Friday, June 25, 2010

Weekend Wish- Many more weekends just like this

This weekend marks the 1 year anniversary of my beloved wedding.  What on Earth are we doing to celebrate, you ask?

We have a whole weekend of plans.

First, we are hopefully buying me a new car.  We say hopefully because we are ONLY buying the new car if the deal is exactly what they say it is.  We aren't going to go crazy and up our monthly expenses if we can avoid it.  So here's to hoping.  I'm in love with the Carmine Red Toyota Yaris 5 door hatchback!

Then, if I can convince my very thrifty husband (thankfully.  Because we all know I'm most certainly not the thrifty one in this household.) to go shopping, we are going to update our wardrobes.  Mainly, I need shoes and tops.  We both need jeans.  He probably needs socks.  Stuff like that.  We all know how badly things can get worn... And our wardrobes need some help lately.

After a long evening running around and stressing over cars and clothes, we are going to enjoy an absolutely scrumptious meal at Benihana's.  Or, at least I think we're going to Benihana's.  It's our favorite.  We never actually said where we were going though... Ah the communication of a married couple.

And then we'll head home, where I will fall asleep from utter exhaustion.

Ah, yes, a totally unique and awesome weekend ahead.  Ok, so it's not a vacation, or a super awesome gift, but it's exactly what we like.  We aren't big on huge celebrations.  We are pretty much a happy couple all year round, and while we understand that it's a big occasion, we also understand that there will be many more for years to come (hopefully.  Don't wanna jinx it.)

Enjoy the beautiful weekend, everyone!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Great Debate!

I have a forbidden love interest- a new (er) car.  I currently own a beautiful 3 yr old Toyota Yaris, that I happily love.  However, it has some issues- like accessability.  It's a wonderful 3 door hatchback with a large spacious interior (Surprise!  Most people think they're TINY inside.  But they aren't!  I promise).  However, the problem is it only has 2 doors to the front- and very poor access to the back seat. 

Not a big deal, I guess.  But then they came out with the FIVE door hatchback, and I instantly fell in love.  It was everything I needed!  But alas, my car was still very new, and if anything, Mike's car needs replaced.  It's 6 years old, and running GREAT.  But the dashboard is crapping out.  The speedometer rarely works at all.  The gas gauge is starting to fail as well.  We're hoping the RPM continues to work, but who knows?

AND then there's finances.  Mike's car was paid off.  His parents bought it for him (something about his awesome grades freshman year?) and we've only had to carry insurance on it.  Buying him a new car isn't exactly in the works yet. 

BUT THEN!!!!  The plot thickens.  Toyota has massive recalls all over! (The yaris was never on the list.  I'm very happy for that.)  They've lost a ton of business!  This is horrible news, right?  Not for us!  My dealership offered me 0% interest for 5 years and a guarantee that if I trade in my current Yaris, I can get a new car for the same monthly price!  So basically, yeah they're gonna tack on a few years to the loan (maybe?) but for the short term, it doesn't hurt us financially!

OOOOH those sneaky car salesmen.  They really did it this time.  What do you think?  It's a good deal, right?  It's the car I've been wanting, it's not going to kill us financially, and to be honest, we're gonna want a bigger car eventually and the deals aren't going to get any better.

Am I right or am I right?  Opinions?  Am I being dooped?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Romeo Gets a Hair Cut

Romeo, as much as we love his beautiful hair, has been a little warm this summer.  It's rather uncomfortable, or at least I would imagine.  In fact, it's prevented us from going on a lot of walks because he gets exhausted from the heat.

So, for the first time in his 1.5 years of life, Romeo got a haircut.  It took a record time of THREE HOURS!!!!!!  I was mortified!  I had to just leave him with a stranger!

But it turned out so well!!!  He actually warmed up to her, never peed on her, and then trusted her to take care of him when he shied away from all the others.

And the end result was so worth it.  



Isn't he adorable?

Playing Hooky to See the Butterflies

Yesterday was the last day for the annual Butterfly show here in Cincy.  It comes once a year, and you can see all these gorgeous butterflies.  This year we teamed up with Japan for an absolutely exquisite bunch of butterflies!

But with Mike working EARLY mornings on Sundays, I had no one to go with.  So Carrie played hooky, and we went and enjoyed the butterflies.  We did NOT enjoy the heat.  It was still worth it, though.

They were very stunning, even though the pics don't show them so well.  They're actually very busy creatures and hardly rest at all!  There were so many different colos, though!  Blues, Oranges, Reds, Blacks, Purples, Whites... and some were striped like tigers while others were brilliant on one side and then dark on the other. 

There were several kids enjoying the show too, which I though was fun to watch, but difficult.  They like to touch, and butterflies can't be touched.  There was this adorable girl, though!  A butterfly loved her bandana so much it just rode around on her head all the way through the exhibit.

