were going to need to buy candy so he would have some snacks. 

there was originally quite the dilemma about how to decorate.  i like the cutesy/kid version of halloween with smiley faces and candy.  richard likes the all out scary, mean, the more terrifying the better.  he learned first hand how scared i am of, well everything when we were in walmart and he made me burst into tears over a giant stuffed red-eye scary rat.  while he still thinks its funny, we scaled back on the decorations.  we started the evening with a few friends coming by early to hang out and begin the drinking early.  richard borrowed the deviled egg costume and it was a big hit.  it also could have been the fact he was already pretty buzzed by the time the rest of the group came by.  we had found some pretty good quality alcohol while unpacking the things from richards storage unit so had a good base going into the evening.  richard even gave a cribs tour of the apartment to vanessa, it was hilarious.  partially because your tour is by a deviled egg and partially because richard is pretty buzzed.

many drinks later we headed out to kellys for an evening filled with karoke, more drinking, vanessa stumbling to tylers car about 5 minutes after we got there, richard sleeping in the bar before going on stage, and a costume contest won by a man dressed as an unattractive woman. 

all in all this was a very successful halloween weekend.  a good mix of kid halloween and grown-up halloween.  a small successful housewarming party where lots of alcohol was consumed.  and possibly a few new traditions were formed.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

the tug of war.

when you are a kid you end up spending a lot of time with your family.  now there is definitely more time than others depending on things like your age, i mean no parent is cool during some of your teenage years.  my family and i have always been very close and do spend a considerable amount of time together.  they are the ones you come home to at night when you live with them.  the ones you have dinner with when you dont go out with your friends.  the ones you spend holidays with reminiscing over your childhood years.  in my case, i probably spent more time with my family over the years combined than anyone else.

once you start dating someone you instantly want to spend as much time with them as possible.  its new and exciting and this person makes you feel as no one has done before.  you are constantly texting and chatting on the phone about your days or the things that make you happy.  with our opposite schedules during the week we wanted to make the most of any time off that richard and i had together during the weekends.  i know that this wasnt always my familys favorite idea, they definitely let me know in subtle ways.  its definitely a balance thing.

the newest level of balance came in on the second weekend that we lived here.  we had made a sort of double date with some very close friends of ours for saturday night.  i had to work that morning, so they were going to come over later that afternoon.  jackass 3d had just come out and richard was dying to see it.  so while he and mike went and saw that lora and i were very excited about seeing a chick flick instead.  they were set to come over around 4pm, catch a matinee movie after seeing our new apartment and grabbing dinner afterward.  we were set with a great plan.  then, as it often seems to, the latest ufc fight put a natural kink in our plans.  i had no desire to go to the fight, and was actually kind of excited to stay in my own apartment while richard went to a friends to watch.  unfortunately, the planning around that took over everything.  now mike and lora were coming over at 2pm, we had to see the movie early or eat early so they could go to the fight and do the other activity later.  i still wasnt sure why they needed to come over so early, the preliminary fights didnt even start until 7pm. 

as if enough finagling wasnt going on, i was supposed to see my parents at least for a little bit that day.  i had left a few things at home and my dad needed his tools back we were still borrowing, so made a plan to meet somewhere to eat/shop and exchange a few things.   well after i found out the fight was taking over it all went to hell in a hand basket.  our friends were coming over earlier, my mom wanted to hang out more, both were pulling on me so much i was starting to cave under pressure.  richard was upset that i had made plans when mike and lora were coming over and i knew it.  my mom was upset because she thought it was too early i should have made more time to hang out with them. 

all of the above issues would have been solved if i didnt have to work that morning.  i could have fit everybody in, and made everyone happy that way.  so after i finished work i raced over to meet mom and dad at starbucks with their somewhat disapproving looks about our short time together.  oh and probably the fact i made them wait a little.  we laughed and joked and had a good time over coffee, dad telling me all about his trip to seattle for my grandmas birthday and then asking lots questions about how it is to live with a boy.  after that i raced home to hang out with richard and our friends for the evening.  i was again met with disapproving looks because i was so much later then i thought i was going to be. 

we had a really good time at the movies and dinner.  the boys had decided earlier in the evening they didnt want to see the fight because of its location.  lora and i got to see a super good chick flick and the guys were relieved they didnt have to see it and got to see jackass.  by the time we rolled around to getting home i was stuffed from the amazing chicken pot pie i had a claim jumper and the frozen yogurt from yogurtland.  i was perfectly happy falling into bed and watching tv for the night, especially in my own apartment, and everyone else looked about as full/tired as i was.  so when richard suggested they go watch the fight anyway since someone had recorded it, i was pretty surprised.  it seemed to me he was still upset about earlier and didnt want to hang out with me anymore.  lora also needed to go, she had a friend that really needed a shoulder to cry on that evening.

