on a little bit of everything

 

So, you might want to settle in, get comfortable, and be prepared to be here a while.  I’ve been absent for over a week because of holiday travel, general laziness, and returning-to-work-after-a-week-off responsibilities.  I’m sure you understand.  So let’s start with the holiday travel.  (I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, btw.)

Will and I left last Saturday morning, homebound to Atlanta (Newnan, actually, but most people haven’t ever heard of it.) to see family.  We were on the road at 5:30.  In the a.m.  I had forgotten we had one of those because I’m never up that early.  It was an 8 hour drive that turned into a 10 hour drive because of construction and stupid people who don’t know how to drive accidents on the interstate.  Enjoy some pictures from our drive:

Here is the best shot of the sunrise I managed.  It’s really hard to focus on ANYTHING when you’re driving 80+ miles an hour.  Plus, I may or may not have read the instruction manual for my camera.  Don’t judge me. 

 

sunrise

 

We took Will’s Scion XB and put the back seats down.  We had A TON of stuff to pack for 9 days for 2 adults and 2 dogs.  When we take the dogs anywhere, Guinness has a habit of standing up and putting his head in between the seats and drooling on Will and myself.  This is very annoying.  So we decided to put all the suitcases and luggage right behind the seats to create a barrier between us and the dogs.  They still had plenty of room, but of course they kept  sitting up to see us over all the bags:

Guinness is not amused by our craftiness, and Mia looks like she has a handlebar mustache because we were driving with the windows down.  It was nice and cool outside and this kept the car from smelling like dog too much.

We saw A LOT of this throughout the 10 hour drive:

 

This shows how much room they had back there.  Of course Guinness never let Mia have her own personal space, but how is that any different than any other time, really?

After a while, the dogs were getting bored and they were ready to be out of the car already (don’t worry, we made several stops for them to walk around and use the bathroom, we didn’t drive 600+ miles without stopping.)  We started to see more and more of this:

 

Will took this one from the drivers seat (I was holding the steering wheel) because it was so funny.  To me it looks like she is chuckling.

 

I can hear his thoughts “Are we there yet?”

 

“I’m booorrrreeeeed, Mommy, how long??”

 

We finally made it after a  loooonnnnnnggggg TEN HOUR car ride with two impatient dogs.  We went to my parents house and unloaded all of our things into the guest room and then we shot down to Will’s parents house b/c he was going to a Thrashers Game with his dad (Thrashers Won!!) and I went back to my parents house to RELAX.  While we were there, we got to see my Mom’s dogs.

Samson:

 

 

And Missy:

 

I love that little tongue!!

 

We spent the next 4 days at my Mom’s house, hanging out with family, eating waaayyy too much good food (I actually got my family to try edamame!! And they liked it!!!), and playing Wii Fit, Guitar Hero, Mario, card games, board games (Harry Potter’s Clue, anyone??) and Will and I went to see Bolt with his little brother and sister.  Oh yeah, we also cleaned up dog vomit.  Twice.  Because BOTH of our dogs ended up sick.  Mia was the perpetrator of the vomit and Guinness ended up with an eye infection and diarrhea.  What fun that was, let me tell you.  We had been invited to meet our first blogger friend  puddle of ink IRL (In Real Life, for those  of you who aren’t as nerdy as me), but unfortunately we couldn’t b/c the dogs were sick.  (Next time, I promise!!)

Tuesday night we opened Christmas Gifts with my parents.  My Mom bought us a Wii, Wii Fit, Guitar Hero World Tour for the Wii (she kept the drums and microphone, though) and the accessory kit for the Wii fit.  She also gave us a few games she had bought for the Wii and didn’t like, so we ended up with 6 games and a ton of accessories in the end.  My parents got CJ (my brother) and his wife Mandy a 42″ Samsung Plasma TV and the wall bracket.  She ended up getting a GREAT deal from HHGregg and got the tv for 600$ and the bracket for FREE!! My Mom is seriously one of the best bargain shoppers I know.  It amazes me sometimes.  Will was so freakin’ excited that my parents kept making jokes about Will kicking me out of the bed so that the Wii had a nice, warm place to sleep.  Or finding Will sleeping in the living room to keep the Wii company. Of course, before we got to open ours, Will was playing my Mom’s incessantly.  So much so that even Guinness protested:

