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January 21, 2011

Look what the wind blew in!

There's a myth that my little city's name comes from a Native American word for wind. According to Wikipedia, it actually is from a Native American word for a particular type of clouds that are somewhat unique to this valley (which may be due to the wind...), but I can definitely see where the myth came from. It can get WINDY here. Blow-you-off-your-feet windy, almost. Definitely blow-your-skirt-up windy. Trust me, this I know.

And it comes as no surprise to, well, anyone that my crazy canine is terrified of the wind.

More specifically, she's afraid of bushes that rustle and tree branches that wave, leaves that scuttle across the sidewalk and tall grasses and plants that sway. And, more than anything else, she's afraid of grocery bags that float and tumble over the street.

She spends her walks in the wind ducking and leaping, dodging and looking left, right, up and down.

If I was a nicer, more sympathetic person, I'd... I don't know what I'd do, because I'm apparently not that person. Because instead, I laugh. I call her a silly puppy and tell her it's okay, Crazy Pants (Steve's name for her that has, somehow, stuck) and delight in her neurosis. Lovingly, of course. And you would too, if you saw her, all jumpy and skittery over a couple of leaves.

And then, once we're safely back inside, I pet her and kiss her nose and scratch her back and her chest until she gets her funny, dopey, "itchy face" on, and she wags her tail and smiles her puppy-smile, and everything's better again.

January 07, 2011

Three Goals

I'm not a big fan of resolutions, because they feel so... weighty. Goals feel a bit friendlier. Here's what I want to do (or not do) this year:

Get Movin'

Steve and I have been doing Weight Watchers, and we've been doing surprisingly well! In fact, my holiday mini-goal was just to not gain between mid-November and now, and I actually ended up losing 5.4 pounds over the past almost two months. I thought that, at 30, I'd have a much harder time losing weight than I did when I was in college, but I haven't found that to be true.

Then one thing I haven't been doing that I know I should is exercising. I go for daily walks with Chloe, sure, and that's better than nothing. But I would like to get my heart pumping aerobically and get my muscles toned. That's my first goal for 2011. Move more. I started by getting a work-out video and Just Dance 2 (with Just Sweat Workout Mode) for the Wii, and so far, so good.

Clear the Clutter

I have three closets and an attic at my disposal, and I have used them well. We have one closet, long and narrow, under the stairs. Over the last few months, the floor has been taken over by guest bedding, bags of clothes to donate, and Gen's costuming supplies. When I had to get something from the back, I ended up sort of launching myself in, belly-first, to reach it because climbing over all the super-soft clutter was near impossible. But then I couldn't get out! I had to have Steve pull me up by my arm. EMBARRASSING!

I'm sort of predisposed to clutter, and am a pro at squirreling it away in drawers and closets. Eventually, we'll be moving out of this little condo, and I don't want it to take a Herculean effort. I have a closet full of clothes that no longer fit (see: Goal #1) and another closet with shelves full of stuff I moved from the last apartment, and haven't touched since. So this year, CLEAN IT OUT.

Don't Become a Bridezilla

The wedding will probably require the most of my attention over the next eight months. There's SO MUCH to plan, and I have all these high hopes of doing a lot of crafty-type things myself. Save-the-Dates, place cards, programs, maybe even invitations. We have to come up with ceremony and reception music, readings... I know how I can get when I'm stressed, and I'm going to work very hard to not become crazy.

Steve and I will get things accomplished together, and we'll have fun doing it. And I won't be a Bridezilla.

Here's to a successful 2011!

January 03, 2011

Ringing in the New Year

Happy 2011! I was going to do an end-of-year wrap-up, but I haven't had the chance to sit down and think about it. It may be coming... one of these days.

Steve and I spent New Year's Eve with friends in Santa Barbara celebrating Danny's 30th birthday (which was a few days earlier). It was low-key fun and filled with delicious food and excellent company.

We left Saturday morning (a little later than we'd planned) for Fresno to visit Steve's family and his grandparents, who were in town from Texas. The drive was easy-peasy, and we made the trip in less than four hours. We had a very nice visit! There was a lot of good conversation, more fantastic food, and I think we both wished we could have stayed longer.

After our drive back home, we really wished we could have stayed longer!

Something we realized near the end of our trip:

Travel time to and from the airport: 1.5 hours
Time spent getting through security, waiting at the gate, and at baggage claim: 2.5 hours
Time spent on an airplane: 4 hours
Total time spent traveling two thousand miles between my parents' house in Chicago and our house: about 8 hours

Time spent traveling two HUNDRED miles (a 3.5-4 hour trip, usually) between Steve's parents' house and ours when it is snowing, the Grapevine is closed, and the detour route is covered in snow and slush and California drivers who can't drive in snow: more than 8 hours

It was charming for a while. We left Fresno at 1:30 and adjusted our original estimated 5:00 arrival home to 6:30 because of the detour. We were enjoying snow-covered mountains and flurries. It was beautiful! Steve joked that he hoped we were home by 10:00. Haha.

Pretty!  For now...


Past Tehachapi

Snow in CA

(All pictures were taken before it started getting bad.)

Then it started getting backed up for no reason. Then (two hours later) it started getting backed up because there were no snow plows and no salt or sand and there was black ice and people don't know how to drive in snow, and it was scary.

We were home by 10:00, but not by much.

All in all, we spent more waking hours in the car than we did visiting Steve's family this weekend. :(

And today is a snow day for all the communities we drove through last night. Crazy!