March

Highlights of the month:

  • Officially started shutting down my side business! Nothing negative happened, but it takes a lot of time that I just don’t have to dedicate to doing it right. Maybe someday I’ll write some more about my experience, since this seems to be in the news a lot lately…
  • I finished doing our taxes… Officially the very latest I’ve ever gotten them done ever.
  • Was really busy at work with a number of projects, including finishing building a tool and then training users on it… I’m really excited that my new boss is trying to put me in positions where I can get more experience and facetime with management.
  • Tried a few new keto recipes and, after a week of not really having time to cook, decided to try prepping meals on the weekends when I have time so there is always something around for GG (or me) to eat. After 3 full months on LCHF, we’re both almost to our goal weights! I don’t know about GG’s plans, but I have a second goal after this if all goes well. I’ll have to write more later about some of the tips things we’ve learned.
  • My JA program is close to wrapping up for the year and once again the kids can be infuriating but in the end make me proud. We had an event in the office that a couple of them came to and they did really well. Next month we have a couple big events for them and then their regional competition, and I think they’re really going to pull it together at the end!

September

I always love September – it’s my favorite time of year, and my birthday month! Some highlights this year:

  • I did my very first escape room with my Chicklet when she suggested it as kind of a spur of the moment activity to kick off Labor Day weekend. I was a little nervous because I’m not always great at puzzles and trivia and that kind of stuff, but we rocked it!


  • We got to see Thank You Scientist again (this time I was prepared because I know the band now!), but the singer was super sick, which really just made me sad for him because you could tell he was miserable :( But then we got to meet the trumpet player outside afterward, which was awesome!


  • I had to do this two-day training at work for a system that we inherited from a company that we acquired and is so convoluted, it will make me never complain about any of our other systems again. We had to fly a trainer out to teach three of us, and by the end of day two, between four total people, we had successfully completed the process one time. Not encouraging :/
  • Went to Sunfest in OCMD with my friend L! She has been going for years, but I’d never been, so we both took a few days off work and went for a nice long weekend. Sunfest was so fun, and we also went on the Sand Castle Home Tour, plus played mini golf, hit the boardwalk every night, and ate a lot.


April

Besides our impromptu trip to New Hope, we did some other exciting things this month:

  • We had OWNIT day at work and it was probably the craziest one yet, in terms of fun and activities! Since I’m on all these site committees I actually had the opportunity to get really involved in planning and running it, but I decided to sit this one out (I’m doing another event later in the year) and just enjoy it from a participant’s POV.
  • I added a new product to the offerings at my side biz and had a big launch party to celebrate!
  • We finished our taxes!
  • I attended my fourteenth (!!) TMBG concert (with GG, and J and K). Also, while we were all driving down South Street, GG saw this guy getting into a car and kept going, “That’s Redman! That’s Redman!” Then he rolled down the window when we got close and said, “Yo, Redman,” and the guy was like, “I’m Method Man!” But it was ok because even though he mixed up the names, GG knew the right rap lyrics and rapped out the car window at him while people on the sidewalk laughed and cheered.
  • My volunteer program I did through work wrapped up with a regional competition. I spent the whole day there with some of the kids from my team and one other volunteer. They did well and were very confident with their showing, but in the end didn’t win any of the awards. Hopefully the fact they didn’t take home any trophies doesn’t cloud their opinion of the day, because I thought they did great!
  • GG and I checked out the Philadelphia Ren Faire, which isn’t quite as robust as the PA Ren Faire and actually this was only the second year they’ve done it, but it was nice and seemed well-run. Plus we got to see “our” magician perform!
  • To celebrate MB and R’s birthdays, GG and I went to the Academy of Natural Sciences with MB, A, R, and R. It was a super fun day, and R is so smart! They had this spider exhibit and we caught a presentation from museum staff. All the kids were giving dumb answers to questions and asking dumb questions. Then R raises her hand and out of nowhere says something like, “Spiders also molt!” I forget exactly what she said, but it was so smart and we were all just like, “What? Where’d that spider fact come from?!”
  • I went with GG to his alumni weekend for the first time ever. (That’s because this was the first year they offered a “family” activity with food and bands.) It was nice, and was cool to meet a lot of his high school friends I hadn’t met before!
  • I registered with a political party just so I could vote in the PA primary, yay!

January

Highlights of the month:

  • Rang in the new year on the couch with GG, my BIL, and his girlfriend.
  • Have been very angry at the new coffee makers they put in our kitchens at work (supposedly an “improvement,” but coffee mugs don’t fit in them, and if you’re a tea drinker like me, just getting hot water is a pain).
  • Maybe that doesn’t matter since I never made it to work for a full day all month – thanks, endless snowstorms!
  • I finally used the cart escalator at our new Target! (I am probably there an average of once a week, but maybe that’s the problem: I never got enough in one trip that I needed to use a cart.)
  • Made our annual trip to the Pennsylvania Farm Show with L and S. We’re old pros at this now, and know the areas to focus on, e.g. the food hall (for that early morning milkshake before the lines get too long), wine tasting booths, and the aisles of food vendors. We also learned a lot of about nuts and tree grafting, and bought a ton of stuff. (Blind Spot Nut Butters are fabulous, try the Sea Salt Caramel!)
  • Had a terrible experience with Ideel.com and cannot dis-recommend them enough! Why would you let me buy something you don’t actually have? And then not tell me when the order couldn’t go through? And then let me buy it again? And then tell me it was shipping soon when you were never even going to have the item? Oh well, it probably wouldn’t have fit me, anyway. But I will never be shopping there again.
  • After a long time on my wish list, I finally bought a spiralizer. Love it! I’ve been spiralizing everything.
  • Went to the Philadelphia Home Show and saw Josh and Brent, the Beekman Boys! GG even ended up really liking the talk they gave on what they’ve learned about life from raising their goats. (Also, in person, they are exactly like they were on their show.)
  • After three years, Ivan finally figured out how to get into the basket under my office window! Now Sacha has some competition for his favorite sleeping spot.
  • Celebrated the official launch of my second side business I’ve been working since August!
  • My Christmas gift from GG was a gift card to one of our favorite restaurants. What I didn’t know was that he made plans for a limo to drive us there and home! (And while I kind of wish I had known in advance that our plans were set in stone, it was super sweet of him and really fun!)

December

  • I helped organize an Ugly Sweater / Second Annual Cookie Bake-Off party at work – it was a success! My rosemary butter cookies came in a respectable second place (that new Kitchenaid mixer helped!); one relatively new colleague went all out with super cute cookies and the only ugly sweater of the day; and I played Fay’s 12 Days of Christmas on a loop for background ambiance.
  • I got a cute haircut that has gotten me more compliments than any other haircut I’ve gotten as an adult. And you know I usually do one big chop once a year and then let it grow, so it’s not like people haven’t seen me with shorter hair before, but I’m really getting a lot of feedback about this one.
  • Did a couple more vendor events for my second side biz. I’m glad I was able to get the name out there, but boy do I hate doing these shows! So glad “vendor season” is over for me!
  • Did my minimal Christmas decorating, which actually seems to grow slightly each year. I am now up to: small tree (with ornaments), a couple doo-dads sitting in the living room, ornaments in dining room centerpiece, holiday towels and soap in powder room.
  • We hosted our second annual holiday party for our friends. Remember last year when I surprised GG by hiring a clown? This year I got The Grinch!! It was also our second annual Battle of the Dips; winners included pumpkin dip, hoagie dip, and salmon dip. The winners received weird sex shop novelties as their prizes! Next year’s party is going to have a lot to live up to…
  • We saw John Mulaney at the Troc (with opening act Seaton Smith)! As usual, I was pretty much in tears by the end of his set. Fabulous. Also, we found a new place near the theater for dinner, GG is kind of obsessed with it now…
  • Took a day off with MB and A to do all the most Christmassy stuff in Philadelphia: Comcast show, Macy’s show, Love Park Christmas village, lunch at DiBruno Brothers, a train ride there and back, and of course a gift exchange :o)
  • Went to a live nativity/Christmas Eve service at a friend’s church. I think she was super excited to recruit us for the church, but really I just wanted to see the animals on stage (and also they had a good band, which GG liked). It was nice, but we’re not going to be regular churchgoers anytime soon.
  • Celebrated Christmas first with my family, then with GG’s. For Christmas lunch at our place, we had a great spread, including a great pomegranite and lime sangria, perfect red and green for Christmas!
  • Took another trip into Philly during our week off to have lunch at Rosa Blanca and check out the Constitution Center (kind of on a whim).
  • My holiday break home improvement project this year: painted a bedroom a gorgeous turquoise/teal color. It’s really dramatic and I love it!

