Restarting & Our New Home

5 September 2017

Hi! Long time no talk. I've definitely been a bad blogger since the start of this thing.. not that I even consider myself a "blogger", but I guess this is technically a blog, isn't it? I didn't actually realize it until now, but I haven't been myself all summer - maybe even this whole year. I've felt unmotivated, depressed, and just generally lazy. My shops are unusually slow lately, and I tend to get my motivation from being busy so it hasn't been good for my mental health. Today I've been hit with a blast of motivation and I've decided that I need to get moving. I need to get things done, I need to push harder, and I need to start doing things that make me happy again. It's finally September, which begins my favorite part of the year so I'm excited to kind of start 2017 over. 

Big news! Luke and I purchased our first home last month. It happened quickly and it wasn't really planned. There was a house on my old road that I loved from the outside since I was a kid. It had been for sale for a long time but Luke wanted to move a few towns closer to the highway entrance to cut down his commute, so we didn't bother looking into it for a long time. After a while he came around and we decided we'd contact a realtor to get the whole purchasing a home process started after years of just browsing on Zillow. We got a realtor that day and set up a time to view the house we wanted to see. That same night a different house was newly listed on Zillow. It was 2 miles from our old house, it was an older home (which we love), and it had tons of space and character. It was literally our dream house. We requested a quick viewing, and two days later we got to view it in person! By the third room, I knew this house was the one. We put in our offer about an hour later and it was accepted that night!! We closed on our dream home on August 18th, and we've already started making it our own. 

Our house is a Dutch Colonial Revival built in 1913 with a new addition from the early 2000's. It was built by William Brown and it stayed in his family until the 1970's. He didn't have any Grandchildren, so after his Daughter passed away it was sold. I believe we're the 4th owners of this 100+ year old home, which is crazy! The house has a beautiful entryway which features the stairs with original banisters. In the old part of the home there's a parlor with a cute little cove area that we'll use as a small library. There's also a dining room, large pantry, half bathroom, laundry room, sunroom, 2 bedrooms, 1 full bathroom, 2 additional bedrooms we'll be using as home offices, a very large unfinished attic, a half finished basement, and a kitchen which has been expanded. In the newer addition there's a large family room with a lot of windows and natural light, master bedroom, walk-in closet, and a master bathroom. We also have a cool wraparound porch, a big in-ground pool, and a 2 car garage. 

When we moved in there was no refrigerator as the previous homeowner took it, and it had a very old and dirty electric stove range which we didn't like. We converted the electric to gas and purchased a new stove and refrigerator. There was a lot of drama with actually getting them in one piece, but we finally have them after 2 weeks of living without them and are totally in love! Our next step for appliances are a washer and dryer and a new dishwasher, the previous homeowner took the w&d and the dishwasher doesn't work that well, but we'll get there eventually! 

There is a ton of brown in this house - the carpet, the paint, the wallpaper (my god, the wallpaper....), the floors, and the kitchen cabinets. We HATE brown. We like dark brown hardwood floors, but that's about it. We've already painted the family room a beautiful shade of gray, and the rest of the house will probably be painted in other grays and whites (but we're keeping the old unpainted wood in the house the way it is). We eventually want to redo the kitchen and get rid of the L-shaped counter and replace it with a large island. We're thinking of a white farmhouse style kitchen with quartz countertops and refinishing the floor in a darker color since it needs to be refinished anyway. We'll be replacing the carpet in the family room and master bedroom with a light cream carpet since hardwood is a little out of our price range right now. We will eventually redo the master bedroom and knock out the wall in the master bathroom between the toilet room/large shower, move the toilet, and create a large wall-to-wall shower with a clawfoot tub inside of it. We'll also be redoing the full bathroom upstairs since it was badly remodeled. The rest of the rooms need a good painting, and we discovered that there is lead paint under the newer paint on the baseboards upstairs so we'll be taking the proper steps to cover it. In the far future we're thinking of possibly even finishing the attic. 

Outside we power washed the concrete around the pool and deck, redid the chemicals in the pool since it was neglected, and we're finishing up power washing the house and driveway so we can return the power washer to my Aunt and Uncle. The sunroom foundation needs to be fixed as it's 100+ year old wood that wasn't properly cared for, and we need to replace the liner in the pool. We're thinking of painting the shutters in the front of the house a dark gray or black because the red is badly faded and I'm just not feeling it. Other than that, we just need to fix up the landscaping and it'll look great! 

