Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Road Tripping!

Now, unfortunately I don't have a lot of pictures of this.. In fact, I have like two. So there won't be anything to look at. But I did a roadtrip from Columbus, Ohio to Apple Valley, Minnesota last weekend! I flew in early to Ohio and spent the afternoon/evening with my aunt, uncle, and cousins. Then I met my mother-in-law that evening, and the next morning we hit the road.

I ate at a Bob Evans for the first time. Right over the Indiana border. Highlight of the trip? Not necessarily. But I had a delicious pot pie. However, as far as the rest of Indiana goes, there isn't really much to say. Saw some wind farms...and that is about it.

Now Chicago, THAT is a cool town. It was exactly like the movies, with people honking for no reason. For example, my mother-in-law was at a light about to turn right, but she was waiting for the pedestrian to cross. The car behind us would have preferred that we run over the pedestrian...because he was honking at us like crazy. We went to dinner at Weber Grill Restaurant, which was delicious. Then we almost got charged $22 for parking for an hour and a half (Welcome to Chicago!) but we ran across the street to Nordstrom's and went shopping so we could get the parking validated :)

Our hotel that night was pretty exciting. We got our room, and as the night went on, there were more and more people in the room next door. The people who got the room were sneaking in their friends, smoking, drinking, etc... Lots of loud, foul language coming from the room that we could hear CRYSTAL clear through the walls... We requested a room change, and slept quite well after that. Well, I slept well. My mother-in-law was worried that our car would be broken into so she did not sleep well.

The next morning we went shopping at Off 5th (Saks 5th Avenue Outlet) which was WAY too much fun. I was surprised at how much I liked that store. I got myself some Minnetonka Mocassins for $22 ;) Then we continued on, and had a hotdog at Portillos (!) before our next shopping trip at the Great Lakes Navy Base. It was kind of cool to be there because my dad was stationed there for bootcamp when he first joined the Navy. Then, we headed north again and said goodbye to the windy city.

Our next step was well into Wisconsin, at an outlet mall. We did some shopping there before eating a quick dinner, and driving on. We went to a cheese store where I bought some official authentic Wisconsin cheese IN WISCONSIN! (It was on my list of things to do before I leave Minnesota) So that was fun. The cheese store was very cute.. I think it was called Ehlenbach's Cheese Chalet (sp?). Something like that. Then we continued on to the Wisconsin Dells where we went outlet mall shopping again. That was our last stop before going home. We almost got mauled by a semi truck who wasn't paying attention, but all in all it was a fun, safe journey home.

And, I think I should plan another trip to Chicago just to go to Portillo's.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Snowmageddon

That is what they are dubbing our most recent blizzard from this past weekend... Snowmageddon. It's interesting. Anyway, that blizzard was actually quite awful at times. Glad it is over. But these are some pictures of it...with I had more. I had to literally dig my car out of the parking lot at my work...




In the first pictures, I am cross-country skiing down our street with copper :) There was more than enough snow to ski down our road. The last picture is our family picture this year for Christmas cards!

Happy Halloween!

I know I am a month and a half late, but, better late than never! As I was digging through the closet for Halloween decorations, I found an old pumpkin costume that we had bought the previous year for Gizmo. It was a little bit too big for Giz, but it fit Copper perfectly! He was very sweet about humoring me, and sitting still for pictures, but I took it off after about 10 minutes because he did not seem to enjoy it...



Thursday, November 18, 2010

What I Wish I Had Known About Birth Control

Here is a note that most definitely goes into the realm of "Too Much Information". However, it is also in many ways not enough information, especially if you are a young woman or young married couple considering your options for children. As many of you who know Chris and me can guess, we are not in what is considered the "ideal" time for having children. We both work, go to school, and don't remember what it is like to have "free time". So, we have been using birth control for our method of not having children.

