Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 - Goals

I usually try to think of a few resolutions for the new year, but this year I shall simply call them goals.

1. Get jobs
2. Get our own place
3. Figure out the lay of the land

Those are the main things... And it amazes me how simple they are, and makes me cry a little bit that it is our current situation. I hate being out of work and being completely lost in a new place, but it helps that everytime I walk outside I stop and take in the sounds of a million birds singing, and the wind blowing through the leaves. Watching my children climb all over their grandparents, and laughing over dinner with my in-laws. That all just makes me feel incredibly blessed.

I know that things are going to continue evolving and changing rapidly over the next few months as we settle in and I will do my best to keep up with the blog (I don't have a computer set up atm, so I'm restricted to posting through my smart phone).

Happy New Years, and I think I'm not alone in happily shutting the door on 2011. Bring it on, 2012!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Eve Eve

Poor big Mike. He probably didn't expect to spend this day schlepping our boxes from his garage to our newly acquired storage unit up the street. :( However... It is exciting that our stuff is here, because it makes it all seem more official. Plus, having a storage place is almost as cool as having our own
place (we keep reminding J's parents that we'll get our own place ASAP - just as soon as at least one of us have a source of income).

In other exciting news, the sun is out and shining brightly. The neighborhood is equally quaint in both foggy conditions and sunny. I've been walking around picking the homes I love the best, and it turns out that my 2 favorite in the immediate area are going to be available soon :)

Hopefully I will have a chance to get my camera out today to take some pictures, though I'm not sure we'll have one of our computers running to upload them before January.

Merry Christmas to all, and Happy New Year, Ya'll.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Stranger in a strange land...

I wish I had more to write about, but the last three days following our cross country drive have been uneventful. To be completely honest, I haven't seen one foot beyond Josh's parents street. Even in that small area, I've experienced quite a few things, like squirrels, acorns, and cold & grey rainy days. I <3 all 3.

While i love the rain, I do feel bad that Mikey & Johnny have been cooped up since we got here. hopefully the skys will clear by Friday so we can let them run amuck in the yard and stretch their legs. The moving truck should also be here Friday so we can get a little more settled in, and I can really get to work finding a new job.

More later...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Adventure begins!

Writing from my phone and hoping it works. The internet/cable are already shut off, so I am relegated to blogging and web surfing through my EVO.

The packers are already done, and now we are waiting on the Salvation Army to haul away the couches, during, our bed and all the clothes and other junk we are donating. That means tonight will be a little rough as far as sleeping arrangements go, but at least we'll be in a hotel tomorrow night.

The movers arrive early tomorrow, and will likely be done before noon. That gives us the afternoon to get stocked up and ready for the road trip. I already can't imagine how much more lame this would be if we didn't have a portable DVD player and streaming music through Spotify on my phone.

I still plan on doing little blog & facebook posts along the way. Here we go!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

End of an Era

Today is my last day at GE. I think I should be more broken up about it, but honestly, it doesn't feel real. Perhaps it will set in when I start looking for a new job, but right now it just feels like I'm going on an extended vacation. It has been almost 10 years with the company, and for the first time since I was 16, I will be unemployed.

Fortunately, I have a few things working in my favor. The biggest of those is the luxury of being able to take my time to find a job that will be a good fit. The certifications I earned with GE will help, and my long work history with one company will also probably be a benefit. Supposedly the unemployment rate for those that have advanced degrees (ie, bachelors/masters) is significantly lower than the rest of the country, though I might trade that edge for all the student loan debt!

My goal for the rest of the December is to try and enjoy all the madness. It would be easy to get my PC set up the second we land and start hunting non-stop for work, but I think I will regret it if we don't at least spend a little time exploring our new home state before locking down and find a new job. So, I will do my very best to spend December just enjoying the holidays, and getting to know the area. I'm not sure if it will be possible, and it would be entirely to freezing to actually swim, but I would love to see the beach! If not soon, hopefully we'll get to make the journey this summer!

As far as home goes, while I've been packing up boxes at work, we've also been continuing our purging and organizing at home. It feels so liberating to be able to move with less. I can't say how many moves we've made lugging useless junk behind us. Sure, some junk will  make it in this move, but I can safely say no junk MAIL will make it. We've done a good job at getting rid of the things we didn't love, and tomorrow the Salvation Army will be hauling away the things we didn't love that someone else might enjoy.

The movers leave on Friday, and then we set off across the country. I'm so excited to begin writing about this new chapter in our lives! 2012 is going to be amazing!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Last night, after we finished watching the Michael BublĂ© Christmas Special on NBC, Josh and I finally got into the garage. It was cold. I wasn't wearing shoes (only socks), and by the end of the evening (we stopped around 10pm) I couldn't feel my toes! But, it was all worth it because we really got a lot accomplished. The garage is now divided into 3 sections - our "donate" pile, our "bulk trash" pile, and then about 1/3 of the garage is boxes and bins stacked up that we plan on bringing with us. Josh is going to go through those boxes for the next couple of days to see if there is any further weeding we can do, but it won't be much more. Most of these boxes contained our decorations and knick knacks, cd's & dvd's, books, and other keepsakes, and I fully intend on bringing them out to play as soon as we settle into our own place again.

We made a decision on the paperwork that will make it possible for us to only bring 1 container of it on our journey - which will fit nicely into the one filing cabinet we have decided to keep (but Josh is not keen on the idea of using the filing cabinet to actually store our "keep" paperwork, so they will be traveling separately ;)).

