Wednesday, December 31, 2008

We'll Take A Cup of Kindness yet, for Auld Lang Syne

Last day of 2008...here's to 2009!

A wrap up of the past 12 months:

January- Got passports for our honeymoon
February- First ever band show, went to Vegas with not-yet hubby and saw the Cirque du Soleil show LOVE (that was SO FUN)
March- Went a little nuts preparing for the annual Volunteer Recognition Dinner, also won first place for the 2nd year in a row at the Meridian High School trivia night (our team kicks ass) .
April- Danny and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary (that was a good night...sorry, mind went off track for a moment there), had another band show, Volunteer Rec. Dinner.
May- my Bridal shower and Bachelorette Party, TONS of wedding prep! Got our NEW PUPPY, Miss Harrison.
June- not much, just our WEDDING (06-07-08) and honeymoon in Mexico!
July- my 25th birthday, started practicing for brother-in-law's labor day band.
August- yet another band show, lots of practices, went to Macon Speedway (that just seems noteworthy to me), labor day party!
September- Dad turned 60, Danny turned 26 on the 26th, I received my food handler safety license.
October- Danny in a wedding, 40lb pumpkin, Halloween in Bloomington with Austin.
November- Bears game! Thanksgiving celebrations in Decatur and Bloomington.
December- Volunteer Holiday Party (while sick with fever - that's very memorable to me), Danny was not laid off this year and that was fantastic for our bank account. 2 great Christmas celebrations!

It was a great year for me! Married to the love of my life, new baby (the dog), got to be a bit of a rock star, tons of great weekends and time spent with family!

Here's to an even more eventful 2009!

erin

Monday, December 29, 2008

And a Happy New Year!

Great Christmas!

I went out on the morning of the 24th with Mom to get very last minute things. It proved difficult to back out of my driveway due to thick ice and a power truck in the way (as we were currently experiencing power loss) and Harrison in the car with me barking at said power truck, but we prevailed! Danny got off work early and we got ready that afternoon to go to his parents' house for the annual Christmas Eve celebration/poker game with extended family. It was a very good time!

The next morning we had our own little gift exchange with each other and Harrison (Nick was spending Christmas with Danny's parents, so we had a peaceful night and morning - they don't share toys too well!). I got a lovely set of Chicago Bears' pajamas, really nice-smelling perfume, the complete Wonder Years series on dvd (which I am totally excited to own), Chicago Bears' socks, and a coupon book of lovely little honey-do's which I have yet to use! I got him a light up Chicago Bears' sign (apparently we're fans), a fleece vest, and a make-your-own beer kit. Mom and Dad stopped by to pick up Harrison to take her for a Christmas morning run. Then it was back to Danny's parents' house for breakfast and more gifts. We had quite a spread: cinnamon rolls, hash brown/egg casserole, sausage bread, all kinds of good stuff! Our big gift was a new dvd camcorder so we'll have fun playing with that! I got a great necklace and parafin wax spa thing and my sister-in-law got me a cute little Coach wallet/purse. It was a pretty good haul there. Danny got more Bears' stuff including another light up sign, so we're set there!

We played a little Rock Band before we left. Danny's brother got this for his Wii and it was fun! I am a kick ass drummer too!

From there we drove up to Bloomington for Christmas with my side of the family. This was the first year we didn't do it at Mom and Dad's. I got 2 more awesome purses from Mom (I asked for multiple purses) and after she heard that Susannah got me a little purse, she said I could either send one back or have $50 for new shoes...um? No brainer there! Shoes! Danny got a gift card for drum stuff and, you guessed it, more Bears' stuff including a grill set and pj pants! Austin had a great time with his toys and was so entertained by each one that he didn't even finish opening them that day! We had Dad's lasagna and really good peppermint cheesecake my sister made and Mom and Dad headed home to take care of Harrison for the night. Danny and I stayed that night and left early the next morning so he could prepare for his poker/keg party in our newly insulated/heated garage. It's his man-space, but I park my car in there, so it's fair.

I was absolutly exhausted on Saturday, however we still managed to go to dinner with Ross and Susannah and saw Marley and Me. Good movie, but very sad and too reminiscent of my yellow lab and her ending for me! Went out for 1 whole drink after that (our power was out again!) and finally came home and collapsed into bed! Sunday I planned on cleaning my butt off, but my butt was still missing from the last few days, so I put Christmas stuff away, did dishes and swept the kitchen floor and laid on the couch with Harrison.

Now it's back to the daily grind for a few days before the New Year! Danny's working 5 twelves this week, 7pm to 7am, so he's out for New Year's Eve. My sister and Austin are coming down and we're going to try to actually go out and not just say we are and really end up singing karaoke in my living room until falling asleep at 11 pm.

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

You Can Have Whatever You Like

This is my new favorite song of the moment.

Do you recall my long ago blog about No Air and how it was my favorite song of the moment? Well, I have a new one and it's even better! TI's Whatever You Like...man oh man do I sing along to that one! I even serenaded Danny in the car the other night and he loved it (actually he kept looking at me like I was on crack and saying "oh my god")! But anyway, it's a good "dance in your car" song that I happen to really enjoy these days. Eventually it will be way overplayed and I will move on to the next random song to drive my husband crazy with.

Last night we had people over to watch the Bears' game. Another nail biting OT win, but a win nonetheless. It was a good time and I ran through the house picking up clutter and actually, it looks pretty decent, sort of. I still have lots of laundry to fold/wash, but the surfaces are cleared off, which is a big thing. Also, I put our Christmas presents under the tree last night. This is a big deal. They have previously been sitting atop the dining room table, out of the path of dogs that chew up EVERYTHING (ahem, Harrison, ahem). However, this was such a cluttered look and dang it, I wanted my gifts under the tree at some point before Christmas! What's the point of a tree if not to put gifts underneath and enjoy? I was going to wait until tomorrow when I'd be home to monitor all day, but I went for it last night. I still kept my eye on the pile and the dog, but she wasn't the least bit interested in them! I realize that today, that could all be different and anytime the gifts are not directly in my line of sight she could have one eaten in no time, but I'm risking it! She's got 2 days to go. She was fully distracted last night as we had people over for the game, and she was showing off her "balance the biscuit on my nose" trick that she does oh so well...such a smarty girl! Even if she does eat many inappropriate things, she's got the smarts!

I probably won't blog again until after Christmas, and pictures will come soon! Everyone have a very Happy Holiday!

erin

Monday, December 22, 2008

She's Got the Look

I don't know about you, but I was getting a bit tired of the dots...so here's something fresh for everyone to enjoy!

So, I took ZERO pictures this weekend. I know I threw it out there that I might take a few pictures and post them before the holidays, well...not so much! To my credit, there wasn't much to take pictures of. Nephew got sick this weekend so the family didn't come down from Bloomington. We did go Wii it up Saturday night (not Friday) and that was lots of fun with friends, but alas, no pictures. So, and I think more appropriately, I will take pictures over the holiday and then post all of our holiday fun-ness for all to enjoy!

I only have to work today (which has a mere 30 minutes left to it) and tomorrow! I took Christmas Eve and day after off and I am so looking forward to the break. However, it looks like the weather is going to be iffy, but at least I'll be cozy in my 65 degree "can feel the cool breeze pass over my skin unless I am covered by the wool blanket from my toes to my chin" home. Really wish they would have known about wall insulation in 1925 when the house was built. My body temp and power bill would be way more appreciative that way. Of course, -20 degree wind chills don't really provide much in the way of keeping warm ANYWHERE ON EARTH!

In other news, we didn't get the lid tightly closed on one of our trash cans through all the rain/freezing and we literally have a trash can full of ice...solid ice...filled to the brim...solid. Fabulous.

Well, folks, 2 days until Christmas. Have a good one!

erin

Friday, December 19, 2008

Walkin' In A Winter Wonderland

Or trying not to fall is more like it!

So it's been a bit icy around here this past week. Thankfully, I have managed to stay on my feet, but some of my friends and co-workers haven't been so lucky! At first, it was too cold for the salt to melt anything, so the ice remained untouched. Now, the salt is melting, but because there is a nice layer of ice built up, the water is just sitting on top of the slickness, making it even more slick! Love it! I have resolved to walking like a little old lady, taking very small steps, to ensure I do not fall. I don't care how long it takes me to get to the car, I am going to remain standing!

So, apparently, we are supposed to get snow on Christmas Eve. Don't the weather people say that every year? I think it's a requirement of that day to just say to all of us wishing for a white Christmas that yes, there is a chance of snow! We'll find out in a mere 6 days. 6 days! Not counting the rest of this workday, I only have 2 more before Christmas. I am taking Christmas Eve off and the day after off. Last year I worked both of those days and it was a little depressing. This year I have actual vacation time, so I get to have a little holiday break, just like the good old days in school (not quite that long).

