Northwest Native: May 2016

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Memorial Day Weekend Things

This weekend we went to Goodwill four times. In three days. Three different Goodwills. Michael even went to one of them again without me, so he went five times. We donated a bunch of stuff but we also picked up a small dresser for a guest room, pillows for a guest room (no, not used pillows, new ones), a super big comfy leather (pleather?) chair for $2.99 (that has a few scratches so I'll probably eventually get a slipcover for it if I can) and a super cool mirror that I'm in love with that will eventually go over our bed.

I also went to Target twice and Bed, Bath & Beyond (two different locations) three times.

My mom came over on Saturday and since she loves gardening, she brought some supplies and did a ton of work in our backyard. Basically, she hacked out an entire bush (minus this remaining stump that we will need more aggressive tools to deal with). It was seriously huge, and basically took up the whole corner of the yard and was growing over the fence and hanging over the neighbor's yard (that's behind us; we have neighbors on all three sides of our yard). Those two piles are branches of it that got hacked away. And maybe some weeds that were pulled too.

We also decided to spray paint our house numbers. They were silver, and they just didn't stand out very much. We decided to get a forest green paint, which pretty much looks black, but they still stand out a lot more, which we like.

Annnnd then we decided to take a (#nomakeup or should I say #noshower) selfie in front of our house, because that's just what you do, right?

I finally got our bathrooms all done after some trial and error, and I'm super in love with the soap dispenser I found at Bed, Bath & Beyond (and the toothbrush holder, but anchors always win). It's a whole set, but I only got those two things because the colors at least matched the shower curtain I got (yes, I chose a shower curtain from a children's decor line).

We're doing one of our guest rooms in red/black/white/gray (mostly because Michael won an autographed Blazers jersey so we want to frame it and hang it, and those colors don't really work in our living area or in our room), and we found red sheets and this bedding set at Ross. It's on a futon mattress on the floor...because whoever shipped the mattress was fine leaving it on our porch (thank you!) but UPS was not fine leaving the frame...so I have to go pick it up. *eye roll* Michael's dad is coming to visit on Friday, and we're so excited to host our first overnight guest (and give him a place to sleep that isn't our couch!).

And here are a few places in the living area where we're kind of making progress.
We're going to hang the 'D' on the wall (in my very first gallery wall! so excited!), but for now it's there. The frame is full of wedding pictures and was hanging above the fireplace in our apartment. I also have the little box we used for our wedding rings in the ceremony, our little Mexican skeleton wedding cake topper, and two ceramic owls. And our Bluetooth speaker which looks kind of ugly but it's the best place for it so oh well.
And here you can see how comically small our dining table is for our new dining area. (And the box still not fully unpacked, and the things to be hung up just sitting there.)
And there's the shelf thing you could see in the corner of the dining room picture. The bottom two shelves aren't done yet, but I'm liking the top half, at least! Also we bought that canvas shortly after moving into the apartment (that we were in for six months) and it didn't get hung up until we moved. But that's not even that bad, considering the print with the bicycle on it in the dining room picture we bought a few months before the wedding and didn't hang it up in Seattle or our last apartment...
Styling shelves is hard. This isn't done, and will probably be rearranged a few times... That's our front door at the end of the hallway, and off that hallway is our half bath.
And we hung up my print of Sydney which is one of my favorite things ever so I had to take a picture of it.

Other things we did this weekend...
Grilled three times (as in he grills, I drink).
I tried this and it was pretty good.
Documented Tully's love affair with the backyard (that is all dirt, bark chips, and weeds, minus a few bushes thrown in).
I ate this from a food truck near us on Friday--it's waffles made of mac and cheese with bacon in between.
Said goodbye to our apartment, and went in search of the ducks one last time. This duck marched right up to us (she was probably three feet from me) and she was just quacking at us. And then her baby, who we didn't see at first, came up to join her. We stayed long enough so I could take a million pictures and just look at them for a while, but I'm 99% sure she was quacking at us to get away from her child, so we didn't want to stick around too long.

Is it weird that I feel like this work week will be less tiring than this weekend was? What did you do this weekend?

Linking up with Sweet Little Ones for Tuesday Talk!

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Friday, May 27, 2016

May Budget [2016]

$860.95 - Annual budget remaining
$98.98 - Nordstrom gift cards
$20 - Nordstrom note
$100 - JCPenney gift card
$45 - Old Navy credit card rewards
$5.90 - ThredUp
$24.63 - Splender
$19.43 - eBates
$14.40 - Poshmark
$1,189.29 - Maximum budget amount available

When I started writing this post, I hadn't purchased a single thing. But then, Danielle commented on this post. She mentioned the Kate Spade surprise sale and Nordstrom's semi-annual sale and said I should check both for my beloved purse. I knew it wasn't included in the surprise sale, and last I checked, it was no longer on Nordstrom's site, but I decided to try again, and it was back, and on sale for cheaper than it was on the KS site! ($219.76 vs $229, so not a huge difference, but that also meant I could use my Nordstrom note & Nordstrom gift card!)

I was so close to buying this t-shirt on Wednesday (right before I found the purse) when I got a sale alert. But...I don't do paying for shipping and it wasn't available for pickup near me. I was bummed, but after I found the purse I was happy I had saved the $20!
may budget 2016
Converse Double Tongue Low Tops - Amazon price $60, Ross price $30 - bought for me by my lovely mother = $0
Kate Spade Orchard Street Penelope (in Alice blue) - $328, on sale for $219.76 - $98.98 Nordstrom gift card - $20 Nordstrom note = $100.78

Since my shopping was so light, I thought I'd talk a little bit about what I've (okay, we've) been buying instead of clothes, shoes and accessories for myself.

