In case you thought I was exaggerating...

Just in case you thought I was exaggerating about the number of presents that I wrapped...

I have no idea why it's such a poor quality photo, but you can almost see the decorations out there on our balcony! 
So there's the presents for the hubby (but those aren't even in this picture; they're under the tree).  Our parents (who total 4 people).  Our grandparents (4).  Our siblings (5).  Our nieces and nephews (4).  My close friends - plus a son for one (5).  That makes 23 people.  Plus the stocking (my husband's favorite part of Christmas is his stocking.  His parents have left my HUGE stocking shoes to fill, and I fear it will never live up to his expectations).  Plus the gift exchange game (adds in 8 gifts...that's what those ugly gifts are on the far right - purely out of scraps of paper, because hey, the ugly presents are always the ones that get fought over!).  

That's.  A.  Lot.  Of. Presents.  Like, potentially a disgusting amount.  We don't even have our own children yet!   

Though we did stay within in my estimated budget.  Chalk another one up to coupons and Swagbucks!...Definitely saved $15 on Amazon purchases through them :)   

[Want to know what the most ridiculous part of me buying Christmas gifts for the hubby is?  If I only got the husband PENS for Christmas, he'd be happy.  He has become a bit of a pen snob.  For example, he requires them to write smoothly, dry quickly, have black ink, and be of a "clicky" nature.  Everyone who asked what types of gifts he would like for Christmas received the same answer: PENS.  (Yes, I did get him some.  I hope he gets so many pens that he doesn't know what to do with them!).  I can't tell if this is a "any male who writes all day" thing, or a "doctor" thing...but, seriously.  He's all about the pens!]


Final Exam Week Means...

  • Final exam week means grading the hubby's practice exams.  A E E C D B C E
  • Final exam week means near silence when the husband is home to encourage good studying.  No radio.  No TV (not that I watch TV).  No vacuuming (darn!).
  •  Final exam week means wrapping all of the Christmas gifts by myself (that's gifts for 23 people.  Plus a stocking.  Plus a Christmas gift exchange which added in 8 more gifts).
  • (Which, if you add the previous two points up, it means that while wrapping said gifts, I had to do it without Christmas music.  Have you ever wrapped gifts sans Christmas music?  Let me tell you, it is really boring to sit and wrap gifts in silence).
  • Final exam week means giving frequent neck rubs to ease the tension of the hubby looking down at his notes/computer/books for 12 hours straight.
  • Final exam week means me fixing a stool which had gone wobbly, instead of having the hubby do it.  Which also means it to me forever to find the allen wrenches, because my husband has a lack of organization with his tools.  And seriously, furniture manufacturers?  Just use a phillips screw.  I know where that tool is!
  • Final exam week means listening to our church's sermon online instead of actually going to church, because it's a 25 minute drive each way, and that's an extra 50 minutes of studying!
  • Final exam week means prefacing every sentence with, "Hey babe?  Sorry to bother you..."  And then waiting for several minutes for him to finish his train of thought/practice problem, by which time I've long forgotten what incredibly important thing I was going to say.  
  • (Which means I write him notes a lot, ["can you take the garbage out in the morning?"] and let him read them when he gets around to it).
  • Final exam week means each night after I create a normal everyday dinner culinary masterpiece, my husbands scarfs it in 60 seconds or less and immediately returns to his desk, while I finish eating alone, chewing and swallowing every bite like a non-medical student.
  • Final exam week means falling asleep every night in the chair/on the couch because I don't like to go to bed before the hubby, and he studies way past my bedtime. 
  • Final exam week means telling our friends that we can't go out to dinner with them, simply because, "It's finals week."
  • Final exam week means being conscious of when the hubby is losing focus (aka flipping through pages randomly, picking something up, putting it down and picking it up again a second later) and making him stop studying to do some pushups or throw a medicine ball back and forth.  Something to get his blood flowing to the rest of his body, NOT just his brain!

