Friday, January 31, 2014

Three days ago Atlanta was brought to its knees by a mere 2 inches of snow. (Hold the jokes, Northerners.) What's usually a 25 minute commute took me 5 hours. Adam finally gave up after only making it 12 miles in 8 hours, and walked the final 3 miles home. And we were lucky. It took our brother-in-law, Nathan, 16 hours to get home... finally pulling into his driveway around 5:30am. Thousands of others had to spend the night in the car, find refuge with a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-doctor-of-a-brother-of-a-friend's house and hundreds of kids were stranded at school overnight. I'm not even going to get into the political debate of why every person in Atlanta got on the roads at the same time and why school systems didn't think ahead on this one - I'm just happy that the community rallied together. In all honesty, as I was pounding on my steering wheel trying to make it home, I wanted to kill everyone around me. People were driving down emergency lanes, cutting people off, not obeying simple traffic laws - basically trying any way they could to get ahead. Yo, we're all trying to get home! But once I was home and warm, I heard many stories of the good Samaritans on the road (clearly not on Cobb Pkwy).

This is South Marietta Pkwy and Cobb Pkwy. The joy here was that no one on Cobb Pkwy thought that stop lights were relevant in inclement weather. They blocked the entire intersection so none of us could get through. I sat here for over an hour without moving.

HOME! Finally!

Isn't Ruthie the cutest? Here's a video of her first experience with snow. I don't think she was very impressed.

This was my favorite. Everyone was (obviously) very serious on all the newscasts, and this scrolled on the bottom.

Ruthie and I decided to venture out into the tundra to meet Adam while he was hiking the final 3 miles home. He was in his work clothes, so I packed a backpack with his cowboy boots (great idea, no traction), a scarf, hoodie and warm socks. (He could have killed me when he saw Ruthie in this sweater.)

It was a ghost town by that point... about 11:30pm.

Safe, drivable roads - for sure.

We found him! Check out that brown bag... I think he deserved that drink after his day.

The next morning, Adam bundled up and headed to Wal Mart for lots of junk food... and toilet paper.

After a very long day, we were so blessed and lucky to be home - safe and warm - together. Cheers to Atlanta for coming together during such a mess! Happy that all of my friends and family are home.

belated friendsgiving

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I landed in Atlanta from my amazing trip to LA at 10pm on Monday, Jan 20 - and my flight to Florida for work left at 10am on Tuesday, Jan 21. Needless to say I was exhausted and starting to feel like I was catching a cold. Not a good combo! The two hours I saw Adam and Ruthie before I left again, I'm pretty sure I wasn't the most pleasant person to be around.

My work trip to Florida was fine - it's always fun to see the people I work with down there, but the cold I thought I was getting escalated pretty quickly. I was able to pull it together on Wednesday night, when PB Steak hosted a Happy Hour that benefited Share Our Strength..

They donated 50% of the proceeds from their signature cocktail to Share Our Strength and named it "Orange You Glad You Donated" - too cute!

On Thursday morning, I accidentally took NyQuil instead of Mucinex. Needless to say, my cold had started affecting my brain. I somehow made it through the day, but slept for 12 hours that night. Much needed! I could have cried when I landed in Atlanta on Friday evening - I don't think I've ever been so happy to be home!

On Saturday, Adam worked in the morning and I spent a small fortune at CVS to try to get rid of my cold. We spent the rest of the day on the couch - exciting day!

Shortly after Thanksgiving, Adam bought a turkey fryer on sale and has been dying to use it. While sitting on the couch all day on Saturday, he decided to have a Fried Turkey party on Sunday afternoon (lucky for him, I woke up Sunday feeling slightly human again). I like to call it our very belated Friendsgiving! We had a good little group of people attend (shocking, since it was so last minute!).

Oh, yeah. Adam also spent all day Sunday burning leaves in our backyard.

The boys congregated around the turkey while the ladies stayed in the kitchen. How old school.

The finished product - yum!

We finished the night with s'mores!

adventures in lalaland

Monday, January 27, 2014

I have been due for a trip out west for quite some time. One of my very good friends, Kalyn, and I met while studying abroad in New Zealand in 2008, and I haven't seen her since my wedding! I was so excited to head out to the perfect weather and sunshine of California in the middle of this grossly cold winter we're having in Georgia.

I arrived on the evening of Thursday, Jan 16 after my favorite flight experience to date. It was the pilot's retiring flight and his whole family was on board (wife, kids, grandkids), fire engines created an arch of water as we exited ATL and when we landed in LAX, all of the drinks and in-flight entertainment were free, and they put together a cute little party at the gate when we arrived. They were all such special touches by Delta, and I really felt honored to be on the flight!

Anyway, when I landed Kalyn picked me up and we headed up north to Carpinteria to stay with her friend, Maggie, for the night. We woke up the next morning and took the short train ride (so fun!) to Santa Barbara where we spent the day wine tasting. Our first stop was Les Marchands Wine Bar - turns out our waiter was part owner of the place and a Master Sommelier (huge deal!). He was also featured in the movie Somm - a documentary about a few individuals attempting to become Master Sommeliers. Kalyn is obsessed with this movie and freaked out when she found out our waiter turned out to be Brian (of course, it took us until we went to the next place to learn all of this). We grabbed lunch from this super cute place called Lucky Penny and were able to bring it back to Les Marchands and eat it while sipping our wines. I had my favorite meal of the trip - a toasted farro salad with arugula, parmesan, grapes (fun surprise!), and olive oil. YUM, YUM, YUM.

The view from Maggie's backyard. I mean, seriously?!

Train fun with Maggie!

Surfing on the Surfliner with Kalyn!

Wine tasting at Les Marchands

With Brian, our new Master Somm friend. (By the way, he made us pose like this.)

Oh, yeah. I met one of the founders of Autism Speaks - which happens to be my college sorority's philanthropy! So cool.

 We're not obnoxious at all

We made a few more stops for wine - Santa Barbara Winery, Giessinger (GROSS. Do not go.) and grabbed dinner at Union Ale before taking the train back to Carpinteria, where we then said goodbye to Maggie and headed down to Kalyn's house in Redondo Beach to meet her cat, Tofu, and finally say hi to her super fun boyfriend, Corey.

Fireball shots at Union Ale before heading back.

On Friday, we grabbed breakfast at Two Guns (a fun coffee shop owned by New Zealanders - yay!), before heading to Runyon Canyon to stalk celebs. Parking was a nightmare, but we finally found a spot and started our two hour hike/celeb watch. We didn't see any (boo!), but I blame it on the fact that the SAG Awards were also happening the same day. The views were beautiful and we definitely got a good work out in.


Thanks to Corey and Matt for putting up with us on our hike! And for taking all of our fun pictures.

Since we were in West Hollywood, we had to stop at a fun gay bar before we headed home. Kalyn chose The Abbey, and we had a few drinks (and shots - we're on vacation!). She kept saying she had seen Bob Barker there (the guy from Price is Right?) and I was so confused why he would be partying at a gay bar in West Hollywood. Turns out she meant Bob Harper (from the Biggest Loser).

We headed back down to Redondo for a nap before we headed out to dinner in Manhattan Beach at Pitfire Pizza (I got a Ghost Pepper Pizza...guess what? It was HOT.) and then to the local dive bar Shellbacks for some post-dinner drinks.

Sunday morning we woke up and rode bikes back down to Manhattan Beach. (Ugh, seriously. Can we move there?) We did some window shopping and walked on the pier before deciding it was time for a drink around 10:30. Kalyn had been wanting to try this cute/fancy restaurant right on the water, so off to The Strand House we went. We had some delish fresh squeezed tangerine juice with vodka before meeting up with Corey and biking the Strand (beachy boardwalk!) to Hermosa Beach.

Manhattan Beach... the cutest!

Gajillion dollar houses on one side... beach on the other!

There are a ton of bars right on the beach in Hermosa, and we decided to start off at American Junkie. Of course, we made friends with a huge Samoan (we thought he was Maori, boo) who had a prime time table so we spent the whole day there. Kalyn's mom, Kelly, joined us later in the afternoon and it was the best little reunion! They are so fun. It was the greatest way to end such an amazing trip!

Corey and our new Samoan friend

Best friends! Miss this girl.

The weather was seriously amazing the entire time I was there. Sunny and high of low to mid-80s everyday. I never wanted to leave! I tried to talk Adam into grabbing Ruthie and meeting me there, but that was a no go. Thank you for everything, Kalyn and Corey! What an awesome way to kick off 2014!


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Today Adam and I celebrate our third wedding anniversary. We were talking the other day that three years of marriage actually sounds like we're grown ups. Anything before three and you're basically still a newlywed. So, year three. We now know EVERYTHING!

Ok, maybe not everything. But here are some things I do know...

1. With Adam having a steady paycheck and loving his job, life is a lot more fun.
2. I stopped being neurotic about our budget spreadsheet (re: I stopped doing it altogether) and we set up a new budget plan (80% of paychecks go into joint, 20% go into our own separate accounts where we can do as we please). Now I can't yell at Adam for eating at China Dragon four times a week, because I don't see/care where he's wasting his chunk of change. 
3. Adam still puts up with me. (Y'all, I really don't know how long this one will last. Sometimes A lot of times, I look at him and ask "Why in the world do you put up with my random fits of anger that are usually directed at you?" This was a real conversation last week...)

Me: Did you take those coats into work to donate them?
Adam: No, that's on Fridays.
Adam: No, you didn't. If you had said that, I would have told you our company only does it on Fridays.
Me: WHATEVER. I'm still pissed because you didn't put away the laundry or do the dishes or clean up your side of the closet. (Side note: Since when is Adam a stay-at-home wife? I'm glad we both have the ability to laugh at ourselves me minutes later... Sometimes.)

4. I still put up with Adam. (That's because he's cute and funny...and deals with my fits of psychosis.)
5. We love and support each other a whole lot.

Happy anniversary, lover boy! Here's to a lifetime more...

Check out this amazing meal we made on our actual anniversary. Adam made the steak and lobster (yum!) and I slaved over asparagus and Rice-A-Roni (haha, yeah right). It was such a fun little night, just the two of us.

Anniversary Surprises

Monday, January 13, 2014

Adam has told me multiple times his favorite thing in the world is surprising me. Good news, I love surprises - so this works out. He's pulled off some pretty awesome ones in his day: our engagement, my birthday party, bringing home my favorite bottle of wine/flowers for no reason...he's kind of the best.

We planned to celebrate our anniversary this past weekend, because I'll be in California next weekend and the actual date lands on a boring Wednesday (so we'll just cook a yummy meal at home). Adam said he wanted to handle the evening, which I happily let him do.

Saturday night was the big date night so I got all glammed up (which really means I spent more than 45 seconds on my hair and makeup) and we headed out for drinks at Empire State South before dinner. (Ok, I wasn't going to tell this part of the story that makes me sound like a total bitch, but I am. On Friday night, Adam finally told me where were going - but it wasn't a restaurant that supports Taste of the Nation - the event I work on every year. I work with 50+ of the top restaurants in Atlanta, but this particular one had never signed on/supported us. I told Adam it was totally fine if we went this year, but for future reference I sent him a list of the restaurants that do support us. Moving on...). He felt bad about the aforementioned situation, so decided we should head to Empire State South for drinks before dinner, since they are a supporter of ours. I, being a total idiot, decided to take my nightly dose of Tamiflu (oh yeah, Adam had the flu last week) before we left for dinner, even though it says to take with food. I didn't take it seriously and figured I'd be fine since we would be eating in a couple hours. Y'ALL... FOLLOW THE LABEL RULES. I felt so sick I didn't know if I was going to pass out or throw up while we were getting drinks. I tried to power through it, but I was thisclose to telling Adam we were going to have to take a rain check on dinner. Luckily, we ordered some cheese and I slowly started feeling better. (Seriously, I'm an idiot.)

