Friday, May 31, 2013

It's a parade!

It's Friday!!!!

I don't know why I'm so excited, given that I'm working tomorrow (rent day), we have to go to the MIL's house in Denver on Sunday for her birthday, PLUS I'm going to have to do some major wok on my wedding dress in any spare moment between those two events, but by golly, I am excited it's Friday.  I feel like there should be a Friday parade every single week.  I love parades, with all of my inner child.

Since I love parades, I'm giving you a parade of happy things today.

1)  We got our marriage license yesterday!

The County Clerk's office is just a 10 minute walk from our place, and parking is a nightmare, so we joyfully enjoyed the perfect weather.  I took the whole afternoon off of work, and we walked to lunch, then the clerk's office.  Ammon was telling everyone we saw that we had just gotten it, and I insisted on an impromptu photo session (naturally).

2)  Steak 'n Shake:

This place entered my radar when I went to Indiana in college.  So many great memories of eating here in college.  A year and a half or so ago, I found out there was one in South Denver, and I've been wanting to go ever since.  Ammon doesn't like these kinds of places, so I took Emily.  We let our inner food lovers out last night, and it was gloooooooooooooooorious.

Not pictured are our Peanut butter banana hand-dipped shakes.  It's a good thing it's an hour and a half away...

3)  Seeing this vanity license plate this week:

Sorry for my dirty windshield, but I felt like we all needed this picture.

4)  Having a good weigh-in this week, despite weekend indiscretions.

I'm not going to spill the beans on actual weight or anything, but it was good.

5)  Afternoon pick-me-ups.

It's been a really hectic last few weeks, and without this goodness, I'm not sure I would have made it.

So that's it!  Hope you guys have a fantastic Friday!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Thanks, boys

I promised you guys a funny as heck story about beans.  I am really happy to deliver on that promise today.  What more can you ask for on a Thursday, am I right?

Friday night we made the good decision to eat barbecue while Crazy Kristen started her spiral into greatness.

When we got there, the only seats available were at the bar.  We were just fine with that, because we wanted to be closest to the booze.  There were a bunch of guys sitting at the bar.  There were the 3 that were clearly toolbags, and the one guy who always looks lonely and awkward while he plays tetris on his cell phone and drinks beer.  Somehow, awkward tetris dude ended up sitting between the toolbags, and our joyous gathering.

The dudes hailed us right away, in typical dude fashion.  We kind of ignored them, and I think it annoyed them.  They wanted to shoot tequila with us, and the other girls would have none of that.  I am all about talking with ANYONE when I'm out to have  a good time, so I decided to bite the bullet and chat up "the dudes", who claimed they were out for a bachelor party.  I will skip cheat days for 2 weeks if that's actually true.  For real.

Emily kept telling me to "ignore those dudes, they're just messing with us."  Yes, I know, Emily.  It's flipping funny.  Do you really think I'm buying their line?

The next thing I know, a waitress is bringing by three little side cups.  Side cups full of baked beans.  She sets one down in front of each of us, and tells us that they are compliments of the gentlemen at the end of the bar... aka, "the dudes."

Crazy Kristen had already had quite a bit to drink by that point, and she was also STARVING.  So not only was she super happy to see some free beans, she laughed about this ish for 2 minutes straight, because it's obviously hilarious to get sides of beans at a bar.  No kidding, and no lies... 2 minutes.  The dudes thought that Crazy Kristen was an idiot at this point, which is pretty much her M.O.  If people think you're dumb, you can get away with all kinds of stuff.  They then encourage Crazy Kristen to Instagram it.  And you'd better believe, I opened Instagram that very second, showed the guys the open app, and dutifully did what the dudes requested (sorry to those of you who got to experience that gem in real time).  I then thanked them for the extra fiber, and dug right on in.

... Did I mention that to my left, Emily was yelling about the injustices of being messed with?  Because she was.  She refused to even touch her beans.  Our ever mysterious other friend, known to you all today as "K-Swizzle", laughed, told the guys it was a well-played move, and politely sampled her beans.

This is where creepy-lonely-Tetris-playing-dude enters our scene.  Emily starts talking about "getting them back".  In my world, not taking offense to funny stuff is all the revenge I need.  But Emily clearly wanted to settle the score.  Suddenly, tetris-dude has tons of ideas.  All of which center around Apple Pucker.  I kid you not.  He told us first to send them shots of it.  Then he told us to send them appletinnis.  Then he suggested apple pucker shots again.  And again.  And again.  Homeboy seriously had a thing for the pucker, ladies.


