Monday, November 24, 2014

Without Her

When you see someone else wishing their mom a happy birthday or saying how thankful they are for them you automatically skip over it because you can't stand the idea that other people still have moms in their lives when you don't.

When someone complains about their mom and the awful things she has done, you can't help but think at least you have a mom to complain about.

Every once in a while, the thought crosses your mind that you wonder how life would be different if she was still here. What news would you have called her to tell? What things would she be doing now?

With the holidays and her birthday coming up, it feels weird not to have her included in your plans and only have one Christmas with your family to plan.

When you hear of someone's grandparent passing away and you don't feel as much sympathy as you should because people dying at 80 or 90 years old is not as gut wrenching as a death at 49.

That ever aching hole that you feel and you can't seem to fill it.

Going to the grocery store and wanting to make gravy for Thanksgiving, wishing that you could ask her exactly what she did to make gravy as a kid taste so good.

Having one thing from your 101 list that was set aside for her and knowing that you can't buy her those dang flowers and you wish you would have done it sooner. Bringing flowers to a grave does not have that same happy feeling.

When your usual family of five suddenly feels tiny because you are now four. Being just one number less suddenly feels like a huge difference.

Having the "gift giving" parent no longer able to buy those gifts and the need for a Christmas or Birthday list suddenly seems unnecessary.

Reading a book that you found at her house that was stuffed with airplane tickets that she used to go skiing with her dad. Wishing that the skiing trip you had talked about could still be a possibility.

Still remembering the feeling of her hug and how tiny she always felt. Wishing you could feel that just one more time.

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Five on Friday

Happy Friday! I am so glad that it is the weekend. I have already made my list of everything I hope to accomplish this weekend so hopefully it is a good one! Since it is Friday it is time for a Five on Friday post. I missed doing these.

With comps for my husband just a few short weeks away, things have started picking up for my husband. His opportunities will be endless and I am excited to see what may come in the future. However, not knowing what could be happening in the next 6-12 months is really starting to freak me out. Richard has a conference in April and I realized that I can't even think about buying plane tickets because I have no idea where I will be living in April. Woah.

A few weeks ago I finished the final book of the Harry Potter series. That's right. I read all 7 books and watched all 8 movies in less than three months. That is my new record of books read in a short amount of time. I have to say that even though I saw the movies first, the books are a million times better. The movies missed so much and I was confused watching them. The books are so intricate and definitely worth the read.

Tuesday morning I headed to work like usual to find the interstate at a stand still. For me to get to work, I have to cross a pretty major river and apparently there was an accident that caused a major traffic back up. With there only being three bridges to get over the river, when one shuts down everything else gets super clogged. And even worse, the other two bridges had to be raised because there were ships coming down the river so it was impossible to get across the river. After sitting still for over an hour, I gave up and drove the 5 minutes back to my house and decided to wait it out there. It was the most ridiculous mess i have ever seen.

Helping my husband study for comps has been entertaining. Especially when he tries to get Siri to define a word for him. I don't think he was interested in curtains when he asked for this definition.

Only 28 days until I head back to Minnesota for Christmas! I have already started making plans and I am super excited about that. Although, I will miss going home for Thanksgiving and going black Friday shopping. Should be a pretty boring week for us with all the studying that is happening.

Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

DIY Car Hammock for a Dog

Since we have a road trip planned for December, I knew I needed to make something to protect the back seat of our new car from Paisley. Leather seats and dog nails do not exactly mix well. I wanted to make something comfortable for Paisley but that would also be durable for the long run.

My basic design was that I wanted it be like a hammock in the back seat that had straps that would loop around the four headrests. I had originally planned on having all four straps be adjustable, but then I got to the store and it was too expensive so I made one side adjustable and one side anchored.

My Supplies Included:
2 Yards of fleece fabric- Mine was 60 inches wide
2 Yard of heavy duty fabric-I picked black heavy curtain material fabric that was also 60 inches wide
2 Large Parachute Buckles- To make one side to the straps adjustable
120 inches of webbing for the straps-I probably could have got away with less but I went with it.

