Monday, August 29, 2011

hurricane #2.

the last time I experienced a hurricane firsthand was 2003. it was in september, and I had just moved here like two months before. It was crazy--no bread, no milk, no eggs, no bottled water to be had--all for some wind and rain and a few hours without power. I remember thinking that I didn't get what all the fuss was about (and I still stand by my point that the people should be prepared in advance and that buying milk and eggs when you're at risk of losing power for days is pretty foolish). But then I saw some of the devastation caused by Isabel, and I understood the crazy. Maybe not totally, but I understood to some extent.

well, this weekend marked hurricane #2. Irene. oh, those hurricanes that start with "I." there's been substantial damage to our coast. roadways torn up, people without power, coastal erosion.

(And I just realized that I typed "our" coast--guess I'm claiming NC now!)

We lost power for a little bit--and when it came back on we had to flip the breakers to get the whole house functioning (only the lowest level went back on). There were limbs down and the like.

But the worst part of it all has been reading the insensitive posts on facebook. People saying "I survived Irene--well, the media coverage" or saying that the east coast is made of a bunch of wimps if they're getting this excited over a category two.

People DIED. Hundreds of thousands are without power. Roadways are torn up, people are unable to get good and supplies. It's a big deal.

I'll be more positive tomorrow. :D Just appalled by some people!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I have been having trouble sleeping...

but my dreams have involved beds.

the irony is not lost on me.

all I remember is that I was trying to pick out a bed. I think we were shopping for it.

which, amongst all of the other meanings, seems like it's about me needing to find peace. or escape.

and i'm-a-gonna go out on a limb here and suggest that might be family-craziness related. perhaps. maybe.

but? I am channeling all of my negativity and frustration and overwhelming blah into the following:

1. photos! lots of photos! I really want to do some fun photo shoots this year. I'm thinking about offering mini photo shoots at the fair. Is that totally nuts?

2. projects! lots of projects! up next: sew curtains. sew outdoor pillows. sew bed pillow(s). find curtain rods (I can foretell the future: matt and I will be visiting bed bath and bey0nd soon, armed with 20% off coupons galore and some remaining gift cards). then: identify items to give away, pack away and throw away.

3. decorating! lots of decorating! I have some fun plans for that too...little involving picture frames and screws. (my mom sent me a picture of something I want to recreate) and canvas prints. and floating shelves. etc.


but first? I'd like to get more sleep. It's terribly important, methinks.

Friday, August 19, 2011

perception is reality.

a guy I used to know taught me that phrase--perception is reality. It makes me think of two other important phrases I have learned in life--one is "it all pays the same." the other is "agree to disagree."

these little nuggets of wisdom come in handy pretty often. and I have gotten VERY good at agreeing to disagree, and I still work on remembering, sometimes, that it all pays the same.

I think about how perception is reality really often though.

A couple of days ago a gal I knew in Tulsa and I had lunch. She was telling me how hard it was to live in her previous city--because of other peoples' realities. Like, she has the same kind of crazy ass conversations that I have with my mother or sister (e.g., explaining why, when you have $200 to your name, it is unwise to have a burger and fries delivered to your door, eat half of it, realize it was made wrong, ask for a new one and when they decline to give you one, go ahead and order another one. that's a $45 meal. for a BURGER and FRIES.). And then she told me how, right after being on the phone with her mom, who was in the midst of a ridiculous situation, a gal came to her door, one of her husband's coworkers wives, if I'm recalling correctly, and was in TEARS. In tears because she had told her parents, very specifically, exactly what kind of yacht she wanted, and they had gotten her a yacht that wasn't what she wanted, that it was a terrible yacht, and she was unhappy with it.

hellllllllllo perspective. and perception. and two very different realities.

anyway, it just made me think--about how I know everyone has their own crap with which to deal, and how I thought, today, as I cried a little in my cube, that normal people don't deal with the kind of family bizarro-ness that I'm experiencing. but then I remembered that, to them, it's the same crazy in a different packaging. and somehow that was oddly comforting. :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

"I want it all, I want it all, I want it all, and I want it now."

I am fully aware that things have changed a LOT since the heyday of my parents or grandparents.

I know that even people ten years older than I am found technology very strange when computers and the internet became a part of daily life.

It is not lost on me that I am lucky enough to have been bitten by the technology bug during my teenage years--so that I am old enough to remember what life was like without a computer, but that computers don't frighten me.


Good news! We are switching from Allst@te to Nati0nwide and we are saving almost TWELVE HUNDRED DOLLARS over the course of the year. That's pretty kickin' I think.


Poor Matt? He just spent 2 hours at the guy's office. Me? I have spent a minimum of, oh, let's lowball it and say seven hours on the phone with this dude. He's a nice guy. He could probably be the older brother to my father or something. But his technology? It SUCKS.

