Monday, March 31, 2008

We operate under a jury system in this country, and as much as we complain about it, we have to admit that we know of no better system, except possibly flipping a coin.
Dave Barry

Today, right this moment, I am sitting in the back of the jury room doing my patriotic duty.

It smells funny.

The security guards were pretty hardcore.

They took my keys with my father's Swiss Army knife on it (I have to pick them up on my way out).

I wasn't allowed to bring in a bottle of water.

But the Courthouse has WiFi. God bless America.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.
G.B. Stern

Sunday gratitude:

  • My mom drove all the way down here from home to attend my Golden Key Honor Society induction luncheon.

  • Nick's dress shirts freshly starched from the cleaners.

  • Grape Nuts Trail Mix Crunch cereal.

  • Yankee Candle Clean Linen scent.

  • Discovering fabulous new blogs to read.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Anticipation, anticipation
Is makin' me late
Is keepin' me waitin'
Carly Simon

29 days and 7 hours until I graduate with my masters degree!!!

That is all.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A ruffled mind makes a restless pillow.
Charlotte Brontë

Nick gets up each morning at the ungodly hour of 5 a.m. or even earlier. He is a golf professional and thus, must get to work in time for retired men to get an early tee time each day of the week. And then buy a polo shirt in the pro shop.

When he slips out of bed I usually am far too into slumber to realize it. He watches ESPN and eats breakfast in the living room then hops in the shower.

I have another nocturnal creature in the house who steals hair ties in the middle of the night, vomits in secret places and sticks her paws in the bathroom drawers to stir things up a bit.

So when this morning I heard a moving around in the bathroom, in my sleeping daze, I thought Bella was up to no good. Then I heard the faucet turn on...

I sat up quickly and thought outloud, "My goodness, why is Bella brushing her teeth?!"

Nick popped his head out of the bathroom and said, "It's because I lick my butt."

Oh, okay. I better get some more sleep.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I really love it when I find new tricks to keep my life a little more organized. Not just tiddy for the sake of being tiddy but tools that really make it easier.

I have a lot of jewelry. It's not all fancy or expensive but there is a large quantity of it. How can you pass up another pair of $4.99 chandalier earrings at Target or a coral necklace at Stein Mart?! I sure can't.

While I have my good pieces I wear daily - my watch, a few silver bracelets, stud earrings and my engagement ring - I have plenty that doesn't necessarily need to be at closest reach. So as the years went by all my jewelry finds had eventually tangled themselves into a not-fun-pile in a few random boxes.
I knew there had to be a better way to keep all my stuff in good condition, easily accessible but out of the way.

I purchased a small three drawer plastic organizer that fits nicely onto the shelf of my linen closet.

I then took miscellaneous gift box tops and arranged them in each drawer. Each box has a different type of jewelry - sterling silver, anything red, bangles, turquiose, etc. Anything with some substance is just placed in its appropriate box. Anything smaller is dropped into its own small plastic baggy as well.

I don't buy the baggies but instead use the ones that hold the buttons from a work shirt or a pair of pants. As I get more baggies, more small pieces get a nice little plastic home.

The top drawer holds my good jewelry that I don't wear everyday. My pearls, nice rings and good necklaces are kept in their original boxes or soft bags for safe keeping.

My everyday jewelry is placed in a small dish on my dresser so I'm not constantly putting it away and finding it again.

This little system allows me to keep everything in order and I end up wearing so many more of the pieces because I can pick them out so easily.

Works for me!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Television! Teacher, mother, secret lover.
Homer Simpson, The Simpsons

I watch too much TV. It's a fact that my mother reminds me of constantly. It's not that I sit on the couch all evening and watch "the boob tube." It is just something I have on while cooking, cleaning or working on my thesis.

Because I do watch I a lot of TV, I am very loyally to a few shows in particular. I'll share some of my favorites with you... even better, they were all on last night.

Jon & Kate + Eight
This is the only "girly" show Nick will actually sit and watch. I love them, their kids and how they parent. They make me laugh and although they aren't perfect they do a damn good job.

Fascinating, sad and just plain old interesting. Makes you really glad you don't do Heroin.

The Hills
Guiltiest pleasure of them all. Nick refuses to watch this and rolls his eyes whenever I do. I. cannot.stop.watching. The season premier was on last night and I only got through the first 10 minutes before I fell asleep... but I know they will air it only 37,000 times between now and next week.

Bizarre Foods with Andew Zimmern
Don't watch during dinner unless you have a strong stomach. But I love seeing all the places and cultures during his travels (and it makes me thankful to be eating a Lean Cuisine and not a spider. Ew.).

So that's how I waste some time (but hey, I folded laundry during Intervention!).

