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Last night I got to do something for the very first time – I got to kiss my husband at midnight as we rang in the new year together.  The beginning of the first full calendar year as a married couple.  And how wonderful it was.  I think it’s fitting that L is the only “real” person I’ve kissed at midnight.  That sounds weird, doesn’t it?  I’m sure there were random people I kissed at midnight – perhaps – but I don’t really remember a lot of those nights.  L is the only one that I kissed that I wanted to kiss.  That I looked forward to kissing.  That ringing in a new year with a kiss with him meant something.  And now he will be the only one I kiss.  Until there are little humans around our home one day and we kiss them, too.

We celebrated with some of my best friends, something we hadn’t done the last two years as we had hung out with a different group of friends.  It was a low key night at a friend’s house, but so fun.  Lots of food, beer, champagne and laughing.  We had lots to celebrate – the first of my close knit friends is expecting twins in July; mine and L’s marriage along with another good friend’s marriage; and E’s engagement – yup, she’s getting married in May.

We’ve come a long way from the days of going out downtown and staying at a hotel.  Nobody got “lost” this year, no one walked 15 minutes from the bar to the hotel barefoot and almost through shattered glass, no one brought any random guys back.  We’ve definitely grown up.  There were babies at the party! (sort of)  There were wedding rings on!  There was talk of buying new cars and new homes and when they planned on “trying”.  It’s amazing to see how we’ve grown.  And how we’ve grown together.  Adding in new members to our circle (husbands and fiances).  It was a wonderful night.

I never make very original resolutions.  Mine are usually the cliche lose weight, get in shape, etc., etc., etc.  This year I’m making goals.  Maybe changing the term will take a little pressure off.  Some are cliche, some aren’t.

1. Lose weight (cliche) 
Last year I had done so well dropping the pounds between January and March for the Cooper River Bride Run.  I lost about 20lbs, but it easily inched back on.  And at our wedding, I wasn’t quite as hefty as I was at the turn of the new year, but I wasn’t as skinny as I wanted to be either.  And since then, I’ve definitely packed them on.  Dear Lord, I have seen numbers on that scale that I have never, EVER seen before.  And I would like to stop seeing them.  The goal is to lose 25lbs by E’s wedding in the middle of May.  When I ring in 2012, I would like to be back at the weight I was when I first did Weight Watchers out of college – that means I have to lose 50lbs.  I hope I can acheive that before next new year’s, but I’m keeping my goals realistic.

2. Improve my time for the CRBR
Last year I ran the race in 1:06:30.  Not too shabby considering I ran a mile for the very first time only 6 months prior.  This year, my goal is two part.  I want to at least run it in 1:03:30 – shave off three minutes.  My ultimate goal, which is a lofty one I know, is to finish in 59:59.  I just want to say I was able to do it in under an hour.  That’s a lot to shave off in three months though – especially since I have to work on my form because I’m running funny on the foot that I cut over the summer.

3. Run a half-marathon
I was hoping to be able to run one this year, but wedding planning kind of got in the way.  I want to be able to run one next fall.  There are some in the late spring that I could try for, but I want to make sure I’m really ready.  L is going to do it with me and we’re going to chose one in a destination so we get a mini-vaca out of it too.  I’m pretty sure I can talk E and LM into it as well.  There are races in Savannah, the Outerbanks and Kiawah Island in October/November that I’m considering.

4. Take better care of my skin
I usually take a shower at night, but when I don’t, I need to be more diligent about taking off my make-up.  Using a better moisturizer and maybe some anti-aging stuff (nothing hardcore).  I hear all those grocery store products actually work, but you should start before the problems actually begin.  I was going to do this around my 26th bday, but never got my act together.

5. Start Couponing
Several of my friends are those crazy couponers that get $100 worth of groceries but only pay $15.  They’ve begun to teach me their ways and now I just need to actually start trying it.

6. Cook more meals
L grew up eating out a lot, so our habit of hardly ever eating at home is nothing out of the ordinary for him.  For awhile, we did good coming up with menus and eating at home all the time.  We need to get back into this, both to save money and to eat better too.  This will hopefully go hand in hand with the couponing.  I hope that we can cut back to eating out only once or twice a week.

7. Do something about grad school
I’ve been toying with the idea of going back to school for quite some time.  For awhile it was for a career change, but now that I know there is a job out there that I like in my field, I want to proceed with getting my master’s.  My alma mater has a pretty good program, but because of my grades from undergrad, it will be difficult for me to get in.  It’s amazing how making a few mistakes your freshman year can affect you for so long.  I think I’ve got a shot, but we’ll see.  I want to at least look into it more, make sure we can afford it, perhaps apply.

8. Walk the puppies more
We FINALLY finished fencing in our backyard so the puppies get to run around a lot and they love it.  But I would still like to walk them more.  It’s hard because they don’t walk very well on a leash, and I think that’s what deters me from it, but they’re never going to learn if we don’t try.

9. Remain dedicated to my husband
L’s schedule can be trying sometimes.  It’s hard for me when he’s away at work and always busy.  I know there are people out there who have it way worse than me – all the military families serving our country – but it’s still hard.  I want us to continue to work to make our relationship and marriage the best it can be.  Because marriage is work, and we’ve got a great one. 

10. Begin researching our family tree
I had to do this once in elementary school and I’m always fascinated by history.  When at the beach for a friend’s bachelorette party this past spring, some of the other girls were talking about how they are very into their geneology and all the different things they have discovered while researching.  I was intrigued.  While watching TV the other day, I saw several commercials for ancestry.com and decided to check it out.  I tried their free trial.  I brought the idea up to L about working on his too and compiling them now that we’re married.  He liked it.  Although a website like ancestry.com isn’t necessary, it definitely  helps.  It’s rather expensive, especially to get the global version which I need more than L since my grandparents came through Ellis Island.  This will obviously a long-term project, but the goal is to get it started.

2010, you have been one hell of a year.  One that I will never, ever forget.  L and I will always celebrate you.  But 2011, watch out, I’m coming at you!

I’m sitting here perusing some blogs and looking for job postings and have the news on in the background.  A story just came on that really irks me.  Soon (I can’t remember when since I was doing too many things at once), US Air will start charging $20 for the first bag checked.

Seriously? 

$20 for ONE checked bag?

Come on, people. 

Oh, and that’s only if you check your bags online – which I didn’t even know you could do.  Anyway, if you check them in at the airport, it’s $5 more.

Ok fine.  You need to charge more because you’re losing money.  But now you’re going to charge more to do it at the airport? 

Sometimes I don’t know if I”m going to check a bag until right before I leave.  It depends on what I can fit into what bags.

Also, with all this charging for bags, it causes havok on the plane and makes the boarding process so much longer because people don’t want to pay the fees and try to shove huge bags in compartments that they don’t fit in.  Or people who can’t manage to lift their bag above them try to and block the aisle and oh my God can’t you just sit down and fasten your seatbelt so we can go???

Perhaps this will go the way of the fees for soda and water.  Since you know, that was dumb too and they went back to it being free.

On a side note, I think all the additional charges are completely absurd anyway.  Don’t tell me that the fuel costs more during Thanksgiving than other times.  Because I don’t think that’s true yet you’re still trying to charge me $600 to fly from NC to NY.  Yeah. Not cool.

Annnd, speaking of crazy ticket prices.  Why were tickets to Cabo $230 last Monday and as of last Tuesday they are $450?  Because, I don’t know, we may have just booked a week long trip to Cabo for next July to celebrate LM’s 30th bday.

Ok.  I’ll end my random tangent.

L and I are headed to Atlanta this weekend to catch the Braves vs. Red Sox series.  This was my gift to him for our two year anniversary back in February.

We’re leaving Friday morning when he gets home from work, dropping the puppies off at camp and hitting the road.  We should get there around lunch time or a little after and will have a few hours to site see, etc. before the game 7:30.  Saturday we’re having lunch with my friend that I grew up with and now lives in Atlanta.  Her family moved to Florida at the end of 7th grade and she got married last year.  I’m very excited to see her and have a chance to get to know her new husband.  We’re hoping to hit up the Georgia Aquarium in addition to the games Saturday and Sunday afternoon. 

We’ll head back Sunday evening and L will pick up the puppies Monday morning.

I have a dilemma though.  I don’t know what to wear to these games!  I mean, I know what to wear to a baseball game, but the temps are going to be in the middle 90s!  I don’t want to sweat even more than I know I will and I also don’t want super funky tanlines.

Friday’s game is at night, so I’ll have no problem wearing my Braves tshirt with shorts or something.  But what about Saturday and Sunday???

Would it be totally inappropriate to wear a sundress to a baseball game?  Nothing fancy.  A cute, casual one.  Kind of like this…

dress

I just don’t want to be “that girl” that looks like she’s trying too hard or doesn’t know how to dress for events.  This isn’t my first baseball game, just the first when it’s almost 100 degrees out in the middle of the day.

I have a spaghetti strap navy tank top that I’m sure I can pair with shorts or a jean skirt or something for one game.

Ugh.  Please help!!!

Moving on…

Here’s my quick weekend recap – we had a fabulous weekend at the beach and the weather was absolutely perfect the entire time.  L got home at 8am Friday, everyone was already at our house and we hit the road immediately.

