Sunday, June 14, 2009

The One with the Actual Update...

Okay, gang. You've been VERY patient with my lack of posts lately (as in, I consider it a minor miracle that I am still gaining new followers/subscribers, and my current commenters still love me enough to keep coming back! I love you all!!!)

So here it is - the snapshot of what we've been up to. I started to write it as a narrative, but while we have been busy, it has not been that exciting around here, and I don't want to eat up your whole day with that much we're going with bullet points of a sort. Here goes!

Back in the spring, I set out with more determination than usual to actually get back in shape. Not just for pool season, but also for the sake of all the stuff in my closet that I still can't get into. So I bought the Jillian Michaels 30-day shred DVD and have two things to say about that - PAIN and GLORY. Pain is pretty much the dominant theme for a while after you start this video (the most accurate review I read correctly asserted that I would pray for death, LOL!). But it is, as promised, followed by the glorious feeling of actually losing real (not water) weight. I've only lost 3# so far, but I've kept it off (even through getting sick and then several weeks of traveling). Woohoo! I'm back on the wagon this week. And I'm hanging in no matter what! Some nights this eats into my blogging time, but I am going to try to get a better routine worked out going forward.

May was busy for us - the first weekend, I went home (well, to my hometown!) to see my little sister graduate from college. Great job Squirt! I won't embarrass her by posting photos, but it was fun and I got to spend some time with family. Unfortunately, that same weekend I missed out on a fab trip to Biltmore with bloggy friends, but I ended up getting to spend the day with my 91 year old grandmother, whom I rarely get to see. So that was good.

I already posted about our trip to Miami - which was fabulous! But then two weeks later (last weekend) we went to Destin for a second wedding. Hubby's law school roommate and good friend, this time. We took a couple extra days to hang on the beach there, and I am planning a post for Friday with photos of that, so keep an eye out!

In between all of the above travels (which is a lot of travel for us in a five week period!) we've been pretty busy at work - good news, but it's making me a little nuts. It's fiscal year end for us, which is motivating everyone. But it's keeping us hopping in legal and I am ready for July, already!

Meanwhile, this spring we also had some landscaping done around the pool. It was a big decision cost-wise, but it really needed to be done. Our attempt last year to plant Leylands all along the fence fell flat, as most of them died (the guy we hired to do it had no idea what he was doing - but didn't mention that when we asked him!) Here are a few "before" pics, to give you an idea of how bad it got. Of course these were taken in late winter, which makes the whole area look worse, but was bad!

There never really was anything in the side beds (by the house) after the pool was put in - the whole area was torn up during the construction, leaving it looking pretty bare.

Then, the Leylands (for the most part) died - I think we had 4 out of 11 survive.

The hillside also took a lot of damage during the buildout, and the pool company left a huge pile of rocks sitting in the yard (nice!) - see that little gravelly area behind and to the left of the hot tub? (oops, it's actually in the pic above)...that was after hubby spent a day moving the rocks!

And then our existing clieras (sp?) took a hit from the bobcat equipment they workers used. They mangled one of the bushes so badly I thought it would die, but miraculously, it actually made it!

So this year, although it was more expensive, we went with a local landscaper who's actually knowledgeable about what and where to plant. And thankfully, our drought here seems to be over. We have gotten plenty of rain, which has been a blessing for everything we planted (and the rest of the property!) Here are a few pics of that project - we are loving it, as everything is thriving! I am also going to include a few photos of our spring greens and flowers, which I meant to post ages ago.

First is a comparison of the same four areas shown above -

And...oops, looks like we need to prune that hanging railing vine a little bit. It's taking over the world! But behind it, you can see the knockout roses and lorapetalum that they planted along the steps.

Here are a few shots of specific plants they put in - and the flowers I just love! I love all the pinks and purples, which are my favorites (plus the green, of course!)

And then in this shot, you can see where we moved the four surviving Leylands. Over behind the fence, along the ravine... So far, they are hanging in!

So let's see - this has not been quite the bullet point list I meant for it to be! - but also in the mix:

I have not been cooking much, and I MISS it!! I will have some new recipes up to share soon! I took a few hours yesterday and made some blueberry-banana oat muffins that hubby loves, some marinara sauce to freeze, and enough Cajun meatloaf for about four dinners on workout nights. Yum! I make Pastor Ryan's recipe (as featured by PW) and it is sooooooo good. I have a few other things to make this evening, but first, we are having friends out to swim this afternoon. So I need to dash and get the house picked up.

Hope you enjoyed the update from our little corner, and I'll be around soon to leave bloggy love!

Love, Dahrlin'

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Happy Saturday...and Merry Christmas!

Yep, you read that correctly. Christmas! Angie is hosting her very first swap, and she's chosen an awesome theme! Ready?

Christmas in July. Wahoo!

You can view the details here - check it out and join up, because it is sure to be AWESOME!

CIJ Swap Button

Love, Dahrlin'

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tagged - Crazy 8!

Wheee!! I love tags. And this is a perfect excuse to sit in the den, having forcefully pried from hubby's fingers ahem...borrowed...hubby's laptop, and blog again. For the first time in what feels like months! Ahhhh!!! I promise, that update is coming. This weekend. But in the meantime, this will let me tune up my blogging skills again!

Trip to Miami for wedding? Awesome.
Trip to Destin for another wedding? Also awesome.
Finally getting back to a routine? And back to blogging? Now that's priceless!!!

So was tagged by Tami at the Millers. Thanks Tami!

8 things I am looking forward to:

1. Dad and Sheri visiting for Father's Day
2. Cooking this weekend
3. Catching up with friends and family - I have been way too out of touch recently!
4. Summertime in the pool!
5. Actually having a tan this year.
6. The Def Leppard concert in August - 8 of us going - yes, really! Including this lovely lady and this BFF, who both steadfastly refuse to let me embarrass myself alone.
7. Getting back into shape.
8. My next pedicure. Yep, it's something I really look forward to!

8 things I did yesterday:

1. Went back to work after a few days of vacation. Yuk!
2. Downloaded a new song that I just love. Check out Revelation Song by Phillips, Craig and Dean.
3. Made spaghetti for dinner. Yummmmmm...
4. Went through a pile of mail. Junk mail, junk catalogs, junk bills... uh...oops!...
5. Continued reading a favorite book that I have loved for years and years, and started re-reading on vacation. I won't tell you what it is just because it's a (shhh!!!) romance novel. How embarrasing. But oh, how I love the story. (And yes, it's really the story that I love, LOL!)
6. Thought, several times, about going to get another Toblerone. Elizabeth now has me hooked on them. Thanks Elizabeth!
7. Caught up on what is going on with this adoption story (the family is family of a friend of a friend of mine...I don't know them personally IRL, but I just love this story). This adoption will reunite 4 siblings on this side of the Atlantic, and it is an amazing story. God is so good! I am praying that these kids come home SOON.
8. Watched Dog the Bounty Hunter. It's our Wednesday Night tradition!

8 things I wish I could do:

1. Drive a stick shift.
2. Read 36 hours a day. Books.piling.up.
3. Get an iPhone.
4. Be more disciplined.
5. Go to Australia. Angie and I are going, we just haven't gotten our trip planned yet!
6. See without contacts.
7. Dance well.
8. Blog more!

8 shows I watch:

Not sure there are 8 these days. Let's see -

1. The Office
2. Grey's Anatomy
3. Private Practice
4. Dog the Bounty Hunter
5. Everyday Italian
6. The Biggest Loser
7. 30 Rock
8. My Name is Earl

8 people tagged:

(1) Angie
(2) Jane
(3) Michelle
(4) Stephanie (Live.Love.Eat)
(5) Stephanie (Reillybug)
(6) Robin
(7) Lora
(8) My new swap partner April!

That's it for tonight. I gotta go to bed. This woman needs sleep.

Love you all!


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A New Swap! Woohoo!

Yes, I know, I KNOW. I have been blog-invisible the last couple weeks. We traveled twice (two four-day trips within two weeks) and that's a lot of travel for us, LOL! House is in chaos, work piled up, but it was so much fun, and I will post soon with an update, I promise!

Meanwhile, Mamarazzi was gracious enough to let me hop into the last spot in her fabulous Red, White and Blue Swap!

I am so excited! Unfortunately I can't tell you to run over and join, as I think she is all booked up for this one. But run over and follow her blog so you can keep an eye out for her next swap - she is awesome and the swaps are so much fun!

Meanwhile, an actual update on what's been going on with us (as opposed to myths and rumors and legends you've heard here before, but which failed to appear) is coming this weekend, I PROMISE! LOL!

Love, Dahrlin'
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