Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Y'all, we are FINALLY out of that motel and into our new place.  To tell you a secret, we took this place sight-unseen.  We'd toured the apartment community and viewed a different floorplan, but when the time came to put our names on the dotted line, they no longer had our desired floorplan available!  After a few panicked phone calls, Sean & I decided to take a different floorplan, one that was actually LARGER than what we originally wanted.  So while we studied the layout in photos, we had no idea how the space would actually look.  And let me tell you, it was a very pleasant surprise!

I made a little video before the movers came with all our furniture and boxes, so the place looks a little empty, but it gives you an idea of the layout.  It's about five minutes long and I make a brief appearance with no make-up and my hair up in a messy bun.  The Mister makes an appearance too!

The movers came with everything yesterday and today we set to work unpacking boxes.  I am hyper vigilant about unpacking when moving into a new place.  I can't stand to have boxes lying around.  The kitchen is entirely unpacked & everything is put away, but a lot of the rest is still pretty disorganized.  But the good news is, all the packing paper has been recycled and all the boxes have been broken down!  The rest is just small stuff.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

What's Going on Around Here?

So I mentioned in my last post that the Mister & I are camped out in a hotel for two weeks.  I spend a lot of time in hotels, so I thought this sounded okay.  Except that it is a lot less like Eloise than one might imagine.  The Mister chose this particular hotel because the rooms are more like little apartments than like hotel rooms and there are little kitchenettes.  Having the kitchenette is nice because we've been cooking rather than eating out, which saves a bit of money, but the kitchen isn't exactly well-equipped.  For example, there are about five lids in the cupboard with all the pots and pans.  However, not one of these lids fits any of the pots & pans.  Also, there is zero counter space.  There is a stove, the sink and one counter that is occupied with a toasted, coffee maker & microwave.

But I actually didn't come here to complain about the kitchen.  I came to talk about working out.  Because y'all?  I got real lazy over the last two weeks.  In the lead-up to the move, I went for a few runs and did my push-ups (more on that later), but since we moved, I hadn't done ANYTHING.  If this hotel were in a more neighborhood-y area, I might have been able to go for a run, but it's sort of in the middle of nowhere (which is because the Mister's base is in the middle of nowhere).  We've been talking about joining the Y once we are settled, and contemplated joining now because there is a branch about 15 minutes from the hotel, but we want to see how the Mister's schedule works out to see if we should get a family membership or if I should get a single membership.  Those are all of my excuses.  Do you like them?

Finally on Monday, I decided it was time to stop being lazy.  I have all kinds of workouts pinned to my Pinterest board.  My only limitations are that I have zero equipment.  Not even a yoga mat because we didn't think to keep any of those out.  Also, I'm trying to stop being so lazy, but I thought it would be better to start out slow, so I'm doing 10 minutes a day.  And I thought I might link you to some of my fave videos I've done this week.

This one is great because it moves pretty fast, but it gets intense at the end.  I work up a bit of a sweat and I'll tell you, my butt & quads were sore the next day.  I did this one on Monday & then again today.

I liked this one because it targeted my abs, but I didn't have to lie down on the carpet without a mat.  I'm not saying the floor isn't clean, I'm saying carpet is gross and I don't understand why anyone would want it in their home (Hardwood Forever!).  Also, my obliques were pleasantly sore the next day!

This is another one for the butt.  As y'all have seen previously, I have zero butt, so I need all the help I can get.  This workout was full of great moves for my butt.  Plus, the celebrity trainer has pandas on her sneakers!

So those are the videos I've been doing!  As for the push-ups, I finished my six week program of the 100 Push-Ups Challenge, but I can't do 100 consecutive pushups, so that is kind of a bummer.  The app suggested that I re-take my initial test and start the program again at a higher level.  And I will likely do that.  But I wanted to take some time off from feeling sore ALL THE TIME.  Except then I started these videos and I'm back to feeling sore all the time, except in my butt not my shoulders.  It's a rough life, y'all.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Ay Yi Yi

Goodness.  It's been a while since I updated, unless you count my wee post about the pop music mashup, which I do not.  So what's been going on?

I think the answer to that question is what's NOT been going on?  In the last two weeks, the Mister & I have moved out of our apartment in Norfolk, bought a BRAND NEW CAR, we've been camped out in a motel until we can move into our new apartment, the Mister started his new job and I just got back from a cookie-baking marathon with my mom & sister in Atlanta.  Whew.  It's a good thing I accidentally dropped all my trips but one in December or I'd be a pooped lady.

So first of all, my NEW CAR.  Guys, I am beyond thrilled.  I have never owned a new car before.  My first car was born 4 years before me, my second car was born 2 years before me and my youngest car was 11 years younger than me.  So to get to have a car that nobody else has ever driven?  It was so exciting.  And I am loving this bad boy.  Or girl.  I haven't quite figured out the gender of my car yet, so it is also as yet unnamed.

It's a 2012 Chevy Cruze and it drives like a dream.  I'm averaging 33 miles per gallon, which is phenomenal. The motel we are staying at is quite literally in the middle of nowhere, so I've been driving back & forth to Fredericksburg a lot just to have something to do.  I am loving the freedom this car represents to me.  I definitely enjoyed not having a car for the last five years.  Sure, there were times that I wished I had a car, but I loved not having a car payment or an insurance payment and I didn't have to buy gas or pay for repairs.   Not having a car was easy in Minneapolis.  Not so much in F-burg.  While the apartment we chose is very ideally located in Old Town with lots of shops & restaurants within walking distance, there isn't a grocery store near enough.  And since the Mister will be driving about 35 minutes to work every day, a second car became a necessity for us.  

And speaking of the Mister driving to work, he started his new job last week.  He's going to be an instructor and he's going to teach other people how to be awesome Fire Control Officers, just like he was on his last ship.  This definitely wasn't our first choice for location (I'd like to eventually get out of Virginia, at least for a little while!), the Mister is very much looking forward to teaching.  The thing I continually heard from people on his last ship was how much they learned from the Mister.  He is incredibly patient and he's good at explaining things in a way that just about anybody can understand. 

Here he is eating yogurt on his first day.  He wouldn't let me take a traditional "first day of school" type photo because "That's something a MOM does" so I was super sneaky and took this photo instead.  He's so handsome in his dress uniform.  I guess he always wears it when he shows up for a first day on a new job, but I'm excited because he said he'll also be wearing it the first Friday of every month.  The rest of the time he wears a khaki uniform and he looks good in that too, of course, but the dress uniform gets me every time.

As for the cookie baking marathon?  Sometimes my sister gets ambitious.  We baked 10 different types of cookies in about 10 hours.  We actually started the night before with a couple batches that needed to chill overnight and there were three additional recipes we didn't get to.  Momma & my step-dad's sister-in-law Jackie drove down from Tennessee to help out and my second cousins came over too.  We had a Christmas station on Pandora and had a pretty good time until about 10pm when I got a bit cookied out & cranky and my sister was literally walking circles in the kitchen,  But I tell you what, the cookies sure are delicious!

Momma & Steph mixing up a batch of something!

Stacie working on the sugar cookies.  That girl is so creative and has such patience.  After she left, Aunt Jackie & I took over decorating.

Those were my cookies.  I liked decorating the trees & the snowmen, but everything else sort of left me at a loss.  How do you decorate a sled?  I don't get that intricate with frosting!

Me & Aunt Jackie unwrapping and chopping Candy Cane Hershey Kisses.  I promise I wasn't pissed off at this point.  That's just my concentrating face!  I don't have any photos of my sister because even though I brought my camera, I totally forgot to pull it out!  Luckily Elise took those snaps on her phone, so I stole them and here they are!

The Mister & I have one more week here in the motel and then we can FINALLY move into our new place!  I am beyond excited!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

I really can't help it.  I shamelessly, unabashedly LOVE mindless pop music.  Something with a catchy melody and a beat I can dance to?  I'm all up on that.  So this makes me super happy.

DJ Daniel Kim

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Photo an Hour

So my friend April over at So Yeah...So sometimes does this thing where she takes a photo every hour.  And I'm probably a bit of a voyeur, so I like to see what people get up to in their everyday lives.  And because I've been trying to make a habit of using my camera more, I thought it would be a nice exercise for me.

