Wednesday, October 27, 2010


In honor of Andy’s 29th birthday, I have listed 29 things that make Andy the best.
1. He’s the funniest person I’ve ever known.
2. He’s a fantastic cook.
3. He knows all the lyrics to “Drop it like it’s hot” and will rap it wholeheartedly when it comes on.
4. He also knows all the lyrics to “The wizard and I” and will sing it, too. (Sorry, Andy!)
5. He has an endearing love for Star wars.
6. He has the cutest “white man overbite” you’ll ever find.
7. He rocks every solo I’ve ever heard him sing.
8. He gives the very best hugs.
9. He loves his family.
10. He is serious when he needs to be but is silly when he wants to be.
11. He snuggles Morty.
12. He watches “The Price is Right” on his days off.
13. He plays many instruments well—I’d list them but I’ve lost track.
14. He loves Disneyland about as much as I do.
15. He unknowingly makes noises if the room is quiet for too long.
16. He is gaining an appreciation for classic rock, 80s hair metal, and show tunes.
17. He leads the youth praise band at our church.
18. He can beat most people at ping pong.
19. He sometimes struggles with multi-tasking (such as chewing gum and playing the drums).
20. He is frustratingly good at Trivial Pursuit.
21. He has an unrivaled passion for excellent food.
22. He takes pride in his appearance. Especially his jeans.
23. Has developed a pretty awesome white streak just above his forehead. He might be the male version of Rogue.
24. He really loves Mad Men, True Blood, Dexter, Big Love, and any show that involves food.
25. He tries his hardest to do impressions and funny voices. He usually succeeds.
26. He loves me.
27. He takes on yard work without complaint.
28. He’s too damn smart.
29. He will make a great 30 year old!!

Happy Birthday, Andy!! I love you!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Blue Wall, White Wall (Home projects story 1)

In Andy’s absence (he went to Spain for a choral competition, if you’re out of the loop) I decided to keep myself busy with home improvement projects, of which Andy is unaware.

First step: painting my bright blue bedroom a less obnoxious color. Andy and I have spent some time discussing the color we would like our room to be. He wanted light brown, I wanted mint green. Since he left before we could resolve this debate, I decided to give in and paint the bedroom brown (using my beloved mint green as an accent color).

My darling friends, Jamie and Emily, came over to support my extreme fervor for the painting process. We were able to get the first coat on in about 2 hours. They are rock stars. As they were leaving, I realized that I still had a blue wall to cover. We have an extra room off of our bedroom; three of the walls are painted a pleasant tan color while the fourth wall is painted the nauseating BRIGHT BLUE that once plagued my bedroom.

Geez. I thought. If we could do an entire room in two hours, it should be a snap to do one wall! Right?

I should state that the blue wall was once the exterior of the house. It is a very uneven brick wall with many nooks and crannies. As much as I would like to strip the paint and have exposed brick in that room, I didn’t think my 7 days remaining would be adequate time to A) learn how to strip paint down to the brick, and B) actually do it. Rather, I chose to paint the brick wall white since the brown I put in the bedroom did not match (nor did it compliment) the tan in the extra room. Plus, a white wall would certainly brighten up the extra room.

Around 6:30, I began my project. I found a can of paint called “Brilliant White”, grabbed my trusty brush and roller and set to work. I called my sister to keep me company as I painted. The sun was almost gone and the lighting wasn’t great. April and I chatted for several minutes before I said, “This paint doesn’t seem very white.”

That having been said, it was much lighter than the blue wall underneath it. I told April that the light (or lack thereof) was playing tricks on my eyes and that the paint was much lighter and therefore must be white.

I painted and painted the brick wall, making sure to include all crevices and indentations. A sizable blister formed and popped on my right ring finger from the tenacity with which I was painting. I yelled at my cat a few times for stepping directly into the wet paint on the door frame, and meticulously smoothed out the paint thus eliminating the dreaded footie prints.

After another hour and a half of careful painting, my first coat in both rooms was finished! I washed the brushes, took a shower (scrubbing very hard to get all of the paint off), and settled into bed with season 12 of South Park to keep me company. I was so proud of myself for all that I had accomplished!

In the morning I went into the bedroom to admire the mostly dried round 1 outcome. The bedroom was lovely. There were a few bleed-throughs but it was very even and looked great! One more coat and the bedroom would be done!

I stepped into the extra room and found…


Yes, friends. I worked so hard to paint the wall the exact same color I was trying to get rid of. The can must have been from another paint because the color on the wall was definitely annoying, ugly, bright, sky blue. I cursed the heavens knowing that I’d have to start again with coat 1 later that night.

Today, the first coat is finished. I made sure to start early enough yesterday evening to see that the color I was applying to the wall was indeed white. Tonight will be the 2nd and hopefully last coat of white paint. On the bright side, the ugly blue cannot be found on any of my walls!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Through the shredder (for real, this time)

I was introduced to Jillian Michaels' 30-day shred a year and a half ago by my once workout buddy and all around great gal, Hilary. Please take a look at my attitude when I first attempted the Shred. The month of September 2010 became “Shredded September.”

I decided that action needed to be taken when I was lethargic all the time and was winded by a few flights of stairs. I grabbed my trusty Jillian Michaels DVD and figured it would be a good jumpstart to reviving my old habit of going to the gym. I wasn’t na├»ve enough to expect to shed the 20 lbs that was boasted on the cover of the dvd, I was just looking for something to get me going.

Here’s my experience in a nutshell:

Fiction: Lose up to 20 lbs in 30 days. Fact: I ended up gaining in the end; however, it was all muscle. I have rediscovered my shoulder blades and have some pretty awesome upper body muscles going on.

Fact: The first 21 days were the easiest—the last week was super hard. I got really bored with the video and was ready to move on to something else. I even mixed up the levels just to break routine.

Fact: I will never be able to do 30 squat thrusts. They hurt my knees and make me very cranky.

Fact: Plank position really is the best way to build shoulder and back muscles. I will stop complaining about all of the exercises in plank position.

Fiction: half push-ups or “girl” push-ups are just as effective as full push-ups. Personally, I disagree with this statement. That’s a copout that I used a lot. Finally, I bit the bullet and just struggled through the full push-ups and I found that I was strong enough to do them. They’re just hard.

Fact: I was AMAZED at how easy level 1 was after doing 20 straight days of levels 2 and 3.

Fact: squats and lunges never get easier. That’s why they’re good.

So, that’s what I learned in the last 30 days. Now I’m off to 30 days of running followed by another 30 days of shred. I have a wedding to go to in January and I will look hot for it.

I would recommend the 30-day shred for anyone who isn't a diehard gym goer.I don't think this should be used as a weight loss program, but to discover how strong you really are.