Monday, January 31, 2011

Full Frontal

HA, this is so not what the title implies.  But it's got you reading!

Rather than starting at the beginning, let's start at the front for our house celebration.

Front door that is.

You may have heard me complain about the ugly blue that far too many parts of our house were painted.  Well, it started with the front door.

(Love that reflection of the neighbors house. I'm such a good photographer...)

Here it is from the inside. You'll have to trust me that it was that same blue when we moved in... but I it was one of the first things I painted.  And was long before I realized I should take pictures of evvvvverything.

So, not a lot of light came through those little windows on top.  And the mail slot? Stuffed with insulation.  Oh, and what you can't see, is the giant crack going through it.  Right through - since it was a wood door.  Doesn't do much for heating costs.

So, for my birthday last year, B bought me a new door!  It's Therma-Tru brand, and its the fiber glass option.  Which has quite a few benefits over a wood door - probably even more so over a wood door that was probably 40 years old.  They're low maintenance, energy efficient, resist dents and scratches, etc.  So it's perfect for me. I'm lazy, I don't like to pay for things I don't have to (like extra heat), and have a crazy dog that gets so excited to go outside she jumps on the door.

Pretty awesome difference huh?  It took B's dad probably less than 2 hours to switch them out (because he's awesome).  I feel like it really gave our house a face lift.  It is still currently white (almost a year later), but it is paint-able, if we wanted to do that at some point.  The garage door is white, so it looks just fine to us as is for the time being.  You'll also notice we don't have a storm door.  We plan to get one, we just haven't quite gotten around to it.

Clearly I still need to get rid of the blue on those shutters.  If only I could figure out how to get rid of that scalloped trim stuff up there... so dated.  Ah, the never ending projects.

Quite a bit more light, huh?  I love it.  I can actually see who is knocking on my door!

So there you have it, a little home improvement project that upped the first impression status of our house.  And bonus, it's an energy efficient purchase, that we can write off on our taxes.  Next up in the house celebration: through the front door into the living room.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Happy Birthday M!!!

Today is M's 4th Birthday.  Amazing how fast time goes by.

These were taken the first few days we had her, when we lived in our apartment.

Enjoying the view of her new backyard once we moved into the house.

Adventures in boating

So focused

Awesome picture from daycare

Ice fishing a few weekends ago.

So, if you can't tell, we love her to pieces, and our lives would be incredibly boring without her.  Sometimes she's frustrating and she still mis-behaves.  We can't always go away for the weekend last minute or stay over friends' places on a whim.  But nothing is better after a bad day at work than a little fur-ball wagging her tail uncontrollably because you being home with her, is her favorite thing in the world.

Happy Birthday M, we love you!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Before It Was Ours

Here are the few pictures I could dig up from before we actually moved in.  These are from the home inspection (I apologize for the seriously awful quality.  But it is what it is.)

Creepy cat statue was not included in the sale.
Ugly blue mantel? Of course.

Boring, lame and blurry.  Sorry, it's all I've got at the moment!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Three Years Ago

I had just passed an incredibly important exam for my job - the kind that gives you job security if you pass, and unemployment if you fail.  We had been getting anxious in our apartment, knowing we didn't want to stay there much longer.  Sharing walls was getting old, we wanted more space, we wanted something that was ours.

We had looked at houses at the end of the previous summer, into the fall.  And by houses, I mean like something like 20 - at least.  Some were great but expensive, some were okay but not us, and some were downright scary.  After I got this new job we knew it would be best to wait until I passed the exam.  I passed the test on a Tuesday.

Wednesday my mom forwarded me a new listing from our realtor, saying "You should check this one out!!!"  That is a direct quote, with three exclamation points.  There was no picture.  And the description read as follows:


Yea, all caps. I hate that too.  And no pictures? COME ON, how can you even know if you want to look at it?  We had scheduled three houses to look at that weekend, the all-caps-description-house was not one of them.  My parents lived closer, and did a "drive-by" and said we should really go look at it.  A few pictures popped up on the web and although they left quite a bit to be desired, I sent our realator an email, "I hate to be a pain but..." and promptly added the all-caps-description-house to our schedule for Saturday.
That Saturday we looked at a house across town first.  It was cute, and had quite a bit of land, but felt cramped. And had a dirt basement.  We were mostly looking forward to the last two houses of the day, a few towns over, but made our way to the all-caps-description-house.  There was someone else leaving just as we got there.

