Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Big Favor

My apologies for not giving you any kind of real warning about my switch to WordPress.  For many people when they switch, people who subscribed are redirected with no problems.
This is not the case.

Although my web address has stayed the same IDoTheeWedSara.com, my subscribers did not all transfer.
How do you know if you are one of them?  Go take a look at my site.  If you see something new that hasn't shown up in your inbox or google reader, you didn't transfer.

I really wish I knew why and was able to fix it.  (A few really sweet blogging friends are trying to help me so hopefully this will resolve itself...)

So now I'm going to ask a big favor that I hope doesn't upset/offend anyone.  

Could you please show me the love and follow me {again} on my WordPress blog via the GFC Followers widget?  I'm asking you to follow me again to ensure that you're receiving my new feed.


Many thanks!!

Sara

P.S. If you have any questions about this, please feel welcomed to write me directly at IDoTheeWedSara@gmail.com. Otherwise, I look forward to seeing you over on my WordPress blog - www.IDoTheeWedSara.com.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

WP Transfer...

Finally transferring to Word Press. Please excuse the mess in the meantime!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Mommy/Daughter Day

Today is a big mother/daughter day.  Around 3am (ugh) this morning my father woke up to fly to Florida to visit with his brother for a few days.  My mom, who has MS, hasn't been feeling well and my parents have a dog.  So I came to stay last night.  D is in NYC for a conference but returns late tonight. We're both going to stay over my parent's house and then the shuttle taking us to the airport is coming at the @ss crack of dawn tomorrow (aka 5am) to take us to the airport.  We're flying to Seattle and then D's parents are driving us to Vancouver. So sweet!  We're going to spend a week with D's family in Canada (cooler weather here I come!) And celebrate his grandpa's 90th birthday!

Look familiar?
But today, there is much to be done.  There are errands to run. There are suitcases (or rather singular, ONE suitcase, since it is so freaking expensive to pack two!) to be packed.

And then, a very special mother/daughter dinner.  You see, my father's tastes are ... well ... very limited.  As in toddler's have a wider range (probably). So my mom doesn't get to try new foods very often.

When I was in 5th grade, my class went to an Indian buffet for lunch and it was great.  My mother and I went back a few weeks later and hated it.  Since then, I've started eating Indian food and again, fallen in love. So tonight, it is mom's turn to sample Indian food again!

A little mother/daughter bonding can't hurt.  I'm excited to get to spend the day with my mom .... and hang out with their dog.  Who I love. And miss terribly!

What are your plans today? As an adult, how do you get meaningful time with your parents?

Friday, June 24, 2011

You Can't See Me!

When I was a freshman in college, my friend and I were walking into the campus center.  And as I walked in and saw some gorgeous football players (not a guarantee in my school!) walking up the stairs, I tripped.  Not sure what over, but that's irrelevant.  Point is I tripped.  And covered my face.  I guess I assumed if I couldn't see the guys then they couldn't see me!

Sometimes my logic amazes even me!

So what made me think of this?

Today I went to the bathroom at work. I tried to go into the stall by the window but it was locked.  So I went into the next stall and force of habit, looked at my neighbor's feet.  Except, I couldn't see any.  Which I thought was odd.  So naturally, I bent over even further.  And there were her feet.  She was doing #2 (or rather, waiting until I left to do it) so she raised her feet to be anonymous.

I kinda get it, and kinda think it's crazy.  It's not like we all don't have the same bodily needs from time to time.

Then again, who hasn't gone into a bathroom and acted horrified at the smell that you encountered.

Maybe in the end we all just want to give off the impression of being perfect?  If that's the case, I've failed!

And I guess the real question is ... do you do #2 in public places?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Privacy vs. the Blog!

It is so easy when blogging to share.  You can write whatever you want and if you turn off your comments, you'll never have to hear anything about it!

But with great power comes great responsibility (this is a line from a movie ... can someone comment and tell me which one? I seriously have no idea...).

What do I mean by that?

Well, when you blog, just how honest are you?  Are there certain topics that are off limits?  Do you use full names?  Or just first? Or letters? Or made up names?  Do you post pictures? Or do you consider that too personal?

I've come to realize everyone has their own style.  Some people are very open while others are very secretive.

When I first started blogging (you know, a whole FOUR months ago lol) I only really read Beth's blog.  So I kinda used her example.  But morphed it a bit.

You see, my actual, real, legit first name is somewhat unique.  And I don't want anyone to find me! (Shhh, I'm hiding.) So I had to come up with a name. I could explain where Sara comes from, but that's unlikely to happen in the near future.

Now as for D, his name actually starts with the letter D.  Whenever possible, I do use the first letter of someone's name.  But, sometimes it's too confusing.  So sometimes I pick another letter.  Don't hate me.

But what about topics?  This is especially timely because JUST LAST NIGHT, I found myself in a conversation about sex toys that I did not start.  (Here's lookin' at you, Kim and you, Rusti.)  Now the conversation itself didn't upset/worry/bother me. (And since I know you are just DYING to know ... no, D and I do not and have not ever owned nor used the sex toy they were discussing!)

But, D had a stricken look on his face.  He was suddenly fearful that "once you put something on the internet, that's it."  It's there and there is NO going back!

This doesn't worry me quite as much.

Plus, I'm 99% anonymous.  A few people know who I really am and only a FEW (as in 3) that I know in real life know that I blog.  And one is my husband.  I'm not too worried.

But even though I am anonymous, I'm not naive.  I fully imagine one day I will open up my blog and tell my family about it.  And when that day comes, I don't want to risk them going back through my entries and discovering something.  (Basically, if my mom and MIL were to read this post tomorrow, would it be ok? If the answer is yes, the post can go up!)

So family (with the exception of memories and good/funny stories) is off the table.

I also don't discuss coworkers (good technique, make sure one of the THREE people you know in real life is a coworker! It helps keep you honest!), friends, or my husband.  Again, except for memories/funny stories.  If I mention a person who was in my life previously, I have to be certain of two things: (a) they will never ever ever read my blog and/or (b) even if they did, I would not care if they did realize I was talking about them.  If you can pass BOTH of these two tests, the story goes in.

I also keep a lot of my private life, private.  At first I didn't even say what state I lived in.  That changed.  But I haven't talked about my work except in mostly abstract terms.  And that's intentional.

This invisible line between what is allowed and what isn't will only get worse once I get pregnant and/or have a kid.

What are your rules regarding privacy on your blog??


Mama’s Losin’ It 

This was written in response to the prompt:What are your thoughts on blogging and privacy...where do you draw the line?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Aren't We All Doctors?

Have you ever noticed how many doctors there are in the world?

Ok ... obviously I am not literally talking about doctors. But I'm amazed how people become doctors without ever having to go to school.

You might be shaking your head or disagreeing with me.  But think about it.

You don't feel well.  A friend/colleague/coworker/spouse/family member asks what is wrong and you tell them your head/foot/shoulder/big toe hurt.  They may ask a follow up question, they may not. Regardless, they are almost certain to tell you (a) what is wrong with you and (b) how to treat it.

No, I don't just mean that "you should see a doctor."  But rather, you should take this medicine, but not this one.  You should elevate/heat/ice for 10 minutes/1 hour/15 days.

