October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!  I am not a fan of adults dressing up and going out drinking all day which we saw plenty of this weekend but I sure am enjoying seeing all the pictures on Facebook of kids all dressed up today!  So cute!  I have to share a picture of my favorite little cow. We ended up not doing the race yesterday for several reasons but I was still able to see Miss K all dressed up.  So stinking cute!

October 28, 2011

Fill in the Blank Friday

Happy Friday!  Oh I am so glad it's Friday!  We have a lot going on this weekend, including two showings so crossed fingers that we'll get an offer! Also can't wait to see my niece in her Halloween costume. :)  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

1.   When I was a kid I wanted to be     a veterinarian     when I grew up.

2.   As an adult, my dream job would be   I should probably say a special ed teacher LOL but I also can't wait to be a mom      .

3.  W hen I was younger I wanted to be just like  someone I'll leave unnamed. I now realize how gossipy, judgmental and two-faced she was :(  .

4. The childhood Halloween costume that I remember most was when I was    there were two...I was either a witch every year or a princess and the princess dress was from my parents as a souvenir from one of their trips...I think it was from Europe  .

5.  My favorite childhood toy was    my bike.  I think it was a hand-me-down from my brother...it was a boys dirt bike.  I remember a lot of "cops and robbers" in our old neighborhood .

6.  The time I got into the biggest amount of trouble when I was a kid was when I     I can't remember the "biggest" amount of trouble...but I do remember I was over at a friends(Friend A) house across the street and another friend (Friend B) rode her bike by and asked if I could play so I left Friend A's house to go play with Friend B and I got in BIG trouble for leaving Friend A for Friend B   .

7.  I get daily inspiration from    Proverbs 31 Ministries, KLove and Jason  .

October 25, 2011

Weekend Fun with my Favorites!

Last Sunday (2 weeks ago) Jason and I went out to the burbs to hit up the pumpkin farm, Sonny Acres, with our cousins and their kids.  We had a great time watching them ride ponies and the rides. I love being invited to do "kid-friendly" things. :)  Not to mention how much I love those kids!

Then this past Saturday Jason and I headed back out to the burbs to pick up our niece, Kaylee for her first sleep-over in the city!  We lucked out and had lovely weather so we were able to take her to the park and for a long walk with Cooper.  By the time we did all that it was time for dinner.  Then we we had about an hour of playtime and then bed.  She was SO good and SO MUCH fun!  She has such a great little personality!

Can you see her excitement headed to the city!?

A little too much excitement!

 Snack time!


Look at that face!

We love you Kaylee!

October 20, 2011

The Job that Was

Remember a couple weeks ago when I said I got a part time gig watching three girls every day after school?  Well yeah, that was interesting.  I have been wanting to blog about this since the day I started but never found the time but finally decided I need to share...if nothing else but to vent so I'll feel better.

Basically I was offered a job working almost every day after school for these 3 girls aged 7, 9 and 11.  I was hired and told that the first week would be a trial week for all of us but she gave me all the specifics and acted like it was a done deal.

I really wanted to write about my first day when I got home because just about everything imaginable was said to me by these three girls.  Literally the second I walked in the door and I was told that I was there to see if I'd "make the cut" as their babysitter because not all do, and the last one they had left her first day crying.  Awesome, right? I somehow managed to find the humor in this and was thankful that I was only there for three hours.  In those three hours though, I was reminded repeatedly that I was maybe not going to make the cut and then was compared to every other babysitter they had.  Usually it was in a positive way and they would say that I was better then the other ones or I did something more enjoyable than the others but it was still rather rude.  At one point the youngest told me that I looked older than when I had first walked into the house that day.  When I asked her what she meant, she told me I have wrinkles on my face.  Again, awesome.

So I could go on and on about the drama that these three girls were but a little part of me enjoyed the challenge. I figured it would probably take a few weeks to win their approval and they seemed to enjoy my company and kept me engaged in the three hours I was there.  How could any first day with three girls that age go smoothly. Besides, lets be honest, I NEED the money and would love to add this job to my resume as tutoring.  While I realize this was a little selfish...I'm just being honest and as you continue to read you'll see why I am being so honest.

As the night went on though I was really starting to second guess the whole thing.  I kept re-hearing what the girls were saying and the way they were acting replay in my head. ie. Jumping on the counter, then telling me their not allowed on the counter.  Eating tons of goldfish when I had told them I knew they weren't allowed more than one snack after school and them lying and saying they could. Etc. I felt more and more like a fool for how they were taking advantage of me but wanted to stick it out for at least the rest of the week. Again, I'd imagine that any first day with this aged girls wouldn't go perfectly and of course they were going to test me, so stick it out Stephanie!

