Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas 2008

Wow! I can hardly believe it is New Years Eve! Christmas came and went so quickly, although we still have one celebration left with Jim's Mom and Sister the end of this week. Christmas was a bit rough for Jim and I this year, after I finished my round of the flu we managed to make the trip to Omaha Christmas Eve afternoon, but Christmas morning Jim woke up sick. It's never fun being sick on Christmas, especially with the stomach flu.

Christmas Eve was spent at my Mom's house. It was a great time, with lots of food I couldn't eat, and tons of presents. It is always fun to get presents, but I really enjoyed giving this year. We got my brother a great gift, something he had really wanted but had no idea we knew he wanted it, so his face was priceless when he opened it. Jayke was a riot this year as well, he loved everything and just couldn't wait for it to be his turn. We finished opening and Jim and I stayed and hung out for most of the night just chatting and having a good time.

Christmas morning is spent at my Dad's house. We have breakfast and open presents together with us kids and my Dad and Deb. Breakfast turned out good even though the casserole Deb had made got dumped on the floor thanks to the 2 dogs racing around the kitchen. We had brought our belgian waffle maker as well so Deb put together some scrambled eggs with all the fixins to replace the casserole. Everything turned out good and tummies were full.

After breakfast we all head downstairs to open presents. Present opening was a great time. Santa left Jayke a present at Papa's too and his reaction to finding it and opening it was just priceless. He is really into animals this year and got one of the tiger cubs that acts alive, I think everyone was impressed by it, but especially him. By the time gifts were done Jim was up in bed sick. I knew something was up but he was in denial for a little bit and wouldn't say what was wrong, finally there was no hiding it. He was in bed or in the bathroom the rest of the day. Odie was always by his side making sure no one would bother his sick Dad.

Christmas night is spent at my grandparents house with the whole Skudler clan. Jim stayed back of course, not only was he still sick but he didn't want to make anyone else sick. The rest of us congregated for a pretty low key evening. We had our big Christmas dinner, followed by our gift exchange. There was lots of visiting and catching up. There are now 3 Skudler families expecting babies this spring/summer so we swapped pregnancy stories for a bit. It will be amazing next year how much the family is going to have grown and it will also be exciting for so many kids to grow up around the same age. Jim called a couple of times, I think he was lonely even though I wasn't gone too long, so I stopped and got him some medicine and headed back to take care of him. He had quite the fever when I got back so I am glad I was there to get him some tylenol and cold pack his head. By the next morning he felt much better, but still not 100%.

I am not going to post any pictures just now, I want to get some stuff done before heading to work, but expect some soon. Have a Happy New Year everyone!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Hello Bathroom

Oh my...this has been one rough day. I woke up at 4:45 am on Tuesday feeling not so good. I thought I better head to the bathroom and before I made it there I had a mouth full of vomit. I love Mexican food, but coming back up...not so much. My nose was burning from the hot salsa spewing out of it. Of course I managed to get it all over my arm, down my shirt, etc... so I hopped in the shower to clean up. I went to tell Jim what had just happened and before I knew it I was up again running to the bathroom. I finished again and went to lay down on the couch for a few minutes.

By this time it was about 5:40 and I was the only person who had keys to open work at 6:15. I called my co-worker who was opening with me and told her I would come and unlock for them but wouldn't be staying. I managed to make it there, got unlocked and got them on the right track for the day and by 6:30 was running to the schools bathroom vomiting again. I grabbed my coat and headed straight home after that.

I came in and just laid down on the couch. Jim was up snow blowing a little while later. When he came in I was up and running to the bathroom again...other end this time. Absolutely miserable by this point, I managed to sort of sleep until about 8:55 when I was up for another round of both. I had nothing left in me to throw up, so was just throwing up bile. After I finished I curled back up into a ball and tried to get my mind on something else. At 10:40 I was puking again.

Jim came home for lunch and brought me some tums, toilet paper (we were about out...bad timing!), and tissues. I tried 2 tums and before he left that was out of me as well. He got the pleasure of listening and watching me throw up, I am sure that was not pleasant.

