Thursday, April 28, 2011

What my kmart purchase says about me

That's right.  I was shopping at kmart for essentials on my lunch break. I do it routinely not because they always have exactly what I need unlike the trusty land of Target, but because it is one parking lot away from my office.  I always leave annoyed but when the chick with (faded) hot pink hair on the end of her brassy bleached hair connected to her 1/2 inch dark brown roots commented on my dog chew toy,  my $50.43 purchase said a lot about me. Let's take a look.

Lightbulbs :  She's got a light out.

Mascara : She cares about her appearance. (and doesn't feel like going to sephora to get her favorite mascara.)

Fluffy Pink Flip Flop Style Slippers : What is the point of flip flop slippers, one might wonder? I too used to be infuriated by this concept.  Then I got a house with a basement full of sweet hiding spots for killer wolf spiders.  Hense the cozy summer slippers.

Aquify Contact Solution : Girl can't see well without aid.

Men's Boxer Briefs : She has a fellow she likes to keep in nice underwear...that she buys at kmart??? Ok, in my defense they were a steal at 4 for $10.49! You can't pass up that Fruit of a Loom.

Sturdy Stuffie Dog Toy with Squeaker :  Girlfriends dog likes to chew things.  She's a pushover because she voluntarily buys him things with annoying squeakers in them.

Two (2) packages of Goldfish Crackers : She needed a little crunch with her lunch and they were on sale. EVERYBODY needs a little crunch with their lunch!

So there you have it. That is how I blew $50.43 at kmart in a matter of 20 minutes on basically, nothing.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The much anticipated "Wedding Night Note Story"

Wasn't it much anticipated? No. We'll here it is anyway.

I stressed for weeks about the seating chart at the wedding.  It actually was not until the morning of the wedding that it was completed.  The main problem was that one table was slightly secluded from the rest of the room. They could still see all the action, but I was afraid those people will feel like they were the black sheep.  In the end, we decided everyone would understand and it was what it was. We still numbered the table as "Table 2" so they would feel good about having a high number.

Everyone was happily seated when before long someone at Table 2 pointed out their predicament. After sizing each other up, they in fact decided there was a reason they were quarantined from the rest and determined they must live up to their reputation.  After getting to know one another they soon became rowdy and other guests took time to visit their table to see what was going on in the private VIP room. (Ok, maybe I'm pushing it.) Even though not everyone at Table 2 knew each other initially, by the end of the night they were great friends and got together to write Nat and me this story:




Once upon a time, under clear blue skies, Julie and Nat got married. Later that day..., they sat us all at Table 2. An unrealized mistake on their part for as it happened... Table 2 had ingested some bubbly liquid in Nat and Julie's honor which made them... Somewhat gassy. "Uh oh," said Pam, I think I may have over done the... Lipgloss. "Not to worry," said Kristi, "You can" ... "Just pretend you are Snookie and say 'Smoosh, Smoosh!' No one will know"... So the lipgloss debacle was over, but ... there was still the issue of *creamed corn to be settled.  "Well, at least I'm looking fiiiiine," said Kurt. ...Kurt looked off into the sunset with his round eyes, beady and black with the accumulated knowledge of his endless life. "It's done," he said with an odd smile. "It's done."  The End.

Kristen telling us a story has been written!


Laughing at our story.

What does it all mean?  How did they turn it into a madlib style story when when they wrote it from scratch? We'll never know, but I love them all the more for it! Love you Table 2! You go down in Julie/Nat Wedding history!

 (*we did NOT have creamed corn at our wedding for the record!!!)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Puppies Happen...

Well, after agonizing and fretting for weeks, then falling for a very specific puppy, I took Nat to meet the young guy Saturday. It was on this dark and stormy morning in Alexandria, Virginia, that the dog formally known as Binky darted across the room and fell at Nat's feet. Nat didn't stand a chance against this fine fella's charm. Content with his fate, Binky settled in for the car ride and listened while the names such as Miles and Cannonball were nixed and he became Brubeck.

Please meet my 7 month, 45 pound Great Pyrenees/Yellow Lab mix rescue.  He's got a little hound in him and maybe even a bit of Rottweiler and Husky.   His life started in South Carolina and he's been shuffled from road side, to shelter to foster to doggie day care and now resides in a quaint neighborhood in Annapolis, Maryland with us.


