5 Year Anniversary

Today hubby and I have been married for 5 years. Even though we’ve been married for 5 years, we’ve been together for I guess 11 and a half. It seems like a long time but it just kind of sneaks up on you. This also means we’ve been in Houston for almost 5 years. We’ve certainly had a lot of fun and have had our share of struggles. Hubby was in law school for our first 3 years and the next half year was his studying for the bar, taking the exam, and waiting for results. 5 years is a pretty good milestone to celebrate, but since we are still struggling with kicking off hubby’s career we’ve got limited funds. A few years ago we talked about a trip to Costa Rica for our 5 year anniversary (or I guess it would have to be more like 5.5 since our anniversary is in June, which would be winter in Costa Rica). But maybe we will need to save that trip for a future celebration. We had a nice dinner Sunday evening and we’ll go out to dinner again today to celebrate. At least we get to be together this year – in several previous years he had his summer army training during our anniversary so he was away and we had to celebrate early or late. So, anyway, happy anniversary to us :)

I’m anti-Valentine’s Day; doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a nice dinner at home ;)

On Saturday my friend Jackie and I went to an introduction to flower arrangement class. They showed us how to take flowers, greenery, and baby’s breath and arrange them in a vase so they stay put and look pretty. Here is my result.

 They gave us red roses because it was Valentine’s day weekend. With the groupon we had the event was very cheap, and buying a bouquet like this in the store would cost a lot. So yay. Look  how purty it looks in my dining room.

Sunday I had theater tickets with my group, the season tickets happened to fall on Valentine’s day. The show was Miss Saigon, and it was really good, sad, but beautiful. After I came home hubby had a nice dinner ready for us. Salmon on a bed of pasta, side salad and veggies.

Labor Day BBQ fun

So we decided that since it’s been a while that we’ve had people over, that we would host a labor day bbq at our house. Well, we got a bit carried away, and when I was sending the invitation on facebook, we invited over 40 people! Good news is only half was able to come haha. That’s right, we had 20-some people at our house, including their kids, and 3 dogs. My coworker has 2 springer spaniels so I told her she absolutely must bring them so mine can meet others of her breed. It was fun! Hubby grilled up some ribs and burgers and his friend from law school came over early and cooked links. I made way too many sides and even got creative and made some Russian dishes. Just about everything got eaten during the party though. People didn’t leave till 10pm! It was insane. I was exhausted the next day; a total zombie at work. All that hard work cleaning my house during the weekend before the party – right now my house is a muddy disaster but I haven’t had time to swiffer or sweep up. That’s what this weekend will be for, sorta. I have so many plans this weekend. But the bbq was a total success and I’m really excited that we have made so many friends here that we could fill the house like that.

Let’s see, tonight I’m going out to see the new movie Whiteout with my friend Nicole that I met a few weeks ago at meetup. The meetup was at the Chocolate Bar to discuss Twilight, so of course I went to it hah. Nicole told us there that she actually was about to have her vampire novel published! And, she’s practically my neighbor (anyone who lives within a 10 mile radius is pretty much my neighbor with how big the Houston area is). For now her book is only released online as an ebook, but will come out in paperback later this year or early 2010. I of course already bought the book, but haven’t had time to read it yet. It’s called RELEASE. If you’re interested in another vampire-themed book written by someone I actually know (I’ve never known a real published author in person before), check it out at the publisher site. It sells as a PDF of less than 300 pages for about $10 (US). Hopefully my little plug here will get her some more sales. Anyway, we’re going to go see Whiteout at the Alamo Drafthouse cinema (I like that place cause they serve food!) and we’ll have dinner at the show. Hubby it out of town today and tomorrow for military stuff.

Tomorrow I’m going to the Houston Museum district open house, where all the museums are free and there is even a free shuttle to take you between them. I’m going with a women’s meetup. Then when hubby comes home that evening we have plans to go see the new 9 movie. Sunday I have theater tickets to GREASE! Then, Sunday night is the True Blood season finale! It will be awesome! [By the way, the season premiere of Supernatural was awesome and the series premiere of Vampire Diaries was pretty good as well. Yay for good Thursday night TV] Monday I’m going to girls nite out at the Melting Pot. So wow, I’m quite busy back to back like that.

P.S. 9/11 – Never forget.

