Dear Caffeine,

Please kick in. I know I’m running on considerably less sleep than usual today, and that you’ll have to work harder to raise my eyelids above my pupils, but, you see, what happened was…

I decided to emerge from the cocoon created by my electric blanket and stress and depression. I turned off the television. I took off the pants with an elastic waist band. I reapplied my makeup. And I went to my husband’s soccer game.

Although I didn’t cheer for him, and although I missed the part where he flipped off the ref and earned the very first red card of his 30+ year ‘career,’ I was still there for him. I supported him. Who cares that I couldn’t see the players clearly from where I was sitting. Who cares that my awful vision prevented me from seeing how much time was left in each half. What matters is that I went, that my husband knows that I love him enough, and that I support his athletic endeavors enough, to push through the depression created by my awful eyesight and leave the house.

And, Caffeine, after the game we went to a friend’s house. I know it was late, I know it was past my typical bedtime even, but we haven’t seen these friends in a while, and they live so close to the soccer fields and they offered up alcohol.

And everyone knows alcohol helps with depression.

We were just going to stay for a minute or two, or at least until the end of Tosh.0, but the wine and conversations kept flowing and, next thing you know, I was crawling into bed at nearly 1 am. But it was so nice to break out of my routine, to converse with friends, to be comforted by the fact that our peers are caught in the same housing conundrum as we are.

Then, at 6:25 this morning, Murphy decided that something looked fishy outside of our house and he barked. And barked. Then he barked some more. And rather than try to catch 20 more minutes of fitful sleep, I decided to just go ahead, shake my blankets off and plant my feet on the floor.

But you see, Caffeine, that unexpected wake-up call gave me enough time to drive through Starbucks and get you. If it wasn’t for Murphy’s perceived efforts at protecting our house, I wouldn’t have you in your grande latte glory. I would have to try to make it through this day alone.

So, again, please kick in.

Please, please, please kick in.

I need you.

Allie


Internet, do you know who I spent the weekend with? Do you?? If the photo below this post didn’t give it away, it was LOGAN! My incredibly adorable, charming little Buddha nephew.

Oh how I adore that 18lb, blue-eyed bundle of drool (and joy).

I also spent time with Logan’s parents and MY parents and my husband, but if you look at the folder of photos on my camera, you wouldn’t know anyone was there other than that baby. My lens was fixated on his monster-sized cheeks from the time he woke up until the time he went to sleep and all the moments in between.

I have permission to take as many pictures of him as I want, by the way. His parents have always made fun of me for taking so many pictures, but now that their baby is the subject, they’re big proponents of it.

Go figure.

It was really good to spend time with my family – it doesn’t happen nearly enough. Though, with Logan’s arrival, Jason and I are making a concerted effort to make family time a priority. Because we each married an only child, and because the third member of our sibling trio is on the other side of the continent, our kids will be each others only cousins.
We both think it’s very important that they know each other.

And no, still not pregnant. Still not trying to be.

In other news, we’re still trying to figure out what in the world to do with our house. It’s far more complicated than I thought it would be. This process – even the thought part of the process – has more moving parts than an escalator. It’s kind of mind-boggling.

And honestly, it’s not a lot of fun. Right now it’s not any fun.

Right now it’s all numbers and the little bit of house-hunting we’re doing is dripping with the realization that we really can’t get everything we want. Even if we bump our price range WAY UP, we still can’t get everything we want.

I want an open floor plan with giant closets and a lot of light. Allan wants acres. You can’t really find acres in Raleigh anymore. Or even outside of Raleigh anymore. You can find a nice, decent yard if you get an older house minus the floor plan and closets. And you can find a gorgeous house with granite islands, fireplaces and interesting details if you don’t mind reaching out and touching your neighbor’s house.

Folks, we’ve found like 10 houses that have all of those things. And right now, four of them are under contract. The other six aren’t really where we want to live.

But none of this matters, not a single bit of it, because right now we don’t know if we can rent our house. And we don’t know if we want to sell our house for a huge, savings-account-busting loss.

