Friday, December 28, 2007

Reflections on 2007

2007. What a year!
I did a lot of traveling:
Living in Connecticut, going to NYC every chance I got, Philadelphia, home to Michigan quite a bit, Boston, New Hampshire a few times, Washington DC, the New Jersey coast, Florida, many trips to Chicago.
I saw some famous people:
Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, Toby Keith, Chris Daughtry, Martina McBride, Josh Turner
Some NHL action:
Detroit Red Wings, Nashville Predators, NY Rangers, Boston Bruins, Ottawa Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning, Pittsburgh Penguins
Weddings!
Bob and Maria, (Holly and Josh, Carmen and Brent -- I couldn't make it to those two), Martha and Brad (what a beautiful beach wedding!), Mary and Steve, Melissa and Eric
Family news:
Kristin and Jason moved back up north, and they're going to have a baby!! I'm (finally!) going to be an aunt! and some sad family news: my auntie Sharon died.
Some times that tested my character or patience:
airplanes/airports! ahhhh! the trip back from Washington, DC, trying to sleep in a tent on a beach while an insane storm raged overhead, a memorable 2-hour traffic jam at the GWB, Macy's fourth of July fireworks, being without a cellphone and away from home for 3 weeks
Some highlights (besides some things listed above):
My birthday with my sister and friends in the city, the frrrrrrrrozen hot chocolate from Serendipity, the things I received before I moved home, Tamara and Sarah came home with me for a week, fall adventures, teaching math!, assisting with taking wedding photos

Whew! That's all for now!
Once again,
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2008!!!

Merry Holidays!

What a busy week it has been!! Thanks to a nice week-long vacation, every day has felt like the weekend. We've had some great Christmas parties and fun family nights, too. On Christmas Eve, we were going to make a gingerbread house, but only two of my sisters wanted to do it with me. Everyone else was busy doing something else. SO instead of making the gingerbread house, we used all of the materials for a food fight. :) Yeah, as in frosting all over the face and hair, candy everywhere, etc. That kind of food fight. I can't say I've ever had one at home before, but it sure was fun! So I have to say, we enjoyed "making the gingerbread house." (although it never did get made.)
One really cool thing I got was a calendar for 2008 of NYC. My sister used my photos from the past year and made the calendar for me. What a surprise!! I love looking at it!
Congratulations again to DAVID on some awesome hockey games! He's so modest, he doesn't know how to take praise. But he sure is impressive out there!!
That's all for now ~~ I hope everyone had a great Christmas, and have a safe and happy New Year!!

Friday, December 21, 2007

This 'n That

I wore my (ugly) Christmas sweater to school on Monday... and did I ever get some looks!! Students were just staring at me! Especially when I would walk around and the bells would ring. My brother's girlfriend walked in and burst out laughing. She couldn't even look at me without laughing, and she asked if everyone had the same reaction. No one else said anything so I'm thinking maybe they thought I was serious. :) It was a fun day in the sweater!

Leanne's gone home for Christmas, and Marcia's on her way home! Sally will be in a couple of days. It feels good to not have the stress of traveling this holiday season. I had quite the experience last year, so I feel for anyone who has to put up with airports and bad weather trying to get home this year. GOOD LUCK!

I'm on break! That's one great thing about working in education. There's still such thing as "Christmas (or Holiday) Break" (along with Spring Break and Summer Vacation). No work until January 2nd! and then it's only 17 days until another vacation -- in the Caribbean. :)

Happy Shortest Day of the Year! The best part about it -- the days are getting longer!! The darkest day of winter will be gone soon -- tomorrow, to be exact.

Tamara and Ellen are getting together this weekend. LUCKY girls!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sights of the season

So yesterday I went shopping with a few girls. Shopping here usually means 1.5 to 2 hours at the most. Well, somehow we ended up shopping for about 6 hours. and I only got a few things. We went to a bunch of outdoors/sporting goods stores and browsed and dreamed... looking at things like new skiis and snowboards. My sister found a sweet deal on snowpants -- she was so excited about them, she called her friends and they played in the snow last night. Reminded me of when she was 6 or 7 years old, calling her friends to go and play in the snow.

We saw some cool things yesterday. One little boy was walking around with his mom, insisting there was no Santa. She just kept saying "I have no idea what you're talking about!" :)
At one Salvation Army kettle, there were some jugglers. They were juggling bowling pins dressed up like reindeers!
One woman was wearing a head-to-toe fur coat. I didn't realize those things were still out there. :S

We finally put our tree up today. I think this is the latest we've waited to decorate for Christmas. We have a puppy, though, and we are hoping he doesn't get confused about part of the outside being in the house. He got a haircut the other day. and doesn't resemble the puppy we all said goodbye to in the morning. It'll grow back, right?

The SURVIVOR: CHINA finale is tonight!! I'm hoping Todd doesn't win.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Here's to you, Ellen!

I've mentioned this before, but here goes again. Ellen's leaving on Saturday. Mind you, I haven't seen her since I left in July. But still. She's leaving. She's been in Connecticut since last February -- and this whole time I've been home, I know she's over there, doing her thing in CT. That if only I hopped on a couple of planes for a couple of hours, I could see her. Now she's going to be gone, back to Europe, to the Netherlands, to her town with 7 (?) houses. Actually, I think it's a few more -- like 12 or 13. I know how you're feeling, Ellen. To be so excited to go home. To be sad to leave everyone behind. To be anxious to just get back to your family and friends from home. To wonder if you'll ever see some people again. To be nostalgic about all of the adventures you had. To think about living in your own home again. To wonder if you'll ever have the excitement again that you had discovering all of the sweet new things on the East Coast.

So, this one's for you, ELLEN!
* I met you for the first time at your house -- Tamara, Katharina, and I came over to visit for a bit.
* Going to the beach at the Cove
* Fireworks!! at your house
* My first impression of you: you look like Michelle Williams
* We're both old! :)
* Laughing on the streets of Philadelphia
* You remind me of me :)
* When we were all leaving in the summer, you still had so much to look forward to: going to Canada, your parents coming, the changing seasons, then going home for Christmas
* Lots of movies remind me of you -- especially Pirates
* I saw a monster when we slept at Katharina's. hmmmmmmm...
* My last Thursday night coffee night. We were going to wear our matching shirts and get a picture together to see how much we really looked like each other. Neither of us wore the shirt, and I looked at the picture the other day. I don't think we look like each other.

I miss you, honey! I'm also so excited that you get to go home to your family and friends -- and jealous that you get to see Tamara soon.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Christmas party

Picture this: Jingle bells, bows, silk flowers, flashing lights, yards and yards of yarn, beads, ornaments, bright red yarn, lots of black yarn, throw some green in, too.

If you are picturing a bunch of Christmas sweaters, YOU'RE RIGHT! :) My friends and I had an ugly sweater party last night, and I can hardly believe some of the creations that are out there. I uploaded one photo for your viewing enjoyment.... seriously, enjoy it! :) They look especially hideous in the photos... after awhile we got used to them at the party, but the sweaters didn't escape the camera. Lots and lots of laughs!!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Unexpected

The University I graduated from publishes a magazine four times each year and sends it to their alumni to let them know what is going on at the University. I always enjoy skimming through it, checking out what has been going on since I graduated. Well, the winter edition came today, and I picked it up, anxious to see the latest big things.

The first thing I saw hit me unexpectedly. It was a photo and short message with the title
2005 Alumnus Dies in Afghanistan. It wasn't the headline that grabbed me -- rather it was the photo. It's a student I went to school with -- he was in my orientation group on my very first day of college, and we had various courses together throughout the four years we were both there. I knew him.

