Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The longest weekend ever


I kind of feel like I'm having the longest weekend ever - no work and lots of fun. Thus far it's been a fantastic vacation.


Monday night I went to Growler's (I know you're shocked) for dinner and then over to Kara's to play her new Wii and hang out. It was fun to see everyone and play with her chinchillas for awhile. (They're so soft!)


Yesterday was spent doing lots of cleaning in preparation for my Pampered Chef party. The party went well and lots of thanks to everyone who came out! I am going to start doing parties too, so if you want to host one let me know. After the party, Holly, Cat, Kara and I headed over to Holly's mom's house for a tequilla sleepover. (Holly and Kara are alergic to my cats so a change of location was needed.) We had a blast! We concluded that top shelf tequilla was clearly better than cheap stuff because no one got sick or had a hangover the next morning. Pizza helps too. :)

Cat Holly Me Kara

We woke up this morning to snow and enjoyed hanging out awhile before having to go out in it. Holly's mom actually had to have a plumber come look at the pipes this morning - you know he had to think that we're nuts since there were 4 adult women having a sleepover (plus Kyle and Holly's mom Sandy.) Oh well - we had fun!

Tonight I am taking a break, then tomorrow is New Year's Eve and bowl games (GO TIGERS!)

I should go on vacation more often.

~E

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Lots of new stuff

Scroll down to read about the first week of my 2 week vacation... it starts with the post titled Texas Trip 2009. Enjoy!

~E

Birthday palooza

Saturday evening was filled with birthday celebrations with great people. First I headed out to Fast Eddie's in IL to hang out with Lura, my friend from work who I sit next to. I had a blast meeting her friends and hanging out with her. Her friends were a riot - so I was kind of sad to leave. But I had to head south to meet up with Shaun for his birthday at Hessler's. I hadn't seen Shaun in forever, so it was really fun to catch up and hang out. He even sang some birthday karayoke. It was sweet. After Hessler's closed, we decided to go out to Johnny Gitto's for awhile to continue our fun. (So for those of you who know St. Louis, I have now been to Alton, IL, South County and now South City. Whew.) We danced for awhile and had a grand time. It was so fun to hang out with not only Shaun but Karen, Greg and Krystal too. We should do it again sometime!

Krystal ended up staying the night at my house (since we got home about 3am) and this morning we woke up to about an inch of snow! We dug our way out and then I took her home before going over to my mom's house for lunch and to pick up some stuff I forgot on Christmas (my stocking stuff!) The rest of the day has been pretty low key - relaxing and doing some cleaning. I also got to talk to Abi today, which was awesome. I loved hearing about little Augustine and how she's doing. I miss her!

First week of vacation has been awesome - I'm thrilled to have another week off. Who knows what other fun is in store for me?

~E

Messy Christmas

What is Messy Christmas you may ask? Messy Christmas is what happens after all the family stuff is over and typically involves drinking, friends and fun. Patrick and I started going out on Christmas 3 years ago, and it's a fun tradition. Pat was in Indiana this year and couldn't celebrate with us, but I'm sure he made up for it. This year I celebrated Messy Christmas at Cyndi's house. We drew names at Thanksgiving, so we did our gift exchange and played SingStar on Xbox. For the whole night. It was a lot of fun - we really had a blast playing the game. Almost everyone sang too, which was awesome. Drinking was done by all and it was the perfect end to the holiday. Check out pictures from the night below...


~E

Merry Christmas


I love Christmas. I really do. The shopping, gift giving, wrapping, family, friends - all of it. This is probably why I've had decorations up since like the 2nd weekend in November.


Christmas Eve started at my Aunt Kathy's house that afternoon. We had good food and drinks (a staple now that most of the cousins are over 21) and enjoyed spending time together as well as opening a few presents of course!


Me and Devin at Aunt Kathy's house - note the drink ingredients in the background... champagne, vodka and cranberry juice. Yes, the same drink Holly made us in TX.

From Aunt Kathy's we all headed to church for Christmas Eve candlelight service. It was very nice as usual. We then went over to Dad's to do presents and dinner with him. Our Christmas feast? Pizza and wings. Sweet.