What we've been buying:

A grill, a patio set, welcome mats for the front and back doors, a basketball hoop, a new garbage can for the kitchen, shower curtain liners and rings...

And here are the things I still want to buy.

A new shower curtain & bath mat for our bathroom, a king size bed (eventually), garbage cans for all three bathrooms...

And I'm sure there are tons of other things I want to buy that I can't think of, and more that I will want to buy, but just haven't thought of or found them yet. So, I will hopefully be keeping my shopping light for the rest of the year. (And no, any unused amount will not be rolled over.)

Plus, I came in right around my budget--$1,200 per year, which averages out to $100 per month!

$760.17 - Annual budget remaining
$0 - Nordstrom gift cards
$0 - Nordstrom note
$100 - JCPenney gift card
$45 - Old Navy credit card rewards
$5.90 - ThredUp
$24.63 - Splender
$19.43 - eBates
$14.40 - Poshmark
$969.53 - Maximum budget amount available

I'm linking up with Franish's Budgeting Bloggers!

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The shortest confessions post ever.

I only have two confessions, and I really shouldn't be posting more when I am so behind on replying to comments, but sometimes you gotta live on the edge, you know? #risktaker

Now that I finally spilled the beans about our house, I can confess this! Our underwriter thought my name was Matthew. She started referring to me as 'Matthew' in some emails and on a document. SHE MET ME IN PERSON BEFORE THIS. But apparently she was confused because Michael's dad is named Matthew and his name is still on Michael's bank account. I took her name and came up with a male equivalent and started referring to her as that to Michael. Ha! #petty

Last night at Zumba, we were like ten minutes in and I started to develop the most horrible wedgie of all time. Yeah, that's right, I went there. Going all TMI. Anyway, I stuck with it for like another half hour, but then I couldn't take it anymore, so at the end of a song, I had to sprint out of the room, down the stairs, and into the locker room to fix the situation. (Seriously, there was no way I was going to be able to get rid of it discreetly.) And then I ran back upstairs and into class much more comfortable than when I left, but still feeling like a weirdo. #poorundergarmentchoice #whyistherenobathroomupstairs?

Linking up with Laura and Lauren for #HashtagHumpday...
...and Nadine and Kathy for Confessions!

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Exhausted but happy!

Thank you for all your comments on Friday's post! I will definitely comment back eventually, but I didn't open my computer once this weekend. I put it in my bag at the end of work Friday, brought it to the house in our first load, put my bag on the floor and didn't touch it until I left for work yesterday morning. We also won't have Internet at the house until later today and this whole week at work we're filling in for someone who's on vacation so basically everything is crazy.

Also holy crap moving is exhausting. It is really nice that it's only twenty minutes between the house and our apartment, so we've been able to make multiple trips. (As opposed to our move from Seattle where everything had to fit in one giant truck.) Also super nice that we can unload stuff into the garage and then unload from the garage to the house, so we don't have to worry about the dogs getting out.

You know who doesn't understand how hard moving is? My Fitbit. Sixteen active minutes on Friday, ten on Saturday, zero on Sunday. Excuse me? On Saturday I think I sat down for ten minutes at a time, maximum. I should have ten active hours, not ten active minutes! (Note: I know how active minutes work, so I get why I didn't get a lot, but geez, this has been my most active weekend in a long time.)

Eventually I will share pictures of the house, I promise. But we're not totally done yet, and as I said, no wifi yet. I will share a few pictures and updates today though!

But first...look at this email I got.
You'll see there's no check mark by the handle in the email... So I figured some lucky human snatched the handle before Taye (first name basis?) got an account. And then I went to the profile and it really is Taye Diggs!!! I'm like what?! A famous person followed me! And I wasn't even following him! (Obvi I fixed that real quick...when a celebrity follows you, you follow back, right?!) Anyway, I felt super important. Even though he probably has some auto-follow program where it just follows tons of random people and then unfollows them later when they don't follow back. I'm just going to pretend Taye himself found my account and thought it was fabulous and clicked the follow button. #don'truinthisforme

Okay...house things.

Obsessed with our welcome mat! But it makes me sad to wipe my feet on it because I want it to stay all clean and pretty and not get dirty. Is that weird? Ha!

I shared this on Instagram, but after an exhausting day of moving, we headed out and picked up our very first patio set! While Michael finished putting it together, I got us hard cider, Cheetos, and Doritos (super classy over here) to break it in. We also picked up the grill earlier that day too!

Tully absolutely LOVES the house, particularly the backyard. Flora is still a little iffy, but she is the more nervous of the two by far. Tully constantly wants to be in the yard, but Flora we sometimes have to pick up and carry out and close the door so she doesn't sprint back in. She also isn't as sure about the floors (the main level is all laminate, as is the master upstairs) because they're slippery, but on Sunday Tully was sprinting up the stairs, back down the stairs, sliding across the floor, out into the backyard, back inside, and repeating. She was exhausted on Sunday night (with us being up and about basically all day during the weekend, the dogs didn't really sleep until we did, aside from when we were at the apartment loading stuff up) as you can see.

