The List is Growing!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Is it peer pressure? Am I that influential? Or is blogging just that much fun? We have blog to add to our growing list of friends! Adrienne has succumbed to to the blogging world and has started a blog for her and her husband Nick. I can't believe it, but in just 2 months they're going to celebrate their first anniversary and lose their newlywed status. I'm sure I'm going to find lots of advice at Adrienne's Berry Patch along with lots of fun stories on what they've been up to. Just don't tell Nick about the blog....since Adrienne hasn't yet.

You know what this means.......increasing pressure for Sondra or Stephanie or maybe even Stacy or Melissa to start blogging. And believe me, those would have some interesting stories.

It was....computerless Wednesday
Not really, since I was at work all day, but for the first time in weeks, I didn't bring my laptop home. Or any work either. Not that I didn't have any, it's neatly piled beside me on my desk today. We had bible study at church last night and then Ron and I went home to watch some of we like to call "crap" tv before going to bed. "Crap" tv falls under the category of those reality tv shows that just keeping taking over the networks. Don't get me wrong, we're addicted to a couple of those ourselves....The Biggest Loser, Ice Road Truckers, The Deadliest Catch to name just a few. Remember the good old days when shows like the Cosby show were so popular? Wait, I don't want to get on a soapbox on how how the different media forms (tv, radio, video games) are shaping our future..........

I just wanted to let everyone know we survived the night without using the internet, checking email, and writing on the blog. I don't think I'm going to try to two nights in a row though.

Meet the Nuttersons

Monday, February 25, 2008

Our friends, Mary and Rob, who were married in December have joined the blogging masses. You can catch up on all their latest activities and adventures at Keeping Up With The Nuttersons. Now we just need to get a few more of our friends to do the same! (I know you're out there....and reading the blog!)

I May Be Losing My Mind

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Well, not really, but I've felt like it the past couple of days. Its crunch time at work -- major reports are due and I'm hitting the peak of program planning for our regional meeting. Things at home are slowing down slightly, but only enough to make you realize how much extra time you would like at home before darting out the door to the next thing that needs to be done.

Friday night as I was beginning to fall asleep, I thought of a great topic that I wanted to include in the blog. However, I was not going to get out of my warm cocoon of blankets and pillows to grab to the laptop and put my thoughts down. I really should have. I can't for the life of me remember what I wanted to blog about. What I do remember is what I wanted to title the blog - "Things Change" - and the overall sense of my thoughts was comparing things of when I was younger to what they are now. I was hoping that over the course of the weekend, my line of thinking would return or there would be that certain item or word that would trigger my memory. I must be losing my mind. It feels awful that I can't remember what I was thinking about. You will have to keep your eyes out for a future post in case I ever remember. I laugh to myself, because I was so happy that I was finally going to get out of my blogging rut and share something besides photos. Oh well, there's always tomorrow.Will I get out of bed next time and type it all out? Probably not. Its so warm and cozy in bed, and I do so cherish my sleep.

Self Portrait Saturday

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Not exactly Self Portrait Saturday, but when going through photos, I found these pictures of Ron and friends. Who could pass up putting these out on the web?

Darren, Jared, & Ron at Jared's wedding in Michigan.

Ron, Jared, & Darren at Jared's party after accepting his new job with Monsanto.

Picture from mom

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Busy as a bee

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Well, I finally made it to lunch and I'm blogging from work. Shhhh...don't tell anyone. Remember my last post (I love 3-day weekends!)? They are great for that extra day of doing something besides work. Now its Wednesday and I'm up to my eyeballs in work. But don't worry, I'm not asking for that extra day back. I'll just muddle my way through it all today.

