Thursday, December 31, 2009

And that's all I have to say about that...

{image found here}
Dear 2009,

Don't let the door hit ya where the Good Lord split ya.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Just call me Grace

It's a good thing it's tights season because anyone who took a good look at my hideously pale legs lately would surely think my husband beat me on a daily basis. The current bruise tally:

2 - Left knee
1 - Left elbow
1 - Right knee
1 - Right ankle
1 - Right shin

Truth be told, I have, as of late, become one of the world's clumsiest people. Take for example Monday night: we arrive at our holiday gathering, chatting about our respective work days as we climb out of the car. Apparently exiting the passenger door safely requires total concentration because as I jabbered away, I managed to slam my right ankle with the corner of the car door. A howl of pain from me as I grabbed my ankle - and slammed my left elbow into the (closed) back passenger door. I'm pretty sure Nate was praying for a hole to open in the ground and swallow him whole. I was just praying to make it to the front door in one piece.

Yeah, just call me Grace.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Guilty Pleasures

I saw this little meme over at Gilding the Frilly (isn't that a fun blog name?!) and thought I'd steal borrow it. I'm ashamed to admit, but it took quite a bit of time to narrow my guilty pleasures down to just five!

1. High heels - I firmly believe that a girl can never have too many pairs of high heels. Unfortunately my husband doesn't hold the same belief. 'Yes, darling, I know have four pairs of black heels in my closet, but I don't have black patent leather peep-toe stilettos with a white stitched diamond pattern.' Well, at least I didn't until this afternoon....

2. MTV's Styled - Maybe it's just Rachel Zoe Project withdrawals, but I am a little bit obsessed with MTV's RZP knockoff. It's like a train wreck - you just can't look away. Seriously, where do they find these people?

3. Being a 'hairbrush singer and dashboard drummer' - You know, like the Carrie Underwood song? Okay, so I'm not a drummer, but I'm definitely a hairbrush singer. Well, not with an actual hairbrush but I love to belt some Carrie and Taylor Swift in the car. Seriously, I could alternate their two CD's for the rest of my life and be perfectly content listening to nothing else for the rest of my life.

4. Sonic commercials - There isn't a Sonic less than an hour's drive from here, but they still show the commercials non-stop. I laugh like a maniac at every one, even though I've seen them all a million times. Nate thinks I'm a nutcase. How can you not find this laugh-out-loud funny?

5. Massages - I've gotten a monthly massage for the past four or five years now and I look forward to that hour with eager anticipation every month. When we moved to Indy, I discovered Massage Envy and it's the best gift I've ever given myself. My massage therapist is a-MAH-zing and I don't know what I would do if she didn't knead my shoulder muscles into submission on a regular basis. This guilty pleasure is worth every single penny.

What are your guilty pleasures?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Imagine the possibilities!

The ultimate shopping fantasy....

....maybe some day!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Cocktail attire required acquired

{image via the limited)

Dear Friends,

Will someone please throw a cocktail party so I can wear my fabulous new party dress? I promise to bring a good hostess gift.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Russian Neighbor Roulette

I was planning to do the requisite 'Things I'm Thankful For' Thanksgiving post. You know, the one where I tell you I'm thankful for God, my husband, my family, my friends, my health, my boring job in a crappy economy, my house, my dogs, Starbucks, chocolate and Steve Madden shoes.

Yawn. Bored yet?

Yeah, so I was planning to do that post until Nate came home from a run this afternoon and found this on our roof.

Know what I'm thankful for this year? Neighbors who start silly Orange Traffic Cone Wars. Who throw fabulous Halloween costume parties and teach the Southerners to play Euchre (and then let them win!). Who take in your mail while you're on vacation and will check your house for dead bodies when they don't see you for more than three days straight. Who share with you the holy grail of dessert recipes and give you plastic forks on move-in day when you have no idea what box the silverware is packed in.

We kind of hit the jackpot in the Neighbor Department.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Double-edged sword

So ABC has announced the premiere date for the sixth and final season of LOST - three glorious hours on Tuesday, February 2 at 8:00pm. How does this make me both giddy and glum at the same time?

Anyone else out there thrilled to see it back and yet totally bummed to see it end?

