This week is going to be a big one, full of wedding events and moving. It is the eye of the storm, the quiet "I should be packing more" time that leaves me with thoughts. 

It is difficult not to be hard on yourself. I started this blog to try to keep myself in the moment and I'm not sure how to measure improvement. Happier? Yes, but what is circumstance and what is being happy with life no matter what. I'm sure there is no formula for this, but I am still hoping to improve. 

One of the biggest new things is body image. I've been thinking a lot about this lately. I have read this blog and I appreciate its honesty in failure but also spot some holes in the conversation. The truth is that it is kind of addicting to be involved in some heavy weight loss. I focused on that for a long time, and was "pretty" successful. There are certain qualities to the success of weight loss that make it akin to being a successful athlete. The truth is that everyone is watching you the whole time. People comment and encourage you when they see you succeed, and fall to sympathizing (or outright lying) when they try not to discuss your failures. It brings a constant sense of accomplishment with every pound loss and those are some pretty instantaneous results for long term goals. 

 But what people don't talk about as often is what you do once weight loss is not your focus anymore. As a secondary thought in the back of my mind, it seems that body image has become more of a beast than it was while I had a serious amount to lose. Now the five and ten pounds that are shed from illness and come back from a thesis become so much more of a big deal. People don't talk about the fact that once you've been known as someone who is losing weight constantly, people stop complimenting you once you stop losing. Gaining anything feels like a pretty serious failure, especially when you don't have any kind of routine to clutch on to and change solidly. 

Most of the weight concern in this country is just part of the national burden. Food politics are lengthy and complicated and I have a whole other post in my head about healthy eating, organics, etc etc. But while I have focused on those things for a while now, what I find in neglect are those things that are less tangible, talking and thinking. 

Things will change for me and life will settle down and I will go back to success in my routines. In the end I think it is important to remind oneself of all the things that aren't going wrong anymore. But I can't help but think about the process, amid my small stint of failure that feels like a privileged, overeducated girl's version of a landslide. 

 I had a classmate in grad school that studied weight loss communication and I wonder what kinds of patterns we have to discuss this. I guess you can take the girl out of grad school.....

 Oddly, the end of the semester seemed the least climactic thing to come out of this weekend. Instead, K and I were ping-ponged between families and among events that left us happy but tired. 

I met much of K's extended family from exotic locals like Hawaii, Vegas, California and Alaska due to an unfortunately sad family event. The death of K's sweet Grandpa took its toll on his family but we tried to see the good in an excuse for everyone to come together. I loved meeting all the wonderful people in K's family and look forward to impinging upon their hospitality in the future as we get to visit them. 

We also spent time putting on soirees with my family for Mother's Day, Graduation and my Grandmother's birthday. Fun was had by all and of course, Nithi was pretty much the star of the show. It turns out she has really started to be won over by K, much to my delight. 

Another great thing about family time is the conversations it sparks. From nostalgic reminiscing to serious analysis of parenting, I found myself once again learning. I found out about the interesting twists and turns in the life of a man like K's Grandpa. A conversation with my mom and sister shed some light on what made my childhood different. K and I even got to talking about what is takes to be happy and how our personalities work together. 

So instead of reciting an exhausting litany of what will come this month, I wanted to think about the many armed, legged and tentacled creatures that everyone's families seem to be. Messy, fun, exhausting, thrilling, heart-wrenching and warming; I don't think there is a formula for families but it is hard to exist without them, however and whoever they are made of. 

Oops. It has been a while since I posted, but that is almost exclusively because I have not charged my camera battery and it is in the socket sucking up juice right now, so I promise to reform:) 

I listened to NPR's This American Life this morning during my drive home in the rain, and am inspired to bring you a series of stories. Each week on our show we choose a theme and bring you a variety of stories on that theme. This week: "Everybody Says the Darndest Things" 

Ok, so it isn't the best theme but it at least showcases that I am surrounded by hilarity, and it is not just the kids. Would you like a preview? In the Hallmark store this weekend, picking out a mother's day card for K's grandmother (on the way to meet them of course) We find a cute little card with a hamster dressed as a rockstar sporting the tag line "I'm your Biggest, Rowdiest Fan"-->Highly appropriate for K, who instantly decides to buy it up. The description on the place holder for said card? "From preteen boy to grandmother" 

You see what I'm talkin about.  I would like to recount the other things that happen to me in the spirit of....I'm always laughing nowadays. 