Monday, March 24, 2008

Well pleaseth me the sweet time of Easter
That maketh the leaf and the flower come out.
Bertran de Born

Nick and I enjoyed Easter at my mom's house. It was a nice little weekend, went to church in the morning and then had a yummy dinner (made my your's truly) on Sunday.

Nick got a great Easter basket from my mom - including candy and new socks. Nothing says Easter like new socks.

Pretty flowers Nick brough for my mom

Sophie was less than thrilled about her Easter bow

Cooking dinner - well, I was cooking and Nick was just being silly

Our famous Bunny Cake - I make it every year!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Sunburn is very becoming, but only when it is even -
one must be careful not to look like a mixed grill.
Noel Coward

My dear friend Casey came down to visit for the day on Sunday. We live realitively close to each other but she manages her parent's restaurants and therefore has the complete opposite schedule of mine. But we stole away one day which was so nice to have her around.

Now let me preface this by saying we were both raised in Florida, she and her husband surf all the time, we know the sun and the climate around here pretty well.

It was a mildly cloudy day on Sunday with a steady breeze. We went to the pool around noon and stayed out there until maybe 2 p.m. It was cool and comfortable. We swam, chatted, snacked and enjoyed laying around.

We heading back to my condo, took showers and went shopping for a bit. Then met Nick for dinner.

As the hours went by after the pool we are watching each other get more and more red. By the time Nick got to the restaurant Casey's chest was nearly plum colored.

Oh my goodness we are both SO SO SO SUNBURNED!

I don't know if it was the cooler weather that kept us from feeling warm or what but we are just both fried. By the time I got ready for bed Sunday night I was cherry red from head to toe. I didn't even let Nick in the bathroom when I was putting aloe on because it looked so terrible.

Now that it's Friday I am finally a semi-normal skin color again - except for my peeling forhead when makes me look like a molting snake - it feels much better.

So no matter how cool or cloudy it may be I am never going without sunscreen slathered all over my skin (although now nice and tan!) ever again!

Me and Casey: after dinner and officially
looking like Lobster-red Minnesota tourists.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A pedestrian is someone who thought there were
a couple of gallons left in the tank.
Author Unknown

Well, the high gas prices have officially affected my life. This morning I was headed to work and I knew I had to get gas.

As in, the little gas light on since yesterday had to get gas.

I always hesitate getting gas right near the interstate because gas is just so darn expensive. So I thought I had enough gas to get off of the interstate and go a little toward work where the prices drop (sometimes by 30 to 50 cents a gallon).

Um, I barely even made it off the interstate. Dang it.

Luckily I pulled over right in front of a gas station. So I put my hazard lights on and treked over to buy a small gas can and some gas in my heels. Patent leather, really cute heels. Ugh.

Walked back to my car and I couldn't get the small plastic cap off of the top to pour it in.

Went back to the gas station to see if someone could pull it off.

The Budweiser guy actually took out a pocket knife and cut it off (see, I'm not such a wimp, he couldn't get it off either).

Back to the car and poured the gas in.

Nick is getting a play by play of this on my cell phone as it's happening, of course. He kept offering to come help but I felt so bad because he had a lesson to get to at work and I just couldn't justify him coming to help my stupid problem.

Drove into the gas station and filled the rest of the tank with $3.55-by-the-interstate-gas.

Hair is a mess, dirt on my shoes, I smell like gas. Oh, and my car smells like gas too. I paid $5 for that small tank, I wasn't going to throw it out! So now it is sitting wrapped in three trash bags in my office.

I have an event this afternoon for work so unfortunately I look, well my hair looks, a little rough around the edges.

And from now on I will be filling my tank up when it's 1/2 empty with non-interstate gas.

Friday, March 14, 2008

There aren't enough days in the weekend.
Rod Schmidt

I don't think one can ever really appreciate a Friday until they have worked full time all week. Because this morning I stepped a little faster, made my hair a little cuter just because it's FRIDAY.

Woot! I love my weekends and this is going to be a good one.

This evening I'm heading out to Nick's course to hit a bucket of balls and then snuggle in with him at his house this evening.

Tomorrow I am "borrowing" my friend Melissa's minature dachschund, Coco Chanel, and taking her to a local pet festival sponsored by The Humane Society - I'll pretend she's mine and not look like a crazy dog-less lady wandering around. Coco loves her Auntie Randall.

Then on Sunday my dear Casey has the day off (she works in the restaurant business so our schedules are complete opposite) and is coming to play with me all day. I'm debating between pool time all day or a little shopping. We shall see.

