Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ugh....

It's silly that I'm even saying this - but - I'm fed up with the weather!

Our Fall has been gorgeous this year.  Absolutely.  Temps have been in the high 70s/low 80s, and it hasn't rained in a month+ (aside from yesterday and this past Sunday).

So I know.  I shouldn't even say it.  But....I want a Fall!  I want chilly temperatures!  I want to turn the heat on in our house, wear boots, drink warm cocoa, and eat soup.  And I know - be careful what you wish for...  But I think I know what I'm wishing for!  It felt tropical outside yesterday morning - hot and humid and gross.

I'm wishing for a real Fall.

I should also say I'm fed up with weather.com.  What an awful website!  And while I generally check the National Weather Service for my legit weather updates, weather.com has an iPhone app.  So when I'm laying in bed in the morning wondering what the temp is outside, it's waaaaay easier to just click on an app than browse the (always slow) NOAA website.  But weather.com just can't get it right.  They really can't!  Yesterday, for example, it was chilly (like, low 60s) and weather.com had it listed as "feels like 74" for hours.

Apparently the high today is 81.  Awesome.  But maybe - just maybe - after today we'll start to really feel Fall (temps are predicted to drop tonight). 

Because really, should anything stand in the way of a woman and her boots?  Didn't think so.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What a Snooze

Any blog readers I have from early on might remember a sad little diatribe I wrote on my inability to sleep like I could when I was younger.

Well, I'm here 9 months later to report that my sleeping has dramatically improved!  I still don't ever sleep through a whole night, but the quality of sleep I do get is much better.  Even though I wake up, I usually fall right back asleep.

I can think of a few things that have potentially aided the situation.

1) I rearranged my office at work so I don't turn my head in a weird way to look at the computer.  Because of this, I don't have constant neck pain - pain that prevented me from ever getting comfortable in bed.

2) Jonathan got this IN-CRED-I-BLE mouth piece that makes him not snore.  I mean, 100%, he doesn't snore anymore.  And in turn, I don't have to deal with earplugs.  The earplugs were tricky since I tossed & turned so much - so any time I'd switch sides, I'd have to adjust the ear plug.

3) I wear socks to bed.  (Katie's grandmother [I think] read an article saying that people who wore socks slept better.  No clue if this is a placebo effect for me - but I'll take it.)

4) We got rid of the tv in the bedroom.  (Well, it's not gone, but it doesn't get turned on anymore.)

5) I've started sleeping with an extra blanket.  I didn't necessarily realize that I was waking up a lot because I was cold.

6) I've started going to bed a little later (unless I'm super tired, of course).  We used to religiously get in bed at 10 and watch tv until we fell asleep.  Now I'll get in bed anywhere between 10 and 10:45 - and a lot of times, I'll get in bed and read until I get sleepy.  It equates to going to sleep at ~11 every night.

7) I stop consuming all liquids at 8pm (unless I have a nighttime cup of tea).  This eliminates middle-of-the-night bathroom breaks.

Another sort of funny thing is that I've started wearing those Breath Right nose strips at night.  I'm not sure this affects my sleep at all - but I noticed that pretty consistently (but especially when I lay down), at least one of my nostrils is clogged.  The Breath Right opens them up a little.

That's all I have to say, really.  If any of you have trouble sleeping & can't ever imagine it getting better, I definitely recommend trying out some new routines.  I thought I was a hopeless case and have been very pleasantly surprised.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Memphis Greenline

Picture from: http://greatermemphisgreenline.org/

In the beginning of the month, the first phase of the Greater Memphis Greenline opened.  Its 7 miles span from Tillman Road (in Binghampton) all the way out to Shelby Farms.  It's what's called a "rails-to-trails" project (which is just as it sounds: a former cross-city railroad turned into a paved pedestrian & bike trail).

Jonathan and I went out for the first time on Saturday morning and were so impressed with the whole thing - it's really awesome!  As you can see in the picture, it's a perfectly paved little path that's lined with tons of shade-providing trees.  There were a LOT of people - bikers and joggers/walkers, and then quite a few families (kids on kiddie bikes or being pulled in wagons).