There was a "please remove your shoes" sign, which I usually take as a good sign.  The hardwood floors were bright, and the bay window in the front provided some serious light in the living room.  The living area was open - as promised in the description.  The kitchen needed some love, but was big and we said things like "oh we could do this and this and it would be great."  We went through the bedrooms, being typical house hunter types commenting "this would make such a great office" and "oh the floors in the bathroom are heated, this is so great." (We're such nerds....)

And then it happened.  Off the main hall there was a pocket door opening to a short hallway.  On the left of the hall was a large bathroom with two seperate sinks and glassed in shower.  To the right, two walk in closets.  And then the ceiling opened up and I stood in awe.  When they said cathedral ceilings, they meant it.  Large windows on three sides.  An incredible amount of space. I wanted it.

We checked out the basement, which was a collection of sectioned off rooms which was a little weird, but we were sure we could do something to make it work.

We agreed that we didn't even want to bother looking at the other two houses.  My parents were with us at the time, but we wanted B's parents to see it too, especially since his dad is in construction and he would be able to help us see how things were structurally.

That night our realtor sent us an email, letting us know there weren't any other offers on it - yet - but that the selling agent was expecting there to be some soon.  Crap.  He then suggested we write a letter to the owners, just letting them know who we are, why we wanted the house, etc - he said we didn't have to, but that's what he did when they put the offer on their house, and he felt like it made a big difference.

Sunday we went back, and after B's dad checked out a crawlspace, and had a good look at the house, we decided we didn't want to wait and risk someone else putting an offer on it.  After going through the formalities of making the offer - including our "Hi, We're B&S and we want your house so please sell it to us" letter (it was much better than that, I promise!) - we headed home to await our fate...

I don't remember how many hours later, but it wasn't many.  We got the call.  There was another offer on the table, but they counter-offered only to us (which we later found out was due to the letter I wrote - boo-yah!).  We had offered listing price and asked for $5,000 in closing costs.  Their counter was $5,000 over list price, but with $5,000 for closing costs.  For whatever reason, they needed to net list price - they were an older couple and moving to Florida.

We took it.

Looking back, hindsight is 20/20 and if we had waited six months, who knows what kind of place we could have gotten for the same amount of dough.  And sometimes its frustrating to think about, especially when houses in the neighborhood get sold for a fraction of the cost.  And then when things like mold appear, or pipes leak, or we try and figure out what the hell this guy buried in the back yard, we wonder why we ever wanted to be homeowners in the first place and B usually starts shouting "That's it, we're selling!"

But, I'd say its finally becoming ours, and B's outbursts are less frequent ;P  So for the next month (i.e. 3 years from when we made our offer, to the 30 days later when we moved in) I'm going to focus on how far we've come, and document all work we've done, right here.  We can consider it part of my New Year's Resolution to be more appreciative of what I have. Now I've just got to find all the pictures that are hiding somewhere...

And don't worry, I'll get around to sharing some more information about my latest crazy commitment to the half marathon soon too.

Monday, January 24, 2011

So I Got Little Crazy...

Since I have so much free time these days (no wait... that's not right...) and I love running so much (nope... that's not right either...) I decided, WHY NOT sign up for a half marathon!? Seems like the most logical thing to do, right?


Well, wrong.

But I did it anyway.  *sigh*  The registration fee has been paid, the training plan has been adjusted and printed, and *gasp* the fundraising page has been set up.

