Thursday, December 1, 2011

The First Half

I've been putting off this post because I was hoping the race photographers would post the pictures, but they haven't done that yet. I want to get it out before I forget everything though.

I ran a half-marathon. I am officially a 13.1 miler. I really still have trouble believing this, but I did it. And I didn't DIE!!! Ha ha ha! 

Robert and I signed up for the race in September, and we tried really hard to prepare all we could. We did a Hal Higdon training plan which was great, but we ended up being so busy this fall we didn't follow it like we should have. (Hint: Foreshadowing.) The day of the race we drove to Danville and met our friends at the start line. The course was absolutely beautiful. It was on the green way next to the river, and I couldn't have asked for better scenery. The first 6 miles went by pretty quickly, and I made sure to ham it up for the photographers and spectators just to keep in interesting. Mile 7 was where the craziness started. They had said that Miles 7-9 would be a little hilly, but I had no idea exactly how hilly. When I saw the first hill I thought "Ok. I got this. I'm gonna make this hill my... ummm... slave." (Preacher's wife euphemism for choicer words, ha ha!) And you know what? I did it. I totally beasted the hill. But then came the mother of all hills. I was in a little one-on-one battle with a girl I nicknamed the litterer (since I picked her race trash up off the trail *grrrr*), and I was ahead. I came around the corner and saw what seemed like mount Everest at that point. I may have said choice words, but I'll never admit to that. Anyway, I definitely was the slave that time. I still managed to stay ahead of litterer though, and most importantly I didn't quit! 

After mile 9 it was (literally) all down hill from there... almost. I tracked the race distance on my iPod with my Nike+, and was not even within sight of the bridge I knew I had to cross to the finish when Nike trainer announced "Congratulations, you have reached your goal of 13.1 miles." Ummm... What?!?! Somebody's lying here. My legs listened to my trainer though and literally as soon as the congrats were out of my ear buds, I did what I've only read about until now. I hit the wall. My legs stopped working, and I limped the last mile to the finish. It's hard to describe what it's like to hit the wall, but I'm not kidding when I say my brain was shouting GO! GO! GO! and my legs were going NO! NO! NO! If you've ever worked with stubborn horses, and you know what it's like trying to push them somewhere you want them to go without them willingly moving. It ain't happening. You grunt and yell and pout and you deal. That's what I did. Grunted, yelled, pouted, dealt. In that order. When the 70-something year old speed walker in the barely sweaty jogging suit passed me that last mile I quit caring about time and just decided to finish. Now, I'm sure at this point you are laughing hysterically about the senior citizen getting the best of me, but you know what? I didn't really care. I was just thinking- you go lady! Get it! I did finally make it to the end and finished in 2 hours and 48 minutes. I was hoping to finish around 2:30, but under 3 hours is a-ok with me. And the speed walker totally doesn't count. She's clearly a robot.

Anyway- here are some things I learned from my first half-mary.

1. Marathoners are insane. The guy that finished first passed me before I hit the halfway point. He finished in just over an hour. INSANE. Everybody else finished way ahead of me. I may or may not have been second to last in my age group, but at least I beat the litterer.

2. Next time I will try to over-train. The furthest distance I ran was 11 miles before the race. That was actually one mile longer than the training plan called for because picking up an extra couple of miles on race day isn't bad. However, when the elevation screws with the actual distance (gps said 13.1, my feet on the ground and nike+ claim 14.3 and Robert's nike+ agrees), the extra mileage was borderline impossible. Just borderline though. I would have crawled across the finish if necessary.

3. If you think you can do it, you can. I'm so proud of myself just for surviving. So many people tell me they are impressed, and I keep insisting to them that it's not that impressive! Ok, the 70 year old that passed me and the looked-like-he-was-110 year old that came in like 3rd place- that's impressive. But really, if I can run 13.1 (*cough* 14.3 according to Nike) miles, so can you. So while the attention has been awesome, (you know I like attention) I'm gonna turn it around on you and tell you that you can do it too. Cuz you can! :)

4. Always finish smiling. I do this because it's fun. Yes, sometimes I have to MAKE it fun, but that's ok. Also, if you're smiling and looking happy they will take your picture.

