Tuesday, August 31, 2010

28 weeks

So I don't usually like to post twice in one day. I think its confusing. Too much for me to process.

But. Today I am officially in the third trimester, 28 weeks pregnant! I've been lucky because it's really been very easy. Anyway, because I'm sick of Ingrid yelling at me to post pictures of my belly, here you go!...

A Midday Pick Me Up

When we got to St. Louis, the first place we went was the Budweiser museum.

This was a really fun tour.

Even though our tourguide wasn't very good. You could barely tell what he was saying and he didn't really know what was going on.

Tourguide: You can't imagine how long it takes us to memorize all this information
Caton: What is he talking about? I basically have it all memorized after one tour

And we got to see the famous Clydesdale horses.

And the ornateness of the old facility was sort of aweing.

Plus at the end of the tour you get free tastings of beer. On a trip that was initially free. Both Caton and I were expecting small tasting cups of beer.

But then when we got into the tasting room what they were giving out was actual glasses of beer. And they weren't really patrolling the two free tasting limit. So 25 minutes and three beers later, Caton was feeling a little tipsy. And two pepsi's later, I was feeling great! Needless to say, the few hours after the Budweiser tour marked the only time on the entire trip when I drove. (PS. Caton was absolutely amazing and drove thousands and thousands of miles without complaining or asking me to drive or accepting driving offers, which really, was fine with me)

Monday, August 30, 2010


Two years ago today
Martin and I stood in front of our family, friends and God to proclaim our love for one another.
And to promise to love each other for the rest of our lives.
Two years ago today. I can't decide if that seem like a short time or a long time.
What I can tell you is all those feelings that I felt for Martin two years ago.
They're all still there today just as strong, probably stronger.
If you had asked me when we were planning our wedding why I wanted to marry Martin, I simply would have said because I know he'll always make me laugh and he's very loyal to his friends and family.
If you asked me the same question today, my list would be a lot longer. It seems incredible that one person can have so many amazing qualities I hadn't even discovered yet when we decided to spend our lives together.
Like his unwavering support for anything I want to do.
And the fact that I am so overcome with waves of emotions while writing this post, that I just started crying.
I know that Martin isn't perfect.
And I definitely know that I'm not perfect.
But I do think we're pretty perfect for each other.
And we throw one hell of a party!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Family Photos

A funeral is never the reason why you want to get together, but unfortunately, it seems like the only time everyone really gets together. I saw so many cousins I haven't seen in forever at my Grandma's funeral and it was great catching up with everyone. It also gave us a wonderful opportunity to take some family photos (even if we're all wearing black). Everyone is here except for my cousin Peter who is in Europe studying to be a priest.

We also got a picture of the immediate family, because even that is increasingly difficult to come by these days. My Uncle Andy came in our photo because he is basically part of our immediately family and because we didn't want him to just have a picture by himself.

Well, at first we didn't want that.

But then they decided it would be fun.

And then it got really fun when my Great Uncle decided to unbutton a few buttons on Andy's shirt to really contribute to a perfect photo.

But unfortunately, I don't have that picture.

I think the above facebook conversation does adequately explains the obvious reason why that photo cannot be posted on public sites.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

I Can't Believe This Even Happens

The night we were in Memphis we went out on Beale St. This is the street famous for Blues Music, but it also has a ton of bars that play all different kinds of music and it was so much fun!

Also, the craziness of this street is absolutely unfathomable. After 8 pm, you have to be 21 just to get on the street

Therefore, you can get things like a Big Ass Beer To Go on the side of the street, because you are then allowed to drink it on the street.

We had so much fun dancing until 3 in the morning, I was so into the music, I barely even noticed I was sober!

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Little Bit Of History

Caton and I went to quite a few museums on our roadtrip, but probably my favorite was the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis. It is built around the Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King Jr. was shot.

Besides it being an aweing experience to be in a such a crucial place in our nation's history, the entire museum was absolutely fascinating. They really do a great job of detailing the history of civil rights in our country starting as far back as the initial landing in the United States right up until the present. They also do a great job talking about civil rights and equality fights for all different groups, as opposed to just race. I think my favorite exhibit in the museum was an exhibit about Helen Suzman, who fought for the end to apartheid in South Africa for years and years befoe the fruits of her labors paid off. Reading about her was a great inspiration.

Even though its a little eerie to stand in the room where Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and to stand in the room he was shot from; its an amazing experience to better understand our nation's history.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

All About Lumberjack (and Jills)

On Saturday, Martin and I went to the Boonsville Woodsmen Show in Boonsville, NY. It was so much fun! We only watched the parade and the lumberjill show on Saturday, but there is a ton of stuff there. Including, but not limited to A 10K, a beards contest, greased pole, judging of log trucks, canoe/kayak race, Northeast junior lumberjack competition, world's lumberjill competition, chainsaw carving contest, and men's lumberjack competition. There is seriously a lot of stuff packed into this weekend.

I absolutely loved watching the lumberjill show. Apparently, the show in Boonville is considered the premier show for women in the lumberjill industry. Hayward, IL or something like that is considered the premier show for men, but it is Boonville for the women. Therefore, it is an invitation only event and it really is the best of the best. The first competition was the log roll. Contrary to what I thought, the log roll does not involve standing on a log in water and rolling it, but instead is a timed competition where two partners literally roll a log back and forth between two points and have to ensure it stays centered. Martin's mom and her partner, Andrea, are really a great team in all events they do together and they took third place in this event. They really make it look easy! (even if they were the only two Grandma's competing against mostly women in their 20s.)

