Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Extravaganza

Five fun whirlwind days and its over...just like that!  Where do I even begin!?!  On the morning of Christmas Eve we packed up the Vibe with suitcases, presents, and one cute dog and headed toward the big mitten.  With much concern over the weather, it ended up being an oh-ke-doke ride.  Once we got to America's high-five, we headed over to Kate's for a little gift exchange.  It was of course more exciting to see her and her cutie little husband.  Baby Sluiter is coming along just nicely and we are excited for his/her arrival.  Man, I'll be glad when we know that thing's gender.  Oh, by the way...I forgot my camera so its like this Christmas never really happened.  Later that night, we had a gift extravaganza at my parents' house.  It was great fun!  I got lots of cute clothes, jewelry, a super cute wristlet and of coursed, the Sex and the City movie.  Jeremy got his much anticipated Wii with lots of games and controllers and what not.  On Christmas day we had a little party with my grandma and crazy extended family.  It was fun to see everyone and answer funny questions about living in Chicago.  These people sure don't get out of the mitten much.  Its always great to see my granny.  Nothing says "Merry Christmas" like a fist full of cash from your grandma.  Thanks granny!!!    The day after Christmas, we repacked the Vibe and headed for Jeremy's family.  We made it to his bother's house around noon and by 3:30, we were off to see Jeremy's grandparents and extended family.  It was crazy in the small space of grandma and grandpa's living room with all of the grandkids....none of which belong to me....thank GOD!!!  The kids LOVED all of their presents and again, nothing says "Merry Christmas" like a fist full of cash from the grandparents.  What is it with grandparents?  Do they have an aversion to shopping or shopping centers?  Not that I'm complaining.  Not only do I get something new and fun.  I have received the gift of shopping!  Turns out, its my perfect size!  We stayed with Jeremy's bother and his wife and kids until Sunday.  Jeremy's parents were also there so it was a full house.  After much eating and visiting, Jeremy and I packed up the Vibe one final time and headed back to the Windy City.  Zoey (the dog) was happy to be home and Anastasia (the cat) was happy to see us.  We've unpacked, done the laundry, ordered pizza, and we're already guitar hero rock stars.  Here's to relaxing after all of the craziness of the holidays.  Now we're looking forward to New Year's Eve with friends.  Hope everyone has a great 2009!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Oh, what a day!

So today started out as an average Wednesday. Then it all went down hill when I got to school. When I arrived, I remembered that I have morning duty...which I hate. Once class started things were fine...for an hour. One of students came to me and told me she had a headache. I felt her forehead and it was fine so I told her I would check in with her before we went to science lab. We went on to finish math, do centers, and I was just finishing up my writing lesson on the rug and sending the students back to their seats to work when the same student came to me again. She looked miserable so I felt her forehead and she was burning hot. She said she felt like she was going to throw up. I asked to wait by the garbage can until everyone got settled and I would take her to the office. She casually walked over to the trash can (none of our trash cans have trash bags in them...I think you know where I am going with this). Just as she approached the can, she leaned over, pulled her own hair back and just vomitted. I thought to myself, I'm 30 years old and I'm not that calm when I vomit. Anyway, I took her, and the trash can, to the office. I called her mom who came quickly to pick her up and the custodians had my trash can clean in no time. After practically bathing in hand sanitizer, I returned to class thinking, that was really gross but could have been so much worse. After writing, I took my class to science lab. I was in a meeting with my principal and the other second and third grade teachers while our students were at their specials. After picking them up, we only had a few minutes to fnish writing before lunch. One of kids didn't come back from science lab. I thought to myself...that's wierd...but the students informed me he had gone to restroom but had been gone for a long time. As we're getting lined up for lunch he comes back to the room to get his things to go home. He had a huge cut by his eye and it was swelling. I asked him what happened and he told me that when he went to the bathroom, he stopped to get a drink and fell, hitting his face on an edge. I thought to myself...this is just great. We survived the rest of the school day, incident free. After school I only had one hour to work and realized I had to go to my last class at University of Chicago tonight. Last class means final. Of course, I wasn't prepared for it so I didn't want to go. I survived it but don't think I did so well. All in all, I guess you could say, it was a really strange and annoying day. Here's to hoping tomorrow will be better!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Lots of Updates

We've had some excitment here in Chicago! A few recent happenings for us...October 24th my sister came for the weekend for a visit. Now this wasn't just any visit! She came because we had tickets for the New Kids on the Block concert. I know what you're thinking...lame. As I sat there and watched the show I thought to myself, "Oh my gosh! They were the first N'Sync!" The music was a little teeny bopper. That's what made it so fun. It totally brought me back to being twelve years old. It was so much fun! And really hilarious! We had a fun weekend. Jeremy did not attend the concert. He thought it was all pretty lame but I know deep inside he's sad he didn't go.