5. I want to do it again. :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Baby Emmy Test

Thank goodness I finally found my easy picture uploader on blogger! Not sure why they had to change everything, but I'll deal. At least now I won't dread blogging because it's too complicated. 

I figured since I wanted to do a test post last minute before mom and I head to Burlington to take my sis out for b-day dinner, I would go ahead and post a couple pics of the joyous occasion that occurred soon after Robert and I moved. 

Baby Emalyn's Arrival!

Eli was so excited about meeting "Baby Emmy" for the first time. He proudly posed for me when I asked to see his "big brother" shirt. 

 Emalyn Austin May, Born June 6, 2011
You are so loved, little girl! Here's the whole family.

And a gratuitous shot of the proud aunt. :)

Anytime now my sister Paula should be ready to have hers! Then we'll have another new niece! I do so love my babies... and it's kind of strange to think that the next one to have a bebe will most likely be me! Eeek! Not for a few more years though, God willing. ;)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Our New Home

A lot of friends have been asking for pictures of our new place, so I thought I'd start off with a post about moving. Now, we've been here for a month and a half, and I've been procrastinating putting up pictures because I never thought the house was clean enough! Last night when my dad came over for dinner, I figured this was going to be as clean as it gets!

Here we go- Welcome to the Ashby Abode!

Moving was a bit chaotic. We rented a U-haul and did everything ourselves pretty much. Mom was kind enough to come out to Tennessee to help pack up though, and the church helped unload everything on the Virginia side. Here are some shots of the moving process. Sorry they are all smaller than normal. Blogger's photo upload seems to have been down-graded substantially. Grrr....

Finally here! Now, so many boxes to unpack...

A month later, and we are finally *almost* completely settled.

Kitchen shot. (The red island is actually a dresser we found in the basement! It needs a bit of painting and a countertop, but other than that it's perfect. It was definitely an awesome treasure find.)

Dining Room

Living Room- Most of the furniture in this room was brand new, but the yellow chair we did buy from a church member. It's vintage and so adorable.


Master Bedroom- I love the wall color in here! I was nervous to paint my room something called "Cucumber," but I think it turned out beautifully! The room is so cool and serene, and it's gorgeous in the sunshine.
Guest room- this is the only room we had to paint ourselves. I love the buttery yellow color, but other than that I haven't done much in here. Right now it's home to all of my classroom materials and pictures yet to be put up.
And finally- the Man Cave. Robert set this room up as our home gym and a place for the youth to hang out when they come over.

Well there you have it! Our house. :) Hopefully we'll have guests soon so I'll have incentive to clean up the guest room. We love living here, and although we miss our Knoxville friends terribly, coming here was a great choice for us. Well, that's all I'm going to post today. Blogger is being a bugger, so until I figure out these new changes, I'll say Adieu.

Monday, July 11, 2011

So Inspiring...

I had to share. This is such a great post- especially for all of us who think/thought we could *never* run a race. I started my half marathon training last week, so I'll be updating about that (and the new house) soon. Until then- enjoy!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Hey Friends!

I'm getting really sick of looking at pictures of bacon on my blog every time I sign in, so I thought I would at least type you a quick update.

Big News

It's my birthday! Robert got me flowers. He rocks. As do the rest of you that have sent me so much birthday love. <3

Bigger News

We're moving!!! Robert got a job back home in Virginia near our families, so we'll be heading that way the first week of June. You can imagine this adds all sorts of crazy to my already overwhelmed life, so it'll be summer before I start blogging regularly again. Also- I'm going to be teaching middle school next year! Not sure if that's exciting or terrifying... probably both. It's so sad to leave Karns, but I'll be so happy to be home with all the nieces and nephews. No more missed birthday parties or kindergarten graduations!

I should have lots of material to keep you all entertained. Later Gators!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Quick Anatomy Lesson

We interrupt your quasi-regularly scheduled blogging program for a brief lesson in anatomy. It has come to my attention that some people in this world do not understand the difference between seasonings, condiments, and meat. This is for you- Bernie's BBQ of Knoxville.

