On Quality and Quantity

I haven’t posted in here in a while. I know. Especially because, once again, I committed to posting twice a week. I was doing well, too.

But then … I started having trouble coming up with things to write. I haven’t been able to create as much (yet) this month due to other factors, so I couldn’t blog about that. Sure, we did date night (Rodizio, as we do) on Valentine’s Day, but we’ve been quite a few times so what could I really write on that? Or what could I write that would be better content?

We went to the Colorado Home and Garden Show (free thanks to our Botanic Gardens membership!) and I took some photos ideally for a post … but I really didn’t have much to say. Yay, we saw landscaping and a whole bunch of random companies (including one that might help us grade the garage, so that was helpful)? I could have written on that, but it would have been a stupid post.

I’ve read some novellas – guilty pleasure over here is “Pride and Prejudice” fanfiction (no shame), so I’ve bought some and read them, but they’re basically fun crack and I’m not sure what I’d write on them. Maybe I will when I have a few to review.

Therefore, I’ve decided that instead of forcing posts, I’ll write when I have something to say. I think I would prefer quality over quantity, and I know that when I travel, I inevitably end up with multiple posts from each trip and at the end of March I’ll have my quarterly style post and I will have things to say. I’m hoping to still stick with at least once a week, but maybe not. So, I’m hoping to churn out a bit more quality as opposed to a lot of quantity. Thanks for bearing with me!

January Date Night

One of the things B and I are trying to do this year is an established monthly date night. Not the, “oh, well, we’re out and about so date day!” type of things we usually do. Actually planned, actually dressed up, not on our phones, etc.

For January, we started off super basic with your classic date – dinner and a movie. Which, amusingly enough, I’ve never actually done. My first boyfriend took me to a movie on our first date (and mini-golfing), but he didn’t feed me. In hind sight, that simple fact makes me wonder why I kept dating him …

In any case, for the movie, we went to see “Hidden Figures”. We had both heard wonderful things about the film (and I’d seen interesting fun facts regarding the women it’s about in Tumblr posts on Pinterest), and as there isn’t much else* out that we would want to go see (“Moana” again not included), it became our choice.

There were a few things in the movie that were a bit predictable, but it was a great, well-told story nonetheless. And shit, I can’t even get close to math like that.

We did the movie first (backward life) solely so we could eat popcorn. Small, early lunch so we were hungry enough for the popcorn to pretty much destroy the bag during the previews. With our dinner reservations an hour after the movie, we were still plenty hungry to eat dinner.

Dinner was at an old, but trusty standby, in Benihana. Always delicious, but a bit too pricey for a random dinner, so it was a perfect choice for dinner. We both had a drink (B a Blue Moon and me a Pinot Noir), split a Shrimp Lovers Roll, and each got the Splash ‘N Meadow (steak and shrimp) dinner.

We’re not yet sure what February’s date night will be yet, but March’s is booked for the end of Denver Restaurant Week.

* Well, except “Patriot’s Day,” but we’re trying to decide if the Boston Marathon bombings are still too raw for us to be able to get through the film. I couldn’t make it through the trailers without crying and I don’t want to sob the whole film. We’ll probably still see it, though, but at the first showing of the day. Maybe.

On 2017

Over at my triathlon blog, I’ve listed my main 2017 goal as to learn to enjoy the journey.

While good life advice, in this context, I mean it as enjoy the day-to-day life of training. The swim, bike, run, lift, yoga, snowshoe, skate, hike, whatever, all of the little things that make me a (better) athlete. I’ve met a lot of people who like training, but dislike racing. Me? I love racing, but it’s the in between that gets me. Hopefully not this year.

My plan on combating this is to get into the general routine of working out, make it a part of my daily life … and then hopefully I’ll be in the midst of it and realize that I love it.

As for life in general, I’m still working on becoming my best self. I realize I work best when I have direction to my days and a set plan. So, for this year, I bought two fun new planners (side note: when the heck did planners get so damned expensive???) and have planned out my life.

January’s workouts? All planned. February’s? Sketched out, and will be officially planned soon. I’ll sketch March’s plan out as soon as I finalize the details of February.

I came up with a daily task list (things I need to do daily) as well as separate task lists for every day of the week. The daily list contains things spanning from “make bed” to “check laundry” and “upload photos.” Things that can be obvious, yes, but often get neglected. The days-of-week lists include blogs I need to write (in here, Tuesdays and Thursdays!) and parts of the house that need cleaning (I get so behind on dusting, for example, that it’s terrible).

The tasks can get changed/not done if, say, I’m out of town, but a lot of it is just establishing the routines. I’m over halfway done with this month and I feel like it’s been going really well. I feel much more productive than normal, more organized. Happily, I feel as though my house is even cleaner (and with more square footage, this is a very good thing).

I’m also food planning a good week to two weeks out, to make the “what’s for dinner/lunch” question a lot easier. Want to know what food is? Check the calendar! Hopefully this will help us keep our weight in a bit better check as well as save some money.

I’ve also got some hopes of creating a bit more (as always), but this time I’m actually planning it. I had a create day on Monday, and I broke out one of my old sketchbooks for the first time in about five years. I have a creative muscle that is sorely underused, but I’m hoping if, like my biceps and quads, that if I just exercise it, it’ll come back as well.

2016: Year in Review

Apparently I never did a goals post for 2016, but that’s okay; I don’t need to recap any of those (partially because I can’t find my list of the ones I think I made anyway).

In general, though, 2016 was a good year for my husband and I.

