Tuesday, December 25, 2012

"Ho Ho Ho (Ho)!" From our Furry Family

I am so lucky to be loved by such an amazing crew of cute cuddly fur babies.  They all wanted to say "Merry Christmas" this morning :)




~Kiki (the biggest challenge of all!)

Hope you're enjoying a day with the ones you love (furry or not!)
<3 Lacey  

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Happenings Keep on Happening!

I hate apologies for delayed posting, but here is another one from me! *Sorry*

On to the happenings in our life lately!

1. Kim went on a business trip the week before Thanksgiving and it gave me the perfect opportunity!  The opportunity to plot, and, most importantly, shop alone.  I've been wanting to write this particular update for some time, but wanted to wait until we got pictures to share.  Doesn't look like that's happening anytime soon, so here goes!

I picked Kimmy up from the airport after some flight delays (lame!  I was excited!!!).  If she hadn't gotten home late I was going to take her to do a little mini spa trip before brunch with friends, but instead, I greeted her at the airport with a little bunch of flowers.

Not very clear (I was driving and not being safe!), but isn't she just adorable with her little flowers?

With those flowers was a little note that said something about an "adventure" (I really need to find those cards for a better recap!) and Kim freaked out "But I need to go to the bathroom!  I can't go on an adventure!"  I told her to calm down, we're only going to brunch and then having friends over to watch some football.

We had a great brunch with great friends, and when we were done I told Kim we needed to stop at Whole Foods really quick before heading home.  That gave our friends an opportunity to get to our house before us.  When we finally got home I acted like I was getting the mail while she went to let our friends inside who were "impatiently" waiting at the front door.  On the front door I had stuck another little note.  The note led her inside to find about 8-10 more notes and a few more bunches of flowers.  Biggie, our lab, even had a clue around his neck.  She eventually ended up on our front step, where she had proposed to me, and I gave her the ring that I was able to pick out while she was gone.  Of course she said she'd "marry me back" as I asked her, and she looks soooooooooo pretty with that ring around her finger!
It was fun to have our girlfriends there to take pictures and squeal with us :)  Hopefully we can get some of those pics up here soon!

Ain't she purdy?
2.  We got to celebrate our first Thanksgiving in our new house!  It was soooooo nice to be able to share that time together and start planning our new family traditions.  Having some time together also really reminded me how much I love the amazing woman I get to spend the rest of my life with.  We had a great time sharing good drinks and good food.  Yummmm!

Kimmy even wore an apron!  Muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuah!
3. I finally took and passed my RD exam (a major contributing factor to my being detached from the world for so long!).  So, now I'm a real dietitian with lots of letters after my name.  I spent way too much time studying, but I was glad to pass it on the first try.

4. I had a birthday.  Now I'm the big two-eight (as old as Kim for almost a whole month!).

5. We got all prepped up for the holidays, picked out a tree (not the one Kimmy's holding, that one was just cute and little like her!), and hung our stockings.
 Look at that cute little Kimmy-sized tree!
Decorating for our first holiday season in our new house!
6. Kim is on a trip right now to go visit her family in South Carolina for the holidays.  It wouldn't be much fun for her to stick around here while I have to go in to work for Christmas tomorrow.  I don't want to complain about the working, I think it is very nice what we do (hand out fruit baskets to all of the patients who are stuck in the hospital on the holiday), but it sure would be nice to come home and have a nice dinner with my loved ones!*  I am banking my Karma from this year, though... I fully expect someone else to work on the first Christmas when I have kids :) 
*Note: I am so happy I have such a loving furry little family to come home to after work tomorrow.  They are amazing and I am loving all this time with them over the long weekend!
....Oh, and I am also very thankful my whole workweek will be made up of half days.  THAT is awesome :)
...ANDDDDDD I'm very excited to have our own little Christmas when Kim gets back.  Why does it seem like I'm always waiting for her to get back from things?!

Peace on Earth and Goodwill Toward Man!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Two things I prize in others: honest and a sense of humor.  A sense of humor about your self and the world.  Ellen DeGeneres wins on both.  We should be BFFs and hang out!

 We're already friends on Facebook.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Love and MARRIAGE in MARRYland!

I nearly forgot, one of the most exciting recent developments...

Maybe we had foresight wise beyond our own dreams, but it seems as thought we chose the perfect place to live.

Yes, the fifth house on the left is a nice place to park our cars and lay our heads to rest each night.

Yes, our dogs are loving the yard and lots & lots of places to lay down and get comfy.

Yes, our neighbors have been nothing but pleasant.

BUT, best of all, these neighbors of ours have voted to acknowledge our civil rights.  They have voted to affirm our right to marry in the State of Maryland, and for this we are eternally grateful! 

I would like to put out a huge THANK YOU and CONGRATULATIONS to the people of Maryland for their historic vote on Question 6.  Also a huge thanks and congrats to the voters in Maine and Washington for doing the same... and to Minnesota voters for voting against the proposed constitutional amendment that would limit the definition of a marriage to one man and one woman.

I don't like to post political things but I think this one gets a pass :)

Lacey (a very, very happy Lacey)

Oh the places we'll go (TOGETHER)!

As Kim mentioned, we've done a lot in the last few months!

We closed on the house (despite the nightmare of the investor who was selling it trying to get the repairs right).

