Wednesday, November 19, 2014

26 Going on 27

young 8
This adorable girl turns 27 tomorrow.  That's right, the big 2-7
Tomorrow I turn 27. I have only one task thought on this event, and it's not particularly insightful. My only real qualm is that 27 doesn't sound as sexy as 26. Not that the grand age of 26 is all that sexy, but it really beats out the sound of "I am 27 years old".

Maybe its because 26 is an even number. Or because 26 only has 3 syllables, and 27 breaks into the 4 syllable range. Or maybe it's because you are still in your mid 20's when your 26. And 27, well 27 is basically 30. That's right folks, we are on the slow march to 30.
baby 4
Or is it more of a climb?  I am a good climber
Anyways, this will be my last post at the somewhat sexy, but definitely sexier than 27, age of 26. And the only reason I had to write was simply to say that my birthday is tomorrow, that I am getting old and that I don't particularly like the sound of "I'm 27".  At least not yet. We'll see where the year takes us.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Weekend Update: To-Do List Success

This is going to be a busy week, but before we got too far along, I wanted to check in with you guys with a quick weekend update, especially after boosting about my to-do list making skills on Thursday.  So, let's start there.

Surprise of all surprises, I completed 3 of the 4 items from Thursday (and, to be honest, sadly I had a feeling in my bones that that damn vacuum cleaner was not going to get fixed).  I found a way to successfully charge my DSLR camera.  While the actually camera charging cord is still MIA, I scoured all the miscellaneous cords in our house (of which there are SO MANY) and managed to find not one, but two cords that would work!  I joyfully crossed out the first item from my list.

Next, I scoured The Baking Bible to decide what I was going to make (we all had a pretty good feeling that my major kitchen project was going to be bread).  While I pretended to consider other options, I knew all along that the fragrance I wanted emanating out of my ovens was cinnamon raisin bread.  So I got started on that.

Finished product.  Look at those homemade beauties
The great thing about making bread is that while it is an all day task, there is plenty of downtime as well.  I managed to start the dough and then hit the gym and get a new library card at the Poplar Creek Library (on a side note, what a neat library!  But, I am a dork who appreciates a good library).  After giving a little more love to my bread, I managed to cut out the pattern for my pajama pants.

And this is where I stumbled (granted, I didn't realize it until Sunday).  I spent a considerable amount of time lining up the very cute stripes of my very cute fabric to make my pj pants as very cute (and professional) looking as I could.  There was much manipulating and studying of the fabric.  So much so, that I managed to completely overlook the very simple fact of how I folded the fabric.  So, as I was showing off my handiwork on Skype the next day to my mom and sister I realized that I could out one half of my pajamas upside down.  So, while the adorable stripes will line up front to back, left to right they will flip 180 degrees.  I have decided that this will be a cute quirk of my pants and will forge on.  Final pictures of this adorable mistake to come.

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This was a heartbreaking realization on Sunday.  But at least the fabric is cute, right?

Besides ricking my to-do list, Ben and I also went to the movies on Saturday night.  We went to see Gone Girl, but decided to switch movies when the only 2 seats together where in the second row from the front.  So, we changed our tickets to Big Hero 6, which was much funnier and more enjoyable than I thought it was going to be.  On Sunday, we had a classic Target shopping trip.  Our list had 3 items to pick up at Target, and when we left there $150 later, only one of the items on our list had actually been purchased.  But we did pick up an awesomely large clock and several strings of Christmas lights.  I will be the first to admit that our weekends need a little more excitement to them.

Anyways, this week will be busy.  My 27th birthday is on Thursday, although it doesn't seem like it is late enough in the year for it, but the calendar doesn't lie.  I am at Northwestern Medical Center most of the week watching a SPECT/CT camera get installed and Ben has class on Friday, so I don't think there will be much celebrating anyways.  And that is about it.  I'll try to think of something more excited to check in with but it might be a few days.  Hope your Monday included much less Chicago traffic than mine did!

One more shot, because that swirl of cinnamon is a work of culinary art

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Holding Me To It

I have a barrage of thoughts all vying for top blog billing this week. It’s been a few days since last writing, so I am anxious to get back to it (I feel like I get out of a groove whenever I stop for a few days), but have been struggling with what I should write about.

This week has consisted mostly of: work, food, complaining about the fact that it’s getting cold, and cuddling with dog (in no particular order), so idea for blogging material has been lacking. The three top ideas were as follows: 
  • The fact that my 27th birthday is a week from today (ekk - and yet, I have nothing of any actual value to add to the I'm turning 27! conversation.  But I'm pretty sure Buzzfeed has a least one "27 things to do before your 27" list).
  • Neighbors (I have them.  They interact with us.  It's new and weird.  I still may eventually write this post).
  • Things I am planning on doing this weekend.
List and a cup of a coffee.  It was a hopeful Saturday morning

And even though it sounds like the least interesting in that list of 3, I am going with the last bullet point.  Last weekend, Ben and I made an extensive weekend to-do list. Surprising both of us, we made a very large dent in it. While there is a few items still left (fix vacuum. Ben’s haircut), I was proud of what we accomplished.  So, obviously I figured I should keep the to-do list thing going, to accomplish even more things.  And then I thought it was a good idea to proclaim it to the internet in hopes that you guys would hold me to it.  Total blog-worthy topic.

2014-11-13 12.19.21
I love drawing lines through things
Last Weekend of Being 26 To-Do List:
(which is totally (sadly)  not what one may expect...)

