Saturday, December 31, 2011

New house photos - main floor

Y'all, I'm so proud of myself - I actually remembered to take "before" pictures of the house (before any work other than electrical had been done), and now I'm blogging about it. See how I'm patting myself on the back here? Ha!

Anyhow, since there are a ton of pictures, I'm only going to put up ones of the main floor right now.

Oh, are y'all familiar with split levels? I wasn't very well versed on them until I moved to Raleigh. Growing up in Wilmington, there weren't many split levels because we were right at sea level. (It's hard to build a split level at sea level because part of it is almost basement-y, and you don't want it to flood.) The first time I went in one, I wasn't in love. The floor plans are a little different, but I think it's going to be very functional for us!'s the main floor!

Entryway/front door when you walk in. (Notice the kitchen straight ahead.)

If you turn left from the entryway, you'll be in the living room. (I got tired of meeting with painters, fence people, electricians, security system guys and everyone having to sit on the floor, so I brought over my nice chairs.)
Turning right from the living room, we have the dining room.
A close of of the wallpaper; it's staying! We're painting underneath the chair rail molding.

Turning right from the dining room, we have the kitchen (which you can also access by walking straight through the entryway).
Kitchen from the entry doorway.

 So, I hope y'all enjoyed that! Bellie just woke up, so I'm going to go tend to her - and take her to Lowe's to pick out some ceiling fans! I'll post more pictures later today!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

We're buying a house!

So in my last post, I mentioned we had big news coming and that was why I wasn't going to update the bachelor pad. The big news: we're FINALLY buying a new house!!!

Mike and I first toured this house in August - and we went under contract for it! But the inspection revealed a few problems, and we needed the seller to come down on her price a smidge in order for the house to be affordable for us. She wouldn't lower her price in August, so we backed out of the contract.

We had been in contact with the seller a few times since then - she wanted to know if we were still interested - which we were, but she still wasn't willing to lower her price. About a month ago, I asked Mike not to even tell me if she called anymore. I was so emotionally invested in the house, I just couldn't handle the yo-yoing. About that time, The seller called our realtor and said she was ready to play ball. Mike, as I asked, didn't tell me he was negotiating again. He negotiated for about two weeks, and on Dec. 13 he got the phone call that we were going under contract! And closing in two weeks!!

So, when he told me on Dec. 13 that we were buying the house, I had Bellie's birthday party, Christmas, and needed to pack our current house - in a 16 day time span!

Needless to say, our house isn't packed. Haha. Oops!

We close today at noon - the electricians are coming at 1:30 to re-wire the house, and we're meeting with painters at 2 to get prices on painting the entire inside of the house and scraping the ceilings (pray that's cheap - otherwise, I'm going to have to paint myself - and live with popcorn ceilings!).

Anyhoo - here's a picture of the outside of the house. I'll post inside pictures later on.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

One year ago...

One year ago,our family did this:

Mike and I spent our last morning as the two of us relaxing, and around 11, we headed to the hospital! There, we were met by: my brothers (top center), my parents (top right), my sister (middle row, left), and Mikey's parents (second from the left, bottom row - see the BLAZE orange hat? Yes, that really happened.)

It was a busy morning, and shortly after, we were joined by the reason for everyone's excitement!

See the cupcakes above? We had a second dozen too! And more than 20 friends and family in the room to help us eat them the night she was born! (We also had champagne, but I don't know where those pictures are!)

What? You didn't have cupcakes and champagne for your guests in the hospital room the night your first born arrived? Psssshhhhh!

I can't believe it's been a whole year! Happy, happy birthday, my sweet Julie Bell!

Also, we're taking a break from home-ifying the bachelor pad. Hopefully I'll be able to explain why soon! And we're having a very hungry caterpillar birthday this weekend, so I'll have pictures next week!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

My red-headed temper flares up!

We have a running joke in our house that Mike and I both have red hair. My hair is normally strawberry-blonde in the fall (depending on how much beach time I get in the summer), and Mike's is auburn. I love red hair, I think it's gorgeous, so it's just become a joke around here.

What I do have from time-to-time that is truly red-headed is a temper. Not when I don't get my way, but when I think someone is being unfair, it totally comes out. So now that you have the background, here's the story.

We have season tickets to NC State football. This year, football season was...challenging to say the least. We have great babysitters, but it is really, really hard to get babysitters for football games.

This past weekend our babysitters were all at home for Thanksgiving, and I really, really wanted to go to the game. So I did the unthinkable - I brought the baby. I thought I did everything right. We skipped tailgating so she could get her first nap. I brought baby food. I brought formula and water. I had the pack 'n play in the back of my Jeep - along with the stroller - in case the second half was unbearable. (Our friends keep a TV in the parking lot, so I knew I could tune in from there.)

We got into the stands in time for kickoff. She was hungry, so we had some banana applesauce. Then we had more. Then I tried to give her a bottle (which she wouldn't drink because there was so much going on). At this point, we're a few minutes into the second quarter, and she is ready for her nap. So, in an effort to be nice to our neighbors and to let my husband enjoy the game (after all, it is his alma mater), I grabbed the baby and high-tailed it to the nearest exit.

