Wiki Famous!

Just had to take a second here and brag....


My mom brought it to our attention the other night as I guess she was trying to describe Gunpowder Fantasy to one of her weekly coffee ladies and when she did a Google search for more info it took her to the Historical Fantasy page on Wiki and listed it as a sub-genre. Under the Gunpowder Fantasy section it lists 3 examples of Gunpowder Fantasy authors - one of which is hubby!!!

How neat is that?

And no, he didn't edit himself into the Wiki page, I asked. It was just as much a surprise to him as it was to the rest of us =)

One of the other guys it lists is an older gentleman who mostly writes Warhammer novels for Games Workshop. So hubby's in good company it seems!

But yeah, here it is if you'd like to check out the Wiki page! It has a link right to hubby's website too which has all the info about his Gunpowder Fantasy series.


5 years...

Today the hubby and I celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary.

I'd like to say it's hard to believe it's been 5 years already, but in a way it's not...

In 5 years we've...

  • gone to Vegas
  • gotten a cat
  • totaled a car
  • survived a major hurdle in our 1st year
  • went through marriage counseling
  • went to numerous weddings
  • traveled to Dallas
  • hit a buck
  • had a baby and became parents
  • bought a house
  • lost jobs and gained others
  • got a dog
  • went through a major family crisis
  • began raising a teen
  • buried a parent
  • and many other "minor" life experiences that are too numerous to recall off the top of my head.

Needless to say, it's been a crazy 5 years! Hopefully the next 5 will be less dramatic =)

And while it's not an anniversary trip to Vegas like we had mentioned long ago (but sadly forgot about until it was too late to start saving for), we're planning on making our trip to see the Cowboys play the Bears in Chicago this December our anniversary gift! =D

Happy Anniversary hon! I love you!

That time I wrote a fanfic...

A little plug for myself here...

I wrote a fanfic.

As dorky as that sounds...

I believe I've mentioned it before but I got into Gossip Girl last summer (2012) right before the final season started and needless to say, I'm sort of having withdraws at no new episodes, rewatching a good chunk of the series and favorite episodes and reading some fanfics to help fill the void. I'm also a Chuck & Blair (aka Chair) shipper (Dan and Blair - Dair - was just ewwww!).

I was a little disappointed to find that there were no fanfics with alternate endings to the 100th episode with Blair's royal wedding (or at least none that I could find) so I decided to write my own and post it on fanfiction.net.

Feel free to read it and even review!

I haven't really written much fanfiction ever so this was kind of a first, but I like how it turned out. I wrote it all in one day too as once I started it just kinda flowed.

Thanks in advance!


Riddick Review

Yesterday hubby and I went to see the latest installment in Vin Diesel's Riddick franchise.

I gotta say, while it was entertaining, I was a bit disappointed - it basically felt like a Pitch Black reboot.

It starts out with Riddick injured and left for dead on a strange desolate planet. In a brief flashback we see how he came to no longer be the Necromonger Lord Marshall that he was awarded at the end of Chronicles of Riddick and how he got stuck on this new planet. The first portion of the film is basically Riddick tending to his wounds and living off the land with a dingo pup while fighting off the planet's predator creatures. Then he sees a storm brewing and with the storm, comes deadly predators (kinda like in Pitch Black, with the darkness comes the predators) so it's time to make an exit off the planet. He lures some bounty hunters to his location with a plan of commandeering one of their ships to make his escape.

So in short, the majority of the film is Riddick trying to get off the planet before all hell breaks loose, just like in the first film of the series.

Yeah... I was disappointed.

Even in Chronicles he got trapped on a planet he had to escape from but it didn't take up the whole movie.

In this one, the plot barely moves forward.

I would have liked to have seen more between Riddick and Vakko (Karl Urban) and the Necromongers and his quest to find Furya...

I did like the interaction between him and his pet dingo dog, despite the animal's fate being predictable.

Any of you guys see it yet? Thoughts?

By the way, this meme totally cracks me up:


The time Jay gave me a mini heart attack

We took Jay to the fair last month.

It was a fun time, for the most part.

Hubby and I had our regular fair food favorites - boy scout baked potatoes, boy scout sweet corn, Merry Maids ice cream... etc.

We spent time walking the exhibits and booths, Jay refused to go near the petting zoo, we caught the end of some dueling pianos and watched a magic show.

Eventually we headed over to the midway to play some games and ride some rides.

Jay won a ball from the pick-a-duck game and then I decided to try my luck with the quarter betting game where you pick a color and they let a mouse run around and pick the winning color. I had a dollar or 2 worth of quarters and decided to spend them. Hubby stood a few feet away with Jay in the stroller while his sis and her friend watched behind me.

