Showing posts from 2009

totally unrelated to the holidays

You'd think there would be a nice holiday recap post here, wouldn't you? Especially after I just was doing a little housekeeping by posting my 2009 reads. Nope. While it was a really good holiday and Santa was nice to us all and we were even nicer to each other and there were no tears even though there were multiple family gatherings, I'm going to go in an entirely different direction.

Months ago I bookmarked this. Here's my version of the list--basically horrific things that pop into my head without me wanting them to. And just for the record, no, this doesn't happen terribly often.

That the plane will crash, sometimes from something mechanical and sometimes from gravity and physics just no longer working. That I'm forced to make those frantic, last-minute phone calls to loved ones before we all die.That up ahead? On the other side of that hill? Is a car barreling towards me in the wrong lane.That Chucky is in my room, you know, just at the edge of the bed. (Why…

2009 reads

It's that wrapping-everything-up time again.

19. The Dread Crew: Pirates of the Backwoods
18. March
17. Twelve Sharp
16. Eleven on Top
15. The Reader
14. What No One Tells the Bride
13. Breaking Dawn
12. Eclipse
11. Ireland: Little Known Facts & Well-Known Places
10. New Moon
9. Into the Wild
8. Skinny Legs and All
7. The Working Woman's Wedding Planner
6. Planning a Wedding to Remember
5. The Everything Wedding Book
4. Priceless Weddings for Under $5,000
3. Easy Wedding Planner
2. Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts
1. 101 Amazing Things About Love

it's the most wonderful time of the year

Or, you know, something... Christmas is always so fun but stressful. I love picking out presents for the family (er, families). I enjoy putting thought into something each person would like or sneakily doing research for the perfect gift or just paying attention when they don't have something or say they need something. I'm less of a here's-my-list-now-please-pick-something-off-of-it kind of person. But I'm having to learn that that has its place.
I do love decorating for the holidays. Here's our tree (with its crooked star apparently--someone should fix that) and lots of presents.

Here you can't tell the star is crooked but you also can't really see the ornaments. And why has no one taken any pictures of it at night? No bokeh shots? Must get on that.
I also love wrapping pretty presents. I bought paper on sale last year and was apparently already in wedding-color mode. Turns out, that was a fantastic idea. I could use the leftover wedding ribbon for the pac…

best of 2009: 14-18

I'm not sure if it's because I usually travel on Tuesdays, but when yesterday was over it didn't feel like there was only one more workday left in the week. But, Lordy. After the teleconference schedule for today and the sifting through tons of e-mails, I'm ready for the weekend.

Here's some catching up on the Best Of series:

Rush. I think I have to go with the getting yelled at by the crazy guy I mentioned in the last post.

Best packaging. Oooh, Moo cards. For our Christmas cards this year, I ordered Moo business cards. They're of great quality and have great packaging. (Sorry for the poor photo quality.) But the box is very compact, is made from recycled pulp and is recyclable. The cards themselves are made from sustainable forests. All that info is on the bottom of the tiny box. When you pull off the lid, you see this:

Hee hee. And then there's a one-page insert that looks like this:

If you can't read that, it's the "Buzzword Challenge." One…

best of 2009: new food + house changes

New food? I can't think of one specific thing but this year I've continued to really enjoy making breakfast. Last year for Christmas my husband got me a cookbook from the B&B we stay at in Brenham. She has great recipes! I've also made one non-breakfast recipe she has in there and it's fantastic, too.

Changes? To where I live? Where there any? Um, yeah. We've done a lot of work in the yard. Cleaned out a bunch of the beds, planted the lime tree, lost the papaya tree, planted a few other random flowering plants, gardened!, dug up the back "sidewalk" and are prepping for the new one, started growing herbs again. Inside, we've merged our stuff (which was way more involved than 4 measly words convey), got rid of a bunch of things, and finished the black and white bathroom. All good changes! Well, I did like that papaya tree...darn storm.

Unrelated to the best of? Ok, so Husband and I woke up sort of early (for a weekend) to head to town to volunt…

best of 2009: place

So my favorite place is home. Is that lame? And my favorite place at home is wherever my husband is. Is that cheesy? And my favorite place where my husband is is that spot. You know, the one right where his arm meets his chest, just below the top of his shoulder. That spot where my head fits perfectly and I'm terribly comfortable. Yeah, there.


