Friday, October 30, 2009

New apartment pictures

Not a lot or report on, spent some time in the new place last night getting cleaning supplies unpacked (and used) and most of the Master bedroom got painted. We unfortunately had some small hiccups with the edging supplies that we purchased so we only got the large mass of the walls painted last night, after a trip to Home Depot tonight, we'll edge then. I think we left around 11:45 p.m. to head back to the Promenade, so I've been keeping my eyes open with toothpicks for most of the day.
If you didn't know it yet, the movers come tomorrow at 9 a.m. to move us out of the Promenade! We won't have Internet at home until we buy a TV (silly to have them set up Internet and not cable while they're at the apt), so after these pics there will be no updates until I return to work on Monday. Hopefully by then I will have amazing "finished product" pictures to share!

Looking in from the front door - living room on the left, dining room on the right.

From the dining room (actually I was standing on the Balcony, looking through my dining room windows) to the kitchen.

right side of the kitchen, including the fridge (obvi) and the oven/store that I'm super excited about because it has a timer and self-cleaner built in. Seriously it's the simple things some days.

left side of the kitchen with a tiny sink that I know will make me miss the sink I'm leaving and our lovely blue recycling bin - GO GREEN!

Looking to the front door from the balcony door

Our view of Silver Spring from the balcony (also the view from the dining room, living room and both bedrooms)

Looking back into the living room/front door from the balcony

Down the hallway to the bathroom and bedrooms (3/4 of the way down the picture on the left side is the door knob to the open front door)

Bathroom at the end of the hallway.

There was nothing of great excitement to show off in an empty picture of the 2nd bedroom (to be Jon's study and my craft room), but here are the first of my indoor plants that got brought over! They are sitting in the 2nd bedroom for now, hopefully out of the way of the movers tomorrow.

Second bathroom off the Master bedroom.

Master bedroom, looking from bathroom towards windows. The entire wall on the right is my closets :-)

Jonathan painting the BEAUTIFUL "warm brownie" on our bedroom walls! I am officially IN LOVE with this paint color and can not WAIT for our bedroom to be put together and see how it's all gonna look!!!!
Oh! So a funny story, at least to me. Yesterday morning when I got up at the Promenade, we didn't have hot water. Obviously I did not find this funny at the time of taking an ice cold shower. Yesterday afternoon when we went to pick up our keys and did a walk through of the place, we were told that they were working on the water in the building but just for that afternoon. When we got there last night, no heat and no hot water! Seriously, it was like it was following us around! Apparently they had to replace the boiler like 2 weeks ago and somehow water leaked and did damage to the electrical system for the hot water and heat! eek! I realize that things happen and while it was an inconvenience, I don't feel that it was necessary to bitch out the front desk people/manager on duty because of it! They were being really great and offering empty apartments in the other complexes for you to take a hot shower in and put up updated notices at least 3 times while we were there! By the time we left there was hot water again, but a part had to be ordered for the heat and it wouldn't be restored until morning. I've lived through many a weekend at the Promenade w/ no air conditioning when it's 100 degrees out, I would much rather be w/o heat when it's only a low of 51 like last night was.......I would have been even more ok with this if I had not just had shorts and a t-shirt with me!
Oh, we did have heat and hot water at the Promenade last night and this morning though so it looks like my curse might be over :-)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Start of the move to Silver Spring!

So we haven't officially started moving yet, we actually go and pick up our keys in 1 hour!!!, but I have spent most of the past 2 weeks packing up our "worldly" possessions so that when the movers arrive at 9 a.m. this Saturday we are ready to go! The pictures below are what I captured around 10:30 last night (Wednesday).

Here is looking towards the front door, the couch is over there to the left behind all those boxes.....
Here's another view of the living room from the stairs, so you can kinda see where the couch lived (Jon is hiding on the couch sleeping, yelling at me that I had him in all these pictures lol)

Please note Jon's toes in the right corner :-)

Kinda the same view again, I was sleepy and wasn't really sure I was getting all the boxes in these shots!

The bedroom and wall of boxes by the windows.

All the boxes lined up on my side of the bed (by the windows), including all my show boxes tied together because we were never gonna have enough boxes for all those too!!
Looking down the hallway from the bedroom - everything that I'm attempting to not trip over and break toes at the end of the night, an early every morning.

It looks like my boxes are wearing a hat! :-D
I'll continue to add pictures on here throughout the weekend as we see our new place for the first time this afternoon, paint the Master bedroom this evening and as the movers empty TH 7 and fill up our new place! Keep checking back for more updates! :-)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Weekend Crafts

So "technically" I should have been spending my weekend packing, since the movers will be at the Promenade in 11 days and some change.....ugh. Well I did pack. 29 boxes to be exact. Unfortunately 29 boxes didn't even get the downstairs packed (minus considering the kitchen) and I REALLY wish it were all done at this point! I had my tap class on Saturday morning and when I got home around 2, I had to first unpack from New Hampshire before we could start packing for the move. I can't even begin to explain how frustrating it is to have to put things "away" that you know you are going to just pack up into boxes in the next 2 weeks. I mean I understand why it had to happen, but it stressed me out none the less. I was basically a basket case before I built my first box, at which point Jon had to step in and calm me down because I was almost at a point of needed sedatives. He was right though, once I started packing it did go a lot quicker than I thought it was going to and by 7:30 on Saturday night when I stopped to call Grannie and had dinner, I was very happy with the progess that was made. I woke up yesterday morning and wanted to do nothing but eat junk food in my sweats and watch movies. Not exactly the same as being motivated to pack! We went to Teeter for weekly groceries cause they were needed pretty badly and when we returned I felt like poo and had NO motivation. It wasn't until about 3 p.m. that I finally got my butt off the couch. I only had 13 boxes left to pack so I just kept telling myself that once those were packed, I could go back to doing nothing! So now 29 boxes are packed. About 99% of the living room and 80% of the dining room is packed. As I sit here at work today, I'd rather be tracking down boxes and working on getting it done, yet I know if I were at home, I would be sitting on my butt, in sweats, doing crafts and mad that I already boxed up all the DVDs!

