Wednesday, December 21, 2011

And this is why I don't run anymore...

(Thanks for sharing that Dad. I wish it wasn't so true.)

At least this time there was beer...

What did you do last night? I hung out in the back yard in the cold with a shivering puppy for an hour and a half. Wait… this sounds all too familiar.

Go ahead and say “I told you so” and I am sure you are going to roll your eyes and shake your head. Don’t worry, I would do the same thing.

I locked myself out of the house again. With Eisley. Except this time I had Ross with me so he wasn’t around to save me with his key. You may be thinking there is NO WAY we would do this again. I agree. We have lived in this house for 7 months and never came close to locking ourselves out, yet somehow we (or I) have managed to do it TWICE in the past 4 days. Luckily, it was a bit more entertaining this time and we avoided the snooping Nice Neighbor Girl.

Ross, Eisley, and I set out on our after-work walk. It was around 7:00pm, and very dark. The ground was wet from an earlier rain fall, so we decided to take a quick stroll around the block to stretch our legs and then cuddle in the house with warm dinner and a movie. Thankfully I grabbed my winter jacket just in case we decided to walk a bit longer than usual…. Or get stuck outside for 1.5 hours.

We hadn’t made it one block before Ross looked at me with a panicked look on his face.

“You don’t have a key do you?”
“Nope, do you?”

We turned back towards the house and checked the door. It was locked (duh!). Ross broke into our fenced backyard and tried to get in through the back of the house. It was locked too (obviously or the story would end a lot shorter). Eisley and I sat on the porch and waited. She shivered. I shivered. This felt a bit too much like Saturday night for my liking. Thankfully Nice Neighbor Girl hadn’t noticed we were hanging out on the front porch. Again.

After about 10 minutes Ross gave up trying to break in. We decided we should go for our walk anyway. We circled the block and out onto the North Portland bluff (overlooks the city and a pretty little industrial district called Swan Island). We stopped by the 7/11 and grabbed some beer (might as well make a night of it!) and it wasn’t until our walk back that we realized we should probably figure out how we were going to get back in. By some ounce of sheer luck, Ross brought his cell phone and we scanned through old emails looking for our landlord’s telephone number. No luck. Then Ross’ phone blinked once and the battery signal turned red… his phone was dying.

We frantically called one of our friends who we thought had a key from the last time we went to NC. We called about 4 times. Then we remembered he was heading home for the holidays sometime this week. Was it today? Or tomorrow he was leaving? I felt the panic rising.

About the time we got back home I had decided that we were sleeping in the back yard and then I would just walk to work the next morning. It was only 5 miles. Not so bad, right? Surely they would understand when I came in wearing workout leggings, a ratty old t-shirt and day-old makeup. I mean, surely there had been worse.

I tried one final attempt at calling our friend Grey as we walked dejectedly to the back yard. This time, he answered...

“GREY! Thankgoodnessyouansweredwhatareyougoing?” I yelled all in one breath.
“Eating cookies with my cousin.” Were these his cousins in Portland or his cousins in NC? Oh no… were we really destined to spend the night under the bridge with the bums?
“Where are you eating these cookies?”
“Portland.” We were SAVED!
“Oh super, can you come let us in our house. We are locked out. Again.” Grey was with Ross when I locked myself out only 3 days prior.

He laughed and promised he would be to our house within an hour. An hour. What were we going to do for an hour? In the dark. With just a dog and a few beers?

We head to the back yard and Eisley takes off making laps around the garden. She doesn’t care that it’s dark, wet, and cold. She has grass to eat and mud to play in!

Ross and I crack open a beer and I convince him to practice pick-up lines on me. “Pretend you are meeting me at a bar!” I said.

We strolls over in a very debonair manner. “Well hello there,” he said. So far, so good. “I see you are drinking Coors Light,” he continued. Uh oh… this has taken a turn for the worse. “I am drinking Coors Light too.” I guess he had to let me know in case I couldn’t read the label on the can in his hand. “Want to go out?” he finished. Boy am I glad we didn’t meet in a bar. Epic fail. (Sorry, Pudd. I love you any way. And I am very thankful we met at a very tasteful WINE FUNCTION rather than a bar with Coors Light.)