For those of you that don't know what I do, I'm a research scientist at the Illinois Natural History Survey. My official title is the state survey coordinator of the Illinois Cooperative Agriculture Pest Survey Program. In simpler terms, I coordinate surveys for invasive and exotic insects, weeds, and plant pathogens. I work the Illinois Department of Agriculture and USDA-APHIS-PPQ to identify pests that are a threat to be introduced to the state of Illinois and could have a detrimental affect on our agriculture, forests, and urban areas (just to give a few examples). Then, once they are identified, I have to go look for them. We've been working on getting a website up and running and part of that also includes my other blog Pest Alerts and Updates from the Illinois Cooperative Agriculture Pest Survey Program. This blog is mostly used to pass relevant news, fact sheets, and resources on to the public. The website has a ways to go, but feel free to check out the blog to keep up to date with invasives in Illinois. My annual CAPS report is due soon, so I'm busy summarizing everything I've done in the past year for surveys as well as data entry. One bonus of this is that I won't have to redo too much when it come time to turn in my annual report for the Survey.

Anyway, back to my original venting...I'm currently one of the co-chairs of the annual meeting of the North Central branch of the Entomological Society (think people who study insects). Yesterday we had 2 symposia drop out and almost a third today. But instead, with the help of my former advisor, we will be taking over lining up speakers and talks. I won't bore you with all the details, but let's just say we're running out of time and the deadline was last week. So, I've been on the phone all morning begging for assistance. And it looks like this will be most of my afternoon as well.

The good news today....we get to pick up our wedding proofs and digital images this afternoon after work. We've been able to see the images online for awhile now, but I'm very excited to have them in my hands and start choosing photos for our album. I LOVE our photos. I can't wait to share some of them with you! We're also heading to church tonight for bible study. Sometime I'm going to share some of what we're covering, but that's another post. Which reminds me, I better get some reading done before I start making those phone calls again.

I love 3-day weekends!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Yep, that's right. I have today off from work. Yay for President's Day! Most people have to go into work today, but I'm one of the lucky ones that get to sleep in, or at least I would have if Abbey would have had the decency to sleep in too. So instead, I was up early making plans for the day. I have to admit though, right now I'm not any more motivated to clean the kitchen than I was yesterday. I've been making small progress getting the house picked up, but not nearly to the extent I would like. We've been busy this weekend, so I didn't get all the time I intended to work on the house (I'll also admit that it felt pretty good to take a nap yesterday too!).

We also spent time this weekend running errands around town, paying bills, and overall getting caught up on some things with been drastically behind on. Barb has been in the hospital since Wednesday afternoon and its looking very good that she will be able to go home today. Hopefully the doctors have figured out what has been making her sick and unable to keep food down.

Abbey hates the vacuum cleaner; she spent some time outside Saturday morning moping while I cleaning. It actually looks like a spring day, and it was fairly warm for a couple of hours.

I'm putting cleaning the kitchen on my to-do list as well as getting some of our wedding stuff organized and boxed up. I'd love to be able to get our spare room in order, but that may just be a little too ambitious for today.

Abbey is going spend her day sleeping - What's everyone else doing today?

Self Portrait Saturday

Saturday, February 16, 2008

I haven't been very good about posting anything this week, but I'm going to try hard this upcoming week to put a little more than photos on the blog. But I didn't want to skip a "self portrait Saturday".

Happy Birthday Dad!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad/Grandpa from all of your girls (and Ron, Erik & Mike too)

The whole family at our wedding in December

The mighty hunters

Tailgating at the football game

Teaching Madison all about farming

Dad and the girls

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Wow...its that one day a year when love is filling the air. Chocolate candy, red roses, and mushy cards. I hate to disappoint my loyal blog followers, but Ron and I are not celebrating Valentines Day this year. What!?! you may ask, are you thinking? You're newlyweds! We are in fact celebrating a holiday today, but in our house, its Valentimes Day (corny, I know). What is different about this holiday you wonder? Well, no mushy cards for one - And its not that I don't like those mushy cards (Ron will tell you, I've kept all the cards he's every given me). In fact, the very first Valentines Day card he gave me had 2 turtles on it and has something to the effect of "breaking out of ones shell", I can't remember the specifics. What I do remember about that very first Valentines Day is that he got me a pair of brown gloves with a number "3" on them (from the gas station) as a joke.....well the joke is on him, I still have those too. Anyway, back on task. We've been so busy lately that neither of us have had time to pick up a card for the other. I did however order him a gift off of the internet (that still hasn't shown up yet). We're going out to dinner tonight or sometime this weekend to celebrate our first Valentine's Day together, so you hopeless romantics out there shouldn't be worried!

