Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas Party #1

My company's Christmas party is tonight at the Dominion Club, which is the country club in my neighborhood. It's quite convenient! I'm somewhat looking forward to it - I think I will feel more comfortable this year, since I've gotten to know so many people over the past year in my new position. I was able to find a cute dress that is actually flattering on me (i.e. not tight in the waist) at Dillard's this week. It shouldn't be too bad. We plan to get there early this year (last year we didn't get there until 9:00 pm) to get food, and if its boring, go home.

The one I am dreading is Scott's party next Saturday. Everything about it is dreadful: I don't know anyone, it's downtown, it's late at night....ugh. Plus, I feel the need to make a good impression on these people because I'm his wife and this will be the first time most of them are meeting me. I hate small talk, I'm terrible at it.

The one I'm most looking forward to is my family Christmas party! It's on the 20th (2 weeks from tomorrow), and its the start of a 2 week (minus one day) vacation for me. So I cannot wait. Plus, I love the Christmas party. It's the one day out of the year where all the family gets together to catch up. I just love that.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My Favorite Things

Why should Oprah get all the fun? Here's a list of all MY favorite things.

* Keurig Coffee Brewers - We received one of these as a wedding gift last year from our brother and sister-in-law, and its the best thing ever! It's a necessity for any coffee-lover, and even non-coffee drinkers can join in the fun with flavored teas and hot chocolate. It serves a single cup of coffee or tea, or a cup of hot water, in less than 30 seconds. The coffee & tea come in K-cups and can be purchased at Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, and several other stores. You can also join the Coffee Club on Keurig's website and get free shipping plus a percentage off. For those who don't want to part with their Folger's, you can purchase a My K-Cup filter and put in a scoop of your own coffee.

*Trader Joe's Kettle Corn - No doubt, the best Kettle Corn ever made. At only $2.99 a bag, you just can't beat it.

* Bare Minerals by Bare Escentuals - I began using this makeup a couple years ago when my mom bought me the "starter kit", and since then I've been introduced to their shadows, blushes, eyeliners, and lip glosses. The makeup is all natural ("so pure you can sleep in it") and good for your skin, plus it doesn't feel "cakey". The makeup kits are the best bargain - my favorite is this season's Bare Crystals kit. You get 2 eyeshadows, eyeliner, blush, mineral veil, buxom lip gloss, and 3 brushes for just $54. A steal when you consider how much each of those would cost by themselves.

*Victoria's Secret Very Sexy Mousse - For any girl who has thin, fine hair with no volume, this is the product for you. It runs for $10.50 a bottle, unless you choose to combine it with shampoo and conditioner - then you might get all three for $24. It's definitely the best volumizing hair product I've ever used.

* Neutrogena Healthy Defense SPF 45 Daily Face Moisturizer - After 1 bout of skin cancer, and another scare, I definitely want to keep my skin protected. This face moisturizer is a great way to keep my face protected all year long, and not just in the summer time.

That's all the ideas I can think of at the moment, but I'm sure more will come to me. Anyway, happy holiday shopping everyone!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

December already?

OK, so not yet, but in a few hours it will be. This year has flown by, that's for sure.

Thanksgiving was great. Bonnie got in town about 8:10 on Wednesday night, then we headed to Lynchburg Thursday morning. We spent the afternoon playing basketball and watching movies, then had dinner at about 6. After dinner, we celebrated Anne's birthday with ice cream cake and gifts. On Friday, I woke up at 6 am, took a shower, then woke up Scott. We woke up Anne & Bonnie as well, and we all went out shopping.

Scott and I met the twins for breakfast about 9:30 at Panera, and we stayed and chatted for about 3 hours! It was great catching up with them. Poor girls had been up since 3:00 am.

We did a little more shopping at the mall (met up with Anne & Bonnie) then decided we'd had enough and went back to my parents house to relax. I took a nap while Scott worked on his computer. When I woke up, I headed over to Mandy's to do some scrapbooking. Then the whole family went to dinner at Watercrest that night. On Saturday, we had breakfast and Scott and I went out with Rory to do a little shopping. We relaxed some more in the afternoon, watched Superman, and had a bite to eat before making our way back to Richmond around 6:30. We made it back in time to go to the mall for a little while, then came back to the house and I fell asleep on the couch.

Today, we went to breakfast at the Silver Diner, then took Bonnie to the train station. I did some shopping this afternoon and have been relaxing all evening. I need to relax as much as possible, becuase December is going to be very stressful at work. UGH. I have 3 weeks to bring in $25M in revenue. Yuck.

I convinced Anne & Scotty to sign up for Ebates this past weekend, and they are both hooked already. Woohoo!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Yay Thanksgiving!

I'm quite excited to have a long weekend for Thanksgiving. I'm hoping they let us go early tomorrow - I know everyone is expecting it. I could really use the time off so I can make cherry pie (completely from scratch, mind you) tomorrow night for Thanksgiving. I'm also going to make some cranberry orange bread. I have so many things to do before tomorrow night!

We still haven't put ornaments on the tree - not a big deal, I love it with just the lights. We were going to do it last night, but Scott wasn't feeling well and he needed to do some work from home. We might have to wait until the weekend if we don't get it done tonight.

We started the Nielson Ratings booklets last Thursday and we go through tomorrow night. It's really fun, but it can get annoying having to write down every single thing you watch on tv. You even have to write down if the tv is on, and nobody's watching it!

Well, so much to do in the next couple days. Hopefully I can get it all done. Leaving work an hour earlier this week will certainly help.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Christmas Decorations

So I'm putting up my Christmas decorations this weekend. I just can't wait another week! I usually wait until after Thanksgiving, but I'm too impatient. I want them up NOW.

Going shopping this afternoon for some gifts. I love this time of year, because I get to shop without feeling guilty - on the contrary, I feel GOOD about it. :)

Who has gmail? I love gmail, and for some reason I like it when the person I am emailing also has gmail. Maybe because if we get online at the same time, we can chat instead of emailing. Anyway, if you have gmail, let me know. (If I don't already know, of course).

Have a great weekend everybody!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Ebates - this is NOT Spam people.

With it being the holiday season again, I have to remind you all about Ebates. I know you probably think I'm trying to promote something so that I get rewarded for it (and you're right, if you sign up using the link above, then I get $5), but I also hate to see anyone making an online purchase without using Ebates, because you are missing out on CASH BACK. There is no trick - no catch - it doesn't cost you a single penny (except what you were going to spend anyway), and as a matter of fact you get money BACK so it SAVES you money. Think of it as an online coupon.

For example, every time you order pictures from Snapfish, Ebates will give you 10% cash back - all you have to do is go to Ebates.com and click on their link for Snapfish. That's it! Let me tell you that 10% back on photo prints adds up very quickly. Every three months, you will receive a check in the mail for the sum of all your cash back. So far, I've earned nearly $100 in cash back from Ebates. Don't make another online purchase without signing up for Ebates first - when you finally understand how it works, you will be kicking yourself for not listening to me sooner! Ebates has agreements with over 900 online stores to give you cash back, including American Eagle, Snapfish, J.Crew, Sears, Gap, etc. You could order something from Sears online, get the cash back, then go pick it up in the store. Instant savings! I know everyone will be doing online shopping this holiday season, so take advantage of this and sign up for it. I promise you won't regret it.
I gotta work on blogging more often. I'm sure people get frustrated when they come to read my blog and there's nothing new to read. I would get annoyed with such a thing.

We're heading to NJ tonight to visit Scott's family. We are hoping to leave by 5 or 6 and get to Salem by 10 or so. That will only happen if we hit zero traffic, so we'll see. We're staying with Rob & Jeanine tonight, meeting Rodger & Sam for breakfast in the morning, then heading to his mom's after breakfast. Not sure what the plan is once we get to her house, but I think we'll be going out to dinner and visiting his cousins.

I've started reading The Purpose Driven Life by Rich Warren. My dad gave it to me back in the spring, and I never got around to reading it until now. So far it is good, and I've heard great things about the book.

I'm trying to work out my Christmas vacation. I will have to work on the 30th, probably, but I might be able to take off the rest of the 2 weeks surrounding the holidays. I'm excited, because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to take off at all. We need to figure out when we'll be going to NJ and all the logistics. Every year, we've had to travel on Christmas Day, and I hope we don't have to do that this year. We'll see.