I started out by measuring the car. The picture below shows the measurements. The back seat was 50" wide with the headrests being set in 7" from the edge of the seat and they were 9" wide. So I planned out my strips to be wide enough to fit around the headrest. The "X" marks the spot where the straps would be attached. I then measured down the seat-from the base of the headrest to bottom part of the seat. From there I just did some guess work on how much material I would need to make it a hammock shape. I ended up with 64" needed for across the seat. These are just what work for my Hyundai Elantra and the basic idea could be modified for a different sized car.
From there I added 2 inches on each side to make room for the seam so my fabric needed to cut to measure 52" by 66".  After I cut my fabric, I placed the two fabrics wrong sides together and sewed a straight line all the way around my rectangle, but left an opening on one side so that I could turn the whole project inside out-which really makes it right sides out since we put wrong sides together to start. This helps to hide the seam for a cleaner look.
Once I had all my fabric facing the right way, I decided to add a little stuffing. I had bought a bunch of pillows for Richard's Halloween costume that we ended up not using so I re-purposed them for this. I knew Paisley would enjoy a nice squishy bed since she is a spoiled little puppy. This is where things got a little odd. I realized that adding all the stuffing at once would mean that it could move around inside the bed as it pleased. So I wanted to add lines of stitching to keep the stuffing in little pockets. Well, with all the stuffing inside, the hammock would not fit in the sewing machine. So I improvised. I decided that splitting the rectangle into thirds was best. I would start sewing a line a third of the way down the blanket, then add the stuffing, then seal off that section by completing the sewing line. Then I repeated that process for the middle and the far end. Then I sewed the edge of the hammock that I had left open to turn it inside out. That left me with one giant rectangle completely stuffed and nice and soft. Paisley discovered her giant bed at this point and would not stop laying on it after that.
You can see the two lines I sewed in this picture. One my her front right foot that goes all the way across and the other by her back right foot. 
Then I added the straps. I had measured the car and decided that on the side that did not have the parachute clip, I would need about 17 inches of strapping so I cut 20 inches so that the extra was where I could attach the strap to the hammock. Going by my measurements in the diagram above, I anchored them 7 inches from the edge leaving a 9" gap for the headrest. For the side with the clips. I did the same thing, except I had two pieces to my strap that could then be clipped together.

Then I was done and I could take it to the car to see if it fit! It was perfect and I was able to tighten the parachute clips so that it was nice and snug and was not going anywhere. Paisley was able to test it and and so far she loves it. This little princess will be extra comfortable on our trip back to Minnesota for Christmas!
The total cost of this project was about $40, but that could vary depending on your fabric. I spent about $30 on fabric and about $12 on the buckles and straps. So not the cheapest project, but definitely worth the money to protect the seat.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

One Special Birthday

Yesterday was my husband's 25th birthday! I tried to make his day as special as I could considering he has comps coming up soon.

Our celebrations started over the weekend. We went to dinner at a nice restaurant of his choosing so that he could get whatever food he wanted. I gave him no opinion of where I wanted to go because let's face it my choice would be pretty limited and it was his birthday. The restaurant we went to has both great food for dinner and excellent dessert. Richard wanted to order almost everything from the dessert menu but he settled on their free cheesecake for his birthday and pecan pie to go. Their brownie and ice cream was amazing too.

Yesterday for his actual birthday, he met me for lunch and we headed out to the Johnny's pizza buffet. Not my favorite pizza, but it was close to work and that meant I got to see him for lunch.
This is his I-can't-believe-you-are-making-me-pose-for-a-picture face
Over the last few days, I have also been making him a cake! I decided to make one from scratch for him. Since I know his favorite cake is chocolate with chocolate frosting I decided to give it a try.
The cake did not turn out as perfect as I thought it would. I also may have forgot some baking soda, but it had baking powder so it worked out. All that matters was that Richard enjoyed it and it was edible!

