Monday, December 16, 2013

Finding New Doctors

Moving to a new state and getting married results in multiple mundane formalities to do, many of which must be done in a hierarchical manner. For example: getting a NJ driver's license. To do so, I must have a car registered in New Jersey - which I should wait to do until I change my name - which I shouldn't do until my condo in Delaware sells - which will most likely not happen before the bank takes it over - which means waiting for an unknown period of time, possibly years. So obnoxious. (The house thing is a whole other topic that doesn't need expansion upon other than I was a victim of the housing crisis and will be happier once the condo is no longer a part of my life regardless of whether it's the bank or another owner.)

Anyway, formalities. Another one is finding new doctors. I have had the same family doctor and lady doctor for many, many years. Dr. Menaldino was my family doctor. He's kind of quirky and looks like he could play the crazy science teacher in a sitcom. He knew enough about my family to ask about them but not enough to be intrusive or make my appointments all about them. He answered my questions, prescribed what was necessary, and followed up enough to meet my needs. Dr. Smith was my lady doctor. She was gentle and polite, but all about business. I don't need my lady doctor being all up in my business any more than she already was literally all up in my business, so it was a great fit for me.

So what to do when finding a new one? In a state where you don't know anyone to get suggestions? I've heard so many horror stories about bad doctors and reading reviews online is pretty much the best way to figure out who sucks. The last thing I wanted to do was doctor shop too. I'm healthy and really only go for annual preventative appointments. Do I just try a different person each year? That is the LAST thing I wanted to do.

Enter: divine intervention. Ped got a suggestion about a family doctor from a colleague. There will be no doctor shopping here! The staff is so nice and I could actually see myself becoming friends with the young nurses! They don't push pills, which we love, and they wanted to know EVERYTHING about our past medical history. For Ped's scientific brain and my need for logical explanations, we need someone who finds conclusions based off of educated and fact-based hypotheses.

Finally, I was referred to a lady doctor by a woman who I worked with at Pier 1 for about 2 days - just long enough for her to recommend someone. I was a little hesitant to go to a male doctor, but it wasn't as strange as I was expecting i.e he talked about soccer the whole time so as to keep my attention averted. The idea of being pregnant is a scary thing, but when you walk out of a doctor's office feeling safe and confident that everyone there will take care of you when the time comes, it's uber satisfying. (note: not pregnant)

Hey Delawareans, if you are looking for new doctors, see if Dr. Stephen Menaldino (family practice through Christiana Care) or Dr. Kirsten Smith (ob-gyn) are accepting new patients. I highly recommend....and they're down one patient as of this year.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Be Nice

Seriously, just be nice.

I did not feel like working last night. It was one of those "I'll be here but I'm not going to try hard" type of days. Immediately after I got to Pier, a woman needed some input on gifts for her sisters. In my head "I don't know them so what do you want from me? [insert scowl here]"; out of my mouth, "sure let's look at the candles! [insert big smile here]" Twenty minutes later, we had put together a tray of candle holders, votives and ornaments for each of them. The excitement was so apparent on this woman's face, it made my mood turn a little better.

The next customers were just browsing but with one specific item in mind. Of course it's the one thing we no longer carry in the store, which I realized after spending 30 minutes searching for it in between helping other customers. Mood slightly dampened. Mood even more dampened when, another half hour later and after they had left, I find what they were looking for on the clearance rack. Soooo annoying.

Until I turned the corner and there they were!!!! They hadn't left yet!!! It ended up not being what they had remembered and they didn't want it, but I was just happy that I had found the darn thing. I actually thanked them for helping me learn and find something new.

One of the women looked at me kind of stunned and told me I was a great salesperson. Let me just note that I am NOT a great salesperson. I can help and teach and advise, but sell? Nossomuch. But it was her next comment that got me: "You're so nice". She didn't appreciate me because I helped her find a product; she appreciated me simply because I was nice to her.

So lesson to me, lesson to you. It's the holidays. I know it can be stressful. But seriously, just be nice. It may make their day better but it will definitely make your day better.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Wearing Pants

What is a girl to do when her absolute favorite thing to wear is also her husband's most hated item in her closet? What could possibly be so bad that I would suggest he hates them? My sweatpants.

Because when I say "my sweatpants", I mean the one and only pair I own. The 3-sizes-too-big/paint-stained/too-short sweatpants. I LOVE THESE PANTS. All day, I pay attention to my posture and suck in to pretend I still have my perfectly flat 20-something stomach. When I get home, it feels so amazing to put on a pair of pants that have no suction to my body. They really are horrendous though and I have begun to feel bad that I'm subjecting my husband to such a complete potato sack of at home fashion so early in our marriage.

But what are my other options?