Handsome Brubeck

He is an absolute doll! As mellow and low key as he can be. While he enjoys bones and digging, eating and napping, squeaky toys and walks, he's also down with jazz, lunching with the ladies and shopping! Ok, well as long as it's petsmart. Everyone falls for this sweet, soft face.

In other news, I guess I lied in my last blog because I promised the hilarious wedding Night Note story and failed to produce as I got carried away with caring for Bru, but I will get it as soon as possible from my bestie who has it securely fixed to her refrigerator!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Doggie Cycle is Real

(Disclaimer: This post makes me cry so skip if you're not in the mood and I promise to post the Wedding Night Note Story this weekend! You'll laugh and stop being annoyed at me for being ridiculous I promise!)

Some might think it is ridiculous to stress to get a dog or not as much as I have. I know it's not a baby, but it's a huge commitment and I take it seriously. Just as seriously as I my freedom to randomly take day trips or occasionally stay up until 4 a.m. with my friends taking Night Notes and sleeping until noon. If we're going to be one hundred percent honest a big part of it is the doggie cycle.  It starts with that first dog.   When he dies your heart breaks and you keep expecting him to come around the corner and he doesn't. To heal your aching soul, you distract yourself with another. And then 55 years from now you find yourself dogless and can't get a new dog because you're going to die soon and you'll outlive this next dog and he'll wonder why you left him like Bear wondered in Sweet Home Alabama when Reese Witherspoon moved to NYC and he just didn't know what he did wrong.

Yes, I'm a complete nut job.  Or just someone who loves dogs so much I'm terrified of the loss. In my life, I have outlived two amazing Great Pyrenees dogs.   Holding back on getting another dog protects me from that pain again.  However, we are approved to adopt the dog I fell in love with last weekend. All that needs to happen is for Nat to meet him and fall in love too, which I'm terrified of happening. I switch from ecstatically excited to sick with nerves on our pending decision.  Non animal lovers will find this to be a silly and ridiculous post but I'd like to hear from some readers. Advice. Thoughts? Pro/Cons I hadn't considered.

Two years ago I wrote this after waking from a dream about my dog who died many years ago.


Soulful, brown eyes stared through the glass door at me with all the wisdom in the world.  Four paws slowly carried his large frame a little closer. “Please don’t go,” I whispered as I slowly opened the door knowing he shouldn't really be there.  My hand remembered the shape of the top of his furry head as I reached out to him and it felt exactly as it had six years ago and the thirteen years before that. I wrapped my arms around all hundred and twenty pounds of his body and he leaned into me as he always had.  He was so warm. I buried my face into his snow-white fur and sobbed. His doggie smell was exactly the same.

I woke early this morning with tears streaming down my cheeks and the familiar smell of the family dog lost years ago fresh in my mind. I don’t recall ever having a dream so vivid…or out of nowhere.  These early morning thoughts leave me remembering how hard it is to lose an animal and reluctant for the puppy we’ve been talking about. 



 Ok, Ok, let's lighten the mood a little. Enjoy one the best movies lines of recent times~

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Who's Your Lobster?

Monday in Annapolis, Maryland graced us with a temperature of 79 degrees.  My foodie husband and our foodie friends decided to take advantage and grill out. These guys don't do anything the traditional way and it's standard procedure that when Nat and Kurt get in the kitchen, Kristi and I tend to drinking, watching chick flicks on the couch and discussing serious topics such as "should I get feather extensions?" (Answer: Yes, obviously.)

Like typical children bursting with energy on the first day of warm weather, Kristi and I tired of TV and obnoxiously saying "Guacamole,"but pronouncing it " ha-wuakamole" over and over again pretty quickly when it occurred to us that the boys had mentioned lobster.  We peaked into the kitchen demanded the lobsters be set free!

Insert, "He's her lobster" jokes here. 
I expected them to make a run for it, but they just kind of sat there. Fairly anti-climatic, but also low maintenance which gave me an idea. I told Nat maybe we could just have a Lobster for a pet instead of a dog just to see how we did. He wanted to eat our new prospective pet though.

Like I said, the husband-folk wanted to grill. There came a time when something had to be done.  You can't just put a lobster on a grill.  Kristi and I said our final goodbyes and darted back into the living room hiding under pillows and loudly singing "LA LA LA LA LA" while Kurt... took care of the situation.

How is it, that he's actually kind of cute?
It was not ideal and I did feel guilty about the whole thing.  That lob definitely knew what was up and he thrashed his big claws once he was on the (ahem) chopping block, but Kurt took care of it as quickly as possible.  Once I saw the lobster on the grill with corn, and then plated,  I got over it.  Lobster is delicious! Thanks little buddy!