Devin and PawPaw (my dad) on Christmas Eve (I got Devin those pjs!)


It was kind of weird to go home to my own house after leaving Dad's. I've always woke up Christmas morning at Mom's! Christmas Day we got a dusting of snow and ice (since it rained all day on Christmas Eve) so after making the treacherous journey I finally made it to Mom's around noon. We had lunch and opened presents and had a good time. My favorite present I gave was Bill's present - a painting of him and Mom that my friend Kristen from work did. Awesome, right?
After Mom's I headed over to my Aunt Pat's to see Dad's side of the family. It was fun to hang out with everyone and catch up. Merry Christmas to all!
~E

Texas part 2

On with my Texas trip recap...

Kyle has his pilot's license, so on Sunday morning we went flying. It was absolutely awesome. We flew out to Sulpher Springs and back - about an hour and a half of flying I think. Kyle is an excellent pilot so it was a very smooth trip. The pictures and video give a better idea of the experience than words, so check them out.

Me hanging out while Kyle gets the plane ready for us to fly. Please note it was warm enough for me to just be in a fleece!

Kyle doing pre-flight checks and whatnot. I just committed to not touch a single button or lever in there. :)

Beautiful day in Dallas - shot from the air

Video of us landing in Sulpher Springs over the lake - so pretty!


Takeoff from Sulpher Springs heading back

It was really awesome. After flying we got some lunch and met up with Holly to go down to Forth Worth. The Stockyards are basically lots of shops and resturants and a few pony rides. We (well, Holly & I) had a good time walking around and doing some shopping. Apparently they also do a cattle drive type thing everyday, but we missed it. Oh well.

I also picked up my new 2009 ornament here - a decorated boot to represent my trip to Texas. We also drove by the new Cowboy Stadium on our way to Fort Worth. That place is HUGE! We drove by the old one too and it looks tiny by comparison. I didn't take any pictures but you can search for it if you're interested. On the way back, we stopped for dinner at a yummy BBQ place which coincidently featured St. Louis style ribs. Ha - we've had that before! I had a yummy pulled pork sandwich.

Upon arriving back home, we started on our door decoration. Holly & Kyle's apartment complex was having a door decorating contest that week so we made a gingerbread house. We actually didn't finish until Monday night, but it was fun!


I don't think we won, but we clearly should have, right? Oh well, we had a lot of fun making it!

After this I didn't take any more pictures. Oops. Monday Holly and I had a pretty lazy morning. Kyle came home to have lunch with us, then we headed out to the outlet mall for a bit to finish up some of Holly's Christmas shopping. You know I love the outlet malls. I am also proud to report that I went into Coach and didn't purchase anything. Really. It was hard! We ran a few more errands then headed home. Monday night was spent making homemade pizza, watching the Sing Off and finishing our gingerbread house. We also had a yummy holiday drink Holly had seen on Martha Stewart. Perfect evening in. (PS - Did you watch the Sing Off? Cause it was awesome. Acapella groups singing all kinds of fun songs. Seriously, awesome.)

Tuesday Holly ended up having to work for a few hours in Arlington, so after we dropped a friend of hers off at the airport we headed out there. I did a little shopping and drove around a bit while she worked then we had a drink at happy hour in uptown in Dallas. We met up with Kyle for a final mexican dinner at Mia's (which was soooo good) where I had a few margaritas that were apparently kind of strong because I was a little tipsy during dinner. Hehe. Anyway, it was fun. Wednesday morning Holly worked a little bit then we started the long drive home.

Wonderful vacation!

~E

Texas Trip 2009

So I'm off work for 2 whole weeks, which is very exciting. I've never been off work (paid!) for this long. Ever. It's pretty sweet.

Since I tend to be of the belief that if I'm off work for more than 5 days I should go somewhere, I decided to head to Texas to visit Kyle & Holly. I flew out and drove back with them on the 23rd, which worked out really well. Plus the definate added bonus of heading to a warmer climate to visit!

