Monday, December 25, 2006

Santa Claus is Coming to Town (various)

Well, technically it's Christmas day. I'm so sleepy. It's 2:30am right now & I have no idea what I'm still doing up. I'm not a little kid anymore, waiting for my parents to go to bed so I can sneak downstairs & peek into my presents. In fact, I think Jeff is wrapping gifts for me & the only thing that separates us is a sofa.

Earlier this evening, we did our traditional Christmas Eve deal where we get together with our friends. We did a gift exchange at David's house in Puyallup, which by the way is incredible. We did dinner at Denny's. We didn't, however, leave our big tip for our server. We didn't have the worst service ever, nor was it the best. I think most people felt it wasn't that great & so, let's not leave a tip. It was decided that we would collect our monies (& then some??) & donate it to a charity of sorts instead. I'm not sure if it was 100% decided, but many were leaning towards some kind of animal charity such as the Humane Society. I'm cool with that.

We did our version of the white elephant gift exchange. I don't know if we did it right, but we did it & we had fun. I went home with a drink making set (comes with shaker & some other utensils used to make drinks). I'm really excited with what Jeff came home with (since I'll most likely use it more than he will) - some small bowls that are perfect for storing small amounts of food or for food preparation (maybe holding some chopped onion or something like that, a silicone basting brush (coulda used one of these yesterday) & a DVD: Love, Actually. The weirdest gift would have to be from Steve - a shocking game. You hold on to these joystick-like things & when the music stops playing, the last person to press their button gets shocked. When David, David, Katt & Steve were playing.. it looked pretty darn painful. I'm glad I didn't end up with that gift!

Oh, one funny thing happened tonight during our gift exchange. We hadn't planned for everyone to do a gift exchange for everyone, but Jeff & I wanted to give a picture from our Hawaii trip to everyone who was in it - a picture from our wedding day where we all stood giving our best impression of Frankenstein. Great minds think alike because David & Katt had the exact same idea. So, now we all have two copies of the funniest picture ever!

Jess - I don't know if you read this anymore, but if you do... happy belated birthday. Hope yours was spent with those you love. I was thinking about ya.

Today, I am thankful for:
1. My Stupendous Spouse
2. My Fabulous FrankenFriends
3. My Dynamite Dad
4. My Incredible In-Laws
5. My Kooky Kitties

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Do Re Mi (Julie Andrews)

I'll be the first to admit we have a pretty crazy work dynamic in my department. My boss is sometimes the root of all that's evil, but mostly, she's just being her micro-managing self & I accept her for who she is. And, it's those times when she's being her goofy self that I really laugh out loud & enjoy working with her.

The other day at work, Faith was talking aloud & all she says was, "So...." to which Debbie answers (like she often does when someone says "So..."), "A needle pulling thread."

Usually, this mini-convo ends right there, but Faith continued with a, "La..." to which Debbie answers, "A note to follow so"

I pipe in with, "Ti..." to which Debbie answers, "And A". That was followed with about a minute of uncontrollable laughter as I was not expecting that answer from my boss of all people!

I love my job.

Today, I am thankful for:
1. Sense of humor
2. Envelope systems that work
3. My shortest post yet
4. Non-Lasagna
5. Employment

Sunday, December 17, 2006

After the Rain (Nelson)

Who would have guessed what was going to happen after all the rain fell in November? It's been a crazy, crazy autumn season: Record rainfall in November. Enough snow to close my work for a day. Windstorms that caused power outages to much of the Puget Sound area. Crazy, I tell ya!

Thursday of last week, on my way to the train station after work, there was torrential downpour. It was almost reminiscent of being in Hawaii on October 16th. I can't tell you how many of those running ballerina jumps I did to try & avoid the giant puddles that accumulated at the curbs. The water was so deep in areas that I couldn't tell where the curb was; water was in the road & up over the sidewalks. My umbrella was pretty much useless because it kept turning inside out in the wind gusts. Well, regardless of how much I tried to avoid it, I was soaked by the time I got to the train station. Then, before we got to Tukwila even, the conductor stopped the train for about ten minutes while they decided if it was safe to continue Southbound. Fortunately, it was & I got home at a reasonable time (that is, after I finished some Christmas shopping for my in-laws).

We were fortunate to not have lost power at our house. I can't say others were as lucky. The other four in my department had all lost power on Thursday. I know how much fun it isn't to try & get ready for work in the dark. On Friday, Steve & Airi were going to stay over at our house as they had lost power at their house. When Jeff called to find out what time they were coming, their power had just come back on. Kat, who lives not too far from Steve & Airi wasn't so lucky; her power has been out for the last 4 days & she's staying with us until it comes back on.

Work on Friday was a little exciting. The building hadn't lost power, but the air conditioning in our server room had broke at some point & our IS team was scrambling to get the temperatures under control. Senior management, at one point, had "closed" the Credit Union. However, while waiting for a ride home, they told us to stay for a few minutes. Then they said we would open at 10am, but since some had already left for the day, they gave us the option of staying or going, but if we stayed we'd get a comp day. I opted to stay, but was a little frustrated that I hadn't left while I had the chance.

On Friday, we were going to have our department lunch at 13 Coins, but since Faith chose to leave, we didn't go to lunch; we are going on Monday instead. I'm looking forward to it, for sure. Trina & I used to recommend the restaurant to the hotel guests when we worked at the Hampton Inn a decade ago.

Saturday, we celebrated Jeff's 33rd birthday at Famous Dave's BBQ Restaurant down in Puyallup with Steve, Airi, Kim, Kat, David & Katt. I'm not a huge bbq rib fan but that's only because I find them so messy to eat. These ribs at Famous Dave's were SO delicious that the next time we go there, I just may get myself some ribs. On Saturday, I had a burger & it was mighty tasty! The fries weren't all that great, but the burger... Oh man! Drool....

Afterwards, we had a group shopping trip at Target. In a rather weird way, that was kinda fun to hang out with everyone at the store with everyone doing their own shopping. Some shopped for Christmas gifts while other shopped for their own personal items they needed at home. After the group shopping, we all came back to our place and watched a little VH1 I Love the 80's 3D. Talk about memories. Poor Katt... Maybe next time we'll watch some I Love the 90's.

I'm going to finish up watching another episode of Grey's Anatomy here in a second so I'm going to finish this post.

Today, I am thankful for:
1. Gas fireplace
2. Indoor heat
3. Generosity
4. Trotters
5. Red Door Revealed

Sunday, December 10, 2006

They Say It's Your Birthday (The Beatles)

My 31st birthday was on Friday. Don't quite know what to say about it. My birthday has never been made to be an occasion where the day was all about me. So, today, in my "adult" years, I still feel it's like an ordinary day.
On Friday, I put in a half day at work & then Kat & I went & did our annual volunteering for the folks who make Holiday Stockings for homeless children possible. This volunteering event is a two-day process where on Friday, all the donated items gets sorted into age-appropriate tables & day two is when the real chaos begins - when the actual stockings get stuffed with the items. Then, let's not forget that throughout the year is when all the REAL work gets done - making (yes, making) over 2,000 stockings & collecting donations (money & stuff). For the past 3 years, I've only helped sort & stuff the stockings; for this upcoming year, I want to help making stockings & do some collections at work. This year, Kat & I were co-captains of the table for 4-5 years olds & we quickly ran out of hats & scarves. So, next year, I want to put a collection box out at work for those items.
After volunteering, Kat & I met up with folks in the Southcenter area for dinner at Claim Jumpers. While the spinach-artichoke dip was mighty tasty, I could have done without the rest of my meal (turkey supper). It was just 'okay'. Thank you, Trina, for my warm jammies. I'm wearing them right now. I love 'em & you're gonna love yours, too. I guarantee it.
I got THE best birthday present in the mail when I got home Friday night: Our marriage certificate. I've been waiting on that sucker so I can go get my name changed finally. Woo!! I'll probably take a day off this week to get that done. Though, I'm told I still need to work on my new signature. That's going to be a tough one to 'perfect' as I've been signing my scribble for so long now & I've grown to really like it.
My stamp camp was moved from yesterday to today & I'm still not quite done with my cards they're making. David, Katt & Randy are coming over to watch the Seahawk game today & I'm making a (pampered chef recipe) chicken enchilada ring & (tupperware recipe) guacamole. So, I better step away from the computer & get those things done.
Today, I am thankful for:
1. Ovens that work
2. Friends who celebrate my (non)birthday with me
3. Wine
4. Easy camp cards
5. Volunteers

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Here I Go Again (Whitesnake)

Earlier today I started another blog to go along with my Stampin' Up!® business. I figured once I have my last name changed, I'm going to have to (eventually) order new supplies, including business cards. On my new business cards I'll reference my new blog, On my new blog, I'll list SU company specials & any I'm offering for that month. I'll show pictures of my camp cards & projects. I'm hoping to somehow have a calendar on there too, but I'm not sure that's going to happen. More code to learn & learn to manipulate. Hmmm.... I'm guessing the calendar won't happen anytime soon.

