Friday, February 12, 2010

Phoenix to Oakland to Phoenix

Don't mind the blood-shot eyes. I was up at five after a restless night because I was excited for my trip. Terry was on vacation, so I flew as Captain with my manager, Little Boss, taking Big Boss and six others to Oakland for the day. We left at 7:30 AM and landed back home around twelve hours later. What a great trip!

I always try to overly prepare for flights. I study the airport (one I had never been to, mind you), get a few dozen weather briefings, learn about the arrivals and departures in and out of that airspace, etc. There is a lot to it, but I find that the more I prepare, the less I feel overwhelmed about the flight. Everything went very well, and I had a blast. It wasn't until I got home that evening that I felt my muscles release from a day of tension. Luckily, I've got a great husband who takes great care of me.

While in Oakland and waiting for them to run around town, I found a little hotel restaurant nearby and tried to order the healthiest thing on the menu. I could only identify a few of the ingredients, but I know edamame is healthy! I only ate a few bites, which perhaps helped me justify saying "yes" when waiter asked if I wanted a piece of their gourmet red velvet cake, on the house. Man, being nice and smiling at people opens so many doors! I may or may not know that the cake was absolutely incredible. I do know that only a few bites were risked. And they were certainly worth the calories!

The flight home was fun. One of the passengers had never been on the airplane before, and he sat behind us and got a "tour" of the cockpit for an hour during the flight before we had to prepare for our arrival into Phoenix. During rush hour. We were slowed to 250 knots and given a 30-degree right vectoring turn two-hundred miles out of town! Since we are the little (and slightly slower) guy, they often vector us to allow faster airline traffic in front of us. Usually, it's not fun. But Little Boss just laughed and said, "Hey, more flight time for us!" So true. And I love every second I can be in the sky.

It was a great day. A night landing finished it like a cherry on top of whipped cream. I buttoned up the airplane and drove home with a smile on my face. It feels good to be able to do what I get to do every day, and I am amazed at how blessed I am in every facet of my life.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Taxes and Taco Bell...Date Night Supreme?

Our usual Friday date night this week was particularly romantic. We filed taxes, then treated ourselves to a gourmet dinner at the local Taco Bell. Prior to that, John started off the weekend by kicking my can in racquetball. It was so much fun to play, even if the court did have an inch of standing water in places! It was the first real sport he has been able to play since he hurt his ankle back in October. It took quite a while to heal! After we got home, our computers were fired up to file our taxes online. We are getting a Federal return but had to pay a little for Arizona. I guess all the states are broke? Since I hadn't really planned anything for dinner (I always leave Friday evening open, just in case he comes up with a brilliant plan to surprise me for Date Night!), we went to Taco Bell. They have some new "healthy" options without cheese and sour cream, so I was able to eat my entire meal for less than 400 calories. It is almost three weeks since I started watching my weight, thanks to my new iPod Touch application called "Lose It." It tracks my calories and exercise to let me know how I am doing throughout the day. The goal is to lose 42 pounds, and I think this little electronic contraption is going to hold me accountable! I am so excited for this change and so tired of excuses. I've lost seven pounds so far. Hopefully thirty pounds by the time we get together for our Sedona family vacation in September. I know I can look better and feel better about myself, and I am finally doing something about it!

Saturday was busy as well. John risked his ankle again at his first appearance at Saturday Church Ball. If you recall, this is where his tragic ankle injury took place on Halloween, so I was a little nervous for him. Muscles and tendons held up fine, however, and John played well. He was frustrated about not making every shot, but if you don't touch a basketball for over three months, you can't expect the highest level of performance when making a gradual comeback! I thought he did very well! He makes me proud, bum ankle or not!

That evening, John had some friends visiting from Chino Valley. Jon, Laura, and their adorable two year-old, Millie, came to our house for some Vegan dinner and a round of mini golf at Sun and Splash. The dinner was delicious, if I do say so myself. I was a little nervous about preparing a Vegan meal, since I had never attempted such a feat. But the artichoke and caper pasta turned out well. I made chicken for the rest of us to accompany the meal, and we started off with a yummy salad. For dessert...I finally perfected the best brownie recipe in the world! And I didn't eat the entire pan before the guests arrived! As for golf, John and I were able to maintain our unbeatable record. Really, it was quite a prolific day! As you can see from the score card, John and I were losing at the half-way point. We came back to win, though the baby gave us a run for our money! It was fun to have the Nymans over for the evening. And thanks for letting us win!

(Disclaimer: you are just going to have to trust the scorecard, even though I was the one keeping track of each round. In a unprecedented event, I left my camera at home and have no photographic proof of us maintaining our golfing championship reign. Just trust me...I'm a pilot).

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