November 20, 2012

Five Days

This week has been mostly an extension of last week, days filled to the brim with how-many-more-times-can-I-kick-you-before-you-finally-just-stay-down-there? Without going into detail (mostly because I'm sick of thinking about it, since apparently that's what the middle of the night is good for), I am thoroughly frustrated and exhausted. Still, I'm clinging to a few very important, very happy things:

... these guys never fail to put a smile on my face.
I can't believe they actually stayed like this long enough for me to snap a picture... miracles do happen. 2 seconds after I got this shot, Toby came to his senses and darted towards higher ground, with poor Teddy toddling clumsily behind.

Boyfriend has a bit of a shoe obsession (just like his mama). He loves sleeping next to/on our shoe rack and carrying around dad's sandals even though they're almost as big as he is.

First Wawa trip and cutest picture to date? 
(The pictures that have graced the blog so far are only about 5% of the ones I have actually taken -- the other 95% are of a blonde blur with ears.)

Other things keeping me going:
(holiday food... duh)
(my favorite few hours of the entire year)
(a little illicit Christmas music... hey, whatever it takes to get through this week)
... and last but certainly not least, the fact that in exactly 5 days, I'll be on a plane headed here:
On Sunday, the hubs and I are finally headed off to a much-anticipated (and much-delayed) honeymoon. There just are a few rules:

1. no email/facebook/twitter/blogging
2. no guilt over rest days or increased calorie consumption
3. no talking about work, family, or any other stress-inducing topics
4. always say yes to another beachside drink

I think we are set, yes?
... no. I still have lots (and lots... and lots...) to cram into a suitcase.

So, plenty to look forward to. Plenty to smile about, despite all the things trying to convince me otherwise. Say it with me: fiiiive moooore daaaays......



November 16, 2012

Friday Favorites

Despite the unquestionably wonderful addition of fur to our household, I have managed to have what can only be described as a crap-tastic week. Little things have gone wrong, big things have gone wrong, little things have caused more big things to go wrong, and every day I've felt a bit like I was trying to walk up a very steep hill with a few dozen landmines planted -- you never know which step is going to explode right in your face. 
In my car on the way to work this morning, I thought of all the things that I could put on my anti-favorites list this week: bad drivers, mean people, expensive bills, cold weather... let's just say it was a long list with a lot of specifics. But in an effort to end the bad week right here and not let it contaminate my weekend, I've decided to focus on the things that are still making me smile, even as I keep getting knocked down that hill.

Since the death of my jeep, I've had the thrill of being able to drive a car with a fully functional dashboard, turn signal, heat, and so many little comforts that I missed terribly in my clunker. This car also came equipped with the holy grail, however: heated seats. My buns have never been happier, let me tell you. Thankfully, the car I'm looking into purchasing (this current ride is relatively temporary) also comes with heated seats, so I won't have to give this up anytime soon. Now if only I could rig my office chair....

The picture quality is terrible, but I was pretty proud of this dinner I whipped up the other night. We've had a friend staying with us for a few nights, so I felt the need to actually cook and decided to try a new recipe (from my tried and true and very favorite food blog, of course). The chicken and risotto recipe is here, and it was absolutely delicious (and those are mushrooms, in case you were worried). The asparagus was also pretty yummy, and made me wonder again why for years I avoided what has now become one of my favorite veggies.

If I were the kind of person who had the time/organizational skills/motivation/time to send out cute Christmas cards, this is definitely the one I would pick. Sadly (luckily?), 1. I don't, and 2. those suckers are expensive. But how gorgeous? A girl can dream. This whole shop is full of adorable temptations... so dangerous.

Enduring truth: there is no day so far gone that one of these babies can't do a surprising amount of damage control. I'm not sure whether it's the cheery red cup or the amazing stuff it holds, but I am a total sellout when it comes to peppermint mochas... they just make me happy, darn it.

Of course no list of favorites would be complete without these two little furballs. I am so lucky to have them around to keep me smiling... and to keep my feet warm. They are truly two of the sweetest animals I have known, and Dan and I are so glad that we got two snugglers!

