Monday, March 30, 2009

GOOD NEWS!!

SO, I can finally share our exciting news. I've been wanting to tell so many people but had to wait until we made our final decision and I told my nanny boss.

WE ARE MOVING TO SAVANNAH, GEORGIA THIS MAY!!!


Yep. In less than two months it's good-bye old Chicago and hello new life. We've known for a while about the small chance we'd be out of here sooner rather than later but it wasn't a for sure thing until last night. On Friday G was offered a job that he is so happy about. We talked the whole thing into the ground and finally just stopped discussing it and said, "Let's just do it..." I am applying to a school down there too, so I will be able to complete my Master's in Teaching while we are there.

Lately, I've been realizing more and more that life is too short to stay in one place for too long. New places = new opportunities and experiences, and sticking around Chicago isn't going to offer us too many new adventures. Plus, I miss being by the ocean and the color green. ALSO, Savannah is supposed to have some pretty epic thunderstorms and with my love for weird weather I'll be right at home.

We're already planning our road trip down there...it's only a 12 hour drive from Chicago, so we can really take our time to get over there. I think we're going to pack up a U-Haul again and head out around the second week in May. Over the past year and a half here we've managed to accumulate a good amount of junk that we don't really need. Moving to a new place will help us get rid of a bunch of stuff and for that, I am grateful.

YAY US!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Dancing With the Stars:

S and Gs got the moves...

32 Degrees In March?

I'm sick of snow. It's almost April and we just got two inches of new snow this morning. I can't wait for real spring.

I was going to post last night, but I was too busy puking my guts out to even see straight. I blame yesterday's tuna melt from Subway and G says that I should probably not warm up anything with mayonnaise in it from now on.

I have some AWESOME news that I can't wait to share with everybody. I'm seriously so excited I have butterflies. However, because I don't know who reads this blog, I'll have to wait until tomorrow or Tuesday to share it. And no, we aren't pregnant...

On the train after saying goodbye to my sisters, I sat two seats down from this young couple who were visiting some friends in Chicago. By the size of the girl's bags, I'd have guessed they were staying for at least half a year. Who needs to pack that much crap, seriously? A few stops down the blue line, two men and a woman got on the train and sat down across from the couple. The three were being extremely loud and hilarious, just having a good time. The couple kept sending each other looks like, "Can you believe how ridiculous these people are?!" And if they weren't acting like that, they were rolling their eyes or smirking to themselves. Like they're so much better or something? I think it bothered me more than usual because the three people on the train we're African American and all of their gestures just made them look like racist jerks who really thought they were better than everyone. They're probably going to meet up with their friends, drink cocktails, and talk about how "crazy" the big city is. I couldn't help but give the girl a pretty nasty look, which was probably pointless anyway. I don't know why I did it, now that I think about it.

When they left the train, the girl couldn't even carry her own bag so her boyfriend picked up three huge suitcases and carted them off. The whole time she was texting or doing something equally stupid on her iPhone. I wanted to see what my dirty look looked like, so I turned to the window and tried my best to create it again. When I focused away from the window, I realized that there was someone on the other side who had been watching me. She was glaring back like, "What's your problem?!" I don't even want to know how ridiculous I looked. I guess that teaches me to keep my thoughts to myself sometimes.

Just another beautiful Spring day in Chicago....


When me and my sisters were at the thrift store, we found this! It's made from fabric glued onto other pieces of fabric. Below the pot it says, "SHAWN. AGE 5" in the cutest kid scrawling I've seen.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LINDSAY!!

Garrison's sister Lindsay is turning 21!! I am so lucky to have such an awesome and pretty sister in law. I was hoping to post a really cute picture of you and G in a box together, but my scanner/computer isn't working. I hope we get to see you soon, it's been too long. Love you so much!

Goodbyes :-(

I went to bed last night rather late, thinking a ton about how my sisters are leaving already and of all the things I wish would have happened on this trip. Not saying we didn't do a lot and have fun doing it...I will remember this week forever. I am already that kind of person who holds onto the past and spends too much time over-thinking about what I should have done/shouldn't have done. When you throw family into that whole mess, it just gets complicated. Did my sisters leave knowing just how much I love them? Did we create memories that they will look back on and smile at? Did I help them through any hard times in their life? Did they have as much fun as I had? The questions could really go on forever...I probably won't sleep much tonight, it's really weird not having them around now.

