Today Gabe is wearing a white t-shirt, green sunglasses, and blue shorts.
This post might not be a very good one; I’m writing it late at night, unable to sleep, after a day of flying across the country to visit my parents in Illinois. It’s such a long day of travel that always leaves me simultaneously buzzing and completely exhausted. I am not a good flier.
I was coming from Seattle, where Gabe and I were for a few days visiting friends. It was crazy to be in the city again after becoming such country bumpkins over the last year. Okay, Gabe was never really a city person to begin with, but it has been a big change for me, though a surprisingly easy one. It turns out I am a country person; I just never lived in the country before.
But as we drove into Seattle, I felt a sense of anxiety start to build, just looking at all the cars and buildings. I usually feel a little thrill when I get to the city, but not this time.
(Though I was still pretty jazzed to have not one, not two, but three grocery stores within walking distance of the apartment where we were staying [as opposed to having one tiny one that is a 15 minute drive down the highway away]. And I got to visit a fancy coffee shop and get served a great latte by a hipster instead of the hippies that I am used to.)
But my day of travel left my tired as always, even though I was actually able to work on the plane and not just spend the whole time trying to remind myself that thousands of flights happen every day and the pilot is very good at his or her job, etc etc.
It was pretty therapeutic to spend the time writing and planning instead of worrying.
These last few weeks have been really busy and crazy, and I am looking forward to some downtime while I’m with my parents. Here are a couple of things that have gotten me through these busy weeks:
Romeo is my constant. On a particularly stressful day last week, he found our front door and let himself inside. Then he hopped into my bed and made like a rolly-polly.
Can you believe this place is real? Gabe and I stopped on our way to Seattle to visit friends who live on a farm outside Salem, OR. This is in their back yard. It is a lake with a dock with a picnic table on it. It was…perfect.
Oh yes, it’s on. The star of my blog and I are getting full-on married next year. So that is a pretty great thing that has happened in the last few weeks too. 🙂
Today Gabe is wearing a white t-shirt, blue jeans, and brown boots.
I bought new running shoes! And then I took them for a run.
After Gabe’s dad told me a year ago that I needed new running shoes, I finally decided that the foot and leg pain I’d been complaining about a year ago when he told me I needed new shoes was bad enough that maybe I actually would buy those new shoes.
I walked into the local running shoes store (yes, the, because there is only one) and asked, “My ankles are getting all wobbly when I run. What would you recommend?”
He told me his best seller, I tried it on, he showed me that it came in bright pink, and I walked out in under about 4 minutes.
Possibly one of the best transactions of my entire life.
In case it matters, he was un-ironically sporting a wonderful mustache. And we all know how I feel about a guy with an un-ironic mustache. So I guess he has my business for life now.
Because I love a mustache, and I absolutely don’t have the time or knowledge to buy a shoe online.
Earlier this week, I went over to Gabe’s parents’ house to celebrate his grandmother’s 94th birthday.
I brought over some work to do before dinner, but just as I was sitting down, the power went out. Which meant the internet went out. Which means no work.
And also meant a candlelit dinner, which was tres romantique for a 94th birthday party.
We ate enchiladas and delicious chocolate cake, while rain poured down outside. Since Gabe’s grandmother is French, we spoke French all through dinner, which meant I nodded along politely, reacted about a second too late to everything anyone said, and contributed a lot of “Oh!” and “Oui!” sounds to the conversation.
After hauling out several old candles to light the room, and after cutting off the lumpy, melted, knocking-this-candle-over-so-it-can’t-stand-up-straight wax off a couple of particularly old ones, Gabe got the brilliant idea to make a candle.
And so, because we had no electricity, we did.
It was beautiful, and difficult to photograph.
Also this week, Gabe finally completed the whole entire floor of our new apartment! Which he has been building for us, in the middle of the woods, and which we’ll be moving into together in like 2 weeks!
