Friday, May 23, 2008

Angry about Gas Prices??

John Hoffmeister of Shell Oil: "I can guarantee to the American people, because of the inaction of the United States Congress, ever-increasing prices unless the demand comes down. And the $5 will look like a very low price in the years to come if we are prohibited from finding new reserves, new opportunities to increase supplies."
[cheap shot: I just want to point out that it's a democratic congress for the past year and a half. Gas was $2.80 a year and a half ago.]

Maxine Waters, D-CA: "And guess what this liberal would be all about. This liberal will be about socializing...uh, um...."

The congresswoman paused to collect her thoughts.

"Would be about, basically, taking over, and the government running all of your companies...." [is this chick for serious?? when has the government ever been able to provide anything to us for a CHEAPER price?!]

The oil executives responded by saying they've seen this before, in Hugo Chavez's Venezuela.

That's where we're headed, people. At least Venezuela's a tropical climate. Maybe we should pack our bags and move there :o)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I Helped Boost the Economy

As you've seen, I haven't really blogged as much as I thought I would when my classes ended. It's not for a lack of time, but more for a lack of anything to write about. It still seems like if I just write one per week about the weekend, I've pretty much covered anything noteworthy. This is the exciting life we lead. A lot of that has to do with the fact that Josh has been working really long hours. I've probably mentioned before that he works in a 3 person office, but the other two people resigned back before our wedding in December and haven't been replaced yet. That's mostly because Josh works 12-hour days and manages to keep things afloat, so it hasn't been that big of a problem for the company. Unfortunately, it means he doesn't usually get home until around 7pm. That leaves us time for dinner and maybe an episode or two of a show. Anyway, you can see how that's not exactly the stuff great blogs are made of, haha :o)

One exciting thing that did happen last week though was a teeny weeny shopping spree I went on. With our tax return we did a lot of important things - paid some things off, did some repairs, and of course put some money away. But we also decided to each take a little money to update our wardrobes. We both complain about hating all of our clothes because neither of us ever really buys new clothes. I always feel like the money would be better spent some other way. But after a while you have a closet full of clothes you bought ten years ago that are stretched, faded, stained, out of style, you name it. So this was my big opportunity!

It happened kind of randomly. See, we're visiting some of Josh's family in Florida at the end of June so I thought it would be a good idea to have a bathing suit and some shorts I felt comfortable wearing in front of them. Not that I dress inappropriately on a regular basis, but I'm not breaking out a regular 2-piece bathing suit in front of his family. Really, in my current shape, he'd be lucky if I wore it in front of him. I had seen some of those simple mix-and-match suits at Old Navy when I was there a little bit ago so I decided to shop online and see what I could find. Well, I found a cute bathing suit but one thing led to another and I started looking at other things. Usually when I shop I buy tops. So I decided it was time to invest in some new bottoms. I can never find khakis long enough for me, and I really needed some new shorts. I was in luck! I found khakis in long sizes for $25, bermudas for $22.50, and shorts that were actually marked with their inseam lengths for $15. I found the inseams to be a huge help since my long legs tend to make shorts look that much shorter, and it can be really hard to judge length when you're shopping online. I have a hard time finding the balance between the barely-longer-than-underwear shorts that they market for teenagers and well, the shorts my mom wears. I'm not ready for high-rise yet. Fortunately, the ones I found were medium-rise (still below the belly button, but don't show underwear when you sit down) and a nice 5" inseam. On me, that's just above mid-thigh. I'm not gonna lie, I stocked up. And with prices like that, you should too. You won't find Gap-quality fashion at that price anywhere else. I don't think you can even find a pair of shorts in Kohl's for $15 and their quality is a far cry. I was also happy to find my size in every style and color I wanted, which doesn't always happen when you shop in-store.

Ok, sales-pitch over :o) A quick rundown of the weekend, and then I'll end this: Friday night we went to the O's game with our little buddy Ray. He's an Orioles expert at the age of 5. His parents have season tickets beside the O's dugout so he's friends with the players and all other staff at Camden Yards. Anyway, when they have extras, they invite us to come along. It wasn't exactly the best baseball weather- a little windy, chilly, and at times rainy. But we had a good time and the O's won! At the end of the game they were having fireworks and little Ray does not like fireworks. So as soon as the game was over we were all gathering our things and saying goodbye, and realized that Ray had taken off and was already about 20 rows up trying to get out of the park before fireworks started. Being the closest, I ran after him. When I caught up to him I suggested that we just stop at the top of the steps and wait for his mom. He never looked up at me but I heard him reply, "Just KEEP WALKING. Fireworks are starting in 20 minutes!" He hides out in the Fan Assistance office during the display, so I proceeded to follow him there. It was too funny. We finally made it to Fan Assistance where his mom caught up to us and we got to say goodbye.

