Friday, September 27, 2013

True Tales of Office Debacles by Tae

I wish I had taken pictures to prove what transpired to me this morning.  I had come to a crossroads of office technology and the ever progressing food technology.  Let me start off by providing some background information.

One of the greatest joys in working in an office environment is finding free food.  I believe this to be the case in all offices, but I think it’s especially true when the office is filled with engineers.  I don’t know what it is, but you put together a floor full of upper middle income, highly intelligent, reserved people together and the sight of a 12 cent donut hole makes people want to enter the Thunderdome (two men enter, one man leave . .  Tina Turner and Mel Gibson, great movie, look it up).  Well, this morning, I entered the global café area on my floor and to my surprise, what do I see?  Free food!!!!  Now this isn’t just any free food like a donut hole, it was a yogurt parfait and fruit.  Now, I know when you’re reading this you have a mental picture of me in your head (with cloths) and a yogurt parfait is not the first or tenth thing that you picture me consuming (maybe a whole chicken . . . . or two).  In any case, I do occasionally love a yogurt parfait, especially with that crunchy oats toasted in honey and other delicious bits of fruit in it. 

So when I entered the premises, obviously that was the first thing my eyes focused on.  Quickly, I deduced that only one parfait was left, with that fact swimming inside my head, my body went into auto mode.  My heart started beating a little faster, my eyes started scanning the areas to survey the café for any potential adversaries, and my pace picked up (but not enough for people to notice that I was running to the parfait, that would be embarrassing).  What seemed liked the journey to take the One Ring to the open fires of Mount Doom in Mordor (I’m not a nerd, it’s a blockbuster movie), I finally reached my destination.  I placed my hand on the last parfait to announce to the world that, it was MINE!!!!!

On the big platter of food, other fruits were present.  To avoid getting tagged with the reputation of being too greedy by taking the parfait along with the other fruit, I quickly crammed several pieces of honeydew into my mouth.  With my mouth full of delicious fruit, I grabbed the parfait and quickly turned and scanned for my escape route.  I had to carefully plan this route to avoid having to either look people in their eye or get in conversation range, since my mouth was full of fruit.  My extensive past experience on this topic, allowed me to make these moves as effortless as a ballerina.  Suddenly, I was back at my desk, sitting in front of my monitor and saw a reflection of a man with a giant smirk, like he just got away with skipping his 10:30am class to watch an early bird special movie.

As reality sets in, I looked at the parfait and noticed liquid in the section where the granola was partitioned.  Maybe it was condensation, which is caused when the water molecules in the air changes from a vapor to a liquid.  This all occurs as the water is cooled and there is less heat energy for the individual molecules and particles to move around. It then condenses.  Everyone knows this, right?  In any case, I didn’t pay much attention to the liquid, I figured once I mix it with the yogurt, it will all become one and enhance the flavors of the other items.

So I lifted the dome which contained the granola away from the cup part.  As I figured, it was enclosed on the top (the dome part) and the bottom, a flat round piece of plastic to keep it from falling into the yogurt.  This allows the granola to stay fresh and crunchy until it’s ready to be exposed to the contrasting texture of the yogurt.  Food technology is grand, no . . . . . . . . . . or so I thought.

So I had the dome in my hand and trying to figure out where the separation was between the dome and the bottom piece.  It was a clear package so it was a bit difficult to see but I did not lose heart and kept on examining to find where it would separate.  However, after an eternity, I still could not find the seam and my frustration was building to unprecedented levels.  It had been 10 seconds, how could I not have figured out how to open this package?  The yogurt was sitting there in front of me, just shaking its yogurt head at me in disappointment and disgust. 

Note, my conscience will not let me go on.  I have to tell you the truth.  I Googled the ‘how condensation works’ . . . . . . . don’t hate me, I’m really smart; my memory of high school sophomore chemistry class just did not come back to me.

With my frustration level at its peak, I decided my internal William Wallace had to come out.  This was not right, and I will fight for the granola’s freedom.  I took the dome and started squeezing it into an egg shape with my left hand and trying to pull the bottom round plastic cover with the right hand.  Success!!!  I knew all those years of working out and building up my muscle vs. height ratio to Schwarzenegger levels would pay off.  In fact, it worked too well.  It happened in an instant.  Yes, the bottom of the dome popped off, but so did all of the granola, oats, and bits of fruit.  Maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad if it was just the dry granola, but remember the liquid in the dome.  When it mixed with the granola, toasted oats, and bits of fruit, it became a flying projectile of vomit.  It splattered all across my desk, keyboard, and both my monitors.  I don’t know how much kinetic energy it had, but it could be found on the walls behind the monitor.  Worse of all . . . . . . . I had the yogurt right in front of me when my right hand opened the bottom piece.  Yes, the back of my hand hit the yogurt and it turned over landed on my keyboard.  The smooth vanilla flavor yogurt started oozing in between the keys.  It consumed the “D’ through ‘K’, the space bar was only half visible; it seemed like the only key that worked was the hashtag number sign.

