Norfolk Freedom Half Marathon

Posted on: Thursday, June 30, 2011

I recently received an email from one of Kyle's good friends from back in Pittsburgh. Alyssa wrote the following:
"I just wanted to shoot you an email and let you know I plan on running a half marathon on November 13, Veteran's Day.  I've decided I'm going to run in honor of Kyle.  What he's doing is so amazing to me, and I want him to really understand how much I appreciate his bravery.  I would really like to see if I can get a group of people together who would be interested in running in Kyle's honor as well.  I was wondering if you might be able to help me out with this."
Alyssa has already gotten a few friends involved, but she is not currently on facebook, so she asked me to help contact friends and family to see if anyone might be interested in participating! 

Here is the website for the Norfolk Freedom Half Marathon. There is also the Wounded Warrior 5k, if you don't feel up for the half marathon. 

Let me know by leaving a comment here or on facebook with your email address, or sending me an email at if you are interested in participating or receiving more information and I will pass your information along to Alyssa. Thanks everyone!
- From the desk of Mrs. Sarah McPherson

Monday Movie: Marley & Me

Posted on: Monday, June 27, 2011

I've run out of newly released movies to review; it was unusual for me to see so many movies in such a short time.

I haven't read the book, but Marley & Me (2008) has been playing on FX for a few nights and I've caught just about the whole thing. I was surprised that I quite enjoyed it. Maybe the surprise was that somehow Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson made what seem odd roles for them work. It was a touching story. It felt like a very complete look at thirteen or so years of a family's life even though of course it was made up of scenes sometimes years apart. I kept wondering how many times they had to shoot one scene and how many dogs they used for the whole thing. IMDB tells me 22 dogs. Another fun fact: In looking up the author of the book, John Grogan, I found that he is apparently a fan of Bill Bryson, probably my favorite all-around author. Nice. Anyway, it is one of those movies that will make you feel warm and happy inside, and really want a dog (but the kittens will suffice for now!).

- From the desk of Mrs. Sarah McPherson

One Month Down...

Posted on: Sunday, June 26, 2011

...Eleven months to go! So far it hasn't been too different from our normal long distance relationship, except saying "goodnight" at 3pm and "good morning!" around 11pm. Kyle's internet so far has been pretty regular so we get to talk every day. There has certainly been longer than a month between getting to see him in the past, so it's not too weird yet. Ask me again after three months, though.

- From the desk of Mrs. Sarah McPherson

Stoudt's Scarlet Lady Ale

Posted on: Saturday, June 25, 2011

Friends I was with at Zeno's with were excited to see Stoudt's Scarlet Lady Ale on tap, so we ordered a couple pitchers. The room was dimly lit but it was easy to tell the dark red, copper color. Everything about this Extra Special Bitter was easy. It poured nicely and was easy to drink, hardly bitter at all (as some further research tells me is not unusual). I don't have much of a taste to really appreciate beer or identify smells and flavors (I've described several beers as tasting like soy sauce), though I suppose I liked it. I enjoyed it about as much as my undiscerning palate could enjoy a beer.

Kyle and I traded posting duties today! Oh married life...Check out his blog for a Saturday kitten post.  :-)

- From the desk of Mrs. Sarah McPherson

Whatever's on Your Mind

Posted on: Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The latest Gomez album came out yesterday! You should listen to it. So far (I've listened to the cd once through) I am particularly fond of the title track Whatever's on Your Mind , which you can see 3/5 of Gomez perform here. Ben sings lead on this one; he, Ian and Tom all have very different voices and share lead vocal duties on this album as usual.

- From the desk of Mrs. Sarah McPherson

Kitten Update

Posted on: Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Darwin and Huxley are almost four months old (on the 28th). They have definitely more than doubled the size they were when I first got them, but they've still got a couple more months of growing (Hux is still the bigger of the two). They are due next week for what should be their last set of shots and vet attention until they are five or six months for spaying/neutering.

They are quite friendly, cuddly kittens. I think the thing to understand about cats is that they work on their own schedule; they will cuddle when they want to cuddle, and they will play when they want to play. Try to cuddle when they want to play, and you'll just be trying to hold a squirming cat that seems to have no interest in you. Get involved in their play fighting and you'll be getting involved with their claws and teeth (just a little; otherwise Darwin and Huxley don't scratch or bite on purpose). They will come to you when they want to be held, or just when they want to sit on you in the middle of the night. Darwin and Hux are used to having me around a lot and they like to be close to me. They know my angry voice when they are doing something wrong and usually respond quickly. They seem to have some understanding of "Come" and "dinner time." I think Huxley responds more to his name than Darwin.