Sweet and Wonderful is what you are

So as mentioned in the previous post, I’ve been a bit down lately. Well, hubby decided to be super wonderful and planned a “random romance day” for me on Friday since it was his last day before classes and he had already ended his internship, so he had the time. I came home to find my lovely dining room table (that hasn’t been used in almost a year)set for two with candles and a rose. He cooked me this amazing dinner. Rack of lamb! YUM! My favorite. He also put together an interesting starter that actually ended up being breakfast the next day since I just dug into the lamb. The kabob sticks – he used a mix of cheese, melon, and sliced meat with a dressing he made from ingredients from some awesome recipe.  Then, for dessert, he made a chocolate pudding-like dessert using whipping cream (not whipped cream, whipping cream that he had to beat to make it the right consistency). And, for a drink, blackberry wine. Yum. Wow. Such a sweet guy my hubby is.

In other news, I just got a hair cut. It’s light and super cute I think.

Fun at Lake Conroe for our 2 year anniversary

Our actual 2 year anniversary was Friday, June 12. We got off work early and had lunch together at Beck’s Prime near the Galleria because it has such a lovely outdoor seating area. The trees there are 400 years old and HUGE! We know they’re 400 years old because there is a sign saying do not climb on me, I’m 400 years old. Hehe. Then we went home and relaxed before going out to dinner at Bistro829, which was recommended to us. We didn’t even know this little cute restaurant was tucked away where we live.

The next day was the lake day. We rented a pontoon boat at Lake Conroe for half a day so we could go inner tubing and just have a fun day on the lake. We brought the dog with us hehe. It was so much fun. We had some issues with inner tubing as there were only 2 of us, we weren’t technically even allowed to inner tube without a spotter, but we did a little anyway. Mostly we used the inner tube for laying on when the boat was stopped, and we also had the dog inner tube. She’s so much fun in the water. She loves to swim and would jump in and join us if we were on the tube and left her on the boat. Even though I reapplied sunscreen a bunch of times, we still ended the day rather pink and I’m still a bit sore on my legs and back. But other than that, it was a ton of fun. I love swimming and laying around in the water. Laying on that big tube was so much fun just letting the waves move you gently while you nap hehe. Here’s a pic of the inner tubing dog.

Update on the Boss Situation

Well, the new guy was supposed to be in a department meeting today, but instead today we were told that he decided to take an offer with a company in Saudi Arabia and will not be joining our company as our air program manager. Well, that sucks. So I guess I’m still orphaned. Not really sure what’s going to happen now or how long until they find someone, but Mr. Pete and Mr. Phil are NOT at all helpful in stepping in to help out. So things are kinda sucky at work right now.

Today I had my 8 hour HAZWOPER refresher course, which was really long and boring but the topics we discussed were interesting and new to me since I don’t do a lot of field work, well, no field work really. I suppose it’s nice to have a day where no real work gets done heh. It’s not billable, but it’s approved training (required, really), so hey why not.

My friend is moving apartments and sold us her washer and dryer today. The set is only about 3 years old. We are still working on getting the new set installed but already moved our older pieces into the garage for future craigslisting. We had dinner with her at Smashburger, which is a really neat little place. It’s like burgers for grown-ups heh. Has some more interesting taste and is fresh, unlike regular burger joints. Hurray for being introduced to new places.

This weekend is our 2 year anniversary. Friday, the actual anniversary,  we are going out to dinner (haven’t quite picked the restaurant yet). Saturday, though, we rented a pontoon boat at a lake and we’re gonna have so much fun driving around in the water, inner tubing, and just sunbathing. I’m sooo looking forward to it!

25 Random Things

It seems like everyone on facebook is doing one of these things, so I figured why not give it a try. Someone told me it’s a good way to learn something about yourself, and it seemed fun. I’m not very good at these things so let’s see if I end up being coherent. So here we go.

1.  I always feel like I have a good idea of things I want to say/type but when I sit down to actually get something written, my mind is blank. It makes me wonder if I should carry a recording device for my “brilliant thoughts”.

2.  English is my 2nd language, but it’s the one I am more fluent in. I moved to the US from the Ukraine when I was 6, and my knowledge of Russian, aside from taking some classes in college to “re-learn” how to read and write, stopped right around there. So I can speak my native language at a 6-year-old level.  However, not having been brought up with English spoken in the house, I often struggle to find the right words and trip over my own tongue. I’m like a foreign native.

3.  I’m very much an introvert, though I try so hard to be social because being an introvert is so lonely. But being social is so much work, that it wears me out and I sometimes come home drained and headache-y after a social event.

4.  My most favorite time is spent laying on the couch, watching TV or whatever, wrapped in a blanket, using hubby’s tummy as a pillow, holding my kitteh, with the doggie laying at my feet to keep them warm. I can spend hours just enjoying my cuddly family time. There should be more time in the day for lazy time.

