Sunday, December 30, 2007

Fugly to lovely.

Well, more house progress to report. When we bought the house, the crustiest, dirtiest room in the whole joint was the second bathroom (and trust me, from the condition of the house when we bought it, that's saying something)!
Here are some before photos. Note that every inch save the floor was covered with moldy, metallic wallpaper.

Well, Josh's folks arrived into town and decided that this project was worth tackling. The ugly wall paper, moldy carpet, layers of dirty linoleoum, rusty medicine cabinet, crusty mirror, and janky flourescent light were all removed and promptly hauled to the dump.

We then painted, and Josh and his dad laid tile. Josh and Doug then put in a new vanity, toilet, mirror, storage cabinet, and light fixture.

Ta-da! This is what our bathroom looks like now:

Ahhh, so much better! I think the little tiles are my favorite part!

Many, many thanks to the folks for all of their help! I didn't think we would be able to remodel the bathroom for a few years, and I am so grateful for such a generous Christmas present! Thanks, guys!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Rocko's Modern Life.

Meet Jackie's new puppy, Rocko!

Today, Jackie and I drove to Cherry Valley to pick up the latest addition to the family: an eight-week old, English Chocolate Labrador! Our two-hour trip reminded me of the many road trips we've taken (some, admittedly, disastrous, but definitely memorable). The drive was uneventful, but still somehow fun. I always manage to have a great time when Jackie is around.

We arrived in Cherry Valley, and after some, er, very, er, detailed instructions, we were on our way, puppy in tow!

Because he's so darn cute, here are a few more pics:

Jackie has wanted a Chocolate Lab for as long as I can remember, and I am so happy for her! I know Rocko is one lucky puppy!

Friday, December 28, 2007

This and that.

Ahh, life has been boring and slow, and I have been loving every minute of it. All of the folks I work for are on vacay, and my hours are done, so life is pretty good. Here's what's been happening...

Wednesday, I worked from home and then met WeeMo and Sarah for dinner. The food (I had spring rolls, filet mignon, and creme brulee for dessert) was delish, and of course, the company was fab! WeeMo always manages to crack me up, and it was great to finally get to hang out with Sarah.

I worked from home again yesterday (ahh, I could get used to this). Josh and my step-dad managed to get the plumbing working in our guest bathroom, which is almost complete now! Oh, and our new garage door was installed. Okay, so maybe not that thrilling, but I warned you it had been a (wonderfully) slow week!

Today, I dragged my lazy butt out of bed to leave the house by 7 a.m. to make sure I got to Newport Beach by 9 a.m. for a witness interview. It ended up lasting forever, but I got some good info. I then headed to Carson for another interview for the same case. Running around talking to people is one of the best parts of my job, so I was a happy little camper. Plus, I avoided the office another day and managed to make it home by early evening.

My step-brother and step-sister arrived from Nor Cal this evening. Guess where they're staying? You got it...Hotel de Weatherfolk. Hey, what's a few more people, right? So, current occupancy in our humble abode includes my mom, step-dad, the two step-siblings, my mom's two dogs, our two dogs, Josh, and me. Le sigh. I am ready for an empty house. Soon, soon.

This evening, we went to Sagebrush Cantina where I had some splendid mahi mahi fish tacos. Yumm. Then, the fam decided to go rent a movie, and Josh and I snuck away to grab some Golden Spoon. Double yum! So, it looks like I have a hot Friday night date with my family and a DVD of Robin Williams' stand-up. Oh yeah, good times. Anyone have a spare room? :)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

Well, another Christmas has come and gone. I hope you all had wonderful days with your families, that you made away with some good "loot," and that you are nowhere near as stuffed as I am!

Christmas Eve, we drove out to Corona to have Christmas dinner with my uncle and extended family. We had our traditional Italian sausage and homemade pizza. We headed back in the late afternoon and went to "Midnight Mass" at 10:30 p.m.

My sis, mom, step-dad, and PJ spent the night at our place. We woke up in the morning, ate breakfast (thanks, A, for the recipe), and then opened presents. We made away with some great stuff, including a new garage door from my mom and Doug, help remodeling the guest bathroom from Josh's folks, and a treadmill from my dad. (Pictures of the home improvements to come!)