I read the short article, and saw that he died at the end of July. There were few details, only a couple of quotes from faculty/staff members at the University who knew him and memorial services for him were held at Arlington National Cemetary.

Some days we kind of forget that the war is still going on. Or it's waaaaay in the back of our minds. Unless someone we love is there. I feel guilty for not being a more active citizen when it comes to supporting our troops.
Opening the magazine and seeing his photo brought back so many memories. I cannot imagine what his family is feeling -- especially with the holidays fast approaching.
Take a moment in your busy life this holiday season and say a prayer for all of the soldiers and their families. We really are lucky to be Americans!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

ooooh yeah!!

Congratulations DAVID on your two goals and being PLAYER OF THE GAME tonight!! yahooo!!

and the snow keeps coming!
all night at work tonight, some things kept going through my head:
here they are, just "a few of my favorite things..."

* Red PowerAde
* NYC
* Lake Superior!
* Snorkeling
* Trunk Bay, St. John, USVI
* Reading
* Scrapbooks/crafts
* watching sports (in person, on tv -- I don't care!)
* text messages

Ellen is leaving CT in 11 days. She's going home to The Netherlands after 10 months in the States. She is part of so many of my best memories from life on the East Coast. Happy Trails, Ellen! :)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Whew!

What an absolutely exhausting weekend!! Wow! I need a couple of days to recover!! quite the snowstorms, too! That's one of the reasons it was so exhausting. We had a birthday party yesterday evening for two friends: Sally will be 26! and Heather turned 20! Well, the snowstorm prevented us from making it all the way home. So we ended up staying at my sister's house for the night. Or rather for a few hours. I slept on a chair. mmmm, comfy! but actually we really appreciated having somewhere to stay so we didn't have to worry about staying the night in the ditch, or some side road, or the hospital. So THANKS HSH :)

I was going to say it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, but that'd be a lie. It straight up looks like Christmas! and I'm almost done shopping! I got gifts for my CT boys, so now I just have to send them...
Happy December!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

another one??

I just heard there's another winter storm warning... 3 to 8 inches tonight. But around here, that can mean 0 inches to 15. So who knows! An update on the radio -- some local schools are closing early for the day. It's not the school my siblings go to, so no luck for them! but maybe it means we are going to get the storm.

Lots going on this weekend. David's first hockey games for the season! and they're both at home, so we get to see how good they're going to be this year. Kristin and I have some holiday things we have to get done soon -- hopefully tonight or this weekend! Some friends have birthdays -- 'tis the season!

Grey's Anatomy is not new tonight, so I don't have that to look forward to. But I heard some other good news -- the Broadway stagehands/electricians, etc. strike is over. So the curtains are going to go up tonight again! I can't imagine what NY was like for those few weeks without the majority of the shows. It's such a big part of the city -- especially midtown.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

snow day at...

the hospital. My mom had surgery on her knee today, so my dad and I spent about 6 hours there with her today. While my dad and I were sitting there, we realized it was his fourth time sitting at that hospital, waiting on someone's surgery... in the past 4 months. (and the second time w/ that surgeon. is there such thing as frequent visit discounts?!)

In other news, it was awesome to wake up this morning to "school is delayed an hour and a half!" and then later hear "Now it's cancelled for the whole day!" :) Teachers appreciate it as much as the students do!! I was talking about it w/ a teacher yesterday, and we agreed that it's a guilt-free day off. Yesterday back at the school was pretty fun. One student walked in and said "WHOA! I'm so glad I didn't go home this morning!!!!" and another said "We have so much to catch up on! How was your Thanksgiving? did you have a good weekend? hey, you're doing something different with your hair! It looks good!!" How does that not make you smile?! :)

My friends and I got together for "the bachelor" last night, even though it's over. It's just an excuse (a reason?) to get together with just the girls on a ("marvelous") Monday.
the past two days (Sunday and Monday) were the most I've laughed in a looooong time. My stomach is sore today. What a good feeling!

Gillian (from South Africa) is staying in CT for another year, so I may get to see her before she goes home for good!! and Katharina told me yesterday that she's planning to spend 3 weeks in CT in the summer. So hopefully the three of us will have a chance to spend some quality time together!! Since I'm not getting there for the holidays, I'm really planning to go in the summer. But I also want to go and visit Tamara, Sarah, Ellen, and Katharina in Europe, too. decisions, decisions! I'll decide about that after my upcoming trip.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Going back

I just found out that tomorrow I'm going back to the class where I taught for nine weeks. It's just for the afternoon (I'm subbing for someone else in the morning), but I'm really looking forward to walking down the hall in the school and seeing all of the friendly faces! and even just seeing what topics/lessons all of the classes are on now (three weeks later). What a fun day!!

but it also means a drive. So I should really be sleeping. I wanted to go to sleep at 8 or 9 at the latest. Here it is 10:06pm and I'm on the computer. Great! I just seem to procrastinate like crazy, even when it comes to going to bed. ahhh, Karen, get to bed!! (Last night ended up being a late night for Liz, Molly, and me. We had coffee late (11-ish), so that kept us awake for HOURS... I haven't done that in a loooong, long time!)

I'm almost done with my Christmas shopping! It feels so good!! only a few more things, then I just have to wrap it up and I'm ready to go. Then for the cards... I have all of the materials, just need to put the time in to get them all together. Maybe a project for next weekend. Or if I sub somewhere this week where the teacher doesn't leave sub plans.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

I hope y'all are having a great day on this wonderful holiday! What a great, fun family day!!

I realized a few minutes ago that I've been in the kitchen alllllll day! I woke up this morning and started helping my mom. Then company came for dinner, so we ate dinner/dessert, etc... cleaned up and visited. and we're still in the kitchen. Wow! and I don't think I need to eat until Sunday or so.

My aunt, cousins, sisters, and I just had an idea to take a little roadtrip to go shopping in the morning. So we called a hotel, found a good rate, and we're heading out in a few minutes! Fun, fun!!

Tomorrow evening, my mom and sisters and I are having a craft night. We're making some fun Christmas decorations. My mom came up with a really sweet idea, so she's in charge of it all. Us girls are showing up with enthusiasm and leftovers :)

Happy SHOPPING Day tomorrow everyone!!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Coffee anyone?

I'm on my way out for coffee with some of my sisters... and I really mean coffee. For years I'd go "out for coffee" with my friends and get ice cream, hot chocolate, or a smoothee. But now I have to say, I crave different coffee drinks.
Here are my top three:
peppermint mocha (reminds me of the holidays!)
raspberry mocha frappachino (WOW I cannot spell!!) (This one reminds me of NYC in the summer)
peppermint mocha frappachino or peppermint chocolate mocha frappachino....
looks like I'm stuck on the mochas. YUM!

I think I may have a different post on here about this whole coffee thing, but it's a cool new thing for me :) Heather was in Baltimore for about a year, and she came back with the same addiction. Our friends who stayed home haven't quite made the transformation, but we're working on them :)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Happy Hunting!

What a holiday this day is in these parts! I subbed today, and in 3 out of my 5 classes, more than half of the students were absent. The halls were noticeably quieter, too. I only remember it being a big deal like this one time while I was in high school. Maybe the 15th was on Saturday and Sunday for two of the years I was in school.... who knows. I came home from school and already heard a bunch of success stories. Way to go, hunters!