First let me introduce myself- I am a pescatarian. That might be a big word for your BBQ filled brains, so how about a related but similar concept- vegetarian. See Bernie- there are people in this world that do not eat meat. I know you can't barbeque a vegetable, so that's probably a foreign concept, but it's true. In fact, for some people, eating meat is even against their religion. Your customers take these things seriously, and an establishment concerned with good customer service would too. However, Bernie, I get the idea that you don't take much stock in that whole customer service mumbo jumbo. 

So here's my grievance- The baked potato and salad I ordered this morning were asked to be prepared WITHOUT MEAT. We even underlined the word meat. You can hardly blame me for being a little shocked when my food came looking like this... 

In fact, these pictures do not even do justice to the comical piles of bacon you covered my veggies with. I thought it was an honest mistake, so I had a colleague call and inform you of the mix-up. A decent restaurant establishment interested in keeping its customer base and avoiding bad press would have fixed my order. But not you Bernie. Apparently you will support your carnivore world view despite any personal loss. You refused to fix my order claiming that your restaurant "does not consider bacon a meat." Because I had not specified NO MEAT OR BACON, I was going to have to go without lunch. When asked what you did consider meat, you said "Chicken, BBQ, Beef, or Ham." Well Bernie- I've got something to show you. 

There it is- bacon right next to the ham. I don't think it could be any clearer. defines meat as "the flesh of an animal used for food." Bacon comes from a pig. A pig is an animal. Bacon is used (by some, not all) as food. Ergo- Bacon is a meat. Not a condiment. Not a seasoning. It's a meat. 

End Scene. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Day 7: Material Girl

I'm not very materialistic. So today when the challenge asked for my most treasured item, I had trouble trying to pick out something I couldn't live without. So I am bending the rules a bit and settling for my most treasured items... 

my puppies. <3

These guys are definitely my favorites. If there was a fire in our apartment building, I would grab them and the guinea pigs and everything else could burn up. You can't replace the puppies. Never ever.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day 6: Trading Places

 Today's task is to post a picture of someone you would like to switch places with for one day. Now, I'm very happy with my life, and I'm well aware that no one's life is perfect. I wouldn't want to take on anybody else's problems- that is for sure. However, there is someone that I would love to trade talents with.

Since I was a little girl, I have loved music- especially singing! The only issue was that I wasn't very good. I had allergies a lot as a child (DORK!), so when I tried to sing it sounded all nasally. Not pretty. As I got older though, I grew out of my periodic sniffles and I found out that I actually could sing. Not especially great, but good enough to sing in church and to my husband/friends. I LOVE singing now. I love the idea of performing, and I wish I was really, really good though so that I could have more confidence singing alone. 

And that, along with the hours and hours of Glee I've been watching, is how I decided on my person for today. I would love to be as talented a singer as Lea Michele. She's gorgeous, and her voice is so unique! Rachel is easily my favorite Glee character for her voice alone. Now I'm sure Lea's life isn't perfect, but I'd love to know what it would be like to have such a talent. I can tell you that if I had her voice for 24 hours I would sing EVERYTHING, and I mean everything. I would sing my lectures, I would sing my orders at the drive through, and I would turn simple greetings into complex vocal runs. My neighbors would hate me, my students would think I was weird, and Robert would probably try to have me committed, but I wouldn't care. I would be having way too much fun!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Day 5: Forever and Ever- No matter what.

Today's challenge is to post a picture of your favorite memory. I think this one is pretty self explanatory. 

Happiest Day of My Life. 
Married My Best Friend. 
Couldn't Stop Smiling. 
The First Day of Forever. 

And a million more cliches that are overused because they're true. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Press Pause

I'm going to have to take a day or two off from my challenge; I got really busy, really fast. Today I'm taking my GRE at 1:30pm and then driving up to Blacksburg for my friend's bachelorette party. It's going to be a long, but fun, weekend. Wish me luck on my test! I'll see you guys back here on Monday! :)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Day 4: Changes

Tonight I'm going to kind of take the night off from blogging. The theme for today was to show you a picture of my night, but it's just a Thursday for us. I sincerely haven't done anything special... except a small celebration dinner at Cracker Barrel. Mainly I just wanted somewhere to get blueberry pancakes, but we felt the need to celebrate something. And there's always a reason to celebrate right? Big change is on the horizon. I can feel it. God is so good! ;-)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Day 3: Television, Schmelevision...

