Tiny Bathroom Hack

Published January 2, 2017 by Malia

This is the vanity in our master bathroom:

This is how our vanity usually looks.  The problem is, our master bathroom is less suite and more dorm.  Translation: it’s small.  Almost claustrophobic.  

When the boy was a bachelor, the bathroom was fine.  He didn’t need much counter space; just enough to put soap and a cup.  Then he married me and discovered that unlike himself, I needed loads of counter space.  I needed everything, readily accessible, all the time.  Mostly, he’s been a good sport about it, but as we near the two year mark I can tell that the disaster that the counter has become is definitely an annoyance.  Which led to me trying to come up with a solution.

Ta-Da:

A shoe rack was the answer.  It works so perfect and I can’t wait for the boy to get home from work so he can see the improvement to our counter!

Life’s not perfect, but I’m so thankful for the ability to fix some of those imperfections. 

New Year, Better Me

Published January 1, 2017 by Malia

The first Sunday, this past November, I received two blows of bad news before I’d headed to church that morning. I’d cried all through service.  Then my parents took me to lunch, and I continued to cry.  Somewhere in the middle of my blubbering, I choked out the words, “I have no hope left.”  

I was so scared.  The depression pit I had been fighting all year wasn’t a new abode for me.  Sure, it’d been a few years since I’d last gotten trapped there, but at least I knew I’d eventually escape.  However, the feeling that all hope, even the hope that I’d eventually feel hope again, had been used up.  Suddenly, the depression pit was a lot deeper, darker, and scarier than it’d ever been.  

As November progressed I cried, a lot.  Usually the tears were due to fear anout the future, but sometimes they were due to frustration or anger or exhaustion (or a combination of all of the above).  The days drug by, and I felt completely immobilized by my depression and anxiety.  Most days I’ve considered it a victory when I get out of bed.  

This last week, has been a bit less dark, and I’m slowly starting to feel like I might be able to pull it together.  But I’m scared.  I’m terrified that depression and hopelessness will suddenly rear up and drag me down into an even deeper and darker pit.  

So, I’ve set some goals for myself for this new year.  Goals that, I hope, will help keep me from completely disappearing into the pit.  I want to get healthy, mentally and physically for myself and for the boy.  The poor, long-suffering boy who loves me so fiercly, and has been there holding on to me through all of this.

1.  Make sure the dirty dish side of the sink is empty every night before I go to bed.

2. Up my water intake.  I really want to try the gallon of water a day challenge, but I’m not sure I’m ready, so I’m starting by just drinking more water period (fairly easy considerimg I rarely drink water).

3.  Rejoin the gym and go five days a week.

4.  Leave the tv off for the better part of the day.

5.  Practice flute, clarinet, and trombone thirty minutes a day five days a week.  Practice trumpet and piano one hour five days a week. 

6.  Write for at least an hour five days a week. 

7. Do one thing in the house that qualifies as cleaning or organizing everyday. 

8.  Limit consumption of soda/junk food/fast food.  

9.  When possible, eat one family meal a week at the dining room table with the tv off, instead of on the couch with the tv on.

I feel that these are all things I can actually stick to, and hopefully with this plan of action 2017 will be amazing!

We’ve Lost Our Princess

Published December 28, 2016 by Malia

When I was five, I wanted Princess Leia to be my mom.  She was gorgeous, funny, and kicked butt.  She spoke her mind, and didn’t let anyone bully her (we all saw what happened to Jabba).  On top of all this, she was a princess!  Five-year-old me was pretty sure she didn’t need much more to recommend her for the position.  However, the role of “mother” was already filled in my house, so all I could do was dream about the mother I’d never have.

When I was in junior high, I read an article in Time and learned that Carrie Fisher had a daughter.  I was secretly jealous of Billie Lourd.  Her mom was Princess Leia, the coolest woman in the world!  She was clearly the luckiest kid on the planet.

It’s been a very long time since I wished to have a space princess mom.  I got older.  I discovered that my real mom was basically Wonder Woman (always saving the day, and loving me more than I deserved), and that in the real world, Princess Leia wasn’t quite so perfect.

