Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas wrap-up

We spent Christmas at Mike's parents this year! We drove up to Wyoming on Saturday, December 18th and got back to Santa Fe on December 26th. It was great because Mike's sister Robin and her family also came up to WY from San Antonio. It was a full house...there was a lot of game playing, eating, wii playing, lazying around, movie watching, keeping Stuart out of trouble, sleeping in, and spending time with each other. I even managed to get in a couple runs so my half-marathon training wasn't shot to heck.

Mike and I took snowboarding lessons while our nephews Jarod and Jordon took skiing lessons. Needless to say, I think they had better luck skiing than I had snowboarding. Mike and I will have to head up to Ski Santa Fe or Taos to perfect my snowboarding skills.
I spent most of the time in this position.
Wipe out...again!
Mike didn't appear to have too many problems.
And ~ I'm up!
L to R: Jarod, David, Me, Mike, Jordon, & Robin
This is what I look like after getting woke up on Christmas morning at 7am. Coffee please!!
Boulevard became good buds with Jarod and Jordon. Blvd even slept on Jarod's sleeping bag with him at night. Buddy(Mike's parents dog) was less than impressed with Stuart and Boulevard...but I guess if someone tore apart and ruined all my toys, I too would be less than impressed.


Family Picture Time
Back row L to R: Don, David, Cheryl, Mike
Front Row: Robin, Jordon, Jarod, Me
That's a wrap ~ I think next Thanksgiving is potentially slated to be at our house with the entire clan again. Not sure we can pull it off but we shall see...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

today was a tough one

Today was totally and completely exhausting! I realize my title is a Business Analyst so by definition I am to analyze. :) But today I analyzed my brain to moosh! Glad the day is over and I hope I am well prepared for another exhausting day tomorrow with more brain-mooshing analysis to be done.
How many times can I use analyze/analysis in one paragraph?!! :)

On to more uplifting topics that don't need any analysis. (LOL-ok, I promise I'm done with that word!) I am home and my hubby is home and we are one big happy family...well actually a small family, but a happy one at that. I got home last Saturday and it's great to be back. It was an ok drive -I'm really not convinced that the drive from NM to NE or the reverse will ever be good so I'll take an "ok" drive.

Mike ordered a new TV on cyber Monday so we(or maybe he) decided we needed to paint the wall that the TV was going to go on, which lead into painting the entire living/dining/kitchen area. There is still a little painting left but I love it! And I'll give Mike 90% of the credit as he did all the trim and most of the rolling. I did partake in rolling the bottom half of two walls but he did it on Monday and Tuesday and I work during those days.(Apparently that's my excuse but it's a pretty good one if you ask me)

Which leads to me to Mike's new schedule - now that he is through with training and allegedly knows how to do his job now, he's back on a semi-weird schedule. The good news for me is that he will normally work daytime hours(no more 3rd shift and we get to sleep during the same hours) but his weekends are now Monday & Tuesday.

I think that's all for now - once the living area is finished, I'll post some before and afters - It's really quite amazing what paint does to a room!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

another drive to NE under my belt

When you drive 12 hours by yourself with two pups that don't talk back(thank goodness), you have a lot of time to think and observe. Here are my observations for my first drive from NM to NE.

* This drive is incredibly desolate. I often wondered when I got down to 1/4 tank of gas if I was going to hit a town that had a gas station before I ran out of gas...I follow a lot of back-roads through Colorado and Kansas and am "in and out" of cell service so I'm quite thankful I have a reliable car.
* Rural America makes me smile so much ~ you get a lot of the one pointer-finger(not the other "one finger" obscene waves) waves from the farmers and ranchers. I find myself feeling rude if I don't return the pointer finger gesture.
* Speaking of the drivers ~ I love when I come upon a vehicle and I can see the silhouette of the cowboy hat of the driver. It makes me smile everytime!
* I love the NE Cornhusker pride in Kansas and western Nebraska. I saw lots of Husker flags and numerous shops and cafe's with some sort of Nebraska reference! Go 'skers!
* The Starbucks near my house wasn't open when I left Santa Fe so I thought, "I'll just hit another Starbucks on the drive since Starbucks are everywhere." Well - not so much! I think the first Starbucks I saw advertised wasn't until I hit Colby, Kansas which was more than half way through my drive. Needless to say, I survived the drive with only one Dr. Pepper of caffeine.
* I panicked when I got to a gas station that had the "old-fashioned" gas pumps. No credit/debit card option?? I have to share the pump with the car on the other side of the pump?? I seriously almost went to find a different gas station because I didn't know the proper etiquette of using the pump and paying. But I survived and was able to settle my tab inside the store - who knew something so silly could cause a little stress?!!? :)

So - here I am in NE and so excited to see family and friends. But I am definitely missing the Santa Fe sunshine...it's so gloomy in NE!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

a mini tribute to the pups - Love them so much!

Life has been pretty steady lately ~ nothing too earth-shattering to report. I think I'll dedicate this blog to a few stories about the pups.

* I was playing fetch in the back-yard with Boulevard a few weeks ago ~ threw the bouncy toy into the air, it hit the ground, took an odd and very high bounce, Boulevard jumped up to grab the toy in the air, and BAM...face plant into the fence on the way down from his jump. An appropriate response from a mother would be to freak out and I DID JUST THAT! I expected a bloody mess, chipped teeth, busted nose...but Boulevard just ran on back, "released" the toy, and was ready for another throw. I checked out his face, mouth, and teeth and there was no damage. However, I looked up to see a panel in our fence was split in half.(something for Mike to fix when he gets back!) Guess Boulevard won that fight!

* Boulevard really loves ice cubes so when we get ice from the freezer door, he comes over and we toss up a ice cube and he chomps away. Stuart doesn't like to be left out so I usually slide one on the floor for him to naw on. But the funniest thing is that right when the cube comes out of the freezer and Stu starts chewing on it, it usually gets stuck to his long chin hair and he just lets it hang there. HA! It's pretty comical.

* Since we've been in our new house, and a couple times when we were in MD, Stuart finds it necessary to leap into the tub at very odd times. In the middle of the night, I can hear him flop into the tub and then jump out a little while later. Mike says it's because he wants a bath(I can get a little lazy about giving Stu regular baths) and I say it's because he's trying to quench his thirst(even thought there's no water in the tub and they have water available to them at all times). Weird!

* Boulevard likes to chase flies. It's not very often a fly is found in the house, but Boulevard will seek it out and pounce at just the right time. He's actually caught a few and then spits them out...guess the chase is better than the catch.

There's many more puppy dog stories I could share but Boulevard is giving me the "I'm ready for dinner" growl so I'm off to get them fed. What would I do without them?? Especially when Mike is away!!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

Is it bad that I'm leaving the lights off and I'm not going to answer the door for any trick-or-treaters tonight? I feel sort of bah humbug but seriously...I kind of feel like it's un-safe to knock on strangers doors and I don't want to deal with my curious pups or any escapes out of the front-door that they might be planning. I realize I trick-or-treated when I was younger but I sorted of think these days that parents should take their kids to safe treating zones.(like your local mall or some schools sponsor trick or treating too) That said though, I don't have kids so what do I know? I'm sure there are very safe communities out there and I feel our subdivision is extremely safe but I think for my own safety, I'll keep the door closed tonight. (not to mention, if I buy candy, it'd be gone by the time my first trick-or-treater arrived.) :)

Hope you all have a safe Halloween!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

and the "trauma" begins

If you recall from my last post, I vaguely mentioned some "trauma" that was going to be happening in my near future...Well ~ It has arrived. My hubby left this morning at 7am for California for his first section of field training. He'll spend time in CA, then head to Idaho, then to Colorado, then back to California, scheduled to return to Santa Fe on January 14th.
WHAT??!! January 14th?...seriously, I already miss him like CRAZY! :) The trauma and tears started this morning as Stuart and I waved goodbye to Mike as he started his 10 hr drive to CA. I'm sure there will be a few more tears shed b/t now and January 14th.

