Dorky awkwardness with all kinds of cool

I’m probably pretty dorky sometimes, and definitely usually awkward. Part of it I attribute to me being an only child. I didn’t have any one to look up to or glean the, do this, not that, rules from. I didn’t have cousins near me until I was a teenager, and since I was some transplant from some weird west coast state, they wanted nothing to do with me. So I had to pave my own way. I was always told to be true to yourself, even if others don’t like it. I did this, and true to the wisdom, lost some friends because I was too different from them. But things work out. I don’t have a million friends, but that’s okay because most of them would be fake, and what’s the point in that?

Either way, this video made me think about awkwardness and paving your own way, because you never know, someone may think your dorky awkwardness is actually pretty cool and deserves a record deal. Be true to yourselves folks!

Jobs, anxiety

Remember when you were young and you got your first job? It was pretty exciting. Then you kept going, and eventually moved up to a bigger and better job. And through the years, when you applied, interviewed and got a new job offer, you took it up faster than you could say ‘pay day’.

Maybe it’s just me, or maybe this happens to us all, but I feel that excitement go away, and be replaced with feelings of anxiety. Is it just me or does this happen to other people as well? Why does it get scary to change jobs when you get older? Is it because there is more responsibility included? Is it because there’s so much more involved when you get older? Job security, pay, benefits, vacation, flexibility, all seem to mean more when you’re out on your own. When you’re in high school or college, you’re just looking for a  job and pay. When you get older, you’re looking at flexibility, compatibility with co-workers, room to move, etc. Maybe it’s me letting my anxiety take over. I’m not sure. I try not to, because when it all boils down, it’s still just a job. Heck, of course I want to enjoy it, but a job isn’t what defines me.

If you can’t tell, I’m in the running for a new position. I should be excited because it offers a wonderful pay raise and is a couple miles closer to the house….but it’s not the first feeling that comes to my heart or my brain. Maybe because my brain seems to react much faster than my heart, my first feelings are of anxiety. I start to wonder if this new job has some of the qualities of a job that I don’t  like, like a restrictive schedule, bad co-workers, or it’s just a job I can’t hack. Right now, my job is kind of stale, to be honest, but it’s not bad. It’s comfortable (I’ve been here three years) very flexible, which I like (including work from home), offers decent time-off and pays on a good schedule. This new job possibility may or may not offer the same flexibility, pays on an abnormal schedule, but does offer decent benefits. I don’t know what the people are like, and working with crappy people can throw off even the greatest job. For the most part, I get along with the people I work with currently, but there are a couple of personalities that everyone has a hard time working with, which may not seem like much, but it’s an office of about 10, so two bad personalities can make it tough.

At the same time, while my brain is telling me all the possible reasons this transition may be bad, the other part of my brain is telling me that it could be good too (it’s the quieter voice but I still hear her whisper). If you never changed jobs, how would you have gotten to where you are now? True. The people you work with now can be problematic, so what’s to say these new people won’t be so much better? Also true.

anxiety circle

*sigh* This honestly could go on forever. Luckily I have an interview next week, so we’ll see what happens.

Until then…


Book Review: Dear Hearts, by Ericka Clay

Books are amazing. They are an avenue for adventure, imagination, thought, learning something new, and discovering something within yourself. I was presented the opportunity to read and review a book by up and coming author, Ericka Clay. To be honest, it wasn’t a book that I’d probably choose immediately on my own, but this is the great thing about books. If we step outside of our regular list of genres and try something different, you may discover a wonderful book you never would have known existed.

Dear Hearts has a familiar backdrop of a family that seems okay on the outside, but is unstable and in pain on the inside. Mitch and Elena are a married couple with a little girl, Wren. On the surface, they look like the typical American family. Dad has his own business, and mom stays at home with the child. But their relationship is much more complex, and life in general has become challenging. Daughter Wren is seven and still cannot control her bladder, which adds tension and stress (and is probably psychologically linked to her parent’s relational issues). Both do not know how to cope with their relationship problems, so they drink, which usually leads to fights, and Mitch has become attracted to a man.

As you move through the book, you get the perspectives of both Mitch and Elena and see the hurt that both have placed on themselves and each other. Without giving too much away, you start to see that the secret worlds that each of these two cling to are a means to escape, a way to feel good, or at least better, without addressing their real problems. They both start to realize this toward the end, but the book leaves you open, without a real conclusion. Does this mean a book two? Or are you free to make your own conclusions?

Being a novella, it was a quick read. Sometimes it felt too quickly paced. The book throws you into the anger and pain right away, almost feeling like you skipped a chapter leading up to what was happening. I felt like I had to play catch up, but once I caught on, the book read smoothly and kept me reading.  There were definite dark undertones to the book and it was littered with some great wit as well as the original and well placed analogies. Multiple times, I found myself smiling and chuckling when Elena compared her friend’s daughter to her sister-in-law: “…and I pray she isn’t cursed like Mitch’s sister, Tammy, who looks like a stillborn kitten.”

