Monday, August 3, 2009

New Pooch!

Just a quick post to introduce you to Layla's new brother, Moose! He is 2 years old (approximately, as far as we know) about 30 pounds smaller than Layla and is quite playful. He is a great addition to our home and his mere presence has already eliminated Layla's separation anxiety! He loves his toys and is teaching Layla to play! He is the first and only dog we've ever seen her play with, so it seems to be a good match! Check out this video of Chuck trying to figure out the extent of Moose's training, pretty impressive for day one!

Thursday, July 16, 2009


H2B is no longer 2B!!! Our wedding was PERFECT! The ceremony was very much personalized to us and extra special since the minister married my parents. The reception was super fun, great food, amazing cake and loving friends and family. Onto the long process of changing my name...

Monday, June 15, 2009

I'm back

Okay, so I realize it's been a month since I posted. I don't think anyone noticed, however.

So this morning as I was getting ready for work, H2B and I found ourselves in a small political discussion and he asked if I followed any local politics (MD and/or Baltimore). I scoffed at this question with an emphatic and resounding "NO." Why would I? I thought to myself. However in the hour or so that has passed since we had this conversation, I realized that I probably should start paying more attention since I suppose this is my town. I don't really consider it my town, even though I've been living within Baltimore city limits for almost two years and in the state of Maryland for 3 years. I don't even know who are governor is, so I have a lot of catching up to do...

I think that will all have to wait until after the wedding though, because it's 26 days away, can you believe it?!?!?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


If anyone tries this, let me know how it turns out. I find the idea fascinating!

4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
A small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug (MicroSafe)

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly.

Pour in the milk and oil and mix well..

Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again.

Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts.

The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed!

Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.

EAT ! (this can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

What's a-goin' on?

I know all of my millions of readers are on the edge of your seats wondering what's been going on with me, H2B and our dear Layla. So here's an update:

Layla has officially been "diagnosed" by her vet and her trainer as having severe separation anxiety. Basically, this means that our calm, lazy, well-tempered girl has a panic attack whenever left alone. This leads to destructive behavior in her attempt to find us. Our carpet may never recover. She is on some meds and we are working with her veerrrry sloowwwllly on being left alone for short periods of time (we're up to 5 to ten minutes). Thank goodness H2B is here to give her the company she needs or the apartment would probably no longer be standing. She's eating her food now, praise the lord. It has taken us awhile to get the right combo on kibble and wet food so that she'll actually eat it, and for her to be anxiety-free enough to eat. She loves the pig ears and her bones, so we'll put some weight on her in no time!

H2B is settling in nicely as well. The military movers delivered his things a week ago and he is already unpacked and our households have been officially consolidated. He is spending his days doing some much deserved relaxing, long walks with Layla, laundry, cooking, and cleaning. It's like heaven. I come home to a spotless house, a happy dog, and an H2B with dinner to greet me!

My own road has been a little bumpy during this transitional period. Not only are there so many (good) changes going on, but I am in the middle of a small medical scare. No need to bore you with the details, but I spend the day on Monday getting various tests done. Not exactly my favorite way to spend a vacation day from work. The worst part is that apparently stress can make this type of thing worse, so I need to relax. Can you see the vicious cycle forming? More details on that as things progress. Nothing life threatening, just a minor complication that can be easily fixed. More details on that as things progress.

Oh yeah, and there's wedding planning going on. Sorta. We got distracted...

Friday, April 10, 2009

Goodbye Army!

It's official! H2B is out of the Army and officially lives in Baltimore with me! Hooray! His movers should arrive with the rest of his stuff sometime next week, so nice that the Army pays for your move.

Life is good, Layla is adjusting to her new home, as is Chuck. Such a happy day!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Darlin' Won't You Ease My Worried Mind

Laaaaaaaylaaaa has found her forever home! (H2B loves Eric Clapton, so we are keeping her name. Layla is four years old (we think she may actually be a little older) and is VERY well behaved. She came to us pre-house trained, a definite plus and knows a few commands. She's very good at "Sit" and listens when you say "Layla no." She's okay with "Stay" and "Come." So far she hasn't chewed on anything that isn't hers and the biggest problem we have is keeping her off the bed. But once we tell her to stay on the floor and in her own bed, she stays there.