It sounds like Mike may hopefully have a few days off around Christmas time and I'll be able to see him when I go to his parents for Christmas...but in his line of work, plans can change in the blink of an eye so I'll be hopefully optimistic that I'll get to see him around Christmas time.

So ~ what are my plans while Mike is away?
* Fill up my "social" calendar as best I can ~ I have plans for tomorrow and next Wed-Fri so I'm doing pretty well in that regard. :)
* Possibly do some painting ~ however I'm not sure Mike trusts me to do any major painting so I'm going to give two of the bathrooms a try.
* Gym, Gym, and more gym ~ I haven't got completely back on the work-out wagon since leaving MD so I'm going to get myself on a consistent schedule, starting TOMORROW! I decided I'm going to be in mourning tonight over my husband's absence. :)
* I'll be spending a couple weeks in NE around Thanksgiving.
* I'll be spending a week in WY(Mike's parents) around Christmas time.
* I think I'm going to take up a new hobby ~ leather work. I did a very small amount of leather work when I was younger and I think I want to pick it back up again.

That's all I have planned for now.
If you have any great ideas, pass them along!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

as promised - a few Santa Fe adventures

Before we get the NM adventures, I did get to partake in a Chicago adventure 2 weekends ago. Left Albuquerque on Saturday at 9am, arrived in Chicago at 5pm, partook in my wonderful friend Mara's bachelorette party(I think we got home around 3am Sunday morn -- haven't seen that time of day for a LONG time), then left Chicago at 10:30 am Sunday to be back in NM at 1pm. What a whirl-wind...but it was incredible seeing Mara and I'm so thankful I was able to celebrate with her. I was reviewing a few recent pictures and thought this one was adorable. Boulevard likes sleeping small spaces(notice he is under a table) and he likes his doggie bed. This was a pic taken when we were staying in the hotel when we first got to Santa Fe...his dog bed was packed but an oversized bed pillow did the trick. :) (I know, most of you non-dog lovers are probably grossed out right now--sorry!)

Moving day - would you believe that this mess of a garage is cleaned up, garage is finished, & we can park both of our cars and the motorcycle in the garage? Well ~ believe it because it's true! (more pics of the house coming soon...) I'll give Mike all credit for finishing the garage. We also got our back-yard fence sealed which was not a very enjoyable task...but it's done and that's all that matters. The garage and the fence were the two tasks we wanted to get done before Mike leaves for his field training.(did I mention that he's scheduled to be in field training until 1/14/11 -- but I'll save that trauma for a later post)

Moving day - all of our stuff was packed in that front section of the truck. It took a good day to get everything unloaded. While the movers unloaded, Mike & I unpacked boxes and it worked really slick.
We've gone to the Santa Fe Farmer's market a couple times ~ I love going for the food but also love going to smell the roasting of the chile's. Who wants to come visit for the 'Santa Fe Wine & Chile Festival' next year? Any takers?

Mike and I visited a local vineyard for a wine tasting. Mike called it a "hidden gem" because it's off this tiny little driveway but once you get through the drive-way, it is amazingly beautiful! You can't really tell by his face but Mike and I both had a good time at the vineyard. :)

Vineyard ~ I was sporting my husker gear to send NE good vibes to beat TX...wish it would have worked. :(

Last but not least - I guess chile season is coming to a close so we stocked up on a "sack" of roasted chile's. When divided up, this "sack" ended up coming out to 19 quart size zip lock bags. Guess we are stocked up for the winter. YUMMY!!
That's about it for now...the house is getting in some sort of order and soon I'll post some pics.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I'm back from my blog hiatus

Besides catching up on everyone else's blogs, here's a run down of our life since my last blog...

- The pups and I said farewell to MD on 8/28 and made the two-day journey back to NE. Mike stayed in Maryland to finish his work and coordinate the packers/movers.

- I worked from the Lincoln office from 8/30-9/24. It was so great to be in the office and see all my co-workers. It was also great to partake in a few happy hours after work...totally miss that.

- I went to Las Vegas 9/2-9/6 with Jen and Kim for Jen's 30th birthday. We had so much fun!

- I was able to see friends and family throughout the time I was in Nebraska. Participated in the NE football hoopla, had a wonderful girl's lunch with some great friends, was able to play some volleyball at Spikes...just like old times! :)

- Mike and I "celebrated" our 1st year anniversary 1200 miles apart. :(

- Mike got to Nebraska on 9/22 and I was beyond excited to see him again. Miss that man like crazy when we're apart.

- I was surprised with Nebraska football tickets from my husband(and friend Kyle) for the 9/25 football game.

- Mike, the pups, and I left Nebraska on 9/26 and drove 13 hours to our new city of Santa Fe!!

- Mike started his new job on 9/27 and I resumed my 'work from home' status. Definitely missing my co-workers!

- The movers arrived on 9/28 and we officially moved into our new house! YAY for more space and a fenced in back-yard. The pups ran circles when we let them into the back yard.

- We attended the Santa Fe farmers market last Saturday and it was really great. We bought some great food and I am looking forward to going back. I've heard that it's in the top 12 for best farmer's markets in the U.S.

- Mike's parents stopped over for a night at our place this last Monday on their way to Texas. It was great to see them! They'll be headed back through our place in a few weeks on their way back from TX.

- I joined a women's social group on meetup.com and am attending my first meetup with them tomorrow...and it happens to be their book club mini-group. Definitely looking forward to it! I have also been contacted individually by a couple women through the group indicating that they were also new to Santa Fe. The plan is to get together with them in the near future.

That brings us today...We LOVE our new house and LOVE Santa Fe so far! I'm back to the blogging world and will keep you all updated on the Santa Fe adventures!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Operation 'Get Kirsten & pups ready to leave on Saturday' is in full force

I survived my Monday in the office after being out for 4 days. Now I have to kick it into gear to get myself ready to go to NE on Saturday.(Mike is leaving later in Sept) How do you plan for a month living out of a bag in NE and a Vegas trip thrown in the mix?...this'll be some interesting packing.

But before Operation "Get Kirsten ready" is in full swing, I wanted to share our news about our new house. YAY!! We were in Santa Fe last Tues-Sat searching for a new home and we had success. And I think I'm going to just love Santa Fe...it's beautiful, we can drive 5 minutes from north Santa Fe and we're in the mountains, ski resort is 25 minutes away, Santa Fe takes such pride in their history and culture, also takes much pride in preserving the outdoors & the views(they have very few street lights in the neighborhoods because they want people to enjoy the stars), & it's very dog friendly...amongst many, many other things! I think we'll fit right in and enjoy all Santa Fe has to offer.