This did not bother me because when I started using it, I checked out the website and saw that the particular birth control I was using works by preventing ovulation. The manufacturer's website says this: "Higher estrogen and progestin levels signal your brain not to release the hormones that cause egg maturation. Without an egg ready to be released into the fallopian tube, ovulation cannot occur." I thought to myself, Great! That means I don't have to worry about an early abortion or anything, so this seems like a safe method.

False.

What they don't tell you on those websites is the exact purpose behind the hormones. Higher levels of estrogen do, in fact, stop ovulation (usually). But, there are times when a woman still can ovulate, and that is where progestin comes in. Progestin actually prevents the implantation of an embryo in the uterus by making the lining thin and inhospitable to the infant, leading to the death of new life. As you can imagine, I was shocked when I found out about this, and proceeded to thoroughly research what exactly I was doing to my body. I saw one article that read "It is estimated that a sexually active woman will experience at least one very early abortion every year that she is on the Pill" (http://onemoresoul.com/contraception/risks-consequences/what-a-woman-should-know-about-birth-control.html). Besides acting as an abortifacient, taking the pill can also lead to other health risks, such as a SIGNIFICANTLY increased risk for breast cancer, among many other things.

And that is just the Pill/Nuvaring/the Patch. There are also similar (or worse) effects from the shot, or a IUD.

Before you start thinking "Oh, great. I am doomed to have a honeymoon baby, and I don't think we're ready for a child yet...", there are other options. Healthy, safe options that do not cause undue harm to your body, a future child, or your marriage. There is Natural Family Planning (NFP). Natural family planning teaches a woman how to read her body and uses a model that is scientifically proven, if used correctly, to prevent pregnancy at a rate of .3% to 3%...about as effective (or even more effective) than the Pill, the condom, and other birth control methods.

How do you learn about family planning? The method used is called the "Creighton Model" (http://www.creightonmodel.com/) and there are teachers of the course all over. It is typically covered by insurance, but if not, the website in our area said that they offer scholarships. It is worth asking. To find a center close to you, visit http://www.fertilitycare.org/.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Continuing Adventures of Non-Reving

Well, we had another exciting adventure this weekend! Chris and I purchased DisneyWorld season tickets earlier this year for our "vacation". We figured that since we could fly for free, we might as well just get the tickets and pop down to Florida whenever we can. However, we are also non-revenue flyers, so we fly standby, which makes "popping" to anywhere nearly impossible. Take this weekend, for instance. We left for the airport on Saturday morning, and missed our flight (there were 20 or so other non-rev people in front of us), and managed to get into LaGuardia (in New York). And, even though we thought we were being creative, the family of 3 who beat us in priority also were on the flight to LaGuardia. Dang. However, we managed to make it out of there to Orlando safely, which made for an interesting day. Breakfast in Minnesota, Lunch in New York, Dinner in Florida.

Disney World was particularly interesting on this trip because it was the 15th annual Food and Wine Festival at EPCOT. Very cool. They had all these booths set up with more than 25 different countries and had small portions of ethnic food for about $3-$5...we had all sorts of interesting things: lobster roll, pierogis, spanikopita, cheese soup, fondu, charcuterie with smoked meats (including duck), a brazilian shrimp stew... really very cool.

We just landed home, after a fairly uneventful flight back. (Uneventful meaning we made the flight...) Oh, the magic of Disney!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Limbaugh Letter

I have come to the conclusion that I am a 40-year-old in a 22-year old body. If I am listening to the radio, typically I am listening to talk radio, and I especially like to make sure I catch Rush Limbaugh. I also subscribe to the Limbaugh Letter (Christmas present from hubby!) In the most recent issue of the Limbaugh Letter, Rush Limbaugh had an interview with his brother, David Limbaugh. I just wanted to share an excerpt from that article.

"But here is what's interesting. Throughout the book [Crimes Against Liberty] I chronicle this. Obama never argues the issues. Well, he does superficially. He adopts this Alinsky tactic in every issues. Instead of discussing health care, for example, he will demonize insurance companies, pharmaceuticals, and doctors, using outrageously slanderous claims, which allows him to avoid dealing with the issues. Because he can't win in a substantiv, factual debate. So the debate degenerates into "us versus them": the evil insurance companies who are making excessive profits for "fat-cat bankers" - his unpresidential term. He is such a thug. Insurance companies make obscene profits, he said, when they wren't making obscene profits. He said he is going to keep his boot on the throat of BP.