as the boys left i was really sad and felt very alone.  i felt like i had let both parties down that day and at the end they were both disappointed with me.  i realized i wasnt very good at this new balancing act yet.  when richard got home that night he told about the people there for fight and the weirdness that had happened.  best of all, he told me how glad he was to have a normal person to come home too.  without even meaning to, he had calmed all my fears from the day. 

since that weekend i have been trying to get better at balancing.  i am definitely not a pro yet by any means.  i am also trying to make sure i am making myself happy.  both parties are extremely important in my life and i want to keep both around for a very long time. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

the mail.

mail is one of my favorite things to receive.  now i am picky about the mail i get excited about receiving, it has to be something enjoyable.  for example, the victoria secret catalog, a letter from my spouse, a card for the nearest holiday, more shopping inserts, or letters with good news are all exciting.  bills, not so much, but i know that comes with the territory.

when i was a kid my mom always kept the mail key in her car with easy access to it herself.  we didnt live in houses with their own mailboxes for long so we would always go to the big box at the end of the street.  now every time we drove home from anywhere we would stop at the mailbox and always made a big deal about who was actually going to get out of the car to get it.  upon exiting my mom always joked, as she was never the one to actually get out, that she would just see us at home.  she never really did drive away, but threatened to every time.  as we got older she held tighter and tighter to the mail key because things began arriving in the mail you really didnt want your mom to see.  please, it was nothing gross.  we are talking things from school, i.e. attendance/grade records.  i wasnt really embarrassed until senior year when i started not going to government on a super regular basis, i often volunteered to get the mail those days.  as i got even older and my mom started trusting my brother and i to keep the house standing while she and my dad went out of town she always made a big deal about not forgetting to get the mail.  now this was not my strong suit.  i was really good at getting it if i knew there was something coming for me.  if there wasnt, forget it.  there were many a times when our mail was returned to the post office and given back to us in bins because the mail man could not stuff another piece of mail into the box. 

when i went to college, it was the same thing.  now mind you most of my mail was still going to my parents house so whenever they came to visit they brought a heaping stack for me to go through.  i checked my actual mailbox on campus though, mmmm probably once every two weeks or three weeks.  people started getting in the habit of telling something was coming so i would actually go check my mailbox.  you would think that for someone that loves mail as much as i do, i would actually want to check it. 

when richard and i moved in we received one mail key and one pool key, which i promptly put into a pocket of my purse so i wouldnt lose it.  i took them out later that day to put them on a clover key ring so i wouldnt lose any of the keys and placed them back into my bag.  three days later richard asked if i had checked the mail yet.  i sheepishly looked at him and said i hadnt even taken them out of my bag.  he rolled his eyes and said baby!  when we left that evening to go somewhere i took them out of my bag and into the apartment to place on the very handy key rings i had hung next to the door for keys.  (i hate putting keys in junk drawers).  two more days went by and he asked if i checked the mail, i looked at him and said no, why do i need to.  he told he never checked, apparently that was my role.  so the next morning, all on top of my new task, i took the keys to the car on my way out the door so i could check the mail on the way home.  well in the jumble of my morning rush to the car the keys got shoved into one of the bags i had taken with me.  of course later that night i didnt remember to even check the mail on the way home.

the next evening i actually remembered that i supposed to check the mail so i began looking for the key, i could not find it anywhere.  i ripped my car apart that night, i moved seats, i checked the trunk, searched through all the things in my car desperate to find the damn mail key.  thats when i decided i must have left it at work.  i somehow had gotten this image in my head they were on the desk at work.  well of course that night richard asked if i had gotten the mail.  i looked up again totally embarrassed that i still had not checked for the mail and told him the key was at work.  totally expecting that the key was there the next morning, i almost fell over when i got to work and realized the key was not.  i racked my brain all damn day to figure out where this stupid key was for a task that should have never been given to me in the first place, i never remember the friggin mail.  i finally had a remembered where the key was later that evening, in my gym bag!  i went running into the closet tearing apart the bag when eureka, the key had been found!  i walked out of the closet to richard standing there asking what i was so excited about.  when i told him, he had this ridiculous look on his face like really, how hard is the mail.

the next day was sunday and we were headed out to do errands.  so proud of mail key accomplishment i went to the mailbox while richard went into the apartment office to tell them about our non-working dryer.  when i finally opened the mailbox, it was empty.  are you friggin kidding me!  all the ragging on and the worrying there was nothing in the stupid box.  except, an orange flyer asking for the address and the tenants that live there.  i took it back to richard, who was complaining to the leasing agent about the ongoing parking issue, again.  when i showed him the orange paper was all i had from the big mail excursion he looked at with this "are you serious look."  i couldnt help but laugh at the whole situation.

when i told my mom a few days later that i was put in charge of the mail and she almost fell out her chair from laughing so hard.  i realize now this is probably my trade off, he takes out the trash and i get the mail.  i have since gotten the mail thing worked out.  i have gotten on to a routine of getting the mail just about every other night.  also, i found out why my mom got so much satisfaction from making us get the mail.  oh! and babe, when you read this, please dont take away my mail responsibility, i finally have it under control!

