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Posts Tagged ‘girls only want boyfriends with good skills’

The past few days have really tested our homeownership abilities.

  • Saturday morning, we found that no water was coming out of the hot water tap in the kitchen. Cold water was flowing fine, and there was hot water in the rest of the house, so we were really only surprised, not concerned. (Plus, hot water came back later that afternoon. Crisis averted!)
  • Saturday evening, the baking element in the electric oven caught on fire, right at the tail end of cooking dinner. We turned off the oven, turned off the breakers, and waited for it to die out. And then we saw that the fire had burned right through the coil, so the oven was out of commission until we could replace it (which Husband did very handily on Monday).
  • Monday evening, we discovered that the dishwasher was somehow clogged. There were several inches of standing water in the bottom, and despite Husband taking all the necessary pieces out and suctioning up all the water, there was no obvious blockage.
  • Which leads me to Tuesday morning, when we discovered that the kitchen pipes were both completely frozen – and still are.

We (and by we, I mean Husband again) have insulated the pipes, but the insulation appears to be no match for the frigid temperatures in the area. And friends have suggested that the frozen kitchen pipes are also what’s causing the dishwasher clog.

It’s like a two-for-one deal that you never actually wanted.

But the good news is that we can still cook in the kitchen. The oven is fixed and fine, and there have been no fires since Saturday. (Knock on wood.)

The bad news is that we can’t clean anything, unless we fill up buckets with water from the bathroom sink and cart them in.

And through all of these things, I’m very aware that our issues could be much much worse. But I’m still left thinking, who in the hell let us buy a house?

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After getting married, not only did I change my name, but I also went about changing my marital status on any forms or accounts that I was already updating.

I knew that the change would come into play once we filed our 2012 taxes, but I didn’t figure on seeing any changes before that.

Enter Geico.

I’ve had car insurance with Geico for more than 2 years now, and I’ve always been happy enough with the monthly cost. I mean, sure, who doesn’t want to pay less? But my rates were comparable to those of friends, and it was certainly doable on my budget.

Then I changed my marital status, and Geico changed their rates. To $20 less a month!

Now, let me assure you that I recognize that $20 is not a huge amount of money. Even over the course of the year, it’s not the same type of savings that we’d get if we, say, cut out cable. But it’s not really the $20 that got me.

It’s the fact that the discount happened after I noted that I was married.

Does being married make me a more responsible driver? Does it make me less likely to speed or get into accidents?

Does it make other drivers less likely to hit me? I’m pretty sure there aren’t any drivers out there who start to gun it through a red light, see me in my Ford Focus, and think, “Shoot, I better be more careful. She looks married.

I wonder, however, if they (Geico) are banking on a stereotype. Maybe they assume that because I’m married, I’m likely to drive less because my husband is likely to drive more. And if that’s the reasoning, they’re about 2 years behind schedule.

It’s true that I drive less, but I’ve been doing that since Husband was boyfriend, for one very simple reason: he doesn’t like my driving.

He doesn’t like my tendency to go with the flow of traffic, when traffic is flowing perhaps slightly faster than the posted limit.

He doesn’t like my tendency to take yellow lights for what they are – a warning that the light is about to change, so you better move quickly if you want to make it.

He doesn’t like my tendency to leave anything less than two car lengths between me and slowpoke in front of me.

And because I don’t like constant reminders of our different driving styles, I cede the driver’s seat.

I haven’t been keeping stats, but there are probably fewer disagreements in the car when he’s driving, as opposed to when I am. We probably also reach our destination anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes later.

So there you have it, Geico. If your plan was to reward me for driving less, then you’re a little behind the times.

But if you want to knock even more off that monthly rate, I’ll let Husband drive 100% of the time, instead of just 99%.

And I’ll make sure we leave at least a half hour earlier than planned.

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In the weeks leading up to the half-marathon (which was yesterday), I ran 9 times. Of those runs, only two were 6 miles or more – not even half of a half-marathon.

I basically did everything wrong when preparing for this race.

But still I thought that maybe, just maybe, I could beat my old time of 2:06:50. (Even though my pseudo-secret goal – before lack-of-training was obvious – was under 2 hours.)

So I suited up – complete with a pace band, to keep me on track – and thanked God for yesterday morning’s absolutely perfect running weather.

A recent injury kept Husband on the sidelines, but he biked around the course, looking for (and usually finding) me at certain mile markers. It became a game for me. I knew that the next time I saw him I’d be x% done with the course.

Nothing like a good math problem to distract from how tired your body is.

I was afraid that I’d started off too fast. Afraid that I hadn’t paced myself properly (even with the pace band on my wrist, spelling it out for me). I was afraid that I’d crash before hitting the finish line.

And I could have. Except for two things:

  1. I knew that Husband was waiting at the finish line for me.
  2. I could see from Guillermo that, if I could stay steady, I would achieve my secret goal – by a lot.

So I stayed steady and sprinted the last stretch.

And when I crossed the finish line – finding Husband immediately – Guillermo showed me that it was totally worth it, reading 1:53:58.

At the finish line – I really was happy, but the smile doesn’t quite make it to my eyes because I was about to fall over.

I beat my previous PR by more than 10 minutes, and I came in well under 2 hours.

As I wobbled over to the food and water, Husband was there to hold me up and tell me how proud he was. As well as (understandably) slightly surprised.

You hardly trained for that! You really are a slave to the weather.

He’s right. If there had been any humidity yesterday, I would have been a goner.

But there wasn’t.

