New hair. Mom hair?

September 14, 2011

Around the time I was getting married, it was sort of a trend to get a “wife hair cut” soon after getting married. A lot of times it was because girls had been growing their hair out for their weddings for styling purposes and now they wanted a cut. I did get a “wife cut” but not because I had been growing my hair out. It was just ridiculously long and I needed a fresh cut.

Now it seems it’s also something of a trend to get a “mom cut” which I guess is even shorter than the “wife cut”. I’m not sure I was necessarily going for a mom-ish hair style, but I needed something new. My hair is always very blah, in part because I do not have the time or inclination to do very much with it.

Here’s a picture of me (and the wee one!) from this past weekend. Frustratingly, my hair is wavy and if it’s not blow dried, straightened, etc it looks like this:

So I did a Google search and came up with this picture of a style I liked (thank you Nicole Richie). I was nervous because it’s much shorter than my hair usually is. But I talked to my sister and she said YOUSHOULDJUSTDOIT, so I did 🙂

I took the picture to Hair Cuttery. Yes, Hair Cuttery – I am high class. I don’t have a normal hair salon or stylist and haven’t for about a decade. I like just being able to walk in and the one near my house has always done a good job. The stylist was nice and helpful. She did agree with me a little too enthusiastically that I need to dye my hair ASAP. Yes, I know, but I have a 3.5 month old and large blocks of free time are pretty rare these days. Then she tried to sell me on highlights. “They’d look so good on you!!” Yeah, they probably would, but then I’d need to maintain them (and finance them). For now I’ll stick to dying my hair at home, thanks.

So back to the hair cut. Here’s how it turned out!

Not nearly as glamorous as Nicole’s but it’s cute and light and I really like it. We’ll see how it goes styling it on my own. Hopefully it won’t be too bad!

Our Living Room Lay Abandoned…

September 8, 2011

Before we had the basement (and the baby) we spent our evenings and weekends in our living room. It’s where our big TV was, where our game consoles were, and where my computer was. We’d come home from work, eat dinner, and then hang out in the living room watching TV, being on the computer, paying bills, folding laundry, etc until it was time for bed. At the risk of sounding super cheesy – it was the heart of our home.

Now that room is a wasteland. Half of the furniture, including the TV, has been moved out of there. Displaced office furniture and office supplies take up one corner of the room. The now spacious floor is littered with dropped bibs or burp cloths, a changing pad, bags of baby clothes and supplies not yet in use, empty diaper boxes, a car seat, and a printer (yep one of the ol’ fax/scanner/copier ones). This room that was once the center of our home was abandoned 3 months ago, immediately after we brought the baby home. We spend approximately zero time there now.

The plan for this room was for it to become half office, half formal living room. And by “formal” I mean there wouldn’t be a TV in there, there won’t actually be anything “formal” about it. Because we got the basement finished in just the nick of time and our priority was to get that new family room usable, the living room lay abandoned. Unfortunately, it’s the first room you see when you come into our house, so the fact that it’s in such disarray is embarrassing. And it’s increasingly annoying for both Bill and myself. It would really be nice to get it together. And it would be nice to get the office side of the room operational too so that when I need to print something I don’t have to plug my laptop into the printer on the floor.

I’d include a picture, but it’s just too sad. I think I’ll take one and share it later, as a “before” picture once the room is presentable.

I am going to be hosting a party in this room 2 months from now so that’s how long I have to whip it into shape! I like working on a deadline – it’s very motivational. My pregnancy due date definitely kicked our basement project into high gear, but since I don’t plan to have another baby in the next 2 months, this party will have to do for motivation! Now if only I had some free time…

10 Years of Harry Potter

September 7, 2011


(If there’s anyone left out there who doesn’t know the story)

My mom works in the media center at a middle school and she is always up on any new books or series for children or young adults. In the summer of 2001, we were in the Outer Banks for our annual beach trip. My mom gave me a copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and said it was a really popular series and I’d probably like it. I’d heard of Harry Potter, vaguely, but I didn’t really know anything about it. I started reading the book and finished it quickly. I LOVED it. I was delighted by the characters and intrigued by the story. There’s a scene at the end of the book where Harry asks Dumbledore why Voldemort tried to kill him specifically and his parents were just casualties of that attempt. When Dumbledore says he couldn’t tell Harry now but that he’d find out someday, I was HOOKED. I made my mom go out to the store and get a copy of the next book – I couldn’t wait to get home from vacation, I wanted to continue with the story now! I was 21.

I read Chamber of Secrets while we were still in the Outer Banks and when we got home I tore through Prisoner of Azkaban and Goblet of Fire. Prisoner of Azkaban became my favorite. I loved the stories about Harry’s parents’ friends, especially Sirius Black. He is my favorite character in the series. The 5th book wouldn’t be published for another 2 years and during that time, I dove into the Harry Potter fan community online. I kept up to date on all the latest news, I memorized the first 4 books, I preordered my copy of Order of the Phoenix and anxiously awaited its arrival.

I read Order of the Phoenix cover to cover (all 870 pages) in less than a day. I took one break (to sleep) and then sobbed my way through the end of the book the next morning. I was devastated to learn that Sirius, my favorite character, had died. Devastated. Order of the Phoenix now replaced Prisoner of Azkaban as my favorite book, though POA remains a close second. (Five years later, Bill wrote to Gary Oldman – who plays Sirius in the movies – and asked him to autograph a copy of OotP for me, which he did :))

At the end of January 2004, I launched my website: 12 Grimmauld Place. It was up and running for several years though I only maintained it for about a year and a half. I had an interest in web design/development and I used my interest in Harry Potter to teach myself web design. I then included that website in my resume and it helped me get my first job – the same job I have been at now for six and a half years.

I pre-ordered books 6 and 7 and read them cover to cover the instant they arrived at my door. I cried when Dumbledore died and when I turned the last page on the Deathly Hallows. After lending my copy of book 6 to my roommate after I had read it once and dying for her to give it back to me so I could re-read it, I refused to lend out my copy of book 7 🙂

I also aquired all of the audio books. Jim Dale is the narrator and he is fantastic. He does dozens of different voices for all of the different characters and you forget you’re listening to just one man speaking. I have them all on my iPod and I listen to them constantly. I also own the entire set of the books, in both hardback and paperback.

Over the years I saw all of the Harry Potter movies. I was extra critical of them all and by the time the 6th movie came out, I didn’t even go see it. I eventually did see it and I was unimpressed. Most of the movies are fiiiiine, but they aren’t even close to being as good as the books. You don’t really get into the story. You don’t get a good feeling for how complex the story is – how every tiny detail is so carefully thought out. And the characters are different…Ron isn’t as dumb in the books as he’s portrayed in the movies. Hermione isn’t quite as knowledgeable about the wizarding world in the books as she seems to be in the movies. And perhaps my biggest pet peeve was when extra characters were added to the movies and given lines important to the plot. Extra characters? Seriously? There are hundreds of characters in the series, there is no need for random extras. But I digress.

I’m now 31. I saw Deathly Hallows part 1 and I was delighted with how well it was done. In large part, they kept the story and the dialogue the same and in the same order. This past weekend, we went to see Deathly Hallows part 2 in the theater (the first HP movie I’d seen in the theater since Order of the Phoenix). It was wonderfully done. They tied up everything so well by incorporating scenes from previous movies in memory flashbacks and it brought tears to my eyes thinking that this is the end of such a wonderful story. On the way home, I thought about how I read the first book 10 years ago and now I’ve seen the last movie, and what a wonderful decade it’s been with Harry Potter in my life. And now I can’t wait to read the stories to my son.