Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year!

Here's to saying goodbye to 2011 which brought so many wonderful things to us this year and memories to last a lifetime. I must say 2011 just went by way too fast, I feel like the majority of the year was spent counting down to our wedding in September and then before I knew it O and I were married and starting a new and wonderful journey together. I have met new and wonderful people and watched some of my favorite people move across the country and while I miss them terribly I am so truly happy for awesome and amazing things to come for them as well (ahem M and B I'm talking about you two love birds getting engaged out there in CA! Congrats!) O and I had quite a few friends get engaged in December like our cousin K and her fiance C who we love to death (you may remember those are the two we visited Unicorn Winery with in November and we have been waiting for these two to get engaged and C popped the question in December in NYC in a horse drawn carriage (collective awwwws now please)) and we are so excited for all the fun to come as we get to celebrate them and all our friends in the next year(or two) getting married! Lots of babies were born this year that I love to spoil and cuddle and snuggle with, so happy for my friends who have such wonderful loving little families and letting me play and spoil their children and then give them back when they need a bath.

O and I were so blessed in 2011 I cannot wait to see what 2012 has in store for us. I am sure it will be filled with even more love, laughter and crazy silly adventures! We don't do New Years Resolutions I mean really who keeps them anyways. I want to keep going just the way that we are, with love in our hearts and joy in our souls and smiles on our faces. I want to keep making sure our friends and family know how loved and appreciated they are. I want to keep helping those who we don't even know but have so little and ask for even less. I want to keep God first in our family and remember to be thankful everyday that we are so blessed and remind ourselves not to take anything or anyone for granted.

So where will you be New Years Eve? We will be ringing in 2012 at home with a bottle of champagne and each other. We are taking it easy this year and not spending $100 on a ticket to party, trying to save that money for some great things to come in 2012! You all will hear much more on those adventures later. Until next year may your glass be full and your heart even fuller! Happy New Year! O&J

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My hearts a .... SHUT UP PLEASE

So I am sure most of you have heard the The Gym Class Heroes song "Stereo Hearts" and for those that haven't here you go:

  I mean they play this song on the radio at least once an hour at least on our local station here HOT 99.5 they do. It's not so bad, I mean it's catchy and can get stuck in your head and make you feel like you are going to have a seizure or brain aneurysm if you hear the chorus repeat one more time as you walk around singing it all day long. Usually it doesn't bother me so much but this morning I had a rather adverse reaction when my alarm went off at 5:45 (yes I am working this week see I like it cause no one else is here and I get to take naps at my desk and do cool shit like update my blog) and BAM "Stereo Hearts" is playing, I immediately wanted to smash my alarm clock and scream but instead hit snooze. Of course then when my alarm went off a second time Adele "Someone Like You" was playing which I hate to wake up to because that song is depressing and makes me feel sad and like I should be on Xanax or something (not what you want to wake up to in the morning) Now don't get me wrong I love Adele (we used her music in our wedding ceremony), its just not fun to wake up to sad songs about lost loves.

Back to the point, yesterday morning when my alarm went off at 5:45 "Stereo Hearts" was playing and I was slightly annoyed but not angry like I was today. "Someone Like You" used to play every morning at that same time but I would quickly turn off the radio so I didn't start off my day in a downward spiral of sadness cause seriously that song makes me want kill myself. SO when I was driving to work today what should my ears hear the opening beat to "Stereo Hearts" (see I told you it gets played once an hour on the radio just like Adele and Katy Perry songs, its like the law or something). Which got me thinking...(after I changed stations) I wonder if I always hated "Stereo Hearts" or if it is a reaction to having to wake up to that song and it is getting imbedded into my brain to have a negative reaction to it. "Stereo Hearts"=waking up from a peaceful slumber in dream land and then going to work in cube land with old guberment farts. You know instead of Pavlov's dogs salivating at the ring of a bell, I get angry whenever I hear that song. I didn't get angry when Adele used to play every morning but I was more worried about hearing the sad sad lyrics and being depressed in the morning so I turned it off. I guess I should just hope that Gym Class Heroes isn't playing tomorrow morning or I may need a new alarm clock or to switch radio stations but I have mad love for The Kane show and need them to function in the morning and to get my giggles out.

Guess I will find out tomorrow and hope that they find something new to play at 5:45 like some Katy Perry since I know that gets played once an hour too...maybe some Britney Spears, Pitbull, even Bruno Mars but please god no more "Stereo Hearts".

