Sunday, May 31, 2009

May 31

Tonight we went to a surprise birthday/going away party for Garrett (tall guy in the center with the brown shirt). He just graduated from A&M and will be moving to Washington tomorrow. Sad. I've been very close with Garrett for about 12 years (since middle school!) and he's been a wonderful friend. This is a group of us that all went to high school together (minus Jack! - Left to right: Jack, Me, Garrett, Chris, Amanda, and Josh). It was a really fun evening!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

May 30

Today, we had graduation parties to go to! Right after Jack was finished with classes at the taekwondo school, the students threw one of his instructors, Matt, a graduation party (they grilled hot dogs behind the school, everybody brought food, and they all played kickball/baseball/toss a football around. It was fun but HOT!).

After Matt's party, we headed over to Jared's house to celebrate his graduation! This picture is Jared and Jack's bosses hanging out outside at the party. Jared was excited to learn that he would get to be the picture of the day today, because evidently he enjoys our blog (Hi, Jared!).

Happy graduation, friends!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

May 29

Angela had to go home today. So sad.

This morning I got up and made breakfast for Angela, Jack and me. We had eggs, potatoes, fruit and non-Angela-friendly cinnamon rolls. It was a nice way to start the day and end the week! Can't wait until she comes back to visit us!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

May 28

It's craft night!

Tonight, my friend Ashley from high school came over so we could all work on her wedding programs (it's next month! Wee!). Obviously, my neighbors Chris and Michelle came over to help too - we're crafting people!! We got a LOT of programs finished, and they're super cute!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

May 27

We've been having such a lovely time with Angela! Tonight, Angela and I went to the grocery store and got some "Angela-friendly" food (she's allergic to sugar, dairy, and gluten - poor thing!) and Jack grilled some kabobs out on the grill for us tonight for dinner! Yum!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

May 26

t started with a birthday banner.

Two, actually. There were still two birthday banners up from Jack's birthday party. Yes, from a month and a half ago. Don't judge me.

But Angela was on her way, and that was really the only thing that needed to be done to have a fairly clean house, since my husband is pretty much the coolest person ever.

So I took the birthday banners down, and took them to the guest room, where we keep the wrapping paper and birthday stuff under the bed. The bed was already made (clean sheets and everything!) since, again, my husband is pretty much the coolest person ever.

I decided I'd better check to make sure the guest bathroom was still clean. I mean, I had cleaned it the night before, but you never know. And it was clean.

All this reminded me that Angela and I would be scrapbooking this weekend, and I wasn't sure if I had any 12x12 pages for my Project 365 album. So I went looking for them.

In the process, I found my honeymoon album, which still needed journaling, so I decided I would do that with Angela instead. But I decided that maybe my un-scrapped Project 365 pictures should go in a regular slip-in album so they'd all be in order and ready to scrap later. So I picked up an empty album from my bookshelf and went looking for the pictures.

Twenty minutes later, I still couldn't find the pictures. So, of course, I gave up, and took the album back to my office bookshelf.

That's when I saw the sewing machine.

My sister-in-law, who learned to sew recently and is now making all kinds of cool stuff, including dog collars, inspired me to start trying to sew again, so I thought the first step to actually doing that is setting the machine up in my office.

So I started setting up my parents' card table.

But it was ugly. So that's when I decided to cover it in fabric.

And that's how I ended up with the cute card table with the sewing machine on it. (For a tutorial on how I made it, see this post).

Now, if you'll excuse me, I think there is something shiny over there I need to be distracted by.

Monday, May 25, 2009

May 25

It's Monday. Time to go home. But that doesn't mean our vacation is completely over!

On our way home, we stopped in Gruene (evidently pronounced "Green"). It was another little tiny town that Jack and his family used to spend some time when they visited this area. We did a little walking around and ate at the Gristmill, a semi-famous restaurant that overlooks the Guadalupe River. It was lovely!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

May 24

We spent today in downtown San Antonio at all the tourist attractions. First, we had breakfast at Denny's (and Jack got a little grumpy trying to find parking, but once we fed him he was happy again). Then, we headed to the Alamo, where Jack read EVERYTHING (in keeping with what he's been doing for the rest of the trip). We also took a riverboat tour, and it started POURING right in the middle of it (thus this picture of us soaked on a boat!). Then it was time to shop at the mall on the riverwalk, and this evening we did a movie ("Ghosts of Girlfriend's Past" - it was kind of cute) and dinner. Another wonderfully relaxing day with my friend!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

May 23

Today, Jack and I drove out to Wimberley, where Jack and his parents used to visit when he was little. It was a gorgeous drive with tons of rolling green hills, though the weather was less than perfect. Luckily, it rained all day in San Antonio and not Wimberley, and by the time we left there it had moved from San Antonio to Wimberley. Perfect timing!

