Monday, December 31, 2007

One Last Post

One last post for '07.....

I don't even know where to start! It's been a great year and a tough year and a fun year and a year of growing and changing and challenging ourselves and just experiencing life. And life is about so much more than PRs and races and training runs and Gus and I'm so glad we just had the year we had. How important is another medal, really? I can't believe I'm 30. I can't believe Brent is 30. I can't believe Pippin is 4! I can't believe a year and a half ago we decided to abandon the suburbs and move downtown and really experience life where we should've been all along. I can't believe we re-wired, re-plumbed and basically rebuilt a kitchen from the ground up with our 4 hands. I can't believe this is a house that's starting to actually look like something. I can't believe I have a job I actually LIKE now, after so many years of working for and with some of the most disgusting people you could imagine.

And I can't believe tomorrow in mine and Brent's nine year wedding anniversary. Time flies by just way too fast. But I also can't imagine my life with anyone else, and I am so incredibly thankful.

So, here's to 2007 and I wish you all the best 2008 imaginable. Somehow I think the adventure is just beginning.

And now, it's time to straighten my hair, throw some egg rolls in the pan and head out to a NYE party. Happy New Year!!!!!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Wiiiiiiiiii

Hey everyone! I hope you've all had wonderful Christmases full of whatever you wanted/needed!

We had a great "Christmas Eve in Pajamas". I started the day off by making a kick-a coffee cake and we started the first Lord of the Rings movie. We've always wanted to watch all 3 in one day and just never taken the time to sit down for such an incredibly long period of time. After breakfast we watched #1, then took a break for the grocery store WHICH WAS CRAZY & some lunch, watched #2, then made dinner and watched #3! WOW! They're such amazing movies but I have to admit it was semi-exhausting to watch them all day long! And we technically got finished at 1 am so we didn't see them ALL on Christmas Eve, but close enough! It did make a lot more sense watching them all together and now we can be in that exclusive nerd club of people who have watched them in one "sitting".

Christmas Day we opened the rest of our presents to each other, kicked a fantastic lunch, took a nap and just generally were lazy! My exciting Christmas gift from Brent was my very own Nintendo Wii. He's always been great at making sure I have whatever the hot ticket item of the year is, and this year was no different. (Although the year Tickle Me Elmo was so big we did contemplate selling it, and probably should have!) It's been a blast, and technically I should be great at it since I'm one of those people who moves the remote around and points it at the screen anyway! As is always our luck the one that Dice so graciously helped Brent acquire showed up not working properly (it wouldn't take the disk) so it is a good thing that Brent made me open it early. He called the people at Nintendo Wed night around 9 pm and they had a brand new one on our doorstop on Friday. How is THAT for customer service??? I need to take some pics of us with our Miis. We are so cute!

Brent also got me our very first George Foreman grill, making us officially the last people to acquire one. The hilarious thing is that we got it after our VERY expensive, top of the line kitchen renovation making it something we absolutely don't need. I saw a cooking challenge on foodtv the other day using the grills and it just looked so fun that I decided I wanted one!

Speaking of, we cooked a turkey on Christmas Day for the two of us. This is the first time we've done a turkey in the new kitchen and WOW, if I could marry my appliances I really would. During all our Oct-Dec baking season I'd already fallen in love with the convection oven and my ability to cook 3 racks of cookies to perfection at the same time, and now I love convection roasting. The bird cooked 25% faster than regular time and was perfectly golden on every side. It also has a temp probe that plugs into the oven and gives you a constant reading of the bird's temp. Once it reached my pre-set temp reading it shut off, leading to a PERFECT and moist bird!!!!! LOVE IT!

Wednesday it was back to work and the usual schedule for both of us. And back to the gym for me. The gym is already starting to fill with strangely clad new years resolutionist people. I am so frightened for what next week is going to look like. I had a TERRIBLE run Wed and had to stop after 2 miles and get on the elliptical. I think my system is shutting down from all this sugar. Today I tried again and ended up with a pretty decent run. I always have wretched workouts the first couple back from any major sugar or food binge, so I really didn't expect this week to be a glorious one at the gym!

That's it from here! I need to dump pics from my camera of all our holiday fun. This weekend the tree is coming down before it catches fire. It smelled like it was starting to burn on Christmas Eve after being on all day. Gotta love the real trees in drought stricken areas. This tree has been guzzling the water at insane rates.

Happy Friday! And here are some Christmas pics that I have dumped.....

Yule Log Cake: Soooooo good!








For some odd reason our mothers get a massive kick out of trying to wear semi-matching holiday sweaters every year. I'm thinking Brent and I need to surprise them one year by wearing matching sweaters.....








Brent and Santa sharing a moment.....to my disapproval








My MIL did a little tree just for Pippin with a Pippin ornament and decorations - Milkbone dog biscuits hung my ribbon. It took about 2 hours for him to "discover" this tree and my dad got great amusement watching him rip the lower "ornaments" off and eat them - ribbon and all. And by amusement I mean he watched him and didn't try to stop the destruction...












And finally, the traditional Christmas pictures. First is just my family (parents + us) and then the second one is both our families (minus my brother in Cincy and his family who don't come down for Christmas since my parents go up there for New Years).









Monday, December 24, 2007

It's Christmas Eve!

$82 - Titans Tickets
$7 - Hot Chocolate
Free parking because we own this neighborhood
Laughing at the idiots who pay $25 to park when you can park 2 blocks over for free
42 degrees at the start (feels like 38), 38 by the end (feels like 33)
20 frozen fingers, 20 frozen toes and 2 frozen rear ends and faces
Going to your first Titans game together - first FOOTBALL game together - priceless

We had SO much fun at the game yesterday! We've each been to a Titans game - and the same game - just not with each other. And that was about 4 years ago when Brent went with "the guys" and sat down on the field and I went with "the girls" and we were about 4 rows from the top. And considering how the game stops all traffic in our 'hood on game days we were due to finally get to enjoy a game. It was crazy to hear the fireworks in person when points are scored, etc instead of just hearing them from our living room or out in the yard!

Right before we left Brent was putting the tix in his pocket and noticed they said "Obstructed View". Instantly we were both sad since this is something we NEVER treat ourselves to. And basically since we never even treat ourselves to ANYTHING it was more than a little upsetting. But when we got there and got to our seats we don't have a clue what they were talking about! They were great seats sort of in the curve right before the end of the field, about 4 rows up in the upper deck. We were next to a dad and his son who were great seat buddies, and there was a blank seat between Brent and the Michelin man. We wondered if we could poke his jacket and let all the air out.....A VERY excited woman and her son were behind us. She was absolutely hilarious - telling them what to do, if they caught an interception she'd yell out "I called it", or when Vince Young was sucking it up she'd say "I'm going to have to put in Collins now".

If you know anything about us you know we are most certainly not sports people. Typically if you talk sports we may roll our eyes back in our heads and say "blah blah blah sports blah blah" or tell you we've totally zoned out. So this was the most football we've watched all year. Anytime the people around us gave high fives we would too. And sometimes we'd just give them randomly. And whenever people got excited about however the Cincinnati gave turned out we got excited, too. I'm not exactly sure what all happened, but the actual football part was sort of boring because no one scored very much and it didn't seem like we did well. But it was just fun to be there for the 93rd consecutive sell out at LP Field and Brent picked up a billion of the little "play books" so we're going to have a lot of free Coke Zeros for the next few months. And the Titans did win and it was fun listening to everyone yell out "Jets you suck suck suck" as you make the long and winding walk back down to the bottom once the game is over.

Do I want season tickets? No. Would I go again? Sure! But I might pick a warmer month, although it was fun seeing T-Rac (our mascot - a raccoon) in his fun Christmas outfits, and a lot of the fans in fun Santa outfits which looked VERY warm! And I'm glad it was something we got to do together on this Christmas weekend. We've made it through all the "family stuff" and now it's time for Christmas for two! (Or three, we can't forget Pippin!)

On tap today - "Christmas Eve in Pajamas". It's pajamas all day today and considering it's gotten downright cold outside (it's 32 now, ugh!) it sounds like an even better plan. We're going to watch movies, veg and eat yummy snacks we've picked up over the last few days. At some point I do need to run out and get some asparagus for our Christmas lunch tomorrow, but that'll have to be done in PJs, too! Why not???

And for your viewing pleasure (until we download the pics we took at the game yesterday) here's a very festive house in our 'hood. They're about one block over and one block back. I'm not sure if they EVER turn this off since we first saw it a few weeks ago walking back from a neighborhood friend's party at 1 am. As much as I enjoy it, I am really glad I don't live next door or across the street!! It reminds me of that movie where they're trying to be seen from space. ENJOY!

video

Sunday, December 23, 2007

$7 of warmth

Go Titans!!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Checking my list

1) Packages are wrapped after spending FOUR hours non-stop wrapping yesterday plus two hours the day before + 2 hours of Brent wrapping yesterday and 2 hours the day before. And we were able to be done by around 10:30 last night, last year I think it was about 1 am!

2) Pumpkin pie for sis-in-law is baked and wrapped, along with a cookie tray and an absolutely ridiculously expensive "fancy cake" I just had to buy on impulse from Provence yesterday. It just called my name out...

3) Dozens upon dozens of cookies and candies have been baked, packaged and passed out to coworkers and friends. And about 2 pounds of them have already been added straight onto my ass as a result. Making #2 above seem even more ridiculous.

4) Pippin is bathed and anxiously awaiting whatever adventure is surely about to take place due to #1-3 above. (Ok, he was anxious last night. Right now he is soundly asleep in his bed.)

5) Tickets have already been fandango-d to the showing of the Marathon Movie. We're going to see it at the Hollywood Ba-jillion if any of the other Nashville RBF-ers want to meet-up!

6) And, for those of you who know what Brent got me for Christmas and all the surrounding drama, the replacement showed up yesterday. WHEEEEEEEEE! Or should I say...........

And now I just have to blowdry and it's time to head out to the relatives and let Christmas officially begin!!! Yay!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Mystery PackageS

So, our big mystery package ended up being our car title. I had wished for a new car, right?? When we got the Vibe there was just a few thousand difference between the trade for it and the massive Expy. I am all about keeping my money so we got a little car note and my plan was to pay it off in 12 months, but it did end up taking more like 14 once we got bogged down in the kitchen renovation and I really, really hate spending out of our savings. I know those things are WHY we have money in savings, but I'm an accounting nerd and I prefer to hoard the money at all times. Car notes are the biggest jerks in the world because they're pretty much the only type of loan that will stick you with a prepayment penalty, so anytime we've had a car loan I pay it down to $25 bucks or so since the penalty is enacted on the very last payment you make - so the less there is the less you pay. I guess this particular company felt that was close enough so they sent us the title and she's all ours now. And not paying on it anymore will be a very nice present indeed!! I just refuse to spend a lot on a car, it's so pointless. Everyone wants to bang into it and all they do is depreciate anyway.

BUT, it just so happens there was ANOTHER mystery package. Of which I didn't know about. But she knew about it. And he knew about it. Of course Brent knew about it. And when he said it took a village to make my Christmas, he was pretty much right. But since it's not Christmas I shouldn't tell you what I got yet, right??? All I'm going to say is that it will help me burn calories throughout the new year. And it's something I would've never bought for myself, although I have mentioned them a few times. And it's not a puppy. Or a hat.

Ok, time to head home and mayyybe tonight we will wrap a present. Or not. Because at this point it's just fun to keep pushing it off.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Mystery Package!

What's up! Less than a week until Christmas people, less than a week!

Here's where we're at: We FINALLY got our cards in the mail last night. This year we ended up being some of "those people" you see on the news mailing their cards in their PJs at 10pm at night. And we took Pippin, because.....why not? We baked and baked and baked all weekend, and some of our goodies have been rolling out over the past few days and the rest should roll out tomorrow. I have yet to wrap a thing that hasn't needed to be immediately delivered. Which means our dining room is absolutely COVERED in packages. And I mean COVERED. There may be a table in there, I'm no longer sure. And I fully intended to start wrapping tonight, it just seemed a bit overwhelming so I decided to wrap all the goodies for my work and Brent's work and just get my office Christmas cards done. That seemed manageable. I think we're mostly done with our shopping. There's a few things I need to pick up for my parents, but we may be done. Actually, I really don't know. It's all just a pile and a jumble.

