Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Books: July 2013

As you will recall, I wasn't able to finish The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King in the month of June, so I had hoped that would mean I'd finish more than one book in July.


All I had time to read this month was the rest of LotR, and I just barely finished- as in I finished last night.  (Just in time to watch So You Think You Can Dance.)

image via Google Books

It's not to say that this book was more painful to read than the other two- if anything, it was more exciting than the first two, as we got some real battles this time.  It's just that moving into a new house and all the work we're doing preparing for the baby to get here has left me little-to-no time to read for pleasure. 

I'm very glad I finally finished this series, as it feels like something of an accomplishment- that which once seemed an insurmountable mountain (especially in middle school) has now finally been climbed, and, on the other side, I'm actually eager to watch the movies.  (Keep in mind that I fell asleep halfway through my first attempt at watching the first movie of the series and never even tried the other two...)

Tolkien truly is masterful in his creation of this universe of Middle Earth and all the characters that inhabit it, but I think I liked this book best out of the whole trilogy because the hobbits, my favorite characters, truly have a chance to shine.  (Except Frodo.  He kind of sucks as a hero.  I never really liked him through the whole series.  Sam is the real hero.)  There were moments when I thought all hope was lost- when I truly believed little Pippin had died or that Sam would never make it back to his old gaffer- but the underlying sense of hope throughout kept me hooked until the very end.  It's refreshing, really, a book about such an epic war that is ultimately hopeful, when the best-seller list nowadays is chock full of dystopian futures and just wars that are robbed of their justice by a heavy-handed author bent on preaching rather than storytelling.  (Yes, I'm looking at you, Susan Collins...)

So there, I've done it.  I've slain the beast.  I'm ready to take on my next conquest, only Mr. Geek hasn't finished it yet...

Which is your favorite of The Lord of the Rings trilogy?  Who is your favorite character?  What books did you read this month?

Much love,
The Geeks

Monday, July 29, 2013

Fashion Adventures: Casual, as in Friday

Up until now, the only outfit photos I've shared have been in "regular" clothing.  That's not to say I haven't worn maternity clothing yet- trust me, I have- it's just that I haven't had any particularly *cute* maternity clothes to wear yet.

At the recommendation of many mom-friends, I took a look at Old Navy's maternity section online, and snagged a few things- some casual tops, a more work-appropriate top, and a pair of "jeggings".  (At the very beginning of the pregnancy, all of my pants and skirts were immediately too tight, except for 2 pairs of jeans- my "fat jeans" which still fit but are not really an appropriate cut or color for Fridays at work, and my "jeggings".  By the end of the first trimester, even the jeggings were too tight, and I've been putting off buying maternity jeans because they're just so expensive.  Enter: Old Navy!)

The jeans are awesome, and the tunic is really comfortable, but I can't help but feel as if I look like, well, a mom in this outfit.  There's something slightly frumpy about these pictures- likely because I'm huge and I'm wearing pants with an elastic waistband.

Okay so I'm not *that* huge- and I'm only going to get bigger from here- but still.  Looking at these pictures brings just one word to mind- MOM.  And not in a good way.  Maybe if I wear the tunic/dress with shorts instead, everything would seem...lighter?  Definitely can't wear shorts to work- even on a Friday, when these were taken.  (25 weeks 1 day, for those keeping track.)

Tunic: Old Navy Maternity
Jeans: Old Navy Maternity
Necklace: Francesca's Collections
Earrings: Charlotte Russe
Watch: Kohl's (same style, different color)
Shoes: Converse Chuck Taylors via Off Broadway Shoes

How do you avoid looking frumpy in maternity clothes?  Or did you reach a point in your pregnancy where comfort trumped style?  (I may be reaching that point myself...)

Much love,
The Geeks

*all photos personal*

Friday, July 26, 2013

Oh, Internet... {25}

Friday Friday Friday!  Woohoo!  This was a pretty awesome week on the internet:

Yes. // via Hypable
Aly at Breathe Gently has an ADORABLE new baby girl who makes the most awesome facial expressions!

via Lighthouse Catholic Youth on Facebook
I wish I were going to Black Hat this year to see Karsten Nohl present his work about a major vulnerability in the crypto used in some SIM cards.

The Kitchn shared a method for making bread in a slow cooker- I'm going to have to try this!

Check out this Engadget article about Bing's new search suggestions.  (This item was Mr. Geek's idea!)

