Monday, November 4, 2013

The Big 3-0

So I got a little caught up in the hubbub of my birthday and didn't get a chance to post.  But now it's Monday, all the festivities are over and the Mister is back at work.  I mentioned that I was going do a sort of wrap-up post about my 30-Before-30 list, and the long & short of it is that I didn't do so hot.  I've been trying to be a little less hard on myself, so I'm going to look at this as a learning experience.  What did I learn?  I've learned that as much as I love a good to-do list (and my-oh-my I do!), I do better with smaller amounts of time.  Knowing that I had a whole year to complete all the items contributed to my procrastination.  And so a few months out, I was trying to cram in all the books I didn't read and all the tasks I hadn't accomplished.  Which was sort of exhausting.  And I've put off doing things I really want to to do because of things I think I "ought" to be doing.

Of the 19 things I didn't do, I think its a tie between run a marathon and do a Color Run for the thing I most wished I had done.  The marathon idea fell to the wayside over the summer when I was flying like a crazy lady.  And the Color Run didn't end up happening because we had a bit of a last minute wedding invitation that we couldn't turn down.  But!  I did run 3 races this year, which is more than I've done before!  I'm hoping to do even more next year, including maybe a destination race or two!

The rest of the items were things I found myself less interested in or were dependent on other people.  Skiing and camping are definitely happening next year.  I was hoping to knock out SCUBA, surfing and visiting a new continent when the Mister & I took our honeymoon but we haven't been able to schedule that yet.

All of that said, there was one item on the list I just wasn't NOT doing.  So, on my birthday last week, I walked into a salon and had a stylist chop off just over a foot of hair!

The girl decided to cut it off in two pigtails rather than one ponytail in an effort to save me a little bit of length.  So my hair is actually longer now than I thought it might be.  I've been having fun trying to style it, but I haven't figured it out quite yet.  Today's style is leftover from a bit too much curl yesterday.

I've been wearing my hair up so much this summer (I am a master of the braid) that I think I hadn't really realized just how long my hair had grown.  It is taking some getting used to, but it is so nice not to have it get stuck in my bra straps accidentally get zipped into a dress.  The Mister is hoping that maybe now that it isn't so long he won't have to be constantly cutting it out of the vacuum brush.

That photo is from my birthday dinner and shows how the girl styled my hair.  I liked how sleek it looked, but I'm not sure if it is very "me" yet.  I haven't tried it on my own, but I will.  I'm also pondering picking up a pair of hair scissors to do a bit of work on the bangs.  I told her I liked a deep side part, but she parted it just off center to cut my bangs.  Other than that, she did a great job and I'm pretty happy with it!  My envelope full of hair is on its way to Pantene Beautiful Lengths and I'm excited that a woman out there who has lost her hair to cancer will benefit from my loss.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Super Fun Pre-Halloween Weekend!

Sure, it's Wednesday, and I'm only now getting around to writing about our weekend, but at the rate I've been going, I'm just glad I'm posting!

Last weekend, the Mister & I drove down to our old stomping grounds, Norfolk and Virginia Beach, to have a super fun pre-Halloween weekend.  The first purpose of our trip was running the Anthem Wicked 10K, which is a super fun costume race.  This is my third year in a row doing a Halloween-themed race for my birthday and I have declared it a tradition!

Ahh, he's got me!

Drac makes sure the Mister gets a good night's sleep!

Matchy McMatchersons over here!

The Mister was able to leave work relatively early Friday afternoon and we hit the road.  Remarkably, we didn't hit ANY traffic and made amazing time.  Our first stop was the Expo at the Convention Center in Virginia Beach to pick up our packets.  I've been trying to take more photos when we do fun things and the Mister was willing to indulge us.  I think the shirts this year are way nicer than last year's!

After we got our packets and did a bit of browsing at the Expo, we headed over toward Norfolk to go to one of our favorite restaurants, Luna Maya, that we dearly miss.  We nommed on so much delicious food it was kind of ridiculous.  Then we headed back to our hotel to  get in a good night's rest before the race.  I forgot to get any photos before the race, but I am impressed at how great my costume looks after a 6.2 mile run!

Post-race selfie! We were the TARDIS and the 10th Doctor from Doctor Who, fyi!

Blurry shot of me & Richard Simmons!  This guy rarely broke character, it was awesome!

Ms. Frizzle & her Magic School Bus!  I was bummed that they didn't place in the costume contest!

Full shot of the TARDIS costume!

Extra special touch!

I love doing costume races because it makes the running part that much more bearable if you have something amusing to look at.  This was the longest distance the Mister has run since high school and I was running a bit injured, so checking out people's costumes was a big help!  Unfortunately, not too many people got our costumes.  Mostly just the cool nerdy high schoolers volunteering.  There was one girl who was handing out PowerBars who pretty much lost her shit, especially when I turned around to show off my Bad Wolf grafitti.

