Saturday, January 31, 2009

Four Months Until Forever

I pretty much never write about our upcoming wedding for a couple reasons. First, I don't find wedding planning that exciting. And, second even if I did find it exciting, there's really not much to say about it. "We signed a catering contract" is just not worth an entire blog entry to me. Now don't get me wrong, I am totally excited to get married, to be married, and to spend the rest of my life with C. He's a great guy and I think we compliment each other well. And believe you me, when the wedding's all said and done there will be lots of pictures posted. I love me some pictures. :) But until then I find my life much more exciting than wedding planning.

However, I happened to notice that today is actually the 31st (which is a pretty large feat considering the fact that lately I can't even be depended upon to know which month it is). Anyway, since today's the 31st it means that we're getting married in exactly 4 months. Yay!

And since I started this blog long after we got engaged and did a lot of our planning. I thought I'd post a few of our engagement pictures which I have to give credit to Joseph Allen for.
I'll start with the normal ones:

Yep, we brought the dogs.

As my mother pointed out we seem to be kissing a lot...

awww ... isn't Henry the cutest? Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks so.

Now, I mentioned before that we jumped in the fountain for the last half of the pictures. When my mom saw them I think she was a little shocked. She described them as "racy". I'll spare you the "really racy" ones but I'll show you a few. And I must admit that it was not Charlie's idea to take his shirt off.

Another one of my favorites :)

haha ... just be glad I spared you the rest.

And I'll leave you with one that proves that Henry is the sweetest:


Thursday, January 29, 2009

25 Random Things About Me

Yes, I just did this for Facebook but I thought it could double as a blog post:

1. I have to start my day off with coffee. 2 cups actually, and it has to have sugar and cream in it. Yes, i know this means carbs and fat grams. I'll survive.
2. I hate cities and I hate TV shows that romanticize the idea of living in them.
3. I love where we live.
4. I have an unnatural hate for prairie dogs. C thinks they're adorable but they annoy me, a lot, especially when they sit at the tops of their holes and taunt me.
5. Teaching taught me a lot more than I thought it could. It's my favorite job that I've had so far, and that's saying a lot.
6. I overanalyze my life.
7. I hate cooking. Hate it. Although I realize that it's necessary. Which is why when I look at a recipe I refuse to think about making it if it will take more than 30 minutes.
8. Since moving to Colorado I have not successfully baked anything. I'm blaming it on the altitude.
9. Hiking with my dogs is my favorite thing to do in the world.
10. I hate crowded hiking trails. I hike to get away from people!
11. I am an environmental science major. This does not mean that I want to join Greenpeace or move to Canada to save the caribou.
12. During our engagement pictures we got in the fountain at UMD and all I could think about was all the diseases that I was getting.
13. I think Henry is the goofiest dog in the world. He can always make me laugh.
14. I used to change the fat containers during liposuction at one of my jobs.
15. I re-read books multiple times. I'm not talking once or twice, I'm talking 10-20.
16. I really miss trees.
17. I listen to songs over and over and over. Right now it's Jack Johnson's "Better Together".
18. I hate when people have little dogs and refuse to train them because "they're little".
19. I have a slight obsession with the color red, pictures, and cleaning the kitchen.
20. I rode horses for 10 years and I still miss it every day.
21. I used to camp at the Outer Banks every year with my dad during the off season. It's still my favorite place in the world.
22. I hate driving in the snow.
23. I'm not changing my name when we get married and I don't think that makes me a bad person.
24. I clean our apartment all the time but my car is another story. I think there's even dog hair on the ceiling.
25. I drink beer in the summer and wine in the winter. Except when I miss beer too much and drink it anyway. I'd drink it year round but I get too cold in the winter. I'm a cheap date.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Life Partners

So I was talking to my dad the other day. Our convo went something like this:

**a little background, we were talking about how not to get screwed by the IRS if C and I get audited for this years taxes, which anyway is highly unlikely.**

Dad: ... that really shouldn't be a problem since you guys are life partners.
me: **pause** uhh, dad? we're not a homosexual couple.
Dad: life partner, fiance, husband ... whatever.
me: yeah ... I just don't want the minister at our wedding "pronouncing us life partners", ya know?

he makes me laugh, that man. Life partners? I'm going to have to find a card that says something about that for his anniversary next year...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Life Lessons I Learned from My Dog: Part 1

1. Surround yourself with the people you love. Photobucket

2. Celebrate the Holidays!

3. Respect the ocean ...

... but don't be afraid to have fun every now and then.

4. Stand up for yourself...

... remember only one of you can be in charge.

5. But when it's all over, remember who your friends are.

6. Don't be afraid to look for friends in unexpected places.

Friday, January 23, 2009

It's Finally Friday ...

First week of School:

, so first of all I was so excited to be going back to school. It's something I always knew I had to do, even if I kept teaching, and I was really excited to be able to get a degree in something I'm interested in as opposed to something that wouldn't have been terribly useful to me. Just a few things I've learned my first week back:

1. It's expensive! These are the first classes that I've taken since I got my bachelor's that weren't at a community college or that I wasn't reimbursed for. Let's just say that out of state tuition at a university is no joke. My bank account hates me right now.
2. The books that you have to read usually aren't that interesting. Ok, maybe interesting isn't the right word; they are interesting just not attention grabbing. I'm a science major, reading about the economy is tedious for me!
3. I am so glad that I took some time to work before going back. I feel like I've grown up in a lot of different ways and I definitely have life experiences that should help me.

All in all, it's good (and a little scary) to be a student again.
On another note, here are my adorable animals proving that cats and dogs can love each other. (Or at least co-exist peacefully).

The original crew soaking up the sun.

Aren't they the cutest? I'd like to think that they lay together because they love each other so much. In reality it's the best sun spot in the morning. Notice that Henry is way to busy and important to have time to lay around in the sun all day. He's probably off destroying a toy somewhere.
The difference between men and women (or maybe just me and C):

I went on a small cleaning spree today and as I was cleaning the kitchen Charlie comes out and looks at me:
C: What are you doing?
D: Cleaning the kithen.
C: Why?
D:'s dirty?!
C: No it isn't. I wiped the counters down last week.

Although I can't complain about him not cleaning. He cleans the bathrooms (thank you Lord) and splits the vacuuming and kitty litter with me.
And lastly our heat wave has officially ended which Mother Nature celebrated with some snow. I guess I'll have to wait until spring for some more 60 degree weather. :(

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I am the Dog Whisperer ... maybe not

So it's no secret that I'm slightly obsessed with dogs (mine in particular). They're the objects of just about all of my pictures, I greet them when I get home before I even say "Hi" to Charlie. (Although, can you blame me about that one? Let's just say that 2 out of the three run to the door, jumping all over me, tails wagging when I get home.) I buy them waayy expensive dog food (no by-products for my guys), they're my favorite things to snuggle with after a long day, and nothing in the world calms me down like a long walk with my pups. Anyway ... it's no surprise then that I like to read books about dogs. So of course I had to read Cesar Millan's books when they came out. In fact I just finished his last one. What? I don't get the National Geographic Channel so I have to read about his adventures. I have to say that his books rock. Even if you're not a dog owner they're worth reading. He talks a lot about energy and balance, focusing on dogs (duh) but applies a lot of his theories to humans as well and he's just an admirable person. He's worked hard to get where he is and has a lot of respect for his wife and kids and everyone he encounters. Now I know that not everyone is a Cesar fan, a dog, fan or a book fan. But I have to give his books an A+.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Weekend Plans

Anyone seen the youtube video Weekend Plans? Personally, I think it's hysterical. Although I appreciate the fact that not everyone has moved across the country and is looking for "couple friends". What can I say? I have a weird sense of humor.

Anywhoo...this weekend was fairly unproductive. I did end up hiking 15 miles (between Saturday and Sunday) with the "bad" pup. We were working on things like: come, don't chase the coyote, and horses will kick you in the face. I actually had one woman at the beginning of the hike comment to me "wow, your dog is so well trained". I think I looked at her like she had 5 heads. At the time Henry was jumping on me, shoving his nose in my pocket that had the treats, while eyeing her dogs and debating on which one was humpable. Right, lady. Anyway, I don't know if he learned anything after 6 hours but he was pretty darn tired after the whole thing.
The bad dog.

Friday, January 16, 2009

I love lamp

Ok, people I need some help. So if you're bored at work, putting off doing laundry, or need a distraction from whatever it is you're doing let me know what you think about this...

I need some lamps in our bedroom because right now the only one standing is a $4 one that I've had since college. I want one on each side of the bed for obvious reasons. So, here is the bedroom:

Although the duvet is now yellow and white and that red lamp is not there. Yes, I realize that our "night stands", "bed side tables" whatever you want to call them are blindingly blue. If at all possible they're actually brighter in person. I take full responsibility for them; I had a little too much fun with a paintbrush. But don't worry, they won't be blue for long.

Anywhoo, I was checking out Target for lamps and I've narrowed it down to these three. So let me know what you think.
Option 1: This guy
Option 2: This gal. (Although without the pink shade) I won't tell you what Charlie calls this lamp but I will tell you that it's dirty.
Option 3: I actually have this one in red (shocking, I know). I'm just not sure how I feel about damask.
Let me know what you think. I can't decide!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

How to remove a gaggle of geese from a field

yes, I used the word gaggle.

Step 1: Release the Hounds
Step 2: Watch.
and they're off...
...over the first hill.
They thought they were safe in this field but Henry had other ideas.
...almost there...
...still running...
...and they're gone!

Surprise Snow

We got a couple inches a few days ago which gave me an excuse to put on all the clothes I own and go outside and play in the snow like I was a 5 year old again. Luckily, the dogs feel the same way that I do so it's not like I was running around outside making snow angels and having snowball fights with myself. Unfortunately for the dogs, they have no opposable thumbs (just like the cat in Meet the Parents) so they cannot make their own snowballs and fight back. Some pictures from the day:
I forced Henry to take a picture with me. He was not too happy that he had to stop running around for an entire 30 seconds.
Searching for something exciting. Like goose poop.

My mountains. They look so cool with snow all over them.
Typical Henry.

Dear world:

Dear cats (Toby and Ollie),
Why must you be so damn annoying? Why can't you sleep at night? And why did you have to eat my meatloaf sandwich today? Didn't you know that was for me and not you? I hope you realize that your cuteness does not make up for the fact that I am so very hungry right now. Don't you know that there are plenty of hungry coyotes outside waiting for a nice meal? Be good or you might be dinner.

Dear wedding planning gurus,
Please come take care of the rest of mine. Find a D.J. for me. Worry about flower arrangements and bouquets so that I don't have to. Order me invitations and the please address them (with return address) so that I don't have to. Oh, and while you're at it can you some how make my guest list match my head count for the caterer while still making sure that everyone is happy? Thankssomuch. I have a long list of other things you can complete for me if you're interested.

Dear State of Colorado,
Please give me a job. Pretty please. I'll take the crappy one that you dangled in front of my face today, really I will. Also, please don't take all of my money come tax season. It was very expensive to move to your silly state and I'd like to keep the rest of what I have. I promise to give you large chunks of my paycheck if you give me the aforementioned job.

Dear University of Colorado,
If you could somehow get me into the classes I need I'd love you forever. And if you could somehow make my tuition bill shrink by about 200% I'd be forever grateful. But really, just let me this semester. I've given up a lot to come to you, like a career. I promise to stop complaining so much if I can just take a class or two.

Dear Superior,
Either A. build your own freakin' library or B. pay Louisville more money so we can use theirs again. I am not made of money and I cannot live without books.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

January Confessions

1. I suck at sharing things. Maybe it's because my sister is 10 years younger than me and I never had to learn when I was little. Maybe I'm just a selfish person. Maybe I got sick of lending out books and not having people return them. Whatever it is, I cringe when people ask to "borrow" something.
2. I had coffee and chocolate chip cookies for breakfast.
3. I hate cooking. Really, really hate it. I want to love it. I try, but it's just not going to happen.
4. The "bridal consultant" at Bed, Bath, and Beyond really freaked me out yesterday. I didn't need to know that you "had a thing going on with a man" in a hotel I stayed at. I also don't need to include you in a 5 minute discussion about changing/not changing my name.
5. I am not loving Colorado right now. It's cold and windy which means I have to force myself to go outside and I'm bored. Where are the 300 sunny days a year that you promised me?
6. Sometimes I secretly wish I was a "Girl Next Door" (minus the sleeping with Hugh Hefner part).
7. I love Valentine's Day. Probably more than I love Christmas. I can't explain it; I just do.
and now I'm off to go watch The Real Housewives of Orange County. :)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

and the answer is: NO Kona :(

Don't worry for all of you who are thinking right now how crazy I am.  I didn't pick not going.  It just so happens that the company policy about spouses actually being married was not one of those that's "really more of a guideline than a rule".  It's a rule, hard and fast.  So while I could make this a rant about how close minded it is in today's society to define a serious relationship by an institution that in most states still does not allow homosexuals to 'join', I won't.  Although I will say that I do think it's a little old-fashioned.  I mean what about people who just don't believe in marriage, people who chose to share their lives, live together, etc. but don't want to go through the whole "til death do us part" bit.  Does this mean that their relationship is any less special?  Less meaningful?  Are they less committed? And in today's society with divorce rates as high as they are, does marriage really mean what it used to?  I think my beef with the whole thing is also the fact that we are getting married.  Less than two months after the trip.  What if I bring a letter from my minster?  Can I come now?  

Now that I'm done whining about how I'll be spending March in the snow, time to move on.  I was googling some quote for Charlie that he was looking for and I came upon those demotivational posters. I have to admit, the cynic in me loves them.  I think this one was my favorite.  It took me back to my college days when people like this roamed the bars, thinking they were cool.  I considered it my personal mission in life to assure them that they weren't.  

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

to Kona or not to Kona

So, the big decision of the day is .... should I fly to Hawaii with C when he goes in March for a business trip.  Reasons I should:
1.  I've never been to Hawaii and always wanted to go.  If I don't go with him this year I don't know if I'll be able to go again. 
2.  Since it's a business trip, all I have to pay for is my plane ticket.  (Free room in a nice hotel on the beach!)
3.  In march the weather in Kona is mid 80s during the day and mid 60s at night.  In Colorado we're looking at daytime highs in the mid 50s and nighttime lows in the 20s (brrrr!).  
4.  It would give me a nice tan for our wedding and the sun makes me happy.  
5.  I live in a LAND-LOCKED STATE, people!  This means that I can never drive to the beach again.  Ever.  (If you haven't noticed I'm a little upset about this one).
6.  We're not going on a honeymoon (or if we are not for about a year after the wedding) so this would kinda be like a fake one.  kinda.

Reasons I shouldn't go:
1. I should be in school at that time.  But, I'm still on the waitlist for both classes that I need so who knows what's going to happen with that one.  
2.  We'd have to board the dogs, which I hate doing, and it's also expensive.  
3.  Tickets to HI are expensive!
4.  It is a business trip to C will be in meetings all day (or golfing) and probably busy at night as well.  
5.  Technically, we're supposed to be married in order for him to bring me.  I don't really want to rock the boat with this one.  

Decisions, decisions.  I'll have to think about it.  But just picture it....
picture me here, laying out, drink in hand :)

Monday, January 5, 2009

South Boulder trail

This is my favorite trail. Favorite.
Charlie hates this trail with a passion, so I usually hike this one alone.
I really don't mind. When it's just me and the dogs it's a lot more relaxing.
My parents like this trail, though. So we took them just on the South Boulder section.
The snow on the mountains is awesome. I think it would make a great Christmas card. Maybe for next year.

seriously, how pretty is this?

Dunkin dog
dunkin was running back and forth between everyone.
henry left everyone in the dust.

i had such a good time with these guys when they were here.
my sister missed this hike because she was studying for the SATS. booo.

charlie was playing with the camera.
my dad was throwing snowballs at me.


how cute is this face?
how can you not love this?

2009 Resolutions

Resolutions, goals, guidelines whatever you want to call them. Here are mine for '09:

1. I will stop wondering what my life would be like if I hadn't quit my teaching job and dragged C across country so that I could attend grad school. Yes, things would be different. I would have a paycheck that was something I could actually be proud of, I wouldn't feel like I spend my days getting nothing accomplished, and I would feel useful. But, I wouldn't know what it's like to pack up and move somewhere I've always wanted to live. I would be getting a graduate degree in a field I had no interest in and I wouldn't have experienced a lot of things. Bottom line: the decision is made, make the most of it.
2. Save $10 K. Note: This must be money saved from money earned not given. After merging bank accounts I no longer buy clothes anymore (sad fact). But if we stop keeping R.E.I. in business and buying so many bags of chips (my ass will also thank me for this one) we'll have more money to save. A job would also help but I'll get to that...
3. Hike a fourteener. This will have to wait until the summer because I cannot hike through 6 feet of snow. Also, as I've told C, the dogs have to come. They're my motivation and I know they won't leave me on a mountain top unlike some other people I know (*cough, Charles*).
4. Find a part-time job I can tolerate while I go to school. See, I'm being more realistic or cynical, whatever you want to call it. Notice that I didn't say "fulfilling" job. I've given up on that. I just want a part time job that doesn't make me want to rip my ears off.
5. Go to school. At this point it's out of my hands, unless I can convince 5 people I've never met to drop a mandatory class.
6. Be thankful for what I have. I realize this is a vague goal. But I have so much to be thankful for, Charlie, our cozy apartment, a car that runs, crazy pups, our families, the fact that we're both healthy. I want to spend more time focusing on that instead of the other stuff.
7. Read the books my mother gave me. It's time.
8. Recycle. Ok, this is going to be a pain. But I want to start recycling glass, cans, and cardboard. I know this means trekking it all to the recycling center but really, I can do it.
9. I will not add any more animals to our family. I love the ones I have but we have four hands and four animals. Any more would just be crazy.
10. I will cook twice a week and freeze half of it. Part of the reason (or excuse that I use) for not cooking is that between 2 people we just can't eat it all and it ends up getting thrown away. After cooking a meal if I immediately freeze half it solves the problem and give us something to eat the next week.
11. I will vacuum twice a week. Either this or shave all the animals. I'm debating.
12. I will not worry about our wedding. It's not going to be a small wedding and I need to give up on trying to making it that. It doesn't matter who has invited themselves, or if certain family members can't get along. Most of what happens that day is completely out of my control. However, I will spend time with the people I love and not worry about the rest.
13. I will walk the dogs AT LEAST 4 times a week. This means hour long walks, regardless of the temperature outside (there's a reason God invented long underwear). This is just as much for me as it is for them.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

All things learned in '08

Yes, I should make New Year's resolutions. I'll get to them eventually. But when I started thinking about things I wanted to do in '09 it made me think of all the things I learned in '08:

1. Backpacking in the cold is not fun. Technically I should have learned this in 2006 when I went backpacking with 3 guys (stupid decision #1) in the middle of march and spent the whole trip shivering in my sleeping bag at night and being left behind during the day. But no, I decided that a backpacking trip was a great way to kick off the new year. Between the rain/snow, shivering wet dogs, and waking up to chewed off deer legs outside our tent I have decided that I am a SUMMER backpacking kinda girl.
2. Cats can jump off 3 story balconies. But, they can't jump back up.
3. My dog is fast enough to catch a bird. But he doesn't know what to do with them once he has them. Lesson learned: Put dog on leash around moving prey.
4. 9th grade students have learned everything they know about sex, STDs, and birth control from watching movies. Knocked Up, Mean Girls, and Sex and the City do not adequately educate 14 year olds about these topics.
5. Roadtrips across the country are best done with out Uhaul trucks. They tend to slow you down. Also, I-70 is very boring. Very boring.
6. Looking in your rearview mirror while backing up does not necessarily prevent you from hitting something. If you happen to hit something, MAKE SURE TO PUT YOUR CAR IN PARK BEFORE GETTING OUT TO ASSESS THE DAMAGE. It's very difficult to jump back in a moving car and slam on your brakes.
7. When moving always hire movers*.
8. Not working is not as fun as it sounds. Oh sure, the first 3 days of sleeping in, mindless surfing of the internet, and watching of daytime television are great but then you realize that this is not much different from work except you have no paycheck.
9. When painting furniture, 'bright and bold' is not necessarily the best option.
10. Cats are not like potato chips. You can have just one and they cause a lot less trouble when they're not part of a package deal.

*an exception to the rule is if family members/super-strong friends can stand in as movers.

Friday, January 2, 2009

2008 in Review

So I haven't been blogging long.... but I noticed a lot of people did this and I liked the idea. 2008 was a big year for us. I scrapbook (1 per year usually) and this one was a BIG one. So... here's what we did in '08.

The year started off well. I was employed (always a plus) and in a job that actually had potential. We celebrated our 3 year anniversary (of dating) in February along with Valentines Day (usually kind of a package deal).
yay, roses.
In March we took a trip out to Colorado during my spring break (woo-hoo teaching). We loved the area and talked about moving if I got into grad school.
our first time in colorado.
In April, Charlie's sister got married (yay). They had an awesome wedding and we had a blast. I also found out that I got accepted into the University of Colorado Denver and we decided to move as long as Charlie found a job. Oh, we also got engaged the week before his sister's wedding. I always think it happened later because we didn't tell anyone until after the wedding.
us at the wedding.
In June we had our engagement party, Charlie had a promising job interview, and I had my last day teaching :(.
yes, we had face-cake at our engagement party.
July was our last beach trip. I'll love you forever, Assateague Island.
In August we convinced our family and friends to help us pack and load a Uhaul (haha suckers) and we road-tripped it to Colorado. (I make it sound more glamourous than it really was.) 30 hours of driving and staying in a Motel 6 with two dogs, a cat while our 'neighbors' ran around screaming and banging on the walls all night, wasn't too fun. Oh, I also got a part-time job. Not fun.
in case you're wondering, this is what I-70 looks like the whole way through Kansas.
September was my 25th birthday. (Damn I'm old)
Henry and I in Boulder on my birthday.
October, Charlie's parent's came to visit.
we drove up Trail Ridge road with the C's 'rents.
In November, my dad came to visit. I also took a suprise trip home (because driving out here wasn't fun enough the first time) when I helped a friend move back east.

Decmeber was Twilight .... no seriously, I also quit my job and started looking for a new one, we added Ollie to our family, my mom and sister came out to visit, and we celebrated Charlie's 26th birthday (he's REALLY old), and Xmas.

Al with Ollie and Dunkin.
happy b-day, c!