Monday, monday.

I updated the chalkboard in my office first thing this morning! Take that, new year’s resolution!

attitude

Now the true test of the day will be resisting the candy bowl my colleague insisted on replenishing. I’m in trouble.

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swoon.

Yesterday, I had three different people stop by my office to check on the status of my left hand.

“I see there’s no rock on your left hand yet.”

“I’m surprised you didn’t get engaged over the holiday.”

“I really thought it would happen on New Year’s Eve.”

Umm, is something going on that I’m unaware of? Why is it that I’m constantly asked when I’m going to get married? Why not ask how my classes are going because I’ve been with my MBA program a lot longer than I’ve been with the boy.

Then as I was telling him about the craziness as we were cooking dinner together, he looked at me and said “Clearly, I know better than to propose on a holiday…especially Christmas.”

Swoon.

fourteen.

Fancy meeting you here, stranger. It looks like we’ve made it to another year. Another 365 days (364 – I’m a day behind)  ahead of us and a blank slate. I spent day 1 sealing grout and unpacking things my boyfriend hasn’t used in 6-8 months, and I’m thankful that he is finally in a place he can call his own (and I’m just a little thankful that I get to help decorate it).

I’ve seen lots of these going around the interwebs and I’m a sucker for a good list, so instead of resolutions I’m going to list 14 things I want to do this year. I know, I know, I did this with my birthday last year, but 14 is a bit more manageable. #givemeabreak

  1. Invest more time and energy into myself versus material things – this means spending money on a gym instead of Kate Spade bags
  2. Stick to my budget every month.
  3. Do 24 random acts of kindness in honor of my 24th birthday.
  4. Start a Blessings Jar to be opened on New Year’s Eve.
  5. Dance more.
  6. Read more books – put that Kindle Paperwhite to good use!
  7. Have more fun.
  8. Keep things organized.
  9. Change the quote on my office chalkboard once a week.
  10. Do some serious condensing in the amount of clothes, shoes, stuff I own.
  11. Make my bed every day – let’s be real, a neat bed makes for a happy day.
  12. Stop using my introvert tendencies as a crutch.
  13. Stop hiding from cameras.
  14. Have more adventures!

Optimus…Screwdriver?

Have you ever had one of those moments where you have to step back from a situation, in awe, and think “That is brilliant. Where would I be without them?” I did that today…twice. Once with the boy, and again with the coolest thing I own – my tiny, pink tool set.

magic tools

So I’ve been carrying this thing around with me since college, and I’ve always admired how useful it is. It has a tape measure, a screwdriver, needle nose pliers, and zip ties. At least that’s what I thought. It’s been holding out on me. The screwdriver is a transformer and turns into a wrench! This was extremely helpful when I was needing a wrench about thirty minutes ago. Unfortunately, the transformer wrench couldn’t magically give me super strength so my negative battery cable is still lodged in there. Maybe the moozda is a transformer too and will fix himself. Here’s hoping.

old navy.

I have a problem when it comes to shopping. If I see something I like, I buy it in every color. Case in point, I recently purchased a really cute dress for work from Old Navy in the petite section. I bought it black, royal blue, and fuchsia.  Well last week, I wore the black dress and I felt super self-conscious because it was a little tight. Now I’ll admit I’ve slacked off on exercising, so I chalked it up to being a little puffy. Well this morning, I wore the same dress in a different color and I swear the thing is about to fall off. So thanks, Old Navy, for making me feel overweight to anorexic within the span of 7 days.

no good deed goes unpunished.

Two weeks ago, I offered to cook dinner for the boy at his house. I made the most carb-filled dinner you can imagine – roast beef, gravy, mashed potatoes and dinner rolls. The roast beef was made from a Pinterest recipe involving a crockpot and liquid manna (aka Dr. Pepper). After work, I loaded up the crockpot (I have the nifty travel one that has a lid that snaps on – the boy picks on me because I lock the lid in place when its just sitting on the counter), and a bag full of ingredients into the Moozda and headed down the road. I cooked dinner, using the ingredients in the aforementioned bag, and went about life as usual. Then I conveniently forgot to pack up the crockpot and bag until last Monday.