So this is basically how I start every morning...the Mister's bathrobe, my computer & a cup of coffee.

The mister is transitioning off his ship at the end of the month, so he's been bringing everything home.  The other day, that meant a big sack of laundry.  I'm a little loosey-goosey with the sorting.

Then it was back to the computer, but this time I was doing a bit of Christmas shopping.  On my personal Christmas list is a new wallet.  My old wallet is massive and the only things I really ever need on a regular basis are cash, my driver's license, my debit card and my Starbucks Gold card.  In the meantime, I've been using this little pouch I bought in Vegas.  Not ideal, but it makes me smile.

Then it was time for MORE coffee and a perusal of cookbooks to figure out what to make for dinner.  I've acquired three new cookbooks and I haven't done much with any of them.  I settled on the Balsamic and Beer-Braised Short Ribs from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook.

And then I had to fold the laundry.  Here's a funny thing.  I do not bother with folding my underwear.  It all just gets tossed in a drawer and it's not like I worry about it wrinkling.  But both my mother and the Mister will fold my underwear if they do my laundry.  I find that quite endearing.

And then I went for a run.  This is the USS Wisconsin, which is a battleship.  If you ask the Mister, he will tell you battleships are the coolest.  Unfortunately, they aren't really used in the modern Navy, so the Mister won't ever get the chance to serve on one.  But he seriously loves battleships.  At one point, we even tossed around the idea of getting married on one of the many decommissioned battleships that are attached to museums, like the Wisconsin.

And then I was finished with my run and it was time to stretch.  Stretching has become one of my favorite parts of running.

And then it was shower time and getting ready time.

And then I was ready!  I stole the Mister's fedora and I think I look just darling in it.  At some point last night, he sort of laughed to himself and when I asked what was so funny he said, "I was just thinking that if you keep wearing my bathrobe and my hat that someday when I want to wear them, our kids are going to be all 'Daddy, why are you wearing Momma's bathrobe?' or 'Daddy, why are you wearing Momma's hat?'"

At the grocery store!

Cooking dinner!  The recipe called for two beers in the pot, so I opened up a third beer for my hand.  That doesn't explain the bitchface, but that was more a product of trying to balance my camera on a vase, press the self-timer button and then get back over by the stove.

Hooray, the Mister is home!  I'm especially happy he is home this week because he was supposed to be out to sea, but then the underway was postponed due to weather.  And that is just fine by me.  I'll take any bonus time with the Mister any day!

Dinner is the oven, the Mister is joining me for a beer and Eddie Izzard is on the telly.  Not a bad way to pass an evening.

And dinner is on the table!  Let me tell you, those short ribs were phenomenal.  I know it sounds braggy to say that about my own cooking, but the meat was incredibly tender and the sauce was out of this world!  It was my first time making short ribs, but  I will definitely be making this again.

And that's the end of the photos.  After we ate, we cleaned up the kitchen and parked ourselves on the couch for more Netflix watching and then we went to bed.  We are a boring old couple and we are usually in bed by 10:30.  And that is A-OK by us.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Knit Happens

So, basically, all I ever want to do anymore is knit.  The other night I happily spent 5+ hours with my butt on the couch working on a baby sweater and watching episodes of Charmed (all 8 seasons are available to watch instantly!)

As for my novel?  What novel?  Like I said, I've basically been spending all my time knitting.  I was diligent on NaNoWriMo for the first four or five days and then I had a work trip and then I finally saw the Mister again and then we went to New Orleans and then I've been knitting.  Have I mentioned I've been doing a lot of knitting?  According to the handy stats chart on the website, at my current average words-per-day (399), I will finish my novel on March 5th.  Oops.  I'm not throwing in the towel just yet.  I could still get a fire going under my bum and do some serious writing.  That is if I ever actually work out a plot.  Perhaps going into this with zero pre-planning was not my best idea.  What's that adage?  Failing to plan is planning to fail?  Ah well.  My "write a novel" item on my 30-before-30 list did not actually specify completing a NaNoWriMo novel, so I still have 11 1/2 months to do this.