In other news, it should be a nice weekend. Hubby and I are going to hang out with friends tonight and play a little Wii. I heart Wii. It's very fun! Saturday I am going to have lunch with Ashley and Kayla. I haven't seen them really since BEFORE Thanksgiving and that is unacceptable...so much catch up is planned for that day, not that I have too much news to share. Sunday we will have dinner at my parents house. My sister and brother-in-law and nephew are coming to drop Austin off for a few days with my parents. We are going to bring our baby, Harrison, for a little play date!

That should do it for me! I'll try to take some pictures this weekend and put up a photo post before the holidays...we'll call that a goal for next week!

Have a great weekend!
erin

Monday, December 15, 2008

I wanna talk about me (part 2)

I just realized I've been tagged to complete this list...so here I go!

Four jobs I’ve had:
1. Field worker - Ah yes, those few jobs a kid can get when he/she is 12/13 in the summer time! I walked beans and rouged corn with the best of 'em!
2. Dish washer - Again, a summer job when I was 16 at the local tea room in Elwin. This wasn't pleasant work.
3. Hotel maid - this was even more unpleasant! I did this job with my good friend Ashley, who's Aunt got us the job. Man, at 18, we were the smartest, most "had-it-together" ladies working there!
4. Naturalist - this has been be favorite job of all, seriously! Basically it was teaching without the paperwork and parents. I would still be doing this now, but it didn't pay enough to exist outside my parents home, so I moved up to full time with benefits. I'll find a way back to it someday!


Four movies I can watch over and over:
1. The American President
2. Selena
3. Clue
4. Mr. Holland's Opus

Four places I have lived:
1. Elwin, IL - hometown proud! I even was a tri-author of the only town newspaper to date!
2. Decatur, IL - current town...it get's a bad rap, but I find it a nice place to live.
3. Charleston, IL - good old EIU. This town makes Decatur look like a hub of entertainment!
4. I've only got the 3.

Four TV shows I love: I really don't watch many of the new shows! But I have a lot of old favs.
1. House
2. Gilmore Girls
3. West Wing
4. How I Met Your Mother (if I remember to watch it!)

Four places I’ve vacationed:
1. Riviera Maya, Mexico - Honeymoon...a good time, though I was happy to get back home.
2. Canada - don't remember what part. I went with my friend Devin and her family for 3 weeks one summer.
3. La Jolla, CA - This is a beautiful place!
4. Boston, MA - This was a family vacation, and I was young, but remember it pretty well.

Four of my favorite dishes:
1. Pizza
2. Two Cheese Spaghetti (made by my dad)
3. stuffed pork chops (this is one I came across)
4. Strawberry pancakes (also made by Dad)

Four sites I visit daily:
1. Facebook
2. my blog page
3. Comcast.net
4. google

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. Home (with the husband)
2. With the husband (wherever)
3. somewhere warm (if you read the last blog, you'll understand why)
4. anywhere but work

There you go!

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Brr!

A balmy 10 degrees outside today, windchill is -3. Apparently, it's winter!

10 days until Christmas, that's pretty much the big news, what can I say? I had a great time in Bloomington this weekend, did a bit more Christmas shopping (I thought I was done, but now I think I really am done. 1 more package to wrap when it comes in the mail and that's it - Danny is another story), took Harrison for a run at the country club with Mom. That was fun and she is such a good dog...she just runs right along with you, wanders a bit, barks at every bush we pass, but never runs away. And then she is tired and naps at home! We love naps at our house! I even napped yesterday...usually I just lay around but never really sleep. Yesterday I slept for a good 40 minutes.

Now I'm back at work, yet again! I will say this though, I got up at 6am and exercised just like I said I was going to! I hope to keep this up each weekday morning until I feel better about my ass and pant size. I can't put a time frame on myself like, I'll do this for 6 weeks or 3 months or whatever and I can't put it in poundage like, I will weigh XX amount by January 23rd. I can't do this because I never live up to it. So I will just generalize it and be honest about the fact that all of a sudden my butt is not looking so hot, and that must be dealt with. Plus, it's way warmer than walking in the morning which I wasn't doing anyway.

10 days until Christmas!

erin

Friday, December 12, 2008

Over the River and Through the Woods

To Bloomington I go!

Going to visit the sister and the nephew and the brother-in-law tonight! We've got big plans on deck...shopping (at Walgreens no less), zumba (she needs a practice student as she is now an instructor and face it, I need the exercise) and a little throw back to our youth...Christmas Eve on Seasame Street (I don't even know if we'll watch it with Austin, we might just watch it as the adults we are). If you don't remember this holiday delight or have never had the pleasure of watching it...oh my, you've missed a gem in your childhood. Seek it out and watch it! It's from the 80s, so you know it's classic entertainment.

Don't be jealous of our fabulous nightlife!


Have a good weekend...

erin

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time

It was a good party!

The game worked out fine, we just played by table, casually. A few of us went for drinks after the dinner and Danny met up with us then after his class, so that was nice. Then I went home and went to bed. Pretty low key evening, but enjoyable.

And so the holiday celebrations continue...

That's it today folks, I don't have much else I want to discuss here today.

erin

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Feliz Navidad!

2 weeks from tomorrow, it will be Christmas!

I feel like the just blogged about it not yet being December and now, December is halfway over! Where in the world does the time go? Really, in the big picture, time goes so fast even when you have those days/weeks that drag on. It seems like some things will never get here or come to be, but eventually they do and looking back, it doesn't even take that long. I remember the countdown to Christmas back in the grade school days. That really did seem like the longest amount of time ever, but here we are, the same amount of time and it just flies by!

Tonight is our work Christmas party at a local restaurant here in town. All you can eat pasta buffet (planned by yours truly). I opted to skip out on the Christmas luncheon as it was also pasta and dessert and really, my willpower to not eat pasta 2 times a day is weak, so you gotta do what you gotta do! Hopefully tonight will be fun. We are supposed to play trivial pursuit, but since 33 people are going, we're just supposed to read the cards to teams, but I'm not sure this will work out to be as fun as first thought (not my plan, either). Other games were suggested, Taboo, MadGab, some that might be easier to play in a larger group, without needing a game board, but these were poo pooed (poo'd? either way I feel like I've just written about bathroom activities) so I guess we'll see! I, myself, love trivia games, even just reading the cards, but again, with so many people, I don't know if it'll work. I'll report back.

2 weeks to go! Hope you've got a handle on your Christmas shopping!

erin

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do?

Oh Illinois politics...what is wrong with you?

Well, good old Gov. Blago (who can really spell that?) is off to the politically corrupt races! And his odds for imprisonment look good! Seriously, how many ways can you be corrupt and not seem to care? Good luck with your efforts to stay out of jail.

In other news, this has just been a gray, boring, downer day! My biggest accomplishment has been re-doing a bulletin board here at work. And while it's very festive and glittery, it's not providing me a big whoop in my day.

Tomorrow I have 2, count them 2, Christmas parties. One is for a group I belong to that meets monthly (through work) and the other is for work, a dinner party. So what this means is, I can really only "eat" at one of them. They are both pasta meals with all the sides and desserts and what have you. So I plan on salading it up at the lunch party and then actually eating at the dinner party. We never get to leave the building usually for our work celebration, usually we have to cater it in during the lunch hour, which means a day of set up/clean up for me and a few other staff members (yay, Merry Christmas!) so this year I suggested a dinner. Well low and behold it was approved, but at the last minute, it was decided guests of staff members would have to pay for their dinners at $15.80 a pop. So it was almost full generosity, almost. God forbid we have one dinner paid for that allows us to bring a spouse or friend or whatever.

Seriously, I was just dandy this morning and then I went to lunch and something happened to me that put me in a bit of a foul mood. Not sure what it was, but it's hanging on! And we have band practice tonight and I still sound funky, so that should be worthless.

I'll try to find a little positivity before my next blog...sorry!

erin

Monday, December 8, 2008

Back in the Saddle Again

I'm back at work after taking Friday off due to the plaque.

Today I feel better, but I sound horrible! My voice just keeps fading away as the day goes on. My nose is still stuffed up, but at least I can breathe and now my teeth are sore because of all the congestion in my sinus areas, but other than that, I seem to be okay. I was not so good on Friday and felt better Saturday and pushed myself a little too hard on Sunday trying to finish Christmas shopping, so I foresee a few more days of this yuck and then I should be as good as new.

I really have no more work focus for the rest of this month. Holiday party is finished and I don't have much to do until the new year, so I will try to make myself look busy and stay off the radar until January rolls around and I can start sweating the Volunteer Recognition Dinner in April.

I really did nothing this weekend except shopping on Sunday, as I mentioned, with Mom. With the exception of a few online purchases that have yet to get here via mail, I think I am done with my shopping and I'm not even too concerned with my total costs. I think I did a pretty good job! Seriously though, I kept with the gift theme Mom laid out this year of "useful/practical" gift giving. No knick-knacks or dust collectors and once you find the gift, you don't have to supplement it with lots of little extras just so it seems "enough." One is enough. Plus, I didn't have many more ideas after just the one! We all have so much stuff these days!

Anyway...happy Monday!
erin

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Let me clear my throat...

I am sick!