We stayed for most of the after-party and enjoyed our three free beers and then stumbled down the beach back toward our hotel lunch and showers.  We had lunch (in our costumes!) at our favorite fancy sandwich shop, Taste.  I joked with the Mister that it was no wonder I gained 10 pounds after moving in with him...there were so many awesome places to eat in Norfolk!

We spent the rest of the day bumming around and had dinner with some friends.  The next day we slept in and had a super yummy (but surprisingly spendy) breakfast at a place called Pocahontas Pancakes and then hit the road for the finale of our Super Fun Pre-Halloween Weekend.  Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream!

I totally intended to take way more photos while we were at the park, but then I forgot.  But I made sure to get a photobooth photo because last time we came, we didn't get one.  It's my favorite souvenir!  We had so much fun at Howl-O-Scream, but we wish the scary stuff started a bit earlier.  We did all our favorite non-scary attractions early in the afternoon and then we were left sort of just wandering around for two hours before the haunted houses opened up.  But man.  Once they did?

Have I ever mentioned that I am a TOTAL baby about scary things?  Like, I don't watch scary movies or scary TV shows.  Even some episodes of Doctor Who are too scary for me.  But I was like, Yeah!  Let's go through these crazy haunted houses!  We got through four of the six they offered before we needed to hit the road (it was a school night, after all!) and they were insane.  I screamed.  A lot.  To the point where I finally just warned the people behind us in line.  Everyone, especially the Mister, had a good laugh at me.  I was totally an easy mark for the ghoulies because they'd see me clutching the Mister's arm and cowering behind him so they all came at me.  I felt bad for the ones who I screamed at right in their faces.  Oops.  I wonder if they are provided with earplugs.  I certainly hope so!

Even more fun was that, after dark, there were ghoulies just wandering around the park, creeping up on people to scare them.  It was super fun to watch other people's reactions.  And of course, the Mister laughed at me every time I jumped or screamed.  What can I say?  I startle easily!

That's all I've got for now.  Tomorrow is my birthday!  The big 3-0.  I'm planning to write up a recap of my 30-by-30 list (short version: didn't accomplish much of it) tomorrow.  Until then, Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Pumpkin Patch!

You guys, it's October!  October is my favorite month, not just because of my birthday though.  You see, Fall is my favorite season.  And sure, September is the official beginning of fall, but September is just like August Plus.  But October is when the leaves really start changing colors and when the weather gets a little crisper.  And I love me some crisp weather.  It means I can start wearing boots and sweaters and scarves and jackets, but I don't have to wear a coat.  It's the best weather for running.  And for doing fall things.  Like going to the pumpkin patch!

Yesterday afternoon, the Mister came home from work early so we decided to take a drive out to Belvedere Plantation to get some pumpkins.  I've been dying to do something Fall-like and this was pretty high on my list, but we got rained out last weekend.  Well, last night could not have been more perfect, weather-wise.  Although I should have listened to my original instincts that told me to bring a sweater.

But even though I was a little chilly, I looked darn cute with my pumpkin!

And the Mister was handsome, as always.

We felt a little awkward when we first got there because it is totally geared towards families with kids and as yet, we are child-free.  But after a while, we ran into a few other child-free couples out on a Friday date night and felt a little more comfortable.

With it being Fall and all, the sun began to set and the moon to rise pretty early in the evening.

The pumpkin patch is lit up on Friday nights, but we decided to get the pumpkin picking out of the way first thing.  There were really so many awesome pumpkins.  We were super impressed with the quality.  We each found a few awesome pumpkins a piece, but settled on two 18 pounders.  I'm pretty excited to carve them up and also to roast the seeds!

Most of the activities were geared towards the littles, but there was a Maize Maze so we decided to hit that up.  I had never actually been in a corn maze, so I was excited to give it a try.  The Mister thought it was a haunted corn maze, but I was happy it was just a regular one.  It was a little confusing what we were supposed to be doing, besides finding our way out.  There were these checkpoint signs and we only ever found Checkpoints 3 & 4 though some people we ran into claimed to have found Checkpoint 5.  Eventually though, our hot cider was long gone and my fingers were frozen so we decided to give up the ghost and go back the way we started.  The Mister's inner Boy Scout was a bit upset at not having conquered the corn maze, but we still had a lot of fun!

