Monday, May 31, 2010

The Flag Girl





Remember that time when I told you all about my job? And how I unexpectedly became the voice of flag authority?

This past week was pretty busy in the office. People were calling non-stop with questions about how to properly retire a flag (you burn it), how to get their neighbors arrested for disobeying the flag code (seriously people?), and with questions about the history of this holiday.

Mostly, they were curious about why the flag is only flown at half staff until noon on Memorial Day.

So in honor of the holiday, I thought I'd take a break from all the barbecuing, come in from the sunshine, and tell you about that last question.

(Who am I kidding? You all know I wrote this days ago)

The flag is flown at half staff during the morning of Memorial Day, in honor of all the people who gave their lives fighting for our freedom.

Then at noon it is raised back to full staff to symbolize how we, as Americans, look towards the future with pride and hope.

So get back out there, and enjoy that sunshine. Eat a hot dog. And keep in mind the heroes who made it all possible.

Happy Memorial day.

.


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Our Favorite Show



A while ago I introduced Kurt to one of my all-time favorite shows. Maybe you've heard of it?


It's the only thing that tempts Kurt away from studying.

Sometimes I'll stand there wearing lingerie, and Kurt is all "can you move a little bit? You're blocking my text book."

But if he hears the theme song of arrested development, he comes running.

And I'm not even offended.


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Mr. Sticky Butt



(I am going to get in trouble for this post. I just know it.)

When Kurt and I text, I like to say unexpected things, like "I love your guts!"

It keeps the magic alive.

The other day, I decided to liven up the conversation. And things went horribly wrong.

Me: "I love your sticky butt!"

Kurt: "Sticky?"

Me: "Eew. I meant stinky. Sorry, but I'm not touching your sticky butt with a ten foot pole."

Yuck, right?

A few hours later...

Kurt: "I'm training right now for the Sauna World Championships... On the bus :("

Me: "Is that why your butt is so sticky?"

Kurt: "Yup"

Me: "Mmm, sounds tasty. Kidding. I probably won't ever be able to look at your butt again."

Weird, huh? You're probably wondering why I chose to share that with you.

I'm a chronic over-sharer, people. That's why I blog.

But also, I wanted to share this link. He wasn't just making that whole Sauna World Championship thing up.

I cannot wait to sign up for this sport!

JUST KIDDING. Obviously.

I cannot believe I married a Finnish guy.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

C.R.A.F.T Blog Swap!





I am so excited to be    b l o g  s w a p p i n g 

today with Life in the Pitts!

[Her blog is hilarious and filled with creative ideas!] 


I'm Jamie @ C.R.A.F.T.

[creating really awesome free things] 


I host a creative party every Monday. I would love for everyone to link up :) 







Today I am sharing 4 C.R.A.F.T.'s!
 


C.R.A.F.T. #24: Brownie in a Mug





C.R.A.F.T. #29:   Zip Lock Organization

 





C.R.A.F.T. #43: Patches







C.R.A.F.T. #46: Modern Quilt













Thanks Jamie for stopping by and sharing some of your awesome ideas! And you guys, go check out those projects- you will love her tutorials!

And did you see? A BROWNIE IN A MUG. I just licked the screen.



Monday, May 24, 2010

What's new?



Hey guys.

I've been working on a whole bunch of exciting stuff lately. Maybe you've noticed some of it?

The first big change is the header. It's kind of hard to miss. What do you think?

Also, I made new buttons. They are chillen' over there, on my sidebar. Yeah, I know. I'm not very good at it. But hey, I'm trying!

Oh hey, this is exciting:

Life in the Pitts


It's still in it's beginning stages, but eventually I will be putting featured interviews, more pictures, and exclusive contests up in there.

And you may have seen that advertising space over in the right sidebar. I've had a few offers for sponsorship, and figured "heck, why not?" If you are interested in putting your button there, click the sponsor tab up at the top of the blog.

Also, please feel free to click on any of those sponsor buttons, at any time. We're talking day or night.

I dare you.

What else.....