And last but definitely most important, look who is almost here:
I'm so excited I can't even stand it! It is absolutely not an exaggeration that I spend the whole year looking forward to these few hours. The anticipation is killing me!

Happy weekend, everyone!



November 14, 2012


... our newest little bundle of joy fur.
   Well, joy too, I suppose.
World, meet Theodore.
Even though I made a pretty good case for Theo, we've all agreed that for now, he's definitely a Teddy. 
He is a huge sweetheart and loves running around outside, long naps, and kissing/sharing his terrible puppy breath with an adoring mom and dad.
 I am knocking on wood as I type this, but he has been amazingly good so far: only a handful of accidents (all puppy-sized, which is helpful) and just a few misdirected chews.
He has proven super flexible and laid-back so far -- despite everything you read about quarantining pups, we were rebels and took him out a bit over the weekend. He did a great job with meeting lots of people and even another pup or two.
He and Toby are making progress already... it certainly helps that he's too small and clumsy to pose much of a threat, even to our (wimpy) eldest.
So if you need me, I'll just be over here snuggling...


November 8, 2012

Reality Check

In the midst of the chaos of transportation issues, preparing for big changes, crazy political drama, frustrations big and small, and upcoming holiday stress, a timely bit of wisdom from the ever-omniscient Kelle Hampton: 

Nothing is more urgent than being kind to ourselves and present for our families.

As always, it's just what I needed to hear read today. I debated the addition of "friends" to the end, as well, but I realized that the friends I had in mind? They fit under the heading of "family" quite neatly as well.
So if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go work on being present...



November 5, 2012

I Don't Want To Talk About It

There are a lot of things that I don't want to talk about on this Monday morning... first and foremost being the fact that it is a Monday morning. Other things include:
 -- the distinct possibility that my husband will be deployed to NJ/NY in the next few days for over a month. I absolutely understand that so many people in those states need help and my heart is breaking for them every time I hear more about the destruction. I realize that wanting to keep my hubby at home is incredibly selfish, and yes, I feel quite guilty about it. But the thought of him missing Thanksgiving, my birthday, and the great majority of the "holiday season" for the second year in a row makes me pretty darn sad. Oh, and not to mention: there goes the honeymoon again.....
 -- this damn election. I am so incredibly sick of political ads, political analysis, political signs littering our beautiful state, and political posts all over social media by misinformed or simply ignorant people. I am so ready to vote tomorrow and put this whole mess behind us. My biggest nightmare is that recounts, small margins, and candidates who aren't willing to admit defeat will drag the process out and we will still be talking about this in a month. In which case, I may run away to Canada until the inauguration. Yes, please vote tomorrow. And on Wednesday morning, no matter what the outcome, please please please get on with your lives.
 -- my poor car, which sits in a cold garage awaiting its fate this morning. I wonder if it knows what's coming?
 -- how early I got up this morning in order to get to the gym, get ready for work, drive home and pick up the hubs, drive him to work, and then get all the way across town to my office on time. I don't think I really woke up until a few miles into my run. Interesting note: the gym is sooo much busier an hour earlier. Also, there are a lot more women walking around the locker room with not a stitch of clothing on. Awkward way to start the week.
 -- the fact that I spent the entire weekend cleaning... and I'm still not done. Our house was in serious need of a deep clean/decluttering, so Saturday morning I woke up early, went for a run, and then dove right in. I spent a solid 12 hours scrubbing/washing/organizing/folding/mopping/finding new homes for things/finding hiding spots for all the things for which I couldn't find new homes. And then I woke up yesterday and kept going. By last night, our bathroom and bedroom looked pretty darn impressive, our kitchen looked much better than it did, and our living room saw a bit of progress. The dining room, office, and guest room? I'm just lucky that two out of those three have doors that can be shut...
 -- the frighteningly large number of thank you notes still left to be done. Just the thought of this makes me sweat a bit. One day soon I'm going to sequester myself at a Starbucks table with only some music and this task. Except really, I hear the holiday accessories have arrived and I just want a good excuse to get my hands on one of those beautiful red cups.
Nope, I definitely don't want to talk about any of that. Not one bit.



