What’s been happening lately…

Our little Teddy is 15 months already.  He’s smart, rambunctious, funny, sweet, and so incredibly exhausting!  Not in the wake you up in the middle of the night kind of exhausting, more like never stops running around or climbing things he shouldn’t.  Two days ago we were sitting on the couch and looked over and he’s sitting on our kitchen table playing with his toys I had picked up and set there earlier.

5.5.17

It’s hard to be mad at that cute face!  And yes, I do actually have that much junk on my table!

Other than Teddy life has been pretty “meh” lately.  We’ve put a few offers in on houses lately but didn’t get them, even the one we offered $7,000 over asking.  We were so sure it was going to be ours and started making all these plans to remodel it.  But I guess everything happens for a reason.

Two weeks ago we took off the whole week to get our house ready to put on the market.  We spent most of Monday working hard on cleaning until late afternoon when my husband started to receive a bunch of texts from people he worked with.  His company announced 600 layoffs that day.  And we hear that there may be another round coming up.  So we’ve backed off the house hunting but it’s really got us both bummed out.  We thought we’d have a house with a yard by late summer for Teddy and the dogs to play in and we’re really sad that we won’t have that.

My Newest Obsession

Sometimes I get obsessed about the absolutely most stupid things.  Lately, that thing has been subscription boxes.

About a year ago I heard about BarkBox, which seemed like a cool idea but seriously $29/mo to send me a box of stuff for my dog?  No thanks.  But since we have gotten a second dog we are finding ourselves spending a lot more money on toys and treats, especially while our new puppy is young.  We have been going through training treats like crazy!  And don’t even get me started on how expensive chew toys can get.  So I started getting a little creative.

On the BarkBox website you can get a much better deal if you sign up for a longer subscription, they have options for monthly or 3, 6, or 12 months which can bring the cost from $29/mo to as low as $18.  You can also find some other deals, sometimes as much as 15% off if you search online.  Or you can use a link from another subscriber you get $5 off and their pup gets another box.  That’s a win, win!  We ended up lucking out during March Madness and they had an amazing deal which made each box around $10 a month for a 6 month subscription.

Our first box turned out to be pretty cool.  Two good sized bags of treats, a new squeaky toy, a frozen smoothie treat, and bully stick.  All in all, I think the value of what we got totaled about $30 so it turned out to be a really good deal for us.  While doing all this research I learned about tons more subscription boxes both for pets and humans!

It was suggested to me recently, that I find a way to have a more professional appearance…Yes, my boss straight out told me I should be wearing make up to work…well his exact words were more like “I’m not telling you you HAVE to wear make up and jewelry but that would help..”  Always super nice to hear from your MALE boss.  Inappropriate anyone?!  But it did get me thinking that if I want to take the next step in my career I really do want to be seen as a professional.  So I upgraded the wardrobe a bit, bought a couple basic pieces of jewelry I wear on a daily basis and invested in a little bit of make up.  But after years of wearing nothing but clear lip gloss, a little under eye concealer and occasionally some mascara I really didn’t know where to start.

So I got to thinking, maybe I would benefit from a beauty subscription box.  I’d get to try some new things, at a reasonable cost, maybe find a few products and/or brands that I love.  The problem is there are so many!  It’s overwhelming trying to choose one to try and with a recent influx of vet bills I really need to limit it to just one box for the time being.  I’ve read tons of reviews from beauty bloggers and looked at so many sample boxes and in the end I choose Ipsy to try.

I can’t really speak yet about whether Ipsy is worth the cost or not because when I went to subscribe to their service I was told that I would be put on a waitlist.  In order to get off the waitlist immediately you have to jump through a bunch of hoops including liking Ipsy on Facebook and getting a friend to subscribe though your link.  Personally, I think it’s kind of a shady business model to only serve people that bring you more business but from all the boxes I’ve seen they seem to have the most products I like at the lowest cost.  So I will give them one more month and if they don’t send me the June bag I am moving on.