When I wasn't packing yesterday (afternoon haha), I was working on finishing up the following projects, actually both for Grannie.

This scarf is going to be a birthday present for her (2 months from tomorrow, us Christmas babies Grannie and me!). I used the new Lion Brand Hometown USA yarn (the pink) and while I love the color and it's real soft, I had a hard time crocheting with a super bulky weight. I thought it would just be super fast and fun (like a 3 hour scarf) and it was more of a week long project. Not sure if my hook should have been bigger or if I just need to get more accustomed to the weight of yarn. The black is fun fur, seemed perfect for Grannie who just loves to get "dolled up". Didn't have the best luck with stitching this around the outside either. I'm sure it looks great to anyone who looks at it, but it definitely has a good side and a bad side. Don't know if that's just how it would be for anyone, or if I've done something wrong - thoughts anyone?
Even though I had some struggles with it, I am still thinking they would make a great Christmas present for some people I know (!), just have to decide on colors!

Real quickly too, here is a picture of the finished eyeglass case for last month. I finished stitching the back while in NH, but when I started assembling according to the directions, I didn't really like how they had blank canvas for the inner lining, seemed to me that it would scratch your lenses, so I opted for gluing felt inside and then stitched up last night after dinner. I have wrapped up and it's on it's way to Grannie this afternoon. God willing the USPS gets it to her before Breast Cancer Awareness month is over!

Started packing up craft stuff this weekend and it's gonna start getting boxed quickly, so last night I was scrambling to keep out one or two things to work on up til the move, like for mom's birthday less than a month from now! I'm planning on getting started on her blanket tonight after work I think, Jon's going to a reception after his first day at the new job so it'll be nice and quiet for me to focus on getting this one started, I better have some amazing shows recording on my DVR as I type cause my movies are all gone and I'd hate to have to unpack the top of a box to find something to watch tonight!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Preview of the Burgard Wedding Weekend

I am back in DC, back to work today and can barely keep my eyes open right now. It's only 10:42, I've been up since 6 and don't know how I'll make it till lunch time, let alone 5:00 right now, but I'm trying to keep busy so I don't just pass out, hit my head and have no one even notice that I've disappeared until the desk of the cubicle I'm sitting at today.

What a fun, crazy weekend we had for the Deshaies-Burgard wedding celebration in Manchester/Sandown/Candia, New Hampshire!

For starters, the 7 hr and 22 min drive up to NH on Friday that I started at 5:38 a.m., after getting out of bed at 4 a.m., took 10 hours and 46 minutes. Friday night we just went to Donna's and help w/ the flowers and then crashed pretty early.

Saturday was a whirlwind with the Rehearsal at 9 a.m. (quite chilly), Bridal Luncheon at 11:30, nails with the girls and then Rehearsal Dinner at 6 p.m. It went by sooooooooooooo fast, but was a lot of fun.

I spent 90% of Sunday morning fighting w/ the bitch at the front desk at the Holiday Inn Express (don't worry, and email and letter of complaint are in draft stages) over getting into the suite that Jonathan and Talana would be spending their wedding night in so I could decorate. The other 10% of the time was spent getting everything packed up, and my hair in curlers to head over to the Venue by 2. Spent the afternoon w/ the girls getting ready, and getting T ready for her wedding day. From the moment we all say her in her GORGEOUS dress, the tears didn't really stop until the ceremony was over! Talana looked so perfect and so gorgeous, I can't wait to see her professional photos!

Now apparently, T and Jonathan went to Canida like a year ago to the date and the weather was in the mid to high 60s, possibly low 70s. It was barely 50 degrees on Sunday at 5 p.m. w/ quite the breeze. As you'll see by my pictures in this post, we were NOT dressed for such weather at an outdoor wedding! We all froze and shivered and shook during the ceremony. The more I cried, the colder I was!
Here are Tiff, myself and Jennine looking beautiful in our coats in between Bridal Party pics after the ceremony. Could not feel my feet, toes, arms or hands at this point!
All of the girls: Tiff, myself, Jennine and Nicole w/ the boys: Brian, Jonathan and Dave while we were doing Photos

And a nice shot of Jon being a little creepy more than romantic! lol
We had an amazing time at the reception as well, these pictures I stole from Jennine (MOH) cause I haven't had time to upload my photos off my camera yet! Hopefully tonight.
The gorgeous head table that Talana did, including all the center pieces!

Jennine and I at dinner, a little blurry, but still looking cute!

Jon and I after he caught the garter and I caught the bouquet ("apparently" it wasn't planned, I'm still not convinced lol) and the DJ made Jon dance for my approval :-)

Dancin' the night away with new friends!

Trying to convince Gabby that we all look like idiots on the dance floor, she doesn't really look at convinced does she? (Jr. Bridesmaid on the left w/o the glowstick microphone lol)

Jennine and I w/ Ann Marie (Diva) and LaVerne

Photo taken w/ my cell (hence the yucky coloring) cause I wanted to send to Mom.

Oh and we drove back yesterday, only took us 9 hours and 46 minutes this time around......ugh I don't think I'll ever drive to NH again regardless of what Google Maps tell me and I never want to enter the state of Connecticut again!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Weekend Projects

So actually, this scarf wasn't so much a "weekend" project, but something that was started like 11 months ago! I distinctly remember having this yarn out and starting to work on it on 11/4/2008 - the night I will never forget sitting in my living room as Barack Obama became President Elect of the United States. After this historical night, I'm sure the skein just got set aside, and eventually as I got out projects that I needed to make for the holiday season, it got bagged, labeled and put away for another day.

