Ask US anything...The answers!

I apologize that this took me so long to do. Time has slipped away from me, but what's new right? So I thought better late than never. Thank you to all of you that asked us questions, it was so fun to read all of them!

So here we go!

How's the house coming? What's your current project?
-The house it coming along great. We are moving along with starting to finish the basement. Our basement is completely unfinished and we are planning on adding another living room, bathroom, storage room, office and bedroom. We would ultimately like the bedroom and living room to be done prior to use having a second child.  One of the first steps to finishing the basement was to cut in an egress window. We have one on the south wall of the basement, but we'd like the bedroom on the north side and to sell the house as a 4 bedroom home, we needed another one. So my father in law came down a few weeks ago and he and Brendan cut through our foundation and cut the window in. It turned out great, we installed the window and today Brendan is actually at the home improvement store as I type buying the window surround. I'll post pics of the progress and window when it's all finished. Next we will order all of the drywall and start that project. Brendan has a few walls framed downstairs already. Did I mention we are finishing the basement by ourselves, I say we loosely, because we all know I have no clue how to drywall.

Are you taking a summer vacation?
- We did, to Grand Cayman and it was glorious! We just returned on Thursday evening and we had a wonderful time just the two of us. It was so good to be home and snuggle our little guy. I will post pictures this week!

Will you come decorate my house?
-Absolutely! I love decorating, but I try to do everything on a budget. I shop consignment stores, Hobby Lobby clearance, and we do a ton ourselves of making things.  In all seriousness, I would be happy to help you with some idea boards to incorporate all of your ideas, just let me know!

What are favorite online decorating resources?
-Oh where to start! I love decor pad to get ideas, then I try to make them come to life on the cheap!  I also and loving Pinterest these days.  If you haven't checked out this site and would like an invite, just holler!  You can find me there, I'm Abby with Life With B&A, cleaver huh?  A few of my favorite blogs that I read almost daily are Bryn Alexandra, DIY showoff, and You paid more than me.  With decorating I really try to find and re purpose things that I've used before.  I little paint or switching up it's place in the house always breaths new life into our home.

What are your favorite places to shop?
-This one's hard, I love to shop but again, I'm bargain Betty and love a good deal!  My go to places to everyday clothes are Gap, J.Crew, Target, Khols and Nordstrom.   I get a lot of my clothes from the clearance racks of J.Crew and Nordstrom.  When I'm shopping it's most likely with coupons or gift cards.  I'm not of fan of paying full price.  I will give you a little tip, if you subscribe to the stores email, they send you coupons!  I will say that I do invest in good quality staples, a black t-shirt, a khaki trench coat, a white button up shirt.  For the more trendy items, it's inexpensive all the way!

What would you say is your next big goal in life?
-I am going to be looking for a new career.  Currently, I work for a federally funded grant and it's ending in September.  My goal is to find a job/career I can be at for many years.  I thought I would have been at my academic advising job for a very long time, but unfortunately they cut my position when I was 30 weeks pregnant.  It was a blessing in disguise but I want that feeling again of being in a position I truly enjoy and can be at for many years to come.  This isn't going to be easy because I would love to find a position that is part-time and those in social services are hard to come by.  But we shall see...

How did you and B meet?
-Well, I thought he was a jerk at first.  True story, in college we both worked at Abercromie and Fitch, we were both late for work, but didn't know each other.  It's December in Iowa and I'm heading to work, go to pull in a parking space and this jerk steals my spot.  So I'm forced to park all the way in Timbuktu, and am late for work.  I start talking to my manager Kris, and am begging not to write me up for my tardiness.  I keep saying "this jerk stole my parking spot, if he comes in here, don't help him".  Brendan comes walking around the corner and I say "Kris, that's the jerk, don't help him"!  Kris says to me "Oh Abby, I don't think you've met my younger brother Brendan"... Insert foot in mouth!  My manager is now my brother in law.  I didn't get written up and Brendan felt so bad that he bought me lunch.  Our first date was in the back room of Abercrombie eating Subway.  Funny thing is, he's the nicest guy you will ever meet.

What is one re-occurring "fight" you and B have?
-Our disagreement that we've been having since March 2010 is Drew riding in the car.  This argument is totally one sided and it's me getting frustrated because Drew is not a good car rider at all.  When we travel long distances I sit in back to entertain him and Brendan usually drives.  He can barely make it an hour without getting fussy or down right having a meltdown.  This stresses me out and in turn I get frustrated with Brendan for no reason at all.  He does nothing but be supportive and ask what he can do to help.  I have no clue why Drew is such a bad car rider, we have activities, we have a DVD player where he watches Baby Einstein and yet we can't make it to my parents lake house which is 1 hour and 15 minutes without having a meltdown.  We've tried stopping, giving him milk, snacks, toys, books, and yet still he melts down.  Brendan is so good and when I get frustrated he will offer for me to drive and calm Drew down.  This helps me calm down and de-stress.  So really it's me and my neurosis that keeps reoccurring.  I just want to be able to ride in the car without my child screaming.  Anyone have any suggestions?  Drew is rear facing and we plan to have him that way until he's 2.  He's not crunched for space, he'll ride for 30 minutes just fine, but after that we are on borrowed time.  Oh and he will not sleep in the car, I've tried everything, even turning his DVD player off, and he's still bright eyed and bushy tailed!

