Saturday, December 19, 2009

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

It started snowing last night around 8:00. It is still snowing and not supposed to stop until late tonight. This picture is of a ruler stuck in the snow in the middle of the yard (not in the giant snow drift behind our car) and it is a good 18".

We went out a little while ago to dig out the cars before the snow got all packed down and icy, so that we would have a small chance of getting them out by Monday. Here is Jim shoveling the sidewalk in front of our building and me standing knee deep in the snow behind our car.

It's been kind of nice being snowed in. We slept late today and now I am making bread. We are going to get all the laundry done today, too.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Bad Blogger

Hi Everyone,

I want to apologize for being such a bad blogger. I'm going to try to catch you up very quickly. This week was our two month "anniversary" and we are loving being married. I do still smile whenever someone says Mrs. Watts.

We finally (this morning) got the last of our new appliances, purchased with wedding gift money, installed in the kitchen. Of course, this desperately makes me want to rip out the floor, counters and cabinets and just finish the whole thing.

Last weekend, we walked in the AIDS Walk Washington 5K. It was warmer than last year, but not as humid as the first year. We went with the pastor from our church, her sister and nephew and had a great time.

Work has been very busy this month and I've started a new online accounting class at NOVA, so I just haven't been on top of it as I should be. I'll try to do better.

Friday, August 14, 2009

One Week Anniversary

You might have heard that we had a wedding last Friday. It was truly the happiest day of my life, even with a few minor hiccups. We got to spend some time talking to everyone and it was over way too fast. If you'd like to see more pictures, click here.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Screen on the Green

Last night I was able to check off one more item on the 101 Goals in 1001 Days list. A co-worker and I went to Screen on the Green on the mall for a showing of On the Waterfront and Jim came down and joined us when he got off work. People started showing up right after work to stake out a spot. By the time the movie started, the grass was packed like the Fourth of July. The weather was great, as was the movie.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

No Water

I got to the office this morning to discover that the water main in front of our building broke at 5:45 a.m. This means that there is no air conditioning and, more importantly, no working restrooms. It will take them at least 8 hours from the time they start fixing the main to have the water restored and they haven't started yet, because they are waiting on the other utility companies to come mark the lines. We made an executive decision to send everyone home to do whatever work they can today. I figure for most people that means little to no work, but a pretty relaxed day.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

New Cards

It's a little hard to read because I took the picture with my phone, but I got my new business cards today. They have both my new name and my not-quite-as-new title on them. I can't wait to use them once I get back to work. So far, this is the first thing that has made me smile this week.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Our First Wedding Gift

When we got home Tuesday night, we had a pick-up slip from USPS in our mailbox. This morning, I made Jim go get the box. Then I had to wait for 2 hours from when I got home until he got home to open it.

Oh, look more boxes inside the big box. I wonder what they are?

What a pretty bowl and picture frame. Thank you so much, Aunt Linda and Uncle Mike.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Hair Trial

I had my second and final trial run with my hair stylist for the wedding. I like it much better this time. These pictures are after three hours and a ride home with the car window partially down. Seems to have some staying power.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Yet More DIY Projects

Our office was closed yesterday for the Fourth of July holiday, so a co-worker and I made a field trip to a restaurant for real southern cooking and then to IKEA.

Several things - First, the restaurant was the bomb. I had fried whiting, mac and cheese that was to die for, string beans with some kind of hot sauce on them and cornbread. All delicious. Jennifer (hi, Jennifer) had black eyed peas that were the best I've had in a long time and sweet potato pie that would make an excellent breakfast item.

Second, you should never try to go 95S on a holiday weekend, so I googled a back road way to get to IKEA. This turned out to be the best decision ever and I may never take 95S down there again. If we had gone that way, we might still be sitting on 95. If you are in the area and want the directions, let me know.

