Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Best and Worst

We're in St. Louis today!

Mike's worst - Budweiser tours were closed
Seeger's worst - driving around looking for swimsuits
Nick's worst - drove halfway through Missouri and still didn't get any kids suits
Natalie's worst - Seeger getting too sensitive to noises his brother makes
Mike's best - watching the boys in the arch
Seeger's best - arch!
Nick's best - arch!
Natalie's best - seeing the kids expressions while going to and up the arch

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Nicklas is 12!!

I already posted some photos of Nicklas celebrating his birthday with family over Thanksgiving. This was also the year for a birthday party (we alternate parties every other year). He wanted something low-key this year which seems to be the theme with 12 year olds. (Along with handmade birthday cards. I've never seen so many handmade birthday cards which is super cool.) His preference was outdoors at a park but I had to nix that idea because the weather in mid-November is pretty unpredictable. So instead we rented a basketball court at the local rec center and he invited his friends. I hear most the time was spent playing Knock-Out, the playground favorite.
I didn't actually get to go the party. It was held the weekend I had radioactive iodine therapy done on my thyroid. And since I was - well, radioactive - I couldn't be around people, especially young ones. I was sad to miss it but Nicklas and the rest of the crew had fun and that's what's important.
Anytime one of us in the family as a birthday, we get to pick a restaurant and go out to eat for dinner as a family. Nicklas has been wanting to go to Red Lobster for a long time - he's such a seafood lover - so that was his choice for his birthday dinner.

One quick story about his birthday party invites.... I created an e-vite asking everyone to help us celebrate Nick's 11th birthday. Right away, one of the mom's texted me: "Uh, isn't Nicklas turning 12?" And I thought to myself, no I have an 11-year-old!! Which is true - he IS 11 but he was turning 12. My brain couldn't process that - I HAVE A 12 YEAR OLD!! Fortunately, I was able to change the e-vite without any fuss. But I can't believe I HAVE A 12 YEAR OLD!!!!


After putting up the Christmas tree this year, Seeger asked if I would help him make some ornaments for him. I love that he's got the holiday spirit! I gave him a few choices of what kind of ornament to make and he decided to go with salt-dough cut outs.

Here we are mixing the dough. I had to tell him to take the sucker out of his mouth while cooking - even though we weren't eating the ornaments.

Rolling the dough....

Using our Christmas cookie cutters...

Can't forget the hole so that we can hang the ornaments!

Time to get out the paint. He had fun decorating them even though he looks a little goofy in this picture.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Top 10 Plans for the Weekend

1. Spend time with my mom.
2. Rock out the event that I'm putting on tomorrow. (It's in relation to Winter Commencement on campus.)
3. Shop at IKEA.
4. Make sugar cookies a la Sally's recipe.
5. Finishing making some homemade gifts that I've started.
6. Watch the IU vs. Butler basketball game.
7. Start wrapping Christmas presents.
8. Buy wrapping paper,
9. Finish grading finals and post final grades.
10. Prep mailing labels for holiday cards.

What are your plans??

November Recap

Our busy year continued in November. We started the month with a family date to the IU Auditorium to see Straight No Chaser. They're the one group that all four us enjoy watching together.

Tailgate 1 of the year was with many of our college friends. We had 30 people which was fun but it was FREEZING.

Luckily, we had a fire pit to keep us warm.

The boys were off of school for election day so I stayed home with them and also watched my friends son. We saw Wreck It Ralph and I took them with me to vote. The temps went from 35 degrees the Saturday of the tailgate to 55 degrees the Tuesday of election day. #IndianaWeather

Nicklas had a cello concert. He looks thrilled, doesn't he?

There's a sorta smile!

Our second tailgate of the month was much warmer. All the in-laws and some family from Michigan attended. We had a pinata for the kids.

The next day, we took on the big pancakes of the Village Deli.

We had a light dusting of snow - I was so excited! - but it disappeared within an hour.
The day before Thanksgiving, we headed to Lake George. It was also the day before Nick's birthday and I had asked him what he wanted for his birthday breakfast. He insisted that since we would be at Lake George, he wanted Tom's Donuts. Miraculously, Tom's was open when we pulled on to Lake George Road. The entire family was shocked that Tom's was open at 9pm on Wednesday in November. It was a birthday miracle.

Uncle Bill made us garbage can turkey.

