Monday, October 31, 2011

A Halloween story.

So, the Friday before Halloween the lights in our bathroom flickered when I turned them on at 5am. They came right back on and no other power was out so I figured it was just a fluke.

The next day?

Same thing. Weird. Starting to feel a little like some sort of weird ghost story... especially with Halloween so close and the thought of all things ghouly on our minds.

BUT! The power comes back. Then 5 minutes later? Flickers and POOF. Gone again. Huh.

We start screwing around with other switches and outlets to find that all other outlets work aside from the two bathroom outlets. All other lights work in the house aside from 3- the overhead bathroom lights, the bedroom overhead lights, and the stair lights. We flipped all breakers but no success.


So, next step? Aside from candle light showers, of course. (WHICH, by the way, are actually kind of romantic... I think I might adopt this practice in the future just because it is quite nice. Although I will say: Shaving your legs by candlelight leaves for WAY too many missed spots. Good thing it's freezing up here and my legs are pretty much always covered...) I will mention as well: a dark candlelit shower on Halloween? Not really sure I'm a fan.

Anyway, next step is to get an electrician out here. We've already had two stand us up (really? Are electricians that much in demand around Halloween?) The one we just talked to thinks it's probably either a) a loose wire or b) an animal that ate through a wire. He somehow didn't validate my idea of a ghost. I am hoping for option a here.... I'm not sure that I like the idea of an animal OR a ghost. Though as Justin said, perhaps the ghost made the wire come loose? Spooky.

Happy Halloween! Maybe we'll give our ghost lots of candy... maybe then he/she/it will let our power come back on to our several (weird) select outages....

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Another one down.

Another weekend, no kids...again. We thought we'd have at least one of them so we were pondering what to do, what to do once we found out we had neither of them.

And also, another post entirely: teenagers! You guys know I like to do things backwards, that's why I started with teenagers, not babies. I figure I have my 30s to figure life out in the appropriate manner, right? Or at least that's what some people like to believe. I think I've got it figured out just fine. The way I see it: I was a god-awful teenager, admittedly. It is by FAR the biggest reason I wouldn't have kids (well, that and puke...but I think I can pawn off the puke thing to my much more puke tolerant husband). To start off being a mom (well, a step mom) with the age I am most afraid of? This is BRILLIANT. I actually KNOW what I'm getting into (or at least more than I would otherwise) before deciding to crack out a kid. Anyway, I'll leave all that for another day's post.

On to less important things, like, what we did this weekend when the kiddos were busy being teenagers with dates and halloween dances....

Friday night, we headed over to the Meyers for the 3rd annual pumpkin carving. I have no pictures to commemorate the event but you can see Stacie's post by clicking here.

The following day, we hung around in the morning before we really started moving and at about 2pm we headed to do some errands and then to Seattle to explore.

First stop: Queen Anne and all of its cute little shops. It was a great day for walking around Seattle and doing some shopping.

After Queen Anne, we headed to Discovery Park. I'd never been there before but Justin used to live over in Magnolia so this was his home turf. It was a HUGE park and absolutely beautiful.

The breathtaking Puget sound on yet another sunny Seattle fall day.

Funny story about this picture: someone saw it on Justin's facebook page and told him that they were going to yell at him for taking a cute picture with some other girl (and ask if I knew about it!) He had to explain that it was indeed me... with brown hair. And sunglasses.

After Discovery park, we headed into Ballard for more shopping and putzing around. LOVE Ballard. Wish I got over there more often.

Eventually we landed back at Cafe Flora for dinner. Once again, it did not disappoint. And after a glass (or two) of wine, I got camera happy and took a bazillion pictures of the one above and the few below (trust me, I only included a few here for your viewing pleasure and for his sheer embarrassment).

I will say here: he got hard cider to drink. It was PERFECT for a chilly fall day. So good.

One more shot....

Today we've spent the day cleaning up around the house, working some, going to yoga and generally just laying low. It was another great weekend.

Friday, October 28, 2011

We'll call it: in honor of fall.

What can I say? I was bored. And pasty white. We'll thank the pacific northwest for the latter. It's been about, oh, two months since my body saw a ray of sunlight enough to create something more than what I like to call this "casper effect". As a result, my beach blonde look really wasn't working for me anymore. And, like I said, I was bored. I've been blonde for the majority of my life. So, I changed it up a bit. The hair that is, we are talking about hair.

