Sunday, September 30, 2012

Beans-n-Greens, Sort of Italian Style

Happy Sunday! Brendan wrote some copy for our blog today, another delicious recipe or "how to" from L&Z in the kitchen. Brendan writes: 

"This is the simplest possible kind of Vegetarian meal: Some kind of legume + Some kind of leafy vegetable + Your choice of grain.  It can be kind of bland, so you've got to jazz it up.  We had basil and oregano left over from making pizza and a 1 lb. sack of farro (which I've never used before), so we went Italian-ish.

Boil the farro for 12-14 minutes, drain and set aside.

Lightly saute 4 crushed and chopped cloves of garlic (Or more.  We like more.) in a couple tablespoons of olive oil.  
Toss in about a pound of spinach and a splash of vegetable stock.  
Add one can of beans (We used pintos because we had them.  I wanted cannellini, but honestly, what's the difference?)  and one can of diced tomatoes, both drained.  
Season with a dash or two of sherry, a dash of vinegar, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes.  
Cook until the spinach is wilted and everything is hot, adding a little stock if you've got to to keep things moving.  When the liquid is all but absorbed, stir in a quarter cup of chopped fresh basil and a couple teaspoons of chopped fresh oregano.

Remove greens and beans from heat and combine with cooked farro.

Serve with parmesan.  It's good on just about anything.

This recipe makes give-or-take 2000 lbs. of filling food."

*Omit cheese for Vegan version. 
L&Z: Beans n' Greens, Sort of Italian Style 
Total Prep and Cook Time: 35 minutes earns this recipe a fast rating. 
Deliciousness Factor: 4 out of 5 stars. The meal is great, and has a healthy/fresh taste. It wins points in my book for being fast and user friendly. It isn't the most amazing thing we've ever made for dinner (thus, not 5 stars), but we both really liked it, and I ate the leftovers for lunch a couple of days later.

In addition to cooking dinner Thursday, Brendan bought me this lovely bouquet of roses

 Do I really have to wait MONTHS to marry this guy? 


<3 S, B, L&Z 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

200th Post!

A year and 8 months ago, I started this crazy blog. I had no idea if anyone would be interested in reading, but here we are, 200 posts and over 20,000 pageviews later.

I can easily recall the evening I started this blog. Unlike other friends with blogs, I didn't have one particular thing I was interested in focusing on, so I promised to combine all of my interests into one blog, and the rest is history. At first, I thought I might find a niche, but I never really did. I think of the blog as an online interactive journal, where I share thoughts and ideas, and that is what I have stuck with. In an average month, Lola and Zoe gets about 1,400 pageviews, and in an average day, about 40 pageviews. It seems pretty good for a rookie, her fiance, and a couple of cats :)

The blog started off as just another way for us to keep in touch with family and friends, but it has expanded to include recipes, book reviews, and lots of musings on life. I doubt it will ever be profitable in a monetary sense, but our little corner of the web brings me great joy as a hobby, so I know I'll keep it up. Blogging has also brought about unknown opportunities that I didn't expect (free early releases of books, discounts on clothes, etc.) Those small perks bring me a lot of happiness, but my motivation to blog is definitely an intrinsic one.

It may sound silly, but blogging definitely makes me feel like I'm never truly on my own. Being able to share our trials, challenges, joys, and celebrations makes me feel so much more "in touch" with not just friends and family, but with people collectively. Strangers have sent me nice emails, and I've even been able to give some advice. I'm always trying to think of new ways to keep the blog relevant and interesting, and some ideas are more successful than others, but in the end I know the blog represents me, and us, and that is what I think is neat about it: it's a place where I can express myself. This is who I am, what I believe in, and what I'm going through. Our lives are not always perfect, but they are ours, and one of the very enjoyable aspects of this is being able to record and document life, to look back and say "look where we've come from" (because lets face it, it's not always as easy to say where you're going!)

And really, we've come a long way. Since the beginning in February 2011, we've blogged through being graduate students finding ourselves in a newish relationship, to an unemployed couple living with my parents, to moving hundreds of miles away to the desert and living together, to both having teaching careers and planning to spend the rest of our lives together.