Maybe it's just me? Maybe I am just surrounded by unlicensed doctors?

And don't think I don't do it too.

Now when your are a mom you have to diagnose.  I get that.

But be careful! Diagnosing your toddler could quickly grow to diagnosing any ailment on any person near you.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My Accountant Says...

(Sorry ... another Sex and the City reference ... "my therapist says...")

Anyways, I'm back.

My immediate family all use the same accountant.  Could we do the taxes ourselves? Possibly. But that's a topic for another day.

Source:http://bit.ly/jC8HKY


So last year I got a return but my siblings owed (state and Federal).  I can't remember about my parents.  Anyway, our accountant told us to claim we were single (which at the time I legally was) and zero exemptions.

Let me tell you, that sucked! It was a lot more money out of my paycheck (ok ... not a lot more money, but enough that I'd notice).  But we listened.  And this year, we all got rebates.

Which got me thinking.  My accountant, I listened to without really a moment's hesitation.

Doctors, not so much.  Now I'm not talking about big things like cancer where we'd probably do anything our doctor recommended.  I'm talking about "proactive" things like lose weight, eat healthier, exercise more.  Ok, technically these could all be "big" things some day but at least in the present they aren't IMMEDIATELY life threatening, so more often than not, we ignore the advice.

For instance, my orthopedist recommended I wear a boot a few hours a day and do some exercises to help my foot.  The boot I'm pretty good at wearing.  The exercises?  Not so much.  I keep saying I'll start.  But alas I don't.

Maybe tonight will be the night!

I bet our accountant was pleasantly surprised when he saw our IRS forms and saw that we ALL listened to his advice.

If only all professionals got the same response...

Monday, June 20, 2011

My Safeway National Dairy Month Shopping Trip

D and I are huge dairy fans, and D loves the opportunity, any opportunity, to eat outside, so I jumped at the chance to participate in Safeway’s National Dairy Month.    

As we try to be healthier, we’ve come to realize just how important dairy is in a healthy lifestyle.  It is also a very tasty addition to any diet!  D and I both love milk, though he drinks more of it than I do.  We’ve also started really liking the Yoplait yogurts that taste like dessert (some of them actually do, it’s amazing!).  We’re also big fans of cheese, though our tastes differ.  I like cheddar, gouda, brie, and mozzarella.  While D likes all those, he also likes swiss, and blue cheese, and any stinky cheese.  I cannot even smell some of his favorite cheeses.

Now when buying dairy, there aren’t very many special considerations.  We have no allergies, though we do try to look at labels to get the items that are healthiest for us.

The same is NOT true when deciding on a recipe.  D and I have very unique considerations when it comes to food.  A bit hard to explain.  But suffice it to say, we keep Kosher-style, meaning no mixing meat with dairy.  This often means I have to edit/alter recipes I find to make sure there is no mixing.

Two of our favorite dairy ingredients are mozzarella cheese and pesto sauce.  Since we were going to eat outside I also wanted to make sure we had something accessible for outdoors.  So sandwiches it was!  I found a few recipes online at an awesome website http://packyourpicnic.com (seriously, go take a look, I’ll wait!).   And edited them.

D and I go both enjoy food shopping so we usually do it together.  I either write up a paper list (old fashioned I know!) or give him the list to put on his Ipod touch.   Now I love our local Safeway.  The produce department in particular is so inviting.  It makes me want to taste everything (I resist!) with all the bright colors.  No matter when I go in or what time of day, it is always neat and inviting.  It isn’t cramped like some other grocery stores.

Thrilled about our shopping cart!

I love a good deal and have been a Safeway club member for a while. Take a look at the pictures in the slide show.  You’ll notice all the deals I got just by having my free membership!

When I cook, D always likes to help.  Now as for the recipe: toast the bread. On one slice put about 1T of pesto sauce. On the other slice place sliced tomato and mozzarella cheese. Place that second slice under the broiler for about 5 minutes. Assemble sandwich, slice, add some cheddar chips to the plate and
good to go! Oh, but don’t forget the raspberry green tea with REAL raspberries!

I think what excited D most about this whole thing was getting to eat outdoors.  He loves it, me not so much.  But tonight it was dinner outside.  Just look how happy he is in the pictures here!

This project has been compensated as part of the June Dairy program for Safeway. Make sure you look for #SafewayDairy.  As always, all opinions are my own.

Do Mother's Forget the Mommy Code?

I've mentioned before (I think!) that I am an advisor to a Jewish teen youth group.  Last week we had the closeout for the summer, inductions for council board (the supervisory board for the area) and awards.  One of my co-advisors and I went to the ceremony (which is too formal for what it actually was) to support our girls.

My coadvisor, S, (who is 5 months preggers with her second son!!!) brought her first son with her.  J is about 2.5 years old.  He's energetic but ADORABLE.  Anyway, we went upstairs to where the ceremony was taking place.  A bunch of chairs were set up for the teens to sit in and perpendicular to those chairs were chairs for the guests.  S and I sat down in the spectator area but J was not in the mood to sit.

Off to the side was a pool table. S sat J on the edge of the table, holding on to him, and gave him one of the pool balls.  He started rolling it into the pocket and would giggle when he made it in.  Now there were other balls in the pocket so it did make a small noise when it went in.  But we are talking about a ceremony being led by teenagers and attended by teenagers. Believe me when I say J's noise was barely noticeable.

But a woman in the spectator area actually shushed us (well ... technically S and J but I was standing there so I'll say us).  S fortunately realized she wasn't doing anything wrong and decided to ignore the woman (who was now also rolling her eyes).

I happen to know this woman.  I know that her youngest child is an advanced teenager.  So it has been a LONG time since she's had a toddler.

Do mother's forget?

Is it possible she has forgotten what it was like to calm her children?  I know one of her girls very well.  While lovely and creative, quiet she is not.  I imagine she gave her mother quite a challenge when growing up.  And I'm positive if that mother had been shushed she would have spoken up in her defense.

Shouldn't all mothers support each other (too naive?).  I'm not even a mother yet but I recognized that this wasn't an "inappropriate" place for a kid and J was definitely not doing anything wrong.

What about motherhood support?  Instead of looking at S with J and flashing the "knowing" mommy smile, she decided to shush and roll her eyes.

Am I the only one who thinks there is something wrong here?  That this woman broke some sort of mommy code?

A picture of my mom just because!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

What makes a father?

D and I do not have kids yet (nor any on the way ... nor are we trying to have any on the way) but that isn't going to be the case for too much longer.  In fact, as I mentioned to D the other day, this could very well be the last Father's day he has without at least a kid on the way. 

So with this reality becoming closer and closer, I've started thinking what makes a father.  What is really important about a father?

[Now that is NOT to say that lesbian couples and/or single moms are not great parents.  However, this blog is dedicated to what I see as best father traits and what I hope to see in D when the time comes.]

I don't know that there is such a thing as a perfect parent, be it mother or father.  But there are definitely qualities that are admirable to have.

D is a natural teacher.  (Both in personality and profession!)  He is going to be great at teaching our kids about dinosaurs, and bugs (because momma HATES bugs!) and politics.  He'll be quick to teach them right from wrong.  He'll also be a great role model regardless if we have a son or a daughter.  Because he'll show our kids how someone should treat their partner (regardless of gender) and how someone should expect to be treated.  He always shows me respect, and I always give him respect.