I'm already in 100% holiday mode! The ring tone on my phone is a holiday song, I've started my shopping, I'm listening to Christmas music, and last night my sister and I did some stamping for Christmas. I'm definitely ready for them this year!!

Happy Sweet Sixteen to my cousin BETS! She passed her driver's test this morning, icy roads and all. Congrats!

I'm feeling a little jealous of some of my friends who are still in college... they get a whole week off for Thanksgiving. No such luck for local high/middle schools. We just get Thursday and Friday off (but I'll DEFinitely enjoy it!).

A CT story: Last year my friends Tamara and Katharina wanted to see an over-the-top Christmas lights/decorations house. So one evening last December we drove all around our town, searching for the most gaudy spectacle we could find. It took us awhile, but we found a really good one. I wish I had photo of it! (It's something I don't understand...) Also, I was super excited to see all of the holiday decorations in NYC. It seemed like Christmas was going to be an amazing time to be in the city. Hate to break it to you, but it's over rated. There were definitely some really cool decorations (things you probably don't see anywhere else), but it wasn't as *magical* or beautiful as I thought it would be.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I love swimming!

It's pretty much my favorite.

Sooooo, when I had the opportunity to go one last time (?? not sure if that makes sense) this year, I JUMPED! Literally. Molly has this thing going with two of her friends. They made a deal last March to go swimming at Hippie's (in the Valley) at least once a month for a year. So on Sunday Heather and I joined her and we went swimming! It was painfully COLD, but it made us feel oh-so-alive. So it was well worth it! Oh what a feeling! and oh yeah, did I mention it was dark out? and I had never gone swimming there before? and we had no flashlights or lights of any kind? A little creepy.

All fall it felt like I had to go swimming one last time to finish off the summer. I guess I did it, but a lot later than I expected. I love swimming! and I get to go in about two months in the gorgeous Caribbean Sea!

I realized something about myself one day last week while reading some old posts on here. I'm spontaneous! I don't know if I have always been, or if living in CT brought that out or what, but I definitely am. I look back and can hardly believe the last-minute things we/I decided to do. I'm very proud of that! A lot of people would be content living in CT and going into the city every once in awhile. But we aimed higher: we had bigger goals: the whole mid/north east coast! and some pretty sweet activities in the city too. Lots of these decisions were made during Saturday night phone calls. Example: "What should we do tomorrow? I heard Philadelphia is only like three hours away! So's Boston." ..... "Pick one!" And some of these were Sunday morning phone calls "I don't feel like just going to the beach today. Let's drive up/down the coast and find a cool town to explore." or my favorite: a couple of times I was feeling homesick, or couldn't imagine missing out on something at home. So I went home. Twice I bought a plane ticket in the evening and was on the plane early the next morning.

Anyway, it's a trait I never thought about for myself, and I'm kind of proud to say that I'm flexible enough to do something at the drop of a hat!

Congrats to the CHS Vball team on winning their quarterfinal match tonight!! They won 3-0, and now head to the state semi-finals on Friday afternoon. YEA CHS!

Monday, October 29, 2007

The countdown

Four more days of school!! sort of... then I'm back to regular subbing. I'm not looking forward to it because I'm enjoying having my own classroom and classes. But it'll be sort of nice not having all of the extra hours of homework (grading and lesson plans). we'll see what comes next.

"Halloween weekend" was pretty good. Some pretty creative costumes!! It's always fun to see what people come up with. Sunday was lots of fun down there. The ladies at church served a delicious meal after church, then we did a little bit of shopping (Target and Michaels, stores that were a 5-minute drive away when I was in CT!) and I got STARBUCKS!!!! Liz, Shelmz, Hez, and I went there and absolutely enjoyed ourselves. Just being in that store brings back a flood of memories... although that one is a lot bigger than pretty much any one in New York or Connecticut.
At Michaels we saw a lot of Christmas craft stuff and decorations. Now I can hardly wait for the Christmas season!! Last year I missed out on a lot of the pre-Christmas things, so I'm going to soak it all up this year!

Seeing as this was my life in Connecticut blog, I guess it's okay to write about a few things concerning my time there. It was normal to drive ten minutes to get to the grocery store. Or 20 minutes to Wal-Mart was close! (seriously, it was right next door!). We'd drive half an hour to a coffee shop and then decide not to go there, and turn around and go home. Or we'd go to Coldstone Creamery to get ice cream "real quick" and it was 15 minutes away. the boys' school was 10 minutes each way without traffic, and it felt like it was really close too!
Some other things seriously were close (the train station = 2 minutes, the post office = 2 minutes, Tamara's house = 2 minutes, the gym = 3 minutes, the club = 4 minutes, one of the hockey rinks = 5 minutes). Now I drive almost 30 minutes to and from work every day and it's starting to feel like a long commute. What I could do with that extra hour every day!! And even though Wal-Mart is only 20 minutes away, I don't just run there to pick something up. I go if I have a list. Or on my way home from work or something.
It's all about perspective!!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Flying and vacations

If you want to go to the Caribbean, I guess you can't really have one without the other. So even though I may not be ready to get on a plane again in January, I'm going to... so I can have a sweet, awesome, FUN vacation with some of my sisters and my mom. YEA! :)
Seriously, right now the thought of flying puts me in a bad mood... but as Katz said, it'll be much better flying with other people and when you're going somewhere really exciting. Hopefully I'll just be able to put all of the negatives and bad experiences in the back of my mind by then.

YEA for vacations!! :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Teaching...

When you're a teacher, I think you hear just about everything. Sometimes I cringe, sometimes I laugh, sometimes I'm completely confused, and other times I have to turn around so the students don't see my reaction. Still other times I have to reprimand, assign detention, etc.
Some things from today:
*When one of my classes started, I said we have to get through yesterday's homework quickly because I'm really excited about what we're doing today. A student said "That's nothing new! You're always excited about this stuff!" (I thought about that, and I think it's the highest compliment I've heard from a student!)
*"Since this stuff is so confusing, we shouldn't have to learn it and we shouldn't have homework!"
* One student: "I really like your necklace!" Followed by (from a different student) "It reminds me of Jesus!" (the necklace has four circles of different sizes on a long chain with some beads or something.)
* A student had to remind me "Ms. H, I think you should learn to laugh more! You'll live longer...plus we all like your smile." Of course this was in the class that I have to be the strictest, otherwise we'd never get anything done.
* A vendor walked into my room during lunch today and asked me "Do you know where I can find a teacher?" Ummm HELLO! Teacher right here!
* Some students were acting like my classroom was a court room today. (I'm not sure where they got all the info about what goes on inside a court room...) They reminded each other to call me "Your Honor" and when I said we'd do some of the homework in class if everyone participated (otherwise it would all be homework), they said I could no longer be the judge because I was bribing people...
* At the end of the hour in one class, a student had a joke for me. I'm leery of jokes because I'm not sure if students really realize what is appropriate for school and what isn't. I trusted this student, so I listened. "Why can't dinosaurs talk?" me -- "I don't know, why not?" ---- student: "Because they're dead!" I acted all sad and said "WHAT?! They're dead? Since when?!" he didn't appreciate that...

there has been much better and much worse, but that's it for today (that I can remember). I haven't had any lame homework excuses. when they don't do their homework, they just fess up. I'm kind of at my wits end with that (students not doing their homework), but I'm not sure what to do about it. That's a whole tangent I could go off on, but this isn't my teaching blog. so I'll stop.

exciting news: I'm going to be an aunt!! I'm super excited! I really really cannot wait!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

I have some time

So I thought I'd come on here and update a little. Wow! Two in a week after taking almost two months off! :)
I'll be teaching for the next 4.5 weeks - today is the halfway point of my job. The other day in the teacher's lounge I was trying to convince some of the teachers to take a 3 or 4 month leave this winter so I could teach their class. They were all for it, except it doesn't work that easily... I guess it has to be a legit reason. Darn! So I'll be back to square one in a little bit, except with a little more experience under my belt. I wonder if I'll continue dreaming about math even after I'm done...
I'm going to be busy with Liz this month doing weddings! I think we have one Saturday off -- and my cousin is getting married that day. So it's at least 4 weddings in a row -- now through the end of October. Busy busy busy!