We've both been working like crazy since then. I just finished the first quarter at school. I was at school for thirteen hours on Friday trying to finish grades and get report cards ready. It was a little stressful. Our new computer grading/report card system is easier but I still wasn't ready for it. It made for a looooooong day.

Jeremy's friend, Kevin, and his family came to visit this past weekend. It was a little crowded with them staying here but it was so much fun. Kevin and Kathy have two kids and we took them all to the Field Museum on Saturday. The kids loved all the dinosaur bones. The kids thought it was so cool riding on the el train. We stopped for pizza on the way home. We had so much fun the kids didn't want to leave this morning!

I'm looking forward to this week. Tomorrow I have a professional development day. Tuesday is no school for Veteran's Day so my mom, sister, and Aunt Kathy are coming on the train for the day. Then Wednedsay there is no school for students because we have report card pick-up and conferences. Only two school days with students. It should be a pretty easy going week....which I need after last Friday. Oh, and this Friday Jeremy's Aunt Janet, Uncle Dick, and Grandma are going to be in town from Louisville for a wedding. We're having dinner with them Friday night. Its always fun to see them. Tootles for now!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Our First Post-Marathon Run

After three weeks of rest, Jeremy and I took our recovered legs out for a little run. I only went two miles and Jeremy went two and a half. I was feeling optimistic. I even took Zoey with me. Now that I'm running lower miles I thought she might enjoy a little trot through the neighborhood. It felt really good. In fact, my only complaint was that the slightly colder air was burning my lungs. I felt tired at the end but I wasn't in any pain. On the one hand I thought, this will be easy, afterall, three weeks ago I ran 26.2 miles. How hard can this be? On the other hand, I thought to myself, this will be very hard because I haven't done any running in three weeks! It felt good to be out running again. However, I'm not looking forward to running in the cold temperatures and on the slippery sidewalks. We're looking around to join a gym at least for the winter. So for now, we'll enjoy the warmish fall weather and keep on running.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Jeremy's run

     Okay, when we last left off Tonya just finished the race.  Now here is my side of the run.

