It was a VERY good weekend.

Happy Monday and Turkey week everyone!  I hope your Thanksgiving plans are coming together and you get to eat lots of yummy things.  Or if you’re one of my non-US readers take some time on Thursday to do something or eat something special so you can join us in the fun and spirit of the season.

How was everyone’s weekend?  Mine turned out to be really good.  Actually, last week was a good week overall, and the weekend was just the icing on the cake.  Last week we had our first snow – nearly an inch an a half!, I got a bunch of things done that needed doing last week, I’ve been talking with some awesome companies about guest posts/collaborations, and it culminated on a celebratory dinner (thai food!) out Friday night because THIS GIRL got a very awesome job offer and I start December 1st!  So all around awesome.

So far this week seems to be looking like it’ll be a good one too. I crossed the T’s and dotted the I’s on the paperwork for the new job this morning, and Sally was bathed just before lunch and is a very happy and clean camper because she got her customary drive-thru hamburger.  (yes I bribe my dog to behave, don’t judge, it totally works!)  John Paul has the week off from classes and teaching (though not homework and grading, the joys of grad school, am I right?), we’re doing a very small Thanksgiving just the two of us and the dog (and skyping family) which I’m really looking forward to.  We’re also going to start pulling out our Advent and Christmas decorations this weekend, and gearing up for the first weekend of holiday festivities.  (Krampus is coming to Bloomington on the 6th!)

More fun posts are planned for this, and the coming weeks, so keep your eyes peeled, and I’ll talk to ya later Internet!

Sisters and Weird Food

So my two youngest sisters Meghan and Mary have launched a youtube channel where they chronicle weird foods that they come across and do a little taste test on camera.  Personally I find it to be hilarious, but then again I’m probably the only one of my sisters who has a “eat first ask questions later” mentality when it comes to food — note, this is how I’ve managed to eat not one, but TWO types of blood sausage unknowingly.  Pro tip: sheep blood tastes MUCH better than chicken.

So far my favorite episode has been the one where they try horned melon:

My reasoning behind loving it?  This look on Mary’s face at one point:

mary ew

It’s like she’ll never find happiness again!

After actually talking with both of them after the horned melon episode I’ve been on the look out for some awesome things to “gift” them for future episodes. ;)  So yes, this is a shameless plug for my sisters, but if you enjoyed the episode above please consider giving them a nod and subscribing.  Ten million brownie points if ya do!


Up In Indiana: The Monks and Sisters of St. Benedict

Hi there internet, long time no post (again…).  So I’m back, no really, I am back this time.  And to get things started off right I’m launching a blog feature that has been in the works for a while now.  If you can’t tell, it’s called “Up in Indiana” which will be a series about our travels and shenanigans.  Also it’s a nod to the Lyle Lovett song of the same title.  Enjoy!

Southern Indiana has to be one of my favorite parts of the Hoosier State that I’ve been to.  There are lots of hills, and intermixed with those typical midwestern towns and farms is Hoosier National Forest.  Absolutely beautiful.  Additionally in the southwestern corner of the state there are two beautiful Benedictine sites: Saint Meinrad Archabbey for the monks back in October and Immaculate Conception Monastery for the sisters last weekend in conjunction with the Christkindlmark.  John Paul and I were really excited to head down to see both as seeing historic and beautiful churches is something that we made a point to do with our travels in and around Germany.  Fun fact – if we’re in a place for more than a couple days we usually have a day of “steeple chasing” and hit up as many churches as we can.  Fun times.  Or does that make us a couple weirdos?  Eh, whatever, we enjoy it :)

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Holy November Batman!

Is it just me or did October speed by like a bullet train?  The month wasn’t too exciting for us, though the area about Bloomington did not disappoint with the fall foliage this year and we managed one small trip to see the Saint Meinrad Archabbey in Southern Indiana (post and pictures coming. promise!!)

Aside from that John Paul has been plugging away at the semester – have I mentioned that the crazy-head is taking THREE dead languages this semester in addition to teaching?  And I’ve been applying to jobs, made a couple runs to Indy for interviews and aside from that I’ve just been trying to get us fully settled into our new space, and haven’t been blogging – baaaad Lizzy. (especially since I haven’t posted so much as a teaser picture from The Grand Fifth Anniversary Adventure!)

So, November.  Oh November, while I’m looking forward to going to the Christkindlmarkt in Ferdinand Indiana and Turkey Day, I have to say, you are most definitely not the prettiest or my favorite month out of the year here.  November brings the cold soaking rains that make all the leaves fall and turn to mulch, and make evening walks wet and uncomfortable.  Then there’s the fog that we’ve had a couple mornings, creating some particularly scary driving conditions – thankfully most of the student population seems be asleep during the worst of it.

In between reading (I’ve been taking full advantage of having an awesome public library again), home stuff, and job applications/interviews I’ve been catching up on a little TV — I recently finished off Private Practice a couple weeks ago (the end on the series was just ok), and very recently I picked up BBC’s Call the Midwife which I am thoroughly enjoying.

Well, that’s it for now.  Like I hinted above, I’m going to get back to a more regular posting schedule, including details about that big trip we took as we exited Europe back in August.  ;)


Fall is Here! So why hasn’t the weather caught up?

I mean seriously?  I REFUSE to drink my annual PSL until the weather cools down.  So Internet it’s been a while… I’ve been lame, I really have! Ugh… let’s just move on.

Our weekend turned out to be more or less productive, and included acquiring the last of furniture we needed on Saturday after we had an awesome time in the morning watching our friend’s adorable 3 month old daughter for a couple hours.  So now we have all the furniture we require — including a new bigger desk for the desktop computer downstairs (which is in the process of being sanded down and stained darker), moved the other desk up to the office.  The futon mattress now has a frame to sit on, so reading (and the occasional nap) can take place in the office.  And finally we finally have chairs to go with our dining table – which are also being sanded and re-stained.  Best part is that we got everything on Saturday for under $60!  Thank you Habitat for Humanity ReStore.  Seriously!

Between this past weekend’s purchases, the bookshelves and the tardis-file cabinet we were able to get what we needed for a lot less than we would have spent if we had bought everything new — like have you ever looked up the cost of a single new dining chair?  We did when we bought the couch (the only item of new furniture we’ve bought!), and holy crap!  We then spent a few weeks hitting up yard sales and antique shops, but either couldn’t find enough chairs in a set (2 to 3 were the most common), a set of 6 that was a good price, OR in good condition.  The chairs we ended up with DO need some TLC, BUT at $2 each I think the TLC is worth it.  Plus they’re really solid little things and I’m going to get the color I want!  Now I just have to remember to pull the last two out of the trunk of my car…

I’m hoping that by Friday we’ll at least have desk finished so I can more or less put things together for a home tour.  I’m really loving how our space is turning out.  Everything wall-wise won’t be up yet, we still need to frame a few things, but it will be more or less completely together, and I’m excited to show it off :)

Aside from adventures in buying furniture, things are still going.  I’m still looking for a job, and JP is still at his grad student stuff.  We’ve been talking about heading down to southern Indiana to see a really cool monastery, but aside from that it’s business as usual.

Snapshot September: Cousins!

This afternoon after my interview in Indy
(cross your fingers and toes for me!)
I got to spend a few awesome hours with these two people:


My cousin Mike was in town for an interview of his
own and his beautiful wife Milena tagged along!

It was great to see them, and since they hopped out to Indiana
we’ll have to look into hopping out to Colorado at some point too :)

Blogger’s Block

 (Found via Pinterest/Image Source)

So you would THINK that with something like Snapshot September it would be a “no duh” kind of month and a “will get back into blogging” kind of month.  Turns out not so much… I’m going to be straight with you guys — I’m in a bit of a funk.  No, let me rephrase that, I’ve delved into a pretty deep funk and am working on climbing out of it, so please be patient with not getting a whole bunch of pictures this month like ya did last year.  I’m going to do my best to do what I can with the last couple weeks of the month, but being motivated to get on a write, let alone do too much else.  Not gonna lie, some of it is wrapped up with a minor depression about being back in the States (Friday marked one month back), and then there’s all the stress that is typically tied with moving into a new place/getting set up/establishing a new routine/searching for a job/other things…  As stated above, everything doesn’t need to be talked about, and I definitely agree in regards to blogging.  Somethings just shouldn’t be online for the world to see.  Or at least I’m not comfortable sharing those types of things.  For family who reads this blog, please realize that we’re OK, nothing huge and life changing has happened, I’m just personally going through a readjustment period — I’m pretty sure that JP would be reacting similarly IF he wasn’t so busy at IU.

On the brighter side of things, the weather in Indiana is finally beginning to feel like Fall — we BOTH sported sweaters today and we had an awesome afternoon thunderstorm.  Over the weekend one of my beautiful cousins on my mom’s side joined the “old marrieds club”, and tomorrow I will get to see some more of my cousins (from my dad’s side).  Also, everything pumpkin is coming out — I made a pumpkin-bacon-beer soup for dinner (good, but needs some tweaks next time), the Chocolate Moose has pumpkin ice cream again, and I’ll be getting my annual Starbuck’s PSL at some point.  It’s Fall, one of my favorite four seasons, and I have an awesome new project launching with my sisters soon.  So, I just need to hold onto the good things and pray about everything worrying me now.

I’m going to go by this other thing I found on Pinterest and press on tomorrow, and hopefully a little of this blogger’s block and a bit of this funk will be lifted.

kushandwizdom | Tumblr(image source)

Night Internet!

Friday Fives: What it’s like being Married to Graduate School

As many of you are aware John Paul and I have been married for five years now.  When you marry someone you get everything about them, you deal with wars over cold toes in bed, their taste in food, their family becomes your family, and if you happen to be married to someone going for a (or several in some cases…) advanced degree you also marry the process that goes into earning a PhD.  This also means that your life is pretty much planned around when semesters start, ends, when spring break is this year, test dates (for both your sweet sweet lover and the undergrads they teach), submittel deadlines, conferences, study/teach abroad opportunities, prelims/comps, dissertation writing, etc.  It can be a LOT to deal with.

So back to that part where we’ve been married for five years — for those who don’t know, JP and I got married the first of August 2009, honeymooned for a week and a halfish, he defended his MA thesis, we moved to Indiana and he started the PhD program and Purdue all within the first three weeks of wedded bliss.  Fast forward to halfway through our time in Hamburg, JP decides that he want’s to move to another more Germanic Studies geared program and applies to IU, and of course he gets in.  And now we’re back at IU after a wonderful year in Berlin.  Needless to say, the last five years have been very very full for us.  All the while I’ve played the part of wife to the graduate student, meaning that I think I’ve figured out a thing or two about how to do it and how not to do it so we’re both more or less happy with life most of the time. So internet, here are five of the things the last five years have taught me:

one// You CAN survive on one small graduate studies salary. When we moved to Indiana I was freshly out of school with my Bachelors in a VERY lucrative field.  Didn’t matter because not only was the economy in the *ahem* crapper, but Indiana was hit pretty hard.  For the first couple months we survived on what savings we had and JP’s humanities stipend from Purdue (and let me tell you, Purdue does NOT fund the humanities very well…). I did end up finally getting a job at Michael’s (which looking back was more stress than it was worth), and given we never knew how many hours I would work from one pay period to the next, we pretty much stuck with the stipend for budgeting.  Were we living in the “lap of luxury”, no, but were we making it every month on less than $1200? yes we were.  We had a roof over our heads, heat in the winter, gas in the car, and we were able to do a few fun things like movies, dinner and going to Indy.  We just had to budget it :)

two// Your spouse WILL be on the grumpier/stressed out side.  This can be for any number of reasons, but the important thing to keep in mind is that you are NOT (99% of the time) the cause of it.  Yes you have stressful things going on in your life, but most of the time the non-academic spouse won’t get an email 90 minutes before a meeting that was only mentioned in passing by a faculty member OR get reminded that they were SUPPOSED to have turned something in that was also mentioned in passing, causing the day (homework, grading, and home obligations) to be completely shaken up.  Seriously, this happened just yesterday, so instead of a nice lunch together and going with me to Hobby Lobby to look for print frames, JP had to write a quiz, pack in doing a translation for one of the dead languages he’s taking this semester, and go to a (pointless – my words) meeting all before class. Oy.

Back when I was new to this whole being-married-to-a-grad-student thing, things like this would bug the hell out of me and I’d get offended by his stress and grumpiness levels, which in turn just made him even more stressed out and grumpy!  Then once I *finally* figured out that I wasn’t making things better I learned to roll with the stress and have become the “zen center” of our lives.  Does this mean that I’m not allowed to be stressed-the-what-out or grumpy either?  No of course not, but I found out that being zen-y and supportive has made his life much better.

three// Do not take them saying “No” or “Later” personally.  Again, this was something that really got to me when we were first married.  Like really got to me, and might have spurred a few major pout sessions and/or fights… yeah… not my proudest moments.  There have been times when there have been things, usually mid-week, though also on weekends, that I’ve really wanted to do, but due to the workload/stress levels just weren’t possible.  I’ve (thankfully) learned that even if he says that something isn’t possible, I’ll usually be surprised later on and we’ll do something awesome.

four// Schedule schedule schedule.  This has a couple of different parts associated with it.  First off, realize that your life will be split into two calendar-wise: the university’s academic calendar and the one that everyone else uses.  This means that you will need to be on TOP of everything.  For this reason we both have planners AND one of those desk pad calendars that hangs on the wall next to our computer.  As long as things get written down somewhere we’re good!

five// Grad School is TEMPORARY. This is a mantra that you’ll not only end up telling yourself this, but this will be something you’ll need to remind your graduate student spouse, because, let’s be honest, there will be times where it will feel like grad school will never end, but like most things it will.  You just gotta keep your chins up until then.

Snapshot September: Hot as Hell?

Today marked the first day that I decided
to put on a sweater!  Granted, it wasn’t THAT cold,
and the high in Bloomington was still 70F/21C,
but garsh durn it, I wore one!

I am SO ready for the fall weather to get here.
Come on Indiana, it’s mid-September already!

However while I was running errands, one
of the banks in town seemed to disagree with me:


Apparently the Old National Bank on the east side
of town thought the weather was more on the hellish side temperature-wise.
(also, I was in line at the light through two cycles and this reading KEPT popping up!)