Monday, January 31, 2011

Two Things I Love

Florida, for allowing me to have dinner outside with B both last night and tonight on our porch. We love this balmy winter weather! I know next year won't be this warm, regardless of where we are!

B, for spending the last hour on the phone with Comcast (who is raising our rates) and Uverse (who is offering an incredible deal).

Life is good!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

God is Laughing

Yes, at me.

Remember those posts about my needing to work more?

I found out today that my boss is (likely) partnering, expanding, remodeling, and franchising, all this spring. Looks like I'll get much more (welcome) experience in the industry than I anticipated!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Remember That Crazy Interview?

Remember a week ago (or yesterday, in blogging world) when I applied for a job because I felt I wasn't doing enough (stupid library being closed on MLK Day)? Well they called this morning at 7:30.

They want me to start today.

Oh boy.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Gym Fail: Why I'm Now a Follower of Matthew McConaughey

In high school, I figured that, if your clothes fit, you were in shape.

Friends, I'm here to tell you that I was wrong.

After jogging a few times (ok, once. For two minutes) with B, I decided that I needed to spend a little time on me, building muscle and bettering my posture, so I decided to try a free week at B's gym and take advantage of the free "personal training" session, which I figured would be something like an advanced gym tour in which the buff dude or chick in charge would show me around, tell me about the weight settings, and point out a few things that would strengthen my key goal areas: shoulders, pack, and core.

Friends, again, I was wrong.

I should've known I was in trouble when my trainer put me on an elliptical for five minutes at 100 (yes 100) level resistance and told me to go as hard as I could while he asked me questions about myself and my goals. Around minute three, I was wondering why he thought I'd be able to converse comfortably at this rate, but attempted none the less, switching to simple answers.

After the "warm up" (ha!), he had me do a minute of lunges, a minute of sit ups, and a cardio-style weight sequence. Then back on the elliptical.

After that round, I did two more exercises (of which I have no memory), then promptly almost passed out. I kid you not. Sit down, black spots, "I can't hear you" kind of pass out.

As I sat there, embarrassed and more than a little disheartened, the trainer says, "This is my bad, you looked like you were in shape."

Oh boy. Since then, I've been doing some things around the house and following Matthew McConaughey's fitness advice, mostly because it's the only one that ever stuck with me: Break a sweat everyday. For a Cali guy, it's pretty deep if you think about it. Life shouldn't be about clocking hours at the gym, but it gets harder as you grow older. Suddenly organized sports are harder to find and there's no gym period during the work day. Until I can find myself a paddle board (and a place to store it), I'm going to try to do something each day to make myself stronger and better.

Of course, that's somewhat harder now that I'm afraid to go back to my gym. My trainer wants to "finish my session" which I fear may just finish me. I don't want to quit the gym just yet, but, for now, I'm planning to hit up the non-staffed hours. And follow Matthew's twitter feed...

2010 In Review

Better late than never!

January
Start the year off right with a family vacation to the BVIs on a fabulous sailboat with B's family. Love. Wish I could go back right now. Rung in B's 27th birthday with a pirate themed bar which was, ironically, authentic. Ok, there may have been an eye patch, so it was only mostly authentic. B started his last semester of law school and we geared up for the coming Bar application. I had my last day at work for my job and instantly started babysitting/nannying for about 10-20 hours per week.

February
Our year of travel continued! Off to Mexico with my family for a week of sun and sand with the kiddos. Again, I'm ready to go back. Today.

March
My high school girlfriends make the trip to the NC shore for two days of catching up and enjoying some sun. I wish I could make this an annual thing (sensing a travel trend here?), but I'll take my joy where I can find it. We enjoyed B's final spring break, then headed to Texas for a college friend's wedding.

April
Off to UVA for B's third and final softball tournament. We had a blast playing softball, hanging with his friends, enjoying wings at Wild Wings, and beer at the local Irish pub. More babysitting, more time with the kiddos, and less snow. Yea!

