Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My 100th Post!


Well, it took over a year, but here I am - my 100th post!

Here are 100 things about me :)
1. When I was in high school, I had ice cream every night, topped with peanut butter, chocolate syrup, and sometimes caramel. Wow, how I wish I had my old metabolism!
2. I try way too hard to be a perfectionist, and I cannot stand that about myself.
3. I've had just one surprise birthday party thrown for me. It wasn't really a party, but more of a lunch with a group of friends. My best friend Lisa planned it. It was in 2004.
4. I treat Winston as if he is my child. I am definitely the easier "parent" on him. I wonder if this will be a reflection of how we will treat our children.
5. I can't stand to see people physically fighting - even in sports.
6. I thought our honeymoon location was absolute paradise. I can't wait for a Little Dix Bay reunion (Totty, you reading this?) :)
7. I was an avid reader growing up. I was constantly reading. I miss that part of myself, and have been trying to reclaim it for a few years now.
8. I want to run a marathon one day. I was on my way to a Half this year, but am sidelined with I.T. Band Syndrome! Grrr....
9. I wish people wrote more handwritten letters. I miss the days of getting GOOD mail. Did you have a pen pal when you were younger? I did!
10. I never win raffles - never! The last one I won was in 1st grade. I won a pair of really cool black and white speed skates at the skating rink.
11. I used to play Nintendo growing up ALL the time. I can rattle off any and every old school NES game. I also beat most of them.
12. I am not very crafty, but I want to be so badly! I envy how creative my sister-in-law Caryn is, and my mom too!
13. I love my family so incredibly much! We are so much alike, but so different too. I also feel so blessed to have married into such an awesome family!
14. I am so proud of my Cuban heritage. However, I must admit, I am most happy with the way it blessed me with great skin. Is that vain? ;)
15. I sent President Reagan a letter when I was younger praising him. He (or his peeps) in return, sent me a beautiful colored book about the White House. Do you see now why I am such a loyal supporter of the Republican party?
16. I used to like horror movies, but now only watch about one per year. The Ring scarred me for life!
17. I try to see the best in people. But, I'll admit, I do have a handful I just can't forgive for things done in the past.
18. My first job was at Blockbuster Video. I loved that job!
19. I feel like I have been on a spiritual journey the past few years. I used to have bad anxiety over the thought of dying. I have now come to terms with it, but it still scares me every now and then.
20. This list is completely random, but that's how I roll!
21. My running shoes are size 9.5. I bet you're in the wrong size, and don't even know it!
22. Sometimes I think I have ADD. It's hard for me to be completely still.
23. I am proud of the cook I am evolving into. My little sister hung out in the kitchen growing up, I did not.
24. I think I sneeze like a man - loud! Bob has told me this many times. I get this trait from my dad, I think.
25. I collected stamps growing up. I have a great collection, and often wonder if my stamps are worth anything.
26. I love to sleep in. I have gotten better since being with Bob, but if I can sleep in, I will.
27. I think my husband is better at decorating than I am.
28. I loved playing with Barbies as a little girl. I think I played with them until I was in 6th grade. Hey! I had a little sister, ok?!?
29. I hope to one day have the green thumb my mother-in-law has.
30. I have lived in the following states, in this order: Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Florida, Alabama. Do you see a pattern here?
31. I have had dreams that have told the future.
32. I graduated from University of Central Florida with a degree in Interpersonal Communications. It took me 5 years to graduate, but, I went to 3 schools.
33. I used to have dreams of being friends with Jessica Simpson. This was when Newlyweds was on TV. I think Lisa did too, right Lis?
34. I am hoping to make some life-long friends here in Birmingham.
35. It breaks my heart that doggies have such short life-spans. Why can't they live to be 100?
36. I want to have a girl first. I know it would probably be better to have a boy, but I really want a girl first!
37. I stole Bob from his girlfriend. Our story is very similar to Pam and Jim's of The Office. Except, he had the existing relationship, not me.
38. I am a scented candle freak. If you are in need of a gift for me, a Yankee candle will do just fine!
39. I love people watching.
40. I have kept a journal since the 6th grade. It is so disorganized though, comprising of at least 5 notebooks, and tons of loose pages. I sometimes think I may want to give it to my children one day - secrets and all...
41. All of my "special occasion" dresses are black and white. This is a total coincidence.