After Tonya and I split up in the start corral I made my way up to the group that was going to be running my goal pace.  It wasn't easy.  When I finally got there I had to wait shoulder to shoulder with other excited runners.  I could barely see the starting line from where I was, but when they started the race I got chills from knowing I was about to embark on a new life.  I would no longer be training for a marathon, I would be a marathoner.  Like Tonya, the first mile went really quick.  I couldn't believe how easy it was feeling through the first few miles.  I think it had to do with the rush of excitement from the surrounding runners and spectators.  I was frightened around mile 7 or 8 by my boss.  He was yelling out support to the passing runners as they went by and when I ran by him I didn't notice him until he started screaming my name and jumping up and down.  This surprised me and made me jump.  I twisted around, gave him a wave and continued on.  It was getting warm out and around mile 11 and I noticed I wasn't sweating anymore and it concerned me.  I figured I wasn't staying hydrated and realized I needed to drink more water.  The one thing I was doing well was staying on pace.  My pace through 15 miles was right on my goal pace.  When I passed the halfway point I had knocked off about 20 minutes from my previous half marathon time, this got me excited about knocking out this marathon in no time, but then I realized, I still had 2 1/2 hours to run.  
Well at about mile 16 I hit the wall.  The heat was getting up there and I was starting to feel soreness in my feet.  I started to question whether or not I would be able to finish and if running a marathon was a smart idea.  I figured to be able to make it to the finish I would walk through the water stops and then run in between them.  This helped my attitude and my energy.  I had so many things running through my head during the last few miles trying to take my mind off of the pain.  A guy I work with who donated to our charity had told me to think of him every time my left foot hit the ground, I did a few times after mile 16, and it helped.  I hit mile 20 and felt a surge of energy hoping it would carry me through to the finish.  It didn't.  I still was struggling putting one foot in front of the other one, but the great supporters at the aid stations and standing along the race course helped to keep me going.  Mile 24 came and went and I was having to take more frequent walk breaks and was feeling defeated.  But I knew I needed to push on, I was only 2 miles away from my goal.  My time had faltered and now I was hoping to finish in 5 hours.  Hitting mile 25's water stop I told myself to buck up and start running.  I had told myself earlier that no matter what, I was going to run the last mile.  So I dug down deep for some inner support and started pounding the pavement.  I could feel the finish line getting closer and my legs seemed to have a new surge of energy.  I began running at a pace that I didn't know I had the energy for.  I was passing people left and right listening to the crowds cheers of encouragement.  I turned the second to last corner and headed up the small hill that would challenge my ending pace.  It didn't slow me down, it actually felt like I started running even faster.  The crowd was cheering loudly as I made the final turn to run the final 0.2 miles of the race.  I could feel my legs struggling to keep the pace, but I knew I could do it, I pushed myself that final stretch and when I reached the finish I raised my arms in triumph.  As I finished I got a lump in my throat from the emotions I was going through.  I felt a sense of pride for what I just did and I almost started to cry, I think it has a lot to do with the stress you put yourself through running 26.2 miles.  After making it through the finish corral and getting my medal, I slowly walked through the crowds taking everything in.  As I waited for Tonya to finish I was looking back over my experience of the run and couldn't believe I had just ran a marathon.  I still can't believe I ran one, but I can say this, I am going to run another one.  It didn't deter my attitude towards running and I know that I have at least one more marathon in me.  Anyways I am glad I did it and happy that I finished and if there is any one who wants to run next years marathon with me give me a call and we can start training.  

Sunday, October 19, 2008

We finished, Tonya's tale of the marathon

We did it. Tonya and I finished the marathon and have finally starting walking without pain again. It was rough, I won't lie. The weather did not cooperate at all and it took both of us longer than we were hoping, but we finished. The heat got up to about 80 degrees and it was sunny, so towards the end of the race the heat was getting unbearable. Luckily they had plenty of water stops along the route to help keep the runners hydrated. I completed the marathon in 5 hours, a half hour longer than I wanted to, but I feel great for finishing. Tonya finished in 5 hours and 58 minutes, and was equally happy for finishing.
Heading to the start, we were getting nervous and excited. When the race finally started it was less than spectacular because it took us at least 17 minutes to get to the start. It was tough at the beginning because it was so crowded. As we continued on it got a little easier. Tonya and I actually got separated in the crowd and did not run the race together. Tonya has always thought the first mile was the most difficult because she is trying to find her stride and get into a tempo. It didn't seem to be hard and before she knew it, she was hitting the 1st mile marker. When she hit the 1st mile she was surprised at how easy it felt and thought only 25.2 miles to go. She was having to run without her trusty running companion, her ipod, for the first time and she thought it would be hard but there was so much excitement with all the runners and spectators. She is glad she didn't use it, she felt she was able to take everything a little better. Then came mile 7. She hit the wall and needed to call her friend Kate. She needed a shot of support and Katie was just what she needed. When Katie answered the phone, Tonya was sobbing and said she wanted to quit. Katie told Tonya she couldn't quit because she wasn't a quiter. As soon as she got off the phone with her she took off running with a smile on her face. She was texting with her friend Diane who told her she was just past mile marker 11. Knowing she was there helped Tonya keep going. She passed mile marker 11 and started looking for Diane on the west side of the street where she said she would be. All of sudden Tonya saw a crazy lady jumping up and down on the side of the street yelling her name. She threw her arms up and smiled. Tonya ran up and hugged her. Tonya was trying to tell her something and Diane told her, "don't stop to talk to me, keep going," and she started yelling "GO, GO, GO!" She kept going and was getting tired again so she was very happy to see the 13.1 miles, which is half way. Tonya took two minutes to walk and then began running again. For mile 16 she did a run/walk. Around mile 17 Tonya met a girl named Stephanie who had lost her running partners. They started running together. Stephanie was very encouraging for Tonya when things started getting rough again. Basically they decided to run from water stop to water stop. There were water stops every mile. So they passed mile marker 18 and just a little further was the water stop. They grabbed a gatorade and walked to the water and grabbed a water. They walked and drank and tried to keep moving while they took water. They were trying to stay hydrated because of the heat that had been beating down on them since mile 12. As soon as they finished with their water they were off and running to the next water stop. This was working great for them. Unfortunately, in mile 23 Tonya stepped on some uneven pavement and she was so tired it was all she could do to catch herself, but twisted her ankle. Tonya jumped off the course to stretch her ankle and to make sure it was alright. Stephanie stopped with Tonya to make sure she was okay. Tonya was very happy running with Stephanie because she was very encouraging and a nurse so Tonya knew she would be alright if anything happened. Tonya was fine and they continued on. She was getting tired and whiny, but Stephanie kept encouraging her. At mile 25 Stephanie said, "we have to finish this. We didn't come all this way to give up with only 1.2 miles to go. We can run to the end." Then they saw the 1 mile left marker and Tonya wanted to cry. She couldn't make her legs cooperate. She just tried to keep up with Stephanie. She took a second to walk and waved Stephanie on to go ahead. She didn't want to hold her back. Tonya was coming up to Michigan Ave. and knew she only had two turns left. So she walked to the corner and took off because she could see the 26 mile marker and knew she only had to go 0.2 miles beyond that to the finish line. She started running and swearing wondering why they would make the end uphill. Tonya started crying and then heard someone calling her name. She looked up and saw her Mom and Sister standing just before the turn to the finish line. She ran over to them sobbing. She hugged them for a second and then ran for the finish line. Tonya didn't know they were coming and was so happy to see them at the end. As she rounded the corner onto Columbus and towards the finish line, it was almost like she hadn't run at all. Her legs were moving faster than they had at mile 1. She was so happy to cross the finish line. She missed her goal time by almost an hour, but she didn't care. She was just happy to finish. She hasn't ruled out running another marathon, but it probably won't be next year. She plans to do the half marathon in August and maybe a few others throughout the summer.

