Winter Grillin'

He got a new toy

Neither sleet, snow, darkness or rain can keep him away
Nice grills are expensive! Mj had a good one but it got totally destroyed in the move.  I was thinking one of those old school three legged ones that has two wheels and takes actual charcoal would be good enough but that wasn't exactly what he had in mind.  After much shopping around and extensive research he finally found the perfect one one about a month ago.  It's easy to clean, the parts that dismantle are dishwasher safe and it's made of heavy cast iron.  It's still Winter and we haven't even hit Spring yet but that hasn't stopped him from getting out there.  He's grilled sliders, steaks, chicken, bratwurst and asparagus so far.  I usually watch him from the sliding glass door because it's too cold for me to go out there.  He's probably out there a couple times a week.  He loves it!  I think it might be hereditary.  When we went out to visit his family in Delaware in DECEMBER his dad was outside on the grill standing in the icy cold when we pulled up to the house.  Mj loves to cook inside so I guess it should come as no surprise that he likes to do it outside too.
It's a giant monster of a propane grill and I don't even know how to use the darn thing.  Even so, I am looking forward to warmer weather and finally getting some patio furniture so I can get out there and enjoy it too.  I'm not sure I get what is so awesome about that grill that he is out there wearing flip flops in the cold trying to beat the rain to get our dinner cooked but I sure love to eat whatever comes off of it.  Tonight's chicken dinner. 

Nice Long Weekend

At my job we get Friday and Monday off so I was lucky enough to have a  4 day weekend.  I ran some errands on Friday then went home to wait for my big sis.  She came down on Friday with my nephew to spend the night and we got to spend some quality time together.  Little Dj is so cute!  He can't quite figure out how to crawl yet but he is sitting up and eating baby food now.  Mj volunteered to watch the little guy while we went out to dinner.  He did a fantastic job.  He fed him while we were gone and by the time we got home he was sleeping on the couch.  About 10 minutes after we got home he says, "Is he going to fall off the couch?"  I ran upstairs to put a barrier at the edge just to make sure.  My sister hardly ever gets to go out to dinner so she very much appreciated the little break.

He fell over and cut his face on our coffee table.  His 1st injury.

Saturday morning Mj made us french toast for breakfast and then my sister and I did one of her cardio dance work out videos together.  She is on a mission to lose her baby weight so she works out 6 days a week and burns a minimum of 500 calories with each video!  I felt like an uncoordinated spaz because I couldn't quite keep up but it was a great 45 minute work out nonetheless.  Big sis left that afternoon and I'm looking forward to seeing her again in 2 weeks.  It's so nice having her near enough to visit with now.  Mj and I were going to go out for date night but with all the heavy rain we decided to just stay home.  We got Subway and watched two scary movies instead.  Paranormal Activity 2 and Buried.

Sunday was a nice day of relaxing.  Well, after we did taxes that is.  It took about three hours but we managed to do it ourselves using Turbo Tax online.  Mj actually did most of the work but I assisted and ran around getting paperwork.  Our taxes are a bit complicated so we weren't sure if we could do it but I think we did OK.  It saved us a lot of money doing it ourselves.  The cold weather didn't stop Mj from grilling steaks for dinner that night.  Monday I was able to knock out one of my gym days for the week in the morning.  I burned up 600 calories then met a good friend of mine for brunch. 

I felt so bad for Mj when he had to get out of bed and I was sleeping in!  His job doesn't get President's Day at all which I think is pretty ridiculous.  I had a nice, relaxing, long and productive weekend.  Back to work, but at least it's already a short week AND I have the first episode of the new season of  America's Next Top Model to look forward to on Wednesday.

Some V Day Love

*Special Delivery:  Cookie bouquet*
I didn't expect anything thing for Valentine's Day.  Mj was out of town all weekend during the time when we might have done something.  He's not really into Valentine's day and although I used to be more so when we were first dating it doesn't matter to me as much as it used to.  I know he loves me.  We make sure to get in at least one date night a month so we already make a point to do special things together.  A lot of people are anti Valentine's because it's a holiday made up by the greeting card industry to make money and an excuse for all related industries to jack up their prices.  I totally agree, but I see nothing wrong with throwing in one extra day to show your sweetheart that you care as long as there is no pressure and high expectations for some grandiose outing and expensive gifts.  I just don't think all that is necessary.  Monday at work I received an unexpected delivery of giant festive lolly pop cookies.  What a sweet surprise, especially for a guy who isn't really into Valentine's Day!

