It's the Holiday Spirit. Arizona Style.

Today I waited patiently with my blinker on for a parking spot that was almost two miles away from my destination - Costco. It was so far away that I knew I was going to get thirsty on my walk/journey to the store so I packed a water. I also contemplated getting the journey turned into a trilogy a la Lord of the Rings. Only Frodo has had a rougher journey than the one that I was prepping myself to endure.

And then? A car whipped around the corner and tried to take my spot. I got it, but they sat there and honked at me.

At me.

For a spot that I had waited for. For a long time I waited. And it wasn't even a good spot.

To the asshat that made me feel guilty for taking a spot that I had waited for?

Bite me. And then Happy Holidays!


Help Me Out

My new neighbors (okay, they aren't really new, but they are newer) leave their backdoor open all day. In the summer. As in, right now, as I write this, their door is open.

What the what?

I get this in the Midwest. I do. Nice summer day, gentle breeze.

But here? It's currently hovering around 108. No breeze.

The house has AC, so either they have it turned off or they have the world's most gigantic electicity bill.

Why would anyone do this?


Weekend Update

I'm actually writing this on Sunday morning. I imagine I'll send it out to you all tomorrow.

It's been awhile. I know this. So I'm just going to do a nice little list for you. Well, really it's more for me. I happen to love lists.

  1. The thing is, I got a new job. I started interviewing for it at the beginning of March and the entire process took nearly three months. There was a lot of anxiety and stress throughout the process and even once I had my conditional hire I was still a bit on edge. One of us (Jeremiah) was so happy that a stream of obscenities was released along with a string of questions. The other one of us (um, Emily) could be seen bending over a toilet trying to keep her food down. Such a change, Friends. And telling my principal that I would not be returning next year? Super hard and super easy, all at the same time. As if that makes ANY sort of sense. Anyway, my new job title is human resources manager.  My employer is a retail giant. I float back and forth between managing the entire store for a shift or two a week and my HR work. I'm still in training. I can't really say more than that. I don't want to get fired. I just got hired. 
  2. My foot/ankle did not require surgery. At this time. I had a ruptured posterior tendon which was causing the ankle pain. The plantar fascia was/is quite bad, so who knows with that. The cast/boot is off. I wear a brace if I know I'll be up for my shift at work. Physical therapy. That sort of thing.
  3. Jeremiah was gone for about ten days. I am pretty sure that I slept a total of maybe five hours while he was gone. No kidding. He had a great time and I'm only about thirty percent jealous that he got to go home and see his family. And horses. And water. Whatever.
  4. Maddie has a rash. That's cat number two, in case you were wondering. The rash/hotspot is disgusting. It's covered in pus and blood. And it's raw. The other day I picked her up and gave her kisses and I accidentally KISSED the hotspot. Grossest thing ever. I almost threw up a little in my mouth. Baby barfed. The cause of the rash (hotspot) is most likely a very expensive food allergy. Fan-freaking-tastic. We went through this with Atticus and he ate pork chops and barley for months. And I was like, "Why the hell is my dog eating like a king? Why am I slaving over the stove/oven?" and then we discovered it was actually an environmental allergy and I was all, "Here's the Iams, little guy!". Maddie (and Mel's, because you can't switch it up for just one of them) food is so expensive that when I saw the price of it on the shelf, I nearly wet myself. Good lord. Oh, well. I just got a raise, right? 

That might be it. I work ten hour shifts right now and am driving all over the valley. The nice thing is, I don't bring any stress home with me. Or work. When I am done, I'm done. My days off are for me, and that is fabulous. We are (fingers crossed) hoping to accomplish some of these things within the next six months or so: tile floor, french doors leading to the patio, new roof, master bath, guest bath.

I've really missed blogging (and taking pictures), so I am hoping that once I get a bit more settled into things, I'll be able to get back to where I once was.


Do You Know Who I Am?

Okay. Not Reese Witherspoon.