Saturday was madness. We went out in the morning to take stumps from old hedges out of our front garden. That was a joy. Then we had to shower and head to Eldersburg for Lacy's dance recital at 3:30. We stayed until intermission so we got to see two of her three dances. I have pictures but this post is long enough. I'll try to add them later. Then we had to hit the road to grab some dinner and make it to my school in Burtonsville (about an hour from Eldersburg) for a show that was going on there. That ran until almost 10:00 and by that time we were pretty exhausted. We came home and watched Indiana Jones since I've never seen any of them and there's a new one out soon. And today is for relaxing. It's very rainy and chilly. I need to clean the bathroom and give the dog a bath, but it's almost 1:30 and I haven't done that yet. I guess I need to get a move on.

Thanks for reading. I hope you had a great weekend! Look for pictures later :o)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Two More Mondays

First, let me say I hope that all of my mom-friends had a beautiful Mother's day. As I mentioned in the last post, Josh and I spent the morning at his parents' house and then went to my mom's for the afternoon. It was a really fun day with lots of people and food. My sister worked it out so that her in-laws came to our mom's as well and she didn't have to leave in the afternoon to visit them. Despite the really gross weather we enjoyed the full house- running, squealing kids and all.

So now it's Monday afternoon and I don't have a single page of homework to think about. This is both liberating and frightening. First, hooray that I don't have homework to do and I can do anything I want (or all those things I wished I was doing instead of homework). But then, what about all the things I should get done like cleaning, straightening, and other administrivia? I still don't feel like doing those. There are piles of old mail to sort through, magazines to keep/toss, the dog to bathe and trim... and yet the thought of a nap will not get out of my head. Maybe a power nap would cure me. When Josh has nothing to do, he's productive. He starts cleaning and organizing. When I have nothing to do, I want to stare at the walls. It's just so rare that I have nothing to do, that's my way of savoring it. I think my work does this to me. It gives me the desire for mindlessness due to it's extremely high-alert nature. Ah, but the days are numbered (22 to be exact). I had my last committee meeting today, and my last department meeting will be next Monday (and that will leave only 2 more Mondays, while we're counting). It will be a magical day when I exit that building for the last time.

Ok, that could go on for a while. I'm taking myself up on the power nap suggestion. Then maybe I'll have the motivation to sort, or stack, or organize. I kind of doubt it, but at least I'll have had a nap! :o)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mall Madness

I've decided to post tonight because I don't know if I'll get to tomorrow. Nothing that awfully exciting has occurred since Thursday. I did get my last paper written tonight and emailed in. HOORAY! Last night Josh went to the Nationals game with his office friends. The company has box seats so he loved that even though he didn't care for either team playing. It was a 7:30 game so I didn't expect him home until late. Therefore I made plans to go shopping with Amberly. We don't get to hang out much, just the two of us so it was really fun. We just went to the mall and wandered around. At first we went in Bath & Body Works in search of mother's day gifts. Amberly found a ton of stuff for our mom and her mother-in-law. I bought 2 for $15 lotion and shower gel for myself. I felt really bad but Amberly talked me into it. Then we went into Pacific Sunwear (a store I haven't shopped in for a looong time). And true to our form, we both almost simultaneously said, "this purse is cute" and were holding up the same exact bag. I thought it was cute for her and told her she needed to buy it. Then she held one up she thought I just had to buy. Well, you can imagine where that went. We wandered around in there a little longer carrying on about this and that, and then bought our purses. Here's mine:

I was pretty excited about it. It was reasonably priced and we both showed each other our fraying purse straps to convince each other we were justified. After PacSun I asked to visit the Verizon store because I'm so over my phone (as I always am 6 months into it). My contract is up in the fall, November I think, so a new phone has been on my mind. I really want a slide phone but up until last night I had never seen Verizon carry them. So we went in there and played around for a while. I found three slide phones that are in the running, but I think I've made my decision based on the comparison charts and Cnet reviews. Here they are:

LG VX9400
This little guy appears to be a regular slide phone, but the screen actually swivels up to the right (imagine it going from portrait to landscape orientation) so it looks like a hammer-head shark. It's pretty cool because it's unique, but I read that it complicates phone calls and you have to change setting so that it doesn't end your call when you swivel the screen back down to talk. What a pain.

Samsung SCH-u620
This was the first one I saw in the store and I thought it was so cute. It's about the same size as my current phone which is a downside-- too big. But the fact that it's a slide phone makes it automatically cooler than my current phone so it got points for that. Also it's a Samsung and I really liked my old Samsung phone. More points.

MotoRIZR Z6tv
The biggest advantage here-- super skinny. It's the tallest of the three I looked at, but I could let that "slide" (get it? ha! sorry). I've always been a small phone person. If I'm going somewhere and I don't want to carry my purse, I want to be able to drop my phone into my pocket and not worry. Major points for this one. Only question mark is that it's a Motorola. I had one of these when I very first got a cell phone (Motorola StarTac), but that was 10 years ago and we know how phones have changed. I've heard a lot of people complain about their Razrs, and I don't want to deal with a problematic phone. Another bonus though-- much better battery life than the other two.

All three phones are marketed for viewing V-Cast mobile TV, something I'd never use. But at least they'll have a really pretty screen. After reading the reviews I think I'd go with the Motorola for the skinny factor, longest battery life, and best camera (though, no flash). We'll see what else Verizon comes out with between now and the end of my contract. These phones could be dinosaurs in 6 months, after all.

After shopping I went back to Amberly's for a little bit and played MarioKart on the Wii with the kids. It was more of a challenge than I thought! Leo was so funny. He always wanted to be either a character named Rosalina (who he called "Wosa weena") or the little mushroom guy, Toad (who he called "Toast"). He says Rosalina is beautiful, that's why he picks her... too cute!

Anyway, tomorrow will be visiting the moms of course. We agreed to split the day- morning at Josh's parents, afternoon at mine. I think it will work out well. Then it will be back to the work week. I've got two more weeks until Memorial day, and then 3 weeks after that.... YAY!


Thursday, May 8, 2008

My Final Final

I just emailed in my final final! Ok, maybe final is the wrong word, because it's only my second semester of grad school with six more to go... ack! But, for now it's my final final! Ok, also let's not forget a 1-3 page paper (laughable) due sometime this weekend in reaction to my presentation / group work from my other class. Regardless, I'm breathing a huge sigh of relief and once again blogging without guilt! Some people (everyone) have babies that keep them busy, I have grad school. And unlike you, I get a three week break during which I can pretend grad school doesn't exist!

Unfortunately for you the reader, it hasn't been a very eventful week since our fabulous weekend. I've basically been busy working on my two finals- a presentation and a 4-essay take-home exam due Wednesday and Thursday respectively, and grading a massive (honestly, like 5-6 inches) stack of papers because interims are due tomorrow. Thank God for my student aide and a huge field trip today. The kids went to the "Newseum" in D.C. which is apparently new and free to D.C. metro-area schools for a limited time. Since newspapers are part of the 6th grade reading curriculum they took a free field trip there today. It took the entire day and more than half of all of my kids. In one class I had five kids. The significantly reduced numbers made it very easy to give an assignment and plop at my desk to grade like a maniac. My aide is only with me for one class period but she graded like a maniac too and we got it all done. I even had time during the last class to enter the grades on the computer. There is still other interim data I'll have to enter tomorrow but today was huge. I owe her a candy bar or something. This girl really is amazing. I taught her 2 years ago, she's now an 8th grader. And two years ago, at the first mention of Josh this 6th grader insisted that he and I were more than friends. At the time we were not but she was relentless. Although she now has obviously known for a long time that Josh and I were together, engaged, and married, today she left a sticky note on his picture that sits on my desk. It simply said "I knew it. -LW" Ha! I love her.