Tonight, my company had our annual dinner at the Hall at Fauntleroy. Though there was a fairly small turn out, it still turned out pretty nice, I think. Dinner was mighty tasty - mixed fruit, caesar salad, chilled grilled veggies, meat & veggie lasagna, chicken skewers & dinner rolls. Dessert consisted of some chocolate cake/brownie of which I had none. I was busy gambling courtesy of West Coast Entertainment. How it was set up, each employee was to get $30,000 to play with & they did a raffle drawing at the end of the evening where based on how much money you had left over determined how many raffle tickets you got. I went through my $30k, Linda's $30k & Doug's $30k (Linda & Doug don't gamble, even if it's pretend money). However, as part of the regular raffle done throughout the evening, I was the lucky recipient of a gift certificate to get my nails done at some place in Tukwila. Woo!!

Tomorrow is my Tastefully Simple home party. I made 5 of the dips tonight in prepping for the party tomorrow afternoon. The directions I had for making these dips was to use regular mayo, sour cream & cream cheese. I used non-fat/low-fat mayo & sour cream. When I taste tested off the spoon, I thought they tasted rather scrumptious. I'm really happy about this because many of the ladies coming to my party are watching their weight in one way or another. How could I expect to sell this stuff if you're only supposed to use the full fat creamy white stuffs?

Could this possibly be my shortest post yet? I think so!!

Today, I am thankful for:
1. Mary Kay
2. Mickey
3. Craps
4. Free fun
5. Veggies

Thursday, November 30, 2006

I'm So Excited (Pointer Sisters)

I'm excited for a few reasons:

1. I think I've blogged more in the past week than I have since starting this darn thing & that excites me. I didn't intend for this blog to be a once a week occurrence, but rather have more daily updates.

2. Aimee & I went to our WW meeting this afternoon & we're both down for this week's weigh in. She is down something like 1.2 lbs for a total of 30.2 lbs lost. You go girl!! I am down 2.6 lbs for a total of 28.2 lbs lost. And, this is even more of a milestone for two reasons - I'm officially below the 150 mark & my point allowance drops from 22 points to 20 points. I can see the light at the end of the weightloss tunnel. Achieving this goal before year-end is such a probability.

3. I mentioned in my last post that the Stampin' Up event I was going to be a part of was postponed & it conflicted with a volunteer opportunity I had already committed to. The good news is Heather was able to switch the date to next Wednesday, December 6th. So, it looks like I'll get to be a part of this event afterall. Originally, after the last event, I really had mixed feelings on if I wanted to participate in this one too. I had contemplated coming up with some lame excuse (read lie, such as I couldn't get the time off work) as to why I couldn't do it, but here's what changed my mind:

4. I contacted the folks who entered into my door prize drawing at the last event & one of the gals confirmed she wanted to do a Stamp-A-Stack for the 9th of December. Although her door prize was for a free camp, the difference between her camp & Stamp-A-Stack is $10 & they will pay the difference on the cards. Anyways, for the past two days, I've been working on creating my cards for this Stamp-A-Stack & it's getting me in the holiday mood, it's getting me back in the Stampin' Up spirit & it's getting me off my butt & away from the television. My camera just does not do these cards any justice whatsoever, but here's 2 cards I've been working on for the Stamp-A-Stack, CASE'd (but changed slightly) courtesy of the lovely ladies at SCS:

5. I finished watching the first season of Grey's Anatomy sometime last week. Can I just say that I really hate cliffhangers? Fortunately, Aimee owns the 2nd season so I didn't have to wait too long to find out all about Addison and that SHE was the one who cheated on Dr. McDreamy, er, I mean Dr. Shepherd & caused the demise of their marriage. Of course that was just the first episode of season 2 & there's 26 more. Le sigh! I can't wait to see the rest of the episodes.

Today, I am thankful for:
1. Warm(er) temperatures
2. Italian Sub Stoup (courtesy Rachael Ray)
3. Television on DVD
4. Acceptance of CASEing
5. Achieving weight loss

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Baby, It's Cold Outside (Bing Crosby)

Okay, so you probably can't really tell in this picture just how much snow fell last night. And, if I'm being perfectly honest here, it wasn't a huge amount. That's the top of our fence with about a half inch of snow on it around 7:15 this morning. However, it was enough for my company to close it's doors today. Actually, I don't think it was the snow that made them close down today, but the compacted ice on the roads paired with the fact that it's not supposed to get much over 33° can make for a dangerous commute.

Yesterday, the Seahawks won their 2nd Monday Night Football game against Green Bay & are now 7-4. The game got over around 9 or so & I heard on the news this morning that some folks were stuck for several hours in traffic due to inclement weather. One guy said he got home after 3:30am & only went from Seattle to Bothell! That's one crazy commute that I was happy to not be a part of.

So, I'm not sure if you've noticed, but I'm proud to say that I've manipulated some code on this blog & have added links on the left & changed some of the fonts. I also learned how to add pictures to my text. Yay, this computer stuff is pretty darn cool, eh? I still need/want to learn how to change the background.

Unfortunately (or is it fortunately??), because I'm not going into Seattle today, I'm not going to get weighed. I'm kind of sad about that because I think I've actually lost weight & I'm eager to see just how much. There aren't any meetings on Wednesday when we normally go, so I think we'll probably go on Thursday. Wish me luck.

Again, unfortunately (or is it fortunately??), a Stampin' Up! event I was going to do on Thursday was postponed to NEXT Friday, but I'm already volunteering with Kat. It's a good thing because I wasn't banking on getting much interest/traffic at my booth & I would have used a few hours of my leave at work to attend this event. It's a bad thing because although there probably wouldn't be much interest, any interest is better than none.From the last SU event I did like this one, I almost felt it was a waste of a day, but I did give away 4 stamp camps for folks who entered my drawing. I'm REALLY hoping this will generate more interest & future camps &/or customers.

Here's three of my favorite cards that I did for my November camps:

Today, I am thankful for:
1. Indoor heat
2. Wool socks
3. Long underwear
4. Sweaters
5. Snuggles & Cuddles

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (Various)

Last weekend, 106.9 started playing their non-stop (with the exception of the ocassional commercials) Christmas music. I was thrilled because it means that Christmas was indeed coming. It also scared the bejesus out of me because that means that Christmas was indeed coming.

I had thought about fighting the crowds the day after Thanksgiving like I had the year before, but this year two things happened: I had trouble falling asleep the night before & therefore didn't want to wake up ultra-early & I didn't have a game plan in place; I didn't know what I was going to buy that I hadn't bought online the night before.

I sent out my wish list to the families. Here's a hypocritical thought: I hate having to create my own wish list, but really really REALLY want other people to give me theirs. I have three thoughts on the concept - 1- if there's something I want, I usually go out and buy it myself. 2- if you really knew me, then you should know what to buy me. 3- how am I supposed to act surprised when opening a gift when I pretty much know I'm getting it? It's kinda like at my bridal shower where most gifts I opened I had on the registry. Don't get me wrong, I am thankful I received the gifts, but I guess I just wasn't "surprised" to receive them.

Thanksgiving was really good this year. Jeff & I spent the afternoon at his aunt & uncle's house in Maple Valley. I was thankful I wasn't stuck in the Southbound traffic along with everyone else & that we didn't have to travel 3 hours to get to our destination.

Since Jeff's Aunt Maureen claims Thanksgiving as her holiday & I never have, but want to, cook a turkey dinner, in the next few months, I'm going to invite a bunch of folks over for a (hopefully) yummy turkey dinner with all the fixings. Stay tuned for an evite from me inviting your hungry stomachs over for some tasty culinary goodness. MMMMMM!

Speaking of tasty culinary goodness... Last weekend, Kat, David, Katt, Jeff & I attempted to start up the monthly international cuisine again. Kat selected Caribbean food as the cuisine & Calypso Caribbean Restaurant as the establishment. Unfortunately, when we got to where Calypso should have been, there was nothing but a parking lot. So, in staying true to new international cuisine, we drove to the U-district & found an Ethiopian restaurant. None of us had tried Ethiopian food. It was, to say the least, different. They brought out this ultra-spicy food on a "bed" of what looked like a spongy pancake. And you eat the food by using the pancake as your utensil. On a scale of 1-5 (5 being the best service ever), I'd give the service at the restaurant a 1 & the food a 3.5. I actually enjoyed the food, though it was really spicy. David, I think, would probably give it a 1 or so; he didn't fare too well afterwards. So, I think I would try Ethiopian again, but not at that place. After the Ethiopian experience, we went to the Ram for drinkies. Good times with good friends.

Last saturday, I went to a "purse party" with Trina & Kat. I've never been to one before so I was pretty excited. Anyone who knows me knows I love home parties! So, basically at this purse party, the lady has all these knock-off purses laying around in the gal's living room & they're priced from like $50-80. Her deal was buy one & get the 2nd for $5 off. There was one I had my eye on, but it was like $78. I just can't spend that much on a handbag. So, I tell Trina & Kat about this hole in the wall store in Seattle where they sell the same things for half the price. And we went! I bought a cute Kate Spade handbag for $25 (they wanted $40, but I got 'em down to $25 - score one for me!!).

