Wednesday, December 31, 2008

And then we came to the end of 2008

So, 2008 is hours from being over. I can say that I'm not that sad to see it go. Yes, there were some great accomplishments this year (see yesterday's post - I did finish 200 beers last night), but there were also some very difficult times. We lost loved ones (Samantha and Baby Michael) and we lost a job. The economy took a turn for the worse, and health failed for some people we love. Tonight, it ends and we celebrate the new year with our good friends. 2009 is a new beginning, a new year to accomplish more and to have happier times.

I have to say it is off to a good start. My husband accepted a job offer this morning!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My List - A Year in Review

At some point this year, my dear husband came up with an idea that we (meaning our close friends and us-6 people) should come up with a list of 50 things we want to do before we die. He thought it would be a good idea for us to compare the things on our lists, and then we would have an idea what we could do as a group. The idea never really took off, but I did write my own list. I came up with 34 things so far on the list. I have crossed 5 things off that list to date.

This year I ran a half marathon. Actually, I ran two half marathons. I am already signed up to run two more in 2009 as well as a 20k. Will running a marathon make my list now? Yes, I think it might.

I also accomplished a triathlon this year. As of yesterday, I am an official member of The USA Triathlon Association. I see more tris in my future...

Take a yoga class has been completed many, many times this year. I have truly enjoyed my Yoga for Athletes class this year with Sage Rountree (see her blog in my favorites list) and I will continue to be a student of hers for long after 2009 ends.

We did adopt a shelter dog this year (well, actually 2 of them!) It was an unexpected thing this year, but it is something I am so glad we did. Misty and Lily are not perfect, but they make me smile and fill my heart with love every single day (just like hubby does).

I fired a gun this year. I can say it was my least favorite item on the list. I am glad I did it, but I don't think guns are for me. I don't know, maybe it is something I need to try again.

Well, that's 5 things, but the year isn't quite over yet. Tonight, I will drink 2 beers at the Flying Saucer. With those two drinks finished, I will have completed the 200 I need to earn a plate on the wall. By tomorrow morning, #23 should also be crossed off the list.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

And a Very Merry Christmas to all!!

Merry Christmas, everyone!! What a whirlwind these last 2 days have been.

Tuesday was my first day off work (woo hoo - off for 6 days!) and the main day to get stuff done. We shopped for the last minutes gifts (Target was having computer problems and could not take credit cards - can you believe it?!?!) and groceries for Christmas Eve.

Yesterday was the big family day. Bill's parents, both his sisters, and their combined 3 children came over for dinner. It sure is something to have children in your house when you aren't used to it. The little one (1 year old) howled and cried for about 2 hours and 45 minutes. At least he was in a pack and play. Poor kid - I felt really bad for him, nothing seemed to make him happy. The older two boys had a grand time. They played with all of hubby's stuff in his office, and each received a special plane as a gift. We all sat down to dinner (under cooked beef tenderloin that we had to finish cooking in a saute pan - it turned out great, though) and dessert, and did really enjoy the meaning of the season - family. I made a gingerbread cake that rocked for dessert. Soon, everyone was on the way back to grandma and grandpa's house to wait for Santa. Peace returned to our home.

Today, we have relaxed and enjoyed the beauty of Christmas. We walked the pups (it's their first Christmas!) and came home for breakfast. We opened our stocking as is my family tradition before eating some kick butt breakfast casserole and having our coffee. Now, we are getting ready to sit by the tree and open our presents. We scaled back this year, but we will still have fun. I love to surprise hubby with gifts. It is better to give rather than receive.

Later today, we are off to the in-laws for a big traditional Christmas dinner and more gifts and good cheer. It's days like these that make you realize how lucky you are. I am very lucky indeed.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Canes, Christmas, and Craziness

My good friend, Heather, scored tickets to Thursday night's Carolina Hurricanes game. Not just any tickets, though. These tickets were on the club level. We were seated at center ice, right on the red line, in the most expensive level of the arena. We were right above the penalty boxes. Let me tell you, I have sat in many different seats in the arena, but these were by far the best seats in the house. You could see the whole length on the ice, and every part of it. In my normal seat, you really can't see anything along the boards near the goal. I had no problems on Thursday. I could also watch the action on the bench, another thing I can't see from my regular seat. It was a great game, and the Canes won 2-1 in OT. It will be hard to go back to section 338 after this experience.

Christmas is 4 days away. Things are going OK, but I still have to buy 3 more gifts. I have nothing for my brother-in-law. What is even worse, I really have no idea what to get him. We don't get to see each other very often, so I really don't know what he likes and dislikes. It is getting close to go time, so a decision will need to be made soon. Luckily, I got Tuesday off, and we are already closed 12/24 to 12/26. I hope we will be able to come up with something soon. At least I have most of the presents wrapped. Progress is happening, just slowly.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Quote of the Day 12/16/08

'24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not.' ~ Stephen

Beer is good. At least that is my motto. I have now ingested 195 beers at my favorite watering hole, The Flying Saucer. As a matter of fact, if you go to the website and look up the Raleigh location, you will see my name in the Top 10 - Who's Going into the Ring of Honor Next list. Yep, that's me, just 5 beers from my goal.

