The Last Three Months

It has been an insanely busy few months here!  I’m going to write some blogs specific to some big events that have happened lately, but here’s a highlights reel of what’s been going on. 

We went to Ohio for my sister-in-law’s baby shower. 

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We ran in the Rootbeer Foam Fest 10k:

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My goal was to run the first 5k in under 40 minutes, and I hit 38:20. The course was great, and it was a lot of fun! 

Pancakes got sick and had to go the vet and needed lots of love and care:

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We really thought he was dying, but we have an awesome vet, he got put on lots of meds and tummy rubs. Needless to say, we spent a lot of time with this little guy for a month trying to get him back to his normal self. I am happy to report that he is doing great! 

Jonathan turned 30. We had a party, and went camping. 

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Longer post on that forthcoming. But isn’t the banner I made pretty?? 

We went to Ohio to celebrate a belated Eid with my parents.

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My sister and her husband visited from Boston. 

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I should have taken more pictures but we went to the city museum, ate great food, learned some acrobatics, got massages, and played karaoke revolution! A lot of fun packed into a weekend! 

 

I had a huge work project, that took a lot of time out of my evenings and weekends for a few weeks there. 

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I don’t have pictures of that. But I think this meme pretty much sums it up. Glad to say the project was a success! 

 

We visited our best friends who moved away to Chicago. 

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And back to Ohio for the birth of our niece, Amelia Eleanor.

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And then out to Baltimore for Alysha’s 26th birthday.

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Another whole post on this forthcoming as well.

 

And that about brings you up to speed! Whew! It’s been busy! 

 

 

#100HappyDays: Days 31-40

Day 31

 

Jonathan turned 20 dollars into 131!!! Enough to buy the delicious soufflé that I’m going to post next…#100happydays #vegas

Day 31B

Best soufflé I’ve ever had! At the Eiffel Tower restaurant in #vegas

Day 31, April 5th: Okay, you got two pictures for this day! I thought it was just wrong to leave you hanging and wondering what that souffle looked like!  We had so much fun in Vegas, and I am having fun reliving those memories by posting these #100HappyDay posts. We didn’t spend a ton of money gambling, but it was SUPER fun to spend 20 dollars on slot machines and hit the jackpot and just watch the numbers go up and up and up!

Day 32

Wine flights at the Rio before Penn and Teller!#100happydays #redredwine

Day 32, April 6th: On our last day in Vegas, we went over to the Rio to see Penn & Teller! But before seeing them, we went to this little wine cellar in the Rio and had wine flights and a cheese plate. This is definitely a hidden gem in Vegas. It was cute and quiet, the wine and cheese were delicious, and the service was great! Penn  & Teller were pretty great, too, although I sort of fell asleep and Jonathan and I had a little fight over that. He was really disappointed that I fell asleep during the best trick/act. I was, too. But, it happens. Especially when you’ve been too busy having fun and not getting enough sleep!

 

Day 33

One last shot from Vegas. We made it home tonight after a great vacation!!! #100happydays #vegas

Day 33, April 7th: We did not see the Bellagio fountains on April 7th. Actually, we flew home on April 7th, so I thought it was fitting to do a latergram of an iconic Vegas spot that we saw two nights previously. It was BEAUTIFUL.

Day 34

 

Beautiful flowers growing in my yard! Yay, spring!#100happydays

Day 34, April 8th: If you have to come home from vacation, it sure is nice for your yard to greet  you with such lovely flowers!

Day 35

Last night we got to catch up with our friends from the mitten (Michigan)! @lmalexander86 #100happydays#longdistancefriends

Day 35, April 9th:  We got to catch up with our friends, Laurel and Ben! They moved away to Michigan several years ago, so whenever they come through Saint Louis, it is always such a treat to see them!

Day 36

Love my jams!!! Great bday present from fancy pantsy nancy #100happydays

Day 36, April 10th: We got to have our final hang out with the Krelles pre-move!  Nancy did my nails with Jamberry nail decals that she gave me for my birthday!

