Thursday, June 19, 2008

How we're spending our summer:

These pictures say it all, but trust me, it is much bigger and better in person:

Monday, June 16, 2008

Neti Pot (by Mary)

After witnessing the experience on Oprah, Jill and I trialed the neti pot this weekend, for a cheap, at-home spa treatment. Here is the video of my first time:

It is extremely refreshing, and it definitely loosened things up for me. Jill agrees that it is refreshing, and I think she'll probably become addicted :)

On the other hand, Josh and Rob just think it is gross and have no desire to even try it. I think it is an experience everyone should try at least once!

Torch Run pt 2

The Torch Run made the front page of the newspaper. I would have bought and saved copies to distribute to everyone, but they sold out because there was a celebrity in the picture :) What you can't see in the photo is my WIXY T-shirt (actually, it's Mary's) and my eyes closed.

Weekend in Chicago (by Mary)

Rob and I spent Saturday and Sunday in Chicago with my best friend, Jill, and her husband, Josh. They just bought a beautiful condo in Bucktown, so we were some of their first visitors!

On Saturday, we went to the Adler Planetarium for a viewing of Cosmic Collisions. The theater was unique because the viewing screen was the rounded ceiling, which was an awesome view of outer space. However, the most memorable part was the jack a$$ sitting in our row.

Before the show started, one of the Adler managers informed the guests that the show was sold out. In order to make more seats available, they asked us to politely move toward the center of our row and not leave any empty seats next to us. The four of us were seated on the aisle, so we looked down our row at a stubborn man unwilling to move over three seats to the middle. Keep in mind, had he moved over three seats, his view of the show would not have changed, and it would prevent other guests from walking over us and him to get to the empty seats. The ushers came around just before the show started, and after about eight attempts, the usher successfully got this man's attention.

Usher: Sir, would you mind moving over so that other guests will not need to climb over you?"
Jack A$$: Yes, I would mind actually. I was here first.

It is this type of person that does not improve our society whatsoever. I feel sorry for his wife (why does she put up with this?) and his son, who has such a terrible example for a father.

Saturday night we ate one of the best meals of my life at Cafe Ba Ba Reeba. This is one of Jill and Josh's favorite restaurants, and I totally see why. We ate a variety of tapas, my favorites included the beef tenderloin and blue cheese, braised lamb, mushrooms stuffed with goat cheese, and spicy potatoes. Mmmm! Since all of us watched the most recent season of Top Chef, we did our impersonations of the judges and critiqued each dish. We were clearly lying when we had any criticisms!

We finished off the night with a round of Battle of the Sexes at the Mahrt's condo. We put up a fight, but the boys ended up victorious. We were all in agreeance that the questions for the females were more difficult than the questions for the males. It was hilarious to listen to Josh and Rob talk through which cup size is bigger, A, AA, or AAA. It was even funnier that Rob knew several answers about musicals. Trust me, you always want him on your team for trivia games!

We drove through a wind storm and thunderstorm on our way back, and had to pull over at the Rantoul Wal-Mart for safety. The Wal-Mart employees kept us back in the dairy section, which is apparently the safest part of the store. I was just thankful to not be driving as the storm went through.

We came home to our house, under construction. We're moved upstairs, again, for a few weeks until our basement is taken care of. Worst part is how it is about eight degrees warmer upstairs than in our master bedroom downstairs.

And, on a postive note, our hot tub should be up and running in about two weeks!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Torch Run (by Rob)

The Champaign Police Department organizes the Torch Run for officers in East Central Illinois. They carry the Special Olympics torch from Champaign to Bloomington for the start of the festivities. Some officers start the run, then get on the bus to cool off, then run... some join the run along the route. I got to run along from the Champaign Post Office on Mattis through Mahomet (about 9 miles). The officer I'm running with in the pic is training for the Chicago Marathon.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

New Deck (by Rob)

The work on our deck has begun. Soon it will have an awesome hot tub on it!