In a way, it seems like not long ago that I was sitting on this same couch, only in my apartment in Lake Charles, writing about the meal I'd just cooked with my best friend turned boyfriend. There is something about the memory (about all memories associated with graduate school) that feels so carefree. It was such a wonderful and happy time, and our lives have completely changed since then. But all of the unknowns about what we'd do, who we'd become as a couple, if we'd make a place for ourselves out in the world, if we'd find friends in that new place: all of it worked out. In some ways, I feel that I haven't just built a blog over the last year and eight months, but that I've built a life. And I've been coming here to write it all down.

Thank you for reading, for letting me share it with you. We'll be building our lives for the rest of our lives, of course. A life is something that always needs a new shape, but having people to share with--it makes all the change a little easier. I don't always know where I'm headed, but I know who I'm taking with me.

Thanks for being along for the ride,
<3 Stacy, Brendan, LOLA & ZOE

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Rainy Day

It's a rainy day here, which is pretty special in west Texas, so after I got home from work, it was the perfect day to cat nap on the couch, light a candle, and relax. Brendan and I get to see a lot of each other on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but very little of each other on Mondays and Wednesdays. The academic schedule is nice though, because it means we are off at times other people are at work, making accomplishing everyday tasks (doctor's appointments, grocery store, gym, etc.) easier because we can go at "off" times. But likewise, there are times we're working when no one else does (like grading on the weekend, or Brendan coming home from class after 10pm on Mondays). All in all, we make our own balance.

Speaking of balance, remember when I mentioned battling the morning blahs? I've been having luck with all the tips I mentioned in that post, and also with taking vitamin B12 daily. Getting at least 8 hours (but not more than 8) of sleep the night before work also seems key, though sometimes I've had to do with 6 (it still works). I leave sleeping in for the weekends. I also stay warm in the morning, by adjusting the thermostat and putting on a warm robe and slippers. Additionally, I adjust to light gradually by spending some time just sitting in the light before I try to move around and get ready. All of these things have really improved my morning mood.

I'm doing some reflecting about September today, since the month is coming to an end. We have some exciting plans for October (stay tuned!), but I can't believe how fast September went. I guess it was because of all the changes in my life and all the stuff we were up to. It's so funny, after the summer, I always wonder if I'll be able to remember how to teach, but of course, by September I feel like an old pro again. I still feel challenged, and it's still hectic, but I definitely feel like I'm growing as a teacher every year.

Before I sign out, just a reminder that new customers to Modcloth can get $20.00 off a purchase of $50.00 or more until October 2nd.

Just follow this link...

I am being "good" right now, because I need to pay off all my past shopping adventures, but I'm sure I'll be scouring this site before long!

It's almost Friday!
<3 S, B, L&Z

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What's in a Color?

I got my hair done today! I'm still blonde(ish), but as past posts prove, I've done the whole spectrum. 

It's funny how different colors change your perception of yourself. I've been going blonde since November, and I have to say, when I look in the mirror, sometimes I just feel more awake and cheerful with these light locks. I also love being brunette though because it looks natural with my skin tone/eye color. I bet I spend my whole life going back and forth between these looks (and even red too). Never sticking to one color is the only form of change I really have, looks wise. I never change the length of my hair, and when it comes to clothes, jewelry, makeup, and accessories, I like to stick to the basics. Maybe some would say I'm not "adventurous," but with coloring my hair, I feel adventurous and in my comfort zone (contradiction?)

It's been a good day, and to top it off, Brendan is making me homemade pizza for dinner :) We're going to finish our evening by starting the second season of Sherlock. We love it, so we were glad when the next season showed up on Netflix. I've been waking up on a weird side of the bed lately, but I've been able to turn my days around. I recommend a snack first thing in the morning (high protein), leaving yourself plenty of time to get ready, and doing something relaxing to start off your day. It really helped me shake off the morning blahs, which is a great thing because this is a BUSY week to end a crazy month. 

Think next month will be any saner? 

Yeah, we don't think so either! 

