Thursday, April 29, 2010


I got all of my hair cut off tonight.

No, it wasn't a Britney Spears moment... It was more me spending way too much time on my hair in the morning with little return.

I have baby fine hair. Ridiculously fine child-like hair. The longer it gets, the more clumpy and ugly it gets. Do I want sexy, movie star ridiculous hair? Oh yeah...

Can I have it without wearing a wig? Nope...

My former hairdresser was a sweetie. I liked her. But she has been incredibly distracted. Out of the last four haircuts (at $40 a pop plus tip) one was perfect. And when I say perfect, I mean, whoa...

So, I got a coupon e-mailed to me for a 30% discount at an Aveda salon. I took that as a sign from the Hair Gods to go for it.

By the way...why is Aveda certifiation grounds for being so freaking expensive?!

Anyway, I'm freaking out. I want to find some lovely hairdo for our wedding...but...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Happy Birthday, Young Man...

Today is Steinvic's son's birthday... He is 20 today.

As hard as I imagine it is for his Mom and Dad to believe that he's 20, it's also kind of wild for me. When I met him, he was 13. Just a boy. And now...well, he's a Young Man.

He is smart, sensitive, creative, deep thinking, funny, playful, adventurous, thoughtful, talented, conscientious...a lot like his Dad.

And over these years, the coolest thing has happened: he has become my friend.

So, here's to you, Young Man... to all of the wonderful times you've had and the places you've seen so far, and to all of the amazing adventures you'll have in the future. I am so looking forward to listening to the music you bring to the world in everything you do. Happy Birthday...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Migraine Monday

The weekend was great...Friday night was a Reds Game/Surprise Party for one of Steinvic's cousins. Lots of cousins there, plus one of Steinvic's sisters + her husband were there, and Steinvic's Aunt and Uncle...and lots of friends of his cousin. We took up most of the Machine Room at the ballpark, and since the weather was kind of cold and rainy and the Reds really blew it, we didn't see much of the game. But what fun we had visiting and catching up with everyone!

The next morning, Steinvic's sister and her husband came by on their way back to Columbus. We talked and sipped coffee and tea for hours. It was leisurely and nice it was to have Steinvic's family (soon to be my family, too, though they already feel like mine) in our home. When they left, we cleaned up, got groceries in, and went to our local for a while.

Sunday, I got up early and started parents were coming for a big, vegetarian lasagna dinner. I made sauce from scratch, layered up the lasagna, and we got the house ready.

And, as I cleaned up the dinner dishes and visited with my Mom (Steinvic and my step-Dad were out in the living room talking) we began talking about the wedding.

I shared with her our thoughts so far, and she began to pressure me about ways to include my sister.

This is touchy sister and I aren't close. I won't go into all the details right now, but it's tricky...while I'm not excluding her from anything, I'm also not going to great lengths to include her in any traditional ways. We don't have that kind of relationship and because she doesn't make efforts in the day-to-day ways, it seems fake to me to involve her in the grand gesture sorts of ways.

And as my Mom pressed harder, what felt like a long, dull needle began working it's way into my brain through the top of my head, behind my right eye.

By the time we were all gathered around the computer, looking at the photos from my parent's latest adventure, I couldn't see at all.

The vision part left after an hour or so, and I took several Aleve and several prescription Naproxen to cut the pain. Usually, that would do it. The days of me getting truly debilitating migraines (the go to the hospital variety) are thankfully long gone.

But when I woke this morning, there was the migraine, blurring my vision with wavy lines once again.

So, I called off today. Hated to do it...I don't like missing work...but I was so foggy. I slept until almost noon.

I'm better now. Steinvic worked from home today and I puttered around, checked work e-mail, showered and even ran a few errands. I just threw together my first Shepherd's Pie (vegetarian, of course...)

I love my Mom and of course, don't want her to know that I think her firm pressing may have coaxed me right into migraine mode. But wow...

We will do our wedding our way because we deserve to celebrate our love in the most authentic way possible.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I Made This!

I've been looking for a good, easy, thin crust pizza recipe and reading and reading about them online. I finally found one that sounded tasty, was pretty simple, and took very little time to make. You also probably have all the ingredients in your pantry right now...

Here is the end result!

Steinvic and I agreed that I could have rolled it out even thinner and it would have been even better, so I am going to try that next time. I may also put some Italian seasoning in it and brush a little olive oil to the crust. Just a little.

I have to note here...I deviated from the instructions a little - I wanted to use the parchment paper because I think it's too hard to roll out the crust/transfer it to the stone. I thought parchment paper would allow me to roll to my heart's content and then just transfer that (with help from Steinvic) onto the stone. It worked great! But since paper burns at 451 degrees and I didn't want that to happen, I reduced the cooking time to 425 and just kept an eye on it. I also prebaked the crust for 3 or 4 minutes before topping it with sauce, cheese and mushrooms.

Anyway, if you try the recipe, let me know how you like it!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mai Tai Monday

Today is the sixth anniversary of my first kiss from Steinvic. (Yes, I'm 38 years old, and wildly sentimental.) After all, I didn't fall in love until I was 32. some ways, I'm still new to all of this.

Steinvic and I met each other briefly the year before. We were in Chicago for the same professional association conference. I was still married, though that was rapidly disintegrating. And Steinvic was living with someone and that relationship was also deteriorating. So of course, nothing happened on that trip (we are a rare, extremely loyal breed), aside from a short hello, a quick bus conversation about the Reds, and a follow up call after. I thought he was very nice and knowledgeable about baseball. I noticed that he was the first person up to Christen the open bar at our evening gatherings, too. But we really didn't talk or interact beyond that one conversation. The follow up call after was because he was on the board for that organization and encouraged me to join permanently. We didn't talk again until the next Spring.

Fast forward to April 19, 2004. First day of the was a Monday. The evening before I'd spent with Em and her then-girlfriend, FJ. It was my second time in Las Vegas, the first being November for a site inspection. By April, I was mid-divorce legally, but mentally and emotionally, I was already so completely over that mess. I'd been living with my parents since the Fall, and when I say I barely escaped the situation I'd been in, well...some things can't be put into words. (At least I haven't found them yet. Someday, maybe...but only if it will help someone else.)

In our first session, I saw Steinvic right away. He was hard to miss - he showed up late and had to sit up front. I was seated toward the back. And he was just... the sun. I can't explain it any other way. He was there, burning a spot in the corner of my eye, commanding my attention without even trying. He wasn't doing anything special, but I could not stop seeing him.

(Later I learn that he noticed. It's embarrasing, even now, but it's true - I was checking him out!)

And that night, a group of us met up after a board meeting - and I was an unofficial member, invited for my input because I was new. I was so nervous to be around these people, I was destroying my manicure. I had no self esteem at this point in my life and I was seated with professionals who were actually interested in what I had to say. It was a strange and foreign moment. And Steinvic was seated next to me. These people were brilliant. We were all having cocktails during the meeting and I was drinking Mai Tais...

After the meeting, we all went to a comedy show. We'd scored a group rate to David Brenner, and I "somehow" ended up sitting next to Stenvic. His hand touched mine at one point. He brought me a Mai Tai at another. And after the show, we ended up at Margaritaville with a friend of his, Julie, who he'd known for a decade. We were laughing and talking. I honestly hadn't been out with grown ups in five years. one moment, I think the lights on The Strip dimmed.

Because Julie had gone to the ladies' room and Steinvic and I were alone. And he and I kissed, though who initiated it is still a source of great teasing.

In that moment, my whole world changed. Thank G*d for Mai Tai Monday!

I can't say I fell in love that second, but wow. The window for love literally flew open. And love crept in without my even noticing in the days that followed. And before I knew it... I realized I'd met my best friend. And everything since has been so sweet.

So, in honor of this incredible day, pour a Mai Tai and drink to the hope that I found six years ago! To the knowledge that wanting and being open to love and happiness is the whole reason we're here...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Unloved Carpenter Bees

Because, really, what more appropriate title can you think of for a post about Carpenter Bees deciding they want to live with you?

(It's been too long since you've experienced any of my "amazing" artwork...)

Right now, Steinvic is off purchasing murderous substances to kill the Carpenter Bees who have decided they'd like to share our home.

Yes, you read correctly: I - the pescetarian who employs the capture/release method to purge the occasional spider or moth from our home - is in full support of outright murdering one of G*d's wee creatures.

If they made "Please-uninvite-yourselves-from-our-fair-door-frame" Spray, I'd encourage Steinvic to buy that instead. But since they don't, poison will have to do.

