Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Girls Weekend in DC

On Saturday morning (around 5am), I left for a girls weekend in Washington DC with Kelly and Cari while Chris stayed in NC working on a little project of his own (more about that later). It only took me 4 ½ hours to make the trip to Tysons Corner where our hotel was located so I was there by 9:30am. Kelly and I had requested an early check in and surprisingly our room was ready for us! We had breakfast at the hotel and then took the Metro into the heart of DC to the National Mall (think US Capitol Building, Washington Monument and the Smithsonian, not shopping). When we got off the Metro it was hot, really hot so we took advantage of the free AC in some of the 17 buildings of the Smithsonian! We were able to enjoy the Hope Diamond and plenty of art (both contemporary and traditional). My favorite stop was to see the giant Alexander Calder mobile in the lobby of the I. M. Pei building. I’m always amazed at the balance of his work as it seems to be free floating and light while made of brightly painted metal.
After Kelly and I had enough of the art and the heat, we boarded the Metro to U Street, a historical neighborhood that is being revived with lots of unique shopping and restaurants. While there, we stopped for made from scratch cupcakes at Cake Love Bakery and walked around the neighborhood enjoying the vibe and great architectural details in the row houses. I brought two cupcakes home for Chris to enjoy as his trip treat (I always buy him a little gift when I go out of town).

We returned to our hotel shortly after Cari arrived from Japan so the first thing we did was run to her room for hugs, after all we hadn’t seen her in almost a year! Then we caught up, showered and all three of us went out to dinner at Brio Italian Restaurant in the mall. I had a delicious shrimp risotto and we planned our excursion for the next day, shopping! After dinner, we went back to the hotel and talked until we could barely stay awake which was around midnight…remember Kelly and I had been up since 4am and Cari just completed a trans-Atlantic flight.

On Sunday, we met for breakfast and Kelly and I packed our bags then we hit the mall. Cari doesn’t get many opportunities to shop in Japan because she lives on a relatively small Navy Base so we caught her up on all of the newest trends and our favorite new products. Kelly and I were completely surprised to find a LUSH store in the Tysons Corner Mall. LUSH is an all-natural beauty product company that we fell in love with in London a couple of years ago and they are now branching out to the USA. Their signature product is a “bath bomb” which is the size of a tennis ball and completely dissolves in the bath to make a soothing soak. In true Sonya style, I bought three pairs of shoes on the trip….mainly for work! After a very productive afternoon of shopping, we grabbed a late lunch at a Thai restaurant and then parted our separate ways, Cari to a work conference at the hotel, Kelly home to Pittsburgh and I returned to NC. The trip home went pretty fast, I spent most of the time on the phone catching up with my friend Jen (who will be down to visit this summer) and then hit a massive rain storm about an hour from home but I got home safe and sound by 9pm.

The weekend reminded me how lucky I am to have such wonderful friends that will always be there for me, even if we only see each other every couple of months or years! I truly enjoyed spending time with Cari and Kelly and can’t wait to do so again….next summer in Italy!

And if you’ve been wondering what project Chris worked on while I was gone…he bought a 2008 Fat Bob Harley Davidson motorcycle in Pearl Blue. It is currently being customized at the factory and he is looking forward to riding it in a month or so when it is completed. He had the camera for the weekened for motorcylce comparison so photos will be added when I get copies from Kelly.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Best Husband Ever, Period.

I just wanted to take a minute to brag about the amazing guy that I am married to. Today while I was at work he cleaned the bathroom (including the shower and the toilet), went grocery shopping and was thoughtful enough to get things that weren’t on the list that I enjoy (like grapes), dusted the apartment and disinfected all my kitchen sponges (yes, I’m a freak about this) . All this on his day off…after he had a parachute jump to say Airborne certified yesterday! I am so lucky to have him and very appreciative that I get to spend my next 50+ years with him!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The New Job

I’m sure that many of you have heard that for the last week or so I’ve been gainfully employed again, much to my relief. I was getting bored hanging around all day while Chris was at work! I looked for a job before Chris and I went to Ohio for vacation but I didn’t really find much that suited my skills or interests. Well, all that changed three weeks later when we returned back to NC and I had two job offers and was working a week later! I’ve now been employed for a week as an Inside Sales Representative (and a little HR) for a company that sells cabinets for homes (kitchen, bath, laundry room, home office). The company is family owned and has great values so I’m sure that I’ll fit right in. I’m replacing a woman who is moving out of state to be with her father who is sick, she didn’t want to leave the job but of course family comes first! Everyone that I’ve met and worked with so far has been really accommodating to me and I look forward to learning more about the cabinet industry. After all, I’ve always loved houses and what is inside them! The drawback is it really makes me want to have a place of our own but I keep reminding myself that Chris and I aren’t ready for that step yet. Last week I spent three days in the office learning the ropes and Monday and Tuesday I was out in Wilmington and Myrtle Beach meeting my soon-to-be clients. It was great to be able to put faces to the names that I’ve heard so much about it the very short time I’ve been with the company (and we were able to stay in the family condo directly on the beach in Myrtle Beach….it was awesome!). I’ve also given a couple of interviews because we are looking to fill a position and I’ve learned that I really like that side of the job as well, even though it is completely new to me. I’ll be shadowing the woman I’m replacing until May first and then I’m on my own.