Here's what it used to look like

Here's what it looks like now

Being a Parent (by Mary)

These two articles are great reads if you've been a parent for years, or are toying with the idea:

11 Best Things Parents Go Through

11 Worst Things a Parent Goes Through

Monday, June 9, 2008

Joe Diffie/Mark Chesnutt (by Rob)

4 months of work is over... the WIXY concert has come and gone.

Some of the highlights:
- A guy at a bar won front row tickets, backstage passes, and a limo ride for four people 20 minutes before the show. He didn't have anyone to go with so he asked around the bar, got three girls and one of their mothers to come along (they must have had tickets). Backstage, the mother had Joe Diffie and Mark Chesnutt autograph her boobs.
- Same guy bought Joe Diffie a beer mid-performance, which he accepted... Mark Chesnutt turned down the beer mid-performance.
- During the encore, a cluster of people we right around the stage. One guy climbed onstage and leaped into the crowd. He didn't surf long. Security escorted him out fast.
- Sitting in the back row with Mary and re-living our first date :)

Here are some pics:
Mary looking great, me looking odd

Joe Diffie Onstage

A Crazy Mom with Crazy Boobs (click to enlarge)

Inaugural Illinois Marathon! (by Mary)

While weaning myself off of wedding-mania, I talked to the race director of the Inaugural Illinois Marathon on the phone, and now I'm on the committee!

After most races I attend, I always feel like I could have coordinated the event better, so here's my opportunity!

I definitely want all of my friends and family, runners and walkers, young and old, to take part in the events on April 11, 2009. There will be a 5K if you want to walk, Kids Race (with an Easter egg hunt!), half-marathon, full-marathon, and team relay. April 11 is the Saturday before Easter, but this can just be added to your Easter weekend activities!

Illini Radio Group (WIXY 100.3, Mix 94.5, 92.5 The Chief, and Extra 99.1) is going to be the major media sponsor of the event, and Rob will be running the full marathon with bib number 1003.

Registration and course maps are available on the website.

I am hoping to get a golf cart and walkie-talkie on the day of, but until then, I get a zip-up jacket and business cards!

Power Smart Pricing (by Mary)

Today, our household officially switches over to Power Smart Pricing. Instead of paying the average cost of electricity, we will pay the real-time price, which fluctuates each hour. For example, prices drop at 8:00pm tonight, so that is when we will run our dishwasher and washing machine.

We're hoping to save money on our electricity bill, especially once we get a new programmable thermostat! 2008 project? We'll see.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Welcome Gavin!

Congratulations to Rob's long-time friend and best man, Ted, and his family! Gavin Joshua Richel was born 18 days early on June 6th, weighing 7 lbs 14 oz and is 20 1/2 inches.

Hopefully we'll be able to meet Gavin soon!

And, for all the other newlyweds, here are 45 reasons to have a baby now.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Quick Updates (by Mary)

It is busy season for Rob and me. Home projects, family occasions, and work are all overloading us right now.

We are eagerly anticipating our new deck, and mostly our new hot tub, that should be finalized in hopefully three weeks.

There were two baptisms this week. On the family front, Rob was godfather on Sunday at Evan's beautiful baptism. Check out our adorable nephew by clicking our photo link to the right.

The nasty storm from Tuesday night baptized our new laminate floors with water. (And, yes, we have a sump pump!) We honestly have no idea where the water came from, but it has collected puddles underneath our laminate. If it wasn't for our under layment, the laminate would already be ruined. We're investigating various ways to have the water sucked up, but in the meantime, we hear fun mushy noises in various spots around the bedroom. We're open to suggestions.

Rob was in the studio until after midnight on Tuesday, while I was at home alone searching desperately for one of our three flashlights. Even though I consider myself a purger, not a hoarder, I have quickly learned that practically everything in our storage room needs to go. Anyone else have junk (or treasure) for a garage sale?

The Joe Diffie and Mark Chesnutt concert tomorrow night has become Rob's new wife. I can't wait until the divorce is finalized tomorrow night at about 11pm, so that I can have him all to myself again :)

I've been keeping myself busy at work as well, as Jan and I prepare for budget. Any over/under on when the Governor is going to approve the state's budget?