I didn't know we had them. I'd seen sawdust in our doorway before and assumed that our association's maintenance folks had been by to do or fix something. So, make a mental note...if you ever see random piles of sawdust, look up! Chances are, someone is burrowing.

We even instinctively plugged the perfectly round, little hole last year before we knew what they were. Guess what? They burrowed through the plug!

So, they're back. Last night, the male was dive bombing me while I was using the grill. I got online this morning and Googled, bees burrow wood and voila! Carpenter Bees. They're destructive. And they can eventually break through, into your home. I don't want a swarm of bees in our house! I would freak out big time.

The site said that Raid should handle the problem, so there you go. Hopefully, the assassination will be complete and no damage done... I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Day Off

Because Steinvic and I were always commuting, the last six years had me clinging to every moment I've had off work. We wanted to have the chance to take trips together and stretched every vacation day I had to the max - no complaints here! I didn't have that much time off and I wanted to spend every minute I could with him.

When we first started dating, I had only been with my employer four years, so I only had two weeks of vacation. At five years, I was given a third. And this year being my tenth anniversary, I've maxed out at four. Add that to the fact that now that we're in the same home, and I was able to take yesterday off, guilt free (mostly*).

What did I do? Well, our friend Em was set to arrive last night and Steinvic just moved in two weeks ago, so pretty much, I was taking off to continue getting things situated and to do some deep, company cleaning.

So, here is the list from yesterday -

  • Five loads of laundry (including floor mats and such)
  • Mopping
  • Vacuuming
  • Bathroom cleaning
  • Unpacked three boxes
  • Dusting
  • Haircut (Thank G*d!)
  • WalMart
  • Macy's (free MAC lipstick and new shoes!!)
  • Closet organization (I'm at about 40% there)
  • Frame two pictures/hang them/plus others
See? It was a very busy day! But nice to just be able to really dig in and do stuff. I did a lot on Sunday, but there is so much more to do!

By the time Em rolled in from her road trip from St. Louis, it was about 9:00 p.m. I had bruchetta and mini quesadillas in the oven when she arrived. We had a few beers, snacks, caught up and turned in at midnight.

So, while it would have been great to have spent the day doing something fun with Steinvic, it's nice to have the circumstances where it's fine to take that much needed "day off."

*Like I could ever be guilt free!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Another Product Endorsement For Which I Will Not Receive Compensation - Maybelline Expert Eyes Twin Brow & Eye Pencil

I know it's been some time since I've endorsed anything...shame on me! But this product, my friends, gets one of my most enthusiastic endorsements ever.

I didn't just discover Maybelline's Twin Brow & Eye Pencils. No, this is a classic product, something I've been aware of and coveted for most of my life.
My Mom used these when I was a kid. She kept her makeup kit in the bathroom and I'd go in there and pretend to be using the bathroom, when in reality, I'd be fooling with her makeup, dreaming of a day when I could wear it outside of the bathroom. (Had I been born a boy, I am most certain I'd be a drag queen now.) Anyway, I remember seeing the red pointy capped pencils in there among all the other goodies...
So, these little gems have been around a loooooong time, and if Maybelline ever stops making them, I might die.

"How could eye pencils be so important to her?" you wonder... Well, here is a little known fact: I don't have eyebrows! It's true. Me and Whoopie Goldberg and those two from The Thompson Twins. I was born this situation is not from over-plucking. I actually envy my friends who get their eyebrows waxed! I have, like, seven clear hairs above each eye. (Besides looking kinda freaky without makeup, you really miss brows when it's really hot outside...brows keep perspiration out of your eyes!)
Anyway, I don't want to look like Whoopie (no offense to her...she rocks it fine, but I can't) or the Thompson Twins (no offense there, either), but I also never wanted the big chola-type drawn on brows. I also don't want to look like the mother of the girl I went to Jr. High with...she just made one thin, red line above each eye. She may have even had them tattooed on - I don't know. But no matter how they got there, they were not human-looking and she was an absolutely lovely person, inside and out, save for those "brows."

So! Maybelline Twin Brow & Eye Pencils! You don't want to use these on your actual eyes as liner (as the name implies) unless you want to melt the tips of them on a hot lightbulb or with a match or lighter like my sister did back in the 80's with her hard liners. No, Maybelline Twin Brow & Eye Pencils are really rockin' because they are hard and waxy - perfect for brows, just not so perfect for eyes.
Hard and waxy is just what you want when you want to sketch fine, feathery, hair-looking lines on your brow. Whether you're filling in or creating the whole darn thing like I have to, these waxy pencils sharpen to a needly tip and are perfect for brow enhancing.

Stop to sharpen once or twice as you're sketching short, easy strokes across your brow. In minutes, you've got what you were meant to have - full, shapely, feminine eyebrows.

What's even better is, you get TWO (thus the "twin") pencils in every pack! AND, they are butt-cheap...a pack is less than $4, depending on where you go.

Tip - when you begin using the second pencil in the pack? Go and buy your next pack. Then, you're never without a pencil. Another tip - watch your Walgreens flyers for the B1G1 50% off Maybelline specials, and you can get two packs for under $6!!

That way, you'll never be out of your Twin Brow pencils! (Unlike me, who used the remainder of my stub this morning and will have to buy a pack on the way home, or not leave the house tomorrow!)
Let me know how you like them! I've stopped trying other brands because they are mushy/don't last/too expensive while being ineffective. These are the way to go for awesome, natural looking brows!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Everything Has A Place...

So, the last week has been all about getting situated and I've been working at it in my spare moments. Of course, my most productive night was the one that Steinvic spent in Columbus, but it isn't his fault that I don't wanna work as much when he is home! It's a good thing, actually...I've been a major Taskosaurus for years, cramming as many things into an evening as possible Monday through Thursday and not really living. Having Steinvic in the house makes me want to do more fun things and less work things, and I think that is just what I need.

I do know that everything doesn't have to be done at once. I know this. BUT, our friend, Em, is coming to stay with us starting next Tuesday. She has some certification course here (she lives in St. Louis) and, while she can pick up the class at a variety of locations in the country, she always picks the Ohio courses so that she can come stay with us. We're excited to have her, and I know she would understand the chaos...

But I don't operate that way. Which means my to do list is insane, but I'm plugging away. I got about 60% of the office organized.

You might think that is strange, because she won't stay in the office, right? Ah, but if I get the office situated, I can put the collection of weathered paperback books on Steinvic's shelf which now resides in the office.

And that means I can load Steinvic's slick, handsome, coffee table style books into the bookshelf downstairs where the old paperbacks currently reside. And that means having 5 less boxes in the house!

And having a path in the office means that we can neatly stack boxes in the office closet, clearing more floor space until we can get to them.

And and and... It's never ending. But it's great fun to me, mixing all of our belongings together. I actually scheduled a vacation day for next week so I can get a ton of stuff done and finally get the haircut I've needed for the last month (it's really bad now, folks...)

Sure, I missed Steinvic when we drove our separate ways on Tuesday morning...but the difference is that I knew I'd see him the next night. That is what this whole thing has been about - finally being together. It's GREAT!

Soon we'll start dreaming about the wedding again and planning for that celebration. I think in a month or so, we'll have a pretty good idea of what that all will be like...

Friday, April 2, 2010

Finally Friday

It's Friday. Finally! Know what I'm most excited about right now? Steinvic and I can sleep in tomorrow. How sad is that - being all giddy at the prospect of sleep?! Seriously, if my desk were soft, I'd just lean forward and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

It's been a whirlwind week. At work, I've been super busy. When I go home, I unpack a box or two, wash clothes (all bedding and towels from Steinvic's, plus the usual stuff) and exercise. Steinvic has been commuting between here and Columbus the last few days, so he's been getting home around 7:30. We've actually had dinner together - twice! What a treat that is! These are the small things we've been missing and it will be so nice to get into a routine.

Here is a public service annoucement - throw things away. Now. Seriously! I wish that I'd been more diligent about purging anything we don't really need prior to this move. I'm not a packrat and our place is pretty tidy...I'm big on keeping the kitchen extremely clean (we don't leave dishes in the sink, counters must be clean, etc.) and vacuuming regularly. But I have to admit, if I don't keep my eye on every little thing, clutter can start breeding quickly. How on EARTH do people with children do it?

Anyway, we are settling in. Steinvic is working out his commute schedule with his boss. There are belongings in place, out of place, in temporary places...but it's all under one roof. We're figuring it all out.

And I feel so very lucky...