I'm not ready to share more than that just this second.  I'm still in shock that I did it.  It might not seem like that big of a deal, but let's take a few things into account here.
  1. The longest distance I've run since I started pretending to be a runner (maybe ever) is 6.2 miles (The 10K races I did).  A half marathon is 13.1 miles. (For those of you not versed in race distances, a half is always 13.1, and a full marathon is always 26.2.)
  2. This involved a minimum commitment of 12 weeks, to follow the training plan I'm working with.  That's THREE MONTHS people.  Oye.  And since I have a few extra weeks between now and the race, I've built in a few double weeks, since I know myself, and if I don't start right now... well, it won't be pretty.
  3. And did I mention what else I have going on in the next few months?  Well, I guess I don't really need to, its mostly more of the same - an insane amount of work, trying to survive grad school in one piece, helping B survive grad school in one piece, keeping this house from looking like a tornado hit it, being a good doggie-mom, and oh yea, keeping a social life. 
  4. This fundraising thing... I'm a little nervous about it.  I haven't done much fund raising in my adult life.  Sure, I sold Girl Scout cookies, and whatever crap it is you sell in school fund raisers.  And in college we sold beer beverage "coozies" to raise money for the rugby team.  I don't know what to set my goal at. I don't want to over-do it on Facebook (or here).  Can I increase my goal if things are going well? AH, what is the fundraising etiquette?!  Luckily, there's no minimum amount I have to raise, like some I've seen, so the pressure is off there at least.
I'm excited. I'm nervous. I'm thinking I might be crazy.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Proposal

Not the Sandra and Ryan movie. Although I do love that movie.

No, the proposal when B and S, decided to become B&S.

B asked if I wanted to go ice fishing at his parents lake house for the weekend.  I spent the drive down talking about how this guy at work just got engaged, and how some other woman had called B my husband that day I had to correct her and tell her he was my boyfriend.  He was being kind of quiet, but I didn't think much of it.

Once we trekked across the ice, in New England January temperatures, B suggested we take M outside to run around for a while before bed so that she would sleep better (she's always really hyper when we're down there).  Before we went outside, B asked his dad if the fire pit was on the point.  Which I thought was weird, because its usually right by the house.  We went outside and he loaded up my arms with logs and we took the quick walk down the trail to the point.  There were chairs set out, and it was all a little strange.

I rambled on about something random I'm sure and complained that I was cold, and tried to sit on his lap and get him to hug me.  After about a minute he told me to get up, I was hurting him (gee thanks...).  I sat in the other chair and he stood up.

"What are you doing?"  He reached into his pocket.

"What's wrong with you?"  He started to bend down... and I started laughing.

He then asked me to marry him, I punched him in the shoulder and told him he was a jerk.  And then said yes.

There were no tears - sorry - just an inappropriate amount of laughter from me.  He put the ring on my finger, we hugged, and decided we were way too cold and headed back inside to share the news with his parents.  And you know, where there was actual light so I could see the ring.

It was simple, out of the blue, and completely perfect.

There were three things that made it perfect for me. 1) He asked my parents permission. 2) I had no idea it was coming until seconds before.  3) He picked out the perfect ring.  And not in a materialistic way - but in the its something I would pick for myself way.

Also, please note, that when you are proposed to, you will have not adequately charged your cell phone.  I thought this was just me, but it's happened to two of my friends in the last few months as well.  For me, I got off a call to my parents, one friend, and a couple of text messages.

It's been two years, today, since that cold, amazing Friday night that cemented our future together.  I'm thankful everyday, even on the bad ones, that I get to spend the rest of my life with this man.

Happy Engagement Anniversary B. I love you.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

You know it's bad when...

the VP from a different group stops you as you're leaving and says, "Wow, I don't think I've ever seen you leave before. I thought you had a pillow under you desk." - I can't believe you haven't finished the thing I forgot to tell you to start.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


I've been working on some updates on the blog.  Spruce it up a tad.

I changed the template and layout around.  I know, it's still one of the generic blogspot templates, but whatever.  It's a got a little more *umph* than the old one, and I felt like it needed changing.  In making those updates, I've also added a few pages - About Us, Our House, and Running.  I have another page or two I might add at some point, still determining what to do.  There isn't a whole lot on any of these pages right now, but hopefully I'll be adding more to them over the next few months.

Also, I updated my blogroll - removed a few and added a few more blogs.  Aside from the two I read that I know in real life, these other blog authors probably don't even know I exist, I just enjoy reading them, so you might too.

