Thursday, July 29, 2010

Harper is as nervous in New York City traffic as me.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"Fashion" Blogs

In the interest of full disclosure this is a typical day heading into the office.  I work in a fairly casual environment.  I am not claiming I am a fashion plate. 

I wanted to discuss fashion blogs.  Some blogs are great, and I love seeing the outfits, and I am not talking about you.  In fact, go over and check out Ali at Food Fitness Fashion (though she's not posting because she's on her honeymoon) or Marcia at Marcia is amused. , they both genuinely have good fashion sense, and are worthy of putting up their daily outfits.  I'm talking about the people that put up their outfits, name their blog something to do with fashion, and yet look like they put on a big old box of crazy.  I am not naming names, but, really?  Since when does "unique" equal "fashionable"?

I know better than to put my fashion choices out there.  I have my own style I suppose, but it's pretty much hippie maternity wear.  And, no, I'm not pregnant.  I even drive my husband nuts with my loose, flowy clothes, loud prints, and bohemian vibe.  Do I enjoy my clothes?  For the most part.  I could probably move in a more professional direction.  But do I think they're worthy of sharing on a daily basis?  Absolutely not!  And, no, I didn't choose a "good" or a "bad" outfit for today.  It's just what I was wearing after running across yet another crazy fashion poster. 

We are absolutely all entitled to our own style.  And I think that my Maid of Honor and I did a great job of acknowledging that with our respective weddings.  When we went shopping for her wedding dress, we even started labeling stores "my style" or "her style".  This is not saying ANYTHING negative about her choices, they just aren't mine.  When it came to wedding dresses, she wanted a satin, princess, ball gown, and I wanted form-fitting lace.  Neither is a bad choice, but just unique to our personalities.

I think, though, when you have a very off-beat style, you run the risk of looking off your rocker if you are a fashion blogger, and perhaps should consider how well your advice will be received.  Maybe I just don't get it.  

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Troubled Times

I have very sad news.  Yet another "person" in my life is pretty sick.  I feel comfortable sharing this news, however.  Please keep Brutus in your thoughts:

Brutus is the adorable, though somewhat loutish bulldog belonging to my brother.  Because my brother and his wife decided to take a break after he graduated with his MBA from University of Chicago (yes, my brother is a smart cookie.  Congrats Jim!), they left Brutus some of the time with both of their parents, but for a brief period, he was boarded.  And during that time, the Bru contracted one heck of a case of kennel cough.  He'll be ok, but the little dude is pretty miserable right now.  As are my parents, because he is sleeping on their bed, and keeping them up all night with his hacking.

Not only is he sick, he doesn't realize that he's moving.  Jim and Sara are moving to NYC for my brother's new job, and since Brutus isn't a fan of moving vans, and uprooting his life, he is arriving a week later with my parents.  Best of luck to Jim, Sara, and Brutus on their next great adventure!

(obviously, he was much younger/smaller in this picture)

Blog Hop

Well, I'll join in on the fun.  Feel free to add to your blog addiction by enjoying this great list of blogs put together by Jenna's Journey!  I'll be checking them out myself!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Weekend in Review

You would think that not doing too many house projects for once would make for a relaxing weekend.'d be wrong.  Chris only relaxes when his hands are tied and he is absolutely FORCED to.  And by this, I mean he has a concussion or there is a tornado warning while he's working in the back yard (true stories).  This weekend, Chris's parents and some dear friends came to visit...and Chris still managed to take down the old basketball pole in the back yard.  Don't get me wrong, I love that he's driven, I just get tired.

I felt absolutely terrible about *our friends'* baby's dog allergy.  (*Edit: sorry, I wasn't clear)  He doesn't react to fur, but licking?  Huge, scary hives.  Immediately.  And anyone who has ever met Harper knows that there is nothing she likes to do in this world more than lick people.  Particularly if they're sweaty, and it was 100+ degrees on Saturday.  She was an angel, though, and while she watched the munchkin the entire time, once she was told to lay down and leave him alone, she did.  So proud of my girl!  Chris and I talked later about how difficult it would be for us if we had a child that was allergic to animals.  Obviously, we're more than a little attached to Monster and Harper.  Can't think about it.  I might cry.

