A New Addition to the Richmond Clan!

We're expecting!

Er...a new vacuum that is.

In a matter of days, Justin and I will welcome a new Dyson "The Ball" vacuum to our dirt-ridden apartment. I found a great price for it on Amazon (40% off!) and we decided we couldn't pass this chance up. A Dyson! In our very own home! Suffice to say, I'm quite excited.

My newfound passion for vacuum cleaners is a rather strange one for a girl like me. As a kid, I hated vacuuming and I would dread the moment when my mother shoved our hand-held Dirt Devil in my hand and ordered me to vacuum the basement staircase. I know, I know---it was just one flight of stairs! But still...I hated doing it.

I hated using the vacuum in college too. During my monthly cleaning checks, you could find me scrubbing the bathroom floor or defrosting the freezer but I left the vacuuming to my roommates. I loathed dragging the giant heavy vacuuming apparatus from the closet and pushing it around the carpet. I know, I know---it's such an easy job! But still...I hated doing it.

Fast forward a few years and I'm now married and living in a nice apartment. (Hey, it's not a mansion, but it's big enough for two and relatively new.) When Justin and I went shopping for a vacuum, we just chose one we found at Target: it was small, it was black, and it was cheap. Surely, this little Eureka could keep our carpet dirt-free. But boy, were we wrong.

The carpet in my apartment hasn't been thoroughly cleaned in over a year--gross, I know. Oh, Justin and I try to clean the carpet but our stupid Eureka just pushes dirt around instead of sucking it up. (It doesn't help either that I have long hair and shed like a Persian show cat.) The breaking point came for us when I realized that I could clean my carpets better with my bare hands than with my vacuum cleaner. Yep. My vacuum is pretty sucktastic.

So I can't wait for our new bundle of joy to arrive! Even Justin is excited about the newest addition to our family. He told me last night that he's looking forward to when the FedEx truck drives up to our apartment to drop off our very first child---er, I mean Dyson.

My name in print!

I have an editorial in the Baltimore Sun today!

Well, technically it isn't in their editorial or op-ed section---it's in a column called "Having Your Say" that revolves around local issues in the Baltimore community.

I'll be the first to admit that the essay is a bit cheesy and heavy-handed in parts, but I am very passionate about instilling a love of reading into our children's lives! (Oh, and I was trying to stretch my original 500-word piece into 700-words.)

I'm so excited and I wish Justin was here so I can do a little dance for him! Oh well. I guess I'll have to do my little jig for myself and myself alone---unless you live in North Carolina and want to drive to my apartment to see me in action.

(By the way... The introduction of the piece may sound a little familiar because I plagiarized one of my old blog entries. Bwahaha. I'm the queen of recycled material.)

Tagged for the first time!

This morning I got up really early (5:00AM!) to see Justin off before he heads into the field for one week of training. It's nearly seven in the morning now and I miss him already. Sniff. Thus, I thought it fitting to finally post this little Q&A about my wonderful hubby.

25 Things About My Love

1. What is his name? Justin Andrew Richmond

2. Who eats more? Justin wins this question by a mile. He can tank a full rack of ribs and dozens of barbeque chicken wings in one sitting. I must say though that I win when it comes to eating mashed potatoes. I am awesome at eating this delicious wonder of a food.

3. Who said I love you first? Justin did. He reminds me of this little fact nearly every week.

4. Who is taller? I am taller by about an inch! Bwahaha. I am an Amazonian warrior princess.

5. Who is smarter? Eh, I'd say we are equally intelligent but our interests vary vastly. He knows a lot about economics, public policy, and military tactics while I know a lot about American history, fiction, and women's history. When it comes to street smarts though, Justin wins by far. I'm kind of a space cadet when it comes to that sort of thing.

6. Who is more sensitive? I am more sensitive, but the longer I'm married I've learned that Justin can be sensitive too. He may be a tough Army guy on the outside, but he is a sweet little baby penguin on the inside.

7. Who does the laundry? I do most of it because I'm home all day working on my sometimes good, sometimes wretched first novel.

8. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? I sleep on the right side of the bed when we are sleeping in our apartment. When we visit our parents or spend the night at a friend's house, we switch positions. Isn't that weird?