I had been waiting on a call back from the doctor and it came shortly after Jim left. They said I needed to wait until I had gone an hour without puking, then take 2 or 3 sips of water. If that stayed down for a half hour I could take 3-4 more sips until I was able to hold down 8oz of water in an hour. Then, I needed to be on the BRAT diet for at least the next 24 hours (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast). If I was not able to hold anything down for 24 hours from the time it started I was going to have to go in to the hospital to be put on fluid and what not. This was making for one awful day.

I made it an hour without puking, although I did have diarrhea but didn't count that. I took a few sips of water. I was SO thirsty I could hardly stand it. Before I knew I took a couple of big swallows f water and sure enough I was throwing up shortly thereafter, that was at about 1:25. I waited about 45 minutes and tried a few small sips. I took a couple small sips every 15 minutes or so. I thought I was making progress, but was vomiting again at 3. I called Jim and told him if it didn't get better we should go to the walk in clinic tonight.

When he got home from work he brought some bananas, applesauce and bread. I had been doing good sipping water. I was in the massage chair downstairs because I was so sore from puking. I went and laid down in the family room. Over the course of the next couple of hours I ate the equivalent of a couple spoonfuls of applesauce and drank an entire glass of water. I was feeling ok. I decided to head upstairs and before I knew it I was puking everything up again, this was at 8:30, just late enough that we couldn't make it to the walk in clinic in time. Jim had gone to drop off his families presents to his siser so she could take them to Christmas and I asked him to bring me back some ice and some pedialyte because the doctor had told me to try that. Jim was told when he was going to get it that his sister's friend, who has triplets, was told by her doctor to use gatorade instead of pedialyte because they work the same but pedialyte tastes so bad a lot of kids won't drink it. So Jim called and asked me and I did a quick search online to find out that it was true, it is recommended for replenishing dehydration in children and adults caused by excessive vomiting and diarrhea and is shown to have the same health benefits as the children's remedy, Pedialyte.

Well I made it to this morning and have eaten a couple of glassfuls of ice and have finished about half a bottle of gatorade. I feel much better this morning. I am extremely sore from the vomiting and heaving. I think I will try to eat something, maybe toast, and see how that goes. My husband is a rock star. He took such good care of me and finished all the wrapping and getting ready to go. He is definately awesome. Hopefully I make it through today without any catastrophes and everyone have a Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Auntie and Uncle Time

Last week Jayke came to spend some time with Auntie Mandy and Uncle Jim. We picked him up on Sunday and dropped him off this past Sunday. He spent the week heading to work with me and of course he had a great time playing with all of the kids, making crafts, and making new friends.

Monday night we went to Jolly Holiday Lights. It is an extremely long lighting display in one of Des Moines parks, with all of the proceeds going to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. We grabbed a bite to eat after work and then headed there. At the end there was a small place to park and go in for hot chocolate and other snacks, along with Santa and Make-A-Wish items to purchase. Here are Jayke and Jim in front of one of the lights on that building.

Wednesday night after dinner we decided to sit down and go through the ads to cut out pictures and make a letter to Santa with all of the things he wanted. He did awesome! I can imagine some kids would want to pick everything imaginable, but he truly picked the things he wanted most.

More than anything he wants the Imaginext jungle thingy and that is what he keeps telling Chelsea and Josh he wants. He would tell us that he also wants Santa to bring a lion, tiger and a dragon, so of course his next favorite things on his letter are his animals. Being the sweet boy that he is, he suddenly pointed out a baby toy he wanted Santa to bring, he told me he wanted Santa to bring it for his new baby brother (although Chelsea isn't due unti April).

On Friday all Jayke could talk about was taking his letter to Santa because that was the day we had been planning on going. That evening Jim, Jayke and myself got ready to got, had our letter in hand, got to the mall, and Jayke absolutely refused to Santa. He wanted to have nothing to do with him. It doesn't surprise me much, he has never really liked him, but I thought maybe this year would be different because he had been looking forward to it so much.

Saturday he helped me Christmas shop all day and we got quite a bit done. Other than that we spent the week just playing, hanging out, watching Kung Fu Panda and Horton Hears a Who, and just enjoying our nephew to the fullest. Here is a picture of him playing a monkey and Jim being the tree.