As I had left I texted the mom to text me the details of where to get the kids the following day. I waited all night for the text, then finally at 10:00. 10:00?!  That's a big red flag to me if she's texting that late about the next day! So the text said something about how she was going to go with some other girl she had been interviewing because she was able to work the entire school year (I have to be done in Decemeber so I can student teach) and she hoped I understood, so please send her my address so she could pay me.  While the reason she gave made complete sense, I was SO mad. I felt like I was being broken up with.  But even worse because I was the one who wanted to break up with them!  I was second guessing everything that had gone down but was willing to give it a shot despite all the abuse I had taken that day...and THEY'RE ending things with me?!  Had I known that, I would have texted her the second I walked out saying I was done and made them pay me before I left!  Rejection stinks.  Plain and simple...I just hated being rejected.

So now it is over 2 weeks later and I still haven't received payment.  That's really the whole point of this post is for me to vent how I went through the hurt and rejection [insert a little dramatic sarcasm here] and she doesn't even feel the need to pay me for what I did do.  Not to mention that I had to have an interview for all this...which obviously you don't get paid for but was s huge chunk of my day to get there, walk through the rain, sit through the interview, walk back through the rain and go home. So yeah, crappy. Rejected and unpaid.  Ugh.

On a lighter note...I will (hopefully) begin tutoring high school girls on Tuesday through a volunteer program. So yay for that! :)

October 16, 2011

More Fun with Horses

We live a couple blocks from Noble Horse Theater, the oldest equestrian center, dating back to 1871!  We have walked passed the barn countless times and I've blogged about how we pet the horses here. So when I saw a groupon for tickets to their Halloween show, "The Legends of Sleepy Hollow," I jumped on two tickets. We had tickets to the 3:00 showing on Saturday and knew it was BYOB so we brought a couple beverages. After we got there I learned they also sold popcorn.  Heaven for me!

I was so impressed with the show! I'm sure it had to do with the fact it was just a couple blocks from us but how fun! After the show, they even let the guests pet the horses and let the kids go for a quick ride, how sweet! (No, I did not go for a ride...as tempted as I was. LOL)  I just thought for the price and location, it was well worth it. :)  If we had kids who liked horses and we still lived in the city, we'd definitely be having their birthday party at Noble Horse Theater!

mmmmmmm popcorn, well whats left of it (I ate every last kernel)

horse jumping through fire!

Last Week at this Time...

We were hiking in Wisconsin.  As in years past, Jason and I usually book a fall trip to either Michigan or Wisconsin.  In 2009, it was in Wisconsin at Devils Lake that Jason proposed.  Awww.  So this year we decided to relive the magic and head back to the spot where he proposed.  We left on a Friday and stayed at the Dells.  Having a dog really limits your hotel options but we found one!

The weather was incredibly warm for October, probably in the upper 70's and all sun!  We began the morning with a hearty breakfast at Denny's then headed off to Devils Lake.  I wanted to do some trail that I thought was just behind another trail but quickly learned as we were hiking up rocks and stone that we had to go over the bluff to get to the trail that I wanted.  We later learned we had hiked up and down the most difficult trails at the park.  Awesome.  It was a lot of fun though and since everyone and their mother was hiking that day with the gorgeous weather, we were able to go at a slow enough pace that it didn't seem that hard.  And proud mom moment...our Cooper did amazing!  He stayed on the trail perfectly.  It certainly wasn't dangerous at all where I felt like we would get hurt but if Cooper had gone up one of the wrong rocks or stones he could have slipped but he never did.  He stuck right by us. We also let him swim for a whle which he loved. :)

After hiking we went to dinner for some pizza and beers.  It was super early and we had a lot of time so we decided to go go carting.  We hit up Mount Olympus and rode all the go karts and roller coasters.  Jason liked one of the roller coasters so much he rode it alone 2 more times. (I felt like I was going to throw up after my first ride.)  It was such a fun night pretending like we were ten again!

Sunday morning we tried going horseback riding.  I had found a place that would let us walk, trot and canter but when we got there we found out the ranger was on suspension or something?!  So no horses for us.  We went back to Devils Lake for more hiking and did the trail I had wanted to do the day before.  It was still a pretty strenuous hike.  Coop did great again!  On the way home we were sure to hit up a cheese place.  Yum.

Love, love, love our October get-aways!!  Thanks Jason, I love you!!

From the top 

Good little hiker!!

At the bottom...he was tired!

Happy family :)

Super happy dog!  He's not so tired anymore...just give him some water and he wakes right up!

Go Karting

Fun times!


October 13, 2011

Bible Study and More...

