You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘about us’ category.

Today I’m going to blog* about…blogging*.   It’s a bit of a challenge for me, writing posts of any substance on a regular basis.  A lot of the time it feels like a chore.  But I feel like I have to do it, and more than that for some reason I want to do it.  I read a lot of blogs daily and I really enjoy getting that insight into someone else’s life.  Sure, mostly it’s voyeuristic nosiness, but they’re also funny, smart, informative, inspirational.  I used to read the newspaper online everyday to feel like I was up to date with what’s going on in the world.  Now I read blogs and it’s like talking to my friends–the day’s events (public and extremely personal) synthesized by regular people.  It’s not nearly as depressing as the news.  I’m fascinated by how and why blogs start and evolve.  So many people have turned their blogs into real, and very lucrative, jobs (though many not)!  Books deals abound, it seems.  But it all happens organically (at least it appears so).  They start in order to have something to do, to have a way to share their projects/kids/recipes/advice/etc, as an exercise in personal growth, to write, etc.  Somehow they get a loyal following of readers and local then national media pick up on it and before they know it they’re famous.  Is this really how it works?  I’m amazed by the phenomenon.

Furthermore, all of these people claim to get so much out of the connections they make through blogging.  The response from their readership provides immense personal reward and friendship.  As I get older and see the opportunities for making new friends with which I have things in common decrease exponentially, and as virtual connections between people become ever stronger, this aspect of blogging is appealing.  I also think that as relationships continue to become more virtual it’s important to establish your own virtual identity, especially if you hope to build a business where people might find you through Google.

I’ve always had a problem with keeping a journal, though.  I love the idea of being reflective and having your feelings captured to look back on later in life.  There’s no denying I’m an overly analytical person, but for some reason writing it down makes me very uncomfortable.  Maybe because it forces me to really think through things, and come to realization and conclusions I may not like?  Or I’m just lazy?  And reading back through it makes me cringe!  Makes me feel like the world would be better off if I hadn’t written my thoughts down.   But I’ve been thinking that maybe I’m letting myself off too easy, and if I push through the challenge I’ll realize the reward.  I think I can, I think I can…   Apologies in advance for the many more rambling, uninteresting posts to undoubtedly come!

* I think you should know that in my house we call it a “blob” and “blobbing” as a reference to my grandmother’s original misunderstanding of what my brother’s new online journal was called.  We think it’s much funnier that way.  True to our affinity for potty humor, we have taken it to the next level of ridiculousness and it has recently become a euphemism for farting (and now I really can’t believe I’m writing this), after one of us (names will be omitted to protect the innocent) suggested to the other one of us that that person start a blob to track the abundant activity they produced in that area.  So now there are sporadic announcements of someone having just blobbed in the other room so the other person maybe shouldn’t go in there until the blob dissipates.  We’re freaks, I know.


After spending these many months trying to figure out what the heck to do with myself–feeling unsatisfied and unfulfilled by dependence on the 9-to-5 job and yet not having the risk-taking constitution to rid myself of said dependence–I finally–finally–had a lightbulb moment that actually continued to make sense after the moment passed.  (I have brilliant ideas all the time that it turns out, a few hours and some rational thought later, are not all that brilliant after all.)

So I’ve started a professional organizing company!  Duh, right?  One of those things that, as soon as it occurs to you, you wonder why on earth it hadn’t occurred to you before.  In all the thinking and self-evaluation I’d undertaken to try to figure out a more enjoyable way to earn a living, “organizing” and “planning” were always the two words I used most in response to questions of what I like to do and what I’m good at doing.  Rather than try to concoct something that utilizes those skills toward something else, I realized I could just utilize those skills for what they are, in and of themselves!  A breakthrough.

That I’ve actually followed through and taken the neccessary steps to make this a reality–registering my business with the city, building a website, letting people know about it, formulating a marketing plan–proves to me that this is something I want and can do.  I sometimes have issues with follow through, and I usually chalk it up to the notion that if I’m not compelled to follow through on something, it’s probably something I don’t really want to be doing anyway and should therefore not force myself.