But I am apparently overly cautious about my stuff.

Last night there was controversy as Jeremiah requested to hear stories about my childhood - I told him how my brother destroyed all my toys. We all know this is true, people. Let's not deny it. And then Jeremiah said, "Well, maybe that's why you are always telling me to be careful with your stuff."

Dead silence.

Me: What?
J: Hmm? Feigns deafness. Starts rubbing my arm.
Me: What did you just say?
J: Well, it's just, sometimes you warn me an awful lot about being careful with your stuff."
Me: No.
J: Yes.
Me: Noooooooo! I am getting better at this! I have been trying, really trying. When's the last time I asked you to be careful with something of mine?
J: The last time I drove your car. And every time before that.
Me: Oh, okay. Well if you ever get a brand new top of the line car why don't you let me drive it with a blindfold over one eye (because he is completely blind in one eye), shaking my head up and down (has shaky vision in the other), and fly down a Phoenix highway. Let's see if you don't scream like a girl at me to slow the hell down and to be careful with your stuff.
J: I can't believe you brought my...disability into this.
Me: No response. Too busy laughing and reenacting the driving.

Have a great weekend, Friends.

p.s. He really is not a bad driver.


Record Store Day 2013

Every year, Jeremiah and I go to RSD. It's an actual thing, for those that might not believe me. And it's sort of a big deal. It's Jeremiah's favorite holiday.


Artists release limited batches of their albums - some of them are numbered, some of them are colored vinyl, some are rereleases...it's awesomeness. And for those who are like, "Who buys records anymore? People don't even buy CDs!" all I have to say is, where have you been? Records now days can sometimes come with the digital download right inside it - a little bonus and thank you from the artist for buying their stuff. So you get an awesome sounding album and the digital compressed stuff for your ipod. For usually around the same price that you would pay to buy the digital version online. At first I didn't believe Jeremiah when he said records sound better but they do. Truly. They do. 

We joined the line at about 8:30 and enjoyed the smells wafting around. I call it the 3Ps: Pot, patchouli, and perspiration. This year we chose to start at a different record store and I mostly only smelled the pot. A little less patchouli and perspiration. Small steps should be celebrated.

Jeremiah and I go in with a plan. He shows me a picture of every album he wants and/or I want. I'm good with that. He takes a list. He's good with that.

Nine o'clock, the doors open. People surged forward. I honestly thought I might die, but people were cool and there was no pushing. At one point though, I might have said to Jeremiah, "This is not how I want to die!"

We got in, and followed our plan. He went straight to the back of the store (they spread things out on tables throughout the store) and I stopped up front. Here's the thing about being a girl. And being a bit short. And being one of only a few girls at the store. Boys don't get in my way. I can weasel my way up to the front, ducking under armpits and maneuvering myself this way and that. Plus, I'm a teacher (I'm used to no personal space.) and a veteran shopper. Trained by the best. Eye on the prize, I get what I want.

We met up at one point - I had a shit ton of records that we wanted, he had a few.  He was all, "Thank GOD you got that! And this one! And this!"

At this point we had: Joan Jett, White Stripes, White Stripes in Rockabye Baby, Dave Brubeck, Cal Tjader, No Alternative, Rocket From the Crypt (?) and a side by side (single). 

You are welcome, Jeremiah.

We were still short a Black Keys, Wings, Mumford & Sons, Soundgarden, Porno for Pyros, Pink Floyd, Mad Season, many side by sides, and Eisley. 

We separated again and I started following this guy who obviously was rethinking the Soundgarden. I stalked him all over the store. Hobble step, hobble step, hobble step. The second he set it down, I literally lunged through a crowd and grabbed it. Mine.

Wings was captured the same way. Someone set it down, and we lunged for it.

Some of these records there is only one or two copies - for example, there was only one Pink Floyd in the whole store. And the guy that got it was a douche. I am pretty sure his ultimate goal was to sell it on Ebay. What an ass.