One of the other math teachers came into my room the other day with a joke someone forwarded to her. We had a good laugh over it, so I'll share it with you.

e was arguing with i. They weren't getting anywhere, so 'i' said to 'e' "Be rational!" and 'e' said to 'i' "Get real!"

explaining a joke totally ruins it, so if you don't get it, just ask me sometime. (Hint: It's MATH)

YEA for the bridge construction being done!!! I could hardly believe it today on my way home from work. Here I was expecting to wait in a big long line and go around the loop... but the left lane was open! Sweet!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Fall, fall, fall!

Today I'm feeling really nostalgic about Connecticut and NY. I think it's because I woke up this morning and watched the TODAY show for about five minutes. Bruce Springsteen was having a concert on the Plaza and it brought back a barrage of memories from all the times we went there. So then all day on and off I've been thinking about all of the adventures I had with Sarah, Tamara, and Katharina in the first few months, then Ellen joined us, and about a month before I moved home, Gillian became part of our group. I can't believe I won't be seeing any of them for such a long time. Who knows when the next time will be. As Katharina would always say in the last month or two that we were out there: We knew we'd have to say goodbye and leave. I just think we didn't think it was going to be so hard. The actual saying goodbye wasn't too bad for me, but now thinking about everything is making me so sad.

What a strange thing. To meet people, become really good friends with them, spend all of your free time for almost a year with them. Then say goodbye and not know when you'll ever see each other again. :S


Life's good in Michigan :) I know so many days when I would call home from CT, I would be sad about things I was missing out on. I get to go to all of the CC meets and football games and see most of my family every day. I don't take that for granted and I love being with all of them. I also get to spend some weekends with my friends. I don't have to get phone calls on Saturday or Sunday morning to hear what everyone did...

I'm teaching high school math right now, for another five weeks. (It'll be 9 weeks total.) MAN, is it ever exhausting!! But I'm really enjoying it. I felt like a total math geek this morning during one of my classes because I was so excited for the lesson. I was just pumped about the topic (limits), and I let my students know. I think some of them looked at me like get over it and get on with it. :)

This chica's exhausted!! and I'm helping Liz with a wedding tomorrow -- no rest for the weary! Just kidding -- I don't have to set an alarm for the first time in over a month -- so I'm EXCITED! :)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I don't have...

...a life in CT anymore, seeing as I moved. So I haven't been updating this. I think most of the people who read this are living with me, or seeing me on a daily basis. So I don't know if it makes sense to keep it up. Maybe I'll post once in awhile if I do something extra sweet. Like last weekend: Kyds Camping. Man, was it ever fun!!! It always ends up being so much fun!

and Sunday, the drive home, was seriously one of the best days of the entire summer. First of all, Saturday night/Sunday morning when I was trying to fall asleep (~4:30am), I had a laughing attack. I could not stop laughing and rolling around... I couldn't breathe... and then the laughter caught on to Liz and Leanne in my tent, and Molly in the tent next to ours. This lasted for about 20 minutes. What a great feeling!! Anyway, that laughter carried on to Sunday. It was like I couldn't get rid of it!! The smallest thing ended up being really funny. :) I guess I won't go into detail about the great times of that day, but just believe me: IT WAS GREAT!

I've gone swimming at least every other day since I moved home. That first week, I was in Lake Superior every single day. YES! I sure am appreciating it!

My Connecticut friends are coming next week!! Actually, I'm driving down to Illinois to pick them up from the airport. Then we're spending a few days there. Unfortunately Katharina cannot come up to MI (she has to get back to Germany), so we're dropping her off at the airport on Friday morning and making our way home. Sarah and Tamara will be with me until Thursday, August 30th. Then we have to say real goodbyes, and I am not looking forward to that. But I'm lucky they wanted to come to Michigan to see my home, meet my family and friends, and see the most beautiful beach in the world. :)

Friday, July 27, 2007

I'm leaving... on a jet plane :)

Today is packing day. And errands day. Tomorrow is my last work day, Sunday is saying goodbye day, and Monday is moving day!

That's about all I've got. So much to do, see you all soon!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Serendipity

I took two of the boys into the city today for some adventures... We went to Eric's office (REALLY cool!! He has a corner office on the 31st floor of his building -- with views of Central Park and the George Washington Bridge!), then we went for lunch to Serendipity. This was one thing that has been on my list since the first day I arrived (October 25, to be exact), and I finally made it! It was really cool, and I'd highly recommend it to anyone who is going to be in NYC -- for dessert. They are famous for their Frrrrozen Hot Chocolate -- and it's unbelievable! :) Soooo good! The restaurant itself is unlike any I've seen before. Check out their website to get an idea: www.serendipity3.com

Then we walked over to the Central Park Zoo. I had heard that it's pretty cool, but it didn't really meet my expectations. I mean, it's a zoo... but a pretty small one. We saw the entire thing in less than 40 minutes.

Katharina's back in town from an 18 day trip to Hawaii. LUCKY girl! :) I got to see her pictures yesterday, and now I would love to go there! It looks gorgeous!

Sarah's in the Hamptons for the next month. And she met Steven Spielberg!

Tamara just spent 3.5 days camping in Maine. She invited me, but I decided against it since I'm leaving so soon.

AND Ellen just got back from a week-long vacation visiting a friend in Canada. So everyone has been on some cool adventures lately. I guess I'm included in that "everyone" -- even though my adventures have all been to the city... 5 times in 8 days!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Much to do!

Whew! Moving takes a lot of energy! :) and moving day is still 6 days away. I have developed something I call "packing anxiety," and I'm determined to not get it this time. So I've been packing a little bit each day, trying to keep it under control. That way on Sunday night I won't be too overwhelmed. I'm sure I'll have about a million last minute things to do to finish packing my suitcases, but hopefully by then the major part of it will be done. Eric's taking me to La Guardia... we're leaving at about 5:00am. I wonder if I'll be able to sleep on Sunday night. I think I might be too excited!

I was thinking the other day if I'm going to continue this blog when I'm home or not... It's supposed to be about my life in Connecticut, but I guess I could always just change the title. We'll see how I'm feeling about it once I get home.

See y'all soon!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Trying to contain my excitement!

I've been trying not to think about July 30th too much. It's only a week away now, and I'm excited about some things I'm doing here before I leave. Plus it's going to be sad to say goodbye to everyone and everything here.

However, I can hardly believe that in just 9 days I get to go to the CAMP!! I can't think about it too much because I get soooooo excited! Our special spot on the eastern side of the Peninsula, with the soft white sand and beautiful clear blue water. I've been missing it so much out here.



Mom is going to pick me up from the airport next Monday and we're dropping my stuff off at home and going straight out there!! YEA :) I CAN'T WAIT!! I'm going to run onto the beach, lay on the sand and just soak it all in.