He couldn't email me a quote. Ever. He couldn't even email me the total amounts of the coverage costs.

He couldn't email me practically anything. I totally get needing a "wet signature" as they say it, but really? You would think that he could pull up the software, pull up the quote we'd already worked out (and the appurtenant policy), have Matt slap on some signatures and be done with it. I'd already given him the number for my card and the routing and account numbers for the monthly draft.

But, in his defense, he works on one of those old-timey computers with a dark screen and green writing, I think. His computer shut down in the middle of his work, he couldn't get the printer to print and basically everything went haywire.

But for REAL? The office needs to get new computers. They are going to lose business this way. Am I asking so much wanting a response to my request in 24 hours? Is it unreasonable for me to want a quote emailed to me rather than faxed (thereby wasting TWO printouts of it). Am I crazy thinking that we should be able to do all of this in advance and then I can just go in, sign it and thank him and be on my way?

I mean, we already went through this once for my business insurance. It took an hour. It was supposed to take twenty minutes.

Yep, it's official--unreasonable or not, I want it all, and I want it now.

Monday, August 15, 2011

"a girl can keep it together. a girl can keep it together..."

~the be good tanyas.

This song just popped into my head and I had to break out ye olde ipod. I suppose it makes sense, though.

I've been feeling a little roller-coaster-ee recently. It's overwhelming.

I've been realizing, too, that I am not overwhelmed by being busy. Instead, it is overwhelming that people have such high expectations of me. And it is hard to not feel overwhelmed when other people are commenting on how crazy you should probably feel. Y'know, because you're so busy. Except you feel kind of wonderfully relaxed about it all.

I mean...

We were home this last weekend!
We had no plans!
Next weekend we're traveling again, but we only planned it a few days ago, and it's to see my incredible in-laws (I am so lucky to think my in-laws are the bees knees, I know!) and it's a chill, not-scheduled, no-obligations or timelines kind of trip.

And I may have plans every night this week, but they are gonna be FUN and EXCITING or at least enjoyable--teaching a teenager about photography tonight, tomorrow I have softball, wednesday I'll be with Nicole and hopefully meeting little Sloan, Thursday is sushi with the gals and then it's the weekend. See? FUN! Exciting! Enjoyable!

Plus, I really liked this weekend. Or, really since last Thursday. Last Thursday my now-officially favorite brewery I've ever been to (and not just because of proximity) was having a special deal where they had mason jar glasses for their Summer B@sil beer for $8--and you kept the glass. Awesomesauce. Matt and I went as soon as he got back from soccer. I heart Fullste@m so very, very much!

On Friday Matt brought me lunch and ate with me downstairs. I worked a lot. And I had a photoshoot that went really well in the evening. And then I came home and Matt and I went out to Mell0w Mushr00m in Americ@n T0bacc0 in Durham. It's one of our go-to date places. The weather was gorgeous so we sat outside. We giggled. I was complimented on my choice of a dark beer. We are just the right amount of our favorite pizzas. The Mighty Me@ty and the G0urmet White. The two most opposite pizzas ever. But ever since our third date, when we ate at the one in downtown Raleigh and ordered the G0urmet White and got the Mighty Me@ty by mistake, it's what we order every time. :) After that we went right back to Fullste@m and had more of their delicious beer.

Saturday I photographed a wedding with the awesome Nicole. It had been far too long since I last saw her, so I was glad to hang out with her all day, even if we were working. And then I came home and took a nap (yes, at 645pm. It was Matt's idea. I am SO glad I did.) And then we watched movies, I sewed a pillow and we just hung out.

And Sunday? Sunday was nuts. And fantastic! Long story short, because of a sale that was going on and my asking a question (can you match the b*stbuy price on a similar TV?), and because I sat there and looked like I wasn't going to make the purchase, we ended up saving $404 total on our new 46' led TV and accessories. $200 of it is because of the question and the look on my face! We won't get to set it up and use it until Wednesday, but we are excited! And it means we can rearrange our living room :D It took us like three and a half hours to figure it all out and make a decision, but we did! And then, while we drove I got to catch up with Renee! We don't talk on the phone very often so it was quite a treat!

And then we went over to Derek and Courtney's new house which we hadn't seen yet. It is CUTE! And we love the layout. The four of us sat around enjoying caprese and Italian beer (and some pomegranate wheat by s@ranac) and watched the flip video of Italy. The part on the gondola is unreal! You can hear it so well! And parts of it were hilarious! We then ate Italian food (of course!) prepared by Courtney, and then just sat around and talked. There was also an episode with the gigantic spider outside. It's a garden spider, but it's BIG and kind of scary looking. Quite funny indeed.