This morning as I was Benadryl-sleeping-in, one of the girls came into our room and unplugged my computer. I fell back asleep and minutes later woke up to the Shins song "The Past and Pending" playing in our living room. Being some what foggy, I had a rush of feelings I hadn't felt in years. I can't quite explain it. Have you ever heard a song or smelled something that you haven't experienced in years, and you realize that you have all of these feelings you never knew you attached to the song/smell years before?

I should really stop talking about it before I ruin the feelings attached to that song...All I'm really trying to say is that it was a good song choice for the sad realization that they were leaving this morning, as well as the best slow wake up I have had in a while.

I already miss them so much and our teeny-tiny apartment feels so empty without them. I still expect to see them sleeping on the futon and floor every time I get up to go to the bathroom...weird.

I worked tonight. Welcome back, real life.

I also found out that I was accepted to the teaching program at Garrison's school!

Our breakfast picture from this morning!


Megan, Lindsey, Stevie, and Carly...thank you for making me the luckiest big sister.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Last Day:

I'm up late again, uploading a bunch of cute videos and pictures to YouTube and Flicker. Check em out!

Today we walked around our neighborhood and checked out the thrift store by my work, the yummy Dinkels Bakery, Uncle Fun's shop, Jimmy John's sandwiches, and Scooter's ice cream. We even got to meet up with Homer, who took us down to the Belmont Marina. It was so beautiful outside, it was cloudy ahead of us and the sun was setting in clear blue sky behind us. The whole thing made for awesome shadows and lit up trees and when it started raining we even got to see a rainbow over Lake Michigan. All in all, I'd say it was a good last day for the girls.

I can't believe they are leaving so soon (tomorrow at 3:45), I feel like we're just starting to have all the fun too...When they first arrived, the end of their time with us seemed a million years away. It's amazing how fast time flies.

I'll be posting more videos and pictures for a while here...there are too many good ones and I know Megan and Lindsey want to share some of these with their friends back home who check this blog. So even when they're back, look for more on our adventures from this past week!

Tomorrow morning we're having breakfast at a famous Chicago restaurant, finishing packing, and heading to the airport for good-byes. :-( I'm going to miss these guys like crazy.











And, because I did it to Lindsey...it's really only fair:


I don't know how to edit these videos so that my face isn't the main picture before you hit play. If anybody knows, please tell me! It's real annoying...



We NEVER fight:

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Deep Dish Pizza!!!

Reckless Records.

Yesterday we popped into the Reckless Records downtown. I made the best vinyl purchase I have in so long. I've been looking for this Mountain Goats album forever, I couldn't believe I actually found it. Yay!





We're getting ready to go to some thrift stores and possibly the prettiest of my favorite secret spots in Chicago. It's 50 degrees out and we're in the mood for something beautiful...

I'm In Love...

I just worked way longer than I should of, putting together a video of our downtown trip yesterday. Now it won't let me save it as a movie file, which means I can't upload it to YouTube, which means I can't share it with all of you. My poor computer is really on it's last legs. I'm extremely tired (again!) so I'll try fixing it later tomorrow.

We had a real busy day...searched for keys, ran down to Navy Pier, hung out with Homer, and ate deep dish pizza from Gino's East (pictures to come!).

This morning I really wouldn't have guessed that the day would have turned out so amazing and awesome, but it did. We're all feeling closer than ever and some things happened today that really made me realize just how lucky I am to have my sisters. They are so important to me and I've never been more proud of them. I'm real lucky to have them here with me right now. If I ever meet anybody more patient, caring, and understanding than they are my world will be turned upside down.

I love these girls so much...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

America Runs on Dunkins and Megan Doesn't.

I'm too exhausted for a picture post tonight so until tomorrow you will just have to believe me when I say that we had another awesome and busy day. We ran around the heart of the city and saw just about every tourist attraction downtown has to offer. It started pouring towards the end of our adventure, so we slipped into a Dunkin Donuts (Megan wanted to know what the hype was all about...they have one on almost every corner). Two coffees and a croissant later we decided that Dunkin's coffee tastes like every other brand (maybe a little worse) and that $1.10 is way too much for a small container of cream cheese.

We decided not to pay the large amount of money to go to the top of the Sear's Tower (now called the Willis Tower!) on such a cloudy/foggy day, so instead looked up in amazement while shielding our eyes from the large raindrops.