Which brings me to this blog.  Despite repeated attempts throughout my life to “journal” I’ve never been able to maintain the habit because I find the process quite uncomfortable.  But that only makes me want to do it even more! I started this blog, let people know about it against my better judgment, tried it for a while, got busy and distracted and then could never get back on the bandwagon.  Plus I felt like it had no purpose.  But with this exciting new venture of mine I feel like I have a reason to blog now.  And I am inspired by my friend and new client (!!!) Sara and her blog,   We agreed that putting yourself out there, making yourself a little vulnerable and having the faith that the world into which you’re putting your good stuff will send you good stuff back, is a really good thing to do.  And she’s doing it so gracefully!  Surely I can follow her lead.

Wedding - All 230We’d just gotten married.  What a fun day.  One of the few in my life when I was completely present, not thinking about anything but what was happening right then, and I remember it vividly.  We went back to this spot for a picnic; it was nice to be there again as our normal selves and remember being there as our wedding selves.  This time it was not as hot and we wore bug spray.

After the wedding, we ate all but two (ie–approximately 50) of the leftover cupcakes.  I wrapped those two in three layers of plastic wrap and put them in a Ziploc bag in the freezer.  Chris pulled them out a few days ago so they could defrost in the fridge.  We were very excited to eat them yesterday, and they were surprisingly close to being as delicious as they were a year ago!

But sheesh, this time of year is busy.  I don’t know how we pulled off the wedding last year.  I must not have been doing my job very well!  Ah, who cares?  It was more than worth it.

What do you know…Chris and I are apart again!  Being the only employee of his company with no kids, he was the lucky winner of an assignment in Fairfield, CT.  Too far away to drive back and forth everyday.  So he’s at the Holiday Inn.  No joke.  Now it’s my turn to be home all alone for a while, or at least weeknights for a few weeks.

Last night I tried sleeping without my earplugs.  To explain: when I moved in with Chris (three years ago?!?) we spent about two or three months where I would desperately try to fall asleep before he did and started snoring/breathing loudly in my ear, only to be woken up in the middle of the night and have to elbow or otherwise nudge him in order to roll over and temporarily cease the deafening (deafening I tell you!) racket, at which point he would not be able to fall back to sleep, probably in no small part due to guilt and self-consciousness (aren’t I so considerate?) and would go finish the night on the couch.  Terrible.  Since he refused to go to the doctor and no other solutions were effective, I started wearing earplugs.  They work wonderfully.  I recommend it to anyone.  I will happily tell you which brand is the best and will not hurt your ears.  Except sometimes I get nostalgic for being able to listen to crickets and the breeze and the birds and the rain falling softly…until I try to sleep without them and realize those sounds are annoying and disruptive to my sleep and I have to put the earplugs in at 2:30 am.  I am now a spoiled, high-maintenance sleeper.

I am also taking a break from cooking dinner.  I don’t really feel it’s worth it when it’s just me, not because I mind the effort but because a lot of the satisfaction I get out of cooking is seeing other people enjoy it/feeling the gratification and affirmation of other people liking something I made.  I just realized I may have bigger self-esteem issues that I ever realized.  Disturbing.  Anyway.  I actually like eating grilled cheese and cold cereal and scrambled eggs for dinner–it brings me back to my childhood when my mother never lifted a pan and left Ira and me to fend for ourselves like abandoned wolves left all alone in a cold and barren forest…but I digress.  Chris scoffs at eating those things for dinner–how could you even suggest it?–so I welcome the opportunity to be on my own and eat my non-dinner food as I please.  But I like reading recipes and grocery shopping and cooking too…so what do I do?  Email all my girlfriends to tell them they have an open invitation to come over for dinner anytime!  And bring their families!  Because I need someone to cook for but I have nothing special to make and no special reason to make it!

And that is how much of a dork I am: I won’t make dinner if it’s just me, but you better believe I’ll make the bed every morning.  Priorities.