OH, and in trying to find a picture of our house, for the "Our House" page (which if you click on, you will find that I was unsuccessful at this moment), I came across a whole bunch of 'before" pictures, of most of the house from when we first moved in. Which re-motivates me to show you guys all the work we've done over the last few years.

And, let's end with an obligatory photo of M, because she's adorable.

Friday, January 14, 2011

You know the kind...

Those days that you wake up late, but then think ok, at least it's Friday, it can't be that bad, right?

And you spend the morning going through the motions at work, thinking about how you'll spend the weekend.  Not overly concerned about anything, no real deadlines hanging over your head.

And then BAM.

An email pops up in your inbox. Or a boss stops by.  Or, maybe if you're a doctor or something and an actual emergency happens (because let's face it, nothing I do should ever be considered an 'emergency'). And it all tumbles down into awfulness.

Ah well, at least I raked in some overtime.  You know, to pay for the vet bill for the appointment I had to take M to in the middle of the chaos. (No worries, just a checkup on an ear infection - which is now GONE!... along with $90. *sigh*)

But, we got some surprise photos today, from our honeymoon.  You know, almost a year and a half ago.  The last full day there we did an all day horseback ride and then they had an old west photo shoot.  The pictures are actually pretty cool.  Here's a sneak peek, I'll post more next week - unless of course there's another 'emergency' at work.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Crockpot Sunday: Turkey Kielbasa Bean Thing

Yea, that's the technical name for it - at least in our house.

Our crockpot has to be my favorite piece of kitchen equipment.  How can you not totally love something that you literally throw a bunch of stuff, it sits for a few hours, and comes out tasting amazing?  And to top it off, its easy to make really tasty, pretty healthy stuff in it.  Folks, does it get any better than that?!

So, here is our Turkey Kielbasa Bean Thing. The official ingredients list from

    1 large onion, chopped 
    1 medium green pepper, chopped 
    1-1/2 pounds reduced-fat turkey kielbasa, cut into 1-inch pieces 
    1 can (15 1/2 ounces) pinto beans, drained 
    1 can (15 1/2 ounces) great northern beans, drained 
    1 can (14 1/2 ounces) stewed tomatoes 
    1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes and green chilies 
    1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce 
    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Few things to notice.  I use frozen peppers and onions.  I used to use fresh, before I realized frozen vegetables existed.  So, go with whatever is best for you.  Second, I use Turkey Kielbasa, but you could use whatever kind you want.  Regular, lite, turkey, chicken sausage, really it will all work (I'm sure there's some kind of vegetarian alternative out there too).  This is the healthiest and tastiest option I've found.

Third, do you have any idea how many kinds of stewed and diced tomatoes there are?  Quite a few.  Mix and match to make it more or less spicy, or to your taste.  I've been using Mexican Style Stewed tomatoes and the diced tomatoes with green chilies lately, but I've used other ones well, just as good!

Last, of the ingredients shown above, 5 out of the 7 are store brand.  For fun, here's the grocery bill breakdown.

Hillshire Farm Turkey Kielbasa: $4.49
Frozen Peppers and Onions: $1.25 (saved $0.09 with my store card)
Store Brand Tomato Sauce: $0.67
Store Brand Diced Tomatoes: $0.93
Store Brand Stewed Tomatoes: $0.93
Store Brand Pinto Beans: $0.80
Goya Great Northern Beans: $1.00  (no, I'd never heard of them before either, so don't feel weird if you haven't.  But they are right there in the beans section. Can't miss them.  No store brand at my grocer though, but still not a bad price.)

And I'm not including the pepper or the garlic powder... because... well, they don't count, I already have them.

So, that's a total of $10.07.

The recipe I copy says its 8 servings (about 243 calories a serving - full nutrition info available on the Spark Recipes page).  8 servings, would be $1.25 a serving.  Now, I'll be honest.  In this house, it makes about 4 servings, because we aren't the best at portion control.  But, that's still about $2.51 for a meal.  And trust me, it's a true meal, fills me right up, we don't even do any sides with it.  B will usually have some bread or something, but otherwise, this is a meal all by itself.