And that was our Dad's day.  Carrie's dad is in Texas, and I don't honestly have a Dad anymore, so... For us it really wasn't much special.  What did you do, though?  I'd love to hear your stories!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Blogger's Etiquette

This is a really long post.  It's about a serious topic.  It has opinions about other blogs.  I've put a lot of thought into this issue, and to be honest I'm a little late at writing it.  The wounds are probably already closing and I'm probably going to open them back up.  For that I apologize in advance.  Ye be warned.


I follow a wide variety of blogs.  One of them happens to be O My Family.  A couple weeks back she was discussing some rather serious stuff.  She braved the storm and spilled her heart.

Some other bloggers weren't particularly enlightened.

I've been meaning to write this post for a little while, because I have an opinion.  I have a strong opinion.  But at the same time, I have compassion.  A lot of compassion.  Sometimes these two conflict with each other.  One always wins, but sometimes it's unclear as to which it should be.

On the one hand, you have the blogging world.  We exist for a purpose- to voice what we have to say.  We like to discover what's going on for others, hear see what others have to say, research our own lives via others.  But for the most part we are all a little selfish and just want to have our voices heard.  We have our opinions, and we're going to voice them.  Sometimes they are going to conflict with other blogger's opinions.  It's a tough world, and as such, we bloggers should always be prepared for the criticism that could follow any post of ours.  If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

On the other hand, you have the blogging world.  We blog because we want people to hear what we have to say, and sometimes to feel like we aren't alone in the universe.  Sometimes we need other people to hear our story, in hopes that we can help someone else deal with a similar situation.  It can be a terrifying thing, but posting our own story is very scary.  We are opening up and putting ourselves in a glass house for the whole world to see.  We secretly hope they'll see the best and won't point out all the flaws, because we all have them.  It's not to say we aren't expecting ANY criticism.  We just are hoping to not get it.

In the mix you have our personal worlds.  We live in a physical form and have to choose whether or not we share it with the digital form.  If we choose to share it, how much do we share?  All of it?  Can we get by with only sharing the bare minimum? Because the details are just too much for us to even acknowledge outloud, let alone on the internet.  These are all serious questions, and they can play a big role in how we are received.

Oh, you want my opinion on the subject?

I am 100% for freedom of speech.  HOWEVER.  As a blogger in this community, I personally feel that I want to be more inclusive than exclusive.  I don't always agree with the things I read.  In fact, Allison and I often don't agree (surprise!).  However, I love hearing the other opinion, and sometimes it changes how I view things.  Sometimes I'm completely surprised by what I read.  As such, if there is something I read that I personally don't agree with, or I personally see a flaw in, I'm not going to make that view public.  It infringes on the inclusive vibe.  I will, however, grudgingly agree that anyone else has the unfortunate right to do otherwise.  I fully respect the right to free speech.  I think it's very useful.  I just simply choose not to invoke my right at every moment I disagree.

While we are all prepared for the criticism, as we should be, we're probably hoping not to get a lot of it.  We probably also try to make sure we don't get it, right?  We list things like "please don't take offense" or "warning, here's my opinion" or even "I know I'll hear otherwise, but..." and we try word things as best as possible.

Sometimes the truth is a little more than we want to bare.  They are the wrinkles and sometimes scars that are the reason behind judgment.  Why wouldn't people judge us?  We judge ourselves constantly.  So maybe we choose to leave a few details out.  It's our one protection- we can choose just how much we say or don't say.

But sometimes it acts against us.  Sometimes being a little vague comes off as "I don't have any real details."  And unfortunately this world is very judgmental.  It also jumps to conclusions.  Especially about sensitive topics.  We all seem to forget that a blog doesn't cover the entire story, that sometimes the entire story wasn't made for public eyes.  I unfortunately have to count myself in that category.  Yes, even Miss "I believe in being inclusive and not judging others" has dropped the ball a few times.

I must say I had several opinions on Allison's story.  Some were skepticism, simply because the world we live in tells me I should be skeptic.  The rest were mainly compassionate- 1: I could be wrong with my skepticism, and she deserves my compassion.  2: Even if I'm not wrong, this is obviously a very hard situation for her and she deserves my compassion anyways.  I can now see that the first type is correct, and the skepticism was forever lost.

I wonder if someday I'll be in a similar situation.  I'm new to the blogging world.  I think a LOT about what I put out there.  Am I saying too much?  Can I leave this detail out?  Are my posts too long like this one?  Should I just keep my mouth shut?  Do people want to read any of this?

I seriously hope I never have to deal with it.  But if I'm ever in a situation like that, I will be running to Allison and asking for help.  She did pretty well, in my book.  Her response is actually what totally made my opinion of her and the others.  I have a lot of respect for her.  Not like I didn't before.  It just really set it in stone.