First up, I had to fill in my hair shafts. I did not know this was a step but apparently it is. So, I got to be carrot top for a while. I had a similar experience back in 2007 when I moved up to Seattle and SOMEHOW my crazy hair person made me a goth freak with black hair (read also: the definition of TRAUMATIC. Big giant HUGE life changes- you know, divorcing, new job, moving across the country and on top of it? Goth black hair!) Anyway, I lived. But, to get back to blonde back then? I went through every shade of red. Including the one above! (except for in 2007 I was this shade of red for a week, versus 10 minutes). (You can read that hair memo from way back when by clicking here).

The end result? A chestnut brown brunette with shades of red in it... but really, you can't see the red much here (and pardon the "I just worked out look." I had just worked out...clearly).

The next morning, I tried to take a more presentable picture. It was 5am, still not the best shot but you get the idea. And there you have it. I like it for now. It's warm, I look less pasty. Brown hair, fall colors. It's definitely fall up in here.

And the thing about hair that really makes it so fun? You can always change it again.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Another weekend... in pictures. Sort of.

It's the second to last weekend in October and Justin and I found ourselves without kids... again! There really isn't too much to report other than we did the married couple thing- got things done around the house, worked some, worked out some, relaxed some. So, pictures:

We got "boo-ed" by our neighbor kids in honor of the upcoming spooky holiday. I have to say, I've never been boo-ed before. It's a first.

The weather dropped below 50 a high. And I promptly wanted to roll over and die... or maybe just roll over and have 400 blankets around me. Under 50 degrees is CHILLY. And we still haven't turned our heat on. I have a feeling that will be short lived.

We went on a long walk. As in, like 2.5 hours. It was really nice but, yeah, long. Here's Justin about 25 minutes before we were done... I might mention that the day before we did the workout from hell with our workout buddy Cedric. These workouts are called: "survival of the fittest." No, they aren't really but they should be. We basically compete until one of us dies. Needless to say, they are great workouts and we all feel them the next days.

Justin grabbing his sore, aching boobies... the survival of the fittest workout from the day before was a chest/triceps workout. We literally couldn't raise our arms up. Our plans to yoga were foiled as there was no WAY we were going to hold a warrior 1... or 2... or basically any posture. Again, with the lifting of the arms.

Gorgeous fall trees...

And again...

More leaves...

And once more. As much as the cooler temperatures symbolize the turn of the seasons, the leaves scream it even more. Can't get enough of the colors this was the one thing I hated about Phoenix. No fall. But here, I get it and it's beautiful!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

An annual affair.

Ready for the annual rant? You better buckle up and have a while because it's also going to be about 5 posts in one. (and if you are grossed out by talks of doctors or anything of the sort, skip this post altogether).

Remember my rant last year on why I really despise the lady doctor? NO? Well, refresh. It's right here for your reference. If you're too lazy to go there (trust me, I don't blame you), here's the cliff notes version along side an update for this year (from when I went several weeks ago). Last year, I outlined quite a few things that I absolutely HATE (not even a strong enough word) about the lady doctor.

Last year I hated:

1) The freak out of the innocent bystander (me) standing beside someone who was quite literally minutes away from giving birth in the elevator. This year, I didn't quite have that experience exactly (thank god) so things started off on an immensely better foot. Although, I did follow all four people in the elevator to the same damn doctor's office so I knew I'd be waiting for a while.

2) The waiting room. Yeah, not any better. Kids were insane, and in the midst of the insanity of the kids and uncomfortable looking soon-to-be moms, I waited for at LEAST an hour as the true outlier of the group...late twenties, not pregnant, no kids. In other words, no kids, no problem-  welcome to wait time. (And the irony in this is that they call me the day before to tell me to be EARLY...really?)

3) The actual appointment and peeing in a cup. Yes, I still hate this. But this year, the nurse told me more about how they actually analyze my pee... oh how joyful that was to watch her spin the little color wheel as she is holding my cup of pee (awkward learning experience?)

4) The up-sell. Two years ago it was a cluster of blood tests, last year it was the triple crown of shots. This year? Oh yes, you better believe it there was another upsell. This year: OH, because I haven't had my period since going off the pill 6 months ago (because I hate it... have I mentioned this here? Oh maybe I should back up.