So today I'm supposed to post a picture of the cast of my favorite TV show. Truth is though- I don't like TV much anymore. I've rediscovered a love for books (and discovered how much I like saving $100 each month not paying for cable...), so I'm limited in my television selections. However, every once in a while a show will come along that catches my attention. The X-Files was the first one, and to this day it has been the only show I have ever rushed home to see. Dad and I used to watch it together every Sunday at 9pm. I was in 8th grade, and I probably should have been more into MTV or the Eric Von Detten... No. Not me. I was a weirdo and had a ridiculous crush on David Duchovony. I'd watch the pseudo-romance unfold between Mulder and Scully, and then I'd gush the entire plot line to my best friend on Monday morning. Poor Abby. She was a good friend though and either really listened or at least pretended to listen.To be honest- I still find David Duchovony incredibly attractive, which would be why I was overjoyed when I discovered all nine seasons of the X-Files on Netflix last spring... 

I had no life this summer for sure. 

Anyway. The show that is currently my TV flavor of the week is Glee. I find it so hilarious and unrealistic. Plus I have a bit of a girl crush on Rachel Berry. Her "overambitious to the point of recklessness" attitude and overall awkward dorkiness reminds me of myself. I've been watching it regularly on Hulu this season, but now I'm really addicted since season 1 is on Netflix. In fact, this post is a bit ironic because right now- I'm going to watch Glee and do Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred. 

What a GLEEK!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Day Two: Family is Everything

For today's post, I'm supposed to post a picture of myself and the person I've been closest with the longest. The most logical person to choose is of course- my mother. I've known her all my life, and she and I shared a circulatory system for about 36 weeks at one point. Mom is a wonderful person, and she's had so much influence on my life. I'm glad I got her compassion and willingness to volunteer, and I'm even ok with the fact that I got her messiness. She's the best! 

But she couldn't do it alone. The man in the photo means just as much- my daddy. The poor guy took a lot of abuse during my teenage rebellion phase, and I may or may not have treated him like an ATM a couple times in college... but my favorite memories of my childhood are curling up on the armrest of his recliner and having him read me a book. The poor armrest took so much abuse it warped! But that was our spot... Just the two of us.

Sometimes it's hard to believe that God blessed me with not one, but TWO amazing parents. I love you both so so much! Thanks for making me who I am today. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Day 1: Get to Know Your Blogger

1. Let's start with the basics. My name is Liz. 
I am a high school science teacher.

2. I've been happily married for almost 
two years to the best husband ever!!! 
Seriously- be jealous. He cleans. :)

3. I am a liberal, kumbaya singing, 
love the world, give peace a chance, 
(almost) vegetarian, Christian hippy. 

4. I am living with a clinical case of 
generalized anxiety disorder. 
This is nothing I try to hide, 
so if you have questions- ask away!

5. I am the most ambitious procrastinator you will ever meet. 
By the way if you were wondering- 
those two things are not compatible at all. 

6. My doggies are my babies! 
I actually want a real baby really badly, 
but it's not in the cards right now. 
I settle for playing with my nieces/nephews/friends' babies.

7. I'm such a snob when it comes to food, movies/shows, and music. 
I rarely like mainstream things, because I like to feel like I'm different. 
Don't we all?

