Breaking the Rules

It’s time to confess…we’re breaking the rules.  We had this plan in August to cut back on drinking.  Remember?  Well, it hasn’t gone quite as planned.  While we could be disappointed that we didn’t stick to our plan exactly as expected, habits certainly have changed in our household.  Baby steps…

Our most recent offense was just last night.  It was a good week for it.  Sean’s been busier at work so those wheels have been turning all over the place, and then there’s my job, which, well…  Yeah.  After a brief stint at Sean’s firm’s happy hour, we had dinner together close to his office.  We’ve sort of made friends with the bartenders at this particular restaurant, which is fun.  (And that’s because we eat dinner at the bar, for the record.)

photo 1

And the real point of my confession is to reveal that I’ve developed a taste for bourbon and whiskey!  Sean can drink bourbon and whiskey on their own.  Neat, splash of water, on the rocks, dash of club soda, he can do all of that.  I’m still in the Old Fashioned or in need of some other mixer in order to fully enjoy phase.  But I’m glad to discover that I like it.  Whiskey is a big deal in my family.  I come from a long line of card carrying Jack Daniels drinkers.  (I mean that seriously, they actually carry Squire cards.  Sean’s been Squired and keeps his right behind his driver’s license.)  Equally important, I’ve been searching for years for a good fall/winter cocktail.  Gin or vodka tonics are my drink of choice, but they’re too fruity and refreshing for colder months.  photo 2

This Old Fashioned is with rye which helps balance out some of the sweetness of an Old Fashioned.  Thanks to our bartender friends for that tip.

I’m not sure I’m Squire material yet.  But, I’m hoping I make those card carrying Jack Daniels drinkers proud with my new discovery.  (I’m looking at you, Dad!)

Hope you find the perfect way to keep yourself warm and cozy this weekend.  Cheers!

A look back at 10 years ago…


Last week I got an email from Sigma Kappa in celebration of my 10 year anniversary as a member.  Somewhere in the back of my mind I knew this anniversary was coming up, but it was fun to have the official reminder.  Ladies in my new member class posted the anniversary image/email to social media with comments along the lines of “thanks for the reminder I’m old.”  Although I’ve had my “I’m old and my teeth are rotting straight out of my mouth” moments here, this was not my reaction at all.  I thought it was a fun opportunity to reflect.  Sometimes 10 years doesn’t seem like that much time, but when I try to imagine 20-year-old Sarah she’s very much a stranger.  I remember her and that phase and loved it all, but wow she was so different.  With two years away from graduating college, single, and in a VERY flexible, “what are you going to do with that?” major, there were so many directions in which she could go.  Her possibilities endless.  Don’t misunderstand.  I don’t feel trapped with limited options now.  I don’t want to change places with her for a second, but she’s got my attention with this anniversary reminder.  The fall of 2003 was such a life changing period for me, and everything happening then seemed like the most important thing ever and the feelings of it all were so intense at the time.  And 10 years from now I will feel the exact same way about 30-year-old Sarah and be intrigued by her and her intense feelings and, fingers crossed, not want to trade places.

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to fill out a little survey so we could all enjoy 20-year-old Sarah together (who is very long-winded, so bare with her)…(and keep scrolling because husband joined in on the fun too!)

