Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Our Halloween Pumpkin

I can't wait for the little kids to come tonight and see him! This is our first time for trick-or-treaters, and I'm super excited.

Today I woke up and remembered that I didn't remember to plan a costume, and that all of the rest of the Chamber employees would be dressed up. So I went as a country clubber, complete with khaki shorts and a sweater tied around my shoulders. I think it worked relatively well.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Still Busy But Wanted To Say Hi

After a trip to Grand Rapids and then Chicago, which started last Tuesday evening and ended yesterday evening, I'm back home! And it feels good. Although I had fun with friends, parents, and cousins, I really missed by boys at home. I stayed with my parents while in GR and was throughly spoiled by them and some friends. In the same day I went out with two different pregnant friends which was a blast. One told me that I HAVE to get pregnant sometime soon, because it is so much fun, while the other told me about the lack of sleep she experiences with her toddler. Two sides of that coin. In any case, it will be a couple years.

I went to CIROBE, a remainder book show, with my mom over the weekend, which was pretty fun. We met up with my cousin in Chicago and had some great Chinese food in Chinatown, then got to see their new place. So fun. We also enjoyed bargain shopping at Filene's and spent a good hour at American Girl. I think we're a little old for dolls, but seriously, if you haven't been before that store is worth the trip. Talk about presentation. And you see those red bags ALL around Chicago.

And it is pretty much chaos around here. I have SERIOUS laundry, cleaning, and general pick-up to do! And on top of that, I've signed up for a side job through the business school to evaluate videos of undergrads. They try to demonstrate "soft" business skills in which they pitch an idea to a boss and participate in a group discussion. I'm getting paid well ($25/hour!) but it just may become the bane of my existance these next couple of weeks. I have about 20 hours of KATS (the name of the project) -ing to complete by November 7th. It just might cut into my blogging time. Like being gone all week did. Just a warning, for the 3 of you who read... :)

My boss is trying to convince me to don a costume for Halloween. We'll see. I don't even know what I would wear, although I hear Kendra has a great Munchkin suit. Regardless, Riley will be dressed up to greet the kids on Wednesday night. Rumor has it we get quite a few around here. Yipee!

Sorry for the rambles.

Now back to work!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Some Things That Made Me Smile This Weekend

Fall colors! They've really started to shine lately. I love the deep reds and bright oranges mingled with bright greens and maroons and yellows. I drove to Indy and back 3 times in 4 days and noticed them more and more with each drive.
Jamie's visit! Jamie, a friend from Michigan, came to visit us for the weekend, and we had a great time. Riley really liked her, too - clearly! We hung out in downtown Bloomington, Nashville, the outlet mall, and our townhouse - doing some eating, shopping, football watching (go blue!) and Settler's playing. Way fun. So glad she could join us for the weekend.

And a trip to the doggy park, which is by some woods and a lake. Riley LOVED exploring some wooded paths and playing with the other dogs. We enjoyed seeing the colors and being outside on a beautiful day. We came home with a very dirty dog that got hosed off before coming inside :)

Now we're gearing up for another crazy busy week. I'll be back in GR for work, and then in Chicago for a trade show... sad to be apart from Josh yet again!

Thursday, October 18, 2007


I feel like it has been a long time since I've blogged and I really feel bad about it! Is that weird? I mean, its not like I'm as bad as Kara or anything :).

In a general update, here has been my week, not including my jobs!

Training for another side-job through Josh's school
A trip to the grocery store for cake ingredients and then the ice cream shop for a mini date
Baking "Better Than Sex" cake

Goodbye to Josh, who wouldn't be back until Friday
Dessert night (where I brought the aforementioned cake and guilted certain friends into coming for that reason)
Partner's Club Meeting to decide leadership positions for 2008 (if you know me you will not be surprised but it turns out I will be co-chair for next year - should be interesting - and fun)

Communicating details of leadership meeting to everyone
Dinner with other co-chair
Book club (discussion was about Persuasion)
Go home and frantically pick up in preparation for my parents and grandparents to stay the night
Hang out with parents and grandparents before bed

(pre-work) Breakfast with parents and grandparents
Drive to Indy with my mom to meet my dad for dinner (at P.F. Changs, my favorite!!)