Monday, November 3, 2008

My Hubby is the BEST.

I have the best husband in the world. He spent his entire Sunday installing remote-start on my car, so that I would have it for the winter. It was my birthday gift from him. I used it this morning, and its awesome! It works from 800 feet away. My car was nice and warm when I got in it this morning. I'm so excited to have this feature for the winter time. Maybe winter won't be so bad this year!

I spent most of the day yesterday doing laundry - I think I must've done at least 6 loads. I was a little behind from being gone the past few weekends. My goal this week is to organize my craft room, because its out of hand. It's so hard to keep it organized.

I started my Christmas shopping this weekend (which also includes birthday shopping for several family members). I was really excited when I went to withdraw my Christmas Club money from the bank - I had saved a lot more than I thought! That thing is the best - on November 1st every year, I just go to the bank and all my Christmas shopping money is there waiting for me. Rory and I went to Williamsburg on Saturday (before the Palin rally) and did some shopping. We both got ourselves new coats from the Columbia store, and I absolutely LOVE mine. It's lightweight, fitted, and very warm. No more bulky winter jacket. I also got a sweater from J.Crew for Scott. OH, and I was so excited that they've opened a Coach outlet! I have never in my life seen so many people in a Coach store before, and I wanted to badly to buy myself a purse. But I'm hoping that maybe Santa will bring me one, or that I can get one after Christmas with some spending money.

Overall it was a great weekend. I'm thinking we might have some guests this weekend for the Oyster Festival. Should be fun! I hope the weather isn't too cold - I haven't checked the forecast yet.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

My First Political Event


Rory and I went to Deep Run Highschool last night to see Sarah Palin at the "Rally for Victory", her last appearance in Virginia. The highschool is about 2 miles from our house, so I couldn't justify missing it. We got there about 6:30 or so - we didn't realize that it was going to be an outdoor event (fortunately I took my coat), nor did we know we would have to stand (I was wearing heel boots). We got a good location in the crowd, pretty close to the stage.

They had music playing while we were waiting. It seemed like forever before anyone came on stage to talk - it was maybe after 8:00 before the music finally stopped and the first speaker came on. We saw a ton of Virginia polititicans (republican ones, of course). I know Jim Kilgore was there, but I can't remember all the rest. A lot of them were former politicians. We expected, after all these people came on stage to talk, that Sarah Palin would be right behind them. There must have been 5 or 6 people that made speeches, and after they were done, instead of announcing Sarah Palin, the music came back on! It was maybe 8:30 at this point, and we'd been there for 2 hours. We thought, OK well I guess its going to be another 15 minutes or so. I joked with Rory that her flight probably hadn't landed yet. At around 9:00 pm, they announced that Sarah was "on her way". So I joked with Rory again that her flight had probably just landed. By 9:45, I realized that I shouldn't joke, because it was obviously true! She finally showed up sometime after 10:00 pm. Here are a couple of the best pics of her.


We also took some video. The first one is Sarah recognizing the veterens in the crowd.


video


The second video is Sarah talking about Energy, and keeping Virginia Red.


video

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween!

So Rory came up last night to help us hand out candy to the trick-or-treaters. I swear we must have had twice as many this year than last year. The kids are so hilarious. One boy walked up dressed in khakis, a shirt, and a suit jacket, and carrying a "man-bag". I asked him what he was, and he said "I'm Frank Lloyd Wright!" I'm thinking, I dont even know who Frank Lloyd Wright is! Then, another boy came as Luke Skywalker. He was around 4 years old, and after I gave him candy, he came up on the porch to talk. He said "Before Luke Skywalker was a Jedi, he was a Young Paaaaaa-duh-waaaaan." You have to imagine how cute this was coming out of a 4-year-old's mouth. His dad said, "It's scary how much he knows about Star Wars already."Then we had one girl come with a black wig on and a Hello Kitty outfit, and I asked her what she was..."I'm a girl" she says. After she walked back down the steps, her dad said "If you didn't know he was a boy, you wouldn't be able to tell he was dressed up". Not long after that, a girl came with short blonde hair, earrings, lots of makeup, uggs, etc, and I said "You must be a Hollywood Star". After responding, "I guess so", I realized it was another boy dressed as a girl! Both of those boys are going to kill their parents when they get older, because you know they took pictures.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Beach, Scrapbooking Crop, & Birthday Parties

Well, its been far too long since I blogged, and because of that, I have a bunch of stuff to write about.

I'll start off with our trip to Myrtle Beach from Oct 16-19th. We took off on Thursday & Friday that week. I had signed Scott up for a car show down there, so he rented a trailer to take his GTO. We drove down on Thursday, and it took us a little longer than normal since we were towing the trailer. We got to the hotel around 7:00 pm to check-in. Once we found a place to park the car and trailer, we went up to our room. I had booked a "King Studio" room - they put us in a 1 bedroom condo with an ocean front balcony! And it was only about $79-$89 per night! We were so excited. The place had a bedroom with 2 queen beds, a full kitchen, living room, & bathroom with jacuzzi tub. They even had the towels shaped like swans in the bathroom. It was awesome.

We had a fun time down there. On Thursday night, we ate in the hotel and relaxed in the room. On Friday, we went to the car show - it wasn't as big as we'd expected, but there were still plenty of cars to look at. We spent the day at Broadway looking at the cars and shopping around. We had lunch at Senor Frogs (a "Taco Tray"), then went to a "drive in" with the car show that evening at a local burger place. On Saturday, the weather was much cooler and it was raining, so that was a bummer. We went to the mall, had lunch with Cindy and her boyfriend Michael, and went to see the Dixie Stampede that night. On Sunday, we headed back home. It was a great weekend overall.

This past weekend, I went home to see the family. Mandy and I had signed up for a Scrapbooking Crop with Creative Memories for Friday night and Saturday. I took all my stuff to work on my California trip, and after a full day and a half of scrapbooking, I didn't even make it through Day 2 of our trip! It's going to take me FOREVER to finish that thing.

Saturday night, my mom and dad made spaghetti for us, and they had cake and icecream to celebrate my birthday. I got a new (smaller) crock pot, a really cute makeup travel bag, a gift card to Sephora, and a bunch of scrapbooking stuff. I need to start my thank-you cards tonight! After the party, we went back to Shane & Mandy's and played Wii. It was so fun. I can't wait till I get to play that again.

Sunday we went to church and saw Chris & Keri, then went to a few stores before heading to Anne & Scotty's for lunch (chili...it was really good). We played some ladder ball, and Rory & Scotty threw a softball around.

At 3:00 was Leah's birthday party at Amazement Square. That place was awesome! They had all kinds of fun interactive exhibits. I think Leah really enjoyed the party.

After the party, Scott and I headed to Charlottesville to visit Eric, Shannon, & Connor. They fixed lasagna for us, with apple pie for dessert. YUM. Shannon's mom, Kathy, was also there. Connor had grown so much since birth, but he's still a tiny little thing. I didn't want to put him down. I definitely think he looks like Eric - he has his eyes.

So that brings us to today, and I have so much to do (at home) its unbelievable. I need to go to the grocery store, do a bazillion loads of laundry, write thank-you notes, send cards, clean the house, go to the gym, stop by the drug store.....the list goes on. Two weekends away from home will do that, I suppose.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Birthday to ME!

It's my birthday! Yay!

I must admit, though, that birthdays really aren't very exciting anymore. It used to be my favorite day out of the year, but I guess birthdays lose their luster as you get older. Bummer.

Yesterday morning, I woke up early and went downstairs. When I looked out the front door, it wasn't a pretty sight...some apparent teenagers had come through the previous night and smashed all 5 of our pumpkins in the street. We had a huge pumpkin under the tree, which I'm sure is what tempted them in the first place, and 4 small ones on the front porch. All 5 were smashed in the street. The crappy thing is that we'd planned to go to Busch Gardens for my birthday celebration (since I'm working all day today), and this really put a damper on it. Before we left, I got the big pieces of pumpkin out of the street so cars could drive through.

