Sunday, February 27, 2011

my boys

"... love is the sum of our choices, the strength of our commitments, the ties that bind us together."
- emily giffin.

Friday, February 25, 2011

it's the little things ...

open windows!

... 60 degree temperatures.
... apples to apples.
... charlie grocery shopping.
... a glass of wine on a friday night.
... actually being productive.
... a mid-afternoon walk with the pups.
... stocking up at target and not getting anything i didn't need.
... dunkin following me from room to room.
... saturdays.
... my new van morrison album that i got for free.
... itunes gift cards.
... spring being a month away.
... cuddly cats.
... a clean house.
... resisting the books at target.
... warm towels from the drier.
... ihop on a sunday morning.
... checking things off my "to-do" list.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

thursdays are my favorite.

i have an entire day to study.
which really is necessary this semester.
i was super-productive at work yesterday. i really need those days every now and then.
i get to drink as much coffee as i want.
i have the best company.

i get to take a walk in the middle of the day.
i don't have to eat soup for lunch, which is what i eat every day at work.
i get to work in a room with windows instead of a cubicle.
i get to listen to van morrison. i just downloaded this album for free.
i get to [sort of] sleep in.
and after it's over, there's only friday left before the weekend.

Monday, February 21, 2011

this always makes me laugh.

my favorite stretch

he's just stretching.

oh, and in case your wondering i'm thinking of doing the chair and a half in charcoal and the couch in bone. we shall see. it's going to be a while before i save up the money for them anyway. those slipcovers are expensive!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

slipcover help.

so last weekend charlie and i were walking through crate and barrel and i happened to see that they now make slipcovers for our couches.
words cannot express how happy that makes me. our couches are super comfortable but we have animals and they have fur and it would be nice to have something i can throw in the washing machine every now and then.

but here's the problem. it's sort of annoyed me that our couch and chair and a half match. and i'm debating getting different colored slip covers for them, just to mix it up. BUT it's pretty obvious that they're from the same line. so my question is, can i still get non-matching slipcovers?

here's the living room (from a while ago, but it's the best picture of the furniture):

and here are the slipcover options. i'm thinking of doing "bone" for the chair and a half:
bone chair and a half

and sand for the couch.

sand sofa

BUT if i go with only one color for the both i'll probably do the "sand". white couches still scare me.

so, what do you think? can i go with two different colors or should i just do one color for both?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

as long as i have these guys i've got everything i need.

remember, this post when i was complaining about our tax situation for 2010?
right after that i started researching adoption. i was thinking a few dependents would be helpful for 2011's taxes and since the government has yet to acknowledge dogs as dependents i saw humans as our only option. just kidding. anyway, when we first did our taxes i called my dad asap. i'm not sure exactly what i thought he was going to be able to do, wave a magic wand and turn that red number on turbo tax into a green one, but i guess i was hoping for "oh, you forgot [insert huge exemption here]" and everything would magically be better. didn't turn out that way. i didn't get a ton of sympathy, either. mostly, "you knew this day would come someday". grr.. but i suppose he was right. and i went on to complain for a few more minutes.

and a few days later i get an email from my dad.
it was called "words to live by" and the opening line was "you know what they say -- the two things you can count on in life are death and taxes". uh, thanks dad. but then he went on to say that although the previous thought is not exactly motivating we (charlie & i) had a lot of good things in our life. and he listed a bunch of them. if you know my dad, you know he is far from an eternal optimist. but he's right. we do have a lot of positive things in our life that completely outweigh a check to uncle sam. i'm usually not one who needs to be reminded of that stuff, but this time i really did need it.
thanks, dad.

and as charlie says, "it's just money". ha. he also said that when my car got smashed by a hit and run driver. and as much as it's not just money, sometimes i need to hear that and be reminded that i'm still incredibly lucky and i really do have everything i need.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

it's the little things ...