I will add my story later, so you can take this one in for now. So check back in the next couple of days for my experience, and hopefully we will be getting photos soon, so we can post a few.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Long Time

I know it has been awhile and I am sorry.  It just has been really busy for me lately.  We are entering our final week before the marathon and we are excited and nervous about it.  We ran 8 miles today and it is our last run until Saturday the day before the race.  I had a good run and felt good, so I am hoping that that feeling will carry over until next week.  Tonya said her run was a little tough, but she is feeling good about the race.  School is going well for both of us.  Tonya is still enjoying her class and loves having her own classroom.  I am busy with homework, but I am still happy with my decision with switching majors.  Well I need to get back to homework so I must say goodbye for now.  I will definitely blog after the race next weekend, so check back to see how your favorite marathoners did.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Each week running is another milestone reached.  A week and a half ago I ran twenty miles in one run for the first time.  Talk about rough.  The crazy thing is I have to do again this weekend and I am looking forward to it.  Another thing that makes me feel like a runner now is the fact that I lost my first toenail from running.  I know it's gross, but you should have seen the nail before I had to pull it off.  Anyways, enough about the gross stuff.  We are only three and a half weeks away from the marathon and I am getting excited.  I want to thank everyone who has donated to our fundraising efforts, knowing we have people supporting us in our quest to run the marathon is the extra push we need to get through some of our training runs.  I know the updates have been lagging again, but my schedule is getting busier everyday with school and work and I don't feel like I have any free time to do some of the extra stuff I used to do.  Tonya has been just as busy also.  She spends many extra hours after school preparing for the next day and now she is starting a class this week to get her math endorsement.  So seeing each other, let alone friends and family, is going to be tough.  We will keep you posted on our next few weeks of training and let you all know how classes are going.  

