Well, hello. After a semi-long trip back to Kansas (5 whole days + 2 days of driving) I am back in Nashville. Nate and I drove 12 hours on Tuesday and when I woke up Wednesday morning, I decided I was too tired to go to work so I took another vacation day. It's nice having a week off, but when I spend the entire time away from home, I feel like I need time at home to get things together. I'm back in the office for two days before a three-day weekend to start off 2011.
Cheesecake Factory in Green Hills. We had a gift card and a card for a free slice of Cheesecake, so we splurged and got a volcano shrimp appetizer and two entrees and dessert and paid less than $10 for dinner. I think eating out only with coupons/gift cards is a good rule. I couldn't stand eating out for $45 knowing that could feed us for a week if I cook at home. We were so full that we didn't have room for our cheesecake. So we got strawberry cheesecake to go. We'll eat it tonight after I make cheesy potato soup.
I've gotten into two new games in the last week. The first is an app on Nate's Android phone; it's called Angry Birds. It's really fun and really addicting because there are a million levels and basically you slingshot birds at pigs and try to smash them. Nate and I played during our wait to be seated at Cheesecake Factory last night.
Nate's parents got me Bananagrams for Christmas. If you've ever played Speed Scrabble, it's kind of like that. I love word games like Scrabble and we played it a lot with Nate's family. There's a lot of strategy involved because no letter is worth more than another. (I dump my Qs and Zs as fast as I can!) Nate's mom is really good at it.
Yesterday afternoon I had an appointment scheduled to donate blood at the Red Cross downtown. When I was running errands in the morning, I saw there was a blood drive going on at the Nashville Zoo. I live so close to the zoo, so I went there instead. I got a free ticket to the zoo (even though I'm a member; now I can take two guests for free). The wait time was horrible (I was there an hour and a half) and then the phlebotomist wanted to use my center vein instead of the one on the side and I said, "No! You have to use the side one. I always use it and even though the middle one looks good right now, it wimps out as soon as you stick the needle in. The last time they used the middle vein, I couldn't finish."
So finally she decided to try to side vein and she missed the first time (she stuck me and said, "Missed it," and stuck me again) so I have a nice bruise. As soon as she got the needle in the second time, I started getting really dizzy so they laid me down for the rest of the time and propped my feet up. It wasn't the best blood donating experience, but it was worth it because blood donors save lives and only 3% of people who can donate actually do. I got a 1 gallon pin because it was my 8th time donating with this South region Red Cross (I'm probably up to 2 gallons at least in my lifetime). Plus you get to eat Nutter Butters afterward, which is really the only incentive I need. :)
My real estate agent got me the best one-year homeowner anniversary gift: a housecleaning! I'm generally a very clean person, but I am very excited to have someone do a really great job and then hopefully I can do okay maintaining it. I really like my house even though I have a long list of things I'd like to do to make it more like home. I wonder if there is a sweepstakes for a first-time homeowner home makeover. I'd like to win that.
I scheduled an appointment with the vet to take Miles in for shots on Monday. I adopted him on January 2, 2010 and took him to the vet January 4. He was so happy to be adopted that he purred the entire time. I think the car ride will be much more interesting this time. Also, I found the paperwork from last year and he weighed just 4.3 pounds. I'm pretty sure he ate his weight in cat food while we were in Kansas (even though he puked twice in my living room while we were gone) and I'm taking guesses for his current weight. Nate and I are guessing he's around 10 pounds. I think he needs to go on a diet.
I don't like that New Year's Day is on a Saturday because I'd like more time to plan things for 2011. I'm working on my budget and some meal plans. My, how things have changed in the last year. But I'll post more on that later.