I love my father.  I am now and always will be a Daddy's girl.  I was the first born after 6 years of trying to get pregnant (I don't like to think about that though).  I was the first child and will always be.  In many ways my personality is that of a typical first born (more of than in another post I am sure!).  My dad always made me feel secure and loved.  My dad made sure I had all my needs met and as many of my wants met as possible.  He always bragged about me (and continues to do so), and always supported me (both emotionally and financially).  He opened his arms to my husband and accepted him as a member of the family upon first meeting him (pretty much).  And taught me what it means to put family before all.  He showed me that even if all of your dreams for life don't work out, so long as you have family, you can still be happy.

One of the best dads in the world
I love and miss my saba (Hebrew for grandfather).  I only knew him 8 short years but loved him.  He taught me that hard work leads to success.  And showed me what true love was.  His love for my grandmother was evident even to my as a young girl.  And his death shook her to her core.  I consider it no coincidence that on his birthday years after he passed my grandmother had a stroke that took her from us.  She was ready to be with my saba again.  If I ever doubted that soul mates exist, I only have to think of them.

There is a part of me that is nervous/anxious about taking that next step with D.  But I am beyond excited to see his face when he holds our child for the first time (going on record, I completely believe we are having a boy first ... and no I am not currently pregnant).  And the love that I will feel for him as I watch him become the excellent father I know he will be.

To all men who are fathers, whether biological, adopted, foster, or just in spirit.  Thank you.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Why My Husband is the Best

Too often we find ourselves critiquing our partner.  Wishing they had done this better, or hadn't done this.  We are all guilty of it.  Some publicly, some VERY publicly (i.e. on a blog!) and others within the privacy of their own home.

This is not one of those blogs.

My husband has one trait, one habit, above all, that I think speaks a lot to his personality and how great he is.

D and I do not always go to bed at the same time.  Whether it is me working late, him working late or #wineparty deep discussions with friends who live far away, it is true.

Now when I go to sleep first, that's it.  I'm down.  I'm out.  Sometimes I wake up when D gets into bed but only to grunt some sort of hello and roll back over.

D is not the same.  Regardless of whether he went to sleep 10 minutes before me or 2 hours before me, always, ALWAYS wakes up enough to ask me for a kiss.  Always.  [Sometimes we'll even have short (a few minute) discussions which he usually does not remember in the morning.  I've taken to introducing "tonight's word" to see if he remembers in the morning.  Sometimes he surprises me.]

Ok back to the kiss.  He always wakes up.  He always asks me for a kiss.

My husband is great about telling me how much he loves me.  And every night no matter how late I crawl into bed, he reinforces it.

I told you he was great!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

How We Communicate

I love talking. I love meeting new people (even though I can be shy, I am overly outgoing to compensate, weird but true). 

I like getting to know people.  Getting to tell stories.  Being able to make people laugh.  It's a great feeling.

I am also someone who uses my hands when I talk. A LOT.  I'm not exactly sure why, but I do.  Maybe it's hereditary. 

I am sometimes very direct and at times have been brutally honest.

So why am I talking about this?

Well I notice people and how other people communicate.  We all have different means of communicating. Some, like me, are hand-users.  Some speak softly. Some over enunciate words or syllables.

I just realized that there is one method of communication I really dislike.  I really, really dislike when someone's primary means of communication (absent a disability) is just by gestures, noises and eye movements.

Now I like sarcasm.  I live for it!  But there is a difference between occasionally rolling your eyes (which I have been known to do) and using this as a primary means of communicating.

When I am speaking with you and compliment a third party not in our presence, I don't understand what a grunt and tilting your head to side means. WHAT DOES IT MEAN?!?!

Do you agree?  Do you disagree?  Do you think I smell?

I'm fine with gestures and body movements accompanying speech, but not replacing it!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

You Never Really Know Anyone...

(Is it just me or have my posts been kind of serious lately?)

For those who watched Sex and the City, there is a scene where Charlotte and Carrie are walking down the street.  Charlotte is asking Carrie for advice and Charlotte makes a comment about how do we ever know the people we sleep with, then proceeds to ask if her hair is too shiny.

Ok well this isn't about people I am sleeping with.  But that quote always makes me think in general, how well do we know people?

We all have people or couples we are friends with.  Since we aren't there 24/7, how well do we know what is really going on behind closed doors?  Do we really know who these people are?

I have had friends assume, incorrectly, things about myself.  Usually it is innocuous.

But from time to time, I underestimate, or incorrectly believe something about them.  Being the astute judge of character I usually am, I rarely underestimate a person's character.

But at times, I do overestimate.  There are times when I think someone is nice.  I am hoodwinked.  I am fooled.  It doesn't happen often.  But it does happen.

Where later I find out they are not the person I thought.  The couple is not as perfect as they looked from the outside.  And the partner is not as endearing/kind/compassionate as he/she seemed.

I personally have been in two "relationships" (would take too long to explain why that is in quotations now) where I haven't been aware of who the person really is.

It's a scary prospect.  It's upsetting to believe you know someone and turn out to be wrong.

Have you ever been surprised when you realized a personality trait you didn't before recognize in a person?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Wishing for Divorce...

Ok first let me preface this by saying D and I are NOT getting divorced. Not even close.  But the topic is still very real.

We all know couples, both dating/engaged/married who we "just don't see it."  We don't quite get the relationship.  Or we're not happy with it.

And this can be for a number of reasons.  Hopefully it isn't because of any violence (because that enters a whole different discussion).

I think more regularly you think one person is "better" than the other or they are just not well suited.

Usually, we keep our opinions to ourselves.  We don't tell people what we really think.  And when they are already engaged or married, we almost never tell them we think they should break it off or get divorced.

But what really concerns me here, is what does it say about me to either (a) assume a relationship won't work out or (b) to (somewhat?) actively wish for it to end? And as quickly as possibly with as little pain as possible.

I know that makes me horrible.  I know it sounds horrible.  But just how horrible?

I don't do anything to actively break up people.  So that must mitigate the bad level. Right?

Friday, June 10, 2011

What does family mean to you?

For me, family is everything.  I live, and would die, for my family.  Included in this are some incredibly close friends who have become defacto family members.

But everyone's version of family is different.

My parents (and D's parents) will celebrate their 34th wedding anniversaries this year.  This dynamic and the fact that my parents are still married definitely impacts our relationship.

I see nothing wrong or weird that my immediate family (parents, spouse, two siblings) know exactly how much each other makes (our siblings ... not our parent's income!).  It's totally normal to me that my parents know how much educational debt I have.  And I think it's a sign of a strong family to speak every day.

But some people would not agree.

I have a friend that finds it so strange that we all know everyone's financial information.  Acquaintances who don't think it's "appropriate" to ask a daughter how much she spent on her house.

Not only do I plan to tell my parents how much I pay for my house, if possible I want them to help me pick out a good house!

I appreciate and value my parent's opinions.  I want to learn from their mistakes.

That does not mean I won't go against their wishes if I disagree with them.  But it does mean I will think really hard about something before doing something my parents don't think is wise.

Is this normal?  Is there a "normal" family?  Does a normal family dynamic exist?  Or is each unique?

