Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

My Solimar co-workers. We had our first ever costume contest. 
It's hard to tell in this group photo, but I'm wearing the front of a Life cereal box and carrying some lemons, which I handed out to people throughout the day. Get it? When life hands you lemons! It's easy and clever, if not a little corny - just what a Halloween costume should be. The best part was watching people think really hard about it before it clicked. Instant entertainment for me all day.

We also had a Halloween potluck at work. And yes, it is the best place to work. 
The best costume of the day, IMHO was my co-worker Gabe who dressed as a panda. Over lunch, we were discussing how funny it would be if he had gone as the panda cam. It's kind of a big deal around here. Sure enough, once we were all back at our desks, he invited us to a streaming video of him just kind of sitting there working. He was the panda cam. Too funny.

Gabe as the Panda Cam. As seen from my monitor. 
Our Halloween is over because we committed the cardinal sin - we ran out of candy. Luckily our awesome neighbors lent us some of theirs (you may remember them from the awesome cheese & wine housewarming gift) so we could make it until 8:00 p.m. After that, we just had to shut 'er down. New homeowner fail. :(

Just for fun - here are some oldies, but goodies. 

Bag o' flour.

Not Halloween, but still dressed up. This was common. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Anniversary Weekend

I need to start coming up with more interesting post titles.

Thank you so much for all of the love for my last post. It was fun to write, and I'm glad at least a few of you had fun reading it.

We had a great time this weekend. Not only was it our anniversary, but we really needed a break. Escaping to a secluded resort in the mountains was just the answer.

We drove down to Primland on Friday, our actual anniversary. Part of the drive took us on the Blue Ridge Parkway, which was breathtaking. There are a lot of reasons we got married in October, but it's a fun added bonus that it gives us an excuse to travel when a lot of places are at their most scenic. It's also fun because our anniversary always falls during the World Series - hopefully someday we'll celebrate with a Nats World Series win.

Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

At the Mabry Mill, we ran into a couple that asked us to take their photo. They were celebrating their 27th anniversary. How cool is that?! I didn't have the heart to tell them they were married the year I was born.

Mabry Mill on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

About six hours and lots of bad radio later, we arrived at Primland. It's legitimately in the middle of nowhere, and it was expansive. It took several minutes just to drive from the main entrance to the main lodge where we checked in. Apparently it's over 12,000 acres. There is a golf course, spa, hunting, fishing, 3 restaurants and countless other activities, but let's be honest, I was mostly there for the view.

We stayed in the Barn Owl treehouse... 
...and this was our view. It was ok. ;)
This was our other view. It was also ok.
And these were our sunsets. Swoon.
We went on a hike.  
We rode horses. This is Daisy. She was stubborn just like someone else I know. 

One of our favorite dinners at the resort was the casual BBQ buffet. It was a big reminder that we were in the south South. There was a live bluegrass band, and while it's not a style of music I typically enjoy, it was SO GOOD. We stayed almost an hour after we were done eating just to enjoy their music. Here's a little video Jon took:

We also went to the spa, ate a lot of food, and just enjoyed the beautiful views. On our way back to D.C. we stopped at Monticello because when we're not eating or relaxing on vacation, we're probably doing something nerdy and/or historic.

Who doesn't love a Presidential house tour?
Just a little proof that we were on this little vacay together. Jon always makes me ask other people to take our photo. 

We got home just in time to watch the Packers destroy the Vikings. It was pretty much the perfect weekend.

Friday, October 25, 2013

5 Years

We've been married for 5 years. Has it really been 5 years? Wow. People always make a fuss about the milestones that end in 0 or 5. I'm not usually one for fussing over sap, but I do think it's fun to look back. Here are some very random musings about our last several years together (and a few additional comments from Jon who has approved this message).

We met in college when I was a freshman and he was a senior. I have no recollection of this, but Jon claims to remember everything. Typical.

But here's the funny thing about Jon's memory. He can tell you his locker combination from high school (21-35-17) and what movie he saw on vacation in 1993 (Jurassic Park), but he has a tendency to forget what I told him 10 minutes ago. It's amazing really.

Even though we met when I was a freshman, Jon didn't ask me out until I was a junior. (She said "maybe.") He likes to procrastinate.

I told my roommate (Hi Audrey!) before our first date that I was going to marry Jon. Yes, I really did. I know it sounds crazy, and I could write an entire book on what prompted me to say it, but for the sake of brevity, it goes something like this: sometimes you just know.

The best part about the actual wedding was being surrounded by so many loved ones. It was such a happy day. Sometimes when I'm ridiculously happy, my nose crinkles. My nose crinkled a lot that day. As evidenced here:
Look at our hairs. This photo says one thing to me: future ginger babies. 

 And here:

Maybe I should have been a little less happy so I didn't make a pug face in all the photos. [Btw, all wedding photos were taken by Benfield Photography. Dale & Meredith are fantastic. I was a little embarrassed to learn the other day that Dale has been reading my blog. My photos are terrible. Their photos are decidedly not.]

Many years ago before I was even in the picture, Jon's dad joked about Jon marrying a girl from North Dakota. It was the most far-away place that came to his mind. I love that.

Just like many years before that, my mother joked about me never living in D.C. It was the most far-away and crime-ridden place that came to her mind. I love that too.

Never say never. That's the only way to guarantee that something will absolutely happen.

Number of Packers games we've been to: nine. Including a trip to Green Bay for our first anniversary. Love God. Love each other. Love football. That's basically our motto.