What did I do to deserve this?  What seemed like the perfect office morning turned out to be one of the most devastating mornings of my life.  I was still hungry.  I had keyboard, that was barely hanging on for dear life.  I had a mess to clean up and I didn’t have enough napkins to clean it so I had to go back to the café, the original crime scene to face those who missed out on the parfait.  Little did they know, how I saved them from total disaster. 

This will not persuade me to change my ways.  I will still say a quick prayer and hope every time I walk into the global café area, that free food will be there.  Maybe next time, I’ll have a set of tools to gently open my conquest.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Run, Ashley, Run!

Last year I decided that one of my goals for the year would be to run a half marathon.  In reality I didn't think that there was any chance that this would happen because the most I had ever run before was a little over 2 miles at a time.  In July while we were at Rosemary Beach we ran about three miles everyday and it was really hot but seemed feasible.  It was still a looong way from 13.1 but I had convinced Lindy that it would be a fun thing to train for and she is such a sweet friend that she agreed to run it with me.  We did training runs at least once a week at 5 am and then ran one day on the weekends for long runs.  We followed an intermediate training schedule (which I didn't tell her until about halfway through training) and felt really confident in our progress. 
We got up to 10 miles in training and then it was time to head to San Antonio in November for the Rock and Roll half marathon.  We spent the weekend at a fantastic hotel called the Elian (I highly recommend it!) and ate at Magnolia Pancake Haus (a place approved by Guy Fieri and us) and then we watched A&M beat Alabama (I think that's what Tae will remember most about the weekend).  We were pretty nervous but felt confident that all would go well on that Sunday morning.
Well, the short story is that we finished. . .the long story is that we didn't get to finish together.  At 5 miles I wasn't feeling great (it was SO hot) and at 5.5 a guy's foot got under mine in a turn and it completely twisted my knee. After some tears and choice words, I convinced Lindy to run ahead and we both finished but I ended up twelve minutes behind her.  We finished though which is an amazing accomplishment because 13.1 miles is a long way :) 
All in all it was a great experience and we are so thankful for the support of our friends and families!

This was while waiting outside of the restaurant; it was definitely a popular place.

 And our Friday night Italian dinner was very yummy too!
A very special thank you to the friends and family who came out to watch us cross the finish line. Marianna convinced me that I could do this and was supposed to do it with us but, sadly, got a stress fracture right before the race and had to sit it out :( Thank you so much for the support though!
Tae made signs to hold up along the way . .always a funny guy. 
And here we are 13.1 miles later!

Happy Halloween!

This year I thought about having really cute coordinating and/or matching costumes and I knew for sure that Jemma would be Pocahontas.  The first year that Tae and I moved into our house we had the absolute cutest little trick or treater dressed as Pocahontas and we always talk about her and how precious she was.  I ventured into the terrifying Spirit Halloween store and tried to put on blinders, focusing just on the childrens' section (truly, if you haven't been in that place, it is unbelievable).  Anyway, I think that we had a Pocahontas to rival the one of that first year in our house.
I was nervous about putting the makeup on her face because I remember that as a kid the first thing that happened when your mom put makeup on your face was that it itched and you HAD to scratch it but Jemma sat really patiently while I braided her hair and painted her face and she turned out really cute.
Ok, so back to that whole idea of having matching or coordinating costumes. . .
No one had a cute infant Indian costume so I did some browsing and decided that this was probably the last year that I could feasibly put Ellory in a costume like this one. . .
I mean, how cute is she?!?
Our tradition for Halloween is to go to Lindy's parents' house and eat dinner and trick or treat in their neighborhood; it's very nice not only because we love going with them but also because they know all of their neighbors and don't have to worry about razor blades in the candy and whatnot.  (I mean, really, is that stuff all urban legend?!)  They really had a good time, just not big fans of the picture taking. Cute little ladybug, Ella!
This year Jemma LOVED the trick or treating.  She would run up to the door and ring the doorbell and then say "Trick or Treat" and when she ran back to us she would say "I said 'thank you'." If the people weren't coming fast enough she would try to look in to the window and say "Come on please".  So cute!
Her sister rode in style in the wagon (the pig hat didn't make it too long) and the girls got to some manual labor later in the night.  Cade took advantage of the ride after a long night of trick or treating; getting all that candy makes you tired!
And, at the end of the night, Daddy treated Ellory to some of the loot (no wonder they love him so much!).
We might still be eating Halloween candy around here . . .