So cute, right??  Anyhow, Wednesday morning,  we packed up the car again and spent the last 3 nights (was supposed to be 4, but Will wanted to go home early) at his parents house where our dogs got to see Riley, Will’s parents Great Pyrenees.  His breed is a cousin breed with Guinness’, the Bernese Mountain Dog, so we ended up with two HUGE, slobbery, high energy dogs in tiny spaces. Yay!  (on a side note, Will’s mom had a creme for Guinness’ eye that she had used when Riley had scratched his eye that she got from the Vet, and we used it on Guinness.  Within TWO days, his eye was pretty much back to normal.  The diarrhea went away, I think it was just from being nervous and stressed out about the traveling.)  Anyhow, check out Riley:

 

 

 

 

 

Adorable, right??

**DISCLAIMER**

I realize that I take a lot of pictures of animals, but that is only because NO ONE in mine or Will’s family really wants their pictures taken and EVERY time I put a picture of Will on here, he bitches.  But I’m standing strong and I’m posting some of the pictures from Christmas whether he wants me to or not (sorry, babe.  I love you!)

Christmas Eve, we had the gathering at Will’s grandmother’s house and then we spent the night at Will’s parents so that we were there Christmas morning to see the kids open their presents:

Morgan with her Tinkerbell Towels

 

And like any other 11 year old girl, 90% of her christmas was……

HANNAH MONTANA!!! OMG!!! I LOOOOVVVVEEEEEE HANNAH MONTANA!!!!! MILEY CYRUS IS THE BEST!!!!!!!

sorry.  the 11 year old in me was too excited to contain that much longer.

And of course, like any other 12 year old boy, Ryan got the typical Star Wars items:

We got him the first two books in a Star Trek series, just to round things out.

And like any good Christmas morning, there was one suprise gift for each of them:

Their very own Guitar Hero World Tour!!! Each of them got their own, because like true siblings, they would fight over just one.

And of course Will’s parents didn’t leave us out.  We also got Guitar Hero World Tour for the PS2, but since we’d gotten it for the Wii, Will’s Mom took it back and got us another Wii controller and the rechargable battery stand.  Will also got some socks, underwear, and boxers (staples from his mom every year) and I got a few shots of him opening his presents:

And hugging his sister:

 

Next up were Will’s parents.  His Mom got a new bracelet:

 

And his dad got a Garmin GPS System:

 

Everyone was pretty happy all around.  Can you guess what Will did next while we were waiting on his dad to make Christmas morning breakfast?? Did he help the kids set up their Guitar Hero??  Nah……..he did this:

 

Hooked up and played the Wii.   Because he couldn’t stop himself.  

We can’t leave out the dogs on Christmas.  Neither of our dogs got anything this year, but Mia wanted to make sure she got the proper amount of attention:

She started with Me before unwrapping began:

 

And then moved over to Will’s Dad for some affection:

 

And then over to Ryan:

 

And then over to Morgan:

 

And just to round things out, back to Mommy:

 

We spent the rest of the week at Will’s parents enjoying good food, good company, and LOTS of Wii. 

Friday, I saw some lifelong friends of mine for brunch, but I forgot my camera.  As soon as Ashley posts her pictures, I’ll link to them.

Saturday, we packed up and made the 10 hour drive home.  Since I was on the road and didn’t have any photoshop, I missed this week’s Exposaroonie challenge, but here are some Christmas-y pictures for your enjoyment:

A Nativity Scene from Will’s Parent’s front yard:

 

One of the blow up Santas with condensation from the rain on his face.  It made me laugh b/c it looks like sweat to me and he looks nervous.

 

And my favorite shot with the christmas lights.  This one was kind of accidental, but it ended up as my favorite.  It’s the one I would have chosen for the Exposaroonie Challenge  if I had made the deadline:

(Don’t forget to go over there and vote for your favorite!!)

 

And then I started “painting with light” using the Christmas lights.

 

I have a ton more of those, but I didn’t edit them and I figure you can only see so many before they get boring.  I did manage to get my tri-pod and my point and shoot camera w/ video from storage at my Mom’s house before we left, so hopefully I’ll be able to do a Vlog soon (video blog, for those of you who aren’t as dorky as me). 

