Saturday, January 30, 2010

holy vog, batman!

what a weird word.
apparently it's what the hawaiians call the pollution from the volcanoes.
vog = volcano + smog. who knew?

let me tell you there is A LOT of vog on the big island.
our second day in hawaii i dragged charlie (or he dragged me) out of bed at 5 am to start the 2 hour drive over to hawaii volcanoes national park.

first of all, i had no idea this island was so empty. aside from a cattle ranch, some coffee farms, and a tiny bit of tourism there's not much here.
oh, there is a military training camp in the middle of the island. with no signs. seeing armed tanks come out of no where can definitely scare the crap out of you.

anyway, volcanoes.
there is a lot of pollution. sulfur dioxide to be exact. stuff that is not good for your lungs, or old people, or pregnant people. luckily charlie's not pregnant.

a lot of the park was closed because the air quality was so bad.
we ended up doing a 4.5 mile hike into and across the Kilauea Iki crater.

sulfur dioxide vent
this is the view from the top of the crater.
the huge plume is a sulfur dioxide vent that recently opened up. there are two open in the park right now. see how hazy it is?

crater of 1959
you can sort of see the trail that goes across the crater.
it's not really a trail. just where people have broken up the lava rock from walking on it.

first we hiked through some rainforest down to the bottom of the crater.

there were a lot of cracks.
and i was wearing a sweatshirt because when we started out the temperature was in the 50s. and i had no pants.

plant growing on the lava rock.

looking across the crater.

we didn't spend a lot of time in the park. we just did our hike as quickly as possible and then left. i figured the less sulfur dioxide we breathed in, the better.
besides, the beach was calling us.

Friday, January 29, 2010

kahalu'u beach

yeah, hawaiians aren't so fond of us mainlanders.
we had fun anyway, staying out of everyone's way.

our second day in kona, we woke up pretty refreshed.
12 hours of sleep will do that to you.
we got some coffee {love} and breakfast, wandered around kona some more, then rented some snorkeling gear and headed to the beach for the rest of the day.

kona church
this is (according to the sign) hawaii's first church.
now the coolest thing about this church is that there are huge windows along the side. only, they're not really windows, just holes in the building. because kona's weather is so awesome and it almost never rains there, a lot of the buildings are like that.

since i hate air conditioning i liked kona a lot.

Align Center
we drove down to kahalu'u beach, which is just a public beach a few miles from the town of kona. this was the view half way through the drive. not bad, eh?

kahaluu beach
the beach.

Align Center
sexy hubby
charlie was looking for whales.
there are a bunch of humpbacks off the coast. they come down to hawaii for calving season.

some very nice man took this of us.

we snorkeled. and looked super cool while doing it.
we saw a bunch of tropical fish, green sea turtles, and charlie saw an octopus.

and of course, we played with the camera a lot.

charlie claims he wasn't posing for this one .... not sure if i believe him. :)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

aloha ipo

{hello lover}
i've always felt that hawaii is my lover.
the mountains, the beach, the desert, the rainforest + perfect weather = love.

we flew into kona, got a rental car, dropped our bags off at the hotel and left immediately to wander around.
kona is awesome. it's little, cute & you can walk to everything.
i loved it immediately.

it was sort of late when we got there (and we weren't used to the time difference) so we wandered around for a bit ...

kona kitty
this kitten wasn't too sure what to think of us.

we watched the sun set...

and then headed over to this sweet spot for some dinner.
sweet dinner spot

crabcakes for charlie (please notice his fruity drink in the background)
crabcakes .... not quite like MD

and fish tacos for me. they were amazing.
fish tacos ..yum!

after dinner (at 7 pm) we went back to our hotel, where we slept for 12 hours with the windows open. it's worth coming to hawaii just to get some sleep like that.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


waikoloa isn't too bad, either.
i still like kona better.
Kahaluu Beach

i {heart} kona.
this is (was) me on sunday.
and monday.
please excuse the fact that i'm super pale.

having a few days alone, just charlie and me has been awesome.
we never take vacations, which is probably obvious since we didn't even go on a honeymoon.
this vacation has definitely made me realize how important taking a few days away together is.
even when it's just two days.

Friday, January 22, 2010

dear hawaii,
i am coming to see you tomorrow!!!! please don't rain on us when we're hiking your volcanoes.

dear chemisty,
i don't like you or your stinkin' professor. therefore, i'm dropping you.

dear students,
stop skipping class. or i will fail you. for serious.

dear husband,
thank you for being amazing these past few weeks. you've definitely made up for all of the things i haven't done: taking care of the dogs, taking out the trash, feeding the neighbor's cat.
ps. that frosty you got me last night was awesome. so was that backrub.

dear dogs,
i'm sorry i've been so lame lately. i promise to make it up to you.

dear sleep,
why do you hate me? come back.

dear coffee,
you are the one bright spot to my morning.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


"i don't know what i want to do with my life,
i just know i want to do it.
i want to see the world.
i want to meet every single person breathing on this earth.
i want to give everyone a hug or a handshake,
and i want to make someones life a little easier.
i want to be different than the people i know,
because that's what makes us beautiful.
i want to be absolutely ridiculous before i die.
i don't want regrets."

yeah, that. that is what i want.
and a different job. today the police came to school.
dear underage kids, weapons are bad.

Monday, January 18, 2010


i love our home.
i love being home. especially after a long week.
friday night we went out to baker street pub & i discovered a new favorite beer.
strongbow. it's a cider and it's awesome.

we hung out a lot this weekend.
it was just what i needed.
these are some of my favorite things. nothing special, just things that make our little apartment a home.

our dogs.

into every heart ...
wedding card.

oh, henry.
favorite picture of the beach. i miss the beach.

wedding & engagement pictures.

Xmas wreath.  Thanks mom & dad.
wreath from mom & dad.

new pics.
new pictures in the bathroom.

these pictures remind me of a cold snowy day.
one where you just want to come home and cuddle in front of a fire.

our teeny kitchen.

and, of course, my dog. making sure that everything is fine outside.

Friday, January 15, 2010


i have never needed a weekend so badly before. ever.
i'd love to write about how awful this week really was, but i'm still debating on whether that's pc or not.
i'm jealous of people who work in cubicles. and don't have people screaming in their face, calling them inaproppriate names, or have to break up fights between girls. i could go on, but i won't. for now.
thank goodness this is a three day weekend. i'll be:
... shopping. yesterday my husband told me i dress like a 50 year old woman and should be on the show what not to wear. thanks babe.
... skiing.
... cleaning, reading, packing.
... getting books for school. ugh.
... taking the dogs for a walk. maybe a hike.
i cannot wait until 3.40 today.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

It's the little things ...

fav bookstore
Used bookstores.
... whole bean coffee.
... my husband making my math keys for me, taking care of the dogs, making the bed, and just being all around awesome.
... bedtime tea.
... coffee and bagel sandwiches on a saturday morning.
... 7 am meetings being changed to 4 pm meetings.
... countdown to kona. 10 days!!!
... my snuggly cat.
... wednesdays. i love wednesdays.
... 3 day weekends ahead.
... itunes gift cards.
... streaming radio at work.
... sharpies.
... a chipotle burrito.
... free art.
... coming home to a greeting from my dogs.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

not sure i'm ready for this.
actually i'm not. and most of the reasons are totally outside of my control.
we didn't end up skiing today. a combination of being out late last night, not feeling well, and wanting a lot more sleep when the alarm went off at 5:30 this morning.
we'll make it next weekend. we have to.

today was great though. lots of cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, football, and just hanging out.

cat w/o ears
how cute is this guy? he has the coolest eyes.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

cats & bully sticks.

this week was only 3 days long and yet friday night i walked in the door and immediately made myself a hot toddy before even taking off my coat.
i then drank it in the bathtub.
imagine what next friday is going to look like after a 5 day week.

today we woke up, headed to our favorite breakfast place. it's the kind of place were people hang out, play guitars, enjoy free wi-fi, drink coffee out of handmade mugs, and relax in big comfy chairs. they also have great fair-trade, organic coffee and make fabulous breakfast bagels. it was delicious.

then we stopped by petco on our way home. puppy savers was doing their annual saturday adoption event and they also had a greyhound rescue as well. it was a good thing we brought the dogs with us because puppies are just so darn cute. and greyhounds? i love that they're insanely lazy. my kinda pup.

we got the dogs some new bronco i.d. tags, since their old ones had my old number on them. charlie was pretty bummed that they didn't have rockies tags.

we also bought them bully sticks which they LOVE.


tuckered out.

bones are hard work.

we're heading over to some friends' tonight for some wings and beer and then tomorrow heading up to winter park to do some skiing.
i love weekends.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The month after christmas.

so i started the job. and it's definitely going to be a challenge. definitely.

today was so dreary here. cloudy, grey, and snowy. for some reason the snow isn't the same without christmas decorations. i really like january. usually. but for some reason this month i'm not really into it. maybe because it's getting down to 0 degrees tonight. again.

i am looking forward to our hawaii trip at the end of january! we have an appointment with a dog boarding place on saturday. i'm excited about it because it's run by a woman out of her home and the dogs get to run in and out all day long. after our awful boarding experience when we were gone for our wedding (when we picked up the dogs they were filthy, dehydrated, and exhausted) i'm hoping this is much better. of course if my parents lived in town and would watch them for free that would be even more amazing.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

It's the little things ...


