Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Well that's new!

Apparently I'm not doing so well with the two weeks between posts. This month has been pretty good so far. Conference is pretty much a highlight of any Mormon's October. There were some really good talks and I made pumpkin muffins to keep us awake. Super yum! The next weekend Dave went off to North Carolina to help a friend move out of his house down there. At this point it's looking like we're going to get a housemate for a while. We also babysat a cute puppy (well, dog. He is 3) while his owner was on a business trip. He and Stella got along really well. I also took a business trip down to Houston. No I did not look at houses while I was down there although I did drive by the temple. I worked my normal job for two days in the office in Houston with the SeaRiver people I work with regularly. And the next two days I took a class that explained how refineries work. Which is really helpful to know when so much of my job depends on how well or not all the units are running. We have also been to a pumpkin patch, corn maze, and been apple picking. And we went for a fall drive on skyline. Whew, it has been an unusually busy month. But lots of fun. And we've still got Halloween to look forward to!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Bye bye September!

The leaves are starting to turn outside. It's actually pretty gorgeous weather, although between work and helping Dave with homework I don't get to spend that much time outside. We've actually had a couple really cool thunderstorms since we moved into the new place and I've decided I actually like this house for thunderstorms. The kitchen has a really good view and you can hear them pretty well, but the bedroom is more underground so the thunder is pretty well muffled. Much as I like thunderstorms, I don't like getting woken up in the middle of the night.

This week was another fairly average one. Dave and I had a choir concert on Sunday that was actually pretty decent. He got to go to the Temple with the youth on Friday too. Which was fun for him. Me being stuck at work just met up with them when they were done for dinner at Cafe Rio. Yum!

Yesterday we went on a 3k hunger walk and got to go to the ExxonMobil company picnic. It was circus themed and was actually kind of fun. If we end up going next year I think we'll just skip the show parts and do all the activities. Luckily it wasn't terribly freezing and rainy like last year. We didn't win any prizes though. But I did get this cute monkey! We named him George.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fall has arrived!

Apples are on sale at the store, I've made my first pumpkin dish (pumpkin apple streusel muffins), and it's starting to get chilly in the mornings.

Routine has been pretty standard, work, school, homework, etc. Not even many super exciting things happening on the weekends at the moment. But, I'm sure that will change soon like it always does!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

New Place part 2

So we've actually moved in now! It will take until next post probably to post real pictures of the place because we still have quite a few semi unpacked boxes hanging around. It was a pretty rough time getting everything over. We had lots of help from the ward moving all the furniture and big stuff but it really is amazing how much stuff gets left behind when you just don't have enough boxes to pack everything up at the same time. We finally managed to get everything except Dave's snowboard out on Monday so when I finally make it back to clean I should be able to clear that out. It actually does fit in my car. Not terribly excited about the clean up though. I don't want to know how many roaches I've been cohabitating with.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The New Place

So the exciting story of this week is we got keys to the New Place. Yeah, I still think of it in capitals for now. Our new lease began on Friday. So a lot of my week went into measuring and making a schematic so we could decide how to arrange the furniture and I got permission to paint, so I picked out paint and spent essentially all of Saturday painting. I don't think I give painters enough credit, my entire body is sore from painting today. And I'm only about halfway done! (Luckily?) there are only 7.5-8ft ceilings so I didn't have to use a ladder to get the upper corners or anything. It made the process much faster. However, we still have a lot to go to get the apartment ready to be inhabited. And I'm going to have to get used to living in a basement again... Definitely going to need to find some really good bug repellant/insecticide again.

Dave spent the week in North Carolina visiting a buddy. We'll have to see if I can get him on to post his adventures and pictures and such. All I know is he took Kiwee (the bike) and says the winding way he took was about 1700 miles of riding. And that it was supposedly really pretty. Guess I'll find out as he edits his pictures.

More moving fun in the works for this week!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Time flies

Hard to believe summer is almost over. In two more weeks Dave will be back in school. Doesn't feel like it's been long enough yet.

This week was fairly standard for what's been going on. Had a double header in softball, barely lost both games. We played really well though. Went to King's Dominion on Saturday, had a good time until it started raining. But, the threat of rain did keep the number of people down a bit.

I had a team building activity at work on Friday which was fun. We went to a driving range which keeps score like darts. Out of the five of us teeing off from my tee, I won one game which I was very proud of.

The most exciting thing going on is we're moving in the next two weeks! Yay! Should be pretty exciting. Similar sized apartment for $200 cheaper than we're paying right now. It's the basement apartment in a house so we'll have access to a yard too! Stella will like that. Not as terribly excited about the whole moving part of the move though. I don't think I know anyone who really likes packing and unpacking though so that's pretty standard.

