five on friday - it's the weekend, alleluia!

Happy Friday, friends!  If you're even a teensy bit as excited as I am for the weekend to be here, then I'm sending you a high-five because these couple of days off could not have come fast enough for me.  Let's get to it!

one. employed! 
After twelve loooong weeks of being laid off, I am officially employed again!  This was my first week at my new job (hence the whole being ready for the weekend-ness) and I am absolutely loving it so far.  I'm working for a company that specializes in the event planning field, and it's for sure put me on the path to making my dreams come true.  It was tough being home all day, every day for so long, but I now know that my choice to be selective when it came to choosing the next step in my new career path was definitely the right choice. I'm planning to pop a bottle of bubbly this weekend to celebrate!

two. party of 50
Every summer, Brian and about 40 of his friends play in a big golf tournament.  I've always been adamant about being designated driver there and back, as well as for anyone else who can fit in the car.  When we bought our house, I was well aware that it was literally 30 seconds away from the golf course where they play every year and was excited about the thought of hosting a party after the tournament.  Well, now we have our house and it is indeed 30 seconds away and after a few emails between my dear husband and the event organizer, we're hosting the post-tournament BANQUET at our house.  What I thought was an after party has evolved into a banquet, which translates to burgers, pasta salad, and kegs in our backyard but bless it, Brian's excited.  So my question for y'all is, do you have any insight on hosting a party at your home (in the backyard) for 50 people?  Wives and girlfriends are invited as well, so we're estimating around 50 people total and I'm nervous-- What all will they eat?  Will we run out of food?  Where will everyone go to the bathroom without ruining our house?  Help!

three. the rumor
Elin Hilderbrand is without a doubt my favorite easy-reading author, and her newest book, The Rumor, was just released this week.  I'm anxiously checking my mailbox daily to see if it's been delivered or not.  I can't wait to take it to the beach and spend my day working through it!

four. weight watchers.
For the last month or so, I've been trucking along with Weight Watchers and have been doing really well!  It's crazy how much easier it is to keep track when your mind is in the right place.  I'm trying to get creative with breakfasts, and my hardest time is, without a doubt, the hour or so before dinner.  I'm not sure if I'm not eating enough during the day or what, but by the time I get home I am absolutely starving.  Any suggestions for pre-dinner snacks while I get our actual dinner prepped and ready to be cooked?

five. busy weekend
I'm pretty excited for this weekend!  Tomorrow is a low-key night since I weigh-in on Saturday mornings, but I'm thinking we'll likely grill out (thank the Lord for warm summer nights) and head to bed early-- we're old and worn out come Friday nights!  Saturday morning I'll head to my usual BodyPump class super early, grocery shop, then we're helping Brian's cousin and his fiancee move to their new house.  Saturday night is date night and there are few things I love more than a good date night out.  Sunday I plan to do nothing aside from relax and rest all day.  Boring, yes, but I need a down-weekend after this busy week at work.

Happy Friday, lovelies!

don't make me adult today

For the love, I just cannot adult any longer today.  

This morning, I woke up with a pounding headache after dreaming that gangsters broke into my parents house and there were frogs everywhere and I was trying to get to my parents room to wake up my dad but I couldn't make it in time.  I KNOW, right?  Like I woke up out of breath and my heart was absolutely racing.  As soon as I got out of bed, I knew that my headache was sidelining my gym plan for today.

After driving Brian to the train, I came home to make my breakfast and coffee, and I let Molly out to sun on the deck.  She keeps finding gaps in our (brand new) fence (it's like we don't even have one) and escaping, so I keep a pretty close eye on her when she's in the yard.  She went from sitting on the deck to charging out into the yard super fast, so I went out to see what she was looking at.  Well, I have to say that I wasn't expecting this (please feel free to scroll through should you dislike snakes and frogs as much as I do):

Our basement has windows that have these little half-circle cutouts into the yard.  This is the second time this spring that a snake has gotten stuck in there, but the first time a snake AND A FROG were there.  So Molly of course ran straight over to them and started barking, and half-jumped down into the hole, which caused me to freak out and grab her collar.  

