Mother Nature...She Ain't No Friend of Mine

on Monday, February 25, 2008

Blinding sunshine, temps cruisin' up into the 40's, the sounds of melting ice dripping off of trees and houses, muddy puddles left behind by melting snow, all sorts of people out and about in the neighborhood running, walking their dog, taking a leisurely stroll, etc... My might think it's spring in New England!!!

But wait! Not so fast. After a few glorious days, winter is rearing it's ugly head again. Tomorrow will bring a nasty wintry mix of snow, sleet, and rain followed by a week of temps in the 20's. Well, I don't know about you, but I am fed up with this! I want spring to be here already. I want sunshine. I want warm breezes. I want to see flowers sprouting and trees budding. I want the birds back! It has been a very long winter and I am officially done with it. I am dying to ride my bike, go for a jog where you actually go somewhere, play some tennis, go for a hike, eat ice cream (well, that's really a year-round activity for me, but I can somehow justify it in my mind when the weather is nice). I want to roll the car windows down and feel the wind on my face. I want to wear bright colors and open-toe shoes.

Yesterday I had visions of all these wonderful things. As Bailey and I were on our glorious hour and a half long walk soaking up the endless sunshine, I was thinking that this really might have been the turning point. Wonderful spring weather actually felt like it could be reality sooner rather than later. I could tell that Bailey felt it too. She strutted her stuff all over town like she knew we were on the verge on something fantastic. She had a renewed vigor in her step and a twinkle in her eye. I'm sure as all of my springtime visions were whirling around in my head, hers were too. Long walks with her beloved doggie-mama, playing fetch in the park, car rides with her head out the window, romping through the woods on our long hikes, swimming at our special spot, squirrels to chase everywhere! Oh, what a life to live!

Well, today we both got a big old slap in the face as we watched the weather report. Mother nature was only teasing us. Yesterday's fantastic weather is gone just as fast as it got here and we are reminded that we are far from being done with the winter blues. So, it's back to scarves and mittens, back to shoveling snow, back to running on the treadmill. Ugh! And we aren't the only ones that feel this way. Just this morning my mom and I were discussing developing a "two year plan" to move somewhere warm. A big part of the reason that I still suffer through this dreadful weather is because I want to be close to her. But, if she came with me somewhere warm?!? That would be perfect! All of my weather woes would be solved! Now I just need to convince my dad, my sister, my in-laws, my friends, and of course, my husband that we need to go south. Do you think I can do it?

Hello Old Friend!

on Friday, February 22, 2008

I haven't been good about updating my blog lately. Not because I have nothing to write about or because I haven't had time, but rather because I just haven't felt like it. It's not a matter of being lazy...believe me I have been anything but...but I just plain old haven't felt like writing. Maybe it's the cold, dreary winter that seems as though it will never end (another 6" to 10" of snow today...ugh!!!), or perhaps it's how busy I've been both at work and at home the past few weeks, but whatever the cause, the blogging has been on hiatus. So here I am today to kick start the blogging action again.

A quick synopsis of the past few weeks...John and I have both been extremely busy at work, especially John. He is such a hard worker and now that he is working for himself he is 100 times more dedicated to his work. I've been seeing him a little less than normal these days, but every time that fact starts to make me sad he reminds me that he is doing this for us. For our future. So that we can comfortably live the life that we want for ourselves and our future family. And I know that it is all worth it. So, for now, my time away from John will be poured into myself...working out, studying for my personal trainer certification, spending lots of time with my wonderful Bailey, watching my DVR'd girlie shows that John hates, and just enjoying some alone time that I get very rarely these days.

Other than that, things have been fairly quiet. We had a wonderful Valentine's/Anniversary dinner at Wiggins Tavern in the historic and beautiful Hotel Northampton. John made reservations for us there weeks ago but kept it a secret from me. It was such a wonderful surprise because we have never been there before. We love going out to dinner and have visited nearly every restaurant in Northampton at one point or another, but we've somehow never been to Wiggins, so it was great to finally check it out. Our dinners were delicious too! I do have a picture of us from that night (our 7 year dating anniversary!), but have yet to upload it to my laptop.

And speaking of the Hotel Northampton, we will be back there in just a couple of weeks. The Century 21 "Gold Ball" is being held there on March 8th, so we will be dressing up in our finest yet again to enjoy an elegant night out with John's colleagues. I think it's kind of funny...neither of us have ever been to a ball before this year and this will be our second in just one month. Don't get me wrong...I'm not complaining. In fact, it's quite the opposite. I love, love, love getting dressed up and going to a fancy occasion. And I love to meet new people and socialize and do new things, so keep the balls coming!!! HA!

We also have a trip to Boston planned in a couple of weeks to visit friends. This trip is LONG overdue! Not only do we miss our friends and want to see them, but we miss our city! Our home sweet home not so long ago. We definitely do not visit as much as we should (especially considering it is only an hour and a half car ride). Part of it is the cost of visiting (anyone who knows Boston knows how expensive a night out on the town is, let alone a whole weekend), and part of it is finding a place to stay (which also involves finding a dog sitter). But mostly it is due to the fact that it is just hard to get away for a weekend with our busy lives. We really should be better about making the time for ourselves and for our friends. So, to Beantown it is! We'll be squeezing in visits with several different friends, and although it will no doubt be hectic, it will be so worth it and so much fun!

