There is nothing that says love to me like wedding bands, matching outfits, and two-person gadgets in the car. For some reason, I love being able to charge my cell phone at the same time as my husband in his car and having a space for his sunglasses in mine. I wrote a blog about this a few weeks ago, and the idea continues.
Perhaps it stems from my continuous admiration for parent-child matching outfits from my days working at Laura Ashley. Or perhaps it’s just a sappy way that women communicate companionship. Whatever the case, I am so excited to have these small gadgets in our cars that in my mind say “I do” every single day.
My husband has a sign above his desk that reminds him everyday to do the most important thing…breathe. Although he doesn’t practice the yoga physical practice, he tries and practice the most important thing.
He’s also using these cool new hooks that I got to hold up his calendar. Somehow, he’s hearing me despite not making time for me to teach him exercise…
Whenever I eat these things, I seem to think of Hawaii. My cousin lives in Honolulu and I used to work there so I have so many great memories of the Aloha lifestyle. It’s a bit more laid back and there is a feeling of relaxation as you step off the plane even if you are there to implement software, as I did.
This week I am also watching a tv series that seems to be taking my interest intensely. Girls is about four women in their 20’s who are exploring careers, relationships, and life in general. This show reminds me of Hawaii because it was during that age that I went there very often for work.
As I look back 10-15 years ago this week, I feel fortunate to have had those years. I enjoy going to Hawaii with my husband too, but there was no replacing a visit when I was eating coconuts, macadamia nuts, and exploring life as a young adult!
When I first had the idea of getting a dog, I had no idea how my life would change so much. This week, as I put an organizer on the backseat of my passenger seat in the car, I realized that my life is no longer the same.
Maggie now not only has a definitive place in the car for her “things”, but she has a permanent stamp on my life. Her leash, bowl, and snacks all are organized in special pockets so that I can easily grab them when we are on the run. I got this organizer because I was tired of fishing around the backseat when I needed something. Initially, I thought that I would rarely reach for these items, but after many frustrated moments, I decided my time without an organizer had come to an end. In my mind, these were for mothers and hoarders, but alas I had become a doggie mother and I could no longer deny it.
I also have changed my lifestyle in that I no longer travel as much and I choose projects based on how much time I can spend at home and/or take her with me. Although she is fine staying at home for hours by herself, I don’t like to leave her. She is much happier when either we are home with her or she can come with us. If I have an option, I always choose to take her with me. Good bye are the days of jetting off to Europe at a moment’s notice or being out all day in town. To be more grounded was a big part of why I got her, but I didn’t think she would go with me everywhere I go.
If I think back to when I decided to adopt Maggie over three years ago, I had no idea how my life would change. It’s certainly different and it’s certainly better. Despite now having an organizer in my car and seeing the airport less, it’s improved. Seeing her face everyday and sharing this joy with my husband, who also doesn’t travel much, is worth it’s weight in gold.
My mother-in-law doesn’t do Facebook or have a computer. She sends us hard copy 4×6″ photos every few months to update us on what is going on in her life. She lives 3000 miles away so keeping her up to date on our end has created a new process for me. I now also print photos, write on the back, and put them in the U.S. mailbox. I haven’t done this since college.
Below is the one of the latest that we’re sending to her…a photo of our dog, her new friend, and these awesome new travel dog bowls that we got for them. The nice part is that she can put the photos up around her apartment and see them when she accomplishes tasks around the house. We are hoping Maggie, Millie, and their travel bowls bring a smile to her face in Boston, as they do our ours!
This week, I sent a new set of measuring spoons to my sister-in-law. We had ordered a set for ourselves and thought they were great. Supposedly, she was missing this in her kitchen and so I had Amazon send her a “Christmas stocking stuffer in June”.
When they arrived, she told us that she already had a set, but that it’s always useful to have an extra set for when they are baking or cooking a lot of things. I loved that idea! What great efficiency to not have to clean and/or search the kitchen for a critical item when you need it.
A friend of mine wore a t-shirt today that said “New York Los Angeles”. It made me smile since these are two of my homes. I grew up in New York and now I live in LA. It made me think of NYC and the experiences I had there. There were so many great ones…friends, career, and family.
One of the bad experiences I had was one with bed bugs. Ever since I lived in NYC and got an infestation of these ugly creatures, I have been overly protective of my sleeping quarters. I use not only a mattress “sack” that zippers up to ensure no critters touch my body during the night, but I also just got a waterproof mattress protector to double-up on my protection.
Although I haven’t had an infestation in LA, I am still scared by the event and take any precautions to ensure we are protected. The hard part about bed bugs is that they can enter the home via a variety of routes and we really can’t do much to prevent them. Even nice hotel rooms have them so I am always nervous about bringing them home without knowing.
I even made a video about how secure my new mattress cover is. Fortunately, this was the worst of my experience in NYC. I loved my time there and am happy to return for visits from LA…bed bug free.
This week we received two kitchen scales by mistake. Instead of gifting one or giving it away, my husband has decided to take it to work and use it to weigh parts and equipment before installing them. Before I had these scales, I didn’t realize how valuable it is to know the weight of something before you shipped it, installed it, or carried it. It’s been fantastic to now have this info at our fingertips.
I love when I can make his life easier via my work and tasks. I often blog and evaluate products and in exchange for free products. I don’t receive any fee for this so I don’t contribute in this way to our monthly expenses, but often I get things that make his life easier. He has now extra charging cables, a phone holder for his car, and a dozen other things that help him during his workday. We also get things for Maggie which help reduce our monthly expenses such as dog treats and food.
Initially, I was hesitant to take on responsibilities that wouldn’t directly financially contribute to our monthly expenses. With an MBA and an engineering degree, there is great potential for my income and which I have greatly used in previous stages of my life.
After some months now of being married and functioning in this way, I realize that I these gadgets do help him and more than that, it’s great to have me around. I also am home every evening to spend time with him and not traveling like I often used to do.
I am also so grateful that we have this time together. It may not always be this way where we can support ourselves financially with just one income, but for the time being, we are enjoying it. We love being newlyweds and we also love our new gadgets.
My dad comes to visit in 15 days and will stay for three weeks. I have been counting down the days for the past few weeks. When he comes, we eat meals together, accomplish tasks, and just hang out. Sometimes he has some work to do on his computer during the day, but primarily we are spending time together. I love chatting with him and catching up on the latest.
One of the thing we are going to do during this trip is look further for retirement homes for him. He is hopeful to find a community of 55+ residents where he can make new friends, participate in activities, and feel comfortable around people his own age. After seeing now a few of these places, I feel it will be a great fit for him. The people are nice and the amenities are fabulous. I’m hoping we find one that is relatively close to where I live.
In the meantime, I’ve also gotten him a new charging cord for his phone. When he’s out here, we’re often in the car and I don’t want him to run out of battery. He doesn’t use his phone as frequently as I do, but despite that, it’s often that we are caught out and the battery is dying. I’m looking forward to having him move into retirement also with the latest technology at his fingertips.