I had a great plan. By getting to the parking lot this early, I could put her down for a cat nap, and be back in the stadium in time for a good portion of the second half.

I got to the gate, and they told me I couldn't get a re-entry ticket if I left then. Whaaat? Apparently they won't give you a re-entry ticket until there are 5 minutes left in the second quarter. No one could tell me why.

I stood at the gate for about 10 minutes with her squirming like a snake in my arms. Finally I went to a sheriff's deputy who was standing there and told him I needed to leave to feed the baby and put her down for a short nap.  He walked over to the stadium's security guy and asked for a re-entry ticket. The man crossed his arms, cocked his head back, and said, "No."

Y'all, I kid you not. He said "no" to a sheriff! I was so mad. The deputy walked back over to me and told me to find him when I got back, and he'd let me in.

So I went to the car, fuming the whole way. We got there, and I decided to put Bellie in her stroller and go visit some friends who were missing the game because their baby was asleep in their car at the tailgate.

At halftime, we strolled back over to the stadium where we met Mike, and I re-hashed what had happened. He thought it sounded strange, so he suggested we talk to the sheriff. Here's how that conversation went down:

Sherriff: Oh, I had no problem with her leaving. I don't know why he wouldn't give me a ticket. Let's talk to him.
Mike: Sir, is there any reason you wouldn't give my wife a re-entry ticket? If there sheriff wasn't here, she wouldn't be able to get back in.
Stadium staffer: Sir, she didn't tell me why she needed it.
Me (temper a'flare): You didn't ask why I needed it. I told the sheriff what was going on, and he asked you for the ticket.
Ma'am, if you had just explained why you needed it, I'd have given you one...if I deemed it appropriate.
You never indicated you wanted a reason, you just said "No."
Ma'am, you should have told me why you needed to leave.
If the sheriff told you to "duck," would you say "No"? And later tell him it was because he didn't "give you a reason"?
Ma'am, if you need to change your child's diaper, there's a family restroom.
Her diaper is fine.
(He cuts me off.)
If you need to breastfeed, there's a family restroom.
Sir, where did you eat your lunch today?
I beg your pardon?
Where did you eat your lunch today?
I don't understand...
I'm guessing you didn't eat in the bathroom, sir. Please don't recommend that I feed my child in one. She needs a nap though, that's why I was trying to leave.

Okay, that might have been a little embellished, but at that point, Mike practically pushed me away, and said to the man, "If I could offer a little bit of constructive feedback..."

As much as I love football, I'm glad the season is over. That man left such a bad taste in my mouth!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I still live in a bachelor pad.

It's been two weeks since I last posted, and I still live in a bachelor pad. My walls are still builder's beige. The ridiculous sofas are still here (and always will be, I just need to get over that). The mantle is still undecorated.

But I have made some progress. In the last two weeks, I have:
  • made four butternut squash pies
  • vacuumed the house five times
  • made 1/2 of an ornament wreath
  • ordered, addressed and mailed Bellie's first birthday invites
  • convinced my husband not to decorate for Christmas until Saturday
  • been to three quarters of two different NC State football games
  • argued with one dumbassed EventOne football staff person (that's a whole 'nother blog post)
  • walked a gazillion miles
  • spent a trillion dollars at Target (that place needs to be banned)
  • organized the garage
  • put little baby items in garage...since we no longer have a little baby :(
I keep trying to think, "What will give me the push I need to get this stuff done?" And I know the answer. Some adderall and a few Dt. Cokes. Weak? Maybe. Will it help my ADD brain get the job done? Hell to the yes!

Monday, November 14, 2011

I live in a bachelor pad

Most girls who have blogs show photos of their houses, and I think, "Gosh! That is so beautiful! I can't wait until I can have a home like that." So, I've decided to show y'all why I think that.

I live in a bachelor pad.

True story. It's a real. live. bachelor. pad.

In my living room, we have a couch that reclines - aaaand the matching love seat.

Isn't Mr. Business' undershirt hotttt?

Not only does it recline, but it has a "center console." And y'all, not just any center console. Ours has cupholders! And a speaker phone! (what??? Who even has a home phone anymore??) Wait, it gets better. It also has built-in massagers! You know, so when you come home from a rough day at work, your couch can knead out those stress spots!

Anyhow, the point of showing y'all a photo our bachelor pad is to say I'm going to turn the bachelor pad into a home! Okay, maybe not a home-home, but I'm going to organize it. (We have to keep the sofas.) I'm going to hang photos (we have three up right now). I'm going to make our mantle pretty, and decorate for Christmas. And - the best part - I'm going to blog about it! So come along for the ride - and please don't judge me on our messiness!

(In all fairness to Mr. Business, it's a great house. He bought it right after he'd turned 25 and got the furniture then too, and I know he never thought he'd be living here eight years later with a wife and a baby! And while we're looking for a new home, there isn't much on the market, so I'm making do with what we've got!)

Monday, November 7, 2011

A full week at the new jay-oh-be

So, I've officially been a stay-at-home mom for a week, and so far, so good! (There was a solid hour last Thursday I would have gone to work for McDonalds, but we won't discuss that...)

Bellie (yes, that's actually what we call Small Biz IRL, judge away) has gotten on a good schedule. The house has been vacuumed twice, and the dogs are happy to roam the townhouse during the day.