Day 37

Arcade time with @carissaspeelman !! #100happydays

Day 37, April 11th: Carissa and Brian shared their arcade Groupon to The Neutral Zone with us! Carissa and I started playing this police-training game that had really hard skill tasks that focused on aim, speed, and accuracy. Whew! It was so much fun!  After that, we went to a Jurassic Park Marathon Party!!! What a fun day!!!!

Day 38

We ran the half marathon. Well, ran and walked. We didn’t do any training for this, so I’m actually pleased with my time and that we ran half of it! #100happydays#halfmarathon #fitness #running

Day 38, April 12th: So, we had basically decided that we would not run the half marathon because we didn’t train for it the way we had intended, and I am a slow runner even WITH training. But then we thought, well, might as well go. What’s the worst thing that happens, we get picked up by the “You’re going to slow” bus?  Well… I had my best 5k time on the first 3.1 miles (34 minutes! Which is a great time for me!) and then we ran walk the rest. Doing the first bit so quickly (again, for me!) kept us in front of the bus, and we felt so accomplished at the end!

Day 39

For a fleeting moment I tasted success… Why am I addicted to this game?? #100happydays

Day 39, April 13th: The next day, I clearly didn’t do anything active because I was SO SORE from the half marathon! So I played angry birds friends, and for a brief second I was winning. This is so rare for me. And it was pretty much only because Alysha, Jonathan, and Nancy hadn’t played much yet….

Day 40

Twice baked ham and asparagus potato!#100happydays #food #hubbycooks

Day 40, April 14th: Food that I didn’t cook that was delicious. ‘Nuff said. 🙂 But I will give you the recipe: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/asparagus_ham_potatoes.html

 

 

#100 Happy Days: Days 21-30

Day 21

New ‘do!!! Love it! #100happydays #salondechriste#beauty #hair

Day 21, March 26th: I saw Brandi at Salon De Christe. She never, ever disappoints. I loved my cut and color!

Day 22

 

Enjoying time with these ladies! @picturecharity@carissaspeelman #100happydays

Day 22, March 27th: We had friends over, and I enjoyed spending time with these amazing ladies!

Day 24

Having a hilarious time with these great friends!!!#100happydays #friends #doubledatenight

Day 23, March 28th: Someone refused to make a silly face — can you tell who? We had an amazing double date night with our sweet friends, Nancy and Louis. We started with dinner at Sidney Street Cafe, and then went back to their place for games. I was so glad we had an opportunity to relax and have fun with them before their move to Chicago!

Day 25

 

So proud of my husband for taking a risk and quitting his job! Sending him off on a cycling trip with his buddy to celebrate! I got him that shirt for our anniversary, haha. #100happydays #hubby #cycling

Day 24, March 29th: With both Louis and Jonathan unemployed, the boys decided to go off on a cycling trip. Jonathan quit his job in order to pursue learning some new programming skills and I am really proud of him for being brave enough to try something new, and I am so glad that I am able to support him since he’s been so supportive of me through school and my job!

 

Day 26

Dinner date with @whelmingflood !! Love this great friend so much!! #100happydays

Day 25, March 30th: My great friend, Beth, kept me company while Jonathan was out of town. We both love trying new and interesting restaurant, so on that day, we tried Layla, and absolutely loved it!  The gooey butter baklava was out of this world!

Day 27

 

Guess who is going to be an Aunt again?? So excited for my sister-in-law and her family! #100happydays

Day 26, March 31st: My sister-in-law, Monika, announced (officially, and adorably) on Facebook that she is pregnant again! I absolutely LOVE being an aunt and I am so excited for her family!

Day 28

Bonus! My boss brought me Starbucks. Yum!!#100happydays

Day 27, April 1st: My boss loves me. Yum. Caramel macchiato.

Day 29

Look what I won at the work Easter egg hunt!#100happydays #easter #chocolatebunny

Day 28, April 2nd: Another makes-me-fat day at work 😉  We had an Easter egg hunt, and inside each Easter egg was a number that could be traded in for a prize. Mine was this chocolate bunny, filled with cookie dough… yummm.

