Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Here's our video of Christmas morning. We decided that instead of going out and buying a bunch of new toys, we would just wrap a bunch of toys that Norah already has. It was just as fun as if we'd gone on a huge shopping trip! Anyway, here's the video.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Visitors!

So, we recently had a few visitors come and spend some time with us. Jay, Wendy and Sarah came down for the weekend, and I must say, I was absolutely trembling with excitement about their pending visit.

On their way here, I kept looking at the clock hoping that they were driving through some kind of time warp and would get here in a half an hour or so. But, they took the normal amount of time. Branden managed to beat them here by a few minutes, and we got to hang out with him for a few minutes before Sarah, Jay, and Wendy arrived.

When they got here and I was in such a rush to get down to see them that I left without my cell phone, my keys, or my shoes. Oops. So, I barred the door with a newspaper, and ran out on the frozen ground in my stocking feet to hug Sarah and Wendy. They went inside to tell Rachel and Branden that I would be helping Jay park his car. (Fortunately he had another pair of shoes in the trunk.)

So, we unloaded, and had a big sleep over. The next morning, I had a few friends from U of C stop by and we made crepes. (It's becoming one of my favorite morning meals.) After a slow breakfast, we left for a day on the town. We saw as much of Downtown as we could, but ended up missing most of it. But we did get to see the Bean and the Cultural Center, and the Marshal Fields Building, as well as the tree in Daley Plaza and a few other things.

The reason we didn't get to see a ton was because while Rachel showed Wendy and Sarah around the cultural center and Marshal Fields, Jay, Branden and I were catching a train to the North Side where we stopped at the Double Door and picked up tickets to an Over the Rhine Concert! It was a surprise for Rachel so we had to do it all ninja-like.

We got back, ate lunch and walked around a bit more. Then, we caught a bus back home, made some stir fry, and then Annette came over to watch Norah while we all left for the concert.

It was simply amazing.

I love this band so much, and I never remember how good they are in concert until I'm standing in some old beat up old dive bar watching them play. Karin's voice is pitch perfect, and Linford's song writing is constantly changing. This isn't one of those bands where you go and hear the same stuff over and over. I say their folksy, but really they're whatever they want to be that night. They play folk-type music, and then they play some jazzy songs and some punchy songs. They never rock out, and they never get into any rap, but they walk dangerously close to Reagee at times. They're just an amazing band.

Then, we came back home and crashed. I got up in time to play at church on Sunday, and then we went to Campus for a blitzkrieg tour through Hyde Park followed by lunch at Medici's. (I wrote on the table.)

They left, and Rachel and I came home and crashed. We woke up from our respective naps in time to head over to Annette's house for pizza and The Muppets Christmas. (Which Norah loved.)

So, you can bet we had an amazing weekend. BUT WAIT!!!! THERE'S MORE!!!

Just when you thought it couldn't get any better, Ben and Annie Wershing came over for a visit on Monday! When they arrived on Monday, they were exhausted (and so was I) so we basically just hung out and caught up. Then, on Tuesday I walked them around campus (and even showed them the Oriental Institute... because Rachel wasn't there.) And then we ate lunch at Hogwarts... er I mean Subway.

We went back home hoping to get downtown to catch some of the free museums, but by the time we were halfway home, Norah was pretty much completely covered in snow. She didn't seem to mind, which was wierd, but we decided it would be best to not expose her to hypothermia this early in the winter. So, we came home and I made pizza and we hung out the rest of the night.

Ben and Annie bought us this great new game called Last Word which we played about fourteen hundred times this weekend. (And I won ever time. Not really.)

Then, on Wednesday, we went downtown. We saw a lot of stuff down there, and even managed to get up to the Signature Room (at the 95th floor of the Hancock building) for lunch! Before you say "Whoa! You guys are loaded!" Keep in mind that lunch at the signature room is about 27.00 per couple, tip included. If we went to the observation deck of the Hancock... it would cost us 24.00 per person. So, we basically got a kick-awesome view, and lunch for the same price as just the kick-awesome view. Yeah, we milked it.

Then, we went back down to the street level, took a bus to Old Navy, and walked past the Sears tower to Union Station, where we caught another bus home. We were pretty bushed when we got home so we ate some pizza and played Last Word and Skip Bo until Amy Garrington came over. She had to pick up a friend at Midway and just stopped by for a little while before leaving. It was really nice to see her, even if I was stupid enough to not offer her any ice cream. (Sorry... those new fun cards threw me totally off.)