May
I headed to Atlanta for a shower, then B and I celebrated our first anniversary in Williamsburg, where I had the best pancakes ever, plus a few delicious meals courtesy of our generous and loving parents! The next weekend B graduated, we moved out, and headed to California for B's little brother's college graduation. Ok, ok, and a few days in wine country. Win! We finished the month at our five year college reunion, which B summed up perfectly by saying, "That was really fun... every five years." We moved to Atlanta to prepare for B's Bar in July.

June
Bar Prep starts! I headed to Durham for a few days with the kiddos, but mostly we enjoyed Atlanta and the non-crunch time for the Bar.

July
Bar crunch time! After a few days at the under-construction lake house over the 4th of July, B locked it down and we moved to house sit at a different home in the neighborhood. I went back to Durham to meet the newest monkey in the crew, then B and I moved into the Embassy Suites for two nights during the Bar, which he passed. Woohoo!

August
Bar Trip! B and I moved to Jacksonville, then took a Bar Trip to Miami and the Keys. Life is good! Then work starts. Life is still good, if a little hot. Florida needs to cool off! We did escape the heat for a little while, heading to Columbia, SC for a wedding weekend.

September
Escaped again! This time to Maine, where we feasted on lobster and celebrated more wedding vows. I stared work at the bakery and B continued to settle in at the office. Also, my birthday. Awesome!

October
B passed the Bar! We headed to Atlanta for another wedding (hello, Ritz!), and we didn't get a single trick or treater.

November
Our NC family arrives en route to Disney World and we enjoy several days hanging with them and really meeting the little one, only four months! This might be the first month of the year that we didn't go out of town, at least not until Thanksgiving, which we celebrated in Atlanta and Blue Ridge.

December
The bakery is crazy. Christmas in Atlanta is filling, both in tummy and in heart. B's Granny and Grandpa came to visit us and pronounced our home lovely. We headed to Orlando to celebrate New Year's with Mom and look forward to Disney.

Y'all, 2010 was good. Really good. It was crazy. We moved, lived out of suitcases, and traveled to at least a dozen locations. New jobs, new cities, new friends, but still the same old us. I love our crazy, disorganized, exciting, and at times stressful life. Ready for another year!

20 Months!

I'm so tempted to say, "What the heck did we do that month?", but I remember! We can do this!

December 9 to January 9 brought such fun adventures. We celebrated Christmas in Atlanta, New Year's in Orlando, and B's birthday in Jacksonville.

B and I had fun caroling, buying and decorating our Christmas tree, and thinking about where we would be a year from now. By the way, does anyone know? If so, fill us in.

We spent our first year on our own this year. True, we went home for holidays, but this is the first year that we don't have any family in town and, to be honest, it's been great. We'd love to have kiddos nearby or family on call, but since we don't, we've spent a lot of time enjoying each other and our temporary city.

The picture above was taken a few days shy of the 20 month mark on the ferry en route to the Magic Kingdom. Happiness.

The truth is, everyone always told me that true love should grow richer and deeper with age. Maybe I'm still a newbie, but I find it totally intoxicating. Every year with B, I look back and think, "Wow, that one was really great," then I simply prepare for it to get even better, and I'm never disappointed.

B, this month I'm thankful for your spirit and your calm, especially when my crazies kick in. I know we're making big decisions, but I'm bless to know that, as my sister says, my biggest (and certainly most handsome) decision has already been locked down. I love you!

B's Take On Disney World

B's been to Disney, but he hasn't done Disney as often, or as recently, as we have, so it was a real blast to get his impressions...

1) The lines are waaaay shorter than he remembered. Granted, he's older (so he understands) and I think the lines were shorter.

2) It's really different when you're older; I noticed the pint-sized princesses running around way more than I ever did.

3) It used to take FOREVER to walk to Thunder Mountain (B's favorite), but it's really just a short jaunt past Adventureland.

