Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Guten Tag!

This summer has been a lot different for me. Generally I've taken lots of little trips or a few bigger trips & done lots of fun things. Not so much this year. The summer of '08 will be remembered as The Summer of the House. And we're still not done! But progress is being made...gotta remember that.
Anyway, I was feeling kind of restless the other week here at work so I started searching Kayak.com for tickets to Vienna. The prices were outrageous & the layovers were like 23 hours long. Definitely a no-go. The restless feeling hit me again last week. So I decided to hit Kayak again & maybe change up the dates a bit. Eureka! I found some flights for about half of what they were before (& about $400 less than I paid last year) & the flight plans had 2 layovers that were less than 2 hours each. I sent the info to Missy & waited to hear back from her.
I got to talk to Missy via her cool Vonage phone on Saturday & we decided the dates were good & the layovers should be workable. So I head out to Vienna on Tuesday, October 28th! I'm so excited! The Lord has provided me with another opportunity to visit Missy & Kai & He also provided a fabulous deal on the ticket. He really does want us to have abundant lives. I sometimes get caught up in thinking that He is glad to meet my needs but that's really all He's interested in. How wrong is that! The Lord continually blesses exceeding abundantly above all I ask or think.
I will be flying from Indy to Chicago on United, from Chicago to Dusseldorf on Lufthansa, & then from Dusseldorf to Vienna on Air Berlin. And then the way home is the same just in reverse ;-)
Gotta see if the library has any German tutorials on CD. Gotta know how to say, "where's my gate?" & "where do I get my boarding pass?"

Thursday, August 21, 2008


This last weekend Mike & I headed out on a little road trip. His older sister Jackie, lives in Quincy, Illinois. Since Mike & Stew have sold their house, Mike is trying to do a little down-sizing in the furniture department. He has a really nice entertainment center armoire thing that Jackie really wanted & Jackie just happened to have an old car that Mike wanted to have as a gas-saving option (since he normally drives a big Dodge Ram). So, we rented a car transporter, hitched it up, & headed out. We arrived in Quincy without incident, made the swap, and headed over to Home Depot to do a little looking since we don't have one in our town. My oh my, how my life has changed. I used to hate going to stores like Home Depot & Lowe's. Now I'm getting excited when I visit a town that has a new home improvement store. We wandered around in there forever (incidentally, any of my readers have any idea of how I could make my own roman blinds? At over $100 a pop, I'm doubting I will ever buy them). Anyway, after H.D. we headed over the The Olive, a FABULOUS Greek restaurant. I enjoyed a Greek salad & moussaka. Just divine, let me tell you. Jackie drove us all around Quincy & I was totally impressed with the lovely old homes. I thought we had some nice old houses here, but they are nothing compared to the brick lovelies we passed by. I love old homes & I could have spent all day walking around the neighborhoods. We hit the road a short time later. We were both a little nervous about pulling the car, but Mike did a great job of driving & navigating gas stations. He has a dvd player in his truck (it's really cool with a flip out screen & everything) so I was able to watch a movie on the way home. I kinda made fun of him for buying it but now I have to say that it's really a great thing to have! We pulled back into town about 2 a.m. - a bit of a long day but we had a good time together & thank God for the journey mercies.

Gettin' Together

Each year there is a group of us Northland Girls that tries to get together for a few days. This year we were down in numbers (usually there are at least 7 or 8 of us with about 14 little boys running around). Even though we didn't have every one with us we still managed to have some great times. My camera went kablooey so this is the only pic I have (thanks Dellie for e-mailing it!). We slept in, went for walks, talked, ate, baked pies, shopped, talked, made homemade pizza, talked, & prayed. What a precious few days! We missed you, Chrissy, Rachel, Becca, & Angie! Here's looking forward to next year & praising the Lord for godly friends!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

House Pictures Part One

This is me at the bank right before my closing. That little piece of paper in my hands is my down payment/closing costs check. Yowzas! It seemed like a biggie. Bye bye savings!

After the closing, Mom & I headed over to my house. I know it looks like I'm flexing my guns for you but I'm really just holding the key up.

This was the first step in renovating - removing the old wall paper. Beth & Brennan stopped in for a few minutes to help me peel.

Mike was on duty in the living room. We both took a couple of vacation days so that we could work hard on getting some stuff started.

I was trying to teach Caleb how to use a scraper.

My dad bought a Sam's Club cake to celebrate my house purchase. I promise you, any little occasion & that man is headed to Sam's to buy a cake. He loves 'em!

