Friday, December 31, 2010

The close of another year!

Can you believe it's already the end of 2010?  I can't!  I suppose because it's been such an eventful year!  I have lots and lots of pictures to sort through and post from Christmas and other festivities, but until I get those up, I will settle with summing up our year! :)

2010 started out like many others...  There was a couple who loved each other, who were happily married and living in Northern Colorado.  In mid-January she decided to start a cooking blog.  Meanwhile, he was working hard at finishing his PhD.  At the end of May he landed a great Post-Doc position at a prestigious University in NC.  Then in July he successfully defended his Dissertation and later that month they moved (over 1700 miles) to North Carolina for said job.

August came and they got settled into their new life (and apartment) with the help of her parents, who also helped the couple discover the Outerbanks.  Then later in August this couple took a very quick but enjoyable trip back to their home state for the wedding of his sister!  In September this couple found, and settled into, a great Church in their new city.  They made friends, settled in more and got to explore NC further.  In December they got to travel back to Colorado to visit their family for Christmas! :)

And well....the year's coming to a close and we (the couple) can't wait to see what 2011 has in store! :)
We hope you have had a great year and we hope even more that you all have a wonderful New Year!!!!  :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Life, Party and a Tree

So, today was a pretty monumental day for us.  I don't know how mush I will {should} discuss...but just know that God is working in us, and we're settling into our life.  (No that doesn't mean someone will make an appearance in less than a year either.)  I just mean, God is good.  So very good.  :)

Anyway, today was my hubby's Boss' Christmas Party!  It was at his {very nice} house that's out in a --big surprise-- forested area a little ways outside of town.  I think there were a total of about 40 people there, including some kiddos.  We had a great time and got to connect with quite a few of the grad students and their spouses that J works with.  So that was cool.  :)

J's boss and his wife, are super nice and it was great to chat with them a little more too.  Although, truth be told I'm not sure we ever really got to speak with the boss man, he was being SO sweet by serving everyone punch and coffee the whole time!  But J and I both had a nice talk with the boss' wife, so that was nice!  The food was good and plentiful, and the company was nice.

You know something interesting about North Carolina though.  They are really into their Christmas trees.  I think most people do "real" ones and I suppose that's not too surprising because NC is the Christmas Tree Capital of the World or something like that.  Or, they at least are one of the top producers...(makes sense with all the trees e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e.)  Anyway, people here are so particular about their trees though, AND opinionated AND vocal.  Just today we had several instances where people were saying how having a real tree is the only way to do it...and you should at least have two or three every year.... So....did I miss something?  Excuse me?  I thoguht this was America, where we have a choice in matters like that.  So yeah, I will keep my pre-lit artificial tree that I don't have to water, AND I don't risk loosing my favorite ornaments every year!  Take that tree killers!  :)  haha

OK, I don't really care that much.  I'm just joking.  But really, since when did it become a thing to get all riled up about?  It's a tree.  It's a tree we light up and decorate.  It's a tree we put presents beneath.  It's a tree.  Real or fake.  It doesn't really matter.  But hey, have you ever heard of a Chrismon Tree?  It's pretty interesting...  :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Favorite things...

Raindrops on roses and wiskers on kittens, Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, Jeeping in the mountains with family, these are a few of my favorite things.  :)  Like my rendition?  ;)  hehe 

Anyway, I grew up fourwheeling (jeeping) with my family all around the Colorado Mountains.  It turns out my hubby loves fourwheeling too, and we actually went fourwheeling on our 4th date!  :)  Anyway, my parents got each of my sisters and I (and themselves) this ornament below in one our very favorite Jeeping towns in CO! 
It's so comforting to have grown up seeing this ornament on my parents' tree and now I see it on our tree every year! Plus, it's just about the cutest thing I've ever seen. And if you remember, I love bears. I think they are adorable. So yep, cutest ornament ever I'm pretty sure! :)  And it reminds me of home...even while we're so far away! 

Oh, random side note -- it snowed last night!  Woohoo!!  But then it sleeted and rained...and I guess it's pretty slick out because they cancelled all the schools around the Triangle today.  I wouldn't be surprized if they are closed tomorrow too.  Hope you are getting some moisture too!  :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Early Christmas Presents

Well, today I got an early Christmas present.  :)  Well, I won't actually get it till later this week....but it got ordered today.  You know that phone I was talking about yesterday?  Well, it turns out it's on sale today, a really great sale...and it's free today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  So, we ordered it this morning and it should get here I think by Wednesday or so!  It's even the Voilet one I wanted.  And we managed to find a case for it too--also on sale, but not free.  So that was a super happy early Christmas present this morning!  :)  Hope all is well with you!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Hark the Herald!


You know that simply means "hear the message".  J and I just got back from our Church, where we sang in the Christmas Program.  It went really well!  The music was fun and a good combo of old and new stuff.  The choir was prepared, the sanctuary was filled and everything went just as planned.  It's so bittersweet this year though. 

I guess it's because we're (I'm) just getting used to be away from family.  I am so used to having my family (usually quite a few of them too!) in the crowd just waiting to greet and hug me afterwards.  Not just Church ones either, I mean everything.  Every solo.  Every choir performance.  Everything.  My mom has always been there.  I guess I didn't realize just how fortunate I was until now. 

