Thursday, December 26, 2013

Year in Review 2013

1. What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before? Got paid to teach a yoga class. Lots of them, actually!

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I did win a fitness award (3rd place), got my body fat down to 17.1% temporarily (hovering around 17.5% lately) and fit into a size 4. And our mutual fund account is reopened, woot woot. Want to actually stick with a lifting program next year and increase my LBM, hold a handstand, and hopefully get a yoga for athletes teaching certification.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? A bunch of ladies from my online fitness group, but that's the only ones I can think of.

4. Did anyone close to you die? No one is coming to mind.

5. What countries did you visit? Bahamas, Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia. Working our way through Central America, and also our first country in South America!

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013? still HOT TUB. 2014 is going to be the Year of the Hot Tub. I have decreed it so.

7. What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? January 26th - moving day! Hopefully the last one for a very long time.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Getting my RYT-200 certification, and an award at work.

9. What was your biggest failure? Not keeping good track of our spending in the first half of the year.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Two colds, laparoscopic abdominal surgery, wrist injury, and a gum infection leading to a tooth extraction. Making up for previous uneventful years I suppose.

11. What was the best thing you bought? My gym! Weightlifting and cardio just one flight of stairs away.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? My awesome doctor who did my surgery.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Government bureaucrats with nothing better to do

14. Where did most of your money go? Mortgage (one year down, 14 or less to go!) and our Panama Canal Cruise trip

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Moving into our new house and finishing it up (decorations, furniture, etc) exactly the way we wanted it. And my 10-year reunion!!

16. What song will always remind you of 2013? "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke. Don't judge me.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? happier!
ii. thinner or fatter? thinner!
iii. richer or poorer? richer!

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? Meditating

19. What do you wish you'd done less of? Wondering when I was going to go back to work/if I would get paid.

20. How will you be spending Christmas? First Christmas in the new house! Mom and Daniel came up to see us.

21. How will you be spending New Year's Eve? Originally planned to teach a NYE yoga class, but no one signed up for it so it's back to the same old same old with Matt's fam.

22. Did you discover any great new websites in 2013? Did I discover STFU Parents this year? Also, I guess I "discovered" Feedly, after Google Reader was killed off.

23. How many weddings? No weddings! I was going to say 'I think this is the first time that's happened in a while' but I've only been answering weddings for the past three years so I'm really not sure. Darn you, former stupid question 23.

24. What was your favorite TV program? Breaking Bad. Yes I know I'm behind the times.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? Everyone that voted against re-opening the government.

26. What was the best book you read? Game of Thrones. I wish I had taken more than just the first book on vacation.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery? Imagine Dragons, Good Old War, A Great Big World

28. What did you want and get? A backyard, a working fireplace, and a grey cashmere hoodie.

30. What was your favorite film of this year? So far, The Great Gatsby. But we are going to go see The Wolf of Wall Street and American Hustle in two days.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? 32 years old; I don't actually remember what we did ON my actual birthday? We must have gone out to eat somewhere. But we went to a cocktail pairing dinner with the Greens at Ruth's Chris later that week which was awesome!

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Less government bureaucracy locally and in DC.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013? Same fashion, smaller clothes. Slowly replacing pretty much everything I own.

34. What kept you sane? Yoga class and the studio community

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Skylar Astin, Anna Kendrick

36. What political issue stirred you the most? The government shutdown

37. Who did you miss? Jeremy and Christa - no more dinner game nights with them :-(

38. Who were the best new people you met? Yoga Brad and New Chuck

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013: I am not defined by other people's expectations.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year: "What do you say to taking chances? What do you say to jumping off the edge? Never knowing if there's solid ground below, or a hand to hold, or hell to pay...what do you say?" - Celine Dion (or Glee, since that's the only version I know)

(One more year until double digits - Previous Years' Roundup)

Year in Review Roundup

In preparation for this year's post, as well as future years - I've done this so many times that hyperlinking to individual posts every year is annoying, so now I'll just be able to update this post with additional links and then link to this post. Efficiency!


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Wine Dinner # 10

Wine Dinner # 10: A Chef's Table onboard Legend of the Seas, December 1

Champagne toast to start
Course 1: confit of salmon with poached lobster, paired with sauvignon blanc
Course 2: celeriac cream, duck consomme, duck brioche sandwich paired with pinot noir
Course 3: seared scallops paired with chardonnay
Course 4: slow roasted veal tenderloin paired with cabernet sauvignon
Course 5: caramelized pear and nougat parfait paired with moscato

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Wine Dinner #9

Wine Dinner # 9: A Chef's Kitchen (Williamsburg, VA), October 5

Course 1: Champagne toast and Hors d'oeuvres
Course 2: Cauliflower and corn chowder with cheddar and bacon
Course 3: Portobello and bok choy salad
Course 4: Jumbo sea scallop sautee
Course 5: Venison loin with green beans and butternut squash puree
Course 6: Caramel pecan sticky buns with orange custard sauce

(3 wine pairings currently unknown; will update)

Friday, August 02, 2013

Not-a-Wine Dinner (#8?)