Anyway, you uh, open all the cans and pour them into the crockpot - duh.  Ok... so drain the beans some, you don't want all the bean juice-goop in there. I do this by opening the can halfway and letting it drain out for a bit.  But just pour all the tomatoes in as is.  I usually do the stewed and diced tomatoes and all the beans first.  Then I cut up the kielbasa, I usually cut the circles into half - that way you get more actual bites with kielbasa.  Throw that in, sprinkle on the pepper and garlic powder (confession: I don't measure), and then pour on the tomato sauce.

3 hours on high, or 6 hours on low, and you've got yourself the perfect Sunday dinner, with plenty left for lunch during the week (saving big $$ over the corporate cafeterias at work and fast food options).  I usually sprinkle (ok, pile) on some reduced fat shredded cheese, because there aren't many meals that cheese doesn't make better.

(I take awful pictures of food. Sorry.  It tastes 100 times better than it looks)

I bet if you were creative you could throw some different kinds of beans or other veggies in there, and some different spices, etc and have a bunch of different variations of meals.

If you've never checked out Spark Recipes before, I highly recommend it.  It's a user entered recipe site, with the nutritional information listed with each recipe.  I've found a lot of easy and tasty recipes that I can actually make, that are - dare I say it - pretty good for us! And, because they are user entered, there are always more recipes being added.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

2011: Bring.It.On

I've never been real big on resolutions. Don't get me wrong, I always say I have them.  And they are always things like, lose 10 pounds, get better grades, blah blah blah.  I've also never been big on "goal-setting" per say.  I have goals in my head, but I don't talk about them as such, and I never write them down.

But, maybe it's time to change that.  I've got high expectations - not of 2011 - but of myself in 2011.  This may seem like rambling and probably the same as every other resolution you've ever made or read.  I don't care.  Let's consider these goals and expectations.

Worry less about keeping up with housework, and more about keeping up with friends and family.
Let's be honest, I'm not a stellar housekeeper as it is.  I've always been on the messy side, and found other things more important.  But, now that we have our own house, and I'm a wife, I sometimes feel there are expectations of me, not necessarily by B, but in general, to have a clean and presentable house.  And when its not, that's a reflection on me.  Um yea, apparently there's a 50's housewife somewhere inside of me - she doesn't really come out and actually get the house clean, but she sure sits on my shoulder and makes me feel guilty when its not.  In 30 years, are we going to remember that time my friends came to dinner and the sink was full of dirty dishes and there were dust bunnies in the corner?  Or will we all remember the time we laughed ourselves to tears when we had to open the wine bottle with a drill?  Now, don't worry Mom, I'm not going to give up on cleaning altogether, but who says you can't fold laundry while hearing about a friends day, or helping them brainstorm wedding plans?  It's all about balance, and keeping in mind what the *real* priorities in life are.

Stop wasting time and energy comparing myself to others, and enjoy my amazing life as it is.
Because, in case you didn't know - and not to brag, I've got it pretty good.  Sure, other people might have nicer cars, or I might view their houses as "better", or their jobs more meaningful.  But I have a car in good shape that gets me where I need to go, I have not just a roof over my head - but a house that we are truly turning into our own and I love more everyday, and a job that I enjoy more times than not.  I realize I'm fortunate and have had luck on my side in a few cases, but I've also worked really hard and I should really enjoy and appreciate the "fruits of my labor" (god I hate that saying...).

Much more importantly, I have a husband that happens to be my best friend; an adorable, fun, and sometimes well behaved dog that makes me laugh everyday; an incredible family; and an amazing group of friends.  And those things, those are irreplaceable and I'm not sure it gets any better than what I've got.