We got home late last night, and someone had cleaned up all the pumpkin out of the street (which made me feel bad). Our neighbors had also left a big pumpkin on our porch with a note that said "Sorry someone messed with your pumpkin. Hope this helps." That was so nice of them. Such nice neighbors.

Busch Gardens was a lot of fun. The weather was perfect and the crowds were low. We did the Brewmaster Club beer tasting, went to a few shows, ate lots of junk food, and watched crazy people ride roller coasters (we don't ride them). This one roller coaster - the Griffin - I just can't imagine how anyone in their right mind would get on that thing! But we enjoyed watching.

On our way back, we went down to Rory's to hang out, then we all went out to dinner. It was a great day. Tonight, Scott and I have reservations at The Melting Pot for dinner. I'm excited! I also have a couple gifts at home that my mom mailed over the weekend, so I'll get to open those tonight.

This coming weekend, we go to Myrtle Beach for the car show. We are leaving Thursday and staying until Sunday. I haven't been down there in a few years, so I'm looking forward to it.

Friday, October 10, 2008

It's Friday!

I love Fridays.

Today I'm going to get my hair cut and highlighted. It needs it so badly! I hate having it done, because it takes FOREVER, so I think it's been about 6 months or more since I went.

We don't have any plans for tonight or tomorrow, but Sunday we are going to Busch Gardens for Howl-O-Scream. I'm excited - hopefully the weather will be good for us. On Monday (my birthday!), we are going to dinner at The Melting Pot. I have to thank Amber for this idea, because she was telling me that she and David went for their anniversary last week. I'm such a copy cat. I hope Scott remembered to make the reservations.

Last night, we went to Target and got some Halloween decorations for outside. We got a big spider and spider web to put on our hedges near the mailbox, and a motion-sensor mummy to hang in the tree. We also got some skull lights to line the driveway. I'm excited to put everything out. Now we just need candy!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Finally, Bathroom pics!

So I was waiting until Shane & Mandy came to visit before posting pics of our new bathroom. They came to visit a couple weekends ago, and I've been a bit lazy about blogging, but the time is finally here! This is a "before" picture - the bathroom was HIDEOUS. Note that this picture was actually taken before we moved into the house, so the Yankee stuff belongs to the previous owners. It was their 9 year old boy's bathroom.

After a LOT of hard work by Scott, our guest bathroom is now gorgeous. At least in my opinion! We put in heated natural stone tile floors, a new vanity, new toilet, new mirror and all new fixtures. Also, a new shower head (one of those "rain" shower heads). We also painted the walls a steel blue color and put in recessed lighting. The accessories are from West Elm, the vanity and toilet are from Lowe's, and the tile is from The Tile Shop.Here's a close up of the vanity/mirror/light fixture.


And this is the beauti-mous floor!

Friday, September 26, 2008

I hope I'm not getting sick!

Yesterday, I felt like I might be getting sick, but this morning I feel back to normal. So I hope that means that it was a false alarm!

I started putting up our fall decorations last night, and tonight I will do the Halloween stuff. I need to get some outdoor Halloween decorations as well. The weather has been really crappy for the past couple days - pouring down rain and cold. Well, cold in my opinion. In the upper 50's and lower 60's.

I've had a good week at work. I was able to meet and even exceed the forecasted revenue for the month, so my boss is happy and so is his boss. YAY!

We had a fun weekend last weekend. On Friday night, Scott and I went out to dinner then rented some movies (Baby Mama and National Treasure 2). On Saturday, we went to this festival called Field Days of the Past, and Scott absolutely loved it. They had tractor pulls, and old farm machinery, old cars - pretty much everything that Scott loves. Rory went with us, and he really enjoyed it as well. We saw a cotton gin, and wooden spoon making machine, a dowel machine, a saw mill, and a bunch of other stuff. They also had lawn mower racing. After leaving the festival, we went to the new Bass Pro Shop that they opened north of Richmond. That place is HUGE! I bought some cookies & cream fudge at the fudge shop and we ate that while we looked around. We headed back home and cooked steaks on the grill, and I made mashed potatoes (my first time making them) and croissants. It was a good day overall.

I think I did some shopping on Sunday - got some new boots from DSW! I love them. I need to get some new dress pants this weekend for the fall/winter. I've been wearing mostly capris all summer.

This morning, I weighed myself and I'd lost 1.5 pounds. I decided last weekend that I wasn't going to drink soda anymore, so I'm hoping it will make a difference. Going to the gym after work today, then have an appointment with the skin surgeon for a checkup on my scars. He might do that laser scar removal on me - we'll see.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My IT Department Rocks.

This morning, I tried to sign on to blogspot for an update. To my dismay, the web filter blocked me! This was terrible news. With family and friends living so far away, my blog is the easiest way to keep everyone updated on my life. I didn't know what else to do, so I sent a message to our trusty IT guy, Fast Eddie, and he came to the rescue! Within minutes, he had me back on the Blogspot. How awesome is he? Really awesome. THANK YOU, Fast Eddie!

So, I don't have time to blog now, as its a busy day ahead of me. But I will be back again, sometime soon.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

It's Tuesday.

It's Tuesday, which is better than Monday. I got measured yesterday at the gym, and somehow, I keep gaining weight AND inches (the latter indicating that its not muscle). Not a lot, but a little here and there. How does this make sense? I am pretty sure that I'm not eating more, so if I'm eating the same AND working out, why am I getting bigger? It really doesn't make a lick of sense.

So I thought of a couple more reasons of why I hate the Fall.

* It's "that time of year again" - as in, time to get sick. Everyone at work has been getting sick, and I'm just dreading the day when I catch something. UGH.

* No more yard sales!!! This is the absolute worst of all, and I can't believe I forgot it. Each weekend, there have been fewer and fewer yard sales to attend, which frankly doesn't make sense to me because now its cooler outside and a much better time to have one. But whatever.

Fortunately, the lack of yard sales has not affected my ability to find bargains. This past weekend, I got so many good deals. I got an HP Printer/Copier/Scanner (to go with my HP Photo Printer) for $10. We already had a printer, but this was certainly an upgrade. Out with the old, in with the.....used. I also got a pair of CUTE Steve Madden heels for $3 that were still in the box, never worn from what I can tell. And then, the best bargain of all, I got a set of solar lights to put in the garden for $1. There were a total of 7 of them.

This coming weekend is the Field Days of the Past festival. Scott and I have never been to it, but it seems to be quite popular around here, and its very close to our house. So I'm excited to go to it. I think they have old cars, trucks, tractors, etc. Scott will probably LOVE it. And hopefully there will be some vendors and whatnot as well for me!

This past weekend was fun. Anne & Scotty came to visit. We did the yardsales in the morning, then Anne and I went shopping in the afternoon. That night, we had steaks on the grill for dinner, and went to Bogey's to play putt-putt. We were about 2/3's of the way through the game when all the power shut off, and we were in the dark. You can't exactly play putt-putt in the dark. So they gave us some free passes and we headed home. I think maybe we'll use those passes next weekend when Shane & Mandy visit, if they want to go.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I Hate Fall

It always surprises me when someone tells me that Fall is their favorite season. WHY? I can only think of 3 good things about the Fall: new TV, pretty leaves, and college football. Everything else about the Fall sucks. For example:

* Its getting colder
* The days are getting shorter
* Soon it will be dark when I wake up and dark when I get home from work
* Kids are back in school and traffic is terrible
* The weather gets dry and my lips get chapped
* My hair is staticky (<--is that a word?)
* All the flowers die
* My windshield will be foggy in the morning
* I'll have to wear socks

I could keep going, but I think that's enough. I hate Fall ALMOST as much as I hate Winter. Nonetheless, I will try to enjoy it. I will try to be positive and enjoy the pretty leaves and the cooler temperatures and all those other things you Fall-lovers rave about. I'll put out pumpkins and hay and mums, and be excited. Because I'm a positive person. But deep down, all that's really happening is that I'm dreading Winter's ugly arrival.

I want to move to Hawaii.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

This and That

Anne & Scotty are coming to visit this weekend, so they will get to use the new bathroom. Yay! I am waiting until everyone has come to see it before I post pictures. Shane and Mandy are coming the weekend of the 27th, so I will probably post pictures that following Monday.