Monday, November 23, 2009

What I wouldn't give to be that mouth guard

One good thing about living in Indianapolis? Plenty of commercials from good old #18. I love me some Peyton Manning.

Does anyone else laugh hysterically when this commercial comes on?

Just me? Oh, well. More Manning for me then, I guess.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A very Biltmore weekend

Last week we took a long weekend to visit Biltmore House in Asheville, NC with Nate's parents. Visiting Biltmore at Christmas has been on my list of Things To Do Before I Die for at least a decade. Despite living within four hours of it since I was 10 years old, I'd never managed to get there any time of the year, let alone Christmas. Biltmore House is, of course, not on Nate's list of Things to Die Before He Dies, or even after he dies for that matter. In fact, to hear him tell it, visiting such a boring place might just be the death of him.

Well, I'm happy to report that I have now been to a Biltmore Christmas and that Nate did indeed survive his trip there, too. Many thanks to the in-laws for the invitation that finally, finally got me there!!

It totally blows my mind that they designed and built this castle back in the 1800's - basically with a pencil and string. I mean, that's crazy!

We ate dinner at The Stable restaurant. The original stables have been converted into a restaurant - all those stalls along the wall are actually booths. How cool, is that?

The trees out front were stunning. The pictures really don't do the place justice. The big tree is orange/amber lights and opaque white lights - it looks like spun gold. Which is why I spent three hours yesterday hunting for orange and opaque Christmas lights for one of our trees!

Friday night we did dinner and the Candlelight House tour. No pictures in the house - boo. If you are ever near Asheville, you need to make sure you go. It is just amazing. On Saturday we went back and toured the greenhouses, the grounds and the winery. Free wine tasting? Don't mind if I do!

The leaves were past their peak, so it wasn't quite the same as autumn in Tennessee, but it was awfully good to be in the South!!

Guess who didn't want to have his picture taken?

Got him anyway! For all the pictures from our weekend, check us out on Flickr.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I've come to realize...

1. I’ve come to realize that my chest-size …will never make it past the first letter of the alphabet.
2. I’ve come to realize that my job …does not define me.
3. I’ve come to realize that when I’m driving …I like to catch up with friends and family on my cell phone (hands free, of course!)
4. I’ve come to realize that I need …more family time.
5. I’ve come to realize that I have lost …my creative mojo.
6. I’ve come to realize that I hate it when …people aren't straight up with me.
7. I’ve come to realize that if I’m drunk …I'm probably attending a grad school friend's open-bar wedding.
8. I’ve come to realize that money …does not compensate for an unfulfilling, spirit-draining job.
9. I’ve come to realize that certain people …are not worth the effort.
10. I’ve come to realize that I’ll always …be a daddy's girl.
11. I’ve come to realize that my sisters …are the best gifts my parents ever gave me.
12. I’ve come to realize that my mom …is one of my very best friends.
13. I’ve come to realize that my dad …is my [super] hero.
14. I’ve come to realize that my cell phone …is a must-have accessory.
15. I’ve come to realize that when I get on FacebookI remember why I loved college.
16. I’ve come to realize that today …should not be wished away.
17. I’ve come to realize that tonight …is never the night I'm going to bed "early".
18. I’ve come to realize that tomorrow …comes much too soon.
19. I’ve come to realize that I really want to …figure out what I want be when I grow up.
20. I’ve come to realize that life …tends to get in the way of your plans.
21. I’ve come to realize that this weekend …I'll finally get to visit a place that's been on my Vacation List for a decade.
22. I’ve come to realize that marriage …takes a lot of work to be worthwhile.
23. I’ve come to realize that my true friends …are the ones I don't get to see nearly enough.
24. I’ve come to realize that this year …was not what I expected it would be.
25. I’ve come to realize that maybe I should …have been a teacher instead.
26. I’ve come to realize that I’m totally terrified …of never carrying a child.
27. I’ve come to realize that I love …running?
28. I’ve come to realize that I don’t understand …God's timing.
29. I’ve come to realize that God …knows what He's doing, even when I don't.
30. I’ve come to realize my past …made me who I am today.

**Thanks to the lovely Cole for the inspiration, even though you stole it from someone else first!**

Monday, November 9, 2009

Signs of the Season

Red cups at Starbucks.

Peppermint milkshakes at Chick-fil-A.