Kat has updated her blog with a cool background & has posted pictures. She told me she'd show me her magic ways. I can't wait!! I'm so virginal & naive when it comes to this computer stuff. The only thing I know how to do is add links in my text. I want to learn how to add pictures, change the text & background, links to my friend's blogs & website, etc. One day... you just wait!

We've decided to do a white elephant-type gift exchange Christmas Eve with the friends this year. I'm pretty sure I know what I'm giving. We're also doing our leave-a-big-tip-for-our-server at a restaurant (probably Denny's) in Federal Way this year. I'm really kind of sad that Joel & Mickey won't be joining us since Joel's the one who started this awesome tradition so many years ago. It almost doesn't feel "right" doing it without him, but just because they can't make it, I'm not going to forego it. There's always next year. Joel & Mick - you better be there :o)

So, really, I came to my computer to get some ideas for some Christmas cards that I may be doing for a Stamp-a-Stack in 2 weeks & I end up blogging for an hour. I ought to get going on the other things I need to do.

Today, I am thankful for:
1. Socks
2. Split Coast Stampers
3. O Holy Night
4. Close relatives
5. MP3s

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Sound of Silence (Simon & Garfunkel)

It's been a week or so since I last wrote. I don't think I have much to say (for once). Are you as surprised as I am? Okay, good.

Kim leaves in less than a week to meet the man she's been (online) 'dating'. How exciting to finally meet the man she's come to love. I hope she has a great time in England & comes back with some awesome stories about her trip.

I started watching Season One of Grey's Anatomy. What a great show! I'm already about 6 episodes in. After I'm done with Season One, Aimee will let me borrow Season Two. And, hopefully, Season Three will come out this summer & I'll have time to get caught up before Season Four starts & then I can start watching weekly, on real television, with everyone else in the office.

The Downtown Seattle Association has set up their annual nutcrackers around town. In front of our building, we have the Jimi Hendrix nutcracker. Pretty stinkin' cool, if you ask me. I just wish it wasn't SO close to the street.

Jeff & I went & saw Borat over the weekend. It got pretty good reviews so I suggested getting folks together to go see it. Though I laughed out loud during several parts of the movie, I was less than impressed by it. I wouldn't see it again. I guess I am glad I saw it though, otherwise I'd be wondering what I missed out on.

Joanna finally picked a car. It's about darn time, too. I swear, if I were in her shoes, I would have selected a car a LONG time ago. But, perhaps that's just me. If I know there's something I want, I'm not going to waste everyone's time learning about what I "could" have if I chose X instead of Y. Maybe I'm a little too... hasty.

I weighed in again this week & again I gained weight. Not a huge amunt, but it's a gain nonetheless: .4 lbs. I swear, I've hit this serious plateau. I can't get below 150 lbs. This sucks, but I'm not going to let it get me down (no pun intended). I'm down like 26 lbs & that in & of itself is a huge accomplishment. Go Jenn Go!

I'm a weenie when it comes to cooking stuff I've never cooked with before. I can do boneless/skinless chicken breast, but give me a whole chicken & I'd have no idea what to do with it. Yesterday, at the grocery store, I saw a packet for some bbq pulled pork stuff that sounded & looked really good & it called for boneless pork shoulder. Okay, bacon I can do. Pork shoulder...what? Anyways, one of these days (soon!), I'm going to attempt this pulled pork product. Go Jenn Go!

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is next week? What are YOU thankful for?

Today, I am thankful for:
1. Lunch & gift exchange with friends
2. Dinner & gift exchange with friends
3. Dessert & gift exchange with friends
4. Evites
5. Airplanes

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Oops! I Did It Again (Britney Spears)

After several weeks of not tracking my points, I finally started up again last Wednesday (that is, after our Halloween potluck). I'm happy to say I'm back at 26.2 lbs lost (again) - down 2.6 lbs from last week's weigh in. I was really worried that I was going to gain, yet again, because after weighing myself last night at home, it appeared my weight was right about the same as it was at weigh in.

Only 6 lbs to go til I reach my "goal". I wonder if I'll want to quit or keep on going...

So, this morning I hardly ate anything before weighing in. And, I feel I've been gorging ever since. Sorta. Well lunch was leftover lemon chicken, rice & a mandarin orange from the local teriyaki restaurant from the night before. Dinner tonight was spaghetti, salad, garlic bread & corn. Mmm... I love corn! And the pasta & bread was whole wheat. That's not all bad, is it? I'll find out next Tuesday when I weigh in again!

Yet another SMCU'er has joined WW with me & Aimee. That makes 5 of us making the trek to the weekly Tuesday meetings. 4 others go to other area meetings. Wow! All this because of me & Aimee. That's awesome!!

I've got 4 of my 7 camp cards ready to go for my Stamp Camp next Sunday. That's good news! One of them, I think, I'm going to demo at a holiday bazaar for DSAs this coming Saturday. Depending on how many I get made (& keep), I just might end up using them as MY holiday card this year. How nice will that be to have all (or at least some) of my Christmas cards done by Veteran's Day? Maybe I'll actually send them out this year; last year I got lazy & time slipped away from me.

I'm also really excited for an annual volunteer opportunity that Kat & I have been participating in for the past few years. On December 8th & 9th, we'll be going down to the USCG gym & we'll help sort & stuff stockings for homeless children. We may also man the carosel at Westlake in Seattle as a separate volunteer opportunity, but we haven't signed up for any particular shifts. We should probably do that relatively soon.

Last Saturday, we had our open house/reception where I think we had a great turn out. There were people I didn't know & people Jeff didn't know there. Afterwards, some folks stuck around for some cards (poker & budogi). Mike & Angie were the big winners. It was really cool seeing Mike again. He left the CU back in August to persue his dream job - a cop. Sounds like he's really busy with the Academy, but he's loving it. That's important.

Jeff's great uncle is doing just fine after taking his tumble on the front porch on Saturday. He was taken to the hospital, waited around for 4 hours in the waiting room before receiving a staple or two (maybe more?) in his head. I guess the lump has gone down, he's gone home & is doing well. Lucky, lucky man! I hope I'm in as good of shape when I'm his age.

I finally called Jeff my husband the other day when introducing him to a co-worker at the open-house/reception. It didn't sound or feel weird, but I think it didn't because I said it on purpose. What I want to know is when I'll stop feeling like a "Christofferson" & only like a "McCarthy". I guess once I change my name & have to start signing "McCarthy" only, then maybe we'll see. I'll have to ask my married girlfriends when they stopped thinking of themself as their maiden name.

Today, I am thankful for:
1. Early bedtimes
2. Umbrellas
3. Cell phones
4. Wit
5. Metro

Sunday, October 29, 2006

It's Been Awhile (Staind)

It seems it's been a long, long time since I've posted. I guess not a whole lot has been going on. Well, that's not entirely true:

Heather, who is part of my (okay, she's my only) Stampin' Up downline has asked me to represent Stampin' Up at two holiday bazaar type deals she's putting together. The first one, on November 11th, is at the clubhouse in her community in Gig Harbor. The second one, is either at the end of November or the first part of December (dates TBD) is at her jobsite. From what I understand, they're not really a traditional bazaar where you go out and buy stuff from the vendor's table, but just a bunch of DSAs representing their products. Terry, who is my upline has told me that there usually isn't much generated from these type of events, so I'm not holding my breath. I am hoping to meet some new faces, generate even a little interest & hopefully get at least one or two camps from it.

Since getting engaged in May, I've really let my business go. I'm still an active demonstrator & it puzzles me how that's possible since I really haven't done anything. I am excited to say I do have one camp scheduled in 3 weeks, however, those girls don't usually buy much. Perhaps since it's near Christmastime, they will buy some supplies to get their holiday cards started. Here's hoping anyways.

I had my first post-Hawaii weigh-in this past week. I gained a whopping 1.2 lbs from the last weigh in (2 weeks earlier). Not too shabby, I'd say, considering all the Lava Flows, Macadamia Nut items & other not-so-good-for-you-but-oh-so-tasty foods & beverages I consumed. I really need to get back on it & lose the rest of the weight. Just 7-ish lbs to go til I reach my goal.

My childhood friend, Jaime, got married last Saturday. This was her 2nd marriage. I was really surprised how similar it was to her first wedding. Mind you, it's her first wedding to Arjun, but it was so much like her wedding to Rick - she had the big, white (beautiful!) dress, the huge cake, first dance w/her husband, father/daughter dance, tossed the bouquet & garter. And dancing. There was lots of dancing. The two main differences were about halfway through the reception, she changed out of her white wedding dress & put on a traditional Nepalese gown & they continued the reception with Nepalese music & dancing. It was fun to watch the other dancing. I did get up & do one of the dances with them.

This past Friday, I went out to Girls Night Out with Jaime & her family & a couple high school friends. This was probably the closest thing to a bachelorette party for Jaime, but it happened after the wedding instead of before. We had dinner at Azteca & then went to Pumpernickels for Karaoke & drinks. I'm just going to say that some people should sing more, some should sing less and other should not sing at all. I could have made some serious Simon Cowell remarks, but these folks weren't trying out for American Idol (thank goodness!!).