As I shared a while back, earlier this month I joined two Bible studies. One is through (big) Willow about living a life of discipleship. It's an independent study written by a local Godly women and while it has been life-changing it's also extremely tedious and time-consuming. Considering I hate reading and have the hardest time focusing, it's been a real struggle for me to get the study done each week. But I have to say that the countless hours I have spent engaged in it has been amazing. I can really tell the transformation I am feeling from being deep in the Word the past month. It is so hard to discipline myself to sit down and read the word and do the questions each week but it's affected me in a very strong way. I've been in Small Groups before but I quickly learned that Bible Study is much different than Small Group...or at least this particular one is!

The other study I am doing is more of a book than a study but it has reflective questions to answer after every chapter. In addition, I am part of an online study and my friend, Christy, and I are meeting every three weeks to discuss which both hold me accountable. This book, "A Confident Heart" by Renee Swope really complements the Discipleship study and it is no mistake that I am reading these two studies simultaneously. Through the two studies, I am learning with every single turned-page how it is really all about and for Him.

Well as if that wasn't enough, Jason and I decided we wanted to continue to do a study together since we're no longer leading or part of a small group. We decided on the book of the Bible and will begin our discussion on the first lesson this Sunday.

It's times like these that I wonder what's taken me so long to get into the Word. I look back to the beginning of my walk when I joined my first small group and bought my first Bible and remember how close I felt with God. I remember reading and reading trying to figure out exactly who Jesus was and what that all meant. It felt so good and I have longed for that feeling again. But life has somehow gotten in the way...and I haven't been able to get that "feeling" back. I feel like I am finally at a point where I am starting to feel that again and have such a strong desire to learn more and more about Jesus. I am really excited about the next 4-6 weeks while I complete the two studies and for Jason and I to continue our study while I find other ways to grow.

October 7, 2011

Fill in the Blank Friday

Happy Friday!  Woohooo!  Its been a long week and I'm so glad the weekend is here. I'll be posting later what I'm doing this weekend but for now enjoy Fill in the Blank Friday.  Happy weekend to you all!  Link up with Lauren to join! 

1.   Something popular that I can't stand/just don't "get" is      Adele . Yeah, I know I am the only one.  Like nails on a chalkboard...honestly, can you write one more song about your horrid love life?! .

2.   Something unpopular that I secretly love is   getting cards or anything besides bills in the mail.  No one sends cards anymore or little "thinking of you" notes.  I miss that     .

3.  When I've had a bad day I   go for a drive with the music really loud (but this doesn't apply in the city...the traffic would just make my bad day even worse!)   .

4. I'd prefer    popcorn    to    chocolate      any day.

5.  Something that makes me nervous is   my husbands driving ;-)  .

6.  Something worth fighting for is     our marriage.  When we said our vows, we said for as long as we both shall live and I firmly believe that with all my heart   .

7.  When people think of me, I hope they think   "she's loving, generous and loves Jesus"  .

October 3, 2011

Sunday Funday -- 5K and Polo!

Sunday was fabulous!  I woke up to do the Bucktown 5k which I have never done before.  It was a sunny, crisp morning for a run.  Loved the race since we were winding around the streets of Bucktown, my favorite Chicago neighborhood! I will say there were some spots that the race was way too crowded and there were way too many walkers who stopped right in the middle of the road...but other than that it was a great morning for a run with 6,000 other people!  And who can complain about the awesome goody bag jacket!?  Jason and Cooper were even there to cheer me on.  Can I tell you how freaking cute it was to come to an end of a road to see my husband and Cooper standing on the corner?  Huge smile on my face just thinking about it. :) Oh and I ran a 10:15 pace...getting closer to less than a 10 which is my goal! :)

Where the race was way too crowded but about to run passed one of my favorite restaurants...Silver Cloud

After the race...Cooper made a new friend at the Fest

Then in the afternoon we went to the North Avenue Polo Beach World Cup.  It was a gorgeous day to be outside on the beach watching horses and the game of polo.  I've never been to a game before and this turned out to be way more exciting than I'd have ever imagined.  No one has to tell me that riding a horse is a true sport but then to add the game of polo to it.  So impressive!!  About an hour into the games they announced that one of the players would be coming out to the general admission area and select 10 people to go into the arena (is that the right word for beach polo?) and use a mallet to hit the ball and the 2 people who score a goal will be upgraded to VIP (a $150 per person ticket.)  I was one of the people who were selected (well I volunteered when she came around) and was quickly not too excited to have to go in front of all these people and attempt to hit a ball in with a mallet I never even got to practice with, but it sure paid off.  Even though I didn't even get the ball halfway to the goal. (oh my gosh this really showed how hard the game of polo is!) all of us who attempted were given VIP wristbands!  Everyone who was in this "contest" was with their significant other or a friend...I was the only one who went alone, so the wristband was rather useless unless I could take Jason in so I asked for another wristband for him and she gave me the last one.  So there our day really began.  We were able to eat and drink all we wanted and got a much better view of the game (and really enjoyed not having to look into the sun!)  The games went on until around 5:30 so we spent our entire day watching polo.  It was great...I cannot wait to go to another game again. I am so glad Jason suggested we go and wow, did that day really turn out wonderful!

View from General Admission seats - beautiful city!

Awesome day!  LOVED polo!

Monday Meanderings

I have been wanting to post now all week about everything that's been going on but because I've been so busy, I haven't had time to post.  So here is all of it at one time!

Last weekend my uncle (Dennis) and Marilyn came down on Saturday to see our place and meet Cooper.  We had such a nice time with them, took them to one of our favorite burger places then went for a walk through Old Town. Cooper was absolutely out of control though.  Something I'll probably post more about later...I think he's just being a puppy but he has SO much energy, usually at the most inconvenient times.

Sunday I had my friend, Stephanie's, bridal shower which was lovely.  I just love the idea of showering someone with gifts for their marriage or baby.   Those of us who got married later in life can really appreciate their bridal shower.  :) Time to replace the old banged-up college mismatched pots, pans and broken can opener, and melted spatulas with shiny non-stick "lets learn how to cook" ones!

Monday I did something I've never done before...I went to a movie all by myself!  It sounds so grown-up doesn't it?  No, it's just that I feel like so many people frown on it and think the person has no friends if they go alone.  Well in all honesty, that is exactly why I went alone that day.  Jason was out of town, it was in the middle of the day when the rest of the world was working and who could I convince to see a move I HAD to see while still in the theater..."The Lion King 3D"  That was one of my favorite movies when I was in high school.  I bought the soundtrack and used to listen to it in my car so knew every word to the songs and must have watched the movie every night falling asleep for a solid year.  I know every word to the movie and was all smiles or tears through the entire show on Monday.  They did an excellent job making it into 3D and I am SO happy I saw it while it was still out. :)  I loved reliving my rather innocent high school days all over again in the theater. Might I add...why was The Lion King ever intended for kids?  Definitely not one I'd bring my future little ones to see! But for me, it was joyous!

My plans on Wednesday were canceled due to the monsoon of rain we experienced all week but have rescheduled for today...so more details on that later. Don't laugh but on Wednesday night, I went to another movie with my friend, Andrea...we saw "I Don't Know How She Does it."  Being the huge Sex and the City fan that I am, I wasn't going to miss seeing a Sarah Jessica Parker film while it was still in the theater.  I went in with zero expectations and came out pleased..it was a really cute and romantic film.

Thursday something really unexpected (but good!) happened.  At the last minute I was invited to an interview for 3 school-aged children (well ones a teen) and got the job!  It all happened literally overnight but will now completely fill my schedule until December. I have the trial dates planned for this week so if either of us think it's not a good match, then I can get out of it, but I'm super excited because I can tutor them with their homework (which will help spice up my resume) and I'll start bringing in some cash flow again! Plus, I think it'll be fun to be with 3 girls at that age...but maybe I should wait to say that until after I've met them?

Thursday was great because I got to pick Jason up from the airport. :)  He ended up being on an earlier flight so we had a few hours to spend together before bedtime.  When he travels we don't really talk much and when we do we both don't have much to say but once we're together, I don't shut up so it's nice when we have time to catch up before Friday starts. :)

Friday I had Stephanie and Bernardo's wedding which was in Wisconsin.  Jason wasn't able to go since it was on a Friday at 4:00 so I went alone.  The drive (there) was beautiful and the wedding was amazing.  It was held at a museum barn near Lake Geneva and was just gorgeous.  Since it had started to rain a little right before it was to start we all went inside so I got to see where the reception was being held and every detail was in place.  The wedding was just as pretty and encompassed Stephanie and Bernardo's love for the Lord.  They even used God's Knot like we did at our wedding. I was so excited when I told Stephanie about it and she ended up using it.  That night was a great way to finish up the crazy wedding season we just went into.  It was just beautiful.  Congrats again Stephanie and Bernardo!

Saturday was a day of errands...then we went to dinner in the burbs with a few of my friends.  We had a delicious Italian dinner but had to come home early because I had another 5k yesterday morning.

Since I'm already babbling, I'll share that school is going really well right now.  I do have a TON of observation hours to do in the next 6-7 weeks with very specific assignments but I just keep telling myself I am almost DONE. My teachers are great and I think I am learning more in these two classes than many of my others.  I'm in a class that is in their first quarter of grad school and its finally pretty obvious to me how much I have learned since my first class, so that is exciting to me!

I have another busy week ahead and will keep you all posted on the job.  :)  It is going to be a very busy next couple of months but that's probably a good thing so I'll be a little more ready for when I begin student teaching and have to be up every morning 5 days in a row.

Happy Monday all and thanks for stopping in!