Friday, May 20, 2011


Dear Apartamento:

I have never missed anyplace I have called home (excluding fleeting moments of missing my hometown/parents place) and I've called A LOT of places home in the past seven years. I am going to truly miss you, in all your hippie village glory.

Your walls are where the husband and I got engaged and planned our DIY wedding. You have hosted the hubsfamily Christmas 3 years running, and had countless gatherings of friends and family, both big and small throughout our stay. Every twice annual Street Fair that takes place in town brought us lots of visitors, plus I always got out on the streets early to avoid the crowds.

Your open concept layout has been amazing. I will probably miss that the most; being able to make dinner/do anything in the kitchen but still be engaged in whatever is going on in the living room.

But our time is up, my knees are achy from climbing those 21 steps of death every morning and night and to all good things must come an end. We need a yard for the girls, and less steps for the clumsy (ie: me).

(Plus we are gaining: an entire other toilet, a garage, yard and storage room)

Thank you for the memories, for being so well insulated (we never turned our furnace on through 3 Ohio Winters; our Vectren Gas bill was never over $20.) and hosting our lives for the past 3 years. I'll miss you.

Mrs. Melberry

Friday, May 13, 2011

Anytown, Ohio.

Caught this on my way through a downtown the yesterday.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

(Browser)Window Shopping.

I've had an epiphany: Craigslist is like a cyberspace thrift store. I love thrift stores, therefore I love Craigslist. I spend many more hours than I'd like to admit browsing its pages, imagining random pieces of furniture in my (soon-to-be) ranch style duplex-condo-apartment-half house type of dealy.

I love me a good Craigslist browse.

Then I remember, we have no extra monies because of the impending move into said ranch style duplex-condo-apartment-half-house type dealy.

Sad face.

I really need to stop imagining where furniture will go in the new place. If I have learned anything in almost two years of marriage, its to stop having expectations, you won't be let down when things don't go as you imagined and reality can be better sometimes.

But it is so very hard.

I am so very excited about the new place. With its storage and multiple toilets and washer dryer hookups. Do you know what this means?! It means no more brand new tops shrunk in the dryer when my laundry doing husband forgets isn't told to leave something out. So Exciting.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Gone Fishing.

For real. We went fishing Sunday for a few hours. I caught one tiny guy. And this gorgeous view:

Yeah, I have a pink and purple fishing pole.

Friday, May 6, 2011

This Step-Mom's take.

Unless you live under a rock, you know Sunday is Mother's Day.

It's a weird day for me, being a part-time-parental-unit-type-person that I am.

My mother, being the amazing woman that she is, always gives me a card and a little something, because she knows all the motherly type things I do for the girls. On the flip side, my husband, sometimes dense but oh so lovable husband, doesn't do squat. I'm okay with both these things.

I am not a mother. I'm the wife of a father.

Sometimes I do get the inkling I know what it feels like to be "mom". Those moments when Little One sits on my lap and absentmindedly holds my hand and sort of pets it, or when the Kiddo says something so poignant and wise beyond her years. My heart swells for a moment and I think, thank you, who ever/what ever/the universe for bringing these girls to me.

But, alas, those moments are fleeting; I'm snapped right back into place with exchanges such as this one, last weekend in the car:

Little One: "Daddy I need a drink of water please."

(Husband was driving, so I grabbed the bottle of water and handed it back to her)

Little One: (not missing a beat) "Uhh, I asked my Daddy for some water, not you."

Step-Mom Me: "Well, Little One, (I actually busted out her full name, which neither of us exactly like in the first place so we usually call her by a shortened version the husband came up with shortly after her birth) Daddy is driving, so that's why I'm getting it for you and you can ask me for it next time."

Tiny reminders of how I'm not mom. How he is always preferred by the girls to me, with good reason, no doubt, but still it stings a bit.

I read an article on CNN about one step-mother's anguish about not having the relationship with her step-daughter that she thought she should. And how Mother's Day is so hard for her. (I'm not linking to said article because I honestly don't like how it was written or what she had to say.)

I don't see it like that. I don't have any expectations when it comes to my relationship with the girls. I just let it be what it is. I don't try and make it something its not; I'm not trying to be their best friend nor am I trying to be their mother. I do try my very hardest to be a good example; a positive female role model. I try to show them there are many ways to look at things and how being different from others is quite alright.

I am happy to have a front row seat to their lives, with a smidge of influence on who they will become.

So Sunday, as my step-daughters are giving their mothers handmade cards and probably little gifts made at school, I'll be quietly thankful I get to be part of their existence.

And that fact alone is enough for me.

Kiddo and I, at an amusement park last Summer.

Little One and I, December 2010

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Speaking of four-eyes here's my highly anticipated $30 internet special spectacles:

They are nerdy as all hell. And I love them. (blame the crapastic quality on the shitty overhead lighting I sit under all day at work.)

The last time I purchased new glasses was 2007. And they cost around $200 out of pocket. So I wasn't expecting these to be all that cute, but I think I lurve them. If you have never worn glasses, getting new ones is similar to getting a new hair do: when its good, you are really happy.

Now I just need a cut and color in the worst way (and an eyebrow wax to boot) and my head will be ready for wedding season 2011.

Work it, girl.

I weighed in yesterday, which was Day 7 of 30 Day Shred for me. I had to skip Monday due to eyeball malfunction and I skipped Saturday because of work and my niece's first birthday party. Even with missing these two days there has definitely been progress. 1.5 pounds lost in seven days. Woo-freaking-hoo!

