Our New Favorite Game

…that we’re slightly addicted to. Is “Sequence”.

I hear it’s a super old game, everyone’s probably heard of it, but I had never once encountered it. Lately we’ve wanted to get some games to have on hand for a Friday night in (which is, umm, every Friday night) or if we had people over. So for Christmas, my family got us Scrabble, Sequence, Apples to Apples, and Cranium (ask for an apple and ya get the whole tree with this crowd).

I love Apples to Apples and Cranium, but you need more people. Scrabble, sadly, always ends in one of us (me…it’s always me) being deeply upset and miserable. I don’t know why – maybe I’m self conscious of my inability to look at random letters and form words. We try it out every couple of months or so (like we did a couple of nights ago), but we were just reminded of why we don’t play it. So we’ll possibly bring it out for a group of people…maybe.

But Sequence! Gosh is it addicting! I could be enjoying it so much because I have a 4:1 record with Kevin right now…but nonetheless, it’s quick, it’s chance & a bit of strategy (probably more chance). We’ve played like 10 times in the past two days. If you’re looking for a good board game for just two people, I’d recommend this one!

 

Our Little Nazareth

I often complain about me and Kevin’s tiny apartment (I apologize to those who have had to listen to me!). It is tiny, truly (at least compared to my last several apartments). We once had a guest stay on our futon as he needed a place to crash  for one night while en route from Minnesota to Maine. We did it, but it was not the most comfortable of evenings. Our bathroom is in the bedroom, and it was like midnight and our guest had to walk uncomfortably around me and Kevin’s bed to use it. Talk about awkard.com.

Anyway, yes it is small and I’ve spent many months playing tetris in our closets and bookshelves. I’ve lamented over not being able to decorate as much as I would love to for the seasons. I’ve gotten frustrated over the two feet of movement room in the “kitchen”. BUTTTTTTTTT….yes, there’s a but. It has become our home. And I am coming to really love it.

It’s our little Nazareth. And it really is a place of peace. Even though we live on a main road which can be a bit traffic-y and noisy at times, I really feel distant from my work/commute/busyness when I’m home. Our Lord was born into poverty; Mary and Joseph weren’t living in a palace. And I’m grateful that we can learn from them. We look to them as our model for family and they help us along our way. We are building our domestic Church, and it’s so exciting!

For Kevin’s birthday, I got him The Little Oratory, a really great read on making our homes into little oratories, integrating liturgical living into family life. I’ve read through most of it and it have loved it. I look forward to utilizing it in the possible house we will one day own and live in, but for now, even with the small space we have, there is so much we can do to make it a home filled with Christ. And it makes all the difference. Our home is still a work in progress – we have most of our wall things waiting to be hung up once we know if we’re allowed to nail the wall. 😉

Finally, my home is with my beloved. We love to dream of our future home – it’s a big hobby of ours – but we both know that home is truly wherever we are with one another.

On another note, we’re giving a talk at Northeastern’s Catholic Center this Wednesday on dating & relationships, and we could use your prayers! Kevin’s great at this thing…I’m not. Thanks!

Weeknights at the Gearns Household

Weeknights are tiring…for many people I’m sure. And since I work Tuesday/Thursday, Monday/Wednesday are my packed evenings of cook dinner, prepare next day’s lunch & dinner, shower, clean, maybe a walk with Kevin, other necessary tasks, some reading…and Kevin and I typically make some time for a bit of netflix.

I’m glad we made the decision to not purchase cable since internet gives us more than we need. And so we decided to purchase Netflix – $8/month is still an expense for us, but it certainly provides us with some downtime entertainment. I’m no tv whiz anymore – there was a time in my life (high school) when I had a specific show each night of the week, but not anymore. I hadn’t picked up a new show in years. Last spring Kevin and I started watching Gilmore Girls together (I had a few seasons on DVD) – my roommates got a kick out of watching us. And when Kevin put his foot down and decided it was time for his choice (even though he loved the Gilmores), I let him introduce me to Psych.

