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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in vlynn's LiveJournal:

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Sunday, November 27th, 2011
12:11 am
Just home from a lovely Thanksgiving break. We couldn't get tickets straight to Knoxville, so flew into Nashville Wednesday instead. That meant we had time to stop by for a too-short but fun visit with Lisa, Johnny and the kiddos before driving on to Knoxville. The twins were sweet as could be and Lydia's just a ton of fun.

We had a great time with Eric & Kristen with ridiculously good food, games, chatting and getting sucked into Game of Thrones. Made it through the first half of the season and can't wait to get our hands on the rest. :)

Decompressing and snuggling with Taz tonight and then tomorrow it's time to dig into organizing some of baby's things in her room.

33 weeks down!
Tuesday, June 14th, 2011
1:27 pm
Let US eat cake. FREE cake! :-)
Excellent contest for Philly-area locals. Remember those fabulous cake toppers we had at our wedding? The mini version of Mike's plane towing the "just married" banner, the bride and groom penguins on their little iceberg and of course the teeny Taz looking on? Truly Custom Cakery, where those came from, is having a contest to win a free cake up to $200!

Full scoop on the contest is here: http://staceyssweetshop.blogspot.com/2010/06/hey-locals-win-custom-cake-from-truly.html
Saturday, April 30th, 2011
2:42 pm
Spring is a good time for getting motivated.

The contractors were in all day yesterday, starting the kitchen repairs. We had a long-term leak in the kitchen that had done some real damage, so they got that fixed, repaired the damage, replaced the cabinet under the sink, put in the new faucet and did the template for the new countertops. We'll get those and the new sink, disposal and undersink water filtration system installed in a coupla weeks.

I'm finally giving the new WW program a real go and I'm applying to be a mentor with Philadelphia Futures.

This morning I went to breakfast and yardsaling with Leeenda. Our mission was trying to find some goodies for their twins, due to hit the scene in September. Picked up a few things on their list plus found a few others that will be useful besides. Plus it was fun just driving around, chatting and checking out the beautiful blooms on such a pretty day.

Came home and got inspired to weed a bit and then whipped out a scrubbrush and the Dr. Bronner's to scrub up the outside of the front door and wall o' windows. So needed to get rid of the grime. And now the kitteh's trying to convince me not to be so motivated anymore and to join him in a nap. Must resist!
Monday, March 21st, 2011
11:00 am
what a weekend
I don't know if it was the weather, or what, but I had so much energy this weekend and had a wonderful time.

meekay  and I took off work a bit early Friday, drove the bikes down to East Falls and went cycling along the Schuylkill River. The path was jam-packed, particularly as we got closer to town, and there were a couple of points at which I was worried I was going to hit a pedestrian. Eventually it got so jammed up, we turned around and went back even though I probably could have managed to go all the way to the museum. Next time! :)

Saturday I took a souffle class. We made a cheese souffle, a grand-marnier and shaved chocolate souffle and a chocolate souffle adapted from a Hubert Keller recipe. Fabulous! :) Had fun and learned a bunch. Decided I'd better make one on my own soon so I wouldn't forget or just procrastinate, so rounded up some folks to come for dinner Sunday night to test my learnings! :)

Home after class and cleared out the back garden to prep it for planting. Got everything cleared, weeded and composted. Relaxed a bit, then we went to a fun St. Patty's party with delicious vegetarian fare.

Sunday we caught an early lunch at Top of the Hill and ran some errands in the local shops of Chestnut Hill. Great way to kick off the day. Did some cleaning and prepping for the dinner party while Mike went flying, then I cooked, cooked, cooked!