I, like most women my age, have a nice selection of yoga pants - a couple full length, a couple cropped pants, all black with one or two of them having a touch of color. They are awesome options on Saturday errand days when putting on a waistband just ain't happening; on overnight visits to others homes when it would just be inappropriate to put regular pj's on prior to 5pm; and on that day or two during the month where I pretend it's the start of my new exercise routine (until I start again next month). However, yoga pants aren't my fave. They are made out of stretchy material and often conform to my body (as they are supposed to) rather than giving me the soft, flowy, breathable feeling I'm looking for when I'm just chilling.

Other than yoga pants though, I've been unsuccessful in finding another pair of casual pants that are both comfortable and would fit me well enough to get a thumbs up from Ped. Women in general have a hard time buying pants. Even the smallest of us have bumps and curves in unexpected places that may not fit into our "normal" size or make the crotch of a pant sit at your knees or leave a gap the size of the Atlantic at the waist. A lot of us have big (enough) booties and small (enough) waists that standard sizes just don't fit right.  My biggest issue has always been having pants fit my thighs while still sitting okay on my waist. This is a HUGE problem with sweatpants because most are snug at the thighs then have enough material at the crotch where I could incubate a baby kangaroo. Until now.

I just received a pair of sweatpants from Old Navy that had been given a 4% chance of working, but earned a 100% upon arrival. The waistband is loose enough where it feels secure but doesn't feel tight at all; there's plenty of room in the thigh area; they are uber soft; and bonus! they're long! If you have pant problems like me, here's the link:

Women's Fleece Sweatpants

I bought the Blue Corsica ones which are really cute in person. I typically don't wear bright pants given the general size of my bottom half, so I'm not sure what drove me to this color, but even that is awesome. It is Old Navy so each pant may be cut a little differently, and some larges may be more snug than other larges. Either way, I highly recommend for us fat-bottomed girls and will probably be indulging in another pair at some point in the future. Old Navy has a million coupon codes and sales throughout the holidays so don't pay full price. I got mine with a 35% off coupon and ended up paying $12.35.

Ped hasn't seen them yet but I'm pretty sure he'll be wanting to burn my old pair in lieu of these ones!

(This isn't some sponsored post - mostly because I have no idea how that would work. I'm just trying to look out for my girls. However, Old Navy, if you're reading this (which you're not) and you want to hook a girl up with some free pants, I have no shame in taking them.)

Monday, November 4, 2013

How I Know

How do you know your significant other loves you? What do they do that means more than most people outside your relationship would understand? What is that thing? That special thing?

Ped is a great guy. He's funny and outgoing, dependable and loyal. He's opinionated and outspoken, headstrong and confident. He also screws up alot but that's not what this post is about.

We will have been married for 3 months on November 16 and together for 6 years in December. We have had our rough patches and still go through them every once in a while. Shockingly, life isn't perfect just because you get married. Who knew???

I am pretty proud of how good I have become at keeping up our house and learning to cook. Ped has learned to be very vocal in his appreciation of my housekeeping (sometimes too vocal. Dudes, if the word maid is ever used in a compliment, it will not be taken as a compliment. Just some advance warning.) This was not an aspect of our relationship early on, but over the past year or two, he has noticed how I feel better about myself when I know he is happy with me, and has adapted to my need for verbal affirmation. While I am a superlative example for a housewife and he is a superlative example of a husband*, these roles are something we work on every day and what we vowed to each other during our wedding ceremony - to love and serve each other. (*Note my sarcasm)

So how do I know Ped loves me?

You know how guys have one or two things in their lives that make them giggle like a little girl? The show, Arrow, is one of those things for Ped. He talks about the last episode for 3 days after the show then tries to predict the next episode for the next 3 days. He follows the actors on Twitter and is constantly researching obscure information about the characters. The lead's name is Oliver and we may or may not name our son that one day if we have one.

Arrow is on at 8:00pm on Wednesday evening which is about 10 minutes before I typically get home from work. Every week I burst through the door hoping I didn't miss anything good, and every week the TV is on a different channel as Ped waits to watch it with me. That's how I know. It's not something he's supposed to do or something he has to do. It's not the nice thing to do or the most convenient thing to do. Ped waits to watch his favorite show until I get home from work because he loves me and enjoys it more when I'm next to him. It may be a small gesture and seem insignificant to some, but it's my thing not yours.

A few people have told me they read this blog and I really do appreciate my words being read by others. I would like to hear from you though. What is your thing? How do you know that your significant other loves you? Something small, something big, something others may feel is stupid, it doesn't matter. What makes you understand that you are loved by the person you love?

Comment on the post within the blog (rather than Facebook) if you would like to share. Hope to hear from a couple of you. Seriously, hearing lovey dovey things is like getting a big ol' technological bear hug.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

I Have a Job!!