I've been updating my FAQ page. If you have any questions to add, you can email me at laniereeblog@gmail.com.


Procrastinating and Public Speaking



Hi guys. How was your weekend? Mine was pretty good. I spent a lot of it procrastinating, and pretending like I didn't have a talk to prepare. It totally recommend this method.

Let me explain. In my church, there isn't a pastor who gives sermons every Sunday. Instead, the Bishop asks different people from the congregation to prepare talks on various subjects, such as scriptures, and family. There are usually 2-3 speakers every Sunday, and the talks are about 15-20 minutes long. Mine was on Temples.

You can say no, of course. They aren't gonna force you to do it if you really don't want to. But even though public speaking from a pulpit isn't exactly on list of favorite things to do, I decided to go for it.

I had plenty of time to prepare. I was asked over a month ago. I could have been ready and practicing weeks ago.

But you know me better than that.

I got up at 6:30am on Sunday to write it. And suddenly my weekend of procrastination didn't seem so awesome.

At church I was so nervous. My hands were shaking and my heart was pounding, and my mouth felt as dry as cotton. I stood up and stared out over the faces of the congregation, and was thankful that half of them seemed preoccupied with fussy babies and energetic toddlers.

I lost my place a few times, and I couldn't stop waving my hands around. But overall, I think it went well.

Afterward people were saying things like "Fantastic" "Best talk I've ever heard!" and "So when are you speaking at General Conference?"

I guess they liked it.

I'm just glad it's over.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

So many questions...



Editors note: Huh. I thought I scheduled this for Saturday.

Remember my new exercise class? Well, it's kind of hard to practice in between classes.

I mean, I could go to a playground, but I think the mommies would be horrified, and the kids might decide to be strippers when they grow up.

And I just don't want to be responsible for that.

I thought about getting one of those removable poles from Spencers, but I'm pretty sure they don't have that store in Pennsylvania. Plus they don't seem very sturdy.

Also, I've been trying to figure out how to have a pole in my future house, without my kids knowing what it's for. Maybe I'll put in a few, and pretend like they are holding up the ceiling...?

Any ideas you guys?


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Hold on to your running shoes!



You guys, I'm doing it! I'm training for a something-K!

(This photo was staged. I promise I wore socks in real life.)


Some of the wives invited me to go running last night, and then convinced me to train with them. I can't remember what number it is though... a 5K? A 10K? I'm hoping for a 2K.

I hate running.

But I also hate having to buy new pants because my old ones won't fit over my knees.

I have fat knees.

Just kidding. I do have fat thighs though. So, you know, YOU'RE WELCOME for that mental image.

Now, before someone calls BS, I'll admit that I actually love shopping for new clothes. As long as "I have nothing to wear" isn't a literal statement, I'm all for it.

But lets face it. Those dressing room mirrors are not exactly flattering, and when you're buying up a size (or three) it's just not a pleasant experience.

That's where my 1.2K comes in.

Also, exercise is good for depression. Obviously, the Universe has a dry sense of humor. When you can't even get out of bed to use the bathroom**, exercise is not gonna be high on your daily to-do list.

I'm gonna go wash my sports bra. Wish me luck.


**I don't wet the bed. I promise. I just wait about an hour and a half longer than I should, and then run to the toilet at the last possible moment. I like to think of it as "exercising my bladder." I wonder if they have 1/4K's for that, too?


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Why I named it Creative Therapy



Hi guys. It's Wednesday, and that means it's time for our Creative Therapy session. I've had a rough week. You may have guessed that from yesterday's post.

It may sound funny, but these sessions really are therapy for me.

I suffer from depression. Many of you probably do too. I went through a period when I fist moved out here where I was sleeping for 12-18 hours every day, and rarely leaving the house. I was sad and lonely and you know what helped?

Blogging. And reading blogs. Finding this amazing network of women. Reading your stories got me back on my feet.

And then finding craft blogs. Being motivated to try making things myself. I began getting up out of bed, showering, and going to the store to get supplies. I stopped daydreaming about dying. I started living again.