It really started raining and the sky was turning this scary blueish-gray so we boarded the train at Quincy and rode it back north towards the tea cafe where our friend Homer was reading some of his poetry. The girls met a lot of interesting, new people and we drank blueberry tea. Homer, of course, was a delightful addition and we're already planning on hanging out with him tomorrow.

I'd also like to see Jenny and baby at some point. Tomorrow we're thinking Navy Pier with Homer, smoothies with Jenny and Alex, and deep dish pizza for dinner. Of course our plans change quite often so who knows what tomorrow will bring...

Can you believe it's already Wednesday?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Lake Michigan

I Should Be Sleeping...

But my mind is too busy right now. Plus, I just discovered the "next" button at the top of the blog page. You hit it to scroll through random blogs. I discovered some interesting blogs on child's art, homeschooling, gardening, and various adventuring. It's been so loud and busy here lately (I'm not used to having so many people around the tiny apartment!) so I guess I'm doing a mom-type thing and staying up after everyone is asleep to do the silent things I like. I've mentioned a million times how cute sand cats are and I've been thinking they deserve a post of their very own.





Monday, March 23, 2009

Not-So-Lazy Sunday...

We didn't make it to the zoo today, we spent much longer than planned walking around the neighborhood and bargain hunting for groceries and quick/yummy dinner ideas. Tomorrow is officially zoo day and we're all mostly excited. Megan wants to see carpenter ants and mating lions, Lindsey wants to kick it with some giraffes, and I'd like to see the sand cats (so cute). Sadly, G can't join us because he has to work in the morning but he may end up meeting us around five. Here's our Sunday in pictures!!

Woke up and ate yogurt, eggs, and toast:


Lindsey fed pickles to Bunz (they're becoming good buddies) and we headed out for church:


Then we decided to play tennis but the gates were locked so we slipped through. Turns out we're all horrible at actually hitting the ball consistently so we just goofed around instead:


Then we went to Garrison's band practice. Megan really liked it and got a CD:


We watched Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist and ate a huge spaghetti dinner. Grossest thing I've seen in a while: This cheese we bought from the dollar store that tasted like a combination of sugar and flour and wouldn't even melt, no matter how hot we got it.

We're buying real cheese tomorrow.

Now it's goodnight Chicago...(Lindsey will kill me when she sees this, but I couldn't resist):


I don't have enough space to post all of our pictures here, but I have been uploading them all to my FLICKER account. So check it if you want to see more.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Yay! A Video!

We're in the kitchen making bagel sandwiches and then headed to the zoo. Tonight we'll stop by the practice space and let Slim Dixon rock their socks off. Megan took this video early this morning...We're having a blast so far!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Megan and Lindsey Made It!

It's been a busy eight hours with the sisters and G and I are both so happy to have them here with us for the next week. I'm even a little overwhelmed with the amount of awesome activities we have ahead of us. I'm going to try and post some videos/pictures every night but may not get the chance if we get too busy. Today we walked around the city, which is always loud and exciting on a Saturday night. We ate a yummy dinner at our favorite Chicago restaurant Penny's (see previous posts)and toured the apartment (which lasted 1 1/2 minutes...our place is so huge!!) Our horribly mean cat Bunz is going to make sure they all get a peaceful nights rest. Poor girls.

Here are some pictures, I'll post more tomorrow...






HAPPY SUNDAY!!

Yay!

Tomorrow my sisters come into town! Keep posted for more on our many awesome adventures we will be having this week. I'm so excited I just might sleep horribly tonight. I have the best sisters ever, we're going to totally rule this city.

Friday, March 20, 2009

BBC Book List.

This list of books was put together by a group of readers trying to determine the best novel ever. I read somewhere that the average person will have read about 30 out of the 100 books listed below. This list makes me feel like I’ve been reading the wrong types of books for the past few years. [Thanks Mom, for making me read a few of these when I was little!]Also, this list is missing a ton of great books. Not sure why they didn't make the cut.

I’ve put x-ed the ones I’ve read before.
How many of these have you read?

