In honor of the upcoming new year, I decided to swipe this quiz I came across, and post my answers.
1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
Ran a 1/2 marathon, remodeled a kitchen, painted an entire houses' interior, had teeth pulled.
2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Most of them, yes. I definitely have more planned for 2009, though.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
4. Did anyone close to you die?
5. What countries did you visit?
None outside of this one.
6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
Flatter abs. Sleeping in past 6:30 am.
7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Friday, April 25: We finally closed on the house
Monday, August 4th: Andrew took the day off for my birthday, and we had a fun family lunch (with wine!) and then he surprised me with great gifts and a night (sans Benjamin) on the town. Nevermind we were home before 10 pm!
Saturday, October 11: Ran in my first 1/2 marathon!
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Mothering a sweet, polite, happy toddler.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Not nipping the television in the bud early on...the horrible recovery from the wisdom teeth set a bad precedent for the year. We're getting back on a television-less (well, greatly reduced) track now, thankfully.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Our house. But since we owe the bank on that for the next couple of decades, I am going to follow up with a hot pair of True Religion jeans that fit like they were custom made for me. Even if my sister makes fun of the stitching on them.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Emily...she impresses me every day by her ability to juggle grad school, work and maintaining her home. I am so proud of her accomplishments, and can't wait to celebrate her official graduation in a few months!
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Nobody, really. Maybe my realtor. She ticked me off at the end of the drama with closing on the house.
14. Where did most of your money go?
House, and the rest is vanishing in the stock market.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Buying Andrew a super-awesome Tag Heuer for Christmas. Throwing his 30th birthday party, and Benjamin's constantly expanding vocabulary.
16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
Flo'Rida's Low...So silly, I know, but one of my favorite nights of 2008 was heading out on the town (of Baltimore) with Holly and Rebecca. Plus, I don't think a single day passes without me saying "boots with da fur." Seriously.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Happier. MUCH!
b) thinner or fatter? Thinner.
c) richer or poorer? We spent a LOT of money this year, but in the grand scheme of things, I am definitely richer. And of course, I am rich with love and friends and family.
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
20. How did you spend Christmas?
My favorite way ( minus being sick)......in NY, with my husband, son, and family. It consisted of great food, great wine, great company, and lots of gorgeous gifts.
21. Did you fall in love in 2008?
22. What was your favorite TV program?
Er, I watch too much TV. It's probably what I should have put aboved for number 19...Gossip Girl, Lipstick Jungle, The Office are the first things that come to mind.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
No. I think hate is a wasted emotion. If someone is so unimpressionable, I just forget about them.
24. What was the best book you read?
It'd probably be bad to say Twilight, right?
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Kate Nash. I love angry British music.
26. What did you want and get?
A Burberry Scarf, and some cosmetic dental work.
27. What did you want and not get?
A sub-2 hour (official) half marathon time. I ended up doing a training 13.1 run in 1:54 a couple of weeks ago, so now I just need to do a re-do!
28. What was your favorite film of this year?
Juno was great, although, I think I saw that in 2007...
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 29, and I spent it with the boys. Andrew surprised me with a sitter and took me out for margaritas and Mexican food. It was fantastic. I spent the end of the evening catching up with an old friend on email.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
Fun! I got some great pairs of designer denim, and a great (much smaller than previously) summer wardrobe. I am definitely a nice jeans and a cute-top/sweater kind of girl though. I don't even own a pair of dress pants in my current size!
32. What kept you sane?
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I love Justin Timberlake. Can't help it. I also have a girl-crush on Scarlett Johannsen.
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Jeopardizing a woman's right to make choices with her body.
35. Who did you miss?
LOTS of people...I feel so far from most of the people I love.
36. Who was the best new person you met?
Beth and her family, as well as Allison and JD. They are fun friends who are just easy to be around.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
It's great to make everyone around you happy, as long as you don't entirely sacrifice yourself. I am much less of a people-pleaser than I was a year ago.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are gray. You'll never know dear, how much I love you. Please don't take my sunshine away."