Not much going on, so I haven't been blogging. It's been a crazy week here at work. I receieved an "offer" to move into a "supervisory role" , but working under a coworker who is a nightmare. So I've kindly declined.

I'm hoping that Scott and I will get to go to Busch Gardens this year for Howl-O-Scream. It would be a fun day trip to take one weekend, and I think it starts next weekend. We're looking forward to our Myrtle Beach trip next month. I can't wait! Need to start planning some things to do in Texas next spring. I haven't researched anything yet.

Somone here at work just brought me a popsicle. It's been so long since I had a popsicle. It reminded me of summertime at Nannie's. Linette always had popsicles!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Oh Boy!!!

We got SO MUCH done on the bathroom this past weekend, and its almost done! All that is left are the finishing touches. We have a fully functional vanity and toilet, the shower curtain is hung, the towel bar is up - I'm going out tonight to Crate & Barrel to get some accessories. Who wants to come visit me now? :-)

I went to yard sales again on Saturday morning, and had a great find again. I bought a bag FULL of Creative Memories stuff for 5 bucks. It included a paper cutter, a cutting mat, oval cutting rings w/ blades, stencils, paper, and a few other things. I was thrilled!

Last week, I went to the gym on Monday and Thursday, and planned to go back on Saturday. However, Scott and I ended up at Lowe's and Home Depot on Saturday morning until almost noon, and since the gym closes at noon, I wasn't able make it out there. So on Sunday morning, I woke up early and decided to go for a jog. This is not something I do. I absolutely despise running or jogging, but I felt like I needed to do something since the gym wouldn't open again until Tuesday. So I jogged around the neighborhood for about 15 minutes, making a complete circle starting and ending at my house, without stopping! I was so proud of myself. The last time I maybe attempted to run, I probably couldn't have made it to the top of the street. I don't know what the distance was, but 15 minutes is a long time to run/jog in my opinion. Maybe I'll try it again this weekend. It really proved how going to the gym has put me in much better shape and is making a difference. Now, if I could just lose some weight and some inches, that would be GREAT.

I finished a book this past weekend, Angela's Ashes. It was really good. It's a memoir about a boy growing up in Ireland during the depression era. Last night, I stopped by Blockbuster and rented the movie, so Scott and I watched it. It's the first time we've watched a movie in FOREVER. We were paying for Netflix for like 6 months or more without watching a single movie. I finally cancelled Netflix last week, and sure enough, I was ready to watch a movie this week. Figures, huh? I was surprised to find out that the rental was only 99 cents at Blockbuster.

I've read a lot of books recently for our Book Club at work. Here are the books we've read:
  • Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt
  • The Queen's Fool by Phillipa Gregory
  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  • Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
  • The Giant's House by Elizabeth McCracken
Each book has been so unique, because a new person gets to pick the book each month. I picked Angela's Ashes this month. Also, each book seems to have a new setting - England, India, China, Ireland - its really interesting to read about the culture in each country. I wonder what the next person will pick.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I love yard sales

I forgot to write about my exciting yard sale finds this past weekend. I actually hadn't planned on going to yard sales. I woke up around 7:30, got dressed, and headed to the gym. When I got there, I was disappointed to find that he gym didn't open until 9 am - all that effort to get up early for nothing! So to kill time, I drove around looking for yard sales.

My first big find was an HP Photosmart printer for only 5 bucks! I was extremely excited about this, because its a great thing to have for scrapbooking, especially when you have just a few pictures for a couple pages and you don't want to order just a couple pictures. Or if you need to reprint a picture because you screwed it up whilst scrapbooking. My next find was a brand new ink cartridge for my regular printer at home for just a dollar. Those things cost between $25 and $30, so that was quite the exciting find.

After yard-saling, I went back to the gym. They were having an Open House with food and games. For every game you won, you put your name in a jar for a drawing. I only won 1 game while working out, and I found out yesterday that I won a potted plant (gerber daisies) in the drawing. Yay!

Scott started working on the recessed lighting in the bathroom last night. Everything is starting to come together now, which is very exciting. I feel certain we will finish this weekend, as long as there are no complications with the recessed lighting. Keeping my fingers crossed :)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Don't mash the bread!

I remember going to the grocery store when I was a kid with my dad, and I can always remember him saying "Don't mash the bread!" I always thought it was silly, and would tell him "It will still taste the same." Now, as an adult, if there is one thing I cannot stand, its for my bread to get mashed before I get home from the grocery store. I've gotten into the habit of just taking it after they scan it, and carrying it to the car myself. I even put it in the front seat with me so nothing falls on it when I make a turn. Well, yesterday, I wasn't paying attention and the bread made it to the bagger before I could get it. I thought I'd give her a chance and let her bag it for me. When I got to the car, I realized she had place a 12-pack of soda ON TOP OF THE BREAD! I was absolutely LIVID. Never again will the bagger get their hands on my bread. Eejits. "Mashed Bread" is now at the top of my list of Pet Peeves to the right.

So its been a while since I've written. I figured after the novelty of a blog wore off, my posts would become more irregular. But I'm still determined to keep this blog going!

This past weekend, Shannon and Eric came to visit with baby Connor. He's still so tiny! I was nervous holding him because he's so small, and realized that it must take some practice to become comfortable enough to multi-task whilst holding a newborn baby. I couldn't even open the door, because holding him took two hands for me (despite how small he is). Meanwhile, Shannon was doing about 10 things at once and holding him at the same time. I guess that comes with practice. One thing I realized after spending a full day with them was that when you have a baby, your every move revolves around the baby. Every single thing you do depends on when the baby needs to eat, does the baby need a diaper change, etc. Connor has to eat every 3 hours, and it takes about an hour to feed and change him. So they get 2 hour intervals to do other things. It's crazy!

Scott finished grouting the floor last night! So now, he just has to seal it and then we can put in the new vanity, toilet, light fixtures, etc. He's also going to put in some recessed lighting as well. The floor looks awesome! I cannot wait for everyone to see it once its done.

Scott's brother Rob, and his wife Jeanine, decided to start an Alpaca Farm. Jeanine just launched their new website, www.goldenstarfarm.com. You can see some pictures of their alpacas on there - they are so cute! Check it out if you get a chance.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

You cut me deep, Doc. You cut me real deep...

So last week I had to go back to the dermatologist because I'd noticed a new spot on my arm. Turns out that it wasn't skin cancer (thank goodness), but there were "atypical cells" present, and they decided to remove it anyway. I already had an appointment with the skin surgeon on Friday to have laser scar treatment on my chest, so they said they could do my arm as well. I thought they would just have to cut out a little extra and stick a bandaid over it. Oh no. I have about a 2-inch gash on my arm now where he cut out an apparent humungous chunk of skin, then sewed it back up. I cannot see why that was necessary, but he's a well-reputed doctor, so I guess he knows what he's doing. If it weren't so gross-looking, I would post a picture. Scott can't even look at it without getting light-headed. Once he finished on my arm, he was supposed to do the laser on my chest. He took a look at it and decided to "change direction" and cut me open again and sew me back up. So I left his office 2 1/2 hrs later with a gashed arm and a cut-up chest, knowing that when the anesthesia wore off, I would be in too much pain to do anything. My weekend was shot. So much for helping Scott with the bathroom!

Friday night and Saturday morning were the worst, as far as pain goes. By Saturday afternoon, my chest didn't hurt too much, and by Sunday, the pain in my arm was almost gone as well. As long as I don't move the wrong way, I don't even notice the wounds anymore. I'm a little concerned about the one on my chest, though, becuase it doesn't look right to me. It looks like it could either be infected, or maybe the stitches came a loose. I can't tell, but I left a message with the nurse to call me about it.

So, Scott finished putting the tile in the bathroom! He still has to grout, but we are going to paint before we do that because we feel like we should have a full day to work on the grout. Maybe we will do that on Sunday when we get back from Lynchburg.

We're heading to Lynchburg this weekend for Mandy's birthday. I'm excited, because I feel like its been AGES since I've been home to visit. I think the last time I went home may have been back in May, but I'm not sure. Scott is going to take a half-day off on Friday, so we will head down in the afternoon and try to get there a little early. Mandy's birthday dinner is Friday night. On Saturday, we are having lunch at her and Shane's house to discuss a family vacation for next year. I love planning a vacation! Scott and I plan to go to Disney sometime in February, but we aren't sure how much we want to spend. I really wanted to stay at the Animal Kingdom resort, but its a bit expensive, so we may go another route.

