Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Stratosphere of Chaos.

It's Wednesday. Typically, my favorite night of the week. However, tonight was a little on the bittersweet side.

So much has been going over the past few days. Where do I even begin?

Let's back track a bit, shall we? There are four major things that have been consuming my life in the past week. In no particular order:

1. Getting an interview for a teaching job (that isn't an ACTUAL teaching job mind you, just the list of people that could potentially get a teaching job if one should ever open up).

c. Repainting, fixing up and finding new renters for our first floor apartment (remember, we own a triplex house and our tenants of the past ten years moved out, dammit).

5. Packing up and tying up lose ends so I can leave for my summer job at camp in Maine. On Monday.

3. Fighting the most persistent and headache-inducing sinus infection this side of the Mississippi.

I don't know where 2, 4, a and b went. Into the stratosphere of chaos that I call my life, I suppose.

Here's where I stand as of this very moment: I have a teaching interview. However, during the days that I was waiting to hear word on whether or not I got an interview, I had a major meltdown. Like the kind where you question the meaning of life and consider the fact that maybe, just maybe, you should go eat worms.

During that meltdown I found solitude in the hours and hours I spent painting the entire downstairs apartment...which lead to us finally securing a new set of tenants this afternoon! Thank goodness, the mortgage will be paid.

On the other hand, I'm leaving for the summer in exactly four days and not only have I not packed one iota of clothing, I haven't even made a damn packing list or done laundry.

Also, I have enough oral, nasal and eye antibiotics to wipe out an entire country.

So. Tomorrow begins the list. Lists of what I need to get done. Lists for what to bring to the Birthday Extravaganza this coming weekend. Lists of what to pack for the summer. And, finally, lists of all the things that I need to present at my interview - in Power Point format.

Should be fun, no?

Tonight was our last Why Not Wednesday of the year. Instead of sipping wine at our usual hole-in-the-wall, we chowed down on Chinese at Jaclyn's house and ohhhed and ahhhed over baby Zara. She has the biggest smile and biggest blue eyes of all time.

We changed up our routine tonight because we had to get Jaclyn to the airport so she could catch her flight to Peru! She's heading out on the adventure of a life time where she'll spend two weeks exploring Machu Picchu, Lima and Cuzco. I know she was feeling a little jittery with all of the anticipation, but she was more prepared for this trip than I have ever been on all of my trips combined - and I'm an organized person!

By the time she gets back from her adventure Annie and I will already be galavanting through Maine. That means our weekly Wednesday meetings are on hold until September when we will all be back in town.

Oh, we will have so many good stories to share by then. Let the adventures begin.

Also, shout out to TC who has been my rock through the chaotic days. He's pretty great.

And the cool photos? Courtesy of the rockin' new app from the blog A Beautiful Mess. Search 'Beautiful Mess' in your app store and you too can have fun phrases, doodles, borders and filters :) You can even upload from there to Facebook and Instagram. Elsie and Emma are pretty talented.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

She's Married!

Last weekend, I had the good fortune to see one of my oldest friends get married.

Her name is Katie and we met way back at the beginning of middle school. We were tight back then. Thick as thieves in those days, and caused just as much trouble.

Even as the years have passed on, we have always remained close, even when different social circles pulled us in different directions. Even when we moved to different cities. But those childhood bonds, do they ever run deep.

We both went to each other's weddings and we both married boys with the same name...just like us.

Kate and Jonathan and Katie and Jon.

Too cute.

It's funny now to see who is at who's weddings. Funny how those that you were once closest with are no longer around. Those who you didn't foresee being there in the long run are still around and just as important as ever. Even funnier how one weekend can bring all of those good memories back and make you wonder why high school cliques ever existed to begin with.

(Side note: There are seven of us in the photo. Two are named Amy/Aimee and three are named Kate/Katie/Catie. This is why we go by our last names.)

But the best is when you all pick right back up where you left off. Without missing a beat.

It's been 10 years since we've seen each other? No way.

