Monday, December 31

My Top Ten of 2007

10. Cutting my hair short after having it long my entire life. Probably not a big deal to most people, but I don’t like change, so this was huge for me.

9. Going to coffee shops with Andrew. No one specific date stands out, but we’ve probably gone at least twice a month for the last year, and it’s one of my favorite things to do.

8. Getting promoted at work to Associate Editor. As part of this promotion, I went from being hourly to being salaried, I began getting paid once a month instead of biweekly, I got a new manager, and I got a very nice raise. Good stuff all around.

7. Taking a trip to Manhattan with two of my very best friends for some pre-wedding fun. It was a mini-bachelorette party and spending it with the three M’s was perfect.

6. Celebrating the first anniversary of the day Andrew and I got engaged. The whole day was amazing. Andrew left tons of little surprises for me all day and I just loved it.

5. Celebrating Andrew’s 26th birthday at Pot Pie. We love love that restaurant, and that night we just had a super great time.

4. Lounging on the beach, ziplining, and tubing on our awesome honeymoon in Kauai, Hawaii.

3. Finding out I was getting to move to the books department at work. Like I said in another entry, this is pretty monumental for me.

2. Buying our first house. We love this house and we can’t wait to do all of those house things, like buying furniture and building a new patio and painting and landscaping and…. I changed my mind. This just sounds like a lot of work.

1. Marrying Andrew. Our wedding day was the best day of the year by far, and probably the best day of my life.

Friday, December 28

Oh What Fun

Christmas was lovely, and the loveliness lasted nearly all day. We had a sort-of white Christmas, the gifting—both the giving and the receiving—was quite nice, and all the food was delicious. But (of course there is a but) it all sort of fell apart at the end of the day.

Andrew and I were out nearly all day. We spent the morning/early afternoon at my parents’ house, then drove across town to Andrew’s parents’ house. We didn’t arrive home until about 9:30pm. As we pulled up to our house, we noticed that our Christmas lights hadn’t come on. We put them on a timer, so they’ve been turning on automatically each evening for the last few weeks. What a bummer, I thought, for the lights to not work ON CHRISTMAS. Of all the days not to work. But it was a pretty cheap timer, so we guessed it was bound to happen eventually. Andrew tried to turn on the Christmas lights, but he couldn’t get them to work. Maybe there was a problem with the extension cord? We didn’t think much of it and went inside.

We started sorting our gifts according to what part of the house they should go to. Not too exciting. But brrrr, is it chilly in here? Let me check the thermostat. Uh oh, the thermostat is not on! Our electric thermostat was not telling us anything because it apparently did not have power. Hmmm, we began to think. The outside lights and thermostat did not work, but our kitchen lights did. Was there anything else that wasn’t working? And why is the cat acting so weird? Is it the Ghost of Christmas Presents?

We walked around the entire house flipping switches, and about half the power was out. Very randomly. Like nothing on the second floor worked except our bathroom light and two closet lights. Nearly everything worked on the first floor except the outlet the refrigerator was plugged into.

We checked the fuse box. Nothing to flip, but we flipped all the breakers anyway. Andrew called his dad, because his dad is handy like that. He didn’t know what was wrong but offered to come over and check it out. (Which was super nice, because I know that he actually went to bed at about 8:00 because we were still at his house at the time.)

Twenty minutes later, my in-laws arrived, flashlights and tool thingys in hand. Mark (Andrew’s dad) checked the GFIs and the fuse box and a bunch of stuff but couldn’t figure it out. Fortunately for us, we bought the house less than a year ago, and we have some kind of warranty that happens to cover electrical systems. So we decided to call the warranty people in the morning, but what to do for now? It was cold in there and we didn’t want to have to take cold showers in the morning.

So we packed a little overnight bag and back to Andrew’s parents house we went. It was definitely not the way I wanted to spend the evening of my first married Christmas. But that is the way things go sometimes.

Bright and early on the 26th, Andrew called the warranty people, and they said they would send somebody out that day. A guy came to our house by 10:30am. Unfortunately, he said that our house has two main lines coming in from the electric company, and if we had really looked at which lights were out, we would have seen that it was every other breaker in the box. But of course we hadn’t looked at it that closely. So basically, one of our lines was out and this was actually just a problem that the electric company would fix. For free. Not for $55, which is what the warranty guy got. But he was nice and offered to switch our living room lights with the heat, so at least it would warm up. Andrew called the power company, and by the time we got home from work, everything was working again. Ta da!

And that is the story of Christmas.

Friday, December 21

And it only took two and a half years...

Good news, people. An amazing opportunity at work basically just dropped into my lap. For the last 18 months, I have been working as a copywriter and editor for retail visual merchandising (which means I write signs for stores). But my passion has always been books. Since high school, I have wanted to be a book editor. And now, one of three book editors in my company is retiring and my manager asked me if I wanted the job. I actually had to spend some time thinking about it. I really do like my department now and I love the people here, but...books. It’s been a long time coming.

From immediately after college to about 15 months later, I lived in New York City. I moved there to pursue a career in book editing. Living there was incredibly thrilling (and expensive). I found an (unpaid) internship at a small book publisher and said good-bye to my savings. I then moved on to a still-small-but-slightly-larger book publisher. Had some good experiences (my first acknowledgment printed in a book!) and some less-than-stellar experiences (let’s not even go there).

Over the course of my time there, Andrew moved there to be with me. We both grew to dislike our jobs and the city, and after many nights of discussion and deliberation, we decided to leave New York to move back to the Kansas City area. Seriously, best decision we ever made. As soon as I knew we were moving, it was as if a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I always thought that phrase was a little cliché and overused, but I literally felt lighter.

The list of pros for leaving New York was long, but the one main con almost outweighed all of them—leaving New York meant leaving book publishing. Would I be able to find a job in the Midwest doing something I loved? Don’t know, but had to risk it. Andrew was fortunate enough to be able to find a fantastic job before we even moved. He started at his new company the day after we crossed the country in the U-haul (which was really good timing because the new company paid for our move. Score!). But I was not so lucky.

Right after we moved, I applied for a book editor job (at what would become my current employer) and even had an entire day of interviews for it. Seemed like I was on the right track, but I ended up not being right for the position. I spent the next three months depressed and unemployed. Found a job working as an admissions representative for a local college and became less poor but more miserable. I was only able to stand that job for three months before quitting and once again being unemployed. I felt as though I would never find a decent job. I had several interviews for various proofreading positions, but nothing ever came through. I was actually offered one job, but the company ended up taking it back because the person who was leaving had decided to stay, so they no longer had an opening. I worked a stint as a temp receptionist (not a great job, but I did make two wonderful friends there). Anyway, I hated not having a job and hated myself for not being able to find one. I was so happy that Andrew had found such a great job, but it was so hard seeing him getting closer to his one-year anniversary at his job and me being so far from even getting a job.

One day my good friend Lindsay told me about an opening at her company for a proofreader. I submitted my resume and asked Lindsay to put in a good word for me and all that. After an interview and an easy proofreading test, I was in. Finally. Now, a year and a half later, I am still with that company, though I’ve moved from the proofreading department to visual merchandising. And now I’ve been offered a position in books. It’s like I’ve come full circle, and to be honest, I’m pretty proud of myself.

I’ll be moving to my new cubicle the first week in January, though I’ll still be finishing things up in my current position for a couple more weeks after that. Send good thoughts my way as I figure out what the hell I’m doing. My manager told me I would be great for the job because I’m already familiar with the company and she thinks I’m the only one in the whole company with book editing experience. And seriously, I barely have any book experience. But I know that I want this. So don’t just stand there, let’s get to it.

Tuesday, December 18

Somebody's going on the Naughty List

Not sure exactly what goes on in the Langford house when the people Langfords are at work, but there has been some naughty behavior going on lately. Unfortunately for one small feline, the evidence is mounting.

Exhibit A
Oh no! I lost me lucky arm! How will I spread love and soft cheeses without it? Halp!

Exhibit B
Hmmm... 'Tis the snowman's arm. But how did it get all the way upstairs?