In every policy agenda item, he targets a certain group of people and demonizes them and focuses it on "us versus them" - and this is after claiming he would be postpartisan, bipartisan, and conciliatory. He is just the opposite. He is a bully who won't fight fair."

Wishing you all a beautiful day!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Ugh.

For whatever reason, it seems that I have the most trouble sleeping at night when I am sick, though I seem to be able to sleep just fine during the day (I could possibly take several naps a day with the way I have been feeling the last few days). I fell asleep probably 2 hours ago, which would've been good, except that now I am wide awake, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and have to be at work at 5 a.m. Ugh. I am going to fill out a questionnaire until I hopefully fall asleep :)

Is there anybody you just wish would fall off the planet?
There have been at various points throughout my life. Not currently, no.

How do you flush the toilet in public?
With my shoe.

Do you wear your seatbelt in the car?
Every single time. I make Chris wear his, too.

Do you have a crush on someone?
My hubby

Name one thing you worry about running out of.
Toilet paper. Wouldn't that be awful??

What famous person do you (or other people) think you resemble?
I have been told Natalie Portman...I don't think I see it though.

What is your favorite pizza topping?
Buffalo chicken and jalapenos (or banana peppers!)

Do you crack your knuckles?
I try not to...and I am not very good at it..

What song do you hate the most
Oh boy. Where to begin? Apologize, I kissed a girl, Yellow Submarine...I have quite a list but my head is a little too stuffed up to think of them.

Did just mentioning that song make it get stuck in your head?
Unfortunately, yes, now I have Apologize going through my head.

What are your super powers?
I wish my super powers were flying. But alas, I cannot fly.

Peppermint or spearmint?
Spearmint, hands down.

Where are your car keys?
In my purse.

Where did you last go on vacation?
I went to Phoenix, AZ for my cousin's wedding!

What CD is closest to you right now?
Is this like an emotional question or a physical question? I don't know; I haven't listened to CDs in years, they are all in the closet in a box right now.

What 3 things can always be found in your refrigerator?
Mustard, dill pickles, pepsi

What color are your bed sheets?
White. Very boring.

Would you rather be a fish or a bird?
Bird

Do you talk on your cell phone when you drive?
Yes. That is sometimes my best talking time because I spend a lot of time in the car (or on a bus)

What are your favorite sayings?
Who of you by worrying will add a single hour to his life? (Matthew 6:27); Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to it (Chuck Swindoll); People are as happy as they make up their minds to be (Abraham Lincoln)

What song(s) do you sing most often in the shower?
Probably country songs, and probably ones by Martina McBride or Carrie Underwood

If you could go back or forward in time,where would you go?
Forward, to the end of this semester because I think some of my clsases are particularly challenging

What is your favorite Harrison Ford movie?
Probably Star Wars 4, 5, or 6. I love the old ones.

How many kids do you plan on having?
Haha, Chris will tell you that it changes daily. Sometimes 2, sometimes 4, depends

What do you do when no one is watching?
Watch movies that I can cry to :) or sing and dance

If they made a movie about your life, what actor/actress would be you?
Jennifer Garner. I like her.

Would you rather die in a blaze of glory or peacefully in your sleep?
Peacefully in my sleep

Coffee or Tea
Tea!! Iced or hot, anytime

Favorite musician(s)/bands you've seen in concert?
Ha. Well, I have only seen Weird Al Yankovich and Toby Keith in concert. Take your pick.

Have you ever been in love?
I currently am in love

Do you talk to yourself?
Yes. Not too often, but if I am stressed out or rushing I tend to talk to myself more.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Stop Worrying...geez.