I don't exactly remember when I found the yarn again, either late August or sometime last month, but as we starting announcing our move, I realize what a great going away present it would be for Bev (shhhhhhhhhhhhhh she doesn't have it yet, we don't move for another 24 days!) There was probably 6" from November, and I worked on it some before going home last weekend. I had intended to bring it home with me to finish up, but the pillows became such an obsession that I didn't even bother. It was only about half done on Friday and so I spent a couple of hours this weekend finishing up that 1 skein of yarn to finish the scarf! Can't believe it only took 1 of the 2 skeins I had for it, double crochet with a K hook! I almost ALWAYS use 2, or at least 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 skeins for a scarf that's 6 feet long. Oh well, now I have more to make a 2nd purple one someday, and I found some rosy pink upstairs we well while putting something away. I seriously could start a yarn shop out of my bedroom, and yet I buy more yarn almost every Tuesday because I'm there looking at it, or I need a color for something I want to make, or I get some crazy idea while standing there looking at the yarn/I've seen a pattern online that I want to make! I seriously will not have enough hours in my life to make all the things I want to, or have yarn for! Oh well, I love it when I can work on projects, and while I love giving them away, I hope that someday I want to make a 2nd of somethings for myself!

This next picture was almost entirely a Sunday afternoon project. It would have been completed if we hadn't had to go to the grocery store, and then I got involved in watching our movie last night so I have no completed yet, but it will most definitely be finished tonight. It's an eye glass case for those of you who haven't figured that out yet, obviously a Breast Cancer Awareness one. I found the pattern online a while back and finally purchased it on Friday when I got to wear jeans to work after donating to support Breast Cancer research, so it seems appropriate to make these for myself, Mom and Grannie and send to them this month. I think this one is going to be for Grannie, the pink of the ribbon matches her kitchen and the pillow that I just made for her as this pink in it. AC Moore as some Breast Cancer Awareness in stock this month, so I think I'll buy a skein of the cotton tomorrow evening to use in mine and Mom's. It's a very basic patten, stitched up real fast even while sitting on the patio chatting with Bev.
I do love that I've become more experience in both Crocheting and Plastic Canvas, but there are most definitely times that I truly just want something simple that brainless to work on. Things like this glasses case, just double crocheting a basic scarf, or garter stitch in knitting for a scarf. You don't have to do much counting, or have to keep looking back at a pattern etc. Much better for TV and Movie watching projects!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Weekend of Crafts @ 1087 S Main

Here is my craft update from what I worked on while I was home last weekend.

I made these fall wreaths for Mom and me. Mom's is the blue one to match her kitchen, and mine is the burgundy w/ the while flower cause I liked the colors together. Unfortunately with finishing up Mom's pillow, getting packed to go and all the car stuff I was still dealing with last week, I only got about 1/3 of Mom's made by Thursday night, so I had to bring it home with the skeins of yarn for mine to finish up with Mom. We took the blue one with us on Saturday morning to work on while we waited for my oil change, and then finished that up and made all of mine on Sunday mornings at Grannie's for breakfast. They don't really take more than 2 hours or so to make on your own, it's amazing how much quicker it goes w/ a 2nd person. One (me) wraps the yarn and ties off the bundles and the other (Mom) ties them onto the hanger and snips the long ends. It works really well, except that I constantly have to stop chatting while I could to 25!
Onto Grannie's pillow. I brought the yarn home thinking I would get a start on it. Even when Mom asked me if I was planning on finishing before Monday I was like "of course not!" I started thinking about starting it on Friday night, and realized that I was short a color of yarn! I had only brought home 4 and needed a 5th. I had given up on even making it while home, until while at Wal-mart w/ Mom asking for her suggestions on a color to use and she suggested the dark purple, so I got it and started working on it a little bit on Saturday night. Not seriously, I did like 3 rounds and then decided to make my Mom a couple of dish cloths instead (no pics were taken, sorry!) Sunday was a fun day at home and after finishing the wreaths @ Grannie's Mom and I went home and while she was working on making some food for that night, I picked up the project and started in on it again around 11:20 a.m. Well by 4:30 I had made amazing progress and had one side completed (the single stripped square side)! I made a comment to Mom before we left for Sam's Club and AJ's (yum!) about how I was hoping to have it finished in time for her to take it to Grannie this week. Mom mentioned how nice it would be to have it finished and take it to her on Monday morning and we would go early for breakfast. I knew Grannie would love this, so I set my mind to finishing it! We got home from the errands, Mom made dinner, I briefly ate and continued working on it until it was finished around 11:30 p.m.

This shot is from around 11:05 p.m., I'd already stitched up one side before I remembered to take a picture.

Yes, that means that in less that 12 hours I crocheted an entire 2 sided 14" pillow. I was cursing myself toward the end of that 2nd pillow and really kinda wished I had gone around it one more time, but the size was OK and I just couldn't bear to keep going, my wrist was killing me even with my brace on.

Here are the finished product for both pillows, both sides :-)

There are some differences between the 2, I learned from my mistakes on Mom's blue one but they're both great!
The navy blue on Mom's was a different type of yarn (Caron Simply Soft instead of Red Heart) and you can tell that it made the pillow loose it's shape quite a bit. Mom's had also been used for the weekend, so I'm sure that's "reshaped" it a little as well. On the side with the 4 squares, Grannie's individual squares are 1 round larger so that I didn't need to go around them 3 times to get the size right (I'd mis-calculated on Mom's, still worked pretty well considering I was doing this with no pattern!). I would have liked one more row around the outside of that side on Grannie's but I think 2 rows of double crochet might make it too big. I'm thinking about trying a row of double crochet and then a row of single maybe? or 2 rows of half double? I'm not really sure yet, which everyone I make next will be another "test" while I finalize the pattern!
Let me know what you think of my projects! I'd love feedback, and would love to eventually have a pattern to share with those of you who are interested!
I haven't worked on anything since returning from DC, 1. because I've been so exhausted that I haven't even unpacked and 2. I think I'm more productive with projects at home because I have just a set number of things to work on. In DC my options become endless and I can't make up my mind on what I want to do, or something I can't find what I need to make do with what I want to make! Hopefully once we move and I have more storage space for my crafts, I will be more organized and will be able to keep things more organized. Maybe I'll dig that summer blanket out to work on while watching Grey's tonight, or maybe I'll start Mom's blanket, or work on Grannie's blanket, or start a new pillow, or Halloween see my dilemma!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

My first crocheted pillow

Post was originally started on 9/24/09 but I got pulled into a meeting and then raced out of here to get home and pack. Still wanted to share since it's actually about a craft project.

OK, to "technically" that's not a pillow yet. But taking a picture before I start stitching these 2 sides together is the only way you'll ever see both sides at the same time again.

