Monday, April 28, 2008

Spring Has Sprung!

Nothing says "spring" more than your little boy playing in a tent in the living room! I'm so excited that garage sale season is here! We wouldn't have this wonderland of fun if we hadn't spotted it at a garage sale a couple weeks ago. And this weekend is both Story City and Gilbert's "citywide garage sales"! I have been looking forward to the first weekend in May since last year, and it's almost here! Look out, people, I'm on a mission!

26 Weeks

A couple people have asked for some "body shots" (no, not those kind of body shots ... that was so 1998). Since the whole Easter-hospital-visit, things have calmed down and pregnancy is getting back to normal. I'm feeling good. Next week I'll be in my third trimester. Whoop, whoop!

Yummm ...

Yesterday, Sam and I had a fun time making cookies while Dad was outside getting the deck ready to be stained. We may or may not have accidentally eaten some of the dough.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Never Say Goodbye

Last night, I got to see one of my adolescent idols -- Bon Jovi -- in concert. I had the band's "Slippery When Wet" poster on my wall when I was 10, and thought they were the coolest thing since parachute pants and jelly shoes. Time has definitely treated them well, and they performed an amazing show. They played for 2.5 hours, and I was impressed. I kept thinking about how long they have been together -- more than 20 years -- and wondered how many others could last that long and still look like they're having fun! I was also impressed by Jon's voice and how great it sounds. And Jon ain't too bad on the eyes, either. He just gets better with age. (Hi Brian, Brian's mom and Brian's aunts.) They have performed more than 2,500 shows since the '80s and seemed as fresh as ever. (Bon Jovi, not Brian's mom and aunts. Although they're as fresh as ever, too.)

Daughtry (from American Idol) was the opener. He had a great voice and my favorite part of his performance (at least, the part of his performance we got to see ... see below for reasons of our tardiness) was when he joined Bon Jovi onstage for 'Dead or Alive'. That song pretty much rocks.

It was a comical night from start to finish. Four of us planned to meet downtown near the arena for dinner and drinks before the show. We decided to meet two hours beforehand, because this is Des Moines, and we would have plenty of time to walk over to the arena. Oh, contraire! (You mean when there is a sold-out concert, a lot of those people eat near the arena? That is weird.) Most establishments within walking distance had a two-hour wait. And we checked about 8 of them after getting caught in construction, going the wrong way down a few alleys, illegally parking and other mishaps along the way.

Then we jumped into Kate's car and finally saw a light at the end of the tunnel: Zimm's! We settled in about 6:15 or so. (A disclaimer on the menu should have been our first hint: "One must wait for good food." Or something to that effect.) A few sandwiches and drinks surely wouldn't take too long. Mwa ha ha ha! After being told we wouldn't have time for dinner, we ordered appetizers to ensure we could leave by 7 p.m. A mere FORTY MINUTES LATER, our appetizers arrived. Oh, and I delivered them to our table. (Our waitress was pretty busy.) These little things may not sound comical on a blog, but everything just kept getting funnier as the night went on. I don't think it had anything to do with the pitchers that Kate, Kim and Deborah downed while waiting on our scrumptous appetizers. Needless to say, we scarfed down four appetizers in 5 minutes and ran out the door.

But we had a great night full of good friends, good laughs and good music! What else could we ask for? Besides dinner, I mean. :-)

You can read Kate's version of last night at:

Thanks, girls, for a fun night!! Oh, and thanks to Bon Jovi, too.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

We Made It!

We just returned from our first official family vacation. The three of us drove to Frisco, Colo., to stay with my parents at their condo. Since we are saving money for the next little chopper, we decided to take them up on their offer to stay with them. We hadn't taken a vacation since Jan. '06 (when I was pregnant with Sam), and it was very nice of them and we had a good time. But we need to start taking vacations when I'm not pregnant! I guess that's a blog for another time.

In addition to the condo in Frisco, we also stayed with two of my aunts and their families on the way home -- one in Fort Collins, Colo., and another in Lincoln, Neb. Unfortunately, the screen on our digital camera broke while in Frisco and we didn't take very many pictures afterwards.