Apologies to Keith for this picture, but it's up here because Michael is making truck noises and it's just too cute.

Harper also REALLY wanted to play with Misty...but the little dog was just too intimidated by her size.  No one loves her.  The cat won't play, the pomeranian won't play...what's a girl to do?

Obviously, come hang out with mom.

Hope your weekend was great, too!

Friday, July 23, 2010

My Olive Obsession

We like green.  A lot.  Our guest and master bedrooms were already "Bamboo" (a VERY light green), but this past weekend I painted the living room, dining room, and hallway "Tate Olive".  I like it a lot.  I understand many people would feel like they're living in a rainforest, but to each their own.  The entire house has wood floors and wood beams on the ceilings.  That being said, I need help!

Our color scheme is generally fairly "primary".  We accent with deep red, gold, and navy.  (Let's just ignore the fact that I have a purple bathroom.)  The living room has incorporated all FIVE colors.  (Red, yellow, blue, green, and brown from the floors)  I'm starting to feel it's too many colors, but I can't decide what to change.  Also, the room is pretty bare.  But I can't decide what to put in it!  Here's some pictures, and then advice would be great!  (Just don't tell me to change the walls!)

Alright, these are not the most helpful pictures (though obviously the dog IS).  However...

Any suggestions?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

One Step at a Time: My Plan Going Forward

Ok.  This week I can breathe.  That's saying a lot ya'll!  Obviously, though, I've got to make some changes going forward.  I still am not going to fully discuss what all went down, but one major thing was career-oriented, and the other...well, health related.

So, what am I going to do about it?  Let's talk about the health side of the equation.  Here's my current plan:

1)  I would like to run either the 1/2 Marathon in March or Full Marathon in November 2011 as a fundraiser.  To that end, I need to start running again.  I used the foot as an excuse for too long, the x-ray never showed a fracture, and I need to start.
2)  I WILL be running a 10k October 23.  Mostly as a warm-up.  I need to send in the registration.
3)  I WILL continue being healthy with my diet.  I have not touched meat in a week.  I have had ice cream and Chinese food, but I'll chalk that up to stress-eating, and that's over.
4)  I am up 5 pounds from the wedding.  That means I am 10 pounds from my goal weight.  I give myself until I turn 30.
5)  Oh, yeah, I'm turning 30 in 5 months.  I plan on getting myself on track so that 30 is even better than 20.  (ha!  Ok, 20 I was terribly underweight, a different way)  I may turn this into some way to make myself accountable, be determined.

I think that's enough for now.  Even putting any of this out there was hard.  Onwards and upwards!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

This is Happening

Can I just tell you how excited I am that this is happening?!?!  We can let the dog OUT!  We can grill without holding a leash!  She can go into heat and I don't have to flip out!  Oh, I am beYOND excited.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Dreaming Big

As I've hinted, last week was a very difficult week for multiple reasons.  I'm not ready to talk about any of it yet.  Some of you may know, and thank you for all the support, and I'd appreciate prayers, but I'm not going to be able to be an honest, everything-on-the-table blogger right now.  So, posts may be few and far between since these things are mostly what's occupying my thoughts.

My big debate at the moment is whether to take on a challenge that just seems monumental.  A cause has recently become very near and dear to my heart, and I'm considering training for the Philadelphia Marathon in November 2011 to raise money for it.  Recently, my running has been minimal at best.  A mile may very well kill me as of today.  However, this is 16 months away, I certainly have good reason, and once I put it out there and start raising money, it would be impossible to back out of without major embarrassment.  I've never ran a marathon before.  Heck, as those of you that have followed my blog know, I wasn't even able to run in the 10 mile race I had trained for because I messed up my knees!

What do you think?  Can I do it?   

Friday, July 16, 2010

Busy Bee

I've had many things on my mind recently, and only now am telling you about LAST weekend.  We took a wonderful trip to State College for Art's Fest.  I may write more later, but for now?  Here are a few pictues.

Showin off tricks by the lion shrine.

Retrieving her ball from under the bed at the campground.

Sitting pretty with dad in front of the HUB.

My gorgeous girl.