Flora was tired too, but not at Tully level. But she was being all sorts of cuddly with Michael, which was adorable.

Another great thing... In our apartment, Tully would bark at every little noise, and then keep going long after the noise stopped. She's barked at noises in the house and yard a few times, but she'll be in the yard and you can hear people talking, cars driving past, etc. and she just pays it no mind. It's amazing. I think it's just because she can burn off her energy by sprinting around the yard (and up and down the stairs--homegirl will not take the stairs at a walk, she will only run as fast as she can).

OH! The Kate Spade bag I'm obsessed with is on sale for almost $100 off (in colors, not in black)!!! But of course, it's not available at Nordstrom... I have a $20 note and $99 in gift cards to Nordstrom, so I'd jump on it ASAP if they were selling it... But I don't think I can swing it for the full (sale) price right now given the house we just bought and all... I'm hoping KS will do one of their 25% off sale prices events soon or something!

That's all I've got for now. Hopefully I can reply to comments soon!

Linking up with Sweet Little Ones for Tuesday Talk!

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Friday, May 20, 2016

Home, sweet home.

You guys, we bought a HOUSE. YES. You are looking at a super adulty adult over here because I am officially a homeowner with a yard (yay!) and a washer and dryer (yay!) and more than one bedroom (yay!) and a mortgage (sigh)! You have no idea how long I've wanted to blog about this, but I swore it would jinx it if I did before it became totally official. Buying a house takes a long time, y'all (and we had a thirty-day closing, which is actually on the shorter side). I know a lot of you have already been through it, but here's our timeline, just for funsies.

Friday, April 15th
Michael found the house online.
Sunday, April 17th
Our realtor was out of town, but we were able to tour the house with her colleague.
Wednesday, April 20th
Offers were due by 5 p.m. Our realtor submitted ours in the morning.
By 6 p.m. Michael had pretty much already decided we for sure didn't get it.
Thursday, April 21st
At 10:21 a.m., I texted Michael to stop being such a downer because I wasn't going to give up hope until we officially got word that we didn't get it.
Our realtor called at 10:30 a.m. to let us know WE GOT IT!
I got to say, "I told you so" to Michael about his negativity (which is huge because he always tells me to not be so negative...which is generally warranted #notanoptomist).
These first few days felt like a month in themselves! The uncertainty really gets to you!
Thursday, April 28th
Inspection! And the power wasn't on, so we had to have the inspector come back out when it was on...
Saturday, April 30th
The day the power was supposed to be on and we were supposed to have the rest of the inspection done...except the seller's realtor is the worst and it wasn't.
Thursday, May 5th
The power is actually on and the inspection is completed.
Thursday, May 12th
The appraisal report is due. Every day since our offer was accepted we were nervous for this day. If it appraised too low and the seller wouldn't sell to us for the appraised price (or the bank wouldn't loan us our full amount), we would lose the house. And then they delayed it to the next day. More excruciating waiting.
Friday, May 13th
Yeah, kinda nervous that our appraisal was coming in on Friday the 13th. But it came back $4,000 above our sale price!
Wednesday, May 18th
Signing!
Friday, May 20th
Closing day--except when the seller goes, "Oh oops I'm out of the country and can't get to a notary" and they have to push closing...
BUT luckily they are still allowing us to move in starting this day, aka TODAY! So after work tonight we will be taking loads to the house and sleeping there on an air mattress! And tomorrow we'll get a U-Haul so we can actually move our bed and bigger furniture!
Monday, May 23rd
New closing date.

Some reflections:
After our offer was accepted, we got an invite to this online portal that kept track of your progress. It had a little tracker that said, "Where you stand" and gave a percentage of completion and the closing date. Below that was the timeline with all the steps, specifying which steps were complete, which steps were in process, and which were not yet in process. It looked like this:

We wrote (aka Michael wrote and I tweaked a little, like adding an Oxford comma and other unnecessary things) a letter to the seller, which is a must in a competitive market. We tried to appeal to her emotions, talking about it being our first house and where we'd start a family, and a better life for our dogs...we even said where we would put the Christmas tree (it was suggested to us to look her up online so we could make the letter appeal to her more--she had a Christmas Pinterest board, so we weren't being insensitive/risky)... I wanted to think that our letter would help us out...but in all honesty, we were the highest offer by a couple thousand so, nope.

House Hunters is infuriating (I've known this for years, but it makes you even more bitter when you're actually going through buying a house--at least in our area). I'm not sure where these people live but you can't get a 3,000 square foot home with four bedrooms and three bathrooms for $200,000 here. NOT. EVEN. CLOSE. Another thing you can't do is just come in at the asking price (or negotiate the seller down from asking) and have no other offers to compete with. NOPE. (Not to mention these $200K giant houses always have hardwood floors [never laminate! don't say the 'l-word' to these people!], granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and probably the fountain of youth in the backyard or something.)

Here is our reality (hint: not close to House Hunters at all): Our house doesn't have a ton of square footage, but it's over double the size of our apartment, has four bedrooms instead of one, two and a half baths instead of one, a two-car garage, and a (small) fenced yard. It has the dreaded laminate and carpet, white appliances (gasp!), and we had multiple offers to compete with. The kicker--houses around here sell for 5-10% above asking. And asking is not $200,000. Oh, and in this market, the buyer pays closing costs, no question.