So now I have a brand new PR, and one more thing to cross off my list.

*All photos courtesy of Husband. Thank you for finding me.

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A year ago today, I said yes. And it was exhilarating.

In the past year, that feeling has only amplified. I’m at the point where I want to sprint down the aisle, just so I get there faster.

(I won’t, though, because I don’t sprint well in heels.)

And it makes me laugh to think that if you had asked me four years ago whether or not I’d be marrying BNF, I would have responded: “Marry him? I don’t even like him!

I first met BNF in 2008 while playing for my company softball team. He had missed the first couple games, but I’d heard about this supposedly amazing shortstop, so I was naturally curious.

During our first game together – him at short, me at second base – we had a chance early on to make a double play. The batter hit a grounder to BNF, and I quickly moved to cover second, prepared to then throw to first.

But the throw never came.

BNF decided to make the play himself, running over second and throwing to first.

(No one remembers, by the way, if the double play was made.)

I was furious. The shortstop I’d played with in BNF’s absence always threw the ball to me. In my mind, BNF must have thought that just because I’m a girl, I couldn’t handle it! The jerk!

Later on at the bar, I was sitting nearby when I heard him declare to the table, “The thing about women is…

So I turned. “I have to hear this.

Hold on a second,” he told me. “How old are you?”

22.”

Okay. You don’t know anything.”

And just like that I thought, well, it’s a good thing I don’t have to hang out with him outside of softball!

Fast forward four years, and I can’t even imagine sprinting down the aisle to anyone else.

And it doesn’t hurt that he now throws the ball to me.

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My dearest Phillies,

I have but one request for you this weekend, and it is simple: please do not get swept by the Nationals.

I understand that they’re looking pretty good so far. I can admit that Harper is fun to watch. And you’ll forgive me if I still have a soft spot for Jayson Werth and his beard.

I’ll use any excuse to put this photo in a post. Even if the facial hair isn’t current.

BUT you have to win this weekend – at least one game.

They’re trying to psych you out with this “Take Back the Park” campaign, but I think we all know that the fan ratio will still be in Philly’s favor.

And don’t you want to win for your traveling and transplant fans?

Now, I’ll be honest. It probably wouldn’t be my choice to have Kendrick facing off against Strasburg, but maybe you’ll surprise me. Maybe you’ll score the way you did against the Braves. Stranger things have happened. (See: Nationals in first place in the NL East.)

I also want to take a moment to apologize. I won’t be able to be at the games this weekend, because I’ll be back in the hometown (running Broad Street!) where you know that everyone will be rooting for you.

I will be cheering my little heart out, possibly with obscenities, depending on how everything unfolds.

So please, guys, please make me proud. I really only want to use obscenities in a happy way.

Love,

Elizabeth

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My semester is almost over.

In fact, I have just 13 pages left to write, for 2 papers, over the course of the next 4 days.

If you remember, last year I celebrated the end of fall semester finals with a trip to Puerto Rico. Admittedly, that would be hard to top. We left the morning after my last final, and spent just over a week relaxing on the beach.

This year, we’re leaving approximately seven hours after I turn my papers in and going to Argentina for two weeks!

Not only will it be warm – think low 80s – but I’ll also be able to check a few more things off my list: reading for pleasure, traveling abroad, and hablando español. Plus, I’ll get to meet more of BNF’s family!

When I went to Buenos Aires with Cla, we had a blast. We played tourist, shopped, ate, saw tango shows – and we did it all using my high school Spanish and a college friend we had down there.

We took a photo outside our favorite heladeria, so we'd remember where it was.

It was a learning experience.

This time, not only have I been practicing, but I also have BNF and his family to translate – or to at least repeat phrases a little bit slower.

If nothing else, I know that I can shop and order food on my own.

That has to count for something.

Now, just a few more days…

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There’s always something satisfying about crossing an item off a to-do list. But there’s something especially satisfying when that item is #1.

On Saturday, we went Bang Bang. I’m pretty sure that’s what everyone at the shooting range was calling it. Or maybe it was just me, but that’s neither here nor there.

The short story is that I absolutely loved it.

The longer story starts with the observation that shooting ranges are surprisingly (to me) popular. We ended up waiting nearly two and a half hours for a lane to open up…then spent about an hour shooting once it was our turn. No wonder the line moves so slowly.

Between BNF and me, we shot 150 rounds using a 9mm. For a first-time user, I have to say the 9mm was pretty user friendly. I adjusted to the minor recoil fairly quickly and didn’t even mind when the casings bounced back and hit me in the head.

I realized, though, that this whole “aiming” thing is harder than it seems. For instance, take a look at this photo:

I felt like I was doing it right, but after I’d shot, we pulled the target back and BNF inspected it, then turned to me. “Wow! Almost all your shots landed right at the zombie’s head!

That’s great,” I told him. “But I was aiming for the girl!” (Not because I’m pro-zombie or anything, don’t be ridiculous. I just thought she was presenting a bigger target.)

Regardless, I did manage to get a few good shots off…

A combination of my shots and BNF's

…and I only knocked the target off once!

The blue guy on the ground was ours. Luckily, we had another blue guy to replace him with.

Next time – yes, there will be a next time – I’ll try something new. Maybe something a little bigger, with a little more boom. And maybe I’ll even aim for the zombie, though that doesn’t mean that his victim will come out unscathed.

Bottom line – I think the gun shop employee said it best, after seeing my reaction to initially being handed the weapon:

Congratulations. It looks like you’ve just started an expensive new hobby.”

Indeed.

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