Friday, November 12, 2010

the meals.

i love food, i really do.  i am not shy in a restaurant, no matter who i am with, and love having a kitchen filled with food.  i also love to cook.  im not very good mind you, but i do love it.  i like being able to prepare things and piece things together to make a meal.  growing up mom did most of the cooking and as i got older i always volunteered but that didnt usually work.  so when i went to college i was excited to do it on my own, until i realized how hard it really was.  i definitely got better while i was there, but not great.  after i moved home with my parents i didnt cook much again, so when i moved out i was really excited to get to explore my skills again.

richard and i are both fairly plain eaters, and we also eat similarish things.  when it comes to sandwiches mine has meat, cheese, and thats it.  no mayo, no mustard, no tomatoes or lettuce.  he is close to the same, except with no cheese.  i am a pretty plain jane eater, but i do think i am starting to expand a little bit.  when he and i first met his dad actually asked me to help him expand his eating choices, my family and friends are still laughing about that conversation.

before moving in together richard would always tell me that he wanted to gain weight, which trying to understand that as a girl is a whole new crazy idea.  we as women are constantly trying to lose weight, tone, stay the same, or have body image issues in general.  it never really occurred to me that men do as well.  body image issues is something i have struggled with my whole life.  i am a curvy girl, i have a big butt, hips, big curly blonde hair, big boobs, and pretty fair skinned.  i love being a curvy girl, sometimes though, those curves got a little too out of control.  i never took it to the extreme of an eating disorder, thank goodness i was surrounded by the right people in my life, but there has not been many times in my life i have felt completely comfortable in my own skin.  right now however, i am beginning to feel the most comfortable i have in a very long time.  this is also, a lot of work.  i am in the process of losing weight on a plan that has been very successful for me in the past few months, post latest half marathon.  clothes are fitting better, i am actually needing to replace some, overall i feel much more confident in myself. plus i am determined to not gain the stereotypical weight you add on when moving in with a significant other, we'll call that love pudge.  so he had decided that he would definitely gain some when we moved in because we would be eating meals together and my meals usually include many different things, especially dessert.

i thought this was going to be great, i would be able to come home and cook for us both, then when richard came home he would have something to eat.  now after the first grocery store adventure, part 1 and 2, i really began to wonder how this was going to work.  the things we were buying were completely different.  no way was i eating vegetables out of a can and he laughed when i carefully picked my fruit.  i started to realize that we eat in the sameish places, but when we eat at home, its very different.  he is a chicken nuggets and mash potatoes eater, while i may have the chicken nuggets but with carrots and strawberries, two things he doesnt even like.  i dont really like to eat after 8pm, and richard isnt even home most evenings until after 11pm.  i would plan what i thought i wanted to eat for dinner in the morning, he doesnt need to decide until he goes to work.  we both spent a lot time trying not to hurt the others feelings about not wanting to eat what they were eating. 

so by the second week, i had given up the thought of eating the same meals.  i know it sounds silly and maybe a tad dramatic, but it saved us both from getting our feelings hurt and really there are so much bigger things to fight about than meals.  it was energy trying to save face and come with a rebuttal that didnt need to be there.  when we are here on weekends together or randomly during the day we are very conscious about making sure we eat meals together.  i may make an extra veggie, he may add another carb, but we are still cooking and eating together.  who knew coordinating meals together would be so difficult.

Monday, November 8, 2010

the day mom came over.

as soon as i made the decision to move out, i knew eventually i was going to have to get the mom approval.  its something required of all big decisions, its what moms do.  now you may make a decision without her input or whether she is going to like it or not, as i did by moving in, but you know in the back of your mind that sooner or later your going to want her approval.  now my mom reacted much better than i expected her to when i told her my decision, so i was hoping the approval would come pretty soon after.

the next weekend after our move in we decided to have her over.  mom had given us a gift card to purchase new dishes and we decided she should definitely come with us to spend the money.  im not really sure who was more nervous, richard or myself.  the day before we really worked hard to put on the "we really live" here touches.  we got rid of the last of the boxes and hung pictures, trying to match our mismatching things together.  the morning of we made sure to clean the bathroom and had the kitchen looking spotless, well as much as we could.

