christmas break...

sorta. a four day weekend has got to count for something. i'm off friday, saturday, sunday, and monday. granted i have something planned every day but that's okay. i mean, why can't everyone have a christmas break. or even a mini summer one. i don't need three months... just a teeny tiny break!

done with christmas shopping. everything is wrapped! next major feat is grocery shopping and then cooking. why oh why did i cave to having christmas... cuz, i'm a good wife, right nicholas?! ;o)

bubble gut is better. might change in the next few weeks. will have some exciting news to share. soon. and sorry to disappoint it's not a baby.

and seriously... love my hubby. but what is it with him trying to keep things cold in the garage. first the ham, now the eggnog from oberweis. it's flippin 50 degrees outside, so not the way to go!


bubble gut.

i'm totally sure everyone knows what this is. there terrible, awful feeling in the pit of your stomach sometimes accompanied by a not so pleasant experience. anywho. my friends and i constantly joke about it. if we're upset, we have bubble gut. our friend's dad even tells his wife she's giving him gas at times. so funny but i digress.
so bubble gut has become a constant theme in my tummy. not fun. but not technically a bubble... just like to call it that. a constant dull ache that will not budge. ugh.
sick since monday. couldn't eat tuesday which made it even worse. after long thought with coworkers and my grandma, i think it's an ulcer. and being the good nurse that i am i did not see a doctor.
started on some lovely medicine courtesy of one of my docs nabbing them from a neighboring family md. score. feeling better. not yet normal. if i'm not back to myself by monday i'm totally going to make an appointment to see my real doctor!
don't do stress well. never have. as a kid my mom would always have to give me meds to settle my stomach and all that fun stuff. so the building stress has me freaked out and my body does not like it... i've slept from the minute i've gotten home to when i have to get up for work. my husband has been a doll. love him more by the second.
took care of everything with the painters, bless him. even put up and decorated the tree. but i guess since we are having his family over for christmas he totally should help.

admist all the craziness we have accomplished:
-being preapproved for our construction loan so it appears that things are a go. just hafta figure out what is going to go on with our home...
-setting up an appointment for our lot loan saturday. hope to have that before christmas.
-having our drywall repairs painted. doesn't match the original. nice. but it's still done and close... thank goodness for grandmas who volunteer to sit at your house for 10 hours!
-started christmas shopping.
-picked an outfit for his work party tomorrow night. total feat for me. might be a bad patient and even drink some alcohol which is a no no in ulcerland.
still have to:
-to bake at least 10 dozen cookies.
- attend my work party next friday and a trip to indianapolis that saturday for his dad's side christmas.
-get ready to host christmas for his mom's side of the family!

ahh, is it january yet?!


you do the math...

totally doesn't add up.


-30: the temperature change in the last day.
+50: wind gusts that are expected tonight and tomorrow.
+12: inches of snow that we might wake up to in the morning.

what the heck is this about? i don't like it!! ;o)



i suck. have been quite the busy bee. and when not being busy. i'm sleeping. i slept from 7:30 pm wednesday to 11 am thursday. ahhh.
so my husband was wii-tarded. he and my lil bro camped outside of target last weekend. nick wasn't going to buy the wii but kev asked him if he was interested in staying up all night for it... and of course he was! i was a superb wife and took them white castle at about 2am. nick is loving the new system. i have to admit it is pretty darn nifty. the new controllers are bizarre but i get to play bowling on wii sports so i can handle it.
after that we spent all sunday recouperating!
then there was the short work week. pure chaos. i love my long weekends but boy do we pay for it at work!
turkey day was great. only saw my family for a few minutes. we had spent the previous saturday celebrating at a restaurant. but my mom still wanted my grandma to have a place to go so she cooked! had a nice meal at nick's aunt and uncle's house. visited. laughed. good times. then went to his dad's. again, just hung out. was nice. need to get together with the family more often.
then it was off to lighthouse mall. they opened at midnight. pure craziness. seriously, insane. i had never experienced black friday before. well, i lied. last year we ran into joann's. then i got scared and we left! thought i should buck up and we would give it a go. holy crap. the lines were unbelievable. made so sweet purchases: coach, gap, nike, harry and david... we got home when it was light out. so yesterday was again spent recouperating!
and today. well, we were just lazy!
tomorrow we are headed to nick's uncle's for da bears! might even stay for the colt's game since his father's girlfriend is a fan. and honestly, i will cheer for either. but if they are both in the superbowl, i'm gonna have to go with da bears!

in other random shannon news:
- might have a buyer for our home. not even listed... have to wait and see how this works out...
- our best friends are pregnant. well, she is. but you know what i mean. due date is june 20th, i think!
- i totally want to do black friday next year. i think i might be addicted.
- my mail is still in the mailbox. i was too lazy to walk to the end of the driveway to get that or the newspaper this morning. but i did cook. twice. so that counts for something even if it was only french toast and grilled cheese! ;o)
- i ordered my christmas cards! been on my list forever!
- have officially asked my mother in law to help when we do build. gulp. took a lot... but will be nice to have an official interior decorator's point of view.
- wish i could forgive and forget. i try. i just don't know what it is...
- am totally a grinch. don't even want to think about christmas decorations. think that's the laziness again.
- haven't scrapped in almost two weeks. what is wrong with me?!
- got our drywall fixed. now just need a painter. so nice to have the scaffolding out of my house after three days!
- have to shop for an outfit for nick's christmas party. any ideas?

okay. i'll stop. i hope that is most of it. should be. but my mind has been wandering as of late so who knows. and did you know wrigley has new coffee gum? strange but yummy. if you are a coffee lover definitely check it out! but be warned, the flavor doesn't last that long. it only lasted about an hour in one of the lines at the mall on black friday!


murder mystery.