The pick-up lines were all downhill from there, so I decided it was time to do something more exciting. Why not Jazzercize?!? Ross had found his cell phone charger in the back pack he was carrying so we were able to plug in his phone to charge and use it as a stereo. I would at this time like to point out that yes, we did in fact have a backpack, with a phone charger, and a wallet with money, but no key. It was like we were destined for this!

So we turned on some pumped up dancing music and the Jazzercize began. I am sure our neighbors were a little curious about what they heard coming from a dark back yard…

“Alright every body, let’s grapevine…… very good! Alright now, let’s add that turn. Great!”

And then a few minutes later…

“Get ready for those lunges. And squat. Squat. Squat. Squat. Excellent! Keep that chest high and smiles on your faces! Feel the burn!”

Ross decided I need to quit my job and teach Jazzercize full time. I have to admit, it was great fun. And we burned off at least half of one of the beers we were drinking at the same time!

An hour or so later Grey finally came over to let us in. We escaped the cold and cured our hunger. We offered Grey a Coors Light and piece of leftover pizza as a thank you.

And honestly, I am a bit sore today from my squats.

Monday, December 19, 2011

A night on the town... or at least the front porch

What did you do Saturday night? I sat on my porch in the cold with a shivering puppy without a leash for 30 minutes. Here’s the how and why…

Saturday was a slightly traumatic day for Eisley. You see, she had to have a bath. While there are lots of things Eisley loves (carrots, biting Henry’s head, and licking my face all make the top of the list) but there are very few things she hates. In fact, I can only think of 3. Being picked up (her ears get all pathetic and droopy when you scoop her up), having her nails trimmed (that’s her Dad’s job), and having baths. Eisley HATES baths.

I should probably explain that her fear of bath time only makes us bath her even less. We usually wait until the fur behind her ears turns a bit greasy and her little pink belly starts to turn brown. (I know Mom, that’s gross. Especially because she sleeps with us every night. In the bed. On our sheets. We can discuss my lack of hygiene next week when I will probably go 3 days without washing my hair.)

So anyway, as you probably guessed, the above symptoms started to occur and we decided it was time for the dreaded bath. Ross took Eisley out to play in the mud (might as well get her SUPER dirty first), then carried her through the house to the impending doom of the bathroom. (I know… we are terrible. We picked her up AND took her to get a bath. What’s next a nail trim too?!) After 10 minutes of pitiful shivering and sad, deep puppy eyes, the bath was over and Eisley survived.

At some point in the evening Ross left to go to a cycling meet and greet with one of his friends. I was in charge of feeding the kids dinner before heading out to hear one of our friends in her choral concert. As I was about to leave, I decided Eisley should go out to potty one more time and let her slip out the front door. She shimmied out the door, took a quick squat in her usual spot, then caught the sound of our neighbor across the street sweeping her front porch. Then she decided to chase the broom and darted towards the road. I panicked (we live on a busy road), slammed the door behind me (I didn’t want Henry to join in on the wild goose chase), and sprinted after the pup. I caught her, picked her up (her ears dropped), and turned back to the house. Just looking at the front door I knew it was locked. I didn’t even have to try the handle. So there I was with a pup in my arms looking around the yard trying to decide what to do. I should mention here that she wasn’t even wearing a collar. After her bath she is so pretty and fluffy we don’t like to mash her hair down with the collar. Bad excuse.

Before I even got to the front door (because like I said, I already knew it was locked), I trekked across the road to our neighbor’s house… the one who was sweeping and started this whole ordeal in the first place.

“Ummm can I borrow your phone,” I said, a bit weighed down with the 40 pound dog in my arms. Our Nice Neighbor (who I had never met before) turned inside and brought out her cell phone. I couldn’t decide if it would be better to tell her I was calling a long distance number or just go for it and hope she didn’t get a huge surcharge on her bill. I went for it. I kept the conversation to 34 seconds just in case- I timed it.

“Hey it’s me” I said when Ross answered the phone. I then quickly realized he might not know who “Me” is calling from a weird cell phone number. “I am locked out. With Eisley. And no leash.”