Then Derek convinced us that we should all go outside and play PIG. Or maybe HORSE. And then the fun started--Derek suggested we instead play "ALLORA"--our favorite Italian word. Courtney was in the lead for a while, which was fun. I was the first out, though in the process I did make some pretty ridiculous shots. There was one where we stood behind Courtney's car, where Matt and I made it but C&D did not. And once Courtney and I were both out, there was one where Matt stood in the backyard and made it--and then Derek did too! That one was CRAZY!

Eventually Derek caught up with Matt. And then they started being all Harlem-Globetrotter-y with their shots. After 4 or 5 times of both making it (and a few changes of who made the one that had to be repeated) Matt said "Carrie's taking this shot for me. This one is all her."

So I did.

And I put it in.

And Derek didn't.

So Matt won! :D It was pretty cool being the first person out but still making the game-winning shot. :) Loved it. We've decided this is a tradition we'll embrace every time we go to their house. A Frychardson/K0cis game of Allora. YAY!

Friday, August 12, 2011

all she wants to do is, all she wants to do is [craft]. (and make romance)

no, really.

that is, quite literally, ALL I want to do. I want to work on our house. And I want to make things. I want to craft. I daydream about it. Pinterest isn't exactly helping. :) And I have PLANS.

I want to make the curtains for downstairs. The yellow chevron fabric I got on super sale (half off, so $8 a yard, which is pretty fantastic for 60 inch wide decorator fabric!) is calling my name. A few sundays ago I decided I wanted to go to Hancock's in Durham, and there it was. I bought it immediately. I did call Matt first, though. And he said he didn't hate it. And I also mentioned that it could potentially have a home in a future gender-neutral nursery, if we wanted. And so he agreed. And there was much rejoicing. :D However, we will definitely be putting those other curtains in storage and putting them back up when it comes time to show the house--because they fit the space well and we don't want to part with our curtains!

Anyhoo. So I have those curtains. And then...

I bought fabric (during that same half of sale!) for outdoor pillows. And fabric for some indoor pillows for both our living room and our downstairs (to further tie in the yellow). AND I have a fun idea for some freezer paper stencil art too. Basically, I am redecorating our house. I don't believe I have mentioned that we rearranged our basement, have I? I mean, I gave you a preview here...

-but now that desk is yellow.
-and the shelves are better organized.
-and we've (finally) integrated our DVD collection (I used to think that Matt thought my DVDs weren't good enough to be near his. ha!)
-and I have gotten rid of a LOT.

previously this room held, in addition to what you can see in the picture
-an ikea loveseat
-our old living room couch
-two side tables
-a WHOLE BUNCH of boxes--wedding presents we hadn't given homes to, some wedding stuff that we hadn't gone through (like decor from it), and lots of boxes o' random things that we had accumulated. I found a canvas thing Matt had given me when we celebrated Valentines day in 2009 that was still in the wrapping. Oopsie!
-assorted crap.
-and more assorted crap.

This picture is a few weeks old, but it gives you the gist. And now we can actually use this space, woohoo! You can see the fabric roll in there too! and my (almost) finished desk! We are going to buy some spacer things to put on the bottom to raise it up so the chair will slide under it. I am also thinking about repainting the desk a little milder of a yellow. With the primer under it that yellow is BRIGHT. But I'm going to live with it a little while and see how I like it with the curtains and THEN decide.

And next up:

--Matt still needs to go through the things under/on his desk, but he has been doing a lot around the house, so I am totally patient. :)

--hanging curtains! I want to go to Hobby Lobby to get the hardware. I'm hoping to talk some ladies into a road trip on the 20th. Or maybe get Matt to go. :) Any takers? It's about 45 minutes from my house.

--We will be donating Matt's big honkin' TV (of the huge, heavy persuasion) and moving our TV from the living room into that space, because we have decided it is time to buy a new TV for our living room. We are currently very limited by our TV size--it's on the smaller side, especially when the TV image is cropped on the screen, and if we move our arrangement so it's more open we will both be straining to see it. Considering that we are kind of tv-aholics (I would be ashamed to admit this, except at the same time it's pretty much the only time we're still when we are at home), being able to see is kind of important. :) And I hate how tiny our living area feels right now. So, yeah. We are going TV shopping on Sunday, wish us luck!

--We will be slipcovering that recliner. I hope. We aren't going to make our own for this one, though.

--At some kinda-distant point I'll be slipcovering our little Ikea chair. I am really hoping to do it myself. I need to find a super-forgiving fabric first. Which kind of conflicts with my desire to do a bold pattern. But I'm sure it will work out, right? Part of me hopes I'll have the time to do it this winter when photography slows down. Except then I remember that I have a wedding in January and (hopefully) two weddings in March. Ha!

