I’ve made a terrible mistake, and other Friday thoughts

Thank God it’s lunch time, because I’m going to need the blood sugar/caffeine boost. You know how I was talking about how in love I am with the first two books in the Outlander series? My wonderful boss brought me the third yesterday and after getting off of work and eating dinner, my night was kind of blur…I remember getting into bed with some tea, figuring I’d read a little bit before bed, and the next thing I knew it was 1 am and I had read over 200 pages of the book. I am paying for my gluttonous reading habits this morning, I assure you.

It’s nice to be absorbed in a book series like this, though. Buying a house is ridiculously stressful, and has been especially making me crazy this week because we had the inspection, so I am mentally and emotionally fried and in need of a weekend with a good book. Fall must be in the air, because I’m getting all nesty-like and wanting to just keep my house clean and cozy while I knit and read and spend quality time with my friends.

I’m even having the urge to bake. Which for those of you who know me and my cooking habits well, know how deeply uncharacteristic that is for me. 

Which is why I’m looking forward to this weekend. Originally, Evan’s mother was supposed to be coming to visit, but she’s not anymore, so we get to go to the farmer’s market with jennay-with-an-i and hang out, and then I get to make ratatouille and maybe bake, and maybe do some hiking on Sunday. And, y’know, continue to plow through Voyager. But the time to be quiet is going to be a nice change. I can’t wait.

On my bookshelf: The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldon

Guys. GUYS. I need to talk about how much I am in love with this series.

I haven’t been this engrossed in a book series in a very long time, and I am loving every minute of it, excluding the time between finishing a book and waiting for my boss, who is loaning them to me, to give me the next one.

The plot is probably well familiar to everyone, considering it’s been getting a lot of hype due to the new Starz series, but for those of you who aren’t, here’s the gist. Claire Randall is an English nurse in 1946 who is visiting Inverness with her husband on a second honeymoon at the end of World War II. She has an interest in botany and, while collecting samples, comes across a pagan stone circle and falls back through time to 1743. I don’t want to give too much away, but she ends up being taken by a group of Highlanders and married off to the very handsome Jamie Fraser. Their story stretches across 8 novels (and few novellas), and I’ve only finished book 2, so I’ll just let Orange is the New Black tell you what you need to know:

Now, romance novels are typically not my thing. Not because of any snobbery on my part, they just don’t do it for me. But these books are incredible and have totally sucked me in. Here’s why:

  1. Diana Gabaldon is a gifted writer and storyteller
  2. I’m a huge history nerd, and these books seem to be very very well researched. Not least of which, when she describes characters doing archival research, I don’t want to throw the book across the room.
  3. The dialogue is fantastic, especially between Jamie and Claire. Part of my annoyance with a lot of romance novels in the dialogue and that I just can’t believe the relationships, but the banter that they have is hilarious and believable and all the sexier for it.
  4. And yeah, there are lots of well-written sexy times.

This is one of those that I borrowed from my boss because, hey, free books, and I’m on a super budget right now, but I’m actually loving them enough right now that I am seriously considering buying them for myself when the funds become available again.

I am absolutely loving a time travel romance novel, and I feel no shame.

Finally put the pictures from the camera from last weekend onto the computer. These are some of my favorites. We’re definitely still learning how to use it, but the difference in the photos even with our ignorance of the true power of the tool is still incredible.

Having both just gotten over the summer death cold, we took it pretty easy this weekend and spent a lot of time just cuddling, listening to music, and reading between making tea and checking on whatever was cooking in the kitchen (things made this weekend: baked oatmeal, roasted chicken, veggie chili, and delicious but super deformed gluten-free scones). We did venture out a little bit, though. Since we will be moving to Durham before the year ends, we decided to do a little bit of exploring and visit the Durham Farmer’s Market and then stop at Cocoa Cinnamon for some hot chocolate. We loved it, and I won’t lie, I felt so relieved that I could have cried. I’ve been very worried about moving to Durham because the community feeling of Chapel Hill and Carrboro is so strong and such a comfort to me; I’ve been scared that I wouldn’t find that same community feeling in Durham. We’ll still be spending lots of time in CH/Carrboro, to be sure, but it felt good to know that there is a place for us in Durham, too. We also went to check out Sam’s Club because they were having an open house, and we’re considering getting a membership because one of our first planned purchases for the house is a big freezer to put in the garage so we can save money by putting up food. I walked out with a 252 load bottle of eco-friendly detergent for $10, so yeah, we’ll be back. We’re also really trying to pinch our pennies because the closing costs kind of caught us off guard, so I also discovered coupon printing websites. I felt like I was printing my own money! Don’t worry, this is so not going to turn into a couponing blog, but it was really empowering to find ways to help our family save money. After so much travel, I’ve been in a very nurturing, nesting type of mood, so this weekend was just what I needed.

