Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Twas two nights after Christmas...

And all through the house,
everyone was exhausted except for the mouse.
The stockings were hung by the fireplace with care
and the mouse decided to run over there

When out of the tree arose such a clatter
I went over to see what was the matter
It clinked and it clanked and I went over to see
but could not find anything inside the tree

Then Luis came down, but I I forget to say
I heard a noise coming from that way
I saw him standing looking in awe
Because of the mouse that he had just saw

A mouse ran across our living room floor
Whats worse, we saw him run across once more
A few minutes later we stood there with poise
But were shocked yet again with some more noise

Scurrying noises came from our beautiful pine
I couldn't take much more, I began to whine
Take this tree outside right this minute
I believe there is another mouse hiding within it

So out the tree went filled with ornaments and lights
This was not what we were expecting on this 'relaxing night'
We spent the night sweeping up tree needles and glass
We just kept on smiling, neither of us was crass

We were laughing the whole time, how could you not?
Our unexpected visitors had troubled us a lot
We were in it together so everything was alright
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

This morning, I am reluctant to report that I owe Luis 20 bucks because his traps actually worked and caught a mouse. I did feel terrible though because the little guy was so freaking cute. We don't need any roommates though, unless they pay rent :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Some Christmas Pics

Finn in some Christmas Jammies playing go fish. He caught me mid- picture
(Do have any one and zeros- that is called a 10 Finn
Do you have any over and down's- that's a 7)

A good shot of Nemo the clown fish remote control blimp (for Hannah). In the background you can also see the remote control blimp shark for Finn. On Christmas Eve I raced to the party store (closed) and then ultimately got some helium at CVS. I almost lost Nemo as the string broke and I had to jump up and catch her before she flew away. In the house the dogs were petrified of the balloons. We were up until midnight putting together the balloons, and Jay the dollhouse (to the right).

Another Tree Shot

 Poor Murphy, asleep on the "Bah Humbug" Christmas hat as he was not a fan of the balloons or really anything that was going on.

These were the pictures from my phone, hopefully I can post some pics from my camera soon.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I LOVE Christmas

I feel like I am not in the holiday spirit just yet. I think it is because I have been so busy, I have not had much time to stop and think that it is coming up.. and fast! I am normally antsy pantsy thinking about Christmas nonstop. We went and chopped down our tree this year-celebrate our first Christmas in our new home. We walked through Eastern Market and found the perfect wreath for the front door, wrapped garland around the banister, bought a new snowflake table runner. Luis even strung giant ornaments from the bare tree in our front yard. Kaitlin gave me a tree skirt last year to celebrate our engagement that says "The Paniaguas." This year, at the secret santa exchange, the best secret santa ever, Ashley gave me a doormat that " Happy Holiday's... The Paniagua's" Jenn gave us a vintage trunk that has two adorable snowmen painted on, that says " snow buddies." I thinkw e are doing pretty well in the decoration department. My mom says she always likes her house the best at Christmas (because she has a lot of festive decor).  I guess two weeks ago when we did all of this, and I made some delicious peppermint bark I felt more christmasy then I do today.  I just need to remind myself to get through the week and I will be home Friday afternoon for Christmas this weekend. I cannot wait to see the kids faces on Christmas morning, especially since they are at my parents and that is where Santa will be dropping off the goodies

 Things I am excited for:
- Christmas Eve at the Morris'
- Christmas Eve church with Nannie & Poopa
- Christmas morning breakfast with Nannie & Poopa and just our family
- Collinson Family party
- Hosting a breakfast for my NJ girlfriends on the 26th
- Celebrating one year of being engaged. Love you Lulu.

Well now, as I type this and listen to Pandora Christmas.. I am pumped.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Where were the Giants this weekend?

The Giants had everything to play for this weekend, and as per usual the Redskins did not. This did not interfere with the Redskins from whopping the Giants booty, giving Luis a reason to gloat at the Meadowlands... for once.. I normally get to walk away from the Giants-Redskin's game with the "in yo face" until next time (or next season).. but Luis has bragging rights, for now.