After some banter across the bar that lasted longer than expected, "the dudes" decided it was time to move on, but not before informing us where they were going.  They promised us something even more awesome and random if we followed them (they were quite unclear about what it would be).  We swore up and down the river that we'd meet them there.

And then we promptly went elsewhere.  "Ooops".  Sorry boys, find some other girls that are more fun to mess with than Crazy Kristen.  I dare you.  Because it can't be done.

Well played indeed.  Thanks for the beans, boys.  They were delicious.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Beware of mush

GUYS:  Today is a sappy, lovey, mushy-gushy post.  If you aren't into that, not even one little teeny-tiny bit, please turn back now.

Are you still there?  Okay.  I warned you.  Don't say that I didn't.  Back a few weeks ago, Ammon and I got all gussied up, and let my friend Molly McGannon snap one or two (hundred, that is), pictures of us, under the guise of engagement photos.  Since that evening I have been waiting not so patiently for her to vet and edit the shots into our final portfolio.  And Monday night, literally as I was about to put the computer away for the night, THE email came in.  You know the one, it says "your gallery is ready to be viewed".  Those are sweet, sweet words indeed.

Molly shared her 14 favorites on her facebook page, and now I'm going to take some time to show you my favorites.  We are picking one for our "Thank you" notes, so if you have a clear favorite, you should cast your vote in the comments.

Also, from here on out, this post is going to be wordless.  Otherwise, it would never get published, because I have too many happy things to say!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Well, I'm proud of myself

Oh Tuesday, you sly fox going around dressed as a Monday.  I know that you love these 3 day weekends, simply because everyone has to sit up and take notice of you.  Negative attention is better than no attention, right, Tuesday?

My Memorial Day was nothing terribly special.  Womp, womp.  It was kind of like catch-all day after being utterly useless for the rest of the weekend.

It started with a morning bike ride.  My first of the season, in fact.  I was hoping for magical, and instead I got humbling.  I guess I should hop on a bike more often than once every 7 months or so.

However, during one of my [several] rest breaks, I snapped this picture for all of you.  I thought you might like to see some of the views us CO people get to enjoy on the daily.

After an 18.9 mile bike ride that took entirely too long, I thought I had plenty of time to relax before having to meet up with a maintenance vendor at 11, so I drank my protein shake, showered, and then relaxed with some almonds and raisins.  Except, Mr. Vendor man was 25 minutes early.  So on went the maxi-dress, and out the door I went.  Sorry almonds and raisins, I really wish I could have savored you instead of tossing you down the hatch in 3 big gulps.

You know what's really fun???  Spending 30 minutes on your day off working.  I highly recommend it.  Said this girl never.

After that, Ammon and I ran over to our wedding venue to drop off a check for the remaining balance of our venue fee.  We came home, and I made our "breakfast" smoothies for the day.  Seriously guys, this is one of the yummiest smoothies I've had in a long time, and if you ask nicely enough, I'll share the recipe next week.

Come to mama.

Finally, I could put it off no longer, and I consigned myself to Wedding Prison.  AKA my parents' dining room, the official headquarters of "Kristen's a crazy person who's sewing her own wedding dress".  I had been putting it off and putting it off (because I keep shrinking), but I finally started in the last week, and as of Monday afternoon, I had the whole thing cut out and prepped.  I was so excited that I texted my mom, who is on vacation right now, and I called Ammon.

Ammon's response to my news:  Oh, that's nice.  So, I'm working on this cool new inlay technique using the router...

My mom's eventual return text:  Well now you'd better get going on sewing the thing.

See how much love I get?  My point simply was that the cutting and prep is the hardest, longest part of the process.  And it's DONE!  I, for one, and pretty proud of this.  At least I won't be showing up nekked to my own wedding, right?

There is no picture of wedding dress HQ.  Sorry guys, but Ammon reads this blog, and we gotta keep a few things a surprise from him, you know?

Anyhow.  It's Mon-Tuesday, so I know you are all up to your eyeballs in work.  Hope it's a great one!

Monday, May 27, 2013

How to gain 6 pounds in 2 days

Well, happy Memorial Day, friends.  I hope you are enjoying your three day weekend doing what makes you happiest.  Me, I'm hoping to make some real progress on the wedding dress.  It's been my goal all weekend, in fact.  It didn't happen.  Yet.

