Saturday, March 19, 2011

The weekend so far

So yesterday I was on Facebook and saw that my photography teacher had posted that there was an opening for her Advanced Digital class, and that the first person to email her for the spot would get it. I emailed her with lightning speed and got into the class! I was so excited since her classes have been filling up so fast or have been during times that I can't attend, and I REALLY wanted to take the followup to Digital 101. I left work at 4:30 yesterday and spent the rest of the evening just chilling out at home. Our state refund came through which was exciting to see! Now I'm just waiting for the federal refund to come through and then I'll set up the money transfer for our savings account. (yay!) Ethan left for work and I ended up staying up way too late...eating popcorn and watching Criminal Minds. I hadn't had popcorn in quite some time, I forgot how good it was!

This morning we woke up at 11:30 AM... and since my class was at 1, we headed to Chick-Fil-A for a quick lunch together beforehand. Then he headed home and I headed to class... I learned so much in two hours. The most important feature that I learned about was light metering, which has already markedly improved my photos. Monica, the instructor, had us outdoors practicing light metering and answering any questions we had to make sure we didn't leave without a full understanding of how to control and apply it to our photography. Simply awesome. We also learned about AI servo focusing, which will come in handy the next time I'm at the playground with the kids and they're in motion. It basically is a focusing mode that tracks the subject in motion, so you don't have blur or an out of focus picture. I'm going to start carrying my camera to work with me so that I can be practicing all the time. I have the perfect subjects to practice on! They're totally photoghenic. Proof? Why, sure! As a disclaimer, I didn't shoot that photo - Emily did, but it was with my camera, so I guess I get 5% of the credit. Haha.

Tomorrow is going to be low key... I'm going to get back to my Couch to 5 K which I neglected for a week (that's going to hurt tomorrow....) and then video chat with my dad. I'm working the next three nights at the Ritz Carlton for a family who booked us through our babysitting service, so that will be fun. Hopefully it won't sap my energy for the rest of the week... I have a flight to catch to NYC on Thursday night with my love.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Today was absolutely beautiful and so much fun. I met Aneli, Ryan, Emily, and Hallie at Top Nail, and we all got pedicures. I went back to my favorite O.P.I. color, "Dulce de Leche". It's such a neutral color but so pretty at the same time. I have my own bottle since I love the color so much! After our pedicures, we walked over to Menchie's Frozen Yogurt and sat and gabbed for an hour or was just so much fun. Menchie's has the BEST flavors... today I had red velvet cake, milk chocolate, and dulce de leche (I put three flavors in one cup) topped with mini chocolate chips and a little hot fudge. HEAVEN. I love this group of girls - they have my back, and there is no drama or jealousy within the group. Everyone genuinely likes each other and cares about each other, and it's just a really neat group of friends. I'm fortunate to be a part of it! Hallie is Aneli's younger sister so today was the first time I had met her... and she is not in the photo since she was the one taking it!

After I came home from my girls' afternoon, Ethan and I spent some time together before heading out for date night at Gekko Sushi (another date night out courtesy of ScoutMob!) It was absolutely delicious and is definitely our new sushi spot. We had a rainbow roll, crunchy california roll, and another roll that I cannot remember the name of right now.... in addition to edamame and teriyaki chicken. In hindsight, Ethan would have skipped ordering the chicken because the rolls and edamame were so filling!

I'm going to have to spend some extra time in the gym this week from all the eating out I did this weekend...oh well, it's worth it! :)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Brunch, office chairs, and taxes...

This morning I woke up at 9:30 to Ethan standing over me staring at me. I wasn't really planning to wake up that early since I didn't get to bed until 1 AM, but since he was awake, I forced myself to get out of bed.

We decided to go to brunch and headed to Highland Bakery, a place I've always wanted to try. It was an absolutely BEAUTIFUL day outside, so we sat outside and enjoyed the views of downtown Atlanta. Highland Bakery is actually known for their peanut butter stuffed French toast topped with bananas, but we settled for their breakfast platters with bacon, eggs, and sourdough toast. It was really goo - I'm actually going back there next weekend for a girls' brunch so maybe I'll try that French toast if there are people willing to split it with me!

