Sunday, November 3, 2013

Long time, no blog.

So it's been a long time since I've posted, almost a full year. I think about posting often but find that it's the last thing on my mind when I finally sit down at the end of the day. So much has happened in the last 10 months, mostly house projects and wedding planning (and work). And the truth is, I've been struggling with my body image lately. Not that I've ever had the best body confidence, but since May it's been especially terrible. In May I started studying for my first ARE (Architect Registration Exam). I'm not sure if I've talked about it much on the blog, but in order to become a registered architect I need to take (and pass) 7 exams. 7 long, taxing, HARD, exams. I studied for 4 weeks, 2 of those pretty intensely. I passed, but my eating went to crap. I'm actually surprised I didn't gain more, although I don't actually know how much I've gained. I'd guess about 10lbs. Just as the one year point to our wedding was approaching I was gaining instead of losing. Wedding dress shopping has been especially miserable. While I never expected to start crying when I found 'the dress', I didn't expect to hate the experience either.

I think the wedding dress industry is a sham. I am a size 14. Yes I wish I were smaller and there are areas of my body that I'm unhappy with, but it's a fact. That size 14 body just ran 3 miles yesterday, did incredible workouts this week, and held a plank with an extra 100 lbs on my back. Bam. BUT when it comes to dress shopping, I'm told I have to order an 18. AN 18!!! There is nothing wrong with that size, but I've worked my ass off to no longer be that size. In 2008 I was a size 22. My knees hurt, my pants were tight, and I hated the way I looked. I had trouble sleeping because of it, and I snored. I haven't told anyone that. I don't have any of these problems anymore, but my wedding dress size would make it seem that way. This is supposed to be the happiest day of your life, and yet we're being forced to buy dresses that are larger than they should be. I get that the wedding industry hasn't caught up to glamor sizing, but you know what, they should. I don't care if you're a size 2 who has to buy a 6, that just doesn't feel good.

I have the best of intentions to lose weight before my wedding. I have to, I just don't feel good about myself right now. I know I should just suck it up and be happy, but I don't want to look back at the pictures and hate myself. Silently judging and picking my body apart. I want to be happy and not worry about my body but I know myself and I won't be happy until I do something. So I am. I've put it out there and now I have to be accountable. I plan to work out more, and eat less. Seems simple, but it's so hard. The harder I work out, the more I want to eat. Being a vegetarian doesn't make it easier either. I have been substituting carbs for meat,which needs to stop. So there you go, that's where I've been for the last 10 months. I'm still alive. Still struggling, but still smiling. :-)

I'm also doing the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge, if you're interested you can sign up here.

Friday, December 21, 2012


I'd normally consider myself a pretty happy person. I mean, we all go through bouts of depression, but 95% of the time I'm down for a good laugh. Or a good e-card:

Until lately.

At first I thought it was some personal life stuff, then I thought it might be the approaching holidays. To put it lightly, I've worked 100+ hours in the last two weeks at work only to find out that the project might not happen. That was depressing. I don't feel great about my body right now, which was emphasized by trying on wedding dresses two weekends ago. Chalk that up to one of the worst shopping experiences of my short 27 years. I kind of never want to do it again. I also miss home. And my friends. And my family. I miss baking cookie trees (yearly tradition) and just hanging out. This year I'll only be home for a few days and largely don't get to see my best friends.

But I don't think that any of the things I listed are the core root of my "want to cry all the time-stare into space-apathetic toward Christmas-downright depression." I, along with most of the country, am still reeling about the tragedy that happened in Newtown last week. I can't seem to get past it. I read stories and cry. I watch the news and cry. I sit here and type this blog, and cry. I can't stop thinking about those families whose whole lives were taken away from them in an instant. The beautiful babies who wont grow up. The teacher who wont get engaged on Christmas. The teacher who cradled her student as he died in her arms. All of this is incomprehensibly sad to me.