We picked Layla up from the rescue kennel on Saturday morning and oh what a great weekend it was! I forgot how a dog fills up a home! Sadly, however, Layla went to North Carolina with H2B. She has some abandonment issues (we are the second people to rescue her) and since H2B only has to work for one hour a day until he gets out of the Army on the 10th, it's better for her to be there with him. She is finally eating her food after several days of getting used to her new family and I am so relieved! I just hope she doesn't end up loving H2B more than me after this two week honeymoon period!

I'm headed down there tomorrow to visit for a weekend of Layla fun and then in just 8 days, H2B and Layla will be moving to Baltimore for good!

Layla on H2B's bed in North Carolina

Catching up on the sleep she missed in the kennel. Six whole weeks there were very stressful for her.

Layla and her new daddy, before she understood that she's allowed on the couch.

Layla and her new mommy relaxing on the couch, it didn't take her long to make herself at home.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Big Step!

Well, H2B and I have decided to become pet parents. The discussion was jumpstarted by a friend of his who has three dogs and only wants to have one dog. We contemplated taking one, but unfortunately they are all of a breed that could potentially not be so friendly to "people puppies" (babies) which will likely be joining our family at some point while we have this dog.

H2B and I were at Bed, Bath, and Beyond spending a bridal shower gift card and after having lunch, we decided to cross the parking lot to roam around PetSmart to get an idea of various doggy costs (food, crate, bed, toys, treats, etc). Well, there was a doggy rescue organization there, trying to find pet parents for some of their rescue dogs. Of course H2B and I fell in love with the first one we saw and have applied to become her parents. Things are moving quickly, our three references have been called and we're trying to schedule our home visit. Hopefully we will be approved and can rescue her from the kennel soon. I swear, any ol' anybody can have a baby, but adopting a dog? That's a much more rigorous process!

Stay tuned for the results of our adoption application!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

March is so much better than February

Wow, who knew there were such crazy trends as bad months??

Here's what's goin' on so far:

1) I had a great vacay, which you already read about
2) Last Saturday, I found my iPod in a ziplock bag on the hood of my car. Yup, some nice citizen actually returned it to me. I'm still wrapping my head around that one.
3) H2B is getting out of the Army early. Not as early as January, but 17 whole days sooner than his contract. 23 days and counting...
4) Since H2B will no longer be in North Carolina, I just bought my LAST place ticket into RDU. A one way ticket since we'll be driving home together. Our first really long road trip, I hope it goes well!
5) The weather might not be as nice as I'd like, but I haven't turned the heat on in our apartment for about 3 weeks now. I can't wait to rejoice in my gas/electric bill.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

back from vacation

So I just returned from the best trip home I've had in a long time. For real. I flew out Wednesday morning and returned Sunday night. The perfect amount of time. One day less and it would have felt too short, one day more and it would have felt too long. My mom and I had a great time and hit the perfect balance of wedding productivity and tv watching laziness. The weather was perfect, with the exception of a little rain on Wednesday afternoon.

I got a ton of sleep, the really good kind of sleep that comes when you know you don't have to appreciate it because you have many nights in a row of not having to go to work the next day. I read a ton too, I don't remember the last time I read for the entire flights (cuz there are multiple flights when you're headed to Central California).

But there was a catch. In order to maximize my time at home, my flight didn't leave until 2:45pm and I didn't land in Baltimore until after midnight. Adding in shuttle time to the car and drive time to my apartment, it was a long day and morning came really fast. I now have this bizarre feeling of being very well-rested, but still dragging in the morning. Strange.

Overall though, a great vacation! Now, to get H2B safely out of the field and out of the Army! Only 49 days to go!

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Blessing/Curse of Scripps College

Towards the end of the day yesterday, I found myself in a very interesting conversation with two directors in my division. Our conversation ended up on the topic of whether the work we do here at Hopkins is on the philanthropic side of the spectrum, helping consumers be more aware of how and where they can get quality health care or if it's all about profit for the Institution.

My boss (Director 1) used to work at Big Bad Insurance Company and is on my side, the side that says "At the end of the day, we do good work here." Yes, we get paid to promote the services that make money, but it's not all about profit margin. (Director 1's boss at Big Bad Insurance Company used to say "If there's no margin, there's no mission").