Nicklas celebrated his birthday with the Gallogly's.

He also celebrated in Delphi with the Kubatski clan.

We were in Lafayette during the Old Oaken Bucket game but didn't attend. IU lost.

We have season tickets for the IU men's basketball this year so we went to several games.

I started decorating for the holidays. Nicklas didn't really want to help with the tree this year but Seeger was all about it.

I spent the last day of November with some friends. We went to see the Nutcracker at the MAC on campus. The holiday's aren't complete without the Nutcracker!


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Best and Worst

Seeger's worst - got in trouble after school
Mike's worst - have to clean tonight
Nick's worst - have to clean clean clean
Natalie's worst - worried about getting everything finished to get the house ready for the appraisal tomorrow
Seeger's best - having the greatest idea
Mike's best - tonight there is no place we have to be
Nick's best - no homework
Natalie's best - make your own pizza night

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

San Francisco - Part Deux

***YIKES! I started this post two weeks ago but never finished it!***
Well Blogger is being much better today so I can continue a recap of my amazing trip to San Francisco. So I left off on our bus tour. We're still driving along the beautiful streets of the City by the Bay. Here's a home we passed of someone cool. I just can't remember who? Maybe it was the granddaughter of the dude who created the Remington Gun Company. Or that might have been another house we passed. I can't remember. Regardless, the house was cool looking so I took a photo.

I also can't remember what this building is. Oops. It was starting to be a long tour.

That pesky fog meant no cool photo of the Transamerica Pyramid building.

Here is where we're entering Chinatown. I had already walked through it but my mom was excited to see it.

Love the lanterns!

Gee.... another famous building and I don't know what it is.

So the next few photos are of Lombard Street - the crookedest street. I REALLY wanted to see Lombard Street but this is as close as we got. I was bummed we were so far away and if I'd have had time, I would have walked to check it out. It was about 1.5 miles from my hotel. It's definitely going on my list to-do list the next time I'm in San Francisco. (The other thing I want to do is drive/walk up and down Filbert Street - the one of the steepest streets in the US.)

After our bus tour, my mom and I stayed in the Fisherman's Wharf area to do a bit of shopping and grab lunch. There were several restaurants built over the water.

The restaurant we chose had windows surrounding us - it was a great view. There was a sea lion swimming in the harbor and I would get so excited every time I saw it. (I can't say that I'm 100% sure it was a sea lion but it wasn't a dolphin and it had whiskers so it's my educated guess.)

On the way back to the hotel, I passed by the Cantina bar on Sutter Street.

The reason I took a photo is because Cantina is where I finally got to meet my internet friend, EH. I've been following her blog for years (and likewise) and I was excited we could finally meet for reals. She picked Cantina because it was close to my hotel. I loved their drinks that were made with premium liquors and all fresh fruit and veggies. My favorite was the Pisco Punch. Yum! (Incidentally, I think the Cantina has a drink that is on the list of 100 things to try in SF that EH is always talking about so I was excited about the venue. Actually she isn't ALWAYS talking about that list but she has mentioned it a few times.) Anyways, here's a photo from inside the bar that I took while I was waiting for Miss EH to show up. Unfortunately, I did NOT get an actual picture of us together but I totally will when she comes to visit me in Indiana so that we can go visit the World's Largest Ball of Paint.

The next morning, my mom and I visited Alcatraz. Here is a view of the Golden Gate bridge, from the ferry to the island.

And the SF skyline.

And now SEVERAL photos from Alcatraz.

Alcatraz is so interesting - but crowded. They only allow so many people on the ferry to the island but once you're on the island, you can stay as long as you want. The ferry leaves every 90 minutes or so. They offer an audio tour for free and I enjoyed that. You start the tour and the narrator tells you when to move on. But because it's so busy, it's really hard to get through the tour because everyone is standing around in large clumps, trying to get photos of everything. I ended up taking off the headphones and walking around on my own. My advice to anyone wanting to visit Alcatraz is to get tickets for the first ferry of the day. I imagine its the least crowded time of the day.

After Alcatraz, we grabbed a quick bite to eat before I had to head over to the convention center for work.

After the exhibit hall and my alumni reception, I enjoyed drinks with friends atop the Marriott Marquis hotel. This is a google image photo of the cool bar that overlooks the city. It was a great ending to a great trip.