Thursday, December 17, 2009

Jeremy's Big Three-oh! Birthday Bash

I'm uber late posting this (what else is new.) Has anyone ever known me to be on time. Hey, at least I got it up before the new year.

So Jeremy turned the big 3-0 on the 30th of November! We had a birthday shuffleboard tournament that was almost derailed by some preteen party monopolizing the entire Dave & Busters. Despite the employees at D&B being less than helpful (to say the least) we discovered a much better little dive near our house with a single shuffle board table. It was awesome. White Rock Bar, you do rock.

I wish I would have thought to take my camera out earlier in the evening. Sarah and Dietrich, LeighAnne and Lane, Jer-bear's Mom and Pops, and his sister and Wade remained way too sober and left way too early to get in on the drunken picture extravaganza. Maybe a little brewsky would help your game people; I'm just saying...

The Gang

Ashley and Megan laying the smack down

The boys

And the winner is...

My birthday boy with his spoils!

Happy birthday, sweet baby!! Here's to sharing many more together!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Whoop, there it is!

Jeremy and I spent Halloween in College Station! Scary, right?

Since we have so many Aggie friends and Jeremy’s boss graciously gave us his tickets to the game we made the trip to Aggieland and had a gay old time!

We started by tailgating with some friends of friends, who had an awesome setup which included a camper, big screen tv, shade, beer pong table, and tons of food and drink. We followed the game with some costuming around North Gate. It was a blast!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Marathoning McDannels

We did it!! I feel like we’re part of an elite club. The Marathon Club.

Jeremy did awesome. He beat Oprah by 3 seconds, which, he says, is enough for him to be done with marathons. Had his potty break lasted any longer I thing he might be considering running another one.

The first thing I said when I crossed the finish line of the Chicago Marathon (and several times before) was, “I am never doing this *&*#$^ thing again!” Thank God I don’t know how to time travel. If mile 24 Tamara had been able to go back and talk to mile 2 Tamara I’m not sure I would have finished the race. Then again, maybe I could have just fast forward to post marathon Tamara and skipped the whole thing all together. What would I have to brag about then? It’s probably best not to mess with the space-time continuum.

I cannot describe the pain and fear I experienced from about mile 21-26.2. (I’m pretty sure I can handle child birth now.) Every ounce of my body was screaming to stop except for my stupid brain, which got me into this whole mess to begin with, and would not be happy until it dragged my battered body across the finish line.

My saving grace was in the form of my awesome running buddy, Rebecca, who listened to my pathetic cursing of the marathon the entire last 5 miles of the race. We each had inspiration quotes to tell each other when it got tough. I know she probably couldn’t tell from my reaction, (I had perma-scowl for the last hour and a half of running) but they really did help.

One pivotal point for me in the race came at mile 23. Keep in mind I was mentally tracking every footstep between me and the finish line. I was certain I passed mile 22 forever ago when I heard a man over a loud speaker saying, “Way to go runners! Looking great! You’re nearly at mile 22!!” Panic immediately ensued. I turned to Rebecca in what must have been an expression of shear terror and said, “22?! I do not have 4.2 more miles in me!?!” She promptly alleviated my horror and said, “No!! This is mile 23!! We only have 3.2!!” I could wrap my brain around 3.2, and so, we went on.

0.2 miles from the finish line I’m sure we looked like an odd pair: Rebecca doing air punches to “Eye of the Tiger” playing over loud speakers; and me with my head down talking to myself about how much I hate running. Eventually we crossed the finish line together!

Rebecca and I have gone back and forth on who benefitted more from our partnership. I insist that I never would have finished that race if she would not have been there to encourage me; she says she never would have run the race if I had not encouraged her. There’s probably truth to both of those statements. I’m just so happy to have run my first marathon with her by my side. She truly is a wonderful friend.

The best moment of the entire race was with out a doubt when Jeremy and I spotted each other just beyond the finish line. Nylon blanket clad with finisher metals hung around our necks we hobbled to each others arms. He looked so proud of me. I never felt better! All of our hours of training, leaving parties early or not attending at all so we could get up and run in the morning, our laughs and tiffs on the trail, our injuries and our accomplishments were all worth it. We are marathoners.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Stupid Postal Pricing

Am I the only one who cannot figure out the pricing at the US postal office? Every option sounds like it is awesome! How do I choose when I can’t even tell the difference?