And then today when I got home there was a sticker from UPS saying they tried to deliver a package but (duh) we weren't home. And we're not expecting anything. And it requires a signature and the box is checked that we can't leave a note. What in the world is it?? And the tracking number is linked to NOTHING and we called them and they don't have any info on what it is. We have all sorts of wild guesses as to it being MONEY or a NEW CAR or the furniture we ordered 6 weeks ago we have yet to hear a thing about. So exciting!!!

I got a good run in today, my first in a week since having "the crud part 2". The irritating thing about it is that exercise makes me feel WORSE! Last week I'd feel terrible after just walking on the dread or using the elliptical, and today I was feeling really good until after my run! I ran moderately at 8:30 miles most of the time and felt fine, but as soon as I was done my throat just hurt and I spent most of the afternoon coughing. UGH! Tomorrow is a swim day for me so hopefully that will go better! Considering the large number of sweets in our house and the cookie trays that are multiplying at work I really need to keep burning the calories!

Obviously I have nothing exciting to say, but I thought I'd log in and update as a way to keep me from my Christmas chores! I hope you're all doing well!!!!!

Rae

P.S. Did anyone else try to watch that terrible "Clash of the Choirs" show?? OMG! We survived 10 minutes before we had to absolutely can that mess!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Sniff.Hack.Blow.Repeat.Part2

Yup, you've got it. It's me, the sickling. I just can't beat THE CRAP. I don't think I ever totally recovered from my strep throat/flu cocktail I had two weeks ago. Throw the thermometer roller coaster and good ole holiday stress onto it and I'm back in PJs. Last weekend was just so packed with the race, parade, marathon holiday shopping, tour of homes, holiday party at a friends house, etc etc that I think I just wore myself back down. Tuesday as soon as I got to work - which has been blazing hot all week b/c I think they just didn't turn the AC back on even though it got up to 76 degrees on Tuesday - I started sneezing and hacking and it's been downhill since. I literally think work made me sick! I have sensitive allergies and I think the air change made me and a lot of others at work sick.

It really sucked because we had a small dinner party Tuesday night and I was in that first stage of allergies where my head is fuzzy and my nose is draining. Doesn't everyone want to eat the food someone like that has just made??? Regardless the party went really well and I think fun was had by all. We've decided we want to learn more about other cultures so we had a small Hanukkah themed dinner party. We made a menu of latkes, applesauce, fritters, cheesecake, steak, Hanukkah shaped cookies and matzo balls. I had ordered a little menorah, dreidels and a few other things online and we read the story of Hanukkah to learn more about it. None of us really knew much about Hanukkah before hand so we all really learned a lot and had a blast sampling some new foods. Except matzo balls, I've got to admit that just wasn't my thing.

Now my allergies have moved to the phase where it's mostly in my throat and chest leading to a lot of coughing. At work I went through a whole bag of cough drops between yesterday and today. All this crap has made working out a disaster this week. On Monday I had a good run, skipped working out Tues and Wed due to the dinner party and then a Christmas lunch for my dpt on Wed, and then yesterday I just did the elliptical and today I walked uphill on the treadmill. After both easy workouts I felt worse than before, so it might not have been the brightest idea. Today Brent had threatened to confiscate my gym bag but I made it out of the house without him doing so, even thought it probably would have been best if he did. I would love to just be able to breathe again....

Tonight we went to an art show being held at a super crowded bar. I had wanted to go because this is a super trendy spot that lots of famous people - like JT - seem to hang out at. It was just miserable. So crowded and you just couldn't move or even see the art for all the people. Not that a thing had sold because it was being held at a super crowded bar full of young pretty people that spend their money on martinis and not art. So we were glad that we had decided not to put one of Brent's pieces in the show. Afterwards we walked over to try out the Mellow Mushroom. I really wasn't impressed. The pizza was pretty greasy and limp and our waitress couldn't have been less interested in us. Granted, we were the oldest people there (it's right by Vandy) but you'd think she'd realize we have a lot more money to leave her a tip. Anyway, we've always wanted to try it and so now we have. It wasn't terrible, it just wasn't worth a return trip.