8. I want to write a book before I die. 

9. I grew up wanting to be the first lady. 
I think I got pretty close when I ended up being a minister's wife.

10. I am not naturally extroverted. 
That surprises some people because I seem outgoing, 
but the more stressed I am, the more reclusive I become... 
and I'm the WORST at keeping in touch.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Breathing Life back into the Blog

I have seriously fallen off the face of the blogging earth, and I'm so sorry about that to all of you who still check back with me now and again. The good news is, I'm determined to fix this. I've discovered that blogging (good blogging anyway) can be a bit like an extra job, and with the physics class and the masters degree applications, I haven't had time to think about Problem Half Solved. In order to kick-start my blogging habit and give me some time to think about what direction I want PHS to go in, I've decided to be a little cliche. I have seen these challenges on facebook and other blogs, and I have been dying to do one! I think they are so much fun, and it will give you a chance to know me a bit more as a person and a writer. By the time I'm done with 30 days of random posts, I will have found a new direction for PHS, I will be used to blogging everyday, and I will be beyond the End of Course tests that are just around the corner and seriously stressing me out right now! So, as usual, I ask you to humor me (and pardon my vicious case of blogger's block) and enjoy these little daily bits of insight for the next month. After that, I'll be looking for your input as to what you want to see on the blog in the future! I'll be back tomorrow with day one!

Day 01 - A picture of yourself with ten facts
Day 02 - A picture of the person you have been closest with the longest
Day 03 - A picture of the cast from your favorite show
Day 04 - A picture of your night
Day 05 - A picture of your favorite memory
Day 06 - A picture of a person you'd love to trade places with for a day
Day 07 - A picture of your most treasured item
Day 08 - A picture that makes you laugh
Day 09 - A picture of the person who has gotten you through the most
Day 10 - A picture of the person you do the most messeed up things with
Day 11 - A picture of something you hate
Day 12 - A picture of something you love
Day 13 - A picture of your favorite band or artist
Day 14 - A picture of someone you could never imagine your life without
Day 15 - A picture of something you want to do before you die
Day 16 - A picture of someone who inspires you
Day 17 - A picture of something that had a huge impact on your life
Day 18 - A picture of your biggest insecurity
Day 19 - A picture and a letter
Day 20 - A picture of somewhere you'd love to travel
Day 21 - A picture of something you wish you could forget
Day 22 - A picture of something you wish you were better at
Day 23 - A picture of your favorite book
Day 24 - A picture of something you wish you could change
Day 25 - A picture of your day
Day 26 - A picture of something that means a lot to you
Day 27 - A picture of yourself and a family member
Day 28 - A picture of something you're afraid of
Day 29 - A picture that can always make you smile
Day 30 - A picture of someone you miss

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I'm back!

We got back from our cruise yesterday afternoon. Robert came in and crashed for hours on end, and I did all the laundry plus cleaned a bit. Don't feel sorry for me though, I crashed the entire 6 hours we drove back! I have no idea why we were so tired! We didn't party hard or anything, and we spent the entire last day at sea sleeping and reading. Anyway, here are some highlights from our trip.

We set sail from Charleston, SC where we were immediately treated to the sight of frolicking dolphins during lunch on the deck.  We unfortunately didn't get any pictures of them though. Too busy stuffing our faces, as we would do the entire week. (But I only gained 5 pounds!)

 Robert was enamored with everything about the boat- the bridge, the harbor pilot, the ports- everything. 

 Dinner was three courses every night, and I don't think either of us has ever eaten so much seafood! I discovered a love for chilled fruit soup, we ate lobster tail and escargot, and we beasted the mongolian grill every day for lunch. We also managed to do a fairly decent job of avoiding the 24 hour pizza and ice cream vendors, which would be why we only gained 5 lbs instead of 10. That and the trips to the gym we made regularly on top of all the walking we did in port. Gotta train for our 5k coming up in about 6 weeks!

 Nassau was beautiful, and the highlight was definitely the Atlantis resort. Here is the pair of 7 feet wide "baby" manta rays. They will get as big as 33 feet at their wingspan when fully grown!

 We took it to the beach for the afternoon, but the water was so cold! Too cold for even Robert to swim! That made us very worried about our excursion we had planned for the next day in Freeport...

 Snorkeling! We toughed it out though, and it wasn't that bad. Seeing all the fish and coral was distracting enough. We didn't make it the full hour, but there wasn't enough reef to see. I managed to have a nerd freak out when I saw a parrot fish pooping sand. This is a concept called bioerosion that we cover in my ME class. It breaks down the hard corals and literally creates those white sand beaches the tropics are so famous for. Think about that the next time you cozy into the sand. ;) Anyway, I popped up to tell Robert and the lifeguard overheard. It grossed him out that I was talking about fish poop so excitedly. Whoops! 

