anytime the unpacking fairies want to arrive is fine with me

Welcome to my new home! Pull up a box and make yourself comfortable.

It’s nothing short of a peaceful oasis around here. It could even be compared to a tropical beach vacation.

Last time I appeared on this corner of the webosphere I was comfortably situated between 318 boxes full of my worldly possessions and a disassembled kitchen table. The view hasn’t changed much, just the state.

Since then we’ve driven more than 800 miles with our cars looking like modern day Beverly Hillbillys. We’ve stayed in hotels across three different states and one who shall remain unnamed unrolled the toilet paper in them all.

I was so proud of this girl. She once cried ONCE the entire drive. 

Christopher made me the leader of our two vehicle caravan. As the kids these days say, LOL. I get lost in my own front yard. I kid you not, I got on the wrong highway less than three minutes after we left our Tennessee house.

Last family picture at our old house.
 The bright and shining highlight of our trek north was visiting Michelle and darling family. My car was broken into when we visited her last time so I was preparing myself for disaster to strike again. A car part flew off the car in front of me and left a dent the size of a basketball in my bumper but compared to a broken window it was nothing. Perspective is a funny thing. I had been talking to Annabelle about Michelle’s baby Gracie for weeks. Every time I’d see a picture of Gracie I’d show Annabelle who would squeal and say, “Baby Gaycee! Baby Gaycee! Call Gaycee?” I was not disappointed when they finally met in person. They’ll be BFF’s forever. They have no choice.

 In case you’re wondering where Gracie gets good hair genes, look no farther than her father.

 Sesame takes advantage of any opportunity to practice her princess wave.

As someone who likes to be fully prepared for everything in life, not knowing what our new house would be like caused me not a little worry and gray hair. We got here Tuesday but couldn’t get into the house until Thursday. We drove over to see the outside and I’m not going to lie. I panicked. My first impression was we were about to live in a house the size of two postage stamps. I envisioned having to leave 3/4 of my furniture out on the front lawn.  It was such a relief to see the inside and discover that my beloved hutch wouldn’t be banished to a dark corner of the garage after all. It’s not big by any means, but we’ll make it work. The kitchen doesn’t have a space for a real table so we have to turn the downstairs bedroom into a dining room. The stairs and upstairs hallway creak like the bones of a 102 year old man and are guaranteed to wake a sleeping baby. Annabelle’s room is itty bitty but she’s itty bitty so it works out. We have 104 boxes left to unpack and we’re waiting for the movers to bring us the rest. We’ll be fully unpacked by 2017.
I should be unpacking but I think I’ll go sit in the back yard instead. It’s so much prettier than cardboard boxes.

we’ve got our moving shose on

Last night was the last we time we rocked Annabelle in the bedroom we brought her home to. No one, least of all me, was at all emotional.


We spend most of yesterday after church packing the house. We moved all the stuff that we’re driving to the new house into the bathroom and the coat closet. The bathroom door can barely be opened and I practically have to climb on the counter to get to the toilet. The tub is full of stuff. I can only open the coat closet door part way or the drawers on Christopher’s file box slide open. My home is the sanctuary of peace and tranquility I always hoped it would be.

The packers came this morning to start boxing everything up and I could not have been more unenthusiastic about it. I woke up with a splitting headache and jaw pain thanks to stress and my still partially dislocated jaw. I felt like a million tiny little needles were jabbing into my ears. I wanted to curl up and cry and never leave the bed. Annabelle felt fine as a fiddle and started talking up a storm before she even got out of bed. We had piles through out the house and pictures leaning against all the walls. Her toys were separated into pack and do not pack piles. We had a stack of folded boxes just perfect for throwing around the floor. She bounced from pile to pile touching and moving everything. You would have thought she was at Disney World. I bounced from the ibuprofen bottle to the sudaphed bottle. Fun was had by all.

By the time they arrived (late) at 8:36, I was done. I wanted to go back to bed. The movers are very nice and extremely efficient. It would take me days and days to get this house packed, even if I didn’t have the small one. They’re going through boxes and wrapping paper like they’re going out of style. I appreciate a good wrapping job. I’ve been known to use paper, bubble wrap and newspaper one plate. Can’t be too careful. I don’t appreciate their labeling techniques or the way they combine items. For example, I saw them combine the following into one box labeled ”pillows”:
toys, fake greenery, a small metal star, two couch cushion, my cardboard letters that spell EAT, and part of a lamp.