v-day flowers 2
... an amazing and relaxing weekend.
... a pomegranate smoothie for lunch.
... a new coffee pot that actually keeps the coffee warm. novel idea!
... opening the windows for the first time in months.
... cooking valentine's dinner w/charlie.
... watching hours of the science of lust. yes, we're nerds.
... flowers all around the house.
... long walks with the dogs.
... spinach salads every night for dinner.
... trying new wine. even when it doesn't turn out to be a favorite.
... cheese. blocks of cheese. especially when drinking wine
... valentine's day cards.
... getting chocolate in the mail.
... parking in the garage.
... dinner in boulder on a friday night.
... thursdays.
... how i met your mother on mondays.
... not losing my cell phone.
... leftover pork sandwiches.
... ginger tea.
... a husband who grocery shops.
... snow melting.

Monday, February 14, 2011

furniture rearranging: part 2

back in november one of the things that we wanted to do was get a new desk for the office.
the one we currently had was huge, which made fitting things in that space sort of awkward and it also had some water damage from where we previously lived.
see our last apartment was built on a hill and we were the basement apartment. it was great because it didn't feel like a basement because the side where the windows were was not underground. it was bad because everyones garage was actually above our apartment. also, they were built (incorrectly) on clay, which meant that 10 years later when the foundations were shifting there was a lot of cracking and leaking going on. of course when we moved in we didn't know any of these things. our 'storage closet' was right below someone's garage. because of the shifting, instead of the garage sloping slightly away from the homes they sloped slightly towards the homes, which meant in the winter when people parked their cars in the garage and the snow melted it ran into the apartment.
so in the spring when i went to clean everything out there was a lot of water damage to a decent amount of our stuff. just one of a million reasons why we moved. luckily mold was not a problem, although i have no doubt that it was growing in the walls. anyway, one of the things that was damaged was the desk which was why we were planning on replacing it.

so, we ordered a new desk, which charlie decided was too small. and so the new desk moved to the guest bedroom.

here's the bedroom when we first moved in.

Bedroom #2
this picture doesn't do it justice but it was pretty cramped.

and a few months later with different curtains.
new curtains

and here's it is now with a different desk & a lot more room.
guest room 3

guest room 2

guest room 1

i actually really like desks as end tables, which is good for the future and i'm also getting a lot of use out of it now since this is where i study. until i graduate. in 3 months. i'm not counting the days or anything...

furniture rearranging.

back in november i posted about how charlie and i decided we might be staying in our apartment a bit longer than originally planned.
the whole 'get debt free' plan is really a bummer sometimes. stupid student loans.
anyway, i mentioned there were a few things i wanted to do to the apartment since we were staying here longer than just a few months. honestly, i don't know why i waited so long to do them because they were either super cheap or free and make me so much happier with our i-don't-own-you-and-therefore-i-don't-have-to-pay-to-fix-you place.

one of the things i've really liked about this apartment is it's the first place that i feel like i've done things to make it feel like home, but since it's not ours i've probably been a lot less careful than i would have if we owned it. for instance when i hung curtains i used a variety of methods that were definitely not sturdy and put a few more holes in the wall than absolutely necessary. however, i've learned my lesson and now measure the crap out of everything before putting a hole in the wall. frankly, it's also a lot easier for me to have charlie do things but he's beyond not interested in doing anything around the house and generally gets annoyed when he has to hammer a nail into a wall, which is why i've done most of the stuff myself.

one of the things i hated about the way we initially set up the living area was that the tv was on the mantle. it was a. too high and b. the wires hanging down the side of the wall were driving me crazy. we had set the living room up that way because we didn't want to have furniture in the middle of the dining/living area. it probably wouldn't have been so bad but we have huge furniture (something we didn't really think about when we bought it).

here was the living area a few months after moving in:

one of the things that bothered me about this was all the unused space near the windows. and yes, that is a tv tray that is being used as an end table.