We met up again and got in line to check out. We got our limited edition reusable bags and t-shirts and we were on to the next store.

Of course, nearly an hour and a half had passed, so it was slim pickins. Jeremiah was able to find the Mad Season and the Mystery Side by Side.

I gave up on Eisley (both stores said that they did not get a copy) and the Pink Floyd (because, one copy? Really?) and then on the Mumford & Sons. I was determined to get something by Mumford & Sons because I wanted them to be my mystery purchase for the year. I had heard a twenty second clip and was going to buy their RSD release. Instead I just bought their album Babel which came with digital downloads.

Here's my stash:
I got the Rockabye Baby (instrumental White Stripes) because I thought it would be awesome to have a baby that got to listen to White Stripes. It's red vinyl. The White Stripes is two albums, one is half red and half black, the other is white. The Wings is "Maybe I'm Amazed" four times - super high quality. Joan Jett is yellow vinyl.

I also was getting ready to leave and went over to Jeremiah who was talking to a guy and Jeremiah said to me, "Did you know _________________ had a RSD release this year?" and I was like, "Ohmygosh, no!!" and the guy held up his copy, which of course, there weren't any more of. And then, he gave it to me. So I bought it for my dad. That secret release is not in the above picture.

Jeremiah's mystery side by side (which you don't know until you open it) was Grateful Dead, Dr. John, and Dixie Cups doing "Iko, Iko" on clear red vinyl with splashes of blue. Freaking awesome.  Mostly because I love the song and now we have four versions of it (I have Cyndi Lauper singing it, too).

Also, I am in LOVE with Mumford & Sons.


I laugh, I cry, it moves me, Bob. Seriously, I told Jeremiah last night that I had stories that I imagined happening along with the songs. There is such a driving beat, it is SO TOUCHING.

So I just like to share. I know other people may have already heard of them and probably love them, but there are some people like me that sometimes miss things. So in case you have missed them:

You can thank me later.

If you are interested in my past mystery/new to me purchases, they are a Florence & the Machine single (2012) and a red Kings of Leon single (2011). I think that was my first year doing the mystery to me thing. Totally worth it.

ETA: Jeremiah was into records BEFORE it was trendy. He actually worked for this company that was featured in the Wall Street Journal and was the guy's only employee for years. I just thought I would share that. I hopped on board when we started dating. I did it because he wouldn't let me take CDs out to my car anymore because I didn't take care of them. So for us, him specifically, this is NOT hopping on a new trend or about being cool. Jeremiah loves music. No, he is crazy about music. It's like water for him. Or like beer. I just felt like I needed to clarify. Maybe because I love him because he isn't about being trendy. That's pretty freaking awesome.


Merry Christmas and Happy Valentine's Day!

I realize that this post is late, but we did not get one of our gifts until Saturday, so you can see why there might be a delay.

Holidays and birthdays and anniversaries around our house go a lot like this:

J:What do you want?
E: I don't know. I don't need anything.
J: Well, what do you want but not need?
E: Nothing.

Which, in reality is nice. With the exception of my wish for smaller thighs, I have all I want. So we decided this year that instead of exchanging needless things, we would buy ourselves something for the house. This is why people get married, I am thinking. So they don't have to buy this stuff themselves.


Anyway, we exchanged little gifts at Christmas and were debating between new pots and pans (Hey, have you heard that eating the nonstick surface of your pans isn't good for you? Crazy, right?) because ours were hand me downs or cheapies and needed to be introduced to the trash. Or we were considering a down-alternative comforter. Because, you know. That would be nice.

We chose the pots and pans because there was a fantastic set at Cost-co and we couldn't pass it up. Seriously, awesome set. Stainless steel, copper bottom and along the sides, wonderful.

This picture was taken right after Christmas which explains all the munchies and treats on the counter. Sort of.
My dad said they were nice, my brother called me a lucky bitch, and my mom said they were too nice for my stove.

Thanks, y'all.