It's been a difficult few months for me in the job area. Before moving from Delaware, I was working as an Investment Advisor with a team of people whom I called family for eight years. I felt I was on a good career path that could have resulted in a pretty high salary. When it was time for me to move, I had to decide whether this would be my career for the long haul or if there was something else out there for me. After a lot of discussions with the hubs, and a lot of prayer, we decided that my current job would give us financial freedom, but the stress and ill feelings I had for the career in general was not worth it.

Thus my enrollment in school and my search for a part-time job began. Fast forward through September and still unemployed. I was doing my best to maintain our household and submerge myself in schoolwork, but I was having a hard time finding complete happiness with that lifestyle alone. After 8 years of earning a salary and being financially dependent, how does one just stop and rely on someone else so completely? Ped did his best to keep my spirits up and never pressured me but I needed to find something else to do.

Soooo....I have a job!!! Well, actually I have two but wanted to wait until I was secure in both before posting anything.

First, I'm working as a math instructor about 6 hours a week. I'm going to school to become a teacher and this has been my first experience actually teaching/tutoring students. The kids are between 2nd and 12th grade and complete a curriculum based on their individual assessments. We also assist with homework and studying for upcoming exams if needed.

The first day was uber intimidating. A lot of the students are working on fractions and percents (along with multiplication and division). The very first question I got though was "would I use the Pythagoream Theorem for this?". What? Where's the "I don't understand 1/2 times 1/2" question??? I'm on week 4 now and appreciate the refresher of basic math skills so much. I really do love being here and seeing the look on the kids' faces when the finally understand a concept that's been eluding them.

Second, meet your newest Pier1 Sales Associate! I'm back to my retail roots and am enjoying it immensely. Mostly because the products we're selling are AMAZE BALLS! Seriously, think about how you feel when walking around a Pier1 store. Now imagine being there multiple hours a week and knowing you get an employee discount. (It doesn't help that Ped's first reaction to my hiring was "when can we start shopping?") I have been good though and haven't bought anything after my first three days.

I feel great about getting out of the house and contributing at least a little to the household income.  There may even be opportunities to do more at these places once the new year starts but I'm not thinking too much about that right now.

(FYI if we buy you a present at any point during the year, you can just assume it will be from Pier 1. Just a head's up.)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Household Duties: Ironing

Review:    Thumbs down.

Ped has a conference next week. I took this as an opportunity to buy an ironing board, bust out the iron, and go to town on all of his button down shirts.

Ironing sucks. That thing that retailers do where they sell wrinkled men's shirts and call it the "worn" look is just an excuse so no one in their company has to iron or steam anything before putting them on the racks. Because they know how much ironing sucks.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Our First Halloween

After living in apartments/condos for the past 7 and 12 years (me and Ped, respectively), we were pretty excited to experience Halloween in our house. House = lots of spooky decorations and trick-or-treaters. TRICK OR TREATERS, PEOPLE!!

A synopsis of our first Halloween:
  • Spooky decorations consisted of gravestones and pumpkins in the garden and a handmade foam skeleton thingy on the front door. We didn't even pull ourselves together enough to put costumes on. I promise we'll do better next year. 
  • New Jersey kids start trick-or-treating at noon. That's an exaggeration, but there were kids knocking on doors at 4. Apparently, there's an 8pm curfew for kids under 18. Is that normal or just a Jersey thing?
  • We had no idea whether we would get 2 kids or 40 kids so I bought enough candy for 500 kids. My last minute purchase of the 60-pack of Airheads was clutch.
  • Ped was very excited but didn't get home until 6. (We really didn't know kids started at 4.) His excitement was evidenced by his first group of kids when he said the ominous statement "Take a handful". Greedy brats acted all thankful then tried to clean us out. No joke, one girl stuck her hand in three times. Ped got them all to go away, but felt he needed to apologize to me and didn't want to do it anymore. I was proud of him though. He totally made us the cool neighbors and the kids loved him. Plus I bought a ton of candy, 'member?
  • I bought too much candy. I made a big dinner of grilled chicken and spaghetti squash in an attempt to limit the candy inhalation, but we've been noshing on Nerds/Reeses/KitKats/Whoppers/DumDums/Airheads since about 7:30. 
  • Thanks to all of your adorable kid costume posts on Facebook, my husband wants me to have a baby yesterday. So thanks for that. Really.
Bring on Thanksgiving!!!!

Monday, October 14, 2013

It seems the older you get, the faster time goes. There are so many milestones and events in any given year that make it seem like you go to bed on New Years Day and wake up on Christmas morning of the following year.