I'm still on Level One, but I can feel such a difference in my endurance. I am doing the more advanced moves on at least half of the stuff that has beginner modifications and I switched from 3 pound weights to 5. I never even used 3 pound weights before when working out, but I wanted to ease into the 5 pounders because of all the stuff I read about 30 Day Shred making you more sore than you've ever been in your life. To that, all I have to say is, yes I was pretty sore for a couple days, but I don't know if its because I've done a similar workout in the recent past or what, but it wasn't that bad. Or I just think its worth it more? Who knows.

Diet-wise, I have been using the My Fitness Pal App on my iphone to count calories. I try to make good decisions and eat healthy. When we have a busy day and end up getting pizza for dinner, I keep it in check at very least.

I feel great so far, and Jillian Michaels is easy to tune out after you have heard her say the same thing 7 days in a row.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


I've worn glasses since the wee age of 6. My amazing first grade teacher (Mrs. Luksic, I still see her at mass when I make it down to go with my parents) was the one who suggested it to my parents. She noticed I was always active in answering questions during class and acknowledged that I was bright, but my handwriting was awful and I did poorly on handwritten tests. After my very first trip to the eye doctor, it was confirmed: my eyesight was awful. Astigmatism in the right eye to boot. Thanks a million to awesome early childhood educators! I probably would have been held back if I had had a less attentive teacher.

Fast forward to yesterday, I'm 26 and in for a yearly checkup/follow up on an ocular migraine I had in my left eye two weeks ago. (Side note, if you've never had one of these, here is what it was like for me: wavy vision that doesn't go away when you close your eye and mine lasted about 15 minutes then went away. Don't google wavy vision in eyes, results all say Stroke and that is scary business. The doctor says if it lasts longer than 30 minutes, seek medical attention.)

I do the standard eye tests, puff of air to the eye, press this button when you see the lines, "which is better? 1 or 2? Blah blah blah". Then I'm doing the whole "look at my ear while I point this annoyingly bright light in your eye ball" thing where they make you look around in a circle to examine the innards of your eye. Pretty standard stuff. But then he is looking for a really long time, way longer than the norm for me. My eye begins to water for the first time, and it actually hurts a bit too. Something isn't right.

He looks again, and then decides he want to dilate my eyes, to get a better look, then he looks again and then he says he wants me to see a specialist in the near future. He seems a bit nervous. Then he looks one more time (my eye is screaming at me by this time, and it actually hurts quite a lot) and says, he wants me to go today. That's when I start to freak out a bit, on the inside.

He tried to explain what might be happening with my retina, but he had already dilated my eyes and I don't really get it. All I know is I might need emergency surgery. On my eyeball. Fantastic.

So I scoot on over (in the pouring rain, mind you, I think Ohio is trying to be Seattle recently, for some unknown reason) to the specialist, and took a seat in what appears to be Heaven's Waiting Room. No one in there was under age 65. I can do nothing besides people watch through blurry vision, since I'm dilated. Let me tell you, old people are not very entertaining for people watching. I overhear the place is running behind, due to an earlier in the day emergency. I wait what feels like an eternity, literally just sitting there, doing nothing besides thinking about the possibility of having to have eye surgery. I almost go to the restroom to cry a couple times, but I would hate to occupy the one unisex bathroom in the waiting area, with all these old bladders surrounding me. I kept it together, somehow.

An hour and a half later, I'm called back. The medical assistant congratulates me when I can read the second to last line during the vision check, "You are the first patient I've had all day who could do that." Just remember my waiting room buddies though. I'm re-dilated and they put those weird, numbs-your-eyeballs drops in as well. I get really sleepy then, so I sort of wander around the exam room waiting for the doctor, who I'm told is the on-call guy, since the lady my Optometrist referred me to is the lady that is an hour behind. Whatevs, I'm not going to make a big stink about who I see, since I didn't have an appointment.

Once the doctor comes in its more of the "look at my ear while I point this annoyingly bright light in your eye ball" happens, and all I can think is, how does all this bright light an inch from my eye not do any damage? I should ask that sometime I'm not waiting for a possible surgery diagnosis. At this point, I've probably had a total of at least 30 minutes of bright light in my eye for the day. I am Le Tired, but need to know what the fuck is going on in there.

(And it only gets worse, in the bright light department. After my diagnosis, the doctor tells me he wants to take pictures of my eyes. Ever had this done? Talk about torture. Plus I'm pretty sure I had a lady who had never done it before. It felt like it took 25 minutes, on each eye. Then you are blinded for at least 10 minutes after your are done. I didn't complain, because I am not that sort of patient, but it sucked big time.)

I'm told I have retinal stasis (which I've tried googling multiple times and I think I've got the spelling totally wrong because I can't find it) meaning 5 of the 10 layers of my retina have detached. No clue why, and no indication that the remaining 5 layers are going anywhere. I'm told not to worry about this. I did make the doctor tell me the symptoms of retinal detachment, so at least I'll know what is going on if it ever happens. He also tells me I have calcium deposits around my optic nerves, in both eyes. Yay.

But I don't need emergency eyeball surgery. Thank goodness for that.

Ophthalmologist appointment has been made.

Conclusion: my eyes are moderately jacked.

And: I can remain semi-calm during what could be a medical emergency, at least when I'm surrounded by a waiting room full of old people. I think that's a win for me.