Also, do you want to know our requirements for a house? Not hardwood, not granite, not a chandelier in the bathroom, not brick, not brand-new-never-been-lived-in (because germs! excuse me...if you're renting, you know that other people rented there first, right?)... Our requirements were: within budget (none of this "This is our budget. But wait, this house is $20,000 over, so let's buy it anyway!"), hopefully three bedrooms please please please, hopefully more than one bathroom please please please, a fenced yard for the dogs (or a yard that we could fence if we were well under budget), and in the area we were looking. Honestly, for a while there it was looking like a three bedroom, two bathroom house was never going to be attainable with our budget. And then we found four bedrooms and two and a half baths and we were so so excited.

And we feel extremely lucky, because this is the first house we even put an offer on, and we got it. (We were going to put an offer in on a house before, but we weren't preapproved because Michael was in a contract position, but it went permanent right after that--I briefly mentioned that in a previous post.) Not being able to put an offer in on that other house was disappointing for us, but we like the house we got better, and that house is still pending. We're guessing their closing period is much longer because the sellers were still occupying the house at the time of sale, while ours was not occupied.

I'm guessing this post was not all that amusing for anyone other than myself, so I probably won't link up anywhere today. In the future, you can probably expect to see posts about our progress with the house (the yard needs work, and we need a lot more furniture to fill it up!).

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Good things lately.

I got some Converse! I posted that I wanted these ones in gray, but we were visiting my mom last weekend and went to Ross and found these for only $30! (They have two tongues, the outer one has polka dots on the inside. I just wear them with both tongues down so they look like normal Converse, but as you can see in the picture, you can fold the tongue back and show the polka dots.) And my mom actually bought them for me, which was so nice of her.

Like I said in this post, I read library books on my Kindle because it's so convenient for me. Well, after I returned them, they still show up on my Kindle with [Loan Ended] before the title, which drove me insane. So I went to 'Manage Your Content & Devices' on Amazon and deleted them there...and it didn't work. I finally Googled it and found this (old) blog post and I'm so happy. Yes, my Kindle is that old one pictured first. I bought it in like 2009 for $99. I've considered upgrading but I'm like...why? It still works, I don't need a newer one just because.

Speaking of that, I've been a reading machine lately. I don't do book posts anymore because I'm horrible at book reviews, and they also tend to be my least read and least commented on posts. Plus it's hard to reply to comments like, "I should read these!" you know? I like to read book posts, but write them...not so much. But if you are curious about what I've read/what I'm reading/what I want to read, we should be friends on Goodreads!

This is old, but Michael and I went to two Blazers playoff games this year. One against the Clippers, and one against the Warriors, and they won both! Michael has actually never been to a game that they've lost, which is crazy and a lot of pressure now (even though he's only been to six). Anyway, they're out of the playoffs now, but they lead the defending champs (Warriors) most minutes of the series, and they were the only team who beat them more than once after that playoff win (now that OKC beat them the other day I don't know if that's still true and I'm too lazy to look it up). So anyway, I'm proud of them and I love them.

JT's new song is just the best. But we all knew that already.

This is v strange, but I am obsessed with Jenny Slate and Chris Evans dating. I've never seen a Captain America movie (I've seen The Avengers) and I don't know much about him, but it just seems like he would date a model or something. I think Jenny Slate is hilarious (I've followed her on Twitter forever--and by forever I mean when I had Twitter before, and she was one of the first I followed when I got it again) and adorable and I just love it.

Iced coffee (complete with coffee ice cubes) in a mason jar is so Portland. Plus it was delicious, as was whatever that raspberry cream cheese pastry was called.

I got the Bloom VoxBox from Influenster, and it's always fun to try out new things! Yes, I received all of the following products for free to review, but my opinions are 100% my own!

I thought the chocolate chip Sunbelt Bakery Bar was so good. It tasted like a Chewy granola bar...but for adults. Does that make sense? And excuse the shadow, but that one blue nail is done with SinfulColors Kylie Jenner Denim & Bling collection polish! I've mentioned before I'm not a fan of the Kardashians, and this is still true...but I did like this nail polish! Blue is not a color I normally use for nails, which is why I only did it on one nail. I probably wouldn't do it on all five nails, but I liked it this way. I also liked that it wasn't clear polish with blue glitter--there was actual color to the polish, though it wasn't opaque.

I was not a fan of the Not Your Mother's Plump For Joy Thickening Spray. I just felt like it weighed my hair down, which was the opposite of what it was supposed to do. I received Secret Outlast Xtend invisible solid deodorant (I actually received this in two different boxes) and it smells good, but since switching to Dove Dry Spray (which I've never received for free--bummer!), I just can't do invisible solids anymore. They get all over my clothes.

The Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse seems okay. It smelled good, but I put it on an extra dry patch on my hand and it didn't feel thick like oil, and it didn't really seem to do anything.

My favorite thing may have been the Cutex Advanced Revival Nail Polish Remover Pads. I generally use polish remover from a bottle on cotton pads and I always have to use multiple pads per hand (or foot), and with these, I was able to remove polish from all ten fingers and know that it could've removed even more! I'm not sure what the price point is on these, but if they're reasonable, I will buy them in the future for sure.