I almost immediately left town for a couple weeks to play Army in the field and graduate grad school (Kim was sweet enough to make it to Texas for that!).

I returned to wonderful Maryland, one of my best friends (Fancy Pants) moved away to Germany, and we dog sat for a few weeks until her dear pup could make the trip across the pond.  We need to visit!

Fancy and Samson, our surrogate pup
Of course during all of this craziness I started my new job (still in the Army just elsewhere in DC) and we got engaged.  I know!  I know!  Kim told you all about it, but I'm still excited, so here's the bling for y'er eyes!
  "If you liked it then you should'a put a ring on it!"
Swiss family heirloom... am I a lucky girl OR WHAT?!
I can't wait to put the perfect ring on her little, tiny finger (but that is yet to come!).
We also survived Sandy with flying colors.  Well, actually, it wasn't very colorful.  It was just cold and rainy, but luckily we didn't get any damage this time (we're still thinking about our peeps in NJ & NYC who are without power!) 

ANNNNNNNNNNNNNNND through all that, another momentous event, Kimmy came home with me to Idaho to meet the fam.  She was quite a trooper :)  Kim had already met my parents several times (beginning before we were even dating... they loved her from the beginning), but to make the trip over 2000 miles was quite sweet of her.  
We managed to make it the week of my niece and nephew's birthdays (ages 4 and 6 makes Princess and Spiderman gear a must), and of course the two of them loved her.  She played way better than Aunt Lacey does, she's amazing with kids!  
Not only did Kim survive the hours of plane rides and layovers and the scrupulousness of my niece and nephew, but also a 20-person dinner with my mom, brother, sister-in-law,  grandmother, aunts, uncles, cousins... you get it.  Of course they all enjoyed her company, and I think she may have enjoyed them as well.  She also willingly committed to meeting more of my cousins, high school friends, and several sorority sisters at a shindig the next night.  Less than half the people at this little party had the slightest clue as to the nature of our relationship, so it was kind of fun seeing the shock on their face when I broke the news that we're getting married next year.  Oh the sorority squeals :)

Two bad things about the trip:
1. Auburn lost yet another football game.  A complete blowout (congrats to Georgia).
2. We didn't take ANY pictures!

We barely arrived home yesterday in time for Kim to head out to Orlando for a week of work, and I am already anxious for her to come home so we can celebrate our first Thanksgiving in our home together next week!

Much love!

Monday, October 29, 2012

June Cleaver and Rosie The Riveter

A few last minute costume ideas turned out to be a big hit!  

Lace was able to make a great June Cleaver with some fabric, sewing machine and a Goodwill trip!  She even had a platter in her purse to "serve" candy to everyone.

I was Rosie The Riveter for about $25 total with only a Goodwill and fabric store trip!

We didn't have big plans, but just to find a fun bar that was having a Halloween Bash of some sort.  We met up with some friends to watch our poor Auburn Tigers get slaughtered by Texas A&M.  Then we checked out the gay bar next door.  

I had no idea Rosie the Riveter was going to be such a big hit.  Lacey made me sign up for the costume contest and I managed the get 5th place.  People loved our costumes! 

Now that this Hurricane is heading our way...we sadly had to take down our Halloween decorations and the rest of our outside items.  Bought a few bags of ice, food to survive a power outage and of course some booze!  I have a feeling we're going to get lucky and only get some rain and wind.  I really hope nothing bad happens to anyone but it's really hard for me to get worried about storms.  Especially since I grew up in Charleston, SC.
Unfortunately, Lacey had to go into work today and they are keeping her there overnight....booo! So it looks like it's just me and the animals holding down the house for the night!

Stay safe and I hope Sandy doesn't mess up everyone's Halloween!

~Rosie The Riveter

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


So it's official....WE'RE ENGAGED!!!

Answer: She obviously said yes!
Ring:  My grandmother's ring that I inherited
Location:  On the front step of our new house
Wedding: Sometime in 2013
Who proposed to who and why: We don't have any rules or "roles" when it comes to this stuff.  It was whoever popped the question first.  I already had a ring to give her (we both will wear engagement rings) and since I don't do well with surprises (I always ruin them)...I secretly decided that I would make sure I'd propose first!

Preparation and planning...

The carved pumpkins were probably my 4th or 5th idea!  This idea was more controllable and in my hands.  I was so nervous that something wouldn't work out!!

I was able to work on these guys all morning (ps - I ruined one poor pumpkin and had to go out and find a needless to say, we'll be eating a lot of roasted pumpkin seeds).  Thank goodness for the days I'm able to work from home!

I took both the pumpkins outside to clean them and I accidentally broke off the center piece of the U...before I could even reach down to pick it up to try to add it back on with a lab mix was already eating it! Beast!!

Anyways,  I sat in front of them as Lacey pulled in from work. She had no idea until she walked up to the front porch.  4 watering eyes, so many tight hugs, tons of kisses, at least 20 OMGs and 1 big yes!

We couldn't be happier!


Monday, October 15, 2012


-Bought a new house
-Moving & unpacking...ugh!
-Painting, DIY projects, yard maintenance & 2398 trips to Home Depot!
-Weekend visitors
-Dog sitting for 2 weeks
-Flag football season & a sprained ankle to go with it
-Trying to cope with Auburn's horrible horrible horrible football season

To say the least...things have been a little hectic lately, but it's been a blast!  Now things are finally starting to settle in and a daily routine is slowly coming together.