I use this blog as an outlet for my antics, but it also needs to be real. And right now, I'm really sad. I don't know how to feel right now other than numb. At first I was completely angry with the man who did this and the system that failed. So angry.

Now I'm just sad. I know there are some things in life that we just don't understand. This for me is one of them. Maybe it's a crisis of faith, maybe it's pessimism. I don't know anymore.

What I do know is that life is to short. Most people say "Live life like today is your last day." I live my life assuming I'm going to wake up tomorrow. No regrets.

For now I will be praying hard for the families of those who perished too soon, in Newtown and across the world. I will do the best I can to make sense of this all, and continue to be the best person I know how.

May God bless you and keep you. Have a Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Day 6: Favorite Tree Ornament

So this post is going to be super lame (lamer than usual? Yes.) because I have no pictures of said ornament. Actually, as I write this, I am staring at an ornamentless tree. So, as you may or may no know, or care, Ross and I bought a house 6 months ago. Apparently not one of the bazillion boxes that we moved contained any Christmas ornaments. I feel all adult and stuff because we actually got our crap together and bought an actual living tree (we can barely take care of ourselves, this tree has no chance of surviving until mid-month).

Okay, my favorite ornament. I've had a few growing up. First it was my teddy bear riding a tricycle ornament, that I played with so much it broke every year. Second, it was my tiny obsession with rocking horses. I had so many but it was the beaded sparkly one that was my favorite.

Currently my favorite is my Leg Lamp ornament. I have a small obsession with them. Like the time I dressed up as one and ran a 5k. The ornament lights up and spouts off quotes from the movie like: "It says fra-gee-lay, must be Italian." Yes!!!

Here is a picture of our tree.

{{sadly, Google tells me I need more storage, I'll have the picture up soon}}

It has exactly one ornament on it, which is a Pennsylvania ornament from my Pittsburgh neighbor. Gotta rep the home state, fo sho. Also, I am mildly obsessed with the tree skirt that I bought this year from Grandin Road. It's red and ruffly and full of Christmas.

Do you have a favorite ornament? Where did you get it and why is it so special?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Day 5: Best Gift You've Ever Received

The best gift I ever received was probably my Playmobil dollhouse. A few weeks before Christmas my sneaky mother hid the dollhouse in the basement shower (which nobody used). One morning she was getting ready in the bathroom and I opened the shower door. Thinking on her feet (and avoiding a freakout) she explained that the dollhouse was for my best friend and that her dad asked if he could hide it here. She also told me not to tell Annie, we wouldn't want to ruin that surprise. Since I hadn't been peer pressured into believing in Santa yet, I understood.

On Christmas morning I woke up (most likely way before dawn) to open my presents. When I ran downstairs the dollhouse was in the middle of the room. The first words out of my mouth were "Annie got the same one!). Clearly not the brightest, my mom explained that she had in fact told a small lie to keep Christmas a surprise.

As a kid, I was always curious as to where my mom hid my presents. I knew it was somewhere in the basement but after years of searching, I couldn't find them. It wasn't until I was older that my mom told me she hid the gifts in the luggage. Tricky tricky, mom!

What was your favorite Christmas gift? Did you ever find where your parents hid them?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Day 4: Favorite Christmas Song

I love Christmas music. I am that weirdo who can listen to it everyday for the entire month of December and never get sick of it.

1. Under My Tree by *NSYNC

I used to listen to this song on repeat as I went to sleep, most likely hoping for dreams of Justin Timberlake. Damn it Jessica Biel, my 12 year old self is completely jealous of you! Truth be told, I still really like this Christmas album, even if I can't really relate to it anymore.

2. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) by Mariah Carey

I love Ms. Mariah so naturally she'd end up on this list. I know that most people recognise her Christmas album for All I Want For Christmas is You, which is a great song, but not my favorite.

3. Baby It's Cold Outside - She and Him

Any New Girl fans out there? So yeah, I do love me some Zooey, but I also really love her voice. Ever since Elf (which I previously declared my love for), I hoped she would come out with an album. While she isn't a soloist, this is the next best thing.