Now we don't have kids yet, so we can only look at our nephews and think "man, they're alot bigger than when we saw them last month." Wednesday is our two month anniversary but the wedding and honeymoon seem like so long ago, the fact that it's only two months is surprising. It is weird that we are already in mid-October, but my hunt for stable employment and Ped's job keeps him so busy that we almost want to fast forward things to be where we want (me with a routine job and Ped with some time for research).

However, we do experience the "how is time going so fast?" epidemic every week. Ours is not by how quickly our kids go through school or get big; it's not by how close Christmas is or how little time left we have to shop; and it's not measured by our time being married.

We realize time is going so fast because of trash day. Seriously! We take the trash out on Tuesday night, take the cans back in on Wednesday, then I blink and it's freaking trash day again!!!! How is that even possible???? I actually feel like my life is getting measured by the amount of times I take that trip back and forth from the end of the driveway. By my count, I'm actually 47 years old and not 31.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Rejoice in All Things

The one glaringly beautiful thing about today was Ped's words before he left - "thank you for being such a great wife. I know you do so much around here." Hearing something along those lines can get a girl through the day. However, following up to yesterday's post, today's journey of housewifedom has not been much better.

The Lord says to rejoice in all here it goes...

I rejoice that I got a new toy.
I rejoice that our basement floor got cleaned. Heftily.
This is my rejoice face. 

 Luckily the washing machine isn't broken. We thought the pipe was just filling up too quickly, and put the tube into the sink for the next load to check. Wellll that pipe fell onto the floor without me knowing thus - new toy, clean floors, rejoice, yada, yada, yada.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Lord Help Us All

Given my mood swing between yesterday and today, Lord help us all when I'm pregnant and the hormones kick in.

Let's start with how fabulous yesterday was:
1. I got up and worked out. As much as I hate exercise, I love the results - I want to eat better, I have more energy, the soreness is actually nice, the bowels start working right (gross but so true), etc.
2. 87/88 on my calculus exam. That's 99% people - 99%!!!!!!! Man I'm a freaking genius.
3. I didn't get my exam back from my math reasoning class. I'm praying for at least a 75 but not getting it back means more celebrating my 99%! Why? Cause I'm a genius until I get the other one back.
4. Ped got me chinese food for dinner. That's how you end a good day.

Fast forward to today:
1. Soreness made me sleep in.
2. Training module for new job (more on that later) took 2 hours instead of the 30 minutes I was expecting.
3. Computer battery is kaput. Need a new one.
4. Water coming out of the washing machine.
5. Work didn't need me today.
6. And then I ate the remaining chinese food before I remembered I was supposed to work out. I also need to clean our floor today which means working out won't be happening until at least this evening.

I want to sit on the couch in my penguin pjs and eat ice cream. All day. Yesterday was so good, and today just pooped on it.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Crockpot Recipe for Indian Food

I made this for us the other night and it was BANG!

Chicken Tikka Masala for the Crockpot

I don't cook with spices that much but need to learn now that I'm married to a Persian man who enjoys spicy food. Trying this one had me all confused because it calls for like 5 pounds of spice. Okay, not really 5 pounds, but from someone who only uses salt, garlic, onions and cheese to flavor stuff, it felt like I was dumping it on and was sure I was doing it wrong.

If you feel like that, keep going - it tastes amaze I promise.

Here's my input on the recipe:
  • You can use greek yogurt when it says plain yogurt.
  • The cayenne pepper is impressive. I used one teaspoon and my eyes were watering. If you can't handle the heat, go for one teaspoon or less.
  • They didn't have Garam Masala in the grocery store. Apparently it's just a mix of spices, some of which are already called for in the recipe. I used this to make the mixture - Garam Masala. I didn't have coriander or cloves so took a chance it would be okay without them. If you have them, throw it in. If not a standard in your spice rack, our dinner was proof it's not really necessary.
  • We are almond milk people, so I was hesitant about the heavy cream. I used half a cup and 1.5 tablespoons of cornstarch for the thickener, and it was good.
Bon appetit!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Getting in Shape

I've gained 5 pounds since the wedding. Had this occurred say, 6 years ago, my reaction would have been that of "OH MY GOD I'M SO FAT AND I NEED TO STOP EATING NOW!". However, my older and wiser self is actually quite pleased that it was only 5 pounds. I can't even believe that I used the word "only" in that sentence given my lifelong battle with my weight.

I'm being practical though. I was working out before the wedding and not overindulging. Since the wedding, I have learned just how much Ped likes to have snacks in the house and I have suffered from some severe couch potato syndrome since I still haven't found the right fit for part-time employment. So 5 pounds? That's sweet.

However, it's time to get back on the wagon. I am feeling myself slowly slipping into a funk and I will not let that happen. I realized as I was getting dressed this morning that my dimensions have the potential to give me a very hot body. Curvy hips, big butt, small waist, petite upper frame - it's all there for me to work on.