Here is Gabe midway through his work on the floor. (How about that stove, btw?? I can’t wait to crank it and make it so warm all the time forever in this new apartment.)
Other than these photos, nothing interesting has happened. I am still a Twitter robot and I spend my days either staring into the Internet or trying to chat people up at 94th birthday parties about WHAT IS EVEN GOING ON ON THE AMERICANS!
Today Gabe is wearing a white t-shirt, red shorts, and brown flip flops.
Last fall, when we were running the Spark Notebook Kickstarter, I spent days upon days on Twitter. We would tweet at people who were tweeting about other planners, and say, “Hey! I saw your tweet about ___ and thought you might like this project too!” and then link them to our Kickstarter.
When we first started, I was terrified I’d get a barrage of replies being like, “Hey stop spamming me.”
But do you want to know something crazy?
No one ever said that. There were maybe three people who replied saying, “Aren’t you worried people will think this is spam?”. And then I’d write back and say, honestly, “Most people just seem to either ignore it or be excited to have been alerted to a project they really do like.” And then those people would write back and say, basically, “Oh okay, carry on.”
So the consequence I thought would occur from spending all day on Twitter didn’t occur.
But a different consequence did occur. And that consequence was that I lost my mind.
There is something crazy-making about copy-pasting the same phrase over and over into a Twitter box for several hours a day. It’s boring, but demands your attention. You can do it while listening to an audiobook or watching TV, but you can’t totally engage with the other thing.
And it is completely, overwhelmingly, unstoppably addictive.
Even after 4 hours of tweeting while watching Law and Order, with my eyes drooping and my legs screaming for me to move them and take my body outside, I would think, “Okay, well I’ll just clear this page and then I’ll go.”
So I would clear the page, scroll down to reveal a new list of names, and think, “Okay, well I’ll just clear this page and then I’ll go.”
Is this what it feels like to be a robot? If so, then I don’t blame them for always taking over in those movies and books where robots take over. I wouldn’t want to be a robot either.
Anyways, we are selling the Spark Notebook again. The print run is happening next month and they’ll be delivered in June. But final orders are due in next week, which means I’m back on Twitter. Always. And forever. Every second of every day, until next Tuesday.
If you want to buy one, the email alerts I get telling me that there’s been another sale are basically the only punctuation during days of tweeting and law-and-order-solving and listening to the new Jon Ronson book that I actually listened to in less than 24 hours because it was so good and, like, what else was I going to do? But that’s not important.
What’s important is that I am losing my mind, but there is an end in sight. Oh, and then there’s this picture of Romeo from Easter which is great:
Today Gabe is wearing a grey fleece, a brown t-shirt, and blue jeans covered in joint compound.
This week I made a few impulse purchases, and for once in my life, I don’t feel guilty at all about them.
Last week, J. Crew had a sale where everything that was already on sale was another 40% off, and while I’m not usually a sucker for sales like this, I went a little bit wild last weekend shopping for weird silk shirts with tiny zebras on them and fancy bird sweaters. And by “a little bit wild”, I mean I literally looked at every single page of sale items on the J. Crew website. There were 36 pages. I looked at every single one.
Then, over the weekend, I started researching this site called Stitch Fix (ps. that’s a referral link – if you try out Stitch Fix, click that and I can get some $$) where you fill out a style profile and then they send you 5 pieces in the mail that they think will fit your style. Then you try everything on at home, keep and pay for what you like, and send everything else back for free.
Living in the fashion and beauty wasteland that is Humboldt County, I think I’ve started getting really into fashion and beauty in a reactionary way.
The more I can’t access these things, the more I want them. The more I look at blogs about what ladies are wearing. The more I find myself googling “what do you do with bronzer” and then placing large orders to get bronzer, plus “just a few other things” that I assume I’ll be needing sometime soon.
None of it is here in person. It all has to be delivered in.I mean, I don’t even know where I would go here to buy new jeans or some blush. Like, there is nowhere. So now I am getting really into seeking out and delivering it all in, to myself, as often as possible.
