Sunday, November 29, 2009

A recap of the last few days.....

Today finds me simply devastated on a level previously unknown to me.......but I simply refuse to talk about that at this time. Ultimately - the world is GROSSLY unfair, in more ways that even seems imagineable.

I do want to catch up on the joy of the holidays and some quality time between me and Nathan.

Tuesday afternoon my Grammy and Grampy came in to town. It was great to have them come to our house. The house is C-L-E-A-N since my primary job description seems to be CEO, CFO, manager and every other title you want of Stewart Household, Inc. We also have decorated for Christmas.....and this girl loves the holidays. In Greenwood it is no white Christmas.......but that is ok. It really has been warm-ish, but that is the way the weather is down here - what I consider "the south"......haha! As much as I hate to say it, being from the land which is still in the "lake-effect" area......they get NO snow here. What a different a three hour drive southward makes.

Tuesday I had white chili in the crockpot, but for whatever reason it wasn't quite "done" by the time we were getting ready for dinner. We had a negative experience at Papa Johns recently and they had sent us a free large two topping pizza to "apologize." We decided to "cash in" on that....and it was well worth it!

Grampy is doing awesome following his surgery....sure he still limps about a bit, and I am sure it is tender....but he seems to be on the mend. He doesn't use a cane or a walker or anything. He seemed back up to his normal, bad-boy self! Grampy and I went out for a bit and shopped around a little. Then Grammy and I also went to the mall for a bit. We looked around the mall, and enjoyed the Land's End part of the Sears! Grammy even treated me to a pair of shoes.....and they are COMFY!

Wednesday we shopped until we dropped. It involved a good deal of Starbucks! (In case you didn't know.....a gingerbread latte from Starbucks IS Christmas in a cup.........) We enjoyed dinner at the German American Club in Greenwood.....a totally fun German restaurant that is totally like driving 10 minutes, driving in to a park area....and then arriving in plane ride req'd. Then, we got to go over to Marty and Ken's and got to meet Marty's lovely parents (who had come in from Idaho for the holidays!) It was great company, conversation, and of course dessert!

Wednesday I made Thanksgiving preparations until what seemed like morning. I went to bed.....then got up and got food ready.......

We woke up on Thanksgiving morning and had chocolate cherry coffee cake (prepared from scratch, the previous evening - by me!) and watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. It is kind of goofy to say, but in some way, I felt very much life life was coming "full circle" as my grandparents enjoyed the Macy's parade in OUR living room. When I was a kid, Thanksgiving WAS watching the parade at grandma and grandpa's while Grammy slaved in the kitchen!

For lunch, we had a table fully set with my good china.....all of it. I insisted on serving everyone.......the only bad thing was that in the process of the hard work.....somehow everyone else ended up showered and in nicer clothes...while I worked in a junky pair of pjs, messy hair.....and my ancient glasses. I was far from a beauty queen, but the food was GOOD.

I prepared the following menu:

Sparkeling grape juice
Apple salad
Turkey breast with a "flavor" (also made by me!) under the skin
Mashed Potatoes and gravy
Stuffing - FROM SCRATCH......yes SCRATCH (feel free to be EXTREMELY impressed!)
Green Bean Casserole
Rolls (frozen, but baked and warm)
Pumpkin/cream cheese pie
Apple Cranberry Pie - with homemade crust

Yes, it was a TON of work.......Yes, it was 100% worth it. I let Grammy do very little.....goodness knows the lady has done more than her fair share over the many years. However, I did let her do a few of the bigger dishes that couldn't go in the dishwasher while I took a shower.

The funniest part of the day was when Nate and Grandma tried the dog treats I had gotten for the dogs......they thought it looked like human summer was not, and evidently did not taste like human. So, you may ask, what did Nate learn from this situation......don't listen to Grammy :) - this may lead you astray!

Friday and Saturday Nate and I enjoyed some of what Indiana has to offer. We spent Friday in Bloomington.....a fun drive and a cute downtown area. Saturday we packed ourselves and Hans up in the car and ventured to Turkey Run State park about an hour west of Indy.....almost in Illinois. We hiked....yes HIKED.....all three of us, for about three hours. This is remarkable for two reasons:

1.) Jen doesn't hike......I am lucky to even go outside half the time, I am not really what they call "outdoorsey."
2.) Hansy (the 17 pound DACHSHUND) dragged Nate and I around that park for three and a half hours. He had the greatest time EVER. I have had him for 8 years and I have never had that much fun with him or laughed that hard at him. He loved every minute of it.....and exhibited an amazing amount of energy and excitement for an 8 year old dog....(which is darn near 60 in human years.)