In my last blog I hinted at the fact that I was feeling a bit under the weather. Yep, still got that. I actually went home from work at 11am yesterday and just slept my little heart out all afternoon. It all started with that stupid "heartburn" which then turned into "throat soreness" which hung around waiting for "nose congestion" both of whom have invited their friends "dizziness" and "tiredness" all of which are being closely monitored by "general feeling of gross".

But here I am at work running around like a crazy person setting up for the holiday party. It's pretty much ready to go now (now being 3:30pm, I started at 10am) so I guess I could go home early again, which I might do. I'm the kind of sick that won't necessarily get you out of school unless you have pushover parents, but will make the day pretty much miserable. Yesterday was an "out of school" day as I couldn't even speak, but today, I'm on the fence. I've been raised to not skip out on stuff. I don't even think I skipped more than 3 classes in 4 years of college and I had perfect attendance my senior year of high school (oh yeah, I'm that cool). So I always feel slightly guilty for not showing up when in reality I probably could be there but feel so much better laying in bed at home.

And I absolutely HAVE to be here tomorrow or all that is good and holy will fall apart. Who will make the announcements at the holiday party? Who will pay the caterer? Who will be blamed when things go wrong? Who will the volunteers complain to about the temperature of their green beans? It's gotta be me. That's my job!

I'm really looking forward to Friday...Friday, here I come!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Oh the weather outside is frightful...

I had 3 nice Thanksgivings this year.

Thursday we celebrated with Danny's parents and his mom's side of the family. Saturday we went up to Bloomington and celebrated with my family at my sister's house. Sunday we went to Danny's grandparents house with his Dad's side of the family. I'll tell ya, that third round wasn't my favorite...too many probing questions into my personal life and too many inappropriate comments made towards me for that to be at all enjoyable. It's an interesting group of folks to say the VERY least.

Friday we took the day off from eating and did absolutely nothing. I did manage to get to the grocery store and that is definately the time to go! 8am, day after Thanksgiving. I didn't venture out anywhere else. My sister and I did the Black Friday shopping for a few years and really, it's fun. You have to be ready for crowds and lines and crazy parking lots and if you are, then you can get into the atmosphere of it. But not this year. I did a lot of online shopping for Christmas this year.

But Danny and I spent the entire day watching episodes of House together on the couch. We have really gotten into that show and it was very nice, especially when the dogs decided to nap at the same time for like 45 minutes! I gave Harrison a bath that day too and that was a process. 80 lb, wiggly dog in our bathtub. I remembered that I left the dog shampoo downstairs right after I got her into the tub and wet, so she was washed with Pert Plus and smelled very nice!

Last night I had a wicked case of heartburn (I'm guessing from the 3 Thanksgiving celebrations mentioned above - even though I felt like I didn't even eat all that much or many crazy things) and couldn't sleep for hours, had to chug the pepto and sit straight up in bed, it was a little concerning to me when I couldn't even really swallow food. Today my throat is sore and I feel overall gross, so I'm hoping I don't have a sickness. I have my giant volunteer luncheon on Thursday so I don't have time to be out for the count.

Anyway, here we are in December and there is snow on the ground too!

erin

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I Want to Thank You, Thank You

So here I am at work with NOTHING to do and 4.5 hours to go until a 4 day weekend...

But I'm thankful for it.

I know, I know, I complain often about my job here and yes someday I will fulfill my actual dream of stay-at-home-momhood (I'm talking to you here ovaries!), but I appreciate the opportunity to have a good job. A job that pays me enough money and affords me the ability to see a doctor (like I did today!) when I need to, and pay $4 for contact lenses. It provides me a social network that I find fulfilling and allows me to give something back in life. So thanks, job.

I'm also thankful for these things:

-MY HUSBAND! True love amazes me. And I'm talking true love and not, oh I thought I was in love, there really is a palpable difference.
-My family. I'm glad I've never gone through a period in life where I did not appreciate and enjoy my family.
-My in-laws. I lucked out there!
-My puppies. No explanation needed.
-My health and the health of those who are in my life. I appreciate all of you who have overcome some serious issues to be still with us and living well. You know who you are!
-For the fact that there are lots of other things I could include on this list, but won't.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Here, There, and Everywhere

Is where I've been today!

I had to run errands for the boss this morning, among doing many other things for my actual job. Contrary to popular belief (of one person) I am not an assistant, nor do I want to be. I spent 2.5 hours driving around this morning. The upside, I was out of the office, the downside, I was driving around Decatur for 2.5 hours. One more day of work this week, that's all. This has been the longest 3-day week of all! And tonight I have to go get groceries which just makes the day that much longer and now that I realize what week this is (2 days before Thanksgiving!) I'm regretting not getting food earlier, but I honestly haven't had the time. Well, to be honest, yes I have, I could have gone on Sunday...darn it why didn't I go on Sunday?!

Sorry, now I'm just rambling about days of the week. I'm pretty much just blogging today so my "anonymous" reader won't leave a message saying "why haven't you blogged today?"

Tomorrow I have to come to work, set up food for a newsletter folding, go to the doctor, come back to work, put some gift baskets together and then go home!

erin

Monday, November 24, 2008

Another Saturday Night...

We had another show (we = the band).

It was REALLY good! We had a good sound system (for once) and good mics and a good crowd and it was fun. Did we get paid? No. Free drinks is all, but I don't normally drink during a show so my voice remains "buzz free" and I can be sure my sound is what I want it to be. So...for me it was free water! Score! But it was still fun.

Let's back up to Friday night...

Went to see Twilight with Susannah, Millie, and another friend of Millie's. Now, when I was invited to go, I hadn't yet read the books...so I had to go out (or send my Mom out in reality) to quickly get it and read it in less than a week. I almost finished before the movie, but I had the general plot down and saw some spoilers online so I was good. I am a stickler about reading books before seeing movies (and when I say stickler, I mean I read the Harry Potter books first and ever since then, I will try to read the books first). The movie was decent. It skimmed over A LOT of stuff from the book, but that happens when you have 2 hours to tell the story and it got some things out of sequence and I'm not really sure why that was and I think it threw in some things from other books that were not in the first one because I didn't recognize some of the story lines, but all in all, it was good. And Rob Pattinson who plays the main character? Whew! I felt like I was 13 years old leaving the theater...he was so dreamy! I now have a small crush on him (and he was in the Harry Potter movies as well). We had many teeny-boppers in the audience with us who all swooned and screamed when he first came on the screen and the 4 of us kind of groaned and thought, oh you kids...well by the end of the movie, we were all a bit "swoony." And I did mention that when I pulled into the theater parking lot, a Jonas Brothers song had just come on the radio, so I felt my night as a middle school girl was pretty much complete! Plus, we went to Steak and Shake afterwards and got milkshakes...it was a toss up between margaritas and milkshakes and milkshakes won out! So yeah, it was a little flashback to 1996 for me.

Sunday Danny went to the Bears game in St. Louis with a buddy so I was delegated to go pick up his drum set from the show the night before (what a good wife/band member I am!) and then took Harrison to Mom and Dad's to watch the game.

Speaking of Harrison, she and Nick got into it over a big knuckle bone I let her have while we were gone and Nick is now sporting a 1 inch gash on his shoulder and there was blood on our kitchen floor! So, our little happy family is just getting along so well these days! That's what happens when you have a 75lb. 8 month old dog and a 12lb 9 year old dog and they decide to fight. Little dogs might be scrappy but big dogs will just take a bite out of you and be done.

So, a full weekend and a short week! I am preparing for my annual Volunteer Holiday Party that is happening next week, so it's not a blow off week for me (though I don't foresee myself getting too worked up about anything). I'm looking forward to having 4 days off, however.

Happy Monday everyone!
erin

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

All I Want for Christmas....

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Usually wrapping paper, but this year I have some gifts that will be difficult to wrap, so then it's gift bags.

2. Real tree or Fake?
I got a real tree for the first time in my life last year, the first Christmas with Danny in our home. Needless to say, this year (and for many more) we'll be having a fake tree. So messy!

3. When do you put up the tree?
After Thanksgiving, at least by the first week of December.

4. When do you take the tree down?
By New Year's Eve. Now, ask me when we got the portion of the tree that had to be CHAINSAWED OFF off the porch...

5. Do you like eggnog?
I never drink it, so I don't know if that's because I did once and didn't like it, or I just don't drink it. So I don't know. Danny will drink it by the carton, however.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
Man, this is a tough one...gifts that really stick out in my mind...the Mall Madness game, my Clarinet, I got a really cool silver phone one year, and some John Lennon-esqe sunglasses...I've had a lot of good presents!

7. Hardest person to buy for?
My dad...he just has so much cool stuff already!

8. Easiest person to buy for?
Actually, Danny. I can usually think of good ideas for him.

9. Do you have a nativity scene?
No, but Mom and Dad had one that I ALWAYS played with. I might dress up Danny and the dogs this year for that "live nativity" in our front yard...

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail...if I remember to do it!