Here is a pic of our house in Santa Fe and we close at the end of September.


I'm off to get packing and get my portion of the cleaning done. :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

a rough month so far

Sometimes I just can't take it! I miss my Mike once again because he's working like a mad man. He's been working 12-18 hr days EVERY day since July 31st with absolutely no break. He's a maniac, if you ask me. Although I miss him, I was made aware months in advance and agreed(not that I had a choice for this particular event) to this spurt of a crazy working schedule. It's the Legg Mason Tennis Classic and since the facility is located on park police property and it's in Mike's assigned district, he is required to work.(according to Mike anyway) A few extra dollars as we prepare for our move and hopefully buying a house can't be a bad thing.

But very soon this crazy work will end and I will get two uninterupted days with my hubs in Ocean City, MD. We are planning an early celebration of our 1st wedding anniversary in OC, which is where we were married, since we won't be here in MD on our actual anniversary. I'm looking forward to going back to visit the beach we were married on ~ already makes me a little emotional. I won't get too sappy but I have to tell you that I have such an incredible husband and I hope everyone enjoys marriage bliss with their spouse as we have over the past year. (We'll pretend Mike would say the same about his lovely wife.) :) Mike is absolutely positively the love of my life and I can't even imagine(and won't imagine) life without him.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

What do I love today?

Besides the obvious ~ husband, family, friends, pups ~ Today I am in love with my Strawberry Paraiso White Tea from Teavana. Even if you aren't a tea drinker now, try a few Teavana teas and you too will fall in love! Absolutely refreshingly wonderful!

Unfortunately, there are no Teavana stores in Santa Fe but I can order online. Whew! Who knows though, maybe I'll find some incredible tea store in Santa Fe.

Hope you are all having a wonderful Sunday!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

at my age, you don't get too many of these... :)

Let me set the stage for you:
I just got done running, hopped in the shower, pulled my wet hair back into a pony, applied no makeup, threw on what I like to call my house dress(sometimes I use it as a swimsuit cover-up too ~ it's just a cotton simple sundress) and was out the door to the grocery store because I am one HUNGRY chica. Needless to say, it was one of those times where you just hope you don't see anyone you know at the grocery store because you look a 'little out of sorts.'

I'm in the dairy section contemplating the cheese I'm going to get and a man comes up to me and says, "Might I be so bold? ~ but did I miss the beauty pageant?" I was thinking to myself who is this crazy man?. Then I got the message that he was paying me a compliment. Sweet! I said "Awww! Thanks~ that's very nice of you!" and he responded "You have my vote...you're very beautiful." I sort of did the 'talk as you walk' trick and said thanks again and was on my merry way. How nice, right?

Now ~ Let me set the rest of the stage for you. This man did not walk up to me but he electric wheel chaired(I think I just made up my own verb) up to me and he had to have been at least 80-85 years old. :) But I won't make excuses for him and say his eye sight could be poor or from his angle maybe I look better or maybe he just wanted to chat with someone (HA!)...nope!...I will take the compliment and think that WAS pretty bold of you sir but very nice. Us women deserve to be paid a compliment every once in a while...whether from strangers or our loved one's. :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

I miss my husband...

I've been with Mike long enough to not really be sympathetic to his sometimes crazy schedule because he 'signed up for this job'...but I miss him TONS when he is not following his normal schedule. He started his work week on Saturday and worked 6pm-6am(normal schedule), then he signed up for OT on Sunday from 12-5pm(so he slept at the station that morning since it wasn't worth driving all the way home), then worked 6pm-6am Sunday night...then due to an arrest he made this weekend, he unexpectadely had to go to court this morning. He got home today around noon, slept until 4pm, then left to report to work at 6pm. UGH! I don't know about you but I'm a solid 8-9 hrs per night sleeper and if I don't get it, I'm a crank. Don't get me wrong, Mike certainly has his lack of sleep/crank moments but he doesn't ever complain about going into work. Since I've known him, I don't think he's ever considered 'calling in sick' due to his lack of sleep, unless he's really sick. THANK GOODNESS for the fabulous officers that give up their sleep to keep our communities safe and allow us to get the 9 hrs of sleep we require!! I value and appreciate ALL of you!

What have I been doing since Mike is gone? Luckily I worked today so I wasn't bored without Mike. I had book club yesterday so I did a lot of reading to finish July's book and then I started August's book. I've watched a few of my favorite TV shows. Yesterday I mostly spent my time mentally decorating the house that we found online that we REALLY like and, depending on what we see when we go visit Santa Fe, hopefully will be able to purchase. And I'm not exagerrating when I tell you that I look at the 15 pictures of this house about 10 times a day. :) I'm so excited to have a house again so hopefully everything works out as we hope! :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Thursday Night Knitting Club

Well ~ it's not really called that but I did learn how to knit last night and last night was Thursday. Adena, Kate, Allison, and I got together last night for some Big Brother watching, beverage drinking, and knitting lessons from Allison. I learned how to cast on, knit, and pearl. I'm not sure if I totally understand it yet because everytime I thought I had messed up, I handed my project to Allison and she fixed it for me...but it was lots of fun. I probably should practice this weekend before I forget everything. On that note, I better write down my "saying" for each step. I felt I did better when I repeated my saying as I did each step.

Cast on ~> under, over, through the middle
Knit ~> through the back, around the needle, pull through, ditch the stitch
Pearl ~> through the front, around the needle, pull through, ditch the stitch

Now I have it all writen in a place so I won't lose it.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Washington County MD Fair

On Friday we took a journey with a couple friends(Morgan and John) to the Washington County Fair for the bull riding. I really enjoy going to the rodeo...they really are a lot of fun. Mike said that the highschool bull riding national finals are in New Mexico!! :) A guy from Nebraska was riding at the Washington County fair too...but I was screaming too loud when they said NE that we couldn't hear what city he was from. Ooopsy! He rode 7.8 seconds so didn't get to the final round. :(




(Mutton Bustin' - Those kids are so adorable as they hang on for dear life.)

(Thought this shirt was worth taking a picture of - HA HA!)



(Mike, Morgan, and John)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

does this sound familiar?

Mike was offered and subsequently accepted a job offer with the Bureau of Land Management(BLM) in Sante Fe, NM, also known as Mike's 'dream job.'
EXCEPT for one tiny little change??

Once again, you read that correctly...we are now headed to Santa Fe, NM! Mike had interviewed for this job around the same time he interviewed for the WY job but so much time had passed that we assumed someone else was offered the NM job. Boy were we wrong!! I won't bore you with all the details and our decision making process but he was offered the job this morning, I woke him up 4 hours earlier than normal so he could get the offer,(I originally took the call since Mike was sleeping) he made a bazillion phone calls to a bazillion different people, we chatted in the few breaks I had from meetings/work today, and he accepted the job this afternoon. Amazing how quickly the direction of your life can change!

I have two things to tell you:
1) We're both SO excited because this was our original hope as for places to move.
2) We're both TOTALLY bummed because the distance to both of our families just increased. (10 hrs to Mike's parents, 12.5 hrs to my family) We shouldn't complain because it's a lot closer than we are now but still dissappointed.

Other than that, I know nothing about Santa Fe compared to what I know about Rawlins. I'll be glued to the computer tonight and will report back soon.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

so much to do in so little time

After a little additional thought, we decided to push Mike's start date to September 7th to give us a little more time to get things ready to move. Besides the obvious, there are a few things we want to get done before move.

Most critical ~ Finding a place to live in Rawlins. We hope to go on a 'house hunting' trip in the next couple weeks to see what we can find. We've found a potential rental apartment/townhouse complex and have found many potential houses to buy. Guess we'll see what happens when we go visit.

Second on the list ~ Going on a quick trip to Ocean City, MD to have an early celebration of our 1st anniversary. Since I doubt we will be able to get back to OC (the place we were married) for awhile due to our move, I want to ensure we go back.

Third on the list ~ We haven't been to Gettysburg yet so I hope we can take day to visit.

Fourth on the list ~ When we were in Charleston this last February, I bought a National Parks passport. As you visit different national parks, you can get your passport stamped to show where you've been and when you were there. I know - kinda nerdy. So - I need to get my passport stamped up with all the monuments and parks out here.

And, of course, enjoying the friendships we've made out here...goodbye's are always a little tough for me.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

guess I picked the wrong blog url address 'cause...

We're moving back to the midwest! Mike was offered and subsequently accepted a job offer with the Bureau of Land Management(BLM) in Rawlins, WY, also known as Mike's 'dream job.' Mike's report date is August 22nd and he'll be covering 12.5 million acres(Yes! You read that correctly!)

We're both quite excited about the move and the change. I wasn't too sure about how I felt about moving to such a small town with the next largest town(Laramie) being 40,000 people and it's 1.5 hours away. And let's be honest, have you ever heard of someone in there 'right' mind choosing to move to WY? :) BUT...I think I might know everything I could possibly know about Rawlins with all the research I've done. It's a town of about 9,000 people and is the 'hub' and biggest town in Carbon County. It kind of reminds of Crete, NE(which is where I went to high school). I'm a bit concerned about my shopping opportunities :) as it seems the only main place to shop is Pamida(I told you it reminded me of Crete). I'm super duper excited for the outdoor activities, excited to be closer to family(2 hrs from Mike's parents, 9 hrs from my family), looking forward to going to a street dance again, happy to be in the kindness of the midwest(no offense east coasters, but you really aren't the nicest bunch of strangers), AND anxious to have a husband that works a semi-normal schedule. Did you know that Mike has worked nights the entire 6 years we've been together? Mike is already talking about how we're going to get up and eat breakfast together...sounds wonderful honey, as long as you're making the breakfast every morning. :)

I've already identified a few potential volunteer opportunities for, not only helping the community but, meeting people. I get the opportunity to continue working from home with my job which always brings a little challenge when it comes to meeting new people. Here's a few places I'm looking into as far as volunteering: Carbon County Boys & Girls Club, Rawlins Rochelle Animal Shelter, Carbon County library, & there is a cheer program at the local highschool so I'm going to try to volunteer to help them.

Rawlins will be great...where else can you partake in a Cow Plop, shop at the local Davidson's Gun & Grocery Store, and do a little handgun practice after your workout(yes ~ they have a shooting range in the gym/"community center"). I already told Mike that he has to be nice to everyone even off-duty because EVERYONE is probably going to know who he is. :)

Found this excellent web site on events happening in Carbon County. http://www.wyomingcarboncounty.com/index.htm

Monday, July 5, 2010

I'll have a...

...Grande Skinny Iced Caramel Latte please!

This is my new obsession from Starbucks and I'm not even a "huge" coffee drinker. One of my Poms parents bought me a gift card to Starbucks as a thank you for coaching her daughter. It was one of the sweetest things.
So ~ I know that there are so many high calorie coffee drinks out there but the above tastes so delicious and it's low in calories and fat. I'm telling you, it's like having dessert!

Don't make fun but ~ I also just recently learned(by our friend Jayme who was just recently visiting) that ordering something 'skinny' means that it comes with nonfat milk and sugar free syrups. And here I've been ordering 'Grande Iced Caramel Latte with skim milk and sugar free syrup' and could have just been saying 'skinny.'

MMmmm...it's delicious! Give it a try!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

this post is for all my 'lurkers'

A fellow blogger has mentioned a couple times in her blog "for her 'lurkers' to make themselves known." Got me thinking...do I have people lurking around my blog? :) I am definitely a lurker sometimes and find myself looking at random people's blogs. Not sure if that makes me weird or maybe it means I have too much spare time on my hands.

Are you out there? Anyone out there reading my blog but not making themselves known? Are you linking to my blog from another friends blog? Do you have a blog?...I'd love to read about your life/hobbies/passions. Become my follower, leave me a comment(even if you don't have a blog account, leave your message anonymously w/ your name), let me know your blog/web-site address, tell me about yourself. :)

Really people?!...I'd love to see who's following 'Life with Mike & Kirsten.'


Hope everyone is having a great 4th of July holiday!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

a little yoga here, a little yoga there

I would be no means say I'm a "yogi"(is that what those that practice Yoga call themselves?) but I did find a great Yoga DVD that I'd like to share with the blogging world. As you know I'm a Real Housewives junky ~ If you don't know Real Housewives, it's a reality show on Bravo that films these women's lives and how they interact with each other. They have four housewives shows that are set in different locations across the U.S. - Orange County, CA; New York; New Jersey; Atlanta. It's really quite funny and sometimes a little maddening to watch.

Anyway ~ Bethenny Frankel is from the NY show(one of my favorite housewives) and she is a chef, has published two books, and has a yoga DVD called Body By Bethenny. I'm currently reading her first book and it is definitely changing the way I perceive food and impacting how and what I eat. I've even lost some weight so it's making a pretty big impact on me.(you all know that I don't have the best eating habits). Her twists and ideas on salads make me crave and only want to eat salads. Obviously, I can't just eat salads but I think I've found a new love for salads and veggies. So I read some reviews online about the DVD and decided to order it.

I did the 40-minute Yoga section tonight after work and it was awesome. I wouldn't necessarily say I'm a beginner at Yoga and certainly am not advanced...I probably fall somewhere in between. It was easy to follow and modifications of the different poses were provided. Even if you've never tried Yoga before, I would definitely recommend this video. It exposes you to many of the yoga 'standards' but is incredibly challenging. I felt amazing after I completed it. There are also some nice little bonus features on the DVD too.

P.S. The names of her books are: 'Naturally Thin: Unleash Your Skinnygirl...' and 'The Skinnygirl Dish.' She also has some great info/recipes on her website ~ http://www.bethenny.com/

Friday, June 18, 2010

a couple concerts

Last night, I went to Wolf Trap and got to see Sheryl Crow and Colbie Callait in concert. Mike works overtime at Wolf Trap(since it's a National Park) during the summer on his off-days and he was able to arrange a ticket for me. We were able to ride together and he was even able to sit with me for 5 minutes and watch Colbie. I have to say it was one of the best concerts I've seen, besides the fact that I was there by myself. It's a really great venue and it was a beautiful night, not to mention the music was incredible. Take a look at Wolf Trap by clicking here...pretty cool, huh?