after some logistics delayed her coming down at the original time we thought, she finally arrived.  when i opened the door she was standing there with arms loaded with things i had left at the house, looking about as nervous as i was.  i quickly invited her in and helped unload while hugging, we are multitaskers, what can i say.  when she walked in there seemed to be a look of disbelief on her face.  now im still not sure if it was because we had actually cleaned, she realized i really lived here, or there were no boxes in sight.  we gave her the grand tour, which took all of about 3 minutes, it is only our first apartment.  and decided we were all starving and needed food asap.

she asked all the typical questions.  how are things going?  are you adjusting?  how are the opposite schedules working?  we answered these and the many others she came with honestly, and i think she was a little surprised by it all.  after we finished lunch we started with the shopping, this is where it all got interesting.

my mom is one of my best friends.  yes she drives me crazy sometimes, in the ways that your mom or best friend always does.  we have a lot shows we watch together, we do 1/2 marathons together, we now both have iphones, we eat pretty similar, we also now both drive volkswagens.  when we go places people always ask if we are sisters, mostly men because they are trying to hit on one of us, what can i say its the truth.  i am often her fashion advice, and connection to things like the social media world.  she is my conscience and will always help lead me down the right path.  we are close in a different way that mothers and daughters are, it something that i cherish very much.  which is why the mom approval is important.

back to the shopping.  we started aiming a little high, browsing through pier 1 and looking at all of the things we are hoping to start purchasing probably this time next year.  being that was our first group shopping experience i was really curious how this was going to work.  when my mom and i shop we ask each others opinion on just about everything that goes into the cart, with the exception of the grocery store.  now some of these questions might be rhetorical, but many are genuine opinion seekers.  except in this shopping experience we have a whole nother relationship to consider, richard, and the fact that we are buying things for our apartment.  so who has the more important opinion?  who do you really listen too?  i mean mom gives the good/practical opinion and richard gives the lets have some fun/be young and enjoy this opinion.  now it kind of makes my mom sound old and richard like maybe he wasnt taking this serious enough, which was not the case in either instance.  its about finding a balance.  merging the stable life that you have always had with your family with this new adventure you have with your boyfriend.  i mean really, who cares if the silverware matches, or if the laundry detergent is a powder or liquid, or if you eat cereal with a little spoon like a normal person and he eats his with a big spoon like a savage.  like i said its about finding a balance.

we never did find dishes that day, or buy everything we needed in the way of basics.  mom really did give us good advice on the things to buy, such as why do you need a mop if you dont have a broom to sweep up the pokeys.  or isnt it really more important to find dishes you both love over settling on some dishes just to get rid of the ones you hate.  it also opened my eyes to how my mom was dealing with things and how our relationship was really going to grow out of this.  she is still adjusting to the fact that we live together, which is ok, at least she is willing to take an open mind.  i am still adjusting to living away from home and figuring out the grown up thing.  when she left that day i thought she was upset with us that we didnt buy dishes.  i realized later that for her, that day made all of this real.  my things are on shelves, my clothes are hanging in the closet, my desk is set up, i really live here with richard.  the next adventure in my life had really begun.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

the tv shows and dvr.

dvr might be one of my favorite inventions of this century.  ok, i really dont know how old it is, but i love it all the same.  my parents started getting dvr when i was in my senior year in college and everything changed.  before you had to set up the vcr, of course every single one was different, make sure the last person to turn the tv off had it set on the right channel, and that your vcr time matched the actual tv time.  you had to have a separate tape just to record the new shows, and make sure to set it exactly right so you didnt tape over anything you hadnt watched yet.  then came the invention of dvr to my house.  all you had to do was find the show you were looking for and press record.  it never expired.  it, usually,  never ran out of space.  you didnt even have to remember to tape it every week, because you could tape the entire series.  no one could record over your show for something else.  you could fast forward/rewind and didnt have to pray the tape wasnt going to break.  happy sigh, it is amazing.

i have been an avid fan ever since.  so when richard and i moved in together i knew it was something we definitely needed on at least one tv.  richard hadnt really gotten to enjoy the amazingness of dvr on his own tv before, but he immediately agreed that he wanted it too.  then came the debate, how many tvs do we put it on-we only have 2 ps-, whos shows go on which tv, can you watch and record something else at the same time.

being that he is at work during primetime nighttime tv he has become so behind on shows he gave up, becoming interested in new ones, or so i thought.  once he also realized how fantastic dvr is he was recording left, right, center, backwards, and all in between.  i would get up in the morning and he was recording something random at 7am.  he would watch part of a show and then record the rest because something else came on.  now, i thought this was all pretty cute and humorous until the night he started messin with my tv schedule.  and let me preface this with, yes i really have a schedule.

sunday : undercover boss @9p.  army wives @10p-only during the summer.  keeping up with the kardashians @10p, but this comes on many times during the week so i can always catch it then. and im thinking about getting back into brothers and sisters @10p.
monday : gossip girl @9p.  himym sometimes @8p.
tuesday : the biggest loser @8p.  this is recent, thanks mom lol.  the city @10p, whenever that decides to come back.
wednesday : nothing really happens on this night in the land of tv, which is why i usually work late lol.
thursday : big bang @8p.  greys anatomy @9p.  project runway is also on @9p so this must be recorded.