Probably because I've sung it at least 729 times so far, this year.
Happy New Year!
~Courtney posted at 2:21:31 PM
Update to our VERY well heated house... Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I mentioned it briefly below, but we walked into a 94 degree house after having been out of town for a week. You got it! Our thermostat went while we were unable to manually fix the problem. Can't WAIT for the electricity bill.
So, we called the company who did the HVAC in this house, because we are covered by their warranty, and he was able to come out yesterday afternoon. We quickly figured out that it was the thermostat, and alas, it was covered until 12/31/2008! Woot.
Well, it would have been covered until tomorrow if the morons who lived here previously didn't replace the manual thermostat with a more fancy digital thermostat.
Specifically one that was meant for a gas furnace...NOT the airpump system that we have.
In a nutshell, the gas-thermostat only had two options, so the brainiac who set it up decided to plug it into the "emergency heat" option, and any time our heat clicked on, it was automatically the more powerful, back-up heat meant for when the weather is really cold.
So, moving forward, we're confident that our electricity bill will drop (it doubled the first month we started using heat...and we don't even use it THAT much since it's been so warm here).
Onto the next project...bathroom renovation.
~Courtney posted at 9:37:07 PM
Trunki! Monday, December 29, 2008
Lots of posts today...but this is for the moms who travel!
He's currently riding it around the house saying "let's go! vacaaaashun. Sooootcase!"
~Courtney posted at 6:56:19 PM
So, this is annoying... Monday, December 29, 2008
This girl just backed into me (well, Andrew's car) in the Target parking lot. Thankfully, a witness (the lady who wanted my spot) came over to my car to give me her number. And, the girl who hit me admitted that it was totally her fault, and didn't even bother writing down the witness' name...but still, it messed up the bumper of the car, and annoyed me.
Figures. I planned to run a few errands, and even took the effort to look super-cute (read, NOT in jeans) to do so...only to get thwarted in the Target parking lot. Boo.
~Courtney posted at 6:26:32 PM
Funny Conversation Monday, December 29, 2008
Me: Hey, do you want to see if Charlotte can babysit one afternoon this week so we can go see Twilight?
Andrew: HA! We're going to have a 16 year old girl come and watch our kid so we can go to a 16 year old girl's movie. Awesome.
~Courtney posted at 1:25:19 PM
Home Sweet Home Monday, December 29, 2008
We are safely back in Northern Virginia after a long day in the car yesterday. When we pulled into the driveway, Benjamin yipped "We're HOME! Hot diggity dog!"
Of course, I had taught him hot diggity dog during the drive, but that really didn't make it less funny.
Andrew was the best chauffeur that we could have asked for; I didn't have to drive a mile of the nine hour trek. Awesome. I did offer, but since I left my glasses at home, he was more than willing to make the sacrifice.
I learned a few things during our travels.
The big one is that I am most likely allergic to shellfish. Awesome, since I live in crab-central. To say I am bummed would be an understatement, but am glad to have the "why have I gotten sick the last two holidays?" question answered. I am going to have the tests done to confirm this when I go to the doctor later this month.
Secondly, despite the madness of getting out the door last Monday, I am SO glad I took the time to leave the house spotless (sadly, not its default state, with a toddler and all). It was SO nice to walk in and have it so organized. "Party ready" is my goal for house-keeping in 2009.
Not so nice (but good to know), on the subject of my home, will be the electricity bill for this month. We had set the heat at a low, but reasonable temperature for while we were away, but the HVAC system had alternate plans. It was NINETY FOUR degrees in the house when I walked in. Yes. Ninety four degrees. The door to the little bathroom was closed, so I am guessing it was over 100 in there. The seat of the toilet was hot to the touch.
It was 57 degrees outside, so we slept with all of the windows open last night. Luckily, the HVAC system is all under-warranty. I need to call them today.
That's about it from here. Benjamin and I are letting the chauffeur sleep in this morning, and we are just hanging out, playing with all of the new toys that we got. I need to "catch up" on my running a bit, and run some errands, but we're looking forward to a week of relaxation, some work projects, and working on the guest bathroom.
