Thursday, October 20, 2011

things have been a little crazy lately

Well - I hope to do a bunch of blogging this weekend but just wanted to touch base. Mike and I have had a busy month or mom visited for a week and then we vacationed in San Diego for almost a week. When we returned from CA, Mike's parents were already in town and stayed for a few days. Mike's parents left Tuesday and then friends from NE came to visit the following Saturday-Tues...which brings us to today. More chaoes will be entering our lives soon but more on that later.

A few highlights:
Mom's Visit - we did a lot of driving while my mom visited. Took some amazingly beautiful scenic drives.

San Diego - we visited the San Diego Zoo and visited the Temecula wine country 3 days in a row...guess we like our wine.

Mike's parents visit - we attended the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. It was amazing!

Stacey & Justin's visit - We hiked for 2'ish miles and we started at 8500 ft and ended at 12,000 ft. Not going to was super duper tough but well worth it in the end when we picnicked at the top of a mountain with beautiful views and coming across a momma big horn sheep with her baby. They were literally within feet of us.

Today - well, Mike had to travel overnight for work at the last minute so Boulevard, Stuart, & I are just chillin' tonight. I may crack open a bottle of wine or maybe a skinnygirl margarita.

Stay tuned this weekend for pictures...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

here's some randomness for you

- Is it weird that there are periodically police officers outside the grocery store doors? I mean - are people stealing groceries or something? Bizarre.
- Mike & Ranger were gone this week working at the Mexico/New Mexico border. He gets back tomorrow...a day earlier than expected. YAY!
- I have a terrible obsession with Big Brother(show on CBS) - I love it! For those that watch...I was so happy that Jordan and Jeff were back this season. So sad Jeff left when he did. Bummer!
- When Mike is out of town, I'm lazier than normal and make less than stellar food choices. Apparently he's a good influence in that category.
- On the contrary, the hubs has no idea how to be lazy. He always needs a project of some sort...
- On a similar note, I cannot, for the life of me get up and run when Mike isn't getting up with me. And I don't tend to get my running done if it's not done in the morning. 12 miles this weekend could be a bit rough...finishing is always the goal.
- My mom is coming to visit soon. Fun!
- Mike and I are contemplating going here for his 30th birthday in February. I think I may need to brush up on my swimming skills...maybe some lessons to strengthen my swimming?? Would anyone like to join us? I'm serious - let me know if you're interested.
- One of my biggest pet peeves is people who don't put their carts in the cart return in parking lots. UGH! Is it really necessary to leave it in the parking spot? Can't you take a few extra steps and put it in the cart return? It's one of those things that really isn't hurting me but irritates the heck out of me.
- Mike and I are tentatively planning to paint the master bathroom on Monday...maybe we'll get really crazy and paint the master bedroom too. I tell ya ~ we're living on the edge!
- I really like Lady Gaga and her music. She is so unique and quite a performance artist.

Anything random you'd like to tell me?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Guess what we're doing Saturday night

There is no place like Nebraska

Good 'ole Nebraska U

Where the girls are the farest

The boys are the squarest

Of any 'ole place that I knew

There is no place like Nebraska

Where we're all true blue

We'll stick together

Through all kinds of weather

It's good 'ole Nebraska U

Are singing along? My Grandma Chase taught me those words and I belt them out every time I hear the song.

If I can't be in Nebraska, Nebraska will come to me! We were just watching the news and there was a segment on University of New Mexico volleyball. Mike said, "I wonder if NE ever plays here." And literally 2 seconds later, the news guy said that UNM would be matched up with UNL this Saturday! Woohoo! Tickets are $5 so we are planning on can only buy single tix in person prior to the game so they better have some available when we get there!

YAY!! SO excited to see the #5 rated NE volleyball team play!

Check out this nice article...the whole time I just kept saying "that's right UNM, you better be ready for us!!" Time to dust off my Husker gear!!