Saturday, September 6, 2008

First Week

Well we made it, our first week back at school and both of us made it through the week.  Tonya had a very busy week with students, but said it went fast and was a lot of fun.  That is all the info she gave me, so I can't be more detailed than that about her week.  
I am really looking forward to the classes I have signed up for this semester.  After my first week I have found out I will be reading 5 novels and an assortment of other readings along with writing many journal entries and papers.  I am taking writing intensive courses, so I am sort of expected it, but it is still a little overwhelming.  Already for next week I have three different writing assignments that equal 15 pages of writing.  Now don't get me wrong, I am looking forward to it, it just seems like a lot to me right now.  
Our marathon training is going well.  We only have about 5 weeks left before the big day, so we are starting to log more and more miles.  We get to run 20 miles tomorrow, which will be a big test for the both of us.  Tonya is still being bothered by shin splints that are slowing her down a little, but she continues to push through the pain.  I have been running some of my best runs lately and hope it will continue through the marathon.  I recently ran my best time for 13 miles the other day and it really gave me the confidence boost I needed to feel like I was ready for the marathon.  I actually shaved 30 minutes off my time from when Tonya and I ran the half marathon.  Many of you may have received an email about the charity we are running for, Organization for Autism Research.  There are links to our fundraising pages on the right side of our blog.  If you've already donated...thank you.  We appreciate your generosity and every little bit helps us reach our goal.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

School is about to start

You can definitely tell school is about to start around our house; Tonya has been working all week at getting her classroom ready, staying late and buying supplies, and going to meetings almost everyday.  She seems to be enjoying it though and doesn't complain too much except for not having air conditioning in the room, so if you see Tonya wish her good luck in her new school year.  I get to enjoy a morning of buying books and figuring out last minute things for my classes that begin on Tuesday tomorrow.  I don't know if many of you know this, but I have decided to change majors already.  I wasn't enjoying film classes as much as I was hoping and realized how much I enjoy writing, so I changed my major to Fictional Writing and with this I can still write movie scripts so I can will still continue to do some film stuff.  I am about to embark on a full load this semester trying to take 16 credit hours along with working 25 hours a week and still trying to find time to train for the marathon. 
 About the marathon, we have 5 weeks left before the big day.  It has been going pretty good for me, I feel I am on track to be able to complete the marathon in my goal time, which is 41/2 hours.  Tonya though, has been struggling a little with shin splints and is a little worried she won't be ready.  So if you see her or send her a message give her some support to help her continue on her training.  I know she will do fine, she just needs to get the negativity out of her head.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A long overdue blog.

Well Friends I said I would put a few pictures up of my camping trip with Mat and here are a few of the photos I have.  They are from our trip to the Apostle islands in northern Wisconsin on Lake Superior.  The area reminds me of the Pictured Rocks area in the U.P. with all the rocky cliffs jutting out into the lake.  
The area Mat and I hiked is called the Sea Caves.  There are a bunch of cliffs that you can hike above the caves, which are below the hiking trails.  They have kayak rentals so you can actually kayak into the caves, but the price was a little steep for us.  As you can see they had plenty of warnings on how dangerous the cliffs were, but Mat being Mat, didn't feel like being careful and would rather enjoy the view.
I on the other hand felt like enjoying the view from a safer distance and stayed closer to the trail.  Right before we headed out for our 9 mile hike, one of the park rangers came up to us to let us know that there had been a bear sighting.  They said it could be a little aggressive because she had two cubs with her, so they said to be careful.  This didn't keep us from going out on the hike, but it did make us be a little more cautious of our surroundings.  Another cool thing about our trip was that during the night while we were cooking our dinner we heard some rustling near our campsite and figured it was just raccoons or squirrels, but found out the next morning that it was a black bear.  We made sure to keep our food in the car for the weekend, because we really didn't want a visitor like that waking us up.
At the half-way point of our hike we came upon the beach, and Mat decided to take his shoes off and try to tolerate the cold Lake Superior water.  It was a beautiful weekend while we were up there.  It was sunny and comfortable the whole time, until the morning we were going to leave.  A small storm came through and got everything wet so it made packing the tents a little less fun, but over all we couldn't complain about our time in the north.
On another note, we have a visitor for the week.  Her name is Fudge and is one of my co-workers dog.  As you can see Zoey loves having a play-mate, Ana on the other hand isn't really happy with another dog in the house.  Zoey and Fudge really hit it off and love playing with each other, which is a problem with how small our apartment is.  We are watching Fudge just for the week, she is pretty good, but we will be happy when we are back to one dog and one cat.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