One of the unfortunate side-effects of the great garage clean up is the amount of laundry we found that we want to keep. Josh would pick up a sock, and I was screaming purge, purge, purge, while he blinked his big baby blues at me and pointed out that "hey, maybe you didn't notice, but these are argyle dress socks... these can't have been cheap." Maybe he forgot that I bought the mountain of men's dress argyle socks when I was still working at L'eggs/Hanes/Bali/Playtex at the Arizona Mills Outlet Mall, and I got them all for about 99.9% off. But, he totally played me like a violin, because he knows me, and he knows my weakness for argyle. I love argyle. I still regret not spending $90.00 on the cashmere argyle cardigan I spotted while waiting in the insanely long line at Kohl's on Black Friday.

Anyway - even though we got a lot done last night, I now have a lot more to do, involving a mountain of socks that need to be laundered (along with some crib sheets we found that had been missing).

Basically, we have now reached the "heart in throat" stage. I have 5 days left of work after today, we move out of our home completely in 9 days, and we'll be starting our journey about this time 10 days from now. I've managed to get all the logistics of the move taken care of (including making shipping arrangements for Finley), and once we go through the closets, purge the unnecessary from our kitchen, and pack our suitcases, we'll be ready to go. Somewhere in between the madness I should also consider cleaning the house. It is all so exciting and terrifying at the same time!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

9 days! Agh!

I don't feel good. It occurred to me @ 5:30am while I was driving to work. I'm tired. I'm forgetful. By the time 9pm rolls around, I'm a disoriented, groggy mess. It is all I can do to keep my eyeballs open at that point.

If I were 40 years older, I might worry that I was developing Alzheimer's.

With the little capacity I had available to me at that point, I started wondering about what might be the cause of my lack of mental clarity.

The first thing that crept into my brain was diet. Josh and I had been doing the Paleo diet for a good stretch, and I was feeling pretty decent at that point. Alas, as these things tend to do, the diet fell by the wayside in favor of holiday cooking and the sugary, floury treats that come along with them.

The other thing that occurred to me is that my water intake is practically non-existent. I've been so freaking tired lately, that I've been pumping myself full of caffeine in order to not fall asleep in my cheerios. My day starts with a Rockstar Energy Drink, is followed by 1 liter of Diet Mountain Dew, and then when I get home, I have more DMD. I take a gulp of water at night before bed to swallow a pill. I'm guessing that isn't sufficient.

I really do feel terrible - and while it would be easy to think up some tropical disease no one has heard of, I think the culprit is likely poor diet, poor hydration, and lack of exercise (hey, how can someone this tired exercise?). If I feel like an exhausted, dehydrated person lost in the desert, it is because I am.

I better fix this. Right after I finish my DMD.

In other news (moving related) I've scheduled all of our utilities and services to be shut off the 19th! Hurrah for being able to cross crap off the list. The paperwork, closets and garage continue to elude me. I've only got 9 days left to finish up, and technically the last of it needs to be finished in 8 days because Mr. Salvation Army will be coming on November 15th to haul away a mountain of furniture and clothing.

Also - finally finally finally - we have our route mapped out for the move. 3 days, not 4. Oh, and high five for me, because I've reserved the hotels for our trip, too!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Johnny, 10 Months

Oh, hey, Johnny turned 10 months old. 3 days ago. Better late than later, I always say.

Anyway, Mr. Johnny is just way rad. I've got to say, we weren't at all pleased with the length of time it took for his top teeth to break through the gums, but they finally did. With that came a sleep schedule that we were more accustomed to. Sometimes he sleeps all the way through the night (6pm to 7am) but sometimes he wakes up around 9:30ish to let it be known that HE.IS.PISSED. It probably does nothing for his mood when I come in and cackle at him. Seriously though, if you expect me to take you seriously, don't scream your brains out while doing a silly little jig hanging on to the bars of your crib. If you are so mad, then why are you dancing, my sweetest little monster?

I've mostly attributed these wakings to a growth spurt. Depending on the disaster category, I will either re-binky him and lay him back down, where he will promptly pass back out, or if he is pretty worked up by that point, I'll give him another bottle. For a few weeks there, we were having an extra bottle a night. But the bottle would both fill him up and calm him down, and it was sleepy town after that.

Since the last post about Johnny turning 9 months old, we've reached some new milestones. The greatest of these milestones is that he is walking. For now it is only a few steps at a time, and then he drops and crawls again, but it is a start. Johnny also gleefully claps and waves. I think he probably would have done this a lot sooner if we had taught him - but for some reason I forgot how absolutely adorable it is for babies to wave until I saw Josh's cousin's baby waving at us over Skype. Oh, ha - that is right, they CAN do that, lol. We were so much more on the ball with that kind of stuff with Mikey.

Aside from the walking, waving and clapping, Johnny is still kind of crabby. He does great on his own, crawling around and playing with everything within his reach, and then he just gets to a point where he has had ENOUGH and someone better pick him up and carry him around so he can rest and just watch the world.

Johnny is also eating more solids - I find the jarred strained meats to be repulsive, so we've started feeding him turkey dogs cut up into small pieces, and he does really well with them. I think we are pretty close to being able to move away from the jarred foods in general, and on to everything we are eating, just cut up into small pieces.

Well, Johnny's 11 month post will be written from SC, with a few weeks of doting by loving grandparents. Lets see what kind of amazing feats he will stun us with then :)

Back to the end of the line

This is it. Today is my last day officially tied to a customer at my company. After today, my accounts will all be reassigned to their new owners, and I will be left with a small amount of loose ends to be tied up neatly. For so many years now, my identity as an employee has been tied to my ability to manage relationships on behalf of my company. I was pretty stinkin' good at it, too. I hadn't anticipated the web I had spun for myself in my cozy cubicle at work would be torn apart.

Overwhelmingly, I'm in awe of our good fortune. Josh and I have often thought about finding a church, and felt the invisible tug of something bigger than the both of us pulling us in that direction. All of this, all lining up so perfectly, all pointing us in the direction of home, has made us realize that one of the first things we need to do upon arrival is find a church. I really do like to think it was Mikey and I praying nightly before bed, asking God to please watch over everyone near and dear to us. Seriously, ask, and ye shall receive? Isn't that how it goes? I mean, I wasn't asking God to get Josh and I laid off so we could move to SC, but that sure seems to be His answer. We didn't even question it for more than a minute. It was like some long illuminated road was suddenly stretching across the country, especially meant for us to cross over. I can take a hint, God. I hope God has been equally kind to everyone we prayed for. Granted, it was a long list, but Mikey has a big heart and he included almost everyone in his tiny little world.

But aside from the amazing awesomeness and doors that are suddenly opening for us, I am suddenly faced with the reality of this whole job situation. Oh, shiz, I don't have a job! Eeeek!

What do I really do all day? It suddenly feels quite intangible. I have customers. Not just people that randomly reach me on an 800# (although that does happen from time to time), but small business owners that I have been assigned to. I've had to nurture and develop relationships with these people - understand their needs, and ultimately try to anticipate what they might want before they asked. But how do you put that down on paper? My resume looks FANTASTIC (in my humble opinion) but when I try to look at it from the perspective of the employer, I'm underwhelmed. I wish I had some hard skills, a mountain of certificates, degrees in engineering, some transferable skill I could move from this position to the next with absolute certainty.

So many people are miserable in their work. I have lived for many years with someone who hated their job. Josh getting laid off was truly a gift from above. It has been a long time since I've seen him so dang relaxed, even with having to take care of two screaming babies all day while I'm at the office still. But, I loved my job. I could have done what I was doing every day for the rest of my life. I loved talking to people - I loved the new challenges that popped up. I loved the great opportunities working for a company like GE afforded me. I came to work happy, I left work happy. I didn't bring any of the bullshit home with me - I left it right where it belonged. Sure, I had my stressful days like anyone does, but they were few and far between.

And, today is my last day. I'll still be in the office for a few days winding down, but the important part of my job will officially be gone. I wanted to mark this moment, and I look forward to writing a new post, hopefully a day in the near future, jazzed out of my mind about the great new job I have landed. I'm scared, but I'm hopeful.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Bittersweet, Black Friday

Yesterday was a bit sadder than I imagined it would be.

This was mostly my fault, since I hadn't made it abundantly clear to my friend's family that we were departing for SC earlier than originally planned. As we parted ways, the topic of Christmas was brought up, and I had to break the news that we wouldn't actually be in AZ on the 25th.

As is usually the case, my friend and I didn't get much of an opportunity to talk. Children + Husbands has lead to the typical get together involving little time for chatting, and an overwhelming amount of chasing after babies and going in shifts to eat while our spouses made sure the little's weren't burning the house down.

This year, Val and her sister Natalie actually cooked the entire feast! I spent most of my time making sure Mikey didn't fall out of the playground/tree house. He is sweet as can be, but not always the most graceful when it comes to navigating around sharp corners. I brought my camera, but of course didn't take a single picture. *sigh*

I'm looking forward to getting out there one last time (this time without the babies, Josh will be staying at home so I can get some quality time in with my best pal before we leave).

Black Friday for me this year involved running errands stirred in with some shopping. Mr. Finley needed to have his vaccines updated before I could officially adopt him out in good conscience (he was a trooper) and a necessary trip to Kohl's was made to address the issue of my inadequate wardrobe. In fact, the jeans I wore out this morning had started to fray by the front zipper in one spot, so I was getting perilously close to a disaster! I had acquired several Kohl's giftcards recently, and ended up spending over $200.00 on 4 pairs of jeans, a delightful sherpa lined hooded jacket, an assortment of long sleeved tops, and some much needed under garments. Original retail on all that I purchased would have been well over $500.00, and since I didn't end up spending any money out of pocket, I don't feel too bad about spending money on myself. Plus, I earned $60.00 in Kohl's cash, and have almost $80.00 left on one of the giftcards. This = $140.00 that Josh can use to buy himself some new pants (the poor guy has lost about 20 pounds, and has had to start wearing a belt to prevent wardrobe "malfunctions" of his own). Or... I could buy some fancy boots to get me through winter in Greenville :). Just sayin'. (A co-worker of mine has some awesome Roper boots - I would love to get a pair just like them, but I can't find them in the same red leather!)

I can't believe that we will be leaving in 21 short days. I'm 99% excited, 1% terrified. After Johnny cried for 44 of the 45 minute drive to the West Side yesterday, I'm 100% dreading our drive across the country, but I'm trying to think up ways to make it easier on everyone.

Well, it is getting late - I had best be getting to bed. Night, ya'll.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

So Very Thankful

On the eve of Thanksgiving, I find that I am filled with gratitude for many things. For starters, everything seems to just be falling into place with the move. There were a few hurdles we had to get by (the biggest of which happened to be finding homes for our pets) and what seemed hopeless on Monday was completely possible by Tuesday. Sammie went to a new home on Tuesday evening, and it is looking like a very real possibility that my boss will be adopting Finley. I'm just so relieved that they are both going to good homes!

We've approached what Josh likes to call "crunch time." I think the magic number for him is 3 weeks out. A month is far away. Two weeks probably has its own name, like "imminent yellow disaster level 3." I've been trying to chip away at little projects, and so far I've only been able to cross off getting the mountain of toys in our home organized. I have to say, it has been awesome not impaling myself on random sharp objects strewn about the floor. I've still got to get the closet mess sorted out, and get the loose ends in the garage... tied down? Oh, yeah - don't let me forget to call the utility companies on Monday to give them the cutoff date for shutting off our service.

I'm also very excited to be spending turkey day with my best friend and her family (they have always treated me like their 3rd daughter). We won't have very many opportunities in short time we have left in AZ to get together, and I'm going to miss these people so much!

Lastly, I'm filled with gratitude for my husband, Josh, and our sweet sweet babies. With all that we have been through lately, it feels like it is us against the world, and I'm so glad to have someone with so much courage to lean on in such uncertain times. He has really helped to keep me calm through all this chaos! It has allowed me to spend less time stressing, and more time loving my two goofy guys:

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Cleaning out My Closet

Actually, cleaning out my "coat" closet, my "linen" closet, my "nowhere else to put it/baby supply" closet, my "office supply graveyard" closet, and the biggest closet of all, also known as "the garage."

The front closet is where our shoes, vacuum cleaner, gift wrap, and other random crap lives.

I think this is where most people would put blankets and crap, but we keep all the things we don't want the children getting into in here.

This is the closet in Johnny's room, but we current use it to house blank cds, old printers, and a random supply of books.

This is the closet that house our linens... in a very random  order.

Nom nom nom... I will eat you, blue tooth device!

The garage is our first project. Josh and I are going to jump in there tonight and start organizing. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

What's Going On?

Is it just me, or does it seem like the world might actually be getting ready to come to an end?

It is one thing to watch the news and witness the citizens of Europe getting all uppity about what they have come to expect being taken away. US financial crisis, European financial crisis. Layoffs. Zombie Apocalypse. Oh wait, that is just on Sunday nights.

When Josh and I found out we were losing our jobs, it seemed like we were the only ones in the whole world affected... and that the rest of the world would continue churning on while we hit the reset button. But ever since then, I've been hearing about more and more people being laid off. The OWS (Occupy Wall Street) folks were sent packing (which I believe was the right thing to do - seriously people, protest, and then GO HOME!) and now they are talking about marching on the streets, bringing anarchy and violence. It is all so unreal, and to be quite honest, scary. Is it always like this during election years?

I suppose in my mind, us losing our jobs was just an unfortunate happenstance, and that we'd just get on with our lives in SC, and that would be the end of it. But now, I'm just plain worried. What if we can't find jobs? What if everything is going to hell in a hand basket?

Isn't this how the Diary of Anne Frank started? With a bunch of entitled, jobless, college grads marching in the streets of Germany because someone wasn't handing them a sweet cushy job after they spent 4 years getting a degree in underwater basket weaving? Or was that how the Great Depression began? I can't remember...

It is a good thing that Josh and I have such wonderful motivators in our life. We have to get through this, and come out on top. We have to make sure we can keep taking care of these guys. At the end of the day, that is all that matters.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tidings of Joy

I have the most fantastic news possible. Well, the most fantastic news possible for 2 parents that were recently laid off and facing a somewhat lonely Christmas in AZ. My office has agreed to release me early enough in December so that we will not only be able to complete our move in 2011 (hello tax break!) but also be in South Carolina for Christmas!! Squee!

My mother in law has done her best to console me, advising that the Christmas decorations would stay up until we arrived and could all celebrate together. I appreciated that, but this is SOOO much better. Now the moving truck gets loaded up on the 16th (of December). We plan on staying in a hotel that night, and then setting off early the next morning. The plan is to cruise along through Dallas, a

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Johnny: 9 Months

I'm dragging ass this morning, on account of it being the 7th day in a row (at least) that I've been woken in the middle of the night by a screaming baby. Damn those top two teeth! Is there any implement that I'm unaware of that will allow me to push these teeth down and out? So tired, and so cranky. I was trying to console myself and remember that this, too, is just a phase that will pass. Maybe. Oh, shit, wait, I forgot to document Mr Johnny's 9 month stats. So, here you go, internet:

Weight: 23lbs (90th %)
Height: 32 inches (off the charts)
Head Circumference: 18cm (for some reason I think this is only 50% for his age... oh noes for small heads)

Johnny is rockin' two enormous rodent teeth on the bottom, and has two massive swollen areas on the top gums where the front teeth are trying to break out. He nom nom noms on anything he can get into his mouth, and is especially fond of chewing on white socks (even better if they are on someone's foot!). Johnny is no longer content to crawl, but isn't quite walking yet, either. He happily cruises along whatever furniture he can pull himself on to, and finds it delightful if someone takes the time to take his hands and help him walk. Sometimes he forgets that he isn't in a bouncer and that results in a very humorous strut.

Johnny is a bit more serious, and a bit fussier than I recall Mikey being at this age. That is ok, though. We've always joked that Johnny was an old soul, and he was not happy to be back. Please don't be alarmed if my toddler tells you to get off his lawn. He isn't as much of a snuggler as Mikey, either, but when he isn't feeling particularly happy, or is a little tired, someone better pick his ass up, like, stat.

Please don't get me wrong. In the baby scale of ease, with a 1 being demon baby and 10 being an angel baby, while Mikey was firmly a 10, I realize that Johnny is probably an 8. He *mostly* sleeps through the night, and has from a very early age. He is *mostly* happy, he just isn't the gooing babbling happy time fest that Mikey was.

We count ourselves lucky that the boys seem to love eachother. They happily play together, and Mikey does his very best to share his plethora of toys with his little brother. Johnny, to his credit, doesn't get too worked up when inevitably, the toy he just finally managed to pick up and put on the table in front of him, is ripped away by his older brother. I'm sure looking forward to many years of watching them become pals.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now

I was happy in the haze of a drunken hour
But heaven knows I’m miserable now
I was looking for a job, and then i found a job
And heaven knows I’m miserable now - The Smiths

Right now, I'm sitting in quite an uncomfortable chair. The chair itself isn't so terrible, but I'm feeling antsy, and I don't want to be here. Josh likes to joke that once I know where I'm going, I'm 100% in. The day before I found out about my office closing, I was constantly thinking up ways to be better at my job, to be a better asset to my customers, and to be more valuable to my employer. I was "all in." Move forward 24 hours, after finding out about the office closing, and figuring out what our plan would be, I suddenly realized that I was in the agonizing position of being "stuck" for the next ten weeks. It is like your boyfriend breaking up with you, and making a secret pact to "stay together" so you can still attend prom together and avoid public scrutiny. Yeah, I'm going to go ahead and hire someone else to do your job in another city. Can you just sit here for the next ten weeks while I do that? K, thanks.

My co-workers aren't helping. A few of us frequently share in our misery, and how awful it is to sit here and pretend like we still care. We don't. And then the phone rings, and it is an irate customer on the line, and all I want to do is just flip them the bird (haven't exactly figured out how to do that through the phone, yet) and hang up on them. Effff. Can you just send me packing, already? I started packing up my crap (already) and stumbled across my mountain of Christmas decorations, and thought "Eh, why not?" A co-worker did the same, and now it is a frickin' winter wonderland in Phoenix in November. Ha.

I really need to knock it off with this counting business. 50 days left until we move. 31 working days left in the office. 1 more day until I lose my mind.

In the mean time, I'm keeping sane by looking through my window (aka, the interwebz) at my sources of life in where we will be living shortly...

Go Upstate
Greenville Daily Photo (I may have to start the "Taylors" Daily Photo once I get there - a fun project I think!)
South Carolina Parks

I encourage you to follow these links and experience the wonder of what I soon will know and love on a daily basis!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Project Kerith: Day 1

Here we go. I've been awake for several hours, and so far I've managed to behave. I have paleo egg muffins baking for breakfast (if they turn out ok I will make sure to share the recipe). I also have my first "at home" crossfit workout of the day planned out (1/2 mile run followed by 50 pushups, 3 times, for time). The only time I will have to get the workout done will be after the kids are both in bed, so that will be later this evening.
So far, I'm on track :)

Updated to add some more info about my Crossfit Workout for Today. From point A to point B and back to point A is a little more than 1/2 a mile. So run to the end of the street and back to the house, drop and do 50 pushups, and then repeat twice more. Should be interesting, but simple, so I think I can handle it :)

On a side note, I can't wait to get out of this suburban nightmare of houses piled up on top of eachother. Very much looking forward to renting a place on some property that the boys will be able to romp around in. Also looking forward to having space for a nice garden! Yippee!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Kerith Project

Howdy people! Tonight, I thought I would share a new project with you that I'm calling "The Kerith Project." Very original, I know. Please try not to steal my project title.

Anyway, back to the project. It involves something that has been bubbling away in my brain ever since I found out that we were FINALLY getting the chance to move to SC. Hurrah for new starts and all that stuff. I've mentioned in previous posts how I kind of let myself get, well, frumpy, to put it in the nicest terms possible. Yes, once upon a time, I used to be glamorous. No, that isn't the right word. I was never glamorous. If anything, I was a slightly done up jeans and t-shirt kinda gal, but I rocked those jeans with cute flip flops and bleach blonde hair.

Bla bla bla marriage, bla bla bla babies. Bla bla bla Kerith.

I find that if I avoid the mirror and my closet, and live entirely out of the laundry basket of clothing that "fits right now," I tend to forget about this shabby encasing I'm schlepping about.

I knew things were getting really bad when I was walking out of an El Pollo Loco and saw a guy I went to high school with in line. Brian Shock. He was a year or two younger than me. He was such a sweet trumpet playing cutie pie. I should have been all "Hey, Brian, what's up?!" Alas, I was terrified of not being recognized in my current state, and opted to sneak out instead. Sorry, Brian, it would have been nice to catch up with you!

So, I've been hemming and hawing and trying to sort through all this moving business (52 days left until we hit the road!) and part of that sorting has involved my closet, and all those untouched articles of clothing that hang on racks waiting to be worn once again. The clothes range from a teeny size 6, all the way to size 12 (the 14's and 16's all live in the laundry basket I was talking about earlier). Initially I was all "hey, eff paying to move crap across the country that doesn't fit" but now, I'm all "eff you Kerith, get off your lazy ass and do something about the fact that those clothes don't fit."

Do I have a plan? Of course I don't. Well, not really. Plans are great, but I find myself mightily confused after far too much reading, and way too many diets. Josh and I like to talk about this a lot. We'll get on "Gluten=Cancer" kicks, and for the most part we really do believe that meat, fruit and vegetables is what the staple of our diet should look like. But, we have a hard time imagining a life without an occasional beer (aka, gluten) or sandwich (aka, gluten). I've tried weight watchers before (this tends not to work for me because it involves tracking EVERY SINGLE THING) and I've done lower carb diets (only counting one thing) and the diet I've loved best of all has been the Paleo Diet as described by Robb Wolf. I find it the least agonizing of all diets I've tried because essentially, as long as I'm making my meals up from allowed food categories, I'm good to go. No calorie or carb counting. The trouble is that I start to veer off course, and then I find myself where I sit today, on a not so Paleo diet. Blergh.

