Thursday, January 28, 2010


This is our soccer record for the first winter session, which ended last night. I couldn't be prouder! We've been playing with the same team for over a year now and we've really gotten our sh%& together. We still have a lot of players come and go each session, but there's about 6 of us that have been together from the start. And now, our players are a little more evenly matched, with a few handicapped players (Hi! That's me!). So out of the 25 teams in this first session, we placed as the 3rd best team! We used to be in the bottom 5 when we first started! Next session should be really interesting because there are 50 teams, so they split us into upper and lower levels. Based on our record, we ended up in the upper level. Gulp.

Last night's game was particularly awesome. We played the best team in the league and they had an 11-0 record going into it. We were shorter than usual on subs. J had to come out of retirement (he's been nursing a bad knee and just coaching us for a few weeks. Yes, amputation is imminent). The refs made some really bad calls on us (even the other team thought so). So we just figured we'd lose the game. But we didn't! We tied! We actually almost beat them, as we were up by 1 with 4 minutes to go. But they scored. J put in all our best players (Hi! I'll just cheer from the bench!) to try to maintain and it worked. We'll take the tie though. And the fact that we were the only "blip" in the other team's record.

Tomorrow, we are going from this:
To this:
We are heading to Tampa for the weekend to visit Beef! Yippee Skippee!!

Monday, January 18, 2010


A few weeks ago, I claimed J had the coolest job in the world because he got to go to conferences at ski lodges and win free hut stays. But I also have a cool job. I freelance occasionally for a NH magazine and my latest assignment was about—you guessed it—yurts!

Not only have I enjoyed researching more about yurts in the area and growing our love for yurts, but one yurt owner invited J and I to stay for a night on the house! What can I say, but it was fabulous once again. I still lost to J at Scrabble, but I was close. A few more yurt trips and I might pull out a win.
As I mentioned, you are truly unplugged at the yurts. When we planned our yurt stay, we didn't realize it would fall exactly during the Jets game. J is a Jets fan and it's the Playoffs, making it an extra special game. He was able to listen to parts of the game using a crank-up radio, but it's all part of the the sacrifices you make in a yurt.

The unique thing about this yurt was that it's on a working farm. So we got to visit with some alpacas, who are just the cutest animals and make great socks. Maybe our yurt and breakfast will have alpacas too!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Decade in Review

I just realized that not only did 2009 hand off the torch to 2010, but that also means another decade is gone! I decided to be silly and do a review of the last decade, complete with pictures. And then it practically took me the whole new decade to gather the pictures and upload and format. So I hope you are excited and screaming OMG UNICORNS in anticipation.


I graduated college and moved to Arizona to live with 5 strangers and do some volunteer work for a year. Just like Real World, only Jesus style. I cannot even begin to tell you the transformation I made this year. A wonderful year of self-discovery!


After finishing off my volunteer year, I wasn’t ready to leave AZ, so I broke my mom’s (ShortonCoffee) heart and stayed there. I moved in with SmokinHot and didn’t have a penny to my name. I still traveled as much as I could on those missing pennies. Oh, in July, I also got lost in the Grand Canyon. Can’t forget that!!!
Still in Arizona and still broke, I moved into an apartment by myself! That was a big adventure for me. My first nephew (and godson) was born in CT! I ran my first 1/2 marathon in San Diego! I traveled of course, including taking a Caribbean cruise with some of my college cronies. I also got my current job as a medical writer. I was just happy to be writing something, anything, for money. But the job turned out to be the best move for me. And ready … wait for it. I met the LOVE OF MY LIFE. In the summer, J moved to AZ from NJ (where we didn’t know each other despite both living nearby for many years). He was attending grad school and we met at an adult hiking club. He stood up and introduced himself and after I wiped the drool from my chin, I introduced myself as a fellow Jersey native. He was totally turned off. Just kidding. He did not see me as a Jersey girl and the rest is history, as we officially became a couple in October. J & I spent much of our time together exploring the Southwest. This goes down as one of my favorite years. I loved being 24!!!