5.  I haven’t decided yet if I ever want to expand my family with human children. I’m quite content with and I barely have enough patience for the 3 kids I currently have – the husband, and the two hairy furball babies that are the cat and dog. Human babies scare me – everything about them, from the idea of pregnancy, to the labor, to the putting up with little screaming things for years and years. I don’t think that makes me a bad person. I’m a good person, dammit! I also don’t want to be one of those women who lose their identity when they become “mommies”. I don’t want my life to become all about my children and nothing else.  I don’t think I would agree to having a kid without some kind of full time nanny help so I can still have some time to myself and still get out of the house and maintain some friendships. 

6. I’m not a tomboy, but I’m also not a girly-girl. I’m not athletic, or very coordinated, and I can’t wear high heels (puts too my stress on my knees which already have enough issues in flat shoes). I buy “sensible” comfortable boots and I never really thought about it until I gave someone a tour of my house and she pointed out that my closet was full of multiple sets of similar-looking black boots. I also realized I rarely wear slacks that aren’t black or jeans that aren’t dark. Apparently the bottom half of my body is depressed or something. Maybe that’s why I have so many bright-colored tops, not that I wear them all that often though. I also rarely wear a lot of makeup. I’m just naturally lazy.

7.  I can be pretty OCD about stuff. I was worse as a kid. At one time I had my closet organized by color and had matching outfits hanging together. A friend of mine came over one time and gave me a hard time about being so crazy. Then she went in my closet and moved everything around! I was shocked. But also I was too lazy to reorganize it back to the way it was, so she in her sweet little way forced me to be less organized and a little more relaxed about things. I’m still OCD when it comes to things having a place and being put where they belong, if I have created such a place. For example, the toothpaste must go in the toothpaste holder next to the toothbrush. If it’s laying on the counter it makes me angry at its existence. See, OCD. I’m telling you. It’s funny because I’m overly picky on some stuff, but then I have clutter areas too. I guess it’s just a mix of OCD and lazy.

8.  Apparently, I am lazy. That seems to be a recurring theme. I go from times of being completely driven and motivated and productive to just laying around and not being able to get anything done. It would be nice to find that middle ground consistently. I sometimes wonder if I shouldn’t just get hypnotized to enjoy working out. I’m so lazy and it’s so hard to get motivated to go to the gym or do anything like that. But I really need to ‘cause I’m so weak, not to mention I recently had to buy a pair of pants another size higher. Unacceptable. Still working on the willpower thing.

9.  I love new technology, but rarely allow myself to shell out the money to enjoy it. I often talk myself out of crazy purchases by convincing myself that whatever new item I want, that I have something that fulfills that purpose. That is why (until recently, but not by my own purchase) my GPS was still 4 years old (I refused to buy a new one since my friends with new GPS devices are having similar problems with their new ones that I am with my ancient one, so why bother?), why I didn’t have internet capabilities on my cell phone (again, until recently, since I mainly used it as a clock anyway), and why I am only now realizing how amazing HD is (yes, the purchase of a new TV last year for my birthday was something I couldn’t talk myself out of, but only recently did we get an HD programming package).  

10.  My kitten is my baby. We really do have a special bond. Every morning she’s waiting for me by the bedroom door (she’s not allowed to sleep with us cause she pounces on hubby in his sleep and apparently that’s not acceptable). The moment I pick her up in the morning she starts purring and that’s absolutely my favorite sound. She follows me around the bathroom and closet all morning as I’m getting ready and rubs up against me and purrs and it’s just the sweetest thing. She also likes to sit on my pile of clothes when I’m taking a shower before bed and when I get out she rubs up against me almost as if to say – Momma you seem to have lost all your fur, here let me give you some. It’s too adorable. I enjoy having her in the bed with me on drill weekends when hubby is out of town because then I get my soft (and her fur is really really soft) little kitty sleeping next to me and it’s the best.

11.  I really miss my Momma! My Mom and I are really close, or at least were before I moved to Texas. We were more like sisters and would hang out together and go shopping and it was just so much fun. I really miss having her close now that she’s 2000+ miles away.

12.  I want a best friend. I often feel so lonely without a female companion. Other than my Mom, I had a best friend in high school, we actually called each other sisters because our birthdays were one day apart, and we were so much alike and could sit and talk for hours. I really miss having someone that I connect with like that. Yes, I have my wonderful husband and he is my best friend, but he’s male, and he just doesn’t fit in that role of a female best friend that I need to fill. So I’m still searching for my Texas BFF.