Next were three cross-cut competitions. First was the single cross cut. In this, the competitor uses a huge saw and has to cut through a piece of wood as quickly as possible. Next was the jack and jill competition where the competitor has to saw through two seperate pieces of wood with a lumberjack partner. And then, is the jill and jill competition. This is basically like it sounds and here Mary was back with her original partner, Andrea. Most of the competitors make it look so easy, but you can tell that it is really very difficult.

Next was the bow-saw cut. This consisted of two cuts through the wood, this time on the shorter side of the wood piece. Mary did really went at this event also and took third place here too. This is also a good place to mention that I was really into the show and I kept making Martin move so we could get in a better position to see mom and since he was incessently complaining about his butt hurting on the wooden bleachers, he continually wanted to get up and walk around. But I was so worried we would miss the show so I kept herding him back. Our conversations went something like this,

Martin: My ass is killing me. Let's walk around the tents and look at cheap tools.
Me: But we're going to miss the showwwww
Martin: Well, my mom is always in the later heats and they have to set up anyway.
Me: But they really keep it moving fast. The heats don't last long and you walk slow.
Martin: Man, you are really persistant.

Next, was the chainsaw competition. This is the only competition that uses a chainsaw. They are all "stock" chainsaws, meaning they all came straight from the factory and each person is using the exact same chainsaw. Therefore, powerwise, everyone was on the same level. In the competition you have to make three cuts. One down, one up and then one down again. You have six inches in which to make these cuts and the saw takes out about 1/2 an inch - so you have about 4 and a half inches to make these three cuts. Its a contest to determine the skill with the equipment, and also speed of handling it for the contestant.

The axe throw wasn't exactly next but it was just interspersed throughout the competition. Whenever the competitors had a free moment they went over there to compete. If you can't tell, the axe is quivering right in front of the bullseye, about to hit.

About this time, Martin and I went for a walk to console Martin's butt, and we decided to switch sides because the view was better. Well I could see every contestant at once, but the fence was sort of annoying, expecially for pictures. The picture above is of the vertical chop. Here the competitor has to cut out and off the top of the log. This competition made me look tired just watching.

And then finally, the horizontal chop. This competition, the ninth event that took place in just 3 and a half hours was the last competition for points. This competition is much like the vertical chop, just the log is horizontal and you stand on it to chop it. Apparently one year, Mary cut off 3/4s of her big toe during this event. But in the spirit of competition, finished the event, won first place and then hobbled to the ambulance to get her toe sewn back on at the hospital.

The last event is my favorite, but this post is getting to be rather lengthy - so I'll include it another day.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I Think I'm In Love

Before this roadtrip, my verdict on little dogs was still out. I like the idea of a dog that you can really play with and that is, well, big. But now, I think I'm in love! Elly is just the most amazing dog ever. She is so cute and good and playful and just so freakin' cute! Normally, I wouldn't be thrilled if a dog was licking me, but I would let Elly like my arm all day long.

Elly was absolutely perfect the entire trip and I couldn't get enough of her. She had just recently gotten her first haircut and her black curls were cut away to reveal gray underneath.

As Caton was telling a friend about Elly's new hair she said,

She looks like a ghost of her former self,now.
Ian: Aren't we all just ghosts of our former selves.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Please Don't Be Like This

My first night in Nashville, conincided with a fellow TFAer, Jason's Bachelor Party. So Caton and Paulette were really excited to make sure he had a great night. On the way home from the airport we stopped at Walgreens to pick up a white t-shirt and markers to write on the shirt. They conveniently had a display of t-shirts with colored markers right up by the front. That was enough of a sign for Caton who exclaimed, It's like they made this display for us!  Then we went back to Caton's house to decorate the shirt and write our own pieces of wisdom before heading out so everyone could write on the shirt during Jason's Last Stand of Insanity!!!

But when we got to the bar, Jason was there with his fiance. And some of her friends. And no one was really drinking. And it became clear very quickly that Jason's Last Stand was not going to be insane. at all. And the incredible candy necklace that Paulette had brought for people to eat bites off of, went back into my purse. Because it wasn't worth wasting on this night. I was acting the most drunk of anyone there and accidently punched two girls in the face while telling a story and then spilled a cup of ice all over the floor.

So we decided to head to another bar and leave the bachelor party behind.

So, anyone, here is my advice. If you're not married yet, when you do get married.

Have a bachelor or bachelorette party.
Don't have them together
Get drunk.

Take it from someone who is married. There will be plenty of amazing opportunities to get drunk together in the future. But two nights before you wedding is the last time you're going to be drunk and single so just have fun with your friends.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Making Sure Its Alcohol Free

Caton and I had an amazing time in Kansas City with our friend Megan Shanley. She was so much fun and a great host. Also, I absolutely loved her friends who let us come to their Shark Week party, and we super nice and fun to hang out with (well, after they realized I wasn't just one of those girls who doesn't drink and that I am pregnant.)

After the Shark Week party, Molly and Emily headed down to the corner bar to share a few drinks with us. While we were there, we met some boys from Alabama who were basically devoted most of their attention to trying to pick up Megan, unsuccessfully. Anyway, while it was flattering at first that they came over to our table, after a few minutes - it was just a nuisance. But, they were very nice and one of them brought me over a bloody mary. At which point everyone got down his throat, including myself, with She is pregnant! She can't drink alcohol! He, however was aware of this and had asked for a virgin bloody mary. But, just to be safe, every single person at the table tried a sip to make sure their was no trace of alcohol to be found.

And thus is my first experience with a bloody mary.