Monday, February 27, 2012

Rodeo Run, Riding, and a little bit of Relaxing

This weekend was busy! Saturday morning we met up with some of our friends to run in the ConocoPhillips Rodeo Run.

I know, I know, I said I was done running. I was already signed up for this run since its sponsored by my company and I'm even one of the people in charge of registration. I decided to go ahead and run it easy...

Until about halfway through when I realized I was feeling pretty good and decided to kick it into gear. I decided too late that I wanted to be under and hour and scraped over the finish line with an 8:35 pace and a time of 1:00:24.

The weather was perfect and we had a ton of fun!

I played with a new app on my iPhone and made this sketch...

...from this picture

We spent the rest of the day running errands, cleaning the house, and doing yard work. We did make some delicious lamb chops for dinner though as our reward! :-)

Sunday we woke up early and headed northwest of Houston for our training ride. The weather again was gorgeous and we had a blast! (For some reason Jason and I like to pretend we are cool and take pictures like this.)
After we got home we didn't rest. Our family was coming over so we started getting ready for their arrival.

Our almost-two-year old niece Sydney thoroughly enjoyed CeCe, our kitten. Finally the tormentor is being tormented! Sydney chased CeCe around the house trying to pet her. She was absolutely adorable!! Jacob, our brother-in-law, got some video of her running around that he'll hopefully share for me to post... (hint, hint ;-) )

We made sliders and homemade french fries for dinner and relaxed while catching up with one another.
Jacob enjoying his double decker mini slider. He was indeed able to put the full thing in his mouth.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Friday, February 24, 2012

DRM Day at the Stingerie's

I got so excited when I saw the email last week... today was DRM (Data Records Management) day at work! What is DRM day? Well, it's an entire day dedicated to organization. How could you not love that?!?! Unfortunately I got up with (ahem) actual work and was unable to do any organizing. However, that did not stop me from initiating DRM Day at the Stingerie house!

Jason got me the Freedom Filer for Christmas this past year. It's an amazing filing system that's setup to purge yearly the things you don't need to keep and to hold onto the ones needed (like for taxes, etc.) My friend Jennifer introduced me to the system and I thought it was amazing! You can read more about it here.

Our DRM day started with setting up the folders as instructed by the program. I didn't setup all the folders mostly because I didn't have enough on hand and after the week I've had, there's no way I was going out to get some. However, I setup the ones I thought I would need and as I started filing, created the additional ones I needed.

Here is a before shot of our messy filing cabinet -

And here's the successful after shot!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

A long time ago (I'm afraid to admit just how long ago...) I borrowed a book from Ana, a dear friend of mine. It's titled Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.

The book is about a family that for one year moved to the author's family farm in Virginia from Arizona and documented eating foods they either grew themselves or were available locally.

The author is incredibly gifted. I'll be honest, it took me awhile to get into the book because of her intelligence. There are a good number of words she uses that I've never heard and her dry sense of humor took me a bit to catch on (but once I did it was phenomenal!). Even Jason understood what I meant when I read him some selections from the book.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It helped reiterate some of the reasons Jason and I started our garden (read more about here). It's also incredibly eye opening to things that I had no idea about and made me realize how little we actually do know about the foods we eat. I wouldn't be able to tell you what vegetables are in season off the top of my head and I have no idea the number of miles our weekly bananas have travelled to make it to our kitchen.

As I slowly progressed in the book I earmarked some of the things that stood out to me most -

1. Asparagus. The way in which the author describes the taste of freshly picks asparagus made me want to go out and plant some right then. And then she mentioned that you have to wait three years for harvest. The plant needs two years to bulk up and if picked too soon will quickly stop shooting up. Also, they are one of the only perennial plants capable of producing for 20-30 years if properly managed. Even asparagus at a fresh farmers market will not taste nearly as good as one cooked immediately after being cut because once it's snipped it begins to metabolize. The longer the asparagus travels to its final destination the more flavor it loses. The author's description and passion make me consider finding a suitable location for asparagus in our moderately sized backyard just for the sheer possibility of someday tasting a true asparagus...