You have kids? Awesome. More importantly, remember that time at soccer practice when you flicked me off and had to run laps as punishment? Remember when we were fourteen years old and took your mom's car for a joyride? Remember when we built a float for the Homecoming parade? Remember when you caught me sneaking out of a basement window when you just happened to be walking by with your pet snake wrapped around your neck and scared the living bejesus out of me? Remember when we worked at the deli and the ice cream shop that were next door to each other and stole food to trade with each other all the time?

Yeah. Those were the days.

High school may have been a roller coaster, but now I look back and only see the good times, the good friends and all of the fun we had.

Anyway. Back to the wedding. I flew into Atlanta and then my parents and I headed out to Pawleys Island in South Carolina for the wedding festivities.

Katie and her family outdid themselves with everything - even their recommendations for condos were perfection! We stayed at Litchfield Beach & Gold Resort. You can see how great our view was, we were right on the beach and the lazy river pool was awesome.

Since it was a destination wedding there were activities planned from Thursday night on. We started the weekend off at the Tiki Bar where we added another dollar bill to the ceiling, complete with our high school nicknames (a must when we all have the same damn names).

Friday night everyone was invited to the Yacht Club for a low country boil. The shrimp was amazing, the bacon wrapped scallops were even better and the acoustic guitar players kept everyone dancing.

In between all the evening festivities I got to spend some quality time with one of my best friends in the entire world. Morgan and is my oldest friend and we eventually lived together in college. Charlie, her then-boyfriend/now-husband was our unofficial roommate back then. I haven't seen her since my wedding, which should be illegal.

Finally, I got to meet her adorable baby girl too. Let's be honest. Sloane is probably the cutest thing in the entire world.

My parents and I also made sure to get in some family bonding time by hitting up the historic waterfront for lunch on the pier and a little bit of shopping before the wedding.

For the wedding we all piled into shuttles to take us out to the chapel. Pawleys Island is surrounded by a giant marsh, which is where the chapel was. How we didn't sink the place is beyond me.

Katie was gorgeous and the bridesmaids dresses were probably the best I've ever seen. Beachy, elegant, and all different styles with beautiful white bouquets.

At the reception we were greeted with sand dollars that had our names and table assignments. The tables were named after different surrounding areas of the beach, which I loved. I am a total sucker for creative table names. Gets me every single time.

The food was amazing, the band was killer and the wine was flowing.

Somehow midnight crept up on us and the happy couple made their exit under a fabulous display of sparklers.

They hopped in their limo, changed their clothes and met the rest of us at a local dive bar.

With this group there was no way the night was going to be over so quickly. We had so much catching up to do that we stayed out wayyyyy past our bedtimes and closed, yet another, bar down. At 4:00am.

I was so honored to be a part of Katie's wedding weekend and am so thankful that her family included my family. The entire trip was a blast - from hanging out with my parents, seeing all those wonderful old friends, getting the sand in between my toes and of course, seeing Katie marry her Jon.

Congrats to the newlyweds!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


I'm back. You've missed me, right?

Back blogging and back in Canada. For now, at least. Just two more weeks until I head to the great state of Maine for the summer!

I spent the past week down South in Atlanta and South Carolina where I got to spend tons of time with my family and see some of my favorite people in the world.

Getting back to Atlanta is quite possibly one of the best feelings in the world. It's the house where I grew up and everything is familiar.

I made sure to stop by all of my favorite places that I am deprived of in Canada. Namely, Chic-Fil-A and Target. It is truly a miracle that I survive in Canada.

My mom and I had some girl time for a belated Mother's Day celebration while we got pedicures, ate fro-yo and did some shopping.

I also had time to see some of my oldest and dearest friends. Jen and I played with her kiddos one night. Sally and I drank wine and built a tree out of balloons and PVC pipe another night.

Then, of course, there was the wedding in South Carolina that reunited old high school friends for a weekend of chaos.