If you're reading my blog and are familiar with Memphis, I'm sure you can imagine how great this is for the city.  And if not - just know that even though paved trails are pretty common in other cities - this is a huge step for our city.  It's been built really nicely and safety is a #1 concern (as we saw police monitoring the trail itself and patrolling traffic at the road intersections).

I can't wait for it to extend into Midtown!  But in the meantime, I'm happy to drive a little out East to be able to enjoy this beautiful new asset to our city!

Friday, October 22, 2010

I'll Have a Beer, Please

I was in my friend Amanda's wedding a few years ago.  After her professional pictures arrived, she sent the link to her friends so we could see/buy them.  I then forwarded the link to my mom, who I knew would enjoy seeing all of us.  A couple days after, I got an email that said something like this:

"Cute pics!  Thanks for sending them.  Maybe going forward, you should ask the bartenders at weddings to pour your beer in a glass?"

I looked back through some of the reception pictures and immediately knew what she was talking about.  Seeing all of us in matching dresses holding bottles of Bud Light looked, I don't know, tacky?  Redneck?  Drunk?  Sloppy?  Everything just looked a little less nice/fancy than if we'd had, maybe, a glass of wine in hand.  Or a highball glass with a clear liquid.

So here's the thing.  I love wine - I really do.  I also love beer.  They're my "go-to" drinks.  Vodka/soda is my liquor go-to, but probably 75% of the time, I'm drinking wine or beer.

Now generally speaking, I'd say wine is the "classier" drink vs. beer.  No doubt if we'd all had glasses of sauvignon blanc when the pictures were taken at Amanda's wedding, we would've looked fancier than we did with bottles of Bud Light.  But usually at weddings (or really any fancy event, for that matter), I choose beer over a glass of wine.

1) I'm not a wine "snob" necessarily, but I guess I can comfortably say I recognize a nice glass of wine.  And usually at fancy events with catering, the wine is of lesser quality than what we'd have in, say, our house or if we were eating at an upscale restaurant.  It's not that I wouldn't ever want to drink a less expensive wine, but since I like beer a lot, too, I choose to only drink wine when I know it's something good.

2) I tend to drink fast, generally.  So if I'm drinking equally fast with a glass of wine or a beer, I'm much more able to control my drinking with beer. 

3) I find that wine has a nasty tendency to sneak up on you.  So you're going on your merry way enjoying a couple glasses and then BOOM you're drunk and you didn't even mean to be.  Beer makes itself known.  So as you're on your second beer, you start to feel its effects and can choose to continue or stop without ever getting to "the point of no return."

4) Red wine, which is my wine of choice, makes you sort of toasty.  So if it's summer and you're at a wedding, red wine is going to heat things up even more than they already are.

5) Wine will occasionally make me sleepy.  Beer never does.

At my own wedding, even though I only had about 1-2 drinks total, those 1-2 were beer poured into a glass.  (Although in retrospect, I should've skipped alcohol altogether and gone for Diet Coke/coffee/Red Bull - anything with caffeine.)

So what about you guys - what's your go-to?  Does it differ with the different events you attend -  fancy (wedding, work party, charity thing, etc.) vs. casual (house parties, happy hours, family gatherings, etc.)?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Needed: LBD

We went to the wedding of one of my co-workers last Saturday night.  (Yes, it was Jonathan's birthday - and yes, I think the cool presents he got and/or the fact that we left the reception early to see a Guns N Roses cover band at Hi-Tone made up for the obligation we had to attend the wedding.)

So we were getting ready and I was perusing my closet for something to wear.  But I found myself in a sort of interesting position in terms of what to wear: I just wanted to blend in. 

In the past, I've been known to shop specifically for a given event (say, a wedding), buying a new, awesome dress - maybe even getting some shoes, as well.  But I've not really done that in quite some time, such that my dress options were minimal.  (A couple dresses were slightly too big [& should be taken in], and one was too small [I should lose five pounds.])  But really, at this wedding of my coworker - where the only people in attendance I knew were other coworkers - I didn't want to be in a really awesome dress.  I wanted something nice, elegant, and not too revealing.  Which made me realize I'm lacking something in my wardrobe that no woman should lack: a Little Black Dress (LBD).

