Sunday, March 2, 2014


We had a pretty busy February this year!

I won't go on about skiing, except to mention that we went, because I dedicated a whole blogpost to that.

The next weekend I flew out to Seattle for the annual American Academy of Forensic Scientists (AAFS) where I was presenting on fatal dog bite cases in Virginia and where I was the chair of a special session by the Young Forensic Scientists Forum (YFSF). It was a very busy week.

My mother also came out for a few days since she had never been to Seattle and had just recently celebrated an important birthday.

While I was gone Trey developed some sort of illness that likely came from a little girl we had babysat earlier who had gotten pneumonia. I've mentioned before that Trey doesn't get sick like normal people and this was no exception.

While I was in Seattle, Richmond had beautiful spring weather. I was stuck in overcast and cold weather (though we did see the sun on several days).

That is a loooong trip over there; I'm glad it's another four years before I have to do that again.

During my extraordinarily long trip I thought a lot about my marriage to Trey and the roles of husband and wife that we play and how that has changed over the years. I need a bit to sort my thoughts out but I'll probably blog about that later this month.

Oh! I forgot. I had to work on Valentine's Day (y'know, 'cuz I'm full-time now!) and so we didn't make any plans or anything. Actually, our tradition on Valentine's Day is to do nothing. But when I came home from work Trey had made a delicious salad, some lamb shanks and chocolate pots de creme which were to die for! He really is a wonderful husband :)

They're calling for snow tomorrow, and I am just sick sick sick of snow and cold. It better get all the snow and cold out of its system because after this I'm going to start expecting warmer temperatures and sun.

Sunday, February 9, 2014


This past weekend Trey and I trekked into the mountains of Virginia for a weekend of skiing and hanging out with the Newells. Trey's parents, his sister and her family, and his cousin and her fiance were all there.

We had a HUGE house that had a decent size kitchen, a family room upstairs and a family room with entertainment center and some weird-looking billiards table downstairs. It was a really great weekend; we got to spend a lot of time with our nieces who are the most adorable and sweetest girls in the world. Trey and I had a conversation coming home that sounded something like this:

Trey: This weekend was a lot of fun.
Me: It really, really was. It was really nice to spend time with T and E.
Trey: Do you think they (his sister and brother-in-law) would notice if they were gone.
Me: T definitely...we could probably get away with smuggling E away.
Both of us laughing conspiratorially.

On Saturday I went skiing. And I mean "I went skiing" in the very loosest of terms. First of all, those dang boots were very uncomfortable, I had to go up a size because it felt like my calves were about to explode. Secondly, skiing is WAY harder than it looks. I used to watch the Winter Olympics with such disdain thinking "How is this hard? Children could do this!!" I have a newfound amazement for all the things that winter athletes can perform with boards, boots, skiis and other things strapped to their feet.

I was able to stop whenever I wanted either by snowplowing or falling (the latter I mastered after three times).  I wasn't able to do ski school, but Trey has assured me that I will be doing that during the next ski season.

I DO know that I do NOT hate skiing with every fiber in my being. I really do want to get better. I really do want to go down a green hill.  Trey and his sister were confident in my ability to go up a ski lift and then down the mountain. I told them I was confident in my ability to throw up on the ski lift due to sheer terror and then to eventually get down the mountain, either by tumbling or sliding on my butt.

I told my eldest niece that I fell and she requested that I show her how I fell, so I did, in the kitchen. She stared at my in amazement and said "You FELL on your BOOTY???!!!"

Oh, and by the way, children CAN ski. Much better than me. And without poles.

Here are some pics from the weekend:

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

What the Newells did in 2013: A Recap

2013 was an okay year for us. Nothing overwhelmingly special happened but we did have some great times.

Trey started school at VCU in January and so far has completed three semesters and has a 4.0. I am so incredibly proud of him!

In February we celebrated our first Valentine's Day as a married couple. In true Trey-Lara fashion, we did absolutely nothing. (At this point after not doing anything for the past seven-ish Valentine's Days it would be weird if we all of a sudden started acknowledging them). I also went up to DC for a week-long conference.

In March we welcomed a new baby niece, Emily Alice and went up to Charlottesville for the Easter holiday.

In April Trey and I ran our first 5K together, the Color Me Rad 5K in Richmond. I was pretty proud of myself for finishing, but I don't think I'll do another run that involves powdery things being thrown at me.

In May we celebrated my birthday, woo hoo! Another year older. We also spent a week  in Atlantic Beach (NC) at Trey's parents' beach house. Even though it was not hot at all and it was quite windy, we had a great time. We also travelled to the western part of the state and went to a winery. It was quite a long drive and had I know that we probably wouldn't have gone.

In June I went up to Baltimore for a week long forensic anthropology class and...I don't think much else went on.

July we added over 2,000 miles onto my car by traveling from Virginia, to North Carolina, through Tennessee, to Arkansas for the 4th of July. We spent some time in TN with my mom's side of the family and celebrated the fourth by camping in cabins and canoeing down the Buffalo River in Arkansas. Trey thought it was a fantastic time. I am not an outdoorsy-let's camp by the side of the river-type girl so I found it just okay. But I hardly ever see these people from my dad's side of the family, so we grinned and beared the trek across half the country.

In August, we celebrated Harley's 5th birthday. She still acts like such a puppy I can't believe she's already five.

For Labor Day I went with my parents to the NC mountains and my father, who apparently enjoys tormenting his daughter, took some hairpin mountain curves too fast ensuring that I never allow him to drive in the mountains. Ever again.