I have quickly realized that we don't have enough baby toys, if you're going to spend your days playing on the floor, pajama pants are the most comfortable clothes to wear, and Target can become on obsession!

Mike has left the house a few minutes earlier each day - and today he was out the door before 7am! He says he'll be home by 4 this afternoon to take a walk with us, but we'll see!

In other news, an old co-worker of mine had her baby last week! Reed is a precious little boy, but his mom is really sick. Erica had some serious abdominal surgeries in college, so they wanted to avoid giving her a c-section. She ended up having to have one, and lost a lot of blood. She's in the ICU at UNC Hospitals, but is getting better. If you're the praying type, please send one up for this darling family.

Ok, I hear Bellie waking up from her nap. I'll leave you with a picture from this weekend!

Monday, October 31, 2011

My Last Day of Work!

Today is my last day at work!

I am so excited - but in the spirit of being transparent - I am scared out of my mind! My entire adult life, I have worked for this association. My senior year of college, they were kind enough to take me on as an intern, and that fall, in Oct. 2007 (after months of me pestering them), they hired me as the event planner. Oddly enough, the largest "event" I had ever planned involved 25 people going out for dinner on New Year's Eve. But they took me on and trusted me to plan their convention. It was a huge undertaking, but I did it - twice the first year, and once this past year.

Then in 2008, they opened a different spot for me on the communications team, and I got to leave my super stressful events job to write, edit and make movies.

I worked here when I got engaged. I worked here when I found out I was pregnant. I worked here when I got married. (Yes, in that order.) I worked here when I had Small Biz. And now I'm leaving.

In 2007, I never thought this would be my only job. I thought I'd stay for a year and a half or two years, and move on. I thought this would be a great stepping stone. But I was able to grow here, I had great benefits, and I formed great relationships.

I really am going to miss it.

But I'm so excited. I get to go home and spend my day with this precious pumpkin and my nights with this cute guy.

Stay-at-home Mommyhood, here we come!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A sweet tooth like you wouldn't believe

I love my dogs. I really do. I'm not a "get on the floor and roll around" type of dog owner. Nor am I a "come snuggle in bed with me" type of dog owner. But I love taking them on long walks, letting them run on the beach out into the ocean, and teaching them new tricks and to be obedient.

All that said, my yellow lab is about to make me LOSE MY MIND. TC has ALWAYS had a penchant for eating. As a puppy, we had to hide food from her after she started taking DT's food by doing this:

We quickly realized she'd never be allowed to have table food, or else TC would be crazy obese and a horrible begger.

But then she got tall enough to reach the countertop. First it was rice krispy treats.

Then, two unbaked chocolate chess pies (raw eggs, cocoa and all!)

A raw sweet potato.

A raw hamburger patty.

A dozen pumpkin chocolate chip muffins and 2 loaves of the bread, warm out of the oven.

Then, this weekend, she discovered Small Biz's formula. Saturday afternoon, I was upstairs vacuuming, and came down to the kitchen to find this:

I was mad, but not too mad. The container was almost empty - there was probably enough powder left for 2-3 bottles.

So Sunday morning on our way to church, we stopped and bought another container. We probably made three bottles out of it between Sunday morning and last night. But after our morning walk today, we could not find TC. I finally went to the kitchen to make bottles for daycare, and then I couldn't find the formula.

The damn dog ate ANOTHER container FULL of formula! I found her in our guest room hiding under the bed, formula can between her front paws.

Who does that? Who eats a container full of formula? What's the weirdest thing your pet has eaten? What do you do to discourage that behavior? I am at such a loss!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I always wanted to be called Ezra

How did y'all decide what your parents would be called as grandparents? I was the first grandchild born (on both sides of my family), so I got to name all four grandparents. I'm sure my parents encouraged me, but in the end, I named Mema and Beba, Nannie and Papa. I remember when I was little asking my parents what they wanted to be named, and they always said, "We'll let the kids name us!" But then, that changed...for my dad at least.

I wrote this as an essay when I studied abroad in South Africa in 2006. It's just so funny to me, I wanted to share it again. I'm not editing it much from how it was essay for a creative writing class I took. Hope y'all enjoy!

Wednesday we buried my grandmother.  Thursday I packed for the longest and farthest trip of my 21 year life span.  Thursday night I squeezed into my parents waterbed, making my 6 year-old brother jealous.   

That may sound weird, but it happens in my house.  My last night at home before going to college, when my heart has been broken, and nights when I have nightmares have always been spent nestled in bed with Mom and Dad.  This milestone was no different.
With my parents at the airport the next morning at 4am. Whew, I  hate looking at old heavy pics of myself!

We lay in bed talking about the past month and a half that I’d been home for Christmas break. We talked about the week we’d just had, and how we wished Nannie would be waving me goodbye at the airport in just a few hours. We laughed that despite the ten vacuum-packed bags I’d used to put my belongings into two massive suitcases, I would still need some of my favorite things shipped to me. They questioned my sanity and asked if I was sure I wanted to leave.

Around 2 a.m., silly from lack of sleep, I commented to anyone who was still awake that we were like three people so poor we had to share a room in a boarding house. 