<3 S, B, L&Z 

Monday, September 24, 2012

On Keeping It in Perspective

My friend Corley always tells me I sound like superwoman on my blog, but truthfully, some days I feel like anything but. I hope that I do a good job of being honest about my everyday struggles and challenges. The whole reason I wanted to blog in the first place, is to connect with people and create a place for me to share my life and my interests, and be realistic about it too. I’m not interested in creating an image; reaching out and communicating issues I’m trying to overcome is one of the most rewarding parts about blogging.

I’m doing a lot of reflecting today about keeping things in perspective, a skill I am, admittedly, not so good at. My grade book for the online class doesn’t work, appointments get canceled and moved around, the “express” lane at the grocery store takes 20 minutes. It all annoys me, a lot.

Some phone calls to friends and family remind me there are much bigger challenges: people have issues with finding employment, with their health, and with struggling to overcome the loss of a loved one. An article I read earlier this week reminds me that outside of our part of the world, women still face horrible treatment. Who cares about technological difficulties or lines at the grocery store? Sometimes, my own annoyance at little things literally makes me mad at myself. Why can’t I just realize my problems are pretty trivial and be happy all the time?

I know, that last line was completely unrealistic. No one can feel happy all the time, and everyone struggles to keep perspective, the truth is, I think this is something people do better with as they grow and mature. Brendan is older than me and has more life experience, so he’s good about reassuring me “Yep, this is life,” and I realize whatever I’m going through is normal. I’ve always tended to be younger than most of my friends, so I watch and learn a lot from them, but I still have times where I blow things out of proportion in ways that Brendan typically would not. Talking to my mom on a daily basis also helps me keep life in prospective. She lets me vent, which is cathartic, but also reminds me the only way out is through, and that every challenge is surmountable.

In the end, I try not to beat myself up about it. My life won’t always feel easy because no one’s life does, and that is the bottom line. Reminding myself about how good I have it is helpful, but there will be times in my life where I face disappointment, and like every person, I have to experience and work past that, no matter how big or small my problems are in the grand scheme of things.

And though I think it's really good and important to maintain a constant awareness of the world outside of oneself, sometimes, all you need to do is worry about yourself and making it through your day. Accepting that every life entails a certain portion of major and minor road bumps is another step. If you anticipate upsets, they are easier to take. Recognizing other factors that contribute to self-professed overreactions is handy too. For me, stress is my issue. If I'm already stressed, I will over-react to basically any scenario. Managing my stress by eating well, getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of water, taking brisk walks, and practicing yoga is paramount. Not that I won't lose my perspective because I'm doing these things, but that I am quickly able to gain access to it again. 

I'll find someone to help me with my grade book, appointments are rescheduled for tomorrow, and as for the one popular grocery store here? Well, we will never head there on Sunday night again (lesson learned). I'm sure my week won't be perfect, but I'll remind myself to see the many aspects of it that are, and to appreciate what is going right in our lives. Plus, I'll keep on keeping on with working out and eating right; I know taking care of myself means I'll have a better perspective about everything. So what about you, any tips on keeping it in perspective? We hope you'll share them. 

Keep on keeping on,
<3 S, B, L&Z 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Giveaway Results!

Lucky number 3 wins our first ever Giveaway

Leah, please contact us with your address, so we can mail you your copy of Bossypants by Tina Fey. Congrats!

Thanks to everyone that entered! We'll try to give away more free stuff in the future.

Happy weekend!
<3 S, B, L&Z

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Modcloth Discount, $20.00 off!

NOTE: This link still works, but is now a $15.00 discount<<<Updated 1.5.12

As you know, I'm a lover of and style ambassador for Modcloth.

It's where I ordered my engagement photo outfits and even my bridal shower dress (yep, I picked it already!)

So, I'm delighted to share this coupon for $20.00 off a purchase of $50.00 or more for all gals new to Modcloth.

Just follow the link here:

Have a delightful shopping day!

Oh, and tomorrow is the last day to enter our Giveaway. Just leave a comment on the Giveaway post. Good luck!