ok, before you really think i am totally crazy-instead of just slightly, let me explain a little bit more.  now, yes i do feel the need to watch this many tv shows every week, and if any new ones come out that i like i reserve the right to add more.  however, if i get an invitation to go out, or am not going to be home i will simply record on my dvr so i can watch them another time.  i am not chained to my tv and feel the need to watch them the second they come on.  plus if you do watch them on dvr, you can fast forward the commercials!

ah yes, the difference in our tv shows.  his shows include things like glen beck-yuck, pawn stars, anything on fox news really, american chopper, sportscenter, boardwalk empire,ufc next fighter thing, pardon the interruption, now entourage-even though i have been watching it on dvd for almost a year, asking if he would come watch with me, because it is so good, as he turned up his nose, until he lived with his friend anthony and now thinks it is the greatest show on tv-and man vs. food.  now i will give you that pawn stars and man vs. food are actually pretty good, and i am totally willing to watch those if they are on.  now this is where his schedule really plays into the tv show watching.  since i am home when most of my things come on, and they are pretty girly i do admit, he gets out of watching all of them!  not that i need a tv partner to watch with me, i talk enough to myself as it is during the shows, it would just be kind of cool to have somethings we watched together.  im just sayin, whew, glad i got that out lol.  so when he does come home, we sit down to watch tv, click on the dvr shows, we are watching something of his.  usually though it is pawn stars or man vs. food, so like i said i am willing. 

so as i was saying, the random recordings was all very cute, until he started messing with my tv schedule.  i came home on monday night, for sure one of the most important/best tv nights because gossip girl is on-followed very closely by thursdays, ready to sit down curled up with my ice cream when the awful message flashed across the screen that two things were being recorded at the same time and i either must watch one or nothing at all.  my two choices were wwe raw or american chopper.  guess what i choose...nothing.  thank goodness we have more than one tv!  so i simply went into the bedroom and snuggled into my bed instead, thinking why do i watch tv on the couch when i could be curled up in here instead!  i watched himym and gossip girl that evening in bed perfectly content.  that night when richard came home he was completely shocked to find me already in bed, i think he thought i was sick and dying.  when i began to tell him the tv story he got this silly/goofy grin on his face like he was 5, and while i couldnt help but laugh.  he started to explain that he tried to cancel a couple of recordings, now i really could care less where i watch these shows, just as long as i get to watch them.  after i finished laughing and him explaining he fires back, not so cooly, that i have taken over the dvr on thursday nights.  he really was not ready for the rebuttal that came from that remark and then we both just looked at each other and cracked up laughing.  

while yes there are bigger battles we will have, and much larger things to worry about than which tv show to watch when he comes home, we are definitely still trying to figure it out.  he has stopped asking though, as soon as something is done taping when i am going to watch it.  and i content in watching his shows when he comes home, because spending anytime that i can with him is really all i care about anyway:)

Friday, October 29, 2010

the schedules.

when i was younger and thought about growing up and living with a boy-now mind you in this interpretation i would be married to him lol-i always believed we would get up, get ready in the morning somewhat together then come home and be together in the evenings.  while the being married to him changed so did quite a few other things.  the biggest thing to change was the schedules.

i work in higher education, have a fairly normal weekday schedule and the occasional saturday.  i am usually home between 630p-730p with one day a week come home after 8p.  richard works at a shipping company in their warehouse hub in the evenings monday-friday.  he goes in somewhere between 3p-5p and is home between 11p-midnight.  he has had this job the whole time that we have dated, so we talked at nighttime, usually when i am in bed and he is driving home.  this has definitely messed with my sleep in the past, but it got to the point where i couldnt sleep through the night without it, it was our routine and it worked for us.  this definitely made us make the most of our time together, as we spent most of our weekends together.  not seeing him during the week was tough, some weeks where definitely tougher than others, but we always seemed to make it work.  as we began to seriously talk about moving in i wondered how this routine was really going to work.

whenever we did talk about moving in, i still had that togetherness idea in my head about the mornings and the evenings.  i had never really seen it done any other way, and wasnt sure i was really ok with this.  but when i talked to richard he always sounded really excited about our opposite schedules.  he always told me that i would be able to come home and have all this time to myself to watch my girly shows-i will admit most of them are pretty girly lol-and relax from my day.  he would still be there in the mornings and be able to get up with me while i was getting ready for work to start the day.  and he would have the time to himself during the day and see me when he came home, we could still talk about our days and spend time together at night.  i never had the heart to tell him that i wasnt really ok with this plan, because i knew in my heart there wasnt anything i could do to change it.  i think what bothered me the most was that i was finally going to see him everyday and go to bed with him at night, which i was really excited about, and all he talked about was the space.  