And Mom, this is for you from Jayke!
video

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Baby Davis Update

Pregnant life has been going fine for us in the Davis house. The Saurday after Thanksgiving (11/29) I felt the baby move for the first real pin-pointed time. She definately surprised me, especially when you don't know what to expect! Since then I have been able to feel her move almost daily. This last Saturday she was really rockin' and rollin' in there, and with all of her movements come the constant need to visit the restroom!

We had an appointment last Friday and all was going well. I still haven't put on any of the weight that I lost initially which is good, and my stomach is growing like it should be. I am still mostly in regular pants, buttoning them fine without any pressure, but I have begun to feel my stomach starting to expand a bit. We were able to see the baby at that appointment to check on the heart beat, she was at a MUCH better angle than at our last ultrasound and it was very exciting to get to see her again!

We are definately having trouble thinking of names. We had a girls name all picked out for quite some time (Harper Charlotte), until recently the Disney channel decided to use it in one of their shows (thank you Wizards of Waverly Place whose main character's best friend is Harper). Anyone who knows me well knows that that will kill it for me, we don't want a weird name, but we want an original name, and now every pregnant Mom watching the Disney Channel with their kids will hear this name so we just can't do it. I suppose we will keep brainstorming and come up with something eventually.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Tree Destruction

I have been promising a few family members pictures of what our cats can do to a Christmas tree. These pictures are from 2005, when I was still living in my apartment.

This is why...
  • we can't have a tree that gets put together in layers...that equals climbing to the top opportunities for the cats
  • the most precious ornaments now get loaded around the top of the tree
  • Jim had to make a base for the tree out of 2 2x4's crossed and routed to fit like an X, screwed in to a 4x4 with a hole drilled into it that the tree pole slides into. This way, even if they do jump in, try to climb, etc... they can't tip the whole thing over like they did multiple times in 2005.

Before: This is when we got it up, lights strung, and our 1st ornament we got together on it.

After: This is taken before Christmas even, as you can still see the presents under our tree.


As you can see, the lights are no longer working, the star is falling off, there are few ornaments left, multiple branches down, and all in all, it is just a mess. I also learned to take a picture of the tree after it is completely decorated, just in case this were to ever happen again!

Hope all your trees are looking festive!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

It's Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas!

The Christmas season has certainly arrived in the Davis household. We actually put up the tree the 3rd week in November, the week before my Mom came for the weekend. We knew we would be busy that weekend, the next was Thanksgiving, and by that time it just wouldn't have been up long enough for me! We weren't able to put up the tree last year because we were preparing for the move, so I was more than excited to get it up this year. Here it is in all of it's beautifulness.
Sunday morning also brought some beatiful winter weather to us. We had our first big snow! It was snowing when we were driving home Saturday night, but by the time all was said and done Sunday evening they say we had about 4 inches. I know some people hate the snow, but I am a 4 seasons kind of girl and there is nothing more beautiful than the first snow. Don't get me wrong, a too long winter gets old, but tell me that you don't love these pictures!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Thanksgiving Weekend

Wednesday Night:
This Thanksgiving we headed to Dubuque to spend time with Jim's family. We took off Wednesday evening with all of our stuff (and dog) in tow. The drive went well, we stopped in Williamsburg at the outlet mall to pick up a few things. I did get my first pair of maternity pants, I don't need them quite yet but figured I better pick them up to have for when I do. We finished our drive and spent the rest of the evening chatting and settling down.

Before we left there were some squirrels on our front porch...eating our pumpkin!
Thursday:
Thursday we SLEPT IN!!! How nice! When we woke we got ready to head to Jim's Dad's house to spend Thanksgiving day with him, his wife, her family, and us. The day was great. Their house looked great with it's Thanksgiving decorations, the table was beautiful, and the meal was absolutely delicious! I was so stuffed that I refused dessert...I had no where to put it! We spent the afternoon in a food coma, visiting, looking through the ads, and making a Friday morning game plan. We managed to finish the evening with pizza and headed back to Joy's to hit the hay...including Odie.
Friday:
Friday started early for us. We had decided that if we found some things we wanted in the early morning ads we would go ahead and head out for them to save a little money. We wanted something from Shopko for my Dad so Jim and Barb headed there. There was something at Sears I wanted for my Mom and a couple of things I wanted for Jim so I headed there. Both stores opened at 5am so we got up at 4:35, brushed our teeth, put on shoes, and pretty much went how we were.