For anyone interested, it was the Cost-co brand (Kirkland?) and it's a huge set with lids and a steamer and everything. They all cook things evenly and once they get heated up, shit stays HOT.

Then we decided on Valentine's Day that the same thing applied. We wanted nothing. We needed a new toaster oven, as the one I had got in college had seen better days and only worked on the top side, not the bottom. So you had to flip everything you put in there. Plus, we don't own a microwave, so a toaster oven is truly our go-to counter top appliance.

So here is the old one:
 It's the Toastmaster deluxe. From the year 2000. It didn't even come clean anymore. It actually had to be tossed and could not be donated. Jeremiah suggested that I open and close the door one more time, for memories. I did.

We replaced it with this:
There are positive and negative reviews for this, but there were positive and negative reviews for all the ones we looked at. KitchenAid is the brand, and I knew once I saw it, I wanted it. Mainly because it is three pronged on the outlet, and most toaster ovens ARE NOT. Which is crazy, because think of the power they got floating through there. So the three prong means that I most likely won't get electrocuted. Yay. Also, the wire trays hook in the back so they don't slide all the way out and you find your food on the floor. Plus, this beast can cook a whole bird, people. It came with two wire racks, a broiler pan, and something that hooks up a bird.  So far we've used it to do a mess of potatoes and some toast...AT THE SAME TIME! Everything cooked up superbly and evenly.

So there you go. Two wonderful purchases and two wonderful reasons why you should get married and register for gifts.


I'm Bendin' Spoons.

So the score looks like this: Insurance 482, Emily 1.

They have finally allowed the MRI, Friends. I felt a little bit like Aladdin being granted a wish by the genie. But only if the genie were an evil corporation profiting on my pain and yelling, "dance, monkey girl, dance!" and if I were a little boy from the middle east that had a fondness for wearing hammer pants and vests without a shirt underneath.

Okay. So it's not the same, really.

I totally can't pull off just a vest. Oh, no. Just no.

But I can totally pull off a hat. And I think Aladdin wore a hat.

Anyway, they said yes. I threw out a grand number of expletives and thank yous and the MRI was done on Friday.

Here's how that went:

Technician: You can't move at all.
Me: Not at all?
T: Not unless you want me to do it over again.
M: And this whole process will take...?
T: An hour.
M: Excuse me?
T: ONE. HOUR... Unless you move.
M: Like, can I stretch the parts that aren't in the machine?
T: No, that would change the electric force field.

So he put some headphones on me and I went in the MRI machine, feet first up to the chest. I was like, "Easy peasy, it's like a tanning bed." He talked to me a couple of times and I nodded and got yelled at so I tried to speak without moving my lips and we got started.

Apparently I looked to him like a girl that liked to get her party on, because he put dance music in my ears the whole freaking time. I didn't want to be all lame and ask the voice in my ears for Simon & Garfunkel or maybe some Carol King, but can I just say? The mash-ups and beats did NOT help me go to my happy place.  I'm not anti-club music but holy crap.

So I practiced breathing techniques and counted the ceiling tiles and told myself that this time will just fly by. Like lightning.

It didn't.

I just sat there, listening to the club mix and the man in my ears as the paper began to rise underneath my legs and every hair follicle on my lower half went crazy. It is the most bizarre sensation. I also started having involuntary muscle twitches. At one point he yelled, "Stop moving!" and my response was a muffled, tight-lipped, "The entire definition of involuntary muscle spasms is that I HAVE NO CONTROL OVER THEM!" and I didn't. It was like, my entire leg, flopping in the force field. Toes bending completely. I started wondering if anyone had spontaneously combusted in the machine. Then I started to count tiles again, because shit, I scared myself. And I was deathly afraid that I would have to do this sitting completely still thing again. You know, if I didn't spontaneously burst into flames first.

When all the flying paper and rising follicles and twitching was done, he came in. It was the second time he had come in, the first time was half way through and he was yelling "Don't move, don't move!" and he had to adjust something before the second MRI. I couldn't even stretch. So that second time, I just sat there. He said I could move and I was all, "Are you sure?"

And I could not sit up. I was so weak from holding still that I could not even move and he had to help me up and I might have flashed him a teeny tiny bit. I couldn't walk, either. So I just sat there. When I left the room, I was SURE that everything metal was going to come flying towards me and I would die a horrible death by utensils and magnets.

I didn't.

When I staggered out to the waiting room, Jeremiah announced that AN HOUR AND A HALF had passed. I told him we had bigger problems because I was now super human. I was an MRI gone wrong.

Then I realized: Those assholes lied to me. They said it would be only an hour.

I think I shall use my powers for evil.


It's Spring!

I know this to be true not only because it is ninety degrees, but because of these sassy pants:

This is just how we roll, meow.
There is currently enough fur floating around here to build a third cat. I would say eighty percent of said fur is coming from Mel. I guess Snowshoes shed all that thick winter fur. Who knew? It is apparently something that I block from my memory every year. I imagine that otherwise I would constantly be in a fragile state.

Whatevs. It's spring, Friends. Come swimming with us?

P.S.  I love that my cats spoon. It really doesn't get any better than that.


It's Just a Small Gift, Really. But Still...You are Welcome, Neighbors.

The worst thing about the stupid cast thing is taking it on and off.

Seriously, I would like to burn it. When it's not, you know, attached to my foot.

Seriously, the level of lazy that I am reaching here is astounding. I blame it on the fact that I can't do freaking anything.

As I am required to take it off to drive, and then immediately put it back on upon arrival at my destination, it gets old. Fast. I can't really do anything about it at work. But at home? The thought of taking the boot/cast off to drive home, put it back on to walk into the house, take it off two minutes later when I get into my cozies (Everyone wears cozies around the house, right?), and then put it on after said cozies are on is enough to kill me. So I have figured out that I can save minutes, actual minutes, by getting out of my car, taking off my pants, putting the cast/boot back on, and walking into the house in my undies.

Then when I get upstairs, I can just throw on my cozy pants OVER the boot. Because those pants STRETCH.

Where's the gift, you might ask?

I close the garage door first. You are welcome.

Because my neighbors know that I am not above walking around in my undies


It's Like I'm Dr. Dolittle.

Before I injured myself and doomed myself to weeks in a cast, I had been going to the gym regularly. I loved it.

While Jeremiah put my purse in the lockers every evening (I don't like lockers. Or shopping carts.), I would look out the huge windows out onto the pond with the fountain. And ducks. Lots of water birds.

And hand to my heart - on one of those evenings, I meowed.

Because sometimes I meow at home. You know, to my cats (This is normal, right?). But I did not realize in the moment that I was in public and people don't actually MEOW in public and there was a slight chance that the lady sitting in the comfy chair reading her book might hear me and think I was a little cray-cray.

Because, you know, I meowed. 

Just FYI - there is no playing it cool after that. Once you meow in public, it's best to just leave the immediate area.

Happy Friday!


It's What I Bring to the Table.

So last night after Jeremiah made me dinner, I told him he was my hero. And I was not kidding. In the past week, this man has taken two days of PTO to stay at home with me while I was not able to work AND left his job (on the other side of Phoenix) to come pick me up from my place of employment because I could not drive. That's pretty freaking awesome.

I proclaimed that he was indeed my hero and asked if he would like to hear a song about heroes. He didn't say no, which I took to mean that I could sing if I wanted to. So I did. I sang "Everybody's Got to Have a Hero", from my elementary music class text book, that was performed by my class in third grade. Sang the whole damn thing. Start to finish. Ended with over the top jazz hands (is that redundant?).

Jeremiah stared at me for a minute and then announced, "That's it. That's the shit that you bring to the table. Who wouldn't want that in their company/business/school?"

