Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Bed Tent

I am this close to looking around on Ebay and buying a bed tent, just like the one I had when I was a kid. Of course, I would also need to buy a twin bed to go along with it. If there is a company out there that manufactures queen-sized bed tents, I would be eternally grateful. Winter - specifically Christmastime - tends to make me nostalgic for my old toys. Probably because I usually got them for Christmas, then played with them through the winter before chucking them in my closet in the warmer months. I would love to ask for Barbies, Hot Wheels, Legos, Creepy Crawlers, and Batman posters this year.

I am sure my friends and family would be happy to buy me those things. They are all cheaper than the stuff on my wish list these days. I could have all of the Legos in the world, but it would never be as fun as it was when I was nine. So I'll ask for clothes and shoes and jewelry and kitchen appliances, and have the grown-up version of fun. I guess I can't complain... I like dressing myself up instead of Barbies and driving a real car instead of Hot Wheels. I cook meals and desserts instead of Creepy Crawlers, and I hang up art and photos of my family instead of movie posters. Not a bad trade-off.

I'm still going to hunt around on Ebay, because nothing can replace the bed tent.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Baby Jesus vs. Baby Gap

It is not hard for me to get caught up in the Christmas excitement, but sometimes I can go the entire season without getting in the right Christmas-frame-of-mind. I love shopping and decorations and Gap ads for scarves as much as the next girl. I love shiny, loud Christmas. I love making lists of gifts and lists of card recipients and lists of treats to make for my neighbors. I love listening to pop Christmas songs sung by Ashley Tisdale and Kelly Clarkston. I tend to get wrapped up in the excitement.

This morning I am listening to a "Classic Christmas" station on Pandora. It is mostly church choirs. It reminds me of going to see the Mormon Tabernacle Choir when I was little, walking around Temple Square to see the lights, and eating Christmas dinner at my Grandpa's house. Even though the religion is not part of my life anymore, those were the Christmas traditions of my childhood.

There is a big difference between that flashy Rudolph Christmas and the subdued, reverent Christmas. It is the difference between going to the mall and helping out at the homeless shelter. The great thing about this time of year, is that there is plenty of time for both. You can buy your sister a colorful scarf and pick up a toy for a little girl on the Angel tree. They will both help you get into the spirit of things, but in different ways.

I'm certainly not getting on a high horse here about how we should all be kind to our fellow man and avoid the commercialized Christmas. As soon as I get sick of this station, I am sure that I will switch it back over to young pop stars singing Santa Baby. I love commercialized Christmas. (Except for those stupid Jared/Zales/Kay jewelry ads.) It is just nice to get a little glimpse of that kind of Christmas spirit that comes from inside instead of being thrown at you every time you turn on the television or open a magazine.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I Feel Too Christmas-y To Go To Work

For the last few weeks at work we have been moving our office, which means that everyone has been in jeans and sneakers and not much work has been done. Tomorrow is the first day that we will all be buckling down again, wearing office-y clothes, and trying to catch up. I'm hoping that wearing a dress and heels will be enough to get me in the buckle-down-and-work mood after the weirdness of the move and this glorious long weekend.

I am in the first week of a new course at school, and my last two courses have been a little off-kilter due to all of the visitors and traveling. I struggled to keep up, assignments were late, and I didn't get the best grades. So far I'm on track, even ahead, in this course. It's another thing to attack with a renewed sense of motivation.

Unfortunately, with Christmas coming and my excitement at our upcoming trip home, I am having a hard time being motivated to do anything besides bake Christmas cookies, decorate my house, and go to the gym so I look extra-great when I see family. And shop for presents, of course.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Catch Up Blogging

We have had a crazy year! Apparently so crazy that I have completely neglected my blog. A lot has happened in the last few months. I got a new job in the Intelligence Analysis Training Program section of Lockheed Martin, which means I am working in Levi's office now. I'm the Training Administrator for all of our courses. Levi is an instructor for the Analyst's Notebook Applied course, and he was recently promoted to Course Manager. Our office just moved closer to our house, and both Levi and I got our own offices with big windows. Windows + promotions = we like our jobs.

Levi went out of town for work/Army Reserves for the month of October, so naturally I booked a bunch of visitors and trips. It was so great to have everyone come visit. Grandma & Grandpa Averett, Mom, and Tobi and Brady, all within six weeks! I also got to visit my family in Southern Utah for a few days, which was fantastic. On top of all of that, as soon as Levi got back from his business trip, we jumped on a plane and flew to Manzanillo, Mexico for Ashley & Adil's wedding. That trip was so incredible that it gets its very own blog post.

I decided to relive my awkward pre-teen/teen years and get braces again. Here is a lesson for all of you kiddies out there - when you get your braces off and your orthodontist tells you to wear your retainer, DO IT! Otherwise you will be a 27-year-old metal mouth. I was really dreading getting them on, but it is not as bad as I thought. I mean, it sucks, but it is not the end of the world like I made it out to be.

So, that is what we have been up to lately. We have had such an incredible year; I'll try to post more good times before 2009 is over. Every time I tell my grandma about the fun things we are doing, she tells me that I really need to keep a journal. I always take a lot of photos and post things on Facebook, but I thought that updating my blog more than annually might also be a good thing to do. Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, June 15, 2009

5K and 50 Miles in 30 Days

Regardless of the fact that I am online all day and part of every evening, I cannot seem to keep up a blog! Maybe there is some way to link it up to my Facebook since everyone knows I spend plenty of time there.