I almost burst a blood vessel. I would never put the greenery that adorns my cupboards with Annabelle’s musical school bus.

Then I found this jewel.

Clothes and shose.

The day didn’t go off completely without a hitch but it did stay interesting. One guy was packing the kitchen and the light fell off the ceiling and crashed to the floor right by his feet. How does a light just fall off the ceiling? Another guy saw my bowl of muffins on the counter and asked if he could have one. I said he could have as many as he wanted. He asked if they were blueberry muffins. They were banana. Is my cooking that bad?

A few minutes later I heard the following conversation.
Mover 1: Is bowls spelled with e-l at the end or just l?
Mover 2: It doesn’t matter.

Um. YES IT DOES MATTER. I ASSURE you that the bowels belonging to people in this house are not going in any boxes. They won’t be walking around in any shose either.

thanks for tuning it to this season of Keep It or Kick It

We’re T-minus three weeks out from moving to our next home.

Normally at this point, I’d be packing and have boxes stacked up around this house. This time the Army is moving us so all I have to pack is what we’ll need between leaving here and arriving at the new house and various special things we want to pack ourselves. I very much feel like I’m in a state of limbo.

Speaking of the new house, finding one has been An Ordeal. It’s been the dramatic second season of the hit HGTV show Keep It or Kick It.

A few weeks ago Christopher flew up to our new state for an exploratory/house hunting trip. Normally I’d accompany him but the flights were so expensive it didn’t make sense. I supplied him with a detailed list of what I’d like in a house:
* a yard
* good spots for Christmas trees
* close to Dunkin Donuts

* a front porch and/or back deck

I believe that covers all the essentials. It didn’t occur to me to add bathroom with shower or no houses with coin-operated laundry machine to the list. You wouldn’t think in 2015 we’d have to specify that we want a house with a shower but Christopher looked at a house that didn’t have one. Obviously, we’re moving to a place that values cleanliness.

Long story short, he looked at over 20 houses and finally settled on a house with not one, but two showers. It had a Buddhist shrine in the office and was painted colors straight out of Bollywood but it was nothing a few coats of paint and 15 pinterest boards couldn’t fix. A week later that home fell through and we were back to square one. We didn’t have time to go back up to look at homes again so we had to decide between moving without a home or picking one site unseen. We went with the latter option which doesn’t make me one bit nervous. ON OPPOSITE DAY. If it’s terrible I’ll be sure to snag a few of the best packing boxes from the movers and whip us up a cute cardboard box house to live in on the side of the road.


it’s all fancy and formal until your bobby pins start popping out

A few weeks ago we were discussing the location of Christopher’s battalion ball. He said, “I think it’s at Bruce Jenner Hall.” Excuse me? I told him I HIGHLY doubted any hall in our area was named after Bruce Jenner. Turns out he didn’t have any idea who said individual is and I’m ashamed to admit that I was able to give him a detailed Kardashian/Jenner family tree. Between watching the Bachelorette and knowing about the Kardashian family I’m almost can’t look at myself in the mirror. (This was before the recent developments concerning Bruce Jenner that I can’t discuss without feeling the need to gag.)
The ball was this past Friday night. Everybody knows I love a good ball. Some people (not to name names but Christopher) go half-heartedly but I’m all SIGN ME UP for any event to wear a fancy dress and see people with all manner of paraphernalia on their uniform.

Quick stroll down memory lane. Look how young and thin we were at our first ball.
Not a gray hair in sight.

Normally I have my hairdresser do my hair but this time I decided to attempt it myself. I’m not stupid. I’m terrible at any semi-difficult hairstyle so I knew there was a chance it was probably an awful idea but I tried anyway. Unfortunately all the tutorials said to “tease the hair” and this is what I look like with teased hair.

I’m not exaggerating when I say I did my hair for more than an hour and a half (two Friends episodes!) only to end up with it straightened and in a ponytail. My hair is in a ponytail every single day of my life so it hardly screamed SPECIAL OCCASION HAIR.  I was so frustrated I almost threw in the towel and changed my mind about going. I was this close to giving the babysitter my ticket and spending the evening writing negative reviews on all the “easy 5 minute updo” videos. Short story unnecessarily long, I ended up with my hair in a bun. Not that you can even tell.