We went inside because I sure as heck was not going to remove either the snake or the frog, and I thought that we were good.  She was on guard, but she calmed down and took a little nap while I did my blog-browsing for the morning.   

moment of calm before the day went to hell

I had an interview today at 2:30pm so I started getting ready around noon.  I knew that Molly needed to go out before I left, so before I jumped in the shower I decided to peek outside, thinking maybe they had figured out how to get out of the hole.  

Was that...
a) wishful thinking
b) absolutely fucking wrong
c) both of the above?

If you guessed C, you're the winner of being smarter than me because LOOK AT THIS HOT MESS (or don't because it seriously put me over the edge):

I cannot.  It ate the frog.  The SNAKE ate the FROG.  I don't know if this is normal nature or not, but I do know that frog-eating snakes are slithering around my backyard when my dog (and my barefeet) roam and I am not okay with this development.  

I (wisely) opted to walk Molly on the leash on the street behind our house instead of letting her in the yard, and she was all amped up and impossible on the leash.  Every wind gust spooked her, she kept running super hard and pulling on the leash... and this was all as I was walking her in my interview outfit.  Just as I started to make the turn to head back home, I felt the leash pull and realized that she'd stopped moving.  I turn around just in time to see her sit down with A DEAD MOLE in her mouth.  And I swear to you, she was holding it so gently in her mouth, like she had a prized possession and wanted to be ever-so-careful not to mess it up.  I (again) freaked out and told her to drop it, which she quickly did, and could not get home fast enough.  I walked back into the yard and took one last look at the hole and saw this:

It's safe to say that at this point, I was OVER TODAY.  I took Molly inside, threw on my shoes and was out the door in a matter of two minutes.  Driving to the interview, I followed the directions that the woman who coordinated it had given me and I could not find the building where I needed to be.  I finally called the building and I had unknowingly driven by it three times (kudos to me for that one).  When it was finally over and I got back in the car, I honestly just felt like I wanted to have a big ol' pity-party cryfest for myself.  The day has been all over the place, it's hot and muggy outside, and I was just so, so over it all.  

Once I got back home I let Molly outside to test the waters and she ran straight for the hole (obviously), went INTO the hole, then came back out drooling, so that's fantastic.  We're both going nuts because we're stuck inside with each other until Brian gets home to deal with the snake, and she has proceeded to (much like a small child) empty her toy basket all over the living room and bark/growl at me for attention for the last two hours.

Not even Ellen could make this day better.

So we're leaving shortly to make a trip through Starbucks and meet Brian at the train.  And as soon as we're back home, I'm swapping the Starbucks for a glass of chardonnay the size of my head.

Here's hoping Tuesday allows me a fresh start because today nearly sent me to crazytown.

Five on Friday

Happy Friday, friends!  Let's hop right to this, shall we?

one. paint crazy 
After painting our front door last weekend, I decided to use some of my free time during the day to tackle painting our main bathroom.  Our house doesn't have a master bath, just a larger shared bathroom upstairs, and it was painted an awful tan color.  The previous owners also laid beige tile and a small blue tile pattern on the floor.  Not much makes sense in this house, particularly their design choices and the clash of it all was driving me crazy.  It's the only bathroom in our house with a shower/tub, so any overnight guests will be seeing it, too.  After lots of debate, I took to Instagram with my narrowed down paint choices and with lots of input (y'all are the best), I finally decided on "Tranquil Pond" by Behr.  It's a darker blue and much darker than I would think that I like in a bathroom, but the room has good light and already has great white molding and wainscoting, so it really makes the blue pop.  Here's my little before and after: 
Next up, the living room!

