Monday, August 31, 2009

The Hard & Cold Truth...I wish the scale was wrong

OK folks. Now I know that I promised you that I would post this number and I am not one to go back on my word. But let me tell you something- I almost choked when I saw it. Things to note:

1. I was exactly 200 lbs when I went into labor for both of my kids. Nice, neat numbers.

2. I had only gained 15 lbs with Olivia, but 27 with Jackson (coincidentally, Jackson was 3 oz. and 3 inches smaller than Olivia. Obviously, the extra weight went to my ass)

But before I show you "The Number", I am going to post a pic of me, taken today, so you can see where the weight is:
um, side note? this shirt is Awesome. I love it. I love the colors and how freaking comfortable it is. I feel practically naked it's all swingy and cute. :)

OK, folks- now here it is. Try not to snicker like, out loud:


I'm not kidding. If my camera wasn't being an absolute bitch right now I'd actually post a picture. But since it is, that's what it is. My goal- lose 15 pounds. Yes- 15. I can do that. And you know what? I'd like to lose the double chin that somehow managed to hang onto my face. So gross.

So your job is to basically keep me going and keep reminding me to post the new weight figures...even if it goes up. Because yesterday I was 183.2 so yah- not such a fab start.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dear Jennifer/Blog Contest

I got your box today.

um- yeah, you used a LOT of tape. :) Thank god I have a 4 and 16 month old to help me. Except then Jackson (the 16 month old) got it stuck on his face, and so his sister, (the 4 year old) ever so helpful ripped it off, and crying/screaming ensued. Then he pushed her and pulled her hair. I don't know what really happened next because I was too busy looking inside of the box. :)

Holy Shit!!! 5 Books?! You are a ROCKSTAR and my new favorite person.

Now some of you are probably wondering who the fuck is Jen and why are you getting books? Free ones? In a box with a lot of tape on it? Which turned you into a horrible mother for about 10 minutes while drooling over the new books?

um, yeah- I'm cool enough to get a handwritten note. No need to bow down- but yah- admire it. Be all jealous. And Jen?? LOVE your handwriting!

Well Jennifer works in an New York.. doesn't William Morrow & Harper Collins Publishing mean anything to you? No? Well then you are a freaking loser and you should just school yourself. But if you do, you are awesome (not as much as me right now) and you should just be jealous. I was actually contacted via email by Jennifer because of this post about a fantastic book that I still believe EVERYONE needs to read because it is that good. I promise. Anyways, so she found my blog (which really? Is bizarre and random, but awesome) and it totally made my day. OK, let's just be honest here- made my last two months. She gave me some really cool starting points since I'm writing my first book which is going to be a memoir about my 30/30 list and my slow but scary progression towards aging.

And for those who say, "Hey Sara, um, yeah? Your list isn't finished"- I say be patient bitch. I'm working on it. I've got 3 more spots to fill on my handwritten list which WILL BE DONE AND POSTED THIS WEEKEND. But if you have any really fun/scary activities that you think would be fun to watch me do and document- leave me a comment, I just might add it. (And let me just state right now, that something like "streaking down the street" is not going to happen. Because really? NOBODY wants to see that happen. Not even my husband I'm sure)

So anyways- Because she found my blog, loved/appreciated my review I got some really cool bonus books for which I am THRILLED about. And no, I'm not giving out her name or email address. Or anyway to contact her. I am going to be completely freaking selfish. :)


OK, so you all are really here for the contest, aren't you?? Well luckily I'm a giver (see, I can be something other than a bitch..really I can) so I decided that I can't rightfully hoard everything. So if you want to win one of these books- you must do the following:

1. Post a Comment

2. Become a follower (if you aren't already)

3. Post a link on your blog back to mine about the contest

I will randomly pick a winner on September 15 (because I'll probably get most of them done by then).

And thank you Jennifer for being awesome at your job, actually responding to my emails which probably made you question my sanity, and for literally making my July & August. You are awesome!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Dear Lenny

Dear Lenny,

Yes, mom?