Psych

This addiction wasn’t quite as bad as the Hunger Games phase I went through in January (tried so hard avoid that one), but this show had me hooked! If you’ve never seen it, it’s a comedy about this guy, Sean, who pretends to be a psychic detective for the Santa Barbara Police Department, and it is hilarious. And then there are the serious episodes that actually kept me up at night. We made it through five full seasons until Kevin realized he needed to pull me away this summer.

Sherlock

So he introduced me to Sherlock Holmes, the new mini-series. I knew absolutely nothing about Sherlock outside of Robert Downey Jr’s recent portrayal. But man is this show intense! And engaging! And long! You gotta really commit to an episode. They keep you on your feet, but I have to say I am impressed…and also always annoyed with Sherlock because he is a complete jerk. And the show is very anti-christian, at least from what I can gather. But still entertaining!

Arrested Development

And to really just lighten Kevin’s days, we’ve now finished two seasons of Arrested Development. This one I had seen a bit back when it first came out, but don’t recall much at all. And it really is as funny as everyone says. Lucille. Gob. Maeby. I mean…they’re all just so good. What a comedic adventure each night – and just 20 minutes an episode!

So for all those television experts out there, I don’t have anything new. I’m just really grateful netflix has so much.

Home Alone

I love the movie Home Alone. I love its sequel even more. What I do NOT enjoy is actually being home alone. I can’t recall a single night of my life that I’ve spent entirely alone. Until this week.

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Growing up in a household of seven, there wasn’t much opportunity to experience alone time. And college was college. And post-college, it seems like I had 10 roommates at all times. That’s a bit of an exaggeration…but also kind of true. And if it ever got to be past 9pm and nobody was home yet, the unease would start to set in.

People have exposed me to too many (meaning less than 5) scary movies in my time for me to simply enjoy a night on my own. When I was 12, my cousins and I watched The Ring. None of us could pee alone for a week. Years later as a senior in college, my roommates had a night where we watched Saw. WORST.IDEA.EVER. Especially since that week just coincidentally happened to be some weird convention where people dressed up like the tricycle freak from that film. I refused to go anywhere alone after that. And then last year, my roommate began watching this creepy film with Daniel Radcliffe one evening (something with a lady in black), and not knowing it would be a horror film, I sat down to join. Regret to the max.

Now my husband is out of town for 2 nights, and I have to put on my brave face and learn how to sleep while home alone. So what exactly have I done to keep myself busy in the evenings?

Everything. I put on a Matt Maher playlist and got to work. I deep cleaned our bathroom, tub included. I reorganized the linen closet, under our bed, and the shelves over our toilet. I spent 25 minutes chasing a fly around the apartment with a bottle of febreze. I did the dishes. I took out the trash and recycling. I watered the plants. I consolidated some boxes still laying around. I watched some of Catching Fire (I couldn’t resist – Kevin’s not here). Skyped with a friend. Read my journal from Summer 2011. Watched and episode of Charmed (once again…husband out of town). And I read some of Harry Potter to put me in a happy place.

Did it all work? Well, Kevin comes home tonight and I’m still alive, so I’d say it’s a win.

One day I’ll be able to cope. Or just have 10 kids to keep me company.

In my own little corner…

While we are still very much in the process of putting our apartment together, I have to say…our kitchen is kind of my happy place. And despite the small space, we have found a way to display my our kitchenaid stand mixer (which, I must say, is my new favorite toy) while still keeping the whole area functional. My former roommates (all 5 of them) plus a few other ladies generously pitched in to get me us this gift. It is greatly appreciated and will get some dang good use!

Kitchenaid

Things I’ve done with my kitchenaid to date:

1. Shred chicken each week to have a stash full for sandwiches, wraps, salads, pizza varieties, lasagna, etc. (it works like a charm,and has been a time saver, as well as added meat to our meals).

2. Make homemade cool whip as a healthier, cheaper, and more delicious dessert option.

3. Bake my favorite chocolate chip oatmeal cookies (can be found here).

4. Make waffle batter (weekends are always better with waffles).

Kevin has grown to love our kitchenaid as well. =)