Friday, February 26, 2010

The woes of snows

Before you read this, please note that both Keith and I are completely fine, just a little sick of trying to commute in winter weather. (but moms, you can feel free to call and check just in case haha)

So it's hardly any surprise at all that yes, it's snowing again! I think that universe just wanted to provide us with another fresh blanket of white stuff because the Winter Olympics are on and I needed that encouragement to test out ski jumping in my own front yard.

That being said both Keith and I had terrible commutes today :( I managed to walk to the train station, though the wind threatened to take me down, only to find out that the trains were running an hour behind "due to frozen switches" (I think that means the wire things over the train are frozen, gotta learn more train lingo) I needed to be at school at 9:30 for a meaningless lecture that should have been cancelled but regardless, I didn't want to be the only one (out of only 6 of us) that didn't make an effort to show up. So even after Keith encouraged me to just go home I walked over to the closest bus stop and hopped on to head in the direction of school. Shortly after I get on the bus the driver announces that the bus is going to be detoured because of snow and ice and that they wouldn't be going anywhere near school which was my whole purpose of being on it. In an effort not to get stuck in some scary part of town I quickly exited and decided that it was time to give up and just come back home. I had to wait on the side of the road with no side walk for about 15 minutes for the next bus going the other way but I did arrive back home safely. I understand that we've had an INCREDIBLE amount of snow storms this winter and that businesses, and in my case, schools, don't want to close, but sometimes it's just necessary.

On to Keith's story: this morning we thought maybe the mall would be opening later than usual to accommodate for the ridiculous weather but they were not. Keith headed out to work and I naturally assumed all was well when I hadn't heard from him. As I was waiting at the train platform trying to make a decision on what to do I get a call from him that of course doesn't go through. We play phone tag for awhile, then I finally get ahold of him, and the first thing he says is "take a deep breath, I'm at work and ok but..." great. While he was on the highway driving this morning he hit a patch of ice that sent the car into a ditch on the side of the road. He's fine and the car is fine because he was driving very slowly but it's just stuck there. Keith then hitched a ride to Wawa (7-11 type store that is WAYYY better) and then tried to find someone there that would give him a ride to the mall about a mile away. No one wanted to help so finally the manager of the store gave him a ride. If this were me? I would still be sitting in the car, probably crying haha He called a tow truck that is going to go and get the car later this afternoon and take it over to the Wawa for him to get after work. Fingers crossed nothing happens to it while it sits there though.

Snow is making me crazy! It is pretty, and looks nice. It covers up a lot of the trashy-looking parts of this city but overall it sends everyone into a frenzy and it is impossible to get around. I ready for the trains to run at a predictable time, and to not worry that Keith will make it to work alright. We are ready for a trip to Florida for sure.

In other news! Our precious little boy (yes we are obnoxious cat owners and treat our cat like he's our child haha) had his first vet appointment yesterday! He had to go and get his shots and get tested for leukemia. I was nervous because I couldn't go with him but he did just fine and made Keith and I very proud. Apparently he was not a fan of getting blood taken or having them check his temperature but the Dr. gave him some cheese wiz and he didn't even notice when she gave him his shots haha Also, now everyone in our family has health insurance including Theo which means in 3 weeks he's getting fixed. I'm secretly excited for that to happen so that he will calm down a little bit. I love my playful kitten but sometimes it's a little much and I would really love him to be sweet and cuddly all day haha


I couldn't help but add this photo of him as well. I couldn't find Theo the other day and when I walked into the living room he was on the couch burrito-ed up in my folded snuggie haha


Another piece of news is.... we painted the kitchen yesterday! It was a little bit of a hectic day with Theo's vet trip and me having to go to school but we managed to get the entire kitchen painted. There are still a few touch ups to be done and I need to put everything back up on the shelves but this means we're getting even closer to being finished with the whole apartment!

Here are a couple shots of what it looks like (I didn't take any shots of us actually painting, if you are interested though we look the same as we did while we painted the bathroom haha)


The walls are just a neutral beige color, and we did a chalkboard wall as an accent. We're both pretty excited about the chalk board wall and are already having fun with it haha everyone needs to come over and decorate it with us!!


Only two more rooms and we will have finally turned this place into a decent home :)


Here's a video of what it looks like outside.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Paint!