Darwin has received the nickname "Feisty" by both my parents and the repairman who came to check the plumbing yesterday. He was only in the apartment for a brief time, but he had Darwin cornered a bit in the bathroom and she gave out a hiss (unusual). She is also little, so it surprises people. In a normal setting though, she is not any more aggressive than Huxley, or any less cuddly. She has a certain feisty spark when it comes to new situations and exploring. Sometimes she'll wake up from napping to find herself alone in a room and she'll meow and run to find me, like a kid waking up from a nightmare. She was the only one to hiss back at KitCat, while Huxley just sort of became still and stared at her. Huxley is my big boy. He's not even that big, just a bit heftier than Darwin. He received the nickname "Motorboat" from my parents because he purrs loudly and frequently. I also call him Drooly because he drools just a little bit when he is falling asleep. He is curious and an explorer too, but a just a little more cautious and calm than Darwin. I think he follows me around more than Darwin, and he likes watching out the window.
When they're playing they are equally spazzy.

Darwin                                           Huxley

- From the desk of Mrs. Sarah McPherson

Oh good, I did graduate!

Posted on: Monday, June 20, 2011

Since I did not attend graduation I really did not hear anything from the school confirming or denying that I did in fact graduate, so it's good to know for sure. Also my middle name is Frances, in case you were wondering. 

- From the desk of Mrs. Sarah McPherson

Monday Movie: Thor

I don't have too much to say about Thor; it's been a while since I watched it. It was an alright movie- enjoyable enough and made me want to learn more about Norse mythology. I enjoyed the comedic aspects of the film- powerful god comes down to Earth still acting like a powerful god and the locals think he's crazy. I think it was well cast, though Anthony Hopkins as Odin was a little weird for some reason, and Natalie Portman was just a little bit irritating as always.

- From the desk of Mrs. Sarah McPherson


Posted on: Saturday, June 18, 2011

 I actually really dislike the term "Caturday."

 - From the desk of Mrs. Sarah McPherson

Coming This Saturday

Posted on: Wednesday, June 15, 2011

So I wanted to start another weekly blog post (in addition to Monday Movies) but wasn't sure what it should be. Kyle quickly suggested the obvious: Caturday, where I post a picture of the kittens on Saturdays. That should be easy enough to do. Sorry if you don't like cats.

I'm still thinking of other things I could do on a weekly basis. Maybe post an interesting article. Perhaps writing random poems. I don't want to get too boring! If I was planning this wedding reception set for about a year from now I could update on that but I seem to have no motivation to work on it. Mostly because I have no idea what I want anymore. I'm not sure what to do next or where to start; I haven't got much direction. Ho hum.

Oh, sorry for changing the blog design constantly. I never like anything enough to keep it for more than a couple days. I'll try to let it go.

- From the desk of Mrs. Sarah McPherson

What is up

Posted on: Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Magic School Bus

I thought this was funny. Thanks xkcd. And Wikipedia.

Anywho, things are OK; a little lonely. Working out, applying to jobs, getting things up on the walls of the apartment. The kittens are doing well and they are pretty spazzy. I think they sensed I was a little annoyed with them today because they both fell asleep in my arms, which is just about the cutest thing they can do. Darwin usually wakes me up every morning around 5 am; sometimes I get back to sleep after kicking them out of the room, sometimes not.

I've realized I have some sort of deployment guilt. I feel quite bad for being comfortable here while Kyle is in Iraq. It's easy for me to feel sad and worried for him, and like I should be doing something more than sending him pipe cleaners and PT shirts. Oh well, I guess it's something that comes with the situation.

- From the desk of Mrs. Sarah McPherson

Monday Movie: Super 8

Posted on: Monday, June 13, 2011

I wasn't sure that I especially wanted to see Super 8, but my curiosity got the best of me. I really wanted to know what the mystery creature/thing was and what was going on (don't worry, I wont say). The trailers definitely had an E.T. feel to them- the sparkling mystery music, the panning zoom-in-and-out shots, and the adventurous children taking the central focus (pretty easy to tell Spielberg is somewhere behind the film).

I was very pleasantly surprised. This movie made me really happy. I was just smiling throughout, thoroughly enjoying it. I liked the story, the filming, the acting; everything came together nicely. All the characters were great; the kids were impressive actors, hilarious and adorable. The story kept your interest from beginning to end and you never could quite tell what was going to happen next. There was humor, adventure, family drama, mystery, disaster, sadness, a little romance, and a lot of late 70s lingo. It carried a serious side story throughout (in addition to the main event) while never getting too serious, thanks to the kids comedic interactions and reactions to unfolding events. That's not to say you won't tear up at one point or another. It may occasionally get a little cheesy at times, and it may be a throwback to Spielberg movies of the past, however I found it to be fresh and fun.

A big event happens to a little town, but the event got much bigger and more out of control than I predicted. The logic and back story of the event are only partially there, but this is the kind of movie where you're supposed to take that as it is and focus on everything else going on. Maybe I got sucked in by the childlike wonder of it all, the twists, turns and effects, but I think it was a really great movie. When you see it, make sure you stay for the credits (they don't even make you wait until after the credits on this one, so you have no excuse not to).