Director 2 has worked at Hopkins for a really long time and is more on the business side of things. Not a bad thing, for sure. She does her job very well and promotes the clinical departments on a fee-for-service basis, so the margin has a huge impact on the work she does and vice versa.

My point here is that I'm glad that, when our division split, I ended up on the side with Director 1, promoting the institution as a whole and our affiliate businesses. I go home at night feeling good about what I do during the day. I prefer to think that promoting our service centers throughout the Baltimore area helps people who live toward suburbia and are scared of ghetto downtown Baltimore be more aware that they can get the same, Hopkins quality care closer to their homes. They don't have to choose sub-standard care so they can stay in their comfort zone. I prefer to think of it this way, rather than the ugly truth that we make more money when people go to one of these clinics than at the main hospital downtown.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Baltimore is not my friend

Well, it's official. I've been working at JH longer than I've been at any other job and even longer than I was a full time grad student. Which also means I've lived within the Baltimore city limits longer than any other city. I have really mixed feelings about this. At the end of the day, I like Baltimore. The parts I don't like aren't really Baltimore's fault though. I hate the winter weather, which is much worse in a lot of other cities. People here can be super rude, which again could be worse (NYC).

Over the past couple of weeks, however, Baltimore has really pushed me to edge of hating it. First, my neighbor hit my car and then did not leave a note. Hello! Did he think I would notice?? Then, over this past weekend, my iPod was stolen out of my car. And after several days of warmish weather, we're back to cold with snow/slush in the forecast.

My mom would tell you that February has never been the greatest month for me. An interesting theory, that I didn't always necessarily believe, but I'm starting to come around on it. Only 11 days until this cursed month is over...

And yes, I'm aware that this is not positive or optimistic, but happy thoughts can only take you so far. However, in keeping with my resolution, I will end on an upswing: work is going really well after a several week downturn. Yay.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hello again, hello

Hello again my long forgotten blog! I haven't actually forgotten, but have just been either too busy or too bored with life to post. I do promise to post some exciting happenings soon, though!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Aaah Weekend!!!

What a great weekend! H2B was in town since he had Friday AND Monday off for MLK day. He met me and some friends and coworkers at our usual Happy Hour spot at 5 and we all had a really great time. Happy hour went into over time, we didn't get home until about 9:30 or 10.

Saturday was a marathon. For someone who rarely likes to leave the house for extended periods of time on a weekend day (I mean really, if I need to go to Target and the grocery store, I break it up and do one per day), I'm amazed at myself for having this much stamina. So here was our Saturday:

Event #1: Crate & Barrel for our first wedding registry experience. Super overwhelming to pick wine glasses from an entire wall of them! But we had a good time and didn't disagree on much. Dishes, silverware, cookware, etc! The kitchen is really H2B's domain, so I deferred to his preference most of the time.

Event #2: Lunch (and a beer) at Buffalo Wild Wings. A nice break to clear our heads before Event #3

Event #3: Macy's for wedding registry part two. This time I was running the show, sheets and towels are some of my favorite things and The Hotel Collection is just so yum!

After that we went home for a short rest before

Event #4: Drinks with some friends at a bar near home. Super fun but we had to cut it short so we wouldn't be late for...

Event #5: Dinner with other friends at a Baltimore fav, The Brewer's Art. The food was excellent, as was the beer. And the wine. And the company!

Sunday, H2B and I stayed close to home and made soup for lunch and a yummy yummy casserole for dinner. Finally some relaxation!

Monday, H2B left super early to beat the inauguration craziness of DC. Since it snowed all day, I spent the day in bed. I read a little, I watched a little TV, and I took a couple of naps. I also did some online wedding registry management. An altogether great weekend! Now I am back at work refreshed and ready to get stuff done!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Adjusting or Adapting?

I've been meaning to post on this for awhile now. This winter I've noticed a marked change in myself. I'm not as cold (or bitter about the cold) as I was last winter. I've even gotten into the habit of putting a coat on before leaving the house in the morning (I sometimes forgot last winter and it was not fun walking out the door!) although I still dislike the inconvenience. The other day it was in the 30s and I really didn't feel that cold walking outside in my work clothes with a coat and scarf.