Yay, brightly colored food. That means it's healthy, right?

Serving it up family style with pork tenderloin on a bed of shredded, sauteed, brussel sprouts.)

Looking a bit tired, post allergy attack and sans make-up with glasses but I still want to remember this night.

Normal: Hubs with his nose in a wine glass.
Not Normal: Chris is a ghost now? That's new.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

To Expand or Not to Expand...

Nat and I have been contemplating a dog for years. With the wedding and honeymoon behind us, now seems like it should be the perfect time.  As one who is terrified to commitment however, I've started to get cold feet.  Summer is coming. I won't be able to go to the beach all day with a dog. What if Nat and I argue about vacuuming?

About a week ago,  I was on an early evening walk. We live in a nice neighborhood, so I was surprised to be heckled by some young teens.  Said teens were recording themselves doing bike tricks, but turned their video my way when I walked past.  "Get down on your knees and work it girl," they yelled. Oh. My. God. Reeeally?  As if that wasn't bad enough, I continued onto my house where a short while later they meandered on by to yell more sexually explicit things while I stood in my front yard talking to my mother in law.

Maybe it's time for a nice, intimidating dog.  And a total lifestyle change. In my constant quest for inner peace and zen, I've decided if I'm going to be walking a dog I can probably quit the gym, but still do yoga once a week and hopefully keep everything in place.  My friend April protested saying that I love the gym. I thought about it. I don't really love the gym anymore, I just go because I'm afraid of what will happen if I don't!..(Ok, I guess I still love it a little bit too.)

We agreed to watch Nat's Mom's dogs overnight Sunday. They are little Cockerspaniel/Pomeranian mixes who are tons of fun and love us at his Mom's house. Piece of cake! It would be a great trial period for us right? The second his Mom left they proceeded to mope and look tragically depressed.  I gave them a treat which they refused to eat, but proceeded to snarl at each other over.

I decided to leave the house to go to a doggie adoption event and allow the dogs to get used to our place. They stared longingly out the window at me utterly devastated at their abandonment. When I returned a short hour and half later, they were still peering out the window.  In the meantime,I had fallen in love with a perfect large dog at the adoption event, but these two were bringing me down.  I let them outside and they just stood and stared.  We came inside to take a nap and the bigger one barked the moment I drifted off to sleep. I could tell she did it on purpose. 

In a final attempt to cheer them up, I decided to brave the streets and take them on a walk. They gleefully skipped along...back and forth tangling me up and getting their leashes under their legs because they wouldn't walk at the same pace.   When other dogs walked by, they lunged at them and then bit each other. I was mortified! I've been told the bigger one likes to poop for sport. (AND she had already gone in my yard), so after picking up after her twice, I was done. She continued to make attempts to squat but I tugged her along while she pretended to act miserable and the other walkers judged me for being a bad dog walker. She would then joyfully trot along on good behavior when nobody was around. They were still pretty bouncy when we got back to my house, but once inside, they tragically flopped their little bodies down and sighed big pathetic, "woe is me sighs" and looked pitifully at me from the top of their heads.

I tried yet again to rekindle that nap.  They barked to be put outside. Nat came home and they were happy to see him for a little while before returning to their tragic, sad state. When it was time for bed the little one tried to position herself between us. NOT going to happen. I said "No," and her little doggie eyes actually teared up and she proceeded to look heartbroken while Nat sided with her saying, she was just scared and unsure why she was at our house. I still took my spot next to him (because I'M the alpha female) and let her sleep down by my feet while the other suspiciously slept in the doorway. (And occasionally let out one sharp bark throughout the night.)

Maybe it was a fluke that those two were being so lame? Maybe it's a sign that we shouldn't get a dog? I'm still trying to decide to take that plunge or not...Thoughts?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Food Crime and Punishment

(*Disclosure: If you're a first time reader, bathroom humour is something I do NOT consider to be funny ever, so bare with me here.  I'm going to try to be as proper as possible.)

After kicking ass for a few weeks before the wedding I was feeling super fit. So fit, I felt I could slack on working out and eating right for the nine days Nat and I were in the Outer Banks. I put things in my body I wouldn't dream of consuming all in one week like oreos and french fries. (Don't get me wrong, I know how to splurge, but I splurged ALL week.) We snack on fruits and veggies on a regular basis and speaking of regular, when we got back...let's just say I wasn't.

