Thursday, April 30, 2009

All things thankful for: April

... my shower. seeing family and friends.
... rain. [It's my one true love.]
... more How I Met Your Mother. I'm catching up via Netflix so it takes a while.
... chicken pot pie and Grandma Baldwin's cake. All those shower gifts inspired me to start cooking again. [We'll see how long that lasts.]
... planting flowers in pots on our patio. I've been waiting SO long for that moment.
... buying a cute dress for $14.
... bringing our canoe home. Hopefully, the weather will warm up and I'll be able to use it.
... writing a research paper in one day. ONE DAY! [The only thing this proves is that I'm a slacker.]
... getting presents in the mail. Hello, knife set. Welcome Home.
... Dreaming of our hammock. One more month.
... Opening the windows while I clean.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Don't be a dope: elope!

For all of you marrieds out there I'm seriously impressed that you made it through the wedding part. Seriously, I feel like my head is about to explode with everything I need to do. I have lists that require multiple sheets of paper. I have no idea how people are able to do all of this with out losing their mind. I thought since everything was booked, decisions made, I was done with all of the hard stuff. I was an idiot. Coordinating everything with all of these people is going to make me officially crazy.

... My aunt who volunteered to play the harp for our ceremony? Can't get a hold of her.
... The minister? Not coming to the rehearsal.
... The florist? Wants to arrive 3 hours before the caterers but wants the cake to be there.
... The D.J.? Wants all of my information yesterday but is not in town so can't discuss anything with me until Monday.
... The directions I sent out to everyone? Wrong.
... 1/3 of my guests? Did not RSVP.
... My fiance? Completely unconcerned with the whole thing. He's like, "Dan, chill out. It'll be fine." He's probably right.

All I ask of the day is that we leave, married, with a few awesome pictures, and with no one in tears. Oh, and if we could manage to feed our guests, too. I feel like if the other things go wrong it's really not a big deal. However, other people disagree with me.

side note: i love this cake topper and would LOVE to see the look on some of our relatives faces during the cake cutting if this was to grace the top of our cake.

{I'm actually glad we're not eloping. I think it took me about 10 months to admit that.}

It's the little things ...


... SPRING, SPRING, SPRING! It's everywhere! The grass is green, the trees are blooming and I am one happy girl.
... Having a whole week with C home.
... Homemade chicken pot pie. mmmm....
... Actually using my cake dome.
... Opening the windows.
... Only 2 more weeks of school.
... Watching my dog run through a field.
... Finally having a creek filled with water.
... Thoughts of the beach this summer.
... Getting Pottery Barn and J.Crew catalogs in the mail.
... Dinner at my favorite restaurant on a random Tuesday night.
... Watching a movie on the couch with C and Henry.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dog love.


"If you are a dog lover, a true dog lover, and not just one who sees them as pets or animals, but are instead one who sees them as one's dear companions, and more than companions -- sees them as perhaps being but a step or two down the species ladder from humankind, not sharing human exceptionalism but not an abyss below it, either -- you watch them different from the way other people watch them, with a respect for their born dignity, with a recognition of their capacity to know joy and suffer melancholy, with the certainty that they suspect the tyranny of time even if they don't fully understand the cruelty of it, that they are not, as self-blinded experts contend, unaware of their own mortality.
If you watch them with this heightened perception, from this more generous perspective, as Amy had long watched them, you see a remarkable complexity in each dog's personality, and individualism uncannily human in its refinement, though with none of the worst human faults. You see an intelligence and a fundamental ability to reason that sometimes can take your breath away.
And on occasion, when you're not being in the least sentimental, when you're in too skeptical a mood to ascribe to dogs any human qualities they do not posses, you will nevertheless perceive in them that singular yearning that is common to every human heart, even to those who claim to live a faithless existence. For dogs see mystery in the world, in us and in themselves and in all things, and are at key moments particularly alert to it, and more than usually curious."
-- The Darkest Evening of the Year by Dean Koontz

Monday, April 27, 2009

What makes our [apartment] a home

I'm stealing this from Taryn because I saw it on her blog and thought it was cute. I think it was originally for a giveaway but I'm just doing it for fun.

1. The dudes.

We've lived a lot of different places and I'm sure we're not done moving. But, as long as we have these guys with us wherever we are will always feel like home.

2. Books, books, books.

I love books. I love reading. There's just something that's homey about having books tucked away in places, just waiting to be re-read.

3. Our "money tree" & 4. My red bookshelf

This plant was the first living thing we purchased together and it's grown SO big. It survived a two day trip in the back of a Uhaul all the way from Virginia. I have to give credit for keeping this guy alive to C.