Oh, you didn’t know we weren’t allowed to rent our house? The house we own? The house Allan (the bank) has the deed for?

Oh. Yeah. We’re not allowed to rent. Our HOA says so. We’re not allowed to rent unless we’re facing undue hardship – an undue hardship that, by the way, has not been defined. An undue hardship that must be decided upon by board members who are not me and who are not my husband and who do not live our life.

Wheee!



Oh, Internet, I was a bitch.

Last night, before taking me to a fancy, expensive restaurant for dinner, my husband walked in the door with a big bouquet of yellow flowers.

Which made me upset.

I wanted the flowers today, you see. On Valentine’s Day. I wanted them to be delivered to my office. I didn’t want them to come from a grocery store, I wanted them to come from a florist.

I was completely ungrateful.

I stewed at dinner – though not entirely because of the flowers – and didn’t enjoy the meal or the experience as much as I could have. As much as I should have.

And then this morning, when my husband placed a gift and card on my pillow, they weren’t as well received as they should have been. When he asked why, I whined about wanting flowers delivered. About only getting flowers delivered once in the course of our three-year relationship. About wanting nothing else for Valentine’s Day – not the card, the dinner, the (great) gift – except for flowers to be delivered to my office from a florist.

I was hugely ungrateful.

And rather than get angry at me, rather than tell me I was being a whiny, petty, petulant child, my husband put his hands on my shoulders and told me that flowers were being delivered to my office. And that he understood why I was upset – that he drops the ball too much on these sorts of occasions and that he needs to be better.

Whaaaaa?

I’m being an immature, ungrateful bitch and HE tells me that HE needs to do better?

That’s why, as beautiful as the calla lilies and roses are, the best gift I received today was the reminder of how incredibly lucky I am to be married to such a generous, gracious man.

And just to show me that she’s paying attention, Karma got me back by making sure the flowers weren’t actually delivered while I was at work. Mine were the flowers left in the back of the van, the ones found at 6:30 p.m. long after I left my office. Mine were the ones delivered to my house.

(Ps. This is a gorgeous song. If you’re feeling adventurous, check it out.)


We’re doing Valentine’s Day today, the husband and me. He has a soccer game tomorrow night. Maybe I’ll go with him. Maybe, because it’s the day to celebrate love and the ones you love, I’ll go and sit on the bleachers and read a book and (pretend to) watch him score goals.

Or maybe I’ll stay home and dye my hair the very, very dark shade of brown I’ve been toying with.

We’ll see.

I’ve been really stressed lately. My eyes, my current house, my future house, my relationship with my mother, my teeth, my finances, my family obligations, it’s all stressing me out. I don’t know how to de-stress. I think I need a vacation.



Soooo… big things, changing-the-course-of-life-things, seem to happen to me on Super Bowl Sunday.

Now, don’t get too excited. I’m not pregnant. Nor am I trying to be.

I’m talking about buying a house.

Not that we bought a house on Super Bowl Sunday, but we looked at one. We’re calling it the catalyst house, the house that’s so amazing – and in our price range! – that we decided to stick our little toes in the water of home ownership. Or buyership. Or whatever.

We already have a home. A sweet two-bedroom townhouse in a fantastic location. Allan bought it five years ago just before the whole housing market collapsed and bazillions of dollars were lost. And that whole debacle is causing us some headaches and we have a ton of numbers to crunch and decisions to make and thought to put into things. But we’re doing it. We’re taking Tylenol and crunching the numbers and making decisions and putting a lot of thought into this.

We’re thinking of things like:
If we have a kid, where will our families sleep when they visit?
How can we cram more stuff into our overflowing closets?
Does Murphy really need a yard right now? Can we (and by we I mean Allan) continue with the walks at all hours of the night and day in the bone chilling cold and stifling heat? Or would it be nice to open the back door and let him do his thing?
Exactly how much money are we going to have to pay to get out of this house?
Exactly how much money do we have for a down payment?

See, lots of questions. Answering them is no fun, but looking at pretty houses is.