Linda brought some delicious artichoke tarts for an app and Lisa brought cheese and grapes. Gave us a nice start to the evening as I finished prepping the sauce base for the souffle. The salad was a mushroom-walnut salad with spring mix. I whipped up a vinaigrette of olive oil, apple cider vinegar and some Penzey's garden salad seasoning (cheese and herbs). Next time I think a touch of blue cheese would be a nice addition, too. For dinner I tried out a Weight Watcher's stuffed pepper recipe. Also mixed some of the leftover stuffing with more brown rice for a side dish and baked up a loaf of French bread in the breadmaker. Wanted to keep things pretty light before the main event: the chocolate souffle! The recipe was supposed to make 8 souffles in individual ramekins. Instead it made the 8 ramekins PLUS a 1.5 quart souffle! Hooboy. Served that up with strawberry jam and fresh strawberries. It's still a bit early in the season for those, so they weren't quite as flavorful as I'd like...will have to do that again once the Jersey ones are out.

After all that, I am in definite need of the gym tonight! 

Got word this morning that the MINI Countryman is at the dealer! She still has to be unwrapped, get a checkup in the shop and get all cleaned up, so we can bring her home Wednesday!
Tuesday, January 25th, 2011
4:16 pm
Getting organized: work edition

Monthly report day:
I hate writing my monthly report at work, but I do like the feeling afterwards. Once I'm finished my report, I transfer my to-do list onto a fresh sheet, so it's easier to see what I have left to do and there's space to write in new items through the month. My last one had become a 3-column rat's nest so it was hard to keep track of what I needed to do. I'm feeling much more organized and on top of what's going on now.

Hamster revolution:
I listened to the audio cds of this book. I came away with some good tips that are sticking with me for reducing email volume. Send less email (it really does reduce the overall volume of what you receive, too). Good tips for sending better emails and for being more clear on what I want to have come back to whom and when so fewer people just hit the dreaded REPLY ALL over and over. Another team member's listening to the discs now, too, so hopefully we can egg each other on.

Better managing my inbox: 
I'm doing pretty well at this on my work inbox. Since the start of the year, it's not getting above 120 messages. I still have some room for improvement, but that's a MASSIVE reduction compared to what it used to be. I'm also following a friend's inspiration and I'm taking myself off more distribution lists.

Reasons NOT to check email:
This article has had me doing some thinking. I've already been working on better prioritizing the most important things I need to work on each day and breaking down some of the bigger projects into steps. I think doing that before starting the workday may help me minimize the early email time. Due to the nature of my job, I can't altogether refrain from the morning check, but I can limit it. And I'm more often minimizing my email window and trying to check it less through the day, thinking more consciously about whether the incoming mail is really more important than what I'm working on at the moment. I liked what he had to say about how checking your email can move you from actively working on your own priorities to reactively attending to other people's priorities.

Saturday, September 4th, 2010
8:32 pm
Long time, no post
Meekay's recent post reminded me it's been a really long time since I've updated here. I've really gone to mostly FB and the periodic Twitter.

This year's obviously been a full and exciting one. Mike and I got engaged in April down in Jamaica. Since then it's been a minor whirlwind as we ready for our wedding in just 3 more weeks! In the midst of all that, he's changed jobs this year and I got a promotion, so work's been pretty darned busy for us both. 

We're closing in on being ready for the wedding. Still some things on the to-do list, but it feels like it'll all be wrapped up in time without being too frantic. Doing a couple of DIY projects this weekend and hopefully buying all the alcohol we need for the rehearsal dinner and the reception. It feels like excellent timing for a 3-day weekend.

Still trying to squeeze some reading in when I can, though I haven't been through as many books this year as last. Most recently I finished For Better, a book on the science of marriage, and Adrift in China, a travelogue from someone who lived and worked in China and took a motorcycle trip from Beijing to London. Currently halfway through Let's Take the Long Way Home. I've been using Goodreads to track what I'm reading, though I use a combination of Amazon tools to track my to-read list (I either download a sample to the Kindle directly or, it isn't available on Kindle, I throw it in my wishlist). If you're on Goodreads and we haven't connected, send an invite...I love catching friends' reviews of great reads. My favorite recommendations of the last year or so are still A Happy Marriage (WOW) and The Help.
Monday, June 21st, 2010
12:34 pm
96 days to go
This weekend started off well. We took Friday night as a date night. Caught a healthy dinner out at Seasons 52 and then proceeded to eat our entire bag of popcorn before Toy Story 3 started. Whoops!

