year in review

well! despite a lackluster apocalypse on dec. 21, 2012 rounded out to be a pretty good year. let’s recap.

1. year started off pretty cruddy. i can’t remember exactly when, but i was informed that i would be changing my work hours from noon-8 p.m. to 3-11 p.m. SUCK. that was pretty much the last straw. there had been little things at work that had bugged me, but i put up with them because my hours were decent and i liked a lot of the people (note: i did not say ALL).

2. so, i started a job search. job searches suck, especially when you’re being picky.

3. nate and i saw even less of each other (if that is possible).

4. in the meantime, i lost a total of about 50 lbs. because of running, and so….

5. i ran a few 5ks! woo! time sucks, but that’s ok! i finished and that’s all that matters.

6. and i had a phone interview with mayo, which turned out to be nothing, then an interview with RCTC, which turned out to be awesome.

7. started at RCTC in june.

8. subsequently, i lived in 3 places for about 5 months. that SUCKED.

9. ralph got a liver infection πŸ™ but he was cured with some antibiotics

10. our house finally sold and we made about $4,00 off it! woohoo! paid back grandma and paid off the credit card i’d been buying gas with over the summer

11. nate and i had to live in austin for 3 weeks (BLEAH) with our stuff in storage

12. but now nate and i are in rochester, and he tolerates his job better than st. cloud and i enjoy my job. the cats are cramped, but they will survive, and i will try to survive with a smaller kitchen and no garage (le sigh)

all in all, not a bad year! despite the massive amounts of driving and trekking around the state, i’d say the positives outweigh the negatives at this point.

back in the saddle

well, after almost 7 months, i think i’m finally settled for a while. i don’t have to drive anywhere until easter/dad’s bday, i don’t have to see anyone, and i don’t have to live in 3 places. i’m looking forward to doing nothing! i missed my christmas tree this year, but i did have some decorations up and watched a few movies (i still have to watch charlie brown). my cookies got made and present wrapped, so that was ok.

so now it’s just a matter of finding a routine for a while. and now that i’m done traveling all over the state for a bit, hopefully part of that will be blogging on a daily basis again. i can start up my pinterest experiments again. woo!


my dad wants a presentation of sorts on christmas eve from my siblings and me. he asked us to share memories of living in austin, so i wrote about christmas. this is a surprise for my mom, so don’t tell her!

i’m waiting for christmas to come – my decorations sit in boxes in a truck 45 miles away and the perfect tree is waiting for me to find it. i’m getting antsy. i sit in the finnegan living room, the last setting my memory reasonably recognizes as a part of my youth. my house is gone; an aunt and uncle are gone; my parents live 4 hours northwest; the friends are elsewhere; i am gone as well. even the finnegan living room has changed: its furniture has been replaced and new rugs line the floor. but it remains steadfast and secure in my memory as the place where i almost caught santa claus – my first christmas memory full of excitement and hope, that little tug at the concave place between your heart and your stomach from which butterflies burst.

memories of the house i grew up in started off yellow, and early in my life, a brigade of painters came and changed it to red. when we moved, it became known as β€œthe red house”, mostly by my brother who was 6 at the time. christmas, of course, moved with us. when we moved, i was 14, so the mystery of santa claus was long found out and the time of your life when christmasses start to blend together a little bit had started.

the red house sat on a slight incline in the almost-country amidst a slough of trees, some of which were planted with christmas in mind. every year we opened our driveway to those who would cut their own christmas trees, and every year my siblings and i would watch remorsefully as car after car drove in and out with a tree strapped to the top or thrown in the back of a pickup while our living room sat bare. in the wallace household, advent is a big deal. but then, so is christmas.

the preparation and waiting for christmas was just as important as christmas itself. when advent started in late november or early december, my mom pulled out the advent wreath candle holder, a brass circle with 4 spots for candles. in those days, where evergreen boughs were plentiful, we would line the circle with greenery. three purple candles and one pink candle went in the wreath, and daily advent prayers commenced. at the time, the waiting and anticipation was torture, but looking back, the waiting was the best part. what’s christmas without the tingle of anticipation, the jolt of fluttering in your chest?

we watched the trees leave the yard, and soon enough we were able to trudge through the snowy fields to find our own tree to drag back to the house, leaving a tell-tale trail of branch marks in the snow behind us. we set it up in the living room in front of the windows or front door (which no one used), watched our parents fight over lights and tinsel, then were able to hang decorations. the matchbox mouse, jingly raccoon, angels, fabric ball ornaments from 1978…they all went on the tree or hung from the corkboard over the couch one by one.

some presents appeared. the pink candle on the advent wreath was lighted. carols from the readers digest LP collection played more frequently. christmas was coming.