Mom chuckled and added, “No, we’re so poor we have to share a BED in a boarding house.”

I rolled over to face her and trying to keep a straight face said, “Hi, I’m Febo.  What’s your name?”

“I’m Natalie,” she quickly replied.

“Mo-om, someone named Natalie can’t live in a boarding house.  It’s too proper of a name!”

“No, it’s okay.  I’m from Missouri,” she wittily replied.

Looking past her into the dark, I pointed to my dad and asked, “What do you suppose his name is?”

“Hmmm, Hank maybe?” she questioned.

“Oh no!  Hank’s my hound dog.  He’s sleeping over there in the corner,” I told her.  “I bet his name is Jeb.”

Just then my dad, who we thought had fallen asleep hours previously, rolled over.  In a long, exaggerated southern drawl, he said, “I’ve always wanted to be called Ezra,” before rolling away from us.

I don’t think my mom and I have ever laughed so hard, or for so long.  The waterbed rocked so hard, as our bodies reverberated with laughter that I was almost thrown off the side.  Again she asked, “Are you sure you want to get on that plane in 3 hours?”

“No,” I said.  “I’m not sure I want to, but I’m gonna do it.”

And that’s how I left home.  Exhausted, emotionally drained, and with perhaps the best memory I have with my parents.

Since then, the name Ezra has stuck with my dad. All of my friends started calling him Ezra, my mom even calls him Ez from time to time. And now, when we're talking to Small Biz, we refer to him as Ezra.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Best Friend's Funeral

There. I said it: my best friend's funeral.

Most people post about weddings. I would LOVE to write a post about my best friend's wedding. But I can't.

She's dead.

She died.

That sounds so final doesn't it? I could say she passed away, which is also true. But that's what old people do. Old people pass away. Young people die. It's harsh, but it's real.

Most of the time I think Kim's on vacation. Like a vacation no one was looking forward to. In my head she's studying abroad - it sucks for us because we'll miss her, but I know she's enjoying it. Maybe that's how she felt when Chrissy and I left her in the same semester to study in England and South Africa. But it's not the same.

She's really gone. She's not coming back.

I'm sad. I miss her terribly. I keep thinking it was a dream. And in my dreams, I keep thinking she's here. Two nights ago (in my dream), I went with her to an appointment at UNC-Chapel Hill where the doctor's had a new miracle drug. They were able to cure her of breast cancer. I woke up excited - Kim was whole! Then I realized she is whole, she's just not whole on Earth.

At first I was mad - partly at her, partly at myself. Why did she leave us? Couldn't she have fought harder? Couldn't we have fought harder for her? Why did her doctors let this happen? Why didn't I take more pictures?

Then I realized I was thinking too much about myself. This wasn't about me. This was about Kim. And she was ready.

On Good Friday, one of her good friends hosted a fundraiser cookout at her parents house. We raised almost $6,000 to help Kim and her family with medical expenses. Kim had been at the hospital for the week leading up to the party, and was released that morning - just in time to come! It was raining, so she sat inside in a comfy chair and held court. She got to see all of her favorite people and their families - which is something she had told us all she wanted to happen.

On Saturday, Mr. Business, Small Biz and I took her some S'meeps for Easter and visited for a while. She danced around her parents living room with Small Biz - her goddaughter. I so wish now I'd gotten a picture...and stayed longer.

On Wednesday, she sent out a few tweets. My favorite was this one:
 It's such a simple tweet. But it's so true. And I'm so, so, so very grateful to have it, because on Wednesday night, she passed away.

And I've heard people talk about funerals and call them a "celebration" of life. In the past, I've always thought that was spin. But on Saturday, April 30, we celebrated the hell out of Kim's life. Her parent's asked everyone to wear sundresses, which was very fitting since I NEVER saw Kim wear black.

The always amazing, but even-more-so-in-the-time-of-need Chrissy managed to get a marching band to come. Seriously, 18 people from our high school's marching band learned Weezer's Island in the Sun the night before, and processed out of the church playing it.

After the funeral, a huge group went to K38 in Wilmington,where I believe we held up a front room for hours and hours. Chrissy's friends from college all came in, friends from high school we hadn't seen in YEARS were there. We all passed pictures around, caught up on each other's lives, and laughed. It was sad. It was healing. It reminded me how lucky I am to have such a strong support group - in the good times and the bad.

And when we were done, I realized how lucky I am that my friend isn't in pain anymore. She's whole. And I have been left with fabulous memories.
 I choose to remember this.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

New Blog Design!

Hi everyone!

I feel like Spring is finally here! I know it's officially been Spring for quite a while, but I feel like it's just now consistently warm. Anyhow, in honor of consistently beautiful days, I have a new blog design! Yes, you read that correctly, I actually spent time making my blog pretty! I'm hopeful it makes me blog more...

So, if you're reading this in your Reader, click on over and check it out! It's a very simple design - in my wedding colors, of course! And if you're in the market for an inexpensive, pretty and non-fussy blog makeover, check out the wonderful Lindsey at Sweet Simplicity Designs.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work I go!!