We unpacked to car quickly when we got there right around lunch time, picked up some beer and sat on the beach till about 6.  And proceeded to drink more than a case of beer.  We definitely showed our age that night as we were all in bed by 11pm.  We had plans to stay at the bar we ate dinner at across from our condo, but we could barely keep our eyes open.  I  blame it on drinking in the sun, not age.

Saturday we were on the beach all. day.  It was amazing.  We ate dinner at a great seafood place in a neighboring town famous for it’s selection of seafood restaurants and then went to our favorite piano bar that night.

Sunday, everyone left around 10, but L and I stayed till Monday afternoon.  We lounged around a bit and I layed out for a few hours.  L nursed a  hangover all day.

Monday was more beach time and we finally headed home around 5:30.  The puppies enjoyed their walk on the beach, but didn’t get as much time to play as normal since there are restrictions as to what times they can be on the beach during the peak season.

group
The group before the piano bar

puppies
Me and the puppies on the balcony

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I wish we had gotten a better picture of the two of us on the beach

I’ve been a little MIA lately.  Sorry about that.  Work was really, insanely, ridiculously busy last week and I just wanted to crawl in a hole and hide there until my co-worker returns from maternity leave (current countdown is at 5 weeks).

So what else has been going on?  Let’s see…

L and I went to the Brad Paisley concert the weekend before last.  It had rained all day, but fortunately tapered off and only sprinkled on and off during the concert.  But it did rain while we waited in line at Will Call – which took us over an hour!  Yes, over an our.  It was beyond ridiculous.  I’ve never had to pick my tickets up at will call when we go to this venue.  We always do the ‘print at home’ option.  But when we bought our tickets (on two separate days), you weren’t able to select that.  Your only choices were will call or to pay another $15 to have them FedExed to you.  Personally, I thought that I was already paying enough fees considering my $25 ticket came to a grand total of $39.  Strangely, my friend who we met inside bought her ticket two days before the show and was able to print it.  Grr.  When we finally made it to the ticket window, we were met with one of the rudest people I have ever encountered in my whole life.  Yes, I’m sure she was getting complaints from everyone who got to her window, but there was absolutely no reason for her to act the way she did.

We missed the two opening acts who we actually really wanted to see, but at least we could sort of hear them from the line.  Once inside, the concert was absolutely great and we had a wonderful time (minus the $10 beer).

rain
Trying to look mad about waiting an hour in line – except, I kind of look like a duck

cr
CR and I once we finally made it inside

L has been working on Saturdays lately and I normally take this time to clean the house, etc.  Except I haven’t.  I have been lazy and loving it.  But we still go to the dog park for a few hours and the puppies love it.

When L and I took them recently, they found a HUGE mud puddle as soon as we walked in.  There are always two big mud holes and a few weeks ago we saw a dog roll around in one, but the puppies have only ever run through it very quickly.  Some people get so finicky when their dogs do it.  I, however, think it’s hilarious. 

So they found this mud hole.  And they were jumping and running and romping, and yes, rolling!  A bunch of other dogs saw them and joined in and at first we thought their owners were going to get mad at us for drawing attention to the new swimming area, but no one did.


You can see Shep looking to see if anyone is coming then running back to the mud hole and plopping in it like, “mine! all mine!”

dd
Dixie – post mud hole.  She didn’t even look like herself

Luckily there is a water spicket that has a short hose attached so we were able to rinse them off and they could continue playing.  They had a grand time!

After trying to get him to do it for weeks, maybe months, Shep finally layed down in the puppy swimming pool.  At first he wouldn’t even go in it.  Then he would go in, but would just dig at the bottom.  Finally he laid down and now he loves it.

pool

Dixie still wants nothing to do with it.  Don’t they know they’re water dogs?!

Last Friday, we went to see LM’s new house and go out for drinks.  It’s a cute place and much closer to us than I thought when I looked at google maps.  We had a good time.  It was fun to hang out with everyone and we stayed up till 2:30.  Which frankly, is a really late night for all of us these days.

There was more dog park and more lounging around.  I watched 5 hours of Gilmore Girls reruns on Saturday.  I told you, I’ve been lazy.  But now it’s back to reality.

We’re going to the beach this weekend.  For a LONG weekend.  We’re leaving Friday morning and coming back Monday evening.  Oh.  And people are coming with us!  L and I, CR and her husband, LM, E, A is flying in from California and A’s college roommate who we’re all friendly with.  I’m very excited.

But since everyone is meeting at our house before we leave, I need to make up for the past 2-3 weeks that I haven’t cleaned.  That is on schedule for tonight.  Last night, I spent 4 hours folding laundry.  We’ve had a really bad habit of just dumping the clean laundry in one of the spare bedrooms.  First it was just one laundry basket.  Then two.  Then we just kept piling on top of that.  Every time you wanted soemthing to wear you had to to through this massive pile.  And it’s been there for awhile.  Because I found sweaters at the bottom.   Yikes. 

Anyway, everything is folded.  Even all of L’s 4 million fire department tshirts.  And everything is put away except for the stuff that goes on hangers, but really, that’s the easier part.  It’s nice to actually be able to see the floor in that room again.

I’ve already created my packing list, so that I can pack tomorrow night, and then I will pack up L’s truck tomorrow night as well.  We’ve decided to take his truck down, even though my car gets way better gas mileage, so that we don’t have to cram stuff in and so we can bring the cornhole too.  He has to work Thursday, so we’ll switch cars that day, I’ll pack his car that night and we’ll be ready.

A’s flight gets in at 6am on Friday.  E and A’s old roomie (J) will pick her up at the airport and everyone will come directly to our house where we will patiently wait for L to get home.

He’s going to ask one of the guys who relieves him at work if they could come a little early so he can be home by 8.  He’ll park my car in the garage, jump in the truck and we’ll be hitting the road.

I am so ready for a vacation.  Especially to the beach.  I have been dying to go and we haven’t been since March.  Better yet, I checked the weather yesterday and (knock on wood) it’s supposed to be perfect!

A  nice little treat to go with this… everyone is going back Sunday afternoon except us.  So we still get some time to enjoy a vacation by ourselves (and the puppies too!).

I think that pretty much covers things.  This is probably the most random and incoherent post ever.  My apologies. 🙂

Per the usual, I am very unhappy that it is Monday.  However, I had a very enjoyable weekend and once again the two head honchos are not in the office.

It’s been awhile, so here’s just a quick recap. 

After all that talk about the Steeplechase, I of course am going to share photos!  It was such a pretty day out, but quite hot.  I think it got to be about 90.  But our tailgating spot was literally 20 feet from a huge tree so we sought out the shade often.  Gates opened at 10 and we got there just a few minutes after.  My other friend and her group were already there. 

On the website it said that there was a tailgate decorating contest.  I just didn’t think much about it because I figured the people who did that were the ones who took advantage of the “approved florist and caterer” for the event.  I did want to get a tablecloth for the plastic table we borrowed though.  I was planning on getting one of those disposable plastic ones from the dollar store, but as I walked through Walmart, I saw these pretty pink vinyl ones on sale for $2.50, so I grabbed them.  They were perfect.  I still went to the dollar store where they were having “luau central” and picked up some straws with tropical umbrellas, pink and green table weights and a couple other colorful things.  After talking with LM, she went and got some small blow up palm trees – our theme was a luau. haha.  I have to say, it wasn’t like some of the all out tailgates, but it was pretty. 🙂

We walked the course with the jockeys, but unfortunately you c ouldn’t hear what they were saying.  But regardless, it was cool to walk on the course.  Then we watched some tiny terrier races and headed back to our spot.  We drank and ate and played cornhole, flip cup and beer pong.  It was a great day, but it went by so. fast.  Seriously.  L said to me at one point that it was 3 and there was only one more race.  I couldn’t believe it, it really felt like it was only 12.

driving-over-track
Driving over the track on the way in

spots
Our two tailgating spots

girls
CR, LM and I by the track

jockeys
Being introduced to the Jockeys who would be leading the tour of the track

on-the-track
On the track

walking-track
Walking on the track

terrier
Tiny terrier races

l-and-lm
L and LM watching the terriers race

walking-hounds
They start the races with the Walking of the Hounds

horses
Gooo!

jump
Jumping

jump2
Different kind of jump – they hit it really hard with their legs, I guess that’s why it was padded

l-and-i

closeup

me

 

posed
I must admit that this was posed.  We saw three girls standing around earlier and it looked so cute that we wanted a picture of us like that.

I convinced L to call in sick the next day, not because either of us was hung over, but just to spend the day with him.  He finally caved and did it and that made me happy.  We ran some errands that day and took the puppies to the park.  We still have not gotten around to painting the final room in the living room or any of the bedroom.  I just wasn’t into it even though it was my idea.

