Saturday, December 30, 2006

Holiday Update...

Christmas was fun and not very stressful this year. Actually, I really loved the way we did Christmas this year. We started on Christmas Eve Eve (if you don't count the Christmas we did for my dad before he left for Texas!). Steve and I joined my sisters and brother-in-law and cousin at my parents' house. Susie made her lasagna (which I still want the recipe for her homemade sauce!) while my mom made everyone feel at home. She made Christmas cookies and lots of tea. We had dinner, then opened presents. The Livingstons came over too for dessert and more gifts. I'm still not sure how we fit everyone into the living room for gift opening, but it worked and it was fun! Then, Susie and Peter organized a family outing to Cubbie Bear North to see Pat McCurdy play. I think the highlight of the night was my mom singing and dancing to Sex and Beer. Of course Connie gave it a good run for the money by wearing granny panties outside of her jeans.

To balance out the 2 a.m. night with the Watts/Nustras, we had a very adult Christmas Eve. Actually, I prefer to call it the Moms Christmas Eve. During the day we went to Steve's Dad's house to celebrate with him, Anne, and the Mortensens. Shane was awesome. He opened a video game gift from Papa and Grandma Anne saying "I knew I wanted this for my whole life!" He was so excited about opening presents he was practically floating when Steve and I finally got there. After the Barrett Family Christmas, we headed back home for a quick nap before the Moms Christmas Eve. We had dinner reservations for Steve, me, Kathy B. and Sue W. at Franscescas in West Dundee. It was so nice to sit in a nice restaurant and enjoy just talking and eating with our Moms. This is a tradition I could see keeping in the future!

Christmas morning was very nice at the Barrett Family House. We woke up leisurely (well, as leisurely as Breyer would let us!). We had a nice Christmas lunch of Macaroni and Cheese and frozen pizza. While this may not seem like a big deal, this was the first time in about 4 years that either of us had these foods. I was pretty excited! We then headed out to McHenry to celebrate with the Unger Family. Steve and I got there first (which is pretty unusual since we are usually traveling around to lots of places) so we got a tour of the Carlson's new house (the location for Christmas 2007). It was great time in McHenry. We played lots of games (it turns out that I am not so good at Charades, thank goodness Vita is awesome!). It was just nice to hangout with everyone.

Of course, the holiday season is not complete without a little disappointment. Our disappointments were missing The Reilley Family Christmas and not seeing my Dad since he was in Texas with his mom and sister. However, as far as disappointments go, I think we got off lucky!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Why there are no pictures

For me, the whole reason blogs are fun is because I can post pictures and "show" everyone what's going on in our lives. However, my digital camera is currently "sick." I can't get any of the photos off of it. I've tried using the card reader, I've tried plugging the camera into the computer with the USB cable. Nothing seems to work. I'm a little concerned that something has been corrupted. While we were in Nashville, the camera acted goofy when I tried downloading some of the pics. A few of them were then corrupted and wouldn't open. Ever since then, I haven't been able to download anything like normal. Steve is trying to figure it out for me. Hopefully he'll be able to get it fixed. I'm feeling very empty without my camera. Today, I hosted Beth's baby shower and I didn't take any pictures because I didn't have my camera. In fact, no one had a camera, so there are no pictures of the shower today. That makes me sad.

Anywho, as soon as I have a working digital camera again, there will be photos on the blog again!


Just a quick update on my Memere. Memere is my Dad's mom (the name is French for grandmother). She lives in Bullard, Texas. A few weeks ago, we found out that she has pancreatic cancer that has metastasized to other areas of her body. Luckily, she is not in any pain. My dad is now in Bullard with her and my Aunt Jane and Uncle Dick. They are doing their best to keep her comfortable and get her everything she wants. This means running quick trips to church and shopping.

So, Memere is in our prayers.

We love you Memere!

Home Improvement

It's break time! Steve and I are both off for the next two weeks. I am so excited! Our big plan is to lay ceramic tile in the guest bathroom upstairs. We've been checking out tiles for a while. We even bought a how-to book from Home Depot a few weeks ago. Steve has already read through that.

Steve is getting pretty into this. Yesterday he went to a tile store in Schaumburg and found some inspiration. Now he wants to try retiling everything in the kitchen (and I mean everything: counters, backsplashes, the dog). He also found a class there for next Saturday morning. So before we go celebrate Christmas with my mom and sisters and brother-in-law, we will learn how to tile.

Of course, Steve likes to do projects, so right now he's working on creating a chalkboard wall in our kitchen. I'm pretty excited about this one too. I think it will be pretty cool looking, plus it will be fun to leave notes on the wall.

Baking Cookies

Okay, so I haven't posted in a while, so I thought I would write a few separate little posts to update.

First up... Christmas Cookies!
Last weekend, I baked 6 different kinds of Christmas cookies. It was so much fun! I made the old favorites: the Hershey Kiss cookies, the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup cookies (Auntie Jen's recipe), Grandma Unger's Christmas Cutouts. I also ventured out a little. I made the white chocolate coconut snowballs and gingerbread cookies from the RealSimple magazine recipe. These were a hit! Finally, I tried making another of Grandma Unger's recipes, the white snowballs, basically a butter cookie surrounding a Hershey Kiss. I'm not sure I made these correctly though. They were pretty flakey.