All in all, we had a great time and it was a super fun Fall date night.  I would definitely go back again next year.  And seeing as how we went out to the patch and picked our own pumpkins, I'm going to go ahead and declare this as "Berry Picking" as far as my 30-Before-30 list goes!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Stalker Songs

Have you ever had a song stalking you?  Like, you hear it everywhere you go?  And I don't mean a Top 40 song-of-the-summer because that would be like saying that the guy in the next cubicle is stalking you because he is always at work when you are.  Now, if he were also always at your dry cleaners and also always in the tree outside your apartment, then yes, he would be stalking you.  But anyway.  Back to the original question of stalker songs.  Because lately, this song has been stalking me:

I have heard it three times in the last week or two.  I remember this song was HUGE in the early nineties but listening to it now, I am so confused as to why.  Perhaps it's because it is a total earworm.  Since this song started stalking me, I've been walking around singing it to myself.  Except then I start singing THESE lyrics:

The only clips I can find skip the first part of the song which goes, "I am sitting on the sofa, there's a TV in the corner..."  Anyone else a huge Nick at Nite fan as a child?

Friday, September 27, 2013

Sustained Silent Reading

So!  Progress continues on the novel reading.  I'm currently about halfway through Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence and I'm enjoying it though I keep saying to myself, "Ugh, Paul is SUCH a momma's boy!" because he totally is.  Previously I read Darkness at Noon  by Arthur Koestler.  It was so out of my normal realm of fiction but I found myself really into it and not wanting to set it down.  It was about a man who had risen rather high up in the Party (communist, to be sure) and then fell to the bottom as he became disillusioned with the Party ideals and tactics.  Very interesting.  Before that was The Sound and The Fury by William Faulkner and I'll admit I checked out the Wikipedia page on this one to get a better idea of the plot because the way it is written in the first part was a bit confusing.  I just realized that I skipped over Catch-22 because thus far I've been reading everything on my Nook but I knew the Mister had a physical copy of that so I didn't want to buy it.  Note to self: read Catch-22.

Basically, skipping James Joyce has made me a much happier reader.  If I have time and the inclination, I'll circle back around and give him another try.  But for now, I'm enjoying reading outside my comfort level.

Let's see, what else?  I've been diligently tracking my food on My Fitness Pal and I've been running pretty consistently, so that's good.  I think I'm noticing a difference in my body but the scale was kind of refusing the budge there for a while and then it did so who knows.  I'm sort of obsessive about weighing myself every day when I am home (even though I know I'm not supposed to) but I don't think I let the number have much effect on the way I got about my day.  I just keep trying to stay under my calorie goals.  Most days I do.

I did get a new phone, which is very exciting!  It's a rather sexy Samsung Galaxy S4.  I overthought the whole process waaaay too much, but I've had the phone for almost a week now and I'm quite pleased with it.  I've been setting up all the pages and widgets and downloading apps and figuring out settings and features and really geeking out over it.  I've also found myself using the Nook app on it instead of my Simple Touch just for the convenience of it.  So that's pretty cool.  I'm still working out what kind of case I want to get for it.  I originally ordered two wallet-style cases (this in pink and this in white) and while I enjoy not having to carry a purse while running errands, I think I'd prefer something a little less bulky for everyday use.  So I'm still looking.

Work is still work.  I applied for a four-month leave of absence they are offering for the fall.  The leaves are awarded in order of seniority and I have no idea if I'm senior enough to hold one, but it would be really great to have four months to actually Get Shit Done around here.  I'm only ever home for three or four days at a time anymore which is my own doing because I don't want to work weekends and I don't want my trips to back up to each other.  But still.  I'll find out sometime next week if I was awarded one of the leaves.  They are also offering single-month leaves for November, so maybe if I don't get the multi-month leave I might still get the single month leave.  I'll keep you posted.

That's about all that's new around here.  How are you?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Good morning!

I woke up very excited this morning because the cats were cuddling. I am determined to have BFF cats but so far that hasn't been working out so well for me.  But this morning, the cats were cuddling, literally behind my back. So I woke up the Mister & hissed at him, "Look!  Behind me!" I'm pretty sure this freaked him out a little, but he dutifully looked, mumbled something about how cute it was and rolled over back to sleep.  But I was too excited to sleep. The cats were cuddling!  So close to total BFF-dom.  And Amy was even letting Rory groom her.  And grooming is Rory's jam.  He tongue-bathes us like it is his job until he gets really intense and into it and then he tends to get a little bitey.  So then I became concerned, because Amy never allows Rory to go that long with the grooming.  And I panicked because I thought maybe he had killed her and was now grooming her tiny kitten corpse.  I can be a little morbid at times.  But at the same time, if she wasn't dead and they really WERE cuddling like old pals, I didn't want to disturb them.  So I rolled over as sloooooowly as possible.  But I didn't have my glasses on and it was hard to tell if her eyes were open and I suppose her eyes could be open even if he had killed her.  So then I started groping at her belly to see if I could tell if she was breathing.  And she was.  However, Rory totally had his front paws around her tiny neck, which was probably why she was allowing the intense grooming.  Once I loosened his little paws, she shimmied away.

Anyway, that was my morning.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Someone was very insistent on sitting in my lap.  Miss Amy has proven herself to be aggressively affectionate.  We had been under the impression that Rory was a super affectionate cat, a real cuddler.  Ha.  Compared to Amy, Rory is as anti-social as they come.  If you are still for even the briefest of moments, Amy will launch herself at you and demand to be petted.  It's rather sweet really.