L worked this past Friday and when I got home from work I was a very busy bee.  I did not sit down once until 9pm – and that’s when I decided it was a good time for dinner too.  I started off by vacuuming out my car because it was FILLED with puppy dog fur.  That literally took me an hour and a half which is crazy.  I have a small car, people.  But now it’s nice and clean and so much better.  I then cleaned the whole house so that I could enjoy it being clean this weekend since L had both Saturday and Sunday off.  I was planning on taping off the bedroom so we could paint, but by the time I got to that, it was 9:30 and I was not starting that project then.  The room not being taped is one of the reasons it didn’t get painted this weekend.

We ran a bunch of errands on Saturday and took the puppies to the park.  L is looking at putting hard wood floors in our house and tile in the kitchen and new counter tops.  Not all at once, of course.  Just looking to see what we can do now and what needs to wait.  We’ve also been looking at these two houses in a neighborhood around the corner.  I would KILL to live in this neighborhood.  We may actually go look at them on Saturday.  But go into it telling the agent that we’re just looking to see if we really like them as much as we do on the internet and we’re not ready to go forward with anything yet.  This is basically the only neighborhood we’re looking at right now.  I don’t know if anything will happen or if I’m just getting my hopes up for nothing, but we’ll see.  The houses are gorgeous.  I really have to stop saying, well if we got house A, I would put these plants on the deck.  Because really?  I can’t do that to myself.  We’ll see.  Maybe it will work out.  Maybe it won’t.

We went to get his sister’s graduation gift.  We (I) decided on the Elsa Peretti Open Heart Crystal Box from Tiffany’s.  It’s even nicer, and bigger, in person. 

elsa-peretti-crystal-heart-box

And as it turns out, I am invited to the graduation.  There ceremonies are not ticketed, but we do have to bring our own lawn chair.  WTF?  Apparently, there is an amphitheater on campus and that’s where it is held.  Ok.  But, I’ve been to outdoor graduations before where they provide folding chairs.  Whatever.  Also, L put his foot down and told his mom that we were bringing the puppies.  It’s only for one night, so I can’t imagine it will be bad.  Apparenlty, she just accepted it.

The Volunteer department that L works with in town is moving into the newly built station this coming weekend, so before we head up to his parent’s house, I think we’re helping them move some stuff over that day.  And hopefully we’ll be able to make time to take the puppies to the park that day too to wear them out before the road trip.

Other than that, nothing too new going on.  Here’s a couple pictures of the puppies that I randomly took the other night.  Happy Monday.

cuddling
Shep cuddling with L

dixie
Dixie and Shep

kisses
Dixie giving kisses

shep
Shep

no-mor-epics
Ugh. No more pictures, please.

wrestling
Wrestling… what they do best.

Hello dear readers.  Sorry I’ve been gone so long.  Work has been ridiculously crazy.  This stupid project that has been assigned to me is quite large.  With weekly deadlines I’ve been scrambling to meet.  Luckily, only a couple more weeks and it will be done!

So, I need to update you on life.  But, it’s been awhile.  I’m thinking bullet points.  Ok?  Ok.

– When I last left you, I was getting ready for my four hour interview and had nothing to wear.  I stopped off at the mall on the way home and found a suit right off the bat at Ann Taylor Loft.  It was way more than I wanted to pay, but bought it anyway in hopes of finding something else at a different store and returning it later.  I was in luck, I found one for half the price later that night at NY & Co.  But I really loved the black.  When I got home and was trying it on again, I noticed the blacks of the jacket and pants (woo hoo!  pants that were long enough) were different.  I hadn’t noticed it in the dressing room because I didn’t try them on together.  I was originally going to buy the skirt (which matched), but then found the pants in my size.  Even L said he noticed a difference.  So I put on the other suit.  And the pants kept sagging down bc they were too big in the waist (but a smaller size was too small in the legs).  I didn’t know what to do and was not happy with either option.  So I dug out all my old suits that I knew didn’t fit.  One almost fit, but the skirt was just a tad too tight.  L sat with me in the bedroom the whole time trying to help  me.  Which I thought was really cute.  Especially since if you ask if somethign looks ok together  his usual response is “I’m the wrong person to ask.”  I finally decided on the less expensive NY & Co. suit and I cut a hair tie and half and tied it through two belt loops to fix the waist problem (I do this a lot).

-The inteview itself went well and it didn’t feel anything like four hours.  I met with seven different people.  All were very nice – except the HR lady who was a bitch.  I got a tour of campus, etc.  The man who I would be working with seemed really impressed with the questions I asked and I was happy.  The money issue though.  The HR lady made some disapproving face when I told her the figure I wanted.  The benefits are good except for health insurance which is kind of expensive.  $22/week for an indiviudal and copays are not fabulous either.  They said they would let me know either way by the middle to end of last week.  I still haven’t heard back.  I think I’m going to send a follow-up email this week.

-That Saturday, we went to a cookout at L’s volunteer station and had a great time.  That week had been so cold (with snow and everything), but Saturday was perfect.  Sunny and about 65.  We had a great time.

-Saturday night L and I went to dinner with CR and her husband at PF Changs.  We hadn’t seen each other since before Christmas and we ended up staying at the restaurant for about 2 1/2 hours.  It was great to catch up.  I always love going out with them.  I wish we lived closer so we could do it more often.

-Sunday was nothing special, but I did get together for dinner with LM, E and our other friend K.  We rarely see K anymore, and frankly, I rarely see E either since I moved out.  We were only there for an hour and then parted ways.  Hmm.  Not very long considering it had been ages since we had dinner together.

february-7-8-2009-021
At the dog park

-We also took the puppies to a new dog park we found.  It was another gorgeous day – 75.  In February!  And the puppies had a blast!  This place is great, and it’s soooo big.

-Last week was hellacious at work with the damn project and another client meeting I had.  It was lovely to go out for happy hour with some colleagues on Tuesday though.  We sat for a couple hours as we all bitched and forecasted the demise of the company.  Very refreshing actually.

-L and I had a low key Valentine’s Day.  I don’t think it’s a very big deal for him (or for a lot of people) since he’s always been with someone.  But until I met him, I was always the depressed lonely girl by herself on Valentine’s Day because all my friends were out with their boyfriends.  So, to me, it is a big deal.  He came home from work that morning and came in with a card, roses and a box of hershey’s kisses.  And he said Happy Valentine’s day in the cutest, most perfect way.  I can’t describe it.  The whole moment, whether it was Vday or not, was just perfect.  His plan was to cook me dinner later that night.  Baked ziti, because that was the first dinner he ever made for me.  We didn’t do much that day, just hung around, took the puppies for a walk and started catching up on the million shows we had saved on the DVR.  Before we knew it, we were sitting in the dark and it had gotten late.  He never had the opportunity to go to the store for dinner stuff since we were too busy laying together on the couch, so instead…

He took me to a bar.  For Valentine’s Day.

Actually, it had been my idea earlier in the day to go out for a couple of beers after dinner.  And since it was getting too late for dinner, we thought we might as well just eat at the bar.  The conversation went like this: L: (half joking) we could just eat at the bar. Me: that’s fine with me! L: No!  I’m not taking you to a bar for Valentine’s Day! Me: Why not?  We’re going over there any way.  Plus, you know that one sandwich they have is one of my favorites.

I didn’t care if it was a fancy meal or not.  I just wanted to be with him.  And actually, we had a really great time.  I thought it was perfect.  He did say a couple of times while we were there, I can’t believe I took you to a bar for Valentine’s Day.  It just really didn’t matter to me.  I was with him and we had a good time.  It had been awhile since just me and him went out for drinks too.

Oh, one other thing.  I opened his card and started to laugh.  “At least your consistent,” I said.  It was the exact same card he got me last year.  It’s got these two bears on it and the boy bear is saying how much better the girl bear is than him – how she is his ‘better half.’  And on the inside it says that he is the lucky one of the two though.  He felt bad, but I thought it was kind of cute.  He kept saying that it wasn’t even the first card he picked up and that he would get me another  one and I could tell he really felt bad about it.  But I just didn’t see any reason for him to feel bad.  1-it’s a cute card. 2-I guess it just means that’s how he really feels 🙂  Instead, I requested that I get the same one next year too.  flowers

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Valentine’s Day – I love that we look like Delta Zeta 🙂

-Sunday was our two year anniversary!  Wow, how time flies!  I had been dying to give him his gift which I bought in November.  I got him two tickets to each of the Braves/Red Sox series in June.  I also took care of the puppies’ boarding, parking for the games and the hotel.  We’ll be staying at the Ritz-Carlton.  Yes, that’s right.  The Ritz.  When I had been looking up hotels, for some reason it was only $10 more than any of the other hotels I would have chosen.  And really.  It’s probably the only time I’ll ever stay in a Ritz-Carlton.  I am quite excited.  He loved the gift and was really surprised.  And I’m glad.  He’s been dying to find out because I told him he had to take off a Sunday in June but wouldn’t tell him why.  He puts his vaca in at the beginning of December for the whole year, so he’s had quite the wait!

He told me he didn’t have anything for me to open.  That it was just a present he would tell me about.  But then he gave me the laptop and told me to open it.  On the screen, this link had been pulled up.  Holy crap, I was SO. FREAKIN. EXCITED.  I have wanted to go there for so long.  He hasn’t picked out the hotel or anything yet, but has two weekends that he thinks would work.  He wants my help planning what we’ll do though.  Which is fine.  Because we’ve already found a haunted pub crawl.  I told him that he has to pick the weekend and the hotel and the rest we can do together.