“So I need to come home?” Ross asked. I decided that “No Captain Obvious I just wanted to let you know I was locked out. I am going to sit in the yard all night” was a bad answer for a damsel in distress, so I replied with a “yes please.”

Nice Neighbor Girl offered me a leash while we wait. I accepted… but of course since Eisley wasn’t wearing her collar, I had to lasso it around her neck like a wild mutt. Or a baby cow. She was starting to feel as heavy as a baby cow at that point. I suddenly became aware that I had only changed out of my pajamas about 2.5 minutes before letting Eisley out on our adventure and became very grateful that I wasn’t wearing Christmas footy pajamas toting around my baby cow.

While I was silently thanking God that I didn’t look like a psycho-path in footy pajamas, Eisley became startled by being on the wrong side of her street, with a foreign-smelling dog lasso around her neck, and started to panic. She backed out of the lasso-leash and took off for the road again. I threw the leash at Nice Neighbor Girl (I think she said her name was Renee) and took off towards the busy road that Eisley was bounding towards.

We got back to out front stoop and sat down to wait for Ross to come riding to the rescue on his gallant steed. Or at least in his little blue Jetta. Nice Neighbor Girl went inside her house and peeked at us through the windows.

We sat and waited. Nice Neighbor Girl moved to the front door to watch out between the wreath on her front door. She thought I couldn't see her. I felt like an idiot for being able to, but I couldn't keep my eyes off of the front door with the Nice Neighbor face filling in the empty whole of the wreath.

Eisley panted and shivered like she couldn’t make up her mind if she was she hot, cold, or just needed to take a big poo. I couldn’t tell so I hugged her anyway. Nice Neighbor Girl moved to the living room window to watch us. I think she was settling in with a bowl of popcorn at this point.

I picked up my cow-sized dog and carried her to the back yard to try to get in through the back of the house. I was disappointed to learn that our gate was locked and briefly considered climbing the fence when Eisley looked me in the eyes with the “don’t even think about chunking me over this fence” face. I decided she was right, and even if I could get through the gate, I was sure our back door was locked and bolted.

We went back to the front porch and waited. Eisley panted. Nice Neighbor Girl watched. I considered waiving, but I thought she would either A)bring me a blanket and make me feel more pathetic or B)quickly look away. And I really hated to take away her entertainment for the night.

Ross finally came home, let us into the locked house, and turned to go back to his event. He didn’t both to ask how I locked myself out, with Eisley not on a leash. I gave Eisley a hand full of treats and I ate a handfull of chocolate chips. I figured we deserved them.

Nice Neighbor Girl went back to her normally scheduled Saturday night. After I am sure she wrote a blog post about her weird neighbor and baby cow-sized dog.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Merry Christmas Poo Poo Head

I was a cute kid. I had blonde hair that my mom insisted on putting in a sprout on top of my head and big blue eyes. I also had chubby cheeks and a big smile. I used all of the above to work in my advantage. Mom recalls that I was a chronic liar... I say I just had a very active imagination.

My older brother, also a cute kid, was the more quiet of the two. He had good manners and loved to make our mom happy and proud. I liked playing in the dirt and running around. And testing boundaries.

When I was 3-ish years old, which was old enough to talk but not old enough to grasp the scope of all of my actions, I learned a new phrase. "Poo poo head." I don't know where I learned it, pre-school perhaps, but most definitely not from my older brother. Because he was a good boy. I was the rebel.

As a quirky 3-ish year old, I would call people "poo poo head" and then get reprimanded by my mom for doing so. She was being a good mom... making sure I didn't go out into the world with a potty mouth. (Get it? Potty mouth? Poo Poo head? Nevermind.)

So upon my 3rd-ish Christmas my Mom got the call (I believe from one of my grandparents) that Santa was on the radio and was taking calls from kids and talking to them about what they wanted for Christmas. Of course, as every proud mother, mine wanted my brother and me to shine. So she dialed the number for the "North Pole" and our voices went live over the radio waves. My brother went first.

My brother got on the radio and in his nicest voice and best manners he carefull articulated to Santa what he wanted for Christmas. I don't remember what he said, because I was probably distracted picking my nose or something. The point is, he was very careful to be NICE to Santa.