~Courtney posted at 8:28:17 AM
Lake Placid Saturday, December 27, 2008
Dad, Karen, Andrew, Benjamin and I headed over to lovely Lake Placid for the day. It was cold and rainy, but we had a lovely time wandering around, and a great lunch at The Cottage.
Here is a snapshot of the fam taken in the same spot as a few of our favorite wedding pictures from a few years ago!
~Courtney posted at 8:44:01 PM
And when it's cold outside... Saturday, December 27, 2008
...you make a big bonfire! What else?
Although reluctantly, at first, we decided to go out to Em and Brian's house to make a bonfire, and roast some marshmallows last night. It was a blast, and a beautiful night outside.
Benjamin was tentative at first, but once he was assigned the role as assistant stick-into-fire-thrower, he was quite content to be out there. I think, and it might just been the lack of opposable thumbs in his mittens, that he was giving us the thumbs up.
Here are a few shots of the fam enjoying smores, fire and some more sledding.
At this point, he was still saying "go inside, please."
Marshmallow roasting fun!
Despite the sad looking face, he was actually having a great time.
Poppa joined us a little later, since he and Brent enjoyed the nice afternoon to go cross-country skiing.
Brian...the ultimate fire-master!
Finishing up the evening with some sledding.
Mom and Ron switched cars with us so they could get Benjamin back to their house, and Andrew and I could meet up with Dad, Karen, and eventually Emily and Brian again, to go and see this movie. I thought it was great, although just a tad longer than I like to sit for. But, the story was great, and it was fun to go out with everyone.
We went out for a night-cap at Maxfields, and then called it a night. Well, I did. Andrew stayed up way too late watching TV with Brent and Ron.
Benjamin had a blast staying up too late with his Nana and Poppa, and we appreciated the chance to get out alone!
Thanks, to everyone, for a fun night!
~Courtney posted at 8:27:39 AM
Merry Christmas! Thursday, December 25, 2008
We've been busy enjoying ourselves in NY this week, but I wanted to share a few pictures from our visit with the fam!
We headed over to my dad and Karen's house for dinner, drinks and presents last night and had a fantastic time! We were spoiled rotten, per usual, and loved getting a chance to just relax, and watch Benjamin run around.
This morning, Benjamin opted to wake up well before the sun, but thanks to the spectacular PlayStation Portable, we were able to entertain him with some Dora until it was a more acceptable hour to ask the other people in the house to get up to see what Santa brought.
He brought a lot.
Although, those gifts under the tree weren't Santa's presents, and are still wrapped and under the tree. Minimalism is far from a strength in our family!
Benjamin got VERY excited over his toys, including a HUGE (stuffed, although, I swear he is staring at me) yellow lab that is bigger than him from Poppa and Nana, and then a bunch of Thomas trains, a helicopter, a football (thanks, Uncle Brian! HA!), some books and a ton of other things.
It's, it's, it's...A BOAT!
So, after a big breakfast, we headed outside to test out the new boat (sled) and hiked in the fields across the street to get some bigger hills. Benjamin was ALL about the sledding until he took a tumble and scratched up his face a bit. He recovered quickly, although, opted to be pulled around, and avoided any downhill slopes.
I took the opportunity to sneak out for a nice, quick 5-mile run while he was snoozing, and now we're just relaxing and tidying up for the festivities (um, yay filet and lobster!). Brent, Emily and Brian should be joining us soon, and I can't wait!
Merry Christmas! I hope you are enjoying this holiday with the ones who you love the most!
~Courtney posted at 3:28:46 PM
Thoughtful! Saturday, December 20, 2008
Andrew's office is a very small spin-off of their HQ, and since there was not a big party planned, I suggested hosting a smaller get-together for the VA office at our house.
It was this afternoon, and we had a great time! I think everyone did. I think there were over 20 people in our house at one point in time, and everyone seemed to have a really nice afternoon relaxing with good food, good wine, and good company.
