Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year's Eve!

What are your plans tonight? My plans:

Clutch a box of Kleenex
Take 3rd dose of Dayquil
Drink hot chocolate
Cut and assemble cheese for a cheese and crackers tray
Blow nose
Cook a pizza
Listen to Modern Warfare being played in the background while I nap
Wake up in time to watch Ryan Seacrest and the ball drop

GO ME!!!!! Hope yours is a fun and safe as mine will be!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year's Resolutions / 2010 Goals

This week, I am working on my 2010 goals for my work I thought, why not do ALL life while I'm at it?

So, my dear BFFs on the blog (a new acronym of BFFOTB?), is my attempt at improving my life. And I am only picking six. For the whole year. Leo Baubata explains why here:

1. Increase contribution to our 401(k) from 10% to 11% of pre-tax earnings, and maintain monthly contributions of 5% after-tax to cash savings and increase our emergency fund.

2. Commit to walking 5 minutes on the treadmill 4 days per week.

3. Wake up earlier on work mornings so I am not so rushed.

4. Be more sweet, and less irritable, towards my hubby.

5. Make 2 new couple-friends (4 people) who live nearby and who I get to know well enough to have over for movie night.

6. Go on one cool vacation trip, sitting in Business Elite.

What are yours? And are you making 6 SMART goals?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Back at work

Luckily, today is only a 3-day week for me so I am definitely not complaining about being back at work. But I will say that our "Second Honeymoon" (after being on our own for 5 days with each other and nothing else official to do) made it difficult to get back at it today!

Jeff decided to quash boredom by catching up on yard work which I (of course) neglected during his 2+ months away from home. I didn't think the yard looked that bad. And, it is giant enough that even after a full day's work, it looks BETTER but not finished yet. However, I think if Jeff tries to pick up the leaf blower again today, his arm might fall off.

Also making it difficult for both of us to focus and have fun on our own - this stupid cold we caught during said honeymoon. DayQuil and water are working hard to thin out the junk today for me, but I still think it sounds much more fun to sit at home under a blanket, nap, play Band Hero, and watch Million Dollar Listing on tv.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Baked Salmon idea

For your next fancy dinner try this one. It tastes amazing but is super easy!

Mix in one bowl:
2 T butter, melted
2 T Honey Dijon mustard

In a separate bowl combine:
2 T dry bread crumbs
2 T chopped pecans or walnuts
2 t dried parsley

Brush 2 salmon filets with the butter mixture, then sprinkle with the dry mixture.

Bake in a greased, square glass pan for 15 minutes at 400F. Fish should flake in the middle (it's ok to underbake a little).

Let me know how it turns out! And the omega-3s totally balance out the butter :)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas from Atlanta!

Well, Jeff and I did not make it back to SD due to the blizzard of '09, and flight loads / cancelled flights.

Santa realized we never left home and visited us here in Georgia! He brought us new toothbrushes, a 2-person card game, a puzzle, a Nerf gun, and Band Hero for Xbox 360!

Jeff's mom also mailed a few gifts to us before Christmas and we are so grateful for them! My favorite is my new Minnetonka Moccasin slippers - they are wonderful, and these new ones really let me know how worn out my old ones were.

Christmas dinner was a success - we tried our first holiday meal and the most stressful part was using our really old, super-small oven, and remembering where we unpacked all of the things we don't use very often (roaster, electric knife, meat thermometer, wire wisk)...

Our dinner of roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, and buns was delicious. We even made our chicken leftovers into tacos, which is a perfect way to reheat slightly dried out meat.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Home for Christmas?

Thank you, mother nature, for messing with our plans...still tbd if SD is on the books for us...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Get Shiatsued

Merry Christmas to us! Well, even if it wasn't Christmas we would have upgraded...

When my back was out really, really bad (as opposed to just kinda bad now), my mom bought me a shiatsu back massager just like theirs at home. We got it at CVS and it worked great.

BUT - today when we started buying Christmas presents (yes, started), we saw (and tried out multiple times) this:

It is more cushy than the older model, plus has 2 simultaneous zones of motion, plus it vibrates, plus it goes way high up on your shoulders and neck, plus it is wonderful! And now it is mine.

Jeff is breaking it in now, but it shall be my turn soon. Mwahahahaha!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Minor procedure, plus food thing

I had a little procedure done on my face today. Not Botox or Restalyne (not yet anyway) - I had a benign cyst removed from my jawline. It appeared during the summer and has just never quite healed - turns out it would have never healed if it hadn't been cut out. So I am home today with a swollen face, some pain meds, and a ginormous bandage on my cheek. Cute, huh? At least Jeff and I will (most likely) get the Christmas letter done and mailed!

There is no segue to the next topic so I will just say it: if you haven't tried it already, buy some Boar's Head Blazin' Buffalo Chicken and Baby Swiss the next time you are at your local deli. Put it on some bread, add ranch, and throw that puppy on a panini maker; serve with pickles, carrots, and celery. Or, add to the meat and cheese some lettuce, tomatoes, red peppers, miracle whip and then put it all on a Sundried Tomato Flat-Out wrap (look in your deli). I like to serve with Garden Salsa Sun's delish!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Merry Christmas

Our tree is up! I was planning to take pictures of our house decorated up but haven't gotten around to you just get the news that it's all done.

On a bummer note, our awesome light-up snowman (yes you can have snowmen in Georgia) has a head that refuses to light. So now we are the creepy house with a headless snowman.

Happy Holidays anyway

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Lovin me some Vancouver!

Some suppliers I just love - like one of my new peeps in Vancouver. Look what they sent me as a Christmas thank-you! Can't wait for the Olympics!!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Catholic Church gives D.C. ultimatum on social services

Loving relationships, good. Marriage, great. Same-sex marriage, controversial. The Catholic church taking away soup kitchens, BAD. Can't we meet in the middle somewhere? Ugh.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington said Wednesday that it will be unable to continue the social service programs it runs for the District if the city doesn't change a proposed same-sex marriage law, a threat that could affect tens of thousands of people the church helps with adoption, homelessness and health care.

Under the bill, headed for a D.C. Council vote next month, religious organizations would not be required to perform or make space available for same-sex weddings. But they would have to obey city laws prohibiting discrimination against gay men and lesbians.
Fearful that they could be forced, among other things, to extend employee benefits to same-sex married couples, church officials said they would have no choice but to abandon their contracts with the city.

"If the city requires this, we can't do it," Susan Gibbs, spokeswoman for the archdiocese, said Wednesday. "The city is saying in order to provide social services, you need to be secular. For us, that's really a problem."
Several D.C. Council members said the Catholic Church is trying to erode the city's long-standing laws protecting gay men and lesbians from discrimination.
The clash escalates the dispute over the same-sex marriage proposal between the council and the archdiocese, which has generally stayed out of city politics.

Catholic Charities, the church's social services arm, is one of dozens of nonprofit organizations that partner with the District. It serves 68,000 people in the city, including the one-third of Washington's homeless people who go to city-owned shelters managed by the church. City leaders said the church is not the dominant provider of any particular social service, but the church pointed out that it supplements funding for city programs with $10 million from its own coffers.

"All of those services will be adversely impacted if the exemption language remains so narrow," Jane G. Belford, chancellor of the Washington Archdiocese, wrote to the council this week.

The church's influence seems limited. In separate interviews Wednesday, council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) referred to the church as "somewhat childish." Another council member, David A. Catania (I-At Large), said he would rather end the city's relationship with the church than give in to its demands.

"They don't represent, in my mind, an indispensable component of our social services infrastructure," said Catania, the sponsor of the same-sex marriage bill and the chairman of the Health Committee.

The standoff appears to be among the harshest between a government and a faith-based group over the rights of same-sex couples. Advocates for same-sex couples said they could not immediately think of other places where a same-sex marriage law had set off a break with a major faith-based provider of social services.

The council is expected to pass the same-sex marriage bill next month, but the measure continues to face strong opposition from a number of groups that are pushing for a referendum on the issue.

The archdiocese's statement follows a vote Tuesday by the council's Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary to reject an amendment that would have allowed individuals, based on their religious beliefs, to decline to provide services for same-sex weddings.

"Lets say an individual caterer is a staunch Christian and someone wants him to do a cake with two grooms on top," said council member Yvette M. Alexander (D-Ward 6), the sponsor of the amendment. "Why can't they say, based on their religious beliefs, 'I can't do something like that'?"

After the vote, the archdiocese sent out a statement accusing the council of ignoring the right of religious freedom. Gibbs said Wednesday that without Alexander's amendment and other proposed changes, the measure has too narrow an exemption. She said religious groups that receive city funds would be required to give same-sex couples medical benefits, open adoptions to same-sex couples and rent a church hall to a support group for lesbian couples.

Peter Rosenstein of the Campaign for All D.C. Families accused the church of trying to "blackmail the city."

"The issue here is they are using public funds, and to allow people to discriminate with public money is unacceptable," Rosenstein said.

Rosenstein and other gay rights activists have strong support on the council. Council member Phil Mendelson (D-At Large), chairman of the judiciary committee, said the council "will not legislate based on threats."

"The problem with the individual exemption is anybody could discriminate based on their assertion of religious principle," Mendelson said. "There were many people back in the 1950s and '60s, during the civil rights era, that said separation of the races was ordained by God."

Catania, who said he has been the biggest supporter of Catholic Charities on the council, said he is baffled by the church's stance. From 2006 through 2008, Catania said, Catholic Charities received about $8.2 million in city contracts, as well as several hundred thousand dollars' worth this year through his committee.

"If they find living under our laws so oppressive that they can no longer take city resources, the city will have to find an alternative partner to step in to fill the shoes," Catania said. He also said Catholic Charities was involved in only six of the 102 city-sponsored adoptions last year.
Terry Lynch, head of the Downtown Cluster of Congregations, said he did not know of any other group in the city that was making such a threat.

"I've not seen any spillover into programming. That doesn't mean it couldn't happen if [the bill] passes," he said.

Cheh said she hopes the Catholic Church will reconsider its stance.

"Are they really going to harm people because they have a philosophical disagreement with us on one issue?" Cheh asked. "I hope, in the silver light of day, when this passes, because it will pass, they will not really act on this threat."

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Jeff's back! And a funny joke

Jeff's back!!!!!!!!!! Got home about 10:30pm after a stop at Chick-Fil-A, a long drive, and rainy 40-degree weather - he must feel like he's back in Atlanta! And now for your reading pleasure, this is too funny not to share...


Lesson 1: A man is getting into the shower, just as his wife is finishing up her shower, when the doorbell rings. The wife quickly wraps herself in a towel and runs downstairs. When she opens the door, there stands David, the next-door neighbor. Before she says a word, David says, 'I'll give you $800 to drop that towel.' After thinking for a moment, the woman drops her towel and stands naked in front of David... After a few seconds, David hands her $800 and leaves. The woman wraps back up in the towel and goes back upstairs. When she gets to the bathroom, her husband asks, ' Who was that?' 'It was David, the next door neighbor,' she replies. 'Great,' the husband says, 'did he say anything about the $800 he owes me?'

Moral of the story: If you share critical information pertaining to credit and risk with your shareholders in time, you may be in a position to prevent avoidable exposure.

Lesson 2: A priest offered a Nun a lift. She got in and crossed her legs, forcing her gown to reveal a leg. The priest nearly had an accident. After controlling the car, he stealthily slid his hand up her leg. The nun said, 'Father, remember Psalm 129?' The priest removed his hand. But, changing gears, he let his hand slide up her leg again. The nun once again said, 'Father, remember Psalm 129?' The priest apologized, 'Sorry, Sister, but the flesh is weak.' Arriving at the convent, the nun sighed heavily and went on her way. On his arrival at the church, the priest rushed to look up Psalm 129. It said, 'Go forth and seek, further up, you will find glory.'

Moral of the story: If you are not well informed in your job, you might miss a great opportunity.

Lesson 3: A sales rep, an administration clerk, and the manager are walking to lunch when they find an antique oil lamp. They rub it and a Genie comes out. The Genie says, 'I'll give each of you just one wish.' 'Me first! Me first!' says the admin clerk.. 'I want to be in the Bahamas , driving a speedboat, without a care in the world.' Poof! She's gone. 'Me next! Me next!' says the sales rep. 'I want to be in Hawaii , relaxing on the beach with my personal masseuse, an endless supply of Pina Coladas, and the love of my life.' Poof! He's gone.. 'OK, you're up,' the Genie says to the manager The manager says, 'I want those two back in the office after lunch.'

Moral of the story: Always let your boss have the first say.

Lesson 4: An eagle was sitting on a tree resting, doing nothing. A small rabbit saw the eagle and asked him, 'Can I also sit like you and do nothing?' The eagle answered: 'Sure, why not.' So, the rabbit sat on the ground below the eagle and rested. All of a sudden, a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit and ate it.

Moral of the story: To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very, very high up.

Lesson 5: A turkey was chatting with a bull 'I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree' sighed the turkey, 'but I haven't got the energy.' 'Well, why don't you nibble on some of my droppings?' replied the bull. It's full of nutrients.' The turkey pecked at a lump of dung, and found it actually gave him enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree. The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch Finally after a fourth night, the turkey was proudly perched at the top of the tree. He was promptly spotted by a farmer, who shot him out of the tree.