2. Cheese. Later in the book the author describes taking a cheese making class with some girlfriends of hers. I love the idea of making one of our Friday Night Pizza night (read here) pizzas with no only a homemade crust and fresh vegetables and tomato sauce from our garden, but also fresh mozzarella! She gives Ricki Carroll (the Cheese Queen's website, click here) where you can purchase your own mozzarella kit. I start doing some research on it and it's something I'd like to try. I haven't bit the bullet yet and ordered a kit, but Jason seemed keen on the idea as well so perhaps there will be a blog post in the future regarding our adventure in cheese making.

Along with discussing cheese, the author also goes into dairy and how our bodies have evolved over the years to accommodate milk and milk products. A gene mutation thousands of years ago developed in herding populations with domestic animals making them lactose tolerant. The gene is less frequent in Europe, where there were less herders, and essentially absent in the Far East, attributing to most Asians being completely lactose intolerant. I don't believe in evolution by any means - however, as an engineer I am partly a scientist and I do believe that our bodies have adapted for survival throughout the years. It's curious to me thinking about why dairy is pushed so frequently as a good source of calcium when our bodies were originally not even made to consume it and what alternatives for calcium we should be considering instead.

3. Vegetarianism. One would automatically assume that a book of this liking would yield itself to promoting vegetarianism. The author does not and that's one of the things that I respect about the piece of work. I find nothing wrong with eating meat and find it to be ridiculous when people argue their case for not eating it. Plants are living too - the difference is that they were not made to suffer through a feedlot. I don't like the idea of eating meat that has not lived a true life. That has been forced in captivity and force fed hormones in order to fatten and grow itself just for processing. The book focuses on the satisfaction and circle of dependency of raising an animal to slaughter and eating it. An animal with a purpose to sustain life that has lived its own life.

One of my coworkers owns land outside Houston and a year ago purchased two calves with the intent of raising them for slaughter and allowed his coworkers and friends to purchase shares in the beef. Jason and I decided that where our meat comes from is one area we would like to improve. We gladly agreed to purchasing 1/4 of a cow without knowing the costs associated until after receiving our shares. We were pleasantly surprised with the outcome of both cows (we received 1/8 from each). The first cow, slaughtered a little sooner due to increasingly-aggressive nature was only about $4/lb and his brother, who came a few months later was only a little over $5/lb. Prices we were happy to pay knowing these guys grazed freely and actually getting to see their home before eating them. Might sound cryptic to some, but I feel good knowing that he lived a good life.

4. Costs. I'll admit I was (still slightly am) a skeptic when it comes to the prices of organic being comparable and a better alternative than regular grocery stores. There are hidden costs that the author discussing which are imposed not directly on our pocket, but indirectly through taxes which help fund transportation of in-season vegetables all across the world where they are out of season. She also tallied the costs of her locavore experiment assigning the vegetables, chickens, and turkeys a monetary values of $4410 based on in-season organic prices in her comparison. That averaged to her, $1.72 per person per meal and even adding the little that was spent on groceries monthly (wheat flour for daily bread making and free trade coffee), it was still a significant savings overall. The key is picking produce that's in-season at your farmer's market and designing your meal plan around that. Also purchasing extras of in-season vegetables for canning, freezing, and drying helps save more.

5. Turkey sex. Yes, you read that correctly. Some of the most hilarious parts of her book are when she discusses the purchasing and mating of her young heirloom breed turkeys. She purchased Bourbon Red turkeys which are not the common Broad-breasted White turkey we are used to seeing at our Thanksgiving dinner. Her description of the Bourbon Red taste makes me want to investigate Slow Food USA's turkey project, which allows customers to sign-up in the springtime for an heirloom breed instead of the grocery store alternative. The Bourbon Red have traditionally more dark meat as they are smaller breasted, but make up it in the leg and thigh. The author describes the taste as the "richest, most complex-flavored turkey we had eaten" and swears the aroma was that of lobster as the turkey practically bastes itself in a layer of fat under the skin of the breast. I'm not a huge turkey fan and neither is Jason. But that description made us want to sign up for one and we are planning to look into the project!

