Thursday, December 31, 2009

friends to the end, not so much

Remember this post, where I talked about how I lost a friend? Since then, nothing has changed. She did one day reply to the facebook message I had sent, indicating that she removed me so that she wouldn't have to see photos of him in her news feed. This came after St. Patricks Day when a group of us went to a winery for an event there, an event that she was invited to as well. I told her that I understood, we exchanged a few messages and then they abruptly ended. We've had no contact since.

I decided to send her a Christmas card, just to let he know that I was thinking of her and hoping that she was doing well (I sent out a whopping four Christmas cards this year. Please don't hate me because you didn't get one! I'll be better next year, I promise).

While I was in NH and IA, I had the post office hold all of my mail and it was all delivered yesterday, most of it being Christmas cards. One of them was the card that I had sent her. It was unopened and on the front, she wrote "refused. return to sender."

Refused. My Christmas card was refused. Bah humbug indeed.

I couldn't believe it, and it made me a bit sad. Granted, I was not expecting a response from her, nor did I think we'd be friends again, but I certainly didn't think she would send it back. It just seemed a bit cold and harsh to me. I do understand that she's moved on and doesn't want to be reminded of him in any way, but regardless, I was still a bit hurt. If it were me, I would never refuse a card. I may not open it, I may hide it somewhere or just throw it away, but I would not refuse it.

Something like this happened to me once before, though I was on the other side. In college, I was good friends with a girl who shared the same name as me. We were good friends sophomore year and part of junior year and then something happened and we were no longer friends. I don't remember all of the details now, but it had to do with her lying to me and others, among other things. Just like that, we weren't friends. I went off to Luxembourg that spring and then I saw her sometimes during senior year, as we had the same major, so at least one class together. We didn't talk, but were cordial to one another. After graduation, I went off to Poland and when I came home for the holidays, I found that she had sent me a Christmas card. I remember being very surprised about it, but pleased, though I wasn't ready to reply to her at the time. I put it away somewhere with the intention of writing her later, but never did. I certainly didn't refuse the card. It just seems like extra effort to return it, instead of just letting it go.

Am I overreacting or taking this too personally? Have you ever been in a situation like this?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

a proposal, or lack thereof

Okay, I have a confession. I fear that I've turned into one of those girls. The ones that I scoffed at, thought were ridiculous and told myself that I would never become.

I'm talking about the girls who become crazy and obsessed with becoming engaged. You see, Steve and I have been together for more than five years and we are not engaged and do not live together. For a long time, it didn't bother me, because I knew it was coming. I said that I didn't want to live with him until we were married, but frankly, I never thought it would be five years later and no engagement. While I still do know that it is coming, I am beginning to get very frustrated with both him and myself, but mostly myself for letting myself get so crazy about it, because I swore I'd never let myself get this way (whoa, way too many "myselfs" in a row...).

Like I said, we talk about it, and I know it is coming, but I need to make myself stop focusing on this so much, the lack of a ring and keep in mind that he loves me and it will happen and that is the important thing. I tell myself not to bring it up, and sometimes I am very good. Sometimes though, I am not so good and something will pop out of my mouth before I realize it. Luckily, he doesn't seem to be bothered by this- he's so easy going, he just lets it slide, but I will admit, that sometimes I let it get the better of me and I turn into a crying, girly, ridiculous mess, and that my friends, isn't pretty and isn't the girl that I want to be.

So, any ideas on how I can stop the focusing on the bad and remember all of the good things about my relationship? There are plenty, and I know this. I know how much he loves and cares about me and that he does want to be with me when the time is right, which will be soon enough, when I stop acting like a crazy girl!

If you were together for a while before an engagement, did you act a little crazy sometimes? How did you keep your head together and not let your heart take over?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

swapping fun (again!)

After yesterday's post about a potential baking swap, I received an email from Jenna Z., who let me know about one of her blogs, where she indexes swaps that are going on. Check this out, it is called swapdex and right now, she has links to several ongoing swaps, including my possible swap. It looks like there are a few Valentine swaps on right now! I was pleased to be included, thank you Jenna!

Also, have a look at her personal blog, it is called CorgiPants and she has photos of her tri-colored fluffy called Sully. We all know about my great love for corgis :)

Come play in my swap, you know you want to!

Monday, December 28, 2009

want to swap?

I've been thinking about hosting a swap and am debating what the theme should be. For Christmas, I received several cookbooks and baking supplies, including the Great Cupcake Pan and the Sandwich Cookie Pan, both from Williams Sonoma. Along with those came a WS apron :) My sister also gave me a cupcake carrying case (it can hold three dozen!).

I am thinking of maybe a baking swap, something like that.

First, would you be interested? Please let me know if you'd want to play (if you say yes now, you can always change your mind later!). Also, do you know how to make those cute little buttons with the html inside that would link back to the post I'd make? You know what I mean, right? You could post the button on your blog and people could come to mine to sign up if they wanted to?

Just wondering if many people would want to participate! I know it is just after the holidays, so this wouldn't be right away or anything....

Sunday, December 27, 2009

what? December is over?