So I scheduled a Stitch Fix delivery for next week. And then I made a triple-digit order on Sephora yesterday, to get some soaps, and serums, and moisturizers, and several other items delivered in.
I am in consumer mode, and it is pretty fun.
I’m not normally a big spender; in fact, I think this is probably the end of my spending for a while now that I’ve gotten it out of my system this last week or so.
But a couple weeks ago I did some freelance work that paid shockingly well. It was a last minute offer, and I took it, and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I made enough to bump my saving account across the goal line I’ve been working towards for months.
And after I crossed that line, I had a little left over. And I thought, “Why not?”
So, hippies and communists of Humboldt County, look out. If you see a woman in fancy shorts and a silk zebra shirt coming towards you wearing bronzer, don’t be afraid. I still respect your right to smoke pot on the sidewalk and to talk to me about your hemp clothing and what the government doesn’t want me to know. I’m just acting out.
Today Gabe is wearing a brown sweatshirt, khaki pants, and brown boots.
This week I’m writing my post in advance because at the time my post usually goes live, I am going to be working in a sweatshop of my own creation, hand-packing and shipping Spark Notebooks to everyone who ordered one during our Kickstarter.
So I’m writing this on Sunday night, while trying to pack a full week of work into 1 weekend day and 2 weekdays before I leave for Seattle on Wednesday.
I’m driving up — it’s a 10 hour trip that I kind of love to do — and I’m staying with my Popforms cofounder from that night until whenever we get the last notebook mailed out.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this. We had originally set up production so that the notebooks, once printed, would be sent to a fulfillment center that would ship them out for us. But then they delayed the project. And then they delayed it again. And again.
So that suddenly, the notebooks we had promised by early January weren’t going to go out until maybe February.
And that’s when we decided: we’ll just do it ourselves. And in a way, it feels kind of right that it happened this way. Not that we wanted to spend several full days assembling boxes, printing labels, and hand-packing thousands of notebooks from Kate’s living room during the middle of a work week, but it actually kind of matches our history and who we are as a company. We have always been bootstrapped, doing things manually and keeping our hands on as much of the finished product as possible so we could make sure it was exactly what we wanted to deliver.
So I’m driving up to Seattle to pack a couple thousand notebooks into boxes.
And I don’t know when I’ll be back.
But it will be a good trip. I hope I’ll get to see some friends, but a change of scenery is always nice for me, regardless of what actually happens while I’m away.
I just hope my plants don’t die while I’m gone. Someone who I won’t name, but I bet you know who I’m talking about, didn’t water my plants while I was gone for two weeks for Christmas (his defense: “I forgot.”) and now one of them is in very rough shape. I’m hoping for a miracle while I’m away.
What should you do when every leaf on a plant has wilty brown edges? It’s very sad.
For now I’m trimming the obviously dead leaves off, giving it good light, and trying really hard to resist the urge to overwater it.
Send positive vibes our way and maybe, just maybe, when I come back from Seattle I will be a few thousand notebooks lighter and in possession of one beautiful, healthy Dieffenbachia Compacta.
Today Gabe is wearing a grey fleece, khaki pants, and brown boots.
You guys, I think I came up with a genius strategy for time management this week. Maybe I should write a book.
Well, maybe I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me run this brilliant idea past you first.
Okay, so you are gearing up for a big end-of-year push at your company. You are like, sooo busy. So busy that you just put your head down and get ready to plow through it. No time to think about how busy you are. You just have to DO.
You work hard during the day. You sleep hard during the night.
But then you do this fun thing where, during the time you used to waste on sleeping, you don’t sleep. Sure, sure, you are busy during the day and your body really wants to shut down and restore itself at night, but instead of doing this, you just don’t.
Then, you start worrying about things like renewing your lease. You start worrying about the future of your business. You start worrying about never having enough money to buy a house, ever.
