Thursday, May 30, 2013


More often then I'd care to admit, I've found myself getting swept up in negative thinking this week. Whether it's complaining about work, how busy I feel like I am, family, friends, you name it.
In an effort to put some more good ju ju back in the universe, I just want to take a second to talk about how grateful I am.

I'm grateful for M's family. More specifically in this moment: for a mother in law who has been NOTHING but welcoming, supportive, and loving. Heck, she says "I love you" more than my own family, sometimes.

I'm grateful that I'm looking for a job as an attorney. Even though it's been a long, sometimes emotional, process... it means that I am an attorney. Something I worked so hard to get to be able to say. I'll get there, soon.

I'm grateful that even though I'm not acting as an attorney with a law firm, I'm able to do pro bono work.. even if I'm stressed out about it, and have my first hearing on Monday. It means I'm in a position to help someone who seems genuinely thankful for my help.

I'm grateful that I'm busy after work. It means that I have a lot of people who actually want to spend time with me. I'm grateful that this week it's been a mix of friends, family, and strangers (photography class..well, and Jess. :) )

I'm grateful that I'm in a position, financially, to be able to surprise my dad with this office redo. While I'm not quite sure how on earth I'm going to fit it all in, along with preparing for the hearing Monday (meep!), and some social commitments this weekend, I know that his reaction will totally be worth it. [Besides, I have all day Sunday, and Monday/Tuesday after work, too.]

And even though it's been cloudy, chilly, and muggy...and rarely just sunny and warm outside...I'm grateful it's done snowing. :-).

I'm grateful to come home every day, to a tiny little ball of fur who greets me with SUCH enthusiasm that my heart can't help but burst: he purrs SO. HARD. he squeaks, and sometimes coughs, and nuzzles the crap out of me. It's without a doubt one of the highlights of my day.


Tonight M's sisters and I are surprising his mom with a shopping trip (for her mother-of-the-groom dress) for her birthday, followed by dinner..where her husband, M, and M's sister's boyfriend will be joining us.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Office redo: inspiration

Memorial Day weekend was a good one.
With the weather being cloudy, off and on rainy, and overall chilly (60s at best), I didn't feel the desire to take many pictures. M and I went to Bachelor Farmer here in Minneapolis on Friday and ate ourselves stupid (seriously, if you're in MN and have never been there: GO. Such a unique dining experience. All local food, very contemporary, with a Scandinavian twist!). Saturday..hmm.. what did we do. AH, I ran errands to get supplies for my dad's office redo..the actual topic of today's post! and Saturday night we went to the Happy Gnome in St. Paul to celebrate a friend's nursing school graduation. Sunday was a lazy day with the kitty, as was Monday. Monday night we went to my parents to grill, and I closed off the weekend with a viewing of the Bachelorette. I don't even want to hear it. It's trash, probably half fake, and I don't curr.
Moving on, since I took no real photos this weekend..
I casually mentioned a while ago that I wanted to redo my dad's office. 
A few years back, when my dad was in Florida, I surprised him by updating his kitchen. Nothing terribly fancy, but I painted the cabinets (they had this delightfully hideous sponge painted strawberry detailing), painted the walls, replaced all the hardware, and bought a shelf and some art. He was floored when he got home and saw it. 

Well, my mother... bless her... and her wheelchair, have destroyed the kitchen. She's run into the cabinets, scraped the walls, to the point where there's giant rivets gone in the wood, and the white cabinets are now incredibly dirty and stained. I don't even like talking about it because it bums me out so hard. I know it's not her fault, and now she doesn't really tool around in her wheelchair the way she used to, but it still makes me go "wahhh." 

The bonus with the office is: she never goes in there! Just kidding. But my dad has painted her room and mentioned wanting to paint and clean up the office, which was my childhood bedroom, before the wedding since one of his friends will be staying with them. That's when I realized that his upcoming trip to Canada with M would provide the perfect opportunity to surprise him with an office redo! 

