Pony, I Mean Puppy Rides

Sunday, December 30, 2007

After spending the night in Wisconsin we headed tomy parents for the remainder of the weekend. Not only did we get to spend some time with Dave and Carol, but we also made a quick trip over to Iowa to see Stacy, Mike, and Madison. Lucky for us though, Stacy and Madison also came over to grandma and grandpa's house for Sunday lunch. Play time with Maddy is always fun, but today was pretty hilarious. Not wanting to miss out on anything, Abbey was always nearby. Madison had a lesson on learning how to pet the puppy nicely (not pounding on her or pulling her hair). Grandpa has started giving pony rides on his back, but we thought we'd try with Abbey. Pure enjoyment for all............even Abbey.

Rob and Mary's Big Day

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Congratulations to the Nuttersons, err, I mean the Andersons! Our good friends Mary and Rob joined the married ranks and tied the knot December 28th. We made the trip to Beloit, Wisconsin to help them celebrate. It was a beautiful wedding topped off with several inches of snow that day. What could be better than getting married in a winter wonderland? I'm so jealous, we only got ice!
Mary and Rob

Kelly, Jamie, Mary, and Dawn

Some good looking couples!


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Barb and Ron

Dave and his girls

Food, Family, Friends, and Fun this Christmas. I love Christmas--its my favorite time of year. And its not the presents.......I love the lights and garland, Christmas trees and ornaments, cookies and candy, church bells and carols, snow on the ground, and well, the presents too. But not just the ones I receive. I love going shopping and getting something that you hope your family member or special someone will love. Then the time comes when they get to open the gift that you picked out especially for them. The surprise on their face or just seeing how happy they were that you thought of them.

I also love the Christmas traditions and spending time with your family. As we get older, it becomes harder and harder to do, but there's just something about Christmas that makes the time spent together even better. We spent Christmas eve and Christmas morning in Morrison with my family. Each year the family is getting bigger. This was Madison's first Christmas and as predicted, she was spoiled (although I think being spoiled happens year round, so we will just say that she is loved very much). Santa found us all this year and I have to say, we all must have stayed on the nice list. About mid-morning we headed south again and back to Champaign. Christmas night was spent with Ron's family. We packed a lot into our holiday, along with a lot of miles, but time well worth it. How lucky we are to have such great families!

Aunt Kelly and Maddy

Maddy and Uncle Ron

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Wow - Christmas is almost here. We finished up our shopping and I wrapped the rest of our presents today. I can't hardly believe Christmas is already here. Tomorrow we head for my parents house. The weatherman is calling for a winter storm there. This may make driving a little tough, but I LOVE snow and a white Christmas would be perfect!

Abbey's moping around the house since we had to take Chloe home today, but that will be short-lived as Grandma's house offers the possibilities of lots of treats and playing with Joey and Rambo in the snow.

It's A Full House

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Ron's uncle had knee replacement surgery this week. Chloe, their 1 year old black lab is staying with us until the weekend. Abbey loves the company. "Mom" and "dad" are great, but nothing beats having a four-legged friend around to play with. Despite their age difference (at least 5 years) Abbey has been holding her own against her younger and much more agile companion. There was lots of running and playing around the house the first couple of days, but I think Chloe has finally worn Abbey out, much to Chloe's dismay.

While we love having another dog around the house (and Abbey loves it even more), we decided we'd either need to get a smaller dog or a bigger house. Two labs in our living room = one Christmas tree on the floor.

Honeymoon: Check Check

Sunday, December 16, 2007

We left on the Monday after our wedding for Tennessee. What a better way to recoup after a hectic time of wedding planning than to spend some time in a cabin in the mountains. Our cabin in the foothills of the Smokey mountains outside of Pigeon Forge was amazing and we can't wait to go back. There's something about curling up on the couch in front of the fireplace and sitting in a hot tub on a deck over looking the mountains. We were even luckier to drive up through the Smokey Mountain National Park after an evening snow. The views were breathtaking. After a few days of relaxation we headed to Nashville.

Staying at the Opryland Hotel was an adventure in itself and we're pretty sure we didn't see half of the things going on there. We did get to see some shows - the Rockettes and their Christmas show was great, we had a dinner cruise on the General Jackson Showboat, and their was a Pam Tillis dinner show included in our package too. We were able to tour the Ryman Auditorium and the Country Music Hall of Fame. The live entertainment on Broadway was awesome. We loved stopping into places to hear bands. Our last night in Tennessee we went to the Grand Old Opry - also great - it was held at the historic Ryman auditorium.

Our trip was overall fantastic. The escape from reality was nice, but way too short. We need to plan these vacations much more frequently!

Wedding: Check

Monday, December 10, 2007

What a day. Our wedding day was just as wonderful as we thought it would be and just an unpredictable. I almost got my snow-covered dream wedding---although no snow, we weren't definitely not lacking in precipitation.

Most of Illinois was facing a winter storm, leaving a think layer of ice on roads and powerlines. Luckily many of our family and friends were able to make the trip to Champaign and celebrate the day with us. Unfortunately, several left Champaign only to go home to power outages.

Despite the weather, everything was beautiful and I couldn't have asked for anything more. To all of our family and friends, thanks for making our day so special. We are so lucky to have you in our lives!

About Us

Sunday, December 9, 2007

How we met...
September 2002

Ron and I met while working at the University of Illinois. Ron was just beginning his job as a Research Specialist in the Department of Crop Sciences. I, on the other hand, was just finishing my master's degree and interviewing for the Extension IPM Specialist position. Even though we had met each other in the hallway several times, we never really talked to each other until the department's annual pie social. Little did we know that afternoon we would end up engaged 4 years later!

Ron's Birthday....The Day We Got Engaged
August 13, 2006

Ron decided that after church on Sunday he just couldn't wait any longer for his birthday present. After a lot of begging, I said okay. I anxiously waited for him to open up the XM Radio he had been wanting. Instead of the ooh's and ahh's I thought would follow, I got silence, followed "It's nice, but not really what I wanted." He got up and left the room. I didn't really know what to say except, "what did you want then?" At that point I was starting to get upset and he came back in, got on one knee, and said "what I would really like is for you to marry me..."

Our Wedding Day
December 1, 2007

It was a cold, icy day when we got married. We were lucky enough to be surrounded by family and friends that braved the weather to see us say "I Do". Definitely a day we will always remember....

Ron and Kelly:Year 1

Illinois Cooperative Agriculture Pest Survey