You are probably wondering where the sex part comes in? Well, the author intends to keep some of her turkey to breed for the next generation and find herself in quite the conundrum when it finally comes to mating time and no resources are to be found on the subject of turkey mating. Apparently all turkey hatcheries artificially inseminate their breeding stock and use incubators as alternatives to motherhood to prepare the eggs. This left a big gaping hole in information for the author to attempt to raise her own since the concept of sex has been out of the turkey's existence for years. She finally stumbles upon a mid-twentieth century book on domestic animals that gives her information on what her turkeys are about to do as they get ready to mate. Her description of the turkeys during this portion are hysterical and Jason and I laughed as we read out loud her adventures. The book ends on a whimsical note with successful turkey babies and a new generation of mother turkeys being brought back.

I would highly recommend this book. It was a humorous and thought-provoking piece of work. Even though it took me awhile to get into it and finish it, I'm glad that I did and I found it to be incredibly informative.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Gamblin' Getaway

Jason and I love gambling- slots, blackjack, sometimes craps. In Colorado we would regularly head up the Central City/Blackhawks and play a bit. Before you get concerned, we are moderate gamblers. Jason takes more risks than me- I like my penny slots thank you very much.

A couple of weeks ago I found out that Jason has President's Day (today) off work. Thanks to a sweet coworker covering for me, I was able to take my flex day today and not have to work.

I had the fun idea of going to Louisiana to gamble! I figured Sunday nights are cheaper anyway and it would be a fun, short trip. I checked L'Auberge, a casino we'd visited a couple years ago in Lake Charles.

Fail. Apparently there was a concert that night and room prices reflected that- $300 a night! I'm sorry but that casino was not worth it in my opinion. They hadn't had amazing penny slots, they'd only had $25/hand blackjack, and I couldn't swallow that high price tag for the room...

I expanded my search and discovered Coushatta Casino just 20 min NW of Lake Charles. I booked a more reasonable $125 room. :-)

We headed out yesterday excited for our evening of gambling. We opened Players Club cards and added them to our room after checking in.

We played some slots and then some blackjack. Let's just say Allen was not our favorite dealer... Jason and I lost $60 each. :-( Back to the slots for us!

When we checked out this morning we were told our room was being comped. Sweet! That is until I pointed out that's about what we were down from blackjack.

We headed back to the game floor for a few more hours of gambling before heading back to Houston.

I played on the same $20 on slots all last night and a few more hours this morning. Pretty darn good! So overall I lost $80. I asked Jason how much he lost. He said I didn't want to know...

He finally fessed up to losing about $140 total making our cum losses $220. Minus the room cost of $130 (with taxes) and we are only down about $110. Not bad for about 9 hours of gambling!

I love the Goldfish!!

Jason playing Lucky Lemmings!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


A Running Break...

This morning I ran another half marathon. It was the 1st annual Rhythm and Blues and they had all kinds of bands on the race course. Which was good since it was a three-loop course of underpasses... Not my favorite.

A few weeks back my friend Nikki told me her and her bf Bo were planning to run it, but then he found out he was going to out of town for work. I knew I needed another race if I was going to keep running so I offered to run it with her.

We went on the last few training runs we needed and had a blast. Nikki is faster than me, but she said I pushed her on distance do it was a good match.

I've been having some post-tibial tendinitis from on both ankles from over-use. Go figure! I've been taping before long runs an it's helped a little.

Well, Nikki found out last week that Bo was going to be town because his scheduled changed (he's a pilot). But she encouraged me to run still. I debated and in the end went ahead and registered despite feeling slightly hesitant. I wanted to run another half and I'd already trained...

Well, it's a good thing Bo was running so Nikki would have a partner. I crashed again. Seems to be a recurring theme in my last few races. Between my ankles and my unusually high heart rate (between 89-92% of max the whole time), I was just thankful to finish.

And I've decided I need a break from running for a bit. It's not uplifting right now and I'm not enjoying it like I should. I think a break while I continue to train for the MS 150 will be nice.

Here's some non-running pictures before/after the race since we all know I fail at taking running pictures...

Bo, Nikki, Mark (Bo's hungover friend who kicked all our butts on three hours of sleep- hate those natural runners ;-) ), and me.

