Wednesday, September 28, 2011

hi, my name's danielle and...

I'm a misophoniac. I may be a self-diagnosed hypochondriac, but you can even ask my mom about this one. She'll testify!

I recently stumbled upon a New York Times article about a newly classified condition where certain [small, menial] noises drive its sufferers into a rage. As a child I couldn't sit at the dinner table because the sound of chewing drove me nuts. I can't really remember a meal that didn't involve me in tears because the noises revolving around the meal (including the scraping of silverware on ceramic, slurping of beverages, etc.) just drove me bonkers. Bless my parents, but they thought I could control it, which only made things worse:

"Usually they cry a lot because they've been told they can control this if they want to. This is not their fault. They didn't ask for it and they didn't make it up." And as adults, they "don’t outgrow it," she said. "They structure their lives around it."

I can't even explain to you the chills I get reading this article. It's like they're writing my autobiography. My noise aversions have expanded since I was a child to include sounds like nail clippers, sniffling noses (just blow it!), and crunchy foods such as chips or carrots being chewed. I also loathe the sound of people chewing gum/popping it, especially with their mouth open. I've definitely learned how to cope with it better as an adult. At work I share an office with 3 others so I leave a set of headphones in my desk drawer to drown out any sound that starts to upset me. I usually carry around my Zune for the same purpose. I've also learned to avoid certain situations and I've gotten exceptionally talented at politely excusing myself from certain conversations or dinner tables that are starting to bug me. I assess the loud gum chewers within the first week of class and make sure I sit behind them because that cuts down their (detectable) noises substantially.

So what can you do? Be aware that your noises might impact those around you. I'm not telling you to never chew gum in public, but if you see someone glaring at you try to understand that there might be something deeper going on. And if you find yourself getting all worked up over silly little sounds, know you aren't alone!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

the chair

The blog Young House Love inspired me to refinish a chair Jon's parents donated to us from their basement. We got the chair a few months back and the process to get the desired end product has been arduous. It involved couponing, commissioning my mom to shimmy a slipcover of sorts for the cushions and my dad to let us use his power sander, and a fight with stain. So without further adieu, the process:


After we sanded it

After the first coat of stain

Let me just say I am no professional at staining. There are several obvious drips. I was supposed to do two coats but I think that might make things worse. Now, before I do the "big reveal" I just wanted to let you know what a sacrifice it was for the baby to let us refinish her chair. This is the only chair she consistently sleeps on. By the time the stain was going on I could tell she was fed up:
Do you see the angst in those eyes?
And now, for the end product:
Not gonna lie.. so proud of this
A big thanks to Jon's parents for donating the chair to us, my mom for shimmying us some covers for the cushions, and my dad for lending us the power sander! If anyone is interested in the approximate costs of this project:

-chair: free
-power sander: borrowed / free
-fabric: (3 yards, total overkill) $19.66 at Joann Fabrics - used a 40% off coupon on top of a fabric already discounted 45%... plus my mom said she will fashion us a few pillows for the chair of the remaining fabric
-stain, stain brush, etc: about $15 from Walmart

Monday, September 19, 2011

why i love my in-laws

Pictures courtesy of Titi Candy:
This was the day of Marc and Kelly's wedding. Too funny / too much love
Here are a couple more of the day:

Sunday, September 18, 2011

the wedding

This weekend was hectic because my brother-in-law got married yesterday! I'd be lying if I said yesterday was a breeze, but having woken up at 4:30 on my own yesterday and failing to fall back asleep made the day very long and tiresome.

Rewind to Friday for the rehearsal. It was a good time spent with some family and friends. And Jon and I got some quality Heather/Paul/Lillian time in:
Okay, back to yesterday. Jon and I had a blast dancing our booties off with friends and family alike. We made some new friends, got to know some acquaintances much better, and are looking forward to seeing where various relationships head in the coming months.
We just wanted to wish [another] big congratulations to Marc & Kelly! Your day was beautiful and we're really glad you two found each other.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

the explorer

This weekend is going to be muy crazy. It's going to be so crazy and I am already falling behind in the things I need to get done. As such, I must bid you adieu for a few days, but in the meantime, I leave you with the explorer baby:

Linen Closet

Jon's Wardrobe

Sunday, September 11, 2011

never forget

Ten years ago today, I woke up naive but went to bed with a heavy heart. For the first time in my life, I had a glimpse at just how screwed up the world we live in is.

