Funny stories... tales from the road... life with us.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Squirrel vs. Cat

I am not making this up!

I am sitting in our living room, and our cat A.J. was sitting on my lap snoozing. We have four floor-to-ceiling glass windows/door that look out onto our patio, and a squirrel came up to them and stood on his hind legs with his paws on our window. He moved from window to window... and then... and I promise I'm not making this up... I swear he knocked on the window.

Kitty snapped open her eyes and flew off my lap to the window. Next thing I knew, that squirrel flung himself against the window again and kitty did the same from the inside. This happened a couple of times, and then the squirrel took off.

A.J. obviously knew that that goofy squirrel was "knocking" on the window, and he must know that A.J. lives in here! I wonder how often that squirrel has been taunting poor A.J. from the outside???

Sunday, December 30, 2007

New Year's Eve Eve

Today has been a great day! We just wrapped up a yummy dinner of cheese fondue (with granny smith apples, rosemary bread and sauteed mushrooms) and roasted red potatoes, and now we are watching the Redskins wrap up a 27-6 victory over Dallas. Hooray!

And - my favorite! - I had a loooong nap this afternoon after we got home from church. Rob made us lunch, and I crashed on the couch. He was downstairs playing his Xbox, so it was nice and quiet for me. :)

On Friday night, Rob's dad called to say that they all planned to come down to his cousin Alicen's basketball game on Saturday, so we got to see all of his family again yesterday. Carrie and Matt stayed the night with us and left this morning. Alicen's team won, and she played great! After the game, we all went to Red Robin for burgers and fries.

Only two more days of vacation for us... tomorrow night we are headed out for NYE dinner and will be home early to avoid all of the crazies on the road. Happy new year!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Back Home!

We came back home yesterday after five days up in western Maryland. We had a great Christmas and had fun seeing everyone. I was able to see a girlfriend who I haven't been able to catch up with for awhile, and Rob and I had lunch on Christmas Eve with one of my oldest friends and her boyfriend. We also got to see my best girlfriend, her hubby and their adorable little girl. Good times!

We ended up not doing presents with Rob's family until the day after Christmas - we just ran out of time that day! I LOVE everything I gave and received ... especially the green iPod Nano that Rob surprised me with on Christmas morning!

Last night we went to a yummy dinner at Rustico in Alexandria and some good friends. Interesting food choices - Rob and I ended up sharing a sausage and caramelized onion pizza, and I had cheddar ale soup. Yum.

Today was going to the market, unpacking and putting away gifts and organizing our pantry. Tomorrow is laundry, and maybe going to Rob's cousin's basketball tournament. Off to make dinner!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Home for the holidays

Rob and I headed west today to visit both of our parents. Since they live so close, it's MUCH easier! We are staying with my family, but I am writing this blog from Rob's parents' house!

We have gifts galore, all wrapped and ready to open! It will be a little different at my parents' this year - my brother is usually the gift giver (he sits next to the tree and passes the gifts), but since he is in Iraq this holiday we might put Rob up to the job.

Oh - it's getting heated in here! Rob and his dad are watching the Redskins game and there is a challenge on on something-or-another. Voices and blood pressures are raised!

Merry Christmas to all!

Friday, December 14, 2007

A Snowy (Icey?) Weekend?

We are supposed to get our first measurable snow of the season this weekend. I usually love those kinds of weekends - we can spend it inside curled up on the couch and watching the snow fall.

However, the weather is famous around here for not doing what is predicted. Last week we had a terribly messy morning that wasn't predicted to start until after the rush hour. Other times they'll call for six inches of snow and we'll get two. Or vice versa.

So I'm curious to see what we'll really get!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

'Till Death Do Us Part

It wasn't but 17 months ago that Rob and I stood under a tent in front of our family and friends and said a vow to each other. You know how it goes... "for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in heath; in good times and bad."

We both meant those words we said. We are serious about it and weren't just repeating the minister like a couple of monkeys. We'd both thought about it and were making a commitment to be a team, for better and for worse.

Not that everything is perfect. The cups didn't miraculously start putting themselves in the dishwasher starting July 29, 2006. Socks don't find the way to the laundry basket themselves, and there are times I wish I were an Xbox so Rob stare at me adoringly (kidding!), but I couldn't ask for more in a partner, and I hope Rob feels the same.

Last week, we learned that a couple we know is splitting up after close to 10 years of marriage. It's really thrown me for a loop. I know that nobody knows what happens behind closed doors, but I would have placed money on a bet that these two would be together for the long haul. I would have lost.

This isn't the first couple we've known who haven't made it, and I know it won't be the last. But every time, it makes me think about our marriage and making sure that those tiny cracks don't get bigger.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Some guys have all the luck

My co-worker's son is on an airplane, in first class, sitting next to ... Patrick Dempsey. He's sending us updates about all sorts of stuff... what he's said to people, how he's acting, etc.

The latest... "Appear smaller yes - but avg height...wearing a baseball cap and I would not recognized him, if the rep at the counter in the Crown Rm had not said "I love your show."

Oh, to be there! It would be crazy and fun to be seated next to someone famous on a flight. Lucky guy!

Xmas Shopping!

We've been working fast and furious to wrap up all of our Christmas shopping. I think we are doing pretty good - about 80% is wrapped and ready to go, with only a few things left to be bought.

Rob's been bugging me about what I would like... and I don't really have a good answer! Goodness knows I don't really need anything at all, so I've been trying to think of some stuff I would like to have, since he's going to end up getting me something.

