Friday, December 4, 2009

the more things change...

Last night David and I were getting into bed for the night and talking about what a hellish, emotional, but incredibly exciting week we've had thus far, and David summed up the entire ordeal in one vivid little quip that describes things far better than I ever could.

"Just when we're starting to panic and get really worried all of this good stuff just, like, barfs all over our lives and destroys the precious little stability we've managed to secure for ourselves."

People. Good stuff has barfed all over my life.

I've been meaning to blog a lot in the last week, but I just haven't been able to get my act together.

David and I celebrated our two year anniversary last week, just before Thanksgiving. Then there was the holiday itself. Oh, and David and I both got jobs, by the way. He's working a temporary project-based job for the state government, and I've got a seasonal part-time gig at the Ronald McDonald Charity House doing some general admin work and taking inventory of food donations. (Thanks to Meredith and Neil respectively for the connections that led to our employment!) Our commute is just a tiny bit ungodly, but it's nice to be working again. We start apartment hunting this weekend.

And really, I've been having an incredibly difficult time with these transitions. Thanksgiving marked the first time since moving out here that I really became homesick. Like, almost inconsolably homesick. I burst into tears in front of my oven early Thanksgiving morning--superficially because my pie crust would not roll out properly, and mostly because it was one of the first major holidays I'd spent away from my family and it was in that moment, sobbing in front of my oven when the sun had barely risen, tears making tracks through the sugar and flour on my face that it really hit me that I live here now. That this isn't a vacation, or playing house, or anything. That this is where I live now, and where I will be living for the rest of my life. And a lot of the people I love are not here with me.

See, I knew these things. David and I spoke about these things extensively when we made the decision to come out here. But I realize now that perhaps he better understood the depth of what that would mean for me than I did. Because it was a very different thing to know something intellectually and to feel it erupt inside you all at once because of a stupid pie crust.

And although I pulled it together with David's help ("Honey, you are not allowed to bake anymore if it's going to make you this upset!"***) and had a lovely holiday with his family, I've had a lot of trouble finding my balance again after that. Things have been coming at us--or, barfing on us--so fast over the last handful of days. I just wasn't prepared for the onslaught of EVENTS.

And the thing is, it's all really good stuff. Jobs! Apartment! Independence!

It's just so much at once, and I was not prepared.

But the thing that I have realized as I've struggled through this week, getting up at 5:00 am and sitting alone in a coffee shop for hours to kill time before work, getting home late and so exhausted that the dishes never get done and the bed never gets made and all I want to do is curl up and sleep--the thing I've learned, or rather, come to appreciate on an even deeper level, is that this really is where I want to be.

It's hard. And I'm overwhelmed. And I miss my family and friends so very, very much.

But there are good things waiting for me here. And (ok, about to get mushy, here) with every day that I spend with him I find that I love David more and more. He is such a supportive, understanding partner, and I am so, so excited about the life that we're building here together. I am so thankful.

I will always be homesick, I imagine. I will always miss my family and friends. And although this week has been incredibly difficult for me, I'm coming out the other end of it feeling so much more secure about  the reasons I came here, and the reasons I'm staying. I'm ready for pretty much whatever gets thrown at me next.

*** The last time we were in Massachusetts, my father told a story about when I was young and first started performing on stage. I would get so nervous before performing that I would actually make myself sick. My father couldn't watch me work myself by decreeing "You are not allowed to perform anymore it's going to make you this upset!" That put an abrupt end to my stage fright.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

the girl with the pearl earring

With two exceptions, all of the jewelry I own is total junk. Like, bought it at Claire's for under $6 junk. One exception is the claddagh ring my mother brought back from Ireland for me. It's silver with an emerald stone and a few small diamonds framing the setting. I absolutely adore it. Probably moreso than anyone should ever love a bauble. But in addition to being the first truly nice piece of jewelry I owned in my adulthood, it's coincidentally also the same ring my best friend, Julie, also got in Ireland, which only makes me love it more. The other nice piece of jewelry I own is a string of pearls that my dear friend Bex far too generously brought back from China for me. They're stunning and absolutely my go-to accessory in the Publishing World.

But all of my other jewelry? Junk.

Because I am relentlessly classy, I often pair my breathtakingly gorgeous pearl necklace with a pair of totally-faux pearl earrings that I got in a set of three for under $6 from, yes, Claire's. I'm sorry, but it's true. This was the medium pair in the set, and my favorite. The others are both far too small and way too large for my liking.

I have a pouch on my dresser that is currently serving as a catchall for my junk jewelry (I do actually take care of my two nice pieces. Shocker!) but the other night after brushing my teeth and washing my face to get ready for bed, I took off my cheap, cheap, cheap plastic pearl earrings and set them on the side of the sink.

You already know where this is going, don't you?

I was exhausted, and so David had to sort of wake me up when he came to bed after brushing his teeth.

"S'matter?" I slurred.

"I am so sorry," he said.


"I dropped one of your earrings down the sink. I'm so, so sorry. I feel terrible."

I reassured him that the earrings were in no way real pearls and that there was nothing to feel terrible about. "I don't care," I mumbled as I rolled over and almost immediately fell back to sleep. "It's fine, honey. Don't worry about it."

But David did worry about it.

In fact, he surprised me the next evening when he came home with this great score (under $6!) from Target. (Ok, so it's not Claire's but I'm not picky).

Is my guy a sweetheart or what? Now I don't have to stress about which earrings to wear with my pearls when I finally get a job. Or, you know, while I'm folding laundry around the house tomorrow. Whichever.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

apartment tour

A hill is a house for an ant, an ant.
A hive is a house for a bee.
A hole is a house for a mole or a mouse
And a house is a house for me!

-A HOUSE IS A HOUSE FOR ME by Mary Ann Hoberman

A HOUSE IS A HOUSE FOR ME is one of the picture books I remember vividly from my childhood. Even now I can recite impressive chunks of it from memory and some of the illustrations are preserved perfectly in my mind.

For some time now I've been planning to show you my house. Or at least, the one I'm living in at the moment. But, you know, taking a lot of pictures of a basement apartment requires good light (you'll see I compromised a bit on this one, but a gifted photographer I am not!) and a lot of time and energy. And getting all of those things at once can be tricky!

I knew, though, that when I did get around to making this post I'd want to quote Mary Ann Hoberman's book. In fact, I've had that quote typed up and sitting in an otherwise empty blogger draft for weeks now.

Would you like to see where we live?

This is Aunt Katie and Tim's house. They are generous enough to let us live in their basement apartment while we get on our feet!

They built this incredible fire pit. It's so awesome to sit out by the fire at night.

This is the view from our front door.

Inside, the front door leads to our kitchen!

This is where the magic happens, baby!

Sometimes, I look out the window when I do dishes, and I see cows.

Really. Cows. See?

If you come over for dinner (and you know you want to) this is where you'll be sitting.

Hello, lover.

We're in the frozen tundra, here, so we have a lot of sweatshirts and coats and jackets at our fingertips.

Because I am a lucky, lucky girl I get to wear David's old hockey jacket when my own hoodies just won't do the trick.

The livingroom is where we spend most of our time.

I LOVE this little stove. At night when it's cold---even under an afghan--we light a little fire while we read and listen to music. Blissful!

And we're always reading. (Catch a glimpse of PW's cookbook? More on that in the future!)

I approve of David's bookmark!

This is the livingroom window.

The view can be really breathtaking.


Hi guys!

On to the bedroom!

We even have a guest room!

Here's some pictures of the surrounding area. These views are pretty everyday for me. I see them on my way to job interviews, on my way to the farmers' market, on my way to :::cringe::: Walmart...

Stunning scenery!

And that's where we live! Definitely a big change from New York City. A big change from the suburbs of Massachusetts, even. We're so lucky to have family out here helping us out and giving us an amazing place to stay! We'll never be able to thank you enough. Truly!

(I've got to admit though, that I still miss the ocean something fierce). 

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"monday, tuesday, thursday, wednesday, friday, sunday, saturday!"

*Blogger is really, REALLY frustrating me with its html glitches lately. Forgive any bizarre formatting/lost content you may experience in this post. Grrrr.

Hello! Both Kelly and David (aka "The Boyfriend") here to share with you drool-worthy pictures of our latest culinary adventures from Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday (hence the title. Familiar quote, anyone?).


The Meal: chicken in a sherry mushroom sauce with garlic mashed potatoes and pan-fried asparagus.

The Chef: David

The Ingredients:

The Plate: 

The Result: 


After the hay ride Aunt Katie let us take a few of the leftover pumpkins to dispose of as we chose. Naturally we chose to roast the seeds (David) and make pumpkin puree (Kelly)! (Hey, Kelly promised to try her Pumpkin Apple Spice muffins with homemade puree sometimes, didn't she?)

The Ingredients:

The Result:

But there was still dinner to consider...

[car ride home after running errands]

David: (oh-so casually) you want to be in charge of dinner tonight?

Kelly: (immediately) No.

David: ...

Kelly: (reluctantly) I mean, I guess I can... If I have to...

David: (immediately) Good. Cause I don't want to.

Kelly: But... whadda we got? (A rare reversal of roles!!!)

The Meal: Asparagus mushroom quiche with cheddar and green onions, in a potato crust.

The Chef: Kelly

The Ingredients:

The Plate:


The Meal: Slow-cooked porkchops, carrots, sauerkraut, and apples with homemade applesauce (and a side of leftover cheesy garlic mashed potatoes. Because they are that delicious).

The Chef: David

The Sous-Chef: Kelly (she made the applesauce)


The Plate:

The Result:

(Kelly's plate is in the upper left. Unfortunately she discovered that sauerkraut wasn't her "thing." Otherwise, another hit!)

In keeping with the jumbled quote serving as the title for tonight's post, here's a photo from last Friday. We attended a dinner party at a relative's house, and Kelly befriended an otherwise stranger-hating cat, Quimby, while battling the last of her week-long cold.

Note: Recipes are of course available on request. 

a quick update

I'm here to reassure you; I have not fallen off the face of the earth. I have, however, been sick. Like, bed-ridden sick. For over a week now! I'm finally up and about, and have been leaving the house the past few days. I still have a persistent cough that keeps me up at night if I'm not vigilant with the cough syrup, but all in all I feel loads better than I have in a long time.

It feels as though both nothing and tons of stuff has been going on in the meantime. David has had several jobs interviews, and I've had one meet-and-greet and made appointments for two more in the coming week. We went to see Where The Wild Things Are and finished watching the final season of Deadwood. We attended a dinner party and spent a day making a comic book (King Kong vs. T-Rex. For those interested, T-Rex wins) with David's five year old pseudo-nephew Gordon (his cousin's son).

We also went on a hay ride! Every year, Aunt Katie and her husband Tim put together a quintessential fall day of pumpkin decorating and take family, friends, and neighbors on a hay ride through their idyllic land. Take a look: