August 31, 2011

Tomato Time

I am obsessed with tomatoes...I am sure I've posted it somewhere here. This is the first year in about three that I wasn't able to grow my own but have really made up for it with the Farmers Markets. On our way home from Iowa I was determined to find a fruit stand. We were in rural Iowa following pretty rural roads, I thought it'd be a piece of cake and we'd pass a ton. Yeah, not the case. We finally found one after about 7 hours of driving so I bought about 15. Yeah, seriously...15. That's a good number that I'll' buy when stocking up and then I eat them all within two days or so. I try to stretch it out for the whole week but they're too good. I have about 3-4 more weeks of tomatoes left, I will hit up the farmers market again this weekend. Yum yum yum...seriously YUM!!!

Really wish I had a picture to share but I eat them too fast to take any! :)

August 30, 2011

Weekend of Family

This weekend was completely different than we had originally planned. We were supposed to go to Milwaukee for the Cubs/Brewers game with my uncle and aunt but with all the weekend traveling we have been doing and Jason traveling two weeks back to back and a wedding almost every weekend the next month we decided we wanted a relaxing weekend home.

The weekend was far from relaxing but was an unexpected weekend of family and fun. Saturday morning my brother came down with Tiffany and Kaylee. We went to the Farmers market which was a bonus for me so I could stock up on tomatoes. Then we went for lunch at a restaurant in the area. I dropped them off so they could see the Marilyn Monroe statue and then to Navy Pier where they were able to do the Architecture Tour.

I rushed home to welcome my parents who were coming down to celebrate my mom's birthday. We took the dogs to the dog beach which was fun. Those dogs just love the beach, in and out of the water, taking other dogs toys, fighting each other for the ball. It's a sight to see! We then went home and went to a nice dinner at a different restaurant in the area. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. We had a nice night wining and dining together. Then Sunday we all went to the burbs for church because we had to be out all afternoon for a couple showings so we figured we may as well head out there, and it of course did not disappoint! We had a nice breakfast at a Greek breakfast restaurant we like to frequent.

Jason and I also got to spend some time with my grandma while we were out there and then my mom and I took the dogs to the dog park out in Addison while Jason and my dad moved a refrigerator. Pretty sure my mom and I lucked out on that one.

Awesome weekend with my family, especially since all of it was unplanned and unexpected! Love you guys!

love her!

Kaylee saying goodbye to Jason. How cute is this?

At the suburban dog park...imagine that...Cooper is in the water! :)
Absolutely love this picture! Basically sums up how happy he is at the park!

*I'm really bummed I don't have any pictures of all of us with my brother and Tiffany or with my parents while celebrating my mom's time I will get one!

August 26, 2011

Fill in the Blank Friday!

It's Friday which means "Fill in the Blank Friday!" I was unable to do last weeks so I thought I'd catch up on that this week. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

1. My idea of pure perfection would be a world free of sin and filled with love .

2. Laughter makes the world go 'round.

3. If it weren't for my incredibly supportive husband I'd be unable to attend grad school full time to hurry up and get this degree finished (and have a lot of debt!) .

4. Bloggers are fabulous and creative .

5. If I had money of my own I'd buy you anything you want (except a motorcycle :) .

6. I'm glad it's Friday because it's date night tonight and my parents are coming downtown tomorrow .

7. Something I'm excited about is two of my good friends are marrying the love of their lives in September and I get to be there to see it .

August 24, 2011

Condo is on the Market!!

Our condo if officially listed! Woooohoooo! It has been a long couple of months trying to get to this point and now we have to keep it clean all the time, which is NOT easy for me. Do people really like having to keep their place perfectly clean at all times?

I am so excited to be at this point in the game. I ask for prayers that our condo will sell quickly but I feel like I'm going to be taught a little something about waiting. We both know it's in His hands and in His perfect timing. I know that it only takes one person to want to move in a call it their home.

If you know someone who wants a 2 bed/2 bath condo in Old Town let me know...I'd love to share the listing!

My "Me Time"

When I first met Jason, he traveled. A lot. Distance between us was sort of what defined our relationship for over the first year. He was gone so much that he actually had an apartment in Washington DC. He would leave Sunday night and return on Thursday night. I had the hardest time with him being gone all the time. Having a boyfriend or husband who traveled (even for a week or so at a time) was something I have always said I would never do. When I started dating Jason I realized for the true meaning of the saying, "never say never." I was officially dating someone who traveled every week and sometimes stayed through the weekend.

That first year was very hard on us (okay probably more just me). The travel put a lot of strain on our relationship, especially weekends we would spend in his hometown with family or had weddings or other weekend-long events. Those times I felt like our time was really limited. I remember it being so hard. I felt like everyone thought I was being selfish but I never got enough time to see him or talk to him. When he was in DC he worked ridiculous hours so we didn't even get to talk at night.

The very cool thing that came of his traveling was that I got to visit him twice in DC. Even though I got to visit as our class trip in 8th grade I didn't remember that much. Going as an adult is so much better! I remember one of the weekends I visited him, he was working over the weekend so I was able to visit with friends and spent time sight-seeing by myself. It was his travel that allowed that trip for me!