<3 S, B, L&Z

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

On Coping with Anxiety

Today was one of those mornings: I woke up overtired, needing to get in the car by 7am to make it to work, and had one too many tasks to accomplish (need gas, oil change, register to vote, assign a PCP, make a doctor's appointment, pay two bills, negotiate Internet service bill, answer a million emails, and go to the grocery store). Why is it so much easier to be thankful on Sunday? In the middle of the day, just when I was feeling productive, I got a ticket. My temptation is always to get overly anxious about life's little setbacks, but Brendan is very good at talking me out of that. After all, we can afford the ticket, and though it is disappointing, it's NOT the end of the world.

One trait about me (or Cancers, if you'll allow me to blame this on astrology), I can be prone to worrying too much (aka: anxiety). One thing about Brendan: he rarely lets things upset him. I both envy and try to emulate this, which has helped me improve over time. When I was younger, if I faced a stressful day at school, I would make a mental list of all the things that would still be right in my life after that day at school: I'd still have my family, my room, food to eat, a bed to sleep in, clothes to wear, etc., etc. I can remember doing this in elementary school, and I read this letter recently about how we are at our best when we don't lose sight of how our inner child thinks about and reacts to the world. If I could talk myself down from anxiety as a pre-teen, couldn't I do it just as successfully now? Why is it that the child focuses on what he or she DOES have, while the adult is prone to focusing on what they LOST or what is being TAKEN from them?

I don't know. I think one reason is that being an adult is scary. Brendan and I talk about having a dual role as teachers: we teach students to write, but also, we prepare them for the real adult world, which is sometimes a confusing, unjust, chaotic place. On the best day, we want to get across: I was where you are. Things may be hard, but you can get past it. It's easy for me to convey that to my students, after all, I'm nearly a decade past most of them in life--remember, I have lots of dual credit high school students, but of course, I'm still fighting my own battles, one of them being anxiety, and there is no magic mentor on my end to convince me things will be okay. Brendan may help play this role, but ultimately, the magic mentor must be me: I must convince myself. 


I can be stubborn. Anyone who knows me knows this is true. I set my mind to something, and that's it. Part of coping with anxiety is learning how to change your mind. Ouch, that's really hard for me.

I wanted to cry in the grocery store. Here I am, stocking up on groceries for a week, and a senseless ticket (it was for not having an updated address on my license--the address is where I still can receive mail, at my parents) costs more than a week's worth of food. I felt myself fighting back tears. I was under-rested and overstressed, but I also realized only I could take control of the situation. I focused on all the amazing good, healthy food we were buying. If we can afford to provide this kind of nourishment for ourselves, surely we're doing okay. One ticket won't change our lives. And it could happen to anyone, especially anyone that drives as much as I do (384 miles a week to and from work alone). My anxiety didn't conquer me. I didn't crumble over a violation I didn't even know I had committed; Instead, I just told myself I would deal with it by adding it to my list of to-dos and moving on with my day.

And a good day it was. I did all my to-dos and even saved Brendan and I $150 on our internet service. You can't win every battle with the world, nor every battle with anxiety, but for today it was Stacy 1, Anxiety none.

Here's to today's reflection.
<3 S, B, L&Z

PS-Want to read insightful reflections that are also hilarious? Click here to enter our Giveaway and nab a free copy of Tina Fey's Bossypants. Leave one comment to enter, comment by Friday for a chance to win.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Happy Birthday to My Future Sis!

Growing up, I always wanted a big family. I have one younger brother, Graham, that I adore, but as a kid, I always thought life would be better if we had 4 sisters and a brother, like in The Sound of Music (I'm sure Graham did not share this belief, and admittedly, I didn't think it through very well. Sharing 2 bathrooms with that many kids? Not my best plan). Anyway...

One amazing part about getting married is the merging of two families. When Brendan and I tie the knot this summer, he'll get a brother (Graham), and I'll get a sister (Annie) and a brother (her husband Zeb). Is this like the best idea we've ever had, or what?

Lucky for me, I don't just get any sister: I get Annie.