This was originally to be a completely different Granny square pillow for my Mom, and when I didn't like how it was turning out over the summer, I quit working on it. Last Friday I got to thinking about these 5 skeins of yarn just sitting there waiting for me to make them into a pillow so between Friday night and over the weekend, I went through some new ideas including a 2nd trial run that I also did not like before settling on this. I spent most of Sunday afternoon hard at work on this as I wanted to make sure it was completed in time for me to give to Mom tomorrow when I get home.

It is by no means perfect, and there are a couple of things that I'm not super happy with in how they turned out (my navy yarn really needed to be different than just using what I had for plastic canvas. I know this now. The sides are also 2 different sizes which as I stitch together is a bit more troublesome to get even, but I think once the pillow is in will work out just fine.

Tonight I need to make a lining to put on the pillow form first, as I do not want the bright white showing through the holes of the square. I also have 1/4 of a side to stitch up before placing the pillow in and stitching up that last side. I hope my Mom likes it, I have no doubt she will and she will never notice these mistakes that bother me. Mom loves Granny squares, but has a very difficult time making them which I'm sure I'll hear about A LOT when I give it to her and at one or more points this weekend, I will probably attempt to teach her once more how to make them, curious if it'll be successful this time around, but maybe I'll be surprised!

I'm back in DC (have been since Monday evening) and now I am finally posting this. Pillow turned out great and Mom LOVED it! I have more crafts that I completed over the weekend to share as well as the completed picture of this pillow, and the lessons I have learned from the mistakes I made. Will try and upload the pictures tonight so I can post here tomorrow.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Car troubles

I know right, car troubles should never had crossed my lips after we sold the Kia in April and I got my wonderful Jeep! Problem is, it's back in the shop for the 2nd time in 2 weeks!
2 weeks ago the motor in my driver's side window was replaced so that I can go back to using my window again, can't even BEGIN to tell you how happy such a small this has made me! They also had to take apart my center console because the gear shift cover was not working properly nor was my emergency brake. Turns out this is because a previous owner had spilt like an entire can of Coke or cup of coffee down there and it was preventing anything from working properly! Lovely, and real safe right? They also were trying to figure out why the car sometimes didn't start up correctly for which they did a tune up and fuel injector service.............none of this was covered by my warranty (figures right?) so by the time you include my cute little rental car, it was a very expensive day!
What's worse, was the following morning when I went to turn the Jeep on, it still wasn't starting right!!! ugh talk about annoying! So I tried to wait a couple of days to see if it got better, but it did not, actually the car stalled out at the gas station less than a week later! Never had a car stall out on me before and when it's happens while you're sitting on the loading tanks of a busy gas station at rush hour it's DEFINITELY NOT COOL!
Well I finally called again last Friday to see about bringing it back in (sigh, I just want it to work right!) My friend Larry, the service consultant, was wonderful to talk with one the phone again and got me set up to bring in Wednesday (yesterday) night after work so they could be the first ones to turn it on this morning..........well luckily it was covered by the warranty this time around!
Larry calls me today shortly after 9:30 to let me know what they found. My fuel pump was shot and after the car sat for 8 hours or so there would be no pressure left in the engine, which is why it took forever to start, I was waiting for the gas to get back to the engine. This was replaced. They also found out that my gear box in the power steering was getting weak, also had replaced, also luckily covered by warranty. They high suggest getting a tank flush when they are already in the gas tank dealing with the pump, etc. so even though it wasn't covered by my warranty, for 110 bucks, I had them do it. Glad I did!! I just got off the phone with Larry to find out that they took about a gallon of SAND out of the bottom of my tank! The mechanic was actually able to scrape it off the bottom with his hands before he did anything else.....yes sand, from like at the beach, and no, no one has been able to tell me WHY someone would have done this/let it happen! They also said it's probably WHY the pump broke in the first place.
Fan-fucking-tastic right? Well they're keeping my baby over night again, not because it won't be ready by 7, but because I don't want to deal with rush hour traffic to get it tonight. I'll be there bright eyed and bushy tailed at 7 a.m. tomorrow, alright I probably won't be the bright eyed, until I jump back up in my Jeep and drive away, remembering how much I have missed it!
Now to get home early, since I've been here since 8 and hopefully get this G6 into my parking space before anyone else is parked around me. Then hoping the rain has stopped so I can jump into the sweats I've been craving all day and have my own little Happy Hour on my patio!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Regaining my motivation, one step at a time

Yesterday evening after work turned into work clothes shopping while waiting for Jonathan to get out of class. I sorta had this planned as I wanted to see for the future of this semester and his time at Georgetown if I was OK w/ once a week going to VA and running errands and then just swinging through to pick him up after. All was fine on the shopping front of course, I actually ran out of time to do all that I had planned (thanks to trying on the new fall line at NY & Co) and found myself racing down 50 to get back by 9. Jon's class was scheduled to get out at 8:45 so he said pick me up at 9. I got there at 9:03 and when Jon doesn't answer his cell, he texts me saying that his Professor is still lecturing. Luckily I found parking by the dorms and just chilled out until he was finished. Turns out his professor thought class went until 9:15, which would have been fine, but if I had known I had that extra 25 minutes or so, I would have stopped at McDonalds in VA to get dinner for us (one less thing to worry about when we did get home, and no dishes) and I would have had my book or something accessible for while I sat there. Oh well, lesson learned for next week.
When we did get back home, Jon made us some pasta for dinner and I spent my time trying on new outfits w/ my new fall clothes purchased at Target and NY and Co. instead of working on any craft projects. I also got a kick ass pair off boots at Rack Room:
They are purple and I'm in love! I plan to wear to work tomorrow, was planning to wear today but the outfit will really work better for tomorrow's chillier weather!
Needless to say at this point, by the time I ate my pasta, finished with the mess I'd made upstairs and hung up all my clothes/got together returns & exchanges for tonight, I all but passed out on the couch with my heating pad on my back watching the History Channel!
Tonight I plan to get out of here at a more decent time (5 instead of 6), and get out there to return/exchange/get a couple of things and then home for dinner and the main event of today: the premiere of So You Think You Can Dance season 6 and GLEE! While driving across the Key Bridge last night I was thinking about how when I got home I was planning to watch my recordings of these shows. Then I realized that yesterday was Tuesday and I had to wait one more day. So I've put in my time and I'm super pumped for both shows!! This time (2 hours) also gives me a chance to work things in the apartment which can not be done during my work day (like crafts and getting more pictures uploaded into Picasa!)
Be sure to check out my photos at and I will be sure to post some craft shots on here tomorrow as well!
Oh, and running in the mornings is just not something I have been able to get myself back into. I wish I could, I just purchases new running shoes in Syracuse (and by me, I mean mom got them for me) and I haven't even worn them outside of the hotel room in Syracuse! maybe next week, no need to get over ambitious on a Thursday morning!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Trying to get back in the swing of things once more

