Monday, September 24, 2012

Labor Day Weekend!

I'm totally going back in time here, so forgive me.

We spent Labor Day weekend with Victor's family in NYC. We had a great time this year going to Coney Island in Brooklyn and beaching it and then hitting up the rides in the evening. When all is said and done, we probably would have been better off heading to the Jersey Shore as far as beach quality goes, because the beach at Coney Island wasn't the best. But we weren't in the mood to sit in traffic, so Coney Island it was. But as far a people watching is concerned, Coney Island wins. What a trip that was. Human behaviors baffle me sometimes. 
My mother in law is a natural model. 

 We also made sure to hit up "Nathan's" Hotdogs on the boardwalk. There are so many Nathan's chains now, but I still had never had a Nathan's hotdog. The hotdogs were pretty tasty, but as far as famous New York hotdogs go, my favorite is still definitely Grey's Papaya. And then, of course, a trip to the beach isn't quite complete without funnel cake.
 And what is a day at the beach in Brooklyn without a Mariachi band?
Later that evening, we felt compelled to ride The Cyclone, mostly because of a Seinfeld episode. Are you surprised? Well, this inspiration came from the second funniest episode of Seinfeld, which you can watch right here. 

The moral of the story is that this roller coaster was PAINFUL. Don't ever ride it. I felt like I got in a car crash from the whiplash, and my father in law was bed ridden the next morning from a painful back. Yeah, not cool. But the other rides were fun. 
 So, I would say it was definitely a successful weekend.

Happy belated Labor Day.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

I've kind of been into tumblr lately

Need some internet entertainment? You should check out Tumblr. Or maybe you already have, and I'm just really behind.

Here are my favorite tumblr sites that I love checking out these days.

--Rich Kids of Instagram:
Basically, a collection of ridiculous pictures gathered from Instagram users showing off how rich they are. Full of tacky photos of yachts, swimming pools, and thousand dollar receipts for alcohol. Pure ridiculousness.

The picture below came with the caption "walking is for the 99%." Like, I said, pure ridiculousness!

--Dads are the Original Hipsters:
All I have to say is that I have plenty of pictures of my dad in his oversize glasses, sporting a mustache along with his early 90s wardrobe to prove that this tumblr page is completely true.

--Lucille and Mitt:
Combing the supposed words of Mitt Romney with images of my favorite rich snob, Lucille Bluth from Arrested Development. Just imagine Lucille's voice in all of them--classic. I guess if you don't watch AD, you won't find it funny. And if that's the case, then you best start watching it. Oh, Arrested Development, I love you.

--Accidental Chinese Hipsters:
Thanks to Holli, for telling me about this one. Man oh man, does this take me back to my time in China. So ahead of the trends, those Chinese are.

Also, apparently this page is blocked in mainland China. I guess they don't want anything to do with being referred to as hipsters.
So, happy tumbling!

And if you know any other entertaining tumblr pages, send a suggestion my way!

Sunday, September 16, 2012


We spent a beautiful weekend over in the Blue Ridge Mountains at Shenandoah National Park with Matt and Holli, and their little Charly. The weather was absolute perfection, and the company we had made it just a really swell day.

We decided to hike to the to the top of the tallest mountain in the park, and hike a bit along the Appalachian Trail. While the views at the top were beautiful, most of the hike looked like we were walking through the woods by our house. But it still felt so nice being up in the mountains. I've missed that a lot.

Holli and I have been hiking buddies since we hiked all over China in 2007.  Look here for more fun hiking moments. We've added a few people to our crew over the years.
Cute little Charly passed out on her new friendVictor

Then we did a little antiquing and cider shopping in the town outside of the park.
 Beautiful weekend. Virginia is beautiful this time of year.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Desk Refashion

I bought this desk from Craigslist a year ago when we first moved here. I had high hopes for it and I bought new knobs and some paint to change it up. 

And then nothing happened. 

I swear it's what I do best. Get all prepped and supplied for the project and then not do it. You'll hear a "true that" from my husband about that statement. 

There's the before shot. Pretty dated. Looks like it came from the early 90s. This desk is actually pretty cool, because the sewing machine folds into the desk and those side panels cover it up to make it compact.