Day 30

So full and so happy! #100happydays #celebritychefs#vegas #b&bristorante #food

Day 29, April 3rd: So, on April 2nd, we also flew out to Vegas! Our second day in Sin City, we had a dinner that really felt sinful!  We are at B & B Ristorante, owned by celebrity chefs Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich.  This was probably the best dinner of my lifetime. Every course was delicious, the service was impeccable. I could not ask for more from a dining experience!

Day 30

 

The sun was bright so we had some struggles not squinting, but we are having a fun day today!#100happydays #vegas

Day 30, April 4th: We went on a tour to Hoover Dam, and on the way we had a quick photo stop at the iconic Las Vegas sign. The tour was really cool and interesting, and I have more photos from Vegas and the tour, but this was my “happy day” shot because the sign was cool and I loved that we captured the fun of our vacation!

A Hole In The Floor of The Plane.

This is a true story. My sister, Alysha, had her phone in her pocket in seat 38A of flight 1026 flying from Houston to LAX, serviced by United. It fell out. We heard it. She felt it. We immediately searched everywhere and had the people sitting nearby look, too. Nothing. That’s when we noticed a gap between the edge of the floor and the wall of the plane. Yes. It really happened.

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The hole in the floor. The black panel also flexes, making it possible to slide an entire arm down that area.

So we hit the “call attendant” button. Approximately 15 minutes later, the flight attendant with the beverage cart makes it to our row, turns the light off, and asks us what we want to drink. We politely tell her nothing, but that we had another concern. This is a rough version of the conversation that took place:

Me: So there’s this hole near the wall—

Sherlina (the flight attendant), interrupting: It’s okay.

Me: No, I mean, I was trying to say that my sister dropped her phone, and we think that’s where it went.

Sherlina:  Girl, it’s gone.

Me: I mean, where does that hole go to?

Now, I want to point out a few things at this point. I am sharing this conversation as close as I remember it, but I can guarantee you, the words “Girl, it’s gone” are a verbatim quote. Also, through a few more frustrating comments, Sherlina tells us that a mechanic will need to be called once the plane lands. On the whole, we did not have a ton of confidence that this was going to happen based on the attitude and lack of concern about the lost phone, but moreover, the fact that there is a HOLE. In the PLANE FLOOR. In fact, her first response was to off-handedly tell us it was fine. As though this hole was no big deal. As though people ask about this hole regularly.

This also raises a side issue, that I do not even have the time or energy to pursue further but as I’m writing this, I figure I might as well say it. We had the call flight attendant light on for quite some time, and when she came, she turned off the light without ever even asking what we needed or why. Clearly, we put the call flight attendant light on to be offered a soda with the beverage service…. (that was sarcasm, in case it didn’t translate well).

Anyway, we raised the question with the next flight attendant we met, who seemed much more concerned and told us she would help us look after the plane landed and to just wait until everyone else deplaned.

Once everyone deplaned, we tried to reach into the hole and felt around. The hole was big enough for us to stick our arms down there and feel around. The space down there was gigantic and it sloped down away from the wall of the plane. Clearly, if something had fallen down there, it would not be easily reached.

We were told to deplane, and a mechanic was called. United told us that the area of the plane it fell into is not accessible unless you take the plane apart. And they would not be doing that as they were scheduled to fly back to Houston. Thus, Alysha began a frustrating process of trying to fill out some sort of claim form. And by form, I mean, a gate agent took down Alysha’s information on a sheet of paper. At that point, the gate agent told Alysha that it was her fault for dropping the phone.

Nevermind the fact that they have a hole in the floor of their plane.

So Alysha and I have questions:

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1. Why IS there a hole in the floor of the plane?

2. Where does the hole go to?

3. What happens to things that fall in the hole?

4. What else is down there?

5. Why is no one concerned about this? Is this a safety issue?

6. Why is it Alysha’s fault that there is a hole in the floor of the plane?

And Finally:

7. Since when is it okay to have holes in plane floors that access inaccessible areas that require the plane to be taken apart in order to reach lost items???????

If this is ridiculous to you, please tweet United, post on United’s Facebook, or share this blog post. To me, this is NOT okay.