Even though it was 20 degrees, and windy we did have a fun tailgate. We were prepared with a tarp, and two bonfires. Jay did a great job packing up the car, taking over the grumpy dad driver, without the grumpy part. Luis manned the grill. Jenn, Joey, Frank and Krystal were all along for the ride as well. 

 Alex came to his first NFL Game. We now have a certificate to prove it as well
(note: the wind blocking tarp in the background).

Kristin and I drank some girlfriend beers. Sorry Kristin, but it is nice to have another gluten free buddy around.

We all walked away with windburn rivaling coughlin's rosacea, but all in all it was a great time.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Our trip was a great success. We met so many amazing members of our family, some of whom, we didn't really know that much about, and now we know them quite well ( with stories and jokes to boot). Do you know how many Tio's and Tia's a person can have?And to think, I thought the Collinson Clan was large.
I cannot wait to officially become a Paniagua/Gonzalez.

Always a Collinson/Mulligan though :)


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Viva Bolivia y Argentina

I'm very excited as we are leaving for South America the day after tomorrow. I have only had 3 panic attacks today as I am not packed and our itinerary is not 100% confirmed. Control freak much? Yes! Luis taking the reigns to go and visit his family, leaving me out of control? Yes!After many deep breaths into a brown paper bag (read: red wine) I am so excited for all of our excursions and to meet our family. Luis has not been back to Bolivia since he was little (7ish?) and neither of us have been to Argentina, so we cannot wait to explore new places together. I have to admit, I am a little nervous my Spanish is not up to par.

stay tuned...

Monday, May 30, 2011

May 29th

The 29th of may is a good day for us. Five years ago we were watching the sunrise in Barcelona together. May 29th is the day we use as our anniversary since we have been inseparable ever since May 29, 2006. Last year, we went to Komi in DC. Komi is a 16 course tasting menu and blew us away. This years gastronomic experience was at Table 21 at Volt in Frederick, MD. The night was amazing. We sat at a bar in the hub of the kitchen with seamless service (and special accommodations for my gluten free diet), unbelievable wine and a mind blowing 21 course experience. Don't worry, my next post will outline all of the courses.

We don't really exchange anniversary presents, but this year we got the greatest present thus far: a RATIFIED CONTRACT! That's right, hopefully in a few short weeks the soon to be Paniagua's will be homeowners. Fingers crossed and I definitely do not want to jinx anything.

We saw the home on Friday, offer on Saturday afternoon, verbal acceptance on Sunday, and then a quick trip to kinkos to sign additional paperwork. Sunday evening at 6:30 (30 minutes before out multi course extravaganza) we got a crushing call.. another offer was coming in. We were able to push our concerns aside and enjoy our meal. After dinner Luis went to the restroom and when he came out his hands were raised in the victory/touchdown celebration dance. I was reading an "update" email from our agent wills and I had not gotten to the bottom. I didn't need to. Luis' face said it all.. we hugged and I cried and we went back to our b&b with a bottle of bubbly and sat on our balcony.

We still have a long road to go before keys are in hand.. (inspection, appraisal, financing)... but boy am I thankful for May 29th.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I'm running home, running home..

Tell the world that I'm running.. Home.
(To the tune of P Diddy's or apparently this week he is going by "Swag" song 'coming home')

I ran the 3.5 miles home today from work. I always am amazed when I run home or around the neighborhood. Today I ran by the White House, down the National Mall, passed the Washington Monument, around the US Capitol, by Eastern Market and around Lincoln park.

I even stopped to sign a petition in the park (how DC of me) against the DC Government changing the boundaries for the ward that I live in (and will hopefully by a house in) Ward 6.

What did you do on your commute home today?

Please excuse the fuzzy picture, but it was taken on my phone the last time I ran home which was embarrassingly enough was when the Tulip's were out.