It's been awhile

I am sorry for the delay in between posts.  It has been busy the past couple of weeks.  I am still trying to organize some of my photos from my camping trip with Mat, and trying to catch up on my sleep from working the beer tent at Lollapalooza.  I will try to get the pictures uploaded soon and tell you about our past two weeks.  For now, we are still doing fine, just really busy.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Dog Beach

This past weekend we took Zoey to the dog beach and she loved it.  We also had fun playing in the water with her.  Trips to the beach with Zoey will definitely be happening often for the rest of the summer.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The last two weeks

The last two weeks have flown by so I wasn't able to blog earlier, so now I am catching up.  The weekend after the fourth Tonya's sister, Tammi, came to visit the great couple of Chicago, that's us by the way.  We had a fun time taking her to one of Tonya's favorite places to eat, Sensational Bites.  
and you can see Tonya really enjoys their cupcakes.  Chomp Chomp
This weekend, Tonya decided to try and run off some of the calories from the cupcake so she signed up to run the Fleet Feet Women's 10k (6.2 miles).  Here she is getting ready to start the race.
Here she is so happy to be finished.  She did a great job with a time of 1:04:29.  She felt great afterwards.
Just another step towards training for the marathon.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

What a weekend

Hey all,
Well we had a great 4th of July weekend.  We had fun visiting all of Tonya's friends who were in Holland for the weekend, it was great catching up on what everybody is doing.  We headed to Michigan on Friday the 4th with Mat for a mini road trip from Chicago.  When we got into town Tonya and I went to visit her grandmother for a bit.  It was nice seeing her and letting her know what was going on in Chicago.  The rest of the day we spent having dinner with Tonya's parents and sister.  It was nice just relaxing for a weekend instead of always running around doing errands.  On Saturday we met up with all of Tonya's friends at Aunt Linda's house, which is on Lake Michigan, and it was a beautiful day.  We had great food and great conversation that lasted late into the night.
Now just because the weekend ended didn't mean the fun was over for us.  We celebrated my birthday on Monday with a nice little dinner at home with cupcakes for desert.  It was a nice low key birthday, just the way I like them.  

If you would like to see some pictures from the party look at the Sluiter Nation blog that I have a link to, there are some good ones.  

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

4th of July

Hello all,
Just wanted to wish you all a happy and safe 4th of July.  We will be visiting Tonya's family and friends this 4th and we are looking to have a good time.  Hope all of you are able to enjoy the weekend and have great weather.  

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


We had a good time entertaining Tonya's Mom for the weekend this past weekend.  She came in Friday and stayed until Sunday.  We did a few touristy things like going to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner and visiting Navy Pier.  It was fun and of course the cheesecake was delicious.  We are looking forward to visiting West Michigan on the 4th of July weekend and seeing our friends.  I am just hoping we can afford the gas.  Just thought I would post something before Katie e-mailed me wondering what was going on.  Just ribbing you Katie, you know I love ya.  For now that is all that is happening in our lives.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

New Job

Great News! Tonya has a new job for next school year. She will be teaching 2nd grade at the school she was at this past year. She will still have students with special needs included into her classroom, but, for the first time ever is not working directly in special education. I just thought I would pass this great news along to all our friends and family.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Training for the marathon officially began this week.  It has been rough and neither one of us are looking forward to the 8 miles we have to run on Sunday, but we are going to do it.  We had a great time this past weekend when Katie and Cort came and visited us in Chi-town.  Tonya and Katie went and enjoyed the Sex in the City movie while Mat, Cort and I enjoyed the Cubs game at the local bar.  It was great seeing the two of them and having them hang out with us.  Tonya and I just enjoyed our 8th wedding anniversary about a week ago, I know what you're thinking, how has Tonya been able to live with me that long, but lucky for me she has.  We are really enjoying our lives right now and I don't think we could be any happier.  If any of you are ever in Chicago this summer give a ring so we can hang out.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

I got my grades

I received my grades from last semester and was very pleased with the results.  We are now scouring the internet endlessly, searching for scholarships for next fall.  Tonya has officially started the job hunt.  She had a job fair this morning that she went to and came home with a blister the size of Texas on her foot.   She handed out plenty of resumes, but is hoping to get the job she interviewed for at the school she is at now.  Tonya has a second interview for that position on Monday.  We will keep you posted on any new jobs Tonya is offered.  