I think that is all for now............

Monday, November 23, 2009

A few more turns of the earth.....

Well, leave it to me to leave a few days worth of "life in the land of Jen" unaccounted for......

Perhaps you don't care, or maybe you do, but I am going to fill you in anyway!

On Saturday evening Nate and I went to the north side and joined Amber and Reese to go to Conner Prairie. We went to an evening program that Conner Prairie puts on called "Follow the North Star." It was am amazing "immersion" experience in which you get to "play/pretend" to be a fugitive slave in 1836. The actors/historians involved portray attitudes and people in Indiana in 1836. In one word, I would say it was "intense....." It was an experience I would recommend to anyone, but I would never want to do it again. And to think, I knew it was "pretend" and I could barely stand it.....for more people in our nations history than I would like to even think of, this was a true and real experience, but not with the knowledge that it wasn't real..... Let's just say that it was a great experience to have right before Thanksgiving...perhaps I will have a few more things to be thankful for this year...... (This is a program that Conner Prairie does annually, but no children under 12 are allowed at any time, and at the later evening programs, no one under 18 - in case that tells you what the content and experience are like).

Sunday Nate studied all day and I got to be "an elf" (you know, one of Santa's) and did some Christmas shopping. I took Hans with me in the car which led to an "evening of B-A-D dog!"

So while I was out and about I decided that I wanted some dinner (on another note, it is just not really fun to cook or make dinner just for myself, and Nate was at school). I had gone to Target and had gotten some food, including but not limited to a box of Mrs. Fields cookie ice cream sandwiches. After Target I had to run to Wal-Mart, and it is really my fault that I left Hans in the proximity of the ice cream sandwiches. I came out to find that he had gotten the box out of the bag, tore it open and ate one ice cream sandwich (you know, I am actually QUITE lucky it was only one, because the box contained 5 - but I was none to pleased with that little dog). In searching the car, I was very concerned that I could not find the plastic wrapper for the ice cream sandwich. I hoped he had not eaten it, because I just didn't see that feeling too nice, but I looked around the car and couldn't find it. About 30 minutes later I wiped my hands on my thighs and found the wrapper sticking to my butt! Haha! Whew - what a relief. He must have left it on my seat and I sat on it, since it was covered in vanilla ice cream it adhered nicely to my bum!

As I ate dinner, he wanted treats. I didn't really want to give him any. He had already eaten an ice cream sandwich, but those of you who know me know I am a sucker for that little dog. I went out in the kitchen and got him a few treats. I gave him a few, and left the rest of them sitting on the table. I took my plate to the sink and he polished off the rest of them......what a stinker, I am telling you!

However, as if he hadn't pressed quite enough of my "buttons" yet, then he did the worst thing of all. I came home and was cleaning. All of my cleaning supplies are underneath the kitchen sink, as is a small trash-can that we put the stuff we don't want Hansy to get in to. This weekend, I had made chicken could probably fill in most of the rest of this story yourself if you really test your brain.

It went like this:

I got out shower cleaner and went in to the bathroom to spray down the shower. In my stupidity I left the cabinet doors open. I came in to the kitchen to find him eating chicken wing bones! BAD NEWS PEOPLE, bad news. This above most other things, really can hurt dogs. Oh good grief. I gave him a "spanking" which I really don't do - EVER. Oh, I was SO MAD, you have no idea. I smacked his butt, I yelled, then I yelled some more - I was going to put him in his cage/pen to punish him - however, it was buried in the closet and seemed like too much work to "dig" it out. He went to the chair and looked like he had been beaten to within an inch of his life. I can assure you, this is not true, at all - but he KNEW he was in trouble. I got a slice of bread to give him (this can help cushion the bones, so they don't hurt their belly) and he wouldn't even take it. So I talked nicely and ripped it in to some pieces. That was well over 24 hours ago - and no worries, he is fine - but WOW, he was so BAD!!!!!