Wimberley was lovely! It was almost like stepping out in time. The people were super-friendly and there were all kinds of interesting shops and restauruants. We shopped at a bunch of little shops, where we bought all kinds of things, from earrings to fudge, and we even did a wine tasting at a little wine shop that only sells Texas wines. This picture is Jack showing off the homemade pies we got at the Wimberly Pie Company! Yum! (My blueberry pie was perfect, but Jack's cherry pie was a little undercooked. Boo.)

It was a perfect day (until it started raining on us!) and a nice way to spend time together!

PS - Today marked 6 years together! Wow! That's a long time!

Friday, May 22, 2009

May 22

We're on VACATION!

Today we drove to San Antonio for a long Memorial Day weekend away. It's supposed to take about 4 hours to drive from Dallas to San Antonio, but the way we did it, it took 8. First, we stopped at an outlet mall and shopped (I got a new purse!), then we stopped by and surprised Angela at her new apartment! It was fun to see her, and we're excited that she's coming to visit us next week too! It was nice taking our time, doing whatever we wanted, and not getting in too much of a hurry. It was a good, relaxing start to our vacation.

We were also very excited about our super-nice hotel room at the Marriott Plaza right off the Riverwalk. My dad is platinum at Marriott, so he got us onto the concierge floor in an upgraded room. It's going to be a great weekend!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

May 21

One last grocery run before our vacation this weekend. Got 40 items worth $99.13 for $37.69. Weeeeee!!!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

May 20

Today Jack called me.

"Guess what Maggie did?" he opened.

Oh no. That's never a good way to start a conversation.

"What nooow?" I groaned.

Evidently, Maggie brought in a present for us from the backyard today. Just so you know, dog presents and people presents are not the same.

Jack noticed she had something in her mouth when she came in, maybe a leaf or something. Nope! Instead, she dropped a dead baby bunny on the floor in my house! Ugh. Gross. Sad. Bad dog.

She just never gets tired of getting into stuff she's not supposed to, does she?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

May 19

And the good things just keep coming. I don't know what has gotten into my husband lately, but man, do I want it to stay in there. Today he picked me up from work for lunch, and we walked over to Potbelly in the beautiful 75 degree perfect weather and ate together outside on the patio. Oh, how I love time with my friend.

(Also, my brother got me Taylor Swift tickets so I'm definitely going to her show in Dallas! I couldn't be happier about that!)

What an awesome day.

Monday, May 18, 2009

May 18

I. Love. Coming. Home.

My husband is incredible. Not only did he buy me these gorgeous flowers for my homecoming, but he also cleaned the house, bought me two Sunday papers, washed all the towels and sheets, and left a note and Andes mints on our bed! Yes, I live in a fairy tale.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

May 17

I stayed one extra day in Boston because the Celtics vs. Orlando game 7 was tonight. It was only $80 to catch a different flight home, and how often do you get to go to a game 7? Okay, so it wasn't the best game. 82-101 final score kind of "not the best game." But eating dinner in the press room and checking out all the cool toys that my brother uses courside during the game was still pretty cool.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

May 16

Today we spent some time hanging out with Ajax at home before Cassandra and I headed to a paint-your-own-plaster-thing place, where we enjoyed a little creative time. I painted an "H."

Later, Cassandra and I took Ajax on a walk with the neighbors and their dogs, then rented "Marley and Me" and had McDonald's for dinner. It was a lovely day!

May 15

Ajax "explores" downtown Salem


So today's my first full day in Boston with my brother (Shane) and sister-in-law (Cassandra) and so far I'm having a grand time. This morning, Ajax, their 90-pound greyhound, rudely woke me up by jumping on me was my alarm clock this morning. I can't complain too much, though, because he just laid down and went to sleep again, which means that he's an alarm clock with a snooze button.

After we got ready, we headed to downtown Salem and ate at the New England Soup Factory for lunch, which was absolutely delicious.

After that, we came home to hang out with Ajax's dog walker, Angela, who brought her greyhound (Ajax's girlfriend, Raynah) to play with Ajax and a puppy she was walking/grooming named Jake. He's a little cocka-poo and he's so flippin' cute. Shane told her that she could groom him in their guest bathroom so she wouldn't have to go home to do it and so that Ajax got to spend a little more time with Raynah. After she was done, Angela asked Shane for a broom so she could clean up all Jake's black hair from the bathroom floor, but he told her he'd take care of it.

Later, when we were telling Cassandra (who had been at work all day) about Jake's haircut, she was like "Oh THAT'S what all the hair was! I didn't want to say anything because I thought it was something Mandy did. I couldn't figure out what she had been doing in there!" Ha. Hello, I'm Mandy. I go to others' houses and trim my hair off 2 inches at a time and leave it all over the floor, just to make you wonder.

After playing with Raynah and Jake, we headed back out to mini-Boston downtown Salem to take Ajax for a walk and do a little exploring. The mini-Boston thing is true, though. They have a red line going along the sidewalks (a mini-Freedom trail), a mini-U.S. Constitution (actually the "Friendship"), a mini-Boston Common (Salem Common), and a mini-Boston Beer Works (Salem Beer Works). It's kind of funny. Who needs Boston when you can have mini-Boston plus witch museums?

On our walk to the Salem Common, we saw this guy:

Don't even try to tell me that's not Hurley from LOST. You know it is. Who knew he lived in Salem and has a golden retriever?

After the walk, we went to Dairy Queen, where I waited in a very long line for our Blizzards because it was such a "hot" day, according to the woman behind me in line (it was 70 degrees!). We ate them while we unfortunately listened to a group of very loud, not-very-intelligent women talk about possible reasons they were having trouble losing weight, including colon issues, siliac, and the fact that they haven't had any surgeries that have prevented them from eating for a few days like their friend had ("Gosh, wouldn't that be great! I'll bet I'd lose weight really easily if that happened! Ahhahahaha!!")

Here's a thought ladies - you're at Dairy Queen. I'm guessing the Blizzard you're eating as you ponder why you can't lose weight is doing just about as many favors for your flabby stomach as my Blizzard is doing for mine. Let's either make peace with that or choose not to eat the Blizzard, kay?

On our way home, we saw a Burker King marquee sign fail:

Yes, everyone. Get your "Start Trek" glasses!

Not much else is worth mentioning, except that 1) we ate at a Brazillian BBQ (read: unlimited meat) place for dinner (yum), and 2) There's a place called "Bunghole Liquors" here that always makes me wonder whether they just thought that name was funny, or it's just an unfortunate family name and there's somebody out there named Todd Bunghole.

Based on their website that I just found, I'd say it's the former.

Update: Looks like there's a good reason for it after all.

There's a colorful history to the original Bunghole Liquor store in bewitching Salem, Massachusetts. You see, the Bunghole used to be a funeral home. And during Prohibition the owner and his buddies, like many others at that time, used a slang word to refer to their secret drinking spot in the basement. The slang term they used was "bunghole," as in "Psst, meet you tonight at the bunghole."

A "bunghole" is simply the hole in a cask or barrel.

Read the entire history here.

Oh yeah, and by the way, I'm going to the Celtics' Game 7 on Sunday night. The plan had been to leave on Sunday morning, but I decided it would be worth the extra fee to book a different flight to see an actual playoff game this year. It might be my only chance.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

May 14

Today I flew out to Boston to visit my brother and sister-in-law for the weekend. I got here pretty late, but we did squeeze in a Nick's Roast beef, and played with Ajax for a while, who enjoyed some quality time on my bed before we had it completely made. It's going to be a good weekend!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

May 13

When I was coming back from the gym in the alley tonight, I noticed this snake outside my parents' back fence. It was HUGE! I couldn't decide whether I should run over it or leave it alone, so I decided to take its picture. When it saw the flash, it started going into the grass, so I called my parents and told them to close their dog door for the night.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

May 12

I love this view from my house!

The red bug in front of my neighbor's house means that one of my best friends, Michelle, is home from college for the summer! YAY!

Monday, May 11, 2009

May 11

Jack is frighteningly good at snapping towels (he got really good at it in the Corps in college), so I should have known better than to snap my towel at him playfully when I got out of the shower tonight (I suck at it, so no retaliation was necessary, but he felt it was).

Sunday, May 10, 2009

May 10

Today was Mother's Day, so as a surprise for my mom, I got us all tickets to the Dallas Summer Musicals' production of RENT, which was absolutely fabulous. Much of the cast was from the original Broadway production and movie, and I absolutely love the music. And even though RENT isn't exactly my parents' style, I think they enjoyed the evening as well.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

May 9

Today was the big day! Angela was graduating from Mary Hardin Baylor after four very long years of hard work in nursing school. I was so proud of her!

After the graduation we headed to her mom's house for a big graduation party. We had a lot of fun! And it was no surprise how many people love Angela and showed up for her party to tell her congratulations. (It was a lot!)