Hells yes. Impromptu dancing and singing. "It's the shit I bring to the table." I'm thinking of adding that to my resume.

p.s. I should mention that I NEVER miss work and the fact that I had to miss a few days is killing me. Killing me, Smalls.
p.p.s. Also, I just wanted to say once again how awesome my co-workers are. Seriously, I heart these people. Because not only did Jeremiah have to come get me, but one of my friends came to pick Jeremiah up at the house and drove him back to the school so he could get his car before who knows what happened to it.


Well, Crap.

Did you miss me?

Picture me asking you this, standing shyly, head hanging down in an "Awe, shucks" kind of way.

Except no.

I am not standing. Because I have effed up my foot, Friends.

Shit's messed up.

Snuffy's Disease got way out of hand.

After getting a steroid injection that allowed me to walk like a normal person (as opposed to Thug Nasty), the damn thing wore off, I overdid it, and long story short, I have ruptured both my Achilles and Plantar Fascia. Ripped those things in half. Due to the tendons or whatever not being connected anymore, my left foot is completely flat and approximately half an inch longer than the right foot.

Shoe shopping is going to be a bitch in about five weeks. Also, when I saw the size difference in the bathtub, I started laughing. That might have been because I was temporarily hopped up on pain meds, or it might have actually been funny. At the moment, I am not laughing.

My insurance will not cover an MRI to see what needs to be done until after six weeks in the cast. I have to say, I'd much rather them suck it the hell up and cover the MRI. I am terrified of not knowing. Plus, for the next five weeks, I am only allowed fifteen minutes per hour of standing. That's it. I'm not great with math, but the hour it takes to get ready in the morning is effing me up. I try to sit on the counter while I do my hair, but showering and what not? Takes longer than fifteen.

My students have been hilarious in all of this. I tell them that one of the other students (I co-teach) ran over my foot with a scooter. The boy laughs and says, "I didn't even look back! What, what!" Also, they are practicing their mathematical skills and regularly tell me how much time I have left any given hour.

Plus, the cast smells. I can wash it, but it has to air dry and I am not allowed to take it off unless I am in the shower or driving. So really, I can't wash it. I should have figured that out when the cleaning instructions had a laughing smiley face next to them. Bastards.

My specialist yesterday did an additional ultrasound and I told him that while he may just have flown back from a third world country doing missionary clinic work, the smell that would hit him when I took off the cast was death, pure death.

Lastly, I have to wear it to bed and this pains me because I wash my feet when I come in the house. I don't like dirty sheets. And now I basically have the world's filthiest and smelliest shoe thing on my new sheets. Brand freaking new. It's worse than when Mel threw up on the comforter.

Much, much worse.

I would like to add that my co-workers/friends/Jeremiah have been so awesome that it brings me to tears. Seriously, they are amazing. I was crying (out of "Ohmygosh, everyone is being so nice!" overwhelmedness) and my coworker said "Emily? Are you kidding? We LOVE you. This is what happens when you're a nice person. Other people want to help you when you're down." And then I cried even more.

It was a very Sally Fields moment. "You like me?! You really, really like me?!" And also, because deep down, I might be nice. Who knew?


Boogers - Bathroom Series, Part 1

They built us new bathrooms when they did the school remodel. That's fantastic, right? As far as community bathrooms go, this one is pretty nice.

In early fall, I walked into my favorite stall and noticed what appeared to be a booger on the wall of the stall. I am very easily disturbed by other people's icky things, and I was only able to calm myself down by the fact that the booger would be erased forever when the bathrooms were cleaned that evening.

The next day, the booger was still there.

For over a week, this booger held steadfast to its spot on the wall. Eventually, I took an empty toilet paper roll (This makes it sound like our bathrooms are never cleaned, doesn't it? Not the case, I promise.) and used that as my weapon to remove the booger.

Not ONE FREAKING WEEK LATER, a new booger was smeared on the wall. Who the hell does this? It has to be an adult woman, as it is the staff bathroom. And really, Friends? What better place to pick your nose because not only is it private, but there is toilet paper RIGHT THERE for you to use as booger holders. Use the toilet paper. Please, I beg of you.