This is the living room after it was painted. The color of the walls is Lindhurst Mushroom & the ceiling is Quail Egg. I'm doing the same colors in the dining room since the area is so open. Thank you, Virginia for all your hard work!

Here's Mike standing in the doorway of the bedroom. I chose Cranberry for the walls, Flax for the ceiling, & Honeysuckle Bloom for the trim. Since I took this picture we have hung crown molding & it looks great! All that is left to do is touch up some paint, do some caulking, & clean. Yay! Thanks Mike, for all of your hard work!

I'm a little bummed because I thought I actually had a few more pics than this. Oh well, there will be more to come! We've started on the bathroom now so hopefully soon I'll have some finished pics of it!

Velvet Ants

I mentioned in a post a long time ago that we have cicada killers here at my work place. This year I've noticed a new neighbor. It's this little lovely here - the Velvet Ant. When I first saw one I was more than a little disconcerted. The thing was a good 3/4 of an inch long & moved really fast. So I did a bit of Internet research & identified it as a Velvet Ant. The website www.whatsthatbug.com is very helpful, by the way. I learned that these critters are actually flightless wasps that can deliver a very painful sting when provoked. Reputedly the sting is so painful that it can kill a cow so another name for them is Cow Killers. Ugh. Kinda makes me want to stay inside!

Off the Wagon/On the Wagon

I have to admit that I've never really understood the expression "She fell off the wagon" or "She's back on the wagon." I'm fairly certain that it has to do with keeping resolutions regarding behavior. Maybe I should google it? ;-)
Supposing that definition is correct, I have to admit that lately I have kind of fallen off the wagon regarding regular exercise. I was really working hard to get ready for the Indy Mini so when the race was over I was ready for a break or a change in routine. Plus I figured it would be beneficial to give my feet a bit of a rest. I had decided that this summer I would cut back on the running & spend more time biking & doing yoga or workouts that revolve around strength training. Well, I've been busy. And I would really just rather run I guess because it's been nearly impossible to make time for the other kinds of exercise. I have all kinds of excuses - my work schedule, my house renovation, Beth's illness...you know how excuses are, they go on & on. So, I've tried to reevaluate a bit and come up with a new plan.
  • ride my bike to work at least 2 days a week (this week that would be today & tomorrow)
  • ride my bike on Saturdays for all errand running unless I need to go somewhere that I could get killed on a bike
  • lift weights with Mike whenever he wants (he has a small personal gym thing - it's kinda fun!)
  • do at least two other workouts a week using my exercise ball & DVDs from my collection or the library
  • get some sleep! I think if I could work up to at least six hours a night I would feel a little bit more like exercising

So there's the plan. We'll see how it works. Mostly my schedule is out of control. If I could slow down a bit it would really help. Here's what I've been up to this week:

Monday - worked both jobs (7am-9pm) & then went to Lowe's with Mike to get some tools

Tuesday - worked both jobs & then lifted with Mike

Wednesday - worked 7am-3pm, haircut, prayer meeting, hung the crown molding in my bedroom

Thursday - work 7am-3pm, 2-3 precious hours at home to tidy up & clean/relax, dinner with DeAnn to celebrate our birthdays, mow grass at both houses with Mike

Friday - work 7am-3pm (while my family enjoys the day at Holiday World & Splashin' Safari!), grocery shop, work on the house

Saturday - get up super early so that I can exercise & go to the Farmer's Market, work 9-1, help Mike begin to pack, clean for Mom, have my birthday dinner & party

Maybe now you'll forgive me for STILL not posting pics of the house. I promise that one day I will do it!

How are all the rest of you doing with your summertime fitness goals? Any hints, encouragements, or tips? Everyone feel free to comment!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


I'm rejoicing today in an answered prayer. Actually, I have to admit that it's an answered gripe. You see, I am not normally the type of person who misplaces things or breaks things. I like to think that I'm more responsible than that (heehee!). But this summer I have had a definite issue with sunglasses. I had a pair that I loved; I lost them. I had a pair that were specifically made for my prescription glasses; I lost them. I had another pair that I had bought at a gas station out of sheer desperation & I kind of broke them. Grrrr...so in the back of my head for the last few weeks I've been kinda gripey about it. And I refused to buy another pair b/c I just didn't trust myself with a new pair. But God is good, you know. Yesterday I was digging through my car because I had lost my Nalgene (see, losing stuff left & right!). In the process of looking for the Nalgene I found the two lost pairs! Yee haw!
Another cause for rejoicing today is that Mike & his brother Stew are closing on their house today. They have owned a home (a fabulous historical home) for about 9 years & it's been on the market for a little over a year. Stew has been commuting to Indy for work for at least 10 years & he's ready to be done with that. The time spent on the road together with the increase in gas prices has made it difficult for him to justify living here. So today they sign the papers & the packing/down-sizing & yard-saling/moving fun begins!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Hiya Strangers!