10 Years Ago…
(Sarah’s Answers)

  1. Were there any major milestones?  I transferred from Salisbury University to the University of Maryland.  I changed my major from Interpersonal Communications with a minor in US History to a major in American Studies (Maryland doesn’t have minors).  I joined Sigma Kappa Sorority, something I never thought I would do.  All of these were the best decisions of my life up to that point.
  2. Where did you live?  College Park, MD in a teeny, tiny house.  I had just transferred to the University of Maryland and couldn’t live in a dorm.
  3. Who did you live with? There were six of us in the house.  Megan and Stephanie were on the first floor with me.  Corey, Eric, and Ryan were in the basement.  (I’m so impressed I remember their names!)
  4. What car did you drive?  A silver Volkswagen Beetle!  I loved that car.  I don’t remember the year but it was the newer model, not a model from the ‘60s.
  5. Who was your best friend?  Angie and Ashley, who I’m still friends with today!
  6. Were you in a relationship?  No.  Maybe a few crushes and a few awkward, forced dates to Sigma Kappa events thanks to my sisters, but nothing that went anywhere.
  7. How did you spend most of your time? Although Sigma Kappa didn’t haze at all, being a new member was really time consuming!  I spend lots of time there.  I could also be found studying/writing papers.  When I transferred I became an American Studies major, which wasn’t a great fit for me and I spent a lot of time on school work so I wouldn’t fail (and I didn’t!). I also went to the occasional party.
  8. Were you involved in any activities? At Maryland, Sigma Kappa only.  I had a radio show at Salisbury before I transferred.
  9. What were your favorite TV shows?  Embarrassingly, I LOVED that show The Simple Life with Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie!  I watched Queer Eye for the Straight Guy from time to time and That 70’s Show.
  10. What were you favorite bands or songs?  CRAZY IN LOVE!!  Still my most favorite wedding song to this day!  Oh, Beyoncé.  But, this was such a weird year for me in terms of music.  My radio show was dedicated to alternative, Indie, 80’s, and classic rock.  After joining Sigma Kappa all of a sudden I understood why people liked pop (it’s so catchy!), and I felt like a traitor to my hippie high school boyfriend even though we didn’t keep in touch.  So, I was still trying to hang on to my love of The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, John Mayer, White Stripes, Coldplay, and Interpol were still carryover favorites.  But was also totally into Outkast “Hey Ya!”, Black Eyed Peas (although they were just starting to make their transition from Indie-ish into pop at the time), and 50 Cent…I think.
  11. Did you have a job? At Salisbury I worked in the library, I was a customer service representative at a local bank in Hagerstown during breaks, and I worked in the Communications Office at Maryland reviewing articles about professors.
  12. What was your favorite restaurant? Chipotle and Noodles.  Cheesecake Factory was a real treat.
  13. What was your favorite piece of clothing/outfit? I showed up to a sorority recruitment event with a handmade jean skirt (the kind where you cut the bottom leg of the jean off and insert it between the two pieces at the top of the leg).  The fact that Sigma Kappa did not turn me away on the spot is proof it was the place for me.  I believe I wore a lot of black during this period of time, and during Parents’ Weekend my mom was like, “alright that’s it, we’re buying you something purple!” and I ended up with a purple turtle neck from Old Navy.  I also had to have an emergency shopping trip to find something “going out” appropriate and it was an incredibly awkward experience.  While awkward, I am as put together as I am today because of Sigma Kappa (with some credit going to my dad too).
  14. What did your hair look like? Short, short!  Cut to about my ears and I spiked it out in the back. I loved it at the time, but I’m not sure it was my best hair moment.  I started to grow it out fall semester.
  15. What were your future goals?  I wanted to be a museum curator and planned to get a Master’s in Library Science right after undergrad.

I also thought it would be fun to hear a little about 23-year-old Sean.  And what a good sport he agreed to answer my questions!!  (He’s very concise, as you would expect.)

10 Years ago…
(Sean’s Answers)

  1. How old were you?  I was 23.
  2. Where did you live?  I lived in Dupont Circle in Washington, DC, in a studio apartment.
  3. What car did you drive?  A 2003 Acrua RSX Type-S.  To this day probably my favorite car I’ve ever owned.
  4. Who was your best friend?  I’m not sure there really was anyone I would have classified as a best friend that year.  I was waiting for Favorite.
  5. How did you spend most of your time?  As I recall I was playing a lot of online poker at the time, as well as working full time as a paralegal.
  6. Involved in any specific activities?  Aside from work and poker, I studied for the LSAT starting in July of that year through November I think.  About 4 hours 4 or 5 days a week.  I ended up taking every practice LSAT ever published by LSAC.
  7. What were your favorite TV shows?  Wow.  If Alias was on back then, that was probably it.  Otherwise I have no clue.
  8. What were you favorite bands or songs?  I can’t remember, unfortunately.  Similar to Sarah, I distinctly remember Crazy in Love that year, and have a memory of listening to it playing poker.
  9. Did you have a job?  I was a paralegal.
  10. What was your favorite restaurant?  Chipotle.
  11. What was your favorite piece of clothing/outfit?  Absolutely no idea.  I’m sure I owned nothing but khaki pants and ill-fitting dress shirts.
  12. What did your hair look like?  I think it was spiked up in the front.
  13. What were your future goals?  Make it through 1-2 years of being a paralegal and go to law school.

Remember when I contemplated that I may not have appreciated Sean had I not met him before some eh experiences in my 20’s.  Maybe I’m biased (and perhaps still swooning over answer #4), but I want to take that back after reading this.  I mean c’mon he remembers Crazy in Love too!!  Don’t you just want to meet 23-year-old Sean with spiked hair, playing online poker, and making his law school dreams come true?  Oh, I love him!

Inching Along

This month marks six months at my current job.  For better or for worse.  I’ve read it’s not a good idea to write about work on your blog, so we’ll keep it at that.  Sean and I live in Arlington and my office is in DC.  While I was excited to take the job, I was very, very nervous about commuting into the city.  One way streets!  Traffic circles!  People who know what they’re doing when I don’t!  Why are my GPS and iPhone giving me two different routes?!  Gah!  Two companies ago I worked in the city, but I took the metro and that’s a horse of a very different color.  My first day of work was April 1, which turned out to be Easter Monday this year.  Sean told me I really should drive all the way into work that first day because traffic would be lighter than usual.  A good day to get my feet wet.  I almost didn’t do it.  I almost drove to a parking lot close to a metro to metro into work.  I wouldn’t tell Sean and I would figure out how to drive into the city later.  Surprising even myself that day, I ended up driving all the way in.

Sean’s worked in the city for almost seven years now and has commuted from Arlington to DC for maybe five (…maybe four?).  He has forever grumbled about tourists and his commute (together and separately because tourists definitely impact commutes).  Grumble, grumble…buses and tourists block traffic…grumble, grumble…can’t use metro escalators properly…grumble, grumble…so much bridge construction…grumble, grumble…40 minutes to go 7 miles…grumble, grumble!  I never understood this.  We’re so lucky to live so close to DC.  Decisions made here resonate throughout the country (another for better or for worse scenario)!  It’s a privilege!  And free museums and monuments make for an excellent field trip or vacation!  We can’t deny the experience to the children.  And for the love just leave for work earlier!

Six months in, I’m an old pro at my commute.  Not scary at all anymore.  I try so hard not to grumble about tourists and commutes myself.  Their buses block one of two lanes I need to get out of DC and into Virginia.  It really IS annoying when people stand on the walk side of the metro escalators.  I hate when people honk at me when I make a move they know they would make if they were in my position.  I leave very early for work so I don’t feel rushed and late, but it’s still tough when there are so many cars and we inch along the highway and then inch along the Memorial Bridge past the Lincoln Memorial.

Lincoln Memorial

But this week our government reopened and government employees went back to work!  After 16 long, embarrassing days of shutdown.  I never should have experienced a commute without those government workers.  This week and beyond I will not grumble about the increased number of cars on the road or any tourist buses blocking my lanes because they should have been right there with me the whole damn time.  Welcome back.  I’m so happy to be inching along with you again.

Taco Time!

When Sean and I were first dating we’d often have mid week date nights.  They were the best.  It was that beautiful time in a new relationship when it seemed impossible to spend enough time with the other person.  Usually we’d go out.  In the middle of the day yesterday I got an excited feeling as though we were planning a mid week date night.  We weren’t.  Our plans were to make tacos and watch Jeopardy.  Pretty standard.  But I sent an email to Sean telling him I was so excited.  He concurred and gave it a new name, Taco Time.  Maybe it was because I had obligations on Monday and Tuesday nights so didn’t get to spend them with Sean or maybe it was because we were supposed to have tacos on Sunday but didn’t because we just weren’t hungry enough.  Whatever the reason, although it wasn’t anything fancy last night’s couch date was pretty fantastic.