And the thing that I'm most excited and giddy about lately will be announced on the blog tomorrow! :)

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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

PEEVES

A girl I was friends with through high school said 'petike' instead of 'petite.' Pronounced exactly like 'petite'...except the second 't' sound is a 'k' sound. I was reading a blog post where someone said 'petite' and had a flashback to that mispronunciation. Terrible experience.

via GIPHY

I loathe the word 'irrevocably.' Like...in a book when a character says, "I'm so deeply, irrevocably in love with you," I shudder and want to vomit. I think it's because no one has every actually said that in real life. Right? Is there any way to use the word aside from confessing your deep, burning love?

The stupid marks on my face from sunglasses. I can't wear sunglasses and not get marks. Or if I'm wearing makeup, it will rub off onto the sunglasses. It's the reason why I'm always squinting and people ask why I don't carry sunglasses with me.

When people see your name RIGHT THERE on Facebook or email or whatever and they still misspell it. I dislike this so much that one time at work I did it accidentally to someone named Bryan and I spelled it 'Brian' so I immediately responded and apologized. Ha! He didn't even work for my company and he wasn't a customer, but I just couldn't leave it like that.

Dairy Queen's "$5 Buck Lunch" ad campaign. Do you see something wrong with that? If you read it, it's "Five dollar buck lunch." That, my friends, makes no sense. I almost included people using a dollar sign and 'bucks' in the same sentence in my last pet peeves post, but I feel like 97% of the time it's a typo or an oversight, so it seemed kind of b!tchy of me. But this...this is a national (I assume) campaign that's on menus, and giant banners outside of restaurants, online... That's just bad.

via GIPHY

Having too many posts in draft and not knowing how to finish them or what day to post them (because link-ups). Also having tons of post ideas flying around but not having time or willpower to write them or completely forgetting them and later realizing you had an amazing blog post idea and it vanished from your brain.

People who comment on blogs saying, "Excellent post, dear!" Especially when they follow up that genuine, deep from the heart comment with, "Go check out my blog!" and a link to it. Especially especially (two on purpose, for emphasis) when you see they've mass commented that same thing on like forty-five blogs.

Posting pictures of your child's first pee/poop in the potty. Can we all agree to never ever do this? I understand that it's exciting, but you don't need to post a picture of it. I don't care if you post a three paragraph status about it (unless you get too descriptive), just no photos.

When the radio asks those dumb questions (that usually have dumb answers) like, "What is the one thing 60% of women don't know about their husbands?" EVERY SINGLE DAY on my lunch break. I hear the question on my way home and I'm annoyed I won't hear the answer. Sometimes I even hear the question again on my way back. Basically, it's torture because even though they're dumb, the not knowing drives me crazy.

I know there's a big debate on Kindle vs. physical books. I have decided that I prefer Kindle books because I can't read a physical book while I work out. It doesn't stay open, turning the page is a pain...all that. Plus I don't have to actually go to the library to check out a Kindle book. But the most annoying thing about a Kindle is the percentage. I was reading The Royal We, 93% done, turned the page and...it was over (and I hated the ending...but I still rated it five on Goodreads because the rest was so good). Excuse me?! That 7% left is all just fluff?
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When people say, "This mama is so ____" (usually tired, happy, excited, blessed...whatever) on social media. Aren't we in agreement that referring to yourself in the third person is a no? So why is it cool if you're a mother? Idk, I just don't get it. [Update: Hadn't seen anyone do this in a long time...and then someone did it on Monday. Still going strong.]

I abhor (fun word!) the phrase 'all but.' I just don't think it makes any sense at all. Saying, "She all but shrieked" means she shrieked? What? Shouldn't it mean she did anything but that? Also known as the opposite? I just read The Good Girl, and I like the book, but the author uses 'all but' more than anyone in the world ever. And she takes it too far. "All but 120 pounds"? Seriously? At least if you're going to use that dumb phrase, it should be used for something not concrete like weight.

When someone says 'ancient' like 'anxient.' There is no 'x' in there, people.

Linking up with Nadine and Kathy for Confessions!

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

M&M: A Love Story - Part Four

In case you missed it: Part One // Part Two // Part Three

So after Michael ditched me but before I saw him in November, he was still saying we should hang out (I found a screenshot from October, but forgot to include it in part three). And apparently in December we were planning on hanging out too, which I have no memory of.
Michael still talking about our future that apparently only he realized was going to happen.
Me actually thinking we would hang out before Australia...riiiight.
This must've been after the December hanging out didn't happen.

And then this. Yes, I decided he wasn't allowed to miss me when he always had all these plans to hang out and they never happened (and because when I saw him in November he barely even tried speaking to me).

I don't have any screenshots after that until February, and the ones in February are just him saying 'love you' some more. In case you forgot, on February 11th, I flew to Sydney, Australia to study abroad for a semester (and didn't get there until February 13th because of the long flight + time difference--flying home I left June 30th and got back...June 30th). Some people have said they want to hear about Australia--I actually had a blog back then that you can read here. It wasn't really polished or formatted well or anything. It was for the sole purpose of my friends & family keeping up with me and for me to look back on.

We started talking on Facebook chat verrrry frequently when I was in Australia. I think the time that kicked it off was in April, and it was like 2 or 3 a.m. his time, but he was finishing a paper. And I just think this exchange is super funny. (Back story: I went to a Blazers game [Portland's NBA team] with my brother and sister-in-law. I was texting Michael that day. They were playing the Kings [Sacramento's NBA team] and Michael bet me that the Kings would win. He bet a kiss [and I was like uh, I don't want that if I win--ha!] and the Blazers won. I find this especially funny now because he has become a huge Blazers fan since we got together. #Iwin)
Please excuse his having a dirty mind and having to clarify that 'doing it' was not a dirty term *eye roll*

There are approximately a million more messages of me just saying more variations of "yeah right we'll never hang out" (just in April!) but I'll spare you those, even though some of them are super clever.