two. summertime = grilling time
We brought our new grill home a few weeks ago (it's basically a new homeowner's right of passage, right?) and have used it every single day, save for the couple of days that it poured and was freezing cold.  Actually, on the first night that it rained, we already had dinner prepped and ready to grill, so we went back and forth in the rain as I held the umbrella over him (#winningatwifeing).  It's our new little routine every night, to hang out on the deck with Molly while he grills and I man the sides and it's been pretty much perfection.

three. doggie play dates
When we adopted Molly, the people at the shelter warned us that she can get really worked up around other dogs and that she tends to be super protective around her food/treats.  We've passed dogs on walks and have driven past them and whenever we do, she absolutely loses her mind.  We have family and friends with dogs and want to be able to have them over to our house and go to theirs and not worry about her freaking out.  The tough part was, we didn't know if she was worked up "Let's play!" or worked up "I want to tear you apart."  My wonderful friend Jeannette volunteered to bring her super sweet dog, Sasha, over last Friday for a meet-and-greet... and they passed with flying colors!  Y'all, I was so happy.  They first met through our chainlink gate, then Sasha came into the yard and they ran and chased each other for two solid hours.  It was the best thing, and I could tell that Molly had such a good time (that might be the most dog-mom thing I have ever said).  So, this was a great start to doggie friendships and we hope that we can work up to the point of taking her to the beach.

four. wedding season 
I feel like so many people complain about wedding season, having weekends filled with showers/parties/the weddings themselves, the money you spend on gifts, etc.  Well, call me crazy but I stinking LOVE weddings.  I mean, ours was obviously my favorite, but there has been something special that I've taken away from every single wedding that we've been to, and there's something so neat about watching your people exchange vows and join The Marriage Club.  And honestly, that's the season that we're in with friends and family right now, and I feel like it will go by so fast-- before we know it, our weekends will be filled with baby showers and bouncy-house birthday parties, so I'm going to go ahead and continue cheersing to the champagne toasts and boogeying to "Shout!" on the dance floor.  We have weddings three consecutive weekends in late October/early November (my favorite time of year AND our wedding anniversary-- perfection) and I already can't wait.

five. weekend relaxation
We have zero plans for this weekend and for that, I am happy.  I'm cleaning house today (my new Friday normal) then treating myself to my first mani/pedi in a month (praise Jesus) and we're meeting Brian's dad for dinner at a restaurant on the water tonight (yes, yes please!).  Tomorrow and we have basic errands and some yardwork, and I'm painting the shed door red, but other than that, we plan for lots of grilling time and outside happy hours.  My favorite way to spend the weekends for sure.

dwell: front door fun

When we first started house hunting over a year ago, I had this ideal picture in my head of buying the perfect little white colonial house with black shutters and a red front door.  I mean, you can't get more New England than that, right?  We looked at tons and tons of houses and there were a good number of them that had absolutely zero curb appeal-- even when your real estate agent is telling you that anything can be changed, it's hard to fall for a house when it just doesn't fit the picture you've been imagining.

Fast forward to September when I finally came across my dream home in the MLS listings-- two stories, white siding, AND the black shutters.  It was like it was meant to be, and luckily Brian loved it as much as I did.  As you know, we made the move in November and have absolutely loved our first little home... except for one major thing:

There was way, way too much white.  The house came with white fencing on the left side of the house, the house was white, the garage door was white, we had the rest of the backyard fenced so off to the right of the house is more white fencing, which meets up with the white shed.  THAT'S A LOT OF WHITE.  Obviously the house and garage door will remain white, but I knew that a quick and easy fix to add a fun pop of color would be to paint our front door.  

I've saved ideas for ages of fun colors for front doors but I couldn't help coming back to a good, classic red.  There's just something about a red front door that makes me so happy and looks so welcoming: 

So, on Saturday afternoon we headed to Lowe's to buy my paint and supplies, and I got to work first thing Sunday morning.  After a few hours and four coats of thin and even paint (Valspar "Classic Red" for any inquiring minds), we are now the proud owners of a red front door!