Oh, and let me mention in case you forgot - IT'S FRIDAY!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

At the end of your life you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child or a parent.
Barbara Bush

A collegue and dear friend of my boss died yesterday. She went to visit him on Tuesday afternoon and had the chance to sit and chat with him for hours while his wife slipped out of the house for some errands. He was ill, everyone knew that, but he was in good spirits and alert. The visit was so nice that my boss had plans to stop by at least weekly. Then we learned he had died yesterday afternoon.

Official life lesson learned: Always make the time. Always. She had kids to pick up from school, meetings to attend and e-mails to read but she spent her afternoon eating ice cream by his bedside. Imagine if she hadn't visited and today he was gone?

I have learned first hand that you always have to make the time to visit in ill friend or family member. You will never know when time will run out.

From now on, I will always make the time.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Don't grow up too quickly, lest you forget how much you love the beach.
Michelle Held

Two of Nick's old friends from Iowa, Jill and Devon, were in Florida this past weekend and stopped by for a quick visit. We enjoyed yummy steaks on the back porch on Saturday night and got all caught up on the small town gossip.

Me with Nick and Devon

Nick saying hi to Devon's on-the-way-baby-boy (in June!).

Rubbing his "baby belly"

The next day we took them out to Sanibel to walk on the beach and grab some lunch. The weather was on the cooler side for Florida so it was nice to just walk and enjoy the beautiful sights!

Nick was the official "welcomer"

Jill and Devon near the (cold!) water

Pretty blue water

Handsome guy

Lunch at the Lazy Flamingo

Pretty drinks!

It was nice to see them both again and have Nick catch up with them. It felt like we were on vacation a little bit too showing them around. Both just remind me how many people love my Nick back in his hometown and how lucky I am to have him here!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.
G.B. Stern
Today, I am grateful for:
  • Cinnamon rolls with extra icing slatthered on top.
  • Cool breezes coming in through the open sliding glass door.
  • Periwinkle Way on Sanibel Island.
  • Nick's "T-Rex eating" sound effects.
  • DVR'd Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares on BBC.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

I have to exercise in the morning before my brain figures out what I'm doing.
Marsha Doble

I've been making an effort to get moving lately. Everyday before work I've been walking about 2 miles around my neighborhood - it doesn't seem like a lot but for someone who finds themselves cleaning the bathroom floors to avoid exercise - it's pretty darn good.

Today was especially nice because I was able to walk this morning (in daylight!) and the weather here has been fabulously cool and breezy (at least for Florida in March). It was a delight and I felt so good after.

So here's to getting out for walks more frequently and hopefully I'll still have clean bathroom floors.

Friday, March 7, 2008

The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.

Good things, good things (okay, and a little bragging too)...
  • I submitted the final draft of my masters thesis this week. I know there will be some revision suggestions from my professors but I'm finally done fiddling with the large portion of it!
  • I purchased my cap, gown and hood yesterday as well. Each degree program has a specific academic regalia and, as bad as it is to say, I love my public administration color - peacock blue! I'm glad I'm not getting a masters degree in industrial and labor relations... their color is called "drab." Ew.
  • I also ordered my graduation announcements and my Golden Key Honor Society medalian and cords. It was fun to fill in on my announcements that I was graduating with honors. Yipee!

I am enjoying the graduation process so much more now then when I finished my bachelors degree. Maybe I just appreciate all the hard work more or simply have more reasons to be EXCITED!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Dance till the stars come down from the rafters
Dance, Dance, Dance till you drop..
W.H. Auden
Last weekend I had the honor of celebrating a bridal shower and bachelorette party with my friend Amanda. She is getting married on April 4 in my hometown (we went to high school together).

Her maid of honor hosted a lovely bridal shower - with yummy punch, little sandwiches and all. There were a lot of guests, about 50, so she received plenty of wonderful presents. My "job" was to make the rehearsal bouquet and thanks to all the darn Bed, Bath & Beyond tulle the thing was HUGE! And it was also nice to catch up with some old friends, and their mothers who I knew just as well years ago!

Holy tulle!

With my friend Britt, we were each other's first playdate in Kindergarten!

After the shower a group of us headed to Tampa for the bachelorette party. We stayed at the Embassy Suites near Channelside so that was a nice treat - and plenty of room for the five of us staying there! We enjoyed dinner at The Grape and then hit a fabulous dualing piano bar which was SO much fun. We literally danced and sang all night long.

With Suzanne and Lindsay, two of Amanda's friends from college

Amanda was brought on stage (with another bachelorette, not looking nearly as cute as our Amanda, if I do say so myself) for a serenade.

My head didn't hit the pillow until nearly 5 a.m. I was amazed I was able to stay up that late - the last time I was awake at 5 a.m. was because I was getting UP at that time. I'm so glad I drove up and spent the time with Amanda and the whole group for her parties. Her wedding is coming up so quickly and I'm looking forward to it!

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