I spent this past week living in a single in a Dartmouth College dorm.  A national organization which supports educational fund-raising had a conference there on, um, educational fund-raising.  My boss wanted me to go last summer when I was promoted to director of annual giving but the wedding was last summer and she recognized that it maybe wasn’t a good time for me to be spending a week away from important tasks like folding tissue paper pom poms.

So I went this summer, even though I was away just two weeks prior in Ecuador.  July has thereby been a weird month for Chris and me.  I’m not used to not being home, he’s not used to being home alone.  He was very proud of himself for going grocery shopping once, but the past week he scavenged and ate random frozen meals which I hoard for just such emergencies (really I hope he’ll take them to work in the evenings and not have to buy dinner but he never does).

Anyway, the conference was great because it was taught by a bunch of very smart and funny professionals and there were lots of interesting people there.  It did give me a strange feeling of nostalgia/deja vu, though.  Moving my crap into a barren third floor dorm room–carrying it all up the stairs because I didn’t realize there’s an elevator down the hall.  Figuring out where the bathroom/shower is and how to carry all my stuff there and back without flashing anyone.  Laying in an extra long twin bed at night and talking to Chris on the phone.  When you’re married you forget how to talk on the phone.

The conference was like summer camp: packed with activities from the moment you wake up until you pass out on your hard dorm mattress at night.  Breakfast, class in this building over here, then in that one over there, lunch, class, pre-planned social activity, pass out, repeat.  There was a surprising amount of free alcohol and therefore partying going on.  Fund-raisers like to party–we get paid to do it.

Which brings me to the next funny thing about this conference.  So we’re all stuck here in the middle of nowhere, mostly young and mostly new-ish to the field, and we want to be friendly and have fun and not have to eat alone.  So everyone is constantly introducing themselves to everyone else and finding out where they’re from and what they do and what their favorite color is and we’re bonding over this or that.  We do this all day long everyday until you’ve got your own spiel down flat and you’ve met pretty much everyone at least once.  Then one of the teachers holds a general session called “Working a Room with Style and Grace”…do not laugh at this.  Until you have to attend a function where you are expected to have perfect social skills AND find out crucial information about peoples’ philanthropic inclinations, you will have no idea how hard this can be.  I was thrown into the fire on this but it has been one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned.  So immediately, people start asking questions like what should I wear, how do I break into a group in conversation, how do I introduce myself…hello?  Have you not been doing this all week?  You’re already good at it!  People who have money to give away are still just people!  Truly, someone asked, “If I see two people having a conversation and can hear that they’re talking about something that I want to know what they think about it, how do I break in?”  I raised my hand and said, “You say, ‘I couldn’t help but overhear you talking about X and I’d love to know what you think about it.'”  Everyone gasped and nodded like I was brilliant and it was a revelation.  Seriously?!

It confirmed what I’ve always believed–fund-raising is really all about just having good manners.  Smile, be polite, shake hands, ask people about themselves, etc.  Mom, thanks for forcing me to write thank-you notes all those years!

I’m off to Ecuador today to spend a week with my brother who’s there on the first leg of his round-the-world trip.  This is a trip of firsts for me: first time ever on a plane by myself, first time ever travelling with only my brother, first time to South America, (not the first time travelling with an injured ankle, unfortunately)…first time away from my husband for so long!  At least in several years.  And definitely the first time we’ll go without talking for so long.  At least since we first started dating ten years ago and we both went on separate trips at the same time.

I don’t know how I’m going to do it.  And the kicker is that I’ll come back, be home for a week, and then be off again for a week-long conference for work!  At least then we’ll be able to talk regularly though.   But I have a feeling I’m going to miss him so much this week that I don’t even know how much I’m going to miss him.  But at least I get to be travelling and doing fun things–he has to be here at home without me!

