Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wednesday Night

We are going to Chicago tomorrow. Preston's grandmother died :(, so we are flying in for about 48 hours to go to the funeral.

I didn't get the chance to meet Preston's paternal grandmother, but I know she was a kind and gentle woman that lived a very full life. She was 93.

I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for how cold it's going to be there. It's about 50 degrees here right now and I'm huddled under a blanket in a long sleeved shirt, a hoodie, pants and TWO pairs of slippers. It's supposed to be 3 degrees when we land in Chicago tomorrow. 3.  Absorb that for a moment.

No words.

I was telling my friend in Ecuador this 3 business yesterday...and of course, 3 degrees farenheit means very little to her.  So, I converted it to celsius using a handy online tool. HOLY CRAP. That's -16C. Now, that's COLD!! We keep primers in a -20 freezer.  That really puts in into perspective for me.

How funny, too, that I cannot mentally compare celsius to farenheit, but I can easily imagine temperatures in celsius. 20C? Oh, well that's just around room temp. 4C...standard refridgerator. -80C? That hurts your hands pretty bad. -196C? That's liquid nitrogen. That's COLD and also super fun to freeze things apples..and then smash them in the parking lot.

Wow, I'm a huge nerd.

Per usual before a trip...there's a bit of running around...and a bit of last minute cleaning(why?)...and a bit of take out burritos :P

Preston has been on a mad hunt for his Ipod for the last 40 mins or so. I gave up some time ago, but I guess I should re-enlist.

Happy Hump Day!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Lab Dog

My coworker has been bringing his girlfriend's dog into work a few days a week. There is just something about having a dog around that makes the day seem better.

 Ok ok, I know I've said before I'm not really a 'dog person' and I seem to be proving myself wrong :)

Truthfully...I'd be way more stoked on a cat being here, but let's get serious. That would be ridiculous. Cats are really just no good at cell culture.

Anyway, Sadie just makes the day more fun. She can't actually come in the lab where my desk is, but it's nice to run up to the office and there she is!! Dogs are ALWAYS so happy to see you :)

A trend is other coworker is bringing his dog next week. Yay. I always wanted to work at one of those hip, cool, fun, 'google-like' places where they play ping pong at lunch...but this dog show will do for now ;)


Action Shot

Can't. Stop. Moving. Too.Excited.

I'm resisting using rhyming in my title, b/c it's just toooo easy. I'll do it here. There's a dog in my blog (ya'll)!! :P

Friday, January 25, 2013

Down came the rain :)

* I wrote this yesterday (Thursday), but apparently still have some learnin to do on my blogger app, as it did not upload...oh well, at least now it IS Friday!!

It rained today!! It rains so little in Southern California that I often wonder how anything manages to cling to life, let alone remain green. Behold!!---the beauty of evolution and gene mutations and adaptation and lawn sprinklers. ;)

I love when it rains here!! My favorite California weather is when it's rainy and humid and windy. The clouds make such beautiful patterns. And best of FINALLY have an excuse to stay inside and be lazy!! Laying on the couch on Sunday morning, watching an entire season of some show really doesn't have the same appeal when it's sunny and 80 degrees outside. You don't feel relaxed, you feel like a jerk.

It's supposed to rain allllll weekend. Yay.

Tonight we are off to dinner in San Doego. Lonnnnnggg drive.

Tomorrow is FRIDAY!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


We finally took our engagement pictures!!

My friend Nina is a very talented photographer and offered to do this for us as a wedding gift. It was pretty fun posing for the camera and getting to kiss Preston for 2 hours :P  We took the pics at the beach where we live.  Nina and Preston both had the idea to incorporate his surfboard into some of the pics. We took some under the pier, on a beach blanket, on the life guard stand and walking down by the water. A couple times we googled "Engagement Picture Poses" for some ideas. Some of it was cheesy, but all of it was fun. Nina was covered in sand by the she really got into it for us to get the right shot.

We ended the night by treating Nina to a yummy dinner.  I was feeling very wedding-y, so Preston and I watched "The Five Year Engagement", which was wayyyyyyyyyyy more funny than I thought it would be.

I haven't seen the photos yet, so I have none to share...but I'm excited and can't wait to see how they've turned out.

Here's an old pic just to remind you of how cute we are ;)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Weekend Getaway

We are house/dog sitting for our friends this weekend in Manhattan Beach.  Nick and Brooke have a cute little backhouse with an enclosed yard. Brooke has taken a page right out of Pottery Barn for all her decor and it's beyond cute.

I'm not the world's biggest dog fan, but Oscar is pretty impossible not to love. He's freaking adorable.

