Like a Glove

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Jeans: H&M...Sweater: Target...Scarf: Target...Boots: thrifted...Bag: Longchamp knockoff

Have I sung the praises of these boots yet? They're the perfect cognac color, not too high that they look like scary stripper boots, not too short that they look like cowboy boots, and they legitimately fit my very narrow calves. I spent the better part of three years reading every review for boots I could find, willing to cough up money for a well-fitting pair. And then I found them while thrifting. Thank you, clueless Arizona resident, for passing along these gems. True, I had to spend a little to have them re-soled since the leather sole was brittle and crumbling away, but the money was well worth it for a pair of just-my-style beauties.

Seriously. No gapping at the calf. Even women with lithe, beautiful runners' legs have a hard time finding that kind of perfect fit. And you better believe I'll find a spot in my duffle for them during the move. I'mma keep these suckers forevah.

Complaining about Nothing

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dress: Target...Cardigan: Target...Scarf: table runner from Thailand...Shoes: Naturalizer

Maaaaan, I had a case of the Mondays yesterday. Woke up late, stayed in bed late, watched a few more minutes of Castaway (which we fell asleep to), didn't brush my overnight-dried hair. It's a good thing I treated myself to a ridiculous morning, the workday got going and we didn't quit until after 8. And then proofed and made mark ups to the invitation for our event over email until 11. Ick.

I would have given anything for a 2:30 nap. No luck. And I have a sneaking suspicion the rest of the week isn't going to let up. You know, March 1 deadlines and all. Double ick. No worries. I'll make it to Friday. I think.

Memphis Meet Up

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Nice face, Rob.

My brother is as cool as Elvis in the 50's. Just look at this dude.

Meeting up in Memphis has been an annual highlight-of-the-year for three years now. I love that my family is super independent, travel and live all over the place. But, it sure is nice to have formed a tradition of driving 20 hours round trip to meet up halfway with my parents and brother during our shared birthday season. I hate my birthday, really, its a yearly reminder of another year passing and not having personally accomplished anything of substance on my goal list. No kids. No home ownership. Jobs which might be perfectly interesting, but pay peanuts while I'm the crappiest breadwinner-for-two in the history of time. With Rob in school foreverandeveramen (HA! Can't complain about that one anymore!), I've shoved a lot of intentions to the background.

But, I share the day with this kid. Nope, not kid. He's 18 now. And that makes the day less about marking my next year of perceived inadequacy and more about celebrating family and all of the cool things this guy is going to get himself into for the next year. I love spending the time with the coolest people in my life, I love that, as a newly minted adult, my brother is okay with being a goober with me. I love visits like this where there's no agenda or rush to see and do, that I got the "hang out and play cards, it's time well spent" gene. And I love that I picked a spouse who cheerfully joins in the absurdity.

And, the trip itself: Chilly Saturday. Awesome dive diner breakfast with seriously good hashbrowns. Creeper drive-by of Elvis' house before Graceland. Gibson Guitar factory tour (did you know they have a guy who belt sands the proper shape of the necks by FEEL?!). We aaaalmost went to a monster truck rally at the arena. Central BBQ. Power shopping to properly hipster-ify my brother. Beers, potato chips, Euchre card gaming, long video chats with my sissy in Phoenix. Bright Sunday. Tennis golf in a little park. Lazy lunch of soul food and sweet tea.

Sigh, next time I see my family, brother will be graduating high school. Creepy.

Happiness is...

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Skirt: Beijing tailor...Sweater: F21...Scarf: Target...Shoes: Naturalizer

Marionberry Style. Black and White: Trend of the Month. Heck yes. Also, Work Clothes, I Suppose Polka Dot link up (which happens tomorrow! You still have time!). Throw in a little Pleated Poppy and Watch Out for the Woestmans and we've got ourselves a party.

I'll probably pass along a few photos of the weekend in Memphis a little later in the week, but it got me thinking about stuff that makes me happy.
Family Time, especially if we all drive 11 hours for it
Car ride conversations
A cat curled into the tightest little ball on my lap
A cat dreaming and twitching in my lap
Birthday gift of Kindle pre-ordered book by Ron Rash
Azalea blooms in February. I love the South
Kahlua and skim milk
My super cool/terrifying gift from brother. A bad-ass knife. Because he wanted to pick out a suited-to-me version of something he's into
Expensive camping socks doubling as slippers
Neighbors who take care of my critter kids for the price of beer-gift
Neighbors who share their successes and worries and excitements with me, because we're friends
My brownware mug
Beagles who snore so loud they wake up
Making a date with my husband's bromance to see a musical
Perfectly red and pink sunsets

What's been making you grin? My workdays are dragging on a little too long, so send me your little bit of happy!

When Lazy Turns Out to Be Okay

Friday, February 15, 2013

I don't think I've spent a weekend not in one of these sweaters. They came and went in Target a month ago, I scooped up four colors and aaaaalmost returned them, because 4 seemed superfluous. But, I didn't, and I have not yet regretted having an excess. Do they feel a little cheap? Yes. Have I sewn a seam or two back together? Yup. Have they snagged a little and forced me to rework the yarn back into the weave? A time or two. But they are slouchy without being dumpy, heavy without being stiflingly hot, cover my butt with the modest hi-low hem. They look decent enough with a pair of skinny crops and a scarf to hide my late mornings, it's easy to do weekend wear in one.

I wore the blush pink one yesterday for Valentine's Day. I did not take a photo. So, here's the ivory one taking its part in the \ deterioration of a weekend look: run coffee and Target type errands. Get home, yell, "Forget it!" and change into crappy jeans and chacos. I think at around 6 pm on Saturday, I gave up on the jeans and went for fluffy socks and stretchy pants. Again, I did not take a photo.

Guess what we're off to do this weekend? Yearly Memphis meet-up weekend. A week or so late. See you guys on Tuesday, I'll be too busy enjoying my family and sleeping in the car while Rob drives the 2 am shift before I go to work on Monday to care much about scheduling a post. I'm sure you'll forgive me for prioritizing family.

Bored Meeting

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Skirt: Banana Republic...Buttondown: Express, thrifted...Vest: F21, thrifted...Shoes: MaxStudio via DSW...Belt: stolen from sister in middle school...Bag: Longchamp knockoff

Nope, no typo. I had a Board Meeting yesterday. It was supposed to go from 4:00 - 6:00. The majority of the meeting was to be devoted to getting the Board up to speed and invested in the Gala. Which is the majority of my current responsibilities. I assembled all kinds of data, made lists like crazy, printed and copied at least a ream of paper's worth of stuff. And then I passed it out and sat. And sat. I literally contributed four words to the meeting. Dulls.ville. And not only that, but the chitty chat loitering board stuck around until 7:38. I'm not joking.

So, I suppose wearing my very favorite brown leather belt and alligator stamped brown pumps was a good foil to the meeting. Also, I taught my husband how to make spicy sichuan noodle stir fry once I got home for dinner. So now he has that in his arsenal for late-Kate-arrival dinner making.

Noodles are my very favorite thing to eat. I'd give up bread forever and eat all carbs in the form of noodles if it made sense to do so. I can't even describe to you all how glad I am Rob learned this meal.

Next Steps

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Skirt: Banana Republic, thrifted...Sweater: J Crew, thrifted...Belt: Target...Shoes: Naturalizer...Scarf: Thai table runner...Bag: Longchamp knockoff

Well, crew, it's Wednesday, so I'm linking up with The Pleated Poppy and Rolled Up Pretty. And why on earth would I deprive you all of my gloriously bed-head-ish icky bun disguised by a crisp pencil skirt and black patent belt?

Just in case you missed it... my little family will be moving to Suzhou, China for my husband's new position as a professor at Soochow University. Can I get a WOOHOO? As excited as I am about our next step and our international move, I'm realizing how much there is to plan and arrange. Actually, I think we've mostly figured out how we plan to move our things to storage in Ohio, I've already found several well reviewed lightweight duffel bags for the flight, we are receiving help with visa arrangements from the university. Mostly, I am doing a lot of sorting things out in my head about what we should toss, sell or donate and what physical stuff we ought to save in storage that is "our stuff". The stuff that feels like home. Because we don't really know how long we'll live overseas. We might stay for just a year or two, we might stay 6, we might love it and apply for tenure. And if we only stay a much longer time, what's the point of keeping stuff? Here's the other factor. My sister is likely moving back to the States from Hong Kong, so there may be a transfer of furnishings and rice cookers mid-summer so I don't want to start a grand purge before she gets her pick.

