Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Saturday Morning

Saturday was Tegan's wedding.  I don't actually have any pictures from her wedding.  I wanted to make sure I handled my MOH duties diligently, so I left the camera at the hotel.  Plus she had 2 photographers and a videographer, so I am pretty positive all the details of the day got captured.

The morning of her wedding, Phil and I got up to go for a run.  A combination of the humidity (even at 6 in the morning) and my tiredness equaled me not feeling it.  It turned into a nice walk though.  So here are some pictures I have from our morning walk around Portland.

I am not sure if you have noticed, but I like pictures taken from weird angles.

There was an old car show right down the street from our hotel.  It was pretty cool.

Fueling up for the day.  Coffee and Water.

This is the only picture I have from the actual wedding.  We haven't taken a picture together in a long time.  I think it turned out pretty well.

It was a hot day and I was kind of stressed out about it to be perfectly honest.  But the day went off without a hitch and Tegan is now a MARRIED LADY!!  Lucky girl is in Hawaii by about now.  I decided I want another honeymoon.  I will have to work on that one...

Sunday, August 28, 2011

RIP Mr. Squirrel

Phil had to be dropped off at the airport really early this morning (6:30). And since last night was Tegan's wedding, it was definitely a late night for us.

To compensate for my lack of sleep, I was SUPER alert when driving home from the airport.

I first get on I-205 heading south and see something going across the highway. As I get closer, I can see it is a squirrel. A squirrel with a suicide wish apparently.

I should mention for those not familiar with I-205 that the part closest to the airport is not populated. There really aren't even that many trees located in the vicinity at this point. So my thought is:

Where did this squirrel come from?

As I am pondering and looking around for a source of the squirrel he is making his brave and noble journey across the highway.

He made it through the first lane.

Then he makes it through the middle lane.

My car is rapidly approaching the squirrel. I am cheering the car for the squirrel make it in front of me in time (picture me motioning it across the roadway whilst driving).

He is halfway through the lane...

Bump. Bump.

Didn't quite make it.

These events all happened within about five to seven seconds and I refuse to get in a car accident trying to avoid an animal. After all, this totally could have been Geico squirrel or whatever insurance company those commercials were for. I didn't really have time to assess getting over.

RIP little squirrel. I am sorry.

Add it to my list of sins for church today. Man that list is getting long. Kind of like this post.

Love, Mrs. Janney

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Chocolate Milk

When I was little, my dad had to go on a lot of business trips. I was lucky enough to get to go on several of them but there were a few times when I stayed with my grandparents instead.

At the time the separation from my mom was really hard. That coupled with the giant Virgin Mary night light my grandma would keep in my room.

But there are a few things about staying with my grandma and grandpa that were always a plus.

1) Feeding the cows with Grandpa.

2) Grandma always had Fruitie Pebbles. I STILL loves those all the time.

3) Chocolate Milk

My grandpa had Parkinson's Disease and by the time I was 5 or 6, he was already having some mobility issues. And I think with every meal, my grandma would serve Grandpa some chocolate milk in those small teal plastic cups with a straw. I always got a little cup too. Not too much. There had to be enough for Grandpa. :)

I love chocolate milk. And I like that it reminds me of my grandpa.

Love, Mrs. Janney

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

South Beach Weekend

This past weekend was the Grenz/Burrus Annual Camping trip at South Beach in Newport.  And let me tell you... it was a good one.  The weather did not disappoint.

I tend to look forward to this camping trip with a lot of enthusiasm.  So much so that the Janney household left Thursday instead of Friday.  Going home after work would have slowed me down, so Phil and I packed up the car so I could hit the road right after I finished my CMU Reinforced Masonry Lateral Design (I rocked it by the way).  This of course meant I had to bring the dog to work with me.  She was a hit and such a good girl.  I am thinking of making her a vest with a pocket to hold a scale and a mechanical pencil so she can be the office mascot.

Taylor and I met up with Phil in Corvallis for lunch at Local Boyz.  Oh.  My.  Gosh.  If you are ever in Corvallis and you like Hawaiian food, you have to go there.  And get the macaroni salad.  I ate until I was sure I was going to explode.  Just thinking about it now, I am drooling a little.

Once we got to the campsite, we set up our tent.  David was such a good helper.  Seriously.  For a 3 year old, that kid has some excellent mechanical skills.  He legitimately helped with the tent.

Phil and I signed up for the Gorge Half Marathon in October.  And because of our schedules and stuff, we are behind on our training schedule.  So Thursday night, we had to do a 4 mile run.

The weather was perfect.  We really like running at the beach, as mentioned previously HERE.

The next day we tried to go to the Yaquina Head Lighthouse but it was crazy windy and there were a bunch of people there, so we stopped by Fred Meyers to pick up a few things.  David helped my dad pick out some epoxy.

Saturday morning, Phil and I hit the pavement for a 8 mile run.  Here are some pics from that.

Saturday afternoon was spent on the beach which was of course really windy.  You can't tell because I was the one taking the picture, but I was dressed like an eskimo.  A long sleeved shirt, a down vest, light sweatshirt, a fleece jacket, running pants, and sweat pants.  The plus side to that was 2 fold: 1) I was actually not freezing and 2) I didn't need to apply as much sunscreen.

So there you go.  A few snapshots from our weekend.  It was SO FUN and relaxing just to get away.

And seriously... go to Local Boyz.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Chicken Nuggets

After getting back from the family camping trip and running a couple of errands, I was in no mood to cook lunch.  Nothing sounded good.  So I let Phil decide what we had for lunch.  He chose Popeye's.

By the time we get to the restaurant, it is about 2 in the afternoon and we are STARVING.  I was about ready to eat my car cushions, I was that ravenous.

We go in to order and there is one couple in front of us.  Before they get a chance to order, this Asian woman (with a thick accent) comes up to complain about how little food she actually got with her order.  And it worked.  One of the workers gave her more chicken nuggets/popcorn shrimp and she went back to her seat.  The couple in front of us starts to order.  They take A CRAZY LONG TIME to order their 2 dishes. 

In the time it has taken for the couple of order their food, the Asian woman has reappeared with two more of the dishes her group ordered.  This time, to complain about the small size of the chicken nuggets.  Her rant included some of the following statements:

"Anywhere else you go like McDonald's or Wendy's the chicken nuggets are much bigger than this."

"Look at the picture.  The picture shows the nuggets much bigger."

"I can't believe this is all the food you are going to give me."

These statements weren't just said once.  They were repeated at least 5 times each.  Like it would much sense if you repeated the exact same thing a third, fourth or fifth time.  Did she expect the Popeye's employee to say, "Oh!!  I am sorry ma'am.  The first four times you said it, it didn't make sense.  Now I understand.  Please, take all of the chicken nuggets you want."  I was a good 2 seconds away from screaming at her, "THEN GO TO MCDONALDS!"

Now her points might have been valid if she hadn't JUST come up and begged for more food.  Not to mention the general principle that Popeye's is NOT a fine dining experience.  OF COURSE the picture is going to be much larger than the actual food.  And you CAN SEE the actual chicken nuggets right behind the counter.

Isn't that just your stereotypical idea of an American?  Go to a fast food restaurant, get your food and then complain about it until they either give you more food for free or your money back.

It just goes to show that even if English is not your first language, it is still possible to be an ugly American.

When Phil and I went to order (because we still hadn't ordered yet at this point), I asked for the tiny chicken nuggets.  :)

And then later that night, I yelled at a cancer patient.

It was a stellar afternoon/evening.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Bounce house, drag, and family... Just a normal weekend

I had one of the busiest weekends I have had in a while this last weekend.  It started by driving to Tigard to drop off some PE prep books to Gavin.  Then immediately driving to Clackamas for Tegan's dress fitting.  Back on the freeway to drive south for my brother's grandmother's 90th birthday party (did you follow that?).

My brother and his cousins (he is my 1/2 brother) organized a really nice party at his house full of wonderful food, lots of wine, and a bounce house for the kids.  While watching the boys all play in the bounce house, David looks at me and says, "Aunt Natalie... you can't get me" and then runs into the bounce house.

So I decided to run in after him...

Let me tell you... the bounce house was quite the work out.  My calves were tired after I got done.

From there, I headed back up to Portland for Tegan's Bachelorette Party.  Happy hour at Portland City Grill followed by...

Dudes.  All dudes.  Who all look better than I do in lingerie.  Sad.  :(  But I digress.  Then we went back to Brittany's AWESOME house for a sleepover.  No pictures of her wonderful house because I would have felt like a major creeper taking pictures of someone else's house.  But let me just tell you... it was gorgeous.  Perfectly decorated.  Seriously.

Anyway... after going to bed at 4 and waking up at 9, I headed back south down to Albany for the Grenz Family Reunion at Kizer Farms.

It has been at the same place for as long as I remember.  I asked how long the family reunion had been going on (it is an annual event) and turns out it started as a birthday party event for my great-great-grandmother, Eva Hirning Grenz Ammon who came to the United States from Russia.  You can all thank (or curse) her for brining this wonderful family to the U.S. 

What?  Your family reunions don't include meetings with minutes and officer elections following Robert's Rules of Order?  Huh... Weird.  Phil and I are on the books for the newest married couple 2 years in a row.

It may not be here next year.  That will be weird.  We Grenz's aren't great with change.

After a couple more hours we met up with my parents for the most amazing pizza EVER.

Padington's.  And then I went home and fell asleep at 8:30.  I am wild.  And you all quit reading 5 pictures ago.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Cookies or Brownies?

Currently, I am on my way home from Tegan's bachelorette party. No I was not wasted... the party was sleepover. But I thought I would take this opportunity to tell you about something I made A WHILE ago (more than a year ago) for Joanna's Baby Shower. They are called Pillow Cookies.

Ever feel like you can't decide whether you would like to have a cookie or a brownie? With these cookies, you don't have to. It is literally a brownie wrapped in a cookie.

And they are HUGE.

I am pretty

Truthfully, I have never actually eaten one of these. They are SO BIG and I was really excited that I was actually able to make them, that I gave all of them away to co-workers and shower guests. But they all said they were really good. So either the cookies are REALLY GOOD or they are all liars.

I am telling myself no one would lie to me. :)

Ok, your turn to make them. Give me one. I want to try them.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Buffalo Wings

Recently, I have discovered a love for Buffalo Wings (no, I am not pregnant).  This recent food addition has been surprising to my husband since my spicy food palette wasn't real diverse.  Nevertheless, I am now fan of the spicy buffalo wing.

In an effort to control calories, I searched for a healthier recipe to make these at home.  I found one HERE  (from Gina's Skinny Recipes) and gave it a try, using drumsticks instead of wings.  It was delicious.  Kind of beyong delicious.  So I made them again the other night using boneless skinless chicken breast tenders.

They weren't as good as the drumsticks (probably because they weren't dark meat and didn't have any skin on them.  Yeah... I am good at stating the obvious), but they were still YUMMY.

Try the recipe.  It is good.

Friday, August 12, 2011

My job is hard

A view from my desk.  These guys are LOUD talkers.  Makes focusing interesting.

It has been a tough couple of weeks at work for me.  I am trying to learn how to do calculations I have never done before and I find it stressful.

Actually at times, I find the very concept of my job a little overwhelming.  I am supposed to design things and make sure it is safe for people to live/work in.  I am supposed to make sure walls don't fall down, houses don't blow over, roadways don't fail.  If I really think about it, it kind of freaks me out.

Maybe I am just not cocky enough.  I think a lot of engineers have quite a bit of hubris when it comes to their intellectual capacity (which I think can be both a good and a bad thing).  I probably need to have more confidence.

In reality, my lack of confidence is probably a good thing.  It means I take my time.  I make sure I know what I am doing.  I double check and then check again.

But each day, I am reminded about how much I don't know.  I am sure everyone feels that way about their jobs.  This last week, it has been a little more in my face.

Mirror Mirror on the Wall...

You can't tell very well from the picture, but she is staring at herself in the mirror. For about three minutes straight.

Sometimes you are just so captivated by your own beauty...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Grad School Rafting Trip

The last weekend of July, our friends from grad school all headed out for our annual rafting trip.  I couldn't raft this year (because of a bug bite... LONG STORY), so Taylor and I held down the fort at the camp site while everyone rafted.  I was a little stressful to be camping, with no electricity, no cell phone, no running water, no toilets while my husband was unreachable rafting without an actual raft guide...

I was a little anxious.

Not to mention it was H.O.T. and the bugs were out in FULL FORCE.  To avoid the sun and the bugs, I just stayed in the tent mostly.  It was probably at least 10 degrees warmer in the tent than out of it.  But it was really nice to just lounge around and read.

Everyone made it back safely.  After 6.5 hours.  Thank goodness I had my fierce guard dog with me to keep me company.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Lately, I have been dreaming up all of these projects that I want to do.  I currently have so many, that I almost don't know where to start.

The first step to all of my projects was CLEANING.  Now that that is done, I can actually start doing my projects.  Here are some projects I have been thinking about:

1)  A project for Dave and Christie's baby.  Their baby is due in October and I am SO EXCITED for them!!  I haven't exactly told Christie what the project is (she wanted to be surprised).  So if you are reading this, Christie, just scroll down really quickly without looking.  :)

2)  More banners like this one for Tegan's Bridal Shower, only without the letters.  I am going to make one for Halloween (perfect because you can hang them outside and they can get wet).  I will post pictures when I am done.  Let me know if you are interested in one of these banners.

3)  Another streamer like this one.  I have about 60 to 75 feet of a second streamer ready to be cut.  It looked really good at Tegan's Bridal Shower, so I wanted to make the second one and maybe dye it to use for different occasions.

4)  I have a couple of crocheting projects up my sleeve as well.  One is for ome friends of mine that have a 7 month old little girl.  I started this project a few months ago, just because.  I had a pattern and I wanted to see if I could make it work.  The other project is for a baby shower I am going to at the end of August (need to get going on that one).

5)  Plus I need to do an update on my Little Hate Project.  I have made quite a few little hats, but I need to make more so I can donate them.

So that is an update on that.  I am sure you were all on the edge of your seat during this post.

Love, Mrs. Janney
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