  • I made Ben cozy pajama pants last year for Christmas. I finally got around to completing them a few weeks ago (it was the hemming, I was strangely adverse to completing this one small step that would complete the total project). Back when I bought the fabric in November of 2013, I also bought myself some fabric to make myself pj pants. It’s sitting uncut in my office. I’d love to get to that.
  • Figure out how to bring my nice DSL camera back to life. I lost the cord that connects the charger to the wall and my battery has been dead since, oh I don’t know, we got back from our honeymoon 9 8 months ago. And, the icing on the cake is that my camera phone is pitiful (in case you hadn’t figured that one out already…). This really needs to be rectified. Life pictures should be taken.
  • Tackle a project in the kitchen. It’s Thursday night and I still haven’t decided what it should be, but I want to make something involved. Maybe a lasagna, or another pot pie to win favor with the husband. Or maybe I will bake some bread. I haven’t made bread in a while, and it makes a house feel so warm and smell so comforting. So, maybe I have decided what I will make. I will scour recipes tonight to finalize. (Side note, Martha Stewart’s lentil soup? Amazing. Easy. Give into the cold and make it, preferably a double batch. Maybe eat with homemade bread?)
  • Fix that damn vacuum cleaner. I am out of excuses to avoid it. Boo. 
Alright, there it is.  Let's see how I do.

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Who wouldn't want to cook from this beautiful tome?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Weekend Update: Introducting Mr. Bernoulli Fritsch

The big news this weekend (for those of you not paying attention), is that we finally brought home a little puppy, 3 months old and so far, seeming to be like his "forever home". We have named him Bernoulli (this is the sad sort of thing that happens when 2 engineers marry each other) and we both already love him to pieces.

In our defense, how do you not love this face?
I will admit that the first night was a rough one.  We had only known each other about 4 hours before we penned him up in our bathroom with a baby gate and attempted to sleep.  It was a night of whining and yips and 4 bathroom trips outside that I begrudgingly allowed.  There was no sleep for me that night, laying awake and wondering if this really was the best idea.  The next day was a little tough as well, with Ben having to be at school all day, me in a lack-of-any-real-sleep haze and Bernoulli simply being a non-house trained puppy.  The next two nights were much better, we planned the bathroom breaks and Bernoulli slept peacefully in his crate (in the living room).  Even though one of us has to be on diligent puppy watch anytime he is not confined to his crate to prevent any accidents (of which there have been too many in my opinion...), it was a fun weekend.  A fun weekend in which not much else got accomplished, but that was to be expected.

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Major cuddles
Bernoulli is a cuddler, which I am absolutely loving.  He will climb right into your nap and settle in, usually sticking his snout tight in between your arm and torso.  And he is deadly adorable when he is sleeping.  He somewhat knows how to play "Go Get It", which is what Ben has decided to call the game of fetch.  And he gives lots of kisses, which sort of lose their appeal when you know that 15 minutes earlier you were forcing him to drop the poop from some other dog so he wouldn't eat it.  Even so, we are pretty much completely smitten (and can't wait to send out the family Christmas cards to prove it).

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The least blurry picture I could get of crazy on our ride home
The rescue shelter where we got him was calling him a lab mix.  In person, at least to Ben and myself, he doesn't look lab at all.  Our most educated guess (i.e Google image searches...) is that he is mostly black mouth cur, with maybe some boxer in him.  We are thinking about getting him tested to find out what he is for sure.  He's a deep, red-tan color, with one white (and lucky) paw and some white at the tip of his tail and on his chest.  What you n really need to know is that he is completely adorable.

In other weekend news, not much else happened.  Saturday was completely shot, since I was a single-puppy-mom, sleep-deprived zombie.  But after better sleep Saturday night and a helping hand on Sunday, I did manage to clean the kitchen, do some grocery shopping, put away the Halloween decorations and clean both bathrooms (what can I say, I lead a wild and crazy life).  Although our precious Bernoulli easily takes home the prize of most exciting thing to happen this weekend, I am also pretty excited about finally hanging up the new shower curtain we bought some time ago.  It was a small change, but these small changes continue to make the house feel more home.  And it makes me smile every time I see our bathroom, so that's worth something, right? 

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This shower curtain makes me smile without fail.  It is just so happy
Well, there you go, the first Fritsch Weekend Update of November, which just so happens to be the best month ever. Hope yours is off to a good start as well!

Thursday, October 30, 2014


Finally, tomorrow is Friday.  This whole week has just acted as a giant mud pit for me to struggle though, simply to finally get to Friday. While maybe this sounds like an exaggeration to most, to me it is very true.  I have been waiting for this particular Friday for what feels like forever.

For those of you who know me, patience is not my strong point. Actually those who know me know what a complete understatement that is. I am impatient to the point that I make children waiting to dive headfirst into a pillowcase full of Halloween candy seem calm.  So, it's amazing to realize that I have somewhat patiently been waiting for OVER FOUR YEARS now to bring a puppy into my heart and home. And, finally, at the end of this agonizingly long week, we get to bring our little puppy home. Excited doesn't even start to describe my feelings about tomorrow afternoon.

In preparation for bringing the new love of my life home, for the last few weeks, I have been nesting. That is a thing for a new puppy, right?

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A personalized Lord of the Strings puppy bed, plus the cutest little elephant toy ever

We have bought a kennel for our puppy to use as their own little space.  I made a little puppy bed out of an old pillow and hubby's old high school band shirt (side note: they called themselves Lord of the Strings… and were a LOTR cover band. My husband was a mighty cool kid). We've been buying treats like they are going out of style. The restraint I have shown whenever I end up in the dog toy aisle in Target (which has been a surprisingly high number of times in the last few weeks) is almost saintly.  She still has plenty of toys and I am sure will get many more in the coming months.  We've puppy-proofed to the best of our knowledge and gone through lists and lists of adorable girl puppy names (we are waiting to finally meet her before officially naming her).  Some many hours, conversations and Amazon purchases have been geared towards this moment, when we finally get to bring her home.  I don't think I could wait another minute.