Then it was my turn. I got to talk to Santa. I was allowed to tell him anything I wanted for Christmas.

"ROLLERSKAAAAAAAAAAATES!" I yelled into the phone... not bothering with greetings or promises to Santa that I had been good all year. Then I lowered my voice, and I am sure a mischevious grin crossed my face and I said the dreaded words my mom had been working so hard to remove from my vocabulary. "Poo poo head."

On the radio.... the whole town listening. I yelled my demands at Santa and then called him a poo poo head. Apparently I had not grasped the understanding of the Naughty or Nice list. I am sure it was not my mom's proudest moment. I am not sure what she did, but I am sure she either A)grabbed the phone out of my hand and profusely apologized to Santa or B)simply hung up on the North Pole.

I vote B.

Later that month, I am sure I did get rollerskates from Santa. Of course, my brother got whatever he wanted as well. The lesson my 3-ish year old self learned from the ordeal? Even if you call Santa "poo poo head" you still get rollerskates for Christmas.

P.S. Upon writing this post I realized that I still wear my hair in a sprout-like fashion on top of my head. Thankfully, I have learned to no longer call people poo poo head.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sometimes I am an Idiot

Sometimes I make poor decisions. Usually it is something rather silly like eating too much ice cream or not stretching out my back when it is sore. Usually my bad decisions aren’t life-altering, just a little bit obnoxious, but almost always they are avoidable and I find myself screaming “YOU’RE AN IDIOT!” over and over again in my head. Yesterday I made one of these decisions.

We got all of our packages shipped to my office so that we don’t have boxes sitting on our porch all day long, exposed to sun, rain, cold temperatures, and any sketchy passers-by who may get the nerve to swipe the box off of our front stoop. Yesterday I got ready to head to my car, and grabbed my small Crate & Barrel box to head out to my car. As I was walking out, a big brown box caught my eye… mostly because of the very familiar hand-writing on top. It was from Dad! Now usually if I have 2 boxes, or even one big box, to carry to my car I would walk up to my car, drive back down to the office, park in the temporary loading parking spots, pack up the boxes, and then drive home. For some reason, perhaps Christmas excitement or the euphoria of finally being off of work for the day after a 10 hour shift, I decided I could carry both boxes.

Both boxes with a lunch box. And a purse.

Block 1: I’m cold… thankful I wore a scarf. Wishing I had my gloves (the one day I didn’t bring them).

Block 2: This box is getting heavy, but it is completely manageable.

Block 3/Pedestrian crosswalk: Normally I have to stand and wait for a couple of minutes waiting for cars to stop and acknowledge my presence to let me pass on the crosswalk. Not this time… cars came screeching to a stop to let me pass. I guess I looked a bit like a pathetic pack mule in cute shoes.

Block 4: I realize that the box on top is in fact barely balancing and sliding around on the bottom box- it is not very secure. I try to lodge it under my chin, but it makes me look more pathetic. I decide to continue to test my balancing skills learned from carrying plates at The Peddler in college.

Block 5: My lunch box starts slipping out of my hand. I make up my mind that if it comes to a choice between the packages and my blue lunch box from 4th grade I would have to make a sacrifice. Ross has been telling me it is time to buy a “big girl lunch box” afterall.

Block 6: I am starting to sweat... no longer acknowledging the cold air surrounding me. I start to regret my choice of natural deodorant that may or may not be made to hold up to box-carrying idiocy.

Block 7 – 8: I start passing people on the sidewalk. They try not to stare as I struggle. I don’t blame them for not offering to help. I can only imagine the weird expression on my face. I start yelling "You're an IDIOT for thinking you can carry all of this!" in my head. I make sure I am not yelling out... that would be embarassing.

Block 9: I have to cross another street. This time there isn’t a crosswalk, so I am forced to wait. The first car approaching me shines the headlights on me and slams the breaks. I decide I need to start walking to my car with boxes more often if I am going to get special street-crossing priveledges.

Block 10: I can see my car. I am almost there. My lunch box is hanging on by my pinky finger.