Well, on that note, I'd better wrap this up and get back to work. It's a snowy mess outside and I'd like to get this weekend started early :-)

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

on Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Good: Westfield has a fabulous new mayor and he has fantastic ideas on how to revive the city. His vision is to make Westfield a fun, young, hip, ecclectic college town. John and I fully support this vision. We would love to see Westfield live up to its potential. We believe that our city can be a truly wonderful place to work and live, and we believe that Mayor Boulanger has the skills and know-how to get the job done. Plus, it doesn't hurt that Mayor Boulanger is the father of one of John's best friends :-) So, you're probably asking yourself "why is she talking about this now? The election was 3 months ago, so this is really old news."

Well, there are two reasons that I am bringing this up. First, John and I are really excited about all this (as mentioned above) and we are trying to become more involved with our community. We have spoken to Mayor Boulanger about our enthusiasm for his vision and our desire to help. Mayor Boulanger thinks it's great that people of our generation want to get more involved in civic life and believes that we can bring a fresh new perspective to the table. So, with Mayor Boulanger's blessing and assistance, we are each going to join a city committee. Not sure which ones yet, but I will keep y'all posted as soon as we know.

Second, to celebrate the beginning of Mayor Boulanger's first term, John and I were invited to, and attended, the Mayoral Inagural Ball this past Saturday night. It was a very festive and lavish event, and we were honored to be part of it. For your viewing pleasure, here are some pictures of the night:

The Bad: Believe it or not, I dropped my cell phone in the toilet this weekend! I left my phone at home on Saturday night, and when I got home I saw that I had some missed calls and voicemails. I had to pee so bad that I ran into the bathroom with my phone still in my hand and just as I lifted the lid, the phone slipped out of my hand and splash! So gross, I know. At least it happened in "clean water", if you know what I mean! But, sadly, the phone was fried. So, on Monday, I had to do battle with Verizon to get a new phone up and running. They originally told me that I would have to pay full retail price (which is usually $300 - $400), then they told me that I could get a new phone for a one year contract price (which is still quite expensive), then they told me I could get a new phone for $50, but I'd have to wait 3-4 business days for it to be shipped to me. But thanks to my superior negotiating skills, I was able to walk out of the store that day with a brand new phone for $50! I was quite pleased with that outcome!

The Ugly: I am not going to say much about this, as it is still too upsetting for me. One word: Superbowl. What a big fat disappointment. All that hard playing and record setting all season...all for nothing. Now, instead of being remembered as the best team ever, they'll now be remembered as the team who choked (against a wild card team where they were a two touchdown favorite, no less). I know that what they did this season is incredible, going 18-0 and all, but the only one that really mattered is the one they couldn't win. And don't even get me started on the fact that we lost to a Manning brother. Ugh!

And just as a follow up to my last post...the Taco Bell phenomenon continues. Last night, on my way home from dinner with John's parents, I passed the fast food restaurant yet again, and it was just as packed as last week. Unreal! Kind of makes me wish I had opened a franchise. That owner is laughing all the way to the bank!

Another One of Life's Mysteries

on Friday, February 1, 2008

People never cease to amaze me.

On my drive home from work on Wednesday, I passed the new Taco Bell in town. I didn't think it had opened yet, but it was quite evident that it was open that evening. You wouldn't believe the number of people there. Cars filled the Taco Bell parking lot and the TJ Maxx parking lot next door. Cars were lined up all the way around the building and were overflowing out of the Taco Bell parking lot. Seriously, there must have been at least 25 cars in line for the drive-thru. Seriously. And you should have seen how packed the inside of the restaurant was. People wall to wall. I thought to myself "Wow! It must be the Grand Opening tonight to attract that many people". I drove by and went on my merry little way not thinking twice about it.

Well, last night I passed the Taco Bell again. To my astonishment, I witnessed the same crazy scene again! People everywhere!!! Cars everywhere!!! So, clearly Wednesday night was not a special night. It was not some fancy Grand Opening celebration. It was just an open Taco Bell. And this fact leads me to make my opening statement...people never cease to amaze me. It's a Taco Bell. Everyone has eaten at a Taco Bell before. Everyone. Why would any semi-intelligent, reasonable individual wait for 30+ minutes (and this is a conservative estimate...honestly, it was probably an even longer wait) for any Taco Bell menu item?

Now, I can certainly understand why someone might want Taco Bell food. Long before I lived the healthy lifestyle I currently live, I too would occasionally indulge in some Taco Bell. I love a Soft Taco Supreme just as much as the next guy. I could easily put back three of them and wash them down with a large Coke. And, as bad as I would feel after eating such a meal, I never thought twice about scarfing down another big fat Soft Taco Supreme. I realize that not everyone watches what they eat as much as I do. Eating healthfully is my own personal choice, and I do not fault anyone who might choose a different lifestyle. I do not judge. What I can't get over is the fact that ANYONE would wait that long and fight those crowds for it. Come on people! It's Taco Bell! You'd think that the President, or the Pope, or Britney Spears were in there to attract those kinds of crowds. But, sadly, there was no polarizing figure, no international superstar. Just tacos. And this I will just never understand.