Friday, February 5, 2010

is this thing on?? (December happened - second round)

So I had this entire blog written about 2 weeks ago. And my computer decided to give up on me when I was just about to post... good times. Here it is - what I remember anyway!

Hanukkah Happened:
This was my first official Hanukkah. So much fun on those 8 Crazy Nights! Marc and I celebrated on our own for the first few nights and I worked on the prayers. I am proud to say that I am pretty good at them by now. And yes, I read them in Hebrew! :) Marc's parents, Joe and Linda, joined us from Chicago for the last 4 nights. They came not only to help us celebrate but to watch Aden while his daycare was closed for the holidays. We had a ton of fun with them. Aden got lots of Chick-fil-a and many trips to the mall with Grandma and Zaide!

The Night Before Christmas Eve Happened:
Marc and I decided to head to Greenwood to celebrate some good news at the Cheesecake Factory... and my Dad and Shelley joined us! We ate and laughed and had a jolly time. Since we weren't going to see them for Christmas, it was good to see them at least a couple days before.
Got home late that night and went to bed - only to get a phone call at 1am from our friend Erin. She was finally in labor with their second son! So we headed over to spend the night there and take care of big brother Sal in the morning. Sal was SOOOO excited to see us at the house... he knew exactly what it meant to see Marc and I - a baby brother was coming home! In our hustle to get everyone out the door on time that morning, Marc fell down the entire flight of stairs at the Lavelle house - OUCH!

Christmas Happened:
My Mom and the Canadian crew came on down for Christmas. We had a really great time with everyone. Cassy was home from college, Elyse was glad to have a break from school and Mom and Martin were glad to have a break from Canada! :) We went totally untraditional for Christmas Eve dinner having a taco bar with all homemade ingredients. It was so good. On Christmas Day we were all slow pokes... we made MonkeyBread from scratch as a family (that was interesting!), we ate breakfast, Marc and I went to visit Erin and new baby Dario at the hospital to say hello (I was the first friend to hold the baby! YAY!), and then we came home to open gifts... at like 1pm! We all got some great things - I loved everything that I got - how could I not? New Coach bag (that was actually for Hanukkah), clothes, books and new cookbooks, slippers, trips and a gorgeous diamond and sapphire necklace from Marc. My Mom and Martin bought us Rock Band... we created a legendary band called Hark. (We are waiting from the call from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for our induction... if ABBA can get in there, so can Hark!) We were very sad when some of our members were deported back to Canada... please come back!

New Year's Eve Happened:
We had Aden with us for NYE. We really wanted to see how long he would stay awake... we knew that he wouldn't make it to midnight, but he probably would make it to at least 10:30 and he did! (he had plenty of practice when we were at Grandma Linda and Zaide's for Thanksgiving) So even though Aden really digs on Ryan Seacrest, he said Happy New Year a tad early and put him to bed! Marc and I opened a bottle of champagne and drank it from our engraved glasses we got for our prom in 1996 - it just seemed appropriate. :) So midnight hit, we kissed our great big kisses and we texted our well wishes to those we cared to text. Looking forward to a fabulous 2010... (so far, it's been great!)

New Year's Day Happened:
There is a lot to celebrate in a short 24 hours each year for us... NYE, my Dad and Shelley's wedding anniversary, Dad's birthday and just a fresh slate for everyone with the ringing in of the new year!
I went up to Indy to join my Dad and Shelley for his birthday celebration - we went to Maggiano's and it was delicious! Marc and Aden had to stay home. Next time boys...
We just hung out at the house the next morning and I played on Shelley's new Kindle. (if I read faster, I would totally want one!) I went back to Bloomington mid-afternoon and Marc and I headed to French Lick to celebrate the new year on our own...

So that was December 2009. We made some fabulous memories that will be cherished forever. Here's to a great 2010!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Some things never change...