We'll have to see how it goes though

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Happy happy birthday hey!

So the last couple of weeks have been pretty fun. I turned 24 (OMG!) and got to have a fun birthday with my hubby. Also got some super sweet muffin tins from my little sister. Check out the mini cheesecakes below. We went and saw Batman 3 (I thought it was pretty good) and saw a musical called The Addams Family (dadada dum!). Actually was really quite funny. Spent a little time at the pool, went looking for a new apartment, had a BBQ with my work friends, and found this fun new show called full metal alchemist.

Right now at work I'm absorbing half of a coworkers desk which is kind of interesting. The melding of the two will be a lot of work because the previous desk owner ran it quite a bit differently than I like to.

Dave is finishing up his summer internship this week and he is pretty excited about that! Except it means he has another two weeks and then school starts up again. Hopefully he does just as well this semester as he did last semester!

Sunday, July 22, 2012


So I would easily say the highlight of the last few weeks was our vacation with my family.

Dave, Stella, and I flew out to Utah only one day after my parents were allowed back into their house. Their entire street had been evacuated due to a wildfire burning just up the mountain. Luckily, unlike in Colorado, this wildfire managed to be put out with no people or houses killed by the fire. I'm pretty sure there was at least one barn that got destroyed, but all in all that's really quite good.

So we spent most of Saturday helping my parents move stuff into the trailer so they could bring it up to Wyoming with us. We also met Jon and Delsa's puppy Daisy. She is really cute but definitely still a puppy. Then Sunday was church and family dinner and Monday we went up to Richards Ranch in Wyoming. Dad put us to work moving stuff and setting up camp. The Holyoaks joined us on Tuesday and the rest of the family joined on Wednesday. We had a good time hiking around the property and shooting and playing with the niecen and the dogs and taking the gator and the four wheelers around. We went into Afton a couple of times for milkshakes and to swim with the niecen at the hotel Grandma and Grandpa were staying at.

Stella did manage to not eat any of the chickens, although mom did give her the opportunity once, and thoroughly enjoyed all the outdoor running and swimming and such. The only real blemish on the week was Daisy instigated something under the table and Stella gave her the doggy equivalent of a black eye. Biting or scratching we're not sure but Daisy might bear the proof forever.

We did have to come back home eventually though. We were very proud of Stella for handling the flying very well. She did come home and sleep for about three days straight but we're pretty sure that was because she over exerted herself because she's lazy when she's at home.

Getting back to normal life took some adjusting but we might finally be back to the humdrum of our daily routine. On Saturday we went to a dinner theater in Woodbridge. It was actually really fun. The food was pretty average and the acting was pretty average and the singing wasn't anything stellar but it was quite enjoyable. We saw I do! I do! a play following a married couple from day 1 to moving into a retirement home. I thought it was actually quite true in its generalizations about marriage. Luckily Dave and I are still in our twitterpated newlywed stage.

That's about all for now. Guess we'll have to see what the next week brings!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

How bout that weather?

So I guess the big highlight of the last two weeks would be the weather! Record breaking heat wave and a majorly severe thunderstorm that knocked out power to more than two million residences and business in I think it was at least five different states. Not sure on that last one. But it was widespread and a lot of people affected.

Fun stuff first though. Last week was Kings Dominion with one of Dave's buddies. It was pretty fun we had a good time out in the sun and then we got to feed the missionaries that night. They were pretty funny.

We implemented a new software system at work over the weekend so the last couple of weeks has been about prepping for "Go Live" and we're finally there. All told, once everyone gets used to it I don't think it will be that bad. But for now it's difficult because so many of the people we work with are in other parts of the world and you can't be sure how much training they got and we don't get training on how other functions work to know how they use the system so it'll be an interesting adjustment.

Over the weekend Dave and I lost power during this heat wave. Massive (and sudden) thunderstorm knocked out our power around 10PM on Friday night. Good thing we didn't go try to see a movie, right? So it was pretty miserable at our place with no A/C and the pool was closed because of all the storm debris so there wasn't even that for relief. Saturday night I had a coworker get her power back and take pity on us so she let us crash at her house. Stella especially was happy to be out of the heat. It has to be really rough not being able to sweat.

Dave went shooting on Saturday (can't escape the heat so embrace it?) and got his very first tick. Which of course he made me pull out and then freaked out that I did it wrong. Really? There's only one way to pull out a tick. I was surprised he'd never ever had a tick before but I guess they aren't all that common in the southwest. Or so he says. It was the first time I'd ever pulled a tick off of someone though. Good thing I'm crazy and carry tweezers in my travel bag.

We finally got power back on Sunday night (they canceled church because the building had no power) although the lights in front of our complex are still out so for fear of my life I'm driving to work now. But by next week everything should be back to normal. We hope!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Warning graphic content!

So this week was super fun! Actually it was very nervous making. The week was going fine when on Wednesday Stella started throwing up. And I mean a LOT. She had thrown up four times by the time we got out of bed (dog barf in the carpet is NOT fun). So, I barricaded her in the kitchen hoping it was just something she ate and she'd be fine by lunch. Except when I came home at lunch she had thrown up three more times. And had escaped the barricade to do it! So we scheduled a vet appointment and barricaded her better. Took her to the vet that afternoon and they couldn't find anything wrong with her. All her samples came back negative. So we took her home and fed her some special digestive health food and crossed our fingers. She didn't throw up again which was good. Still no idea what was wrong with her though.

On Friday Dave and I went to Cafe Ima, a hibachi grill near GMU. It was actually really good. Our chef did a good show and he actually spoke intelligible English. Personally, I think for some of them the Asian accent is part of the act, but it did make for an easier night. Oh the amazing power of groupon.

This weekend we had a pair of choir concerts featuring soloist Alex Boyè. He was actually really fun and really funny. He's a black Englishman if that gives you any inklings. The choir really could have used some more rehearsals, but I think the audience had enough fun they probably forgave that we messed up quite a few times. And now choir is on summer break!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Working vacation

Summer break has rolled around again. All the kiddies are getting out of school and Dave and I are stuck being adults and having to work. But that's not to say we don't have fun!!

Last week my dad came out to visit Ledos and stayed with us. (for any who don't know, Ledos is my dad's absolute favorite pizza place. So there actually is a chance that statement is true as written). While he was here we mostly just chilled. I took him to the dog park with Stella, where Stella pretty much just laid down and was nicely anti social with the other dogs just like normal. Ledos, movies, Ledos, church, Dave went on a six hour motorcycle ride with one of his buddies so he didn't get to see the dog park.

Then on Wednesday ExxonMobil made a big announcement. They are moving all of their Fairfax based employees to Houston some time 2014/2015. So some time next year Dave and I should find out how much time we have to spend apart while he finishes school and I keep working. The serious kink in our future plans that I'm hearing is that I'll have to sign a 2 year agreement to get my moving expenses covered instead of the typical 1 year. So I hope Dave ends up liking Houston because we'll probably be there for a while.

This weekend was pretty fun. Dave went to a gun show with some guys from the ward and I hung out with one of my suite mates from freshman year that I haven't seen since freshman year. It was quite enjoyable. Dave also made me go riding the motorcycle an I successfully completed my first ride on a road with other cars yesterday. And didn't hurt anyone! I was very excited. So now it will just be a matter of continuing to ride enough that I don't shake quite so much once I'm off the bike.

We're also getting all ready for our Utah vacation in three weeks. We're excited!!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Remember the Heroes

So the last couple of weeks were pretty full of changes. I got a new boss, Dave started his internship, the weather has finally been consistently warm...

Last week was mostly normal, I got a new boss was the big highlight. So now my boss is located in Houston. We up here are hoping she'll be more reasonable about working remotely around holidays but really not much else has changed yet. We also went paintballing! It was my first time and I got hit three times. The bruises are finally fading. It was fun. We played two games. The first we were the attacking team and had to take over an enemy fortress. The next time we were the defenders of the fortress. We won both times! It was great. I might even be willing to go back again.

Memorial weekend was pretty fun, we cleaned house, went bowling, church, concert, pool time, scenic bike ride, and a cook out. In other words, lots of relaxing and enjoying time with my veteran and remembering those who have and are serving in our armed forces. Bowling was especially fun because I won. Well, mostly. We played 3 games and I won the first, game and he won the second. Then, for the third we bowled the first ball left handed and the second ball right handed. Since we're both right headed bowlers... Well I'm a better left handed bowler which is funny because he's left handed. Well, I'm starting to think he's just confused or something since I won. Next time we go, we'll have to do M&M bowling. Yum!

Monday, May 14, 2012

We like things on wheels

So... Most exciting event of the last week is that Dave and I got our motorcycle licenses! Yay!

They run a class through a couple of different companies (we went through APEX cycle education, best deal) and they take a weekend and teach you to ride a bike. There is a classroom session on Friday night and then 5-6 hours on Saturday and Sunday. Dave did really well but he's been riding for a long time so that was no surprise at all. I managed to make it through the weekend only dropping the bike twice (once because I freaked out and once I locked up the front tire) but I still passed the test (by 2 whole points!!). So I guess I'm a better motorcycler than I was a car driver since I managed to flunk my first driving test.

