Friday, December 24, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
We got fancy new phones for my birthday. I say we because they were buy one get one free so G got a pretty sweet birthday gift too. He did totally surprise me which was fun! Chicago was the only thing on his weekend calendar - NO WORK! yay!
Its a seven hour drive from Columbia to Chicago so we left mid-afternoon with the goal of getting in town in time for dinner and a drink.
And we did! We rolled into town around 830. Aren't the lights pretty? We scrambled into our hotel (got for cheap on priceline!) and got dressed.
We got some good Chicago style pizza for dinner and walked around downtown, got a drink and headed in for the night.
Saturday morning we slept in and walked to a breakfast spot recommended to us by friends. IT WAS DELICIOUS! Then we headed back to the downtown area to walk along Michigan Avenue and see where the day took us.
Well the day ended up VERY rainy and windy which forced us to do a little shopping and not as much sightseeing as we had hoped. In the end we decided to duck into a bar for a late afternoon drink and break from the rain. We ended up having so much fun there! We were sat at this 'community table' with several other patrons. Across from us was a couple that we started talking to. They were in for the weekend from the suburbs for a break from their kids and were lots of fun to chat with. Then we fell in love with a beer so we just stayed and kept talking to people. There was another couple who sat by us from San Diego who were telling us to just 'take the leap' to have babies. It was so fun!
After three beers and lots of good conversation we headed back to the room and got ready for dinner. Grant was taking a bit to get dressed so I entertained myself with pictures. I really like getting all bundled up and loved getting to wear my knee high boots!
Our only bad meal of the trip was to a Thai place for dinner. I wasn't impressed, but we still had fun and they made a great mango martini. We decided to walk down Michigan Ave again to see the lights at night and headed to the John Hancock building for a drink on the 96th floor. The view wasn't as great as you'd think because it was cloudy, but it eventually cleared up and we very much enjoyed being there together. The next morning we woke up to LOTS OF SNOW! This should have been a clue to us to start freaking out. It wasn't. We just went about our morning - heading to another AMAZING breakfast spot. Check out their food...it was so good and fun because we sat at the bar so we got to watch them throw everything together for the Sunday morning rush.
And this is the last fun part of the weekend. We were about to check out of the hotel and visit the Natural HIstory museum and get a classic Chicago hot dog before hitting the road. BUT then we started getting word about how bad the roads were and decided we should probably start our trek home. WE HAD NO IDEA what we were getting ourselves into....
There was lots of clear road for about an hour outside Chicago. Then we starting hitting whiteout conditions like on the left. It was fine... just go slow and all will be okay. Then there was a 5+ car pile up that left us stranded for two hours in the middle of the interstate. Then we got going again and were good for about 45 minutes. We should have took the advice of that road sign and stopped while we were ahead. Because before we knew it, we hit black ice, spun a few times and landed in a ditch on the side of the road. SCARY! luckily there were no other cars around and Grant is good at keeping cool in those situations (me..I was screaming). We called a tow truck. Waited an hour. Got pulled out. Started driving and went about 10 feet before we slid right back into the ditch. The roads were just way too bad. We had asked to be towed into town the first time we slid, but the tow guy wouldn't tow us that far (15 miles) which was frustrating. Luckily a cop had been right there when we slid again and told the tow guy to take us all the way into the nearest town. SUCH a nightmare. We ended up getting the last room and were able to settle down for the night. The next morning (monday) the roads were much better and we were able to weigh down the back of the truck with sand bags and made it all the way home safely. The bummer was that I had to work that night in STL! So I had an hour after we got home to shower, pack, and GET BACK IN THE CAR to drive all the way to STL. I was not pleased, but that is just life for us right now. Do you think we have a black cloud over our heads? At least three people I told this story to said, "its always something with you guys" WTF! I'm ready for calm, normal, easy!
Monday, December 20, 2010
last week we finally got around to getting the tree decorated. I LOOOVE this picture of Grant putting the lights on.
Do you see the little bone ornament I got Olive? So cute!
This lit up with our stockings on the wall make me sooo happy!
Sunday, December 19, 2010
A few weeks ago we met Lainey, Dan, and another couple of their friends downtown Columbia to see the Living Window display. They do mini little plays in the storefront windows for all the passerby. There were so many people and so festive!
The Grinch one was one of my favs. So creative! I guess this is something they do every year, but I hadn't heard of it until Lainey mentioned it.