I'm also happy to report that, while they are still not BFFs, Rory & Amy seem to be tolerating each other much more these days.  It just that Rory really wants to be dominant and will ferociously groom her until she gets fed up and then she bites him and then he bites her and then she runs and he chases and she hisses.  Sigh.  But the other good news is that Rory is back to his old personality.  For a few weeks there, he seemed really depressed and not himself at all.  We were worried it was a permanent change, but hooray it was not!

Not much else new to report around here.  I've been flying a lot.  Or at least it feels that way.  I basically work one 3-day trip every week, usually leaving on Sunday or Monday and getting home Wednesday or Thursday.  And the first day I am home is always a write-off because I'm just so happy to be home that I don't feel like getting my butt off the couch.  Thursday nights I've been going to a free Zumba class that a guy who lives in the complex teaches.  It's a lot of a fun, but he's cutting it down to twice a month next month and is stopping all together after that, which is a bummer.  After the class is over, I might look into joining a gym again.

Today, in an effort to just get out of the house, I took a trip to Target.  So as a special treat, there's an outfit photo taken in the mirror of a Target dressing room.  It's been AGES since I've posted one of those, y'all.

I ordered those shorts from Anthropologie a few months ago because they were $11 and then they sat in my drawer because I was convinced I shouldn't actually wear them out of the house.  But I've lost about 8 pounds recently, so I decided to try them on again and the Mister gave me the thumbs up on wearing them in public.  So I paired them with my Anthro shirt that is stupidly unflattering but gets me a million compliments every time I wear it because the print is awesome and with the sweater that the Mister hates.  You can almost see how long my hair is getting.  I really need to get it cut b/c it has been driving me nuts all summer.

My main reason for going to Target was to check out the Philip Lim collab they have right now.  My Target had a sort of sad selection and they didn't even have the tuxedo jacket & pants that I was most interested in trying on.  I did try on a super cute sleeveless navy blouse that I liked, but not for $26.  If it goes on sale though, it is going in my closet.  I also tried on a sweater dress that I thought was cute when I saw it online.  But it sort of doesn't.

 On the left here is the way it actually seems to fit.  On the right is the way I think it ought to fit but doesn't.  And there is no way to wear it the way I think it ought to fit because, y'all, that skirt layer is SHEER.  So that was disappointing.

The only other exciting thing is that I get to upgrade my phone tomorrow and I have agonized and over-thought it so much that the Mister is seriously sick of hearing me talk about it.  And it is a good thing I have new co-workers every time I go to work because I've been analyzing it on every trip as well as making trips to various Verizon stores across the country to debate the pros & cons of the Samsung Galaxy S4 & the HTC One.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Quick Update

So, just a quick update on my reading situation.  It felt stupidly freeing to give up on Ulysses.  I'd been trying to stick it out just so I could say I read it because that's what I did with War and Peace and I actually ended up enjoying that book a lot.  But with Ulysses, I just can't.

Continuing down the list, I read The Great Gatsby in a single day and it was glorious.  Compared to Ulysses, it was like coming out of the hot sun into the shade and taking a long cool drink of water.  I seriously felt refreshed.  And now I'm two-thirds of the way through Lolita and am enjoying that as well, despite the subject matter making me feel squirmy.

I don't think I'm even going to bother with Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.  I think I'm just going to skip on down the line and start Brave New World next.

That's all for now.

Monday, September 2, 2013

September Check-In

So in the month of August, I made a list of goals.  I don't think I really addressed my list on the blog because if I make a list public, I feel like I really have to do the things on that list.  Like my 30-Before-30.  And if I don't do the things I said I would do, then I feel like a failure.  So I made this list in August and I didn't tell anyone about it except the Mister.  I was hoping I would be able to achieve all my items and then be like, "Hey guys, look at everything I did!"  But this is me we are talking about and sometimes I'm a little over-optimistic.  However, I'm still really proud of the things I did accomplish and am okay with the things that didn't pan out.  To note:

Do something nice for the Mister every day that I am home
~  I'm not sure if I managed this one EVERY day, but it was pretty close.  The Mister does SO MANY nice things for me all the time.  And I worry sometimes that I don't keep up my end of that.  So I'm continuing to make a conscious effort to be good to him and to spoil him.

Read the first five novels on the list
~  You guys?  Ulysses sucks.  Like, a lot.  I'm almost halfway through and I still don't even understand what is going on half the time.  I kept trying to force myself to stick it out.  And I even readdressed this goal and changed it to just finishing Ulysses by the end of August.  But I had zero desire to ever pick it up and read it.  So, I'm calling it a loss and moving on to The Great Gatsby, which I am in fact looking forward to reading.