We hit the sack pretty early, and I just got back from dropping Ben and Annie off at the Green Line before coming home. So, now I'm going to sleep for the next forty hours or so until my Brother and Sister-in-law stop over for the night on their way to Cleveland!!!! I LOVE IT!!!!!

This has been the best week in a LONG time. I can't wait to see Tim and Marisa and Bailey...

The pictures are all on my camera still. I'll post a link once I've put them up on Flickr.

Saturday, December 06, 2008


I know, it's been forever. I'm sorry. Please, stop looking at me that way.

A lot has happened since my last post, and I'm not going to do it all justice, so here's a link to photos from most of it. (I forgot to post up the Malone Thanksgiving pictures, and I'm sad about that. I'll do it soon and post a link when I do. A special thank you to everyone who contributed to fly Rachel and I out to Canton and then drove us all around. You guys are seriously amazing. I can't believe what good friends I have. I'm not going to do my gratitude justice by talking about it, but you all know how grateful I am.)

Anyway, because Rachel posted on ThanXmas at the McCowins, I'll leave her blog and the pictures to talk about it. Suffice it to say, as always, I enjoyed my time with Rachel's family. It really is fun getting to mix about with all those kids, and I never get sick of making robot noises.

After celebrating Norah's birthday in Canton, and again in Beaver Falls, we decided to celebrate at home on Norah's actual birthday as well. Before I get into it, let me start by saying that I've always thought it was pointless to sit around baking some elaborately decorated super awesome cake for a one-year-old baby who can't tell a slice of Castle Grayskull from a dried up toenail stuck in the carpet.

Instead of doing that, I left school early on Wednesday, came home and spent all day baking a cake, making eight cups of frosting, coloring different portions of the frosting, and elaborately decorating a super awesome Dora the Explorer cake. I guess things change when you finally have one of those little buggers...

Here are some pictures:

Here's a close up of the cake. It's no Castle Grayskull, but I still think it was pretty sweet.

Clearly, Norah is super freaking excited to eat the cake I spent all day baking and decorating.

The beginning...

The middle...

The end.

Yeah. that was good.

Okay, so Norah didn't seem to care if it was a bowl of rice or a super awesome cake. But I had fun making it.

The day after Norah's birthday, Rachel and I decided to decorate the apartment for Christmas. Now, our Christmas decorations amount to a ton of crap to put on a tree, and a six inch snow man figurine or something. So, there's not a ton in the apartment now, but once we get that tree up, it'll be awesome. Expect more pictures later.

Though we didn't change the feel a bunch with Christmas Decorations, we did move the furniture around and HOLY COW! It's like we have a new apartment. I don't know what we were thinking with our old layout.

Here's the old layout that some big stupid dummy head came up with.

And here's the new layout that Rachel came up with:
Yeah, we totally have room for a Transformers Vs. Deceptagons wrestling match in there now.

That's pretty much everything. (Oh, my first quarter of gradschool is over in a week. That's cool.) To close, I'll post some of my favorites from the pictures I just uploaded to Flickr for all of you who don't have the thirteen days it takes to look at pictures on Flickr.

I just liked the lighting on this one.

Here's our new place for the wine butler. Norah's excited about it.

Oh yeah! Norah's riding facing front now! It was a blast to change the seat, she really enjoys looking forward instead of at the back of the seat like she used to.

Here's a shot of my bald spot hanging out with my nephew Caleb.


I'm not all about princess stuff... but this could persuade me.

Here's Norah's cousin Emmet (probably the sweetest human being alive) giving Norah a kiss on the cheek.

Quickly followed by Norah looking very excited.

And then, well I guess she doesn't know quite how she feels.

Here she is playing in a laundry basket with her cousin Ellie.

And here she is trying to stare her down.

And what would ThanXmas be without everyone getting in the tub together? I'm pretty sure Norah's unlces and I will do this the next time we get together for a holiday. I can't wait. I'm totally packing a duck.

And finally, some pictures I took of campus the day after a pretty snow:




That last one is Swift Hall, where most of my classes are.

Okay. That's enough for now. I have to go buy a Christmas Tree!!!!!!