Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Beautiful Wedding

Heidi and Scott's wedding was absolutely amazing. It was such a great event and we just feel so honored to have been a part of it. The wedding was held at Heidi's  hometown church - a beautiful church located on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Heidi has always said you can see dolphins playing in the water from the church. I was looking, but didn't spot any. 

Heidi's family has long ties to the church, so the senior minister (who doesn't do weddings anymore) conducted the wedding. He was great - very spiritual, but funny too. Heidi looked the most beautiful I've ever seen her - her dress was gorgeous and her dark hair was pinned up in a very victorian fashion. I cried through the ceremony, especially when Heidi lost it and almost couldn't make it through her vows. It was very emotional. But when the minister pronounced them husband and wife, both Scott and Heidi turned to us and were beaming. Very cool. 

Afterward, we all headed to the Country Club for the reception. The speeches and toasts were very emotional, and there was much more crying. Then, we all were impressed by Heidi's dance with her father - a traditional waltz! Both Joe and I were seriously impressed. I got it on video, so I'll be sure to post that as well. 

After we all ate and the cake was cut, the dancing started - and boy, what a party! Both families definitely know how to party and brought everything to the dance floor. Heidi and Scott just looked like they were having such a great time, and it was hard not to get caught up in their joy. At 10:30, the DJ called the last song of the night. Once the song was over, he said that the family had called in a few favors and the party was now extended another hour! They reopened the bar, and the party continued! It was such a great night. 

This morning, we dragged ourselves out of bed and headed up to Heidi's for brunch. It was sad to say goodbye to Heidi. Everyone else would see her after her honeymoon, who knows when I'll get to see the happy couple again. I'm secretly hoping she gets relocated to D.C. again. :-) 

Most everyone flew back home today. We still have two more full days here to relax and enjoy the palm trees and beaches. We're hoping it warms up at least one of the two days we have left!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Loving vacation

Last night was the cocktail party at Heidi's parents' house. They live in an amazing area and their house was absolutely beautiful. Most everyone had arrived by the time the party started, so we were able to catch up with old friends and acquaintances from Seattle. We also met both Heidi and Scott's families for the first time and everyone was so sweet and inviting. And Scott's dad looks just like George Lucas!

Before the party, we took a walk down Redondo Beach. It was a little chilly, but we didn't let that stop us. It was a nice walk, but we decided we liked Hermosa Beach better. So, this morning, we took another bike ride down Hermosa Beach. The bikes they have available are fabulous. They are allowing us to explore a lot more than we would have been able to.

We're hoping to be able to hang out with some other people who are staying at our hotel and maybe play some volleyball. They have tons of volleyball nets all along the beach.

But now, it may be time for another nap. God, I love vacation.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hermosa Beach, Calif.

I'm currently sitting in a beautiful hotel room in Hermosa Beach, California! What a beautiful area. Joe and I took the complimentary bicycles out for a ride this morning and had breakfast right on the beach. This is seriously the life.

We flew in yesterday around noon. Last night we spent a little time exploring the hotel and walking along the marina, where we saw fish, crab, and even a stingray in the shallow water. Unfortunately, the pool at our hotel is under construction, but they gave us free passes to the pool at a local fitness center, so we also spent a little time laying out in the sun yesterday.

We are here because our good friends, Heidi and Scott, are getting married on Saturday! We were able to catch up with Scott a little bit yesterday and everything seems to be going smoothly. He delivered us our welcome basket, full of wine, cheese, crackers, biscotti, and apples. A very sweet and generous gift.

We will see Heidi at the cocktail party her parents are hosting tonight. We have a few events to go to, as well as the wedding, and we are so excited about sharing in everything.

It's a little tough with the time difference. I was out like a light by 9:00 p.m. last night because I was still working on East Coast time, and we had been up at 5 a.m. EST that morning to catch the plane. I'm hoping to take a nap today and try to get on Pacific Time again.

I have to admit, I miss my dogs. Joe and I both do. Everyone has dogs here, walking along the beach, and we can totally see ourselves doing that. I really think both Ava and Jackson would love it. But they are being well taken care of by my mom, which is definitely a relief. If she hadn't agreed to come watch them, I don't think I could have relaxed and enjoyed this vacation. (Although, knowing that they are taken care of didn't prevent me from calling three times yesterday to check in on them!)

Okay, off for nap time. I'll try to blog while I'm here, and then upload all the pictures when I get back.

Friday, May 22, 2009


I do this fantastic cleanse about twice a year. I found out about it through a dear friend of mine, Amanda, several years ago, and have since used the cleanse to reestablish my natural body flow whenever I'm feeling out of balance. The cleanse if from the book If the Buddha Came to Dinner.