I got to Sears a few minutes before 5 and walked up to the door and they were already open. Unfortunately for me, they decided to open at 4am since some other stores at the mall were opening then. I was disappointed because had I known, I might have come earlier. They still had what I wanted for my Mom, but none of the things I wanted for Jim. They were willing to order one online but when I got up there to order it it was sold out online as well. I decided to head out after that.

I saw Target across the street and they had something I had considered getting for Jim so I decided to head over there. When I pulled in it was 5:08 and there was still a line out front. I headed up to the door and the line wasn't moving. An employee was handing out maps to the store and so I asked why we weren't going in. He said they didn't open until 6. Well, I didn't have anything better to do so I figured I would wait it out. I was near to the front and knew if I went back to Joy's I wouldn't be able to get to sleep right away anyways, so in line I sat.

About 5 minutes until 6 this mob starts gathering in the parking lot in front of the doors. All of us in line were pretty amused by them because there were so many people and they were acting just crazy. There were two target employees out there telling them they needed to go to the line and wait but they remained where they were. When the doors opened people started filing in and the mob charged the door. They practically trampled the Target employees and started ramming those of us in line. Then, of course, everyone behind us starts running to get in and beat them and it just got insane. I was honestly quite scared. When someone pushed me my cell phone fell out of my pocket and I had to bend over to get it...that was absolutely terrifying. By this point I just wanted out of line but I couldn't get out. You couldn't even move, people were just pushing and shoving and running. You just went where the mob went and that was through the door.

Even when you got in people were crazed. Running, yelling, screaming, practically trampling eachother. I walked back to the electronics department and they had broken the cases holding some things trying to get at them. There was broken plastic and glass stuff on the floor. Why Target put the games and game systems in their cases is beyond me. Needless to say I was more than happy to get out of there.

Friday afternoon we had Thanksgiving with Jim's Mom's side of the family. Quite a few people were able to come which was great. Myself, Jim, Barb and Joy were there of course. His Aunt Glee, Uncle Ron, cousin Beth, and her son Jackson were also able to make it. And a surprise to most of us, his Uncle Mark and Aunt Sandie came in from Cedar Falls. I have only met them one other time, and that was at our wedding, so I was excited to get to see them again. Everyone had a great time. There was plenty of food, lots of desserts, visitng, chatting, and just hanging out. We all spent some time playing a game that Sandie brought and it was a great way to end the day. Everyone took off about 6 or 6:30. It was a very nice afternoon.

Saturday:
Saturday was spent helping Jim's Mom get her Christmas tree set up and decorated. Her tree is absolutely gigantic and she doesn't even put the bottom layer on. I am not sure if anything could fit underneath if she did. We were very low key until late afternoon when everything was done.
Here is Jim as they are part way done with the tree, and a picture of us two being goofy, unshowered, and VERY relaxed.
Saturday evening Jim's Mom treated us to dinner at her favorite Dubuque eatery. It was an Italian restaurant called Mario's. It was a very charming place, lots of character. The food was good as well. Jim ordered the panzerotti which his Mom just loves. I couldn't believe how absolutely huge this thing is. It is a large pastry filled with cheese and toppings then fried and served with their homemade sauce on top. It is calzone like, but probably more unhealthy.

After getting back to Joys we packed up the car and the dog and decided to head back home. We hit some snow on the way back and that mixed with fog and heavy traffic headlights made it a bit hard to see. Jim was driving and was very cautious. I was still surprised at the excellent time we made heading back. The weekend away was great but I was thankful to be back home.

This Thanksgiving was a time to be truly thankful for all we have been blessed with this past year. Our growing family, our friends, our pets and our lives in general are great and we have been very blessed. I hope you and yours enjoyed the holiday as well.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Visit With Mom

My Mom came down this past weekend to visit. Her and Frank took off the entire week of Thanksgiving so she thought she would kick off her vacation with a trip to see me!! Yay! She came down on Friday night and we spent the evening hanging out, heading to dinner, and just chit chatting about everything under the sun.

Saturday we went to the Downtown Des Moines Winter Farmers Market. I had been to the regular ones before and had a good time and I had heard good things about the winter ones. They only have 2 and this weekend was a perfect opportunity to head down. It was indoor and outdoor, but most vendors were inside. We had a good time looking around and I got a few Christmas presents bought. I also got a really awesome wreath for our home. The guy who makes them grows everything he makes them with, dries it, and creates these beautiful things. It is unique and a bit Christmas-y so it looks great hanging in our house.

Saturday afternoon and evening was spent shopping. I keep going out with intentions of getting tons of Christmas shopping done but I can't seem to find what I want for people. We still had a great time and did get a bunch of clothes for our baby girl!! It was nice to share so much time with my Mom. Hopefully we can do it more often!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Our Ultrasound

Friday morning Jim and I had our ultrasound scheduled. Because my family doctor does OB until birth I had decided to go with her instead of a local OB office. I chose this for many reasons, the main one being familiarity and personalized care. So, instead of heading in to the OB office and having the ultrasound there we have to schedule it elsewhere. They decided to do this one at the hospital we are planning to deliver at so they have everything right there when delivery time comes.

I had been pretty hyped up about the ultrasound because I just could not wait to know the sex of the baby. They are pretty darn sure we are having a GIRL!! We were looking at the bottom of the rump and legs and I kept thinking "there is nothing in the middle, there is definitely nothing in the middle". Finally, she asked if we were wanting to know and we said yes. She said that there were three white lines that are usually indicative of the labia, but she couldn't say 100% for liability reasons. Good enough for us I suppose!

As far as the ultrasound goes...it was pretty miserable. You have to have a full bladder, and I had to go SO badly I could hardly breathe. With every press on my stomach I winced and tried to hold it. I was honestly very concerned I would be having an accident on her table. I managed to get about 3/4 of the way through before I had to go and relieve some of it.

It was hard to tell what she was looking at most of the time but she explained everything she could. They have a very trained eye to see what they do. We never saw the face because baby was on her side facing inward. They forgot to print the pictures, and we didn't think of it until we were on our way home, so my doctors office called and I should be able to get them this week. When we get them I will post them for you all.

They changed the due date just slightly, so we will be welcoming Baby Girl Davis around April 15th.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Playing Catch Up

October was a very full month for Jim and I. We had some good weekends and lots of busy times. We were able to see one of Jayke's soccer games early in the month. It is pretty darn funny most of the time. We all loved it when Jayke made a goal! I have those pictures on my other camera so I will have to get some posted when I go through them. He is too cute as usual!

My Aunt had gotten tickets to Winnie the Pooh live interactive show in Omaha and was going to take Nicole and Jayke. Nicole wanted me to go as well and so I was Jayke's escort for the day. The show was quite cute. Nicole wasn't as in to it was Jayke was, but he certainly had a blast. The show was interactive so he loved being able to yell out and take part. The premis was a bunch of Pooh stories put together with the goal of getting Pooh to his surprise birthday party. Here is a little video of it and you can hear Jayke Woooooing! video

Before we knew it Halloween was upon us. Beggars night left something to be desired this year. We were so looking forward to being in our new neighborhood, always full of kids and families we were sure there would be a good amount of trick-or-treaters. It was a beautiful night after a 72 degree day so we decided to sit outside to hand out candy. We had gotten a couple of pumpkins but hadn't carved them so Jim decided spur of the moment to carve one.

As far as the actual trick-or-treaters go...we had 20. I was shocked! We certainly expected far more than that. We did get Odie in his costume and have him sit outside with us for awhile...what a HOT dog!
Mostly I was excited for Halloween this year because my Dad turned 50 on Halloween! Deb had planned a great party for him this past Saturday. It was a COSTUME PARTY!!! Jim decided on our costumes this year and we set to work. They turned out pretty good. We were a baker and a bun in the oven. We even won Most Original costume at the party. Tim and Misty came as 50, Josh was a woman...and a lovely one at that, my Mom went as the Axe Wife (pretty darn funny), Deb was a funky witch and my Dad was a gangster, with a pimp hat because all the gangster hats were too small for his head. Everyone looked great!
The party was a big hit. We gave my Dad a dollar dance (long story) and danced and had fun until we were all far too tired. The night was a success!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tag, I'm It!