It's probably the latter. 

Each family is itself a unique group of people with experiences, expectations and demands.

Do I roll my eyes when my dad calls me 5 times in one day because I haven't been near my phone to pick up?  Yes.  But do I feel disconnected when I haven't spoken to him in a few days? Yes.

My mother talked on the phone with her mother multiple times a day when we were growing up.  Pre-caller ID (I know ... unconscionable now!) when the phone would ring, we'd laugh and declare "it's grandma," and we were usually right.

I truly think my family has a healthy relationship.  We are very involved in each other's lives.  True.  But we also care deeply about each other.  And would do anything necessary for each other.

My family changed when I married D.  And now my sister, V, is getting married in November to M.  That again is going to change my family.

M's family dynamic is different than ours and there will be adjustments.

But in the end, we are an extremely close family who ultimately want what is best for the other person.


And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Attraction

I think D is attractive.  Obviously?

But as a general rule, I've found no common traits between other men I find attractive. For instance, I think Morgan [Shemar Moore] from Criminal Minds is really attractive.  He's probably someone you'd expect people to find good on the eyes.  Probably doesn't seem strange.  Don't you agree:

Source: http://www.cbs.com/primetime/criminal_minds/cast/shemar-moore/

On the same show, I think Spender Reed [Matthew Gray Gubler] is really attractive.  He's not what you'd necessary think is typical "hunk" material, but I think he's so cute!  Thoughts?

Source: http://www.cbs.com/primetime/criminal_minds/cast/matthew-gray-gubler/

Nothing really similar between the two except they are both males.  They are different races, different body types.  And yet I find both equally attractive.

I'm currently at a conference (which is why I've been so MIA blogging this week).  And there are definitely some men there I find attractive.  No I am not attracted to them.  But I still think they are cute.


I wonder why I don't have a type.  And even though I can find lots of men attractive, my husband and last two boyfriends all look similar.  Maybe I am open when it comes to finding someone attractive but then am only attracted to a particular type?

Do you have a "type?"

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Hey Man, can you spare a ... suit?

So this post is going to be quite short (LONG weekend) but I'll fill you in on more details later!

D and I went to State College, PA for a wedding.  About a 3 hour drive each way.  We were staying with friends of D's who were nice enough to let us crash on their futon. 

Friday night we I packed our suitcase.  I usually make a list but decided to wing up.  My dress for the wedding doesn't wrinkle so I just put it in the bag. We don't have a garment bag so I had D put his suit and white shirt by the front door.  The tie and his shoes were packed.

Before we leave Sat I run down our list of things we NEED to have.  We have everything.  And off we go.

We make the three hour drive.  We meet his friends for lunch (our treat! ... only right.) and then follow them back to their apartment.  As we are driving back to the apartment I suddenly have a moment and ask D, "did you pack your suit?"  And the answer is no. (Obviously, because why would I write a post about driving three hours to only find out D did have his suit!) Crazy!

We go to Target. D gets a white shirt and a black pair of slacks.  Not perfect but good enough. Fortunately we had his dress shoes.  And the clothes are reusable so that's good.

I love him.  But this was just a tad frustrating! 

Doesn't he look cute in his suit at another wedding? Ignore me!
Have you ever forgotten something kind of important??

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Melissa and Doug Winner!!

Forgive the obvious, but winning makes me happy.  I love getting free things ... especially free things that I'd actually like to have!

Now I am sure there are some people who spend a LOT of their time entering all different kinds of contests.

That is not me.

But I do enter some.  Usually because I really would like to win the item (though sometimes it is to support a blogger I am "friends" with.)

Well just recently I stumbled upon Sugar Pop Ribbons and found a few giveaways for some really great looking prizes.

So I entered a few.

Now if you are a frequent reader, you know I am not pregnant.  Nor do I have any kids.  Nor am I planning to get pregnant in the near future.

But it would be great to get some baby stuff BEFORE I have a baby.

Well, my recent prize that I won is not for babies.  But rather young children.

I won a Melissa and Doug Wooden Railway set.  And I am thrilled.  D apparently never had a wooden train growing up but always wanted one.  Look how happy he looks here:

It's all mine!

I keep reminding him it is for our future kid, not for him.  He tells me one night I'll be in bed and hear him making choo-choo sounds.  I think I am going to loose this battle.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Can't Choose Your Family

We've all said it, you can't choose your family.  Oh that you could ... day dream over!

We say it when our family does something we don't like, or we feel the need to defend our relationship with this family member.

But sometimes it's more serious.

Each of my parents have a brother.  My dad and his brother are ridiculously close.  I mean they talk multiple times a day.  They are very involved in each others life.  When I got engaged, my uncle was furious my dad hadn't told him ahead of time.  There is also a 12 year age difference and their biological dad died when my dad was 2 so I am sure that has a role in their relationship.  From time to time there are downsides but overall, I love seeing my dad with such a close relationship to his brother.

Now contrast that with my mom.

She doesn't talk to her brother.  At all.  When my mom's parents were alive, there was a bridge.  My uncle was somewhat involved in our lives because my grandparents involved him.  But they have since died.

My mother once asked her brother why he hated her so much.  His response was that their parents had treated her better than him.  (Now to be fair, I cannot remember if I heard him say this over the phone or if she told me he said this. This distinction would only matter as to credibility. )

As a result, my mother and uncle have no relationship.  A few years ago, I sent my uncle and aunt an email saying hi and trying to build a bridge.  My parents knew what I was doing, weren't thrilled but didn't try to stop me.  After a handful of emails back and forth, I was going to meet my aunt and uncle for lunch near my job.  This was only a few weeks before grad school started and my aunt was a high school teacher so she was going back to work as well.  We emailed back and forth for location and time. 

I went.  And I remember thinking wouldn't it be ironic if after all this I was stood up.  Well ... I was.  They never showed.

Now when I got back to the office, I sent them an email. My aunt claimed that my latest email confirming lunch had gotten sent to her spam folder (even though previous emails went through).  I had tried calling her cell while at lunch (I didn't have my uncle's number) and it kept going to voicemail.

My aunt apologized.  I tried to believe her and understand.  But school was about to start for both of us so we weren't going to be able to reschedule for a few weeks.  She promised to send me an email to set up a time.

That was August 2005.

When D and I got engaged I went back and forth on whether to invite this uncle/aunt to my wedding.  My position is they are family. 

But D and I decided we would leave the decision up to my mom.  And we did.  And she said she'd feel more comfortable if he wasn't there.  So we didn't invite him.

(Don't laugh) in watching Real Housewives of NJ lately with family strife, it makes me sad that I have zero relationship with that uncle.  I have a very small family and two people missing is noticable.

Last night I toyed around with the idea of contacting him.  Or giving my information to a mutual Aunt (my great aunt, my uncle's aunt) who still speaks to both of our sides and telling her to tell him if he wants to get in touch, to use my email.

How much would this hurt my parents? And am I brave enough to do this?  And do I even want to?

My uncle and I were never close, unfortunately.  And we do have some personality and political differences.  But he is family.  Is that enough?  You can't choose your family...

What do you think I should do?

Monday, May 30, 2011

Time for Skippin Rope

A blogger friend of mine, Tara, just completed the transition to her new site.  She's a former Navy wife now navigating life as a Navy veteran.