I am feeling so unbelievably lucky for our home and the home buying process we experienced. I have some friends and family who are purchasing homes as well, and I've heard many horror stories with what they're going through. We were very lucky. I also can't thank my family enough for helping us move in and helping us with cleaning and maintenance. I've honestly been blessed with the most amazing people in my life and I will forever be grateful. 


Another Person's Weight Is Not Your Business

22 May 2017

Here's a wild concept: Someone else's weight has nothing to do with you. Lets take a little survey. 1) Are you a doctor helping your patient lose weight with their consent? 2) Are you a conjoined twin? 3) Is your head getting ready to be implanted onto someone else's body? Did you answer "no" to all of these questions? Then guess what? Another person's weight will not ever be any of your damn business

This weekend Luke, my Mom (reluctantly because she and my Grandmom butt heads), and I took my Grandmom to visit her Brother whom she hasn't seen in about 10 years. She was SO excited and talked about it for months to anyone who would listen. We blocked out the entire weekend, our only real time off together since Luke is always working, to do this for her. We got five hours of sleep, woke up early, and set off on our five hour drive to Virginia. Once we arrived, we were pulling around the corner and noticed him waving us down. We stopped and chatted and he explained what driveway to pull into. My Grandmom rolled up her window and immediately gasped when he couldn't hear her, stating that she couldn't believe how thin he is. Now I'm looking at Uncle Jim thinking... damn, this guy looks great for a 77 year old! He's physically healthy and happy, and he's kind. But other people's weight is very important to her.

I spend a lot of time with my Grandmother. She lives two houses away from me, and I grew up spending most of my time over there. I visit with her a few times a week to see how she's doing, we talk about how everyone is and if anything new is going on, etc. I can't even tell you how many times she digs at other people's weight. Always. She doesn't normally call anyone "fat" directly, but her little hints and digs speak volumes. She rubs a lot of people the wrong way, especially her immediate family. She says unnecessary, unkind things to people completely unprovoked. I've always given her a pass because I know that's who she is as a person, but after this weekend I just snapped and I've had enough. I am probably the only person in our family who sits and spends time with her on a weekly basis. Luke and I will ask her if she needs anything when we're going out to the store, and we'll pick it up for her if she does. We randomly buy things for her and sometimes give her money if she needs it. I help her around the house. Sometimes I take her out to eat to get her out and about since she's no longer working. I try and keep my Mom in line so she doesn't blow up on her because of her little unnecessary jabs. I'm over it. 

So I'm sitting there minding my own business at Uncle Jim's kitchen island, catching up on emails and waiting for the moment that we can leave because I have a to-do list a mile long in my head. Her and Luke are talking about MM's article in The Washington Post. She talks about how she likes the blue dress on the page. Grandma then says, completely out of no where and unprovoked, "Karina, I really like the tops you wear, but they're for bigger people so they won't fit me." Cue rubber burning on the pavement after I have mentally slammed on the brakes. I go off. 1) The Free People dresses she's talking about are a size SMALL. Check the god damn tags. Take a look at their website with their models and tell me, is this a plus size store? No, but thanks for insinuating that I have to shop at plus size stores only. 2) Do you say these things to make you feel better about yourself? 3) Why is my weight, my Aunt's weight on her wedding day, the neighbor's weight, the news anchor on Channel 3's weight, the astronaut in the fucking space station's weight ANY of your damn business? It's not!! It's really, really not. I said to her "you really need to watch what you say to people," and she tries to backtrack, saying that she meant people with bigger boobs. Guess what? That's not anyone else's business either! It is exhausting being around someone with this kind of mindset. I walk out of the room and leave her to deal with the drama she has just unnecessarily created, like usual. At the end of the day, she thanked me for putting the time, planning, and money into doing something nice for her by calling me fat.