... spending an afternoon wandering through a bookstore.
... watching kids ice skate.
... snow during the holidays.
... champagne toasts on new year's eve.
... family.
... hot toddies.
... irish coffees.
... watching a movie with my entire family.
... driving through the mountains.
... finding things i thought i lost.
... a cheeseburger & fries.
... wine + cheese.
... the red blanket on my couch.
... small giftcards.
... candlelit dinners.
... a clean house.
... a warm hat.
... family. i miss them.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


i forgot how to work.

tomorrow is my first day. i'm a little nervous & i don't really know what to expect or where to go or who to ask for. i tried to set the coffee up for tomorrow morning and accidentally brewed it instead so i had to dump it out and make it all over again.

i still haven't figured out my school schedule for this semester. i've emailed a few professors and haven't heard anything back yet. i'm also worried about what i'm going to do with the dogs when i'm gone for 12 hours a day and charlie's out of town.

i'm also worried about finding time to study and sleep. i know this job is going to require more than 40 hours a week and when you add two classes to that it doesn't leave time for much else. like grocery shopping, or walking the dogs, or doing the laundry, or cleaning the house. i have a feeling charlie is going to be doing a lot of skiing on the weekends without me.

i'm hoping that i can remember physics. and math. and how to write a lesson plan.

and you thought your iPod was just for music

oh wait, that's me.
it's a good thing that charlie ended up with a new iPod touch instead of me.
i'd be rocking out to zac brown band and charlie's out grocery shopping. hopefully.

anyway, Julie over at Simply Me asked me about which grocery app we recently got.
first, let me tell you i wasn't that psyched about this, but charlie convinced me.

we ended up, after some extensive youtube research, with grocery gadget.
it does some pretty cool things. we picked that one over others because it didn't get bad reviews for crashing, you can make multiple lists, and enter item descriptions for several stores for one item, and there are no pop ups. i think grocery gadget was slightly more expensive than the others at $4.99 but i figure it's a small price to pay for no pop ups while shopping.

anyway, here are some cool things about it:

1. you customize lists. weekly items, recipes, household items
i liked this because i like the idea of being able to decide what i want to cook when we're in the store & not have to worry about not knowing the ingredients.
2. the items are really detailed. for example, you can enter in brand, size, quantity, price, you can even scan barcodes or take a picture of the item if you have an iPhone.
3. it organizes your lists. the first time you shop, it remembers the order that you check off items and then the next time puts of the items in that order (or you can do alphabetical). obviously i like this because it means one trip through the store.
4. you can enter/compare prices. i am cheap. especially when it comes to food. this is why i shop at 3 different grocery stores. the thing i like about this, is that the app will remember for you what item is cheaper instead of me trying to remember if $2.79 is good for a carton of milk.
5. no paper, no repeated list making, definitely a time saver. sometimes i don't make lists before i go because i hate making them. then i come back missing half the items that i needed.
6. dudes dig it. charlie loves his iPod, it's much easier than running around with a piece of paper and a pen, and this thing not only tells him what to get but where to get it. trust me this is huge.

i'll let you know how we like it as we continue to use it more. it definitely takes some time to set up but the idea is once everything is entered it will make grocery shopping a lot easier. for charlie. :)

Monday, January 4, 2010


Christmas Eve walk2
hopefully a lot more of this in 2010.

resolutions.goals.aspirations.whatever you want to call them.
all my life i've resisted them but the past two years i've made some and i've liked it.
i definitely didn't accomplish all of 2009's resolutions but i had fun trying.

here are some [fun] things i'd like to do in 2010.

1. climb mount elbert.
2. comfortably ski some black diamonds by the end of the season.
3. enjoy a weekend away for our anniversary.
4. visit family. hopefully before the holidays.
5. cook julia child's beef bourguignon.
6. run the bolder boulder.
7. camp in wyoming.
8. use our canoe. with the dogs.
9. watch my sister dance in her last nutcracker. even though i hate the nutcracker.
10. learn how to use our new camera.
11. learn how to use PSE.
12. finish my 2009 scrapbook. by the end of february.

here are some [serious] things i'd like to do in 2010.

1. be a better wife. cook more, appreciate my husband more, complain less.
2. save more money.
3. find a long-term job.
4. take AT LEAST 5 classes.
5. set a budget.
8. read silent spring.

and here are some things i will NOT do in 2010.

1. adopt more animals.
2. move.
3. wear heels when i can wear flats.
4. go to the gym instead of walking the dogs.
5. buy holiday decorations.
6. cook like julia, or martha, or my mother.

... and, i want to keep doing my it's the little things posts once a week. they've helped me put things into perspective and not ignore the small things that make life so great.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


i love sunday.
today was pretty uneventful but i liked it like that.
all our christmas decorations are gone.
the house is clean & put back together.
the laundry is done.
i made turkey noodle soup with our leftovers from christmas.
i ate cheese, drank wine, read a book, and listened to my joss stone cd that i found after 2 years.
we went grocery shopping. charlie is pretty excited about his new grocery app. for his ipod.
i cleaned out our storage closet, watched a few snowflakes fall, & attempted pictures with the new camera.


dunkin was so annoyed with me.

henry was slightly more amused. it might have been the turkey i was cooking.

turkey noodle soup.
giant pot of soggy noodle soup.


My dad wanted their visit to be filled with "adventures".
He's been talking about dogsledding for over a year.
So we drove out to Leadville, met some puppies, and took turns driving the sled.


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Skiing is a lot more fun when ...

your husband is not "working" at the top of the mountain.
I got bored waiting for Charlie to finish his calls.
Go Verizon for having coverage.

Skier down

He made it up to me by taking a picture with me.

Mean man and me

P.S. Best day of skiing ever.