I was convinced this morning that it was Monday b/c the Mister had to go to the ship and I felt like I should do something productive.  But then I realized it is actually Sunday and it is perfectly acceptable on a Sunday to hang around in comfy pants & finish this baby sweater and also my other knitted Christmas items.  But first, it feels like a good day to go for a long run.

Friday, November 16, 2012


If you have a spare 8 minutes, you should watch this video.  It made me smile.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Last weekend the Mister & I had the absolute PLEASURE of travelling to New Orleans for a wedding!  The bride is one of the Mister's best friends from his last deployment and since I've met her, she's become one of my favorite ladies too.  She & her now-husband have been one of our favorite double date partners and I am so sad to be moving away from them next month.  But enough with the sentimentality, on to the photos!

First of all, how handsome is the Mister?  Second of all, no trip to New Orleans is complete without a visit to Cafe du Mond in the French Quarter.  What in the world could be better than a cafe au lait and a pile of fried dough smothered in powdered sugar?

Seriously.  Look at that and tell me you don't want to be like the Mister and just DIG IN.  This was probably the third or fourth photo I snapped of our beignets and I guess the Mister was getting impatient.

And this was the aftermath.

For what it is worth, the Mister did this to me first.  This was retribution.  Also, I was the one wielding the camera, muah-ha-ha.

On the morning of the wedding, the bride's dad had organized a Bridal 5K.  We all met up around 7:30am and hit the streets for a friendly group run.  The best part, undoubtedly, was running up Bourbon Street at 8 o'clock in the morning, with the city workers hosing down the street.  It was super fun and we even had shirts!

This is the only photo I have of my full outfit at the wedding.  I made the Mister take me shopping last Thursday because I wasn't in love with anything in my closet.  And let me tell you.  He's a trooper.  It took us probably four hours and involved buying a dress and then returning it half an hour later because I realized how difficult it would be to find shoes for it (it was very cute and very sparkley and full of lovely Fall-ish coppers, bronzes and browns).  But then we found this dress.  And those shoes.  Let me tell you a little about those shoes.  You can't really see it here, but they are actually wedges.  And they are INSANELY comfortable.  I wore them for 11 hours and walked probably at least twenty blocks total over the course of the day.  I love these shoes.  And I fully intend to wear the hell out of them, which should be relatively easy because even though they look shiny metallic in this photo, they are actually a duller silver and should work with both dressy AND casual outfits.

Again.  Seriously.  How sexy is the Mister?  Can you believe I'm marrying him?  I kind of wish he wore a suit & tie to work every day though, because he makes it look good.  But that's all right.  He looks pretty damn hot in aquaflauge too.

The next few photos are from Sunday morning when we took a walk around the neighborhood where our hotel was.

Not pictured is all the AMAZING food we ate at the rehearsal dinner, held at a place called Mother's.  I was a little intimidated because I'm not terribly familiar with Louisiana cuisine, but between the Mister & I we ate a little bit of everything on offer and it was all damn tasty!  We cannot WAIT to go back to New Orleans and have a little more free time to do some exploring and more eating.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Halloween Baby!

So Halloween has come & gone!  I did all the things I intended to do on my birthday.  I did my push-ups, I went to Starbucks.  One of my neighbors had a candy pail in the hallway with a sign "Please help yourself!" So I even indulged in a couple fun-size candies, which was awesome.  And then I went to dinner with my three favorite Norfolk ladies!

I figured, hey, it's Halloween!  So, I wore my faux-leather leggings.  Here's some advice for you, if you ever feel like wearing faux-leather leggings.  It is probably best to wait some time between putting on lotion and putting on the leggings.  That was an exercise in frustration if I've ever experienced one.  But I wore the leggings with my black leather boots & a black top.  Then I threw a leopard-print trench over the whole thing and called myself a cat!

I posted the photo on Facebook and one of my friends demanded to know where my ears were.  So, to appease her (and because, you know, Halloween), I made sure to put my cat ears from the race on before dinner.  so I guess on Saturday I was a Crazy Cat Lady and on Wednesday I was a Sexy Cat Lady.  Or something.  I haven't a clue!