Adam was taking his sweet time sipping on the whiskey he ordered, and then the hostess came over and told us our table was almost ready. Obviously, I was really confused - we were just here for drinks? I turned around and Adam said "surprise!" (Seriously, isn't he the cutest?)

I have to admit, the service was pretty terrible - but the company, the food and the drinks were perfect!

After dinner, Adam suggested we go get a drink at our "hub hotel" from the wedding, which was just a couple blocks away. Once we arrived at the Renaissance, we grabbed a drink at the bar and were ready to leave when Adam surprised me (once again!) and said we'd be staying at the hotel that night. Yay! He was so cute (are you catching onto the theme?) and even packed things for me and had dropped them off earlier in the day. Including (ladies, you know how crucial this is)... FACE WASH!

The next day we got up and walked around Piedmont Park for a while before heading to our old go-to, The Nook, for totchos and drinks.We had initially planned to get a fishbowl (a huge drink made in a legit fishbowl), but when we realized we couldn't order booze until 12:30 (thanks a lot, Georgia laws), we decided to be a little less extravagant. I settled for a couple mimosas and Adam got The Drunken Donut.

He didn't want me to take this picture because the drink looked "girly", but I was sick of not having any pictures of our fun day (with perfect weather).

And THAT was our anniversary weekend, made so special by Adam! We headed back to see our Ruthie Roo (thanks to Madi for taking care of her while we were gone!), and then made the trek to my parents' house so Adam and my dad could have their first tennis practice. Yep, Adam and my dad are playing doubles for the first time.

We ended the night with some sad-the-weekend-is-over drinks and watched the Golden Globes, which we actually figured out was the first awards show we've ever watched. Tina and Amy are too amazing not to watch.

Now we're looking forward a low key anniversary on Wednesday before I head off to LA on Thursday night. Cheers to Adam for being the best, ever.

to add or not to add?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

I am on a roll in 2014. Three posts in less than two weeks? Let's not judge that one of the posts really should have landed in 2013. Focus on the positive.

We spent the majority of the past week debating on whether or not we should add another member to our family. That member being covered with fur and probably causing me a lot of distress. Every since the Chip Incident of 2013, Adam is set on getting a playmate for Ruthie. Don't get me wrong, I would love a new pup - but someone has to make sure we don't drive our family into debt from someone's impulsiveness. Also, I don't know if Ruthie would really like a friend (she loses her mind around other dogs - best moments of her life, according to her), or if she's perfectly content being the only child (no more cuddles on the couch if we add another one). Hey, if this is the most serious decision I have to make all year, I'm ok with it.

Sigh. Whatever happens, at least I held off until 2014! (Check out my 2013 resolutions here. Same reasons, different year.) And yes, I still haven't made up my resolutions for 2014. Other than I know it will include less technology. My addiction to Spider Solitaire on my phone has gotten out of control.

Moving on to our always exciting-crazy-overwhelming-fun life. We celebrated Alysa's birthday at our house and Mulligan's (ok, we have got to find a new hangout) on Saturday night with some of our oldest friends. We kicked the night off with some Hot n Ready's and the fire pit. (It wasn't quite as cold as it is today...7 degrees when I woke up this morning!)

Eventually, we made our way to Mulligan's.

The perks of frequenting the neighborhood dive bar? They let us bring Ruthie now!

Those were really our only plans for the weekend, so we spent the rest of the time taking down Christmas decorations and... doing laundry in our own house! We finally got a new washing machine. I'm not kidding, I think our old one broke in August. Embarrassing. Regardless, here she is!

And that is my, always riveting, post.

A Charlotte New Year

Thursday, January 2, 2014

We waited until just about the last minute to figure out our New Year's Eve plans, and decided to head up to Charlotte and celebrate with friends up there. This was actually Adam's first time in Charlotte and I was so excited for our little road trip.

We headed up on Monday night and got to Natalie's around 10pm. Perfect timing to have a night cap and watch some TV before heading to bed.

On New Year's Eve, Natalie and I got our nails done (Barbie pink, please) before heading to lunch at Nan and Byron's - cutest place, ever. Adam was already bored with us, so he left after lunch with some of our college buddies to play video games (or something exciting like that). Natalie and I took the opportunity to watch Katy Perry (obviously) and take a nap. We have literally seen the movie so many times we can quote it. Yes, we quote a documentary.