It has been a good 2 years. I can say that I have enjoyed each beer I have imbibed (and not a Miller, Budweiser, or Coors product on the list!) I have enjoyed the fellowship of my beer friends, and I am looking forward to sharing my ring of honor party with them. Two more visits and I'll be there.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Galloway Finale

Last night was our final event for the Galloway 2008 Running Season. It was our year end party held at a local fun park. We weren't sure what to expect, but it was a really nice time.

The party was in a private room off the restaurant. It was packed, but it was so good to see our fellow runners in their regular clothes. We sat together and watched a slide show of pictures from the year (some of my race photos were chosen for the show) while eating salad and pizza. We even had a birthday cake to celebrate the 80th birthday of one of our members (yes, the 80 year old is an active runner!) There were plenty of door prizes (Hubby won a gift card), and lots of surprises!

The best part of the evening was the recognition. All first time half marathon racers were given certificates (both of us) and all first marathoners were recognized (Bill). They also gave out certificates for people who made a PR (personal record) during the year. Since I dropped 7 minutes from my first race to my second, I received a second certificate for that achievement. The biggest surprise of all was that I won the Newcomer of the Year award. I have no idea how it happened, but I was thrilled. I received a third certificate as well as a gift card to a local running store. It was truly a great night and such a fun way to finish off the year.

Guess I need to get back to running. I have to keep at it and improve in 2009 so I can set another PR and finish a marathon!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

At Work, On Sunday

I am sitting at my desk at work. Not such a strange thing to be doing at 2:58pm, but it is strange when the day is Sunday. I have been called in to support our annual audit which started today. So far, it has been pretty stress free, except for the part about working on Sunday. Luckily, I have about one hour left, then I am free. Tonight is the year end party for our Galloway running program. I am very excited. I think it will be a fun night and I always like a chance to get a little dressed up.

I guess the day has not been a total loss. I have finished 4 magazines from the stack beside by bed. Back to number 5!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Yet Another Floor Project

We had the hardwood floors put in the dining and living rooms last week, so it is time to work on the kitchen this week. Yesterday, hubby took a chisel and hammer to the stone tiles on the kitchen floor. The refrigerator has been moved over near the breakfast table, and tomorrow, the oven will have to be moved. As of lunchtime, the majority of the center of the kitchen floor had been removed as well as all of the quarter round molding.

Once all of the tiles are adhesive are gone, hubby will install a plywood floor and prime it overnight. The next day, he will lay new vinyl tile squares on the floor. This product looks like really stone and even feels good. It has a self adhesive on the back and will be laid out in rows. It is a lovely beige color with a darker brown marbling effect. I can't wait to see it done. It will be so nice to have a clean floor - no more grout. Home improvement can be great!

Monday, December 08, 2008

For all the stress, it was worth it

Last night, Bill and I had our 3rd annual holiday party. Earlier in the week, I wanted to cancel the whole darn thing.

We had the floors redone on Wednesday, then had to reassemble the rooms. After that, everything needed to be cleaned and decorated for Christmas. There was food (and beer) to be purchased, then recipes to be cooked. It is a lot of work getting ready for company.

Then, the day arrived. The house looked great, there was a lot of beer chilled, and the breakfast table was covered with food. Our good friends, both old and new, stopped by to join in holiday cheer. Whether it was for a few minutes or hours, it was so nice to have friends in our home to share the season. I think everyone had a nice time. I know I did. It was worth it to be with our good friends for the holidays.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

What was old is new again

Yesterday, the Carolina Hurricanes announced that they fired the winningest US born hockey coach of all time, Peter Laviolette, and have replaced him with the guy they fired 4 years ago. How weird!

I think Coach Laviolette is a great guy and I am sorry to see him go. Yes, the Canes have not done so well so far this season, but it is early. It's not like they are in last place in the division either - they are currently in second place, only 3 points behind the leaders. This is one thing that I dislike about the Canes. They are constantly jumping the gun and firing or trading someone as a "quick" fix. I know this game is all about the money, and you don't make money if you lose. Still, it feels like they never give players or coaches a fair chance to do better.

So, they have hired back Paul Maurice who was the coach until 2004. He did take the Canes to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2002, but he also took the Canes to dead last place in the whole league in 2003. He was also fired by Toronto earlier this year. I like the guy, but can you imagine how that negotiation went?

Hey, Paul. We know we fired you a few years back, but we're in a bit
of a pickle now. So, since you're not doing anything, do you want to come
back to us? Oh, and we will probably fire you again later in the
season. Great - welcome back!!

The Joys of Home Improvement

Yesterday, we had hardwood floors installed in our dining room, living room, and bar. It was a huge pain in the butt to get the two rooms cleared of furniture (the garage was full for 3 days) and a pain to put it all back and clean it, but the floors are gorgeous. I hate that I was not able to decorate the house for Christmas this past weekend, but seeing those new floors made it worth it. Since the entry way and family room were done a few years back, the first floor just looks finished now. There is no more pee and vomit stained carpet on the floor. We actually got a lovely area rug for the dining room already, but the living room is still bare. Still, you can see the beautiful cinnamon colored floors through the glass of the living room coffee table.

I am so glad we got this done before the holidays even if we have to work extra hard over the next few days to get the house put back together and decorated. Next task: the kitchen floor!