Dinner was yummy & they gave me a free birthday creme brulee, and it was amazing!  I'm glad I was able to spend some time with friends and do something nice on my birthday.  I was bummed that the Mister wasn't home, but I also know that this is something that will happen many, many times in the future.  It's all a part of choosing to marry someone in the military.  But he knew I was going to be sad, so he sent me some beautiful flowers, because he is awesome like that!

I'm headed back up to Minneapolis tomorrow evening, but he will be here to pick me up as soon as I get back!  I cannot WAIT to see him.  And then next weekend we have a wedding to go to in New Orleans, so I'm pretty excited about that too!  It's been ages since I've been to New Orleans.  Now just to figure out what I'm going to wear for the rehearsal dinner and the wedding!  Nothing like waiting til the last minute, right?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

Well, it's my birthday!  This last year has been pretty intense and I have to say I'm glad to be moving forward.  I'm not one to make an especially big deal out of my birthday.  Or rather, I always think maybe I will make a big deal, but then the closer it gets to the actual day, the less amped I get.  

In previous years, I've been working, so it was easier to let it slide.  But this year I actually got my birthday off from work.  And the Mister was supposed to be home!  We still weren't going to do anything crazy, but we were going to go out to dinner and maybe find some Halloween shenanigans to get up to.  But then the hurricane happened and the Mister is still stuck in Florida and he won't get back until after I've already left to go back to Minneapolis, so I won't see him until I come home again on the 8th.  Bummer!

Instead, a couple of girlfriends are taking me out to dinner, so I'll get to put on a cute outfit and have a few drinks.  Tomorrow morning I'm planning to make myself a special breakfast and then take a walk to Starbucks to enjoy my birthday drink (I'm thinking a Salted Caramel Mocha!) and get started on my NaNoWriMo novel!  I wish the Mister were here, but I know at least I can look forward to a delivery of flowers because the Mister ALWAYS sends flowers because he is awesome like that.

And since I am now every second closer to turning 30, here is my finalized 30 Before 30 List!

2.  Get SCUBA certified
3.  Go Skiing
4.  Go Camping
5.  Make croissants from scratch
6.  Knit a sweater (made a tiny sweater for a friend's new baby!)
7.  Pay off my consumer credit debt (The Mister & I both took care of this one!)
8.  Run a marathon
9.  Get married! (06/01/2013)
10. Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity
11. Read Anna Karenina
12. Get a bikini wax (did this for my wedding, but forgot to write about it)
13. Be able to do one pull up
14. Donate my hair to Locks of Love (10/31/13 Actually donated to Pantene Beautiful Lengths!)
15. Participate in a CSA (05/19/13)
16. Take a class in something, maybe dance? (I started doing a free Zumba class every Thursday!)
17. Take at least one photo every day
18. Visit Julia Child's kitchen at the Smithsonian in DC (05/16/13)
19. Bake bread (02/08/13)
20. Join a book club
21. Visit a new continent
22. Make a souffle
23. Do 100 consecutive push-ups!
24. Grow an herb garden
25. Meet an Internet friend in real life
26. Participate in a Color Run
27. Watch The Godfather (I've honestly never seen it!)
28. Read (or re-read) the top 25 Best Novels
29. Go berry picking (I haven't done this since I was a wee little Sarah!) (10/18/13)
30.Attempt surfing

So there you have it!  That's all the things that will be keeping me busy in the next year!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Drinking Coffee in a Hurricane

So yeah, there's this hurricane happening right now.  Luckily here in Norfolk we aren't expecting the get the brunt of the storm.  It's supposed to make landfall somewhere in New Jersey.  But we are getting the high winds & the rain.  Some are predicting we will lose power.  I've been watching the outages on the power company's website and so far it looks like just some of the coastal areas are being affected.  

I'm woefully unprepared for any kind of major disaster and it is totally my own fault.  I flew into Norfolk on Friday with a million errands on my mind before my race on Saturday.  And I had heard that there was going to be a hurricane, but I hadn't really paid attention to the severity.  Then I ran my race on Saturday and that was super fun.  I was a Crazy Cat Lady & I had a stuffed cat on a leash like I was taking it for a run the way people take their dogs for a run.  I'm not sure many people got the joke.