Ten Years Ago
1. I was a sophomore in high school
2. I worked at good ol' Dairy Queen
3. Marching band was my life
4. I was taking Drivers Ed
5. Life was easy

To do List
1. Buy new pants
2. Do laundry
3. Get pumpkins
4. Organize our utility and storage room
5. Help Jim with kitchen projects

Five Snacks I enjoy
1. Fiber One bars
2. Ice cream
3. Popcorn
4. Cauliflower and ranch dip
5. Crackers and cheese (at work mostly)

Places I have lived
1. Carter Lake, IA
2. Pella, IA
3. London, England
4. Hangzhou, China
5. Urbandale, IA

Jobs I have had
1. Dairy Queen
2. Thingsville
3. Kids and Company
4. Central College, Resident Advisor
5. West Des Moines Community Schools, Kids West

Pet Peeves
1. Cracking knuckles
2. Staff with poor attendance
3. People who ACT dumb/incompetent
4. People who complain but don't work to change what they're complaining about
5. Whiny kids

Things that bring me joy
1. My rockin' awesome husband
2. My super cute nephew
3. Planning for baby Davis
4. Time with our families
5. A hug from one of my work kids

5 People I tag (you're it!)
1. Joy

You can tag up to five, but I don't read enough blogs, so Joy, you're it!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I'm a WINNER!

I heard a week or two ago about a new website called Handbag Planet that was having a give away to launch their website. All you had to do was pick your purse, enter your name and email address and they were going to draw a winner every hour for 24 hours.

The goal was to get their name out, if you emailed friends you could enter 10 times, if you posted their link to your website or blog you could enter 25 times. Anyhow, I just entered the one time because I didn't really figure anyone won those things anyways.

Well...I was wrong! I got an email today and I won. Here is a link that lists all the winners. I am hour 17 winner. They have already shipped the bag and everything! SO COOL!!!!

Handbag Winners

Check One Off

Jim and I have pretty much done nothing to prepare for our little arrival, mostly because things were so touchy for awhile. We have yet to buy anything, the baby's room is still how it was the day we moved in (with new carpet), and the whole idea of a child coming still seems a little surreal.

Never the less we have accomplished one super major task...we have found our daycare. I am pretty pumped about this. Daycare is insanely expensive and it's hard to find one you get the feel for but we have certainly lucked out. I had wanted Kari to be our daycare person but originally she didn't have any openings. Luckily for us, one of her children is leaving at the end of this school year because they are moving which means the opening we need at the beginning of this summer is there!

Kari used to be a Site Leader with Kids West so we had worked together before. She sits for a few teachers I work with and I have heard so many good things. We met with her on Tuesday and paid our deposit so we are in.

I had asked around to make sure we were making the right decision and I am convinced we are. The center daycares seem big and impersonal to me. You have to enter a numeric code to get in the door and can watch your child on a webcam all day...a little good...a little creepy. The environment feels sterile and we just wanted something more homey. I had asked some coworkers about their in home daycares (which I grew up with my Mom doing daycare so I felt good about in home care). Everyone loved their daycare, but some of what they said I wasn't to keen on and every time I questioned their policy Kari had it the other way that I preferred so it should be a great fit.

One thing down....and a whole lot more to go!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Drum Roll Please....

After 12 grueling weeks of waiting Jim and I are pumped to announce we are EXPECTING! We were pleasantly surprised with the news about 9 weeks ago. Although we weren't planning it, we are more than happy to welcome the new Davis into our lives! When I took the test, I wrapped it up in a gift bag for Jim and he opened the surprise.The first trimester had its fair share of ups and downs. We are very happy we have finally passed into a somewhat safer zone. There were definately scary moments so continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

We had our 3 month appointment yesterday and it went well. We are 13 weeks along with an expected due date of April 17th, 2009. Here are some pictures of our bundle of joy taken at an ultrasound a couple of weeks ago.





We are so excited and happy to welcome baby Davis to our family this spring!

Monday, September 22, 2008

One Amazingly Wonderful Year!

Oh how time flies. I can hardly believe it has been a year since Jim and I were married. We celebrated together this past weekend and had a wonderful time.

As I think back over this past year we have truly had some wonderful times. Just being married in itself is a fantastic feeling. Married love is different than any other kind of love...there is absolutely no end to it...you wake up everyday with a comfort of knowing what is.

