Thursday, June 25, 2009

Much needed vacation

Our trip to the Keys came at the perfect time for us. We really needed a chance to recharge our batteries after some stressful months in the Mortis household. The last night in Key West I realized I was stressfree! There really isn't a point to this particular post. I just wanted to share some of my favorite vacation pictures with everyone. I'll also give a run down of the trip for those interested. BE WARNED THERE ARE MULTIPLE PICTURES!

Once we got to Key West we went out to meet the bride and groom's friends for dinner. The above picture was taken that first night while we were waiting to be seated at the 'restaurant.' I put this in quotes because it was more of a bar that we were just waiting on our reserved seats.

The next day, Friday, we shopped on Duvall Street and around Mallory Square until about 2 p.m. and then we went back to our hotel and got ready for the beach party we would be attending that night. We went to Fort Zachary Taylor beach and had a blast! Then we went out on Duvall Street that night and continued our party.

Saturday was the wedding. It was beautiful. It was in the bride's parent's backyard overlooking the ocean. And it was SUPER hot! They passed out fans for all the guest!

Beautiful! Once the ceremony was over we went to a sushi bar to eat. (I'll post separately about this!)

After the toasts and meal we headed down to the docks again for our Sunset sailboat cruise! BEAUTIFUL. By far our favorite part of the trip!

As you can see 'We're on a boat.' We listened to that SNL song mulitple times while on the boat!

The last day there I finally made it to Hemingway's home! I was super excited to tour the property and learn all about Hemingway's time in Key West. Maybe I'll do a separate post on what I learned there! It was VERY interesting and a great way to cap off our trip!

Last I want to update everyone on my Crocs. ... They were fabulous! I wore them everyday and no blisters! They only time I didn't have them on was for the actual ceremony, but then I put them back on when we went to the sailboat. We did a ton of walking and they held up great. When I noticed they were dirty I jumped in the shower with them on and rinsed them off! Best vacation shoes ever! And it was so hot outside I didn't even notice my feet sweating in them.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Home safely

Well I made if through the first plane ride! I took half a Xanax my sister-in-law gave me. (This is very out of character for me. I DO not support taking another's prescription) I took the half pill about 30 minutes before we boarded. It did not kick in until landing.

Once we boarded I proceeded to read the safety brochure. I learned what to do in a crash or water landing. I was devouring the safety brochure when Mark looked over and saw what I was reading and promptly made me put it away. (e did not feel it was good for my nerves or his.)

I was pretty nervous during takeoff. I felt a few tears escape and I think I made permanent nail indentions in Mark's hand but I made it into the air. I sat by the window and watched the wing. Interesting.

Finally I settled in with my book and neck pillow and got a soft drink. I slept for a bit and before I knew it it was time for the decent. After my short nap I guess my pill took effect because I loved the landing. I kept trying to get Mark to look out the window at all the swimming pools. Evidently it was bumpy and I didn't realize because he was very nervous once we landed.

My pill didn't wear off until after we made it to Miami to buy beachtowels. I was a 'fun' Target shopper that day.

More on the rest of the trip and pictures next time.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Possible meltdown coming

In 12 hours I will be on my first ever plane ride. 

I'm starting to freak out! I was ok. I've been fine. No big deal right? WRONG! It started as a strange feeling in my stomach and it's progressed to me feeling vaguely like I want to throw up!

This happened to me once before...... The infamous Mammoth Cave event. I was fine. I was excited to go in the cave. I kept telling myself 'If Mark can fit I can fit, if Mark can fit I can fit.' Again I was completely fine ... UNTIL I got on the bus to take us to the entrance of the cave. I know have the same feeling in the pit of my stomach that I had while on that bus. At the end of the bus ride there were tears in my eyes. I figure that will come when we make it to Nashville. I'm waiting.

