Saturday, August 09, 2014
The past month has been, hands down, THE most stressful of my entire life. We moved (which was wonderful, but it's also one of the most stressful things a person can go through) and RIGHT after that, this happened:
The whole one car situation has been a friggin nightmare that only ended yesterday when I FINALLY replaced my Rav4 (more on that in a bit). But, even in the stress of the crash (everyone was totally fine BTW), we were blessed. The accident was the other driver's fault. Their insurance claimed all liability. My car was totaled and, get this...the insurance company cut me a check for $2800 MORE than I originally paid for my car almost two years ago!!!!
So, my ridiculously intelligent man scoured the ads and was able to find us a 2004 Dodge Durango - fully loaded with Infinity Sound System, Sunroof, DVD Player, brand new tires, a tow package (we hope to buy a boat at some point) and the best part - it's 7-passenger! No more freaking annoying fights over who gets to/has to ride in which car with who. Thank the Lord in heaven!!!! It's a sanity saver!!!! And it's GORGEOUS!
And YET ANOTHER blessing...Mr. T FINALLY found a job in Bloomington! There's a brand new pre-Prohibition craft cocktail and small plate bar opening. It sounds really cool - they have a very small local fresh farm ingredients menu and it will be the first place in our city to have wine on tap! It is set in a little plaza with a fountain that is supposed to feel like an Italian piazza. It's VERY high end and they don't expect a student to set foot in that place. Looking at the prices on the wine list, I can see that! Lol.
He happened to hear about it, contact the manager, interview and get hired on the spot...all in one day! He is now the Head Bartender...with the very real possibility of transitioning to Bar Manager once they get fully moving. (They aren't open yet...a couple more weeks.)
Mr. T has done plenty of gigs on the side in years past (not really anything since we've been together). It's never been full-time or anything, though. He just really loves mixology and fresh craft cocktails. He makes his own liquors, creates his own drinks and seriously nerds out about the history of this stuff. The ironic part is...he hardly ever drinks!! And, if he does, it's never much. I've never once seen him drunk. Hmmmm.
So, why would a man leave a cushy, full-time job at a law firm for a bartenders gig? And why would his wife LET him? [It's a fair question...and one that was, indeed, answered (negatively, go figure) in his past awful marriage]. The answer is passion. For a man that works so fu&%ing hard to care for our family...who drives 1.5 hours each way EVERY SINGLE DAY to earn a living and, let's be honest, essentially care for TWO families...I saw the gleam in his eye and heard the excitement in his voice and I could not look this man that I love in the eyes and be so cruel as to say, "No way. You can't do it." I will not crush my man's dreams. It's not my style. Instead, I said, "This is PERFECT for you, baby!!!! Go for it!!!" Plus, it helps that I also hold a degree and work a full-time job like a grown-up. So if this falls flat, we will still be fine financially. Why WOULDN'T I let him follow his heart on this?
To be fair, it is great logistically. Great hours - basically 2nd shift & closed on Sunday (none of the closing at 4am crap that you get with on-campus bars - it has regular restaurant hours), full-time work (none of the cutting hours and waiting for weekly schedules like at other food service places) and opportunities for advancement. And...it's here! AT HOME!!! I am SO THRILLED to be able to see him in the morning and have him here!!! And, who knows how many lunch break quickies will occur? Lol. TMI?
He has been transitioning and working half days in Indy and half days in Bloomington. That goes on for one more week. Then he's all in! He had his first two days and I'm not kidding, he came home GIDDY...he LOVES his job, his co-workers, his bosses and the entire place. He fits right in and it's the perfect job! I have never seen a man SO happy!!!
Plus...I get to see him in a uniform of dark slim fit jeans, a light blue shirt rolled to the elbows, black suspenders and a bowtie. Rawr. Hot.
Blessings all around!!!!
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Lord knows they NEED to see what a strong, intelligent, independent hard-working woman looks like...and I'll make damn sure that whomever they marry is just as competent and whole a person as well!
Can't wait to see my bonus boys this weekend. We had such a great time last time they were here. We really got close...A looked at me in the car on the way home and said, "Leah...I love you." Looking forward to cuddles and fun times in our BRAND NEW condo!!! So excited to have a HUGE and beautiful new home for our family!!! We moved on Saturday. It's been a GRUELING weekend, but we got it all moved over and completely unpacked in two days. Whew!
Main Level looking out onto balcony
View from balcony
From basement (aka Mom & Dad's Room) looking onto patio
View from patio
Living Room/Dining - you won't believe this. We live a block away from the Habitat for Humanity Restore & we got this couch for $18 and computer desk for $8!!!! We also carried the couch from the store down the block to our condo. Lol. It was hard. We have some big time muscles.
Stairwell up to the Kids Wing
Boys Room (with crystal in the window, natch)
The most organized it's ever gonna be.
Hallway from Boys Room to Girls Room
From Girls Room to Boys Room
Mr. T and I also LOVE our sex dungeon (er, bedroom). Haha. It's the ENTIRE basement...so it is HUGE. We are still working on decorating, etc. Hence, no photos yet.
Our friend brought us lunch Sunday and brought her precious 5-week old baby. Be still, my heart!!!
By the way...that sexy man has lost so much weight! He is at the same weight now that he was when we first met and fell in love...in high school! When we were 16 yrs old. He has gone from a Size 38 in pants to a Size 32. And the other day, he wore his 11 yr old son's Size 28 jeans. !!!!! Crazy!!!! He looks absolutely amazing and I am so proud of him!
I just need to catch up with him now!!! Got about 3 weeks til my final fitting and the day I HAVE to order the wedding dress. Otherwise it won't arrive in time. I can't believe the wedding is only 158 days away. Put another way, just 22.5 weeks. Eeeep!
Saturday, July 05, 2014
Well, A achieved his goal and he and I swam an entire half mile alongside each other on Thursday. I was so proud of him! I could see that, after three days of swimming, his endurance was better and he was doing two full lengths and barely getting winded. He bragged to everyone that he swam a full mile this week!
You know what really ticked me off, though? At Day Camp, he asked his counselors if he could swim laps during pool time and they told him he couldn't because they don't want "immature swimmers" in the lanes. He told them he swam 1/4 mile two days I'm a row and wanted to reach his goal of swimming an entire half mile and do you know what those jerks told him??? "I don't think it's possible. You won't be able to do that." Omg!!! FU%&ERS!
Anyway, he DID it and it was POSSIBLE. SO THERE.
We had a lovely 4th of July. Took the kids to a great parade and then to Lake Lemon for swimming and a picnic dinner and fireworks.
Occupy Bloomington (with my friend, Mary, and her 7 kids)
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
Well, if you read yesterday's blog, you'll be wondering how A is doing with his "training". We went to the pool today and he and I swam laps together. He got his 15 lengths in (another 1/4 mile!) and I got my 30. We had so much fun together and he was even more proud of himself today than he was yesterday! He SHOULD be proud! It's a BIG deal! He is DETERMINED to swim a full 1/2 mile tomorrow. Ay, the energy of youth! My body is like SERIOUSLY SORE, you guys!
We've truly had a great week together! On Monday, I actually picked the boys up from Day Camp and surprised them by taking them out for frozen yogurt. We took a lot of funny pictures and I posted them on Facebook with the following captions....
Torturing the bonus boys and making them eat frozen yogurt and ride waterslides. #EvilStepmother #Mwahahaha
The torture continues... #EvilStepmother
That night, a very happy and tired A gave me the sweetest hug and said, "You are the BEST stepmom. You are NOT an evil stepmother."
He and I have really bonded a lot this week. It's been a perfect past few days!
Mr. T and I have stayed true to our vegetarian diet for the past couple weeks. Thought I'd share some more delicious pics. It has been anything but boring and we haven't really had any cravings for meat or anything. Granted, we have had a harder time letting go of dairy completely...in fact, still working on that. But we have SIGNIFICANTLY cut down on the dairy, so baby steps. Right? :) One more week and it will be a habit!
Tarragon roasted butternut squash and red onion, with sauteed kale and red wine reduction over whole wheat pasta (a Mr. T custom creation)
Chana Masala (aka Chickpea Curry) with homemade Naan
Curry Roasted Butternut Squash and Toasted Coconut with Spicy Peanut Sauce over Brown Basmati Rice (a Mr. T custom creation)
Fresh Spring Mix & Spinach Salad with Cucumber and homemade Red Wine Vinagrette with Roasted Butternut Squash & Garlic on top of Sauteed Kale and a sprinkle of Mozarella (a Leah day-before-payday-using-all-the-veggies-we
-have-left-in-the-fridge custom creation)
And my personal favorite this week...it was SOOOOOO good and even better leftover!
Polenta Black Bean Burgers on Toasted Ciabatta served with Guacamole and Grape Tomatoes and Roasted Butternut Squash, Zucchinni, Tomatoes & Onion
Every day, we think of more creative recipes and everything we have had has been filling and delicious. I never imagined this sort of diet would be this amazingly yummy and easy to follow. You just have to have plenty of variety and creativity!
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
Had to pick up kids from Y Day Camp today and decided to let them swim for a bit. My goggles were broken, so no freestyle for me.
However, instead of lounging in the hot tub, I swam 1/2 mile backstroke instead. Whoa! That was a whole different workout! Shoulders shoulders shoulders!!!
The best part, though, was when I told my stepson, A, that I swam 1/2 mile, he was so impressed and wondered if he could do it.
After a few lengths of the pool, he exclaimed, "This is ADDICTING!" So, for the next half hour, I watched this rather uncoordinated asthmatic kid determinedly struggle up and down the lane 15 times. HE SWAM A QUARTER MILE!!!!
AND, all on his own, he devised a "training plan" to swim 1/4 mile today, 1/4 mile tomorrow and a full 1/2 mile Thursday (for a total of 1 mile this week). It was so adorable. He asked, "Leah...can we swim laps together?" Awwww! The kid is only 9 yr old. I AM SO PROUD OF HIM!!!!
There's nothing I love more than seeing an active kid - especially when it's a kid who has not had the best examples in terms of adults who model healthy behavior. In fact, downright TERRIBLE examples of health...obesity in this house and awful sickness and morbid obesity in the other. UGH. But I love that we are now getting healthy as a family. And I know we have a LONG way to go, but at least we are headed in the right direction!
I've also just been informed that lap swimming is THE best exercise and activity for kids with asthma! Perfect! It was so meaningful and special to watch the switch flip in his mind and to see him get a little spark of passion for something. I know that if he keeps going, he could improve his form and who knows? Ironman someday???
The rest of the night, he was just on Cloud 9. He kept hugging me and saying over and over, "You are so awesome! Leah, you are so awesome!" It was really precious.
It just goes to show...people are watching. And you may inspire someone when you least expect it...after a regular old, non-PR run-of-the mill workout.
Get out there and do it!
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