Lake Superior, HERE I COME!!
(This photo was last summer -- end of July/ beginning of August -- and as far as our attire: at the camp, anything goes! Heidi, Kristin, K, Lynne)


Friday, July 20, 2007

Theme Songs

I have a couple of them right now. Everytime HOME by Daughtry comes on the radio I feel like it's for me :) since I'm going home soon! (Plus I got to hear him sing it in person.) And the other day I heard the song (actually I'm not sure what it's called) with the lyrics "thanks for the memories..." and I feel like it's mine right now too! So think of me when you hear those songs.
August is already filling up with events and random things going on! I feel like it's already half gone, and it doesn't start for almost two more weeks! I'm getting very excited...
We may go to a water park on Monday with the boys. I have a feeling this last week is going to be very busy -- there's a lot of things Marcy wants to do. So I've been packing a little every day -- I don't want to leave it for the last day and have packing anxiety (something I've developed over the past year).
I CAN HARDLY WAIT to see you all!!

Tonight we're going to the beach club for a barbeque! I think I may go swimming in the Sound, but we'll see. It's kind of gross (not that clean, plus it's rocky), but maybe it'll be nice where we're going.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

12 days to go!!

It's almost time! I'm really starting to do things for the last time... but actually I should let y'all know that we ended up going to the METS game on Sunday. They beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-2 (no, Ken Griffey, Jr did not play --- sadly), and we had a GREAT time! It was military appreciation day, so there were lots of festivities and we got free hats! It was such an enjoyable day at Shea Stadium. You can see the construction of their new park (Citi Field) right next door. Next year is the last year for SHEA. As we were walking in, I told Tamara and Sarah that the Tigers' third baseman Brandon Inge is my favorite player... and wondered aloud who the METS 3rd baseman is. I quickly found out that it's David Wright and he's really good, too. So he became my favorite Mets player. :)



Sarah, K, Tamara at SHEA

I've gone into the city three days in a row now (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday). On Sunday was the Mets game, Monday I went in with Sarah to say goodbye (she's gone to the Hamptons for a month) and go shopping. I ended up meeting up with Marcy and the boys at ESPNZone later and taking the train back with them. Then yesterday I took two of the boys into the city for some sight-seeing. We went to the Empire State Building and just walked around midtown. It's a whole different experience looking at the city from above when you know where everything is. The first couple of times I went up there (in 2000 and 2003), it was just a bunch of buildings, streets, cars, and people. Now I look around and know which streets I'm looking at and which buildings are which. Kind of cool!


It's a rainy day today, which is kind of nice. It's the first one of the summer for us (it has rained in the evenings before, but no all-day rains), so I'm enjoying it! We might take the boys to an I-MAX film, but we'll see.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

One of my last Sundays

Tomorrow is one of my last Sundays here... and we're trying to decide what to do. I think our options are:
1. Block Island
2. Newport, Rhode Island
3. Mets game vs. Cinncinnati

Any one of the three will be lots of fun, so we'll see what we end up doing.

My thoughts are at home today. CONGRATULATIONS Carmen and Brent!! I hope the weather is cooperating for a beautiful outdoor wedding! :) Wish I could be there.

It's going to be a lonely week coming up. Katharina is in Hawaii, Sarah is leaving :(, and Ellen is going to visit a friend in Canada. So it'll be Tamara and me. One of her friends from Missouri is coming to visit, though, so I guess it won't be just the two of us. I move home 2 weeks from Monday!!! It's getting close!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Another Sunday adventure!

Washington, DC was so much fun!! But a looooooooong, exhausting day! I woke up at 5:00am, left my house by 5:30, took the train at 5:40ish but it was 20 minutes late. Something was wrong with it, so it took us extra long to get to Grand Central... took the Subway to Chinatown, then walked 5 blocks to meet the bus. The bus left at 8:00. We had some misunderstandings along the way (about people being left behind at a rest stop), so we didn't get to DC until about 12:40. Martin met me at the bus stop, and we proceeded to take in most of the city. It was a LOT of walking in the 100-degree heat and humidity, so we got lots and lots of water.

We saw President Bush!!! (sort of) We were trying to go and see the White House, but it was blocked off at first. So we waited a few minutes, and then saw a helicopter take off from the South Lawn. I read once that the only people that ever leave the White House this way are the President and First Lady.

So then we saw the White House, walked up a little to the Washington Monument, on to the World War II Memorial (it was my first time seeing it -- when I was there in 2000, they hadn't even started working on it), then the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial (where I bought a panoramic puzzle -- I can't wait to make it!). Next stop was my favorite: the Korean War Memorial, then on to the FDR Memorial (I had never been here, either. It's a lot bigger than I imagined). We walked along the Potomac to the Jefferson Memorial, then back to the Mall to the Natural History Museum (sadly, the American History Museum is closed for renovation), then to the Air and Space Museum. The last stop on this tourist trek for us was the Capitol Building. Then we stopped for dinner and made our way back to my bus stop. (I didn't go into much detail because that's really how fast we saw everything. We didn't have much time to stop and relax -- we had too much to do in a very short time.) Martin only had a 40 minute drive back (LUCKY!). I left the city at about 8:15 and arrived home at 3:00am. :S

It shouldn't have been that long, but I missed a train at Grand Central by one minute. so then I had to wait close to an hour for the next one. If I had made the earlier one, I would've still gotten home really late -- 2:00, so either way it was a long day. I was gone for 21.5 hours!! I met some really unique people on the bus rides there and back. The person next to me commented that that's what happens when you use the cheapest mode of transportation.


So I FINALLY got to go back to Washington, DC. and it was such a spur-of-the-moment decision. Saturday afternoon I was sitting around thinking about what I wanted to do with my 2 days off, and I decided I didn't want to waste them since I have such a short time left. So I called Martin and we made the plans to meet in the city. Going there for the first time was what really influenced me to become a history teacher. There was just so much history in all of the things we saw, and I just had to know more. And then once I learned about everything, I really wanted to pass on the knowledge and excitement to others. This trip reminded me of all of those feelings. so I can't wait to get back to that learning and teaching again!!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

We love NY

On Sunday we had our last day together in New York City. Actually, the fourth ended up being our last day...
Anyway, we took about 40 photos around the city in our favorite places. Here are a few. Enjoy! :)


Times Square w/ one of the hundreds of police officers you see on an average day in the city.


Times Square!! (Sarah, K, Katharina, and Tamara. Sarah and Tamara are coming to the UP to visit for a week in August!!)


The Brooklyn Bridge (Katharina, Tamara, K, Sarah)

Unforgettable 4th of July

Thinking about yesterday (Independence Day), one word comes to my mind. Unforgettable. Not in a good way. But I'll definitely never forget yesterday. It was seriously like one bad thing after another. Something happened to one of my hips during the night - it's out of joint or something. and we planned to walk about a hundred blocks in the city... usually that's not a big deal (it's a normal amount of walking), but with a bad hip... it was a bit painful. then we got to our picnic spot in Central Park and found that the watermelon we had cut up earlier had spilled all over the bag. Yum. still not too bad though. It started to rain after awhile. We were under a tree, so it didn't dampen our moods too much. Then the ever-present problem of trying to find a restroom in NYC. soooo we went on a little walk, and ended up going into a cafe, sitting down, looking at menus (while we each went to the bathroom), and "deciding" we wanted to get something for take-out.

Here's our picnic spot in Central Park (conveniently under a tree).

