I feel like Ira Glass wrote this just for me. I have absolutely gotten in my own way and its time I start fighting my way through the frustrating phase. I am happiest when I make art (and I mean art in the broadest way...painting, decorating, anything creative really), and its time I start disciplining myself to do it regularly and push past the tough part.

I wasn't sure if I was going to mention this on my blog, but I recently got a new job. The short version is that I'd been at my old job for a decade, the office culture had gone downhill in recent years, and I'd gone as far as I could go professionally. A few crucial things fell into place and here I am - at a new job that is better for me in every way. Its like it was meant to be. However...I'm still in a job that uses mostly the math side of my brain...this one even more so than the last one. And I'm okay with that. I love being creative but I also love working with numbers and spreadsheets and this kind of work fulfills that need for me.

But I also need to engage the other side of my brain, and with the house projects few and far between these days, it might be time to start making art again. In fact, I'd love it. But this is where I get tripped up by those things Ira is talking about...I'm overly critical of art (I blame all those hours of critiques I sat through in art school), and I'd rather not make art at all if I feel there's a chance it'll be "bad art" (and there's always that chance).

So I'm thinking that its time to get over that. The idea of working at my number-crunching job all day and coming home and making art is wonderful to me. It sure beats the hell out of what I've been doing...work, cook, watch TV. Its so boring. And lonely. And I get nothing from it. When I lay on the couch watching the tube, I don't feel excited or even awake. Its just something to pass the time, and in the long run its my life passing by and that's not good. I know that sounds dramatic, but its true! I don't want to be 80 and think, "I sure am glad I watched all those seasons of American Idol!" (which I quit last year, thank you very much). I know there's a time and a place for TV...its a good way to unwind and it can be fun. My point is that I need to watch less of it and make art instead.

So that's what's going on with me right now. I'm not sure what the next step is. Get a new sketchbook? Those things intimidate the hell out of me. Search around online for a project to do? Oh what I wouldn't give for an art teacher to come over one night a week and give me some awesome project that I never would have thought to do myself. If you have suggestions, I'd love to hear them. And if you're like me and you get in your own way (whether its about art or anything else!), let's encourage each other to start doing again.

scary, deadly gas

...and no, I'm not referring toots. I'm talking about radon.

I hadn't heard about radon until I ready this post on younghouselove.com, and it scared me. You can google radon or read the post I just mentioned and get all the details, but the short version is this: radon is a radioactive gas that comes out of the earth and into our homes, and if its coming in at a high enough level, its super cancerous and is often referred to as a "silent killer." Yikes!

So when I first read that post, the possibility of having high levels of radon and spending over $2,000 to get the issue fixed was too scary, so I did the mature thing: I decided to ignore it all together and enjoy the bliss of ignorance. Then a year passed and I read more things about radon, and eventually decided that it would be really dumb if Seth and I both got some awful, preventable cancer down the road just b/c I wasn't brave enough to face the issue. So, I got the free test in the mail, followed the instructions, sent it back to the testing center (also for free), and crossed my fingers.

That was 1 week ago today, and last night I had a dream that I got a letter in the mail stating that our house was a-okay on the radon front. It was so exciting! Until I woke up and realized it was a dream. Well, apparently it was less of a dream and more of a premonition, because the results came in today....and we are radon free! Okay, not radon free, but well below the EPA's standard which is 4.0 pCi/L (ours is 0.5 pCi/L). Yahoo!!

Anyway, I just want to spread the word and encourage everyone to test their house as well. I can't find a link for how I got the radon test kit for free, but I searched around online and most are only $15. Definitely worth it, especially considering that radon related lung cancer kills approximately 22,000 people each year.

big anniversary

Its hard to believe that its been 5 years since Seth and I got married! On that day I woke up around 9 or 10, and I think I ate a bowl of cereal for breakfast. I didn't have the whole makeup/hair/getting ready with a bunch of girls thing. I remember standing alone in our tiny apartment bathroom, putting my insanely long hair in a simple low bun and then applying the very little makeup I knew how to apply: a little eye shadow, mascara, and some high beam...all things that my friend Stacy had taught me for the wedding, and it was just enough so I looked polished but still natural and like me. I also remember my skin being amazingly clear and glowy that day, something that pretty much never happened back then. It was a wedding day miracle! Haha.

in the car, just pulled up at the Ramsey House!

My friend Ryan showed up and I was ready all except the dress. He drove me and Ruby to the Ramsey House, and we snuck in about 20 minutes before the ceremony was supposed to start. I'm not sure where Ryan and Ruby went, but the next thing I remember is being in this kitchen, putting on the short, simple dress I'd picked out that was inspired by my mom's wedding dress from 1968 ($44 on clearance!), and all of a sudden a bunch of my girl friends showed up to send me off. It was a great moment! They were standing around me, we were all beaming, and I felt more excitement than I'd ever known. After a few minutes, they all left to take their seats, I took a few last sips of the pinot grigio I was drinking to calm my nerves, and it was time.

My dad came to get me and as soon as we walked out of the little house I was getting ready in, I started to get choked up. It wasn't the kind of choked up where one tear might have slipped out...I was feeling a full on (happy) bawl coming on. I said, "Dad, I'm going cry! I can't cry!!" Without skipping a beat, he started telling me about the history of the Ramsey House as we walked....when the house was built, what it had been used for, etc. I don't remember a thing he told me, but it took my mind off what was happening just enough to calm me down and stop the tears. Genius!

I'll never forget the feeling of walking down that aisle, eyes fixed on my beaming soon-to-be husband standing at the front. I know all my friends and family were watching me and smiling too, but I didn't see them. I finally made my way up to Seth and we had our ceremony. Ruby was our ring dog, and I remember being so happy we included her when we were untying our rings from the blue ribbon around her neck.

At the end we kissed and then gave each other a huge hug, and the feeling was something I can't describe. Happiness, peace, love, JOY + some other feelings I can't name. When it was over, we walked down the aisle together arm in arm, and as soon as we passed the last row, I let the tears out. What a moment!

I left out a lot of details from that day (like Seth walking down the aisle before me, instrumental Led Zeppelin song playing and Ruby in tow), but these are the things that I remember most from my perspective. We took a nap after the reception, then partied like it was 1999 on the 3rd floor of Sassy Ann's with a bunch of close friends. I've always thought the term "high on life" was pretty corny, but that night I could have floated away.

And that's my story! Best day of my life. Thank you for marrying me 5 years ago, Seth! I love you so much!!

Decisions, decisions.

Okay I'm really, REALLY ready to get these kitchen floors done but upon further investigation and a tip from a reader, I now know that I'd have to pull up the existing floor to put cork tiles down. Not only does that scare me b/c it'd be a lot more work (and might require a professional), but there's also a huge chance there'd be asbestos under there since the house was built in 1953. Yikes. Would VCT tiles really be so bad after all? It could go right on top of the existing floor, and it'd cost less. Thoughts? This blogger did congoleum which is similar (I think) and it looks great...

I'm also thinking a way to make cheaper tile look nicer is to lay it out into bigger squares.

I could always buy some returnable tiles at Home Depot and play around with the layout just to see. Hmm...I might just do that today! Stay tuned.


Okay, this might have just inspired me to get off my ass and finally do something about my much blogged about kitchen floor. I LOVE this (found here).