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Wednesday, January 25, 2006


Contrary to what my mother may fear...I am alive and well. :) Just had to tease Mom a little, as I got a text from Emma this afternoon that said: "Hahaha-just got an email from your mum to see if you have gone away for your birthday cause they haven't heard back from you! Seriously! You need to keep in touch with your family! x"

well...let me just defend myself by saying that I tried calling home twice late at night on my birthday and both times I got a busy signal. So, though I feel bad for making my Momma worry, I don't feel too badly because let's face it...as always I'm right.

Yes, I have indeed had a birthday!!!! I am now writing to you as a new and improved 25 year old!!!! I'm lovin' 25.

For all you who care (and let's face it, that's all of you), I had a great birthday! I will give you a little timeline of the day:

(some time early morning, still dark out): woke up, went back to sleep, no awareness of the date.

8a.m. - woke up, realized it was my birthday, looked at Pete and stared at him for a minute to see if he would wake up...he didn't...went back to sleep.

8:22a.m. - same as 8a.m.

8:31a.m. - same again.

8:46a.m. - woke up, and joy of joys, Pete woke up too!!!!!!!!! Yes! Received my first "Happy Birthday" of the day. He asked me if I wanted my present and I said "Yeah!" Opened my card from Pete and saw to my surprise that it was signed from not only him but also his family! Ooo, lot's of people involved in this one, it must be good!!!! Opened my present... and... inside... waaas.. AN IPOD MINI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WOW!!!!!! Couldn't BELIEVE IT!!!!!! Great present! Great Husband for getting it!!!!! Great Family!

9:05a.m. - was served breakfast in bed by Pete, he even made me coffee (and it was very good I might add...no longer will he be able to say that he doesn't know how to make it, he's given himself away).

10ish a.m. - was visited by my lovely mum-in-law Sally who dropped of an orchid plant and a card...had a nice chat.

10:30 am. - set off by car to an surprise location for our walk.

10:50a.m. - arrived in Wotten-Under-Edge and after consulting his map and directions , we found a parking space and the entrance to the footpath.

had a beautiful walk, crisp air, cloudy (but in the way that makes the world feel very still), and we actually found our way to our goal which was an enclosure of trees (planted over 200 years ago) set high on a hill overlooking Wotten-Under-Edge. It was beautiful up there, the top of the hill had benches set up in a semi-circle looking out in all different directions and there were even three horses grazing on the hilltop. (I wanted to pet them, but they seemed hungry and not in the mood for lovin')

Noon (ish) - we made our way back to Bristol in search of lunch

Found lunch at TGI Friday's (which may seem boring, but we NEVER go there and I had a craving for their fries). Lunch was soooo nice, we ate LOADS! Free refills, chicken strips and fries with ranch sauce and ketchup, great conversation, and for dessert...we shared an apple-waffle-ice cream concoction! I was sooo stuffed I felt really ill! But we rarely overeat to that extent so it felt nice to indulge. :)

2:50 p.m. - walked next door to the movie theatre and saw Brokeback Mountain (good but very very depressing...and did drag a bit towards the end).

5:30ish - Home again, curled up on the couch and read, (Pete played DS).

7:20p.m. - Pete had left for his meeting...and I set out (with a map!) to pick up my friends Hannah and Ruth for a little girls night. Got lost on the way to Hannah's

8:15p.m. - Finally picked up Hannah

8:22 pm - picked up Ruth

8:40 p.m. - arrived at a coffee bar we like called Porto Lounge...chilled out with a bottle of red wine, opened presents, laughed loads. And, we even got a free (gigantic) ice cream sundae for free in honor of my birthday. Very nice.

round 11:45 p.m. - arrived home to see Pete! Tried calling my parents (twice). Checked emails and received more birthday greetings.

just after midnight - crawled into bed...having enjoyed nearly 16 hours of my birthday with great surprises (provided by Pete), lots of cards, texts, emails, phone messages from family and friends (I love all of you!). I had a great day!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

all things surprising

ahh...sweet procrastination. love it. i'm so entrentched in what has turned into a two hour 'study break' that i won't even take the time to use proper capitalization. so there.


well, it's wednesday afternoon...very dark outside today...i'm cold ...but i've just made a cup of tea in my very pretty tea cup and saucer with hand painted stars on it (a christmas present from my beautiful sister Katie Osborne) - oh no! i've already rebelled against my non-use of capitalization. moving on...yes, gray outside, cold inside, steaming cup of tea in front of me, nice ticking sound of the clock in the background and , laying just 8 feet away are my numerous papers, lecture notes, journal articles waiting patiently to be devoured. yeah, they've been waiting a long time.