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

We are still alive.

Hey everyone, we are still here, we just have been real busy.  I have just finished my first semester back to school and I am actually looking forward to my next semester.  I start summer classes next week and I think it will be fun because they are film classes that I am looking forward to.  I am not sure how I did last semester because I haven't gotten my grades, but I feel like it was a good semester for me.  Tonya recently had an interview for a fifth grade position at the school she is at right now and felt like she did a good job in the interview.  She hasn't heard anything yet and probably won't for awhile, but she feels confident, so keep your fingers crossed for her.  Other than that, not a whole lot has happened in the last month.
One other thing of importance to us is we signed up to run the Chicago Marathon this fall.  We actually weren't able to sign up before they closed it because it was full, but luckily Tonya found a charity that we could run.  Helping us to fulfill one of our goals this year by running the marathon.  The charity we are running for is OAR (Organization for Autism Research).  We are running on the Run For Autism team. 
So we will be asking for donations for help in fulfilling our goal of raising 500 dollars apiece to help benefit children with autism.  I have posted two widgets on our blog where you can donate if you would like and I will also post the links to our fundraising home pages.
Hopefully I will be updating this more often now that my busy schedule is over for now.  So don't worry Katie I will keep you posted as much as possible.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Another day

With my second week since spring break mid way through I am finally getting back into the groove of school.  I am really starting to get a lot of work dumped on me now that the semester is more than half over and for some reason the professors feel they need to punish us.  Anyways I know I don't do a good job of posting on here and keeping you all updated and I am sorry.  I am just not very good at keeping on top of this all the time.  Like I said a couple of sentences ago school is getting hectic, but I am still enjoying it.  I am actually looking forward to taking a couple of classes this summer.  I have gotten back into training again as well.  I am running about 8 to 10 miles a week and I am really starting to enjoy running again.
We did just get back from Michigan this past weekend to visit my family in Jackson.  We had a good time seeing everyone that was around and spending time with my niece and nephew is always a pleasure.  
I know I don't say much about Tonya in these things, but that's because she doesn't give me much to work with.  She is doing well and she still enjoys being married to me, I think.  Hopefully she will do something soon that is blog worthy so I can write more about her.  So that's it for now, I will try to post more often so you can keep up with what we are up to and what is happening in Chicago. 
And hopefully I can get some pictures that we can post because our site does look a little bare.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Think Spring

Okay, I don't know about you guys, but I am sick of winter.  It just doesn't seem to want to leave.  I am ready for spring, warmer days and sunshine.  We are supposed to get more snow today, yuck.  I am sick of it.  Sorry I just wanted to get this off my chest because it has really been bugging me.  Hope everyone is doing well this week and all are having fun.  Think spring and hopefully it will come.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

No pictures

Hello to all.  Just to let you all know, we did not make it down to the parade last weekend.  We decided to be more productive and do errands instead.  We didn't even get to see the green river.  Tonya enjoyed her trip back home to see friends and family and enjoyed being able to relax for a week without school kids but I don't think she is ready to go back to school.   When she returned she brought her sister, Tammi, along to stay for the weekend.  While Tammi was here we went down to the Redhead Piano bar to enjoy a drink and some music.  It was  a nice little bar but kind of loud.  
I am looking forward to this week because  I get a week off from classes.  I don't get to take any trips while off from classes but I am planning on relaxing as much as possible.  I am also going to start my training for the marathon that we are going to run this coming fall.    

Friday, March 14, 2008


I don't know about you, but I hate shots.  I had to get a tetanus shot and a pneumonia shot this week.  The tetanus shot was for school reasons, they wanted my immunizations up to date, so that one was for that.  And I guess  the doctor figured what the heck might as well give me another shot so he gave me pneumonia.  I haven't felt well since receiving these shots, I wonder why.  One bright note for the week, it's the weekend.  Tonya and I are planning on going down and looking at the green river and watching the St. Patrick's day parade tomorrow, so hopefully we will have some pictures to post of our day.  Tonya is pretty happy that her spring break started today, she is really looking forward to a break from the kids.  She is also looking forward to her trip to Mi. this next week to visit some friends.  Me on the other hand have another week of classes before my spring break so I have some studying to do for mid-terms, woohoo.  Keep in touch and to all my friends and family out there, keep it real.