Mike just called and he won tickets from the radio station to go see Carole King and James Taylor next week at the Verizon Center. Sweet! Looking forward to it!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

get comfortable, this is a LOONNGGG post

'Uno, Dos, Tres, Lupita'
Those were the words to our resort's theme song and I've been singing them since we got back to the U.S. last night. Vacation was incredible, as usual! We did a whole heck of a lot of laying by the pool, laying on the beach, laying in a hammock while reading our books. Since we were staying at an all-inclusive, we didn't venture too far from the resort and we didn't partake in any excursions. Why venture out when you have all the food, drinks, and entertainment you need at your finger-tips?? :) Mike didn't even dive on this trip...but I can't decide if he really didn't want to or if he was too nervous leaving me by myself for a 1/2-full day. Guess I probably need to jump on the band-wagon and get certified to dive. Hey - if my dad can do it, certainly I can too, right? :)



On our first full day, we walked 5th Avenue(the main touristy street) in Playa and ended up doing a couples massage. It was a great way to start our vacation and relax from the LONG day of travelling the day before. (at least I think waking up at 3:30am makes for a long day!!)

We did participate in a few hotel games ~

  • Bingo ~ I even won the first day we were there! I got a nice little certificate...and I got the "you look like Nicole Kidman" comment again. Something about Mexico I guess - someone told me that when we were there in December. I don't see it at all but hey, I'm not going to complain if someone would like to call me Nicole Kidman. ;) I think it's just 'cause I'm blonde, blue-eyed, and pale as pale can be. :)
  • Paper airplane making ~ I thought mine would for sure go the farthest but it kept boomer-ranging back to me so I didn't win. Mike's wasn't so great either.
  • Mr. Riu Lupita 2010 ~ Mike participated in this and participated in the different games for points. Games included stuffing balloons in the mexican 'pajama's' he had to wear, a race to do 5 push-ups and drink a glass of beer through a straw, a type of simon-says army style game where the leader would call out a phrase and the participants had to do the "motions" to the specific phrase(last man standing without screwing up won that round), had to impersonate the different sounds of their favorite animal(Mike picked a Wolf), and finally...a lap dance. Unfortunately, Mike was not the winner but I've never laughed so hard - he represented the U.S. well. France won, which seemed pretty obvious because France outnumbered U.S. resort guests probably 50 to 1 so I could only cheer so loud for my American. :)

  • Sand Volleyball ~ We played sand volleyball which was fun, but like I said before, most guests at the resort spoke French so it was hard to cheer on your teammates when you don't speak each other's language. But hey, it was still fun and I'm pretty sure our team won!
  • We watched the Riu Lupita "olympic games," watched water volleyball, and water polo. The funniest rule of water polo that the men couldn't touch the women when she had the ball but the women could jump, tackle, punch the guy if he had the ball...how does that sound fair?
  • Each evening, the hotel had some type of entertainment and we always enjoyed some or all of it.


  • The resort was swarming with these little guys...they are called different things in different countries but in Mexico they are called Coati's.
It amazes me each time we go to Mexico how the hotel staff explains all the activities in Spanish, then in English, then in French. It's also interesting that the majority of Americans speak only English, while most other countries speak at least their native language plus English, and sometimes a third language.

We are anxious for the rest of our 2010 travels ~ Oregon coast w/ Mom, Vegas w/ a group of friends to celebrate a 30th birthday, still trying to convince Mike we should go to Cape Cod-I don't think I'm going to convince him. :( Then off Puerto Vallarta around the holiday time with Mike's parents!! Hopefully there will be some camping, hiking, a few trips back to Nebraska, and maybe a few weekend trips in there as well. I think I was born to travel...I love it and I love reading and hearing about other people's travels/recommendations/etc. I enjoy my current job but I think my dream job would be to travel. Maybe we could have a show on the travel channel??!! Or maybe we could win the lottery and use the money to travel?(guess that means we should start playing, huh?)

Hope your summer is filled with some vacationing and fun experiences!

P.S. Would you believe that Mike and I packed all of our stuff into one suitcase?? Take that mr. airline!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

retiring a great pair of jeans and a NEW CAR!!!

I went to a movie on Monday night and I have quite a story to tell ~ First of all, you have to know I was by myself(I typically go to movies by myself and really quite enjoy it - try it sometime). I got to the theater early because I was going to watch Sex & the City 2 and it had just opened last week so I wasn't sure if there would be a crowd. I walked to the ticket-taker and my theater wasn't ready so she asked me to go to this roped-off line to stand behind two other women waiting for the show. Instead of walking the 10-feet around the rope to get in line, I squatted down and went under the rope. THEN...SSSPPPLLLIIITTTT...I knew immediately I had split my pants in the back. I stood against the wall and felt the split and it was huge. I really wish someone would have been there to laugh at the situation with me but instead I carried my square purse over my butt and acted like nothing happened. In my defense, I haven't gained weight(unless my booty has gained weight) but I did buy these jeans in college when "Silver" jeans were cool thing(maybe they are still cool today?). These were my go-to jeans that I put on whenever I need to run out of the house and want to be comfy. May they rest in peace!


We are officially the proud parents of a 2010 Mazda 3. :) After a long test drive, 4 hours spent at the dealership, debating the black interior (yellow dog hair and black don't mix well), pushing every button on the dash, trying out the hands-free phone feature(never had that before), signing more paperwork than I signed for my house, we drove away with our new car on Monday. Our first major purchase as hubby and wife.

Protege who?? I'd like to say I still miss my Mazda Protege but I think I've quickly moved on. The Protege was my first car that I purchased back in 2003 when my Geo Metro convertible(which my parents so graciously bought for me at age 16) hit the dust. It was my first major purchase as an adult(besides my college education) and I remember feeling so adult-like. We stayed in the Mazda family because, although the Protege died sooner than we hoped, it was a great car and I never had any problems. With the new car, my husband has already restricted what I can drink in the car to water and clear liquids. :) We are on the hunt for a fancy-dancy back-seat pet cover to hopefully reduce the dog hair accumulation.
Looking forward to many memories in our new vehicle. Here are a few photos of our new baby:

They say Mazda 3's are very 'happy' cars ~ Look at it smiling back at you. :)

Monday, May 31, 2010

sad on the east coast...

...but happy on the west coast because two very incredible people are headed that direction. Tim & Nikki are moving to California and Tim will continue working for the Park Police from the CA office. Tim & Mike went through much of their interview/selection process together for the USPP, then went to the academy together in Georgia and were neighbors in their dorm. Then Tim & Nikki moved here the same time Mike and I did. We've shared the last two Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year's with them, enjoyed monthly potlucks, and shared many other fab experiences.
(Pimlico Horse Races - apparently Mike & I thought everyone in the picture was making funny faces like we were:) )
I really think it's understatement how much we will miss them both. They had a going-away bash last Tuesday night and when we were leaving, we left in silence with a few sniffles & tears, compliments of myself. I think I'm just really bad at goodbye's...I hate doing it and I get quite emotional about it. I think Mike was also quite sad because he went from talking everyone's ear off at the bar to practically complete silence on the way home. I'm sure there's some sort of 'Man Law'(Nikki will get that reference) that says he can't admit to being bummed about them leaving.

I ALWAYS look forward to hanging out with them. It's never a dull moment when we are together. I'm thrilled for them to be moving back to the west coast and am so grateful for meeting them. We wish them the very best and hope their journey to the west coast gets them there safe and sound.