So that was his birthday celebration. Maybe after this whole comps business is over we can have a huge celebration that is not weighed down by the need to study. Happy 25th birthday Richard!

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Five on Friday

It's Friday! Yay! Although this weekend is not exactly going to be exciting I am still happy its the weekend.

I am the proud owner of a new phone! I ordered the iPhone 6 a month ago and it has finally arrived. And I am in love. I did not think that I would be one that would need a larger screen, but it sure does make a huge difference. The main reason I got it was because of the upgraded camera. The picture quality is so much better. Check out these two pictures. The one on the left is from my iPhone 5 and the right is iPhone 6. The difference is more subtle here, but more obvious on the phone.

I am so in love with the new Taylor Swift CD. I was a little nervous about it at first, but I am not a very good person when it comes to listening to new music. I just get impatient and want to know all the songs. But, it grew on me and now I am in love. Don't know what else I expected from Taylor, after all I may be a little obsessed with her. I am also having a dilema with her concerts. All the tickets go on sale next week for the next year and I don't know where I will be living to buy tickets. #movingproblems

Last night our plans went from working out, cooking dinner at home and then relaxing to buying dog food and going out to eat in about a five minute conversation. I just did not feel like cooking dinner. But that hour and a half spent with my husband just talking and thinking about the future was the most conversation I have had with my husband in a long time. It felt great. He has just been so busy lately that we have to had time to even talk so dinner last night was amazing.

I always get a kick out of this. It's cold outside. I mean I live in Louisiana so its nothing compared to everybody else. But, when the weather channel decides that below freezing weather is cause for a severe weather alert I have to laugh. Yes, its going to be cold over night. No, it is not worthy of a severe weather alert.

Last night we bought a dog brush for Paisley. Richard insisted that she needed one and then he spent a good chunk of timing brushing the dog. Paisley was so excited to get some much attention and loved to be brushed. She would not leave Richard alone after that and kept nudging him to keep going.

This weekend will hopefully be productive for both me and my husband. So much to do so little time! Have a good weekend!

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

November's Past

For those who have not been following along on this journey, these post are a recap with many pictures of everything we were doing before I started this blog. This month we are looking at November 2009- November 2012. Richard's birthday is in November(next week!), so we have a lot of different birthday celebrations happening in these pics.

November 2009
-We celebrated my sister's birthday(another November birthday) by going out to lunch us girls and then playing cards with my family at her house.
-We celebrated Richard's birthday with his family and then with dinner and a movie just the two of us. When we lit candles for his cake, his little brother got really freaked out and started crying because of the fire. But he calmed down quickly once the cake was ready to eat.
-We went with my family to shoot clay pigeons and train the dogs for hunting. This is the first and only time I have ever shot a gun. My sweet Paisley did a good job with the bird training as well.

November 2010
-I went with the rest of my bridal party to go try on bridesmaid dresses and get sized so that we could order them. Love these ladies.
-I planned out Richard's 21st birthday and it is one of my favorites to date. We did 21 things for his 21st birthday. So we went all around town going to different place where I made him do things that were related to 21. It was fun to plan and we had a good time together.

November 2011
-We went with some friends to the Muddy Pig, a bar in St. Paul that has a bunch of different selections of scotch. A couple of notes about these pictures. One-I really hate my hair short. Never again. Two-Richard looks like a ghost in one of these pics and I have no idea why.

November 2012
-This was our first long trip home after moving. We came home for a week for Thanksgiving. This was the first time we met my sweet nephew when he was about 3 weeks old. We spent a lot of time snuggling that sweet baby.
-We also hung out with our friends and celebrated Richard's birthday with his family. We went to a movie with his little brother too. I swear all the good movies come out around his birthday.
-I went with my family to our annual Thanksgiving lunch. It was nice to see all my family again since it felt like it had been forever. This was the first time most of them met my nephew. My sisters and I also went Black Friday shopping like we normally do.

Sorry for the picture overload it is just a lot to fit in one post. So there you have it, November's past! Only one of these left before I have done one for every month!

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