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
Okay, I have gotten some interesting things from various people, but in order to not offend anyone, I'll go with the "That Was Easy" button my sister re-gifted (yes, someone gave it to her) me last year. Of course this was a gag gift and she actually got me the Magic Bullet (!), but it was pretty bad as far as gifts go.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Elf, and yes, Christmas Eve on Sesame Street! Classic!

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
October/November/December, it all depends on funds and ideas.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
Why yes I have. I'll leave it at that.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Tough one again! Mom's Christmas cookies (back in the good old days when Mom let people eat food - just kidding Mom, sort of!), and Dad's coffee cake on Christmas morning! What happened to that tradition?!

16. Lights on the tree?
I really dig white lights (did I seriously just type "dig"?)

17. Favorite Christmas song?
O Holy Night

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Used to stay home, last year Danny and I went to 4, count them 4, Christmases. This year we'll be going to Bloomington to have Christmas at Austin's house!

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer’s?
Yes

20. Angel on the tree top or a star?
Neither, usually we would put that one Reindeer topped pencil that I got in 4th grade at the top of the tree. Last year, we had like 3 ornaments total on our tree, nothing at the top, and this year, let's face it, if Harrison doesn't at least knock the tree over, she'll eat the ornaments off...so I'm not gonna stress about ornaments too much.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
Occasionally we got to open one on the eve, but I think that was partially due to the fact that we had to stay up late to attend the Christmas Eve service at church and needed something to help occupy our time. Now, we wait until Christmas morning.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?
Crowds of people.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color?
I like white lights...and I enjoy the antique reds, greens, and golds.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner?
Dad's lasagna, also Dad's two-cheese spaghetti.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year?
I've decided I really do need a wallet.

26. Who is most likely to respond to this?
Probably no one because I've stolen it from my sister, who stole it from her friend Cecilia! The circle of stealing is complete.

27. Who is least likely to respond to this?
see above

28. Favorite thing about Christmas?
I really love watching people open their gifts even more than I like opening mine...it's the "christmas scheme" of it all! And who doesn't love a good Christmas scheme? I know my family does!

Happy ThanksChristgivingmas!
erin

Monday, November 17, 2008

I wanna talk about me...

Here's another one I stole that others are welcome to steal from me!


This is "Using something as something else"
1. When did you last use the edge of a coin (or a knife blade) as a screwdriver?
Hmm, I can't recall an exact time, but I've done it. However, we seem to have screwdrivers all over our house in various places, like the bathroom, so there is usually one handy!

2. When did you last use a wire coat-hanger to break into a car?
I don’t think I ever have, actually. I feel like I've seen Danny do it.

3. When did you last use food or drink as medication?
Well, Danny was sick yesterday and wouldn't eat or drink or do ANYTHING (frustrating!) so as I was leaving for lunch, I left him with the oh-so-healing combination of water and pretzels. I seriously need to go to the grocery store.

4. When did you last use your cellular telephone as a flashlight?
Every night after I turn off the tv and downstairs lights until I can get to the light at the top of the stairs. They are handy that way.

5. When did you last use a paper clip for any purpose other than to clip paper?
The answer that was here from the person I stole this from had said back when she was in elementary school and kids used to make fake retainers out of paper clips...that's totally my answer too! What was with that? Was there really that much appeal to a retainer?

erin

Yummy, yummy, yummy I've got love in my tummy

And I expect it to keep me full!

I have to get weighed next week at the doctor! Frightening!

Ever since this whole "happily in love" thing hit, I've been more comfortable to eat. It's that comfort zone that allows you to give up on some personal appearance aspects of yourself because you are no longer trying to impress the opposite sex, or same sex, whatever your orientation may be. It's the same zone that pushed Danny to wear his Chicago Bears pj pants to the movies with his best friend. It's wonderful and horrible all at the same time. Not to mention, my mother-in-law makes some of the best desserts and Sunday dinners EVERY WEEK that I take great pleasure in eating. Also, my workplace feels the need to have food for any and every occassion. I got to work today and found sheet cake, freshly baked cookies, and doughnut holes, the last two being passed around during the weekly staff meeting. I AVOIDED! And it was very hard, but I have to be publically weighed in 1 week!

I understand that a week does not leave me with much time to drop the 20 pounds I'd like to, but at least not eating cake daily might do some good on the old mid-section area. I also have a wedding approaching in January and while I already have my bridesmaid dress and it fits and looks pretty good, I certainly wouldn't mind paying to have it taken in!

The holiday food deluge is upon us and I'm doing my best to keep my head above water. It's going to be a long few months.

Good luck to us all! (except you skinny bitches! You eat all you can! )

erin

Friday, November 14, 2008

It's Beginning to look a lot like Christmas

It's supposed to snow tomorrow!

Now, every year it snows. Some years we get mounds of the stuff, some years, it barely accumulates. Somehow, though, the first snow always catches us by surprise.

"What?! Snow! I can't believe it's going to snow already!"

But every year it snows. It's Illinois. There is no escaping it. And then everyone forgets how to drive for about 3 days and then finally, we all accept that winter has yet again come to our city.

With that said...it's still the middle of November. It is not the Christmas season quite yet. So why, when I got into my car for lunch was one station playing nothing but Christmas music? Can we not enjoy Thanksgiving first? I know it's kind of a non-holiday where the only real activity is to eat way more food than should be allowed and maybe if you remember, you'll go around the table and say "I'm thankful for..." whatever, but it's still a holiday and a time to be together with family and we should not glaze over it with pre-December Christmas music. Not only was this station playing the Christmas music, but it seemed to be some sort of "local high school choir sings the holiday hits" segment. Not really very good. I suppose if you have to "entertain" your listeners with local high school talent, broadcasting it this early on is actually a wise move. No one is listening for it. I don't get into the "high school musical" of Christmas until that one tv station starts showing us the delight that is the Holiday Madrigals who all seem to have a version of Carol of the Bells with which to keep up in that holiday spirit! I recall making my mom watch that station many a year!

But I digress...

Pull out those snow shovels folks! Winter is a comin'!

erin

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

All the leaves are brown and the sky is gray

And it's cold and wet and muddy!

I guess it is mid-November here, but man, those days of mild temps. were great! I had work off yesterday and did absolutely nothing! Didn't even make a meal...we had leftovers. It was great for a while. Watched a West Wing marathon on Bravo (that was the BEST show on tv, hands down). Played with the pups a bit (though Harrison kept getting bored and was just barking at random stuff - all day), then about 3pm, I was bored. You can only watch so much tv and I had cleaned my house the weekend before, so it is still in decent shape! I finished putting clothes away from Sunday night laundry so all the clothes have been washed and put away! Both laundry baskets are not full of folded clean clothes, but rather, dirty clothes waiting to gather enough friends to constitute a load.

We did have band practice last night. We've got a show coming up on the 22nd of this month. Maybe we'll get paid for once??

These have been days where all you want to do is light candles, get under a blanket and watch a movie or eat chili or heck, take a trip to Hawaii. Oh! Speaking of that...I informed Danny I wanted us to take a trip to Hawaii in a few years and he says, "no way." What! Apparently there is "nothing to do" in Hawaii and you only have fun if you enjoy "sitting around doing nothing." Hmm, well I guess I can't say for sure having NEVER BEEN THERE, but I guess I'll have to take my sister instead and leave the hubby at home!

Boys. What is wrong with you sometimes? Seriously.

erin

Monday, November 10, 2008

No time left for you

Sorry, not a good blog today...

We had an all staff meeting this morning that I had to help prepare for (food-wise): made some corn bread to go with the chili and help with room set up, etc. Then had to help clean up and do some other stuff not in my office...finally got back to my desk at 4pm! Makes the day go by fast, but I'm tired!

No work tomorrow! Whoo hoo! Good old, Veteran's Day....thanks Veteran's! Not only have you done a job I would never want to do, I get a day off in your honor. Can't complain about that!

Wow, I've used many exclamation points in this one.

So, hopefully I'll have more to report on Wednesday!

!!

erin

Friday, November 7, 2008

And they called it puppy love!

Just thought I would share one more.

Don't have much to post lately. I actually have a weekend of hardly any plans! I will be going to Springfield on Saturday to get a bridesmaid dress for a wedding I'm in in January. Hope to clean our mess of a house at some point and maybe rake some leaves...that should be a challenge this year (see above - she. likes. leaves.). The band was potentially going to play a show this weekend, but now that has been changed to the 22nd, so now I've got some time.

Austin will be staying with Mom and Dad all weekend, so I'm sure I'll spend a good amount of time over there and Danny will be a doing a little male bonding with his dad, brothers and good family friend on Saturday - dinner and boxing. Who hoo! I'll pass, but then again, I wasn't invited!

So the work week winds down. We get Tuesday off next week for Veteran's Day, so work one day, take a day off, work 3 more. I'm going to a birthday party for a friend Monday night and since I don't have to work the next day, I'm going to try and explain to my body that even though it's a weekday, I don't have to necessarily fall asleep at 8 pm. That's been my routine as of late and that won't make for a very exciting party.