I have one black dress (a long-sleeved wrap) that is one of the most brilliant purchases I've ever made.  I've had it for ~5 years, it's still in style, it can be machine washed, and I've worn it to countless events.  It's not quite 7 o'clock wedding material, though.  But the fact that this classic dress has been worn so many times makes me think that if I buy a dressier LBD, I could also get quite a few wears out of it.

Yesterday I poked around on nordstrom.com looking at their black dresses, and as you might imagine, it was a little overwhelming.  There were hundreds!  Tons of different styles and fabrics and lengths.

I have a general idea of what looks best on me (v-neck, really fitted at the upper waist, not too much of a flare, and a thick fabric [not chiffon]).  But then there were also some really cute dresses that don't fit that description - lots with a sort of vintage feel, lots of shifts, some high necks.  What to do?

So do you guys have one go-to, little black dress?  How did you choose it?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Book of Fear?

Currently, all the different Presbyterian Women groups at my church are doing the same Bible study from the same workbook.  This is pretty cool, in itself; that is, women of all ages, in different groups, that meet at different times, collectively studying the same material.  But cooler, even, is that the study centers around Revelation - arguably the strangest, most difficult book of the Bible.

My group (young professional women) is only a chapter in.  Although it's already pretty neat - so I'll keep you guys posted the more we learn about this weird little book.

But the most revealing thing we've learned so far is about the historical background of an "apocalypse."  That word actually literally translates to "revelation" - and at the time this book was written, "apocalypse" was a genre of writing.  So in the way that we now recognize "mystery" to mean a genre of books that have certain characteristics (ie, suspense, baffling plot elements, crime, etc.), the readers in 70AD (when Revelation was most likely written) would have recognized an "apocalypse" story to also have certain characteristics (ie, fantastical events, weird symbols, mysterious creatures, etc.).  They also would've recognized that the story was not to be read literally.

Now think about that for a second.  Did any of you ever read the Left Behind books?  Have any of you ever been fear-taught Revelation at church - inducing nightmares of mean locusts and an antichrist?  Or have any of you ever been shown that video - the one with the four kids who are driving along in the car & get in an accident - sending two to Heaven and two to Hell?

Understanding the historical context and the original language takes the scary out of Revelation - in fact, the book is one mostly about hope.  It makes me wonder, though, why was the scary put in in the first place?  It's the question that plagues me every time I see Christian extremists doing things like marching outside a soldier's funeral saying that the war is going on because God is punishing President Obama for his tolerance of gays.

Who decided that, with all the different messages of hope and love in the Bible, that the most effective way to bring people to God was through fear or intolerance?

I don't have an answer (except that fear and violence "sells," I guess?).  But I'm really anxious to continue learning about this strange, often-unstudied book of the Bible.  I'll keep you guys posted if I learn anything else really unexpected.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Love of News

I've mentioned my love of "soft news" before on the blog.  But I think in general, I could say that I love all news.  I love the Today Show in the mornings.  And I love to read cnn.com or msn.com during the day.  Or if I have extra time during the day, the NY Times (online) or WSJ (hard copies distributed in our office) for some wordy, borderline-soft news articles.  (Not to mention the iPhone apps for all of these news sources, which are awesome.)

When I'm on the treadmill after work, I love to tune in to Katie Couric doing the CBS nightly news.  I also get the New Yorker every week (which I'm much less diligent about reading - but I usually get to 1-2 articles per issue).

BUT - hands down - my ultimate favorite source of news (soft & hard) is NPR.  I can't get enough!

It's weird because I used to love listening to music in the car; I mean, really love to listen & sing along to music - you would never hear talk radio in my car.  But once I got into NPR, I realized the value of having this awesome news source always on the radio.  Also, I realized how much time flies when you're in the car listening to an interesting show instead of music.

I think the thing non-listeners might not realize about NPR is that while it definitely covers the "real" news every hour, it also has its fair share of random, interesting, soft-news stories.  And while the weekend programming might seem sort of lame if you've never actually tuned in, when you do, you'll find that some of the shows are interesting and funny and entertaining.

