Saturday, February 28, 2009

Frisbee Golf

We both knew we wanted to do something outside today, but weren't sure exactly what that would be. We had talked about going for a drive to Fort Warden or Hurricane Ridge, but decided we'd like to be home for part of the day to work on projects and such. We narrowed our options down to climbing at Marymoore or frisbee golf (also known as disk golf) at Juel Park in Redmond. In the end we settled on frisbee golf. 

We both had a ton of fun, and are happy to have been outside, even for just a couple hours! We played through the 9 hole course twice. Our first round scores were Tom: 39 and Stacy: 57. Our second round scores were Tom: 40 and Stacy:51. 

One thing we were amazed at was the number of mole hills in the park. There were hundreds of them all over, and some of them were HUGE! The field was still really wet and muddy in places. Both of us lost frisbees in a huge puddle at one point, but Tom was able to get them out. Sorry I couldn't get any action shots of Tom, he moves so fast! ;)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Why did I waste my time on that?

I just finished reading the book Confessions of a Shopaholic in hopes of making it through a fun book before seeing the movie. After all, books are better read before going to the movie, right? Hmm, maybe not in this case. 

The first indication that this book was junk (IMHO) should have been that I was able to read through it so fast. Normally I can read about 20 pages in a half hour, but with this book I was able to read more than 50. 

In general I didn't like that the book was full of slef-justified lying, misleading, self-justified addiction, being unwilling to grow up and accept responsibility, way too much of my God's name used inappropriately, disrespect of parents, and makes punches at a monogamous married relationship. The gist of the story is that the main character, Rebecca, has a degree in journalism, works at a job that she knows nothing about and is just blindly faking her way through. She makes a decent living, but spends it all before it's in the bank. She runs up credit card debt, then pretends she doesn't have it, trashes her collection statements and spends some more! She lies to everyone about her situation and makes up excuses over and over. She lies to potential boyfriends about her interests just to get their money through marriage. In the end she maxes out her credit limits and has no money in the bank, so runs home to her parents with yet another lie that she is being stalked. Somehow Rebecca manages to write a story that gets big attention, ends up on television, and is offered a better paying job. She also ends up with a rich boyfriend. All her problems are fixed. 

Just like real life, right? Nope. It saddens me that people think they can cover up serious things without consequences, which is what this book encourages. Whenever the girl feels overwhelmed about her monetary situation, she goes out and buys more stuff to calm herself down! Our culture places entirely too much stock in personal perception of themselves. It's an easy trap to fall into, but also easy to combat. I think the point is seeing yourself as God created you to be, not as what everyone tells or expects you to be. 

There was so much more in this book that bothered me, but that's kind of beside the point. I was originally planning to read the series, but not longer! Now I'm going to dig into a book on Washington State history, enjoy more of The Encyclopedia of Country Living (Last night I learned about drying fruit and making fruit leather!), and start Jane Austen's Mansfield Park. Hopefully they'll be a bit more educational and useful. 

