Walking: Heather and I walked today for over an hour, and my legs are killing me. She also made me change my shirt before we started, because my working-out outfit didn't match.

Frederick: I'm going to Frederick this weekend for my brother's graduation. This will actually be one of the longest trips since I moved here, because I'm staying Friday - Tuesday. What is it about going on a trip that stresses me out so much? I got so much done this weekend, especially on Monday, and yet I'm still worried about everything else I need to get done. Probably because it just hit me that today is Tuesday, not Monday (long weekends always do that to me) and there's only a couple days left. But what do I need to do? A little cleaning, some laundry, a couple errands. Nothing big. I think I'm ridiculous.
Frustrated: Trying to plan something with my family has to be one of the most singularly frustrating experiences of my life. I'm going back to Frederick next weekend for my brother's high school graduation, and called home to find out what exactly I need to plan around. My mom wants to go to dinner as a family sometime, but she doesn't know when, and she doesn't want to plan it because she's trying to stay flexible. In the meantime, I'd like to make plans with friends, but I can't plan around a meal if I don't know when it is.
Spring Fever: I think I've got spring fever (or is it summer fever, given that spring is almost over?). I keep thinking of all the things I could change in my yard - arbors in front of the gate, wisteria on the beam where the swing used to be, a deck, outdoor furniture, etc. I blame all of this on Jenni - she gave me the Mandovilla vine (and its pot and trellis) for my birthday - isn't it beautiful? As it grows, I'll train it to wrap around the railing - its just not quite long enough yet.

Weekend: One of the things I love about living here is that starting around mid-May, there's a festival or something fun going on literally every weekend. This weekend was the Chesapeake Jubilee - we went Saturday night for fireworks for the first Bridge Church Ladies Night, then Jenni and I went back Sunday afternoon for the Billy Currington concert. Heather, Randi, and I rode the ferris wheel Saturday night, too (and yes, that's Heather opening the doors of our basket while we were at the top of the ferris wheel):

Diet: I'm refocusing on my plan to lose weight. I did pretty well at the beginning of the year, but when my regular workouts with Heather fell apart, so did my resolve. It helps now that most of my friends are trying to eat well, too, especially when we go out of eat.

Procrastination: In support of my plan to stop procrastinating, I finally got started on a couple projects that have been in the works for several weeks (or even months) now. I'm making a custom-sized fabric-covered bulletin board for the living room, to go between the window and the door, and I'm putting three frames on the sofa wall with quotes on them. Both projects should be done soon (just need to buy the fabric for the bulletin board).
Country music: This is why I love country music.

Procrastination: I think I'm the biggest procrastinator ever, except for maybe my Dad (see, it's genetic!). So, I've resolved to be better at this.
Grilling: I bought this grill pan yesterday, and used it for the first time tonight, and I love it! I always see so many great grilling recipes this time of year, but I have no inclination to buy an actual grill and to cook on it, especially when I'm just cooking for me. But this lets me use those recipes, and still have the grill look. Plus, I'd rather cook on top the stove during the summer, but without all the extra fat that comes from frying.
29: I turn 29 today (today only because its after midnight when I'm posting this). I just got home a few minutes ago from a surprise party, and am giving Dakota and Harvey a chance to run off some energy before we go to bed.

29 is weird because its not 30, but its close enough to 30 to make me think about 30. I thought I would be bothered by it, that I would be frustrated that my life isn't what I thought it would be at this point in my life. And if I'm honest, there have been moments over this last week that I've reflected on that, but its not a depressing thought, because I'm so quickly reminded of all of the great things I do have.

And those things that I thought would be part of my life? I still want them. I still want to get married someday, to have kids and raise my own family. But this life right here - this is a good life. Even without the stuff I long for, I wouldn't trade right now for anything in the world.
Beach: About a month after I moved here, driving back from Frederick after picking up Dakota and all my stuff to really move here, I had an interesting daydream driving across the Monitor-Merrimac (this happens more than you'd expect, because something about large bodies of water and bridges makes me daydream). I pictured taking Dakota to the beach, walking right on the edge of the water. A year later, and I have yet to actually try it. Starting Memorial Day, there are all kinds of pet restrictions on the beach, so I figured, this is what I want to do for my birthday, and I've been planning to do it for two weeks. Seriously.

The odd part is that Dakota probably won't even like it, if her aversion to baths and water is any indication. Really, I'd love to take both dogs, but I can't handle them both by myself. So, Dakota it is. Except, the forecast calls for scattered thunderstorms throughout the day tomorrow. So much for that idea.

Blog roll: It occurs to me that you could probably learn a lot about a person by looking at the blogs they follow, if they're the type to follow them at all. Particularly, if they use any time of feed reader (I used to use Bloglines, but converted to Google Reader for convenience's sake with the Google personalized home page, now called iGoogle).

So, anyway, if you were to look at mine, you'd see a bunch of feeds from friends' blogs, even those that don't really update them any more (ahem? Brandon?), a ton of decorating ones (what can I say? I like looking at other people's houses), and a small handful of personal finance feeds, too (they keep me in check). Come to think of it, I should probably throw in some weight loss ones, too. But, one of the more unexpected feeds is Trent Stamp's, the president of Charity Navigator. I rarely agree with his political opinions, the few times that he has voiced them, and there are a small handful of times that I think he overreacts. But for the most part, I find his take on charity news, particularly in regards to the need for stricter oversight of organizations that call themselves charities, spot on, and fascinating, too.
Laptop: My laptop isn't charging consistently, again. I'm so annoyed - another week (or more!) without Internet access at home while they fix it. And I'm using the term "fix" loosely here, because, well, obviously, that didn't go so well the last time.
Azaleas: There are tons of azalea bushes in my backyard, and most were done blooming several days ago. This one was the last holdout, but by the time I got home this weekend, most of the blooms had fallen off. I love it because I think its just a little wild, but I think it probably needs to be trimmed back. There's a hydrangea on the left that hasn't bloomed yet, but the azalea looks like its taking it over a bit.

Looking at the picture as a whole, this whole area really needs needs to be cleaned up, and could probably be done pretty simply - weed it, clean up the bricks, lose the duck, maybe paint the wheelbarrow.

Most of my azalea bushes are deep or light pink, but this is one of two white ones. The blooms are drooping and have since fallen, but I thought the picture came out kind of neat.

Mother's Day: I went to Frederick this past weekend to celebrate Mother's Day and my birthday with my family. It felt way too short, and not a little crazy given the sheer number of people in my parents' house - Heather and Nathan traveled with me, and besides all the people, there were three dogs. I didn't get any really great photos of Bailey, Katie's 100-pound husky/pit mix, but these are cute pictures of Teddy (Dad and Jon's shih tzu/poodle mix) and Barkley (Kelli's wire-hair fox terrier/poodle mix).