That's what blogging did for me. So when things get tough, and I can't stop crying, I know that even if my sisters aren't answering their phones, I don't have to feel isolated and alone.

Because when I turn on my computer, I turn on a lifeline. I can visit your pages, and hear about your struggles, and be inspired by your triumphs.

It's a resource my mother never had.

And when I see the projects you crafty people make, and it gets me excited. I can't tell you how valuable that is.

So thank you.

And welcome to our Creative Therapy Session.

THE RULES.

1. Make sure you link directly to the page your Creative Project is on, not your main blog page (please, no Etsy Shops or online stores).

2. Leave a short description of your project.

3. Grab my Craft Therapy button, and put it somewhere visible. Or you can just create a link back. I'm not too picky.

4. Visit the person above you in the Linky list, and leave them a comment. And if you'd like to visit a few more people, that would be great, too!


The linky will close at Midnight, so be sure to link up before then. And if you don't get your project done on time, don't stress. Enjoy the projects that were linked up, and participate again next week.


Life in the Pitts





I miss her.



May 13, 2010

I stood in my bedroom, staring blankly at my pile of clothes. What are you supposed to wear to a funeral? Black? Gray? Just something nice? I'm not even sure what fits anymore.

I never met him. The man who died. None of us had. His father is the dean of Kurt's dental school. This son was in the Navy. Intelligence. They may never know who killed him, or why.

All I know for sure is that he was 30. Much too young to die.

I picked up a gray skirt, and held it in front of me. I looked into the mirror, but I couldn't focus very well through my tears.

I thought about the last time I stood over a pile of clothes, wondering what to wear to a funeral.

It was April 6th, 2004.

And she was only 44.


Monday, May 17, 2010

My arms are so sore, I can't brush my hair. Or my teeth. Which is ok, because I married a dental student.



I woke up on Saturday, and my first thought was "I wonder what I should wear to my pole dancing class?"

I know what you're thinking. "What kind of crazy dreams were you having?" Or maybe "Um, duh. Lingerie."

I went with Yoga pants. But next time I'm wearing shorts. And heels.

When I told Kurt I wanted to take pole dancing lessons, he wasn't really surprised. But when I told him who's idea it was, he was shocked.

My friend Nicole, from Keepin' the Castle is the brains behind this operation.

Nicole is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. She sews and cooks (just thinking about her marble brownies is making me drool), and is an awesome mommy. She teaches piano and loves her sunbeam class, and I'm pretty sure she doesn't use face cards. Also, she might never speak to me again after she reads this.

I think all of us used her as an excuse. "Yes, I said pole dancing. But it's ok, because Nicole is going, too." And suddenly it seemed respectable.

So that morning I was super excited. I even got up at 10:45 on a Saturday to get ready. Which is kind of a record.

The class didn't start until 12:30. Probably because the students all work late? I think a few of them paid in $1 bills.....

...Just kidding. If anyone was a professional, they can't be making much. We all looked awkward and ridiculous. Which was really nice, because there was a lot of laughter and no pressure to try and look seductive.

I mean, we all tried, but we also failed.

It was awesome.

Here is what I learned: Pole dancing is not sexy. It's hard and painful and a lot of fun if you go with friends who will laugh at you when you are trying to do a booty bump.

Also, if you do wear shorts, please put spandex on underneath. No one wants to see your lady parts. (someone needs to say this to our teacher. I call not it.)

Today I have bruises and sore muscles but it was totally worth it. Because I can do a fairy.


(This girl calls it the Cheerleader, but in Pittsburgh it's the Fairy. Also, our teacher was much less annoying than this girl.)

The moral of this story: Pole dancing is painful, but really fun.

Plus, it's always good to have a skill you can fall back on. You know, For those hard times when your husband is limiting your spending money, and Michaels is having a sale...

.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Always a good way to kill the moment.



While we were making out:

"Hey Kurt, I hope you don't hate me."

"Why would I hate you?"