We haven't made any plans yet for Labor Day Weekend. Wonder what everyone is doing?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Wipeout

My absolute favorite tv show this summer has been Wipeout, and I just heard the excellent news that its been renewed for a 2nd season. If you haven't seen it, you must give it a shot (Tuesday nights at 8 on ABC). If you don't find yourself laughing hysterically by the end of the episode, you simply are not human. It is, no doubt, the dumbest and most mindless show on television right now, but it is also the most entertaining. The show starts out with 24 contestants who must qualify by making good time on a water obstacle course, The Qualifier, which includes obstacles such as the Sucker Punch and the Big Balls. The top twelve qualifiers will go on to compete in The Sweeper. On The Sweeper, the contestants stand on 10-ft pedestals, all in a circle, and a huge "sweeper" bar comes around to try to knock them off. They must jump over the sweeper bar and land back on the pedestal. If they fall in the water, they are eliminated. The Sweeper bar gets faster and higher each time it goes around. The top 6 contestants will move on to Round 3, which will either be the Dizzy Dummy or the Dreadmill. The final four contestants go on the the Wipeout Zone, which is the final obstacle course. The best time wins. Watch it. You will laugh....a lot.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

New Bathroom!

Well what a weekend we had. (<-- Alliteration!)

On Friday afternoon, as planned, I had lunch at the Nordstrom Cafe. My favorite lunch is the Shi-Crab Soup and the Chicken & Strawberries salad. YUMMY. After eating, I spent a fortune on bras at Nordstrom, because they are one of the few places that actually carry my size. I spent a fortune, but I do consider it an investment. I bought a strapless ($69) and a sports bra ($54), both of which I really needed, and both of which actually fit me. After shopping, I went to get my nails done and thoroughly enjoyed my pedicure. I needed it badly.

We had dinner at the Manakin Grill with Steve & Phu on Friday night. It was really nice (and a bit expensive, to be honest), but it was nice to go out on a "double date". After dinner, they came back to our place and we showed them our California pictures and gave them a "thank-you" gift for taking care of our house and Simba while we were gone.

Speaking of Simba, at his vet appointment last week, the doctor prescribed him a new kind of food, which is hypoallergenic. The first night we gave it to him, which was Wednesday night, he ate the whole bowl of it. After that, he refused to touch it, or even go near it. We thought he might be sick, so we gave him some of his old food just to make sure he would eat. He had no problem eating that, it was just the new food he didn't want. We called the vet on Friday morning, and she said Simba was probably holding out to see if something better would come along, and that cats rarely starve themselves, so we should let him go through the weekend and see if he would eat it. Well, by Monday morning, he hadn't eaten anything since Thursday night. Scott and I felt so bad for him. I called the vet again and they said they had another food we could try. I wasn't able to go yesterday, so I left the house early this morning, went to the vet and exchanged the food, and took it back to the house. Simba ate it right up! I'm hoping he will continue to eat this food.

So back to the weekend....on Saturday morning, Scott and I went to the Ferguson Kitchen & Bath showroom. We wanted to remodel the guest bathroom. They had some really awesome stuff in there! We found a couple things we liked, and decided to leave there and go to the Tile Shop. We found some really nice natural stone tile called Bucak Medley and decided to go ahead and get it. We got home, and completely gutted the guest bathroom (with the exception of the tub)! Scott spent the rest of the weekend cutting tile (he rented a tile saw from Sunbelt). We decided that instead of putting the tile in square, we would put it in on an angle, as it makes the room look bigger. This made the tile cutting all the more complicated, so it has taken a little longer than we'd hoped. But I think we can finish the room this weekend. The color theme will be chocolate brown and steel blue. I can't wait to do the painting. We still have to pick out a vanity, a new toilet, and a light fixture. Then all the small accessories. It's going to be REALLY nice by the time we are done, though.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Yay for Friday

TGIF. I have an appointment this afternoon for a manicure, pedicure and eyebrow waxing. I can't wait - I hate getting my fingernails done (I have acrylic) but I love me a pedicure. I think I'll head over to the mall for lunch and shopping before I go to my appointment at 2:00. I like getting lunch at Nordstrom Cafe on Fridays.

I forgot to write about Simba's vet appointment yesterday. It went very well, and reassured us that we did the right thing by bringing him to a new vet. The doctor put him on hypoallergenic food (which he refuses to eat, and it was very expensive...but the doc said we can take it back if he won't eat it). He gave him a shot of depo, and we need to take him back in 3 weeks so the doctor can look at him again.

Still hoping we will start working on the guest bathroom this weekend, but Scott seems to have lost his motivation. So we'll see!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

What's for dinner?

I hate that question. It inevitably gets asked every night, either by myself or by Scott, and neither of us wants to hear it or answer it, but we always have to ask it. I don't really mind cooking, its just that I can never think of what to cook. Looking up a recipe does no good, because I never have everything I need and I don't have the time or motivation to go to the grocery store. And by the time I get off work, go to the gym, and get home, it's already after 6. I'm not motivated to even THINK about dinner until at least 7:00, so we end up eating after 8:00 every night. As a result, I have gained weight. Something must be done. Thanks to Mandy, I have a dinner plan for tonight: tacos. I have to go to the gym, so I will start cooking them as soon as I get home.

Last night I fixed chicken over rice with cream of chicken soup poured over it. I like chicken, but I absolutely despise cooking chicken. It really grosses me out and makes a huge mess. I end up using 3 plates, a cutting board, 5 knives and 5 forks in my attempts not to cross-contaminate. I put the frozen chicken on a plate and thaw it in the microwave, and have to turn it over half-way through with a fork - that fork cannot be used for anything else as it is contaminated. Then I take the chicken out, rinse it off under the sink, and put it on a new plate (because the other plate has nasty chicken juice all over it). Then I have to cut out those disgusting white veins, so that messes up the cutting board, a fork and a knife. None of the three of those can be used for anything else because they have now been contaminated by the chicken. I put the chicken in a pan to cook it and have to use another fork to turn it over, and another knife to check if its done. Once it starts getting cooked, I don't want to use the same fork or knife that I used before it was cooked, so those go in the sink and I get another set to use to put the cooked food on the plates to serve it. I can use this set to eat my half of the meal, but Scott needs another set for his. So not only does it take forever to cook chicken, but there are also a huge pile of dishes to clean afterwards. This just isn't worth it to me!

Things would probably be easier if I planned my meals out ahead of time for the whole week, and did my grocery shopping based on my "plan". I envy anyone who actually has the time, discipline and motivation to do that. I do not have any of the three. It is a huge accomplishment that at 11:00 this morning, I know what I'm fixing for dinner tonight.

Any suggestions and or comments on this topic are welcome.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

New Vet

On Day 10, we came home, and that's nothing exciting to write about. So I won't bore you with that :-). I did get to add pictures to yesterday's post though, so check those out.

We have to take Simba to the vet today, as he is developing sores on his mouth again. This is something that was a serious problem last Fall, and the vet we were taking him to (Banfield) simply gave him a steroid shot every 2 weeks for several months. He became mean and irritable and gained a significant amount of weight. So we stopped taking him there once we felt the sores had cleared up pretty good (around early January). In the early spring, I took him to a new vet at Pouncey Tract Veterinary Hospital - his name is Dr. Z. You know he's a cool guy with a name like that. Simba didn't have any sores at the time of the visit, so this is the first time we are taking him to Dr. Z to see the sores. I'm interested in finding out how he will handle it, because he knows we were none too thrilled with the steroid shots. I hope he can figure out an alternative treatment. He said we will figure out what is triggering them and go from there. Seems to perhaps be seasonal.

Our new chandelier for our dining room comes in today. I cannot WAIT to put it up! I am so sick of that ugly gold thing that's hanging in there now. It clashes horribly. We ordered this fixture from Lighting Universe, because Lowe's did not have anything that we liked. Their selection hasn't changed since we moved into our house, I don't think. Scott said we could start working on the guest bathroom this weekend. We are going to put in new tile, a new vanity, new toilet, and of course paint. I don't know if we can do all that in one weekend, but we'll see.