And to show how much I love Adele here is the song our wedding party walked down the aisle to

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Santa I know him!

So I didn't die from the invasion at the beginning of the month but did have lots of fun and then I got busy getting my Christmas on! Then I got the flu the weekend before Christmas and then I started feeling better enough to get my Christmas Cookie bake-a-thon on and now its all over and I can try to breathe through my stuffed up nose again. It was a whirlwind of a month so far and I loved every single minute of all the holiday festivities with the family. O and I are so truly blessed in so many ways!

Santa came to our house Christmas Eve and we woke up to wonderful gifts and full stockings! I was relaxing looking at the tree and our gifts and playing with Ninja and Sirius Black (our cat children not human children-I am not that strange to name human children that and besides we don't have any human children yet that I know of) and O kept making a big deal about how I should go make a cup of coffee for myself. Now O doesn't drink coffee so I was like what the what is your problem-and got up to go make coffee in the kitchen while O presumably watched and much to my surprise there was this - SCORE! ( I love my husband! and not just because he surprises me with awesome coffee on Christmas morning but because he is wonderful and funny and loving and caring and just perfect!)
We had Christmas morning just the two of us (a perfect 1st married Christmas) and Ninja and Sirius who played with the wrapping paper and snuggled and had a perfect Christmas morning. Then we packed up and headed over to my parents (Momma Bear and Papa Bear) house to have brunch and open gifts there with my brother Mario and his wife Princess Toadstool and most importantly eating Stolen which is my favorite part of Christmas Morning. After a few wonderful hours there sharing and laughing and relaxing we headed home (YAY because we only like about 5 miles away). We relaxed and watched Elf (which was the movie for our family Christmas trivia game and we won for the second year in a row!) and just enjoyed the afternoon. Then we headed to my aunts where EVERYONE met up for dinner, fun and family. We seriously have the best family ever, I mean it you may think you have us beat but you don't. I love how much love there is in our family which is the best gift anyone could ever ask for...don't you agree?

Now its back to work and back to the daily grind well somewhat since O and I are both working this week but 95% of everyone else isn't so there is not much to do but I do find pretending that there was a Zombie outbreak and not much else is happening outside my cubicle walls helps time go by faster during the day... New Years Eve is coming up on Saturday and I can't believe how fast the year went by! I am so excited for a new year and new adventures and celebrations in 2012.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and end 2011 right and have a great beginning to 2012! Oh and that's me with my nose covered in Vaseline and catching a cottonball on my nose---told you my family is awesome! (we are also very competitive which is why playing Christmas games is so much fun but we love each other even more and that's what counts most!)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Preparing for the Invasion

My teenage cousins thing one and thing two have been asking forever to have "Girls Night" at my house. Today is the day.....I think I may need a lot of caffeine and perhaps a red bull or 7 to stay up with them tonight past 11. Wish us luck!

Friday, December 2, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

Just like that it's December! Cant you believe it?! At the McNeil's we love Christmas, and I love the giving the loving the memories to be made and traditions that are carried on every year since I can remember.

This year O and I were the lucky winners of two tickets to the National Christmas Tree Lighting. They have a lottery and I entered just for fun and I actually won! It was a wonderful and cold evening but still lots of fun. We had pretty good seats and were sitting about 30 rows back from President Obama and the First Family. I was so excited to actually be that close to the President and actually see him ((yep I am a nerd but oh well)).

Carson Daly was the host and he must be friends with Dick Clark's Doctors because he looks EXACTLY the same as I remember him when I was in high school watching Total Request Live. As one guy pointed out all the 30 year old woman are like YAY Carson Daly and the high schoolers and like Carson who?? I was super excited to hear Ellie Goulding perform and she did not disappoint and of course Kermit, and how could you not love Kermit! Kermit and Mrs. Obama read the Night Before Christmas together and then Santa appeared and did a skit with Kermit that was pretty funny and geared towards all the adults there.The other performs were great too and we were not disappointed: Rodney Atkins sang, One Republic did a great job and I was totally impressed with their live performance. The last performer Marsha Ambrosius was simply amazing! I had never heard of the group Big Time Rush who evidently have a show on Nickelodeon but I can see how they appeal to the kids, I could have done without them but at least it wasn't Justin Bieber! The US Airforce Jazz Ensemble Airmen of Note carried us through the evening providing the music for all the singers and they were fabulous as well.

