beautiful birthday

There are many perks to the fact that The Man now works 9-5 at the same university that I do. Today was proof that it is actually EPIC because we took a lunch break together and actually went into the city to celebrate his birthday with an amazing meal.

The weather was gorgeous, the cherry trees all in bloom, and WE FOUND PARKING! Around the lunch rush that is no small feat in Philly. After checking out the menu online, The Man decided he wanted to check out City Tap House and oh what an amazing choice! They have a fabulous outside seating deck which is on the second floor (with plenty of umbrellas!) so we got to take full advantage of the gorgeous weather.

The Man had The Tap Burger which had an amazing dijonaise, and I chose the Tartufo flatbread pizza with truffle oil, roasted mushrooms, and a fried egg. I was a bit skeptical about the pizza, but took it on recommendation of the waitress and told her when she asked how our food was that I wanted to hug the person who thought of the creation. Our lunch was AMAZING and we were full without being disgustingly stuffed.

When we got home, we set up the fire pit and talked to the neighbors. ‘Tis the season that we’re all outside when we get home from work. Dinner tonight was spent with one of our friends and we picked up some seasoned chicken cutlets – some with a bourbon sauce, some with garlic and pepper – and made zucchini and sweet potato fries.

It was an amazing day with The Man, who I am blessed to have. We have ups and downs and challenges with the house and work, but at the end of the day, I know I have a partner, that we’re on the same team, that we’ll get through it. We kiss, say I love you, and start over the next morning. Happy Birthday, love. Here’s to many more happy days.



three down

Sometimes it seems like yesterday that our hallways and bedrooms were filled with boxes, but Sunday marked three years that we’ve been in our house. I get frustrated sometimes, thinking that everything should have been done in the house by now.  The laundry list of things that have yet to be fixed or painted or decorated seems to grow exponentially as the months go by.

The frustration is compounded by the fact that we found out we have to gut the bathroom. Yes, dear readers, gut. And this is a bathroom that I didn’t plan on touching until the very end. The center hall, the music room, our two guest rooms, the attic, refinishing the hardwood on the entire second floor, fixing our leaning garage, and some new light fixtures were all ahead of this bathroom. but, as leaks go, we are screwed because the offending pipes are IN THE FLOOR. Can’t access them from underneath. LOVELY.

I don’t necessarily want to use the phrase “failure” to describe how I feel about myself with regards to the house projects, but sometimes that’s the only word I can think of. It’s borderline embarrassing to have someone walk in the house and see the gaping hole we opened up to try to solve the leak issue. And as my friend Julie joked, every time I fix one part of the house or room, the adjoining areas that aren’t done look shabbier. It’s true.

But when it comes down to it, it’s not a failure. Even though I haven’t finished any major projects since before the fall, there are so many little things that have been done that I should feel proud about. A new print in the living room, a new rug in the one guest room, organizing my yarn stash so it doesn’t look like it exploded in the “kitty/crafting/New York/chocolate milk” room. And when it comes down to it, there’s still one major thing to be proud of: we have a house, and we have a loving home.

I think the biggest thing to date that we have done is the new addition of Abby, our puppy. And that has certainly come with its own host of challenges and redecorating and being very grateful I own a lot of kitchen towels to clean slobber up off the floor when she freaks when we leave the house. And we have done some decorating for her, mainly in the form of a bright purple octopus toy that is usually right in the middle of the living room, and a prairie dog antler that is typically in the worst possible location (ie not fun to step on).

So you know what? I may not have sanded or painted anything in the past few months, but I am so happy with the home we have continued to create for ourselves.

two weeks of charity

It’s hard to believe it’s been two weeks. Two crazy weeks without posts, two crazy weeks of readjusting my sleep schedule and work schedule. Two weeks of learning to function around the house differently and get laundry done and worrying about whether there is enough water. Two weeks of panicking whether I  closed the gate or where the cats are or how long it has been since the last meal.

On April 23rd, the Man and I fell in love with her picture on line, and filled out an adoption application to Lulu’s Rescue. On the 24th, they called us for a phone interview, then called our friends for references. On the morning of the 25th, we were told she was ours. Her name was Charity.


We had been planning for a puppy for a while. I scoured CraigsList for dog crates and baby gates and an outside fencing system while the Man scoured the internet, talking to rescues, and sending me profiles. We knew we wanted a puppy if possible because of the cats. What we didn’t expect was a Labrador and Grreat Dane mix with the most soulful eyes and spotted belly and intelligence that will get us in trouble down the line.

On the 27th, my stomach in knots, we drove to New Jersey to pick her up. The entire time I panicked, wondering what would happen if she didn’t love me as much as I was already in love with her. What if the cats hated us for bringing her into our home? What if she didn’t like the food I had bought? What if she was horrible in the car and couldn’t go places with us?

puppy prepping

puppy prepping

We didn’t have to worry about any of that. From the minute the Man picked her up in his arms, I knew I had nothing to worry about other than what we were changing her name to. The first three nights having her, I was terrified I would never sleep again. She cried in her crate (duh, she’s a puppy) but the Man pulled out his sleeping mat and laid on the floor next to the crate for three nights. On night four, I was picky and wanted to sleep in the bed with my husband, and lo and behold, after 20 minutes, silence.

And in the two whirlwind weeks since, she has been on multiple car rides, we’ve gone to visit the Man for his dinner breaks and she was “big girl on campus”, greeting all the students and generally being delightful. She was the prime attraction at our yard sale just a week after getting her, with no annoying barking or unnecessary jumping on all the people that came to great her. And this past weekend she went on her longest car ride yet, all the way to Long Island, to visit Grandma for Mother’s Day (and got spoiled). She doesn’t beg when you eat dinner, she doesn’t pull on the leash, and best of all, she gives the sweetest kisses in the world.

Now I’m becoming a bit of a morning person but that’s okay. And I’m starting to take an evening nap (she does, so I have to right?) which is totally fine too. I just know, considering she’s already put on 3 pounds since we got her, that I need to cherish this time where I can still scoop her up in my arms and have her nap on my chest.

So, my dear readers, please welcome our 13 week old, 16 pound (and growing… fast!) Abigail Charity. You can call her Abby for short.


Can we go back to the weather from Easter please?

I can’t believe how (comparatively) cold and windy and bleak it has seemed the past two days when it was so gorgeous this past weekend. As this weekend looms I’m just hoping for more blue skies and warm winds to grace us.  I love spring and seeing the flowers and the grass growing and the birds returning to the yard, but cold days like today are such a slap in the face.

Our Easter weekend was very quiet but absolutely lovely.  The Man and I started out the weekend by picking up a dog crate off of Craigslist and meeting some amazing dogs at our local shelter. We even took one special girl out for a walk and LOVED her but she just wasn’t “the one” for us (shout out to June and all the amazing folks at Delco SPCA!) The rest of the day was spent at a wonderful lunch (where I got a sunburn on the back of my neck – forgot I chopped my hair!), mailed my mom’s birthday gift, and then did work in the yard. We ended our evening by having a dear friend over for dinner and broke out the grill for the first meal of the season.

Then came Easter Sunday. The weather was perfect, clear blue skies, and the Man and I were getting dressed to walk to church when he stopped me and asked, “What did you do to your leg?” I looked down and lo and behold I had a friend! It was a tick. GAH! Freaking out commenced, along with the discovery that we do not own tweezers.  A set of pliers and band aid later, though, and we were off to church.

Because the weather was so gorgeous, we went home, settled on the patio with coffee, and called our parents. Then the big meal of the day (as the Man had to work) was brunch!


I made the most AMAZING white bread in our machine the day before so we made French toast, scrambled eggs, bacon, and sausage. It was so gorgeous out we decided to just eat outside.


And then I decided we needed a festive Easter picture (and no, they weren’t Mimosas… I just have lapses in judgement sometimes).

IMG_20140420_104653_648Even though the Man had to go to work, it was a gorgeous day. I just can’t wait for this weekend to get back outside and finish seeding our lawn and start stripping the paint off a door (which will be my first project for the season!) and hopefully, this time, no ticks. On the plus side, for those wondering, I have no “bulls eye” and am on preventative meds – yay.

So happy hump day! And I hope all your bunny holidays were happy too!


rainy birthday

Working on your birthday is never fun. Working on your birthday in the pouring rain, even less so. Which is exactly how the Man’s day is shaping up. Hopefully, though, it’s not all bad.

The celebrating actually started on Friday when some wonderful friends of ours loaded down Paul with balloons and special coffees and candies as a birthday gift.


Even though we both had to work, I tried to surprise the Man a bit. The night before I had arranged a box of apple turnovers and his cards on the dining room table, so when the alarm went off this morning and the coffee had finished brewing, I dragged him downstairs with me to “get coffee” and promptly sat him down to enjoy breakfast and birthday cards (which the cats had thankfully/surprisingly left alone overnight). For dinner, my mom gifted the Man a fabulous dinner from a Middle Eastern restaurant near where we work. And then for dessert, I surprised him with a specialty cupcake from our favorite bakery.

So was it a traditional birthday? No. Do I wish I could have made it more special? Yes. But do I love him with all of my heart? Yes.

Happy birthday, love of my life.


on the road

It’s rare these days that I get to take a vacation, especially because as an admissions person this is my craziest time of year. BUT… when you have a conference to go to in Memphis, what do you do? You tell your husband to take off, pack up, and come along!

So, in a crazy five days, we traveled through 7 states, saw amazing things, and actually got to spend time together.

I can’t wait to share pictures of the trip, and will continuing editing and posting over the next few weeks.  Crazy time of year always means very little blogging for me, but thank you for sticking around, and stay posted!


three years down…

It’s not often that I take a day off from work. Recently it feels like I’m neglecting everything in my personal life. Laundry takes the back burner until the last minute, I don’t dust as often as I’d want to, cooking has become a necessity and hurried rather than a joy, the cats don’t get their weekly brushings, and until recently my car hadn’t been cleaned in months.  While those are little examples, they’re part of a larger epidemic of me neglecting my own life.

I have two glorious days off this week – today and tomorrow. And today is very special indeed. It’s our third wedding anniversary. So instead of waking up, hurrying to chug down coffee and spend thirty minutes of the total of 4 hours I usually get with my husband, I got to sleep in late, have the Man make me breakfast, open cards from loved ones, and we actually went to the movies. THE MOVIES! A LUXURY!

It’s not the romantic anniversary that most people would plan, but I had such a good day that I’m having trouble coming down from the high. And it wasn’t totally devoid of romance. And the flowers I was given didn’t hurt either.

So thank you, my dearest. Three years down, many more to go.