What awesome things happened on your internet this week?

Much love,
The Geeks

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Flapper Hip Hop

Pretty sure this was my favorite routine last night.  And "flapper hip hop" or "hip hop charleston" or whatever you want to call it- it's my new favorite dance genre.

Did you watch SYTYCD last night?  What was your favorite routine?

Much love,
The Geeks

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Better Part

Jesus entered a village 
where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him.
She had a sister named Mary
who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. 
Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said,
“Lord, do you not care
that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? 
Tell her to help me.” 
The Lord said to her in reply,
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. 
There is need of only one thing. 
Mary has chosen the better part
and it will not be taken from her.”
                                                -Luke 10:38-42

This was yesterday's Gospel reading, and it's one of those readings that always makes me pause and think, as if it were the first time I'd heard it.  (Kind of like the Ash Wednesday readings...)

Our (brand new, fresh from ordination!) priest used this reading to speak about America's workaholic culture in his homily, contrasting that with Italy's work ethic of "I will work only as long and as hard as I have to in order to support my family, but the majority of my time is spent with the people I love."  That's sort of a new take on this reading for me- probably because I'm in a new place in my life.  I've struggled for the past year or so in a job that I don't like, but, for various reasons, I haven't really had the option to quit.  The only thing motivating me to push on through is the promise that maybe one day, it'll get better (and it's getting better, I've started a transition to a slightly different position) and frankly, I can't walk away from this kind of salary and benefits.  In the back of my mind, though, I did have a sort of 5-year exit plan to get into an entirely new career in an entirely new city, but that plan would involve a ridiculous amount of downsizing.

And then Chief made an appearance, and that plan went out the window.  Mr. Geek is going back to school while working right now, and my exit plan involved going back to school full-time, but that just isn't going to happen now that we've thrown a baby girl in the mix.  (It's funny how babies change everything...)  Now I am 100% focused on staying in this career, taking advantage of the benefits, and giving the very best life I can give to our little family.  It means our little girl- and all of our future children- will have to spend a majority of the time in day care.  It means I'll be away a lot on business trips.  But it also means Chief (and all of our future children) will have a wonderful education and incredible life experiences.

After every homily for this Gospel reading, I've always felt sorry for Martha.  As a Southern girl, I know how important it is to be a good hostess, and I always kind of felt like Jesus was being a little hard on Martha- Mary really should be helping her serve their guest!  But I do understand why He admonishes her- a good hostess doesn't get so wrapped up in the frenzy of serving her guests that she ignores them completely.  (And, more importantly, spending time with our Lord shouldn't mean stressing about the details, it should mean spending time with our Lord.)

But to look at Martha as a the quintessential American parent who sacrifices so much for their child without ever actually spending any time with them.  I don't want us to fall into that.  I don't want us to work so hard to give Chief and her siblings the best life they can have while neglecting the best, most important part of childhood- being loved and nurtured by their parents.

Every time I hear this Gospel, I have to remind myself to be less like Martha (my natural tendency) and more like Mary.  In this new context, this new state of my life, it's more important than ever before.

So what about you- are you a Martha or a Mary?  Working moms- do you have any tips to avoid being a workaholic?  How do you keep your family as your number one priority and still manage to enjoy time with them?  Have you ever worried that you're working too much to properly care for and nurture your children?  How do you achieve the elusive work-life balance?

Much love,
The Geeks

Friday, July 19, 2013

Oh, Internet... {24}

Our house is slowly starting to look like a home, and I love it.  One of the good things about renting as opposed to buying is that I have to keep my RENOVATE ALL THE THINGS!-instincts in check.  For example- we can paint the walls (so long as we paint them back when we move out) but we can't exactly paint the kitchen cabinets.  (Grey, if you're curious.  That's what I would do.)  Or remove the mirror wall in the dining room.  (Yes, one whole wall of the dining room is a mirror...)  Or change the light fixtures.

Not that any of these things are horrible or too ugly to live with.  I would just change them if we owned the place :)

Anywho, one thing I definitely don't want to change is the internet!  The internet always gives me pretty, smart, and awesome things to look at every week :)  Here are some of those things from this week:

-I love these Dove commercials.  This one is especially awesome!

WANT. // from Etsy seller TRoweDesigns via BoingBoing
ThinkGeek has a pacifier that looks like a volume knob :)

Check out this interview on Ars Technica with the man who invented the first video game console!