You know I sang that solo in Church a few weeks ago, and it didn't really hit me then.  (Don't know why...)  But tonight it did.  No one was there.  I mean, the room was filled.  But no one was there.  Know what I mean.  wow.  Maybe I'm coming across as selfish or something.  Hope not!  I just mean, this is ALL going to take a lot of getting to used to.

J and I have been in Choir together since we got married.  So last year and the year before we sang in the Christmas program in Northern CO and our family (both sides) would come and see it.  It was great!  So this year....was just different.  I guess it's not all bad.  Just different.  And, well, like I said, I just didn't realize just how lucky I was to always have someone there for every little performance.

Anyway, it's not about us anyway and everything went well.  I really hope people got the message of the real meaning of Christmas.  (And the real meaning of our lives...)  The next to last song in our cantata was called "We Believe" and it really went through everything we stand for and believe as Christians.  It was a really pretty song and really powerful with these words.... "We believe, this is the Christ, the Son of Heaven sent to earth.  We believe, He ruled on high, but came in lowly human birth.  And we believe this King will reign, and all the world will know His name....."  Those are just a few of the words, but you get the point.  :)  Hope someone got to hear it that needed to.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!  We did.  :)

Christmas Shopping--Check!

Yesterday J and I ventured over to the Mall for a few things.  One--to finish up Christmas shopping, Two--to check out any good deals for clothing for us and Three--to look at phones for me.  We had a great time, and were quite surprised to find the mall wasn't all that busy.  (Considering it was just two weeks before Christmas.)  :)

We finished up our Christmas shopping....well I think so at least.  I also thought that about two weeks ago, when I was informed I'd forgotten a couple of people.  (Whoops)  And I managed to find a couple of great shirts on sale, which will come in handy this winter.  They are long sleeve shirts, soft and cozy AND will go really well with my wardrobe.  And I like them.  Did I mention that?!  :) 

We did look at phones, and that store wasn't too busy either.  I can't upgrade my phone till tomorrow, and we were just looking at phones and deals to make sure I could get just what I want at a good price.  So, it looks like I will be in ship-shape to get one tomorrow!  Yippeee!  I can't wait!  J got his on Black Friday and got it f-r-e-e!  Which is a super great deal.  He loves it and it works really well for him.  Which is great!  I'm actually going to end up getting the same one, although I won't get quite that great of a deal on mine though.  It's all good though! I can't wait to have a smartphone! :)  And actually, I just can't wait to have a phone that will work on a regular basis, that will have a normal alarm that will go off when it is supposed to!  And it's WAY better that I get to get a smartphone that can do all that and a lot more!  :)

Anyway, while we were at the mall there was some live entertainment on a little stage towards the center.  When we got there a middle school orchestra was playing some carols, and later on we saw a great little band playing some pop music.  The band was great!  I don't think any of them were older than about 12, and they sounded just great.  Simple arrangments, but very well played.  They even took turns singing and it was just darling.  Not gonna lie, I'm pretty sure that little band made both of our days a little brighter.  You know, it's just great to see little ones playing and singing!  :)  I suppose it also helped that the lead singer reminded me of Michael Jackson at about age 8.  :)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

It's beginning...

...to look a lot like winter!  :) 

I'm not gonna either.  I don't think we ever thought we'd see it snow in North Carolina.  But sure enough it is as we speak....and has been for a few hours....and looks like it will continue for a while!!  How exciting!  :) 

So I just had to share a pic of a lake, that's pretty close to where we live, that's starting to look like a winter wonderland!  :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Uniquely North Carolina

Recently it's been brought to my attention that there are a few products that are either unique to NC or originally from (and still made) here!  I suppose there are probably more things too....but this is all I know about for now.

Pepsi -- Started out as "Brad's Drink" in 1883 in New Bern, NC.  Caleb Bradham made it in his pharmacy and wanted to make a drink that would taste good and aid in digestion.  By 1903 it had been renamed Pepsi Cola and had moved from his drugstore to a warehouse.  The Coca-Cola Company tried to buy Pepsi three different times but Pepsi declined.  Then the rest is really just history.

Pepsi is obviously sold practically everywhere now, although it still has a pretty great presence in North Carolina.  (Especially the Pepsi plant in Winston-Salem.)  Man do I love Pepsi...and it's really kind of fun to find out it all started here!  :)

Krispy Kreme -- These delicious doughnuts were started back in 1937 in Winston-Salem, NC.  It's now a chain of doughnut stores around the world.  In addition to being sold in their stores, you can find them at gas stations, supermarkets and Target stores.

As you already know, I'm not the biggest fan (or really a fan at all) of donuts...but you know a fresh, warm glazed donut from KKreme is really quite delish!  :)

Cheerwine -- This delicious soft drink was invented in 1917 by the Carolina Beverage Corporation in Salisbury, NC.  Cheerwine is a very carbonated, sweet cherry drink.  It was named for its color and taste.  The company also has other Cheerwine flavored delights such as ice cream and sherbet.  

You can find Cheerwine is most of the Southeastern US from WV to GA but is best known in VA and the Carolinas.  In 2005 other parts of the US started bottle Cheerwine, mostly through Pepsi distributors.  Cheerwine partnered with Krispy Kreme in July 2010 to make a Cheerwine flavored donut--only available in Salisbury, NC. 