That's it! I seriously can't think of anything else to share! I can't believe we're weeks away from Thanksgiving and Christmas and 2009!

Have a good weekend!

erin

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

God Bless America!

President Obama sounds pretty great to me!

It's a change! Even putting political agendas aside, it's a change. Since the birth of our nation, old white men have been at the helm. Some have done great, others not so great and still others (cough*Bush*cough) abismal! But now we have a change. And I'm not saying because he is black, Barack Obama will solve all of America's issues, I'm saying, it's about time we see a different kind of face in the White House. What an exciting time this is for America. A younger, in touch American with a fresh perspective and a strong desire to change what ails us (and can raise his arms above his shoulders...sorry, had to throw that in there...loosen up those suit jackets McCain)! I don't see how anyone can be so upset with this choice. I understand if you supported the other side that it's disappointing to lose, but now it's time to get on board this new train! Give the new guy a shot and see what's he's got in store for the country. After 8 years of dumbed down, messed up, "don't mess with Texas" rhetoric, does-what-my-Vice-President-tells-me-to-do, let's see what a well-spoken, motivated, appears-to-have-a-grasp-on-what-President-does, actually gave us some answers on his proposed policies, man can do.

I feel great about my country today! And I haven't felt that way in oh, I'd say 8 years. You don't have to agree with me at all, but we all should to get behind President Obama here at the beginning of what could be a great time in America!

God Bless America!

erin

Monday, November 3, 2008

My Guy

Totally stole this from another blog, but I thought it was a good idea for a blog and I haven't done the whole "2 in one day" thing in quite some time!

MY GUY
1. He’s sitting in front of the TV. What’s on the screen?
I'd say top 5 would be football, UFC, mythbusters, something like Real World/Road Rules challenge, and then whatever I'm making him watch (like Gilmore Girls)

2. You’re out to eat; what kind of dressing does he get on his salad?
French

3. What’s one food he doesn’t like?
I can give you an entire food group: cooked vegetables. period.

4. You go out to the bar. What does he order?
Hmm, there are a few options, but his fav. beer is Newcastle.

5. Where did he go to high school?
Meridian High School, Macon, IL

6. What size shoe does he wear?
9, I believe

7. If he were to collect anything, what would it be?
oh lord, BEARS stuff!

8. What is his favorite type of sandwich?
The baja chicken something-or-other from quiznos

9. What would he eat every day if he could?
see above, and candy (which he does eat everyday from gas stations, though he doesn't think I know that...I know all!)

10. What is his favorite cereal?
He's a big fan of cinnamon toast crunch, not sure if it's his favorite, but it's up there.

11. What would he never wear?
A cowboys jersey.

12. What is his favorite sports team?
CHICAGO BEARS

13. Who will he vote for?
Obama

14. Who is his best friend?
Well of course me! But aside from me, I'd say Smitty.

15. What is something you do that he wishes you wouldn’t do?
get on his case about anything! (living in a dream world with that one, buddy!)

16. How many states has he lived in?
One.

17. What is his heritage?
Well, I know he's got Irish roots, and some Native American too, but I'm not sure about anything else.

18. You bake him a cake for his birthday; what kind of cake?
He doesn't generally eat a lot of cake, but I made him a pecan pie for his birthday this year.

19. Did he play sports in high school?
He played football for 2 years and wrestling for 1? 2?

20. What could he spend hours doing?
Video games, drumming, sleeping, and I have seen him put in a good amount of time into working on the dining room...not lately, but I've seen it!

Good ole hubby-o-mine!

We are the Bears shuffling crew....

Here we are, about to depart for the Bears game, from my sister's house in Bloomington!

Soldier Field!

Here we are at Soldier Field!

The view from our seats

He's ready for the game!

Pre-game warm up, Urlacher and Briggs

Getting ready for the Bears entrance through the giant Bear head

Orton just went down... And we take the lead in the 4th quarter!

As we realize our shuttle pick up in on the other side of this crowd, we decide to walk back to the parking area...about 2 miles away.
It was a nice walk, though it got a little dicey towards the end trying to figure out where exactly our car was parked (picture that episode of Seinfeld, except it wasn't really very funny and I had a GROUCHY husband with me)!
All in all, it was a great time, but we'll probably never do it again.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Do you see what I see?

Here are the pictures...hope they live of up to all the hype!

Danny and me at the pumpkin patch!


Told you he was a Bears' fan!


Austin and Grandpa in the giant tractor wheel!



Black Barts!



Defenders of the home....



Posing nicely (Harrison and Nick)


She's definately getting bigger!


The finished fence!



Get out of that!


Another view of the finished product....


Notice how the beer can stays so level...nice work boys!


working on it



Danny at work!



Mirror, mirror on the ground, who's the cutest dog around? (I know, I know)



Our little grrr-lacher



What's out there?


Don't I look amused...this was on my 25th birthday, or the night before, I think


Just a random shot of Danny
There you go folks! Cleaned off the camera and shared a few of our past events and memories! Enjoy!
erin


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Taking the long way...

Wow, these days have been dragging on and on! Seriously, this week will never end. It doesn't help I woke up this morning thinking it was Saturday only to quickly realize, it's not even Friday, but Thursday! I still have an ENTIRE day and a half of this work week. Boo.

This should be a pretty exciting weekend, however. Friday right after work we are headed to Bloomington to do the Halloween thing with our nephew, he's going to be a puppy. Then Saturday afternoon we're leaving from there to head to Chicago for the Bears game on Sunday. We'll be staying with my sister-in-law's brother that night. Then its Bears vs. Lions at noon on Sunday. Daylight savings time falls in there at some point, so we'll gain an extra hour of time for all of this fun.

Also, I was flipping through my calendar and there are only 2 months left of this year! I mean, I knew that, but it's so short when you are trying to see how many calendar pages you have left. It's almost 2009! 2009! (did you pick up the emphasis on that?) That's eight years out of high school and 4 out of college. For as long as these past few months have seemed, 8 years has just flown by!

I'm going to try to upload pictures tomorrow...my camera has been rebelling lately, but I'm going to put in a good effort! I have many to share.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Heat is On!

Yes, we have the heat going once again! Apparently in his efforts to replace the water heater (a fun little surprise project) Danny turned off the gas and that killed the pilot light in the furnace. Makes sense, easy fix, and we're now above 54 degrees in the house. However, I'm a little bummed to admit defeat to the weather. I wanted to go AS LONG AS POSSIBLE without turning the heat on and we almost made it to November. Our power bill was $90 last month which was fantastic! I even think the new tv made a bit of a difference. Now, though, it's going to be like $900 with the heat going. That's why I keep the temp at a balmy 65 all the time. I remember living back with Mom and Dad, whining about the cold while running around with bare feet and like the thinnest shirt on I could possibly find, in January. Looking back, I realize how ridiculous that was and these days, don't even think about adjusting that temperature unless you are wearing 3 pairs of socks, a sweater or two and a wool hat. And try taking a hot shower first...that always warms a person up!

Side note: my coffee tastes like popcorn...weird, but oddly delicious!

Here's a game - list 3 things about yourself that others may not know.
Now, this is going to be hard as my readers have pretty much all known me since at least the 6th grade, some 25 years....

1. I am a horrible phone call returner. I will get voicemails and just never return the call. This is not done in any offense, but I just totally forget. So, to all of you who have been waiting for my call and not gotten it...sorry!

2. I cannot for the life of me remember what my wedding vows were. We did not write our own, we repeated the old tried and true vows that everyone says, though each variation can be slightly different. Well, I couldn't tell you what version we said. I know there was something about "before God and these friends" and I only remember that because Danny said "before God and his friends" which was cute.

3. The very last semester of college for me, was very lonely. All my friends had either gone on to student teach or had graduated and while I knew many of my classmates, I never hung out with them. I was so done with school by that point, I was just going through the motions. If I wasn't in class or on the phone with someone, I didn't really even talk because I lived alone. It was a strange time, but I'm glad I experienced it, as it helped define my character. I was more of an observer of life than a participant for a few months and I learned that everyone should say about 1/2 of what they normally would and listen more. You tend to make way less of a fool of yourself that way. But, when you do say something, be confident in your opinions and don't let people make you feel stupid for your thoughts. That's something I'm still working on, but I got a good start during that phase of my life.

Have a good Wednesday....
erin

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Singing Sweet Home Alabama All Summer Long...

I'm listening to that Kid Rock song on the radio right now, and I'm ready for it to be out of the rotation. It was a great summer song, but now it's old and it's not summer anymore, so this song should be done. I'm sorry, but when you have a seasonal song I don't feel it should be broadcasted outside of that season. That goes for holiday music as well.

Last night it got down into the 20s I think. Did we have our furnace on? NO! It was SO COLD this morning I could barely walk around. Our pilot light went out at some point or the burners aren't burning...something is happening with the furnace so that it is not warm right now, so Danny is having some co-worker come light it up or get it going or whatever. I'm all for saving money on heating bills, but I think the 20s justifies heat. However, I'm glad to find this out now before the weather stays in the 20s. Harrison enjoyed some time with me under the covers with her head on the pillow this morning. She slept on the floor all night long and was so cold when Danny threw her up on the bed this morning (as he does every morning). Nick is always down under the covers at the bottom of the bed working like a little personal heater under there, so that was helpful.