LR w/curtains

and the tv ...


back in november when we moved things around in the office we ended up with a bookshelf that was no longer being used. so we brought that up here and used it as a tv stand. it's still a little high, but i could not find a tv stand narrow enough to fit in the nook, therefore it's perfect for now, which means it's staying until we move.

living room now:
living room

i also ended up moving some other furniture around. it's not perfect but it was all free.
living room 2

and the mantle sans tv.
no tv on the mantle!

it's funny how moving stuff around can make me so much happier.

happy LOVE day.

happy valentine's day!!
aka, my favorite holiday of the year. are you sick of hearing that it's my favorite holiday? because valentine's day is my favorite holiday.


i hope you're spending it with someone you love. like your dog. dogs totally get valentine's day.

and for the husband, i love you. thanks for celebrating with me.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

monies & other grown up things.

last saturday night we were having one of those relaxing nights in.
i was studying and charlie decided to do our taxes even though i had promised to do them this year. i think he finally realized if he waited for me to do them he'd end up stressed out and nagging me. anyway, last year was our first year filing as married. it was awesome. made me want to get married all over again. this year ... sucked.
basically we owe a shit-ton of money to the government. which annoys me a lot because we really don't make that much money and we have a decent amount of deductions (or i feel like we should). i was a fulltime student for all of 2010. and believe me grad school tuition isn't cheap. charlie has student loans from undergrad because he had to finance 100% of his degree, he works from home (home office deduction, which trust me, we should get because we would not be living in a place this big if he wasn't working from home). there were other smaller things, too but those were the biggies.
in all honesty, i was expecting 2011 taxes to suck but i didn't think this year's would be this bad. we also tried filing separately and ended up owing $15,000 if we went that route. that's insane. seriously, insane.
i'm still pissed about the amount we owe especially when i think about people (many whom i know personally) who totally abuse the system and therefore get money they don't deserve.
i also get annoyed because we work really, really, really hard not to spend money and to save like crazy and writing a check out of our savings account kills me. there are bigger and better things that we're trying to save for. i mean, we didn't get each other christmas presents this year, we didn't take a honeymoon, we are saving like crazy to buy a house and for retirement. i realize that i have a slight problem with spending money, as in i live in colorado and don't own snow boots because the thought of spending $100 makes me throw up. but that's sort of a separate issue.
also, i realize that looking at the big picture we're still better off now than we were three years ago, that i can buy the food i need to buy, i have a roof over my head (even though the pipes keep breaking, but that's a story for another day), we're healthy, we both have jobs, i'm going to be finished with school this year, we live in a place we both love, etc.. but i'm still pissed about owing all this money.
and the way i see it is for 2011 we either better get some dependents or buy a house with a high interest rate (unless that deduction disappears).
ok, rant over (at least until we write that check).

Monday, February 7, 2011

this weekend.

we spent our weekend playing darts (highly unusual), eating breakfast for odd meals, running errands, buying bonsi trees, cleaning, watching football and football themed movies, grilling hotdogs in a toaster oven, eating cheese and crackers, saying goodbye to friends, playing in the snow, and drinking lots of coffee.

there was not a lot of productivity that happened.
i did happen to conquer the world's largest pile of laundry.

and the hole in our wall got fixed.
one tiny pipe. one big problem.

you wouldn't think a pipe this small could cause as big of a problem as it did. but apparently it can.

saturday it started snowing.
snow! finally.

and we let the dogs run around a bit.

henry's always "it"

and by sunday morning there were a few more inches of snow on the ground.
just enough snow to make everything look pretty.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

it's the little things ...

Sleepy pup

... charlie is home!
... next week is valentines day. and i love valentines day.
... i actually made it to all three of my classes this week. [it's only the third week of school]
... it's supposed to rain today.
... my car has a full tank of gas.
... there are paper hearts strung across our mantle.
... charlie and i slept until 10 am this morning.
... this week i make my last tuition payment.
... i can wear jeans to work every day.
... there's no water damage in our apartment.
... it is super bowl weekend. and this year instead of spending it crying and studying i'll actually be having fun with everyone else.
... rainbow flip flips.
... not following a recipe and having dinner turn out amazing.
... the february issue of better homes & gardens.
... having a vague research idea actually work out.
... kid yogurt with pumpkin & flax seed granola.
... woodchuck.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

the good, the bad, and the not so bad.