P.S. If anyone feels like trying out BarkBox you can use this link for $5 off and my fur babies will get another box

https://barkbox.com/r/O1B9SE5NV2

Does anyone subscribe to a beauty box that they love?  If so, which one(s)?  I may need a back up soon…

Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans…

Two weeks ago, I was sitting on my couch watching tv with my husband, petting our dog and talking about all the things we want to do on our Great Smoky Mountain camping trip the following weekend.  While arguing over whether we had the time to make the four hour detour to Atlanta or not, Adam stopped me and said he thought he felt something weird on our dog, Phoebe.

I flipped Phoebe over and cradled her like a baby, a position she completely disdains and did not hesitate to  let  it be known.  She did indeed appear to have some sort of lump on her chest.  Of course we did the first thing that came to mind and googled it.  Pictures of “mammary gland tumors” flooded my screen.  Of course, I was completely freaked out and insisted that our vet squeeze us the very next day.

The vet confirmed it was indeed a mammary gland tumor.  The good news about these kind of tumors is that, in dogs, they are only cancerous about 50% of the time.  But being a 29 year old woman with no children, my dogs are really my babies.  They are my family and not my pets.  Ok.  Every once in awhile I do remind the puppy that she is my pet and, as such, must endure my petting even though she would rather being playing…or rather chewing on just about anything she can get a hold of.   I digress…we scheduled Phoebe’s surgery the same day, knowing full well that we could really only afford the surgery or the vacation we had planned.  Unfortunately, the Smoky Mountains and my bucket list are going to have to wait.

So last week Thursday we took Phoebe back to the vet for her surgery.  Everything went well on the day of the surgery.  They believed that they got the whole tumor and she came out of anesthesia perfectly, which was a concern since she is almost 8 years old.  Yesterday I heard back from  our vet that they had received the biopsy results back.  They did indeed get the whole tumor and it was benign!  So today we celebrate!  Me, probably with some New Glarus Raspberry Tart (only sold in Wisconsin, sorry to all of you poor people that might never get to taste this delicious beer) and Phoebe with a sort of interesting carrot flavored frozen treat we received in the pup’s first Bark Box last week.

Now that we know there aren’t any more tests or chemo in our future we can go ahead with rescheduling a Smoky Mountain trip, hopefully for the late summer/early fall.  My goal is to accomplish at least 5 things on my bucket list before the end of the year and a Smoky Mountain/Atlanta trip would make doing that much easier.

#41- Be married to the same person for 50 years

It’s probably a little disturbing that I think contemplating divorce is a totally natural occurrence.  In fact, my husband of 15 months sometimes gets upset about my divorce “plans.”  Not that I actually do have such plans but I’ve seen so many acrimonious divorces I am convinced I need to circumvent that somehow.  My way of doing it is probably unconventional.  I say things like “if we get divorced we need to be on the same page, our kids can’t have cell phones until they are old enough to pay for them themselves.”  Not only do I not have plans to get divorced, I also have no children as of yet.

I’ve often wondered what it is exactly that makes me think this way.  Maybe it’s because the national divorce rate hovers around 50%.  I often find myself looking at another couple and wondering if it will be “them” or “us” that makes it.  Maybe it’s because my mom is the only one of seven children that has not been divorced.  Or because Disney movies give children an unrealistic expectation of what marriage should be.  I mean really?!  Happily Ever After?  Shouldn’t our children know that relationships require work, sacrifices, or at the very least at little bit of maintenance?

Or maybe the real reason is I’m a quitter.  I gave up playing the flute in fourth grade.  I gave up playing the viola in fifth grade.  Around junior high I completely forgot my love of writing.  My freshman year of high school I had nearly a 4.0 because I was convinced I wanted to go to an ivy league college–that lasted just the one year.  I must have changed my mind about 5 times on what major I wanted to have in college and ended up just picking the thing I could finish the soonest (Psychology, you can guess how well that worked out for me).  I’ve bought books to study for the LSAT (Law School Admissions Test) and began studying on several occasions but soon gave up and have never register to take the test so I guess I’ve given up on the idea of attending law school as well.