I was 12; a seventh grader. My math teacher ran to the television after receiving a phone call. She cried. We looked on in horror and confusion. I didn't fully understand the implications of what I was witnessing, but by my teacher's reaction I knew it couldn't be good.

My parents ended up picking me up early from school that day. When I got home, we spent the next few hours glued to the television, trying to make sense of what was happening. In the days that followed, I remember how eerie it was for there to be no airplanes in sight. We lived near Hopkins International Airport, so my entire childhood was filled with airplanes landing and taking off around the clock. They actually brought me comfort when I was little and afraid to sleep. Just knowing there was someone else awake at that moment in time filled me with peace. That loss of peace left a gaping hole in how I viewed my world. How could there be so much evil and hate? I know that things will never be the same; I knew that within hours. I'll never understand why these things happen. I've stopped trying to make sense of it. All I can do is never forget. I'll share my story with my children. I'll appreciate the first responders (and soldiers) who have given their lives so that I have freedom and safety. And I'll hope that future generations can do better by humanity than previous ones.

"Psalm 115:3 reveals, 'Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.' Yet we keep on questioning Him: 'Why did You make me with this body, instead of that one?' 'Why are so many people dying of  starvation?' 'Why are there so many planets with nothing living on them?' 'Why is my family so messed up?' 'Why don’t You make Yourself more obvious to the people who need You?' The answer to each of these questions is simply this: because He’s God. He has more of a right to ask us why so many people are starving. As much as we want God to explain himself to us, His creation, we are in no place to demand that He give an account to us." - Francis Chan

Saturday, September 10, 2011

ikea update

In my last post I forgot to show our goods!

After a very late night that involved fighting with our door frame and some extra time this morning, the wardrobe hath been assembled!
You wanna know what that means?.... THIS GUY (said like this) has closet space again!
Jon begged me to take pictures of his nesting manifestation.

Apparently I didn't do a good enough job because he snatched the camera out of my hands like it was the last Tootsie Roll on the planet.

As a result of the wardrobe being in the center of our wall, we had to move the decal chandelier. I like it's new home a lot.

While I wrote this post, Jon was at our front door debating with a Jehovah's Witness that stopped by. Pretty sure that guy had no idea what he signed himself up for when he rang our bell.

In conclusion, pad thai is hands down the most delicious food ever created. Vegetable dumplings come in second.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

a land far away (or just pittsburgh)

This weekend was very busy but also very exciting. Friday night we tried out a small group with the church we've been attending the last few weeks. We had a really good time and are looking forward to returning.

On Saturday, we got to celebrate with our friends, Nikki and Jim, at their wedding and reception:

My Father-in-Law and Mother-in-Law

Future Sister-in-Law and Brother-in-Law

Best. Husband. Ever.
On Sunday we hung out with my best friend, Rebecca, to celebrate her return home from afar. At one point we also went to the in-law's for dinner and to visit with Jon's cousins, aunts, and uncle that we see far too little. 

Finally, on Monday, we went to the most magical place in all the land (well, second most magical after Ligonier Camp):
We got a wardrobe, bookshelf, wok, dish rack, and light for the wardrobe. After rushing back from Pittsburgh we made a gingerbread loaf, assembled the bookshelf, and rushed to my parent's house for dinner. It was definitely a hectic day but totally worth it:

The wardrobe isn't assembled yet because we simply haven't had time. I'll definitely post pictures when it's complete, though. Overall the weekend was incredibly productive and we got to see a large portion of the people we love, so I'd say it was a roaring success.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

THE dress

In the city I grew up in, the 8th grade class would have a graduation ceremony before heading off to the high school. There were no caps & gowns, just pretty dresses (for the girls anyway). I was able to find a total win at TJ Maxx for this particular occasion.

Why am I telling you this? Because I'm wearing my 8th grade graduation dress to a wedding. Today.

Given that I didn't really get boobs til high school, I think it's safe to say I fill this dress out a LOT better now then I did then. In fact, for good measure, I broke out the scrapbook my mom made me as a my high school graduation gift and found evidence:
Apparently I also wore it to my high school graduation party:

I think it's safe to say that dress was a VERY wise investment. Can't wait to wear it today to celebrate such a wonderful day. Congratulations, Nikki & Jim!