Saturday, June 27, 2009

One Tawd Boy

My husband just so happens to be an incredible man. He works full-time while attending school as a full-time student in the Executive Masters Program in Information Management at Arizona State University, and yet he still finds time to do fun things for me. He just finished his fourth week of classes. One month down, eleven to go. He is one smart cookie, but I worry about him burning out because he has so much going on! He is up and at 'em to work by 7:30 each morning. They have been so busy there that he hardly has a chance to breathe (I am not unhappy about that...busy means better job security in today's market!). When he arrives home, he lugs out one of the four books he is reading for his classes. For a guy who isn't that much into reading, he is cruising through 300 pages each week! Plus, he is writing papers galore and even preparing for two group presentations that happen to fall on the same week (that's just animal cruelty, if you ask me). He then attends class from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM, then drives home for twenty minutes as one exhausted man.

This is what happens when you come home from work after yet another hectic week. It's five o'clock, and the bed is just too soft to avoid a crash nap. He is a great man, and my heart goes out to him for his crazy schedule right now. He is doing it for our family, his same motivation for everything he does! Isn't he incredible?!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Burn, Baby, Burn!

I've gone and done something that I have wanted to do for years. I am so excited that I can hardly type it out...I joined a GYM! That's right. A gym. Me. Micah. Micah joined a gym! I am pretty excited for many a-reason. I talked to John a few nights ago about this crazy idea that kept popping into my head. It has always been impossible to justify getting a gym membership because I am on the road Monday through Friday every week. Indeed, it would occasionally be possible to work out at the gym while on these said "road trips," but my schedule is not my own when I am at work. And sleep has an eerie way of becoming a priority when I fly until 3:00 AM and then have to get up at 6:30 AM to do it all again. However, during the last six months, (and I am not complaining here), I have been home. A LOT! Like more than the past two years combined! I think I had one week last year when we didn't fly. This year has been quite the opposite, for many reasons. I know the folks I fly around have had lots of projects keeping them busy here in town and haven't needed to travel as much. One of my frequent passengers (2-3 times per month for an entire week each trip) has been flying commercially more often to meet up with our smaller, cheaper airplane (our company has a fleet of four airplanes...a Beechjet (mine, pictured above), a Pilatus, and two Eclipse 500s). Ron is utilizing his Eclipse more, so now we usually only go if Joe needs to leave town. And, apparently, that need hasn't been as much as I have previously experienced. I have to admit, it's kinda nice being able to cook and clean and weed at my leisure. I feel like a WIFE! And not just some slacker who leaves her husband to fend for himself and eat frozen burritos and Digiorno pizza all week (just for the record, the aforementioned foods are two of his favorites and not forced upon him in any way...he would eat them when I was home if I would let him!).

Where was I? Oh, yes. Micah joined a gym!

Because of the extended yet unexpected periods of time that I am now enjoying at home, I convinced myself that a gym membership would finally be worth it! I did lots of research online between the various country-wide gyms and kept coming back to 24 Hour Fitness as my favorite. I was impressed with everything about it, and a new facility was built just eight months ago a few miles from my house. See how it's all falling into place (fate again)? Until, that is, I read the prices. Luckily, I had just finished my last donut and didn't have anything in my mouth to choke on when I saw how much they wanted! Phew! That was a close one! Upon further research, because I am one good (a.k.a. cheap) shopper, I found a deal through Costco that would provide a two-year membership for half the normal selling price! Before jumping the gun and buying the membership that second (believe me, it was hard), I printed a free 7-day trial pass to the gym to make sure it was up to my standards. Like I have gym standards! The only other thing I have to compare it to is my high school gym. 'Nuff said!

I pulled into the full parking lot this morning with a twinkle in my eye, iPod in my ears, and shiny printed free trial pass in my hand. I was given a tour of the facility by a friendly manager. The more I saw, the more I liked (who saw that one coming?). I then stayed for an hour to try out the machines. Yep. The Ellipticals are all in working order. From my brief glance in their direction, the treadmills seem to be operational as well (though with any luck I will never find that out through experience). They have aerobic classes and a basketball court and a swimming pool and spin sessions and every conceivable weight machine known to man! I was in heaven!

Posting while I was excited seemed to make sense...before the soreness hits in tomorrow! The workout was amazing! In fact, I went to Wal-Mart afterwards and couldn't lift a bottle of shampoo from the shelf! Mission accomplished! The Wal-Mart employees more than likely thought less of me as a person, but I will get over that eventually.

The potential results that will soon be on their way give me great excitement. I couldn't sleep last night in anticipation! I know it will change my life. Next time you see me, just ask to feel my biceps.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Dinner Pratty

I love to entertain people at our house. When I was home all this past week, I decided to put my time to good use and plan a dinner party! We invited my brother and his wife, who just found out they have a baby on the way. We also invited some friends of theirs who have become friends of ours, Nathan and Erin! We hesitated to invite them because she is literally about to pop with their first baby, and we didn't want them to miss out on our cooking goodness because of child labor! Luckily, no babies came early, and the evening was a great success (humility manifesting itself once again).

I created and mailed invitations last week that looked like mini-menus, letting them know they shouldn't miss out on this dinner! We served a Citrus Salad with homemade vinaigrette, Lemon and Thyme Roasted Chicken, Caramelized Carrots, Golden-Crusted Potatoes, Cranberry-Ginger Fizzes, and for dessert, Wicked Brownie Bites with ice cream. All of these menus were from my new book, Celebrations, which I still get excited about when I pick it up. NERD ALERT! The food all turned out amazingly well, and it was fun to slave away in the kitchen all day to get it on the table. Well, ok, not all day. I DID leave for three hours to watch John and Jeff play basketball. In preparation for the party, I deep-cleaned my house on Thursday from top to bottom, which luckily doesn't take very much time in an 1,100-foot apartment. I love a clean house! I think my mom was on to something when she made us clean when we were growing up! Saturday, I ran the vacuum again, set the table (name-tags and all), and spruced everything up. I was ready! The house smelled of brownies and chicken and lavender-lemongrass. Who would have thought those smells would all work together, but they made me drool in anticipation!

Jeff and Megan arrived first, just before six-thirty. Erin and Nate were twenty minutes late because of work. However, that is preceisely how much time the chicken still needed, so it all turned out perfectly. After we ate, we played Mortal Combat (sorry, Mom) and Mario Kart on John's computer, which he has hooked up to his gigantic TV in the living room. It's so nice to not have to squint to see who is winning! Of course, John kicked butt. I told him to let them win occasionally (which he did) so they would want to come back. While others were playing Nintendo, Jeff helped me serve up dessert. It was made from real chocolate and was so rich and delicious! Dessert is usually my favorite part of the meal, but I think everything turned out pretty well tonight!

It was a fun evening with family and friends.

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