Another weekend gone

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Where does the time go? This weekend felt like it was over before it barely got started. We managed once again to pack quite a few things into the last two days. While Ron was at his mom's Friday night, I worked on cleaning our very dirty house and our very dirty dog. I didn't get too much accomplished with the house, but Abbey is squeaky clean and smells great!

When Ron got home on Saturday morning, we went out for breakfast and then to run errands. We ran into one of Ron's friends from SIU when we stopped at Barnes & Noble. It was great to catch up with Hannah and also meet her son. Unfortunately Barb has been feeling a little sick the past couple of days. We took her to the hospital later in the day, but good news, she's feeling better and its looks like a trip to the doctor may have done the trick.

Sunday morning was spent at church, and this afternoon we spent working on projects. Ron finished up a poster for the Illinois Soybean Association meeting and I worked on Madison's birthday present. Still a long way to go for me, but I good start I think. This reminds me that I'll have to post a picture of my latest project I finished later this week.

This week is starting as busy as last week ended but I'll have lots to share!

Self Portrait Saturday

Saturday, February 9, 2008

My sister Melissa and mom at our wedding

Midwest Weather

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

It doesn't get any crazier than weather in the midwest. Being in Champaign, we generally get a mix of weather, but this takes the cake. In the last five days, we've had 8 inches of snow followed by a significant warm up.
(Not a bad picture for taking it from the passenger seat!)

The almost 50 degree weather then melted most of that wonderful white stuff I love so much over the course of 2 days. Besides turning everything into a soggy mess, dense fog resulted from our little heat wave.
(The view from my office window on Monday. Visibility less than 100 feet.)

But, our wacky weather doesn't end there. Thunderstorms and heavy rain made their way into central Illinois yesterday and our already saturated ground, refuses to take anymore water. Flooding is common everywhere you look and sump pumps are running ragged around town.
(Not a very good picture, but what can I say, it was pouring down rain! A view of the water on our street Tuesday evening about 5 pm)

Did I mention that later today the rain is supposed to change to snow again?

**This just's snowing wildly outside my office this morning and it's already starting to accumulate. What's next?

Drunken Sailor?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I'm not sure sure what my sister has been giving Madison, but she's walking like a drunken sailor. Okay, ignore the staggering and focus on Madison walking!

Self Portrait Saturday

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Not a self portrait I took this time, but one of our nieces, Leslie and Kayla, that they took at our wedding.

Let's Celebrate!

Friday, February 1, 2008

As pointed out by my loving husband today, February 1 marks our 2-month anniversary as a married couple. All right, quit your laughing at us, we've never really had anniversaries to celebrate before. We were together almost 4 years before we got married and never really had a "true anniversary," (a long story, but the short, short version- we had differing ideas when we "officially" started dating, so no real anniversary, but hey we turned out just fine!)So, I'm going to celebrate these little things whenever I can. Why not? It's just one more thing to be happy about in life.

This, in addition to today being the "go red for women day" that kicks off Heart Disease Awareness month, made me realize that there's a lot of causes that are designated to this second month of the year. I did a little google search and here are just a FEW that I found:

American History Month
Black History Month
Body Awareness Month
Canned Food Month
Electrical Safety Awareness Month
International Twit Award Month
Library Lovers Month
National Cancer Prevention Awareness Month
National Children's Dental Health Month
National Grape Fruit Month
National Parent Leadership Month
National Snack Food Month
Pet Dental Health Month
Responsible Pet Owners Month
Return Carts to Supermarket Month
Sinus Pain Awareness Month
Termite Awareness Month

What are you celebrating this February?