And oh my goodness - the iPhone app is unbeatable.  Basically you can tune in to any NPR station in the country (the normal version or the HD version), at any time, for zero cost.  I don't even think the app cost anything (or if it did, it was less than $5 [since that's my price limit]).  I use it if I walk or run outside (because sort of like driving, I think listening to interesting talk makes the walk/run go faster than just listening to music).  And I've started this new thing where I'll drive to work listening in the car, then I'll hook up to my phone, put in some headphones, and listen on my walk up to the office.  It's perfect because the "real" news starts at the top of the hour - so that usually switches on while I'm walking into the office (assuming I get to the parking lot around 7:55am), and otherwise I wouldn't get to hear it.

I had a friend in high school who listened to NPR as she drove to school every morning.  At the time, I thought she was lame & boring for doing that (and really missing out on some awesome music time).  Now I realize she was just 5-10 years ahead of her time.  Fail: Jackie.

Are you guys big fans of the news as well?  What's your favorite news source?

Monday, October 18, 2010

It's...Eventful

Traditionally, I've not been one who dutifully follows popular tv dramas.  I never saw an episode of 24.  I didn't really watch Lost (that is, I "watched" it while Jonathan had it on the tv, but even though I probably saw 2 full seasons, I didn't know exactly what was going on [I had a vague idea since it'd been explained to me - but I was never dying to see the next episode]).

We started to watch Flash Forward last year.  I was on board.  But then it got to be a little too creepy/scary for me, so we gave it up.  Similarly, we were into Dollhouse initially (a short-lived Joss Whedon show on Fox); but that, too, got a little scary for my taste, so we stopped watching just a couple episodes before it got cancelled.

The weird thing about it, though, is that: 1) I definitely have a personality that would be into watching a highly-anticipated show every week; and 2) I really like thriller/action movies.  However, I get creeped out pretty easily - so thrillers walk the delicate line of "acceptable" and "too scary" for me.

But you guys - I have to say - I am really into The Event on NBC this year!  I highly recommend you watch the 3-4 episodes and try to catch up if you haven't seen any.  This show was touted as "the new Lost" or "the new 24," and I can see it possibly attracting the same cult-type following.  It has a sort of mysterious premise - and there seems to be some government involvement (possible corruption?).  It's fun.  And it's not too scary (yet, at least).

I'm really excited for tonight's episode!  Are any of you guys watching?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Special Day...

37 years ago (tomorrow), on October 16, 1973, something happened that would change my yet-to-be-conceived life.  After hours of labor, a young mother would give birth to her second child - her first son. 

And about 36 years after that day of birth, her first son would walk down the aisle with a ring on one hand, and moi on the other.

Let us all wish a VERY happy birthday to the sweetest, cutest, snuggily-est bunny rabbit we know:
Happy birthday, Jonathan!  I love you!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Stay on the Vineyard...

In a really nerdy way, I'm super pumped to see Jackopierce tonight at the Levitt Shell.  Nothing like a nice 90s singer/songwriter to bring some joy to my day.

I remember when my mom was given a Jackopierce cd in the mid-90s.  She had a friend (who was presumably much younger than her) who had heard them in college.  We listened to the cd somewhat often, sort of basking in our coolness for enjoying non-mainstream cds.

Then, fastforward to high school, and one year at the talent show, the hottest guy in school played his accoustic guitar and sang.  Guess what song it was?  The Vineyard!  Only I found the whole experience so much more moving than my fellow peer girls because not only was the hottest guy in school doing a really hot accoustic guitar/singing number, but I knew the song!

Then in college, we managed to find the song again, sticking it on mixed cds and singing harmonies in the car.  And of course, our friend Will (Rhodes' number 1 singer/guitar player) would not hesitate to pull out his guitar and take us back to the vineyard.

So what can I say?  I'm pumped to see that girl over there with the mahogany hair tonight - enjoy a lovely picnic dinner, some drinks, and a brisk Fall night.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pictures

I got home from work last night and put the mail in our appointed "mail dish" in the living room.  I stopped for a second to look around at all the pictures of our family that adorn different areas of the room.  One picture sitting next to the mail dish is of Jonathan's sister and her husband holding their baby son.

They actually have two sons and a daughter.  But I couldn't tell which one is pictured - because the boys are now 7 and 9 years old.  Meaning, the picture is at least 7 years old - but potentially older.