I got in about 9:30 Sat morning, so after the Colliers picked me up from the airport we headed to brunch. Brunch included bottomless mimosas for $6. What a wonderful way to start vacation! We got our money's worth, of course!


I also had chips and queso, which was delicious. I love mexican food, so I wanted to eat as much yummy mexican food as possible. I was successful. :) After brunch, we dropped off some stuff to a friend of theirs and then headed home to rest a little. Before dinner, we headed downtown to go see the JFK memorial and walk around downtown a little. There's this old cabin in the middle of downtown. I don't know who it belongs to, but we had some fun trying to visit. Pictures below of this excursion.

(I don't know why it's doing this, but if you hold your mouse in the corner it will show the captions.)

Dinner was at Gloria's, a fantastic mexican resturant, and followed by salsa dancing. Spectacular.


Holly and I at Gloria's waiting for a table. (I love this picture!)

So as not to overwhelm you, more in another post.
~E






Thursday, December 24, 2009

behind

To come:

-Texas fun
-Christmas joys
-whatever else happens before I get around to blogging about the fun I've been having during my 2-week vacation.

~E

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Spotlights and Christmas lights

Last weekend included lots of Christmas-type fun. I enjoyed a fantastic day off on Friday where I pretty much did nothing. It was great. Saturday I went to see my mom in her acting debut in the church's Christmas play. She had a starring role and did great!



After her play we went out to dinner with Kristen, Devin, my Aunt Kathy and Uncle Jim at Chevys. Yummy. After dinner Kristen, Devin and I went to the Zoo to look at Christmas lights. They were really pretty!



The butterflies were one of my favorites

Devin with the penguin lights - very cool


at the gingerbread house
We had a great time and got done before it started to rain. Perfect. Sunday morning I went to church with my mom to hear my Aunt Kathy share her testimony about her relationship with my mom. She did a great job too. I spent the afternoon getting stuff done at home and took a little nap so I didn't go to the second performance of Mom's play. Oh well.
This has been a really busy week at work but blessedly calm in the evenings. Whew - Christmas is coming up fast! I can't wait!
~E









Thursday, December 10, 2009

catch up

As promised.


Friday night I went to dinner with Phil at Grappa Grill by our houses. The food was ok and the service was terrible because the waiter thought we were poor and destitute. It was hilarious. From there I went over to the Bembower's to admire Dan's handy work and play a little poker. Unfortunately, I sucked at poker that night and ended up playing Wii with Courtney and Adam. Eventually Holly and Cat joined the party and we finished up Holly's scrapbook and watched Office Space. LOTS of fun.


Saturday I went to Kyle & Holly's reception. So. Fun. Kyle made this awesome slide show of pics and video from Flordia. It reminded me of all the fun we had and totally made me want to go back! See below for other reception fun.




Sunday was Devin's 6th birthday. He wanted to have crab legs for lunch and had a Sponge Bob cake. He had a ton of fun!



Fun weekend!

~E

I'm behind.

I'm behind on my posting. Again. Last week was really busy - pampered chef meeting/party with Lura on Tuesday then scrapbooking with Holly, Cat and Kara (ok, Cat just reminisced about the trip) afterwards, Wed. my sister came over cause she was on call, Thursday was our Bike Awards Party. Then it was the weekend again!

Topics to come: poker/wii night at Dan's (cause I sucked at poker that night), Holly & Kyle's STL reception (hence the FL reminiscing) and Devin's 6th birthday. Oh, and maybe a little something about Angie's party with all the cute baby girls last night.

So much going on. Good think I'm off tomrrow! Yay weekend!

~E

Monday, November 30, 2009

Bonfire, shopping and birthday

Sat. morning it was more shopping with my mom at West County Mall, then lunch at Chic-Fil-A. yum. I got a really cute black dress from Penny's while we were there and am excited to wear it next weekend for Kyle & Holly's reception. Very productive morning. I also went to the cleaners and learned my mom joined Facebook. (Which I never thought would happen. Crazy times. lol)

Sat. evening I drove with Sam and Max out to Kyle's Mom's house in the country for a bonfire. The weather was perfect for it. We really enjoyed being outside and each other's company. It was fun to be with Holly, Kyle, Sam and Storm as well as Kyle's family. Great evening. We even had a little sing a long when Max got fussy (it was late) and he calmed right down. He just loved the fresh air and was mesmerized by the fire. So cute. It was also cool to drive with Sam because we got to chat and catch up on life. I very much enjoyed it.