Also last night I cleaned the kitchen better than it has ever been cleaned. I swept, mopped, cleaned the counters (including taking everything off them), cleaned the coffee pot, scrubbed the sink.......did the dishes. Really, the whole she-bang!

Today I steam cleaned the carpets - mostly because I have needed to do it for a while, but also my mom owns a rug doctor, which I had borrowed - months ago......and I wanted to send it home with the g-rents when they leave.

So, that is really now. I hope this hasn't been boring. Goodness knows it hasn't been boring for me at all! I have been cleaning like a crazy-lady. I already have the house decorated for Christmas and even have the Christmas shopping done and the presents wrapped. You know, I think I am nothing if not prompt and on top of things!!!

Love to you all and Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Oh come on.....gag me with a stick......

Hello my dears........

Here is to hoping all of you are well on this Saturday afternoon!

Thursday night was an "interesting" and fun night! Haha,(btw......Amber, this post is mostly for your enjoyment :)

Let's rewind to a year ago for the purposes of this blog post. It has been exactly a year since I read (and at the time, enjoyed) the Twilight series. My mom had been in the dentist's office with Mike when she picked up a Newsweek magazine.....with a "dreamy" vampire on the front, talking about the upcoming movie "Twilight" based on a series of books. Since Mike's appointment was going to take quite some time, mom ran over to a store and picked up the first book in the series. This, even by itself, is kind of a "big deal"....just because my mom is not a big reader. But, leave it to a book series about vampires and werewolves to catch my mom's attention. Both Mike and my mom are big "vampire" know, they really like the Underworld movies and Blade...and my cute "baby brother" always says "vampires" and does his two fingers making "fang" marks in the side of his neck, but my absolute favorite part is when Mike says "vampire" it really sounds a lot more like "pen-pals" Nate and I always see something having to do with vampires and joke (lovingly, not mockingly" about "pen-pals." Although, sometimes with my luck I probably would get a pen pal that was a vampire......note to self, "do not get a pen-pal....."

So my mom was HOOKED on this series of novels. I began reading them, and really did (and do, to some extent) like them. The first one, I took me a while to get through it. The second and third ones I could NOT PUT DOWN, but I kind of want to note that I think it is just because they are suspenseful, not really the BEST books ever written. The fourth one, however, kind of annoyed me with the twist it took, and so......I don't know where I stand on them all the way.

While I was in the middle of reading them, my dear friend Amber, who also happens to be my hair stylist, and I had an appointment and I told her that she just HAD to read these books (please note...this was before I read the fourth, because as was stated in the last paragraph, I was none to pleased with the series after the fourth book.) So to sum it up, she read them.....and loved them, and at this point, we are finally drawn in to the present......

Amber asked me about a month ago if I wanted to go on opening night at midnight to see the movie for "New Moon" with her. Heck yes, I will will be fun and I felt some kind of "obligation" considering I was the one who "sold" her on them. Also, it was in the middle of a test block for Nate, so it was great for me to have something to do.

I drove to the north side (Amber's stomping ground) to go to the movie. I actually went up around 4:00....we had a fun evening! However, the movie I DID NOT LOVE!!!! What I did love was hanging out with Amber. I feel that for huge, die-hard fans of the book, they will love the movie. I thought it was a very good transition of book to movie.....but again, by this point I am just kind of "over" the whole Twilight craziness....

Let's just say, in my world (and Nate's) Twilight is no Harry Potter.....but it was fun, nonetheless.....

In a few words, Twilight = not awesome......but evening with Amber = AWESOME AND FUN!

disclaimer - this is only my opinion, please take no offenses, and clearly I am not a film or book hate vandalism on my house :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thankful for a good day!

Here we are, 1:22 am.........I am really not tired, which seems common these days, but perhaps it is my fault. I break almost all the rules that the "experts" tell you. No TV in the bedroom, ha, yeah right. No computer at least 2 hours before bedtime, well obviously I am breaking that one right now - so draw your own conclusions.

I am sure part of this is also the fact that I didn't get up until 10:00. This was partially by choice, and partially because I am just not a "morning" person. When Nate is at school, I would much rather sleep in. It just makes the time he is gone seem shorter. But somehow, today was an "odd" kind of day.