when christmas eve arrived, a flurry of activity ignited as preparations for the buffet began. food was cooked and displayed, dresses were unfurled, luminaries were colored and lighted to line our long driveway, lights on the outside trees were plugged in, red cake recipes were perfected. the evening flew: relatives came and went, chet atkins played on the record player, and lights and laughter punctuated the nighttime darkness. after the kitchen was cleaned, dresses were exchanged for pajamas, and it was time for stockings.

the last holdout in the christmas season decorations, the stockings lived in a christmas box until right before bedtime on christmas eve. after all the hubbub of the buffet, finally it was time to put out that final symbol of christmastime. then bedtime.

like falling asleep to the smell of pumpkin pies baking the night before thanksgiving, falling asleep christmas eve was excruciating. tossing and turning, adjusting the blankets, counting sheep – nothing truly worked, even now. you fell asleep when you did, letting the anticipation and anxiousness for the next morning flow through your body until your mind had quelled enough to let itself burrow into a slumber.

and then it was christmas.

early christmasses were always defineable – the year i got my bigwheel. the year i got the guitar. the year i got my bike. if you ask me what i got for christmas 5 years ago, i couldn’t tell you, but i do know that the feeling of christmas maintains year after year. perhaps it is a sign of goodwill and maturity that a person doesn’t remember the material goods of the season, that it is about the people you embrace and the feeling of christmas hope.

so often they say christmas is all about children and that’s what matters. i beg to differ – christmas is for everyone. perhaps there are some who don’t want to admit to it, but everyone, young and old, gets excited about christmas. even 30 years after hearing jingle bells and almost catching santa claus, there is nothing that will take away that feeling of excitement at christmas and that little hope tug in my chest.

new place


new house pics! bonu cat/christmas pics as well!



i tried to use the cookie cutter (warmed up with hot water) to make pretty shapes out of the peppermint bark. didn’t work.


ralf and adolf (the red nosed reinbear)


movin movin movin

omg i am so ready to fall over from exhaustion. i don’t know what it was, but hauling all our stuff in yesterday just wore me out. it’s weird because i didn’t feel that way when we moved down here or when we transferred trucks.

well, i’m slowly getting everything out of boxes. still haven’t got my desk done, but kitchen and living room are. also installed two under-cabinet lights and a knife magnet strip. i didn’t realize how good we had it with our kitchen. i even got rid of a lot of stuff and i still have a second shelf out in the entryway with kitchen crap on it. and the drawers are so small! ugh!

i have an idea of where to put a tree, but i’m not sure if nate will go for it. we’ll see how far i get tomorrow with my desk, bathroom and front porch organization.

SO CLOSE. (jane, we may have to get me a tree on monday night.)

pictures (hopefully) tomorrow.

crisis averted

i got a message from liz today asking why i had a big ol’ error on my blog.


(if you recall the great blog migration of 2012, i had already lost 3 years’ worth of blog posts and did NOT want to repeat that.)

i dug around in my file manager at my host. nothing that i could see. so, since i had recently updated wordpress, i decided to manually update it again to see what would happen.

oh happy day! it now works! no posts were lost! whew! now onto different anxiety-inducing activities, such as calling my landlord!

snow for real!


my view outside my window. not for long, i hope.

cats are not allowed on the new carpet. a cat is. so sophie and ralph are locked up in the bathroom. until thursday! poor kitties. i already got a phone call because nate was misinformed on the rules and uncle tattled on him and couldnt tell nate himself. seriously. what are we, 5? nate also said uncle was a huge micromanager with the rug men. sigh. ready to be out.


it’s a waiting game now. i’m being way too pessimistic in my view on when we’re going to be able to move in to our place, so much so that nate said, “wow, you’re more pessimistic than me!”


i want to be done! i am in a constant state of anxiety these days, so much so that i could barely sleep last night.

thanks for listening to my whiny post. once we move (if ever), i will post pics of the new place.



it’s supposed to snow tomorrow! (and while i am excited about the snow, part of me is dreading it because, surprise! haven’t moved yet. grrr.)

and so enters the christmas season? and so enters christmas movie viewing season! woohoo!

this year:

  • elf!
  • muppet xmas carol!
  • it’s a wonderful life!
  • i bought love actually
  • home alone
  • going to watch a christmas story and see if it got even better
  • going to try national lampoon’s again and see if it follows the trend that a christmas story has (gets better with each viewing?)
  • charlie brown!
  • rudolph! (ready, santa!)
  • holiday inn
  • adding the lion the witch and the wardrobe
  • nightmare before christmas
  • the santa clause I and II

anything else i forgot? i’m not watching white chrsitmas :/