So anyway, I finally got 'er done. I used the spray paint I bought almost a year ago, giving myself no time to reconsider. So, maybe it was a drastic color that I might not have chosen now, but I wasn't going to procrastinate any longer.

The finished product:
Now don't look too closely, because you will see imperfections, and you will see that I thought there were three drawers instead of four, so I need to get another knob.

But, answer me this: is the yellow too much?

Either way, it was actually pretty fun to paint. Makes me want to do it again. I hope they have spray paint and thrift stores in Japan.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

times they are a changing

Well well well. I have some announcements!

We found out last Friday where we are going to be headed come January.


We are very excited. We keep hearing about how wonderful Okinawa is. I've talked to women in my ward who absolutely loved it. (one woman said she wants her husband to un-retire from the Marines if it meant they could go back to Okinawa). We are feeling pretty grateful that we have this chance to go.

In case you are unfamiliar with Japan geography, Okinawa is an island. A tropical island. So, unlike mainland Japan that can get quite frigid in the winter, Okinawa stays sunny and beachy all year long, with the occasional typhoon. But I'm willing to brave a typhoon now and again if it means that I will be living in this:
Some questions that people have been asking us:

How long will you be there?
The Marines usually station you somewhere for three years. So that's what we're planning.

When do you leave?
We don't know exactly yet, but it will most likely be sometime in January.

Can we come and visit?
Absolutely. Please do. Seriously.

How's your Japanese?
I can say "hello" and "thank you." Which is always a good place to start! I definitely am going to try harder at learning Japanese than I did with Chinese when I was there. It may be bad to have low expectations, but I highly doubt I will become fluent in Japanese. But I will try my best.

It's pretty crazy realizing that I only have a few months left living in the U.S. With all the things here we still want to see and do, we've realized that our weekends are definitely numbered. We are running out of time! We have a lot to do to get ready, including working out more, because basically once we get there, almost everyday is going to be a beach day. That will be rough, let me tell you!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Feliz Cumpleanos, Mi Padre

For those of you that need a translation, I said, "Happy Birthday, My Father!"

That's right, today is my dad's birthday. And in my grand tradition this year of giving my family member's shout outs on their birthdays (well, except for my sisters Jennifer and Melanie, whose birthdays both fell on dates when I was in Europe this year. I hope they forgive me, and know that I will do something real special next year!) I just want to pay tribute to my dad on his birthday to say how happy I am to have him as my dad.

 My dad is textbook definition of a good father. He has always worked hard to provide materially for his family. He works hard to be an emotional support at all times as well. He was always at the t-ball games, the violin recitals, the school programs and graduations, and everything in between. You know those cliche kids movies with the dad who is always too busy working to be around? Not my dad.
 My dad helped encourage my love of traveling and adventuring. When he would go on business trips, he would always try to take me or one of my siblings when we were as young as 8 or 9, so we could start seeing other parts of the country. I think I recognized even then that that kind of thing wasn't something common among dads who go on business trips. It was something my dad did to make us feel special. And whenever he had the chance to bring the whole family on a work convention trip thingy, he would. He is an all around family guy.
My dad is someone who is well liked, which makes me even more proud that he is my dad. Just over Christmas, I met a man who went to high school with my dad and when he found out I was the daughter of "THE Jeff Ostler!" he totally went off saying how much he liked my dad. He was the sports star of the school, but he was popular because he was a nice guy, and people liked him. And I have to say that he's a fun guy who is willing to do almost anything---including hiking Angel's Landing at his old age (his words, not mine) as pictured above.

My dad is a very spiritual person, and he worked together with my mom to raise his children in an environment where we would know that we could always go to them for help, and even more important, that we could ask for heavenly help through prayer. Our house was a safe haven from the crappy things of the world, and it was all because of what my mom and dad did to make it like that.

All of these traits of my dad culminated into being requirements for the man that I would marry. It made me set the bar pretty high, because I sure was lucky growing up with a father/male figure like that. And once you experience first class treatment, you shouldn't have to settle for anything less, ha ha.
 So happy birthday dad. We'll see you tonight down in North Carolina!