Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Amazing Suit Race

Academy countdown: 3 days.

For those of you unfamiliar with the police academy, it’s not just 40 weekly hours of physical and mental demands, they also have homework that they bring home with them.  Basically, we’re looking forward to 6 months of very little quality time together, sleep deprivation, and stress.

Yay.

JD came home from last week’s orientation with a packet of information such as 10 codes, their mission statement, etc.  He wasn’t told that he needs to know it all by the first day, but if his military background taught him anything, it’s that you’ll be doing far fewer pushups if you show up prepared.  So, he’s been studying the sheet and I’ve been quizzing him. 

We also have the fun task of finding suits to get him through the first few weeks of the academy.  They aren’t issued uniforms right away, but they’re still required to show up in business professional attire.  Luckily, we were warned not to get nice suits because they’ll be doing PT (physical training) in them.  I have to give them credit for that; I would be super pissed off if he showed up on his first day in his $400 suit and he was down on the ground doing pushups in it.

Anyway, finding cheap suits for JD has not been easy.  Finding a matching suit at a consignment store is hard enough- nothing is organized by size, pants and jackets aren’t paired together, and all the tags have been cut out.  Now, imagine trying to shop for The Hulk at a thrift store.  That will give you an idea of what it’s like to shop for JD.  He has really broad shoulders and big arms, so half of his long sleeved shirts have holes in the elbows because he busts out of them.  So far, he hasn't been able to get most of the suit jackets over his shoulders.  We went shopping a few days ago and found 1 (one!) jacket that fit him… but the pants were outrageously too big.

We went shopping again today.  Four stores, nearly three hours, and only one suit.  This means the process will start again tomorrow.

Double yay.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Food Baby

I rub my protruding belly lovingly and turn to the side to show JD my baby bump… my food baby bump, that is.  That’s what I call it when I’ve eaten entirely too much.  After this weekend, I think I’m having food baby triplets.

My mom and stepdad came to visit from Ohio, which means we spent the weekend drinking wine and eating too much.  It was fabulous.

It was one of those rare occasions I enjoyed cooking.  I introduced them to my favorite chili recipe, Mexican pizza, and portabella burgers.  I made mint chocolate cookies, chocolate chip cookie bars, and puppy chow (actually, JD made the puppy chow and used wayyy too much powdered sugar… he couldn’t eat it without making a powdery mess all over his face, clothes, counter and floor).

Last night we were treated to my stepdad’s salmon patties, which even JD loved, despite his hatred of fish.  My stepdad is an amazing cook; he could look into the fridge, see only eggs, mayonnaise, and zucchini, and somehow turn it into an amazing meal.  Anytime he cooks for us is a treat.

We also ventured back to the winery JD and I visited a while ago, and once again couldn’t resist going out for pasta afterward.

My family left this morning.  Our house may now be empty, but our bellies are still very full.

Oh, and by the way, remember that Christmas present JD couldn’t wait to give me?  He went to Build-A-Bear and made me a police bear so I don’t have to sleep alone once he starts working night shifts.  It might be my favorite thing he’s ever given me…


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Random Thoughts

Johnny Cash + June Carter = One of the greatest “true” love stories of all time.

My Christmas miracle will be if I DON’T gain 10 lbs from all I’ve been eating.

JD started a blog- scary.

I’m going to start using an exercise ball as a desk chair at work- no, seriously.  I’m going to be “that girl.”

I’m so, so, so happy that “don’t ask don’t tell” was repealed.  I’m proud of America’s step forward.

We might have a white Christmas here in NC!  I know, what the hell?!  

Also, White Christmas is my favorite Christmas movie.

Three dogs is plenty, but I wish I could rescue more.

I’m glad we’re done Christmas shopping.  Malls are scary this time of year.

My dad and stepmom flew to Colorado Springs today.  There was a plane crash there.  Luckily, it was not their plane.

Getting regular massages is a highly undervalued aspect of good physical health.

