Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Spent the afternoon doing my favorite thing...



Organizing my brand new walk-in closet! I finally unpacked the very last box of mine from our move and used every single hanger that we own. I counted 128 Betsey Johnson dresses. To a normal person who has somewhat of a right mind, that might sound pretty sick. But to someone who swoons over the sweet touch of silk charmeuse, who drools over drippy jersey and who would rather spend her alone time twirling around in circles giggling unconrollably inside of a 7x8 claustrophobic room of gorgeousness than be a normal 25 year old and do something productive...like cook or do laundry or....have friends...having 128 dresses seems completely normal! I have enough confidence in my sanity to say that I might bare a tiny resemblence to a few of those women in those episodes of Hoarders (minus the crazy hair and lack of teeth.) Except for the fact that all of my things are color coordinated and organized by style and cut. I am proud to say that you won't find a six year-old cat corpse hidden under a rug that happens to be under forty empty cans of vegetables that leads to a trail of twenty eaten tv dinner boxes in my house. Can I just say one more thing? Let's talk about the magic of clear, seal-tight plastic bins... incredible! I can see all of my handbags in a single glance, yet not dwell on whether they're scattered around and collecting dust. ::heavy breathing:: Yeah, definitely not as bad as Hoarders.

So here is my justification for all of this. For one, I own maybe 10 things that aren't Betsey. I pride myself on that considering the fact that I never spent money on anything that I couldn't wear to work. Hence, the crapload of Betsey dresses. Secondly, I have given at least thirty to forty dresses away to friends, family and strangers on ebay over the last four years. Believe me...that was tough but I was just running out of room! As soon as this new walk-in closet starts to fill up again (I've got seven or eight inches left on my side. That doesn't include Mike's end...which, hey, he doesn't technically need a whole two feet of closet space for just a few shirts!) I will give away a few more dresses. My last reasoning for having more dresses than I have money in my 401k is that there are 365 days in a year and I work about 270 of those days...which means I have to wear at least each dress three times a month in order to not be naked and/or extremely smelly at work. THAT'S SACRIFICE, MY FRIENDS!

Some might say this is some kind of addiction. To me, these dresses have become the thing that I collect because I love the design and thrive off of how beautiful and fun they make me feel each day. You know how you can smell a certain scent and it brings you back to a time in your life that you can remember perfectly? That's how I feel when I look at one of my dresses. It always brings me back to a happy time. Hopefully one day I can pass them all down to Quinn! AND IF SHE GETS THEM DIRTY....................

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Things that made me smile this week...

Cakes with our faces on them (kind of creepy, huh?)

These two guys

Rupert's passion for sleeping in sinks... "Uh, can I help you?"

Walks with Mike, Rigby and Quinn.

Sleeping (a rarity!) dogs on decks


Propped-up babies

Dogs who test baby-touching limits

Grasshoppers the size of my palm examining the leg of a fellow insect

Practicing air guitar - making the most out of nap time.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

We're back from Florida!

What a fantastic trip! Quinn not only saw her grandparents but was also able to meet THREE of her great grandmas as well! It was so special seeing her with my grandma who's remaining days are growing slim now that she is in hospice. I wasn't sure if my grandma understood who Quinn was (or me) but she kept quietly repeating over and over "what a beautiful baby!" We were able to get a few dear pictures of the three of us together to remember the visit forever.

Check out some beautiful pictures of my grandma from the past here!

Here is Quinn with my mom and another picture of Quinn with Rosemarie, her other great grandma!


Susan threw an amazing party for Quinn and invited tons of our friends and family. The afternoon started off a bit hectic with family portraits. Quinn was a little upset, I think beause she was wearing two banes of her existence: a head band and an enormous tutu! She looked like my cat did that one time in NYC when he got into my fabric box and unravelled a three yard bolt of tule!