Sunday, March 9, 2008


Well it's a new week and I made it through last week.  I am happy to say my presentations went well and I got through them without to much hassle.  Now I just have to worry about mid-terms coming up.  Not much going on this week, we were able to keep pretty low key and not get into to much trouble.  Tonya is still doing the ISAT testing this next week and is really looking forward to spring break which is a week away.  I think she is really looking forward to just be able to get away from me.  I hope every one out there is doing well and hopefully we can see some of you guys that we haven't seen in awhile.  For now I bid you farewell.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Wow, It's been awhile

Hey Friends and Family,
Sorry it's been so long but we've been busy.  I have been really busy with classes and trying to keep up with homework.  I forgot how tough it can be to be in school and work 30 hours a week.  I am still really enjoying my classes but I at times I feel a little overwhelmed, but luckily I have a great wife who supports me and helps me with my studying.  I find that really great.  I am enjoying my new job as well. 
Tonya doesn't really have much new news right now but she is looking forward to finishing ISATs (Illinois's state testing) and really doesn't like standardized tests with special education students.  She is really looking forward to visiting friends and family for spring break.
I also want to apologize for the long delay between blogs but I have been busy with school like I said and Tonya doesn't like to do this.  I need to get back to studying because I have a mid-term project, an essay, and a creative presentation and they are all due this week.  Not looking forward to this week.  So keep in touch, and Katie I will definitely try to update this more often now.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

New week

Hey folks it's a new week.  I made it through my first week back to school and I am still excited about being back.  It's kind of nice at my school because they try to have small class sizes so it makes it easier to participate in class.  I am also enjoying work too.  It is a great job for me while in school because they are very laid back and if stuff comes up they are okay with me missing time.  Tonya is doing fabulously as well.  She doesn't really have anything to complain or talk about right now.  Tonya does want me to say that Zoey and Ana are doing well also.  
We got about 8 inches of snow on Thursday night and into Friday morning that really made the city slow down.  Tonya still had school even though 10 out of 24 kids didn't make it to class because of the weather.  I got up in the morning to head to class and took the 45 minute train downtown just to find out that my class was canceled.  The only good thing about this is that I didn't have to be to work until noon so I did some homework so I would have less to do for the weekend.  With the snow it's also made parking around our place even harder because they don't plow the parking lanes so they just push all the snow up against the cars so you pretty much get buried.  We've been lucky so far that we haven't gotten stuck like some people I have seen.  

Well have a good week all and if you have anything to say, say it loud.  

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Everythings wet

This morning Tonya woke me up and told me that a street just a couple of blocks from us was now a river.  If you can see the picture to the left a water main broke and flooded the street and then the street collapsed.  It has created quite a problem around here for traffic and commuting but luckily we are far enough away that it doesn't affect us horribly.  I just thought the photo was cool and wanted to share it with all of you.  Nothing else is really happening right now so that's it.  Bye.  

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

New Week

Well it's a new week and things are going well.  I registered for classes today and my days are going to be quite a bit busier starting at the end of January.  I am hoping to get into the film classes by this summer but for now I have to fulfill some of the liberal art class requirements this spring.  I am really looking forward to getting into the film classes this summer because I feel I have finally found what I really enjoy doing and I am ready to grow up and achieve my goals.  If that wasn't enough Tonya and I have joined a gym.  We are trying to get ready for the runs we are wanting to do this over the next year.  So I don't know when I'll get a break but eventually it will all be good.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

New Year

     Well it's the new year and things are going well.   We have been living in Chicago now for 5 months and are really enjoying it.  I just got a new job and I start tomorrow.  I am very excited about actually being a productive person in our relationship.  I also start classes at Columbia College at the end of Jan. and I am looking forward to that as well.  Tonya is still enjoying working at Audubon Elementary.  Well, along with the new year, we have a new running goal.  Last year we only ran a half marathon.  This year we are training for the Kentucky Derby half marathon in Louisville at the end of April, Chicago half marathon in August, and the Chicago Marathon in October.  Sounds like quite a bit of work but we are up for the challenge.