This past weekend, we finally put up pictures in the foyer on the wall along the stairs. They look great! It finally looks like a home now, with pictures of the family up. We designed it so that we can easily add more pictures later. I will take a picture and post it if I remember.

Not much else is going on this week. So that's all for now!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Days 8 & 9

So I didn't get around to posting about Day 8 yesterday, so I will cover days 8 & 9 today.

Day 8 - San Francisco to Paso Robles

I should mention that we had made plans to go to Napa Valley if time allowed, but unfortunately it did not. The time it took to get from Yosemite to San Francisco was a lot longer than we had expected. Nonetheless, this gives me a great excuse to go back to California :-).

On Day 8, which was July 10th, we had tickets for the Early Bird ferry to Alcatraz. We checked out of our hotel, then drove the van to a parking deck down near the Fisherman's Wharf. We got down to Pier 33 about 8:00 and were at the front of the line to board the ferry. It was foggy and windy, and rather cold. Regardless, we decided to ride on the top deck. There was a huge cloud parked on the Golden Gate Bridge, which was a disappointment considering we expected to get the best photos while on the ferry. Another cloud was parked on Alcatraz Island, which was actually kind of neat because it made it look a little more spooky! The ferry ride wasn't long, but it was really cold! If we'd thought it was cold and windy on the pier, it was nothing compared to what it was like on top of that ferry on the way over. I was nervous that Scotty might get seasick, as the water was a little rough, but he was fine.

Once on the island, we had to hike up the hill to get to the jailhouse. It was a good hike up there. They gave us audio tours which guided us throughout the jailhouse, telling us where Al Capone's cell was and where the guys were that managed to escape. It was really interesting, and pretty cool to be there where all those things happened. After the tour, one of the original inmates ( 1 of only 5 who are still living), Darwin Coon (see pic), was in the bookshop doing a book signing. So that was neat to meet him, but kind of disturbing that he was profiting off being an inmate. We still bought one of his books and got it signed, though! LOL.

We caught the ferry back to San Francisco at 12:30, and made our way back to the car. We started making our way to our next destination, Paso Robles. The rest of the day was spent in the car driving, other than a quick stop at Google Headquarters in Mountain View, California. That place was HUGE.

Our hotel in Paso Robles was SO NICE! It was a huge room, and it was all very updated and fancy, and it was a Best Western. I was quite impressed. We got to our rooms relatively early, around 8 pm I guess, so we were able to just relax and watch tv. It was sad we only had one night in such a nice hotel room. Haha.

Day 9 - Paso Robles to Los Angeles

The next morning, we woke up and headed out to make our way to Hearst Castle in San Simeon. On the way there, we drove through a wine country which was really pretty, and then we hit fog that was so thick you couldn't see 10 feet in front of you.

Our tour guide at Hearst Castle was old as dirt, and could hardly catch her breath to talk half the time. I suppose the fact that she was old went along with the theme of the castle - it looked like it was used in the 1500's rather than the 1900's. Everything was really old fashioned and dark. The best part of the place was the pool, which was AWESOME. I'd have given anything to swim in it. They actually had 2 pools, one outdoors and one indoors. Both were amazing, but the outdoor pool was my favorite, by far.

After the tour, we decided to go see the lighthouse that was on the coast just up from the castle. On the way there, we stopped at this place where Elephant Seals live on the coast. That was pretty neat - there were a bunch of them just out there on the beach sunbathing!

We had planned to drive down the Pacific Coast Highway on our way back to Los Angeles, but due to the wildfires, the highway was closed. So we were forced to drive back a different way, which happened to be a lot faster. We arrived in Los Angeles around 4 pm. With no plan for the evening (we thought we would get back very late), we decided to hit up some of the neighborhoods we'd visited before and find a few more celebrity homes. We went back to Bel Air to look for the original home from The Beverly Hillbillies, but it turned out that you couldn't see it at all due to the wall around it. Then we went to Brentwood to see Nicole Simpson's condo where she was murdered, and we couldn't figure out which one was actually hers. They had changed the numbers for the new tenants' privacy. After that, we went back to Beverly Hills to Robertson Blvd. I wanted to get a pair of flip-flops from Kitson.

When we arrived, we noticed there was something big going on at Intermix - there were tons of press and paparazzi, a red carpet, etc. This was quite exciting! On our way to Kitson, my mom asked the guy working at Armani what was going on and who was going to be there. He said that with that much press, it should be someone worth seeing. I went to get my flip flops, and then we all hung out on the sidewalk outside the Ivy and watched as the cars arrived. The first person we saw was Selena Gomez (she's on the Wizards of Waverly Place on Disney). We also saw Kim Kardashian (in pic to right w/ yellow dress), Lauren Conrad, Phoebe Price, Audrina Patridge, Karina Smirnoff, and the girl-twin from Heroes. I don't know her name. This was the most exciting thing EVER for me! We met some paparazzi and the valet dude at the Ivy. Haha. It was such a great way to end the night. We stayed until about 9:00 and then it seemed to be dying down, so we headed back to the hotel to get some much needed rest before our 8 am flight home the next day. It was an awesome trip, and and awesome end to an awesome trip.

I was able to upload a couple pics, and now the uploader isn't working again. So maybe I'll get them uploaded later. GRRR.

EDIT: Pics added. Included one of my mom with the paparazzi, which I found quite humorous.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Babies!

For those of you thinking, "I wonder when Scott and Blakelyn are going to have kids?", I'll just let you know, it's not going to be anytime soon. Don't get me wrong - I love babies. I have always loved babies and the thought of having my own one day is very exciting. But unfortunately babies grow up, and I'm not mentally prepared for kids or teenagers. We do plan to have kids eventually, but we want time to ourselves first. I also have to get over my fear of being pregnant, or more specifically, morning sickness.

Anyway, the reason babies are on the brain is because we had a baby-filled weekend. First, we got to meet Brayden, who is the absolute cutest little thing ever! He's such a happy baby, and has such a good temperament. He gets a little fussy when he's hungry or sleepy, but other than that, he's completely content. He's friendly and outgoing, and quite a flirt! Here's a picture of him and his daddy playing with the new toy we gave him.

On Saturday, we went to visit Eric, Shannon, and little Connor. After seeing Brayden, it was such a surprise to see how small Connor really was - he is absolutely PRECIOUS! He's just so sweet and so tiny and cute as a button. When he cries, he lets out this little sqeak. The blanket we bought for him from Petit Tresor was meant to be a binky blanket, but on Connor it was just the right size to keep him warm. Scott and I were both a little nervous holding him, because he looks so fragile. We stayed with them for a few hours before coming back home. I can't wait to see him again! Below are a few more pictures of him that we took. I will post a separate entry for Day 8 of our trip.

Close up:
Me holding him:


Scott helping Shannon burp him. He opened his eyes and looked up at Scott. So cute.

Friday, July 25, 2008

It's a Boy!!

Connor Joseph Brim was born about 9:30 pm last night (July 24th), weighing in at 4 lbs. 8 oz and 18 3/4" long. He had a full head of blonde hair, and scored two 9's on the Apgar scale. As I mentioned yesterday, we had made plans to go visit Eric & Shannon this weekend. We will now be visiting Eric, Shannon and Connor! I'm so happy for them, and cannot believe they have a baby now. I can't wait to meet him.

I'm leaving work a little early today, as I got here about 15 minutes early, and heading home to finish getting things ready for Rodger, Sam and Brayden. It's going to be a baby-filled weekend! I'm quite excited to see Brayden as well, as it will be our first time meeting him. From what I hear, he's a happy little baby.

Day 7 - San Francisco

We had a lot planned for our 1 full day in San Francisco, so we woke up early and met downstairs in the lobby about 7:30. Our hotel was on Lombard Street, about a 20 minute walk to the Fisherman's Wharf, so we headed that way. We got down there so early that there was no line for the Cable Car ride up to Union Square. So that's just what we did - we got great seats on the outside and took some fun pictures. I think this was my favorite thing about San Francisco - I loved the cable car ride! It was so fun going up and down those steep hills, and we got some great pictures.