November

  • Went to a Halloween party with GG and some friends – we dressed as a cat and a ball of yarn! One of my other favorite couple costumes there was Miss Frizzle and the Magic School Bus!
  • Celebrated my BIL’s b-day with a decadent dinner at the Capital Grille.
  • Took Ivan back to the vet because he pulled his stitches open and kept licking his incision :o( So he got antibiotics, and ointment, and a cone! (But he hates the cone.)
  • My work BFF J had her breast cancer surgery and she is already doing amazing! She asked everyone to wear pink for her, so I organized a bunch of people at work to wear pink and take a group photo to send her.
  • Had a fun girls night out (first one in like 2 years)!
  • We had a house guest for a week, which was actually really nice.
  • Did some Socials and events for my second side biz! It’s definitely keeping me busy… Making lots of great connections, though!
  • Had a crazy Thanksgiving dinner with my in-laws.
  • We saw Foxcatcher. It was mega creepy. Channing Tatum and especially Mark Ruffalo were great and really dead-on accurate.
  • Went to Friendsgiving at MB and A’s – now an annual tradition the Saturday after Thanksgiving :o)

June/July

This has been an extremely busy summer, due to some things that were going on personally, and some things going on at home. I actually apologized to the owner of my gym the last time I saw her – all my free time has been spent on these other projects, so I’ve been lucky to get there just once a week for yoga!

At work, I’m on this committee meant to plan team meetings, and provide engagement opportunities for the people in our department. (I call it the Party Planning Committee, but it’s actually more involved than that.) We had a quarterly all-site videoconference at the end of June, and someone had the idea that I should make a viral video to illustrate these virtual meeting best practices we’d come up with. Also, we wanted to do a potluck lunch on-site the same day, and guess who was in charge of organizing that? Well, both tasks went great! I wrote up a general script but had an amazing team of actors who really put their own spin on things and made the video hilarious! I took a couple days to edit it, and everyone loved it! Our potluck was also a really nice time, and everyone said it was one of the better “networking” activities we’ve done. And, with my friend JK about to go out on maternity leave, we threw a little baby shower for her, which was also a hit!

For the first time in a long time, I was free on the 4th of July, so J and R came out with their boys and checked out the little carnival my town had set up this year. We didn’t stay for the fireworks, but the weather was beautiful and I really just wanted some funnel cake. Plus it was nice to hang out with friends, and baby J is so cute! (A woman passing by as I held him said, “Oh he is such a little bubble!”)

GG and I had the opportunity to go to New York City for the day – then the opportunity didn’t work out, but we decided to go up anyway! I get free admission to a bunch of museums and stuff thanks to my employer, so we took the subway, walked through Central Park, spent a few hours at the Met Museum, and then got dinner at a place I found online, Cafe D’Alsace (surprisingly generous cheese portions!), before going back through the park, getting the subway back to the bus, the bus back to the car, and driving home. It was a little warm, but overall a really nice day.

Not content with one cheese board in a week, we took the train in to Philly a couple days later to use up the rest of the Tria gift card GG gave me for Christmas. This time we went to their Wash West location, and I think I like it more than the Rittenhouse one! It’s just as easy to get to from the train (maybe easier) and slightly larger and less cramped. Also they have a waiter who looks like Dave Navarro (?).

In the next couple weeks, a lot of the craziness should be over… until new craziness begins, I’m sure. But hopefully we’ll at least get to enjoy the end of our summer!

March

March started out with a short business trip to CT for a few days. I drove up and back with two of my good friends and coworkers, which was a lot of fun. We were there for our annual all-hands departmental meeting, and it was the most fun one of these we’ve ever had. As of last year, we have an “engagement team” and they organized the meeting and other activities, and everyone seemed to have a really good time. And of course, it was great to see a lot of my coworkers who I don’t often get to see in person.

We got home just in time for our learning event to start, so I was busy for a couple weeks helping out with that. Our contractor C was in town for the first week, so I was out to dinner with her most evenings. And she’s getting married this summer, so we decided to throw her a little wedding shower while she was in the office, which was really fun, and she was totally surprised :o)

My other big work thing was that a major system we use was getting upgraded, and I am on the “change agent” team for my department. That ended up taking over my life for a couple weeks as I did demos (for individuals, small groups, and hundreds of people!), prepared, answered questions, rewrote procedures, etc. I will be so happy when everything is up and running! I got lots of great feedback about my work on the team, though. This is one of the first really “high visibility” things I’ve done, so I’m glad it’s gone so well.

Lots of new places are opening up in our town. MB came out and we went to the new Container Store on its opening day. It was actually kind of disappointing – very crowded (as I’d expected), the products were fairly expensive for things that weren’t really that unique, and there wasn’t really anything special going on for the “grand opening.” We had a fun day hanging out, though! And the new Chipotle is finally open! It’s in a horrible location with almost no parking, so it’ll probably start to frustrate me, but it’s nice to have somewhere that I can get a burrito bowl without having to cross a river.

Also this month:

  • New coworker started (who is also a friend and old coworker’s husband!)
  • I had probably the best annual review of my life at work, and am really excited to see what this year will bring
  • Continued going to yoga; these last couple weeks especially I feel like I’m finally getting the moves down and can now focus on breathing
  • GG and I went to a wine and cheese party, scoped out a friend’s new girlfriend (to report back to his mom), and made some other new friends
  • GG got a mural job at another local business
  • GG’s computer died :o(
  • I got a new computer to replace my current XP tower that I’ll have to take offline soon, as well as my “fun” laptop; it’s been getting to be a pain working off two computers, so I figured a laptop + docking station was a good solution. Now to redo my office!