Final exam week is officially over on Thursday for us.  Can you wait?  I can't wait!


Simple and Sophisticated Cranberry Centerpiece

I saw this and immediately fell in love.  This would be the perfect centerpiece to grace any table this holiday season!  Maybe several in a cluster, or one along the fireplace's mantle?

Photo from Weight Watchers Magazine
How beautiful!  Simple, yet sophisticated.  Just place fresh flowers and cranberries in a vase and fill halfway with water.  Viola!  Plus, I just picked up bagged fresh cranberries from Aldi for $0.25!  So if you find a bouquet for a decent price, you can add "inexpensive" to the description, too :) 

Two other gorgeous variations for your viewing pleasure.  Wouldn't it look nice to have something like the above photo flanked with several of these on each side?

Photo from thisnext.com
A bit more elaborate...so lovely!
Photo from eHow.com

I'm feeling like this is a must do....what about you??


To the Show!

(So lately this has turned into a Holiday Blog, rather than a blog about the adventures of a medical student and his wife.  But really, all the med student has been doing, non-stop, for the past week, is studying for finals.  I think it would probably bore both you and I if all I told you about was the endless notes and quizzing and practice exams.  So I'm picking to tell you about the more fun, festive things that I do while the hubby is otherwise busy.  Because yes, life does still happen despite finals!).  

Yesterday, I did something I've never done before - I went to see the Nutcracker!  After a great lunch out with one of my best girlfriends Shannon, her mom and her sister-in-law, we went to watch the show.  It was great! It's been a very, very long time since I've been to a ballet.  Shannon took dance classes from age three to age eighteen, so she was super jazzed to see it.  (And the hubby was super jazzed that he DIDN'T have to go see it!  He normally happily obliges and accompanies me on such adventures, but with finals looming, he gladly opted out of this one). 

The dancers amazed me with their agility, grace and flexibility.  There is no way in the world my body could do the things that theirs did!  The set was beautiful, the costumes stunning and the music dramatic.  It was such an awesome time!  Thanks for coming with me, ladies :) 

The people that danced these roles at our show were married in real life!  So cute!


The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

You know what one of my absolute favorite things is about this time of year?  More than the decorations and the cookies - most of which I can't eat anyway - and the music and the snow (because that's my least favorite thing)?  Seeing friends that we haven't seen in a while.  Because, really, the hubby and I seem to be the only people who stuck around here.   Basically all of our good friends from undergrad and post-undergrad have moved to far away states.  This is because our great state may-or-may-not have the highest unemployment rate in the country.  Everyone is leaving to find a job! 

But, very soon, we will be seeing friends coming in from the following areas (off the top of my head, and apologies if I forgot you): Florida, Indiana, Nebraska, Colorado, Virginia, New Jersey & New York....I'm heading to the airport this afternoon to pick up one of our dearest and truest buddies, Kyle, who is flying in from Florida.  If the hubby and I had a joint BFF, it'd be him.  He and the hubby went to high school together, shared a bachelor pad in college, and he stood up in our wedding.  Currently, Kyle's in law school in Jacksonville.  He pretends like he loves the warm, sunny weather, but we all know that he's super excited to come to our snow!  (Side note - Today is supposed to be the warmest day we've had thus far in December - 34 degrees!  Wahoo, right?).  

We are super pumped to see Kyle.  He and I going to go do some Christmas shopping this afternoon (because he didn't exactly have time to shop with law school finals!), then go pick up the hubby for some yummy brick-fired pizza at a place that has dairy-free cheese (after the hubby gets done with his anatomy final exam), and then go check out the A Capella concert that some people from med school are putting on.  (How and when they had time to practice is beyond me!  They also named their group something clever to do with the name of something in the ear, but I don't remember).  (Also - why anyone would care about the details of our day today is beyond me.  Sorry!).