Cocktail Dinner, August 23nd, 2013

Course 1: Ahi tuna stack paired with a french quarter 75
Course 2: Melon Salad paired with a grapefruit basil martini
Course 3: Scallops Rockefeller paired with a blackberry sidecar
Course 4: filet mignon and crab cake with sweet potato casserole paired with apricot sour
Course 5: coconut pineapple bread pudding paired with mount gay iced coffee

It's August!

Florida/ATX/Bahamas THIS MONTH! Also my 32nd birthday. And a throwback 90s concert at Wolftrap. And a tooth extraction, booooooo.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

OBX Recap

Last day of June - the year is already half over! I technically kicked off our vacation on Friday afternoon after I was done working for the day, celebrating the summer solstice with 54 sun salutations (half of the traditional 108 due to time constraints) and then celebrating Lawrie's 30th birthday with yummy mexican food. And then...

10 year anniversary! * First meal in OBX at Captain Frank's (corn dog and hush puppies for me, chicken fingers and fries for Matt, as always) * saw 'Now You See Me' (great movie) * shopped at the outlet mall * did 1% of the Van Gogh puzzle * played Seven Wonders * played Yahtzee * played Loot * played Acquire * played Phase 10 * played bocce * won the Kan Jam tournament * bruised both feet from Kan Jam tournament (frisbee right in the ankles) * hot tubbed with from-scratch pina coladas * made homemade cheesecake ice cream * made oreo truffle balls * grilled steaks and polish sausage * did yoga on the beach * did yoga on the roof deck * walked to the pier * played mini golf (tied with M) * got DQ blizzards IN A CONE * rode the ferris wheel * watched the moon rise several times * saw the SUPER MOON * stargazed * sampled several flavors of jello shots (double cherry and lime coconut were my faves) * had lunch with my cousin Clare * got a facial, massage and manicure * watched 'Ted' and 'The Princess Bride' * waded in the ocean - too cold for me to swim * cooked clams and shrimp for seafood night * picked a huge pile of crabs * read on the beach (finished my book and a pile of magazines) * got woken up at 5:30 am by a crazy thunderstorm on the last morning

We left earlier than previous years and only had to sit in the car for 6 hours instead of 8.5 hours. Got back in time to grab lunch and head over to see Lloyd Dobler Effect playing at the outlet mall, which turned out to be a disappointment because they didn't play any of their own music, just a bunch of covers. We only stayed about 45 minutes and then headed home to do laundry and clear out the DVR.

61 days until we fly to Florida to see Steve and Jill, go to ATX at the Kennedy Space Center, and cruise to the Bahamas!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Wine dinner #7

In honor of Robert Mondavi's 100th birthday - and our 10th Anniversary!

Mondavi Wine Dinner, June 13th

Course 1: Watermelon goat cheese salad, paired with fume blanc
Course 2: Wild mushroom ragout, paired with pinot noir
Course 3: Grilled lamb chop with polenta, paired with "Oakville" cab sauv
Course 4: filet mignon with green beans and potatoes, paired with "Reserve" cab sauv
Course 5: Lemon pudding cake, paired with moscato

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Awesomest Pat McGee Concert Ever

I saw Pat McGee Band play several times in college, at least twice at Sweet Briar. And thus began my love for the band, in the fall of 1999 (especially rhythm guitarist and harmonizer Al Walsh!)

The band went through several iterations of members over the years, and enjoyed some mainstream radio success with "Beautiful Ways" off of their album "Save Me" in 2004.

They played at Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis last night, and it was one of the best concerts I've ever been to. RHOS is an intimate venue, probably only about 100 people, and our table was about 8 feet from center stage. After the opening act (Matt Duke, who is an excellent guitarist and a very passionate singer), three men came out - Pat on lead guitar, Jonathan on keyboards, and Al on rhythm guitar. YESSSS! And thus proceeded the most kickass acoustic set from their first three albums (the one exception being "Elizabeth" in honor of Pat's daughter's birthday next week).

The guys opened with "Fine" and closed with "Passion" and "Rebecca". In the middle they played (in no particular order) "Could Have Been a Song", "The Story", "Who Stole Her From Heaven", "Straight Curve", "Flooding Both of Us", "On Your Way Out of Here", "Runaway", "Haven't Seen for a While", "Minute", and "Lost". All amazing music and vocals, with stories in between.