You start worrying about how you’ll ever have time to keep up your personal blog, which is one of the highlights of your week, because you are so busy you can’t possibly actually think about money or the future or your blog — you only have the time and space to worry about everything.
See how easy it is? Just don’t go to sleep! Ever! There is so much to worry about!
This is the brilliant time management solution I came up with Wednesday night and you guys, wow is it effective. I mean, I can work all day un-distracted because I know I’ve got a solid 8 hours of restorative, relaxing worrying to do between the hours of 10pm and 6am.
And the best part is, your nighttime worrying can go on without end. When you worry about business phone calls you have to make about things like leases, you will never actually be able to make those calls at 3am! So you are free to imagine disastrous scenarios to your heart’s content without ever having to worry (ha ha) about finding an actual solution.
I don’t have insomnia very often anymore, but you guys, when I do — oh wow, do I make the most of it. If you think insomnia just has to be about sitting on the couch flipping through channels and staring bleary-eyed at bizarre early morning programming you never knew was on TV, then boy are you behind the times.
Oh, sir. Next time you can’t sleep, try worrying instead. You won’t believe how productive and stressed it makes you feel, which means you must be really, really important.
(This blog post brought to you by one sleepless night.)
But really. Things are fine. Don’t believe me, readers and/or Sleepless Kate? As proof, please accept the following pictures of Romeo The Cat.
Today Gabe is wearing a brown sweatshirt, khaki pants, and brown boots.
Well unfortunately, this week we’ve taken a few steps back.
Over the summer, I got really into the idea of dressing up nice every day because it makes you look good and feel good, and because, I mean, I am a grown adult woman who works from home and boundaries must be set somewhere.
But then, a few weeks ago, I needed to buy some new pants to sleep in because it was getting colder out and shorts weren’t going to cut it anymore. My only other available sleep pants option were these ratty old blue sweatpants I’ve had since high school, whose elastic is all but gone and that look, just, terrible.
Gabe once said, “You’re dressed like me when you wear those sweatpants.”
We both knew what he meant.
So I did some online shopping and, you guys, I found something wonderful.
I think they’re technically classified as “loungewear” but if we are being honest, I think it’s more accurate to refer to what I discovered on the internet as glamour sweatpants. And I love them.
Do you believe in love at first sight? I do. Well, not exactly love at first sight, but I have — at many times in my life — met someone and known instantly that this was going to be an important or special person in my life. I felt that way the first time I met Gabe. Same with my boss/mentor/cofounder at Popforms.
And same with these pants.
I saw them on the model and I just knew. I was about to hit “order”, but decided, even though my heart was sure, that I owed it to myself to be logical. (Though we all know love isn’t logical.) Still, I took the time to scroll down and read the reviews, and you guys — there was not one single person who had a bad word to say about these pants.
So what are these magic pants?
They are a pair of thin, slim-fitting, olive green, made-of-modal-the-best-fabric-in-the-world lounge pants and they are perfection. As soon as I saw them I knew I had to have them.
And as soon as they arrived in the mail, I knew I had to try them on.
And as soon as I tried them on, I knew I was ruined.
First of all, they look great. They’re flattering, they’re understated, they go with everything…they are just perfect.
Second of all, they are so comfortable. The fabric is so soft, and the shape is comfortable without being baggy and weird.
I look forward to going to bed every night because I know I’ll get to wear them and feel so comfortable but beautiful and also so cozy and happy.
And with all kinds of intense, all-consuming love, it went a little bit too far.
This week, finally, despite all my best intentions, came the day where — on one grey, misty, “don’t want to get out of your PJs morning” — I went for a run, took a shower, got dressed…and made the decision to put on my glamour sweatpants instead of real pants.
We’ve wandered into dangerous territory. Mistakes have been made.
But how can love that feels this good be so wrong? Maybe just for one day, it’s okay to wear your glamour sweatpants while you take business calls and write marketing strategies. Right? Right??