Lucky for me, my dad lets me borrow his fun little convertible while I'm home. As I was driving around town I realized that I don't even have to think about where I'm going. It's like I'm on auto-pilot. I've been driving those roads for so long that I know every twist, turn and bump. I've been in Canada for almost three years and everyday I still have to think about which way to turn out of my driveway. Now granted, I'm directionally challenged, but still...there is something to be said for knowing your home town like the back of your hand.

Right before I left for the airport yesterday I walked down the driveway and was hit with the smell of our yard. I've never noticed it before but it smelled like heaven. The flowers, the grass, the morning dew on the smelled like home. I wonder how many times I've walked up and down that driveway? Probably at least a million and I've never noticed that sweet smell until now. Funny how those things work.

I landed last night and luckily TC didn't forget to pick me up at the airport. The poor man has been living off of a frozen batch of cookies I left for him, so I was glad to see that he hasn't withered away into nothing.

I had a blast in Atlanta, but it's good to be home and see my favorite guy.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Productivity At Its Finest.

It's really early right now - like, it's 7:30am. I try very hard to never see the other side of 7am but I got up bright and early this morning to say goodbye to TC and get this day started. I have a flight to catch in t-minus four hours. I'm off to Atlanta today to then head to the beaches of South Carolina for a wedding next weekend. 

Guess I should start packing.

But first things first. This weekend was amazing. When TC and I got home from work on Friday it was absolutely beautiful outside. 

I had a major hankering for ice cream (which would probably help explain the extra 20 pounds I can't seem to get rid of) so we hitched up the pups and set off down the street.

Frosty's ice cream shack is a few blocks away, which is very dangerous. Way to convenient, if you ask me.

I love the gumball machine of sprinkles - how smart! That way you can get as many as you want without being judged.

Saturday morning I woke up to the sounds of what I thought was a lawn mower outside. Good for TC, I thought, way to mow the lawn and be productive. But wait, we don't have any grass in the backyard...

Ah yes, he had gone to Home Depot and rented a giant tiller. This was all fine and dandy until it came time to load it back in the car. There was no way he and I were going to be able to do it so we called in reinforcements. 

Serge, Mike, Christina and their little one all came to the rescue. While they were there it became apparent that I was going to need some help painting too. 

You see, our house is actually a triplex with an apartment on each floor. Our first floor tenants just moved out so I'm repainting the entire apartment in a nice neutral beige. It was slow going so Christina offered to go home and change into paint clothes and come back and help me.

Mike ended up staying too since TC needed a hand in ripping out the bathroom mirror and installing an outlet. Can you imagine living in a bathroom with no electrical outlet? I'm not sure how our old tenants handled that, but I guess that's what you get in a 100 year old house.

Meanwhile, Little Miss played a lot of hide and go seek, put her hand in wet paint several times and chattered away for hours to entertain us. The energy that a four year old has is truly astounding. I was exhausted just watching her. 

The day flew by and eventually we were all starving so we sent Mike to the store in search of food and beer. He came back with a delicious array of chicken wings, sushi, bruschetta, french fries and Corona. The dinner of champions.

We also busted open a bottle of champagne that my MIL so kindly gave me for graduation. And yes, I realize that the paint is supposed to go on the walls and not on my sweatshirt. I'm a messy painter, what can I say?

Earlier in the day we taught Little Miss how to use a screwdriver to take off outlet covers so it only seemed natural that TC continued with the life lessons by teaching her how to fly the helicopter.

Sunday was spent recovering from our overly productive Saturday, cooking frozen food for TC to live off, and celebrating our mothers.

Mom, I get to see you tonight! Tomorrow I'll take you for fro-yo and pedicures.

I'm going to pack now. Wish me luck.

Have a happy Monday, y'all!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Wednesdays Are My Favorite Night.

Our weekly gathering of Why Not Wednesday had a twist to it tonight. Instead of hanging out at our favorite hole-in-the-wall, The Laundromat, we went over to my dear friend Annie's brand new house! It's absolutely adorable and the space fits her just perfectly. Great layout, beautiful floors, awesome paint colors and fun art. I couldn't be more excited for her. It is a really cute house and if I'm being honest, I'm a tad bit jealous of all the fun she is having with it.