Because 2 of my favorite real life people decided to take me out on the town to celebrate my last few weeks of the single life.

It all started with Champagne before we left.

And progressed to, quite possibly, the funniest drinking story ever.  I promise to share that story soon.

And then crazy Kristen came out.  She was so happy to have a girl's night.

The problem with girls' night though, is it entirely undid a lot of hard work.  When I did my Revolt Now Fitness weigh-on on Thursday, I was down to 144.8 pounds!  So exciting!  And then after a night on the town and a "Recovery" day, I was officially staring down at 150.6 on the scale Sunday morning.  Whoopsie.  It's totally a water thing, I know it.  In fact, my fingers were so swollen on Saturday that my ring was digging into my skin.  It always amuses me to see how quickly water goes on, and comes back off again.  I'm hoping to still see progress in the upcoming week, despite 2 days of indiscretion.

This week is a gap week between uprisings, and so Nichole Hunstman, creator of Revolt, planned some really fun stuff.  Current Revolt members are doing a modified detox week (hello perfect timing!), and a cardio-based set of workouts, which are going to be a total surprise!  I decided to be really proactive in meal planning this week, something that I got pretty lax with after week 1.  While the meal plan is a part of the program, it is my responsibility to generate a shopping list, do the shopping, then prepare, portion out, and store all of the food for the upcoming week.  That is a lot of steps, y'all.

However, when you follow all of the steps, life gets a lot easier during the week.  Suddenly, Ammon and I can eat when we need to, where we need to.  None of this nonsense of me having to be home to cook, and Ammon being ready to eat at that same moment.

Smoothie packs for the freezer.

So that's it.  My Lush ways have caused a little speed-bump, so this week I have to work a little harder.  Really guys, this plan is working!  I told my co-workers I have a goal of having a six-pack by the end of the summer.  I really mean it, and I think it's totally possible.  Already there have been some really noticeable changes!  Is it time for you to rise up and try something new?  Join me on this journey, let's support each other!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Are you looking?

Yesterday, Nay did this really interesting blog post about Who she is when nobody's looking.  I really loved it, and since I'm about as not-original as it gets these days, I promptly informed her that I would be writing my own version.

The question was asked; are the the same person all of the time?  Or do you become somebody different when nobody is looking?

I feel like at its core, the answer is obvious.  Everyone is a different person when they can let their crazy out without fear of reproach.  However, if everyone did this all of the time, society as we know it would crumble on its very foundations.  For instance:

When I'm home by myself, I prefer to wear little to no clothing.  Can you imagine how that would go over if I did it all the time?

When nobody is looking, I never have shoes on.  Ever.  I dislike the "no shirt, no shoes, no service" rule.

I tend to have random emotional outbursts.  I work hard to keep them back around other people, so they come out in full force when I'm by myself.

I don't always eat using utensils.  I just can't be bothered.  I do wash my hands, though, so it's fine.

I run off to the mountains by myself for long sunrise hikes.  When nobody's looking, I tend to have a lower concern for safety.

I tend to become incredibly introspective and hermit-like.  I nest a lot, internally and externally.

Without people around who pay attention to me, I'm really not certain how I would get by in polite society.  I tend to adhere strictly to rules of propriety and politeness as a counter-balance to my "raised by a lone wolf" mentality that I otherwise show.  But it is certainly a mask, and one that I have to intentionally put on.  It takes me a long time to get ready for work each day, mostly because I have to prepare to be around people again.

So if you call me and I don't call you back, or I don't want to talk, now you know why.  This clearly introverted nudist has probably already shucked her mask, shoes, and bra for the day, and can't be bothered to put even one of those articles back on to talk for a few minutes.  I wish I could sincerely apologize for that.  I really do.  But after the mask comes off, it's recharge time.

Who are you when nobody is looking?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Blasts from the Past

Television does not hold nearly the allure these days that it did when I was a kid.  I am attributing it to the sheer volume of channels and networks available.  Mediocrity is totally alright, so long as you have enough variety to capture your niche.  Today, I want to salute the shows that made my childhood television time so awesome and worthwhile.  I would also like to note that my parents limited my TV.  However, thank heavens that shows were only 20-30 minutes long back in the day.  Lots of time to enjoy the vast array of quality programming.

Kids, Incorporated.  Aka Fergie's big debut.  These kids lived my dream, I wanted to be on stage as a kid.