Moral of the story: Bull Sh#t might get you to the top, but it won't keep you there...

Lesson 6: A little bird was flying south for the winter. It was so cold the bird froze and fell to the ground into a large field. While he was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on him. As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, he began to realize how warm he was. The dung was actually thawing him out! He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy. A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate. Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him.

Moral of the story:
(1) Not everyone who sh#ts on you is your enemy.
(2) Not everyone who gets you out of sh#t is your friend.
(3) And when you're in deep sh#t, it's best to keep your mouth shut!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Wells Fargo, much love

I sat down to pay my bills tonight and got a panic-inducing surprise - after logging into online banking I discovered my mortgage payment had not automatically gone out on the 1st like it was supposed to.

And today's the 7th. Yikes!

I immediately called the WFHM 800 number to find out what was going on. I was super worried because for 2010 our property taxes went up (I thought we lived in the South and that meant low taxes!) and therefore our payment went up - we have been paying extra every month toward principal and I wanted to keep that nice round number of extra rolling so I changed the amount, supposedly effective January 1st.

Michael in customer service explained to me something happened on their end that made it skip the Dec payment when I changed the amount for January - nothing that was my fault but they were so grateful I caught it early! The just went ahead and processed my payment manually over the phone, no harm - no foul. And here I was worried that I was late. Ha!

I still love my mortgage lender. Thanks Wells Fargo and Michael and MeChelle!

Decorating -almost- done!

When you have specialists in your midst, it is best to use their talents the best of their ability (no that does not make me a user).

Since my mom is here helping me guess what else she is doing - you got it! Decorating my house for Christmas.

Everything's up but the tree! Nativity, outdoor decorations (we put them on the insides of the windows), my dining room, living room, kitchen, and office are all done...woo hoo!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Some days suck

I love my new job. LOOOOVE it. It's super fun and exciting and I get to meet tons of people and go to places I normally would never visit (Birmingham anyone?).

But I do not like the part when I go to the trouble of building relationships, getting to know someone, working on a deal with them, and then not being able to give them my business.

I know, I know, it is my job to get a bunch of bids, work a deal, and then only pick one of them. But it sucks for the losers, and for me to have to explain why they are losers. It makes me feel bad for them and in turn ruins my mojo.

Hopes and dreams crushed for the day? Check. Time to go home.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Mom's home!

So instead of whining about how sore my back is today, I am instead praising the fact I have the form of my very own momma coming down from SD!

I need someone to unload and reload the dishwasher, do laundry, go grocery shopping, pick up a little, help get Christmas decorations out...pretty much anything domestic and requiring a bendover or stressed lifting, I need help with.

Yahoo! Relief in the form of parental love and roll-on Biofreeze is on the way!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Not Your Typical Blonde Joke

An Irishman , a Mexican and a Blonde Guy were doing construction work on scaffolding on the 20th floor of a building.

They were eating lunch and the Irishman said, 'Corned beef and cabbage! If I get corned beef and cabbage one more time for lunch, I'm going to jump off this building.'

The Mexican opened his lunch box and exclaimed, 'Burritos again! If I get burritos one more time I'm going to jump off, too.'

The blonde opened his lunch and said, ' Bologna again! If I get a bologna sandwich one more time, I'm jumping too.'

The next day, the Irishman opened his lunch box, saw corned beef and cabbage, and jumped to his death.

The Mexican opened his lunch, saw a burrito, and jumped, too.

The blonde guy opened his lunch, saw the bologna and jumped to his death as well.

At the funeral, the Irishman's wife was weeping. She said, 'If I'd known how really tired he was of corned beef and cabbage, I never would have given it to him again!'

The Mexican's wife also wept and said, 'I could have given him tacos or enchiladas! I didn't realize he hated burritos so much.'

Everyone turned and stared at the blonde's wife. The blonde's wife said, 'Don't look at me. The idiot makes his own lunch.'

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


It's official - it sucks to throw your back out. I cannot sit, stand, walk, or lay down for more than 30 minutes at a time without something hurting. And, did you know, bodily functions are more uncontrollable when spasming occurs? I have also had those "Issues" all day.

And I couldn't get shoes on this morning, so I am wearing sandals in 54 degree weather.


Glee not till April????

What the F??????????

Dec 9th is the last wonderful GLEE episode until April on TUESDAY nights after the new year.

Seriously, it was so cruel to make me wait a WHOLE SUMMER until airing more episodes - PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, FOX - will you air the season as a whole sooner? I mean, the talent is cheap, comparatively, and you have your hungry fans waiting!