Hoping for warmer temps. tonight!

erin

Monday, October 27, 2008

I didn't sleep at all last night...

I was up from 3am (on the dot) until 5:30ish. Fantastic.

This didn't even result from dogs or snoring husbands. This was just me, wide awake, for no apparent reason. I watched Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and took Harrison outside and just waited to be tired again. We fell asleep around 10pm, so I guess 5 hours was plenty for my body. I managed to fall asleep around the time Danny woke up, so I got in another couple hours and surprisingly, I'm not really all that tired this morning. My dad doesn't really sleep all that well and gets up ridiculously early and for the last few years, my mom sleeps in spurts as well. I'm hoping this isn't some kind of genetic non-sleep thing that I must begrudingly accept as "the way it is" because I am a sleeper. I like to sleep. I like those few minutes right before you fall asleep that you can think, "oh yes, here I go" and if you do happen to wake up in the night you can simply, fall back asleep. That's great. Being awake for hours in the middle of the night is not. I can't count how many times I've done this now, so I'm ready to be done with the insomnia. Friday, I was DEAD TIRED all day. I went out to dinner with Ashley and Kayla (which was all kinds of fun) and got home about 7:30, proceeded to get into bed, and was awake until about 2:30, not AT ALL sleepy.

My body has been playing some fun little mind games with myself lately and I'm about done. Either go all the way with it, or stop! That might only make sense to me, but just go with it.

So anyway, hope everyone else had some good sleep this weekend. I got one good night in, so I guess that's enough.

erin

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Smells Like Teen Spirit

Remember that deodorant? Teen Spirit? Do they still make that?

I have on new deodorant, I bought it because 1. I needed new deodorant and 2. I had a coupon (my sister just say "yay" or "let's hear it for coupons!" or something). Well, I had loaded this coupon on my kroger card and then went shopping and upon reviewing my receipt, the coupon wasn't honored. Then I go to work the next day and see an email saying...okay, now you are ready to use your coupons! So I don't know if the coupon just wasn't loaded quite yet or what. I'm sure my sister will explain it to me. However, the deordorant I chose, based on my coupon, is not all that enjoyable to me. It has a smell. I am not a fan of deodorant smell. I enjoy unscented deodorant because then you can have a perfume or body spray or nothing. With a scented deodorant, that's all you've got, because they are so overpowering! Right now, I am sitting here in my office thinking...what in the H is that smell? Oh hey, it's my armpits! I guess it's better than body odor, but I prefer my armpits to smell like nothing. Maybe that's just me, but I don't think I'm alone in this preference. And also, go try to find unscented deodorant! There is hardly any left in America, I think. I will buy whatever brand has the unscented available and for a while I was using BAN. And frankly, it made me feel a little self-conscious. Who wants to use BAN?! It makes me feel ultra-smelly, when I'm not. I just want the unscented stuff and ban was the only maker for a while. Then Dove had some, but it went away! Then Secret had something with a very light scent, so I was going with that until this recent coupon coup got the best of me. So, I will use this scented deodorant (has a sweet, flowery smell that overpowers me) and if you happen to smell me wearing it, think back to this story and remember my disdain for the smell. And I apologize.

erin

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dreams

I had a very odd dream last night. And it might have been long and involved, but I only recall one part of it.

I was with a group of people, no idea who they were, I think we were in my parents back yard. Anyway, we had these ears of corn, still in the husk and we needed them for some reason, in order to complete some kind of task...and they had to remain in the husk! Well, one of the people handed me an ear and immediately, I removed the husk and handed it back. There was a lot of shocked disbelief directed toward me, to which I replied, quite matter-of-factly "Hey, I'm from the midwest, you hand me an ear of corn and I'm shuckin' it!"

What?!?!

In other news, my boss just walked into my office and gave me a task to do and I totally did not listen so I don't really know what I'm supposed to be doing about it. Perhaps that is a good reason to not blog during work hours? Ah well.

Also, I got my test results back from my Food Handler Safetly Class and........98%! Apparently, I've missed my calling in the world of "food handling". I am now approved to handle food with the best of 'em.

That's all.

erin

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

When My Morning Comes Around

Today we are going to a visitation/funeral for the husband of a co-worker. So, there's a bit of a juxtaposition going on this morning.

On the one hand, it's a somber day in that a person has died and we are going to remember his life. On the other hand, it's a beautiful day in that the weather is gorgous and the colors are vibrant and this person is no longer suffering from the cancer that was wrecking his body and we are going to celebrate his time here on this earth.

You've gotta find your focus in times like these and find what gets you through hardships or uncertainties. I will feel the saddness of today probably today only. My co-worker and her family will feel the saddness of today for years, but we've all been there and understand the need to find the beauty wherever it can be found.

So this blog goes out to anyone needing to find a little beauty in life. It's there, you just have to decide what you need it to be.

Monday, October 20, 2008

All the leaves are brown

and red and yellow and orange!

I had the quintessential fall weekend! First of all, on Saturday I slept in until 9:10 am after going to bed at, I kid you not, 8:30pm. Now, I didn't sleep straight through. Danny came home from poker in the wee hours (winning BIG, which is the only way he's allowed to play) and I talked to him for a while. Then he proceeded to snore me out of the bedroom, so I slept a wakeless (aka dogless) sleep the rest of the night.

Then Mom and Dad and Emy and Austin came over and we all headed to the pumpkin patch. I have pictures of this which will be posted soon (a large picture post is coming next week...have to wait till bosses go on vacation to use the work computer to post - sorry if that's unethical, but that's how I roll). Danny used some of his poker winnings to purchase a 50 lb, $18 pumpkin that will soon be adorned with a Chicago Bears "c" logo and I will make use of all the insides like we are pioneers, because $18 better bring me more than just a pumpkin. I'm talking seasoned seeds, bread, pie, entertainment, love, even shelter - you should see the size of this thing! Anyway, much fun was had by all at the pumpkin patch. The corn maze was a little muddy, but Mom got us through with her amazing sense of direction.

Danny and I headed to ihop and I enjoyed some pumpkin pancakes. Delicious! Although, never allow them to seat you next to the kitchen opening in the restaurant because that just ruins the whole experience. Too much commotion, yelling, and lack of education going on back there.

Next, I headed to work for the Fall Harvest/Stories Around the Campfire event, which was alright. A nice way to spend a fall day, though I was working, so it could have been better.

Short side story: While manning the registration table, I noticed a group of 3 teenagers walk off the bike trail to their car and one of the guys changed his shirt and puts back on his camoflauge jacket. So he was shirtless in the parking lot for a while, which is what caught my eye. Not in a "ooh shirtless hot guy way" because gross, he was like 17 and scrawny, but more of a "why are you not wearing a shirt in the parking lot" way. Anyway, they take off down a trail back by all of the harvest activities. Not 20 minutes later, a sheriff's deputy rolls into the parking lot and asks "has anyone seen a male wearing a camoflauge jacket and red t-shirt?" Oh hey, I have seen that kid! So then I have to go through the ENTIRE rundown of questions (at a very rapid pace, mind you) of what he was wearing, who he was with, what they were wearing, hair color, height, weight, hair style, race, faces, what direction they went, how long ago, could I recognize them if they came back, etc. Well 2 more sheriff's deputies show up by then, one I went to high school with. The 2 guys head off in the direction the kids went and the remaining female deputy hung by their car waiting. Well shortly, the kids were back and she had them put their hands up and then spread them out up against their cars. They were searched and then drove away. Apparently, the camo kid had a pellet gun down his pants in the front and someone saw this on the bike trail and called the cops, thinking it was a real gun. They were told they were idiots and not to come out here again with anything of that nature. So, we had a little excitement!

Back to weekend: Hung out with in-laws Saturday night for a bit after work at our house and then sleep!

Sunday I went shopping with my sister and got pumpkin spice lattes on that venture. They left for home and I did tons of laundry and watched football after the TV guy came (finally!). Danny and I went to dinner at his parents (chilli - yum) with Harrison and then came home and watched a movie.

All in all, a great weekend with great weather and so many appropriate activities!

erin

Friday, October 17, 2008

Tossing and Turning All Night

Harrison ate a couple of magazines last night. She thoroughly destroyed a Sports Illustrated (she really has it in for that one) and O Magazine, which, oddly enough was underneath a Better Homes and Gardens that remained undisturbed. Apparently she's a fan. This all took place while we were having band practice in the basement and she was just living it up upstairs.