Want to know how that bus ride of doom turned out? Mark entered the cave in front of me (Remember if he can fit I can fit?) I started going down the winding staircase into the pit of the cave when I realized I was crying (uncontrollably) and my legs where shaking to the point my knees started to give out. About this time I hear Mark say 'You are doing so ......' And at that point was when he turned around and looked at me and never got out the word 'great.' He could see me in mid-meltdown. 

That's right at the beginning of Mammoth Cave I began my meltdown and it didn't end until we were exiting the cave. At one point I started to calm down  but then they turned the lights off to show us how dark a cave really is. I could have made it my whole life without seeing the darkness of a cave. 

So with this in my memory I encounter my first airplane ride. Let's hope this feeling in my throat goes away in the next 12 hours, otherwise I'm (Mark) in for a long plane ride!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Let's get packing

Well it's time for a Key West update. Monday I began my packing. I tried on all of my potential outfits. (I had to make sure I looked good in the pictures!) I made sure everything I needed was washed and dried. Then I packed. I packed my wedding attire in my carryon (along with my swimsuit and extra skirt for when I get off the plane.) Everything I packed fit in a nice neat corner of our suitcase. 

So once I got to work I sent Mark a email telling him I was ready to go and he needed to get out all of his clothes to take and pack them in the suitcase while I was at work. When I got home from work last night did I discover that we were ready to leave for Key West? NO I did not. He did nothing. 

So after complaining all last night, I began packing him myself today. So all day before I went to work I matched outfits for Mark to wear. I tried to think about what he would want to wear to ach event and what shirt he would like to wear with which pair of shorts (he has a different system he uses when trying to see what matches) I got all of his underware and undershirts packed away in the suitcase. All that was left was for me to put all those carefully matched outfits away once Mark glanced at them and gave the OK.

So on my dinner break I made him break away from his Xbox and come back to the bedroom to look at the piles of 'perfectly' matched outfits and OK them to be put away. He takes one look at them and starts asking for shirts that aren't out on the bed. And starts moving the stacks around. He wanted different shirts to go with shorts I had picked. Was there any appreciation for the time and energy I had put into those 'perfectly' matched piles? NO there was not. 

But oh well finally he made his own stacks and I loaded them up and put them into the suitcase before he could change his mind. 

So now all of our clothes are packed away and I'm just waiting on some large freezer bags to put our shampoo and body wash in before sticking them into the suitcase. But as I look at the jam-packed case I wonder to myself. ..... Where is my blow dryer going to go? 

I might have to repack tomorrow! :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Here comes the bride

This past weekend was the first big wedding of the season. I have two more to prepare for this summer. This was the biggest for me because I was a bridesmaid. I learned so much this weekend about being in a wedding. (One of them being, I will definitely boss a groom around :) but that's another post)

The first thing I learned was probably the best part of being in a wedding. You get to take your flowers home to enjoy! My wedding flowers were beautiful! And they are going to sit out in my house until they die!

The next thing I learned was more of a wedding tip. Bring comfortable shoes! Every moment I wasn't getting my picture taken or walking down the aisle, I had my Crocs on. I was worried at one point I might forget to change out of them.  And my feet thanked me at the end of the night!

The last lesson is definitely just a tip. This tip is for the wedding rehearsal. Make fun practice bouqets. Everyone love ribbon flowers! We saved all the bows from the bride's showers and used them to make practice bouquets. They make the rehearsal pictures super cute! I did them for my wedding and I made my friend do them for hers.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Way to my heart

When I came home from work tonight Mark had this waiting for me. He really knows the way to my heart. :) I didn't even ask him to get me some. I just love him.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

In bloom

My African Violet is growing like a weed just the way I like it. I just had to share what a little African Violet Miracle Grow will do. Looking at this plant in my window everyday really makes me smile.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Just another day in the neighborhood

Since I've been listening to the scanner traffic tonight and it is directed at my street, I thought I would reprint this note I wrote on Facebook. This note is from the first week of February but it accurately describes the street where I live. 