first of all, does anyone know how to download pictures from snapfish? my friend's dad put the pictures from the murder mystery party on snapfish. i want to snag them all and add them to my flickr account. any ideas how? might have to have nick investigate this project!
here's a teaser...

nick digs his fangs. he is such a vampire freak. the role was perfect. had a fang mishap prior to the party. had to run to walgreens for some fixodent. boys!

he even won best costume. funny. neither of us voted for him. we voted for jason's fairy man. there isn't a great picture of him. but it was an excellent costume in our opinion, i guess because we did help him come up with the idea! ;o)

so for the actual party. it was WAY confusing. too many things to do for each character. too much unnecessary killing. the people who participated in the first murder mystery party said that one was better. kinda surprised me, because i thought that the first time would be the hardest... not really sure what to do and stuff.
as overwhelmed and disappointed that i was, i would definitely do it again. i guess just in hopes that it would turn out better. but i did have a great evening with friends, so that counts for something!



makes me laugh.
last night he told me dinner was so good that he licked the plate. the kicker. it was egg salad.
and that two of his favorite recipes are both made in the crock pot.
guess i don't have to cook those elaborate meals for him. or he knows i'm not a great cook and has come to accept that!

so i stole my title from heidi swapp... i didn't plagerize, i cited my source!



i don't know why... but i love these little blog things. i guess i'm nosey and just like reading everyone's answers. so thanks stacey. and all of you readers, consider yourself tagged! ;o)
1. What time did you get up this morning? the alarm went off at 6am. i dragged myself out of bed at about 6:30am.
2. Diamonds or Pearls? diamonds!
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?the nightmare before christmas in 3D.
4. What is your favorite TV show? grey's anatomy.
5. What did you have for breakfast? wheat toast with chunky peanut butter.
6. What is your middle name? marie.
7. What is your favorite cuisine? mexican!
8. What foods do you dislike? seafood.
9. Your favorite potato chip? when it comes to potato chips, i don't discriminate!
10. What is your favorite CD at the moment? no cd. downloaded from itunes. how about the three with the most rotation: imogen heap {speak for yourself}. fergie {the dutchess}. and justin timberlake {future sex love sounds}. i'm so bringing sexy back... ;o)
11. What kind of car do you drive? bmw 325xi.
12. Favorite Sandwich? hmmm. toughie. maybe the gourmet veggie club from jimmy john's.
13. What characteristics do you despise? dishonesty.
14. What are your favorite clothes? anything comfy... maybe that's why i became a nurse.. scrubs!
15. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would it
be? australia.
16. What color are your eyes? hazel/brown.
17. Favorite brand of clothing?gap or old navy.
18. Where would you want to retire? somewhere warm?
19. Favorite time of day? evenings.
20. Where were you born? east chicago, indiana
21. What is your favorite sport to watch? football or volleyball {sand}.
22. Who do you think will not send this back? n/a thanks for being a rebel and not emailing it stacey!
23. Person you expect to send it back first? see above
24. Pepsi or Coke? coke. cherry please.
25. Cats or Dogs? cats. they are easier. however, i see a dog in our future.
26. Are you a morning person or a night owl? night owl. but lately, i'm becoming more of a morning person!
27. Pedicure or manicure? gosh, i dont' know... would say pedicure but i have ticklish feet! and a manicure would be wasted on all that hand washing... so i'll take either!
28. Do you prefer funny or mushy cards? funny.
29. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with everyone? nope.
30. What did you want to be when you were little? i don't know. i was always changing my mind. i'm surprised i haven't changed professions!
31. What do you have in your trunk right now? old magazines. keep meaning to take them into work for the patient's to read.
32. What is your best childhood memory? my brother and i being smartasses. good times.
33. What are the different jobs you have had in your life? receptionist for drywall company, nurse extern, and nurse.
34. Favorite Holiday? halloween. love dressing up and the kidlets. 4th of july. love fireworks!
35. What is your favorite dessert? if it contains heath or caramel, i'm game.
36. Favorite Summer getaway? i don't have one. i would rather see a bunch of places then go to one over and over again. but that might change if/when we have those kidlets.
37. Ever been to Africa ? no.
38. Glasses or Contacts? glasses. my eyes are uber sensitive and do not like contacts.
39. Ever been toilet papering? yes. the high school parking lot. took my mom and she nearly peed her pants...
40. Been in a car accident?yes.
41. Favorite day of the week? saturday.
42. Favorite restaurant? anything mexican.
43. Favorite flower? daisies. gerbera daisies to be more specific.
44. Favorite movies? clueless for the longest time. shawshank redemption because come on, it's shawshank! and lately, wedding crashers. just makes me laugh.
45. Favorite Pastime? scrapping, reading.
46. Favorite ice cream? totally diggin this ben and jerry's... coffee heath caramel or something. YUM!!
47. Favorite fast food restaurant? taco bell.
48. How many times did you fail your drivers test? none.
49. From whom did you get your last email? liz.
50. Sandals or tennis shoes? flip flops!
51. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? i could never pick one. any bookstore, target, gap, old navy. and i'll say best buy for nick's sake...
52. If the speed limit is 60 what is the fastest you will drive? i plead the fifth.
53. Bedtime? midnight-ish...
54. Who are you most curious about their responses to this? everyone. i'm nosey rosey!
55. Last person you went to dinner with? nick and his mother.
56. What are you listening to right now? fergie's new album. the dutchess on itunes.
57. What is your favorite color? purple.
58. How may tattoos do you have? none.
59. How many people are you sending this Email to? no one. see above and that rebel stacey!
60. What time did you finish this email? well, it's not an email. but it is 8:15pm.