But, I know it works, so I'm going to get back on the Paleo wagon, and try to incorporate whatever "at home" crossfit workouts I can find. I know I can't move mountains in 52 (51 days, considering today is almost over) days, but hey, maybe I can lose 15-20 pounds if I try to kick some serious butt! That will get me on the right path. One can hope that the glorious weather in Greenville will lead to me spending more time outdoors, and that 'more activity + eating less junk = smaller Kerith'.

Less this (taken 4 days ago)

More this (taken 4 years ago)

Ready, set, GO! Going to try and figure out a gadget/element to stick off to the side so I can keep track and how progress, because apparently people are reading my blog. Who are you anonymous people that don't leave comments?

Edited to add:

Awesomeness! Found this here list of 50 crossfit workouts that I can do at home with little to no equipment. Going to just start at the top and start working my way down! Yay!

50 Crossfit workouts you can do at home!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thoughts on Providing...

Mikey's winter clothes have arrived. I am filled with an immense sense of satisfaction at being able to provide clothing to my children. Growing up, most of my clothing was second hand, and my mother had to fight in order to purchase anything "new" for us. The majority of my father's disposable income went to Budweiser, Kool cigarettes, new computers and computer peripherals, and of course, extremely expensive telescope equipment. That didn't leave a lot for silly rubbish like department store clothing. In elementary school it was unbearable. Later on, in high school, when shopping at thrift stores became fashionable and my friends took up the practice with me, it was less painful. But still, I spent more student loan money on new clothing than I care to admit my freshman year of college. It wasn't even terribly exceptional clothing. I worked at Arizona Mills, an enormous indoor outlet mall, and my closet was quickly filled with "slightly imperfect" clothing from Aeropostale, GAP and Rue 21.


And still, I find the ability to provide my children with "enough" to be something that constantly weighs on my mind. I didn't have much growing up, but on the other hand, I don't want to provide an overabundance to the point where my guys don't understand or appreciate how hard we work to provide for them.

None of the above has any point, just something that has been on my mind...

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it

Friday, October 28, 2011

Home Hunting: The Hunt for our Next Home

Obviously this post is purely window shopping at this point. Josh and I aren't even in South Carolina yet, and it would be ideal to have employment in place before hopping into our next home (paying your bills is good, mkay). Looking for a home in AZ is primarily related to location. Unless you are getting a super custom home, or a much older home, the term "cookie cutter" is very appropriate. HOA's are the rule, not the exception. This results in most homes not only being practically on top of each other in master planned subdivisions, but also most homes being the same variation of a shade of one color, with similar trims, front yards, etc.

Perhaps I am biased. My mother complained about the homes in AZ as long as I can remember. For the most part, I didn't really care, until I started visiting places in other states. It really came to the forefront of my mind when we made our first trip to NY in 2007. Oh, the homes in Wading River are just magical. I was entranced driving around and seeing these super old homes, all on large plots of land in wooded areas, and all so unique. I didn't know that was what I wanted until I saw it.

I would love to share pictures of homes in the area with you, however, I am unable to at the moment considering my current location. As soon as we arrive at our destination, I will get busy snapping up pictures of our new cozy habitat in Taylors, SC. Turns out, pretty much no one takes pictures in SC. Except for J's parents, because I made them, ha. So, here is my one glorious example of a magnificent home in SC:

I've been showing this picture of Grandma & Papa's house to Mikey on a regular basis. Isn't it lovely? Mikey is very excited about playing in those trees behind the house :)

I should probably clarify that some folks DO enjoy living right on top of one another in the land of the Palmetto. However, our dream of a nice wooded lot with trees for the kiddos to romp around in doesn't seem like such an impossibility anymore.

Anyway, I look to make this a regular part of the blog in about 2 months. It is going to be so much fun finding a place to dwell!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rolling forward...

So, the moving company just finished their "survey" (aka, how much crap do you have, so I can figure out how much it is going to cost to haul your life across the country).

Yikes! This is all getting realer by the second. It is so strange to go from dreaming about something, to "hey, this is actually happening" to "Oh shit, this really IS happening."

I've been slowly getting after parts of the house trying to get things in order so that when we are finally ready to finish boxing up our stuff, it won't be so tough. Of course, the movers threw a wrench in that today when they explained that THEY actually pack everything up. In some ways, that makes things even tougher. I'm really going to need to push myself to throw things out and donate items ahead of time so I'm not tempted to allow them to box up things we no longer wish to have in our lives.

Last night I was able to work on one of our "clutter" hot spots - the master bedroom closet! I hung up or folded any clothing on the floor, trashed all the crap that needed to be thrown out, and then made a small pile of linens that needed to be washed. now everything is fairly orderly in their.

In other more exciting news, I've obtained a copy of "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown," which I am thoroughly looking forward to showing to Mikey this afternoon. He is still a bit young for my other favorites (Hocus Pocus, and the Nightmare Before Christmas) but he will be able to enjoy our copy of "Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were Rabbit" as well.

Monday, October 24, 2011


I'm procrastinating. Badly. My home is actually becoming messier (maybe). Instead of checking the 10 day weather forecast, I probably should be repacking the boxes in the garage that are falling apart at the seams. Finally doing something with all these dang clothes. Purging. Purging. Purging. 