With these dark quips thrown in throughout the book, it definitely gave off a J.D Salinger, Catcher in the Rye vibe, with a dry and dark humor paired with a tough subject of complex relationships and what we go through for others. Overall, it was a very well written book and I look forward to picking up another Ericka Clay book. Hopefully we’ll find out if she plans on following up with this family with a second novella. I know I’d like to found out if the family was ever able to reconcile and fight for their relationship to heal.

Check out Ericka’s site at #Tipsylit or go on Amazon and pick up her book!

Little touches and weekend fun

Now that we are done with painting the outside of the house, I’ve felt a little more free to do some of the littler things around the house. Little projects that I didn’t want to start because I felt that painting was the number one priority and I didn’t want to get sidetracked. I was able to get some sheer curtains up in the bedroom, get a framed photo in the bathroom, purchase a couple more for the living room, (I haven’t put up yet but they are bought and waiting for hanging), and even organize my spice cabinet a bit.

Finally got something on the wall

Finally got something on the wall


Aren’t these guys amazing?




We like to buy spices in bulk because it saves you TONS of money and you can buy only what you need, but then I end up with a bunch of little bags in my cabinet which is not conducive to efficient cooking. I went to Hobby Lobby when they were having a sale and grabbed some great glass jars. I think I’m going to have to go back for more!

We also made a cake for our roommate who just turned the big 3-0. I think he was pretty surprised and appreciative of the gesture. He’d worked that day so I think it was a welcome surprise to come back with cake and ice cream. FullSizeRender

The weather here is starting to cool down, which is making me want to be outside even more than usual. I think my next medium-sized project will be raised bed gardens. The challenge is going to be placement and size. Time to start doing some research….

Do something today

We are usually pretty healthy people. We exercise, we eat good foods, we make most of our own meals from scratch, but we’re human. We like beer, we go out to eat, and I have a horrid sweet tooth. But the last few days have felt like I didn’t just slide off the wagon, I was pitched forward and landed face first. It feels like I’ve been eating and drinking horribly for weeks when it’s only been days, but my exercise routine has dwindled to maybe one workout a week. This can’t keep happening.

I know for some people, they work out when they need to lose weight, or only think about how they will look after a workout. For me, that’s a secondary effect. Working out on a regular basis makes me feel better overall; I become less lethargic and have more consistent energy. I’m in a better mood, and I don’t guilt myself into shame if I do go have a doughnut for breakfast. When I stop working out, I tend to eat worse for some reason ( I think I just give up), I stop being active at all, I’m tired, more likely to get cranky and just feel uncomfortable in my own skin and clothes.

I’ve seen too many people with diseases and health issues because they weren’t active and were bad to their bodies. I don’t want to regret my choices later in life and think, ” why didn’t I just workout every once in a while. What’s a few hours a week?” So we’re getting back on the fitness wagon today. I want to integrate fitness, whether it’s runs, walks, rock climbing, hiking, whatever, more into my daily ritual. I want it to become habit, not something I “have to do”. I know that I’ll probably fall off here and there, but I don’t want to beat myself up about it. That doesn’t help. It’s time to get up and get moving again.

do something

Choose what you focus on

Yesterday didn’t go as planned. A lot of things happened, and there are a lot of things that I could focus on, if I choose to focus on any of it at all.

First off, I had to drive almost two hours south to take a test that would take approximately one hour. Not the greatest thing to have to do first thing in the morning on a Monday. The test was early so I left at 5:30am to give myself extra time, which was good because on my way there, the car died twice. Not helpful when I’m trying to stay calm on test day (I don’t do well with tests -lots of anxiety). I finally get to the test center, took the test (pass – woo!!) and headed straight to the dealership to drop the car off. I got to the service station and they told me they can’t get to it til Wednesday (UGH), BUT they have a loaner for me (phew), so they drove me to the rental facility. The rental wasn’t ready yet, so I had some time to kill, so I walked over to a cafe and got some crepes.

When you think about it, I could focus on the fact that my car died multiple times and is in the shop, that I had to spend more time than I’d planned out of work, that I spent more time at a dealership than at a testing facility, that I wasn’t able to get some accounting work done because I had to run my car to the shop, and that Monday overall was just a big mess.

Or I could focus on the good. I passed my test, which was the most important thing I was focusing on. It’s done, out of the way, and I’m happy about that. The people at the dealership were great in helping me almost instantly, got me a loaner, which is wonderful, got a ride over to the rental facility, and even called to make sure that I got over to the rental facility just fine. I had some awesome crepes while waiting for my rental. They were thin and smooth, with strawberries, walnuts and a sweet creme sauce on top. I have a flexible job that lets me work at home, so I still got a lot of work done.

How we approach the day and look back on events can really effect your reflection of the past and your future outlook as well. Remember to try to focus on the good. It definitely doesn’t always come first or naturally, but it’s worth the effort.

Focus on the good

Finally! *collapses face first onto floor*

We finally finally finally (barring little touch-ups) finished painting our house at 8pm Tuesday night. I had so little left and I was losing light but we did it! When I gave the hubs a high-five, we both had smiles on our faces. The relief rushed in and the pride in our work came soon after.