Excellent at posing :P

Even though we aren't far from's always nice to have a little mini getaway. It's great to change it up a bit...see some different sights...try some new restaurants...walk on a different beach.

As much as I just love the neighborhood and apartment in which we live, I can't deny that it's preeeeeeetty awesome to have a yard and a porch.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Christmas Tale (In 3 Parts) Part III

Look at me...rolling right along ;) Also...I apparently took NO pictures in Chicago. Sorry Pres!! I was sick!!

Saturday Dec 29

Luckily, we beat the incoming snow storm and got to the airport in DC before the flurries even rolled in!!

As soon as our plane touched down in Chi-town (can I call it that? I'm not really a local. Does anyone call it that? Did I make this up?),  a migraine-like headache touched down in my brain. Owie. I used to get legit migraines when I was younger (thankfully seem to have mostly grown out of that) and I'm not sure this was one...but I was in a lot of pain.

I spent my first 4 hours or so in Illinois laying in Preston's old bed...not sleeping...not doing anything. Just laying silently. Preston's parents are so amazing and sweet and everyone checked on me multiple times. I eventually had to tell Preston to leave because I KNEW he was just itching to see his BFF (and my only competition? Kidding!!) Timmy.

I felt terrible that now that it was Preston's 'turn'...I was incapacitated :-/

I managed to get myself up and moving enough to go over to Timmy's with Preston and hang out with Tim and his fiance Lindsey. Lindsey and Timmy had visited us in LA a few months prior, so it was comfortable just to do very little with them.  Eventually a few other friends came over and we played a game, that I actually ended up being quitttteee good at ;) (Don't end sentences in prepositions screams my 6th grade English teacher and my grandmother!!)

Sunday Dec 30

Some of Preston's family came down from Wisconsin to do a Christmas lunch with us. It was nice to meet Preston's father's sister (still with me?) and her family. It was a nice lunch and good conversation.

Afterwards, we headed to the local bar (have I mentioned what a smallll town Barrington, IL is? Crazy) and I got a taste of what it is to be a BEARS fan. Fun!!

DA Bears!!

We ended the night with Preston's high school friends...listening to music, cooking dinner and lounging around. It's too cold outside in Chicago for much else...I gotta tell ya. Just going to the grocery store was like climbing Everest. I mean, we had to go out into those elements!!

Monday Dec 31

NYE is upon us!! Ugh. I detest this holiday. It's worse than even Valentine's Day. I know, I know...I should be positive about it, but bleh. What a disappointment these kind of things always are. I try to do as little as possible so that I never really experience the let down. This NYE was actually pretty fun, with the exception of the cold that I could feel creeping up on me.

That's right...a cold!! As if the migraine wasn't enough sick time for the Chicago portion of our I was getting a cold. I kept mum about it all day.  I NEVER get sick in California. Like, ever. It's awesome. I don't know if it's the weather or what. I also use one of the most magical inventions ever invented---the neti pot. I use this awesome thing every. single. day. I have for years. Nothing has ever done more for my allergies or sinus infections or whatever. That and cutting out most dairy (usually, OBVIOUSLY not over Christmas) has helped me tremendously. Unfortunately my neti pot is ceramic and was not brought on this trip. I blame the cold on this fact.  But, I digress...

We drove down into the city for the afternoon. We took Preston's sister Kate out for McDonald's (her favorite!!) and then met up with some of his friends for our own lunch. We had delicious BBQ. It was seriously way way way way WAY too cold to do anything else. I could hardly speak while we were walking outside. I'm not meant for that climate!! Or that parking!! Good-ness!! It took forever to find parking. I couldn't do it. I consider myself a good driver, but I detest parking. I hate doing it. I hate looking for it.There were even trick spots...where it LOOKED like a spot but once you were parked...there was a sneaky little sign "NO Parking. Ever. For NO reason. You'll get a ticket" Ridic. I'm not even bad at parallel parking, I just don't like it. I don't even like pull in parking. I just like to keep it movin ;)

My only request for NYE was that I get to wear comfortable shoes. Preston convinced (read: forced) Tim to throw a party at his place. It was awesomely low key and had delicious meatballs. What more could a party ask for? My cold and I agreed to be the DD, so things didn't get too crazy, but it was a fun night :D

Old Friends

The Guys

The Gals

Tuesday Jan 1

Weird!! 2013!! We made it!! This is the year I get married!! Crazy!!

