Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas 2007 Recap

Christmas was very busy this year with lots of travel. Unfortunately, my Uncle John (dad's brother) passed away unexpectedly a few days before Christmas. So, we changed our plans slightly to attend the visitation and funeral the weekend before Christmas. Although it was a sad event, many relatives were able to come, so it was nice to see them. Hopefully, the next time I get to see family it will be for a reunion.

On Sunday before Christmas, we celebrated with Todd's family. As you can see from the photo , it was chaos! With five nieces and nephews, it gets interesting keeping track of who is opening what gift. Usually we open gifts one at a time going from the youngest to the oldest, but this year the kids were ready to tear into their gifts. We got Max a circuit building kit. He said he wanted a science kit and Todd picked out the circuit set for him. I guess he loves it - his mom said it was the only gift he was playing with even after opening presents from Santa on Christmas Day. Todd is just happy that there may be a budding scientist in the family.

On Monday, we picked up my Grandma on the way to visit my parents. We were in Decatur for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. While there, I got to catch up with my friends Gina and Kelly from high school. Gina now lives and works in Tuscon (lucky) and Kelly has two little ones. In fact, she had her second one, a little boy named Garrett, in early December (I hope I look this good two weeks after having a baby someday)! On Christmas Day, Todd and I went on a hike after opening gifts in the morning. It was supposed to be a walk, but we ended up going about 7 miles after starting at a different spot on the trail than we thought we were at. Of course, Lucy was with us and loved every minute of being outside. Plus, she was out of the house, meaning no one could dress her up as a reindeer anymore (Todd was not a fan of her costume and almost didn't allow this photo).

We stopped in Champaign on the way home. Of course, I had to go to campus and get an Illini Rose Bowl t-shirt. While there, we drove past the Alma Mater and noticed she was decorated for the big game. We did a u-turn to get back for some photos. The banner was made by several art and design students and is done in all plastic roses. It is really cool to see it in person.

When we got home Wednesday night, we both went to bed early! It was nice to be home!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Running Shoe Bliss!

I found my favorite, discontinued pair of running shoes on eBay! I have been searching eBay for the last few months thinking someone out there has a new pair of Asics Gel Landreth II to sell. I finally stumbled upon them as I looked for the ceramic Christmas tree. I have been bidding on them for a week and finally won the auction. No amount of money was too much to obtain these babies. Now, I just have to wait until they arrive. Then my feet will be in heaven as I begin running again in the spring!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Bad Karma?

So, here I sit typing this blog on Todd's laptop. Mine is dead, no longer, adios. I noticed that my hard drive was spinning loudly on Saturday night as I was working on a photo Christmas gift for our family. So, on Sunday I announced to Todd that I was going to backup all of my files. I grabbed our spare CDs, jumped on my laptop, and I was immediately faced with the dreaded "blue screen of death." Gasp! I tried re-booting to no avail. The hard drive just kept spinning and sounding worse and worse. I just got a black screen with kernel error messages. I gave up after an hour or so and Todd took a turn. Somehow he was able to hold my computer at about a 25-degree angle and get to the Windows screen where you can boot into safe mode. So, we lodged some books under the edge of my laptop and proceeded to move off a bunch of files onto a jump drive, but it wasn't big enough for my photos, too. So, I ran out to Best Buy and bought a 4GB jump drive. I have yet to try and boot it into safe mode again, but will try later tonight. I looked at my last CD of data that I backed up and it read June 2007. So, it has been roughly 6-months since my last backup. You might be thinking that a technical-type person would backup more often. I guess I probably should, but I was just taking my chances. I do a backup every 4-6 months, so the data is never that old. However, I have taken a larger than normal number of pictures lately due to this blog. So, I am anxious to try to retrieve them. Bottom line - Merry Christmas to me and my new laptop that I need to order this week. My former laptop was purchased in late 2002/early 2003, so it is at least five years old and not economically worth trying to repair/replace the hard drive. I am teaching a course in the spring at IUPUI, so I need my laptop to function when the semester starts and also so I can get to my work stuff remotely. Thus, I need a laptop soon!

With the bad haircut, the bad eBay transaction, and now the bad hard drive in just two weeks, I am hoping my my bad karma is over. If it comes in threes, I should be safe for awhile.

First Bad eBay Transaction

So, I had my first bad eBay transaction. I have been buying and selling on eBay for several years. I tend to be very selective about my items, so I always have good luck. However, I just ordered a ceramic Christmas tree that was listed with a description of being in excellent condition. But when I received it, there were four very noticible and large chips in the ceramic tree. The pictures must have all been taken at the right angles to avoid showing the chips. This tree also wasn't cheap, which made me even more upset about the whole situation. Granted, the tree is vintage 1970's, but still... If you are selling an item with flaws, you should let your potential customers know. Next time I will ask more questions.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Is it December or April?

Update: I went running at 6pm and it was 64 outside. It is still 63 at 9:30pm. For dinner I headed back into town to meet Todd for dinner and had my sunroof open while listening to Christmas music. Crazy!

It's 50 and raining outside. It definitely feels more like spring than winter. Although I hate cold weather and snow, it definitely does not feel like the holiday season out there. Oh well, at least I may be able to get in a few more runs before it starts snowing this weekend.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Lucy on a Rainy Day

Here's how Lucy spends her rainy afternoons...

...on the couch with Todd. Gee, she isn't spoiled, is she?

Saturday, December 8, 2007

A Bad Haircut

Well, I think I just got about the worst haircut of my life. The cut itself actually isn't that bad in the sense that it doesn't make me look horrible. In fact, Todd calls it, "the most stylish cut you've had since before we got married." However, it is not at all what I requested. The problem is that my normal hairstylist is out of the country and won't be back for another month (although to add to my pain, I've heard she will be back sooner). So, I tried a friend's stylist. When I met her, I gave her all my rules:
  1. No bangs
  2. All hair must fit into ponytail
  3. No product and very little hairspray
  4. Do not flip my hair up, I curl it under
  5. It has to be quick to do in the mornings

However, she decided to cut off all my hair. All of it!! It now barely falls below my earlobes. Before the appointment I could fit every piece of hair into a long ponytail without problem. I estimate she cut off at least 5 inches if not more. I asked her to cut it, gave her all my rules (which I feel are pretty specific), and further explained that my hairstyle had to fit my lifestyle - I am busy and like to workout, so I don't "fix" my hair often. She showed me where she would cut and added that she would include some layering. Well, there must have been a miscommunication or something, because what we talked about did happen. Instead, she proceeded to cut my hair how she thought it should look - short without a ponytail. And at the end, she asked if I wanted bangs! I reminded her I did not want them (see rule #1 above). Needless to say, I was a bit shell-shocked. The only layering that took place was the hair she stacked in the back which I could not see her doing.

I have never been so upset about a haircut. More than anything, because she did not listen to me! I mean, it is my hair and I am paying her for a service, so I should get what I ask for, right? I guess I am just upset that she blatantly disregarded what I told her I wanted. So, I already know I am growing it out. Unfortunately, it can't grow fast enough! Actually, hair grows an average of 1/2-inch per month. So, I guess it will take about six months to get it back to a decent length that will fit in a ponytail. I guess I'll have to wait it out. The other thing I feel awful about is that my friend will continue to go to her and I listed her name as the one who recommended me.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Rose Bowl Bound Illini!

Wow - the Rose Bowl! I am so excited, I can barely type. But, I am also disappointed because I probably won't be there to see the game. I can only imagine what it must be like to experience the Parade of Roses and then the Rose Bowl later in the day. Unfortunately, Pasadena is so far away! We had already made plans to meet up with friends assuming the Illini would be playing in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando. It is much closer and more affordable, so it fit perfectly with the rest of our holiday plans. But, I am glad my Illini are playing in a better bowl. So, we are looking into our options. Keep your fingers crossed that we can make it somehow. Otherwise, we'll have to throw one large bowl game party instead!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Thanksgiving Recap

Wow! It has been awhile since I have made a post. I guess my attempt at trying to post once a week has been flushed down the toilet. Unfortunately, my busy season at work also corresponds with the holidays. That leaves me little time to do much else. I am either chained to my desk or traveling to get somewhere in our car. Thanksgiving was a fun time this year. We got to do a lot of things, although that meant more time in the car. But, we did have fun and loved seeing those that we could. Below is a quick recap. I'll try to post more frequently in the next couple of weeks.

  • We got to eat a huge family Thanksgiving dinner! However, the stuffing (my favorite food of the season) did not stretch far when 17 family members are partaking. We ate with Todd's family and they also included my grandma in the day.

  • We played a lot with our nieces and nephews, although Todd may have traumatized Lizzie. He took a "nap" with her, which included letting her cry herself to sleep (none of us heard her downstairs since the other kids were playing and we were cleaning up dinner). Personally, I think she was freaking out that some random guy was trying to get her to sleep instead of her mom or dad. So, now every time Todd tries to pick her up she starts balling and stretches her hands out for anyone who is nearby to take her instead.

  • Todd got to do several days worth of hunting. We now have more duck in our freezer (those are all his to eat) and Lucy got to retrieve a 20-lb Canadian Goose that another guy shot. The bird was too big for her to carry in her mouth like she normally would, but she made due dragging it back by a wing.
  • I made a quick shopping trip to the mall with my sister-in-laws. After going to JC Penney, we decided it was too busy and gave up. This was at 1pm, after all the lines had died down some.

  • My college friends Adam and Lindsay just had a new baby. So, I got to visit Lauren at just 4-weeks old. Of course, she slept in my arms most of the time, which probably meant she was up the rest of the day keeping her mom busy instead of sleeping!
We were so busy we forgot to take pictures. But, here are a few from the day.

Daniel would not eat any typical Thanksgiving treat, like pie or cookies. Instead, he only wanted marshmallows, which he loves!

I didn't get a good picture of Todd holding Lizzie, but this is similar to the face she kept making. Her face would scrunch up, her eyes would start to tear up, and she would start holding her hands out for someone else. Max was a trooper as we tried to get a picture of the cousins.