42. I have never seen my husband cry. He did tear up though during our wedding ceremony.
43. I LOVE to drink Bloody Mary's. It's kind of a sick and twisted obsession now.
44. My favorite season is fall.
45. I love going to stores like Costco or Sam's Club.
46. If my mom is crying, I'll cry. I can't help it.
47. I feel like I have way too many old magazines yet to read. I haven't been reading them since we got married, almost a year ago. I am currently reading an April '08 issue of Domino.
48. I have a tattoo on my right hip. I wish to have it removed one day.
49. I hope to have at least two children.
50. I have never been happier in my life, since being with Bob. The past four years have been amazing!
51. I love my blog, and so many others too.
52. I wish or hope to spend more time with my extended family, especially my grandmothers.
53. I want to learn how to knit. Jo Jo tried to teach me once, but I think I was really tired. Can you try again with me?
54. I was very flat-chested growing up, and hated it. Now that I'm older, I'm so happy to be on the smaller side.
55. My dad's positive attitude during his bout with cancer was inspiring.
56. I am terrified of speaking in public, even small groups. This is something that I learned, because I was never this way growing up.
57. I need to stop setting such high expectations for myself.
58. I love to watch TV, and am very thankful for DVR. Is that bad?
59. I cringe at some of the things I have done in my past. As a friend recently said, "thank goodness people change!"
60. I hate styling my hair. I let it air-dry 99.9% of the time.
61. I have always thought it would be fun to be on Big Brother. I have also thought I'd go far in the competition. I would never, in a million years though, go on a reality TV show.
62. I wish I had studied harder in college.
63. I met my best friend in the 4th grade. My fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Cheney, is still my favorite ever.
64. I am so glad my parents sent me to sleep-away camp as a child. It is truly a memory I will always cherish.
65. I always have wax in my ears. Bob is constantly picking it out. I have noticed this in my mom and sister's ears too. Gross, right?
66. Right now, our home being built is our dream home. But, we have high expectations for ourselves, and I know that will soon change.
67. I hate coming up with blog fodder while trying to fall asleep. It makes me want to think more, instead of sleep.
68. I just choked on my coffee.
69. I rarely follow new music.
70. My favorite type of food is Italian, with sushi being a close second.
71. I loved running in the grass barefoot as a child.
72. I feel like I always have a never-ending pile of laundry. I just don't get it.
73. These are my top 5 funniest people: Bob, my sister Kathy, my brother Michael, best friend Lisa, and me!
74. I'm a stickler for proper grammar, even if I'm guilty of not having it sometimes.
75. I am finally happy to have long nails. Now, I just need my hair to grow.
76. Bob almost always falls asleep before I do. It has not always been this way. I don't like it.
77. I'll use the same bath towel for days. Is that gross?
78. I have to be in the mood to have a long conversation. I am typically not a phone person.
79. I believe God does not discriminate.
80. Bob and I call our casual Tee's, and shorts/pants our "comfy's." We change into our comfy's as soon as we get home from work.
81. I wish I had played an instrument growing up. I think I want at least one of our children to take piano lessons.
82. This list is taking a long time to create.
83. My husband can easily influence me. This is a positive and negative thing for me.
84. My parents took my sister and I on some awesome vacations growing up. I am very grateful for this.
85. Sometimes I wish all of my childhood beliefs were real.
86. I try to follow-thru with my promises.
87. I am usually very good at keeping in touch with old friends. This has not been the case the past couple of years. Thank goodness for Facebook!
88. My dad got mad at my mom when I was in 1st grade. He came home from a business trip to find me with a perm.
89. I don't like making a big deal over my birthday. And, I sometimes think it can be obnoxious for others to carry on their celebrations for a whole week!
90. My brother and sister think my toes are weird.
91. I hope that I am a good friend.
92. It can be hard for me to embrace change. But, once I do, I am very motivated.
93. I'd rather Bob spend money on something else, instead of flowers.
94. I could talk your ear off, if you let me.
95. I hope to always be happy in life.
96. I hope to never be complacent.
97. I hope to never be someone who is a people-pleaser. While it can be a good quality, it can also be very draining.
98. I really believe my husband is the most handsome man ever! I love the fact that he is 6'5.
99. My marriage is amazingly easy, fun, happy, and loving.
100. I am glad I made this list.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

House Progression, continued

Here is a few of our side yard, with a tree.

