Monday, December 29, 2008

9 days flew, 2 to go...

Our good friends Dave and Shannon, along w/their daughter Beatrice arrived 9 days, and some odd hours ago - and the time has flown by!!! As cliche as it sounds, time flies when you're having fun. A warm feeling came over me when I saw them for the first time at Shannon's parents house, as if I were back in CA. I was at the stove, frying up my cream cheese wontons (which is usually what I'm doing at a "family" gathering) chit-chatting with Shannon, catching up...and Neil and Davey close by laughing amongst themselves about who-knows-what...
The week continued with us getting together here and there - but it was as if time wasn't precious...they're here for awhile, right? The show came and went (which I'll post about more later) and it was a great time - good people all around us.
With 2 days remaining 'til they fly back to warm, sunny California - I want them all to myself!!! But I can't be selfish, no Dawna - they didn't come just to see you....they have family here. I really didn't think I'd feel this way, its a total shock. I'm naturally not a selfish person.... I think I'm starting to face the fact that I miss CA...and I don't want that. It's probably best they leave, it's making me toooo homesick!!
A part of me feels as if I can just pick up everything I own and just drive back to California - my safety zone - and continue where I left off there. Is this me just giving up? I think so. Thank God my husband would never read this, because if he did - he'd be packing me up the second he laid eyes on this blog. He misses CA more then I do, but I feel it's all emotional, not practical. We have a house just waiting for us, with a SOLD sign leaning up against the post (the wind knocked it down) and screaming for a new interior paint job. The house needs us, and we need it. I truly feel this is where God wants us. At least for the time being...
With that note...I have really enjoyed the time spent w/my friends, and I pray they return to their home safely. I hope it's not too long before I see them again....

Friday, December 19, 2008

29 days, if not LESS

Today we found out from Maryanne, our realtor, that the seller doesn't quite have the money to take care of our requests before closing. We did know this, but still felt it was their responsibility to take care of these 2 things:

Radon that was detected in the basement ($1,000 -/+ to clear that out)
Seal on the toilet needs to be re-done, correctly to avoid future problems ($100)

The news continued that they will get the seal repaired. 2nd, the two reality companies: Howard Hanna (seller) and ours, Coldwell Banker came to the decision that they will team up and take care of the radon. Thank the LORD!!! Maryanne told us they sometimes do that, especially in a case like ours. We didn't have a lot of requests, and at the same time, the seller is in a bind & just needs to get out of her mortgage and sell this house.

And yet another positive note - we may close sooner then expected. We initially picked a farther date due to the holidays - but the seller really is just needing to get out. Hey, we're not complaining.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Countdown begins - 31 days 'til closing

It's December 17th, and in exactly 31 days my husband and I will be "closing" on our 1st home. That is, if things run smoothly. It has been 11 days since we put an offer on the house, 9 days since we had a conversation w/the seller via the 2 realtors that represented both us and the seller. That night our 2nd offer was accepted. 5 days later we had a "home inspection" which brought to light quite a few negatives in the house, but a majority of them Neil and I will eventually get fixed. Today Neil signed off papers explaining to the "seller" what we would like them to fix before we close. We are now awaiting their answer. I feel we are being reasonable, and I just pray they feel the same.
I can't express how nervous and excited I am about this entire process...and just how anxious I am to make this house our home. I must admit, I've been losing sleep over paint colors, and decorating ideas... my brain cannot relax! Talking with my friend Shannon today made me realize I couldn't live with myself, living in a "neutral" colored home. I'm a creative person. Now, if I can only get my husband to stop thinking neutral/warm colors, I'd be a happy lady. This is what Shannon had to say about that: "tell him if he really wants you to keep your color palate neutral that he should start buying you a collection of teddy bears and a giant glass display case for the living room." One of many quotes that made me laugh out loud today in my office...

Monday, December 15, 2008

it's 1:20 pm EST

It's afternoon time here, on a Monday - but it feels like a Sunday to me. I made no plans today in hopes I'd hit the gym first thing this morning, to just run my ass off on the treadmill. That did not happen. I woke up late, and got on the computer first thing. Low and behold, it's 10am - I wanted to take a weight class at 10am. Ooops. I'm officially bummed...and hungry. I make my way to the kitchen, and discover there is nothing to eat - that I want to anyway. Head back to my room, with Andy in tow - and turn the tv on.