Number of baseball games we've been to: we've lost count. It's been a lot. We love baseball and the Nationals too. It's on our bucket list to visit every major league ballpark. I can't wait for all of those hot dogs. Mmmmmm, hot dog.

They say opposites attract, but I think similar people stay together. I'm going to let you in on a crazy secret about marriage: you spend a lot of time together. A lot. I don't know about you, but I can only spend so much time with opposites before it drives me a little nuts.

Jon has been known to elbow me in the head while sleeping. He even head-butted me once. That was big fun. Sometimes he'll carry on a complete conversation while he's sleeping. The other night he took my pillow and hung onto it for dear life. His favorite time to shove his bright phone into my face to show me something funny or interesting is that glorious moment right after I've just fallen asleep. It's a wonder I get any sleep, but, of course, I don't sleep a wink when he's not there.

Gingers are stubborn. Mine is no different.

We laugh all the time. We laugh at each other. We laugh at ourselves. We laugh at inside jokes. We disagree and then laugh about how silly it was 5 minutes later. If you're not laughing, you're doing it wrong.

In the last 5 years, we've had more arguments about fantasy football than anything else. I think this says a lot about us: 1) We're both way too competitive; and 2) we must be doing something right if the only thing we argue about is something as trivial (MAJORLY IMPORTANT) as fantasy football.

Our best trip: Spain to Italy. I wake up most mornings secretly hoping we're actually in Italy. Here's a little recap of that trip:

Our worst trip: I really can't think of a bad one. We are great travel buddies. We both love to travel like octogenarians. We make plans, we take road trips, we stay at B&Bs, we leaf peep, we drink wine, we eat great food, we go to bed early, we sleep late, we take guided tours, and we love every minute of it.

Once I'm in bed for the night, I really hate getting up. But I usually remember at least 3 things I've forgotten to do or bring with me before hopping into bed. For the last 5 years, Jon has fetched things for me without complaint so I can stay tucked in bed. Does this mean I'm lazy? Absolutely. Does this also mean Jon is incredibly sweet? Absolutely.

One time while I was helping Jon pick out new glasses, the clerk asked if we were brother and sister. I told her, "Yep. We're related. And we're married." Jon is from Arkansas, but I hope she knows I was joking. 

I bake. Jon cleans up the mess. It's the perfect marriage. Pun intended.

Speaking of puns, I had no idea just how much Jon loved puns until it was too late. There are hundreds of puns in my future. Hundreds. (Thousands.) That thought is somewhat distressing.

Jon makes it his mission to intentionally bother me and/or push my buttons. He LOVES getting a reaction out of me. I know this could all stop if I stopped reacting, but I'm completely incapable of ignoring his antics. Some of his favorites are asking me really loud embarrassing questions in public, fist-pumping to the most ridiculous songs on the radio while driving, or when he told me he buried a dirty word somewhere in this post and I believed him. Sigh. 

We made it through our first home renovation. (Barely.) We can make it through anything.

And now, a very brief history of us in photos:

The very first photo we ever took together. 
The day before we got married. It was already going really well.

Our first Christmas as a married couple. 

New Years in New Orleans. 

Frozen wedding cake = not so good.

Snowmageddon during our first winter in D.C.
I love snow and I thought this was a good sign about the future
prospect of snow in D.C., but it's basically never snowed since then.
Sunburned in Costa Rica.

Playoff football in Philly - the year we won the Super Bowl. :)

U.S. Open Golf. 

Sunsets in Maine. 

Crabs on the eastern shore in Maryland. 

Boating in Bermuda. 

Winning the NL East! GO NATS!

Celebrating Jon's 30th birthday with good food and good friends. 

This might be my favorite photo ever. It's just so us.
I really wish I could remember what we were talking about. (Baseball.)
The best part about milestones? They are great excuses to celebrate. We're headed to Primland in southern Virginia today. Just after we made the reservation, we got the best call ever. They had overbooked the room we requested so "could they upgrade us to a treehouse at no additional charge?" Yeah, I don't think that will be a problem...

It's going to be a very Swiss Family Robinson chic weekend.
Five great years and many, many more to come. That's enough to make a girl crinkle nose happy. 
Monday, October 21, 2013

Life Lately

I'm still shocked at how much of my time this house consumes. Maybe this is just what being a homeowner is like? Don't get me wrong, I'm really loving it - I just don't know what happened to all my free time! This weekend we're headed for some R&R to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary - more on that later - and our first house guests arrive next week so everything has been a mad rush to get "company" ready.

As an apology for my terrible blogging skills, here are some photos to keep you occupied. 

Wine, cheese & crackers from our new neighbors. I love them already. 
Another sweet housewarming gift all the way from North Dakota.  
Antiquing in Virginia. I wish I could have brought this island home. 
We were so deprived of outdoor space in the condo that the fact
 I can open my door and step right outside onto this patio still gets me every time. 
Apple Canning: Before. 
Apple Canning: After. 
This is the BEST grout cleaner ever.
Go buy some. You can thank me later. 
Taking in a Packers win in Charm City.
I usually don't take selfies, but I actually did my hair this Sunday. Woot woot.
Our new kitchen table, chairs and rug. This makes me so happy.
Putting together the power washer.
Never a dull moment at our house.
I've got a court date on Wednesday for this baby.
Thanks for the nice welcome, Virginia.
We be grillin' in the dark. 
When we not be grillin', we be eatin' cereal for dinner.
Sorry I'm not sorry. 
Last, but not least, another awesome
housewarming gift - an address stamp from Megan.