I played my last quarter and looked over to hubby to see if he was ready to go. Then I looked down at the stroller and there was no sign of Jay. I looked at hubby to see if he had picked him up, but nope. I looked over at hubby's sis and her friend to see if maybe they had picked Jay up... nope! I asked hubby where Jay was - he got this puzzled confused look on his face, looked down at the stroller and had the same panicked look I had. I asked his sister and her friend if they saw him, when I said no I told them to start looking. They both were on the verge of panicking too.

Fortunately I had dressed him in a bright red shirt for this exact reason - to make him easy to spot if he wandered off! Well, that's exactly what he did - something caught his eye, he climbed out of the stroller (as we didn't bother fastening him in as he was doing fine all evening) and took off. Hubby found him a few seconds later wandering back behind one of the booths, grinning when he saw daddy coming towards him.

He gave mommy a mini-heart attack though! So glad he was safe and unharmed though! I don't even want to think about what could have happened!


Becoming a big boy!

A few milestones for Jay recently.

First night in big kid bed!
First, we transitioned him into a "big kid" bed last month. I always wanted to get him the race car bed and my parents had offered to buy it for him when the time came. While he was content in his crib, he was getting a bit big for it and we decided we didn't want him to be 3 years old and still sleeping in a crib.

So we made the switch. He did good the first night... then a few days later he was up half the night playing with his books and everything he could get into, pulling out all the clothes in the drawers and whatnot. Plus he can reach the light switch now to turn it on.

Most nights, if he's tired enough, he'll go right to sleep, others he'll sit and look at book. He seems to be doing better as the weeks go on.

He also got his first "big boy" haircut recently.

Up until this point my mother-in-law trimmed his hair and when she walked out on us I took over keeping it trimmed. But hubby and I talked and decided it was time for him to get first real big boy haircut as the bowl cut style he had been sporting was getting a bit old.

So I took him to CostCutters, he got to sit in the car chair while the female barber did her magic. He was a bit puzzled as she cut it and it fell to the floor and he saw himself in the mirror with much shorter hair. He was shaking his head "no" at one point too.

But it's done.  Sadly, he can't whip his hair back and forth anymore like he used to. And he looks soooo much like a big kid now too! Makes me a little sad that my baby is no longer a baby!


Achievement Unlocked: Golden!

Dazzlers 14k Gold Number 29 Charm PendantSo being the crappy blogger I've been this year (my bad guys, assuming any of you still read/subscribe/follow this here blog), I totally forgot to mention/post about my golden birthday!

Yeah, it's kind of a big deal I guess...

I turned 29 (!!!!) on August 29th this year.

And I wanted to make it memorable.

Granted, it wasn't quite as memorable as my 25th birthday (seeing NiN's final farewell show in Chicago on my exact birthday... which is kinda dumb now as NiN's touring again - damn you Trent Reznor!), but we still went out and made it fun!

Dueling Pianos and purple fishbowl drink!
We spent the night of my actual birthday going to Gameworks in Schaumburg. I've posted and tweeted about it before - it's a 2 story arcade place with a bar and after 9pm they kick the kiddies out and you can drink and game at the same time. Plus on Thursdays they have $10 unlimited gaming on all the non-ticket giving games. So we went and spent several hours doing that on my birthday since it was a Thursday. I had several drinks and was definitely tipsy!

Then Saturday night we went one of the local nightclubs in town for Dueling Pianos! This particular place has 2 guys that do dueling pianos perform on the last Saturday of every month. Since it was 2 days after my birthday, why not? It was a lot of fun and I got this giant purple fishbowl drink for $10... yeah was definitely feeling my drink! I also got some yummy cheesecake to celebrate too! I've been wanting to see Dueling Pianos ever since our trip to Dallas and we had planned on going to one place down there that does it only for it to be blacked out the night we had available to go... got a little treat of it at the fair last month... I definitely recommend checking em out if there's any place near you that has them! It's so much fun! I'd love to go again in the future!

For the most part, I really don't want to turn 30 (yeah, I'm one of those people!). So I'm forever staying 29 (at least for now, I may change my mind some day lol...) which means every year will be my golden birthday! lol...

The time I finally saw Sevendust

File:Next Cover.jpgOr should I say the time I finally saw an entire set of theirs?

This post has been like 14 years in the making.

It's taken that long for me to finally get to see one of my favorite rock bands play an entire set live.