- From the desk of Mrs. Sarah McPherson

New Apartment Photos

Posted on: Saturday, June 11, 2011


Kitchen. Kittens eating dinner. 

Represent. Pens & Steelers!

Dining room- where boxes and half unpacked things go.

Living room


Dining room again.

Bare walls. 

Hallway to bathroom and bedroom.

Nice bathroom.

Pocket door! They love these on HGTV.

Pretty empty. Nice windows for kittens to sleep by.

Lots of closet space. Have yet to put clothes away... Maybe I'll go do that now.

- From the desk of Mrs. Sarah McPherson

"Do you think you could marry me someday?"

Posted on: Friday, June 10, 2011

That is how Kyle proposed. I realized I've never really shared the story with the general population. It's not a long, winding story, but a short and sweet one.

Kyle and I had been talking about getting married for a while, and before he left for the Army he had told me that if I still liked him when he was done training at the end of the year, he would give me a ring. So come last December I was kind of expecting it, but even so, I didn't believe it would actually happen until I heard the words come out of his mouth. I figured this is it! when he told me he was taking me to dinner at a mystery location he did not reveal to me, only telling me formal attire would be expected. We had a nice dinner at the Carnegie House, but no proposal. We then went back to his house and watched the rest of the Penguins game. No proposal. Then back to my house where we just hung out watching mindless TV until one in the morning. We were watching one of those TLC cake shows; I knew Kyle was nervous and putting off something- he is not one to sit through such television programming. I was getting frustrated because he was letting us watch cake shows late into the night when neither of us wanted to; he was getting frustrated as well with himself for being so nervous (which was pretty cute looking back). But out of the frustration and nerves, finally around 1:30 in the morning he said "Can I ask you a question?" And so it happened.

- From the desk of Mrs. Sarah McPherson

Wednesday Movie: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Posted on: Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Ok. So. It is Wednesday, not Monday. Oops. Kyle said that my readers, all five of you, would be disappointed since I forgot my movie review this Monday. Better late than never!

Kyle and I saw the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie back in Killeen a few weeks ago; we had some time to kill and there is not much to do around there. When it comes to the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise I am not a fan. I liked the first one, but the second and third were not enjoyable. There was too much going on, too many characters constantly switching sides, too much Kiera Knightly and Orlando Bloom. Right off the bat the fourth film is improved upon films 2 and 3 in regards to the latter issue. On Stranger Tides kept it a bit simpler. There were still a number of different parties partaking in the same treasure hunt (the Fountain of Youth, famously associated with Ponce de Leรณn), and the lines defining which side various characters were on were still a bit blurry and jumping around, but it was better; less excessively complicated. Captain Jack Sparrow pulls some wacky hijinks as usual, but we've all gotten used to his character and therefore his trickster, rum-loving, always-finds-a-way-out-of-trouble self does not seem as fun or original as he once did. I generally liked the addition of the new characters- they all, even the doe-eyed mermaid, had more depth than Will and Elizabeth (I really don't like them).  The movie wasn't great, but it was an improvement on the last two. They should probably stop making them now.

PS- I am bored of the blog design so I'll be working on changing it. In the meantime, enjoy these rainy mountains.

- From the desk of Mrs. Sarah McPherson

The Move Part Two

Posted on: Saturday, June 4, 2011

Yesterday I was able to pick up my keys and get in to my new apartment anytime after 8am. I didn't sleep well the night before so I was up early anyway and figured I'd start moving things over and check out the place. I've been pleasantly surprised so far! It's nice and quiet around here. My neighbors are older folks, not college girls (which is good because college girls are the worst kind of neighbors to have). I met my next door neighbor in the parking lot. I was wearing a Pitt shirt and she commented on it, saying that she went to Pitt back in the day. We chatted for a little and I found out her husband is a Vietnam veteran who was stationed at Fort Hood. What are the chances? So she was very nice, and everyone I've come upon in and around the building has seemed quite friendly. It's sure not Oakland. I made several trips back and forth loading up the car at my parents house and unloading here; luckily it's only a quick drive away. My parents and Kyle's parents helped to move the furniture over later in the day as Kyle's dad has a big truck useful for hauling things. We all (plus Sean) had dinner down the street at the American Ale House & Grill afterwards.

My apartment itself has a lot of space and is very clean. I've been gradually getting things unpacked today since I didn't really have everything moved in and get a chance to just be here until later last night. Perfect for a rainy day! The kittens seem to like it here. One is currently sleeping in a partially unpacked box, the other on my desk chair. They've got their third vet appointment on Monday evening.

It's a bit sad doing another move without Kyle when I once thought (two moves ago) I'd be moving in with him, but oh well. The next move will/should be with him in about a year, so there's hope for us being together in the future! I'm looking forward to being here in State College and getting to know and hang out with old friends again. And I hope my Pittsburgh friends visit too!

I'll get some pictures of the place when the natural light is better and there's less disarray.

- From the desk of Mrs. Sarah McPherson
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