The upside? I love making lists and researching something to death. So, a complicated move with a currency conversion and different set of cultural norms is pretty great.

Crash landing

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Skirt: F21...Tank: Target...Sweater: thrifted...Shoes: Naturalizer...Bag: Longchamp knockoff

If one wears a green tank masquerading as a real shirt in the workplace, is one able to make up for it with a ridiculously bow-laden pencil skirt?

So, we had an incident yesterday morning. We had a leftover candle from the holidays hanging out in our very tiny linen closet and, while reaching in for his shaving cream, Rob knocked it off the shelf and onto the floor. It shattered. Big time. I was still in the shower, so my only way out of the bathroom to get a broom and clean up supplies was past the massive explosion of glass. It's really really nervewracking to try to avoid a floor full of glass shards while one is 1. soaking wet 2. wearing foggy glasses 3. trying to maneuver in a towel 4. trying desperately not to bump into the person whose foot is gouged by and covered in glass.

Clean up ended up going fine, but I'm very confident we washed a pretty fair amount down the shower drain. Somehow, wiping the glass off of my husband's foot with a paper towel seemed like a really awful idea.

Stripes, Mint, and Confessions

Monday, February 11, 2013

Skirt: Beijing Tailor...Tee: J Crew Outlet...Belt: Target...Scarf: Target...Shoes: Nine West via Buffalo Exchange...Bag: Longchamp knockoff

I was told I looked "very J Crew" in this. I'll take the compliment, even if I'm dressing for the wrong season.

So, did you all get a chance to see my news (ha, I say "my news" like I had anything to do with it)? I'm really sorry about floating away with no explanation for over a week, but we were waiting on paperwork and researching our brains out and with my normal easy-and-hidden outdoor photo spot still out of commission, taking daily shots was a drag, so I decided the logical thing to do was go missing rather than subject you guys to dust-and-dog-fur mirror shots. Anyway, mumbling aside, I've missed you all and promise to retain a more normal schedule. Because ditching your friends is lame. I have been silently keeping up with you guys, even if I haven't been commenting.

Lots of other big stuff has been happening for my family, too, so I'll either have lots of good stuff to tell you soon or more secrets to keep. TBD.

Big News!

Hey, friends, so sorry I went MIA last week. I have an excellent reason for being distracted, though.

Hey, remember that time I went to visit my sister in Hong Kong and Beijing and thought it was awesome? (Probably not, it was just before I started the blog.) Well, in 2011, I spent two summertime weeks in Beijing, exploring the city while she was at work. It was amazing, I felt weirdly at home there, I was only asked once for my photo (it's pretty common for tourists to be asked if a local can take a photo with you. Apparently I blended enough to not be too visible). I got a good chuckle about some cultural norms, like wearing ankle-high nylons with sandals. And I really wished for a long long long time that my terrible sole-breadwinner skillz weren't such a deterrent to my own personal travel. When your husband is in a field that necessitates $400 here, $500 there, $150 everywhere to travel to conferences, your own personal travel kind of craps out. And being the non-student in the family kind of sucked for a long time.

Then September 2012 rolled around. Rob, in his 4th and final year of his doctorate in music and in the midst of studying big time for the insane and super involved comprehensive exams gets an email. An application he sent in for a job search last May wanted to do a Skype interview with him (5 days before the big test, no less). And then the dog got crazy sick and I nervous barfed my way through about a week and  a half straight. And then they asked him to go for a campus interview. Not even graduated yet, and they want him to go for an on-site interview. Um, yeah, smarty-pants is doing something right. (And my amazingly vague chatter in those few weeks makes a little more sense, huh?)

So he went. He won. He'll be joining 18 other brand new faculty members and building the composition department (and probably an electronic music studio at some point) of a music school from the ground up at a prestigious university.

In Suzhou, China. Google it. I'll hold on while you do. Or Pinterest. Whatever you wanna do.

That Venice of the East jewel-of-a-city is going to be our new home in 6 months. Please pick your jaw up off the floor and join me in a cheer for making it through all of his degrees without losing my sanity or sense of humor. I will no longer be the Perpetual Student's Wife. My husband is freaking EMPLOYED!

In Beijing 2011, I tied a wish to this bridge near the Confucius Temple. 

One of many many many beautiful gardens in Suzhou

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