Unfortunately we both spent the rest of the weekend in too much pain. Mike's shoulder completely locked up. For a while, he couldn't even move it around. My back had been bothering me, so I'd scheduled a massage for Saturday morning. His shoulder was bad enough that he consented to try a massage as well. They were able to get it moving a bit again, though it was still really painful. We vetoed going ring-shopping and to a party in favor of trying to rest it up.

Luckily Sunday it started improving more, as did my back. We had lunch out with L&D, but otherwise stuck around the house. I worked on invites and made dinner, but otherwise didn't accomplish too much.

96 days to go until the wedding. Several of the big things are done already and we're steadily picking away at the rest. Not long left!
Tuesday, April 20th, 2010
7:16 pm
For those who aren't on Facebook or haven't been keeping up on it...

Mike and I got engaged last night! :-)
Monday, January 11th, 2010
1:05 pm
Had some serious relaxing time this weekend. Friday night we did some couch-surfing since Mike's been sick. I watched Rachel Getting Married and Saint Ralph.

Saturday I met up with Brian and Lisa to catch rush tickets for a matinee of Becky Shaw at the Wilma. Fun play, great banter. Quick snack together at Chew Man Chu before hitting the supermarket and throwing on a pot of veggie chili to warm us up for the evening. Mike and I holed up with The Godfather Part II.

Sunday was the long-awaited spa day with the girls. It was supposed to be our holiday get-together, but was delayed due to snow. We each got some wonderful treatments and relaxy time at 3000 BC, then went back to Linda's for a big late-afternoon brunch. The food was fantastic and it's so good spending time with the girls. We got to celebrate two of the birthdays as well due to the rescheduled date, so that was fun! Spa day is definitely a new tradition for us that we'll have to repeat.

This week is going to be a stressful one at work for me, and it's Mike's last week at his current job, so we'll be ready to celebrate and deflate by the weekend. We're heading up to NYC this weekend to see Eddie Izzard at Madison Square Garden and should be able to catch the Tim Burton exhibit as well.
Tuesday, January 5th, 2010
3:37 pm
Is this thing on?
So I haven't been posting much here since I've been on FB more, but I do still read all the folks on my friends list.

I'm glad to be through the holidays. We had Thanksgiving with my family and Christmas with Mike's. Good times with both families and with friends sprinkled in. Coped as well as we could with not having Mom and Grandma with us for the first time.

Despite the constant flow of Christmas cookies and other goodies, I managed to keep slowly losing weight. I'm now officially down more than 20 lbs over the course of the last year.  I have less than 5 lbs to go to what my original big goal was, but as I approach the finish line, I see that I really should be lower than that to be healthier/more fit. I'm still way at the top of the healthy BMI range as well, so no danger of getting too thin here. ;) Bigger goal now is to really dig into building some good exercise routines into my life.

Mike has accepted a new job, which he'll start in less than 2 weeks. He'll be working near me, so we'll be able to commute together and I hope we can build some healthy habits like some exercise time and more home-made lunches into our new routine.

I've been continuing to plug away reading an average of a book a week. Anyone have any great fiction, travel, or biography recommendations? 
Tuesday, September 1st, 2009
7:55 am
Met my first 5% goal and, for the first time, the Wii Fit says I'm within the "normal" BMI range. Another 5% to go at least.
Thursday, August 27th, 2009
12:57 pm
Life's feeling very much like it's in a real state of change at the moment.

In a lot of ways, I'm still very much adjusting after Mom's death. It's still sinking in a little at a time. I still find myself thinking of things I want to send her, tell her about and such. And I think there's going to be a lot of change to come in family relationships, holidays and such. It's like someone pulled away a big chunk of earth and now the tectonic plates are shifting around to settle into a new configuration; I know the landscape's changing but I don't know how it will end up in a lot of ways.