In unrelated news, there's a deer head in my freezer, outdoor Christmas decorations and lights are up, and I'm trying out a new mac and cheese recipe. Perhaps this one will be good enough to cross it off the Life List.

Thanks, peeps, for letting me know you're still here. Maybe I'll try to make these posts a little more interesting then. And how 'bout you? What place would you vote the best of the year?

best of 2009: challenge and album

Best and biggest challenge of the year? Marriage. Hands down.

Best album? I'm going with all things Ray LaMontagne.

Just throwing these two up here before bed. Since no one reads blogs anymore it's only for myself anyway... Ho hum.

And tomorrow? I'm giving up the internet for personal use. Just for tomorrow. Going to be my own slave driver at work.

best of 2009: moment of peace

This year was a lot of things but peaceful does not rank highly. However, things are often peaceful when snuggling with the Hubby. And, amidst all the wedding craziness, there was a lot of peace (but not so much quiet) during the girls' weekend in Brenham. It was such a good break from everything.

best of 2009: blog of the year

Given the main topic of my life this year, my favorite new (to me) blog would have to be weddingbee. I highly recommend it to engaged peeps. You get to see real brides planning real weddings. They're very diverse--culturally, geographically, budget-wise. But, if you're just seeking ideas on some craft projects, flower arranging, party's a good resource. I must admit that I still read it even though I was finished wedding planning 4 months ago. I'm just not getting invested in the new brides. Just reading the recaps of the ones who were planning along with me. Speaking of recaps, if we ever get the negatives of our pro pics, I'll have a little recap series of my own.

best of 2009: workshop/conference

Not much to report here. I had two training meetings for work this year. One was in Atlanta and was very brief. We were away from the city a bit so I didn't get to look around. It was the first time I was outside of the Atlanta airport, however. I got to drive by (in a cab) the Hubby's alma mater. And we got really good food.

The second was in Vegas and I'm going to say it was my favorite. Got to hang with some nice folks, friends and strangers. Food? Less good. Gambling? Lost $20.

best of 2009: night out

The best night out? It seems like I've had many more nights in this year. While relationships and married life comes with their own set of challenges and sometimes stress, the one thing I probably am most happy to see go (related to the single life) is the pressure to go out. The whole "you can't meet anyone at home" thing was annoying when I was single. I was past the clubbing stage but hadn't met someone to stay home with. Ahh, but now the joy of couch snuggling!

So nights out? There have still been a few. The first one that comes to mind is the night we got into Chicago. My SIL2 (since there are now 2 SILs it seems like maybe there should be a way to differentiate them) picked us up from the airport and we headed to a little bar. We had a bite to eat and drinks outdoors (perfect weather). And nice chatting.

We had a few good nights out with The Brother and SIL. Saw Les Mis earlier in the year and A Christmas Carol just recently. While it's not The Hubby'…

best of 2009: parts 1-4

The best trip of 2009? You'd think that would be easy. Hands down, doesn't 10 days in Ireland on your honeymoon sound like a shoe in? And you know what? It was great. We got to experience lots of new things together. See a tremendous amount of a country neither of us had been to. But there was some stress leading up to it and we were still trying to settle in to married life (heck, we still are).

Truth is, I think every trip we took this year was fantastic. We had a quick trip down to Moulton/Shiner for Joe's birthday in February. Costa Rica for a week in March. Chicago in June. I had a great girls' weekend in Brenham in August. The honeymoon in August/September. Southern California (so The Hubby could be a groomsman) in September. The Hubby went with me to San Antonio for work in late September. And Nashville in November. We were busy bees.

The best restaurant moment? There have been many memorable ones this year. Eating fantastic food one night in Costa Rica with the …

best of 2009

I was reading the Superhero blog (linked on the side down there) and Andrea is doing the Best of 2009 Blog Challenge. When she does something like this it's usually an interestingly enough idea that I want to do it, too.

For some reason, the link above doesn't work on my PC but does on the Mac. For those of you who may not be able to see it, here's the short list of prompts:
Dec 1: Trip
2: Restaurant moment
3: Article
4: Book
5: Night out
6: Workshop/conference
7: Blog find of the year
8: Moment of peace
9: Challenge
10: Album of the year
11: Place
12: New food
13: Change you made to the place you live
14: Rush
15: Best packaging
16: Tea of the year
17: Word/phrase
18: Shop
19: Car ride
20: New person
21: Project
22: Startup
23: Web tool
24: Learning experience
25: Gift
26: Insight/aha! moment
27: Social web moment
28: Stationery
29: Laugh
30: Ad
31: Resolution

So you can do one or all. You can write a novel or a sentence. Since I'm already procrastinating by doing this, I'll have to start lat…

it's december

Geez, time has been flying. So, how's it going? Whatcha been up to? Have a good Thanksgiving?

Things are still just rolling along. No terribly exciting updates but I do have a question for you (but feel free to answer the ones above, too). So over there on the side? Down a little, a little more...right there! Is my Life List. I've recently added a few things. Do you have one, formal or informal? What's on it? Just curious.

Also, what's the largest number of strands of Christmas tree lights you can connect without fear of burning something down?

One more thing, word on the street is it may snow on Friday. Nuts.

That's all. Back to work.

ho hum

I got nothin'. Those pansies I planted are looking good. Like this now (well, today they look slightly less beaten down by rain):

And those ranunculus bulbs I planted? The ones that are supposed to cheerily bloom in the spring? Look like this:

Shame on them. You know, unless they bloom. Doesn't really matter what season to me.

I made cinnamon rolls yesterday. And altered a dress. And we're going to see A Christmas Carol at the theatre (live, not the Jim Carrey movie).

Yep, that's all. I'm super unmotivated.

hear classic country live at the ryman

Maybe about 4 years ago I made it to Nashville for the first time. I loved it even though, as a Texas Country music fan, you're probably not supposed to. On a subsequent trip, I forced one of my friends/co-workers to visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Ryman. If you make it to Nashville, I'd recommend both. I guess I realized that you don't have to be a fan of some of the cheesy current Nashville "artists" (you know, the ones who just sing songs other people wrote and stand there--without an instrument in their hands--looking pretty) to appreciate the history of the place.
I love the Hall of Fame. I love buildings that have meaning. My favorite part is that on the outside of the rotunda, there's a slightly stylized rendition of the musical notes of "Will the Circle Be Unbroken". But there's more. From wikipedia:
The new building's exterior is laced with symbolic images of music. The most obvious of these are the windows that mirror th…

short week

Today is my Friday. We're taking off tomorrow and Friday to go mark something off the Life List. I don't know if it's that things FINALLY start to feel like they're settling down or what, but I'm all about crossing things off this list lately. Trying to encourage The Hubby that now is the perfect time for a new puppy. And maybe we'll sit around one weekend eating nothing but mac n cheese...

fall in the garden: picture post

So the weather has been pretty perfect around here. And I was doing some reading and it seems like now is prime time to add new plantings to the yard. Since our winters are generally pretty mild, this gives the plants a long time to establish before the crazy summers.

We've put this little lime tree in the ground. Yea for citrus!

And this tiny green plant on the left, an ixora, has been added. I was looking for an appropriately-sized little guy who could fill in this area in front of the house but also not die back in the fall. There are two other guys in this picture that do just that. By this time next year, it should look fabulous. By the spring, we may have some orange know, if the 30 bulbs I planted agree.

The Hubby has been hard at work digging up the poorly installed (by previous owners) flagstone. We're going to expand the veggie garden a bit and re-install a smaller path (or some path, with some materials). We've already changed our minds several tim…

what happens when you go a week without posting


Remember when I said there was a potential new job? Got the second interview but didn't get the job. Was it the perfect job for me? Probably not. I guess the current overwhelm with work led me to try to find a way out that was different from actually just tackling all the work that had been piling up. So this last week I finally got to the point where I could suck it up and just DO THINGS to help me feel better. Mark some things off lists. Get organized. File a few piles that were on the desk. I got over some pretty big hurdles but have at least one big item to finish. Overall? Feeling a bit better in this area.

I heard somewhere that only boring people talk about the weather. I disagree. Perhaps you're boring if that's ALL you talk about. I must say the change of seasons is my favorite time. Fall has been interesting so far. Some torrential rains, several days where you need to run the heat and air conditioning in the same day (we're stickin…

positive quote o' the day

"When we tire of well-worn ways, we seek for new. This restless craving in the souls of men spurs them to climb, and to seek the mountain view." - Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Feelin' well-worn over here. Looking at making some changes...


Hopefully my husband is coming home today. There's a chance he'll stay out of town until tomorrow which would mean I wouldn't get to see him until Tuesday evening. That's sad.

So yesterday I got a little work done around the house. Did a little laundry. Made some lists. Got some shopping done. Baked a cake (that looked really terrible but tastes good). Hung out with The Brother. Watched some of his cable.

Today? Got some yard work done. Made dinner (ahead of time). Laid around a little because I was starting to feel like I might be getting sick. Am trying to refuse the sickness. It's been a good weekend. I should be trying to get a little work done but I'm not going to. It is still the weekend afterall. I'm reclaiming it.

one step back, two forward

So I apparently needed a slight meltdown yesterday. Up to my eyeballs in work and it still keeps coming at me from every direction. Not a very good start to me trying to be more Zen, positive, stand-still-while-the-crazy-swirls.

But. BUT! Today? Much better.

Good stuff from yesterday? Having a husband who will be the big spoon. And pet my head (which is oddly comforting to me...guessing that stems from childhood). Grey's Anatomy. Uh, yeah, that's all I can think of. Like I said, yesterday? Not good.

Today? A cold front! Pleasant weather! Low humidity! One of my work sites actually doing things right. Eating a good lunch with a good friend. Getting our air ducts cleaned. (What can I say? We're wild and crazy folks.) Spending the afternoon with my husband. Hammock time! Letting the new, extra work just roll off me with it's ridiculousness. An impromptu dinner. Sending my husband off to camp the country (where he goes hunting occasionally) for the weekend. A whole weekend a…

good stuff about today

admiring the weird, foggy weather in the mountainsdriving through a great neighborhood full of old Victoriansgetting work donelistening to middle-aged women chat on the planemaking it home making it home safelyhaving a partner who takes care of things when I'm goneblogsa miraculously cleaner sunroomthe promise of a bonusand the promise of falla quick email exchange with my bestie with the babythat I'll be sleeping in my own bed and have someone with whom to cuddle

on its ear

I don't know if it's just the natural progression of technology or the nature of my job, but I use the internet. A LOT. There's tons of information at your fingertips. You can stay connected with people. And you can "meet" new. It's no wonder I did most of my wedding planning research online. I found At first I wasn't sure what the fuss was about and then I became obsessed. You'll notice it's the only wedding blog still on the list over there.

Why do I still read a wedding blog post-wedding? I'm involved in the weddings of the other girls who were planning while I was. All these women had something interesting and different to contribute but one of my favorites was Mrs. Cheese. She's a great writer. And during the whole process she was honest and real. Since I'm not a rainbow-n-unicorn kinda gal 100% of the time (or maybe ever), this was a huge relief.

Wedding planning, the actual day, and the subsequent marriage isn'…

the wayside

Seems like the blogging is falling by it...

On Friday I had to do real work and then try to finish getting ready for the garage sale. On Saturday we woke up early to set things out and finish pricing random items. It was a pretty good day weather-wise and we had a lot of traffic. Got rid of a lot of things and made a little money. I put up some of the remaining items on Craig's List and have gotten several responses so no official income tally quite yet. We're donating the rest.

A few garage sale tips? You should advertise at least a little. I don't think you need them to start obscenely early like they did when I was a kid. We started at 8 but probably didn't have people show up until about 8:30. (Which was fine since we didn't even have everything put out yet.) Price things to get rid of them. If you're pricing something too high, maybe you secretly want to keep it. And if you're going through all your belongings and cramming them into boxes bef…

all over the map

Things are busy and crazy and ever-changing. Weren't things supposed to settle down after the wedding planning was over? Wasn't I supposed to have free time?

Let's recap, shall we? Since we got married I've thrown a baby shower, gone on the fabulous honeymoon, traveled to California for another wedding, traveled to Vegas and San Antonio for several days for work, gotten my hair cut (bangs!), changed my name, had 2 doctor appointments, had huge job changes, and had one job interview. The Husband also moved in; we went through every possession we each owned to see what we should keep, sell, toss; and prepped for a garage sale.

In the next two weeks, I have 3 more doctor appointments and one of my best friends is giving birth. And if things look good with the potential new job, I'll have to fly out for a face-to-face interview. Can we say crazy?

Granted, many of these things are positive. Baby/baby shower? Good. Honeymoon and other traveling? Mostly good. Po…

i'd rather be in the yard

I don't want to work today. There's a lot to do. And I'm again in that place where there are organizational things and the figuring out of things to do. Things that don't have deadlines. Things that no one will ever see whether or not I've done but will allegedly make my job more manageable down the road. We'll see about that, though, what with all of our big changes.

So, yeah. I'd rather be working in the yard. Or maybe working on preparing for that fictional garage sale that I'm determined will actually materialize next weekend. Or hanging out in the hammock.

Sigh...but I'm inside even though the weather is nice. And should be working. Wanna see another wedding sneak peek before I go? It's my cake. Perhaps I'd also rather be eating that right now.

what's been goin' on

Domesticity. You know, in between bouts of travel. I've only been home since about midnight on Friday and am leaving around lunchtime today. And I had to work over the weekend. But I also got a lot done around the house. It's starting to look a little, um, less lived in. Woohoo. Here are some recent projects.

The Hubby's roadside find from years ago has been repainted (in only a slightly new color but it's no longer shiny and has flowers!) and now the guest bed has a real nightstand:

Speaking of the guest bedroom, it is now sporting new linens. I've always wanted them to be all white:

I made cobbler (peach and raspberry from here) in an awesome green Fiesta pie plate that looked better in person:

There are a few signs that The Husband now lives here (the beginnings of his family's wall in the hallway):

And the shelf in the living room has a little wedding area:

That's it for now. Next up? Eye doctor. Then a long drive.

ireland honeymoon, part four

And now for the finale... On Wednesday (the 2nd), we had a quick Continental breakfast before heading on to Tullamore. We stopped along the way to visit Emo's Court. Beautiful gardens, pretty nice home, and giant redwoods. Not a sullen, angst-ridden teenager in sight.

Then we visited the Tullamore Dew distillery which was combined with a little town history museum. This tour was self-guided and was pretty interesting. We learned more about coopering, the art of making those wooden barrels the whiskey is aged in. I can't imagine ever making even one barrel that could hold liquid. My luck, after all this time and labor, I'd go to char the inside and would burn the whole thing down. Props to the coopers.

We ended the tour with the requisite sampling. The Husband tried the whiskey while I had the liqueur, Irish Mist. Now that's something I could get behind. Much less harsh when compared to straight whiskey. We also had some lunch and an Irish coffee. Turns out the Tullamore…

we fit, yo

We're not the typical couple. Even though folks are marrying older these days, we're still above average. We've lived with roommates and on our own. We've had time to inherit things from other households. We've had real jobs for years and if we needed something we could afford to buy it. This makes registering for wedding gifts a difficult task.

What did we do? Registered for some things we needed, some upgrade items, and lots of fun things. Last night we used two of these. We did our first round of the 30 Day Shred. Holy moly. That you can feel that way in a mere 20-ish minutes? That's got to be good. Then, since we were still alive (and by "we" I mean me as The Hubby is obviously way more fit), we set up the Wii Fit.

It was fun to see our little Miis dressed up in their workout clothes. You have to enter your height and DOB and they calculate your weight and BMI. Then they test your posture and balance and stuff to give you your Wii Fit age. Ok, so I …

irish honeymoon, part three

I'm going to keep at the recaps even though no one appears interested. Is anyone reading blogs anymore or has everyone gone over to Facebook? No matter, the blog is like my own little (public) diary so it's as much for me as anyone else.
On Sunday morning we at breakfast at the B&B. Potato waffles! Then we dressed up and walked through the park to St. John's Church. It was The Husband's first Catholic mass and about half of it was in Gaelic. If you're Catholic, you know this makes no difference to you since it's all a giant pattern anyway. But it was bare bones mass. In and out in 30 minutes flat.
Then we headed on to Dingle, briefly stopping by the windmill outside of Tralee. We had read good things about the scenic Ring of Dingle (a drive around the peninsula) and were told if you were short on time you should do this instead of the Ring of Kerry. There are two routes from Tralee to Dingle. According to Rick Steves: "the easy southern route or the mu…