So far, I've said I'd like a watch (check! We picked it up last week.) and some Lock-and-Locks (like tupperware, but better). Last night I said I'd like an iPod Nano, which I was serious about but I don't think Rob thought I was! I love the little green ones, or red.

For Rob, I have a pretty good collection of stuff. The only thing he knows about is a suit, which of course he had to pick out and try on. The rest of the goodies should be surprises for him.

I love this time of year!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

First Snowfall of the Winter Season!

We woke up this morning to snow falling... despite Al Roker's prediction that it wouldn't start until after 8 a.m. So needless to say, the roads were a mess on the way to work! My 15 minute commute took about 45, which was crazy. I was just glad to get there!

It snowed most all day - sometimes heavy, sometimes really fine. All in all, I think we ended up with between 2-3 inches. After dinner, we went outside to shovel/sweep and put de-icer on the sidewalk. Hopefully it won't freeze solid tonight!

I love snow, so I was glad to see this! The trees, bushes and branches are covered and everything is so pretty. I bet that it's all slushy by tomorrow afternoon. :(

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Elf Yourself!

Have you seen "Elf Yourself"? Upload your family and friend photos and have fun!

Here we are with Carrie and Matt. Watch us boogie!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Finally.... an update!

I don't know that anyone reads this anymore anyway, but I thought I'd finally get around to adding a post. It's been too long!

This fall has been busy. I traveled for the last two weeks of October (for work) and now we are gearing up for the holidays. I can't believe how fast this year has gone!

Big updates... my brother left for Iraq on the Friday after Thanksgiving. He'll be there until May/June helping the Iraqis set up their judicial system (he's part of a group of military lawyers on a team). It's been really hard on my Mom especially, but we are making it through.

Thanksgiving was fun. We went to MD and were able to see both families quite a bit. On Friday night, we attended the annual city tree lighting on the downtown mall and it was COLD! I did enjoy singing Xmas carols and seeing the lights, though, despite the chill.

Maybe I should make a new year's resolution to be a better blogger? :)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

What is it with Survivor?

Rob and I are sitting here watching Survivor, and I must say that I've never seen so many fuzzed out body parts than as are on this show. When they dropped the contestants off in China (the setting of this year's competition), Jeff Probst pulled the old trick of sending them off with only the clothes on their backs. No backpacks or suitcases or anything. I think that would stink, but here's my problem with the whole situation.

This is not the first time this has happened. So wouldn't you think some of the cast would suspect that it could happen again and come properly attired?? Why wear skimpy underwear or lacy bras when you know that you could be sent out into the wild with nothing that you'd carefully packed?

My word to next year's Survivor contestants? Please, buy some underwear that doesn't show your business. Wear layers of clothes on the first day. Don't wear high heels or short dresses. Have some sense.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Where Have We Been?

I'm delinquent on blogging.... again. Big surprise! So what's been happening with Rob and Kathryn? Much!

We wrapped up the summer at the lake and packed up our room for the year, which is always kind of sad. We were able to spend a lot of weekends up there this year and really loved it. We'll head back up next summer!

I feel like our weeks have been pretty busy, in addition to the regular workday. We went to the University of Maryland vs. West Virginia University game about two weeks ago, which made for a late night. MD got creamed, but since I was secretly for WVU anyway (don't tell Rob!), I was okay with it. Our seats were crazy - we were right on this aisle that it seemed like everyone in the stadium had to keep walking past us to get anywhere. Eh. What can you do?

Last week we saw Kathy Griffin at the Kennedy Center. I'd actually won the tickets on the radio! My tickets were for Thursday, but we had plans that night already, so we found a guy on Craig's List and swapped for Tuesday. Kathy was pretty funny - I wasn't really sure what to expect, but the show was great.

Thursday night we headed to a gala dinner for the International Children's Festival. A girlfriend's husband's company had a table, so they invited us to join them. It was great, as usual! During the dinner, performers from a couple of countries perform, and the food is all native to those regions of the world. We saw performers from Bolivia, Sweden, Nepal and Spain. My favorites were Sweden (funny performance) and Spain (beautiful dance).

Friday brought no rest for the weary. My brother was in town for something with the Navy, so we went to Crystal City to meet him for dinner. Rob found us a great new restaurant to try - Bebo Trattoria. The food was delish and the atmosphere was cool. Plus, we enjoyed catching up with my brother.

Last night we headed up to Bethesda to see a new baby of some friends. He is VERY cute and we loved catching up with them and two other couples that joined us there.

So... the start of another week for us! Hopefully this one won't be quite as busy. :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Kathryn's Political Compass

Took this Politcal Compass test. Check it out here.

In about 30 questions, you can see where you fall on the spectrum. I was -6.0 for
Economic Left, and -1.64 for Social Libertarian. The definitions say that a liberal leftist believes in the supreme value of each individual. Not too bad.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Mr. Fix It

Last night I got a little lazy and decided to shove more dish towels and cloths in the drawer than it could hold. I heard a pop, and the drawer tilted forward out of the cabinet. Whoops. Before I put the clean ones in the drawer, I could have refolded other ones and taken out some that need to go in the trash, but no. I just shoved.