Mark and I were very excited to pick out our first place to live two years ago. We picked a place in the same neighborhood our families live in and thought nothing of it. We live on a nice sounding street by the name of Spring Garden, which evokes such thoughts of flowers and sunshine. Well our street is anything but. While sitting at my desk in the newsroom, I hear a call over the scanner to our lovely road about once a week. It turns out we live on the crime-ridden street of our 'nice' neighborhood. 

Last night I was the one making the call for help over the police scanner.

Mark and I settled down to go to sleep around 12:30 am. Mark had just dozed off and I was snuggling in when what did we hear but a loud bang. This isn't that unusual on our street, but our dog took off bounding out of the room to defend our little place from harm. So I got up to investigate. 

Upon looking out the window I saw headlights shining in our direction and while I was trying to figure out why the car was parked with lights on perpendicular to our apartment, my husband yells....'Oh my gosh they are fighting!' On further inspection I noticed that our neighbors are screaming profanities at each other (Yes we could hear word-for-word what was being screamed outside). Then right in plain view in front of the stage lights (headlights) was a woman kicking at a man. Not just light little brushes with her foot, we are talking straight out Tae Bo. Then the man proceeds to push her off of him and THEN as I'm dashing for the phone to call the police about the street brawl breaking out in front of my eyes....Mark yells 'She's trying to kick out his headlights!' And sure enough that's what I see when I rush back to the window.

So now I'm dialing 911 and the little man picks up and asks my emergency .... so I tell him about the street brawl happening in front of my eyes. But then I'm like 'Wait Wait I think they are breaking it up. They're getting back in their cars!' 'WAIT NO she's speeding off!' 

Now right across the street from by four-plex is my brother's duplex. Parked in front of his duplex is his big, red Ford F-150. This woman floors it almost crashing head on into his big, stationary wall. But nope she sees it just in time and swerves out of the way. And now I think she's going into the four-plex next door's front yard. (I'm giving the 911 operator a play-by-play to this effect) But nope she over-corrects going in the opposite WAIT she's overcorrecting again and she's on two wheels!!! To which I yell into the phone "I THINK SHE'S CRASHING!!!!!" Now I'm for sure she's flipped her car next door.....she's gone out of my viewing area. But then after what feels like forever. I see her floor it again and take off down Spring Garden! To which I relay to the operator 'Nope nope there she goes again!' (I'm sure at this point he's utterly confused) Not only is she flying down the street but her 'boyfriend' proceeds to fly after her.

At this point in the story I turn it over to the local law enforcement. The operator says he has people on the way. Mark and I debated getting in our car and following them because that's the kind of people we are. We decided not to and instead I called and woke up my brother to tell him what just occurred outside our window and then I debated calling everyone in my cell's phone book to tell them also. ( I didn't) It took us until 2 a.m. to calm down and go back to sleep.

(UPDATE: Both vehicles survived the night. I've seen them across the street today. I'm guessing the law enforcement never caught up with them.)

Just another day in the neighborhood.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Officially becoming a 'Monica' part 2

So after scavenger hunt defeat you would assume I had enough 3 a.m. games right? Wrong.

A surprise game is about to take place. So cousin, 10-year-old, and other cousin and his friend decide to play. I've found some water and breathing has returned to normal at this point. Out-to-get me grump or OTGMG tells us the rules to this new game. We have to have one player run and get balloons and take them back to the group. Then the group must blow up balloons and tape them together making a tower. The person with the tallest tower wins. Sounds easy enough and there is no running. So I'm in. I'm ready to win.

Well first OTGMG tells us we will have to share masking tape with other groups because there isn't enough for each group to have their own. Fine whatever. So I start with a roll of tape. OTGMG starts the time! Group member runs out and grabs balloons. Brings them back and drops them in the middle of our circle. I start pulling off big strips of tape and passing them around. OTGMG yells that we must pass our tape to another group. I pull off one more long piece and pass mine on to the group beside me. We all start blowing up balloons. I take a deep breath and blow into my red balloon. I almost pass out. I feel the stadium start to spin around me. Great I'm not recovered from my marathon! 