The bookshelf was free, handed down from my aunt like a lot of our furniture. I painted it when we got to Colorado because I wanted to bring some color into our apartment. It's bold, it's my favorite color, and it holds some of my favorite books and pictures.

5. Pictures.

I love pictures which is why they're pretty much everywhere in our apartment. I like to change them a few times a year when I get bored with the ones on display.

6. Our patio complete with flowers and herbs.

C and I love to sit outside. I love the flowers because they bring some color to the prairie of Colorado and we both love to cook with the fresh herbs. Note: this is a work in progress.

7. Our chair-and-a-half.

It's the coziest chair. I love to read in this chair.

8. Our Colorado posters.

I love that they're colorful. I love the Flatiron one especially because they're my favorite front range mountains.

9. Our fireplace.

It has made a huge difference this winter! I love to come home, turn it on, and pour myself a nice big glass of wine.

10. Just us.

Doing all the normal stuff. Watching movies, drinking coffee on Saturday mornings, cooking dinner together, wrestling with the dogs. That's the stuff that makes this place home.

If you thought winter was over...

... you would be wrong.

this is what we woke up to this morning.

Dunkin did his best to try and melt it.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Our first "toy"

So C and I did get our canoe on Thursday night. It was quite the ordeal. I'll explain. First, I got out of class early and took the dogs for a walk up to the gym where C was. I figured it'd be a good surprise since we hadn't seen each other in a week and he was leaving the next day. And do you know what he says when he sees me sitting there? "Hi, can we go get the canoe now?" Geeze ... I missed you, too. So, we drive to REI to pick up the canoe and when we get there we asked them if they could help us put it on our car. The next thing I see is two guys WHEELING the canoe out of the store and my thought was "crap, this thing is going to be ridiculously heavy".

We get the thing outside, the guys lift it on top of the car and it turns out our roof rack isn't wide enough. So the guy at the store helps us tie it down and then goes "Um, you can't drive anywhere like that. You need wider racks." Umm ... then why did we just spend 20 minutes tying it down. I go to move the car to a parking spot while C goes inside to grab us some new (but very expensive) racks. And the guy from REI is watching me move the car 20 feet, the whole time going, "careful! not too fast!".

Once we got the new racks we realized that we had to take the canoe off the car, put it somewhere, and install these new racks. All of this happened in the parking lot. We got the strangest looks. Our canoe 'parked' in one spot and our car in the next.

We haven't taken it out yet but so far I've learned:

1. It is one thing to pick up a canoe. It is an entirely different thing to pick up the canoe, hoist it over your head, and gently set it on top of your car. This sucks even more if you're short.
2. If you drive with anything on the roof of your car make sure EVERYTHING is tied down. I mean EVERYTHING. This was learned the hard way, obviously.
3. Canoes look much smaller online than they do in person.

I'm hoping it will all be worth it once we get it out on the water. Then I remember my last canoeing experience with C. Hmmm ... I think there was a lot of yelling because I wanted a relaxing day out and he wanted to race people in a kayak.

Canoeing in DC. I'm being distracted by something. Probably a floating shoe or piece of trash.

Friday, April 24, 2009

If I had $250

... that someone was forcing me to spend on 1 item at J.Crew I would most definitely get this:


Sadly that situation would never happen.

Shower fun!

Is it too late to do a recap of my weekend on Friday? Whatever. I had a busy week. So last weekend I flew back to MD to hang out with my family, getting some wedding things done, and I had my shower. My wonderful, awesome mother was in charge of the planning. [My 16 year old sister, the MOH, got off easy.] Anyway, my mom did a great job, as usual. Her food was divine. Seriously, I wish I had her cooking abilities. I still cook like I did when I was 10 ... in need of lots of directions.

So I flew in Thursday night [well really Friday morning at 2 am] and I was so glad my dad offered to pick me up. Taking a shuttle that late would have sucked! Friday, we were supposed to go pick my dress up. Huge, freaking, debacle. It was a long story. Essentially, they didn't have my dress, it wasn't finished, and we waited at the store for 6 hours just to walk out with the dress. I posted several nasty reviews of the bridal salon. :) Trust me, they were well deserved.

Saturday was my shower. It was so nice to see everyone and being the center of attention wasn't too bad. Well there was one part .... I think my face turned bright red, and really I can't think of when I've been more embarrassed. But aside from that it was great. :)

opening presents.

uh-oh ... look who got engaged. :)

Two of my lovely friends made us this scrapbook of us growing up as kids and then getting together. I was trying not to cry when I first opened it. This is C's family looking at it.