There really is something to be said for a fresh coat of paint and the affect that a little bit of color can have. I guess in my last post I forgot to mention that Keith got me the best Valentines Day present ever... PAINT!! Our poor apartment has been stark white ever since we moved it, and it is less than inspiring. We haven't done any decorating because we knew we wanted to paint the walls before we got too crazy hanging things. Meaning: it's pretty bare in here. Thankfully we pulled some extra money together and took advantage of a Home Depot sale so we can finally breathe some life into our place and really make it seem like home.

Since Keith rarely has consecutive days off, we decided to break up our painting adventures room by room to make it a more manageable project. He was off today so we decided to start with the bathroom and we're both ecstatic with the results. Here are some photos from our day of painting.

Yes. Within 2 minutes of painting I managed to step in the paint tray. Is anyone surprised? Since I had paint all over my foot and couldn't wipe it all off Keith made me put a sock on to avoid ruining the chair I was standing on. We called it the sock of shame and I had to wear it all day to remember to watch where I step haha there is thankfully no photographic evidence.




Theo was so good all day and stayed out of the bathroom until we were done. When we started cleaning he came in to sniff around and was throughly terrified for some reason haha



Ultimate success. We're so happy to finally invest some time in the apartment where we spend so much of our lives. Hopefully by the end of the month we'll be done with all the rooms and you can all come visit our pretty home!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Belated Valentines Day

Sorry for the lull in posts, the internet+blogger seem completely uninterested in each other which is why it's taken forever to get these photos uploaded.

I would like to start by mentioning that I have the greatest family on the planet. Ever since Keith and I moved to Philadelphia my aunt Liz has sent us wonderful boxes full of goodies that are pretty hard to compete with. For Valentines Day we got lots and lots of her homemade cookies and more which was just what I needed on Tuesday afternoon after trying for an hour to get home on the bus.


Since we were in Washington, DC for most of the day Sunday, and then attempting to free our car from icy death for the rest of the night, we didn't really get a chance to appropriately celebrate Valentines day (which is also the 6 month mark in the countdown to our wedding!) and we both went on with our daily lives. Keith and I have this very incredible way of striking up completely opposite work/school schedules so it's only natural that on Wednesday when I have a full day of classes, he got the day off. Even though we were both completely fine with not doing anything on V-Day, we were long over due for a proper date so Keith surprised me by picking me up from school Wednesday evening with dinner and a movie in mind.

One of our more recent goals is to become more familiar with the city and branch out to try new restaurants. I think that our more immediate challenge is to find a really great burger place, but since neither of us had done any research on the matter we went with a standard favorite, Pei Wei, who will never let us down.



After a wonderful dinner Keith and I went to get a couple drinks (and kill time before the movie) at Winnies Le Bus which was actually the first restaurant that we ever came to in Manayunk when we visited with my parents last summer. I greatly enjoyed my yummy sangria, we need to go back there soon for dinner (and also their great happy hour!)


Then we headed to the theatre to see Valentines Day. Cheesy chick flick? Not really, we both enjoyed it a lot and was one of those movies that left you with an overall good feeling. I also really really love Juila Roberts, her part was my favorite for sure. I would recommend it if you're looking for a movie without too much emotional drama, but still pretty filled with love.

ALTHOUGH! Our wonderful feelings of goodness and love were abruptly squashed when we got outside and saw that it was SNOWING.. AGAIN! (<-- overreaction? my apologies) Thankfully it wasn't much and didn't stick, so we're just left with the preexisting mountains of snow from all of last week. I am done with snow.


Monday, February 15, 2010

One more thing

I really love this commercial a lot.

Adventures in Washington DC

Things I learned this weekend:
  • Snow makes people crazy
  • Don't get too caught up in your own plans, everything is going to happen in it's own time
  • I get way too excited about the Olympics haha
  • Ikea is great until you really need to use the restroom and you're lost in a maze of never ending bedroom sets and fake kitchens
  • Boy cats don't get along well :(
  • You don't need to try on millions of dresses to find the perfect one
  • Traffic makes everyone cranky
  • There are still people in this world that are willing to lend a hand to total strangers
  • Our cat loves riding in the car
To elaborate on those points some more I have a bunch of pictures and stories to share from our latest long weekend trip to visit Andi and Katelyn in DC (well.. Hyattsville, MD to be specific). On Thursday evening Keith and I packed up our favorite little cat Theo and headed a couple hours south despite the lackluster weather and huge piles of snow and ice. Like I mentioned in my list, Theo seemed to greatly enjoy his ride in the car. He spent the first half hour staring out the window and then settled into a warm cuddly spot in my arms. Unfortunately he didn't get along with Andi and Kate's cat Spooky as well as we all had hoped. After a treacherous fight between them it was decided that we needed to keep them separate for the rest of the weekend, which caused a little bit of stress but Keith are I were both happy we didn't have to leave Theo home alone.