We have garage doors!

Another view of the side of the house.

Closet doors in bedroom upstairs.

Detail of stairs' banister.


House Progression, continued

Here are the cabinets we chose for our master bathroom. We will have travertine countertops in here.


More detail... I wish we had a close-up of the knobs. We have already claimed our "sides." I get the sink on the right.


Here's the upstairs bathroom. We did not choose the cabinets, as the white is the standard in all houses. The powder room will not have cabinets, but a pedestal sink instead.

Close-up of knob we chose.

Here's our cute little mailbox.


House Progression, continued

September 28, 2008

Bob and I could not believe our eyes when we arrived at the house this week. We had our landscaping done! The grass is still being put down by the driveway, but for the most part it is complete. We totally thought this would be the very last thing to happen. I love the big bush they put in the front right side. The exterior painting is almost complete. All of the green is done, and now we are waiting for the trim to be finished.


Here is a BAD picture of our kitchen. It was quite annoying, as our camera had these pesky white spots showing up every so often. Does anyone know what causes this? Anyhow, we have a huge island, with tons and tons of cabinet space. I was thinking of where I'd put everything, and just can't believe how much storage space I'll have!


This is an upgrade we had put in our kitchen. We also have under-cabinet lights, and a couple of drawers for pots and pans too. The cabinets are a bit dusty, as this is still very much a construction site.


We chose every detail for this house - the knobs, grout for the brick, roof, paint (in & out), faucets, lights, just everything! It was an overwhelming, but fun process. I love the kitchen knobs we chose.


Monday, September 22, 2008

The Helper

Last night, Bob was working on a presentation for work. Winston thought he'd lend a hand...

House Progression, continued

Here is our weekly Ross Bridge update:

September 21, 2008


The exterior is almost complete. The painting is done on the front, and one side. I hope by next Sunday, it will be fully painted. We also have stairs and a sidewalk!



All of the doors will look like this. I love the character these doors have! It's the simple details like this that we fell in love with. If you ever have the opportunity to build a Signature Home, do it!!!


Our stairs!


More brick detail...


Master bathroom


We are getting more and more excited. We are expecting a closing date of mid-November, but that is just our guess. Start planning your trip to visit :)

Birthday Dinner

My parents both had birthdays in August and September. Since we missed out, Bob and I took them to dinner while visiting. Here's a picture of us at Brio's. It was a fun night!

Bob, me, Kathy, Mom, and Dad

Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Dale McCrystal!

Bob and I headed down to Orlando September 12 - 17th. The reason for this trip was to see my best friend Lisa get married! She had a beautiful wedding, and it was so "them." We had a great time, and wish nothing but marital bliss ;) for them :)

Here they are, heading to the altar. They got married outdoors, in a park in Orlando.


Lisa's oldest sister Ann, married them.


Here's the bride and groom posing after the ceremony!

The reception was held at Luma on Park Avenue in their wine cellar. Here is a pic of the room, before most of the guests arrived.

Groom's cake....Go Gators!!!
Bob and Dale actually knew one another at UF. We introduced these two love-birds...xoxoxo.


Cutting the cake...


The happy Bride and Groom!


Bob and I (yes, this is my favorite dress, and I wear it ALL the time) :)


Dennis and Michelle Early
Dennis is Dale's best friend.


The cake, with an "M" monogram for McCrystal!


Thursday, September 18, 2008

We'll be right back, after this moment from our sponsor...

We're back from our mini-vacay!