#noholesinplanes #whereisalysphone

 

Centerville, Ohio

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Centerville

Return from Chicago and a Fun Saturday

I made it back around midnight last night. Thursday/Friday felt like one intensely long day. I got out of my exam at 1 on Thursday, and boarded the bus to Chicago. Since I had an exam from 11:30-1, and the bus left right after, I did not have a chance to get lunch. Maybe it was bad planning on my part, but I’m usually a speedy test taker, so I thought I’d get out atleast five minutes early and have time to run by Einstein’s and get a sandwich. It didn’t happen.

We got to the hotel around7:30. Let me tell you, this was one gigantic and expensive hotel. I had planned on just finding something to eat nearby, but there was nothing within a block of the hotel and there was no way I was walking around Chicago in the cold and dark alone and without a jacket. Again, probably poor planning on my part, not bringing a jacket.  The room service menu was insane. I had expected it to be expensive, but it was going to cost me almost 40 dollars to get a warm meal! What’s up with that?

So I ordered in Chinese, and it was so delicious. Amazingly delicious. Then I went to sleep early and woke up early, and took my sweet time getting ready in the morning. The fair didn’t start until ten, so I showered, let my hair air dry, and watched Smallville. This was actually excellent planning on my part, because I had intended to actually dry my hair, but the act of using the provided dryer in the hotel shorted the bathroom lights and power, and I couldn’t use the dryer anymore.  Good thing I am such a morning person and had given myself three hours to get ready!

The job fair was good. I got one interview for a position in DC. Sorry, Laurel, but Whirlpool did not seem very interested in me at all … 🙁  That was a bummer, because I had been very excited about them! Most of the St Louis companies at the fair were like… “We’ve already done our Wash U recruitment.” So that was dead end city for the most part also. But I have about 7 good leads. Most of them require following up in the spring. (One of the leads is a St. Louis or Cincinnati based position, and either would work out because St. Louis is here, of course, and Cincy is really close to mine and Jonathan’s parents.)

Anyway, I am not sure if it was worth the nearly 300 dollars I spent to be there… stupid hotel that cost over 200 dollars… but it was actually a pretty good time and I made some good contacts. So if I ignore expenses, it was a good experience!

But boy! Am I worn out! And of course I didn’t manage to sleep in today.

When I got in, Jonathan had beautiful fall-colored flowers on the kitchen table, and in an old heart shaped chocolate box, he had put two tickets to see the Gin Blossoms tonight! I am very excited!

We are also making a field trip out to Illinois to go to Ulta to buy necessary beauty supplies, and maybe… maybe go biking.

Last thing on our agenda for today is to eat pizza and watch movies. Our small group weight loss contest starts tomorrow, so this may be the last bite of pizza I take for quite some time! Mmmmm pizza!

So that’s the plan for today! I still need to decide what class to drop before the new miniterm begins on Monday, and do homework for Monday. So I’ve got some work to do too!

 

Fun times in C-Bus!

I spent nine days in Ohio for my Spring Break, and I have a one thing to say… boy is it nice to spend time with my family!!!!

we spent a day in Centerville for my Dad’s birthday. I will just say he is 70, since it makes it easier… although we aren’t 100% sure. My dad is a bit wiley and won’t give us the real skinny on his age!  We went to a Chinese buffet, and boy, does Centerville kick StL’s behind when it comes to Chinese food!!!

The rest of the time, I spent in Columbus near Ohio State with Alysha. It was so relaxing! Staying up late, sleeping in, shopping! What a great time! We bought matching black Coach clutches! Hooray for Outlet malls! Alysha also cooked dinner for me, which was fun!

We also saw Lincoln Lawyer, which we both really enjoyed. (legal thriller… what’s not to love?)

We also had a private table at a place with dueling pianos for St. Patty’s Day. That was pretty darn awesome! And Alysha bought me the cutest St. Patrick’s day socks! Next time I wear them, I will have to take a picture! I took one, but it was really dark, so you can’t see them very clearly.

