Sunday, January 25, 2015

2002-2015: RIP Patrick Swayze

Patrick Swayze the person may have passed away in 2009, but Patrick Swayze the 2002 Honda Civic died on Friday, January 16, 2015 after 13 loyal years. My brother, Sam, named my Honda shortly after my parent's bought him for me and he (the Honda) hasn't been known as anything else since. Names like 'Patty' or 'Patty McSwayze' were often thrown around our house when referring to my car and I'm so sad to see him go.

To prove his loyalty, he couldn't have died in a better way. I was driving home after work and ready to start the weekend. I pulled into our driveway, drove about half way to our house as veered to the left where our driveway forks. When I pressed the gas, it just revved but didn't accelerate (it felt like it was in neutral). Luckily when our driveway forks, there is a slight decline and I was able to coast down the rest of our driveway (probably around 700 feet) and into my parking spot.

Since the problem is the transmission, it is most certainly not worth dumping the money into seeing as the car doesn't have much value...only sentimental.
Why yes, that is tape player.
It's funny the things you remember. I must have been around 10 years old when our neighbor was telling us that she was still driving her first car. In my mind I thought that sounded insane because she had to be in her 30s (which seemed so old). And now here I am, in my 30s still driving my first car that I got when I was 18. Never say never, right?
Check out that steering wheel. Once part of it fell off, you had to be careful during the summer because it got crazy hot.

Poor guy needed a new coat of paint.
He may not have been in the best shape, but he was strong until the end.
I like that we ended things on a nice even number.
We are VERY lucky because E. J.'s mom has been wanting to get a SUV. Since they are in the market for a new car they kindly offered to let us use their car, which they won't be getting rid of thanks to a lifetime warranty. So now I'm driving a new-to-me 2008 Dodge Avenger.
The old and the new.
So that's the story around here! After 13 years, it's strange not stepping into my car anymore. It's been a great run. So long, Patrick Swayze.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

An everyday weekend

We had one of those weekends that makes adulthood way overrated: Errands and vehicle repairs. That's about the extent of our weekend. Although it was one those non-eventful weekends, we added some laid back excitement to the dreary, cold and rainy weekend.
Friday: Picture day at school!
Saturday: Hot chocolate at the grocery store!
Saturday night: Discovering the rabbit hole that is Pottery Barn Kids.
Saturday night: Another puzzle! This time, a 500 piecer.
Saturday night: Forget the puzzle. Let's be crazy with our noodle necklace!

The finished product! E. J. stayed up really late Saturday and finished it Sunday morning. K and I can probably take credit for about 10% of it.
Sunday morning: our usual big breakfast.
Sunday night: Gnocchi (easy dinner!)
Sunday night: Another puzzle before bed! This time a kid-friendly one from Aunt Debbie!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Most Wonderful time of year has come to an end

Working in higher education gives me the priceless perk of getting about a week and a half off each year for the holiday break. I say it every year, but I could get used to this laid back schedule.

We've stayed up way too late (why yes, I was purging our file cabinet until 2 a.m. one morning), sleeping in, lounging around (even snuck in a few naps), watching lots of movies (K is recently loving How the Grinch Stole Christmas, but she pronounces it How the French Stole Christmas. How can we call it anything else now with a fun name like that?) and catching up on projects around the house, which opened Pandora's Box and I now have about 37k other projects that I'd like to accomplish.
Don't ever call her a princess, she insists that she's a queen. But even queens need to rest, even if it is in their gown.
Kathryn asked for lots of puzzles and Lego's this year and we put those presents to use right away.
646 pieces of Legos. I sipped my coffee and sat this one out. 
The finished product, three hours later.
Puzzling!
When E. J. went back to work, we started out the second week of the break with a girls shopping trip. I had a collection of gift cards burning a hole in my pocket and I was ready to spend them. We took the one hour and 15 min-ish drive to outside of Houston and spent the day together exploring stores (and using the majority of the gift cards).

Each time we would check out Kathryn would say "Merry After Christmas" to the cashier. That saying was made up all on her own and people loved it. I love it too! One lady suggested that she add  'Happy New Year' to her greeting. From then on it was "Merry After Christmas and Happy New Year' to anyone who would listen.

As we walked out of each store she would tell me "Mom! Do you see me putting smiles on people's faces?"

Shopping also means escalators and this girl loves them. She calls them 'Eskimos' and didn't want me near her when she gets on (hello, grownup). She told me "Mom, I'll go first. I want to be a true leader on the Eskimo."

Besides running some errands, we stayed home the majority of the second week. It was so good! No makeup and pajamas all day was great. Kathryn helped me around the house and reminded me how much she wants to show us what a good kid she is with quotes like this: "From this day fourth, I will be a very good girl." Or another from a few weeks ago: "Mom, I want to apologize for all the things I've done in my past." I think she's taking this life thing a little too seriously at this point.

For New Years we did homemade pizza and I made some peanut butter cups, which we gobbled up before midnight and our healthy eating resolutions started :).
Since we were all off of our sleeping schedules, Kathryn was able to make it until midnight and we rung in the New Year together.

Champagne for us (pomegranate juice with mine, which makes for a yummy drink) and sparkling grape juice for Kathryn. She went crazy over it (as seen below). Within moments it made her burp and she yelled out "WOAH! Holiday burps!" I don't know how she comes up with this stuff.
As promised, we took Kathryn ice skating before the break was over. It only took us 30 minutes to go around the rink twice, but it was a great first try.
By the second time around, she was really getting the hang of it and was clearly enjoying it.
"YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! THIS ICE SKATING IS MUCH HARDER THAN I THOUGHT." I wasn't able to keep track of how many times she told me that.
E. J. took this video at the end of our adventure. K saw a girl doing tricks on the ice and the last part of the video is her trying to pull her leg up and 'copy' the girl.
We ended the cold rainy day and saw Into the Woods. The three of us really loved the musical! Plus any movie theatre that has Starbucks is a win in my book.
Now it's the dreaded time of year when we're back to our regular routines. I'm gearing myself up for work tomorrow and although it's tough to go back after this relaxing break, I'm ready to start the New Year and do great things. Although I didn't tackle my daunting work email Inbox, I did do some prep work to head back to work tomorrow. For both professional and personal purposes, I got my planner ready for the year during the break. I rely on my planner and probably love it more than I should!

The building I work in is undergoing extensive and dramatic renovations over the next two years so a couple of weeks before our break we had to move offices. Unfortunately in our case, we had to move off-campus. I really hate being off-campus for a number of reasons but there is one perk - the building we moved into has a gym. It's not the most up-to-date facility, but it's better than nothing and it's just in the next hallway across from me. I hope to spend many lunch breaks there to help me with a healthier New Year! 
Wishing you the best year yet!