Please, dear 6 readers, if you are still reading help enlighten me.  How do you decide what to share?  How do you decide if you should voice your opinion in response to someone else's?  How do you say "yes this is appropriate" or "no, I'll keep that to myself"?  Please please please enlighten me.  Because I have no idea what the answers are.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

To translate or not to translate

I had an epiphany last week.  Every wednesday I sit down to prepare for my Thursday night translating.  That's right.  I translate currently every Thursday night for a program at a library.  It's a 6 week program and tonight will be the 3rd week.  It's a cute program that gathers some families together, feeds them, reads some cute kids books, and then they all discuss them.  Every week there is a theme within the grand theme for the program.  For example, the main theme is animals, but this week's topic is curiosity.  It's very cute and lots of fun, and I have the wonderful opportunity to translate for the Spanish-speaking families that choose to come.

Except none have.  Not one.

But I digress- the epiphany. 


There.  I said it.  Whew, what a relief.  WHAT????  YOU SPENT ALMOST 5 YEARS GETTING A DEGREE IN SPANISH.  HOW CAN YOU HATE TRANSLATING???? I'm sorry you see it as such.  (Me arguing inevitably with myself).

I love the language.  I love learning languages.  I fully intend to use Spanish every chance I get.  However, there's a major flaw here.  I live in Ohio.  AKA the midwest.  There aren't exactly a lot of immigrants in our neck of the woods.  I've been out of school for over a year, and I'm terrified to use my degree.  why? Because I've lost a lot of it.  Not a ton, but it's worn down quite a bit.  Mainly the accents.  The grammar.  The vocabulary (ay, the vocabulary).  I'm not used to speaking so fast, and hearing it is a little different.  Basically, I'm afraid I've just lost it.

And it shows in my translating.  I'm a little slower.  I have to look up more words.  And, unfortunately, when translating a kid's book which is hard.  YOU try to translate chinny-chin-chin it takes HOURS.  And when translating, I have this weird opinion that I should stick as closely as I can to the original context.  CONTEXT.  That's hard.  There are millions of English phrases that have no equal in Spanish.

My point being, I came to the conclusion I wasted my Undergraduate years.  But that changed, eventually, because I honestly gained so much more from the experience, even if that little piece of paper isn't going to do me much good.  At least that's what I'm hoping.  And having a liberal arts degree will be particularly useful down the road, like when I get accepted into an MLIS program. 

Yup, I plan to go back to school.  I want to be a librarian.  At least this month.  I'm sure next month it'll be something else.  It always changes.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Just Your Average Weekend

So we have a baby bunny living near our house.

And he's been getting bigger.  And braver.

And sometimes he plays out back with the birds and chipmunks.  Orion likes to watch.

He can stare ALL DAY

We travelled to Indiana to welcome a friend home from Afghanistan.  We braved all sorts of weather.

But it was nice enough for the picnic.  We played and ate and saw the ducks!

Married Mannerisms

"I'm thinking of dying my hair brunette.  Opinions?" Says me

"To match you're eyebrows maybe?" Says husband.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Healthy Living- Running

Confession- I fell off the wagon.

Ironic, since I had literally just written the first Healthy Living post.  I will save the "falling off the wagon and how long it takes to get back to your seat" post for a later date.  Also- I'm hopefully back on the wagon... or atleast trying to catch up with it.

Today's topic- Runners.  I hate them.  I absolutely hate them.  WHY???? you ask...

I'm absolutely putrid green from jealousy.

Runners have small waists.  They have muscular legs.  They can endure all sorts of pain and hardships.  They have a hobby, and most runners are committed to keeping that hobby.  They have great posture.  I have absolutely NONE of that.

I want to be a runner SO BAD!!!!  I've tried for years.  I joined track in middle school, only to find out running caused asthma attacks.  I became a long jumper- a SMALL long jumper (who had zero success).  So I ran in gym in high school.  Once.  A friend of mine convinced me to run 2 miles with him on a track.  I SUCCEEDED!!!!! and nearly died the next day.

I've tried again throughout college.  On a treadmill (Did you know that Cincy is rather hilly?).  I stunk at it!!!  My knees hurt, my ankles hurt.  I finally got that stupid inhaler.  I quit.

I tried again.  This time taking advice from The Biggest Loser Tara Costa (Did you know that I love her?).  Walk 9 min, jog 1.  Repeat 3 to 6 times.  Gradually change the numbers so that you start walking less and jogging more as time goes by.  It worked!  I could do it!!!  Except... I wasn't doing something right.  My hips hurt.  I mean the actual bones in my hips hurt.  It felt like I had no cartilege.  It was extremely painful.  And not a good painful as muscles tend to get from exercising.  It was bone shattering intense pain.  It took over a week to recover.  And by recover I mean walk without wanting to cry.