Her new site is SkippinRope.  And to celebrate her new blog she's having a WEEK of giveaways!  Her first giveaway goes live in just under 30 minutes!  She's having a giveaway for a Recaro ProSeries ProSport child car seat. And tomorrow she's sponsoring a giveaway from Melissa and Doug!  But only a few select people know about Tuesday's giveaway, so shhhhhh!

Go visit Tara and give her some love.  Let her know I sent you her way!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Anniversary Celebration

Unless this is your first visit to my blog, you know that last week, May 23rd to be exact, was my first wedding anniversary! (In honor of that I'm having a giveaway, enter here!)

For months, D has been going on and on about how great my anniversary gift is but I refused to let him tell me what it was.  The box arrived and we put it in his office so I wouldn't try to figure it out.  I caught a glimpse of the shape so I thought it was a picture, but I couldn't imagine how beautiful.  D took one of our favorite wedding photos and had it put on canvas! I'll explain the significance of this photo in a future post!
First Dance
Lest you think I didn't get D anything, I listened to what he wanted and got him a harmonica along with an instruction book.  He's already started playing a few songs and sounds pretty good!

My parents met us for breakfast on Sunday, May 22nd (day before anniversary) and to eat the top tier from our wedding cake (pictures below!).

My work sent me to Cumberland, Maryland (take a look on the map, it's quite far west!).  On Sunday, when we arrived, we had a hell of a time finding a place to eat!  (Read all about it here!)  Monday wasn't much better but because of an antique car show, some restaurants usually closed on Mondays were opened. We ate in a wonderful Italian restaurant that was straight out of the Godfather!

We also found an old synagogue founded in 1863.  D noticed a sign saying to enter from the side door.  So he did.  And announced we were "just two wandering Jews passing by."  And I wish I was making that up!

Then Tuesday night we headed to Garrett County, the furthest west in Maryland.  We stayed in a lovely inn I had found online.  Unfortunately, between my heel problems and D stepping on a power cord and puncturing his foot, we weren't really up for anything physical.

That first night we went to a wonderful restaurant and had a great meal.  And then I got sick.  And pretty much napped/slept the rest of the night.

On Wednesday I woke up feeling much better. We found this tiny little restaurant for breakfast that had been recommended and although we didn't quite fit in, the food was decent and cheap.  We then headed out to this crafts store that had been recommended and for the life of our GPS, we could not find it.  Deciding it wasn't worth the hassle, we decided to head on to the vineyard that I had found.  And our lovely GPS tried to kill us.  It took us through this mountain road that is unpaved, about 4 feet wide with a mountain on one side and a cliff on the other. Oh, and did I mention it is a two-way road??  Needless to say, we took a different route back. And on the way I noticed the sign for that store we hadn't been able to find before! It was 5:45pm and it closed at 6pm. You know we popped in and bought up a few treats!

Thursday took us to a stained glass store with an interesting shop keeper.  Seeing how small the showroom (aka his house) was, we knew going in we'd have to buy something.  His pieces were quite beautiful but most of the prices were a bit high for us.  When I went into another room, D noticed some "collector" knives he had.  I selected my piece and as I was paying, D examined the knives even closer.  He noticed one had a swastika on it.  Thinking it was an antique he opened it up ... and found a "made in China" engraved in it.  Definitely not authentic.  And not too thrilled about this guy selling it.  Inappropriate? Yes. Neo-Nazi? Don't think so.  We also went to a blown glass store, an Amish farm (but didn't realize we had to call ahead for farm tours) and an Amish bakery.  Busy days!

On Friday, I had a meeting scheduled but then headed to Antietam on our way back.

And we came home to a clean apartment! My parent's anniversary gift was a cleaning lady and I loved it! I wish we could afford one every month!

Take a look at the photos. All in all we had a great anniversary trip!  My only wish is the trip could have been even longer :)  But at least we came home to a three day weekend!



Friday, May 27, 2011

A Guest Post!

I love my twitter/blogger friends and was so honored when Kim at MamasMonologues asked me to guest post! May 23rd was my wedding anniversary (I'm having a giveaway in honor of it: enter here! And because I was away and couldn't really promote it, I am extending the giveaway until June 4th at 11pm!) 

Go over to Kim's page where I give you all the secret to marriage.  Because you know after one year I am the expert ;)

Thanks again Kim!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I Just Want Dinner!

D and I are in Western Maryland first for my work, then to celebrate our anniversary (tomorrow!).  I am planning a large "how was the anniversary celebration" post when I get back ... but tonight was too funny not to post.

My parents, in honor of our anniversary, (have you entered my anniversary inspired giveaway yet??) treated us to breakfast.  A very large breakfast at that.  We ate around 11:30am so naturally we weren't really hungry for lunch

So by the time 6pm rolled around we were hungry and ready to go.

Except, we are in Western Maryland.  Which we have come to discover is a whole different world.

I had done some research online and found a restaurant that looked good AND had a restaurant.com coupon (you know about my love for them).  AFTER purchasing, I noticed the restaurant isn't open on Sundays.  Weird.  But ok. We're still going to be here for Monday night dinner so I'll deal.

So I looked online again and found a Greek restaurant.  Around 6:15pm off we went.  By 6:30, we were there.

But it was closed.

Across the street was a French restaurant I had seen online.  It was a little pricey, but it was there.  And we were hungry.  So D agreed to go across the busy 2 lane road to make sure we could eat something off the menu.

But they were closed too.

A little frustrating but no big deal.  I had seen a Japanese restaurant so took out Louise (my reliable GPS) and looked up Japanese restaurants.  There was only one.

About 12 minutes later we arrived.

And it was closed.

On the way to the Japanese restaurant I had noticed an Italian restaurant.  Fine. Not our first choice but we were really hungry and there were cars in the parking lot = open.

I joked with D that they probably close at 7pm (it was 6:53pm when we pulled in the parking lot).  And sure enough, they did close at 7.

So into the bank parking lot and pull out Louise again. By this time I am in the mood for Italian so we find a place about 10 minutes away.  It is more in the "heart" of downtown so they must be open.

We arrive around 7:15pm to find out ... you guessed it. They were closed too.

However, on the way I noticed an ice cream shop/deli that I had seen online and wanted to visit.  We had already looked at their website and KNEW it was open until 8pm.

So we walked in, placed our order and sat down.

After all that, I don't know if any meal could measure up.  And this meal definitely did NOT.  My turkey breast was probably a day from spoiling.  I told D if I die he'll know why.

I am just glad it was D and myself and we were able to find the humor in it.

What have you gone through just for a meal??

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Paper is the first anniversary gift

 Congrats to our winner #60


And our 60th comment was:
Congrats to Amanda T and thanks to all for entering!!






 Update: Giveaway extended until Saturday, June 4th at 11pm!!

Monday, May 23rd marks my first wedding anniversary with D.  I cannot believe a year ago we got married.  I cannot believe it has already been a year.  Amazing.  [D and I are going away for a few days but when I get back I'll write all about our anniversary gifts and our trip.]

In honor of my anniversary, I wanted to have a month full of love-inspired giveaways and was so blessed to have so many wonderful sponsors.

