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Tuesday, November 24

I know that I've mentioned this before, but I'm almost too excited to be productive at work. Tomorrow when I get off work, my best guy friend Rob and I are meeting at my parents' house. From there, we will be heading on a road trip to Delaware to see my bestest Kate for Thanksgiving! We made this trip in 2006 and had a great time. I cannot wait to see her. Here's the agenda for the weekend: 

Wednesday evening: Leave Charlotte and get on the road. The trip is about 575 miles and between 8-10 hours, depending on traffic around D.C. Lots of caffeine will be consumed. 

Early Thursday morning: Arrive in Newark, DE. Give Kate lots of hugs and crash for a few hours of sleep 

Thursday mid-morning: Kate and I will prepare turkey and other Thanksgiving dishes. Everything is being made from scratch except the biscuits. There will likely be lots of wine consumed and lots of giggling. 

Thursday afternoon and evening: FEAST on Thanksgiving goodness. More wine and reminiscing. 

Friday: Black Friday shopping. We will NOT be getting up at before dawn though. I have intention of going to the new MAC and Sephora stores as we don't have these in Columbia.

Saturday: GAME DAY! The Carolina v. Clemson rivalry game begins at noon. Rob is a Clemson fan; Kate and I are Carolina girls. Last time we were up for Thanksgiving, Carolina won. Here's hoping that becomes a Delaware Thanksgiving tradition.

Sunday: Long drive home I'm going to miss my Kate will probably be looking forward to getting home to my Mister.

And I have to share pictures from the last trip, most of which you've probably seen before.
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When I was out in Washington this summer, I teased my brother because he was getting married on Father's Day weekend, and his response was "I'm giving Dad the best present ever, another daughter." And he did give our family quite a gift in the beautiful, kind woman who is my new sister-in-law.

Today is her birthday; since we can't be out west to celebrate with her, I'm going to send some blog love!

Happy Birthday, Mireya!

I don't have any embarrassing photos of her to share, so here's a photo of the happy couple. This was the first year that we got to meet her when she flew home with my brother for Christmas.

You can give her some birthday blog love at ::pearls & such::

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Monday, November 23

As you probably figured out from my post last week, I'm a fan of Gossip Girl. I don't care that it's teen drama. Most of the CWTV shows are guilty pleasures of mine, but this week I have to go on a little rant about the current plot twist with Serena and Tripp.

Image from CWTV

If Serena was one of my friends, I would have read her the riot act about her behavior lately. Now I get that she's going through the whole "I just graduated high school and don't know what I want to do with my life" identity crisis, but an affair with a married man? Seriously?

Now the thing that ticks me off about this is that she knows she's doing something wrong. Not only does Tripp's wife consider Serena to be a close enough family friend that she asks her to help pack some confidential family records for their move to Washington, D.C., but Serena goes to two different friends who gave her the same advice: Stay away from him. And she blew that off in both cases.

Since when does the fact that he's upset with his wife make him any less married? That line didn't get "a little blurry" like she said in last week's episode. Shame on you, Serena!

Not that this is going to keep me from watching the show tonight, but seriously, someone needs to shake some sense into that girl.
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This weekend was a practice in relaxing for the Mister. He got tendinitis from lifting bricks the previous weekend, and his wrist has been bothering him all week because of it. As a result, he has not been training in class and has been a lot less active. (Note: his idea of a relaxing Saturday is to spend the entire day weeding, raking, spreading pine straw, etc. in the yard.)

Though we both had to work on Friday, I'm going to say our weekend started on Thursday when we had an impromptu date night. We went to the Vista Lights festival downtown, when the shops and restaurants in an area called the Vista stay open to showcase their goods and serve hors d'oeuvres and wine/beer. There is also live music and street performers.

After walking around for a while, we decided to go get dinner at a favorite local microbrewery called The Hunter Gatherer. When the Mister was single, HG was his stomping grounds; they have good food and good beer. On Thursdays, they also have live jazz. I'm not a huge fan of jazz, but I do love a saxophone, so the there was enjoyable music to accompany my feta burger and Greek salad. The Mister had a yummy-looking chicken gyro with hashbrowns.

On Friday evening, we were supposed to meet his mother to pull some things out of her storage unit, but it was already dark when we met her. None of us was feeling that, so instead she took us out to dinner at Fusion Bowl and then browsed at Target, where I found a bunch of e.l.f. holiday gift sets for $1 and $3 a piece. I picked up several for stocking stuffers and for me.

Saturday morning should have been spent with Mister and his mom at the flea market selling the items that should have been taken from the storage unit, but since this didn't happen. I met her and her sister and went to a Christmas craft fair instead. We didn't wind up getting anything other than lunch, but I did get inspired by some of the jewelry to begin browsing for pretty baubles for my girls for the wedding.

