Sunday, September 20, 2009

What's New?

It's been a few weeks since our last blog so I thought I would put an update out there. Not much has happened. At least nothing too exciting. I've been working like crazy at school which therefore forces me to sleep my weekends away. Jeremy has been balancing work and classes but is really enjoying school. He spends his weekends doing homework and trying not to wake me up.

Just this weekend we applied for our passports. Jeremy's picture actually looked good. Mine on the other hand, well, I can't decide which is worse, my passport photo or my driver's license photo. It's a toss up really. Right before I got my picture taken, I asked Jeremy if my hair looked alright. He said it was fine. Turns out he is a liar.

Due to tuition costs and other looming financial responsibilities, we've decided to stay in our teeny tiny apartment for one more year. I know this is disappointing to the people who like to come visit us, i.e. my mom and sister. We are really hoping this is our last year in this apartment. By this time next year, we hope to be telling you about our fabulous new place. It remains to be seeen.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Fall Craziness!

It's back to school time! Last week, I spent about 55 hours working in my classroom getting everything ready for my new second graders. Needless to say, by Friday night I was exhausted. After leaving school, I went with my friend, Diane, to get manicures and pedicures. It was so relaxing and much deserved by both of us. I actually got to relax and enjoy Saturday and Sunday. I was debating whether or not I should go into school Monday morning to finish a few things. I really didn't want to go in but I knew if I went in for just a couple of hours, it would save me so much stress on Tuesday morning. So, I got up early spent three hours at school and now I have the rest of the day to relax.

Jeremy is excited to get back to his classes on Tuesday as well. He has purchased his books and has his U-Pass for the train. He'll be attending classes in the morning and going back to working part-time in the late afternoon/evening. Zoey will be sad to go back to spending most of the day alone without anyone for company except Anastasia T. Cat. Sometimes those two fight like cats and dogs. So, we're all back to the crazy days of the busy school-year!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fun Visiting Family

Tonya and I just got back from visiting my parents in Joplin, MO. It had been almost eight months since the last time we had seen them, so we figured it was time. Once we arrived we realized that nine hours in a car is way to long to drive. For the last two hours of the drive Tonya couldn't sit still, was bouncing all over the passenger seat, and kept counting down the mile markers. Every single one.

Once we were settled it was nice to be down there and with my parents. The first night in town they took us to a great chicken wings place named Hackett's. I will tell you this, if you are ever in Joplin, you have to go there to eat. My Mom, Tonya and I shared 30 wings with three different flavors and I really couldn't decide which flavor was my favorite. They were all good.
The next day, Saturday, we traveled to Silver Dollar City. This place is a small amusement park down near Branson that has a few roller coasters and a bunch of shows. The day we had to enjoy the park was perfect. It was around 85 and low humidity, so standing in the shade you were comfortable. We enjoyed the roller coasters and the food and had a fun time walking around. After the park we got into the car to head home and decided to drive through Arkansas. The thing that's weird about the Joplin area to me is that you can drive through 3 different states in about a half a day. On our drive through Arkansas I realized that it is a state I don't need to visit again. Not that it's a bad state, but I don't need to see that many cows in one area again.
On Sunday we enjoyed a morning at my parents church and then went for a ride through the other two states that border Missouri near Joplin. We started heading to Oklahoma and ended our trip traveling through Kansas. Again there are a lot of cattle in these states, but they seem to be easier on the eye than Arkansas.

On Monday, we kept it pretty low key. We waited for my Mom to get out of work, then headed out for a short drive around town to do a little sight seeing closer to my parents house. In all we had a great time visiting my parents and even though the drive was long, I am sure we will visit sooner than later next time around.

One thing Tonya was extremely excited about was the recipe she got from my mother. It is a recipe for rice pudding and Tonya is already thinking about making it this weekend.

Also the school year is about to start for the both of us. Tonya is still teaching second grade. She is extremely excited about the year to start and tomorrow I am going in with her to work on her classroom to get it ready for the kids to start a week from Tuesday. I am starting classes as well on Sept. 8th. I am really excited myself, because I had to take a semester off and it was hard not being in class. I have been trying to stay on top of my writing and reading, but it isn't the same as being in the classroom. As usual I am not looking forward to being in a classroom with a bunch of young kids, but I am looking forward to the classwork.