i got to the point before we moved in where i realized part of the reason he wanted "so much space,"  he had never really lived with anyone before or had to seriously share his space before.  he was an only child growing up and lived much of his life with his dad.  the closest thing he had to roommates was when we met and they were living with some family friends.  but even then, he was pretty much on his own, he had never really shared his up close/personal space with another person, much less a girl.  i had lived with a younger brother growing up and a family that would constantly walk in and out of my room at leisure.  i lived with many different roommates in college, fantastic ones in the end, crazy ones, naked ones, quiet ones, and loud ones.  i had figured out how to live with other people that i was and wasnt related too.  however none of the a fore mentioned roommates had been boys, that in itself i knew was going to make a huge difference. 

the first night i came home from work it was very eerie.  i didnt totally feel like i lived there yet, there were still boxes in the living room lol.  i wasnt really sure what i should do, so i did what i always do.  i changed out of my work clothes into my pjs and wandered into the kitchen to make dinner.  as i made dinner for myself i kept expecting other people to come home, but i wasnt really sure who i was waiting for.  i also wondered what was i supposed to do when richard came home.  do i stay up and wait?  do i go to bed?  i knew things were going to figure themselves out when he called that night to say he was on his way home.  i-being the huge overthinking girl that i am-wondered if he was going to, and i was so glad he did.

the next night i came home was my late night and i had already eaten dinner, so i had one less thing to do when i got home.  i still felt a little bit lost on what to do.  i had this i live with a boy feeling, but i dont ever see him.  when he does come home he is awake and ready to go.  he wants to talk and tell me all about his day, he asks questions about my day and the things i did.  he watches most of his shows at night and is up till 2 and 3 in the morning, this has taken some definite getting used too.  the hardest part is the fact that it is 11 or 12 at night and i am ready for bed/falling asleep when i finally do get to see him.  i dont really spend anytime with him in the mornings either.  my alarm goes off and as i am getting up to take a shower/make coffee he is rolling over to keep sleeping.  i always kiss him goodbye as i am walking out the door, while a little piece of my heart is sad that i cant get back into bed with him.  how am i going to get used to this?

a few days later it was like a switch flipped.  i came home from a particularly long day and was so ready to just flop on the couch and pass out.  it was so nice to come home to my own apartment and be able to do that.  richard was at work like usual and i was so relieved to have a few hours to myself to unwind.  when i was living at home there were a lot of times i wanted to do this exact thing, but it never seemed to happen.  i finally felt like i understood where he was coming from with the goodness of our opposite schedules.  there are still some nights where i wish he was home when i got there with his smile to make the perfect ending to my not so perfect day.  we are both trying to get better about the night time.  quite a few nights i have fallen asleep on the couch which actually turned into a good thing, because now i can stay up a little bit later chatting and watching tv with him.  he always gets sad when i go to bed and he is still up for a few more hours by himself.  we spend all day apart and then spend an hour, maybe at night together.  the best part is though, its so much more time than we used to spend together, and i am so grateful.  the mornings are still a little sad, i hate leaving.  nobody wants to get out of bed in the morning, and i especially dont now with him sleeping next to me.  but as i am leaving each morning, i still smile watching him sleep and am so glad that we made this moving in decision.  it has already brought us so much closer.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

the grocery store.

i love the grocery store.  i am surrounded by food with endless possibilities.  most of the time i walk up and down the aisles singing with the incredibly entertaining store music swaying back and forth as i go.  i make a list as to not forget anything however more things always jump in the cart as i wonder, but im ok with that.  it is also one of the few errands i actually enjoy going by myself.  going with other people always makes for a good time, mostly because everyone shops different.  i know that sounds weird, but think about it.  i prefer to go up and down each aisle (skipping the dog, kid, toiletry aisles) to make sure i get everything i need, and some other things i probably dont.  i start in the produce/deli section and work my way to the other end.  some people go straight for the items they need and run out as quickly as they can.  others sit and read the label of every single thing they put in their cart.  

i have been grocery shopping with richard many times before.  i always got very excited about going, while he dreaded every minute of being in the store surrounded by so many people all of which were in his way.  we shop on two complete opposite ends of the spectrum.  for starters he grocery shops at walmart, i grocery shop at albertsons.  he runs through, skipping whole aisles then having to run back to them.  i take my time and go up and down each one.  when we decided to move in, i often wondered how the grocery shopping would work.  would we go to both stores?  would he do his own and mine on my own?  would we find a new one altogether?  or most importantly...which one of us was going to cave/compromise on this one? 