I would really appreciate it if you could just stop licking yourself all of the time. Your fur is always so clean and soft but I don't think that it requires you to lick for 40-60 minutes in one sitting. Doesn't your tongue get tired? Don't you cramp up from holding this pose?
Do I look sexy?
I get the dedication that it takes but let's be real here. The slurping noises you make while intensely licking? Prety fucking disgusting. I shouldn't have to move myself because you can't stop licking. Is this a form of masturbation for cats? Because the fact that you resorted to this is your own fault. I found a female cat ready and willing and instead of doing the cat thing and going at it, you shit yourself and hid under a bed. Nice. Instead, you prefer knitted blankets and licking yourself. You are weird. I love you, but you are weird.
And to be honest with you, I'm beginning to suspect all of your licking is what is causing the random puke piles you produce. That and eating 1/3 pound of raw hamburger while it's cooking probably isn't good either. I don't know why you do these things but let me tell you- momma is at her wit's end. Yesterday really was a banner day for puke- four piles. And for whatever reason, you chose to puke AFTER I cleaned the floor. Why? Why must you do these things? Do you enjoy watching mom gag while I clean it? Do you get off on that? Because I don't think it's cute OR funny. Shape up buster.
Love, Momma

Friday, August 21, 2009

TPE & Get Sketchy Challenges

Once again, I'm in a rush but figured I had time to do one project- so in order to get two challenges done quickly (under 5 minutes, natch!) so I can get to bed and hopefully get rid of the headache I've had for 4 days... I combined the challenge requests this week. AND, because I'm so awesome I decided not to do a card like I always do, but a layout. Since hello- I'm incredibly behind. You may see more of this in the future...

I'm super excited that I not only used a crap load of letter stickers, but I'm using my incredibly ridiculous stash of brads. It's really a damn shame and you'd think the people at Michaels would stop selling me these things since hello? I never get around to using them. Go me.

Monday, August 17, 2009

5K Training- Day One

So eventually I will get my fat lazy ass around to posting my 30/30 list, but one of the items on there is to run/walk/drag myself/hitch a ride on someone else across the line of a 5K. Now, my runner neighbor Amy tells me this is easy and totally doable. Those who actually know me really well (and by that I mean those who know the non-athletic ability that I have) actually laugh so hard they are on the verge of peeing their pants upon hearing this.

I try not to be offended. It's ok- I'm sure the rest of you want to get a chuckle in. I'll stand and take it. Just this once.

And I happen to read a blog (one of my absolute favorites) where Finny likes to run. OK- so she might not like to run- but she's a mother fucking pro marathoner compared to me. The fact she considers a 10 mile "shortish long"....REDONKULOUS. I think running a full city block is really- big news for me. I emailed her last week to tell her about my progress. Which was running 2 blocks (non consecutive...have to walk off the horrible cramping...) but that was only happening because I was being chased by a dog who I'm sure mistakening thought my bouncing ass was a large ball. I can't say I blame him, I also think "Holy shit- why is there a ball on my ass?!" when I walk past mirrors. Happens all the time. But being bitten by a dog is a GREAT incentive, unfortunately everyone had their dogs on leashes today.

So today I set out to at least do some speed walking, which means walking as fast as I can without dying. I did it. I walked 16 blocks and felt like my legs were going to fall off. AND, of those 16 blocks, THREE were me running.

(Side Note: Dear residents of 55th block of Oakes, 53rd block of Banks, and 59th block of Banks- I apologize for obscene jiggling you had to watch. And I'm sorry about the singing- next time I'll try not to sing "40 oz. to Freedom" (great sublime song btw) quite as loud. BUT, for those living on 59th and Banks- you heard "All Apologies" and frankly- that was probably more appropriate. Nonetheless- you should be thankful it was only my ass and thighs swinging every where. I found a bra that holds the girls in. I will continue to wear that even though it cuts off circulation to my armpits. Because I'm a giver like that. Cheers!-Sara Strand)

Anyways... So Finny if I lived closer to you (I'm in WI 'yo) I would personally deliver you a monster box or artichokes and some wine. Since I obviously don't *do* veggies or drinks... you could totally have double. Again, I'm a giver like that. Why? Because your posts make me think I could actually run for more than a few blocks. And not totally die. BUT, just in case (and really- it's totally normal and practical) I'm going to get a will in place. You know- because I could totally die while running. I'm sure it's very common. Thank god I don't smoke.

OH- and let's just give me an EXTRA kudos...I started my exercising in the rain, bitches. With no umbrella...because I don't own one, but that is so not the point. I am sure my neighbors thought I was drunk or totally delusional, but fuck them. I'm getting fit. So this weekend...I'm buying a scale....and I am going to take a picture (of me on the scale AND the number). Why? Pretty much in the hopes that thousands of you out there tell me I'm such a fat ass and the sheer humilation makes me actually exercise. Aw yeah. OK- off to take a shower since Lenny (the cat) is making it very clear he wants no cuddles until I shower. Will do.