In conclusion :)  I love that the holidays bring people together.  I love that our friends come home, and we actually see the ones that live around us still.  And I love that the hubby gets three weeks off to enjoy with family and friends.  

Basically - this is the most wonderful time of the year!

Kyle and me... he's actually behaving in this picture!  He'd kill me if he knew I did a whole blog post essentially about him AND put a picture of him on it.  That'll be our little secret.


The Story of a Lifetime

Every year at Christmas, my mom's side of the family always does a Secret Santa-esque gift exchange between the whole family (all of the brothers and sisters of their generation, their children, and their parents...and the esque comes into play because we all know who has the other people...so not very heavy on the whole secretive aspect!).  We all draw a name and have a dollar limit to spend, and then on Christmas Eve, we all get together at my grandparents place, eat lots of food, play games and open our presents.

The Hubby and I totally and completely 100% rigged happened to draw out my grandparents names.  I am so excited about this awesome Christmas gift that I've found for them.

Enter "The Story of a Lifetime!"  It's a mostly-blank novel that has 500-some questions with space to fill out answers.  The gift receiver is to answer all of these questions about their heritage, childhood, education, career, parents and family, hopes, dreams and accomplishments.  Basically, it's a guided "write your own autobiography."  

I just think it's such an awesome way to give all the wonderful details of your lifetime to future generations.  So really, we're giving them a gift to give to us!  

There is some mild concern from various family members that my grandparents won't do it.  Personally, I think they'll be jazzed about it (okay, at least my grandma.  She might have to force my grandpa to do it!).  If they aren't, I'm totally going to sell a tear jerker story about how we'll be the first grandchildren to give them great-grandchildren (most likely.  I mean, we are their only married grandchildren, so the chances are pretty high that it will be us!), and how we want them to know how awesome their great-grandparents are....and so on. :)   

Hopefully they like it.  If you also think it's an amazing gift idea, buy.com has the best price on it.  Trust me.  I've looked everywhere.  ;)


Christmas decorations

Want to see some of our Christmas decorations?  I thought so!  The hubby and I went crazy at the day-after Christmas sales last year.  We definitely ended up with waaaay more ornaments than we needed, but other than that, we did pretty great!   Tree skirt, stocking holders, lights, a tree topper, wrapping paper, the whole nine yards...all on clearance!  What more could a girl ask for??

 Our slightly crooked beautiful tree!  It's totally a Charlie Brown tree; super cheap that the hubby bought in college, as a temporary, bachelor-pad appropriate tree.  But it fits well in our space, and we decided it'd be much smarter to just use this one instead of getting a new one.  Eventually, we will definitely have real, fresh-cut, "went-to-a-farm-picked-it-out-and-cut-it-down-ourselves" trees.  But for now, this one is great.  It looks gorgeous at night with all the lights on.  And we got a pine tree scented candle, so we can pretend that it's a real tree!

See that adorable pipe cleaner garland at the bottom of the tree?  The hubby made that when he was about five years old.  And presents!  I may or may not have mandated the wrapping paper options to three choices to make the tree look more cohesive...is that allowed? 

 That white paper might be my absolute favorite ever!

Isn't he so cute?  My mom got us this little doctor snowman ornament :)  

(You can see how painfully fake-looking our tree is in this picture!  And the little red berries at the top?  My favorite way to add color to a tree!)

Our fireplace and mantle!  The first time I've ever been able to hang a stocking on a fireplace.  (please note that our poinsettia is already being a victim to my black thumb).

I adore that sign!  Picked it up at a craft show after Thanksgiving.  Note that it is hung with twine because the hubby refused to let me put yet another one measly nail hole in the wall.  

I wasn't kidding about the plethora of ornaments!  They were coming out our ears!  See that table runner?  We got an entire set of table linens, all hand-quilted, from a friend of the family for a wedding gift.  Talk about a labor of love!  They are perfect for the holidays, too! 