I have got to admit that in recent weeks, I have been a little overly anxious and nervous, which tends to affect everything around me. For example, I typically write everything down in my planner as soon as I learn that I have to be at an event or an assignment is due (etc.) and then just check my planner. Lately, it seems as though my schedule has been done in chunks of two or three weeks at a time. So that means, that I write down whatever it is I have to do, but then in my own mind it gets very confused... "Was I supposed to go to that speech screening today? Or is that a week from today?" "Am I opening at work this Friday or NEXT Friday?" "Is the lab from last week due?" So, as you can see, my own mind needs to just slow down and read my planner. However, what typically happens is I go..."I have that speech screening today, don't I? Crap... I am not anywhere NEAR the city I am supposed to be at. How am I going to get there? Who should I call? Maybe I should text that girl that is going too, and see if she responds. But if she doesn't respond, does that mean she is there doing the screening that I am currently missing.." (on and on and on). And as my mind goes crazy, my heart starts racing, I get myself into a frenzy, and the next thing I know my entire day feels rushed and frantic, all because I had a moment of forgetfulness. By the way, I did not miss the screening. I should have just checked my planner.

I tend to think that this frantic attitude comes from being a bit too busy. I feel like I have no extra time to practice my labs for my practical exam, because in my time that I am not at school, I have obligations that I cannot just decide to cancel on a whim.

Not only that, but there are bigger picture items (as always). Next summer, will Chris and I be here? Will Chris be in Tennessee? Will I be in Rochester? Am I capable of successfully interviewing for a Mayo internship? Is the Student Academy of Audiology going to take off and be a successful group or just a flop?

But I find that when I am racing a hundred miles an hour (mentally), that if I just take a moment to stop and remember Who is in control of my life then those worries decrease 10-fold. Matthew 6:27 states "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" Oh yeah. Not me. Ok. Well, I guess I will just continue to take this all one day at a time. Work and volunteering and church tomorrow, clinic and work on Thursday, work and meetings all day Friday... But God is in control.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Copper





I can't believe I forgot this in my last post, the yearly update one, but this year Chris and I added to our family! We now have a Shiba Inu puppy, who is mischievous, but adorable. Copper is on Facebook, for those of you who are interested in following him :)

I am going to stick to this!

Sorry all. For the few of you out there who might have followed our blog, you may have noticed that just over a year ago, I decided that I am not very good at blogging and have not updated it since. Well, I think that it's time I update it. This has been one crazy year, but such is life. The day that it's not crazy, I will probably not be breathing anymore.

Chris and I have traveled to two foreign countries (Chris went to 3!) and have made all kinds of crazy decisions about school. In January we went to Ireland, and I'll attach some favorite pictures from there (....umm... if I can figure out how to... :/)

And then in March, Chris accompanied Pastor VerWay for one week out in India. He loved the experience and can't wait to go back there someday! In July, for Chris' birthday, we flew to Japan! It is a 12 hour flight, so literally an entire day was spent traveling, but it was really cool to be immersed in a very foreign culture for a little while. We had only one bad food experience too, which is pretty good considering we were just ordering food based on pictures and not actually knowing what we were getting.



In January, I decided that I wasn't sure Audiology was the right career for me, and I took a break from school. While I wish I hadn't taken a break at all, it was good because it made me sure that I want to be an audiologist. I started school again in the summer, and am currently doing school and clinics, and in about half an hour I am leaving to go to another hearing screening. Right back into the groove! Chris is taking a break from seminary, which I think is a wise thing to do. The work they required was absolutely draining, and with changes in Chris' life, it would've been quite a bit to try to balance. Speaking of changes in Chris' life, one of those was a career change. He still works for Mesaba Airlines, but is now working in a different department which he so far enjoys a lot more than his previous department, because this department is not entirely made up of women like his last department. So, there is less drama, which is a blessing for him.

More to come! I am going to finish working on an assignment for now, but I will keep this updated! I should post some house pictures too...I left the last post with the reader thinking that we never finished remodeling.