why is studying (when you HAVE to) sooooo difficult. i love reading...absolutely, i spend hours everyday reading (we don't have a t.v.). and, i love the subjects that i study, they are generally really interesting, but somehow both of those loves are cancelled out when a deadline looms in the near future.

to show that i do still have some self-discipline left, i will say that lying just three feet from me is a very inviting bar of toblerone chocolate (one which i bought with the intention of sending it to my family at christmas, but found a couple days ago and realized it's FAR too late to send christmas tidings, even in the form of chocolate - oh well, i'll just have to eat it) but today, even as i blatently ignore my studies and have indulged in a lunch of popcorn, the remainder of a bag of doritos (cool ranch) and diet coke i have suppressed my desire to chomp away at the (seemingly) never-ending bar of toblerone. well done.

and, while i'm on the subject of things in the house and their distance from me...let me just say that roughly 27 feet away from me (it's upstairs on the floor on pete's side of the bed) is a BOX. and this is no ordinary box. i have been informed by a reliable source (pete) that this box is not to be touched, opened, weighed or in any other way examined as it contains a certain present for a certain soon-to-be-25-year-old (me). yes, it is my birthday soon! monday in fact. and only my love and passion for all things that are surprises will keep me from breaking any of the afore mentioned instructions.

ooo, but, i have glimpsed the box (accidentally i assure you) and it's size is intriguing!!!!!!!! oooooooooooooooooo...i wonder what it is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

too be perfectly honest, my enthusiasm for my birthday has unfortunately lessened under the weight of my pure anxiety over my upcoming (annoying) assessments. grrrrrr.

but, come monday, i'll have no choice but to put off all thought of my assessments as pete and i are having a birthday-day-of-fun which will include: nice breakfast, a scenic walk, perhaps a picnic lunch, a movie (adapted from a tradition i used to have in my days of singleness) and PRESENTS!

well, on that note, pete has returned with the car, so i am going to pick up my stack of studying materials and head out to coffee #1 to redeem my morning of waste with an afternoon of productivity.

peace out

Saturday, January 14, 2006

17 minutes, and counting...

17 minutes...that's how much time I have before I need to start dinner preparations for Pete & I and our good friends Niall and Hannah. Tonight's menu: a beautiful colourful salad, garlic bread (semi-homemade) and a chicken/mushroom alfredo over corkscrew pasta, served with a nice red wine. mmmm. can't wait! Having people over for dinner is my favourite because it means I can be indulgent and cook loads of food and not worry about how much fat is in it or how much time I spend making it...all in the name of hospitality.

Well, today...I dragged myself out of bed this morning at the civilized hour of 8:45...pete protested at my attempts to communicate so I left him to get back to sleep after about 10 minutes of trying to provoke his early morning wrath (no, this morning not even the most annoying behaviour would get him up, some people have no ambition). After that I worked out at my gym...right now it's my favourite thing! I go about 4-5 times a week and if I had more time, could easily go everyday because I LOVE IT. It's soooooo nice, 8 t.v.'s which can be watched from any of the fitness machines, loads of great classes, and a locker room which is outfitted in lush wood lockers and benches and even has (my dream come true) mirrors and wood countertops which run the length of the room, with little vanity stools to sit on and bright (but good) lighting AND hair dryers!

Needless to say, it is fabulous and I am hooked. So this morning, I went to attempt my new workout routine (programmed by one of the personal trainers) and surprisingly, it took me about 2 hours to do it! I did enjoy it, we've upped the intensity of my cardio workout and have added three different intensive weight routines (today was abs...and now, 7 hours later, I'm feeling it) to be rotated. It was great, but the additional hour wasn't convenient today because it meant that I was about 30 minutes late meeting Pete for our study date at Starbucks.

Yes, study date...Pete is running an hour-long seminar tomorrow at church and I have two annoying (and intimidating) "assessments" (for all you americans..."finals") coming up, which I feel grossly underprepared for. Where does all my time go??????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just don't understand! All of the weeks I thought I had and all of the study days/sessions I had planned for last week...GONE! Poof! Don't understand!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah, so, to echo Fuzz's plea...to all praying people, pray that I use my time efficiently between now and the 31st!

I've gotta go, 19 minutes have passed.