Note to self:  Clean your mirror!
I ran it with a friend and her dad and we all took it pretty easy and just enjoyed the race and all the costumes and didn't push ourselves very hard.  We finished in 1:03, which is a pretty solid 10 minute mile pace.  Afterwards there was Blue Moon beer and chili in bread bowls.  I came home and took as long of a shower as our water heater would allow (about 20 minutes) and then put on my new race shirt and some yoga pants and then kind of just collapsed on the sofa and didn't really get off of it until I ambled over to Five Guys for dinner.  I'd heard that there was some coastal flooding already and it was pretty windy, but it was hardly raining and it didn't seem that bad.  I probably should have gone out & picked up some supplies, but my body was just plum worn out from 5 days of flying.  When I went to bed Saturday night, I accidentally slept until 2pm on Sunday.  And by that point, the wind had really picked up and I kind of figured everything would be closed anyway and it probably wasn't a good idea to drive anywhere.  So I didn't.

I'm not completely unprepared though.  I have two flashlights and a few candles.  I have cheese, peanut butter and like 5 packets of tuna.  I have beer!  I filled up 8 of the Mister's growlers (he has twelve, but only 8 had lids) with water, plus there is a gallon of distilled water in the pantry and a few stray water bottles.  It's not totally ideal, but I won't die or be helpless should the power go out.

I've been keeping myself busy knitting.  I've been a little bummed because most of the things I've been working on are going to be gifts, so I don't want to post photos.  But I took a break from Christmas gifts to work on a gift for an Internet friend who just had a baby.  I put "knit a sweater" on my 30 Before 30 list and the idea was to knit myself a sweater.  To prepare for that, I decided to knit a baby sweater.  And since it isn't going to be a surprise, I'll show you the prototype.  I'm following this pattern and I think I did a pretty good job!

This is only the prototype because I don't have the kind of yarn I want to use.  I'll be ordering that when I get paid on Wednesday, along with a few supplies I'm missing (like double-pointed needles the same size as my regular needles so the sleeves don't come out looking all weird), but I wanted to practice so that when the yarn gets here, I will be good to go.  I'm not going to bother with the other sleeve for now because, well, this is just practice and I practiced the one sleeve already.  I'm pretty proud of this and I feel like this is a MUCH better example of my knitting prowess than my slippers.  

So that's what's going on around here.  I'll let y'all know (somehow) if I lose power or if it gets crazy.  For now, I have about a million chores to do around the apartment.  Probably better to do them while I still have power!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

30 Before 30

Halloween is right around the corner, which means my birthday is right around the corner!  Next Wednesday, I'll be turning 29 and I've decided I need another project.  I'm copying a million other bloggers and I'm coming up with a 30 Before 30 list; 30 things I'd like to do in the next year before I turn 30.  Below is the list I have so far:

1. Write a novel (participate in NaNoWriMo)

2. Get SCUBA certified

3.  Go skiing

4.  Go camping (I've never been proper camping, meaning, I've never slept in a tent on the ground!)

5.  Make croissants from scratch

6.  Knit a sweater

7.  Pay off my consumer credit debt

8.  Run a marathon

9.  Get married!

10.  Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity

11.  Read Anna Karenina (I've been starting & putting down this book for the last four years!)

12.  Get a bikini wax

13.  Be able to do one pull up (I have NEVER done a pull-up!)

14.  Donate my hair to Locks of Love

15.  Participate in a CSA 

So, I'm half-way there on my list.  I have less than a week to come up with the rest of my ideas.  I'm pretty excited about it!

Today I'm in Baltimore & I just got my wake-up call, which means it's time to start getting ready to start my day.  I'll get back to Minneapolis late tonight, then early early tomorrow morning I'm headed back to Norfolk, FINALLY!  And I've got a busy busy day planned!  I'll have to take a cab to the apartment, drop off all my stuff & hop in the Mister's car.  I have to drive to Virginia Beach to pick up my race packet for the Blue Moon Wicked 10K on Saturday.  Then I have to find a Halloween store and a craft store so I can put together my costume (I'm running as a Crazy Cat Lady!) and then I'm attending a dinner hosted by the wife of the captain of the Mister's ship.  It's a little hectic, but I think I can get everything done.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Photographic Evidence

I can't remember if I mentioned that I left my camera in Norfolk about, oh, two months ago.  So I went to Kona armed only with my cell phone.  And then I kept forgetting to take photos.  Because I am super awesome like that.  Lucky for me, my future mother-in-law is lovingly known as the paparazzi, so before I left, I borrowed her camera and uploaded a bunch of HER photos.  There are about a million, so I'm going to try to keep my commentary to a minimum.  Enjoy!