as it stands now...we are two store grocery shoppers:)  however we both go to the other persons.  the first week we embarked on this adventure we started at walmart, which i absolutely despise, i am a target girl all the way.  my plan was to actually buy quite a bit more there then i probably ever would again, i mean we were literally starting from scratch.  we needed everything from sandwich bags to salt and pepper shakers to lunch for the week.  we went during the middle of the day on a monday hoping for less crowds so we could take our time, which worked out pretty well.  however i think it still drove him crazy that i went up and down every aisle:)  my plan was to only buy the things i needed here and still go to albertsons when we were done.  richard was doing his full blown grocery shopping though.

coming from two different households you have two very different perceptions of what you need/and want in your kitchen.  for example, we bought two different kinds of butter, brummel and brown for me and stick butter for him.  two different gallons of milk, 1% for me and whole milk for him.  two different breads, white for me and wheat for him.  two different kinds of macaroni and cheese, the blue box-the only kind that really matters-for me and the disgusting velveeta kind for him.  two different kinds of snacks, cheeze-its/100 calorie packs for me and chips/popcorn/cookies for him.  

as we approached the registers you could see the big question on both our do we split all of this up?  one spice for you, one box of sandwich bags for me?  so i decided i will pay for the together stuff and he can pay for his stuff.  he had paid extra the nite before when we made the target/walmart run.  however he stepped up and said no, we are splitting the whole thing down the middle:)  once the cashier was finished ringing us up ($140 later),he asked how were paying, when we told him to split it, he looked at us a little funny.  we told him we had just moved in together and this was our first grocery trip, after a small chuckle which turned into a huge laugh, he looked at us and said, see how long this splitting everything lasts with a goofy grin. as  we smiled and told him this was a partnership, we plan to keep it this way, a friend of his came over and asked how long we had lived together.  when we told him 2 days, he gave us the same small chuckle to a huge laugh and also said, good luck.  we both looked at each other with a little surprise and realized there was nothing else we could do but join in the laughing. 

once we got home and put away all of our new groceries, i decided i was really hungry.  we had already decided on making pizza for dinner, but i hadnt eaten lunch yet and was starving.  so i began opening cabinets and the freezer and the refrigerator to find a startling fact.  we had just spent $14o on groceries and had nothing to eat!  it was all "starter food" we decided to call that week.

later that evening i went to albertsons, which is literally across the street, and did my own grocery shopping.  as soon as i walked in a gave a huge sigh of relief.  the lighting was so much nicer, there was not nearly as many people, the music was on, and the best fact, i was not in walmart.  yes, i had just spent quite a bit at the first store, but i had nothing for me.  as i wondered through the aisles, i began to realize how much i really needed at the store.

when i finished shopping that evening i went home to an empty apartment.  this was the first time we had spent apart since we had finished moving two days before.  i know its silly, but i kind of missed him.  i put away the groceries and flopped down on the couch with a grin on my face.  "i live here," i thought to myself, "with my boyfriend."  and i settled in for a night of monday night tv, anxiously waiting for richard to come home from work, having that grin on my face the whole time.

Monday, October 25, 2010

the move.

moving is a crazy day for anyone.  the anticipation/stress/excitement/worry/joy/anxiousness alone will drive that to a crazy day.  ours of course, was not any different.

i had to work open house that morning, as if combining our things from three different places wasnt enough of a logistical hassle, add one man down.  however, richard and his friends picked up the pieces extremely well and had so much done by the time i got here.  what i would find from the infamous storage unit, no one could have prepared me for.

i always knew that our decorating tastes where pretty different, i mean the boy and girl factor alone was going to make us different.  i was girly-colorful, youthful, flowery, and kept something from every part of my life.  he was simple-not many colors, by that i mean one, hadnt bought anything new for decorating in, well thats just too long to count.  but then there was this mysterious storage unit of things he had always talked about.  before living with the roommates he was when we met, he and his dad lived in an apartment.  they decided to move and put the things from that apartment into storage, furniture, dishes, decorative pieces, and bedding.  i had heard about this storage unit forever, but had never been inside or even knew where it was.  however i knew the types of things that were in there and figured they would at least be excellent starter pieces.

back to when i arrived that day.  i have one photo for you, this will explain any type of "style" questions that are going through your mind about the "starter pieces"...

now, as if it could get any funnier, the dishes...they matched.  trust me, i could not make these things up.  so a very quick starter set they became.  at this point, none of my things were actually in the apartment yet.  we still had to go back to my house to get them.

about three weeks before this move my parents had actually just done the exact same thing.  we moved from the side of town we had lived on since we moved to las vegas in 1997 to a new house that was a hell of a lot closer to where both mom and i worked.  they actually had professionals (i use that term loosely for the gentlemen who actually showed up) move us, so half of my stuff was still in boxes, i never unpacked them.  genius i know:).   while waiting for us to arrive mom, dad, and kyle decided to help in a major way by taking apart my bed/dresser and taking all of the boxes downstairs so it would be easier to move.  with that huge advantage we had everything loaded in under a half hour.  when we arrived back at the apartment we had two new set of hands to help us, thank goodness.