Only 3 more days till Christmas and my mom and stepdad get here.  Hooray!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My Husband, The 5 Year Old... Part 2


JD craves instant gratification, especially when it comes to presents.  

He gets a certain look on his face when he’s trying to hold something in- whether he’s dying to share a surprise with me, or we’re in the middle of a serious conversation and he’s trying to hold back a sarcastic comment.  

We were at the dinner table last night when The Look crossed his face.  He pursed his lips in an effort to suppress a smile.

“Can I give your Christmas present to you now?” he asked excitedly as he face broke into a grin.

“No!” I protested.  “You have to wait till Christmas.”

He started to say something else but I interrupted.

“And no giving me any hints either.  I want to be surprised.”

His face dropped.

JD had just gone shopping for me earlier in the day, but the thought of waiting 4.5 days to see me open my gifts was almost unbearable.  

Of course his lack of patience applies to receiving presents too.  When JD called the other day to tell me that our Kinect had arrived, I said “Great!  Let’s skip going to the movies and stay home and play Kinect instead,” not realizing that JD couldn’t wait that long to try it out.  I came home to him playing by himself in the middle of the living room.

“You couldn’t even wait till I got home so we could try it together?!” I exclaimed.

“Noooo,” he replied guiltily.

Sigh.  Why have kids when I already have JD?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Dance-Off

Yesterday, our Christmas present from JD's parents arrived in the mail- a Kinect for the xbox 360.  They also included a dance game, since I love to dance so much.  The Kinect has a sensor that can read your movements, so the dance game gives you a series of moves to do and scores you based on how well you match the move, your timing to the music, etc. 

Thanks to my dance background, I picked up on the game much faster than JD.  Actually, I dominated him.  

I should stop to mention 2 things about JD: 1. He's extremely competitive.  2.  He doesn't like to dance.  I think you can see where this is going.

It only took me one attempt to try and master the first song.  I turned to JD and said, "I can't wait to unlock the harder levels!"  Looking back, I might as well have said, "Hahaha, you can't beat me."

I know him well enough to know that after seeing how well I did, he was determined to do better than me.  He selected his song and did pretty well on the first few moves, but once they started throwing in some more difficult stuff, he started losing points.

"I'm doing what they're showing me on the screen!" he announced defensively.

"The sensor picks up on even the smallest movements, babe.  You can't just move your hands... see how they're showing you to move your body to the side a bit?"

"No."

"Here, maybe this well help," I walked in front of him and did it a few times.  At first it seemed to be helping, then it just seemed to be a distraction.  I let him finish the song himself, or try to finish the song.  He gave up about halfway through.

"I need to practice this when you're not around," he said as he exited the game.

"Why, because it bothers you that I'm better than you at it?"

"No," he smiled.

"So yes?" I shot back.

"Maybe."

For what it's worth, he beat me in all the sports games.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Kind Of A Big Deal

I’m officially losing patience with the NC attitude towards snow.  We’ll see a few flurries here and there, but as a general rule we only see accumulation once every winter.  By 6pm the night before a “snowstorm,” every school in the county has already closed for the following day, and the grocery stores are completely out of bread, milk, and eggs.

I get it, they’re not used to it here.  The county has approximately 2 (maybe even 3) snow plows, so it’s really hard to keep the roads clear.  Plus, NC driving is horrendous enough without adding a "weather event" to the mix.  Still, there’s no need for widespread panic.

Mostly, I'm tired of hearing about it and talking about it.  I mean, I saw it with my own eyes and it wasn't a huge deal.  It had completely melted by noon, yet it was still inescapable- on TV, on the radio, at work, at the gym... so done with it.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Finished Product

 Remember way back in October when I posted about all the problems we were having renovating the bathroom?  At that time, we were already a month into the project and we’d only just begun.  In fact, JD JUST finished it yesterday.

But instead of dwelling on how long it took, how frustrating it was, and how many problems we ran into, I am simply going to rejoice that it’s done.  It’s a masterpiece.  I stared at it for quite some time when I got home last night.  Goodbye ugly wallpaper border.  Goodbye uneven walls.  Goodbye gross accessories.  Goodbye Hollywood lights.  Goodbye nasty linoleum.  Hello happy paint color, fresh tile, and updated fixtures:





I would also like to share that I was not expecting it to be finished yesterday.  The plan was for JD to finish installing the new baseboard, sand the areas of the wall that needed to be touched up, and I would finish painting this weekend.  But when I walked into the house last night, there were no tools in the dining room, the floor had been swept and mopped, and the kitchen was sparkling.  For the grand finale, JD asked me to check out the bathroom.  I opened the door and there was a finished bathroom in all its glory.

JD did most of the work, so it’s easy for me to say this:  It was all worth it :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Magic of Christmas


I love the holiday season.  I love big meals with friends and family, cozy get togethers with loved ones, buying, wrapping, and giving presents, the twinkling lights all around town, and joy that seems to accompany everyone during this time.  The warmth of the season seems to offset the cold outside.

Today I started thinking about some of my favorite holiday memories, like Christmas with my dad’s side of the family.  We took our present opening seriously, and made sure to savor the moment rather than opening all at the same time in a frenzy of ripping paper.  We went from youngest to oldest, opening presents one at a time, so we all got to share in each other’s delight, not just our own.  

But because everything on my dad’s side has to be a challenge, opening presents turned into a game.  You had to guess what was in the present before you opened it, and we were pretty hard core.  We disguised things to make it harder to guess, like the time my mom made a blanket for my grandparents and disguised it with heavy, noisy cans of beans.  We took it so seriously, that we got outrageously analytical and specific, as in “Well, it’s too light to be a pair of pants, so I’m going to guess t-shirt.  Either Bengals or Xavier.”  

It was so intense, and there were so many presents, that we had to open our gifts over the course of 2 afternoons, all the while munching on holiday cookies and candy.  My grandpa even numbered each present, and kept a corresponding list so he could remember what was in each box.  You would pick up your next gift, tell him the number, then ask if it was okay to open it (he liked to save the most exciting  things for the end).  If you got the green light, you’d ask if you could shake it (like I said, we took our guessing seriously), and he would give you a yes, no, or “only a little.”

My grandpa was so organized, that only one year did presents get mixed up, and we relive that moment every Christmas.  I was very young- 3 maybe 4- and I opened a pair of khaki pants meant for my uncle.  I was traumatized.  How were these pants ever supposed to fit me?   I politely thanked my grandparents, and everyone had a good laugh.  When my uncle opened my little red dress later, I was quite relieved.

Merry Christmas to all of you.  May your family’s quirky holiday traditions continue :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

No News Is Good News


I don’t know what to say. 

“Uh, then don’t write a blog.”

Any Sex and the City fans get the reference?  Anyone?

Seriously though, I DON’T know what to say, and I know that’s upsetting to my tens of adoring fans.

I’ve always been an extrovert.  In high school, I spent family dinners talking instead of eating.  I would literally go through every period of the day and recap every detail.  It wasn’t until the rest of the family was up doing dishes that I would eat.  My mom told me that after I went to college, they all sat down at dinner and kind of stared at each other, because no one knew what to say.   They weren’t used to talking; that was always my job.

Yet here I am today, with nothing to share.  JD is injury free and life is pleasantly mundane.

Uh oh, did I just jinx us?  Oh well, if something happens, at least I’ll have blog material…

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Our Life Together in Pictures


Memorial Day Weekend at the Outer Banks.  JD joined in on my friends' tradition of burying themselves in the sand.
First trip home to Ohio to meet my family.
Getting out of the Marine Corps and moving home.


My first camping trip.

 Vacationing in the mountains.  JD proposed while we were hiking.
4th of July fireworks.


 Our (first) wedding on Topsail Island (we had a small beach wedding with a larger ceremony for all our friends later).


Our first home.
 Canopy tour on our honeymoon.