Monday, January 31, 2011

To Hogwarts and Back Again

I had a fun and productive weekend.

Except now my back is sore as all get out. Not sure when I injured it, but my upper back/neck is killing me. I remember it starting on Thursday or Friday...hmm....

Anyhow, on to better things!

Friday evening Mike and I decided to venture into Seattle, which we rarely do (rain, traffic, one way streets and yucky parking...) and picked up our tickets to the Harry Potter Exhibition. I had  been wanting to go for a while and it seemed the perfect evening to indulge in the pricey tickets and parking.

It was pretty interactive with TV screens, music, staff acting the part, and a couple areas where you could play Quidditch or pull up a screaming Mandrake Root. There were artifacts from all 7 movies/books as well as actual outfits worn by the actors. None of which you can touch or take a photo of. Lame.

Since I wasn't able to take photos (people are watching you CLOSELY), I found a few on the net to post so you can see for yourself what a fun experience it is!


Now extended through February 13th!






Interestingly enough, I would suspect that based on my personality traits I would be sorted into the same house as, you guessed it, Cedric Diggory (aka Rob Pattinson). Although I am biased toward Gryffindor, since that is the house of Harry P and friends, I do not really feel particularly "brave" as you might need to be for that selection. Nor do I feel necessarily brainy (Ravenclaw) or cunning (Slytherin).

This picture shows the outfit/robes I was tempted (by my hubby) to try to touch. Not that I did! I am usually good at following rules but the nerdy temptation to touch the costumes worn by the actors was pretty compelling. I am sure I would have been escorted promptly out of the exhibit by two large guards if I had attempted such a feat.

Anyhow, that's that for the HP Exhibition!

Saturday Mike and I tackled the house and garage. This is one day I am proud to say we accomplished much and when I probably made my back worse.

Here is our list of finished chores: (you know I like lists!)

Painted the bathroom and dining room ceiling
Cleaned the bathroom
Organized and cleaned the garage
Organized and cleaned out our filing cabinet
Dishes
& Grocery shopping (at three different stores)!

Still some things to do, but I supposed that can wait until spring.

Sunday I spent with a good gal-pal Katie. We went to see Black Swan, which was mighty disturbing I might add, and grabbed some delicious Thai food. It was a fun and relaxing day that was just what the doctor ordered. Oh, and I need to also mention that we squeezed in a viewing of the movie Willow as well. We are the best movie buddies, she and I.

Well, there you have it!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

1 Year Ago - For Bennett

* This is a little something I wrote for my sister's blog and my nephew's baby book. She asked me to compose a blog/letter for his 1st birthday - something that he can read later in life. This is what I came up with...




Auntie. That’s what I became on January 26th 2010. At the time, I didn’t quite realize what that would mean to me or how my life would change. Maybe that sounds a little dramatic, but for me it was truly a turning point.

The thing is, for many years I was uncomfortable around children. I was even a little afraid that it translated into dislike. Having not been raised around kids or with any of my younger cousins, I had a hard time relating to them as I passed into adulthood.

When Mandy was pregnant I started getting excited about the prospect of a new family member. When little Bennett Roy was born, something inside me was profoundly altered. It was almost like a switch had been thrown - a light had been turned on.

The moment I was able to spend a few minutes with him, I started crying. I knew that I was utterly in love with him and my uncertainty disappeared. I had never before known the feeling of loving a child so completely.

I watched in awe as Bennett grew and thrived, as he curled his tiny fingers around my heart. He made me smile like I hadn’t smiled in a very long time. His toothless grin, all I needed to trust in my own future as a parent.

Being part of a small family has it’s advantages. It seems to make each individual all the more important. I feel that those people are not taken for granted as often, as might happen in a large family. You learn to appreciate and have the time to give each family member.

Lucky for me, my sister and brother-in-law live a mere 5 minutes away, giving me the opportunity to bond with my first and only nephew. It has been such a blessing to be able to see Bennett on a weekly basis. To not have to miss out on any of his milestones or hilarious tantrums.

I love that I am able to witness his developing sense of humor and quiet charm. That every time I come to visit, he smiles at me with a wide, knowing, 4 toothed grin. A grin that tells me he recognizes me as his family and as possibly someone he loves and trusts. I believe with all my heart that I can be that for him.