Hey everyone! It's been waaaaay too long since I updated! I started back to work on March 28 and to say it's been life-changing is putting it mildly. I knew we'd have lots of changes to get accustomed to - like waking up before 10am, having to schedule time to clean the house, do dishes and laundry, take long walks and play with Small Biz, but I didn't think it'd be like this!

Our mornings are similar to this now:

6:30 - I wake up, put make-up on
6:45-7 - Small Biz wakes up (with some serious urging from me. This sweet baby LOVES to sleep in!)
6:50-7:40 - Nurse Small Biz (after sleeping for almost 13 hours, she's starving, and I think would eat all day if I'd let her!
7:40-8 - get Small Biz dressed, throw on work clothes
8ish - throw bottles in Small Biz's school bag, run out the door
8:15 - drop Small Biz off at daycare
8:30 - get to work

That doesn't seem like a bad schedule, right? Here's where it gets tricky:
  1. I haven't "done" my hair in the three weeks I've been back at work. True story. I wear it back in a parted ponytail It's ridiculous.
  2. I'm supposed to be at work at 8am. Life fail.
Anyhow, we're surviving.  Kinda.

I won't even go into our night time rush. Or the fact that I haven't opened my reader in those 3 weeks. Sigh.

But work has been fun! It's nice to be around adults most of the time. And I have really, really enjoyed using my red pen to edit. I also got to go to the General Assembly one day to take pictures. Unfortunately, it was a day that absolutely poured, and I hadn't brought a rain coat or umbrella! Someone I was there with brought this lovely poncho, and she was kind enough to let me borrow it. Was this a great look or what?

So that's what's been going on around the Business household! I'll be back with more posts soon!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday!

How cute are these? Many, many, many thanks to Jamie at Snapbug Photography for her beautiful work!

Doesn't she look comfy in that last photo? Who doesn't want to be able to sleep that soundly?!?!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Doggy Manners...

Ever since I was little, I've had dogs. Big dogs! But my parents also always established rules to go along with our dogs - rules like:
  1. Always walk your dog on a leash.
  2. Only allow dogs off-leash in fenced-in areas.
  3. Ask someone for permission before petting their (leashed) animal.
  4. If someone wants to pet your dog, make your dog sit first.
There were lots of other rules, but the main ones had to do with safety.

Anyhow, yesterday was a BEAUTIFUL day in Raleigh. Mr. Business and I did some chores around the house and then decided to take Small Biz, TC and DT for a walk. Since I'm with Small Biz Monday-Friday, I try to let Mr. Biz have as much time with her as possible on weekends, so he pushed her stroller, and I walked DT and TC.

Our neighborhood is super small. I think there are only like 150 townhouses and mostly couples or young singles live here. A few of the folks have dogs, and we know most of them - we always stop and talk; it's a nice little group!

So - back to my super long story - Mr. Biz and I are walking, and just ahead I see 2 dogs. I take a few more steps and realize their owner is laying in his driveway playing on his computer and sunbathing, and his dogs' leashes are RESTING in the tree branches!

All of a sudden, his Australian Shepherd takes off and attacks poor DT (who is part Australian Shepherd). She took off trying to get away from this guys terror of a dog - and pulled me a few feet because her leash was wrapped (several times) around my wrist. Mr. Business put the parking brake on the stroller, and raced towards the two dogs - ours who was "screaming" (can dogs do that?) and the mean one who was growling and biting my sweet girl. 

Luckily, the sunbather got to the dogs first and pulled his off of mine - there's no telling what Mr. Business would have done to that dog had he gotten there first. DT ran straight to me with her tail between her legs. I felt horrible for her.

How could anyone be mean to those sweet spots?

So as we checked our precious puppy out, Mr. Sunbather scolded his dog. But he never apologized, asked if DT was okay or asked if I was okay (my arm is so bruised from the leash issue, I can't even put my hair tie around my wrist!).

Now I'm scared to walk our dogs by myself! What if I had been walking them alone with Small Biz in the Baby Bjorn? Or what if that guy's dog had really hurt DT? Should I have said anything to him once we got the dogs separated?

I'm just really upset that others don't follow basic pet etiquette. And I'm upset that it's going to change where I'm willing to walk in my own neighborhood.

Would you have said anything to the owner? What would you do in the future? Should I just stay away from that guys house?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Twenty Questions!

Katie at Oui, Bien Sur! tagged me in this super fun twenty questions post. And since this is the first time I've been tagged, I'm definitely taking part! (Let's be honest, it makes me feel like the cool kid who got picked first in a game of dodgeball in 7th grade PE class!)
  • Rule #1: The tagged person must write their answers on their blog and replace any question they dislike with a new question formulated by themselves.
  • Rule #2: Tag 4 people to do this quiz. The tag-ee must state who tagged them.
1. If you have pets, do you see them as merely animals or are they members of your family?
TC and DT??? Hahaha, of course they're members of our family. We bought an SUV just so they could ride safely from place to place. We're about to buy a house just so they can have a yard! They get to eat lamb every night for supper. Their lives are great!!!

