Tuesday, October 30, 2012


I've decided to call my husband Reverend Sexy Pants.  (Hopefully this also not the title of a porno.)

Monday, October 29, 2012

The changes wash over me like waves

Quite often this weekend I've found myself thinking, "oh yeah?  If that's how I'm supposed to feel God is gonna have to change my mind himself."  I'm feeling quite stubborn, even though the multitude of "pastor's wife" comments generally encouraging.

I'm excited for my partner.  A man who has my back more than anyone ever has.  He's worked so hard to get to this point, to finally be at a place where the denomination will permit him to raise his hands above waist level when blessing the congregation (WTF?).  I cried, I beamed - he beamed - his grandpa cried - Rachie B. cried.  It was all so emotional.

And now it's the day after!  I'm sitting at my desk at the end of the work day, wondering how this will change our lives.  I'm scared that expectations of me will change, that Mike will be expected to drop all boundaries, and that Ministry will become the mistress of our family.  Anyway, more on that some other time.  Because, really?  This is freaking awesome.  And we are fucking blessed.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Freaky Friday (well, Wednesday)

The strangest thing has happened over the last few months...

I've become a sports fan.

Not quite bona fide, but I'm hanging in there.  I even just looked at ESPN to check on the Tigers' recent wins, and watched Moneyball - AND LIKED IT!  I don't know what's happening to me.

It must have been the stroll through the original Tigers' field back in August.  I have instax evidence!  Mike fake pitched, I fake caught, and we all ran around the bases with bellies full of the world's best barbecue.  Marriage does strange things to a girl.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

New Home

We're moved in!

It's officially been a whole week since Mike and I got the keys to the new house.  That we own (us, and the bank, I mean).  We had a whole 48 hours to pack everything up, go to work, move our whole life with two station wagons and a truck  and clean the apartment - and we did it!

The house feels so big and empty sometimes.  I've been so used to living with neighbors or roommates within 10 feet of my living spaces that this much square footage is overwhelming.  What do we even do with THREE bedrooms??  And a basement?  (People tell me to have babies.  Or get a dog.)

Having all of our stuff scattered around the house in boxes has been putting me on edge - just enough that I haven't been sleeping deeply, and I have this baseline irritation whenever I'm home.  An IKEA trip yielded curtains for all of the windows, and I think that once we have our bed off the floor and have moved some stuff into closets I'll start to feel better.

In the meantime -!!!
Some photos of days past:


The brother


Jumping through the beach


The colors of Oregon


Prep for dinner

Life is good.  I'm looking forward to getting out in this autumn and putting some of it to film.  Much love!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


After much sighing and teeth grinding, we're closing on the home today!!!  Half the house is packed up.  So much to do yet, but I'm SO GLAD to have made it to this point.

Today is excellent.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Oh, my - it has been too long!

So much has been going on these last two weeks.  While I did, in fact, develop photos and download the digitals to process and present, life went a little bit bonkers and so much fell to the wayside.

We just got back from five days in New Orleans, where I had a conference to attend for work, and Mike wandered around and enjoyed himself.  Actually, we both enjoyed ourselves.  We had the weekend to explore, hear music, eat food, drink too much booze, and walk until our legs ached.  Photos, soon, promise.

Flying back to Portland on Wednesday night, we had a full day to unpack and reorganize before beginning the process of CLOSING ON THE HOUSE!  It's not totally done yet, but we've signed a million signatures, handed over the contents of our savings account, and are now waiting patiently for everything else that needs to happen.  Technically, we were supposed to have closed already, and should have spent this weekend moving, but it will all work out.  (Because it has to.)

Mike is going through the rather intense last few steps of becoming ordained this month.  This morning he leads the service at church, preaches, and is evaluated.  He's nervous and I'm having sympathy nerves, and I'm praying to the baby Jesus that this morning will go smoothly. 

I'll be back with photos, and a new drinking game.  Soon, puppies.  Soon.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Belaboring a Point

Okay!  The news is that I while I DID succeeded in developing my film photos ($30!) and downloading the digital to my computer, I haven't made them ready for public display.  In the meantime, I'd like to report that my brother and his fiance stopped by yesterday evening to play board games.  Specifically, a $300 board game that is all kinds of threatening-to-paint-Christmas-sweaters-on-the-genestealers fun.

As we transitioned from geek games to Jenga, my brother casually mentioned a certain 80-year-old woman who had restored a painting with the end result being "something like Picasso."  Well, I'm out of the loop when it comes to interwebs trends, and had heard nothing about this fiasco.  He pulled up the image, and oh - goodness - this looks nothing like Picasso.