From the first time I met her in December 2010, I knew we'd get along. We're only a year and 9 months apart, and we have a lot in common, namely a similar sense of humor that leads to many laughs, see exhibit A.
Exhibit A: If you don't already know why this is hilarious, we can't help you.
Annie found her lifetime love in Zeb, and they married in October 2010. These two are both wonderful friends to us.
Annie and Zeb in Maine, 2011
Annie and Brendan have a lot in common (see: penchant for being goofy in front of a camera), and they both make me smile. It's very fun to see them being silly together.
Brendan, Annie, Me, and Zeb 
Annie has done a lot to help me out. She is a seamstress for a theater company, and has repaired some beloved jeans for me (this is one thing we don't have in common: I can't sew on a button), and I know she always stands up for me. Annie is smart, fun, passionate, and caring, and I learn new things about her every time I see her.

July 2012

When Brendan and I got engaged, I knew exactly who I wanted to ask to stand up with me in our wedding. Annie was a natural choice to be my Matron of Honor. 
At Jack and Becky's wedding, July 28, 2012
It's kind of hard to believe that this time next year, we'll be sisters. I'll be the most recent addition to the Egan clan, but I already feel at home.

November 2011 in Washington, D.C. 
Happy 28th birthday, Annie! I'm looking forward to all the fun times ahead and to finally having the sister I always dreamed of.

Here's to your day being as great as you are!

<3 S

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Lazy Sunday

Well, our guest Erica left this morning, and we're having a very lazy Sunday, complete with some housework, reading, cats, cuddling, and Sunday football.

For the first time in a month, I feel totally relaxed. It's nice to have some time to reflect on the semester always starts off feeling like a roller coaster, but eventually, we catch up to the pace. Yes, it is really busy, but ultimately we love our jobs and feel thankful. Investing in our students and our work gives a shape to our lives. No, life doesn't revolve around work, but we are able to build our lives because of the work we do, and we feel fortunate that we find our careers fulfilling. Taking time to feel thankful is very stress reliving, and it's something that is easy to forget about. So the motto for today is: relax and be thankful. 

Other things I'm thankful for: Winning my fantasy football game against Brendan this week :) I think it's gonna happen! He says he does not regret introducing me to fantasy football, but he has no further comments.

I'm also thankful for this sale I found at Land's End. They are having 40% off one item, plus free shipping for purchases over $50.00. I was able to score a beautiful winter peacoat for less than $100. Added bonus: they have petite sizes (and tall and plus, for the record!) I haven't purchased a new coat in several years, the last one was actually a Christmas gift from my brother. The cold front that recently rolled into Midland reminds me that it won't be long until I need a coat! I'm happy it will be one that I truly love, and now I just hope it fits right.

Speaking of good deals, our Giveaway is still accepting entries until Friday! Win a free book by Tina Fey, comment here to enter.

Have a great weekend everyone,
<3 S, B, L&Z

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Look Who's Here Part 2!

Well, it's truly been a crazy fall!

Remember 3 weekends ago when Tony visited? And, 2 weekends ago, when we headed to Philly for my friend Julie's wedding? I don't even think I mentioned last weekend, when I headed to Austin to see my family and attend a bridal show, and now, this weekend, Erica is here!

Erica, our friend from grad school, is visiting us from Lake Charles, Louisiana. She drove to Austin, stayed with a friend there, then drove to Lubbock and stayed with the Shews (also friends from grad school), and then drove to Midland to see us! What a trip. She has logged 1,000 miles on her car, with another 625 to go tomororw (and I thought I was driving a lot these days).

Our guest room is getting a lot of good use this fall! Since the weather has been cold and rainy (what?!) here in Midland, our options for entertaining Erica have been limited. Luckily, she is happy just to chill out and relax with us. We bundled up last night and headed to Odessa to watch Odessa Bronchos play the Permian Panthers. Unfortunately for us, we sat on the Bronchos side last night (just where we happened to park), and they lost 45 to 6. But, it was fun to show Erica high school football in west Texas.

Me and Erica :) 
We've been taking it easy. I made homemade biscuits this morning, but I used a different recipe than last time, and they didn't turn out very fluffy. At least I got to use my Kitchenaid mixer, so mostly, all was right with the world. As for the rest of the weekend? We're not doing anything until we make dinner. We're all exhausted and needing a break from work!

Hope your weekend is relaxing too!
<3 S, B, E, L&Z

PS-Still 6 days to enter our Giveaway 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

5 Things It's A-Okay to Spend Your Money On

Ah budgeting! It's definitely something we talk a lot about here at Lola & Zoe. But while saving is important, we all are making money to spend it somehow. 