It all started back in the fall of 1999, my freshman year in high school. Sevendust was bringing their headlining tour with Kittie, Powerman5000 and newcomers Staind (back in their heavy days) to my hometown's annual labor day festival On the Waterfront. Only problem though was that my aunt and uncle had gotten my best friend and I tickets to see either Fastball with Blessid Union of Souls or The Wallflowers (I forget which band was the big festival headliner that year, as one played this year and one played a different year that we went) and the shows were both at the same time, on opposite sides of the festival/river. Needless to say, we were obliged to go to the one we had paid extra for for tickets but the plan was that as soon as it was over we'd run across the river to catch whatever we could of Sevendust. Sadly, we got there during the last song.

Something that would become a running joke for me.

Fast forward a few years to 2003. Sevendust is co-headlining a tour with Staind and playing the Aragon in Chicago. Me and lazyass ex were big concert goers at the time and both liked Sevendust and Staind's older stuff so we decided to go. Only problem though - I had class til a certain time and couldn't leave any earlier than we did. And we hit some traffic on our way into the city, getting there about an hour late. We figured we'd be fine though as there was at least 1 opening band... well as we park and rush into the theater we hear Sevendust playing their encore! WTF??? Apparently the opening band canceled or something or went on earlier and we literally caught the tail end of Sevendust. I wasn't too happy... especially by this point Staind was in lite mode, only playing their heavier songs here and there (much to the displeasure of the majority of the crowd). I paid to see Sevendust, but got stuck only seeing Staind lite.

A few years later (circa 2008 I believe) I got a notice that Sevendust was coming to Chicago again, this time to my favorite venue, the HoB (House of Blues). I *really* wanted to go but sadly it just wasn't in the cards financially. Plus with my luck, I'd make it just into to catch the last song again.

Which brings us to now.

I found out a few weeks ago via the app BandsInTown that Sevendust was playing a show at the nightclub in my college town 30 miles away. Hubby and I both had the night off from work and if it wasn't on my bucketlist, seeing a full Sevendust set should have been cuz I was determined to see a set of theirs live at least once in my life. There was some confusion over the start time - 1 site said 7pm, the tickets said doors at 8 show at 9, the venue when we called said 8... we got there about 845 and the 1st band was just finishing so it was definitely happening!

They did a few new songs, including the latest single Decay, as well as a slew of their old hits (Bitch, Waffle, Too Close to Hate) as they made the point this was more of a fan reunion for them since they've been doing it so long and the majority of the crowd was people my own age or older that had been following the band for years (we stopped at one of my favorite local joints for food down there and the chick making our pitas/gyros had never heard of them while the chick that was working there since before I graduated 6 years ago teased her about being young).

I was down in the crowd for the first half of their set before moving back to where hubby stayed, eventually getting up on the board covered pool table he was sitting on. It got a bit rowdy too - considering how security was there when I saw Papa Roach and Nonpoint 10 years ago there, they pretty much didn't care - people started crowd surfing, moshing... saw a fight break out at the end, other girls and a drunk guy on one of the other board covered pool tables... it was pretty fun! They opened with Denial, closed it out with Face to Face (one of my favorites!). I also heard Xmas Day and Praise... only ones I wish they had played that they didn't were Crucified, Live Again, Enemy, and Broken Down (can you tell I liked the albums Animosity and Seasons? Glad they did Face to Face though, as that's one of my favorites from those 2!).

While the sound wasn't the best, considering the venue it wasn't terrible. (Another reason why I love the HoB - the sound there is amazing!). Night club shows rock though as it's such a small intimate setting, you really aren't far no matter where you're watching from!

So I can cross seeing a full Sevendust set live off my list now! Woot!


Steam Powered Giraffe, steampunk themed band

I know, I've sucked at this blogging thing so far this year... and I'm not even posting a real update this time either.

Just had to stop in and post about an awesome band hubby and I just recently discovered!


They're a steampunk themed band with a Vauderville sound and a good bit of the band has a robot gimmick they do which is AWESOME!

Robots The Spine and Rabbit are RL twin brothers (and the 2 remaining original robots), robot Hatchworth used to be the drummer before robot The Jon left in 2012. They also had a female robot named Upgrade who you can find in home-video clips on YouTube from their early performances at the San Diego Zoo and and Balboa Park. Now they tour around the country at various conventions like Anime Midwest and other geeky cons and festivals where people love Steampunk. It's pretty awesome! The backstory is they were robots created in the late 1800s... it's pretty awesome how much they put into this! I told hubby, next time they stop in Chicago we're going - I'd love to see them live!

Hubby stumbled across them last weekend while he was Googling "Brass Goggles" for a story idea and their YouTube video for Brass Goggles popped up. We've been hooked ever since.

Here's some of my favorites:

Brass Goggles - the one that started it all for us!

