Friday, October 29, 2010

Good-bye, Number 74!

Guess who saw The Weepies in concert last night? ME! Guess who met The Weepies last night? ME!! It was the most fantastic concert I've been to... I've enjoyed this music for 5 years now, and this is the first full tour they've done, so it was the first opportunity I had to see them. Matt the Electrician opened for them, and by gosh! He is completely fantastic as well. I love discovering new bands and sounds. Anyhow. Just a short post on this HUGE win!

Have a wonderful weekend!


Monday, September 6, 2010

The 101 list: I continue to try!

Hello again!

Alrighty, let's dive in!

#18 Donating rice. I'm up to 163,390 grains! Wooo! Still a ways to go to get to 1,500,000. But I'll get there.

#30 Joining the church worship team. I DID! For a few glorious weeks, I was on the worship team. And then, insomnia hit and I had to cut out so many things because I was running on survival energy. I haven't re-joined yet. I don't know if I will. The insomnia kicked in after my first Sunday singing, and I carry just enough fear with me that getting back to my old life will mean having the insomnia kick back in. So, we'll put a pin in this one.

#31 Lifelong Learning classes. One down, one to go! I just completed Business Law for the Small Business Owner... maybe the next class I take will be more fun. :)

#32 COMPLETED! I did it! 3 quarters down! I completed my first full year of college! WOOOOOOO!

#52 Write a poem. I'm in a class called Making Poems this quarter, so I should have one soon. Whether or not I share it with the world is yet to be decided.

#55 Journaling. I have been really trying to write out my feelings and thoughts and not keep things bottled up. It's been at least once a week and it's helping.

#65 My 26th birthday was one week before my brother's wedding in Chicago. So, any plans to go to Great America got back-burnered while money and travel got directed to the wedding. WORTH IT! Here's a couple of pics from that weekend:

Aren't they adorable?! Forgive my brother's expression, he tends to look like a sad camel when taking pictures. But there is no denying the happiness!

#74 See The Weepies in concert. Possibly the most exciting thing to happen this year!!!! I've loved the Weepies for at least 5 years now, and up until this year, they have never toured. They would play a couple of shows in California but nowhere accessible to me. UNTIL NOW! They will be at the High Noon Saloon in Madison next month, and I will be there. Hopefully, in the front row. And hopefully, I will meet them. And fawn over them. And get their autographs. Fingers crossed!!

#77 Ah, music. I love you so. So, The Runaways have been a big listen for me lately. It's so good and raw and powerful. I especially like Queens of Noise and Born to be Bad. What else? Tuesday's Gone. SKYNYRD! And the Weepies new album, Be My Thrill, especially the title track. Never limit yourself to one kind of music! There's so much good out there!

#83 Haha, movies. According to my last update, I only have 16 left to watch... well, we got some new movies, so now I have 20 more to see. And I've watched 8 others in the last few days. So, I'm working on it!

#87 The dollhouse. All that's left is getting furniture and decor. It's all wallpapered and the stairs are in! It's so pretty.

I've got a couple of pieces of furniture. I black hutch in the kitchen (like the one in my dining room), and a gumball machine, and a turquoise chair (like the one in my craft room). I've got lots of ideas. Less money. :)

#88 Still brushing the cat every week... she's a bit crazy about it and likes to rub her gums on the comb. Little weirdo.

#94 Tried wearing false eyelashes... slight allergy to the glue. Oh, well.

#100 The Kolos. My dad's side of the family. We don't get to see them often, we live on opposite sides of the state. But I got to sit and talk to my Uncle Dale and Aunt Gail at my brother's wedding. And it was delightful! It's so nice to catch up and hear about everyone and just to talk to them. It was a great time!

And that's about it for now... I may not be writing often or well, but I haven't given up on my list! And I won't! What I don't finish gets moved to the next list. Wink. :)



A long pause... then an update!

Hello Everyone!