I think this event might call for a to do list, strategically placed in a new "to-do" notebook just for our move to SC :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011


We've entered the calm before the storm. After a week of standing shocked, the dust has settled. We have direction, and a plan. 

After all the craziness of last week, I've had more time to think about what this all means. One thing that quickly occurred to me is that this is the perfect opportunity to *reinvent* ourselves. Maybe reinvention isn't the right word. In my mind, it would really amount to allowing ourselves to seize on the little & big dreams that we've always had. Living more healthily. Owning a home {again}. Planting flowers and gardens. Slowing down. Brewing tea. Enjoying and exploring our surroundings. Career changes. The possibilities seem limitless.

But, before we can get to all that, we've got to start boxing up this life. The goal this time {this will be J & I's 6th move together, but by far the largest undertaking) is to move through this operation slowly, deliberately, and to end up with an organized system that is easy to "unpack," as soon as we are in our own place. 

We've been flip-flopping on the size of the move, and whether or not we are going to bring certain items. At first we wanted to ditch it all and run across the country with the clothes on our back. From there it included all of the children's belongings. It wasn't soon after that I began realizing there was definitely certain furniture that would be silly to discard (aka, leather lazy boy recliner) knowing that we would need them again in a matter of months after heading out on our own.

So, the move has continued to grow in scope, but we are still determined to weed out the junk, donate things that do not meet our definition of "beautiful or useful" and to hopefully shed quite a bit before we close the doors on the moving truck.

I still can't believe that we finally get to move to SC! Greenville is such a beautiful place! Just look at these pictures of Table Rock State Park (in Pickens, very near where we will be).

Alright, time for less blogging, and more sleeping. Looking forward to documenting our moving process in the VERY near future :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

To Do: Make a To Do List

I love to make lists, but I have to admit, I've never been tasked with a long distance move before. Luckily (for me) Josh's last day is a few weeks before mine, so he is going to have time before we move to get things organized. But, just in case you were wondering, here is a list of all the things you are supposed to do before you move:

  1. Make sure to obtain copies of your personal records and ask for referrals for your new residence.
  2. About six weeks before your long distance move date, you’ll want to start organizing and packing your belongings. Make sure to label all of your moving boxes as you pack them to make the unpacking process much smoother. If you determine you need additional PODS® containers for your move, call us and we’ll bring you additional container(s).
  3. Track down all of your important papers, such as auto registration, passport, birth certificate, insurance policies, etc. You will want to carry these and any small valuables with you.
  4. If your employer has offered to pay for your relocation, this is the time to figure out which expenses and responsibilities are yours and which are theirs. If they are reimbursing you after the fact, you will need to make sure to save all of your receipts and documentation. If you are paying for some or all of your relocation yourself, consult the IRS or your personal accountant to figure out which expenses might be tax deductible.
  5. Four weeks prior to your move, you’ll want to arrange to have your utilities (gas, electric, water, cable) turned off or transferred.
  6. If you are renting, four weeks prior to your cross country move would also be a good time to start cleaning as you pack so that you don't have such an overwhelming task when moving day comes around. Remember, if you want to get your full deposit back, you will need to clean things like vents and behind appliances such as the fridge and stove.
  7. About two weeks prior to cross country moves, you’ll want to fill out a change of address form, which is available at the Post Office, or by visiting:
    1. Now is a good time to start transferring bank accounts.
    2. If you plan to drive your car across the country, it may be a good time to have your car serviced.
  8. One week before the move is a good time to cancel any local memberships and drain gas and oil from equipment like lawn mowers and snow blowers.
I took this from the PODS website, since that is who we are planning on using at this point. Though Josh has informed me that my depth perception is weak, and there is no way that even the meager amount of belongings that we wish to bring will fit in an 8x7x7 container. He went so far as to spread out on the floor to demonstrate just how "not enough" room it will be. I'm of half a mind to declare that "if it doesn't fit, it doesn't go!" I'll probably just call PODS to get a quote on the bigger unit.

Things I am looking forward to getting rid of? The mish mash of furniture we have accumulated over our last 10 years living together. I didn't bring much furniture (if any) to our relationship, but over the years we've received lots of hand me downs. Also looking forward to ditching all the dishes that I no longer care about (somewhere along the line practicality kicked in, and I realized that all white dishes are the way to go - if one breaks, it is easy enough to slip in another without disturbing the "set"). The random assortment of glassware (*cough* pint glasses *cough*) will be seriously culled. Tonight I'm going to go through ALL of the clothing in the garage and in our master bedroom closet, because there is actually a clothing drive in the office, so this is the perfect opportunity to take care of getting rid of excess and unworn clothing. Besides, there is no turning back. Johnny's butt is never going to fit into a 12M again. Johnny is miserable in bouncers, chairs, swings, etc., so those should all probably be donated as well.

Last, I've let a small collection of junk mail grow in a basket in a closet in the 2 years we have lived in this house here in Gilbert. I am vowing that not one piece of junk mail will follow us to SC!

We are in week 10 of a ten week countdown to the move. Or 70 days to go. However you want to look at it. It is almost here!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Gilbert vs. Greenville

Just the Facts:

Average High:

Gilbert - 87
Greenville - 70

Average Low:

Gilbert - 57
Greenville - 49


Gilbert - 9.2 inches
Greenville - 50.2 inches

In Greenville it rains about 119 days a year, and it snows a few days a year, too. My closet full of flip flops is woefully inadequate.

Just sayin'. 

South Bound!

What a difference a day or two makes.