Diamonds cover - Spine's voice is amazing in this one! And the Steam Powered Giraffe makes an appearance too!

Me and My Baby (Saturday Nights) - Probably my favorite

Captain Albert Alexander - the commentary on this one is amusing as is Rabbit dancing around

Electricity is in My Soul - you can hear Upgrade in this one back when she was part of the band. And yes, this apparently was on Rock Band 3

An introduction, from one of the old park shows

Walter Robotics Rap - current lineup with Spine, Rabbit and Hatchworth


Anybody Still There?

Hello??? Remember me?

Yeah, I know, I've been a craptastic blogger the last few months... I make an effort for a few days and then it just kind of dies...

Anyways, I've been pretty busy the past few months with one thing or another.

Let's see... my sister had her baby - my 1st niece - in March. She was a few weeks early, they induced her for medical reasons, but she's pretty healthy and doing just fine! Her name is Arabelle, but we all call her Belle for short (my sis has been crazy about Disney's Beauty and the Beast for years - she even wore a yellow ballgown Belle dress for her senior prom a few years ago). My brother-in-law got orders to be stationed at Norfolk as of May 1 so my sister, him and Belle had a month to move out to Virginia, where they're currently residing near the base, in Virginia Beach. Kinda weird not having them around or seeing them every other week... Jay's quite smitten with his little cousin, being ever so curious and gentle with her, although it is amusing when he decides she doesn't need a binky and yanks it out of her mouth, or decides she needs to wear socks/booties and attempts to put them on her, lol...

Here's a few Jay/Belle photos:
Easter 2013 (with my dad)
The feels!!!
He was trying to hold her hand during the car ride into downtown Chicago
And this happened:

Jay met Carly and Chica from Sprout's Sunny Side Up Show in Chicago at the end of April, as well as a Sportacus impersonator (I was really hoping to meet the real Magnus Scheving as he often makes appearances - would have been so cool to say I met an Olympic gymnast!). Jay was a little shy, lol...

Obligatory Bean photo!
That trip to Chicago was kind of my sister's last "Hurrah" in the city before they moved. It was also hubby's sister's first time actually in the city too, so we made a day of it downtown, visiting Navy Pier and Millennium Park as well as walking along Michigan Ave (she's recently gotten into the Divergent series and was super excited to see in person a lot of the places she had read about in the book). I must say, considering it was my 1st time actually driving in downtown Chicago, it wasn't nearly as bad as I had always been told it was!

In Jay news, we attempted potty training. It didn't go very well - he went a few times after sitting on the potty for what felt like hours but he didn't seem interested in the least so we figure we'll try again this summer. He's also gotten really into VeggieTales and is a bit attached to his plush LarryBoy he picked out at the Christian store not too long ago.

Hubby has some news of his own - he finally got a driving spot this summer for UPS! It's the last step in the process to get on as a full-time supervisor (something he's been wanting for years) so once he's done with his driving in September all we have to do is wait for a full-time position to open up somewhere in the area! It's pretty rough though as he had to spend a week at a conference center in the Chicago suburbs for training and now the route he's driving is at a center just over an hour away down south (it's 8-6...ish so he leaves by 630am and doesn't get back til at least 730, if not later on the weekdays... it really sucks as I see him maybe a few hours if that). But it'll be worth it!

In addition to hubby's sister going to downtown Chicago for the first time, she also got to go to her first formal event as her homeschooled friends invited her to their co-op's annual spring formal event. She had a lot of fun. She also does (board) game night with her friends a few Friday's a month (they rotate houses) and she's starting her first paying babysitting gig this week, babysitting the kids of one of hubby's former coworkers once a week all summer. We also pay her to mow the grass when the weather's nice. Right now she's getting ready to go on our church's annual youth group missions trip to Kentucky which is next week. When she gets back we need to get the ball rolling on getting her enrolled for school in the fall as she'll be starting her 1st year of high school and attending real school (as she's been homeschooled all her life).

I've been reading a bit - finished the Arthas World of Warcraft book (it was good, I learned some backstory I didn't know about Arthas and even Sylvanas, however it did feel like it dragged on at parts taking me forever to finish it); I read the final Sookie Stackhouse (aka True Blood) book and was a bit disappointed, as I expected based on everyone else's reactions to the end of the series (I'm sorry, but you don't end a series like that! Gimme a freaking "years later" epilogue! Don't be lazy and leave the main character's future open-ended!). I also started the Divergent trilogy, having finished the first book in 3 sittings and just started the second - it's an easy read, a bit predictable at times, but still fun and light reading! Think I'll revisit Westeros next and attempt to read more in the Game of Thrones series as I've only gotten through the 1st book.