Friday, August 14, 2009

3 Challenges DONE in 15 minutes. :)

Oh- I am on a mother fucking ROLL tonight lambs! I just finished 3 challenges in 15 minutes. They may not be my best work, but you know what? I like them, I have plans to use them (they are all going in the mail tomorrow to some adoring audience members). On Sunday (barring my crops don't need to be harvested) I am going to be posting a new item into Etsy which I will debut here of course.
For those who are visiting my blog for the first time- please keep reading. The good posts follow this one. I promise. :)

Must use: old paper, eyelets, old stamp, AND a non-scrappy item. Phew! So I used some old Chatterbox paper, one eyelet, an old stamp (a virgin one, too!!), and my non-scrappy item are pearls from a handle of a giftbag. Talk about random.

This challenge blog is doing it's virgin run, so I figured I would participate. Thanks Ann for introducing this one. It obviously had a sketch involved- but here is my result:
and finally, but certainly not the least- The Pink Elephant had a color challenge using brown/turquoise/neutral. This meant I got to drag out the scraps of SEI's Grandma's Kitchen paper that I covet and absolutely love. I'm down to two more pieces of 3x3 squares. AHH!!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

This is what happens when FarmTown takes over your life

Hi, my name is Sara and I'm a FarmTown Addict. I should also mention that I give in to peer pressure easily, which is why I'm a FarmTown Addict. (Greg- sole responsibility for this is on you. FYI). In case you live under a rock and don't know the fabulousness and stupidity that is FarmTown, consider yourself lucky. FarmTown is an application on FaceBook (find me "Sara Koceja Strand") in which you plant and harvest crops. Stupid, huh? Yah, well when you start raking in the dough and you expand your farm- it takes over your life. Suddenly, I can't do anything without checking my crops. GOD FOR FUCKING BID my crops "go to waste". That has happened once to my 3 fields of grapes and I was kicking myself for days. It will never happen again. I will alter my sleep schedule, ignore breaks at work all so I can harvest and/or plant.

Which is how this little "situation" happened. This was like two weekends ago now, Saturday night, and I'm home harvesting my crops because I'm a badass mo' fo' like that. I hear Matt dicking around in the back porch which is literally is big piece of shit and I get angry just being out there. It's a useless sack what with the door not really shutting, the single pane glass window (original to the 100+ y.o. house yall- this bitch is "vintage") and the closets that some idiot "handmade". OH- let's not forget the purple paint and the newspaper shoved into a hole in the wall which was then painted over. LIKE WE WOULDN'T NOTICE THAT.

Anyways- so he's banging away and installing the new door that someone generously gave to us. We've had that thing in the garage for a few weeks and he's just now doing it. So I'm thinking, "Jesus H. Christ- it takes a long time to put on a door." I'm harvesting- he's banging. About 4 hours later, after discovering I can make even MORE money buy working on other people's farm (to which I did for 4 hours. Again, I'm the coolest bitch you'll ever know), I decide to inspect his work because we all know husbands work MUCH better under intense micromanagement and "what the fuck are you doing" accusations. At least mine does. You should try it- work HAPPENS.

So I go out to the porch and immediately, I'm like, "What the fuck????". Matt is obviously nowhere to be seen. Nope- no new door just massive destruction. The ugly peel and stick tile is gone, so the floor is sticky, and an entire wall was ripped down to the studs. For no reason other than he felt like it. Need proof??

No more tile...just sticky floor
This is where the newspaper was. It's now gone, but you'll notice our new peep hole. I can stick my hand through the hole to shake people's hands BEFORE the come in. Nice.

Really, who needs a wall?

Look! Another peep hole. Wow- people could probably get a decent hand job through this one.

THEN, after witnessing the unconceivable destruction of my back porch with no plans or money to renovate it, I decide to go back to FarmTown. But then.... holy shit lambs!!! There are two massive piles of cake puke in the middle of my living room. At some point my cat decided to throw up a lot of stuff, and Matt made an attempt to clean it. You'll notice this attempt is code for "We just sprinkle some stuff on top, leave the jug there, and hope the puke fairies come to finish it up." Yah, guess what? I left it for him. I don't do puke. Not cat or kid puke. Neither. I'd hire out if I were alone. I've actually been known to call Matt at work to handle a puke situation.