So around 10:00, I was waking up. But I got to thinking, "Well, I don't have anything I really HAVE to do until 5:15 tonight, so what's the rush.......Hansy is cuddly, lets just be lazy." So we watched some TV (in bed) and I just wasn't super motivated. But then at just about 12:00 noon, I imagined I heard knocking.

Please sit with me through my thought process....."Is the security system armed? Is someone trying to break in? Am I just imagining the knocking I am hearing (because at this point Hans was not barking)? Well who that valuable would be here? I think I will just ignore it. And then, I heard the pattern of the knocking, and that is the key my dear friends.....yes, there was a pattern.....and only one person I know and love does this.....MARTY!!!!!!!!! I jump out of bed, grab my robe, because yes, I was in underpants and a noon (you are entitled to judge a little, but please not a lot!)

Marty and Micah are here, with cookies, and a hug! Awesome, AWESOME! The house was a bit messy, Hansy was barking....the security system was armed and in my excitement I had not disarmed it, so it was going was BEDLAM, but great. We chatted a bit, Micah played with some things........Hansy and him shared some kisses. Then Marty invited me to go to Hobby response was "of course, that will require clothes and you not minding if I am not a beauty queen!"

I got home around 2:00, only then to realize that I had 100 things I wanted to do before a meeting I had to be at by 5:15......

The clock seemed in hyper-drive. It was mostly good.....considering most days it seems on "slow" mode, but it was a bit of a shock for it to go from "slow" to "hyper-drive" without "normal" somewhere in between.

The day had other things happen and they were good, but it isn't worth the detail of the earlier parts.......

Overall, I am glad for a good day. I am glad for good friends..... I am glad for Nate to start his round of exams so that we will be that much closer to done with the exams!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A day in the life......

The grass, as it turns out, is a little bit greener, but with strings attached:

For quite some time I have wanted to go to school with that hubby-of-mine and see what life as a med-student is actually like. Well, my dear friends, today was finally that day. That being said, it was actually a bit of a different type of day, since there were only three hours worth of lectures and the students have exams coming up at the end of this week.

For the first bit of fun, I need to tell you all about how excited I was about doing this. Last night I actually tried on like 10 outfits trying to decide the best thing to wear (ok, well 10 is stretching it a bit, but I did try on like three!) I was so excited that I had a hard time sleeping, although this proabably isn't that much of a surprise.

This morning we got up around 6:45 and left the house around 7:00. We made the drive to Indy and I even had to listen to a big of NPR (part of Nate's b-o-r-i-n-g routine). We arrived and I got to be there for three lectures, each an hour long.

The first lecture was an OBGYN lecture about fetal development and disorders/problems and their causes. I felt quite proud that I was able to follow along. I even found it quite interesting.

The second lecture was given by a Pediatrician about dealing with children as patients. The doctor talked about techniques and tricks for examining well as cooperating with the parents of young children to get their medical histories. This talk was QUITE easy to follow....I will admit by the end of this lecture, I was feeling mighty-fine about myself and my smartness - I mean come on, this is the second year of medical school, and me - an intelligent, but not medical or scientifically oriented person was following along just find and dandy, if I may say so myself.

And then, as I am feeling so uppity, it all came crashing down with the neurology lecture.......HOLY.CRAP.!!!!! Ok, so I think it was in another language, a language that only doctors and medical professionals understand. There were tons of medicines and big-medical words........

You may ask, what did I learn.....I learned a lot, and in the first two lectures things that I may acutally use/apply in my own life. However, the third lecture only taught me that I don't want to eat at Taco Bell, or really any fast food or restaurant for that matter. People with "potty-hands" probably have touched my food. I think that I may just want to live in a bubble.

I also think I may have been imagining some of the symptoms by the end of the lecture, crap.........

Monday, November 16, 2009

My sanity and the facebook correlation

Good evening my dear lovelies,

Here is hoping all of you are doing well. Me on the other hand, I have been better. I kind of hate to say that, but it is what it is......

No need to sound any alarms, but peace in the land of Jen does not seem to be on the schedule any time soon, but who knows, sometimes you are nicely surprised.