4) Epcot is waaaay adult-oriented. We were amazed at how many vendors in the World Showcase were offering beer, wine, and cocktails as we strolled through the countries!

We spent one day seeing the Magic Kingdom (Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain, Country Bear Jamboree, Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, etc) and were amazed that we'd done it all, including lunch and the parade, by around 4pm.

So we grabbed our park hoppers and headed toward Epcot, where we had dinner reservations later that night. We hit four great rides before dinner, where we surprised B with tequila in "Mexico" over dinner before the fireworks.

Let's just say that we slept well that night!


The next morning, we packed the car and headed toward MGM, now Hollywood Studios, where B noted that tons of Europeans were hanging around, definitely different than the other parks!

We loved Hollywood Studios, but had finished everything by the time our shuttle arrived and carted us back to the hotel where we got lunch and headed out for home.

I don't know if we'll make it back to Disney again before we leave Florida. But, if not, I'll always have New Year's 2011. What a fun time.

And, by the way, B and I decided that if we do go back, he's going to pull a YouTube and videotape him telling me. Our bet is that I'll be more excited than the kids! Only time will tell.

I Heart Mickey

B knows several things about me.

1) I like anything of his. This includes sweatshirts, slippers, soft tshirts, and warm gloves.

2) I'll try anything, but you may have to make me. This includes new vegetables, like mushrooms.

3) I love Disney World.

You may like Disney World. You may even enjoy Disney World. But me, I love Disney World. I watch the commercials and cry. I YouTube the videos about parents telling kids that they're going and I cry. I take the ferry to the Magic Kingdom and, yes, I get teary.

I'm not sure why. We used to go a lot when I was little, once a year when the orthopedic academy met in Orlando. I think it's that I have nothing but wonderful memories of being there. The rides, the friends, the parades, everything.

I'm not one of those people with Mouse gear around the house. If you looked through our place, you'd find only one Disney thing: The Eeyore B got me years ago, because Eeyore has always been my favorite.

But I've been so excited to go and go we did, this year with Mom during our Orlando trip. Amazingly, the place empties out after New Year's, so we waltzed right up to our favorite rides and enjoyed smaller crowds than I remember.

My favorite part? Seeing B's reaction...

I Love Disney

video Did you know? I do.

And also, Florida. Shorts on Jan 2? Don't mind if I do!

New Year's Football!

Mom had lots of surprises up her sleeve this year, including seats to the Alabama bowl game on New Year's Day, which just happened to be in Orlando. How could we not go? Mom deemed the day "birthday worthy" and we celebrated B's big day a week early with beer, cheese steaks, and cokes in the stadium.


The game was fantastic! We won by dozens, but we had a blast cheering and generally enjoying the Florida sunshine. Roll Tide!

New Year's Eve

B and I got a huge treat this year. Mom invited us down for my cousin's soccer tournament to Orlando for a few days of a different Florida experience, starting with New Year's Eve (and ending with Disney-- to come!).

We gladly signed on. We started the night with a fun dinner out, then strolled around our fabulous hotel and toasted the New Year's in our room.

It was a different New Year's than we've had, but it was quiet and wonderful. We loved being able to celebrate with Mom, and I'll take a destination holiday any time of the year!

Christmas = Good!



Visitors!

I knew Mom (the lovely lady pictured here) was coming through Atlanta after the holidays. B's Mom was fabulous and invited my aunt, uncle, and cousin over for a "low key" dinner. Little did I know they were bringing a surprise visitor: MY Grandma!

I was so excited and shocked that I didn't get any pictures with her on my camera, but it was such a treat to see Grandma. She's ... 93? And amazing. Rolled in wearing her fur coat and a big smile. To B's Mom, a big thank you for making my Christmas a little longer!

I did love hearing the story after the surprise. Apparently, Grandma had been calling Mike and Kim (starting early in the am) to discuss what she was bringing for the surprise, including half a rum cake. Kim told me she woke up one morning to hear B's Dad already on the phone with Grandma. Bless her!