Much needed tie rack for Mj.
Source: Bed, Bath, & Beyond. 
When I got home Mj was in the kitchen and I could already smell dinner cooking.  I ran upstairs and grabbed his gift.  It's sort of cliche but at the same time he actually really needed a tie rack, so that's what I gave him.  Now he doesn't have to keep them crammed into a drawer anymore.  I had time for an exercise video so I did that and then we sat down to a home cooked meal of chicken, fresh asparagus, and french bread with fresh garlic.  It was delicious like everything else he makes. 

dinner for two at home
Then, he tells me I have to go upstairs while he cooks a surprise dessert.  I sit in the loft as the aroma of Cinnamon, Chocolate and some other kind of sweetness filters up the stairs but I still have no idea what he's got up his sleeve.  About 35 minutes later he tells me to come downstairs and I see my favorite dessert in the whole wide world sitting there.  Molten Chocolate Lava Cake with Vanilla ice cream!!  I love it that they are a perfect petite size and the ice cream on the side is Dreyer's light with 1/2 the fat!  Does this man know me or what?  I have only ever enjoyed this dessert in restaurants and now it's right here at home and tastes just as good.  I enjoyed every bite and finished off my glass of wine.
My all time fave dessert, perfectly plated.
He ran up to finish playing PlayStation and I finished up the last of the dishes.  Incidentally, I broke a wine glass and just got busted for it because I forgot to tell him and he found it in the trash!  We watched Heavy on A & E and then went to bed.  I couldn't have asked for anything more.  My cookie bouquet and the time he took to make me dinner made me feel so special.  No big fancy night out or diamonds needed for this lady on Valentine's Day.  We don't go all out but I'm glad that we do acknowledge this day.  It's really the little things that go a long way to showing appreciation.  Day to day gestures of love and affection matter more then any one single day ever should.  As we lay in bed that night I whispered to him that he is a good husband and that I love him.  Because he is and I do and I'm still trying to figure out how I got so lucky.

Finding "The One"

*Me and "The One" on our wedding day*
I can still remember my first crush.  Dreaming that he would like me back while listening to mixed tapes that I recorded off the radio for hours in my room.  That longing aching sensation I had inside for a boy I didn't even really know.  He was a smart, cute basketball star and I just wanted to feel his arms wrapped around me.   Along with half the other girls in our school.  At the tender age of Fifteen I felt utterly heartbroken and alone because he never gave me a second glance.  I got over it eventually, but that first crush is something I'll never forget.

I was a "late bloomer."  The glasses didn't get traded in for contacts until Junior year in high school and the much needed orthodontia did not come until my Junior year in College.  In high school I was the girl who only got invited to two high school dances and never had a boyfriend.  I wanted a boyfriend so badly but kissing still seemed sort of disgusting.  Until I finally got to do it myself with my Senior Prom date just after high school graduation.  I cursed my non existent love life back then but as a wizened adult who's been around the block I can look back and say it was a good thing.  My cautious and tentative nature when it came to boys meant that I took things slow which meant that I was very selective with who I gave a chance and didn't have to kiss too many frogs to get to my prince. 

I met my first boyfriend when I was Eighteen and ended up marrying him.  It may have taken me a while to feel comfortable enough to have a boyfriend but once I made up my mind I was all in.  It was great at first.  Isn't it always?  Then, I began to realize that we were were simply too different to make it work.  What's with three years of dating and a four year engagement?  We clearly had reservations but we had been together so long it was our duty to tie the knot so that's what we did.  I didn't even know myself at 18 when we met and 10 years later was still trying to figure it out when I found myself divorced, in my late twenties and dating for the first time in my life.  After a 9 year relationship.

I had plenty of dates but very few connections.  There was a certain feeling that I was looking for and I wasn't going to settle or pretend.  Getting taken out to dinner was fun and all but I never knew how to negotiate that moment when I realized that I didn't like the guy "that way" and I didn't see the point of leading him on.  Dating was fun and being single was OK with me but I prefer having one special person and I found myself in relationship #2 with the proverbial "bad boy" before long.  If you could call it that.  Our relationship status was always a question mark so it never really felt like one and let's just say that he wasn't as "separated" as he claimed to be.  Being so inexperienced I was too naive to see what should have been obvious.  I still considered myself lucky for having been burned only once in my life by a man.

Oh, and remember that first crush?  Right around my dating years he resurfaced.  He lived out of state but when he was back home visiting he always made a point to call me and we'd meet up.  On one such visit, like something out of a movie, he gave me his high school Basketball jersey.  The very same one that I dreamed about having Thirteen years earlier just didn't have the same effect on me now.  He never noticed me before so he wasn't the right boy for me in high school nor the right man for me over a decade later.  That jersey represented everything I ever wanted when I was in the throes of that poignant teenage crush.  I had come full circle from that awkward lonely girl just wanting to be loved, to a woman that had no problem getting dates, who had loved and lost and was now OK with being on her own.

I had a brief but fun long distance romantic interlude with a guy from the other side of the US.  It was just what I needed to get over the two timer and get ready for the most important one yet.  Third time's a charm.  Fresh off of a quasi relationship I knew exactly how things were NOT supposed to be and was simply blown away by the difference.  The very next man who I handed my heart to and asked for love in return is the same man who I am happily married to three years after we met.  The same man who I expect to be married to the rest of my life.