Ride For World Health

I have a couple of friends (Joe, Kel, Katie and Cory) who are making their way across the USA (from coast to coast) by bike stopping along the way to teach people about the need for worldwide health care. They started in San Diego and are currently in Utah, you can track their progress, read their blog and offer support at I’m so proud of them all, keep it up riders!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Living Room Deliberation

Chris and I put up four small shelves on the same wall as the TV to add a little interest. We currently can’t decide what to put on them. I suggested some vases with candles but Chris vetoed that idea (at least on all four of the shelves). He asked that we do something a little more “masculine” since I have picked most of the other decorative items in the apartment. We’ve agreed that he can choose what goes on two shelves and so will I. I’m going to put candles on my shelves and this is what he has come up with so far….

Monday, April 7, 2008

My Birthday Weekend

As my friend Nicole calls it, I’ve hit my “quarter life crisis”. My 25th birthday occurred on Saturday but the birthday festivities started weeks ago before we left for Ohio when Chris and I picked out my birthday gift, a Bernina Activa 220 sewing machine! Since our journey to Ohio started the next day and there wasn’t any room in the Jeep for it, I had to wait until we came back to NC to finally use it. While in Ohio I also had a birthday dinner with my family and received a digital photo frame from my parents….which I love! I also got a really cute Willow Tree Angel figurine from Chris’s family that fits perfectly in our dining room.
The day before my birthday I received a couple surprises as well….a gift in the mail from my friend Kelly and an offer for a job! Starting today, I’m currently employed again! I will be working as an Inside Sales Representative for Brock Cabinets, a local cabinet distributor. More about that as the job gets underway.
Part of Kelly's gift didn't travel to NC very well!
Birthday Flowers from Mom, Dad and Boys

When Chris asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday, I said “I want to have dinner somewhere nice, wear the cocktail dress I got in New York and to surprise me”. Well, what he planning was awesome! On Saturday, Chris and I started with waffles to celebrate and then started talking about curtains (I’m sure he was thrilled) and how I wanted to go to a Pottery Barn and check out their selection. I’m planning to make some of the curtains but wanted floor length drapes for the bedroom so purchasing those seemed cheaper. For the past week any time that I would ask about where we would be going out for my birthday dinner, he just said “I don’t know”…he wouldn’t give me a single clue! I asked him if there would be a Pottery Barn to shop at near the birthday surprise and after some secret internet research, he said yes. So we packed our bags and prepared to hit the road….to somewhere. While getting ready to leave, I got a call from the local florist because they were lost and needed directions to our apartment, my parents had sent a really pretty floral arrangement for my birthday! After getting them on the right path and the flowers arrived, we left for somewhere. After an hour and a half we reached our destination city, Raleigh NC! We did a little shopping at the mall and did decide on some red drapes for the bedroom. Then we went to the hotel to check in and get ready for dinner. In the car on the way to the restaurant, I jokingly asked Chris if we were going to Chipotle for my birthday. It’s one of his favorite places and we don’t have one in our town. Again, I got his standard response “I don’t know”. After a short drive we arrived in a shopping complex…with a Chipotle out front! Luckily we drove past and to a little French place called “Saint Jacques Restaurant”. It was amazing, the service was excellent, the Champagne really enjoyable and the food was amazing! I had chicken stuffed with bleu cheese and bacon and Chris had the Beef Normandie and for dessert we shared the Mousse au Chocolate with a birthday candle….yum. The wait staff all spoke French and the owners are French so the dinner was authentic French cuisine. I was completely surprised that Chris came up with this place and I’m so lucky to be married to such a wonderful and thoughtful guy! We did stop at Chipotle the next day so Chris could get his fix before coming home.
On our way to the birthday surprise!
Chris and I outside Saint Jacques Restaurant
Me with the drapes...all I did was iron them, Chris hung them.
The completed project!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Happy Birthday Alicia

Happy Birthday Alicia! Today Chris’ sister turns the big 2-1!!!! Alicia is a junior at UC and is a graphic design major. She enjoys hanging out with friends, reading and country music concerts (I'm still sad I missed the Garth concert). I hope you have a wonderful birthday and enjoy being able to legally drink!!! Love you!

No Country For Old Men

Chris and I are giving NetFlix a try and we received our first movie in the mail on Monday. Last night after dinner and a walk around the apartment complex we put in “No Country for Old Men”. Chris liked it but I didn’t. The premise of the movie is a man out hunting comes across a drug deal gone wrong. He finds a satchel of money that he keeps and goes on run to protect it. The man character is hunted by a psychopathic murderer after the money. I would describe the movie in one word as suspenseful, not really my favorite type of movie. I also didn’t feel that the movie had enough closure as the murderer was still on the prowl. Hopefully our second movie pick is better!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

First Sewing Project

Now that I’ve had a chance to get familiar with my new sewing machine, I’ve tackled my first project: putting a small curtain in the bathroom to cover up the shop vac. (Yes, it is a strange place to store a shop vac but we have to be creative with our use of space to fit everything into the apartment.) I hated walking into the bathroom and seeing the unsightly appliance so getting it covered was a top priority and it was an easy project! Danielle gave me the cool vase/pebbles/candle for my birthday and it fits perfectly in here.