Thursday, December 31, 2009

Reflections on the decade: Me vs Me

December 31, 1999
  • I was 17 and a senior in high school
  • I had lived in Klamath Falls, OR for about 5 months
  • I was still trying to decide where I wanted to apply to college and what my major would be, but was enjoying the accounting class I took that year
  • I had been dating my boyfriend, Justin, for about 4 months (little did I know he'd turn out to be a big mistake)
  • I thought I might marry him someday
  • I was Mormon, but not interested in going to BYU
  • I didn't know a lot of people in town
  • I had long, blonde hair; my ears were pierced but I never wore earrings
  • I weighed about 115 lbs (wowza!)
  • I played tennis a lot
  • I didn't plan on going on a mission, because I figured I'd probably be married by 21
  • I listened to a lot of country music
  • I shared a purple, 1994 Mitsubishi Mirage with my sister
  • My bedroom had orange, shag carpet
  • I didn't have a job
  • My sisters and I didn't get along very well
  • On New Year's Eve, my boyfriend and I skipped out on the youth dance and sat in the car by the lake talking. We kissed at midnight. It was a rather anti-climatic way to enter the new millennium (though we may debate whether that happened this year or the next!)
December 31, 2009
  • I am 27 and a high school teacher
  • I have lived in northern VA for 5 1/2 years
  • I have a Master of Education in Secondary Social Studies from GWU
  • I have been with my husband, Eric, for 4 1/2 years
  • We got married this October
  • I'm no longer Mormon, and much prefer my life as an atheist
  • I've branched out beyond just my friendships with Eric's friends to include even more wonderful people into our lives
  • My hair is short and I change the color every few months (I'm thinking of going black this week!); I have the regular pierced ears (which I decorate every day), in addition to the upper cartilage in my left ear and my nose; I also have a tattoo on my back
  • I weigh... much more than I did in high school (160!) (but I also have bigger boobs, now!)
  • I don't play tennis much anymore, but I enjoy running with my greyhound a couple of times a week
  • I'm very happy I didn't get married until I was 27, because I wouldn't have been able to discover myself unless I was on my own; I've also been able to experience much more world traveling than if I had a family at a young age
  • I'm really into female artists like Adele and Norah Jones
  • I drive a silver, 2003 VW Jetta, and I like to walk or metro whenever I can
  • I own my house, which is covered in beautiful, wood flooring
  • I love my job
  • My sisters and I (along with the rest of my family) get along great, and I love living so close to all of them (you're too far away, Christeeny!)
  • Tonight, for our 5th (!!) New Year's celebration, my husband and I are taking it waaaaay down. We're just going to stay in, drink champagne, and watch movies with our dog. A fantastic way to end the first decade of the millennium, and usher in the next ten years of our lives.
A lot has changed in my life over the past ten years. Pretty big changes. But, I wouldn't go back to do anything differently. I'm happy with where I am now. For me, this has been a crazy-good year, and an amazing decade.

Cheers to the New Year!!
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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Doggie-sitting


Eric and I agreed to dog sit another greyhound over winter break. Her name is Mandy and she's super-sweet and quiet. Much less energy than our crazy Ramona.

It's been interesting seeing how Ramona interacts with another dog in the house. She's definitely the 'alpha dog' and is not afraid to show it. If we're paying attention to Mandy, Ramona will come bounding over and actually body-bump Mandy out of the way so she can be physically closer to us than Mandy.


On walks, Ramona makes sure that she's walking ahead of Mandy, even if it's only by an inch or two. If Mandy happens to get ahead of Ramona, she'll slightly pick up her pace until she's in front, again. Also, on walks, Mandy has to be right where Ramona is. If Ramona takes a potty somewhere, Mandy will stop in the exact same spot to potty as soon as she's done. In fact, I think Ramona gets a little annoyed with Mandy, because she's right up on her whenever she's trying to potty.

The first day we had Mandy, Ramona even tried to get territorial by parking herself in Mandy's crate and making her lay on the floor outside of the crate. We nipped that one in the bud pretty quickly, though. Ramona hasn't gone back into Mandy's crate since then, thank goodness.


If we ever decide to get a second dog, we have to be very careful about its personality. It can't be as submissive as Mandy, or it'll be knocked around by Ramona. However, it can't be as dominant as Ramona, either, or they'll constantly be butting heads.