"Well, my sports bra was still really sweaty from this morning. And I need it again. So I put it in the dryer with your clean clothes."

"....."

"I'm so sorry!"

"....."

"It's probably dry now..."


Thursday, May 13, 2010

I have many flaws. But my new hair isn't one of them.



Remember a few weeks ago, when I wrote that totally obnoxious post about my new hair color?

Yeah, about that. I suck. It's just a fact. I'm always late, I steal clothing (just from sisters and roommates. I've never successfully** stolen anything from a store), and I'm messy. Like, really messy. And I sleep a lot. Basically, you should not be surprised when I do things like write a post about my new hair color, and then forget to take a picture to include in the post. And then publish it anyway. And then add 5 other pictures because I feel lame and I'm hoping to distract you.

Sorry guys. Here is that picture I promised you.

(I couldn't resist! Man, it's a good thing Kurt never checks my blog)

And here is a more hair-centered picture.

What do you think?




**This one time when I was really little, I tried to break open a little $15 toy gumball machine in a toy store. It was the display one, and it had real gum in it. And by "break open" I mean I was just kind of sitting there, twisting the handle, and hoping for the best.

But the manager saw me, and threw a fit. She yanked me into the back room, closed the door, and yelled at me. Without telling my mother. I think I was 6. I started crying, and she wouldn't let me leave.

Out in the store, my mother realized that 1 of her 4 children was missing, and almost had a heart attack.

5 hours later (or maybe 10 minutes. I don't know, I was 6) my Mom found me in the back room, sitting on a chair, being yelled at by the manager. After telling the whore lady off, we stormed out and we never went back to that toy store again. Looking back, I wonder why the hell we didn't sue. I'm pretty sure we would have won.

(I know, I'm so hostile. Remembering this never really bugged me when I was little, but looking back it makes me really mad. Just thinking of someone doing this to one of my future kids gets my mother-bear-defending-her-young instincts all riled up).

Still, it scarred me enough that I've never tried to steal anything since then. Any time I think about it (yes, I sometimes think about it) I get this feeling that that woman is following me around, just waiting for a chance to finish what she started.

Creepy, huh?


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

And here's a note from my sister



Hey guys. Remember that email Chantel sent me, about the free collages at Walgreens? Well, she sent me another email this morning.
So I found this really good deal, you can get up to 5 Free 8″x8″ Photo Books (30 pages) from ArtsCow. Use the coupon Code 5PBKS88 (they'll have a place for you to input codes once you make your account). Exp. date 5/14/10, effective period, 30 days.

And, when you make an account you get a lot of free credit just for being a new member!

I don't know how much shipping will cost, but it sounds like a good deal to me :-)

~Chantel

I just entered in the coupon code, and it says I can make 5 30 page photobooks. So that part is totally true. It also says to share this deal with all my friends. This counts, right?

I'm gonna make them, and then once I see the shipping, I'll update this post. So check back later :)


Friday, May 7, 2010

Because we all love free stuff



My sister chantel sent me an email, and I'm gonna share it with you guys. Because I love you all.
This expires on Saturday

Free 8X10 photo collage from Walgreens when you use the code GOODTHOUGHTS at the checkout! If you have it delivered to your house you'll need to pay for shipping, but if you pick it up at the store, it is free! I got a collage of wedding pictures, and it looks great.

Remember, it expires 5/8/10

Have a great day!
~Chantel


So, I am super busy tonight, and probably won't be able to do this before tomorrow. But if any of you have a few extra minutes, check it out.

-Lanie Ree


Monday, May 3, 2010

Jamaica!



Note to self: next time you go on a trip, ask for an extra day off work, just for unpacking and blog posting. Because catching up in the office took all day.

I know what you are thinking. "Who actually works at work?" Or maybe, "Gosh, how rude of them to expect you to earn the money they are paying you."

I know.

So for now, I'll just say the trip was awesome. I got VERY sunburned. And here is what I bought in Jamaica.



Cool huh?