Lucky for me, Mr. Fix It was nearby and was put to work. Rob took out the drawer, determined that I'd snapped the track off of the back of the cabinet (knowing the craftsmanship of our house, it was probably being held on by stickytak or used chewing gum) and proceeded to figure out how to reattach it. Good thing he has those long arms - he had to reach all the way through the narrow cabinet and drill new screws into the back.

Having Rob do that really made me appreciate him. He dropped what he was doing (even if it was only watching TV!) and helped me out. I hope that he feels the same when I help him... or do his laundry... or cook his dinner... or...

Seriously, I'm one lucky gal. Even on days when I could convince myself otherwise, I know that I am. Life isn't perfect, but with Mr. Fix It around, it sure is a whole lot better.

Hot Hot Hot

In case you haven't seen the news, it's hot everywhere. The weatherman on channel 4 today said to expect heat indexes of 115 degrees, with actual temps around 102. Yick.

Lucky for me, my office is always freezing. Seriously, I could have worn a sweater today and been comfortable - if not a little chilly - inside. But I'm wearing short sleeves and am most definitely cold. I even ate soup for lunch! I guess I should be grateful I'm not outside instead!

Rob and I are always at odds about the thermostat, bed blankets, car temperatures, etc. I'm always cold.... he's always hot. Unless I'm warm... then he's cold. I will literally FREEZE in the car sometimes - I turn off all of my vents and put on a cardigan, and he's feeling just fine. At night, I like to get under the bed blankets and warm up, but he declares that it's too hot and kicks them off. What a nut. ;)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Anniversary Weekend!

We had a perfect first anniversary weekend! I warned Rob shortly after we were married that our anniversary celebration was his responsibility, from now until forever. It didn't have to be something fancy - just something that showed that he put thought into it. He came through!

We headed out in the late morning on Saturday and stopped in Middleburg, Va., a little town with antique shops and little stores. We strolled the main street, had yummy gourmet sandwiches at Market Salamander and then shared a cone of homemade blackberry ice cream. So good!

Rob had made us reservations at L'Auberage Provencale, a B&B about an hour from home. It was beautiful! Our room was perfect, and the grounds were filled with gardens, a fruit orchard and great views. We had dinner that night in the Inn's restaurant - amazing. Five courses! The food and atmosphere were lovely.

On Sunday - after a delish gourmet breakfast - we headed to Luray Caverns. It was a last minute add-on to the trip, and I'm glad we did it. The caverns were beautiful! Here are shots of the caverns, and Rob and I in the deep dark!

We took some back roads toward home, with the intention of stopping at Oasis Winery for a tasting. We got a bit lost on the way, but finally found it. We would have been better off just heading home! The tasting was a total let down ... the pourer was poor and it was too busy and loud inside. Oh, well!

When we got home that evening, we had dinner and then shared slices from our wedding cake top, which had been in either my parents' or our freezer since July 29 of last year. Amazingly, it was delicious! It tasted like a fresh cake, and we are still enjoying it. I told Rob that it was kind of sad - I hope it's the only wedding cake I'll ever have, and we were finishing it off! I guess that in the back of my mind, I've known it's been in the freezer for us to enjoy, and now it won't be there anymore. Silly!

Thanks to Rob for making our anniversary special. There is no one else I'd rather celebrate with than you!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Off to the beach (just not us!)

I've been neglecting the site for a long time now, but I see K has been pulling my weight!

My folks (Mom, Dad and Carrie) stopped by our place last night on their way to Ocean City today. Lucky ducks! They went to Mount Vernon yesterday afternoon and then out to our place to spend the night before getting up pretty early this morning to beat most of the traffic.

K pulled together a great dinner last night of vegetable kabobs, roasted garlic potatoes, and chicken. She rubbed the chicken (boneless breasts) with a rub I made from the Barbecue Bible cookbook (great book, by the way), the veggie kabobs got some sort of seasoning along with a coating of some sort of herbed basting oil K has in the pantry, and the potatoes were pan fried in some EVOO with red onion before having a nice chunk of minced garlic tossed in and put into a 425 oven for an hour or so. We've made the potatoes before and they are always awesome. I tossed the kabobs and chicken on the grill and a salad from Wegman's completed the meal! We discovered that Wegman's has bulk organic salad mix in the produce section that is really really good and ends up being cheaper than the bagged mixes. Finished off the chicken with Sweet Baby Ray's sauce of course. We love that stuff!

But now they're at the beach. I'm jealous!

And nice job with the Simpsonizing, K! :-)

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Hamilton Simpsons

I saw this on a friend's blog this morning and thought it was fun - here are Rob and me as "Hamilton Simpsons!"

Go here to Simpsonize yourself!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Our Wedding

Today is our anniversary! We've thought a lot about our day one year ago, the funny things that happened, the friends and family who came to celebrate and how much fun we all had. Here are a few memories to remember....

Hair... the bridesmaids, mothers and I went to have our hair and make-up done on Saturday morning. I had my hair done twice that week, trying to make sure the style would last the day (I have notoriously flat hair!), but nothing had worked, so I was really nervous. I planned to wear my hair down, so the lady teased-teased-teased my hair until I looked like Minnie-Mouse. It was hilarious. But, she must have known what she was doing, because by 5 p.m., it had flattened out to the perfect poof.

Getting ready... it was hot outside, which made it hot inside. Putting on a 40-lb. dress didn't help (not sure of the actual weight, but that's what it felt like!). We stood in front of fans and did our best to keep cool. Tessa and Ashley had a heck of a time getting the veil in my hair, so the comb didn't butt too much up against the decorative comb already in my hair. They persevered and it looked great. The guys were getting ready right next door, and every now and then I could hear them through the wall, as they played pool and hung out. I was anxious to see Rob!