Usually, when I tell people I'm cleansing, they think I'm on an all-juice diet, or not eating all together. Not at all true. I actually probably eat MORE during the day than I do when I'm normally eating, I'm just eating "cleanse" foods. (I have to admit, the hardest thing about this cleanse is giving up coffee. Man, I love my coffee...)

During the first phase, I eat only fresh fruits and vegetables. They can be raw, cooked, steamed, whatever. I've decided my favorite 1st-phase meal for this time around is fried potatoes and onions (in a little olive oil, okay on the cleanse) with sliced avocado.

Today marks the start of my second phase, where I am allowed to add in some grains, nuts, and seeds. I usually choose brown rice, almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds.

The final phase lets you eat a bit of protein, in the form of beans and tofu.

All three phases allow you to "spice up" your food with a few approved spices, like sea salt, black pepper, dill, garlic, and cinnamon. This definitely helps. You can also drink room-temperature water or tea. (As I said, no coffee. Sigh.)

What is great is that YOU choose how long to do the cleanse. I usually do a 9-day cleanse - 5 days of the first phase, 2 days of the second phase, and 2 days of the third phase.

By the end of the cleanse, I feel better, have lost a bit of weight, and feel good about myself. And since this is what I'm going through right now, I thought I'd share.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

I had a fabulous birthday, and I am looking forward to my 28th year! Here are some highlights:

Beautiful flowers and balloon from my coworker.

Stuart came over Friday night to cook me my favorite meal - "Rice Stuff". I have no idea what to call it. Whenever he asks me what I want him to make for dinner, I say, "that rice stuff." We should probably name it.

Birthday kiss from my man!

Jackson letting me know that just because it's my birthday, doesn't mean I get out of throwing toys for him.

Ava letting me know that just because it's my birthday, doesn't mean I should wake her from her slumbers.

Aren't they cute?

Joe made me homemade strawberry shortcake. We had it for dessert on Saturday night and breakfast Sunday morning. It was AWESOME.

So, that was my birthday, and it was fabulous. I got to hang out with my favorite people and just relax. I loved it. Of course, just because it was my birthday, doesn't mean I got out of some volunteer work. :-) Joe, Ava, and I went to do a home visit for this great woman in Alexandria. I've never seen Ava warm up to another house like she did this one. She walked in and it was like the house was hers! She was running around, playing with the resident IG, jumping up on the woman we were meeting (she NEVER does that!!), and making herself at home.

This is her sitting on Jake's bed. He actually lives there, and she was all, "move over, handsome, I need to rest." I had to get a picture. (Isn't Jake a sweet-looking boy? He's going to be getting a brother or sister soon!)

So, anyway, thank you for everyone's birthday wishes - it was a great day. I'm looking forward to the upcoming year.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Weekend in Review

Joe and I didn't do too much this weekend, but we knew you would be dying for a recap anyway, so I will give you one.

But first I have to share a cute picture of the boy. This is his "you guys are boring, when are we going for a walk?" face. He has no idea how good he has it - I mean, come on, he's sleeping on his own sleeping bag and pillow!

So cute!

Also, I wanted to share some pictures of Joe's new workplace. He's been doing a lot of marketing lately, so he's definitely keeping busy. Last week was Teacher Appreciation Week, and Joe was able to coordinate with four different schools to provide chair massage for the teachers. Soon, this place will be full up of patients!

(I love the funky mirror on the wall.)

Okay, now to the weekend. The only real thing we did this weekend was go to a D.C. United soccer game. Joe won tickets from a radio station, and they were really great seats. It was such a fun game! Neither of us really pay much attention to soccer, but the fans are so high energy, it's great! It was also kid's night, so we had a whole team of 7-year-old girls sitting in front of us. It was pretty entertaining.

Lastly, I can't forget Mother's Day! I want to send a late Happy Mother's Day to our moms! We were able to chat with them on the phone, but we definitely wish we could have seen them.

My mom is coming out to visit in a couple weeks, and I'm really looking forward to seeing her. Connie - it's time for you to make the trip, too!!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Welcome to Family & Fur

Welcome to Family & Fur! On this blog you will read about my life with my family – my significant other, Joe, and our two dogs, Ava and Jackson. We have all been a family for over a year now, and we have experienced a lot of changes in that time. I have a sneaking suspicion those changes are going to continue to come, and that this year is going to be an important one. I want to be able to chronicle all the good and bad that I experience. I hope you can relate – or at least have a laugh.