Summer projects

Though it will no longer be the case by the time I get around to actually posting this: I’m writing this on a plane. I decided to get a leg up on my blogging for the week since I’ve already exhausted all of my “airplane mode” phone options including beating 5 levels of Candy Crush and going through my entire camera roll to delete unflattering photos.

I’m currently flying back to Indiana from New Jersey. I’ve never been to New Jersey until today. We flew into Newark this morning and made the 2-minute drive to a nearby Marriott for our meetings. Then we hopped right back in the van to go right back to the airport.

I’ve officially seen enough of New Jersey.

Charlotte, North Carolina is on deck for tomorrow (Wednesday).

Traveling for work is super fun for me. It can be tiring, yes, but I really enjoy the experience of being in new places and learning about areas of the company I probably wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to see. I've feel really lucky. 

It’s just really unfortunate that I can’t be cool about it.

All of my coworkers have been cool as cucumbers when it comes to waking up early to board a plane and fly off to another state for the day. They’re sitting quietly, compiling notes and preparing for the next set of meetings. They’re used to these travels. They're pros. 

But me? I’m staring out the airplane window thinking, “I’m closer to the sun than Clayton right now.”

I’m so ready for the long weekend. Partially because I love summer weekends and mostly because last weekend didn’t feel like a relaxing weekend at all.

Clayton and I spent the majority of last weekend cleaning out our garage which I know sounds super sexy and fun, but was actually quite labor intensive and annoying. We had to complete the chore in small increments over two days because we had other obligations and commitments.

And to honest, I’m embarrassed by how messy and cluttered our garage was! I’m a huge fan of “before and after” pics, but the state of our garage in the “before” picture was so horrendous, I was worried my mom would disown me if she saw it. She raised me tidier than that.

I don’t know how you all deal with your garage spaces, but we never really thought of our garage as anything more than a dumping ground for rusted tools and old shoes. And I think at one point we must have been offering it up as a bed and breakfast to bugs because the number of dead spiders I found in there was alarming.

I blame the clutter on having too much stuff. Our house isn’t exactly a mansion and when it comes to storage space, “Just put it in the garage!” was always the easiest answer. As we went through boxes of stuff I found 2 paintings, an antique lamp, and like 50 vases I never knew I had.

We even had our old mattress pushed up against one wall because after replacing it a few months ago (tax return! Holla!), we couldn’t get anyone to come pick it up. We scheduled a pick-up time with a local charity organization TWICE and they failed to show up both times. I was tired of my neighbors thinking that we thought it was okay to have a mattress laying in our yard, so we dragged it into the garage until we could figure out what to do with it. (We ultimately bungeed it to the top of a van that resulted in the mattress flying into the road and then I accidentally bungeeing the mattress to the door and had to get back into the van Dukes of Hazzard-style.)

Needless to say, we ended up with a huge haul for Goodwill. I didn’t even bother to keep any of it. We’ve lived in our house for almost three years and if I didn’t need over the past three years, I definitely don’t need it now. (Though I still can’t find the set of soup crocks I bought at the flea market several years ago and I want to SCREAM.)

Once the garage was finally empty, we swept it out and borrowed my in-law’s power washer to blast oil and other mysterious stains off the concrete floor. (And while we had the washer, we thought it would be worthwhile to spray down the outside of our house, which more or less resulted in Clayton and I blasting each other’s butts with the sprayer.) 

But we now have a happy, clean garage that has much more room for activities. I don’t even think it was this empty when we moved in! I can finally get out of the passenger side of my car without getting pinned to a wall!

Next on our summer honey-do list: Repaint our kitchen. I’m taking tomorrow afternoon off to paint because this is how adults spend their free time. Now, you may be wondering why we need to repaint our kitchen after painting it only a few years ago. That’s a perfectly valid question and one that I am more than happy to answer: Don’t buy paint from Wal-Mart. Just don’t. I've advocated for this before. If the paint is $12 a gallon, it will go on your wall like it’s worth $12 a gallon. Any sauce or oil that gets flung onto it will then become part of the wall and if you dare try to wipe it off, you will instantly wipe off a coat of paint and expose the disgusting school-bus-yellow color the old homeowners originally selected because I’m pretty sure one or both of them was colorblind.

Enjoy your 4th of July weekend! Be safe and please don't be jerks and launch bottle rockets in your neighborhood all night. It terrifies dogs.