Let’s chat, over a cup of tea.

Things have been changing in casa de Stecker and we’ve been busy bees the past couple months.

So, I thought, instead of keeping all this business to myself,  I’d rather make myself a cup of tea (you should make yourself one too), curl up on the couch with a blanket (because it actually snowed – A LOT – here this week) and have a little girl to girl chat.

On The House:

We worked our tails off this past year to get our house just where we want it (beautiful backyard, new granite counters, painted cabinets, fresh paint (almost everywhere), newly tiled bathrooms, new vanities, new hardwood floors/stairs….. the list could go on). And then, about a two months ago, we decided to sell. The housing market in south Denver is really hot right now (I’m talking really hot) and we would be able to get much more than we bought it for. I’ve never loved our house and even though we’d put hours upon hours (and lots of $$$) into this little abode, it felt right to try to find a place that truly felt like home.

We listed it on a Friday, had 40 showings in 36 hours, received 8 offers and after 7 hours sitting at a table evaluating all the options, we went with one that was significantly over the asking price with no closing costs, no contingencies and they even agreed to pay the difference if the appraisal came in under the purchase price. Talk about a dream scenario, right?

It all closed 3 weeks ago and we still don’t have a new place to land, which means we’re living with parents. The benefits are pretty great — dinner at night, no yard work and always having someone to watch movies with. Turns out that it is weird to not have all your stuff and to feel a bit like you’re on vacation – or a guest – all the time.

We’re extremely thankful that we have family to stay with and are doing just about everything, including crossing fingers, praying, and non-stop refreshing the search screen in hopes that we’ll find our new home soon.

Boston:

The last week of April/First Week of May we went to Boston and Newport, Rhode Island for a wedding. I’d never been before and the overall verdict (and probably predictable answer from me) is that they have delicious food. I mean, really, what were you expecting me to say? Lobster rolls, clam chowder, entire Italian neighborhoods, restaurants dedicated to chocolate alone — must a say more? I’m gaining weight just thinking about it.

If the food was the highlight (which it was) then I’d have to say that the weather was the overall bummer. I was wearing 4 layers and was still fighting to stay warm — hello humid, windy, frigid weather. I’d say that Boston was about a month behind Denver as far as their “spring” was concerned and I’m now in desperate need of a HOT, beach vacation.

In Boston we toured Fenway, walked the freedom trail (and stopped for a tour of the bell tower and, get this, the crypt of the Old North Church), completed the fastest ever run through tour of Harvard, meandered through Beacon Hill and spent the rest of the time just taking it all in. And, eating. Ahem.

In Rhode Island we toured 5 of the BIG, BIG, BIG summer cottages (re: built by the Vanderbilts and other high society folks before there was income or property tax) — one of them was 138,000 square feet. Think about that for a minute. I’ll wait.

We, also, did a tour of “servant life” which made my Downton Abbey loving soul so happy. Our tour guide was up on the Downton Abbey lingo & characters which made the tour even more fun — highly recommended.

At the end of the trip we attended the wedding we went out there for, it was beautiful (albeit cold) and we were so glad we got to be there!

Queen Bed: 

As I mentioned above, we’re living with parents (currently Christian’s parents). In our home, we have a King Bed. We’re both 6′ and over, which means we (and by we I mean “I”) prefer to have more room to thrash around in attempts at falling asleep.

When we moved in with the parentals, we shifted to a Queen size. It’s been an adjustment and I’m proud to announce that I’ve only hit Christian in the face one. He may or may not complain that I leave him only six inches of room, but I say that without proof he doesn’t have a case.

Summer:

I hesitate to even talk about this. Because, you see, I’ve been trying to slow down time… and the very mention of the word summer might speed things up to a pace that it will pass and I won’t even have had time to enjoy it. KnowwhatImean?

Warm spring days/Summer/Warm fall days are my favorite and I’m doing my very best to savor each and every second… I might even have to make a summer bucket list to make sure that I cross of all the “must-do” items for the next three months? Anything in particular I should add to the hypothetical list?

Sigh, tell me that I’m not the only one willing pool days, sun tea and flip-flops to linger as long as possible this year.

What’s going on with you these days? What would you tell me over a cup of tea?

Confessions Round 4.

Confessions.