We will definitely enter the lottery again next year, although I must admit I would not go if I had to stand. I just don't think it would be worth it since you are so far back, not to mention standing for 4 hours in the cold to watch a jumbo-tron is not fun to me.

Definitely feeling lucky that we got to be part of such a fun night and great experience! What a great way to kick off the Christmas season!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Turkey and Stuffing and So Much to be Thankful For....

So I totally lost track of time with the Thanksgiving holiday last week (I can't even believe that Thanksgiving has already come and gone!) O and I hosted the family at our house which meant I got to cook the Turkey and make the homemade stuffing to go along with it. I have done this before so not totally a huge deal and lucky for me I have the best Mom in the world who made some of the sides to bring over so I didn't have to make the whole thing by myself. Have I mentioned how much I love our family? Anyways Thanksgiving went off without a hitch and everything turned out wonderful, we ate we drank and stuffed ourselves silly. O filmed some of the prep making the dinner, he was inspired by the Podcast Epic Meal Time. If you have never watched these guys, do it! It's Jackass for the kitchen and is not for those with weak stomachs. Trust me you will laugh yourself silly watching these guys.

So Thanksgiving Day came and went and I hope you all had a wonderful one full of family and friends and love. I don't believe in Black Friday so I wasn't out there with the masses late Thursday night (I was enjoying my family) or at the butt crack of dawn either. I had to work Friday and so did O. I knew eww and ugghh but lots of people do it and since I work for the Man as in Uncle Sam, everyone else is pretty much gone so I relish the silence and enjoy it to the fullest. I also simultaneously lose my mind and almost collapse from boredom. I really think we should just get the day after Thanksgiving off but who am I to say. I think next year I will take it off just to see what its like :-) Back to not believing in Black Friday and nothing against any of you who participate but seriously ugggh! It makes me insane and I can buy the same thing online for the same price and not get pepper sprayed in my face so some lady can get an Xbox. I will now nicely get off my high horse before I go on a rant, and in case you want to know my horse's name is Spirit or Swift Wind because he is the same just depends. (If you know what amazing cartoon this horse is from you get 500 extra points).

O and I got started on our Christmas decorating and got the tree up which then the cats happily claimed as theirs. I am actually quite proud of them this year as of yet they haven't tried to climb the tree or use the ornaments as balls. And here they are Ninja and Sirius Black in their new favorite nap spot.

So the Holiday season is gearing up to be in full swing and O and I are so excited to be celebrating our first "married" Christmas together. So bring on the cups of Christmas Cheer and house covered in lights. Hope everyone has a wonderful Holiday!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Because I Can

In the beginning of October O and I went to see Ben Harper in concert at the 9:30 club. I have been having a love affair with Ben Harper's music since I was 15, seriously if you don't listen to him you should and if you ever get to see him in concert DO IT. This isn't about Ben though.

The opening act was a singer by the name of Grace Woodroofe and she is in a word amazing. Seriously I love her voice and have been listening to her album on repeat today. Sorry my friends here in the good old USA but we can't get her album here yet, she is an Australian singer and I only got it because I purchased the album at the concert. It should be here in 2012 so keep an eye out and get it, I mean it your ears will thank you later. I love this song, but my favorites are Bear and Transformer.

Since I am on a music kick Zac Brown Band is a great group to see live too and put on an awesome show! O and I were lucky enough to see them twice this year and get a chance to meet them too - I also thank Zac Brown Band for turning O into a country music fan.

And just because I can here is Straight No Chaser from last week in Richmond (told you easy on the eyes and you should hear them sing!)

O and I have such a diverse taste in music seriously between the two of us I don't think there is anything we don't like, This post is totally random but I'll close with a memory from one of our first dates -- I am feeling rather nostalgic today. O took me to see George Clinton Parliament Funkadelic. O thought I would have no clue about the music and I totally opened his eyes to a whole other side of myself. As he said I danced circles around him all night long and I know he loved every minute. I got a hot pink t-shirt from this concert and I love wearing it to work-- just because people always look at me funny when I do.
O may not know it but that night is one of my favorite memories that I will carry with me forever.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Virginia is for Wine Lovers...

