4.17.2014

Internet at Home?

Alternative titles for this post: When a computer security specialist marries a dread headed hippie and they have to make a decision

I'm willing to bet that anyone reading this post has an internet connection at their home, because that's simply normal. Maybe these thoughts aren't relevant to you - or maybe they are. Maybe we've had these same thoughts, and it's so comforting to know you aren't alone. Is that reason enough to justify an entire post about whether or not to get internet at our house? I hope so. ;)

The entire internet vs. no internet debate started when we moved from our downtown townhouse to the little house we're in now, sometime around the end of last month. Our soon-to-be landlord told us there were several internet providers in the area, which he knew because he had several choices when choosing a provider for his own home which is less than a mile from our house. Cool! Perfect house, check. Back yard, check. Internet, check. To make a long story short, we had something more like two options. One that costed a bajillion dollars and has a terrible reputation of actually ever working in this area, and one that costs a little less than what we were paying, but for 1/5th the speed. Now, I don't know a whole lot about speed or megabits per second or what any of that means, but Mr. Securing the Home Network and-while-you're-at-it-change-your-passwords (aka my husband) wasn't thrilled with the options. I may not know a lot, but I know what 1/5th the speed of the old internet means. It means it will take freaking forever for me to upload pictures. NO THANKS, I thought at first. But then - is slow, expensive internet really better than no internet at all?

With the options looking slim, I started thinking how life could go on without internet at home. I mean, less screen time is always the goal, right? More time together, less time sitting at the computer...and we always have access on our phones if we really NEEDED to do something ... it was all making a lot of sense to me. Things I would miss included Skype dates, blogging in my pajamas, and backing up pictures. No interwebs at home would make school trickier for sure, but being forced to get out of the house (coffee shops, Panera, etc.) to submit school projects is probably a good idea anyways because as soon as I'm finished with work, my "reasons to leave the house" list is shockingly small.

And at the end of the day, my crunchy hippie heart just connects with a back to the earth way of living.

I poured all of this out to Thomas last night over dinner. We sat at our tiny two person table with fresh pink tulips in their new (thrifted) vase, and I just thought-dumped all of this out. He listened and nodded and asked questions and made points. I pointed out that we've already been living without the 'webs for weeks. 

Ultimately, we decided to get internet. And I feel good about our decision - because I'm sure a day is going to come where I say thank goodness we had internet today. Because it lets us have Netflix for movie night. Because it makes sense. Because it gives us options. And ultimately, because it's the base of so many of his hobbies. Games, writing, security competitions. The part that matters to me more than anything else is that we aren't doing it because it's convenient. We aren't just doing it because that's what you do. We thought, we talked, we made a decision. And at the end of the day, we're getting internet because I can live in a house with internet and pretend it's not there - but that doesn't work the other way around. Compromise in action, friends. 

I'm really curious - would you consider giving up internet in your home?

4.11.2014

the weekly

Friday! Now usually I'm not one to promote a waiting-for-Friday type of life, but I'm glad to see this week pack its bags and hit the road because tonight WE are headed out of town. Tonight we're meeting my sister for dinner at a new (to us!) restaurant, then tomorrow it's on to DC with my sister, brother in law, and their kids to celebrate my niece's 8th birthday. I've been hard at work on a gift for her - since I didn't think to start before Tuesday! - and I'm hoping to have it finished by tomorrow.

Last week we were in Richmond from Wednesday through Saturday, and spent a lazy Sunday doing some unpacking, browsing the goodwill bookstore (where we found $200 worth of "I've been wanting to read this" books - several of them unopened! - for $19.85. Boom.) We saw Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and I absolutely loved it. I'm such a nut for those types of movies, all things Star Trek, Avengers, Star Wars, X-Men - they just all capture my attention like nothing else. (Is that insanely dorky to admit??) It was a perfect way to start the week as we've been talking about trying to make Sunday's less of a hurry-up-and-get-ready-for-Monday marathon and more of a family day. I hope by the time we bring our little one home we'll be in such a habit with things like that, family day and movie night and Sunday brunch, that our little one will grow up with those traditions from the very start. So no time like the present, yeah?

Green smoothies! I'm on day 4 of 30 (though I don't expect to be consistent with them while we're out of town this weekend) and I've already started noticing a difference in how I feel. I think it has more to do with the actually eating something before noon part of the smoothie routine, but nonetheless I'm sold. Any favorite recipes? What started out as a very calculated, measured recipe on Tuesday slipped to a 'dump everything in the blender because we're going out of town and I don't want that to go bad' smoothie this morning. Surprisingly, they've all been delicious regardless of what I put in them! 

