Thursday, December 31, 2009

20 22 Goals for 2010

1) Organize our office and basement
2) Go to bed earlier/get up for work on time
3) Create and follow a regular cleaning schedule
4) Sew one item of clothing from scratch
5) Find a workout schedule where I work out consistantly (at least) three days a week
6) Run two 10Ks
7) Purge and create a workable wardrobe
8) Make the kitchen window curtains
9) Stop drinking soda
10) Finish the quilt I've been working on for years
11) Start a monthly dinner potluck club with the girls
12) Get my clothes altered so they fit correctly
13) Find a job in a smaller/cheaper city
14) Take more photos
15) Eradicate 25% of my debt this year (including student loans)
16) Build up a savings account
17) To keep up with my email inbox so I don't blink and end up with 900 plus email messages
18) To concentrate on work at work, concentrate on home at home
19) Eat better portion sizes, better balanced meals
20) Start eating breakfast
21) Be better organized and on top of things at work
22) Take the time to read a book a month

Also posted in the sidebar to remind me.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 in photos

video

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Are your pets vicious?

In our quest to become functioning adults, Bill and I decided that it was about time to get renter's insurance. I say it this way so you think that we actually remembered this and sought it out, instead of it being offered when I called Geico to change my name and marital status on my car insurance policy. When they mentioned it a light bulb went off and I was like oh yeah, we were supposed to get that like 6 months ago when we moved in here.

They transfer me to their renter's insurance agent and he asks the typical questions about where we live, what we use the house for, if we have smoke detectors and fire extinguishers then asks if we have pets.

Yes, two cats.

Are they vicious? Have they ever attacked anyone?

Um.....
No?
They're cats?

I once asked someone if they had pets and they told me they had one cat. I assumed it was a house cat and it turns out it was some form of mountain lion. Now, I never assume.

Point taken, insurance man.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Highlights of our Christmas

* Our household did not do any Christmas shopping until I finally went out at about 2pm on Christmas Eve. However, I was done with all the shopping and home by 5pm. There aren't many good things that came from my time of shopping addiction (hello, lack of money!) but one of the few is that I am a really great shopper. I know what lots aren't as crowded, I know which checkouts no one thinks to go to. Even on Christmas Eve.

* Notice that I did all the shopping, meaning my husband did not get me a Christmas gift. I actually don't care, but it's fun to give him a hard time about it.

* My mother decided that since I refused to pick up on her "subtle" hints that she wanted to spend the night Christmas Eve, she would just show up at my car with her overnight bag when I picked her up for church. I guess it worked, because by that point what was I supposed to say?

* I decided on Christmas Eve that my desire to cook Christmas dinner was at about zero. My desire to clean up after it was at about negative 1000. So, I made us dinner reservations at the Chart House instead. Nothing says Christmas like expensive seafood and views of the Potomac River.

* Bill worked the midnight shift Christmas Eve. Just like he worked the midnight shift on Thanksgiving Eve. I understand the idea that it's easy overtime (plus holiday pay) but it always kind of sucks for me.

* My Mother in Law sent us a gloating text message wishing us a Merry Christmas from South Texas where there was NOT almost 2 feet of snow and it was NOT frigidly cold.

* My mother declared that since I was the hostess I had to give out all the Christmas presents and then open mine. This was after I cooked breakfast for everyone and she empty-offered to do the dishes without actually ever intending to do them. She was not joking or being sarcastic.

* To wrap up our Christmas dinner, my mother declared that we had no religion. Because hers is the only one that counts. Bill looked about one step away from strangling her, so it was time to go home.

* We woke up the day after Christmas to a flooding basement. Apparently when you have tons of snow on the ground and add a rainstorm, it does not lead to good things. Bill spent most of his day on a constant rotation of putting down towels, running them through the spin cycle, then the dryer and putting down dry towels trying to keep the water in the back room and not letting it get near our couch... or the XBox 360.

*Hope your Christmas was wonderful!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Snow's coming!

No Quick Takes today because I've been too busy. However I just wanted to say...