Third, I should never be allowed free rein in the IKEA. We had a great time and I found exactly what I was looking for. I also found several other things that I wasn't looking for. Which brings me back to DIY. I was able to get a ridiculous quantity of silk hydrageas for a fraction of what they would have cost at the craft store. So last night, I made my first pomander ball for the pews at church. I had ordered some from, but the post office lost my package and I was resigned to doing without. These really don't take that long to make (about an hour and half) and I don't need that many, so they are back on the agenda. I think it came out very nicely.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The last big check

37 days and today we crossed off the last big check - the only thing that we had to do. We went to the courthouse and got our marriage license. We are all official now and can proceed to get wedded. Just wanted to let you know; you may resume your regularly scheduled activities now.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Wedding DIY Number 3

45 days to go.

This is my third DIY project for the wedding. We took Hershey bars and wrapped them in heavy duty foil because they don't make the candy bars that way anymore. Now they are hermetically sealed and tamper resistant, but I like the way they used to look. Nostalgia rules!

Then we put a new label around them with our names and the date of the wedding. The label background is blue hydrangea which we are using as the flowers in the bouquets.

This picture shows cut down labels, a foil wrapped bar and one completely finished candy bar.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Manassas Battlefield

Last Sunday after church, we drove over to Manassas and walked around the battlefield. This was my first trip to a civil war site, even though the are everywhere in Virginia. Jim hadn't been since he was in school, either. We took the one mile walking tour of the first battle of Manassas. The weather was great and I learned more about Civil War history than I ever did in high school. We'll have to go back sometime and take the tour of the second battle.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I finally have put a big check mark next to the one major outstanding item on my wedding 'to do' list. I have cake. Or rather, cupcakes. I had a tasting tonight with Megan from Cakes by Megan. She made three little cakes in the flavors we wanted to sample (raspberry lemon curd, key lime blueberry and cookies & cream). We are having a variety of cupcakes, decorated with sugar hydrangeas. The top tier is a 7" cake with polka dots in shades of blue and green. Megan will deliver them all to the reception site and have it all set up for us. I am so relieved to have this off the list.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bathroom Renovation

So, we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel on the bathroom renovation. The installer from Bath Fitters is coming tomorrow to take the measurements for the new tub/shower liner. I think we are still going to get another coat of paint, and we need to reattach the plumbing to the sink, hang the towel racks and put the door back on, but it is almost done. If you want to see pictures in progress, here they are.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Wedding Make-Up Trial Run

Today I went for a trial run with a potential make-up artist for my wedding. Here are the pictures. I think I like it, but with a paler colored lip. I really like the eyes.

I wasn't sure at first, because I am usually just an eyeliner, mascara and go kind of girl and this was much more than what I normally do. Let me know what you think.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Visit Home

I was sad that I had to make a second trip home last month for my father's memorial service, but I was glad that Jim could come with me (on both trips) and that two of my aunts and my grandmother were able to come down from Indiana for the service. On the night before we all went home, we went out to our favorite Chinese restaurant. We tried to have the waiter take a picture of all of us, but they were all terrible. Then my sister asked a member of the club where she works to take one. I think this is a great shot of our group. Even Mom can't complain about this one.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

100 Days

Today, I am 100 days away from getting married. I am just slightly freaked out about the time line and what I still have to do. Very excited, but freaked.

I would be better if I wasn't two weeks behind in the accounting class I am taking. Or, if my ever-expanding job duties would stop expanding. And if we weren't planning renovations on the house. Or, if the cake designer I was supposed to meet on Monday had shown up for our appointment. Or if my sister had picked out and ordered a dress :)

Speaking of class, since it is currently 10:30 at night, I must get back to the nuances of job cost accounting.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Wedding DIY Number 2

This is my second wedding DIY project. Four down, sixteen to go. Fortunately, it only took me about half an hour to make these four.

They are little packets of tissues for the out-of-town guest gift bags. I made these out of medium blue pearl scrapbook paper, folded like an envelope around three tissues from one of those purse packets. Then I wrapped the 'envelopes' with a blue satin ribbon that I glued with a little glue stick and then covered the ends with a silver embossed sticker. I had to use the glue stick because the paper is a little heavier than it probably should be for optimal folding - not quite card stock, but pretty close. I was able to get four packets out of one 12x12 sheet of scrapbook paper, so they were inexpensive to make, too, at about 67 cents each.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My First Wedding DIY

Here is my first of many do-it-yourself projects that I have planned to keep the cost of this wedding under control. These are the invitations and reply cards. I think they came out very nice.