[ ] 1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
[ x] 2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
[ ] 3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
[] 4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
[x] 5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
[] 6 The Bible
[x] 7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
[] 8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
[ ] 9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
[] 10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
[x ] 11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
[ ] 12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
[ ] 13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
[ ] 14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
[ ] 15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
[x ] 16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
[ ] 17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
[x] 18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
[] 19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
[ ] 20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
[ ] 21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
[] 22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
[ ] 23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
[ ] 24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
[ ] 25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
[ ] 26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
[] 27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
[x ] 28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
[x ] 29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
[x ] 30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
[ ] 31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
[ ] 32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
[x] 33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
[ ] 34 Emma - Jane Austen
[ ] 35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
[x] 36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
[] 37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
[] 38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
[ ] 39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
[x] 40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
[x] 41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
[] 42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
[ ] 43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
[ ] 44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
[ ] 45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
[x ] 46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
[ ] 47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
[ ] 48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
[x ] 49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
[ ] 50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
[] 51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
[ ] 52 Dune - Frank Herbert
[ ] 53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
[ ] 54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
[ ] 55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
[ ] 56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
[ ] 57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
[x ] 58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
[] 59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
[ ] 60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
[x ] 61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
[ ] 62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
[ ] 63 The Secret History - Donna Tart
[] 64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
[ ] 65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
[ ] 66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
[ ] 67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
[] 68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
[ ] 69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
[ x] 70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
[ x] 71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
[ ] 72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
[x] 73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
[ ] 74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
[ ] 75 Ulysses - James Joyce
[] 76 The Inferno - Dante
[ ] 77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
[ ] 78 Germinal - Emile Zola
[ ] 79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
[ ] 80 Possession - AS Byatt
[x ] 81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
[ ] 82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
[] 83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
[ ] 84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
[ ] 85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
[] 86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
[x] 87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
[ ] 88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
[ ] 89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
[ ] 90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
[] 91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
[ ] 92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
[ ] 93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
[ ] 94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
[ ] 95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
[ ] 96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
[ ] 97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
[x] 98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
[x] 99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
[ ] 100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

In other news, I just finished Catcher in the Rye which is now one of my top five favorite books. Five? Okay, maybe ten. Holden Caulfield is one of my favorite fictional characters. I loved the relationship he had with his sister Phoebe.

Salinger Ol' buddy, you've done it again....

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Things That Really Bug Me:

1. When the wind whips dirt into your eyes.
2. People who ride their bikes on the sidewalks.
3. That Old Navy commercial with the talking mannequins.
4. Old Navy.
5. Paying $2.00 for a 12 oz. PBR and $6.00 for a whiskey sour.
6. Crumbs or dirt in my bed.
7. Doing taxes and possibly having to pay A LOT of money.
8. Enchiladas.
9. Poorly written books that get really popular.
10. When Maury airs the episodes where they make fun of girls that look like dudes and vice versa.
11. People who walk slowly in groups and take up the whole sidewalk, so that you can't get by.
12. American Idol.
13. Clothes that don't fit.
14. $30 tickets to a Broadway in Chicago show.
15. Broken bike parts when you really want to ride.
16. Tyra Banks
17. Any bugs that suck blood...right now, bed bugs.
18. Being so far away from the ocean and forests.
19. "Mechanically separated chicken"
20. People who can't keep secrets.
21. Driving in Chicago, especially when it takes you half an hour to go two miles.
22. When people say, "So I says to them..." or anything related.
23. People who give dirty looks or act cold for no reason.
24. When you say "HI" to someone and then realize that it was the wrong person or they don't remember you.
25. Orange spray tans.
26. How college humor movies almost always make fun of little people.
27. Scalloped potatoes.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Monday!!

I'm uploading a bunch of movies onto my YouTube account right now, mostly to get them off of my computer's hard drive before it crashes. Old Dell Inspiron 6000 has been doing pretty well lately...only freezing if I have a ton of windows open and occasionally overloading and shutting down. But everytime I turn it back on it starts without a glich. I feel that sometime very, very soon I am going to come home from work, open my computer, and find myself computerless.

Today I hung out with Jenny, I have the next two weeks off and am using this week to relax and clean before my sisters come on the 21st. Jenny was nannying for this cute family with a boy about Alex's age and we took the boys on a walk to Trader Joes because it was 65 DEGREES OUTSIDE!!!

I always forget how much I like Trader Joes. Really cheap prices on food that's healthy and yummy. I bought enough ingredients to make portabella mushroom, white-clam alfredo pasta for dinner tomorrow. I'm pretty excited about the sauce, it looks delicious AND it's been forever since I've had clams. They are really expensive here. In Washington state you can get a combination fishing and clamming license for what, $15? In Chicago, clams cost .59 cents each...and who only eats one or two clams in one sitting anyway?