I know what you're thinking - Bethany is going to start training for another run or join Crossfit like everyone else in the world is doing or we're going to have to hear her complain for the next few weeks about how much she hates working out. But don't worry my friends!

While I truly believe everyone should live up to their potential, I have no plans to live up to mine. At least in the tight body category. I am enjoying spending free time with my husband cuddling on the couch and trying out new recipes that may or may not include butter. We don't want to slip into too bad of a habit though so we're going to start doing our videos together - JNL Fusion. I did it before and the workouts are between 20 and 45 minutes each day. We're hopeless if we can't fit that in a couple times a week.

My plan is to feel like I am strong and healthy. I'm pretty sure the world couldn't handle it if I became a work out freak and got really hot.

(If you know me, I hope you can interpret the underlying sarcasm in that last statement.)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Small Things

I'm having a hard time finding my identity right now. However, I am learning to appreciate the small things in life.

You know when you find a pen that works great, you don't want to put it down because it becomes "the" pen. Being a math student, I am using pencils pretty much exclusively now. Today's pencil was the BEST. The tip was at just the right angle, and it just wrote so fluidly. Writing proofs for an hour was actually enjoyable because my penmanship looked amazing.

Sooooo, there's that.

What's On Tonight?

Ped brought me something a couple weeks ago that confirmed that we are officially a happily married old couple. It was a list of season premieres for the TV shows we have come to watch, mostly together. Not a list of vineyards to visit, or bars that we have to try. Nope. TV shows that would require us to be home every evening by 8.

While I feel this is the time in our life that we should be out and doing things (Ped and I have actually discussed this feeling), I am just as excited about the idea of spending each evening with my husband and starting new seasons together. We have watched so many baseball games, tv shows, and news events together through phone calls that it's nice to be on the couch with him instead.

Done with the sap. Here's my synopsis so far:

I love this show. Everything about it. This season seems like it will be good. The premiere picked up in a seamless flow from last season which is great. When a season ends with a cliff hanger, please address it in the premiere and give me a conclusion. 'Preciate it. The writing is really good with keeping the relationships of the main characters in the forefront while keeping the audience focused on the crime and solving it. Hodgens is my favorite. Apparently I like dorky scientists. Who knew?

Sleepy Hollow
I find this show to be crappy. I've learned to enjoy fantasy and sci-fi shows but this one is a stretch. However, it's on Monday at 9 right between Bones and Castle. This is when I do my homework.

Very disappointed with this one. Castle is on for a few hours every afternoon and we have become a little intrigued with it when we're home. It's often in the background. Nathan Fillion is hilarious and totally owns the role. This premiere focused mostly on Beckett's new job, added a bunch of new characters and didn't have the same feeling as previous years. Plus her new partner is this lady who played a character on House who was one of the main reasons I did NOT watch that show. She just irks me and now she's Beckett's partner. New characters, new story line, and Beckett and Castle interact differently now that they're engaged. Eh.

It's on right now. I have no idea what's going to happen but it's same old characters, same old stories, same old funny one-liners. Man I love this show too!

Coming up this week:    Big Bang Theory, Glee, and Hawaii Five-O.
Next week:   Arrow and Tomorrow People

Don't think we're too boring or lazy. We only plan on watching the premieres then DVRing the series that we actually decide on watching. I can assure you that will be Bones, Big Bang Theory and Arrow.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ask for Forgiveness, Not Permission

Monday was our one month anniversary. Quick synopsis of where things stand:

Ped is a rockstar at his job.
I still don't have a job.
The house is still perfect.
The garden was taken over by a large buck who ate all of our tomatoes.
     (Per my MA 120 class: If a large buck eats all of your tomatoes, Bethany will stop caring about the garden.
      The conclusion is true which makes the whole statement true.)
Calculus class is starting to click.
We get along fairly well with each other; disagreements are lasting much shorter. 
Our house gets really cold when the temperature outside drops below 80.
Neither of us has lost our rings yet.

That's the high end overview. I love Ped more every day and love being his wife. Housewife? Not so much, but definitely his wife.

Now here is something new I have learned about us:

I am a logical thinker. To make something happen, I quickly organize all of the parts in my head in the order they need to be completed. Then I analyze if there's a cheaper option. Yada yada yada.

Ped knocks a wall down during a commercial break because he felt like it was time. At noon. On a Sunday. When he had a very busy week coming up.

Because he is doing 99% of the work, this was my first lesson in "shut the heck up and let him do it his way". I could list all of the issues with this random act of demolition but I won't*. I have learned that if Ped wants something done, he does it and then figures out if it's going to work. Sort of like "ask for forgiveness, not permission". I was told my entire career that I should be more like this but just didn't have it in me.