The ceremony... Our wedding was at 5 p.m. When the gal from the club came downstairs to tell us that people were seated and it was time to go, my heart leaped. We went upstairs and I heard the string quartet playing Bach's "Sleepers Awake" for the bridesmaids - that was the first time I'd really gotten emotional. It was beautiful. The girls started going out, and I met my dad on the porch for our walk down the aisle. This is where the first funny thing happened.

Wrong Song!... My mom wanted me to come down the aisle to the traditional bridal march, so that's what I'd planned. But as we stood there ready to go, I heard the four opening notes of Pachelbel's Canon. Um, wrong song. I whispered that to the quartet leader, and she nodded and said "prelude." Prelude to what?? Dad asked me what I wanted to do, and I said "let's go!". What choice did we have? The quartet quickly realized their mistake and apologized a jillion times. It's a good story. :)

Ceremony... Our ceremony was perfect. Our minister from our church here in Fairfax traveled up to do the ceremony and it was lovely. We'd met with him twice before the ceremony, and he worked in so many personal things we'd talked about in those sessions. He recited Corinthians 13 and really made it special to us. So many people have commented that it's one of the best ceremonies they've ever heard, and we agree.

Toasts... During the reception, both Tessa and Dave offered toasts. Tessa's was sweet, and Dave's was funny - just like the two of them. They were heartfelt and perfect for us.

Dancing... We cut a rug! Our friends and some of our families are big dancers, and we had a blast. One guy did the worm (hilarious!) and we just had a good time. Our DJ was terrific and played perfect music to get the crowd going.

Cakes... Delish. Our traditional cake was a four-tier round, and the groom's cake was a two-tier chocolate. It went like crazy - Rob got the last piece! Yummy chocolate-dipped strawberries went with each piece of both cakes.

Leaving... Rob and I changed clothes and went back upstairs for one last dance before leaving for the evening. The crowd gathered around the dance floor and all gathered in the middle in a "big hug" as we danced. We went around the circle and gave hugs before we left the club. It was a perfect ending.

As Rob and I drove to the Red Fox Inn in Middleburg for the night, we talked non-stop about how much we loved our day. We so appreciate everything that our friends, families - and especially my mom and dad - did to make the day special. We couldn't have asked for anything more!

Remembering July 29, 2006

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Week Leading Up to the Wedding

I've been thinking all week about writing a post about this week last year, but I just haven't gotten it down on "paper", so to speak. On some levels, I can't believe how quickly the year has passed, but then sometimes it's easy to think that we've been married for ages.

I spent this week last year at home with my parents. I had decided to take off the week before the wedding, and then two weeks after for our honeymoon. Three weeks away from work was something I'd never done before, but I put away the Blackberry and enjoyed the time off.

Saturday... My mom came down on the Saturday before the wedding to pick me up, as well as our two dresses. I remember us carrying those HEAVY dresses from the shop out to the car, trying to hold them over our heads and as straight as possible. We had folded down the seats in the van and loaded everything up to head west.

Sunday through Wednesday... We spent the week doing all sorts of stuff... trying out hairstyles, running stuff out to the country club, seating arrangements and the like. We went out to lunch (and sometimes dinner too!) and just spent time as a family. I've always been close with my mom and dad, so I loved it.

Thursday... Rob came up on Thursday. He picked up bridesmaid Ashley at the airport and arrived in the late afternoon. I was glad to see both of them! I hadn't seen Ashley in a year or so (she lives in Atlanta), so I was especially happy to catch up with her and learn the plans for her own September wedding in Jamaica.

We headed down to Cumberland to walk Ashley through the club (and to drop off another load of stuff!), and I am SO GLAD we did. The tent company was there... putting up the tent the wrong direction! They already had some of the stakes in the ground and didn't seem to happy about moving it, but they did. What if we hadn't seen it until after they'd gone? No chance we would have gotten them to come back, and we'd been in a world of hurt. Glad we caught 'em when we did!

Friday... Friday was crazy. We started the day with all of the ladies getting our nails done, and then heading to my grandparents' house for a beautiful bridesmaid luncheon. The room, food and company were all perfect, and very much appreciated. I gave my girls their gifts (embroidered tote bags and pearl necklace and earrings to go with their dresses) and we just spent some time together. Honestly, Tessa, Ashley, Kelly and Carrie were a tremendous help during everything!

After lunch, we headed out to the club to start putting some things together. The tables had been mostly set, so we were able to put out the dinner menus and favors. We checked the tent and chairs, put up the shepherd hooks for the flower balls and made sure we were all set for the rehearsal. Home to clean up, quickly change and head back for the 5 p.m. rehearsal...

No problems here. Our minister was fabulous and kept the whole thing moving perfectly. We all understood the where, when and why of what was happening the next day. Afterwards, we headed to the rehearsal dinner at Giuseppe's, and then to my parents' for a yummy dessert party.

Saturday... a remembrance post to come!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Still Not Good at Blogging....