The walk back was rainy... and my hip didn't last very long, so I decided to take a taxi (my friends all continued the walk). We met at Grand Central, and made our way to FDR Drive, where there's an unobstructed view of the East River. We found a place that looked decent (we had a good view of one of the barges that would be setting off the fireworks), and prepared to wait about 2 hours. We got sick of standing after about 2 minutes, so we put our blankets down on the wet, oily road and sat down. Only to be bumped into, walked on, crowded in... etc. I guess pretty much everything you'd expect from the biggest fourth of July fireworks display gathering in the country...

(This was our spot. I know I'm making a great fashion statement... )

I guess we didn't end up having a very good spot because right next to us was the rudest, crudest women I have ever encountered in my life. I'm still disturbed by her and my ears have been free of her comments and outrages for over 17 hours. I was seriously scared by the comments she was making, but by that time everyone was packed in (like sardines... or cattle) so we had nowhere to go. I really think I'm scarred for life. She spoke words I've never even heard before. and her 4-year-old son was right there with her. and other people had their children with them, within hearing distance of her, too. I'M SO DISTURBED. the fireworks were awesome. Or what we saw of them anyway. The smoke didn't clear right away so we missed out on some of it. The ones we saw were breath-taking!




I can't say I'm glad I went, because if I hadn't gone I never would've experienced the worst human (by far) behavior I'm even aware of. Maybe someday I'll look back and say I'm glad I did it.

So then we got on the train with our wet, messy blankets and wet clothes, bags, etc and made our way home by 11:30. When we got back, I realized I had left the sunroof partly open and it had rained off and on all day... so the car was soaking wet. :( By this time I wanted to cry. and get on the first plane out of La Guardia that was going anywhere near Michigan. I got home and had to clean up the huge mess of the day, and then I had a hard time falling asleep because of that woman.

I WANT TO GO HOME!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Unexpected excitement!!

Everytime I think life is going to slow down a bit, or settle down because I don't have many plans, something comes along. and this week is no different!! My friends and I are going into NYC for the fourth of July!! We get to watch the biggest fireworks display in the USA: the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks over the East River! :)

I'm so excited! I know it's going to be a bit crazy down there, but it'll still be lots of fun. We're also going to have a picnic in Central Park...

I still would love to be in the Harbor for the fourth, though!

Friday, June 29, 2007

31 days!

Hey all, I realized today that I'm moving home in 31 days! Wow! It's exciting!
I have a new cellphone, so I'm doing much better this week. Life is so much better when I can keep in touch with you all!
It almost feels like I didn't go home for St. Johns -- it was so quick! But then again, I got in some good talks and times with lots of people, so I made the short time worthwhile. :)

This Sunday my friends and I are going into the city for our last day together. We all start leaving in about a week (well, for vacations and stuff, so it's the last full day all 5 of us will be together, probably forever). We are all getting the I heart NY shirts, and we're going to go around the city and take pictures at all of our regular spots, and most of the tourist spots. We're getting mostly group shots, but we all decided on one place or thing in the city that is "ours" or reminds each other of us. So we're going to take individual pics at those places. Mine is the Brooklyn Bridge, Tamara's is a bagel shop, Sarah's is Saks Fifth Avenue, Ellen's is St. Patrick's Cathedral, and Katharina is going to hold a map upside down (she's indecisive). So it's going to be a fun day (we'll be tourists in the city again!!), but kind of bittersweet knowing it's the last day with all 5 of us. I was getting a little sad the other day, thinking that I'm only going to the city a couple more times. It's strange because it has become such a familiar place for me, and I'll be leaving it soon not knowing when I'll ever return.

We watched a really big thunderstorm over the Sound the other night. It was awesome -- tons of lightning!

I'm going to start going through my things and throwing out whatever I don't really need... I have to try to consolidate everything so that it fits when I have to pack it to move home.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Whew!

This girl is exhausted! But in a good way... for a good reason. This past weekend was crazy, and I'm back here so fast it hardly feels like I left! But seriously, it was my best St. Johns ever! I appreciated everything so much more than I have other years.

I didn't want to waste any of my 39 hours that I had up there... so I only ended up sleeping for 6 hours the whole weekend. Both mornings I hopped out of bed nice and early and ready to go... usually it's so hard to wake up during St. Johns. Not this year! :)

It was fun surprising everyone, too! Probably the last time I'll get to do that (ever). It's such a good feeling walking in and getting the surprised reactions.

THANKS everyone for a great weekend! I was having a bad week last week, but after last weekend I can make it through anything... so thanks!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Busy weekend

Seriously. LIFE IS BUSY!

On Sunday my friends and I drove down to Ocean City, NJ to spend the day on the beach and boardwalk. It was beautiful and perfect beach weather! It took us 2.5 hours to get there... and 5 to get back. Unfortunately we were stuck in traffic by the GW Bridge for TWO HOURS. Ah! :S I went crazy. I'm not so patient in situations like that. I can handle half an hour, or an hour... but TWO hours is a bit much for me.

Then yesterday I met Miranda in the city for the day. We didn't really know each other before yesterday, but we had a lot of fun, and we're planning another day in the city. We both appreciated being with someone from 'home.' (Even though we actually live like 7 hours apart at home.) We were walking down Central Park South and heard someone singing in front of a big crowd, and it turned out to be Toby Keith!

We ran into some other people, but I'll talk about that later...

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Florida! Cellphones :( and SIX weeks!

I'll go in that order... Florida was a lot of fun, but really exhausting!! We had quite the adventure getting down there. I'll make that part short. We were supposed to fly out of a certain airport, almost had to drive an hour north to a different one, and ended up driving an hour to JFK (after we had arrived at the original airport). I was on a different flight than Marcy and the boys, but we all made it to Orlando within an hour of each other. TOO MUCH EXCITEMENT! We made our way to the Magic Kingdom, where we had about 8 hours to spend. We did all the big things (Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, and Space Mountain), along with the little things (Pirates of the Caribbean, Snow White, etc.). Monday we went to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Busy, busy day trying to do everything. We had a blast there. I was surprised at some of the things the boys would and wouldn't do. (vague enough?) On Tuesday we went to MGM Studios, and once again had a busy, fun day.
(This photo was on Monday at Universal Studios)



This one's on Tuesday at MGM -- at the end of a loooong day!


Wednesday we woke up early and drove to Ft. Lauderdale, where we stayed with Marcy's sister and brother-in-law. They were pretty much right on the beach, so that was a big bonus! Plus they had a pool -- the boys loved that. We had a surprise birthday party for Marcy on Wednesday night: a Shrek theme. Everyone wore Shrek ears (it cracked me up a little that halfway through the meal all of the adults still had the ears on, and none of the kids did), we had Shrek toys, balloons, and everything! One night we took the boat out to a restaurant, another day we went to Monkey Jungle (where the people are in cages and the monkeys run wild -- seriously!).


On Thursday evening I got together with my cousin Amy and her husband Tom. It was fun catching up with them and hanging out in Ft. Lauderdale. It's a cool city!

Now, for my next topic: my cellphone. I lost it on a roller coaster at Islands of Adventure. :( So I'm going crazy without one. I'm not handling this very well... so if I'm not calling or texting you, that's why.

I am coming home on July 30th: just about 6 weeks from now. It's so crazy that I'll be home so soon. Pretty soon this'll all just be memories -- I'll be coming on here to read about what I did when I was here.

My mind has been in Minnesota most of yesterday and today. My family is there for Josh and Holly's wedding. I'm sad that I'm missing out on it, so I'm hoping to see some pictures!!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Daughtry... again!


My experience watching DAUGHTRY was so great, I'm going to revisit it on here for you. I'm including photos this time, so it's even better.