13.  I am addicted to those crime/detective shows on TV. We record (because dvr is awesome) probably like 10 shows a week. It gets pretty crazy to try to keep up with them all. I’ve also recently realized we have HBO with our new expanded programming package, and have become addicted to TrueBlood. The current episodes with Sooky and Bill – well they’re what the Twilight movie *should* have been.

14.  I stumbled into my career sort of on accident, but I was lucky. Things seem to be working out pretty well and my supervisor/DM is super awesome. We get along great and can talk about random things for hours. We have very similar personality traits. Perhaps she’s me when I’m 50, if I ever decide aging is a good idea.

15.  I like puzzles. I got hooked on sudoku in college and did a puzzle in the newspaper every day. It’s been a while since I’ve done them regularly, but every now and then if I come across one in a newspaper or something, I am compelled to finish it. I also used to like logic puzzles but I haven’t explored any in a while.

16. I don’t remember what my first words were (meaning I don’t remember what my parents told me it was, if they even told me), but I do remember my first sentence. It was spoken to my Grandpa. I asked him to make me some tea. See, as a child I used to spend my summers with my grandparents because my Grandma was a teacher and had summers off. But only Grandpa knew the correct way to make my tea, so I just went up and asked him for it. I couldn’t have been more than 3 or so. I remember this event, or maybe it’s been told to me so many times that it’s become like a memory.

17.  For the longest time, my favorite color was purple. But in recent years, I have become obsessed with burgundy. It was one of the colors in my wedding, it’s the color of my dining room walls (though we didn’t paint them, the previous owners did, and I love the color), and the color I want my next cellphone and car in. Since it’s in the same general color family, I wonder if that’s just my favorite color maturing?

18. Speaking of cell phones, I want a Blackberry. It’s like everyone has one these days. And they look so cute. Not to mention they have a full keyboard so I can finally text without being a monkey holding a phone upside down trying to figure out what to do with it. Seriously, I can’t text on a regular phone. I need a full keyboard. But I also want full email capabilities so I get a ding when a new mail comes in and I can sync it to my home and work emails. That way I never miss an important message, and I know in advance when something’s about to hit the fan.

19. On that note. Most of the technology I have are hand-downs from my Daddy. See, he plays with something, gets bored and moves on to the next thing, and gives me the toy he no longer wants. This past visit home he gave me his current GPS, so now I don’t have to use the ancient one, and a Palm Treo cellphone with a full keyboard and internet capabilities, but it doesn’t have the full email plan where it gets emails as they come in – I still have to log in and get them. So it’s not exactly what I want, but it’s a step closer.

20. I want a Lexus. Want. It will be my next car, provided my current 12 year old Avalon lasts me until I can afford one. I haven’t quite decided which model yet, either an ES 300 series or an RX 300 series, but it will be burgundy! Yes, I’m deciding between a sedan and an SUV. The RX 300 SUVs are just total cuteness. I just don’t know if I’ll justify the fact that it’s a bit of a gas guzzler. Unless I get the hybrid. The other thing that I don’t know about is the lack of a trunk. I use my car’s trunk for lots of stuff, and I like being able to hide what’s in my car – it keeps people from wanting to break in. But trucks and SUVs do not have a trunk so everything is out in the open and visible. And cluttered. I like to hide clutter in my trunk. But I like the fact that the SUV is taller and safer than a smaller car, which is quite important in Houston traffic. So.. we’ll see, I suppose.

21. I absolutely love owning my home. It’s amazing to me that I can even have a house with only one of us working and the other one going through law school. Sure, it’s not my dream home, but it’s my first real house and it’s amazing. It’s got a decent floor plan, though I have a few complaints about the upstairs, and the yard is amazingly huge and makes the doggy happy. We’ve made some improvements here and there and have others planned, which is a lot of work but also rewarding to be improving the place where we live and making it look how we want it to. Sure, I don’t live “in the loop” or whatever, but I wouldn’t want to. I prefer the suburban life.

22. I am looking forward to when hubby graduates law school, but also dreading it for a few reasons. It will be great for him to be done with all this reading and exams and get started with a job and all that. But as soon as he graduates his loans become due, and it will take some time for him to study and take the bar and get a job. I’m worried about making those payments happen. Of course there’s also the looming deployment sometime around 2010/2011. I don’t really need to say how I’m not looking forward to that happening. I just don’t think I can handle being alone for a year constantly worrying about him. Blah I so want him out of the army already.

