Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

It's Thanksgiving time, friends, and we have so much to be thankful for! Andrew and I were asked to be the godparents of Ashley and Clayton's new addition, expected in May! How exciting!! I tear up just thinking about that beautiful baby! The weekend before Thanksgiving we had our now annual Friends Thanksgiving at Louie and Crystal's (aka Salami Mommy) house. Crystal will be forever known as Salami Mommy since her very sleepy daughter, Raina, called out to her in the middle of the night for "salami mommy, bring me some salami!" Refined midnight snacking tastes for a 3-year-old. Her mother delivered a salami and cheese platter to her bedroom at 1 in the morning.
Friends Thanksgiving was a grand success. Andrew and I brought Cheryl Potatoes, recipe courtesy of his Aunt Cheryl...try it sometime! Sautee an onion in one stick of butter, then dump the mixture over a bag of frozen tator tots, mix in a tub of sour cream, some cheddar cheese, and cream of mushroom soup. Season with salt and pepper, mix well, and then put in a 9X11 and cover with cheese. You will not be sorry, but your heart might! During the Thanksgiving festivities, I thought of a great idea with Jeannette and Nathan...start attending events that are advertised as "open" on Facebook, make some new friends, eat some new friends' food, and blog about our experiences.
The next weekend (Real Thanksgiving) was wonderful as well. John, Sarah, and baby Charlotte came over after I got home from work on Wednesday. We drank some Fat Tire from cans and ordered the 6-person Dance Party from Btown Pizza. We laughed it up and had a grand time, especially when we were joined a few hours later by Emily and Peter. The next day we went to my Mamaw and Papaw's house for a tasty lunch and then went home and put up our Christmas trees; one in the dining room and one on the front porch. The next day we went to the Bloomington downtown lighting ceremony with Emily, Peter, John, Sarah, and Charlotte. Oh, and we were asked to be Charlotte's godparents too so we christened her in the kitchen, as seen below. Good Thanksgiving times with great friends!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lexington Road Trip

I had a perfectly wonderful weekend with Emily and Peter. Maxwell and I drove to Lexington after work on Friday, took a long walk with Emily on Saturday morning, went on my first Meijer trip, helped make a cheesecake, and then relaxed and enjoyed Peter's birthday party on Saturday night. It was one of those weekends where everything seems to go right; good weather, good friends, good times. The time changed on Saturday night, so I spent my extra hour eating M&M's and discussing the evolution of M&M colors. I found the following chart on Wikipedia, which I found fascinating and useful. Can you believe it's been 15 years since tan was replaced with blue?

I didn't really get any good pictures of the b-day party, but I did get this great one that demonstrates Max's love of space heaters. And sweater vests.

Andrew and I participated in Drinking with Coworkers Part 2 last weekend, and we tailgated the IU Football game. A good time was had by all.

Monday, October 25, 2010

October Happenings

So many wonderfully exciting things have happened in October, so I will take a break from the honeymoon tales.

Emily's birthday was at the beginning of the month, so Maxwell made a sign for her.

Kristy "Little Spoon" Spoon's birthday was the next week so we met for lunch at Bloomingfoods, where I played with the dog pictured below. This was the kind of dog I wanted before I met Max. When I petted him I quickly realized he sheds fur like crazy and made my hand smell like butt. Pretty face though.

Boss's Day was on the 12th, so I planned a grand Boss's Day Fiesta in honor of a certain Scott Ortega. Here is a picture of the Sunrise leadership team in sombreros. Special thanks to the Andrew Hartman Funtime hat collection.

My dad also has an October birthday, and Courtney happened to get a job the same week. My mom wanted to have a party to celebrate both accomplishments, then threw my new job into the pile of things to celebrate. Andrew mentioned that he also had reason to celebrate, as he had just received Platinum status in the Delta Skymiles program. My mom ended up making the cake pictured below, and we all got to blow out the candles. In case it is hard to read, the cake says,"Happy Birthday Dave, Congrats on Jobs Courtney & Michelle, Flyer Platinum Miles Andrew, Bunghole of the Year Geoff." This is why I love my mom!

Last but certainly not least, we celebrated the birth of Jenny Mack. I came home from my Fall Outlet Shopping Extravaganza last Thursday and was greeting by the scene below. I arrived just in time to join the party.

As I was cleaning out my new office space, I found a coupon for free mozzarella sticks at Applebee's. Three hours later:
Lastly, I organized a team for the Jill Behrman 5K. As always, team Sunrise Greetings had poor participation, but those who were there had a great attitude. Thanks to my Mom, Aunt Cheryl, Dad, and Andrew for tripling the team size.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Honeymoon #2

Okay, so I was going to detail every day of our honeymoon, but that seemed like a daunting task so I will now describe the rest of the honeymoon in a nutshell. The day after we arrived, I went for a jog with Chad and Dan's dog, Eno, and got a bit turned around. This happened the last time I visited Chad also. Eno and I roamed the streets of Santa Barbara for a couple of hours. It was a lovely city to be lost in, and we wandered through a park, walked a labrynth in a churchyard, visited an old Mission, and eventually asked numerous yard workers how to get back to the right street. That dog was no help at all.

Andrew and I had a delicious breakfast at the Cajun Kitchen, i spilled my water on the counter, and we made our way up the coast a bit and then inland toward Fresno. It was a completely different landscape in the desert and we were really glad we veered off the path. We stopped at a couple of wineries and stayed the night at my aunt Kate's house in Visalia. I love seeing familiar faces when we are so far away from home. She had pizza waiting on us when we arrived.

On day 3 we visited Yosemite, and it was one of the prettiest places I have ever seen.
We did some hiking, did some tour bus riding (stinky!), and ate dinner at the Happy Burger diner. That evening we rolled into Monterey later than late, couldn't find a hotel with vacancies, and ended up staying in the Discovery Inn for $54. It was a pretty cute little place, and I couldn't stop laughing as Andrew checked us in through a window with bars on it. I guess the area was so dodgy they couldn't let people into the lobby. This happens so often; Andrew has to do all the talking because I can't compose myself long enough to handle anything.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Honeymoon Day 1

I've been meaning to write about our honeymoon adventures for a while, so I'm going to break it into parts so it's not such a daunting task. On our first day, we got up early and flew to Los Angeles. I had been looking forward to trying Pinkberry for months, so we claimed our baggage and lugged it across the airport in search of celebrities eating frozen yogurt. Apparently you have to be departing from the airport in order to patronize the LAX Pinkberry so, tired and dejected, we headed to the rental car shuttle. We picked up our shiny blue Mustang and headed to Chad and Dan's house in Santa Barbara. We stopped for some In-n-Out burgers on the way, and arrived about an hour before sunset. We took Chad and Dan's dogs, Oprah and Eno, to the dog beach and had an enjoyable barefoot sunset walk on the shore (the picture is of me and Chad on the beach). We had arrived in California! On the way home from the beach, I told Chad about my fruitless frozen yogurt mission and he told me they had a Pinkberry in Santa Barbara but he knew of a local place that was way better. I ended the day with blueberry cheesecake yogurt from MacDonald's frozen yogurt, which is partonized by even hipper celebrities than that pretentious Pinkberry.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Girls' Night & A Job Offer

Tonight was my monthly girls' night with Kristy, Amanda, and Melissa. Mandy usually joins but tonight a certain David Sedaris was in town. We have been trying to find a replacement since Laura moved to South Korea but no one has come along that meets our requirements; fun group of witty ladies seek pretty-eyed, foul-mouthed caver type for once-a-month dinners. Tonight was Amanda's pick so we went to Japanais, ate sushi, drank wine with pink polka-dots on the bottle, and laughed at each other's jokes. You know it's a good night when you put 3 hours worth of change in the meter and you still get a parking ticket. (modeled by Maxy-poo)

Other noteable events of the day: 1) I had a very nice lunch with James and Tania at Smokin' Jack's Rib Shack and smelled like smoked meats all day. 2) I got OFFERED A JOB in the Finance department at work! I will accept in the morning.

Pendant le Weekend

When I was in French class, we always had to write about what happened Pendant le Weekend. Pendant last weekend, I made caramel corn puffs courtesy of Ashley's recipe. These things are like caramel -covered crack and they contain a stick and a half of butter, so I was happy for any excuse to make them. I took them to a tailgating with coworkers event, which was a lot more fun than it sounds. I don't think I ever tailgated in college, so now I need to make up for it. I was introduced to the "paloma," which is basically made by mixing Fresca, tequila, and lime. At one point in the day I announced that I would never drink anything that was not a Paloma ever again. Don't trust me though, I'm fickle; I've said the same thing about Manhattans, Pomegranate martinis, and PBR. Someone gave me a youth ticket to the football game, so I participated in my first college football game too. After several Palomas, I enjoyed this to the fullest. Let me tell you, I made some friends. I think. The night ended by drinking lots of water and going to the Irish Lion with some great friends.

On Sunday, Maxy and I went to the dog park, where he made several new friends. He especially likes Great Danes, and I always worry that they will accidentally step on him. We hiked around Lake Griffey and he scruffled until his fur turned brown and filled with burrs. Then my brother and I went to my cousin Brandy's housewarming party, where we met Trixie, my aunt's sweet new Westie puppy. She was inspired by Maxwell's sweetness and had to have one of her own. This puppy picture begs the question; would it be weird if I tried to contact Maxwell's original owners and asked for some baby pictures?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Andrew & Michelle's Funtime Wedding