No words are needed for this.  Eureka's Castle forever.

I was going to say that I miss cute, normal Amanda Bynes, and then the best clip I found is of her being borderline scary.  Clearly, Nickelodeon knows how to pick the crazies.

Live Annawanna.

This was my favorite episode.  Apparently, my OCD tendencies started early in life.

My dad would always watch with us.  I didn't get how entirely inappropriate this show was at the time.

The show that launched so many careers.

The best part is that I could keep going.  So many great shows.  So many memories.  But let's leave off with the enigma of my Elementary school summers.  We can't be friends if I have to explain this.

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

We do not negotiate

This story is brought to you by the letter "A".

A few nights ago, I went to bed before Ammon did.  This is a really common occurrence in our household, as I have a life to live during the day, and he has important internet surfing to keep him occupied until 2am.

I was absolutely exhausted, and as I fell asleep that night, I snuggled up to one of Ammon's 2 pillows, which happened to be in the dead center of the bed.  To me, this is fair game for several reasons:

1) I bought all of the pillows, so I can use whichever one I dang well want
2) Ammon steals both of my pillows on a regular basis, and claims they are "better" than his, because they are mine
3) Again, the pillow was in the middle of the bed, clearly neutral territory.

Apparently, Ammon did not see things my way when he came to bed, because a few hours later, I feel the pillow being forcibly ripped away!  Never mind that he could have used my pillow instead... the pillow he always wants.  Oh no, he had to disrupt my sweet sleep, just so that he could be more comfortable.

The next day, I asked if he had realized what he had done.  His response?  "You were hogging my pillow.  I wanted it back."

"Couldn't you have cuddled with me, and we could have shared it?  Or you could have used mine?"

"I tried cuddling with you, and I didn't like it.  And I didn't want your pillow, I wanted mine."

Well, okay then.  Somebody clearly blew off the life-alteringly important lessons of sharing in Preschool.  We were talking about the pillow again last night as I went to bed:

"Will you fix the covers?  You have been stealing them at night"

"You have no room to talk, you pillow thief!"

"I did not steal it, it was in the middle of the bed.  And you forcibly ripped it away!"

"I'm just like the US:  We do not negotiate with terrorists.  I was recovering a hostage."

At this point, I dissolved into laughter.  And hooted and hollered about being named a kidnapping terrorist.  Because really, this is the point that most of our ridiculous conversations come to; a moment when one of us says something so completely out there that the other one can no longer make a rebuttal because they are laughing so hard.

Well played, Ammon.  Well played.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I'm not the only one who looks good in a dress

If you follow me on social media at all, you know that we had quite the weekend.  After a long, arduous, and perilous journey, Ammon walked across a stage and became a Colorado State University graduate on Saturday.

If you look closely to the left of the podium, you can see him getting his diploma cover from the Dean.  They let family members down onto the floor to take pictures of the event, and you can bet your bottom dollar Ammon's dad and I were all over that.  I just wish that I had my dad's photography skillz and stalkerazzi camera lens... instead, you get my cheap and blurry cell phone pictures.  Sorry.

At this point, all he could say was "holy shit!"  Yeah, dude.  Indeed.

Then we turned the hallway into our own personal photo shoot setup.  We couldn't find any unsuspecting people to take one large group shot, but we did manage to capture the graduate receiving love from a big chunk of the family.

Don't worry, he wasn't crying; that's just how his face looks when he's happy and there's a camera within a 50 yard radius.

After Commencement, we went and had dinner as a big group, then Ammon, his dad and I went home to have celebratory beverage.  Here is the graduate imbibing in some yummy Levity Amber Ale from Odell's in Fort Collins.

Ammon reads the comments, so make sure to congratulate him, and tell him how pretty he looked in his little black dress!

Monday, May 20, 2013

This is for real! Revolt week 4

Happy Monday!  It's time for a Revolt update.  Today starts week 4, and I have to say that I am so thrilled about how this whole program is working out so far.  Yes, it is hard.  Yes, the diet is more restrictive than most people choose for themselves.  However, pictures don't lie, and I have a few of those to share today.  I made some collages to show my progress.  On the far left of each collage is My "before" pictures, then week one, week two, and week three.

I can hardly believe these kinds of results in three weeks.  I didn't even realize there had been such a change until I compared the pictures in this way.