Monday, May 23, 2011

House Hunting

We have been waiting a week and 5 hours (who's counting?) to see if the offer will be accepted on the FIFTH house that we have put an offer in on. Did I mention that the DC housing market is insane?

Friday after work- see house for the first time. Love it, talk about it. It is a "fixer upper" and we also see a "turn key" ready place that we could also see ourselves in. It is the dilemma that we keep facing.. older (aka investment) or new (easy).
Sunday- We go back to the house for an open house, stroll through (without Wills our realtor)
Monday- all day long put together contract and submit offer
Tuesday Afternoon- Finally hear from listing agent confirming receipt... this was a long turnaround time to begin with.
Tuesday night- listing agent cannot find seller
Wednesday night- listing agent finds out seller is on cruise (who btw filed for bankruptcy which is why they are selling the house.. was this a bankruptcy party?)
Thursday- nothing
Friday- listing agent finds out seller will not be back until Monday
Wait out the weekend
Monday (today)- our agent finally tracks down the listing agent after trying to contact her all weekend and she says she is en route to the hospital and will call right back.

We are still waiting.

Now don't get me wrong, I hope that nothing is wrong with the listing agent, but I feel like this is something out of a sitcom.

Thank Goodness I had Kaitlin's Bridal shower to distract me this weekend. Not to mention, Jenna doing my hair, Jenn & Jay's new puppy, playing with the kid's and coming home to a new herb garden that Luis planted on our balcony. Speaking of our balcony, we are no rush to leave our fabulous apartment, however, we would love to have some closure on the house hunting.

Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Part II

Wow, I really suck at this whole blogging thing.

The funniest/most tragic/traumatizing part of the engagement story was the next day. I put my ring on, albeit it was a little snug. I held it up on the metro and watched it sparkle even on the dingy train car. I was beaming, practically holding my hand up like I was doing the pledge of allegiance. I brought the ring box in, as I knew I would not be able to wear it the whole day. I was planning on going to the jeweler at lunch to get it sized. That trip to the jewelry store came a little earlier than expected.

I could not get the ring off at my desk around 10am, in the bathroom, soap, lotion, etc. I was freaking out and hopped in a cab to Georgetown. Luis met me there and didn't believe me that it was not coming off. OF COURSE Dino the jeweler was on vacation after the holiday rush. We went to two other jewelry stores across town. I had my hand in a glass of ice water at a bar. The day ended at the Tiny Jewel Box, a hoity toity store where fat old ladies in their mink coats were returning their Christmas Presents. I showed them my finger which was now protruding over the ring and they told me they were going to have to cut it off. I broke down in tears and apologized a million times to Luis. They quickly ushered me to the back and cut it off. They took a can opener type device and cut my brand new ring that I had been waiting almost 5 years for off of my hand 15 hours after I got it. I was devastated. I even had to go to dinner two nights later with the ring in my ring box to show all the girls. Everyone who congratulated me, or wanted to, merely looked at my empty hand and gave a hesitant.. Congrats??

Two weeks later, I had my ring back, shiny and new. Did I mention it is the ring of my dreams?

Some people would think it was a bad omen. A lot of my family members and friends joked "that would only happen to you." I take it as a great sign of whats to come. Whatever life throws at us, we are at most a cab ride away from one another, there may be some tears, but there will most certainly be laughs, and the most important thing: we are in it together.


Friday, April 1, 2011

We're, Engaged- by Kathryn

I meant to write this months ago. I started this blog and then big brother at work blocked the website! The nerve of my company, blocking websites to try to keep me focused on work ;)

Now on to the good stuff....