As Benny’s 1st birthday approaches, I know that his parents will long slightly for the times that were - the early months of his babyhood. Being the Auntie, I can only seem to look forward. I am excited to witness the next step in his young life and see what new discovery he makes.

At the early age of 1, Bennett has shown me how to live life and get the most out of it. He’s taught me to trust in myself and be confident in my ability to care for children. He’s made me happier just by existing and I think that is such a beautiful gift.

So for his birthday, I would like him to know how very much he means to me. I want to tell him that he will always be able to count on me. That he is a total joy in my life and I am lucky to be a part of his. He is my own personal sun, that both brings me energy and saps it away. But the warmth and light that follows him is worth everything.

I love you B.

Auntie Liss

Monday, January 24, 2011

The BIG #1!



Saturday my family and I spent the afternoon celebrating my nephew Bennett's 1st birthday.

It was nice to be able to have a little party for him on the weekend when we have more time to spend hanging out. His real birthday isn't until Wednesday!

Honestly you don't do much for a 1 year olds birthday. We played with B, ate some pizza and cake and opened a few presents. Very low key, but a good time.

Bennett's aunt Nicole baked an amazing Mickey Mouse cake and Mandy and Philip did some decorating. I think the little tyke was a little overwhelmed having just woken from his afternoon nap, to find his whole family in his living room. :)

I am posting a few pics I stole from my sister and mom (since I saw no reason to bring my own camera and be yet another paparazzi). Hope you enjoy!













I will post my blog/letter for Bennett on Wednesday. It was something my sis wanted us to write for his 1st birthday. I figure it's a way for me to celebrate him on his special day.
Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

3 Day Weekend-Palooza

Well it's official! We are heading down to Playa Del Carmen in May. Just after our 5 year anniversary!

We booked the tickets and as the diet has already begun, I am hoping to be in at least some sort of presentable bathing suit state by then. I am a little scared of the idea of a swimming suit right now, but if all continues going well, it shouldn't be too big a deal. Fingers crossed!

In related news - Mike's parents have decided to join us! They had been looking to book a vacation and we had already done all the leg work, so it fit nicely! They made the decision in all of 20 minutes and before we knew it, they were coming too!

And get this - they will be celebrating 40 years of marriage! Holy crap! They have a whole 35 years on us! But it will be so nice to spend our anniversary trip with them.

Also, in news, Mike and I went and saw The King's Speech the other night. I had heard nothing but rave reviews and the theaters have been super slow this season, so I thought I would take in a movie I might normally wait to see on DVD.

Not to mention I love Colin Firth! Always have, always will.



The movie was awesome, in case you were wondering. The lead actors did a bang-up job in their roles and the movie, although slow, did not bore me. The story was intriguing and something I did not previously know about English history.

It was touching, moving, well acted, funny, and informative. Couldn't ask for more. I highly recommend seeing it when you get a chance.

I have yet to see Black Swan, which is the other must-see movie of the season. Hopefully I will get a chance soon!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Next On The Agenda

Ladies and gents, I am currently eating oatmeal and liking it.

I found a way to enjoy it!

I get the maple brown sugar oatmeal, pour a little less water in than advised and mix it with some of my gluten free granola for some crunch. Blackberries or another fruit will top it off! YUM!

And I am also proud to announce that I believe that I have conquered pineapple as well. I keep eating it, making sure I am getting ripe pineapple and now...I think I like it!

I have to tell you that I am fairly proud of myself right now. My 'learning to love it' is working so far.

Next up is eggplant. Meh. I will be scouring the internet for some fabulous recipes and hopefully I will find a couple that look appetising.


Also, in news, I think that Michael and I might have found our next vacation! We've been talking about it for a while and have been trying to figure out what we can afford right now. My original idea was to hop on a cruise (that hits up Central America) for a week and spend a few days in the port of call, New Orleans. But the more I looked, the more I realized that this trip would end up costing $1000 more than a couple of the others I had mapped out.

How perfect would that have been? Going back to the city where we got engaged, for our 5 year anniversary...

ahh well.

I did find a good deal on a different place that we'd never been. Playa Del Carmen, Mexico!

I have wanted to go there for a while, but it was always just a little more expensive than going to say Cabo or Puerta Vallarta. But, this time I found a deal for 7 nights!