I just hope that he does it soon and doesn’t leave it to the last minute.  Because then I would be sad.  It just wouldn’t feel the same.  Kind of like  how I felt when this took so long last year.  I don’t want to nag him about it, but I want to be able to write it in my planner and also have actual dates to work with.  And a central point to work off of when we’re looking at stuff to do.

That afternoon we took the puppies to the dog park again and they were pooped for the rest of the day!  I think they really love it there – I’m so glad we found it for them.

L took me to Firebird’s Steak House for dinner which was quite tasty.  And that was our night. 

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Flowers for our anniversary.  L is a smart boy.  He knows red roses are only for Valentine’s Day and any other occasion should be pink. 🙂

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Waiting for our table

sheep-dog
I wanted to take this sheep dog home.  L says we don’t have room for a dog that size – but I don’t think it was even full grown.  It is soo cute!

-Yesterday was crazy at work again as it was one of my deadlines.  I continued to work on it all day and didn’t finish.  So I took it home and worked on it again from about 6:30 – 10.  Then I came in at abour 7:40 today and worked on it till 9 when I had to go to a meeting.  Then finally finished it between 11 and 12:30.  It would have been done before my meeting, but I was having serious technical problems with one of the programs I was using.  Luckily, my next one isn’t due until the 27th!

-Oh, and my birthday is Friday!  We get our birthday off, so I have a 3 day weekend – woohoo!  And L is off the entire time. 🙂

Alright.  So now we’re all caught up.  And hopefully I can stay on track now!

 

I had a really great surprise this weekend, all thanks to L.  I had passed on an invite to a piano bar for a friend of a friend’s birthday on Friday night.  I’m really trying to save money, plus it was probably like an hour and a half from my house and I wouldn’t be able to go home between work and going out.

Instead, I came home, did some stuff around the house and hung out with the puppy dogs since L was at work.  I was talking to him some time that evening when he asked me for the 9 millionth time if we had any plans the next night.  When I told him no, he said ‘ok, do you want to know what your surprise is?’

A surprise?!?!?  Heck yeah.

He was going to take me to go see RENT Saturday night.  This was one of the sweetest, most perfect things he could have done.

“I know it’s not flowers, but I hope you like it…”

Back in December I had made tentative plans with E and LM to get tickets and go (after L and I saw the filmed version of the last B’way performance, I didn’t think he would want to go again).  We never got tickets though.  Two weeks ago E texted me and asked if we were still going, if not, she was going to go to the circus.

I wanted to go, but frankly just didn’t have the money to spend on the ticket.  I’m really trying hard to cut my spending as part of my New Year’s resolutions and am doing pretty good.  As much as I wanted to see it, I’ve already seen it 12 or 13 other times, so I guess I could forego it.

When I told L that we weren’t going anymore he offered to buy my ticket for me.  I told him no, but thank you, and it didn’t matter because the travelling cast is never as good anyway.

Which, is kind of true.  Except this time.  Because Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal – the two original actors who played the main characters were touring.  I’d never seen either one of them and was really excited.  But we weren’t going anymore and that was that.

L said he was going to wait until Saturday night to tell me, but he wanted to make sure that I really did want to go.  He had a feeling that my excuse of not wanting to see the travelling cast was just a lie.  He was right.  He knows me too well.

So we went.  And it was great.  They did change one part with respect to how a few of the lines in a scene were delivered, but other than that, it was great.  L said he enjoyed it, and enjoyed it much better than the last time when he had no idea what was going to happen next.  I think I still saw him cringe when Angel came out in her drag the first time though. 🙂

Sunday wasn’t too exciting either.  I cleaned the house and painted some trim in the living room and hallway and then had the Super Bowl on in the background and only watched the commercials.

L called (he was working again) to tell me that the woman in the Careerbuilder ad who pulled into the parking lot and then started screaming because she hated her job reminded him of me.  It reminded me of me too. 🙂

And now it’s back to the grind.  I’m really nervous about my interview Thursday.  But I am looking forward to the fact that L has off every Saturday and Sunday for the rest of the month.  I’m going to get spoiled.

The weekend was nothing special, but nice all the same.  And it began early. 🙂  But not for an exciting reason. 😦

I took a half day on Friday in order to attend the funeral of one of my sorority sisters.  She passed away at the age of 22 after a year and a half long battle with Ewing’s Sarcoma and Leukemia.

I didn’t know her very well at all.  In fact, she came through after I graduated.  I did know her in passing through work I did with LM as an assistant advisor for awhile though, and it was important to me to support all of the other sisters as well.  I met up with LM, E, their other sister and KO and we car pooled to the funeral home.  The room was packed and an entire half side of the room was filled with sorority sisters.  I had a  minor panick attack when I swear L’s ex-girlfriend walked in.  I don’t know why she would be there and the guy she was with didn’t look like her boyfriend, and she had a ring on, but I swear, if it wasn’t her, she has an identical twin.  Once I got over that, we took a seat. 

The service was nice.  At the end all of the sisters stood up and walked to the front of the room.  The four of us joined as well.  Since we were toward the back of the room, we were the last few to join the group at the front.  There wasn’t much space at the front for all of us to congregate, and somehow E and I ended up smack dab in the front center of the group.  We were the last people on Earth who should have been in the middle.  LM and KO managed to duck behind some other girls. 

Nervously glancing at each other out of the corner’s of our eyes, we still didn’t know why we were all up there.  And then someone began to recite out sorority’s creed and then sing one of our songs.  After we returned to our seats, the service was over.

We left and decided to grab a beer before we parted our separate ways.

Friday night was uneventful.  L and I hung out around the house, watched some shows on DVR and then I retired to bed without him while he went on a call with the volunteers.

I had high hopes for Saturday.  We were going to have some of the paint lightened for the hall way and finish painting the living room (well, repainting the walls that the puppies have scuffed or eaten.  Yes, they ate part of a wall – are you surprised?).

But, we didn’t end up getting out of bed until like 2pm.  Yes, 2 pm.  We weren’t sleeping the whole time.  We only slept till about 9:30 or 10.  I had a semi-run in with The Crazy.  Not the real screaming-crying-throwing a tantrum crazy like days of old, but rather the I-don’t-think-I’m-good-enough-and-I’ve-missed-out-on-so-many-important-milestones-in-your-life-that-you-were-able-to-share-with-someone-else-and-oh-my-God-I’m-so-fat-and-she’s-so-much-skinnier-than-I-am-why-do-you-even-want-to-be-with-me? type thing.  I blame it on the fact that I’m 98% sure that I saw her the day before.

This all turned in to, this-will-never-feel-like-my-home-because-I-keep-finding-items-that-were-hers-and-even-if-you’re-not-keeping-them-and-you-didn’t-know-they-were-there-I’m-still-sick-of-finding-her-stuff-and-it-doesn’t-make-me-feel-good.

He says he’ll go through the house tooth and nail to make sure it’s all gone, but I’m not going to hold my breath.  There still a picture hanging up that she’s in (not in prominently, but in it enough for me to know she’s there) – he says he’ll take it down, but it hasn’t happened yet (I haven’t even mentioned to him the picture that is in that same collage frame that has him sitting in front of another picture that has her in it – did you get that?  She’s in a picture in a picture.)  I know all this probably makes me sound crazy,  but it is what it is.

Then it went into a whole moment that had nothing to do with the ex, but how I hate the way I look and no matter how much I try to lose weight, I keep failing, and then that somehow led into the fact that I really and truly hate some of the decisions I made in college and that that wasn’t how my parents raised me and I’m such a horrible person and let so many people walk all over me.

Did I mention I’m getting my period this week?

Once we finally got dressed and headed out, we decided to grab a heavy lunch so we wouldn’t have to get dinner before going to a friend’s house to watch the Panthers playoff game that night.  We decided to go to Outback and use a gift certificate he got for Christmas. 

While there, I kept asking him if he wanted to know what I got him for our 2 year anniversary which is next month.  I bought this back in October/November and am dying to tell him what it is because I think he’ll love it (I’d tell you, but of course he wouldn’t be able not to read the post, so it’s a secret for awhile longer).

He keeps telling me he wants to know, but at the same time he doesn’t.  Whether he wants to know or not, I’m not telling him, I just like to tease him.  He’s dying to know though because I made him use a vacation day for it. 

This conversation eventually led into what I got him for Valentine’s Day and our anniversary last year.  He couldn’t remember what I got him for either day.  I kind of just played it off and he eventually guessed what they were when I gave him some hints, but what he doesn’t know is the fact the he forgot hurt my feelings a lot more than I let on.

For V Day, I got him a set of 3 books on the American Railways.  Nothing big or fabulous, but he claims he liked them a lot, and I saw him looking at them a few times and they are prominantly displayed in the living room.  For our anniversary, I  bought him the country concert mega ticket – that’s why we went to so many concerts over the summer – you buy it at the beginning and it’s tickets to all the country concerts that summer.  When I gave it to him, I made a “sign” with pictures of us from all the concerts the previous year and listed out the new concerts and framed it.  That’s in the living room too.