Luis met me in NJ on Christmas Day. His family, as per usual, had the typical Spanish Christmas Eve feast until the wee hours of the morning. Being the selfless person that he is, he basically took a nap and met me up at the Manasquan House in the early afternoon. He took the Amtrak up and the Callahan's picked him up from the station. My Christmas Eve was spent at Church with the family and then at the Morris family annual Christmas Eve party. Christmas morning was perfect. Hannah and Finn (Hannah turned 6 three days after Christmas and Finn turned 4 in October) came over and opened their presents. Santa came to Gigi and Papi's (my parents) house as well so it truly was a joy. They are at such a fun age. Hannah was thrilled about her nail polish design studio and Finn got a mini ride on quad. Side note: These kids are up to 3 power wheels toys in their 6 year span, Dennis and I are still at zero, but who is keeping track. Nannie and Poopa came over for breakfast and then my mom and I were off to the Manasquan house as she was technically hosting Christmas. It was a long day of set up, cleaning and running around making sure everything was perfect. Little did I know, the next day would be absolutely perfect. Space at the dinner table was tight, so the "kids" aka those of us in our mid 20's and early 30's were demoted to the smaller dining room table. We were having a great time, laughing, drinking, talking and Jackie's awesomely terrible rendition of " Oh Holy Night." I accidentally spilled some red wine on the carpet, but was able to blot it out with some seltzer water. The miller girls busted out the Bourbon & ginger ales and so I strayed from my normal wino pattern. The night ended with late night scrabble at aunt Patty Palkos.

At some point during the night, I was in the kitchen when Meredith turned to me and said, oh my God are you going to get engaged at Christmas? I turned to our family of 60 people talking loudly above one another and said... yea, he's going to do it right here in front of everyone.

The next morning I woke up with some Irish guilt and a touch of the Irish Flu. I remembered why I don't stray from vino as I felt pretty crappy. They were talking about the storm of the century coming through and it was already starting to snow. I was torn between getting purposely snowed in at my parents and sleeping the day away or getting a head start on the storm and getting on the road. Luis wasn't taking the bait and wanted to get back to DC. He was sort of antsy, but I didn't think anything of it. I had to cancel the brunch that I had planned to have all my NJ girlfriends and also going to see Kaitlin and Nate's new house. Thank God we left when we did because the snow was falling fast.

Ok so now we are mid day December 26, 2010. Luis drove the whole way home. When we finally got back to DC he suggested I take a shower. I relented and it turns out he wasn't just trying to make me feel better but this was all apart of his plan. When I was in the shower, Luis was busy hiding the ring (which he had in his backpack the whole time in NJ) under the Christmas tree. When I got out of the shower we had a lazy day watching football. I had some eggplant already fried (with gluten free bread crumbs of course) and frozen so I assembled an impromptu eggplant parm and we watched football. The Redskins were on at 1 and the Giants were on at 4. I kept pestering Luis to open Christmas Presents but he was saying, "let's just wait until after football." I was a little suspicious. I had my presents under the tree for weeks and now Luis who is a Christmas Eve shopper had nothing out. I joked and said "where are all my presents.." and he said "hiding," well he wasn't kidding.

Now all this time the ring is hiding under our very first Christmas Tree. We were both laying down on our "apartment size" brown leather couch in our 3rd floor story apartment in a historic row home in capitol hill. Luis was not being weird, like I said.. at first I was suspicious because there were no presents and I thought.. Oh my God, is this it? and then I quickly cancelled it out. No way: I don't feel so hot, we just got back from NJ (I was almost convinced he would do it up there in the spring/summer), I didn't think he would do it over the holidays he would catch me off guard on a Tuesday night and plus... he is sleeping on the couch.. there is no way someone could be this relaxed...

The Giants blew the game. Another reason I didn't think he would do it right then.. he wants to proposed to a crazy Giant's fan post loss? So I excitedly start handing him his presents . I was stacking the deck this year for Christmas, thinking he may be buying me a sparkling present in the next year or so.. so I better go big and keep it fresh in his mind how fabulous I am ;)

- Patagonia Fleece- looks like a sheep- Retro RX
-New duffel bag filled with Costco socks (his favorite present) and shoe trees
- A nice button down shirt which he subsequently exchanged for a sweatshirt.. interesting..
- Colbert Report book, Diner Drive ins and dives recipe book

Now he was excited about the fleece but he didn't jump over the moon. This was a big surprise and he wanted the fleece but he wasn't doing the screams and jumping jacks that I was anticipating. I had been hiding the fleece since black Friday.. and it is REALLY hard for me to keep secrets about presents that I bought.