I've had a taste of Cheerwine and it is very different and quite yummy.  J on the other hand just LOVES it!  It's all he ever drinks when we are at one of our friends' house.  I suppose I should start buying some for us to have at our place.  :)

Isn't it interesting how they all have some connections too??!!??  I think I'm done with my random trivia for the day though!  Happy Friday and weekend!!  :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Trip to KY

Even though we live over 1700 miles from Colorado where most of our family is, we only live about 550 miles from my sister in KY.  So, we took a little road trip up to KY to spend Thanksgiving with my sis and her fam.  We had a great time too!  It was so nice to be able to spend the holiday with family!  :)

We ate lots of great food, spent lots of time catching up and of course some time shopping those great sales!  :)  It even snowed a little while we were there.  Which made all of us native Coloradans happy!  Here's a pic of the kiddos enjoying some time outside.
It was so great to be able to see my sis, her hubby and their kids!  They were so generous and let us stay at their new house for 3 nights!  I'm so glad we got to have Thanksgiving with them!  What a special time!  So even though we all couldn't make it back to CO, at least we could spend it out here together! :)

We all ate at Claudia Sanders' Dinnerhouse while we were there.  Claudia was Coronel Sanders' wife and rumor has it that she was a better cook than him.  Either way, it was a beautiful place to eat dinner and they had great food! (and lots of it!  My sis and I decided to split, which was good because we still got stuffed!)

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!!  :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hi!  I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving!  I plan on spending some good quality time with family and food!  I just love everything about Thanksgiving!  Isn't it great?  This year, like so many others, I have SO much to be thankful for like....my hubs, our fam, new friends, old friends, new places to explore with said hubs....to name a few....and most of all I'm thankful for our awesome God!

Just found this pic and thought it was too cute not to share.  :)
 What are you thankful for?  :)  Gobble, Gobble.  Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

We did it!!!!!

We ran our very first ever 5k this morning!  :)  We paced ourselves well and got to sprint right through the finish line!  I'm not gonna lie though.  It was really fun.  More fun that I thought it would be.  The finish line was such a rush, especially because there was a crowd cheering us on, and they called out our names as we finished.  It was cool.  I feel like we accomplished it.  We did it!  

I know it was just a 5k, but still, we set a goal 7 weeks ago and carried it out till today!  We certainly weren't the fastest, but we also weren't the slowest either!  We had a goal going into it today that we'd finish the 3.1 miles in 45 minutes. (or about 4 mph jogging pace)  It turns out we beat that time by just a little bit!  We came in at 44:19! :)  So, now we have a starting point for next time we do a 5k and how much we need to train to shave off some time!  I'm just so glad we did it!  

We signed up to run it as a recreational run (as opposed to competitive) which was nice to take some pressure off.   There were around 1200 runners today which really seemed like a good group of people.  It was nice for our first one to not be a humongous one like in a big city!  And of course, I got to wear my sweet SparkleSkirt and we wore our team shirts! :)

We got free Chic-Fil-A sandwiches, bananas and Gatorade after we finished too, which was pretty great too. Actually, I think those were the best sandwiches EVER!  :)  Here are some pics from today...
Here's what our shirts we got look like.  Cute huh?
Here's the Turkey, who actually did run the race!  Funny?  I think so.  :)  I bet he was HOT in that costume and jacket! 
 Ready to start! 
 After the race and just about to our jeep.  I think our shirts worked out nicely!  :)
 Fall colors.  :)

Anyway, I think we can actually call ourselves runners now.  :)  Woohoo!

Monday, November 15, 2010

On Mountains High...

Have you heard the of this name?  It's great.  I'll embed the song below. Yesterday I had the opportunity to sing in an ensemble at our Church.  We sang this song, and I also got to do the solo!  Our version was a little different than this recording below because we did it in 4 part harmony, and I had the solo instead of a man.  :) 
It's a really good song though. Great things to remember, that no matter what may happen I will praise His name! Whether I'm having a great day, or a not so great day. He is the Lord and has known me since before time, and has a plan for my life. I just need to trust Him and His timing.



Saturday, November 13, 2010

I really might just be a crazy cat lady after all....

:)  haha!  It's true though.  I have often joked about being a "crazy cat lady" in the past, but now...it's kind of true!

You see, a couple of months ago we went to an arts and crafts fair.  While we were walking around enjoying the various booths, there was one for a local cat shelter.  They were giving away little tiny bags of cat nip to take home to your cat.  They gave us one and some literature about their shelter.  Then they also told me about the giveaway they were having for a cat necklace.  So, I decided to sign up, because...well....we have a cat...I like cats...(at least ours)...and I like necklaces...(in general)...   So, I did. 

So two months pass and I completely forgot about it.  Completely.  Totally and utterly forgot about it.  Till yesterday when I got my mail and received a package with a little box inside.  I saw that box and immediately remembered what it had contained just a few short months ago.  Yep, it was in there still...the cat necklace.  So....now I am the proud owner of a rather large, yet rather adorable (even if it makes me look like a crazy cat lady) necklace!  :)

Here it is...  :)  It is silver and gold with little rhinestones for the tail.

And, the cat is actually a pin too.  :)

So....I guess I just may be that crazy cat lady after all.....at least now I have a sweet necklace to prove it!  :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Grateful

You know, we had another great whole weekend.  I just realized today, we really always do!  We are so grateful for our new place to explore, new friends, new Church and new found life together so far from home.  :)  I know I already blogged about the wedding we had the opportunity to attend on Saturday afternoon/evening, but we also did other things this weekend I didn't talk about.