What to do with myself?!

I need to go to Target...maybe Autumn will join me? Nope, Owen is Mr. Grumpy pants today and isn't cooperating. I shouldn't spend money anyways...
Wegmans! I need to go grocery shopping for lunch items, and rice for dinner tonight. I make a list: turkey lunch meat, votive candles (Christmas scented), rice, rolls for sandwiches. That's it. That is the sadest grocery list to date.
"Plastic okay?" asked the cashier..."Nope, I have a bag - hopefully it all fits." I bought these reusable totes for shopping - and I am amazed at how much can actually fit in them. I love them. I encourage everyone to use them, do NOT use plastic bags if you can help it.
(Or order these: - and pick out fabulous colors to go shopping with)

I hit the redbox (Yes I have netflix, but I watched them already!) on my way out and rented Tropic Thunder - which my mother-in-law is watching this very moment, and her reaction is quite entertaining! and I rented Prince Caspian, the 2nd chapter of the Chronicles of Narnia. As Tropic Thunder is booming from the living room, I have started dinner.

It's now 1:38pm EST.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Winter in Erie

I'm surviving!
It's cold, yes...but the snow, and the peacefulness it brings - makes up for it. I've learned that as long as my feet stay dry, I won't be miserable. I love wearing jackets, and wrapping myself up in scarves and hats. The shoe department is a challenge, I must admit...but for now, I have boots that keep me warm. They're not all that cute, but I'm still hunting...
Neil and I have had Christmas in CA for the past 3 years, and we are ecstatic to be here this holiday season. The atmosphere of Christmas is completely different. With the snow everywhere, and the lights on houses - it's like straight out of a movie.
A couple months back, I was at work - and I was explaining to some of my co-workers how in California, we decorate our homes, inside and out. And they were floored! "You mean, you put lights up on your houses? But there's no snow!!" Laughter breaks out, and they totally thought I was lying. They just could not believe we hung up lights outside of our homes...

Here are some pictures of what I've experienced so far...
Wiping off snow & ice: Bundling up daily:

The neighborhood I currently live in, and the trucks that will get us through this winter...

You would think hearing that plow at all hours of the night/morning would be annoying...but I've come to appreciate that sound so much. It's a very comforting sound, just knowing you will get out of the neighborhood w/o any trouble.

In the end, I'm taking this winter very slowly - one week, one day at a time...but so far, I love it.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Wrapping presents.....part II

Who said Christmas has to be in the colors of green & red only?

This is the tunnel that Neil requested I make for the train...
"Don't block the train from moving!"

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wrapping presents...part 1

It's the day before Thanksgiving, and I've packaged up all our gifts that are being shipped out to family and friends. I feel well ahead of the game this year - it feels great.

My problem? I don't want to stop. I want to continue wrapping gifts to put under the tree...which, will be up and blinking w/lights come Friday. You may ask, why is this a problem? I promised myself, in my head of course - where I'm the only one who has heard this promise - that I would wait until AFTER Thanksgiving. What until the tree is up. On top of that, I have many chores to do tonight. But 92% of me wants to ditch all of that to deck out my gifts. If there was a job title of Gift Wrapper (all year long, mind you) - I would do it for a low, hourly rate. No joke. Hmmm. I wonder what one would say, if I set up a Wrapping Station at the local mall - with a tip jar - and customers could pay as they wish? be continued...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I'm aaaalllll doooonnne!!!!!

Well, we're all done.
Christmas shopping.
It feels good.
Now, to ship - and ship soon.

Even though Thanksgiving is this week - and mind you, I haven't forgotten. I'm just super, duper excited for the overwhelming joy of 100%, full force Christmas extravaganza that happens when this day comes to an end.

I would like to take this time to apologize. I'm sorry Thanksgiving for the attention I've given you this year... I can't promise that next year will be better...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Christmas shopping or Bust!

Christmas shopping! I look forward to this every year, and while I'm right smack in the middle of it...I want to give up. Give up and purchase 20 gift cards instead.