Luis tells me my present is under the tree as well. Impossible, I just handed all of his presents from under the tree. I didn't see anything under there. Not to mention since we were gone for three days, when Luis was sleeping I WATERED THE TREE! No, I wasn't being sneaky I legitimately watered the tree and didn't see anything. I sat down on the hardwood floor Indian style. I was in my fairly new sweatpants (Chatham written in Navy blue on the side from our November trip to Cape Cod) and a long sleeve blue t-shirt. Another point for Luis.. the man who does not own a pair of sweatpants and has given me so much crap over the past 4.5 years, there is no way he would propose when I am wearing sweatpants...

Just to set the mood. It was a quiet night on our street with no traffic. The street lights looked romantic, as they produced a yellow orange glow. Did I mention, that it was snowing. The perfect beautiful, clean, barely dusting the ground snow.

I entertained the idea that the present may be under the tree, so I start hitting the red velvety tree skirt. We had bought it at Walmart and Luis was trying to convince me we didn't need one we could just sweep up the needles... well good thing we did buddy, where would you have hidden the ring! My hand hit something. A small red box. Obviously the cardboard box around a smaller box containing jewelry.

Luis- Do you know what that is?
Kathryn (Thought)- If this is a pair of earrings, I'm going to be pissed. All this build up, me waiting all day, and things have been so fabulous lately.
Kathryn (speaks)- ummmmmm
I slowly open the cardboard box and see a smaller ring box inside. I crack open the box. I am freaking out. Luis and I haven't even talked about rings.. what if I hate it? how am I going to be excited about an engagement and then hate the ring? It's not about the ring, obviously, but I am going to be wearing this thing the rest of my life. Oh my god, is this really happening.

The box opens and I see the most gorgeous ring I have ever seen in my entire life. If I had to pick out a ring, this is what it would look like.

Luis- Kathryn you are the love of my life. You mean everything to me. Will you Marry me?

Words didn't come out. I immediately hugged and kissed him, a few tears came out and then pushed him away and said YES YES YES OH MY GOD YES! I kept play hitting him on the shoulder and saying SHUT UP. SHUT UP oh my god SHUT UP! Repeat this cycle. Hugs, tears, shaking and shut ups for the next few hours.

The next few hours were a blur of phone calls. If I had to given anyone engagement advise.. call your parents and turn off the phone. It takes a little away from your moment when the news gets out and everyone in the world is calling you. My first phone call, I called my house.. Jenn and Jay were snowed in there

K- Mom, We're engaged
M- Yea, its still really coming down out there (it had been snowing all day)
K- no mom, we're engaged
M- I don't know maybe about 10-12 inches (They eventually got 3 feet and were snowed in for 3 days)
m- oh my god, (turns to my dad) did you know, did you know
d- know what (Luis had asked him in the summer but didn't say when or where)
m- Kathryn and Luis are engaged..

The room erupts in cheering and crying.

I also called the Manasquan house to talk to Nannie and Poopa and that room erupted in cheering as well. Funny story is, I beat my cousin Brett to the we're engaged call by 5-10 minutes. He flew back to Costa Rica and proposed to Yalile the very same day we got engaged.

One question I do remember asking that night to Luis
K: "Did you talk to Kaitlin about the ring?"
L: No, why? I did not talk to any of your friends, they all have big mouths!
K: I have sent Kaitlin pictures of rings, and they all look like this
L: No, I didn't talk to anyone. I designed it myself.

I guess some things are just meant to be.

 Disclaimer: The Blue shirt & sweatpants were the night of the actual engagement. Black Sweater was a few days later w/ makeup and non sweatpants monster.

Here is the Christmas Ornament Jenn got me for our first Christmas living together!