Oh dear!
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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Year in Review

I got this idea from -R- over at And You Know What Else. Enjoy and Happy Reflecting!

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?
Got married. Hoping to never do it again!!

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Hm. Yes and no. My resolution, like so many others', was to exercise more. I started out the year going to the gym 3-4 times a week. That lasted for about 6 weeks. During those 6 weeks, I gained weight and felt fatter, not fitter. So, I gave up. Then, in September, I started a running program, Couch to 5K. I'm still at it! And, I'm feeling much better, physically. Yay!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

My sister! Yay, I love my little niece to pieces! I also have a close friend who is currently pregnant and another who is working on it!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No. Phew.

5. What countries did you visit?
Holland and Germany. And South Korea.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
A flatter tummy and more energy.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

May 18 - the day we closed on our house AND Eric proposed.
May 30 - the day we added a new member to our family, our sweet Ramona.
Oct 10 - the day we got married!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Probably getting accepted and going to South Korea.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I have lost a couple of friends, and I'm not really sure why.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nope. It's been a perfectly healthy year for me. Not even a cold!

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Our house, most definitely!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Ramona, for the most part. She learned how to sit :)

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I'll keep this one inside. Sorry.

14. Where did most of your money go?
The mortgage. The wedding. A big spending year.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Hm. My trips - South Korea, Palm Beach, Holland/Germany

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
Say Hey (I Love You) [feat. Cherine Anderson], by Michael Franti and Spearhead.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? happier
b) thinner or fatter? thinner, but heavier (muscle?)
c) richer or poorer? definitely poorer, money-wise; richer in every other way

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Saving? Dancing, for sure!

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Procrastinating, I suppose.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
With Eric's family.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?
Nope, just grew the love I fell into years ago.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Well. We love The Office and I still watch Grey's Anatomy. I started watching Showtime's The Tudors over the summer and LOVE it!

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Yeesh. Hate is rough word. It takes a LOT to get me to use that word towards a person. Would rather never have to talk to or see or ever deal with? Yes, I'd say there's one or two people that fit this description this year that either did not last year or I just didn't even know them last year.

24. What did you want and get?
House, dog, husband, vacation, family time

25. What did you want and not get?
Instant weight loss. Ha!

26. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 27. We went to NYC. I've lived on the east coast for almost 6 years and that was my first trip there.

27. Who did you miss?
Old friends. Can't wait to see Dani in January!!

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Round three of pro photos








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An airing of grievances


Festivus is a time of year for the rest of us. It is traditionally observed on December 23. It begins with an undecorated aluminum Festivus pole, followed by the Airing of Grievances and the Feats of Strength.

So, in honor of Festivus, I would like to air my grievances of the past year.

- The decision by GM to stop producing Saab. Because my husband cries about it every time he sees a Saab. Which is every day, since he owns one.
- The bailout fiascoes. I'm with Jon Stewart. Just give the 'bailout money' to the regular people so we can all pay down our debt. The creditors still get their money that way.
- We still haven't installed an exhaust fan in our bathroom.
- We haven't put up the mirror in our bedroom, yet.
- I have no table for my sewing machine.
- My ticket to the Inauguration was useless.
- We still don't have Health Care Reform.
- We need more pieces of furniture to help us de-clutter.
- The Democratic majority in the Senate still can't do anything without giving in to the minority party.
- Foundations 2.0
- These Tea Parties. They've perverted the meaning of the Revolution. Oh, and they have an idiotic name. Perhaps they should have done some research before referring to themselves as 'teabaggers.'
- Sarah Palin
- Debt

Happy Festivus. For the rest of us.
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Political sidenote

23 December 2009

Re: Health Care Reform Bill

To anyone who thinks the current Health Care Reform Bill is a 'government takeover' of the health industry:

I know that many news stations out there are spinning bits and pieces of the current legislation under debate to make Americans worry about what the bill really says. I know that some politicians have been very vocal about accusing the government of trying to create 'death panels,' of trying to 'socialize' the system, or of trying to force people to buy into a government insurance option.

However, what you are hearing is false. These people are manipulating the language and intent of the bill in order to make you afraid, so that the insurance companies win and the health industry remains an unfair playing field.