I created a polyvore account (that people continue to "follow" me on, despite the fact that I've only created ONE board?) to mock up an inspiration board for the office. Here's what I came up with:

So yesterday I headed to Target to try to recreate this mood board. I picked up 4 window panels:

They were on sale for $13 a piece, and these curtain rods in a silver finish: 


Annnd I splurged on this mercury lamp base, that I wanted to keep for myself (although I think it was only $29.99 in store): 


and this lamp shade to top her off: 

I'm unsure if I'm going to go through with the rug.. I may sacrifice that for more art in the budget (he has some great old sports photos/memorabilia I may frame). I'm going to go scout desks at IKEA this week, which is where the desk in the inspiration board is from. Although, I may opt for a more plain "table" style desk, with no drawer. I'll have to see what they have in stock.

I'm planning on painting it something like this:

SO, stay tuned for some updates! We'll see how this goes. :P

Monday, May 20, 2013

The ghosts of weekends past.

Finally got around to uploading some photos from Mother's Day.
We went to my parents house with my mom's family, and my dad's mom/sister.
I decided instead of waiting for photo opportunities to present themselves, to create some of my own.

Lucky is silently saying "help me!" with his eyes. 
Speaking of Lucky, he's such a chill cat, when it's nice out we've gotten into the habit of bringing him out back so he can sniff the air jubilantly. 


Just loved it. 


And in an effort to not edit my mom out of my life unknowingly, I took the time to snap a mother's day picture. She doesn't much like her photo taken, but, I'm happy I have this photo. :) 
[Edited to add: if you see the top left corner of my mom's mattress pad, no, we do not have moth balls. Lucky is a little fatty and if people aren't feeding him to his liking, he'll start eating things. Usually it's just the newspaper/magazines that sit on the ground by my dad's couch... but you can see what his latest treat has been. O_O....]


My 3 favorite guys. Ever. Period. (M, dad, brother). 

This past weekend we had our marriage retreat.
It was long, there were times I had to elbow M because... while I guess I'd consider myself Catholic, I don't necessarily subscribe to the same "doom and gloom, errybody is going to hell" outlook as most Catholics. I.e., M and I live together..and..well.. you can do the math on the rest.

There were some really good sessions, though.
It's not as though I haven't put thought into the future of our relationship when the wedding is over, but unless you go through some sort of marriage retreat, counseling, etc., I'd be willing to bet most couples don't sit down and dedicate time, during the wedding planning process, to discussing the state of affairs of your relationship. It was just a good reminder that we need to make it a priority, what's important, and to support and not criticize one another.

It was also nice to be on campus.
UST, where we had our retreat, is where we're getting married, too.
At the end of the retreat we had confession and mass, and as we walked up the steps we saw that a wedding had just gotten over. The bride was standing just outside the chapel doors, with all her bridesmaids, in a beautiful ivory gown. It made me quite anxious for my turn. almost down to 4 months! That both seems like a long time, and no time at all.

Some scenes from campus:

Sitting outside the chapel. 

Last weekend we also had M's sister's graduation from the U of M. 
She'll be attending law school at the U in the fall. 

M's grandma and aunt:


M's mom and step dad:

You can see Katie waving in the middle :)

21st Century commencement: 

Love these two. So cute. 

In totally unrelated news, M was diagnosed with high cholesterol recently. Since I'm the one who meal plans, shops, and plans most our meals... he told me there's no way he could rehab his eating without my help. I've wanted to start eating better, working out more, and just feeling better anyway, so we took this as our chance. 

I went grocery shopping tonight, and if you were to open our fridge right now, it'd look like someone chopped up a tree and put it in there. so. much. green, and I love it. I also bought grapes, strawberries, a few plums and an apple. I've found that we eat better if it's easier to access, so, we chopped strawberries tonight, plucked grapes off the vine, and have them in an open bowl in our fridge. I also chopped carrots and celery and packaged it up (along with grapes and strawberries) for lunches for the week. I love opening the fridge and seeing all the fresh fruit and veggies. There's something about warm weather and summer that always rejuvenates my desire to eat healthy.

So, there you have it. I feel slightly more caught up on life at this point. 
Hope you all had a good weekend!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

If a blogger falls in the woods...

you get what I'm saying...? No?