So we start by taping four balloons together as a base. Then we start taping balloons one on top of the other. (These aren't average balloons. There are regular, water balloons and long skinny balloons. Of course we grabbed a bunch of tiny water balloons.) So we start piling our balloons up and we get a really tall tower. OTGMG calls time.

We look around. OTGMG announces that it's between our group and another group of 14 year olds. Great. There tower is between two chairs which appears to be propping it up. I, of course being the Monica that I am, point this out to OTGMG. Then OTGMG wants us to move our tower over to their tower to compare. Well that is an injustice! Why do we have to move our tower and they don't I ask OTGMG. She ignores me. So we move it over. In the course of moving our tower, it starts to droop. Great. Now our tower is even with their tower. I continue to say ours is tallest and it isn't fair that we had to move our because it fell a bit. ALSO upon further inspection of 14-year-olds tower we notice that they have wrapped theirs in tape. WHAT!!?? (Do you think Monica would not point out that we were supposed to pass our tape on and didn't have enough time to wrap tape around all balloons? No she would not! She would loudly call foul, just as I did. OTGMG did not care.) At this point someone's mother is glaring at my team and saying how they think 14-year-olds' tower is tallest. And all other teams jump on this bandwagon. OTGMG decides not to find measuring device or think for self tells us the everybody votes for them so they win. 

WHAT! Cheated again!!! And to top it off 14 year olds give us a smug look as they walk past with their free prize T-shirts. 

And it is all I can do to remember I'm at a family, charity event and not run up and grab T-shirt away from smug little girls and run off (as this is what Monica would do). So what do I do instead? I quit playing games and go pout at my campsite. I knew there was a reason I don't play games.

Officially becoming a 'Monica' part 1

I had a great time at Relay last night. I found my aunt's luminary and walked around the track with my cousin. It was a great night. Until the games began.

That's right I broke down and played some games. Most of my family and some of my friends know that I am highly competitive and a sore loser. I like to win. I hate to lose. If I lose or start to lose I may throw a fit or quit or both and then pout. So in the spirit of the night I decided it would be great fun to participate in the games that took place around 3 a.m.

And the fun began.

The first game I played was a scavenger hunt. My cousin -20, a team member - roughly 22, another team member, around 10 or 11 and myself - a out-of-shape 27-year-old all joined up to win! Well one team member had to sit in a chair and all the other team members lined up behind then designating that they were on a team together. Cousin sits in the chair and I get behind her ready for our first item to find. 

(It must be pointed out that this game was taking place on the 50-yard line of the football field. All the campsites surround the football field. Once you get your item you have to be the first to go find said item and rush back to the 50-yard line. Last team back is eliminated)

Well once we are all here waiting the 'judge' (I use this term loosely and like to call her out-to-get me grump or OTGMG) OTGMG announces that the person who sat in the chair gets to sit there and wait for other team members to bring back items and hand them off. Great! I didn't make the right choice. Oh well that's ok. I'm going to WIN! 

So the first clue is announced. Wallet ..... with SS card inside! OMG where am I going to get that you aren't supposed to carry that around with you! But cousin in chair yells 'IN MY PURSE IN BACK OF MOM'S CAR' And I'm off! I run 50-yards through kids playing football to the end of the field, across the track into the tents and to my aunt's car! (Who is asleep in said car and alarmed to find me flinging open car door) I rummage through cousin's purse and come out with wallet. Not even stopping to check on card I dash back through the tents and across track, through the football playing kids and across 50 yards to get wallet with card inside to cousin sitting in chair. As I'm running I can see cousin and cousin's friend yelling at me. Thinking I must hurry I pump my arms as fast as I can and go at top speed to 50-yard line. I fling wallet at cousin and immediately fall over to catch my breath only to find out I beat everyone back (by minutes) and they were trying to tell me I could slow down and not move into warp speed. Whatever I came in first in round one!

Now all the other kids make it back and we move onto the next item. I'm listening.....and it's a frisbee! I know exactly where that it! I run (at semi-warp speed) back through playing kids, across 50 yards, over track and to the tents where I grab frisbee (promising strangers I will return it) and fly back across track and 50-yards and kids playing football. As I'm running (flying) back to cousin in chair I see her yelling at me and this time realize that she's saying I can slow down. As I start to slow down then she switches her thoughts and says 'NO SOMEONE'S CATCHING UP!!' So I switch back to warp speed and barely be to cousin in chair in front of 14 year old sprinter! But I made it again! I'm first! WHOO HOO I beat you all! 

Last item. It's between my team and a team full of junior high and early high school gazelles. As I try to regain my composure because frisbee run has wiped me out 10-year-old team member says 'Don't worry I'll go with you this time and run the item back to cousin in chair.' I'm like great sounds awesome. So OTGMG tells us to go find nail clippers! I look at cousin in chair and yell 'WHERE ARE THE NAIL CLIPPERS?!' She's like I have no idea you'll have to go find some. So I hobble across 50 yards, through kids playing football, over the track and into the tents all while yelling at strangers that I NEED NAIL CLIPPERS! While they are searching their various bags, I run to aunt's car, wake her up again by banging on her window while making a clipping motion with my hands and yelling 'DO YOU HAVE CLIPPERS!?' She doesn't. So finally someone finds some in their car and hands them to me and I hand off to 10-year-old with healthy kid legs. He starts running for cousin in chair and I start crawling back to cousin in chair. 

WE LOST!!!! Stinkin' 14 year olds beat us! I knew better than to play a game!

Friday, June 05, 2009

In honor of tonight

Tonight is Relay for Life in my town. I'll be going once I get off work. Going to Relay for Life means a lot to me because my aunt died of breast cancer. She was only 37 when she died. She received her diagnosis in the fall of my junior year of high school and died the spring of my senior year. My high school memories will forever be marked by her battle and because of this I think of my aunt everyday. Because of her young age, I think it is a testament to others to keep up on all their cancer screenings. I know every summer I make a trip to get a skin cancer screening. Women should not only get skin cancer screenings but ladies you should feel your breasts! It's very important to catch cancer early! So tonight I will be walking in honor of my aunt. She will always be in my heart and on my mind.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Getting the jitters

My first ever plane ride is coming up soon! I'm going to south Florida with all Mark's friends to celebrate the wedding of one of his best friends. It's going to be so much fun. But as the day draws near, I'm getting more and more nervous about all aspects of flying!

I'm terrified of actually being in the plane. (Not terrified as in my extreme phobia, that would be caves) I'm really nervous that I will be afraid while on the plane but more than anything I'm nervous about packing! I know there are many rules when it comes to what you can take on the airplane with you and I'm worried about violating this rule and being detained. I know I'm completely ridiculous. 

I'm also worried about the actual packing part. I'm not a light packer. I like to cover all occasions, temperatures and events when going on a trip. I have to share a suitcase on this trip with my husband, who is quite a bit bigger than I and his clothes take up lots more room than mine do. I'm afraid I will get cheated out of suitcase space! I may be small but I have lots of stuff!

So as I prepare of the trip, I'm sure I'll come up with many more instances to experience fear. We'll see how I deal with narrowing down which shoes to pack. I'm sure it won't be an easy day.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

On the bandwagon

I broke down and bought those very ugly, popular shoes last weekend. I got myself my very first pair of Crocs. I've been wearing them to work the last two days and on first impression they are comfortable. But they make my feet feel sweaty. I'm not for sure how I like that. Hopefully they will be comfortable for my upcoming trip to Key West. That is the real reason I bought the shoes. We'll see.