Friday, March 28, 2008

Long time, no post...

Well, it's been awhile. Too long, that's for sure. All I can say is that I am tired! We don't have anything fun to post about for the last few weeks. They have been pretty much been filled with work for both of us. I have had long days at work this week (10+ hour days) and then come home to work on the course I am teaching. Todd has also been working late and going in early. We are both looking forward to the end of the semester (May 5th can't get here fast enough)!

We didn't end up going to visit family for Easter. We weren't looking forward to the drive and Iowa/Northern Illinois ended up getting a freak snowstorm on Friday before Easter. That pretty much made our decision for us. It was chilly here, but we didn't want to drive into a snowstorm. It was the first time in several years we didn't spend the holiday with family. I was sad to miss the kids hunting for eggs. But, the good news is that we were not without celebrations in Ellettsville, Indiana! Our neighbors Lana and Tristan had us over for Easter dinner. To say that Lana outdid herself is an understatement. She made an 18-lb turkey for four people plus, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberries, spinach salad with homemade dressing, and stuffing cups. It was amazing. All I had to do was bring the dessert. It was so so good! She sent us home with leftovers, which we turned that into turkey potpie and potato pancakes.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

March Madness!

This past weekend we went to the Big 10 Tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. It was a little crazy, definitely March Madness for the Royers. We drove from our house to Indy Thursday through Sunday and saw 5 basketball games in 4 days. We only live an hour from Indy, so it wasn't a bad drive at all. Thursday we saw the Illini beat Penn State at the buzzer. I was so excited that the Illini made it out of the first round. On Friday, we went up for the Illinois and Indiana double-header. We saw Illinois beat Purdue in OT in the first game. It was awesome! I didn't expect them to beat Purdue, but it was so fun and all the Illini fans were giving high fives to anyone in orange! We also stayed for the Indiana game. That was shocking, to say the least. I turned to Todd with 1.5 seconds left of the clock and told him I could not take another Illinios-Indiana match-up. Then Minnesota in-bounded the ball and made a last-second shot to win the game. The crowd was about 3/4 Indiana fans and everyone was stunned to say the least. Even I was in awe. We came back on Saturday thinking that the Illini had a chance at a miracle run to the Big 10 final. We beat Minnesota fairly easily, but Wisconsin was just too good for the Illini on Sunday. But, it was a fun run to try and make the NCAA tournament. I can tell you that the Illini fans came out in larger and larger crowds for each game, which was good to see. Overall, we had a lot of fun - we ate at some good restaurants downtown, hit the Circle City Mall, ran into some Illini acquaintances, and got to see some good basketball. Oh, I almost forgot that Todd and I were on the Kiss Cam during the Friday night game. I think we got picked out of the crowd because I was wearing my Illini colors and Todd was wearing his Indiana colors. It was too funny, but we did kiss for the crowd.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Family Visit!

When I say family visit, I mean family visit! I think we saw just about everyone in one weekend. But, it was nice since we really haven't seen the family since Christmas. On Friday we went to Decatur, Illinois to visit my parents and eat Mexican. We spent the night and left Saturday for LeClaire, Iowa to visit Todd's brother and family. We went out with the kids and skated around on the ponds, which were completely frozen over. We stayed there Saturday night and headed to Elkader, Iowa on Sunday to see Todd's other brother Ryan and his family. We got to meet our new niece, Katherine (we call her Katie), for the first time. She was only 4 days old! We also saw Todd's parents who were there to help watch Katie's crazy brother and sister. We played out in the snow and ate lots and lots of food. There is never a shortage of down home cooking when Todd's mom is in charge of the meals. (Of course, I over ate!) You would not believe the snow up there. In spots the piles of snow touched the bottom of the stop signs. I can't even imagine the dealing with that much snow!! On Monday morning, we left and stopped in Sterling, Illinois to see my grandma on the way home. The weekend was fun and exhausting, but worth getting to see everyone! Oh, I forgot to mention that I shot my first bb! Our nephew Max has an official Red Ryder BB Gun, so we all took turns shooting at the can on Saturday afternoon. I missed, but it was pretty funny considering I didn't even know how to hold the thing! Below are some pics from our weekend. You can also check out our online Picasa album!

Todd holding Katie

Proud big brother Daniel (3) and big sister Lizzie (1.5)

Friday, March 7, 2008

Welcome Katherine Neir Royer!