Monday, August 22, 2011

that went well

The first day at my new job ~ It went pretty well. It's obviously a completely different job than what I was doing before(although many of the skills I have developed can be carried over to my new position), but it's also completely different way of thinking compared to my "old" job. My previous role was really getting down to the nitty gritty of processes, working to identify root causes, and identifying potential solutions ~ although I do have some of this in my new position, much of what I did today was more high-level/big picture thinking.

Today was a really great day but I can already see some of the areas I probably need to place on my development plan. :) I was pretty exhausted by the end of the day and unfortunately forgot to marinate the chicken for dinner. Whooops!(also forgot to eat lunch today) After I came downstairs, Mike said "Go get ready, we're going out to dinner to celebrate your first day." Now, if you know Mike at all...when he suggests we go out to dinner, you don't question it, you throw on your clothes and run to the car before he changes his mind. You probably picked up the fact that Mike doesn't suggest we go out to eat very often??!!! (that itself probably is a blessing in disguise -- but I do enjoy eating out as long as it's a delicious meal) We had a yummy dinner at La Plancha(we'd never been) and went to Frogurt for dessert. Frogurt was fantastic---you get to pick out your yogurt, then get to put any kind of toppings on that you want(out of 50 or so toppings I'd say), then you pay by the ounce. Delish!! I had cake batter yogurt with a small brownie, a couple reeces peanut butter cups, some butterscotch syrup, a few hot tomales, & topped it off with two sour gummy worms. Yummy!
Are you droolin' yet?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Nothing too exciting to post

Date: August 20, 2011
Time: 7:13 Mountain time
What'd I just do: Checked my work email and probably need to spend a few hours "at" work tomorrow
What'd I do today: Got up at 6:30 and went to Indian Market(huge event) and the Farmers market this morning with Mike before he went to work. I went to Starbucks and enjoyed a skinny caramel latte and read my book for a few hours.
What am I doing tomorrow: Running 9 miles, making some cinnamon swirl protein bread(if I can find a grocery store that sells a big pkg of Ideal), and hopefully finishing my book.
What happened last night: We found out our drainage in our back yard works great...the storm we had was crazy!
What's Stu doing right now: laying on the bed next to me.
What's Blvd doing: laying in Ranger's kennel in the loft.
What did I just do that is really annoying: wrote this post with the iPad...think I'll stick with the normal computer when I can. IPad was not very conducive to blog writing.

Have a great Saturday evening!

Monday, August 15, 2011

I did a funny thing this morning

It's called torturing myself by waking up at 5am and running 8 miles on a Monday morning. What in the world was I thinking...seriously!?? Why 5am you ask -- because I log in to work around 7am(give or take 15 mins on either end) so I had to be done by that time and we started at 5:30. It was rough but it was 1,000 times better than it could have been because Anne joined me on this silly idea. We weren't able to get our long run in this weekend so apparently we thought the next best thing was to run it Monday morning.

Ok - all that whining aside, it really wasn't too terribly bad. Finishing is always the goal and finishing we did! We both agree that we won't be able to do that early of a morning on future runs since they keep getting longer from here out.(Anne works Sat/Sun and I work during the week so that translates to always needing to run EARLY!) Starting next week, we may need to brave some heat/sun and run in the evenings. Our race is going to be hot so we best be gettin' used to it.

In other news ~ Mike has a bear skin hanging in our loft(some people cringe at that - sorry if you're offended - it is what it is) and Ranger decided to yank it down off the wall last night. That's AWESOME!! Luckily, besides pulling out the nails, there was no damage to the wall. Ranger apparently also knows how to open doors...I guess he decided he was bored outside and decided to open to the door to get back in. Hmmm...sounds like a trouble maker, right? :)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

a new job

In July, I applied for, interviewed for, was subsequently offered a new position, and I accepted the position at my employer. YAY! Officially starting 8/22, I will be a Sourcing Analyst for the Contact Center. I will basically be the point person for the contact center's outsourced account. I'm really looking forward to it...I've been in various contact center positions through my first 4 years at my employer and now I'm headed back to that department and working with the fabulous people. It's sad to leave my current position. I've never worked with a bad group of people at my employer and my current team is no different...going to miss everyone I currently work with.