Now, I've always imagined that my house will have a lot of pictures in it.  My parent's house growing up always did.  And ours does, to a certain extent.  But our house isn't that big.  So I feel like there's a certain level of appropriateness for framed family pics.  Our mantel in the living room has about 8 frames; and I can definitely tell you, from a decorating point of view, it isn't the most attractive option - but I wanted to have all the pictures displayed, so I let decorating have the back burner.  Also, we're lucky to have a fair amount of art that adorns our walls - so for the most part, we don't have any non-art pictures hanging on the walls (except in the hallway), they're all in frames.

Well, in thinking about a 9-room house, there aren't that many options, really, for placing pictures.  And so my question is this: how do you choose what pictures to have up, and when do you replace them?

In reference to the 7-9 year old picture next to our mail dish - what do we do with that?  There's a limited amount of frame space.  It's a cute picture, but it's extremely outdated.  Do we take it down and replace it with a newer one?  Or do we wait until we have a bigger house to display more pictures?

At what point do displayed pictures become obsolete, if ever?  Regardless of time, the picture next to our mail dish will always be cute, it's just not the most current one we could have up.

What do you guys do about this?  Anything?  Do you do a yearly Spring cleaning of frames and take out the old to replace with the new?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sunday, Sweet Sunday

There's a song from a Rogers & Hammerstein musical (Flower Drum Song, maybe?) that goes,

Sunday, sweet Sunday, with nothing to do,
Lazy, and lovely, my one day with you.
Hazy, and happy, we'll drift through the day,
Dreaming the hours away.

Now maybe I've mentioned this before on my blog, but generally speaking, I don't sit still very well on the weekends.  Particularly on Sundays - so much so, that this song makes me both laugh and cry with jealousy. 

It's not that I always have to have an activity going on, there's definitely a difference; it's more that if I'm home and there's stuff to be done around the house, I can't just sit still without doing it.  It's the reason "Sunday Funday" isn't something I can handle.  It's the reason I unpack my bag the second I get home from a vacation, even if the couch looks more inviting.  It's the reason that the week before my different book clubs, I'm frantically reading every spare minute I can find (because I couldn't just lay around for multiple hours in the preceding weekends).

There's a certain amount of discontent that comes with this.  I'll often wake up on a Sunday, and even though I'm glad to be home, I'm not 100% happy or excited about the last day of the weekend.  Instead, I start to think of everything that needs to get done (church, meal planning, grocery store, house cleaning, laundry, cooking, exercise, etc.).  It will even sometimes extend into grumpiness towards Jonathan: he'll be on the couch watching football (since he's worked really hard during the week and feels deserving of some relaxation) and I'll be grumpy towards him because he's not doing anything.  (And yes, I do recognize this is destructive behavior towards myself and him.  Got it.)

Something sort of weird happened this past weekend, though.  I felt genuinely happy and unburdened; I was, dare I say, relaxed.

As I mentioned on Friday, my sister was coming into town on Saturday for a little 24-hour visit.  The few days leading up to the weekend were really stressful.  I was cleaning and grocery shopping and laundering and changing sheets - all the thing you have to do before a houseguest.  But then, after doing all that?  Everything was done.

So Friday night I went with a friend to the Levitt Shell to see Alvin Youngblood Hart.  We brought snacks and drinks and had a great time.  Then Saturday, Suzanne arrived around noon and we headed on to a local beer festival (featuring beers from small breweries in reasonable driving distance of Memphis).  The afternoon turned into a haze (although I clearly remember the 2 miles we walked home from the festival in flip flops, culminating in one of the biggest/most painful blisters I've ever had) - and then, after "naps" on the couch, we went on to a lovely outdoor dinner and drinks.

Sunday morning, we woke up and went to breakfast, and then Suzanne left.  But this is where my day deviated from it's usual course: I didn't feel overwhelmed or stressed about what needed to get done.  I did my grocery shopping early (beating crowds), and was home by noon.  And for a couple hours, I relaxed on the couch listening to music and thumbing through a cookbook in search of new recipes to try.  Then I baked muffins.  And then I made dinner.  I also did some more laundry, but it didn't feel awful or unbearable.  Jonathan was holed up in the office for most of the day, which usually makes me sort of sad/lonely (wishing we could hang out on our weekend), but it didn't feel like that on Sunday.  Instead, I just embraced the time alone and basked in the totally carefree/stressless day I was having.