We seemed to spend a lot of time eating, watching the Winter Olympics and sitting in traffic haha but despite a few set backs it was wonderful to get out of town for a few days and to spend time with good friends.



So I guess it needs to be mentioned... I got a wedding dress!! I feel like that puts us a step closer to the big day (which is exactly 6 months away!) Unfortunately I'm starting to learn that nothing regarding wedding planning comes without the potential for a slight headache and dress shopping was no stranger. I had an appointment to try on dresses at Jcrew on Friday night, but after sitting in traffic for 2 hours (only trying to drive 8 miles) and walking 12 blocks through snow and ice on unshoveled sidewalks and streets, Katelyn and I were brought to tears (ok, I was the only one crying boo hoo) to find out that the store was closed and we had missed my appointment by about 45 minutes. When it felt like all hope was lost, it surely was not.. we were able to reschedule for Saturday afternoon and there was no need for stress. Even though the day was saved, everyone involved was exhausted and in need of some food and alcohol. While I was supposed to be dress shopping Keith had made plans to hang out with his friend Cooper who recently relocated to DC from Nashville. We all met up and went to a pizza joint for some cocktails, beers, food and Winter games opening ceremony. Over all the night turned out to be a lot of fun and we all learned a lesson in trusting that everything will work itself out in the long run.



So for my Saturday appointment, there was no question that we would be taking the Metro instead of trying to get into the city with the car again. We made it there with plenty of time and I was able to actually relax and make a decision on a dress without feeling rushed. I only tried on two before I knew which one would be perfect. I'm by no means an expert on weddings and really know nothing about fancy dresses so I wasn't sure if this is an occasion that you're supposed to make a split decision. Personally I think I would have a panic attack walking into a David's Bridal type dress store, but are you supposed to try on a certain number of other dresses before you take your pick? The bridal specialist, Katelyn and Andi all agreed that I just needed to go with my gut, find something that made me happy and was comfortable and beautiful. Well this fit all of those requirements so I just went for it, PLUS! Jcrew has a very sneaky 15% student discount that they don't advertise but since I'm a student I'm obviously eligible... what a deal haha I couldn't be happier with my decision, and can't wait to wear it!

Kate and Andi got a chance to try on some bridesmaid dresses afterwards and then we headed to grab some dinner with Keith, Cooper and Andi's sister Susie who came to town Saturday. It was SOOO good to see her, because I don't think Susie and I have seen each other in more than a year, yikes!






Something else that I could add to my list of things I learned this weekend: After you've eating a big hamburger a milkshake tastes really awesome, but you're always going to be too full to finish it. While everyone else went and got shakes for dessert Keith and I debated getting our own, first because we didn't really want to wait in line and we were both bursting at the seams. After about 10 minutes Keith and I ended up with everyone else's shakes in front of us because they were too full haha good things come to those who wait!




I'm very glad that Keith and I have gotten more in the routine of documenting our lives through photos. It was something that I did almost naturally up until a couple years ago when I just fell out of the habit. Many thanks to those of you who have actually read this far.

While we had a wonderful time hanging with friends, all three of us (Theo included!) were very happy to get home last night. Unfortunately we did experience our first real winter hardship before we could truly relax, and that's where we learned that there are still some people out there that are willing to lend a hand to total strangers. While we were gone the street that we live on never got plowed. After a weekend of melting and refreezing, our street is a solid 6 inches of ice just waiting to trap unsuspecting cars. Of course we got stuck, and with just the two of us working to get the car out we weren't getting very far. Thankfully some strapping young college boys from across the street heard us struggling and came out to help (which seriously almost brought tears to my eyes because I'm not sure if I could take getting sprayed with freezing mud much longer ugh) It took them about an hour to get the car out, and we payed them kindly in beer; little things like that give me hope for our generation. After our terrible ice experience Keith helped two other cars get freed from the same spot so hopefully some winter karma will be sent our way.

