We finally caved last night. The temperature in our house was 61 degrees and I said, "Honey, I think we might need to turn the heat on tonight." Jon actually suggested turning it on two nights ago, but my stubborn, self-martyring self said, "Nope, we can hold out out one more week!" But people, it's been freezing here in Virginia! There were actual snow flurries in the air on Tuesday! Brrrr....I think we might be in for a cold winter.
Poor Lola has been spending her entire day in bed, going from underneath the warm covers in our bed to the warm covers in her bed and back again at night. And like the good mama that I am, I throw her blankets in the dryer for 5 minutes before I leave for work. Yes, she's spoiled. That dog hates the cold as much as I do and on the nights that Jon is at school, we've been huddling under blankets on the couch until he gets home. And when he does, I stick my feet under him and Lola curls up on his larger, much warmer, lap. It's a lovely welcome home!
I'm not sure if it's the brisk chill in the air, but I have much more holiday spirit this year than I did last year. It's not even Thanksgiving yet, but I find myself humming holiday tunes and searching for yummy holiday recipes and getting excited to trim our house with decorations. It might also have something to do with the fact that our mall has been decorated since the beginning of the month, but still, I'm feeling the holiday glow! We've decided not to do a traditional Christmas tree this year because we really have no place to put it, so we're either going to do a potted tree that will fit on our bar or a Christmas palm tree. Yes, a Christmas palm tree! Since Jon and I love the beach and visiting the Caribbean and cruising so much, I thought it would be the perfect tree for us! I've been on the hunt for tropical-themed ornaments and of course, there are plenty on Etsy.
Here are some of my favorites:
Palm Tree Princess makes gorgeous and whimsical mermaid ornaments. I would love to put one of them on the top of a tree in place of a star or angel. Out of all of them, I absolutely fell in love with this pregnant mermaid ornament:
How precious are these little flip flop ornaments from hulabeachceramics? I would buy several of these in all different colors because they make nice filler ornaments for the tree. She also sells ceramic crab ornaments which this Maryland girl definitely needs on her tree!
Jon and I don't start decorating for Christmas until after Thanksgiving, so I have plenty of time to look for more fun, tropical things! When do you all start decorating for the holidays? My mom usually likes to have all of her trees (yes, trees) up in time for Thanksgiving!
Last night's Wii Fit party was a smashing success! The Nintendo girls were fabulously fun and at one point had us doing three way hula hoop competitions! I, sadly, did not win but holy crap, did I get a great ab workout out of that! We enjoyed yummy smoothies, to-die-for sangria and a delicious spread of good for you food like hummus, tabouleh, chicken satay and fresh fruit. Best of all, my guests each walked away with their very own Wii Fit, Wii yoga mat, tote bag and adorable Wii track suit. Thanks for everything, Nintendo and Brand About Town! If you haven't already done so, don't forget to enter my giveaway for your very own Wii and Wii Fit!
As promised, here are some pictures:
My mom was fantastic at hula hooping!
Delectable array of smoothies...
Fellow DC area bloggers Laurie
Lisa and Taylor taking a break between games
You can check out the rest of my photos on Flickr!
If you're a regular reader, you'll know I've had my fair share of drama at our ridiculously overpriced gym. There was the incident with the creepy kickboxing instructor and then there are all those crazy characters to deal with and dear lord, let's not forget that excruciatingly embarrassing incident in Pilates class back in the spring. It's enough to make me never want to go back!
What's a girl to do? I could just stop going and sit on my couch eating Candy Cane Jo Jo's instead, but that might not be very healthy. Or I could just go running for all of my workouts but that's b-o-r-i-n-g and besides, after all those years of running competitively, I promised myself some variety in my workouts.
And that, my friends, is where the Wii comes in. Jon and I enjoy playing our Wii Sports games together when we can't muster the will to go to the gym, but frankly, I'm getting tired of whooping up on him in Wii Bowling and I'm boring him to tears with my lack of Wii Tennis skills. We've been wanting to get our hands on the Wii Fit, but do you realize how hard it is to find one of those things in stores? It's near impossible! I think the Nintendo gods must have heard my silent pleas because I was selected to be a Brand Advocate for the Nintendo Wii Fit!
What does this mean for me? It means that I'm hosting a Wii Fit party next Monday for some of my friends and other DC area bloggers! There'll be wine and snacks and lovely ladies to show us all of the cool and wonderful things the Wii Fit has to offer us girls. Don't worry, I will definitely post pictures of the party because it's sure to be a fun time.