However, the rest of the day went well. A little girl named Alissa asked to hold the baby and within a minute, Quinn had passed out in her arms. I kept asking "Are you sure you don't mind holding her? Are you sure?" while I slowly backed away with my hands up like I was stopping traffic. I realized this was my opportunity to stealthily run away and have some free time with my long lost childhood friends. (Okay, okay, so I felt a little crappy for ditching my baby onto a 12 year old innocent little girl who has not experienced the world of loaded diapers and throw up, but hey! I needed a break! This child never sleeps!! I took advantage of the opportunity when it presented itself!) From there, Quinn slept and slept and wound up in grandma and grandpa's room in her little swing, sleeping next to four cats. I caught up with my best friend Fallon and played with her little boy Greg. I was able to see Russel and some of our other friends. It was fun meeting all of the people who our parents had invited also. I really enjoyed feeling social, especially since I have spent the last few weeks having awkward conversations with myself in dimly lit rooms, looking greasy and unkempt, wearing three-day old pajamas. Reminds me of that creepy thing Gollum from Lord of the Rings when he's always saying "my precioussss", but replace the ring with a baby and you've got a weird glimpse into the wonderful world of Tara.

The day before we left, we took a little joyride down the intercoastal on Mike's Dad's boat, "The Mighty Quinn". Mike took some great shots during the ride!





Quinn and grandpa

(Quinn's got some killer abs in this picture! Flaunt it, girl!)

Such a fun trip getting to see everyone. They all were able to finally meet the baby and catch up with us. Sadly, we probably won't make it out there again until next year since I will be going back to work and retail = lack of vacation days and holidays off. What the heck are holidays? Yeah, I don't know what Christmas Eve or the day after Thanksgiving feels like. But luckily, thanks to my crappy schedule, everyone is coming to Texas this year for Christmas! Whoohoo!

See you again in December, everybody!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

BBQ night

Steven and Antonia came over with Mama Bear the other day to help us do a "First BBQ at the new house!" christening. It always feels so great to see them. I am grateful that we were lucky enough to live next door to them for an entire year. I will miss our waves to one another from across our porches, drinking Steven's yummy home brew, going over the ever-lengthening list of neighborhood cat names with them and having to jump over their fence in the wee hours of the morning to chase Rigby down while trying not to wake them up.

Here are some cute snapshots of the animals that Antonia took...

Rigby loves Texas!



What's up with his weird optical illusion legs? Where are the other two?

Rupert was a little spooked out by mama bear...he looks like a little suitcase!

Rupert...peering down at us with his little eyeball from above the stairs. Haha!

Rigby being very territorial with his toys...

Yeah uh...that flip flop is no longer mine apparently.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Six and a half weeks is cool because...

we get to wake up to smiles now when we roll over in the morning!






(This last picture reminds me of Mike's Hula Popper Fishing Lure! Hahaha!)




Monday, August 9, 2010

Is she doing that on purpose?


I'm constantly wondering if Quinn is making funny noises and faces because of me or if they're due to impending bodily functions. But either way, she's becoming more alert every day! With the exception of those nights when we just can't calm her down (I think she just needs to have a good cry sometimes. Don't we all?) we are getting pretty good at determining what the problems are that make her PISSED. This whole newborn stage is definitely getting more exciting by the day, though. I can already see a glimpse of her little personality beginning to show by the sounds and movements that she entertains us with. I think it's the crazy Chuck Norris-inspired roundhouse kicks that she does with sheer velocity when she detects an invasion of some kind (Rigby, parents, passifier falling out, etc) that is leading me to determine the kind of girl that she is destined to become and that she is DEFINITELY my spawn!

Here are a few future qualities that will further determine that she is my mini-me:

- Her love for the movie Anchorman
- Her inability to properly work a gas stove
- Her love for the outdoors, but hatred of fire ants and recluse spiders
- Her loathing of onions and cake frosting (damn you, allergic reactions!)
- The ability to develop bunions in short amounts of time due to the fact that I wore flipflops for the first 16 years of my Florida-derived youth and she inherited this due to Darwin's theory of survival of the fittest and its effect on genetics.
- Her love for exuberant clothing and doc martens combat boots.
- Her need to be in the window seat during long airline flights
- The ability to perfectly quote Dane Cook at any given moment (Ohhhh steeeeam, I hate steam!!, Pull around, get some sauce!!)
- Her secret desire to become a bounty hunter.
- Her crooked, toothless smile. (Wait, what?)
- The sad realization that her cryptonite will be a low tolerance to alcohol as well as her inability to effectively confront shoplifters in her clothing boutique!