And then they came out for the encore. The 90 minute encore. Where they took turns playing lead on classic rock songs that had impacted them when they were younger and really encouraged them each to go into a music career in the first place. I'm probably not getting them all from memory at this point, but they played "Old Man" by Neil Young, "A Pirate Looks at Forty" by Jimmy Buffet, "Willin'" by Little Feat, "Something in the Way She Moves" by James Taylor, "New York State of Mind" by Billy Joel, "Take it Easy" by the Eagles, "Wonderful Tonight" by Eric Clapton, "The Weight" by The Band. Matt Duke came back on for a crazy guitar version of "Sledgehammer" by Peter Gabriel. And they closed by harmonizing "Southern Cross" by Crosby Stills Nash and Young.

We didn't leave RHOS until 1am, and had to walk like a mile back to the parking garage in the rain (curse you, google maps, for lying and saying the parking garage was 0.2mi from our destination!) But it was an INCREDIBLE night.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Teaching Schedule

I subbed my first class last Wednesday (woohoo!) and I have four more subs lined up in the next several weeks. Since I'm keeping them on a separate google calendar to make it easy to track my teaching hours and stuff, I decided to make that calendar public so people could see when I'm teaching. Right now all the classes are at Flow Yoga in Leesburg, VA and all the times listed are 15 minutes earlier than class starts since I need to be there a bit early (but as a student you should always try to get to yoga class a few minutes early too!)

Friday, April 05, 2013

Wine Dinners #5 and #6

Wine Dinner # 5: A Chef's Kitchen (Williamsburg, VA), April 6th

Course 1: Champagne toast and Hors d'oeuvres
Course 2: Vidalia, roasted garlic & morel mushroom soup
Course 3: Avocado & strawberry salad with toasted pecans
Course 4: Scallion & lime shrimp cake
Course 5: Roast rack of lamb, sweet potato mash & swiss chard
Course 6: Linzer torte with orange custard sauce

(3 wine pairings currently unknown; will update)

Wine Dinner #6: 'Bourbon and Reds', May 2nd

Course 1: Bacon wrapped scallops, paired with a Bulleit mint julep
Course 2: Pear and bleu cheese salad, paired with pinot noir
Course 3: Pan-roasted salmon, paired with Bulleit rye
Course 4: Southern BBQ mixed grill with southwest mac and cheese, paired with red blend
Course 5: S'mores cheesecake, paired with Bulleit 10 year small batch

Friday, February 15, 2013

Wine Dinners #3 and #4

Wine dinner #3: Oregon Wines, August 24th

Course 1: Champagne toast and Hors d'oeuvres
Course 2: Chilled crab cocktail salad, paired with pinot gris
Course 3: Summer tomato basil bisque and goat cheese crostini, paired with "Remy Red" 
Course 4:  Filet mignon, pan roasted wild mushrooms and mashed potatoes, paired with pinot noir and zinfandel
Course 5: Apple crumb tart, caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream, paired with reisling

Wine dinner #4: Napa Valley Wines, March 14th

Course 1: Roasted asparagus and herbed goat cheese, paired with sauvignon blanc
Course 2: Snow crab bisque, paired with chardonnay
Course 3: Cremini mushroom tart, paired with pinot noir
Course 4:  Filet mignon, creamed spinach and sweet potato casserole, paired with cabernet sauvignon
Course 5: Cheesecake brulee, paired with sauvignon blanc

Tuesday, February 05, 2013


I've struggled with the evangelical flavor of Christianity that was a part of our lives for a number of years, partly because of internal conflicts and partly because I don't want to be associated with a lot of what I see that also identifies with the evangelical flavor of Christianity (read: a large part of the GOP, for starters). But experientially I remain convinced that there is something bigger than myself and this world. I read Rob Bell's book "Love Wins" when it came out and was really drawn to the idea of Christian Universalism; unfortunately there are very few churches that openly teach this and after my negative experience with a local non-denominational church when we first moved to Virginia, I more or less gave up on actually finding a church.

Anyway, that's just a bit of background for this next bit. I had seen one of those silly Facebook share pictures today that said "Type yes if Jesus has forgiven your sins" and I immediately thought "Why does anyone need permission to forgive someone?" If you hurt me, I can choose to forgive you whether you want me to or not. I don't need to go to you and say "I'll forgive you if you say it's okay for me to forgive you." Or "I'll forgive you if you ask me to." Forgiveness isn't an expression of the person who has done something wrong, it's an expression of the person who has been wronged.