Speaking of Game of Thrones... holy Red Wedding Batman! Now I know why it's referred to as the Red Wedding! Gotta say, the finale was a bit of a letdown after that episode, but I hear a lot of it was setup for the next season, as remember - seasons 3 and 4 make up book 3, so we're only halfway through the 3rd book so I can't even imagine what epic-ness is going to happen next season! Gotta say, Dany ripping Astapor a new one was definitely one of my favorite scenes of the season (I believe it's the last 5 minutes in episode 4 of season 3). Also looking forward to season 4 of The Walking Dead and what's in store... not so much looking forward to True Blood though - I missed the last half of last season and can't say I'm that anxious to catch up and watch the new season... I liked the books (save for how she ended the series) but the show just strays waaaaay too much and it drives me nuts... I get adding on for the other characters storylines but I don't understand why they had to change the main storylines all around (they killed off the wrong fairy in season 4 for crying out loud - the one they killed off right away is a main supporting character later in the series that you grow to love!).

We saw a few movies in theaters the last few months. Hubby's sis and I had a girls night and saw Oz the Great and Powerful - it was a nice prequel to the classic story (which I've been crazy about since I was little!) although I wished they had tied in Wicked and left the Wicked Witch's name as Elphaba. My mom and I went and saw The Great Gatsby for Mother's Day (hubby had to work alllll day and so my dad offered to watch Jay so my mom and I could go do something fun - we also got lunch and pedicures) - it was pretty good, despite me never having read the story (I will say though, after getting hooked on Gossip Girl, it's definitely like a modern day version of Great Gatsby, with Dan Humphrey as Gatsby and Serena as Daisy!). Hubby and I went and saw the new Star Trek movie which I did enjoy and then we went and saw the latest Fast and Furious installment which was a lot of fun and if you saw the clip in the end credits then you definitely know exactly why I'm super excited to see the next installment!!!

I also played some more of Portal 2... I will finish all my games I've started someday... I have been hooked on Candy Crush Saga for quite some time though! I'm at level 273 right now - it helps I have a friend I'm playing against, trying to keep pace with... we keep passing the other up, it's pretty fun!

In other news...

Hubby's parents divorce was finalized mid-May. At the end of February (the day before my father-in-law's birthday) my estranged mother-in-law announces via a Facebook relationship status change that she's in a relationship with a guy that (based on our interactions with him online and how he presents himself on Facebook) can only be described as a total d-bag. Needless to say, (to make a long story short) as the saying goes, the "shit hit the fan" after that with the remainder of her kids - she can't accept the truth that we're mad about how she left us, what she's continued to do since and her continuous lies to us (for example, we offer to fly her home, she refuses... giving us yet another excuse/lie as to why she can't be here - one such lie was that she had to be there for her former niece who was having medical procedures done in the spring and she needed to continue to help her with her kids she'd been taking care of... yet she up and walks out on all of them the same way she did to us just weeks after making her relationship with this d-bag public... so much for that excuse!). She'd rather just tell everyone that her kids chose their dad's side instead of hers when that's not the case, as most of us never chose sides. And this boyfriend of hers just screams bad news (he has a 3rd degree felony battery charge, not to mention he is very verbally abusive and foul online, constantly speaks for my mother-in-law instead of letting her speak for herself and pretty much persuades her as to who she should be friends with online, getting her to block all of us kids as well as a bunch of her friends from up here).

He also kept saying she was getting a divorce "soon" which implied we had to beat her to the punch as hubby's sister, only being 14, did not want to get stuck with her mom and this bad news d-bag down in Florida, as there's no guarantee that if they had joint custody that my mother-in-law would put her back on the plane. Plus, if anything were to happen to my father-in-law, given his poor health, custody would automatically default to my mother-in-law and we'd have to fight, not to mention in his state of health at the time and the fact that he had been in nursing care for months with his daughter living with us, well... my mother-in-law wouldn't have to fight too hard to get any custody. Also, if she filed first and in Florida, we would have to either get my father-in-law down there for court to contest it or find a trustworthy lawyer down there to fight it for him. As much as he didn't want to divorce her, he realized it was in the best interest of their daughter for him to do so and in filing up here he was able to name hubby and myself as interveners and request the court grant hubby and me full custody of his daughter due to his health and the abandonment of her mother - if my mother-in-law cared to contest it, she would have to show her face up here or get someone to do it for her.