I went off the pill because I hate it, it's evil and there's no point in taking it if you are a responsible adult and are willing to take two minutes a day to avoid pregnancy naturally. SO. I consider myself to want to be natural and I am a mildly responsible adult at least when not under the influence of bourbon, therefore, I chucked the pill in a dramatic effort one day late last April (actually Justin did this for me...bye bye evil crazy pills) and am now practicing the more natural methods of birth control that no one ever talks about so that I can get my body back to normal eventually... another blog post, another day- oh there has been so much to learn!)


The doctor basically told me that was crap, this "natural thing" and I needed to dope up and stop taking my temperature because it doesn't matter. Um, HI. I just TOLD YOU I am doing this naturally. That THIS is what is important to me. And then I'm thinking, the 60 pound, unhealthy looking, overweight doctor is telling me not to be natural and to pop drugs. Huh. What part of popping a god damn pill is natural? So since I refused to do that? Blood tests to see if she can support her solution of putting me on more hormones even though I just ditched the fake hormones of one variety. Fine. Do the freaking blood tests and let my blood prove to you that everything is NORMAL.


Oh yes, the lovely war wound of blood draws. (they took about 5 vials, not kidding).

And one more shot. It should be noted that this was taken about 5 DAYS after the actual draw, too. Yeah. So. Choice words for you, doc.

And since I'm writing this in retrospect, I can tell you the results: GO FIGURE, absolutely everything in the blood tests came back normal. Huh. When I got that call the nurse said, "But we still think we should put you on progesterone to jump start your periods, " I nicely asked what the point was when all my tests were measuring normal. If they are normal, my body is normal, so eventually it will get it itself, right? She hemmed and hawed and eventually said, "well, yes." At which point, I said, "Well, then no thank you for trying to up-sell me more things I don't need."


"But it does appear that you aren't vaccinated against Rubella." And I'm all, "WTF is Rubella?" And the nurse asks me if I ever plan on having kids and I say yes, we'd hope we'd be so lucky and she then proceeds to tell me that if I don't get vaccinated against Rubella pretty much RIGHT THIS SECOND, I am going to kill whatever baby I eventually have if I'm not vaccinated against this disease.


I understand what Rubella is and how there can be harmful affects if you do get it while pregnant. That being said, I also believe in some way, there are ways to treat things naturally so that your body does the vaccinating for you. Call me a hippie if you want, but I truly believe that. So that I don't get on my soap box of all things wrong with Western medicine vs. taking a more natural approach, I'll stop here but let me tell you: the upsell this year was RIDICULOUS. As one of my largest clients happens to be a doctor practice, I find this laughable.

5) The fifth thing I hated last year was freezing in basically nothing while the doctor talks about everything under the moon after you've been waiting and trying to grow a fur coat on your body after freezing for a million years in a little sheet that doesn't close behind your bum. And the doctor comes in and talks and talks and you're all like, "DUDE, I'm FREEZING my ass off, can we please just get this over with before I become an ice cube?" Yep, nothing has changed there.

6) The whole body exam. Still a violation. Still hate it. Still sucks. A necessary evil I guess.

And of course, again, I have an abnormal pap smear. Hey, at least this year they told me in a timely manner and not 6 months later while I was having wine with a girlfriend... Remember that whole debacle from last year? Refresh by clicking here, if you choose. They wanted to mutilate my damn cervix AGAIN but neglected to tell me that my 6 month earlier pap was abnormal until I was at home in Kansas City drinking wine with a which point, they make you feel like you have cancer and you are drinking wine which makes EVERYTHING more dramatic so you're all, "OMG, CJ, I have cancer, this might be the last time I EVER have wine with you or am EVER home again!!" Right. Well.