Anyway, I ended up with about 100 cookies in my house. Now, this would normally be very dangerous in the Barrett household. I don't have much will power for avoiding cookies, especially Christmas cookies. However, I had a plan. Most of the cookies went to school for parties and Spokesman student gifts. Another plateful went to my neighbor Karen who always brings us wonderful homemade goodies. Overall, I don't think I ate more than one batch myself (I'm not sure Steve even had any!).

Overall, a lot of fun!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I don't have a good title...

We made it through Thanksgiving! And I think we found the trick to enjoying ourselves. We cleaned on Wednesday night. Thursday morning, we woke up early (8 a.m. is early for me on a day off) and started the turkey after having some homemade coffee cake. We had the table set and everything ready to go by the time people started arriving around noon. It was awesome.

We served 14 people dinner in our modest townhome this year. The tables stretched from the dining room into the living room. But I think this was a plus for Joey, he got to keep an eye on the football games. This was the first year we were able to all sit at one table, which was pretty cool. I really enjoyed being able to talk with everyone at dinner.

Of course, we busted out the board games later for more fun. We tried out Wheel of Fortune first. I think that's a hard game to play with lots of people. I don't think Eric and Julie really liked either. Maybe if there was a "Hot Sauce" puzzle it would have been more fun. Susie, Peter and Kathy Bdot won that one.

We moved onto the more traditional Trivial Pursuit after the Wheel. This went pretty well, but seemed to go on FOREVER. I think it was 11:30 by the time we finished. Steve, Aunt Colleen and Nan won that one.

I have some cute pictures, but due to technical difficulties with the digital camera, I can't post them yet. The Canon has trapped my photos!

So Friday Steve and I slept most of the day. We did get up early to take Breyer to the vet. She hurt her back right foot. The pad was cut up. She got a nice little bandage though and had to wear her booty for a few days. The booty is so cute; I wish she would wear them normally. She usually just kicks it off. She was great about the whole thing this time(except the removal of the bandage, but who likes taking a bandaid off of a hairy spot?). She was pretty healed up by Sunday, and she's finally back to her normal self today. Lots of energy, lots of head shaking.

This is turning into a long blog, but I was waiting to blog until I downloaded my pictures. Since that's not going to happen anytime soon, I decided I better get this stuff down before I forget it all.

I started Christmas shopping early this year. I've already bought three gifts! I think Steve has started his shopping too. I had a lot of fun shopping with my mom, Cathy, Susie and Nancy on Saturday. I forgot how tiring shopping gets though. Thank goodness Woodfield wasn't too crowded on Saturday. I don't think I could have handled all the crowds with the pushy sales people too.

So now we're back at work, trudging through until the winter break. Yea break!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Thanksgiving is almost here...

Thank God!

I am so ready for an extended break I can hardly stand it. Of course, the long weekend will go by way too fast, but I am fully aware of this and still want it anyway.

This weekend was pretty nice after another hard week. I think the trip to Nashville took a lot out of me. Friday night, Steve took me out to dinner and we went to the bookstore in West Dundee. It's called Steeplejack, and the owner, Kim, is awesome. Being the book-nerd that I am, I really enjoyed going in there, smelling the scent of old books, and just talking about the fun things we've read. We also got a great deal on two books to add to our pile of reading.

Saturday was pretty fun too. Gena came out and we went shopping at Huntley. I found a bunch of cute new stuff, and I didn't spend our entire savings! We (me, Gena, and Steve) also went to see Ike Reilly play at the Double-Door. There, we met up with Kurt and Alex and ran into Michelle and Joseph. It was a really fun show.

Today, Steve and I went to Alex's christening. It was a really nice ceremony, just really long. There was knocking on doors, some water pouring, lots of standing up and then sitting down. I think it went well though. Alex didn't cry at all; she is such a great baby!

Now, it's back to work. I didn't get much work done this weekend. I have a ton of stuff to do for grad school; I have a grading piling up; we have our family coming over for Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday. I think I'll focus on dinner, that's way more fun!

Friday, November 03, 2006

A tough week

I thought this week would be a little easier. Finals were over, the grades were in. I knew I had grad class on Monday and Pasteup on Tuesday, but I thought if I made it to Wednesday, it would be smooth sailing.

For the most part, it was. I've got school somewhat under control. I have new methods for keeping myself organized and staying on top of grading. I've still got my student teacher working with one of my classes too.

It was still a long week. Wednesday, I got my hair colored, and Steve and I had dinner at Emmett's. We saw Tim Burns, and he let me give some menu suggestions. I don't know if he'll actually take them into consideration, but it made me feel really good! After dinner, I was in bed pretty quick.

Then Thursday came along. After work, I thought I had no plans except to go to the bookstore with Steve. But I forgot that I had promised Cathy I would help her find a digital camera. So once I finally left school (at about 4:30), I went with Cathy to Best Buy. It was a successful trip; she has a really cool digital camera now. So I came home and met up with Steve. He was pretty tired, as was I. So it was off to Luke's for a gyro and a hotdog. Then back to the couch.