In Fort Collins, we watched part of Aunt Mary's softball game before it was postponed due to inclement weather. It was kind of a blessing in disguise because we were then able to go out for dinner and spend more time with Mary and Cris. And in Lincoln, we watched our nephew while Aunt Connie had her basketball banquet. Then we had a great Chef Kirk breakfast and played before we took off the next morning.

Most of these pictures were taken before our camera bit the dust:

This was taken a few hours after arriving in Colorado. We were scoping out the slopes at Keystone for Dad and Brian's skiing adventure the next day. We had just driven 12 hours straight with an almost-two-year-old, and were pretty exhausted. Did I say 12 hours in the car? With a two-year-old.

Dad and Brian are getting ready to go skiing. Sam had to sneak into the picture, too!

Mom and I took Sam on a walk through Frisco while the guys were skiing.

Sam decided that he loved swimming. This was the first time he wasn't scared of the water.

We took Sam on his first bus ride! He loved watching all the people -- and dogs -- get on and off the bus. Everyone in Frisco had a dog or a pair of skis. Or both.

Brian and I took off one day to explore while Mom and Dad watched Sam. We drove through Loveland Pass.

Our camera was broken by this day, but the luckily the pictures still turned out.

Another pic from Loveland Pass.

And here is our lovely drive to Lincoln, Neb. A 7-hour trip turned into 8.5 hours due to the poor conditions on I-76 and I-80.

Brian drove the entire way to Lincoln. Bless his heart.

I was trying to take this pic with a broken camera ... I wanted to show that we were going 30 MPH on the interstate. It was not fun.

But we made it home with lots of great memories and were able to spend some time with family. Thanks to everyone who let us stay at their places. We had a great time.

Friday, April 4, 2008

I've Been Tagged, Again

I've been tagged by my friend Vicki. I'm supposed to tell you 10 random things about myself, and then tag 5 friends afterwards. I'll be anxious to see how many of you knew these things about me, or if they're all a surprise.

1. I make lists. Constantly. Right now I think I have at least 3 -- one for work, one for home and another for our trip to Colorado. Oh, and one for songs I want to add to my MP3 player. And another for "boy names". And one more for the grocery store. I think that might be all, but I'm not sure. I would be lost and/or very disorganized without one. Sometimes I write something that I have just done on my list, even though it wasn't on my list, so I can cross it off. Did someone say OCD?

2. I was the only grandchild (on my mom's side) for almost 19 years. This allowed me to become extremely close to my grandparents. They have been the number one influence in my life. I try to live everyday by "how would my grandma do this" or "what would my grandma think about this". I truly value the advice and wisdom of my grandparents, and consider my grandma to be one of my best friends.

3. I love the smell of a clean garage. Not the oily or greasy smells, but the clean smell of dirt. I know it makes no sense but I absolutely LOVE the smell. And it's not just a pregnancy thing. I've been this way my whole life. (Right, Amy P.?) And I love the smell of dirt. Driving past a freshly plowed field is like heaven!

4. I do not like to take baths. I don't think I'm patient enough to sit still that long.

5. I absolutely love "funk" music from the 70s.

6. I used to play the piano and would like to take it up again. Maybe when the kids are older??

7. I must watch the local news and read the newspaper everyday. I feel lost if I haven't done so. And I read the paper cover-to-cover, including one of my favorite sections, the obits. Is that morbid?

8. I have never had a bloody nose. And I have never broken any bones. Knock on wood.

9. I cry ridiculously easily. Cards, commercials, seeing anyone else cry, etc. I get teary-eyed during the national anthem. And parades, too, when people stand for the flag.

10. If I were to change careers, I would've become a news reporter and then hopefully an anchor. I started off with that goal in college, but got sidetracked by working in the athletic department. I loved my experience there, but I wish I would've pursued the electronic media track a little more.

Ok, that wasn't so bad!! Did you learn anything about me? Well, I'm hoping to learn a little more about these that I'm passing the tag onto: Kate, Leana and Rhonda. Have fun girls!