Library Books that are fun to read..... check!
Netflix galore..... check!
Nothing I have to do outdoors..... check!
Leftover alcohol from wedding..... check!
7-11 within walking distance in case we run out of snacks..... check!
Stack of Thank You Notes to write....... check!

Okay, I'm ready. Bring it on snow.



One of the latest forecasts. I do have to admit that if this actually does happen, the DC area will be in deep doo doo because we have absolutely no way to handle that much snow. We just don't get it. We have no where to put it, not enough equipment and no real snow plows (we just attach plows to the front of trucks here). This would shut us down for a week. No joke. Not even our close by metro stop will help since it's above ground and above ground stops are closed once snow goes over 8 inches (can't keep it off the tracks).

I used to live up in the Rockies in Utah and this would be like child's play to them. They have industrial plows (real ones), everyone has 4 wheel drive, they know how to handle it, and there's plenty of open areas to move the snow to. It's all about perspective.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Golden Globes 2010 nominees:

As far as I can tell, the only people out there who review movies/tv shows or give reviews tend to be what I have dubbed entertainment snobs. You know the types- think that certain movies and tv shows are perfect and have all these deeper meanings and how dare people disagree with them because they are always right. Now, I watch some of these things that they dub having deeper meanings and it has struck
me on more than one occassion that some of these things are trying too hard to be deep. Or off the wall. And they tend to throw in violence and overt sex just because. It doesn't add anything to the plot, I think sometimes it's just to shock you into thinking that it was wonderful.

I don't like watching movies with violence, over-the-top sex scenes, or ones that are too depressing (as in start out sad, continue being sad, end sad) so I never really like anything that I am told to like. I don't think I'm alone out there.

I generally pay absolutely no attention to awards shows because of many of the reasons above. For example, I don't care if Slumdog Millionare won gazillion awards including Best Picture because I will never, ever see it. Why? Because of the torture scene in which they pull off someone's fingernails.

After getting a lecture from an "entertainment snob" (and constant movie goer) about why this list of nominees sucks, Julie & Julia had absolutely no leg to stand on in anyone getting an award for it, and why Sandra Bullock should never get an award for anything, I felt that I needed to give my opinion. Which is that the vast majority of movies released nowadays are horrid, none of them deserve awards and Hollywood has lost all creativity which is why I rarely go to the movies anymore. I was challenged to watch every single movie and then form my opinion. I decided to take it one step further and actually review all of the nominees thinking that there are people out there like me, who like and dislike movies similar to the ones I like.

I am giving myself a deadline of before the awards show (January 17, 2010) but we'll see if I make it.

Here's the full list (strike outs are the few I've already seen):
“Avatar”
“The Hurt Locker”
“Inglorious Basterds”
“Precious: Based on the Novel PUSH by Sapphire”
“Up in the Air”
“The Young Victoria”
“The Blind Side”
“The Last Station”
“An Education”
“Crazy Heart”
“Up in the Air”
“A Single Man”
“Invictus”
“Brothers”
“500 Days of Summer”
“The Hangover”
“It’s Complicated”
“Julie & Julia”
“Nine”
“The Proposal”
“Duplicity”
“The Informant!”
“Sherlock Holmes”
“A Serious Man”
“A Single Man”
“The Lovely Bones”
“The Messenger”
“Coraline”
“The Fantastic Mr. Fox”
“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”
“The Princess and the Frog”
“Up”
“Barria”
“Broken Embraces”
“A Prophet”
“The White Ribbon”
“The Maid”
“District 9"
“Where the Wild Things Are”

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ten on Tuesday, Vol. 7



1. If you could change anything about your physical appearance, what would it be?
I'd either want my eyes to be bigger or my belly fat to magically disappear. Both are an annoyance.

2. Is there a habit in others that you find annoying?
Currently at the top of my list: when people say "to be honest..." I hate that. I always want to respond "because you weren't being honest before?" or "no, I was talking to you because I preferred for you to lie in all of your responses, no matter how mundane."