I am able to maintain my home worker status so I'm thrilled for the opportunity to be able to advance my career even though I'm a home-based worker. I used to think working from home would really restrict my opportunities but I feel anything is possible now! The other fun piece is that I'll have the opportunity to travel to the Philippines a few times a fun for Kirsten. Maybe I'll throw the hubs in my suitcase or something.

Maybe this will get me one step closer to figuring out 'what I want to be when I grow up.' :)

I'll be dabbling in my new position next week(attending a few meetings, better understanding some of my responsibilities, etc)...can't wait.

Happy weekend everyone!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

in full force

I'm in full force half-marathon training!! I think I'm about half way through and I run the Santa Fe half on September 18th.(which also happens to be my 2nd wedding anniversary) Although I got off to a late start with training, this time around is going much better than the training for my half in March. I can actually sort of breath...must be getting used to the elevation...and I have running partners. Boulevard has been accompanying me on my early morning 3-4 mile runs, not only for safety but also to keep my booty running up those hills. Not to mention he packed on a few pounds after surgery(hey-I felt bad because he was basically starved for 4 weeks during that whole ordeal) so he's had a cut back on food and a new workout regime(lots of walks and running) for him is a good thing. Anne is also training for the same race so we've been running a few times. I did 7 miles today by myself but hopefully Anne will run with me on my future long runs.

Mike and I had planned a weekend motorcycle trip to Durango but since the weather is so unpredictable with the rain, we decided to forego the trip. BUT I just decided I'm going to keep my day off scheduled for tomorrow as I originally had and Mike and I are going to ride locally and spend the day together.(his weekend is Monday/Tuesday) Considering he left this morning around 8am and won't get home until 10pm tonight, I can't wait to hang with the hubs all day!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

hodge podge of the latest Carp family happenings

Last Friday, we went to the Santa Fe Opera ~ first time either of us have been to an Opera. I think we both agree the best part of the Opera was the 2 hr tailgate prior to. :) There was about 15 of us or so that tailgated and then attended the Opera. We saw Griselda and left at didn't start until 9pm, it wasn't horrible but it was a little "dry," and since Mike's head was bobbing within the first 5 minutes, we decided to leave at intermission with a bunch of other people. The Santa Fe Opera facility is incredible. It's covered but it's all open-air and just lovely with wonderful views.

A proper tailgate involves a portable grill, brats, wine, and heels & dresses??!

Relaxing with friends and enjoying the tail gate and beauty of NM before the Opera.

It's monsoon season in Santa Fe so in the evenings the clouds roll in and make for amazing skies. I think this one is especially pretty.
This last week, Mike had inservice with all the NM BLM Rangers and Agents. On Thursday, he did a demonstration for the BLM state office employees and everyone at the inservice, along with any family members(that's me!).

Here's Mike...

Here is Ranger biting the Special Agent in Charge of NM. They did a role play situation in which he pushed Mike and Ranger took off after him.
Ranger says, "Don't mess with my daddy or I'll take you down punk!" I plan to never be in that bite suit!!

I was looking through some of Mike's pictures from his K9 training in OH. One night, they did pool/water work so here they are playing in the water.

This was after Ranger did his bite work in the water. He got to take the bite sleeve as a "reward." :) (that's what's laying next to him) I guess it was difficult to get Ranger out of the water because he loved it so much.

And my newest love ~ we traded in our Mazda 3 last night for a Nissan Juke, aka the Jukester. I was so obsessed with this vehicle that I didn't care how impractical a decision it was. We basically got our way in the entire deal so we are the proud owners of this mini-SUV! Hmm...where should I drive it to this afternoon??

Monday, July 25, 2011

we survived a week...barely...

That may be a bit of an exaggeration but we're all still getting used to Ranger.