now adding my entire life on top of his entire life and about three quarters of his dads (he recently moved back to chile and left just about everything with/to richard to deal with), space was becoming a commodity.  after all the unloading richard had to take back the u-haul so tiffany, kyle, and i decided the best use of our time was putting the bed together so after the karoke birthday party we were attending, we had somewhere to sleep!  this started out as a great plan, until we were done putting the frame together and richard called to say he had forgotten his keys and needed them to come home from the u-haul place.  so i left the rest of the bed to kyle and tiffany while i took him his keys.  when i pulled into the u-haul place richard was sitting on the curb next to his car with the saddest puppy dog face on.  he looked upset, past the point of exhaustion, and so sad.  there was nothing i could do, but get out of my car engulf him in a hug and tell him that i loved him.  he wrapped his arms around me and in that moment i knew that this was going to work.  as im driving back i get a text from tiffany asking what she can do to help till i come back.  i asked if she could take off the god awful futon cover so that i can at least wash the horrifically dirty thing until we could purchase a new one.  when i returned home i saw the best thing of the whole day...the awfulness was only a slipcover!!  i no joke jumped up and down with excitement.  as tiffany and kyle left that night to do their own things i realized that i am officially on my own.  i had been before, kind of, i mean i lived on campus in college.  but this was a completely new kind of on my own.  and to top it all off...i live with a boy now. 

in the end it took us three days, one horrible night to put a tv stand together, countless laughs and bunny noses in comparing things that came from both our families, and a realization that the storage here might just save us, to unpack our very first apartment.  now on to the next big shopping.

Friday, October 22, 2010

the background.

two weeks ago i made one of the largest decisions of my life, i moved in with my boyfriend.  now while this may seem like a semi-big deal to most, to me it was rather large.  let me explain a little better.

i am a pretty independent girl, college graduate, with a great job, out to have a good time, and a level head on my shoulders.  i was never the drop dead gorgeous girl that guys would buy drinks for or stop in their tracks to talk too.  i am however the nice, pretty girl with beautiful friends.  i often was stuck with the friends of those guys i just described, who did those things for my friends.  all those things changed the night i met my, now, amazing boyfriend richard.  we met in a bar through mutual friends where we had great conversations and he even let me teach him how to line dance, well sort of.  he asked for my phone number and said he wanted to take me out on a date next saturday.  while yes he waited the dreaded three days, i still agreed.  the short version of the story is, i got sick (literally) had to call the date off, and then cancelled any future plans he tried to make.  leading me to tell this great guy i was not interested, even though i really knew nothing about him.  he however, did not except my excuses and became the first, and only guy to ever fight for me.  fifteen months later we are still together and stronger than we ever have been :).

we decided in the beginning of the summer that we were ready to take that next step in our relationship and move in together.  this was a pretty huge step for us both.  this was the longest, and by far the healthiest relationship either one of us had ever been in.  we both brought our own set of obstacles to the table, that we were actually willing to help each other overcome.  now i am the typical "girl" in our relationship and over think just about everything:)  i may not always tell him this, but i still think he knows lol.  one of my largest was my family.

i grew up in a fairly conservative, mom dad still married, i am the oldest sister household.  i have one younger brother and we had no pets.  we are a very tight knit family, the four of us are the only ones we had in las vegas where we were living.  while my family is pretty supportive in the things i do-tattoos and piercings, not so much hehe-i knew the moving in idea was not going to go over well. 

i kept things very quiet until things actually happened.  for awhile it was great to keep the secret just between us and have this thing we had done together and were so proud of.  then reality set in and i knew that i had to tell my parents.  now, i do have to say that being completely upfront honest with them was the best policy, as cliche as that sounds.  i got to the point where i set reasonable expectations for what i actually wanted from them.  i knew they would not jump up and down for joy, i just wanted them to eventually be ok with this idea.  i decided, much to richards relief, that this was best done on my own.  when i told  mom, she actually said she already knew, it was just a matter of time.  then inevitable questions started, thank goodness i had so much time to think, i actually had the answers.  dad did not react quite as well as mom.  he did react thou, exactly like i expected him too.  "on the one hand, i am very excited for you, because you sound extremely happy and ready to make this move.  on the other hand, i am still your dad.  and as progressive as i am trying to are still my daughter, living with a boy, before you are married."  the rest of my very large extended family as been pretty supportive as well.  i mean hell, my aunt sent us a housewarming box full of kitchen towels:)

so with this beginning, i bring my journey of a 25 year-old girl in 2010 just starting out her newest adventure of living with her boyfriend:)
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