Part of the enjoyment I get from balls comes in the form of giving a running commentary on the appropriateness, or lack there of, of dresses I see. It’s not annoying at all. Clearly I ride a very high I’ve been to four balls so I’m an expert horse.
In other news, I sat next to a sweet woman I met last October. She loves Annabelle so I frequently text her pictures and we’ve made plans to get together multiple times. She’s a tiny Chinese lady who has a thick accent and speaks about as loud as an ant so conversation is difficult. That explains why I don’t know her first name. I didn’t understand it the two times she told me the day we met and now we’re nine months into our friendship and I refuse to as. I was hoping her husband mention it but no such luck. Mrs. No First Name Thompson she shall remain. 
At least I can rest secure in the knowledge that I’m her best friend if she ever needs her hair teased. 

needless to say she didn’t have any hazmat suits to hand out

I took Annabelle to the doctors this morning to be weighed. The receptionist asked if I had traveled to or been in contact with anyone visiting an African country within the last 21 days. I said no and she replied, “Oh good. They didn’t tell me what to do if you said yes.” 

Rest assured that in some toy store there is a Barbie doll more prepared to deal with an ebola patient than the employee at a government medical center.


the time my big acting debut almost didn’t happen because I got lost on the way to the filming

Last week I mentioned that the tv show Nashville was coming to film on Fort Campbell. Rumor has it they’re here all week but yesterday was the day they were filming a concert that the general public could attend. And by general public I mean Department of Defense card holders only which, not to boast or anything, but I happen to be. Three years later and I still like whipping my card out and pretending I’m all fancee and important. 

I almost didn’t go because 1) I didn’t want to go alone and 2) my self-imposed scheduled departure time was in the middle of my afternoon nap. I purposely didn’t schedule myself to go in the morning because I didn’t want to interfere with my morning nap. (My life is already being scheduled around naps.) I decided to go anyway because I’m always talking about my big acting career taking off and it’s not going to take off if I lay in bed all day.

On a good day it takes about 20 minutes to get to Fort Campbell which means that leaving at 3:50 and allowing for time to get through the gate etc. etc. I should get there around 4:20ish. I looked up which gate the filming was near before I left and when I saw it was near the stables, I actually said, “That looks easy enough…if I’m trying to get lost.” Every time I go to the stables I get lost. Does anyone have an idea where this story is going? I went down the wrong roads because I don’t expect anything less of myself and was stuck on multiple long roads for no less than 60 minutes. I was about ready to give up my acting career for good when I found the airfield where they were filming. I got there 90 minutes after I left home. And I live 20 minutes away. 

That right there is dedication to my desired profession. Or the fact that I was driving on roads that had nowhere for me to turn around.
A few thoughts on my big acting debut:
* I didn’t anticipate seeing much of the main actors in the show, but most made an appearance at one point or another. 
* Christopher didn’t accompany me as he can think of 4,118 things he’d rather do that be on camera, but that didn’t stop me from texting him periodic updates.
Rayna James’ boyfriend is much skinnier in person than he looks on tv. 
Teddy’s hair is just as good.
I didn’t recognize Juliette because she’s wearing more clothes than usual.
He really loved living vicariously.
* I’ve never considered myself a big fan of Hayden Panettiere (who plays one of the main characters), but she stole someone’s baby and carried him around for a good 10 minutes which immediately bumped her up in my book. Anyone who steals a strangers baby has the potential to be a friend of mine. (Please note that contrary to how it sounds, I am NOT advocating kidnapping. By steal I mean temporarily borrow and return. No one call the police on me.)
* At one point we had to watch a video of Michelle Obama giving a speech. I don’t mean get all political, but we were instructed to cheer after it and I didn’t follow those directions very enthusiastically. I know actors have to fake it sometimes, but I was mostly cheering for her very nice highlights.
* I would like someone to put me in contact with the shows hairdresser. There are some things that are not just movie magic and the hair in this show is one of those things.
The chances of actually seeing myself on tv are slim to none and honestly, that’s probably just as well. I was having some major issues with my shirt not staying down and they didn’t send the wardrobe people over to help me out. But on the off chance that I am seen on the big screen, I’ll be here for the rest of my life to sign autographs.