Once in Union Square, we decided to find something to eat for breakfast - we ended up at another Mel's Diner. Scott and I both had waffles. After breakfast, we went to the Williams Sonoma Flagship store in Union Square - it was awesome! It's 4 stories and has everything you could imagine. We left there and started walking toward Market Street. On the way, we stopped at the Coach store and my mom got herself a Coach bag - I'm quite jealous, as I do not have one yet. The one I wanted was over $300, so I decided to pass on that. We walked down to Market street, then down to the Ferry Building. That's a neat place with all these unique shops and food places. We caught the Market Car back to Pier 39 at the Fisherman's Wharf. We stayed there for several hours just souvenier shopping, eating lunch, etc. Our next stop was the USS Pampanito, which is a military submarine that you can tour. My brother loves that kind of thing, so Scott and I took the tour with him. It was pretty cool, but I could definitely not live on a submarine. My goodness. We stopped in to the Boudin Bakery before heading back to our hotel to get the van.

We decided to drive up to the "crookedest street in the world", which was maybe a mile or so from the hotel on Lombard Street. That was pretty scary driving through there! It's really neat looking though. After leaving there, we went to Telegraph Hill to the Coit Tower. This is one of the highest (if not THE highest) point in San Francisco, so we got awesome pictures from there of the city. As we were leaving, the sun was setting and Rory took a great picture of us with the Golden Gate bridge in the background as the sun was going down.

We left Telegraph Hill and found the place where Monk walks across the street in the opening credits of the show. Then we drove through Haigh-Ashbury, where we passed a greatly-named Thai restaurant, before heading to Joe's Cable Car Restaurant for dinner. This place was featured on the Food Network tv show "Drive-Ins, Diners and Dives". The place had so many neon lights! It was really cool, and the burgers were good too. I had a country burger, which was sort of like a western.

After leaving the restaurant, we went back up to Telegraph Hill to get a picture of the city at nighttime, but it didn't turn out that great. It was such a fun day, we really had a great time. San Francisco had so much character, it was certainly one of my favorite places.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Day 6

We are beginning to plan our next vacation, and the family is up in the air about where to go. We had all initially planned to go to Disney, but I think we all agree that 7 days in Orlando would get boring for a group of adults. I still want to go for a long weekend, even if its just Scott and I, because I really want to go to Animal Kingdom and Seaworld. But I'd like to go somewhere else as well. I've been to all the places in the US that I really, really wanted to go (mainly Hawaii & California), but I want to eventually visit all 50 states, so I'm up for anything.

Our next mini-vacation will be Myrtle Beach in October. I'm looking forward to it, since it's been about 5 years since I went there. This will be the car show that I signed Scott up for as his anniversary gift. The hotel we are staying in looks awesome, and has its own indoor water park. I don't know if it will be warm enough to use it (or if perhaps its heated), or if we will even have time. But regardless, Myrtle Beach should be fun. Scott has never been there before, and I think he'll really like it.

Rodger and Sam will be here with Brayden tomorrow, and then Sunday we are going to visit Eric & Shannon. I'm excited to see all of them.

Day 6 - Yosemite to San Francisco

We woke up early on Day 6 and stopped at a place called Yosemite Forks Mountain House for breakfast. It was a family owned restaurant, and the food was delicious. I had French Toast, and it was awesome. After breakfast, we made our way to Yosemite.

The drive to (and through) Yosemite was the same as Sequoia - twisty and turny! We decided to go to Glacier Point, as you could see the valley and Half Dome from there. The road to Glacier Point is closed in the winter months, so we figured we might as well drive up it since we could. We ended up behind a huge bus that was going SO SLOW we had to stop several times to keep from hitting it. But let me tell you - if I were on that bus, I'd be having a panic attack, because that thing was way too big to be taking those turns! It looked like it was going to go right off the side of the mountain.

There was a pull of before we got to Glacier point that had amazing views of Half-Dome, some waterfalls, etc. The pictures don't do it justice. When we made it up to Glacier point, it was ridiculously hot. There was a gift shop up there (with no AC), so Scott and I bought drinks and an Icee to share. Then we took the short hike up to Glacier point and got some great pictures. We went back to the gift shop to get some souveniers, and after we got in line, the entire computer system went down. Their server had overheated (no big suprise) so we had to wait like half an hour to buy our stuff. It was ridiculous. We finally got back to the car and drove back down the mountain to a general store. We bought stuff to make sandwiches, and had a little picnic before we started making our way to San Francisco.

Driving out of the mountains seemed like it took absolutely forever. It was a joy to see a straight road! I think it took 2-3 hours to get out of the mountains. We had a good 6 hour drive to San Francisco from Yosemite. We arrived there around 6:00 that evening, I think. Now, in Yosemite, I would say it was somewhere between 95 and 100 degrees. We got out of the car in San Francisco, and it must have been no more than 65 degrees, and it was windy on top of that! The first place we stopped was 1748 Broderick Street - the Full House house! The door is no longer red, but the front of the house is unmistakeable. Next stop was the Painted Ladies, which is where they have a picnic in the opening credits of Full House. (This was my absolute favorite show growing up, by the way).

After taking a few pictures there, we decided to go see the Golden Gate Bridge. We had come into San Francisco from the South, so we did not see it driving in. It's just so amazing when you see it in person..its like, WOW. We drove across it and went up this road onto a mountain that our friends Laura and Bryan had suggested. By this point, I think it was in the 50's and still very windy, and we were all in short-sleeve shirts. It was so cold! We got some great pictures there, even though it was slightly foggy. After that, we went to check-in at our hotel (The Chelsea Motor Inn) and changed clothes. The hotel was so cute! We had real keys, and the rooms were beautiful with bay windows. We met up in the lobby (which was actually the parking lot) and we went to find something for dinner. The first place we came to was Mel's Drive-In, which was one block down from our hotel. It was about 9:30 or 10:00 by the time we ate, so I just had a BLT and some french fries. That was all we did for our first night in San Fran.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Day 5

I got a new layout...the pink was beginning to be too loud for me. So I chose something a little more subtle.

I am such a slacker. I haven't been to the gym yet this week, and its already Wednesday. I'm definitely going tonight. On Monday, I ended up having to work until 6 and I just couldn't bring myself to go to the gym after having to work late, and I had a headache on top of that. Yesterday, I had to go to the grocery store. So today, I will go to the gym. I have to stop making up excuses in my mind. I'm not helping myself by making up excuses as to why I can't go.

Rodger, Sam and Brayden are going to be visiting on Friday. This will be our first time seeing Brayden, so we are excited. I'd like to get him something, but I don't have a clue what to get for a 5-month old baby.

Day 5 - Los Angeles to Yosemite

On our 5th day in L.A., we decided we needed to do 2 things before beginning our road trip around California: get a Pink's Hot Dog, and get a good picture of the Hollywood sign. Scott was totally grossed out when we went to Pink's at 10 am to get hot dogs. He loves hot dogs, but apparently the smell of them makes him nauseous at 10 in the morning.

I had heard that Hollywood Lake was the best place to go for pictures of the Hollywood sign, so we made our way towards it. We apparently took a wrong turn somewhere and ended up in this neighborhood that had amazing views of the sign. I'm pretty sure we were probably not supposed to be on those roads, but we got great pictures.

On our way to Oakhurst, which is a town right outside of Yosemite where we were staying that night, we went to Sequoia National Park. Let me advise anyone who gets motion sickness that they should probably not go to either Sequoia or Yosemite national parks. The roads were so twisty, and a bit scary in some places. Fortunately, no one in my family gets car sick, so it wasn't a problem (and Scott's nausea was gone by this point). The sequoia trees were pretty amazing - I've just never seen such big trees! We decided to go see General Sherman, the largest tree in the world (but not the tallest). It required a short hike, but it was worth it. That tree was just crazy big.

The rest of the day was spent driving towards Oakhurst. We arrived at the Oakhurst Lodge relatively late that night - maybe 9 or 10. That was about it for Day 5.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Day 4

The most exciting thing happened this weekend: I finished my scrapbook for my Europe Trip! This is such a huge accomplishment for me. My trip was 4 years ago, and I kept putting off doing a scrapbook. I just simply did not have time to do it, but I kept saying that one day I would get around to it. Well I finally did, and it took me about a month to do it. I thoroughly enjoyed doing it, too, because I got to relive the entire trip all over again. Reading through my travel journal, and remembering all the little details was just a lot of fun. What an amazing trip it was.

