Category: family


Last Sunday, I had the privilege of taking my two nieces and nephew to Medieval Times for the first time.  I have been many times, but none of them had been.  I couldn’t believe it!!!  Julianna had been saying that she wanted to go, so Jeff and I found a good deal and took the kids.

It was so much fun!!!

Here they are at the entrance:

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The kids were pretty excited to get to wear crowns.

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(Oh yeah, and I had to take them to the bar to booze them up before the show.  Don’t worry, Melissa, they are all virgin drinks!!!  We did get extra cherries for Jackson’s Shirley Temple.  I think that’s why he’s grinning!!!)

We purchased an upgrade to get better seats, and ended up getting the front row of the Red Knight’s section. 

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(Medieval Times + ponytail = a crooked crown!)

I was trying to get the girls to cheer when our knight came by with flowers in hopes that they would get one.

Madisyn got one better!  Our knight got many flowers to throw to our section, which he threw to the rows behind us.  But he only got one “favor”.  The princess ties a ribbon to the end of his lance and he had to pick one lucky lady to receive it.  Madisyn was his pick!!  She was so excited!!

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A photographer came over and took her picture, but because I’m too cheap (read: I had already spent WAY too much money), I tried to just take a picture of the photo.  She’s the Queen of Love and Beauty.

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They also put our knight’s picture on the other side (who reminded me of Anthony’s friend, Dan Hammrick.  Funny!!)

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When I showed her this picture with our knight, she promptly stuck out her tongue and made a face, which I took to mean that she thinks he was cute.  Hey, that’s what MY reaction would have been at that age!!! 

The kids had a blast!  I think we were the only ones who smuggled in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for Jackson to eat.  During dinner, I looked over and saw a sight that was unique to our group:

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With all the food and drink they give you there, Jackson was drinking a Capri Sun!  Go figure! 

But he loved it too!!  He kept asking when the fighting was going to start, and he was so into it.  Everytime they would do a battle, he would start telling us all what they were doing: “Look, he hit him with the sword!” “He threw his shield!”  It was really cute!!

Everyone had a great time, and since I’m the auntie who spoils, we were probably the only group leaving the castle who had to go thru a drive-thru for kids meals, since the younger two didn’t really eat anything.  It was ok though.  We had a blast!!

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Yesterday I had a little blast from the past.  It all started with a text message from my SIL.

She asked me about a month ago where she could find someone to be the Easter bunny.  Back in the day, I worked at a local amusement park as a costume character.  It was really fun and a great way to meet people.  I worked in the park walking around, in the kids stage show and in the nightly parade.  It was a great job for a person right out of high school.  The hours were great and the pay was better than minimum wage.

So, thinking that my sister was planing a party for her kids and wanted the Easter Bunny to show up, I told her that if she should just rent a suit and I would show up as the Easter Bunny.  As it turned out, the event for which she was looking for a character was the grand re-opening of the store she works at. The store is a childrens’ clothing resale store, and the owner wanted a character to be there for the re-opening.

I told her that was still fine.  I thought I was just going to be doing a favor for my SIL, but now I’m going to get paid for it?  I’m ok with that!!

Her manager was going back and forth over what costume to get.  I guess the Easter Bunny thing is for an event on Good Friday, which I can’t go to because of my regular work.  So now she wanted to find a gender neutral character for the re-opening.  Up until Friday, I thought I was going to be Tigger.  As it turned out, the Tigger costume didn’t get there in time but the Scooby Doo one did.  So here I am….

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I thought the happy-face eyes were an interesting touch

I kept grabbing frisbees and playing outside the store

This little girl in the pink shirt LOVED me!! I also kept grabbing frisbees and playing outside the store. It's difficult to throw and catch a frisbee when you can only see a few inches!

I also became that poor person you see standing on the sidewalk, waving a sign to pull cars in off the street into the parking lot for a particular store.  Yep, that was me.  It was definitely a change from my bookkeeping day job!!

Overall it was really fun.  I completely forgot how tiring it would be though.  I did know I would sweat up a storm, as Mrs. Kitty can attest to, but I forgot about how exhausted I would be afterwards.  Maybe because when I did it before, I was doing it 5-6 days a week, and got into the groove of it.  I actually was in pretty good shape because I would sweat everything out.  I have sore muscles that I didn’t even know existed.  Mostly my thighs are sore from bending down all day to be on eye level to the kids, but I’m just plain sore all over.  And there was something in the head that was rubbing on my chin so my chin is all red and raw.  Good times!!  How am I going to explain that one to the accounting firm????  Hmmm…..

