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!

video

Takeoff from Sulpher Springs heading back

video

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!



video

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