Saturday when we arrived home, we got the key back from Trent and Nicole (they were checking in on the cats for us, did I forget to mention that??) and we walked in to find this:

 

 

 

Before we left, Trent had mentioned that they had bought Shae a new kennel because he was out-growing this one and I offered to buy the old one off of them, but instead, Mia got it for Christmas and we were able to throw away her old kennel that had a huge bump in the middle and now she has one that matches Guinness’, except smaller.  So, lots of thanks to Trent, Nicole and Shae!!  She likes this kennel A LOT more.  She has even started getting in it when she doesn’t have to and sleeping in there!!

Since this will be my last post of 2008, I thought I’d say THANK YOU to all the wonderful people I’ve “met” by starting this blog who have given me support and encouragement these past 7 months.  Here’s to another year!!

My Apologies

For any of you who may have actually missed reading what I have to say, I apologize.  I tried to actually post a Mundane Monday post, but apparently my technical skills to hit the Publish button are sorely lacking and something crazy happened and my entire post was deleted – photos and all. (except for the first three and a half sentences)  And it was a long post.  And I had to upload the photos directly from the computer b/c my flickr account is full and I don’t want to pay to use it (I’ve since created a new photobucket account) so I couldn’t use the URL link and it took FOR.EV.ER. for the photos to load.  So, naturally when the post disappeared, I was so pissed off that I didn’t bother to re-type it. (The draft is still sitting in my Draft box with three and a half sentences.  Oh well.) 

Moving on.  We’ve been spending a good amount of time with our neighbors Trent and Nicole and their dog Shae lately.  One of these days I’m going to get some pictures of the people, not just the dogs, but for now these will have to suffice:

These were taken last Friday night when Shae stayed over at our house while Trent and Nicole were out of town visiting her parents.  Guinness was in heaven because he absolutely LOVES Shae.  I tried to get a few pictures of them playing, but I had a hard time getting any good shots.  Every time I would get close to them with my camera, they would stop playing and just stare at me.  And they were both covered in dog slobber and that doesn’t look good in a photograph.  Trent and Nicole let Shae up on the furniture with them (as a rule, we allow our dogs on the furniture if we invite them first) and the only way we could get him to calm down was to let him up on the couch.  He hasn’t learned yet how to relax in the floor with the other dogs.  He just stares at them and whines or stares at us and whines.  So naturally we give in and cuddle with him.

 

 

 

Tuesday night I went over and picked Shae up after I got off work to watch him for a couple of hours until Trent got home from work.  Nicole had a job interview earlier in the day and then had to work that night and they wanted to be sure that Shae didn’t spend his whole day in the kennel.  Naturally I said yes and our dogs wore each other out.  They also slobbered all over each other again to the point that I couldn’t put off giving both the dogs a bath.  (also we’re getting ready to go back to GA to visit family on Saturday and I don’t want to have two dogs that smell like slobber) I didn’t get any pictures of Mia fresh from her bath because she dries so fast, but I did manage to get one of Guinness.  (btw, these next few pictures were all processed the same because I really like the texture and I’m in a black and white kind of mood today.)

I have no idea why he looks like he is in trouble because he wasn’t.  I think he thought he was going to have to go into the bath again, which he hates but he will be still for.

*This one was taken by Will – look at his skillz, yo!

 

 

**This one was also taken by Will and his mad photography skillz!! (mad skillz with a “z” I feel is totally appropriate.  Shut up.)

 

Later on after Shae had left and the dogs had been bathed, the cats finally came out of hiding and wanted some time in the spot light as well.

 

 

 

 

We’re going to have dinner with Trent and Nicole tonight, so maybe I can snag some pictures of actual people instead of just animals.  I also have a long task list of things that I need to get done before we leave Saturday morning that I will be working on.  I can’t promise a Furday Friday this week (lets face the facts here people – you don’t care about what I have to say you just want to see my amateur animal photography) but I do promise lots of Christmas-y goodness to come and I’ll also be working on my Exposaroonie Challenge.  I also want to try to create a bokeh that I saw over at Christina’s blog.  Also, check out her photography blog.  She has just recently launched her photography business and who doesn’t like some free publicity?  (I’m sure all 4 of my readers will check her out.)  While you’re busy clicking on all the links here, be sure to also check out Ashley’s re-vamped photography blog and see her new About Me video.  These are the ladies whose photography I love and look to for motivation and inspiration.  Stop by and leave them a comment or some encouragement because they are way too talented to question themselves as much as they do.  Spread the love, people!!

