photos posted

and by the way, i posted photos on the previous post from the grammer family tree trimming party! :)

holly jolly

well christmas is officially here now. i have my tree up (actually two), i've been to christmas parties, i've shopped, i've baked... now just gotta wrap and clean and cook and it's christmas!

this past weekend was bryan's christmas party for work. it was at the ramada in petersburg. it's always there. not sure what's up with that, except it's a pretty decent hotel and i'm sure it's dirt cheap (actually i know so, the rooms are only $50/night!). bryan is on the rec. committee, so we had to get there early to help set up the hospitality suite. it was pretty funny to me to see the way these 50-60 year old men set up for a party. just slingin' stuff wherever. i tried to stay back and let them handle it but i did have to reorganize a few things here and there... like, when you have a tray with a little dip thing in the middle, you're supposed to put one thing in the middle and something else around the outside. not cheese cubes all over the plate. so i had to put crackers on the outside and the cheese in the middle...

since we had a room at the hotel that night, we both had a very good time and took advantage of the open(ish) bar. we actually got just three drink tickets, but the bartenders often didn't even ask for them, and i may have accidentally swiped a few extra tickets off the roll of them that was laying on the floor...

anyway, here are some pictures from our fun evening:

the party started out fairly normally... a few nice shots of friends...

our good friends the bennetts:

our good friends the gooches:

a hug and kiss for my hubby:

bryan with his boys: justin (l) and rich (r) and his co-worker christina's date (c):

me with the girls (christina, tammy and hailey), and woody (far left):

and then bryan ran into santa claus.

santa had all kinds of fun things in his sack. including plastic body parts:

and mini bottles of crowne royale. apparently bryan was a very good boy this year because santa gave him quite a few of those bottles of crowne royale. bryan soon became the dancing king:

and we ended up with about ten pictures of this lovely chandelier:

all in all, we had a great time. :)

yesterday i did tons of shopping and then came home and baked. i swear, you'd think i was betty crocker herself. i made chocolate chip cookies, chocolate cherry cookies and sugar cookies to give to people at work. here's me in suzy homemaker mode.

rolling out the dough for the sugar cookies. these never turn out the way i expect them to. but they were still good. last year i painted each one with icing i made myself. this year it was getting late so they just got sprinkles.

the chocolate chip cookies are just regular old chocolate chip cookies. the chocolate cherry ones have cherries under that yummy chocolate frosting.

my mom gave me this apron. it came in very handy. i really like christmas. last night i made bryan turn off the lights in the living room (just the christmas lights on) and turn on christmas music for me while i baked. it was very fun and festive. :)

i also made mini banana bread loaves but i didn't take any pictures of those because by the time they came out of the oven i was ready for bed.

today's my last day of work until january 3. woohoo! guess i should go see what i need to wrap up before then! :)


achoo! sniffle.. .snort... cough.

have i mentioned how i HATE being sick? i have a cold. again, or still, not sure which. and right now i can only breathe through one nostril. fantastic!

so friday was the grammer family tree trimming party. it was so much fun! i love getting together with the family, we always have so much fun. my level of fun may have been enhanced by the entire bottle of ste. michelle riesling i consumed, not sure. nevertheless, it was a great time! we showed the wedding slideshow bryan worked so hard on and everyone was impressed (as they should be. ;-)). we decorated grandma's tree with the 13,423,598,235 ornaments she has accrued over her lifetime, and we ate some yummy food. and of course drank yummy drink. :) well, i did. bryan had to stick to the coca cola so he could drive my drunk a$$ home. :)

finally, here are some photos from the grammer tree trimming party:

saturday we went over to our friends the bennett's and hung out with the rest of the chesterfield power station crew. i guess there were four of us couples, then the new guy and new girl. we try to get together about once a month or so, and it is always fun to see them. us "engineer wives" can dish about what a pain in the rear our engineer husbands are. ha! not really. we all love 'em. :)

after we left tammy and justin's we went home and got the christmas tree out. bryan lugged it downstairs and set it in the base and i put on my gloves and set about fluffing the branches. it took me about 2 hours to fluff all 9 freaking feet of it. i love our tree when it is finally up and decorated, but getting it up and decorated is not a fun job. it's all worth it in the end though... this year we also put up a 4.5" tree i had from my apartment. i am a little anal and decorate the big tree with only silver, white and light blue, so we put up the second tree to put on all the other ornaments we own that don't fit that color scheme. :) i'll have to take some pictures and get them up.