I get to my car and my arms are shaking from the weight and awkwardness of balancing the boxes. I head home. Ross and I open the boxes. IT’S CHRISTMAS! Presents and more ornaments, which means I got to decorate the tree AGAIN! And Ross got to witness me unwrap each ornament in a very OCD fashion and re-fold the packing paper to put back in the individual boxes. He looks at me like I am an alien.

Updated tree photo…. And Santa came early! (Thanks Dad!)

2 weeks from today we will be waking up in NC!

P.S. Ross told me that my posts are more interesting with more pictures. I will try to add more.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Party Number Uno

Friday night was Ross' Christmas party and let me tell you.... it was some party! About 800 people work at North American headquarters here in Portland, and each person was invited to bring a guest. While of course not every single employee came and brought a date, a large majority did. We were in for a treat, and here is our story...

Of course, like all girls do, I stressed for the entire week about what to wear. I was set on a high-wasted short skirt with a silk blouse and ankle boots (on advice from one of my co-workers), however Thursday night Ross informs me that the attire is semi-formal and he overheard other girls at work talking about glittery cocktail dresses. Glitter? AHH! My sweater tights would definitely not be appropriate. I was stressing over finding the balance of conservative, professional wife and hot, fox.

Oh goodness. I finally settled on a little black dress (every girl's go-to) with tights and suede booties. I thought I was all set... until it came to deciding tights. Blue, silver, black, neutral? I ended up walking around the house for 20 minutes with one leg in black tights and one leg in silver tights with the spare legs of each trailing along behind me. Real classy.

By 7:30 we had strapped on our fancy-like clothes (in case you were wondering, I decided on the silver tights) and welcomed our friend David over to our house. As a fellow employee and living just two blocks away, we all decided to meet up before hand and ride the bus together.

We waltz into the hotel and realize that the entire 6th floor of the hotel was rented out, featuring multiple bars, a DJ, two photo booths, black and gold lights and decoration (very Appalachian-esque), and soul-food galore. The night had begun.

We grab a quick beer and make our rounds around the room, smoozing where appropriate and quickly walking in the opposite direction when we saw someone we didn't want to talk to. Thankfully, Ross and I have similar taste in the people we like to hang out with, so we both knew when to run.

The food was delicious but rich. My favorite dish (of the two that were not 100% meat) was the deep friend mac 'n' cheese. It looked like a tater tot filled with macaroni and cheese... I guess because it was a tater tot filled with macaroni and cheese.

As the party started to get cranking the big feature of the night, Kids These Days, starting rocking the stage. And when I say "Kids These Days" I am in fact referring to the name of the band, not their ages, although they were the only ones in the room under the legal drinking age. They were a talented group of youngsters, probably late teens, with soulful voices and great instrumentation. Their only downfall? They were obsessed with where they were from.

"We're from CHICAGO!" they exclaimed as their introduction, which at first was pretty cool. By the 8th time they yelled "We're Kids These Days from Chicagoooooo!" and made a "C" with their hands I was about to freak. We get it, you love the Windy City. That's great... but you don't have to tell us after every song. I couldn't help but think maybe there is another band out there called Kids These Days who isn't from Chicagooooooo and they were trying to differentiate themselves? Who knows.. but they did tell us to Google them under "Kids These Days from Chicago." I really wanted to go up to the lead singer after their performance and say "Wow, y'all were really great. Where are you guys from?" but I realized they may not get the joke and then I would have to hear them say Chicagooooo again. So I kept my sarcasm to myself.

Kids These Days (from Chicago) played pretty good dance music, so Ross, David and I made our way to the front of the room to get the dancing started. Little did we know, we would be the ONLY ones doing the dancing. David, having a couple more beers than us at this point, went straight for the center of the floor, and started getting his groove on. About 30 seconds into the song he realized he was the only was shaking it on the floor and motioned for me to join. Now if I was concerned about what to wear to look the most appropriate, I can guarantee you I am not going to have ALL of the party-goers focusing on ME and ONLY ME on the dance floor, so I stayed respectfully in the corner of the dance floor and let David take the shining spot light. After a couple of minutes Ross and I realize that nope, no one is catching on, it's just David dancing. So as the good friends we are, what do we do? Join in? NO! We escape to the bathroom.