Quit defining my health by the scale, and start defining it by how I feel.
Newsflash you guys - when you eat crap, you feel like crap.  Trust me.  I certainly proved that over the holidays.  I've been tired, cranky, and generally unmotivated a majority of the time.  And to that, I say, No More!  I'm not going to pull the whole "I want to lose 10 pounds" thing (although I wouldn't complain if that happened to be a by-product!), but I need to be more conscious about what I eat on a regular basis.  When I eat mostly healthy (its never *totally* healthy), I feel so much better, so why deny myself that?  I also plan to continue and expand my physical activity.  I've loaded myself up with so many options, I'm a complete dope if I don't succeed in this.  Five to six days a week I need some kind of physical activity.  And that can be any of the following: gym workouts, running, Zumba, walking the dog, any one of the extensive workout videos I have, any of the Wii workouts I have, the exercise bike I just HAD to have last year, snowshoeing, skiing - whatever.  Just something active, five to six days a week. An hour run? Sure. 15 minutes walking the dog? Fine. Just do something.

And speaking of the dog.... it's time for her to grow up.
I love M to death, seriously.  I spoil her rotten, and she's well aware of it.  But the jumping on people and the pulling on the leash need to stop.  I don't want to worry about her punching one of my pregnant friends in the stomach.  And I could also do without the little bruises I end up with on my legs from her paws all the time.  And I'd enjoy walking and running with her alot more, if she didn't pull my arm out of its socket.  (She might be little - 32 pounds - but she's pure muscle guys, freakishly strong.)  So yea, being a better dog owner and actually getting her trained a little better is on the agenda for 2011.

Finally be done with grad school.
Barring the Apocalypse (which appears to be closer than I thought - did you guys hear about those random dead birds and fish down south?! eek!), this will be accomplished.  I will have two Master's degrees as of the middle-ish of June.  Who knew I would end up so educated?  So I guess this isn't really a resolution, and hardly a goal, but it's still a big deal.

Oh and you know... get a few things done around the house.
There are a few things I feel strongly about getting done this year...
  • Finally hang wedding and family pictures
  • Add the mudroom on that we've been talking about for a year
  • Gut the basement
  • And then hopefully actually re-do the basement
  • Get non-80-year-old-lady shades for the master bedroom (they're awful)
  • Get that 3rd bedroom cleaned up so its actually functional and not just storage
  • Maybe some things in the backyard... we shall see there...
  • And whatever other little projects I come up with - stayed tuned, could be a busy year!
And then there's this here blog...
I know I haven't exactly been the #1 blog updater lately.  And there's probably like a million reasons for that (work, school, holidays, life etc etc etc).  But I don't really feel like I need to explain.  This is my blog, and I'll update it when I want to.  And for that matter, I'll write about whatever I want to.  See, when I started I felt like I needed to have a "theme".  Most of the blogs I read have a topic that they are about (homes, home improvement, running, etc).  Some I can always count on for a laugh, some for motivation, and others are thought provoking.

This blog, does not have intentions of being any of those things.  My intention is to use this blog to keep track of events in my life and the things that are important to me at the time.  That's pretty much the "theme" I guess. Our lives and what's going on in them.  Sometimes it'll be about running or working out.  Sometimes it'll be about our house or a vacation we took.  Sometimes I'll throw out some recipes or it'll be about nothing at all.  And sometimes, if you're lucky, maybe I'll be unintentionally funny - but don't hold your breath.  But as I said, I'll update when I want to, and I'll write about what I want to, deal?  Deal. :)

So bring it on 2011.... I've got big plans for you.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2010: The Year in Review

2010.  It was a good year.  We can't complain.

Kicking off with the fire department last New Year's Eve, when B burnt the garlic bread for dinner, we rang in 2010 with good friends at our place and at a local bar.  From there, well, we kept busy with a few of the following things that I'd like to remember....

January: We spent time ice fishing down at B's parents lake house, which we aren't very good at, but we always have fun.  I started a new term at school, taking 2 classes.  M turned 3!

February: Celebrated my 25th birthday - B got me a new front door and Super Mario Bros for the Wii.  Welcomed TWO babies into our lives - a friend had her baby boy at the beginning of the month, and my niece was born at the end of the month - missing my birthday by one day!  For Valentines Day, B bought me a sump pump, which I was pretty grateful for a few weeks later when there was flooding.  We also bought new couches.