1.) I frequently burst out into song. And, the timing doesn’t always make sense. I could be singing the dogs a little diddy that I’ve just made up or dropping the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner while sautéing some veggies for fajitas. It probably gets old, but Christian (and the puppies) are pretty good sports about not telling me how ridiculous I am.

2.) I sleep with an eye mask. If I don’t have one… I don’t sleep. Case in point, last Tuesday I’d somehow managed to wrangle the thing off my head (and even over my messy bun) and found myself totally awake a 4:00am blindly trying to find it in the mess of blankets around me.

3.) I burn myself ALL THE TIME. You might think this means that I burn myself a lot when cooking, which it does. (For instance just last week I pulled a frittata out of the oven only to turn around and grab the handle of the pan (re: 375 degrees) and scream profanity/cry incessantly for the next hour as my hand blistered). This, also, means that I burn myself on the blow dryer, curling iron, clothes iron and on the scalding water that comes out of our faucet.

4.) I’ll only eat flavored mayo. Plain mayo is nasty – let’s just get that out there – it’s not good unless it’s mixed into tuna or egg salad. Period. However, if you stir in a little garlic or chipotle or marinara sauce you will find me crazy eyed and licking the bowl.

5.) I’m crazy nostalgic. I have nightgowns from when I was little, old folded up notes from my friends, ticket stubs, my favorite jeans from high school, weird tchotchkes from my grandma, books from my older sister, CD mixes I made years ago etc.  I, also, have a hard time throwing away birthday cards even if there’s no personal message because I may want them some day.

Have any confessions you feel like unloading? If so, please share! The more that I do these, the more I realize that I’ve got a lot of weird tendencies quirks.

Want to see my past confessions? You can check them all out over here.

Sleepytime Memories.

One of the ways I respond to high levels of stress (i.e. my wedding last fall) is not to sleep. Laying in bed counting down all the things that need to get done and try to will myself into a peaceful slumber is not one of the things in life that I really enjoy. These days I’m not planning a wedding, I’m not working (though some could say looking for a job is a full-time job in and of itself), I’m not stressed… but each night I lay my head down and I’m nailed with sleeplessness once again. Each night I come to bed with a new plan to get myself easily off into dream world only to be thwarted with memories from events, places and people I haven’t thought of in ages… wisps of summer vacations to my aunt and uncle’s house in Le Grand, IA, flashes back to dorm room conversations, replays of painful relationship moments – all just as vivid as if they had happened just last week. Details I’d forgotten like the exact layout of their living room, chatting through our dorm windows and final conversations all find themselves fully alive as I twist and turn in the sheets.

As bed time finally settles in, part of me is so frustrated listening to Christian quickly fall into snoozeville, while I lay there wondering what blast from the past will keep me from sleeping tonight? In part, it’s sort of wonderful to relive the happy memories in more detail than ever before, but it’s hard walking through painful moments… things that I wouldn’t choose to relive. Ever.

Starting tonight I’m going to try something new, pop a ibuprofen PM right before I hit the sheets and get up with Christian at the joyous hour of 5:15 in the morning. That way we’ll be on the same sleep schedule, maybe. And, with some luck it will work and I’ll be back to sleeping easy! Any tips on what you use to beat those sleepless nights?

Where I should be.

Not five minutes ago, I was in bed slowly drifting off to sleep. Thinking about how maybe I shouldn’t have eaten so many mashed potatoes for dinner, but also knowing it was totally worth it. Then it hits me. It’s 11:10 pm and I haven’t written a blog post. Nope, no post. I drag myself out of bed and pull the laptop out. I’m now standing in the middle of the living room typing with my lap top propped up on an ironing board, running on 9 minutes left of batter. I’m too lazy to find the cord. Glamorous, no?

What I planned on writing about today was the Nuggets vs. Lakers game and how they won 118-112 and ruined the Lakers 7-0 winning streak… but alas I have no motivation since the game didn’t get over until after 11, I didn’t actually get to bed until almost one, and it is now 11:15 the following night. I’m tired. So, if by chance there are any good pictures from the game or details my foggy brain has forgotten I’ll post them tomorrow. For now, au revoir!

And, no, I did not proof this.

A bit bleery eyed.