Top Ten Reasons Why I had an Amazing Week:
10 - we got out of work early on Wednesday - thanks TMP
9 - i am back in Buffalo Grove after 16 years - and some things have not changed a bit
8 - i was introduced to a mexican food establishment that puts Moe's salsa bar to shame
7 - our thanksgiving dinner was super casual and we had a great time cooking whatever we wanted
6 - i got to do a little shopping on black friday - and i didn't pay for any of it
5 - i didn't get squirted once with a red lobster at bath time - that was Grandma Linda's job
4 - i got to have apple pancakes tonight at Walker Bros tonight
3 - my wonderful boyfriend and his family welcomed me with open arms into their home - thank you so much...
2 - i have a great family
1 - i am very much loved and very very happy - and that is all i have ever asked for...

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. May you be thankful for your life everyday and not just on the last Thursday of November.
Much love to you and yours...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

You Bet I Love Music!

I have this list of bands and artists that I would pay ridiculous amounts of money to see if they came even close to where I am. Some of them are not with in reach anymore for one reason or another (dead band members, broken up and there is like ONE original member, etc.), but if I could, I would! Here is that list:

- The Beatles
- Prince
- Led Zeppelin
- Madonna (maybe not now...)
- The Cardigans
- Stevie Ray Vaughn
- Morphine
- Coldplay
- Cream
- The Foo Fighters
- Jeff Buckley
- Genesis
- Pantera

I know there are more, but that is a good list for now...

I also decided that I would sit and think of all of the bands that I have seen live in my lifetime. 2007 was a HUGE music year for me - in fact, I think I went to a show almost every month! This really is not a very exciting blog - I will admit that first hand - but I just wanted to see if I could list them :) Enjoy... and no comments... well, comment if there is a band I have seen that is not on the list! haha!

- Alice in Chains
- The Allman Brothers (twice)
- Barenaked Ladies (twice)
- Ben Folds (twice)
- Ben Folds Five
- Bio-Ritmo
- The Black Crowes
- Brandi Carlile
- Cake (twice)
- Cowboy Mouth (three times)
- Cracker
- Dave Matthews Band (four times)
- Derek Trucks Band (twice)
- Edwyn Collins
- Evan and Jaron
- Everclear
- Family Force Five (holla!)
- Fiction Plane
- The Freddy Jones Band
- Guster
- Hank Williams, JR (first concert ever!)
- The Hives
- Indigo Girls
- Ingrid Michaelson
- John Mayer
- Jump Little Children
- Kid Rock
- Korn
- Lady Ga-Ga (I can laugh at this now...)
- Live
- Machinehead
- Mat Kearney
- Maroon 5
- Matchbox Twenty
- Matthew Sweet
- Metallica (twice)
- Motley Crue (twice)
- Natasha Bedingfield
- New Kids on the Block
- OutKast
- The Police
- Rage Against the Machine
- Ray LaMontagne (twice)
- Sherwood
- Sister Hazel
- Steve Windwood
- System of a Down
- Third Eye Blind
- Three Doors Down
- Tom Petty
- Train - well - I met them - does that count?!
- The Wallflowers
- Weezer
- Will Hoge (will be twice on 11/21!)
- The Woo-Tang Clan (yes and I am still alive!)

I cannot tell you how many local bands I have seen - it would be insane! So that is the list - I know that I am leaving some off - but hey - that is a pretty damn good list!

Keep on rockin,

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Messin' With Texas - October 2009

We messed with Texas and it was fun! Here is a recap of our trip...

We flew out on Friday night from Indianapolis to Houston to San Antonio. I think that I saw one of my good friends from high school in the Houston airport. We stared at each other and neither of us said anything. Oh well. I will just assume it was her! So, Nicole Crecenzi - if you were in the Houston airport on 10/9, yes, that was me...

Late night to San Antonio - our 33 minute flight from Houston ended up taking like an hour and a half - bad weather. We finally got to the hotel and got settled and honestly I don't even remember what we did! I think that we walked the Riverwalk. hmmmm - it was late!