The best part is that it's close enough to travel about 30 miles (back toward the airport) and spend some time in Cancun (another place I have never been). Or we could hop a ferry from Playa Del Carmen and head over to the island of Cozumel for the day (which I have been to). There are some Mayan ruins a little south of Playa also that I know we will want to check out. Other than that, we will be beach bound on a beautiful aqua shore.


All that's left is to request time off, book the trip, and get in some kind of bikini shape (yikes)! Oh and maybe go tanning a bit before so as not to burn like a red-head. Cause I will.

When is this all taking place you might ask? Late May! Yes folks, I am avoiding Spring Break like the plague. I am old enough now that I don't want a gaggle of 18-21 year olds puking in the pool next to me or keeping me up until 4am. I want a nice relaxing, romantic vacation with my husband and maybe a few margaritas.

Be happy for me friends...I need this like I need food.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Food Challenge - Learning to love it

I ate oatmeal this morning.


I know, this doesn't sound monumental, but in fact it is.

I hate oatmeal. Always have. The consistency is no bueno.

But, in my quest to become a healthier, shinier, thinner version of me...I ate it.

I may have gagged a bit. I may have thrown in some brown sugar and blackberries to help me out. But I ate it.

It goes along the same lines as the pineapple and soon-to-be eggplant. I don't care for either, but they are good for me and I need to learn to like it. It's the mature thing to do. It's the smart thing to do. And I like to think I am both mature and smart. Thus - oatmeal.

I know you are thinking "that's not so hard!", but I beg to differ.

Have you ever tried to deliberately eat things you don't like "just because"? It's not easy. But I know it's what's best.

I don't enjoy being a person who doesn't like things. Granted, I like a lot and I don't consider myself picky...but there are things I could like more and should like.

So as part of my new year’s diet, I will learn to like things. I will continue making and remaking those foods I dislike until I either grow accustomed to them or find a way to prepare them in a way I can enjoy.

So far, I have mostly grown to like or at least appreciate pineapple. I like how juicy it is and that it is sweet. I will have to continue eating it to feel confident in saying that I now enjoy it. I’ll let you know when the transformation happens.

Next on my list of foods to learn to love is: oatmeal (in progress), eggplant, soft tofu, raw sushi, mango, papaya and kiwi. If you happen to know of more things I am leaving off (that are healthy), let me know.

As for the rest of my diet, it’s going well. I've been eating lots of veggies, have limited my carbs and have cut out most all excess sugar. If the progress seems too slow in the coming weeks, I will tighten up my portions and maybe count my daily calories. This is not something I like doing, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. This extra flab needs a firm hand!

 What's on tonight's menu you ask? Salmon, couscous, and broccoli. Sounds delish right?

I think so too.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Random Confessions

Today I have deemed random confessions day!
Here are a few of mine.


I ate oatmeal this morning even though I hate it.

My hair is thinning and it makes me very sad.

I can still play the guitar a little even though I have barely touched it in like 6 years.

I have to change into my yoga pants when I get home in the evening.

I love photography but for some reason I have grown temporarily away from it. (maybe it's the weather?)

I would marry Edward Cullen if I could.

I often read more than one book at a time.

I hate running and anything that resembles running.

I believe that there are multiple people you can be compatible with, there is not one soul mate.

I think making movie trailers for a living would be heaven.

I overthink everything, afraid of making the wrong choice.

I can forgive almost anything.

I dream a lot about things I want to accomplish, but have a hard time taking that first step (thus the overthinking).

I am learning to like pineapple even though I never particularly cared for it before.

I hate disliking things, so I try to remedy that but changing my mind however I can.

I always wanted 3 kids.

I prefer one story homes.

I detest my legs and wish my genes would have granted me long, model ones instead.

I haven't really grown since the 7th grade.

I 'blossomed" early and it was really embarrasing for me.

I wear the same eyeshadow color 6 out of 7 days a week.

Okay! I think that's a good number of confessions for one day. Anyone else care to join in for the hell of it?!

Happy Saturday!



Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hide Your Kids, Hide Your Wife

This may be a silly thing to post, but I have had this stuck in my head all day and I think it's awesome. So I am spreading the love here in cyberspace.

The first video is a news story with a super ghetto interview. You need to watch it first! Then when you are done, watch the second video! So funny!

Really, it is.


LOL! Okay, now watch this!


That was priceless. Freakin' amazing.

So....what did you think?
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