3. What is your favorite recipe using ground beef?
Burgers. I'm a simple girl.

4. What was your favorite book as a kid?
I'm not that sure really, I was more about reading as many books as I possibly could then reading books repeatedly. I tried to just read from one end of the library to the other a couple of summers but there are just too many poorly written and boring books out there.

5. Did you work as a teenager and if so, where?
When I was 15 I worked at a tourist t-shirt store in Old Town and at a cafe behind the counter. When I was 16 I started working at the Gap, where I worked for the next 7 years on and off.

6. Did you work while in college and if so, where?
I worked at Dairy Queen while physically at school, I did temp work during the days during breaks and at the Gap at nights.

7. When you go to sleep do you like total darkness or semi? When you go to sleep do you need quiet or is some noise ok?
If I'm alone I'm afraid of the dark, so I can't go to sleep without at least one light on. When someone else is around I sleep in the total dark. The quiet issue is complicated; for some reason at night I have super sonic hearing that I do not have during the day. I hear everything. Bill can't sleep without a fan on which provides some white noise and yet if a floor board creaks I hear it and promptly wake up. I spend half of the night thinking people are breaking in and about to murder us. I would probably benefit from sleeping pills but I'm afraid to take them because then you don't wake up if something happens. Yeah... I'm neurotic.

8. When doing laundry, fabric softener or not?
Not. Adds an unnecessary level of complication says me.

9. Open toed or closed toed shoes?
Depends on the season. Open toed in the summer, closed toed when it gets cold. Socks/pantyhose with open toed shoes looks horrid.

10. Would you rather be blind or deaf?
Deaf. I think it would be easier to adapt.

11. Dangle or stud earrings?
Studs generally day to day because they look more professional. I like dangles when I go out. Especially super large dangles.

12. Bottled water or tap?
I don't really have a preference, water is water unless you are in Mexico or DC.

13. What do you put on pancakes?
Syrup.

14. On a long trip would you rather drive or fly?
Fly. I hate sitting still for anything more than 4.5 hours. That's the distance to Blacksburg from my current location and my absolute max for car trips. Unless there are extenuating circumstances. If I am the one driving that's the max I can do before my legs start feeling shin splinty and cramping up.

15. Do you prefer classic old movies or new?
Usually classic old. As in Bing Crosby, Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy old.

Read more here.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

12.9.09


Have you put up your tree yet? We have.



Apparently it's a great place for kitties to sit.



Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Ten on Tuesday, Vol. 6



1. Cost aside, if you could go (back) to college for anything besides what you currently “do,” what would you study?
My current job has absolutely nothing with what I studied in college, and the same is true for pretty much everyone I know. If I had to go back and tell myself something at 18 it would be that unless you have a huge passion for something and know you are going to get a doctorate in it or something, go with a generic major that's relatively easy so you have better grades/more options later. My undergrad was in Biology (minor in Chemistry), you can imagine how easy that was.

If this is a fun question; I think I'd go back for sociology or nursing. I think I'd be a really good social worker, even though they barely make any money; and I think nursing would be interesting because if you worked in a hospital you'd get to have different stuff happen all the time. I dislike monotony. Plus they need nurses everywhere, so you could move anywhere you wanted.

2. What do you do for a living? Do you love it/hate it?
I work with finances and contracts. The job is okay, I would be 100% happy with it if it were a telecommuting position and I could either work from home here and go in for meetings once a week or from a smaller town area and just come in every month/few months for meetings. I know a lot of people say that, but honestly if the upper management weren't so stubborn my job is 100% telecommuting compatible- so it's not just wishful thinking. Most days, not one person talks to me in the office because everything is done online and on the phone.

Since we can't actually ever afford to buy a house in this area, nor have kids, it would be extremely helpful to be able to move southward in the state where the cost of living is 400% lower.

3. What is your favorite Christmas ornament? If you don’t celebrate Christmas, what is your favorite holiday tradition?
I just bought these small glittery birds that I like a lot. I don't really have ornaments (yet) with any sentimental attachment, it's all just random stuff we've received/bought just to have stuff to put on the tree. Bill's mom gave us an ornament of a fat snowman police officer that makes me giggle.