After brunch, we went to CB2 to check out their office chair selection which was quite sad... and then headed on to By Design. Ethan's office chair is 10 years old and starting to fall apart since he spends so much time sitting in it! I've tried to get him to buy a new one several times over the past few years but he wasn't willing to spend the money... I guess after spending 6+ hours a day prepping for the CPA over the last couple of months he decided it was time! By Design had a great selection of chairs and he chose the Lider High Back Chair by Zuo Modern. I love it as well and I think it's going to look awesome in the office - it will really pull the room together since the office chair we have now is honestly pretty sad looking with everything else in there being sleek and modern. It's also super comfortable so I'll enjoy sitting in it too every once in a while. The best part? It retails for over $500.... and I found it online for $175. Sold. It should arrive sometime next week.

When we came home, I finally finished and filed our taxes...we were waiting on one last 1099 from Ethan's extra job and FINALLY got it last night! Hopefully we'll have our refund direct deposited by the end of the month - it all goes straight to savings, of course. We've really worked diligently on shoring up our savings account and it's exciting to see the number increase every month... I'll put it this way... we don't worry about money with what we have in the bank. Money isn't everything, but it sure does give you peace of mind when you have it! :) Most importantly, it's security that will allow me to comfortably be a stay at home wife whenever we decide (I could do it next week if I wanted), and that's what we love most about it! For now, I will continue to work since I do love my job and we're not done with our travels yet!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Girl's night out and TGIF

Last night was soooo much fun.... I spontaneously met up with Aneli, Lily, and Emily and we headed to a Mexican place called Across The Street. I had goat cheese enchiladas, sangria blanco, and a LOT of fun. Our waiter treated us to free tequila shots at the end of our meal and then we wrapped up the night at Yogli Mogli, a yogurt place up in Virginia Highlands. It was awesome to just hang out with girls and talk. Ethan also surprised me and asked to come along with me to New York in two weeks... of course I said yes, and I booked his ticket today. The awesome thing is that the seats next to my selected ones for the flights were open, so we'll be able to sit together!!!

Ethan and I together in Manhattan again.... I am really excited that we'll be able to spend a weekend with our dear friends together - but I'm also so glad we have a day to explore the city together again.... we're going to pick a different area to canvass on foot this time. We had so much fun together there in October for my birthday. I just love being with my husband...he is so funny and so adventurous. He truly makes me a better person. Not a day goes by that I'm not so, so, so thankful that I got to marry him!

I'm so glad it's Friday.... I'm working until 11 PM tonight, but it's been an easy day so far and will be an easy evening. We're taking the kids out to dinner and then they'll go to bed... and I will be going home to CRASH in my bed... I'm totally sleeping in tomorrow....with MY HUSBAND! (still not used to it, can you tell?!)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I'm pleased to report that it looks like I will get my life back after all... the part-time nanny is working out beautifully and her trial period is over next week - I am hoping that we'll sign her into a year long contract and then my worries are over. It means I'm off of work by 5 PM latest Monday through Thursday and only work late on Friday nights (as long as I choose to do so anyway). I've had to stay late this week to train her and get her acclimated, but next week she's on her own - I have things to do, places to go...haha. :)

I can't believe it's almost Thursday already. I'm so ready for the weekend.... Ethan and I will take the kids to do something fun Friday night and then sleep in together on Saturday morning....which I'm so looking forward to. It's supposed to be a beautiful weekend! I'm getting a pedicure with my gal pals Ryan and Emily on Sunday and other than that I don't really have any plans. I have to run for a total of 20 minutes on Sunday ... straight.... without stopping. I will do it. I will hate every second of it, but I'll do it and then I'll feel impressed and proud of myself when I'm done. That's just how it goes.

I'm really looking forward to April. I can't wait to go to the beach for a week from the 4-10th, and I'm excited about going somewhere with Ethan the weekend of the 15-17. Then I get to go to Savannah, GA (somewhere I have never been) on a work trip over Easter weekend, and the 28th I jet off to Mexico for a girls' weekend. So much R&R.... how will I ever survive? ;)

So March.... in like a lion....out like a lamb! I'm so ready for warmer temps!

Monday, March 7, 2011

So, yesterday was a lot of fun. I met LD at Sun In My Belly, and my wooorrrrd. The food? Delish. I had the Kirkwood breakfast, which was softly scrambled eggs with Boursin cheese mixed in, 2 strips of honey glazed crispy bacon, and a buttermilk biscuit with butter and jelly. It was soooooo good. The conversation was even better, and LD and I spent two and a half HOURS talking.... we didn't even realize it had been that long, because neither of us checked our phones once the entire time we were there. I hate when I go out to share a meal with someone and they're constantly checking their phone...drives me crazy, actually. If I'm "on call" I don't have a choice, I have to keep my phone with me, but I always make sure that the person I'm with understands that so they won't be offended. When LD and I were leaving SIMB, I ran into a friend that I hadn't seen since Christmas. It was really cool to see her, and she lives in my area now. Hopefully we'll get together soon with our mutual friends... I can see Sunday brunches becoming a regular thing!