(Side note to Mrs. Kitty……I kept thinking of your help with the binder and only noticed from the pictures afterwards that I really could have used your knee-in-my-back routine to help keep Scooby from looking a little feminine!)

So tomorrow it’s back to the normal 9-6 job!!

All good things must come to an end.  Such was the case with my birthday festivities.  And now that I have awoken from my food coma, I can now blog about it. 

We had a great time.  We celebrated for about 2 weeks, which was awesome.  By Sunday night (the night before my birthday), Jeff said this was the longest birthday celebration ever!!!  As it should be!!!  🙂

On Friday, my managers celebrated my birthday at work.  They decked out my desk with a huge balloon, a cake, cards, and a bunch of candy.  Then they took me out to lunch and took me to get a manicure and pedicure.  I asked since they celebrated on Friday, did I really have to show up on Monday, my actual birthday?  They said no, so I gladly took the day off!!

Over my actual birthday weekend, we had a gaming event on Saturday.  As always, it was super fun.  We won the game (which is always a nice bonus) but just barely!!  I made a really yummy spinach and artichoke dip for everyone to enjoy.  Secretly, I think that is why they tolerate me because I bring good snacks.

On Sunday, I slept in until 11am.  Well, it really only felt like 10am because of the time change.  None the less, it was nice to just sleep in.  After a day lounging around the house, we headed out to Fogo de Chao.  I was ready for my meat galore.  And what a feast it was!!!

We entered the restaurant and directly in front of us was this huge wine rack.

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This rack was so big that it works on a system similar to a dry cleaners.  They flip a switch and they all start rotating around until they get to the bottle that they want.  Very cool!!!

Then came the wonderful salad bar.  I tried so hard not to eat too much salad because I wanted to taste all the different meats.  Here we are at our table:

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All the gauchos were walking around with such yummy looking meat.  I had to try them all!!!  My plate would be full, but they’d still come by and ask me if I wanted to try something.  Of course I had to say yes!!!

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The filet mingon was my personal favorite.  It was so delicious and just melted in your mouth.  And the bacon-wrapped chicken.  Yum!!!  I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!!!

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After all the meat we could possibly eat, Jeff was ready to call it a night.

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We went home and were both ready for a nap!!

It was a great birthday treat, one that I won’t soon forget.  Thanks honey!!  🙂

I have decided to try to milk my upcoming birthday for as long as I possibly can.  This weekend we started the first weekend of the festivities.  I told Jeff that I shall require much cake and birthday well-wishes so let’s get started.  I love my birthday.  He said that once I hit 30, I won’t enjoy it as much but I don’t think that’s possible.  I was reminiscing a bit the other night.  It seems so strange to be turning 28.  I still feel like I’m 21, or 22, playing “adult” like a child would play dress up.  How long do you feel that way?  Until you have kids?

Jeff took me on my annual trip to Benihana’s on Sunday.  I’ve been going there for my birthday for the past 5 or 6 years.  I love that place!!  I especially love when they take the rings of the onion and stack them on top of each other.  Then they pour water (because open flames have been banned) into the volcano shaped onion and it starts to steam out.  I don’t know why, but that really amuses me.  I guess it’s the little things in life that I appreciate.  We also had our picture taken there, which I have in a little frame.  I’ve been trying to get on there website to download it but it’s not working.  I guess I’ll just have to add it later.

On Wednesday I’m going out to dinner with Mrs. Kitty.  I can’t wait for that.  I just have to make sure I wear comfy pants.  Not only so we can eat a ton of junk, but because I always end up laughing my ass off and my stomach ends up hurting from laughing so hard.  Good times!!!

Saturday we’re planning a gaming event.  I love getting together and letting my inner geek come out.  Although according to my brother, it’s not so much an inner geek as much as just a geek.  I was trying to explain the board game that we play and I was using small words but he still seemed a bit confused.  Maybe it is more complicated than we think!!  It’s just second nature to us now.

On Sunday, I’m finally going to get to go to Fogo de Chao.  I really thought we were going on Valentine’s Day, but a birthday dinner there would be just as good.  I’ve been told it’s a food coma, which made me start thinking that I’ll be going on a diet on Tuesday.

I’m not sure what I’ll be doing on my actual birthday, other than work.  I was going to try to take the day off and go to Disneyland but I’m not sure who to go with.  Most people have to work that day.  Either way it should be a great day!!  🙂

Happy New Year everyone!  I hope 2009 will be wonderful to you all.  According to my Chinese Astrological Horoscope (if you believe in that sort of thing, and it’s kinda fun to at least read them and either laugh your ass off or seriously decide to change your ways before something horrible happens to you), 2009 is supposed to be a great year for me as a Rooster.  A friend at work gave me a great email about all the different Chinese horoscopes, but I can’t find it online so this link is what you all are stuck with.  Hey, I’m a giver!!!  🙂

2008 was a crazy year for me.  I always take this time to reflect on what happened during the year.

1- In January, Jeff and I decided to move in together.  After 3 years of dating, we both decided to take the plunge and give it a whirl.  The whole time, Jeff just kept saying “I hope we don’t kill each other”.  My answer?  Just do what I tell you and nobody gets hurt.  You can imagine how well that went over!!  🙂  But amidst the rain storm and torn up pavement at Jeff’s old place, we were able to get thru the hurdles and move in together.  We spent the whole month of February still going thru all the CRAP at Jeff’s old place and cleaning it out.  By the last weekend, I thought I was going to kill him if I had to go thru one more box of Playstation swag that he’d been holding onto for years.  The last time we went to his place for the final cleaning, he commented “This is the first time I’ve seen you smile here in a month”.  That’s because we’re almost out of here!!!  Let’s pick up the pace!  Less talking, more cleaning!!

2- After deciding to make the move even though I was going to have to commute about an hour to work, I suddenly was laid off from work.  2 days before my birthday.  SUCK!!!!  We had just taken on a larger rent and now I’m out of a job.  GREAT!!!!  I spent 2 months hunting for a job.  You would think that it would have been a little vacation for me, but I was so stressed out the whole time, I wasn’t able to enjoy it until I got a job.  Then I was inquiring about vacation time!  I did get one job about a month into my unemployment, but I thought I was going to gouge out my eyes with any sharp objects, so I opted to quit after 2 days.  Literally, I felt the life draining out of me at this place.  I’d start work at 8am, and by 8:30, I was looking at the clock, wondering when lunch was.  This job was working for a company that helped people negotiate their IRS debt down.  So basically I was calling the IRS 50 times a day.  These people are not happy campers!!  But luckily I was able to score my job now, so I was super happy.

3-  Jeff and I were able to take a trip to Chicago in July.  I didn’t think I’d be able to go since I had just started my job, but they were totally cool with it.  We had a great time visiting his family and took a trip to Galena, which was really fun but very tiring.  So much walking!!  I felt like I had been at Disneyland for a week the way my feet hurt!!  One highlight from that trip was when we were driving back to his parents’ house after Galena. We were driving in his brother’s car, which had EVERY SINGLE SERVICE LIGHT ON on the dashboard.  We hit a huge thunderstorm, and turned on the wipers.  The wipers kept getting hooked on each other and then the driver’s side one flew off the window and was stuck on the door.  5 times!!!  Good times!!  I thought it was hilarious.  Jeff??  Not so much!!

4- I got to dress up for Halloween, which I haven’t been able to do in 4 years.  Most of the jobs where I have worked (ie banks) tend to frown upon dressing up.  I was able to pull off Mary Katherine Gallagher (SUPERSTAR!!!) one year.  This year, I went with Strawberry Shortcake.  I had so much fun!!!  I tried to get Jeff to be the Purple Pieman, but he wouldn’t go for it.  Oh well.  There’s always next year!! (cue the evil laugh!)

5- Jeff and I celebrated our first Christmas (kinda) living together.  We went out and bought the tree together and had a really fun day decorating it.  Every time we pulled an ornament out, we’d reminisce about where it came from.  To complete the day, we had the crock-pot-in-the-bedbrainstorm.  Let me tell you, so many people are just JEALOUS over that little brainstorm.  Feel free to give it a try.  I suggest getting an extension cord so you can keep your snacks warm.  It was awesome!!!  Hehehe!!!