Please note: Last October (or was it November) when Day Light Savings occurred I decided that turning my clock back with the rest of the world was a waste of my precious time. Who needs that sort of ridiculousness. I’m intelligent enough to understand that I have to subtract an hour each time. Fast forward to today, we are now approximately 1.5 days from pushing our clocks forward (or for me, continuing to leave it alone, only now it will be correct) without a mishap…

I have this thing — paranoia —  about getting up really early. If I have to get up before my regularly scheduled time I don’t sleep well, waking every hour or so to make sure I haven’t overslept. Which, of course, is what happened last night. I woke up every so often to see that I had plenty of time to sleep. What a glorious feeling — in the middle of the night, waking up to know you have 6 more hours — heavenly.

Here is the story (the long version) of my morning:

Anyhoo, I wake with a jolt at one point and look at my clock which glares back with a 5:00 am image. I register the fact that it is now time to pull my grumbling self out of bed and get ready for the day. So… I get up, brush my teeth, shower, get dressed, dry my hair, put on my makeup and walk down stairs. I let Charlie out and poor myself some OJ because at 5:30 in the morning, who doesn’t deserve a little Vitamin C? Charlie is stoked and I jam some orange medicine down his throat followed by a “face bath” because not even 1/2 of it actually made it down while the rest proceeded to mangle his whiskers and turn them a bright shade of pumpkin. Once the “face bath” was complete and he was thoroughly pissed at me I decided it was time to hit the road for my hour-long commute to work.

I’m not usually up this early, so I decided that it is awfully dark outside at 5:30 in the morning. And, being the lucky girl that I am, I live right outside of downtown Denver where lots of homeless folk frequent the alleys behind my house. And, my garage (which is not attached to my house)  backs out into the ally. Alleys at 5:30 in the morning symbolize only one thing to me. Murder.

So I’m standing in my laundry room, futily trying to muster up the courage to walk through the BLAZING DARKNESS to my garage. I open the door (leaving all lights on in the house), turn to lock it (hair raised because at any moment a stranger is going to leap out of the darkness and beat me with a pipe), and run like hell to the garage door. I peek in the garage (which mind you is NOT locked) and turn on the light. I then run, again, like an idiot, jump in my car and lock the doors.

Starting to feel a little safer I hit the garage door button and get the engine going. Normally when I leave, I open the door before getting in the car (you know, normal sequence of events)… but since I waited (due purely to safety reasons) to open it until I was in the car, I backed out a *little* too soon and managed to scrape the entire top of my car on the garage door. Go me — who values their possessions? That is so 1996. I reverse and get on the road to work. I’m driving along, jamming out and thinking how no matter how much getting up sucks that “TODAY IS GOING TO BE A GOOD DAY!!!” I then look down at the clock in my car. It miraculously reads 4:45 am. 4:45 are you freaking kidding me?? How the hell is it only 4:45 and why am I up, showered and driving at this God forsaken hour? Being that it is so early it takes a few seconds for the “Aha” moment to really kick in. That clock at the end of my bed… It’s an hour fast — right. Damn it.

I then proceeded to have an internal debate about actually just going to work and going home. In the end going home won. I turn the car around and park in front of my house (much safer than the ally behind my house where the murders and men with pipes hang out). I get out and RUN with abandon to the front door. *If anyone was watching they would have questioned my sanity, and with good reason.* Our front door is tricky. Well more than tricky, it’s a rude little bastard when it comes right down to it. It never unlocks. I’ve got the key in there, jiggling it around, shoving, twisting the knob, and nothing is happening. I’m beginning to panic when it finally opens. I walk inside to find Charlie more than ecstatic to see me.

Clearly the only course of action was to go lay down for another 30 minutes or so before it was time to leave. So I do. I then get BACK up (btw, it was quite a bit brighter outside and quite a bit harder to pull my bedraggled self from the sheets) and head to work. As a reward for my suffering I permitted myself a stop at Starbucks, never mind the insane line, I deserved it.

A few hours later I run the bathroom in the office  and catch a quick glimpse of myself in the mirror. I look 1.) Like I slept in my clothes 2. Completely disheveled (hair all kinky, makeup 1/2 on etc.) and 3.) Exhausted.

So hot damn, what a start to a Friday.