This bill, to my personal disappointment, does not include a single form of a government-backed, publicly-funded insurance option. The federal government is merely trying to impose some much-needed regulation on this industry, which is quickly running out of control.

To those of you who say, "Well, the government shouldn't be taking care of people. It should come from the communities and churches," I say, "Where do you live?" Because I live in a country where that does not happen. Sure, that would be super if people took care of each other. But they do not. How many times have you walked passed a homeless veteran asking for money and thought to yourself, "I bet he has no insurance, and can't afford his medication to treat schizophrenia/PTSD/paranoia/etc. I'll take him to the pharmacy and buy him what he needs. It's my duty, as his neighbor, to take care of him." I'm going to guess: NEVER. Or if your neighbor is sick, you help pay for their medical bills? Or if you get into a car accident with an uninsured driver, and their kid breaks her leg, do you offer to pay for her hospital visit, since you're partly to blame, and you're part of their community, and they have no insurance? And church? Well, that's nice for you if you go to church, but what of the millions in this country who don't? Are you going to require them to join and attend a religious community just so they can get some help when they're in need?

Guess what? In a perfect world, yes, people would take care of each other. But our world is far from perfect, and most people have enough trouble just taking care of themselves, even WITH health insurance.

But, back to my original point. The government is only trying to protect your rights in regard to health insurance, so that these ever-growing companies cannot continue to suck us dry financially. Read on:

The Senate health reform bill will:

-- Extend coverage to 31 million Americans, the largest expansion of coverage since the creation of Medicare.

-- Ensure that you can choose your own doctor.

-- Finally stop insurance companies from denying coverage due to a pre-existing condition.

-- Make sure you will never be charged exorbitant premiums on the basis of your age, health, or gender.

-- Guarantee you will never lose your coverage just because you get sick or injured.

-- Protect you from outrageous out-of-pocket expenditures by establishing lifetime and annual limits.

-- Allow young people to stay on their parents' coverage until they're 26 years old.

-- Create health insurance exchanges, or "one-stop shops" for individuals purchasing insurance, where insurance companies are forced to compete for new customers.

-- Lower premiums for families, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office -- especially for struggling folks who will receive subsidies.

-- Help small businesses provide health care coverage to their employees with tax credits and by allowing them to purchase coverage through the exchanges.

-- Improve and strengthen Medicare by eliminating waste and fraud (without cutting basic benefits), beginning to close the Medicare Part D donut hole, and extending the life of the Medicare trust fund.

-- Create jobs by reining in costs -- fostering competition, reducing waste and inefficiency, and starting to reward doctors and hospitals for quality, not quantity, of care.

-- Cut the deficit by over $130 billion in the next 10 years.

http://my.barackobama.com/SenateReformBill

Seems pretty helpful to me. And simply necessary. If you don't like it, great. You don't have to do anything differently. But just because you're already happy with your own insurance, doesn't mean you should fight to prevent other people from getting their own protection and coverage.

Just saying.

Sincerely,
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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Winter Tree

Eric really wanted to do a tree this year, so we went out and got a pretty one from a local market. I made the tree topper myself, and wanted to post pics for my momma. Here it is!


Also, here's a little greeting card holder I made the other night.Yay!



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Monday, December 21, 2009

Container Store discount card for teachers


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A few more snow pictures - the day after

Some perspective on the amount of snow: see little Eric and Ramona back there?

Our house. In the middle of our street.

Done digging out my car. If I leave, nobody better take that spot!

Taking a short respite.

What do you mean things aren't back to normal yet?

Eric's car is under there, somewhere.

Can we go in, yet?

Ahhh, now that's nice... :-)
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A commentary

"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds"

WELL. Our mail did not come on Saturday, the blizzard day. So much for that!

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

and snowing!!!

The snow is still coming down!! Just to give you some perspective, I have VERY long legs. Longer than my husband's legs, who is 4 inches taller than me. Seriously, they're 2 inches longer than his! I mean, I have a 32-inch inseam. Anyway... the snow now goes above my knees. I'm pretty sure we've hit 20 inches!!

Back deck

Still a bit unsure!
Just about can't see my tires anymore
View up our street
Yes, that's a ruler. Unscientific? Yes. Impressive? Absolutely!
Yay!
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and snowing





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Still snowing





Three hours ago I completely cleared off the front walkway and back deck. Three hours ago!

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