I put a lot of thought into the gifts I get him.  I don’t just buy him something to buy it or because I’m “supposed” to get him a gift.   I get them because they either mean something or I think he’ll really love them.  And it just kind of sucked that he couldn’t even take a stab at it until I told him he sees them every day… and then I added that they’re in the living room.

Anyway, that night we headed to his friend’s house and watched the Panther’s pathetic excuse for a football game.  We had a good time and socialized and had a few drinks.  And we didn’t leave until about 3am. 

While he was working yesterday, I finally took down all the Christmas decorations and cleaned up the house.  Then I began my new project.  I don’t wear any of my shirts with my sorority letters on them anymore, so I’m cutting them all up and am going to sew them together and make a blanket out of them.  That way, I still have them, but they’re  not taking up space in a drawer somewhere.  I kept one pair to wear if I ever go anywhere as an alum or anything.

And here we are today.  Another Monday.  And the first full week of work since before Christmas.  My boss is out until Thursday, but I’ve got a lot of work to catch up on and not much motivation.  Oy.

One year ago today it was a sunny, crisp Sunday morning.  L and I rolled out of bed pretty early and started loading up his truck and my car with my many, many belongings.  I was moving in with him. 

Wow.  I was moving in with my boyfriend.  This was crazy.  We had been dating 10 months and 1 day.  Before him, I had never even dated anyone seriously.  Actually, I never really dated anyone period.  Unless you count the couple unfortunate flings (read as: they used me and lied to me) that I have managed to push out of my memory.

One night, after we hadn’t been dating that long at all (seriously, it was like 3 months), we were laying in L’s bed before we went to sleep and he asked me what my mom would think if I moved in.  “She would probably think it was pretty weird since we haven’t been together all that long,” I replied.  “Why?”  No reason, he said.  He wasn’t asking me, he was just wondering what she would say since many people have very strong opinions on pre-marital cohabitation.

He asked me once or twice more.  The last of which was when we were on the plane home from Connecticut for the first time after he told me I was the one he wanted to be with for the rest of his life.  Like I said the time before, I have no problem living with my boyfriend before we are married, in fact I want to, but I also want to know that we’ll be getting engaged within 6-8 months.  My reason, I feel like people get too comfortable sometimes, and I don’t want that to happen and us to never get married.

After that, he never asked me again.

Right from the beginning, I have always spent the large majority of my free time with L.  And it wasn’t long before our sleepovers became a regular thing. 

Long story short: things started to get a little rocky between me and E, but they were ok.  One day I got an email from her saying we (her, LM and I) had to talk about the townhouse we lived in and their parent’s owned.  I stopped by that night after work (I was planning to stay at L’s) and talked to LM about it – E was at a grad class.  LM told me I had a month and a half to move out.  Due to a family circumstance, their younger sister would be moving in.

Then I left to go to L’s.  I called my mom crying.  I had no idea what I was going to do, and unlike LM and E’s parents, mine are not in a situation where they are able to help me.

I had no where to go.  I had a pretty sweet deal living with them.  I knew I couldn’t afford anything else.  At least not where I wouldn’t be scared for my life living there.

I got to L’s.  We were standing in the kitchen when he asked me how the conversation went.  I paused, trying to compose myself. 

“[Their younger sister] is moving in.”
And you’re moving out? he asked.

I lost it.  I just kept crying.  He came over and hugged me and held me while I cried.  He pulled away.  You could always move in with [E’s boyfriend].

As I wiped the snot running from my nose, I said no.  That’s weird.

What about [the younger sister’s boyfriend]?

“That’s even weirder.”  And of all people, why would he suggest that I move in with some guy?

He reached toward the counter behind me and picked up something.  He opened his hand in front of me.  In it he was holding a key and a garage door opener.

“Or you could just move in with me.” 

He apparently had a feeling that the conversation was going to lead to me having to move out.

I cried harder.  I didn’t want him to be offering because he felt he had too.  And that was my biggest concern.  He promised he wasn’t.  He wanted to make sure I would be taken care of.  There was more crying the rest of the night.  He kept telling me he didn’t feel like he had to do anything.

I told him I didn’t know.  I was going to look for some apartments anyway.  The next day at work I did just that.  Charlotte has many, umm, diverse areas and I don’t know where they all are.  He knows the city better than me, so I would send him links and asked if he knew the area.

Everyone I sent – all of which I would only be able to afford if I scraped by – he told me I wasn’t allowed to live there.  It was too bad of an area.  All the while he kept telling me there was a nice place available at… and list his home address.

We planned to go to the beach that weekend. He told me we could skip it if I needed to look at apartments.  I wanted to go.  I had to get out of town.  We talked more while we were there.

“If you’re not asking me because you feel like you have to, then why did you stop asking me to move in before this all happened?”

“Because the last time I did, you were so adament about not moving in unless we were getting engaged.  I can’t do that in 6-8 months, but I’m telling you it will happen and I do want you there.  As long as you want to be there.”

I still didn’t say yes, but the way we were talking, my decision was obvious.

Actually, without ever really saying yes, it was just taken for granted.  A few days later I said, “but will you ask me again so we can pretend it wasn’t just because I had to move out?”  He smiled and laughed, “sure.”

And a few days after that, we were sitting in the car waiting to get out of a parking deck after a basketball game and he looked at me and said, “so I was wondering if you would be interested in moving in with me?”

“I would love too!”

And here we are, living in sin one year and two dogs later.  Way more than my 6-8 months, but worth every second.

Overall, I had a really good weekend.  It was nice to be away from work and all of the freaking. drama.  (Although, it has continued today.  And to some extent has gotten worse.  But I won’t bore you with those details.)

Friday, L and I met E and LM and a few other friends downtown for a Bobcats game.  I really couldn’t care less about the NBA.  And especially the Bobcats since they’re pretty shitty.  But it was something different to do.  And it’s always fun to have few beers with friends.  Even if they were $7.50 each.  Plus, the tickets were only $10.  Although, the only thing higher than our seats was the ceiling.  ha.

After the game, we headed to a bar across the street to grab a quick beer and let the traffic die down.  Then we all headed home.

Our plan for the next day was to work on the yard (still haven’t gotten very far on that damn fence) and sand the walls in the living room to paint.  But, umm.  We sort of slept till noon.  Normally I only do this when L is at work.  But, this is not unusual for him to do at all.  Part of the reason was I kind of felt hung over.  But I don’t know why.  I only had 3 beers the entire night before – and they were even spaced out.  All I had for dinner though was some nachos and cheese at the game, so perhaps that had something to do with it.

Anyway, as we were finally managing to drag ourselves out of bed, L went on a call with the volunteers.  And when he got back… we went to lunch.  Then ran some errands.  By the time we got home, it was close to 4.  At this point, I had no desire to work out in the yard.  Come on now, it was going to start getting dark soon.  What was the point of starting?  And I really didn’t want to sand the walls either. 

So instead I suggested we take the puppies to the park.  I felt bad for them.  On Friday, they were in their crates from 7:30 when I left, until 6 when I got home that night.  I let them outside, gave them dinner and then put them back in so I could go meet L and everyone else downtown.  So then they were in there from 6 until about 11.  I hate doing that to them.

To the park we went.  Except Dixie plays way too rough and attacks Shep.  Seriously, she looks like some kind of cheetah going after a giselle that you would see on National Geographic or something.  One time, she took Shep down and they both slid about 10 feet.  Then Shep didn’t really want to get up. 

dixie-attacking
Dixie attacking Shep – sorry it’s so blurry

So we held onto Dixie while Shep ran around.  She didn’t like this.  And she pouted.

dixie-pouting
Dixie pouting because she wasn’t allowed to play

Then we took them to separate areas, so they could both run around but she wouldn’t bother him. 

Later that night, because L is a night owl, we began measuring the wall between the living room and kitchen.  We’re going to cut part of it out to make the layout more open.  Oh what a project that was.  Figuring out how to make it center or look right in both the kitchen and the living room.

We have two many projects inprogress for my liking. 

The fence
Painting the living room (and all the prep that goes with it)
Painting the bedroom
Taking out part of the wall

I just want one thing DONE.  In time, I suppose.

Sunday, L was working and I worked around the house.  Finshed sanding the walls and cleaned the dust up as best as I could.  Our plan is to finish taping tonight and hopefully start painting tomorrow.

And now I’m back at work.  I would rather be sanding and turning my hair white from all the dust.

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Me and Shep

Saturday, L and I headed up to the NC Transportation Museum for him to have his birthday present.  Our plan, well, my plan was to try and get there about and hour and a half or two hours early so we could walk around the site and visit the many museum buildings.  It is the former Southern Railway Company’s largest steam locomotive servicing facility and most of the buildings have been filled with information and exhibits on mostly trains and railways, but also cars, planes, etc.


Train L got his initial training on

Well, we actually only got there about 30-40 minutes early and only walked into one building.  We did get to go into another building which housed the shops where trains were worked on.  Here, L got into one of the old locomotives and one of the men with the program showed him how it worked.  He explained that driving a train is actually a lot harder and a lot more work than most people think.  And that actually, it can be quite stressful. 


Getting a feel for things

I think something that not only helped L get the hang of it, but also helped the two instructors feel a little less stress is that L has some knowledge of how the trains operate – so it’s not like he learning from an absolute blank slate.

Once he got his overview for about 15 minutes, we got a tour of some of the other locomotives that were in the adjoining bays.  We then headed outside so L could fill out some paperwork and get his engineer’s hat. 🙂  Anyone can go to the museum and ride the train around the 57-acre site, so we had to wait for the last train ride to come back and unload before L could start.

Once the train came, they disconnected the cars and L hopped in to begin.  He drove around for awhile with just the instructors, and then I was allowed to get in the cab and ride around the site with them.  They don’t let guests on at first so that no one makes them nervous. 


Climbing into the locomotive with his two instructos not far behind

When I climbed into the cab, I asked him if he was having fun, and I got a huge smile and enthusiastic “YES!”.  I was so glad.  Leading up to Saturday, he was telling me how excited he was and I’m glad that he enjoyed it.


He looks like he belongs in that seat

In my opinion, he was a complete natural.  As I watched him pull away for the first time, I wasn’t sure if he was driving or if one of the instructors drove first to show him how it worked.  Afterwards I asked, and sure enough, it was him the entire time.  Even when I was riding, I wouldn’t have known he had never driven a train before.


PS – the black train you see me pan to before we get to the buildings at the beginning was used in George Clooney’s movie Leatherheads.  The entire movie was filmed in the area and down in SC.  Some of the other buildings at the museum were shown in the movie too.

They practiced “cuppling” which is when you hook up to another car.  This is apparently pretty hard.  He didn’t actually hook up to another car, but they pretended.  As we were leaving one of the instructors, who is the head train master at the museum, said that L did very well, and that cuppling is often most people’s downfall, but L nailed it three times in a row.

He told them how much fun he had and the entire rest of the day he talked about it non-stop.  I’m sooo glad that he enjoyed it.  Now, my ony problem is is that I don’t know how I can ever top this gift!

Another plus was that it was an absolutely gorgeous day.  Perfectly clear skies, sunny, the leaves were turning and about 70 degrees out.  The whole thing turned out perfctly.  The instructors were very knowledgable and informative and he got to drive around a lot. 

*If I can ever get my damn videos to load correctly into YouTube, I’ll add one.

In other weekend news…

I actually ended up going out Friday night.  LM talked me into it.  I donned my purple and black striped tights and back witch’s hat with purple feathers I had from Halloween last year and threw on a black dress I wore for New Year’s last year.  The bar we were planning on going to you needed tickets for and they were sold out when we got there.  So we went to a bar next door.  It was only $10 to get in, so less than the other place.  We each grabbed a beer and were waiting for LM’s friend.  She soon texted us and let us know her brother who worked at the first bar could get us all in for free.  So we headed over there.  Her brother got us all a round of shots and beers on the house.  It was fun, but I was ready to go about an hour before we left.  It was a Vegas-like dance club, but I really prefer a relaxed bar where you can sit and grab a drink – but it was something different, and it didn’t end up costing that much.

Saturday, L was going to early voting and I decided to meet him there.  It opened at 9, he got there around 8:15 (just stopped on his way home from work) and I got there around 8:45.  I was out around 9:25, so it wasn’t all that bad.  Although, we did have to wait outside and it was freeezing.  I’m glad I did it though, I’m sure Tuesday’s lines are going to be crazy.  People have waited up to 5 hours for early voting around here.  Seriously, who has time for that?

We hung out at home for awhile before we headed up to the museum.  On the way home, we went through SC again to fill up my car.  And oh boy… I thought I got a steal the other day for $2.21.  Yesterday?  Yesterday, it was $2.09!!!  Woohoo.

The puppies have moved on from my Rainbows.  Saturday they chose L’s sunglasses.  Oakleys for $185 I think.

[insert sunglasses pic]

We don’t really have much in the way of holiday decorations, so I figured we’d skimp this year and I would get stuff for next year when it’s all on sale.  I went to a few different stores yesterday and got some really great deals on Halloween and fall stuff. 

L is going back up to his parent’s house today and will be getting the paint for the living room and bedroom.  I’m glad we’re finally going to do it, plus, it will be nice when we can pull the blue painter’s tape off the wall that has been there for like 2 months.

Oh, I meant to share this with you the other day.  I cried when I read this article, it’s so sad.

All in all, it was a nice weekend, and the extra hour of sleep was nice too!  I’ve been so tired lately, so maybe it helped.  The other night L’s pager went off and I had no idea.  I didn’t feel so bad though, because he slept through it too!  Yikes.  Good thing he wasn’t on call.  Seriously, I don’t know how we could sleep through the noise though.

I’ve been really busy at work this week, hence my lack of posting, but I’m not really sure why.  I feel like I haven’t gotten anything huge taken care of, yet, it’s been busy, busy, busy.  I have found time,  however, to take care of some personal things.  Per the usual.  For instance, I have purchased the gift I’m giving L for our 2 year anniversary.  Which is in February. 🙂  I like to plan ahead.  And what is even more exciting is that I had this idea several months ago, but I didn’t think I was going to make it work.  And now I have.  It’s WAY more money than I was planning to spend, and way more than last year’s gift which wasn’t cheap either – but I think it’s really worth it and that he’ll really love it, so to me, that’s what matters – not the price tag.  I would tell you what it is, but even if I warn him not to read this post, he’ll tell me he’s not sure he’ll be able to stay away and then I’ll have to set it to private and then what’s the point?  Check back on February 16, the day after our anniversary.

So, I already posted today, and normally I don’t post twice in one day, but I’ve had these little bullets I wanted to share, but I also had already started the draft of the last post so I decided to just make two.

– Last night I made sugar cookies.  I was going to bring some to work and send some to work with L.  My mom always makes these amazing cookies and decorates them so nice for holidays, parties, etc.  So I decided to try.  They came out pretty good, except I rolled the dough a little too thin so they are crunchier than my mom’s.  But they’re not burnt, so that’s a plus.  Sprinkles and stuff are expensive, so they look kind of plain.  We made (well, I made the dough and cut out, L put in the oven and helped ice) pumpkins and ghosts.  But I didn’t have any of the “whitener” to put into the recipe for glaze my mom gave me which is naturally a tan color bc it has vanilla in it – so we had orange ghosts too.  But damnit, I left mine on the counter when I left this morning.  I could really go for one too, I need a snack!

– L and I went pumpkin picking and were going to carve it (until it started to rot for no apparent reason 😦 ) and I got some mums to put on the front steps, but other than that, i haven’t been too into Halloween this year.  I don’t know why.  I’ve never been one of those people that is SUPER excited for it every year (as an adult that is, I totally was one of those kids though), but I usually dress up and go out or something.  But this year?  Eh, I just don’t care.  LM is going downtown to a bar and dressing up.  But I just don’t know if I feel like paying the $15 to get in, plus the really expensive drinks.  I might just stay home and give out candy.  Is that lame?  Especially since it’s a Friday?

-Speaking of giving out candy… I’m almost afraid to be there alone when I do tonight (L is working).  Like I’m afraid someone is going to come to the door as the Trick or Treaters begin to taper off and rob me or something.  I have issues being at home by myself at night normally though.  I’m such a baby sometimes.  I think tonight is fueled by the fact that a few months ago, there was a string of robberies not all that far from where we live where the intruders would knock on your door.  But I guess I can just turn the light out when the kids are getting less and less.  Plus, the dogs always bark, so that at least sounds good – even if they are wagging their tails.

-I had dinner with CR the other night.  It had been awhile since I had seen her – actually, since we went to the beach in the beginning of August.  We sat and talked for like 3 hours.  It was great.  I know that she will always be one of my very best friends that I can talk to about anything, even if we don’t get to see each other all that often.

-On the way home from dinner, I needed to get gas.  My gas light actually went on when I was pulling out of the parking lot and I was about 30 minutes from home.  I figured I would stop when I got off my exit and just get enough to get me to work the next day (since there’s a gas station by my office that is generally less expensive than every where else).  But as I’m getting closer, I realize I should get off a different exit that will send me through SC where gas is always cheaper.  Gas around here is about 2.65 or so (for regular).  I was hoping I could get it for like 2.50 or so in SC.  As I pull up to the first gas station, I squinted at the board with the prices.  That can’t be true!  Oh yes.  I saw two “2”s in a row! $2.21 a gallon to be exact.  I filled up my very empty car for less than $25!!  Ok, so it was $24.96, but still, that’s less than $25!  I was so excited I called L and even my mom.  Ha, I’m such a dork.  I’m crossing my fingers it doesn’t start going back up after the election like many people are predicting.

-Speaking of the election, I don’t really get this whole early voting thing.  I mean, if you for some reason can’t get to the polls on election day, isn’t that what an absentee ballot is for?  Lines around here have been over an hour and a half long.  I was going to stick it out and just go Tuesday (because I like the experience of going on election day), but then I found out that NC doesn’t have the little booth you go into and push down the lever likein CT.  I think I only voted like that once or twice when we got to use them to vote for student council in high school.  The last election, I was in college so voted as an absentee.  But going into the booth and pulling the thing to close the curtain was always my favorite thing to do when I was little and would go with my mom.  Tomorrow is the last day for early voting here, and I think I’m going to go a few minutes before they open and hope that not too much of a line has formed  yet.  Although, if I wait till Tuesday, maybe I could leave work early.  Tempting.

-I still hate my job.  But there hasn’t been too much new drama.  And I don’t really feel like getting into the other drama I mentioned previously because I don’t want to deal with it anymore.  It came down to me ignoring emails and never responding because I think it’s all bs.

– Tomorrow, L and I are going to the NC Transportation Museum for him to claim his birthday gift.  I got him the Tracks of an Engineer program.  It’s a 45 minute training session and then he gets to drive an antique locomotive around the museum’s grounds for an hour.  He is really excited about it and I am so, so very glad.  He told me it’s a childhood dream come true, and that just makes me melt.  I’m really looking forward to it!

I think that’s about it.  Hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween and a great weekend!

Ever since I moved in (a year ago in December, whoa!) with L, I knew there had to be some redecorating done.  It’s a lot of mix and match, which is fine, but it was time to make it a little more put together.  This is difficult since, really, I am always broke.  But I figured I would do it little by little.  Well, that really doesn’t work for me, because I’m not good at seeing the bigger picture and putting stuff together piece by piece.  I kind of need to do it all at once.

So, first we were going to start off with painting.  All the walls are the standard off-white and I figured some color would warm the place up.  We began this process pretty much right after I moved in.  And it’s still not done.  First, we were having trouble deciding on colors.  And then.  Well, I’m not exactly sure what happened.  We always talked about it, but it never got done.  I think the puppies had something to do with it.  They are kind of expensive.  Especially when they needed $200 worth of shots ever month it seems like until April.

I’m  not sure how we started talking about it seriously again, but we did.  We’ve got some colors picked out and L is going to buy the paint when he goes home to his parent’s house next week.  He used to work for a paint store and is still able to get it for a discount.  I’m talking $13/gallon for high quality paint, people!  So hopefully the living room and bedroom will be done before Christmas.

Maybe we had to put off painting because last February he bought a 42″ LCD TV.  It’s very pretty, but also very expensive.  Anyway.  The living room has one of those TV “holes” above the fireplace.  I hate those because it kind of forces you to put the TV there.  Well, we put ours up there (naturally) and put two shelves underneath it to hold the cable box, xbox, wii, etc.  It looked fine, but the TV was really high.  L kept talking about moving it, but I wasn’t sure what we were going to do.  Finally, the other night, we bought an entertainment unit from Lowe’s and put it against one of the walls and rotated the furniture.  It looks SOOOOOOOO nice.  I LOVE it.  We thought about covering up the tv hole and hanging a picture, but decided to just build shelves into it incase anyone wants to use it as a tv spot when we move.  The unit is a tv stand with two taller bookshelves on either side.  I don’t feel like I’m good at decorating, but I think I did a pretty good job.  Some pictures, some miscellaneous items.  We love it (I’ll take a pic tonight.

L took off two days last week so we could go to his parent’s house and the fair for his birthday.  And what happens when he takes 2 vacation days?  He really gets 9 days off.  WTF?!  When I take two off, the most I can get is 4 (the weekend).  Anway, he didn’t work much at the part time station either, so he was able to get a bunch of stuff done.  Including our fence.  He started clearing trees on August 1.  And, we didn’t get much farther.  But we have now.  We even have some of the wood for the fence sitting in our garage.  Soon, I tell myself.  Soon.

Yesterday I spent the day driving all over the state of North Carolina.  Ok, maybe not the whole state, but I did drive a lot.  I got a new lamp for the end table, three plant stands and a plant to put in an empty corner, this really cool trunk type thing from Home Goods that I put our extra DVDs, VHS tapes and game controllers in, a DVD rack and… I think that’s it.  The room looks so put together and grown up now.  I’m super excited (if you couldn’t tell). 

Now, I have our two old lamps on top of the bookcases of the entertainment unit.  I don’t like them.  So I found these others in Crate and Barrell. 

I love them.  So does L.  But he thinks it’s a bad idea to spend almost $400 on two lamps.  I tell him that a good lamp is totally worth the money and makes such a big difference.  Plus, these would match any kind of furniture we ever have.  Also, it’s not $400 cash.  I have that in gift certificates.  (Before L and I met, I was saving for a bed from there that I really wanted, so I just asked for gift certs for birthdays and Christmases.  Then we met.  Then I moved in.  And now I don’t need that bed.) 

We went to Crate and Barrel Friday night (which closes at 9pm, don’t you think that’s kind of early?) and he loves them in person too.  He thinks it’s better to get 10 things for $400 instead of 2 things.  So we got two hurricane vases for the top of one of the bookcases instead.  He wants to wait and see if maybe the lamps go on sale (which I doubt).  Perhaps they will just magically appear on our doorstep in the next couple weeks.

Saturday we had run some errands and gotten some decorating ideas (most of which I went back and bought yesterday).  Then Saturday  night, we met up with my friend/former roommate, LM, at a wine bar.  She is temporarily living with her parents not too terribly far from us.  Once a week, we all go out to find a new bar to call ours.  There is a wine bar near where her and I used to live that we love.  Mostly outdoor patio seating.  Really laid back.  One of our favorites.  So, we tried this one.  It’s a little more pretentious, not surprising giving its location.  But it was still fun.

L, who is NOT a wine drinker whatsoever, even ordered a glass.  I was so proud of him.  They had a small selection of beer, but he decided to be adventerous.  I don’t remember what he had.  Something whtie.  What he really likes are the dessert wines which taste like liquid sugar to me.  They only sold those by the bottle though – and he wasn’t ready for that kind of challenge.  He said what he had wasn’t bad.  And he even finished the whole glass. 

Here’s the proof:

Note: he’s really not drunk, even though he kinda looks it.  It’s just not a very good picture. He probably won’t be happy that I’m posting it.  Oh well. 🙂

He did say that he needs to learn how to sip, and not gulp 🙂

Tonight we are going to see Savion Glover.  I have no idea how this man manages to tap so quickly, but it’s amazing.  I’m so excited.  Last time he was in town, I had to go by myself because none of my friends were interested.  L and I had just started talking at the time and he offered to go with me so I didn’t have to go alone, but I declined his offer.  This time when I asked if he would like to go, he seemed uninterested.  Now he says he’s excited.  I’m not sure if he really is, or if he was just bothered when I said, “you were just trying to impress me last time and now you don’t care.  I see how it is.”

In anycase, we’re going and I’m looking forward to it.

Oh, you might be wondering what the title of this post has to do with, right?  If you’ve been reading recently, you might be able to guess.  Need help?

The puppies ate another one of my Rainbow sandals.  We’re up to 7 now.  I don’t know who it was.  They  managed to do it in the 10 minutes L was in the shower and I was putting make up on.  I didn’t bother to take a picture, but you could look here, or here, or here or here for similar incidents.

Once again, their cuteness makes it hard to be mad at them.


Shep


Dixie

Can you believe they’ll be a year old on December 13?  It feels like just yesterday we were going to pick them up!

So, I haven’t been writing much and I still don’t know why.  I miss you guys.  Although, I do keep up with all my reading, even if I haven’t been commenting.  Since I do most of my blogging at work (tsk, tsk, I know) and I’ve been so fed up with work lately, I just haven’t bothered.  It’s like whenever I am here, I’m miserable.

But I’m going to try to get back to doing this regularly.  For real this time.  Here’s a quick update from the last month.

  • At the beginning of the month the department that L volunteers/works part-time at had a training fire.  They burned a 30,000 square foot house that otherwise would have been torn down.  He asked me to stop by for a little while if I wanted to.  Before I got there, he called to tell me that I would have to take care of him that night because he burned his ear pretty bad.  Apparently, the fire got bigger and hotter than they had intended and they were actually fighting to save the house for awhile, rather than just doing some training exercises and controlling it as it burned to the ground like normal.  Good thing there were like 3 other departments there training as well.


Part of the house as they were letting it burn to the ground


Nasty blister from the burn – and it got even bigger than this


After it popped – ewwww – glad it’s back to normal these days!

  • After the fire we hung out with a bunch of other people at one of his friend’s houses.  We swam and ate.  It was a lot of fun.  And I’m glad that we’re actually hanging out with his friends now.  I know he says that they’re a lot older than us (most of them in their 30s with kids), but they still have a good time.  I feel a lot better these days that I’m actually meeting these people and they know who I am.  It’s not like he was hiding me from them or anything, we just never did anything socially with them.
  • We went to a Toby Keith concert with some friends.  We got there at like 4 so we could tailgate for longer and cook out.  It was a lot of fun.  Until I went crazy that night (but we’re all good now).


At the concert

  • Shep and Dixie have finally started obedience training.  They are 6 1/2 months old – can you believe it?!  They have gotten so big, but they’re probably only about half of their full-grown size.  They are getting private lessons and the trainer comes to our house.  We practice with them a lot, they’ve only had two sessions (out of 5 or 6) so far, but the trainer said they’re doing very well.  Although, he did mention that he thinks Dixie is going to be a challenge and that Shep is more submissive and already knows that we are the boss.  Haha.  I’m excited that they’re doing well and it’s even kind of fun to work with them.  Pretty soon I’ll be able to take them on walks by myself again.  Right now, they are too strong for me to take both at once on my own. 😦


They had just gotten a bath two weeks before.  Then they decided to dig a hole next to the A/C unit where it was muddy and this is what happened.  Gotta love Carolina red clay!  Shep was dirty too.  They got another bath.  Immediately.  Because I was not letting them in the house like this.


Shep

  • This past weekend was my friend, KO’s, wedding.  She looked absolutely stunning.  They had to cut some extra things out of the ceremony at the last minute because it was outside and a thunderstorm was on it’s way, but everything was beautiful and they are MARRIED!


My friend A, from California, took this picture.  I think it belongs in a bridal magazine!


We danced and had a grand ‘ol time, but there was no liquor at the open bar and no beer that the boys liked – so they spent a lot of time at the hotel bar and every now and then we would go out for a drink, to visit and to pull them in for a dance!

  • And just when I thought wedding season was over.  Tuesday I check my personal email and see that N, one of the FLAVA high school friends sent me a message on Facebook, so I went to read it.  Shadylady that she is chose Facebook to tell me that she just got ENGAGED!  Woohoo!  I’m very excited for her.  So sometime next year, we’ll have another wedding to attend.  She’s the first of my close HS friends to get married.
  • And then I get jealous because I want it to be me.  But I know it will happen, becaue L and I talk about it constantly and the only reason it hasn’t is because he needs to save his money to  buy some sparkly.  I just can’t wait to start my new life with him.
  • We don’t have any big plans for this weekend.  L is working today and Saturday.  Tomorrow is the 4th of July parade in the town we live in and he’ll likely be driving one of the fire trucks which means I will likely be riding along.  I went with him last year and had a good time.  I think I’ll enjoy it more this year that I actually know some people.  Oh and last year, the photographer snapped this totally candid shot of us.  I love it.

         After the parade, one of his friends is having people over for a BBQ, so we’ll go there.  He apparently has $600 worth of fireworks he is going to set off too.  Yikes!  Should be a festive night.

Hope everyone has a safe and Happy 4th of July!  Hopefully we’ll be back to regularly scheduled programming. 🙂

Again, it’s been awhile since I posted.  I’m pretty sure that I am in the middle of a quarter life crisis here and lately, I just haven’t felt like doing anything.  So, for anyone still reading, here’s an update since we last spoke.

Last week was somewhat uneventful.  Work sucks as usual.  I hate my job.  I hate the clients I work on.  I had a meeting with a client who may or may not be bipolar in my opinion.  The meeting was going really well, we were successfully selling him a new internet site.  Then he got up to get more coffee mid-conversation.  That is nothing unusual though.  When he came back, he sat down and starting in on how he doesn’t think he is getting what he pays for in the line of PR.  Which, even though I am the PR/Marketing account manager on his account, PR is my main job.  My boss didn’t seem upset by any of this thank God.  Even when the client threatened to pull the PR budget.

Well, buddy, it’s not my fault you don’t have any hits in the publications.  I can’t do the interview for you, and when you blow off not one, but two interviews in a row.  Well, that’s why you’re not included.  Thanks.

In the end, I think he was trying to test us.  To instill fear in me.  When we left, my boss said, ok, so we’ll reallocate your PR budget.  The client says, well don’t do anything just yet and winked when he shook my hand good bye.

Thursday, we had plans to go to Speed Street, a festival in downtown Charlotte here to entertain all the fans of the Coca Cola 600 that was in town.  They have food, vendors (that give away lots of cool, free stuff) and music.  Good music at that.  Gary Allan was playing Thursday night and L and I were going to go.  But we were having a cookout Saturday and had stuff we needed to get done.  So we skipped it.  I’m still kind of bummed even though I know we never would have got the stuff done if we hadn’t done it then.

Thursday night we painted out beer pong table.  I’ve talked before about the pink and green beer pong table that my old roommates and I had.  But they kept it when I moved out.  L has had his table for awhile.  One of those 8′ plastic banquet type tables.  We take it to all the concerts, etc. and people have signed it.  Well, now he wanted to paint it.  Actually he has wanted to for awhile and this party was his perfect reason.  Now, since it is partly my table too, he let me decorate one half of it.  Naturally, I chose pink and green.  It is pink with a green turtle in the middle.  I actually took a picture of my turtle tattoo that is on the back of my right hip, printed it out, blew it up on the copier and created a stencil from it.  It came out really good. (More pictures to come, my camera died while we were doing all of this).  L’s half is black with a red stripe down the middle.  This is the thin red line which honors fallen firefighters.  He is eventually going to print out pictures of FD patches to put along the edges.  FDs that he has/does work for.  The whole thing actually came out really nice considering it was spray paint on plastic.  We may make a plywood top and repaint it in the same design and attach it to the top of the table so the balls bounce better than they do now.


My tattoo that I made a stencil out of


L painting the red line

Friday, L was working at his part-time job, the firestation in town, and while he was there, he made some touch ups to the table and built Cornhole.  I had never even heard of this game, but last year when we were tailgating at a bunch of concerts, everyone was playing it.  So I decided we needed one.  They were kind of expensive to buy, but I think once we bought all the materials, we probably spent the same amount of money – about $60 or $70.  They are really easy to make (well, if you’re a boy and have a saw).  We painted one black and it will eventually have a gold stripe down the middle for Wake Forest, which L is a fan of.  And the other is green and will eventually have a gold stripe down the middle for UNC Charlotte, my alma mater. 

I took on the task of sewing the bags to throw.  We got canvas from Walmart and i hand sewed – double stitched – all eight of those bags.  Four of which I did at work on Friday.  I held them in my lap and pretended I was reading a paper.  Like I said, I really hate my job right now.  Then I went to Tractor Supply to buy cornfeed to fill them with.  I’ve been to this store before (they sell dog crates and food too) and L always tells me I’m not allowed to talk when we go in.  My Yankee accent and all. (Even though I don’t have an accent.  I’m from CT.)  Well, I went to the store near my office.  By myself.  In clothes I wore the the office.  And heels.  And I bought corn feed.  In a 50lb bag.  Because that’s all they sold it in.  We only need like a pound or two.  Luckily, it was only $10 for the whole bag though.  To my surprise, none of those people offered to carry this 50lb bag for me though.  But I did just fine.

Friday night we painted the cornhole and got everything somewhat together.  We had gone food shopping earlier in the week.

Saturday, I cleaned the house while L cleaned up the yard.  People started coming around 5 or so.  We had a great turnout – about 30 people.  We had hamburgers and hot dogs and lots of sides that people brought.  We played cornhole and beerpong.  Everyone had a good time.  My friends left around 11 or so, while a lot of L’s friends stayed till 12, with the last leaving around 2.  It was the first time we had a party with my friends and his.  It was kind of like a middle school dance though.  They stayed kind of separeated.  Then again, my friends are in their mid-twenties, and even though L is a year younger than me, most of his friends are 30+ and married with kids.  They all work for the fire department.  Go figure.

Sunday, we cleaned up, but didn’t have much to do.  The beauty of the 30+ aged friends.  They clean up after themselves.  While we were picking up the the tables and stuff in the yard, we ended up playing cornhole for like 2 or 3 hours.  Just the two of us.  It was great – my new favorite game.  Then we just chilled the rest of the day and I enjoyed Monday off with the puppies – L had to work during the day.

The rest of this week at work sucked per the usual.  I had to be in at 7:30, instead of 8:30, because we’re doing summer hours.  The good part though, is that I get to leave at noon today.  Woohoo!  Too bad L is working 24 hrs. today.  Oh well.

Yesterday the puppies got fixed.  I dropped them off at the vet at 8 and L picked them up around 4:30.  I was nervous that they were coming home because any other animals I’ve had they kept them overnight, but this vet doesn’t do that.  And apparently, it’s not out of the ordinary.

We kept them in separate crates in separate rooms to try and keep them calm.  But they took care of that on their own last night.  We let them out for awhie and they just kind of sat around.  You could tell Dixie was feeling it more than Shep (obviously, her’s was a little more invasive), but they’re good.  The vet said they did great.  I felt bad though because they had these sad looks like, ‘what did you do to us?’ But obviously, it’s for their own good.  Ours and the population of the animal world too!  As Bob Barker always said, “Spay and neuter your pets!”


“I still love you mom – even if you did do this to me”


They just layed around a lot

 

This morning they had a little more energy and ran down the hall when L came out of the bedroom.  I’m glad that they’ll only be home for a few hours on their own today.

No big plans for this weekend.  We might get together w/E and LM, but nothing crazy.  I need to make plans to go see the Sex & The City movie,  but none of my friends here are as big of fans, so it’s not really a priority.  Although, I’m pretty sure I can talk L into going to see it with me if I promise to go see some “boy movie” with him. 🙂

Next week I’ll update you on the three jobs I’ve applied for.

In the meantime, happy weekend!  And I’ll try to start posting more regularly again.  Maybe it will help get me out of this funk!