We had fourteen people over for Christmas dinner, including my grandparents, mom, step-dad, dad, sis, PJ, and a couple family friends. We had to pull out our dining room table into the living room (good thing we have not furnished that room yet!), add two leaves, and set up a smaller table in the dining room to accommodate everyone!

Our living room with our dining room table, extended with two leaves.

A close-up of the place setting.

The beautiful flower arrangement my uncle sent.

My grandparents, and Ella in the background.

For dinner, we served prime rib, yorkshire pudding, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, salad, and rolls. It was the first holiday meal I cooked, and I was a little nervous, but it turned out really well. However, with all that was going on, I forgot to take pictures (dammit).

Also, it's a family tradition to have crackers at each table. Inside each cracker, there are paper crowns, and most of our family pictures through the years have us in these ridiculous hats.

Gathered 'round the table.

The crackers also include little toys. There were little cars and a couple people opened their crackers to find mini squirt guns! (My mom and grandma had a little too much fun with the squirt guns!)

My mom and Doug were nice enough to help clean up. Jackie and her family came over and had dessert with us.

Homemade apple pie, pumpkin pie with walnut crust, and pumpkin ginger cheesecake.

Phew. It was a wonderful, wonderful Christmas filled with our wonderful (albeit slightly crazy) family, food, wine, and lots of laughing. Good times.

I hope you all had wonderful holidays, too! I think I am going to go take a nap!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Recap: I have been a slacker blogger.

Gosh, it is shameful how long it has been since I have blogged. However, I am stuck in my office doing the most painful online training known to man, so I have been catching up on my blog reading and now posting.

So, my thoughts might be a bit choppy. After all, I am rusty after all these weeks!

Here are the highlights of what's been going on.

  • My mom arrived to town from Alaska on November 28th and is here until January 4th. She brought her two little dogs and is staying in our guest room during her trip. Although we have been known to disagree, my mom and I are really close, so it's nice to have her around. Plus, she is a great cook and has treated us to a few fresh salmon and halibut dinners. Who knew my kitchen worked? :)

  • I turned the big 2-7 on December 9th! Saturday the 8th, Josh, my sis, her guy, Jackie, PJ, my dad, my mom, and I went to Table 8 for dinner. I ate a lovely filet and had a couple dirty martinis. Yum! After, we had cake from the Bread Basket and then headed to the Sagebrush Cantina, a Mexican restaurant/bar by our house. There was live music and ridiculously cheap margaritas ($50 bought two rounds of 8). The next day, everyone had a bit of a headache (damn you, cheap tequila), but Josh and I managed to roll out of bed and have breakfast at the Side Street Cafe with my dad and his girlfriend. This is our favorite breakfast place, so it was a great way to start the bday! I took a nap during the day and then we went and saw American Gangster, which I thought was a great flick!

  • [PJ and Josh at the Sagebrush Cantina.]

  • The firm had its holiday party on December 14th at The Edison, which is one of my favorite spaces in L.A. I hung out with some of my favorite co-workers and savored some pretty spectacular wine!

  • A few of my animal-loving co-workers and I have a holiday tradition: Instead of buying gifts for each other, we get together with our dogs at a dog park and exchange doggie goodies and gift bags. This year, we went to the Laurel Canyon Dog Park (my favorite dog park!) with our pups. Someone even brought a dog cake from Three Dog Bakery! Nerdy, but fun.

  • Sunday, I attended the 2nd Annual SFAMily Holiday Hoorah. I didn't bring a camera, but I did swipe the picture below from the Monkey, who did an amazing recap (with pictures!) already. She's good like that. As always, I had such a wonderful time and left feeling lucky to have these wonderful ladies in my life.

  • Sunday afternoon, Josh's folks arrived after driving down the coast from Olympia, Washington. They came with tools in tow and have been working away with Josh (who is off for 3 weeks!!!) on our backyard and guest bathroom! [Yes, my mother is still staying with us as is my step-dad. Yes, that means we have two sets of parents in our abode. Yes, I am still alive.]

  • Work has been pleasantly boring and slow. I am done with my hours for the year, and all of my clients and supervising attorneys are out of town next week. Sooo...that means this little associate will be logging in from home next week. Yes, that's right. No office for me for a week! Woohoo!
Phew. Well, that's all for now. I will probably have much more time to blog next week, so I promise not to disappear for three weeks again!