Friday, December 19, 2008

Reflecting on an eventful year

On Saturday Matt and I are going to Battle in Seattle (GO ZAGS!!). We are so excited to go. And not just because it will be a great basketball game and we get to see many of our good friends, but it was at this event last year, Matt and I met for the first time. (See picture below from our first night can tell we had fun being goofy together from the very start.)
It is pretty remarkable…

In less than a year’s time we fell in love and got engaged. Now I can’t imagine my life without Matt. Plus I moved to Knoxville, Tennessee and started a new job. So much has changed in a short period of time! What is even more remarkable is how naturally all the change has happened. Falling in love with Matt has been unlike anything I even dreamed of. He is my perfect match. We couldn’t possibly be apart so that made my move to Knoxville an easy decision. And the transition has been wonderful…even the hard days don’t seem that bad because I’m with Matt through it all. (I know, this is sappy overload, sorry!)

Tonight we get on a plane to fly back to the NW. I’m so excited to be traveling WITH Matt this time instead of traveling by myself to see Matt. Think good thoughts of safe and smooth travels for us so we can be sure to cheer on the Zags Saturday and toast a tequila shot in honor of the first night we met.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Have you seen anything cuter?

Matt and I are resisting the urge to get a dog, but when we do (the plan is after January 2010) we will get a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier. This video proves that this breed really is the cutest thing you've ever seen!

Btw, we aren't doing very well at resisting. We already have a name picked out for our future dog. And I might have stopped by the humane society a few times since being in Knoxville. :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Calling all dog lovers!

Do you love dogs? Have you owned a dog? Dreamt of owning a dog?

If you answered “yes” to any or all of these questions, go out right now and buy or check out the book Marley & Me by John Groban. Especially if you have traveling plans for the holidays—this book is perfect light reading for trains, planes and automobiles!

Why you ask? I ask you…have you ever regretted reading a book:
  • That made you continually laugh out loud AND brought you to tears?

  • That you can totally relate to?

  • That makes you reflect on your own memories?

  • That you just CAN’T put down?

Good books are the ones you are sad to finish…Ones you want to tell all your friends about. Marley and Me was this type of book. Matt watched me read it and after seeing me laughing and crying while reading, he was too intrigued not to read it. Less than a week later, he’s already done reading it!

So go get it already! Or ask to borrow our copy, I’m happy to share! I hope the movie lives up to the book; it looks promising with a good cast (Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson).

And while I’m recommending books, I’ve been on a good streak lately and HIGHLY recommend: "Eat, Pray, Love" and "Kabul Beauty School"

I’m also taking recommendations. I need a good book for my own holiday travels. On my shelf that I’m contemplating are: Middlesex, Kite Runner and Atonement. Care to help me chose? Or even recommend others!

And here's the dog I am most excited to see when I am home:

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Proud Auntie

I meant to post this awhile back but kind of forgot about it...

Megan (my sister) has been wonderful with keeping in touch ever since I moved to Knoxville. I get regular emails with stories and pictures plus she blogs and we also talk on the phone. But this piece of mail has to be one of my favorite "updates" I've gotten:
It says: "Auntie Cara...I love you!...Are you having fun...Hi Matt...Love Corbin" And the picture is pretty clearly labeled that it is Corbin and me. This card itself is pretty stinking cute. But the cutest thing about it is Corbin's attempt to mail it. He made the card, sealed it in an envelope, wrote my name on it, put a sticker where a stamp normally goes and tried to put it in the mail just like that. Megan got to it and put it inside a bigger envelope with a real stamp and my address.

So cute! And I'm so impressed that Corbin wrote the card and drew the pictures without any help at all! This blog is the first that Megan has seen of it. Can't wait to go home and see the fam!

Friday, December 12, 2008

BE -short for Bathroom Ettiquette

I debated whether I should blog about this topic. But when I expressed my concern to Matt, he said that bathroom etiquette was an acceptable topic and that people should read and learn about it. So I’m going for it!

In my opinion, there is an unspoken bathroom etiquette (BE). I have no idea where it originates and I think it’s something an individual just picks up over time. At the age of 26 I think I follow most of the unspoken rules. But if I’m being honest, I have to admit I have been on my cell phone and answered my cell phone while in a public bathroom…sorry if you’ve been the person on the other line! I believe that phone use in a public bathroom falls as questionable BE, but I could be wrong, I could be partaking in unacceptable BE in which case I apologize!

This topic came up after an incident at work earlier this week. A nice woman at my company walked into the bathroom while I was washing my hands. We politely greeted each other (acceptable BE). While standing in the sink area, she asked me when I am heading west for the holidays (acceptable BE). As I was answering her question she headed into the bathroom stall (questionable BE…I hardly know this woman so talking while she is going to the bathroom is a little odd. I will gladly talk to my friends while they are peeing, but even among friends this is questionable BE).

It gets worse…

My response about traveling was “Next Friday.” To which she says, “Oh, you are taking the week of Christmas off too.” I was thinking, “Phew. End of conversation, I can quickly make my exit.” But no, she continues on to tell me that she is taking the week off but isn’t traveling…she wants extra time off to just be at home, get ready for Christmas etc. You might be thinking, “Cara, that isn’t that bad. She was just carrying on a conversation.” But there is one more factor to consider. During this conversation, with me standing awkwardly by the sink, already done washing and drying my hands and coworker X in the stall, I can CLEARLY hear this woman going #2. Yep, she was pooping and it wasn’t subtle. There were definite farting and blopping sounds (very unacceptable BE). Ew. So I wrapped up the conversation as best I could and hollered back, “See you later” as I fled out the door.