Needless to say, my mother-in-law doesn't care enough about her kids anymore to bother contesting anything and clearly her sugar daddy doesn't care about her having anything to do with her family as instead of helping her get up here for court or hire someone to contest anything in the papers (ie: child support!) he announced he'd take her on a shopping spree to help fill up their walk-in closet. What a great guy ya bagged there - can't wait to see/hear his reaction when you up and walk out on him and his daughter that's almost the same age as your own!

We were fortunate to get the divorce stuff finalized when we did, as just 13 days later (May 29) my father-in-law suddenly passed away.

4 month old Jay with Grandpa J
Now I know, he's been sick with some serious health issues for the last few years, being in and out of the hospital so many times since last fall that I've lost count (plus the 2 times before that), however I say suddenly as when we saw him the day the divorce was finalized he seemed to be doing pretty well, not to mention the day he passed, several people visited with him earlier in day and all said he seemed to be doing much better than he had in months! But I guess it was his time...

I think most of us were at peace with him passing - I know I had said goodbye to him in my heart months ago, and the reality of it was that we weren't expecting him to make it another year. I am quite proud of how hubby's sister handled it, for only being 14... when we broke the news to her she shed a few tears but made the comment that at least we know he's no longer suffering and in any pain. She spent the rest of the week and weekend surrounding herself with friends and her siblings.

Sadly, she didn't want to go to the private family viewing the day before the funeral or say one last goodbye at the visitation prior to the funeral service... hubby and one of his brothers tried to push her to do so, but the result was just tears. I don't blame her though... the way she felt, it was just his corpse, he wasn't in there, so what was the point and in having to see that? Plus, one of hubby's aunts was a little too insistent that everyone touch his body... it was a tad bit creepy and awkward - even her grown son argued with her about it, citing he didn't want to touch his uncle's body, not that he was afraid, he just didn't want to and didn't see the point.

We were very fortunate that people were generous in their donations (my father-in-law did missions work and even headed a ministry that taught about apologetics, cults, the occult and the end times) as he didn't have life insurance and the funeral/burial planning and expenses somehow (as usual) all fell on hubby and I (still baffled that not one of his sisters offered to help with expenses... one of their sons did!). We had a private lender who requested to be anonymous help us with the money upfront, as we had only about 1/4th of what we needed the morning of the funeral and burial and the funeral home said they wouldn't continue with the visitation and service if we didn't pay the morning of and the cemetery said they would not bury him if we didn't have their money that afternoon. Hubby and I were both majorly stressing until the lender came forward (I need to get my hair recolored as my greys are out of control thanks to all this lol...). So the lesson learned here folks, is make sure you have life insurance!!! If we had more time, hubby said he could have taken it out of his retirement, stocks and 401k's through work, but even that takes weeks to come through...

There were a few memorable things that happened at the funeral:

  • Riding 1st car behind the hearse on the way to the cemetery after the funeral service, going through all the lights and seeing the string of cars behind us down one of the main roads in town - holding up traffic was pretty awesome!
  • We had Jay with us all day as everyone that watches him was there anyway. The church had the bookstore open while the visititation was going on and being that Jay's on a VeggieTales kick right now he saw some VeggieTales stuff in there and took off running to check it out... only his pants were a tad too big and fell down around his ankles. I don't know about you, but seeing little diapered butts hanging out cracks me up, especially when they're running with pants down around their ankles lol...
  • My youngest brother-in-law couldn't make the family viewing the day before due to work and was running late to the visitation before the service so naturally he was speeding and of course a cop pulled him over. He admitted he knew he was going like 90/95mph and flat out told the cop he was already late to his father's funeral. The cop asked where it was and told him to follow him - the cop put his siren and lights on and my brother-in-law had to step on the gas and do at least 110mph to keep up! So yeah, he got a police escort to his father's funeral and no ticket! Talk about an awesome cop!
  • While not amusing, hubby and his brother that picked out the burial plot noticed at the graveside service that the cemetery people dug the wrong hole! The one they dug would ultimately have the headstone sitting right in front of a scrawny little tree instead of the green shrubbery they had been told would be there (they specifically told them when they picked out the plot they did not want the tree and were assured it would not be there). Afterwards we all went to the office and then the office ladies took a trip to the gravesite with us... after some debate and pointing things out to them we got them to agree to switch out the young tree with one of the abundance of shrubs throughout the cemetery as they said they couldn't dig the plot next to the one that was already dug anytime in the near future due to safety issues.

So yeah... that should catch you all up on the past few months in my life.


Oh Snow Day!

We actually got a decent amount of snow a few weeks ago and I was finally off work for the afternoon when it happened so I stopped and picked up a sled on clearance on my way home and got Jay bundled up in his snow gear and we went out to have some fun!

He's much more fascinated by snow this winter than he was last year!