Today, I made the nearly 2 hour drive to Pittsburgh. Why Pittsburgh you ask? Well, here was my dilemma - either go to Cleveland, which would have H&M located at their outdoor mall...but no Forever 21. Or go to Buffalo and shop at Forever 21, but have no H&M to shop at... Pitt had both. Hence...the drive. It was worth it. I needed these stores, I had to have BOTH! My job was to shop for 10 women. 10. That was not easy. AND I had to get myself a dress - why you ask? I will be attending my very first ballet this Christmas vacation - The Nutcracker. Since I had never been to one, I asked Shannon the typical girl question - what does one wear to the ballet? Black dress, or black slacks w/a great top. I went for the dress option. I always wear pants. And dress I found. It's a different look on me, but I think I can pull it off...
Now, back to the Christmas shopping. I walked up and down, and all around that mall...walking back and forth to make sure I was getting the best price, and the best option for each individual person. But once I got in a rhythm, it was glorious! Names were being crossed off my list. I covered 6 out of 10 - and I found a dress, with shoes to match. What?! How awesome is that? I'm on a roll!!! I see the finish's just around the corner.

Tomorrow, I'm off to shop some more. Yay!

Monday, November 3, 2008

November? Is that right?

It's November, and I can't believe it.
Neil and I have officially been in Erie for 6 months come the 8th of this month. Time has flown by!

To update how my CA warm blood is doing in this cold weather - I'm doing a lot better then expected! Along with my very generous mother-in-law, we have teamed up and gathered some necessities for me to survive the upcoming winter months. For example: Scarves, hats, boots, gloves, leg warmers, sweaters, winter coats, and most importantly a face moisturizer that can handle the dry, cold season.

The advantage that I do have is, I'm able to park my car in a garage - hence the mornings are more pleasant them some other Erie-ens. And when I arrive at work, I park in a parking garage that stays dry. Once a week, I do however work down at the Bayfront which is located right off the water - the windchill down there is not fun. But that's just once a week.

Now onto the FYI style of blogging I've grown to love:
Training for the box office
Worked my very first event at the box office - Sugarland/Kelly Pickler. It was very fun.
Training for payroll
Autumn's birthday
Got my hair did by Carly, with Autumn who got her hair did as well.
YMCA classes, killed myself...
Pumpkin Patch with Neil
Pajama Game musical at the Warner Theater with Erin
More Y classes, killing myself...
Worked a full day at the box office, then met Autumn & Owen for the Circus
Late night hang out with some friends
All day shopping spree with my mother-in-law
Received an awesome gift from Sean: Vote for David Palmer t-shirt (I wish that was possible)
Virginia's birthday
Church-try out...again
All day football with Neil and friends.
Monday off lazyness - about to finish the 3rd season of Prison Break in ONE day.

It's been a crazy couple of weeks.

Some pictures:
Erin & I outside the Warner Theater...Owen & Autumn @ the Circus....and me attempting to take a picture w/the snow.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Red, orange, yellow....

...little bit of green, still some blue, and rainy clouds of purple.

It's Fall!!!

I have been very excited for the season of Fall. As you all know, I have been born & raised in California. Fall in southern CA consists of the Santa Ana's breezin' through - aka very windy, but still very warm. You're still in tanks and skirts come October. Leaves do fall, but the changing of colors doesn't last very long - and to truly experience the colors change, you need to travel far. Pumpkin patches are located on every corner...boring, right? But here I am on the east coast experiencing my very first Fall to its full potential. It's beautiful. The chill is in the air, which I don't mind. Surprised? I know, me too... but I love it. I thought being outside in the spring and summer were amazing - but add Fall to the list. All you need are jeans, a tank top and a light sweater, and you're set...Erie wins, 3 out of 4 seasons, versus So. Cal and the 90 degree weather 9 months out of the year. Believe me, I could be retracting these words come January when I'm freezing & snowed in... but I accept the challenge.
Now...according to the locals (my friends), it gets better. Below are pictures of what is going on as of this week. When the trees take on a look of "fire" - as some say - I'll post more.

Very pretty, I know....

