Monday, September 28, 2009

Vote for Lauren!

Hello again! If you could, would you go to this website to vote for my friend Lauren? She entered a contest for best vacation picture, and she definitely has the cutest picture! It's of the way she told her husband that they were having a baby! How adorable is that??

http://www.mix969.com/pages/summer-vacation-photos/vote-entrants.php?gid=1&id=15
Thanks!

Chef Boy-R-Michael

Since you do not see a post about Michael's outing with his Little, you can safely assume that I did not, in fact, successfully persuade him to make a blog post. Alas, blogging might not be his 'thing.'

Moving on! It's been a great week. Last week I was invited to go see the new musical "Legally Blonde" at Gammage Auditorium. I went with my two co-workers, Lauren and Emily, and had a great time!

Friday night Michael and I went to the Diamondback's game with two friends, Stacy and Jon. We hadn't been to a game yet this season, and it was very fun. Please ignore the fact that I look like Casper the ghost in the following picture.


It just happened to be Fireworks Night at the ballpark. It was a surprisingly great show.

Afterward we went out to a bar that is very...cool. It was great people-watching. Beautiful girls in short dresses and tall heels. Tons of makeup and perfectly-chosen accessories. Guys with the oh-so-perfectly coifed hair, designer jeans and Affliction tee-shirts. The ladies were sending out the vibes, the gents were pulling their A-game. This one guy was just trying so hard with every girl he saw, I really felt bad for the guy. Afterward we both agreed that we don't miss being single. :)

Saturday night I got together with two girlfriends, Lyndsey and Jaye. One thing we did when we were together was look through some old pictures from high school. It was so strange to see us being crazy teens, running around town, hanging out, and then to realize that we're still good friends. Now we're at a completely different stage in our lives (getting married, buying houses) and we're still close.

I had wondered what Michael was up to while I was out of the house. Well, I come home to find these little bad boys waiting for me!

He'd baked! He made blueberry muffins and cupcakes! He even made the cupcake frosting from scratch! I knew in that moment that I had truly married the man of my dreams...he makes me sweet treats. I love him.

And just when I thought he couldn't get sweeter, I wake up the next morning to find this sight in the kitchen:

He made pancakes! And not just any pancakes, but cinnamon and vanilla ones! *Sigh* What a dreamboat.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Running Fail.

Michael and I both woke up at 5:30 am to go running this morning. We took different paths, though, and bumped into each other on our warmup walk. I got disproportionately excited when this happened...you wouldn't think I'd seen him only minutes ago. ("Michael!?! Is that you!?!"...it was still dark outside). We ended up running the same distance (a three mile loop) but different routes. I knew he was going to take it easy on this run because he's coming back into it after a few weeks off. So I wanted to be really fast and show him how my hard work from last week paid off (in the form of me being superfit) and he'd be all impressed and proud of me. So I pushed myself to do quicker miles than I have been doing...only to find that he got home before me. Which leads me to conclude that my pushing myself is still < his easy warmup run. :( :(

Just thought I'd share.

Now we'll see if I can talk Michael into posting about his outing with his Little Brother this weekend...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

13.1 Miles

For those of you that don't know, I've signed up to run the P.F. Chang's half marathon in January! I've known for awhile that I should workout more, but that plan always falls through at 6 am when my alarm goes off and I consider how much nicer it would be to sleep another hour rather than get up and go jogging. So I committed to something bigger with the hope that it provide me with some motivation. I signed up for the half marathon and paid $75 to enter, so that alone should get me off my backside in the morning. I don't want to just flush that money down the drain, so I better train! I also printed off a training regimen - I'm currently on day 4 and have already had one blister start to bleed...uulch.

In other news, our landlord, Darlene, has put our condo on the market. I don't blame her at all...she's being sweet enough letting us out of our contract early so we can move into the new place. The problem is that now there are people wanting to come over and visit the house, so we're not allowed to be there. It's only a very small inconvenience. But Michael is being very sweet (nicer than I am, honestly) because he was willing to drive to the house to do some last-minute clean up when he heard that someone wanted to visit the house today.

So since I need to be out of the house tomorrow afternoon (my day off work), I'll be headed out to Gilbert to see JP. He had his shoulder surgery today and I just received word that it went perfectly, thank goodness.

'Au revoir' for now!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Trip to Delaware

Well, the whole family was worried about JP and the trip to Delaware because of his broken arm. Actually, despite the fact that he was in some pain, it wasn't too bad. He was doped up on Vicodin and Ibuprofen the whole time and didn't even complain! What a champ!

Mom and Dad's place in DE is really cute. It is about a half mile away from the beach, directly on a canal that is full of docked boats, and a stones-throw from the quaint little town. Here are Mom and Dad in front of their place. (They are on the third floor, corner)

One way to get up to their place is their own private elevator! It's pretty cozy in there. Here we all are inside:

One common theme of the trip was eating home-made ice cream from the dairies and shops around town. We stopped at one on Rohoboth Beach that had some interesting flavors. In case you can't read them, we've got Lucky Charms, Spinach, Motor Oil, Sweet Corn, Sweet Potato Marshmallow, Better than Sex, and my personal favorite, Chocolate Covered Bacon.

On Saturday we walked to the local Farmer's Market. What a charming town this is! Here's me holding Ol' Whitey, one of the local chickens.
And check out these beautiful mushrooms and a really old church.














Then we went to a small chocolate festival! We each got tickets to redeem for different chocolately snacks. Mom and I were in heaven:








Then we went to the beach. As you can see, I got the least-desirable chair. I have my own thoughts about the reason, one of which being the least-loved offspring. As you can see, I might as well be sitting in the sand! Like a dog! (I kid.) But in true Martin fashion, we had a drink or two out there before heading in from the first few drops of rain. One of the funniest, most random things we did was try to pick a lobster out of this aparatus:
If you got one, it was free! We weren't very successful, although Mom showed her claw-using prowess by getting her lobster completely out of the water before it made a heroic escape. My nemesis:

If there's one thing I hate, it's a smug lobster. And this is one smug lobster. Look at that gleam in his eye. Oh well.

It was a great trip. Very fun. Full of great times and great eating. Thanks Mom and Dad, we had a blast!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

House Update!

We heard back about the appraisal! Turns out... [drum roll, please!]... the house was appraised for...[opening the envelope]... exactly how much we're paying! Yay! It's a little crazy that it came out to be the exact number we came to agree upon with the seller.

Initially I was a little bummed because I hoped the appraisal would come back saying it was worth tons and tons more, then Michael and I could do a jumping high-five that we're getting a smokin' deal. But actually it's good news. It means that we're paying what it's worth and not more. If it had come back that the home was worth less than we were paying, we could have potentially faced the lender not supporting the purchase. It also means that there weren't any seriously flawed characteristics about the home!

And the best part was that our mortgage lender told us that, quote, the house is "a really great buy." This made my heart smile. Can't wait to move in!

Tomorrow I'm leaving on a trip to Delaware to visit my parents. JP fractured his shoulder last night in a daring softball maneuver (!! :( !!) and I'm hoping that he's still planning on going with me. Shannon and Michael are staying home because they don't have the extra vacation time from work. I'm going to miss Michael a ton! But I'll be back on Sunday with lots of pictures for the blog.

So I will leave you for the week with one more picture of an apple-related foodstuff that I created from the apples I picked on Saturday. Home-made applesauce:




And a picture of Kai from last Sunday when we went to the mall with him and JP. Crazy Auntie Julie got Kai in trouble for letting him play in the fountain. :(


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Just call me Julie Appleseed

Michael was busy all day Saturday because of the first ASU football game of the season. He left at 9am and didn't get home until 11pm! He was busy setting up, organizing and preparing for clients, going to the tailgate and taking his clients down to the field during the game! This was his view during a whole quarter:


Since he was so busy, I had the day to myself. I was inspired by the movie Amelie, which we had seen the night before. I wanted to do something good, simple and fun. So I called around to my girlfriends and asked them to go apple picking with me!
We drove up to Wickenburg - about a hour and a half away. We stopped at the cutest little one-room restaurant to eat lunch.
Our date for the afternoon was this guy:

He (and a few more of his firefighter friends) were the pattern of our table.

Then it was time for apple picking! We were given long poles with wire baskets and wire teeth on them to grab the apples. We were also given a wheelbarrow in which to hold our bounty. It was raining a little, so we fashioned ponchos out of garbage bags.












All together, we got 28 lbs of apples, which left us with about 9 lbs each. So what does one do with 9 lbs of apples and a night without her husband? She bakes, of course!
Here is my homemade apple pie (with crust from scratch):


And here are my apple and apricot tarts with crumble topping:

Thursday, September 3, 2009

What's going down on the "home front"

(Get it?) Well, we made our request for repairs and shortly heard back from the sellers. Out of the four items we asked for, they fully agreed to take care of two. They offered to give us several hundred dollars toward repairing the windows, also. While that might seem like a lot of money, the man that did the appraisal said that the windows might add up to $2,000 or so. So that was sort of a bummer. The worst part is that, according to legality issues, we could either accept these terms or walk away from the home. THAT'S IT! No negotiating, etc. We gave it a lot of thought and decided we weren't willing to walk away from 'our' home over that. When it came down to it, we didn't expect them to pay for the whole window problem. We'd hoped they might pay for half, which would have only been $300 more than what they're offering. So are we going to walk over $300? No. Especially not when I've already started planning how I'm going to decorate for Christmas. :)

In other news, we recently celebrated my friend Jaye's birthday by having a wild night of Extreme Scavenger Hunt(ing?)! We separated into Males vs. Females and let the night play out as it may!

There were things that we had to obtain, such as a rose petal, a barbie, a golf ball, a funny hat.

Then there were things we had to take pictures of, like someone with a mullet, a police officer, and the whole group making a pyramid:
We also had to record some videos. Examples of this were: Shooting a basket (and making it), singing 'YMCA', and performing a magic trick.


Don't make fun of me, I know I'm totally lame.

There was also a section on trivia, where you had to name all the states and their capitals. Unfortunately the guys didn't see this part, which was sad because I know Michael would have been PHENOMENAL at this. In the end, the Females won by a few hundred points. So since we won, the guys have to arrange/cook a meal for us ladies! Can't wait!

We also saw Inglorious Basterds with Amy and Erik. I thought it was really good, especially as more time has passed since I saw it. It was just very...interesting! Sad, tense, scary, funny...overall, just very Tarantino.
I've got a 4 day weekend ahead of me, so hopefully I'll have lots to blog about come Monday!