March: Went on a 4 day cruise to the Bahamas that I had won through work.  It was our first cruise and it was ok, but we weren't overly impressed.  But it was free. And we won $500 dollars in bingo.  So, we made money, can't complain there!  Also pretty sure this is the month we tore up the carpet in the bedroom (woo hoo!) and had bamboo floors installed, and repainted, again.  Which I promise to actually post about sometime, because it's a pretty awesome transformation in my opinion.

April: We started discussing redoing the kitchen.  I feel like most of this month was probably spent discussing, planning, and trying to figure all that out.

May: The month of the kitchen! And starting this blog. And starting to run.  A majority of the month was spent working on the kitchen renovation.  But we did get down the B's parents lakehouse for some fishing.

June: More time at the inlaws lake house, as well as my grandparents.  The kitchen was mostly completed.  We held our first ever yard sale.  Another little baby was welcomed into the world in our circle of friends.  Oh, and I ran my first ever road race, a 5k at my company.  Also, my "best" blogging month, with 22 posts.

July:  It was hot. We watched alot of fireworks.  We drove to Wisconsin and got to see my midwest family :) There was fishing and family time.  It felt like a quick month, but a good one.

August:  A college friend got married.  We attended "The Last Rodeo" Brooks & Dunn concert.  I finished my first Master's degree.

September:  We celebrated our first anniversary with a wine tasting, a tram ride, and some hiking.  B got me a TV, and I got him a watch and some coasters made with maps of four important places in our relationship.  We also purchased an electric fireplace for our bedroom.

October:  We took M pheasant hunting several times.  I ran two 10Ks.  We celebrated our friend's 30th birthday with a surprise party, and B celebrated his 25th birthday at the house with some tasty pizza and a bunch of friends, and I got him a waterproof video camera and accessories.

November: Justin Moore, Darius Rucker, and Brad Paisley concert at Mohegan Sun.  Thanksgiving was celebrated celebrated in B's parents new house with his grandparents, and made a stop at my grandparents on the way home.  I ran in the Great Gobbler 5k Thanksgiving Day race.  I went Black Friday shopping with my mom.

December: We spent Christmas with both sides of the family.  We spent time some with college friends we don't see nearly enough.  I started taking Zumba classes again.  I got promoted at work.  For Christmas, I got B warm clothes including some Carhartt insulted overalls (perfect for ice fishing!), cologne, and a new electric razor.  He spoiled me - an under armor jacket, several running and warm hats, oh - and a muzzle loader (which if you don't know, yes, is a gun.).

*Phew*.  I'm sure there's some stuff I missed, but that's a quick roundup of things I can still remember that I don't want to forget.

I hope you all had an amazing year, but are also looking forward to the next one - because I know I am!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Good Stuff: December

Honestly, this month was a blur. Sitting here, I'm having a hard time remembering how I even spent my time this month, but I'll give it a shot.
  • Snow - I love snow. A lot.  We didn't get much of it this December, but we did have a big storm the Monday after Christmas, although its starting to melt now.
  • Christmas Music - I started listening to Christmas music as soon as Thanksgiving was over.  My favorite addition to my iTunes library this holiday season was a few of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's albums.  I always knew of them, and like their music, but never paid it much attention.  Well, this year I realized how awesome they are, and also discovered the running to their music is great!  Especially when it's a chilly December night and you're running past houses all lit up with Christmas lights.  Yea, pretty amazing.
  • Family Time - We had an incredibly busy Christmas eve and day, but we were grateful to get to spend time with both of our families.
  • Christmas Movies - Yup, I watched Elf 3 times in the last month.  Christmas Vacation twice.  Both versions of the Grinch, Charlie Brown, It's a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story... and who knows what else.  Love 'em all.
  •  Hyundai Holiday Commercials - Ok, I actually hate these commercials, but I loved watching B freak out every time it came on, because OMG you guys I have never seen a grown man hate a commercial so much in my life.  Full on toddler tantrums, inappropriate hand gestures, and words you don't say in front of your grandparents.  EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.  And if you look it up on youtube, he's not the only one.  Such nasty comments from people!  So, for my enjoyment whenever B gets around to reading this, here it is: