My favorite things – Part Deux

Every once in a while, I’ll open up my blog dashboard and check the stats. Without fail, I have to shake my head and laugh. Here I am, a contemplative writer, eager to share my deepest thoughts and observations, and the one post that generates hundreds of views every day?

This one.

Y’all. I didn’t even open a Pinterest account or board or whateveritscalled until last week when I needed a new hairstyle. But somehow the pictures of my house ended up on Pinterest, and people like them. So in the spirit of peace on earth and goodwill to moms, I’ve compiled a sequel—which, in my opinion, is even better than the first because we’ve lived in our house for almost four years, so these are the tried-and-true, I-really-do-love-them kind of ideas.

1. The hutch in the kitchen. I store my cookbooks and casual serving pieces here, and the countertop is where we always put the drink station when we host a big party. It’s also next to our dining table, so I store all the silverware, placemats, and napkins in the drawers. It works beautifully. (Especially after the Christmas decorations go back into the attic.)


2. The island. Both our architect and our builder double-checked to make sure we didn’t want to put the sink or stovetop on the island, but it was never a question for us. We had the same island (minus a foot or two) in our old house, and we loved it. This is where everyone gathers for parties. It’s long enough to fit all the food, plates, and utensils for a large gathering. The trash can is the pull-out on the end, so I can wipe all the crumbs straight in. We have five feet between the island and the counter so there is plenty of room for passing through while people fill their plates.

Plus, this is where the kids set up shop—just as we intended. They eat their breakfasts, do their homework, read the comics, have their snacks—all in this space as I cook dinner or wipe down the counter or sort the mail. It’s a safe place for them to talk to me, and I love it. Meghan’s “office” is in the lefthand corner. Most days, you can find there her laptop, notes, papers, socks, shoes, dance bag, and three dozen cups & plates from the past two weeks. That I don’t love so much.


3. Dining room storage. We got this idea from Michael’s parents, who built their house with similar cabinets when he was three years old. As you may have noticed, I can’t stand clutter, and I’m a tad OCD about stacks and piles. But disorganized clutter in a family of five is inevitable, so I’m all about hiding stuff behind closed doors. I don’t want to look at the crap. Here is the first example of A Beautiful Coverup.


4. Mixer stand with pop-up platform. I can’t remember where I first saw this, but I loooooove it. Those KitchenAid mixers are a beast, man. You could easily throw your back out trying to lift it. And again, I don’t want to see it, so this is a perfect solution. The pull-out drawer at the bottom is perfect for the mixer accessories. (Helpful hint for homebuilders: remember to put an outlet at the back of this cabinet.)


5. Mud room lockers. Again, it’s all about the cover-up. Baskets for shoes, locker with a door for each family member. We also put two hooks, a shelf, and an outlet for charging devices. In theory, this is where the devices would sleep overnight, but that doesn’t always happen. My friend, Gracie, built her house before ours, and she didn’t put doors on their lockers. She told me that every time she walks into her mudroom, she thinks, “This does NOT look like the Pottery Barn catalog!” I highly recommend the doors. Doors also contain the odors of gym bags and forgotten lunch bags.


6. Spice racks. These make me happy.


7. Broom/cleaning closet. I think I found this on Houzz when we were in the final stages of building. It works superbly well. We need to add a light to this closet, but otherwise, it’s almost perfect. Also, I should have made at least one shelf a little taller for large bottles of vinegar and vacuum attachments that now only fit on the floor.


8. Fireproof cabinets for photo albums. I KNOW, RIGHT?!? When our first two kids were babies and we lived in our first house, I had a nightmare that woke me up in a cold sweat. I had dreamed the house was on fire, and I told my husband, “YOU GET THE KIDS! I’LL GET THE SCRAPBOOKS!” …and when I woke, I started thinking cognitively about how that would work. Um, it wouldn’t. And that sent me into a panic. I have dozens of scrapbooks worth hundreds and hundreds of hours—and dollars—of work (I was scrapbooking before we had internet and digital cameras). So I began devising a plan, and this is the result:



I ordered the cabinets from an office supply wholesaler, gave the measurements to our architect, and he designed a cabinet space for them. The actual process of installing them didn’t happen as smoothly as it should have—the sub-contractors built the space 1/2″ too narrow, and the cabinets wouldn’t fit in them, so the builder had to tear out dry wall, the cabinet maker had to rebuild the doors…it was a little bit of a mess, but it turned out fine. That’s usually how life goes.

The bottom drawer keeps our important documents (passports, wills, birth certificates), and the space above the cabinets holds extra throw blankets and pillows:


9. Master bathroom appliance garage. All credit goes to our architect for throwing in this little gem. I love it so much. My hair dryer, flat iron, curling iron, and electric toothbrush charger are all within reach, but I don’t have to look at them or their messy cords.



So there you go. Four years later, I still walk around our house thinking, “I can’t believe we get to live here!” We had an excruciating amount of time to dream, design, and plan, and it was worth every second.

I love to hide all the clutter in my house, but otherwise I’m all about transparency and authenticity. After you pin and copy and collect ideas for your own home, I hope you’ll stick around and check out some of my deeper thoughts.


My Favorite Things: A Novel (Written from Prison)

My sincere apologies for my extended absence. I know you’ve been on the edge of your seat wondering where the crazy couch lady is hiding. Did she fall into a box full of silver serving pieces from 1995 and was unable to climb out? Did she fall off of the ladder while putting crystal goblets (also unseen since 1995) into the shiny glassfront cabinets? Did she murder her husband for stubbornly insisting upon maintaining the pool all by himself and now she sits in a lonely jail cell awaiting trial because for crying out loud we trust our 6 & 12 year old cars to those who know how to maintain cars so why wouldn’t we pay an expert to take care of something that costs more than both of our cars put together?
Slightly exaggerated. But close.
We’re finally starting to feel somewhat settled. Most of the boxes are unpacked, the dust is settling (and settling and settling – upon every known surface), and it’s feeling like home. As opposed to a very large building full of boxes and trash.
We still love it. We’re still amazed at this dream come true. Still humbled. Still incredibly thankful.
I know it’s time to move on to more important topics of conversation, but as a grand send-off to the house building process, I present to you My Favorite Things.
Kitchen faucet & sink
Deeeeep and wide! Deeeeep and wide! My kitchen sink is so deep and wide! So cool. It’s made from granite (Silestone, to be exact), so it doesn’t stain or scratch, and it withstands heat like nobody’s business. Gretchen had this exact sink in one of her homes – she loved it, and I loved it, and now I own it. (Or, more specifically, the bank owns it and is generously letting us use it for the next 30 years.) Our builder puts these sinks in all of his homes, but before we swooped in and enlightened him, he has used the model with the drain in the middle. Gretchen’s was on the side, which in my opinion and hers, works so much better. I can stack dirty dishes on one side and rinse them on the other, and the drain remains unobstructed. The sink is ever-so-slightly slanted so that all the gunk runs down to the drain.
The faucet? It’s just pretty. It makes me happy.
Which leads us to…
Instant hot water
Holy guacamole. How did I ever live without this? In every other house we’ve lived in, when we wanted hot water, we turned on the faucet, walked away, balanced our checkbook, ate a snack, filed our taxes…then came back for the hot water. This house? Turn on the hot water, count to 3 ½, and BAM! Blazing hot water. Beautiful.
Trash pull-out in the kitchen island
Crumbs and scraps and whatever else wipe directly into the trash can. Who knew my trash can could make me so happy?
Full extension drawers & shelves
This is probably at the top of my list. Check this out:
All of our drawers and many of our shelves pull out all the way. Add in some non-skid, grippy, squishy shelf liner, and you will never again lose anything to the far dark recesses of your drawers or cabinets.
Tub sprayer
Every bit as functional and luxurious as I imagined. It would be even more so if we owned a dog. Which we do not. Hopefully ever.

View from the bathtub

I may never come out.