Now, back to work for Keith and back to school for me...

Friday, February 12, 2010

We're in DC!

And we've reunited with our other favorite cat Spooky! Theo came along
with us on the trip, and the boys currenty are not playing nice :-
( I'm hoping that we won't have to keep them seperated all weekend but
we're still just glad Theo didn't have to stay at home alone. Tonight
I'm going to try on wedding dresses!! Very excited, but slightly
nervous. Expect a full weekend update when we get home!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

More snow?

My apologies if you're getting sick of seeing pictures of us covered in snow, we're getting a little sick of looking at the stuff by now too haha Last night and all day today we've been getting pounded with another huge snow storm, making this a record breaking winter for Philadelphia as far as snow fall (and it's only February? when does Spring start?) I think what's happening here is that the weather gods knew that a bunch of Florida kids (and one from Georgia too Keith) moved up to the Northeast and wanted to make sure that we felt sufficiently welcomed to the area. Andi and Katelyn down in DC have been getting just as much as us, and I hear NYC is no stranger either. My new favorite weather term of all time is THUNDERSNOW! Our weather man uses that to describe a storm that is equivalent to a thunderstorm just with snow, and ironically enough when Keith and I went out to play today it was definitely thundering haha

Here are some photos we took out in the snow this afternoon. We're both home from school/work because Pennsylvania is in a state of emergency and no one is allowed on the roads. We're getting a little bored, and aren't too excited with the selection of food in the house (or maybe that's just me? I've only been out of this apartment for a two hour class since last Friday ughhh) so we wanted to go and check out the storm. It was pretty nuts out there. Very windy and icy and I'm sure you'll be able to tell from the wonderful faces I'm making in all of these pictures haha

Theo likes to look out the window in our bathroom and check out everything that's going on in the backyard. He's getting so big!!



These are examples of me trying to smile and failing because of the ridiculous amount of snow flying at my/our faces haha You can also still make out a scratch on my face (my right cheek your left) from my sledding accident Sunday, my sunglasses left that lovely mark. At least it isn't swollen anymore though.

This one is a little better, we actually look happy.. which we were the whole time we were out, it's just hard to smile with ice coming at you haha


Our street, completely covered!

We attempted to make a snow man out of all the snow people shoveled off the sidewalk. Our original plan was to go to the backyard to make one but the gate to get there was frozen shut haha

He was a pretty lame looking snowman, but he was ours all the same. I think I was trying to do a thumbs up here?

Our snowman only lasted a few minutes though, Keith rolled right through him haha

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Oldies but goodies

I recently got some film developed that I shot around 2 years ago, just wanted to share some of my favorites...



I wish that shooting with my Diana didn't have to be such an expensive hobby. I don't even want to think about how much it cost to get those developed, and even though I love the way they turned out I'm a little weary to shoot the other rolls of film that I have because of the expense.


On to some disposable camera pictures, which are still surprisingly not cheap to develop either. I went through this phase where I only took pictures with a disposable camera but then I had too many to get developed, forgot about them and just came across the cameras a couple weeks ago. I think that I'll slowly start to develop them now, because I'm super curious about what I'll find. Something that I really love about all of the pictures that I found on this roll is that in every single one we're all having such a great time.

I have NO IDEA how I accomplished a double (maybe triple?) exposure on this dinky disposable camera but I love it haha

Jake with normal lengthed hair!!

RIP Cheeburger Cheeburger, Amanda and I really loved your milkshakes (even though we're both lactose intolerant and had to walk across the plaza to Walgreens and get pills before we could have them haha)


A couple short videos...


This video should describe the not fun-ness of our makeshift sled. I pretty much pushed myself all the way down.


This is on our borrowed sled, slightly more fun. I was still a total sissy and didn't want to go too fast. The real fun happened when Keith and I went down together.



Keith and I aren't the best videographers, but I hope you enjoyed!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Crazy winter

Just in addition to my post about our fun snow adventures I wanted to share this picture from a local news site. There was so much snow here in the city that people were actually snowboarding and skiing down the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (think of the movie Rocky, those stairs are fairly iconic in the world of pop culture haha). It made me think of those times in Florida when there is a hurricane coming and all the badass surfers sneak past the cops and go out to surf on the huge waves. I'm not positive that is an accurate comparison, but this is a cool picture/idea regardless.