Recommit to fitness goals, focus more on strength training & lost 5 pounds
~  This one sounds like a lot, but is actually the one I am most proud of.  I did in fact lose 5 pounds in August and even that little bit has made a HUGE difference in how I feel and how I look in my clothes.  My uniform dress finally doesn't feel too tight.  I'm comfortable in all my pairs of jeans.  And I feel like I'm starting to get stronger.  I've been pushing myself to lift a little heavier than I usually do.  I bought Rachel Cosgrove's book The Female Body Breakthrough and while I don't buy into everything she says (I'm not giving up my is too important to me), I've started incorporating some of her philosophies and techniques into my own workouts and I think I'm starting to see results!

Update the blog at least once per week
~  Ahahahaha ,whoops.  I don't know why it is so difficult for me to keep up with the blog sometimes.  I think about it pretty often and think of things I want to share with my readers or stories I want to tell.  But then I just never get around to opening up that "new post" page to start typing.  This is something I'll continue to work on.

So!  Those were some of my goals for August.  For September, I'm going to read the next four novels on the list (though, fair warning, I may just skip Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man if I hate it as much as I hate Ulysses).  I'm going to run at least 50 total miles and drop another 5 pounds.  I'm going to go to Zumba every Thursday (more on that another day!).  For the "knit a sweater" item on my 30-Before-30 list, I have decided that a baby sweater totally counts and I have one in the works to be done before the end of the month.  My hair is stupid long so this month I am going to get it cut and donate at least 1 foot of hair!  I put together a Family Finances binder and during September, I'm going to focus on getting our money right.  The Mister & I are lucky in that we don't have any financial problems, but we definitely eat out too much and overspend on groceries.  So in September, we're going to focus on how & where we are spending our money and then work on reorganizing and re-prioritizing our funds!  Doesn't that sound fun?  I'll tell you what though.  The best way to get me excited about something boring like a budget?  Let me buy a bunch of new office supplies (binders! dividers! three-hole punch!) and also let me turn it into an art project.  Because I WILL get excited!

And, because, you know.  Here's a photo of me in yet another airport lounge.  These are sort of like the old "Drinking Coffee in my Hotel Room" posts except they are me blogging in flight attendant lounges.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


Hello hello from yet another crew lounge.  This time I'm at JFK in our fancy new lounge which is approximately 800 miles from the security checkpoint.  Which is not so bad, I suppose, if you're looking to stretch your legs.  But when walking in heels, it gets a bit ridiculous to walk for 10 minutes just to check in for my flight.  Especially if I have to turn around and walk all the way back to where I started to actually work my flight.  I don't think that will be a problem today, but I've been seeing a lot more JFK on my schedule because ladies don't like walking that far in heels.

Tonight I'm flying to San Francisco.  I'm excited because I get a 24 hour layover, but I'm a little unsure because I'm the flight lead doing a service I've never done before on an aircraft I haven't seen in at least six months but possibly longer.  I'm hoping that my crew is nice and that they'll put up with me while I get my bearings.  I have a bunch of resource materials that I printed that are supposed to walk me through, so I think I'll be okay.

I'm looking forward to going for a long run in San Francisco.  The weather should be perfect, 64 & overcast.  I've been recommitting myself to some of my workout goals that I've previously set for myself and have been focusing a little more on strength training and less on distance running.  That might prove problematic if I ever actually sign up for that marathon I put on my 30-Before-30 list!  I've also started tracking my food again, because I want to lose the weight I've gained & I know this is the only thing that works for me.  These first few days back on track are the hardest because I'd been previously giving myself a LOT of leeway and now I'm realizing just how out of hand my eating had become.  So here's to getting that back under control.  It certainly doesn't help that there is a Shake Shack here in JFK, right outside the elevator down to Inflight and EVERYONE around me is eating delicious-smelling burgers and fries.  But one of my New Year's Resolutions was to Make Good Choices and even though it smells amazing and would surely taste just as awesome, eating Shake Shack is not going to get me any closer to my goals.  Not a good choice.  Sigh.

On the topic of 30-Before-30 & making good choices, I finally downloaded the first five novels on the list of 25 novels I wanted to read.  I have 3 months to read all 25 and considering how fast I generally read, this shouldn't be a problem, but I started Ulysses by James Joyce and I'm finding it hard to get into.  But I've put a ban for the rest of the month on the smutty romance novels I've been reading these last few months.  So I'm hoping that not having the distraction of an easy read will push me toward the more difficult read.  Has anyone else ever read Ulysses?  Any thoughts?  I'm only on page 30 of 678, so I think I need to give it more time.

The next book on the list is The Great Gatsby, which I had forgotten was even on the list and I was planning to re-read it anyway after having watched the new movie.  After that is another James Joyce, this time Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.  That one might be a muddle-through if I don't get into Joyce's writing style.  Then it's Lolita, which is another re-read  and the last of the top five is Brave New World, another re-read.  So in summary, I'm very much looking forward to all my re-reads and not necessarily to the James Joyce.  But I'll get through them!

