Sunday, April 25, 2010


Not done decorating/rearranging... or even making the bed...., but with all that bed talk, I needed to post a picture of our new home ;-) It's so hard to leave it... Thank goodness finals give me the perfect excuse to stay in bed all day! ;-)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

In honor of Earth Day, I thought I'd share some interesting/cool links I've seen over the past few months. I created a fictional nonprofit program for a course with a few really bright ladies - our focus was creating workshops where people in the community could dialogue about green living ideas, tips, and facts. In evaluating the reasons for potential funders to adopt such a program, we had to find some evidence of need. I've come across a lot of great stuff lately - while the 'green' movement is picking up somewhat and attitudes are changing, we found that actions are much harder to change. I believe it... my bags have been sitting in my study for 3 weeks waiting to be recycled. Eco-guilt is on the rise, and community accountability can help us to make changes and kick the guilt. Some thoughts:
  • From a recent google buzz - Most plastic bags take over 400 years to biodegrade. Plastic bags cause over 100,000 sea turtle and other marine animal deaths every year when animals mistaken them for food.
  • If each U.S. home replaced just one of its incandescent bulbs with a CFL, the electricity saved each year could light 3 million homes and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equal to that of 800,000 cars.
  • Apartment Therapy is an interesting site with eco-friendly tips for apartment-dwellers. Sometimes it feels like a lot of 'green' decisions are made by homeowners only (energy-efficient appliances, gardening and planting trees, etc.), but there is a lot that renters can do as well! We can control our use of utilities, recycle, and even plant indoor gardens!
  • The idea of Creation Care is gaining steam in the Christian community. I'm sure there are some IV Press books on this very issue... ;-)
  • Finally, a productive use of all those pesky plastic bags - make your own flowers that never die! Well, apparently they would take 400 years to die (see above).

Flowers made from plastic bags - More DIY How To Projects

Monday, April 19, 2010

Now, seriously...

Joe and I celebrated my last day of law school classes by making a little trip to buy a frame and headboard for our new bed ... Guess where we went?

Hmm... Any ideas as to where we bought our bed frame?

Where could we possibly be with such tacky statues?!?!

Thaaaat's right! Norton Furniture!! We negotiated our purchase with Marc... He actually said, "Make me an offah!" in that sly, raspy, creepy voice!
Then they took a picture of us and put in on the wall with over 40,000 other customers!

His name is Marc, and we could count on it!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My Accomplished Abers

I’m not really big on Internet fads. I never got around to doing the 25 Interesting Things About Myself on Facebook (mainly because I felt that a lot of people were putting up things to try to portray themselves as someone who they are not, and I don’t play that game) and I have never uploaded a photo to Facebook (despite the fact that I took a ton of great pictures of Cleveland from the Goodtime III with the intention of putting them on Facebook!). So, when a bunch of people started making the 101 Things in 1001 Days lists, I remained very skeptical and figured that these lists would, to paraphrase Shakespeare, be “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”, that nobody would do anything they put on these lists, and that instead everyone would make a laundry list of reasons why they couldn’t accomplish their goals.

Well, I am very proud to say that Sheila has done a great deal of the things on her list! In just two months, she has already completed 12% of the list! It has been truly amazing and enjoyable watching her ardently and intentionally complete these tasks. I have come home from school some days to find her hard at work on daunting projects such as cleaning our extremely messy closets or baking cookies for Sara, and I am always happy to see the proud smile on her face that comes from working hard and doing something new (and doing it well too!) Sheila has done activities such as cook an Irish meal to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and a Persian meal to celebrate Noruz (Persian New Year). She knocked out a few on our trip to Pittsburgh—we went outlet shopping (a first for Sheila!) and scored some great deals. Additionally, we toured the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, which was an incredible experience—never once did I think that breathtaking art could be made with urine!