So what are your favorite Christmas (or holiday in general) songs?

**I also really love the cover of Auld Lang Syne that is on the Sex and the City soundtrack. It's a favorite for sure!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Day 3: Santa's Not Real?!

Day 3: When/ how did you lean that Santa wasn't real?


Ok, really, I learned for the first time that Santa wasn't real when I was 4 or so. I blame my mother (who I'm sure was just giving me additional information to tell my psychiatrist). When I was born my mother decided that she was never going to lie to me. This pact that she made with herself worked out great until I asked her if Santa was real, and her answer was naturally "No." I don't know that she offered up any explanation, and at 4, I don't know that I really cared. I don't remember crying or being surprised, but really I don't remember much about being 4 in general.

So apparently as time went by I was peer pressured into believing again. All of my friends still believed in Santa, so I did too. I distinctly remember having a conversation with my classmates about virgins and Christmas in fifth grade. At the time none of us actually knew what a virgin was but we settled on some meaningless term to describe the Virgin Mary. Oh, kids today. I also vaguely remember that the subject of Santa came up as well but I can't remember if we talked about whether he was real. To be honest, I don't remember it being that big of a deal that Santa wasn't real. I think I already acknowledged that my parents were the ones that bought the sweet gifts. Now, learning about where babies come from is a different story. That experience I will never forget.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

25 Days of Christmas Blogging Challenge

Days 1&2.

Holy moley, is it December already? 2012 has been a wonderful and incredibly busy year. Getting engaged, moving, starting a new job, buying house. Whew, I'm exhausted and more than ready to settle in for a long winters night (minus the snow).

Jenny has started this wonderful challenge for the Holidays and I am really happy to participate. If you've never visited Jenny's blog, she's not only adorable, but is incredibly talented web designer as well. I've been meaning to see if she'd have time to give my blog a little makeover. Maybe after Christmas.

Ok, here is the challenge:
I'm already behind, but here goes!

Day 1: Favorite Christmas Movie.

I have a few so it's hard to pick just one, so here they are:

Little full, lotta sap. Ahhh, I love it! I can recite every line from this movie, and fully intend on doing so until December 25 (sorry Ross). I love it so much I actually bought myself a moose mug, it's the gift that keeps on giving.

Watch out for the yellow ones, they don't stop. Again, I can recite all of the awesomeness that is this movie. On top of it all, Zooey Deschanel is my total girl crush, but even without her, this movie is pretty sweet.

Last but not least, White Christmas. Way back when I was a volunteer at my local library (I think it had 3 rooms) I borrowed this movie and fell in love. It actually might be my favorite movie ever, not just Christmas. When I was in architecture school, I would loop this on repeat on my laptop when building my models for finals week. I may or may not have watched it 4 times a day for weeks on end. I love everything about this from the really bad fake winter scenes to Bing Crosby cross dressing with Danny Kaye. Uh, I LOVE IT!

Day 2: Christmas Wish List

I have a few things on my wish list this year, nothing terribly exciting.

1. Veganomicon

I have Appetite for Reduction and I absolutely love it. The Chipotle Lentil Burgers are the BEST. Since I use it more than any of my other cookbooks, I figured I'd ask for it's older sister in Veganomicon. While I may not be vegan, Isa's recipes ROCK!

2. Because I Haven't Found My Limit Shirt

I can't for the life of me remember what blog I saw this shirt on, but I had to have it. It went on my list immediately. So ironically I think I've found my limits lately by inadvertently reaching my lactic acid threshold, but that's another post.

3. An Emerald Pippa Bag

Sorry for the blur-tastic picture, it's the best I could do.

I have one in the Shark color and after over a year of everyday use, the corners are looking a little shabby. I have never received so many compliments on a purse before. it's deceptively large inside and the quality lives up to the high price tag. Please please please Santa, I've been good this year.

And there you have it, Day's 1&2 down, only 23 more to go. What are the odds that I can blog every day for the rest of the challenge. Not good.