Sunday was Sam's birthday and birthday party at their house. Very low key but lots of people and I think she had fun. After the party I ended up going with Holly and Cat to see New Moon again. I loved seeing it with people who knew what was happening and could appreciate the hot boys in it (aka not my dad!) We went to the Chase so it wasn't crowded either. Loved it!

Then today it was back to work. Sigh. What a great weekend though!

~E

Black Friday

I slept in Friday since I didn't need anything that requred getting up at 4am for the sales. I did do some shopping that afternoon and some online though. Most of my Christmas shopping is done - yay!



I met up with Krystal around 4 for drinks and dinner at El Maguey. I love mexican. It was great to catch up with Krystal and see how her new job in KC is going. She seems to love it, which I was glad to hear. It was fun to hang out for awhile! After dinner I stopped by Old Navy for a bit for a little more shopping - for me! I finished off my mom's christmas shopping for me. hehe. Sweaters were a great price! I stopped by Mom's to say hi and show her what she bought me. :) From there I went to Growler's to meet up with Lindsey and our other friends. (Yes, this is the second time this week I was there. I love it though!) It was great catching up with Linds. Nick (Cyndi's boyfriend) and I also had fun taking lots of great pictures such as these:




We had fun. :)

Thanksgiving

It's still kind of weird to me to not have to travel for the holidays. I didn't have to pack a suitcase. Or fight traffic on the highway. I actually slept in my own bed. Weird.

Even last year I had JUST moved back here and was living with my mom, so it still felt like I was on an extended vacation where I happened to be going to a job I liked. I still was staying at Mom's and at that point still living out of suitcases to some extent. This is the first year I have lived in town and had my own place to go home to - so it was kind of weird driving home on Thursday night. Nice though. Ok, back to my day. We went over to my dad's girlfriend Janet's for lunch first then headed to my Aunt Pat's for the mid-day break. It was great to see everyone. Signs Christmas is coming: after we ate, out came the ads to plan shopping the next day. :) From there I went over to my Mom's. I made green bean casserole and soon we were ready to eat. It was our family (me, Mom, Bill, Kristen, Brian & Devin) plus Bill's parents, Hannah (Danny's gf), their daughter Morgan, and Taylor (Billy's gf.) Brian's gf Brittani also joined us. It was kind of crazy but a good time. I was pretty tired by the end of it an happy to go home and veg out on the couch.

I'm sorry to tell you I didn't take a single picture during the day. But know this - I was stuffed!!

~E

You'd think I cooked more

I realize I have not yet blogged about my awesome Thanksgiving weekend. It was great and very busy and I am not yet motivated to write about it. Soon. Maybe.


I am considering becoming a Pampered Chef consultant. Pretty much decided I should at least try it anyway. Who knows. I've changed my mind a half-dozen times already. I decided today to investigate how much PC product I already have. Now keep in mind I really don't do much cooking. At all. I do, however, own all this:
Really? Some of this I had completely forgotten about since moving. All of it is PC. I also have a fair amount of Kitchen Aid stuff so I must have bought a set of it at one point. Want to know something funny about this picture? Everything you see here isn't even clean. The pie server? Definately still has pumpkin pie reminants on it. The second stacked mixing bowl? Brownie batter was soaking in it minutes before this picture was taken. I also have the separators to make a different flavored center for the round bakeware but couldn't locate it fast enough for this picture. (It might not have survived the move.) You get the idea. And more of it is coming. Maybe I should start cooking more...
As a side note, if I do go ahead and become a consultant and you want me to come to your house and use some of this stuff (I do know how to use it, I just don't do it too often) to make you and some friends a meal and earn some free/discounted stuff, let me know.
I wonder what else is in my cabinets...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Shhhh....