What does this mean for you all? It means that I'm giving away a Wii console and Wii Fit with balance board on this blog thanks to the kind folks at Nintendo just in time for the holidays! Sweet! We can all get in shape together for the New Year! Would you like to be the recipient of that shiny new Wii and Wii Fit?
Well, here's what you have to do:
1. Leave a comment on this post telling me how the Wii Fit would impact your life. Would you use it to lose weight and to track your weight loss? To gain flexibility? To reconnect in a fun way with your kids? To gain bragging rights over who can hold a yoga pose the longest? Tell me! Make sure you use a valid e-mail address so that I can get in touch with you if you're the lucky winner.
2. Want a second entry? Mention this giveaway on your blog by linking back to this post and you'll be entered for another chance to win. Just make sure to let me know via e-mail that you've done so.
It's that simple! I will be accepting comments until midnight EST on Friday, December 5th. The winner will be drawn randomly and announced on Monday, December 8th and one prize (consisting of a Wii console and Wii Fit game and balance board) will be shipped by Nintendo within 2 weeks.
That's it! Now get commenting and let's hear how you would use it! Don't forget to spread the word about the contest.
This will be me soon, the latest internet sensation:
And this will be Jon, champion of downhill skiiing:
The procedure worked!! It only took one shock (eek!) to get my Dad's heart back into a normal rhythm which is a very, very good thing. Before the procedure, his heart was functioning at 20%; it went up to between 50-60% functioning level just after! He was happily released from the hospital last night and is in very good spirits. He's not completely out of the woods yet as there is another minor heart issue to deal with, but the worst is over. Thank you to all of you...the texts, the twitters and e-mails were all very uplifting and served as such a sweet reminder of how lovely and close and real these blogging friendships are. You guys are the best.
Though I never take my parents for granted, this whole situation made me realize more than ever how much they mean to me and how truly deafening the loss of one of them would be. It also brought to light that sure enough, I am my father's daughter and my sister is my mother's daughter. While my mom and my sister aren't negative people, not at all, they braced for the worst and treated it as such. My father and I, on the other hand, expected, perhaps naïvely, the best and thus had a hard time hearing what the doctors were saying about life and death. It was a good balance to have all of us in that hospital room, equal doses of reality and humor and hope to pull us through. Again, thank you for keeping us in your prayers. Life, thankfully, goes on.
I have a big announcement to post tomorrow (no, I'm not pregnant) so make sure you stop by because it may or may not involve the words "contest" and "giveaway" and "Wii". Woo hoo :) Stay tuned!
My dad was admitted to the hospital on Friday night for heart-related issues. He's okay and stable but his doctors are still trying to figure out what's going on. They'll be doing a procedure tomorrow where they shock his heart to try to get it back into a regular rhythm and the results from that test will dictate what happens next. It's all very serious, of course, anything is serious when dealing with the heart, but I'm trying to stay positive and not focus on the very scary realization that this is a life and death situation, as his doctor noted. Y'all know I'm a daddy's girl so this has been a tough weekend. If you can, please keep him in your prayers.
When interviewing for my first job after graduating college, a highly sought after Capitol Hill job for a senior Democrat, the very last question posed to me was, "Why are you a Democrat?" I answered without hesitation: "I'm a Democrat because I think a woman has a right to choose, that marriage is defined by love, not gender and I care about animal rights and the environment." It was as simple as that, and by far, the easiest interview question I've ever been asked. I was offered the position the next day.
After I had been in the position for a couple of weeks, the co-worker who was training me told me that I got the job that so many had applied for because of my answer to that question. Some of the others answers that had been given were "because my parents are Democrats" or "I just am" or incredibly, "I don't know." It baffles my mind to this day. Maybe it's because I've always been a passionate person, with solid beliefs and convictions that I'm not afraid, ashamed or embarrassed to back up, but I just don't understand how people don't have an opinion.
By the look of yesterday's turnout, however, I think things are starting to change. It seems that more people care, more people are invested and more people do have an opinion about who's leading our country. This thrills me beyond belief. I stood in line an hour yesterday morning to cast my vote. I was surrounded by young people, old people, whites, blacks, Asians and more. The diversity of the line I was standing in was a perfect representation of the melting pot moniker of America and it was exhilarating to be a part of it.
When I got home (very late!) from work last night, Jon and I settled into the couch to watch as state by state reported their numbers. I kept saying in utter amazement to him, "We are watching history happen." I couldn't tear myself away from the t.v. and stayed up way past my bedtime to watch McCain's concession speech and Obama's acceptance speech. I have to admit, both brought tears to my eyes, something that I wasn't expecting at all. I am inspired, inspired by change and inspired by a man who believed that yes, yes we can.
To finish the most political post I've ever written on this blog, I wanted to share an e-mail my mom forwarded to me that her dear friend wrote. This, too, made me cry, because not only am I so happy and excited for me and for America, but I'm just so happy and excited for her on a personal note.
"First, let me start by saying that I actually do like John McCain. I think he is a great person and has done a lot for our country. I have the utmost respect for him. I also think that McCain is a gracious man who can still do a lot for this country and I do look forward to seeing more of him. That being said, I have to say this. I never thought I would see the day that someone like me would be President of the United States! Barack Obama and I have a similar background and I'm sure we had similar problems growing up. He was raised by his white grandparents and I can only imagine what he had to go through. While I was growing up, I was called "nigger", "half-breed", and any other evil names you can imagine because like Obama, my mother was white and my father was black. I was tortured, beaten up because I was different and was left with very little self-esteem. At several points in my life, because of what I went through growing up, I even became suicidal. But fortunately, like Obama, I had strong parents who reassured me that there was nothing wrong with me and that I was not a "freak" ...I was special. Some of my mother's own family disowned her and she basically went through hell because she loved my father. But she always stood her ground and I am so proud of her for doing so. They weren't even allowed to marry in Baltimore, MD because it was "illegal" (this was in 1953). They had to go to DC to get married. I am now very proud of who I am because I never judge anyone, I appreciate BOTH sides of my heritage and I like being who I am...I get the best of both worlds! I just think it's wonderful that someone who is "culturally the same as me" is now going to run this country. I always felt like I was different and now there is someone to represent what you can do regardless of how some ignorant people treat you. I wish him, his family and all Americans all the blessings in the world and to hopefully get our great country back on its feet. Did I ever think I would see the day that someone who was born around the same time I was and go through similar obstacles become President of the United States? Not at all! I hope this is a step in the right direction and that more people realize that it's not the color of your skin that matters....it's the person inside."
Well said, Jackie, well said.
It's probably a good thing that I decided not to participate in NaBloPoMo this year because I most certainly would have failed already! For once, we weren't busy at all this weekend and I took that opportunity to get all those little things done that I never seem to have time to do. While that included the not-so-fun activities of cleaning the linen and coat closets, it also included catching up on reading (In the Company of the Courtesan by Sarah Dunant and Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler are the two currently on my nightstand), taking long walks with Jonathan and Lola and going on some real mind cleansing runs.
If you saw my sad little Twitter on Friday, you'll know that I had a very overwhelming day at work. The kind of overwhelming brought on by being short-staffed in the midst of the busiest recruiting season of the year and being so frustrated and busy that tears seem to be the only response you can muster. For the record, I didn't cry at work. I was so darn close, but I managed to take a deep breath and calm myself down. Sheesh. That would have been embarrassing. The worst of it will be over by next Tuesday which means that I have just over a week left of sheer madness. I will get through it but posting will probably be sporadic because I've been working quite a bit of overtime. Good for our checking account, bad for my sanity.
There's also the first round of my tooth extraction/replacement to deal with on Thursday afternoon. They'll be removing my thrice-root canaled tooth and doing a bone graft on my jaw, lucky me. After this appointment, I have to wait for everything to heal, about 3 months, before we move onto the second round of putting the implant in. My mouth (not to mention, our wallet) is definitely in deep!
On a more uplifting note, I attended a co-worker's Taste of Home Entertaining party on Sunday (shopping always cheers me up!) and I bought the most charming little snack dish. I have more serving and entertaining pieces than I currently know what to do with, but just wait until we have a house...I can't wait to host fabulous parties and use them all! As with most catalog parties, it was a little pricey (almost $50!) for what it is, but it's beautiful and practical and it cheered me up. Plus, it comes in 5 different colors and one of them just so happens to match our robin's egg blue dishes perfectly! Here's a picture of it in berry:
Also on my happy list are the Christmas cards I ordered from Kodak Gallery tonight. They are absolutely darling and I can't wait to send them out. I'll definitely post a picture once they're mailed because I'm quite proud of my cleverness, though Jon did drop the word cheesy to describe them. Whatever...I think they're perfect!
So, what's cheering up your world this week?