Checking out the sled
Riding in the sled
 He started picking up chunks of snow as we went along lol...
I sat him in the snow and rolled around in it... somehow he ended up almost down in the neighbor's driveway, lol...

Choo Choo, Jay is 2!

While Jay's actual birthday was the 4th, we celebrated it the day before as the 4th was a Monday this year.

We decided to invite family as well as a few friends with younger kids and we did a walk-in party on a Sunday afternoon at Chuck E Cheese, as Jay loves riding all the rides there. We brought Thomas and Friends party decor, and after getting bumped from the long tables down front (apparently "they're all reserved, whether there's a reserved sign on the table or not"... whateva!) we took up a slew of booths off to the side in the tot area, so that worked out. Before hubby and I could get our coats off and set our supplies down Jay was throwing a fit cuz he wanted to take off and go play, lol...

Gotta say, considering we had 6 kids total, plus 2 teenagers and a handful of adults, it wasn't too bad cost-wise to do a walk-in party - we bought cups for pop for those that wanted it and got free water cups for everyone else, bought 200 tokens (with coupons) that we split up among the kids. The cake was made by our regular cake lady and I bought the party decor and favors from Party City.

The kids all seemed to have a blast though, so it was a fun time! Jay got several new Thomas toys that he loves, among a few other fun ones he seems to be enjoying!

Here's some photos of the fun!

He didn't want to ride the kiddie carousel - he wanted to ride the big derby racing horsey!
Going for a ride with Chuck E Cheese!
His 2nd birthday cake

He tried to grab the candle, lol...

 Hubby's face in this one cracks me up!
We think Jay was trying to "beep" Chuck E's nose like we do at home, lol...

No more spam!

Be ready for an influx of posts, as I have some time (and energy!) to blog and quite a few things to post!

But first...

No more anonymous comments - sorry folks, ya need an openID/Google Account to comment.

I know everyone hates Captchas and the Blogger ones with numbers in them now are super annoying, but without having to go back to putting those annoying things on the comment form, well... I end up with 31 anonymous spam comments on a post about the Gossip Girl series finale (among other older posts)... yeah... not a genuine comment on that post... kinda disappointing...

So yeah... no more anonymous comments - sorry! But it's not like most people don't have a Google account these days anyway...


XOXO... Farewell GG!

Like many of you in Blogland and on Twitter, I too got hooked on the CW show Gossip Girl. However, like a handful of you last year, I didn't get introduced to it until it came to Netflix Streaming.

I started it last summer, got a few episodes into the first season, thought it was okay, but kind of forgot about it and didn't get back into it until later in the summer.

And then I got hooked.

It was sort of my late-night escape from the stress I was dealing with at home and it became a guilty pleasure.

And you know a show is a good if hubby can get drawn into it just by watching an episode here and there when he gets home from work and I've got it on - he too got caught up in the Upper East Side drama and the Chuck and Blair saga, often asking me to catch him up on the episodes I watched while he was at work that night.

But of course, all shows I get hooked on often come to an end too soon. And so was the case with Gossip Girl, as by the time I got caught up to the current season, I learned that it was also the last season. And a shortened one at that!

Boob Tube Babble ended last year, but oh well, let's talk about the finale, shall we?

(And stop reading now if you don't want to read any spoilers!)

Awwww - Chuck and his mini-me!
Chair... Chuck and Blair... they finally got their happy ending! Yay!!! And I loved how in the 5 Years Later epilogue they're still happily married with a mini-Chuck! Too bad they saved the wedding for the end of the final episode though and a good chunk of the final season had them keeping that stupid "we can't be together yet" pact. I mean c'mon - we all knew they were going to end up together, they're perfect for each other (she brings out the good in him and is his center)... why not just let them be together the whole season, still have them accomplish their personal goals all while Blair is planning their wedding and have it go out with a blast the way only Chuck and Blair could? But that would make too much sense...

Speaking of things making sense...

Rufus and... Lisa Loeb? Wtf?
Clearly Lily never learns. I really hoped her and Rufus would reconcile and be together again in the epilogue. Granted, I like how Rufus was in the early seasons before he became a househusband but still... him and Lily had a bond that spanned decades. But no... she had to go and get back together with that slimeball William, yuck! Him and Ivy deserved each other, they were both gross! And Rufus and Lisa Loeb... that's one of those surprising but not really surprising ones, as she had guest starred as his band's opening act in season 1 for that Artists of the 90s gig and he mentioned her again in this season's Thanksgiving episode. Kinda funny though and amusing that the majority of the young folk watching/tweeting/commenting didn't know who she was, lol...