Let's play the game, "What is Quinn thinking?"....

"Am I the only one that thinks OJ was innocent?? I mean, come on! He was a comedic genius in all three Naked Gun movies! They were pretty much the funniest movies of the 90s! Murderer? Give me a break!"


"Okay ma'am, we're going to need a front view in order to complete your mugshot."


"You know, my inspiration for this photo was the Unknown Woman. You can really feel the intensity in her gaze. I wanted to acurately portray this same feeling which, for me, was based on my hatred for bathing.


"Staring contest....1...2...3....GO..."


"Oh, my, god...did you hear about Steve and Julie? They're totally getting a divorce. I heard he was having an affair. Can you believe it?!

"Ahhh!! A recluse spider!! Get the Raid!!!"


":::She has NO idea that I'm about to projectile vomit down the front of her shirt. Bwahaha.:::"


"To the moon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Ohhh Rigby....you're so weird.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Reflecting

Ever since getting back from Minnesota, life has felt so much different. Leaving Duluth was really hard after Mike's grandpa passed away. Buzzy seemed like an incredible man. And although I never met him, this was obvious due to the multitude of family and friends who were in the ICU waiting room constantly during the time that we were in town, sharing funny stories and happy memories of him with one another. I think that was the most difficult part for me, in that I was the only person there who had never met him and it was incredibly upsetting to see so many people become so disheartened each time poor news of his constant deterioration would trickle in. I felt really helpless and all I wanted to do was make this group of people, most of who I had just met, feel better. Most of all, I wanted to make Mike and his Dad feel better. I struggled with a strange internal dichotomy each time I would see Mike cry. I felt incredibly empathetic when he would break down and it felt good to be able to hug him and console him. I don't see that side of him often. However, it was really difficult to see him in so much pain and I just wanted it all to be over so that I could make him smile again. I felt the same way about his dad. They are such strong men and to see them so fragile was somehow both endearing and tragic. I think the only person that was able to bring joy to everyone during such a challenging time was Quinn. She had a job to do that week and she did it well. I lived vicariously through her ability to provide a glimmer of light and hope to people who had suffered such a huge loss.

On our nights when we weren't at the hospital, we spent time with the family at the lake house. A group of us walked along the shores of the water in the dark of night with flashlights, looking for crawfish and minnows. It was pretty incredible to see the stars so bright. During the day we took the Lund boat out and fished. The water was always so peaceful and quiet. One night, Susan babysat Quinn while Mike and I ventured to downtown Duluth to watch the lift bridge let a 1,000 foot boat into Lake Superior's port. We stood there, so quiet, watching the huge vessel power past us through the water, working hard to get to its destination to begin working again but leaving a deep wake in its path. That moment was so metaphorical for me. To me, it mimicked the Andersons that I was closest to. I watched such strong people experience a hiatus in their lives and they were working hard to get back to normalcy. Quietly working hard to move forward but their minds still lingering on what had just happened.

There were so many subtle moments where there was an intrinsic bonding occuring amongst the family and I felt priviledged to enter into the Anderson clan during such a difficult time, only to see everyone come together so strongly in the end. Mike, most of all, came back to Texas with a passion that I had never seen before. He hasn't been able to go more than ten minutes without telling Quinn and I how much he cares about us. I think we both returned home with a new appreciation for the family we have always had and an idea of how we want our new family to be. Needless to say, it was an emotional trip to Minnesota but one that led to a lot of self-discovery and growth.

Our new house, our new house together, is the first step to our new life as a threesome and we are so so so happy to be a family together here and have a family elsewhere that we love and appreciate so much.

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