This weekend, my mom made a comment about the crockpot in my backseat. (Okay, okay I use the Moozda as a storage device more than I use it as a vehicle). “Have crockpot, will travel,” she quipped. Then my dad so graciously washed my car for me. He even cleaned out my little trash compartment. He commented on how I had a lot of stuff in there and we all laughed at what a messy person I am.

Then this morning happened. I opened the car door and I swear it smelled like a wet dog had crawled into my car and died. Oh my gosh – it was nauseating. I thought I could deal with it on the short drive to work.. oh, no. I couldn’t do it. So I opened up the back seat door and started digging to find the offensive stench. Can you guess what the culprit was? No? I’ll give you a hint, it was in the little orange canvas tote that was carrying my ingredients.

You see, I like to snack while I cook. Usually it involves an olive here, a slice of cheese there,  but this particular evening, I threw in a container of grapes and a container of strawberries. Well I ate the grapes, but the strawberries were forgotten while the boy gave the dog a bath and I mashed potatoes and served dinner. So imagine my surprise when I pulled the container out of the bag. There were the once adorable little strawberries, molding in their own juices. It was so toxic, it had popped the lid off. I didn’t realize something so cute and red and perfect could turn into a brown, squishy mess.

Needless to say, the entire orange canvas tote bag was thrown into the dumpster. I’m mourning the death of half a bag of Yukon Gold potatoes, and my car still reeks of moldy strawberries/dead wet dog. I guess sometimes you have to learn to keep your car clean the hard way.

the story of how i almost lost my car

I got to the airport Sunday morning with no trouble, found a parking spot and had the forethought to snap a picture of the level/row I was parked on. I knew I would be getting back late on Wednesday night and would be, more than likely, cranky from the lack of dinner and general travel nuisances. Wednesday night arrived while I was in the air and after a slightly extremely bumpy landing through a storm, I checked my phone’s photo reel to insure I would get to my car as soon as I could.

Photo Jul 28, 7 07 46 AM

Level 2, Row G – got it. I got off the plane, went to baggage claim and waited (and waited) amongst the travelers who had loved ones waiting at the airport for them (gag!). My bag was the third one out the gate, so I snatched it up and headed for the parking deck. My bed was so close I could feel it. I entered the parking deck on level 2 and walked towards Row G. I walked up Row G and noticed it was missing a red, sparkly Mazda, so I walked down the other side. Still no sign of the Moozda. “Okay – don’t panic.. You’re just overlooking it in your excitement to be in the eastern time zone,” I thought to myself as I reached into my bag to pull out my keys. I mashed the lock button twice – nothing. I pressed the panic button. Silence.

Awesome. Someone stole my car. Just picture me meandering up and down Row G with my bright orange suitcase, on the phone with my dad saying, “Well I don’t know what to tell you. Are you sure you’re on the right row?” At that moment, I looked up and realized Row G extends past the car ramps that lead up and down the levels. Cool. I just knocked off four years of my life thinking that I was stranded at the airport and was going to have to buy a car. I wonder if I’d get a discount on therapy if I made a portfolio of all of my dumb moments and self-inflicted panic attacks.

reasons why i’ll need therapy

Today was a day of overwhelming activities. The day started at 5:30 when I surprisingly beat my alarm clock at waking up. From there, I stumbled into the shower and out the door on my way to the airport. During this 35 minute drive, I had the thought “Hmm…I miss my old apartment” briefly….but only because it was ten minutes away from the airport. I could have slept longer.

Now for the overwhelming part, I flew alone for the first time…ever. This (and the whole conference I’m at this week) is a reason why I have social anxiety. I think over time my childhood shyness developed into full-fledged awkward adult introvertness. I’m not comfortable in places that I’m not familiar with. I don’t know how to initiate conversation. I can literally feel my skin crawling when I’m in a crowd of people and don’t have my buffer zone (aka my phone). It’s something I desperately need to work on.  Anyway, I made it through security (TSA lady liked my hair – holla!) and located the Starbucks where I had a conversation with a pilot. Okay, it was early in the morning and I was making small talk with another individual. I deserved all the gold stars.

