Friday, November 29, 2013

When One Door Closes, Another One Opens…..

So to my few faithful blog readers (if there are any of you still out there?), I owe you a big apology!  It's been months since I wrote a blog and, frankly, it hasn't been a priority the way it used to be.

My friend, Devon, had a good idea. Rather than torturing myself feeling guilty that I'm not blogging anymore or forcing myself to do something that doesn't really feel as genuine to me as it did when I started she suggested that I get some closure.


So I'm officially closing my blog.  It's actually quite timely.  It was four years ago yesterday that I wrote my first blog post - with the convincing of Devon, Haley and some wine after a lovely Thanksgiving meal.  I had just bought my home as a single gal and thought it would be a great outlet to share my trials and tribulations with my family and friends.

It was a fun ride and a lot has happened in those four years!  I met and married Carl, grew to love another dog, became an Aunt again and traveled to many new places.  And, most recently, we moved.

While I loved my little house it was time to move on.  We were a little cramped in our 670 square feet and it always still felt like 'my' house.  So we moved into a condo closer to downtown (and 2 blocks from my office) that Carl owned but had never lived in before.

It's been a month and I'm so happy.  We're pretty well settled in and are about to put our Christmas Tree . So while I was sad to move on from a house that brought me so much happiness and created so many memories with me, it's time for a new chapter.  But not a new blog.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013


I started growing my hair long many years ago. After a stint with short hair about 5 years ago, I've enjoyed longer hair. At least most of the time. When Carl and I got engaged, it made sense for me to continue to grow it out so I could wear it the way I wanted.  After the wedding, it just seemed easy to keep growing it out to donate it to help someone going through cancer treatment access a wig.

Sadly, there are limitations in the hair donation department for those of us who have grey hair and dye it.  Luckily, I only use semi-permanent dye and I'm hoping I didn't have more than the allotted amount of grey hairs.  But, what I lack in some of the details, I made up for length.  The donation requirement was only 8 inches and I donated 13!

I'm really enjoying my short hair so far.  It's great for summer and Carl says he loves it!

Meet Arlo!

My great friend, Jess, had her baby almost 2 weeks ago.  He was a little bit late and didn't quite arrive into the world the way she planned but he is adorable and healthy and I got to meet him last week.

I can't wait to babysit, snuggle with and spend more time with him!


Sometime in the past couple of months (April maybe?) my brother and I did a road trip to Dallas to visit our cousin, Michelle and her husband Brian who live there.  Her sister, Jen (also our cousin - duh) and her husband, Brock, were visiting from Virginia (without their kids) and we decided to have an adult cousin weekend.

Unfortunately, Carl was out of town for the weekend and Missy stayed in Austin with the girls but Chris and I decided to go for the night on Saturday.  Despite a ridiculously long drive due to construction, an accident, traffic, who knows....we made it to Dallas on Saturday evening.

Michelle is an amazing hostess and had food and drinks ready for us upon arrival. She also has some amazing hostess tricks such as chocolates and water in your room and a personalized picture next to your bed, that make you feel even more special.  The six of us then headed out for a night of drinks and dinner. Michelle was interested in some dancing but the rest of us nixed that idea. Instead we went back to their house and watched Saturday Night Live.

Needless to say, it was a lot of fun.  We all grew up in Northern Virginia and spent a lot of time together as kids. We were the only grandchildren on my dad's side of the family and we only span 4 years in age.  They're like best friends in many ways because we can go a long time without seeing each other but it's so easy when we are together again. I just hope next time Carl and Missy can join us, too!

Long Lost Blog....

So I'm back.  Kind of.... I'm actually in San Diego for the next few days, straight off 5 days in Chicago. But I'm (finally) getting caught up on my blogs. At least some of them.

Trust me, I never thought I'd be that person who didn't blog for months. I give my friend, Jen, a hard time about her blog delays all the time. Turns out, I'm that person. Or I was?

Life has been busy. I wish I could say exactly what it was that has had me so busy but when I think about it all I can come up with is work.  As you all know, there has been some very public issues affecting my work place this year.  It's placed a lot of extra demands on all of us and additional responsibilities.  All of which I'm grateful for and enjoying but it's time consuming, to say the least.

So typically when I get home at night I'm either too tired, still working or not focused enough to blog.

But I'm going to turn it around.  At least for tonight!

Sadly the first update is not exactly good news.  It's about our chickens.  After over a year of taking care of 5 little chicks and enjoying fresh eggs and newly sprouting sunflowers in our yard (due to their food and, er, digestion), we are a chicken-less family.

As you may recall, we lost one chicken last summer, who had gone rogue.  Then, in the matter of one week, the remaining four chickens were attacked and killed.  I'll spare you the details but I'm so grateful for my amazing husband who really dealt with the after math of all of this.  While we don't know exactly what happened or how they were getting to the chickens, what we do know is that whatever killed them was very determined and came back multiple times over the course of the week to make sure none were left.

So, while I'll miss the chickens and the delicious eggs, we'll take a break from having a chicken family for awhile. Later this year, we're moving into a condo and will rent out my house so it would have been an issue to deal with then anyway.

In the meantime, I learned a lot from Barley, Gerty, Peggie, Patricia and Petunia.  RIP.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Good Night Moon

Recently my friend, Colleen, hooked me up with some tickets to a production of 'Good Night Moon'. She works at a local theatre and they do special children's productions and this time it was for the book.

I was planning to spend an afternoon with Lucie and Audrey who both know that book so it was a perfect activity to do with them.

Before that, though, we went to our favorite lunch place, Mandola's (who recently introduced some gluten free options so we can now go back with Audrey) and played at a park.  I love those girls so much, my heart swells just thinking about them.

While I thought the show was amazing, it was a little bit of a challenge for Lucie and Audrey.  It was the first time they've seen anything in a theatre and I think the loudness was not to their liking.  At first, they loved the stage and props and were mesmerized by how much it looked like the book.  Audrey was on the edge of her seat with big eyes but soon those big eyes filled with tears when Lucie got scared of the 'yelling' and dark and despite my best efforts to explain to them why the actors were 'yelling' we only lasted about 20 minutes.

So it was a good effort but not a complete success.  The rest of the day was amazing, though, and I plan to try again with them one day.

Things That Make Me Proud.....

I feel pretty lucky in my life to be surrounded but such inspirational and highly motivated people.  Two examples of those are the team that I work with at LIVESTRONG.  They are some of the most amazing, dedicated people and I feel privileged to support their work helping people affected by cancer.

My direct team has been taking quarterly outings for the past few years. It's a chance for all of us to get out of the office, together, on a half day of work and do something non-work related.  We rotate who plans it and it's a fun way to learn about what your co-workers like and to take some deep breaths since we're all so busy all the time. We've done things like scavenger hunts, game playing, volunteering and paddle boating. This time we spent the afternoon having a picnic at a local park and going on a hike.  It always feels stressful to try and leave work early but the minute we're out of the office, it's worth it and I'm so glad we do this.

Other things that make me proud are the great friends that I have.  Recently my friend, Haley, completed an 8 week Crossfit challenge. She ate 90% paleo and worked out 4x/week. In the course of her 8 weeks she lost a lot of weight and inches and I improved her work out ability.  The final day of her challenge, everyone who was participating in this event had a final work out.  Devon, Kelsey and I went to cheer her on and not only was that a surprise to her, she kicked butt!  I'm so proud of my friends who focus on achieving something and then do!  Here she is during her final work out.