I still have an hour & a half before my sign in for this 6 1/2 hour flight, so I think it might be time to search out some more coffee.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Meet Amy!

No burying the lede on this one, y'all.  We got a new cat a few days ago and so far, it is love, true love.  Well, between her & I.  Rory on the other hand, well, they're starting to tolerate each other more.  We thought he would be excited to have a little cat friend, considering how hard he tried to be friends with the cat we were sitting a few weeks ago.  But when we brought Miss Amy home, he hissed at her and proceeded to continue hissing at her all day.  We're three days in and they can now tolerate being in the same room and occasionally on the same piece of furniture.

I don't think he is plotting her imminent demise here, but he is not exactly thrilled with her presence.  I'm confident though, that as time goes on, they will be BFFs.

I mentioned previously that the Mister & I had been idly cat shopping for a few weeks.  Going to Adoption Day at Petsmart every Saturday has just become a tradition.  We pet all the dogs we can't have and we play with the cats, but we never come home with one.  Because they haven't been the right one.  And I knew that I would know when I saw the right cat.  And when we spotted Amy at a Petsmart we don't usually go to, I knew she needed us.  The sign on her cage said she was a year old, but I have a hard time believing that because she is SO tiny.  And she is skinny.  When we held her at the store, she was shedding like crazy and we could feel all of her tiny bones.  It worried us a little, but she immediately snuggled right into me and I was a goner.  The girl running the adoptions said she was brand new at the store and she had only just been spayed three days before, poor baby.  I think dealing with that and dealing with being in a cage at the store was too stressful for her and I don't think she was eating.  Because we've had her home for three days now and she has already started filling out nicely.  She's super active, incredibly agile and amazingly affectionate.  She wants to be where I am at all times.  We have vet appointments for both cats tomorrow (Rory for his annual exam and for updates on his shots; Amy for a general checkup) so we'll see what the vet says about her weight and about her age.  Meanwhile, I'll just continue to love on her.

And continue to love on this big galoot.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Catching Up

Ay yi yi.  I don't know why I let so much time go between posting.  I've had a few ideas knocking around in my head and I even went so far as to write out a whole long thing about a set of Very Bad Days on a trip a few weeks ago, but then the Asiana flight crashed and suddenly my silly difficulties seemed ridiculous in comparison, so I scrapped it.

But now here I am, on a layover, realizing that I've yet again gone almost a month without an update.  And yet again, I feel like there has been so much AND so little going on that I don't even know where to start.  I guess we'll go backwards.

On Wednesday last week, I flew to Minneapolis to participate in the Lifetime Fitness Torchlight 5k.  This race is special to my heart because it was the very first race I did, back when I first started running.  And this time I was running with one of my very best flight attendant friends and it was going to be HER first race.  And now she is also hooked on races because they're FUN!

It was like, 90 degrees when we started the race and I finished in 30 minutes, which is longer than the last time I did this race, two years ago.  I was a little disappointed in that, because I feel like I've become faster in the last few months, but hey, it was super hot & humid so at least I finished!  

After my friend crossed the finish line, we waited for her friend & mom to finish and then we headed off to find our free Michelob Ultras because free beer after a race is the best part. There was a band playing, so we stuck around to watch and it was a lot of fun.  The first time I ran this race, I was dating a guy who didn't want to stick around for the music.  And the second time I ran it, I was by myself and felt super awkward, so I didn't stick around.  I'm glad I finally got to do the race with people who wanted to hang out!  So that was fun.  And I looked cute!

Not so fun was only being home for 36 hours before heading back up to New York for this trip and not getting to go home until Friday.  Lame sauce.  But before the race, I had a layover in the city where the Mister's mom lives, so I got to hang out with her and meet her Siberian Huskies for the first time.

I slept in the Mister's old room and got to see a bunch of pictures of Baby Mister.  Let me tell you, he was freakin' adorable!

About two weeks ago, the Mister & I drove up toward DC to go see Camera Obscura and She & Him.  The venue was amazing and we had fantastic seats, but I'm sad to say both acts were a little disappointing.  I love their music, but Camera Obscura didn't really have any stage presence and Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward just seemed a little bored most of their set.  It was nice to see She & Him perform again though, because the last time I saw them was their first tour at First Ave in Minneapolis.  I went with this guy I used to hang out with who was not very nice to me, so even though the show was not so impressive, I'm glad I got to see them with the Mister who is VERY nice to me.  They wouldn't let us take photos during the show though, so all I have from that night is a rather moody photo of us waiting for it to begin.