We had a great time in Orlando, and it was wonderful to see my family. I have lots to catch up on, but right now, more important things to do (like laundry, unpacking, cleaning, grocery shopping, the list goes on...). Ahhh!!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

BLT Pasta

BLT Pasta recipe,
courtesy of Real Simple


16 oz. rigatoni or penne (we used rigatoni)
12 slices bacon
One 7 oz. package of arugula leaves (we used spinach salad mix)
1 pint of grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Cook pasta according to the package directions.  Drain and rinse under cold water.  Transfer to a large bowl.  Meanwhile, fry the bacon over medium heat in a large skillet.  Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.  Spoon all but 1 tbsp. of the bacon drippings into a small bowl; set aside.  Add the arugula to the pasta.  Return skillet to medium heat, add the tomatoes and 1/2 tbsp. of the reserved drippings, and cook for 2 minutes.  Transfer the tomatoes to the pasta and arugula and toss.  If the pasta seems dry, add up to 1 1/2 more tbsps. of the reserved drippings.  Crumble the bacon over the top, season with the salt and pepper, and toss again.  

House Progression, continued

Look, we have brick columns!

There's only one picture for our post this week. The roof is done, the painting has started, and the columns are complete.

Drywall should be starting this week, and then after that - CABINETS! I am most excited over seeing the entire house finally painted, and of course, the interior.



We'll be in Orlando this weekend, so we'll have a lot to look forward to when we return. Yay!

Super Hero 5k

Bob and some of his co-workers participated in a 5K this past Saturday.  It was a small event, with probably less than 100 runners/walkers.  I sat this one out, as I am still on a running hiatus due to some pesky knee pain.  Anyhow, it was a great event, and we almost prefer smaller races.  Less crowd = more fun!  Bob's co-workers had a great time too, and want to do another together on October 11th.

Here is Bob heading towards the finish line! He had a PR of just under 27 minutes. (Please excuse my camera skills, as I was wrestling with a curious dog all morning - Winston!)



Winston gave Bob many congratulatory kisses!

Bob and all the ladies! A few of his co-workers who also ran were not present for this photo op.


Great Job TNS!!!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Frame Walk

Here's a sneak preview of our house!

We typically visit our home on Sundays, hence my Ross Bridge Sundays sidebar. Anyhow, today we had our Frame Walk meeting with the builder. The roof is done, and all of the windows and doors are now installed. And, our brick columns are almost done too! I was so excited to see the outcome. You'll also notice the painting has started. It is hard to see, but we chose a green called Earth Green. The trim will be a creamy color, with black painted on the windows (the wood parts, in the middle). Our front door will be stained a dark brown. I am very happy with the green. I think it will look great once it's done. It would be great to have the house painted when we go back this Sunday. I was really nervous over choosing the exterior paint. You just never know with the color green! It is very similar to the green I had for my bridesmaid dresses. Can you tell it's my favorite color?

After the exterior is done, which should be any day now, the interior will begin. The next step is drywall. The closing date moved up on us a bit! They told us today, it will probably be late October, early November!!! We are hoping for the latter.





Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Ramblings...

I'm addicted to Facebook. Seriously.
I am so thankful for my best friend Lisa. She has no idea how much I miss, and depend on her.
Can someone please recommend a good razor? Still having problems...
I cannot wait for 90210 tonight! Bummed over Tori Spelling not reprising her role though.
The Jolly Green Giant lives above us. I have never heard someone stomp around so loudly!
I want a hot tub, badly.
My knee is finally feeling better. I ran for all of 7 minutes today on the treadmill.
I'm excited for my sister's trip to Germany!
I really like my new job, and truly want the store to do well, because the owners are genuinely kind, good people.
I think McCain's VP nominee, Palin is a cutie pie.
We are doing a lot of traveling over the next few months - hello Road Trips!
I give props to Obama for stating in the media that candidates' families and especially children should not be brought into the election. SHOCKER!




House Progression, continued

September 1, 2008



This is the "mother ship" of our hot and cold water. This will be located in a panel in the laundry room. We thought this was pretty neat!


The siding is on and primed. I cannot wait to see how the exterior colors turn out. I am nervous over the final outcome. But, I am confident it will look great! This is our patio.

This is the storage "bump out" in our garage. We are planning on putting our weight machine there.


Here I am by the garage!


We are quite excited over the building process. This week, we noticed most of the windows in, all the doors in, the electrical and plumbing, and A/C units installed. More of the siding was placed on the house too. The roof was also started.

Oh, and I am happy to say I found our camera charger! Thanks to Bob Sr. for allowing us to borrow one of his cameras in the meantime. :)

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