2010 has been a long year so far... and a somewhat difficult one. Lots of wonderful things have happened with a few not so wonderful things... not a bad balance!
Shortly after my last post, I began to suffer from insomnia. What a horrible, horrible thing. For three months straight, I averaged 3 hours of sleep a night, sometimes less. And the sleep I got was more of a waking sleep, definitely not sound. I watched a LOT of television during this time. I was incredibly grateful that the Olympics were on... I think I saw more than most of the newscasters. I watched during the regular scheduled time, and then starting around 2-3:00 am, I saw it again! Thank the Lord! I love the Olympics. Always have, always will.
Another coping technique I dove into during that time was the act of painting my nails. Not sleeping takes a toll in many areas of life. One day at work, my boss actually thought I was drunk. Why? Shaky hands, vacant eyes, stumbling around. Painting my nails steadied my hands. I threw myself into learning about nail polish and finding new colors and blogs and friends. The nail polish blogosphere is incredibly kind and supportive. It allowed me to focus for a little bit and forget about not sleeping. I changed my polish every day, and even now, nine months later, I am still engrossed in the world of nail polish!
So, now I'm on an anti-anxiety medicine (not sleeping for me=panic attacks) and doing much better. I still get worried sometimes that it'll come back and I'll be in that not really living place again, but for now, things are good. I've also finished my first year at DePaul University. It has been much more difficult than I ever thought it would be, but that's great, because school has never been challenging for me.

This is me, at my sister's graduation a few months ago... my mom and sister both wanted me to pose because "it's my school too!" This is me laughing, because I can't ever keep a straight face around my mom and sister.
Let's see... other things that have happened this year? Gramma in and out of the hospital, almost died... my dad in and out of the hospital, my husband's dad needing surgery after a fall. I spent about a month in Door County (without my husband, sad face) helping my in-laws at their hotel after my father-in-law's fall. I left my library job to have time this summer to concentrate on school and my jewelry business. And my oldest brother got married last month to a wonderful woman! In about a week, my sister will be headed to London to live. Everything always happens so quickly! This year has been crazy. Plenty of good to outweigh the bad. Any troubles I've had have drawn me closer to some amazing new friends. Life is good.
Anyhow, that's a life update... brace yourselves for the list update!


Friday, January 22, 2010

The Dollhouse Diaries

Hello Everyone!

Yes, I realize that some people might think it lame to be home on a Friday night, blogging about the progress of a dollhouse, but who cares? I'm a busy person, I like to do next to nothing on the weekends. Besides crafting.

So, dollhouse! Number 87 on the big list. I got this as a gift when I was 3 years old. My dad and oldest brother made it for me as a Christmas present. Normally, we didn't get such big presents, but that was the year my little sister came into the picture. I like to think the parents were making amends. COMPLETELY JOKING! Mostly. I love my little sissy.

Among other things, we had to pull all of the remaining old shingles off, pull out 2 window frames and the door frame, and sand, saw, and shave off the edges in some places. This house is over 22 years old, and it was in pretty terrific shape overall. The was no structural damage, and after some basic clean-up, we got right to work.

Sadly, due to an unfortunately timed hard drive crash, I don't have any pictures of the stripped down house. Even more sad, I've misplaced the pictures and negatives (remember negatives?) of the damaged version of the house. Honestly, that's completely unlike me. I'm organized to the point of ridiculousness. To quote 500 Days of Summer, "They use to call me Anal Girl... I was very neat and organized." Anyhow, I have one of those printed sheets of all the pics on the roll, which as I learned tonight, you can't do anything with in terms of reprinting. But my darling husby scanned it in and if you look carefully, you can see the initial troubles.

To date, we've replaced 2 windows and the front door, replaced the shingles and sealed them, and repainted the entire thing. We've also filled in some spots on the inside that had divots with wood putty and bought one piece of furniture!

It's been more difficult than I thought it would be. I couldn't match the paint exactly, but after mixing 4 colors, I hit on a shade that was just a touch darker than the original color. And it's fantastic. I love the blue-gray with the white accents. I decided just to seal the shingles instead of staining them because the lightness reminds me of a beach house. I think it's just beautiful so far!

Aside from the coolness of fixing something from my childhood that I can hopefully pass on someday, it's been a great experience to work on it with my husband. He's such a good and patient guy. Never minds that most of the house is covered with works-in-progress. Here he is while we were installing the windows.

We have a long way to go yet. Next up is wiring the inside. It wasn't wired when I was a kid (safety and all that, I suppose), but there are notches in the walls for the wires to go. After wiring, it's time for flooring and wallpaper! So, I should probably think about that. I've decided to go with pink fixtures in the bathroom... just go with me on it. Also, the kitchen is going to be very old fashioned. A teaser:

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Just as Promised... More details!

I'm back, 30 seconds after my last post!

January 2nd started the 2nd year of my 101 list. Looking over the last year (which for some reason, I've had a bugger of a time remembering), I feel pretty good. I've finished 24 of the 101 goals, and have made progress on another 32. For those of you counting, that's more than half the list! I have a ways to go yet, but the beauty of the list is that it isn't about knocking off as many items as you can. It's about the journey, and adapting, and discovering things about yourself.

Technically, because I haven't started some of these things, I won't be able to finish them. Yeah, that bums me out a bit, but I'm doing so many new things that I'm not obsessed with what I'm not going to finish. And not just things on the list! Things that I'm no longer afraid to try. As it turns out, most of me doesn't give a crap about what other people think. Also fun: because of the different things I spend my time on, I'm getting quite an eclectic reputation. WOOO! Thought I'd have to go many more years before that happened.

Anyhow. Here's a few of the things I'm really going to be working on this year:

Numbers 1, 2, 5, 7, and 14. Health! Fitness! 2010 is going to be a year to find my shape again, and then try to get back into it. I'm so tired of not having energy, of feeling so BIG, of being uncomfortable in my own skin. That pretty much says it all.

#18- Donating rice! I'm just over 1/10 of the way to my goal... need to STEP.IT.UP.

We have found a wonderful church home at Hope Community Church. Since the first time we stepped into the building, we've been welcomed with open arms. Everyone is kind, and we've met a lot of people our age. It's really cool. And that leads us to number 30, attempting to join the worship team. Hold on to your underwear- I sing in church on the team for the first time on January 31st. AHHHHHH! Am I nervous? Yep. Very? Yep.

Feeling really good about how school is going so far. I'm in my second quarter at DePaul, and I'm going to school full time for the first time ever! I expect it to be difficult, but I'm looking ahead to the eventual rewards.

Anything financial- paying down debt and working on saving!!!!

Travel: I would love nothing more than to accomplish numbers 59 & 60. I hope to, by the end of this year, visit my brother in D.C. and take a day trip to New York City while there.

I'm less than 60 books away from finishing number 78. When I've read all 286, I'll be doing a post on just what I've read, and what is good, and what you should skip. Teaser: Don't bother reading the new Cloris Leachman autobiography. She's funny in movies and such, but a total drag to read. Plus, I don't want to know who she's slept with. Sadly, I do know now.

#83 Finish watching the movies we have that I haven't seen yet!!! 16 to go.

One my husband and I have been working a lot on is number 87: refurbishing my dollhouse. We've re-shingled (except that we ran out of them when we only needed about 15 more... working on that), and put in two new windows and a new door! I also have my first piece of furniture; a little turquoise chair that I painted, which will eventually go in the craft room of the dollhouse.

Finally, I'm going to be attempting to limit my computer time and make more of an effort to reach out to my cousins.

So there you go! A look ahead at what I'll be trying in the new year. I encourage all of you to embrace whatever goals you have and be a little fearless this year as well. God bless!


New Year, New Post!

I'm gonna do 2 different posts, one just a quick recap of the list, and then another, more detailed post, about how I feel I'm doing so far, and what my goals for this year are. Here we go!

The Key:
Not Started
In Progress

Alrighty! Here's my list.

Overall Health (Mental & Physical):
1. Lose 5lbs. (0/5) New Year, let's try this again!
2. Keep weight off for at least 12 months. (0/12)
3. Stand on the dock at Grandma Findlay's house at sunset and yell for any or no reason.
4. Try acupuncture.
5. Work out at least 3 times a week. (2/429)
6. List 25 things I like about myself. (5/25) My hair; the beauty mark on my right collarbone; 90% of the time, my glass is more than 1/2 full; I never ever stop hoping; that Mamma Mia! makes me so happy I want to cry.
7. Do yoga at least once a week. (6/143)
8. Try the couch to 5k program- start in the spring.
9. Get new glasses.
10. Take a dance class.
11. Ask for help if I need it.
12. Cut out red meat for two weeks. (doesn't have to be consecutive) (0/2)
13. Cut out bread for three weeks. (again, doesn't have to be consecutive) (0/3)
14. Eat only when I'm hungry.
15. Find better birth control.
16. Take a self-defense class.
17. Make a list of 100 things that make me happy. Optional, doodle them onto the craft room walls. (0/100)

18. Donate 1,500,000 grains of rice. (159,680/1,500,000)
19. Help someone cross an item off of their 101 list. (within reason)
20. Donate blood at least three times. (3/3)
21. Be a Salvation Army bell ringer one season.
22. Tip the cost of the meal once.
23. Tip 50% of the meal twice. (0/2)
24. Donate at least one scarf a year to Knit Your Bit. (1/3)
25. Donate two Christmas Shoeboxes a year. (0/4)

26. Complete two Bible/Spiritual book studies with a friend. (5+/2)
27. Read The Love Dare by Stephen Kendrick with Matt.
29. Make finding a church home a priority.
30. If we find a church, try joining the worship team.