The answer to final Jeopardy was The Godfather (which I knew but Sean didn’t which feels like a victory because he is way better at Jeopardy than me and he totally rocked it last night), which inspired us to watch the movie.  Or at least start it.  It’s a very long movie.  Do you know that Al Pacino was 32 when that movie was made and Diane Keaton 26!  I knew they looked young but it’s weird to think of them as my age or younger.  And that Marlon Brando.  He’s my celebrity crush (in addition to Michael Cera…I guess I have quite the range).

So even though it was a normal Wednesday night, it felt special and we were happy.  It’s easy to write about the bigger events here, but it’s fun to also remember the ordinary days that were wonderful and felt special for not particular reason.


I just love those Story People.

Brown paper packages tied up with strings

These are a few of my favorite thingssssss:

This man with his half smile in his Mr. apron.


When my office’s cafeteria serves tomato soup at lunch.

tomato soup

Our monogrammed silver.

August 3 Weekend 004

Colored jeans and animal print flats (seperate or together).

mint and animal

Flowers in vases.


High fives.


Quotes of the day.

quote of the day

Traveling to see family!  We’re Kansas City bound to spend time with Sean’s family this weekend.  Hope you get to enjoy a few of your favorite things over the long weekend!

My Teeth, My Teeth

Remember when I turned 30 and I proclaimed that I felt great?  That I was delighted and happy to be older but that might go away?  Well this week it’s gone away.  Maybe not permanently but I’m not a fan this week, thanks to the dentist.  I walked into my appointment yesterday knowing that I drink too much coffee and my teeth are stained, that I should probably brush twice a day (but at least I floss!), and that going a year between cleanings isn’t the most responsible approach.  I walked out with an appointment two days later to be fitted for a crown.  A crown!  Isn’t 30 a little young for a fake tooth?  I’ve really done so much damage in 30 years that I have a tooth with no structure worth saving?  I’m probably over-reacting but it took me by surprise.  A very unhappy surprise.  I just don’t feel like I’m old enough for a crown.  Even though this probably has less to do with my age and more to do with my apparent inability to correctly care for my teeth.  Turns out I also am a night grinder (how did that go undiagnosed for 30 years?) and need a night guard.  Great.  Why can’t the dentist be more fun?

So learn your lesson from me.  Brush your teeth twice a day, floss, and go to the dentist twice a year.  Don’t let a crown at 30 happen to you.

To end on a positive (and ironic) note, the whole experience reminded me of my very, very favorite Sesame Street song, Kids Just Love to Brush.  My very, very favorite doll, Carol Linda, and I would whip our heads from side to side and sing “my teeth, my teeth” all throughout the house.  I’m not sure we remembered any of the other words.  Oh, Carol Linda, we had such good times.

Thanks for listening to my teeth rant.


I have bangs!

They’re subtle, but they’re there.

And I like them! I haven’t had bangs since I was 9. My parents still cut my hair then so I asked my mom if she’d give me bangs. I think she asked me a few times if I was sure and I told her each time I was. I wanted to look like Anastasia. That’s right. Anastasia, Cinderella’s evil stepsister. Who wouldn’t want to look like Anastasia?


This probably stemmed from the fact that as an even younger child I played Cinderella with my sister. As a one car family my mom, Maggie, and I would drive into the city to pick up my dad from work. During our drive, Maggie and I would pretend to be the evil stepsisters and my mom the evil stepmother. We’d be so mean and nasty until my dad, Prince Charming, got into the car. Who was Cinderella you wonder? Buttercup, our dog. Made perfect sense at the time. Anyway, desperate to look like the lovely Anastasia, I convinced my mother to cut me some bangs. And she did. And I immediately burst into tears after looking at my reflection. My poor mother.

No tears this time. I’m pretty happy.