Amy Grant on my ipod.

Sparkly new ornaments in my shopping bag.

Tickets to a Biltmore House Holiday Tour this weekend.

All signs point to one thing...


Sunday, November 8, 2009

The sky is falling....

Or pigs are flying....

Or hell has frozen over....

Or aliens have taken control of my body....

Because today I eagerly chose to take a 3-mile run rather than submit to the agony of Jillian's 30 Day Shred for the third day in a row.

Surely this is a sign of the Apocalypse.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sometimes you just need a little Southern

Cornbread muffins and black-eyed peas for dinner tonight. Because even grown-ups get homesick sometimes.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Become one with the Starbucks

I've been looking forward to Halloween since the last day of September. That's the day we got invited to our first grown-up Halloween costume party. I can't even recall the last time I dressed up for Halloween, it had to be at least 15 years ago, possibly more. So when we heard about the neighbors' costume party, I was stoked. My first thought was "Ooh! Wig!" followed quickly by "Ooh! False eyelashes!" followed by....nothing. I thought about it for days and couldn't come up with a single good idea. Being that it was a family-friendly party, "Naked from the neck down" didn't seem like an option. I had to come up with something.

Then one Saturday, I'm standing in line waiting for my venti non-fat caramel macchiato when suddenly it hit me! My sister made this genius costume for herself last year and what screams 'ME' more than this?

And so, I give you my prize-winning Halloween costume. Made by my ridiculously crafty and creative sister, Katie. She didn't miss a single detail - from the 'Careful this beverage is hot' safety print to the yummy drink order down the side. She even came up with a clever The Way I See It for the back of the cup.

Is that perfect for me or what? Everyone that the costume was genius and I even won second place in the costume competition. Guess what the prize was? STARBUCKS CARD!! CHA-CHING!

Nate won third place for his costume as Master Chief from the video game Halo. Yeah! Another Starbucks gift card for me!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hello, Old Friend

Look what I found this weekend!

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you The Best Sweatshirt of All Time. Or as Nate likes to call it - The Green Monster.

I've had this sweatshirt for a gazillion years. Seriously, I can't even remember how long it's been - my mom bought it for me somewhere in the high school years. All though the time frame is hazy, I remember the event distinctly because ordering from the Victoria's Secret catalog was a very big deal in our house. Back then (OMG, I sounded old just now!) we didn't have a lot of money, so Victoria's Secret was a super special treat. My sister and I spent hours looking at the catalog choosing our matching sweaters and flannel boxer shorts - blue for Katie, green for me, pink for mom.

Aside from the sentimentality, this thing is seriously the most comfortable thing I have ever worn. Soft cotton inside, brushed cotton outside and about two sizes too big so I can wear it over anything.

And I did wear it over anything - nearly every night of college and the entire first winter Nate and I were married. Nate hates this old, ugly, shapeless thing so much he christened it The Green Monster. It's like the clothing version of 'Honey, I've got a headache'. Being the good wife that I am, I've relegated it to only the coldest of nights or when I'm sick and just need to cuddle up.

So it was with great elation that I pulled it out of storage this weekend, snuggled into it and proudly wore it downstairs where Nate rolled his eyes, groaned and said, "That thing's still alive?".

Yes, my dear, yes it is.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Queen for a Day Week

Guess who is my local Starbucks' customer of the week?!

That would be Yours Truly.

Know what that means? Free coffee for me ALL WEEK LONG!

That's right. Not just a free cup of coffee once. The drink of my choice EVERY SINGLE DAY THIS WEEK.

And they cheer whenever I walk in the door.

I could get used to this.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

File this one under "Sad, But True"

True: I went to the dentist today.
Sad But True: I have not been to the dentist since we moved to Indiana.We moved here two years ago.

True: I finally got around to making a dentist appointment for this week.
Sad But True: Only because I saw it as a golden ticket for some time away from the office.

True: My appointment was at 1:15.
Sad But True: I turned down an 8:00am and a 3:45pm in order to maximize my blissfully free afternoon.

True: I have a cavity. Not proud of it, but it could have been much, much worse (see truth #1).
Sad But True: I am secretly, guiltily pleased because this means a second afternoon away from work. Guess what time my appointment is?

Sad but true, ya'll. Sad but true.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Let me slip into something a little more comfortable

We are going to have the worst winter here. I can tell already. Barely three weeks into Autumn and it hasn't stopped raining or gotten into the 50's the last three days.

Did you hear that, God? Autumn. You know, that season between the miserable highs of summer and the miserable lows of winter? That time when all you want to do is sit outdoors around a camp fire and a light jacket will suffice to keep out the slight chill? When the leaves turn colors and remain on trees long enough to be oohed and aahed over?

Um, yeah. I think You skipped that part.

The house has been freezing for days and I finally wore down convinced Nate to let me turn on the heat. Granted, he'll only let me put it at 68, but at least I can huddle around the heating vents in an effort to keep my limbs from going numb.

I've also busted out the slipper collection this weekend. This is half of it. No lie - these are just the ones that I keep downstairs. When I say I have a 'thing for shoes', that might be a bit of an understatement.

My plans for this weekend? Putting the electric blanket on the bed and liberating my winter wardrobe from it's hibernation in one of the guest room closets. I absolutely love to switch out my wardrobe in the spring and fall. I get so excited as I take each piece out of the storage boxes. I always find stuff I totally forgot I had and new things I bought at the tail end of the season and haven't even worn yet. It's like Christmas all day long and it doesn't cost a dime!

What are your plans for the weekend?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Alive and Kicking

Um, hello? Is this thing on? Anyone still out there?

I wouldn't be surprised if you were all gone, considering I've been AWOL for nearly two full weeks. WTH? How'd that happen?

No good excuse here. I'm not dead. Or terminally ill. Or pregnant. Or anything even remotely interesting like that.

Truth be told, I've kind of lost my mojo. Never fear, though! After searching high and low to find it, I think I know the cause and I'm doing my darnedest to get it back.

We've been busy little bees at Casa de Carrington lately. Sucking out every last little bit of fun from the summer before we begin our long winter hibernation. Believe me when I say, I feel like I've barely had time to breath, let alone blog or clean or *gasp!* actually relax. I have officially declared this weekend "The Weekend of Doing Nothing" - no cleaning, no plans, no errands that aren't just for fun. A dinner at the Melting Pot and quality time with my DVR are the only items on my agenda. 27 hours and counting down....

One reason I'm so looking forward to parking my rear on the couch? This:

That's right! Our new living room furniture finally arrived and it is FABULOUS!! Oh my goodness, the leather is so soft and the recliners are just ridiculous. You literally just sink down into them, they are so comfortable. They are so ginormous, I actually have trouble getting OUT of them sometimes!

We are absolutely thrilled with how they look in the room. They are much bigger than our old furniture (now in the loft) and they fill the room much better.

My parents helped me pick out the things hanging over the love seat and they are amazing. The pictures really don't do them justice at all.

And I think I am finally over my fear of putting holes in our pretty clean walls. It took four different tries to get that third one to hang straight and in line. Hole phobia = overcome.

We (and by 'we', I mean me) are still looking for something to go over the fireplace and above the TV. My dad arranged the flowers for me when he was here over Labor Day. I found new sticks for the taller vase but I need to get some foam for the bottom so they will sit up higher. Baby steps towards flower arranging for me - aren't you proud, Dad?

And the piece de resistance - our new chair. I am in L-O-V-E with this chair. All my favorite colors in a fabulous pattern and comfy to boot. It gives the room some visual interest and provides lots of inspiration for future decorating. Unfortunately for me, it's also Lola's favorite new piece of furniture. She will not leave it alone, so I am fighting a losing daily battle with the dog hair!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A real 'gem' of a guy

{image here}

My new boss likes to provide me with micromanagement 'helpful' gems like these on a near daily basis:

"I just wanted to make sure that you knew to be careful about the emails you put in your Deleted Items folder. Yesterday I had some issues with my Outlook and I lost all the emails in my Deleted Items. IT said it would take a week to recover them. Just thought you should know so you don't lose any important emails like I did."

Um, exactly what part of DELETED ITEMS did you misunderstand?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

If girls had wet dreams....

...this would be mine. 96 cupcakes, 7 cans of frosting and the perfect excuse to indulge myself.

Couch to 5K - The Finish Line!!

Glory, glory hallelujah!!