I only screenshotted three messages from May, one of them from after he received the postcard I sent him.
And this one that's hilarious because I am super clever and made up a fun word.
Lol, "lovepinions."

And here is where I would normally go all 'to be continued' because I have A LOT of screenshots from June that I plan to include... But it's either I make the post so long that no one reads it, or I keep going until it's an eight-part story and everyone's sick of it and doesn't read it. So, either way, no one reads it.

Clever use of 'girl friend' and 'boy friend.' The space is v important.

I think I'm pretty hilarious for this one. Especially that last line at the end. #comedygold

We were talking about puppies, I guess. And I don't know where the 'engaged' came from...but we did end up engaged and living together less than a year after this conversation. Although the 'puppy' didn't come for almost a year and a half.
If he was right about everything else, does that mean we're having triplets some day? Please, please, please let him be wrong about that one.

So there is just some of our witty banter. We started to get really good at time zones. I remember my housemate there (who is still one of my best friends!) would be done talking to her friends/family before me, because she's from Wisconsin, so the time zone was different, and I used to get so upset when she would want to watch Friends or Boy Meets World (I had both series on my laptop) and I would have to stop talking to Michael to do it.

Also, that same housemate is tall and blonde and gorgeous annnd Michael loves Wisconsin (he's a Packers fan) and one day they Facebook chatted for a while and I remember being kind of sad. I had talked to Abby about him and how I was on the fence, and they live two time zones away from each other, and Michael clearly had a thing for me...but I was still like, "Great, now he's gonna be in love with her" (even though I knew she wouldn't reciprocate that). Hahaha. Hashtag crazy pants. He actually asked her if it was even worth it to pursue me. He wasn't sure just how serious my mega-sass was, so he didn't know if I was interested at all and was wondering if he should give up. She told him that he should go for it, sooo she and Allison both had a hand in getting us together. And they were both bridesmaids. :)

The Facebook messaging was fun and all, but I think the moment I knew we were destined to date was when he posted the video for Boyfriend by Justin Bieber on my wall (it had just come out).

...to be continued! (We'll finally get to the part where we saw each other in person since I rushed through this part! *gasp*)

Linking up with Sweet Little Ones for Tuesday Talk!

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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

One less thank you note.

I sat down to write thank you notes and consulted the spreadsheet we created to keep track of the gifts we received. Near the top was his name, next to a pretty generous gift, considering he's never had a whole lot of money. I was filled with dread. "Do I have to write him a thank you note?" Michael immediately responded, "No, of course not."

The man I'm talking about is my father. My siblings and I have always had a complicated relationship with him, but recently it turned in to no relationship at all.

My parents divorced when I was less than a year old. I have no recollection of ever living with him full-time. My brothers are about eight years older than me and five years older than me, so they do have some memories from that time. My mom easily won full custody of us with him getting us every other weekend, but no overnight stays for me until I was three.
I won't get into why they got divorced, because it isn't really my story to tell. I will say, I didn't know why they got divorced (and don't remember ever wondering, surprisingly) until I was probably eight, ten, somewhere around there. My oldest brother offhandedly mentioned it and I remember saying, "That's why they got divorced?!" My brother was surprised that I hadn't known.

It has continued like that, with me learning more and more about their marriage over the years. The more I learn, the more I realize just how bad it was, and what kind of person my father really is.

As a child, I liked going to see him on the weekends. My parents being divorced was never upsetting to me, because I didn't remember them being married, my mom never showed any animosity towards my father, and my mom met, dated, and married my dad [in technical terms, he was my stepdad, but he's always been my dad, for those of you that are new here] when I was so young. It basically just meant that I had an extra dad [I used to call my father that] who lived in a different house.

Then I started to grow up...but my father didn't see it. I remember that he wanted to take me to a movie...and he chose Piglet's Big Movie. It was 2003, I was thirteen. I did not want to see that movie, and I was irritated that he was treating me like a baby.

Around Thanksgiving last year, I learned of something my father had said when my mom got pregnant with me. "We already have two kids. You're only supposed to replace yourselves, anything else is excessive." He didn't want me. I was shocked that he would've said that when my mom was pregnant. And then my brother said, "He said it after you were born too." That was really the last straw for me. My brothers have both clung to a relationship with him, but I kind of wrote him off in November.

So, a month later, on Christmas, he calls to chat. He tells me he's moving to Thailand. My father is bipolar, so he has his manic and depressive episodes. He was definitely manic at this point. He went on a trip with my brother for two weeks and they spent all of five days in Thailand, and suddenly he was going to move there. I was all for it. Sure, move to Thailand so I can spend Christmas Eve with my real family instead of with you.

My brothers were adamantly against it, because he's completely clueless (he doesn't understand the culture there; had my brother not been with him on their trip, he would've been scammed, no doubt). They had an intervention with him, but I made sure not to be there at the time. It didn't work. [Turns out he wanted to move there because he was on Thai dating websites. He even sent a woman he was chatting with a laptop so they could video chat...think he heard from her again? No.]