I wish I understand why I don't get on here as often as I wish I did, I doubt that it's because I have nothing to say or nothing that I'm thinking about, and I certainly have enough time in my day to take 10-15 minutes to type something up that I'm thinking about/updates, proof it and post away. Again, you would think that since I usually sign into Blogger daily to check my friend's blogs that I would post then, but someone I always get side tracked or just shut down the window all together if I have had lots of updates to read.
I really think this has been happening due to my "issues" with getting back into the swing of things in life in general. Silly things like picking up after myself, setting the coffee pot for the following morning, watering my plants, etc. etc. have just become to much "work" for me since returning from both Orlando and Syracuse. With all the changes that are quickly approaching after this past weekend and my upcoming trips to Busti and Manchester in the next 2 months, I'm just having a hard time focusing on anything accept getting home, into sweats and plopping down on my couch to watch TV for the evening.
This goes for things like crafts as well. Before Disney, I would spend 15 minutes every morning working on my blanket and around an hour each night while watching SYTYCD, etc. Since returning from both August trips, I haven't picked it up more than once (a second time was to transfer into a different tote bag). I did buy some new yarn at JoAnns last Friday that I felt compelled to crochet into a scarf over the weekend. It's 90% done, but I don't have a picture to post yet, because I have yet to finish. It's beautifully soft yarn, chunky and beautiful in color, but I really think it would be best to knit which means I'm planning to head back tonight and get in a different color to trying knitting with. This this, chunky fall scarf that's almost complete is very nice, and it looks fine crocheted, but it catches on my hook A LOT, like every stitch, and anyone out there reading this who crochets not only understands how annoying this is and slows a good crocheter down, but it's KILLING my wrist, which is why I did not finish last night at Bev's.
Another reason that I'm not very good about picking up a craft project to work on right now: I have no many things I want to work on! As always I have a million different projects started and 2 million more in my mind that I want to make. If I'm focused and organized with my projects I am usually able to keep myself on track, but once I fall off that focused, organized wagon, all hell breaks loose. "Hell" in this case would include, projects laying all over the living room, no rhyme or reason to anything and me not doing any productive work on them (I just end up back at AC Moore, Michaels or JoAnns buying more yarn in anticipation of what I can do next). It really is a vicious cycle and is why my yarn collection looks like I could own my own yarn shop!
Hopefully I will get focused again soon and will have pictures to post once more!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Back to the Grind

What I started writing on Monday.......
So as most of you probably know by know, Jon and I returned to DC yesterday afternoon. Each family member that we called to say we had safely landed would say "oh that's good", to which we both responded, "NO it's really not!" Yes, I realized our family was just happy that we were home safe and sound but neither of us were happy to have to have left Disney and BE back in DC.

The trip was amazing, best vacation/trip I have ever been on in my life. I got teary eyed just having to walk out of the park that last time on Saturday night, turning out to catch one more beautiful glimpse of Cinderella's castle. I could try and take the time to go through what we did all week but 1. I don't really have the patience to nor should I probably use that kind of time at work doing such things, and 2. no one probably wants to or will read it anyway so I'll leave you with a breakdown of where we were each day:

Sunday - up at 3 a.m. for a 6 a.m flight to ALT to Orlando. After checking into the hotel, spent the afternoon and evening at Magic Kingdom, watched the Spectromagic parade and Wishes fireworks, extra magic hours let us ride Splash Mountain one more time, but in the dark!

Monday – Character Breakfast at MK with Pooh Bear and friends, spent the morning @ MK, Epcot in the afternoon with dinner at Marakesh and Illuminations: Reflections of Earth from great sitting seats in Mexico. I cried during the fireworks as I realized that Disney probably has the most amazing fireworks anywhere – just love them!

Tuesday - Animal Kingdom in the morning, Disney Studios in the afternoon and evening, saw Fantasmic.

Wednesday – MK in the morning, headed to Epcot early in the afternoon but all the running around and getting up at 3 a.m. on Sunday was finally starting to catch up with both of us. I think we were both sleep walking around 1 p.m. and thought it best to head home and nap before our dinner at the Beirgarden (which is something we were both REALLY looking forward to. Pretty much as soon as we stepped foot on the property of our hotel I started getting very sick and throughout 2 hours of napping feared that I was not going to bounce back to make it out that night. I did and we freshened up and headed back to Epcot for our dinner reservations. Beirgarden was a lot of fun and the family that we sat with was nice (minus the rude guy who got sick) but I wasn’t blown away by the food, but I did drink my ENTIRE liter of beer, but Jon did not! Haha and yes we calculated that a liter of ______ is like having a 6-pack of Bud Lite with dinner :-) Mom would be so proud!

Thursday – Animal Kingdom in the morning, headed to Hollywood Studios where we were waiting to see Lights, Motors, Action when a storm started to approach. They delayed the show and then canceled it due to lightening in the area and wanted everyone out of the stadium…..uh I know we were sitting on metal bleacher but this was NOT the time to get thousands of people under cover. We waited there with many, some of the cars came out when the rain started to let up and let off some pyrotechnics and they said they would do the finale once t he rain stopped. Cast member came over and said the rain would not be over for a long LONG time and that we should try to make it to an indoor ride to not waste our day. Of course the closest gift shop has now run out of ponchos and we are completely soaked and I’m walking around barefoot, the line for Toy Story is not only outside in the rain but still 70 minutes to wait so we gave up and went back to the hotel to dry off, nap quickly and get dressed for the evening. Went to MK for the night and rode rides once the parade started, watched the end of the parade and then rode Splash Mountain during the fireworks which Jon planned perfectly and was AMAZING!!! If you didn’t get so damn wet on that ride I would have recorded all the beautiful sights, if you ever go to Disney, take a night away from fireworks and do this!