On Saturday we headed downtown for the St. Patrick's Day Parade. Apparently, St. Patrick's Day has turned into one of the biggest drinking holidays of the year. It was a good time, we ran around the city with Jerry and his girlfriend Kate and their friends. Jerry even had a wheelchair so that he wouldn't have to get around on crutches. Drunk people pushing a wheelchair is one of the most awesome things I have seen in a very long time.

We didn't watch too much of the parade, there were too many people already crowding the street by the time we got down there. There were thousands of drunk people falling over themselves and green everywhere you looked. We all got hit in the face with green beads thrown by party trolleys and some seriously decked out bros. People were selling shirts that said, "Irish today...Hung over tomorrow" and cops were walking the streets drinking cans of Busch and Bud Light.

While we were waiting for Jerry and Kate, we met up with Homer for a while and took photos and videos. G noticed a girl who was having a huge problem standing up, she was slouched between two of her friend's arms. We watched her for five minutes or so and eventually she went completly limp and just laid stretched out on the sidewalk. We ran over and asked them if they needed any help, only to find out that they were a bunch of highschoolers who were convinced she was okay because "her boyfriend was coming to pick her up any minute". They attempted to cram crackers down her throat, but she was so blacked out she couldn't even swallow them. Her eyes were open and completly milky, the scariest thing I think I have ever seen. We called an ambulance for her and they arrived to pump her stomach and rushed her to the hospital a half hour later. It gets more disgusting, but I'll spare you the details. The whole thing really grossed me out, I couldn't stop thinking about her for the longest time. I hope she was okay....

We were probably the only people not wearing green:




G, Kate, Aimee, and Wheelchair Jer:




I think he was saying, "Hustlin', hustlin'"

Friday, March 13, 2009

Just a Random Post Because I Haven't Written Lately...

Monday night I was walking home from work just as it was getting dark out and I noticed an unusual amount of cops driving around and parked on every other block. We live in a pretty safe area of Chicago, usually the only cops I see are parked at the 7-11 down the street, reading magazines and eating sandwiches (does that tell you how safe our neighborhood really is?). In a 15 minute walk home, I must have seen about ten cops. It weirded me out pretty good, I felt like every time I walked by one of their parked cars, they were checking me out to see if I fit the description of whoever they were trying to catch. Don't get me wrong, crime does happen in our area. One time I saw a 30 year old man steal a shirt from the Gap down the road. Oh, and there's this guy who tags "T-REX" on all of the churches around here.

This story doesn't end with any gun shots or convicted felons, so if you think this gets more exciting you should probably just skip this post. When I got home, I heard sirens so I went up to our roof to try and see what was going on. It was then that I noticed there was a cop car parked in a every visible alley surrounding our place too. All of the street lights outside our apartment aren't working, so everything feels really creepy as well. After I realized that I could be up there for a while and most likely nothing would happen, I decided that it was a calm enough night to sit up on the roof for a while. I'll never know who of what they were really looking for, and that kind of bugs me a little bit, but only because I'm such a snoop.

I crouched down in a corner and just listened to the city. It was a really clear night and I spent a long time looking for stars. I hate that you can only see a few stars in the sky here. I miss laying outside in my parent's yard, watching meteor showers and satellites with a pair of crappy binoculars. I miss feeling so small and insignificant and full of curiosity about space. In Chicago you are lucky if you can see the Big Dipper in the summertime. I always think of all the awesome science activities I could construct for the kids if only they knew what a bright star really looked like.

Slim Dixon is playing a show tonight, actually they're playing pretty soon. I'll write more later. I have the next two weeks off!! Time to get stuff done, explore, create, and find more schools to apply to. I'm only really excited for three out of those four opportunities.....

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Updates.

I found some old photos and videos and just updated my Flicker account. This week is flying by which is pretty exciting because I have the following two weeks off. It's hard to believe my sisters are coming in just a couple weeks. Yesterday it was 62 degrees and rainy...something about that kind of weather puts me in a great mood. Woke up this morning, however to the usual 20 degree day :-( I'm headed out the door soon, but here's a few of the photos I found.

Critical Mass outside our apartment:


Summer 2008:


Our apartment:




Here's a video of G attempting to kick some yogurt and then catch it. What happens instead is pretty awesome....




I have more videos and photos on Flicker. The webpage is: http://www.flickr.com/photos/allieinthecity/. You could also just click HERE.

Happy Wednesday!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Written by my Little Sister Carly:

Carly wrote this when she was seven years old, it's one of my most favorite stories ever. She is a talented writer, even to this day. You probably don't even remember this story Car! Love you!