who gets blisters on the balls of their feet? i do.
yes, i'm weird.
got them in california. walking around that darn zoo all day. silly flip flops!
had to wear different shoes the rest of the trip and the dress shoes for the wedding were painful!
the kicker... i still have the darn blisters. weeks later. they don't hurt . wouldnt' even know they were still there. i know this might be too much information but the fluid is gone. it's just a bubble of skin. and now, i can't stop pulling at that skin. yes, i understand it's nature's bandaid. but i'm a picker!
yeah, i'm weird and gross.
totally know better than to cut them open but it's really tempting!
hopefully i can show some restraint! ;o)



i dispise people who have no other life than to steal other people's debit/bank account information and make crazy transactions to your account. this makes twice in about 4 months that we have had this happen. first with nick's card, now with mine. the first time our bank caught it. this time, not so much. over $350 racked up on the statement when i checked today.... for some place in europe...

in happier news, i'm uploading a boatload of pictures right now. just have to edit and order! and we're scheduled to see the nightmare before christmas in 3d tomorrow. rescheduled last week because nick's mom was crazy sick. and today was halloween! got to see all the cute kidlets dressed up! and what the heck is with mom's driving kids from house to house? seriously. it's not like we are miles apart!

dressed up for work today too. christmas theme. the planning started last year! jokingly called my boss a grinch. it stuck. hence, our theme. next year is pirates. gotta think ahead for discount costumes! ;o)
would share pictures, but blogger is being a meanie.


pumpkin king.

nick and i got our pumpkins carved today. my parents were nice enough to share the pumpkins they grew with us! just wish they were a little plumper. kinda limited our designs. but beggars can't be choosers!
the two pumpkins right after they were created.

nick's rockin cyclops!

my pumpkin king. supposed to look like jack from the nightmare before christmas. eh, turned out alright!
had a costume snafu. for work, we are all supposed to be something christmas related. long story.. but my boss is the grinch! ;o) i was to be the sugar plum fairy. tried on the costume today. had it for a week or so... look like a fairy street walker! made a mad dash to the costume stores after nick's cpr recert. at brandee's! found an angel costume... thank goodness! but now, nick wants to be the fairy. boys!
and for brandee. darn her and that little bambino jade. she's so stinking cute. got to play with her while nick did the cpr stuff. thankfully, he has agreed no babies til after the new house!
speaking of homes, the builder showed us our tentative home. way cool. he has built it twice now, the following is a picture of the one that is completed.
kinda crummy picture. we drove back after being shown the home... they were outside raking leaves! had to pretend we were private investigators or something and be all secretive about it! have a few adjustments but not many. really getting excited about it all. think we have our lot. really need to get a realtor out here to give us an idea of what we could put the house on the market for. to really figure out finances. ah, fun stuff...
also stumbled across this rocking street.
we were really hoping it intersected with a nicholas street because that would have just been too freaking cool. settled for ryan. which is nick's middle name. hmmm, might have to put that intersection into our gps guy and see where i need to go on a roadtrip! ;o)


i'm addicted...

to this silly little game!

Halloween Hangman created by The Dimension's Edge, Inc.

the skeleton's comments just crack me up!

college years...

lately, when i have thought back on the past three and a half years of my life... i have really been wanting to call them my college years. weird, i know.
i never went away to school. i stayed at home and did the local campus of a major state school. thought it was best financially and i just wanted to be closer to my nicholas. lame, i know.
when nick and i moved in together, i had never lived without my parents. it was liberating. and a huge change. had a lot of things to get used to. i mean, i actually had to do my own dishes! okay, so nick does them. ;o)
i feel like i'm settling into more of a routine. that i'm ready to become more of an adult. yeah, whatever that means. i dunno. maybe that we just don't have ramen and frozen burritos for dinner. that i've actually cooked almost regularly for the past year!
maybe it's just this crazy, huge, financial, grown up decision we have ahead of us. yes, we have made large decisions, but for some reason this one just feels like a doozy! or maybe that i'm just conscious of the repurcussions. whatever they may be.
i honestly haven't a clue. but it feels like a transition period. maybe one i sorta missed right after college or even by not going away.
who knows. maybe it's just me being the deep overthinker that i am! and maybe it doesn't even make sense! ;o)



here it is. your vacation update. can i just say, what is the deal with me getting sick after these vacations? i swear, my sinuses hate me traveling!

wednesday october 11: our flight. early. 8 am-ish. had to be up at 4am. nice flight considering... not too many people and was way cheap!
landed around 1030am. their time. got to the hotel around noon. i passed out. traveling wipes me out. that and we were up late the night before! lots going on...
just kinda hung out there for the day. room service. lots of nothingness! good times!
thursday october 12:
headed to the san diego zoo. turned out to be a nice day. probably the best besides the day we left! totally nice zoo. glad we ventured out that way. saw some turtles getting their groove on, two seperate groups of meerkats. yes, i do watch meerkat manor! and they are totally so cute in person. the pups... adorable. nick and i totally want us a meerkat family! saw some baby giraffes. love giraffes. they have the best eyelashes!
went to old towne for a bit after the zoo. the headed back to the hotel to meet up with our friends.
all the pics are uploaded to flickr. but i won't make you dig thru all of them... and they are backwards. out of order. how the heck am i managing that?!
some highlights from the zoo:
check the turtles in the background. there are three on the otherside of the fence. bunch of freaks!

me diggin the giraffes!

meerkats. seriously we have like 25 pictures of just meerkats. yeah, we have a problem!

thursday evening we spent the evening with tom and yogurt. okay, his real name is brian. but no one calls him that. and i'm proud to say that tom and i were the ones who made the nickname stick... ;o)
hung out at the hotel for a while. they had free appetizers and drink specials from 5-7. can't beat that. but the hotel did charge $10 a day parking. the heck? and no notice from the travel agent... nice.
afterwards, we walked around downtown disney. about a 10 minute walk from our hotel. not too bad. then tried to walk our stupid selves to jack in the box. those boys, tom, and their ultimate burgers. i think they had it every night!
our little gps guy totally helped us out. that and the big sheraton beacon across from our hotel. just had to look for it to figure out where we were headed when george, the gps, wasn't with us!
friday october 13: disneyland day!
tom, doug, yogurt, yogurt's cousin alicia, nick and myself went. had a blast. well, doug and tom left early. thought they were too grown up or something... got drunk with an old guy in a hot tub. totally sounds like more fun that disney, right?
were able to ride the nightmare before christmas ride! the new pirates of the caribbean was pretty neat. did an excellent job making the jack sparrow. totally looks like johnny depp!
got a picture from splash mountain....
yeah, tom's asleep. alicia is loving it. yogurt is scared to death! i'm screaming. i just can't help it! nick's loving it! and doug, well, he's hiding! ;o)
tom totally thought about his pose all morning! cracks me up!
ate like a pig! turkey legs, pickles, pineapple ice cream, pineapple floats, french fries, pluots {plum/apricot hybrids!}, pretzels, hot chocolate. soooo good.
had to try on some mouse ears...
watched the fireworks show over the castle. way cool. love fireworks. well, worth the wait in the cold and the rain! headed to downtown disney to meet up with rob, chie, and ryan. none of us had met rob's fiancee before... kinda strange. lots of weirdness behind it, but oh well.
saturday october 14: wedding day. nick and i slept in. headed to the nearby fruitstand when we finally dragged ourselves out of bed! yum. and cheap. wish we had a decent farmer's market or fruit stand near us... must investigate.
drove to the wedding. which was at the disneyland resort. in the rose garden. very pretty. chie even was brought out by horse and carriage... cinderella style. pretty cool!
don't have the best pictures. nick was my photographer. and there are heads in every picture. quite funny. but you can check out the photographer's website, if you are interested. not all the pictures are up, but the ones that are are phenomenal. joey ikemoto. if you like to search for the pics... go to weddings. groom's last name = longfellow. select the date of 10-14-2006. it will give you a movie of the one's posted.
the boys looking handsome...
nick and i... totally have our christmas card photo too. everyone will have to wait for their cards to see it!
where's yogurt? were you all paying attention?
not pictured because he was loaded. tom and doug left him after he put a giant construction cone on his head and proclaimed he was the wizard of oz... then proceeded to fall into the bushes. totally thought he would have been arrested. so hoping he wouldn't show up to the wedding and ruin it.
he did make it. after the ceremony thankfully. still drunk. not good. we ditched him again.. i know. so nice of us. his so called friends. walked around downtown disney to pass the time between the ceremony and reception. had a nummy drink from rainforest cafe. tequilla and orange sherbert. sounds freaky... but tastey!
went to the reception... yogurt found us. ended up leaving early. which was probably a good thing for everyone.
called it a night early. rob and chie were flying to japan way early. tom, doug, and yogurt all had 8 am flights.
sunday october 15: decided to treck back to san diego. went to the miramar air show. neither of us had been to an airshow so thought we should check it out. the weather sucked! cold, cloudy, windy. we froze our asses off. way crowded too. but neat. glad we went. saw a plane and a semi truck race. bad ass. from our angle it looked like the semi won. the blue angels were freaking crazy. flying at 300mph only 18 inches apart. seriously, what if someone sneezes. not good.
had the darndest time trying to nab some pictures. ended up taking a few videos. this is the best i could do...
we left early because we were cold and crabby and hungry!
drove to beverly hills to eat at the stinking rose. saw it on foodnetwork. good eats or something like that. great food. favorite of the night. garlic ice cream with chocolate mole sauce. a weird good. and no, i'm not pregnant.... thanks tho!
monday october 16: went back to the parks. hit california adventure land this time.
loved the candy corn a's. yeah, i'm weird. had this fascination with pumpkins and palm trees. they just don't mesh for this midwesterner!
not very big. no lines either. decent rides tho! loved the tower of terror. yeah, i screamed on that one too. nick got to ride a rollercoaster. he loves them! rode a funky ass ferris wheel. look closely at the picture. the carts don't stay around the edge of the ferris wheel. they have inside tracks.
way nauseating. so not what you expect on a nice ferris wheel ride!
monday night we hung out at the bar in our hotel. remember? free appetizers? drink specials? stuffed ourselves silly with junk and drank for cheap while watching the bears game. was that not the craziest game ever? so happy the bears ended up winning, although i still can't believe it!
tuesday october 17: our final day. weren't totally sure what we were going to do. our flight didn't leave lax until after 5 pm. the weather ended up cooperating so we drove to the santa monica pier.
had a blast. we were total fools. set the camera in the sand and played with the timer. you should have seen us running back and forth. okay, nick was running and maybe i shouldn't have admitted our silly little antics. got some decent pics tho!
and my pants were soaked after jumping around in the ocean. nothing like saltwater legs for a four hour flight!
a few of us being dorks...

seriously. have a ton of beach pics. maybe 100 or so! and they are all in the flickr set.
nick also found this neat workout area on the beach. was insanely jealous. so wants to move there just for that. told him we probably wouldn't appreciate it then!
then drove to lax and caught our flight....

sad to be gone. but good to be home at the same time. exhausted. glad our full time doc is in syria. have a little breather workwise before monday! nick not so lucky. tons going on at work. feel bad for the poor guy.
also have lots of extracirricular activities the next few days! totally wishing i could just hibernate for a bit!


on the road again.

it's that time again. we leave for los angeles tomorrow morning. kinda traveled out. wish that all of our vacations weren't back to back to back. don't get me wrong. i'm glad that we have the opportunity but i wish we could have spread them out!

so excited for this. i love the nightmare before christmas. cannot wait! thanks to my disney guru for all of her help! nick's super excited about dinner at the bayou! and thanks to monica for all the other help. you girls have been great!