Hope your holidays were happy and magical.

I've been a bit out of it, as I left DC more than a week ago for Iowa and was then in NH for Christmas. During that time, I didn't look at blogs at all.

Steve graduated with his Master's from Iowa State last Friday (December 18) and then I flew to NH that next Monday, where he then met me on Christmas Eve. We drove back to DC Saturday, only to discover that the nearly two feet of snow that arrived last week is nearly gone. Booo. My apartment is a complete disaster and I am already feeling more than overwhelmed by everything that comes with the new year and all that jazz. I'm not sure why, but I lacked holiday spirit this week and have been feeling a bit out of sorts lately, to go along with that.

I think I need a vacation, an actual vacation. While I love going home and visiting family and friends, I don't consider that vacation (unlike Steve), because there is always so much to do and people to see in a short time, and I feel like I always disappoint some people who I don't get to see. It is moments like this when I wish I could move home, though I know that isn't the answer.

(more positive post later in the week, I promise)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

oh happy days!

The lovely lady behind Black Labs and Lilly tagged me with the Happy 101 Award a few days ago! Yay!

The Rules...

1. List 10 things that make you happy
2. Tag 10 Bloggers that brighten your day

My happy things-

1. Pita bread and garlic hummus....mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

2. Sangria! Coming to DC? I'll take you to one of my favorite spots for a pitcher or two!

3. My godson Jackson. He's too funny for words.

4. Puppies of all kind, especially corgis. My birthday is next month and I would love you forever if you wanted to give one to me.

5. Majlinda from Albania and Boikokobetso from South Africa, my World Vision babies. Seriously, getting a letter in the mail from one of them can put me in a good mood for the next three days. I'm really hoping to be able to go to Albania next year to see Majlinda, but we'll see if I can pull that off.

6. All things Poland. I lived in Krakow for two years, and miss it every day.

7. My family and friends, all of whom are pretty darn amazing

8. Steve, my boyfriend. though some days he makes me crazy, most days I am pretty glad to have him :)

9. Cupcakes. No explanation needed!

10. My sewing machine! Though I am still not very good, I am loving the little quilts and other things that I've been making! I need more practice, so if you want a pot holder, leave a note and I will make you one!

I'm going to break the rules, and not tag anyone, but play along if you wish, I'd love to see your list!

Monday, December 14, 2009


I won two giveaways last week! So, so exciting :)

First, was from Sherri over at A Quilting Life, where I won the most adorable little bag and matching pin cushion!

Aren't they adorable!?! I saw them, and loved them, but never ever thought I'd win...she had more than 400 entries! I think that the bag will be perfect to keep some sewing supplies in and now I want to learn to make the pin cushions myself. I think my mother would love one! Sherri also has an etsy shop, where she sells these adorable pin cushions! Sherri is really talented, go have a look at her blog and some of the things that she's made!

Then I found out that I won Anamarie's giveaway and won a $15 gift certificate to Red Envelope! I think I am going to use it for my sister's Christmas present. I am debating between this and this. Which do you vote for? She doesn't read (or know about!) my blog, so this isn't spoiling anything :)

So, many thanks to you both for these fabulous giveaways! I am so lucky!

Maybe once the new year comes, I will host another giveaway. I always find them to be so much fun. Or, maybe I should organize a swap? A Valentine swap? Or, a swap in honor of my 30th birthday (how did that happen?!)?

What do you vote for? Giveaway or swap?

Friday, December 11, 2009

I do love my brother (despite what Liz thinks)

This past weekend was the second annual holiday cookie swap. The lovely Liz posted a funny story about yours truly, from a conversation that happened there. Go read it, then come back here. I'm a bit goofy, but you already knew that!

For the record, I love my brother! He's fine. His car isn't fine, but he is, and so is his girlfriend, who was in the very mangled car with him. It wasn't as though I wasn't concerned about him; of course I was. My family seems to have a slight round-about way of relaying information to one another, so my mother told me towards the end of our phone conversation. Judging by her tone, it wasn't super serious, so I told the story in a light-hearted way. If it were serious, she would have called as soon as she found out. You know what I mean, right?

Oh, and I do adore Veggie Tales. If you don't know their 8 Polish Foods of Christmas, you are seriously missing out :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

schedule this

What sort of planner/agenda do you use? I know that many use blackberries/iphones/outlook, but I am a bit old school, and I like a book that I can write in, and flip through the pages. For some reason, it makes me feel more organized. I like that I can see the calendar for the month and then each week gets a page of its own.

For the last few years, I have used a Vera Bradley agenda, which I really like a lot. I think I first found it in 2007 and it has improved each year since! It is the perfect size to fit into the bags that I use for work, and has great features inside. It has pockets for notes, and room to list addresses and whatnot. I color coordinate too- on the calendar page, I use a pink pen for birthdays, green for anniversaries, purple for another day of significance that isn't a birthday or anniversary (more so a reminder to myself). Then, for random events or whatever, I usually use blue.

Of course, since it is mid-December, I am finding that now I have events coming up in January that I can't write down, and it is driving me nuts! I've been writing them on post-it notes and sticking them on the last page, so that I can write them down in my new agenda, when I get it! It's making me feel disorganized, and I am hardly the most organized, though I try!

I put the new VB agenda on my Christmas list, so I am hoping that Santa puts it in my stocking! If he doesn't, I will buy it for myself.

Anyone else crazy about their agenda, or am I the only crazy? :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

here comes the cold!

So while much of the country is being walloped with snow, here in DC, we got rain. Booooo. I want snow! My mother had her first snow day of the season. Jealous. Why am I not a teacher again?

Question for you wise ladies.

What sort of lotion do you use, especially in the winter? At this time of year, my hands get so dry, mostly around my knuckles, and they get red and chapped, and they hurt! I'm not sure how, because I use lotion, wear gloves outside, etc, but they still do. Can you suggest a great lotion that stays on, isn't greasy and doesn't rub off after being washed? What is your favorite?

In other news, Steve and I put up our Christmas tree this weekend and it is adorable. I hung the advent calendar my mother made me on our wine rack. Awesome. It pays to be a wino! I also hosted a holiday cookie swap on Sunday that was lovely. I didn't seem to take pictures, which is unusual, but oh well. Next year!

Have you begun your Christmas shopping? I have done a small amount, but not too much. I'm still considering what to get Steve. I have a few ideas, but nothing concrete, other than a book I picked up about two months ago on a whim.

I've been doing a lot of quilting the last few days, working on some nine-patch blocks. When I am home at Christmas, I am bringing a lot with me, I am needing some help from my mother!

What are you up to this week?

Monday, December 7, 2009

how to dress, what to wear

So later this month (the week before Christmas, to be exact), I am going back to Iowa for Steve's graduation. He's been working on a distance Master's program through Iowa State and graduates, finally.

Side note- why, oh why, would a school have a graduation ceremony the week before Christmas, at 7pm on a Friday night?! His graduation is Friday, December 18!!!

Of course, I've been to several graduation ceremonies before, but always in the spring, so I've worn a cute sundress. Obviously I won't be wearing a sundress in Iowa in December, and now I am a bit baffled at what to wear! Should I go with a sweater dress? Something like this from Loft? Or maybe this? I don't really seem to have much in the way of winter dresses. I have skirts, but I don't exactly want to wear a plaid skirt and turtleneck sweater.

Also, I don't want to go out and spend much, since I have yet to begin my holiday shopping, and still need to book flights! Ugh!

Suggestions? Thoughts?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Amana love

While we were in Iowa last week, we took a trip to the nearby Amana Colonies, which is one of my favorite places in Iowa. It is a collection of seven villages that were begun by German settlers in the 1860's or so. It was begun as a way of communal living and stayed that way until the 1930's. Today, the villages are part of the National Register of Historic Places and is a tourist destination, as the area is filled with shops and restaurants and is really just so adorable.

I'm pretty much in love with it, and insist on going every time we are in Iowa! It's a bit over an hour from Steve's parents house, so it isn't a bad drive at all. I took some pictures, and will post them later, but here is one of a few of my purchases, from the German bakery!


If the words are too small to read, it is a loaf of old-fashioned Dutch dill bread, dill mustard and a jar of Amana seasoning, whatever that means! You know how much I love my spices, I wasn't going to leave that behind!

They have bakeries, meat shops, a basket shop, a quilt shop (of course I went in there!), chocolate shops, wineries, a woolen mill, and so much more! If you are nearby Iowa, or ever go, make sure to go to the Amanas!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

so much fun!

I thought I'd mention these two fun things I noticed yesterday. First, Mrs. Potts and Brown Eyed Girl are hosting a cookbook swap! There is a $25 limit and you must sign up by December 7 in order to get an exchange partner. Go here and have a look! Who knows, maybe you'll be matched up with me :)

Secondly, if you are a quilter and want to pass this along, please do. Rachel over at p.s. i quilt is looking for disappearing nine-patch blocks to be made into quilts for Irish flood victims. This is a really neat look, and something that I just recently made several of, and then haven't done anything with yet! Basically, you make a nine-patch square with nine different squares, and then cut it in two ways, and then flip the smaller squares to make a new pattern. It is very cool looking at the end. I'm planning to make a few more to send along, and then they will be made into a larger quilt!

Go here to have a look and help out, if you can!

Have you seen anything fun out there, that I should know about? Share your findings!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

quilted Advent love

My mother made me a quilted Advent calendar! Isn't it gorgeous?! She filled the pockets with chocolate, scratch tickets (haha!) and little nips!

(side note- what do you call those little tiny bottles of alcohol? you know, the ones that are on the counter at the liquor store, that are around a dollar or so? my family calls them nips, but Steve had no idea what I was talking about when I said that!)

Here is a close-up, where you can see the pockets with the numbers for the day!

Funny, because I'd been thinking about these, after seeing one on a blog, and I thought how much I'd love to make one, but thought they were too advanced for me right now. I hadn't even mentioned it to my mother, but somehow, she knew!