This GIF = giggles
Dan as Gossip Girl??? Say what?! It makes sense, but I really didn't think it was him, considering how he was a regular target. I read a comment posted on a Gossip Girl YouTube video that had a very convincing Nelly Yuki as GG theory - made a lot of sense as she became a journalist, had a crush on Dan in high school (which would explain Serena being targeted a lot) and was in Blair's posse but still a jealous minion. I also thought maybe it was Serena's brother Erik too, as that would kind of make sesne... kind of. Like many, I do wonder if the writers always intended Dan as being GG or if it was just a cop-out as they needed it to be someone well-known in the series with a viable motive...

I would have liked to have seen more of the aftermath of the reveal that GG was Dan the whole time - what happened in the days to follow? Did the UES give him an UES-style lynching or did they just let it roll off their backs like Serena, Chuck and Nate did?

Serena's dress was pretty and so her!
And Serena still ends up with Dan. At least their wedding happened 5 years later as anything in the present time would have just been too soon and not made any sense considering all he had recently put her through when they got back together. Honestly, I would have liked to have seen her end up with someone like that Steven guy she was with for the first half of the final season, being a socialite trophy wife like her mom, or even with Nate - her and Nate would have made a picture-perfect UES couple. And why just a small simple wedding... in what looked like the former Waldorf Penthouse??? I would have expected a Serena VDW wedding to be a bit more elegant and elaborate...

Speaking of Nate... kinda sad that he didn't end up with anyone significant. But his tabloid The Specatator did seem to take off and he became a successful businessman...

Gotta say though, the flashback scene was pretty cute! And glad Dan finally fixed his hair 5 years later... it was getting nasty looking! Oh and Georgina and Chuck's Uncle Jack together 5 years later... LOL! That was quite clever, and awesome!

If you got hooked on Gossip Girl and watched the finale, tell me your thoughts! Not gonna lie, I was a little bummed to come back to Blogland and see a lack of GG finale posts - I want to discuss!!! =D


A new year, a new post

Well, well, well...

My NIU Huskies in the Orange Bowl?
Heck yeah!
Long time, no see Blog Friends!

I know I took a bit of a break there, not blogging much the past few months, my last post being a Halloween recap in mid-November!

I have been busy though, as I took on a part-time management position at work that was originally supposed to just be seasonal but I decided to stay on it permanently as it's pretty easy, not much more work than what I was already doing, and with a slight increase in hours and pay. However with the holidays the past 2 months, you can imagine working retail gets a bit busy and crazy. But now that the holidays are over, work has slowed down incredibly.

I do have some GREAT news though! My father-in-law is officially out of my house and is staying with ASTA Care. He had a couple hospital trips in the past few months, one of which had us for quite a scare as he apparently took too much of his pain meds, in addition to having high potassium and nearly overdosed. And then he got real sick with whatever was going around and after his last hospital stay before Christmas they released him to a rehab center (as he is incredibly weak and needs physical therapy to regain his strength). He was there for about a week and then they were able to transfer him to the ASTA Care place. Hubby's uncle assured me the other day that he will be there indefinitely and will not be coming back to our house. Such a relief! He was really getting to be a handful there at night and it didn't help that both hubby and I were working like crazy and running on little sleep!

As far as 2012 goes in general... it was a pretty craptastic year. Aside from every parent's worst nightmare, I really don't see how 2013 could be any worse. I mean, 2012 started out okay, but ever since my mother-in-law up and left us all a little over 6 months ago, making my ill and weak father-in-law our responsibility, the year went downhill fast. Hubby losing his day job didn't help matters either.

But I guess some good things did happen...

Jay had his 1st birthday, I paid my car off, my sister got married and we pulled off a great wedding in 5 weeks, Hubby published his novel in various e-Reader formats along with several short stories, we took a family overnight trip to Madison and visited the zoo, Jay's urologist deemed him "cured" from his kidney/ureter/hydronephrosis issues, I had my 10 year high school reunion, attended my 5 year college homecoming and my alma mater went on to play in the BCS Orange Bowl last night despite nasty remarks from various sports commentators and ESPN. Jay was the cutest Little Link from Zelda for Halloween. And hubby found another day job, that while it doesn't pay as well as his previous day job (causing me to pick up more hours at work), he enjoys it much better. I also got hooked on Gossip Girl thanks to Netflix and many of you here in Blogland and on Twitter, only in time for the series to end!

So yeah... I'd say this year was probably as bad as 2009 was for me and I see 2013 as being nothing but better.

I'm not really making any resolutions this year, other than to blog a bit more than I have the past few months. I finally have some "free" time and time to myself at night now, so I should be able to get a post out here and there from time to time.