Arriving at the airport, being greeted by the Ironman athlete herself!  She finished in 12 hours, 26 minutes.  Y'all, she was involved in rigorous athletic pursuits for TWELVE hours.  Half a day!  I am continually in awe of her.  She's amazing.  Me on the other hand, well, I'm wearing leggings as pants. And we all know that leggings are not pants, especially when worn with normal-length shirts.  But I did it anyway b/c I was on a plane for a million hours & it was comfy.  I was rewarded with a hole in the inside thigh of my leggings.  Nice.

At my adventurous sushi dinner, discovering that the sushi chef liked to use wasabi like glue in his nigiri.  My nasal passages have never been clearer.

Breakfast was probably my favorite meal every day...so much delicious fruit, French-pressed Kona coffee, mimosas, what is NOT to love about that?

These little dudes ALSO loved breakfast...if you left your plate unattended, they would swoop in and feast on your leavings.

On top of Mauna Kea, with the Mister's mom, his sister and his sister's friend from college.  Those huge domes behind us are telescopes!

Getting a personal astronomy lesson from the Mister's sister, who just happens to be an astronomer!  Also, may I just say, it was FREEZING up here and I was, obviously, super prepared for that.

The Mister's aunt and grandma left Kona after a few days to head to Maui.  It was great to spend some time with them though, and get a bit more acquainted with my in-laws-to-be.  Also, please note the Mister's sister's bad-ass Ironman bib number sunburn tattoo.  Because she is hardcore.

On a boat, on our way to go swim with manta rays.  This is before I realized that swimming with manta rays involved snorkeling in the ocean at night.  I also failed to inform anyone that I'd never actually been snorkeling.  Or really ever swam in the ocean.

Wetsuits are SUPER sexy.  Also, swimming with the manta rays was incredible.  I really had no idea what to expect (clearly).  Once I stopped hyperventilating through the snorkel, I really enjoyed being in the ocean.  And then once the rays showed up, well, it was seriously one of the coolest things I've ever experienced.  The Mister's sister bought a video of us from a videographer who accompanies the dives and her friend had a waterproof camera so he also took some videos.  Once I get my hands on either of those videos, I'll share with y'all.  Because words can't really get across the bizarre feeling of being mere inches from these massive, graceful sea creatures.

This photo is mine.  I snapped it during my one & only run on my vacation.  I only intended to go for a thirty minute run, hopefully along the water.  Well, that didn't exactly work out for me.  And then I somehow ended up on private property and then got lost and then ended up here, which was some kind of prehistoric park or something.  I have no idea.  All I know is that the path was full of lots of little hills, which was intense, and the scenery was awesome.  I ended up running a little more than five miles and it took me about an hour because I also got lost on my way back to the hotel.  I get lost a lot.

My face in this photo made me laugh so hard.  Also, let me just say, I got teased a bit for putting on make-up before breakfast.  I say, go ahead and call me Girlie McSissypants, but I was prepared for the paparazzi.  This was my last breakfast in paradise and I was a bit spoiled, with starfruit, papaya, lychee and dragonfruit, not to mention the usual blueberries & strawberries.  I'd eat so much more fruit for breakfast if it were already prepared for me when I woke up.  I really would.

And then we dropped the Mister's sister off at the airport and that was pretty much the end of my Kona vacation.

I cannot say thank you enough to my future mother-in-law.  The Mister's mom is an incredibly generous lady and I had so much fun hanging out with her and the rest of the family.  The only thing that could have made this vacation any better (aside from the obvious: more time!) would have been for the Mister to have been able to come.  But this just means I'll have to drag him back there sometime.  Because I'm sure I'm really going to have to drag him.