Alysha’s room in her apartment is huge, and she has a tiny room (more like a closet) connected to her room. The tiny room had enough space for a twin mattress and a desk, so I felt like I had a little dorm room while I was staying there! It was very cute!

Anyway, it was a fabulous time, and I got back to STL on Sunday with just enough time to frantically pound out 12 pages to complete my seminar draft.  Now life is back to normal!

 

 

 

 

Mid-Week Vacations Make the Week so Much Better!

The funny thing about time off of work, which I do not fully understand as I have never had a full time job, is that there is this precarious balance between wanting to use your days off in fun and exciting ways and wanting to save days in case something comes up.

We saved two days. Well, Jonathan saved two days. And as the “use it or lose it” day approached, he considered using those two days to bum around the house. As his wife, I thought this would be a tragic waste of time off!

So, last Wednesday, we took a mid-week vacay. I don’t have classes on Wednesdays, so we drove about an hour and a half out to Crown Valley Winery, spent the afternoon taste-testing and driving around a tiny town, and spent the night in a bed and breakfast. On the way back to town on Thursday, we ate lunch at a pretty neat restaurant downtown called Triumph Grille. It’s attached to a motorcycle museum, which was really interesting to wander through.

That evening, we went to the business school formal. It was held at the Chase Park Plaza, on the top floor, and was pretty darn fancy pants!  Here’s a pic from the event:

Then, on Friday, I had a make-up class, and it was back to the real world for me 🙁 (Jonathan had training instead of work, so he didn’t really go back to the real world until today, and I hear he was swamped from being out of the office for three days in a row!)

Terre Haute for the Weekend…

Most happening place ever… j/k. But, let’s just be honest, I’m not really a “happening places” kind of girl. I like quiet places.. anyway. Moving on.

Why am I here? My little sister, Alysha, had a graduate school interview. Since its her first one, and Terre Haute is only 3 hours from St. Louis, I decided to come give her some moral support! Her interview was yesterday and she thinks it went well! We’re going to explore the city today, so she can see what it looks like!

Yesterday, I found out you can BUY houses in good condition here for about 30,000!! WHAAAT? I need a Shawn Spencer “Whaaaaaat?” right now. (If you watch Psych, you know what I mean.) I thought I got a good deal on my house, but DANG!

Anyway, today should be a great day!

Sweden!!

So this is my Thanksgiving post! I went to Sweden to visit my little sister! I was traveling from the Tuesday before Thanksgiving to the Monday after. It was a fantastic trip! We spent the first two days in Stockholm.

Day 1: Wednesday, I arrive. We honestly don’t do much besides check into our hotel and get dinner because I am exhausted.

Day 2:
We saw the Vasa Museum, which has a giant boat that sunk but has been salvaged and preserved. We also saw the Nordic Museum, the Aquarium, and the Natural History Museum. We also rode around on the public transportation ALOT, and so got to see alot of Stockholm. We ate dinner at TGIFriday’s to commemorate American Thanksgiving.

Day 3: Friday, we walked around Gamla Stan, which is the historic area of Stockholm. We shopped at souvenir shops and even went to a Viking shop! Then we started the long travel to Uppsala. (This is the day my knee started being ridiculous!) We also bought silly ear-flap hats!


Above, is a fountain where the Stockholm Bloodbath occurred. Such a morbid history for such a beautiful place!

Day 4: Saturday, we saw a church (I forget what it’s called) and a really cool museum called the Gustavianum. We also saw a little Christmas market, that had outdoor stands. We drank glogg, which is a mulled warm fruit drink, and bought homemade jam and cheese.

Day 5: Sunday, we took a train to this town that has a much bigger Christmas market. We bought little trinkets like hand made ornaments, and Alysha even bought a really neat wooden welcome sign! We made it home around supper time, and PACKED!

Day 6: I had to head back home. We arrive at the airport and my flight was cancelled! What a bummer! So I got rerouted into Copenhagen, where I bought lunch where I had no idea what I was buying or how much it costs! Yay for credit cards, right? I finally, finally made it home around 11 pm, after traveling for literally 24 hours and very little sleep. It was such an awesome trip though, and way worth it!