I got a few hostess gifts, including the most adorable bottle of wine, EVER. I would have thought it was adorable if it were "Hilda's Angels," but the fact that it was COURTNEY'S ANGELS made it even better. It makes me think of a card that my BFF Tera sent me a million years ago. And Ya Ya Sisterhood. And Leah. And home. And all kinds of fantastic from the past
Anyhow, this totally rocked my socks!
~Courtney posted at 7:29:27 PM
Having a hard time naming this post... Saturday, December 20, 2008
One appropriate title could be "Why Courtney shouldn't have put her bags from Pottery Barn into the car and then gone to Williams-Sonoma after promising Andrew she was only going to Pottery Barn."
Or, perhaps, "It's a damn good thing that Courtney is no longer single (because the cab ride home would have been really expensive, although, it's unlikely Courtney would have a car that requires a fancy key if she were still single)."
Or, "Thank goodness Andrew has a great sense of humor."
Or, maybe, "Who uses pay phones these days? Today? Me!"
Or..."Had I known I was going to stand in the parking lot for 30 minutes, I would have brought my gloves."
Or, "sure, you can have my (awesome) parking spot if you can figure out how to help me get into my car."
Okay, enough silliness. I wanted to hit up the Pottery Barn outlet this morning, even though our time was limited, so I zipped the 18 miles out to the Leesburg outlets, and got some GREAT deals at the Pottery Barn store. They were large, awkward and heavy, so I took them to my car.
So, I put them in the back, and thought "what the heck, I'll pop into Williams Sonoma, too."
Upon returning to my car I found out, alas, the power/strange key wasn't opening the door. Um, okay.
Man patiently waiting for my parking spot started to become impatient, so I waved him on and said I wasn't leaving.
Well, I wasn't. I couldn't get the emergency key OUT of the key itself, and had no way to get in my car.
And my cell phone was at home. On the couch.
I dug for change, and figured I had enough for a pay-phone. Just recently I told someone that the pay-phone must be nearly obsolete...let's hope I am wrong with that thought!
Anyhow, there were no pay-phones in the food court, but the nice girl behind the info desk let me call Andrew from their phone.
Thankfully, he answered the phone with the odd number on the caller ID. And even more thankfully, he loaded Benjamin back into the car to come and deliver the other key. Or at least pick me up.
So, fast forward a LONG time later, or so it seemed, and alas, the 2nd key didn't open the door, either. BUT, the emergency key easily came out of that one, so Andrew opened the door with the key (which, by the way, sets off the alarm) and then started the car with the full key.
I almost told him I was going to pick up a couple other things, but figured, at this point, it'd be best to just go home.
So, I drove home behind the boys, and when I pulled in the drive-way, like habit, locked my car with the key. It locked. So, just for giggles, I tried to unlock it.
Yep, it's worked fine since then. Both of them. It's like something was re-set I guess? No idea. So, I have no clue what happened, but it's going into the Saab dealership on Monday morning to avoid the embarrassment of spending another Saturday morning standing next to the car, telling people, "No, I am not leaving."
~Courtney posted at 1:45:46 PM
Official Cookie Tester... Friday, December 19, 2008
The Official Cookie Tester thinks that the peanut butter cookies are okay, but swiping the Hershey Kisses and "hiding" is much better than okay.
~Courtney posted at 10:05:19 AM
Santa is my... Thursday, December 18, 2008
When dad is away, mom gets to play (dress-up).
Or, at least I get to dress B in clothes that Andrew would otherwise roll his eyes at...
Benjamin, per usual, was the most fashionable kid at Gymboree today.
~Courtney posted at 9:25:18 PM
Amazing Thursday, December 18, 2008
My father in law just sent the link to this YouTube video. O Holy Night happens to be my favorite Christmas carol, but this is, hands down, the most amazing performance I've ever heard of it!
~Courtney posted at 6:57:31 PM
It could be a long couple of days here... Wednesday, December 17, 2008
After dropping Andrew off at the airport this morning, Benjamin has reminded me, over and over and over again, that "we forgot daddy at the airport! Go get daddy at the airport."