This is not to say my way is right and his way is wrong. In fact, if we were to have approached the wall from my way, it would be completed in May after we used the fireplace all winter. I would still be making lists and combing Home Depot ads to see when things were on sale. Because we approached it from Ped's way, our living room will be complete by the time we are able to start hosting guests next month and I will have a mantel to hang Christmas stockings on this year. My way would have been acceptable, but Ped's way is much better.

Soooo how excited am I for Christmas now?!?!?!?!?!?

Note to Ped: I know you are reading this post. I appreciate that you think differently than me. This is not my way of saying you are always right.

*Ok I have to but only to satisfy my writer's need to explain myself: the tiles we just put up the night before had to be taken down, we don't have a mantel yet to put on the wall, we can't use the fireplace now though it's the perfect weather for it this week. Phew, now I feel better.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

An “Outsiders” Perspective of 9/11

I wrote this on September 10, 2011. While my personal situation has changed, it still gives resonance to the forever effect 9/11 will have on me emotionally. I promise to write happy things soon, but this is in honor of the 12th anniversary of the day that changed our country forever.


Two things that I did not do in college: wake up early unless I had somewhere to be and watch the news – except on September 11, 2001. That morning I was up, walking around my room, and had turned on a news show for background noise. I don’t remember what my agenda had been for that day, or why I was awake at 8:30am, but in that time before the planes hit the towers, I was given a few minutes of innocence and calm before the world ended – for some metaphorically, for some literally.

As I watched the smoke rise from the first tower, I was mesmerized. So much smoke and dust, how are those people dealing with it? Thank God I’m not there. Wait, is that Washington, D.C.? Why are they showing some fire at the Pentagon when NYC is obviously more important right now? Stupid politics. Go back to showing pictures of NY…oh my God, oh MY GOD, NOOOOO!!! THAT WAS A PLANE. Nooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Somewhere in the midst of what was happening, I called my father with nervous energy and actually joked with him that the world was on fire and he should turn the TV on. It still wasn’t confirmed that the Pentagon fire was connected to the attack on the World Trade Centers, or the plane crash in Pennsylvania, but everyone knew. What we didn’t know at the point was that the United States’ impermeable shield of freedom had been shattered.

My memory is not strong. I can remember numbers and functions and equations, but I can’t always remember faces or names or emotions. However, my memories of that day are not purely mental. I feel it in my heart.  As I sit here on the evening of the tenth anniversary of 9/11, I am thankful for the life I have been given. I am blessed that the pictures I have in my head of that day are from the television and not from images I saw in person.

So what’s an outsider’s perspective of 9/11?  There were no outsiders on 9/11. I’m a single, 29-year old banker living in Delaware because I was scared to move to New York to pursue a fashion career. I’m a woman who prays even harder every time I get on a plane because maybe my plane will be the next one chosen. I’m an American who hears unidentified booms and automatically thinks “bomb” instead of “fireworks”. I’m someone who did not lose anyone, or know anyone living there, and feels guilty that I grieve for my innocence when so many others lost so much more.

Failure in Adulthood

I realized that I am really good at orchestrating my life into "do well" or "not do well" but there were virtually no areas where I could actually fail. Are you similar? Do you avoid situations where you can fail?

What do I mean "do well" or "not do well"? Some random examples:

- I suck in the batting cages. It's just something I'm not able to do well but I enjoy being there and trying new things. Any time I put some bat on a ball, it's a bonus. I'm bad at it but it's not a failure.

- Any job allows for mistakes. But mistakes aren't failures - they're just mistakes. My most recent position gave me a lot of leverage to create and find solutions to problems. They were flexible with me and allowed me to take the lead on many projects. When I made a mistake, I had to fix it on my own and make things right. I didn't get fired or demoted. I just had to fix it. (Enter snarky comment here: Even the complete screw ups didn't get fired. They just got bounced around from area to area because companies now are too afraid to get sued for wrongful termination.) There was no failure, just trial and error.

This week taught me a lesson in failure. Two weeks into school, I had my first homework assignment and first quiz. I knew I got the homework question correct but still received a 3/5 because I didn't explain my answer. The quiz was an absolute nightmare. Though I did the practice problems and studied the material, my mind went blank and I know I bombed 2 of the 4 questions.

This isn't a presumed failure. This isn't a "I feel like I'm failing". This is a "here's your paper, you failed". Slap to the face reality check here! Ped told me this is going to make me a better teacher because I will be able to relate to the students as they struggle to grasp concepts. He also told me that it's just one quiz and there's a lot of semester left.

Of course he's right. But I'm still struggling with a new sense of self - my old orchestrated life was full of choosing to only do things of which I did well.  This new life includes a currently unsuccessful job search and failing my first review as a student. As I cried in Ped's office after the quiz because of complete and utter disappointment in myself, my own thoughts of quitting were louder than his words of encouragement.