And this is what I'm giving away! (the next picture)

You know you're excited! This little wooden turtle is carved out of wood, and the necklace is made out of wood beads and coffee beans. At least, that's what the guy told me when I bought it.

I think he's really cute.

I kind of want to keep him myself.

See? From Jamaica.

Holy cow, Jamaica was an experience. I'll tell you all about it later. For now, let me just say if you are in Jamaica, and someone tries to hand you something ("Take this necklace! It's free!" or maybe "Look at this pottery!"), put your hands in your pocket and back away. Don't touch it, don't take it, and don't even look interested. Because once it's in your hands, it's yours, and you have to pay for it.

Poor Kurt got stuck with this necklace. It looks so pretty on him.

(please ignore the extreme mess in the background)

Still, the island was beautiful and the people were wonderful.

You're probably wondering who won the giveaway, huh? Alright, alright, I'll get to the exiting stuff.



According to random.org, the winner of the Jamaican Giveaway is.....


The Gofsam!!
"Oh yes totally agree with you on Pop-Tarts and Kraft Mac N Cheese!! Generic brands I save where I can :)"

Congratulations!

Please email me your mailing address at laniereeblog(at)gmail(dot)com, and I'll get those out to you.


And be grateful I didn't choose to give away these things. Blue plastic water shoes, worn by me in the Dunn's River Falls, in Ocho Rios Jamaica. Turns out they don't let you climb in flip flops. When I had to pay $7 for these beauties, Kurt was all "I think we've found your giveaway item."

I was tempted.

But in the end, I decided that a cheap pair of size 6 watershoes was just not exciting enough.

Am I right?


.


Hey guys!



I'm back!


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Meet Andrew.



Andrew is my best friend. He's thoughtful, caring, and always on my side- especially when I've been fighting with my husband. He's pretty much like my sister, only he's a guy. And he looks a lot like Kurt.

I vent. It's how I deal. When I don't vent, I seethe and stew and get angrier and angrier until the small, slightly irritating event has been blown way out of proportion and I DON'T CARE IF I'M OVERREACTING, KURT. THIS IS HOW I FEEL, AND IF YOU LOVED ME YOU WOULD RESPECT THAT.

Yeah. I am that much fun to live with. You know you wish you were married to me.

So to avoid having a major meltdown every few days, I talk to people. My sisters, my brother. My dad sometimes. Depends on the problem. They are all used to it, and know exactly what to say. Since getting married, I mostly talk to Amber when I'm upset at Kurt. She's been married for a long time, so she understands, and she likes Kurt enough that she isn't gonna start hating him.

They listen, they commiserate, they validate, and then they make me see that he probably didn't mean it, and he loves me, and I really should go talk to him.

Kurt is so not ok with it.

In fact, a few months ago we had a GIANT fight about it.

So now what? He can be a real jerk sometimes, and if I'm not allowed to talk to anyone, I feel very isolated and alone. And then the anger grows and grows and I stop doing the dishes for a week because that is the perfect punishment for him, and he needs to pay.

So we compromised. This is where Andrew comes in.

"I tried it Kurt! I tried not talking to anyone. But now I feel like I am going to explode!"

"Then talk to me."

"Talk to you about you? No way. You'd just get defensive and try to explain your side and I"M NOT READY TO HEAR THAT YET."

"Maybe... could you pretend like I'm someone else?"

.....huh. That could work.

*Sniffle* "Ok. You can be my best friend. Are you a girl?"

"Um, probably not."

"Then you have to be gay. Because I can't have a best guy friend who is straight. That's just a bad idea."

"Alright."

"Should we use our cell phones?"

"I don't think so."

"Ok. Then... how about we are at your apartment. And your name is Andrew."

It worked. I was able to tell Andrew about how awful Kurt was acting, and he followed all the steps. Listening, commiserating, validating.

"He doesn't deserve you honey."

It was great. He got a little distracted by the window "I'm trying to picture some fabulous curtains", but other than that he was exactly what I needed.

I know it sounds crazy. But it works for us.

Do you guys have any crazy/brilliant or quirky things that work for you?


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