~Courtney posted at 3:51:29 PM
Report Card for Benjamin Saturday, December 13, 2008
Creative thinking and Imaginative Play: A+++
"Oh no! The squirrel ate baby jaguar!"
Potty Training: F for success, C for effort.
Just sitting there begging for toilet paper to put in the potty does not equate potty training.
~Courtney posted at 10:18:04 AM
The sweetness... Friday, December 12, 2008
The sweetness of Benjamin's "bye bye mommy, I love you!" just got a little less sweet.
He's playing with his trash truck right now, mostly with little pieces of paper I crumpled up to be "trash," and as he drops them down into the back of the truck says "bye bye trash, I wuv you. Muah."
Okay, so maybe it's more sweet, since there isn't much in the world that can top his love of the trash truck.
~Courtney posted at 9:10:37 AM
The temptation begins... Thursday, December 11, 2008
I was able to wrap the bulk of our Christmas gifts (well, all that have been delivered) while Andrew was in Colorado this week, and was a tad worried that Benjamin would unwrap them all.
He was definitely curious, but seemed to leave them alone.
Until yesterday. A bunch of gifts came in yesterday with shiny bows, snowman wrapping paper (mine are a boring silver), and bright colors.
There is one, big snowman gift from his WA grandparents that is driving him CRAZY. He just walked over to me with a piece of tape (from aforementioned package) and said "oh, the sticky tape GOT ME."
So, as festive and fun as my Christmas tree looks, I am thinking I might need to put some of the more appealing looking packages upstairs in a closet for now.
Full disclosure: It's in his genetic makeup to be a snoop. I TOTALLY was. This might be the first year EVER that my sister will be surprised about her gift. We always "exchange" pre-holiday. Scratch that. She knows what she's getting.
~Courtney posted at 8:40:04 AM
Of COURSE Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Of course the first night that Andrew has traveled for work in 6 months is the night that Benjamin is up at 2 am.
Of course he ends up in my bed.
My question, though, is how on earth can someone who weighs under 32 lbs take up 90% of a queen-sized bed?
~Courtney posted at 6:30:04 AM
Today's Benjaminisms Monday, December 08, 2008
In Target parking lot to a high schooler wearing short shorts and tall Uggs:
"Hey! Hi! HEWOOOO? No pants. It's cold outdoors."
In bathtub tonight, dropping toys onto piles of bubbles:
"Bye bye bubbles. In the HOLE. Hole of bubbles. I love you. Muah."
Other recent funnies include Sunday, at my race, when there were 2 balloons that had slipped away and temporarily planted themselves at the top of the room. Benjamin walked around saying (to anybody who would listen) "Oh NO! Need a ladder. Or a rope." He is really into lassos right now...awesome.
And finally, when it's dark, he doesn't want to turn on the light. Instead, he says "Hi mommy, I need a flashlight, please."
He cracks me up at least once an hour, lately!
We had a really nice day, and I think I've convinced him to not open the presents (not for him) wrapped under the tree. We'll see.
~Courtney posted at 9:42:49 PM
And, to follow up the best 5k... Sunday, December 07, 2008
I had my best 10K this morning!
I was running hard this time, and finished in 52 minutes. It's a personal record, and I got 3rd in the 25-29 female age group!
I had heard a rumor that the 2nd half was a lot harder than the first, and am glad I saved some energy for the hills at the end!
Here is the comparison from my GPS watch...the gray line is the elevation, and blue is the speed...so yeah, the 2nd half was definitely a climb!
~Courtney posted at 11:43:20 AM
My best 5k ever! Saturday, December 06, 2008
My absolute WORST time, but that is entirely irrelevant with the "bestness" of my morning.
As I've probably demonstrated on this blog lately, despite being a stay-at-home-mom, I have far too much time on my hands. And quite frankly, it's time to invest some of it in a way to help others.
Actually, it's less time, and more like a piece of me is missing. So, I've been trying to figure out a way to intertwine the things I love to do, in a way that I can help someone else out.
