The table in my dining room was actually given to Allan by his girlfriend – three relationships ago. And she got it from Craig’s List.

I don’t care that it’s his ex’s table (I have no doubt that the fool loves me) and I don’t care that it came from Craig’s List, but we needed an upgrade.

And an upgrade presented itself to us at Pottery Barn. We generally don’t get things from there because, well, who can afford it? But we saw this floor sample table, saw that it was half off of $600 and thought it was a good deal. Then when they offered us their last table in stock, one that had been wrapped carefully in the back, at the same price, it sealed the deal.

Brand new table, half the price.

Below are photos of the table and chairs. Right now we’re using the 45” round version of the table, but we have a leaf, which will make it oval and 71”. Meaning it will seat six. Meaning that if we have children, this is where they will eat dinner.

Because we don’t need six chairs right now, we kept the ex-girlfriend/Craig’s List chairs and re-covered them. Well, I picked the fabric and my rockstar husband did the re-covering.

I’m actually pretty thrilled with how everything turned out.



Look, ma! No particleboard!

I went to the dentist today, which doesn’t sound like a big deal, does it? I mean, most people go to the dentist on a regular basis, and I now count myself among them.

But today wasn’t my six-month appointment.

Yesterday – yes, YESTERDAY – I had a bit of tooth pain. And I noticed that one of my back molars broke. I put two and two together and decided that a trip to the dentist was in order. Thanks to grinding my teeth (a side effect of braces), I busted a tooth and I was in pain. And dammit, I was going to do the right thing and nip this sucker in the bud.

I called and made an appointment for today. It was huge for me because, historically, I have been of the belief that if you leave the tooth problem alone, it will magically heal itself and go away. I am no longer of that belief.

Long story short: the broken tooth wasn’t the source of my pain. The tooth next door was the culprit. There was a deep cavity smooshed between the two teeth and located below the gum line. Which means it was a HIDDEN CAVITY – gasp!

So, the cavity is filled, the broken tooth was re-built and my teeth are happy and healthy again. Although I spent two long hours in the chair, it was well worth it. According to my dentist (who happens to be the sweetest, prettiest, nicest dentist ON EARTH), if I hadn’t taken care of the problem as soon as it reared its painful head, I would have been looking at a root canal, possibly two.

I’m pretty damn proud of myself for being brave enough to get this taken care of.

I have to say this: the only reason I was brave enough to call and make the appointment was because of the kindness and support shown to me by my dentist and her staff. Never have they made me feel like a neurotic wuss. Never have they given me a hard time about not flossing every day or avoiding the dental chair for upwards of five years at a stretch. They are encouraging and understanding, and I would recommend them to anyone in Raleigh.

Oh, and did I mention that I also had an orthodontist appointment today? I didn’t? Well, I had an orthodontist appointment today, too. I’m such a lucky girl.

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination …. End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God’s Laws and how to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of Menstrual uncleanliness – Lev15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord – Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this? Are there ‘degrees’ of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I’m confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.

Your adoring fan,
James M Kauffman, Ed.D.
Professor Emeritus, Dept. Of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education University of Virginia
(It would be a damn shame if we couldn’t own a Canadian)

I change my hair color a lot. All the time. Like, three or four times a year. I usually go back and forth between light brown, dark blond and red. Red is my favorite and it seems to be everyone else’s favorite for me, too. And I can rock the red because my natural hair color is very dark auburn. It looks almost black, but when light hits it, it looks like it’s glowing red.

I decided to make a change this time. I went dark brown. Dark, chestnut brown that my natural red is having a hard time breaking into. I kept seeing all these women with dark, luxurious, sophisticated hair in long layers and short bobs. So after I checked and made sure my husband would still want to sleep with me after such a drastic change, I went for it.

I kinda like it.

Like I said, my hair is naturally very dark, and my mother often said it made me look terrible; sick, deathly, pale. It’s a big change for sure, but I think – or at least assume – that people know I’m not a zombie. I really am alive.

Speaking of alive, I was freaking terrified that I was going to die on the trip to or from Seattle. I mentioned this in an earlier post, but man, after seeing image after image after image of airplanes exploding in a fiery ball of horror, I was convinced it would happen to me. I didn’t want to talk about my thoughts for fear of jinxing myself. And when I was in Seattle at the conference, I heard a presentation by the head of Southwest’s PR and I noticed that she never said ‘crash.’ Rather she referred to how they would handle potential ‘disasters.’ But I didn’t want to point it out to my coworker because I didn’t want to jinx us. And the night before we flew out, I turned on Grey’s Anatomy where there was a plane crash scene, so I turned it off.

And then! AND THEN! While at the Atlanta airport, I found a $5 bill on the ground. Before I picked it up, I was like, what if I pick this up and as a result, my plane crashes? (we used the $$ to pay for parking at Pike’s Place – score) And when I found $1 in one of the restaurants where we ate, I had the same thought.

But I still took the money.

And yes, I randomly found $6 on the ground over the span of two days. I’m badass like that.

Ok, and another thing that’s super weird about me is I’m afraid of the dark. I’m afraid that when the sun goes down, someone is going to break into my house and kill me.

Whenever Allan goes out of town and I’m home alone, I keep quiet about it. I don’t blog, tweet or change my Facebook status to announce the fact that FOR THE NEXT THREE NIGHTS I WILL BE HOME ALONE. I don’t want anyone to break into my house and hurt me, you see. Yes, I have a big, fierce looking (princess) dog. Yes, I quadruple check the windows and doors. And yes, I set the alarm. But I’m still scared out of my head and don’t sleep well. (which means I’m very, very tired as I type this) I’m so hyper-aware of the fact that I’m alone and vulnerable, the Deep Sleep Fairy doesn’t visit me.

I can tell you all of this now because Allan’s back home. And I’m home from my trip. So now our normal, mundane, perfect little life can resume.

I don’t think I’m a newlywed anymore. I think I read somewhere that the title of ‘newlywed’ disappears on your 366th day of marriage, which I reached on Monday. Which means on Sunday, I got to celebrate one year of marriage.

Not a day goes by that I don’t pinch myself and think about how lucky I am. I’m in a happy, healthy, stable relationship. No, I don’t get flowers every day (or even every month), and no, we don’t go on fancy weekend getaways or eat at expensive restaurants. Boone is about as exciting as it gets. But every day – every single day – I get to share my life with one of the most caring, loving, incredible men I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

And the kicker is, he loves me. I’m sensitive (and try to pretend that I’m not), I’m afraid of the dark and of heights and of airplanes and of the ocean and of the dentist and EVERYTHING, and he doesn’t care. He just laughs at me and adapts. I get laid off all the time, and he convinces me that my income doesn’t matter. I have braces and glasses and am a little bit chubby, and he acts as if none of those things exist.

I’m on the extreme end of imperfection, and he still loves me. Does it get any better than that?