Saturday was fun - we ate at a 24 hour Mexican restaurant for brunch - Marc had breakfast, I had lunch. :) We walked the Riverwalk and all over. San Antonio is a really simple and fun town to get around. The mass transit system is easy, fairly cheap and the people are nice. Especially if you act like you need directions - which is basically what we needed for the week! We walked everywhere - I think that we probably walked over 20 miles by the end of our trip and that is NOT an exaggeration! We went to the International Accordion Festival on Saturday in a little arts village called La Villita. This is where Marc found the brisket taco and he claims that it was the best thing he ever ate (well... until we went to DeWese's on Tuesday!)

We decided on some hearty steak like food for dinner - went to the Texas Cattle and Beef Company (something like that...) and had LOTS of good food. This is my pose on a tree stump/bench thingy outside the restaurant:

Our waitress, Evelyn, was awesome. I have never had anyone in a restaurant tell me where other really good places to eat and drink were! She even told us where she lived and why she liked it there. I wish we had a photo with her...
There were like 7 weddings that we saw that day and evening. It was insane. Our alter-egos, Harvey and Michelle, signed a guest book for one wedding at our hotel. I bet they will always wonder where the gift is.

Sunday was chalk full of rain, cold, tourism and artsy photography of everything. We saw the Alamo and snuck in the back door - we again signed the guest book - this time in our real names since after all, that is a historical document! :)

Marc and I did sooooo many things on Saturday and Sunday... we did lots of shopping, rain dodging, eating and drinking. We walked around the King William Historical district and ate at Rosarios where we had an appetizer who's name roughly translates into "flaming cheese with spicy pork" - it was amazing! We went to the Marketplace on the other side of town and found the most amazing bakery called Mi Tierra. Of course was part of a restaurant on one side and a bar on the other (Thank you Mariachi Bar for your delicious margaritas on Monday night). Here are several photos to enjoy of random things such as us on the Riverwalk, El Día de los Muertos flower halos modeled by yours truly and Mi Tierra:
Monday we rented a car and drove to Austin. We were told that we couldn't drive the car out of state... but she never said out of the country... We seriously considered driving to Mexico for the day since it was only a couple hours away - but we didn't have our passports (foiled again!) Austin had amazing food too! (are you getting the picture that we ate A LOT!?) We decided that this trip we were going to basically just ask for recommendations of the local folk of where to eat and drink. It served us very well... This is Guero's Taco Bar. Marc made up his own concoction and the server was so excited about it that he said he was going to make one for himself later... we are wondering if the made it a permanent menu item.

This is Austin, folks...
So since Austin is really a town to enjoy the nightlife and we got there at 11am, we walked around, shopped a little more (those of you who know me would be VERY proud to know that I didn't purchase the Coach bag I found while shopping...), and then we headed back to San Antonio.

Our evening was filled with MANY margaritas and frozen lime tossing into the River. No people or ducks were injured.

Tuesday was more eating... Marc and I really like watching Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on the Food Network. We had done extensive research on all of the places featured on the show that were within our range of public transportation in San Antonio. We found DeWese's Tip Top Cafe. Known for their onion rings, enchiladas and chicken fried steak, we knew this was a place that our clogged arteries could call home. And we were right... This seriously was some of the most incredible food that has ever passed my lips (sorry mom!). I got many comments on my facebook page once I posted the onion ring photos. You all were jealous I know!

We did a really good deed on our gluttonous vacation... well, you see how much food was on our table? We tried to eat all of it - but that my friends, was impossible. So, we packed the left overs up and gave them to a less fortunate individual who looked VERY hungry... and he was thrilled. He started chowing down immediately. We did the same thing with dinner that night - we just couldn't eat all of it. So we gave that away too. Funny thing is that we gave it to a guy that we could see from our hotel window (no mom, we didn't stay in the ghetto...) and we watched him eat it - well, after he walked down the sidewalk and threw his pee bucket into the street - but that is a different story... very satisfying. (the food giving, not the pee!)