2. If you could have a dream come true, what would it be?
Wow, that's tough. Probably for us to have a better realization that even with our stressed, we are so very blessed! Mr. Biz is stressed from work, I'm stressed because Small Biz is about to start daycare. We're both stressed because we want to buy a house in the next month or so. And we just need to sit back and realize how lucky we are that we can buy a house. And that we have a child to send to daycare. And that we have jobs to go back to. I know so many people who are struggling in all of those areas right now, and I need to be grateful that my stressors are really blessings.

3. What would you do with a billion dollars?
That's really a lot of money! Buy a house with an office so I didn't have to look at my husband's paperwork? Finance a political campaign for a candidate I believe in? Buy a dress or two from Boden? Go back to Africa. Adopt a sick baby from an orphanage in South Africa (like Apelele) and give him a fighting chance. Invest most of it and run a philanthropic group that gave grants to needy groups, families, schools, etc.

4. What helps to pull you out of a bad mood?
hahah, I never get in bad moods!!! Shopping alone. A long walk with the dogs. Seeing Small Biz smile.

5. What is your bedtime routine?
I cannot sleep without shaving my legs. The ONLY  time I can remember doing this, is the night I had Small Biz. Had I been allowed to get out of bed (and had I been able to feel my legs), I would have shaved that night. So anyhow, I shower. Brush my teeth, take singulair. It's obviously a very time consuming routine. I'm high maintenance like that...

6. What activities did you do in High School? If you could go back, would you do the same stuff or something different?
 I was involved in a lot of high school activities! I was on the yearbook staff, mock trial, varsity golf team, french club, SGA. I played rec soccer and basketball and took tennis lessons. I was really involved in church - both at my church and on the diocesan level. I feel like I did other things, but that was such a long time ago!

7. What kind of books do you read?
I love fiction books! I normally read books others have recommended. To be honest, it's been a while since I read anything that wasn't a blog or baby related!

8. How do you see yourself in 10 years?
Oh my goodness, 10 years is a long time! In 10 years, I'll have a 10 year old...and hopefully a few other children. I hope to be better traveled, and to be raising children that are very aware and knowledgeable of the world. And honestly, I hope we'll be living at the beach again. I miss the coast.

9. What’s your fear?
Moths in my house. I can't stand them - they're all flighty, and they want to be near you. Totally creeps me out. I can't go to sleep with one in my house. I'm afraid it'll land on my mouth in the middle of the night and I'll swallow it.

10. Would you give up all junk food for the rest of your life for the opportunity to see outer space?
No! Why would anyone do that! Do you have any idea how much I'd miss places like The Skinny Dip, The Cupcake Shoppe or Gigi's?

11. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
Try to go back to sleep? Cuddle with Mr. Business and check on Small Biz.

12. If you could change one thing about your significant other, what would it be?
That he wouldn't be so stressed! He didn't get the nickname Mr. Business from being a business owner - he got it because he is all business, all the time. I just want him to relax!

13. If you could pick a new name for yourself, what would it be?
Grimes!!! Everyone says it's weird, but it was my grandfather's middle name, and I think it's unique!

14. If you had to choose between six months of sun or six months of rain, what would you choose?
Is that a trick question? Sun, obviously.

15. If you could only eat one thing for the next 6 months, what would it be?
Not to copy Katie, but pepperoni (and mushroom) pizza!

16. What is the thing you enjoy about blogging the most?
Again, not to copy Katie, but...
meeting new people with like interests. I also like that it gives me the opportunity to write again. I don't publish a lot of posts, but I really enjoy saving them. And one day they may be relevant, and I can publish them on here!

17. Do you prefer salty or sweet foods?
Sweet!! Remember question 10?

18. What items are in your purse right now?
Haha, diapers, wipes, an extra pacifier. My wallet and some aquaphor are the only "me" items.

20. What do you watch on television that you know you shouldn’t?

The Bachelor! How have I missed out on this amazingness for the past upteen seasons? It's ridiculously delightful! And probably medical shows like Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice - they probably make me a bigger hypochondriac than I already am!
Om, so I don't really know who to tag! If you're like me, and you've been having trouble coming up with blog content lately, please consider yourself tagged! And in the comments, let us know you've answered these questions on your blog!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Three week catch-up!

Yikes, the last three weeks have flown by, so let's do a quick recap, shall we?

  • I made Mr. Business cupcakes for Valentine's Day. The cake was great, the icing was awesome, the filling was HORRID. The filling also took hours to make, and he ended up having to help me. I also started out my Valentine's Day post by saying we weren't big on the holiday...then he showed up with an awesome present, and I felt like an ass for making cupcakes. Oh well!
  • About two weeks ago a blogger in my reader posted about another blogger who had just lost her 4-month old baby to (most likely) SIDS. I'm not going to link to the blog because I don't want to stress anyone out. I WISH I had never read the story. It's totally heartbreaking, and I cannot possibly imagine anything worse than losing a child. (If you're curious, email me at mrs.business84 (at) gmail (dot) com and I'll send it to you.)
  • Since I read that, I've been doing a LOT of holding Small Biz. Poor thing! I read the post on a Friday night, and immediately got her out of her bassinet (where she was soundly sleeping) to hold her. I also held her during most of her naps throughout the weekend! I keep waking up at night to make sure she's breathing. I've been getting up so much, I think I'm driving Mr. Business crazy, so he's agreed that we need an AngelCare monitor. I'll probably order one tonight.
  • I go back to work three weeks from today. I'm so nervous about it. Apparently my boss is also. She's been calling once a week to make sure I have childcare set up and that I'm "ready to return." (I've had the same childcare plans in place since September, and she knows it; she's just worried I'm going to stay home.)
  • Small Biz starts daycare part-time next Wednesday. She'll go for eight days before I start back at work so I can get used to it. We aren't discussing it at home because I cry super ugly face cry every time it's mentioned.
  • I've decided I hate being "anonymous." I feel so stupid saying "Mr. Business" and "Small Biz." Like, why not just use our real names? Om, because of work. Everyone there is SUPER nosey. And I work for a member-run association, and I don't want members finding this and knowing everything about me. They already try to friend me on Facebook, and that's just weird. Plus, if I ever want to complain, I need to have a place to do it.
  • Kim is on her way to Raleigh to visit for the night, and I am extremely excited!
So anyhow, that's been the last three weeks for me! What have y'all been up to?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Being Your Best Friends' Best Friend...