The bathroom was a whole new adventure. Of course, 9 out of the 10 girls in the bathroom were only in there to "powder their noses" and primp their hair, so all of the stalls were open. I head into the first stall, because of course, it's open. I walk in and the toilet flushed. SWOOOSH! I shake my head, thinking about how much water is wasted by auto-flush toilets, and turn the knob to lock the door... but the door is so fancy you can't see that it bolted. Normally it wouldn't bother me too bad to not be able to lock the door securely, but I kept having flashing images of one of Ross' close coworkers walking in with my tights around my ankles and my dress hiked up around my neck and then I would get startled, trip over my tights, and fall backwards and into the toilet and then I would walk around for the rest of the night is a damp silk dress smelling like potty water. I stick one hand hand out, hoping to block the potty intruder and hoping that these are just irrational paranoid thoughts, and look down to see a pair of tights on the floor. Apparently someone else was afraid they would trip over theirs too and abandoned them in the bathroom. SWOOOSH! The toilet flushes again. I chuckle. Then I realize I am chuckling to myself in the bathroom. Great, now I am the weird potty giggler. I squat. SWOOOSH! I stand. SWOOOSH! I pull up my tights. SWOOOSH! I pull down my dress. SWOOOSH! In the 67 seconds I have been in the stall the toilet has flushed 6 times. So now I am the weird girl who is laughing to herself and flushing the toilet every 15 seconds. Awesome. Clearly, the primping girls at the mirror are going to think I had to go Number 2 and am giggling at my own bodily noises. Ugh.

I unbolt the door (it was locked after all), SWOOOSH! goes the toilet (just for good measure that time) and walk out of the stall. I make straight eye contact with a pretty blond girl who was no doubt thinking "Dang that girl flushes a lot." I wash my hands quickly, and walk out, head down.

Back in the main ballroom, David is still tearing up the dance floor. Solo. At this point crowds have gathered around the black rectangle marking the appropriate place to boogie, but no one stands actually on the floor. Couples stand close, oh so close, but no one makes a move. They look at David. They watch the band. Several people sway or dance in very compact moves that wouldn't draw attention to themselves. No one steps a toe on the dance floor. It is like every one is afraid they will burst into flames or that a spot light would magically focus on them and them alone should they move forward. So every one stays a respectful distance from the dance floor. The band yells, "Thank you everyone! We are Kids These Days and we're from Chicagoooo!" one last time and the lights fade for just a moment. Every one looks around casually, waiting for someone to tell them what to do. The DJ breaks the silence with an overly upbeat version of a Top 40 hit and as if on cue, the masses rush the dance floor and the dancing begins. No one burst into flames and the spot lights remained flashing sporadically around the room.

After a few songs Ross and I decide that as David is now surrounded by an entire mob of dancing co-workers and it is probably safe to leave him alone for a few minutes. We set off to find Ross' boss.

I should probably explain that with every party ticket, all individuals are granted two free drink tickets, after which you are required to pay cash for all subsequent drinks. However, higher up employees and supervisors are granted a VIP Unlimited Drink Ticket. Ross' boss (we will call him Mr. Boss) was one of these select individuals.

We find Mr. Boss outside of the ballroom, drink in hand. He offers to buy us a drink. I laugh (where he can't see me) knowing that by "buying" us a drink he will just flash his Unlimited Drink Ticket. Nice gesture either way. We go to the bar, and he asks what we are drinking. Ross says Pale Ale and I say Pinot Grigio. We both still have 1/2 a drink in our hands. Mr. Boss orders Ross a Pale Ale, and he trades out his half-consumed bottle for a cold, fresh beer. He doesn't order me a new glass of wine. I keep the one I had. We go our separate ways.

Ross and I dance a few more songs and decide to call it a night. We grab our belongings from the coat check and are handed our complimentary cab voucher. A free ride home! Hey, it's better than the $2.10 per person for the bus fare. We double check on David, he wants to stay to dance, and we head out.