There’s Express. I like that one. I mean, I want my mail delivered fast, right? But wait, what is this Priority? My mail is important, and, in my humble opinion, top priority. Does Priority mail trump Express? If that’s not enough, then they throw First Class into the mix. What does that mean? Is there even a Second or Third Class option or do they just call it Coach? I’ve never ridden First Class in my life. The hell if some measly parcel is going to be hobnobbing it up in the luxurious crate with all the other hoity toity mail while I spend my travel time crammed between my husband with extraordinary long legs that extend into my small allotted space and a mother holding a screaming, defecating infant.

Why can’t it be labeled logically? It reminds me of the drinks at Starbucks; who calls a small a “tall”?! I digress. Let’s get back to ill labeling at hand. For all intents and purposes I would like to know how long it will take for my particular parcel to get to its destination and the cost. Why, then, can the USPS not label their delivery options accordingly. When I buy something online that is how it is listed. I have “1 day,” “2-5 day,” and “5-10 day” delivery option. Now I know price depends on weight, so why not let me know how much per ounce or pound?! That way I don’t have to make an ass of myself when I get to the front of the very long line of impatient mailers and ask if they will explain all of my options in layman’s terms.

I would like to note that the postal workers at the Lake Highlands branch are very patient and kind.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Yarn store! Yarn store! Today I go to the yarn store!! I wish every day was a yarn store day even though my bank account says otherwise. Jeremy says I need to change the blog from "The McDannels" to "Tamara's Obsession with Knitting." What does he know?! On to the important stuff...

I need to get needles to cast on my very first sweater. And I have picked out a beautiful scarf for the knitting that will need some beautiful yarn.

When I started teaching myself to knit I bought the cheap acrylic yarn. Now, with over a couple years experience on the needles I have discovered the wonderful world of real fiber. Sure it’s a few extra bucks but totally worth it. Plus, no one wants to wear scratchy acrylic yarn anyway.

If this sweater goes well, maybe I will knit one for Jeremy. Nothing says love like wrapping someone in warm hand knit wool!! I need to pick out some cool stuff to knit for the family. The knitting list just keeps growing. I think I might have to quite my job so I can have more time to knit.

How come all my family lives in south Texas? I’m really going to need you guys to move north so I can knit you something you will be able to wear. Do you guys even know what sweaters are?!

ps- only 9 miles this weekend; next is the big 26.2!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009


We ran 20 miles today. Man does it feel good to type that. At about mile 15 I was desperately trying to distract myself from the painful task at hand by day dreaming about how today's blog entry might go. It sounded something like this:

I HATE RUNNING. Running a marathon is the most idiotic idea I've ever had, and I've had some doozies. Why am I still running?! Each step is most certainly carrying me closer to my ever imminent impending doom. I will most certainly have a physical and emotion breakdown if I continue this insanity. When was this ever fun? If I stop now Jeremy can run to the car while I sit under this shaded tree, elevating my blistered, swollen feet and reassuring myself that 18 miles is far enough. I mean, do I really need to go the extra 8.2?! What do I have to prove? That's farther than most people have run in there life. I am an accomplished runner. So what if we payed $125 each to run this race...wait, I payed $125 to torture myself?! I have officially lost my freaking mind. Look at Jeremy, he doesn't even look tired. And if he tells me I am "doing a good job" one more time I swear I'm going to quit. That will show him to be supportive and encouraging.

What actually was coming out of my mouth was a vomitous spew of vile words that would have sent my grandmother into hours of prayer. If I hadn't been so consumed by own self pity I might have noticed parents covering their small children's ears while giving me ojo.

Why Jeremy did not run far ahead of me and act like he has no link to the sad, pathetic, barely running crazy lady who appears to only know curse words, is beyond me. This, folks, is one of the reasons I know I have great guy. He kept going with his blasted positive quips of encouragement.

Mile 17.5 I verbalized (while still running I would like to note) that I was "broken" and "walking once we got to the bridge." Broken, yes, I said I was broken! I'll admit I have a flair for dramatics when the mood strikes me, but "broken"?! - come on, Tamara. In retrospect I'm shocked that he didn't just bust out in laughter. Maybe he was scared his insanely tired, explicative spewing wife would turn her current hatred for running on him. (Good call on that, sweetheart) Instead he tells me the one thing that probably kept me running. "Your lucky I'm not Jillian Michaels. Do you really want to quit now? We are so close. What would Jillian Michaels do."