23. Due to a high tax return and mortgage surplus refund, hubby talked me into buying a Playstation 3. I didn’t want that to become just a toy for him, so we found a game I would enjoy too – the Lego Indiana Jones game. It is so much fun! We play it together. It’s definitely “our” toy, which is funny to me since I’ve never really been into video games. He’s a lot better with the controls since he grew up playing video games, but I’m catching on slowly. I’m having a lot of issues with the jumping and the depth-perception. I keep trying to walk next to places. I’ll get it eventually. But it’s a ton of fun. We haven’t used the blu-ray capabilities yet but I’m sure we’ll rent some good movies and try that out soon.

24. I love to travel and see new places. It’s so much fun for me. I’m such a tourist with taking pictures of everything. Even though travel can be exhausting, it’s so rewarding too.

25.  Currently, most of my social schedule is filled with events. It’s a really good website. I’m assistant organizer for the Houston couples meetup group, and we’ve met some cool people and even made some friends through that group. We’re also pretty active with the movie meetup group in our town, cause we love to see movies and this gives us a chance to make that happen more often. I’ve also joined many women groups but I haven’t really had a chance to get active in those. Outside of meetup, most of the people I know in Houston are people I met at work, and people I met through people I met at work. I suppose that’s a good way to start a network, especially since we do have a lot of younger people at my job. Anyway though, I do like going to meetup events because it gets us out of the house and we get to explore more of the area and hopefully make some more friends. Cause being lonely isn’t fun.

Phew! Look at me. I finally finished this, and it only took me a month to come up with 25 items. 

Happy Valentine’s Day

Yes, today is Valentine’s Day. Let me say this, that I am not a fan of this holiday. I always thought it was better and more special to celebrate an anniversary rather than a random calendar day that really doesn’t mean much. Which is why we don’t do the gift thing or really spend any time or money on this holiday. Last year we just ordered a heart-shaped pizza from Pappa John’s and that was that. This year since it came on a weekend, hubby decided to do a little bit more. For breakfast, he made me heart-shaped food. I had heart-shaped eggs and waffles. Then, for dessert, he brought out some chocolate roses and a heart-shaped box of chocolates, and a card. The card was amazingly sweet because it has our dog on it! Well, not *our* dog, but it looks just like her. I have yet to find a card with a Dixie-dog on it, so it’s awesome that he found one. Here are some photos:

And of course, we ordered the heart-shaped pizza again for lunch/dinner. That might be our V-day tradition now.

Things are back to normal

It’s great to have hubby home again. Things feel normal again, as they should be. It’s just too weird to be alone.

He got home around 1 PM on Saturday, dressed in uniform and carrying a rose for me. Too cute and yummy. Gotta love a uniformed man. We spent the day together catching up on missed snuggles and stuff. It was quite nice, let me tell you.

Sunday we went to a gun show. I know, boring. Well, it was mostly for me, cause I needed to get a concealable gun. My revolver is just too big and bulky, even though it’s a Lady Smith and small, I still can’t conceal it on my body. So we went there looking at what they had, and we went home with a little itty bitty Kel-Tec P-32. I mean itty bitty. It’s the lightest gun in that caliber (a 32 auto) and it’s about 5 inches long and about 3 and a half inches wide. It comes with a tiny pouch that could be a blackberry case. So tiny. Now I just need a real holster for it, not the zippy pouch, but let me tell you it’s so adorable. It fits in my jeans pocket quite comfortably actually, so I’m definitely not afraid of concealing that guy and carrying it. It needs a name though.

One Year Anniversary

Tomorrow, June 12, is our one year anniversary. We got married one year ago. Has it really been a year?

It’s amazing how much has happened in the past year. We moved into our new home, we decorated it, we remodeled a bunch and are still remodeling other things. He completed his first year of law school. I transferred to a new office and made new connections, got promoted, and got two bonuses. We’ve met people, made friends, went to interesting events, and traveled to interesting places.

But most of all, we survived our first year as a married couple, and everyone says the first year is the hardest.  Sure, we’ve had our share of fights, but who hasn’t? But we’re such great friends and trust each other so much that it seems like we can get through anything.

Today he surprised me with a gift package. He bought me a little bracelet and mailed it to me with a sweet card. The bracelet is two tone so it’s just right, mostly silver with little x in gold in between the pattern.  It’s cubic zirconia and it wasn’t too expensive, but it is very nice. Yay :)

I can’t wait to see him finally on Saturday. It’s been a long two weeks. I’m ready for him to be home!