Visiting with Chris's cousin Jon.  We saw his cousin Brian and his family the next day, but I failed to take any pictures.  And they have a shepherd, too!  Kronos is only a couple months younger than Harper, and they had a blast. 

Monday, July 12, 2010

New Blog: Old State Glory

Big news!

I was noticing that I was getting football and tailgaiting hits here, and, well, we love football, but I don't talk about it all that much.  Then I realized that Chris's musings had picked up some links.  SO...without further ado...I'll talk about the new blog.  It only has 4 posts so far, so it's just getting up and running, and it's certainly not pretty yet, but if you want to hear Chris and I trash talking each other entirely too much, and generally making people concerned for the state of our marriage...I give you:

Obviously, I will be changing the button up soon, and making SUBSTANTIAL changes to the design, but I had to make sure you football fans were getting to the right place!

(Don't worry, MonsterProof isn't going anywhere, we're just separating out the football.)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Guest Post: Chris's Penn State Musings

* We are in the process of developing a sports/tailgating blog.  This is Chris's first take.  I'll let you know as things progress.*

So I have been guilted into writing a blog post about football for a while. Those who know me know that I absolutely love college football. I am the type that can sit down and watch 12 hours of college football on a Saturday in the fall and not get bored at all. I can even sit down and watch a game that is being re-played on ESPN Classic or the Big Ten Network. I'm not sure what it is about the sport, but it captivates me.
As August rapidly approaches, my excitement for the season grows, similar to that of a young child waiting for Santa to come at Christmas. I grew up in a house that always had college football on on Saturday afternoons in the fall. Though, I didn't really get into college football until I was accepted to Penn State during my senior year of high school. In fact, when I was younger I hated college football, I found it very boring. But then again I was the type of kid that had to be doing something at all times, whether it was playing some sport or working on a project. My senior year of high school I started to watch as many Penn State games as I could, which was hard since I worked Saturdays at the local grocery store.
I will never forget my first Penn State football game. Penn State opened up the season with a game against Southern Mississippi, which really was a glorified scrimmage. I had just started my freshmen year of college and it was Labor Day weekend. My cousin Bill drove from New York to Schuylkill Haven, PA to the Penn State Schuylkill campus where I was at to pick me up. We drove out to State College on the Friday afternoon before the game and crashed in the dorm room of a friend of mine from high school. As we neared campus the first thing I saw was the lights of Beaver Stadium and my skin began to tingle, I was beyond excited. That evening Bill and I walked around campus and he gave me the tour of campus and town with highlights of his old college apartment, the Wendy's where there was an all you can eat buffet back in the day, and much more. I had never visited University Park because I didn't apply to main campus and I was in awe of the campuses size and beauty. As night fell the college kids came out and the streets filled with an alcohol induced energy that just grew as the night went on. We woke up early the next morning and headed out to the stadium for the game. If you have never been to a game at Penn State before, seeing the sea of Blue and White clad shirts surrounding stadium is a site that is just mind blowing. The tailgating lots go on for miles and the tailgate parties come in all shapes and sizes. I remember passing one tailgate party that day that had a full pig roasting, obviously we take our tailgating seriously.
As game time approached we headed into the stadium to watch the pre-game show. The Penn State Blue Band is amazing and they really get the crowd rocking. As the band lined up for the show, the student section started the stadium cheer, which we are known for. "WE ARE" from the student section followed by "PENN STATE" from the rest of the stadium. As the cheer erupted throughout the stadium my skin began to crawl with excitement. The band went on to play the typical show and the next thing I saw was Joe Paterno leading the team out of the tunnel. It was this moment and this moment alone that hooked me on college football. Penn State went on to win easily, 34-6. They finished the season 9-3 with a win over Kentucky in the Outback Bowl, setting up a national championship run in 1999 (I will save this for another post sometime).  
I went to all but one home game while in college and have gone back each season since for at least one game. I have been part of some of the most memorable moments in Penn State history from Joe Paterno's 324 victory to pass Paul "Bear" Bryant and beome the winningest college football coach, Larry Johnson's 2000+ rushing season, the LaVar Leep, and much more. This summer I became a season ticket holder, a dream of mine since graduating college. I probably won't make it to a game until the game against scUM this year because of studying, but you better believe I will watch every game at home!