We will be working on revamping our poor blog now!  So look out for more pictures & posts (especially some before's & after's of the house and projects)!  OH and I'm hoping to post some BIG NEWS very soon!!!!



Sunday, August 26, 2012

"They don't know who they're dealing with..." Another Trip to Home Depot

Another day closer to home ownership... maybe.

We stopped by the house this afternoon to take a look at the work that's been done.  We're supposed to have our final walk-through tomorrow, but there have been some issues with the work we've seen along the way.  So, we wanted to be prepared for what to expect.  Closing has already been delayed almost a week, and, if it weren't for our urging, we suspect things would have been accomplished even more slowly.

Again, we were disappointed with what we saw (sad face!!!).  A very simple drainage issue has been botched (again!), and it is obvious from the ground that some small holes in the siding on the second floor have not been touched.  I'm beginning to get concerned that they haven't paid attention to any of the things in the post-inspection contract addendum.  Don't get me wrong, if the investor would have said "No, those are things we aren't willing to do," when we originally requested them after the inspection, we would be cool with some sort of compromise, but these are things they agreed to have accomplished.

So, of course, we headed to Home Depot (again!).  I am bound and determined to inspect every contractual line-item with my own eyes.  How will I do that?  With a ladder... A very.big.ladder.  It's an investment, right?

After huffing and puffing out our frustrations (my Shrimp is thinking about seriously giving the realtor a piece of her mind about the whole thing nice and early tomorrow -- eek!  My easy-going Kimmy is M-A-D mad!), we headed to the ladder section of the store, where we haggled over features and reviews for a good 30+ minutes.  We settled on a 16-foot extension ladder for the time being, just to make sure I can get up on the roof.  It's quite comical seeing it filling up the entire length of Kim's Honda Element (I'd throw a pic up if it weren't raining and dark).

"They must think they're dealing with a couple little girls who don't know any better."
"They don't know who they're dealing with... they're dealing with LESBIANS!"
"They're dealing with ARMY lesbians who know better and come with tool."  (actual conversation)

We had a good laugh at ourselves... but it's true.  We may not be contractors, but it's pretty hard to pull the wool over our eyes.  They're going to hate my ladder, level, measuring tape, and camera... I can just feel it!  We fully plan to re-do the drainage issue ourselves after seeing them botch it multiple times, but at this point I can't see signing the closing papers if they can't manage to re-hang a gutter properly, patch a couple holes in siding and the roof, and the other somewhat minor things on our list.  It just makes us question the quality of work that might have gone on under the "skin" they put on this property to flip it.

Now, I need another glass of wine.

<3 Your ladder-toting new neighbor,

Friday, August 24, 2012

Home Depot on a Friday Night

"I hope you know we're stuck with this cat for another ten or twelve years."  We all know indoor cats live like... forever, so it's more like fifteen, but that's OK :)

That's how it looked like our night was ending, until Kimmy (yep, that's Shrimp's real name... shall this be a future blog topic?) decided to offer me one more cocktail (YES, PLEAAAAAAAAAASE!).

But, alas, that is not how the night started out...

I came home from work tonight, and although I usually text and let her know I am heading out on my bike, I decided to coast on home tonight and "surprise" her.  Well, she was not surprised, just a bit perturbed as to why I didn't call.  Where's her sense of romance?  Probably got lost somewhere in the yet-to-be-identified-pet-accident that she found at my time of arrival on the hardwood upstairs.  No one got that usual shameful look when we threw out the "Did you do that?!" at them... hmmmmm... me's beginning to think Kimmy had an accident on the bedroom floor.  Just kidding :)

Let me just clarify... the last few weeks have been nothing but HELLISH.  Ok, maybe that's not the best description (nothing has gone horribly wrong, all of our loved ones [that were still alive a month or two ago] are still with us and we haven't suffered any huge financial losses), but I *finally* defended my research for my masters degree (and passed!), and... well that is about it.

But!  But!  I hate research, and although I think what I am doing is important (and I figured out some important stuff to really help injured veterans!), it's not my cup of tea... so I resume complaining.  NO ONE, wants to write, and re-write, and reeeeeeeeee-write the same manuscript a million (ok, like 10-ish) times and... ok, well, just imagine doing any job 10 times, you get it :)  Anyways, my final-final draft is due Tuesday.

And back to Friday night...

Of course, after the accident/incident was cleaned up, it was time to get our evening started.  Being the soon-to-be homeowners and homos that we are, we headed to Home Depot (romantic, huh?).  I realized we (I?) had a problem when I was like, "Why do I always have to go to the bathroom when I'm at Home Depot?" Then I was like, "Damn, I must be at Home Depot WAY too much to be thinking that!"

We hit what seemed liked every isle in the store.  Between moving out and moving in, we either need to fix something or prep something for our old or new lives.  I am less a shopper and TV watcher than I have ever been at any point in my life.  Kim is less so on both accounts.  So, as I ogled back splash tiles and closet organizers she intercepted my dreams with such facts as "We don't even remember the exact granite color or know the room dimension!"  The NERVE of her!

Anyways, we made it out alive, grabbed some dinner and cocktails, and were back home well before 10pm, because we can't survive past then in our late 20s.  The dogs greeted us, we poured a couple more cocktails and pondered over new home essentials on Amazon, until Kim came down from the bathroom and uttered the above statement... solidifying her stance that I will never in my lifetime get the hilarious option to name a kitty "Minnie Meows."

Now I'm sipping on my last cocktail of the evening, and watching Kim hold her breath in an effort to cure a bad case of the hiccups.

I just have one request, and that is that we all gather our karma, good luck, and warm-fuzzy thoughts into one pool and hope that one week from today Kimmy and I will be snuggling up on a cheap Ikea mattress in our new house, surrounded only by our favorite creatures and few essentials.  That would be a four-day-late closing but as soon as we can muster hope for an this time.

~Lacey (that's Idaho for "Tater.")

Friday, August 3, 2012

Peace, Love & Tacos

I dig live music....especially in small local venues like The Birchmere in Alexandria, VA!

I heart Tristan Prettyman (and Joshua Radin is pretty damn good too)....

and more importantly, I love amazing date nights with my girl!!!

Tristan Prettyman and I

~ Shrimp (one happy girl!!)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The End is Near... And the Beginning is in Sight!

I am so happy to be back home with Shrimp and all these furry creatures.  Two weeks without my girl and my pups was about enough to make me go crazy.  I even missed the cat, despite our tenuous relationship.  Although it was fun getting to play with babies and teach all sorts of different groups about nutrition (and have someone take out my garbage, make my bed, replace my towel every day), I am content to be back under the roof of this little cramped townhouse for the time being.

With this little trip to North Carolina I have officially completed my internship rotations.  Yes, I can see the finish line!  The "first final draft" of my research manuscript is due bright and early tomorrow morning (need to get cracking on that one!), then I have 5 weeks of repolishing, defending, presenting, etc.  After that I head out into the forest and figure out how to set up a kitchen for a disaster, try to formulate tube-feedings from everyday foods, and play Girl Scouts (not Boy Scouts, we know their stance on people like us) for a week and a half with all my classmates from grad school, and then we GRADUATE!  After we graduate we move on and leave grad school and internships behind us.  This cannot happen soon enough!

Throughout all this craziness is we are to close on our house (I don't know who is more excited, Shrimp, me, or the dogs... we haven't yet told the cat), and move.  We're hoping to have the movers come in and pick everything up ASAP so we don't have as much to clean and maintain over the next couple months/  We'll have them hold on to everything until I'm gone playing in the forest.  We're hoping this gives us a week or two in the empty house to get in and make sure everything is clean to our standards, put a little paint on some of the walls, and do some projects before the house gets full of all our stuff.  That's the plan... assuming we close on time :)


For your visual pleasure...

So excited to add over 1000 square feet of living space to our lives...
and a functional kitchen, nice, big fenced yard, and a neighborhood we love!

This is the point at which it is ok for Shrimp to start hating me. 
While she was at home working hard I was playing with babies, talking to people about food and zip lining.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Busy Lives & Still Rolling Right Along

So now it's my turn to talk about how much it sucks when Tater is away!

I will honestly say that I love "me" time.  I enjoy mornings by myself, I appreciate silence & time to think, I love a good run with just me and the pavement, etc.  Then this girl came along, and I still very much enjoy all my alone time, but I absolutely adore spending as much time as possible with her. It's great...I mean how many people can you say that never bother you or that you can't seem to get enough of?!

Last Monday Tater drove down to NC with another intern/friend to stay for 2 weeks.  It's part of their internship and we both have been dreading it for different reasons.  She's been working/shadowing different areas of a hospital down there and I've been working & cleaning (boring!).  It's only been a few days and I'm so ready for her to come back now!

On to more exciting news....

We are in the process of closing on a house....YAY! It's pretty much perfect....fenced in yard, open kitchen, plenty of room to grow in and the location is great!  It's right near Old Town Alexandria and the National Harbor.  I love this because parts of those areas remind me of Charleston, SC (my hometown).  We've made an offer, had an inspection and now waiting on banks, seller and whatever else.  We're both so excited about the house...we know that once we get moved in then we finally get to live "normal" lives.  Tater will be done with her internship in September and will begin actually working as a dietitian and will be able to have more time to relax.

Anyways...time to start my work day!

ps- Sorry for the lack of pictures lately.  We'll make up for it soon :)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Updating and Improving

We will be updating and designing a new blog layout and all.  So bear with us through a few different looks while we figure out which one we want to stick with for awhile! 

Happy Saturday!

~Shrimp & Tater

Monday, July 2, 2012

3 Digit Temps & No Power...Thanks, Derecho Storm!

Last Friday night, Tater and I made last minute plans for a little date together down in Adams Morgan at Rumba Cafe (this tiny place has fantastic tapas and strong mojitos!).  We don't get to do DC dates very often so it was great to have some time together!  We kept it simple, had a few drinks and headed back home to get some sleep for our early morning 8k race in Leesburg, VA the next day.

5:00am came around...I climbed out of bed and soon realized we had no power...ugh!  I get downstairs to let the dogs out to eat and something doesn't seem right in our backyard.  By the way, I am so blind without my contacts so I yell at Tater to take a look our the window to see what's up.  Sure enough, part of our fence was down, our big grill was knocked over and our fig tree was all messed up (yea, all that and still I couldn't see it with out my contacts!).  When did this happen?  Why didn't we wake up?  I didn't even know it was supposed to rain and here it looks like a hurricane came through our neighborhood!  We were both baffled and laughing that we had no idea this went on in the middle of the night.

