Monthly Archives: March 2015

Intro to Landscaping

In the ever-growing learning curve of being first-time homeowners, Tim and I are now entering into the uncharted territories of lawn maintenance and landscaping. Don’t get me wrong, Tim has already done his fair share of mowing and weedeating at the lawn’s of rental houses past, and we’ve planted a few flowers here and there. But our new and wooded acre of a yard takes it to a whole new level.

The folks that owned the house before us grew old there, which I absolutely love, but it also means that the yard wasn’t really properly cared for in the past few years and it’s looking a little neglected and overgrown. There are several trees that need to come down, seemingly trillions upon trillions of dead leaves that need to be raked, and barely-there grass that definitely needs to be reseeded. There is also no cosmetic landscaping to speak of, and ivy growing up the house/up trees/over rocks/EVERYWHERE.

This is all on top of still needing to fence the yard for the dogs, which can’t come any sooner. The dogs are finally starting to be curious outside of the confines of their yard, even full on disappearing once, which led to me desperately trying to track them down while being convinced they would get hit by a car. I even called Tim in tears and frantically told him just that, only to find them about 30 seconds later. Let’s just say, it’s time for a fence.

I know this yard will be worth it in the end, and it has so much potential, but right now it feels like we are facing a serious uphill (and expensive!) battle to get this thing in shape. Hopefully in the process I develop a green thumb?

List accomplishments as of last post:

  • I made some Italian braised chicken thighs, which I served over roasted spaghetti squash for my weekly recipe. So delicious!
  • Tim and I had a great date night in Friday night, watching March Madness, and enjoying Mexican takeout.
  • I’m still keeping up with writing in my journal and taking photos.

March Madness

Basketball has always been special to me.

My childhood was spent in packed Southern Indiana high school gyms where the air was filled with the smell of popcorn, shoes were sticky from spilled Cokes, throats sore from cheering, and countless renditions from the band of the school song was the soundtrack. These images are so strong in my mind, so intertwined with my love for the game.

I was going to high school basketball games before I can even remember– as a tiny baby in my mother’s arms while she cheered on my dad’s team. Some of my very earliest memories are from the Harrison High School gym– watching my dad coach as he paced up and down the sidelines, staring in awe of the cheerleaders, being carried around by the players, cartwheeling on the court floor after games.

There were also all those games cheering on my older brother as he played all through grade, middle, and high school. We traveled all over the state watching Tyler, feeling proud when he’d have a good game and feeling sad and frustrated when he didn’t get enough playing time.

Like so many other Indiana families, I also grew up knowing nothing but love and undying devotion to the Hoosiers. I have memories of my mom and dad betting on Butler vs. IU games, taking in games at Assembly Hall, and countless road trips narrated by Don Fischer. Bob Knight is still a giant in my world, and the 1976 Hoosiers are sacred.

I was never really much of a player myself, but that never stopped me from getting lost in being a fan. Basketball isn’t just something I’m passionate about, it’s a part of who I am. I’ve had my heart swell with victories and break from hard losses. My dad and I religiously follow all of his former player’s teams as there are several who are now coaching at the elite level, and from November through March, we analyze games via texts and phone calls and travel to random places to cheer them on. My husband, a diehard Duke fan, and I bonded over our shared love of basketball when we first started dating, and every year since we’ve been together Selection Sunday has been as big of a day as birthdays and anniversaries.

I always say March Madness is my favorite time of year. The buzzer beaters, the underdogs and Cinderella stories, the rivalries– collegiate competition at its finest! I can’t even articulate how much I love it. I watch every single second, from the play-in games to the Championship, and I LOSE myself in cheering for the small schools and the great coaches while taunting and booing the Kentuckys and Syracuses and the like. This year, I’m so happy to cheer on my Hoosiers (who barely squeaked in) and my alma mater, the Belmont Bruins.

Tim and I always have the best time filling out our brackets, and each year we’ve been together we’ve made it a fun competition. We both tell ourselves each year we aren’t going to pick with our heart, but both of us always end up doing it anyways because it’s impossible not to. This year, we did the whole Selection Sunday process with our best friends who are equally as smitten, and it was wonderful. I think it’s safe to say we’ve started a new tradition and I couldn’t be happier.