We had the full crew together tonight, but sadly the founder of our little Wednesday night group is moving on to a fun new adventure in Nova Scotia next week. We'll miss her tons, but she won't soon be forgotten because she brought us all gifts tonight. Like, reverse going away gifts so we won't forget her. Annie and I are both in the market for new teaching jobs so she brought us each an old school bell. You know the kind that sit at cash registers for you to ring when you need the clerk? That kind. As much as I would like to think it would be great in a classroom, I can very easily see it ending up next to the couch so TC can ring me when he needs his pillows fluffed or a fresh glass of water.

(I can see his feathers getting ruffled right now. I'm only kidding, honey!)

As usual, we talked about a whole lot of nothing. Work, babies, plans for the summer, how bad my calves hurt from the ridiculous martial arts/cardio class I took at the gym tonight, where to buy cute summer dresses, many tales of old injuries, and pilonidal cysts (don't google if you have a queasy stomach). Basically, the usual conversation.

{Are you going to google it?

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Seriously, don't do it.

And for the record, none of us currently have a cyst. I don't really know how it came up...

Let's pretend I never even brought it up.}

Speaking of creativity in her new house and summer plans - Annie and I will both be heading to Maine for the summer in a few short weeks. In honor of our home away from home, she made the coolest coasters to decorate her coffee table since she wanted a fun splash of color.

Can you tell it's a photo of the coaster as seen through my glass of wine? Photography at it's finest.

I'll have to get the exact details from her, but she essentially took a pieces of $0.20 tile, cut out a piece of a map, glued it on with spray adhesive and mod-podged over it. To finish it off she bought a pack of leather cut-outs for $10 and glued them to the bottom of the tile to prevent scratching.

She made several versions. Some coasters with maps, some with scrap book paper, some with pages from her favorite books, and some with a combo - so creative, that Annie!

That's all for tonight, folks. Let's hope that tomorrow I have more exciting things to report.

Seriously, don't google the cyst. If you don't know what it is, be thankful.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Cuatro de Mayo Fiesta.

Even though Canada and the USA are neighbors, there a tons of differences between the two countries. For example, in Canada you eat tacos for supper and in the US you eat tacos for dinner. In Canada you give someone a drive to the party and in the US you give someone a ride to the party. In Canada Thanksgiving is in October and in the US it is in November. In the US Cinco de Mayo is a legitimate celebration and in Canada it doesn't exist.

In my never-ending quest to bring my American traditions to my friends in Canada, I bought a bunch of tequila last year, dug up sombreros and invited all my friends over.

This year we had a dear friend in town this weekend so it seemed like a good reason to throw together some Mexican food and cut up some limes. I didn't force margaritas on anyone this year, but they did manage to happily drink a batch or two of sangria and even wore sombreros.

Oh, and it wasn't Cinco de Mayo. It was Cuatro de Mayo because we celebrated it on Saturday. Not that anyone knows the difference. Do you know how many times I was asked when Cinco de Mayo was?

I love 'em anyway. They took tequila shots like they've been celebrating Mexican heritage their whole life.

Last year I got carried away with the fiesta. This year was pretty simple - a veggie tray that looks like a Mexican flag, a frozen Cantina box from Costco (delicious!), Connie's spicy cheese dip and my mom's Mexican Layer dip.

The Mexican Layer dip is so easy and fabulous:

In a 10 inch round dish layer the following:
1st - 1 can of refried beans
2nd - 2 avacados, smashed with a 1/2 lemon fresh juice
3rd - mix 1 cup sour cream and 1 cup mayo with a package of taco seasoning
4th - 3 tablespoons chopped green onions
5th - 2 tomatoes, diced
6th - 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Serve with chips

Connie's Spicy Cheese Dip that is good for ALL occasions:

1 pound of Velveeta, 1 pound cooked spicy sausage, 1 pound cooked ground beef and 1 can of Rotel.
Melt the cheese in a sauce pan or crockpot. Add in the cooked meat and Rotel. Serve with chips and prepare to have everyone think you are awesome.