Wednesday, my usual day off, I hit the thrift stores for summer clothes - finding tons of tops including a Coldwater Creek tee with tags still on!, a pair of sandals, and a few gifts for the kids this weekend. I remember when I was little and our grandparent's would come into town for a birthday, and they would always bring gifts for all of us - even if it wasn't our birthday. That's one of my best memories, so I try to do it for my nieces and nephews as I can. But speaking of clothes, my closet is a mess since the move - with no real structure or organization, and a laundry pile constantly on the hallway floor. I started to pare down by taking out all of my non-favorites and texting pictures to my sisters. Soon everything was spoken for, and I had no problem bagging it up to go to them this weekend. It's always easier for me to get rid of things when I know they're going to someone I know rather than just AWAY. Whatever works, I say.

Our evenings this week were all spent making dinners - because eating alllll of the veggies one bought the weekend before is especially tricky if even one meal is eaten out - submitting adoption papers, continuing to unpack, and settling in early for Redbox movies and the end of White Collar, season 5.

And now it's Friday afternoon and the fun begins in just two hours! So cheers to Friday, friends, and I hope your weekend holds more joy and springy-weather than you know what to do with. xo

4.07.2014

Hello Again!

Let's just dive right in.

Hi, friends! How are you? I hope you'll leave me a comment and let me know. I've so truly missed keeping up with your lives and your stories. It will be so good to talk to you again - more than a month after my last post!! How did that happen? It wasn't intentional - this time away from blogging - but a break that came because life got busy. And that's the way it should be, right? But I've missed this - the writing, the sharing, you. Especially you! Honestly, I've been a little bit lonely without this space. (And a huge thanks for reaching out to me while I was away - the emails made me feel so loved!)

So go ahead and pull up a chair. Grab some coffee, or wine. (I think it's acceptable to drink wine before lunch if you splash a little Sierra mist in there, right? If the answer is no please just don't tell me.) Anyways, settle in. Let's get caught up.

*I should note that I'm writing this post on my iPad, as we have no internet at the house yet. Therefore if the formatting is wonky or the pictures out of line, I'm sorry!!

Now I couldn't begin to "recap" everything that's happened this month, so I'm going to dive in with the current highlights. :)


For starters, we moved! Last month Thomas, Nellie, and I packed up our yellow townhouse in downtown Blacksburg and moved out of the hustle. We stayed in Montgomery County, but now instead of sirens we hear birds each morning and rather than construction on the next block there are cows. We consider ourselves so, so lucky to have found our new home - a white cottage (farmhouse? what's the difference?) in the tiniest town you can imagine. There's a big, fenced in back yard. There are wood floors and so many windows that I'm having a hard time deciding on curtains. I took several "before" pictures before all the bins and boxes were moved, and once we sort out the internet situation, I'll be posting those with plenty of "curtain a or curtain b??" questions. The yard is big, the house is small, and our excitement to spruce it up is enormous.

I applied to an online grad school program and got in! After deciding in February that we actually weren't going to move out of state for grad school, I felt immediate relief but also a small sense of disappointment. Like all the planning, prep, and excitement had maybe been for nothing. It wasn't until I had lunch with my best and dearest friend Emily, who is getting her masters degree online, that the lightbulb went off. I applied the next day, received my acceptance a few days later, and will be starting classes towards my degree in Marriage and Family Therapy in May! I'm especially excited about this program because it's an online/in-person mix, so I'll be traveling to take a week long condensed course every few months.

Because I'll be in school full time, I won't be nannying for the girls this summer like I had planned. Deciding to leave my current job was the hardest - because I love those girls with everything I am - but I eventually came to terms with the fact that nannying isn't my forever. And if I wanted to get started on this degree, I needed to just rip off the old and dive in to the new. (How's that for mixing metaphors?) My last day will be towards the end of this month and I have terribly mixed emotions about it.

And as most of you already know from our Instagram announcement, we're adopting!! I'll save all the details and thoughts on that topic for another post - but feel free to ask me any questions you want to! I've found that a general lack of information on the process can make people feel awkward or uncomfortable talking about it, but I hope that won't be the case here. :)

In other news, I've been...
Watching a lot of Revenge
Hired to shoot the home interiors for a second edition of an ebook
Crocheting an iPad case
Planning a beach vacation for the end of this month
Exploring downtown Richmond over this weekend
Getting ready for a weekend trip to DC (so much traveling!)
Filling out adoption paperwork
Playing with Nellie in the backyard
Making plans for the backyard - clothesline! garden! white light lanterns!
Taking care of T as he pulled his back on our last day of moving and couldn't walk for a week
Making an appointment to add a few piercings - first, my nose!
Getting my feet wet with a new church
Writing! So much personal writing, just for the fun of it
Keeping an eye out for volunteer spots
Shopping for a bike
Brainstorming a new project with my sister
Considering an Etsy shop

What about you?

Wishing you all a Monday full of love, and thanks for reading this marathon post!
Love, Eliza