You may be noting the time of this post and thinking, "Erin, aren't you at work today?" Well, yes. But it's the day before Thanksgiving and things are s-l-o-w so I have decided to blog for a minute. Besides, I need to catch up before this crazy busy weekend of fun.

Last Friday I went with my dad and Janet to see New Moon. Yes, you read that sentence right. My dad called me on Wednesday or so to ask if I wanted to go see the movie on Friday night. Of course I did. I'm in the middle of doing something else so I agree and hang up. Then I realize what has just happened and think "Dad knows about New Moon?" Upon further investigation, I find out Dad has no idea what he has gotten himself into. I explain the vampire/werewolf thing and the sure to be hordes of teenage girls and I think he is starting to regret agreeing to go when Janet asked him. Hehe. We get there and stand in line (he is again surprised about the number of people there already.) Once the movie starts there is of course screeching girls at certain parts. Dad is properly horrified. And since he neither read the books or saw the first movie, he is completely lost at certain parts. I fill him in best I can. So funny.

Sat. night I went over to the Quirin's for Thanksgiving dinner with friends. It was soo yummy and a lot of fun! I enjoyed hanging out with everyone and eating, then of course we played drinking games. Awesome. I hope family Thanksgiving is this fun :). Speaking of family Thanksgiving, we aren't doing a huge one this year - just the immediate family plus Bill's parents for dinner at my mom's house. Should still be fun though. Is it bad that I'm most excited to see Morgan? Also lunch at Janet's with Dad and maybe a stop by Aunt Pat's house. Busy busy.

Tonight it's Growler's - Kyle and Holly are back in town! Then again on Friday with Lindsey Oliver! I love the holidays. :)

~E

Monday, November 23, 2009

Soon

I will soon be writing about going to see New Moon with my dad and the fantastic Thanksgiving dinner with friends at Aimee's house. But right now I'm headed to a Pampered Chef party. Bring on the holidays!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Things I did this weekend:

-Was off work on Friday and had a very productive time at the DMV. Crazy, I know. Got my plates renewed, a new license with the correct address (and a new picture), got my voter registration moved and became an organ donor (again).

-Went to the Team Christner Awards Party. They're one of our Bike teams and a really good team. One of my favorites in fact. I hung out, had a drink and some snacks and enjoyed talking with them.

-Met Mark, Adam W., Dan and Anna at Growler's for a yummy dinner and a few drinks. I hadn't been in quite awhile so it was especially good.

-Got firewood from Mark. He's so generous.

-Unloaded said firewood and stacked it neatly on my back patio. Also got rid of the old crap from the previous owners. Whew.

-Went to Fast Eddie's in Alton with co-workers and friends Steph & Randy and Randy's wife Darlena. We then went on the Alton Ghost Tour too. It should really be called the Alton History and a little bit of Ghost Tour, but we had fun anyway.

-Went to Mike's produciton of Beauty and the Beast with my grandma. Loved it. We also went to dinner at Rich & Charlie's afterwards. Delicious. A little clip from my favorite part of Beauty and the Beast...



~E

Monday, November 9, 2009

Random Christmas Spirit


It's weird.  I'm suddenly ready for the holidays.  Bring on shopping and decorating and the dreaded Christmas card list.  Bring on family, parties and wrapping presents.  This weekend I considered putting up lights and getting out the Christmas stuff because I was randomly in the mood to do it.  (I didn't - its too early for that even in St. Charles county.)  Granted part of the light motivation may have been because the weather was so nice, but whatever.  I did discover that there are no outlets in the front of my condo though... I guess lights will get hung from inside the window?  Who designs stuff like that?  I had outdoor outlets at my apartments... Oh well.  Anyway, I figure at this rate I'll have all my shopping done by Thanksgiving weekend and can then kick back until Christmas.  I bought my first gift this past weekend so things are looking good for that possibility.  Kind of sad though - I love shopping and don't mind the crowds so I kind of find Christmas shopping fun.  Anyone want to pay me to do theirs?  I'll even wrap...