Wednesday, we had to come home. But it is always nice to come home. We had a really great time and came home with many reminders of our wonderful trip to Texas!
Join us for our next adventure :)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Good morning Joan...

"Good morning Joan,
Now pick up your phone.
It was bad, but just a dream.
And you are remembered."
- The Cardigans

I decided today when I got out of the shower at 11:30 this morning that I was turning over a new leaf in my life. I am no longer going to put up with the crap that is flung my way. No more crap is the new mantra. No more crap... no more crap.... no more crap! (do you see the small little protesters inside my brain chanting this? I do!)

I have had a very nice life in the short 31 years I have resided on this planet. There have been times that were better than others, but for the most part, I shouldn't complain. But I have. And I am not doing that anymore either... cause it's crappy. And what is the mantra boys and girls? That's right Timmy, no more crap!

Good things are going on in my life and I really want to focus on them. The good things in life deserve our attention more than the bad things do. Because the more attention you give the bad things, the worse they get and unless you are a superhero, they are way too hard to solve. For a really long time I focused on things that I thought were bareable but not so great... then I saw how unhappy I was and I tried to change the bad situation with (worse) choices that I thought would make things bareable again - along with trying to change myself, I was trying to change a whole other person. I thought that by pushing the things that I felt were really wrong under the rug that I could mend everything... but I learned that you cannot change things that are already embedded in someone. It really wasn't fair to anyone involved and it was no one's fault in the end... But I swear that I will never put anyone through that again. And I am so sorry that I made life so miserable for such a long while. I meant no harm, but I am positive that everyone involved is WAY better off... So I am becoming the superhero in my own right and paying more attention to the good things in life.

I want to be remembered for the things that I do that are right. And not the pain that I may cause unintentionally. But honestly I really haven't done anything wrong... I am proud of what I have accomplished in life. I am proud of who I am becoming as a woman, a friend, a mentor, a lover and a person in general. I am super excited about my life, the door of happiness is wide open and I am really one of the luckiest girls I know...

So, good morning Joan. Thanks for picking up your phone. It was bad, but now I feel as if life was a dream... and I will be remembered.

Love, Peace and Pineapples,


Friday, September 4, 2009

New at this...(alternative working title - Tom Petty sure is ugly)

so this is my first blog attempt. it won't be fancy i can promise you that. its late here in bloomington and i am not sure that i really have a lot to say this evening. things in this blog won't be capitalized and the punctuation probably wont be correct in this... it might be in a couple spots if you are lucky. :) i am really not one to conform to the basic rules of grammar even though i do have a minor in english!

i guess i can tell you a little more about me tonight. i am 31 and i have enjoyed living my life thus far. i am an only child biologically... i do have 2 stepsisters who are 18 and 10. i have dated three boys in my life - one of them i have dated twice. i was married to a wonderful guy for over a year even though we dated for over 11 years. (that is another story for another blog!) i am now an official divorcee. i have a job that is deadline oriented and i am very good at it. the best part of that is that i am a total procrastinator and i am very good at that too... i went to a really big university and i wouldnt trade it for anything in the world. i am allergic to cats and i like big dogs as opposed to little ones. i am shorter than pretty much anyone else i know and most people think that its cute. but kinda like kermit once said, it aint easy being green... or short.

i love music and movies. i like to read. i love college sports - football in particular. i like to eat good food and i love to travel.

in my new life i have started here in bloomington, i am going to enjoy all of the above. i am excited for this adventure and i am happy to take you along!

adios for now... it's time for bed! - if you are wondering where the tom petty reference came from... that would be from the guy sitting on the couch next to me and the tom petty video we were watching. "tom petty sure is ugly." and that is that.