Feels like a retreat center. Or a spa. A vacation, at the least. When the pool fountain is running and the ceiling fan is on, I can sit in one of these cozy chairs, close my eyes, and not even think about my laundry. I think my pulse rate drops about 15 beats.
Our team from church sat out here last week for Bible study/discussion/goofing around, and it was (ahem) heavenly. I foresee many, many hours spent right here. Cozy, relaxing, comfortable, welcoming, safe – the epitome of everything we want our home to be.
Front porch
Ditto from the patio with more pollen. I think I need to get cushions for the rockers – they’re a little hard. But still amazing.
Home audio
This was one of those things that our builder adds to all of his homes, and it sounded like a nifty idea, so we gave the OK and didn’t think much about it. It’s turned out to be one of the COOLEST MOST ROCKIN’ AWESOME IDEAS EV-AH! 
I’ve always enjoyed having music on in our home. My parents always played music during dinner. I always took my cassette player into the bathroom so I could belt out Journey’s Open Arms at the top of my lungs while I showered. My college roommates and I “studied” (and I use that word in its loosest possible definition) to Michael W. Smith’s Christmas album (the first one, which is waaaaay better than all the others). I have memories of baby Meghan pulling herself up on the coffee table and rocking from side to side to The Lion King or Beth Nielsen Chapman or Mozart or Ragtime or Jars of Clay or whichever CD I decided to stick in my 1986 Panasonic stereo that day. 
I love music.
So now, I can plug in my iPod in the family room, walk to my bathroom, press a button, and pretend I’m Celine Dion while I wash off in my walk-in shower. No cassette player necessary.
We have speakers in our bedroom & bathroom, the front porch, the back patio, the gameroom, and my craft room, plus the family room. And not only will it play music, but we can turn on the TV audio or the radio if we so choose. I listened to American Idol while I unpacked my craft room a few weeks ago. AND (get this) if I want to listen to my iPod in the bathroom and Michael wants to sit out on the back porch and listen to the Rangers game on TV, WE CAN DO THAT. AT THE SAME TIME! Technology, thy name is bliss.
And this? 
My love, it is time to say farewell. You have served me faithfully since the 8th grade. Thank you. And good-bye.
Costco pantry
Angelic chorus, if you please. This was the first place I unpacked, and it made me so happy. Since discovering Costco a few years ago, I’m a little bit of a stockpiler nut, and I love having a place for it all. I really love being able to see what I have so I don’t end up with 57 packages of paper plates and no toilet paper.
Obviously, we’re in no danger of that at the moment.
Laundry room
I was in the middle of writing this post yesterday when I left the utility sink running and flooded our back hallway. Which, I promise, will be the topic for my next post.
So. The laundry room.
I love the counter space because I can pull clothes out of the dryer and sort them into the kids’ baskets – which they then take upstairs, fold, and put away. I love the rod because I can hang up our tshirts and pants and remove the need for the loathsome ironing board.
And, after yesterday, I love the floor drain under the washing machine. Though I’m kinda wishing it was in the middle of the room instead of under the washing machine.  But whatever.
Mud room
It works! It actually works! The kids come in the back door from the garage, put their shoes in the baskets and backpacks in their lockers – which keeps them from dumping everything in the middle of some random corner of the house where they can’t find it the next morning and then ask me where it is.
Except, of course, for a certain absent-minded 6 year old, who still leaves his backpack and shoes on the floor. 
But at least they’re on the floor in front of his locker and not in some random corner.

I do love having doors on the lockers. We debated whether or not to add them, and we’re both really glad that we did. I don’t need to look at all the mess inside. It would just make me cranky. My friend, Gracie, decided not to add doors to her mudroom lockers, and every time she walks in she says, “This does not look like the Pottery Barn catalog!”
Yellow Box flip-flops
No, this is not actually part of the house. But with all those dark hardwood floors that are dust and footprint magnets, I have reinforced the no-shoes-inside rule (second only to the QUIT TOUCHING THE WALLS! rule) with the fervor of a Russian dictator. But bare feet can cause great havoc on a girl’s lower back and knees. So I have designated “inside shoes.” I change into these when I walk in the door, and change back to my “outside shoes” when I leave.
I’ve had friends who have sworn by these adorable pedi-accessories, but I’ve never owned a pair myself. SWEET MERCY! They are so comfy. I think I need about 78 more pairs.
So there ya have it: a mere handful of my favorite things about our dream house. You get the idea. I hope I’ve given you some fun ideas if you ever build or remodel or just like looking at stuff like this.
Now I need to go yell at the warden so I can make my phone call and get out of this jail cell and back to my lovely home.
UPDATE: More of my favorite things here. Lots of ideas for covering up the clutter: mixer stand, master bathroom, fireproof cabinets, and more!