** Check out my new side bar – I finally figured out how to add the widgets.  Because it’s hard, you know.  To click the button that says ‘add widget’.  Hard stuff, people.  Very technical.**

Time for some updates

* Wow, did this week fly by.  Will and I recently became friends with an awesome couple in our complex.  (You may remember Shae, the Vizsla from a previous post.)  Nicole and Trent are his owners, and this past week we have been hanging out with them a lot, letting the dogs play, and having a good time getting to know one another.  This is the first couple that Will and I have befriended together as a couple (I hope that made sense) and it’s a nice feeling.  Plus, they’re our neighbors and that is pretty convenient. 

Saturday night, Nicole was working so Trent came over and had dinner with us (veggie pasta and Caesar salad…yummy), and then Sunday night, Will was working, so they invited me over for dinner (chipolte-applewood bacon wrapped pork tenderloin w/ sweet potato fries and green beans…double yummy).  The dinner was delicious, even if it was double pork!!  I  am not usually a fan of sweet potatoes, but I LOVED those sweet potato fries and I plan on making them myself this week.  Since Trent travels a lot for his job and he is gone this week, we had dinner with Nicole again (home made pizza!) and then got ourselves lost in Guitar Hero until it was really late and we needed to go to bed.  Tonight, Nicole is flying out to meet up with Trent and go visit her parents, so we’re having Shae over for a furry sleepover!!  The dogs will be beyond excited and I’m sure I’ll take pictures.

** The official countdown has begun until I get to go home and see my Mom.  Will and I leave next Friday night and won’t return until the Sunday after Christmas.  We’re going to be home for 9 days and we’re driving in so that we can take the dogs with us.  My Mom has already planned on stealing Mia for the duration and Nicole and Trent are going to check in on the cats for us.  I can’t wait to go home.  Everyday I fax my Mom at work a “countdown” and today she beat me to it.

***I’ve been thinking about my Exposaroonie Challenge since I have to submit it by tomorrow and I have a few possibilities, and they are all items from my kitchen.  I don’t know if I’ll use one or if I’ll take something else at the last minute, but here’s what I have so far for Texture: (I wish I had a Macro Lens)

Cinnamon Toast Crunch

Cinnamon Toast Crunch

Raw Sugar

Raw Sugar

Rice Krispy Treat

Rice Krispy Treat

Scrub Brush

Scrub Brush

 Exposaroonie - Expose Yourself

 

**** This weekend, Will and I are going to a Christmas Party thrown by some of the regulars at Starbucks and we’ve been asked to bring something.  I’ve decided that I am making these Guinness Cupcakes.  I am changing a few things, though.  I read down through some of the comments and someone suggested using Bailey’s instead of milk in the frosting to give them more flavor and a creamier texture, so I’m going to do that.  Also, the recipe calls for brown sugar, but I’m going to use Raw Sugar instead.  I’ll let you know how they turn out and I’ll possibly take some pictures for you as well.

Not sure how I missed this, but…

I am just entering at the last minute, and of course I want 5 extra entries!!  I have a few things to post about, but very little motivation….I swear I’ll post something soon.  Maybe a furday friday post tomorrow might get me motivated!

Updates soon, I promise!!

A few bulletin points:

** Will and I went to the sandcastle competition, but I got ZERO pictures b/c, like a dummy, I left the memory card in the card reader from when I emptied it. DUH!

**  Will and I had dinner with Nicole and Trent, some new cool friends/neighbors of ours.  (You may remember seeing their dog Shae here before.)

** I’ve been jamming out to the cover songs from The Nightmare before Christmas – LOVE IT!

** Be back as soon as I have the time to commit to a real post!!

Later Lovelies!!

Too funny not to share

I know I’ve already posted today, but I just ran across this video on Margaret Cho’s blog  that I thought was HILARIOUS and I wanted to share it with you:

I can’t get the stupid video to embed – so here is the link.  (Anyone who voted NO on Prop 8 will love it.)

Furday Thursday – Getting into the Spirit of the Season…..

 

 You’re getting Furday Friday today because I don’t think I’m going to have any time to do it tomorrow – busy, busy at work and all.

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I was going to do a whole “12 Days of Christmas” thing – but I don’t have any of my Christmas decorations here, so I wouldn’t have enough Christmas pictures to do that.  I did find, however, all of our stockings (yes, all the animals have their own) and these awesome hats/antlers:

Just to be clear, he’s yawning, not crying.

 

He looks like a gangsta in this one

He looks like a little gansta in this one.
 
 

 

And now to show you how bi-polar Mia really is….

She can go from being a perfect lady:

 

To a sullen, Emo teenager

 If you’re wondering why there are no Olivia pictures – it’s simple:  Olivia is smarter than the rest, doesn’t care about dog bones and hides the very second she sees these hats come out of hiding.  We tried to get a picture last Christmas of all three cats (Frankie was still alive), but Olivia was having none of that and she ended up biting the hell out of Will, so we gave up. 😦

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I hope everyone enjoys their weekend –  Will and I will be going to Carlin Park (on the beach) Saturday morning where they are hosting a Sandcastle Contest and I plan on taking lots pictures and practicing my settings….hopefully it won’t get rained out. I also joined an amatuer photography club that meets around here – that is where I found out about the Sandcastle competition…..we’ll see how that goes b/c I’d LOVE to learn more about my camera and photography in general – I’m pretty excited!

My weekend in pictures

This post may seem a little jumbled, as I’m not all here mentally today….enjoy the pictures and excuse the terrible grammar!

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As some of you may already have read, Saturday was our three year anniversary – and boy did we live it up!!  Here’s how the day unfolded:

We woke up around 10:30ish and after nagging Will to get out of bed for half an hour, I finally just let the dogs attack him with wet, cold noses and tongues.  He loved that, let me tell you!

While he walked to dogs, I gathered up and sorted laundry into FOUR baskets – I’m not joking.  Two people + one week (apparently) = 4 loads of laundry. Go figure.  After making an awesome breakfast of cheese grits and scrambled eggs, Will reminded me that it was our anniversary, and immediately I felt guilty for forgetting!! That can’t be normal – isn’t it usually the other way around?!?!?!  Anyhow, we didn’t have the money this year to buy each other anything, so at least I didn’t have ‘gift guilt’ too.  The rest of our Saturday was spent taking the dogs on a long walk, cleaning the town home, and buying groceries.  Since we couldn’t afford to go out to eat, I asked Will, if we could, what would he want and he reminded me about a yummy artichoke pasta dish he used to get at Johnny Carino’s and I recreated it as close as possible: (without the capers)

It was delicious!!  The recipe is:

one (1) box of which ever pasta you have in your pantry (we had rotelle, but I think it would have looked better with bow tie.) cooked to taste

one (1) package of chicken breasts, sauteed in evoo w/ s&p and cut into strips

**You can substitute Chicken for Shrimp, Skirt Steak, or even Tofu and extra veggies for anyone who is a vegetarian.**

any veggie you like – we used 1 red onion diced, 6oz black olives cut into halves, 8oz marinated artichokes, and 3 large roma tomates seeded and diced and 3tbsp minced parsley.

Mix all veggies and set aside, although I do recommend sweating your onion in a little bit of olive oil first, but it isn’t a necessity.

The ‘dressing’ is 3Tbsp evoo + the juice of one (1) lemon + salt and pepper to taste.

Combine your cooked pasta and toss in the dressing to coat.  Once it’s well coated, add in your veggies and mix well.  Next, mix in your chicken strips (or Tofu) and place into a large pot and heat everything together, stirring continuously for about 2 minutes.  Remove from heat, place freshly shredded Parmesan cheese and parsley on top and Enjoy!!

We paired this with a Cesar salad and some fresh baked bread that we brushed with evoo and topped with more Parmesan cheese!!

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Here are some pictures from our long walk with the dogs Saturday evening.  We stayed out late and it got too dark to keep taking pictures.  I practiced on the Exposaroonie theme (lines), even though I had already submitted a picture.

 

 

In case you missed it in the first photo up there, we put Guinness in a little doggie backpack and made him carry the water bottles that we used for them.  We hoped the extra weight would help him wear down faster.  I’m not really sure if it worked, maybe we’ll try something heavier next time.

 

Here are some other random photos from our walk:

How do birds get nicer houses than me??

 

There were not one, but two pairs of shoes on the power lines:

Random Graffiti:

It’s a video camera and it says “THEY RE WATCHIN”

After our walk, we went home and made dinner and on-demanded “You Don’t Mess With The Zohan“, which was funnier than I had anticipated, but not Adam Sandler’s best.

Sunday, Will had to work SB and I took some “texture” photos for the next Exposaroonie Challenge. Speaking of Exposaroonie, the voting is open for “Lines”, so go vote for you favorite!!

I hope everyone had a great weekend!