To save and hold on to my last, teeny-tiny bit of sanity and peace, I had to conduct a purge of facebook. To sum it up, I had accumulated about 150 "friends" on facebook. Don't get me wrong, it was fun.....the only problem, a little bit too much fun. The last thing I did in the evening was check facebook and my first thought of the guessed it - facebook. You know, I think I am nosy and curious, and you know the saying, "curiousity killed the cat." Well, perhaps a better statement would be "Facebook nearly put Jen in a mental hospital." But the thought of getting rid of it completely was kind of upsetting and devastating, because there are some people with whom facebook is my best and only means of communication. So I purged facebook down to about 30 or 40 people. The people whom I kept had a reason, and those whom I got rid of, I got rid of for a reason. Many of them because I just had no need to keep up-to-date on their daily happenings, and some just because I love them and would prefer to keep them closer than facebook, you know, like on that thing they call the phone?

So, I have felt much better, and it is not by coincidence that the people who were "kept" from the purge are "quieter" or something to that effect. I still check it off and on, but there are not nearly as many updates and a lot less reasons for me to freak out.

So I am working on getting my act back together. This week I have some odds and ends on the calendar, I will follow up later........

Monday, November 9, 2009

A few more IMPORTANT events of the weekend!

So this weekend I have returned loud and clear to the blog, and I am glad to be back...... I had a few more things to mention from the land of the Stewarts:

Friday night we got together with Rob and Rhonda who were also in town for the big race. It was Rob's first marathon and a few days earlier I had the gumption to tell him "You are going to do really great, or you are going to die......I am optimisitic that you are going to do great! Haha! (It turned out I was right, he did awesome...but details will follow in a few minutes). Nate had gone to school on Friday and had driven the Cobalt. When we wanted to meet downtown I drove to the campus (with the other car) and picked him up and then we went downtown together to meet Dad. We had a fun time and had some conversation and dinner. Then the best part happened, Nate and I left town (together in the second car) and FORGOT the Cobalt in the city......are you kidding.....and we totally didn't even realize it until we pulled in to our driveway and I uttered "Oh s**t! We left the Cobalt in the city....totally forgot it.....uh, duh!

Well that left me in a pooey mood for Saturday morning. Our plans had been to drive separately in the morning for the race. Nate was going to go in to town quite a bit earlier than me and then I was going to go in to town later. Unfortunately, now we only had one car. So, we had to get up at 6:00 in the morning and I had to ride to town with Nate, then I drove home, then I got changed and turned around and came BACK to the city. So by 8:00 am I had been to the city, back home, and back to the city.....see the "Princess and the dork" blog for that story, which ended up awesome.

Not mentioned in the previous blog is Dad's story on the marathon......he did fantastic! He finished the 26.2 miles in just less than 4 hours.......WOW, for an old man I would say that is pretty impressive.....just kidding (not about the impressive part, but about the old man part :). Nate also was a hero of the day when he helped an older lady who fell......I got all sick because there was blood involved, but Nate did awesome (I think this pin-points the reason why he is in medical school and I am not!)

Momzie (our cute nick-name for Nate's dear mom) arrived to our house about 5 minutes before I got home. We played around all afternoon (mostly her and me!) We went out and about shopping and being "girly-girls"....especially fun for a mom of two boys! We went to DSW Shoe Warehouse and tried on all the shoes (maybe not all, but a LOT!) We went to Bed, Bath and Beyond and used the coupons they send me in the mail all the time. We went to Kohls, but didn't find a single good item! We also went to Half-Price Books and looked for crochet books for mom's amazing talent and budding business! I made dinner and then we just chatted until darn near midnight. Poor Nathan was tired and fell asleep in the living room by about 10:00. Mom and I did some more "girly" spa things that I keep at the house. We did a hand-treatment and foot treatment, and went to bed feeling relaxed and refreshed!

Sunday we ended up having a bit of a lazy-type day. We were bad and didn't get to church due to mom staying around until around 10:00, past the service we normally go to. We did a bit of leg-work for a food drive Nate is in charge of at the school for one of his student interest groups. We watched the episode of "White Collar" (our new guilty-pleasure) that we missed on Friday night!

Nate treated me to a "spa night" at home.....gosh I am one lucky lady to have such a great husband! And I love spas, so I know all about good spa service, and this one was the best one I have ever been to! So with my professional opinion, I give "Spa Stewart" 5 stars!