9. Who pays the bills? That would be moi.

10. Who cooks more? I cook more often because I am awesome at cooking. Haha. Well, not always, but I can make a delicious sun-dried tomato pesto pasta as well as a yummy lasagna.

11. What meals do you cook together? We prefer to cook separately. Our kitchen is kind of narrow and we get into each other's way whenever we try to cook together.

12. Who is more stubborn? I am as stubborn as a mule. I was born in 1982, the year of the dog, and the Chinese perceive dogs to be stubborn little creatures. (As well as a delicious meat.)

13. Who is the first to admit they're wrong? Justin. (See #12.) I'd like to think that I'm never wrong.

14. Who is cleaner? Hmm, I am probably cleaner by a hair. Both of us are very cluttered and unorganized people. One day we will undoubtedly lose one of our children in the huge pile of clothes in our bedroom.

15. Who has more siblings? Me! I have two, he has one.

16. Who wears the pants in the relationship? He likes pants, I like skirts, but our relationship is entirely equal.

17. What do you like to do together? Watch movies, try out new restaurants, talk about politics, buy books from the bookstore, sing the praises of Barack Obama...

18. Who eats more sweets? That would be me again. I'm always bugging Justin to come with me to buy ice cream or milkshakes or hot chocolate.

19. Guilty pleasures? The Japanese game show "Ninja Warrior." Have any of you guys seen it? It is hilarious. What's up with these weird Japanese game shows? Another guilty pleasure would be Star Trek: The Next Generation. Justin does not share this passion with me though and he worres that I will one day run off with Jean-Luc Picard.

20. How did you meet? Hrm...we never know how to answer this question when people ask us. Technically, we met during my sophomore year at BYU when Justin was taking a year off from Duke to work and write a book. He was dating one of my friends from my freshman floor and I developed a wee crush on him.

But we didn't start dating until four years later when we bumped into each other at the Outer Banks in North Carolina. (Strange, huh?) The topic of our first conversation was anal sex. (Even stranger, huh?) Yep. Go figure. Don't know why we talked about that but we did.

21. Who asked who out first? Um...Justin, I think. He suggested that we should rendezvous in the town of St. Petersburg, VA since it was a halfway point between Fayetteville and DC.

22. Who kissed who first? We kind of went in for it together.

23. Who proposed? He did. Down on one knee. Aww.

24. His best features? His beautiful green eyes and his smile. Another bonus? I know he won't go bald! His 80+ year-old grandfather still has a lot of hair on his head.

25. What is his greatest quality? His compassion for others, his drive to work hard, his patience towards me, his intelligence, his sense of humor. The way he doesn't judge people. The dogged way he loves his friends and family.

I sure did marry a winner.

I tag Jami and Jana!

The Book List

A couple of days ago, I headed to the bookstore to take a little break from writing. As I glanced around the Summer Reading tables, I picked up the 50th anniversary edition of Lolita and I knew I had to have it. I read this book two summers ago but I borrowed the novel from my local library with the intent on purchasing it if I really enjoyed it. And I really did like it. (Morbid, I know.) I just never got around to buying the damn thing.

Scribbled down somewhere in one of my old journals is a list of books I want to have in my own personal library. These are books I read in high school or college or in my post-graduate life that I just haven't gotten around to purchasing (ie Unaccustomed Earth). These are books too that I have lost (The Color Purple) or lent out to a friend and was never returned (The Princess Bride). I still wonder at times where my old dusty copy of A Handmaid's Tale has run off to--perhaps it has joined A Wrinkle in Time in the land where lost books go?

Anyway, here are a few tomes on my book list that I would like to own some day soon:

One Hundred Years of Solitude (Read this in high school. My copy of it survived through my five years in college before it disappeared without a trace. Sigh.)

The Feminine Mystique (Fantastic read. Changed my life by freeing my inner feminist.)

The Princess Bride (Such a fun story. I love the movie too but the film lacks some of the whimsy and wit of the novel.)

The Sirens of Titan (Vonnegut is kind of insane, but in a genius sort of way.)

The Green Book (This is a short little novel I read in the third grade. I LOVED IT! Must have it. Must read to my future half-white, half-Asian children.)

So what are some books you've been meaning to buy for your at-home library?