Yikes. It's been too long since my last post. I'm still not good (dedicated?) at this blogging-thing. Honestly - I try! It's just that writing all day at work doesn't make me want to write at night. But here goes:

We spent this past weekend up at the lake house and had a great time. We headed up early on Friday to meet Rob's family for an anniversary celebration dinner for his parents - 37 years! We ate at a pretty good little restaurant - Point View Inn. After dinner, most of Rob's family headed back home (they were playing in a golf tourney on Saturday), so it was just us at the lake house for the night and most of Saturday. We slept in, made yummy blueberry pancakes, swam in the lake and read our books. We ended up meeting my folks for dinner that evening, but not before enjoying a pina colada at the Honi Honi. My fave!

Rob's family was back on Sunday - more lakeside sitting and relaxing, plus a terrific lunch and fresh corn that his mom fixed. We left later than usual to come back and ran into some traffic snares on the interstate. At one point, we turned around (driving through the median!), got off the main road and took a back road into the next little town. The interstate eventually starting moving (slowly) again, so we hopped back on and got home. Instead of our usual 3 hours from the lake, it took about 4. Ugh.

Regardless, we had a great weekend and loved the peace and quiet. We are gearing up for next weekend's anniversary - I can't believe it's been a year! A post about the week leading up to the wedding last year to come.... thanks for reading!

Monday, July 09, 2007

A Lazy July 4th Long Weekend

Rob and I returned yesterday from a five-day vacation - much needed! We spent some great, relaxing time at his parents' lake cottage and really enjoyed ourselves. We cooked hot dogs over a fire (not my fave, but Rob's!), went for boat rides, played too many games of Monopoly and Scrabble, slept in and just hung out. People came and went ... Rob's parents and sister and brother-in-law, which was lots of fun.

I actually spent the night of July 4th at my parents so I could be there for something happening the next morning. It's been a long time since it's just been me with my mom and dad, and I really enjoyed it. Just like old times! ;)

I ended up getting a dandy of a sunburn on my legs on Saturday. I'd put on sunscreen, but didn't think about the three inches or so that my shorts went up when I sat down. So Carrie and I sat out on the dock talking for a while, and bam! Instant sunburn right above my knees. It has been so sore!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Could You Pass the Citizen Test?

I just took a quiz on MSNBC that is a selection of questions that any person petitioning for U.S. citizenship would have to answer as part of a test.

I got 85% of the questions right... and I felt pretty confident in taking the test! Some of the questions were simple - like how many stripes are on the flag and who the chief justice of the Supreme Court is today. Easy-peasy.

A couple of them I found a little more tricky. Here's what I missed:

  • What year was the Constitution written? I guessed 1776 - it was actually 1787. I always get that mixed up with the Declaration of Independence.
  • Which constitutional amendment doesn't address voting rights? No clue. I've never had to worry about that before. For future fyi, it's amendment #7.
  • How many changes have been made to the Constitution? I guessed 9 - it's actually 27. More than I thought.
I guess, as an American, that I've never really appreciated the freedom and rights that we have in our country. But as I get older, I look more at the world and the problems that stem from a weakened government or civil dispute. Heck, we have our share of problems (poverty, health care and a wacky president to name a few), but we have much to be thankful for to the intelligent men and women who shaped this country so many years ago.

So this July 4th, maybe I'll be a little bit more thankful for a government in which I can have a say, a church that I can freely go to and the right to pursue my own happiness.

Monday, July 02, 2007


College roomie Jennifer tagged me on her blog, so here goes!

First I must repeat the rules: Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.

1. I have a good memory.... about most things. I can remember when things happened based on the years people got married, died, etc. I remember song lyrics and recipes and poems and things I hear. I have an uncanny ability to remember birthdays and anniversaries. I remember mean things that people have said to/about me, and I remember the good ones too.

2. I bite my fingernails, although I am always trying to stop.
When I was in elementary school, one of my good friends always bit her nails, so for some reason, I thought it was a good idea too. I've been doing it since third grade, I think. My mom used to put that stinky/bitter polish on them so I wouldn't bite them, but it never worked. I go through phases... I'll bite 'em; then I won't. And then I will again.

3. I met my husband in Virginia, even though we grew up 6 miles from each other in Maryland. Weird, huh? Our families knew each other; our moms taught at the same school; Rob's sister became good friends with one of my closest friends in college; but our paths never crossed. I always knew who he was, but we didn't know each other. I would even see him around here occasionally, but never said anything to him, thinking he wouldn't have a clue who I was. Anyway, we finally met down here and the rest is history.

4. Most of my closest friends are people I've known since childhood. Tessa, Kelly, the two Staceys... I've known these girls forever. I made a couple of good friends in college and some since, but none to the level that I know these girls. It's good to have history.

5. I can type really fast. Really, really fast. Not so much weird, but just a good skill to have. In high school typing class (that I didn't really want to take by had to!) I would type words to church hymns over and over again, just to practice. Now that's weird.

6. I have the funniest kitty ever. Seriously, this cat could have made us one million bucks if we'd gotten her on TV. She can open cabinets, the freezer and tupperware; she chews through cords in a minute; she loves water and will play in the sink and bathtub; and she isn't afraid of anything. She wraps her paws around my wrist when I hold the cat treat container, just like a baby would with a bottle. She'll jump up in my lap just when I need her to, and she's always happy to see us when we get home. She never goes off by herself and loves to sit wherever we are. She loves road trips and strolls right into her container like a pro, without fuss. When I start up the steps, she runs ahead of me and does a big flop at the top on the landing, rolling around until I fuss over her. She's hysterical and sweet, and I'll never have another one like her.