We finished! And Nikki did AMAZING!! She beat her previous half time and I couldn't be more proud of her! :-)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Story of a Ring

I decided awhile back that I would like to have a second wedding band, matching my original, in order for me to wear just the two wedding bands and leave my engagement ring at home. It's a lot easier to do cycling, running, etc. without having the engagement ring on, but I didn't want to be without anything. Plus I like the idea of stacking the three rings and in the future I would like to hand down my engagement ring and the two wedding bands would look better than just one.

We decided to investigate finding a matching wedding band like my original and were thrilled to discover that Helzberg had one. In the entire company. Apparently they stopped making the Bondanza line of rings and only one remained. And at half price! The store offered to ship the ring to our location for me to consider purchasing at no cost. Jason and I went and looked at the ring and decided to go ahead and purchase it.

So I flip back and forth between wearing just the wedding bands, all three bands, my traditional engagement ring/wedding band. Until a couple weeks ago...I was driving home from Bible study and playing with my rings. Unfortunately as I did so, the duplicate wedding band fell behind the steering wheel of my car. Yes, you read that correctly.

I got home and spent he next 30 min before my husband arrived frantically trying to move the steering wheel and see if I could locate the ring. I was unable. When my husband came home I decided to take a round about way in telling him of the little mishap...

Me: So, um, hi honey. I was just wondering, what does the inside of the steering wheel look like in the Lexus? I mean, like behind the dash and stuff? Wouldn't it be really awesome to know that? I've been thinking about it a lot lately - let's take it off and see what it looks like. Isn't that a great idea?

Jason [eyeing me suspiciously...]: No, Darcy, I don't think it's a great idea... why do you want to see behind the steering wheel?

Me [starting to panic]: Well, um, sweetie, there um, might be a ring lost somewhere behind the steering wheel.

Jason: WHAT?!?!?!

Me: I didn't mean to! I was just playing with my rings and it sort of fell. Behind the steering wheel I think. I already looked everywhere else in the car and tried to see behind the steering wheel and couldn't find it. We might have to take it apart this weekend...oh, hey, but I got you a cupcake! (I hand over the Ooh La La cupcake incredibly grateful I purchased before the incident to use now in my defense)

Jason: Did you buy the cupcake before or after you lost the ring Darcy? You know I have better things to do this weekend than take apart your car.

Darcy [sheepishly hangs head and frowns]: I know. I'm sorry. I was just trying to increase the value of the car!

Jason: Wrong answer. Go to your room.

That was two weeks ago. We've been incredibly busy since then and haven't gotten a chance to take the car apart to find the ring. I did however remove a couple panels to assist in the search.

Me: Jason, I took off a couple panels and still couldn't locate the ring. I stopped when I saw wires attached and didn't know what to do from there.

Jason: How did you take it apart?

Me: I used my super strength to pull the panels off. Hopefully none of them broke. What the heck do you mean, "How did I take it apart?" I know how to use a screwdriver you know! I'm also an engineer.

Jason: Well, you don't seem to be making brilliant choices recently regarding the car. Just thought I'd ask.

Today Jason kindly changed my spark plugs, my oil, and searched for my missing ring... Success!!

I pointed out to him that it didn't take very long and I did half the work by taking off the panels. That was when he gave me this look and said I was lucky. He's probably right...

Back where they should be! :-)


Friday Night Pizza Night

I love pizza! I am pretty sure I could eat pizza three times a week and not tire of it. My body, however, might not appreciate the intense caloric intake...

Instead, we just eat pizza once a week. On Friday nights. We've dubbed the tradition Friday Night Pizza Night. We even have a partial song/jingle we sing while we make it. We are quit humorous. But perhaps only to each other... I digress. Anyway, Friday nights work out well for this tradition since Saturday morning I am usually either running or cycling and I have the excuse of carbo loading to help justify the pizza. :-)

Jason and I love to make our own pizza. We alternate between making our own and buying pizza depending on our schedules and what we have time for that night. Tonight we were able to make our own. They were delicious!!

We've been making them for awhile since we found a fantastic whole wheat pizza crust recipe. We will make the full amount and freeze half the dough for another time. We also have used pita bread (like we did tonight) and the pre-made pizza crust. Our homemade one definitely tastes the best though!