~E 

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Video from Mark

In case you needed video to accompany my photos...









~E

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween

Halloween was pretty low key this year.  I watched some of the cheesy halloween movies on Disney Channel for awhile and attempted to hand out candy.  No one came, so the people are work will get a treat on Monday!  Since no one was coming to the door, I decided to go over to my mom's house for a bit and was pleasantly suprised to discover Danny, Hannah and Morgan were coming over!  (Danny is Bill's son, and Morgan is his grandaughter, but we claim her hehe)


Grandma Kerry and Morgan



Cutest little monkey (her mom put pink bows on her ears and tail so people knew she was a girl lol)


Morgan and Aunt Erin


Hannah, Morgan and Danny (Mom and Dad)

She was so funny as we took the picture of ourselves - I think her face says "Really?  We can do this ourselves?"  She also wants to see after you take a picture and loves seeing herself on the screen.  Its really cute.  After playing with the little monkey, I headed over to Cyndi's.  She and her boyfriend Nick were sitting in Nick's driveway with half the neighborhood drinking by the fire pit so I pulled up a chair and joined right in.  (Nick lives 2 houses away from Cyndi - very convenient.)  I might have gotten one of the neighbors to get stuff for smores by bending over in a lowish cut shirt.  Not my finest moment, but I got the smores so it was worth it.  Eventually Aimee and Andy came by too. 


Aimee and me


She was quite proud of her costume.  Very sexy.


And did her first ever beer bong.  I'm kind of amazed this has not occured before.  :)

We just kind of sat around and talked and drank for awhile before we decided we were freezing and it was time to go home.  Plus Nick was falling asleep in the chair and we were in his driveway.  Fun times!

~E

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Beach it

After the wedding, we were able to just hang out and enjoy being in Flordia. How often do you go on vacation with 14 of your friends? Sunday I mostly just layed on the beach all afternoon. Some people flew kites too since it was kind of windy and we did get in the ocean for awhile. Mostly I layed on the beach though. I didn't even need a book. I just layed there. :) This is the only picture I could rouse myself long enough to take:


It was a really fun and relaxing day. Later, we all went out to dinner at Pompano Joe's for a delicious seafood dinner. We had a lot of fun hanging out and even used the white plastic cups pictured below to play the Cup Game at the table for a bit. It was fun and gave me flash backs to band camp lol.


Newlywed kisses
After dinner we headed back to the houses for dance party and drinking part 2 and had a blast. We were hanging out on the 4th floor balcony and I really wish I could remember what prompted this picture:


Mike and Adam cuddling with Kyle


It was such a fun night. The next morning lots of people left and those of us that were left headed to the Broken Egg Cafe for brunch in Sandestin. It was GREAT.

On the way back to the houses we stopped at the outlet mall and Cat, Holly and I went shopping for a little bit. I got a new Coach wristlet, Holly got a Coach purse and Cat got a Douney and Bourke wristlet for her and her mom. We all got stuff at PacSun too. It was a productive hour! The guys went go carting for awhile and checked out the boardwalk. Great way to spend the last few hours in Destin!

I was sad to go back home to the cold and rain and to leave our awesome house on the beach. It was an awesome trip and I am so glad I was able to go to share in Holly & Kyle's special day.

~E

Reception fun

Ok, so there are going to be like 5 posts about Flordia. It was just so fun and I took plenty of pictures to document it.

After the wedding we all went back to the house for dinner and drinks and a dance party! First the Colliers cut the cake that Adam and I went to get earlier in the day:
smoosh
Kyle actually brewed his own beer and made labels for it to give to the guys. It was delicious beer! Here they all are with the bottles.

And later they put "wedding sand" in them for souviners. It was cute.
Then we took some fun group pictures, like this one of the guys holding Holly.
And us girls holding Kyle
Then of course garter retrieval...
And a quick group shot :)

After this the dance party and drinking started and I was too busy doing those to take any more pictures. I had a damn good time though! Congrats again Holly & Kyle!!
~E