2009 April | Somewhere in Middle America

When we bought our house, I quickly claimed the smallest bedroom for my office. In our apartment, my husband and I split the extra room down the middle and each had our desks and computers in it. My desk was a child-sized hand-me-down, so I did most of my computer work while sitting on the couch in the living room (thank goodness for laptops, eh?).

I was so excited to finally have a room of my own, so to speak, when we moved. I got to pick out the paint color (Dill Pickle by Benjamin Moore), the bookcase and the desk. In the beginning of May, J even surprised me with a Pottery Barn rug that I had been dreaming about to complete the look.

Sadly, I never use my sweetly decorated office. I still sit on the couch with my laptop and clutter the coffee table with my magazines and notebooks. On the days I’m home all day I like keeping the television on for company–and there is no TV in my office. The dog has his crate and his toys downstairs, and I like spending time with him. Plus, in the living room, I’m close to the kitchen… Mmm…

So yesterday I did what I thought was the most logical way to break my bad couch/laptop habit: I brought my desk downstairs and planted it in the living room. I’m not sure how my husband is going to feel about this when he returns home from his deployment next week. In truth, I’m not sure how I feel about it yet. The look of it is going to take some getting used to. But as I’m writing this post, the TV is on over my right shoulder and the dog is lounging on the couch over my left. I don’t feel as isolated as I did when I tried doing work in my little office.

Check in with me a week from tomorrow; I’ll let you know what J thinks of the new arrangement. I have a feeling he may not be as keen on it as I am…

Where do you work on your computer? In a home office, in your kitchen or on your couch?

And now a lighthearted post after yesterday’s heavy-duty introspection.

It’s not just the flowers in my yard that are beginning to bloom; several trees are producing beautiful pink and purple blossoms. It makes me sad that the colors are so transient. I imagine that soon they will give way to green leaves that will shade my lawn.

Here’s a confession: I am plagued by worry thoughts. I worry about my husband’s job. I worry about my career. I worry about my misbehaving dog, about our finances, about when we will start a family, about the health and happiness of my family back East, about the strength of my friendships and more.

Only with a tiny handful of my closest friends do I really open up and confess my deepest worries. Normal behavior, right? You don’t have to complain about life to everybody you meet.

But my problem is that when I’m neck-deep in worry (and frequently I am), I have a hard time finding joyful — or even banal — things to talk about. So I shut up. I don’t call friends, even my close ones, and I don’t call family. I don’t want to burden them with my stress, so I don’t talk to them about the things that are bothering me…or about anything. I basically shield them from all aspects of my life.

I know that what I do is harmful to my relationship and maybe even to my health. I need to keep the lines of communication between my family and friends open at all times. Even if I have nothing positive to say, I can still listen. Maybe they have exciting news they want to share. Maybe they have frustrations they’d like to vent. Better yet, I need to get over my fear that I’d be burdening my friends and family by talking about my worries… and that I’m being judged for having these types of thoughts.

What do you do when you are bogged down by worry thoughts? Do you share them with family and friends or do you keep them to yourself? Are you able to engage in lighthearted chatter when your mind is focused on whatever it is you’re fearing?

(image source, via pinkshirtsandcarwrecks)

Question: What do you get when you try to capture Briscoe’s paw print with orange paint at Spring Bark in the Park?

Read more…

Although we’ve only been there a few times, one of Briscoe’s favorite places in Omaha is Hefflinger Dog Park. As his middle name, Hopper, suggests, Briscoe loves to bounce around like a quick little bunny. Since we don’t have a fenced-in backyard (yet), the only place where he is free to run his little heart out is the dog park. He adores playing with the other small dogs and drinking from their water bowls. 

To support this fantastic outlet for Briscoe’s energy, we’ll be attending Spring Bark in the Park 2009 tomorrow with Jamie and Miss Lola. This will be a great test of his obedience–how well will he be able to handle himself around so many leashed dogs? My guess? His ADD will be out in full force. 

And speaking of Lola, her birthday is coming up, so we’re having a wee celebration in her honor Saturday night. Her creative momma yesterday baked treats for the dogs shaped like bones and tonight is making bone-shaped cookies for us non-canines. Mmm… cookies!

Do you take your pups to a dog park? Are they social or do they prefer to play alone? 

Last night I hosted my second craft night. This time there were five of us knitting, embroidering, making stationery and creating decorations for a baby’s room. I am 1/3 the way through the scarf I started at the end of February. I wish I was inspired to (or remembered to) knit on a daily basis, but, sadly, I don’t pull it out of the bag as often as I should. My mom frequently suggests that instead of noshing on sweets and treats while watching TV in the evening, I should keep my hands occupied by knitting. But I can’t multitask like she does. I’d miss everything happening on screen because my eyes would be glued to whatever I was knitting.

I learned an important lesson last night: When hosting a craft night, make sure you invite somebody who actually knows what she’s doing! I made several mistakes while knitting my scarf, but one of the gals around the table was able to tell me how to correct them. She saved me a trip to the knitting store today because I was able to get myself back on track. Thanks, Julia!

When do you like to craft? Are you able to multitask like my mom?

(image source)

Happy Iced Coffee Day! Please do me a favor. Go to your nearest Dunkin’ Donuts and get yourself a small iced coffee for only 50 cents. Ten percent of the purchase price will go towards supporting the troops.

One of the downfalls of living in Omaha is that we don’t have a Dunkin’ Donuts. Back East, DD’s were almost as ubiquitous as Starbucks. I remember the day when they opened a DD one a block away from my office on Hudson St. I could skip out whenever I wanted for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up: a blueberry-flavored iced coffee with cream and sugar. Pure bliss, I tell you. And on particularly stressful days, I’d get myself a coffee roll, too.

So please let me live vicariously through you. Get a small DD iced coffee for 50 cents and then tell me how tasty it was.

(image source)

Four months ago to the day I was in Washington, D.C. to visit my friend A and witness history in the making. It was a frigid day, but that didn’t stop us and more than one million people from crowding the National Mall to watch President Obama’s inauguration on jumbotrons. Despite slowly losing feeling in my toes, I was grateful and excited to be standing among such enthusiastic supporters of our new president. All around me were proud Americans cheering, “That’s my president!” Needless to say, it was a morning I’ll never forget. Here are some of the photos I took that day.
Read more…

First there was a daffodil. Now we have a tulip. I suppose I should start calling what we’ve got going in front of the house a garden, as the definition of a garden is “a plot of ground, usually near a house, where flowers, shrubs, vegetables, fruits, or herbs are cultivated.” I always considered plant life in front of a house to be “landscaping.” In my mind, “gardens” looked more like these:

Read more…

I was excited to learn that my wedding photographer, Heather Waraska, was named one of American Photo‘s Top Wedding Photographers of 2009 — and extremely surprised to see my portrait (above) included in her portfolio slideshow! It’s a beautifully artistic and intense photograph, but I don’t really think it looks like me!

Because of his deployments, J and I are a little bit behind in ordering our wedding album… and engagement album, the photos for which were taken over one year ago. My bridal shower also took place over a year ago, and in about a month, J and I will be celebrating our first wedding anniversary. It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since these milestones in my life. I remember them like they just happened. As time passes, I hope the memories of all of these wedding-related events stay as strong in my mind as they are now. (Of course, having those photo albums would help tremendously!)