As the cabby drops us off we hand him our voucher and he informs us that with vouchers we are allowed to tip generously... the responsible company doesn't mind unless you are excessive, like $100. We add $4.50 to the total (it was 20%!) and hop out. We can tell the cabby was disappointed we didn't give him a 1,000% tip.

So that was our night... some parts slightly exaggerated and some details omitted, because honestly I had to make the post a bit more interesting. But I promise the band did say CHICAGOOOOOOO way too many times, and yes, my toilet flushed all 7 times when I was in the stall.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Plaid Christmas

As Christmas is approaching I have decided to have a special work day celebration every Friday from now until Christmas. I plan to do this by wearing different Christmas-themed apparel to work every Friday starting with today’s plaid tree shirt!

It’s from Goodwill, originally from Dress Barn, and two sizes too big. Some of you would call my shirt tacky (cough cough, mom, cough cough) but I call it festive!

Tonight is Ross’ work Christmas party at The Nines in Portland… a super swanky luxury hotel. Oooo!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Presents and Surprises

Our first Christmas present arrived yesterday and has been placed under the tree (Thanks Aunt Diane!). It was looking a bit lonely under there... I guess I need to do some wrapping!

And now, I have a little Christmas surprise for you! We are coming home for the holidays! We didn't think it was going to be possible because plane tickets are SO expensive, but Ross and I decided to skip giving each other presents this year (just do stockings instead) and we found "reasonable" ticket prices, so it is all coming together! We will be in Wilkes late December 26 through December 29 and then in Raleigh from December 30 through early January 2. Our time is filling up fast because we are also going to be traveling around NC and Virginia to visit extended family, but we hope we get to spend some Christmas time with you all!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Weekend Recap

As promised, here are some highlights from our festive weekend:

Friday night we decorated our tree. Isn’t it lovely!?

Ross went from this (his back hurt... not so happy about life):


Do you understand what I put up with every day? Just kidding husband, you put up with me running around the house in a red fleece onesie with footies.

I made a weird dinner that looked like this:

(butternut squash soup, over rice, with hot chili beans…. Sounds weird, but it was delicious!).

Henry enjoyed time on our new Christmas blanket (thank you Nana and Papa!):

And Saturday night we had a little holiday dinner with Christmas attire:

My sweater is the 12 days of Christmas, what do you think?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Burrito Run

We have had a wonderful, relaxing, productive, and festive weekend, all of which I will share with you in more detail tomorrow. But first I have a story to tell.

I just had a slightly traumatic experience and immediately wanted to share my tale with someone. However, as we don't have too many friends in Portland that are OK with me calling them on a Sunday evening to share a random, pointless story, and it is now 10:30 east coast time and most of you would not appreciate a phone call at the hour, I have decided to tell you, my ever-captive audience.

(Wouldn't it be cool if I had this many readers!)

After a couple of very relaxing days, and three months without any real workout to my credit, I decided that tonight was the night I was going for a jog. I decided this at 6:15 in the evening after eating at King Burrito. Let me give you a little bit of background info on King Burrito. I promise, it will eventually become pertinent to the story.

While living in Boone for 5 years I became very spoiled by my local burrito spot. Black Cat Burrito was my "go-to" restaurant, at which I had many solo dinners, conversations with friends, and dates with Ross. Black Cat was delicious, affordable, and close to campus, and I can say without a doubt in my mind, it is the restaurant I have eaten at more times in my life than anywhere else. Since leaving Boone and my beloved Black Cat behind, I have yet to find a comparable burrito. Which is where King Burrito comes into play.

Less than a mile from our front door is a little hole in the wall joint called King Burrito. When you step inside it is hard to tell if you are in fact in a restaurant in Portland or perhaps Mexico. Authentic is a great word to use. So we stepped right up to the counter to order: a black bean and cheese "veggie lovers" burrito for me (although there was not a single vegetable to be seen) and a carne asada burrito for the husband. In two seconds (not an exaggeration), our burritos were done and we headed home. We enjoyed our delightful burritos and called the dinner complete (and no, the burrito was NO WHERE CLOSE to being as good as Black Cat. The search continues.)

So shortly after my burrito, I decided I needed to break my streak, and head out for a run. The weather has been surprisingly clear the past few days (meaning no rain, not necessarily sunny) and there is a cool chill to the air. In the winter I tend to be cold (always) so I bundled up in my fleece lined running tights, a sweat-wicking long sleeve, a fleece jacket, a cycling jersey, and a fluorescent orange parka. On the way out the door I grabbed a pair of gloves and a little wool beanie. Two steps outside the door, I realized I was still cold. I decided to suck it up and keep moving.

When I started my watch at 6:43 and "took off" on my run, I realized that I had in fact layered on a few too many jackets. The bulk of the jackets on my arms made them heavy, making me run with my arms straight down. I felt like the opposite of the little boy from A Christmas Story who couldn't put his arms down from too many layers.

So here I go running, in ton of layers, glowing in fluorescent orange, with my arms straight down. Two blocks in I realize my shows are too loose, but I am afraid that if I stop to tighten them I will get too cold and turn around and go home. So I keep running, shoes slightly flopping.

(At least they felt like clown shoes)

I round the first corner onto the North Portland bluff and I can look out and see the city lights are shining bright. My spirits start to improve. A couple of blocks later I pass a house with a giant inflatable polar bear in a Christmas sweater. I start to smile. As I continue I start to feel better and better about my run as I pass house after house with Christmas decorations and lights galore. After what I think has been quite a good run I glance down at my watch and it glows 10:52. I have been running for 9 minutes. Pathetic. I tell myself to keep going and turn down a road that has a lot of shiny Christmas lights.

Somewhere around 10:54 I start to feel a constricting feeling in my throat. I realize that I have three zippers jamming into my esophagus. But I am cold and I don't want to unzip my jackets. As I start to panic from the feeling of inevitable cold versus nagging pain, I breathe harder and my throat swells, therefor increasing the pain. I cave and unzip all three jackets just a smudge. The cold is bearable and I trudge on.

At 10:57 the tightening in my throat is back. I double check, no my zippers did not magically work their way back up. I take a deep breathe and inhale a long breathe and my mind immediately goes to the burrito. My stomach flinches. Uh oh.

I keep running, picking up speed just a little. I turn down the next Christmasy-street I see, hoping the lights will distract me. I burp a little. Burrito.

All of a sudden I am hot. Really hot. Clammy, cold, and hot. I start tearing at my jackets. I have to get them unzipped.

Every few steps I think burrito... burrito... burrito. I am starting to wonder about the authenticity of my "vegetarian" meal. Burrito... burrito. Then a flash before my face and I see a bowl of soup. A bowl of soup we saw in the restaurant. I commented to the man who took our order that the soup looked good. He told me it was made from cow stomach. I am now wondering if the same spoon they used to stir the soup was used to stir the beans in my burrito. Burrito.... burrito.... cow stomach... burrito.

I keep running.... more like jogging at this point... and pushing myself forward. By the time I am 1 turn and 3 blocks home I pass the house with the inflatable polar bear again.

I consider laying down with it for a while. But the thought of burrito... burrito... pushes me forward.

I am 1 block from home. I taste simmered black beans. I see cow stomach soup. Burrito... burrito. I am almost there.

I run up on the porch and glance at my watch. 7:13. I was running for exactly 30 minutes. I pause for a quick moment to be impressed by first run in months.

I unlock the door and am approached by a sweet puppy with a toy in her mouth. I quickly strip off as many layers as possible and the cool air feels like a splash of cold water. My mind calms. No more burrito worries.... but don't ask me if I would like a burrito for lunch tomorrow.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Trophy Wife

I got this coffee mug as a gift from one of my roommates in college. We were both single at the time and laughed about the possibility of husbands and being trophy wives.

As you can tell, it is quite a giant coffee mug, so I decided to use it as a temporary winter home for our orchid plant. (Who desperately needs a new pot by the way. I will add that to my list of projects.) I came home one night this week to a little bit of an alteration to my coffee mug.

Isn’t my husband the cutest?!

After a very busy week, we are planning to stay in tonight and decorate our tree, watch a movie, and cuddle up with the fur kids by the fire. We may even wrap some presents!!!! I will keep you updated on the progress as our home turns into Christmas village!