On Sunday night I was bitching about having to blowdry my hair, and by Tuesday morning, Josh and I had both been laid off from our jobs.


So weird the way things work out. Josh and I have had a pipe dream of moving to South Carolina for a few years now. In fact, we were all ready to jump ship, quit our jobs and trot along after them in October of 2009. We chickened out. I guess we figured that we would go for it again once the economy improved. Anyway, our company broke up with us, so now we get two severance packages. For us, this means we can all of a sudden pay to move across the country, and have enough to live on while we find work. In the meantime, we'll be living with Josh's folks. The hope is to get established quickly, and get our own place in the neighborhood so we aren't in their hair for too long.

What an excellent time to start a new blog. Should be interesting to look back on these next few years and the adventures that we have ahead of us in Greenville, SC (or Taylors, SC to be more specific).

Only 10 more weeks of living in hell on earth (aka, Phoenix, AZ)!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

More hip. Less frump.

As usual, my best laid plans were not laid well enough. But, I don't even really care that much this time, because afterall, this is "The Kerith Blog." All Kerith, all the time. My erratic posting fits my personality perfectly :) I spent a lot of time reflecting this weekend. Honestly, I've been reflecting on these particular thoughts for quite some time - but my brain really got to simmering away this weekend over a range of issues that have been bothering me. Let's start at the top.

 1. I'm 28. Ok, 28 and a 1/2. By most standards, I'm still somewhat youngish. Alas, somewhere between getting married and having babies, I took a stopover through the town of Frump. It isn't even necessarily that I don't put in the time or effort to look my age (or even presentable) because I feel that even if I DID put forth the effort, I never really allowed myself to develop a sense of style. I suppose if I really think about it, and if you asked someone on the street what my sense of style was, they might say "compound sister wife." Dowdy loose fitting clothing from the clearance rack. Long, mousy hair that is typically tucked back in a floppy bun or low pony tail. Some women lack for time, others for money, and some lack for drive, and even still, some just don't give a shit what they look like. At times I have lingered in all those categories, but obviously this has been gnawing at my heart because over the last few months, I've been stowing and hoarding apparel and product a little at a time. It started with a small splurge on several dresses and Ross (until money isn't an issue, I doubt I'll be hitting up fancy department stores). 5 dresses for a few bucks a piece. Some makeup. A new curling iron. This weekend I bought some polishing spray from Target that promises to make my hair glorious. But if all of a sudden you were to drop a fat wad of cash into my lap to buy a new wardrobe, I wouldn't have the faintest idea where to begin. I work in an office that pretty closely adheres to "Business Casual" attire. I've got two little boys at home, and outside of work you will usually find me crawling around on the carpet (that probably needs to be vacuumed) with them. So, most days at work you can find me in a skirt and blouse (for some reason I had it in my head that this combo flattered my out of shape figure, but recently I discovered that, no, in fact it accentuates the desperate situation my midsection is in) and at home I romp around in jeans and a t-shirt. The clothing/style thing isn't going to work itself out overnight. I'm going to need to spend some time perusing magazines and whatever resources are available online to build up a catalog of what appeals to me. Hopefully I'll finally be able to put Pinterest to use and make a pinboard of what is catching my eye. What I can do in the immediate future is start making a weekly recap blog post of the efforts I put in each day to start moving myself away from the Frump mom category, and closer to the... well... Cute mom? Cool Mom? Young and Hip mom category? That sounds about right.

A little less this:

And a lot more... this type of thing...

 2. Ugh. Groan. Sigh. My house. My house that I simultaneously adore and loathe. On the one hand, it is kind of cool that we are renting, so when I finally get fed up with the shitty shitiness of this place, we can just pack up our crap and go. But on the other hand, this old cookie cutter POS has its charm. You just have to look really hard past the tape falling from the patio cover, and the warped cabinets in the kitchen. The trees that have been totally wack and out of control since before we even moved in (yet the landlord expects us to pay to fix...). But still, the blank walls, lack of personality (outside of the personality that already existed before we got here) is pretty much my fault. I haven't taken the time to make any place Josh and I have called "home" actually look like one. I'm going to tie this back into issue # 1, which is the sheer lack of idea of what the hell my style is. My sister's house is pretty, but it totally isn't my style (it does look like a model home). I love retro, and cozy, and beach cottage. My brain hurts even trying to think of a way to mesh that together. I think I can have a cozy retro home, or a cozy beach cottage, but not all three, lol. Again, I shall look towards Pinterest, and my plan is to tackle one project a week to make this place a little less rental shanty, and a little more "home."

 3. Mikey still isn't potty trained. Argh. I'm probably breaking every rule other there at this point. Bribery and positive reinforcement didn't work, so today we tried "you aren't getting off the toilet until you poop." As it turned out, the poor little dude is stopped up, so that plan backfired. There goes my mother of the year award. Luckily Mikey forgives faster than anyone I know, and he still let me read him Dumbo at bedtime. I'll load him up with fiberous vegetables for the next few days, and hopefully that will help make things happen. Or I might just have to resort to my old methods:

4. Mikey and Johnny are, like, the best brothers ever. Really - I just want to eat their faces when they insist on being all sorts of precious.

(Ok, Mikey really just was mad that Johnny figured out how to get on his dump truck, and was trying to slide his way in, hoping that Johnny would fall over easily, but Johnny has a grip that is no joke. Little dude was not budging.)

That is all for this evening. I suppose I better get a head start on trying not to look like shit, which means washing and blowdrying my hair at night, rather than sleeping on it wet. Eeek.