Friday, May 8, 2009

May 8

Today, I drove down to Austin for Angela's graduation weekend! I was so excited to see her finally graduate from nursing school and have the opportunity to spend some time with her!

Tonight, Angela got "pinned," which in the nursing world is really special and important, and I'm pretty sure it gives them super-powers. We spent the rest of the evening hanging out in her new apartment with her boyfriend, Matthew. It was a fun night!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

May 7

Retail value: $98.69. I paid $33.42. I love couponing.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

May 6

Today I had a fabulous plan in mind for dinner - we had coupons for free meals at KFC (they were promoting their new grilled chicken). Unfortunately, they had distributed more coupons then they could handle, and we waited for-freaking-ever for our food in the drive-through. It ended up being really tasty after we finally got it!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

May 5

Today I headed over to Staples to check out this deal on $1 photo paper. It was originally $10 per package, but with the rebate, I got it for $1 each. I always get so excited when I get a great deal on stuff!

Monday, May 4, 2009

May 4

I was home sick today, but did get out in the evening to visit my parents and bring my mom her birthday present. We had a nice dinner and I think she enjoyed her birthday.

When Jack got home, I lovingly reminded him that Mother's day would be Sunday, and it would be a good time to sign and send the card (Jack has an infamous habit of buying but not sending Mother's and Father's day cards). This picture was my evidence that I reminded him on time!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

May 3

Last night, the weather forecast was very bleak, so they called off day 2 of BikeMS. To be honest, I was a little relieved, since yesterday's ride didn't exactly end in the best conditions. So this morning, my parents, Chris, and I packed everything up and headed home. I was glad to spend a low-key day with Jack and Maggie.

And yes, those are definitely the coolest purple/magenta soccer shorts a man could have. Today, I asked him when he got the shorts, and he said he couldn't remember, but that they were from when he played soccer.

"Oh, so high school, then?" I asked.

"No, before that."

So he's had these shorts since at least middle school, and he still wears them to bed all the time. How many 30-year-olds can say that?

Later, Jack and I clipped about 3 weeks worth of coupons. It was exhausting! As you can see, Jack didn't hold up well by the end. Couponing is a lot of work, that's for sure!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

May 2

It's ride day!

I rode with my neighbor, Chris, most of the day. This is us at the start line.

Mom was super-excited.

Here we are at the start line!

So at about 1:30 p.m., it started pouring rain. We rode in it for a while, then were told to pull over and stop since the ride had been called. I had made it 70 miles, and I would have finished the whole thing given the time. Chris and I had gotten separated a few miles earlier, so I pulled over at a Valero with some other riders to wait for a SAG van to pick us up. We sat under a metal roof, against a metal pole, under metal emergency blankets (it was freezing!) with lightening everywhere. It occurred to me that this wasn't the best idea, but we didn't really have much other choice. Finally, my dad came and picked me up and took me to Texas Motor Speedway, which had kind of cleared out at that point as well.

At 5 p.m., we had a team picture scheduled. We had 150 riders on our team. This is who showed up for the team picture.

Even with the storms, though, it was a good day. We ate dinner at Waffle House, as is Team EDS tradition, and slept very soundly that night despite the crazy storms outside.

Friday, May 1, 2009

May 1

Well, I'm all packed. I've been dreading this weekend all week. First of all, I never feel like I train enough. Probably because I don't. Even though I trained more this year than I have in past years. But also because of the weather. The forecasts are not good.

I think the days leading up to BikeMS are worse than the ride itself. The thoughts of “why didn’t I train more?” and “this is going to SUCK!” and “What if it’s 1,000 degrees outside?” and “Oooh man, my crotch is going to HURT on Monday.” It’s brutal.

But the turning point is at 7 a.m., riding across the start line in a huge messy clump of slow-moving bikes, through the huge cheering crowd and the drumline playing a fun cadence. The turning point is the first rest stop, where you see scads of volunteers jumping up and down, cheering, and holding signs as they see you approaching. The turning point is when you see the volunteer in the wheelchair, helping hand out orange slices and Powerbars at the rest stop and saying “Thanks for doing this. I have MS”

And then it’s worth it.

The sweating, being sore, the hills, the begging your friends for money, and hitting that bump on mile 46 that hurts your crotch WAY more than the one on mile 2. It’s all for that guy in the wheelchair, or the lady who’s driving the SAG wagon with MS, or the name written on the rider’s blue bandana in front of you.

That’s why you show up, even though you’re not as athletic as the seasoned riders. That’s why you begged for money in a bad economy. That’s why you pant up every single hill.

It’s all going to be worth it.