7. I love to cook. No surprise to those who know me! I remember my grandmother saying, "if you can read, you can cook." I never understood people who say they can't cook. Just read the directions and follow along! I also like to bake.

8. When I make a wish, I never, ever wish for myself. I always say a prayer/wish for my family or Rob or sometimes for people that I don't even know who are hurting. Whether its an eyelash or turned-around necklace or a birthday cake, I always wish for someone else. I hope someone out there is doing that for me in return!

No people to tag for me. I'm not sure who even reads this, and I think everyone I read has already been tagged. I guess I could tag Rob to do his list!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Weekend in Review....

This weekend turned out to be pretty relaxing, which was really nice. Since I took Friday off from work, it started on Thursday evening for me!

My parents came down Thursday and we really had a great time at the Harry Connick Jr. concert. Our seats were great and I loved seeing Harry again. This show was a little different - totally new material and only one song from the past, but that was okay. He did lots of instrumental and sang less. Any way you slice it, you can't go wrong at a Harry show at WolfTrap... until it comes to parking. We got hosed on the parking situation and ended up in the field (way worse than the two lots) and were forced into a spot (by the lovely men in orange vests) that was right up against a post, meaning we couldn't pull through to get out. After the concert, I hustled back to the car and got backed out and in the exit line, and Mom, Dad and Rob jumped in the car. We waited about 30 minutes to get out of the field anyway, which stunk!

Friday morning, Mom and I went to Let's Dish - a really fun place where you select and prepare meals that can be frozen, and then cooked when needed. The menu items were good, and we both split our portions to get at least two meals out of all of them. Tonight we are trying the first one and I'm looking forward to it!

Unfortunately, I pulled a muscle in my back at some point on Friday and spent the weekend on ice packs and muscle relaxers. Being at the lake helped (no laundry to think about doing, floors to vacuum, etc.), and Rob was a trooper about helping me out. He cooked all of our meals and took good care of me!

So now it's Monday and we are back at work for another week....

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

What's Been Happening....

An update blog is way overdue! And with my renewed pledge to blog more, I thought this would be the perfect place to start. So what's new?

  • We did the Race of the Cure on June 2 in Washington, D.C. The weather was H-O-T but we enjoyed the day. My mom walked with us for the second time; this was Rob's fourth and my eighth race, I think. We only missed last year due to wedding stuff - I had a wedding shower that day out of town. Three miles of walking with 50,000 of our closest friends. I love the Race and am glad that my mom is here to do it with us.
  • Lake - we've already spent two weekends at the lake and are looking forward to going up again soon. Our room survived the winter (Rob and his dad and brother-in-law finished it toward the end of last summer) and we love our lake view. It's so relaxing up there.
  • HARRY CONNICK JR.! - My parents are coming down this week and we are headed to see Harry. I can't wait. In order, these are my Harry concert experiences: (1) 1992 Pittsburgh, Pa.; (2) 1998 Little Rock, Ark.; (3) 1999 Vienna, Va.; (4 and 5 - two nights in a row!) 2001 - Washington, D.C.; (6) 2003 Vienna, Va.; (7) 2003 Washington, D.C.; (8) 2005 Vienna, Va. WHEW! This will be number 9.
A pretty good wrap-up ... and at least it's another blog. More serious and deep posts to come... ;)

Must Be a Better Blogger....

How many times have I made that promise? I love reading other people's blogs and following their families, but when it comes to my own, I'm a total slacker.


I think it boils down to this: I write for a living. Press releases, conference brochures, articles... so when it comes to writing for fun, I'm tapped out. Plus, my strength is definitely in news writing. Feature stuff and feel-goods.... eh. Not so much.

So here is my pledge: I, Kathryn, promise to be a better blogger. I will write about the wacky things that happen to Rob and me. I will share stories that have meaning, and some that do not. I will try to record the important and silly and mundane things that are my life.

And I'll do it all with a smile. :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A New Room!

The sofa is in place... my chair and ottoman are perfect... Rob is nestled in to his leather recliner. Our revamped living room is almost complete!

I've been lobbying for new sofas for a full year, and we finally made it all happen. Everything was delivered week before last, and now our next (and final!) step is to hang the new curtains this weekend. Hooray!

Negotiations were tough. :) Rob agreed to the new furniture as long as he got a recliner out of the deal. I'm generally not a fan of recliners - I think they are big and bulky and not so pretty. But I wheeled and dealed ... I could get my sofas and Rob could get his recliner, as long as I got final veto over the shape, size and color of said piece.

Success! We found a terrific chocolate brown leather recliner that extends an extra 3-inches when reclined - perfect for my 6'5" hubby. And I ended up with a textured chenille couch, chair and ottoman in a khaki/green color. Perfect!

Oh, and during the whole re-do, Rob decided to splurge on a new 50" plasma. We had a few snags in actually getting it home (the box was so big it wouldn't fit in our CRV!), so we ended up renting a pickup truck from Lowe's to bring it home. Now it's all set up and the HD is terrific. Good choice, Rob!

Pictures to follow .... I'm off to sit in my new chair. :)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Cookie Time

So in between ODing on basketball last weekend I made a massive batch of cookies. Triple chocolate cookies to be exact - from a recipe in the America's Test Kitchen Cookbook. I'd made these cookies once before and they turned out fantastically, so this time I decided to go for a double batch. The triple chocolate is not a misnomer, they take a good bit of cocoa powder (Dutch processed a must according to the recipe), a pound of melted semi-sweet chocolate, and just under a pound of non-melted chips mixed in at the end (a la chocolate chip cookies.) So since I was doubling the recipe, that meant I needed nearly 4 pounds of chocolate! Good thing we had picked up a massive bag of chips at Costco a few weeks ago.