4. Name something you could literally do without for the rest of your life.
Spam. Why does it exist? Seriously, does anyone in the world eat it? If you need low cost protein, beans are a lot less disgusting.

5. If you were going to have any kind of “cosmetic procedure,” what would it be?
Probably liposuction because it seems like a quicker fix then Weight Watchers ;-) I'd never do it though.

6. Do you have any “collections”? (comic books, shoes, etc.)
No. I hate clutter which precludes collecting anything. I do have a ton of books though, if that counts. So many that we've run out of space and I can't buy anymore until we have a bigger house.

7. At what age did you get your first cell phone?
21. I bought it myself in college when they were first becoming popular, mostly because I had a key to open the Dairy Queen I worked at and lived really close to it so a lot of times people would call me because they couldn't open/lock up.

8. What is currently in your purse (or pocket or backpack if you’re a guy)?
Cell phone in carrying case hanging on the side
copy of The Shack
Makeup bag (I put it on at stoplights on the way to work, yes- I am that woman)
One pair of light blue gloves
Wallet
Daily Devotional Guide (Nov/Dec)
Weight Watchers pocket guide
Planner
2 pens
1 pencil
Checkbook
Sudafed tablets
Advil
Excedrin Migraine
1 case Maxalt
Hairbush
Sunglasses
1 airplane packet of salted peanuts

9. Are you a neat-freak or a slob ? *this applies to house, office, car, etc.
Both. Yeah, it makes no sense to anyone else either. My office is completely OCD down to everything lined up evenly on my desk. Home goes from neat to chaotic depending on how busy and motivated I am; and how much overtime Bill had to work. My car is disgusting. I'm not quite sure why that is, but there's a running joke that once something goes to the backseat it's lost forever. I have stuff on the floor, on the seats, cans, etc. I only clean it out when making a road trip or when something starts to smell and I can't find it.

10. What kind of parent do you think you will be? If you’re already a parent, what is your style?
I really have no idea. I think I'll be pretty strict but I also know that it's important for kids to earn respect and independence. I also won't make mole hills into mountains. Focus on what's important and will effect them negatively down the line, let go of all the things that aren't so important.

Read more here.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Kim's Daybook for December 7th

For today...

Outside my window... there's snow on the ground. The snow we got last weekend was so strange, you could drive down the road and see areas that just got rain, just a little snow and lots of snow. Very spotty. At work we have snow, at home we have nothing. They are only 4.8 miles apart (according to google maps).

*Side note: to illustrate how bad the traffic is in our area, if you took 4.8 miles figuring the speed limit is on average 35mph and stoplights it should take me 10-15 minutes max to get there. It averages me 45 minutes. No, I'm not kidding. The record was 1 hour 15 minutes.

I am thinking... about my work schedule for Christmas. I have to turn it in to my boss soon.

I am thankful for... my friends. I think it would be hard to not have any type of support system. I've never dealt with that since I've lived in the same place my whole life and even when I went to college people I had known for years went to the same place.

I am wearing... a red sweater from Old Navy, black pants, black heels.

I am remembering... last Christmas.

I am going... to make my front door wreath tonight. Our local Michael's had a 60% off sale yesterday- I went a bit crazy.

I am currently reading... The Shack. I have a book club on it at church starting in January.

I am hoping... that the snow starting early this year bodes well for having a snowy winter.

On my mind... scheduling out a cleaning schedule. I keep trying to find one that works best with our schedules to keep the house cleaner in pieces, instead of us having to clean like mad when company comes over and letting it go other times.

Noticing that... it's really quiet in my hallway. I wonder where everyone is.

Pondering these words... "When I no longer thrill to the first snow of the season, I'll know I'm growing old."
-Lady Bird Johnson

From the kitchen...
Menu Plan this Week:
Monday
Pan Grilled Strip Steak with Horseradish sauce (epicurious)
Baked Potatoes

Tuesday
Spaghetti with sauce
Parmesan Roasted Broccoli (Food Network, Ina Garten)
Garlic Bread

Wednesday
Chili
Corn Bread Muffins

Thursday
Chipotle
Make gingerbread stuffs

Friday
Leftovers
Gingerbread party!