Saturday, October 4, 2008

i can't let CA go...'s crazy to say this, but in the past week I've held onto California with a tight grip - I can't let it go. For instance, one of my favorite things to do was listen to KIIS fm in the morning. Ryan Seacreast and Ellen made my early ride to work very entertaining, it woke me up before I headed to the office. Well - since I'm allowed to listen to music at work, I usually play my ipod, but the battery died and I thought...what can I listen to? A lightbulb went off and within minutes I was streaming into the world of Southern California with traffic reports of the 91fwy. Secondly, I have my cell phone - it still contains the same number I've had for over 8 years. Neil and I continue to make plans to go to Verizon and get our numbers changed - and then we don't go. Today, we drive by a Verizon store and I say "We might as well get it over with." We pull in, and my heart sinks deep into my stomach and I get super sad. Needless to say, I stayed in the car while Neil took care of business. (No...he didn't change out number. Due to him being a teacher he gets a discount through Verizon.) Why can't I just change my number? What is the big freakin' deal? It's so ridiculous. Honestly.

I'm holding onto California...

I'll post more interesting blogs soon.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Oh, were you born in Sept. also?

...September, by far is the craziest month, birthday-wise. I would like to take this time to wish all of our friends and family that were born in September - a gigantic HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Happy Birthday to Shannon Quiggle (Sept. 4th)
Happy Birthday to Jon Beckman (Sept. 8th)
Happy Birthday to Cindy Hartman (Sept. 13th)
Happy Birthday to Kobe Bray-Johnson (Sept. 16th)
Happy Birthday to Isaiah Bray-Johnson (Sept. 16th)
Happy Birthday to Editha Bray, aka, mom (Sept. 19th)
Happy Birthday to Tom Koziel (Sept. 20th)
Happy Birthday to Trevor Kalvelage (Sept. 25th)
Happy Birthday to Eva Bray (Sept. 28th)
Happy Birthday to Leroy Hamp III (Sept. 29th)
Happy Birthday to Natalie Ensor (Sept. 30th)

I have this feeling, I'm forgetting someone...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Jon Beckman

Our good friend Jon Beckman headed out last Friday for training in Mississippi - which will then eventually lead him to Iraq. Last week we were able to hang out with him a couple times - one of the times was last Tuesday. We headed out to Corry to visit with him, Laura and baby Evelyn. It was good, yet a sad night for all of us.
Here is this precious picture of the boys...

We wish Jon all the luck, and cannot wait for your return...
...which may be a short stint during Christmas...let's pray :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Fantasy Football Fanatics

So...I have to blog about this because my husband and his friends are total fanatics when it comes to football season. During football season, it's talk talk talk football - talk about where they'll go to watch football...when it's NOT football season, they talk about what football season is going to be like. It's so ridiculous and monotonous - Sean and I HATE it. It's non-stop.
This year was a little different - Neil was apart of two leagues, instead of just the one he's been apart of for 5 or 6 seasons - "777 Crew". This 2nd league: "Old and Lazy" had an opening, and our friend Ryan asked him to join in. Neil happens to have an entire day of fantasy football - 2 drafts in one day. The 1st draft was actually hosted at a venue, with food, lights, and 12 desks all set up... just take a look at the pictures.
This is the set up...
Neil picked 7th, right in between 6 & 8: Adam & Dave
This is before: This is after:
You see all those stickers on there?! Just so you all know, I stuck those on there. Yep, I played "Vanna" for 3 hours. Embarrassing-ly enough, I didn't know the positions of some of the players, and they're organized by the positions they play. Thankfully Neil wasn't too the end, it was a lot more fun then I thought it was going to be.

FYI: Neil picked up my favorite quarterback - Peyton Manning

Sunday, September 7, 2008

no title necessary

I have to mention how awesome my job is...I'm only there 3 days, full days...and get a 4 day weekend. This has allowed me to read a lot, and catch up on some much needed dvds. TV and movies - I'm quite behind due to the "sheltered" stamp on my forehead I had growing up. I was never exposed to any type of entertainment - and when I was old enough to explore on my own, I never knew where to look. I never really tried. Neil doesn't feel the need to hunt either, and doesn't care for movies (unless Rocky, Predator, or the Terminator are starring). So much to my dismay, I feel lost in this world in which a WIDE range of entertainment surrounds us. I'm catching up...I'm really trying.
At this time, I would like to thank Sean Sundy (books and music), and Netflix (movies and tv) for educating me, and helping me catch up on what I've been so behind on.
I actually just read The Road (author: Cormac McCarthy), finished it in 2 days. The book was one of the most amazing I've read. Next on my book list: Catcher in the Rye.
I think I'll start a book/tv/movie club blog...what should I title it?