sunday was devoted to pajamas. well, that is to say, i never got out of them. which is always a good thing. :) i spent a little while preparing my "final exam" for the spanish class i took this semester, which was a 5 minute presentation in spanish. it is a conversational spanish class, so we don't have to do any written stuff, whcih is nice i guess. although being a foreign language buff, it drives me a little bananas that she doesn't teach us how to write it. but i'll get over it. :) so i did that, then decorated the tree (bryan helped some, too), then made jerk pork chops with pineapple chutney for dinner. they were yummy. the only problem was that i have gotten the concept of selecting recipes for the main course, but somehow have forgotten that we are going to need to eat some side dishes as well. so i quick heated up a can of corn. well, that still wasn't going to be enough. so i found a box of instant mashed potatoes in the closet and fixed what was left of them. bryan doesn't like the instant mashed potatoes so much, but he dealt with it alright. :) from now on i'll plan the ENTIRE menu beforehand, not just the meat. :)

and this week so far i have been.... stuffy! last night went home and drank a theraflu, then watched tv, then drank another theraflu, watched more tv from the bed, then went to sleep. i feel a bit better today but still STUFFY! and i would go to the doctor, but we all know they're going to say "common cold" and send me on my way with orders for rest and liquids. and that just ain't worth $25 to me! i can give MYSELF that advice! :)


december already?

so today is december 1 and i hear the forecast is a high of 76 degrees! figures. welcome to virginia winters. personally, i like it this way. although it sort of puts a wrench in my wardrobe works, because you never know how to dress...

well, we did not in fact win any money in atlantic city last weekend. bryan and i, however, understand that gambling involves both winning AND losing. and that's alright. we just have to make sure we win next time. i lost my entire allotment for the day. i actually left the poker table with $16 (10% of what i started with) and went and stuck $10 in a nickel slot machine. i managed to turn that $10 into $208, then promptly began losing it all again. freaking slot machines. i was just CONVINCED that if i kept playing it would go back up, but it did not. so there that went. and i left with empty pockets. still makes me mad to think about how greedy and stupid i was. this is why i never play slot machines.

so we got back home sunday night from pennsylvania after some nasty traffic in delaware. that stupid state... no offense to anyone who is from or likes delaware. there is a toll to get in and a toll 13ish miles later to get out. talk about greedy! it can't possibly cost them that much to run 13 miles of interstate. once we were past there traffic moved pretty decently until we were in northern virginia, which was no surprise. and of course the HOV lanes were not open in our direction. as always.

this week has been busy at work and at home. somehow since we got married and i have nothing to plan, i have managed to become a domestic goddess of sorts. well, not really. but close! i have been trying to keep the house neat and i figured out this neat trick so that i actually have something to cook for dinner. i pick out 4 or 5 recipes and then make a list of everything i need for those before i go to the grocery store, so that i have things to cook for dinner for a week or so. this is a nice change from coming home from work, staring into the fridge, staring into the pantry, staring into the cabinets, then ultimately staring into the freezer and deciding it's too much of a pain to thaw anything out and so maybe we'll just have chipotle. now we just decide to have chipotle without going through all those other steps. ;-)

last night i actually made chicken enchiladas with salsa verde. they were actually REALLY good if i do say so myself! i was impressed anyway. and bryan liked them, too... anytime i can cook something besides rattlesnake pasta or broccoli casserole and he likes it, i feel like i've accomplished something. :)

after dinner last night i headed to my friend jodie's house to help her and her daughter jordan build an indian village for jordan's class project. the kid is 7, i have no idea why they give second graders homework that obviously must be done by the parents with minimal involvement of the kid. i mean, seriously, what 2nd grader that you know is going to be able to sit down and come up with a plan to recreate an indian home scene on a cardboard box? maybe i underestimate 7 year olds. but anyway, it was fun. i have pictures of our handywork on my cell phone but i left that at home. i'll try to upload them if i remember.

this weekend is shaping up to be lots of fun! tonight is the grammer family tree decorating party at grandma's house, tomorrow we have a party at our friends' the bennetts, and i am determined to convince bryan to lug our giant 9' christmas tree downstairs so we can get that set up.