Oh, no.

Someone had coined the description "Paranoid Bear Jesus", and I freaking LOVE IT.  Laughing brought me to tears, and all I could whisper was, I get it, Paranoid Bear Jesus!  I have anxiety, too!  (Seriously!  I cried through church this morning while sitting alone in the back pew!)

Of course you've heard about it already.  In case you haven't, though, this is an interesting place to start.  Peace.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Return from Michigander


I'm counting this day as my true return from vacation.  Unfortunately.  It was the real deal - alarm clock at the early hour, hurried breakfast, drive/walk commute, and 150+ emails at work.  (My heart hurt to see the signs of autumn looming this morning, too; darker skies, cooler temperatures, leaves with more-than-a-twinge of orange and red...... and a back to school email from my program.)

Vacation was great!  My first time to Michigan in the summer.  We camped for five days, spent a day in Detroit at a baseball game, visited with family, played phone tag with our lender, and tried to find some time for taking it easy.

Highlights: avoiding computers, sunshine, sand dunes, sister-in-law pregnant belly, TWO birthdays, wine tasting, and making out to the sunset.
Lowlights (I'm sorry, I just have to get it out): no sex because family was ALWAYS around, sleepless nights that made some days groggy and overwhelming, and flying home alone. 

Mike stayed on in Michigan for a few extra days to do a fantasy football draft with his long-time and much-beloved friends, and to take care of some loose ends in the GR.  I've been home by myself since Friday, and will get to spend next weekend with an empty house, too.  The theme of this blog, Dear Reader, is a close three way tie between "buying houses is hard and stressful!", "Mike is awesome and I love him so much (and I have pictures!)", or "I'm damn sick of spending the summer home alone".  Meh.

At any rate, I have nearly 250 digital photos, and close to 40 film shots to go through over the next few days.  I'll surely have some happy to process, as well!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Not Chaos!

Well, that's a little bit of a lie.  Chaos, kind of.  Actually.

I just got a call from the owner of a cute B&B in New Orleans where I'll be attending a conference on community foundations in September.  He was very frantic, wondering whether I was still planning to arrive tomorrow.  Tomorrow.  I had to listen to his message twice to be sure that I'd heard it correctly.

Ack!  So sorry!  Unfortunately, with the time difference I wasn't able to get a hold of him, and I hope that he hasn't lost any money because of my lack of attention.  (Boo.)

We're making progress on buying a house! 

Buying! A! House!

This all feels too grown up, and I'm still half-convinced that it will all fall through, that we'll be out $900 worth of home inspections, and that we'll just have to keep putting up with the landlord's lameness. (In the chance that it DOES all work out, however, I've spent plenty of time on Craig's List and Ikea, nailing down the details.)

********sigh*********  Time for a beer.

Monday, July 23, 2012

One Year Married

Today Mike and I celebrate our first anniversary. Hooray for us! Year one of life partnering. love-561

 Since we're saving up our pennies for a home, tuition, and flying back to Michigan, we decided to party indoors rather than spending a week out of town. I was in charge of last night's surprise date, and served up an heirloom tomato salad, potato tikis, and smoked trout.  (The trout ended up being just grilled, since I didn't let the wood chips get smokey on the grill.  They were still delicious with their beady little eyes!)

The cake that I'd planned on making remained unmade, the long-saved wine from our dating days was fizzy, and I filled - FILLED! - the kitchen with dishes.  Altogether, it was a wonderful, wonderful evening.  It felt like a love holiday.

Tonight Mike is hosting a surprise date.  He's picked me up for work, and now has whisked me off to the bedroom with some snacks while he finishes up dinner.

He's a dreamy one.  I can' t believe it's been a year already!  And yes, Love, we still can call ourselves Newleyweds.  We've got at least two more years for that.

Mike D. - having just made me a delicious recreation of our steak and lobster honeymoon dinner - is now finishing up the frosting on a German Chocolate Cake.  This, ladies and gentlemen, is the good life.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

News! And news!

This morning I woke up to this:
Google had release a street view of Antarctica.  I was enchanted.  A few years ago I had heard a story on NPR about a woman who had lived at the McMurdo station cleaning the scientists' rooms.  The whole story was so dreamy and surreal, and I wanted to go to there.  While in New Zealand a couple of years later, I met an American guy who had just returned from six months there with $10k in the bank, and I REALLY wanted to go to there.  Alas - it didn't happen.  (But it still could.)

And then there was this guy! He saw the Northern Lights, in my part of the world! The world is full of miracles (like magnets).

Also, it's just a few days till our wedding anniversary.  The first one!  I'm going to make a mini version of our wedding cake.  We should probably have some other plans, but with school and Monday night celebrating, we might keep it kind of tame.

ALSO!  We now have a realtor, and are pre-approved for a home loan.  The house hunting begins in earnest this weekend!  La la la.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


Our landlord is such a slacker!  We went through four refrigerators in our first six months of renting because he kept buying mostly-broken used ones, and recently he's refusing to put tar paper on the steps, even though both Mike and I have fallen down them.  (Like, actually fallen down them, not just stumbled a little.)

Today he's over going through the crap he keeps in storage in our basement, and his kids are picking all of our raspberries.  I feel so Grinch-like.  I WAS going to make a pie today.  Now, however, I'm going to read my accounting text while thinking bitter thoughts toward the landlord and his general attitude of negligence.

In other news, we met with a real estate agent today.  He's really great!  Mike still needs to have a few questions addressed before going forward with him, but I have a really good feeling.  This is so exciting.  And tomorrow I meet with a lender!  We're scrambling today, hunting down old W-2s and student loan statements.  This all feels so grown up!  I swear, every day we become more adult-ish.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The shortcuts

It's been hot this week.  I pulled out one of my only summer skirts and found that most of the hem had come undone - not enough to just ignore (did that!), and the awkward length made me not want to undo the hem completely.

AND SO!  Out came the stapler.  To date, I've used a stapler in place of actual sewing with:
*Dress pants
*....that's pretty much it.  I'm sure I used it for half-way crafts through my years child care and community college.

I thought that one or two would pull it together, but I ended up needing ten.  Maybe more?  In the end, it would have been faster to just pull my sewing machine out of the closet and be done with it. 

{{{{{{{Mike comes home tomorrow}}}}}}}

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

BrokenHouseHeart (HeartBrokenHouse?)

There's one home listed that I've been drooling over for about a month now.  Since it didn't sell within the first week, as so many of them are this season, I had thought maybe it was hidden, or undesirable, and would just hang out until we got everything ready to actually SEE it.

Alas, as of this morning it's listed as sale pending.  Frak.  Double triple gaaaah!

This is when I end up typing things into Google like, "how to deal with disappointment when house hunting", and get mediocre-but-somehow-helpful advice.  Frown, grimace.

Getting over it.  Remembering that there are other houses out there that will be lovely and cozy and available, and we'll be the overwhelmed homeowners.  To the future!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Home Alone

Mike is gone this week with the middle schoolers on their week long camp.  It's so weird to come back to an empty house, and wake up to an empty bed.  I'm sleeping with the hockey stick next to me, just in case.

While he's gone, I've been working feverishly to contact real estate agents and lenders, getting quotes and information so that we can be ready to explore once he's back in town.  I've been dreaming about houses consistently for the last two weeks.  Fingers crossed that we'll make wise choices with all of the things that are in motion.  Yay!  Aaaa!  (Also, eeeee!)

And now, I'm off to try and sleep in my sad, sad bed.  I get it, now, what Double En was saying about becoming so accustomed to one's partner.  I used to sleep alone every night, no problem.  For years!  (Nearly 30!)  Now, I'm half-way to being a wreck in the morning.  Soothe yourself, paranoid brain.  G'dnight!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Small Victories

A few months ago I interviewed for an amazing job that seemed out of reach.  Friends were encouraging, though, and their gentle nudges were just enough to get me to pursue the position.  When the interview came, I felt REAL bad.  There had been a stomach bug going around my office, and I blamed my bad feelings on that.  My nerves were nearly unbearable, and as I sat in the small meeting room with six people carefully observing my responses to their list of questions, I thought I was going to lose it.  I felt flushed, light headed. panicky, and extremely nauseous - I even interrupted the interview to tell them that I might have to run into the hall to barf, but hoped that it wouldn't cause them to think less of me.

While at first I thought it WAS a bug, I started having the same experience in other settings.  Both of the following interviews were the same horrific event, but somehow I got the job (whoop!).  Then, I found myself having these "episodes" with growing regularity - on the bus, in meetings, at church, out at dinner with friends.

It was horrible.

I was scared and angry with myself for being so... wrong.  All I wanted to do was stay home or go out with Mike. The two-day board meeting with over 100 people for work was torture, and I began to dread all of the meetings - large and small - that were happening on a regular basis.  I stopped taking the bus and walked to work, instead.  I stayed home from church, and avoided gatherings.  When I thought about the coming months and years I envisioned friendlessness, being a drag on my husband, and having children [someday] that would either a) be neurotic like me, or b) significantly resent my issues.

Finally, I made an appointment with my old therapist.  We talked through some things, and she gave me exercises to do.  Nothing crazy or groundbreaking, but just enough for the fear to stop growing.

This week I pride myself on making some returns to normalcy:
*I had a meeting with a donor, over lunch.  A meeting!  Over lunch!  It was actually enjoyable.
*I spent all day at church with Mike while he preached, and was mentally/emotionally present.
*Yesterday's dentist appointment started off panicky, but I wrangled that beast and got my teeth sparkly.

It feels good.  I am proud.  Most importantly, my hope is growing in place of weedy fear.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Anxiety queen

Mike is preaching twice today!  He seems frustrated with himself for not being 130% prepared, but resigned to things falling where they may.  While he's pretty mellow, I'm a bundle of nerves.  I think I might throw up, and am wondering if I have to sit near the front of the church.

Oh, gawd...

I don't know how this man handles me.  I'm going to try and keep this on the DL so that Mike can focus on himself, rather than worrying about my state of mind AND his.

Dear World,
I'm sorry.  I hope that my food and laughter manages to make up for these freakouts that I experience so often.
Love, -Missi

Saturday, June 23, 2012

LateNight EarlyMorning

After nearly a year at his job, Mike finally has some Friday evenings off.  I had grown used to coming home at the end of the week and either catching up with a friend or having some introvert recovery time, so we were both a little unsure of how to plan a Friday night again.

In the end, we ate tortellini, Texas toast, and drank mojitos (confused/international meal), watched the Empire Strikes Back, and giggled while making out.  I love Friday!

We've also been talking about saving up for a house, and this week's meeting with a home buying consultant confirmed that we're in a good place to do so.  Mike's too distracted to think about it, but I'm finding myself obsessed.  There are only a handful of houses at any given time that are in our price range, within a reasonable commute, and not fugly.  Let me tell you - I have plans for them all.  Paint colors, flooring plans, giving family directions for Thanksgiving dinner.... what have I become?!

I'm a monster. 

I need a hobby.
Maybe I should open an Etsy store?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Celebration day!

Today marks the first day of summer.  Fortunately, I get to spend all of these beautiful daylight hours indoors!  Work-to-library-to-school.  Sigh.  Today also marks the 25% mark of my MBA program.  One down, three to go!  It's gone so quickly, and I am thankful.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Looking back

Five years ago I was 25.  The math is pretty simple.

It seems as though it shouldn't feel like such a long time, but when I look at what's happened it seems a lifetime ago.  Five years ago I quit my job and went to New Zealand on my own.  I had an associate's degree, and had worked nearly ten years as a nanny.  I was scared and excited, and taught myself to be social when my introvert fears made me want to stay in bed and read.  It was an adventure that I loved, but also hated because I so deeply missed my home.

Upon returning to the good ol' USA, I enrolled at PSU and studied business and accounting.  Accounting!  Business?!  It was a game changer.  I started my first bookkeeping jobs, lived in an apartment by myself, and started running.  I lost the ten pounds that I'd gained in New Zealand (from lonely stress eating).

I graduated and had a real job.

Now, at the age of 30, I have a different, equally "real" job.  I'm six months married.  I'm a student again.  Somehow, with all of this in front of me, I feel completely unqualified.  I realize that what I should tell myself is,

Hey you! Look at what's happened since 25!  You can do this.  Group projects?  Bah!  Cakewalk.  Breaking into that dream job?  It's gonna happen.

Instead, the mantra is, I can't do this.  I can't do this.  I can't do this.  Frack.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

New blog

Hooray!  My first post on a new blog.  I haven't had a blog since, apparently, 2005 when I had nothing to write about except "normal life."  And, really, "normal life" writing was really just trying to get an old boyfriend to give me the attention as an ex that he never gave me during our relationship.

It was a sad life, but it seems to be that it's just how things went when one is (a) 22, (b) dating a 30-year-old, (c) sensitive/accommodating, and (d) REEEELLY really wanting to make things work.

At any rate, I'm back to blogging again!  At the age of 30!  (I will not be dating any 22-year-olds, by the by.  I'm happily married to my own fabulous 30-year-old HeMan/Hulk/Wolverine/Seriously Awesome man.)

Starting a blog is on my list of Things To Do in 2012.  Also on this list?
*Start an MBA program (check)
*Take more pictures (in process)
*Spend more time with my nieces and nephews
*Spend more time with my brothers and sister
*Backpack for a few days with my lover
*Make food for sweet friends and beloved family
*Try something new and scary

I think that last one might be a dual accomplishment with starting this blog.  I feel sheepish and a little strange, but LET'S GET THIS STARTED!

<3,  -Missi