Friday – MK in the morning (of course, it’s my favorite park!), Epcot in the afternoon (Jon’s favorite and my 2nd fav) where we magically got Soarin’ fast passes at 1 p.m. for later in the day, saw Illuminations from where they are truly meant to be seen! Tried to head back to MK for Magic Hours but it wasn't real successful. Super busy, longer lines than during the day and we were both too tired to deal with it. Did ride Haunted Mansion and Pirates before heading back to the hotel.

Saturday - Made a final attempt at Hollywood Studios for the new Toy Story ride (were successful and it was so good that we stayed for a 2nd time) and got to see Lights, Motors, Action which was TOTALLY worth it! Rest of the afternoon at MK, saw Spectromagic again, monsoon rain came out of no where while we waited for the fireworks, I cried b/c I thought we wouldn't see them, they were delayed 15 minutes and then happened! Soaking wet and freezing but totally didn't care!

Sunday - up at 6 to finish packing, bus pick up at 8:25, flights to ATL and then DCA, dinner and passed out on the couch by 7 p.m.

I started typing this up on Monday afternoon at work, it’s not Thursday at 3:46 p.m. and I’m finally finishing it up. It’s been a long week of exhaustion which I’m slowly getting over. Monday was by far the worst, I was having horrible dizzy spells and my eyes kept going out of focus which made for a really long, miserable day. Been better since then, just don’t have the energy when I get home at night to do anything which means my suitcase is still sitting EXACTLY where I dropped it on Sunday night to open it and get Mickey and Minnie out. Hoping to be productive with this unpacking tonight since tomorrow’s the big day (5 year Anniversary big day that is <3)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Last one before FL

So it FINALLY happened. Jon and I went for a run on Wednesday morning. It went really well for the first in 2 months, but I am still paying for it today. As always when I first start running again my upper legs are killin' me. Was totally fine most of Wednesday, around 4:30 I really thought I was going to be fine and maybe be able to get in a 2nd run on Thursday morning........then at 5:30 I jumped in the Jeep with Jon and sat in rush hour traffic to get out to 7 corners. By the time I got out at Target I realized what was coming! Yesterday was definitely worse that today is but I did strategically wear flats today which I think is making a bit of a difference as well. Would like to try for one more run tomorrow morning but haven't decided if I want to sleep in yet/if I really want to chance being sore for Sunday morning's early flight and the first day in DISNEY!

Ah yes Disney World, in just a short 48 hours Jon and I will be at the Magic Kingdom! I am so pumped that I haven't been able to focus at work all week. Today is of course particularly bad, yet I don't even care all that much because today is my last day until the 17th! whoooooo I know this trip is going to be amazing even though it's been 12 years since I was last at Disney and this is only my 2nd time ever and I don't even fully know what to expect off of what I remember from '97. I am excited though to experience it all with Jon as adults (apparently I'm an adult at 25, but I can not guarantee that I will be acting like one for the next week), with no kids, just us! I have already warned Jon that he will have to be on guard to hold me back because I will probably squeal, jump and run to tackle the following: Mickey, Minnie, Winnie the Pooh! I probably won't be able to update anything on here next week as I don't believe we're bringing a laptop with us, but I will be taking lots of pictures and will finally get that Picassa thing set up to post them on when I return.

I decided this morning that I want to start keeping track of craft projects that I'm working on, finished, and ideas that I have on here. A couple of you saw on FB the other night that I was working on a blanket while watching SYTYCD and since this is my first attempt at something bigger than a scarf, shawl or tote bag I would like to remember a bit of this experience.

So it's a little hard to see here since it's about the same color as my awful couch, but really right now its' not even really a shawl! I am very happy with the stitch that I choose (thankfully since it took me like 3 days and multiple books and crocheting of test swatches w/ the yarn). Definitely my biggest undertaking not only in size, but also not just a half double or double crochet here! There will be some stripes coming on each end in a pretty teal and lime green which will complete this beachy looking blanket to use while outside on my lovely patio. Don't believe that I will have it done before it's too cold to me sitting out there reading, and I hope that I keep up finishing it once this has happened because I think of how happy I will be next spring when I pull it out to use for the first time! As long as I continue my daily contributions to it both in the mornings and evenings so that I see progress I think it'll happen.
I also have a 2nd blanket that I plan to start shortly as well. The only reason I'm starting it now is because it's designed for my trips to FL and Syracuse in being all Granny squares. This means that I can just bring a skein or 2 of yarn with me and work on the 3" and 9" squares off my pattern I created and bring them home after each trip. Yes you read that correctly, I have designed this blanket for Grannie on my own and I am VERY excited about it. I'm not going to premiere the pattern yet because I really want to make sure it's going to work out, then I will showcase my design as well as a couple of pieces crocheted in the yarn I plan to use.
Just 4 1/2 hours left of work and even though I have some things to finish up here, my to do list that I'm thinking about is as follows:
  1. update all Disney lists to see what still needs to be done
  2. eat lunch :-)
  3. get through the next 4 1/2 hour and GET HOME ASAP!
  4. try on all clothes marked to try on on the list of clothes for Disney
  5. pack clothes
  6. get all toiletries together
  7. pack carry on bag and purse
  8. get together food, etc. to go in my big suitcase
  9. make Jon pack :-)
This will leave me with the following to do early tomorrow morning in order to spend one final day at the pool before the trip:
  1. pick up tables
  2. Vacuum
  3. water plants inside
  4. drop off keys to Bev
  5. work a couple of squares on new blanket project
  6. watch the Yankees beat the Red Sox (ok so that's tomorrow night but w/e!)
Have a good week next week everyone, I'll be on FB throughout the week I'm sure!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Well that didn't happen

