Trying

Welp, yeah. There it is. I’ve been agonizing over this one all day. For some reason I was paranoid about saying this to people–paranoid about the reaction maybe, I don’t know–and thought I’d better not, better wait a little longer, but then I decided, to hell with it. So what. It’s not actually even a big deal even though I’m turning it into one.

I said we were going to wait until January to start trying to get pregnant, wait till we were in Hawaii, all that stuff. But then I realized it makes absolutely no difference. And it shouldn’t. I shouldn’t be worried about our travel plans or the fact that my mom wanted us to wait. I want a baby. And I don’t want to wait any more. I have never fixated so much on anything in my life and it’s actually turning me into a crazy mess. There’s a couple people in my life who are having babies and every time I see their updates on Facebook I want to curl into a ball and cry. So anyway, long story short, we’re officially “trying.”

Now if only I can survive this waiting period to take a test…

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Adventures in Domesticity; i.e. My First Thanksgiving

There’s a lot of firsts happening this Thanksgiving. Believe it or not it’s the first time I’ve mounted an entire Thanksgiving dinner by myself. Or at all, really. My first Thanksgiving as a married lady too! I cooked a turkey for Christmas dinner last year, but this will be the first time I’ve paired it up with the whole meal including the 100-year-old family recipe for meat stuffing (well sort of, I made that for Christmas last year too). The last two years Cameron and I have been together, we’ve had Thanksgiving at my parents’ house because we didn’t have the space to have people over. So what are we doing this year? Going all out of course. My parents, my brother and his girlfriend, and a friend I used to work with at the restaurant. Yeesh! Of course it isn’t without a ton of calls to my parents. “When should I take the turkey out of the freezer?” “How many pounds of potatoes should I do for 7 people?” “How long should this take to cook?” Just all those things you don’t learn till you do them I guess.

I’m excited though. I love to cook and I love to cook for my family and friends. I’m attempting to salt the turkey (dry-brine) because I’ve heard it’s just beyond fabulous. This takes 48 hours to do, according to Cook’s Illustrated, so I’m preparing to salt the bird tomorrow before I go to work. (Did I mention we have a 22-pound turkey? We’re going to be buried in leftovers.) I’ve had it out of the freezer thawing since Saturday.

Thawing the Bird (and protecting it from cats)

This was the only way I could get it to thaw that wouldn’t sacrifice our tub for a day and a half and also keep the cats from having a party with it. It’s back in the fridge now for it’s last few hours of thawing and I reeeeally hope it is thawed by tomorrow morning. Because it’s so big I’m looking at having to get it into the oven by like, 7 in the morning on Thursday. It’s going to be a long day with lots of cooking!

I don’t have much of a “Thanksgiving holiday.” On Friday the bank is open till 3 and I work till noon on Saturday, and I volunteered to work Friday and Saturday evenings at the restaurant which is a-okay with me because it’s extra cash. Guess I will have to take advantage of those online Black Friday sales! (I am looking into buying a new laptop this weekend, for which I won’t feel too bad if I make it all back at the restaurant.) On Sunday evening we are attending a friend’s wedding, so I guess Sunday during the day will be my time to get the Christmas decorations up. (I refuse to put them up before Thanksgiving.) I’m hoping my dad will let us borrow his ladder so we can get the lights up. It’s going to be interesting figuring out how to hang the lights on a curved barrel roof with no gutters….staple gun here I come?

The Waiting Game Continues…Torturously

I spotted this quote on Pinterest earlier today and now it is all I can think about.

I am still waiting to hear back from my agents about beginning revisions on the book. From what I understand they were hit pretty hard by Hurricane Sandy (they are on Long Island) and so understandably, working with authors is probably pretty low on their list of priorities right now. I get it. I wouldn’t be worried about it. But it’s making me absolutely crazy. I can’t focus on any independent writing because I am continually thinking about when I am going to get started on this book process. Which means, of course, that I am kind of between a rock and a hard place. Can’t get anything done either way I try. It’s conflicting, because while I want so badly to start working, I understand that the agents are probably having it much worse than I am in the wake of this storm and I know I shouldn’t be too pushy about asking them questions. I e-mailed a (hopefully) neutral note to them this morning just to see how things were going and I offered to re-send them my contract, which I put in the mail just a few days before Sandy hit and I have no doubt that it never arrived.

Needless to say I am feeling kind of low about it. I know I shouldn’t worry and that everything will work out eventually, but this waiting is complete torture. Maybe it would be better if I could actually get some writing done in the meantime, but it’s just too hard to figure out what to focus on knowing that I’ll have to give it up to do editing sometime soon.

It is way too early in the morning to want to just give up and go back to bed. Especially since I still have a whole day of work ahead of me.

In Reflection of Four Years

As you might have guessed from the title, this is going to be a politically-themed post. But not about politics. It’s about me!

Last night the country re-elected Barack Obama. Which you probably already know. And I’m not going to parse words and say that I’m not fucking esctatic. Because I am! Not going to hide that.

But like I said, this post isn’t about Barack Obama. It’s about the life I’ve had in the last 4 years, though it’s a journey that cannot be considered without the politics of presidential elections. It is unbelievably crazy to me that life has taken me where it has in 4 years. Boy, do I remember the time of the 2008 election. I was most of the way through college and feeling so much hope for the country. I was enlightened and excited and it was the first time I’d been able to vote in a Presidential Election and the tone of that year for me was just rabid excitement. Joe Biden came to speak at my college and I remember skipping class and lining up outside the gym with my friends to watch him speak. It was one of the most awesome days of my life.

Flashers for Obama?

I remember election night. I had gathered with some close friends of mine and we sat down to watch the returns come in. I remember that they called the election so early that someone was in the bathroom–the conversation went something like, “I should have time right? Heck yeah! It’s only 8:30!” And then about 30 seconds later we were all screaming “Get out here, hurry up! They just called it!” and the confusion and jubilation and excitement that followed. We threw confetti and popped champagne and went outside and sprayed each other in champagne and made a ton of noise…we were just out of our minds. What a night.

And now here we are, 4 years after. How much has changed for me! And for the good, too. There was a lot of rhetoric during this campaign about “are you better off now than you were 4 years ago” and blah blah blah and I can definitely say, yeah. Things are great for me. Definitely better. In 4 years I graduated college, moved out of the city where I went to college (and never moved back into my parent’s house), got engaged, got MARRIED, bought a house, locked down a job with benefits and retirement. I’m about to publish a book! Of course I’m better off! Cameron and I are doing amazingly well for twenty-somethings just a few years out of school. We have savings, stock, retirement, an investment in our house, 2 cars, stable employment, health benefits…everything that you could ask for. And it’s not like it just fell into our laps, you know? We’ve had to work for it. But it’s obviously possible for college graduates to get work and do well. You just have to settle at first and start at the bottom of the totem pole. You don’t come out of college and expect to be making 100K in one year. Do we make that much money? Heck no! Not even by a long shot. Do we make enough to get by? Yes, and then some. We are careful with our money and we don’t spend like crazy. We didn’t buy a house that was above and beyond our means. Our mortgage and our car payments are completely affordable. God forbid we lost our jobs tomorrow, we could rent out our house and make money off of it because we capitalized on a low interest rate and had money to put down on it so our mortgage is unbelievably low. We are in a good place right now. It’s possible. So don’t let any of those politicians out there tell you that it isn’t. You just have to be smart and practical.

Anyway, that took a bit of a political turn, but it’s true of my life. We are doing great. The last 4 years have been amazing for me. It’s true, I don’t think that we got everything out of the ‘Hope and Change” lingo that we wanted in 2008, but you can’t just expect everything to be different on day 1. Our country was a mess in 2008. It takes time to clean up a mess, you know? But we’re getting there. The last 4 years have done me just fine–and the next four years are looking even higher than that.

I can’t wait.

 

Transitioning to November

A day late, but Happy Halloween! And a blessed Samhain/Happy New Year to those friends of mine out there in the world who share such an inclination. I didn’t do much for Halloween yesterday except hand out candy at Starbucks for a couple hours. Nobody really trick-or-treats in the neighborhoods here because they’re so spread out (and we don’t need to entice any bears to come down and go after little kids with lots of sweets), but all the businesses on the main street hand out candy and other goodies. It’s a lot of fun.

got brains?

I went as a zombie chef….I had the uniform in my closet from when I was in culinary school so I figured I might as well use it. I got a lot of compliments on it and a couple kids were too scared to come over.

Anyway, now we move into November! Which, among other things, is National Novel Writing Month! (Or NaNoWriMo.) I’ve participated in the last two years but haven’t ever actually completed the 50,000 word goal. But, I am about to publish a novel twice that length, so it doesn’t really bother me haha. Anyway, I figure I’ll give it a go again this year if only to help get my brain in gear. I spoke to my agents yesterday and they are on Long Island so they’re a bit wet at the moment from the hurricane. As a result of that I am not sure how long it will take them to get back up and running, so I figure in the meantime if I’m not revising I might as well use it as an excuse to get some words on the page. (In any event, if you are a NaNo participant and wish to add me to your friends list, my handle is chatnoir06.)

I’m also working on remodeling the guest bathroom this weekend. Well not really remodeling, but making it more functional. It’s a small space and there’s not a lot of room to store things or add a stand-up cabinet, so armed with some ideas from Pinterest (god I love Pinterest), I’m going to be putting up some shelving to get things organized a little better. I’m kind of moving room by room through the house to get things in tip top shape. So after a new coat of paint and some shelving and finally hanging the mirror in the bathroom, it should look pretty darn nice. I am hoping to have it completed by Sunday so that it’ll be ready to go when my parents come up to visit. I will throw some before/after photos on here when I’m done!