Saturday
Baked Mac and Cheese (Food Network, Alton Brown) with Chicken Strips
Peas (can)

Sunday
Turkey Meatloaf with Feta and Sun Dried Tomatoes
Salad

Around the house... it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! The tree went up on Saturday, the lights for the front yard and the wreath for the door will be done this week.

One of my favorite things~ sweaters and boots. I love winter clothing!

From my picture journal...


Lea's new big bed. She doesn't fall over the sides of this one (because it's a dog bed... shhhh!)

Read more daybooks here.

Friday, December 4, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday, Vol. 8



1. Had another dental appointment yesterday and according to my dentist I ask more questions then any patient he's ever had. Well, everyone has to have a niche. I did however learn that the reason it's harder to novacaine the bottom part of the mouth then the top is because the top's nerves are like braches. So they can just inject exactly where they want to. However, the bottom is like a tree trunk- beneath muscle. So they have to novacaine the entire area, which is why when you get novacaine on the bottom your lip and tongue will go numb in addition to your gums when on the top it usually doesn't do that. It's also why you have more injection site pain from novacaine application to the bottom, they are jabbing through muscle afterall. And let me tell you- I have some awesome levels of injection site pain. I also think that from the cleaning they got some bacteria in my throat because I'm developing a wicked sore throat and ear. It may just be coincidence though.

2. Last night Bill and I started tackling the horrorfest that is our basement. It's just so easy to pile stuff down there and forget about it. I found 3 boxes of completely unopened candle vases because I massively overbought decorations for the wedding. In some cases it wasn't my fault though- the way to get the low low prices is to buy from bulk places so it was actually cheaper to buy a ton then to buy a few. Not just cheaper each but cheaper total. I posted those three boxes on Craigslist and the Knot selling boards and already have 3 6 responses. (edit: got 3 more while typing this) Hopefully someone will take them.

3. When they asked for pictures I sent pics from the ones I used at the wedding since our photographer recently uploaded all our photos. Here's the two I was emailing out:




I had almost forgot how pretty the room looked. Not to toot my own horn (well maybe a little) but I did a really good job on the decorations. If you are wondering what the favors were- they were jars of homemade hot chocolate mix.

4. Here's another pic I liked:


It's myself and my bridesmaids in a group hug right after the ceremony. Or right before. Honestly the day was kinda a blur and I don't remember.

5. We had a great time at Post-Thanksgiving (the gathering of my friends for our own Thanksgiving apart from familial obligations). Not that you can tell from this picture which, as far as I can tell, was while we were playing Celebrity. These facial expressions are for two reasons 1) one of our friends is incredibly uber competitive at the game and yells at you for not being good enough, so we don't really like playing it and 2) I think the other team was going so we were bored and this was before we kept drinking to make the whole thing more enjoyable.



I'm on the left, if you are curious.

6. Since everyone else is talking about snow in their quick takes I'll jump on the bandwagon.



As you can see, not great chances for anything significant however just to even have the chance of cosmetic snow this early in the season is exciting! Nothing works better to get you in the Christmas mood, especially the day we are planning on decorating.

7. We have a busy weekend planned. Saturday we are getting up to head to Macys to finish buying the remaining stuff from our wedding registry, then over to Lowe's to get a Christmas tree and some outdoor lights. Then we're heading home to decorate and watch a ton of football. Sunday I have church and then Alaina and I are heading to AC Moore so I can return a few things and use the $10 store credit voucher I got from using my Rewards card (I bought a LOT during the wedding) to buy stuff to make a door wreath. Then we are headed to a nice dinner at Rustico to celebrate my mom's 68th birthday.

Read more Quick Takes here.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

12.2.09

Scenes from the movie theatre:

Kim: You know that scene where she called the high school football coach during the game to tell him off about his play calling?

Bill: That's going to be you?

Ah, he knows me so well ;-) I probably won't wait until high school either, that will be me in pee wee.