During week 3 I completed 4 out of 5 workouts again.  I really liked the workouts this week, especially the cardio circuit.  It was a really great mix of exercises that let me feel the burn, but wasn't too hard at the same time.  Things got a little off track over the weekend what with Ammon's graduation and his dad in town, but that's fine by me.  Gotta live your life.

Food wise, I stayed on plan for the most part.  Monday and Tuesday I was absolutely starving all week, and I got light-headed on a regular basis.  It got better as the week went on, but I REALLY needed my cheat day by the time it came along on Saturday.  I was starving pretty much all day, and ate whatever I wanted.  Sometimes that kind of thing makes me sick when I'm doing a diet cheat, but this time I could have had even more.  I even had a few cookies, my first sweets in over 3 weeks.  They were so good.

Got right back on plan on Sunday.  I felt like it was a lot easier to go back to eating clean after taking a legitimate day off.

Do you want to see these kinds of results too?  There's another Uprising starting on June 3, and Nichole, the founder of Revolt, has made the decision that all Uprisings will only be a month long from here on out.  You can do ANYTHING for a month.  Just think... is it worthwhile to make yourself uncomfortable for a month if at the end you are healthier, happier, and more fit?  And at only $10 for a month-long membership, it's way cheaper than a gym membership, or even buying the newest diet craze book.  Let's get a team together and see some incredible results!  Click here to get started.

Disclaimer:  Revolt fitness provided me with a free membership to their program in exchange for weekly reviews of the system.  They are not providing monetary compensation for my opinions.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Lessons to re-learn

I had one of those random trains of thought while considering this post.  It started when I was thinking about the epic Nickelodeon game shows of our childhoods.  The ones like Legends of the Hidden Temple and Double Dare.  The shows we all loved.

Then I thought about what my 6 year old self and my 27 year old self would do if they had to hang out together for a day.  That was pretty entertaining.

Then I thought about the advice that I would give my 6 year old self.  That was pretty typical and dumb.  Which led to utter brilliance.

The lessons my 6 year old self would re-teach me.  Epic.

Play in the dirt.  It's fun.  Besides, you're going to have to take a bath... might as well make it worth it, right?

Owies don't hurt THAT bad... come on now, stop being so afraid of taking risks.  It's worth a skinned knee to push yourself to the limit of greatness.

Grown ups worry far too much.  A'int nobody got time for that (okay, my 6 year old self would NEVER say that, but it's what she would mean).

Playing dress-up is always the best response to a bad day... you get to be somebody else for a while.

Board games are a blast.  Especially when you make up your own rules.

Your imagination is the best toy you will ever posess.

If you don't understand, ask why.  Ignore people who get exasperated.  Seek out the knowledge.  Ask Priests deep, heartfelt questions, like "What does God look like?" and don't let them cop out.

An outfit does not have to match, it just has to make you happy.

Oh, that 6 year old Kristen.  She was a fun one.  Sometimes I look back and wonder how the path has moved me to where I am now.  How I could have forgotten all those lessons while "learning" so many other things along the way.

This song just came on DWTS... it is so fitting for this post, so there we are.

Have the best weekend ever, friends.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Totally not original

All of you "every day in May" peeps have got me inspired... that day 14 "things that make me happy" made me so, so happy.  I got so inspired by your responses that I just had to jump on the bandwagon too.  So without further ado...

Kristen's list of happy things

-Early morning kitty snuggles

-Coffee (yes, I know.  This is that kind of blog where I repeat myself again and again)
-Urban fantasy novels and their ridiculously cheesy cover art
-Trashy romance novels
-Jane Austen
-Ice Cream

-This dude

-Getting to share life with the above-mentioned dude
-Knowing that sharing life with said dude means always getting to eat 90% of our "shared" desserts

-Hiking, biking, and generally being outdoors

-Growing things

-Flowy skirts that make pretty twirls
-Music that encourages twirling
-Amy Farrah Fowler.  Always.

-Knowing that debits will always equal credits
-A dang good microbrew
-The sorority girl squat

...I'm going to stop.  This list is taking over my life, in the best possible way and I'm getting picture/life happy.  So I'm going to continue to smile about my favorite Vixen, and head off to the beddy-bye.  It's after 10:00pm as I write this, which means it's after bedtime.

I hope this did something to help you get through the worst day of the week.  Don't fight with me and say Monday is the worst, we all know that Thursday is a big teasing floozy of what's to come.