The good news in all of this sad news ~ Their move just means we have a great reason to head to Cali to visit!! :)

P.S. We are car shopping today...wish us luck!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

a new mode of transportation??

Well...it seems as though my car is a goner. I'm not sure I completely believe it yet but at face value, Mike has indicated that my car is either not fixable or not worth fixing, so I will believe him for now.

You'd think to yourself, "Well Kirsten, you work from home and Mike is the only one that has to commute for work, so it's ok to survive with only one vehicle." And I would tell you I agree for the most part. However since Mike works completely opposite hours that I work, it makes for a little inconvenience if I ever want to journey further away than a bike ride or walk when Mike is working. Not to mention, part of his work week is over my weekend which also adds more inconvenience.

Mike is working tonight so I guess we'll hopefully figure out the plan soon.
Can we be a one vehicle family for awhile? Tune in for a later post to find out. :)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

a swell book

"Sarah's Key" by Tatiana de Rosnay
...read it! It's a wonderful book. A great story and you'll learn some great history! I just finished it for book club today and I loved it. Definitely one that made it to my favorite's list.
P.S. Have you joined http://www.goodreads.com/ yet? I'd love to see what you're reading! :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

vacation

Gosh ~ Monday has already been a rough day. Aren't all Monday's? So, I thought I'd "check out" of work today over my lunch break and blog about something fun...VACATION!

We booked a trip to head to Mexico soon. Mike found some inexpensive vacation package deals to a variety of places and we decided to head to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico again. (This is also where we went last December) We both really like that area and it happened to be the least expensive he found coming in at $500 per person, which includes airfaire, lodging for 5 nights, all-inclusive food and drinks, and some water sports. (Let me know if you would like the details and I can pass them along)

After he booked it, I declared, "I'm going to be XXX pounds by the time we leave or I'm not getting on the plane." And Mike so dearly responds, "So should I be looking for someone else to go with me then?" I responded, "Maybe you should try to gain 5-7 pounds by our trip?" You might say, "Well that was rude of Mike to say"...but actually it's not, he knows me too well. He knows I struggle with my eating habits ~ I don't know what it means to be on a "diet," I cave to sugar more often than I'd like to admit, and I'm usually the one convincing Mike that we should do out to dinner(typically to an unhealthy restaurant).

I always get these lofty goals in my head so we'll see what happens. I could use a little re-vamping of my diet(not "a diet" but my normal everyday diet ~ you know what I mean)

P.S. I've always heard that greek yogurt was really good for you but I was always afraid to try it. Anything good for me can't be tasty, right? WRONG -- it's delicious and has lots of protein! I recommend it.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

and the murderer was...

Based on our calendar(we write everything we do, individually or together, on a dry-erase calendar each month so we can keep track of each other), Mike had marked Friday for going out to dinner at 6pm since I had to coach Poms on my actual birthday. Mike is always full of surprises so I had no idea where we were going for dinner until we arrived. We ended up at Blair Mansion Restaurant in Silver Spring, MD. They had the menu outside and I eyed it as we walked in and was definitely looking forward to a lovely meal...YUMMY! But when we entered, the hostess asked if we were "there for the show?" Mike said "yes." We were there for the Murder Mystery Dinner Theater!!! SWEET! We had hors d’oeuvres and a delicious buffet, then the show started at 8:30pm. It was a lot of fun and lots of laughs. They also announced my name as one of the birthday celebrations, I received a birthday cake, and the room sang 'Happy Birthday' to all the birthday parties there. Awww...so nice!

I definitely would love to go back again to enjoy the food and watch another show.
Thanks for making my birthday so special Mike! You're the best hubs EVER! :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

the big 2-9

I turned 29 years old today!
It's been a pretty swell day ~ Woke up to find Georgetown Cupcakes in my kitchen. YUMMY! Mike took me to Taco Bell for my lunch break in honor of Cinco de Mayo! YUMMY!
I head to coach at Poms practice in about 45 minutes. I'm optimistic that it will be a great practice!
I've had two already today and plan on having at least one more!!
Take a look at that frosting. DELICIOUS!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Happy Birthday to Stuart!

Happy birthday to Stuart! He turned 3 years old today!
(A few photos for your enjoyment) :)




Friday, April 23, 2010

how conveeeenient...

While I was at work today Mike went to the gym because tonight was 'Mike & Kirsten night.' We typically have one solid night a week that we dedicate to each other(no Poms coaching, no Overtime, no going out w/ friends, etc). Anyway, Mike got home from the gym and had lovely pink roses for me. When I asked, "Were the flowers for anything special?" He said, "Just 'cause you're THE BEST!" Aww...very sweet! Thirty seconds after he walked in the door and gave me the flowers, his phone rings. The phone call was from his work asking if he could work OT tonight from 8pm-3am. Like a proper husband, he says that he has to "talk to his wife" first and will call them back.

Hmmmm ~ How convenient that he brought me flowers on the exact same night he gets asked to work OT, which happens to be on 'Mike & Kirsten night.' Anyone else suspicious??

Just kidding ~ It was quite the coincidence but I will continue to believe he gave me the flowers because I'm "THE BEST!" :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

a few interesting factoids

These are just things I've heard recently so why not give them a try, right??
  • Sleeping on satin pillow cases helps reduce the appearance or new wrinkles from developing. Anything to keep wrinkles away!!
  • Apparently eating pineapple helps keep your skin looking young as well.
It's not a secret that I'm approaching my 29th birthday, which makes me almost 30, so I'll try just about anything to help my skin and keep those wrinkles away. :)

In other news ~ pretty sure I'm not going to participate in a triathlon anytime soon. I got in the pool last week and it was basically a disaster. Oh well...I'll see if I can find some duathlon's(run, bike, run) this summer to try. I think I might even have Mike convinced to do a partner duathlon, in which I would do the running and he would do the biking. Check this out: http://www.warriordash.com/ If we're still here in October, I think we will be partaking in the warrior dash. :)

I have two weeks left of my group fitness instructor training and then I'm going to get certified on June 5th! Maybe that's a little over-confident, I "hope" to get certified on June 5th.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

summer has arrived in MD

Well it's been in the 70's/80's for the past week and a half so I'm declaring that summer has arrived. Some people are complaining that we went from winter to summer but I say, "Bring it on!" Go to the 90's or 100's if you must...I'm happy with HOT!!

The lovely weather has motivated me to start some running again...starting out slow though. I ran three miles yesterday and it went fairly well. There is a 5 mile race and a 9 mile race that I want to do in May so we'll see if I make it. I've also been contemplating(yes, only contemplating at this point) participating in a sprint triathlon race. Now don't let "sprint" fool you...this body does not "sprint" anywhere...but a sprint triathlon does mean shorter distances(.25 mile swim, 10 mile bike, and 2 mile run). The swim part is going to be the doozy for me. Hopefully I'll get in the pool this week and see how it goes.

Mike had his annual(or is it twice a year?)physical tests for his work tonight and apparently he did well. He has bad shin splints so he invested in some quite expensive custom made insoles and apparently that made the difference. After his run, he said he had no shin problems. Will my husband be my new running partner? Guess we'll see. :)

I'm coaching Poms for the nearby Boys & Girls Club again this year and we are in full force. The girls are adorable(I have the 4-6 year olds again this year) and it's so much fun to see them learn and grow. And they are so stinkin' cute in their tiny little uniforms! :)

Can't think of too much else to report...work is going well for both of us. Mike loves his new area and I'm definitely enjoying my new position(not that I didn't like my previous position but you know what I mean).