We have a new niece! Katherine Neir Royer was born yesterday, March 6, 2008, at 4:15pm. I am not sure of the height and weight. We got the news in a form of a message on Todd's cell phone from his brother. The height and weight was lost in translation, so I'll post more when I get all the information! (With two men communicating about a newborn , can you really expect to get all the details?) She is the newest sibling of Daniel (3) and Lizzie (1.5). I think they will have a blast growing up together, assuming Daniel does not try to do his flying knee-drop wrestling move on her anytime soon. :)

We are hoping to see them this weekend, weather permitting, so I will post pictures soon!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Muddy Nose

Hmmm... I wonder what someone was doing while we were away at work. Unfortunately, one of Lucy's favorite things to do is dig holes in our yard. It is hard to tell in this small of a picture, but she has grass dried to her nose and she even has a little raw spot on her nose from digging too much. What a goofball!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The pitfalls of Easter candy...

Unfortunately, I am a sucker for Easter candy. I love it all, espeically my most favorite candy on the face of the Earth - Brach's candy corn. It is really only fresh at Halloween and Easter, which is when I tend to go overboard on the stuff. Thankfully, I caught myself this week and realized I was taking in too many calories and too much sugar from the stinking candy. So, I took the extra bag I had saved (for when the one I am working on runs out) to work and put it by the office candy bowl. Hopefully it will go fast. So far I have been able to keep my hand out of the bag during the day. I am praying for more will power. I have been able to limit my Easter candy intake a bit. I have been buying the small size candy, like the litte carton of Mini Robin Eggs instead of a big bag. I also bought some Peeps, but haven't opened them yet. I may take those to work, too. I cleaned out some Hershey's mini candy bars and Reeses PB Cups from our freezer and took those to work. We have been eating those over the last couple of months. I still have Plain M&Ms in the freezer that I should probably get rid of. I'm sure I am a freak, but I also saved a bag of Mint M&Ms for the the middle of the summer when I get a craving for my favorite Christmas candy! Ugh - must get candy out of house! It is going to be the downfall of my attempts to keep calories down! As you can see, I have a bit of an addiction...

Monday, March 3, 2008

Limber Tail

We took Lucy swimming at the lake this past Saturday morning. It was chilly and the water was covered in a layer of ice. Lucy loves swimming and is pretty immune to the cold water, so the weather and ice were not even a factor for her. She was so into retreiving ducks, she would get mad when we didn't move fast enough for her. She just wanted to keep getting ducks from the water (don't worry - we have fake ducks, called dockens, that she retrieves), so we kept letting her swim. She needs to stay in training for some hunt tests Todd hopes for her to compete in and also for hunting season next fall!

Anyway, when we got home we noticed that something was wrong right away. Her tail was was not up and wagging and did not want us to touch her at all. This is not like our Lucy girl, as her tail is always wagging and she loves getting as much attention as possible. Thankfully, or not so thankfully, this has happened before, so we knew it was another case of limber tail. Limber tail is a common problem in sporting dogs, although a lot of vets do not recognize the symptoms. There are many tendons and muscles around the base of a dog's tail and the dog essentially overuses the tail or pulls muscles in the tail. The vet told us that this is one of the most painful injuries a dog can have. She likened it an athlete pulling a groin muscle or hamstring. You can read more about limber tail at the Woodhaven Labs site. Basically, it means that the dog cannot lift their tail, which makes it difficult for them to do normal things - running, going to the bathroom, sitting, etc.

Lucy was fine a few days later. We gave her some medication to help with the swelling and pain. But, it is weird to see her tail pointed down and just hanging there, like in the picture below.


I am exhausted! I can't complain too much because there is always someone who's plate is more full than mine. But, between working full time and teaching this online class at night, I am tired. Most of my free time on the weeknights and a large part of the weekend is taken up preparing for the class, creating PowerPoint slides, recording a lecture to post online, grading homework, and answering hundreds of emails from students. This doesn't include questions I field in the online chat sessions/office hours I host about once her week. I think the fact that the class is taught entirely online with no face-to-face class sessions makes it even harder. I can't always tell what the students understand and what I need to explain with more detail. Anyway, we haven't done anything on the weekends. We have been so tired that it has taken every ounce of energy to go grocery shopping, let alone do anything fun. We have gone out to dinner a few times and seen some friends, but other than that we tried to catch up on sleep when not working! Hopefully, things will turn around in March and I will have more fun things to post about. Spring Break is next week and we are looking forward to some March Madness basketball as we have tickets to the Big 10 tourney in Indianapolis. We have every single game of the tournament (yeah, we went a little overboard this year and probably won't get them all next year), but I will be focused on cheering the Illini past the first round!

Spring can't get here fast enough!

I am so done with winter. I am tired of being cold. I am tired of the rain and dreary days. I hate that I am cold in my own house even with the heat up. I just want it to be warm and sunny everyday. Yesterday was awesome! It was sunny and 70. I got out for a run and it felt great to feel the warm breeze, instead of cold air hitting my face. The dog spent the whole day outside and was loving her nap in the sun! Unfortunately, it is supposed to snow tonight.

I think we are all ready for a change in the weather.