Mister and I also completed some wedding tasks:
1. We stopped by David's Bridal where I purchased some color swatches to help us begin matching some of the other fine wedding details (i.e. groomsmen's ties).
2. I also narrowed the bridesmaid shoe selection down to two choices and got the details on having them dyed to match the gowns. Look for a post in the near future about this with pictures.
3. We stopped by Dillard's and discussed the suit that Mister has picked out with the menswear sales person. He let us know that he expects it to go on sale in early December, so we should be picking that up soon. We also picked some ties out as possibilities. I'm hoping to get ties for the groomsmen and my father on sale during the Black Friday madness.

And then Sunday rolled around. I did a 3-hour extended radio show. The deejay before me had a death in the family and he covered my show last week when I was feeling crummy; so, I owed him one. I'm glad that I did because I had a rocking show. I felt like the music just picked itself out, and my announcing felt smooth and easy.

It was cold outside, so I convinced the Mister to go out with me for brunch at The Gourmet Shop, which is one of my fave breakfast eateries. We shared a brie plate with French bread, and I had a cup of tomato bisque.I love to browse in their little store, where they have a wide variety of kitchen gadgets and gourmet foods.

The weather continued to get cold and rainy so we decided a movie date was in order--except we saw different movies. The Mister went to 2012, and I treated myself to New Moon. I don't feel ashamed at all to say that thoroughly enjoyed it in all its sappy high school romance.
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Wednesday, November 18

Photo from Vanity Fair August 2008

If you've been reading for a while, you know that I do a weekend show at the local college radio station WUSC, where we play only underground music. It's something that I really enjoy. And I'll admit that I get a certain satisfaction out of occasionally discovering an artist/band before it becomes mainstream

Anya Marina is one of those artists. I reviewed her cd Slow and Steady Seduction: Phase II  earlier this year, and last week, I heard her cover of the song "Whatever You Like" featured on Gossip Girl. Her music has also been featured on Grey's Anatomy and is on the New Moon soundtrack.

She won't be underground for long.
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Yesterday after work, I took a drive downtown to the campus of University of South Carolina. During the week before Thanksgiving each year, USC and Clemson (our rivals) stage a blood battle...a blood drive with the American Red Cross where each school tries to raise the most donations. This year is the 25th Annual Drive between the schools; the schools have collectively raised more than 80,000 units of blood over the years.

Tuesday was alumni day, so I went to do my part and donate a pint. I have been donating blood for the last 10 years, and this summer, I passed my gallon point. To give an hour of my time every few months is such a small thing and can make such a big difference.
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Tuesday, November 17

See that cute little girl in the right of the photo? That's my fabulous future mother-in-law when she was a girl. Yesterday was her birthday! We went out for barbecue with her sister's last night. This weekend the Mister and I will be taking  her to Mellow Mushroom so we can spoil her ourselves for her birthday.

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Thursday, November 12

Prevail-Whale by Lemasney

Some mornings, it's just difficult to get out of bed. Yesterday was one of them. Hurricane/Tropical Storm/Whatever Ida has been dumping gray, cold, WET weather on our beautiful state of South Carolina this week. Those rainy mornings are always the hardest to get out of bed.

Tuesday night, I dutifully packed my gym bag. I was going to get a run on the treadmill in before week since I hadn't had a run in weeks, but when 5:30 a.m. rolled around, I didn't get out of bed...nor did I when the alarm went off again at 6:00 a.m. FAIL!

The Mister, being the wonderful man that he is, offered to come home after work to let our dogs out rather than going straight to the dojo so that I could go to the gym after work. So after work, I drove to the gym and grabbed my bag out of the back seat when I realized that I had my workout clothes and my iPod but not my sneakers. They were sitting at home by the bed, where I had set them out. I couldn't exactly go for a run in my work stilettos. FAIL x 2!

I called the Mister, who was already on his way to the house, and let him know what a silly, forgetful fiancee he has.

Now I'm going to digress for a few a paragraph or so. If you follow my blog, you know that posting grew quite scarce in the months of September and October. You may have also noticed that my running avatar in the sidebar has shown the same run for about a month. And you may have even caught on to the fact that I never posted anything about my results for the Great Pumpkin Run...because I didn't run it. In fact, I didn't meet any of my fitness goals for October*.

The point of this post is not to focus on all my shortcomings in the fitness areas. I've been super busy with life/work the past few months, sometimes fitness and blogging and other things fall by the wayside. That's okay, yesterday was the day that I was drawing my new line in the sand and getting back into the workout routine.