Friday, February 20, 2009

Oh Kitty

Tom and I got our kitties about 3 weeks after our wedding. They're silly but a constant source of entertainment. I thought I'd share a few of their quirks today! 
  • Our cats involve themselves in EVERYTHING! When we do home improvement projects (such as our bedroom sanding, mudding, painting) they just had to be in the room with us, especially since we had super cool plastic sheets that make an awesome crinkling sound when you pounce! 
  • We had to teach Orangey to eat dried food! When we got him (the runt) he only knew how to eat wet food. We were scared, but shouldn't have worried. Now he's a large 18 pounds of snuggle!
  • Missy likes to eat primrose blossoms and Orangey loves fresh chives, right out of my deck planter (which then gives him amazing death breath).
  • Orange loves to bury his purring runny nose in my hair at night.
  • Missy has a "safe house." Somehow she and and Orangey have this agreement so that he won't bother her when she's in her tent. 
  • Missy likes to play fetch with her bouncy balls, and will actually bring them back to us. However, we have to look away or she gets too excited and drops them before reaching the tosser. 
  • Orangey has a bedtime routine. When he thinks it's time for us to go to bed, he curls up on the end of it and looks expectantly for us. If we're not there soon enough for him, he starts pacing the house and looking perturbed. 
  • Orangey pilfers things... He took and ate my first beta fish one morning while I was in the shower, he stashes paper clips, zip-ties, pens, pencils, straws, candy wrappers, and other small things that he pulls off the table under our couches. 
  • Missy thinks she owns Christmas tress. She'd also like to know why the bows are on the presents when they make good toys. 
  • Orangey also gives treats! His prized possession is his blue fleece worm toy. No matter where we put it in the house, it has always been gifted to one of us by the morning so that when we step out of bed we step on wormie. He also likes to put mousies and bouncy balls in our shoes. 
  • Missy likes to primp. In the morning when I'm drying my hair or putting on my make-up she jumps on the the counter and admires herself in the mirror. 
  • We know our cats are supremely happy when they lay on their backs with legs and toes stretched into the air.
  • Orangey has figured out how to utilize bed covers. If I don't make the bed, he crawls in between the covers and proudly pokes his head out! 
  • One night when we left the sugar bowl out, our furry friends figured out how to get the lid off, lick their toes, stick them in the bowl, and then pull them out with wonderful sweet treats. 
  • We gave our kitties presents for their first Christmas... 12 cent feeder fish! Orangey was brave and took care of them for us, but Missy wouldn't get her fuzzy little paws wet! Valiant Orange kept sticking his head under water, trying to catch them, but didn't realize he couldn't breath in the water! He kept coming back up sputtering and confused, but in the end the fishies were in his tummy. 
  • If the kitties find an empty box or basket, they'll try to squeeze in, no matter what size.
  • Out of all the cars in the parking lot, they know which ours sound like and will get up and meet us at the door when we walk in. 
  • They know how to get the good stuff. A Kitchenaid mixer with fresh cookie dough? Who doesn't like cookie dough!? (Rest assured, we have since trained them that kitchen counters and dining tables are not appropriate places to sit.)
  • Orangey is learning parkour. Actually he's an expert. He runs down the hall, makes a hard right turn onto the laminate floor, skids for about 3 feet, then takes a leap up with his body parallel to the floor. His feet are all out to one side now, then somehow all 4 hit the door with his body still out over the floor as if laying on his side. Hard. He slides to the floor with a very loud thump and takes off growling and barking. He can't hiss to add to his fierceness. Poor kitty. He's trying so hard to be manly. 
  • Orangey and I are movie mates for life. He loves Beauty and the Beast! 
  • Orangey loves to "help" make the bed. The only problem with this is that with every new sheet or blanket I spread on the bed, he has to jump into the center and attack it. At least we know it's safe and dead when we climb into bed each night!
They have many other quirks, but I figure that's enough to entertain you for now! 

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Coffee Coffee

I never planned to be a coffee drinker. When I was little it was a "treat" to get to refill my mom's coffee cup, mostly because it meant that I could taste the dregs in the bottom of her cup. It didn't really matter that I thought it didn't taste like is smelled, or that it was one of the nastiest things I'd ever tasted. What mattered was that it somehow made us (Kyle and Kelly too!) feel grown-up to actually know what it tasted like. My mom, Grandma, and Grandmother all drank coffee every morning. Once a little older I just didn't think it tasted good enough to want it every morning... or at all for that matter! 

You may wonder what was wrong with me, after all I did grow up in Seattle. Hello?! Starbucks' hometown! Well, don't worry. My best friend in college, Ann, bought me coffee our first day of classes, and set me on track for a proper coffee filled outlook on life. We had arrived early to make sure we were on top of things, after all, college students have it all together. Sort of. Not really. We wandered up to the coffee cart and she ordered some sort of grasshopper drink, and asked what I wanted. I didn't know what any of the drinks were. I didn't know the difference between a latte and a mocha, but I had heard people order white chocolate mochas, so that's just what I did! It was actually pretty tasty! Over the next year Ann and I had coffee together several times a week, both at school and at Starbucks. I even graduated from the super sweet hide-the-coffee-flavor white chocolate mocha to a plain old mocha! By Christmas I was even ready to branch out and try an egg nog mocha. 

