Signs of Spring

It is 70 degrees outside right now, and I’m loving it. I’m wearing my super cute peep toes instead of my boots, and that’s enough to make me feel happy. I love this kind of weather, and I hope it sticks.

Joe and I had a nice weekend. We spent Saturday with my family and saw my grandfather. He still looks rough, but he’s doing better. He can’t kick the pneumonia and he may not ever be able too, but he’s down to using just a small amount of oxygen and it looks like he may be transferred to rehab soon.

It was also fun to see my brother, who finally arrived home from Taiwan after three days of traveling. It was fun hearing about his trips. That night, we went and saw “Taken” with my family. I really liked it, even though I wasn’t a fan of Maggie Grace’s acting.

Yesterday, I had to work, and afterward we dropped off our cars to get the oil changed. Since we had a few hours to wait, we walked next door to Ruby Tuesday for lunch. I’d been wanting to try that restaurant again since I had heard they had remodeled both their decor and menus, and boy was I impressed. It was *much* nicer than it used to be, and the menu was great. I *loved* the all-you-can-eat salad bar and, even though their veggie burger in the past was terrible, I took a chance and tried their veggie minis (two mini veggie burgers). I’m sure glad I did. They were fantastic. Plus, between the salad, broccoli and splitting an order of chips and guacamole, I was stuffed. I could barely eat one of my minis. We’re definitely going back after we’re done with the IVF. It was incredibly healthy and super filling. Plus, I am totally craving their awesome salad bar now. Yum!

Now, it’s back to the grind. We’re leaving work a little early on Friday to head to South Carolina to visit Joe’s grandmother. I found a really pretty dress at Ross yesterday that I picked up for it. I love that store. I’ve gotten several nice dresses there at super low prices.

On a different note, Joe has decided not to do the ING Marathon in Atlanta at the end of March. Instead, he’s going to run the Scenic City Trail Marathon in May. The timing is better, since we’ll be done with the IVF and we’ll know if we’re pregnant. Plus, Joe ran the trail half marathon last year and loved it. I think it’ll be a good race.

Weekly Winners — 01/25/09-01/31/09

Brotherly Love
diz and aj

diz and aj

“Whadja buy me??”
callie groceries 3

callie groceries 2

Retro Popcorn Popper
popcorn 7

Fluffy Popcorn
popcorn 13

popcorn

Check out more Weekly Winners over at Lotus’ blog.

Good Riddence, 2008

I have never been so happy to ring in the new year. I was glad to see 2008 go. It wasn’t all bad, as Joe reminds me, but it’s filled with the sadness and frustration of infertility plus the loss of my first cat, so I’m definitely ready to move on. This year is going to be great. In just two months, we should be pregnant!

We had a low-key New Year’s Eve. We met Joe’s parents at their cabin in Blue Ridge, Ga., and headed out to the neighborhood where all their friends live for a party. There were fireworks and sparklers which were fun, but Joe and I didn’t stay long because my ankle and knee started acting up. I was in so much pain that I was close to tears. Joe’s dad dropped us off and headed back, and we got into our pj’s and relaxed.

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About 30 minutes later, though, Joe’s parents showed up. It turns out that by the time Joe’s dad had gotten back, most of the people at the party had left and the rest were packing up. Joe’s mom said if she had realized the party was dead, she would have come back with us! So, instead of hanging out downstairs by ourselves, we all rang in the new year together and watched the ball drop online. That made me happy because I have never missed a year watching the ball drop, and I was bummed about missing it this year. To me, that is New Year’s Eve. And, of course, we broke out the party hats that Joe and I had brought.

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The next day, we were all up relatively early considering we had stayed up until 1 a.m. (I can’t remember the last time I was up past 11 p.m.!). I relaxed in the living room with Twilight, my mil’s laptop and my leg propped up (per my mil’s orders!) while the boys made pretzels. It was entertaining to watch, and the pretzels were really good!

new years

new years

And Joe tried to impress me with his dance moves.

new years

new years

We had the traditional Southern New Year’s Day lunch: collard greens for money (I was actually telling Joe he needed to eat a lot of these when I fell and sprained my ankle during our hike), black-eyed peas and rice for luck, and meat. It was delicious. My mil’s such a great cook!