Since I read your blog and I am from Germany, are you watching the FIFA Women's world cup Germany 2011?
- We did watch it!  It was absolutely amazing to watch team USA do what they did!  I have watched Abby Wambach since she was in college and to see her lead her team to the finals was awesome!  I do have to say that I highly disagree with Rachel Beuhler getting red carded out of the Brazil game.  I didn't think it was a flagrant foul, and of course Brendan and I both went nuts when we were watching the game!  Brendan too is a soccer buff, he also has coached soccer and played in college.  We're a little nutty about soccer around here.  It was great to watch the finals come down to penalty kicks, a white knuckler for sure!   Germany did an amazing job hosting the world cup!

What's been the most difficult adjustment of being a stay at home mom? Do you foresee yourself working again in the near future?
-I have actually been working since last October for a federally funded grant as a crisis counselor.  I absolutely love it and I have a great schedule, I work 3 days a week and am home 2 days a week with Drew.  I have found that this schedule has given us great balance, Drew gets to socialize at a small in home daycare and I get to do what I love, work in social services.  After my grant ends in September I do foresee myself continuing to work.  It's been a great fit for me and for Drew, he loves going to day care.  When we go in the door he squiggles to get down and runs to the toys immediately. It was a fluke that I even was offered this position, I was staying home and had been for 7 months.  I had looked at a few jobs but none came fruition.  We live in a very small town and opportunities in the social services are few and far between.  Brendan was at a luncheon and my now bosses sister approached Brendan and asked if I would be interested in going back to work part-time.  Brendan said I would but it would have to off set the cost of day care.  Thankfully it did, I could work part-time and it's been great ever since.  I'm sad that my job is coming to an end.
-The hardest transition for me when I was a stay at home mom was actually 2 things.  First, I didn't make the decision to stay at home, although I was so grateful for my time at home, my job as an academic advisor was cut when I was 30 weeks pregnant.  Brendan and I made the decision that it was best for me to stay home, move in to our new house and prepare for the baby, rather than strap an employer with me starting and then taking maternity leave.  So I have always felt that I resented the fact that someone made that decision for me and I didn't get a say in it.  Second, I had a very hard time with not contributing financially to our family.  I know I was working my tail off being home with Drew and thankfully financially we could afford for me to do so, but I've worked since I graduated college and it was a huge adjustment and again I think it goes back to the fact that I didn't make the decision, it was made for me.  So when my current job arose, it seemed like a perfect fit.  Now, if I decide to stay home in the upcoming months or in the future, I'll feel as though I will be able to make the decision.

When do you guys think you'll have baby #2?
-I really have no idea.  We've talked about it and recently I got the all clear from my cardiologist that if I do want to have a baby, we surely can!  I would say we'd starting trying within a year.

How has your relationship changed with B since having Drew?
-Our relationship has definitely changed, in good and bad ways.  I'm not going to lie it's been hard at times not to be resentful with each other for having "me time" or not being able to read my mind.  I'm horrible at thinking he should be able to read my mind!  We have had to really work to have time together and is used to just be easy, obviously we didn't have a small human depending on us.  We've had to work at making time for each other and carve out date nights.  I will say that although there have been some pretty big adjustments we've had to make with our relationship, we definitely have much more appreciation for each other as parents.  To see Brendan as a daddy has given me a whole new level of love and compassion for him.  He amazes me daily at how wonderful of a father and husband he is.

What are your beauty/fashion must haves?
-Oh this is such a fun question!  For beauty, I'm actually pretty low key, I do always need a good moisturizer for my face, I use Cetaphil moisturizer and it's been great for my very sensitive skin.  I also use Vaseline on my lips every night and I love it, no clue why.  I do have to say that I always have to have a razor with me when I travel, so I'll say that's a beauty must have, I shave my legs daily. As for my makeup, I always need to have a good bronzer, I'm a bit pasty most of the time.  I really love Bobby Brown's bronzer, it's light and doesn't make your face feel like you have makeup on.  My other makeup must have is mascara, those two things and I can call it a day.  Just your basic black mascara will do me just fine.
-Fashion, oh hmmm, I love fashion so there are a few must haves that I always travel with or have in my closet:
1. Black flats
2. Boot cut dark jeans
3. Black cardigan sweater
4. Knee length trench coat
5. Floor length maxi dress
6. Printed scarf
7. White button up shirt
8. Black t-shirt
9. Black & Brown slouchy boots
10. Reef flip flops

I'm all about comfort, and if you want the most comfy flip flops, get Reefs!  My feet love them.  I would say my style is classically chic.  I love basics and really do wear everything I listed above very often.  Then I like to mix in a few trendy pieces here and there.

Thank you to everyone who submitted questions.  If you have any follow-up questions, dont' hesitate to ask!

1 comment:

Melaina25 said...

I didn't realize you worked at A&F, too!

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