The summer after my second year of college I worked in a little coffee shop (my favorite job to date) at church for my friend Judi. That was somewhat educational because I learned terminology, was able to taste whatever I wanted, learned how to make great shots, and got do do a little experimenting. Let's just say that pumpkin lattes should not have canned pumpkin mixed in. About the same time I met and started spending a lot of time with Rebecca, who worked at Starbucks for a few years. She helped further my coffee education, and gave us a coffee maker for our wedding. 

Then came the desk job. I had a job that didn't use very much brain power the first year we were married, and the obvious solution was to add something exciting the day, right? I didn't want to spend money on coffee every day, but there was always a carafe of fresh black coffee out for staff. I started drinking plain old coffee every few days with coffee mate. 

From there, my love of coffee just kept progressing. Tom got me an espresso machine for my birthday last year, which means I now have a coffee counter... plus 2 grinders that don't fit on the counter. Tom loves iced caramel drinks, and I'm willing to try most drinks as long as they don't have soy or almond flavor. 

So all of your fears should now be relieved. I live in Seattle and drink coffee most mornings. Oh and I have been to the Pike Place Starbucks, the original retail store that opened in 1971. I now have a favorite roast, which sadly Starbucks only caries a few months a year... yes, it's the Christmas Blend. This winter I got discounted Starbucks cards at Costco, then used those to purchase 8 pounds of Christmas Blend in December. I should be set for beans until September when the Anniversary Blend comes out, which is the next closest flavor to Christmas Blend. 

I still try not to have more than one cup a day because to much caffeine makes me feel awful. I know there are studies that go both ways... drink more and drink less. I just saw a news clip today suggesting that if women drink 4 cups or more a day, they're 20% less at risk of having a stroke. I've also seen recent reports that say caffeine increases the chance of birth defects and miscarriage significantly. I guess the big thing is not be be mastered my it. Moderation. Enjoy your coffee, or stop by and share some of mine anytime!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine's Day Came Early

Tom and I celebrated our 5th Valentine's Day together last night! We celebrated early because Tom had his wisdom teeth out today. Tom brought home a dozen red roses for me, and we headed out. We had talked about getting Gyros for dinner in Redmond at a little place we go every once in a while, but instead decided to go to a new place down in Juanita called Pradia Mediterranean Food that has just recently opened. Oh, and it has seating, something the place in Redmond doesn't have! Tom got a lamb Gyro plate with Basmati rice (ewww... who wants sweet rice anyway?) and I had a chicken Gyro. It's definitely a place we'll go back to! 

Tom had recently found a Plumb song on one of his Pandora stations that he really liked, so I had ordered her newest cd, Blink for him a few weeks ago. I gave that to him as we were leaving, so we listened to it in the car as we were driving around. I think it's on the top of both our lists right now.

After dinner Tom took me shopping at Free People, my favorite store! He helped search through their racks for things I should try on. We ended up picking out a cute skirt and a red sweaterish sort of long cardigan.  On our way home we stopped at Dairy Queen for dessert. We then watched an episode of Star Trek Voyager. A perfect early celebration! 

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Visit with Dear Friends

Last night Tom and I were able to spend time with our good friends the Lyons! It had been almost 3 months since we've seen them! I got to meet their new little guy, Noah (almost 3 months), and enjoying Josiah (a year and a half) showing me his fish, such fun little guys! 

George and Mary are special friends of ours. They got engaged a month before Tom and I started dating, and we did a lot with them between then and our weddings, which were just a few weeks apart. Mary helped Tom figure out what size engagement ring to get me, without me ever suspecting a thing! We registered at Target and Linens and Things together, had a few movie nights (Napoleon Dynamite?!) with them, stuck up for each other when people said we were all too young to get married. Mary and I were candle lighters in each other's weddings, George was an usher at ours, and Tom was a groomsman in theirs. Then, when we bought our condo almost 3 years ago, it was about a quarter mile away from their condo. We did dinners and movies many times with them and even managed to squeeze in a few evenings of swing dancing, and Mary and I did a lot of scrapbooking and consignment store shopping together. 

Towards the end of 2006, when neither Mary or I were working full-time anymore, we started spending a couple days a week together, doing all sorts of things. We even joined the gym together to get a discount plan and have accountability to go! We had discovered that we were all hoping to start our families in the near future. George and Mary found out they were expecting Josiah that Thanksgiving, which was awesome, but super hard for us to know how to respond emotionally. It took a few months of sorting things out, but eventually I got to where I could be really happy for them, and we started spending many hours together, mostly shopping for soon-to-arrive Josiah! I threw a baby shower for Mary in May, and then Josiah arrived in July early one morning after Mary and 
I had spent the day in the pool together. I got to meet him the day he was born. I think he was pretty much the first baby anyone had ever let me hold for more than a couple minutes! We continued to hang out when we could, but it got a little bit more difficult with job changes and life getting so busy for us! 

In the beginning of 2008 George and Mary sold their condo and moved north, and were expecting little Noah to join them. It was again, hard for me to know how to deal with the news, but it was easier than before and so exciting! Mary and I met at the outlet mall in Marysville once over the summer for some shopping, I got to see her at her baby shower, and then in November I got to spend some time with her and Josiah, while waiting for Noah to decide if he was ready to meet the world. 

They have just recently moved into a house up in Marysville, and Tom and George have pretty different work schedules, so it was great to finally pull dinner with everyone together! It's so much fun to get together with people we both feel comfortable with, and have similar values. We talked and talked and talked, oh and got a tour of their new home! It was fun to see how they've set things up. I loved Noah's bedroom with little brown, blue, and white puppies, stripes and polk-a-dots everywhere. Mary made a super cute crib set to match it all. I enjoying getting to hold Noah for a while, his little eyes and facial expressions were so cute! I told Tom on the way home that I feel like I could just hold babies forever! He laughed and said that opinion will probably change one day, but I hope not! 

We weren't sure what the weather and roads would be like on our way home, but we had already decided that it would be fun to drive back on Highway 9. There was ice on our car when we left, and we found little flutters of snow along the way. When we got to Cathcart and Snohomish there were huge flurries that were so pretty! In some places there was snow on the ground and coating all the trees, and the moon was bright which illuminated everything beautifully! 

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Renaissance Party

On Saturday night Tom & I went to our friend Philip's birthday party. It had a Renaissance theme, so we started brainstorming about what we could wear a couple days ahead of time. I found a brown billowy sort of skirt at Value Village, and a maroon top with draped sleeves (which by the way do indeed make it hard to eat!). I had looked around for a velvet dress at a thrift store, but they were all HUGE sizes and still pretty pricey. I decided I'd go for a peasant look, but ended up looking more like a hippie-gypsy. I braided my hair and accessorized with a ton of my Grandmothers old bling jewelry. I think I had on 4 necklaces, one around my head, and 3 big fake rings! 

Tom had a harder time coming up with ideas, but in the end we settled on his black legging long johns, shorts, his green shirt, and a brown leather vest he'd bought at Value Village for the same friend's birthday party with a Western murder mystery theme the previous year. He also added his moccasins, 2 leather belts, a knife and a sword, and his knit beanie that I made for him with a string under his chin. 

We were a little bummed, but only about a third of the people actually dressed up. We had a couple friends tell us we looked more like Robin Hood and Pocahontas than anything else! It was a fun night with good food, friends, and a few games.