There are also some very lovely decorations in our "outdoor space" (aka balcony!).  The hubby put up garland and lights all around the railing and we even have a lighted star in the center!  However.  There are no pictures.  Because we have five inches of snow and I refuse to go outdoors unless absolutely necessary.  Or to get the mail.  Because Christmas cards are beginning to come!

Finals start next week.  Which means that we don't sleep in on Saturdays.  But hey - it's before 10:00 and I've already accomplished quite a few things off of my to-do list!  

(Don't mind the breakfast dishes sitting un-washed in the kitchen.  Priorities, people!)
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Christmas Greetings

Oh Holy Night Religious Christmas Card
Shop Shutterfly for elegant custom Christmas photo cards.
View the entire collection of cards.


Conversations with the future doctor

...you know this will be good...

Hubby:  {insert random medical goodness that I don't even begin to understand and may-or-may-not be tuning out slightly...yadda yadda yadda....talking with classmates about something from lecture...then my ears perk up for these three words} "The warm carpet."

Me: "Wait, what?  The carpet is warm at school?"

Hubby: "That's not the point."  {begins to return to med-speak}

Me: "But wait, is the floor really warm?  Like, in every room of the building?"

Hubby: "Yes."

Me:  "That's so strange, why would the carpet feel warm??"

Hubby: "Because they heat the building by running hot water through all the floors."

Me: "Seriously?  Wait.  How do you know this? How do you discover that the floors are warm???"

Hubby: "Well, honey, we spend a lot of time there.  Sometimes, we get tired and lay on the floors.  And they are warm."

HA!  Future doctors of America, ladies and gentlemen.
Have a great Thanksgiving weekend!  Baking some crusty bread as we speak/type & read
for tomorrow's feast at my parents house. 

Oh, and here's my confession photo:

It's been Christmas at our house for a week already!  Never in my life have I decorated before Thanksgiving...it's normally the weekend after Thanksgiving. 

But what can I say - It's our first Christmas together, and we couldn't wait to decorate!  

AND those are presents for me under the tree.  Way to go hubby!


Christmas Card Season

Writing to you from the in-laws house this morning, where it is a balmy 26 degrees outside.  We'll be celebrating early Thanksgiving today, which has me thinking: Where in the WORLD did November go?   I need to start thinking about, create, and mail out Christmas cards in the next couple of weeks!  Yikes!

Thank goodness for Shutterfly!  This site has been my go-to for all things photo the past year.  With getting married, it has been the home for our engagement and wedding photos, and was an excellent place to make a share site where we could send family and friends to get their own.  And now I am going to use it to create our Christmas cards, instead of painstakingly crafting them all by hand.  What's the point in all that work when Shutterfly has the world's most beautiful designs?  Plus, right now, all of their cards are 30% off!

We definitely want to showcase a few of our wedding pictures on our cards.  Which is why I fell in love with this beautiful design. I adore its elegant feel, the larger size of the photos, and the fact that it's a Christmas Card, rather than a "holiday" card.  

I can already see what pictures would go where!  Our second runner up was this pretty one, but we decided that we might have just liked it because there were wedding photos on it...

Shutterfly is a good place to mark some gifts off your "To Buy" list.  They've got great calendars that any grand parent would adore, and awesome photo books too.  My sisters-in-law are the queens of photo books, and they always look fabulous!  Some day, some day....  :)  

Thanks Shutterfly, for being amazing, as always!


Recent Acquisitions

We have had some recent acquisitions of a rather medical nature.  They are very, very cool.  And they make it very, very real that my hubby will soon be Dr. Hubby.  It might seem strange, but at the hubby's med school, they don't need their doctor equipment until their second semester.  They had a "discount" (whoever did the pricing needs to work on their definition of a discount!) sale at the school, so the hubby got everything he'll need to start learning how to examine his patients.  He brought all these goodies home last night, and I got super pumped!

I was most excited for this.  Because I can play with it :)  Under future-doctor supervision, of course!

