Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014

[We did a "limited edition" holiday card this year - meaning, we ordered a fraction of what we usually order and Christine didn't put in the normal work of taking/editing pictures, trying out a dozen designs on Shutterfly, ordering three of those designs, writing an update for the back of the card, creating an excel spreadsheet for distribution, and mailing them the first week of December.  I think so much effort went into making a special Philadelphia card for 2013 that when this year rolled around, she still had card-fatigue. Card-fatigue that may also be related to Holiday-fatigue: the only Christmas decoration we unpacked was the wreath for the front door - no tree, no decorations, they're still in boxes.  Curtis had a stressful end to his school quarter and Christine has been busy managing everything else, we took a long Thanksgiving trip to CA plus we're running a lot these days and Christine is still going to Pure Barre several days a week - it's a lot and we're a little burnt out and feeling Grinch-y.   And since we're leaving one week from today for a long Christmas in California, where there are plenty of decorations, I think we've given up.  The phrase "next year," has become a big part of the Harding Hart vocabulary these days.]

So with all of that complaining - Merry Christmas!  We are well and hope you are too.  If you were expecting our paper card in the mail, I'm sorry, I hope this "e-version" conveys our love just the same.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Quick Update!

Hi there!

Today is Christine's last day of freedom before she resumes work at her firm indefinitely.  So here's some of what's happened since Mardi Gras:

1. Christine's life continued in Philadelphia until we moved her back at the end of August.  The clerkship ended as well as it began and it was a great experience.

2. Curtis is still at Airbus, and is still in school.  He continues to get good grades and plans to be done in June 2015. Until then he's planning to travel to San Francisco and London as part of his business school program.

3.  Kenny is now approximately 5 years old, and has calmed down a bit.  He split his time earlier this year between Philly and Alabama and loved both equally.  He just came back from CA with Christine, where he had a great time hanging out with his grandparents. Once Christine is back at work he'll be at daycare 3-4 days/week.

4. We celebrated our 5th Anniversary in Philly in May.  We had dinner at a Starr Restaurant, Butcher & Singer, saw the Phillies play the Dodgers in great home plate seats, and went for a long walk to the Art Museum (and Rocky Steps) and had a picnic in Washington Square.  It was busy and fun, and hard believe that it's been 5 years.

5.  Our road trip back to AL over Labor Day Weekend was eventful.  We woke up early Saturday to drive to Charlottesville, VA to see UCLA play Virginia.   Then we drove to Chapel Hill and walked around the campus on Sunday morning before driving to Atlanta, where we ate at Cheesecake Factory and then made our way home.   Since then we went to Dallas for UCLA-Texas, and Christine and Kenny did a long trip to Ca/Az to see family and friends.

I'll post pictures at some point, but most of this is documented on Facebook and on Instagram (

Happy Fall!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Mardi Gras 2014

Mardi Gras is back in full swing!  Curtis once again got to stock up on "throws," load his float (with help this year) and "ride" with the Knights of Ecor Rouge, who's theme this year was "Night of Knights."  Here's an article slideshow about their parade.  To make it even more festive Louis & Sophie came for a long weekend to join in the fun!

Here are some highlights of the festivities so far:

Curtis is on the left! 
Curtis' float while it was still in the barn
Louis & Sophie waiting for the parade

Christine with the best work friends :-) 

Christine before MOT's ("Mystics of Time")
Waiting to go downstairs after "Callouts"

Christine & friend Megan

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Winter Wardrobe, Revisited.

If you read Christine's World (inactive for now), you might have seen my post about preparing for winter.  Well, I thought it was cold then, but it's much worse now, lets review my naiveté (today's thoughts are in blue):

It's 11:21 am here, and 36 degrees out.  It "feels like" 27 degrees. Haha! This is funny.  These days, we're lucky if we get above freezing. On Tuesday we're getting a high of 16 degrees and a low of 9, and you basically have to deduct 10 degrees to get the "feels like" temperature. 

This is an education torture for me, which is why I'm complaining about it all over Facebook, and why I'm writing about it now.  It's also new because I can't just jump from my car to the building; I spend at least an hour outside walking every day, morning, noon and night, so weather is an issue.  This is still a major issue -- getting myself "out" for any reasons other than work is an ordeal. There's also the issue of balancing how much I'm willing to pay to keep my apartment warm... I don't know how people who live paycheck to paycheck get through winter.. :/

So, what did I have, what did I buy? And, was it worth it? And, at the end of the day, is there nothing to be done?! (Seriously, I hate this weather)

What I had: 

- Coat(s):

I have two pea coats from before, which I think will get my through all but the coldest days of the year.  Someone in my office also gave me 3 coats, one of which is (I think) warm enough for the coldest days. Again, funny to read in retrospect.  I haven't seen my pea coats since 2013, It's been so cold and snowy (read: dirty) that I only ever see my puffer coats these days.  On the really cold days I've been wearing my mom's coat which she left here at Christmas and will use when visits this week.  I will be literally delivering her the coat at the airport to put on before we brave the elements. One of the coats that was given to me is really useful, but because it's a shorter coat I don't wear it unless I'm doing a short walk, usually to the gym.  But I bought a long puffer from Express which has been good to had and it's not too ugly (as if I care these days). I look forward to wearing my grey pea coat again, it's that cold and gross. 