Our friends C & T had us over for dinner on Friday night, and we had a great time.  T cooked again, and it was fantastic.  Then the four adults played Balderdash until the wee hours of the morning!  And we had SO much fun.  You know, you really get to know people better playing that game.  I still love it...although I had a bit of an off night...because T beat us all!  lol  :)

Saturday morning J and I went for our big weekly run and it went really well....even though it was pouring freezing cold rain!  We were tough though and just ran through it!  I even impressed myself really!  Next time I will wear another shirt though, because I did get rather cold in my soaking wet long sleeved t-shirt.  You live and you learn though right?!?

We spent the rest of Saturday getting some things done before heading off to the wedding.  Speaking of the wedding again, here's what I put together for a gift.  The did register for things, but not many things were left...and the things that were left were far out of our price range.  So, I put together a "game night" date at home kit.  
I really like the way it turned out.  We got a couple of these types of gifts for our wedding and they were some of our faves!  Anyway, I put some special Japanese sodas, popcorn, candy, and three different games.  The best part about gifts like this, is that you can customize to their tastes, your tastes or your budget super, super easily!  :)

Anyway, we also had a good Sunday at Church in the morning, a nap in the early afternoon, getting some things done during the rest of the afternoon and a bonus choir rehearsal in the evening.  So we had quite a full weekend of things, but also got some time to relax and enjoy the cooler fall weather.  It's been unseasonably cool here lately...like 15 degrees cooler than normal.  But it's all good.  :)  At least it's not 90+ anymore!

We really are so blessed to have so many great people in our lives, near and far!  :)  That includes you!  Happy Monday!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A fall wedding

You know, I just love weddings.  They are so happy.  So fun.  So great!  You know what I mean?  Pretty dresses.  Tuxedos.  Flowers.  Gifts overflowing on the gift table.  Laughter.  Tears.  Joy.  And most importantly, the beautiful Bride and her Groom.  It all just makes me happy and smile. :)  Ok...anyway, we got to a wedding this afternoon/evening. 

You're probably wondering just where this wedding was because we just moved here...but yep it was in NC!  In fact it was for one of J's co-workers and he and his fiance were totally on the ball on inviting us to their wedding just one short month after we moved here.  Isn't that super nice?  I was impressed.  :)

The wedding took place at the Rand Bryan House in Garner, NC which is just outside the capital of Raleigh.  It's this beautiful house that was built around the turn of the century (if I remember right) and is SUPER cute!  The actual Ceremony took place outside the house and the Reception was inside. 

The only thing that wasn't quite perfect was the fact that is was about 45 degrees at 3:30 this afternoon when the Ceremony happened.  Wowsers....that's chilly when you are sitting in a folding chair on some soggy grass in a "little black dress" (that's not so little, but you know what I mean...) and the wind is blowing.  Luckily J and I brought our pretty-weatherproof jackets with us!  I had mine on and his over and around my legs, and was still chilly.  And so was every other woman there, including the bridesmaids and the poor bride.  There bare shoulders just made me shiver looking at them. 

Regardless, it was a beautiful, sweet and thankfully short ceremony!  :)  Then we got to go inside or some appetizers and "cocktails" which consisted of wine, beer or pop and we chose pop.  There was also thankfully, seating chart!  So we got to sit at a table with three other co-workers and their wives (which seems obvious I know....) and luckily it was the ones who are all Dr's too.  Not that I have anything against grad students...it's just nice to be around other people than them. 

Dinner was served around 5 and it was great too!  I had the asparagus stuffed chicken while Jesse had some of that and some London broil.  They also had salad, twice baked potatoes and broccoli which were also very good!   Then dancing, toasting, cake cutting and more dancing followed.  We even "tore up" the dance floor a bit. (According to the groom...embarrassing?!?!?  I think so! :/  ) 

We did get to talk to the bride and groom a little bit and then we were off to get home.  I still can't get used to it getting dark so early...and tomorrow it will be even worse because of daylight savings time.  lol  I suppose I will get used to it soon again...I just don't know how we are going to like having to run in the dark.  :/  

Anyway, thanks for reading and all the support these last few days.  :)  Sorry I seem to have rambled quite a bit again...and also managed to not get a single pic of this wedding.  It was beautiful though.....  :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Results of the MRI

Alright, I got the results to my MRI.  I actually got them late yesterday, but wanted to digest the info and look at the images with my hubs.  :)  My sweetie also took me out to dinner since it'd been a long day (and week).  We managed to find a Texas Roadhouse in North Durham, and had an excellent dinner there last night.  Love that place.

I'm still SO surprised that I already got the results!  But I am so glad! :)   Ok, on to the results!  Everything is normal.  So the good news is:  my brain (and everything in my head) is fine!!!  While the bad news is:  we still have no idea what is causing the chronic headaches.... 

At least we can cross a few more things off the list, and those are the more serious ones that we can cross off.  But still...no definitive answer.  In fact, we may never have one.  I'm still trying to keep my chin up though.  I'm confident God is in control, and I'll just have to hang on tight for the ride. 

I suppose I need to focus on dietary things like headache triggers and also my stress levels for the next month or so till my follow-up appointment with my Dr. 