I was feeling pretty bloated, soft and remorseful about my unhealthy week of eating when we got back from the honeymoon and when I realized that things weren't um,..getting out of my system, I started wondering how far my belly could continue to expand.  (It seems there is no way around doing this post without typing the word "constipation" so let's get that out of the way. Back to the story.)

Not accustomed to such stop-ups, I figured eventually things would work out, but I decided to go for some Campbell's Bean with Bacon soup to help speed things along. That night, while perusing the plethora of book purchase possibilities at Borders, the time to hesitate was through.  Much to my chagrin, I was forced to use their public bathroom.  Approximately half a second too late I realized there was no toilet paper in my stall.  I stared at the empty roll trying to manifest a new one.  I considered the likelihood of someone walking in if I switched stalls before realizing it was my only option anyway.  I bare-assed it into the next stall in perfect shimmy form. Miraculously nothing disastrously embarrassing happened.

The story could end there. Except I felt so much better. I felt lighter! I had so share my ordeal with Nat. The following exchange took place on our car ride home.

Julie: Hey Nat...
Nat: Yeah.
Julie: Have you ever, um, been constipated?
Nat: (looks at me weird.) Yes...why?
Julie: Well, I was. But now I'm not. I had to go in Borders while you were in the military section and I feel so much better and way happier now.
Nat: I could  never do that in a public bathroom.
Julie: I HAD to. I had no choice. The time to hesitate? It was through!!!.....Do you think the romance is dead in our relationship?
Nat: No. We're good. (Makes reference to Cosby Show episode we saw the night prior where Cliff, Martin and Elvin have a romance competition.) ....Now if you told me to come in and look at it, THEN the romance would be dead.
Julie: (in absolute horror!) I would never do that! ...I don't even look at it myself!
Nat: (says nothing.  initiates look that says a thousand words.)
Julie: ...What?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

It takes a lot of work to be helpful...AND do it right

After a few failed attempts at dropping off clothes at the local goodwill (it's a task that seems easy, but always takes me weeks to physically do after my clothes have been collected), I received a postcard in the mail from the Purple Heart Pick-Up stating they pick up unwanted items. From your house! It almost sounded too easy.  I went online and scheduled for a pick-up to come this morning.  They requested the bags be clearly marked. Wanting to make it as easy as possible on them, I tied my bags shut with pretty purple ribbon, found my purple sharpie and wrote, "PURPLE HEART, THANK YOU," and drew a purple heart in hopes that it would make them smile because I was so clever.

I left them on the front porch steps last night.  For some reason I looked out the window after Nat got in and noticed they were by the trash. I thanked him for his attempted helpfulness, but told him they actually needed to be on the porch. He offered to go them right away, but he had just taken off his work clothes and felt so warm in bed I told him to get them later. 

When I woke up at 7 a.m. they were gone. So was the trash that never gets picked-up until after 8 a.m. Nat said he had not remembered to go get the Purple Heart bags. F! Now, while I was upset that my donation of clothes, (some rather nice work clothes at that) had been thrown away, I was more upset about the Purple Heart peeps making a wasted trip and never trusting me again and getting black balled from their pick-up list for life. (I planned to use them exclusively.) My day was starting in Hate Spiral of unfortunate events. What to do. It was too late to cancel the pick-up.

That's when Nat said he had clothes to donate. Brilliant. In my half asleep daze, this would never have occurred to me.  He quickly went through his closet while I showered and felt smug that this forced him to have to go through his clothes which I had wanted him to do for quite some time. When I left, the bag was on the porch.  He just used a regular pen and he didn't use ribbon to tie the bag but he did write "Thank You."

And just like that, I loved my husband even more!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Silent Sunday, Honeymoon Highlights


Five mile walk in Hatteras.  I love a man in rolled up jeans on the beach.  Especially when the man is my husband!


Is anyone else upset that there is a picture of a whole lobster on the Crock-Pot at our beach house?  I feel that was in poor taste. We did use the crock, but NOT for a lobster!



OMG. Seven course wine paired meal.  This was chilean sea bass if I recall correctly and one of the most amazing things I've ever consumed. 


"Potted Berries" for desert in what else? A terra-cotta pot.  I was in heaven.  (Also, clearly I will never be a food photographer, but I blame part of my bad food photography on all the wine consumed.  What you see on the table is just a tease of what they brought us!)


Ocean sunrises.  Absolutely worth getting up early!


He only pretends he doesn't love me.