before all that, though, i have a lot of work to do!


belated turkey bird wishes

well, i know i am a couple days late, but i just want to wish everyone a belated happy thanksgiving! this is also a nice opportunity to say how thankful i am to have such an amazing family and such amazing friends. life has been quite a roller coaster for me at times and there is no way i could have made it to where i am right now without ALL of you. it is always interesting to get philosophical and examine the importance of every person in your life. because really when you stop to think about it, you can learn and gain something from EVERY person you encounter. some people (like most of you who read this) have a more profound impact on your life, but even a cashier at the grocery store can impact you if you let her. is she in a great mood in spite of the crabby bastards coming through her line? then remember that if she can keep a smile on her face in that situation, so can you. is she the crabby bastard this time? then remember how much that bothers YOU and don't be that person.

the point i'm trying to make is, thank you for being a part of my life. i mean it from the bottom of my heart.

more about our thanksgiving activities when we're back home and settled in... right now we have to get ready to head to atlantic city and win some money!


a dichotomous weather weekend

so this weekend was interesting. saturday was downright summery, and yesterday was rainy and cold and rather wintery. it was pretty crazy. but an enjoyable weekend if you know how to properly take advantage of those kinds of days...

see, saturday we woke up to sunshine and warmth. and what does one do when it's sunny and warm outside and the leaves are still pretty? you take a motorcycle ride! it was the perfect day for it. i am, however, jaded from past late fall attempts at warm motorcycle rides, so i bundled up as though it were 60 degrees outside instead of 80. this was fine while we were in motion, but sucked when we stopped. but last year (or was it the year before?) we found ourselves stuck on interstate 81 in the dark and cold for several hours and i about froze my tush off. i was not having a repeat of that situation. our ride was actually pretty short, we stayed in the general richmond metro area, but we ended it with a stop at mary angela's pizza in carytown.

now, for those of you who don't know, we lost our favorite pizza joint near our house a few months ago and have not found a way to replace the holes left in our hearts from this. no pizza in suburban chesterfield really compares (RIP carmela, we miss you). mary angela's is the best pizza in richmond that i am aware of. so eating it was... lovely. really, lovely. (when's the last time you heard someone describe eating pizza as lovely? never? well that's how freaking fabulous this pizza is.) at the same time, it was sad... because we just don't get pizza that good very often and are too lazy to drive to downtown richmond to get it often. after having it, though, maybe we need to change that. if i drove to work i might stop there on my way home occasionally and pick up a pie, but that's not really possible since i take the bus... *sigh* why did carmela have to close...

yesterday, as i mentioned, proved the perfect dichotomy to saturday's indian summer weather. we woke up to rain beating down on our house and wind whipping us around a la wizard of oz. well, okay, it wasn't as bad as the wizard of oz. but i love that movie and i like exaggerating every once in a while. :) we woke up and... did nothing. ha! well, that's not true. bryan, my dear dear husband, plopped himself in front of the computer and worked on our wedding photo slide show for, let me add it up... 15 hours. give or take 30 minutes here and there. this man is dedicated to making this the absolute best wedding slide show ever, and i think he's definitely succeding. perhaps he is a bit of a perfectionist, but i guarantee you're gonna love it (and not just because you will finally be able to see lots of our wedding photos!).

i managed to get out of the house and went and changed cell phone providers to verizon so that i can talk for free with most people i know. also i got a camera phone and free pics and text messaging so that i can go shopping, snap a photo of what i want to buy that might need bryan's approval, and shoot it over to him via cell phone. this might sound a bit obnoxious to you, but 1) i can never get the man to go shopping and 2) when he does go he doesn't let me buy anything. so the pix messaging will, i hope, allow me to buy stuff that requires both of our approval in a more timely manner. :)

after a little shopping at target i headed home where i set to trying to knock out the rest of my wedding thank you notes. i have been slacking on this but WILL finish them tonight. i swear. so if you haven't gotten yours yet, you will soon. also, i made chicken and dumplings in my new calphalon cookware. oh, i also seared some olive oil onto the bottom of my big ol' skillet and now it's brown. that sucks and i gotta figure out how to get it off. hey, i never said i was an expert at this cooking stuff, particularly not in these fancy shmancy pots and pans. although i do love them already...

tonight: watch last week's episode of lost, do laundry, finish thank you notes.


da link went.

well, lots has been happening and you people have gotten no updates to this blog. at least i gave you wedding pictures, right? :) i can't wait to show everyone all of them and see everyone else's! bryan has found some software that makes creating a cool slideshow out of the pictures easy. well, kinda. :) he's been working on the slideshow very diligently so that we can take it on tour of our families and such... so one day when he finishes you'll all get to see the pictures.

we have been keeping pretty busy. a couple weekends ago we went to a halloween party at our friends' traci and steven's house. we had a great time, but in true bryan and lydia fashion, we didn't think much about costumes until the day of the party. i looked around the bedroom to see what i could find that might serve as the base of a costume, and came across bryan's dirt bike gear. a couple years ago when he bought his dirtbike, he bought all the clothes/shoes/etc. that he needed to ride it safely. so we decided that bryan would be a motocross racer and i would be his teenage motocross racer groupie girlfriend. i had a couple things i thought i needed for the outfit, but needed to buy a wig and some "accessories." see pictures below:

no, i did not get a boob job with our wedding gift money. they were socks. but it was fun to have them for one night. :) as someone who was not blessed with these particular assets, it was very interesting to see the way the males of our species react to them.... a fascinating social experiement. :)

as if the fake boobs and all weren't enough goofiness for halloween, bryan and i decided to dress up again on halloween night. this time, we were playing a prank on our friends tammy and justin who live a couple of miles down the road from us. they deck their house all out for halloween and bryan thought it would be fun to go harass him. well, it was fun. but i felt like i was going to get found out and arrested for impersonating someone who is still of age to be trick or treating:

yes, i am wearing a fitted sheet. and yes, we trick or treated one house which was not our friends' house. i was terrified we were going to get caught. it was hillarious.

so now you have the halloween updates. hopefully the next time i update won't be so long away!

oh, and even though i have trouble keeping up with the blogs i've got, i started a new one. this one is because i read the news every day and want to put in my two cents, but don't want to bore everyone with my opinions if they aren't interested. so if you are interested, check it out:



it's november already?

i can't believe it's already november! my how time flies. i have a specific memory of neener (my stepmom) one time when i mentioned time flying when i was younger, in high school i think. she looked at me with this knowing face and said, "just wait 'til you're older, you have no idea." i don't know why i remember her saying that specifically, as i know a million people probably said that to me at some point. maybe it was the look on her face... who knows. but every year of my life seems to pass faster and faster and whenever i think about that, i always think, "neener was right!" :)

i can't wait to share all of the wedding photos with you all, but there are SEVEN HUNDRED AND THIRTY FIVE of them, so that's not going to be easy unless we're in the same house. so instead, i'll throw a few of them up here today for you! they are AMAZING. we love our photographer.

me reading the beautiful card bryan wrote me with the earrings he had delivered before the wedding. first time i cried that day. :)

bryan and his guys went to brown's island to have some pictures taken before the wedding. i love this one of my fabulous husband.

bryan and his very handsome groomsmen.

me and my very beautiful bridal party!

getting ready to go down the aisle. i love this shot of shane and grandma! i think it shows their relationship PERFECTLY! love it.

the kiss!

mr. and mrs. bryan klinger!

we're married! after the ceremony we went down by the dominion building to get some portrait shots of us.

and then back to brown's island for some family shots...

me getting bustled before we left brown's island to go to the reception. this was quite an undertaking for my girls! :)

our GRAND entrance! god, i was terrified he was going to drop me!

our first dance.

the father daughter dance. i love this picture of my dad. love it.

my little sister got real friendly with my friend jason, one of the volunteers at the arthritis foundation. i think she likes him, what do you think? :)

partying it up!

one of several groomsmen + whoever shots of the night. love justin's face (the groomsman with his jacket off)!

me with frane and britton, two of my best friends from college! wahoowa!

to smush or not to smush? (nice smushing ensued.)

love this picture of us right after the garter toss, where bryan first pulled panties out of HIS SLEEVE, not from under my dress, people! he is such a nut. we've seen this done before but i wasn't expecting it. i shoulda known better. :)

things started to get a little crazy...

queen of the dance floor. :)

bye bye everybody!!!