What we've learned:
-First and foremost, Ranger is huge! I thought Boulevard was big but Ranger's head is enormous.
-Stuart is not impressed with Ranger. Any time Ranger gets too close to Stu, Stu barks at him and Ranger runs away. Little does Stu know that one chomp and he'd be a goner.
-I think Boulevard's jealous feelings are coming through. He's acting very depressed at times and he gives Mike a lot of attitude.
-When Ranger gets bored you better have a toy available. He has a tendency to just grab whatever is in reach and start chewing. Nothing critical has been damaged but every tag has been ripped off our outdoor furniture cushions and Ranger got ahold of Mike's taser thigh holster and chewed off one of the clasps.
-Ranger gets kenneled at bed time for reason I've stated above. :)
-Ranger likes to play...all the time, anywhere, and with whomever will play with him. Boulevard and Ranger will play a lot as Stuart watches from a distance.
-Ranger gets disciplined(and obedience) in German and Blvd/Stu get disciplined in English...gets a little confusing.
-If we are walking, most people will move to the sidewalk on the other side of the street if we have Ranger with us...little do they know Ranger is a big baby.

This was the first day with Ranger.

Relaxin' Stuart takes refuge in his kennel.
Thought I'd throw this one in. This is one of the photo's we got before Mike even met Ranger. It's amazing that the sweet guy above turns into the mean guy below when he needs to.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Day 5 -, guess I mean Paris

Our final full day in London, we decided to take a day trip to Paris. We boarded a bus very early in the morning and they took us to the train station where we boarded the Eurostar for a 2 1/2 hour train ride to Paris. Once we got to Paris we had about an hour bus ride/tour, then an hr boat ride on the Seine, lunch at the Eiffel Tower, toured the Eiffel Tower, then we had about an hour of free time around Le Louvre. Since we didn't have much time, we decided not to go into Le Louvre since it's so huge so we just walked around a bit until it was meeting time.

Although I only have a day to base my judgment, I much preferred London. Paris was so crowded and the traffic was horrible. I'm sure if we had more time to explore and brushed up on our French, I would have really liked it. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it...but we also had an interpreter with us at all times.

On the bus after getting off the Eurostar.

Traffic doesn't look bad as we look down this street, but trust was not good!
Paris Opera

As you can imagine, we have a bazillion pics of the Eiffel Tower.

Notre Dame Cathedral - taken on our Seine boat cruise.

Boat Tour

Taken from one of the levels of the Eiffel Tower.

A smooch - isn't this supposed to be the most romantic city in the world?

Our free time - Le Louvre. What more do a I need? A water and starbucks...makes any trip more fabulous than it already was.

Le Louvre

And that's a wrap. Thanks for humoring me and letting me post our entire trip. It was a wonderful 30th birthday surprise. We left the next morning with a 9 hr flight from London to Atlanta and then back to New Mexico.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

London - Day 4 - May 10, 2011

Tuesday started off with us racing to try to catch a canal boat tour which we literally missed by seconds. We were getting to the boat as it was pulling away. Needless to say, missing the boat tour coupled with our sleep schedule being a little wacky led to some tears by me and cranky pants on both Mike & my part.
Oh well - moving to Windsor Castle. Along with St. Paul's Cathedral, Windsor Castle was another of my favorites on the trip. I thought it was cool that the Royal's still stay at the castle on the weekends and it is where many "state"(are they called state dinners in London?) dinners are held. I think it's so interesting that the castle is still fully in use.

Waiting for our train.

On the train ride to Windsor Castle.
Windsor Castle was huge and we weren't able to take pictures in the inside areas we toured but here are a few. Yes - I do have a head set on...we took MANY self-guided tours while we were in London.

I believe the area behind me is where they actually stay when they are there are on the weekends.

If I remember correctly, this is the on-site church at the Castle.

We briefly walked around the town near the Castle before we caught our return train. This was a building Mike remembered when he was on his college trip to London. Your eyes are not deceiving you, it is crooked. :)

We actually thought Windsor Castle would take longer so we had some "un-planned" time on Tuesday. We decided to utilize the benefits of our London Pass by touring the WWII experience and touring the HMS Belfast battleship.