Tomorrow we've got some holiday baking to do, wrapping, prob a little shopping, and I have to get cracking on my Christmas cards. We've yet to send the first one out and that's just terrible! I've got the stamps now, my holiday letter is now printed and I had started addressing a few so the groundwork is there. And tomorrow night is my department's holiday dinner. Hopefully in there I can find some time to rest and get over this stupid allergy thing.

And finally, here are some pics from the parade/race:

"The Package" went flying past me about a half mile into the race. This guy was booking it - in a box.








Once again, the Grinch beat me.....









I'm in the gray shirt and blue pants, next to the red shirt guy.









Here's Snowbird - our local weather "mascot".








This is Gnash - our NHL Team Mascot.









Here are some Andy Griffith dress-up characters. I yelled something at one of them and he said something about Judy-Judy-Judy to me. I have no clue what that means...








And of course Santa was the big finale.








I'll prob dump all of them into my flickr account tomorrow, gotta make use of my unlimited storage space! Happy weekend everyone!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Fashion Crisis

So exactly what do you wear when it's 76 degrees in mid-December? Um yeah, I don't know either. I did wear a T-shirt and flip flops to the grocery store yesterday just because I COULD and we're having a dinner party tomorrow night and we're grilling out the main course and it will be an awesome night to eat out on our deck. It's so bizarre. I felt so odd not wearing a jacket on my round-trip 1 mile walk to the library after work today, and Christmas shopping without a jacket is strange. The neighborhood tour of homes was Sat night and last year we wore our scarves and mittens and ran from house to house to stay warm. This year we walked it in our Tshirts and jeans. Global warming......

The race Fri night went really well. I ran it naked. No watch, no mp3, just me and my thoughts about the year. I wanted to run comfortable and not at that irritating 5K pace where you think you're going to die (which for me is a 7:45-8:00 min mile). I figured I would run around an 8:30 pace and it cracked me up when I did look up my official results on Saturday and my pace was 8:29. Talk about knowing what your pace feels like!! It was nice to run it easy and I was the only person who ran over to high-five some kids who so desperately wanted a 5. The parade was awesome, as always. It lasted about 2 hours and was full of floats and balloon floats and high school bands and kiddie dance teams and local officials. I've got loads of pictures I need to shrink up to blog size.

But, for now I need to get back to getting ready for tomorrow's dinner party. Wouldn't you know the last thing we're making tonight - a no bake strawberry cheesecake (from scratch, not a box) that literally takes 5 minutes to make - we run out of powdered sugar. So Brent ran out to the store like the best husband ever to get it. We were so close to being done!!! GRRR! Hopefully we won't run out of anything important tomorrow night - at our last small dinner party for my b-day I had a last minute fondue crisis and couldn't find the fondue cord. This was back in early October and last week I found it.

Happy warm December everyone!!!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Giddy-up Rudolph!

W'sup!! Just a quick post because in less than 2 hours I've got a race to run. I decided to sign up for the annual Rudolph Red Nose 5K a couple of days ago. I'm running it for fun and I've made a command decision to not even wear my watch. I couldn't begin to tell you the last time I ran timeless, it's probably around 3.5 years ago when I ran for the first time, ever. This race precedes the annual Nashville Christmas parade and it starts less than 2 miles from our house at the stadium. We start at the parade finish running towards the start, then turn around right before you reach the start and head back to the finish. The race is a half hour before the parade kicks off. I mean, I'd be a total Scrooge not to support a city that kicks a parade off with a race, know what I mean???? I started feeling better on Sunday, but I'd say I'm still only 95% and as far as "aerobically" I'm only back to about 80% following last week's terrible strep throat/flu illness. So tonight it's all about fun, ringing in Christmas here in N-town and closing out my year of running on a semi-happy note. I haven't set a PR in a single distance this year, so why try now???

So here's to parades and running and Nashville and finishing the last race of the year with a smile!