Every time some little piece of adversity comes my way I feel like quitting and occasionally that carries over to my marriage.  The difference being that now that I’m 29 years old I can look back and I am disappointed with myself that I never carried through with those plans.  I refuse to let the same thing happen with my marriage.  I married an amazing man.  No matter how awesome I consider myself I am not disillusioned enough to believe I’m an easy person to love.  He stands by me when I’m cranky (often), sick (he spent the whole day Sunday cleaning up vomit and bringing me glasses of water while I had food poisoning) and lazy (I’ve gotten up for the middle of the night puppy potty break only twice in the almost month we’ve had our new puppy).  And for all of this I am adding #41 to my bucket list: Be married to the same person for 50 years.

I <3 Corgis

I know I put own a Bernese mountain dog on my bucket list but being that I live in a two bedroom condo that I already share with my husband, his cat, and my dog it’s really just not feasible for us to get one right now.  But we have been talking for at least the last year about getting a puppy.  We both love dogs and we’ve never really had the experience of raising anything together so we thought why not?  With any large breeds out (smallish home, no fenced-in yard) we started brainstorming.

It turns out that both of us had separately thought about getting a corgi before we even knew each other.  After a few more weeks of searching for breeders we finally found a really nice farmer that had some Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppies.  So we drove to a rural Wisconsin town to “take a look” at these adorable little creatures.  I should have known we’d end up with one for sure I can barely exit the local pet store without finding a puppy I just have-to-have.

So home with us came our new puppy, Nora.  Being that corgis are a herding breed this little girl is both smart and sassy.  She’s not afraid to give us a few barks when she doesn’t feel like we’re paying enough attention to her, no matter that we just spent the last half an hour trying to train her how to lay.  Which, by the way, I think she finally got today.  Proud mama for sure!

Bonus: If you like cute corgis as much as I do check this out!

What I should have added to my bucket list…

Go a whole year without attending a wedding (or any wedding festivities for that matter).  I’m no hater but weddings are only important to the people in them and their immediate families and sometimes not even them.

I only have about three hobbies: reading, baking, and camping.  My problem is I work, on average, two weekends every month and all these wedding festivities are cutting into the little time I have to enjoy my hobbies.

As someone that is barely out of the newlywed stage (married 14 months) I probably shouldn’t be complaining but here is why I feel I’m entitled to:  only close friends and family were invited to my bridal shower and I had exactly 10 guests at my wedding.  Granted there are a few more people I would have loved to have at my wedding that were unable to travel for it.

So far I have two weddings to go to this spring: one for my younger brother and one for one of my first cousin.  Both weddings I knew about in 2013 and I vowed for those to be the only two weddings I attend in 2014.  I fully realize this all makes me sound like a little bit of a Grinch.

I think my real problem with weddings runs a little deeper.  First, it’s so insane to spend $20,000+ on a single day.  But then again, many people expect mommy and/or daddy to foot that bill.  So there is no motivation to only invite those you are close to, instead they invite just about everyone they’ve ever met because hey, there’s more gifts!  I seriously went to a wedding last year where the bride and groom registered for all kinds of extremely expensive crap and just kept having bridal showers until most of it was purchased.  By the time the wedding arrived there was almost nothing to choose from on their registry.

Weddings become all about the gifts, the colors, the flowers, the centerpieces, and less and less about the love of the two people getting married.  No wonder the divorce rate is hovering around 50%.  All I wanted was a pretty dress (I’m a lady after all) and the smiling face of my groom.  We didn’t even have a reception after we returned from our destination wedding and there was a simple reason for that: I didn’t get married for the gifts.  Sure, we did have some very generous friends and family members that wanted to celebrate our union with gifts and, trust me, they were very much appreciated but in no way expected.

My goal was and always will be to have a marriage more beautiful than my wedding.  Brides don’t loose sight of what’s important and make sure it’s the marriage you want because that is what you are left with after the wedding.

Olbrich Park <3

Prior to compiling my 40 before 40 list one of the things I had always wanted to do was have fall engagement photos.  This is an engagement photo of my now-husband and I taken by the fabulous Laura Zastrow Photography.  This the the bench he took me to on one of our first dates, it faces the Wisconsin State Capitol and is incredibly beautiful, especially at night.  It is also the sight of where we got engaged.

Prior to compiling my 40 Before 40 list one of the things I had always wanted to do was have fall engagement photos. This is an engagement photo of my now-husband and I taken by the fabulous Laura Zastrow Photography. This the the bench he took me to on one of our first dates, it overlooks Lake Monona facing the Wisconsin State Capitol and is incredibly beautiful, especially at night. It is also the sight of where we got engaged. Originally, I had included this picture on my previous post but after reflection I wanted to give a little more background on this photo and why it is so special to me (and to give the proper credit to our amazing photographer Laura Zastrow). This photo is making me long for fall as I stare out my window at 5 inches of fresh snow. 

 

40 Before 40


So I know I’m not even 30 yet but being only weeks away from my 29th birthday would give me little over a year to accomplish all the things I’ve been waiting my whole life (so far) to do.  With limited time and even more limited funds I’ve decided look past the milestone of 30 for the moment and set 40 goals to accomplish by the time I’m 40 years old.

1. Have a baby- Admittedly I thought this would be the focus of my blog when I first considered writing this blog but now it seems like such a narrow focus.  Yes, it is a huge part of my life at the moment but there are other things I want to do and accomplish and this list might actually let me relax about the baby stuff for a moment a focus on some of those other things.

2. Camp in all of the Wisconsin State Parks with camping facilities- My husband and I have a decent start on this and since we adopted a 1973 Stardust Swinger pop-up camper last summer we might make camping more of a priority this year.  Update to come later.

3.  Go Scuba Diving

4. Create a blog-  A couple of years ago I took a class called “The Art of the Memoir” in which we read & reflected on memoirs.  As part of the class we were also required to write a memoir piece.  I was dreading having to read what 20 years old consider important events in their lives but for the most part they surprised me.  It is incredibly hard for most people to open up and let themselves be vulnerable to people they barely know.  Since then I have often thought of doing more memoir pieces but have not had an outlet…until now!

5. Go on a cruise

6. Tour a southern plantation

7. Take a hot air balloon ride

8. Travel to Italy

9. Drink wine in Napa Valley

10. Get a tattoo with my husband

11. See the Northern Lights

12. Take yoga classes

13. Eat at a famous restaurant- Perhaps one of Tom Colicchio’s?

14. Take a helicopter ride

15. See a psychic/get my palm read

16. Swim with dolphins

17. Go whale watching

18. Buy a piece of art I fell in love with

19. Learn to drive a stick shift

20. Buy a house

21. Swim in an ocean

22. Create family traditions

23. See a baseball game at Fenway Park- I’m not even a Red Socks fan but it’s so iconic

24. Go to Disney World

25. Admire the art in the Met

26. Tour a castle

27. Spend a day at a spa

28. Go to Rocky Mountain National Park

29. See the Smoky Mountains

30. Own a Bernese mountain dog

31. Visit the Georgia Aquarium

32. See the Pandas at the Memphis Zoo

33. Learn another language

34. Be an audience member on a t.v. show

35. Travel to New Orleans

36. Pay off my student loans

37. Ride in a limo

38. Take a graduate level course

39. Try acupuncture

40. Read or reread 50 books between now and my 40th birthday- Reading is a hobby I have enjoyed since a child but rarely make the time for anymore and that needs to change.