Here are five things it's okay to splurge on, so go ahead, you have permission. 

1.) Healthy Food 

Everyone knows you feel about 1,000 times better when you're eating right, so go ahead, splurge on fresh salad, healthy produce, nuts, vitamins, and healthy snacks to go. Your body will thank you, and not only will you feel better, but you'll be able to perform better at your job. You can especially justify this splurge if you're willing to cut back on eating out, which is something Brendan and I definitely aim to do. 

2.) Exercise 

I spend $10 per class on yoga sessions I love. While it may seem extravagant to spend such money on exercise classes, I never regret going to one. Yoga helps me stay fit, strong, and flexible, but also helps me relax and unwind at the end of a long day. Plus, I practice with friends, so it's an added bonus. To keep other fitness costs minimum, I do normal working out at work, where my gym membership is free. So, if your employer offers such freebies, take advantage, then, pay for the added classes you want. 

3.) A Cleaning Service 

If you're in a dual income family, I think cleaning services are a smart investment. With both Brendan and I working full time, the time we have together is precious. We don't really want to spend it scrubbing the shower, though we did that for most of last year (our first cleaning service only worked out for a few weeks). When we both started up work again this fall, we hired a new cleaning service to come twice a month, and the investment has made us (mostly me?) a lot saner. No longer do I carve out 4 hours of the weekend for cleaning, and lets face it, I haven't had 4 hours of the weekend to give since we started back at work, with our crazy fall

4.) A Nice Work Wardrobe 

Last weekend, I went on a shopping spree for nice work clothes. The trip paid off, and I came home with 2 pairs of shoes, 7 blouses, 2 cardigans, a sweater, and a pencil skirt for under $500.00. By shopping sales and opening store credit cards to save extra (worth it if you know you can pay it off immediately and avoid interest charges), I got a lot for the money. Having some nice, new things to wear to work makes me feel more confident, and more energized to get up, get dressed, and get out the door. Too often, we only spend money on "fun" clothes, neglecting the part of our wardrobe we wear Monday-Friday. What followed my shopping spree was closet organization 101, so I can easily see and access what I have to wear. I know these purchases will last me a long time, so I was happy to make them.

5.) Travel 

You're only young once! And while you're free of obligations and healthy, make sure to get out and enjoy this big world we're a part of. Be there for your friend's weddings, spend holidays with family, go visit friends in faraway lands. You might have to make tough choices sometimes about which trips you can and cannot afford to make, and for sure you have to be realistic (My rule: If I can't pay it off immediately on my credit card and avoid interest, it's not something I can afford), but travel when you can without feeling guilty about it. Book as far in advance as possible to score the best flight deals. 

Hope this list helps you prioritize your future purchases! 

Want something free? Leave me a comment and enter my GIVEAWAY to win a free copy of Tina Fey's hilarious book Bossypants

Happy spending!
<3 S, B, L&Z 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Book I "Read" in August + Giveaway (EDIT: NOW CLOSED)

Full disclosure: I didn't read Bossypants by Tina Fey, I listened to it on audiobook.

And: It. Was. Awesome.

So why do I have a copy of this book? I found it on my Dallas to Austin flight last night. The previous passenger had left it, and knowing how awesome it was, I took it.

Bossypants is absolutely hilarious, and listening to it on my commute made me not so sad about returning to work after 2.5 months off.

In the book, Tina Fey discusses everything: her adolescence, her first job, the starts of her career in comedy and improv, Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, marriage, and motherhood. I laughed out loud at so many points. I love Tina's take on feminism, women & work, raising a baby, and creating the career that you want for yourself. She really inspired me and made me feel throughly entertained in the process. Plus, there are pictures in this book. What more could you ask for?


So, do you want to read Bossypants? In honor of a full year of "Book I read in ________" (and, lets face it, the fact that I nabbed a copy of this book for free), I'm giving away this copy of Bossypants that I found on the plane to one lucky reader. This book is in great condition, but not new :) I will ship this book anywhere in the USA.