And then here comes the mother fucking culprit trying to be all cute. Fuck you, Lenny. WHY must you eat everything??? There is not enough carpet cleaner in the world to keep up with you. YOU are the reason I can't have new carpet. Your puke is so toxic it bleaches the damn color out of everything. Are you some kind of freak??? I'm already spending $25 every two weeks on your prescription food. He apparently has allergies therefore we have to feed him special kibbles that smell puke ironically. This has led, I believe, to Lenny becoming bulimic. He binges and obviously purges. Frequently.
(Side Note: Is it just me or does it look like Lenny is bracing for a beating? I would never do that, but let me assure you- no cuddles for HIM that night. No sir. That punk had to sleep on the floor of my room. That's right- the floor with no carpet. Also- I totally dig the fact his front paws have thumbs. Creepy, but cute)

So in the end, my back porch is tore up and will be forever at this rate. The new back door is in which looks like shit since it's painted hunter green and it obviously clashes with the purple walls. Lenny still pukes, but at least he has the decency to not flaunt it in front of me now. And Matt did clean up the puke. After I "gently" reminded him after he got all settled and was almost asleep. That was strategic, believe me.

Book Review: IF I STAY by Gayle Forman

Man, you people are going to think I only read. But, I assure you my kids are still alive and well, my cats are being fed, and my husband is around. I think. But anyways- on with the review!

I started this book at 9 pm last night, just thinking I can get in a few pages before bed. Nope- finished the entire thing in just under two hours. FANTASTIC.


The book is about Mia, who is 17 years old and is faced with really, an unspeakable tragedy and then an even more difficult decision. In the front of the book Mia and her family are in a horrendous car accident and Mia must decide whether to die or to fight and continue to live. The entire book is about choices- and how they can affect the rest of your life and others as well. I recommend this book to EVERYONE. I am a firm believer that you, whether you know it or not, make the decision whether you will die or not. I don't believe that you just die. You may do it subconsciously, but I believe you make the decision to die when it's time for you. Granted, others may think you died too soon, or held on too long, but at the end of the day- that's your path and I think you know your path and in the end, you follow it. What is more amazing about this book is the way it's written. One section you are with Mia and she's watching loved ones talk to her and watch the medical staff intervene with things go wrong, and then the next section you are walking down memory lane with her.

The most powerful part of the book, for me, was when Mia's grandfather tells her that it's ok to die. She'd be missed, but if she wanted to go he'd understand. BUT, if she wanted to stay that they are waiting and rooting for her. OK- ball like a baby!! But it was a great book and I think it's enlightening for anyone who's held vigil next to someone dying, I believe that it gives comfort to you. I see my Uncle David's death in a different way and although I know he heard our prayers and messages to him, this book kind of reaffirmed it for me. :) Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Book Review: SECOND HAND by Michael Zadoorian

Hey everyone- time for yet another book review. Sorry I've been such a slacker in the reading department. I've been reading but so far I haven't had anything really worth reviewing. All kind of blah. But THANK YOU Michael Zadoorian for writing yet another terrific book, I must say- I hope you continue to write for a very long time because I am in love with your writing. A few weeks ago I reviewed his other book, The Leisure Seeker, and it was fabulous. So here's the other book (his first, actually):


Basically, the jist of the story is about Richard, who is a self proclaimed "junker" and he owns a thrift/junk store in Detroit, MI. He's not really a loner, but is fairly unlucky in love, and has a strained relationship with his family. At the very beginning of the book his mother dies which sends him into somewhat of a spiral into depression, but at the same time, he meets a woman named Theresa who is a perfect match for him. Well, aside from the fact she has serious depression issues among other things. But you root for Richard and Theresa together and separately because you like them. The great thing about Michael's writing? It's like you are having a conversation with an old friend- the characters are speaking to you and it really is like talking to a good friend on the phone. Throughout the book you hear his theories on life and junk, and how both are really just the same. Here's a part of the book to give you a taste:
"Think of all the things we touch every day, the million tiny linchpins that hold our lives together-the coffee mugs, the tie clasps, the alarm clocks, the sunglasses, the key fobs, the beanbag ashtrays. What if they absorbed some scintilla of you, as if the oil from your fingers carried the essence of your soul? Then think of all the stuff you've ever owned, that's ever passed through your hands, where it all might be right now. Think of the million other lives you've touched through those things that you've owned, that carry the essence of you. Amazing, huh?
Oh shit. You're right. Most of t is probably in a landfill in New Jersey. But I do think that when you own something that once belonged to someone else, it's like some secret contact with them, with their past. A way to touch people without having things get all messy and emotional.
That's what secondhand is. But then there are always people who worry about whether those hands were properly washed."
Anyways. I highly recommend this book. And I will tell you that as soon as I finished reading it, I had this unexplainable urge to hit up some thrift stores. Of course, I'm broke (as usual) so that's on hold until this weekend. But then? It is ON. I look at junk in a whole new light. Oh! But I did find a free dresser that needs on a little touch up free on the side of the road. I totally had Matt pick it up. :) I swear to you- it was a sign. Thank you, Michael, for being such an amazing writer.