I'm a little late reporting this, but Andrew and I got married! We planned, directed, funded, and executed the most outrageous wedding we could ever dream up, and it turned out to be everything we dreamed it would be and more. We got engaged in November and had meetings almost every Sunday afternoon until every detail was planned. We started off wanting to have a play in which couples we know play the roles of us through various stages of our courtship. This resulted in us having to do a lot of writing, and realizing that our dating story is not that interesting as a stage play. We decided to invite our wedding guests to perform a talent show in honor of us. In the end, we had our nieces dance to a Hannah Montana song, Laura ride on a bicycle with Maxwell in a basket, Ashley do a reading from the Velveteen Rabbit, my mom sing a childhood lullabye, Scott & Sandy dance a sexy tango, Chris play the guitar and sing, and Andrew's cousin roast us! Then we opened the curtain and had a 2-minute sweethearts forever ceremony that I thought was just darling. I will keep this as short as possible, but the details I was most proud of included keeping everything within a reasonable budget; bridesmaid dresses from Target clearance, Kristy designing and letterpressing the coolest invites ever, Emily making flowers, flags, and pinwheels, and hiring some locals to create a marching band that lead a parade of our loved ones down Kirkwood. Then the Dynamics played a wonderful reception with some very tasty Chick-fil-a foods. In retrospect, we are so glad we planned everything we ever wanted in a wedding, even the far-fetched ideas. I couldn't have imagined a more perfect day shared with all of our favorite people!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

We're #1! ...in Oolitic

I had a very relaxing weekend. My friend Mandy's dog, Lola, came to stay with us all weekend, so Maxwell has been very entertained. Saturday morning I went to Pygmalion and bought some watercolor paints and blank postcards so we can document our honeymoon memories via watercolor. Then I drove to Bedford and got an Annette Morris honeymoon pedicure special, followed by an appearance in the Oolitic Parade. The Funtime Band was in full swing, and mom and I rode on the back of the truck and played cowbell and tambourine and threw candy, and had a grand time. I got to pet a baby pig that was all wrapped up in a towel. We won a giant trophy for being the #1 float in the entire parade, and it was nice to see Sweet Cheeks so happy (see above photo with his parade day hair). I got a little nervous when Andrew brought the trophy home and put it on the mantle, but then I suggested that it go in Jim's china cabinet with all of the other Funtime awards, and peace was restored.

Never Order the Same Thing

Thursday I met with Kevin and Steve for our Every Second Thursday lunch. We are trying to switch up our locations, so this week we went to Roots on the square, which was deliciously earthy. I had the portobello sandwich with spinach and cheese and sweet potato fries. My first inclination was to order the black bean burger but Kevin and Steve already ordered it and I don't like to order the same thing as someone else at the table, so I can try as many foods as possible. In retrospect, I should have gotten that black bean burger. I decided from that moment on that I would stop living by my "never order the same thing" rule. Andrew and I went to La Cha last night and I wasn't ready to order but I was starving so I pretended I knew what I wanted so the waiter wouldn't have to come back. I just ordered what Andrew got because it sounded pretty good, and then we decided that was ridiculous that we had two burritos, two quesadillas, and two orders of beans between us. I have reversed my decision.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Smokies

Andrew and I went on our 4th annual Labor Day trip this past weekend. It seems like we have been doing this every year, because we have grown so close to our group of friends. Each year we try to go somewhere different, but we like to keep the cabin/woods/antler chandelier theme consistent. This year we went to Gatlinburg, which I like to refer to as "the Smokies." There were nine of us this year, and we both agree that this was the best cabin trip ever. Andrew and I arrived at about one in the morning on Friday. We dropped Max off at my parents house and headed south, stopping for only one detour at a Yelp-recommended Taco Tico establishment in Lexington. The first day, I third-wheeled it on a hike with Peter and Emily and we saw a BEAR! I chatted it up and watched the bear with another hiker who happened to be holding a bag of Captain D's food. Peter compared it to holding out a raw piece of salmon and saying, "do you think the bear can smell my food?" The next day we went white water rafting, and only lost two of our members overboard. Sunday brought about more hiking and a trip into Gatlinburg proper, which is as trashy as I remembered it. The pictures included in this post typify Gatlinburg to me; swords, dolls, sex shops, and angels a-plenty folks, but what a great place to be! Everywhere we went someone wanted to take our picture and then sell it to us for an astronomical rate. I talked Andrew into riding a sky-lift and it was cheesy and touristy but you couldn't really argue with the view. We met new people and smelled mountain air and ate lots of good foods. We formed a blue-grass band with two guitars, a mandolin, a banjo, a harmonica, and a WASHBOARD and stayed up late and laughed until it hurt. Best cabin trip ever!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Blog Deadline

I have been meaning to create a blog for a while now, but the responsibility of it all intimidated me. I also had a panic attack the first night I brought my precious dog, Captain Maxwell von Scrufflepaws (pictured running his first 5k), home for his one-week trial before committing to dog ownership. Long-term committment is very difficult for me at the beginning and then I take to it nicely. This blog might end up being 90% Maxwell stories and 10% of my own life, and I'm okay with that.
I'm not sure if I like the dandelion template that I have chosen or if it is too whimsical. I thought it would help add playfulness since my blog name contains the word "lethal." The name is an anagram for Michelle Hartman, my shiny new married name. LethalMimeRanch seemed a lot cooler than being Michelle_Hartman198374646@gmail.com.
I have asked my friends Steve and Kevin to commit to a once-a-month lunch to keep in touch, every second Thursday of the month. Steve and I agreed to create blogs before our next lunch together, which is next week. I might have issues with long-term responsibility, but I never miss a deadline.