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And, no trip to the cabin is complete without a nap. It’s hard not to fall asleep because it’s just so relaxing.

new years

new years
(Joe’s a little grumpy when he wakes up!)

So, how did you guys celebrate the new year, and what are you looking forward to in 2009?

A Very Merry Recap

I know it’s a bit late, but I want to share all the fun we had this year for Christmas. It’s one of my favorite holidays. I love getting together with my family, and I love giving everyone gifts that I picked out especially for them and seeing how much they like them.

We headed up to my parents’ house after work on Christmas Eve, which ended up being mid-afternoon since we both were able to leave early. My family used to go to the Christmas Eve service at our church, which I’ve always loved since it’s an entirely musical service, but since they did away with the carols by candlelight and it’s been harder to get there with us coming from Atlanta and my mom normally having to work, we haven’t gone in the last few years. It’s ok, though, because we’re much less rushed to get Christmas Eve dinner ready.

Our Christmas Eves are always the same — we enjoy a dinner of chow mein and fruit salad, and then we gather in the living room to open presents which, obviously, is the best part.

christmas

christmas

christmas

My brother got my grandpa a puzzle of the cover of the Beatles’ White album, meaning it’s an entirely white puzzle. He didn’t look too thrilled by it. 🙂 But, if anyone can do it, he can. He’s a puzzle whiz.

On Christmas day, Joe and I helped my parents peel 20 pounds of potatoes. Yes, we like our potatoes. We had our traditional lunch, which is the same as our Thanksgiving meal — vegetarian turkey slices with stuffing, wild rice with vegetarian chicken, broccoli and cheese casserole, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese and turkey. Yum!

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Joe’s parents always come for Christmas dinner, which is nice. I really like how my family spends Hanukkah with them and how they spend Christmas with us. It makes me happy that our families get along so well. The one downside this year was that we were missing Ryan, Ori and Harry. There’s only one more Christmas to go before they’re back, though.

christmas

On Christmas Eve eve, Joe and I opened our presents here. We like to open ours together before we go to our respective parents’ houses for the holidays. Joe got me a gift certificate to one of the new spas here in town and an adorable Vera Bradley purse in the limited edition pattern Mediterranean Blue.

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There’s a funny story behind the purse. A few days after he bought it, I dragged him into the store in town that sells Vera Bradley bags to look around. The first one I went for was the one he bought me. He managed to get me distracted, and I left with a bag in a different pattern. He thought the owner was going to blow it for him since she had been working when he bought my purse, but she kept it a secret. Funny!

I got Joe this awesome baseball box with cds of music, interviews and memorable moments in baseball history, and I got him this poster:

motivational poster

It was another memorable holiday.

No way, Subway

Today, I grabbed a sandwich from Subway for lunch since I was rushing and didn’t have time to make a sandwich at home. I tried to look past the lack of honey oat bread (how can they never have it every time I go in?) and the fact that I got a sprinkle of lettuce when I asked for *extra* lettuce and made it through the line to pay. I handed the cashier a $20 bill for my $5 sandwich.

“Do you want your change?” she asked.

What? I didn’t even know what to say. Who tips at fast food restaurants, and who *asks* something like that at a fast food joint? I just gave her an incredulous look and said, “Of *course* I want my change.”

She sighed and said, “Fine.”

That Subway will definitely be added to my list of restaurants to avoid. There sure won’t be many left to dine at now!

From Yum to Yuck

Apparently, there is no safe place to eat in my town.

Remember my Quiznos story from earlier this week? Yeah, I thought that was bad. Today when I got in to work, I had a *huge* stack of restaurant inspection reports on my desk with *six* failing scores. Yes, people, SIX RESTAURANTS in our town failed their health inspections in one week.

The worst was a restaurant that failed last month with a 44 and then failed again this month with a score in the 70s. The kicker? This restaurant was featured on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” at the end of November. I’m guessing it was one of the Dives. Among the notes on the three-page report was that a live roach was found in the restaurant. Joe says that actually could be considered a good thing because the fact that the restaurant’s employees didn’t kill it shows that they are humanitarians. Yes, that’s my husband’s sense of humor.

The joke today has been that I should fax the restaurant report to the Food Network. I’d love to see their reaction. It’s a good thing Joe and I have been making a more conscious effort to eat at home because after today, I don’t think I’d be comfortable eating anywhere!