Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year 2011


I hope everyone had a wonderful New Years eve and is already enjoying a satisfying 2011. I did and am. Jake and I had a few offers for activities to celebrate New Years but in the end decided to spend our first New Years together ever, alone together. We had a gift card for our favorite sushi restaurant so we headed there first for a delicious sushi feast. Wow, it was probably one of the best sushi dinners we'd ever had. We chose five different rolls, each a little different. There was a bit of a wait for the food as the place was pretty crowded, so when our food arrived we definitely gobbled them down. Yum!

After dinner we headed over to Jake's grandparents just to say hello and happy New Year to them. They were celebrating with their best friends Anne and Joe and the four of them had finished supper and were toasting early, getting ready to play cards. It was certainly a merry crowd and as we were leaving they offered us a bottle of champagne they had extra. We were happy to accept.

Next we went to Wal Mart for a little and then headed to the Regal 14 to watch True Grit. It was TERRIFIC. We both loved the movie and halfway through we looked at each other and started whispering about how much we loved it, wanted to own it, couldn't wait to tell everyone to see it. I've never seen the John Wayne original version but I must say I adored this version and think the old one has a lot to live up to if its really better. When it finished I could have watched the whole thing over from the beginning again right then. About halfway through the movie the clock struck twelve and Jake and I shared a kiss in the dark theater.

After the movie we headed home and set up a new Digital antenna we purchased at Wal Mart so we can watch TV without paying for Cable. We also made some chocolate champagne fondue and enjoyed it with strawberries, marshmallows and champagne. Yum!

This morning we are enjoying some Cranberry-Pomegranate juice with champagne and in a bit we are headed out to grab some bagels and tour a couple of gyms.

My goals for 2011 are to exercise much much more and hopefully lose some weight. Take more photos. Smile more. I have so much to be thankful for and can't wait to see what the new year will bring. How about you guys? Any resolutions or goals?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Something Borrowed

Sarah N. posted this song on her blog today and I'm totally thiefing it because it moved me and made me very happy. Sarah is visiting home for the Holidays but I'm very happy to be living here again. I miss New York, although less right now, that snow storm was no joke! I hope to visit soon and often but until then I'm so glad to be home all for good. Here's the song:

The Old Dominion - Eddie From Ohio

You think you'll find some mountains in Western Colorado
Fifty weeks of snowy peaks is where you're gonna be
But babe the rocky mountains are gradually eroding
The Hills of Coors are nothing more than Blue Ridge wannabes

A turkey on it's belly, a chicken on it's back
Anyway you look at it you'll find her on the map
She revels in the seasons, shakes hands with the North
Hugs the land of Dixie while dancing on the porch

You think that autumns in New England are the greatest of them all
But give me sweet Virginia for the fireworks of fall
The prettiest October in all the fifty states
Just drive up to the Skyline, park the car and wait

So grow up Colorado, excuse me Tennessee
If you don't mind, North Caroline
Here's where I want to be

When you're talking home you mean the Old Dominion
Just southeast of heaven to the surf and the hills
She's the best of thirteen sisters and thirty seven more
Sweet sweet Virginia always keeps an open door

They're fiddlin' in Galax, pickin' up in Floyd
And in the land of Patsy Cline they're songs you can't avoid
When you're walking after midnight, I'll fall to pieces, too
I'm crazy back in baby's arms with sweet dreams of you

They're sailing down in Norfolk, skiing up in Bryce
Climbing up the Devil's Stairs against the ranger's advice
They're harvesting in Loudoun to Shenandoah winds
And in the land near Washington they're rooting for the 'Skins
Fight for old D.C.

Pack up your Impala and make your move out west
Past the Blue Ridge Mountains, you'll find you passed the best
And when your dreams have ended where mountains are concerned
Me and sweet Virginia will await for your return

When you're talking home you mean the Old Dominion
Just southeast of heaven to the surf and the hills
She's the best of thirteen sisters and thirty seven more
Sweet sweet Virginia always keeps an open door

Our Holidays

I just completed my first Week 4 run from the running program. I've had trouble keeping up with it so my "weeks" are starting to spread out. I'm strongly considering joining a gym in January when there will be New Years specials. Since we don't have cable it could probably fit into my budget and be really beneficial for me, plus I'll be able to get back into Yoga. The options in our area are kind of stressing me out but I've narrowed it down to three.