The blue matches the color of the embroidery on my dress and we are using hydrangeas for the flowers. The invitation is printed on vellum, punched in a lace pattern at the top and bottom (thank you Martha Stewart), layered over a blue card stock and tied with blue ribbon. The whole thing goes in a cream pocket and blue envelope. The reply card has a picture of hydrangeas on the front. The pockets are leftovers from my graduation invitations, the blue paper and envelopes cost $32 at Borders and the cream cards are blank note cards from Hallmark, $6.

Let me know what you think!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

National Walk for Epilepsy

This morning Jim and I participated in the 2009 National Walk for Epilepsy on the Mall. It was misty and a little cold and the ground was in the process of reverting to the swamp that D.C used to be, but we had a great time! The walk started at the Capitol end of the Mall, walked all the way down past the Washington Monument, looped past the World War II Memorial and back up the other side of the Mall. On our way back, we made a slight pit stop to ride the Smithsonian Carousel, which neither of us had done before.

As a team, we raised $310 - thanks to everyone who contributed. If you would still like to make a contribution, you can follow the link above and search for either one of us as a participant.

Most of you know that Jim has seizures (that is why he gets a purple shirt and I get a white one) that are well controlled with medication. He has had them since he was 12.

For those of you who are looking for a celebrity sighting, here is a picture of Greg Grunberg, who stars in Heroes. He has chaired the event for the last three years in honor of his son who has epilepsy.

Monday, March 16, 2009


On Sunday, we went to the Kennedy Center for the final day of the Arabesque festival.

We were given tickets to see the Debbie Allen production, Oman...O Man!, which is a story of an Omani and an American boy who are roommates at an international military school. They both learn a great deal about each others country and each other.

We also took some time to see some of the exhibits. This picture of me was taken on a very large, flat, platform bed covered with pillows. There was also a display of Arab wedding costumes in the Hall of States and Hall of Nations, jewelry and calligraphy that superimposed the script for various words to form elaborate pictures.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Some Enchanted Evening

Tonight, we were lucky enough to attend the coolest thing ever at the Kennedy Center. The staff members were offered free tickets to the program, Some Enchanted Evening: A Musical Birthday Salute to Senator Edward M. Kennedy. This was a 'by invitation only' event.

The evening was hosted by Bill Cosby and featured Lauren Bacall, Denyce Graves, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Phyllis Newman, Kelli O'Hara, Bernadette Peters, Hal Prince, James Taylor, Frederica von Stade, Colm Wilkinson, Lizz Wright and Karen Ziemba. John Williams conducted the orchestra. There was a retrospective film shown on Kennedy's life and Carolyn Kennedy and Al Hurt presented him with the Profiles in Courage award.

The concert was attended by Mrs. Obama, the Bidens, Speaker Pelosi, Senator Reid and about 1000 members of the extended Kennedy family. Senators Lieberman, Feinstein and McCain were in the house and I am sure there were many more D.C. celebrities there. As a special guest, President Obama came on stage at the very end of the evening to lead the house in singing Happy Birthday to the Senator.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Back in School

My next accounting class is scheduled to start tomorrow, but I have already started the first unit. I was so not engaged when I signed up to take this class. It is scheuled to end in June, but I would really like to get ahead of the game if at all possible.

I am excited about it - this is the second of the prerequisite classes that I would need if I decided to continue on in the career program. This is a series of accounting classes that I would need IF I wanted to sit for the CPA exam. We'll see how this one goes, but it's always nice to have options.

Right now, it's pouring down snow. I am hoping that it snows enough that I can't get out of the parking lot in the morning :)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Restaurant Week

This week was Restaurant Week. Usually, I make it to two places, but we only got one this time around. Jim and I made a day of it in the District on Saturday. We spent a few hours in the morning at the Natural History Museum, because they had a new exhibit called Written in Bone that I really wanted to see. Take some time to check out the link - it was fascinating and I got to touch actual bones in the forensic lab. It was probably as close as I will ever get to my dream of growing up to be Quincy (or if you are not old enough to remember Quincy, Kay Scarpetta).