First: We are still mega excited about our new place. We signed the lease and at K's insistence went to take what he refers to as "measurements". Do not confuse this with any tool, no measuring tape to be found. He is talking about this: 

Needless to say I have a wide variety of hilarious poses that I won't include because I am nice to my BF.

Amid the excitement about the new place, we also bought our first new item. And it was NEW new, not from the thrift store! Payed halvsies also because we are fair like that. We own pretty much nothing for the kitchen, instead surviving on whatever amalgamation of mishmash our roommates have had. In K's word's "Now you won't have to whine and moan every time you try to cook...Let's go home and cut some stuff" 

Two: I really wish I had pictures, but I believe L said she had some video that I might have to gank. We have had two visits with Miss Nithi and I gotta say I am loving her new antics. She was running around with pigtails and a pink dress last night showing off her moves. By far the best is what her engineer Daddy calls "Rotating". She has taken to spinning, but this is no ordinary spinning. First, she usually has at least a blanket or sippy cup in hand, possibly an animal to keep her company. Then, she assumes the correct facial expression: eyes looking in the direction opposite to the rotation, face scrunched in a would-be angry face. Then, she gets about the business of getting dizzy until she falls down. It is the funniest thing ever. I don't have video but here is a cute picture anyway. 

Yep, she is the boss. 

Three: Finally, I have to tell what happens when K comes home from work. For instance, last night it was 11:30 p.m.; you'd think he would be tired. Instead, he set about enacting his own special brand of "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie". It all started with my lovely mother, who sent home some delicious home-made whoopie pies.

He had never heard of these and spent a good five minutes asking me to explain them and what I had learned about their Amish origins. Then, of course, he applied the only relevant fact he had concerning said delicacy: Louis Armstrong. You know what I'm talking about. What followed was no simple rendition of this song, but instead a honing of his mimicry skills. He considers his Louis impression to be nothing short of brilliant, and urged me to join in the fun. And by urged I mean a solid ten minutes of wheedling in the hopes of witnessing any hilarious attempts I might make at lowering my registry a good octave and a half. 

My abs got a respectable workout from laughing at this delightful man. 

That wraps up our show this week. Here's hoping someone awesome made you laugh. If not, take a gander at this.  

Well we haven't signed anything but we are stoked about this new place. Because this is the internetz I won't be providing too many location details, but you can see the inside:) They haven't gotten it ready yet, but it still looks pretty darn good as far as we are concerned. 

Yay for vaulted ceilings and lots of windows. 

And a dining area, woo (trust me, hunting in the city, this is a plus a lot of places don't have)

Respectable kitchen. 

The bedroom has access to the porch also annnddd

A walk-in closet! 

The view from the porch:) Reminds me of home. 

You can't see them, but it has built in shelves around the corner. 

I'm excited! I hope it all works out ok. 

We are going for a ride. 

So many things are happening. Not just today, which started with an excellent adventure with K to find cinnamon rolls but ended up in a trip to Lamar's (brings back childhood memories). Yesterday we went apartment shopping and we think we found a place. It is so daunting apartment shopping in a "big" city rather than a college town. It is a pretty big kid move on our part and I just hope we did our homework correctly. 

In other awesome news, I have an interview for a job that I would absolutely LOVE. I am trying not to get my hopes up, but it is pretty hard. The semester is coming to a close and I would love to be able to answer the question that will come out of everyone's mouths "So what are you going to do with your Master's?" Also, the question that will come out of my landlord's mouth "Where is the rent?" 

The downside to all this, however, is that I finally have begun to realize we won't be living very close to any of our friends. Most of them are moving away or we are moving away from them. Thus ends the beauty of a college lifestyle, in which everyone lives in a really close vicinity. K is going to have to help me on the making new friends front because I am not very good at that unless forced to do so through repeated close quarters. Also, I hope we will still get to visit people.

Anyway, May promises to have big things what with graduation, weddings, moving and new jobs. As Jim would say "Lord, beer me strength"