Wedding - All 089

Isn't he cute

Whew, we had a busy weekend.  I think it’s not even that we were busy that exhausted us, but because it was mostly spontaneous stuff.  We are not spontaneous people, generally.  I like to plan in advance and we are often lazy.  We like to be lazy.  It’s not as exhausting.  But it is boring, and this weekend was fun!

Chris and I each hung out with a friend on Friday night, then woke up on Saturday on a mission!  I decided to go to a new pilates class, which then contributed to the weekend being exhausting since I haven’t taken a real pilates class in like, a year, and it kicked my butt.  Or more specifically, my hamstrings and abs.  Chris decided to install a new screen door on our porch.  Then we did a bunch of yard work.  Then we cooked dinner, hung out on the porch admiring the new screen door, and were happy to call it an early night and got in bed to watch TV.

Until 10:09 when my brother called.  Weird.  “Where are you?’ he asked.  In bed.  “What are you doing?” he asked.  Watching TV.  Why?  “Huh? Uh? Um? Pub crawl?”  Oops–his friends had organized a pub crawl as a going away party (before his 1 year, round-the-world-trip) and we blanked on the date.  So we hauled ourselves out of bed, put clothes on and drove downtown to meet them at the pub.  *I would like to point out it took me only 15 minutes to get out of the house looking pretty cute considering I’d just gotten out of bed!*

It was great to see all my brother’s friends from college and meet his new friends from Couch Surfing (a crazy concept I am still wrapping my head around).   We hung out at the bar until it closed at 2 am.  Since I am prematurely an old lady, I have not been out this late in years!  And unfortunately, when you’re a prematurely old lady, you still wake up at your normal time even when you go to bed at 3 am.  Ugh.

And we had plans to bring our old dining room table over to our friends’ (since we no longer needed it thanks to our gorgeous new handmade one!).  After that we decided to run a couple errands, including taking another look at this sofa we’ve had our eye on.  We thought we might buy it as a first anniversary present to ourselves.  But then we went into their outlet section and saw the same sofa, but as a sleeper, for $150 less than the regular one.  What?!?  So we hemmed and hawed for a bit and then decided to just buy it.

Except we had to take it home ourselves right then.  We had to move the old one out of the way.  Vacuum.  Call my brother-in-law to lend a hand.  Haul in the new one.  Rearrange.  And finally pass out on our comfy new sofa!

But it’s creating a design dilemma.  I don’t want to have all matchy leather furniture.  So then I got this chair from Ikea:

Which is comfy and looks good, if not a bit anemic across from the big sofa.  And the room now is bordering on overly masculine.  I think I need something softer and more feminine for the second chair.  Maybe one of these?  ( I love this first one!)

It’s a good thing I put the kibosh on any more big purchases for a while.  I’ll need a lot of time to decide between these beauties.  And to convince Chris.  He’s not a fan of anything that doesn’t look comfortable enough to nap in.  And of course, he wants to build something!

So, here I am.  I’ve been marvelling at all the bloggers I read everyday and the amazing things they are doing with their lives and sharing with others, and I finally decided: why not me, too?

So what’s my story? Planning my wedding last year awakened a long-dormant creative streak that I now am committed to keeping alive.  Not only that, but fostering its growth.  As a kid  I was super crafty and loved creating new projects and sharing them with everyone I knew.   I need to get back in touch with that.

Planning my wedding–which was more beautiful than I even anticipated!  More about it in posts to come–also brought me to the slow realization that maybe I am meant to do this.  Years of soul searching, personality-typing, grad school starts and stops, toiling away at a desk in a pressure-filled career… Why didn’t I realize sooner that someone who loves to plan, organize, problem-solve, start new projects, brainstorm, research, meet people, be creative and read and watch everything wedding-related should try being a wedding planner?  Let’s see how it goes.

In the meantime, my husband, Chris, and I are settling in to a new home and figuring out what our future will look like.  We’re both creative people and arer realizing that expressing that creativity through how we live our daily lives is the key to our happiness.  This blog will follow our failures, successes and everything in between as we try to handcraft our perfect life.