Today is a new day though. Pursuing something you want always comes with failure. Always. For the first time in a long time, maybe ever, I am actually pursuing something versus taking the easy route. Two more applications out, a trip to the Board of Education to request more information on substituting, legally changing my name, and studying at the local library are today's to-dos. I will not quit. I have to keep telling myself that an F on a quiz does not equal an F in life.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


My nickname has become somewhat of a conversation piece with my friends over the past few months. For about five years, many of my friends and colleagues have called me BT. I never really liked nicknames and often call my friends by their actual names even if everyone else does not. However, being called BT turned into a comfort for me; knowing someone is comfortable enough with you to call you by something other than your given name has this stupid cathartic, calming effect on me.

The discussions of late have been that I will now have to be called BD instead of BT due to my new last name. I think that sounds like a disease and would prefer not be called BD.

My proclamation is that my nickname will remain BT and everyone must still use it. Nicknames don't have to make sense and often stick around even when the story behind the nickname has long passed by.  So there it is - just call me BT. Or Bethany. Or Mrs. Daneshgar. But don't call me BD>

I'll be documenting the honeymoon and starting school at some point, but you know...priorities.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Becoming Official

In 8 hours and 10 minutes, this girl will go from Bethany Joy Taylor to Bethany Joy Daneshgar. This is the before shot - teeth whiteners on, hair unbrushed and no makeup except for the smudged eyeliner under the right eye. I'm praying Nickie Brousseau, best hairdresser in the biz, can make me look a little better sometime in the next 8 hours.

Even though I'm nervous and shaky and will probably have to poop about twelve times before I see you - I love you Pedram and cannot wait to be your wife.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Wedding Prep Countdown (Warning: men, read at your own risk)

Total. Nervous. Breakdown.

Last night was exactly 5 days before the wedding and I had one holy heck of a meltdown. My family and fiance have been rock stars with the planning, and they are doing their best to keep me on track yet calm. The weight of the world got to me last night though and there was just one question too many. After trying to create an amazing ceremony program that will end up in the trash after it's over, I cried uncontrollably for 2 hours. I even attempted to reach out to Ped who was being treated to a night out by his guy friends. He really did try his best to calm me down, but his mental capacity after a few drinks included throwing in comments like "nerd farts" to get me to laugh. I just wasn't in the mood. (In his defense, he also said things like " I love you" and "we'll get things done together when I get home".)

After finally falling asleep at 2am, I was woken to a tornado warning at 7am. Awesome. Needless to say, I'm a useless pile of bride today but I have a million things to do if I want everything done by tomorrow as planned.

First on the list - waxing appointment. I won't go into too much detail (though a few people received some pretty randy texts during the process as I tried to distract myself. It included words like tweezers, hooha, and russian surrounded by some other not so nice words. Sorry Kim, Tina, Megan, and Jess.) However, for those of you who have never had the pleasure, a few notes:
- the numbing cream is a crock.
- when the spa suggests the Brazilian instead, stand strong. I know you hate making decisions at this point and just want someone else to tell you what to do. But stand strong woman! Do not be duped! I was.
- as you walk out the door, everyone behind the counter now knows what you look like "down there". Vulnerability at its best.

The rest of the day includes picking up my dress, picking up the guys stuff at the cleaners, finishing the program every one will throw away, putting together welcome bags and gift bags, and finishing the favors. Ped gets here tonight and I just pray that my bridal meltdowns begin to ebb as everything gets finished so I can enjoy the next few days.

As much as I was concerned about a job search, new classes, and learning how to maintain a house, routine is looking pretty good these days. Oh and shaving.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Weddings and Pinterest: The Partnership of Unbearable Pressure

Earlier this week, I had a conversation with my sister regarding how Pinterest has changed weddings so drastically in just a couple of years. Kim was married in 2006 when most weddings followed a standard outline and you made it unique through small tweaks to that standard. She was lamenting about how much she would do differently now that there's so many more options and ideas. I, on the other hand, would have been pleased if this site did not exist during my planning phase.

The only positive aspect Pinterest has provided my wedding planning was it allowed me to go "shopping" with my bridesmaid Amanda who lived across the country. Instead of sending emails with large files, or sitting on the phone for hours trying to look at the same website at the same time, we were able to pin shoes and view them at anytime. Other than that, Pinterest has been more of a burden.

The standard wedding now is to see how unique you can be. Between Pinterest and Etsy, you too can show your guests how amazing you are! The funny thing though is those ideas have now become the ordinary. If you understand or know how Pinterest works, you will never be able to attend another shower/wedding/party with fun accents without giving credit to Pinterest instead of the person hosting the event.