And then the next night we got to have dinner with one of the few people from high school that I keep in touch with, who is in the DC area for work training.  His wife had flown out from where they live in Arizona, so it was great to see them both and for the Mister to meet her.  We had a good laugh that the last time my friend came out east for work training, he was in Virginia Beach which was 20 minutes from where we lived in Norfolk.  And this time he was about 45 minutes from where we live in Fburg.  Very considerate of his work to keep sending him to training near us!  We're hoping to have dinner with him some time during the week next week.

Other than that, we've just been getting things in order around the apartment.  I think we have finally emerged form the post-wedding haze and so now we are focusing on areas of life that got neglected while we planned & prepared for that, namely getting the apartment totally organized and decorated.  We have a lot of things that need to go up on the walls, some of which needed to be framed.  So we've started working on that, which is exciting.  I'm finally starting to see some of my personality coming out in the apartment.  Considering  I came into this cohabitation situation with pretty much nothing, it's been difficult, but we are learning to compromise.

We're also seriously considering getting a second cat.  We cat-sat for some friends of ours for about two weeks and while the visiting cat was not exactly warm & friendly toward Rory, Rory was obsessed with being her friend.  And we noticed that he seemed to act out a lot less while she was here.  So while it was something we talked about vaguely before, now we are talking in more concrete terms.  And of course I fell in love with a little boy kitten at PetSmart and had already named him and actually had the Mister's permission to go back & adopt him the next day, but the timing wasn't right because I was going back to work the day after and would be gone for a week.  Once I get back from this trip, though, I think we might go back and check out the kittens and maybe also visit the animal shelter.  Hooray for kittens!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Rose By Any Other Name...

So this morning I found myself killing time on the Social Security Administration website.  I finally got my hands on our marriage certificate (for some reason, the state of Virginia does not automatically send out one's marriage certificate, unlike most other states I've heard about) and it's time to start the whole name change process.  I'm dropping my middle name (I was given the same middle name as my godmother and while I appreciate and understand the significance, I've always hated it in combination with my first name), shoving my maiden name over to be my new middle name and taking the Mister's last name.

And did you know that the SSA keeps track of popular baby names?  The Mister & I are nowhere near close to having a little one, but I've always been fascinated by names.  I always thought my own name, Sarah, has been popular since the beginning of time.  But looking at the statistics over the last 100 years, while it mainly stayed in the top 100, it didn't really soar in popularity until the 80s when it jumped into the top 5 and stayed in the top 10 through the 90s.  But I guess my name is on the outs.

An interesting anecdote from the plane a few weeks ago:  A young mom was walking her infant up & down the aisle during the flight and I said hello to the baby because I have Baby Rabies and this is what I do.  The mom says, "This is Sarah!"  And I got confused, thinking maybe she read my name tag and was introducing me to her baby but then I said, "Oh, is HER name Sarah?  MY name is also Sarah!"  And she immediately says, "Do you love your name?"  And I was kind of taken aback and she continued, "Because we wanted to give our babies traditional names.  I'm a Rachel and my husband is Benjamin and we liked having traditional names but I worry she might hate it."

And I wasn't sure how to answer that question.  Because I like my name okay.  But as I was growing up, I always wished I had a more unique name.  My sister's name is much less common than my name and, in fact, has never reached the top 100.  There wasn't another kid at our school with her name.  Whereas for me, there was always at least one other Sarah in my class and one year on my softball team we had Sarah A., Sarah B., two Sarah Cs and a Sarah D.  It was ridiculous!  And I hated always having to be Sarah B. on all of my homework.  So while I didn't exactly hate my name, I always wished I had a name that was a little less popular.

Of course, I didn't say this to the new mom because, really, what is she going to do?  Change the kid's name?  I just said, "I like traditional names too because I could always find personalized pencils and whatnot and I didn't really have to tell anyone how to pronounce it or how to spell it."  Besides, with Sarah on the outs, it's always possible that this little girl, unlike say, a Sophia, will be the only one in her class.

As for the weirdest trend...I just do not understand how this is a thing.

Nevaeh is "heaven" spelled backwards.  And it beat out my name for the LAST THREE YEARS.  Seriously?

If you are also fascinated by the trends in baby names, you can access the database here:  SSA Popular Baby Names.  Also, does anyone else out there find boy names to be kind of difficult & also boring?  Because I find myself waaaaay more interested in girl names.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Crossin' Things Offa Mah List

So I've been diligently/half-assedly attempting to cross things off my 30-Before-30 list for the last few months.  I haven't even STARTED the one where I wanted to read 25 books & instead keep filling my Nook with a bunch of Eloisa James Regency Romance novels.  Don't judge.

I DID pay off my consumer credit debt, but then since I've been based in NYC I've had to put a few hotel rooms on my credit card and also a few things for the wedding so I've got to work on that again.  I could probably just ask the Mister for the money and pay it off again but sometimes I'm stubborn and I get all "I wanna do it myself!"  We'll see how that shakes out.