He was going to go to Thailand for five weeks to scope it out, then return and get everything in order before moving. Then he got some health news. He called to tell me about it, and when I hung up I talked to my mom. Turns out, he wasn't even going to tell me. His exact words to my brother were, "I'm not going to tell her, she's too young." This was a couple of months ago. I'm twenty-five. (Like Piglet's Big Movie all over again.)

Fast forward to his trip to Thailand. He got an international phone and would text us. I never texted back, because a) he only cares about himself, so he sent them whenever he wanted with no regard for our time zone, so I was usually asleep when he sent them and b) it would've cost us money to reply. After a few texts sent with no response, he has the woman he met on the dating site text us from her phone! It was extremely strange and uncalled for.

He also had the bright idea to schedule the surgery he needed in Thailand, instead of here. (Even though he would be eligible for Medicare weeks after this trip.) He had it all set up, and then found out last minute while he was over there that he needed to change it to a different hospital. He emailed us and asked us to research the hospital and doctors for him. My brother emailed him and said absolutely not and that he is an adult and if he wants to move to Thailand, he needs to be able to do things for himself there.

After that, we didn't hear from him. He had parked his car at my brother's house in Seattle because he flew out of the Seattle airport. The day he landed back in Seattle, my brother was with us in the Portland area at the hospital where my dad was. My brother texted my father to tell him he wouldn't be around because of the situation with my dad. He got his car and didn't say anything about my dad. Didn't ask how he was, didn't ask how my brother was doing, or how any of his children were doing.

Through all of this, he never once called or texted or emailed any of his three children to see how the man who helped raise them (or fully raised them, in my case) was doing, or how we were doing. He absolutely knew when he had passed, because he liked every single Facebook tribute that any of us posted. He did end up sending a card to my mom, but it was all about how he felt about my dad's passing. He didn't even mention any of us.

My brothers have both unfriended and blocked him on Facebook, because they don't want him to know about their lives without actually having to be in them. I will probably follow suit eventually, because I certainly don't want to have a baby one day and have him just liking pictures left and right with no interaction with me. He still likes every single thing I post, and every time I see that I am furious and want to unfriend him, but somehow I feel guilty, which I know is absurd because he is the only one in this scenario who should feel that way. (I finally unfriended him on Mother's Day. I was talking with my mom and Michael about it and I said, "I'm just going to do it now while I'm riled up, so I won't feel guilty.")

One of my brothers actually ran into him when they were both walking their dogs around the lake where they both live. My brother described the conversation and it was like a conversation between two distant acquaintances. (And still no condolences or mention of my dad.)

And that's how my father went from 'dad' to 'biological father' to 'sperm donor' in my eyes. (And that's only recent history, not all the stories from childhood.)

Now maybe anyone who commented on my post about divorce can understand. A lot of those comments made me extremely frustrated, and I just reread them and some still do (even moreso now). If you're so against divorce that you would stay with a narcissist who didn't want your third child together, that's your decision. I don't care how divorce is 'too common' or whatever you think. I hate to imagine how my mom, my siblings and I would've turned out if they hadn't gotten a divorce. Especially because my dad was a million times the man my father will ever be.

I know Confessions posts aren't usually this heavy, but I'm still linking up with Nadine and Kathy for Confessions.

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Thursday, May 5, 2016

M&M: A Love Story - Part Three

Catch up on part one here and part two here if you missed them!

When we left off, Michael and I were planning on hanging out in a few weeks when he was back at school after summer. We had only ever hung out the time we met, with our friend Allison, who introduced us, as a buffer. Well, Allison transferred after sophomore year, so this would be just the two of us.

I even sent him this lovely message. (He must've told me he really wanted to see P.S. I Love You. So no, I wasn't trying to pick a romantic movie to hint anything.)
See, he was super excited with an exclamation point and everything. This guy loves chick flicks.

So we had these grand plans and we totally met up and fell in love and the rest is history.

...NOT.

We had actually set up a day to hang out and everything. I was going to drive up to Seattle for it, it was all settled. And then that morning he texts me that he had a bad dream the night before about his mom (she was having very scary health issues at the time, which I didn't know until he told me about the dream/what it was about) and he just wasn't feeling up to it. I was really sad for him about his mom, and I figured the excuse was kind of bullsh*t anyway, but I told him it was okay and I understood and that I was sorry about his mom (she came through that stuff, but in December 2014 she was diagnosed with breast cancer and on Tuesday she had her last round of chemo!!!--sorry for the side note).

If you recall, I was already kind of on the fence about Michael, so after this, I really decided I wasn't going to try to hang out with him or have any sort of hopes or thoughts about him. I was going to Australia for a semester in February anyway, so why start something only to be long distance (like...the longest distance!)?

In November, Allison (the friend who Michael and I met through) came up to visit me. We did go up to Seattle for a day, and I wasn't sure if we were going to meet up with Michael. My friend Emily lives in Seattle and she and Allison are friends too, so we were hanging out with her, and we ended up meeting up with Michael. The entire time, Emily and I were paired up and so were Allison and Michael (we were walking and I remember them walking up front and Emily and me behind, having our own conversations and giggling and paying no mind), which was mostly due to my back off mentality from previous experience. And when we all did engage in conversation...I think I laid the sass on Michael harder than I've ever sassed anyone. And that is saying something.