So despite the fact that I had failed to make it to the gym twice yesterday, I was determined to get a workout in. I came straight home, fixed myself a turkey sandwich for energy, changed clothes and then I did a yoga workout dvd. And it was AWESOME!

Because I didn't give up on the goal of getting my workout in
Because it was a new dvd for me and I really enjoyed it
Because the stretching was toning and relaxing

I'm not a quitter--even when I don't always meet my goals. Here's to tenacity!

And today, I have my gym bag and my sneakers in the backseat of my car because I AM going to get that run in.

*Despite the fact that I didn't get nearly as much exercise time in as I had planned, I lost 10 lbs. in October! I'm attributing this to cooking most of my meals and laying off the beer. We don't have to be perfect to have forward movement.
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I promised pictures from Mister's jujitsu seminar and banquet over the weekend. Sadly, my camera died early in the evening. It had a fully charged battery at the beginning of the weekend, but I think it's getting old. So I'm going to borrow a photo that a friend took. We were definitely having a good time that evening, which is evident from our big, goofy grins.

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I want to thank my wonderful sister-in-law, Mireya from ::pearls & such::, for giving me the Sugar Doll Blogger Award. Check out her blog for wonderful recipe ideas.... Be careful though; if I made every mouth-watering recipe she features, I won't be able to fit in my wedding gown in April.

Here are the rules of the award: (a) post the award on my blog; (b) tell my readers 10 interesting facts about myself; (c) nominate 10 other bloggers for the award.

About me....
1. The year that I turned 21, my parents took my step-sister and me to Biketoberfest in Daytona Beach, FL. It was a lot of fun, but I'd really like to go back with a Harley of my own.

2. My passport expires next year, and unfortunately, I've never used it. The only time I've been out of the country, we drove across Canada from Detroit to visit Niagra Falls, and you didn't need a passport to go to Canada then.

3. I'm terribly arachnophobic. I've been known to lose all sense of logic or even hyperventilate when there are eight-legged creepy crawlies involved. My best guy friend Rob and my Mister think this is hilarious, and use it against me all the time. A couple years ago, they repeatedly hid a huge rubber spider in random spots around the house (think in a coffee mug at the back of the cabinet, in my tampon box, etc.) to see how long it would take for me to find it and freak out.

4. The same alleged friend, Rob, almost gave me a heart attack last New Years by sticking a rubber cockroach in my coffee on New Year's morning. Come to think of it, I owe him a good payback on our trip to Delaware in a couple weeks. (Email me ideas, please!)

5. When I was younger, I was a HUGE Reba McEntire fan. Funny enough, my brother loved Garth Brooks. I guess you can tell our father raised us listening to country music.

6. I now like most genres of music. My current favorite bands are Brand New, whom I saw in concert on Monday night, and Goo Goo Dolls.

7. I write occasionally about fitness and exercise on my blog because it motivates me and holds me accountable....not because I like to exercise. In fact, I never played any sports in high school; being active doesn't really come naturally to me at all. I'm hoping I can learn to love it because I certainly understand the importance of exercise to my health.

8. I love ice cream...'nuff said.

9. I wrote about the six-month countdown to our wedding a couple weeks ago, and I'm still pretty nervous that the wedding is so close. But on April 17, 2010, I'm marrying one of my best friends. We're pretty blessed to have found each other.

10. I know 30 is really young, but I've decided that after my birthday next year, I'm going to stay 29. Guess I better exercise more so I keep my youthful look up. =)

I'm going to cheat and tag all my followers. Let me know when you participate so I can read all about you!
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Sunday, November 8

As I've mentioned in previous posts, life has been kind of crazy lately, which has not left a lot of time for things like blogging. Even though it's been more than a week since Halloween, I still wanted to share our costumes.

We were lucky enough to have two different parties to attend; one was the week before the holiday. For that party, we recycled costumes from last year: Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf:

For Halloween itself, we decided not to do the couple thing. I was an Angel of Death...

....and Mister was a Hawaiian hula girl!
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Friday, November 6

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but my Mister has been training in Danzan Ryu Jujitsu for the last 8 years.

His dojo, Palmetto Jujitsu Academy & Healing Arts Center, hosts a convention every November where students and professors from all over the country come in to take martial arts and healing arts classes during the 4-day clinic. This is also an event where students can take their exams to be recognized by the American Judo & Jujitsu Federation for different ranks of black belts.

Training on Monday for the exam.

Last night, my Mister passed his exam for his second degree black belt, which is called a Nidan. This is an accomplishment that is a result of months of studying and preparation. I'm super proud of him!

This is a picture from the banquet dinner during Fall Clinic in 2006, when the Mister tested and earned his first degree black belt, which is called Shodan.

Stay tuned for pictures from this year's convention!
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