As expected the batch of dough was nearly too much for our mixer, but I did manage to make it barely fit. True, the bottom of the batch didn't have many chips when we were scooping out the cookies, but I think they'll still taste great.

One thing I love about the ATK book is that they include specific directions for freezing the dough to bake later. So K and I portioned about 5-6 dozen balls of the cookie dough, baked up a tray of 8 and froze off the rest.

I think they turned out really nicely once again. We've made a few other cookie recipes from the book including
Peanut butter - I loved them, K didn't like real chopped up peanuts in the cookies
Chocolate chip - Good, but we both prefer the classic tollhouse recipe. The ATK version's are larger and rise up a bit in the middle.

Ready to eat!

In fact, I think I'll bake up a small tray this evening to have while I watch some more basketball!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Lots of Home Improvements...

Wow.... the title of Rob's last post was a little graphic, so I thought I'd update with a more wholesome and comprehensive wrap-up of what's been happening around the Hamilton household lately.

To clarify, the toilet at no time exploded! What a crazy choice in word. It simply wouldn't flush right, so Rob took it apart, replaced the mechanism and now it works like a charm. Or, however it is a toilet is supposed to work. Now he's taken on the challenge of replacing the one in our master bath, too, so we should be all set.

On another note, we ordered our new living room furniture this weekend! I'm so excited... I've been lobbying for new couches for about a year. We ended up with a sofa with deep cushions, a chair and ottoman and a leather recliner for Rob. I can't wait to have it all in place.

We are pretty lucky to have a nice home and the means to keep it up. I love doing home improvements with Rob, and I am fortunate that he is so handy!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Toilet blew up on us

Well, I guess it didn't actually explode, but the toilet on our main level has been leaking more and more rapidly from the top tank into the basin. I tried adjusting the mechanism (it has some sort of fancy job that shuts off when the tank is full and doesn't turn the water back on until the handle is pressed again) and a few simple fixes I found on the internet, but nothing cleared it up. So we broke down and picked up a complete tank repair kit from Home Depot over the weekend. The guy at Home Depot said we probably wouldn't need the complete kit as he didn't think the problem would require actually taking the top tank off since the water wasn't leaking onto the floor. But I didn't want to make more than one trip and it was only $10 more for the full shebang.

Based on the stuff I had already tried and inspecting a few of the pieces I really didn't think it was a problem with the flapper or overflow tube. I thought it was possibly the rubber gasket that sits between the tank and the valve the flapper closes over. Turns out to look at that you do have to remove the top tank! Once the top tank came off the problem was pretty clear. The rubber gasket that sits between the top tank and basin was pretty well rotted (different from the one I initially suspected.) Even though the problem seemed clear, I still swapped out everything for the new parts. Based on about a dozen warnings throughout the instructions to not over tighten any bolts or the porcelain may crack, I tightened everything up sort of tight and gave it a go.

Of course, now the thing leaks all over the floor! So I disassembled the thing once again and took my chances with cracked porcelain by torquing everything down nice and tight. This time the toilet held it's water and it's been working fine since.

Decided to check the other toilets in the house, which all have normal guts so they would just constantly top themselves off if there were a leak. Turns out the toilet in the master bath has the same (although much slower leak) problem, but the other two are fine. Tried cleaning out any gunk between the flapper and the valve it covers (wasn't much) but that didn't fix it. My bet is the exact same gasket is rotted. Guess I'll be tearing it down this weekend!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

More Rubik's Cube

Solved my cube without referencing a sheet of algorithms for the first time today! I'm not all that fast just yet - takes me 4-5 minutes to solve - but it's fun to be able to just grab the cube and solve it without needing to also cart around a couple sheets of paper.

I didn't think I'd memorize all of the patterns needed to solve the full cube, but I mashed some of the algs from the booklet that came with my cube with the algs from this page and came up with a solution that works for me. My approach is to solve the cube layer by layer (or horizontal slice by horizontal slice if you rather.) The first layer (or FL) is fairly trivial after you solve a cube a couple times. The ML (middle layer) is a little trickier, but there is basically only one alg to learn and it's pretty repetitious. The LL (last layer) is the trickiest and requires quite a few patterns compared to the other two, but I guess I just felt so close to putting it all together that I had to get it done.

In other news, we Redboxed Superman Returns. Not terrible, but really not all that great IMO. Batman Begins was much better as far as a superhero reboot movie.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Rob and I traveled to my parents' house this weekend to help celebrate my Mom's birthday. Last year, I threw a little surprise party for her (think big birthday!), but this year we planned to celebrate with family. My parents visited with my brother and sister-in-law last weekend, so it was just Rob and me for this celebration.

We headed up Friday (left work a bit early) and had dinner with my folks. Before we even left, we knew that Al Roker was calling for snow on Sunday. We kept our eye on the weather and ended up heading back Saturday night after dinner. Good thing we did - we ended up with about 6 inches of snow, and I think they got more in western MD.

Plus, Rob's parents ended up joining us for dinner on Saturday night, which was great! We celebrated Mom's big day at Giuseppe's Restaurant, which is our favorite. We even had our rehearsal dinner there!

