Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What We Did Last Weekend - A Birthday & Besties

Nothing like starting the weekend with a squeaky clean bathroom!!!  I love cleaning my apartment and keeping my home spick and span.  BUT.  Recently my little castle in the sky (I live on the third floor) has been horribly neglected. Dislike.  But this weekend I got caught up on some very overdue chores.  I didn’t accomplish everything that I set out to, but I certainly slept better knowing some laundry was done and my tub was scrubbed.

Saturday morning I just couldn’t motivate myself to get to the Toyota dealership before 8:00 to drop off my car for an oil change… there is something about the forcefield that is my bed – I NEVER want to get up in the morning.  So I went to Zumba and burned off the calories I was anticipating consuming later in the day and then Houston and I dropped my car off on the way to my nephew Nate’s 5th birthday party. 

Nate is such a cutie!  He is becoming such a big boy and has such a sweet personality!  He asked for a camera as a birthday present, and this camera obsessed Auntie was happy to comply.  The search for a kid friendly, "real" looking camera for under $100 was a little frustrating... But Target saved the day with {this} camera!!! They even had a black one that was on sale, and for $40 it takes pretty good pictures and the touch screen was a breeze for Nate - the buttons are similar to the ones on an iPhone. 

The kids swam all day (oh to be a kid again) and Houston took the time to show me how to use his "old" DSLR that he is soooo generously allowing me to use as my own.

[life dream come true - that camera is gorgeous!!!]. 

Needless I say, it will take some practice to master all the controls, but I am sooo excited!!! I can't wait to take some more pictures!

Sunday started with church - nothing quite like singing old hymns to start making me an emotional mess for the day.  Ugh. Every time we sing a hymn I can hear my Grandma and Grandpa Jay singing in the row behind me.  It just makes me miss them. Badly.  

After church, Houston and I drove to Riverside to meet up with Justin and Leah for lunch and a movie. The Houghs have wonderful news... They will be having a BABY. BEST CHRISTMAS EVER!!!  Leah too me the news last weekend before we went to lunch {here}. Talk about overjoyed!!!  [- and for those of you wondering if I can keep a secret, I am Fort Knox!!!  I screamed when Leah posted the announcement online and ran inside to tell Mom!!!]  I cried like a baby all throughout lunch - I never should have tried to pray for our food. I was a hot mess.  This only made brunch more interesting as the guys continually tried to get me to cry my happy tears for two weekends in a row.  

We ate at El Torito [which by the way, has a Sunday brunch that I was not NEARLY prepared for... next time I will remember my stretchy pants and plan for a nap immediately afterwards] and then saw Superman at the Plaza.  The movie was great... I only had a few minutes of severe anxiety - the suspenseful music gets me every time.   

I'm so glad I cleaned a little on Friday, because the rest of Sunday was spent doing homework and reading.  

...and thus the vicious cycle of waiting for the weekend begins again.  

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What We Did Last Weekend - Errands & Dominoes

Last weekend was a blur (again)...

I started by feeling totally sick on Friday night and ruined plans with Houston to go to the movies.
Saturday morning got off to a better start, and even though I wasn't 100%, I went to Zumba.  After all, sweat is the best medicine, right???

I ran home after class and got ready as fast as possible.  Exhilarate fitness was hosting a free nutrition session, and I didn't want to miss it.  Did you know it is better to drink water between meals and limit how much you drink WITH food? The enzymes that help with digestion get washed away when we drink and eat at the same time.

Leah joined me for the class and then we went to have a bestie lunch at chili's.  I have never examined a menu so closely in my life.  The "normal" meal I would order was 1,900 calories!!! And that doesn't even include the chips and guacamole I eat as well.  I love this girl. I am beyond blessed to have a friend who has stuck by my side for the last 10 years.

The rest if the afternoon was spent running errands with a little spoiling in between… My first pedicure of the summer!!! Woah, was that over due.  Not sure I like how orang-ey the polish turned out, but I figured it was something different from my very predictable pink.

Then I tackled Target, Kohl's and Walmart - side note: I am almost to the point where I do not care how much I save by couponing at Walmart... it is beyond tolerable to walk in there sometimes.  It is like every individual who doesn't possess the slightest shred of manners is drawn to the big blue Walmart sign.  I have had it.  On the bright side... I LOVE having Houston to go shopping with, he is so easy going.  Even better - he is strong and helps me haul all the bags from the store up to my third floor apartment... what a great guy!

Saturday night, Houston and I went to see "42" at the discount movie theater.  Wow, it was good.  Do not take small children to see it as some of the racist language would be quite shocking, but for teens who understand the struggle of segregation, I think it would be alright.  Even though I knew the "ending" from history, it was entertaining and a very well made movie!

Sunday was a day in Long Beach visiting Ruby and Gary.  We ate sushi... yes, I continue to try new foods I would have never DREAMED of eating a year ago, and I was determined to use chopsticks and not a fork... I destroyed some of the rolls in the process, but did manage to get some food in my mouth.  The rest of the afternoon was spent learning how to play "5" with dominoes.  It was fun, and I wish that my elementary school teachers had used games like THAT to teach me how to count!  - Then (maybe) I actually could.

Part of me would like to hibernate for a week or so... do laundry and just sleep.  Next weekend can't get here soon enough!!!

[sorry for the boring pictures... it was a bad hair weekend. LOL]

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

What We Did Last Weekend - Farmington, New Mexico & Ouray, Colorado

This weekend was a loooong “weekend”.  I had the great joy of going to New Mexico with Houston to meet more of his family (sooo nervous).

We left the Inland Empire at 2:00 in the morning (which resulted in me being in my giddy-tired stage, where I was so tired, everything was hilarious) and drove to LAX.  A ridiculous wait to get through security and a quick walk to our gate and we were on our way to Denver!  Since it was so early, we slept most of the way there, but I woke up just in time to look out the window to see beautiful snow covered mountains!

Once we landed in Denver we connected to a “puddle jump” flight to Durango, Colorado.  What an experience that was!!!  I have never boarded a plane through anything other than a jetway at a major airport.  
We walked down a long hallway and out into the brisk morning air (hello, Colorado!) to board our plane (with two props!!!) Such a trip, since I haven’t travelled very much!

Our arrival in Durango was followed by a delicious breakfast; a drive into New Mexico and then a nap.  Thank heavens for that nap!!! I am going to have to get used to this whole travelling thing – I was totally wiped out and it was only two in the afternoon!

The rest of the week was a blast!

We ate the most delicious [comfort] food – i.e. LOTS of biscuits – that I am sure I will be working off for the next couple weeks (totally worth it) and visited some local breweries.  I got to spend some time with Houston's cousins and ADORED baby Joshua!

Our day trip to Mesa Verde was so interesting, and even though I was a little sick from the altitude and slightly dehydrated (a wonder, since I drink soooo much water) I still thought the cliff dwellings were incredible.  Nothing like a few extra thousand feet to remind a gal how horribly out of shape she is.  We bribed Houston’s cousin Timmy to come be our photographer for the day – gold star for that idea goes to Houston.

My favorite scenery was on the way to Ouray with Houston’s cousin John.  We stopped numerous times to take pictures near streams and waterfalls and the view of the mountains was spectacular!  I have never seen anything like it.  I don’t know if it was the thin mountain air or the beauty of it all, but it truly took my breath away.

I loved spending time chatting with Aunt Darla and Uncle Don – they both have the best sense of humor and were such lovely hosts!  They have a beautiful riverfront property and I LOVED waking up to the sounds of the river and the birds singing in the trees – a much more delightful way to wake up in the morning, if I do say so myself.  I am sure I will be shaking off my newly acquired Southern Twang for a couple days (but I don’t mind it – I would love to be a Southern Belle).

Now for the part I was worried about:  Houston took me to meet Granny Laney.  How intimidated I was to meet the family’s matriarch!  Lucky for me, the visit seemed to go rather well and we even made a second trip to drop off two photos from our day in Ouray.  She adores Houston – which is easy to understand, since I do too!

The trip home attempted to put a damper on the weekend but I refused to let it.  Here is a quick recap: delayed flight, missed connection, rescheduled flight, 20 minute taxi on the runway to “get out of the other aircraft’s way”, and separated seats on the flight home.  Lame. Lame. LAME!  On the bright side, at least we were stuck in the airport together and didn’t have to be completely separated.  Side note: sure fire way to have fun AND irritate those sitting around you – play silent rock paper scissors across the aisle.  We’re awesome.  To those of you wondering what airline… United.  Don’t fly United if you can help it. Nightmare.

Monday, June 3, 2013

What We Did Last Weekend - Finals

This past weekend was a blur.  It was like the weekend didn't exist. [super lame].

Friday night started the marathon review of 12 chapters of extremely challenging concepts for my final in my online accounting class. This last 16 weeks have been brutal.  It is difficult to "teach" yourself concepts simply by reading a textbook - and a VERY poorly composed textbook to boot!  I had my accounting co-workers, Houston, and random friends who excel at math all agree that the textbook did not explain concepts well, and since math based subjects tend to be challenging for me anyway... This class sucked.  I did however find a few dozen grammatical errors throughout the book (one point for the book worm). - speaking of which, I haven't read a book for the shear joy of reading in almost 4 years (I had a copy of pride and prejudice    in my shopping cart at Target and Took it out... I should have just bought it). 
Anyway... Friday night.  Studying.  Lame. 

Saturday I got up and made it to Zumba and even though I was super sore from Thursday (my hamstrings felt like rubber bands) it helped me blow off some steam before taking my final. 

A little lunch and off I went to tackle the exam.  [Have I said how much I hated this class!!!?!?]

With that behind me (I got a 75%, dang it) I started getting ready (it was 2:30 in the afternoon) to meet up with Houston at 5:30. 

We drove to have dinner in Long Beach with Ruby and Gary at a place called Roe - omgoodness the tilapia tacos are the BEST!  I love Long Beach - it is always wonderful to spend the day there.  The weather is so much more appealing tere than in Moreno Valley. On Saturday MV was a scorching 100 degrees and LB checked in at around 75 - delicious.  

[photo is from the last time we ate at Roe]

Dinner was followed by going to the movies to see "now you see me". Now... I am not a "movie fan" - I would MUCH rather spend $10 on something else... Especially since $10 won't even get you into the theater depending on the time of day (such a rip off).  Anyway, I LOVED that movie!!!! It was entertaining and had a great story - without all the other nonsense that sooo many films have these days.  I highly recommend it, like, go see it tonight so we can talk about it ASAP!

Sunday was a relaxing day - complete with a nap!!! Hallelujah!  Church, Portillos for lunch (yum), and Target and Walmart. Scored some great deals with my coupons and stocked up on some necessities!  Houston and I are totally an "old couple" - we find great joy in just doing the simple things every day. 

The night ended at Bob's Big Boy and with me splurging and drinking a cherry coke (I usually only have a soda once or twice a month). BIG mistake.  Totally cracked out on caffeine and still have a headache (today is Tuesday). Whyyyy do I do that to myself???

Now... The work day is over and I am officially on vacation!!!  Whoo hooo!!! Brace yourself for all the shenanigans that will be happening in the next five days.