Sep 28, 2014

In my 26 years, I've never felt the emotion "bittersweet" in a stronger sense.
Over the last week I've been packing up all our belongings from our first home (a teeny tiny apartment) in order for us to move into a real live house that we bought with our own real live money.
(Well, with a mortgage, but who's counting?).
We love our apartment.
We've made SO many memories here, but we are slowly but surely outgrowing it every day.
Besides, we REALLY need a place big enough to hold a king sized bed.
I think the thing I won't miss the most is trying to cram two humans and two dogs into one queen bed each night.
In lieu of my ridiculously emotional state, I compiled a list of a few other bittersweet items that I will miss and won't miss about our current living situation:

I also won't miss the proximity to loud neighbors, but I will miss the proximity to great shops and restaurants.
I won't miss our miniature yard, but I will miss seeing my post-work welcoming committee on the gate each day. 
I won't miss the pups barking insanely at every single stranger who walks by, but I will miss the pups coming in everyday smelling like rosemary.
I won't miss the ragers and douchers and Jersey Shore-ers who take over the pool on the weekends, but I will miss the peaceful moments at the pool (sans douchebags) during the week.
Heck, I'll just miss having a pool period.
I won't miss the excessive amount of rabbits which cause the dogs to go absolutely bonkers at all hours of the day, but I will kind of miss watching the pups creep on the previously mentioned rabbits.
I won't miss walking home from late nights at Scruffie Duffies, but I will sure as heck miss walking home following a few moscow mules at Fireside Pies and grapefruit palomas at Mexican Sugar.
I won't miss searching for a parking spot, being forced to park suuuuuuper far away and having to carry groceries suuuuuuuper far, but I will miss socializing with neighbors and their pups along those previously mentioned suuuuuuper far walks.
I won't miss the lack of trick-or-treaters (still confused how we couldn't manage to distribute one piece of candy to a single child), but I will miss the festive holiday events and all the free food nights provided by our apartment complex.
I won't miss our apartment's lame excuse for a dog park (30x10ft), but I will miss the huge fenced in drainage ditch field thingy that we turned into our own dog park.
I won't miss our miniature yard (I know I already said this-- I am incredibly thankful we were even lucky enough to get a unit with a yard), but I will miss relaxing spring and fall evenings in our plastic adirondack chairs in the previously mentioned miniature yard.
I won't miss Molly being able to squeeze her little puppy body through our fence, but I will also miss Molly being able to squeeze her little puppy body through our fence.
I won't miss the crowds and the drink prices at Henry's, but I will miss the drinks (cough, 100+ beers on tap, cough) at Henry's.
I won't miss our loud yippy neighbor dogs, but I will miss our sweet smoochy neighbor dogs.
I won't miss the painful music blasting from the speakers at the pool all day every day, but I will miss walking ten steps out our front door and being able to be at the pool.
I won't miss all the daily dog walks through the jungles and weeds and bushes which they have somehow forced into becoming a ritual, but I will miss their excitement with simply hearing the word "outside"
I will miss every single thing about GingerMan Bingo.
Just bitterness there, no sweet involved.
I've never been one to embrace change all that well, but once upon a time my uncle told me to read "Who Moved My Cheese"
It really made a huge impact on my way of thinking when it comes to change.
I'm a creature of habit (and I love cheese more than anyone should), and this book really got me thinking on how beneficial it can be to put fear of the unknown aside and embrace the potential of the new.
Two of my favorite lines from the book are:
"The quicker you let go of old cheese, the sooner you can enjoy new cheese"
"Savor the adventure and enjoy the taste of new cheese!"
At the end of my four years in college, I remember thinking, that was fun, but four years was jusssst enough.
After two years in our apartment, I'm starting to recall those same feelings.
These last few years have been some of the most fun years of my life, but the desire for a little change is slowly creeping in.
The timing is perfect.
Two whole years at this great complex, in an apartment with a yard, facing a huge pool, walking distance to all of our favorite bars and restaurants, is seeming like jussssst enough.
We are embracing the change and moving the cheese.

Love Letters {Summer Edition}

Sep 18, 2014

Dear Summer 2014,
You were one for the books.
You were filled with not too toasty temps, good food, and great people.
Thanks for being so kind to us.

Dear wrangler jorts,
You are probably the most American thing I own.
Dear Hugs,
I'm glad that we can call you friends AND that we will soon be neighbors.
Dear Fourth of July,
You were F.U.N.
Dear Easy Slider,
Thanks for sneakin' up to the 'burbs for the day.
How about you magically appear right across the street from our apartment more often?
Dear anyone looking to buy radishes from Kroger,
You may want to avoid these because they were once used as "Beets by Dre".
Dear Peticolas beer,
Beware of your SwimFan.
Dear Josh's lame excuses for "working late",
After seeing the putting green and beer garden at his office you are no longer a valid excuse.
Dear first inaugural supper club,
Counting down the days until round two.
. . . in our brand spankin' new real life, full size kitchen.
Dear coming home from work to a clean apartment and records spinning,
You remind me weekly that I married a good'n.
Dear Nantahala River,
You are running a close race with The Gorge for being the happiest place in America.
Dear three best friends that anyone could have,
Insert smoochy face emoticon here.
Our monthly reunions keep me functioning.
Dear fear of boldness,
I have friends who make me dress nice, fix my hair, and wear red lipstick.
Dear orthopedic surgery sales reps who think they are just tooooooo cool,
You are pretty cool I guess, but I'm glad I get to boss you around in the OR.
Dear Liz,
 I'm glad you are getting married and that we can celebrate that marriage with tea parties.
. . . channeling our inner Samantha.
 (Samantha, the American Girl doll, for those of you who didn't have the privilege of being a 90's child)
Dear Canton trade days,
Who would have thought that a little 'ole flea market could involve SO MUCH blood, sweat, and tears.
. . . but mainly sweat.
Dear Canton purchases,
You have given me more future-home-decoration-anxiety than I ever thought possible.
. . . but that bar cart
Dear Mckinney,
We're coming for ya in T-minus 12 days.
Dear GingerMan Bingo,
You are probably the main thing we will miss about living at The Shops.
Dear most magical candle of all time,
Dear Jenna and Abby,
Hard to believe that one of you is about to become a wife and one of you just became a mom.
Enjoying college, sorority life, and grad school with you two made for some of my favorite memories of all time.
Dear fall,
Quit trying to get all up in summer's biznass.
Your turn is coming soon.

A cocktail concoction: The Grapefruit Paloma

Sep 11, 2014

Lately, I've been on a grapefruit kick.
I've also been on an alcohol kick, but there's nothing lately about that.
One of my favorite local cocktails is Mexican Sugar's grapefruit paloma.
Isn't it the cutest?
In an effort to not spend $10 on a cocktail, and also in an effort to use up everything in our pantry before we move in a few weeks, I decided to make my own grapefruit paloma.
Mexican Sugar's version is made using grapefruit juice, tequila, lime, agave, and a Mexican squirt.
I'm fresh out of Mexican squirts, but I did have a grapefruit, lime, agave, and tequila on hand.
Just to spice things up a bit, I felt the need to add coconut LaCroix.
Don't ask questions.
The finished product paled in comparison to the original, but I loved it nonetheless.
Here's how you can make your own:
1/2 cup fresh squeezed grapefruit juice (about 1/2 a grapefruit)
1/2 cup coconut LaCroix (I'm not opposed to going hardcore and trying grapefruit LaCroix next time) 
1 tablespoon of lime juice
1 shot of tequila
Agave to taste
Rosemary on top because it looked stupid without it.

The Tangible

Sep 9, 2014

I feel like I've become a bit overwhelmed with technology lately.
I have major anxiety with deleting digital files, which means that my iPhone memory space is completely full thanks to 5,000+ photos that I refuse to delete.
I've got a problem.
Also, I can't seem to grasp (and trust) the concept of cloud storage.
How do you know it's reaaaaaally up there?
I'm supposed to believe that my photos are up there chilling, just hanging out with God, right next to J.Law's nakey pics?

Whenever I first came across the website Artifact Uprising, I was really moved by their tagline:
"Inspired by the disappearing beauty of the tangible"
It's so easy to become bogged down with technology and forget to appreciate the tangible.
In an effort to do just that, I've decided to attempt to print more photos.
I wanted to start by creating a "memory box" for each major vacation Josh and I have gone on.
I was hoping to be able to find thinner wooden boxes, almost the size of cigar boxes so that I could stack each vacation box on one another.
No such luck.
I settled with this wooden box from Hobby Lobby. 
I also picked up some sticker letters there so I could label each box with the destination.
After removing the hardware, I stained each box with some leftover green stain from when we re-vamped our coffee table.
Then we filled it up with all our photos from our honeymoon as well as some other trinkets and memorabilia. 
What an odd word, memorabilia.
For some reason, I felt the need to stain over the stickers, so that it would leave the word outlined by the stain beneath.
It looked way cuter in my brain, but I can't complain.
I kind of love it.
Just kind of though.
I think I'll trust my little wooden box to store my photos over the hacker friendly clouds.
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