Signing off for now-

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Alphabetical seating= Winquist and Williams

Eric and Mark at our wedding....Eric is the blond boy in the striped shirt and Mark has an AWESOME look on his face......
For the purpose of this particular blog, I need to take you back to a long time ago at Heritage Middle School on the first day of 8th grade. I entered a classroom for a class having something to do with "Life Skills." Around 10 years later I remember only two things from that class:

1.) We had an assignment that attempted to teach us how to keep a checkbook ledger, and I did a very poor job on it.......I was crushed when I got a bad grade

More importantly is point 2-----
2.) The seating chart for this class was based on alphabetical order by last maiden name being Winquist and to my right was a new boy named.......ERIC WILLIAMS

At this point I just remember trying to make some random conversation. I think I was probably trying to work the kinks out of my newfound love of flirting, and this boy did not receive it well. I think to try to pinpoint my thoughts about him at that time I would have thought "hmmmmm.....he is kind of awkward to talk to......." Also, at some point I was talking to him and he told me, "I'm going to Iceland." Huh? I think that I thought he was even worse at flirting than me. I was surprised when I arrived at school a few days later to find him missing.....yes, he actually had gone to Iceland......and to make matters worse he didn't even fall for my girlish charms. So this is what I remember about him from a LONG time ago.

I remember him from high school, just as a funny aquaintance and someone who was fun to talk to. In all honesty had our story ended there in May of 2004 I may have not thought much about him ever again.....perhaps when I found facebook 4 years later our paths may have crossed again, but I am quite glad to inform that this is not how the story ends.

Eric also came with Nate and myself to Manchester College. We really didn't know many people at all who were at Manchester, so we became friends. He lived in the same dorm I started out in and we used to have lunch together sometimes. Also, his funny cousin from Missouri was his roommate and the awesome Mark Moon became our friend. Mark went on to date and marry Wendi, thus cementing our lifelong friendship (hopefully!)

We got to know a lot of the extended Williams/Moon family and love them all. Also worth noting is the fact that Eric moved to the north side of Indianapolis around the same time we moved to the south side. Sometimes the world is small and Eric actually works with my friend Robyn's husband.

Yesterday downtown Indy for the race, Eric was kind enough to meet me and Hansy to provide some company and hang out a bit. Eric is such a funny guy!

So Eric, thanks for the conversation and laughs.....thanks for listening to the crazy! We are glad to have you for a friend......and one of our longest-lasting ones! And that is saying a lot cause Nate and I are picky people..........even more importantly, Hansy likes you, so we shall keep you around!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The princess and the dork.....

A long, long time ago in a land far, far away from the land of the Green Wood a young dorky boy loved to run. He met a beautiful princess and they built a life together.

The princess had a noble steed called Hans who was the dorky boy's biggest fan......he came to the races and wore a cute little gold scarf with green letters spelling out his biggest dreams...."Go Nate." The princess and the steed used to travel around and see the boy run like the wind......

Fast forward 5 years and the boy stills loves to run, but he lacks the time and teamwork keeping him on goal. However, he buckled down and made the plans to run 13.1 miles, the half marathon, in the mythical city of Indianapolis.

The princess was a big kerplunked about the boy running in this crazy race. What kind of a reasonable person wants to run 13.1 miles.....come on, that is what they made cars for!

She had to go to the city, which she often times dreads like the plague....and to make matters worse, she had to go to the city by herself, with only the noble steed to accompany her. I mean, even after all these years the boy MUST have his "fan team" even if the look a bit worse for the ware.

After looking in the closet, the princess found the magical scarf. The princess also made herself a shirt that was green with gold letters spelling out the same great dream...."Go Nate."

The boy ran the whole 13.1 miles like the wind. In a race of approximately 3,000 people he came in 91st overall and 8th in his age group. He ran the race in 1:31 (a little bit less than 7 minutes a mile).....not too darn shabby if the author may say so herself!

The fan team loved the boy more than ever before and they lived happily ever after. If just goes to show that even if the princess grumbles for poor reasons, she may have a good time.

It was fun to see the boy run in all his glory again! Oh the days of cross country, young love and small towns!