It's no big secret I love wine, and truth be told I love beer too almost just as much, depending on my mood. But wine I love wine, I could drink it everyday and I think maybe I should start. For anyone who hasn't tasted Virginia wine I have to tell you that you are missing out. BIG TIME. I have a few favorites and made my way to the Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival at the end of September and loved having to the chance to taste wines from wineries in Central and South Western VA. Most of the festivals here focus on Northern VA wineries and while I do love them it was a nice and appreciated change.

We went to one of my favorite wineries this past Saturday Unicorn Winery (about an hour west of where we live) with K and her boyfriend C. We had a blast and could not have asked for a more perfect fall day to enjoy a tasting and then a glass (or 4 or 5) by the lake there. I had never been but have gone by their booth at various wine festivals and I do buy their wine from a local place (Old Dominion Wine Shop in Occoquan) where they sell Virginia wines. My favorite is the Traminette and Slightly Embarassed. We spent the day relaxing eating and drinking, I mean what else do you need for a perfect day!

Check out Unicorn Winery's website and definitely do the text so you can save 25% off your next purchase and then bring me a bottle (that's my finders fee but I promise to share).

So if you're ever in the area or need a cool place for a day trip check out a Virginia winery and I promise you won't be disappointed! I have lots of suggestions so feel free to ask anytime and of course I am always happy to tag along! Cheers! J

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Time Flies....

On November 10th O and I were married for 2 months and I don't know where the time went, it still feels like we just got married yesterday. We celebrated with a quiet night at home just being together (and lucky for us Friday was a holiday so neither of us had work the next day! Double Thank You Veterans!) I surprised O and made him one of his favorites carrot cake! I use one box of moist cake mix and a cup of applesauce and a cup of water and bake at 350 for the specified amount of time on the box....and voila moist and delicious and a little bit better for you cake (note:  I don't like icing so I usually do not out it on my cakes and cupcakes)! I got the recipe from Hungry Girl and if you have never tried any of her recipes -- you are missing out here is the link for some of her cake recipes I have used pumpkin before and it is awesome too especially with spice cake and to make chocolate brownies. Of course O had to get his fantasy football set up before the game too and Ninja decided to help!
Friday which felt more like Saturday I went to get pampered with a mani pedi which gave O time to play Call Of Duty uninterrupted. We decided to go shopping and grab lunch when I got back, while O was getting his shoes on I noticed the cake (of which we each had a piece of the night before) and it looked like this:

Hope everyone had a wonderful long weekend too! I can't believe two months has already flown by so fast!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Fast and The Furious

This post has nothing to do with cars, Vin Diesel or Paul Walker and won't have like 6 sequels to it either. This is just a quick post to say hello. Things have been pretty busy this week with work and I have had a headache since Monday but am so excited for Wednesday. Why do you ask? Well because its Straight No Chaser Wednesday. I am heading to Richmond this afternoon to see the guys perform and if you have never had the pleasure well you are missing out. They are amazing and never disappoint!

An added bonus I get to see one of my best friends Pocahontas who will be joining us since O has to get up way to early tomorrow to make the trip. O gets to babysit our friends two daughters tonight instead ((insert evil laugh here)) I laugh because O thinks kids are easy, but has never really babysat or watched them all on his own. He loves kids and I know he will have fun and so will they but I hope this opens his eyes just a little.

Nothing else much going on here been working and doing laundry and going to bed early, I think maybe the time change messed me up a little too, who knows. O signed up for gamefly today with the promise he will never buy another video game again, I am interested to see how this works out but I am hoping it means I don't have to go into another Game Stop again.

Well this was a fast and a furious post although mostly fast. I am super excited to see my SNC boys tonight not only for their awesome melodies but because they sure are easy on the eyes too. Here see for yourself and hope you enjoy! Cheers! J

Monday, November 7, 2011

This one is about Poo

Why are women the most disgusting people I know? I mean seriously, how did you get that there in the bathroom? BARF. I work in a "professional" atmosphere, and I say that with air quotes, you see because while I may work for Uncle Sam with supposedly educated people who are mostly older than me (I am the youngest in my area by 10 years and I'm 29) they have a tendency to behave like middle school children but I digress as that is a story for another time and place, this post is about the women's bathroom.

I expect a certain level of nastiness in public restrooms especially bars and places where people have been drinking. Here at my fine government workplace though I feel as though I should be wearing a hazmat suit when I enter the bathroom. I mean how do you get poo there? Its like certain people enjoying destroying the bathroom with their bowels so much that I am convinced it has to take extra effort to do so or perhaps someone really needs to see a Dr. I mean I get things where they need to be and it really doesn't require any special talent that I know of. And why don't you flush! I understand we all have what I like to call "bathroom emergencies" but lady I don't want to nor need to see yours and I am pretty sure you didn't even wipe so I hope I don't get on the elevator with you later.