--We will be getting rid of at least part of Matt's entertainment center. This thing has lived in many many houses. Owned by many different Frys and maybe even Fry friends, I'm not sure. But it's falling apart. And it's time. I tried to talk Matt into letting me paint it, but he said no. He thinks I paint everything. I think he might be right :)

--I hope to put some small shelves up over my desk. And eventually move my monitor down there. We currently have it rigged so I have my monitor on a TV tray in the living room since I do most of my editing in there. We also are keeping an eye out for a flat screen monitor for Matt.

and then I think that room will be done! In the meantime we're tackling the living room and the kitchen. It's gonna be like a whole new house when we are done!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

not able to be controlled.

I sometimes worry about what to blog and whether or not what I am blogging is appropriate for my audience and/or if it's something that Matt would be okay with me talking about. This is one of those times.

My friend Christy and I were talking a few weeks ago about how the hardest thing about trying to get pregnant is that you have zero control over it. I mean, you can pee on sticks all month and time everything perfectly and you still only have a 20% chance of getting pregnant each month.

I've had many friends deal with difficulties getting pregnant--some are full on classified as having "infertility issues" while some just validated the statistic of it taking up to 12 months for your average couple under the age of 35. I've also had some friends get pregnant on the very first try. So, as much as I thought I could, I steeled myself for the reality that we probably wouldn't get pregnant on the first attempt. And I was/am okay with that.

But the things I haven't yet come to terms with are kind of driving me batty.

For one, that whole lack of control part. I am a very logical thinker. It is hard for me to understand that, well, let's put it this way...if you are baking a cake and you put in flour and sugar and eggs and vanilla and baking powder and milk and you mix it up and put it in the oven, you expect a cake, yes? That's not how it works for women. And I had no appreciation for that until this time in my life.

For two, the people. Oh, the people. Some are so, so well meaning. I've already had to explain to multiple people why it is that it is ill advised to ask a woman whether or not she is pregnant. I mean, either she is, and you've ruined the surprise, or she isn't, and you've just reminded her of this. Or, heaven forbid, she's in that window when you don't know. None are good options. I have had some sweet thoughts conveyed too--and I think one of my favorites was a friend who said she will never ask me about it, but that she was sending pregnancy vibes to me and was thinking of us and praying for us. And for that, I am grateful.

For three (which is kind of related to one), the timing. So. In ideal-land, Matt and I would like to have a child--a healthy, I don't care the gender child--whose birthday fell before Matt's summer break. Because in ideal-land, I would take my maternity leave, and then Matt would have the summer off, and we could delay childcare. We think this would be good for our as-yet-unconceived kiddo. And for our peace of mind. Only time will tell on this one.

But to end on a positive note, I do have something really great to say--which is that I am very glad to have my new boss. She had a little sit down with all of her employees, one on one, and I mentioned to her that Matt and I would like to have a family in the not-too-distant future because, well, it will affect my work. And it was SO amazing, because her response was happiness for us and our decision. Not considerations about workload or timelines. But instead, she made a little delightful squealy noise and told me that she was excited for us and our future plans, and then said that we'd just worry about work when that time came. TOTAL opposite from my old boss (who I do really like, but doesn't *get* it). And a huge stress relief. :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

yada yada yada--fifteen hundred posts.

hi. this is my 1500th post. it makes me kind of sad to realize that if you graphed my posting frequency, that graph would be a fairly level line for a long time and then peter out. oh well.

last night for dinner, on a total whim, I made this. I changed it up a little, but it was essentially this, and it was GOOD.

Matt and I have been playing this "game" where we try to use things we already have. Total shocker, I know. But some, um....let's go with the phrase "unfortunate family absurdity" [on my side] has made us decide to try to be much more intentional with our purchases, due to the likelihood of that absurdity weighing on our personal pocketbook in the not-crazy-distant-future. oh, life.

but anyway.

-we had sausage on hand from our weekly CSA. it was "hot" and I think that heat added a lot!
-I used rice we had instead of the kind they listed
-I added garlic (I always add garlic!)
-and I only used one can of tomatoes and then used up some ripe ones we had laying around. I am LOVING the summer tomatoes. I think that the dish could've had even more tomatoes!
-oh and I omitted the greens. it wasn't purposeful, I just forgot. but since I have green smoothies every day, I didn't feel so terrible about it. :)

I would've taken pictures, but honestly? I was hungry!

also, this little milestone (and the milestones I'd like to have happen in the next short while, and some recent events) have gotten me thinking about who I was in December of 2004 and who I am now. Of the many, many changes and adventures and terrible and amazing things that have happened in the interim. And of what I thought was right or wrong, and what could or should be...and it's just making me very thankful for all of the awesome that's come into my life in the last seven-ish years. (And grateful for the awesome that was there already and is still there today!)

I promise my next post will have pictures. pinkie swear!

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