These are the two responsible for the scrapbook.

And then Monday we had a walkthrough with the caterer, met with the florist, and I got our marriage license. Did you know that you cannot bring a cell phone with a camera inside a courthouse? And, you have to pay in CASH for the marriage license. Yes, even if they tell you they will take a check it's all a lie. $75 cash ... seriously, these days no one even has $5 in cash.

Side note: I realized that the directions I typed up and sent out with our invites were wrong. If you're reading this and are coming to our wedding please ignore the directions I gave you. If you don't you'll end up lost and confused in the farmland of Maryland.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

8 things

I saw this on someone's blog and stole/borrowed it. :0

8 Things I am looking forward to:
1. Um, our wedding!!! 38 days, baby!
2. Being productive this weekend. Cleaning, reading, writing (papers and thank you notes).
3. Having my fiance around ALL next week. I haven't seen the dude in 2 weeks.
4. Sending my mom her 50th Birthday present!!! I wish I could be there to watch her open it. It's awesome.
5. 77 degrees today!! Hello shorts.
6. Getting our canoe today.
7. Having food in the apartment after I grocery shop this weekend.
8. Seeing all our family and friends again in only 5 weeks!

8 Things I did yesterday:
1. Drank 2 cups of tea.
2. Wrote a research paper for 15 hours. [The reason I didn't do much else.]
3. Made Cowboy Spaghetti.
4. Ate Easter Candy for lunch.
5. Learned APA format. Quickly.
6. Took a walk. Although a very short one.
7. Attempted to cleanup from my trip.
8. Continued to add to my enormous pile of laundry.

8 Things I wish I could do:
1. Acquire large amounts of money to pay for my tuition.
2. Find a internship/job.
3. Hike more.
4. Go paintballing with C at his Bachelor party. Boys get to do all the fun stuff!
5. Have unlimited airline miles.
6. Pick when and where we are going on our honeymoon.
7. Buy a yard for the dogs.
8. Remember every second of our wedding.

8 Shows I watch:
1. How I Met Your Mother
2. My Boys

Uhh ... that's it. I don't watch much TV.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It's the little things ...


... coming home to the Rockies.

... seeing family. Immediate, not so immediate, soon-to-be in-laws, everyone.
... seeing friends. It had been a long time and I missed you guys!
... brunch with one of my favorites.
... a long flight, which I slept through half of.
... Southwest. They let you check 100 lbs. of bags for free.
... My amazing mother who worked so hard to plan and prepare everything for me,
... My amazing father. Ditto.
... Bringing my wedding dress home after the debacle.
... Driving the back roads around MD in the rain. So pretty.
... Eating awesome food that my mom slaved over.
... Wonderful, thoughtful gifts. [and ones from my registry] ;)
... all the people who drove from NY to come to my shower. Thank you!
... The ridiculous greeting I got from my dogs after being away for a week. It's a good thing there were no witnesses.
... Downtown Frederick. So cute.
... MORE friends getting engaged. Congrats!!!
... knowing that the next time we go home we're getting married!
... a relaxing weekend ahead of writing thank you notes, finding room for a canoe, long walks with the dogs, grocery shopping, and watching How I Met Your Mother.
... gift certificates. Guilt free shopping.
... Getting an Easter basket from my mom. Yes I'm 25. I still love it. Who doesn't like chocolate bunnies?
... missing the snow in Denver.

P.S. Happy Earth Day. Plant a tree, or recycle a can, or take the bus or something.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Shower preview

So last weekend was my trip home for my bridal shower and some last meetings with vendors. I'll go into details later once I finish my paper. I just wanted to give a shout out to a few of my favorites: The Tree IDer, 1/2 of Stinky Little Baby Ducks (sorry we didn't get a chance to hang out more), Whits, and my sister (who I don't think even knows I have a blog). More to come later.

Credit for this one goes to The Tree IDer. ** Stinky Little Baby Ducks, you left before we took 100,000 pictures. Ok, more like 10. :(

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The story of Love Part 5: Engaged

So, when we last left off [Part 4] C and I were "living in sin" and had lots of decisions to make about where we wanted our next year of living in sin to be. I mentioned that I applied to grad school in the Northeast as well as a few places in Colorado. Well I thought that Colorado was my best shot so we planned a trip in March to check out the area, look at places to live, and see if we really wanted to move here. I think our parents were all hoping that we would hate it. Actually, I know they were. When we got back to MD with pictures and stories from the west no one wanted to hear or see them. Anyway, we had a great trip in March exploring the area, checking out apartments, and doing all the touristy stuff that I am now too embarrassed to do.
Our first of 1,000 trips to Red Rocks. The trail not the amphitheater.