Every year since I've started going to this doctor I have an abnormal pap smear. Every damn year. They call you, treat you like you are pretty much dying of cancer and tell you to schedule a colposcopy. This is a very lovely procedure where they stick more metal and awkward devices that should NEVER see the inside of any vagina, much less fit in there. This all allows the doctor to see "MAYBE" mild dysplasia but they eventually decide to rip out a chunk of your cervix anyway "just to be sure" after you've already spent 40 mintues freaking out at the reading materials in the room that read "how to cope with terminal illness" or "how to survive cancer." And the chunk they rip out? For all of you that have never had this done, imagine cutting a dime size ball out of the most sensitive part of your body. No numbing, just going for it. And not a quick swipe, you take it out and then you kind of dig and dig and rip just to make sure if fully comes out. Good mental picture? Ok,  now times how that feels by about 100. (And I have a high pain threshold- note the running on the almost exploding achilles tendon for 9 months!)  At the end of all of this ordeal... thinking you're dying of cancer, then to freaking out, then to experiencing more pain in your cervix than you ever should, you're told, "Oh, there's absolutely no abnormal cells at all. Fluke test." RIGHT.

So, this year, what I'm gathering is that you're telling me I have to go through this MASSIVE upsell in this stupid test that has been repeatedly a "fluke" AGAIN? You are fucking shitting me. And also, I would like to punch you in the nose. And then the throat. And for good measure, then I would like you to tear out a chunk of YOUR cervix that has nothing wrong with it and give me a few thousand bucks for your pain... then we can talk about how this all feels. And, also, I am calling your bluff, doc.

I'm going to stop here because this is long and I'm just annoyed with all of this. I think that the moral of the story in this all is that I need a new OB doctor. And stat. Mine can currently consider herself fired.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Random weekend musings.

Last weekend we had both kiddos for once. Weird, as we've only been having one at a time lately. It was a nice change and good to see them both! We picked them up Friday night in Seattle and headed home to a nice dinner of tacos (the staple, of course).

After that, it was on to Fast and the Furious 5... in which I got honorary thug status from Bailey (note the hat) and read a book. I watched about 20 minutes of fast and furious before I decided that my book was much more entertaining.

The next day we hung around and then made our way down to Justin's mom's house to help her with her yard. Above is a picture of Justin (aka Rambo) who decided to really go balls out and weed.

And another with the saw... his biceps felt awesome that night as we had a massive bi/back workout the day before.

During this yard work, we made a lot of new friends... the one above was the cutest of the bunch. The others I did not stick around very long to get any pictures. After working outside for a couple of hours, we had dinner with Justin's mom, brother, sister in law and the four kids before heading home (seriously, I'm calling two teenagers kids now... I HATED that when I was young. Oh, how the times change).

The next day we also took it easy before driving the boys back across the mountains. This is what awaited us at the top of the pass- beautiful fall colors and SUN!

Heading back the other way, let me just point out the wall of clouds... (sadface).

And, on the west side of the mountains, aka: home (isn't that crazy how one side of the mountains is all clouds, other side all sun?) Hi Seattle, you and your fall cloudiness sucks. Can we go back to the sunny fallish weather, please? All in all, despite the gloom, it was a great weekend. Another one for the books!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Monthly wine night...

One of my friends, Stacie, started up a monthly girls wine night (called WINOSS) back in June for ladies on the eastside of Lake Washington (vs. Seattle proper who have their own group). It was a GREAT idea to get a bunch of girlfriends together at a location that varies every month with a type of wine that varies every month. This month? We were drinking tempernillo at my house!

Above: a shot of the wines post party. There are a couple of bottle not featured as we had a couple of repeats in the mix. Apparently tempernillos are not super popular in Washington state yet (but they are still quite delicious). As it is every month, this was such a fun night to get together with friends, eat, and drink good wine.  

Monday, October 10, 2011

Just another weekend....

This weekend was not really anything to write home about, but a weekend is a weekend, right? And we all know that weekends are good things.

This weekend started off with wine and appetizers at our favorite little wine bar, Purple.

Justin looking all dapper... reading the menu trying to decide on wines. In the end? We ended up getting several different glasses to try a few. Oh! And the next day we went to hot yoga and right next to us was the bartender. Pretty cute.

Also noted before we went to purple: shades of fire red in front of our house. If this doesn't scream "BEHOLD, welcome to fall!" I'm not sure what does.

Another shot up the tree with a few green leaves interspersed.

On Saturday, we picked up Justin's dad from the airport who flew in for a conference and then headed to meet Justin's brother, sister in law, baby Isla for a Thai dinner. After that we headed back to Jordan and Steph's house to hang out for a while.

The next day, Justin's dad spent with us so we made him dinner.  He's recently changed his diet a bit to adopt more of a plant based diet so we showed him how easy (and fun!) this can be. Above: spring rolls with tofu. (Sidenote: I doubt that Joe would totally agree that he had a blast making these. In fact, I think he may have thought that Justin's little creation was insanity). They were quite tasty though, although the prep time always takes a little while.