J moved into my tiny apartment, despite ShortonCoffee’s threat to disown me. But he also left me for 6 months to do research and write his master’s thesis in the backwoods of Alaska. I cried for 6 months straight. Mind you, I wanted to marry him on our second date. I did use it as an excuse to get up to Alaska and took ShortonCoffee on the trip with me. To keep myself busy, I had a lot of visitors and traveled a ton, including internationally (Copanhagen) for the first time for work with BFFcoworker. J returned at the end of the year, defended his thesis and graduated!

I ran another 1/2 marathon in Phoenix! J & I inherited a cat from my co-worker—Fat Bastard (he was 26 lbs). UConn went to the finals (and won!) and J caught some Sweet 16 and Great 8 games in Phoenix. J searched for a job and we took that opportunity to drive across the country twice and see some sights. After moving back in with family on the East coast temporarily, J scored a job in Danville, VA! So we headed South and discovered moonshine and sweet tea together. We also adopted Mr. McKinley, since Fat Bastard didn’t make it across the country (don’t worry, we didn’t euthanize him; he was adopted in Chicago). I also traveled to Berlin with BFFCoworker for a conference!


Probably the biggest news, J proposed to me on our trip to Havasupai Canyon! (I did not get lost this time). But equally big news, J & I bought our first house in September, or should I say 4 walls and missing a roof structure. We spent the remainder of the year working on our house day and night and also planning our wedding. We traveled a lot that year before the house and engagement, including to Yosemite NP. I also traveled to Austria with BFFcoworker (of course for work again)! I completed my first duathlon/biathlon! My niece (and J’s goddaughter) was born in October!


J and I explored the Southeast as much as possible, including Great Smoky NP. Alaska called J to come back and he left me (again) for the 6 months leading up to our wedding. I survived much better this time because, well, I knew in my heart he was mine. Plus, I was sent to another overseas conference for work (Amsterdam) and that made him insanely jealous. Double plus, his company gave us a free cruise around the inside passage of Alaska (estimated value, $10,000) at the end of his season and you can’t beat that. We got married! Twice! Once at a big wedding in NJ in October, followed by a smaller wedding in AZ in November. We spent a week in AZ as our “honeymoon” and played tourist.

J lost his job at the beginning of the year, but we made the best of it and J spent his time sharpening his construction skills. At least we lived in Danville where you can basically get by on nickels. Plus, J & I made really good friends in Danville and busied ourselves by rock climbing, kayaking and shooting guns. J also ran his first 5K! By July—right when we finally finished all our house projects—J scored a job up in NH. We moved, leaving our house behind to get broken into shortly after we left town. Ehh, no worries. It wouldn’t be the first time. Once settled in NH, we bought kayaks to celebrate living in such an outdoor-friendly place and hit the rivers immediately. I also got my new eyes! 2008
Our first winter in NH gave us 120 inches of snowfall, a record-setter for them. We learned to XC ski and attempted (failed) making an igloo. I started this blog! Apparently NH is cooler than any of the other places we lived because we had visitors nonstop during the summer. We also spent every moment we could exploring the outdoor wonderland found in New England, including up in Acadia NP. We almost got hit by lightening up on Mt. Washington. J had his first baby. Gotcha! But Buddha did have a baby on J's birthday. 2009
Not as much snow, still lots of summer visitors, lots of local travel for us (continuing our goal of hitting all the high point summits including Mt. Katahdin!!), lots of dancing, lots of concerts and an overall zest for trying new things (yurts!!!!!!). J had another baby, err, I mean PanicMan and theMakeupArtist had a baby on J's birthday.

I'm excited about Twenty-Ten. It should be pretty quiet, but we're always preparing for our big AT thru hike, hopefully in the near future. I’m sure we’ll have many adventures and many visitors, as usual. You’ll just have to stay tuned. Oh, and make sure someone gets pregnant this month so that another baby can be born on J’s bday!