We quickly checked the news (what would we do without iphones?!) and saw that over 400,000 homes are without power in the DC/MD/VA area because of this so called Derecho Storm! AND...the power company states it will be 3-7 days before power will be restored! What!? Time to drag out the big cooler...

Gas stations were either out of gas, out of power or had a line of cars waiting 20-30 minutes to fill up.  We loaded up our huge cooler and drove around awhile and grabbed the last 4 small bags of ice in our area!  This poor guy ran in looking for ice right after we bought ours and Tater gladly gave him a bag (yea, she's good people)!

Once we got home and stocked the cooler with beer, sandwich meat, bread, cheese, water, etc then we were good to go!  Thankfully, we are laid back, don't watch much tv and are completely comfortable without power....except for the 3 digit temperature outside.  We managed to stay cool by sleeping downstairs with the windows open at night, hanging out in Barnes & Nobles during the day along with everyone else and of course sitting in the shade outside with a cold beer! Don't get me wrong, it was pretty miserable and uncomfortable with this crazy heat....but we survived and as of 4:00pm this monday evening...we finally have our power back!
 Slumber party downstairs with the pups!

This storm was horrible and we are very fortunate to not have any major damage.  Sadly, there were a few deaths, cars crushed and roofs damaged from this freak storm.  So keep the few states that were effected in your thoughts!  I hope everyone had a safe weekend....stay cool and extra safe during this holiday week!
Huge tree limb down right by our townhouse!

Some guy's poor least he has a sense of humor "For Sale, Recently lowered"

Wow and we slept through all this?!


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Our Poor Neglected Blog

Internship, crazy work schedules, looking for a place to live, laundry, errands all weekend because we don't have time during the week, great times with friends, DC Pride, lack of sleep, LAUNDRY, friends/family coming into town and more laundry....a few reasons why our poor blog has been neglected.  We knew 2012 would be a fun filled crazy year but wow...I cannot wait til 2013 when we can both finally breathe again and a little more settled.

Just recently we even decided to start getting up at 4:45a so we can have at least 1 hr to do whatever we want before the day swallows us whole.  That one little hour is usually filled with coffee, breakfast and/or either 1. both of us with our laptops catching up on emails, news and facebook 2. catching up on housework 3. "us" time (maybe that's TMI, but hey...we gotta fit in some love & affection somewhere into our crazy lives right now!).  I did think that this 4:45a craziness would last 3 days but we've been pretty good about it for the past 2-3 wks.  I actually enjoy it...not having to rush outta bed as soon as the alarm goes off and to have time to wake up before I officially start my day has been great! 

So anyways....sorry for the long absence from the blog, but we will add a 4th option for our morning and that will be blog time! 


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Historic Marine Corps Half Marathon

Once again Tater and I have had crazy busy days since our last post!  A lot of work, catching up around the house and, as you know, training....for a half marathon!!  Yea, call us crazy...we actually pay and travel to torture ourselves for 13.1 miles.  Actually, this was my first half marathon that I was training for and Tater's 2nd.  She's a natural runner and did track all her life so it comes very easy to her.  Me on the other hand...not so much!  I've done 5k's, a trail run and random runs to keep in shape, but never anything longer than 3-4 miles until Tater came along (running is actually the reason we are together now, but that's another story for another post).

Anyways, few months ago (around the same time we booked our Memorial weekend cruise) Tater's friend decided we should sign up for the Historic Marine Corps Half Marathon in Fredericksburg, VA.  The date of this race was May 20th and of course the weekend before our vaca on the big boat! Since we were all going on the cruise together we thought this would be a great way to get us in bikini shape! So every week we would make sure to do at least one long run and add a mile to it each week.  Surprisingly, we successfully stuck to our training plan!

 Feeling good and ready to get away for short little weekend, we packed up our car, picked up Tater's friend, Fancy (long story), and made a quick drive to Fredericksburg, VA.  We drove straight to the expo to pick up our race packets/shirt and of course check out all the vendors.   This was actually a decent expo.  They had tons of race gear! Nuun had a great deal and you could even sample several of their flavors...they sucked me in to their "expo deal" - Buy 2 and get a free water bottle...yay! 

After some unplanned spending and browsing we checked in to our hotel, threw our bags down and went out to find some grub.  Fancy went to college in Fredericksburg, so she was familiar with the area and insisted that we head downtown to try a restaurant.  We somewhat stumbled upon Bistro Bethem.  One word...AMAZING!  This place has great outdoor seating right in the middle of downtown, food is wonderful, staff is great, drinks were perfect.....what more could you ask for?  I highly recommend this place if you're ever nearby.

Sunday morning - 4:15am alarm - It's race day!
I actually felt great so early in the morning and I think it's safe to say everyone else did too.  We managed to get to the shuttle parking lot on time and got seats right up front (which is always nice on a packed bus).  While sitting on the bus, you can hear everyone chit chatting about their pre-run rituals, injuries or Tater randomly singing....until it was completely silent because the shuttle bus driver completely missed our turn and is now lost.  I felt bad for her and lucky for her, Fancy guided us to the drop off point!  I hate to say it, but this race was probably the most unorganized race event I've ever signed up for and it's not just because of the shuttle getting lost.

