Sunday, January 24, 2016

There's Snow Where To Go – Blizzard 2016 Update

Thirty-six hours of snow and 20+ inches later, we did it, DC! My first blizzard  in the books. It may have only been the no. 4 largest storm in DC's history, but it was no. 1 for me. 

The fact that the Metro system shut down all trains and buses meant that I had no choice but to sit at home and watch the storm. I alternated between binge-watching crime dramas and trying to complete Tracy Anderson workout videos to make up for the fact that my FitBit was recording about 20 steps an hour. (The only time you should ever try Tracy's videos is when you are alone because you look a fool. I'm convinced no one can look cool doing those crazy arms.)  

Despite my cabin fever, Winter Storm Jonas (#SnowJo. Why didn't this catch on?) only reignited my love of the snow. It's beautiful out there – cold, impassable and slightly dangerous, but beautiful. 

I was so bummed to have to cancel a girls' weekend in Atlanta for #SnowJo but at least I was rewarded for my safe, practical travel decision with an overwhelming amount of the white stuff. Reagan Airport reported 17.8 inches of snow (ALLEGEDLY), but I'd say up here in NW D.C., we have about 22 inches. 

Here's a panoramic shot of the front of my building. 

I think I handled a blizzard like a pro, if I do say so myself. I am not even going to guess how many hours of TV I watched or how much time I spent on social media – I don't think math goes that high. 

So far, I've only ventured out three times. I got a bit ahead of myself and tried to go for a walk yesterday afternoon while it was actively snowing heavily. I don't know if y'all know this or not, but snow blowing in your face is not a pleasant experience. In the movies, women walk through the snow with ease, looking lovely against a backdrop of freshly fallen snow, flakes getting daintily caught on their eyelashes. 

Y'all, that's not what happens at all. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Blizzard 2016 – Here We Go

Last winter, we got about six inches of snow during one snowstorm. I could only think of maybe one other time when I'd seen that much snow at once. You don't get hashtag-worthy snow events like #snowmageddon or #snowpocalypse in North Carolina. All of our snowmen were always a weird reddish-greenish tint because they would be a mixture of snow and grass and mud. If you get enough snow to cover all the blades of grass, then it's a big deal. 

And now I'm working from home, awaiting a blizzard.

A blizzard. Like, 20-30 inches of snow. I'm sorry, WHAT?!

As I've said before, I love snow, most likely because it's always been such a rarity. I was stoked to hear we would be having a winter storm.  

Then, things got a little too real. 

My sister described it best in this text:

Historic. Epic. Life-threatening. Relentless. Paralyzing. These are just a handful of the words that have been used to describe this weekend's "snow event."

Geez, all I wanted was enough snow to build a non-grassy snowman and maybe post a few pretty snow pics on Instagram. 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Almost Billionaire

Guys, I didn't win.

I didn't think I would win the $1.5 BILLION Powerball lottery, but I had thought through what I might do, just in case I had. It was a smart plan, full of sound financial decisions, large philanthropic endeavors, a trust fund for my nephew, and vacations for my family. I also probably wouldn't fly coach quite as often. I wouldn't buy a new car. I don't need a fancy house.  Ah, I would've been such a good lottery winner.


I am still here, working on my budget, trying to stick to my January resolution.

It's no surprise that I didn't win – not just because my chance was one in millions  but because my lottery experience started out a bit rocky.

I had never bought a lottery ticket before, which was immediately clear to everyone else in the local ExxonMobil On the Run store the minute I walked in. "I'm here to buy Powerball tickets!" I excitedly said to the clerk.

"Do you want your own numbers or Quick Pick?" he responded, with not nearly enough enthusiasm to match mine.

"Oooh, my own, please."

I didn't have any method to my number picking, but I thought perhaps there would be divine intervention and the winning numbers would just come to me. Because, you know how the all powerful, all knowing God is very concerned with me winning $1.5 BILLION.

"Go fill out a ticket over there."

He pointed to a small table by the door. I walked over and there were tons of different types of tickets. Geez, people like to gamble. After successfully finding one that said "Powerball" and looked a little like the one I'd seen on WikiHow's "How to Play Powerball," I got to work. I had the added pressure of buying two tickets for my mom who was distributing her luck across the Mid-Atlantic with tickets in NC, VA, and DC.

Within four seconds, I had already screwed it up. I picked six numbers in the top section, in which you're only supposed to pick five. I just got overexcited. The numbers were coming to me too quickly.


This rattled my game. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

2016 - Here We Go!

It's a new year full of new possibilities! At least that's what the ad in my mailbox for a gym membership said. I am now using that ad as a coaster for my lime flavored La Croix, but agree with the sentiment wholeheartedly. Hello, 2016!

Me and my partner in crime with his binoculars from Santa. 
I rounded out 2015 with a nice long two week vacation at home in Charlotte, where I drank my parents' wine, hung out with my nephew, caught up with friends, and took in as many Christmas festivities as I could. It was nice to have someone else in the house who was as excited about Christmas as I was. He was three years old, but still. We obsessively watched the Santa Tracker together and, like me, he would spontaneously break out into Christmas carols. 

Now, it's January and I'm back at work. The cold weather and delayed Metro were brutal reminders that vacation is over. However, I'm looking forward to all that 2016 will bring (I'm looking at you, future Super Bowl Champion Carolina Panthers). 

Instead of making lofty new year's resolutions that I'll quickly forget, I've decided to make new month's resolutions so that I have something new to work on every 30-31 days. That way I'll have 12 chances to start fresh instead of one. Or, 12 chances to fail, I suppose. 

Hmm, we'll see how long this lasts.

First up: January

Stay Home, Save Money

I spent way too much money in December. With all the Christmas presents, traveling, holiday parties, gorgeous sweaters on sale in my size, friend reunions, etc., I went way over what I'd tried to "budget." I can justify every dollar, of course, but BB&T just doesn't care. 

As a result, this month, I resolve to limit my spending on social activities, especially since I already have fun trips planned the last two weekends of the month. Until those trips, it's wine at home, reading, and TV watching for me. Which, truth be told, sounds kind of perfect and possibly that not different than a usual non-December month for me. Maybe I'll even break out my now-cliché coloring book for grown ups. Fortunately, I live in a city that has lots of free entertainment options, like excellent museums and people-watching. I can even sit on the Mall and wave to the tourists as they go by on their segway tours. That's free and friendly. 

An added bonus to this resolution is that, by forgoing the many dinners out and happy hours, I'll probably eat healthier as well. Much to my own Friday-night chagrin, I don't keep delicious junk food or bread in the house. I also try to pretend like I don't know about the numerous start-ups that now offer services like "ice cream delivery." 

Plus, I inadvertently already cheated by pre-loading my Starbucks' card last week. That way, I can treat myself to a green tea (or my new favorite Oprah chai) since that money is technically kinda sorta already spent. Like that time I went to Europe and they gave me this fake money called euros that I spent on all kinds of fun things. 

Oh boy, this should go well. 

I'm not yet sure what my resolutions will be for the rest of the year, but I'm already brainstorming a few. Some months will probably be boring-to-you resolutions like "Take in the dry cleaning that has been sitting in the corner since 2015." I already know May's resolution will be "Finish grad school and drink copious amounts of prosecco in celebration." 

So far my list of potential resolutions also includes to:

  • Expand upon my basic HTML knowledge.
  • Figure out what the second light switch by my front door turns on and off. 
  • Read some of the classic books I've said I've read.
  • Beat my sister in Scrabble.
  • Do 30 push-ups in a row without dropping to my knees. Well, maybe 20. 
  • Learn how to get three new places without having to use my GPS.
  • Create a recipe for a signature dish. Or, just learn to make someone else's signature dish.
I'll have to keep thinking, especially because I think that light switch one is impossible. Fortunately, I'll have lots of time in January to ponder my resolutions for the rest of the year. 

Let's do this, January. I already feel my wallet getting fatter and my waist getting thinner. 

Just kidding. I don't carry a wallet. It doesn't match my new sweater. 

Happy New Year!