I'm wondering, however, is this just adjustment and getting used to feeling cold or have I adapted and so do not feel as cold in the more wintery weather than my past homes? An interesting philosophical question, don't you think? ;)

As an off topic update, my 2009 fitness and eating plan are going great! The scale is moving in the right direction and I'm feeling more energetic, which also helps with the positivity and optimism. What a great year so far!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Is Optimism Exhausting?

or is something else making me extremely tired?

This whole week I've been a slug. I've been to the gym twice (and it's Friday, not good) and have been pushing the snooze button like it's my job. It doesn't seem to matter how early I go to bed, I just can not force myself to wake up. Thank goodness I shower at night or I would be one stinky chick.

So what could it be? I have some theories:

- It's hard to face a 5 day work week after so many days off for the holidays, especially when there are no days off in the foreseeable future.

- H2B and I spent a glorious 2 weeks together and my subconscious is depressed without him to snuggle with and talk to.

- I haven't been exercising as much and so am low on energy.

- It's one of those weird sleep cycles we all get into and in time it will correct itself.

In any case, it's Friday. I'm going to the gym after work (I swear!) to exhaust myself even further. I will then go to sleep at a reasonable hour (like maybe 9 or 10) and sleep in tomorrow!! My hope is that will kick this cycle to the curb so I can get back to my usual self. Plus my sister is coming down from New York tomorrow, so I need to be well rested for some sisterly bonding / wedding stuff.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Alternate Thinking

Just one day into my "be optimistic" plan, I slept through my alarm. Okay, fine, so I hit snooze for an extra half hour. Whatever, same thing. I'm sure I broke the record for speediest shower/makeup/getting dressed and out the door in history, or at least for the past year of my life. Normally, I would have said to myself "It's okay to be a little later than usual. half the office doesn't get in until after 9 so even if I'm 20 minutes later than usual, I'm still technically early." However, this morning I had a 9:00 meeting to prep for. Granted, it's only my weekly status meeting with my boss, but still, I like to be prompt and prepared.

I still had time to stop at 7-Eleven for my customary diet coke. It's just not a good morning if I don't get my "good morning sweetie" from the nice couple that run the store. Of course, since we had freezing rain last night and it was still raining this morning, traffic was a little heavier than usual. And of course I got stuck behind slow people once off the highway. And of course once in the parking garage, I had to stop and wait for a pedestrian to s-l-o-w-l-y get out of my way instead of mowing her down. As I sat there waiting, I was reminded of something my mom told me. Now, while I would love to give her credit for this philosophy, she actually got it from one of the social workers at the place where my dad got his chemo.

Here it is. Are you ready? Okay. When you're running late, or in a hurry, or just plain cranky and stuck behind a slow poke driver on the road or held up by an elderly person slowly crossing the street, remind yourself that this person is keeping you safe and your car undamaged by forcing you to slow down. Pretty good advice huh?

My personal addition to this is that in all honesty, you aren't going to get where you're going any more quickly if this person weren't in your way. I can't even count the number of times I've seen some jerk cutting people off and swerving in and out of traffic while I patiently waited in the lane of my choice, only to find that jerk face and I arrived at the same place several miles away at the same exact time.

Back to my optimistic and positive morning. When I arrived in the office at 8:40, I checked my bosses calendar and it turned out he was up at the hospital for a meeting and hadn't rescheduled our meeting. "Oh well!" I said to myself. Now I can take my time, eat some breakfast, catch up on e-mails and be even better prepared for our meeting whenever it happens.

Yay me! Go optimism!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Be Optimistic...

Don't you be a grumpy, when the road gets bumpy just smile, smile, smile and be happy!

Happy New Year to all my loyal readers! I've never really been one for New Year's resolutions. I always predicted that after about a week I'd relapse back into whatever bad habit I decided to drop, so I rarely bothered.

In the past month or so, however, I have caught myself several times feeling and acting very negatively. It's not pretty. You know those bitchy girls who do nothing but complain and put other people down? You know how you hate them? Yeah, I really don't want to become one of them. I've known many in my short life, and really dislike their poisoning effect on everyone and everything around them.

So here's my resolution: I resolve to be more optimistic and positive in 2009. Now I know some people think I'm overly perky and happy as it is and the thought of more sunshine and butterflies is just too much to handle. My resolution is not to increase my regular level of positivity, instead, I will be attempting to reduce the amount of time I spend in Negative Nelly mode. Stay tuned on this...