Friday, January 30, 2009

All the things highlighted are things that I've done...you can copy and paste it if you would like...

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis - it jumped on my leg, that counts right?
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15.Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19.Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow man
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Gone without food or water for 24 hours or longer
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Stayed up for 24 hours with NO sleep at all
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching- on the mission in Eureka area
63. Got flowers for no reason - my brother gave them to me once, just to say thanks
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma- I can't do it anymore since I lived in London (dang, mad cows disease)

65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial - too many times to remember, but I am from there
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Changed a light bulb
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle - with my uncle and I was so scared as a little girl
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car- twice now
83. Mowed the lawn
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House- I have never been in the inside though
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Been to the Caribbean

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Life Goes Up and Down

So they last four or five days have been so crazy. Joe and I moved on Saturday. Everything went off without a hitch. We started unpacking were excited to be in our new place. There were also trips to Walmart, Target, and Costco. And we drove around a lot on the weekend, visiting my brother's friends as well. So on Monday we were excited to get going with furniture shopping (since we have none..not even a mattress). We also decided that we would make plans to look at cars, since we knew we would need a second vehicle.

Well, on our way to the furniture shop, a woman hit our truck! So Monday was a bit stressful. In fact, we did not know if the old 1992 truck our parents just gave us on Friday will be able to pass inspections. It runs fine, but one of the lights are busted. It was definitely bad luck for us as we had high hopes to use it for at least a few years. So that changed our motives and we began looking for cars. After test driving, emailing car dealers, and narrowing it down, we ended up with a vehicle that I would have never expected, a Honda Element. I personally think they are ugly looking, but they do serve a lot of our needs as outdoors people. So I conceded to my husband who was sure that was what he wanted. Then we took the plunge the next day and bought one. At least we were able to get them to bring the price down about 4,000 dollars. I think it was a good deal, but now it is one more payment for us.

Today we found out that they other lady's car insurance will be giving us some money to help with repairs, so that is promising. Plus, I also have some leads on two new positions in the county in History. And I have a lot of people networking for me, which is a good sign. Joe did some networking while he was in the office and so has his principal who I went two weeks ago. So I was feeling really good as I drove around today to drop off my resumes. Then I decided to go to the Social Security office to finally make the name change request.

While I was waiting in line at the offices, I started to black out and next thing you know, I had passed out! I fell smack on the floor and hit my chin on the tile. I am lucky nothing was broken. They called medics to check me out and everything was okay so I did not want to go to the hospital (I am not understand insurance right now....Joe just filled out the paperwork today). I feel fine right now, except for the big swollen bump on my chin! One good thing that came out of it was that I got to jump ahead in the line and get everything taken care of.

Everyday we are doing a little more to feel at home. Joe will start working tomorrow and if all goes well then I hope to be hired soon too. At this point I am playing house and trying to put everything together on a budget. In fact, I kind of like the challenge of looking for things on sale. Let's just hope that I stay well and nothing happens to me again. I have never passed out before, so I don't know what caused it, but I am thinking it was a lack of water and a hot room. So crazy!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Trip Home







I'm not finished with pictures of Kosova yet. I thought it might be appropriate to show pictures and video for the return trip home. We were really lucky, because our landlord worked for Austrian Airlines, so he finagled for us and we did not have to pay the extra fee for overweight luggage! Thank heavens! The view at the airport was an interesting sight, because it was filled wtih military people. Everyone from Austria, Italy, and Germany were on their way home. So they filled the place. That might give you an idea of how of a military prescence was in the area.

The flight home was a bit of a concern for us too. We found out about four days before we left that the flight no longer existed. So of course we were worried about making it home. After confirming seats on an earlier flight that left on Saturday afternoon we realized that we would need to spend the night in Vienna. So we had to make a few phone calls to airlines and our travel agency to work out a free night stay in Vienna (since that was not in our original plans). We actually got to spend the night in the hotel directly across the street from the airport. It was awesome. We did not want to miss the festivities in the city so at about eight at night we took the fast train into the city and walked around. The Christmas lights were beautiful. We stopped to get a bite to eat at a concert hall. While listening to opera we ate the most expensive hotdog. On the menu it said we were ordering a Snitzel, and we figured it would be a sausage (not a pink hotdog).

However, it was served with fresh horseradish, which Joe decided to take on with one bite! Check out the video.