I have actually avoided Pinterest for the bulk of my planning. We wanted a laid-back affair in a venue that had a little more of a garden feel than a golf club. This led to our desire to add some handmade pieces to our event. We have done what makes us happy without feeling like we are being forced to be unique. On the few times I did visit these sites, I was instantly transformed into a competitive "my wedding needs to be memorable" bride - should I make my own honey as favors? should Ped and I paint original artwork for the reception hall? should we have a life-size guestbook where everyone inkpads their hands, then makes it into a leaf, and signs their name next to the picture of them???

It's incredible how a simple website about ideas can put the pressure on a modern day bride. Our favors are a little different than normal, we aren't having floral centerpieces, and we aren't riding around in a limo. I'm proud to say that our ideas did not come from Pinterest or Etsy or any other website. They were just things we thought of on our own that will make Friday be a day about things that are important to us. We will make the day memorable, and we hope our friends and family will remember it for the amount of love that filled the day.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Portion Control

Right around this time of day (currently 2:54pm), I have the incredible urge to eat everything in our refrigerator. My current problem is I no longer sit behind a desk at a job where I only have access to food if I buy it. Being cheap often wins over my portion control issues.  Now I am spending most of my days at the house where I have a full refrigerator full of food.

Why am I telling you this? Because if I'm on here, I am not eating. I had two great days of working out, I'm getting married in 10 days, and I'm choosing to blog and drink water.

Now I have to go because Ped just got home to take me to dinner. Woohoo!!!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Evolution of a Woman and her Vacuum Cleaner

This could go so many ways depending on the type of mind you have, but this really is about my new vacuum cleaner.

When Ped and I started our registry, there were a few items that we immediately decided not to include - a crockpot, a blender and a toaster come to mind. We aren't young twenty-somethings starting out with nothing, but rather a couple of old fogies who already have two blenders collecting dust in the cabinet. A vacuum cleaner did not make this list somehow. I have one from my condo; Ped has one from his apartment; the previous owners of our new home left us one here; and they all work quite well. But we still decided a new vacuum cleaner was in order for our home that is 60% hardwood floors.

Best. Decision. Ever.

This is my new Shark. It's amaze balls. Not only does it vacuum carpets, but hardwood floors and comes with about 247,938 attachments to get in all of the crevices.  I can also carry around the canister. Seriously it's like I just discovered the Internet.
Shark NV501 Vacuum, Rotator Professional Lift-Away®

This may not be the most exciting blog post I'll ever write but I felt it necessary to document my love of cleaning during the 2 weeks while this feeling actually exists. My family would be happy to tell many stories of how messy and non-clean I have always been. Dirt? What dirt? I don't see any dirt! I also know full well that once my days include classes and a job, this piece of equipment will be the bane of my existence which will be a constant argument of who should vacuum.

For now, I will promote a product for no reason other than it's the bomb-diggity. Oh and try to get rid of our old ones - anyone need a vacuum cleaner in the Delaware area?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The word "housewife" is an interesting word. Back in the 50's*, it was the job most women held. They were responsible for taking care of the house, taking care of the kids, and taking care of their husband. In 2013, the word housewife more commonly conjures up an image of a reality show personality who spends her days going to lunch, shopping, and flipping tables in restaurants at a family get-together.

In reality - like real reality, not TV reality - what is a housewife? My goal is to somehow figure out how it applies to me over the next few years. I won't bore you by reliving how I got here in this post (see: About Me section), but this is a new venture and I intend to live it to the fullest - both the good days and the bad.

Right now, I'm in full-on wedding planning mode so the new housewife lessons are only creeping up randomly, especially since half of my time is still spent in Delaware. That doesn't mean the questions aren't running through my head though:

Am I allowed to go to the gym while my husband is working? At what point will we fall into our roles a little more comfortably? Since I'm in charge of the inside (he's in charge of the outside), am I expected to do everything or is it ok that I ask him to pick up his towel of beard shavings? Should I be scrubbing floors and vacuuming and weeding all day everyday? WILL I BE FLIPPING TABLES AT FAMILY EVENTS SOON TOO??? I mean, I am a Jersey girl now. 

I'm so used to an unbalanced life at a full time job that going to the gym fills me with guilt. I'm so used to spending what little free time I have with friends and family instead of doing housework, that spending that time with them now leaves me feeling like I'm not accomplishing anything.

I'm looking forward to more of a routine once we return home from the honeymoon, but I do not expect it to be easy as I begin school and working part-time. Until then, here's to TV housewives who make it look easy and actual housewives who know that it's not!

*This is not a researched fact but more an assumption based on all of those televisions shows. Oh, and those awful etiquette books that my bridesmaids so graciously spread around my bridal shower.