 I spent my fair share of time in the sun. But don't worry- it was safe sun. I used protection. :) Not a sunburn to speak of!

 Robert and I absolutely fell in love with Key West. We plan to retire there and open a bed and breakfast with charter fishing and scuba tours to the reefs. Just got to become millionaires somehow first...

 This was my first piece of Key Lime pie of the day- dipped in chocolate no less. So much happiness in such a little package. Did I mention I only gained 5 pounds? :)

 I wanted conch fritters for lunch, so we headed to the harbor where a restaurant called the Conch Republic is located. We were treated with a surprise visit by a manatee! He was so adorable! Definitely my favorite part of the entire trip.

 My conch fritters were delicious...

And when we left we went for a second piece of key lime pie! I was so sad to leave Key West, so our last day at sea was spent reading and sleeping. Robert was happy to be home, and I'm getting there. I'm dreading work on Monday, but I'm happy to see the puppies and our friends once again. If you offered me the chance to go back to Key West though, I'd be there in a second (with all my loved ones in tow of course). Until then, I'll just have to keep dreaming of the turquoise waters, colorful houses, and friendly manatees... and maybe work on an epic key lime pie recipe. :)

I hope you all had a great spring break if you were lucky enough to get one!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Fishy Romance

Since I'm counting down the days until spring break (two) and the days until my cruise (also two), I haven't had time to actually sit down and think out a blog post. I feel like I'm drowning in negativity lately with my students at school and all the stress, and I really don't want to be a debbie downer. I know it will pass. I also didn't want to leave you hanging though, so until I return from the bahamas with newfound optimism and hopefully a bit of a tan, here's an awesome (and funny!) video about ethical eating and fish farming. See you all in a week!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Best. Wife. Everrrrr!!!

I have been shouting that all day like a ridiculous, conceited battle cry. Maybe I haven't been the best blogger ever lately, lol- but for the next 24 hours, I think I deserve a title. You see, I would never deny that I have the best husband ever. I even think I have the best puppies ever. 

Charlie is a dead bug.

Quincy clearly knows how special she is. 

However, in my own mind, I pale in comparison to the loved ones around me. I rarely think I'm a great wife, let alone the best! However, today is different. Today- I am the best wife ever, because it is my husband's birthday next Tuesday and I got him a flight lesson. :)

See... there's a bit of a back story to my smug feelings over this particular present. When Robert was a little boy, he got to fly in a little charter plane at the Danville Regional airport with his friend and a little girl neither of them knew. The girl got to sit in the front seat while Robert and his buddy were stuck in the back like I was today. Believe me, I didn't mind. They didn't mind either... at first. It was his first time in a plane, and he was so excited. 

But as you can see here, the front seat is for the pilot and the co-pilot. So in the middle of the flight when the pilot asked the little girl if she wanted to fly the plane, Robert's little brain must have exploded with jealousy. And then, to make matters worse, the little girl refused! It must have seemed like a huge waste to the two eager boys in the backseat. In fact, it seemed like so much of a waste to my dear husband that it scarred him. He still tells that story in his adult life. I've heard it so many times, I feel like I was there. 

Now the second time that Robert was jilted out of the chance to fly, I was involved. We had been dating for a year or so when my daddy got a gift certificate for a helicopter flight with our friend Lee. He let Robert and I have the trip, and we went for our Valentine's date that year. For weight balancing reasons, Robert was yet again stuck in the back seat. I was the girl in the front seat this time, and when I was offered the chance to steer, I jumped on it. However, the fact that I took advantage of my good fortune did not soothe the jealousy my poor Robert felt from the backseat. Scarred again, I heard his indignant account many, many times. 