We also love that we can use ingredients from our garden - like basil. It definitely makes the pizza better. We can't wait for the summer when we can plant tomatoes again and use the delicious homegrown ingredients on our pizza!

On nights we don't make our own we will try pizza from somewhere near us or go out for pizza or pick one up on the way home. The best pizza we've tried so far is Brothers Pizzeria near my office.

Here are some of our previous pizza creations!

We tried grilling our pizza one time. It was a little technical, but tasted amazing and was worth the care it took to cook it.

 Our New Year's Eve pizza (see blog post here)... we started a tradition of having pizza that night too...we might have a pizza problem... :-)


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Fortunes

I arrived at work to find this cute take-out box on my desk. A valentine but from whom? I asked around and discovered my friend Nikki was the culprit.

I didn't get a chance to open my box until just now. It's amazing!! Nikki made personalized fortunes on top of delicious chocolates!

I am blessed with some amazing friends!! :-)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Story of Us

I stole this blog post idea from my newly-acquainted friend Chelsea at The Perfect Catch (she originally got the idea from Mrs. to Mama). She and I met through our Pi Phi alumni group and are discovering more and more that we have in common! I foresee a double date in our future... :-)

1. How long have you and your significant other been together?
Jason and I have been together for 2,683 days, 11 hours, and 20 min. That translates to 7 years, 4 months, 4 days. Nerdy, right? My friend Chelsea (not the same one mentioned above) and I used to calculate what percentage of our life we’d been with our significant others when we were in college. Specifically in differential equations class. We almost created our own algorithm to calculate it. But then we realized that was way too nerdy. 
2. How did you meet? {What's your "love" story?}
Jason and I met at a Sigma Nu Fraternity party. I was irritated from recently driving back from Boulder only to be forced to hang out in boring ol’ Golden. The party was a drag as none of the guys were talking to anyone but themselves so being the shy person that I am, I waltzed up to the circle of boys and introduced myself. Jason was one such boy and we ended up spending the evening talking to one another. I thought he was incredibly sweet – until he didn’t offer to walk me home across campus at 1:00 am in the dark. Boy was crossed off my list after such behavior. Until a friend and Sigma Nu pledge brother convinced me to give Jason my contact information and he asked me out on a date and apologized for not walking me home. He was cute so I decided to give him a second chance. :-)

3. If married, how long have you been married? If not, is this the guy you hope to marry? {do tell}
We have been married for 1,276 days, 19 hours, and 20 min. Or rather, 3 years, 5 months, and 28 days.

4. If you are married, where did you get married at? Big or small wedding? If not, where would you like to get married? And will it be big or small?
We were married on August 16, 2008 at Willow Ridge Manor in Morrison, CO. It was a medium sized wedding with ~160 of our incredibly supportive and loving family and friends.  
5. Do you have any nick-names that you call one another? Do share!
Jason epically fails at nicknames. 7 years and I am still Darcy. Sometimes sweetieheart when I haven’t screwed up… I call Jason Bug, short for Cuddle Bug.

6. Name 3 things you love most about your honey.
Just three?! I love his kindness, his hardworking attitude, and his patience. (The last one is a biggie since the Lord skipped over me in that particular Fruit of the Spirit when He passed them out!)  

7. Tell us how he proposed? Or your ideal proposal?
Jason was living in Houston my senior year of college. He flew to Colorado and drove to Golden to surprise me. He called me while I was at my sorority house waiting for my mom to bring my softball equipment (I had a game that night.) On the phone with Jason he said that I had a package. I hurried downstairs to look for my package inside where our mailboxes were. Nothing. He said, “no your package is outside”. So I hurried outside to look in the milk carton where they put our mail before it’s sorted. Nothing. Jason exasperatedly said, “no look up”. As I looked up I saw Jason wearing a suit carrying a dozen roses. Out of the corner of my eye I could see my mom had arrived with my softball equipment. Inside the sorority house we were hosting an open recruitment event. One of my sisters calmly said from the kitchen window, “Why is Jason here…in a suit… with a dozen roses…?”  20 girls rushed to the window to watch while my husband, now even more nervous due to the unexpected audience, got down on one knee and proposed. (Please note the softball equipment behind us. Needless to say I skipped the game though.)