Even though it took waaaay longer than I figured (I originally estimated two weeks tops – try two months!), it looks great. We are proud of our work and I feel like we did just as good, if not better than most professionals. We went over the house with a fine toothed comb, finding any spots, re-caulking areas that had either been missed, never touch, or already needed more touching-up. It took a lot of our strength and sweat and a ton of our time, but everyday now, when we come home from work, our hard work shines through. I love it.

We still have the doors to replace and paint, but there’s no rush on that. They work for now. Next up is some fun stuff – new house numbers and finding a spot for our raised bed garden. But again, in due time. For now, we rest. These other projects take little time and can be done whenever we feel so inclined. I’m not worried about them, and I usually forget about them completely until something triggers my memory.

For now, we relax and have some fun.DSC04072 IMG_5101 DSC04098 IMG_5097 IMG_4750 IMG_5105

Last night we went to Austin’s last Sound and Cinema for the summer. It’s a great free deal Austin does at the Long Center for the Performing Arts. They have a band that plays music from the movie they are showing, and when the sun sets, they play a different movie each time. This time was The Sandlot, a classic coming of age story. If you haven’t seen it, I recommend it. It’s a favorite of ours.


We stayed for a short while, but since it was so busy, it was hard to hear the movie so we ended up leaving to find a quieter place. We stopped at Radio Coffee & Beer, a great newer place that has great cold brew coffee and local drafts, so everyone can get something they want. The place has a great outdoor setting. One area has an open field with chairs for chatting, and the other side has picnic tables (and a couple food trailers of course), and they happened to be playing a bunch of short films. During the short films, one of the trailers came out with samples of their rosemary honey popcorn. If I hadn’t just eaten earlier, I would have grabbed a bag because it was amazing.

IMG_5094 IMG_5095

I stayed out much later than planned but it was well worth it. We hadn’t “gone out” and done something like this for weeks, heck, months, because of the house projects. When I have a big project going on, I feel guilty leaving it undone, so we committed ourselves to one last push, finished up the painting, then went out, partly as a celebration, and partly to renew our love of the city. You can start to forget why you like a city if you don’t take advantage of the things that made you love it in the first place.


I’ve got it folks. I’ve got the wanderlust. I think they call it post-vacation blues as well.

Whatever the term is, I’m squirming in my seat, wanting so badly to take the hubs, the dogs, and a bunch of water and snacks (and sunblock of course) and wander around somewhere I’ve never been, away from everything.

I can’t right now, so I made this instead. The photo is actually a park in my hometown, that somehow, I never knew about (the town is around 3000 people). We (the hubs and I) took the ma-in-law out for a walk with the dogs and found the path littered with frogs, which was great entertainment for us and the dogs.

Hopefully we’ll get to plan another getaway soon, even if it’s just a day trip wandering around a new park. Get out and explore before it’s too late! Enjoy not knowing where you’re going. There’s something very freeing in that feeling.

There is only one cure for wanderlust


I’ve been working on a few projects and assignments for a while. For me, if I don’t get them done within a relative time frame of when I thought I’d finish them, I start to get anxious. My mind keeps these projects in the back of my head at all times. And the only way to get rid of all of this heaviness? Finishing them.

I plan on going full force this week, even though I have very little energy, and complete this house painting project. We were gone for a week, were out of town this past weekend, and have been just plain old busy. I plan on dedicating my time to finishing this painting project, because although I have other things I want to do, I have a hard time concentrating on them with these other open projects constantly looming over me.

Tonight, we focus and finish what we’ve started!!


Take a break from life


“Take a break from life”: these are words of wisdom that I seldom use. I’m sure many of you get caught up in the hustle and stresses of everyday life. We can start to feel guilty about even taking a vacation. But once you pull yourself away from the stress and the “obligations”, a vacation, even a small one, can have a great renewing effect. I’d posted earlier about our road trip to Minnesota and the cabin we stayed at. I was able to find (finally) my camera cables so I could upload some photos onto my computer. Looking back at these photos, even though they were taken just a week and a half ago, de-stresses me and puts me back in a state of relaxation. A lot has been going on here in Austin and my stress levels have been slowly rising ever since I came back. Most of what I am stressing about will go away with time, so for now I’m using my memories as a way to stay calm and refreshed.

Take the time to make memories and de-stress, so that when you can’t get away from it all, you’ll have something to go back to in your mind that gives you the peace you may need.

DSC_0039 DSC_0072 DSC_0075 DSC_0078 DSC_0081 DSC04281 DSC04294 DSC04303 DSC04305 DSC04317 DSC04331 DSC04409 DSC04418 DSC04447 DSC04458There are so many people we saw that we hadn’t seen in years at the wedding. It’s always bittersweet. We reminisce over wine about the days of high school and college, of the times we did that, or said this, and now look at us. We’ve all gone in so many directions. Some of us live in different states, and some just live in different towns, but some are all over the world. Gatherings like this bring us back, and keep us rooted to our friends, the ones who truly care about us. But like I said, it’s always bittersweet because as we reminisce, we have to remember that things will never be the same as they were. We can only be happy we have these memories, and hope to create more in the future.