Maybe it was a general attitude adjustment?  Or maybe I felt good after spending time with my sister?  Who knows - but I can guarantee that if most of my weekends were spent feeling like that, I'd be one happy camper.

Monday, October 11, 2010

On Baking

Something about Fall makes me want to bake.  I want to slip into my apron, pull out the Kitchenaid, and go to town.  I want to bake apple treats and sweets with pumpkin.
But as we were watching cooking shows yesterday morning, and the beautiful celebrity chefs were baking awesome super fattening treats, I thought about how baking doesn't really fit into our lifestyle.

One, it's really hard to bake for a home of two people.  Especially a home of two people who like to lead relatively healthy lives.  Even lower fat recipes aren't, really.  And a lot of times, lower fat doesn't taste 100% great.

Two, some things (pies, cakes, tarts - really anything that isn't portioned in a smaller size) are hard to share with other people.  It's easy enough to make a batch of cookies or cupcakes and bring half of the treats into the office.  But it's less easy to do that with a fruit pie, you know?

Three, I lack willpower in a major way.  It begins while I'm actually doing the baking (ie, I eat the equivalent of about 3-4 servings worth of batter).  And then after they're actually baked?  Even though it's easy to bring half a batch of cookies to work - it's also awesome easy to eat them myself.

And so even though Fall beckons me to pull out the sugar and flour, I try to resist the temptation as much as I can.  Although yesterday I did make some banana/oat/craisin muffins that are pretty awes (as shown in the picture).

Do you guys ever get the itch to bake?  If so, how do you avoid becoming 100 lbs overweight in the process?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday, Friday

I've been such a bad blogger this week.  As I've mentioned before, our Fall is really busy this year (basically we're busy every weekend until Nov. 12th), so I'm feeling a little out-of-body, if that makes sense.

We got back around 7pm last Sunday from Ohio.  Monday night I played tennis.  Tuesday night I had a haircut after work.  Last night I had a Junior League meeting at 7, followed by a trip to the grocery store to prepare for our houseguest this weekend (my sister).  It's just been a lot.

But - some interesting notes from the week.

1) My tennis game (which has laid dormant for ~4 years) was not as awful as I expected.  My backhand and serve were crap - but I was expecting the whole thing to be crap - so it was at least a little better than anticipated.

2) I've not mentioned the Junior League very much - but I'm really enjoying it.  In our first year, we're split into little "provisional" groups of about 8 people - and I'm really happy I was put in the group I'm in.  Everyone seems very cool and I hope the ones I don't know will become better friends as the year goes on.

3) Once again, the AWESOME Magic Eraser came to the rescue in my house.  If you guys have never used an M.E. - go out and buy one right now.  Now.  Go!  We have white tile on the floor in our shower.  I seriously thought it was damaged because it was this gross, dark grey color; and we would try tons of different cleaning products on it and different brushes, and nothing would happen to the color.  With my sister coming to town, I realized that a houseguest might not be able to overlook the tile as much as we do, so I got on my hands and knees to really explore the grey.  When I ran my fingernail across it, the muck came off and I could see the tile underneath.  So I grabbed some cleaner and a really abrasive brush, but that did nothing to get the muck off.

So really, just on a whim, I decided to try the Magic Eraser.  Now it really took some muscle - like, my whole body had to move with the ME while I scrubbed it - but tile by tile, about 40 minutes later, I was able to get the grey muck off!  It's incredible!  I'm serious you guys, really abrasive Brillo Pads did nothing for the tile.  They wouldn't even pick up a line of muck like my fingernail did.  But the Magic Eraser removed all the gross grey goop.

So, anyway, that's about all I've got.  I hope you guys have a good weekend.  We're off to a free concert tonight at the Shell.  Then a beer festival tomorrow during the day.  Hello carb explosion!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Presents, Glorious Presents!