Anyways, after Alison Sweeney from the Biggest Loser spoke, the race officially began.  Fancy stuck with us for a few miles in the beginning, but then she found her own pace.  We didn't see her again til we all finished...she did great!  The course was great and my body felt great so it was an enjoyable run.  Now don't get me wrong....I struggled  A LOT near the end, but it still was a fun run!  It was motivating and entertaining to see all the residents out in their front yards so early in the morning with their kids and dogs cheering everyone on.  The last 2 miles were probably the worst.  Tater could have so finished the race a lot faster than she did, but she kept slowing down her pace to keep me close by in order for us to finish together.  Yea....she's sweet!

So now I can say I've accomplished a half marathon!  I say this with pride since just 2-3 yrs ago I could barely finish a 5k (I even think I walked some).  Will I ever do a full marathon?  Hell no...I couldn't imagine this race being a halfway point.  Would I ever do a half again?  Most definitely, but I'm totally up for tackling a few 5 and/or 10k's the next few races before I even think about another half.  

 For those of you who want to get into running or are just starting to run or hate running all together....I highly recommend starting slow and sticking with it.  I hate running but I love the feeling I get once I'm a few miles into a run and I love the feeling after a great run even more!

PS (like this blog isn't long enough)  I forgot to mention Eileen's Bakery.  Tater and Fancy needed something sweet after our Sunday lunch and our waiter recommended this place right around the corner.  It's a must to go to if you're ever in Fredericksburg!  It's an old church turned into a bakery.  Lots of goodies to choose from and all are delicious!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day & Catching Up

Happy Mother's Day, everyone!  I hope all the mommas (whether blessed with furry babies or real live small humans) out there have a fantastic day!  Maybe one day Mom will know about this blog and love to know she's been made famous.  Here's to you, Ma! <3

 My Mom, preggers with me in 1984 -- I want those glasses!

We've been so busy lately and our attention has been pulled in a million different directions.  Between Shrimp's family coming to visit, finding out where we will be moving next for work, training for a half marathon and getting ready for vacation we can barely keep our heads on straight.  I won't even get into our feelings on the political stuff that has been going on related to gay marriage in the last week!

Shrimp's family is great, but it was sooooooooooo nice to finally have our house back.  I think I just sat in quiet rooms without TVs or anything on after the week we had with them.  I guess since we rarely watch TV I didn't realize how much excessive volume it really adds to such a small house!

It seems like as soon as they left our attention immediately shifted to "The List."  The List, in most people's house refers to a number of things you have to get done.  For us, though, it meant a number of opportunities or a dreaded next few years.  You see, The List is just a list of the seven places I may have been moved for work, then we had to rank them (and explain WHY we wanted that rank... eeeeeek!), cross our fingers, and hope things came back in our favor.  Luckily three out of the seven places on The List were pretty attractive, including South Carolina, Georgia, and Northern Virginia.  We ended up getting Northern Virginia (yaaaaaaaaaaay!) so we get to stay in the DC area for another 2-3 years (double yaaaaaaaaaaaay!).  I think Shrimp would have killed me if I told her we were moving to Middle-Of-Nowhere, Missouri, San Antonio or El Paso, Texas.  The other option was Germany, but Shrimp couldn't work there and CAN YOU IMAGINE FLYING FOUR ANIMALS ACROSS THE OCEAN?!  I want to hyperventilate even thinking about it!  But thankfully we're staying pretty local :)

Half marathon training is going fairly well for not taking it all too seriously.  I had a little setback when I increased my mileage by too much and wasn't doing any short training runs (lesson learned -- 2 weeks no running = lame!), but I was able to keep biking during that time and everything is going A-OK!  I had my last long pre-race run on Friday night.  My colleagues and I ran to 10.5 miles from work to our house and followed it up with margaritas (fluid + carbohydrates + electrolytes!) and fajitas (protein, of course).  I am feeling surprisingly well, not really sore at all, and I'm hoping that means the race won't be too rough on me.  As we speak Shrimp is on her last training run.  She's running to the gym and I'm going to go pick her up (she's making me pump iron when I get there :/ haha).  Hope she's enjoying herself!

 Hard earned "re-fueling" post-run

Oh, did I mention a vacation?  Yes!  We get one of those!  We're heading out on a (very) brief cruise for Memorial Day weekend and couldn't be more excited about it.  We plan on spending all of our time doing absolutely nothing responsible.  We're not even planning shore excursions once we get to the Bahamas because that would be too task-oriented.  We are going with one of my friends, so Shrimp may feel the need to babysit us (and that may be appropriate), but I don't want to burden her so I might just have the bartenders make her drink a little stronger from the get-go so she doesn't worry herself too much ;)  My personal goal is to avoid wearing pants at all cost for 4 days.  I think I can do it!

I hope everyone's summers are kicking off well and you've got lots to look forward to!

Bon voyage!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Teenagers! Bunnies! And Babies! OH MY!

Soooo quite a bit has gone on since our last post...