I wasn't supposed to have a high school boyfriend.  I was meant to long for love in a way that would always make me remember how much I want it and just how precious it is.  I wasn't meant to have 10 boyfriends and several short lived romances.  It could have changed me and my path to "the one" in so many ways.  Instead, I was given two relationships and a time for dating in my late twenties.  Nobody plans on divorce, but I was meant to have a "starter" marriage to prepare me for the one that counts.  With each heart break I learned the lessons that I needed to learn and grew in the ways that I needed to grow.  I didn't know it yet but all along I was on the path towards "the one."  And when he came along I was ready for him.  The man I was meant to be with.

Razor VS i Phone

There is no point to even pretend that even on some alternate universe there is any comparison between the i phone and the Razor.  There are only a handful of phones that can stack up to the i phone and needless to say the Razor is not one of them.  Even for it's time it is just a poorly functioning phone and I cannot believe that there were people were going crazy wanting to get their hands on one, my big sister included!  Suffice it to say that I could have gotten any phone and it would have been a huge step up.  Getting the i phone was leaps and bounds.

Old and busted razor

Do you know that I couldn't even get through a 30 minute phone conversation sometimes without the battery dying?  If I cut out suddenly everyone just knew that my phone had crapped out.  Texting was the biggest pain in my butt and if I missed a call it wouldn't even tell me what time the call came in.  I had to create a new contact for each number even if those numbers all belonged to one person.  The only thing it had going for it was that it was Pink.  That Razor frustrated me to no end during the year that I was unfortunate enough to be stuck with it so in order to fully expel all of that frustration I decided to smash it.  Literally.  I threw it on the ground first just for kicks but then I took a hammer to it and smashed it up.  It's so much fun destroying things.  A shame we don't have the opportunity to do it more often.  It's a real stress and tension buster.  So, since there is no comparison between the old phone and the new I'm just going to say all the things I love about my new i phone. 

My new phone!!

  1. Calendar.  I love being organized so having access to a calendar on my phone is great.  I use the i calendar for Mj's schedule and imported my google calendar for mine.  I can view them separate or together with the touch of a button and our lives are all right there at my fingertips.  When you add in birthdays to your contacts they automatically go on the Birthday calendar. 
  2. Notes.  I love making to do lists and shopping lists.  I also keep track of movies that are going to be coming out in Theaters so I can add them to my blockbuster Queue.  No longer must I carry around scraps of paper to try to keep up with and have to search for a pen.  I can quickly e mail grocery lists to Mj or vice versa.  I can make lists to my hearts content.  Clothes I want to buy.  TV shows I'm going to watch.  Whatever.  It's all right there. 
  3. Apps.  Just three months ago I still didn't fully understand what an app was.  "There's an app for that." Blah, blah, blah.  I got tired of hearing about it 'cause I sure couldn't get any on the Razor.  Now, I heart apps more than anyone.  There really is one for almost everything you use and do on the Internet.  This perfectly condensed program that allows you to do most major functions without having to actually go to the URL.  Tracking calories on Lose it is fun.  I have USAA, Blockbuster, Discover Card, Fandango for movies, Jenny Craig dining Guide, All Recipes....and on and on.  So convenient.
  4. Camera.  I don't have to worry about ALWAYS having my digital camera on hand.  Sometimes I don't necessarily plan to take any pics but then find that I'd want to for some reason and be annoyed that I couldn't.  The quality of the i phone is almost as good as my digital camera so I don't really worry about that so much.  It has a flash.  I can zoom in, color correct and e mail it to myself for posting so easily.  The video camera is fun and Face time is pretty cool.  Love, love, love!!
  5. Data Plan.  I always said that I absolutely don't need the Internet on my phone.  And really, I don't.  But it sure is nice to have.  I have GPS in my car but I also have my maps on my phone.  I know I can get anywhere I need to without having to print out map quest directions before I leave the house.  If I need to look something up real fast on the fly I can.  The i phone Internet is almost as fast as my mac book.
  6. Functionality.  The call quality is good.  The battery life is excellent.  This phone charges up really fast.  It is so user friendly because any button you need is right there on the screen for you to touch.  I love having my alarm on my phone pre set for weekdays so I don't have to worry about forgetting to set it then turn it off on the weekends. 
If it's possible to be in love with a phone well I have to say that I am.  No, all of those gizmos on my phone are not necessary.  I never had 'em before and I sure don't NEED 'em now.  There are a lot of unnecessary things we have that make life just that little bit easier.  Simple things even.  Like having a garage or a water spout in my refrigerator.  My biggest worry about getting this phone was letting go of my $41 T Mobile cell phone bill.  I held out for so long just to keep it and I am glad that I did.  For a while I just felt having all those "extras" on my phone was too much.  I don't need to jump into the latest thing right away.  I didn't get a DVD player until years after everyone else did and I got a smart phone on my own time too.  Well, it was a Christmas gift from Mj, but after much coaxing he knew I was finally ready.  I'm glad I held out but I'm also glad I finally took that leap and upgraded.  I am only paying about $10 more on a combined plan.  It's not that much more and it's worth it.  Life is hard sometimes and I work hard.  There are a lot of things that would make life easier that I simply can't afford.  Turns out that this i phone isn't one of them so I might as well have it.