November 2, 2012

Friday Favorites... Mostly

Today seems a good study in opposites:

Things That Are My Favorite:
 -- I won an NPR contest! Pretty excited to get my new shirt... and for the nerdy bragging rights that I figure must come along with such an epic win. 
 -- Speaking of nerds (were we?), I signed up this week for a coursera class. I've been wanting to try one for a while now, and when I saw that this one is taught by a professor who 1. teaches at our hometown university (can I come to office hours?), 2. co-wrote two of the books I read in my own college courses, and 3. served as the head of the 9/11 Commission and some other pretty cool stuff (check him out here), I knew I had to do it. Of course, this is one of the longer classes (15 weeks) and doesn't even offer a certificate at this point, but I figure I'll give it a try and if I can keep up, I'll sign up for a few more. I'm not subscribing to the idea that this will be anything more than a line on my resume that most people will give a puzzled look, so it's definitely more for my enjoyment than anything else right now. Ambitious? Crazy? I have until January to decide.
 -- I kicked some serious tail (my own, specifically) at the gym this week. My speed seems to be sneaking back up on me, and oh, how I've missed it.
 -- A certain someone is going to be coming home sometime next week. Next. Week. Meaning another someone has a LOT of work to do this weekend to get the house ready....
That's right, our cozy little family of three is about to become a rambunctious, fur-laden family of four... or three and one very pissed off cat. Can't wait!

Things That Are Most Definitely NOT My Favorite:
 -- My car seems to have three wheels in the grave... and it's rolling. Poor hubs decided he'd drive it to drill this weekend, and ended up on the side of the road as it spewed smoke and oil everywhere at 7:30 this morning. It's always fun to start a Friday with an "emergency" text, right?
I've had this lovely scrap of metal since college, and it was my dad's before that, so the darn thing is almost like a family member. After several pricy repairs recently and several more semi-critical amenities that have ceased to work (heat, air conditioning, turn signal... ugh), I think it's finally time to throw it a little party and send it off to wherever cars go to retire (don't tell me that's just a junkyard. It's not pretty when someone cries over a car.) On the plus side, that means that very soon I will have a fully functional car again, and boy am I looking forward to a little bit of warm air on the way to the gym in the mornings. I just have to find one with a great sound system to drown out that pesky sound of my wallet wailing....
Happy Friday, everyone!



November 1, 2012


Happy Halloween! (a day late...) Hope everyone got all the good candy and none of the sweet tarts! (Unless you like sweet tarts, in which case... I'm not sure whether we can be friends.) We had a pretty low-key Halloween around here. I went to the gym in the morning and was slightly disappointed to find not a single person working out in costume (not that I was, of course. Just hoping somebody would shake it up a bit). People at the office, however, were a very different story -- I spent the day with Robin Hood, the grim reaper, Cruella de Vil, the devil, a nun, and Dorothy and Toto (who was a little uneasy about sharing a room with Cruella). I went the easy route, dressed in all pink, and stood on one leg a lot...
worth it if only for the cute pair of pink tights I had to purchase...
We had a "soups, stews, and sweets" lunch at work that was fantastic -- so many crockpots, so many yummy winter recipe ideas! After work, I headed to our small neighborhood gym for a quick run before scooting home to hand out some of our candy. We didn't have too many trick-or-treaters at home, so unfortunately we have a very large, very dangerous amount of candy left over. Luckily at least half of it has peanuts, so the hubs will be required to help me eat it all. Poor Toby spent the evening cowering every time the doorbell rang... apparently he went as a "scaredy cat" for the evening.
When Dan got home from work we headed down the street to our friends' house, where they had an awesome fire going outside. I made pumpkin dip (which was not nearly as good this time around?), they provided the beer (I had an excellent lager from Thailand of all places), and I sat entirely too close to the fire until we decided it was time to head inside for a little Hocus Pocus action.
I didn't manage to get a good picture of our pumpkin, but Dan was pretty darn proud of that thing and got several compliments last night. This was the general idea:
Next year, I'm going to (take a week off and) try my hand at something like this:
But for now, we're on to my very favorite day of the year:
I'm counting the days!




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