ELVISSSSSSSSS!

So this happened! I wore my finest (and only) actual wedding dress and a bridal tank top, which is a thing that exists! Look at Jason aiming for silly but still landing on just plain handsome. He's so annoying like that. (Visible bra strap earns you +1,000,000 bonus Vegas points.) (While cracking up during the wedding ceremony earns you +1,000,000 marriage points.) We did it! And then promptly left the fancy vow renewal certificate in our Lyft. (Our driver found it and brought it back. Thank goodness, otherwise our 20-year marriage might have been INVALID or something.) Read more →


Beach House Rules, 2018 Edition

We're back from a lovely week away at the beach, where perfect days were sandwiched between hellish sleepness nights because the residents of the apartment above us apparently liked to run laps in combat boots while rearranging all the furniture between 3 and 5 a.m. We did not particularly love our rental this year, because 1) SEE ABOVE, and 2) We discovered during dinner one night that it was possible to very easily and accidentally trip the lock on the sliding door leading out to the second-story, screened-in deck from the inside, thus locking your damn ass outside. We were all completely stuck for about 20 minutes until we managed to get the attention of some people coming down a nearby flight stairs (who, thankfully, were NOT the nocturnal Sumo wrestlers from directly upstairs) who came inside our unit and rescued us. Meanwhile, we'd left the stove on and all the smoke alarms started going off, and I don't think I need to even TELL YOU who specifically and "accidentally" tripped the inside lock, right? Mmm-hmmm. Baby Ike is back on his bullshit. Also, 3) This was on the coffee table and haunted my every waking moment, because WTeverlovingF. But,... Read more →


20 to Life

Jason uses Google Photos (while I'm more of a "I have seven different cloud accounts for photo backup but forget about all of them until the exact second I drop my phone/spill wine on the laptop" kinda gal) and it occasionally makes little collages for him automatically, clearly using some kind of terrifying facial recognition/tracking technology that it's best to not think too hard about. It made this one of us recently, which could be accurately categorized as "Selfies Taken In Bars" or "Photos In Which Jason Looks Infuriating Handsome & Charming While Amy...Is Also...There." Us from amalah on Vimeo. Very apt for today, our 20th (T-W-E-NNNNNN-T-I-E-T-H) wedding anniversary. The anniversary of the day I somehow convinced this man to marry and run away with 20-year-old me. Well before my jawline started melting into my neck. And if that weren't crazy enough, I've also somehow convinced this man to marry me AGAIN, next month. We'll be renewing our vows in the style we always dreamed our first dirt-poor, underage wedding could have been. Which is obviously: Vegas. And Elvis. I can't wait. It's been a really tough year, there's no denying that. Definitely the kind of year that puts the... Read more →


One Month On

We spent the 4th of July in Baltimore, then went up to Hershey, PA for the rest of week. The boys only had two requests for summer vacation: Fireworks and Hersheypark. We were happy to oblige. (And yes, of course Noah brought the Declaration of Independence to its birthday party. And Sonic the Hedgehog, because why not?) (My phone died barely an hour into our day at the park, so this is the only documentation of my physical presence.) It's now been a full month since it happened, the event, the attempt, the night it all nearly stopped but didn't. Sometimes it still feels very near and very close, while other times I look up at the sky and see fireworks, or the world whizzing past on a rollercoaster, and it fades far, far away. To a different time and place I have no interest in ever revisiting. Read more →


Motherbleeping Day

On our way out to brunch on Mother's Day, Jason backed his car (yes, the new one) out of the garage without realizing the kids hadn't shut the one of the back doors yet. Whoops. It bent the top of the door frame and messed up the window seal.* That amazing start to the day was followed by said brunch at a fancy French restaurant, where the waiter approached our table right as I hissed at Ike to stop chewing the tablecloth. "Happy Mother's Day!," he said, giving me a knowing look. "Can I get you a DRINK?" (Ike later went on to cry at the table because Jason gave Ezra half of the bread he'd just said he didn't want. When offered the other half, he said he still didn't want it, he just didn't want Ezra to have it even more.) (On our way out of the restaurant, Ike passed a bread basket on the waiters' station and was like, "OH WOW FREE BREAD" and helped himself to a few more slices.) (We tipped very well. Ike eventually settled down and enjoyed his French toast and some chilled peach soup. Ezra and Noah were angels because birth order... Read more →


Carry That Weight

Our official plan was to wait at least until summer before replacing Jason's car. One car really works fine for us, at least when the kids are in school. (Summer camps are a different story, since everybody scatters to different half-day/full-day programs every week.) Jason can usually work from home any day I need the car for meetings or appointments, plus there are plenty of Lyft/Uber drivers around here, and we're honestly walking distance to a lot of things that we don't walk to simply because there's always at least one car in the driveway. Plus, how often do I ever have to go anywhere in person, besides once in a blue moon? Honestly, I'm not that important. The other day I realized we were out of bread, and instead of asking Jason to pick up bread on his way home, I just...walked to the damn store and bought the damn bread. In the wilds of suburbia! Like a crazy person! And I learned the secret to not going insane at Target with the impulse shopping: Remember that everything you buy, you have to carry home. Suddenly that decorative ceramic sheep and three-pound bag of clementines aren't quite so tempting.... Read more →


Assorted Weekend-ish Updates

DUMPLING UPDATE: Rey stole a dumpling! CAR UPDATE: The other driver has been found at fault for unsafe lane changing! Jason's car is toast, but they're giving us way more for it than we ever could've gotten in a trade in! We're even getting our deductible back! This is all very good news! Especially because he was putting off like $3,000 worth of repairs and had been ignoring the Check Engine light for months! Let this be a questionable lesson to us all! The bad news is that my husband now gets to shop for a new car and he is never more annoying to me than when he's shopping for a new car. It will take him months and he will test drive every car on earth. He will look at CarMax listing the way normal people look at Tinder. DUMPLING UPDATE II: Finn stole the dumpling! HAIRZ UPDATE: The only person in the world who is allowed to trim Ike's hair now is my hairstylist. Which sounds like it should be a pain, but she doesn't charge me much and swears Ike is always her best-behaved client of the day. Also, despite the holes in his pants knees... Read more →


Will It Instant Pot? Blue Apron Edition

This post is sponsored by Blue Apron. The first 100 people will receive $40 off their first two weeks of meals here! My husband finally caved to the Internet Multi-Cooker Hype and bought us an Instant Pot. He bought it just a couple weeks before Valentine's Day, which is when I planned to buy him an Instant Pot, because he loves to blow up my gifting spot every. Single. Holiday. (He got socks for V-day.) He is MORE THAN A LITTLE OBSESSED WITH IT. Him: (looks at phone, eyes widen, gasps) Me: OMG WHAT'S HAPPENING IS HE GETTING IMPEACHED Him: (shows me yet another Instant Pot recipe) — amalah (@amalah) February 9, 2018 (After I finish this post I've been tasked with taking his precious Instant Pot full of his precious pork chili verde to his office to enter a cook-off on his behalf because he's stuck in meetings elsewhere. It's cute that he thinks I know how to turn the thing on, let alone how to not burn the building down.) (UPDATE: He won first place. I graciously accepted the award on his behalf. If he asks, just tell him about the spoon.) Anyway. What? Oh right. Our lives... Read more →


Pave the Swamp

Look, it's a patio! Er...well, not quite yet. We admittedly chose the worst time of year to start an outdoor project, as the crew can't work in the rain or whatever the hell kind of INSANE WIND STORM swept in last night that canceled schools and sent everybody's trash cans dancing up the street. So right now we have a lot of dirt and rocks and pallets of pavers beautifying our yard. Also this! Which is delighting the boys to no end. Look at them, not even wearing jackets three days ago and now we're trapped in a sub-freezing bomb cyclone vortex of some kind. All very fine and normal and I am feeling really great about the climate right now!!! We're getting a patio for two three reasons. One, that area behind/under the deck gets absolutely zero sun and is basically a perpetual, unusable swamp. So trying to do anything in the backyard (be it gardening or s'mores or magical berry gathering) requires you to first wade through several inches of mud worthy of the Fire Swamp. Not pleasant, also take off your shoes take off your shoes omg children stop coming inside with those damn muddy shoes. Reason... Read more →


More #StuffPoppyAte

In other non-home improvement news, Poppy ripped open almost-new bag of cat food yesterday and promptly horfed the entire thing down in under five minutes. Or however long it took me to go from, "hmmm I don't like the sound of that" to finding this in the living room: (AND OF COURSE: It was a bag of expensive specialty cat food. Rey's on an elimination diet as we're trying to pinpoint what our vet thinks is a protein allergy. She is one high maintenance dumbass, but she's like, my high maintenance dumbass, you know?) (TANGENT: I had a doctor's appointment yesterday in Baltimore and not long after I got there Jason texted me asking about Rey's whereabouts, as someone on Nextdoor reported seeing a stray black cat on the road right by our house. She'd been on our bed when I left and for the life of me I couldn't think of a single rational explanation for how she could possibly have gotten outside but you KNOW I came up with several irrational ones* and was low-key terrified until I got home and could confirm that yes, she was still right there on the bed.) (Then I got in the... Read more →