Well, Boulevard is doing the "take me outside growl"...apparently he likes the nice weather as well!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Home Sweet Home

I made it home successfully and safely from Nebraska. I learned a few things: Driving half way across the U.S. by myself isn't impossible, whoever invented cruise control is a genius, whoever invented 5-hr Energy is an even a bigger genius, and make sure you spend some extra time researching the hotel you plan to stay at to break up your 2-day drive.

Nebraska was incredible! It was so great to see family, friends, and be able to work from the office for two weeks!! Really miss seeing my co-workers in person on a daily basis. However, I was excited to get home and see Mike & Boulevard and return to my normal life.

The hotel experience on the way back home ~ First of all, I arrived to the hotel around 10pm and everything looks worse when it's dark and there's very few people around. Then, it ended up being a motel, not a hotel...if your definition is the same as mine, a motel means the doors to the rooms are to the outside, not within the building like a hotel. Kind of freaky when you are staying by yourself. Then I get a room, enter the room with my bag and Stuart and the lights won't turn on. I tried every switch and tried the TV. Then I picked up the hotel phone to call the front desk and that was also dead...(is this beginning to sound like a horror movie?). I call the hotel on my cell and she saw that the room was on the maintenance list and she was bringing up keys to a new room. Got my new room, then I decided I was going to starve myself because I didn't want to leave my room since I was by myself, then decided I didn't want to order delivery because I didn't want anyone to know I was staying by myself.(there's so many crazy people out there, you just never know and can never be too cautious) Then someone decided to run back and forth in front of my room periodically throughout the night and Stuart felt he needed to bark EVERY time that happened. Needless to say, I got little sleep and was checked out by 7:30am on Saturday morning, arriving home safely at 1:15pm.

This is what Mike did while I was away.(see pic below) He showed me the collage online before be bought it and I approved...then not only did he hang it, he ordered pictures and put them in the frames. Now we actually have wedding photos on display. But I'm already bugging him to adjust the 'Laugh' frame to be higher to even out the collage and maybe put the 'LOVE' verbiage on the top. Then there is an additional frame he didn't hang that will fit under the 'laugh 'frame in between the furnace thingy and the edge of the wall. He did a great job and it was fun to come home and see the pictures he picked out! Love you Mike...you're so thoughtful!


Saturday, February 27, 2010

this just in...(as of yesterday anyway)

I'm taking a class to become a group fitness instructor. YAY! I'm super duper excited about it! Who wouldn't want to get paid to work out, right? I start the 20th and it's every Saturday for 6 weeks or so. Although this doesn't officially certify me to be a group fitness instructor, it helps me understand how to teach a class and gives me a chance to teach some "pretend" classes. If I decide I like it (which I think I'll probably decide I love it), I hope to get officially certified!

In other news~
* Jed(Mike's best friend and the best man in our wedding) is arriving tomorrow to visit us.
* I'm changing jobs on Monday...still staying with my current company and working from home, also keeping some of my same responsibilities, but will be able to learn additional technical skills as well!! I'm a firm believer that 'change' is always exciting(even though it take a little while to understand the change) but I'm bummed to be leaving my current team.
* Stuart and I are visiting Nebraska soon.
* Mike is changing shifts at work from District 1(monuments, national mall) to District 3(north DC) ~ He's excited for the change!
* Mike's parents are coming to visit soon also.

Looking forward to all the excitement in the Carpenter household!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Happy Birthday to...

BOULEVARD!!

Today is Boulevard's 5th birthday! It seems like yesterday when Mike got him and he was a ball of fur at 20 pounds, then shot up to 95 lbs practically overnight, and now maintains a healthy 80-85 lbs.
And who had to miss this monumental birthday?? Mike!! Let's see if I get this right ~ Mike worked 10pm last night to 10am today, then had his annual federal physical until 11:30ish, then slept at the police station's "quiet room" to be ready to work 6pm tonight to 6am tomorrow. I've been with Mike almost 5 1/2 years and it still amazes me at what a crazy work schedule he has sometimes. But I've learned not to give him too much pity since he'll be off tomorrow morning until Saturday night. :)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BOULEVARD!! We love you!

P.S. Mike said he was going to brush you and give you a bath this week so you better hold him to it!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Attitude

As I take my lunch break today, my mind is racing about all the things I have left that I'd like to get done at work today since my day tomorrow is jam-packed with meetings.
I obtained the following from Hyman's Seafood in Charleston, SC. The restaurant had a bunch of business card size cards that contained a variety of different sayings, motto's, etc. I'm hoping I can keep this one in mind today and every other day! Some of you have probably seen this before ~

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than success, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string, we have, and that is our attitude... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our ATTITUDES. ~Author of "Attitude" Chuck Swindoll

I think this is worthy of being posted above my desk at work, along with all over my house!
Happy Monday everyone! Back to work I go...with a positive attitude!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Two things I've learned in my travels...

1.) I eat way too much food ~ Typically I gain about 5 lbs on a week vacation and Mike usually loses 5 lbs. How is that fair?
2.) I don't drink enough water ~ Mike and I headed to the gym last Friday when we got back from Charleston and we both felt really dehydrated! UGH!
Hopefully I'll get better at both of the above for our next travels. On to the vacation...

Charleston, SC was excellent! It was so beautiful and filled with history, obviously. I tried to learn some of this history on the various tours we took but it was SO much! My brain was on history overload. Here's a run-down of our adventures ~ Took a carriage tour, walked and walked and walked, hit some happy hours, went to the "only tea plantation in America," went to the Firefly Vondka distillery and sampled vodka, went to the Irvin House vineyard and sampled wine, ate some of Jason's yummy cooking, visited Fort Moultrie, visited Fort Sumter, and ate "all you can eat shrimp and crab legs. I think that about covers it in a nutshell! Thanks to Beth and Jason for inviting us on the trip. It was great to see you guys!

Well, the snow hit and it hit hard! Schools were off the entire week last week, off today for President's Day, and some are delayed or closed tomorrow. Federal offices were closed Monday-Thursday of last week. It's craziness! The snow was pretty incredible. We were here for the storm on the 5th, left the 7th for Charleston, then the second storm hit on the 10th. I just uncovered my car yesterday from all the snow. Mike started the uncovering on Saturday and I finished it on Sunday. Crazy! I really don't think I've ever seen this much snow in my lifetime. I remember some big storms in the NE when I was younger but I'm not sure I've seen this much snow in such a short time. Compared to the 7.5 inches we received last winter season, 72 inches is quite a shock so far for this season...with more projected before the season is over!

We have some visitors coming over the next month! Jed(Mike's Best Man in our wedding) is coming in a few weeks and Mike's parents are visiting at the end of March. Looking forward to it...but I supposed that means we are due for a deep cleaning of the house. UGH!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Not again!!