Oh and did I mention that the pictures of my brain are amazing?  I really can't get enough of them.  MRI's are so cool because they show all the tissue and stuff, but not really the bone.  It's so detailed that I can tell the profile is mine because of my nose.  And I can tell it's me because of the scars from my ear piercings.  (I have three on one side and two on the other.)  Cool huh?  Ok....maybe I'm too amused by them...  ;)

Hope everyone is doing well.  I really do want to thank you for all the kind words, thought and prayers throughout these last few days.  :)  Hope you have a great weekend!!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

MRI--Check

I had my MRI at 7:00am this morning.  I'm SO relieved it's over!  Now it's just the waiting game for finding out the results.  They did however give me a CD of all the images of my brain.  So that's been amusing to look at, and hard to try not to decipher!....but I'm trying to be a good girl and just wait for the Professionals to get back to me. :)  Oh and:  this is why I got the MRI and what I found out about my eyes yesterday.

Anyway, the Dr. just scheduled my MRI for 7am this morning.  I don't think I would have chosen to have it that early...but it worked out SO well because J could go there with me!  :)  We left our place at about 6am and headed over to the Hospital.  We made it to the parking lot around 6:30 and made our way to the Radiology Department.  All the while it was raining pretty steadily--quite fitting right?  ;)

I had to fill out some paperwork once I checked in and since J was going to be in the room with me, he had to fill some out too.  We got taken back right at about 7 and put our things in a locker.  (Since nothing metal can be in the room with the MRI (large magnetic imaging device).  Then we were sent to a room with lots of medical supplies, vitals and things in it.  After sitting there for a few moments a nice nurse came in and was asking me more questions. 

Then another nurse came in and sat right next to me.  She asked which arm I wanted to use.  And since I wasn't aware of the fact I'd be having an IV, I just assumed she needed to draw some blood.  So I said, "you can use either arm to draw the blood".  Then she informed me (gently) that I was going to have an IV.  *YIKES* I thought...but after a failed attempt near my elbow, she followed my advice for doing it in my hand.  (Which is the only place I've ever had an IV...well, I'd only ever had an IV once before today which was back in '95 when I had a tonsilectomy.)

So, then it was on to the actual MRI....it looked something like this below to my delight.  It was made in 2005 (I noticed the year on the sticker) and it's a newer style of MRI machine, which is a short bore.  And, the even better part is that I didn't have to ever go in it all the way.  Since they were just imaging my brain, they just centered my head under the center of the machine.  So, I was only in it up to my waist.  --Big relief!!!!--  And, J got to stand right by me the whole time, and he held my leg.  Sweet huh? :)   The imaging only took about 20 minutes altogether.  (With the images and breaks, and break to insert to contrasting dye, etc...)  And, I got to wear the clothes I wore there, which were completely metal free.   So glad I didn't have to wear a gown.  :)
So, by about 8:05 or so, we were out the door with the CD of all my brain images in hand.  Pretty sweet right?  :)  Now, I just don't know how long it will take to actually get the reports from the images they took today....but I can sure rest assured that I made it through the MRI itself and that they didn't find anything SO bad that they had to do surgery right away!  God is in control and I'll rest in that.  :)  Thanks for all the prayers.  I really appreciate it!

Oh and afterwards we stopped at Dunkin Donuts Cupcakes to get some breakfast.  ;)   So apparently I really do like donuts afterall....perhaps that is why I accidentally said that on Tuesday....

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Free cupcake?

So, I have to tell you this story.  I meant to blog about it last night...but didn't get a chance.  (With all the election coverage and DWTS!) 

Ok, so on Monday night I had noticed that Sugarland in CH was going to give free cupcakes to anyone who voted in Tuesday's election that came in with their sticker on.  So, I was excited to see that, and since I was going to vote anyway that was in my plan for my election day. 

Fast forward to yesterday (election day) afternoon.  I'd already voted and with my sticker on my shirt I drove over to Chapel Hill to get claim my free cupcake.  I'd never driven downtown CH before...and definitely not during the day and parking was a bit of an issue.  Eventually I found a spot, paid for my spot and made my way to Sugarland.  It was only two or three blocks away and it was a cool fall day with people crawling the streets.  Most of the people were minding their own business...except for those who weren't. I mean, there were some people who were asking for money, etc...and they'd hit on me and then ask for money.  --For the record, that doesn't make me anymore likely to give you money if you hit on me.-- 

So, then, there is was, right in front my face.  I could smell their goodies from across the street as I waited for the light to change.  As I crossed the street my nerves were getting weak...did I really just come here for a free cupcake?!!??!  Yes.  Okay...better go in.  So, as I walked through their doors I noticed all their tables were filled with people eating their deliciously, sugary purchases. 

I made my way to the counter and said, "I voted.  Do I get a free donut?"  Direct quote from my mouth.  And no, you didn't read it wrong.  I didn't write it wrong either.  I was in this wonderful, renowned bakery and asked for not just something free, but I asked for a free item they don't even carry!!  Embarassing!!!!  And for the record.  I don't even like donuts.  At all.... 

So, after a moment passed and I realized what had come from my mouth and also that I hadn't just melted into a puddle that could seep out the door....I regained my composure and asked for a cupcake.  Then I profusely apologized, and cited that I knew about this offer from being a fan on facebook AND that I just loved all their cakes, etc.... 