So, as jealous as I am, I'm afraid I might have to give up on running.  Are any of you guys runners?  How did you get started?  Was it hard to start off?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Weekday Babysitting and working from home

In case I've never told you, I moonlight as a babysitter.  Now that I think about it, that was the part of this weekend I forgot to tell you about!  

So I babysat on Sunday recap for a family that flew in from New York for a wedding.  3 kids with the oldest being 5.  The youngest was a teething 10 month old with an ear infection.  Let's say it was very entertaining.  Great kids, which is always amazing.

Something different this week- I was asked to babysit for a couple hours on Wednesday.  Mom had to leave, but Dad wasn't going to be home in time.  So I went.  The trouble is I had to do some translating work!  My new lesson- working at home with 3 kids!!!!

Firstly- MAJOR kudos to those of you who work from home while being a parent.  How do you do it?  I was there for an hour and didn't get more than a few pages translated.  It was fun, but at the same time a little frustrating.  As a babysitter your job is to play with the kids.  That's all I've ever really had to work on while caring for children.  Obviously keeping the house clean is also on the list, but that's never been hard for me.  But working while sitting?  It was a first.  And not nearly as easy as I had hoped.

But a nice little trick?  Cards!!!!  I taught the 2 youngest the art of war.  They tried slap-jack, but to be honest, the older of the two was a lot faster and hit a lot harder.  It didn't work out as well as War.  

Once again- major kudos to you parents who also work at home.  I'd go nuts within a week.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Youngest Graduates

Tuesday marked a day in history for my family.  Or at least for my generation in the family.  My youngest cousin graduated from high school.

It's funny.  That big important day in all our lives is a right of passage into the world.  Either we move on to a job or another school, but at this point we are on our own in at least some form.  The responsibilities begin.  Most of us had jobs.  We lived on our own or in a dorm, or a ruddy apartment with 4 boys, ya know... the usual.  We grew up, or we chose to hold off and have some fun see spring break, frat parties, and road trips.  We traveled the world and I'll tell you some other time about Buenos Aires and Mérida, Mexico and Negril, Jamaica.

Do you know how awfully cheesy graduation is?  Ok.  Recap.  You dress all 600 students in the WORST outfits possible.  Why?  To make everyone look bad together?  Then you get the band together to play awful music.  And it doesn't matter how good this band is, because playing in an auditorium like that makes ANY band sound horrible.  Finally, you have a few seniors giving speeches.  Sometimes you get amazing speeches.  Sometimes you have good speeches, but the kids are so nervous you can't understand them.  You listen to adults speak (and some are quite good, like the guy we heard).  Finally they name EVERY STUDENT (we're talking 600 names here.  It took an hour, at least).  What's funny is they ask you to hold your applause, but no one ever does.  Then you wait until your kid walks, and then wait for the rest to finish, all the while finding ways to pass the time.  In our case, we watched the heals on the girls and tried to guess who would trip, because let's face it.  Someone always does, and it's usually the girl with the tallest heals.  In this case, we were correct.  We waited for 599 students to walk before the last one stumbled.  

It's a very important day.  True.  It's crucial.  At that age it is the all important finish line simply because it's the first.  Reaching it is key to having a successful life, honestly.  Yet, it's still extremely cheesy.

I'm still very proud of my cousin.  It was a huge moment, and being close to him I know it meant the world to him.  So, hats off to him.  He made it.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Long Time No See

So, here's a funny thing.  My boring life just got busy!  And I've been MIA on here for 8 days a while.  But here's a thought- I'll post a few blogs every day for a few days to tell you all about it!!!!

So the first big thing on the list this weekend was a going away party for a few friends of ours.  One is moving to Washington DC for a 9 month internship and the other is spending a month in Jordan before starting grad school at the University of Colorado.

It was actually highly entertaining.  We had a Cincinnati themed party DUH!!! So we all ate things like skyline chili, black raspberry chip ice cream from Graeter's, and we all wore our favorite Cincy clothing, such as my totally awesome UC shirt that I completely made out of a huge free tshirt you know, the free ones they shoot into the crowd at sporting events.  I'll try to remember to post a pic sometime.

To top it all off- it was, of course, a surprise.  We caught them completely off guard.  Pics to come

It was a great night, and it was so much fun to go back to that world called "social life".  I have been SO out of the loop lately.  If it weren't for facebook, I'd never know anything going on in my buddies' lives.  So maybe Mike and I need to plan to get together with them more?  I would agree.

Unfortunately, the night ended around 9 when everyone else started to do the usual partying thing.  Mike had to work at 1:30 am, so... ya know... had to get home and get some sleep.

But point being- life is starting up again!  Maybe it has to do more with the fact that summer is back.  I can't tell.  Either way, it makes me happy.