I’m SO excited to pick up Jeff from the airport tomorrow night.  We’ve talked on the phone a few times, usually for a minimum of an hour, and we’re both missing each other.  It’s amazing that we’ve only been living together for a year and yet I can’t seem to sleep well when he’s not here.  It’s like my body knows somethings amiss.  This happens when he’s here and I go to bed before him.  I keep waking up looking for him.  Even if I don’t wake up when he comes to bed, it’s like I already know because then I sleep soundly thru the night.  So needless to say, I haven’t slept very well since he’s been gone and I’m looking forward to him coming home.  “Hi Jeff, welcome home.  Now let’s go to sleep!!”  Or not. 

He’s been getting a little homesick for me too.  He’s been saying how much he’s ready to come home.  He made the mistake of watching Skin-imax at his brother’s house the other night.  Now he’s REALLY ready to come home!!  I told him that’s like waving a loaded pistol around!

Here’s hoping that 2009 is a great year!!!

(Are you singing that 80’s song now????  Oh good!!!)

Well, I’m in the final countdown of my class.  My class ends on Sunday.  These classes go so fast!!  They are 5 1/2 week classes.  Think about everything you learned in a 20 week semester…..yeah, that’s all crammed into 5 1/2 weeks.  It makes it a little crazy!  So I’m super happy to be finishing it up.

It’s also the final countdown to Jeff going to Chicago.  Every year, he goes home to see his family for 2 weeks in July and 2 weeks in December.  It makes it pretty sad for me to be without him during the holidays.  I realized the other day that even though we’ve been together for almost 4 years, we’ve never spent Christmas or New Year’s together.  Sad!!!  😦  I’m hopeful that next year, I’ll be in a better position with work to be able to take the time off and go with him.  The bad thing is that in this field, December thru April seem to be the busiest time of the year.  The last couple weeks have just been crazy at work.

On top of that, my grandma was hospitilized again.  Last November she was hospitalized for a pulminary embolism.  That basically means that she had a blood clot in her lungs and it was making her woozy and she would have these periods where she didn’t know what was going on or where she was.  Pretty scary, especially considering that she is still out and about driving herself around.  My greatest fear was that she would be out driving somewhere and wouldn’t know where she was, or be able to call someone and tell them where she was.  She also had low stamina for walking around and would try to get into the wrong car when she was leaving the mall.  Crazy!

So she went to the doctor last week complaining of migranes.  She gets migranes regularly, but these were similar to the ones she was experiencing last year.  Her doctor sent her to the ER.  They admited her into the hospital, which is where she has been for more than a week.  They ruled out the pulminary embolism this time, but they do think she has bronchitis and possibly had a stroke while in the hospital.  Her right arm was numb and she was having a hard time with co-ordination.  It made things very stressful for me for the last week.  I wasn’t really sure what was going to happen with her.

Thankfully, she was released from the hospital today.  She probably won’t be able to be on her own for a while, so thankfully my mom will be helping to take care of her.

So needless to say, things have been a little crazy with me lately.  I hope that things start to settle down soon.  Hopefully your holidays are a little less hectic than mine are shaping up to be!

I woke Jeff up this morning by saying “Gobble, gobble, gobble!” and now it’s stuck in my head.  And now I keep singing “I’m a Rambling Man” but substituting gobbling for rambling.  Ah, what a great way to start the day…..with a song stuck in my head!!  Fabulous!!

Well, we’re just about ready for Thanksgiving here.  I’m hoping to leave work early if possible.  The traffic going my way is horrific on holidays.  Last night, it took me an hour and a half to go 20 miles.  Do that math and that’s driving PRETTY SLOW!!!  Tonight I’m sure it will be worse, so I made sure to have some good tunes in the car and some comfy shoes for sitting on the clutch. 

I get to go home today and make my wonderful apple and pumpkin pies.  Several people in my family ask for these pies on a fairly regular basis.  I think there would be mutiny if I decided for some reason not to make them one year.  Yikes!!  But I do love to make them, so I don’t think that will happen.  And after 3 trips to the grocery store, I finally remembered to pick up some apples!!!  Sheesh!!  I’m losing my mind and I’m only 27!!!

I’m still debating going out shopping on Friday.  Now mind you, I won’t be crazy and going out at FOUR IN THE MORNING!!!  Yes, that’s what time Kohl’s is opening.  Let me just tell you that I will DEFINITELY still be in my happy dreamland at that unholy hour!  But I was talking to Jeff about possibly going out sometime that day.  He just looked at me like I was crazy (possible!) and tried bribing me, saying that if I stayed home, we could snuggle all day.  Hmmm…..very tempting!  He knows what will get me!  🙂

I hope you have a great Thanksgiving!!  What are your plans?