His Littmann Cardiology III Stethoscope.  I can't wait for him to learn what all those ocean-like sounds actually mean!  

Also from his bag of goodies came his otoscope.  What the heck is that?  The tool that doctors use to look in your ears and eyes and nose and mouth.

(Note that I didn't remove it from the plastic - that is because I saw the price tag.  And immediately decided to stop touching it!).

Finally...the patella hammer, tuning fork, and pen light...because everyone needs their tuning fork handy!

He also bought a blood pressure cuff, but it has to be shipped.  Final price tag?  A lot.  More than my entire Christmas budget.  Plus groceries for a month.  Roughly.  Yeesh....bring on next semester's loan money already!


When men do arts and crafts...

...this is the result!  

(I'm ashamed to publish a picture with the office in such chaos, but it is so funny that I had to!  I took it with my camera phone really late at night, so I'm sure it's terrible - don't enlarge it!)

The hubby's school seems to believe that it's important to "be a person" as well as "be a doctor."  So he got to do this busy work Creative Reflective Project on the doctor/patient relationship and the humanness of physicians.  It could be done using any medium.  When he turned his in, the hubby said there was everything from musical compositions to heart-shaped cakes to drawings.  You can see the bits and pieces of his project scattered all over the floor.

He definitely didn't wait to do it until the night before it was due.  Oh no.  No, if that was the case, it would probably look like a tornado of arts and crafts supplies went through our office. 

Ha :)


Whole Wheat English Muffins

I've decided that when I grow up (ahem!), and have lots of out-of-town friends and relatives staying with us, I'll get up before everyone else, and make these delicious English Muffins.  They are that good, the loss of two hours of sleep would totally be worth it.  

This is a recipe I've tweaked a bit since I started making these.  There's pretty little hands-on time required, but every second of it is completely worth it.  

Whole Wheat English Muffins

2 tsp. active dry yeast 
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 cup warm water (divided into halves) 
1/2 cup warm milk
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/3 cups bread flour
2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt

  • Mix together the yeast, sugar, and 1/2 cup warm water in a small bowl.  Whisk together, cover with a towel, and let sit for five minutes.
  • Add in remaining 1/2 cup warm water, and 1/2 cup warm milk.  Whisk, cover, and let sit for five additional minutes.

  • While it's fermenting, in a large bowl, combine your flours and salt.  Also, grease a medium size bowl. 
  • Slowly add in the liquids into the flour mixture and stir until combined. 
  • Gently pour out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth (roughly 6-7 minutes).  Place dough into greased bowl.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic warp and top with the towel.  Allow to rise in a warm place (on top of the refrigerator or in the oven with the oven light on), for at least 90 minutes, or until doubled (I estimate, ha!).
  • On a lightly floured surface, pour out the dough, deflate slightly, and roll it into a rope (an inch or two thick, doesn't need to be precise).  
  • Divide the dough into 8-9 equal pieces.  Roll them into balls, and place on a baking sheet.  (I line mine with parchment or wax paper to keep them from sticking).  Place another baking sheet on top of the muffins, and let rise 20 minutes.  
  • Set an electric griddle to 300 degrees.  Grease it well, then place each of the disks onto the griddle.  Allow to cook until browned (about 10 minutes), then flip and cook until browned.  
  • (This is where I test the internal temperature, because I'm not really a baker, I just pretend to be.  They should have an internal temp. of about 200 degrees.  If you're a little bit short, pop your oven on and bake them another five minutes until they are done through). 
  • Cool on a wire rack, or split and eat them all while they're still warm from the griddle! 
Hello!  Isn't your mouth just watering?  They scream out for some yummy pumpkin butter.  They also freeze WONDERFULLY (just be sure to split them in half before freezing!).  I wrap them in plastic wrap, then just slid them into a big freezer bag.  To use, just pop them apart and then into the toaster.   I use these to make the hubby's "McMJ's"  (McMuffins...except by me, MJ...we're so lame!).  Just fry up an egg and a piece of ham, and you have a delicious and nutritious breakfast that can be eaten on the morning commute.    Pin It


Guess who I'm sitting by?