And just in time for my actual anniversary, one more.  For those who don't know ... paper is the first anniversary present.  And as we all know ... paper comes from wood (ok this might be a stretch but work with me!).

You all have read about my love for Etsy and I found one more amazing shop, PrinceWhitaker.  Allie, the designer of PrinceWhitaker makes some amazing pieces.

Like these garden sticks. I wrote about how D loves to garden and is doing a great job with our mini-balcony garden. He'd love these when we have a real garden! 

 Or this really cute photo frame for a graduation gift!


Or how about these wonderful napkin holders, perfect for a shower, rehearsal dinner or wedding!

I think Allie's designs are wonderful and unique.  As you know, I like to pry and find out lots of information from the designers.

WHEN DID YOU FIRST START DESIGNING?

Funny story. I was grounded for a whole weekend when I was a teenager. Before the days of social media and cell phones, when my friends went out they were unreachable and I truly had nothing to do. A light bulb when off and I climbed on top of my bedroom dresser and started to sketch out a mural of the Jetsons family in their spaceship/car (Astro too). From there, family and friends asked me to paint murals for them and eventually a business grew. As time went on (and I aged) murals became too labor-intensive. I've always designed and painted on every surface you can think of: paper, walls, ceramics, wood and then I discovered wood-burning and Prince Whitaker was born!

WHAT MATERIALS DO YOU USE?

Currently, I use different types of wood. I also use embellishments such as tulle and ribbons for certain products. The colors add flair and a personal touch to match the color scheme of the wedding.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ITEM TO CREATE?

Recently I've been having a good time making the guest / advice books. They can be personalized with the happy couple's names, a personal message on the front and back, and ribbon to match their bridal party colors. I add a piece of vellum to the front and back with gorgeous deckled edges for an extra special touch. I just received requests to make this for baby showers too! It's special to me because I know that it will be such a treasured keepsake for the recipients.

I am sure you are thinking of all the unique gifts/favors you could get from her shop.  Well good news, one lucky reader is going to win a beautiful I Do photo frame.




The winner gets to personalize it with their initials or you could give it as a gift and use the initials of the happy couple!





HERE'S HOW TO WIN:
This contest is open to people in the US or Canada only.  If your email is not visible in your profile, you must leave it in one of your entries!

MANDATORY ENTRY (1 entry)
  •  Visit PrinceWhitaker's Etsy Shop and leave a comment with your favorite item!
EARN MORE ENTRIES! (You may do any or all of these in any order.  
Leave a separate comment for each entry completed.)
  • 1 Entry: Follow IDoTheeWedSara publicly on Google Friend Connect
  • 1 Entry: Follow PrinceWhitaker publicly on Google Friend Connect
  • 1 Entry: Make PrinceWhitaker a favorite on Etsy
  • 1 Entry: Like IDoTheeWedSara on Facebook
  • 1 Entry: Like PrinceWhitaker on Facebook
  • 1 Entry: Follow IDoTheeWedSara on Twitter
  • 1 Entry: Follow PrinceWhitaker on Twitter
  • 2 Entries: Tweet about this giveaway and include #PrinceWhitakergiveaway (maximum 3x/day and leave a comment each time!)
  • 5 Entries: Blog about this giveaway (one time). In the comment include a link to your post.
Giveaway ends Saturday May 28, 2011 at 4pm EST. Winner will be chosen via Random.org and will have 24 hours to respond to my email or another winner will be selected.


Friday, May 20, 2011

My Puppy Remembered...

Cappy
When I was born my parents already had a dog, Schmutzy.  He passed away when I was in 3rd grade. For the next seven years I begged my parents to get another dog.  I had just finally stopped begging them when I went on a huge trip with my school one summer.  I came home ... and they brought this little fur ball with them to pick me up.  After 6 weeks gone I missed my parents ... but cared more about the dog!

His name was Cappy, short for Cappuccino (I didn't get to name him).  And he was my dog (ok I'll be honest, if my mom was around it was either a tie or he was her dog ... but when she was gone, he was mine!).  I took him to puppy school, I taught him to sit, down, stay (he knew other commands but I didn't practice them so he lost them). I was the one who took so many pictures he developed a love for cameras and would pose and whine when seeing a camera until you took his picture.

He loved digging and would do it for hours if you'd have let him.  And he loved licking. The air, your hand, your leg, anything.  He'd lick so much a white foam would form on his bottom lip.

After a vet visit when he was only a few months old, it was me who noticed his face swell up and insisted that my parents call the vet. Come to find out, he was having an allergic reaction. From then on, whenever he got a shot, he had to have some Benedryl as well.

When I went away to college, I liked talking to my parents, but it was my puppy who I missed.  It was my puppy who I made my mom put on the phone so I could say hi.

During grad school when I moved home, my parents went to the shelter and fell in love with another dog. It was me who said don't get him (although he was adorable).  It was me, and only me, who said not to get the second dog.

But they didn't listen.

And it was me who said "I told you so" when the new dog BJ (we didn't name him) made Cappy's life miserable. It was me who recognized the only way Cappy would be able to play with his soccer ball that he LOVED was to trick BJ into going outside.  It was me who tried to give Cappy the attention he'd originally received and still needed/wanted but could no longer get because the new dog stole it all.

And it was me who when just after his 10th birthday he got sick, insisted we take him to the vet.  It was me (and at times my parents) who forewent sleep to stay up all night with him.  It was me who said no, he isn't suffering, we shouldn't put him down.

And it was me who was overruled.  I called for an update to learn my sister and mother were on the way to the vet to put him down.  I rushed out of work for a final chance to say goodbye.

And when the vet said he wasn't suffering but didn't have a good quality of life, it was me who regrets not speaking up for Cappy and leaving with him then and there.

Instead, I had to be the one to hold him when the vet gave him the final shots.

And it was me who stayed in the room with him after everyone else had left, apologizing for not being stronger and saying goodbye.

May 20th marks the second anniversary of his death.  And I still miss him.  And there are times, like now, that I still burst into tears thinking of him.

He was alive for my engagement but wasn't alive for the wedding. I missed him then and miss him now.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Vlog 2

So it is time for vlog talk!

Photobucket

The prompts for this week:

1. Why you don’t vlog?
2. What is your makeup routine? Show us.
3. Tell us the story behind your kid(s) names or blog nicknames.
For more information on VlogTalk or to sign up for to have the prompts emailed directly to you each week go here.

So none of these worked for me.  So instead I am telling the story of how we came to name our fish!

I hope you enjoy ... and please be kind!

     

Monday, May 16, 2011

Dollars and Cents

(So this post is a little self congratulatory.  I apologize for that. But I need to scream something and it seems rude to tell people in the real world!)

I was very lucky regarding undergraduate school.  Between scholarships, working, money my grandma left me and some generosity of my parents', I graduated college with no debt.  Grad school was another story.

My whole life I knew graduate school would be on my own.  My dad, wrongly, felt guilty about this.  Like he'd somehow let me down.  Not even close.  He was amazingly supportive and still is.

But I still graduated with a hefty debt.

Because my credit rating was so good, and my dad agreed to cosigns my loans, I got really good interest rates.  But even really good interest rates on a lot of money, is a lot of money in monthly payments.