If Christmas really is all about family, then I got my full dose this year. Blessed, indeed!

Christmas 2010

This is what Christmas at B's family's house looks like: Delicious fun.

Christmas this year was wonderful. It was a little bit of a bummer that I had to work on Christmas Eve morning, but that's what I get for loving bakery work! We left after I finished and caroled our way to Atlanta, where we were greeted with the traditional family Christmas Eve dinner: Shrimp Casserole, among other tasty treats!

On Christmas morning, we started with plain croissants and mimosas, then opened stockings. Then we moved onto chocolate croissants, and more mimosas. Then family presents. One thing I love about B's family is that they're where my family was a few years ago (ok, almost seven). Since there are no Santa-crazed kiddos, we simply enjoy the morning, taking it slow and even opening presents one at a time.

By the time we finished, it was time to cook! The spread in the picture above was the start of the Christmas feast. B's neighbor/almost aunt always joins them for Christmas, often with her sister and always with her son. Besides being great cooks, they're a blast to have around the dinner table!

My joy didn't end on Christmas; The next day, I got a big surprise...

I Love This Man

Earlier this month, B turned ... older. Actually, he's 28! Ignore that, in this picture, he's in Epcot; we'll get to that later.

For now, let's focus on the best of the best-- B had a birthday! We celebrated by having an all B day. We headed to Chick Fil A that morning for free spicy chicken biscuits (soooo good), then enjoyed dinner at B's favorite restaurant: Wild Wings. We invited his buddies and filled ourselves with tiny portions of chicken dipped in yummy sauces. That, a bucket of beer, and some chile con queso... what else could you want? Birthday Cake!

Some of you may remember that B has a favorite birthday cake that his grandma used to make for him all the time. His Mom, and now me, took up the torch and make "birthday cake" each year: a pistachio cake with bittersweet chocolate icing. Yes, it's green, and yummy!

The birthday was so great, and so filling, that we still have the Champagne in our fridge. I'm sure it'll be put to good use. In the meantime, I so enjoyed loving on B and celebrating him. I love that he enjoyed the key things in life, like spicy food and cold beer. What a man.

B, I'm thrilled to celebrate another birthday with you. Just like you promised, each year gets more and more fun as we go forward. Here's to many more!

Lately

I feel like God has been telling me a lot of things lately. Unfortunately, "go forth and blog" is not one of them!

Normally I'm not one of those people that feels like God tells them things. I go to church because I believe and I like the way I experience the service; I don't expect to get "handwriting on the wall" style sermons each time I slide into the pew.

Lately, however, it's been different. B and I are making a lot of decisions these days, some big (Where will we live? What job should B take?) and some less big, but still really weighty (What car should be purchase?). I decided over Christmas, when I realized I was sleeping less again, to be intentional about praying about specific things. Ironically, I feel like God gave me one answer directly, but it was the one we don't really need just yet. Who says God doesn't have a sense of humor?

A week ago, on MLK day, I had a day off from volunteering and started to feel and overwhelming sense of "what the heck am I doing", so I applied for a job and started looking for others. Of course, by the time I got a call about the job later than afternoon, I'd already felt peace returning. Moments after I'd submitted my application, my current boss had emailed me, telling me I'd be getting more hours at the bakery. Peace. Of course, I still had to go to the job interview that afternoon (and yes, B was flabbergasted when he got home and asked the usually routine question, "How was your day?").

So now I'm trying to remember that God does give answers and when I feel that he doesn't, or isn't working in my timeline, then the answer just isn't ready yet. So when you pray, if you pray, pray for us. For peace, calm, and clarity. And maybe for a little extra sleep. :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Behind

Of course, and for a number of reasons, namely: holidays, work, and a malfunctioning camera. But I'm working on it, and need to post about 100 things, including the latest monthly anniversary, B's birthday, Christmas with B's parents, New Year's in Orlando with Mom, and general Florida wonderfulness. I promise not be overwhelmed, but simply to be better!