We weren’t even supposed to be looking at houses, let alone buying one. But we did, and we did.

We bought a house.


We’re under contract, scheduled to close on May 30, my late grandmother’s birthday. I like that. I’ll pretend she had some sort of hand in this, and you know, maybe she did.

We’re nervous, overwhelmed, and are incredibly excited. It’s our beyond-our-dreams house.

I’m a bit of a hoarder. Actually, I don’t know if that’s the word I’m looking for. I’m a saver. I’m a never-user. I’m a buy-and-only-look-er.

My problem mainly pertains to beauty products.

I’m bringing this up now because last night, while de-cluttering my closet, I found an entire bin full of shampoos and conditioners that I never used. Never even opened. There were still seals on some of the bottles. And this was expensive stuff, stuff that’s more than $10 per bottle. (I think if you spend more than $5 on a bottle of something to clean your hair, it’s expensive.)

Why didn’t I use it? I didn’t want to waste it. So I bought it – some of it a million years ago when I was in London – and kept it in bins and closets while I continued to use my Herbal Essences (approximately $4 per bottle). I was so afraid I’d never again be able to afford it, that I only wanted to use it on special occasions. Special occasions, of course, that never came.

And now that I’m writing about this and thinking it through, what the hell is a special occasion for shampoo? For conditioner? Obviously over the course of the past several years, I never figured it out. And I had to trash the shampoo because it, um, it congealed.

I also found make-up in the bin. Beautiful, expensive make-up in gorgeous shades of plum and chocolate and smoky grey. Barely used. Stored away for special occasions. Probably crawling in bacteria now because I hardly touched it.

And I found perfume.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

Nearly every bottle – every old, old bottle – was 98% full. Saved for a special occasion because if I used it on ordinary days, and used it up until it was gone, I would never, ever be able to get it again.

A few years ago – coming up on two – Allan bought me my very favorite shampoo and conditioner. He got me the biggest bottles Aveda made and each cost around $30. Yes, $30. They’re really big bottles, though. And when you open the bottle, the smell of heaven comes out. Seriously.

I only use the shampoo on non-work days. On work days I use the $4 Pantene 2-in-1. I do this because it saves me time in the morning… but also because it calms my mental unease. I can’t use expensive shampoo EVERY DAY! How wasteful!

I’m about ¾ of the way through the shampoo and conditioner, but it’s been a struggle. Every time I shower, I have to literally talk myself into using the Aveda stuff. I have a conversation with myself. I tell myself that I should enjoy using it, that if I run out, I can buy more. In fact, as incentive to get me to use it regularly, Allan has promised me that the minute it runs out, he will buy me more. And still, I struggle.

I’m having better luck with my new perfume. Every morning I spritz myself. I used to only do one spray per day, but now I do two. Two whole spritzes of Burberry London perfume. I’ve had it for about five months, and I’m about 1/15th of the way through the bottle. And you know what? Once it’s gone, I can buy more. It’s okay. I can get more.

Any therapists reading this blog? If so, help.

I like to take pictures. Scratch that. I love to take pictures. I take them all the time. I take pictures of nothing and everything. I’m not very good at it, but it’s one of my favorite things.

I also love to edit them. And I’m not particularly good at that, either.

Earlier today I was cleaning off my drive, getting photos for work (I’m a back-up corporate photographer, remember?), and I found these random shots.

In about 20 minutes I’m going to walk down to the lobby of the Sheraton in Atlanta, hail a cab and be on my merry way.

I was here for a journalists conference.

I’m (kinda, sorta) a writer, remember?

Though I had a travel companion for my first day, he left yesterday morning and I was by myself. While I was chatty with folks at the conference, when it came time to the exploration of Atlanta, I was on my own.

Considering how fearful of everything I am, you may be surprised to learn that when traveling – whether with someone or alone – I never stay in my hotel room. I always suck up my pride and roam around new places.

Yesterday I visited Centennial Olympic Park and the CNN Center. Had I known that the CNN Center offered tours of the studio, I would have headed in that direction first. By the time I got there, the tours had already ended for the day.

I was, however, able to give smooches to the Anderson Cooper cardboard cut-out. Yes, he’s probably gay. And yes, I’m definitely married. But I still think we can make it work.

I think we can make it work, Anderson!


I ate dinner by myself yesterday. It was my second time doing so, and I have to say, my wedding rings made it easier.

I’m always afraid that when people see me eating (or exploring) by myself, it’s because I’m alone in the world. That I have no friends, no family, no one to love me. But my rings are proof that, in fact, I am not alone. They don’t always prove love (though in this case they do), but they’re an outward sign of commitment and partnership. So whether I’m dining alone, roaming alone, shopping alone, etc… my rings give me a certain comfort about the perception people may have about me.

I shouldn’t care what people think, I know this. But I’m human and I do.

In other news, I think our house hunt is going to kick-off sooner than expected. Allan, my normally reserved, calm, thoughtful husband, couldn’t help himself and sent me houses to look at. And, well, he opened the floodgates. So, we have five on our list to see this week, plus one house that hasn’t yet been built. There are pros and cons to new construction, but it’s worth looking at. We plan to grow old in this house, so we really need to explore every option to ensure we make the right decision.

Four minutes till I’m airport-bound! Peace out, Interweb!

Oh, man, I’m sleepy.

These past few days have been a whirlwind, and I’m still in the middle. This is my first – and last – full day in the office this week because I spent two days in DC and tomorrow morning I leave for Atlanta. I’ll be back on Sunday, then normal life resumes… for a week.

I leave May first for DC (again) and don’t return until May 9th. The downside is that I’ll be away from home for a bazillion days. The upside is that I’ll get to spend five of those days with a chubby little redhead I know (Logan!).

Plus, Allan’s coming up for the weekend, so I won’t be without him that entire time. He’s my favorite person, in case you didn’t know.

It’s been hard reining in the house search stuff. In fact, I haven’t opened a house-hunting site since we got approval to rent. I’ve resisted and resisted and RESISTED. I feel like a thoroughbred waiting for the gates to open. It’s been so hard to stand still when buying a house is probably one of the most exciting things I’ll ever get to do, but with all of my traveling (which is for work, btw), it doesn’t make sense to start now.

What we have done, though, is engage with several property management companies. And today, I think we’re going to sign with one, which is the first step in all of this.

Forward progress. I like it.

Even though the to-do list in front of me is long and daunting, I’m smiling from ear to ear.

Yeah, we have to take a hard look at finances, and yeah, we have to finally fix the ceiling in the guest bathroom (the one that I fell through), and yeah, we have to come to some sort of agreement on exactly how many bedrooms we want.

But we’re moving!!!


Last night, in a stunning turn of events, we were granted permission to rent our townhouse, which means we get to buy a new house. We get to put down roots and start a family and watch that family grow in between those four walls.

I’m thrilled and nervous and so, so excited.

We really do have a long list ahead of us. There’s so much to do before we even start looking at houses again, but we get to look at houses again!

Me (calling Allan):
So, here’s how I operate. I just read an article about the Titanic, which made me realize that more than half of the people on the ship died. And then I wondered if we would have died if we were on the Titanic. Which made me think about you and how much I love you, so I called to say I love you. I love you!

We would have died on the Titanic because we would have been the poor people in the bottom of the ship.

No “I love you, too?”