We also made another batch of soup. This time? Pumpkin/squash/sweet potato/coconut. Very good.

And another apple crisp to represent this fall season we are in, whether or not we really are ready for the change of seasons.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Two plus two plus two.

On October 2nd, Justin's cousin's daughters turned two years old. They are twins. Two year old twins on the 2nd. Lots of twos going on around here. In honor of their special day, we went to their house to celebrate:

Twin number 1- Luca... a little unsure about the whole thing.

And twin number 2, Tessa: definitely not the shy one.  We had a great time at the birthday party and the girls got a TON of good stuff (although I'm not sure that they really cared about anything other than their new big girl beds and babies/baby strollers). It was hilarious to watch them... I think they were a little overwhelmed by everything going on! (And, by the way, isn't it crazy to believe that one of them- not sure which- was only 2 pounds when she was born?!)

And for good measure, another shot of that precious baby Isla with Justin looking like a pro feeding her.

Friday, October 7, 2011

October 1.

This past weekend, it really started to feel like fall up here in the pacific northwest. Meaning: rain and cold. And also? Goodbye temperatures over 60 degrees until next August (sadface). Let's just cross our fingers that we don't see ANY snow this winter and specifically none in November. This is the compromise we make to live in the northwest: Temperatures that aren't really hot or cold but we don't have 110 degrees or snow. When Seattle screws with us and gives us 110 degree weeks in the summer or 10+ inches of snow in November, it just upsets the whole balance.

Anyway, besides the point. 

So, October 1st. A new season, it felt like fall and what better way to really bring in this changing season than the following: 

A 1.5 hour fall walk... (notice that red tree in the background).

Look out across the water at the city of Seattle.

We ran into asparagus on the side of the road. Really?

And pumpkins.

Later that night as we were freezing and refusing to turn on the heat on October 1 (since it won't be turned off again until July...), we made apple crisp to make the house smell good...

...and a pumpkin/squash/sweet potato soup that was just amazing. Although I don't really love the darker days/imminent cold weather, I do like the slightly crisp, cooler days along with the changing colors and fall foods so in that respect, I guess you could say I am embracing this change of season that is so evidently right upon us.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Leaving a legacy.

Pretty much everyone is going to be talking today about yesterday's passing of Steve Jobs.  And here I am to jump on that bandwagon. I'm not a computer programmer, I know how to do the simplest of all things computer related and on my iphone. But, nonetheless, I think it goes to say that somehow, someway, I am still affected by Steve Jobs influence.

In college, I was in one of my core business classes (I cannot for the life of me remember which one- senior seminar? Maybe?) and I had to do a report (or what FELT like a dissertation at the time) on an instrumental person in the business world who had overcome adversity and succeeded. I selected Steve Jobs (I bet I still have that report somewhere... it would be interesting to find it right now!) Anyhow, from that report, I learned so much about him including how he brought Apple back in the late 90s after being fired from Apple in the 80s. I learned about his personal life. I learned about how he operated as a businessman. I learned how he viewed success. All of this was circa about 2003, well before the release of the iphone, ipad, or hell, maybe even before the ipod. At that time, he was still successful with many, many great things to come. I don't know that any one person can ever fully be solely responsible for a company's success but I DO believe that these individuals who are credited with it are responsible in that they understand what it takes to run a successful business- from product to the people surrounding them. I do believe that Steve Jobs had it right and that his loss will be felt deeply- and for a long time- from people like me who just use and love their Apple products to higher techy people who work with these products every hour of every day, using them to their full capability. 

To end- a few quotes floating around out there today (of course) that Steve Jobs was credited with during a commencement speech at Standford in 2005, right around the time he was initially diagnosed with cancer. Pretty good words of wisdom:

"No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true...."

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice.....Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Interrupting the August recap...for...September!

I'm through the wedding recap and, really, just need to post about the honeymoon adventure in Hawaii. So, before I do that, I'm going to just go ahead and get all caught up on September. Track the posts as they come up here:

The beer olympics, take #2.

I swear, we both have college degrees.

Lucky number 15.

Being helpful.

Secret chef.

What was supposed to happen on Friday night...