He WWJMDed me...and it worked!! Not that I stopped my bitching. But I did continue to run, albeit very slowly. I started to think about watching the footage of Jillian Michaels screaming at me while I sobbed about how "I..I...I...caaahhhhnnnn't" with a camera in my pathetic, tear and sweat streaming red face. I decided right then that me and my potty mouth would finish this run.

The potty mouth dropped out at about mile 18.5. I, however, didn't quit. I didn't quit for lots of reasons. Mainly because I have a wonderful husband who pushes me when I need to be pushed, and does it with love. We finished strong, and by strong I mean I was back at my regular pace.

After a shower, some coffee, and warm, snugly spot on the couch I can confidently announce that I LOVE RUNNING. I love running because it strengthens my relationship with my husband and my running buddies. I love running because it makes me proud of myself. I love running because I can do it. I LOVE RUNNING!

Friday, September 25, 2009

I'd rather be knitting.

Today has been the longest work day EVER! It was screening day at my school. It was orchestrated with the fine tuning of a 7th grade band class. I am so releaved it is over.

I just want to go home and knit. I am working on some Pen State colored baby hats for my sister-in-law's friend. They live in Canada so the hats are sure to be useful, eh? Just thinking about it makes me wish we lived somewhere where it snows. I could curl up with Patton all day and knit to my hearts content.

Did I mention I spent 2 hours of my life untangling a ball of yarn on Wednesday? It was totally worth it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I love knitting and Jeremy!!

Today is a great day!

First, I got some YUMMY yarn at a local yarn boutique, Shabby Sheep. The girls there were more than helpful and I walked out with some beautiful Alpaca/wool blend.

This delicious yarn will be used for my first ever sweater. I am excited and a little scared, but more excited than scared! :)

Here's a pic of my first sweater pick; so beautiful:

I finished the booties and hat my mom ordered for my cousin's, Alaina, new baby. Her name is Emma Sophia. I think they turned out really well.

Third, and finally, I have to show you what my wonderful husband brought home for us. I beautiful dresser built in 1957. That's one year younger than out house! It's gorgeous an I love him...and the dresser.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Dog Days of Summer 2009

I heart summer!! And I think Patton does too. We spent two and a half hours at the dog park yesterday morning where Patton proceeded to repeatedly dive into the mud pit. He was an alligator stealthily awaiting innocents to naively crouch at the edge of the hole for a drink, swiftly lurching for them as they got too close, then retreating back to the murk as they fled. I can only imagine what the other dog owners thought of this National Geographic scene. When all the other dogs left Patton to his own devises he spent his time diving head first into the pit then wallowing like a pig. We played some fetch and decided to call it a day when his full body mud mask appeared to be dry. Needless to say he was decontaminated when we got home.

Patton stalking his prey. Notice his inconspicuous technique with butt in the air:

Fetch! What a good boy!

Did you say "treatzie?" I am listening...

It was worth it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Knitting Projects

I have been knitting...alot! I love it! I finished the Christmas stocking. It came out okay but is not my favorite work to date. Other projects include:

Jer-Bear TX Scarf (please take note of the burnt orange strips):

Baby Bloem Berry Beanie (our neighbors across the street are having a little girl in July)

Stay tuned for matching booties :)

Monday, January 26, 2009

My New Years Resolution not to blog more. Sometimes I get so busy living life that I forget to write about it. I'll start at the beginning of this year.

Jeremy, Patton, and I had our first big party in the new house on New Year's Eve. We invited over 5 other couples and had a blast celebrating. Needless to say, I ended up getting in a push up contest with the boys before the night was over. Yes, I was in a dress and heels. No, I did not win.

Jeremy let his facial hair grow over the winter break partly to see how he looked but mostly because he didn't want to shave and he was granted permission to be lazy. This was on the condition that he shave it into different styles for my amusement before he shaved it all off.

I turned the big two-eight on the 9th! Jeremy and I had a nice dinner at Toulouse. Cynthia took me to a girls night at Cafe Madrid. And Jackie and John made an excellent dinner and ordered my favorite cake. It was a very birthday intensive weekend.

In other news, a coworker was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and will undergo a mastectomy this weekend. She will be in our thoughts and prayers. I made pink ribbons for my school to wear this week to show our support.

Oh, and Sarah-in-law and I ran a half marathon in Houston last weekend. I was so tired the night after the race I fell asleep 5 minutes into watching "Life of Brian." They were sweet and woke me up to put me in bed after the movie was over. Much like Jeremy does every night. I love hanging out with Michael and Sarah!

So that is our 2009 thus far. I'll report back in 2010 ;)