And here's the gross before: 

Here is a view from the driveway (sorry for the gross pictures, but it's been pouring rain and cloudy the last two days, so I'll take better shots from the street later today or tomorrow and share!):
I am really happy with how it turned out, and it wasn't difficult at all.  The only thing working against me yesterday was the weather, but thankfully the rain brought MUCH cooler temps so while it was damp, there was a cool breeze blowing all afternoon/evening for it to dry. 

Now my next debate is whether or not to paint the shed door to match-- what do y'all think?

No judgment here either, friends-- the ramp obviously needs to be replaced and the beds need help, but Rome wasn't built in a day, folks.  This also faces the street alongside the fence, so it's definitely visible when you drive past.  My debate is to leave the door white but paint the hardware (the door handle and lock on the left, and the two hinges on the right) black, or to paint the door red to match the house front door, and paint the hardware black.  Any input would be fabulous!

Four Things About Me.

I thought I would pop in for a fun little midweek post!  Hope your day is going well-- halfway to the weekend!

Four Nicknames
Kate, Kiki, Katya, Kadis

Four Jobs I've Had
Teacher at After School Program, Nanny, Admin, Business Development Coordinator

Four Movies I've Watched More Than Once
Steel Magnolias, A Christmas Story, Father of the Bride, Stepmom

Four Things In My Purse
Hobo Wallet, Planner, "Essentials" bag (lip balm, colored pens for my planner,  makeup)... does my phone count?  I say yes.

Four Books I Would Recommend 
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Still Alice, To Kill A Mockingbird, anything by Elin Hilderbrand for a good girly beach read

Four Cars I've Driven
Ford Explorer, Dodge Ram, Jeep Cherokee, Subaru Legacy

Four Places I've Visited
Cancun, NYC, Chicago, Baltimore

Four Places To Visit On My Bucket List
France, Ireland, Greece, Fiji

Four Of My Favorite Foods
Pasta, Pizza, Mexican (any and all of it-- burritos, queso, tacos, enchiladas), my daddy's BBQ (brisket, sausage, oh my!)

Four TV Shows I Watch
Real Housewives, Scandal, Southern Charm, GMA

Four Things I'm Looking Forward To In 2015 
Taking the next step in my career, decorating our home, traveling to visit family and friends all over, our big one year anniversary/30th birthday trip at the end of the year

D Day

Well friends, as of this past Monday, I am no longer employed.  Last Friday was D(ismissal) Day, and as evidenced by my last post, there have been LOTS of feels going on.  

Long story short, and without going into too much detail, my company was acquired by a larger company and the corporate "assets" were not a part of the acquisition.  Assets-- that's what myself and the thirty other employees who were a part of the layoffs were called.  We've all had the feeling that something was up for quite awhile now, but we assumed that we would be grouped along with whatever changes may come-- nope.  So three weeks ago, management called the corporate office employees into a conference room full of tables littered with Kleenex boxes (let me just say, if you're ever suspicious that you may be laid off but aren't quite sure, you can consider entering a room full of Kleenex boxes a confirmation that something bad is definitely going down).  We all sat down, they broke the news and everyone promptly burst into tears.  Regardless of having a feeling you might lose your job, having the news actually broken to you SUCKS.  

And full disclosure, as worried as I was about my own situation, I couldn't help but be thankful for all of these random things: that I'm not pregnant, that I don't have children, that I'm not older, that we have our home, that my husband has a great job, that we weren't more aggressive in buying that second car to make our daily commutes easier, that I had the good sense to cut back on fun spending "just in case" the last month or so... Maybe I was trying to reassure myself that I was more okay?  So many of my coworkers and friends are in those positions-- moms with kids in daycare who were immediately concerned not about how their life would be affected but how their kids lives would be disrupted if they can't keep them in their schools; people who have worked there for 10+ years and haven't interviewed in forever and would possibly be considered on the older end of applicants, competing against newer (lower salaried) applicants for jobs; a friend who had put in an offer on her family's first home the day before.  Everyone cried some more and then everyone got really angry, and we all left the office for the day (management told us if we needed to take the day, that was understandable and so yes, we took the day).

