Welcome to the family, Gifted!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Valentine's Day was quite a special day this year for our family. While I was headed down to Florida, my parents were welcoming our newest four-legged family member to his new home!

Everyone, meet Gifted!

He is the sweetest 5-year-old horse around! He is a chestnut appendix - meaning he is a mix of both quarterhorse and thoroughbred. And, for being just a baby, he is incredibly calm and cooperative. He has only been with us for about a week but already his personality is shining through.

Gifted on the right with his buddy Moon.

When we were down at the barn yesterday, we got a video of him flipping over all of the buckets looking for extra food. Every time mom would go flip one back over, he would be right there behind her.

We've got a lot to learn as we are just getting to know him, but we are eager and excited to love on this sweet boy! He's got many wonderful years ahead of him and we are so lucky to call him our own!

How low can you go?

Friday, February 20, 2015

The surface of my desk is officially 9 degrees Celsius. That's about 48 degrees Fahrenheit.

I'm not kidding. Trust me, I'm a scientist. I measured.

If that doesn't sound that cold to you, then for reference, room temperature is on average about 23-25 degrees Celsius or around 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit. And the discrepancy between the temperature of an average room and the actual temperature of my desk has now cost me the feeling in both my hands and my feet.

It's safe to say that America is freezing.

I read in the paper yesterday that there have been more than twenty deaths due to the cold temps so far this year in Maryland. Twenty! I couldn't believe it.

This morning when I left the house, it was a high of 5 degrees with a wind chill that felt like -12. I know I shouldn't be complaining since I have friends up in Boston and Maine that are still dealing with 4-6 feet of snow on top of the frigid temps, but I am so sick of winter I can't help it.

I'm glad that I was able to get down to warmer weather for a few days but now I'm starting to feel like it was just a major tease. I mean just the other day I was wearing a bikini and flip-flops and now I am sitting here typing this wearing TWO pairs of pants (leggings under my jeans), two pairs of socks, three shirts, a sweater, and a lab coat - and I'm still freezing!

Ugh, all I know is that I'm glad that Lent has officially started because for me, that begins the countdown to Spring.

Happy (freezing) Friday to you all!

From Snowy Maryland to Sunny Florida and Back Again

Thursday, February 19, 2015

This Valentine's Day was the first that Mike and I have ever spent apart since we met. We don't really celebrate the holiday with too much excitement anyway, but we decided that spending three days off of work together in Orlando while Mike was there on business would totally trump the typical flowers and candy - even if it was a couple days late.

He had to be down there Sunday through Wednesday for a conference and since my grandparents live about two hours away from Orlando, I decided to fly in early and spend the first couple of days with them before meeting up with him. I really enjoyed having a Valentine's dinner with my grandma and it was wonderful catching up with her.

I was even lucky enough to get to visit with my grandpa (who is the inspiration behind our work with Pacing for Parkinson's) for a short time. Unfortunately, his Parkinson's is advancing quite rapidly and he slept most of the time I was there. He did wake up a few times and I felt better knowing that at least he knew I had come to visit him. He told me he loved me and we talked for only a few moments, but any time with him is extremely special to me, so I was very glad I got it.

It was hard to say goodbye to them both, but I'm hoping maybe Mike and I can find the time to take a trip down there later this year before our trip to Costa Rica.

Orlando was absolutely beautiful. We stayed in the Hilton and like all of my experiences with the Hilton hotels, it was luxurious. They had three pools, a lazy river, a waterslide, fire pits, a putting green, a spa and gym, and all kinds of nice restaurants - all within the hotel! I felt so spoiled to get to enjoy drinks by the pool while Mike was in meetings during the day!

He did get to spend some time with me nearly every afternoon though!

The whole time we were there, it was snowing up at home, so we were really glad to skip the storms. But of course, when we got home, the transition from 80 degrees back to 8 degrees was not fun.

While the trip was short overall, it was still wonderful to be able to escape the cold for a bit and soak up the Florida sun. I think we may have to make this a February tradition!


Thursday, February 5, 2015


I feel like I've gotten into the habit of doing these kinds of posts whenever there's not much to talk about. Ironically, there's actually a ton that I could be talking about right now but somehow I just can't find the words.

So today, I'm hoping to sort of put everything that's cluttering my mind aside and focus on this fun little update.

Making: Bread.  Lots and lots of homemade bread. I guess it's sort of become my thing.
Cooking: Anything hot. Soups, stews, casseroles, pasta... things that will warm us up inside since it's so cold outside.
Drinking: Caramel lattes. Like they're going out of style.
Reading: Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Wanting: to get out of Maryland and jet off to a place where the coldest it gets is 75.
Looking: at my mini Christmas tree, still decorated on my desk. Embarassing, but I'm still too lazy to take it down.
Playing: "Heart's Content" by Brandi Carlile.
Wasting: time, avoiding my to-do list.
Sewing: back on the black button that fell off of my green peacoat.
Wishing: I could stop losing to everyone I know in Trivia Crack.
Enjoying: my new iPhone!
Waiting: for Spring and flowers and birds and WARMTH.
Liking: the odds for us getting a big tax refund this year (otherwise known as a "Travel Fund Stimulus Package")
Wondering: if we'll get any good snow accumulation this side of the Mason Dixon line this year. At least enough to get a day off of work.
Loving: this amazing and hilarious new show we discovered called The Great British Bake Off. It's officially one of my favorites.

Hoping: that our neighbors up North catch a break with this next storm coming their way.
Marvelling: at the fact that Roger Goodell still has a job. 

Needing: a hug. This past weekend was rough.
Smelling: my yummy Burberry Brit Sheer perfume.
Wearing: my heavy coat and scarf and gloves. My desk is really that cold.
Following: (still) the amazing stories of the kids at Mott Hall Bridges Academy. They were just on Ellen!

Noticing: how crazy it is that it's already February.
Dreaming: about traveling to Costa Rica in December. I am so excited for all we have planned!
Thinking: we should probably book our plane tickets soon.
Bookmarking: This recipe for wine gummies. Best snack ever invented.

Opening: packages of office supplies - my favorite! I go nuts for brand new planners, binders, notebooks, and pens. I'm a bit of a nerd, if you haven't already noticed.
Giggling: at all things Left Shark from the Superbowl halftime show.

Feeling: somewhat melancholy and ready for a change.

Have a fabulous Thursday and Happy February!