Long time no blog, Blog.

I meant to.

I started to.

And then this came up or that came up, and, well, that’s how it goes.

But I’m here now.  I’m here and I’m writing (about my simple little life).

Hurricane Sandy is bearing down on the East Coast, and as a result, I get to hang out with my husband for the WHOLE WEEK!  You see, he was scheduled to be at a conference in DC from Sunday night until Wednesday night, but as a result of the storm and the rising tides and the flooding in below-sea-level-DC, the conference was cancelled.

I kid you not, he was walking out the door to begin his drive when he received the magical text message telling him to stay home.

Yes, I’m beyond crazy about my husband, but we’re not so attached that we can’t be in different cities for a few days.  In fact, I think it’s good for us to spend some time apart.  However, I prefer being the one to go away.  When he’s gone, as I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, I’m afraid to go to sleep.  Despite the uber-safe neighborhood, the giant pit-bull mix, the locks and the alarm system, I’m scared shitless to sleep alone in my house.

So I’m glad he’s here.

I have no new photos of the under-construction house to share.  Things are happening, but they’re boring things.  We have duct work and gas lines and the plumbing is in, but it’s not really exciting.  I mean it is exciting, it totally is, but the pictures aren’t really all that moving.

We had our pre-drywall walk-through on Thursday and things are on track for us to be in there – drumroll please – in the second week of December!!

This week they’re scheduled to do insulation, then comes drywall, then comes – well, I don’t know.  But something will definitely come after drywall!  Floors?  Doors?  Cabinets?  Our upgraded toilets?!?

(we really did get upgraded toilets, which was Allan’s choice, which I think is quite funny)

Today in our staff meeting, we went around the table and discussed holiday plans.  Holy crapoli, it’s almost time for the holidays.  In all of the house excitement, we took our eye off of the ball and may not meet our Christmas goal.  What’s our Christmas goal, you ask?  Our goal every year is to be totally finished with our Christmas shopping by Thanksgiving, leaving us with no godly reason to go anywhere near a mall or shopping center unless we want to.

And sometimes we want to.  Sales!  Hello!

I’ve been distracted, which is why I haven’t been writing in here lately.

There have been good distractions and wonderful distractions and birthday distractions and shocking distractions and all kinds of things have been distracting me and holy run-on sentence.

And now I have a kidney infection.  Ugh.  I lean back and ouch!  There are my kidneys!  I bend down and ouch!  There are my kidneys!  I turn over in bed and ouch!  There are my kidneys!

Do you get the picture?

My kidneys hurt!

So I have an appointment at 4:20 (tee hee) to get on some antibiotics and knock this thing out.

The kidney pain started on my birthday – happy birthday to me!

It really was a happy birthday, actually.  A special birthday.

Per birthday tradition, we went to the state fair and saw the governor!  Well, let me make this clear: seeing the governor of North Carolina is not traditional; going to the fair is.  Anyway, the governor was walking around with just her husband and granddaughter.  I couldn’t believe she had no bodyguards or security folks with her, but I guess she’s less likely to get recognized without all the entourage.

One of my gifts was a pair of tickets to see The Killers in Virginia in December – a very awesome surprise from my hubby.  I’m going out of town to see a band!  I feel so cool!  And yesterday my cable modem was acting-up, so I went to Starbucks to work, which made me feel even cooler.  All of a sudden I’m one of those people who sips lattes at Starbucks while searching on their laptop for places to sleep when they go out of town for concerts.

This year in which I’m 33 is going to bring about all kinds of coolness.  I can feel it.

Speaking of cool, our house has a staircase!  I can finally see what’s happening on the second floor!  Allan hasn’t let the lack of stairs stop him – he climbs beams and shaky ladders.  Not I.  I waited for the stairs.  And they’re here!  It was very exciting.

I still feel like the house building is kind of boring now.  Our realtor agreed – nothing is quite as exciting as going from a concrete footprint to a house.  After that, the interior stuff is just kinda eh.  But she said the drywall portion is fun, too, so I’ll look forward to it.

I’m also going to look forward to spending more time with my nephew at Thanksgiving because, my goodness, that kid just keeps getting better.  We actually played together this weekend.  And laughed together this weekend.  And bonded this weekend.  It was pretty magical for me.

He seems quite interested in my camera, which is basically always in my hand whenever he’s in sight.  He knows there’s some sort of correlation between the gadget and him and the images he sees.  In the meantime, whenever I point it at him, he stops what he’s doing until he hears a few clicks, then he reaches for the camera so he can see the images on the back.  Then he looks at the lens.  Then the back.  Then the lens again.  He’s trying to figure it all out, which blows my mind and makes my heart swell.