Man, I have been WAY absent from my blog lately. So much has happened that I'm not sure how to recap, but I'll give it a shot!

Let's start with an update on Beth. Many of you have asked what her status is at this point. It's been a long road, complete with 2 night stay at the hospital in Indy. I was so overtired & mentally worn during the 24 hours I was there with her that I took the stairs every time I went from her room to the cafeteria or gift shop. There are exactly 214 stairs from top to bottom. Anyway, while she was there she had a whole group of interns & a couple of neurologists working on her. There has been a lot of blood work done & they have tweaked the dosage of medication that she had been taking. She also saw a nutritionist because some of her difficulties have come from being uncomfortable with eating. Her sensation of swallowing changed a lot & it made it hard for her to eat. The nutritionist suggested that possibly she should try a gluten free diet because sensitivity to gluten can cause the body to experience neurological symptoms. She has been home for a couple of weeks now & slowly she seems to be coming out of this episode. She has been following the gluten free diet for a couple of weeks now & she has also been trying to increase her physical activity. She went for a walk with me on Sunday & she went swimming yesterday. She is still having some pain (today her neck hurts some) & she is still experiencing some insomnia (something that both of us struggle with sometimes). Thank you so much for your prayers, expressions of concern & love. The Lord has been so faithful to strengthen us all through this & I pray that the lessons we have learned will be deeply written on our hearts. Please continue to pray for Beth. They still haven't diagnosed anything & there is the realization that it could worsen at any time. She has a follow up appointment with the neurologist on the 18th. We'll see what happens then.

Now let me update you on my house. I have had some tremendous help lately. I am happy to report that the living room is done! A wonderfully sweet lady from my church, Virginia, loves to paint & she has been really working hard for me. She primed both the bedroom & living room. Then she came back for more punishment & painted them both. She did the living room all by herself while Mike & I helped in the bedroom. The bedroom just needs to have the crown molding nailed up & then it will be done. Yay!
We have also started on the bathroom. We pulled all the trim off & have begun to hang wainscoting & paneling. The walls in there are just too uneven & messed up to paint. So the bottom half will be wainscoting & the top half is another type of paint-able paneling. Mike has gotten two walls done. He also removed some cabinets that were next to the shower. He is going to build me a custom cabinet so that it will be the right size for hampers & other things that I want to hide in there. The cabinets that we pulled out may actually get used in the kitchen (they match exactly). We're going to replace the lighting in the bathroom as we go along & once all the walls are done, Virginia is ready with her paintbrush!
Then all that's left will be the kitchen & dining room. I think that once the bathroom is done I might try to start cleaning up & moving some. I don't like living in the middle of a remodeling project, but thanks to my parents I've had lots of experience doing it! :-)

Work has been going really well. I've been a technician long enough now that I had to recertify & renew my license. That was a flurry of continuing education & form filling out. I'm glad it's behind me for two more years. Strangely enough, I did learn a lot from my CE. If you have any questions about Medicare Part B or how to regulate thyroid hormone levels, give me a call!

Six weeks ago I made a major change that I should have posted about. I got my hair whacked! I had about 6 inches chopped off & do I ever wish I had done it sooner. It would have made for some fabulous before & after shots but alas, I didn't get it done.

And now for some milestone occasions that have passed...Mike & I have been dating for nine months. That's about 8 1/2 months longer than any of my other relationships - lol! I kinda can't believe he's still hanging around but he still seems to like me ;-) Also, I celebrated my 31st birthday this last Sunday. My parents were on vacation (yeah, what kind of timing is that???) so I had lunch & cake with Beth & the family. Then after church that night Mike made me dinner - homemade pizza. Yum. And yeah, he got me a present. Good man that he is he got me exactly what I asked for...a salad spinner! I know I'm weird & all that but seriously, I hate soggy romaine! I've been told that they don't really work but we'll just have to give it a try anyway. It's super cool - it even has a brake on it. My family is having a bash for me this Saturday night. If you're nearby please drop in! ;-)

So that's my massive update. Hopefully I'll have some pics of the house posted in the next couple of days. How's that for a little teaser?