Hear that? That's the sound of angels singing. I swear I could hear them as I crossed the finish line of my very first 5K today!

The race was part of Indy's Irish Fest downtown. My running buddy Jamie, her friend Bob and I showed up about 8:00am to sign up for the 9:00am race. Everyone knows that the only reason you run a race is for the race t-shirt, right? Guess who got the last shirt? That would be moi. Thank goodness, or I totally would have turned around and just gone home.

The weather was perfect for running - sunny but cool with a slight breeze. I wasn't at all nervous until we actually got there and then I started wondering what on earth I was doing here. Am I actually paying money for the "privilege" of rising at 6:00am and running 3 miles? What was I thinking?

Once the race got underway, I couldn't wipe the dopey smile off my face. At one point I turned to Jamie and said, "We're running a 5K, girl!" We'd been talking about it for so long, it was kind of surreal to finally actually be running it.

Running with Jamie and Bob made a huge difference in my endurance. I tend to run really fast for the first two miles and then flame out in the last mile because I can't catch my breath. No matter how hard I try, I can't seem to pace myself any slower. An 8 or 8.5 minute mile for the first two and then a 12 or 13 minute mile for the third. I had never actually run the entire 3.1, always having to walk for at least 1/8 mile at the end to catch my breath.

I am proud to say that Jamie and I both ran the entire 3.1 miles and I actually felt pretty good the whole time! I finished in 31:49:4. As I crossed the finish line, I wanted to throw up and cry at the same time. I was not at all surprised about the puking (I didn't) but I was not expecting tears. I think it was a combination of relief that it was over and pride in having accomplished something I never expected to do.

All in all, it was a successful day! I'm so proud of Jamie and myself for sticking to it and completing the race. Having a friend doing this with me made a huge difference. When I didn't feel like running or had hit a mental wall, I could always count on her to push me just a little harder. Thanks, girl!!!

I wouldn't call running fun yet, but I can see how people get addicted to it. I don't exactly enjoy it while I'm doing it, but I like the feeling of accomplishment I have when I'm done. And now that I know I can do it, I'm eager to push myself harder and improve my time. Which, I guess, means there will be a next time. Who'da thunk it?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Racing toward the finish line

So race day is quickly approaching (September 19th!) and I am not quite there yet. I've been successfully running two miles for a week now but had hit a wall. I knew it had to be entirely mental because if I can run 2 miles, surely I can run 2.25 right? I was getting more than a little frustrated at my lack of improvement and motivation to push through the wall.

Until Thursday,that is, when my running buddy told me she'd finally run the full 3 miles. Holy motivation, Batman! That was all I needed to hear to get my rear in gear. On Saturday, I decided a change of scenery would do me good (I usually run in our neighborhood) so I went down to Forest Park to run on the trail. Let me tell you, there's nothing like mile markers and the promise of some good ole Tennessee football to get you going!

I managed to eke out 2.5 miles and was pleased as punch with myself at the end. I walked about 1/8 of a mile at the 1.75 mark to catch my breath. Today I went back and finally did the entire three mile stretch! I walked 1/8 of a mile twice (again at 1.75 and later at 2.25) but still managed to finish in a respectable 29 minutes. My first mile was 8.5 minutes which is pretty darn good for a non-runner!

Now that I've worked through my mental block, my biggest challenge is my breathing. I end up walking not because I can't run but because I can't breath. I need to spend more time concentrating on regulating my breathing and less time bobbing my head to Sara's Kickass Running Playlist on my i-pod. I wonder what all the mommies on the trail would think if they knew I was singing Jay-Z and Juvenile in my head as I wave and smile at their cute little kids?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Love is....

Love is driving 22 hours round trip for a two day visit.

....saving every trophy and tiara....

....passing down keepsakes....

....visiting multiple grocery stores just to fuel your daughter's addiction...

....checking every Wal-mart you visit in the hopes of finding an out-of-stock item on her wish list...

....placing the deciding vote on the Great Furniture Debate of 2009...

....and then spending hours at Kirkland's and Hobby Lobby....

....and arranging flowers to make her smile!

Love is a visit with Mom & Dad. I love you guys!!

(My dad made these floral arrangements for me - he's like the flower whisperer! If you're really nice, I might pimp him out give you his number!)
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