31. Take two lifelong learning classes at WTC. (0/2)
32. Enroll in college and complete three semesters/quarters. (1/3)
33. Learn to drive a stick shift well... no more bumpy first gear!
34. Learn to shoot a handgun.
35. Learn archery... learn to arch?
36. Become CPR certified.
37. Learn to french braid.
38. Learn to make origami cranes.
39. Learn to knit.
40. Make a better effort to learn Russian.
41. Learn to juggle.

For the Environment:
42. Use only cloth napkins.
43. Buy ten reusable shopping bags. (10/10)
44. Stop buying bagged salads, learn to make my own.
45. Find something better than plastic bottles to keep me hydrated.

46. Use all tax returns to pay off credit card debt. (1/3)
47. Save $10 from each of my paychecks, and $20 from each of Matt's. (min. $50/month) Every $100 goes to credit card debt.
48. Make a budget with Matt, and stick to it! (2/30+)
49. Pay back J & K. ($500/$500)
50. Have 501 No Spending Days! (150/501)

51. Write a letter to my future firstborn. Started 2/1/09
52. Write a poem.
53. Send a secret to Postsecret.
54. Send five letters/postcards/care packages for no reason each year. (5/15)
55. Journal at least once a week. (53/143)
56. Send Ella and Eli a letter once a month. (3/30+)
57. Write better descriptions for all my Etsy listings.
58. Keep a dream journal.

59. Visit Jeremy in D.C.
60. Take a picture of myself on the Brooklyn Bridge, holding a copy of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.
61. Take a road trip with no destination.
62. Ride a train somewhere.
63. Go on a hot air balloon ride.
64. Visit Betty Smith's grave with mom.
65. Go to Six Flags with a group of friends for my 26th birthday.
66. Visit five new states. (0/5)
67. Mule the Grand Canyon.
68. Chase a storm.
69. Visit Anna in London, and go to at least two other countries while there. Part done, part still working on it!

Music, Movies, & Books:
70. Clean up my Ipod- remove every song I don't like!
71. Get rid of all VHSs, replace with DVDs.
72. Get new trivia books for both bathrooms. (0/2)
73. Watch every episode of Freaks & Geeks. (18/18)
74. See The Weepies in concert.
75. Find a hardcover copy of Joy in the Morning in an antique store.
76. Convince someone of the awesomeness that is Abba.
77. Find five new songs/musicians/groups each year that affect me (i.e. make me so happy or so sad or so etc... perhaps something I can listen to over and over again.) (7/15) The Call, Regina Spektor; Baba O'Riley, The Who; Dust in the Wind, Kansas, Defying Gravity, Kerry Ellis; Petra Haden; Whatever It Takes, The Faders; Many the Miles, Sara Bareilles .
78. Read at least two new-to-me books a week from the library. (229/286)
79. Read Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead.
80. See the musical Wicked.
81. Read the Twilight series.
82. Make and keep a movie for insurance purposes. Started 1/23/09 Last Updated 12/09
83. Watch all the movies we have that I haven't seen yet. Only 16 left!

84. Complete (with no outside help) fifteen crossword puzzles. Can be any level, but one must be hard. (4/15) 3 Easy, 1 Medium
85. Complete (finally!!!) my hot air balloon puzzle.
86. Organize childhood photographs with mom.
87. Finish refurbishing dollhouse- including furniture.
88. Brush Varmit once a week. (30/143)
89. Make someone's day.
90. Limit computer time to two hours a day, four out of seven days a week. (10/572)
91. Complete Keri Smith's 100 ideas. (0/100)
92. Buy big happy rain boots and go puddle jumping.
93. Dye my hair red.
94. Wear false eyelashes on a regular day... extra points if they're sparkly.
95. Scrapbook at least five hours a month. (0/175)
96. Try eggplant.
97. Buy a new nude bra.
98. Submit a photo to
99. High-five five strangers in non-athletic venues. (1/5) 1/28/09 High-fived a guy at the counter at the Barnes & Noble Cafe... he was quoting my favorite poem!
100. Reconnect with my Kolosovsky family. Working on it... Facebook helps!
101. Find the best tattoo artist in the state (or tri-state area) and have them do my little red dragon.