So, in the destruction, she managed to eat some of the glossy pages. How do I know this? Well, at 2:30 in the morning, I was roused from my sleep by the sound of a puking dog. At first, I didn't realize what was happening. Danny made some noises and said something like "oh god, that's so gross" but he wasn't even awake! I tried to ask him what he was talking about but he wouldn't answer. So then I put two and two together: strange gurgle noises from the floor and Danny talking about something begin gross (apparently he is aware of stuff like that in his sleep- weird!) and then I heard Harrison licking, licking, licking. So I crawl to the end of the bed and she is licking the carpet. In the dark and without my glasses I notice what appears to be a spot on the carpet. So I get up, take her downstairs and outside, get a flashlight and a washcloth and indeed there is a puke spot that I proceed to clean up. I got the dog all settled back down and crawled back into bed. Danny muttered something else in his sleep and I said, "Harrison got sick." He was asleep again.

About 30 minutes later, after just falling back asleep, I hear the dreaded pre-puke heaving down at the end of the bed again. I jumped out of bed, grabbed the flashlight and...too late, she puked again. This time, I saw the actual stuff and there were little bits of magazine! Ah ha! So I get the washcloth again, clean it up, and put her on top of a dog blanket in case she did it again.

So, a bit of a rough night with the dog. Nick and Danny remained unaffected, but the ladies of the house were up. This resulted in not walking this morning because A, I didn't want to get her all amped up the morning after a puke-fest. And B, I was TIRED! So I did some stretching and crunches instead.

All I can say is, it's finally Friday! Although...

I am working on Saturday AGAIN. This is the 3rd weekend in a row that I will have come into work. Saturday at 3pm is our Fall Harvest event, complete with pumpkin decoration, scarecrow building (bring your own cloths), wagon rides, a weiner roast, and at 7pm, Stories Around the Campfire at the Homestead Prairie Farm. Now I will say, reservations were required, but for the 3 people who read this and live in town, we do have some "first-come, first-serve" supplies. There is a fee of a few dollars for each activity.

There is my plug.

Before I get to work however, Danny and I are going to a pumpkin patch for a little husband/wife fall fun! How cute are we? Pretty damn cute!

Have a fabulous weekend!
erin

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I'm walking...

Yes I am!

I got up at 6:30 this morning to walk the dogs, but more so, myself. I need to be in better shape and yesterday it just really all of a sudden hit me like a ton of bricks: "hey! you used to be in much better shape, thinner, and that number on the scale is totally unacceptable!" So I walked.

I wanted to get around 30 minutes in, but it ended up being more like 12 due to frantic leash searching that resulted in only Harrison getting to walk. Somehow, Nick's leash has gone missing and I'm sorry I'm not attempting a walk without it. But then I had an actual breakfast and wasn't rushing around to get ready like usual. So, despite other times that I've promised to do this whole walking thing, I, once again, am going to try to stick with it because my ass is in need of some exercise and morning walks are a really good way to start the day.

The other key to this "shape up" plan is to not eat food at work. Lunch, okay, mid-afternoon snack if I'm dying, perhaps. But, there isn't a day here at work that there isn't some form of dessert or carb in the kitchen and those must be avoided at all costs! As I type there are 2 cakes, a "tub of biscuits", corn bread, apple butter, and reeces pieces sitting on the table! It's simply a habit to think you are hungry all day long. I think back to school days, when lunch would be the only food source for 7.5 hours and that worked out fine. I didn't die, or starve, and even had gym class in there (not that is was necessarily physically challenging). So, here we go again, let's all get in shape!

erin
ps. I also denied myself from titling this post "let's get physical" because that song is annoying.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

It's been one week...

Almost!

Okay, okay, I realize I haven't blogged in almost one week and that is unacceptable! I've either been so busy or seriously have had NOTHING of importance to blog about. And I do have pictures to share, but they won't come for a week or two. So hang in there!

We had a nice weekend. A long one for me anyway. Danny had to work Monday, but not me. And I took off early on Friday, so it was extra long, bonus! However, I had to come into work at 6:45 am on Saturday to prepare and then host the Volunteer Quarterly meeting, but it wasn't so bad and I was home by 10:30.

Had a date night with the hubby on Saturday. We went to dinner/movie. He picked dinner, Red Lobster, and I picked the movie, Nights in Rodanthe. I picked this because A, I wanted to see it, and B, Danny owed me a chick flick. And surprisingly, we both enjoyed the movie. I was slightly skeptical because it was a Nicholaus Sparks movie and while I liked The Notebook and watch it every time it's on tv, it's still super cheesy, I think, in many parts of the movie. But, we liked this one and it was a really nice evening. We're attempting to do this monthly, alternating who picks dinner and who picks the movie.

Saturday I also waited and waited around for the Firedog people to come and calibrate our new tv so it uses less energy and they NEVER SHOWED UP! I just called this morning and set up a new time and apparently they had "scheduling conflicts this weekend." Of course they did.

Sunday was a very sad Bears game and then dinner at the in-laws. Monday was hanging out at mom and dad's with Harrison, who came through her surgery with flying colors and is the most popular dog at the vet.

So now I'm back at work, looking forward to the last week of October (no boss week) and going to visit the Millers on Halloween (that's my sister and b-i-l and nephew).

Have a good one!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Wednesday Morning at 5 o'clock when the day begins...

...Danny woke me up in the guest bedroom to send me back to bed in our bedroom. I fell victim to the sound of snoring and banished myself to another room to sleep. (By the way, that's a line from what song??)

Sorry to all of you who can't go one day with a blog from me. I really don't have a ton to blog about and I don't want to just put up random stuff everytime that happens. But here it is...random blog.

I got groceries Monday night at Walmart. I'll say this about grocery shopping at Walmart: I am not a fan. Usually everyone and their mom is in the aisle I need, at the exact place I need (are we all seriously buying cous cous at this moment? Come on!) and I ALWAYS spend WAY more at Walmart then I do at Kroger. I think it's a combo of "hey, I'm at Walmart so I should stock up" and prices aren't all that different. At Kroger I feel I am more conservative with what I buy whereas at Walmart, I come away with more random food that we don't usually get. Now, on Monday, it wasn't too bad with the entire population of Decatur trying to buy cous cous. I only had that issue like 2 times instead of 2789 times, so I'll give it that. Also, had I needed to purchase a bedset and hunting ammunition, I would have been all set! But I will stick with Kroger for the majority of my grocery needs.

Last night we had band practice and now we have a "new guy" in the band. Chris, another guitar player. I haven't made up my mind on him yet...I don't really jive with his sense of humor and he plays way to loud for my poor little basement. But he adds some impressive stuff, so I'll deal I guess.

Tonight I'm making macaroni and cheese from scratch! I haven't done that in years (I've only done it once before) and the last time it made me feel very accomplished as a cook. It's not a bad recipe as far as mac and cheese goes...doesn't have all the cream/cornstarch/buttermilk/900 types of cheese that a lot of other recipes has. Just your basic skim milk/flour/cheddar mixture with the bread crumbs on the top. Perhaps I'll post it on the other blog site? We've gotta do better than semi-home made/frozen pizzas.

Tomorrow night I have a volunteer meeting at work and another volunteer meeting Saturday morning! I know I'm the volunteer coordinator and all, but I detest all the meetings. Sorry, people, I just get sick of feeding you! Although I'm licensed to do so now.

And Friday, our poor little Hare-Bear (Harrison) is getting spayed. She's such a big girl! She doesn't even know what she's in for, but it must be done. So I'll have to drop her off at the vet and LEAVE HER THERE OVERNIGHT! which will be really hard, but again, must be done.

Okay, random-shmandom for all of you!

erin

Monday, October 6, 2008

It's A Nice Day for a White Wedding

Wow and it really was!

You couldn't have picked a nicer day to have a wedding in the fall. Sunny, cool temps, warm sun, small breeze. Friends of ours got married and Danny was a groomsman. He looked so cute!

The ceremony, I'm sorry, left a lot to be desired. It was an HOUR long, full mass, communion ceremony. So...it was long. And it was very traditional with the "wives honor your husbands and husbands, love your wives as you love yourself" stuff. I really don't put much into that uber-traditional rhetoric, myself, but that's me, it just seems a little "husband is in charge" to me and I'm looking for an equal partnership kind of thing. Other people really do enjoy it and find great comfort in it, I suppose.

Anyway, so there was that and then we all head to the reception site...beautiful! Although it took the bridal party almost 2 hours to get there due to pictures! I had one glass of wine and starting feeling horrible so I left at 9am. I barely even talked to Danny, didn't get to dance, it was a little depressing. But, it seemed like a successful wedding.

Got to work the next morning at 6am, woke up with a headache (from 1 glass of wine? seriously?) that lasted for about 5 hours. It was a great event, no problems, again great weather, but it was a LONG day and it wore me out.

October is starting off a little rough for me, so I'm hoping things start to turn around soon. It's nothing we can't handle, but it's one thing after another and I could use a little down time.

That's all.
erin

Friday, October 3, 2008

I'm so Tired

I smashed my thumb AGAIN! Same one! It sent a sharp, shooting, tingly sensation all throughout my thumb. I'm going to have to start wearing biker gloves or something. It was feeling better today and everything and now, hurts like a mother all over again!