Same story, did not get taken care of, I used my shoe, yadda yadda.

Last Friday I went into my favorite stall and there was another booger smeared on the wall. I did not take care of it. I just want to write a note and post it in the stall. My mental letter goes something like this:

Dear Booger-Wiper,
What the hell is wrong with you? This is the adult bathroom. We do not wipe boogers on the wall. Actually, my third graders don't even wipe boogers on the wall. There is plenty of toilet paper here, use that. If you can't handle disposing of your nose gold properly, I would suggest you use a different bathroom.
A Kleenex-User

I can't even comprehend this disgustingness.

Someone, anyone, please share a job related story for me that will make me feel better about this situation.


Yep, She Sure Is.

I know what you are thinking. That is a freaking cute cat, Emily. Yep, she sure is. She is adorable.

She is also the cat that actually looks around a room in an effort to eff things up. Sometimes I swear I see her doing that. Like, "Hmm...What can I destroy next?" It is not enough that she climbs the tree. She sabotages the tree take down, as well. She hates it when Christmas goes away.

I get you, Maddie, I do. I hate saying goodbye to Christmas, too. But this is not the way to show it.

 For sure this is a cat that wants to eff up your Christmas:

P.S. I should add that Maddie really just wants to have fun. I think she might be a friend of Cyndi Lauper's. She is not malicious in her destruction, which sounds weird, but I believe it to be true. I think of her as an individual with ADD with a spectrum disorder (We've got some social awkwardness going on here, people.) thrown in for good measure. That is my cat.


Only Got Twenty Dollars in My Pocket

If you know me or have been reading for awhile, you know that I am a thrifter. Almost everything in our house? Second hand. It started out of necessity. I moved here to Arizona with two cars worth of stuff - and that did not include dining room furniture, a couch, chairs, or a bed (for the record, I would never buy a second-hand mattress. Just...no.).

I needed stuff and I was not exactly swimming in money. So I started shopping at Salvation Army and Goodwill. With my Subaru, I could haul everything. Seriously. You know. Everything.

When we bought the house, we needed to fill it. As I mentioned, nearly everything is second hand. And we like it. We like to think we make it look good. At least to us. Some pieces we refinish, some we just clean up, but it has been fun slowly adding things to our house over time, instead of getting everything all at once.

Friday a cool thing happened. YHL, a blog that I read, decided to have a thrift store challenge. It was based on this song by Macklemore & Ryan.

I love that Leona is in that video. She was also featured on the front cover of Martha Stuart's Living a few months ago. Everyone loves them some giraffe. You can read about how I found Leona the Giraffe here. And you really should. It is one of my favorite posts.

The challenge is this: Take twenty bucks, go to a thrift shop, see what you can get. Also, take a picture of yourself with something mentioned in the song.

So here goes:

 The first stop we made was the Salvation Army. It was raining in Phoenix, and while I generally like the rain, I've been fighting something (again.) and was not going to stand in the rain while Jeremiah perfected his shot. So here it is. From inside Hazel.
 My found object was this mustard yellow (or as my brother would call it - Felicia Brown) Samsonite ("Oh! Samsonite! We were waaaaay off!") piece of luggage. Mostly I thought - this is some ugly shit. But at the same time, I was like, "I could totally buy this and never have to grab the wrong piece of luggage at the airport carousel again."

I got a few stares while posing with the suitcase.

Salvation Army was having the one year anniversary of their store remodel, and it was freaking packed. Mostly because everything was fifty percent off, but also because they were grilling hot dogs in the rain. You don't really have a Plan B here in Phoenix in case of rain. You just don't.

Anyway, I bought three books at a quarter a piece. The bottom three on the pile above.

Remember my pig head that I have had for years?

I totally found his water-loving friend! He was only two bucks, and he is so ugly that I love him. One of his eyes is slightly darker than the other, which is endearing. If a fake white duck head can be endearing. And I think that they can be.

Total spent: $2:75

Our next step was Goodwill, and it was packed and everything was also fifty percent off. I scored a Jones New York 3/4 length grey boatneck shirt, a light grey dressy tee, and a pair of long navy sporty shorts. I would show pictures, but all clothes are being decontaminated at the moment. I also got the rest of the books in the above picture.

My total spent at Goodwill: About $12.00.

Jeremiah walked up to me while I was searching and said he had found a belt. Apparently he has been looking for a casual black belt (I am sure at one point I told him his black leather belt was too dressy for some of his pants/shorts. That totally sounds like something I would say. With love, of course.) Anyway, he strolls up and says he's found a belt and it looks brand new. Had I ever heard of this brand? Holds up the tag. It's a Patagonia belt. This one, actually. He was excited to learn that he could open a beer bottle with it. Thirty dollar belt. Jeremiah's total: $2.00.

I didn't have any huge or super exciting finds (besides my duck and books), but I still like seeing what's new and what bargains are available. I can't really narrow down any particular favorite or best find - Leona was definitely up there. I have also had some great clothing finds and some great furniture finds. Like the tables I got for $1.25 each and refinished. Jeremiah has had some incredible finds - including $100 pants and ties for just a couple of dollars.

So there is my response to the challenge. Anyone else do the challenge? Anyone have a favorite thrift shop find?


The Family That 'Staches Together...

I don't think I have ever posted about Jeremiah's kids. Actually, I know I haven't. It's a long story, and it is not my story to tell. Here is all y'all need to know:

  1. Jeremiah is a good dad. In every way possible, he supports his kids.
  2. Please refer back to #1. You know I don't like odd numbers.
So anyway, the kids were here for Christmas. I, however, was not. I came back just in time to spice things up before they headed back to their other home (out of state).

His kids are now 18 & 14, which shocks the shit right out of me, because I have been with Jeremiah for seven years and have known these two from when they were littles. Like, preteen. Crazy. I feel old, and I imagine Jeremiah feels super extra old. Have I mentioned that he turns the big four zero this year?

On the plus side, when he went to the gym with Hudson (that'd be the son, yo), the guy at the desk asked if they were BROTHERS. That's gotta make an older fella feel good, I'm guessing. I'm also guessing that I will be hearing about that for years...Thanks a lot, gym receptionist, thanks a lot.

There was a request for a family picture while the kids were here, and we were happy to oblige. The original theme was musicians, because Hudson plays guitar and Jeremiah plays drums and guitar and I own a guitar. Plus, I borrowed a cowbell from work and I thought we could jam like the skit on SNL of Blue Oyster Cult. The one where they need more cowbell.

That all changed when we were leaving Old Navy and I came across a pack of stick-on mustaches. His daughter was all, "What are you going to do with those?" And I told her that we were all going to be wearing one and if she was a smart girl, she'd pick her mustache out first while the picking was good. So she did. Smart girl, that Nadia.

We ended up doing both. Musicians first, mustached second. 

So here are some pictures. I am so impressed that these two were not only willing to do it, but had fun while we did it. I know that their lives while they are with us are quite different than while they are with their other family, but kudos to them for that willingness and ability to adapt to change. Because everyone should mustache it up every now and then. Although to be honest, I might be all mustached out.

My favorite part of this is Jeremiah rocking the acoustic. I don't think enough acoustics get rocked.

I love everything about this. Nadia's hair flip? Out of this world. Me fake picking my nose? Hilarious. Jeremiah giving me a look like "Get your finger out of your nose" is...well, he gives me that look a lot. And Huds is just enjoying the cowbell.

Dad and kids.

I like this because I am getting a kiss.

 And mustaches. Later we had milkshakes. It was a great day.
 These are two of the best pictures. Ever.

There are plenty of others, but these are some of my faves. Hope you and your family had a fantastic holiday.