Hero Goes to the Moon!

By: Carly Hall (pen-name: Reba B. Doodle)

One day there lived a handsome monkey named Hero. He had a monkey dog named Musket. He lived in a zoo. One day he got a call from his nice friends. They wanted him to escape from the zoo!! Hero asked, very curious, why? His friends said, because it is Chip and Dill's birthday!! "I don't think I could make it," said Hero. His friends said, "Just try! Please, please, please, just try, just try, just try, just then hero said, "o.k. o.k. I'll try!"

All of his friends shouted, "hurray, hurray!" Hero asked, "When should I go?" "Right now!" said his friends. "Why so fast?" asked Hero. "Because we are having a surprise party!" "Oh! I will hurry!" said Hero. So he called his dog, and said, "Lead me to the big rocket ships! Right away!" For Musket could know where anything was. So they quickly hurried out of the cage.

It wasn't easy getting out to go to the rocket ships. They got put back so many times, that Hero lost count. But soon they quietly got to the rocket ships, and at that very moment, Hero saw a rocket ship that said, "GO TO THE MOON WITH THIS BABY!" When he saw it he said, "Hop in Musket." So Musket hopped in and they took off. But first they put on their moon helmets.

When they got up to the moons, it was full of moons! "Which moon?" Asked Hero. Musket said, "To the moon below the blue cheese moon." So that's when they crazily landed. But he landed very hard because he didn't know how to drive it, so he just pressed the land button and some other button. There they had the party, and Hero didn't want to go back to the zoo! So he lived there with all of his friends, and had a great time.

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Monday, March 9, 2009

Be Cool About Fire Safety.

Today I was attempting to teach a four year old about fire safety. On a bike ride to the park we chatted about forest fires, smoke detectors, and fire extinguishers. I asked her what to do if you ever have fire on you (assuming she'd say, "stop, drop, and roll").

She looked at me like I was crazy and said, "you RUN!!" :-)

I Love This....

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Good Luck G!!

So G left today for Savannah, Georgia. He comes back pretty late tomorrow night. It's been really strange not having him around and it's going to be even weirder sleeping in our bed tonight without him. I hate it, but I have really loud thoughts and I really only notice them when he is gone.

A few nights ago on the news, they ran a pretty long story on bed bugs. Apparently there is a huge outbreak of them in Chicago. This really grossed me out so of course, instead of just forgetting about it I stayed up super late Googling and Wikipedia-ing images and information. I used to think that these things were microscopic....turns out they are visible bugs, sometimes even bigger than fleas. They feed off of our blood and dead skin cells. I'd rather not say when we washed our sheets last so for the past week I have been going to bed terrified and itchy all over. Not that I'm actually being bitten...it's just once I'm thinking about something so gross, I let my imagination go a little crazy. I'm sure internet researching the issue didn't help either. SO, today I broke down and went to Target and bought all new sheets AND pillows and washed all of our blankets and towels. Washing that boring stuff is something I've been meaning to do for a while (all of that costs about $10 to clean!!) I'm pretty excited to sleep with new sheets and pillows tonight...although without my Garrison, who knows how much sleep I'll really be getting.

Here is G's fancy-boy outfit as he was heading out the door for Georgia this morning at 6:00!!


Bunz was sleeping like this today on the couch, the thunderstorms are finally not scaring her!


Here's to a good week....

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Some of My Favorite Artwork in Our Apartment:

By my sister Lindsey:

Screen print from the art gallery down the street:

By G:

G:

My sister Carly:

My sister Megan:

Our friend Dylan:

A velvet painting from a discount art store:

By Me:

Friday, March 6, 2009

TGIF

I should probably make it clear that the gun my creepy little brother is holding in the picture below is an air soft gun...there's no way my parents would let him have anything other than that (even though I'm sure he wouldn't mind). Yeah, we live in the country...but really.

It is 11:30 in the morning and already 60 degrees outside. I've been sitting on the roof, reading, and drinking Gatorade before work and it is NICE. I actually had to take off my sweater because I was getting too hot. Everyone is in really good moods and walking around...the city is waking up!!

Thanks S for suggesting Day Frog...I checked out the website and it looks pretty awesome. Fantasy Kingdom is pretty cool, I think their problem is the space is too small and too many kids go there (especially on yucky Chicago days). I'm glad the girl I watch is finally getting old enough to hold her own against the big guys....We'll definitely have to check this out!