The whole "take at least one photo every day" was a little overambitious and I've sort of already failed at that.  I'm super jelly of people who are all into Instagram and have all these little moments documented for future perusal.  I could spin it like I'm SO into the moment as it happens that I don't want to step back to take a photo, but that's BS and we all know it.  I just don't have the thought until after.  Or I feel like an ass.

For Christmas, my mom gave me an herb garden starter kit, but I'm so clueless when it comes to plants that I didn't know when I was supposed to start it and now I feel like it is too late to start from seeds and I should just go to Home Depot & have them set me up but that would involve having to talk to people and have I ever mentioned that I hate talking to people sometimes?  Like, not just making polite conversation.  That's fine.  I mean like, walking into a place and being all, "Hello, I need assistance with this thing that you probably know a ton more about than I do."

Case in point, I've needed new running shoes for months now.  MONTHS.  And after the half-marathon, the Mister was all, "We are going to go the running store and they are going to fit you out."  I don't think he realizes sometimes a.) how picky I am and b.) how fussy my feet are.  And by that I mean, all shoes hurt my feet.  Seriously.  I have never worn a shoe that felt great for more than, say, fifteen minutes.  Maybe I just have super sensitive skin on my feet, but just about any shoe will rub my feet into blisters after half an hour.  Or if it doesn't rub, it feels too tight.  Or the shoe aggravates my Morton's Toe.  So yes.  We went to the running store.  And I tried on AT LEAST a dozen pairs of running shoes.  And they made me go outside and run in them.  And it was like Goldilocks.  This pair was too soft.  The pair was too firm.  This pair pinched my feet.  And finally I think I just got frustrated and picked a shoe, any shoe.  And it wasn't the correct choice.  They hurt the sides of my feet.  But I've worn them half a dozen times now and I'm not sure what the return policy is so I'm probably just going to keep them and continue wearing them because the alternative is going back into the store and doing it all over again and just no.

But!  There are some things that I've done!  Like joining a CSA!

Oh my gosh, you guys.  So many vegetables.  We kind of don't know what to do with it all and we feel bad because we keep ending up tossing a bunch of it on Tuesdays before the Mister has to go pick up the next box on Wednesday.  Sometimes we are really on our game, but then there were the weeks when the kept giving us giant yams, like, way too giant to just bake and by the time I thought about making them into gnocchi or something, they'd started to get all soft & weird.  So last week, in an attempt to not be wasteful, I decided to use our brand new food processor to shred up all the zucchini, thinking I'd make a loaf or two of zucchini bread.

The recipe I was going by called for three cups of zucchini.  I just sort of started shredding until the food processor bowl was full.  And that was only like 1/5 of the zucchini.  And it made something like 6 cups.  So then I was like, "Oh okay, I'll just shred up the rest and make more bread."  You guys.  I made TEN LOAVES of zucchini bread.  And 2 dozen zucchini muffins just for something different.  It took FIVE HOURS.  By the end of it, I had used up an entire container of cinnamon and I didn't ever want to look at another zucchini.  AND THEN THEY GAVE US MORE.  In hindsight, I still love the idea of the CSA as far as supporting a local farm and having delicious farm fresh produce.  But these boxes are too much for two people, especially since I have been flying so much because it is the summer and summer is the worst.

And because this entry is super light on photos, here is a photo of my mom & step-dad at Chatham Manor here in Fredericksburg.  My parents are super adorable.

My step-dad wanted them to pose with a canon but my mom was like, "I am not posing with a canon!"  So I told Mikey to pose with the canon by himself.


Friday, June 21, 2013

Three Weeks Post Wedding

Goooooooood morning!

Woah...time has just FLOWN by since the wedding!  I can't believe I haven't updated in so long!  Well, actually I can believe it because it is certainly not the first time.  But still.  Crazy!

As for the wedding, it went off without a hitch!  We had beautiful weather (although it was mighty hot under the pavilion during the reception!) with sunny skies and a cool breeze.  The ceremony was blessedly short, although there was a lot of "Repeat after me" which we weren't expecting and which got a wee bit ridiculous toward the end.  And the chaplain made me repeat the phrase, "You are the wind beneath my wings" to which I almost turned to him and said, "Seriously?  I am NOT saying that!"  But I said it anyway, haha!

But I know y'all are really here to see the photos!  And I would hate to disappoint!  We got a lot of photos from friends & family and a handful of "sneak peek" photos from our photographer, so this is a bit of a hodgepodge of all of that!  Enjoy!

I can't really say that life feels all that different as a Mrs instead of a Miss, but then, the Mister & I have been cohabitating for a little over a year now.  It still feels weird to call him my husband and it is especially weird to think of myself as a wife!  Am I even old enough to be someone's wife?  Says the girl turning 30 in 5 short months, haha!

Speaking of, I guess I can officially cross "get married" off my 30 Before 30 list!  I've crossed a few more things off the list in the last few weeks as well, but I'll save those for other entries!