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Our latest haul of treats.  She is going to be spoiled...

But I have to.  Cause it's still Thursday.  And we don't get to take her home until FRIDAY.  I will get about as much sleep as kids on Christmas Eve.  In other words, none.

This is going to be one loved puppy:

She is so DAMN CUTE.  I cannot stand it

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tuesday Moanings

Sad, but true
I woke up this morning hoping against all hope that it was later in the week than just Tuesday. I pulled my tired butt out of bed and discovered, as it turns out, it was only just Tuesday. I started my weekday morning routine. And then, as I was getting breakfast ready, I dropped two of our bowls on the floor where they exploded like ceramic fireworks. I spent the next eleven minutes giving our floor an incredibly thorough sweeping. Let me tell you, it was a fun, curse-word-free morning.

Is it karma that I want to use the internet for the sole sake of complain mere days after I wrote a post delineating just how happy I was? Probably. So, I will resist the urge. As well as the urge to make a list of "Things I am Excited for", in the hopes of turning around this drab Tuesday afternoon mood. Besides, I only came up with two things anyways…

In conclusion, may your week be progressing a little faster, and with less broken dishes, than mine.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Because I'm...

church jobs
I am very sorry if this gets that damn "Because I'm Happy..." song stuck in your head.  That is the worst!
I've been noticing something over the past few days and it is this: I am happy. The sad thing about that sentence is that it really was something that I gradually noticed over the past few days and I feel like happiness is not something that it should take you any longer than a few minutes (not days!) to acknowledge. The good news is that it is a true, hard fact, inside and out. I am happy.

I don't know if it is cliché or not to attribute this seismic shift in attitude to a change in jobs, but it is what it boils down to: leaving one bad, stagnant environment for another that will push me to grow and development.

While this is funny now, there was a point where this quote almost made me cry with honesty

I love this quote from Parks and Rec. Mostly, I loved it when there was period of months upon months where it so concisely explained is how I constantly felt. Now a days, although I will admit that I still wake up tired like any normal human being, my day to day routine does not leave me mentally and physically exhausted.  Things once again get me excited.  Stuff matters.  Bed times have been less strictly enforced!  And I am attributing this all back to a slight shift in moods.  I am happy.

All that being said, I will admit to also being a little bummed because I think that for a chunk of time that Ben and I were supposed to be experiencing that "newly wed bliss", I was anything but blissful. Work honestly had me that down in the dumps. It was a bad situation all around and I'm not going to waste any of my new happy energy getting into it. Being out of that environment has made a world of difference. I am now one of those ridiculous "the sky is blue and the sun is shining and birds are singing!" happy people now. I am sad for losing those few months in between, where the stress and anger often made me unhappy. I wish we could have started out our married life as it is now. I also wish those sad months had not taken over all of my summer. Now, the days are shorter and colder and my happy dances are confined to enclosed, heated areas. What I am trying to say is this: it sucks to have lost such a chunk of time to being unhappy.  It is a very good thing that I got out of that situation.  And I am happy now and that is what I need to be focused on.  And not to worry, this is still plenty of the newly wed bliss to go around.

Currently, here the things I am very happy about:
  1. Today I wore a skirt to work, for the first time ever. I loved every minute of it, even having to wear tights. I never was able to wear them before, skirts don't really go well with machine shop floors and steel-toed boots. So yay for office job with only occasional floor duties!
  2. My husband built me a kitchen island. And it is beautiful. And when the sun comes streaming in through our 4 large sliding glass doors, everything in my kitchen suddenly gets a halo. Talk about a happy place.
  3. I made my new favorite recipe last Sunday. And for 3 blissful days, we got to bring in the leftovers for lunch. Although it's all gone now, I am excited simply at the thought of making it again. And stuffing myself silly. And more leftovers, even after a dinner of stuffing ourselves silly. 
  4. There is a hot water spigot about 12 feet from my desk. My tea consumption has increased ten-fold. Now that I think about it, maybe that is why I feel awake all the time… My new favorite tea is Tazo's Green Ginger, by the way.  
  5. I've lost some weight. Ok, it's only like 2 pounds, but I didn't do anything to lose it. I didn't amp up my workout routine and, to be complete honest, that recipe I was talking about above had 2 sticks of butter in it…so... Happiness, the new fad diet! 
  6. We live in a house, on a street, in a neighborhood with kids. THIS MEANS TRICK OR TREATERS ON HALLOWEEN. Since graduating, I have desperately wanted trick or treaters on Halloween. I have romanticized the idea to the fullest extent. The closest I ever got was my first Halloween, in McAllen, four years ago. Three teenage boys came around to my apartment and I gave them candy. They came around again, and since I hadn't had any one else come, I gave them more. And then they came around a 3rd time and called me names when I refused to give them any more candy. Needless to say, this was not the Halloween experience I had been idealizing. But I have a feeling that this year is going to be what I always hoped it would be! Accordingly, I have bought enough candy to not be the house that runs out of candy.
See, I told you I was an annoyingly, cup-half-full kind of person these days. I'm almost cheerful enough to get on my own nerves.. But, I do think the whole happy thing looks rather good on me.

What are you happy about these days?

Friday, October 17, 2014

The DINK Life

Recently, I was called a DINK (Dual Income, No Kids).  Usually stereotypes throw me for a loop and I immediately reject them.  However, I tried this one on for size, played around in it for a little while and decided that, hey, this DINK thing?  I think I kind of like it.  Maybe even love it.  Now, just to give you some perspective, normally I hate labels like this.  I once had an hour long gmail chat fight with an ex because he had the audacity to call me a yuppie (although in retrospect, online chatting with an ex was probably the actual source of the problem there...).  Anyways, back to yuppie.  I hated it.  Hated it.  I was steaming mad the rest of the week.  Even now, years later, it still gets under my skins and starts rubbing me the wrong way.  More importantly, to this day I will maintain, ardently, that a yuppie, I am not.

DINK on the other hand?  I am owning that acronym. Makes complete sense, right?
For you visual learners... this is a DINK family

When you think about the definitions, there really isn't too much of a difference between a YUP (Young Urban Professional, aka yuppie) and a DINK (again, Dual Income, No Kids). Let's urban dictionary this thing.  As a disclaimer, these are not urban dictionary approved definitions.  These definitions came solely from the random, odd depths of my mind.

Yuppie: An entitled, too-big-for-their-britches young adult, around 25-30, give or take a few years.  Think, trust fund, silver-spoon fed accountant that never really had to struggle, or take out a college loan. Their lavish attitudes come from a lack of appreciation for having expendable funds.

DINK: A young adult, around 25-30, give or take a few years.  They worked hard to get ahead.  They appreciate the money they have earned and are not completely frivolous.  While they are certainly stocking away for retirement in 40 years, they are also making sure to enjoy themselves with a little pampering, in the form of clothes, shoes, vacations and Crate & Barrel purchases.

Honestly, what it boils down to is this: when it comes to a DINK, I feel like there is an inherent sense of working for what you have received.  Yes, I have a good income, as does my husband, and for the moment, we are sans children.  That is nothing that I have to apologies for.  Furthermore, I will buy my coffee bars and rent my four bedroom house and occasionally buy a pair of shoes that I probably shouldn't, and I will love my life.  I have earned it.  And damn it, for the last time I AM NOT A YUPPIE.

This photo just seemed so right

In all reality, in my heart of hearts, I guess I realize that there isn't too much of a difference between a yuppie and a DINK.  But in my brain, the one that grow up in Mesa, Arizona all those years ago and has formed weird aversions to certain words, including yuppie, poncho and polar vortex, I am not a yuppie.  And so help me God, if you call me one, well, you and I can no longer be friends (just ask the ex).

Are you a DINK or a yuppie?  Or do you feel ok with either stereotype?  Or would you bash someone's head in (verbally, of course, never physically, oh no) regardless of which one they called you?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Grown Up Horror Story

If you are particularly queasy and your stomach turns easily, you may want to consider skipping this post. If your constitution can stomach something a little more than truly revolting, go ahead and read on. But if you get to the picture at the bottom (of course there is photographic evidence!) and throw up a little bit in your mouth, I wash my hands of any blame. You were adequately warned.

So, I left a funny little anecdote out of my weekend update post this week. Mostly because I am trying my best to pretend it didn't happen. Unfortunately, the problem has decide to not just disappear as I had hoped it would… Here's what happened.

We rarely drive my car anymore, since we live so close to work and carpooling together is kind of nice in the morning. It gives us a few minutes each to sip coffee and talk about things. And Ben would rather drive his car, since my car is a Jetta and he can't quite fit in it without his head touching the roof. Anyways, I had to be at work early on Wednesday, so Ben ended up driving my car. It did not take long for him to let me know that, in his humble opinion, my car smelt like "dog anus". While I wasn't particularly thrilled with his description, it was hard to argue with it once I smelled the car for myself. Being better versed in horrible smells, it didn't take me long to realize that it smelled more like milk gone terrible bad, as opposed to the back end of a canine. The only thing I could think of was that I had spilled coffee several weeks ago and maybe, finally, the cream in it had gone bad? I scrubbed the carpet where it had spilled and Febreez-ed the car, hoping that was the cure.

It wasn't. Over the next few days, for whatever reason or another, I was driving my car and the smell was getting to the point where I started to feel sick after mere minutes in the car. Cold, crisp fall air or not, the windows were all the way down and there was still not enough fresh air. I could not understand how a little bit of cream in coffee could smell so horrifyingly ghastly. I almost started to worry there was a dead animal hidden somewhere in the Jetta. I cannot emphasize enough the stomach-turning stench.

It was on Saturday, while running errands with the windows completely down and my thoughts turning to how expensive a very thorough car detailing would cost, that I discovered that the smell originated not from the spilled coffee and not, thank God, from a dead animal. I had just finished my grocery shopping and was opening my trunk to put the goods inside when the smell hit me like a cast iron pan to the face.

And then I saw it, a gallon of milk, purchased by my best estimate about 3 weeks ago, tipped on its side, a little less than half full. I can't really begin to describe the contents. It was yellow and watery, with fat white chunks suspended in the liquid. There was a horrifying green puddle where the contents were leaking out. And the stench, dear lord, the stench could have killed. I honestly thought about leaving my car there and just cutting my loses.

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This picture still turns my stomach
But I didn't. I pulled up my big girl panties, held my breathe and gingerly grabbed the gallon with just my thumb and fore finger. It had a sell by date of 10/6. Saturday was 10/11. I set it on the ground and, obviously, took photographic evidence of the calamity. I texted Ben. I immediately threw out the travesty in the grocery store garbage can (like I was bringing that thing home).

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Obviously the first thing I did was text my husband
I drove home (making sure to bring inside the newly purchased gallon of milk), left the trunk and garage open and sprayed at least half a can of Lysol on the suspicious green, white and black dot the milk had left behind. I prayed that it would sort-of take care of itself and go away. Or at least the smell would, and at that point I could properly address the issue. It has now been 4 days, and several Lysol applications, later and no such luck. It still smells (although it has been downgraded from "the stench of death", to simply "smells like a prostitutes dumpster") and the dot is still there. As much as I want to pretend we don't have a child-sized footprint worth of mold growing in the trunk of my car, I think the allowable time frame for ignoring a problem in hopes that it will go away has past. And just when I had put my big girl panties away…

P.S - If I never return, please know that it is 96% likely that I died from mold infestation. And please don't put that on my gravestone.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Weekend Update: Holes Are in the Walls!

I'm going to try and do more weekend updates.  Mostly because my mom is the main reader of my blog and she loves that kind of stuff, but also because we're huge bums during the week.  Basically, we go work out, I make dinner, there is some cleaning involved (usually of the kitchen), Ben is glued to the kitchen table studying (although, he is currently trying out the couch as a study spot... oh... the excitement!) and, well, it's boring.  At least we can pretend to be exciting during the weekend.  Even if the most exciting thing we do in a given weekend is finally put some holes in our wall.  That's right folks.  We hung something!

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And then promptly bought more wine to fill it up with!

As exciting as hanging, functional decorations are, other things were accomplished as well.  For starters, I did my best to play the best wife card on Saturday, and Ben came home from school to homemade apple cake and from-scratch pot pies in the oven.  Ben loves a good pot pie.  Seriously, loves.  We had to register for some Fiestaware on our registry simply because the pretty every day bowls we registered for were not oven friendly.  And that would mean that I had the best excuse ever would never make him pot pie.  That's right, we have bowls whose sole purpose in our lives is the be a pot pie vessel.  And how many times have I loving prepared this dish for my husband?  Counting this last batch, a grand total of ONE.  (Well, the recipe was for 4, and I baked 2 Saturday, then 2 again on Sunday.  That counts as two, maybe?) As I previously mentioned, I am in the running for the best wife award this year...

Before spending the afternoon making Ben's food-related dreams come true, I spent the morning on my most recent Pinterest dream (mentioned here).  That's right folks.  We are the sort of dorky DINKs who officially bought furniture for the sole purpose of a coffee bar.  And I love it.  Not only does it completely free up some incredibly valuable counter space real estate in my kitchen, but it also gives me a whole new surface to put seasonally relevant decorations on!  I am thrilled, to say the least. It gives us some extra storage, its pretty and cheery to look at every morning, especially with a hot pot of coffee on it, and it's teal! Every time I look at it, there's a warm, fuzzy feeling that rises up inside me, sweetly whispering "Pinterest Dreams really do come true...".
Furniture from Target, Threshold collection in teal,whisk picture from my beautiful cousin Tina, via, and flowers from my husband, are over a week old and still look great.  Magic Flowers!

Other things of note this weekend: Notre Dame is still undefeated, but it wasn't exactly the prettiest game.  I got all the fun things necessary to tackle another Pinterest idea, which I am hoping to start and complete tonight.  My office is starting to actually look like an office, even though we still haven't found the necessary hardware for my desk (super sad face).  Laundry was done and several episodes of Fraiser were watched on our new couch.  Oh!  And we broke in our new lawn mower!  By we, of course, I mean that Ben mowed the lawn and I watched, coffee cup in hand, as he cranked it up for the first time.  No hands or fingers or other digits were lost and our backward looks great now.  I want to have a party in it... if only the rest of the house were up to snuff.  It was a solid weekend (besides losses by both the Steelers and the Seahawks, although my Fantasy teams are looking strong this week).  We couldn't really complain when Monday morning came around, a cheerful coffee bar and leftover apple cake for breakfast will do that to you.
Looking good in some Ray-Bans. Yay for husbands

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Hubby Goes Back to School

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Pay them enough money and they will steal your husband away!

Back while I was gallivanting around Arizona, Ben officially started his 17th year of school. And regardless of how much I desperately wanted the picture, he straight up refused to take a first day of school picture in his backpack, standing in front of the new house. Oh well, his loss. He began a two year program at Northwestern University called MPD2. Spelled out, that is their Master of Product Design and Development Management program. (In other somewhat related news, their acronym slightly annoys me. Where did the other M go? Really, even if it isn’t as sexy, it should be MPD2M. No one else seems worried about this…) From my understanding, you mash up an MBA with some design engineering courses and throw in some supply chain knowledge and leadership development and you get the MPD2 curriculum.

Since Ben started school, we have been busy navigating this new life style.  I was relatively naive about the amount of time and effort that would be going into Ben's school.  I was warned at his opening meeting, but I breezily dismissed it.  I was wrong.  I was warned and I should have listened.

Most of our recent interactions have been done over the glow of a homework-lit screen.  It's romantic, I guess?
MPD2 has taken over my husband.  Even more incriminating, it has taken over my kitchen table. It's even gone so far as to take over my nights full of newlywed bliss (aka - TV and couch cuddling time).  Let me give you an example:

Things that now occupy the majority of Ben's night:
  • Video Conferencing with his team
  • Reading, writing (no artihinetic just yet...)
  • Football and/or working out
 Things that used to occupy the majority of Ben's night:
  • Watching old Frasier reruns with me
  • Helping with the dishes
  • Football and/or working out.
Needless to say, I'm not exactly thrilled with the new developments.  Ok, now please don't take this the wrong way.  Most of this is said jokingly.  As a disclaimer, I am incredibly proud of my husband.  He's is putting in a lot of effort and taking his school seriously.  He's learned much already, even after just 4 weeks.  I am excited that he is doing this for himself.  I am in full support of him going back to school.  I just also have to battle with inner-selfish Liz.  Inner-selfish Liz wants her husband back.  She wants random conversations and cuddling and someone to hang all the things that require drilling and anchoring.  Honestly, she wants attention.  Most importantly, Inner-selfish Liz doesn't want to be a grad school widow.
It's about this time in my bout of self-indulging pity that I hear the ever fateful words of Mr. Mick Jagger, "You can't always get what you want".  Usually the song gets stuck in my head and I forget what I was complaining about.  At least for the next 14 minutes...

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Fritsch House Tour

Time to make good on some promises.  Last week, I said that I was going to take my time explaining all the fun life choices and changes that have happened over the past month.  And in the interest of not forever lagging about 3 weeks behind current day, I need to get started on the catch up posts.   So, let's begin, shall we?  Starting with the house!  Cause that is where we live now, a house.  No more apartments for this young married couple.  No sir'ee.  We have a yard and a lawn mower is on its way to us from an Amazon warehouse as we speak (apparently that is my first instinctual definition of a house...)

Let's start.  Our house, while relatively new, is quirky. 

House tour 1
Why yes, I do own a 14 inch knife.  We use it to cut pizza.
The kitchen is wonderfully large, with 2 side by side sliding glass doors that lead into the backyard that have a way of making the kitchen look all that much bigger and more open.  Yet, even with this vast expanse of a kitchen, it somehow manages to have less cabinet and counter space than our old apartment.  It's a real conundrum.  It also helps to lead us to the part of the tour where I get to say mysterious things like: “Creative solutions are in the works”.  

The fun thing about this house is that it provides ample opportunity for creative solutions in many rooms.  Some of the creative solutions that we are thinking about for the kitchen include the customized coffee station that I have been PINing after on Pinterest (haha, get it?? PINing, aka obsessively pinning on PINterest.  I am a clever girl) and making our own butcher block island (because that sounded more fun that just straight out buying one from Ikea).  So, stay posted to see if time vs. money wins out in that scenario.
House tour 1
Our backyard, seen through the kitchen.  There are TWO bunnies eating our clover. 
You get the kitchen either through our one car garage (we are happy to have a garage, but Ben is bummed because that most likely means that his car will be the one left out in the snow) or the living room.  As of right now, the living room is a mess.   Ok, most of the house is a mess, but I have justifications for the living room.  We can’t really put anything away because we don’t know where it will go.  We are somewhat patiently awaiting the arrival of the couches we ordered way back in August.  They are scheduled to be delivered on Thursday (YES, YES, YES), and once that has happened, we are hoping to settle things a little more in the living room.  Talks concerning how the actual arrangement have not gone too well so far, but we are hoping their physical presence will help sort out the what goes where conversation.  If nothing else, we can finally enjoy the oversized plushness of our new couches.  Personally, I am planning a nap of epic proportions that first weekend, followed by at least one hour of reading curled up on the comfy chair.

Down the hallway we have tiny bathroom number one and all four bedrooms.  As previously mentioned in a post of yore, why yes, we are DINKs and are renting a four bedroom house to be occupied by only 2 people.  And I am happy about it, because it means that I have an office, Ben has an office and we even have space for an official guest bedroom.  Granted, not a single one of those rooms is actually operational at the moment.  We can’t seem to find the bar that is basically holds the top of my desk on to the legs of my desk, so those large pieces are floating around my office.  We still have the saw horses that Ben used for the bottom of his old desk, but never replaced the cheap $6 door that he was using as a desktop after not bothering to move it when Ben moved in with me at Rockford.  And Ben’s old bed frame, somewhere in the past few moves, got bent pretty badly out of shape.  I used to think he kept his mattress on the floor of his old apartment simply out of lazy bachelorhood, but it turns out the bed frame isn’t exactly functional.  And a new one costs $50 on Amazon, so we’re going to continue to try and straighten it out for a last a few weeks, or until our first house guest comes and forces our hand.
House tour 1
My office.  Sadly enough it has earned the title of messiest room in the whole house.  Frowny face.
House tour 1
Ben's office, with a keyboard, newly purchased printer and a bag of wet shoes from this weekend.
House tour 1
This is as far as we have gotten in the best bedroom.  Pretend the bed frame doesn't lean like the tower of Pisa
House tour 1
Our bed.  One day soon, hopefully there will be something on the empty wall behind it.
House tour 1
Tiny bathroom #2!  It basically looks the same as #1, just with more stuff in it.  Yay Ikea spice shelves!
Our bedroom does have the proud opportunity to be connected to tiny bathroom number two, as well as two in the wall closets and a large window across one wall.  Would I have liked to have had a walk in closet and a bathroom with at least one functioning door?  You betcha.  But things being what they are, we figured we are only really sleeping and getting ready in that room.  The rest of the house, quirks and all, will be sheltering us most of the time.  And this way, it really limits my purchasing of shoes.  Which at least Ben is happy about.

So, there you have it.  The first, rather quick, tour of the Fritsch household.  Once a few more things have found their forever home, we will revisit the subject, hopefully with some actual things hung on the wall and at least one place (besides the kitchen table) to actual sit down. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

What's to Come

October 1st
Hello Happy Jack-O-Lantern, glad to see you survived the move
I was in the shower earlier this afternoon contemplating the best way to tackle my first blog post back.  (Two thoughts that you should probably takeaway from that sentence: One, my best thinking is often done in the shower and two, I am nothing if not a planner, but you all already knew that, didn't you?).

Normally after my all too often hiatuses, I do a quick summary of my time away from the internet and then simply let the next post pick up wherever we happen to be in life.  Surely I could do a similar Cliff Notes version for the last few weeks and move on, but it felt wrong.  My justification: within the last month I have:

  • Written my first resignation letter, given my two weeks and quit the only job I have had since college
  • Moved for the first time without the incredibly wonderful help of professional packers, movers and unpackers
  • Bought a couch
  • Lived in my first house (not apartment, not condo, not townhouse, but stand alone house with its own yard and its own garbage cans) that was not my parents house
    • Note - lived as in we are renting.  We have yet to bite the real estate bullet
  • Sent my husband back to school
  • Then started to work in the same building as my husband
  • Killed 3 spiders
  • Broken 1 vacuum cleaner
  • Sort of faced my fear of moths (aka - rediscovered that I am still deathly afraid of them...)
So, while I guess the whole bullet list does technically count as a summary, really the sole purpose of this post was to tell you that I will be rehashing the last 3 weeks or so in the upcoming days.  So, you have that to look forward to.  Spoiler: It involves a lot of the changes mentioned above.  Oh, and I would be remiss not to also let you know that seeing as today is October 1st, it is officially time to break out the Halloween decorations, husbands be damned.

Hope you are all having pleasant, crisp Fall evenings as well! 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Coming Clean

So... I lied a little bit by omission on Monday.  Sorry about that.  But it was for good reason.  And now I am laying it all out on the table, so it's like I never even lied.  Here it is: The reason I had driven my car to Ben's work before we headed down to Sandwich, IL was because I left work early on Friday to look at some places to rent with Ben.

Because we're moving towards Chicago.

Because I have a new job.

Because, well, the times they are a' changing.

2014-09-10 07.14.24
And just when I got a cube with a view.

Yep, my last day with work will be this Friday.  Which is really weird, because being only 4.5 years out of college, this is the first for me.  Well, several firsts actually.  The first time I've written a letter of resignation.  The first time I've turned in my two weeks.  The first time I've tried to summarize all that I do into a neat 3 page document to be handed down to future back-filled me's.  It turns out that this process of quitting a job is over-whelming, mentally painful and not nearly as exciting as some hypothetical naive girl may think.  Honestly, the hardest part has been trying to put nice little ribbons on the packages of work I have lovingly cultivated, hand them off to a co-worker and not have the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that my little project baby is going to wither and die.  These handed-off tasks aren't any one's top priorities, I know that, but damn it, they are my stamp I am leaving behind.  Please don't let them wither and die.

While this strange, giving up feeling is hard to shake, and could easily fill a lamenting post, I am deciding to not focus on it at this minute.  Because this is exciting news time!  Not pity me because I have a new exciting opportunity and I'm leaving my not really all that loved job time. (As I typed that out I realized that it is a non-existent issue, a thing for which no pity should ever exist.  Really, it's not even a first world problem).

So, news.  Here it is.  My last day with GE will be this Friday.  As in three days.  I will start working at Siemens at the end of the month.  Yes, Siemens.  In the healthcare industry (which I am thrilled to re-enter, finally).  Also, the same Siemens where Ben works.  In the same building.  Which I am sure will get all sorts of interesting, so get ready for some posts on that subject...  We're moving out of Rockford and closer to Chicago.  On Saturday.  We found a place Friday that we are renting for the year.  And I am excited for it.

It has a large, albeit sparse, kitchen with new appliances.  It has enough bedrooms for Ben and I to both have our separate work spaces (don't hate, we are accepting this DINK life style wholeheartedly).  It has a garage and a yard and a small patio in the back.  Plus, it has a nice, big fenced in backyard, which can only mean one thing - Ben has a lot of mowing to do Team Fritsch is getting a dog! YAY!!!

Anyways, I wanted to come clean with this huge life event deal.  Because in the next two weeks, things are going to be nuts.  And I will blog about it.  Or at very least, plan to blog about it.  And then we get a puppy!

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Fritsch Weekend Update

We put many miles on the car this past weekend, playing the part of college graduate nomads with our wonderful blow up mattress in tow.  It started out with me driving to Hoffman Estates on Friday, where we left my car in the parking lot at Ben's work and made our way down to the Sandwich Fair, in Sandwich, IL.  Now, Ben's family is a big deal down in Sandwich, as is evident by their permanent spot at the "Fritsch Oasis", and I have been told that the Fritsch name definitely holds some weight when it comes to fair judging.  So, this year, while I still had the shine on my new last name, I decided to enter the fair!  I entered the digital photography competition, submitting 12 photos in various categories.

2014-09-08 10.17.19
That's right, the Fritsch Oasis AND conversation station!  Keeping you company and keeping you cool

And, wouldn't you know, I came home with a ribbon!  It might not have been a pretty blue first place, but a ribbon is a ribbon, second place or not, and I am happy to say it also came with $5 monetary award (ice cream is on me!).  Needless to say, my first fair entering experience was a success.  What made it even sweeter was that the picture that won me the ribbon was one that I took on the day that Ben and I got engaged... ah...

2014-09-08 10.19.06
This is the face of a winner
We spent the night at Ben's grandpa, asleep on our amazing blow up mattress in the living room next to cousins and aunts.  It was a fun night, complete with nachos, warm brownies and a repeat showing of the Lego Movie.  It was good to spend time with the cousins, especially since some will soon be moving away to Kansas (super sad face...)

In the morning, after visiting the fair again (It is the second largest state fair in Illinois. Mad Respect!), we headed out to Notre Dame.  Our Fighting Irish had a night game against the always hated Michigan Wolverines.  We arrived there in time to grab some food and beers at a tailgate and then head into the stadium for the season's first night game.

Go Irish! Beat Wolverines!  Suck it Wolverines!
While the first drive or so may not have been the prettiest (I think we used all 3 first half timeouts within the first 5 minutes), we soon pulled away.  The rest of the game was spent, I am incredibly happy to report, kicking some Wolverine ass.  I am still a little confused about the last play of the game, but I don't feel too bad about that because 1.) Everyone is still a little confused about what happened there and 2.) We OWNED Michigan.  31-0.  As is shut out.  As in, GO IRISH!

2014-09-08 10.19.53
Please ignore the strange clasping of my hands.  I was mid-clap for this panoramic
Anyways, we spent the night at the house of my roommate from college, once again blowing up our beloved air mattress (don't hate, I love our air mattress), took her to breakfast in the morning and drove straight home to Rockford.  And it wasn't until we were pulling into the driveway of our apartment, that we remembered that I had parked my car in the parking lot of Ben's work.  In Hoffman Estates.  Which we had passed on the way home an hour ago. Sigh...

All in all, besides the 2 hours of backtracking needed to go pick up JoJo the Jetta, a good weekend full of books on tape, tailgating food and winners.

Your Fritsch Weekend Update was brought to you by Cameron's Jamica Me Crazy coffee.  Because every Monday morning of mine is most likely brought to you only through the use of hot coffee.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The $1143.75 Knife

Against my better judgement, I recently went ahead and renewed my subscription for Bon Appetit.  And, because I have the will power of a 7 year old with an empty bag let loose in a Sweet Factory, when they asked if I wanted to subscribe for two years, for only 88 cents per issue, I actually said yes.  Since most people probably don't understand why this was such a bad life decision on my part, I am here to explain to you the pitfalls of Bon Appetit.

Whenever a new magazine arrives in the mailbox, it sits on my bedside table, where I read it page by page over the next days in the few minutes before the lights shut off before bedtime.  And there I was, just a few nights ago, new magazine propped up on my knees, leafing through slowly when I came across the following page:

2014-08-21 10.06.29
So many knives...

Seems inconspicuous enough, right? Seven pretty knives, one would assume sharp and effective to cut your steak, stab your potatoes or pick your nails, or any of the other mundane activities that one might perform with a small handheld knife.  All of this is straight-forward, nothing to get your panties in a bunch.  But, let's zoom in a second here:

2014-08-21 10.07.58
This was about the moment when my jaw dropped to the floor

That's right.  That 2nd pretty knife on the left there?  It is just north of $9000 for a set of 8.  Yes, my friends, that would be a steak knife that costs (drum roll please....) $1143.75.  A knife.  I think that all my wedding china TOGETHER didn't cost $1143.75.  And this is just one knife.  A set of 8 is going to set you back $9150 (plus tax, of course).  And Bon Appetit knows this!  And is apparently ok with this...

2014-08-21 10.12.55
Um... those are my options?  Steak knives vs. a used car?  Cause used car wins, EVERY TIME

In the midst of my outraged rant that you could feed a thousand elementary school kids for a week as opposed to buying 8 $1000+ knives, Ben just shrugged and said "That's not their audience.  Their audience is opulence".

Anyways, this is why I worry about my life decisions.  When I, in full knowledge of this insane standard and rational (cause sterling silver trim is so worth it) of the Bon Appetit editors, make the conscientious decision to renew my Bon Appetit subscription for not only 1 year, but two.  Because that was the cheapest per magazine option.  I think there might be some irony there.  In conclusion, I don't know if I'm more ashamed of myself or of Bon Appetit.  Or maybe it's just the shame of my $4 steak knives.

Any one else make any poor, first-world, life decisions lately?

Monday, August 11, 2014

A Letter to Myself, 6 Months from Today

Dear Future Liz -

I know right about now you are probably cursing the frigid wind as you are attempting to scrap the ice off of your car in the work parking lot before your hands completely freeze through and lose all feeling. You are probably angry at your husband for deciding to go to school somewhere where it is normal for 3 feet of snow to fall in one night and where it is known to be so cold that they have to create words like "polar vortex" in order to describe the subzero temperature, instead of, you know, Texas.  You are afraid that this cruel practical joke will last forever, that your friend the sun, who you knew so well while growing up in Arizona, has decided that this long distance relationship just can't work and has finally left you for good.  Or you would think that, if you brain was not a frozen tundra at this moment in (future) time.

What you need to know is that winter is only a season. Even if it seems like this frozen hell is never going to end, it will. Granted, it may last till April or May. But it will eventually end. Eventually. And it's going to be beautiful when it does. 

I need to remember this.  When it is early February and I hate everything, I need to remember that the sun exists, that summer exists and that beauty still exists.  And when I do inevitably forget this golden nugget of knowledge, it looks like this:

Runs through shady paths
Bike rides with the hubby
Picnics on a blanket with goat cheese and fresh bread
And, of course, trips to New Glarus, complete with wonderful views and fabulous beer
To summer, long may you reign!  (I am totally reading way too much Game of Thrones...)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Gracias, Danke and Thank you

Friday marks the 5th brilliant month that I have been married to my lovely fool of a husband.  More importantly, it also marks the dreaded "1 month left!" date of how long we can officially wait to finish the thank you cards from the wedding before decades of etiquette labels us as ungrateful heathens.

I used to love these cards.  Now, they just kind of annoy me.
After dinner on Monday night, I put my head down and powered through.  I had 11 left to write and I was not getting up from the kitchen table until I had accomplished all of them, until the last name was crossed of the list.  And I did, all 11 complete, addressed and stamped.  And despite the hand cramp and ink smudges on my left hand (the bane of all lefties everywhere), victory had never tasted so sweet.  While Ben still has to finish up his (it must be said, smaller) half of the thank you card list and while I will probably guilt myself into helping him, I am still considering myself 100% over and done with the task of writing "thank you", "appreciate" and "wedding" in the same sentence, while trying to change up wording.  

We did have a wide variety of things to be thankful for.  A few favorites include, but are obviously not limited to:

Rachel Ray's infamous Lasagna Lugger:
Lasagna not included

This beautiful wine rack (and the same wine glasses pictured!)
Wine, very sadly, not included, but was soon acquired.  
And the juicer to end all juicers:
It doesn't get more impressive, or shiny, than this

All joking aside, we are incredibly thankful for both the generous gifts and (more importantly) the number of friends and family who traveled great lengths to come share our day with us.  We had quite the party going to help us celebrate becoming a "Mr. & Mrs" and we will always be eternally grateful for the time, money and travel headaches people endured for us.  It was an amazing day, made all the better by being able to share it with those we love the most.

Happy Hump Day Kids!