Does that title even make sense?  Hummm... This is a total diary entry...

All my life I've been blessed with having great friends.  Amazingly blessed.  And not just a great friend, but lots of them.  I grew up with a big family, and my sister and I have always been super tight, but there have always been loads of friends at our houses too. Girls who had keys to my parents house and a bed in my study. Girls who knew my closet better than I did, and who knew where I kept all my huge sunglasses. Girls who had guys drop them off at my house on Sunday morning after a night out and did the walk of shame across my front porch and into my parents' living room. Where my parents applauded them.  (True story.)

We'd stay up late and talk. We'd have nights with themes like "High heels, low morals." We had summer make out contests (I always lost). Sometimes we'd just buy an ice cream cake, a bottle of wine and sit on a dock on Banks Channel. We'd sleep three across on a futon or two in a twin bed in dorm rooms.

We called ourselves the Usuals, because we were all usually together.  (You can laugh, it's cool.) But the Usuals were my first loves.

In fact, I loved all my high school friends so incredibly much, I didn't focus much on making college friends - I would much rather spend my weekends and summers with the girls from Wilmington.

But then college ended, and within a year I met Mr. Business. And life changed. Definitely for the better, but it changed. Quickly, he became my best friend. And I still loved (and do love) my best friends, but nights of "high heels and low morals" ended. And so did spending most of my free time in Wilmington.

So while my relationship with Mr. Business strengthened, my best friends' relationships with each other did too. And my relationships with them got pushed to the back burner.

I know that's what is supposed to happen. I'm so fortunate to have the great little family we've created over the last year. I wouldn't change what I have for anything.

But my best friends are all still best friends with each other, and I feel like an afterthought. I miss being my best friends' best friend. I miss the phone calls when something important or not important happens in their lives. And I miss feeling like I have someone to call when something big - or trivial - happens in my life.

I don't know what all this means...I feel like this is normal to go through. What do y'all think? In order to grow up, do we have to grow apart? Even a little? And what have you done to keep old relationships strong?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!

We're not big on Valentine's Day here at the Business household. We don't really do presents - instead we try to do sweet things for one another. So Small Biz, TC, DT and I have a busy day planned.  Small Biz will probably hopefully (!!!) sleep a lot, I will clean and TC and DT will follow me around suspiciously. Mr. Business probably won't notice that the house has been cleaned - that's more of a present for myself!

So, to do something sweet for Mr. Business, I'm going to try to bake. Ha! My baking disaster task last week was less than perfect. I tried to make sweet potato muffins, and while they looked beautiful (which is really the important part, right Katie?), they tasted horrible.

Anyhow, Mr. Biz and I watched Cupcake Wars a week or two ago, and we both loved the beautiful cupcakes they made. Which gave me the idea to try to make yummy cupcakes! Like this...
 Except there's no way I can make anything as pretty as those (obviously the Cookie Monster cupcake is the one I'd try first). So, I'm going to try a basic cupcake, but I'm going to spruce it up with a filling! Like this:
I'm pretty nervous. I haven't broken out our Kitchenaid yet, but I think I'll try with these! 

Have y'all made cool cupcakes before? What fillings should I try? And what special things do you do for your spouse, boyfriend, friends and family for Valentine's Day?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Spicy Mustard - Who Knew???

Y'all - all my life I have hated HATED mustard. Like, can't even describe the disdain it to you. I could smell it on food from a distance. When I turned 16, I wouldn't let anyone eat fast food in my car because I didn't want to risk my Blazer smelling like mustard. True story.

But I loved ketchup. I won't say I put it on everything, but I sure put it on a lot of stuff. Roast beef sandwiches, grilled cheese, hot dogs, did I mention grilled cheese?

One day last year I was starving, and Mr. Business had made a sandwich.  He gave me a bite, and before I even noticed, I had eaten mustard.  But this wasn't ordinary nasty yellow mustard.  This was SPICY mustard.

And ohmygoodness it was delicious. Well, I had forgotten about the gloriousness that is spicy mustard...until last week when we went on a lunchtime sandwich diet. Mr. Biz was coming home for a quick lunch, and I was trying to be all wife-y, so I made his sandwich before he got here (BIG points for me!).