This spring/summer I ahve really been pushing myself to run as often as possible. I used to prefer weight training to cardio, but now that it is such a hassle for me to get to the gym after work, I would rather head out for a run and put off weights until the weekend.

One of the goals on my list is to run a 5K. Last weekend I decided to jump on a treadmill and see if I could make it all of the way to the end. Turns out, I can run over three miles without stopping now. I have come very far from my first 3/4 mile run last summer. After I ran three miles, I signed up for a 5K next Saturday in Alexandria. I am excited to accomplish taht goal and mark it off of my list.

I do not want to finish this 5K, then start slacking off on the running. I decided to challenge myself to run 50 miles in 30 days. I started on Saturday, June 13th and I will go until July 12th. That is somewhere between 1/5 and 2 miles each day. I am confident that I can make it, but it is going to be hard. What better way to push myself to keep running? I need to think of a fun reward if I do run the full 50. A massage? A small shopping spree? A day at an amusement park?

I have a few summer goals to keep me busy over the next few months. One of them is to sign up to finish school. I really really really need to just get it done. I told myself that if I got married and starting moving on with my life before I finished, I would never finish. I should have listened to myself! Now is the time, while we are living in one place and we do not have kids.

Anyone have their own exciting summer goal list?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Good News For the New Year

In my last post I complained that, despite my increased cardio stamina and decreased running times, I was not losing pounds. I decided to forget about the weight loss for the winter months and just concentrate on keeping up my new hobby.

Levi and I went home for Christmas, then we both came home sick, so it was hard to go to the gym. We managed to keep going at least once a week during that time. Now we are back to three times each week and cardio in between (when it is not too cold). Since the beginning of the year I have lost three pounds and I am well on my way to meeting my goal of losing four pounds by the end of January.

Because of the winter running lapse I am not doing as well with my endurance. I think I took a step back in that department, so I'll just have to keep at it. Again, I am more concerned with just keeping it going until it gets warm outside and running is fun again. I also cannot wait to take my bike down to the trail.

The dress goal is looking good. I went to Obama's Commander in Chief Inaugural Ball on Tuesday night. I wore a dress that was a size smaller than I would have a year ago!

Layoffs All Around

One of my favorite people at work was laid off, and today was her last day. It is so sad to see her go. She is not local, so I can't even take her out to lunch! All I can do is pay her early.

So many people are being laid off all over the country (and world) right now. Of course I am grateful that Levi and I still have our jobs, and a little worried about the future. Every time I hear a story about someone being laid off from their supposedly secure job, I get a little stab of worry. I guess all we can do is keep our resumes up to date and save as much money as possible.

Good luck to all of you out there. I hope your jobs are secure and you can weather the recession.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My 2008 Favorites

I am finally getting around to putting down my favorite things of 2008. I'll be happy if 2009 is half as great as 2008 was. These are things that made 2008 worth talking about.

1. Getting in (better) shape. Thanks to my walking/biking commute to work, the George Washington Parkway bike trail and our favorite little gym on Fort Belvoir, I am 20 pounds lighter than I was at this time last year.

2. Fireflies. One of my favorite things about moving to a new place is being constantly surprised by the different plants and animals. The birds and trees were enough to keep me excited all year, but nothing topped watching the fireflies.

3. Campaigns and rallies. We spent a good amount of the summer and autumn months at the Obama campaign office. We met some great like-minded people and saw a tiny piece of what it takes to run for a national office. I think it is like working as a towel boy for your favorite football team, then watching them win the Superbowl.

4. Rock Band. Yep, I spent plenty of time plinking away on a plastic guitar or singing into a microphone this year. I like the way you can get anyone to come to your house if you just say that you have Rock Band. A couple of drinks and Rock Band for a few hours... that is what Friday nights are for. Or Wednesday, or Monday...

5. Rachel Maddow on TV. Okay, I rarely get to watch her show on MSNBC because of my cable-less-ness. She has been my favorite political newsperson for the few years that she has been on Air America, and I love love seeing her all over the place now! Go Rachel!

6. The Batman roller coaster at Six Flags America. Hanging over the ground like you are flying. Coolest coaster ever.

7. Bust magazine. I finally subscribed to Bust this year after picking up individual issues for a while. Every new issue is better! Nice job making a magazine for working/crafting/DIYing/indie green feminists who vacuum and make cupcakes! It shows that you can be a feminist and feminine at the same time.

8. Lolcats. I guess technically I started loving this at the end of '07, but who's keeping track? icanhascheezburger.com and punditkitchen.com have turned into staples in my house. Not quite as important, but still worth noting, are lolsecretz and locatbible. Too ridiculous to explain.

9. Teaching ESL lessons. I work for an international business. Along with that comes international people. A few employees from Pakistan and the Philippines got together with me for weekly ESL lessons. I made up the lessons and they completed them in surprisingly creative and funny ways. It helped us get to know each other really well and taught everyone proper comma placement at the same time!

10. My Kenyan chat buddy. On the international note, I have a Skype chat buddy from Kenya. He teaches me words and tells me about his day to day activities. It is nice to hear about how different things are in other places.