It isn't just Penn State football that fuels me, it is everything about the Penn State community. I am very proud of my school and all of it's accomplishments. Those that try to bash my school around me know that I will fire back in retaliation like a soldier defending his country. I will get into more thoughts on why I love my school someday, but for now this should appease those that are wanting me to start a blog. I truly have no idea how often I will post, we will see how it goes.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Our Friendly Neighborhood Groundhog

My garden is not thriving.  In fact, we have harvested one cherry tomato so far.  Oh, I've been able to get armfuls of basil and banana peppers from my pots, but my in-the-ground garden?  It's not happening.  And WHY is it not happening?  This guy:

I know, not the best shots, but I didn't have a zoom lens on, and I wasn't about to get attacked by a ravenous groundhog.  I was so frustrated that I have taken to putting bricks in each of the holes he digs around the perimeter, gravel in his home (which is behind our shed), and mothballs around the edge of the garden.  While I want him GONE and eating some other delicious thing, I do not want him DEAD.  I know, crazy animal-nut that I am.  However, Saturday morning, I was DEVASTATED because I thought I had killed him.  There was, what appeared to be, a groundhog curled up in our driveway.  Oh, it was certainly an animal, and probably even one of the other neighborhood groundhogs, and it was most certainly dead...but it wasn't OUR groundhog.  I took these photos of him yesterday.  Proof is in the pudding ya'll. 

Currently, I have 3 leaves of lettuce that are almost to picking size, so Mr. Groundhog?  I know you love them, but aren't multiple heads of lettuce enough?  Could you just leave these last couple of leaves alone?  Please?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Happy 4th of July

Ok, so the pictures I took are few and lousy.  I was having fun!  We just had a couple of people over, then walked downtown for the fireworks.  The funniest part was that we were sitting in a parking lot, and every time a "boomer" went off, a car alarm would sound.  It makes me wonder what is really happening to our sensitive ear drums...   ANYWAY. 

Shammah decided he liked Harper...and she liked him right back

Monster doesn't like anybody.

And a few people gathered in the kitchen.

This is really not representative at all...but so be it.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Wedding Photos

Wedding Photos are up!  For the full collection, you can access them through my facebook page.  For a brief glipse, please visit the DKPhotographic Blog.  I'm so impressed!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Traffic: Can't Live With It, Can't Live Without It

For some time now, I have considered riding my bike to work.  And this morning?  I DID IT!!!  Will I do it again?  Probably, but meditation, deep breathing, and soul searching must occur first.  For as much as Chris and I try and say we care about the environment, I was starting to feel like a hypocrite.  We just traded in my sedan for an SUV this past week.  I cannot pretend that this was a green decision.  But...I love my new car (post for another time).  However, I had to do something to make up for the gas I was using.

I only work 1 mile from home.  Yes, you heard that right.  1 MILE.  I had very few excuses why I should not be riding my bike daily.  Our small town also has shut down one of 5 routes out of town, and that bridge will be closed for a year.  Traffic is an absolute nightmare.  My commute would frequently take up to a half hour.  For that itty bitty mile.

So why hadn't I ridden or walked before?  I walk much farther than that multiple times a day.  It certainly wasn't the strain it would put on my body.  The 1 mile between my house and my office is ENTIRELY highway.  It is only a 45 mile an hour state route, but it is entirely void of sidewalks, and only occasionally has a shoulder.  The idea of riding my bike on it simply terrified me.

My hand was forced today.  Chris's car is in the shop and he took my pretty new baby to his office.  So, I strapped on my helmet, and took off.  And can I say that riding a bike certainly uses different muscles than running?  And that the mile is much hillier than I ever realized?  Besides the point.  It was pretty much as scary as I thought it would be.  In fact, at one point I was shaking so badly that I had to get off and walk a bit.  But I made it.

I believe that small towns like mine, in particular, have a duty to encourage people to leave their cars at home.  So many of us could easily reduce the traffic volume if riding bikes or walking were more viable options.  However, there must be an emphasis on bike lanes or sidewalks to make this a reality.  I believe Phoenixville actually is making this a priority, but I work just over the border in another township.  And there?  The safety features disappear.  I will continue to try and make this a more frequent occurrence, but for now?  Let me catch my breath.