I have always struggled with my weight, mentally and physically. It's up and down and all over the place. I was born with an underdeveloped thyroid, I only have 10% of mine so I struggle with hypothyroidism (I blame this on the late 80's/early 90's since my Mom smoked while she was pregnant). When I was a Freshman in High School I wanted to start new. I starved myself for 10 days straight. Ten whole days with no food, just water, tea, or whatever else I was drinking. I lost 25 pounds during that week and a half, and my Grandfather was the only one who suspected anything. He said I looked unhealthy, but I was happy. I continued to do this throughout my teenage years, even into my 20's, but that stretch was the longest I've lasted. When I was around 22 I started taking Lexapro for my anxiety, and it made me gain 40 pounds in just a few months. I have struggled to lose weight ever since, even after dropping that medication like it was on fire. I've been a vegetarian for nearly 10 years and a lot of my meals are unintentionally vegan. I'm not big on sweets and you'll never find any prepackaged desserts in my home. I only drink about 5-6 days a month. I walk on the treadmill, rarely drink any sugary drinks, and eat a lot of vegetables. It is hard for me to lose weight, but incredibly easy to gain it. When someone comments on my weight, it triggers me and I'm ready to stop eating again. I just can't help it, my mind automatically goes that route even though I know it's incredibly unhealthy.

About 5 or 6 years ago we were getting ready to go to Ocean City, Maryland to stay at Luke's Grandmother's place with his parents and his sister. He told me that when the four of them were at dinner, they were giving his sister a hard time about her weight. The girl couldn't have weighed more than 130 pounds, and it sent me into panic mode. I would be spending a few days with them at the beach, and I went into starvation mode because of a comment that wasn't even made about me. When I was 19, I was walking down the street to my Grandmom's house, and my 176 year old neighbor caught me outside and said "what happened to you? You used to be so thin and pretty." I was probably about 145 pounds at the time, which is where my weight was comfortable and didn't really fluctuate. I'll tell you, I held a grudge against that woman until she died. I wouldn't even go to her funeral. I don't know what it is about the older generations, but they honestly think another person's weight is their business and they go blabbing their mouths about it.

Repeat after me: Someone else's weight is not, and will not ever be my business. You never know what that person is struggling with, and your unkind and unnecessary jabs are not ever needed or wanted. 


Sometimes You've Just Gotta Brag

15 May 2017

Luke is a massive part of my life. And when I say "massive" I basically mean he is my whole life, and there's nothing wrong with that. I have my work, my family, maybe one friend (lol), my hobbies, etc. But he's the person that's always there for me unconditionally and I never get sick of him. I'm missing him a whole bunch today while he's at work so I'm just going to write a little bit about what's on my mind. Ps; Sorry about the 3 year old photo, we haven't taken new pictures in forever.

Luke and I just celebrated our 7th anniversary, and our 1st anniversary of being married is coming up in a little less than a month. The past 7 years of my life have been the best, better than I could have ever imagined. We've grown up together, learned from one another, and I have learned to love someone more than I ever knew was possible. I'm not always good at showing it - I'm not too touchy-feely, it's hard for me to express emotions sometimes, and I'm really sassy and sarcastic so I tend to pick on the people I love the most. Luke is the absolute opposite, and I think that's why we work perfectly together. Relationships are nothing but compromise, and it's good to have someone balance you out. I am not exaggerating when I say that I would not be okay with being on this planet without him. It's just not an option for me, and I know in other people's minds that probably sounds insane, but it's true. He is that important to me. 

I have watched him grow into the most amazing person over the past 7 years, the last three especially. Luke is a person who knows what he wants, what he's capable of, and how to make things happen. People have tried to bring him down and it has never, ever stopped him. I think I admire that the most. He has been told that he was throwing his life away by leaving college early. He has been called the most horrible names you could ever imagine by people who were supposed to be there for him. He has been told that he owes people for the life he was given - yes, that he actually owes someone for being born (it blew my mind too). Yet all of those things only pushed him further towards his goals and I am nothing but thankful for it. He is strong, smart, caring, honest, and accomplished. This year alone he has been promoted three times, how amazing is that? He's now a Senior Software Engineer at 23 years old. 

My family has never had a lot of money. My Grandparents had 5 children and they grew up with the basics in life, but nothing more. My Mom was a single mother and my Dad always paid his child support, but it was never enough to fully support a child. I was always aware of our financial situation, I knew what we could afford and what we couldn't. Since Luke started working, I haven't had to worry about money and I only work because I choose to. He is amazing, and I don't think I'll ever get used to not having financial worries at the back of my mind 24/7. The company he works for is generous and forward-thinking and I am forever grateful to them, they have been such a blessing to our lives. I don't know anyone who loves their job more than Luke does, and I don't know anyone who deserves it more than him. Don't get me wrong, I know that absolutely anything can be taken away in an instant. But we are happy, healthy, thinking of the future, and enjoying our lives together. I couldn't ask for anything better.