Preston and I spent the day on the couch at his friend Alison's house. It was great to be low key. I'm kind of thinking Chicago and the surrounding areas just IS low key. Honestly, I'm telling's b/c it's too cold for anything else!! Also, they watch aaaaa loottttt of football. Like, a lot. :P

Preston's good friend Gavin came up from the city on Tuesday night and we watched "My Idiot Brother" and "Ted". Both were better than I expected.

Wednesday Jan 2

Back to LA we go. Our experience with the airline this time was pretty much the opposite of the start of our trip. They exchanged (without explanation) our awesome seats (2 together-- window and aisle!!) for crappy ones and I had to sit in a middle seat. Grr. What's the point of having Gold Status?? I tell you---apparently, there is ZERO point, b/c the people in the standby line get your great seats and the gate agent will be mean to you. I'm not huge on angry, complaining emails to customer service departments, but I  wrote one as the plane was taking off :P Maybe I'll get some more miles and finally make it to platinum so I'll feel extra dissed next time ;)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Christmas Tale (In 3 parts) Part II

I figured I'd break this up to avoid sore eyes...and to maintain suspense. I'm sure all 2 of my readers are like...WHAT HAPPENED AFTER CHRISTMAS EVE?!?!

Well, I'm here to assuage that pain. Yes, that's right...assuage. :P

Tuesday Dec 25

Christmas Day melted the snow. Yay. :) Everyone thinks they want a white Christmas...and I mostly blame this on Bing Crosby (ps. LOVE that movie)...but in truth, it's a pain in the a. A "White Christmas" means you are trapped and you don't get to see half your family and you kind of just sit around like it's a Wednesday or something and you have off work. Lame.

Luckily for us, Christmas Day was warm enough to melt the snow...beautiful as it was...and allow us to venture out into the world again!! Horray!!

As per tradition, my dad came up for Christmas morning. It's nice that despite my parents divorce...that this is something that we've continued to do as a family. This year, my dad brought his new girlfriend.  Kind of weird, but whatever I guess. I got lots of lovely gifts.

Dad's puppy Teddy


Nap time.

From there we headed to my mom's sister's house and then my dad's brother's house. It was a nice day and I received so many great presents and got to spend some time with the people I love. Christmas=success.

Cuddlin :P

My momma and Aunt Toni

Zak :)

Haha quintessential Susan (Ps. Look at my hot nana!!)

Wed Dec 26

Snowed in. AGAIN!! I was (again) frustrated...being home for a short time...there were many people to see/things to do, but, in truth, the snow was nice. And I can't even remember the last time I had a snow day. Unfortunately, my brother was back to work, but Preston made a fire for my mom and I and we all watched a movie. It was an easy, nice day with good food and relaxation.

In the afternoon, Preston shoveled the drive way and I 'helped'. I've had a pinched nerve in my neck, so I'm kind of useless for shoveling, but I did a great job of supervising :P Mark arrived home just as Preston was finishing up and I suggested to him that we shovel our neighbor's driveway, since they help out my mom a lot.

Well, Preston was NONE too pleased!! Haha!! Just when he thought he was done...he had another to do.

One of my dearest friends Sandra stopped by with her family. It was just so great to see them all and they give the best hugs!!

We rewarded ourselves for the earlier work of shoveling (ok, ok...I kind of just stood there) with dinner at our favorite diner...Barbara Fritchie...AMAZING club sandwiches. Then we went to see the movie "The Hobbit". It was great and good to be back in Middle Earth (have I mentioned I'm a pretty big nerd? Might as well get that out there now).

Thurs Dec 27

My brother took the day off on Thursday to spend more time with us. Preston, as it turns out, had never seen Lord of the Rings, so a pretty long marathon ensued over the next few days.

We met my friend Naomi for lunch at another Frederick food favorite.  It was great to see her and enjoy some yummy fajitas.

I spent Thursday afternoon cooking chili for a dinner I was hosting on Friday.  Thursday night was spent again with some of my besties....Trisha and Matt. We took a second trip to Roys...had to get all my faves on the menu while I could!! I'm still not sure Preston was overly impressed (seriously?! Should I rethink this??)...but he did get some holster fries.

How's that holster, Cowboy?

If you can't tell...we ate a lot over break :P

Fri Dec 28

On Friday, we got to go see the venue where we are getting married!! It's an old farm and farm house in Walkersville, MD. The house was actually the residence of the founder of Walkersville

Walker's Overlook

We spent the afternoon at the house of one of my oldest friends and played with her adorable baby Ada :) Stupidly, I took NO pics!! 

After lots more fave pizza for lunch and a chili dinner with my mom's side of the family... we packed up our bags, watched the final movie of Lord of the Rings and tucked in to get up early and beat a(nother) snow storm to the airport. we come!!