The gal was surprisingly nice about it.  I can't assume that she's ever been asked that before.  I mean, really, who goes into a cupcakery and asks for a donut?!?!?!  But, she was super polite and still gave me a free cupcake.  I had to buy one for my hubs (not just because I wanted to be nice to him, but because I had just insulted their sweet little shop by asking for a free donut) and I gave her a good tip.

I mean seriously....what was I thinking?!?!?!?!?!?!?  Perhaps it was the creepy street people who had made me flustered...or the traffic or parking ordeal....  I don't know, but quite possibly this was the most embarassing thing I have ever, ever, ever done.  Or at least in the last month.  :)  Hopefully it gave you a laugh though!  :) 

Eye Results


Well, I got some answers today...but not the ones I've been hoping for.  I guess I had been hoping that maybe all these headaches were just related to my eyes getting worse and a new stronger prescription would fix it all.  Well....not the case.  My eyes are about the same as they were three years ago.  Which is actually a good thing for my eyes...it just means that I still don't know anything more about the headaches.  (I just have a slight prescription for glasses for night driving...my eyes aren't ever bad enough to be restricted at all for driving.)

I went to a an eye Dr. in Raleigh and wowsers, it was a busy morning to be driving there!  The interstates were packed and I had a bit of a hard time finding the actual Dr.'s office.  After finally finding it and also finding a parking place in the garage next door, I waded through people and cars to find my way up to the waiting room. 

I didn't have to wait for long, and soon I found myself getting poked and prodded...ok not really...but I was soon getting my eyes examined in every possible way.  The Glaucoma test came out fine but they did this old school type of test with this pen looking thing touching my eye. (Instead of the puff test that I had previously been exposed to.)  Then put the drops in to dilate my eyes, and sent me out to the small waiting room to wait for them to dilate.

After a few minutes the Dr. came to get me for the rest of the check up and was very  VERY VERY surprised to find my eyes to be VERY (VERY) dilated.  LOL....anyway, my optical nerve is also just fine.  In fact, she said it was beautiful.  So that's good right?!?  Long story short...my eyes are still SUPER dilated...hopefully they'll go back to normal at some point.  Light is not my friend today because of it....

Oh and she said I have some eye strain.  I guess all of us, as humans, concentrate too much when reading.  So, whether we are reading a book, magazine, paper or on the computer, we get so involved that we don't blink enough.  Literally, we don't blink enough and then that makes our eyes dry out.  (They create tears and lubricate while blinking.) So, she recomended that every hour or so that I am reading/on the computer, I use some artificial tears.  So that's a pretty easy thing to remember right?  You can do the same!  :)

So, good news and bad news right?  Good news being that my eyes are fine.  Bad news because that's not the cause of all the headaches.  We are still getting answers though....so I can't really complain.  Plus, my MRI is still this week....so we'll find out more soon!!!!!!!!!!!  :)  Thanks for all the continued support and prayers.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Don't forget!

to Vote tomorrow!  It's not a Presidential election, but it's still a good time to get out and make your voice (vote) heard!  J and I are going to go early...and hopefully not have to wait in line too long....  :)

We had a great weekend!  Hope everyone else did!  We only had about 15 trick-or-treaters come by, but they were all very polite and quite adorable!  Most were under age 5 and oh, so, sweet!  So that was fun!  We watched "Little Women" which is one of my all time favorite movies, and J had never seen it.  He actually wanted to see it, especially after he found out how much I liked it!  It turns out, I love it even more than I remembered, and he liked it too!!!!  Check it out if you haven't had the opportunity to see it!  :) 

Jo is my favorite character, and she really is quite a character.  She reminds me a lot of myself too...which is probably why I like her.  :)  Man, I just love that movie though.  Can't wait till next time I see it.  :)  Oh, and good book too!!

Anyway, we also had a good Monday and start to our week.  Plus we are right back on track with our training and already in week 5!  So, we will be racing before we know it!!!!  Exciting and scary at the same time!  :)

Well, try to remember and get out to vote tomorrow!  (If you haven't already done early voting.)  And, have a great week!!!!!!!  We're going to try to!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Our pumpkin!

Well, I don't know about you...but we still like to carve a good ol' pumpkin each year!  (Ok, well...this is our third year as a married couple...and I don't see that ending anytime soon! :)  J usually makes the top and then scoops out the insides.  Tonight he even cleaned off the seeds for me to roast which was super helpful!  Then I did the carving.  (Well, for the most part...I did require some more help...you'll probably understand why below....)  Good team effort though right?  That's why we are Team Jsquared!  ;)

So here she is....and just how we did it! 

Cookie cutter technique.
I found out about this technique last year in the Halloween issue of Better Homes and Gardens Mag.  Great idea huh?  :)  I really liked it...

Finished!
Isn't it quite adorable?  We think so.... 

Happy Halloween!  :)

Glowing.

Colors and a walk in the park

So today we drove to the park where our 5k is going to be in a few weeks.  It's just a short drive from where we live, and it was such a beautiful drive to the park....here's a view from the car. You can only see a glimpse of just how pretty it's becoming here from all the changing colors...but trust me.  It's pretty!  :)  In fact, this is when it's nice having SO many trees e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e! 
 Anyway, the course is nice and mostly flat.  Not that anything is actually flat around here...or anywhere really.  But it's a nice course that somewhat goes around a lake.  The path is paved and wide enough for 4 people most of the length.  The park was fairly busy today too with people rollerblading, biking, running, walking, speed walking, lounging, play baseball, etc....  We had a good run today too, which is good because we didn't quite get all our work outs in this week.  (We were gone 3 of the last 4 nights and busy 4 of the last 4.)  But today went well, and we're still improving so that's always good! 