- Scarves

I have so many scarves that I've cut myself off.  Some are warmer than others, but I am confident that I will get through the year. I've behaved, and haven't bought any new scarves.  Plus, I discovered that the insanely large scarves that were made for me 10 years ago are actually useful around here and have been invaluable on the negative windchill days. 

- Hats/Gloves
I have a few hats, and picked out one as a gift over the weekend.  I may have to get a warmer beanie Curtis got me a nice warm beanie from UNC for the really cold days, but I actually kept my hat off this morning for most of my walk (I can't believe there was a time that I didn't need a hat), so I should be fine for all but the coldest days (again, funny).  I had a moment of weakness when I purchased a mint green fuzzy hat from H&M a few weeks ago, but it was cheap and worth it. I purchased a pair of warm gloves last year that I think will do the job this year. In all fairness, those gloves have done right by me, but if I lived further north or in the midwest, these gloves would not cut it.  Now I need to figure out how to wash them, they're getting a little gross :-/.

- Sweaters/Warm Shirts/Pants
I added a few pieces to my wardrobe for style purposes but aside from that, I'm in good shape. One thing they don't tell you is that the coat really does take care of your torso, usually I just need something underneath that's long-sleeved, but the bigger issue during winter is covering up the parts of the body that the coat doesn't cover. I could probably use another pair of causal pants on days where tights don't cut it, but I'm relatively over it at this point :-) 

What I bought: 

- BOOTS:  Due to my freakishly wide calves, I can't walk into a store and buy leather knee-high boots.  But I decided it was time, and am now the proud owner of brown and black riding boots that are both comfortable to walk around in and warm. These boots are still warm, but I can't wear them much when it snows because the salt will mess with the leather, and they are relatively slippery.  I also own a pair of comfy snow boots (that I've been living in now for days), and a pair of Wellies that don't fit great but should work okay for wet walks with Kenny. (I dream of days when it's warm enough and not snowy when I can wear my Wellies again)  Plus I wear my Uggs too... 

- SOCKS:  I realized that I own few socks other than to wear with running shoes.  So I had to create a dress sock collection for my boots and other closed toe shoes for winter.  Thankfully, those are easy to find for cheap and on sale.  I would like to buy a few more pairs of long boot socks but it's a low priority. The CA girl in me only buys ankle socks to work out in, now I wish I had more proper socks to wear at the gym, lately I've been wearing my cute socks with my running shoes, which isn't a big deal but looks a little strange, just because they keep my ankles better covered during my walks to the gym. 

- TOMS CLOSED TOE WEDGES:  I wanted something that was comfortable and with some height, so I bought the Toms wedges that I talked about in my last post.  They are great!  They are great to have on dry days, especially when I'm wearing pants. "Dry days" is the key. These shoes are stuck in snow purgatory; as long as I'm having to walk over slush and ice, these have to stay in the closet.

- STOCKINGS/TIGHTS/LEGGINGS/ETC.  I've always been a pretty big fan of tights and stockings, but there's a difference between liking them and being a staple of my wardrobe.  I was able to catch a good sale on Gap's extra warm leggings/tights, and like them so far, as well as other things I've picked up.  I love my fleece leggings...

- SKINNY JEANS: I don't generally like the idea of skinny jeans, but I found that Gap has skinny curvy jeans that I was able to order online, and they are really easy to wear with my boots, as opposed to trying to stuff my boot cut jeans into my shoes.  It's practical and it works. I bought a black pair too. 

- ANOTHER COAT: I couldn't resist and Express sale to buy a black long puffy coat, which I think looks nice :-) See above. 

- ELECTRIC BLANKET: hands down, best purchase for the winter.  I originally bought it for my office, but my house stole it for Christmas and it's not leaving my bed or futon for the duration. That blanket is the reason I'm not freezing to death. 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Kenny in the Snow - Philly Version

Kenny is currently on his way to Mobile until March (at the earliest), in part to give his doggy-momma a break (although she's sad...), but mostly so that he can avoid the rest of the winter season. He loves the snow but it does complicate his normal routine, and his paws are sensitive to the ice and salt. But he loves the fresh powder, so I'm pleased that we got 6 inches just before he left!

And now he's tired :-) 

And I accidentally got a slow-motion video which I already posted on Facebook, but is nevertheless fun: