Thursday, July 26, 2012

Friday's Letters (an early edition)


Dear family... I am so, so, so excited that you are all going to be in town this weekend!  I can't wait to see everyone.  I know we don't really have a plan for the weekend (except the Muny Saturday night), but I don't mind at all.  I'd be happy just hanging at mom and dad's all weekend as long as I get to be with all of you.

My family - Parents, siblings, and significant others
Dear hubby... thank you ahead of time for putting up with my family this weekend.  Even though I know you love them, I know you get exhausted after a long weekend.  It means you get less down time. {which I know you love} Thank you for giving up that time to spend time with my craziness!  I love you and couldn't ask for a better hubby!

Dear work... I am really not liking the extended hours, but I understand the need for them.  It's really not the best week for me, but I get it.  So, I will put in my hours and help get the department back on track... but don't think for a second that I'm enjoy it.

Dear new car... I love you!  You are absolutely beautiful and shiny and you have so many bells and whistles I don't know if I'll ever figure them all out!  I can't believe I finally got to buy my very first new car with my very first car payment.  I feel like such a grown up now.  I can't wait to get to drive you again.

Dear hubby... don't think I forgot about your big news... I am so proud of you!  I know you are so excited about this amazing opportunity.  I can't really talk too much about it yet, but don't worry blog readers, I'll fill you in more as soon as I can!

Dear new polish... you are so fun!  Your name, Plum's the Word, just screams it.  Tell Sally I appreciate the color and am thoroughly enjoying the coverage it provides.  I'm usually one to stick to pinks and neutrals, but I'm really happy I branched out.

Dear blog readers... sorry I've been MIA all week.  Like you've read above, work is making me work crazy long hours this week {and probably next week, and the next...} but don't think that I'm disappearing for good.  I'm going to try and continue to blog, but life is pretty boring when it consists of sleep, work, eat, work, and sleep.  Thanks for sticking around!

A Night at the Ballpark

So as part of my bucket list, I decided that I was going to plan actual date nights for Justin and I each month.  This past Saturday was our first official date night, "A Night at the Ballpark." {yes, I gave all the dates I planned a goofy name, it makes it more fun} I put together all our stuff for our date night (tickets, menus, etc.) in an envelope and gave it to my hubby.

Our evening started at a local brewery turned restaurant, Trailhead Brewing Co.  It's a cute little restaurant nestled in the historic part of downtown St. Charles.

The view outside the restaurant
Justin loves to try new beers, so a brewery was the perfect location!  The brewery crafts five different beers regularly and then also has a seasonal option.  The hubs opted for the beer sampler, of course.

And I chose a delicious bottle of beer...

Root beer that is!

The root beer is brewed in house as well.  I did try one of Justin's beers and it was okay. {I don't drink beer; I think it's gross, so "okay" is a high rating for me} He absolutely loved them all.  We also ordered dinner.  I got a burger on a pretzel bun... it was SO good!  The hubs got a sausage platter.  I, of course, took several bites off of his meal as well.  The sausage was cooked perfectly and was so flavorful!  Being the bad blogger that I am, I didn't get any pictures of our food.

After dinner, the hubby and I headed out to catch a baseball game. {obviously, hence the title of the date} But this wasn't your typical MLB game.  No... instead we headed to see the River City Rascals, who are part of the Frontier League.

I would put this on a similar level as minor league baseball.  It's a much more family friendly place and much more budget conscious than heading to see a MLB game.  The game started a little late, {because the umps weren't there on time} but once it started we had a lot of fun!

We did end up ending the evening a little earlier than planned.  The weather just wasn't in our favor. {it's been in the 100s all month and it definitely was taking a toll on us}

Besides... we were exhausted from the long day we had before the date night... but that's another story!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday's Letters


Dear weather... please try not to be too hot this weekend.  I know it's the middle of July, but I have outdoor events scheduled both Saturday and Sunday and I don't want to melt in the heat.

Dear hubby... I am so excited for our date night tomorrow night!  It's been a while since we had an actual planned date night. {hopefully, it's not too hot for the baseball game} I'm really looking forward to our new monthly planned date nights and hope that we can keep the new tradition going.  I love you.

Dear dentist... {I am absolutely terrified of you} I know I won't be seeing you for two months, but I've made an appointmentand that's a big step.  Please, please, please be a nice dentist.  I don't really want to go back in hiding, but if you scare me, I will. {yes, I'm taking clues from my cat, but hiding when you're scared sounds like a good idea}

Dear Lion King... I know you are still a month away, but I am so excited to see you live in theater... especially The Fox Theatre.  Yes, it will be my first visit to The Fox even though I've lived in St. Louis my entire life.  Don't judge.

Dear books... oh how I've missed you.  I forgot how much fun it is to sit down and get lost in your pages.  Somehow, I've started reading several of you at one time, but I love the variety!

Dear Emily from The Bachelorette... you're making your big decision on Sunday. {although I'm not watching until Monday... don't ruin it for me} I'm not really sure what to expect from the show because ABC loves to play up all the drama that is to come.  I don't know how I got sucked into this, but I can't wait to see who you've picked!  Hopefully, you are happy with your choice.

Dear PMS... I can already feel you rearing your ugly head.  Please try to take it easy on me this week.  Hubby I would really appreciate it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bloggers 411

I'm linking up today with From Mrs. to Mama for her Bloggers 411.

Becky explains this as a way to "re-introduce myself again on the blog. Really give you the information all in one post. The 411. The bloggy bff run-down. The basics. The nitty gritty fun stuff."

Feel free to join in and link-up!

1. How long have you been blogging? And what got you started on blogging? Has your blog changed?
I had a blog a long time ago... but nothing that I kept up with on a regular basis.  I started blogging regularly just a few weeks ago.  I have several friends that blog and I really enjoy reading blogs, so I thought I would give it a try.  I'm still getting the hang of it, but so far, I've been enjoying it.  Plus, I think it will be fun to have the blog to look back on.

2. Did you go to college? If so where, and what did you study?
Yes... I did go to college.  I went to Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri.  I didn't really study all that much... lol.  But I did get my bachelors of science in accounting and then continued on to get my masters of accountancy. {hence my horrible sense of humor}

3. Where have you traveled?
I wouldn't say I'm much of a traveler... but I still think I've got a decent list.  Here's an idea of some of the places I've been...
  • British Isles {Ireland, Scotland, England, Whales}
  • Mexico {Cancun, Reynosa}
  • Florida {Cocoa Beach, Destin, Orlando}
  • Colorado
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Washington, D.C. {several times}
  • East Coast {New York City, Philedelphia, Atlantic City}
  • Detroit, Michigan
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Beloit, Wisconsin
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Texas {San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, Galveston}
Plus I've been on tons of camping trips from Missouri to Tennessee to West Virginia.  I love travelling and its something my husband and I hope to continue to do.

4. If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you would buy?
Justin and I have actually talked about this recently. {when there was a huge powerball and we were convinced we were going to win} Justin joked that the first thing we would do is pay off the house we still own in Springfield and then burn it to the ground.  I told him I'd rather donate it to some charity that could use it... ha ha.  Honestly, the first "purchase" would be a financial planner to help figure out what to do along with some kind of estate planning.  I know we'd buy a house and probably a new car for each of us.  And we both agreed we'd give some of it to our families.  Then we'd invest it and start a college fund for our future children.... now I just need to win!

5. What are your 3 biggest pet peeves?
  1. People who can't drive.  Is it that hard to speed up or stay out of the fast lane?  Or how about using a turn signal every once in a while?  And quit honking at me when you cut me off!
  2. Bathroom etiquette.  Guys, put the seat down.  How hard is it to change the roll of toilet paper when its empty?  Flush when you're done and if you pee on the seat, have the courtesy to wipe it up!
  3. Waiting in lines.  Have you even been at the grocery store, waiting in line, and the person in front of you waits until everything has been scanned and bagged before they realize they're going to pay with a check and start digging in their purse to find said checkbook?  Have it ready!  And if you forgot something, don't make me wait while you run through the store looking for what you need.
Okay... those are really just the most recent pet peeves I've had.  I'm sure I have a ton more, but that will do for now.

6. What is your favorite movie?
I'm not sure I have a favorite.  If you send me to pick out a movie, be prepared for a romantic comedy. {chick flicks rock} I'm definitely a fan of The Little Mermaid and basically anything Disney.

7. What is your drink of choice; wine, beer, or liquor. Or Water, Soda, Tea?
Most of the day, I drink water.  At night, with dinner, I drink Diet Sunkist.  When I'm out with friends for drinks, I prefer frozen girlie drinks, like strawberry daiquiris.  I don't drink wine or beer (can't stand the taste) or coffee or tea (for the same reason).

8. What is something you enjoy to do when you have me time?
Well, normally during me time, I'm enjoying one of my wonderful shows.  But when I'm not watching TV {or, actually, while I'm watching}, I enjoy to knit and crochet.  I've made several baby blankets and I know several more soon-to-be mommies that I will be knitting for in the next few months.  I'm also starting to pick up reading again.  I forgot how relaxing it could be.

9. If you could have a $10,000 shopping spree to one store, which store would it be?
Can I get around this question by saying "the mall"?  No?  Okay... that's a hard one.  Part of me wants to spend it all on clothes.  Then the other part of me wants to spend it on household things.  I guess I can get a mix of both worlds with a store like Target... so lets go with that.  Besides, every time I go to Target, I can easily spend $100, so it'd be good to get to spend for free.

10. Share with us an embarrassing moment of your past? Or present.
Today, I was at zumba, and I tripped over my own feet and almost fell into the instructor.  Okay, maybe it doesn't sound embarrassing, but I sure felt embarrassed!  At least we all laughed about it.

Okay... you want to know something else that's embarrassing?  I sucked my thumb until the age of twelve.  So embarrassing to admit, but it's true!  I finally quit when my family decided to move far away. {well at least to twelve-year-old me, it was really only about ten to fifteen miles} I wasn't about to start at a new school with all new people still sucking my thumb, so I quit cold turkey.

11. What day would you love to relive again?
I know it sounds cheesy, but my wedding day.  Yes, it was only about 3 months ago, but that day was absolutely amazing.  The look on Justin's face was perfect and I couldn't stop smiling... my cheeks actually hurt.  I'm so glad I have it on DVD so I can watch it over and over again.

12. If your life was turned into a movie... what actor would play you?
I have no idea... maybe Ann Hathaway.  I've always liked her and she seems kind of goofy and awkward like me.

13. What are the jobs you had in high school/college/the early years?
My first real job was at DSW Shoe Warehouse.  I did a little of everything... cleaning, sales associate, cashier.  When I went to college, I worked on campus at the front desk of the dorm.  That was probably my  most interesting job.  I spent evenings at the front desk and enjoyed watching drunk people come home.  Also during college, I worked at Lowe's Home Improvement.  I learned a lot about home improvement!

14. Show us a picture from high school or college.
Second from Right - Senior Year - High School {2001}
Middle - Sophomore Year - College {2003}
Left - Senior Year - College {2005}

15. If you could travel anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, where would you go?
Turtle Island. {check it out} It's this little island resort in Fiji that is home to only 14 couples at one time.  Each couple gets their own private beach.  It sounds absolutely wonderful.

16. Show us the most current picture of you or you and your family.
This is the hubby and I from a few weeks ago when we were at the St. Louis Cardinal's baseball game.

17. Where do you see your life 5 years from now?
Five years from now?  Let's see.  Well I'm probably going to win that lottery you mentioned earlier, so see above comment.  Okay... honestly, here's what I'm hoping.  I want to be living in a house that my hubby and I own. {and not the one I own in Springfield} Hopefully, in five years, we'll have at least one child and maybe another one on the way.  Not really sure one the career front.  I would love to be a stay-at-home mom, but that may not be realistic financially.  I could definitely see myself at the same company I'm at now, hopefully with a promotion and a raise.  Really, I just want to be happy.

So there you have it... seventeen questions to give you the four-one-one on me.  Hope you enjoyed... now link up and let me know a little more about you!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Girls Night In - July 2012

Friday night was my monthly Girls Night In...

my friend, Julie, made a new year's resolution at the beginning of 2011
to plan a monthly girls night with her friends.  She sent out an e-mail to her
close friends, and the Girls Night In (GNI) started.  We've been doing monthly
girls nights almost every month for the past year and a half}

This was our first GNI for the past couple months.  Out of our small group of friends, three of them were pregnant and due between May and June.  So last month was cancelled due to our new mothers.  Friday was so exciting because we actually had every single person that was part of our girls night in attendance {plus two new little babies}!

This month, Julie was our lucky hostess.  She was house sitting for her parents, so we all invaded and had a BBQ.  We each brought an appetizer, side, or dessert to share.  After I arrived, I threw my food on the store to get cooking and chatted with Julie until the rest of the girls arrived.

After the girls arrived, we all sat down and had dinner.  There wasn't anything too special about the evening... we spent the time just sitting around and catching up.  There was a lot of talk about babies, boobs, bottles, etc. with the new mommies around.  We talked about kids and they all agreed I'm going to be next... I just laugh.  I guess we'll see eventually.  I definitely have the mommy vibe, but I'm just not quite ready yet.  Here's me with my two new little buddies...

Baby Katie and "Aunt" Ellen

Baby Cooper and "Aunt" Ellen
Both of these babies were so adorable and I enjoyed spending time with them. {and their mommies and other "aunties"}

The next Girls Night In should be a ton of fun... there's already been a discussion of a trampoline competition, as one of our girls recently got a new trampoline for her two-year-old.  I can't wait!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday's Letters


Dear Mom... I had so much fun seeing Aladdin at the Muny with you.  Thanks for always finding time for me.  It means the world to me.  I don't know what I would do without you.

Dear hubby... you are amazing.  You may not be the best at everything {think laundry, putting the seat down, and ballet}, but you are the best at making me smile, and for that, I am forever grateful.  I am one lucky girl.  Oh, and thanks for letting me sleep in the car tomorrow while you make the three hour drive.

Dear Eldon family and friends... I hope you're ready for us, because we'll be there tomorrow!  I'm really excited to see all of you.  We're bringing wedding pictures and videos {I'll be blogging about the wedding eventually}, so be excited!  I hope we have enough time to visit everyone we want to see, but if we don't get to you in our short visit, just know we miss you like crazy!

Dear fan... you and I have a real love - hate relationship.  I love that you keep us cool at night in our second story bedroom... I just wish you could do it a little more quietly!  If you don't stop squeaking every few minutes, I'm putting you back in your box and replacing you.  You've been warned.

Dear Maggie... you know you're a little devil cat, but you really embrace it.  Thanks for always attacking your daddy instead of me.  Mommy appreciates not looking like a cutter.

Dear Girls Night In (GNI)... I am so, so, so excited for tonight!  A backyard barbeque sounds perfect this time of year.  Who would have thought that when we started this thing, we'd still be going strong a year and a half later?

Dear new apartment... you are awesome!  Justin and I absolutely love you. {I need to post a blog about our new place once we get all settled in} Please don't let any crazy people move into the empty apartments near us.

Dear extra weight... I don't know who invited you to this party, but you aren't welcome!  Please take this as your notice of eviction.

Dear gym... I know I haven't seen you much lately, but that's going to change.  See above.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Life doesn't always go the way we want.  Life can be hard.  Sometimes you just want to turn around and run the other direction.
Then, sometimes, something will come along to put a big smile on your face.  These are a few of the things that can always make me smile...

*My husband {and my best friend}

*All green lights and no traffic on my drive home

*My kitty when she snuggles with me

*Pretty flowers delivered to my office

*Snow days {yes, I'm aware its summer}

*Strawberry daiquiris with my favorite girlfriends

*Dresses that twirl

*Amazing cupcakes filled with chocolate and peanut butter

*Freshly done manicures

*Sleeping in past 9:00am

*Early dismissals from the office

*Secret love letters from the copier

*Chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven

*My favorite song on the radio

*Newborn babies

*Breakfast in bed {a girl can dream}

Monday, July 9, 2012

Spoiler Alert... The Bachelorette

Who doesn't love some good crap reality TV?!  It's time for The Bachelorette!

I've been following along all season and I'm really torn about the remaining three guys.  They all seem very genuine and like they would be a good match for Emily.

Hopefully this night will help clears things up... now we're off to Curacao!

{Geography Lesson:
Curacao is located off the coast of Venezuela, just southeast of Aruba}

First up... Sean!  She seems so happy to see him.  They are absolutely adorable together.  The two are going to take a helicopter tour of the island.  And of course... there is cheesy music and lovey, dovey, mushy comments throughout the entire trip to their "own" private island... (sorry Emily and Sean... you can't keep the island).  Once there, Emily questions how Sean has treated previous girlfriends.  He digs himself out of the hole, and Sean lines up to say the big "L" word... never mind... lets just stick with "crazy about you."  I'm sure he'll get there... for now, let's go snorkeling!  The evening starts with a romantic dinner on the beach where Sean reads a letter he wrote to Ricki to let her know that he will love her like his own.  It is so sweet and you can tell it really touched Emily.  And to wrap up the evening... Sean finally pops the "L" word and the two head off to the fantasy suite and the typical hot tub.  Wait... twist of events... Emily sends Sean home at the end of the evening in order to set a good example to her daughter.  What a wonderful mom!

Time for the second date... Jef!  He is such a fun loving guy and he seems so goofy.  He starts off by telling us he isn't sure it will work out... guess we'll find out more on the date.  Emily and Jef are going to spend the day out on the water in a beautiful boat followed by some rock jumping.  As the sun sets, Jef explains that he wants to spend every minute with Emily and that their life is just starting.  Guess he's decided that it might work out, but first he has some questions for Emily.  He's nervous because he's fallen for a girl without meeting a person who is so important in her life (Ricki).  Emily says she can picture Jef there with her and Ricki but wouldn't she say that to all the guys... I mean who would say "I don't imagine you in my life" when you're on a reality TV show.  The two discuss who it hasn't worked in the past and both agree that they are perfect for each other.  At the end of the evening, Jef turns down the fantasy suite in such a gentlemanly fashion, but the two still agree to hang out for a few more hours.

I guess the last date is... Arie!  The two are heading out on the water to enjoy the day.  It appears as if their connection is very physical.  The date starts off with swimming with dolphins. {So much fun!  If you ever get the chance... do it!} The two spend a little time reminiscing about their relationship so far, and Emily realizes that all they high points revolve around kissing... lots of kissing.  GAG!  Of course, the day is followed by a romantic dinner.  Emily starts delving into more details about Arie's life.  What does he do on a regular basis?  He explains and then tells us how he is really looking forward to being a dad.  Emily starts to prep herself to decline the fantasy suite and decides it is just best to not even give Aria the card because she doesn't think she could say no.

**Okay... time for my predictions before I get to the Rose Ceremony.  I think that she is going to send Arie home... yes, they're really physical, but it seems like she has a much deeper relationship with the other two.**

Now back to the show... It's time for Emily to meet up with Chris Harrison to discuss her past few dates.  Emily is very torn.  She doesn't have any more clarity about her decision that she needs to make tonight, but she's going to follow her heart.  To help with her final decision for the evening, the men each made a video message for Emily.  She seemed to get emotional with Jef's video... I wonder if that's a sign that Jef is out?  But she has a similar reaction to Arie... so who knows.  The men all show up and its just about time for the ceremony...

The first rose goes to... Jef.

The second rose goes to... Arie.

Tonight, we are saying goodbye to... Sean.

This actually completely surprised me!  I was all for Sean.  They seemed like such a great couple.  I totally didn't expect this at all, and neither did Sean.  Throughout the whole closing scene, I was really hoping that Emily would realize she made a mistake and call Sean back, but she doesn't.

{Sidenote... I think we have a new bachelor for next season}

Next week, on The Bachelorette... it's the "Men Tell All" episode.  I can't wait to see all the drama that the men are going to drag up.

Sunday, July 22, 2012 will be the finale... and its starting to look like she might not pick any guy.  Guess we'll have to wait and see!

Catholic Girl at Heart

I was born and raised a Catholic.  I went to Catholic school from kindergarten all the way through high school.  I attended mass religiously every Sunday throughout my childhood.  During the school year, I attended mass every Friday.  I had religion class every day.  When I got to high school, I joined a Catholic youth group.  I happily went to youth group on Tuesdays and Sundays after mass.  I went on retreats.  I was full blown Catholic and I had very little knowledge of any other religions.

Towards the end of my high school years, I started to fall away from the church.  I moved away from home after finishing high school to go to college.  There was a Catholic Campus Ministry at my college, but I wasn't too interested in going.  I felt like religion had been shoved down my throat my entire life and this was finally my chance to explore.  I took several religion classes and learned more about other religions.  I still believed in my Catholic faith, but I had no desire to attend mass regularly.  There were several things that the church teaches that I don't agree with, but I still believe in the basics of the religion.

Its been about ten years since I've regularly attended mass.  I've always attended on the "big" religious days... Christmas and Easter... and whenever my parents asked me to go with them.  I know that I've missed going to church and I've always felt like I needed to get back to church, but I just wasn't ready.

Recently, I realized that I may never be "ready" to go back to church, I just need to go.  So, as part of my bucket list for the year, I've committed to going to mass at least two times each month.  I'm in my second week of my first month and I know that I will be out of town next weekend and may not be able to make it to mass.  I didn't go last weekend because I was moving and just didn't make it.  So Saturday night, it occurred to me that in order to stick with my goal, I had to go to mass on Sunday.  I looked up mass times and found a church to attend.  Sunday morning, when I woke up, I thought about just backing out.  I wasn't ready... but I may never be, so I got dressed and headed to St. John Bosco Catholic Church.

I'm not going to lie... it felt weird.  I felt out of place, yet I felt at home.  It was an awkward feeling.  I'm still not sure how I feel about it.  Last year, the Catholic church changed some of the wording at the regular mass.  It was a huge change.  I've said the same wording every Sunday for my whole childhood.  So to show up at mass and have the words changed felt... well, weird.  I'm sure I will get used to it and it will become ingrained in my mind just like the old wording.

The mass wasn't that great.  There was a priest visiting from India who did the homily.  For those that don't know, the homily is a time for the priest to relate the gospel reading for the day to our everyday lives.  Instead, this visiting priest took that time to basically beg for money for all the poor people in India.  I have no problem with helping the poor, I just didn't like the approach.  But the music at the mass brought me right back home.  The music has always made me feel at home.  Its always been my connection to the church.

I plan to continue going to church.  I want to be able to baptize my children (once I have children) and I think its important to be practicing my faith before baptizing my children into the faith.  Don't worry... this isn't going to become some religious blog.  I just wanted to share this with you... something that has always been, and will always be, part of my life.

Yesterday, after church, I went home and spent some time with my hubby.  The weather here in St. Louis has been a little ridiculously hot, so we headed to the 7-11 down the street from our new place and picked up a nice cold Slurpee.

It definitely hit the spot.  And at the end of the night, the rain swept through and the temperatures in the area finally started dropping.  Thank goodness!

Until next time... keep it cool :)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

12. Spending Time with Family

I feel so embarrassed lucky to have the family that I have.  They are absolutely amazing!  As part of my bucket list for the year, I told myself that I would spend more time with my family.  So far, I haven't had any issues with this!  In the past week, I have spend time with my family on four different days.

I moved last weekend and my sucker very sweet, older brother volunteered to come help us out.  We did have hired movers, but it was really nice to have someone around to help move furniture around until he ripped a hole in my brand new carpet .  But seriously, it really was great to have the help!  The day after the move, my parents invited my husband and I over for dinner.  We had some amazing BBQ pork steaks for dinner and enjoyed the free meal after the long move.

This past Friday was my youngest sister, Stephanie's, birthday.  She's finally 13!

Before she headed the the Cardinal's birthday game, the family got together and had dinner and cake to celebrate...

Mom, Dad, Me, Steph, and Devin

Steph got a new iTouch, so she is super excited to start texting iMessaging with her friends.  I got her a fun case for her iTouch perfect for a new teenager.  After dinner, my dad took Stephanie and my other younger siblings to the Cardinal's baseball game and I stuck around to hang out with my mom.  We had a good time just enjoying the quiet and playing a few board games.

Last night, my mom's side of the family had a party at a local dive bar, The Corner Bar.  We got together with the aunts, uncles, and cousins for some wholesome family fun.  My aunts and uncle rented out the basement of the bar which has a two lane bowling alley... but this was a special bowling alley. The alley was set up for 3-pin bowling.  It is actually the only 3-pin bowling alley in the United States.  Imagine regular 10-pin bowling... but you only have the three corner pins of the triangle.  The balls are actually pretty small (under 5 pounds).  Each person gets three rolls to knock down all three pins.  We really didn't know how to keep score, so we just made it up.  We also had a "pin monkey" who's job was to set up the pins after we rolled (I felt bad for that poor kid... it wasn't exactly cool at that end of the basement).

Midway through the evening, a couple of girls showed up handing out free beer... and who doesn't turn down free beer?!  (Oh yeah... that'd be me... I'm not much of a beer girl)  The girls were Kraftig girls.  Kraftig is the new beer being produced by the Busch family (part of the founding family of Anheuser Busch, which was sold to InBev).  My family all said it was pretty good.

Between the free beer and 3-pin bowling, we all had a great time laughing and enjoying each other's company.  By the end of the evening, we were all pretty worn out.

So far, this bucket list is working out pretty well for me.  I'm starting to check off items off my list and I'm really looking forward to the next adventure!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Blog Star... More About Me

Mrs. Monologues

Welcome!  Today, I just happened to stumble upon Mrs. Monologue’s Blog Star link-up, so I thought I’d give it a try.  I’m relatively new to the blogging world, so I’m hoping to meet some new people through this link-up, along with finding some new blogs to read.  So here’s a little introduction to my little corner of the blog world.

I’m Ellen, although some people call me Ellie.  I married the love of my life, Justin, about two months ago.  We have a cute little fur-baby, Maggie Mae, and hope to be parents sometime in the future.  Last week, I turned 27 28.  (I’m still in denial about that one.  It seems so much older than 27!)  We just moved this past weekend and are still working on organizing our lives again, but I’m sure we’ll get there soon enough.

I was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri.  Even though I ventured out for a few years (2002 – 2010), I’ve made my way back to St. Louis and love living here.  It’s going to take a whole heck of a lot to get me to leave my beloved home.  During the day, I work as a business analyst (aka. number cruncher).  It’s not the most exciting job in the world, but it pays the bills.

I’m a zumba enthusiast. Over the past few years, I’ve lost over 50 pounds and have been (mostly) maintaining for the past year or so. Exercise and I have a love hate relationship. Zumba is the one thing that will always get me to the gym. I’ve been trying to get into running, but my mind is fighting me on that. I will do it eventually.

I’m a TV junkie. What can I say? I love sitting down on the couch with some junk food and catching up on all my crazy TV. Right now, I’m really sucked into the drama of reality TV – The Bachelorette, Hell’s Kitchen, Masterchef, and So You Think You Can Dance. It makes for great summer TV.

I’m from a huge family and it drives me nuts I absolutely love it. I have seven siblings (two older, five younger)… all from the same mom and dad… and yes, we are catholic. I have over 20 aunts and uncles and over 30 cousins who I see on a fairly regular basis. Family get-togethers are something I look forward to. I can’t imagine life without my crazy family.

Like I said, I’m new to the blogging world, so I’m still trying to get my footing on what exactly this blog is about. I did start a new “series” on my birthday last week that is going to revolve around my bucket list for this year of my life. This blog will also incorporate crafts (I knit and crochet), fitness and health, family, friends, and much, much more. It’s my life and this is my blog… I hope you stick around and enjoy the ride!