Ok, dishes are waiting. And I have leftovers to prepare! My husband should be home sometime before bed time. Go ahead and look forward to other blogs :o) You know you do anyway.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

A Most Wonderful Weekend

I can only hope that everyone else had as an enjoyable weekend as Josh and I did. To begin, on Friday night we had a blast babysitting Amberly's 2 boys for a few hours while she and Chris enjoyed a night out in beautiful downtown Columbia. Leo was so excited to be here and even told us, "I'm excited to be at your house!" It might have been the first time he's been here. We made mac 'n cheese for dinner, played Rock Band a little, and walked down the street to the park where he played with a bunch of other little kids. Even Evan loved the stroller ride in the warm evening air and sitting out at the park with me and Sheppie while Josh and Leo played. The dark creeped up on us though and we had to start walking back home. The whole walk home Leo and Josh took turns talking to all the frogs we heard by yelling "Ribbit!" back to them. It was so cute. When we got back to the house, Leo wanted to watch a movie so Josh turned on Star Wars Episode 3 (not necessarily for three-year olds, but what do you expect from Josh?). Leo had originally asked to watch Sponge Bob, so while he was totally enamored by the robots and light-saber fights, every so often he'd ask "Is Sponge Bob in this?" Eventually the parents came back and it was time for him to go but we promised he could come over again soon.

Here are some pictures from Friday night:

5 month old Evan holding his own bottle while Mimi reached for the camera.
He's GT already! :o)

Playing Rock Band -- Leo was good for about one song after begging to play the drums all through dinner... haha, the attention span of a 3-year old.

On our walk to the park. Leo was very excited about everything he saw. We also live just about 10 minutes from the airport, so planes fly low over our house all the time. He loved seeing the planes looking so BIG.

Sheppie made a pit-stop, Leo picked a flower

A picture that almost perfectly captures how much Evan looks exactly like Amberly when she was a baby (and does not look like Leo).

Evie expressing his true excitement about being at the park!

Josh and Leo on the playground equipment

Heading home :o)

Yesterday was a very relaxing day. We got up and made breakfast, watched some Arrested Development, and did a little this and that around the house. Then we went to Old Navy because I wanted some new jeans. I was excited to fit in my normal size since I've been a little concerned about gaining the "newlywed-15" lately. I won't claim to have looked like a supermodel in them, but they fit, and I fully intend to get myself looking fabulous in them shortly. Then we put a quick salad together and went to Frank's (josh's uncle) to watch The Godfather II with him, Jennie and Michael. We had a traditional Italian dinner -- Lasagne, salad, bread, red wine, and cannolis for dessert. It was lovely and we had so much fun with them.

Today was another sleep-in and relax kind of day. We went to Kohl's to spend a gift card from a returned wedding gift. Instead of buying a wedding gift we bought a cart full of clothes for ourselves though! It was really fun. Now we're just home enjoying the amazing weather and getting ready for the week. I have a take-home final exam I should be writing that's due on Thursday and a presentation I need to finalize for my final on Wednesday. But it's the weekend after all and there's always Monday and Tuesday :o)

Friday, May 2, 2008

Things That Make Us Beautiful

My very dear friend Jenn has requested a blog-post reporting some of our favorite things we use to make ourselves beautiful. I was pretty excited by this request because I really like beauty products. I love to try new things and let's be honest... when we look good, we feel good, and who doesn't love that? So at the time I read Jenn's request, I already had another blog-post idea in mind that I really wanted to write. However after some thinking I decided I could combine the two because on some level, they're related (you'll see in a second). Alright, my list is as follows:

1. Giving to others.

Not a beauty product, I admit, but definitely something that makes us beautiful (and is a beautiful thing itself). Many of you know my gorgeous and brilliant neice Lacy was born with a genetic disease called Cystic Fibrosis, also known as CF. Without going into too much detail here (that's what the upcoming web link is for!) some of the symptoms Lacy suffers with are chronic and dangerous lung infections, vitamin deficiencies, and an inability to digest certain foods. She puts up with various daily treatments like pills (the size of an adult vitamin) with every snack or meal she eats, antibiotics for the lung infections, nebulizer breathing treatments to keep her airways clear, and this mechanical vest that hooks to a machine and shakes her for 25 minutes to keep the mucus in her lungs loose. If these things sound awful to you, imagine being 8 years old and never knowing a life any different. Furthermore, wondering when there might ever be a cure so you don't have to continue your life this way. A frightening statistic points out that 1/2 of all CF patients will live beyond the age of 35 which means that 1/2 will not. While 35 seems like a long way off for Lacy, we still have to get her there, and way beyond or the world will be a much less beautiful place. That's why on Saturday June 7th we'll be joining my sister's team in the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's annual Great Strides walk to raise funds for research and treatment. If you'd like to donate to our team, you can click here ( to see the team's web page and how close we are to reaching our fundraising goal for this year. In the past, TeamLacy has been the highest raising team at our walk site. We'd love to make that happen again. If you're interested in learning more about Cystic Fibrosis you can click here ( to visit the Johns Hopkins Hospital page explaining the disease. On that page Lacy is actually pictured at the top with her doctor (and the #1 CF researcher) Dr. Rosenstein. You can also visit this page ( to read about living with CF and see another picture of Lacy and Amberly that Hopkins chose to feature. Below is one of the cutest pictures of Lacy at the beach holding a tiny crab she found:

2. Target's 100% Acetone Nail Polish Remover
I don't know how often you polish your nails, but I do mine pretty regularly and have been since I was about 4 years old (just ask my mom). So removing polish is important to me but I've always found it to be such a pain. Sometimes the polish comes off my nails but just redeposits all over my fingers so I look like I've been picking raspberries. Other times if my polish has any sparkle to it I feel like I need to use a medium-grit sandpaper to get it off. Have you ever gone for a professional manicure and the girl gets all of your polish off with barely a swipe of the cotton ball? And no mess! That's what I was looking for when I found this polish remover. Yes, it's 100% acetone. And yes, it put holes in the vinyl gloves I wore when using it. But I've never removed polish as quickly or neatly in my life. I even used sparkly polish the other day without a moment's hesistation. My only caveat-- wash your hands right after using it :o) The picture I have is a Cutex brand, what I bought is Target's generic (hooray for cheap finds!).

3. OPI Nail Polishes
Obviously my number three goes with my number two. I've used a lot of nail polish since the age of 4, and I still have an entire shoebox full under my bed. I can say with certainty that OPI is the best polish I've ever used. There's truly a difference. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a nail polish snob or anything. I have my share of Wet 'n Wilds in that shoebox, but if I had my pick of any, this is my favorite. They have the best colors with the best names. I particularly like their new India line. It's full of deep jewel tones and bright unusual colors. And one of the best things is that you can find a reasonable selection decently priced at Target! (noticing a pattern?)

4. Clean & Clear Daily Pore Cleanser
I never really had problems with my skin until college and later. And then for some reason any little thing made my skin break out. I tried a variety of different cleansers creams and what have you. Every time it would break out again I'd try something new or a different routine. It was very annoying. I finally got fed up and switched cleansers again and bought this one. It has no medication but just some exfoliators. To my surprise my skin broke out a lot less (if at all) when I started using it. It's almost as though when I stopped treating it like problem skin, it stopped acting like problem skin. So far so good, and I'm hoping it stays that way.

5. j.a.n.e Blushing Cheeks Powder Blush in "Blushing Glow"
Here's another super-cheap product that I absolutely love. This color looks exactly how it sounds. It's the perfect peachie-pink shade of warm summery cheeks with just a tad of sparkle. It looks so very natural and really captures the non-make up look of a healthy glow. I'm one of those people who looks like a ghost without make-up so the healthy glow is always the look I'm after. Ok, and the very best part? It's only $3.22 for about a 1" round pot. The downside is that I couldn't find the brand at all in Target or in our Wal Mart here in Columbia. But the Eldersburg Wal Mart had a fully stocked section for it. I can't speak too much of the other products in this line because I've only used this and a few eye shadows. It used to be that none of their products were over $3 so I'd buy it back when I was in high school/ college and was, well, dirt poor. But it's still fun to buy it cheap now (if you can find it)!

That concludes my current thoughts on things that make us beautiful. I could go way deeper on the humanistic stuff (it is who I am, after all) and probably way farther on the actual products, but people have probably already gotten bored and quit reading. I hope you enjoyed reading it and maybe you'll try one of these things to find out that you love them as much as I do!

Have a wonderful weekend!

PS- Could anyone tell me how to insert a link without having to type out the url? Everytime I tried it would automatically put in front of any web address I entered so none of my links would work :o(

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Unfortunately I just spent the past 3 hours (on and off while watching tv) creating a post full of pictures and links. And when I went to post it everything showed up italicized and underlined and Blogger would not let me un-do it. It looked awful so I deleted it. Sorry to anyone who was looking for an update (like that can really be many people, anyway). But it's very late and I'm very tired. I wish I could say I'd repost it tomorrow but it's the weekend and I just don't know when I'll get the chance to rewrite it. Even this post is showing up in the wrong font while I type it but the menu that allows you to chose your font isn't even appearing at the top of this window. So it looks like Blogger is having some problems.

Sorry again! I'll try to post something real asap. There's important stuff to talk about!