If a blogger ceases to post, unexplicably, for a short period of time nobody probably cares about bit, do people forget about her? Negatory.

Guys, I haz a buzy. Sorta.
Monday was HH.
Tuesday was camera class (still need to chat with jess about putting together some kind of feature).
tonight I'm going home and going to RELAX TO THE MAX because this weekend is about to run me ragged.
Tomorrow is dinner with a former-very-good-friend turned someone I hadn't spoken to in nearly 3 years, which I'm looking forward to.
Friday is the first part of our religious marital education.. (which I'm just going to decline to comment on because I'm sure to piss people off), followed by a friend's birthday get together after for a bit, followed by TEN HOURS OF MARRIAGE RETREAT on Saturday. DEATH. Hot, sticky death, followed by another family graduation obligation followed by actual graduation, followed by Monday in which I longingly weep for Memorial Day weekend (OMG is that this soon?) because I have NO PLANS, NONE AT ALL.

Did that sound like complaining? It's not. It's just delerium carefully masquerading as complaining. Don't be fooled.

Anyway, mostly I'm just popping in to say HAI, and to remind myself that, I WILL BE BACK. I have a few posts in the hopper, still have to upload mother's day pics (I ACTUALLY TOOK SOME. of the fam. including my mom and I :). Embarassed to admit that was our first photo since 2010. O_O. yeeeaaa you read that right. But hey, A for Effort! annnddd I have a few smaller wedding projects I could post about. I suppose. I know it's 5 months out but I'm starting to feel a little spazzy and like I should do ALL THE THINGS, RIGHT NOW. I really want the last few weeks leading up to it to be 100% exempt from any and all projects, etc.

So that's it. Hi! how are you all?
OH and I've totally been reading blogs but mostly try to devour them quickly on my phone this week and have been lackluster at commenting. Woopsy.

Thursday, May 9, 2013


We all have them, right?
Well today (after seeing one of them used) I realized there are certain words/phrases that just make my skin crawl, annoy me, or that fill me with irrational rage. I realized there are enough of them that I could compile a (pathetic?) blog post out of them. Maybe I'm not alone in some of these. And no, they're not necessarily the traditional female "gross words" like "moist" (although that's just automatically included on the list), they're just my own weird issues. Some of you probably think I'm crazy for devoting energy to annoyances of this nature, and to that I say, boo on you. I'm here to bring you a short list of the offenders that come to mind presently:

1."retarded" /"gay": as an adjective to describe something unpleasant or something that you dislike.
All this tells me is that of the vast number of adjectives in our english language, you can't rub together enough brain cells to conjure up something more descriptive and/or less offensive. I judge you (silently) accordingly and make zero apologies for it.

2. "nummy"/"yummy": as an adjective to describe food.
Are you 6 years old? are you speaking TO a 6 year old? I'll admit that I've slipped and used this but it still makes me cringe coming out of the mouths of others. Once again, let's get more descriptive adjectives, people.

3. "duds": when referring to clothes.
Seriously, nothing says "awesome new piece of clothing" quite like calling it a dud. This just doesn't even make sense. Another adjective that should've died in the 90s.

4. Any word that involves the soft "g" sound: I seriously yell at Matt for using words like this, I have no explanation, the sound of that soft "G" makes me want to STAB someone.
Found in the word "regime" --- BLLAGGGHHH I can't even type it because I say it in my head and then I die. When he's trying to get me super riled up, he says the phrase "vagine regime" (yes, vagine as in vagina.. we're nothing, if not classy...) both with soft 'g's and then I hit him. I can't even think of any other words besides the "R" one that use it --and with all the business in Iraq/Iran/wherever else we're presently bombing or considering going to war with-- the nightly news LOVES to refer to that country's ruler's "re_ime" and gawwwdddd I hate it.

5. "Isle/Aisle"
This may be one of the most common offenders, but it just makes me squirm. Aisle's exist in places like grocery stores, Target, and movie theaters. Isle's are rivers (sometimes) or an island surrounded by water. I.e. the Isle of Capri - is, you guessed it- an Island!

6. Commonly misused colloquialisms:
You guys, this one takes the cake, and I'm not sure why it bothers me SO MUCH but it makes me cringe like none of the others. I can't even think of all of the ones I've seen but here are a few examples I've seen recently:
  • "Rod Iron": with the explosion of pinterest, a lot of people are discussing this particular type of fixture of a forged metal variety. It's called WROUGHT Iron. Not rod iron. I realize when spoken they sound very similar, but how this is not common knowledge I don't even know.
  • "For all intensive purposes": "all intents and purposes" ... I can see where it is easy to mishear, but.. I mean.. SAY it out loud. What is an intensive purpose? Does that even make sense? It shouldn't.
  • "Mute point": A silent point? No. No no no. it's MOOT. moot. "of little or no practical value" according to the dictionary.
  • "Beckon call": actually supposed to be beck and call. Although according to some brief research, "beckon call" is becoming an adequate substitute (shame), and beck is actually an old-timey shortening of the word "beckon."

Annnddd I think it's clear at this point in our programming I need a hobby.  I'm going to get my shit together and draft some posts this weekend. Promise, guys.

Unrelated: Tuesday was my first photography class. I know I told ya'll I'd update you and OMG I am in love with it. Seriously. I leared some VERY basic things about my camera that will make a world of difference, and that was just week 1. This is totally sadistic of me to say, but I miss the classroom. I miss learning things. I miss the gunners. Not. Except, we have one in our class and it totally makes me laugh because apparently law school and camera class are the same thing. (Gunner: a term law students (and others? I'm not sure. I first heard it in law school) use to talk about that one kid who asks 1,000 questions, reads ahead in the book, tries to bring up terms and subjects we haven't covered yet to look smart. You love to hate him/her).

We also learned how to make people disappear in photos. Seriously. Stay tuned for an update on that. I bring this up because Sar  (hiiii!) commented on Jess's IG of us from class this week and said we should do a little series recapping our class, and telling you guys about any tips and tricks we've learned. Is this something you'd be interested in? (yays? nays?)

(I was thinking about it this morning and how I'd explain to you guys some of the things we learned and I've already forgot WHY I want my camera on spot metering, but I just know it's something that you should do, so it certainly won't be a technical definition of most things... but it can't hurt. haha).

Monday, May 6, 2013

Sundays of nothingness..

..Result in weekend recaps on Tuesday.
Guys, I just can't be bothered to do anything on Sunday, and that includes uploading and editing photos, or writing a blog post.

This weekend was equal parts lazy and productive.
Friday night M and I had a "fatty night"...

I had asked M if he wanted to watch a movie and have pizza as a "date night" Friday, so I beat him home, stopped by RedBox and got Pitch Perfect (2nd time seeing it, never gets old), and Django Unchained. We ordered pizza, and laid on some cushions on the floor, and watched the movies. It was perfect.

Saturday I cleaned the house, and did a ton of laundry. Super blog-worthy.
Snuggled with my buddy, obviously: 

M and I went out to eat once we realized we had nothing in the house for dinner. We read our book and headed to bed.

Sunday I had lunch with a few law school girls at a Thai place down the street. So, I clearly did Cinco de Mayo right.  (O_O) M went to watch the Wild playoff game with a friend at the bar (aanndd we won! in overtime! woot!) I stopped by Michael's for some wedding crafts, which I'll hopefully post about sometime this week.

Got home, and snuggled some more.


M and I went on a walk around a park near our house, and then decided..since we both were pretty full from big lunches, to just go to a bar over at the West End for an appetizer and drinks. Turned out Rojo, the mexican restaurant (duh?) was having a block party for Cinco de Mayo. Being the crotchety old folks we are, M and I headed to the restaurant across the street- Crave. I've never actually been to Crave, but we sat outside on the patio and I had a tomato salad.


It was heavenly, and I currently have the ingredients in my fridge to try to duplicate it for lunches this week. I used to have a major aversion to tomatoes.. (I still do, when it comes to sandwiches or burgers. That squishy burst of fruit just weirds me out).. but I've come to love them on salads, especially when paired with mozzarella (only the fresh kind) with some balsamic. Drool.

I had every intention to go get groceries on Sunday, too.
This was as close as I got: 

Haiiiii Rainbow. We went tonight though, so, close enough. I feel the same way about grocery shopping on Sundays as I do with blogging. I prefer lounging, apparently.

My favorite routine with the kitty, when I get home, is to hoist him on my shoulders like a baby, scratch his ears, and let him peek outside. I snapped this pic of our shadows on Sunday night when we got home. 

Overall, it was a good weekend. :)

Unrelated, but kind of funny in a "ha ha, nobody tells me anything" sort of way: Had a mini-panic attack at work this morning when I realized the scheduling order said our motions were due 2 weeks before the first date of the trial block (which was May 13th). Although we had a date certain of May 20th. (When initially scheduling out cases, the court will give a big window of time when the trial will occur, called a 'trial block'... as the dates get nearer, if the case is showing no time of settling, they try to give you a more specific day... known as a 'date certain'). 

So I'm working up the courage to email the partner to ask for an update on the motions, essentially prompting her to hopefully realize we missed the deadline. It was then I was informed our trial block was moved to JULY. #nobodytellsmeANYTHING. Crisis averted, but man. I was a hot mess for a few minutes there.

Tomorrow night (er, tonight, by the time most of you are reading this) is my first photography class! I conned Jess into taking it with me. :) any of you Minnesota ladies with DSLR's- it's not too late!! It's Tuesday nights from 7-9, tomorrow is week 1, but you could still probably get in late with 4 full weeks!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

finding joy.

TGIF, people.
Maybe not for those of you who woke up to snow yesterday. On May 2nd. That was.....sweet.
Thankfully, my city was spared. Wee! and word on the street is, 70s are returning next week. So there's that.

In the days after I wrote the most emo post ever, I've been trying to do things to bust the funk. Of course, the 70+ degree weekend we had last weekend helped. But, I've decided to put in an effort to find some things that I have a bit more control of. Often I find myself reading blogs in which the blogger describes little "traditions" they have with their spouse, and I find myself smiling thinking "that's nice" and not doing anything about it. I talked a bit about M and I's "brunch date" we have going now, but I also recently suggested to him something I've wanted to do for a while.

Every night (or every night that M doesn't pass out at 9 p.m. on the couch which is sadly, quite often) we head upstairs and read a book together. As in, M reads a few pages out loud on his tablet, and then I read a few pages. Right now we're reading:

I had read Gone Girl a few months ago (and was pissed at the ending) but I heard this book was much better. It's not "chicky" so when M read the synopsis, he said it was something he could get into as well. I'm liking it so far. I think we're on Chapter 5. I also like crawling into bed at night, and instead of each of us browsing our phones (like we used to do/sometimes do when it's too late to read), we do something together.

In addition, despite my "meh" job outlook-- which has inadvertently turned me into a penny pincher- I suddenly have been REALLY GOOD at eating what I brought for lunch every day -- I pulled the trigger on a "me" expense I had been thinking about doing since November.

For the next 5 Tuesday's, I'll be sitting in class. As a recovering law student I'm both amused and not surprised at this. I never hated school. I just hated being tested. So "fun" classes still have their appeal!

It seems like people with a DSLR (who go onto become photographers, or just take good photos) wear the "I never took a class, I learned on my own" mantra as a badge of honor. There's nothing wrong with that, but the stubborn person in me was all, "psh, if they can learn on their own so can I!" ... that's not really my problem though. My problem is that I never actually use my down time to teach myself said photography skills.

I'm pretty excited. If nothing else to have a set 2 hours a week to devote to something artistic. For someone who may appear super left-brained.. I'd die inside without a little creativity in my life.

SO despite the fact that I have no job news, things are looking up. Or rather, my mood about things is looking up :)

M was supposed to have a golf trip this weekend but, what with the copious amounts of snow, that got cancelled. SO we now have a weekend at home, with nothing on the calendar. Hoping to make it a good one! :)