8. Is he a flowers and teddy bear kind of guy for v-day, or strawberries, champagne, and rose petals?
Flowers (if they are on sale or Jason used a coupon) and no teddy bear. But mostly I love the cards and notes Jason gives me. Where as I look for the $1.99 card at Hallmark, Jason takes 20 min to read them all and select the perfect one. Love that guy!  

9. Are you a sunset dinner on the beach kind of girl, or pop a movie in and relax on the couch?
Jason and I are not beach people. And I don’t understand the second statement. Please use the word “relax” in another sentence… Jason and I would prefer to go hiking or bike riding or do some sort of activity together. 

10. Tell us one thing you'd like to do with your significant one day. If you could do anything? Go anywhere?
That’s tough… travel is the first thing that comes to mind, but a close second (in five years of course) is starting a family.

11. Tell us what you plan on doing on this Valentine's Day.
Going to Bible study… a women’s Bible study.

12. Are you asking for anything this Valentine's day?
Please note yesterday’s post on our Valentine’s Day gifts – click here.  

13. Give us one piece of advice of keeping a relationship strong and full of love.
Put God in the center of your marriage.

14. Show us a picture of what love means to you.
Kissing this face every day. Now that's love. I hope Jason doesn't read this post...


Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Day! A couple days early...

This year Valentine's Day falls on a Tuesday. When I have Bible study. Very romantic. We still don't have plans to go out to dinner yet...but we intend to at some point. (That counts right?) And so because neither of us has any self-control we opened our gifts early. On Sunday night.

I almost opened mine on Friday when the package arrived and my husband was miles away with no method of stopping me... but I refrained. Barely. And only because I knew what I was getting anyway. 

Fabulous Tory Burch flats!! I am totally wearing them today and loving them!

Jason got a sport coat, slacks, shirt, and a sweater along with a Sur La Table slider maker for the grill. 

However, the best gift of all was El Toro. El Toro of Love. My dad had El Toro in the attic where we stayed this past Christmas while visiting them in Chicago. It became a running joke between Jason and I to play El Toro. Imagine my excitement when I stumbled upon El Toro in Hallmark! Since he was the previous year's promotion he was half price plus I had an additional 20% coupon. Best $8 I have ever spent. The look on Jason's face was worth every penny. Even CeCe likes El Toro. Or rather, likes to bit his tail and knock him over. And who wouldn't like this amazing guy?!?!

I also made Jason this picture frame. I saw it on Pinterest and fell in love with it. I look forward to writing and reading (ahem, hint hint) notes on it in the future! 

Happy Valentine's Day!!


First Sewing Class

Last Wednesday was my first sewing class. Unfortunately I am just blogging about it now... I have excuses though! I didn't get home until 10:00 pm Wednesday and had to pack. On Thursday I had a 6:00 am flight to Atlanta where I was busy until 10:30 pm followed by an 8:00 am flight back to Houston Friday morning. No, there's more. After I arrived in Houston I had to rush back to the office for a management presentation in the afternoon followed by decorating our table for the Friendship Brunch. Saturday I had to run a 6 miler (going on 21 hours of sleep the previous 3 nights) followed by a weekend up near College Station cheering Jason on at his 24 Hours of Lemons race. Phew - someday I will learn how to not schedule myself to be so dang busy. Until then...

I digress. My apologies. Where was I? Ah, first sewing class. Our teacher Becky is a riot! She went over how to read patterns and how to take our measurements and size ourselves for purchasing patterns. (And let me tell you that is depressing - we have apparently decreased our sizing chart in stores to make ourselves feel better. Sewing has not. Therefore someone a size 6-8 in stores is a 10-12 in patterns. Ouch. Again digressing...)

She also discussed with us the types of thread we want to use and explained fabric options and grain direction to us. Most of that was over all of our heads. Fortunately she is there to answer all our questions. Afterwards we practiced for a little bit on our machines.