List accomplishments as of last post:

  • Obviously, as shared above, we started a new tradition with our best friends. There are two photos below.
  • I made this Tuscan white bean soup for my weekly recipe and it was amazing!
  • I finished book #6, Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward. Stunning and sad and perfect.
  • I’ve stayed really dedicated to writing and taking photos daily.
My random draws.

My random draws.

Our board for the random draws.

Our board for the random draws.

This One’s For the Ladies

Ladies, I need to rant for a second.

In so many ways, I am shown daily how far we’ve come. I know that it’s an uphill battle to educate the ignorant that feminism is for EVERYONE, but lately there has been a lot of positive activity that keeps me hopeful, from Emma Watson killing it as the UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador to #askhermore and Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls. But sometimes right when you feel like there could start to be a paradigm shift, cue the infuriating jerk to walk in and act like it’s 1950.

I won’t get into the specifics, but the other day I was completely incensed by a conversation with an older man that was filled with callous, chauvinistic questions and comments directed at me in the context of my gender. I was so stunned as it was happening that I could barely react until much later on in the day. I couldn’t believe that someone still looked at the world– and women– in such a backwards and inappropriate way. I was utterly dumbfounded, and then, as time went on, I grew to a place of extreme outrage. Who does he think he is?

I wish that was the only time something like this has happened to me. I have countless other stories, but here is one that really sticks out. My old job consisted of working with a mostly male-led athletic department, and after accepting the position, a WOMAN said to me, “I can’t believe they’d put a woman in that job.” When I asked why, she said “Because you have to deal with all those men. You’d think they’d want someone with balls.” And to that, I simply smiled and said, “Don’t you worry about me. I have plenty of balls.” I wish I’d been able to see out of my shock enough the other day to stick up for myself in a similar way.

The sad thing is, I know each and every woman out there has several stories just like this. It’s hard sometimes to get lost in the negativity, and we do still have a very long way to go. But I just want to take a moment to say a few things to all the ladies out there:

First, you’re awesome. You multi-task in ways a man could never even dream of. You are terrific daughters, mothers, sisters, aunts, friends, wives, and human beings all while being amazing leaders, game-changers, homemakers, professionals, and teachers. You’re smart, funny, and powerful. You can do anything you want, EVER. And anyone who ever doubts or tries to diminish you is an ignorant asshole. And that’s the truth.

List accomplishments as of last post:

  • Last weekend was my dad’s birthday, and I made him and my whole family a delicious lasagna based on this recipe.
  • I watched 1985’s Best Picture winner, Out of Africa, with Robert Redford and Meryl Streep. It was good though exceptionally long and a little slow-moving, but I’d pretty much watch anything with either of those two actors.
  • Tim and I took a day trip to Indianapolis on Saturday for a little shopping for the house, and we doubled it as a weekly date, too. Really fun, and great to get away– even for the day.
  • I’ve kept up on both photos and writing in my journal still– on a streak!

Over It

Bloomington has now been covered in snow for the past two-and-a-half weeks, with fresh snow falling every so often, and I woke up this morning to a wintery-mix of snow and sleet. It’s safe to say I’m officially over it and in bad need of spring. I’m tired of wearing boots every day, I’m tired of trekking through the snowy slush on the way to my car each morning, and I’m tired of looking at it, too.

I think spring missed the memo that it is now March, and it’s ok to show up. I know it’s bad to wish away days, but I need spring to hurry up and get here already. There is something renewing about spring– the earth wakes up, and it drags me out of my wintery funk and rids me of my cabin fever.

The time springs forward this weekend, and hopefully the warmth will come as our days get longer. Until then, I’ll keep dreaming of sitting on the back porch, turning off the heat in my house and enjoying open windows, blooming flowers, and spring vegetables. Doesn’t that all sound so nice?

 

List accomplishments as of last post:

  • I made the best baked chicken parm for my weekly recipe. It made so much, so there were tons of leftovers, which was perfect because this stuff gets even better after a few a day or so.
  • Tim had our weekly date last Friday night– he made me dinner at home, and we lit a fire and listened to music. So nice!
  • I HAVE to get back into watching my Academy Award winning movies… I still have so many to go, and it’s my list item I’m most nervous about finishing. We did get our TV and DVD player and set up finally, so maybe I can get going on those this weekend.
  • I have stayed up on writing and taking photos each day. Here are a few from last week:

 

Snowy sunset

Snowy sunset

My boy

My boy

Date night wine

Date night wine