Collage

To add to my success, I made it through the first flight no problem. Then during the stop in St. Louis an older gentleman boarded the plane and sat in my row. There was a seat between us and I smiled and said hi after he got settled in. HE IGNORED ME! Like looked me up and down and then turned his head. Then a lady took the seat between us and he struck up a conversation with her. So the rest of the flight I wondered what was so wrong with me that he couldn’t even say hi.

After deciding to put on my headphones and go about my day without worrying about Mr. Grumpy Gus, I successfully navigated the airport, baggage claim, and catching a taxi to the hotel. Small successes. From there I spent the day curled up in my nice, comfy king size bed writing two papers I put off until today (hence the lack of grammar in this post – sorry guys…those papers got my good writing). Then here comes overwhelming incident #2 – the welcome reception.

Photo Jul 28, 6 30 14 PM

Now I’m attending this conference for work, and I’m attending it alone. Oh, and there are 700+ people registered for it with multiple schools sending entire fleets of people. Needless to say, I was feeling mighty small to begin with. So there was a welcome reception this evening called “Spirit Night” (where you wear your school colors  and all that jazz). Well I had decided before even getting on the plane that I wasn’t going to it. No way – no how was I going into a room full of people I didn’t know for a social function. That has awkward written all over it. After spending all day alone, I convinced myself that in order to meet people, I have to be where the people are. So I pulled on my little work polo, jeans and converse and meandered my way down there. What I saw was terrifying. A darkened ballroom, reminiscent of a high school prom, clusters of people milling about and loud music. Introvert Leah was like, “Oh hells no!” So I turned around and went back upstairs. Social butterfly fail. Finger crossed for tomorrow!

Photo Jul 28, 6 36 18 PM

(Pictures are from the world war I memorial that is right outside of my window – I had to go for a walk after all my awkwardness).

Just a swingin’

Y’all, I have been obsessing over a chair from Pier 1 for quite some time now. I first saw it online in passing and admired it as one of those things that I didn’t have room for. Then I decided to move and thought it would fit perfectly on my porch. I mean I had the perfect view and all I needed was the perfect chair. However, my practical side thought otherwise. It convinced me that I didn’t need a $500 chair and stand no matter how much I said I would use it. So I put the want to rest and went on with my life.

Enter my grandmother. She came to visit this weekend with my mom to check out my new digs and we happened to wander into Pier 1 after an obligatory trip to Target. I saw the chair and immediately ran over to sit in it. I noticed it was on sale and was convincing myself that I was okay with spending the money. I picked out a cushion and pillow (hello, the perfect chair needs perfect accessories) and walked over to the counter to pay for it when my Meme swooped in saying, “I’m going to get this for you.” WHAT?! “No way!” I protested and told her I just got a raise and I didn’t mind making the investment. Then she brushed me off and told the sales lady to add one of those tables with the feet that slide under the couch in, too. Two hours later, we were taking turns swinging on my porch.

chair!

And now, where am I blogging from tonight? The wonderful swingasan chair on my porch! It’s raining and we’re finally getting a break from the heat that was scorching today. Life couldn’t be better.

Grace-face.

Getting dressed this morning, I decided to wear a new dress I bought from Old Navy. It’s a simple, black sleeveless dress with a collar that I ultimately bought to wear with chuck taylors. Being that it’s a Thursday and Thursdays are work days, I picked out a pair of dressy sandals and out the door I went. Fast forward to about 11:45 a.m. The phone rings and it’s someone on the phone for my boss’s boss. I quickly race out of my office to make sure he’s around. On the way back into my office, my sandals slip on the mock-wood floor and the rest was a blur. My feet flew out from under me, I’m pretty sure I was suspended in air for a nanosecond and then I came crashing down onto the floor. Thankfully, no one was in the seating area to witness my graceless fall; however, my boss did poke his head out of his office to say, “You know for such a little person, you sure do make a lot of noise when you fall.”  Just one more reason they should allow converse at the workplace.