Now I'll spare you the details about getting into school. I could write a novel on that alone and it's neither interesting nor something I want to relive. Basically, the school lost every piece of paper they possibly could, mixed me up with other applicants, and went from telling me that I was accepted to they had no record of me ever applying. It was a nightmare. Seriously. But after a month of scathing emails, phone calls, etc. I finally found out that I got in. Of course after that process I didn't really want to go anymore, but C talked me into it [he didn't have to try too hard], saying that if I didn't go I'd always regret it. And, he was right.

Anyway, at the end of this entire process we planned one Saturday to drive back to UMD, where we went to school, have a picnic and hang out before heading over to my parents for dinner. While we were there, after some kick-ass PB and fluff sandwiches and a minor frisbee injury, C asked me to marry him. He was so nervous, it was pretty cute. :)
This is where the magic happened. PB & fluff sandwiches and frisbee accidents. :)

And then we began the process of planning a wedding [we originally wanted a destination wedding in the Virgin Islands. Ok, C wanted a destination wedding. I wanted to elope.] and planning a move to Colorado. It was one of the craziest times in our lives and it hasn't really calmed down at all in the past year but also one of the most exciting.

Goodbye east coast. Hello Rocky Mountains.

Today also happens to be our 1 year Engagaversary :) ... Say tuned for [Part 6] when we get married!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Ok I have officially begun to freak out about my trip home. And I swear it's about the dumbest stuff, like: what I'm wearing to my shower, actually having all of my family in one room together, getting together with my friends without my parents being mad that I'm not spending enough time at home, not missing my flight on Thursday, being the center of attention (I HATE being the center of attention. I am the opposite of an attention whore.), having enough time to write my term paper for school.

I wish C was coming with me. I feel so much calmer when he's around and he always seems to help me realize what's actually important. I knew we should have made this a couple's shower!

I'm off to run last minute errands, clean the apartment, and research my butt off. At least I have two long plane rides where I can, hopefully, get a lot of work done.

I am super excited to see family and friends and for the awesome weather back in Maryland. I also get to give my sister her 16th birthday present in person, yay!

On a side note: I was just thinking the other day that Colorado is really starting to feel like home to me. Maybe it's spring. Maybe we've just finally been here long enough for me to settle in. Whatever it is, I like it.

Monday, April 13, 2009

April Confessions


when I look at this I want another puppy.

... i LOVE the rain.
... I was more excited about going to the bar before the baseball game than the actual game itself.
... I'm a little nervous about hiking Pikes Peak this summer. Ok, make that a lot nervous.
... the reason I have yet to buy shoes for our wedding is because I plan on wearing flip-flops and I don't feel like arguing with my mom about it.
... The other night I made dinner out of noodles and broccoli. No sauce, no spices, nothing. It was literally the only thing we had left. If you look in our refrigerator right now you'll find beer, coffee, and bread. And I went shopping on Sunday.
... I cannot wait to plant flowers outside. And get a hammock for our patio. And drink beer in the hammock while staring at my planted flowers.
... I'm actually kind of glad our T.V. broke. It's amazing how much time I don't waste now.
... I could listen to Kenny Chesney 24/7.
... My favorite thing to eat for breakfast are Boca "sausages" dipped in syrup.
... I cannot stand Walmart. Not exactly sure why.
... I'm actually kind of upset we didn't get tickets for the O.A.R. concert in June.

What a weekend.

We had a fabulous weekend. I actually managed to get a lot done and have a lot of fun. Something I'm not usually good at finding a balance between. I was completely stressing about term papers, book reviews, and essays that I have to finish this week since I won't be around next week. But I managed to get enough of that stuff done and clean the apartment.

Saturday we went to the Rockies game which turned out to be an all day affair despite how freezing it was. I think it helped that we spent the first three hours at the bar preparing for the cold. Our seats were waaaay up in the Rockpile which actually turned out to be quite amusing. We saw 6 drunk people get escorted out by the police (one girl was quite underdressed), a dad beating up his 10 year old son, and watched C eat more food than I thought humanly possible. But really, you can't beat $4 tickets. Especially because we were so cold that we left after the 6th inning for another bar.

Sunday I thought I was going to be stuck at home writing papers while C went off and celebrated Easter without me. But ... I got so much done [it's amazing how productive I can be when I have motivation] that I went with him. We went over to some friends' house who hosted dinner. We brought Entenmanns Coffee Cake and a case of Coors. Clearly we are not the friends you want to have over for a dinner party. I was quickly shown up by people who actually baked dishes. I blamed school on not having enough time to cook but let's be honest. Even if I did cook I probably wouldn't have made anything people actually wanted to eat.
This is what I brought to the table.

