Tuesday, August 1, 2017

An Anniversary Fairy Tale

Hubby and I have been married for 22 years today!  Several years ago I wrote the story of our very bizarre wedding day in the form of a fairy tale. Even though we were both in the Army at the time and we had a justice of the peace wedding, I decided to turn it into a fairy tale. Every girl should get to be a princess on her wedding day, right?

Since this is my favorite story ever, I will share it with you again today. Without further ado, here is my Unconventional Wedding Day Fairy Tale...

Once upon a time, in the kingdom of San Antonio, there lived a curly-headed princess.  (Well, she was actually a soldier, but the story is much more romantic if she is a princess.)  She fell in love with a kind, handsome prince. (You guessed it, he was a soldier too.)  They fell in love and wanted to share their lives together, but were in no hurry to make things legal. 

Then one day a ferocious dragon attacked.  (She got orders to go to Fort Drum.)  The prince and princess knew that only the power of true love could save them, so they decided it was time to get married.  On the day the marriage was to take place they ventured out in the midst of a powerful thunderstorm in search of a justice of the peace.  They finally found the JP in a converted jail house. So, in the midst of a raging storm, while standing in a former jail, the prince and princess exchanged their vows. (The wise JP included a wonderful clause in the prince’s vows.  He had to promise to bring the princess presents even when it wasn’t a holiday.)  Once the vows were said the dragon was slain and they went off to Fort Drum together. 

They went on to have many wonderful adventures and have enjoyed living their unconventional fairy tale ever since.  Their happily-ever-after is still continuing.

Wedding photo
Wedding Day

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Reflections on a Power Outage

Our power went out earlier today. Cue the hysterics! My first reaction was to stress about all of the things I wanted to get done today. Suddenly I was transformed into some perfect Martha Stewart clone that had an intense schedule of things to accomplish. I needed to bake a pie, write a book, sew a  new wardrobe, cure cancer in my home laboratory. And, darn it, those things require electricity. So what if my original plans for the day included none of those things. Now that I couldn't do them, I had an intense NEED to get them done right...this...minute!

In the midst of my stressing my youngest pup jumped in my lap and explained to me that this was the perfect excuse to do nothing. I could just relax, do nothing, and pet the puppy for as long as he wanted. Have I mentioned that the pup is very wise?

Rocket the wise sleeping in my lap during the outage

So, until the power comes back on you will find me sitting by the open window, reading a book, and cuddling with a sleepy puppy. May all your weekends have an equally low-key start.

Have a Semi-Perfect day!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Quote of the Month – April 2017

April is a really big month for me this year. On the first Monday in April I start a new job! Since we moved to Ohio I have been working part-time at home for my employer from Texas. Working from home has been great, but I was really starting to miss human interaction during the day. As much as I love spending all day with my pups, they aren't great conversationalists.  

My new company made such a great impression during interviews.  They are so passionate about the company and its mission and I am so excited to become part of that.  I actually enjoyed the interview process! We were all smiling and laughing. It felt more like grabbing a coffee with friends than the usual interview interrogation.

Between the start of spring and the new job, I knew that I wanted April’s Quote of the Month to focus on new beginnings. When I came across this quote from Friedrich Nietzsche it really reminded me of my whole transition to Ohio. I took a step back by switching to part time work, but the new job is a big leap forward.

He has drawn back, only in order to have enough room for his leap. -Friedrich Nietzsche

Have a semi-perfect day!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Meeting the Treehouse Master

Sorry I’ve been missing the last couple of weeks. I had a vicious cold and just couldn’t deal with anything beyond blowing my nose and drinking tea. I’m finally feeling better. Yeah!

A couple of weeks ago I attended the Columbus Home and Garden show and got a chance to attend the VIP meet & greet with Pete Nelson from Treehouse Masters. If you ever have a chance to meet Pete, do it! He is every bit as funny and personable as he seems on TV. I’ve been to quite a few meet and greets and his was by far the best.

Photo of Pete Nelson of Treehouse Masters
Me and Pete Nelson

A lot of meet & greets consist of the celebrity standing in front of the group and telling a couple of cute, personal stories, then the crowd files past for a quick hello and a selfie. Pete did things very differently. He started at one end of the room and worked his way through stopping to introduce himself to each person, making a bit of small talk, answering questions, and giving hugs. After he had spoken to every single person in the room he posed for pictures with everyone who wanted one. There was even a professional photographer on hand to snap the photos.

Photo of Pete Nelson of Treehouse Masters
Pete Nelson working the room during the meet & greet

My favorite story from the day came from the table next to mine. A family with a college-age son had driven from Long Island to Columbus specifically to meet Pete. The son is an architecture student and a big Treehouse Masters fan. Pete took extra time with them and even looked through the son’s portfolio.  The photo he signed for the son was personalized with “Hope we work together someday”.

My own encounter with Pete was fun. He asked where I was originally from (darn it, my Texas accent gives me away every time), then talked about some treehouses he had built in the Texas Hill Country. Afterward, when it was my turn to get my picture made he called me by name! After all the people he met that day he not only remembered my name, but pronounced it correctly! I seriously became a fan for life, right on the spot!

Photo of Pete Nelson of Treehouse Masters
Don't recall what my table-mate asked, but it looks like I found it shocking!

After the meet and greet was over he had a presentation for all show attendees. I went to that as well and it was great. He talked about how he got into the treehouse business, shared pictures of various projects, and talked about the structural engineering aspect of building in a tree (ie, how to make it secure and safe without harming the trees). I have to admit, the first time I watched the show I was a little concerned when they started drilling into a tree (yep, I’m a tree hugger), but after hearing him talk I understand how deeply he cares about protecting the trees.

