the work / play continuum.

Home & Leisure

The first 2/3 of April were spent finishing up the house and yard. I laid a little gravel path in the backyard, which hasn’t held up as nicely against grass and twigs as I would have hoped. I painted all the trim and the coffered ceiling in the dining room. It turned out alright.

As Dan wrapped up his tour with The Blue Letter, we met up in NY to see one of our favorite bands, Refused. I also got to see a bunch of friends and do a bit of work from the NY office, and it was hands-down the best trip up there I’ve ever had. Fun but not too hectic, beautiful weather, minimal travel inconvenience. Then it was time to roll home (literally, on the train) and get ready for our long-awaited open house.

photo by Sean Rhorer

The open house was great — we had so much fun having everyone over. The sensation of welcoming people into our house for food and rest instead of manual labor was amazing. And moving on from the renovation was the best part.

Things have calmed down a lot, and it’s wonderful.In general, we’ve tried not to fall back into over-scheduling ourselves, and I think we’ve done a good job of it. We still make it to some events, but we don’t feel like we have to attend every single thing we’re invited to. So we’ve had some quiet nights at home. I’ve made some rhubarb pie. We’ve gotten the fire pit going. I finished up the tutoring season with CHAT. Dan’s become an amazing salmon chef. A picnic was had at Agecroft Hall. We watched all 6 seasons of How I Met Your Mother, which are available on Netflix Instant. And we even crept thankfully, joyously back into daytripping with jaunts to Barboursville and Crabtree Falls / local breweries. In other words, it’s been a restful couple of months on the home front.


Being a Grown-Up

In a couple of weeks Dan and I will have been together for five years, and married for almost three years. In all that time we’ve never had a formal budget set up; I’m in charge of finances and I’ve been looked to for answers whenever we want to know how much we can spend on this or that. I’m always like “NOTHING! We can spend nothing on anything.” But for the first time since right at the beginning of our marriage, our income is predictable enough to allow for a strict budget. We’ve been paying down debt since the renovation spending ended, but tonight we sat down and figured out exactly how we can pay down our debt a lot faster. It was painful but necessary. Some expenditures have got to go, and it wasn’t hard to agree on which ones. So since we worked it all out together, I hope it’ll be easier to stick to than if one of us just arbitrarily wrote down a budget. I have no idea what couples did for budgeting before Mint.com existed. It is seriously such a helpful thing.

Work

Taking on more responsibility at work has added the slightest hint of stress, but it’s still a fairytale job and I can’t believe I’m lucky enough to work there. We’ve gone segwaying together, for crying out loud. And I just enjoyed a great trip up to the NY office to work, play ridiculous drinking games with my colleagues, and spend the weekend sightseeing. I’ve gotten to take on a lot of documentation / organizing work lately, which as you know is my professional raison d’être.

Personality

Speaking of personality traits, a bunch of us at work took the Myers-Briggs test and the results were SURPRISING TO NONE.

Summertime

This week has been hot in Richmond. Crazy, sizzlingly hot — even for the south. I spent the 4th of July trying to cool off in the dubious waters of Hadad’s Lake and then trying not to melt at a backyard barbecue as my friends’ toddlers buzzed around. I ended the evening sitting on a blanket in Libby Hill Park between my two favorite Daniels, facing the fireworks. The summer has been good so far.

* * *

As always, a zillion percent more Tess can be found at my main site.

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