Pick up friend Jamie in Indy and hang out
See hubby again when he comes back into town

It was definitely a fun week - sad without my hubby, but thankfully busy so I wasn't sitting around lonely at home. Now I'm off to have some reading/God time. On that note - does anyone know of a good devotional type study that really gets into the Bible that is really good? I'm having a hard time just getting into the Word lately, and I feel like some kind of resource that would hold my hand a little bit as I dig in would be helpful.

In case you're curious, Josh has been on a "tour of Ohio" - visiting American Greetings, Nestle, Scotts Miracle Grow, and Proctor and Gamble with other students from Kelley. His school takes week-long breaks every semester for those who are in the same fields can do field-specific things. As a CMA (Consumer Marketing Academy) boy, he went to visit some CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) companies with the other CMAs. Clear as mud?

I'm excited for him to be home tomorrow.

Also excited for Jamie's visit! Nashville, IN, here we come.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Show and Tell: Necklace

I got this idea from Sarah, and thought it sounded like fun...

For spring break my junior year of college I went with Josh and his parents out to Utah (skiing) and Arizona (where his parents live). A great trip. And it happened to coincide with our 6 month "anniversary" of dating. I was under the impression that we had decided on no gifts, but Josh completely floored me by whipping out a turquoise-blue box that held this Tiffany's necklace for me! SUCH a wonderful surprise!

I hadn't even remembered a card... oops!

And I've hardly taken it off since. It is small, doesn't poke me, goes with everything, can be casual or dressy, is pretty durable, and is CUTE! I love the look of this necklace - and reminds me of Josh! Bonus.

I also love solid colored tank tops, but that is for another day...

My husband, the Michigan Fan

Jessica: So your friend Kelly was telling me about why she decided to get her MBA at IU.

Josh: Oh yeah?

Jessica: Yeah, it was between IU and Ohio State, and she said she just got a really good feeling from IU when she came to visit. Plus, IU gave her a better financial offer.

Josh: And with IU you don't get that feeling that you're selling your soul to the devil.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Worse Than A Small Child?

Hard to say.

We officially have crap ALL OVER OUR CARPET. Riley loves to chew on his toys - especially the ones you can pull apart. Nothing better than pulling all the stuffing out out of a orange tiger or tearing apart a foam frisbee bit by bit.

If anyone wants to buy Riley something, I'm sure he'd love it. And his mom would love it if it were something hard - a bone, a kong, a chew... something along those lines, please.

Update: RIGHT after I posted that I walked around the corner to find the following mix of chewed-up/ripped-up stuff: a toothbrush cap, a dryer sheet, toilet paper, and the tear off part of our Blockbuster Total Access envelope. LOL.

Sunday, October 7, 2007


I'm not an athletic person. I've never enjoyed running or working out (an understatement). And yet I've signed up for a half marathon in May. What is my problem? I don't know. I have some friends here who have talked me into the idea and I figured I may as well try. I need support and motivation and a goal to actually exercise, so I figured the half marathon looming in my future would be a good start. So for a week now I've been running. Not too far, but father and more often than I ever thought possible. I'm enjoying it more (read: hating it less) than I had expected.

And it reminds me of this verse each time I run:

Hebrews 12:1-3

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of
witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily
entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing
our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before
him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of
the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so
that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Run with perseverance... I've never been strong on perseverance or discipline. From exercise to devotions to emails filled with Riley pictures to my mom. I quit doing what is good. I get lazy. I stop early. But with each run I take step after step and keep going. Such a good feeling. I'm reminded that it is possible in other areas of my life, too. One step in front of the other on this life's journey.