I will try to keep you updated with our progress through the school year and I will also keep you updated with the exciting trip information that Tonya and I have this coming year.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Fun Weekend

Tonya and I had a pretty eventful weekend this past week while visiting family in Michigan.
To start things off, we went to a private Lollapalooza party at the Angels and Kings bar downtown to listen to DJ Momjeans aka Danny Masterson. The bar is owned by the Fallout Boy's lead singer, Pete Wentz. It was pretty cool hanging out enjoying free drinks and a free show. Luckily I had the next day off becuase I had a pretty rough time getting Tonya to leave. We ended up not getting home until about 2 a.m. I can't complain though, because I had a great time hanging out with friends and making some new ones.

After finally dragging ourselves out of bed we got on the road by ten and headed to visit my family in Jackson. It was nice to get to town early Friday afternoon because it gave Tonya and me time to play with our neice and nephews. The real fun began around 1:30 a.m. though. I had just taken our dog, Zoey, outside for the night and after coming back in and just getting into bed we noticed she was about to throw up. As we tried to clean it up she began to vomit again. After the second episode of vomit we noticed her lips looked a little weird and upon closer inspection we saw that her lips were swelling and red. Being the dog parents we are, we started to call for the nearest vet that would be open. After a couple calls we found it, 45 minutes away in Ann Arbor. So with the directions and phone number, we got on the road. Tonya sat in the back with Zoey making sure to keep her comfortable while I drove as fast as possible without being to dangerous. Her breathing did seem to get a little labored for a little bit, but as we got closer to the vet she seemed to be getting back to normal except her face was still swollen. Once the vet saw her, she said it was probably an allergic reaction to a bug bite, and gave her a couple of shots. When they came back into the room she seemed to be in a good mood and couldn't wait to leave, but we had to sit there for about another half hour to make sure Zoey was done vomitting and that the shots had at least started to work. Finally we left the vet and headed back to my brother's house and got in about 4 am.

Luckily my brother, Nate, let us sleep in a bit by keeping our niece and nephew out of our room until later in the morning. That was much appreciated because those two can be exhausting on a good night sleep, let alone a few hours sleep. Once we got up and ready we did some more playing with the kids before heading to my grandparents house to celebrate my grandfather's 80th birthday. Some of Grandpa's family came from Flint to surprise him. We had a great time eating and visiting with family.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Since our last post several things have happened. I finished school for the year but wasn't finished working. I was supposed to teach third grade summer school for six weeks. After teaching summer school for two weeks, the position was eliminated because there wasn't enough students that needed summer school. Now, I am deciding if I want just relax for the summer or if I should find something else. I am already looking forward to teaching second grade next year. Jeremy is still working but is ready to go back to school this fall.

More exciting very wonderful friend, Katie, had her baby on Tuesday the 23rd. I can't wait to visit her and meet little Eddie. Aunt Tonya will spoil him for sure. We'll see him next weekend when we visit with many old friends for the 4th of July weekend.

We also had a very busy weekend. Friday night we were going to relax and stay in but decided to have dinner with our good friend Mat since he will soon be moving to Denver. Saturday morning we joined our friends, Sarah and Jon, in celebrating at their wedding. Jeremy filmed their wedding and most of the reception. We had a great time with them at their "floating reception." We enjoyed the weather and Chicago skyline from a boat that took us down the Chicago River and out onto Lake Michigan. After this amazing day we joined our friend Emily for her birthday party. This morning we got to sleep in a bit but then headed off to the Chicago pride parade...always a good time. Whew...what a weekend!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

This Past Weekend

Tonya and I finally went out for our anniversary this past weekend to a great restaurant called Carnivale. The description they use is that it's latino flavors with the spice of life. All I know is that it was good. The food was amazing and the decor was festive and energetic. When I made the reservations for our dinner they had asked if we were celebrating anything special so I told them that we were celebrating our anniversary. I wasn't sure why they asked, but once they sat us down they brought us a couple compilementary glasses of sparkling white wine. We were pleasantly surprised and I realized that I finally did something right in our relationship.

Tonya got another surprise during dinner from me as well. It wasn't anything big, but I was able to go out and get a small necklace and card before dinner and when I pulled it out of my jacket pocket a smile spread across her face. She was a little amazed that I was able to do this with out her knowing, but was happy to get a gift. In all it was a great evening spent with a wonderful person, and I wouldn't want to spend my days with anyone else.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Hello Friends

Tonya and I just celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary yesterday and it was great. I can honestly say it has been some of the best years of my life. I know there has been some rough times, but I am glad I had those experiences with my wonderful wife. I am not sure she can say the same, but I feel she has had as many wonderful years as I. We didn't do much for our anniversary, we actually just baked a frozen pizza and watched How I Met Your Mother, but it was fun just sitting on the couch talking with Tonya about our day and realizing we have been so lucky with each other.

Okay, enough of the cheesy stuff. In my last post I had mentioned that I was going to be running a half-marathon this upcoming weekend. Well, that isn't going to happen. Last month after running the Riverbank run I noticed a little pain in my knee and after about a week of trying to run through it, I finally went to the doctor. There isn't anything major wrong, I just strained my IT band so really can't do any running right now. So for the last three weeks I have been going to physical therapy and staying out of my running shoes, and for those who know how obsessed I have become with running, know how hard it's been for me to not be putting miles on my shoes. If everything goes as planned, my physical therapist thinks I will be ready to start running again by the time I have to start training for the Chicago marathon. Another thing that this knee issue has done for my summer plan is put a kink in my idea to run 3 half-marathons and a full marathon, but I have found another half-marathon in Chicago that I might be able to squeeze in this fall so I can reach my goal. Further information on that as I work on getting back to running.

For news on Tonya, her school year is winding down and she is ready for it to end. Not that she isn't enjoying teaching, she is just ready for a break. Tonya isn't getting to far away from teaching this summer because she is teaching summer school for the first six weeks of the break. But what Tonya is really looking forward to is next year. She is staying in the same classroom as this year, but the difference is she is not sharing the room with another teacher. The room is all hers and she has big plans.

I'll try to do a better job of keeping our readers updated throughout the summer and hopefully we will be you sometime during the warm months.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sorry Katie

I had a question from one of our readers of this fine blog, asking where my next race is.  The half-marathon that I will be running in a few weeks is here in Chicago.  It is a new half-marathon called 13.1 Marathon Chicago.  It is located near the Museum of Science and Industry on the south side of downtown.  It runs along the lake shore and through Jackson Park, home of the 1893 World Columbian Exposition. 

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Second Race

Tonya and I finished our second race of the season yesterday, and it was a wet one.  Tonya ran in the River Bank Run 5k in Grand Rapids and says she enjoyed it.  She would have liked it more if didn't rain, but the rain at least held off until after she finished.  She finished the race in 32 minutes flat, but wasn't really happy with her time, Tonya didn't really like the hills either.  There weren't many, but training in Chicago, we never really have to run up hills so they got to her enough to slow her down a bit. 

I ran the River Bank Run 25k and finished in 2:31:04.  My goal was to finish in 2 and a half hours, so I am pretty happy with finishing within a minute of my goal.  One thing I didn't realize about the Grand Rapids area was the amount of hills there are just west of downtown.  Not being used to the hills really tired my legs out, but I never stopped to walk and made it the entire way.  The other thing that made this run tough was the weather.  While I was lined up in the starting corral it started to rain pretty hard and I was soaked before I even began to run.  Once we started it continued to rain for about another 30 minutes, so I sloshed my way through the first 3 miles and never really got dried out until Saturday night.  I am sure though I will give this race another try next year.  

On a side note to the race day, my friend Kevin and his family made the hour drive from their home to come and cheer Tonya and I on in our races.  It was a lot of fun having them there and after the race we went out for pizza with so we could catch up.

Now I have a half marathon coming up on the second weekend of June, so I don't really have much down time to try and relax.  I am hoping for nicer weather than I had for the 25k, but you never know what the weather will be like when living in the midwest. 

Sunday, April 26, 2009

First Race

Tonya and I just finished our first race of the year.  We ran the Ravenswood 5k, which was very convenient because it starts and finishes right outside our apartment building.  It was a cold morning, but luckily the storm held off until after we finished.  Tonya finished roughly in 31 minutes and I finished at 24:19 unofficially.  We both really enjoy the atmosphere of race mornings and were looking forward to running this race.  I will try to see if I can find any photos of the race to post so you can see our neighborhood and the race itself.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hey Friends

Well, it's been a long time since our last installment and still not much has happened.  I did sign up for another half-marathon this spring bringing my total count for runs I am doing to 4.  It's an inaugural half-marathon in Chicago.  This isn't exciting news, but I am just trying to get some filler to make this blog look better.  
Tonya and I enjoyed part of Tonya's spring break visiting Grandma Harbottle, Aunt Janet, and Uncle Dick down in Louisville.  While we were there we went to the Makers Mark distillery to see how their bourbon was made.  It is a pretty cool process to see in action.  Other than that we mostly just enjoyed catching up with what was going on in Louisville.  
Tonya is looking forward to getting back to work tomorrow, but is really looking forward to summer vacation that is in 9 weeks.
Sorry, that is all for now, but I am hoping that we will start to get a more interesting life to write about for you all to read about and enjoy.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

We're Still Alive

It's been awhile, and I apologize.  We haven't been really busy, just lazy, but we are getting ready for a busy spring.  Tonya and I both have signed up for 4 runs this summer.  We signed up for a 5k run in April that is in our neighborhood, the 5/3rd RiverBank 25k in Grand Rapids, Mi., the Rock n Roll half marathon in Chicago in August, and the Chicago marathon in October.  It is going to be a run filled summer that both of us are not sure if we are ready for, but we are looking forward to it.  I am thinking this is going to give us a lot to write about and plenty of aches and pains to rub.  We are also hoping with all this running we will become fit and trim by the end of summer.

During my semester off I haven't stopped writing and have a couple stories almost ready to send out to see if I could get them published.  I actually just had a story printed in the school's newspaper this past week.  It was kind of exciting to have something published for the first time.

Tonya is still enjoying teaching 2nd grade, but regrets papier mache.  Sorry, but she isn't leading an exciting life at the moment and doesn't have much to expound on at this time, but wants everyone to know she enjoyed giving the dog a bath today. 

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

This was the first New Year's Eve in a long time that Jeremy and I were really excited about our NYE plans.  Last year we hung out with our friends Josh and Diane at their place.  It was a lot of fun but nothing really exciting.  This year I had talked to her about kickin' it again into the 2009.  Josh decided he wanted to go out for a "fancy" dinner.  He checked some places out and made a reservation at ZED451 downtown Chicago.  It sounded so good that our reservation ended up being for 14 people!  We met at Josh and Diane's around 7 and a shuttle from the restaurant came to pick us up.  The atmosphere was incredible.  We hadn't even tasted any of the food yet and Jeremy had already decided this was a place we wanted to return to.  Then we got to the business of eating dinner.  I can't even explain to you how amazing the food was.  I ate things I had tasted a thousand times before.  I tasted things I had tried before and ruled out as nasty.  EVERYTHING was amazing!  We started out buffet style.  There was a raw bar (which I did stay away from), a meat, cheese and bread bar, a dessert bar (I'll get back to that later), and so much more.  We sampled a few things and thought it was all really good.  Then we took the river stones out of the bowl and set them on the table.  This was the signal to the chefs that we were ready for MEAT.  The chefs come to your table with a tray or skewer of a particular meat.  The chefs were coming so fast I couldn't eat fast enough.  Everything was amazing!!!  Did I already say that?  Anyway, the only conversation around the table was about the food.  It was so amazing!  I didn't know food could even taste this good.  I'm not even a huge meat fan and I LOVED this place.  Jeremy ordered a second drink and that's when I thought to myself, the food is so good that I'm forgetting to drink my delicious drink.  I recommend the California Crush.  Finally, when we stuffed, I decided I couldn't leave without sampling everything on the dessert bar.  Now keep in mind, all of the desserts are bite-sized.  There were only two things on the dessert bar that I did not try.  That means I came back to the table with about 10-12 bites of dessert.  I can't even remember which ones were my favorite.  This was by far the most amazing dining experience we've ever had!  I say it again...IT WAS AMAZING!!!
After dinner, we piled back into the shuttle and went back to Josh and Diane's where we hung out for the rest of the night.  We talked, danced, and sang very badly.  Of course, at 11 pm I had to text all of my Michigan peeps a happy new year.  We had a little champagne toast at midnight and Jeremy and I decided to head home around 1:30 am.  Now we were going to take the L train home but with so many cabs and the cold weather, we hopped in a cab that would take us right to our own front door.  What can I say, I'm a little bit of a wimp and it was really cold.  Today, we're still talking about the amazing food at ZED451.  We can't wait to go back.  Anyone want to join us?
Happy New Year!  Hope everyone has a healthy, happy, and wonderful 2009!