February

OMG, another month went by without any other blogging! I know February is the shortest month, but seriously it feels like it went by in a flash!

The main theme of February I guess was the nonstop crazy snowstorms that affected everyone! Luckily, our power never went out, but lots of our friends had outages. The power was off at my grandmom’s house for a few days, so she came to stay with us for a little while, which actually was kind of fun. The snow also meant we stayed in more than usual, so I got to watch the Nye/Hamm debate live online over dinner, and we didn’t go out for Valentines Day. Instead, I attempted to make us a really nice dinner at home. It was good, but… did not go as planned. I made steaks with this chocolate/chili crust on them, and I found directions for starting steaks in a pan and finishing in the oven. Unfortunately, these types of recipes do not account for chocolate/chili crusts, so it turned out to be a horrible mess. (It was delicious in the end, though.) Thanks to the snow and power outages and whatnot, GG had several comedy shows cancelled (even one that I went to see!). And, because of the snow and holidays and various days off, I think it wasn’t until the last week of the month that I actually worked five consecutive days from the locations I was expected to work from!

We’d planned this out a while ago, but finally on Presidents’ Day weekend, we went to Ikea and got stuff to clean up and organize GG’s office/studio like he’s wanted. We added a tall bookcase, and swapped out his old desk for one that aligns with his existing desk, so it’s like one continuous surface. Next up: my office!

Speaking of my office, not that anyone really cares, but we just got “upgraded” to new laptops at work with Windows 8, and I hate it. For being the resident “techie” person, I’m kind of a curmudgeon when it comes to major changes like this. The computer itself is nice. It’s a touch-screen, which is annoying, but whatever. The Office 2010 software is an improvement over Office 2007. But Windows 8 is really not for the business environment.

We saw Wolf of Wall Street on Presidents’ Day (had wanted to go a couple weeks earlier, but even the movie theater lost power in the snowstorm!). It was so good. Much better and funnier than I’d expected, and I was pretty proud of myself for catching the references to The Graduate.

I’ve been continuing my yoga class at the gym, and I really wish they had yoga more than once a week! I tried a special class they offered called ABsession, which nearly killed me. The yoga is so much more my speed :o)

The month ended with the first of a string of important work events. This was a multi-site meeting that I helped to run at our site. Despite a few technical difficulties, everything went well here and we got lots of good feedback from the senior leaders who attended. Learning Week 2014 Part 1 here we come…

January

So what else did I do this month, besides trying on clothes and putting cats to sleep?

Well, the month (and year) started out awkwardly, at a really weird New Year’s Eve party at which GG was supposed to perform comedy. It was a “black and white” party, so we had to dress in just black and white (I cheated and wore gray boots). The event promoter who organized it did kind of a terrible job, so while it was a beautiful venue with lots of food, a bar, a band, and comedians at the ready, nobody actually showed up until about 11 PM, when just a few people started trickling in. We thought we’d be done well before midnight, so after waiting around for hours, all of a sudden it was time to hurry up and tell jokes (which did not go well), and then we took the other comedian home, and then it was midnight, and then we went home.

As has become our annual tradition, GG and I took a day off work and went to the Farm Show in Harrisburg with our friends L and S. We hit up the food hall first for an invigorating morning milkshake, then toured around the whole complex (we even found a new spot we hadn’t known about before, which was full of vendors!), then went back to the food hall for lunch before heading out. I think we ended up buying more “stuff” this year than we have in the past – GG got some wine, I bought some cheese, GG has these meat sticks and things he likes and has to pick up every year now, they’re now selling nuts so GG got a big bag of black walnuts, I bought some kind of hair accessory… Oh, and the new hot item of the show this year, the bacon? I was a little disappointed.

I got a bad cold (my first one in over a year, maybe?) just in time for this all-day training thing I had to be in at work. I just chugged tea all day and was miserable. I just couldn’t shake it, but luckily we also had plenty of snow days from work so I could get some extra recovery time at home.

I started going to a yoga class that I really like. It’s like regular yoga, except sometimes we hold hand weights.

American Horror Story ended, meh. I mean, I guess the right people lived and died, so that’s good. But it was barely “horror,” and there was nothing really that shocking. I hear the next series will be about communism in the 1950s, so I’m curious to see how that goes. I also binge watched the first two seasons of Girls one weekend while I was sick, and we have HBO for free until April for some reason, so I’ve been watching season 3 as it’s airing now.