The WWII experience was geared more toward kids but I did partake in some of the dress up activities.

Thought this was a sign worth taking a picture of!

Touring battleships is always interesting to me. To think how they lived on these ships for long periods of time...

Another pictures of the Tower Bridge to end our day.

We ate dinner at the Punch Tavern by enjoying some yummy meat pies and some beer. We never ventured to try the "warm" beer. Not sure either us would like that.

Day 5 will be coming soon.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

London - Day 3 - May 9, 2011

It's something about this time of year that I stop blogging for some reason. But since this blog is basically our virtual scrapbook, I want to finish up the London trip. I thought I could pack it into one post but there's just too much to share...and it's fun to look at the pics and relive the trip. I still can't believe Mike pulled this off.

For Day 3, we started off with a tour of Shakespeare's Globe Theater. If we ever make it back to London(or should I say "when" we get back to London :)), I would definitely like to see a play in the theater. Super cool!

The stage is behind us.

From the Globe theater, we made our way to St. Paul's Cathedral...probably one of my favorites of the trip. It was incredible inside(but you aren't allowed to take pics) and we did climb the 530 steps to the very top.

Are we there yet? The height did start to freak me out a little.

See the point way in the distance? That's the "top" where we ended up after climbing all those stairs.

Next up was Westminster Abbey(couldn't take pics inside here either). It was cool to be there and compare it to all the pics I had see of the royal wedding a few weeks before. It puts everything in perspective.

This is the front of the Abbey where Princess Kate made her entrance.

Next up was to tour Kensington Palace...which I later heard is where Kate and William will be living. Sorta cool! Much of the palace and gardens were under constrution but here is a good pic of both.

We ended our day at Regents Park and enjoyed a lovely dinner and bottle of wine at Cafe Rouge.

Day 4 and Day 5 will be coming up next. :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Day 2 - London

On Sunday, we officially picked up our London Pass and got down to the nitty gritty of London sightseeing. Where do you start your London sightseeing...the London Bridge of course...which in all honesty isn't that exciting when you compare it to Tower Bridge. But we did do the 'London Bridge Experience' which occurred in the London Bridge. The experience started with a few story-telling rooms, which incorporated history of the London Bridge, and ended with a "haunted house." It got me jumping and screaming...good thing Mike was the lead of our group or else we never would have pushed through. :)

From the London Bridge, we visited the Tower Bridge.

A picture of the London Tower from the top of the Tower Bridge.

View from the top of the Tower Bridge looking down on the Thames. The Tower Bridge by the way was really amazing site.
From the Tower Bridge, we headed to the London Tower. Huge place with lots of history and lots of stairs.
If I recall correctly, this is the White Tower, which is inside the London Tower. This is where the crown jewels are kept, which we were able to view.(but sadly not allowed to take pictures)

Fantastic picture of the Tower Bridge as a boat goes through. Again, some impecable timing as we waited for our Thames water boat cruise that we were in the right place at the right time to see this. Magnificent structure!!

Thames River Cruise - Behind us is Greenwich. Ever heard of GMT, in regards to time?...that's Greenwich Mean Time which all time zones are based on.

The Tower Bridge. Mike thought it was hilarious that my head was between the towers. :) When we were in the Tower Bridge, we were in those top walkways between the two towers.

As we were going under the London Bridge on our water cruise.

Big Ben(the clock) and Parliament. Isn't the gothic style cool?After a long day, one definitely need a beverage. Can't remember the bar's name but we just made happy hour for half-price drinks! More impecable timing.

And we finished Day 2 eating at Cafe Pasta ~ where Mike enjoyed seafood pasta, I had delicious ravioli and we shared a big bottle for Peroni(Italian beer - you can also get it in the U.S. - it's not specific to London or anything.)

Day 3, 4, and 5 coming shortly. We have so pictures, it's hard to just pick a few to post on the blog.