In other news, I'm tired. I was awake from about 4:15am until 5:30am when hubby decided to roll in from the bachelor party. He called about 10pm (a respectable hour for the most part) to say that he was coming home to grab the tequila! And he would most likely spend the night at Smitty's (his friend's house, where the festivities were going down) which is about 1 mile from our house, due to intoxication. I said fine, because I really wasn't looking forward to waking up to barking dogs and a drunk guy coming home at all hours of the morning. I was doing just fine in my big old bed, thankyouverymuch! But he came home. And the dogs barked, and he had to make tater tots, and I was AWAKE. And then we had to chat because drunk people insist on chatting until the end of time. Finally, he fell asleep and I remained awake for another 20 minutes or so. He had to be up at 8am to go golfing, I'm sure that was a fun time for him, but for golf, he'll do about anything.

Then work was C.R.A.Z.Y! Prairie Pedal Preparation commenced. And I was the bell of the ball until the Foundation members showed up at 2pm and I was no longer necessary in the operation. Until things needed to be moved, packed, cleaned. Love that! Needless to say I've sat down for approximately 45 minutes today.

I can't wait to go home! Ashley and Lauren are coming to hang out and get Starbucks and perhaps autumn-scented candles. Then I can relax in style until tomorrow when I have to go to a wedding.

Have a fantastic weekend all you readers! And leave me a message if you haven't done so before...I want to know if more than 7 people actually read this thing!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Under My Thumb

I have a bum thumb (yes, the rhyming was intentional)!

While moving the in-laws last weekend, I managed to smash my thumb up against a dresser I was loading off the truck (I'm not sure why I was doing that, but I digress). It went numb for a few seconds and then seemed to recover. That was Saturday. Today is Thursday. It started hurting Wednesday. That is some delayed pain right there. But now I'm really trying to remember, was this even the thumb I smashed? I think it was, but I honestly can't recall. The pain would lead me to believe it was, but still, it was 4 days before the pain set in. And it really hurts! I can't bend it all ALL without a sharp shooting pain running up my thumb and into my hand. It's not swollen or bruised or anything, but there is a very specific spot that all the pain is radiating from. Come to think of it, this is the thumb the cat bit! Uh oh, hope this isn't residual cat-scratch fever at work!

In other news, I was on the radio today. This was my second appearence on WHOW 1520 (am), 95.9 (FM) out of Clinton, IL. I think the audience is mostly farmers and old people within a 50 mile radius, but still, it's fun to be on the radio. We go once a month for work (not always me) and promote upcoming programs, the volunteer program, environmental stuff, etc. I think we should hook up with some radio station in town and have a little show of our own here at the Nature Center. That would be awesome and I would so do that instead of manage volunteers! I would enjoy that.

What's coming up:
-Today: Danny has a bachelor party tonight for the upcoming wedding so I'll not see him for the majority of the night, I'm sure.
-Friday: Danny is taking off work to golf/rehearse/dinner for the upcoming wedding. I was going to attend the dinner, but it's out of town and I'm already going there on Saturday and didn't want to spend the night with drunk groomsmen in the hotel room. So I will instead hang out with Ashley and Lauren and get Starbucks coffee and sleep alone (with 2 dogs) in my king-sized bed.
-Saturday: Drop Harrison off at Mom and Dad's, go to said wedding in Springfield, come back home.
-Sunday: Prairie Pedal Fundraiser Event! Holy cow, get pumped!

What's coming up for you??

erin

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Cookie Cookie Cookie Starts with C

I kicked that food safety training test's ass!


I finished in 15 minutes, with the average finish time clocking in around 45. The instructor actually predicted I would finish first "based on my speed at doing the in class work." Guess I was just antsy to get it done.


I have always been a quick test taker. I'm not bragging here, either. It really used to freak me out, especially in college. I would get through a 100 multiple choice test in about 25 minutes and think, crap, this can't be right! I was never one to go back through and check my answers either. I kind of did that as I went along, the double-check thing. Eventually I became a fan of the fast test-taking, especially during exams because I would just get them done and over with and get to leave class.

But anyway, dependent upon my results, I am now a licensed food handler. So if I'm in your kitchen, you better be cooking by the book or I'll bust you!

We're really gearing up (no pun intended) for our big bike event this Sunday. People are starting to get nuts here at work! So many details to get done all at the last minute. It's a fundraiser for our Foundation and I have to be at work at 6am on Sunday morning! Yes, that is before the sun comes up, thanks for asking. I have a wedding in Springfield the night before, Danny is a groomsman, so I will have to not really drink and leave at a decent hour. Fun! We have a really nice hotel room at the crowne plaza where the reception is that I will not be able to enjoy or sleep in. Fun! No real chance for Danny and I to have a little get-away weekend in Springfield and enjoy each other's company (wink wink) in a really nice hotel room. Fun! I'm really looking forward to all that fun there is to come this weekend.

erin

Monday, September 29, 2008

We're Not Here to Cause No Trouble, We're Just Here to Do the Superbowl Shuffle

Congratulations to my hubby for turning me into a genuine Bears' Fan.

Like I said, I have always been an unaware supporter...never really followed the games, team, slept through what games I was in the room for, knew the superbowl song kind of, and so forth.

Now though, if I don't get those bears collars on my dogs by Sunday noon, well forget it! And put on your jersey and get out your special Bears beer mug and run by the in-laws house to pick up the official bears game cake which is a bear face with opponent mascot in its teeth (made by my mother-in-law, I kid you not.).

For Danny's birthday last Friday, I presented him with.....drumroll please....Bears Tickets! We are going to the Bears vs. Lions game on November 2nd. Look for us on TV! We'll be in the end zone, 2nd tier up, 5th row. I felt I won some major wife points with that gift. And I allowed a tequilla birthday party to take place in my backyard (not in the house, thank you) for the birthday festivities.

So I think we're done with September celebrations now. Good thing because we're done with September tomorrow! That was fast!

Other stuff that happened this weekend:
-Went shopping with Mom yesterday and bought Danny a pair of $2 pants at Bergeners! Yes, $2! Regularly $35! So for finding that deal, I bought myself 2 dresses and am now contemplating how much I want those $95 shoes...I love shoes and I want them, but I will attempt to let them go on sale first.
-Helped Danny's grandparents move into a new house. What an interesting time that was. Thank the lord Susannah (SIL) was there because I needed another non-blood relative there with me. I think the day hit its peak when Danny's aunt came into the bedroom where we were all working and told my father-in-law that he wouldn't need to worry about his granddaughters because by looking at me, they'd have big boobs. Wow. Awesome! Not to mention the 987 times I was asked when I would be having a baby...I love that question.
-Appreciated yet again how easy a relationship can go from "Are you freaking kidding me?" to "Man, I really love you." in just a moment's notice...

And tomorrow...day 2 of food handler safety class! Can you feel my anticipation?!

erin

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I Can See For Miles and Miles

Today ushers in the last day of my eye doctor saga for a while (I hope).

I have to go in to the dr. to get my new trial lens tested because low and behold, my prescription changed in one eye -.25. Of course it did, after I ranted about how my eyes have remained unchanged for YEARS. Now one of them decides to be a smart ass and change! Whatever, eye!

So I have to drive all the way across town AGAIN to essentially put in a contact lens and read some letters off the wall. Then I get to pay a lot of money and then drive all the way back to work without having a lunch break. Love. It.

On a completely different note...

I am a supporter of the Obama/Biden ticket. I generally run the Democratic way, but I don't label myself either one because the politics of government is ridiculous. However, I am behind Obama 100%. And it's not like last time with John Kerry and Bush. I mean I loathe Bush as a President and John Kerry wasn't a good choice either, but I leaned his way because he seemed the lesser of two sucky presidents. This time, before we ever even had our candidates I was excited about it. For one, thank Jesus George Bush is done. What is wrong with America that that guy got 2 terms?! For two, I really have always like Obama and being from IL, it was just that much more exciting. And I really liked Hillary too! Two good choices. For three, I don't even really mind McCain so much. I wasn't ever going to vote for him, but if we ended up going Republican again, I think he has been around the block and is an intelligent judge of what needs to be done for America more so than what we've had to put up with for the past 8 years. BUT we do have some big issue differences. Here is the kicker with McCain...he chose Sarah Palin.

I don't get it. It seems really a purely political move to choose a woman right after all the Hillary stuff. This one in particular. Don't get me wrong, I would love to see a woman as VP or Pres. but Palin is way out of her league here. She seems like a nice lady with a bit of governmental experience, but as President? And we have to look at it that way because McCain is like 72 years old and you have to judge your VPs like that anyway. She would not be my choice for President AT ALL. So many reasons why: anti-gay marriage (like belonging to that crazy "I'll pray to make you straight church? what?!), anti-pro choice (as women, we have to be the ones in charge of our own bodies, not our government), anti-animal rights (she allowed for helicopter-driven wolf hunts in alaska - sick), and so on and so forth. And just because Russia is visable from your backyard doesn't mean you know what the hell to do about the war in Iraq.

Just wanted to write that down today. We should all vote no matter who we're supporting.

erin