(and by, I mean "sitting by," I really just mean that we are in the same room)...

My husband :)

He's had a crazy week.  From Wednesday until now, I swear the only awake time I had with him was in the morning while getting ready for the day.  Thursday was the worst.  My hubby had class/lectures/labs all day from the normal 8.00-5.15, studied at school for a couple of hours, then shadowed in the ER from 8-midnight.   Normal class-y stuff on Friday, and then I went to the dinner theater (sounds way more classy than it was.  Standard attire included camo and flannel) with my parents and sister.  The hubby passed on the show so he could study.  So we saw each other around 10pm last night. 

While this might be a standard for some Med School Hubby's, mine makes it a serious point that if there is any studying he can do at home, he does it at home.  Does that make me spoiled, that I get to see his handsome face frequently?  100%. 

But the crazy week doesn't matter anymore, because I'm sitting by him now.  And we get to (pretty much) spend all of today together.  Granted, he'll be studying all morning and afternoon, but at least he will be here!  

In a nutshell, this is how every Saturday morning should be spent: together. 

And then we have a family birthday party tonight, which will be great fun + more togetherness.  

This MD School Mrs. is all smiles this morning (even if we did get up on a Saturday when the clock started with a 6 still!)


Travel Map

For my crafty project of the day (that has been laying around in various stages for the past month and is still not technically complete!): Our travel map. 

I hesitate to even post this yet, because right now, it's just "a map," not "a travel map."  

Because a travel map would have pins put in, one color for where I have traveled, one color for where the hubby has traveled, and another color for where our travels have taken us together.  

(but I can't find anywhere to buy just a single color of pushpins!  All I want is plain black and plain white and plain clear...)

This idea is a spin-off of something I saw over on Brittany's Living Life Abundantly Blog  She is a fellow wife of medicine, and I loved what she did with her driftwood mirror!  

I started with these willow branches.  Which I bought.  I paid for sticks.  Officially a city girl.

I had ordered an antique looking map from Amazon for $5, and got a big old sheet of foam board to mount it on.  

I broke all of the branches into different sized pieces, and took them to the garage to spray paint them black (I seriously think our neighbors believe I live in the garage and paint all day!).  I ran out of spraypaint, so they weren't necessarily painted very uniformly, but I can claim we were going for the rustic effect!  When they'd dried, I got out my trusty hot glue gun and started going to town!  The map is 24" x 48" so I had my work cut out for me.  Plus I burned myself.  I literally always burn myself when a hot glue gun is present!

All in all a pretty easy project.  Now just to find the right pushpins to mark off our travels and convince the hubby to take time from studying and hang it in the office somewhere! 

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Things that make me a cool wife

Not to be modest or anything (ahem!)...My hubby's medical school friends think I'm pretty cool.  It's not just the fact that I do his laundry and send him to school with lunches that his friends salivate over.  

It's because, every once in a while, I get my Mr. something super sweet, like his "Halloween Costume," which he wore to school the Friday before Halloween. I saw it at the store and literally fell in love with it.  Stood there giggling excitedly, while people looked at me like I was off my rocker.  As I bought it, I was tempted to tell everyone why it was so perfect.  (I refrained).

But EVERYBODY, students and professors alike, asked him about it...His answer?  "My cool wife got it for me."  (Hence them believing me to be cool!)

Curious what this awesome costume might be?  The super sweetness that he almost refused to wear because he thought it was too nerdy (this coming from a med student.....)?

Tahhh-dah!  Isn't it fabulous?  Totally like one of those "tuxedo" shirts.  I know, I know, not really a costume, and I'm fairly certain that it was just meant to be a regular, everyday shirt (it was definitely on a shelf with other normal shirts).  

The hubby had a seminar he had to be for real dressed up later that day, not costume dressed up, so he put a dress shirt over it.  Afterwards, we were out to dinner with family, and the joy on our nephew's face when his uncle showed him what was under his 'fancy clothes' was PRICELESS.  

And this is what doctors look like during residency.  I assume.  =D


Because who doesn't like free mall gift cards?

Some people may say that I'm frugal.  I say that I'm fiscally responsible.  We're in medical school.  For those of you who are unaware, medical school is really really REALLY expensive.  Basically, I've always liked a good deal.  Now, I look for good deals to counteract the impending and never-ending tuition bill payments.

This is a really sweet deal though, and you should check it out (even if your hubby isn't in med school!)

Christmas is coming - who wouldn't like to get a $10 mall gift card - depending on when your birthday is - to spend on Christmas gifts?

Check out this site to see if your local mall is part owned by GGP and participating in this.  I signed up just over a month ago (I just signed up using the hubby's information to make sure it would still work...he'll be thrilled at the emails, I'm sure!).  After I signed myself up, I received an email offering a $10 mall gift card.  Print out the email, spend $75 at the mall in one day, take your receipts to the Customer Service desk, and get a $10 gift card.  Sweet deal, right? (The hubby hasn't received this email yet, so I don't know if they're still sending those out).  

But I'm sure they're still doing this (as of a week or so ago!):   Got an email just the other day from GGP wishing me a happy birthday, printed it out and took it in to the mall and got a $10 gift card, no receipts necessary, no strings attached!

The gift cards don't expire for years, and you can use them on basically anything in the mall.

On a semi-related note, I also got a birthday gift card mailed to me from Express worth $15.  So thanks, mall and store, for the $35!


Random Rant

I'm back from Colorado and I can't wait to share all of my beautiful photos with you.  I also can't wait to show you some nifty projects I've been doing.  I also can't wait to tell you about how medical school is treating the hubby and me.

I need to rant!

I really don't mail packages that often.  Maybe once every other month or so.  But when I do mail them, naturally, I expect them to get where they are supposed to be going.  A couple of months ago, I mailed a wedding gift out to some great friends who live in New Jersey.  Then, a couple of weeks ago, I learned they never received it.  Great!  And....failure to get a tracking number, which I have never in my life done, results in the wedding gift being declared dead and gone.  Sweet.  $50+ down the drain...plus the expense of buying and mailing another gift!

Last week, I started thinking about how we never got our wedding print order from our photographer.  Now our photographer is super busy, doing at least two weddings, maybe three, each week during the busy season.  Add in the engagement sessions, family sessions, senior sessions...you get the drift.  She's one busy lady.  So I think that maybe somehow she forgot to send in our order to the printer.  NOPE.  She did.  They printed it.  They mailed it.  It got returned to them.  (Yes, she did have my old, pre-married address.  But she said she almost always sends it to the bride's "wrong" address...then it always gets forwarded.  And I get forwarded mail all the time from my old address. But apparently not THIS rather important piece of mail!).  

To top it off: I mailed out a package of thank you goodies to my hostess-with-the-mostess out in Colorado.  This time, I was smart; I got a tracking number.  It was kind of fun, watching it go west across the country.  I was happy to see that it got to Denver, and told her to expect it that day or the next.  She never got it...never got it...four days later, I see on the website that it is now happily en route to be delivered.  EXCEPT.  It's now in PENNSYLVANIA.  


How does that even happen?  From being 2.5 hours away from the proper mailbox to being on the wrong side of the country!?!  I called the USPS line and they were pretty surprised by it too, and didn't have an answer in the least.  I'm supposed to hear back about this latest MIP (missing important parcel) within two business days.  So, we shall see.

Safe to say, I'm Fed Ex'ing from now on.

(happier posts to follow!)


The "Are You Ready for Fall?" Quiz

I saw this on another blog and thought it was super cute.  Now that I've put off doing it for long enough, I might pass the quiz!  (Since I'm grading it, I'm guessing I'll probably pass!)  Ready?  Set....Go!

1.  Do you have pumpkins (real or fake) in your house as decor? 

My dining room centerpiece has five pumpkins in it.  That means five points, right?  :)  Kidding.  Point.

2.  Do you have candy in a dish?

Okay.  So it's not in a dish.  But it is candy!  And it's in orange wrappers.  I give myself 1/2 a point.  Because I'm doing the scoring!

3.  Do you have a mum at your home?

No.  But I have officially killed my basil plant.  Green thumb, I have not.  No point.

4.  Do you have apples or peaches in your kitchen?

Score!  Two left.  The hubby doesn't eat them unless his doting wife someone peels them for him, so I'm the sole apple eater in our home.  Point!

5. Are your fall boots ready to go?

They so are.  I'm absolutely in love with my fall boots.  I wear them all the time.  Even though they are a little bit not quite the right size so my toes fall asleep.  :)  Point!

6. Have you grilled something lately?
Yes.  We have.  I don't have a photo of all the chicken we grilled this past week.  And I didn't want to take a picture of our grill, because it's hibernating in its cover.  Point!

7. Have you watched at least two football games?
I have watched parts of at least two football games.   I loathe watching football on TV.  I loathe watching almost anything on TV.  But I do it to spend time doing something the hubby enjoys.  Half point. 

8. Do you have a fall wreath or doormat on your front door?
Neither.  But we've never hung a wreath or put a mat out at this apartment, so I don't feel too bad.  No point. 

So five points out of eight....a 62.5%.  I think that's a conditional pass :)  

In other fun news, I'm guzzling water today like it's my job.  Why, you ask?  Because I'm heading to higher elevation tomorrow....Colorado here I come!  Visiting a girlfriend out there for our annual mountainous reunion.  Please please PLEASE don't snow again this year!  Hiking and biking and mountains and canyons, here I come!


The Desk!

Well, after many weeks of hard work, the infamous "dinosaur desk" has finally been finished and has been moved from the garage into the office!  My hubby is very happy to finally be able to park in his garage again :)  

In case you don't remember the "before" of my $15 Craig's List desk, here's a quick reminder.  

This fine piece of...umm...craftsmanship... is originally from a college dorm room (you know, the kind that comes furnished?).  And you can see on the far left side that the lovely laminate covering has been peeled off (probably by whoever chose the primary colored dinosaurs!).

I ventured on to Craig's List again to find a wooden chair to go with the desk.  Here's the find!  $15 for this too.  The people selling it said it was an old teacher's chair. 

After sanding the desk and filling in the gaping holes with spackle, I primed it with Zinser Bullseye Primer and let it "cure" for the allotted seven days.  I sanded it down really well with 80-grit sandpaper and painted on the first coat of glossy black paint.   Sanded with 200-grit paper, re-painted, sanded with 320-grit sand paper, and repainted one last time.   The chair had the same basic method, but I didn't prime it.  Because I was feeling rather impatient and was sick of being in the garage!

Oh, to gross you out: 

That is not paint.  That is the dirt that I cleaned off of the desk chair.  That rag definitely bit the dust!  (pun completely intended)

I decided to add some knobs to the drawer fronts to give it a little character.  My heart was set on old-fashioned glass/acrylic knobs.  But after realizing that they were about $5.50 a pop, I refused to spend more on the knobs than the desk and chair combined!  We found some GREAT ones for .99 cents each...love it!

So here it is, long at last....The Dinosaur Desk!  (sorry in advance for the terrible photos.  I took them really quickly and in poor lighting!  I'll give some better ones once I get my area decorated).

And the perfect knobs:

And finally, the chair...which I will be finding a cushion for, because my bony butt can't sit on bare wood all day!

Tah-dah!   That's it...what do you think?  The hubby and I are both completely shocked rather pleased with how well it turned out, given the initial state of both pieces. 

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