To win, simply leave me a comment on this blog entry. Tell me anything. You can be related to me, my best friend, or a total stranger. I'll use a random number generator to determine the winning entry. 

Winner will be selected/announced Friday, September 21st.

Good Luck!
<3 S, B, L&Z

PS, want a year's worth of books I read? Check it out:

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


I'm starting to recover from our big trip this weekend. Before I forget, here's a picture of my beautiful friend, Julie, marrying Dave:

The wedding was so sweet and fun, and I'm really glad we were able to celebrate! 

I fell asleep on the couch at 7pm last night, Brendan woke me up at 9:30, and I moved to bed and fell back asleep at 10pm. Maybe it's the fact that I'll be on another plane on Thursday, but I still feel like I'm on summer break, only I'm working too. It's probably because the new job isn't old enough to be a routine yet (This is only my 4th week there). The commute isn't bad, though I do see accidents sometimes on the highway that make me nervous. I have a co-worker that has been commuting for five years, and she says that it gets less anxiety provoking. I try to enjoy my drive by listening to audiobooks and music, and I stay alert. Brendan makes me coffee every morning before I leave.

Both of us are settling into work and the semester. Everything is good; we're adjusting to being "back in the groove." I'm not sure I'll feel "settled" this entire semester (See Our Crazy Fall), but I am trying. I'm back in yoga classes and trying to get myself on a normal schedule of sorts. Up next: making time to eat breakfast. I'd also like to finish my book I started in July! Geez.

Our own wedding is now 10 months away (tomorrow), which is honestly hard to believe. In addition to the tasks I mentioned here and here, we've picked and purchased the groomsmen outfits, ordered prints of engagement pictures and framed some for our house/offices, created (Brendan) and mailed (me) the save the dates, finalized the website, and booked the hotel for part of our honeymoon (Thanks Mom!). There have also been some odds and ends tasks accomplished. Brendan's mom is an antique finding wiz, and she has helped with with special touches (won't give away specifics...) All in all, things are coming right along. Everyone said it would go by fast, and I guess it is, since I feel like it was just yesterday that I wrote this post. I try not to stress over the process and just enjoy it (and Brendan reminds me to do that too).

In other news, I'll be doing Fantasy Football again. Do I have time for this at all? No. I will probably make very fast decisions based on the way people's names sound. I hope to beat my personal record of second place.

Here's to recovery!
<3 S, B, L&Z

Monday, September 3, 2012

Our Crazy Fall

Well blog readers, I know I've been slack since I left for our Northeast trip in mid-July, but our lives over here are crazy.

We have 8 weekends completely booked this Fall, meaning one or both of us is out of town. After traveling 12 hours today, I realized I will be back on a plane on Thursday, in just a few days.

I don't regret that life is like this this Fall, because I have no idea what I would say no to. I enjoy going to friends weddings, having friends in town, traveling for work, traveling to see family, and traveling just the two of us. I wouldn't change anything, so we'll just have to roll with it. Once, Brendan said of our crazy lives that we'd just have to accept it, because obviously, things were never settling down anytime soon. I guess that's true, because those words were spoken over a year ago, and I feel like we're constantly on the go.

That said, between the insanity that is Fall, and my new job, where I am responsible for 175 students and grading their papers, you may hear a little less from me than usual. I'll try to stay up to date with recipes, book reviews, and musings from a life being "well lived," but if exhaustion gets the best of me, forgive me.

Today, we just returned home from a beautiful wedding near Philadelphia. One of my college friends, Julie, was married, and I was able to see and introduce Brendan to many college friends. We had an awesome time, came home, and...had a power outage. Now that power has been restored, we plan to rest. I need to be up at 6am tomorrow for work, so rest is in order!

I do feel a little boggled from my routine being basically perpetually "off track," but I recommend traveling with a pillow and oversized sweatshirt to be used as a blanket. Other than that, drink plenty of water and try to pass out asleep on every plane. I have no idea how many planes I've been on this year (10 or more round trips...another 5 to go in 2012??), at least I love to travel.

Here's to the start of September! Book I listened to (as in audiobook) in August coming soon!

Happy start of Fall,
<3 S, B, and glad we're home L&Z

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