Oh!!!!  And I got my SparkleSkirt in the mail yesterday and got to test it out today!  I wanted to make sure I had the right leggings to work with it while running.  Turns out it was good to test my leggings out...because they were annoying...so I am going with another pair next time.  Anyway, I can't believe how fast I got my skirt, and it really is as adorable as it looked online!!!  :)
While we were running at the lake we noticed one woman stopping to look at something.  It turns out she was watching these turtles.  So we stopped for a few pics too.  Aren't they cute?!?!?

Beautiful changing colors, spending time with my sweet hubby and seeing fun little turtles really just made our run, a walk in the park!  So hopefully we'll be thinking that in a few weeks too! ! ;)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Answers

Well, I tried to blog about this in a post a couple of weeks ago...I had titled it "Health" because I was going to do an update on that subject. Then I posted it and chickened out, about being truly that transparent...so I deleted that part of the post and reposted it. So, I guess there is a chance that some of you may have had the opportunity to read the first version of that post....but it's pretty unlikely.

As you know it's been hard for me to write about things other than butterflies and rainbows...you know, I like to think that I have it all together and everything is going fine. And for the most part, that is true. But not always true....this is still harder to talk about.... It's not about the news. It's not even something about my hubby. It's about me. And only me. My heart is racing so much just thinking about writing this on here. But the thing is....that if you know about this you can keep me in your prayers. Plus, it'll be me actually, really, truly being real with you. That said....here it goes... (Still easier said than done....)

I've been having chronic headaches for the last few years. I guess that's no big secret, especially because I know a lot of people get headaches a lot. But for the last year or so, these have been really bad and very chronic headaches. Like, 5 out of 7 days a week headaches...that are mostly migraines. Anyway, I've gone to the Dr. before about my headaches and they basically just wrote it off... So, when I was meeting with my new Primary Care Physician here in NC, I talked with him about the headaches.

While they could be something to do with dietary habits, etc...he thinks there is a possibility it could be something more. So, he's having me get an MRI of my brain next week. And on a less serious note, he's also having me get my eyes checked--and I have an appt for that next week too. So....I suppose by the end of next week or so, we should have some answers...and know something! (hopefully)

As far as the whole MRI things goes...at least we live in this great area with tons of Medical experts and everything, with lots of technology around. But...I'm still rather nervous about it. I don't know if it's a regular old fashioned MRI, or a new open MRI or that short Bore MRI they make now either... I am hoping it's an open one or the short bore because they seem a little less nerve racking... Either way, I know it'll go fine, and hopefully give us all some answers. It's just kind of crazy though...yep....heart still pounding by the way.

While it's probably something like dietary habits or my eyesight or something....it's just crazy (or more like scary) to think that it really could be something more serious. I could let my imagination go on this one...but I'm trying not to. The bad possibilities are endless really....but no matter the way it turns out, I need to be (and am) confident that God will give me the strength to get through it. It's a great thing that I have a loving and caring hubby to support me through all this. As well as a great Mom, I can talk to and can support me!

So, all that said....I'd like to as for some prayers please. :) Thanks. I'll let you know as soon as I find something out too.  (Wow...sorry this ended up being a really long post...thanks for reading.)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Keep on, keeping on...

So, hope the weather's ok where you are.  It's been rather crazy this week across a pretty big hunk of the country.  :/  Including, but certainly not limited to, North Carolina.  Right now we have another Tornado Watch until 9pm.  I guess I don't mind those so much....just when it gets to Tornado Warnings that I get rather on edge.  Anyway, hope y'all are staying warm, dry and safe!  :)

Well, last night I finally broke down and ordered a SparkleSkirt!!  :)  I just got an email from them saying they just shipping it this morning too!!!  So, I should have it soon!! I just can't wait to see what it looks like!!!  Also can't wait to run in it and, of course eventually, race in it!!!  :) 

Magenta fabric for SparkleSkirt.com
J has been going to a conference this week.  It started yesterday, is all day today and then ends tomorrow afternoon. It's in this area, so he's been coming home as usual.  I guess that's one of the added bonuses of living in this area of NC, where there are 3 major Universities and numerous other ones all within a 1/2 hour or so!  :)
 The Pastor of our Church just came over last night to talk to us.  We had a really nice visit and we all got to know each other better.  It's so nice to be going to a Church where the Pastor wants to get to know us, and actually can too!  :)  Oh, and I think I mentioned that we joined the Church Choir a month or so ago.  Anyway, I'm actually going to be in an ensemble in a few weeks, and have the solo for the ensemble piece too!!  Cool huh?  It's so nice that we found a great Church where we've been able to learn from the sermons, connect with people and get involved in ministry already!  So many answered prayers. :)

Treats and sweet tea (and our cat) all ready for the Pastor's visit....


Monday, October 25, 2010

North Carolina State Fair: III

Check out part I here, and part II here of our weekend at the State Fair.