My new layout doesn’t allow me to share what I’m listening to, though I still use the lyrics for the blog entries.  A few weeks ago my friend and fellow music fan suggested I pay attention to a band called Imagine Dragons, and one day I was in the Charlotte area and heard a song called It’s Time on the radio.  I instantly connected with it.  When I looked to find who sang the great song, it should have come as no surprise that it was Imagine Dragons, the band suggested by my friend.  So take a listen and enjoy.

My husband smells like charcoal.  It’s because he’s outside braving the unseasonable temperatures, manning the grill, and making us Bubba Burgers, which we will have with avocados and sweet potato fries.  It’s one of my new favorite dinners.  Except I’d switch the Bubbas for burgers from Omaha Steaks.

Yesterday the weather here was as good as it gets.  I think the high was something like 82, there was a slight breeze and a small smattering of clouds.  Then a cold front moved in overnight and sabotaged the weekend – and the early part of the upcoming week.  We now have grey skies and temperatures hovering in the low 50′s.

In case you didn’t know, low 50′s are generally what we see in January and February ’round these parts.  I live in the South, y’all!  It’s supposed to be warm in October, dammit!

I got to enjoy quite a bit of yesterday’s beautiful weather because I was outside taking engagement photos for a friend.


I was very, very nervous and apprehensive, but I was flattered that she wanted me to do it – and I wanted to do it for her – but, man, I didn’t want to screw them up.  I felt a lot of pressure – none from her or her fiancé – it was all from me.

If pictures I take of my siblings don’t look nice, oh well.  If I take someone’s engagement photos – the photos they’re planning to use on their save the date and send to all their guests – well, that’s not okay.

It’s a disaster of my doing.  

But I think they turned out well.  After seeing them, I’d like to go back and have a few do-overs, but for the most part, I’m happy with them.  And I hope she’ll be happy with them once she sees them.

In other gulp news, I switched to heavy-duty skin cream.  I feel old.

I’ve been using just plain old Oil of Olay since I was in my early 20′s, but I decided to step-up my game and switch to their Regenerative line.  I’m trying to be proactive, to combat wrinkles before they appear.

I see girls within a year or two – older and younger – of me with a lot of fine lines and I don’t yet have any of my own… and I’d like to keep it that way as long as possible.

I’m not particularly vain (remember I said that when I get to my next topic), but I don’t want to look old.  You know why?  Because old people die.  And I want to be young and alive as long as possible.  Emphasis on the alive bit.

And remember how I’m not vain?  Well, I got me some teeth whitening strips today.  I’ve wanted to do it for a while, but with my braces, it wasn’t really an option.  I’d have bright white teeth with little discolored squares in the middle.  Sexy, no?  So now that my braces are GONE(!!!), I decided to give the strips a whirl.

Allan and I are going to do it together.  It’ll be a team effort.  Maybe we can make it into a competition?  We’ve done stranger things…

My life is like the good, the bad and the ugly right now.

The good: my braces are off!!  After three long, long years, they’re finally off.

I couldn’t be happier.  I don’t even recognize myself when I see my reflection in the mirror.  I have to do a double-take.

I didn’t realize what a huge difference it would make to get them off, which probably sounds dumb, but by this point I could see that my teeth were obviously straight – I just had to get the brackets off.  But man, the removal of those brackets made all the difference in the world.

Although I had braces for three very long years, I’m thrilled that I got them.  It took a herculean effort for me to go through with it – both emotional and financial – but I can tell you now with complete certainty, it was a very, very good decision.  I’m so glad I went through with it.

The bad: the house is delayed until December.

I don’t know much about construction, but what I was told is that the inspectors in our soon-to-be-town are not coming as scheduled right now.  Up until early September, when they were called to inspect a site, they arrived within hours.  Now they’re arriving in about a week.

The builder doesn’t know why it’s happening, but they had a big pow-wow and decided to push everyones’ close date back to December (well, those of us who were scheduled to close in November) as a precaution.  For each phase of construction for which they need an inspector, they have to allow for an extra week.

When I learned of the delay, I felt like a big, shiny helium balloon that just lost its gas.  Now I’m a ball of foil mess.

I’m so sad, Internet.  I’m so, so sad.

Since June I’ve been focusing and fixating on November.  So thrilled about November.  Couldn’t wait until November.  On October 1st I was so excited to say, “We’re moving next month!”

But it’s not all bad.  Now we won’t have to stress at Thanksgiving – we’ll be in Raleigh the entire month of December, so there will be no rushing to get up and down the East Coast and into our house and out of our other house during that particular holiday.

And it means that our house will no longer be for rent during the holidays, which we were a little anxious about.

And, if you’re Allan, it means you can focus on saving even more dollars for the fence and living room and savings account and stuff.

The ugly: the soon-to-arrive cavities in my mouth after I eat the entire 5lb tub of gum balls bought for me by my husband in celebration of my new teeth.  (I couldn’t eat the stuff for three very, very, very long years.)