No iPod playlist was created last night and no run was taken this morning. The lack of getting up early and running does not stem from laziness though, unfortunately I was up most of the night thanks to my ridiculous sinus pressure and was not only not in the mood to run after 4 hours of sleep, but I didn't think anyone should have to see me attempt running with a stuffy, sniffly nose and sneeze attacks......doesn't even seem that save really does it?
We did go to the grocery store though last night and stocked up on enough healthy food to get us through the next 5 days. I was quite impressed with myself for wanting to get stuff to make salads for dinner each night or Lean Cuisines. I was also happy to get lots of fruits and yogurt to have throughout my day at work vs. sneaking bags of potato chips from the secret stash hidden under my desk this week like I did yesterday. I also got stuff to make a pesto mayo to use on my turkey sandwiches this week which I am extra excited about trying today! It's going ok so far, I guess....I had my cereal at home this morning vs. going to Cosi for a bagel which was fine. Problem is I have already had my snack of blueberries and want to eat both FiberOne bars that I have with me like now and I still need to make it until 1 p.m. to have my lunch. sigh. This is also because I am slightly bored at work at the moment due to my lack of desire to actually do work because I'm exhausted, my sinuses are killing me and I'm extremely focused on all that I need to do before we leave on Sunday.
Speaking of, I spent many hours laying awake last night unable to fall back asleep and my mind was racing on all the things that I need to get done in the next 4 nights so that I'm not racing around all day on Saturday and miserable doing it. Quite honestly I just wanted to get out of bed and start doing things then, but I did not think that Jon would appreciate it, so I just kept laying there, getting more and more annoyed that I can't breathe through my nose. I have made a list of things I need to get at Target this week as well as a list by day of what things I want to do each day straight through Saturday morning (hoping to have the afternoon on Saturday to relax out by the pool, weather permitting, since I didn't get to last weekend). I just finished making this list and now I can't focus on the work I need to be doing at work because I would rather be home doing all the laundry that needs to be finished or trying on the clothes that I need to see if they still fit me and running the errands I need to fun in VA.
Hopefully now that I have written my thoughts here and I have my list sitting in front of me for any other things that I remember to avoid a last minute "damn it!" moment, I will be able to focus a little better. I'm also sure I'll be focusing a lot better around 12:50, and at 5:15 :-)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Still not in the swing of it

So clearly I have not been "getting in the swing of things" as I had hoped 2 weeks ago when I last blogged. I have realized that I don't think about getting on here during the day like I used to. Somehow I think about it around 2 a.m. when I randomly wake up and my mind starts racing about ridiculous things, which of course keep me up longer than anyone wants to be awake at 2:30 a.m. when they have to get up for work in the morning.
Perfect example would be last night/this morning, when my mind decided I should wake up and run through the entire musical score to Lucky in the Rain.....seriously?!? I did the show like 9 years ago and probably have not listened to the soundtrack in at least the past 2 months, but never the less, I sang just about all of it last night/this morning, remembering all the crazy times that came with that show, the wonderful memories that I have followed with me over the past 9 years and of course the amazing life long friends that were made.
These early ass morning sing-a-long sessions that I seem to be forced into with my mind are the #1 one thing keeping me from starting to run and train again. Thanks to my good friend Mary and her blogging about running a half marathon next month, I have been keeping up on her training which has inspired me over the last 2 weeks to want to get back into running in the mornings. Before I had started working again, Jon and I were fairly consistent in running about every other morning and I was running further that I EVER had before. Granted, I can only run a little over a mile, maybe a mile and a half before I DIE in Kalorama park and can't even look up or talk to someone for about 20 minutes. I was still becoming very proud of myself for getting better and loosing some weight and feeling generally better about myself.......then I started working and getting up at 6:20 in the morning. I have a really hard time wanting to get up at 6 to go running and know that it will be 12 hours until I'm even home again, let alone the 17 or so hours until I'm in my bed again - definitely not motivating! I do find myself every day at work listening to music to fill my day and motivate me through my work, and I have started making lists of songs w/ the proper BPM to run to (thanks to Mary's earlier blogs). I have a list of like 12 songs right now (which at say an average of only 3 minutes per song is 36 minutes, CLEARLY a lot longer than I will need to run 1 mile), yet I haven't even taken the time at night to create this playlist in iTunes and update my iPod!
I complain about body image and wanting to do something about it a lot, yet I don't actually take the time to do it. I want to feel comfortable in my skin next week in FL, yet I know that it's impossible in less than one weeks time to get myself to that place. Hopefully I will find the strength, motivation and determination to get up early and run this week and eat healthier and just maybe I'll be a little bit closer to reaching that goal by Sunday. No one wants to feel uncomfortable in their own skins and clothes while running around Disney (which I'm sure will be a great work out as well, yet eating out every day will not!)
Hopefully I will remember to get on here tomorrow and I will be able to discuss my first run back at it again!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Trying to get back in the swing of things

So it's only taken me 6 months, but I'm trying to get myself back into the swing of blogging! As I have explained to some, it seems that once I stopped, I really didn't think about it anymore. Back in my CEB days, I would find myself each morning hearing something on the news or just simply thinking of something that I wished to share.
After the layoffs happened, I found myself on a couple of occasions wanting to get on here and write about how I was feeling during that time, but each time found myself realizing that I should be spending that time on the computer sprucing up the resume, looking for jobs and sending in my resume to interesting places. This led to 4 months of being unemployed when I didn't write, and now almost an entire 2 more months of me working that I didn't take the time to start again.
Last time, I finally put down the crocheting, got my laptop and starting playing around with a new summertime, "beachy" layout (hope you like it!) in hopes that it would leave me more motivated to write.
I think I really got my motivation from reading friends blogs and realizing that I wanted make in on it! haha
Guess that's all for now, hopefully I'll have an insightful moment tomorrow

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Inauguration of President Barack Obama

I am still healing from the cold weather that we endured.  The day started at 3 a.m. when we got up to shower and layered into as much clothing as possible to be out the door and at the OC by 5:30 a.m.

Here is the moon at 5:15 a.m. from Calvert St. bridge.  