Having both just gotten over the summer death cold, we took it pretty easy this weekend and spent a lot of time just cuddling, listening to music, and reading between making tea and checking on whatever was cooking in the kitchen (things made this weekend: baked oatmeal, roasted chicken, veggie chili, and delicious but super deformed gluten-free scones). We did venture out a little bit, though. Since we will be moving to Durham before the year ends, we decided to do a little bit of exploring and visit the Durham Farmer’s Market and then stop at Cocoa Cinnamon for some hot chocolate. We loved it, and I won’t lie, I felt so relieved that I could have cried. I’ve been very worried about moving to Durham because the community feeling of Chapel Hill and Carrboro is so strong and such a comfort to me; I’ve been scared that I wouldn’t find that same community feeling in Durham. We’ll still be spending lots of time in CH/Carrboro, to be sure, but it felt good to know that there is a place for us in Durham, too. We also went to check out Sam’s Club because they were having an open house, and we’re considering getting a membership because one of our first planned purchases for the house is a big freezer to put in the garage so we can save money by putting up food. I walked out with a 252 load bottle of eco-friendly detergent for $10, so yeah, we’ll be back. We’re also really trying to pinch our pennies because the closing costs kind of caught us off guard, so I also discovered coupon printing websites. I felt like I was printing my own money! Don’t worry, this is so not going to turn into a couponing blog, but it was really empowering to find ways to help our family save money. After so much travel, I’ve been in a very nurturing, nesting type of mood, so this weekend was just what I needed.

Husband Appreciation Post

I have spent the last two days and change in bed with a stupid head cold, not really eating, because I can’t taste anything when I’m stuffed up. But I’m feeling better and starving, so Watson is bringing home takeout from my favorite Indian place, because it’s spiced enough that I can 1) taste it and 2) maybe open up my head a little bit.

He’s my favorite husband.

Bonus points to sick days: found my stitch markers in the bottom if my knitting bag! And yes, they are pirate sheep. #knitting #100happydays

Bonus points to sick days: found my stitch markers in the bottom if my knitting bag! And yes, they are pirate sheep. #knitting #100happydays

This weekend was another big one! We left Thursday to go to DC for a long weekend of birthday and wedding celebrations, but it ended up being a bit bigger than that!

Thursday Arrived in DC. Realized that the hotel we booked was technically the same hotel, but that it had moved to another location. So we were confused. Managed to get our bearings enough to head over to Georgetown for Ethiopian and a visit to Baked and Wired, my favorite place in DC, for delicious cakecups (and they have started making a wide variety of gluten free goodies, so I was over the moon)

Friday Technically, Evan’s birthday was Saturday, but since we had the wedding, Friday was birthday celebrating time. We went to the Freer Sackler, had lunch at Mitsitam Cafe, revisited NMAI (I miss working there!), and, oh, you know, made an offer on a house in Durham. (you may recall we were super nervous about this house due to an upcoming open house). Tried to carry on as normal, but we spent all of Evan’s birthday dinner at Oyamel obsessively checking our email to see if the sellers had responded. Oh, yeah, and we finally got to play with the fancy camera my mother-in-law gave us as a joint birthday gift, so I’ll post some of those pictures some time this week. They aren’t terribly fancy, since we were basically just learning to get used to the camera and haven’t even started really learning everything it can do, but it’s already like going from a Ford Pinto to a Bugatti Veyron.

Saturday Explored some new parts of DC, grabbed an early lunch at Big Bear Cafe, and said hello to generalmike, before getting ready for Jackie and Chris’s wedding at Union Station. It was absolutely gorgeous, and I’ve never seen either of them look happier. Jackie was my maid of honor, and is one of the kindest people I know, so seeing her look so happy was wonderful. We also got to reconnect with other friends from SILS, met some new people, and found out that our offer was accepted during the cocktail hour (!!!!). So, we’ll be moving to Durham pretty soon.

Sunday Flew home, got our puppy back from the parents, showed them the house, ate Chinese food, came home and promptly crashed into bed and watched The Bletchley Circle until it was time to go to sleep.

Basically, with the travel and stress, I wasn’t shocked to wake up with a migraine this morning. But good things happened and are continuing to happen! 

Weekend Report: Labor Day 2014

This may have been the most exhausting and yet uneventful long weekend I’ve had in a while. I got off of work early on Friday and spent the extra time trying to clean up the apartment and pack for the beach, and still got to bed way later than I would have liked. Saturday, we woke up early to pack up the car and go to the farmer’s market (Imagine GF is the only gluten free bread worth eating, in my opinion, so missing the farmer’s market is not an option!). Over breakfast, Evan and I were discussing the houses that we’ve looked at, and decided that we really loved one we’ve seen in Durham. We looked up the listing online to remind ourselves of some facts about it to decide if it was worth considering making an offer, and come to find out that there is an open house next weekend, which means that we may need to light a fire our butts if we want to get the house. So we also had to spend the morning emailing our realtor and running logistics with my parents about getting them to come look at the place.

We finally got to Emerald Isle around lunch time and could kind of relax. I don’t think I’ll fully relax until the house thing is settled, but I did spend most of Sunday reading Outlander, which I borrowed from my boss. I’m really enjoying it so far! We also got some very exciting news on Monday, that Evan and I now have niece! So we’ll be planning a trip to Charleston some time in the coming months to go visit his brother and sister-in-law and meet the baby.

Now I just have to get through 2 and half days of work, house viewing, and packing before we head to DC for a long weekend for Evan’s birthday and my dear friend/former maid of honor Jackie’s wedding. And then I can relax a bit. I’m really looking forward to having the time to just deeply clean the apartment and drinking tea with friends. Side note: Local friends: you may have to be the one to poke me to get together, because right now I’m in that brain space where I will surely drive myself into the ground…I have a bad tendency of convincing myself that I am imposing on people when I contact them and that I don’t deserve the time off to invite people to do things when I get stressed out. So if you haven’t heard from me in a while, please feel free to shoot me a message, I’d love to hear from you, despite evidence to the contrary!

Quick note:

We think we found a house that we really like, and are trying to get my parents to come up to take a look next week (my dad is an inspector who used to work in construction…a useful set of eyes to have look at potential property investments!). Good vibes, crossed fingers, and prayers are extremely welcomed!