Obviously the most important thing that happened on the internet this week- Jo Rowling's new book!  She published The Cuckoo's Calling under a pseudonym several months ago and is just now coming out as the real author.  We bought it literally the moment we heard about it!

I recently discovered the sewing blogs Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing and Camelia Crinoline and as much as they inspire me to want to really start sewing clothes, they also kind of intimidate me- these ladies are sewing superstars!

What  happened on your internet this week?

Much love,
The Geeks

Oh, Internet... is inspired by Kaelah Bee's Things I Love Thursday posts

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Fashion Adventures: That's Hot

I'm from Alabama, and Mr. Geek is from Arkansas, so we know real heat and humidity.  Any other year, I wouldn't necessarily complain about the almost-100's we've been experiencing here in the DC area (and will continue to experience for the rest of July), or the almost-daily rain showers.  But, see, I've never been pregnant in the summer time before... tint much?  I'm still learning how to use Gimp...
Thankfully, it won't be summer anymore at the end of the pregnancy when I'm super-extra-huge, but even's hot, y'all.  As such, I've been wearing skirts and dresses as often as possible, even on Saturday afternoons when my schedule consists of hanging pictures and running to Michaels for supplies... Like this Saturday, when I took these pictures.  (23 weeks and 2 days, for those on bump-watch.)

These were taken in our back yard!  We have a back yard!  With an amazing fence!  And trees!  And grass!  And a grill (which needs to be cleaned...)!  Renting a house is so much better than renting an apartment :)


We got a really good deal on a tripod at Best Buy earlier this summer, with the intention of being able to take family photos once Chief arrives, but there's the added bonus of being able to take outfit photos without having to pester Mr. Geek into taking them for me!  (Oh wow that sounds conceited... Blogging is weird, y'all.)

Oh and see that bag?  That's my birthday present :)  Pretty much all of my birthday presents this year were actually for Chief- which is wonderful, I love all the pretty things we've gotten for Chief- so Mr. Geek wanted to get something for just me.  I've been saving my credit card points and was hoping to save up enough to trade in for a Nordstrom gift card (or several) so I could buy myself a Coach bag *for free*, which would likely have taken a year or so.  And then RueLaLa had a Coach factory sale...and this beauty was something like 60% off...and it was my birthday...


Dress: Kohl's
Earrings: Charlotte Russe
Shoes: Converse Chuck Taylors via Off Broadway Shoes
Bag: Coach "Gallery" tote via RueLaLa

How are you coping with the heat?

Much love,
The Geeks

*all photos personal

Monday, July 15, 2013

I Wanna Be a Starship Ranger*

We've had the theme for Chief's nursery picked out since before we knew she was Miss Chief.  The back bedroom in our new rental house, which is the perfect location for the nursery, has one royal blue wall and three pale blue walls.  The owners' little boy was living in that room, and they had those blue walls decorated with rocket ship decals and even a rocket ship ceiling fan.  They removed the decals before they left, and we have the option to paint anything we want, but we have to paint it back before moving out.  We started brainstorming cool, gender-neutral themes, and in the back of my mind I was trying to go for something that could use those beautiful blue walls.

Um, hello.  Rocket.  Ships.

"How about a space-themed nursery?" I asked Mr. Geek one night.  I'd be too nervous to take down that adorable painted ceiling fan and replace it with something else, so why not make it work for us? 

I do plan for us to do a little painting in there- I really want to draw some giant, cartoon-ish stars in a sparkly silver.  Originally I had envisioned lining them around the top of the wall like a wallpaper border, but now I think I'm just going to scatter them around the darker blue wall.  I do want to bring other colors in besides blue, just not in the paint color.  Overall, the palette I'm envisioning will have blues, silver, some light greens, yellows, maybe even fuchsia- like the colors in a nebula:

image via NASA
As far as decor is concerned- well...we're The Geeks!  This is obviously going to be one nerdy little nursery- because let's face it, she's going to be a nerdy little girl- with elements from all our favorite space-traveling sci-fi fandoms.  I want to hang the Police Call Box sign from Doctor Who on the front door (though I won't go so far as to paint the door blue...if we owned the place, I totally would), and Mr. Geek's old Star Wars action figures will find a new home on her bookshelves.  I found a really simple tutorial for making fitted crib sheets, and I picked up 2 different fabrics- one is a dark blue galaxy print covered in swirling stars, and the other is a checkerboard of Star Wars images and logos in varying shades of blue and white.