After getting our act together, it was time for the celebrations to begin!

Our NYE tickets didn't allow us to get into the bar until 9pm, so we went ahead and got the party started at the Ranch (aka Natalie's adorable house).

We finally headed to All American Pub, where we met up with more friends and eventually rang in 2014!

We left the bar shortly after the ball drop (as in, we were in a cab at 12:05am) and headed back to the Ranch for pizza. Of course, we watched Katy Perry (AGAIN) and Natalie was inspired to try and execute the splits. Perfect.

Remember how I said we were so impulsive? Well, I actually mean Adam is so impulsive. Remember that time he just bought a car out of the blue? Or when he decided we needed a Mac Book Air right that moment? Well, he also decided we needed to take home Natalie's roommate's foster dog - a pit bull named Chip. After spending the majority of the trip trying to talk me into it, I finally put my foot down and said NO. I'm all for (eventually) getting Ruthie a playmate, but it's not fair to just bring home a dog without her meeting it first. You're welcome, Ruthie.

That was the first and last time I'm allowing Adam to come to Charlotte with me. Who knows what he'll try to talk me into next time!?

Minus the dog incident, we had a great time ringing in 2014 with some old friends! Here's to another amazing year! (New Year's resolutions coming soon... or never.)

Christmas 2013

I expected my Christmas break to be pretty uneventful, as I had almost two full weeks off and no solid plans. However (per usual), my days filled up rather quickly! I found out I didn't get the internal job I'd been interviewing for, after FOUR months of waiting, on the Friday before Christmas, but refused to let it ruin my holiday cheer. (I am a firm believer in "Everything happens for a reason" - although I'm still pretty pissed about the whole situation.)

My brother's girlfriend was driving to Atlanta from Fort Worth, TX with her pups, but decided last minute she didn't want to do it alone. Since I had nothing to do, I volunteered to drive with her. I flew into Texas the Sunday before Christmas, ate a lot of Mexican food in a very short amount of time, and we headed back east on Monday afternoon. 12.5 hours later, we pulled into Atlanta at 3:00AM. It was such a fun road trip, filled with lots of Red Bull (8 to be exact) and lots of singing and laughing.

The next same day was Christmas Eve, and we had plans to spend the majority of the day with the Bakers. Holy cow, I was exhausted, but I somehow managed to pull it together. We had a great day attending Christmas Eve church and opening presents.

We spent Christmas Eve-ning with my side of the family, since the whole gang was in town for the first time in quite awhile. Jeff and Katie (obviously) and my cousin Christopher from Denver rounded out our Griswold Family Christmas. I planned to go to another church service to watch my best friend sing with her brother and sister-in-law, but after a few games of Apples to Apples I was beyond tired and didn't make it.

Christmas morning Adam, Ruthie and I spent alone enjoying our traditions - wearing tacky hats to open presents while eating monkey bread and drinking mimosas. I love that time with just us!

It was then time to start the day and head over to my parents' house to "do Christmas" over there, which included....

Opening presents (we had this specially made for Mitch - you're welcome)...

Attempting to take family pictures...

...and grubbing on some yummy food! After all of the festivities ended, we briefly visited with the Bakers and then headed to Mulligan's (obviously) to grab a Christmas drink with Lindsay. All in all one of my favorite Christmases, ever! We have sure been blessed with some awesome family and friends.

To top off "Christmas Week", one of my high school best friends was visiting from NYC and we had a little girls get together (plus my cousin, Christopher) on Friday night. It's always a good time when we all get together!

And the final note of this post... Adam received Chrome Cast from Jeff for Christmas, but since we already have Internet TV there wasn't a point in us keeping it. In typical fashion, we walked into Best Buy to return the $35 gift and walked out with a Mac Book Air. We have to be the most impulsive people of all time. (To be honest, we don't have a computer at home and have been debating getting one for almost three years. So in reality, this was a long time coming.)