Photo: Matt Rourke/AP
www.newstimes.com

Sunday Funday

Keith had his first Sunday off in a long time yesterday, so we were able to spend some quality time hanging out. Church was cancelled because they weren't going to be able to get the parking lot plowed in time, but we were both secretly happy to sleep in I think. After a Saturday full of snow fall and 48 hours inside our apartment I was certainly ready to get out an enjoy a sunny snowy day.

Keith made us some very yummy french toast for breakfast and then we started our hour long quest for a sled so that I could go on my first sledding adventure!

We just wanted one of those cheap plastic disk things but no store we went to sold them. We finally remembered that we had a huge tupperware container at home that we could use the lid from so we grabbed that an headed to a hill over at a local golf course. (thanks mom and joe for the recommendation!!)



The lid was ok... not great. Everyone said that all we needed was a cardboard box, trash can lid etc etc but we quickly learned that pretty much everyone that had a real sled or foam board type deal was having way more fun than us. Also.. innertubes are the way to go. All the people that were there could tell we were total newbies so Keith eventually asked this guy if we could borrow one of his families disks.

Way. More. Fun.

We each took a run on that, and then the nice man offered to let us use this double foam board thing (for Floridians think boogieboard but with handles) so we were able to take some rides together. Again... way more fun than our lame tupperware top haha


Keith also learned that in the process of stopping yourself at the bottom of the hill (so that you don't fall into the frozen creek!) that you get lots of snow in your face that all gathered in his beard :) We had a blast at the golf course. There were so many families there with really cute kids and I think the best part was that all the adults were just as into sledding down the hill as the kids were. I can definitely see of doing this when we have kids of our own.

My first time sledding turned out to be very very fun, despite a minor injury and coming home with purple toes haha Our first time going down the hill together we went up and over a snow ramp that someone had built up; when we hit the ground again though our heads smashed together leaving me with a swollen cheek bone courtesy of Keith's hard head haha What's a day sledding without some bruises to show for it though??

After our afternoon adventure Keith and I came home to relax for a bit and then headed over to my friends Aly and Dan's house to watch the Super Bowl. Something that Keith and I really wanted to be intentional about in 2010 is trying to make friends here in Philadelphia, since we really only spend time with each other. Aly and I both started at Temple in the fall, have had classes together, and hang out around campus all the time, but hadn't spent too much time with each other outside of class. When we found out that Keith's almost step dad Joe wasn't going to be coming to town with all the snow fall we got, we were looking for some Super Bowl plans and I called up Aly to see if she would be interested in getting together. Her and her boyfriend Dan recently bought a house so they were happy to have visitors to come and check it out. Overall we had a really great time there. Ate way too much junk food, drank beer and laughed a lot. I think that Keith and Dan both appreciated having another guy to talk to about sports, and Aly and I were just happy to be gorging on pizza and doritos (ugh I still have a tummy ache from that haha). I think now that the ice is broken we'll be spending more time with them in the future. Keith spotted one of his favorite Georgia BBQ restaurants on the way to their house so now we have an excuse to get together again.

I would also like to note here, that at this point I couldn't be happier with my life. I get to spend everyday with the love of my life and best friend on the planet. We have the coolest cat I've ever met (sorry Spooky and Leelou) seriously every time I look at Theo I'm amazed at how awesome I think he is haha also for the first time since we've moved I actually feel like we're building a community here. We've definitely had to step out of our comfort zones and are actively making time to spend developing friendships and doing things with people other than ourselves. This semester has gotten off to a great start, I've picked out research topics for all the paper I need to do and I even talked to my advisor about taking art education classes in the fall. Also Keith and I are getting more secure financially which is a huge deal if you're someone who consistently lives paycheck to paycheck. I think that we're actually going to be able to paint our apartment this month and start decorating! This makes me so excited because I can't wait to make our apartment look more like a home.

Again and again I'm just learning that with a little bit of trust everything will be ok, no matter how much or how little I choose to stress. 2010 is definitely shaping up to be our year (even though winter is far from over and I'm definitely frozen solid and snotty ugh, hurry up spring!)