Between then and my departure to Australia, there were no messages that I screenshotted, so I either didn't see that time period, or I just didn't deem any of the messages entertaining enough, or there weren't many. I think our conversations did wane between him ditching me and when we saw each other in November, and maybe after seeing each other he messaged me more, but it still wasn't a lot of talking.

Sorry this one was so wordy!

To be continued...

I'm linking up with Annie and Natalie for Thoughts for Thursday and Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Unpopular Opinions

Is there something that everyone seems to love that you dislike or are just 'meh' about? I was thinking about it, and there are quite a few for me, so I figured I'd compile them into a blog post so you can either heckle me or nod in agreement. (Note: I appreciate all viewpoints. I'm not trying to put anyone who likes these things down!)

Mushrooms
They're squishy. I can't. My family has tried to convince me for years that they're 'flavor sponges' so they just soak up the flavor around them. I don't care, texture matters, and I hate the texture.

The Wizard of Oz
I've just never really been a fan of the movie.
via GIPHY - me, watching The Wizard of Oz. *yawn*

The Royal Family
I don't care about the royal family. Not in a rude way, I just mean that when new pictures or articles with tidbits about their lives come out, I don't feel compelled even a little bit to click on them. I realize this puts me in the blogging minority. [Though I'll be honest, I'm currently reading The Royal We--I wasn't going to, but it was available from the library with no waiting--and I'm obsessed and it kind of makes me want to Google how William & Kate met. So maybe this is changing.]

The Big Bang Theory
I feel like this show is super polarizing (die-hard fans or people who don't like it, no real in-between). I'm not a fan.

Dane Cook
Okay, I know he like doesn't exist anymore, but I just have to get this off my chest. My friends all loved him and I didn't think he was the slightest bit funny.

Fake Nails
Never got them, and don't plan to.

La Croix (or any other flavored unsweetened water)
I can't. I get that these are supposed to encourage people to drink water, but if I was restricted to only drink these flavored waters, I would drink way less water. Give me plain water. If it has flavoring, it needs to be sweetened for me to drink it (aka the reason I pretty much never drink flavored water).

Adam Sandler
Another comedian I'm not a fan of. There are a few movies of his I do like, but overall I'm pretty 'meh.'

Beer
If another person tells me I just have to keep drinking it to develop a taste for it, I will scream. (Also, why force yourself to drink something you hate just to make you like it?)

Downton Abbey
Michael and I tried watching part of an episode and I was like, "huh?" I can't. If you've watched How I Met Your Mother, that's how I think of Downton Abbey. (They discuss a show called Woodworthy Manor they watch and the 'drama' of it is always like, "The Duke's servant burnt the scones! *gasp*" and stuff like that.)
via - How I imagine everyone watches Downton Abbey

New Year's Eve
There's too much pressure put on it to be a good time. With Christmas or Thanksgiving you just hang out at home (well, my family does), but with NYE you could go to countless parties or clubs or whatever (clubbing + parties = things I also dislike). When you stay home, you're 'lame,' but I have to stay home or I'll be miserable... So yeah, just not a fan.

Independence Day
Going along with NYE... I just like holidays where you get to chill at home. I don't like holidays where you have to go socialize and have the best time or it's a waste. (I don't dislike that we gained independence, I just don't like the holiday. Don't accuse me of treason.)

'Waterfalls' by TLC
I don't think I've ever admitted this before. Probably because everyone and their mother seems to love this song. Whenever it comes on I want to change it, and everyone around me freaks out and gets excited. So I just stay silent. I just don't think it's very catchy, particularly the non-chorus parts.

Game of Thrones
DUN DUN DUN! I think people are going to freak about this. Michael and I were like, "We should start this!" and the very first episode opens with snow and some horses galloping around and we were like, "Let's turn it off" hahaha. I'm not a huge fan of fantasy or period pieces or whatever (I have no idea if it's fantasy or if it's realistic...either way, not my favorite genre).

Shots
Why do people like taking shots? If someone suggests shots I panic and tell them I hate them and hope they'll lay off of me. And if I take one I immediately start gagging and feel like I'm going to throw up.

via GIPHY - multiply her face at the end by a million and seven and you have me

Brown Liquor
If I do take a shot, it's not going to be anything brown. (Even in a mixed drink the liquor will never be brown.) I'll drink gold tequila, but that's as brown as I'll go. I also kind of hate rum these days.

Makeup
Do I lose my woman card now? I like to wear makeup/dislike going most places without wearing it, but I'm not someone who goes out to buy new products for fun. Like, if I already have foundation or primer or a certain color of eyeshadow, I'm not going to go out and buy another brand of it to try it out. I use it until it's gone, and then I either buy the exact same thing again, or cry trying to figure out something else to replace it (because I have no idea what I'm doing).

Shellfish
I'll eat crab cakes or crab cocktail (because I love cocktail sauce) but otherwise, no thanks. It makes me a pretty cheap date, so that's good, right? I'm also not a huge fan of shrimp, but will eat it sometimes.

The Kardashians
Just no.

Lilly Pullitzer/Vera Bradley/monograms
GASP. The blogger trifecta! I see bloggers post these things all the time, and I don't sigh and think, "Omg so dumb/ugly/whatever." Honestly, I think a lot of it is cute and it looks great on them and all that, but it's just not my style at all. What works for you, doesn't always work for me. *shrugs* As for monograms (and to a certain extent, the other two), they're just not very big in the PNW. I think the farther south and east you go from here, the more popular they are.

Linking up with Nadine and Kathy for Confessions!

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