Of course the furniture is our first priority- my parents bought us a beautiful little rocking chair and we have an old book case to hold books and fun things, but we still need to acquire a crib and a dresser to use as a changing table- but then we're going to have a ball decorating the walls and shelves.  Here are the nerdy, awesome things I've bookmarked under "nursery inspiration":

floor mat via ModCloth
clock via ModCloth
poster via Think Geek
plush toys via Think Geek
figurine via Think Geek
art prints via Think Geek
night light via ModCloth
book via Think Geek
...and that's just the few of the things I've seen ;)

I also plan to make some slightly-girlie artwork involving her name and photos of her (once she gets here to pose for them!), and I'm aaaaaaaaaaalmost done sewing some silver-grey curtains for her window.

So, what do you think?  Would you have liked this nursery as a little one- boy or girl?  Do you like themed nurseries, or do you prefer the theme to be "a baby lives here"? 

If you happen to see any other space-fandom decor out there on the internet, please share it with us!!

Much love,
The Geeks

*Any Starkids out there?  Anyone?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Oh, Internet...{23}

Urgh, what a week.  Being on vacation for a whole week sure makes it difficult to go back to work... Thankfully, the internet was there to provide some entertainment.

This mid-century mirror is going to make an appearance in our new living room soon... // via Target
I LOVE this nursery from Killer B Designs!

Xt3 has a really thorough article in their "Ask a Priest" section about the Church's teachings on organ donation.  It's important to note how there is a definite distinction between the charitable gift of a fully-informed and willing donor and the economic gain of a commercial transaction.

Craftaholics Anonymous has a great tutorial on spray painting furniture- something we may need to do soon...

What happened on your internet this week?

Much love,
The Geeks

Oh, Internet... is inspired by Kaelah Bee's Things I Love Thursday posts

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The World Needs More Magic

I agree with literally everything in this video.  I kind of want to watch it over and over again.  (Maybe I'll just subscribe to this guy's channel...)

Are you a fan of fantasy, or do you like your fiction more realistic?

Much love,
The Geeks

Monday, July 8, 2013

Fashion Adventures: SO MUCH CUTE

OK so first of all, allow me to apologize.  Not that anybody noticed, but this blog was quiet for over a week.  This was due to the fact that we were finishing our move-in and my parents and baby sister  came to visit for a week- in short, The Geeks were busy living our lives instead of writing about them.  It was sort of refreshing, this mini-blogging-break, but it also cured a bit of writer's block, so hopefully I'm back and louder than ever :)

Now that that's out of the way...

Lil Chief still has quite a bit of growing to do before she makes her grand entrance, but it's never too early to put together a wardrobe!

Remember my sister H, the incredible artist?  Well, she's done it again- my birthday present from her this year was an adorable collection of hand-decorated onesies for Chief!  Observe:

these two feature iron-on appliques
that butterfly actually wraps around to the back
Adorable, no?

Back on Mother's Day, Mr. Geek's dad gave me an adorable pair of pajamas for Chief:

frogs on the feet!!!!
While everyone was here, we took a trip down to Potomac Mills outlet mall for a bit of deep-discount shopping, and so of course we had to pop into the Children's Place outlet, where they were having a ridiculous sale on summer clothing.

Yes, I realize Chief won't be wearing summer clothes until next year, but like I said- it never hurts to plan ahead!  We snagged some cute warm-weather outfits in size 6-9 months- now, I realize that it's really hard to predict what size a baby will be wearing at any given point, especially within the first year, but I'm hoping that at some point between 6 and 9 months of age she'll be wearing size 6-9 months.  And if she's not- we've left the tags on and kept the receipt, so I can always return them.

these jammies are actually newborn-sized and styled for cooler weather
I had to grab that little blue-and-green number on the right to break up all the pink
something to crawl around in on the 4th of July next year!

we figure that a mixture of our particular flavors of fair skin will mean that Chief will need to wear a swim shirt
and my favorite part- tiny little socks and tiny little shoes!!!
I think maybe I could stop buying clothes for myself for the next decade or so if it means I can buy pretty little things for my pretty little girl...

Fess up- what's your favorite bit of baby clothes?  The onesies?  The jammies?  The shoes?

Much love,
The Geeks