So I haven't forgotten about writing about California - I just took a break over the weekend, and then yesterday I was in meetings from 9 am to 6 pm. By the time I got home, the only thing I wanted to do was veg out on the couch. So here we go, Day 4.

Day 4 - Los Angeles

On Day 4, Scott and I were quite excited as we would be seeing Mark, Tamara, and Greg. With their crazy work schedules, it was the only day that they could all three be available to hang out. My family woke up early and we made our way to the Farmer's Market. While this may sound strange, the Farmer's Market is actually a hot spot in L.A., especially since the Grove was built a few years ago. We had breakfast there (Bob's Coffee & Doughnuts...YUM) and did a little shopping before heading over to Hollywood & Highland to meet up with our friends. Hollywood & Highland is where the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Graumman's Chinese Theatre, and the Kodak Theatre are located. It's probably the first place most people would go when they visit L.A. for the first time, but we saved it for last. Once our friends arrived, we took a walk down the Walk of Fame to see all the famous names. We stopped at a couple souvenier shops, then headed to Graumman's to see the stars' hands and feet prints (Brad Pitt's was most exciting for me). Then we got tickets for the Movie Star Homes tour.

After a little glitch (five of us bought tickets for the city tour by accident and it was much ado getting the right tickets), and a big decision about whether to take the open-top van or the closed-top, air conditioned van (according to the lady at the ticket counter, there were "lots of trees" and I need not worry about my fair skin and affliction to skin cancer) we were on our way. Let me just say that there were maybe 2 or 3 trees, and the rest was blaring sun. Regardless, I had my sunblock and we had an awesome time. We drove through Beverly Hills and Bel Air and saw a ton of houses. Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox & David Arquette, the Playboy Mansion, and TONS more. I can't even think of them all right now. (This reminds me...on our drive along Mulholland Drive the first night, we passed by The Summit, which is where Britney Spears lives.) We saw Will Smith's real house and the Fresh Prince house, which are both located in Bel Air...this cracks me up. Kelsey Grammer now lives in the Fresh Prince house (see pic).

After the tour, we decided to try to get a good picture of the Hollywood sign, so we went to the Griffith Observatory. That place was so packed, you had to park like 2 miles away from it. So we said forget that, and we went to Santa Monica instead. We went to the pier for a while to look around and take pictures. See pic of Mark, Tamara, and Greg. The sun was quite bright, so Mark made a good effort to keep his eyes open. We went to dinner at a nice Italian restaurant that Greg suggested. After dinner, we went to the Promenade, which is a bunch of shops along a cute street. Most stores were closing, but they had street performers, music, etc. It was a lot of fun. After that, we decided to head back home, and unfortunately had to say goodbye to our friends. I wish we'd had more time with them. Overall, it was probably the best day in L.A.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Day 3

I fell asleep early last night, finally, and felt good when I woke up this morning. So I must have gotten my body re-adjusted to the time. We finally went grocery shopping last night – we’ve been without food ever since we got back. So that’s a relief.

I went to the gym on Tuesday. I was supposed to go Monday, and I slacked off and didn’t go until Tuesday. It was SO HARD. Oh my goodness, I thought I was going to die. It is not a good idea to take 2 weeks off from going to the gym. UGH. The gym I go to (Curves) has this thing called Curves Smart – it’s essentially a computerized personal trainer, and it keeps track of your strengths, weaknesses, improvements, etc. You have a key fob that you stick in each machine before you start using it, and it tells you if you need to work harder or slow down. Yellow means you need to work harder, Green means you are right at your target, and flashing green means to slow down a bit. Well, just about every single machine was flashing yellow at me on Tuesday, and I was dying! LOL. I go back again tonight, and hopefully it will not be so bad. We’ll see.

I've recently learned that people are actually reading this blog. Ha! Thanks for reading, and feel free to leave me some comments so I know you were here!

Day 3 – San Diego

On our third day in California, we made plans to take a trip down to San Diego. It was about a 2 hour drive down there. We stopped in Laguna Hills (which I believe is in Orange County) for breakfast at Denny’s. I used to despise Denny’s, but I must say that I was impressed with the quality of food and service. We actually ate at a few Denny’s while on our trip….better than McDonald’s!

When we got to the zoo, we went straight for the double-decker but tour. It takes you all around the park to the most popular animals (with the exception of the polar bears). They advised us to take the Sky-Fari (a skylift) to the back of the park where the polar bears are, and make our way back to the front. We did just that. It was a good thing, too, because the Polar Bears are on top of a huge hill. The skylift takes you directly to the top of the hill. We saw polar bears, panda bears, elephants, giraffes, meerkats (those things are hilarious), and gorillas (we saw more animals than that, but they were the most exciting). The gorillas were so fascinating to watch – they are so human-like! There were two baby gorillas who were trying to get food from the bigger gorillas. They would sneak over and steal the food, then go somewhere else and eat it. A few minutes later, the big gorilla would come and steal it back from the baby. This went on for quite some time.

After we left the zoo, we drove over the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge onto the island of Coronado. It was beautiful there – we found a park right by the bridge where we took pictures and enjoyed the view. We visited the Hotel Del Coronado, which is a historic hotel, then headed back over to San Diego (also gorgeous) to the Seaport Village for dinner and shopping. We had Italian food and ate by the bay as the sun went down. It was great. After dinner, we went to the Gas-Lamp district until we were ready to head back to L.A.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Day 2

I still haven’t adjusted back to east coast time. I am tired all day, it seems, and then awake at night. I’m trying to get in bed at a decent time, but even if I do, I have a hard time waking up in the morning. Hopefully I can get back on track by the weekend.

We may get to see Eric & Shannon this weekend, which I’m quite excited about as we haven’t seen Shannon since she got pregnant. The baby is due at the end of next month, and they will be so busy after the baby comes that we wanted to see them beforehand. Rodger and Sam are visiting next Friday, so we will get to finally see Brayden. He’s already 5 months old! I bet he’s a cutie. Haven’t seen so much as a picture of Ava Lynn – hopefully Rodger & Sam will bring us a picture from Stevie. We shall see.

Day 2 – Los Angeles (4th of July)

Our second day in L.A. started out at Universal Studios. Between the parking lot and the park, there is a long stretch of restaurants and shops called City Walk. Rory and I found a kiosk that was selling all types of hats – he bought a striped black fedora and I bought a turquoise & black plaid newsboy hat. We stopped at some of the gift shops as well, and I was able to find a California magnet – I get a magnet from every new state that I visit (in the shape of the state) and they are not always easy to find, so I was excited to find one so quickly.

Once inside the park, we went straight for the Studio Tour (at Shane’s suggestion). The line was long, but the wait wasn’t. A tip to anyone taking the Studio Tour – get a seat on the left side of the tram! Everything, and I mean everything, was on the left side. Rory had the best seat, so he got the best pictures. It was an awesome tour, though – we saw the sound stages where all kinds of tv shows and movies are filmed, like CSI (sound stage 25) and Heroes (sound stage 27, we think, based on the huge billboard). We also saw the Bates Motel, Wisteria Lane, and the crash site from War of Worlds. And so much more.

After the Studio Tour, we walked around the park, ate lunch, and decided to head out to do something else before our night at the Hollywood Bowl. We ended up driving out to Malibu via the Malibu Canyon. We saw a brush fire up on the side of a big hill that had apparently just started, but was quite big, on our way through the canyon. We know it had recently started, because we passed fire trucks racing to get to it. We drove along the coast in Malibu, but didn’t have time to get out and spend time there. We did make a stop to take a few pictures before heading back toward L.A. via the Topanga Canyon.

By the time we got to Hollywood, people were already parking and walking to the Hollywood Bowl for the night’s show (the 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular). We drove along Hollywood Blvd, parked at a church (we later learned it was the church in Sister Act), and walked to Subway to get subs to take with us to the show. It was a good hike up to the Hollywood Bowl. The show was featuring the LA Dodgers and Randy Neumann. It was fun, the fireworks were great, and we were exhausted again by the time it was over (around 10 pm). So it was back to the hotel after another great day in L.A.

I was able to add some pics.