On Friday

There is a media frenzy about Earth’s impending doom come Friday, the 21st of December. Naturally, this would be a talking point between Mike and I:

MIKE: I forgot to tell you, I’m going to be going straight from visiting Adam to work on Friday.
SYD: What! What am I supposed to do Friday night during the impending apocalypse! When am I going to kiss you goodbye?!
MIKE: That’s not going to happen.
SYD: Well I know that, but still, we don’t need to jinx things like this (knocks on wood)
MIKE: Sure, okay…
SYD: I guess I can walk to my parent’s house if the power goes out. Hey, do you still have that card with my cell number on it in your wallet?
MIKE: Maybe, why?
SYD: Well, we need to be able to get in contact with each other if your cell phone doesn’t work because the cell towers go down.
MIKE: What does that have to do with the card that has your cell phone number on it?
SYD: Er, um, nothing I guess. We at least need a disaster plan. Like, for more than just the apocalypse, but other disasters too. We should have a spot so you know where I am if it looks like no one is home. Does the part of the basement that has the paint stored in it have windows?
MIKE: Yes.
SYD: Oh no, does that mean that the only safe spot…
MIKE: Yes, is the unfinished bathroom that you’re scared to go into.
SYD: Shoot.
MIKE: Which, in case you find yourself in there, my motorcycle and the lawnmower batteries are drip charging in there.
SYD: You’re motorcycle is in the bathroom?!?!
MIKE: …The battery…

Clearly, in the event that the shit hits the fan on Friday – Mike and I are totally prepared. For the record, I don’t think anything natural is going to go down on Friday. I do however have very little faith in people that I don’t know – and feel like someone may use this as an opportunity to cause large-scale trouble.

So, if you’re looking for me Saturday morning, there’s a chance that I might be asleep in the unfinished bathroom… if there is a Saturday morning 😉

T-minus 7 Days

Yesterday, I happened to glance down at the Days til Christmas Countdown on my phone and saw the number 7. I did a double take, not believing my eyes, and then mentally did the math in my head.

This has to be the most behind I’ve ever been in Christmas preparations. Thankfully, with the holiday rush subsided on my Etsy (I cut off pre-holiday shipping on the 10th of December) I finally am regaining the headspace to get personal stuff done again.

Last night when I got home from work I decided that the non-bill mail pile had gotten too large and it was time to sift through it. What I found was about 3 months worth of magazines yet to be read. I adore magazines, and during the simpler times in my life I would lay in bed for hours on any given weekend morning reading them. Lately, between working and my love affair with my kindle, my magazines have gone unread. Before retiring to bed last night, I checked my calendar to confirm my lack of plans and decided that there will be several hours of me time this weekend, located in bed with reading materials of the paper persuasion.

The rest of the weekend will probably be spent braving the malls, shopping for the remaining folks on our Christmas list. Perhaps the overheated stores blaring Christmas music and filled with stressed shoppers will help me get into the holiday mindset spirit.

Brrrrr… It’s Cold in Here

On today’s episode of “Thank Goodness We Got a Home Warranty” we’ll see what happens when the heat goes out on Sydney and Mike during a chilly Chicago December…

Our heater has paused (for a few hours) a couple times since the start of the chilly season. Usually it’s when my mom is around, so Mike likes to claim that it has something to do with her haha. Every time that it happens, within a few hours it kicks back in, and things are back to the usual 64-68 degrees. As the temperatures outside continues to drop, Mike decided that it would be a good idea to have the heater checked out – before the ‘pause’ happened again.

The HWA (home warranty folks) sent a heating guy out on Monday. He checked our system and did a little bit of cleaning, but overall didn’t see anything wrong. By the time I got home from work however, the house had started to cool. We went out Monday evening to spend time with friends, and upon returning home noticed the house was down to 63 degrees (it’s set to be at 68 before going to bed – then it’s supposed to drop to 64 while we’re asleep).

Tuesday morning was brisk to say the least. 58 degrees brisk to be exact. Mike called the HWA back and scheduled another appointment for Wednesday morning. When I returned home from work that night, Mike wasn’t home, but he had made sure to put the 3 space heaters that we have strategically in rooms that he knew I’d be in. Although they didn’t totally warm the space, they did take some of the edge off. We both slept in hoodies and put one of the heaters in our bedroom.

By Wednesday morning things had gotten flat out cold. The thermostat read 54 degrees – and it took a hot shower to warm up myself and the bathroom enough for me to convince myself to change out of my PJs and into work clothing. While at the work on Wednesday, I was looking forward to coming home to a nice warm house and getting some Studio255 work done. Until I got an email from Mike informing me that they need to buy a new part for our heater and that it wouldn’t be fixed until Thursday. He spent the entire day on Wednesday at shivering at home while waiting for the heating man to show up, and then to come back with the spare part, only to find out that the part wouldn’t arrive until the following day. By that point, Mike was tired of being cold and suggested we go out to dinner and then spend some time over at his sister’s house warming up. As we drove back home at the end of the evening, I was bummed to get out of the toasty car, knowing that the house would have a chill about it.

When I woke up this morning I was nice and warm. I wondered if perhaps the heat had come back on… until I popped my leg out from under the covers. Still 54 degrees cold. After spending 72 hours in a cold house – all of our dishes and silverware were cold. So my cereal had a crisp taste to it this morning as I ate it out of a chilled bowl using a cold spoon. Also sharing that crisp edge: the toilet seat, my pants and my shoes.

Mike just called – the part has arrived and now the house can get back to warming itself up. Living my entire life in the Chicagoland area, I consider myself to be a fairly hearty individual. I walk 4 miles a day, 5 days a week during my commute – and survive, even sweat a little bit, in the below zero weather. When I visit Florida in the month of January, and everyone down there is bundled up because it’s in the mid-50s, I’m wearing a skirt with ballet flats and a light jacket. But there’s something to be said about being that cold in your own house, so I’m very relieved to know that when I get home tonight, it’ll be normal 68 degrees – no hoodie required.

Let’s look back at the HWA tally thus far: $300 in service fees total to have our oven, air conditioner and heater taken care of in 2012 🙂

Christmas In the Dining Room

The dining room as got to be my favorite room in our house. Not only am I still head-over-heels for the color that we selected for the walls, but it’s the room where most of the entertaining that we do starts and it’s the room where Mike and I spend our entire Saturday mornings – which during the run of a show is the only time of the week where we have quality just the two of us time.

This past Saturday, we did most of our Christmas decorating. Some of our favorite decorations have found their holiday homes in the dining room:

The MangerThis is our olive wood Creche. This year it’s living on the dresser that we use to hold our table linens and Champagne flutes in the dining room.

I bought this Creche at a large museum’s annual garage sale – where gift shop items that are either defected or overstocked are sold at rock bottom prices. Point-in-case, I found this Creche – regularly priced $220 for $5.

There are three wise men that are not seen in this photo. That’s because Mike puts them further away from the manger until Christmas – and then they’re slowly allowed to advance closer to come visit the Baby Jesus. Speaking of the Baby Jesus, he’s also not in this photo. He won’t make his debut appearance until Christmas Eve. Each year we make sure to remind ourselves out loud where we’re stashing the baby until Christmas Eve lest we forget and end up losing him! This year he’s hanging out in a small crystal bowl that my Aunt gave us (note to self, if we forget where Baby Jesus has been stored – I can reference this blog entry).

Nut CrackerSpeaking of the wise men, here they are hanging out next to Mike’s Tin Man Nutcracker. While we were finding a home for him (also on the dresser in the dining room) Mike explained his significance.

When he was a kid, there were some Wizard of Oz holiday decorations at his house. Each of his siblings took ‘ownership’ of a character – his was the Tin Man. Several holidays later, when his sister moved out, his mom gave her all of the Wizard of Oz decorations, since they were technically hers. Mike was bummed because he’d always thought that the Tin Man was his.

To make it up to him, his mom bought Mike a new Tin Man Christmas decoration that he could take with him when he moved out of their house. Ergo, the Tin Man Nutcracker pictured here.

Reindeer CollectionWhen I was a young teenager of mall shopping age, I took a liking to shopping in the home stores. Two of my favorites were (and still are) Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn. I loved walking through those stores when all of their holiday merchandise came onto display. My all-time favorite holiday line was Pottery Barn’s Reindeer line of dishes and serve-ware. I bought a set of 8 glass coasters from that holiday line sometime during my teenage years (currently part of our living room decorations).

Upon getting engaged, I started collecting the rest of that holiday line. For Christmas last year, my in-laws bought me the tiered cookie plates (as seen here) and the appetizer plates. When a PB gift card came our way from one of my best friends, Louis, we used it to purchase the Reindeer mugs.

Underneath the tiered plate is our new holiday table runner. Something I never thought that Mike and I would get into was table linens. Conversely, we’ve both been known to change up what’s on the dining room table based on the time of year – rarely is our table without linens on it. Since our current table is on the smaller side, we like to buy larger table cloths and fold them in half – so if we ever decide to upgrade our table, we won’t need to get rid of all of the table cloths and runners that we love.

I’m envisioning many warms mugs of hot chocolate being consumed while enjoying our festive dining room 🙂