Photo of Pete Nelson of Treehouse Masters
Talking about how he got into the treehouse business

Another great part of the presentation is that he told everyone all about his new friend, the architecture student from Long Island.  That young man was already walking on air after the meet & greet, but after the public shout out he was absolutely glowing with happiness. That is definitely a day he will never forget.

Photo of Pete Nelson of Treehouse Masters
Discussing how treehouses are attached to trees

If you ever get a change to meet Pete Nelson, jump at it. Even if you have never seen the show Pete will absolutely charm you.

Have a Semi-Perfect day!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Road Trip Essentials

Whenever we make a long road trip I like to pack a little container of essentials to make the drive a bit more comfortable. The one I’m sharing today was packed for a solo road trip the hubby is making this week-end.

Road trip essentials

Since he is traveling solo, I packed open bins to sit in the passenger seat so it would be easy for him to reach.  I used two smaller bins so that I could put snacks in one and smaller items in the other.  For snacks I like to pack things like trail mix, crackers, or dried fruit since they aren’t very messy. You can also cut down on the mess by using resealable packaging.

Road trip essentials

In the second bin I put all of the small odds and ends. For this trip I packed a small first aid kit, over the counter medicine, a zipper bag with change for tolls, spare phone charger, tissues, and a pair of reading glasses.

Road trip essentials

The best part about these bins is that they are extremely customizable. You can use whatever bins, baskets, or other container you have on hand. You can purchase store bought snacks, or make your own. Choose whatever over the counter meds you need most. The whole point of these bins is to make your trip more comfortable, so you can pack whatever suits your fancy

Road trip essentials

One last note - I didn't include things like sunglasses and a roadside emergency kit since I keep those in the car all the time.

What are your "can't live without" road trip essentials?

Have a Semi-Perfect Day!

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Monday, February 13, 2017


You probably noticed that I recently changed the name of this blog to Semi-Perfect. Did you wonder what on earth “Semi-Perfect” meant?  Well, it is now time for me to spill the beans and announce that the blog is making a bit of a pivot.

For years this was a personal blog & wasn’t really about anything in particular. I just wrote infrequently about whatever was on my mind. I wanted a niche, but I just didn’t feel like I was expert enough to write about anything specifically.  You see, I have always struggled with perfectionism. My attitude was "if it isn't perfect, then what is the point".  One day I was watching a home show.  A couple toured a house that I thought was truly dreadful, but they loved it and declared it to be their dream home. In that moment it finally dawned on me that no two people have the same definition of perfect. My absolute perfection may be your living nightmare. And that my dear readers is where the idea of "Semi-Perfect" was born. Semi-Perfect is all about finding what is perfect for you. Forget what anybody else thinks.  When you find that just right thing, then you have found your own perfection.  

I'm not a designer. I'm not a chef. For a long time I thought I just wasn't any good at the "home stuff" because I didn't have a picture perfect home and I was a long, long way from being Martha Stewart. But now I realize that just because my home isn't textbook perfect that doesn't mean that it isn't perfect for my family. I decorate in a way that suits our lifestyle. The recipes I cook are tailored for our tastes. It isn't perfect for anybody else, but it works just right for us.

So, from now on this blog is going to be about all those things that I love. I’ll show you the good, the bad, and the ugly. If you are inspired by what I show you I hope that you will put your own spin on it and customize it so that it is just right for you. That’s the Semi-Perfect way!

Dr Seuss quote from Oh, The Places You'll Go

Have a Semi-Perfect day!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Why I Don’t Make New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s resolutions sound great in theory. The whole “new year, new you” concept is everywhere for the first couple weeks of the year.  By the time the middle of January rolls around people are already starting to bemoan their broken resolutions. Ya think that maybe the whole “no sugar, no caffeine, no alcohol, run 10 miles a day, first one in the office, in bed by ten, and be perfect in every way at all times” resolution might have been a bit much?  Don’t get me wrong, I think it is great to want to improve yourself.  I just don’t think that making huge & unrealistic resolutions is the best way to go about it. The problem with a resolution is that you either succeed or fail, and if you slip up it is all too easy to just say “oh well, I blew it. Better luck next year”. 

Stop making New Year's resolutions
My New Year's resolution

I am a much bigger fan of setting goals. Goals can be reevaluated and adjusted. I’m also a fan of having sub-goals. For example, if you are a couch potato & want to take up running don’t set yourself one goal of running a marathon. Set up smaller goals that you will meet along the way. Maybe your first goal is to visit the doctor for a physical or to run around the block. Along the way you will build your sense of accomplishment by reaching intermediate goals like running a 5K, then a 10K, then a half marathon.  

Another resolution alternative is to set a “word of the year” or theme word. This isn’t so much about setting a specific resolution or goal. It is more about having a guiding principle for the year that covers multiple aspects of your life. For example, you can choose the word “joy” to remind yourself to embrace all that is joyful in your everyday life or “transformation” if you are going through some big changes.  The point of your word is to choose something that resonates with you personally and helps you to be mindful.

Regardless if you are a resolution maker, a goal setter, or a theme word enthusiast don’t forget that the New Year is not the only time you can work on self-improvement. There is nothing wrong with setting a monthly resolution, a weekly goal, or a word of the day.  The important thing is that you choose a system that works for you and moves you toward the live you want to live.