In October we moved into a new house, one that is much bigger and has a separate place where Trey can do his woodworking and whatnot. We also celebrated our one year anniversary with a trip to San Francisco. It was SO much fun. The only thing I didn't like was that whatever the weather was reported to be was false. Very misleading as when I hear "70s" I wear shorts and a tshirt, but no, it got to 70 for 30 seconds SOMEWHERE in San Francisco (NOT where I was) and I froze to death all day. We did get nice San Francisco jackets and sweatshirts, though.

I had to work the Thanksgiving holiday so my family came up to stay with us. There was lots of yummy food and it was nice to see them.

Something else happened in November: I got hired full time at my job! I had been hoping for so long that it would happen and it did! Now we have health insurance, a retirement plant, and a bigger paycheck! We're starting to feel, sort of, more adult-like :)

Since I had to work Christmas Eve and Christmas, my family came up again and we celebrated and did the Christmasy things, just not on Christmas. (Which, as several people told me, since I don't have children it doesn't matter what I do on Christmas or when I celebrate it.  Pish.)

Trey's birthday was New Year's Eve and all he wanted to do was finish some project he has going on in his shop so he did that. We watched A Bit of Fry and Laurie on TV until midnight came and by that time we were already falling asleep on the couch. I guess we just aren't as young as we used to be :)

All in all, a pretty good year. I have a feeling, though, that 2014 is really going to be great.

Happy New Year, ya'll!!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Secret Keeper

Throughout my life I've seen how "typical" siblings interact with each other. It's only been recently (college and beyond) that some siblings have become friends. Whether it's because they're older and more mature or what, I don't know. I have always been friends with my brother. 

I never understood the whole "not getting along" thing. Don't get me wrong, John was a complete pain in the rear when he was younger. He was a little brother, MY little brother and he certainly knew how to push my buttons. He still does. And he knows this. 

But we always got along. We didn't slam our doors in the other's face and stay mad at each other for days. 

Also, I had an amazing secret keeper. I could tell him ANYTHING and I never had to worry about him repeating him anything to anyone. Mostly, he may not have cared. Or understood. But sometimes...a lot of the time, it was just nice to be able to talk to someone and know they weren't judging you, weren't trying to think of a solution or wondering when you were going to shut up so that they could talk. I could just talk to him, tell him my problems, who I was mad at, the gossip around school, who my crush was and I knew all that would stay safe. 

He's still a pretty good secret keeper. And an awesome friend. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Passage of Time

A recent picture of a friend's youngest got me thinking about how quickly things go by. This little fella is 18 months yet I SWEAR he was just born this year.

I have been married for a year and yet I can still remember that day clearly.

My ten year high school reunion will be next year...this is a little more believable, but still TEN YEARS?? That means I'm almost thirty. We won't get into that right now, though.

My brother is 23 years old. TWENTY THREE.

I remember when he was just starting high school and was still pretty much a kid. Now he has a girlfriend, goes to college, does all these sports.

Ridiculous. I feel like I blinked and all of a sudden all this stuff happened.

When I was little I still remember what it felt like waiting on Christmas and birthdays. Weeks went by so slowly. Now, I can leave for work on a Monday and come back just a few hours later and it's already Thursday.

Time should not speed up right when you start learning to appreciate it.


I am really not doing well with this whole blogging every day thing. It didn't help that we weren't at home for most of yesterday.

Yesterday was our one year anniversary. It was nice and chill. We didn't do a whole lot. We slept in until almost ten. For those who know me, this is not a surprise. For those who know Trey, this is a once every other year occurrence. In fact, I woke up BEFORE him!!

We went to eat breakfast at this cute diner that's near our house; Trey ate his weight in eggs, home fries and pancakes and I had pumpkin pancakes that were deeeelicious!

We then drove up to Charlottesville since we were planning on going to Carter Mountain--it rained and rained and was cloudy and miserable so we altered plans and went to King Family Winery where we were treated to a bottle of wine from the Leaches (thanks, guys!) and then went to hang out with our little nieces until it was time to go home. SO. ADORABLE.

I completely forgot about eating our wedding cake until Trey reminded me this morning. It's been in the freezer for a whole year (YUM!) so I took it out of the freezer to let it defrost. I don't know how long it takes cake to defrost but I'm thinking we probably won't be able to eat it until tomorrow.

I'm sure it will be delicious.

Friday, October 11, 2013

One year (almost)

One year ago we were at the rehearsal dinner. My family was there and Trey's family was there and I think they get along pretty well.

John was a groomsman, of course. He look so, so handsome in his black suit. But I get ahead of myself.

On rehearsal dinner night John wanted to sit with me, Trey, and my maid of honor, a long-time friend. John enjoys food and eating out so this was probably a great night for him. He had a blue jacket and khakis and he looked so cute I just wanted to squeeze him and pinch his little cheeks. But he's a man now, 23 years old, and you can't really do that anymore. *sigh*

I had been talking to him leading up to the wedding. I told him it was a very important day and that there were going to be a lot of people paying attention to me, Trey and probably him since my extended wouldn't have seen him in a while. I also told him that during the ceremony he needed to be quiet. No whispering to me at the top of the stairs, no Garys. He understood.

He walked my grandmother and mother down the aisle like a gentleman. He processed down the aisle in line with the other groomsmen like a pro. And he was very attentive and watched the whole ceremony better than anyone.

I was worried he wouldn't understand what was happening. I wasn't worried that he would think I was leaving him; I know he knows better than that. In fact, he knew he was getting a brother so he was actually quite pleased with the whole deal. I was worried that he wouldn't understand how BIG of thing this was. But he did. He does. He knows that getting married is a big deal.

It was a great night. Both of them were, the rehearsal and the wedding. I couldn't have had a better, more wonderful sibling to have take part in it and share it with.