It was SUPER fun to walk around downtown with my hubby and friends and all the festivity. When we eventually got cold and hungry we snuggled into a booth at the #1 college hangout in the country.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
After the lights were up we headed out the Missoura countryside to see if we could find a tree. Last year we cut down our own tree, but it ended up being bug infested resulting in us having hundreds of bugs hatch IN OUR HOUSE at midnight the night before we left for Arizona. Such a nightmare! We decided to try a different farm. Pine trees don't grow very well out here so there are very few tree farms to pick from and none grow Douglas Firs like back home.
Hmmm.... pickins were slim...
In the end we used the beautiful light for a mini photo shoot and left without a tree. There were none that we could even trick ourselves into thinking they were going to do the job. I mean you need at least one good side to decorate!
I am usually all about the experience and memory making of things like tree getting, but after no luck at the farm we found ourselves at Lowe's. AND DO YOU KNOW WHAT??? They carry Douglas Firs for a STEAL! I was pretty excited to have a tree like we would have back home. I MISS HOME SO MUCH!
We got the tree on the left, were very happy to come home with something, and promptly left it undecorated for over a week!
Friday, December 17, 2010
We put our lights up a few weeks ago. It is one of my FAVORITE parts of the Christmas season...they are just so sweet and simple and festive. I hope someday to have more money to splurge on holiday decorations - I would totally do our house up!
As you can see, Olive was VERY helpful. She is awful sweet and happy when she has a smoked bone to gnaw on.
hmm...I'm realizing I was a little uninspired in my picture taking this year... it looks exactly like last year so just use your imagination...
Friday, December 3, 2010
We ran again this year. It was FREAKING FREEZING...I was SO cranky, but we survived and had fun in the end. We even look half warm here at the end of the race. I'm glad we did it, but it was 75 degrees two days before this and then it was below freezing...Only in Missouri!
This year was different than our last two years hosting Thanksgiving, because I worked in St Louis the two days prior to the holiday. We had 6 people join us for dinner and Grant had to do all the prep work alone! He was a trooper and even ironed the annoying linen tablecloth for me. He brined the turkey ahead, but we had to set the table, clean the house, and cook all the grub after we got home from our race! Needless to say it was a bit hectic...
Olive was banished to the office while we cleaned...isn't she cute when she is begging to be released from jail?
I was horrible about taking pictures - all the food turned out delicious and we again used all the same recipes. This is at the end of the night after dessert when Olive was allowed release from jail to greet everyone by licking them profusely!
Saturday, November 20, 2010
The first day I started working in STL I met another new NICU nurse looking for a roommate - we decided to try apartment hunting together. We ended up finding a cute, affordable, apartment in Soulard. STL has neighborhoods or boroughs kind of like other big cities, each with its own personality and flair. Soulard has old buildings, a dog park, a HUGE farmer's market, restaurants, and lots of charm.
at the end of September we loaded up our truck... did I tell you about how we had to buy a second car since I would be living part time elsewhere? Well we did - we found this newish truck for a steal and bought it. Sadly, the nice woman who sold it to us died a few days after so we don't even know if she got her commission =(
These are a few pics I took with my phone before we moved in the apartment - it has two floors and we have the whole bottom floor - this is from the front door - the living/dining room and into the kitchen.
this is the little side/backyard that olive likes to run around in. we also take her on walks to the dog park which she adores!
it is SOOOOOOOOO weird to live in two places and to be back to living with a roommate, but I think we have done the best we can with the cards we were dealt. It is still hard not to think about how much easier our life would have been had I passed that personality test and got the job in the Columbia NICU. We just hope it all has a reason and purpose we just can't see yet...
Friday, November 19, 2010
September 20, 2010 marked two years from the day we got married. Can you believe that? It seems to have flown by, but also been two of the hardest years we've had yet which made it drag too. This night we planned a date in STL - I had a hotel room there for the week because it was only my second week working at Children's and still didn't have a place to stay. Some of my new coworkers suggested a few restaurants and I made reservations for dinner here (delicious) and for dessert here (OMG! intense!).
We had a really nice night. Its only been two months and I can already look back and see how much we needed it - it was amongst weeks and weeks of Grant traveling all over the country for work, us making this huge life decision for me to work so far from our home, and me starting a new job. I'm not going to lie - the past few months, year? have been hard. really hard. We have been dealt some heavy blows, tried to make the best of them, and are still left wondering if we made/are making the right decisions. But the good thing is that now matter how many times we argue, cry, and worry we come back and take the next step together. I can only hope life will get easier, but somehow I don't think it does - maybe we just learn how to better deal with it?