16-24 inches of snow projected for this Friday/Saturday...rotten, just absolutely rotten. Maryland does not get snow's like this!! Well, that's what I'm told anyway ~ "The rainfall and snowfall has been above average this fall/winter." Really?? Because I think it's been "above average" since we moved here.
Not looking forward to this stinkin' snow!! Eventually, we're going to live in a place that has one season...SUMMER!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Happy Birthday Mike!

Just a quick message to declare Happy Birthday to Mike today! I love you babe!

Since Mike has to work tonight, we did some celebrating on Friday. We went to the DC Auto Show where Mike proceeded to sit in the Chevy Camaro for about 15 minutes. :) I have a bad feeling that owning a Camaro is in our fairly near future(maybe the 2011 model will be a convertible??). After the auto show we headed to Ruth Chris Steakhouse in Baltimore with Tim and Nikki. Mike and I both declared this as the best meal we've had so far in 2010. I had Lobster Bisque Soup, then lobster and a filet, then a chocolate/espresso cake, all with some yummy wine...it was DEEE-licious!!

Mike doesn't have to go to work tonight until 10pm so I think we are headed to Noodles & Co. to utilize Mike's noodlegram birthday coupon. :)

Happy Birthday Mike! Luv u lots and lots!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

a few stories to share

Mike and I went to a birthday party in DC a few weeks back...since parking was going to be impossible near the bar we were going to, we parked at a Metro stop(w/ ample parking) and metro'd it over to the bar. So...I step out of the car walking toward the Metro and SNAP. Yep, the heel on my favorite boots(I think I've had these since college) broke. Luckily the heel didn't come completely off so I could survive the night but I was walking on my toe for the remainder of the evening. Mike, being the best huband ever, asks, "Do you have extra shoes in the car?" Kirsten~"Uh, no." Mike~"Do you want to go to one of the stores nearby and buy a new pair?" Kirsten~"No, but this gives me an excuse to go boot shopping later!" Needless to say, those boots were laid to rest in the trash can a week ago. :( A sad, sad day!

That same night, we went out to eat at a Thai restaurant for dinner before the birthday party. The tables in this place were really close so you can hear the conversations very clearly of the people surrounding you. As we were taking off our coats and sitting down, this is what we hear from two women(probably mid-20's in age) sitting about one foot away from us. Girl 1~"I think he's moving back to Nebraska." Girl 2 in a valley girl kind of way says~"What is he going to do in Nebraska, be a farmer or something?!" LOL! Mike and I both about lost it but we managed to hold back the laughs. 'Cause farming is the only thing to do in Nebraska.??..HA! Mike told me later that he wishes he would have had his NE hat on that night. :)

Happy Sunday everyone!

Monday, January 18, 2010

really people?!

Dear World,
Is it really necessary to text while you drive? It doesn't take a genius to figure out it's a dangerous idea, but now you have been told about all these horrible accidents/deaths caused by someone texting while driving and you STILL do it? Not to mention that many states(including MD ~ or maybe it was just my county) are enacting laws to 'outlaw' texting while driving. Seriously people! You can wait the 5-10 minutes until you reach your destination to send that text. Or, if it's that important, PULL OVER!
Maybe you don't care about your life/family(or whoever is in the car with you) but I don't want the people I love to get injured due to your stupidity!
I'm no saint ~ I did it at one time too people...make a choice like I did and stop putting yourself and others at risk!

Sincerely,
Kirsten

Saturday, January 16, 2010

the verdict is...

Ok, I'll try to not make every post about working out/gym but right now that's one of the biggest parts of my life, third to Mike & work.

Well, I came in 2nd place with 70 classes taken between November 15th and January 15th. The first place winner took 114 classes!! DANG! Apparently, she had about 3 weeks off over the course of the two months and she said she basically took every class offered every day. Good for her! My group fitness director Gina did say, "Kirsten, If there was a prize for the most improved/toned arms, it would be you!" Hey...I'll take that! AND I'll take 2nd place!

I think my next challenge is going to be doing Jillian Michaels program in the book titled, "Making the Cut." Usually programs like that are really hard for me to stick to(especially the food portion) but I think I may start it in mid-February after our vacation to Charleston, SC. Until then, I'm going to continue to go to the classes and hopefully get back into a little running as well. Did I mention, I also started a food journal? Gosh, I've never been a calorie counter and keeping a food journal has definitely opened my eyes to the amount of calories I consume. YIKES!

Are you challenging yourself? What are you doing to stay active? I'd love to hear you success stories!!

On the Charleston note, Mike and I are meeting my sister and brother-in-law in Charleston, SC for the second week in February. We are looking forward to the vacation and, more importantly, seeing Beth and Jason. We've never been to Charleston and so it'll be another place to check off of the many places we want to go. We love travelling!!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

$120 is up for grabs

The Cross-Train to Win competition(see 11/22/09 post) ends on January 15th and $120 is up for grabs to whoever has taken the most classes since November 15th. As of today, I have taken 65 classes!(with a week spent in Mexico, I think I've exceeded what I thought I'd accomplish) Even if I don't win the competition, I'm very proud of what I've done ~ I have seen changes in my body, I've increased to four risers under my step for step class, yoga and pilates has helped me become more flexible, and I've tried many new genre's of classes and plan to continue to attend many of them.
We find out on January 16th who won the competition...I'm pushing hard here in January to complete 30 classes between Jan. 1st and Jan. 15th!
I also found out that a fellow competitor has been "secretly" keeping tabs on how many classes I've been taking so she's bumped up the # of classes she's been taking as a result. Although I'm glad I can be a motivator for her, I really could use that $120, so I better step it up a notch! :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

ahh...the new years resolutions

Some years I make New Years Resolutions and some years I don't...for 2010, I have decided to declare my New Years Resolutions to the world(well, at least my blog followers) and I hope that you all can help me stay on track. The only rule for you is: You can't make fun of my resolutions!!

1) Write one handwritten letter to someone at least once a month ~
In this time of technology with blogging, Facebook, email, and texting, I NEVER write letters to people and I used to have numerous pen pals as a child...so my goal is to write one letter per month! Maybe you'll be the lucky recipient?!! :) And maybe I'll get something other than bills in the mail if someone responds to my letter!!

2) I typically don't make weight-loss goals but this year I want to try to get to my goal weight ~
My friend Adena sums it up nicely..."we all have a weight that is healthy & maintainable and then we all have a weight that we can get to but really isn't maintainable"...well I want to get to my non-maintainable weight and make it maintainable. AND no I'm not going to tell you what the weight is.(who are you kiddin'? ~ I'm crazy but not that crazy!)

3) Take the dogs to the dog park at least once every other week ~ As you all know, I live in a townhome with no fenced in yard so the pups are ALWAYS on leashes. Although I am pretty good at taking them on walks(well do I really have a choice? Gotta take them on a walk so they can relieve themselves), I think they deserve a trip to the dog park to run wild without a leash.

4) My cousin Janna(geez~you've been featured in my blog 2 times in a row! :)) has an annual "word" of the year. Taking that same approach, my "theme" for the year is being and staying active and trying to motivate whoever I can to hop on the bandwagon of being active & healthier.

There you have it! Help keep me on track people!! Nothing too earth-shattering as far as resolutions but something to strive for. My Yoga instructor said the other day in class, "quitting something is failing at it." If you cheat on one of your resolutions, don't give up and quit, get back on track and keep striving toward that goal!(whatever it may be)