When I graduated I had a few repayment options.  I could do the 10 year regular repayment, graduated repayment based on income or spread it out over 25 years but wind up paying a lot more.  I opted for 10 year basic repayment.

This meant my monthly payment was ~$731/month. Now some of my friends had significantly higher payments because they took out more money, they had undergraduate debt, and/or their interest rate was much higher.   But for me, it was a lot of money (I think for most people it would be!).

I got a job soon after graduation with a non-profit.  And I love my work.  My salary, compared to other non-profits in the area was comparable.  Now a bunch of the people I graduated with went into the private sector and made SIGNIFICANTLY more.  Of course I was a little jealous of their salaries.  But there was one thing my job had that their jobs didn't: loan repayment assistance.

Because I had a non-profit job, I was eligible for a loan repayment program from my school AND one from the state.

I have received a considerable amount of money from those two programs over the past 3 years.  Plus, D contributes a portion of his salary to my loans every month and from time to time I've written an additional check to pay off specific loans.

Last night I was looking at my bank statement online and noticed my lender didn't take the full loan payment.  Confused, I went directly to the lender's site and realized my monthly payment had again gone down!

When I started paying my debt in November 2008 until now, my monthly payment is now ~$440.  That's a savings of almost $300/month.

PLUS, I still have a few loan programs I'm expecting to receive some money from.  Which means, by the end of the summer I could have $300/month as a loan payment.

D and I are very careful and try really hard to not have to use savings to pay for anything.  But realistically, we are using one salary to pay for two people, we do occasionally dip into savings. 

Except for big purchases, we no longer have to do that.  That is amazing.

I'm so proud of myself and D for paying off this debt so quickly.  It isn't easy.  And there are definitely things that we are denying ourselves in order to do it.

But I'm still proud.

Do you have debt that you are working hard to pay off?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Book in Review

When I first started blogging (you know, three months ago!) I would from time to time post reviews of the books I was reading.

Now I am not a professional book reviewer. Not by a long shot.  But I figured I love getting recommendations for books, so maybe others would as well.

Through that, I was very fortunate to meet Beth Hoffman, the gifted author behind Saving CeeCee Honeycutt (you can read the review here and find Beth here).  Having loved her book, and becoming twitter "friends," I thought it was only appropriate to ask for a recommendation when I found myself without a book to read.

Her recommendation, A Gracious Plenty, had me concerned.  When someone else on twitter saw the recommendation, they said it was a book lacking in dialogue.  I am a reader who craves dialogue and at times (embarrassing to admit) will skim over imagery.

But Beth recommended it and I didn't want to not read a book she recommended.  So I did.

And I was mesmerized.  A Gracious Plenty is about a woman, Fitch, who accidentally gets burned very badly when she'd very little.  As a result, she becomes somewhat of a recluse and tends to the cemetery where she is able to speak with the dead before they can lighten and "move on."  The one thing she can't do is touch them and that's what she craves more than anything.  She's an outcast in her community, partly by her own doing, and finds love and friendship with the dead.

It's a beautiful written book where each word seems immensely critical.  In an effort to be honest, I always try to find something less than "perfect" to point out.  But honestly, I am having a hard time.  Much like Beth's book, my biggest criticism is that it ended!

I'd strongly recommend.

A Book in Review Grade: A

Saturday, May 14, 2011

My New Obsession

I think I am addicted to vlogging.  And I have Kate at Mommy Monologues to blame thanks.

And now, it's gotten even better worse.  I just got a new computer that finally has the ability to take videos.  AND .... I can now edit the videos.

Call me obsessed.

It's amazing, though to be honest I have a long way to go until I am challenging Steven Spielberg.  But I can do simple things.  What kind of things you ask?

Well, I was going to tell you.  But I think I'll hold off.  You see, on Tuesday, our second "vlog" is due!  This time we were given three prompts. Well, unfortunately for me, none really fit.  So I've modified a prompt and am going to create a vlog along with the new gadgets I've discovered.

D has even agreed to be in the vlog.  Though it may just be his voice that you all get the privilege of "meeting."  We'll see ... (He's now asking to use a voice modifier so you can't recognize his voice ... too cute.)

videographer

Do you vlog?  Why/why not?  You know you want to ;)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Vlogging ... What Came Over Me ?!?!

Photobucket


So not perfect but for a first vlogging attempt, not too shabby.  The end got cut off but I am saying thank you to our creators: Mommy Monologues, Mommy is in Time Out,and My Time as a Mom and that I was excited to meet all of you!

After my horrible experience at the doctor's office yesterday (can read about it here) this is an exceptionally scary prospect.  But alas, I'm in.

So welcome to IDoTheeWedSara's first vlog. I just got a new computer that has a microphone and video camera.  Unfortunately, the words/my lips are slightly off but this is as good as it gets right now.  (The sound might be a little low as well ... be nice!)



Monday, May 9, 2011

Mental Health Day Needed

I am so in need of a mental health day.  I mean really.

Even though my blog is a secret from my family, I still recognize that there will likely come a time when my family learns of this.  So anything that I think could be used against me in the future, I unfortunately have to edit out.

That said, yesterday was a hard day.  Though I enjoyed seeing my mom and she seemed genuinely happy to see D and myself.  It also makes me wishful that next year I am pregnant on Mother's Day.

As some of you may remember, I have been having trouble with my heel lately.  I've also had a lot of trouble actually getting an appointment with my [new] doctor.  So I was thrilled when there was a cancellation

He was horrible.  I mean it.  Horrible.  Made me feel worthless.  Actually made me cry ... but not in front of him.  Even though my heel symptoms do NOT match up with his diagnosis, that was what he stuck with.  He has attributed everything to me not being thin.

EVERYTHING.

And believe you me, he was shocked when all my tests came back "good." EKG--good.  Pulse--good. Breath sounds -- good.  Blood pressure? Tiny bit high ... not surprising since this @** of a doctor started telling me over and over and over again that I should really consider gastric bypass surgery (my sister and father had it).  Even after I told him I didn't want it.  Also not surprising that my pulse was a little fast ... I was trying to not cry ... or scream/kill him.

I had blood drawn and I am 99.9% convinced that it will all come back normal--and he will be shocked.

He also talked down to me and dictated he wanted me back in 6 months to weigh me and take my BP again.  Again, my BP wasn't actually high.  And there is no way in hell I am going back for this man to make me feel like crap again.

He's calling on Wed with the blood test results ... that message will be going to voicemail.  I need a referral for an ENT.  Once I get that, I'm switching doctors.

I get that your doctor should be concerned with making sure you are healthy.  But shouldn't he also make sure he isn't f*cking with your psyche too?

I am beyond hurt.  And humiliated.  And perhaps it is just adding to it to put it on this blog (so please be kind with comments!).  But there it is.

Seriously needing a pick-me-up.

Update: Blood work came back.  Nurse left a voicemail saying everything was great then started reading my results.  Sucrose (i.e. diabetes) ideal. Potassium, ideal. Sodium, perfect. Cholesterol a little high (her words).  She left the numbers and I did some further research.  The LDL is the number to be most concerned about and mine is "within ideal range."  Works for me.  In my opinion, I've been vindicated!

                                                                       

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Gift for Me!