I have worked with kids and at a daycare and this place has it beat  and kids finger painted with their poo there. And truthfully I swear one day someone made their own artwork on the stall door here. I won't even get started on other lady products that are used and are disposed of on the floor. I feel as though the next training class here should be how to use the bathroom properly instead of saving for retirement.

I would hate to see what these women's bathrooms look like at home and I feel bad for their families. Or perhaps they are drunk at work (I am pretty sure some people here are drunk most of the time) Maybe even they are rebelling but really do I need to suffer? Go picket outside the White House or join Occupy Washington or something else to getting your rebel juices going but please for the sake of my gag reflex don't let them go on the floor of the ladies room.

So please lady keep it in the bowl and flush. And next time please don't announce to the others in the bathroom that you feel "10 pounds lighter" because I really don't care or let out an exclamation such as "Oh My!" we all heard it and are thinking the same thing and trying to escape we don't need any commentary on your sound effects. Everybody poops, I know I just don't like to see it on the floor.

For the record this is far as I know O doesn't frequent the ladies room at work.

Weekend Recap

This weekend was pretty busy in good and not so good ways but I feel positive so I'll skip all the not so fun stuff. Ever since we got married O and I have been nonstop busy, every weekend since we returned from our honeymoon has pretty much been jam packed. Now its not like we haven't been having fun going to wine festivals, celebrating the return of our cousin making it safely home from Afghanistan after a year long deployment, friends birthdays and various other celebrations. And of course we moved on October 1st and finally got the last box unpacked and out of the house last Wednesday.(yay!) Now we are trying to figure out where to hang our art and pictures etc. Oh and did I mention we bought new furniture (double yay!) I am in love with our new bed and bedroom set. We went from a 867 sq. foot apartment to a 2,000 sq. foot townhouse so we had some rooms that at least needed a place for people to sit, ummm like the living room. Pictures to come soon once everything is finished promise. Anyways this weekend was on where we finally got to stay home for the most part.

We started off Friday making our own pizza. O had never made his own pizza before which was kind of a shock to me. I mean really who gets to be 30 and has never made your own pizza. Anyways it turned out awesome and we both got to put our toppings on our respective sides (I love black olives). O is super excited and cant wait to do it again and try out different toppings. I'm hoping it doesn't turn out like some of his omelet creations, like the time he made a pad thai omelet (yep you read it right). But hey at least he is cooking! (it is seriously a step up from when we started dating and he used to make what he called slop). We laid back and caught up on American Horror Story a show that seriously everyone should watch, and had a bottle of wine. Could not have asked for a better Friday night.

Saturday we relaxed and ran some errands and went shopping at O's request and yes I do know I am the luckiest woman alive. I even got a new pair of sunglasses out of it along with picking out O some nice shirts. We went out and celebrated a friends birthday and had a blast. I love pumpkin beer and Capital City Brewery has a great one!

Sunday was a bummer but wont get into that but just to say we were helping a friend we consider to be a sister and it was rough but I am glad we were there to help her through it and things are good now!

That's a little round up from our weekend! Hope you all had a great one too!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Everyone Has a First

And this is mine! Im J and just popped by blogging cherry. Being a hardcore blog reader, I follow about a bazillion I decided that perhaps I should contribute as well. I mean people are sure to want to read about my husbands and I's adventures or awesome night sitting at home eating pizza and watching old Kung-Fu movies (well that would be his choice if he had one). I mean people post the just about anything and everything now, why can't I?

Seriously though, we both will be posting (well most likely mostly me) and sharing our Rants and Loves and favorites and our adventures as newlyweds. We just got married September 10, 2011 or 9.10.11 as O will tell most people. At an old haunted mansion in Occoquan, VA. I love ghosts by they way, I just don't want to meet any. If anything we will have a nice journal to remember our years together with and will be able to keep friends and family that we have sprinkled over the globe up to date and perhaps keep you awake for those 5 minutes it takes you to read this and you are nodding off at your desk at work.

So thank you for being the first, I promise to be exciting (or as much as I can be). Will also post pictures soon as well. Here's to hoping that we keep up with this like our plan is to do.