i'm excited for our friend's wedding too. should be beautiful. get to hang out with some friends that i don't always get to see. good times.
heading to san diego for the day. nick's all about the zoo. should be neat. not sure if it will compare with brookfield. totally hoping they have meerkats.

gonna be running around like crazy this evening. meet with a builder about possibly building in the near future, he is also going to check out our water damage, have bills to pay, packing to do. yeah, i'm a procrastinator....

be back in week with plenty of stories, i'm sure. ;o)



just gonna try and upload some stuff with flickr. we will see how technologically advanced i am! but i'm totally diggin everyone's pictures being on the sidebars of their blogs. so i'm copying! ;o)

gauley pictures by appalachian wildwaters.

keep an eye out for a link on the right hand side for future photos... if you are interested!


thank you.

i have a thing with thank yous. i probably tend to send them more than i should.
not sure why. i don't remember my mom being big on them. i mean, for the big events: graduation, weddings. but never for the little things like birthdays and christmas.

got a thank you from a wedding we attending recently. kinda put off by it. all pre written. typed. like it came in the package with their invitations. no handwriting. well, our address on the envelope. it would have been nice to have at least a little personalization on the inside. say maybe their signatures...
as much as i hated writing our wedding thank yous, we did it. now, don't get me wrong. i'm glad that we got a thank you. i mean, i've sent gifts and never received any acknowledgment that they were received... until i had the guts to ask quite some time later... but i digress. i thought that if someone took the time to buy a gift or write a check, i could take a few moments of time to thank you. even if it meant having a terrible hand cramp!

yeah, i'm weird. but aren't we all?

and thanks for the kind words. unfortunately, i don't think we will get any answers until after we return from los angeles. frustrating. but i'm going to try and not worry about something i have no control over. yeah, easier said than done.


always something.

yup. that's life. the ups and downs of adulthood. {is that even a word? ah, another one for the shabster dictionary...} and yes, this might seem like an over reaction or something. maybe even like it shouldn't even be a big deal. and i do know that there are worse things in life, but it is frustrating nonetheless. so warning. vent ahead. crabby shan. just gonna get it out and over with.. here i go. ;o)
had another doozie of a storm roll through here yesterday evening.
noticed some lovely water damage today. sucks. our house is not even 4 years old and we have water damage. what the?!
the even better part. our builders. they stink. had problems with them from the get go. just found out earlier this year that we are paying taxes for a time period when we weren't even in the house. {yeah, indiana is a year or two behind on the taxes. but we are catching up.} we moved in the first week of june. we are paying for the entire year. tried to get it remedied but can't. the builders are no longer together. the company no longer exists. so who is responsible... us. a cracked bathtub. thankfully, we were able to track down the plumbers!
now this. water damage. i know that roofs are supposed to be good for 5 or 10 years. i forget. but if that's the case. or if it's something structural. we should be covered. but by who?
now the lovely process starts of calling the insurance company, our relator, the better business bureau, city hall for building codes, the board of relators if our relator won't help, possibly lawyers. anyone got any other ideas?
sometimes it doesn't seem worth it. like we go through all the trouble and then get stuck. that it would just be easier to do it ourselves and say forget it. but that's what the man wants. the squeakiest wheel gets the oil. gosh, i do hate that. i usually am the ones complaining about those people. but this is a bit different.
nick just says that this will be the driving force in us moving. to find a reputible builder and start from scratch. not just buy new construction and hope for the best. yeah, i know things can happen. no one is perfect. that even if we have the best builder in the whole wide world things can go wrong. but maybe, they will be around to help us!
hopefully, our home owner's insurance will cover it. it should, shouldn't it?
heck i don't know. they never taught you this stuff in school. and honestly, i'm not sure if i would have paid attention!


scar face.

yup. we fell out of the bleeping raft. couldn't have come at a better time... lodged between two rocks. good times. but i won't get ahead of myself.
friday september 22. jason's birthday. actually left on time. well, pretty much! couldn't believe that jay and chris were actually here at 9am. they so aren't the punctual pair! debated between two cars for a while. finally decided on the trusty minivan. woot, woot. we travel in style!
stopped in indianapolis to visit willie {the boy who was married in a barn}. able to catch up over lunch at a mexican restaurant and stopped in for a moment to see his new apartment.
then continued our journey to cincinnati. of course, it had to rain like crazy. had a few homeruns come our way. nick almost caught one. if only jason wouldn't have pushed him! made it through the 5th inning and then the game was delayed. after waiting an hour, they finally called it. we were WET!!!
see empty seats. nope, not us idiots. we sat there. jay is an avid cubs fan. a crazy one too! thought since it was his birthday we should keep him company. yeah, that was stupid...

my jeans were soaked. it looked like i was wearing chaps. and it was oh so comfortable...
went back to the hotel room. were going to go out for drinks but we were cold, wet, and tired. the boys got pizza and us girls passed out!
saturday september 23. drove the rest of the way to west virginia. made it to our campground safe and sound. it was crowded and noisy!! walked around and took in the sites. to see a zillion tents on platforms was kinda crazy. drove into town and got some necessities. alcohol. food. ice. it ended up raining all evening so we turned in early.
sunday september 24. our first day of rafting. had to be at breakfast by 9:30am. wasn't easy dragging myself out from under the comfy sleeping bags into the cold morning! and then we had to change into damp, cold wetsuits. blech. thought i would be more nervous. but i guess i really didn't know what to expect. all loaded onto a bus and drove about an hour to our drop off site... we were rafting the lower gauley river. had a kick ass guide, brad. he is starting his own business in costa rica. totally are putting that on our travel to do list.
weather stunk. was cool and rainy. i guess the rain doesn't really matter when you are gonna get wet anyway!
jas, started off the day bullriding. they attached a rope to the front of the raft and he tried to stay on the nose of the raft through some rapids. didn't do so well.
made it through the trip with no one falling out of the boat unintentionally. we even surfed the last rapid. way scary. way cool. kel, fell down and then we all went. but we all fell into the boat. brad, was a little disappointed that we didn't fall in, so one by one he started tackling us... right into the water. was a blast!!
those are my feet. kelly is on the right. jay and christy are on the left. haven't a clue where nick is. and brad is already back in the boat!
were freaking exhausted at the end of the day. went back to a much less crowded campground. ate dinner at the lodge and just vegged in front of the fire for a while...
monday september 25. were up early. had to be ready to go by 8:30 so that meant breakfast at 7:30. waited for quite some time for a few stragglers. so frustrating. sitting around in not the driest or warmest of socks and wetsuits. drove to the drop off site for the upper gauley. it was the gauley festival day. so a lot of the guides were off to participate in the race. curt was our new guide. not as friendly as brad. and went to indiana university. not necessarily the best guide for five boilermakers from purdue. but i think having brad our first day would have made anyone seem bad!
started off with no problems. then into our third or so rapid, not even a big one. only a class 3. we had a mishap. not sure if it was our paddling or our guide's driving... but we ended up lodged between two rocks. they were more specifically called toothpaste. i guess it's because you get the squeeze. and boy did we...
so we were stuck. curt had us all on one side of the raft to prevent it from tipping. then he wanted us to jump up and down. yeah, i'm not so sure i like that idea. i mean, we are wedged between two giant rocks... my head inches away. and you want me to jump. not to mention that i have kelly and nick on top of me. i just kept thinking 'this is not good.' next thing i know, i'm under water. i feel the boat on top of me with my foot stuck inside, a zillion rocks, and someone on top of me. they tell you when you go under it seems likes minutes. so i just thought that i should count to five, pull my feet up {the tell you to never stand up because you can get entangled in rocks and rope}, and threw my arms up trying to figure out if i was under the boat. i popped up away from the boat and the rocks and saw only jason and our guide, curt, still in the boat. jas pulled chris in and curt grabbed me. when i got in and finally realized what happened i looked out to the water and saw nick and kelly. everyone got back in. but not everyone came away without injury. me, nothing serious. my ankle hurt from being stuck under the seat. kelly, had some redness to her eye and lost a contact. pretty sure she's gonna have a black eye. nick was a bloody mess.
the picture was taken after i had already wiped blood off of his face and tried to hold the wound shut for a few minutes. didn't really think to take a picture... what was wrong with me?
ended up having to have some butterfly stitches applied. has quite the bump. but doing okay considering.
the rest of the day went off without a hitch. climbed some rocks by sweets falls to watch other rafters and some of the competing kayaks/duckies/rafts.

aren't we dead sexy in those stinking wetsuits... was so pretty just to sit there and take in the gorgeous scenery. the sounds of the river, the changing trees. very relaxing despite all the excitement that day.
nick road the bull. we ended on the same rapids that we started with sunday. he did way better than jason. stayed on the entire time. too bad it wasn't on video!
got back to the camp ground. made a fire and chilled. the boys and i tried to watch monday night football but fell asleep on the picnic tables outside!
made some killer smores with heath bars. yum. i love toffee! chris prefers reese's peanut butter cups and nick's chocolate of choice was a york peppermint pattie. look how yummy...

went to bed way early monday night. none of us could sit. the combination of tight wetsuits and bouncing on a raft all day doesn't make for a very comfortable bootay. super sore. wasn't really my arms or back. a little, but nothing terrible!
tuesday september 26. the journey home.
a whopping 8 hours in a car. i think it might have been more but we did stop to eat. played trivia, brain teasers, and tried to name all the state capitals/motos to pass the time. had everything unpacked and laundry going before we went to bed.

so that was it, i think. our first adventure in white water rafting. nick got a shirt that reads scars are tattoos with better stories. so true in this case. glad to be home. excited to think about doing it again next year. can't wait to watch the videos and look at the picture cds. might have some more action pictures to share then...

today didn't do much of anything. tried to do some dt layouts. not the greatest. ran to walgreens to get the underwater camera pics developed. vegged. so glad to have the day off. might have to look into that when we come back from los angeles. can't believe that is only a few weeks away!



it's back! so effing excited. nick and i have been grey's junkies for the past week or so. trying to get him caught up on all the episodes. we did it and we are so ready!! a little behind on house stuff... but caught up and that is what totally matters! ;o)
trying to pack for whitewater rafting. so not ready. it's gonna be cold. 60s during the day. but when you combine that with water... not so sure i'm gonna like it. 40s-50s at night. that and a tent. hmmm. me thinks i need to spend a lot of time at the campfire! looking forward to hanging out with the friends, laughing, drinking, eating. just being merry. hoping that i don't fall out of the bleeping raft and kill myself. really kinda nervous about it all. my idea of a vacation is a little bit more relaxing!
going to the cubs/cincinnati game tomorrow. a halfway point of our trip. stupid forcast is prediciting rain.. of course! must pack for summer/fall and rain. which is quite the challenge for such an overpacker like myself!
leave friday at 9am. and instead of packing, i'm here blogging and baked some cookies. lisa made the cherry/white chocolate ones you posted at knk. heather i made your fruit roll up ones. yeah, i suck. they are all falling over and stuff. but i think i can perfect them, and if so, plan on using them for christmas cookies. maybe some green on the outside... so if you have any rolling tips, please share!
and for the exercise/health kick. did splendid the first two weeks. then i just crave the bad stuff! still doing okay tho. gonna even try and log my food while we are gone. maybe just to remind me not to die of gluttony. really like some of that website for the comparisons. helping you pick the lesser of the two evils. because sometimes it can be tricky!
alright. i really must get something done. like pack, or bake some bread, or do my design team layouts, or maybe even pack!



where did time go? been kind of a crazy week around here. that and i have to get used to the gym taking a chunk out of my evening. that has been going really well. again, much love to stacey for the kick ass webpage. totally suggesting to everyone i know!
had some crazy rains here wednesday. was a bit scary. our governor has declared a state of emergency in lake county. flooding like i haven't seen in ages. remember a biggun back when we lived in east chicago. i had to be like 6. so yeah, quite some time. and to think that this was mostly caused by 6 inches of rain in 3 hours. but it did rain for 5 days straight on and off. i had to drive thru it wednesday morning after a meeting in our other office. it was insane. i was half tempted to pull over... didn't tho. went at a snail's pace. lots of cars were stalled due to high standing water. my brilliant husband even got his car to smoke as he drove thru the gym's parking lot. like he didn't see that the ENTIRE parking lot was filled with water. didn't hurt the car tho! dork...
check out pictures here and here. they actually had to evacuate kids from schools in boats. my coworker waded thru knee deep water to get them. you can see the school in one of the pictures. collpased houses. schools and businesses are closed. roads were blocked off. nuts. and by thursday, the following day, a lot of the water had receeded, thankfully!
my immediate family had no damage. and no one in nick's family either. so that's good.


snotty mcgee.

so janis joplin might have sang about bobby mcgee. but today i'm calling myself snotty mcgee. i know maybe too much information. but i hate the fact that running makes my noise run! what the heck is that all about?
day two went well. i guess the work out bug is contagious. nick is even getting back into the swing of things. did the walk/jog thing with me today. except he sprinted. show off.
added weights today. hoping i'm not too sore to do yard work tomorrow! or scrap for that matter.
found spark people thanks to stacey. signed up, got my workout plan, tracked my meals today. really liking it so far. well, i am but i'm not. i eat a lot of crap. so i guess this will be a good thing for me. to actually see it on the screen in front of me.
and thanks for the kind words... i hate running too. but think it would be pretty neat to say i can run three miles! ;o) maybe do a charity run. no marathons. not that crazy... yet.

yesterday had a nice evening with nick's dad, his girlfriend {michelle}, and her daughter{brianna}. had family movie night. going to try and do it more often. it just seems like the summer months get crazy for everyone. saw chronicles of narnia. pretty cute. think i might have enjoyed it more as a book. speaking of books, i've added a reading list/blog. i copied from fellow bloggers. hope to pay more attention to their book lists... you know who you are!

so is everyone humming bobby mcgee. ladada, dada, dadadadadada... hey now... bobby mcgee....


back to school...

errr. the gym. since i gave myself a summer break from the gym and the kiddos are all back in school, thought i should drag my sorry self to the gym.
was bored with the old routine. wanted to do something different. going to try the couch to 5k program. probably will tweak it and make it my own. kinda nervous to start running. had my ankle reconstructed a few years ago. been released and given the okay for ages. just scared and it doesn't always feel right. i don't know how professional peeps do it. especially those football players. scary.
anywho. today was day one. didn't to to shabby. i suck at running. seriously. was thinking i would do the phoebe running thru the park episode on friends . okay, not really. but still thought i might look a fool!
did 25 minutes. did 5 extra minutes. it was probably more walking than running tho. i just keep telling myself baby steps. and that would be why i didn't do weights today either just abs. i'm sure my legs will be noodles for the next few days. didn't want to have the entire body aches again. so next week will be cardio and weights {abs too!}. really liked being on the track and not in the gym. always feels like a meat market. the track is way more private. nice.
contemplating a bodybugg. thanks stacey. not sure tho. i really like my food. might have a heart attack if i saw what i ate... but i have kinda adjusted my eating habits. still trying...
and in theory, if i just added exercise and still at the same, i should weigh less. well, depending on muscle. ;-) but honestly, i just want to feel healthier. don't get me wrong, what girl doesn't want to lose a few pounds, but it would feel great to know i could run three miles!
so anyone got any running tips for this lazy heffalump?
oh and i'm totally thinking i need a new watch. this second hand while bouncing/running up and down is ridiculous!


4.5 pounds.

no not my weight loss goal or my weight loss.
not how much my new pumpkin weighs. {okay, i don't have a pumpkin. soon. i hope.}
hmmm. i wonder how many dollars that would be. never been good on conversions...
not how much i think the new harry potter book will weigh.
not the size of a fish i caught.
not how much iced tea i have drank in the past week. however, i do drink lots! ;oP

okay.. seriously. 4.5 pounds of photos. just from vegas. arrived on my doorstep today. a giant box from the developer. {scrapbookpictures...} and you know what? i laughed at the fact that i almost had five flipping pounds of pictures. but then i thought. damn, i only had to pay two dollar shipping. bonus!


vegas in review...

good times. been ages since we had been on a vacation with our family. his or mine. can't wait to do it again. my parents already booked a return trip for december. nick doesn't have enough vacation days or we just might have joined them again! thanks to everyone for your tips and advice. it was really appreciated and whatever we didn't get to see or do this time around, has found its way onto our vegas list and hopefully we can get to it another time!

wednesday august 9: an early morning. caught the flight without problems. my lil bro's first plane ride ever. he did great. could tell he was scared tho. didn't eat, pee, drink, move. only played video games. glad we had them to take his mind off of things. i guess my dad really kinda freaked my mom out. kept talking that the plane needed to go faster if he ever wanted to get off of the ground. seriously? shut up silly man!
had some uber annoying kiddos behind us. came thisclose to killing them. grrr. otherwise uneventful flight. gorgeous clear skies. great views of lake mead before we landed.
kev, nick, and myself took off once we got to the hotel. were way hungry. found some giant drinks and burgers at imperial palace.

the burgers started a crazy addiction. we photographed every single meal we ate in some way, shape, or form! so making a mini album out of those! also started a trend that we ate burgers every flippin day of this trip. oy.
did some gambling to pass the time. love the new ticket system. so much easier than dealing with coins!
went to dinner at the top of the eiffel tower. way cool. way yummy. so neat to see the fountains at the bellagio go off during dinner. not gonna bore you with all the food pics. will have to update the gallery when i get my pics and the oomph to do that album.

thursday august 10: jared and melissa's wedding. mom, dad, and kevin were going to attend. it was my chance to check out the world series of poker. headed to the rio. was so worth the trip. we got there early. didn't realize the final table started later. oh well. was nice to walk around without the crowd. got to see all the tables. unreal to think about 8800 and some people playing poker in that room. way neat to watch it on espn and think that we were there. not necessarily at that time but still cool!
saw phil gordon. bout pissed my pants. was too chicken to ask for a photograph. nick yelled at me. said since i was a girl i probably could have gotten one. that and the fact that he seems so incredibly nice! i didn't want to bother him tho! oh well, from now on, i vow to stalk any celebrity i see... maybe!
after that we walked the strip. made it to the wynn. had lunch at red 8. saw it on rachael ray's tasty travels. worth the trip. so yummy!
had some time to see more hotels and hang out by the pool before dinner.
ended up eating a jimmy buffet's margaritaville for jared and melissa's reception. went in place of mom and dad. they ended up with free meals at harrah's so they went there instead! we met up with them to go see the nudie show. it stunk. but it made mom and dad happy. can't complain.

friday august 11: the grand canyon adventure. where do i begin!?
left dad at the hotel. the four of us got up uber early to begin our four hour each way road trip...
drove past the hoover dam. that thing is so damn cool. i'm fascinated each and every time we pass it! stopped for some pics. was windier that heck...
nick cracked up when he saw a ram crossing sign. then i'll be damned there were a bunch of them right next to the road! snapped a pic of the lone one. look very, very closely!

not sure how to move my pics. i suck, sorry!
stopped at jack in the box for burgers! then got to some nasty weather. apparently, arizona decided to have monsoons while we were there. figures. never can go on a meyer family vacation and get away with no rain. it even is called the 'R' word in our family.
crappy times. made it to the giant hole tho! pretty damn cool. wish it wasn't as overcast. sigh. would have loved to see the vibrant colors. oh well, had to buy a book instead! :)

froze our patooties off. ended up experiencing a 50 degree weather change. vegas was 109 and arizona made it as low as 53. yes, the weather change entertained us in the car. you see, we had to find something because the stupid monsoons washed out a road. so we had to take a lovely detour thru flagstaff. added over an hour onto our return time.
drove thru crazy scary rains. my husband is amazing. so thankful we made it back safe and sound. played trivia when i wasn't too scared to read the questions!

were exhausted when we got back. ate at paris. yummy buffet. then we tried to walk the strip at night. wanted to see some free shows. the mirage volcano. snore as usual. but kev wanted to see it. after it was over he said, 'that's it!?' had to laugh. tried to see the sirens at treasure island. was too windy. they cancelled it!

saturday august 12:
walked the strip some more. went to m&m world and the coca cola store. had sodas from around the world.

some were tasty. some not so much. pretty good deal for like $7 bucks. made us all have the burps tho!! totally dug the apple one from china. at least i think that was my favorite. have the papers somewhere!
nick felt the need to feel up green...
wasted 20 minutes waiting for and seeing the 3 d movie there.... at least i got this kick arse picture! thanks babe! ;o)
yeah, we are cool. after that we walked our sorry selves to mandalay bay. jeez, is that a hike. took a cab back... but that's another story!
ate at burger bar. way freaking cool. totally recommend it! saw it on rachael ray's tasty travels too! the boys had the kobe beef burger and i had the black angus. we all split the dessert burger. yummy!
went to downtown vegas that evening. just kinda walked around and chilled. ate some fried oreos. thankfully we did a lot of walking to make up for all those damn calories!
gambled the night away. figured it was our last night. why not. nick lost a boatload on let it ride. but he had a blast. i turned in early to pack. had to rearrange our luggage thanks to the liquid scare. i'm so glad that it didn't happen the day we flew out and that the hotel was nice enough to notify the guests of the changes.

sunday august 13: were up at the crack of dawn. packed and to the airport with no troubles. the biggest pain was southwest's terminal. had to wait almost an hour there. the security guards told us wednesdays and sundays were always like that. note to self: do not fly out of vegas on a sunday or wednesday! after our baggage was checked we headed to security. was a breeze. shocked. thought it would have been a nightmare considering they wanted you there four hours early...
hung out in the terminal for what seemed like ages. papa bear can sleep anywhere...

i had my mandatory trashy airplane reads...
nick was a doll. staked out our 'B' boarding place in line. only bad thing about southwest... no assigned seats. and well, i guess that they don't play movies! boo!
kinda strange on board. the overhead compartments were empty. the pilot said they almost ran out of room for luggage. they had almost 75 more pieces to board than usual. yikes! got this super fun picture right after i got the one of all the empty compartments.

was kind of a crummy flight home. super cloudy. some not nice turbulance...
then we arrived at midway and had some missing luggage. dad's wasn't there. had to fill out all kinds of paperwork. got yelled at for checking into the airport too early. um, hello. the airlines recommended 3-4 hours early. so not our fault that you didn't have someone checking id with the baggage tickets. finally gave up and loaded the shuttle back. while on the shuttle we got a call from southwest. someone else had picked up dad's luggage, they were going to deliver it before 7am.
got home around 10. dad tried to convince us to go out to dinner. i was tired and crabby and hungry. we convinced him to pick up taco bell and to just drop us off!
i got mostly unpacked that night. totally turned out to be a good thing, since that stinking summer cold/flu kicked my butt.

so there you have it. the update. abridged. have tons of pictures. i think over 400 by the time i collected my mom's and my brother's. yeah, you'll never hear me say i've run out of pictures to scrap! ;o)