Remember we were in the first row? So I'm pretty sure I have some sweet photos!! Okay now I'm having problems uploading pictures! Ahhhh! So here's the first one: Tamara and I with our sweet signs!! (smiling that big at ~7:00am!)



Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Track Stars!!

(Today must be photo day for me or something...)
I've been gone since October, but I've still managed to see a least one game in all my siblings' sports. Until now... the spring sports. :(
So I asked Heidi to keep me up-to-date with photographs from the track meets. She did an AWESOME job! Thanks Heidi!!
Here are a few she sent to me:


Doesn't she look like the ultimate pro track star?? :)
Dave approaching the bar... looks like it's over his head (and he's TALL!)
Katz leading the pack in the 800! YEA Katz!!
David about to let it fly!!

Another Tribute to my 5 favorites!


Karen and Heidi: January 26, 2007 on Liberty Island, NYC


Karen and Jules! Chicago, IL, April 2007

Katz and Karen: Grand Cayman, April 2006

Michelle and Karen: December 2006 HOME

Karen and Kristin: NYC November 2006

Sisters

I'm so grateful to have sisters, and extra lucky that I have five of them! I can't imagine life without them! One day pretty soon after I moved out here, I was on the phone with Mom (this is usually a daily occurrence). She said when she first moved away (from Michigan), phone calls were few and far between. A phone call then was a big event. I'm so lucky that I get to call and talk to people from home every day. I don't think a day goes by that I don't talk to one of my sisters! (How lucky am I?!!) And usually we're both envious of each other...

So today I was going through some pictures I have on my computer and thought I'd put some sister pictures up. We have some pretty amazing ones! :)


This one is from the cruise, and includes my awesome sisters-in-law, too!

7 Mile Beach on Grand Cayman (Bathing Beauties!)



Another one from 7 Mile Beach. I've been told we really looked alike that day :)



I know this one looks like the Caribbean... but it's actually at the camp! The night before Kristin's big day we celebrated with a luau!



The BIG day for Kristin and Jason! She had her five sisters share and be part of her most important day. That was really an honor!

I really love this last one. Doesn't it look like a fake background? It's Mom, the 6 sisters, and two sisters-in-law last November. (Photo compliments of LIZ)

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Florida

I don't remember if I've mentioned this... so I apologize if it's a repeat. We're going to Florida on Saturday for a little vacation. We'll have three nights in Orlando (DisneyWorld and Universal Studios) and three in Ft. Lauderdale. I've never been to Universal Studios so that'll be new and fun! And the boys are getting sooo excited to go! They're pumped that I'm going with them, too.
When we get back I'll have about 6 weeks left here. Then it's back to MI... how fast has the time gone?!! I can't believe over 2/3 of my time in CT is over. WOW!

Monday, June 4, 2007

I love comments!

Every once in awhile I stop writing on here because I don't think anyone's reading it... because I don't get many comments. But then people tell me they're reading it (and enjoying it), so I keep writing. So: feel free to leave comments so I know I'm not writing to myself. Thanks! Gracias! Kiitos! Danke! Merci!

I am NOT adventurous!

So last night I tried to venture out of my comfort zone.

I ATE SASHIMI.

For those of you who don't know what it is.... it's raw fish. Yeah. and I ate it.
Raw tuna. and EEL. I ate raw EEL! and some other stuff that I don't remember what it's called. Oh yeah, OCTOPUS!

I think that might be the last time I'm stepping out of the comfort zone. Cause I'm really comfortable in it. and my comfort zone tastes good. ;)



Here is what eel looks like, if you don't remember...

DAUGHTRY!!

I can't believe I haven't written about him on here yet!
Tamara and I woke up extra early (this is becoming a regular weekly thing) on Friday and took the train into the city. We got to Bryant Park by ~6:40, and got in line. Almost immediately, a guy approached us and gave us one VIP ticket that he couldn't use... so I took it and got in the VIP line and scored us a FRONT ROW spot!!!! Tamara waited in the regular line and came up to the front when she got in. So we had like the best spot in the whole park!!! We made signs this time. Mine said Michigan (hearts) DAUGHTRY. David gave me an idea for the back of the sign, so he can take all the credit for it. It said "Brandon Inge is my Tiger." :) I got lots of questions about that, so I got to talk about the Detroit Tigers to some NYC people!

We got to watch the warm-up for about 30 minutes! Then the actual concert was about 30 minutes, too. He sang Home, Over You, and It's Not Over.
Here's the best part: when it was all over, he came and gave autographs!!!! So he signed my sign. :) and I got to shake his hand! :) Lucky we were in the front row!!
Mom and Maria both said they saw me on tv.

Tamara and I talked to some Army soldiers (stationed at Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn) at the concert. I found out something really interesting. The New York METS support the military. They are always giving the soldiers there tickets to the games, and recognizing them and everything. Not so for the Yankees. They don't acknowledge them in any way. Yet another reason to have no respect for that team.

After the concert, we met up with Katharina and her parents. Her parents were on their way to the airport to rent a car to travel around for a bit. Then Tamara, Katharina, and I decided to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge!! I thoroughly enjoyed that experience! and I took lots of photos. We had heard about a really good pizza place in Brooklyn, so we found it and had our first Brooklyn-style pizza. Yum!!

Heather, Lanette, and Molly!!

So, I had some Michigan visitors in the city yesterday! Heather, Lanette, and Molly took a bus up from Baltimore. I met them around 10:30 and gave them a whirlwind tour of NYC. First stop was Times Square where they got to see it in all of its craziness. (Although it wasn't very busy at all... I suppose 11:00 on a Sunday morning is one of the quieter times for that area.) We hit up the M & M store -- one of my very favorite stops in the city!! Next was Central Park, where they enjoyed the carousel, then took a little walk around. Then we got lunch and met my friends for lunch in the park. Two of Ellen's friends from the Netherlands were here, too. So there were ten of us at lunch! Next was the most insane subway ride I've ever experienced (we had to get to Battery Park to catch the ferry to the Statue of Liberty). Seriously. If the subway was like this all of the time, I don't think anyone would ever use it. I'll give you a little rundown (if I can remember it all).

1. We exited the park on 72nd St and took the B (orange) train.
2. At 59th St. (Columbus Circle), we switched to the 2 (red) train, which should've brought us to South Ferry (right in Battery Park). But there was construction going on. So the furthest downtown it went was 14th St.
3. At 14th St. we walked a few blocks (underground) to the L train, which took us to Union Square (14th St.).
4. At Union Square we boarded the 6 (green) train, which should've taken us to Bowling Green (basically Battery Park). But because of construction, it stopped at the Brooklyn Bridge.
By this time, we had been underground for over an hour. (It should've been a quick 20 minute ride.) So we decided to take a taxi the rest of the way. Well, with 6 people (Tamara and Sarah were with us, too), this might've taken quite awhile. But the first taxi we saw was a van... whew! So he took us right to Battery Park. FINALLY!

So we got on the ferry (amidst some spinkles) and went to the Statue and Ellis Island. When we got back to the mainland, we speed-walked up ~6 blocks to Ground Zero, where we realized we had to be back to catch their bus in about an hour (which would usually be fine, but after the ordeal we had earlier, we didn't want to count on anything. Luckily this subway problem with the construction was only for downtown-bound trains. We got on our uptown train and made it back to Times Square in about 15 minutes.

I think they had a lot of fun... I apologized profusely for the underground nightmare, but they didn't seem to mind (they didn't know how else it could be, since it was their first NYC Subway ride).

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

WHEW!

What a FUN weekend!!! I'm rested up a little from it, but I'm still feeling the effects. We did so much in a short amount of time. Here are the highlights: (I'll put more details and pictures up soon!)
NYC on Friday: Karen, Mom, and Dad: 95 degrees and humid, not too busy. Saw Ground Zero, Wall St., Central Park (by carriage), Times Square and Grand Central. Then we drove up to New Hampshire and hung out with Jim, Lynne, Bob, and Maria
Saturday: boys went golfing, had an awesome breakfast (more like brunch, which turned into lunch), then we all went hiking up Mount Watatic (beautiful views!), then the boys went golfing again and the girls went shopping, then we all met at Chili's for dinner. Later there was some domination with Rumicube ;)
Sunday: Gloucester, Mass to go WHALE WATCHING! And we saw tons of whales! About 25, and we got some sweet pictures. We were out in the boat for about 4 hours. Then back up to NH to eat some pizza and watch The Perfect Storm (which took place in Gloucester).
Monday: Boys went golfing again and the girls went out for breakfast. Mom, Dad, and I drove back to Connecticut and I gave them a whirlwind tour of my town, and they met Marcy, Eric, and the boys and saw my house. Then I drove them to the airport...
FUN FUN FUN!!! I had a blast! Thanks everyone for such a great weekend!


Congratulations to Carmen and Brent! July 14 is the big day!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sad/Happy

First of all I have to say that I really thought the Wings were going to go all the way! I think they could have taken it all. I'm not ready for their season to be over!! :(

MOM AND DAD are on their way!! Sort of. They're on their way down to Illinois to visit Kristin and Jason for a couple of days before they fly out here. I'm getting soooo excited for them to come! After today I only have one more day of work until Tuesday... Right now it feels like I have a million things to get done before they come, but it's all easy. Just takes time.

Tamara, Ellen, and I went for lunch yesterday at a restaurant that had outdoor seating. That was a great break in all of our days -- relaxing and having lunch outside in the beautiful weather.

Thoughts on American Idol: I wasn't too into it until about a month ago. When I saw Jordin sing Martina McBride's Broken Wings (the first time), she became my favorite. Just like in Season 4 when Carrie Underwood sang Independence Day by Martina. So I voted for Carrie, and last night I voted for Jordin. I hope she wins!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Flashback!!







One of the times when I was home (Christmas maybe?), I found my water camera... and I finally got it developed!! Here are a couple of photos from Grand Cayman!

Noooooooo!!

I literally felt like crying yesterday when the Wings lost in overtime. I was in a sad mood the whole rest of the day. NOT a good Sunday! I really have a feeling this is going to go to seven games (it better!!!), and game 7s are always so unpredictable... I'm just really HOPING they can bring it back to the Joe and triumph!!
The only two games of this series that I've watched were games 4 and 5... they lost both. I don't think I'll be watching game 6. Obviously it has nothing to do with me but I feel like I'm JINXING the games. So on Tuesday evening I'll be going to sleep, then waking up at midnight or so to check SportSCenter for the score... ah!
I don't know if I'll be getting on here tomorrow, so

GOOD LUCK KATZ!

in the 800 on Wednesday!! You can DO IT! I wish I could be there.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Good Morning, Rascal Flatts!



HAPPY SWEET 16 JULIE!!!

On Friday morning Tamara and I went into the city and saw Rascal Flatts on Good Morning America!! They had a mini concert in Bryant Park and it was really, really great!! No pushy-shovey people, it wasn't extremely crowded, we could see really well, and the band was awesome! They really played around with the crowd, and I loved the 4 songs they played.
Afterwards (this was about 9am), we took the subway downtown and went shopping for a couple of hours. Then we had a good walk up to Times Square and ate lunch at Olive Garden (it was Tamara's first time there). Overall a great day in the city!!
I've realized that most of my posts on here are littered with exclamations and words like "great" and "awesome." I write like that because that's how a lot of the things are that I've done, so I'm sorry if it seems a little overdone. I'm trying to tone it down a bit (maybe you've noticed over the past few posts), but the enthusiasm isn't fake. (Does that make sense?)

Mom and Dad are going to be here in a few days! Yea! It's going to be a fun, relaxing mini-vacation for me! It's almost 80 degrees today and it is supposed to stay like this all week! :)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Beantown




It was another busy weekend... Tamara, Katharina, Ellen, Sarah, and I drove up to Boston for the day on Sunday. We checked out the usual places, then I took the T out of town to meet Bob and Maria for lunch. It was kind of an ordeal trying to find a place to go in this town we'd never been in before. The first two places we tried were closed. The third time was the charm and we ate at Bertucci's. It's so much fun visiting with the newlyweds!! I really enjoyed my afternoon with them! Sounds like they had a fun weekend last weekend with Beth and Meko.
Mom and Dad are going to be here in 11 days!!! Yea! :)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Energy-less

I'm really tired today. :S For some reason I don't have much energy. And I'm supposed to get up early and go to Boston tomorrow... I think I'll have to take a nap this afternoon or something! Otherwise I'm not going to make it all day tomorrow.

I'm once again trying to put some pictures up... and once again it's not working.
:( This is making me crabby.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Martina! Josh!


I have time right now to upload pictures, but it's not working for some reason. I've been trying to get them on here for about 25 minutes, and no luck so far. I'll try again later...
My morning was really fun! I got up nice and early (5:00 -- so not too bad) and rode in with Eric. He was going in for work, so he offered me a ride. I appreciated not taking the train for once. I got to Rockefeller Plaza at 6:15 and had to wait in line until about 6:45... this could be a long story, so I'll get to the main points. Since they had 3 performers on (Martina McBride, Josh Turner, and Gretchen Wilson), there were a lot more people than the other two times I went. Plus they had two different stages. So right away I had to decide which one I wanted to be closer to. Martina or Josh and Gretchen. I chose Martina. She sang "In my Daughter's Eyes" and I can't remember the name of the second one. She's AMAZING!! and beautiful!! I would love to go to a whole concert of hers!! Josh Turner sang "Would you go With Me" and I LOVED IT!!! Wow, he's good! :)
I got some good pictures of Martina, some far away ones of Josh. I promise I'll put pictures on here ASAP. I thought today would be the day... I'll keep trying.

We're going to Boston for sure on Sunday. I talked to Bob and he and Maria are going to come and meet us for lunch! (Jim and Lynne can't make it.)

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Central Park


Here's a picture of Ellen, Katharina, and me in Central Park one Sunday. It was a gorgeous day, in the 80s I believe. It was a few weeks ago (mid-April), before the leaves came out.

Summer weather!!


Hey all, it really, really feels like summer! It's in the 80s today, and it's supposed to stay this way for awhile! Sweet! Now I just can't wait for the water to warm up. Tamara, Katharina, Ellen, and I were at the beach on Saturday and the water was freeeezing! Just like Lake Superior this time of year. Tamara and I felt like skipping rocks, but there were none. So we skipped shells - and it worked!!
I keep telling Tamara about things we're going to do when she comes to Michigan in August... and the list keeps getting longer and longer. Now Katharina is thinking about coming, too. But she has about a million different plans for when she's done being an au pair. and coming to MI is just one of them, so I kind of doubt she'll end up coming.
I'm excited that the WINGS are still going strong! Yea! :) It's reminding me of those 3 years they won the Cup. GO WINGS! :) And the Pistons -- hopefully they can keep it up against Chicago and keep rolling. It's a great time to be a Detroit Sports Fan!