I found out that I am not accepted to one of the schools I applied for...SO FRUSTRATING. That means I only have two more Chicago schools left to hope for, and they were kind of my random picked schools. :-( I have the feeling a lot of people are applying for schools right now so of course that makes it harder. Keep your fingers crossed!

I don't work until 1:00 today, so I'm going to go ride my bike around and soak up this sunshine....

Hope you all have a great Friday!!!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

**

Quick note: Two of the grossest things ever...fake eyelashes and painted on eyebrows. :-(

!!!

My body has made a quick recovery and I think by tomorrow I should be feeling much closer to better. I'm thoroughly excited for one last deep NyQuil sleep tonight though. Today I took the kids to this place called Fantasy Kingdom...I know, strange name. It's a medium sized room full of forts and playhouses. If you want to pretend you are a medieval warrior, simply put on a knight costume, find a few friends, and make them dress up like princesses and dragons. If you want to be a firefighter, run over to the child size fire station (equipped with firetrucks, a pole, a hose, and a ladder). They even have a grocery store and a police station with a kid-sized jail. It's the kind of place where the older kids rule and the younger ones are left with the crappy toys. Come to think of it, this place may be somewhat responsible for my weird dream I wrote about, a few posts back.

The kids mostly loved organizing the food on the grocery store shelves, which was hilarious to me because once they left the "store" to go and find more food, a group of high strung boys would come in and knock it all of the shelves or a few toddlers would wobble in and disorganize and slobber on everything. The girls would be upset only for a second or two and then it was like it never even happened. I seriously watched them re-organize those shelves about seven times. They have more patience for annoying kids and bullies than I would have had at their age.

It took them a while to discover the "jail" but once they had they couldn't get enough of it. There's something really funny about seeing a four year old behind bars. She'd wait for me to fall asleep and then sneak the key out of my pocket and snicker out loud....I'm hoping she learned this from Robin Hood or 101 Dalmatians.

On the way home from the park, one of the kids said, "When I grow up and I can drive, I'm going to fill my...you know, the thing in a car...it's like a tank? You know, where the gas goes into? I'm going to fill it with blueberries...like, mashed up blueberries. And water. That way I won't have to pay a lot for gas. Plus I will be helping the environment. Blueberries are pretty cheap...well, at least cheaper than gas." :-)

It's been so windy outside all day. Our windows keep rattling and the cat is freaking out. I'm thinking there might be some pretty amazing thunderstorms either tonight or Saturday. Thunder and lightning storms in Chicago are something else, I've never experienced louder more frightening storms than here. We've literally watched lightning strike the roof of the building right across the street from ours. I have some crazy videos somewhere, if I find them I will try to post them soon.

Today the weather got me thinking about our drive over here almost two years ago (can you believe we've been here that long?) We actually experienced a tornado our first week here.... We had been following it for the last day of our trip. It was crazy seeing so much flooding and lightning.

One of my favorite memories is waiting out the storm in the back of our U-Haul at the flooded campsite. I've never been so scared and so excited at the same time. I can't remember which state we were in, but we pulled up to the camp ground, set up our tent, and got ready for a night under the stars. It was really hot and humid and it felt nice to be out of the truck. We met the people camping next to us, a couple that were motorcycling across the United States, stopping to camp and visit motorcycle shows. As we were all talking, the wind began to pick up a bit and Garrison and I headed out to make sure the tent was okay.

All of a sudden it started pouring, more rain than I had ever seen. We grabbed our things, ripped the tent down, and threw it into the back of the U-Haul. By the time we were in the truck with the huge door pulled down, we were drenched. Within an hour The wind was pushing in every direction, I seriously thought the truck was going to flip over. Every time their was lightning, the fiber roof of our U-Haul lit up for a long time, what scared me the most was that the thunder and lightning were in sync with each other...it was right on top of us.

At one point the rain was so loud G and I were yelling at each other every time we had to say something. Luckily in Washington we had decided to lay our mattress down and put boxes around it. We sat in our bed, in the back of the U-Haul, drinking wine, wide-eyed and scared out of our minds.

I love crazy weather and Chicago is a pretty good place for that. I hope this summer brings some big storms.

The view from our roof!!














A rainbow over our apartment building:














Bored again during recording:














Melissa and Andrew come to Chicago:














My little brother being creepy at Christmas (note: his shirt says "Got God?"):
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