The 12% figure is actually deceiving because it does not take into consideration the progress that Sheila has made on some of her other, longer-term goals. For example, one of her goals is to watch all 10 of the movies nominated for Best Picture this past year. We have seen 5 of them, and District 9 is ready and waiting to be watched soon. She also has the goal of visiting all 4 of Michael Symon’s Cleveland restaurants; we have been to 2 of them! Additionally, she has tried hard to make a week-long meal plan for us several times, but unexpected fun times (such as Paul and Luke having us over for dinner on Friday) keep shakin’ things up!

Many of her other goals, such as graduating from law school and passing the bar, will be accomplished within the next few months too. I’m sure we’ll make our annual trip to Niagara Falls sometime this fall as well, and who knows, maybe we’ll finally go to the scary haunted house up there! One of her goals is to attend a Cavs game (preferably in the Finals)—I’ll be happy when that goal is accomplished! I’m sure we’ll also go to an Indians game—they’ve been playing very well, so that goal might be accomplished sooner rather than later! We didn’t get to go to one last summer, which made me sad because it was the first season that I can remember in which I did not get to attend at least one game.

Anyhow, I am very proud of Sheila and all that she has accomplished. Ever since she made this list and begun embarking on new ventures, I have definitely seen a positive change in her personality and demeanor—she often has a glowing smile on her face and is enjoying life much more than she was earlier in the semester. Her experience with this has made me think seriously about making one of these lists; if I do, I hope that I can live up to her hard-working example and complete it!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Good Night's Rest Awaits Us!

We bought a mattress today! It was hard to stop second-guessing ourselves on what constituted a good deal. We're used to having things that are just functional, but with my back pains, it was really difficult to make a choice that was a little more than just functional. Buying mattresses, I have discovered, is not too different from buying a used car. These salesmen can be really pushy! I also think there should be a sign above my head: "Just because I look young doesn't mean I'm an idiot and you can swindle me! And yes, I did say "my husband", so stop gawking and saying that I'm simply too young to be married!" .. but that would be kinda cumbersome... Anyway, we haven't bought something this expensive in years. I guess it's part of being an adult! :-p

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

1-800-M-a-t-t-r-e-s (s?)

When my mom came to visit a few weeks ago, she asked how old our mattress is. I'm not entirely sure, but I do know that it is the mattress that was in Joe's mom's house before they even lived there. Long story short... I'll give it an estimate of about 30 years old. Old. Joe can correct me if he so desires to participate in this blog ;-) ;-)

On a related note, I've been thinking about getting some help for my frequent back pain. I have scoliosis (I have the charts somewhere around here, taken when I was around 16 or 17, showing the odd curve of my back), but the doctor said it wouldn't need to be corrected - I would just struggle with some pain as I got older. Well, either "older" is here, or my mattress stinks, or my books are too heavy, because this pain is getting really annoying.

Which brings me to our search for a new (bigger!!) mattress! What do you sleep on? Has your mattress been passed down your family, or did you buy it yourself? If you got it yourself, what did you look for? I've seen everything from Memory Foam to Sleep Number to Posturepedic... we want to keep the costs down, but we also don't want to end up buying another mattress in a few years because we cheaped out.


On a side note, I am in love with this bed frame (ignore the heinous bedding!):

Thursday, April 1, 2010


A few life updates (mostly rehashing, with some detail)...
  • Joe was offered a job for the next year with the ACLU! The ACLU defends individual constitutional rights. Among other legal work, he will get to teach students about their legal rights! We're really excited that he got such a great job and that he'll be able to take off some time, work throughout the next school year, and have some extra money to cover living expenses!
  • I (Sheila) am officially taking the Ohio bar exam on July 27-29 in Columbus. To prepare, I'm taking a 10-week review course that I will hopefully treat like a 9-5 job this summer. That way, Joe and I can have the same schedule and I can still feel like I have time in the evenings to relax and play some tennis while it's warm :) It's going to be a grueling 10 weeks that will hopefully pay off with me actually passing the bar!
  • We're going to Riviera Maya (near Cancun, Mexico) from May 17-21 (right between graduation and my bar course!). We found a great deal and we're so excited!! This break will be a really great motivator so I can get through exams and refresh before starting the bar course. I wish we could somehow see Maya while we're down there!