So it has been ingrained in my head that Robert desperately wanted to fly something since I have known him. In fact, there are few things that he feels this strongly about, so I felt a little guilty during our helicopter ride when he was not the one in the co-pilot's seat. In fact, Robert seems to like the idea of flying so much that I encouraged him to join the Air National Guard or the Coast Guard so he could learn. I took him places on commercial airline jets. I put up with the squealing toy helicopter he got for Christmas. But it was always in my mind that I needed to get him to fly- actually give him that chance. When I found the flight school in Morristown, I knew it was a perfect opportunity. 

I tricked him into thinking he would be accompanying me to Morristown to go to a bridal shower. He's so good and agreeable that he didn't even complain much. He had no idea what was really going on until we actually parked the car at the airport. Then you should have seen his face! I can't believe I successfully lied and kept a secret for 2 weeks! I'm not good at either... but it was so worth it. He was so stunned! Robert and the pilot flew us around for an hour. I got to ride in the back and take pictures. Robert got to do the take-off and help out with the landing and steering. Even the nausea inducing turbulence wasn't enough to steal the smile from his face. I'm not sure how I will ever top this for future birthdays, but I will definitely try. We flew all around East Tennessee, landing and taking off three times while flying over mountains and lakes. 

We even flew over this 13 bedroom, $8million house that apparently belongs to Harrison Ford. 

It's not his real home- It's in Morristown, TN for Pete's sake. But apparently it's a weekend home for his family. Harrison Ford in East Tennessee. Who would have thought?

But anyway, I'm off on a tangent again. I could get used to this "best wife ever" feeling. I just hope I managed to help Robert get his "best birthday ever." And I may have created a monster, but a certain someone is considering a pilot's license now. I am not opposed at all; he's a natural. :)

Happy Birthday Bobert!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Our New Fur Baby!

Meet Charles Barkley (aka Charlie). He is a 3-4 year old Bagle (Beagle and Bassett Hound Mix) that Robert and I recently adopted from a local Bassett Hound rescue mission. We found his picture on their website about two weeks ago, filled out a form, and he came to visit within just a few days. From the moment he climbed all 45 pounds into my lap and covered my face is extremely sloppy kisses, the little bugger stole my heart. He's been ours ever since.

He's needy and lazy and requires constant loving affirmations with belly rubs- everything a Bassett Hound should be. We couldn't be happier with him! Even if he does demand that you spoon him while you attempt to nap on the couch and fear your arm will be amputated from the sheer weight of his 15 pound head. And as for Quincy? Despite her "What are you doing to my mommy?!" face above, she loves him too. She's stopped having anxiety attacks and always has a playmate now. Plus we don't feel as guilty leaving her on her own during the day, because she's got a big brother now. :)

Welcome to the family Charlie! <3

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Since I promised you pictures-

I sincerely hope you do not mind that they are random and moderately unrelated. However, this does give you a glimpse into the past two week hiatus I took. In all actuality though, if you want to know what I've been doing I have two words- Dance Team. This week is the last week of our season though, so after Thursday I will be free to have a bit of a life once more. After that half-marathon training will start up, and I should have material worth blogging about once more. As much as I know you guys would love to hear about my shoulder injury from writing on my white board too much, I thought better of doing a post on it. I'd rather not risk losing what little readership I still have. 

Quincy has been grand. She still enjoys her daily activities of lying in the sunshine and whining about the cats. She is also still quite the little gross-out as evidenced below...

Yes, that is a wet spot the size of a dinner plate she licked on to our couch cushion for no apparent reason. Don't tell the people we sell this sofa behemoth to on Craig's list about this please. And despite all the lack of puppy hygiene, we are seriously considering adopting another dog. Glutton for punishment much?

My weekends have been the very definition of "uneventful." I tend to wallow in the fact that I have nothing to do for two blissful days, and that leads to a lot of sleeping...

 Jogging pants wearing... (pronounced yogging pants, with a soft J)

 And banal errand running. Second set of new tires in two years? Yes please. At least I'm not sliding all over the road anymore. It does not, however, lead to any sort of cleaning or even fun cooking projects. My responsibility limit has been reached by Saturday, and the pull to be completely useless is just too strong. 

Which I feel setting in again. I'm out of material, so enjoy super bowl Sunday friends! 
Death to the Steelers! :D