Over the years, his travel has gone way down. After his year in DC, he worked other projects which only required the weekly or every other week and even then it wasn't nearly as bad because we could at least talk at night.

Now it's down to maybe once every 6 weeks or couple months which is so much more doable! Since we are now married and live together I obviously see him a lot more and as I've spent more and more time with him our time isn't nearly as precious as it used to be. I still hate hearing when he has to travel and still get a little anxious and go into what I call my "panic mode." But I don't get nearly as anxious as I used to. I've really learned to appreciate our time apart and plan "me nights" which usually consist of a girls night out and a couple nights on the couch with my kitty and a chick flick. By Thursdays I am usually very ready for him to be home and can't wait to see him at the airport!

This is one of the weeks he's been out of town and it's gone by so fast! Monday and Tuesday nights were spent with girlfriends. Tonight, I cannot wait for my "me night" with Sam on the couch. Having a dog sure does keep me busy too with how much he needs to be walked! I think my favorite part about Jason being gone means I don't have to make the bed!! :) I will definitely be ready tomorrow night for Jason to come home!

I know God has been a bit part of all this. I prayed and prayed for a job for him that didn't require as much travel and the sense of peace I get now while he's gone is something I never thought I'd feel. I'm praying that he'll be able to continue with a job he enjoys and the travel stays as it is. I'm so thankful for his time he is home and love that I have learned how to appreciate his time away.

August 22, 2011

Wedding #1 of 2011

So we have a few weddings in a very short periods of time and the first one kicked off this past Friday. We went to Sioux City, Iowa for Jason's cousins wedding. We headed out on Thursday morning and Jason had to work so I was able to drive. Man, did that help with the long trip! We also broke it up a little with a stop to Target, then hit some really bad storms (enough hail to actually dent Jason's car) and then finished it off with dinner at Olive Garden. I think it ended up being about 11 hours once all was said and done but sure didn't feel like it!

The view in my rear view mirror -- he loves sticking his nose out the window.
He is the best "road tripping" dog!!!

The early signs of the storm

creepy and eerie -- after about 2 more minutes we could not see 4 feet outside our window

this was at about 5:00pm -- look how dark it was!

On Friday we were able to spend some time with many of Jason's family from both sides of his family. We saw his grandparents and then his grandma and several of his aunts. At the wedding we were able to spend time with even more of his family including his mom and Mark. The wedding was beautiful and fun. The bride, Stacey looked gorgeous! After the wedding Jason brought me around Sioux City and showed me the church and school his grandpa started and where many of his family have taught and attended) He showed me a house his grew up in and many other family memories of the town. It was a fun trip down Memory Lane for him and I loved seeing a big part of his childhood.

With the bride, Stacey :)

love getting dressed up :)

On Saturday we spent some time with his mom and Mark. I also went for a run along the country roads which was quite an experience. I took Cooper with me who ended up covered in burs. Thanks Judy, Bonnie and Jason for getting all of them off!

The view from my Saturday morning run...we were in the heart of the country!

The roadtrip home on Saturday also didn't seem nearly as long. I really think I'm starting to get used to this roadtripping thing. :)

August 12, 2011

Ticket - BOOO

I was driving to work, not even in as big of a rush as I am most mornings (I love sleep, remember? So that means I sleep in as late as possible which then means my entire morning is rushed.) Not today though, I was just about on time. I've driven this route ohhh about 32 times but I guess I've never had to notice it's a "no turn on red" stop light. So there I went, I looked both ways for both cars and walkers and turned right on red. Two seconds late (out of nowhere) there is a cop with his lights on behind me. Are you kidding me? So yeah, I got a nice ticket this morning and have to go to traffic school. Awesome. I (obviously) deserve it but being that it's in the city (and especially the neighborhood it was in) I can think of about a million other things the cops could be doing than sitting and waiting for someone to turn right on red. Happy Friday morning to me. :)

Movie Night - The Help

As I posted here, I recently finished the book, "The Help" so as soon as it came to the theater I had to see it. My friend, Beth and I went to see it last night and it did not disappoint. As with any book-turned-movie, I'm always a little skeptical but they did a great job keeping with the book. There were a couple times that I wasn't sure it was the same as the book but it didn't take away from the story line at all. Only complaint was that it seemed a little slow the first hour and a half or so, but 1) I have no attention span and 2) I knew the story line which also meant I knew how much longer it would last. Definitely suggest you go see it; grab some girlfriends and make it a movie night. Do what I do...get a large popcorn and eat it all! :)

Kaylee is ONE!

Happy birthday to my niece, Kaylee, who turned one year old on Saturday. Gosh, how fast time flies! We were able to celebrate with Kaylee, friends and family on Sunday at her birthday party. My brother and sister-in-law had quite the princess party for her. Love you so much Kaylee and love watching you grow!

me and the birthday girl

eating snacks outside

the man of the grill

1st birthday cake!