Today Jeff and I went out and started our Christmas shopping.  Jealous much???  I know you are!!  We tried to get a jump on it so we’re not fighting the crowds as the big day draws closer. 

We began at Costco, which was a mad house!  I’ve never seen so many cars there!  We ran into my aunt and uncle there, who were quite incredulous that we only bought a few items and were able to carry it to the car without a cart.  They, on the other hand, looked like they could have used a second cart to hold all their loot.  One of the good things about shopping with Jeff: in, out, on with life.

We also went to Toys R Us and the mall.  I was shocked I was able to get Jeff into a mall on a weekend.  Well, it was some stores on the outskirt of the mall, but close enough.  It was on mall property.  He HATES malls!!  Too many people, I suppose.  I can usually get him there on a week night because it’s not too crowded.  But on a Saturday???  Forget it!!  I might as well wait for the real Santa to climb down my non-existant chimney, ’cause that’s how soon I’ll get Jeff into a mall on a weekend.  What, there’s no Santa, you say????  Well, hell!!  There goes that idea!

But I will give him credit, he did go and we had a fun time.  We had lunch at Johnny Rockets, which being from the mid-west, he had never been to.  It’s very similar to a Steak ‘N Shake for all you mid-westerners out there.  We were be-bopping away to oldies music as we ate our burgers.  Yum!!  My kind of place.  🙂

We were both very successful in our shopping.  I actually only have 3 more people to shop for, and Jeff is pretty close to finishing his list as well.  SWEET!!

During our shopping adventure, I started thinking about getting Christmas cards.  I love sending out Christmas cards and seeing the ones that I get in return.  I love the funny ones the best.  I also get cards that have pictures of people’s kids on them.  You know the ones I’m talking about.  Little Suzy and Bobby are sitting posed for the picture, while you can just tell they want to rip those bows out of her hair and go roll around in the mud for a while.  While these are very cute, I never know what to send out in reply.  Seeing as we don’t have kids, it wouldn’t make sense for us to send out pictures of random kids.  Hmmmm….maybe we SHOULD do that just to confuse the relatives that don’t see us on a regular basis.  “Look grandma, I have 3 kids to support.  Send money now!!”. 

Or my other thought is to take pictures of ourselves in random poses and send that out with our cards.  We could take pictures of us BBQ-ing, grocery shopping, or Jeff playing his video games with me reading next to him.  “This is our life”.

My favorite idea, though, has to be taking a picture of us, sleeping in until 11am while surrounded by piles of money, expensive electronic gadgets littered around the room.  I think this is what we should send out to every family that sends us a picture of their kids.  “This is the kind of life we have without kids”.  I think the text in the card would read: “See, THIS is our life.  Maybe you could enjoy that too if you didn’t have so many gosh darn kids!  Merry Christmas, and good luck on saving for those braces that little Timmy needs.  Thanks for procreating so much that now my Christmas shopping will take a government bailout to complete”.  Yep….I think we have a winner, ladies and gentlemen!!

The big 5-0!!!

On Sunday we had a surprise 50th birthday party for Jennifer.  I personally like to remind her on a regular basis what a geezer she is, but that’s my job!!  It was organized by her sisters, and she knew they were all getting together but Melissa and the girls and I were the surprise guests.  SURPRISE!!!  Since I was a total dork and forgot my camera (it was still packed up with all the Arkham stuff), I “borrowed” these pics from my dad’s site.  Thanks!!!  🙂

The birthday girl!

The birthday girl!

My aunt is so creative and everything was so cute

My aunt is so creative and everything was so cute

Here was a great idea that we did for her gift.  All the invitees were asked to bring something that made them think of Jennifer.  It needed to be about 2 inches tall.  Melissa and I organized it all into a shadowbox and Jennifer had to guess who brought which item, and why it made them think of her.

So cute!!!

It was a great (very loud!!) party.  Any time Elisabeth and Carrie are involved, it’s sure to be a loud event. 🙂 I think I have now memorized the song “Do Your Boobs Hang Low?”.  Well, if you really want to know……well, maybe that’s for another post!