Joanna called me yesterday, saying she got in a car accident. I was actually very shocked when she said it wasn't her fault; she is, in my opinion, the worst driver I know. She was rear ended by a mini van & then pushed into the car in front of her. This sounds familiar as the same thing happened to me 11 years ago, except I only tapped the car in front of me. It sounds like Joanna's car was totalled from the accident, but fortunately, she's okay. I'm curious what kind of car she gets next.

Last weekend, Trina's greyhound, Tigger, escaped through a loose board in the backyard fence. Joanna & I went over there & walked the neighborhood for a few hours on Sunday looking for her. As it turns out, one of the neighbors had her dog & she was returned safely the next day. Whew!

My cousin, Deborah, had her 4th baby last week - another girl, Rachel Joy. I haven't talked to her, but through her husband's blog, it sounds like everyone is doing well. She says she wants a big family (at least 5 kids). I wonder when they'll stop & how much it really costs to have a family that big.

The mystery gift has been solved! When we returned from our trip, we had a wedding gift from Macy's mailed to us - a gift card tucked inside a little photo album. All the box said was it was from OH. I thought it was from David's parents because they're the only ones I know in OH, but they said it wasn't theirs. As it turns out, it was from Jeff's aunt & uncle & Macy's screwed up & didn't put in the notecard that was supposed to go with the gift.

Now, I gotta get those thank you cards out!

Today, I am thankful for:
1. Apologies
2. Velcro
3. Oatmeal
4. Love
5. Mexican food, even if it doesn't taste good.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I Feel the Earth Move (Carole King)

I'm blogging from not so sunny Maui, Hawaii. Jeff & I are here, along with some awesome friends (& family) who flew across the Pacific Ocean to witness & celebrate our wedding, vacation & have fun in general with us. I couldn't have asked for a better time than this.

A basic breakdown of our vacation so far:

Wednesday, October 11th: we left Seattle for LAX. Took a shuttle on the tarmac to our next plane & flew to OGG. We got our car, found our condo, called Kat & found Pizza Express & had a late night dinner that was mighty tasty, except for the one we got with all the 'shrooms. Ewww.

Thursday, October 12th: Jeff & I woke up early (6am-ish) & got ready for our bikeride down Mt. Haleakala. Our driver, Mark, picked us up shortly before 7am. He was a hoot. Reminded me an awful lot of Gary Busey for some reason. I was a little disappointed in the bikeride. I thought it was going to be so much more fun than it was. Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy myself. I just wish I wasn't such a weenie when it comes to things that are scary. Riding 38 miles down the volcano's many turns at 20+ miles an hour when I have no protective gear other than a helmet is scary to me. Like I said, I'm a weenie. Jeff had a blast & would do the bikeride again. I think I'll sleep in next time. I did get a cool pic of some sort of horny lizard on his shoulder. Heh... I said horny.

Also, on Thursday, most of our friends & family members flew in. Jeff, McCarthy Mom & Dad, Randy, Kat & I had dinner at Moose McGillycuddy's restaurant. I *think* Jeff & Randy got their fill of the all-you-can-eat crab legs. The Lava Flow drink was mighty tasty. The Mai Tai, not so much. Afterwards, we were so exhausted that we just ended up going home & pretty much going to bed early (most nights, we were in bed long before 10pm!).

Friday, October 13th: Friday night, we met up with EVERYONE for the luau in Kaanapali. I hadn't been to a luau before. I thought the free (& free flowing) drinks were a little on the weak side, but the communal pineapple drinks (pina colada) were excellent! I think we all have shared cooties now. The all-you-can-eat buffet wasn't bad either. Having worked in a buffet restaurant before, I assumed the food wasn't going to be super tasty. I was wrong. I especially enjoyed the kahlua pork, chicken & mac salad. I hope Steve, Randy & Jeff enjoyed their chicken nuggets. I thought the show would have been longer, but if it was much longer, I probably would have been way bored.

Saturday, October 14th: This was the intended highlight of this whole trip: our wedding. The day started off with Kat & Mar picking us up, & dropping Jeff off while picking his mom up & getting manicures. See, I can't keep a mani to save my life so I wanted to get one as close to the wedding as possible. I don't think I could have gotten one much later than we did. It was really cool, though. This was Penny's first mani. It's always nice to be pampered just a little. I had wanted to get a massage after the mani, but by the time we got done with lunch at Stella Blues, it was too late to get one. Instead, I got a little more pampering by having my hair & makeup done (in my room) for the wedding. Funny thing is, I didn't have a mirror in front of me while she was doing my makeup so I totally felt like I was going to look like a clown. Thank goodness, I didn't. I was pretty happy with the result.

When it was time to go, Jeff & I drove down to Makena & found our beach where we were to be wed. I'd say half our party was there when we got there & the rest came soon after. There were lots of pictures being taken by EVERYONE. It was hard to focus on where to look because there were photos being taken from all directions. A giant thank you to Mar for using my camera. I looked at the photos & found some really cool shots in there. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You.

As far as I could tell, the wedding went just fine. We'll see what the video camera captured. Thank you, Randy, for being the smooth operator of that one. Airi, I still hold that those tears were for you :o)

After all the pics John took, we all headed back out to Moose's for our post wedding dinner. Matt, our waiter for the 2nd time, was incredible. Unfortunately, we missed my dad & Helyn & for those of you who hadn't heard & was wondering, dad got sick & had to leave. Stat. Enough said.

Sunday, October 15th: The great Hawaii earthquake 2006 happened on this day. There were actually 3 earthquakes and several expected aftershocks. This is my account of what happened/what I felt. We had planned on waking up early & going swimming in S. Kihei with Kim & Randy around 7am, so Jeff & I were on the road to Kim's hotel when it happened. Unfortunately, being in a car, moving already, you don't feel as much as if you were standing still. We had heard there was going to be a storm coming in & it appeared cooler than other mornings & a little windier too. While on the main road through Kihei, we noticed the car kinda shaking a little & attributed it to the wind. Further down, I saw a traffic light that flashed yellow 2 or 3 times & asked aloud if it was flashing yellow before or if it was a red/yellow/green light. Then, the radio went dead & again, we figured the power must have been knocked out due to the wind. While waiting in the parking lot for Kim to come out, the car starts to shake a little again. I think I/we initially thought it was wind or maybe the car having problems so we turned the engine off & we're still shaking a tad. Funny thing is, it really wasn't THAT windy. Jeff then said that he thinks it was an earthquake or something.

After picking Kim up, we drove the rest of the way to Jeff's parent's condo & that is where we all convened for a couple hours at least. There was a pool to guess just how strong the earthquake was. Thanks to Henry, we found out it was a 6.7, but was eventually lowered to 6.5 or 6.3 & that no tsunamis are expected to come. Good thing considering everyone is REALLY close to the ocean. A bit later, we headed down to the ocean just to check it out. Nothing going on. Still a bit windy & chilly to get in so we start heading across the street & Trina & David spotted us as they were driving by so they stopped & hung out with us for awhile. A couple hours later, we did end up going in the ocean. Lots of good waves. Lots of nasty waves that just pounded us. Lots of sand pushed into places it didn't belong. All in all, there was absolutely nothing to worry about as far as the earthquake was concerned. We didn't have stuff falling off the shelves. Nobody was hurt. According to Randy, the worst thing that happened was we (he) had to hurry and drink the beer so it wouldn't get warm as the power had gone out.

Sunday, we also celebrated David's 31st birthday at Stella's. I thought their food was pretty tasty, but too expensive for dinner. And, they have a silly 1 refill on your soda rule. Lame. After dinner, we headed back to Bob & Penny's to have some cheesecake that Kat & I bought earlier that day. Happy Birthday, David! Sorry about the check confusions. You'll note this type of thing always happens when we go out in a large group. :o)

Monday, October 16th: This morning, we were supposed to go snorkeling at Molokini & Lanai. When we got to the departure place, they let us know that we could only snorkel at Molokini & that we were going to combine our tour with a tour that left over an hour later. This was all due to the weather, I think. See, it was POURING!! Fortunately, it was a warm rain. We were wearing tanks & shorts & it really wasn't all that bad. So, we go to change our boarding pass to ride the other boat & about 5 minutes later, the dude comes out & says they're actually cancelling the trip altogether. Honestly, I wasn't saddened by this at all.

We ended up coming back to Kihei for breakfast with my dad & Helyn, Bob & Penny, Kim, Randy, Jeff & myself. I had huevos rancheros for the first time. Kim warned me against having it, saying it wasn't that good, but I had nothing to compare it to & it just sounded good. I don't think I'd ever get it again. Anywhere.

After breakfast, Kim, Randy, Jeff & I went to Lahaina to do a little shopping. Okay, Kim & I went shopping while Jeff & Randy had a beer or two. We saw a garbage truck nearly turned over, stuck in the mud on the side of the road. I tried getting a picture on the way back, but we were going too fast & the rain was too much, plus there were cars goin by that made it near impossible to get a clear picture. There were several "rockslides" on the island & so plenty of rocks in the road. Also, many puddles on the roads. I got a few pictures of all the water on the roadways.

Tonight, Katt & David Turner & Kim left the islands. Hopefully their flights have made it out safely & on time. Tomorrow, Bob & Penny, Kat, Trina & David & Randy are leaving. But, their flights aren't until a little later so we'll still get to see them before they take off. Don't think we'll get in the ocean again (the rain is STILL coming down), but maybe we can have one last lunch at Maui Taco or one last beer (for Randy) at Moose's. Wednesday, I think Jeff & I will have breakfast at Charley's in Paia (supposedly, they have awesome macadamia nut pancakes. I hope they're not as big as Kim's at Fred's this morning!) & hopefully pick up our wedding photos/album from our planners. I'm really looking forward to seeing these pics we spent so much time posing for. I know everyone else is looking forward to these pics too. And you will see them - at our Open House/Reception on November 4th.

This post is super long so I'm ending it now.

Today, I am thankful for:
1. Getting to call Jeff my husband
2. Hearing Jeff call me his wife
3. Kim's blackberry
4. Henry is a nerd
5. Benedryl

Saturday, October 07, 2006

One Week (Barenaked Ladies)

As the title suggests, there is a pretty big event happening one week from today. I'm getting married! I've been looking forward to this event for a long time. I also know my readers have been looking forward to this for a long time. I'm so thrilled & thankful that my chosen family will be able to share this life altering event with us.

Anyone who knows me knows I'm a pretty patient person. I think, somewhere deep inside, I always knew that 1. I would end up with Jeff & that 2. we would be together in that forever sort of way. He's very special to me in ways that I can't exactly articulate. I know from the bottom of my heart some things are worth waiting for, even though I often wondered how long I was going to wait for this magic moment to happen. Though I've waited for a long time for this, it still feels so unbelievably surreal. The next week will go by so fast, yet not fast enough.

Fortunately, there are some things scheduled for the next week that will make the time (hopefully) go by just a little quicker:

Monday, though a holiday (yes, Columbus Day is a holiday to some), I still have to go to work. We're closed to our membership, but we have some in-house training/team-building to do. Whoopidy-freakin'-doo. Shouldn't be too painful; just a waste of the day, if you ask me. Monday night, Kat & I are getting pedi's. One final relaxation before the trip.

Tuesday, I'll be running around like a chicken with her head cut off at work, trying to get everything caught up & make sure my co-workers are cross trained well enough before leaving for the next week & a half. Jeff & I already have plans for dinner on Tuesday - some yummy grub at BB Magraw's.

Wednesday, we leave in the afternoon. I'm sure there will be some last minute packing, er shall I say panicking? We arrive in Kahalui around 8pm. By the time we get checked in, get some dinner, etc. it'll be pretty late & I bet we'll be tired.

Thursday, we are doing the morning bikeride down Mt. Haleakala. I'm really looking forward to this. We have nothing planned Thursday eve, but this is when the bulk of everyone flies in & so maybe we'll meet folks for drinks or something fun like that.

Friday we meet with the lady who gives us our marriage license. It'll become more official after meeting her. Friday night, everyone is meeting for a luau. I'm also really looking forward to this as I've never been to one before.

Saturday, Kat & I, along with Penny & possibly Erin are getting manicures. I figured it was better to get one the morning of the wedding vs any earlier. For some reason, I can't keep a mani to save my life & so getting it as close to the wedding date as possible was important to me. Okay, so this will be the one last pampering before walking down the beach to marry my groom.

Sunday is reserved for Jeff & Jenn. We have absolutely nothing planned for this day & at this point, I'd like to keep it that way. I just want to spend the day with my husband. Wow, that's kinda trippy to say. I love the way it sounds.

Monday, a bunch of us are going snorkeling out to Molokini. I'm not 100% excited about this for a few reasons. Primarily because I can't swim & I hate sticking my face under water. Who knows? I may get over the fear of water & find this to be the best thing ever!

Tuesday & Wednesday are also wide open. When I go on vacation, I like to have a general idea of what we're doing, but having some days with nothing planned is also nice.

Today, I am thankful for:
1. Waxing
2. Eyebrow tinting
3. Highlights
4. Manicures
5. Spa pedicures

Monday, October 02, 2006

Friends (Michael W. Smith)

So, the song goes: Friends are friends forever...

*note* Throughout this post, I am using the term friend very loosely.

I've been thinking a lot lately about my friends & the relationships I have with them. I've had the "friend" conversation with Kat numerous times. We've talked about levels of friendship, making new friends, people you're no longer friends with (& why) & people who are returning friends.

We agree there are levels of friendship: strangers, acquaintences, buds, friends & dare I say, best friends. I have people in all these catagories. Well, except for the best friend catagory, but that's out of choice.

So, what if I think of someone as a friend & they think of me as a best friend? Should I feel guilty for not reciprocating the relationship? What if I have someone in my friend catagory & wish they were in the acquaintence catagory? Should I feel guilty for that?

How DO you demote a person to acquaintence status? I'm guessing you can ignore that person as much as possible. Certainly, you wouldn't include/involve/invite them to certain events (birthday parties & bridal showers, for example). And, when you're invited by them, you don't go. You put as much distance between the two of you as possible. But, since you don't want to look like the ass in the friendship, you still send them Christmas & birthday cards, until you've completely faded away. BUT, what happens if you see this person daily? That, I don't know. It's a little more challenging, but I don't know how you slowly fade away when you have no choice but to see them.

Early Sunday morning, I was reading the blog of a "friend" of a "friend". Then, I began wondering... I wonder when the last time "friend 1" spoke to "friend 2". Well, it's been a few days at least because "friend 2" is currently in Japan. I wonder if "friend 1" knows this. If you were really friends, shouldn't "friend 1" know?

Okay, then I was thinking about how some of my friends weren't always my friends. I couldn't stand Kim for the longest time. The feeling, I believe, was very mutual. Then some day, something happened. I can't pinpoint what it was that changed the way I felt, but for whatever reason, I let go of my jealousies & I saw her for who she is: a really good person with a big heart & wanting the same things out of life that I did. I'm SO glad you're a part of my 'friendship' circle, Kim. And I will come visit my friend in England should you move again. :o)

I don't know if it's fate or "God's will", but I do believe people come into your life for a reason. It's kinda funny to me, though, to see who's come & gone from my life & I can say to myself, "in retrospect, this person was here for this reason." and I can usually figure out what the reason was.

Today, I am thankful for:
1. Past friends
2. Current friends
3. Future friends
4. Girlfriends
5. Boyfriends

Friday, September 29, 2006

Ballerina Girl (Lionel Richie)

Lately, I've been pondering the whole job situation. Not because I want to find a new job necessarily, but I was just curious what I could/would do. So, my question of the day was this:

If you could do anything & be successful at it, what would you do?

For me, the answer is/was easy: a dancer.

I also learned some things about my co-workers that I never would have thought - Aimee would do something with fashion or interior design. Debbie, my boss, said she wanted to work with animals and then said, "oh wait... I already do!" Haha! She did clarify to say she wouldn't want to be a veterinarian, but rather maybe work at a zoo or wild animal park. Faith, who I thought would be a singer surprised me saying she would be a scientist. Who knew? Linda, was the most predictable: a SAHM. But then I said it would be doing something & getting paid for it. Therefore, if wanting to work with kids, she could be a teacher or nanny. So, after thinking a few moments, she said she always thought it would be interesting to be a Court Reporter. That is interesting. I wouldn't mind trying that myself if my dancing career didn't work out.

I feel like Rachel Greene in the episode where she couldn't see her unborn baby in the ultrasound pictures & Ross kept pointing it out, saying "do you see it, it's right here..." & she'd say yes, but then a few moments later cry because she really couldn't see & she felt like a bad parent because she couldn't see her own baby. Well, I don't have a baby that I can't see, but I got my hair colored tonight & Michelle put in both lighter & darker colors in it. She asked if I wanted it "streaky" or "chunky" & I said no; I wanted it blended, more natural looking. So, she did. And, now it's so well-blended that I can't see the different shades. Kat says she can see it & in different lights, you can see it more, but I just can't see it. Makes me wonder if I spent that much for nothing. I did get my eyebrows colored & waxed (for the first time, I might add) for free! I think I was a weenie before, thinking I couldn't ever do the waxing as it would be too painful. It wasn't bad at all.

So, I know I can be an anal butt (is that redundant or what??) sometimes... Okay, so I'm already packed for the trip & we don't leave for another week & a half. My defense is that I didn't want to forget anything. And, really, I'm not 100% packed. I still need to pack stuff I use on a daily basis like my makeup & certain shoes.

Today, I am thankful for:
1. Someone pointing out my flat(ter) tire
2. Crystal Light
3. Lunchtime Walks
4. QOTDs
5. Fridays

Monday, September 25, 2006

Sad Songs (Elton John)

I'm so sad... Tonight, I was catching up on last week's episodes of Celebrity Duets (yeah, I got sucked into yet another reality show) & saw that Jai Rodriguez was voted off. I was certain he would win the show. He's got an awesome voice & seems so in control of it. But alas, it's our votes that keeps the contestant on. And, since I refuse to vote, I guess I can't really say too much, can I?

If I heard right, FOX is replaying season one of American Idol starting this weekend. I'm definitely hooked on this show, but didn't begin watching until season 2; I'm excited to see how it all began. And, season 6 will begin in January. Wahoo!

On Friday, Jeff took me out to dinner to a restaurant I've been wanting to try for several years: Mama Stortini's. If I recall correctly, the story is they had this great Italian restaurant in Tacoma, but Tacoma wanted the space they occupied for some city buildings. So, Mama Stortini's was forced to close down & move. And they did. To Sumner. Or, Puyallup as the address says, but really, it's Sumner. Just ask me. The food was tremendous & very delicious. The service was right on (quick & accurate). The restaurant's atmosphere was beautiful (leather seats & white table cloths). The prices weren't horrible either, but I didn't have anything to compare it to; I hadn't been to the old location. I love Italian food.

After dinner, we made a quick pit stop at the local McDonald's so I could see my good ol' friend, Ms. Kohler. Boy, was I happy to see her. After a brief meeting, we headed off to Fred Meyer to find some for sale signs for Jeff's truck.

Saturday, I took Trina, Kat & Joanna to Chutney's Indian Restaurant in the Fremont area as a thank you for all their help with the wedding stuff so far. I love Indian food. After lunch, Kat had mentioned a Hawaiian store not too far away on 45th. We stopped, of course. I think we went there to check out what they had for clothes for Joanna & Trina. I found a really cute Hawaiian print dress that I'm wearing to the Luau. I'm not wearing it Go-Go style. I also picked up a Hawaiian print bag that I take on my commute to hold my book, my lunch, etc. Trina found a dress for herself there as well. And, one of the ladies who works there is a travel agent, specializing on Hawaii so we picked her brain on some stuff. Awesome. After Chutney's, it was off to Emerald City Smoothie for some cool beverages. Thanks, Kat, for the water. That was really sweet of you!!

On Sunday, Jeff's mom came over & after a quick lunch at Subway, we wallpapered the lower half of the downstairs bathroom. She got us started & I had fun finishing up. I hadn't wallpapered before. Next: buy some spray texture, paint & chair-rail from the good ol' local home improvement store.

After wallpapering the bathroom, Jeff & I drove around & looked at some houses. If you had told me a year ago that we'd be moving, I would have told you, "Oh hell no I'm not!" I'm slightly more open to the idea right now. We looked at a Quadrant Community & I wasn't turned off by the homes or the community. In fact, I really liked one of the floor plans. Unfortunately, it was just a little too outside our budget. Dang!

On Friday, I was supposed to have my monthly meeting with my boss, but after postponing it til the end of the day, I asked to postpone it again to today. Thank goodness she approved; Debbie was in a foul mood on Friday afternoon. Something about being stressed about work. So, then I started thinking more about my job. I like my job for the most part. I've been w/my company for 5 1/2 years. That's a LONG time to me. I have good benefits. I like the people I work with. And, the work itself isn't all that bad. But, I was thinking... where else could/would I go? Several weeks ago, after having an awesome experience at Subway, I thought if I had to have a 2nd job, I would work at Subway (as opposed to Blockbuster like I did several years ago. Don't get me wrong, I loved my experience at Blockbuster, but I think this time around, I'd go to Subway). More seriously, I was considering the USPS & even went to their website today to check out jobs. I'm not sure I'm ready to leave my current employer, but I think this is where I'd go... if I could get hired there. And, if I become any more unhappy, I just might actually pursue a job there. Maybe.

Today, I am thankful for:
1. Indian food
2. Italian food
3. Chinese food
4. Fast food
5. Leftovers

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Picture Perfect (Michael W. Smith)

Things I love about this time of the year:

1. kids go back to school
2. trees turn beautiful shades of red & orange
3. cute holiday decorations are starting to arrive in the stores
4. I don't have to shave my legs as often
5. the season premieres start up again

Already, I've watched 2 episodes of Til Death, the spinoff from Everyone Loves Raymond. I didn't watch Raymond, but this Til Death show, so far, is pretty funny I think. I can see this being one of my new regular shows.

Last night was the Monday night lineup premiere as well. I recorded & watched Two & a Half Men & How I Met Your Mother. Both shows, I started watching in the middle of last season & got right into them. How I Met Your Mother ended last season with an awful cliffhanger. I'm glad the summer went by quickly so I could find out what happened. I also recorded The New Adventures of Old Christine. The season finale last season was funny & I was really looking forward to watching the premiere. I just haven't had time yet. Maybe tonight.

Tonight, is the season premiere of one of my favorite dramas - Boston Legal. That show is very well written. I'd recommend it to anyone, even if you don't like William Shatner.

Aimee let me borrow her season 1 of Grey's Anatomy. I've already watched 1+ episode tonight. And, until I catch up with the rest of season 1 & 2, I may TiVo season 3 which starts this week. Grey's Anatomy, Lost & Desperate Housewives are shows I wish I had started watching & never did, but sound so good when people talk about them.

Tomorrow, the 7th cycle of America's Next Top Model begins it's season w/a two hour premiere. Woo! Anyone who knows me knows I love reality tv. I *think* this is the only reality tv show I'm watching right now. Well, unless you count Celebrity Duets, but that's not really "reality", is it?

I did see that the next season of The Biggest Loser is also starting up (was it tomorrow?), but I'm probably not going to watch. I watched a couple seasons ago when Suzie & Matt were on there & really enjoyed it, but when I tried watching the next season, I got bored rather quickly.

Soon, American Idol will start up again.... probably in Jan or Feb, I'm guessing. There were auditions held in Seattle today. Someone mentioned to me today that if they were younger or within the age range for American Idol, they totally would have tried out. That got me thinking...

Though I like to sing w/the radio, in the shower & in the car, I wouldn't audition for anything like that. I KNOW I don't sing at the same skill level as more "professional" singers do, therefore, I wouldn't even embarrass myself with trying out. But, if you knew someone who wasn't the best out there & they wanted to audition, would you tell them not to? Obviously, you want to be supportive, but if they think they're good & the reality is, they're not, what do you do? We've all watched those auditions shows & wonder what these people were thinking? Do they REALLY think they're that good? Why didn't their friends or family save them from the embarrassment? Maybe they don't care & just want their 15 minutes of fame at their own expense.

If I ever lose my mind & decide to do something that I REALLY shouldn't be doing, someone slap me, please & give me a reality check.

Today, I am thankful for:
1. Recycling
2. TV on DVDs
3. Apologies
4. eTools
5. Starting anew

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Shock Treatment (Rocky Horror Picture Show)

I LOVE shocking people. I like to say & do stuff that makes them go, "WHAT?!?!!?" I like seeing the reactions on their faces when they realize I'm not who they 'thought' I was. For example, 3 weeks ago, I got a tattoo of a palm tree on the back of my right shoulder. When I told folks, I got a lot of comments like, "where's the Jenn I know? She wouldn't do that." Well, actually I would. And, I did. I've actually wanted a tattoo since I was about 18 or so. I even drew one that I wanted... but I never got it. It was one of those where when I actually thought about getting it done, I didn't have the money and when I had the money, getting a tattoo was the last thing on my mind. Then, I got engaged & asked Jeff if he wanted to get matching tat's in HI & he said sure, but then while I kept thinking about it, I decided what I wanted & he changed his mind & opted out. No worries.

At my bridal shower yesterday, I did a little shocking too. The first shock came when I announced that Jeff got a new truck. Why is this shocking? Well, this is his 14th vehicle he's owned & the 2nd one he's owned this year. It's funny the reactions people have at stuff like this. People don't know this, but our finances aren't 100% combined. They think that somehow his vehicle buying habit affects me somehow. It doesn't. As long as he's okay with the payment & the vehicle he's driving, I don't mind. He says, however, this is the car for him & that he's done trading. If I'm being pefectly honest here, I'm going to say, "yeah, right. I'll believe it when I see it."

My second shocker at the shower was announcing my tattoo to folks. Well, really the only people I was shocking on that one was my dad's girlfriend, Helyn & Jeff's sister, Erin. I think I mentioned to Helyn a week or two prior to me getting it that I was really thinking about getting one, but she didn't think I would go through with it.

One past shock was a biggie that hurt someone's feelings. We announced our engagement to our circle of friends via a forum/website that this group uses, a few days after it happened, so they could all read about it at the same time. We didn't intend to dissappoint anyone by doing it that way, but that's the way we chose to do it. Would we do it again that way? Probably. Am I sorry this person got hurt in the process? Of course I am. I don't feel our friendship has been the same ever since & that saddens me. However, what's done is done & I can't change the past. I can only hope this person knows it wasn't meant to be malicious & they can be forgiving of the situation.

So, yesterday was my bridal shower & I had a great time. There was a ton of people there & they were all there to see ME! Who knew I had so many friends who cared about me? I have to say, though, that it really kinda freaks me out to have so many people in one spot, talking about different things & I can't focus on any one set of friends (I go into sensory overload!). When we were originally planning the bridal shower, we were going to have two - one for the "older/family" folks & one for the "younger/friends" folks. But, after talking it over, we decided that we could just do one party because not everyone was going to show up, first of all, but also, it would just be easier to stick it out & get it over with. This way, too, we'd only have to do one cake, one set of food, one set of games. And, the day would be over in 3 hours instead of dragging it on ALL DAY LONG.

Yesterday, was also Jeff's bachelor party day. It was killing me to know what they were doing. Jeff didn't know & Steve wouldn't tell me. Found out they were probably going to play cards & go to the driving range. And drink. Lots. As it turned out, they didn't go to the driving range, but played 72 holes of miniature golf, which Jeff said he would NEVER do again; it lasted 6+ hours. They also went & played cards at David's house. Jeff said they learned a new card game from Steve that was a lot of fun. Oh, and they drank. Lots. He got home around 5am! What a night, I'd say!!

And, since I knew my bridal shower wasn't going to last much past 2:00, I had asked Trina if she wanted to see The Devil Wears Prada later on. She said yes, but that left a lot of time after the shower so... After cleaning up, Joanna, Kat, Trina & I went & had a manicures & pedicures done. Then, it was off to dinner at a cafe in the West Seattle Junction before going to the Admiral Theater (where all seats for all shows is just $5. By the way, this USED to be the $2 theater). After this busy day, I NEEDED to unwind. Kat, Trina & I headed back to Auburn to unload the car with all the wonderful gifts & then we went to the Rock for some drinkies. They were done after less than one VERY strong drink & I had me a mai tai & margarita. Yummm.

Today, I am thankful for:
1. Grinders
2. Gift registries
3. Dishwashers
4. Forgiveness
5. Friendship

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I took myself to the fair in town (Martina McBride)

Today, Jeff & I went to the Puyallup Fair. It was awesome. Then, we sat down to eat our buffalo burgers & it starts sprinkling a little. Not too much, but enough to be a little annoying. So, we head back in & pick up our knife set that we bought earlier & head out to the car to grab our jackets. And, it stops raining. Figures. But, once the Train concert started up, it started raining. And raining. And raining some more. And then it really starts to rain harder. And, we were soaked along with everyone else. It was awesome. But we didn't leave early. And most others didn't leave early either.

Jess was right; Train puts on a really good show. I don't know all their songs (just what is played on the radio), but I really enjoyed the concert. They played a good mix of the "radio" songs & the "other" ones too. If/when they come back to the Seattle area, I will be buying a ticket to that show.

Prior to the fair, I had to go up to Lady Margaret's Boutique to get fitted for my dress. Who knew that losing weight would mean I would get to swim in my dress. The seamstress is shortening the straps & taking it in quite a bit on top. She also suggested getting something to hide my "gut" a little better, but I don't think I will. The dress is made of such a sheer material, that I don't want to risk being able to see any lines, creases, or seams from such an undergarment. Besides, I've got a month... maybe I can just do a butt-ton of crunches & other abdominal exercises to minimize my gut. That, or I'll just continuously suck it in.

I have to give a BIG thank you to Trina who brought me her shoes she wore on her wedding day even though I was positive my land yachts wouldn't fit in them, but they do. And, even more incredible, they match the dress color perfectly. Yay!! Thank You. Thank You. Thank You. Now, on to jewelry...

Today, I am thankful for:
1. Train
2. Train
3. Train
4. Train
5. Train

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Get The Party Started (Pink)

I'm unsure as to whether or not I'll be using song lyrics or song titles as my subject titles. So far, I've been using titles, but I think I'll end up using lyrics mixed in with song titles. Sometimes, I get a few lines from a song stuck in my head & so, then I'll have to come up with a blog topic to go with it, hold onto the lyric for future use, or bag it altogether. Most recently, I've had some Ashlee Simpson songs in my head, specifically some lines from "Love makes the world go round" song:

I just wanna talk to you
And my broken heart just has no use
And I guess promises are better left unsaid, yeah

But, I have no reason to use any of these lines in my title... SO, I'll just keep on singing this song in the shower, in the car, in my mind, when singing aloud would be impermissible.

Yesterday, I made reservations for our 3 "fun" things we're doing in Hawaii - Bikeride down Mt. Haleakala, Luau & Snorkeling. I knew going into this trip that I wanted to do (& was going to do) the bikeride down the volcano. I really wanted to do it last time we went to HI, but couldn't sucker anyone into doing it with me. This time, Jeff has agreed to do it. BUT, the one I wanted to do was the sunrise trip, where they pick you up from your hotel/condo around 2:30 in the morning (that is not a typo; they really pick you up that early), however, because we're arriving so late, I didn't want to do that one. The one I reserved is also an early morning one, but they don't pick you up from your hotel/condo until 7:30am. Much better than 2:30!! The luau is a "discount" luau & we're saving somewhere around $40/person (or more, depending on the luau). This luau also came recommended by Jeff's aunt & uncle. Finally, the snorkeling excursion should be fun too (though, I'm a little worried as I don't know how to swim). We are going to Molokini & Lanai. It sounds like we'll probably see dolphins & possibly turtles, in addition to the fish.

The bachelorette party situation has been resolved to the best of my knowledge. I've given almost the entire reign of the night to Kat, Joanna & Trina. I've just told them that I don't want to be utterly embarrassed by whatever they plan, I don't want penises pinned to me in anyway & I'd REALLY prefer nothing from the Erotic Bakery. I'd like to have some alcohol on this evening, though I'm not sure who's available to go & I don't want to be the only one who's drinking.

When I talked to Kat yesterday, I mentioned to her that I thought (before giving up on the whole thing), that one possibility for dinner could be The Rock & have drinks (A.K.A. Buckets) there, but then after a bucket, Jenn's a goner. Joanna mentioned possibly going bowling at the new Acme Bowling Alley in Tukwila. Sounds good to me. But, whatever they have planned, it's gotta be better than sitting on my bum at home, right? I'm excited about the secret plans they have in store for me.

Jeff is having his bachelor party this weekend. I asked what he was doing & he said all he knew was playing cards. I told him I wanted to come & he said if I wanted to come, I should. See, I love hanging out with our friends & playing cards. I only wish my girlfriends felt the same (with the exception of Kim). That was a nice gesture on Jeff's part, but if this is his "bachelor" party, that wouldn't be cool if the bride-to-be showed up. Plus, it would also really be up to the other guys at the party, especially the ones throwing the party. We'll just have to either host a card night or con Steve into hosting a co-ed card night. Steve - are you reading this??? :o)

My bridal shower is also this weekend. I can't believe it's here already. And, we're getting married in a month. The best news I received all week was that my wedding dress has arrived. See, they told me when I placed my "rush" order that it would ship from who knows where on Sept 22nd. That put me into a "will-my-dress-be-here-on-time-for-the-necessary-alterations-and-accessories" panic. I kinda put it in the back of my mind that it would be okay as there would be nothing for me to do but patiently await for Sept 22nd to arrive. I let out a HUGE sigh of relief when Lady Margaret called me herself to tell me that it had arrived. I go in tomorrow to get fitted & the alterations done.

Tomorrow, I'm also going to the Puyallup Fair with Jeff, Joanna, Trina & David. Originally, Jeff & I were going to go because Train is playing there & I really like their music, plus Jess has seen them before & said they put on a great show. Then, last week, Joanna calls & says she's won 3 tix & she's bringing Trina & David. How cool is that?? The only thing I'm NOT looking forward to is that it looks like our summer is really coming to an end & thus, the rain is coming; according to, there's a 40% chance of rain in Puyallup tomorrow. The good thing is much of the fair is indoors. The bad thing is I think our seats at the concert are not covered. The great thing is, I'm from the Pacific Northwest & will not melt like the Wicked Witch of the West.

Today, I am thankful for:
1. Our new microwave
2. Music in general
3. Debbie is an "us" & not a "them"
4. Orbitz Lemon-Lime Gum
5. Robert Kiyosaki

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Party All The Time (Eddie Murphy)

It seems so random to me that Eddie Murphy would have a (hit) song out there. Well, it was the 80's and a lot of things I think of as random happened then. Perhaps someone who is a little older than I am can explain. Just to name a few: Boy George. Spandex shorts. Hulk Hogan. Crimped hair. Okay, so I did have a pair or two of spandex, a crimping iron & I did watch WWF with the family. Yeah, yeah... I will also admit that I also occasionally sing my own renditions of Karma Chameleon & Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?

But that's not why I posted the "Party All The Time" title. I really posted it because a party has been on my mind a lot today. That party is my bachelorette party. It's scheduled for three weeks out & I think the evites should be going out VERY soon. So, what's the problem? Why is this weighing on my mind? Well, I don't know what to do at or for my bachelorette party. Originally, we had planned on going to 88 Keys, a dualing piano bar like Chopstix. But, the fact that the show doesn't start until 9:00 was a turn off. So, what else is there? Comedy shows - eh.
Casino - I gamble, but does anyone else? Bowling - that's fun for all of about one hour. Then what? Movie - No thanks. I wanna go out & have a good time with the girls, but a good time doing what? I'm more than open to suggestions.

Today, I am thankful for:
1. Popcorn
2. Personal Leave
3. Purses
4. Pluots
5. Pillow

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Wanted Dead or Alive (Bon Jovi)

In recent news, Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, was killed when he was stung by a stingray. I don't want to sound callous, but I'm really not saddened by this. And part of me feels bad for not feeling bad, but I was rather annoyed by this guy. Not that I would ever wish ill-will on him or his family (it is sad his children will continue to grow up without a father & his wife without her husband), but I'm kinda relieved that he won't be on tv anymore, except for re-runs.

Today, I received the final addresses from Jeff's family. I'm still waiting for one (maybe 2) very important address(es) from Jeff with no luck yet. BUT, it IS true that I can hand-write those envelopes if need be & I'm sure the recipients aren't looking up in their wedding etiquette handbooks & shaking their fingers our way in disbelief at how late we will be in getting them out.

So, that means the invitations & announcements SHOULD go out very soon. Hmmm... I wonder what the etiquette is on sending out wedding invites, anyways. I shall look that up. Six - eight weeks, some website says. Oops, looks like I missed that one. Our wedding is 5 1/2 weeks away. Okay, then. They will go out tomorrow. Weeee!

What's next on the wedding agenda? I need to make dinner reservations for after the ceremony. Since this isn't a catered event, I've chosen a reasonably priced restaurant, Moose McGillycuddy's, with a great variety of food so folks can choose what they want to eat. Unfortunately, they don't take reservations prior to one month in advance of the event.

My dress is scheduled to ship from who knows where on Sept 22nd. Then, I need to get the alterations on it done. They assured me the dress will be completed before we leave for Maui, on Oct 11th.

Oh, and there's a bridal shower (next weekend) and a bachelorette party two weeks after that. I'm looking forward to having a good time with my girlfriends.

Jeff's dad also gave me information on a great Luau that most, if not all, will attend on the Friday before the wedding. I need to look into reserving that for everyone & then figure out payment arrangements.

Fun times. It really is coming together.

Today, I am thankful for:
1. Evites
2. Voicemail
3. Faith a.k.a. my momma
4. Unity
5. When my "throw-together meals" taste pretty darn good

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I'm a Loser Baby, So Why Don't You Kill Me (Beck)

Okay, so I'm not ready to die, but I am a loser. A loser of 25 lbs! For several months, if not years, I've been unhappy with my weight gain. Year after year, the needle on the scale kept creeping up toward the right, topping out close to 180 lbs.

Then, a few years back, I remember seeing Cameron Diaz in the first Charlie's Angels movie & thought to myself, "that's what I want to look like." I thought that was my rock bottom. I think it was around that time or soon after I joined a gym or two (let's see, there was Bally's, Pure Fitness & Curves, not to mention all the workout videos I collected that were collecting dust).

Then, in more recent months, my pants stopped fitting. I held onto a pair of size 8 khakis for some unknown reason. And, I held onto a few pairs of my size 10s that I really enjoyed wearing, when they fit. And, I don't know what the hell happened to my size 12s, but then I had a ton of 14s around. It really sucked to not be able to get my pants up around my thighs & buttoned without feeling that the seam in the butt was going to rip when I sat down or bent over. And, I thought this was my rock bottom.

Then, for my 30th birthday last December, Jess, the sweetheart that she is, threw a surprise dinner for me at a Mexican restaurant close to her house with our friends. I love hanging out with my friends & that surprise dinner was just about the coolest thing anyone has ever done for me (thanks, Jess!!), but then they came out with the sombrero & the guitars & the singing & the camera. And Jenn isn't a skinny minnie that she once was. And, now there's proof. And, this is my rock bottom. Though, it took a few months for me to do anything about it.

Frequently, my good friend Aimee from work & I would talk about our weight issues. My issue was & still is I like to eat. That, paired with not knowing when to stop eating if I'm not utterly & completely full is a recipe for a weight gain disaster. Every now and again, Aimee would dangle little tidbits about Weight Watchers in front of me (she had tried it, unsuccessfully, a few times before). Not enough to where I was ready to jump in with both feet, but enough to where I wanted to see what it had to offer me. I really didn't want to commit myself to spending more money on something that I was going to fail at (see gym comments above).

Then, something in my head clicked & there was no turning back. I'm the kind of person who gets an idea in her head & then goes gung ho. Aimee found where meetings were held near work & since they're only a half hour long & during our lunch breaks, there wasn't any reason we couldn't check it out.

On Cinco de Mayo, we went to our first meeting. We've been "competing" with each other for weight loss ever since, maintaining very close numbers (she's currently "beating" me by .6 lbs. You go girl!!). I've got about another 7 lbs to lose before I reach my goal. And, I've already replaced my fat pants; there's NO turning back now.

Today, I'm thankful for:
1. TiVo (though, the version we use at home is Comcast's version; same thing though)
2. My determination to finally stick with something to help me lose weight
3. Corn on the Cob
4. Noritake Java Graphite Swirl
5. Twitterpation

Monday, September 04, 2006

Everybody's Workin' for the Weekend (Loverboy)

Except for us; we're workin' ON the weekend. We had, in my mind, a pretty busy weekend planned, though in retrospect, if I tell you what we got done, it doesn't seem like much. We were busy all weekend, though.

I think on top of our "list" of things to do, Jeff wanted to paint our newest bedroom (formerly a bonus room/office; we added a closet to it making our house a 4 bedroom house). He also wanted to move our elliptical machine into that room & get it set up as a "workout" room. We didn't get this done, though. Maybe next weekend (yeah, right).

For me, it was pretty important to work some more on our downstairs bathroom, which we did (finish taking the wallpaper & glue off the walls). I'm pleased with as much of the wallpaper project we got completed. All that's left there is to take the glue off from behind the toilet, but we need to take the toilet out (our contractor will help us with that tomorrow). Also, we need to take the glue off the wall that has the electrical outlet & lightswitch & just around the bathroom light. The power needs to be shut off when we do that; I'm not risking electrocution for a little wallpaper removal. We've already conned Jeff's mom into coming over next weekend to help with putting the new wallpaper up.

When we moved into our house 3 years ago (I can't believe it's been 3 years!!), Jeff's folks gave us a gift certificate to Todd's Nursery in Sumner/Puyallup/Orting area & we bought a bunch of shrubs because the previous idiot, er... I mean owner got rid of virtually everything green & pretty here. Anyways, they have an annual sale over Labor Day Weekend & we got a bunch more shrubs & groundcover today. But, now that means we're going to have to plant everything. We've already planted two of the four rosemary plants (they smell SO good! I used some today for dinner. Mmmm) & 5 of the 12 groundcover plants. Jeff also transplanted two small, unhappy bushes we got from Steve last year. In addition to the rest of these, there's still about a dozen or so other shrubs to plant. I hope we have one of the better homes & gardens in our neighborhood when we're all through.

Last week, Jeff & Steve had made plans for Saturday evening to see the Little Miss Sunshine movie & have dinner. Airi & I were, of course, invited too. It was a double date of sorts. Good food. Good friends. Good movie. Good times. I enjoy hanging out with friends. I especially enjoy when Steve cooks. You're a good cook, Steve. Invite us over anytime. Next time, we'll bring the Citronella Candle.

Today, I'm thankful for:
1. Jeff's tolerance of me not doing yardwork. Ever.
2. Rosemary (the herb, not Clooney; someday, I may be thankful for her, but not today)
3. Holidays (even silly ones like Labor Day)
4. My chosen family
5. Dishwashers

Friday, September 01, 2006

Jumpin' on the Blog Bandwagon

I wonder how many first blog posts out there begin with something to the effect of "jumpin' on the blog bandwagon"... Well, here's one more to add to that list. I'm not quite sure with 100% certainty what will become of this blog. I don't know who my readership will be, if any. I don't know how often I will post or what I will post about. I'm not sure how long I'll blog before I'm bored of it. I'm not even quite sure I really even know what a blog is or is supposed to be. But I'm doing it. Here & now, I'm doing it. So, bear with me as we embark on this new adventure... Together.

So, why blog? There's a couple people's blogs I've come across recently & I guess I'm a really nosey person or something, because I really enjoy reading them & finding out what's going on in their minds & in their lives. These people are friends & relatives that I don't necessarily talk to on any kind of consistent basis, so it's also a way for me to feel "connected" to them, even if we're not communicating via other means. Maybe other's would feel the same way about me. Maybe they want to know what's going on in my life & in my mind, too. Maybe not.

So, why now? It just seems right, I guess. I recently was reminded of a journal I had started a few months back, shortly before getting engaged. In it, the only thing I was writing was 5 things I was thankful for that day. Mind you, I only had like 4 or 5 entries altogether, but I had changed that notebook into my Wedding Plans book & ripped out my "thankful entries". If I blog nothing else on a particular day, I hope to blog my top 5 things I'm thankful for.

Today, I'm thankful for:
1. My boyfriend, Jeff
2. My typing speed & accuracy
3. Warm (but not too hot) temperatures
4. Buying 2 pants that fit at 2 stores on my lunchbreak
5. Blogspot, of course