Of course the big event was my family staying with us for a week.   It was a roller coaster of joy and wanting to rip your hair out...from teaching them how to travel the Metro system (Mom gave up in 2.6 seconds), dealing with bratty teenage kids (wanting everything, wearing their pants below their butt, not wanting to do anything but watch tv, etc), hearing everyone fuss every day about walking too much and the traffic being so having them experience the changing of the guards at Arlington Cemetery, taking them to Ben's Chili Bowl and Matchbox, finding cool/different items at the Eastern Market and having good times, joking together and making great memories! We had was great having us all together, but we're happy to have our house back!! Oh and poor Tater had a really rough week with her job/internship (long hours and projects).  I felt really bad, but once again she gets "The Best GF Award"! This time for being super sweet and entertaining to the fam while being exhausted and stressed all week!

And while they were here, it was discovered that the random bare patches of grass in our backyard is from a family of bunnies! Well let me back up a second...a few weeks ago I noticed a rather large rabbit in our fenced in backyard.  I took a picture to prove it to everyone and then he showed up on Easter Sunday...perfect timing!  We thought we only had that one and then I received texts from my sister while I was working that went kinda like this...Sister "There's a BABY bunny in your yard!!!" Me"Aww! No way!?" Sister "Now there are 2 baby bunnies!!  They are multiplying!" Me "Oh great! Keep the dogs inside!" (as I'm typing this the dogs are all whining and staring at a baby bunny through the back door).

Speaking of multiples...Tater was working in the NICU while my family was in town and she was able to work with a set of triplets (2 boys, 1 girl).  Let me let you all know that we've been talking about having kids in our future together and we both REALLY want children, but recently I've been picking at Tater that I have this crazy feeling that we're going to end of with multiples.  This idea has had Tater a little freaked freaked out that I received a random panicked text message from Tater a few days after working the NICU that said "If we're going to have triplets we need to come up with at least SIX name combinations that we both agree on!!! This is making me panic!" and of course I laughed hysterically! :)

So a few nights later over a bottle of wine at Old Ebbitt Grill and the subsequent barely-conscious Metro ride home, we began formulating ideas in our Sauvignon Blanc-infused minds about the perfect baby names.  Who isn't more creative after a few glasses?  We came up with a whopping two names that we both really like and agree on.  They're both paired with solid middle names we also like, and we've pre-determined nicknames for these someday-kids, too.  But obviously we still have some major work to do in the family planning department.

Perhaps we should discuss this over some mimosas and Bloody Mary's after the 8-mile run we're about to embark on...?


Friday, March 30, 2012

Wish us luck!

So it's Friday, March 30th and this means exactly one week til my family (mom, sister, my sister's 2 teenage kids and my Godfather/cousin) will be here for a DC visit..ahhhhhh! One more time....AAHHHHH! Don't get me wrong, I'm super excited to see them all and I love them to death but...
1. I have sooo much I need to get done before they get here
2. They are all (except my Godfather/cousin) staying with us (yes, in our tiny townhouse) for 1 whole week.  I think I failed to mention that we have 1 bathroom!
3.  I was only able to get 1 day off from work (I work from home & travel, but most of the time I'm way more swamped when I'm working from home).  So Tater and I will be stuck having a regular busy work week while trying to entertain and spend time with everyone.

I am glad to say that at least everyone gets along (my family loves Tater!).  My mom, sister and I are really close and always have a good time together even though I think we are all 3 different. My niece (16) and nephew (13) are your typical kids.  My niece is miss diva/teenage attitude/too cool to do anything fun with us and my nephew is a clumsy/awkward 13 yr old boy that's all about sports, basketball shoes, etc. My Godfather/cousin is actually just visiting for the weekend.   Everyone loves him....he's great and a lot of fun.

Anyways, I need to take a deep breath and get back to my To Do list! Wish us luck...I'm sure it's going to be a fun, hilarious, stressful and tiring 7 days with the fam!  Stay tuned for an update on how the week actually ends up!

Happy Friday!


Saturday, March 24, 2012

"lazy" weekends

How come 6:30am on the weekends is not nearly as rough as 6:30am's during the work week?

I woke up wide wake right at 6:31 today.  There was no way I was going to lay there and fall asleep again and I knew once the "always starving" big black dog in the house heard me then I definitely wasn't going to be able to lay in bed anymore.

If only I felt this awake on my early mornings M-F...I don't get it.  Oh well, at least I get more out of my weekends, right?

Speaking of weekends...It's supposed to rain both today and tomorrow here in the DC area (booo)!  I feel like this is the first time we've had a rainy weekend since we moved here back in Oct. '11.  So I can't complain at all!  I'm kinda looking forward to it.

This icky weather means catching up on chores around the house, hitting the gym instead of our typical long run outside (maybe it won't rain so hard and we can still tackle our run), grocery shopping, squeezing in some lazy time and hopefully getting to stop by the Multisport World Expo that's going on this Sat & Sun.  Never been to it before, but I love checking out new gear (especially shoes!), learning new workouts, etc.  They're having quite a few free seminars so maybe I'll drag Tater to one of these!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Black & Blue

Shrimp and I have been busy enjoying the gorgeous ebb and flow of DC weather (I cannot BELIEVE I didn't take a single picture while we ran through the monument, past the blooming cherry blossoms to the Eastern Market), working, biking to work (again, that gorgeous DC weather!), working and working.

Shrimp happens to work from home.  Usually that means a lot less home and a lot more working.  In the last few days, though, she found a fun blog by fellow DC blogger Jess at Jess Runs.  We were glancing through some of Jess' posts tonight when we came across the one about her first bike crash.  Ouch!  Glad she is ok!  I managed my first crash before I got to the end of the block my first day on the bike.  That takes grace :)

And that brought up the conversation of somehow during a freak snowstorm a couple months ago we were walking home and, somewhere along the way, Shrimp managed to get a big ol' bruise where the sun don't shine!  To be fair, I wound up with some gnarly unexplained bruises on my knees, too.  And Shrimp said...

"Let's just get this clear... if we were blogging when I bruised my butt you WOULD NOT be putting a picture of it online."

Now all I really want to do is post a pic of that nasty bruise.

As I type this, she just keeps saying "No!"  Ugh... oh well :)


Friday, March 9, 2012

What a Real Kitchen Looks Like

I had a fairly low stress Friday at work, Shrimp still has her nose to the grindstone (crappy thing about working from home!), the dogs are fed and I'm Facebooked out for the night.  Anyone else would probably flip on the TV, go for a long walk (update on DC area weather: GORGEOUS!) or call up another buddy and head out for a few drinks.

I decided to make some soup "from scratch" (the loosest use of term I could ever imagine) again.  That meant I threw a can of crushed tomatoes & basil in the blender with milk and heated it up on the stove.

About half the pictures on my phone are of food.  Generally this is food I have prepared.  I have a confession, though.  It's not always pretty (gasp!).  Compact that with the fact that our kitchen is smaller than most of my friends' closets (and includes our washer and drier), and you get the following...

Step 1: Make a mess in your already-messy kitchen just by opening a canned good. (Check).

Lesson 1: Totally go with low sodium tomatoes if you want to embark on this "recipe."  
This soup probably turned out saltier than Campbell's.

Step 2: Manage to get crumbs and "soup" splatter everywhere.  Think about cleaning it up, get distracted by something in the other room, and return to a foamy overflowing pot.

Lesson 2: Let's be honest here, I will never learn from this, and will continue to be an absent-minded cook.
Note to self: The clock is still over a half hour off from the last power outage.  
Consider changing with daylight savings this weekend.  Or consider keeping the same.  Meh.

Step 3: Grate fresh Parmesan to make it look like you put effort into the meal.  Take a picture of the not-so-attractive product.  Scald tongue trying to finally eat something before it cools.
Lesson 3: Meh.  At least it's better than take out.

Clearly my food photography, kitchen design, attention span and Friday nights need some work.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Another Day in DC: Getting Awkward with Our Forefathers

The skies around the capitol region cleared up this weekend and we had some beautiful weather again.  Chilly, but beautiful.  We chose to spend that time yesterday napping with the back door open, but today we headed into DC to see a couple more monuments up close.

We started out at the Lincoln Memorial.  After we visited Ford's Theater a couple months ago Shrimp has been somewhat obsessed with this guy.  I can't blame her, Abe was a pretty cool dude and I can't imagine where this country would be if someone didn't have the guts he did.  We snapped a couple shots, including the obligatory hey-stranger-here's-my-iPhone pic.

Shrimp & me at the foot of freedom

 He must have felt bad when he saw us struggling...

 Standard awkward self portrait... this is what we look like in real life

 I'm not going to save you from the same shots you always see, because I had to take them too :)  Shrimp's are much better (she was using her real camera and I was just dinking around with the iPhone), but mine are already loaded onto the computer.

At the foot of the Lincoln Memorial

 Lincoln's Profile... kind of a cool angle

It might seem creepy that I took a pic of a random little boy, but I thought this was a perfect "photo journalistic" moment.  I love seeing little kids get so excited about history.  He was reading every single word of Lincoln's second inaugural address.

Right after we saw that cute little kid is when things got awkward.  No, mom didn't scold us for snapping a picture of her kid, we maybe seemed even creepier.  We walked into the bookshop to the right of where that little boy is standing and I must have pressed something on my phone, because all of a sudden it was like we had our own theme and entrance booming, "  It's not a porn site, we just like the name..."

With music.


Apparently I had pressed the "music" app and the last thing I had been listening to was this hilarious podcast, and the intro to it came blaring out of the speakers of my little iPhone.  To say a couple people turned their heads is an understatement. That bookshop is small and that phone volume was jacked all the way up.  Good thing I'm hard to embarrass :)

So, we headed to the Jefferson Memorial.  Thomas Jefferson is by far my favorite politician of all times.  I know he wasn't perfect, the man used pure logic and I really appreciate that :)  During our cold walk there I snapped this pretty pic of the sky.

 Look at that beautiful blue sky over the Jefferson Memorial!

By the time we got to the memorial we were cold.  It was beautiful but windy next to the water, so we kind of hurried through this one.

My man, Jeff up close and personal

 I have a bunch of pictures of the Washington Monument from different angles.  
This one is from inside the Jefferson Memorial.

After all that walking and cold, we or course needed to fill our bellies with something warm and delicious, so we hit the famous Ben's Chili Bowl.  Yum!

 Inside Ben's

Chili dog, chili half smoke, fries, and sodas (which we never get!)

Let's just say we went home and took our "before" pictures, which we will NOT be sharing, when we got done with this meal.  Surely we will still be eating delicious food, but there will have to be much more running around the monuments and more color in the foods we choose.  Sigh.  It's not much fun being nice to your body.

Have a great week!