After I left, I headed to San Francisco Coffee to meet Lindsay. Lindsay is my business partner (more about that in future posts when we actually launch) and also a really good friend. So when we meet, it's half business meeting, half catch-up. It's always a good time. We're able to balance the two pretty well and we work well together too. I spent about two hours with her and then we said our goodbyes.

Next stop was Publix for the weekly grocery shopping. Ethan hates to grocery shop, and I don't mind it. Plus, I know exactly where everything is, so it never takes me very long. Then I came home and spent some time with Ethan before we had dinner. Then I helped myself to dessert...BAD.... Nutella and peanut delicious, but I definitely paid for it today because my stomach was so messed up and grumbly. Won't be doing that again. I don't eat very much sugar at all normally (by choice) so when I do, it throws me all out of whack. I might sometimes say "It was worth it", but not today.

Today the new part-time nanny started... it was more about orientation today, but she did manage to give all the kids a bath by herself. I'm hoping that she picks up quickly this week because I don't want to stay until 7 PM every night this week while she orients herself... we'll see how tomorrow goes since she's going to have a lot more responsibility than she did today. I genuinely like her a lot, and I understand that this job is not a simple or easy one. I'm just used to being able to dive right into something and picking it up super fast but I realize that not everyone is me.

Tomorrow Ethan is in class, so I'm going to do week 5 of C25K...I was going to do it tonight but my day was long and exhausting, and getting off at 6:45 instead of 4:45 made that not really doable for me because when I got home I just wanted to eat and take a shower... and get into bed. I was in my bed by's a little past 9 PM now, and I'm hitting the hay. Night folks!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Saturday is my new favorite day....

So I was up WAY too late last night watching "Criminal Minds" reruns. Part of me was also waiting for Ethan to get home from his extra job which he works from 11 PM - 3 AM. He got home, we talked, and then I think we fell asleep at 4 AM. It was like the old days when we both worked later shifts and would stay up ridiculously late and then sleep in....

This morning we were up at 11. It was cold and rainy outside so we just stayed in bed for a little while snuggling before we got up to have breakfast. It's so nice to be home together on a day where we don't have to work... well, I don't have to work until later (Greek kids gig). Ethan has CPA homework anyway, and he likes to have some alone time to play video games with his brother and friends so it works out pretty perfectly.

I hit the gym earlier and finished week 4 of Couch to 5K. Yay me! Ethan surprised me by researching my treadmill and figuring out what the problem was...he ordered the part that needs to be replaced, and he is currently fixing it. The part was only $10, so I'm excited to have my treadmill back! I have decided that I will only be walking on it though and will save the running for the gym treadmills since I want it to last as long as's already so old to begin with, it's a miracle it's even still working. I have no doubt in my husband's ability to fix ANYTHING. He's just that kind of guy. Nothing fazes him, and he's super scary smart but without acting like a know-it-all brainiac. I got the total package.

Tomorrow is brunch with my friend Lauren...I call her L.D. to differentiate and avoid confusion, and then coffee later with my friend Lindsay. I'm looking forward to seeing them both and catching up! Brunch is at this place that I've always wanted to check out called "Sun in my Belly", so I can't wait to taste the food there. It's one of L.D.'s favorite places, so it's highly recommended. I'm sure I'll be back tomorrow to update on how it was!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Weekend plans

Can't believe it's Thursday night and my week is almost over. Just have to make it to 8 PM tomorrow....Friday is going to seem so much longer now that Ethan doesn't have to work and I'm going to want to rush home to be with him, haha.

Today was pretty uneventful as far as days go. I came home and then went to work out and finished W4D2 of C25K.... I will finish out week 4 on Saturday at some point. Very excited to move on to week 5. I've discovered that I need to run on an empty stomach if I want to actually keep my speed up...otherwise my stomach literally starts to cramp and it's not pretty. I have a confession...I really don't like running. I wouldn't say I HATE it, but it's not my favorite thing to do. I sometimes just grit my teeth and get it done with. However, as much as I don't love it, I do love that it whips me into shape in no time and I love the sense of accomplishment that I feel at the end of a run. Not everyone is determined enough to run, so I like to think that I'm determined enough to not back down from the challenge of doing something I don't particularly care for.