So, a great friend T volunteered as a coach for her local chapter of Girls on the Run, so I looked around, and we have a HUGE chapter here in Northern Virginia.
Anyhow, I volunteered to be a runner buddy in the race today. There are a lot of girls who have parents who can't run, for a number of reasons, and runner buddies are people in the community who lend a hand (well, two feet...) and fill the role as a partner for the girl.
I was matched up with a little 9 year old girl from a school about ten miles from me. Her family immigrated from Peru four years ago. Both of her parents were there to cheer her on. It was only 20 degrees when we started! She told me she actually hated running, and asked when the first (I didn't tell her it was the SOLE) water stop was at .15 miles into the race.
But, she totally rocked it. We walked a bunch, but I was able to encourage her to run to the next stop light, or walk until we hit the speed zone sign, but then run to the school bus up ahead.
We finished in 41 minutes and change, but somehow I pumped her up enough to really push through it. She told me she wanted to sprint the end so her parents would think she ran the entire time.
She did sprint the last .15 miles, and we held hands across the finish line.
After meeting up with her parents, she didn't seem to hate running quite so much. Her mom said she was going to sign her up in the spring session, and her dad committed to running the 5k in the spring with her. Her eyes lit up like light bulbs when he said that, and it really melted my heart!
Anyhow, I am still defrosting, and trying to complete the application to be a coach for a team in the spring, or more likely, next fall.
I am so so so so incredibly passionate about a few things in my life. Obviously, my family, running and shopping (kidding) are at the top of that list, but one less-known thing that also tops the list is finding a way to help instill a strong sense of self-esteem and pride in girls during those awkward pre-teen years.
I am so excited, and hope to be able to participate in a much greater capacity in the upcoming months. This is RIGHT up my alley!
~Courtney posted at 10:28:46 AM
Generic Friday, December 05, 2008
So, this is quite random, but it was on my mind this morning when I was fighting with a piece of Target brand tin-foil that didn't want to cover my bowl.
I love shopping. That's no secret. I love saving money when I shop...it's almost a game for me. Also not a secret. In many, many cases, I find it totally appropriate to buy generic things. I prefer the store-brand "Eating Right" frozen meals over Lean Cuisines. Many of the store-brand cereals, snacks, etc., have no high fructose corn syrup in them, while the big named products do.
I've partially overcome my obsession with pretty packaging and can get the generics of many household products (except cleaning...we buy environment and kid friendly stuff for a lot of those items). I prefer buying my paper towels in bulk at Target over Costco because they offer the plain white ones (I am freakish about this) in the select-a-size, while my Costco does not.
BUT. And this is a big but. There are just some things that should not be purchased generic. My list, and I know I have more that I can't think of includes:
Related to above, but Fluff
As of recently, tin foil
This is, by no means, all inclusive. And yes, totally random.
I'd love to hear what you refuse to go generic on, too!
~Courtney posted at 4:53:02 PM
It's no fun if you can't laugh at yourself... Monday, December 01, 2008
I think every dad that I know has this shirt, by the way. And that totally cracks me up.
~Courtney posted at 7:48:30 PM
Benjamin: The snake. Monday, December 01, 2008
If you know Benjamin, you probably know that he's a not-so-awesome eater. In fact, his outright refusal to try new things, his distaste for vegetables, and inability to ingest protein unless it's battered, deep fried, and comes in a box with golden arches and a toy, allows me to say that his eating is pretty craptacular.
He can also go a couple days at a time with eating nothing but water and a waffle. The only Thanksgiving food he even tried was cranberries, and a bite of squash, because we were able to convince him that it was jelly (which is on his approved list of foods).
But then there are days when he's just out of control. This morning, he ate a banana, two clementines, 3 freezer waffles, a pumpkin muffin, and then washed it down with a big cup of milk.
It is SO frustrating, but I am glad he ate, since dinner and lunch yesterday didn't happen. And likely won't today, either.
My stomach hurts just thinking about it.