.the good.

01. charlie is home. after being gone for 5 nights i missed him! also, i'm happy to have him away from the craps tables of vegas.

02. this week is almost over. i cannot believe today is only thursday. it feels like this week has gone by three times as slowly as normal. i'm blaming the freezing cold weather, homework, and not being able to shower for 3 days.

03. i didn't go into work today. i almost did. i was going to work the morning before picking up charlie from the airport. however, one of the guys at work convinced me that frozen pipes were more important. i'm so glad i listened to him.

04. apparently the weather today was warm enough to thaw everything that was frozen. i can shower, cook, and clean dishes in the sink instead of having the dogs lick them after i eat.

05. it's super bowl weekend. i could care less about the game but i always enjoy an excuse to drink beer and hangout with friends on a sunday night.

06. the allergic reaction i had in hawaii disappeared when i came back to colorado.

07. its snowing. not enough to make a mess but just enough to make winter a little prettier.

08. i'm about to pay my last tuition payment. ever. i'm a little sad. i think i'll miss school.

.the bad.

01. i missed a lot of work this week. considering the fact that i didn't work at all last week since i was in the middle of the pacific ocean this was not good. although i love being at home i had a million things to do at work. normally i'd just work from home but that wasn't possible this time.

02. our pipes actually burst. i'm so thankful i was home. i'm not kidding when i say that the water bust through the drywall and was shooting across the kitchen. it was also pouring through the siding on the outside of our house. it was a mess. but the water was turned off in about 3 minutes. if i had gone to work it literally would have destroyed everything in the first two levels of our house.

.the not so bad.

01. i'll have to give charlie his car back. i've been driving the jeep all week and it's been so nice.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

it's the little things ...


... sleeping in your bed after being gone for a while.
... a random stranger giving me his window seat and taking the middle seat on a 6 hour flight.
... driving the jeep in the snow (instead of my tiny car).
... clean laundry and a clean house after a vacation.
... making dinner after eating out for 10 days.
... chili in the crock pot on a freezing cold night.
... wool socks. hey, it's -9!
... a job that understands about things like frozen pipes.
... february = valentines day!
... colorado. (being away makes me miss you)
... bringing plants back to life that i thought were dead.
... organizing things.
... missing traffic.
... clean dogs.
... my suitcase being the first one out at baggage claim.
... not getting burnt in hawaii. (this could be due to the fact that i avoided the sun the entire week)
... coming back to a place where a daily dose of benadryl is not necessary.
... the dogs licking my plate clean because when you have no running water they have to get clean somehow.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

frozen pipes: round 2


today i woke up to a balmy negative nine degrees.
i realize to people in the midwest this is nothing. on the plane to hawaii we were with a bunch of people from minnesota. it was negative thirty the day they left. yeah, -30. i can't even imagine what that feels like.
but after spending a week in 80 degree weather -9 feels pretty chilly. and last night before i went to bed i was doing a chemistry problem set (quick flash back to hell undergrad), which meant that i wasn't really thinking about the fact that the temps were going to dip into the negatives at night. so today i woke up to frozen pipes. now, this happened last year so you think i'd be prepared. except last year the only pipe that froze was our kitchen sink because the pipe runs through the garage. (seriously who runs a pipe through an uninsulated garage in a place where design temperatures are -10?). this time that pipe froze AND the pipes that run to our showers. so not only can i not shower, but if that pipe happens to burst it would soak 3 floors of our house, which is everything we own. oh, and did i mention that we don't have renters insurance? yeah, we're idiots. and charlie's in las vegas right now (just like he was last time), which means i'm left to deal with this one on my own. so i called work and let them know i'd be working from home but i have class today that i have to go to. i'm really hoping that these pipes unfreeze before then (because i'd really like a shower) and then i won't have to worry about coming home to a drenched house.

the dogs also hate it when the temperatures get this cold. they usually limp around on three legs because their paws get too cold. and then henry starts whining.