My weekend plans aren't major....sleep in on Saturday, make breakfast for my husband, finish week 4, maybe watch a few shows on DVR, get a pedicure, and then I'm spending time with some friends on Sunday which I'm looking forward to. I was thinking of a massage this weekend but decided that I'll do it next weekend instead, to celebrate finishing week 5. It's good motivation.

Speaking of sleep....I need some! Goodnight....hopefully I'll post something more interesting later on in the weekend.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Something new...

Well, as of today, Ethan and I share a common day off! This is the first time this has ever happened our entire marriage. He used to have Wednesday/Thursday off but it has now been changed to Friday/Saturday. I'm absolutely thrilled about this (even though I panicked a little bit at first). It means that we'll get to sleep in together every Saturday morning and I'll be able to make my husband breakfast in bed! Amazing... I know it seems silly, but if you've been married to someone for over five years and never got to do that as part of your normal routine, you'd be excited too. The other plus is that if we want to take a long weekend, we each only have to take one day off - I take Friday, he takes Sunday - voila! We'll be able to jet off to wherever our destination is on Thursday evening and return Sunday evening. It's a step in the direction that our life is heading in anyway! I'm very thankful to have one shared day off. It also means we'll be able to have dinner together 4-5 nights per week now instead of just 3. So I'm a happy camper!

I got home from work by 5 today and we headed out to try a new place in nearby Decatur called The Pita Pit. It was okay... I don't think we'll be going back anytime soon, just because the service was so incredibly slow. We discovered a Lebanese place that had AWESOME pitas earlier in the week, so I think that will be our go-to place when a craving for a pita hits. :) Atlanta just doesn't have Showmars....::sigh:: After we ate our dinner, we walked down to The Yogurt Tap. Ethan had never been, and I've taken the kids quite a few times, so it was fun to introduce him to that. It's like Yoforia...only better!

I can't believe it's Wednesday evening already...I'm looking forward to the weekend....what to make Ethan for breakfast on Saturday? Hmm.....

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

There's no place like home....

This past weekend, I was able to go home to Charlotte and spent 4 blissful days with my family and friends. I loved being able to spend time with my grandparents, my parents, my sisters, and my best friend, all of whom I never get enough time with. It was awesome. On Saturday, I went to the FHC service with my dad and sister (mom was feeling sick) and then I took them to Amelie's for dessert, which is a 24 hour French bakery in the NoDa neighborhood. Dad had the Napoleon, I had the salted caramel brownie (what they are known for), and my sister had a chocolate eclair. All were totally delish- and we brought home an eclair for mom to eat the next day. I wish I could have stayed forever with everyone, but I would miss Ethan too much. Maybe someday we'll move back to Charlotte....the Lord knows exactly where we're supposed to be at all times, and right now that's Atlanta. I'm thankful that it's only 3.5 hours away, and I hope to go back for another visit in May.

Work is going well - my fingers are crossed that the girl we are trying out for 2 weeks works out well. I've been able to leave by 5 latest every day except Friday which has been great. I've been able to stay on top of things much better, and I've been working out like I should - I'm on week 4 of C25K now, and did day 1 today... it was speed isn't improving much, I'm afraid, but at least I'm able to keep up with far. I'm dreading the 25, 28, and 30 minute runs towards the end but I know it's good for me. I WILL finish the 9 weeks and segue right into the Bridge to 10K.... I WILL! NO MATTER WHAT!

I have to go to Alys Beach for a week in April with my employers, so that's sufficient motivation to keep me moving! We're staying in this house, so it'll be a nice trip. I'm loving that there's a pool for the kids as that will make everything a lot more fun for all of us! We went last summer, and the community amenities are great. Awesome playground for the kiddos, a giant community pool, and a fitness center with treadmills to continue my workouts... which is good, since I'll be on week 9 (the last week!) of C25K and will go right into Bridge to 10K, which is a 10 week program, and I should finish June 12th....and be able to run for an entire hour straight. Crazy! I'll be happy to be able to run that at 5 mph, I am not going to be crazy and think that I can accomplish it any faster than least for a while!

This spring is going to be nutso busy now that I think about it. I am also traveling to Savannah for Easter weekend which will be busy, and then I have the kids for two full weekends in May due to their parents being out of town. I'm hoping to get up to Ohio to see my parents at their summer residence in June, and then we have the annual 4th of July at Bremo trip, and possibly a Bahamas trip at the end of July. We'll see if that actually happens (it's a work trip). Hopefully no work travel in August! We still haven't decided on a location for our 6th anniversary trip! Hawaii is looking like it's a no-go because literally everything is ALREADY booked up. ::sigh:: We'll figure it out!