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Adopting in Ashburn

What began in France moved to Washington, DC and then the suburbs. Let the adventures in Ashburn continue.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Do Re Mi in Antwerp

Love me some musical madness. Almost as much as I love live (spontaneous) art projects.



Thanks to Aunt Ro for sharing.

Love always,

~Heather

P.S. If you love singing along to stuff and are in the DC area (or willing to travel) buzz me for details on the upcoming sing-along birthday party. Your favorite Taurus is celebrating her new year in homestyle-karaoke fashion!

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Email Hazards

I love the speed of modern technology and the many exciting means in which we can communicate with each other. But I have to say, it's a heck of a lot easier to wait for the mail to come once a day than to be watching your inbox for important news. Or unimportant news. Or any news at all.

Like everyone else, my inbox gets swimmingly full of emails, but to be honest, I'm mostly looking for the letters. The true messages from my friends. It's like sorting through junk mail and bills for that personalized card.

I wish I was a better letter writer. You've got to send mail to get mail, and even a Lenten promise couldn't use up the books of forever stamps I bought.

I guess I'll have to keep waiting by the inbox.

Love always,

~Heather

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

(More) On Taxes

Things I now know about doing my taxes:
  • All those property taxes on my car count as deductions!
  • I will be taking at least one course at a community college a year (Intro to Spanish, Intro to Sign Language, Science and the Cinema, etc.) so I never have this exclusion issue again.
  • The schedules aren't too painful to fill out if you know what you're doing.
  • Having all the papers and receipts in one box doesn't actually decrease the amount of time it takes to locate one, as many receipts look the same and take time to dig through.
  • My dad is awesome and I am glad I learned how to fill out the forms myself from him.
  • It goes well with sympathetic friends, swing dancing in the dining room, and Manichevitz.
That is all.

Onto the first volleyball game of the Alexandria league season, filling out HOBY paperwork, deciding between Sportsplex volleyball and USC softball, acquiring a new roommate, planning excursions for the upcoming family cruise, planting vegetable seeds for the summer garden, sending an invitation to my awesome birthday party, and, you know, generally getting some work done.

Love always,

~Heather

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Monday, April 13, 2009

On Taxes

Here is what I knew about filing taxes:
  • Filling out the forms usually takes about 45 minutes, including addressing envelopes and finding stamps.
  • Finding the paperwork necessary to complete the forms usually takes about an hour and a half.
  • Being a student REALLY helps.
  • The instructions are convoluted and generally send you in lots of crazy directions.
  • I love my graphing calculator (though I don't really need the graphs for this).
  • State forms are a breeze as long as you only live in one state.
Things that are different this year:
  • I was, at no time this year, a student (first time since I was 4).
  • For the first time in a really long time, I only have to file state taxes in one state.
  • I knew where the paperwork and stamps were (savings of 1 hour and 25 minutes, plus no mess from dumped out desk drawers!).
  • I only had a W-2 from one place of employment.
  • The instructions were not all that complicated and were generally helpful, with lots of worksheets, tips, and caution signs.
  • U.S. Treasury bonds put into savings in a year when you are not a student = an increase in taxable income.
  • My student loan company sent a correction to their original 1098 - on the top of one of my bills. Thank goodness I keep those in some semblance of order.
  • I have filled out one version of the 1040 twice (with two different results) and another version of the 1040 once (with a third result).
  • Until I own a house, have children, or get horribly sick (never hoping for the last and the first two seem to be a bit in the future), the standard deduction will be my friend.
  • I have been sitting here for close to two hours poring over state and federal forms.
  • None of these results are promising and I am going to have to have my dad look over my forms for the first time in a decade.
After a really successful weekend as a grown-up, hosting my first major holiday at my house with much of my immediate family, I have to follow it up with apparently not being together enough to do my own taxes. Oh, and revealing that I waited until two days before to take care of them. I guess sometimes being prepared and having everything ready still doesn't make it easy.

Hope yours went better than mine!

Love always, ~Heather

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