Fixing our eyes on Jesus... so that you will not grow weary and lose heart... One tip my friend Kara gave me a while back (when she roped me into running with her) is to focus on something up ahead in the distance - a lamp post, tree, house, etc - instead of looking down at your feet. It opens up your body, gives you better posture, and the like. And for me, it helps me run further. I don't think as much about the effort that goes into each step or how tired I am, but rather focus on reaching that goal. Similarly, I'm reminded to keep my eyes on Jesus as I run this race called life. Focus on him throughout my day, instead of the worry and busyness, stress and pain of life. I can get bogged down with errands, bills to pay, food to make, and laundry to do. I'm easily discouraged. But when I refocus my thoughts and energy to the one who loves me, guides me, and has given me life, I am re-energized. I'm given a new attitude and perspective on life. I'm thankful to have a reminder of this truth. I so need it.

Isn't it interesting that God uses what is physical to teach us about what is spiritual?

I'll keep you posted on how the running is going.

A Weekend in Bloomington

We did the IU thing this weekend and did some tailgating with friends. Lawn games (a new form of washers), friends, food (since it was largely planned by girls we had an overabundance of baked goods! mmm...), and even some craft magazines Lora brought. What could be better? And why didn't we do this at Michigan? Recommended.

Then we did the un-IU thing and actually went to the game. Well, half of it.

A couple of observations:

1. It is still HOT and it is October. Come on weather. Football needs to be watched in jeans and sweatshirts. We were boiling in 93 degree heat during the game so left early and watched the remainder from an air conditioned sports bar.
2. IU has fun crowd cheers, like doing a march with your arms on first down (see Patrick, Josh, and Chad below)
3. I still don't know what the IU quarterback's name is, but they did win (over Minnesota) and are now 1 game away from being bowl-eligible. Pretty much all an Indiana fan asks for.
4. Lots of people tailgate. Some go to the game, but most stay tailgating. We left right before the half, walked back through "tailgate row" and there wasn't a noticable difference in people there in comparison to that morning.
5. We were given free tickets, didn't sit in assigned seats, and were really close to the field. A very strange feeling!

Then for Saturday evening we reconvened with friends and went to an appetizer+wine tasting night at a local winery. Really pretty spot. Then back to our place for some football on TV and pizza. A fun-filled day :).
Good clean Indiana fun.
Today was church and then off to do group work/study for Josh. He is gearing up for a busy week.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Mexican Salsa and Beans

A few weeks back two of the Partners Club girls (one was from Mexico City and the other had spent significant time in Mexico) taught a class on Mexican cooking. WAY fun. Here are a couple of my favorite recipes:

Mild Salsa

Quick, easy, and CHEAP! I don't know why, but the idea of making my own salsa had always been intimidating to me. So I would buy fresh salsa at the grocery store for $4.99 for a small container. Not anymore! This is WAY easy...

2 (14.5 oz) cans stewed tomatoes
1/2 onion, diced
1 t minced garlic
1 lime, juiced
1 t salt
1/4 C canned diced green chiles
3 T chopped fresh cilantro

Put all ingredients into your blender and blend on low until you reach your desired consistency. You can add more of your favorite ingredients if you want. I added extra garlic, onion, and cilantro to mine. Makes for great salsa but killer bad breath. Brushing teeth after consuming is encouraged.

This recipe makes about the equivalent of 2.5 normal sized jars of salsa.

Charro Beans

I don't even like beans all that well, but I really like these. The picture doesn't do justice.

1 can Colorado beans (made by Goya, found in the Mexican section of the store)
1 T oil
1/2 to 1 chopped onion
1 chopped fresh tomato
1 serrano chile, finely chopped (You'll want to slit down the sides and take out the middle part with seeds, then chop fine, then wash your hands well. This type of chile is hotter than a jalapeno)
1 stem of cilantro, chopped
chicharron (pork rinds, optional)

Cook the onion in oil until it gets a little transparent, then add the tomato, chile, and chicharron. Cook for a few minutes and then add the beans. Cook for a few more minutes. I like to make my beans up a bit but that is optional. Then remove it from heat and add the cilantro. Can be served with chips.

This recipe makes enough for 2... I'd double it if I were feeding a family.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Random Pictures

Here are some shots from my weekend in GR...

Cute Miss Natalie playing with her birthday present from me (which you can't see) and Kara in the background. Sadly I missed getting a picture of Julie and Grayson, but you can find them here.
New running shoes for both of us!
Riles and me on the road.