– This year meant travel. Southern California, Boston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Tucson, Atlanta, Minnesota, Phoenix, all around the South.

– I gained a nephew.
jax2
John Xavier, a.k.a. Jax.

– I raced one IRONMAN, and almost finished another.

– I sewed two teeny tiny stuffed animals.

– B got hired by a major airline FINALLY, which means that, if I so choose, the end of my coffee career is in sight.

– I gained weight.

– I attended two weddings; a cousin’s, and my dear friend Norm’s.
ne_wedding3
Love this version of a guest book.

ne_wedding8
Norm and Emily.

– I saw “Phantom” again, for the first time in almost 20 years.

– I saw my first movie in theaters since “The Dark Knight Rises” – “Moana.” (Which is awesome. You should go see it.)

– This year meant concerts. Shinedown (twice), Apocalyptica, Sonata Arctica, Disturbed.

All in all, that adds up to being a pretty darn good year (except the whole gaining weight thing).

Holidays, 2016

Not including Thanksgiving.

We kicked off our holiday season with a brunch at our house. Everyone does cocktail parties, so why not switch it up and do a brunch, right?

12-11party
Desserts.

12-11party2
Muffins and lunch stuff.

12-11party3
Bacon and nog toast. Egg nog french toast – only way to consume egg nog. Trust me on this one.

12-11party6
Drinks. Plus we had coffee.

12-11party7
Brandon’s corner (that is, the stuff he made).

This kind of ended up being an epic disaster, with people RSVPing and then not showing up and … terrible. We’re never hosting anything again.

In our continued adulting quest, we finally gave in and got a membership to the Denver Botanic Gardens (partially because they have a reciprocity program as well!). With this membership, we got free tickets to both Blossoms of Lights (at the main York location) and to the Trail of Lights at the Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms. So, off we went to both.

bol3
Blossoms of Light.

bol4
Blossoms of Light.

bol10
Blossoms of Light.

tol2
Trail of Lights.

tol6
Trail of Lights.

tol8
Trail of Lights.

Brandon had to work, but I was able to make the traditional Christmas Eve dinner with my family.

xmas_eve
Trees and presents.

It went about as well as you’d expect holidays with the family to go. My brother put me down, parents mocked me, I hid, I found time to hang out with my niece and nephew, the usual.

I did fly out to Portland on Christmas Day to hang out with B, though, which was nice. The disaster that was getting back home (woo, non-rev travel …), was not.

But I did get to hang out in B’s “office” before he left for NYC on the 26th (well before the flight I was in theory going to take left).

pdx4
Pilot wife life.

Quiet New Year’s in bed, and I am happy the holidays are over.

On The Great Minnesota Get Together

Last year, the husband and I decided to skip Minnesota’s state fair and actually check out Colorado’s. It … was disappointing, to say the least. So, this year, we went back out to Minnesota. Much better.

It was actually a fairly simple trip, as far as fair visits go. Didn’t really try much new (except the apple version of the Minneapple pie), but enjoyed our favorites.

mn_state_fair3
Love the pepper building … even if I’ve never tried their food.

mn_state_fair4
Never ever knew the Fair had a grocery store, but it is a cool little place.

mn_state_fair6
I love cheese curds, but even I don’t think I could eat a family-size bucket of them … *urp*

mn_state_fair7
Scarecrow as part of an exhibit in the Agriculture building.

mn_state_fair9
Agreed.

mn_state_fair13
The fair had these guys around the fairgrounds to take selfies with. We did not.

mn_state_fair14
Because it’s not a fair trip without chickens.

french_meadow_dough-sant2
Mmmm, dough-sant.

fair_corn_dog_smoothie
Tried a smoothie. It was okay. B might be switching up his corn dogs …

mt_cheese_curds2
Not a bucket, but a boat of curds.

fresh_french_fries2
Realized I needed a photo halfway through snarfing these.

fair_fries_shake
Because french fries and chocolate shakes are a fantastic pairing.

minneapple_pie
Our deep-fried pumpkin and apple pies. I loved the pumpkin last time, but having the two together made me like the apple way better.

Pro Bull Riding 2015

Since we so thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at PBR at the Stock Show last year, we decided to go again this year. I also learned the lessons of last year and bought better seats.

Continuing on with the “learning from history” theme, we also chose NOT to eat at the Stock Show itself, choosing instead to go to the Stockyard Saloon, which is basically on the grounds, but outside the paid admission area. The place is fairly old school – our beers were in cans! – but it wasn’t bad. We both had salads, I had a bacon cheeseburger and Brandon had a steak sandwich. The only thing that truly disappointed both of us was that the cheese on the cheese fries? Melted cheddar grossness. Like cheddar sauce, not actual shredded and THEN melted cheese. Some people like that … not me. I like my cheese not in liquid form.

After dinner, we headed into the Stock Show itself for a few moments. We were considering going to a PBR 101 thing, but ended up not quite having enough time. As a lot of the stuff is the same year after year (and Brandon’s foot was killing him), we mostly just hung out near the horses and talked to them before heading over to the Denver Coliseum

The bull riding itself (as well as team penning – got to see that again this year!) was awesome and the new seats weren’t bad. I think if we want truly good seats, we’ve got to hop on them as soon as they go on sale …

(Also: I need a better camera or figure out a better way with my point-and-shoot to get action shots …)

pbr3
Yes, the bull is bucking even though it doesn’t look like it here.

pbr4
Team penning.

pbr5

pbr8