A promise fulfilled

Still here. Still bone-tired.
Sorry it’s taken me awhile.
Between all the boxes and Michael’s trip to San Diego and the workmen and the boxes and Michael’s 20th high school reunion and the punch list and the boxes and the landscapers and the boxes and the pool leak and the boxes and Meghan’s math competition in San Antonio and the boxes…well, we’re pooped.
But we’re getting there. Slowly but surely, we’re getting settled.
I spent the entire week just in my craft room, and I’m still not done. But I’m close. I’ve made it down to the piles of “what on Earth is this and why do we still have it?!?” kinds of things. Most of which is headed for the curb. Next on the list: the dining room and guest room (since my mom informed me that we’re hosting Easter dinner this year). Which means that I will be unpacking beautiful serving pieces and candelabras and crystal bowls that we received as wedding gifts 15 years ago and whose glorious radiance hasn’t seen the light of day since. It’ll be like Christmas, I’m sure…Christmas gifts slathered in maroon and forest green purchased in 1995, of course.
Michael asked me last week to name five things about our house that I love the most. Only five? I love everything – everything – about it. I sit on the toilet and think I love our paint. I love the texture on the walls. I love the tile. I love the doorknobs.

(No, really. I do love the doorknobs. Egg-shaped, oil rubbed bronze. They’re perfect.)
We love coming home. We love being home. We love sitting and looking around at what God has entrusted to us.
We’re humbled. And amazed. And so thankful.
We moved in on a Friday, and that next Sunday, our small group from church met in our new home. Almost everyone was there. These are the friends who have prayed with us, prayed for us, held us up when the entire thing was falling apart, rejoiced with us when it came back together, celebrated each new stage of the process. And they all sat together with us in our family room on Sunday night.
As we do every Sunday night, one of our own began playing his guitar, and we sang. We worshipped together, we prayed together, we contemplated, we discussed, we cracked jokes, we rolled with laughter. 
And I was completely overwhelmed.
In this moment we witnessed the fulfillment of a dream, a promise, a vision. This was precisely what God had called us to do – as far back as 19 years ago when we were two stupid kids in love with no idea what lay ahead of us. This is what we had envisioned all along: a place where people come and experience the love of God, to feel welcomed and safe, to know they are loved unconditionally, to know they belong.
And it’s only the beginning. We continue to dream. We long for these rooms to be filled with laughter and comfort and good memories. We look forward to countless celebrations and get-togethers and overnight guests. 
It feels like the beginning of an adventure, a journey, a calling. We can’t wait to share it.

I’m never moving again. At least that’s what The Plan According to Jennifer says. The next time I move, I will be going to the old folk’s home or the morgue, and in either of those scenarios, I probably won’t care.

Moving is exhausting, but this move has been the most exhilarating kind of exhausting. We are giddy. Our feet throb, our backs ache, and we are three kinds of bone-tired weary, but we are HERE. At last.
The kitchen, master bath & master closet are unpacked, and we managed to find the toilet paper and bed sheets. The important things. Other than that, we have A LOT of work to do.
Which is why I have to cut this short. I’ll be back soon to fill you in on our adventurous week and the joy of our long-awaited dream home – but for now…

Back to the boxes…

Blue by any other name turns out to be Latte

Have I mentioned how much fun I’ve had building this house? It’s been a blast. If you ever build a house, or plan to build a house, or plan to remodel a house, here’s my advice:
Collect lots and lots and lots of notes. Visit model homes and home shows and parade homes. Look through magazines and tear out pictures you love, even if you don’t know why you love them. If something strikes you, save it. Better yet, go to this website and start an “ideabook.” It’s amazingly awesome. 
We’ve had The House in our heads for so long that all the decision-making – which should have been a huge stressor – was actually a big ol’ piece of chocolate cake. Or creme brulee. Or tiramisu. Oh lawdy.  We’d narrow down our choices, then point at one and say, “that one.” Truly, it was that easy. And if we didn’t know right away, we’d call on The Great Creator And Artist and ask what He wanted us to do. And He would tell us.
Most of the time. Last week? Ugh. I was so frustrated. I was trying to pick a wall color for my home office/craft room, and I was completely stuck. As in paralyzed stuck. As in totally confused stuck. Not a good place to be. 
I had decided awhile ago that I wanted cabinets like this:

But I didn’t really care for the butter yellow on the walls. So I thought I’d try a soft blue-grey on the walls. I was going for a soft, soothing, monochromatic thing. I pulled out the paint cards again, narrowed my choices down to two, had the painter make samples of each, then I put them against the wall with the cabinet sample and the trim sample – and I stared at them.
And stared.
And stared.
Why isn’t it obvious?
So I called upon my Facebook friends to help, and they were in favor 7-2 of the darker shade.