We got to go to the Darius Rucker concert on Saturday night!  It was fantastic!!  Seriously.  He's a great entertainer...but I guess that makes sense because he's been doing this for over 20 years!  :)  He even played some Hootie songs which was cool!  And of course he sang stuff from his solo country career!!  It was a sold out show, and a much smaller venue than a lot that J and I have been to before!!  It was great!!  I took a lot of pics so I could get some decent ones....so here's a few...  :)  

First song and sweet lighting.

Tap, tap, tap.

We could get up from our seats to try to get a better pic...turns out I had better luck with my zoom from my seat!  LOL  But here's one from closer to the stage.  :)

He made an effort to sing to everyone in the venue.  I love it when they do that!
Some cute music on the screens.  :)

Darius did two encores too!  Yep, you read it right....not one encore, but two!!  Cool huh?!?
We had such a great day at the fair, and this concert was an awesome end to it!!!  Turns out this was a record year for the state fair in NC too!!  There were over 1million people in attendance over the 10 days!  Wow!  That's a lot of people!  I'm so glad we got to go to a State Fair finally, and I'm glad we had a safe, fun and exciting time while we were there!!!  :)

Oh....and I didn't even mention that since it was SO busy on Saturday we had to park a couple miles away from the fairgrounds.  The lot (or actually it was a field) was free parking, and they also had a free shuttle to the grounds.  There were a lot of people who parked there, and subsequently had to wait in line for the shuttles, but it only took a half an hour to get to our shuttle and then it was a hop, skip and jump to the grounds.  Then we had a great day and hopped back on a shuttle to get back to our car.  And at 11pm or so we got home...and hardly had to deal with any traffic because we parked away from the fair!  So that was nice!  :)

North Carolina State Fair: II


We really had such a fun filled day at the fair.  There were over 150,000 people there on Saturday.  Do you realize that is more than twice the size of the town I grew up in?!?!?!  Yep.  Lots of people. 

There were so many things to see while we were there, that I can't possibly even really start to explain it.  I mean, it was such an experience.  So many different exhibits.  So many animals, award winning veggies/fruit, food, art...the list just goes on and on.  We had a great time even though we were quite overwhelmed from the whole thing!  So I will try to show some of what we saw.  :)
Yep, they really do fry everything in the south....even candy bars.  These actually looked quite tasty though.... but we didn't try them.  (They looked about like a corn dog, even on a stick!)
 Then they even had Krispy Kreme Burgers.  Yep, just like they sound.  Imagine two donuts with a patty, cheese, bacon and all the fixins in between.  Do you think that sounds good or gross?  J and I decided it just sounded unappealing....but definitely interesting!
 This was a new ride at the fair this year.  It's called the "Fighter" and looked pretty interesting.  I guess there are only a couple of these in the US, so it was a big deal to be at the fair.  It seemed to be pretty popular too....but we didn't end up riding anything.  (Too much else to do and see!)
 Here you can see a few more rides.  I love this pic.  
 Then there was this ride, it started out horizontal and end up like this--practically vertical!  There were WAY more screams coming from this one, than all the rest of the rides combined!  LOL!



 There was a whole building that featured people who do crafts from yesterday.  Most were in costume and working their respective crafts.  Like the pics above, where he is working with is floor loom.  Cool huh?  :) There were also people who braided rugs, made baskets, carved wood, built chairs, painted, made tops and more.  We really enjoyed this building in particular and found some stocking stuffers for our nieces and nephews.  :) 


There we lots of award winning animals and you know how much we love farm animals.  So we tried to see as many we could!  Here are some highlights.  :)
 A Brahman calf.  Isn't she cute?!?!?!  So majestic!  And I just love the floppy ears and silver color!!!  I love cows.  :)
 Mini donkeys.  Aw...and babies.
 We got to see a goat show at the Exhibition Building too!

It wasn't all just fun and games.  There were also a lot of educational parts of the fair...like this car below.
 Was that text really that important?  and Dead End sure made impressions on us.  Hope teens and other drivers got the message too.
 A Sweet helicopter was there too.  Also a mobile command center, and some older sweet patrol cars.
 Here was my pic on display.  Unfortately I didn't place or get an honorable mention at the fair.  I'm still glad that I entered though.  There were a lot of entries, and a lot of great ones.  J and I weren't huge fans of the winners though.  Especially the blue ribbon winner of the Professional category....I guess we just didn't get what was so great about it.  But there certainly was a lot of great talent on display there, and it was a good experience.  Maybe next year?  :)


Next I will post about who we got to see in concert at the fair!!!  :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

North Carolina State Fair

Howdy!  I think I will break up my post about our trip to the State Fair because I have that many pictures and that much to say about it!  :)  We had a great time yesterday and spent about 12 hours there....so naturally, there's a lot to tell!  It was such a great experience, and interesting time because this was our first State Fair ever!  Colorado's State Fair is held down in Pueblo, which is far from where we lived.  So it's nice that the NC State Fair is in the Capital--which also just so happens to be in the center of the state!  :)

Here's a few pic to get this started....

 A Bluegrass stage with entertainment throughout the fair.
 Some of the Master Gardens...notice the surfer dude hanging in the trees.
 More of the garden.  I love this flower "tree".  :)
 The first and second place gourd winners.
 Isn't this a cook way to carve your squash?!?!  Love it...especially all the Santas.
The award winning pumpkins. Sweet?  The 1st place winner was 369lbs.  Wow.