Fifteen of us girls made our way to a local restaurant, set up shop at the bar, and ate nachos and potato skins and drank the afternoon away.  Seriously, we were there for five hours, and long after we'd stopped drinking (we did have to get home someway after all), we all just wanted to sit together and be close.  The hardest part of all of this was that I would be losing so many friends.  Yes, we live nearby each other for the most part, but we wouldn't be seeing each other every day, getting coffee together, ordering Thai on Fridays and gathering in a conference room for hours of calls that we had to sit in on.  And everyone knows how hard it is to stay in touch with so many people once your lives go a different way and the place that you met has become the dividing factor.  That day it just felt good to be together-- we cried and laughed and got ragey and told stories that were then considered fair game since we'd all just been laid off.  And I think that we all knew that once we left and went home, what had just happened would be real... and that was scary.

I did go home and Brian ordered pizza and I cried tears into my beer... and wine... and vodka, all through the weekend.  And let it be known that I was rocking the 21 Day Fix until that Friday-- I'd lost 7 pounds, and I fully intend to give it another go once things are back on track.  So I moped and gave myself the weekend to morning/day/night drink and feel really low and bad about myself and the entire situation, but then I started to see the light at the end of this really shitty tunnel.  

I've known for a long time that there was nowhere for me to go at my job-- to move up a step would be completely changing my career path into a division that I've never had any interest in.  But the commute was convenient and I loved my work family, so I let myself get complacent.  In the back of my mind, I always knew that I was going to be 30 in December and that if I was ever going to make a change, I needed to do so pronto, but I didn't know what I really wanted to do.  I'm very much a control freak and as much as I hated being forced to leave this job, since it wasn't on my own terms, I considered the nudge/push/kick out the door a blessing in disguise.  It's led me to applying to every job that I see that sounds fun-- imagine that?  I'm obviously still seeking out jobs that are aligned with for my background experience, but if I see read the description of a job that makes me think "I would love to do that every day!" I'm applying.  I'm letting myself be a little bit picky.  We received a severance package and I just went through the experience of applying for unemployment so I keep reminding myself that everything is going to be okay.  It may not happen immediately, but I'm doing everything that I can and am making the most of this time off.

Being home all day, every day the last three days has been... interesting.  I'm giving myself a project every day so that I don't lose my mind, and that's helping.  Molly is certainly happy to have me home, although I think she's kind of wondering why I'm here disrupting her routine.  The house has never been cleaner, the laundry is all folded and put away, I'm sitting outside and reading for an hour every day while Molly plays, and dinner is ready when Brian walks in the door after work.  I do love playing the housewife, but I also need to get out-- we have a little lunch planned today for our friends from the group of Phase 1 layoffs (including myself) and a few of the girls who are still working and waiting for their day (next Friday).  I then plan to head to the DMV to get my license changed to my married name, and then Brian and I are going to Home Depot to pick up tons of stuff to work in our yard this weekend.

Everything is going to be okay-- it may be crazy, it may be unexpected, it may be a little scary, but it's going to be okay.

And thank you to my amazing husband, family, friends, and blog world lovelies who have been so supportive throughout all of this-- y'all are without a doubt my rocks.

Checking in...

Well, without saying too much, things have been all over the place in my life these last couple of weeks.  I not only haven't really felt like blogging, but I'm not really able to share much about what's going on, and since that's been the only thing on my mind... I've been quiet.  

No worries-- I'm fine, Brian's fine, we're fine as a couple, Molly's fine, our families are fine, and there's no baby announcement or anything coming along.  I'll share more when I can, and when I feel up to it, but for now, know that I'm trucking along and will be back with A LOT to say very, very soon.