All in all, we had a nice weekend, even though it was shorter than planned. Being snowed in at home on Sunday wasn't all bad either - we enjoyed the lazy day!

Rubik's Cube

I've wanted a Rubik's Cube since a little before Christmas and a slick deal that popped up online Saturday got my interest ratcheted up a notch. I missed that deal, but picked one up at Wal-
Mart later that day.

I read a beginner's guide to solving the cube a few months ago (the reason for my interest) but Hasbro actually includes a pretty nice illustrated guide in the packaging these days. The last step looks hairy until you get it completely finished - it pretty much looks like the cube is completely jumbled again - and I actually thought I had messed it up beyond saving the first time I went through the solution! But the next time I read that step more carefully and realized I simply had a few repetitions of the algorithm left to work through. So, I managed to solve the cube for the first time in my life! Albeit referencing the printed solution each step of the way. I think if I memorized the steps I could probably get down to 2-3 minutes per solution. The best I did yesterday was 7 minutes.

There are people that can solve the cube in well under a minute. I believe the world record is actually ~11 seconds. But they memorize 50+ algorithms for many different positions/situations. Don't think I have the time or desire to get to that level. Although it would be cool to get to the point that I can solve one in under 10 minutes without needing a guide for reference.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Scored MD - Duke tickets!

It was for the women's game, though. Not nearly as hard to get your hands on as the men's ticket for this match up, but still a sell-out crown nonetheless. Dad actually bought a mini-season pack of 4 tickets to ~4 games, so he took Kathryn and I to this one. The women's games are a lot of fun to catch if you go to a game with a large crowd and a decent opponent. We took in another game earlier this year with a small crowd and a crappy team that Maryland pulled away from early in the 1st bit of the game. I'm not kidding they had a double digit lead about 5 minutes in and it never got down to single digits again. Yawn.

Duke ended up winning, but it was a semi-close game. Duke's #10 pretty much dominated. Saw a clip of the end-game the next day and Brenda (MD's coach) said if she doesn't get POY something is wrong. My expert opinion (based on watching 2 or 3 women's games this year) is that I'd have to agree.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Good Husband Bragging

I have to take a minute to brag about my sweet husband. Work has been crazy the last few weeks (we have a big conference starting Sunday), and I've been putting in 10-11 hour days. Ugh.

Lucky for me, Rob has been taking over the dinner responsibilities and making sure we have good food to enjoy together each night. He's been so great about it, and I appreciate him so much!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Super Bowl Tradition!

Rob and I started a new "Super Bowl Tradition" today. We decided to make soft pretzels! I used to work at Auntie Anne's pretzels and know the secret recipe and methods. We've made them a couple of times before, and they always turn out great!

I like having traditions with Rob. We are trying to figure out things that our just "ours", and not necessarily those from our families. One tradition we have is to go for Chinese on Valentine's. We've done it the past year or two, and I'm looking forward to it this year! Our favorite spot in Fairfax City is open, and it won't be crowded like other hot spots on February 14.

What traditions do you have?

Monday, January 22, 2007

Who doesn't check the mail chute?

So I dropped something in the mail chute at work today and noticed some other guy's package was caught just inside the door. I noticed this because I always put my package in the drop box and then look to make sure it drops all the way down. Apparently this other guy doesn't bother. Just seems really strange to me that you wouldn't take the extra 2 seconds to watch it fall in.

Saturday, January 20, 2007


Matt and Carrie came down for a visit this weekend and brought their new Wii with them! I've wanted to check one out since it launched, so I was pretty excited. Matt had two of the controllers (motion sensing remotes), Wii Sports, Rayman Raving Rabbids, and Warioware Smooth Moves.

Warioware was crazy fun, although (like most of the other games in the series) probably kind of short ultimately. Raving Rabbids had a really cool light-gun style mode where you are shooting plungers at the rabbids. (Yeah It's a strange game.) But we spent most of the time playing Wii Sports. Bowling was the winner from the set of games, although Tennis and Golf are also good ones. The bowling is pretty amazing. You hold the remote like a bowling bowl and go through the real bowling motion. You can even put spin on the ball by twisting your wrist as you 'throw'. And of course the speed at which you swing your arm determines the speed of the ball.

But now Matt and Carrie have left (for Mom and Dad's) and I'm in Wiithdrawal! (See what I did there?)

Friday, January 05, 2007

Poor AJ had a bath

Mom tipped us off that AJ may have been exposed to fleas on our trip home for Christmas and we had noticed her scratching a bit, we weren't certain she had a problem, but we decided we better take some measures to nip anything in the bud. So last weekend we headed over to Wal-Mart and picked up some sort of flea and tick shampoo for cats. Kathryn suggested we lather her up in the kitchen sink, but even though AJ is surprisingly fine with getting wet for a cat I thought we better do this job in a bathroom with the door shut!

Turned out she did handle things very well. Although once she got all wet and lathered up she looked really sad as we held onto her for a few minutes before rinsing off. (The directions said to leave it on for 4-5 minutes for best results.) After giving her the best towel dry we could she ran off to sulk a bit. I tried cradling her in a towel to keep her warm, but she didn't want any of that. But a bit later I manged to get her to settle down under a fleece blanket on my lap and she got pretty warm and dry in an hour or two.

I think she must have had something that the shampoo took care of because she's been a lot more loving since the shampoo. She was never not-loving mind, but she's been noticeably cuddlier since. Oh, and the scratching has stopped.