I am planning on using my own machine in class. I brought my sweet traveling sewing machine case which all of my friend were insanely jealous about. I told them they could get one just like mine at Walmart for only $25 on Black Friday.

They were also envious of my knowledge about my sewing machine. I told them it was because I read the manual and they all looked at me with admiration. Even the teacher was impressed at my 1976 Singer and wanted to see my manual.

There is only one place in the classroom to put your own sewing machine and so my default I am in the corner surrounded by my friends. Becky recalled having a student who previously sat in that corner and was so quiet that she never asked for help when she needed it. My supportive friends reassured the teacher that this would not be the case this year as I have never been accused of being quiet in all my 26 years. I've got such amazing girlfriends! (Please note the heavy sarcasm laced through the above paragraphs... my friends ruthlessly teased me the entire evening. I still love them though. :-) )

Becky also told us that this week Simplicity patterns were on sale at Hobby Lobby for only $.99. This is a huge deal since they are normally $16-$20. Despite being completely exhausted Saturday night after watching Jason race, I trudged to Hobby Lobby at 7:30 with precious 30 minutes to find a pattern.

I rushed around the fabric and thread and needles seeing no patterns. I asked a worker in the sewing section and she kindly replied (with rolling eyes...) that they were over there and gestured to a filing cabinet. I asked her if there were specific sections corresponding to the numbers outside the drawers. She again sweetly (not...) replied "You have to know the number ahead of time." Since I had no numbers and no time to find numbers online I began to just open a drawer intent to not miss the sale ending in just minutes. Seeing me do this she felt compelled to help this lost soul once more by informing me that the pattern books were behind the cabinet and sauntered away as though I were the biggest idiot in Hobby Lobby that night...

However, the night was a success! I walked away with 8 sewing patterns (a mixture of skirts, pants, and tops).

Next I'll tackle fabric selection. But perhaps not at Hobby Lobby...


24 Hours of Lemons 2012

This past weekend was busy! After co-hosting at my church's Friendship Brunch (read about it here), Meredith and I headed north almost to College Station where the Texas World Speedway track is located. Our significant others were both racing is this year's first 24 Hours of Lemons race.

Jason has participated in the Lemons race five times since 2010. (You can read about their last race here). This year the team decided to purchase a second car and recruit more drivers. Meredith's fiancĂ© Kyle was a new recruit racing for the first time with them. We dutifully headed out in cold and wind to cheer them on! And of course brought baked goods with us. :-)

Unfortunately they were having issues with both cars when we arrived. The veteran car that they've used for the past races was overheating after just a few laps. They noticed that water was coming out of the exhaust. This is apparently a very bad thing... They took the engine apart the previous night, but were unable to fix it. They decided that the car needed a new engine block and will have to be re-built before the next race. They drove the car off and on, allowing it to cool between track visits.

The "new" car was having computer chip issues. They tried resetting the computer back to manufacturer settings, but that didn't fix the problem. Could be because the car previous caught on fire before they purchased it...I'm just saying. They decided eventually that the fuel injectors were getting clogged. As a result of the fire. Yup, fire kills cars apparently...

(Disclaimer - the above paragraphs were proofed by my husband. I only 90% know what I just said...)

Jason spent the previous Wednesday night painting these babies for the tops of each car. I asked him if he actually put 50 stars. He said yes. Man, I love being married to an engineer. :-)

Here's the four of us -

Love my race car driving hubby!

They were able to muster both cars to run sporadically and we got to watch both Jason and Kyle on the track Saturday. They even got both cars out on the track at the same time long enough to take a picture. I think they were only able to do two or three laps before they both had to come in though...

Here's Kyle getting suited up to race -

We got up early this morning and braved the wind for a second time to cheer them on today. I was able to see Jason race for a little bit, but unfortunately Meredith didn't get to see Kyle race again.

You might have noticed in the previous Lemons post that their original car was red, white, and blue. They decided to do an overhaul on the paint for that car and their recently acquired car. They painted them with matching themes for the Monster energy drink. No, they did not receive sponsorship from them for this junk car race. Someone asked them that...

I think everyone was disappointed that they weren't able to race more this year. :-(

Hopefully both the cars will be working by May/June when the next races are coming up!!

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