We are now into the crazy two weeks where I see C all of two times. I'll be a happy girl again come May when I actually get to see the man on a regular basis.

Friday, April 10, 2009

It's the little things ...


can't wait for some more of this...

... going home in 1 week!
... watching Marley and Me cuddled up with both my Marleys. [Even though I thought the book was way better than the movie.]
... the boy was here all week long!
... Barnes and Noble. I could spend hours there.
... Walks with my dogs in the rain.
... Donations to the Salvation Army.
... B-day presents for people. :)
... Sweet C who leaves sweet notes.
... Plane rides all to myself. All that reading time.
... Planning camping trips for the summer.
... Planning hiking trips for the summer.
... Planning beach trips for the summer.
... Planning details for our wedding.
... fresh, clean laundry.
... clean dogs. [which I will have this weekend.]
... Henry chewing on a bone for hours.

Monday, April 6, 2009

So much to do!

Don't you just love those days where you wake up having a million things to do and then your mother calls and reminds you of about 10 other things you have to do. ;) That's pretty much what's going on with all this wedding stuff. My mom is throwing me a shower [this is what happens when your 15 year old sister is your MOH] in 2 weeks and she keeps adding to my "To Do" list. I'm far more stressed about this trip back home than I should be. There's so much to cram in and so many people to try and see. Because you care about this I'm going to break it down for you. Things I have to do while I am home for 4 days:

1. Have final dress fitting [pray dress fits because there is no time for another one]
2. Help Mom with shower
3. Attend shower
4. Figure out how I'm supposed to get the gifts home
5. Have sister's 16th Birthday Party
6. Get marriage license
7. Have walk-through at venue with caterer
8. Have brunch with friends
9. Have drinks with friends
10. Entertain out of town guests
11. Meet with florist. Pick EVERYTHING.

Also, my flights to get home and back, suck! I get in at midnight [I couldn't leave any earlier because I have class] and I leave at 5 am. AND, C is going to be out of town some of the same days that I am so I don't get to see him for 2 weeks. :( If my flight is delayed getting back to Denver then I'll either a. miss my classes or b. won't have enough time to run home and let the dogs out which means they'll be home alone for about 20 hours.

Now, I'm excited for the shower and to see everyone. I just hope everything goes smoothly because I don't have time to fix anything if it doesn't.

Oh, and did I mention I also have to write a 15 page paper in between all that? And I, uh, have yet to pick a topic.
it's all worth it. most definitely.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The story of Love Part 4: The year of living in sin

So when we last left off [Part 3] I had some decisions to make about my future. As I neared the end of my first year teaching I realized two things: 1. I really liked teaching and wasn't ready to give that up and 2. I wanted to be closer to C. We had been dating for 2 years and were more than sick of the long distance thing. So we decided to move in together. We got an apartment in Virginia and I moved down after the school year was finished. It was a little stressful, leaving friends I had just made and quitting my job without having another one lined up yet, but it worked out. I got several job offers over the summer including one at a great school, teaching only Biology, and I was really excited about it.

A few months after moving in together we decided to add another dog to our family. Crazy? Yes. And so we brought Henry home 2 months later. Best decision we ever made. I love being a two dog family and it was definitely a bonding experience going through puppy training together. My mom joked at the time that it was like we had a baby, since we were getting up in the middle of the night to take Henry out.

I also applied to grad school in various states that fall. We didn't really discuss what would happen if I got in since I thought my chances were pretty slim in most places and there were so many options. I figured we'd cross that bridge when we came to it in the spring.
all dressed up for my sister's confirmation

I loved that first year of living together. It was hard at times but we had so many firsts. Our first big purchase (a bed), raising our first puppy, cutting down our first Christmas tree ... I loved how when we moved into that apartment it seemed so big and empty and over the months we filled it with animals, books, food, music. Our balcony overlooked beaver habitat and being the Animal Planet lovers that we are we spent a lot of time out there watching the beavers, listening to thunderstorms, and drinking coffee on Saturday mornings.
burry, imperfect but ours

Towards the end of the year we talked about moving. We knew if we stayed in Virginia we wanted to move somewhere to shorten both of our commutes and we knew if I got into grad school there was a possibility of us leaving the state. Which leads us to, [Part 5], when we make all of those decisions.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

It's the little things ...


... a cup of tea.

and that's all I've got tonight. Too tired to think of more.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

If you're sick of spring...



... you can have some of Colorado's.