Now if you do this type of thing, I’m sorry if you are offended…but please stop. It is awkward and not compliant with the unspoken bathroom etiquette.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sleeping trials and tribulations

When I wrote about Matt turning into a pillow swiper, I got a lot of responses. Turns out, Matt isn’t alone in his late night criminal behavior! …So I thought you all might be interested in more of our sleeping trials and tribulations.

Matt is a much deeper sleeper than me and it is most apparent when alarms go off in the morning. Neither one of us are morning people. Quite the opposite, we are night owls and aren’t very strict about our bedtimes. This means mornings are slow moving with lots of snooze hitting.

Well, two nights ago Matt set his phone alarm for 6 am. He left it on the dresser across from the bed and had it set to vibrate. When it went off, I woke up. Matt didn’t. I told him that his alarm was going off but he was not interested. Apparently since he didn’t wake up to it, it didn’t exist. So I, not being an early riser, chose to try and ignore the vibrating phone. But five minutes later, it went off again. Again I tried to tell Matt that he needed to turn his alarm off. Still, Matt was not interested. Repeat this a few more times. Matt kept getting more and more irritated with me. He told me that I was being ridiculous, it was barely audible. Eventually I got up out of bed and turned the damn thing off myself. When we finally got up, we had a good laugh about it. And we agreed, Matt shouldn’t bother setting his alarm because I’m the only one that wakes up to it anyway.

Last night, Matt’s sleepy morning behavior continued. We were going to try and get up early to work out. My alarm went off at 5:50 a.m. and I hit snooze. Five minutes later, I hit snooze again. And again. And again. I reset the alarm 7:10 a.m. and hit snooze AGAIN. And again. And at 7:15 Matt woke up to the alarm and asked, you ready to go to they gym? In all seriousness! He thought that was the first time the alarm went off, apparently he really was dead to the world for the first 10 times Pink’s song, “So What” blared out of my phone!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Holiday Spirit

I love the holidays. I'm really excited to be home for the holidays. But Matt and I wanted to decorate our Knoxville home for the holidays even though we won't be here for Christmas or New Years.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving we braved a craft store to get some festive decorations. It was well worth the long check out line, we got 60% + on everything!

Also in the spirit of the holidays, we bought ourselves a Christmas present...a new dining room table. Kmart is closing here so we got quite the bargain on an already very affordable (read: cheap) dining set.

The last step in the holiday spirit was baking! I made all kinds of delicious cookies this weekend: no bake peanut butter chocolate cookies, peanut butter kiss cookies, chocolate WOWs, chai shortbread cookies and snickerdoodles. We made plates to give to some friends in town (see picture)...of course we saved plenty for ourselves too!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Caught: pillow swiper!

You’ve heard of blanket stealers and bed hogs, but pillow swipers might be a new one. It sure surprised me! Matt and I mostly sleep just fine in the same bed but he has been known to do the signature blanket roll. He’ll be on his side facing me and grab the blanket while rolling to his other side, leaving me sans blanket.

But last night he took it to a new level. He swiped my pillow right out from underneath my head! I woke up to the thud of my head hitting the bed. I quickly realized what happened and got the giggles. I tried to tell Matt that he stole my pillow but he was half asleep and had no interest in my giggling babble. I finally audibly told him that he stole my pillow. Without saying a word or even opening an eye, he handed me the reject pillow that he had tucked between his legs. This sent me into another fit of the giggles and I tried to tell him that I wanted MY pillow back. No use…he was back to sleep. So I got out of bed, walked around to his side and found his pillow abandoned on the floor. I grabbed it and went back to snooze for another hour before our alarms went off.

Next time Matt better look out because I won’t be so nice, I’ll be swiping my pillow back right from under his head! (And I’ll try not to giggle. But I’m giggling right now just picturing sleepy Matt snatching my pillow from me so I’m not sure I can keep a straight face with this issue.)

What kind of shenanigans do you all encounter? Sleep kicking? Sleep walking? Dogs or cats pouncing on you?

Home sweet home and not-so-sweet home improvements

When I first saw Matt’s townhouse (now our townhouse) it was clearly “boy.” Not just “boy” but “boy in grad school with no time or money to invest in beautifying a home.” (Sorry for outing you Matt, but you’ll admit it is true!)

Since it is now our home, we are trying to make it feel more home-like. In August we started with slipcovers, curtains and throw pillows….8 throw pillows later, the living room looks more put together.

Next step: brighten the place with paint. Everyone knows painting is a chore. And we knew that going in, but it’s so much more of a chore than we ever expected. As this morning, nearly all the house is painted. (WOOHOO!) If you look at Matt’s earlier blog you can see his remarks on painting. Last weekend we painted the hallway and stairwell with a light, creamy yellow. Check out the great lengths we had to go to get the entire wall!

While using the long poll, Matt was pushing with great vigor to fill in the heavily textured walls (read: walls that are painstakingly hard to paint and driving us absolutely nuts). Suddenly there was a *crash*. The roller broke in half and went flying down the stairs! Thankfully we took little care in keeping paint off the carpets since we will be replacing them anyway. But we had to go to Ace Hardware and buy a new roller. There we discovered that are different roller pads for different levels of texture. AHA!! Brilliant! So we bought several for medium-textured walls and it actually makes a difference. Hopefully it will make painting the entire downstairs a little less painful. And make a little mental note for yourself in case you ever find yourself painting annoyingly textured walls!

It’s all worth it in the end though! I can’t wait to post all the finished products! And for kicks, Matt and I started getting goofy with all our painting...with the amount of time we've been doing it, we had to mix it up somehow. Pictures to prove it:

I had fun labeling Matt with painting tape. And you have to love my AWESOME tied died, eighties-hippy style painting outfit.