(the cabinet won’t actually be this dark, and the distressing/antiquing will be less)

But one of the two dissenting opinions happened to be Traci The Wonder Designer, whose opinion I highly HIGHLY value. 
(Not that I don’t value your opinions, Facebook Friends. I was actually siding with you. But Traci is a pro.)
I was drinking my coffee and reading the paper one morning last weekend, and I happened to come across an article that discussed how to choose a paint color. 
{insert providential angelic chorus}
 Voila! They suggested looking at a page on Sherwin-Williams’ website where you can upload a picture of your room and “paint” it.
This is what I got:

To me, the blue walls just seemed to wash out the entire room. Not the look I had in my head. Granted, it’s a rough picture, but it gave me a better idea of what the room would look like.
So I went with Traci’s advice and chose the Latte, which happens to be the main house color, which means I just saved us some moolah by not choosing an additional paint color. 

Plus it seems to make the cabinets pop.
And I’m all about the pop.

We looked at all the samples together, including the carpet and countertops, and I think it’s going to look great. I think it’s going to work. 
For your further enjoyment, here are a few pictures of unpainted rooms…

 Meghan & Nathan’s window seats and bookshelves

 Broom closet with space for vacuum, mops, brooms & cleaning supplies


 Family room

 Front stairs

 Guest closet

 Summer kitchen – extra seating!

Summer kitchen – grill island

Craft room – peg board and additional upper cabinet. The peg board will be painted the same blue as the cabinets with a white frame around it.

 Fireplace mantle

Meghan’s bathroom mirror
The painters were caulking all last week, and they should start painting tomorrow. Get ready for some big changes, Traci told me. 
(I love Traci. And I love our house. And I love big changes.)
Everything that we can select has been selected and ordered. Now we just wait for it all to be installed and completed.
I’m so happy.

I’m not jumping up and down…I’m FLOATING!

Eight weeks.
Ocho semanas.
Fifty-six-ish days.
Our builder thinks we will be in our house in 8 weeks.
We knew it was going fast, but we still expected to be in at the end of April, which was the original estimated completion date. The trim should be finished this week, then the painters will come in next week. After they are done – in about 3 weeks – then we will get lighting fixtures, plumbing fixtures, appliances, hardware, and all the other “little” details. Sometime in there we’ll pour our driveway and build the pool. Then we’ll have a couple of weeks of walkthroughs and fixes and inspections.
Boom. Mid-March.
OK, and get this. Michael has already blocked a couple of days to take off work during Spring Break.
Which is in mid-March.
In 8 weeks.
Can God really be that good? And knee-slapping funny? I swear if this house really is done in 8 weeks and we move in over spring break when Michael is off work, I will fall flat on my face and sing “Blessed Be Your Name” with my face smothered and my voice muffled in my brand-new plush carpet.
So freakin’ unbelievable.
I fully realize that it could very possibly not happen in exactly eight weeks. I’m still realistic and clutching to my low expectations. But our builder thinks that eight weeks is a “safe” estimate, which makes it slightly more likely.
I’m floating.
However, I think I am going to go into serious withdrawal when the house is finished. What am I going to do when there isn’t anything left to select? How will I handle a day with no house building decisions? What will it be like to drive up to the house…and it looks exactly like it did the day before?
(Two words: Hobby. Lobby.)
I’ve warned Traci the Wonder Designer that I may just show up at her office at random times and beg to pick something out. She said that’s fine.
(She thinks I’m kidding. Oh, dear Traci…)
I’m feeling myself drifting toward panic mode – or at least urgency mode.  Um, we have to move. Again. Which means lots of packing. And we’re moving into a new house, which means those two shudder-inducing, headache-causing, blister-forming words.
Shelf paper.
And I have 742 baskets to buy for the mud room and closets and shelves – after I measure the spaces and assess what will go in each basket to determine what sizes we need.
Yikes. I have a lot to do.
In the span of 8 weeks.

Splish, splash…splush.

It snowed yesterday. But on our side of town, it didn’t stick. At all. Not even on the grass. The ground was too wet and warm, so there was zero accumulation. So I didn’t take a single picture. Which is fine because that is one less scrapbook page for me not to complete two years from now.

Speaking of scrapbooking…

(Please wipe the drool off your chin. That’s just gross.)