Exhibit C
Enough said.

Tuesday, December 11

Happy Birthday to Me

Today I am 26. I suppose I could think of something philosophical to talk about, getting older and all that. But really, I don't have that much to say about it. I like being 26. My life is pretty good. I don't know if you know, but Britney Spears is only 9 days older than me, and you might disagree with me, but she and I are practically the same person (I sure was embarrassed when my performance at the Video Music Awards was such a flop).

Anyway.... So far, it's been quite an excellent day. My wonderful husband woke me up with breakfast in bed. Eggs, bacon, toasteven chocolate milk, which is probably my favorite form of milk, unless you count ice cream. All delicious, and much nicer than waking up to an alarm clock.

And, if the breakfast wasn't enough, I also got some presents. Wrapped super nicely.

I got a really fun T-shirt, an ornament, and the mascara I asked for. And the perfect card. And that was my birthday morning.

Saturday, December 8

Another Hot Saturday Night

9:15pm – Arrive home from birthday dinner with my parents. Tummy is full. Lots of food. And dessert. And two glasses of wine. Feeling pretty good.

9:19 – Put on pajamas. Feeling even better. Decide to drink more wine.

9:21 – Open wine. Hate corkscrew.

9:22 – Sip wine. Bitter! Make wine-induced funny face. Decide to drink and quit being such a baby.

9:29 – Seems like a good idea to make our Christmas stockings now.

9:31 – Assemble crafty supplies. Sip more wine. Getting used to the bitter thing.

9:37 – Tape together stocking pattern that I printed out last week.

9:39 – Realize it’s going to be a long night (I’m not so crafty).

9:44 – Pattern is taped and cut out. Sip more wine and ponder what to do next.

9:53 – Cut out first stocking shape. Yay! Looks like stocking. Take picture to mark occasion.

9:55 – Oh no! Hostile cat takeover of felt! Must fight for felt.

9:56 – Cat surrenders. Victory is mine.

9:57 – Oh no! Cat returns. Consider moving Cat, sip wine instead.

10:02 – Damn. Realize hot glue gun is not hot. Plug in. Wonder why I ever attempt crafts.

In mah fort, watchin ur bizness.

10:10 – Glue gun ready. Grit teeth and commence gluing.

10:21 – Gluing complete. What’s with the strange grayish line around the edge? Is that going to go away? Is this some kind of Cat sabotage?

10:34 – Stocking ready for ribbons. Pretty ribbons. Not sure how to attach. Ponder briefly.

10:35 – Shrug and reach for wine. And hot glue gun.

10:46 – Ohmystars, 11 minutes for one twee ribbon?! Sigh…

10:56 – Second ribbon done. Down to 10 minutes. Next time aiming for nine…

11:03 – Third ribbon done AND got distracted by the Discovery Channel AND had sip of wine. Wondering why I don’t do artsy craftsy things more often. Clearly some kind of prodigy or something.

11:17 – Stocking #1 complete. Sort of. Still needs a name on it. Is this Andrew’s or Megan’s? How will Santa know where to put the presents? Decide to be done for the night. Discovery Channel just too intriguing.

Tuesday, December 4

Two Things

1. My sister is about 19 weeks pregnant and she had her first ultrasound today. They're having a boy! Courtney posted her ultrasound pictures on her blog, and I swear I am going to have the cutest nephew ever. So tiny and nephew-like! I'm so excited and so happy for Courtney and Zach. They are going to name him Austin Zachary. Good name, I think.

2. It's getting all Christmasy up in here. Andrew and I went to a tree farm on Sunday and picked out the prettiest tree there. We (Andrew) sawed it down and we (Andrew) carried it back to the truck. My first real tree! Very exciting.

We got the tree home and set it up in our brand new tree stand. Our cats could not have been more fascinated. They sniffed and they tasted. They got bits of sap in their fur.

After a quick jaunt to the store for some lights (apparently ours went the way of Jimmy Hoffa after we moved), we trimmed the tree. Lights, ornaments, and a star on top. Now all we need are some presents underneath. Zadie is anxiously awaiting their arrival.

I can has mah prezunts?