Carrie Fisher was a very funny lady, and a fantastic writer.  She did what is so hard to do.  She wrote about the things she struggled with, and did it honestly and beautifully.  I’ve read her memoirs and laughed ’til I cried as I read stories that made my problems seem so small and my life seem so normal.  Without her writing, we wouldn’t know that George Lucas firmly believed that there was no underwear in space.  (I truly wonder what NASA has to say about this.)

Carrie Fisher would’ve made a terrible mom for me.  However, she gave me (and the rest of the world) Princess Leia, and for that I’ll always be grateful.

How do two people use this many dishes?

Published November 14, 2016 by Malia

I officially became a homemaker at the end of January.  Since January, I’ve discovered that I officially suck at being a homemaker.

Our house is a disaster.  When I moved in, the boy already had the house filled with his things, and I liked his things.  Big problem, though, I had boxes and boxes of my own things, and I happen to like my things too.  Right now, 75% of my things are still in boxes in the room that we don’t talk about.

Oh, the room.  Picture Monica’s secret closet, and just imagine it as a whole room.  Okay, it’s not that bad.  It’s not packed full to the ceiling.  There are just stacks of boxes everywhere.  We don’t talk about the room, because every time I go in there to try find something, I end up wanting to cry and then spend hours beating myself up because I have ZERO clue how to organize this house.

Both my mom and my mom-in-law have offered, many times, to come and help me make sense of the nightmare.  And I know that I should accept their help.  I need their help, but I’ve yet to take them up on it because I’m embarrassed.  It’s humiliating to be almost 32 years old, and be incapable of making your house look like grown-ups live there.

I’ve tried.  I honestly have.  It always starts out well.  I do the dishes.  And by that, I mean, I empty the dishwasher of the dishes that have been sitting in it for two or more weeks, and then fill it up from the pile of dishes that has been growing in the sink for weeks.  Then, once the dishwasher is filled and running, if I’m feeling really gung-ho, I’ll wash a bunch of dishes by hand.  Once the sink is empty I’ll turn my attention to the ever-inflating mountain of laundry, and I might even get the bathroom cleaned.

So, it probably sounds like I’ve pretty much got everything under control, and there should be no problem.  My house should be spotless at this point, right?

Wrong.

See, I’ll have a super productive day, and then the boy comes home from work, and I’ll make food.  Making food leads to the sink being filled with a bunch of dirty dishes.  When I look at that pile of dirty dishes, I just absolutely shut down.  I’ll have been so proud of myself for getting things done throughout the day, and the new pile of dishes seems to cancel out everything else I got done and I feel like I’m back to square one.  And, instead of just being an adult, I go into avoid mode…for days or sometimes weeks.

I don’t know why I go into avoid mode.  I know that there are no faeries that are going to come in the middle of the night and clean my house.  And yet, I apparently believe that is exactly what is going to happen.  There’s just something so defeating about doing a chore and  within a few hours you’re back to square one.

I have no idea how moms do it everyday.  Take my sister-in-law, for example.  She’s mom to the two most precious, adorable, energetic little boys on the planet (nope, I’m not biased at all).  She works full time, is always helping out with things at church, and her house is gorgeous.  I am just in awe of her, and I wish I could be half the amazing woman she is.

The challenge here really is just sucking it up and being a grown up.  And now I’m going to go put another load of laundry in the washer because we are officially out of clean underwear.

Also, there’s only ten shopping days left ’til my birthday.

Never complain that you don’t have anything to write about, because your car will die. 

Published September 29, 2016 by Malia

Okay, I can’t guarantee that’s the reason it happened, but it is kind of suspicious that on Monday I was feeling annoyed that I had nothing interesting to blog about, and then on Tuesday the good car died.

There are two cars in my life.  The boy’s car, which is a beautiful Subaru, is the good car.  My car, a 23-ish year-old white minivan I call the pregnant cow, is the bad car.  The bad car gets me around town, is very temperamental (it works correctly when it feels like it), and isn’t exactly what I’d call trustworthy.  The good car does everything that’s asked of it and more.