Monday, August 25, 2008

a bit behind...sorry

i'm behind, i know.

FYI style in full effect - I apologize for the quickness, but it's just easier this way.
This will be long, so be patient...

Visited California, visited friends - it was very, very fun.
Arrived July 30th-Departed August 12th
Got my hair did by Alisha (yes, I made the appt RIGHT after I booked my flight!)
Pedicure #1 happened at my favorite place (Instyle Nails)
A lot of shopping happened in CA, but not much luck on my end.
I did however buy a purse for $10, that was originally $29.90 (whats up!)
LAX - picked up Adam
Menifee for the afternoon
Beatrice all hopped up on who knows what. She claims she did not have sugar intake, I disagree.
In n' out (a total of 5 trips in 12 days)
Fallbrook for the 1st weekend of my trip, spending time with the Dunn's + baby doggies
Oceanside beach with Virginia & Brooke
Lunching it up at TTI with my girls (and Dave)
California Burrito (my favorite kind of burrito: carne asada, sour cream, cheese & fries)
Short, but quality time with the Dairy Queen...(with Adam, and the Q's)
Menifee vacationing, hanging out with the Quiggles - and living at the Ensors
Jesus Wept arrival into San Diego Tuesday night
Encinitas with the Dunn's, lunch, Lou's Records, beach, In n' Out, Tim Mason, Donut Corner
Portillo's in Moreno Valley
Morning hang out with Micah & Nat before they left for the weekend
Three JW shows
JW covering xdx "So Send I You" - so awesome
Redbull (for me) + pretzels for dinner at the merch table with Sean
Tommy Engler hanging out for three days :)
3 am bedtime, every night the boys were in town
JW leave for a show in Vegas
Alone, relaxing time in the pool - reading, sunbathing (roasting).
Los Primos dinner with Brooke - the super nachos were amazing!
Final day consisted of: Fallbrook & TTI visits, sad goodbyes, pedicure #2, dinner w/the family
Super early wake up call for my trip home to Erie, PA - this day of flying could not have gone any smoother. Everything was on time, I was very surprised. I slept most of the way. Read, listened to my ipod - very relaxing, as weird as that sounds.

To be honest, I had mixed feelings about California - and visiting for the 1st time since I moved away, I didn't know what to expect. Spending a majority of my life in Southern California, I guess I never noticed just how different things run there. But being away for a few months, and returning brought sadness to my heart that I didn't expect. I love CA with all of my heart, it's my home - but I'm glad Neil and I took this huge leap of faith and moved to PA. Yeah, I know..."wait until February..." I keep being told this. My reasoning behind my disappointment in CA have nothing to do with the weather, let me tell you. I'll miss the sun, I'm sure.

Pictures came minimal - not sure what was wrong with me. I'm normally picture crazy... but here is what I got...
Palm Trees... Being able to drive 80!... beachin' it up in Encinitas

Winning at Nickel City. And yes, they squeezed in a Fantasy Football meeting while @ Donut Corner

Thursday, July 31, 2008

California hasn't changed!

I survived my chaotic day today. My interviews went really well. I'm crossing my fingers that one of them works out. My flight into California went smoothly - I was quite shocked. I can't even begin to tell you the nightmare flights I have taken in the past few years. Thank God it was nice day of traveling.
So, I arrived into San Diego tonight and it was absolutely beautiful. It hasn't changed! Not that I thought it would, but there was a part of me that was hoping it'd be dreadful, or ugly - but it was breath-taking flying in and seeing the palm trees, and the ocean. I didn't realize how much I missed the actual state of California until that moment. I've missed my friends IN California since I've been away, but not the state itself.

I feel as if I never left.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

one long day ahead...

this is my schedule for tomorrow, ready?

Wake up 6:30am (the earliest I have yet to wake up EST)
Leave house at 7:40am for 1st interview @ Career Concepts which is at 8am
After Career Concepts interview, drive to downtown Erie for a 2nd interview.
2nd interview is with the Erie Convention Center at 9am (FYI: I really want this one!)
Hurry home.
Finish the last bit of packing for my trip.
Be at the Erie Airport at 10:45am
Flight departs at 11:55am
Pit stop in Philly.
Fly almost 5 hours to San Diego, California.
Arriving around 6:48pm.
Picked up by my sister, hopefully right away.
Stop in Fallbrook to see the Dunn's.
Spaghetti dinner at Eva's.
TTI girls possibly coming over for a swim at the apt complex.

Hopefully I haven't lost CA quickness - especially the quick wits of the idiots on the CA fwys.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

today feels like Sunday.

Friday BBQ at our place
Saturday Tennis at Frontier. Too hot. Lasted 30 minutes.
Pizza and Wings from Alfies (did not like the pizza)
"Curb Your Enthusiam" for a couple hours
Sunday 10:30 church
Nap - so happy
5pm Help Sean scrap wallpaper off of his walls.
Monday (Dave Kelly's birthday!)
Sore arm from scraping wallpaper
Pick up snackies at Wegmans for movie (raisenettes for Neil, swedish fish for Sean, Sour Patch for me)
11:25am 1st showing of the Dark Knight (amazing!)
2:24pm Hopped in car, this was the time. Time flew during TDK
4:30pm Dinner with Cindy at Texas Roadhouse
9pm "Curb Your Enthusiam" for a couple hours.
Tuesday- (Andrew Neufelds birthday!)
9am Tanning salon (at Sun Your Buns)
10am Coffee with Autumn (it was pouring rain)
1pm Left Autumns, breakfast get together lasted quite a long time
2pm Help Sean paint. My job: 2 coats of paint around the borders of windows, outlets and base boards (I LOVED every bit of it!...and I'm not being sarcastic)
6pm Stop painting, head home for dinner
8pm Jesus Wept practice
10pm Visit Ryan (aka Boogs) at tattoo shop
10:30 Home.
On the agenda for our late night (again): I will be reading "Notes from Underground" and Neil is playing video games. (Even though he should be watching the last 2 episodes of Lost)
This is my life (for now)...and I love it so much. Everyday feels like a friggin' weekend and it's pretty damn awesome. Today felt like Sunday ALL day (minus the nap I would usually take). I even skipped lunch today...I was having too much fun painting. And again - no sarcasm, I'm serious.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Summer living in Erie... a week, I have discovered some amazing things about Erie. I'm trying to "take advantage of the sunny days" and get out as much as possible. I just want to be outside.
While Neil and Sean decided to watch movies, staying indoors, Autumn and I decided to hit the Cherry Festival for some goodies.
Here is Owen people watching, which we were entertained doing as well...
...and we added snackies to the entertainment:
Yep, that's a fried twinkie...pure sweet goodness.
The following day, we headed to Pittsburgh...staying indoors ALL day at a show. Jesus Wept, amazing - no shocker there. It was one long day though, and we arrived back into Erie pretty late. The next day was Sunday, we went to church and then had lunch - spending time with Sean (Ice House) who was able to visit for a day. After lunch, we went back...indoors...again and watched "Dawn of the Dead" - let me just say, I'm not into gore, or zombies - but a week prior to this moment I actually said "The only way I'll watch that movie is if it's in the middle of the day and there are people around me." I got busted by my own self. I have to admit, the movie wasn't bad - don't tell Sean.
Next up: an afternoon of OUTDOOR activities, celebrating the 30th birthday of Adam Salaga. Today was so much fun. I love to host parties, and Cindy allows us to throw a couple bbq's here and there for our friends in her home, and we couldn't thank her enough for it. We grilled up some meat for tacos, which was perfect because Neil and I have missed mexican food so much. Badminton was set up outside, and a football was available to throw around. The sun was shining, and we had good friends all around - it was a perfect afternoon. As the party started to dwindle, the hang out crew remained and played badminton until the sun set. Here are a few photos from this day...

I finally made my way to the beach at Presque Isle this last Thursday, and just had some time to myself with a book and music. It was perfect.
We ended the week by having some of the guys over for burgers and badminton. It was a good week.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

....up until July 10th

We've been here for 2 months.
I've been playing tennis about 3 times a week, haven't lost any weight. (lame)
Playing tennis gives you a great tan, but tan lines from your short shorts.
Fireworks off the lake, beautiful (pictures will follow eventually)
Girl time with Autumn.
Ice cream goodness with Autumn and her little man Owen.
Owen picked up a straw off the ground, and placed it right in his mouth. (gross)
Wimbeldon final - Nadal beat Federer in one of the best matches anyone has witnessed.
Got a plane ticket (courtesy of TTI) to visit California (yay)
Stayed up past 3am to finish Lost season four (I beat you Joel!!!)
Crocker Park - Westlake, OH for some H&M shopping.
Humidity about melted me.
Peabody's in Cleveland for a show, War of Ages & Sleeping Giant.
Warm and fuzzy all over spending time w/great hometown friends & Erie friends.
Eric Gregson danced w/an umbrella outside the venue, precious.
Sleeping Giant had some amazing worship time during their set.
Miss California.
Interview at Alcor for a part time Admin. job - praying I get it.
Time with the Quiggles, Carly and Dan - dinner at Park Tavern, it was Taco night. Wings there are amazing!!!
Two emotional break downs in 1 day.
Joel, Adam, and Sean FINALLY come home today!!!

We've been here for 2 months....
Life in Erie is pretty stinkin' fun - great friends, good times.

Friday, July 4, 2008

unorganized thoughts

My brain tends to wonder - my thoughts are all over the place. I'm not sure where this anxiety is coming from. I walk myself through mentally...telling myself, "you're going to be fine." But are things going to be fine? Did I make a mistake? Did I move too fast? Did I miss out on what could've been? Do I admit to what I'm really feeling inside? Do I continue to hide? Hiding seems like the safest bet...too bad I don't have a hiding place.

Today is the 4th of July - just got back from family time. It was all a blur. Now, we're heading over to a friends house - will not know anyone there...should be fun, right?

Wish I was in California right this minute.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Week of June 23rd.
Played tennis with Sean and Adam
BBQ at our place w/great friends
Played tennis at 9:30pm - too many bugs to EVER do that again
Checked out YMCA with Autumn
Fell in love with YMCA, will join real soon
Zoo trip w/Autumn and Owen (finally some girl time)
"spacers" put in between back molars - not fun.
McGarrey's for lunch with Ryan, son Owen, Neil and Sean.
Started season 6 of "24"
Waldameer snackies with Neil
Sean had errands, we joined him (what non-working people do with friends who don't work)
Dinner at Oscars with Neil, Sean and Adam
Adam witnessed an elderly man fall, and bleed from his face. (so sad)
Secret trash (smelled like Christmas)
Visited new baby Evelyn Louise Beckman, oh Jon & Laura were there too (in Corry)
Tried out new church
Lunch with Joel and Mrs. Quiggle

Monday, June 30th-July 2nd
Ortho. appt again - spacers taken out, more metal glued into my mouth. ouch.
Visited with Jon who leaves us for a month, at Fox and Hound
Neil had an interview at the Erie School District, went very well
Lunch at Lorie's Wildridge, added it to the list - it was that good
Tennis - mid afternoon.
Accidentally crashed a boys night at Valerio's
Made this comment at the end of the night "...I do the same w/my friends." Sean: "You are with your friends." oops...I still have the mind set that I'm just tagging along with Neil and his friends. After 5 years of hanging out w/them, it's time I realize they're my friends too. I love them all to pieces and appreciate the fact they accept me enough to let me hang out with them. The last 2 months here in Erie would've been miserable without them.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

It's been 9 days without....

And randomly it started working - I'm not sure for how long, but I'm going to take advantage of this moment and email resumes to possible job opportunities....and post a blog :)
It was a pretty slow week - which then lead to a great weekend.
Starting last Friday - Neil and I played tennis for bit, which is our newest thing. I'll post pictures soon, I promise. All of us that hang out here have chosen to get in "the best shape of our lives" and we're hoping we'll achieve that by the end of summer. Tennis is an outdoor activity that we've all agreed on - have rackets to play - and we're all terrible at it...but it's soooo much fun.
On a more "adorable" note: Baby Arrival!!! Evelyn Louise Beckman is here...This is the only picture I have of her, more to come of course...
6lbs 11oz at 1:08pm on June 20th, 2008

We went to visit her at only 4 hours old, and she is precious. I almost set up camp in their room because I didn't want to give her up. Congratulations Laura and Jon!!!!!
Saturday, we played tennis again - this time with Adam. We dealt with some light rain, but then called it a day when it started to pour. Life in Erie...I'm getting used to such circumstances. Later that night we went to the Atzerts home to watch some UFC fight, and better yet - to play with their son Owen who is so much fun.
It is now Tuesday, and I'm completely sore all over. We've played tennis 3 days out of 4 - and I'm totally addicted. I want to play every day!! Maybe I'll lose some weight...maybe 30 lbs to be exact? :) What do you think? Is this possible?
FYI. I've now watched 5 seasons of "24" in 4 weeks...with one more season to go to be all caught up.
I need a job, don't I?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

24 - I "heart" Jack Bauer

My man, Jack Bauer

Just so you all know, I've been completely obsessed with this show "24" - Our good friend Sean bought us the 1st season, probably 2 years ago, and we only sat to watch a couple episodes. A couple weeks ago I decided I'd try it again, I have NOTHING else to do. I was hooked. Since he owns all of the seasons on dvd, I've had access to watch this show to catch myself up until the new season starts. Believe me when I say, I'll have plenty of time before the 7th season comes around. There are a total of 6 seasons, and I'm already on season 4. I can actually re-watch all of them again if I wanted - which I think I'm going to do....

I love this show...

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Week of events...

This week was pretty productive. Riding bikes around the peninsula...playing with Andy in the yard...going out on Lake Erie...watching our favorite Erie band...
I think this non-working life is starting to get a little too comfortable for me.
Some pictures to highlight these events...
Neil grillin' on the back porch:
Ridin' around the lake:
Playing with Andy in the backyard:

Enjoying Lake Erie:
Jonathan. cruisin' along the coast...
We ended the week by going to Forward Hall to see Jesus Wept play... it was a great week.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Rivalry continues!!!!

Tonight, we go back in history to one of the oldest rivalries in NBA history. The NBA championships go underway between the Boston Celtics & Los Angeles Lakers. Larry Bird versus Magic Johnson - now, Kevin Garnett versus Kobe Bryant. No question, it'll be a fight to the end.

Stay tuned.

Go Lakers!!!!!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Sun-sets at 9:00pm here....

Hanging out at the Lake is so awesome - I LOVE it. During the day, at all times I want to be there. There is this restaurant called Sara's right by the peninsula that sells the most amazing ice cream. Beach + Ice Cream Sundaes = a freakin' good time!
Now if only I can find a bike to my liking...I'd be all set.
Here are some pictures of sunset from Memorial day night.
It was 80 degrees out, good company on hand, and an ice cream sundae - perfection.
(Of course I didn't get pictures of Adam & Joel that joined us, or my awesome ice cream...)

Hamps to the 3rd

Leroy (the 3rd) & Erin Hamp

These two are toooo much fun, so I wanted to throw up a few pictures of our time we've been able to spend with them.

At the Lake: Erin & I Neil & Leroy
We have some AMAZING friends here in Erie, and these 2 are always fun to have around. Leroy is about to go rock the U.S. here pretty soon, so we're trying to eat up as much time with them as we can.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Living a new life...

...our new life started off pretty awesome. My brother-in-law Nathan, and his new wife Linda were in town just in time to greet us. My mother-in-law Cindy threw them a reception in her home, and invited all of Nate's old and dear friends, and the entire family to join in celebration - and to welcome Linda. It was really nice to see them, and to spend time with them.
First day in Erie, we went to the zoo - the weather was amazing!

1st day in Erie, not bad.

May 8th, 2008 - Arriving into Erie, PA

Our new we are:
Neil texting + driving - scary, I know.
all gone. Lots of help... our new home-->