Steve has been a little bit more productive than me this week. He's run twice and walked the dog a lot since I had late nights early in the week. He also had to man the candy bowl on Halloween.

Tonight, my mom is over and we're scrapbooking. And by "we" I mean my mom. We ordered a pizza, chatted a lot, and then finally started around 7:30. I decided to blog instead. I don't really know where to start with my scrapbook at this point since I have so much to do and no organization. The blog is much easier. My mom, on the other hand, is much more organized. She's made a page for Susie and Peter's scrapbook. And she's done several pages for her scrapbook of my and Steve's wedding. She's pretty awesome.

So the general theme of this week has been eating out. I'm feeling very unhealthy and sluggish. Next week, I really want to make sure I eat better, just take better care of myself. I think that's a pretty doable goal.

So I think that's all the excitement for this week. Next week we head to Nashville for the journalism convention. That should bring some excitement for us.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

It's only a flesh wound

Happy Halloween! I'm actually at work, so I'm not feeling very halloweeny right now. We did celebrate, though, on Saturday at Tim and Melissa's. You can see by the photo to see how fun Steve and I were. (We're not the doctors/nurses!) Steve was the creative one who found our Monty Python costumes. I think they were a little wasted on the party though; not many people knew who we were.

Run away! Run away!

I don't feel like I've done much in the last week. I feel like all I have done is grade papers. That could be because all I have done is grade papers. Final exams really stink. Steve really got the raw end of the deal though. I wasn't much company. He managed to have some fun anyway. He went to Home Depot and bought the corded drill he's been eyeing. Then he used it to hang a shelf above the desk in the loft. It's very nice. It made grading on Sunday much easier since I had a place to sit and work.

So now I am looking forward to nice quiet evenings at home with my husband. Hopefully starting tomorrow.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Winding Down...

Now that my sister is married, Steve and I are starting to get back to our normal life. This week seemed a little hectic still, at least until we got to the weekend.

Work has been a little more stressful lately than I would like. However, I am working on separating my work life from my personal life, so I'm not going to go any farther on that in my blog. I did take my students on a fun fieldtrip on Friday to the University of Wisconsin in Whitewater, and that was enjoyable.

Relay For Life is moving right along. Steve and I went to a goals setting meeting Thursday night with my co-chair, Kathryn, and our team development chair, Patty. It was a pretty effective meeting, so that was a nice use of time. Plus, we got a some free stuff to take back to our committee members, which is always fun.

I got my haircut this week. That may sound a little miniscule, but it was huge for me. I hadn't had it cut so that it would be a little longer for the wedding (that way I could get an up-do). So it was so nice to have it cut off again and be easy to do AND nice looking. I'm very happy.

Our weekend was definitely the highlight. Friday night, we made dinner and watched TV while relaxing on the couch. I love when Steve grills steaks, so I was pretty happy. Saturday, we went to a wedding celebration (the wedding was in June) for some family friends. It was nice to have a low-key party! Then, we headed out to DeKalb for NIU Homecoming. The Huskies won, but we didn't go to the game (we were at the party). We met up with TJ, Tim, Melissa, Eddie, and Delena at Stanley's to see the Footstompers play. It was a pretty fun night despite the soaking rain.

Steve's 10-year high school reunion was also Saturday night. We didn't go. Steve wasn't too excited or motivated to go, and we didn't feel like spending $150 to go to Sluggers. He did get a phone call from his friend Tina. Other than that, we still have to hear the full report from Phil about what we missed.

Today has been a wonderful Sunday. Steve is relaxing on the couch watching TV; I'm grading papers and updating blogs. We don't have to be anywhere or see anyone. It's our ideal way to spend the day.

So that was this week. Here are a few pictures from Stanleys! GO NIU!


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

This is fun!

I am enjoying blogging. I think this might have something to do with people actually looking at my blogs. I'll let you know for sure after I've kept this one up for a while.

Anywho... I thought I would add a few more pictures of Susie and Peter's wedding. They are such a cute couple, not to mention lots of good looking people were at the wedding too!

I also thought I would put it in writing that my husband is planning to take me to Ireland next summer. That's right, Steve has started the flight search. I'll update you more as this progresses. I just don't want him to get out of it this time!

Okay, here are the pictures, enjoy!

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Nustra Wedding...

Okay, so Nustra may not sound like Barrett Family Life... but it is. My sister Susie is now officially a Nustra. Yea! I also have another brother in law - Peter! Yea!

So I thought I would post a couple of pics just for fun. The rest will be on Walgreens, so email me if you want to see those. I have a total of 345 burned to a DVD. So please enjoy these representative few!

Love you!


Monday, October 02, 2006

Finally, more pictures of Nan's party!

Sorry for taking so long to get this up here. This is taking me a long time to do, I know. However, here are some more, so please enjoy! I'll keep adding until I have them all posted or my fingers fall off; whichever happens first!


Monday, August 28, 2006

Nan's Party

So the pictures have started coming in. As usual, the Reilley sisters know how to throw a good party. Enjoy and Happy Birthday, Nan!