So, the boy’s job requires him to work long hours driving around the eastern side of the state.  It’s nothing for him to put in 150-250 miles in a day.  Obviously, he takes the good car, because if he tried that with the bad car I’m pretty sure it would just freeze in the driveway and go, “Nope, not happenin’.”

I went with him on Tuesday.  I do this occasionally.  If I don’t, then the majority of our married life interaction is him coming in between 11:30 p.m. and 1:30 a.m. and collapsing on the bed to sleep.   Funnily, enough, I like to have conversations with my husband that don’t involve snoring.

His work had sent him up to the Sioux City area for the day.  He had done the lion’s share of the driving, but by the time we grabbed supper and were ready to head home, he was absolutely dead on his feet and he asked me to drive.  So, there we were, headed home on I-29, when the car began having problems.  About five miles north of Onawa, the car began vibrating violently.  We agreed to try to make it to Onawa, because at least then we’d be able to park at a gas station.  Unfortunately, the car didn’t agree with our decision.  Instead, not quite three miles north of Onawa, I heard a “ping” like a snapping rubber band, all the warning lights briefly flashed on, and the the car had no power.  I glided us to the shoulder of the road, and there we sat with a dead car.

That’s Onawa circled in red.  We were so close, and yet so vey far away.

We sat there for about an hour trying to get the car to come back to life, but it was all for naught.  Fortunately, the boy got a hold of his folks, and they willingly drove up to where we were  and rescued us from the side of the road.  We finally got home just a little after 2 a.m.

The car was towed into Omaha yesterday, and we found out that that “ping” was the car throwing a rod.  Apparently, for a car to run, it needs a working engine; and for an engine to work, the rods need to be not thrown.

I spent the better part of today with a phone glued to my head, calling one auto shop after another.  My spiel of, “Our car threw a rod, and now the engine doesn’t work.  Is this something you guys can fix?” came out of my mouth so many times, I began to work on autopilot.  I got a pile of estimates (starting $2500 and going all the way up to $8000.  Apparently, there’s no standard price list that everyone works off when it comes to this sort of thing.), and then had to sit down and relay all the information to the boy as he was at work.

Ultimately, we narrowed it down to two places, and the boy left the final decision in my hands.  A very scary thing to do to someone who struggles with decision making as much as I do.  I did make a choice, though, for better or for worse.

So, off good car went this afternoon, to a place that will make it all better!

I’ll be honest, I’m scared right now.  I have absolutely no idea how we’re going to pay for this.  We’ve already sunk a ton of money into maintenance of this car this summer, plus we had to replace our house a.c., and I’ve had some “fun” with my health.  Please, please, keep us in your thoughts and prayers (and if you want, check out our GoFundMe: Help Fix Our Car).

Did you know they keep the nuclear wessels in Alameda?

Published September 8, 2016 by Malia

Guys, look what I found at the bookstore today!

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It’s a novel that’s a sequel to my all-time favorite Trek movie (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)!  I didn’t even know this book existed, and I stumbled across it by accident.  How awesome is that?!?  I’m hoping that this novel will answer some questions I’ve always had.  Questions like: Where did the probe come from?  What did it and the whales say to each other?  Did the whale scientist from 1984 thrive in the future, or did it all turn out really bad for her?  Also, did the whales survive in the future, or was it too much of a shock to their system?

It’s crazy that Star Trek is 50 today.  I feel really fortunate that I grew up with a mom that loved Star Trek (and a dad that loved Star Wars).  When I was really little, it started when I was two or three, I would sit on my dad’s foot and when he would try to walk I’d gleefully announce that I was a Klingon.  Okay, I didn’t quite understand the concept of alien races when I was that young, but I was convinced that they were called Klingons because they clung on to other people.  I agree, my brain is an odd place…

Last year, when the boy and I took a mini-honeymoon we fulfilled a bucket list item of mine:

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Look at that, I had my own personal Redshirt with me.

Happy Anniversary, Star Trek, may you continue to teach the importance of using your brain, being a compassionate, tolerant human, and making me wish I had access to a holodeck.