It was really nice though, they provided gloves, helmets, and the bikes. We were both on Honda Rebels. I think out of the 3 varieties of motorcycle I've been on so far the standard/cruiser type ride position is my favorite. Dual sports are usually just a tad too tall and sport bikes are all hunched over. But, since we have a sport bike that's what I'll get to continue to learn to ride on.

Also, we saw the avengers this weekend. It was definitely an expected smash up action sequence overload type movie but I definitely didn't expect it to be so funny! There were some very clever witticisms. And, if you go watch it, there is a scene in the middle of the credits that sets up for the sequel and one at the very end that is just funny. Schwarma anyone?

Stella turned six on Saturday! You wouldn't know she's middle aged though. Get her really anywhere and she is still all waggly puppy. As dad would say, no manners! But, I will say in the past year she's learned some pretty good things. She mostly gets going around a "tree" (any post type obstacle), shaking off on command, holding a dog cookie on her nose, and we're still working on left and right but she does know they are turns. Just not which way. But, if we're being honest, I have troubles with that still...

Oh, and yummy stir fry! Always a good end to a week :)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Vroom vroom!

Ooo darn, I am pretty sure I'm over my two weeks mark with this post. But, I was out of town for most of the weekend so... No, still not a viable excuse since I was home on Sunday afternoon.

The week before last was pretty normal. Dave finished up classes, I had work. For our date night Dave took me to the national art museum. Yeah, I was pretty surprised too. Except there was a video game exhibit and my surprise lessened quite a bit. We also got to do a service project called Rebuilding Together which is more or less charitable home renovations. We worked at a women's halfway house type thing and made raised garden boxes. He spent a lot of time working on his car too because this weekend we actually did something exciting.

We went down to VIR and Dave did a track day on Saturday. I got to do a ride along with his instructor but I'm still stuck in the same place where I might understand why he likes it, but it isn't really anything I'd ever want to do. Interesting note: an episode of Top Gear was filmed at VIR and Dave's instructor's car makes a very brief appearance. Stella didn't enjoy the weekend quite as much as Dave does because all the loud noises kind of scared her a bit. We also learned some interesting things for next time we go camping: Stella must have her own bed. Unlike at home where she'll curl up at the foot of the bed, she has to have half of the sleeping bag before she'll stop trying to sit on your head. Which gets really cold in the wee hours of the morning.

Looking forward into the next two weeks I get to do lots of training, get a new boss, MSF course, and Dave starts his internship. Hooray!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The greatest show on earth!

So on Friday Dave and I went to the circus. It was actually pretty fun. I don't know about greatest show on earth but we definitely had a good time.

The past couple of weeks have been pretty normal, as usual. Dave's all done with midterms and did his first term paper! Work for me has been pretty interesting, we're starting the ranking process for the next year. Official ranking impacts your salary and promotion prospects. I'll only be unofficially ranked since I haven't been around very long just to get me used to the process. But it is pretty interesting to see how concerned everyone is when you are being ranked against a whole bunch of other top performers.

On the cooking front, I've been doing pretty well trying some new stuff. Found a really tasty chili recipe and apparently the best pork chops my brother in law has ever had. I will say though, when only cooking for two, leftovers are a nightmare! They pile up sooooo fast! Means I only need to cook like three days to cover the whole week. Still fun though.

I took Stella to the dog park a couple of times too. She's still not really sure what to do with other dogs. But Dave and I did get her going to the point where she ran a couple of laps around the paddock. Our little dog is really zippy!!

The circus was really pretty fun. We got decent seats since the arena wasn't very big. They had this really awesome exhibition of centripetal force. This guy stood in a circle on the end of a big arm and he could spin the whole arm by running in the circle and the could jump and do all sorts of crazy stuff. Bad explanation, but an awesome act.

We also did some service doing a shoreline cleanup with ExxonMobil people. Picking up trash was actually pretty enjoyable because the weather was awesome! Sunny and 70s. Dave thought it was too hot of course.

And look! Ellie got a facelift and meet our new bike: Kiwee the fruit ninja!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The past couple of weeks

Well, mostly they've been pretty normal. Dave had to write a term paper. Well I guess he wrote most of it. Pretty much not a very fun time. Made for a couple of late nights anyway.

Last weekend we drove skyline. It was pretty fun. Except Dave's seats in his car are pretty uncomfortable after a few hours. But Stella had a good time. She got to stick her head out of the window for a long time.

Yesterday we ended up getting Dave over to the DMV finally! He's got his license all ordered and is an official Virginia resident. Which of course he's less than thrilled about, but he's stuck! Hooray!