August 11, 2011

Lollapalooza 2011

Last weekend was Lollapalooza 2011. We both love going and the people watching pretty much pays for itself! This year was the first that all three days had sold out and I felt that was very obvious on Friday with how crowded it was. We were able to see a ton of bands and listen to a lot of music throughout the weekend.

Friday night my favorite part was seeing Coldplay. My favorite picks for Saturday was seeing My Morning Jacket for a few songs and then Eminiem. (they were playing at the same time) Sunday's highlights were seeing Damien Marley and Deadmau5. Sunday was cut short by the rain and plain exhaustion from being there for 3 days. We got stuck in the rain for about 40 minutes of a downpour. We finally dried off enough for about an hour and a half and then then the rain expectantly came again. It actually added a lot to the event and gave us even more to see as far as people watching goes. The mud was unreal, Grant Park was transformed into a giant puddle. It's a miracle Jason or I didn't fall, it was extremely slippery.

Through the weekend, I created a list as I was there for the three days that I was going to share of all the crazy things we saw, but looking at the list now, nothing can quite explain the experience that Lolla is, which is what has kept us going back each year. If you haven't ever been and are in Chicago when Lolla is here, I would definitely add it to your list of things to do. Like I keep saying, it is an experience in itself; it's a bonus if you get to see bands you love!

Not even through the gates and this is in front of me...Lolla is people watching at it's finest :)

Being tourists in front of Buckingham Fountain

pictures cannot capture the number of people there

Coldplay - complete with lazers and fireworks

Friday night

Saturday during the day

Sunday after the first rainfall - so happy the sun came out to dry us off

Laura and I

Brothers and sister-in-laws

Sunday night


Right after the 2nd downpour (or maybe it was still raining?) Look at the water in the background!! It was a lake there!

Drenched part 2 -- again look at the grass turned lake behind us

August 8, 2011

Fun in the Sun on the Lake

Jason and I were able to spend some quality time at the lakehouse. A week ago Saturday we went up for the day and enjoyed some time on the pier and on the boat with my parents and their dog, Sophie. Cooper absolutely loves being in the water and playing with Sophie. Non-stop playing with Sophie.


Sophie and Cooper swimming

Later in the week Jason and I headed up again to enjoy one of my days off from school. We drove up late after small group on Wednesday. While Jason worked on Thursday I hung out by the lake hoping to relax with a good book in the sun. Cooper had other ideas. He was like a toddler with how much attention he required. He was jumping in and out of the water (never forgetting to shake half the lake off on me every time he came out of the water.) He must have jumped in and then swam to the ladder to jump in again over and over about 20 times. When he wasn't in the water he'd run back and forth between the neighbors yards and ours (many times going way out of the yard he's allowed in) which meant I didn't get to relax much since I was constantly having to get up to get him back in our yard or throw a ball or stick on the water or go pick up a pile of poop. But I have to admit, it was one of the happiest I have even seen Cooper so it made it all worth it. Once Jason was done working we were able to go to dinner at one of my favorite little Italian places then ended the evening with a bon fire. It was a great day with great weather with my favorite dog and the best husband!

LOVES swimming

One of the many times I had to get up to chase after him, he beat me back to my chair and got my towel nice and wet. He makes me laugh :)

He found a stick...a really big stick

One of the many times he jumped in the water, he came back with a dead fish in his mouth...caught me a little off guard.

So cute!

August 1, 2011

First Bike Ride of the Year

So a year or two ago while out to dinner Jason and I saw a bunch of bikers riding along Wells who pretty much took over the roads. After doing some research we learned that it was the "Critical Mass" ride which is the last Friday of every month. It's basically a ride that bikers and other non-motorized forms of transportation take over the roads beginning downtown at Daley Plaza and continue throughout the city neighborhoods. I knew if we didn't put it in our calendar, it wouldn't happen so we did and this past Friday was the time to join up with the other riders.

I have no idea how many people were there, but there were a lot. (maybe 2,000?) We rode all through Chicago by Merchandise Mart, then up Milwaukee west on Division up Damen to North then back south on Western then back towatd the city on Roosevelt. After Roosevelt we headed south on Halsted then down Lake to Wacker and the headed back north on Michigan. Once we were on Michigan, I felt like we either lost half the group or somehow just got seperated. Somehow we got off Michigan then back down Division to Clybourn, up Racine, left on Belmont to Lincoln to Ravenswood then right on Sunnyside to cut over on some side road to Wilson and ended at Montrose Beach. What a fun ride!

I was most shocked at how angry drivers got. Of course I expected some really mad people (who wants to be stopped while hundreds of bikers take over the road?!) but I had no idea how mad many people would get! We saw plenty of thrown punches and swearing. At the same time, there were way more smiles and lots of people waving, laughing and picture taking.

By the time we got home from the beach, Jason and I had rode for about 28 miles. Not too bad for our first bike ride of the season! Needless to say, our butts were just a bit sore on Saturday! I'm so glad we did this since I've been wanting to since the day we saw it riding down Wells. Is there really any better way to see the city and many of it's neighborhoods from the roads on a bike? I guess it's the closest I'll get since I never got to run the marathon. :)

We did it!
(I took about 100 pictures but thought I'd share just a few!)