Monday, January 11, 2010

We broke our streak

Not that we were going for a record or anything, but J and I saw no movies at the theater in 2009. In fact, the last movie we saw in a theater was Sex in the City in May 2008 (a reminder of how awesome J is for taking me to such a chick flick). Anyways, this past Saturday, we ventured to the movie theater and saw Sherlock Holmes! It was actually a pretty good movie and who knows, maybe there will be many more movies in 2010!!! You just never know how extreme J & I can get ...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Got recreation?

Last week, J passed a test and became a certified recreation director.Not sure what that really means, but he studied really hard for the test.

It seems being "certified" in your field is the new Master's. I'm only two credits away from being certified as a medical writer, but I'm not holding my breath because it takes lots of money and the classes are sometimes far away. I still really haven't figured out the benefits of becoming certified (although the courses have been extremely helpful), but damnit, I want the title!

Anyways, J's certification came at perfect timing as he is attending another wonderful Rec Director conference this week. At a ski lodge. And he called this morning to tell me he won a free night at a NH AMC hut. I sure picked the wrong field to work in.
Yes, I am envious. Yes I know it is one of the seven deadly sins!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Zumba craze

Has anyone jumped on the Zumba bandwagon? As usual, I'm late. My kickboxing instructor convinced me to give it a try. As uncoordinated as I am, I've been doing okay with kickboxing and ballroom/latin dancing with J, so I thought how bad could it be? Plus, a lot of my friends have raved about it. OMG guys, I was a train wreck. Seriously. Flailing arms. Missteps. Confusion. But, I'm locked in for the month. I just hope no one brings a video camera to class.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Camping is so 2009, yurting is so 2010

This is a yurt.

This is the most luxurious form of camping we have ever done. But it works well for winter camping and we are hooked.

Our families were extremely worried when we told them we were skiing to a yurt to stay for 4 days and would not have cell service. I’m not sure if they were concerned we were going to get chopped up by some Maine woodsman or that we would get snowed in and never get out. In any case, here are

some FAQ about yurt living that came from family, so I thought I’d post them on the blog as well.

No, there was no running water at the yurt. You pack in whatever water you think you’ll use. Wash dishes in a bucket and be conservative, dumping your dirty water in a concentrated area away from the yurt. And to clarify, we didn’t shower for 4 days. I know it’s not ladylike to love not showering so much, but it’s something I love. And we used an outhouse to pee and poo. No digging holes like we do for other camping excursions. The ground is too frozen.

Electricity was nonexistent. This experience really took us back to the pioneer days. We read and played games by candlelight. Let’s just say, we went to bed very, very early. We definitely missed the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve. You try stay awake past 9pm when it gets dark by 4pm!

Yes, the yurt was warm enough despite the frigid temps outside. Toasty in fact. There’s a wood-burning stove in the yurt, so you can make it as warm as you want. High yurt temp—84 degrees. On the flip side, if we were too lazy to feed the fire during the night (which happened often), the temp definitely dropped. Low yurt temp—50 degrees.

The yurt was very well equipped, so you mainly just pack in your food/drink/clothes/bed linens (which you carried in on sleds, I have a new appreciation for sled dogs). We actually ate better than we do at home-- cheese fondue, French toast, bacon and chocolate fondue!

So, our New Year’s vacation can be summed by lots of sleeping, lots of XC skiing, lots of snowshoeing, lots of fondue, lots of reading and lots of games. I hate to admit it, but J won every single game we played. I’m just pathetic. Though, we are still debating the rules of Chinese Checkers. Anyone want to chime in on it? Can you move sideways or backwards? Oh, and it did not stop snowing the entire 4 days we were at the yurt. It was pure awesomeness.

By the way, the yurt sleeps 8 people. You can all join us next time, but only if you bring fruitcake. I don’t think I’ve ever had a fruitcake, but a yurt seems like a good place to have a food that never goes bad.

FYI, J and I decided instead of owning a bed and breakfast, we are totally going to own a yurt business. We are thinking of a “yurt and breakfast.” Complete with fruitcake upon arrival.