We had a great Christmas. On the 23rd I drove up to Reston to visit my friend Kirstin for her birthday. I had to overcome my fear of driving the hard way for that one. Happily I made it safe and sound and celebrated Kirstin's birthday with her family and a few close friends at her Uncle Rick's house. I love spending time with Kirstin's family. I always feel so welcome. We ate some pizzas, drank some and finished the evening by watching Shep and Tiffany Watch TV: Best of 2010 Special on Bravo. Tiffany is Kirstin's cousin who lives in CA and Shep, the show's creator is her boyfriend. That was cool! I'm so glad I braved driving to spend Kirstin's birthday with her. I miss the time when we lived close by and could spend lots of time together.

In recent years I've been no fan of Christmas. I tried not to be too much of a scrooge but each year I seemed to find more disappointment than merriment. I'm happy to report that this year was vastly different. While not our first Christmas as a couple, this was Jake and my first Christmas as cohabitants. We decided to get gifts for his family as we'd be spending the holiday with them. We Christmas shopped! It was kind of fun! Also kind of stressful. We got a tiny little table tree and decorated it with ornaments we both picked. I wrapped and wrapped and wrapped. I'll never be as good at wrapping as my mother is, and I sorely missed her skill this year, but I managed to get the paper on there and taped. Finally Christmas arrived and we celebrated with Jake's family. I made my family eggnog. We drank, talked, opened presents, spoke on the phone to those who couldn't make it, remembered those who were no longer with us. It was really pleasant. Then it began to snow.

Hope all of you had lovely holidays too!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Catching Up

My apologies for letting my blog get so dusty recently. I miss blogging but had just gotten into such a whirlwind this fall that it took a back burner. Hopefully I'm back now.

I got a job! Yippee! I work for the freight division of a major national shipping company. I work in accounting, doing a specific and tedious computer task all day. I've been there a little over two weeks now and I have barely met anyone at all, but I have becoming very close with my Pandora radio account and using my phone to check facebook and e mails on the sly. My office is so quiet and my desk is really quite isolated but when I do speak with people they seem very nice and its great to have a job!

Jake and I have gotten to book 5 of Harry Potter and he is really enjoying it. Last night I went to the movies and saw 7.1 with some other friends and LOVED it. I can't wait to get to book 7 with Jake.

Since moving away from NYC and all its wonderful walking, I have put on some weight. Unemployment makes you eat and I was really unemployed. Well, I've grown out of my pants. All my pants. Its awful and got even worse over Thanksgiving. I suffer through too-tight pants at work all day and then come home and put on my yoga pants faster than you can say elastic waistband. So I'm doing a couple of things to get back into my jeans. Firstly, inspired by my friend Kris, I've started the Couch to 5k training program. I've so far gotten through all of week 1 and half of week 2! I'm so proud of myself and hope I can keep it up now that its getting really really cold and I'm not getting home from work until twilight. Couch to 5k wasn't working fast enough for me though so I made a little wager with some friends and am hoping to win our 'Biggest Loser' pool by the end of January. Wish me luck.

Today is Saturday and I have a mountain of laundry to do. After a while we're going over to Jake's grandparents house to help them decorate for Christmas and I'm going running over there so I can have a little change of scenery.

Sorry for leaving you hanging recently and I sure hope I can get back on track on this blog. Next time I'll try to be a little more topical too!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Birthday Birthday Birthday

What a tremendous week it has been! On the first of the month I turned 30!!! Jake and I have been celebrating ever since. The night before Halloween we went to a party at Jake's friend Jason's house. Jake won best costume with his 'God's Gift to Women' costume, earning us a bottle of liquor. Then we schooled everyone in beer pong and flip cup until the wee hours.

On Halloween we watched the Skins game at Jake's grandparents house and afterward Jake took me to Best Buy to buy my Birthday present which was Wii Fit. Yessss. We came home and I proceeded to play it for two hours. On my actual birthday we got up and played Wii Fit some more. I got lots of great presents from Jake and his grandparents and then we got a cheapy sushi dinner at a little place nearby.

Last week passed in a blurr of unemployment and Wii fit and then it was time for my big Birthday part weekend. Amy and Jessica began cooking something up a few days before the party and somehow managed to put together an amazing carnival themed party. There were arcade games, bingo, a ferris wheel cake and a terrific photo booth. I had SUCH a good time. It was so great to see everyone and relax. Amy and Jessica and everybody did an amazing job.

Sunday we grabbed Melting Pot with The Kelly's and Kris and then headed to my Dad's house. I hadn't seen my dad since moving back to VA and wanted to stop in and visit for a while. Whenever we're there he gets out all kinds of broken electronics to see if Jake can fix them, which sometimes he can but often he cannot. We also showed him Guitar Hero and had a good time playing that. After a couple hours we were on our way back to Richmond once again.

Yesterday Jake and I had reservations for Melting Pot Fondue because I got a gift card for my birthday. I had had it before but Jake hadn't so I was excited to share it with him. We chose Tuesday night because they have a special menu that costs a bit less. It was still delicious!!! We had such a good time and were so so full coming home that I had to undo my pants. The best part of the evening (besides the chocolate, of course) was the look on Jake's face when our waitress brought out the six different dips. He looked like Christmas came early. Or twice.

The Grand Finale of my birthday celebration this year was today when I got a call from the temp agency offering me a job I'd interviewed for over a week ago. Hooray! The long wait is over and I will soon be a contributing member of society again! I'm so excited!

I'm thinking this year was the best Birthday ever.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Spooky Adventures

Because Halloween was approaching Jake and I embarked on a couple of 'Spooky Adventures'. We don't have pumpkin patch or hayride money, or a functioning DVD player and we certainly don't have Busch Gardens money so we decided to try and invent our own Halloween thrills. I borrowed a book about all the various hauntings and legends in Virginia from Jake's Grandmother and one night after midnight we set out to find some of the places listed from the area. Unfortunately the spookiest story in the book was about a haunted toll road and the rest of the spots were either closed at dusk or remarkably well-lit. We ended up cruising around Richmond late late at night while Jake pointed out all the innocent points of interest.

A couple days later we headed to Hollywood Cemetery during the day. Hollywood is a very old and historic cemetery right on the James River. Two presidents are buried there (three if you count Jefferson Davis) and lots of other historic figures. The layout is amazing and the stones, plots and crypts are beautiful. You can get a map at the front office, which we did, and go on a self-guided tour of the highlights, or you can show up at 10am and have a guided tour. We happened to visit the cemetery in the late afternoon during a tornado watch so the sky was a deep threatening grey. The atmosphere was amazing and so were the views, so although it was technically daylight it was a successful spooky adventure. I had a fantastic time photographing the cemetery too. Here are some of my favorite shots:

This is President Monroe's Grave

President Tyler's Grave with Monroe's in the background

Easton's Birthday

Hooray! I have a computer that works and I have internet! Sorry to have been gone so long. No, I really am very sorry. Its been kind of bleak at times.

Last weekend Jake and I traveled home to attend Easton's 3rd Birthday Party. As we were leaving town on Friday I got a call on my cell in response to a resume I'd submitted to a portrait studio down the road. The studio is part of national chain and the national recruiting person called to set up interviews with me for a full time job there. The salary and benefits were beyond compare and I was super excited. Once we'd gotten to Strasburg we grabbed my mom and headed out to print up a professional portfolio to take to the interview. We also grabbed some dinner and spent lots of time dreaming of my future as an employed citizen.

Saturday was Easton's party and it was so fun. Amy really went all out planning it. Jake and I were put in charge of temporary tattoos which resulted in Jake immediately applying one to his face. We both ate way too much and after the kids went to bed everyone was too full to work up the energy to play games.

We headed back to Richmond Sunday and my interview at the studio was Monday. The interview went really well I thought, but a couple days later I heard back that they went with someone else. This news was pretty devastating. Its been a while since I had a paycheck and things are certainly tight. Nothing has panned out at all. After the bad news I redoubled my resume submitting efforts and got three call-backs but nothing too promising. Keep your fingers crossed!