Fall leading into Christmas is a busy time for holidays in our family.  My sister's birthday is in September, Jonathan's birthday is in October, our niece & nephew's birthdays are in October, our anniversary is in November, my half brother's birthday is in December, and then there's Christmas, where we buy presents for about 11 family members (not including each other).  It's quite a lot.  So much, that usually when the month of December rolls around, I get really stressed.  So stressed that I can throw the following ideas out the window: sending Christmas cards; buying thoughtful presents; not paying for expedited shipping; not gaining five pounds through emotional eating.

So even though I attempt this every year, this year is going to be the year.  I'm going to start planning and shopping now for all these things.

The catch 22 of the whole thing is that I really like giving gifts.  I like sitting down and thoughtfully imagining the perfect present, and then giving it and seeing how happy the receiver is.  I just don't usually do that because I don't do it soon enough.  Or I get so caught up in trying to think of the perfect present that instead the person ends up with a last-minute giftcard.  So - no more!

I'm hoping to be methodical and budget a certain amount each month to buying presents.  For example, I always get my half brother & sister giftcards for Christmas and birthdays (not to be lame, but they're teenagers and probably appreciate being able to buy something and not spend their own money).  So those will probably be my early purchases this month since there isn't much thought required.

I've started a list in a little notebook I carry in my purse, so at any moment, if the perfect idea presents itself, I can jot it down.

Do you guys do this?  If not, do you also get super stressed in December?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Friday Filings

1.  If anyone Since everyone is interested in the follow-up to my back situation from a couple weeks ago, I can report with certainty that the Nikes were to blame.  I'm both happy & sad; happy that my back isn't really messed up and/or that I've pinpointed the problem; sad that I bought those dumb shoes to begin with.

2. Along the same lines, since I bought some new Sauconys (my trusty brand I never should've left in the first place), I've been feeling really energized to run.  Also, our treadmill that's been broken for the past month is finally fixed & it's awesome!  There have been a few occasions when my intention was to just run for 30 minutes, and instead I've gone on to a 4 or 5 miler.  I love you, trusty treadmill.

3. There's this weird thing going on in my office.  It's been spotted by a couple of us.  So, you'll be walking down the hall to the breakroom/bathrooms.  There's no one around.  No one.  There appears to be no one in the bathrooms (no flushing or running water sounds).  The lights in the breakroom are off.  But if you walk in, this is the scene you find:

That's the faucet running full blast over the bottle of dish soap.  No one is around.  So, no one seems to be coming back to turn it off.  There's no indication how long it's been running.  Kind of creepy, right...?

4.  A little shout out to my hard-working husband who's been super busy & super stressed.  So stressed, in fact, that he threw up one morning.  Yeah.  Luckily he was given a cupcake that night to make it better.

5.  Per LB's suggestion, Jonathan & I have been flying through the three books in The Hunger Games series.  They are young adult books about a dystopian world.  Like I always say, I've never met a dystopia I don't like, and these certainly continue the tradition.

6.  It's sort of long past now - but I didn't mention how I got to go with Anna last weekend to buy her wedding dress!  We had fun girling it up while she modeled ~15 dresses.  The one she got is an absolute winner!  Maybe there will be some pics of it after April 9th...

7.  The low in Ohio tonight (where we'll be cheering on the local HS at the Homecoming game) is supposed to be 42.  Say whaaaat?

8.  I'm hoping to try some new recipes.  So, I started a folder on my desktop where I can copy & paste recipes I see on websites that I want to try.  I'll often see something that looks good, think about how I should make it, and then promptly forget about it within 10 minutes.  No more!

9.  I got my flu shot a couple days ago and it didn't hurt at all.  It was less pain than if I were to pinch myself really hard (and quicker).  But every year before I get it, I get super nervous because there was one year where I got one from "The Shot Nurse" and it killed.  Like, a really, really painful stabbing & then this nasty feeling of something hot pouring into my muscle that lasted for a good 5-10 seconds.  And then tenderness in the area for about a week.  Anyone - Nurse Katie? - know why there would be such a difference with the same vaccine?

10.  I've been sporting my Fall work clothes this week & I love it!  Bring on the tweed!

11.  Have a great weekend, guys!