UPDATE: So we all know that blogger crapped out over the week.  I had saved all the emails I received from blogger and went through and reconstructed our "comments."  I promise you, every comment that you made did go through even though it doesn't appear below.  The lucky winner was number:

 
And the 11th comment was from:


Thanks to everyone who entered! Please check out my next giveaway coming soon!

Have you had the pleasure of meeting one of the sweetest "mommy bloggers" around?  Her name is Kim and she is the mommy behind Mama's Monologues (click here to go visit, I'll wait!) and mommy to three boys, though she's angling for a girl one of these tries!  I am not sure where Kim and I "met" though it was probably a twitter party.  Kim and I instantly clicked.  We are very similar people and of course, have become fast blogger/twitter/online friends.  (Though we both hope to meet in person someday!)

When I told Kim I was having a month of "love" inspired giveaways in honor of my first wedding anniversary (right around the corner!!!) she told me she had just recently opened up an Etsy store and very graciously offered up any piece of her jewelry that I wanted.  I had to resist the temptation to ask for everything!
So feminine!

Love the colors
Very Kennedy-esque I think!









Now you know from past giveaways that blue is my all time favorite color.  Fortunately for you, since blue may not also be your favorite color, the necklace I liked the most was not blue but rather pink.  Kim had a very sweet offer for me, she'd send me the necklace in blue but offer a pink version to my readers.  Did I mention how nice she is?!?!

So as always, I needed to ask Kim some questions about her Etsy shop and her inspiration!
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START DESIGNING JEWELRY?
I admit, I'm obsessed with accessories. I love jewelry! I keep seeing certain pieces in the stores that I liked, but they were the wrong color, or too bulky, and just not quite right for me. Then I got the idea to try to make some on my own, using my likes and my style. Eventually it turned into something more that I wanted to share with other people. I figured if I had the same concern about pieces sold in stores, then I was sure I could please my customers with special orders and custom designs!
IS IT DIFFICULT GETTING INSPIRED SURROUNDED BY MALES? (did I mention she has a hubby and three boys??)
I actually think that helps me, as strange as that may seem! Since I live in a house full of boys, I think it made me more girly. I guess it's my way of making up for not having a girl to share all of the feminine things with!
Yes, I saved the tissue paper to use again!

My blue necklace!
Have you noticed that one of my favorite things about "gifts" is the wrapping?  Kim's wrapping was so lovely I had to take pictures!  

Now in my reviews I am honest and will tell you if I have any "concerns" with the item.  And I was completely ready to tell you that for me, the necklace was a little long.  It didn't quite hit where I would have liked.  But that was me wearing a button down shirt.  The next day when I wore a plain shirt the length was perfect!  I think it really depends on what your preference is.  The great thing is that because of the materials Kim uses, you can shorten the necklace, like I did when wearing the button down, to fit your "necklace mood" that day!  Although my necklace is blue, one of my readers will receive the same necklace in pink:

The links are silver but the beads are pink.
Because she is just that nice, Kim is also offering all of my readers a 20% discount for everything in her store!  Just enter "WEDSARA" at the checkout.  This offer will be good through the entire month of May.  And she is willing to customize orders and still offer the discount!  Make sure you check out her Etsy store and get something (maybe a late Mother's day gift??).

HERE'S HOW TO WIN:
This contest is open to people in the US or Canada only.  If your email is not visible in your profile, you must leave it in one of your entries!

MANDATORY ENTRY (1 entry)

  • Visit DayDreamingDesigns Etsy store and leave a comment telling me your favorite item.
EARN MORE ENTRIES! (You may do any or all of these in any order.  
Leave a separate comment for each entry completed.)
  • 2 Entries: Follow IDoTheeWedSara on Google Friend Connect publicly
  • 2 Entries: Follow Mama's Monologues on Google Friend Connect publicly
  • 1 Entry: Make DayDreamingDesigns a favorite on Etsy
  • 2 Entries: Like IDoTheeWedSara on Facebook
  • 2 Entries: Like Mama's Monologues on Facebook
  • 1 Entry: Follow IDoTheeWedSara on Twitter
  • 1 Entry: Follow Mama's Monologues on Twitter
  • 2 Entries: Tweet about this giveaway and include #mamamurogiveaway (maximum 3x/day and leave a comment each time!)
  • 5 Entries: Blog about this giveaway (one time).  Include a link to your blog post as a comment.
Giveaway ends Saturday, May 14th at 11pm EST.  Winner will be chosen via Random.org and will have 24 hours to respond to my email or another winner will be selected.


Friday, May 6, 2011

Rude Much??

There is a chance I might delete this after I finish writing ... D (as editor today) will decide.

Today I had to go to the post office to mail an application for my new passport (even though my passport is still valid for FIVE years ... stupid me for changing my name!!!).

Anyways. When I get there, two post office workers are helping two customers. One of these customers was on his cell phone. (Now to be fair to him when I arrived he'd already discussed what he wanted.) However, I have a huge pet peeve about people talking on cell phones while waiting for any kind of service.  It is NOT that important.  Know how I know? Because if it were, you wouldn't have time to stand in line!! (Ok there may be some exceptions to this, please don't yell at me if you are an exception.)

Now in order to understand why this was particularly upsetting, I need to tell a quick backstory.

A few years ago, before D and I met, I started to become more Orthodox/observant.  I won't go into the reasons why I did and why I no longer am, they are irrelevant here.  But as a Jew, and as a former observant Jew, I am very sensitive to how we are perceived.  When someone is featured on the news (say for example Bernie Madoff!) who is Jewish, I am affected.  I feel like his behavior is attributed to all Jews.  And I feel shame.

Ok we're back.  Did I forget to mention this kind gentleman in the post office was Orthodox?  And speaking in Hebrew?  When I walked in he looked around the room to make sure there wasn't anyone there who could understand him.  And so he kept talking.

There are many problems with this.  First, you should pretty much always assume that someone can understand you!  For instance, even though I am far from fluent in Hebrew (seriously, your toddler knows more English than I do Hebrew), I could pick up that he was counting something.

Second, just because I am not "dressed Orthodox" (for a married woman traditionally that would be long skirt, long sleeves and hat/wig) doesn't mean I am not.  And it also doesn't mean I'm not Jewish.  Or that I just happen to understand what you are saying!!

Third, it is incredibly rude to talk on a cell phone, while being helped, in another language.  (In my opinion this just adds insult to injury).

Fourth, I happen to live near a very large Jewish population.  I know and am friendly with some Orthodox people who are absolutely lovely.  However, I am sure these postal workers have interacted both positively and negatively with Orthodox Jews.  And this interaction probably only strengthened his negative opinions of Orthodox Jews.  I hate that this happened.  And although I don't agree with a potentially negative opinion of an entire group based on a few interactions (to be discussed later), I can understand.  And it's difficult.

phone-shocker

Now the feisty Sara almost would have made you all proud.  I had my cell phone in hand.  There was still another woman in front of me so I wasn't about to be called.  I almost called my mom (who speaks about as much Hebrew as me) and said "Shalom, Ma shlomech?" (Hi, how are you?) VERY loudly so the guy would hear me.

But I didn't.  I chickened out.  I didn't want to "start."

Instead, I was just very nice to the postal worker when it was my turn (same guy).

What would you have done??
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