Ringing in 2013 and Catching Up

Happy New Year and Happy 2013!  I am so behind on blogging - the last post that I had was in September and as a result of my computer doing this intermittment blinking thing, birthday season in our house (Jemma in September, me in October, Ellory in November), and then the holidays it just never happened.  So I will spend the next few posts trying to catch up on our goings on for the last few months of 2012 and then one of my (many) New Year's resolutions is to blog at least once a week about what is going on with us so that I can have an accurate record of what is going on because the kids are just growing up too fast and I need to document every moment that I can.  So, in the meantime, enjoy our last few months in review and I hope that you are having a happy 2013 so far!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Happy 3rd Birthday, Jemmabear!

 Last week we celebrated Jemma's third birthday.  I cannot believe that we have already had three years with this precious, spunky, beautiful, sweet girl in our lives.  The time has flown by and she has brought so much joy to our lives.  She just gets funnier and funnier as the time goes by and we love every minute with her.

She requested a pink sprinkle doughnut for breakfast so we went out and got that and she enjoyed it (well, this bite . .she just thinks she likes doughnuts; in reality, not really a fan.)

 Poppy T (Lindy's dad) loaned us the birthday cupcake for our 3rd annual cupcake picture; she loved posing with it!
 We had a cowgirl birthday party this year at Clay's, a restaurant with a petting zoo and fun western themed pavilion.  She dressed up in a pettiskirt, denim jacket (that she wouldn't take off despite the 90 degree temps), and adorable pink cowboy boots!

 I made some fun paper accessories, like the signs for cowboy & cowgirl crafts, masks that were colored expertly by cute little hands.
 There were also cupcakes, "3" cookies, and mini cherry and apple pies.

 My mom and aunt worked hard on making stick ponies for each family as their party favor; they were a huge hit!  Thanks ladies!

 Each kiddo got a menu to pick their lunch choice while the adults snacked on some appetizers.
 This little sister had a great time watching everything!

 Little hands hard at work on crafts

 Jemma wasn't sure how she felt about the birthday song sung by so many friends . . .

. . .but she did like the cupcake frosting!

Thanks to everyone who made her birthday so special!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Rosemary Beach, Florida

Welcome to the most picture heavy post I have EVER written so I thought I should warn you!  We went to Rosemary Beach, Florida about two weeks ago for a week and really enjoyed it!  The road trip made me really nervous with an almost three year old and nine month old but we left around 4 am both going and coming home and that seemed to really help because the kids slept quite a bit.  We had some pretty bad rain on the way there so it took about twelve hours but we made it home in ten and a half so it wasn't bad at all. 

We rented a cute house and ended up sharing the courtyard area with the sweet friends we had gone with which was really a complete coincidence that it ended up being so close; we were so lucky!  We had such a good time going out to the beach (despite the fact that Jemma hated the sand and really only wanted to swim in the pool), swimming in the pool, taking wagon rides, eating great food, and just having a really good time! We were also so lucky that the weather was perfect and almost even chilly at some points; it definitely didn't feel like July!

 The kids were so cute and it only took us about 600 photos to get a good one ;) 
 Lindy's sweet parents went and were SO helpful and fun to hang out with and they watched all four kids one night so that we could go out to Red Bar and eat some YUMMY food! Lindy and I had some chicken but the boys had grouper (they're very fond of the grouper in Florida, it's everywhere) and bacon and cheese grits; I cannot even tell you how good it was!  Afterwards we went to dessert and Tae got chocolate covered bacon . . you can't make this stuff up!
 Everybody loved getting in the wagon; if only we had one big enough for four kids!
 And the kids also all needed to drive the wagon at some point; here is sweet driver Cade!
 There were lots of sweet coordinating sister outfits!

 And fun times had in the sand with Lindy and Matt's crew!
 Ellory even found a boat to ride in the pool!
 The girls went to lunch one day at a really yummy place where I ate a fried green tomato BLT . .need I say more?!

 What a fun crew and how lucky we are to have such sweet best friends!

 This is the weirdest picture because A) I got a piece of sand in my camera about halfway through the trip hence the floating black spot, B) The humidity made it all hazy, and C) I don't think Jemma was prepared for a pic but here is the donut truck nonetheless . . .the girls and Tae made two trips there during the week and I cannot say enough good things about the sour cream pound cake donut!!  It is a precious little truck that opens at 6:30 and closes when donuts sell out which is around 8:00.  You definitely have to be on your game to get some of this goodness!

 Lindy and I loved this pic of the silliness because the boys and kids were both tired of our photos ;)
 We had a great time and can't wait to go back!!