Maybe when this room is all done and we’re moved in, I might actually get some work done.

If I can ever quit wasting so much time with this:

And this:

(Sorry for the further humiliation, Holly. It was just too good not to share.)

(And, by the way, internet friends, Holly kicked my tail in the next two games.)

(But I’m coming back.)

The point is, I need to get myself in gear and cut back on the idle. I’m sure I can be really productive if I just put my phone down and turn off the computer.

Let’s get back to the snow.

(‘Cause that’s what I do – change the subject when the conviction enters the conversation.)

So it was snowing, which can only mean one thing when you walk into Target:

Normally, this would be highly annoying. But when Meghan and I walked past the women’s section in Target last week and saw all the string bikinis, I stopped her as a huge grin spread over my face, and I whispered, “We’re gonna have a pool!”

I can’t wait for summer.

Michael and I have met with three different pool companies, told them what we’d like, and then met with each of them again to see their drawings and proposals. Company #1 was way too pretentious…and expensive.  Company #2 was exactly what we I wanted, though a little over our budget. Company #3 was somewhere in between – the design was closer to #1, but price was closer to #3.

We asked #2 to do some tweeking, and we met with them again last weekend. The design and price were brought down, and I was 100% happy with it. Let’s go! Wooo-hooo!

Michael? He’s a processor. He needs to process.

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming for a little story break…

Seven years ago, Michael was finishing his fellowship at the University of Iowa. I had just had surgery on both feet, we were wrapping up contract negotiations, getting ready to sell our house, buy a house, and make another baby. It was a little bit stressful. So in March, we flew down to Texas to find a house. The first day, we walked through a gazillion and seven houses. The second day, we narrowed it down to three preowned homes with the additional option of a brand-new neighborhood and a brand-new house with one particular floor plan that we loved. The third day, we decided on the new neighborhood and the new house. One house of this floor plan was already completed. One house was in framing and had a media room. One house was in framing and did not have the media room.

When we came back on Day 3, the completed house had just sold.  (Which was fine because it had this really funky wallpaper.) We decided we wanted the house with the media room. Wham, bam, there ya go, decision made, where do I sign.

But no. Michael needed to process. He didn’t want to jump. So we left to pick up our kids, who were hanging out with my awesome friend, Randi, and her kids. While we were driving, Michael verbally processed, and I patiently listened. We got our kids and headed back to the sales office to sign the contract.

We got lost.

We arrived at the sales office about an hour after we told our realtor we would be there. “Oh, I’m so sorry!” I told her as we got out of the car. “We’re an hour late!”

“No,” she replied, “you’re 30 minutes late. There’s a couple in there right now signing papers for your house.”

After a very heated, pointed discussion in the lovely child’s bedroom of the model house that was the sales office, Michael & I signed the contract for the media room-less House #3.

(Which really worked out fine. We spent 6 wonderful years in that house, and we were very happy, and it was beautiful. But that’s not the point.)

Now back to our regularly scheduled program.

Here we were, 7 years later, same song, second verse (except that the pool wasn’t going to be sold out from under us.) I was ready to go, and Michael needed to process. We had this discussion before we walked into the office. I’m taking my cues from you, I said. If you’re not ready, I’ll follow you out the door. During the meeting, however, it was clear that I was ready to, ahem, dive in, so he felt pressured to go ahead because, after all, his life goal is to make me happy. We ended up signing the contract before we left that morning because, as the sales guy reminded us, in Texas you can rescind a contract up to three days after signing it. which pacified Michael long enough for the ink to dry.

He spent the next six hours blurting out random comments at random times as his brain wrapped around the decision.

“Company #3 had more seating space.”

“This part will be more expensive than Company #3.”

“I really liked this about Company #3.”

Finally, around 6:00, following yet another thunderstorm-on-my-parade comment, I had had enough and pointedly requested a cease-and-desist of the verbal processing. If you need to process, fine. But let me enjoy the excitement of having OUR VERY OWN SWIMMING POOL THAT IS GORGEOUS AND FUN AND PERFECT without your Mr. Frowny Pants comments. Come talk to me when you can be excited.

We haven’t talked much about it. Yet. I’m still waiting.

(I’ll bet if I go buy a string bikini at Target and model it for him, then he’ll be excited.)

(Did I really just say that out loud?)

(This blog post has been rated PG for mild adult situations.)

Stay warm, friends. Summer’s coming.