I joke with Jim that he is literally my better half. When I am uneasy he is calm, when I am nervous he is at ease, when I am angry he is light-hearted. He is so easygoing and wonderful and I couldn't have asked for more.

Some hilights over our past year include:

  • Honeymooning in Puerto Rico
  • Going to my first concert...Rascal Flatts in October
  • House Hunting
  • Putting in an offer on our home...and having it accepted!
  • Spending Christmas with all of our families!
  • Braving a treterous drive in a snow storm...the first time Jim has probably ever seen me truly panicked, terrified, and absolutely scared to death...I could not stop crying.
  • Spending New Years Eve as a married couple
  • Closing on our house!!
  • Packing up the first place we had together to move into our very own home.
  • Having all of our family help us move.
  • Making our first large purchase for the home together...new furniture.
  • Starting a business...Hello Mandolin Photography
  • Improving our house little by little
  • Buying 2 new vehicles
  • Dealing with a flooded basement
  • Worrying about a flooding city
  • Having our first big family gathering at our place...a total blast!!!!
  • Taking a trip to Chicago
This year has been full of wonderful times for Jim and I. We are both so happy to have eachother and I couldn't ask for more.

Happy Anniversary!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Update Needed!

Well it certainly has been a couple of weeks since I have had a good opportunity to post but as usual, Jim and I are quite busy. We spent labor day weekend on a mini vacation to Chicago. It was very nice to get away. I had to shoot a wedding on Saturday and we left right after that and drove to Dubuque and stayed with Jim's Mom. We were only there about 6 hours or so before we were off on Sunday morning. We made it in to Chicago, dropped stuff off at the hotel and got the car parked, and then we headed for the Cubs game. The Cubs game was a good time although we were both exhausted from our night of barely any sleep and the long drive, but by the 4th or 5th inning we were having fun. The Cubs, although doing fantastic this year, lost that day. We hung out after the game, walked around the area, and then headed back to the hotel to relax.

Monday was a very full day for us! We puposefully stayed right down town so that we would be within walking distance of everything we would want to see. We started out by heading to Millenium Park. This is where they have the famous bean piece of art. It was pretty cool!







After leaving Millenium Park we headed down to the magnificent mile. We had planned on doing some good hearty shopping, yet we bought virtually nothing. I was SO excited to go to Crate and Barrell, they had a dining table in their magazine that I had been dying to see, of course after wandering through all 4 levels of their huge store we don't see it, so I ask...not on display right now...go figure. I might have really bought it if I just could have seen it!! http://www.crateandbarrel.com/family.aspx?c=883&f=12166 This is the link to it. Our dining room is narrow, so is the table, seating four to maybe six...most of the time. But, when needed, it pivots and opens large enough to hold 8 people and has storage...how amazingly perfect right?!?!

Without table in tow we stopped for lunch and kept right on shopping and checking out some of the Chicago sites. Here is a picture of the Chicago Tribune building, not the whole thing, but it is interesting to note that the design came from a nation wide contest in the early 1900's (there is a large gothic tower text to that small part). The next is a picture of the John Hancock building.

We had booked a sunset/night boat tour of the river and lake looking back at the city and were planning on stopping back at the hotel before heading to the cruise. On a whim however, we took the river taxi to Navy Pier since we had enough time. Navy Pier was very cool, and I am glad we got a chance to check it out.


After grabbing a bite before leaving the pier, we caught the last day of the free shuttle back downtown so we could make it to our cruise. It wasn't quite a sunset cruise since it gets dark earlier, however as we were boarding the sun was setting against the buildings and it was beautiful. The cruise was great! So relaxing and informative. They detailed a lot of info about the architecture within the city. They mentioned the new Trump tower being built, but what they did not say (that Jim and I believe is obvious) is the towers resemblence to a male body part...leave it to Trump. We got to see from the lake the very last water and light show at Buckingham Fountain before they close it down until April to make some changes before the committee comes that decides if they can have the Olympics.





It was a wonderful end to a great day and we were certainly exhausted when we got back to the hotel and ready to crash. We had decided that we would order room service breakfast for our last morning in Chicago...so I leave you with my cinnamon bun french toast and Jim's pancakes. By far the most expensive breakfast I have ever had, but very very tasty!