Work's shifting a lot and I'm working hard to set plans in motion for all that will happen in the coming year. No matter what happens, it's going to be a wildly different year from the one I've just had...my first year in this role.

I think I need to shift some of my evening energies into something more productive but have been feeling like I need more downtime lately, so trying not to push myself too hard. What I do need to add back for sure is PT and gym time. I'm having some real pressure relief on my knees, probably a result of the PT I've done, the meds and the weightloss all together, so the current plan is to wait on surgery for now. I like that plan.

And on the really good sides, I'm so excited that Meekay's almost finished with his MBA...so proud of this crazy two years he's done and looking forward to a little stress reduction for him. And of course, his acquisition of a shiny new airplane just adds to the happy potential for both of us.
Friday, August 21st, 2009
9:42 am
Found a little bit of extra time last night between work and meeting up with Meekay to celebrate his last night in the classroom, so I caught a showing of Ponyo. Loved it to bits. Found myself wishing I knew a teeny person to share it with. Think it was even better than Spirited Away.

Plus, thanks to collecting movie points, I got the movie and the popcorn for free! Even better.

Right now have to do a little bit of work from home, then heading to the shore for our company party.
Tuesday, August 18th, 2009
9:52 pm
As of today, I'm down 6 lbs since starting WW. A few weeks ago, I was 1/2 a pound less than I am now, but I gained some back while dealing with everything with Mom. I now feel back on track with the program again.

Have to say I loved hitting the kayak Saturday. It felt so satisfying to do something so physical without having any limitations from my knees or hips. I worked the hell out of my body, pushing it really hard, and it did what I wanted. My arms and shoulders burned like fire that night, but it was totally worth it. Would love to do that more often.

My hope is that post-surgeries I'll be able to work up to where I can cycle, too. Monday I see the doc about surgery planning.
Wednesday, August 12th, 2009
11:14 am
getting back on track
Got home last night. Felt so good to be here.

Was still pretty wiped out exhausted and realized I really needed a day just to take care of myself, so I won't go back to work until Thursday. I got about 11 hours of sleep last night. It's been two weeks since I had a real, full night of sleep.

As of now, I am officially back onto WW after a nearly 2-week break. I'm up 2.3 lbs from the break, but still down overall since starting. It'll get there.
Monday, July 13th, 2009
9:05 am
happy to be a loser
Week 1 of Weight Watchers: down 2.6 pounds. So it really has been the jumpstart that I needed. We'd been trying to lose for a while but I was just stuck where I was. And I still had 5.5 weekly points and 17 activity points I didn't use for the week.

This week my goal is to earn more activity points than last week. I'll earn 12 points from my 3 PT sessions, so it shouldn't be too hard to do.

So far, so good.
Monday, July 6th, 2009
12:53 pm
Just signed up on Weight Watchers. Today is day #1.
Sunday, June 14th, 2009
7:43 am
Off on yet another there-and-back-same-day Maryland trip. These are wearing me down.
Friday, June 12th, 2009
10:20 pm
back...yet again
The last few entries have all been times coming home from MD. This is another one.

We thought we were bringing mom home from the hospital yesterday, but no go. They wanted to keep monitoring to make sure she really is stable. She might go home tomorrow. We'll see.

It's a busy weekend for that...my grandmother is also heading home from the nursing home Sunday. Wish she could have stayed there. I'm going to try to make a there-and-back-same-day trip on Sunday to visit them both.

But tomorrow is a fun day...Meekay's graduation! :) His folks are in town. We had a nice dinner with them in Chestnut Hill tonight, then we'll head to graduation early and to White Dog for lunch. And lots of celebrating the awesome boy.
Sunday, June 7th, 2009
11:14 pm
home from md.

was there since a thursday emergency run.

mom is back in icu with still more complications.

i has boy and kitteh. is good.

no caps...kitteh is sleeping on my hand.
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