Once we arrived at OC, we got coffee and bagels and waited for the rest of our group to arrive.  Once we were all good to go with coffee, etc. we thought we would take a chance with the metro since we were right at Woodley Park stop.  We got down in the station and there weren't a whole lot of people around yet (this was pretty surprising since I saw on the 5:00 news that there  was already a line just trying to get close to the Shady Grove station and they were already letting people onto the Mall (mostly because people had slept there overnight, even though it had been said that wouldn't be allowed)).  A train came fairly quickly and it was just PACKED!  I was pretty convinced at this point that we were all going to have to walk to Union Station, around the East side of the Capitol, and then over to the South side of the festivities.  We had scheduled ourselves enough time to do this, but we've all had like 3-4 hours of sleep so no one is looking forward to this!  We decided (ok Mike thought it was a good idea) to wait the 4 minutes for the next train first and if that one was just as packed, we would start walking.  Well thank goodness we waited cause 4 minutes later, along comes a train with barely any people in it!  We metro'd to Union Station where we started on our walk Southeast around the Capitol to 1st and C St. SE.  It was now only ~6:30 a.m. [since the Metro had worked out so nicely].  The crowds were already crazy and we decided it would be best to part ways (sorry Em!) and get in line for security at the Blue Gate.  We emailed the rest of our group and headed down where we needed to be.  We stood in line from 7:00-8:00, security opened up around 8:10, and by 10:00 a.m. we were fully through security (FINALLY) and walking to Blue West!

Definitely a HALLELUJAH! moment to walk under that gate!

The crowds still waiting to get through the Blue gate.  Most likely they did not.  There were thousands of people who never got through in time.

Jon and I - freezing but waiting for everything to begin!  You went from line to line, and crowd to crowd; waiting for one thing, then waiting for the next.  Jon  was sleepy from his jet lag and all he kept complaining about was how if he was watching on TV he could be having Pizza and beer (this started around 8 a.m.).  He then moved on to talking about wanting a big bucket of fried chicken.  Seriously he talked about so much that I am still craving pizza and fried chicken!

This is the best picture of the millions on the Mall on Tuesday - truly amazing to know that so many people were there for this historic occasion!

This one is curtiusy of the Jamestown Post-Journal!  Only picture I've found showing the crowds from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol!

This is what I could see from behind where we stood at Blue West

Snipers everywhere - it kinda made you feel safe and uneasy at the same time....

Obama taking the Oath to be the 44th President of the United States!

Obama's first speech as Commander-in-Chief

To give you an idea of how close we were I took the last two pictures of Obama's Oath and Speech with nothing more than the standard zoom on my camera.  He was only about 1" tall, but it was really cool to not need a jumbo-tron to see him!

These next 2 shots are from Emily - they were so great that I wanted to share!

This is from the podium where Obama was sworn in.
Actually standing at the podium where Obama stood early that morning.  This is what he was looking out on, minus the estimated 2 million people!

After Obama finished his speech, we started to make our way out of crowd and back toward the House office buildings so we could warm up (there was hot cocoa waiting!!)  After security at Rayburn told us that Longworth was our best bet - we continued slowly walking up the hill - SLOW was the only speed any of us could walk.  We passed line after line of people/crowds waiting to get indoors until we got to an entrance at Canon where only about 5 people were waiting in line to get in.  We got in line and had no problems getting in (vs. the first 2 buildings that we tried that didn't even have their doors open yet!)  It was wonderful to be indoors with heating, sit down, and have hot cocoa with snacks like powdered donuts and double stuffed Oreos!

By 2:30 we thought maybe the crowds at the Capitol South Metro stop would have died down a little so that we could get on the metro... yea right!  Please see photo below:
So once again we started to walk East of the Capitol back to Union Station, which was just as disastrous.  I gotta say at this point, it was unanimous that we could no longer handle standing still in a large crowd waiting to get through some line!  We were all freezing, and exhausted, and had just had it!  So we started walking up Mass Ave.  We walked and we walked and we walked some more.  We finally got to where the roads were open again and started making attempts to get a cab to our respective neighborhoods........most cabs were occupied so we kept walking.  Somewhere after Thomas Circle, I had given up hope of us finding a cab and had accepted the fact that we would be walking the entire way home (1.5-2 miles still left to home).  We finally got a cab (2nd big HALLELUJAH! moment of the day) which we piled into.  We were back in TH7 around 4:30, very quickly changed out of all the winter layers, threw on sweats, turned the heat on high, and got under as many blankets as I could find to spend the rest of the evening watching West Wing.  

I am so happy I went.  It doesn't seem that big a deal when I just think back on going.  Then I look at the pictures above again and I see the pictures of Obama standing there and I have this "holy crap" moment where I remember that I witnessed this amazing piece of America's history, LIVE!  It was very cold, a very long day and I was pretty sore the next day, but I honestly would totally go again!  The girls would mention this and of course the boys responded with an enthusiastic "HELL NO!" :-P

Here is my list of tips and suggestions for you if you ever find yourself attention a Presidential Inauguration   And if I ever make it back to one, I hope I remember to look these up!
  1. Buy hand and feet warmers in advance, they will charge you and arm and a leg to buy them there.  It's a given that they're not going to last a full 7 or 8 hours, but they will last for a short time and they will be TOTALLY worth it 
  2. You're not allowed to bring a flask or thermos through security.  But, you could buy a cheap-o thermos to keep you warm while waiting in line to get through security.  They had trash disposal set up before you went through security so as long as it's nothing you care about, you can just pitch it.  
  3. On that note, BRING SNACK FOOD!  It's a really long day and it's going to be late afternoon before you actually get to eat again (there are no restaurants really around the Mall or House offices buildings without having to walk a ways).  Just a zip-top bag with a few things like granola bars or crackers that you can fit in a coat pocket.
  4. Crochet yourself a nice, WARM hot/scarf/mittens set.  You'
  5. You're leaving home at like 5:30 a.m., and it doesn't really cross your mind to grab your sunglasses, but do it!  It's almost like seeing the light of day for the first time ever if the sun comes out and you're unprepared.

***This post has been revised***