Anyhow, the point of all this -- I was putting away the spicy mustard, and happened to look at the nutritional facts. Did you know spicy mustard has no fat AND no calories??? What? Seriously, who knew? Oh, everyone? Hum. Anyhow, this $hit is the nectar of the Gods.

I hate to disappoint Ronald Reagan and his "ketchup should be a vegetable" motto, but I'm on the spicy mustard train now!

Monday, February 7, 2011

I don't care if Monday's blue...

I love starting the week with Miscellany Monday!  Maybe one day I'll be creative enough to start the week of with great substance, but for now, this is an ideal way to get weekend thoughts out and remember what's upcoming!  Thanks to lowercase letters via Becky at Keep on the Sunny Side!

  1.  I've been getting in a weird funk on Sunday afternoons.  I hate when the weekend ends, and right now it's really hard because it means a whole week of being at home with limited adult interaction.
  2. I am also super tired of everyone being sick!  I had a lunch date and a FroYo date today, and both were canceled because everyone has winter bugs!
  3. Speaking of FroYo - if you're in Raleigh (or anywhere in the Triangle), you HAVE to check out The Skinny Dip. This place is amazing!  They have 10 different yogurts on tap, and a gazillion (yes really, a gazillion) toppings available.  And it's self-serve!  To.Die.For.
  4. I miss being my best friends' best friend.  Confusing?  I'll explain in a blog post later this week.
  5. I also miss sundresses.
  6. We're going to see The Temptations Wednesday night!
  7. ...with Mr. Business' parents.
  8. They're coming in tomorrow, so I get to spend all day Wednesday with them!  Alone (with the baby)! I'm sure there will be lots of judging, eye rolls, bless your hearting we'll have a great time and really bond.
  9. I've been trying to be more "adventurous in the kitchen" (also another great blog story), so today I made sweet potato biscuits. It was a massive failure. They came out the right color!
  10. Small Biz slept through the night for the past four nights!
  11. Has anyone been to a show at the D-PAC?  What's a girl to wear???

Thanks for reading through my ramblings!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Puppies and PeePees

I love my dogs.  I really do.  They're sweet, loyal, attractive and great friends. They almost always sit when we ask them to.  They stay when told to do so most of the time.  They can shake, high five and pray.  They don't even eat their supper until we've said the blessing.

But most importantly, their antics make me laugh. Not always when they happen, but a few days later, it makes for a good story.

T.C. (Takin' Care of Business)
D.T. (Down To Business)
On Friday morning, this was NOT funny.  It also wasn't funny Friday afternoon - or at anytime Saturday.  But by Sunday night, it made me chuckle!

My sister was coming to spend the night with us Friday night, and I hadn't changed the sheets on our guest room bed since the previous weekend when we had company.  So Friday morning, I made it my mission to clean the guest room.  However, when I went to straighten up, I was shocked to find a pee lake puddle ON the bed.

Not by the front door, not by the back door.  Not on the carpet in a desperate attempt to make it to any door.  Nope.  It was ON the bed.  Who does that?  Certainly not these precious pets. 

I would like to say I wasn't sure which of my precious pups had pulled this stunt, but only one of them thinks charades like this are humorous.  She also likes to steal sweets off the counter when we're not looking, lambchop bones out of the trash (her Saturday morning trick.  Really, she ate two lambchop bones!) and baby diapers.

Blog readers, I introduce you to T.C.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Random Thoughts...

I'm having a horribly hard time finding my "blogging voice." As someone who does a ton of writing for a living, I never thought it'd be difficult to write about myself. help find my voice, I'm just going to write a brain dump. So here goes!

1. Small Biz turned 6 weeks old Tuesday. The books say she should start smiling at us this week, and every time she wakes up from a nap, I have incredible anticipation that this will be the time she smiles at me! It hasn't happened yet.

2. With SB's 6 week birthday comes my 6 week post-partum appointment. I had it Wednesday, and I'm going back Thursday to have an IUD put in. I'm super nervous that it'll be painful, but thrilled to have a birth control that'll work for us!

3. I'm soooo over the cold weather. I love walking outdoors, but it's just been too cold lately. And my poor dogs - they need a good, hard walk. But I'm not venturing out into the cold!

4. I love being at home on maternity leave with Small Biz. It's so much fun to spend my day with her and watch her grow and become more aware. However, the General Assembly convened today, and I'm bummed that I missed it. Odd years are long sessions, and they're my absolute favorite!

5. Speaking of being at home on maternity leave: I have 15 weeks off, and I'm already having anxiety about putting her into daycare. Major anxiety. Like, I'm currently refusing to fill out the paperwork. Oooops!

6. Another thing I miss about work is my MacBook Pro with the complete CS4 suite (mainly, I miss photoshop). In the meantime, Katie posted about Picassa3, so I'm going to try that for making collages and such. I'm pretty excited to have a new photo tool - especially with all the new baby pictures I've been taking! I'll let you know how that goes!

7. Have y'all seen that the weather is supposed to get into the upper 50's this weekend? I am beyond excited!

Okay, this post is making me more ADD than I already am! Whew, I think I've covered every topic that's gone through my brain in the past day...
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