After the museum, we went to Zaytinya's for lunch. It is a Greek/Mediterranean small plates restaurant with the same executive chef as my other favorite small plate restaurant, Jaleo. The restaurant is really bright and open, decorated in white and blue like the Greek flag. We shared all the plates (except the lamb which I can't eat).

For round one, we ordered the Fattoush, which is a tomato, cucumber, radish, pepper and onion salad in a lemon vinaigrette, and the Bantijan Bil Liban, a crispy fried eggplant with garlic yogurt.

Round two was Spanakopita and Adana Kebab, skewered ground lamb, grilled tomatoes and sumac onions.

The third round brought Shish Taouk, which was grilled chicken, tomatoes and sumac onions, and olive oil poached salmon with spicy eggplant and green olive tapanade.

Both the lamb and the chicken were served in these beautiful copper tangines. The plating of all the dishes was just lovely and everything tasted fantastic.

For dessert, we had the Greek cherries and vanilla yogurt, with ground pistachios and the Turkish Delight - walnut ice cream with goat milk yogurt mousse and honey gelee.

In case you were curious, Zaytinya means olive oil in Turkish.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

We had a very nice Valentine's Day yesterday. First, The Boy brought me these beautiful flowers on Thursday evening.

Then we had tickets to see Avenue Q at the Warner Theatre. The show was very funny, especially if you are into profane puppetry. Definitely not a family show, no matter what it looks like. There is full frontal puppet nudity in this show. This is a gorgeous theater and our seats were really good even in the nosebleed section.

When we got home, I made cornish hens, wild rice and broccoli for dinner and individual peanut butter and chocolate chip cakes for dessert and we had a bottle of wine that The Boy's mother had given to go with it. We used the cd from a friend's wedding as our background music.

I got one more gift yesterday as we were finishing up our meal. I was having a terrible time getting a good picture (shiny things don't photograph well for me) so here is a better picutre so you can see the details.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Well, I have finally moved in with The Boy. I actually still have a few things to get out of my apartment this weekend, get is all cleaned up and turn in my keys, but it's mostly done. I have to tell you, it is nice to have all of our stuff in one place. No more of my shoes being in one house and my sweater in the other or vice versa. And we both will be able to save a good bit of money.

Also, we finally had our first snow last week. This is a picture of the parking lot from our side door last Tuesday. After we watched three cars slip and slide in the parking lot, I decided that I would work from home. I got more work done than I usually do at work - fewer interruptions.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Children's Inaugural Ball

I know I promised you all some photos of our event on Sunday, but I swear to you from the moment I set foot inside the door, I didn't leave the coat check room until it was all over. The Boy did get to walk around a little bit before he joined me what had to be the world most crowded coat closet. Other people did take pictures, though and here are some links to good coverage of our Children's Inaugural Ball. We'll have some photos on the Every Child Matters website soon, too.

Washingtonian Capital Comment Blog

Education Week

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Inauguration Madness

In case you have been living under a rock, this is Inauguration Weekend. Otherwise known as, "Don't even try to leave Northern Virginia" Weekend. The DOT/Secret Service/Lord knows who else has closed every single bridge from Northern Virginia into the District. This means that anyone who is attending any of the festivities, or God forbid, has to go to work, has to take public transportation.

This would be all well and good, except for the fact that our office is sponsoring the first ever Children's Inaugural Ball at the Washington Historical Society tomorrow afternoon. This event is the only thing that is kid-friendly all weekend. It is also free. It also filled up one day after we started taking RSVPs and has a waiting list of over 1200.

Sadly, it is also going on at the same time as the giant concert at the Lincoln Memorial. All of the staff are thinking about sneaking out the back door and going to hear Bono.

Our party is going to be great and I'll post pictures this weekend after it's over.

Don't forget that I will be on Jeopardy! on Tuesday; someone tape it for me in case it's preempted here for more inauguration coverage.