Monday, January 5, 2009

A Country Wedding



















I am very proud of my wedding. As I look back on the day, I wish I had more time to help the caterer layout the food. I had a few different ideas about how it would have looked with my decorations. However, I let it roll off my shoulders on the day though, because seriously, it didn't matter. It just wasn't the exact finishing touch that I was thinking of. Many things turned out just as I wanted and imagined...if you see the pictures you will see what I mean. I thought I would give you an idea of how everything started.



















1. I happened to have a wonderful friend and former coworker that lives in Lovettsville, VA. He opened his home and barn to our wedding. It is a beautiful barn, and for years I had been telling him it would make the perfect place for a wedding. It took about two weekends of prep to clear out the working barn, clean it up, brush off the cobwebs, and Murphy oil on the floors.












2. The next two pictures shows the finishing touches. We put up white Christmas lights and rice paper lanterns. Some of the lanterns had battery operated lights, since electricity was a bit of a concern. We rented the tables and chairs from a local company and the tablecloths came from a company I found online.

The glasses, plates, and silverware were borrowed from a good friend and former coworker (can you believe they had 80 place settings?). I bought simple green paper napkins, which I attached purple caribiners, which said Tracy heart Joe 8.16.08 (to have and to hold).




































3. The centerpieces were very simple. I saw something similar in a bridal magazine, so I decided to steal the idea. Plus, it is a lot cheaper then flowers and we could feed the horses with the apples! I found cheap vases at Micheal's Arts and Crafts store in different sizes, also using a coupon. Then I hot glued different purple ribbons on them. On the morning of the wedding, I was up at 7am putting limes, green apples, pears, and split peas in the vases. I also purchased battery operated tea light candles, since we were in a barn. They worked perfectly.



















4. I borrowed the cup cake stand, all the small circular tables, and white table clothes from my caterer (for free). I did buy some flowers from a local florist (my bouquet, my sisters bouquet, a few corsages and boutonnieres, plus eight bundles of green hydrangea. I also hot glued the green ribbon to the cup cake stand.


















5. Joe and I love ice cream so I really wanted to have it at the wedding reception. I found large tubs of Briar's ice cream at Wegmans and we stored them in dry iced coolers. I found ice cream dishes online and I bought cheap green spoons. Then I picked out all the necessary toppings, trying to match our wedding colors (green, brown, and purple). Don't worry, I also had ice cream cones too.































6. For drinks I had to provide those that drink alcohol (my husband and his family and friends) plus non-drinkers (my friends and some of my family). So we had lemonade in a cute glass jar, water in a cute glass jar, root beer and beer served in metal tins (do you see them in the far right corner of this picture?




















7. My original idea was to have food stations around the barn, but there was not enough room. So we basically had a buffet line. My friends from church came to help (aren't they the greatest?). We had fruit and cheese, two yummy salads, and chicken and pork wrapped in bacon, plus cookies! Another good friend, and former coworker made aprons for my helpers, it was a gift for them...aren't they cute?


















8. One idea I loved from a bridal magazine was personalized fans. I knew it would be hot, since it was August (somehow we lucked out with great weather though). So before people took their seat at the ceremony they were able to grab a fan and spritz themselves with bug spray.



Can you see the table with the personalized fans, bug spray, and citronella candles? The only sad thing was that I accidentally purchased the fans twice, which cost me an extra hundred dollars. If I had more time I think I could have made these, without having to order them. I would just need some card stock, special scissors, Popsicle sticks, and double sided tape.





























9. I was worried about people getting to the wedding site, so I made wood signs. I painted them white and then wrote our names or specific directions. My dad thought it needed a little more, because it turned out the signs were too small to read while driving. So although I found it cheesy at first, it was not too bad to have a few balloons with each sign.



















10. I was inspired by another wedding website http://www.thisyounghouse.com/wedding-album/ . They had a wedding in theirr backyard. In fact, I stole a few ideas from them. For example, the clothesline picture album. We found some cute pictures of us through the ages and hung them on the clothesline. The more pictures with friends, the better they were. The middle line contained pictures of the two of us together. I also made the sign that you see in the middle, I even attached dried flowers that Joe brought back to me from a summer trip to Yosemite.

We also bought glow sticks, where we attached return directions. This way people could find their cars in the open field and make it home.

Instead of a traditional guest book, I made one with shutterfly.com. I had a coupon to make a free calendar and book, so I used that and put the rest of our engagement pictures in the book. Then I asked people to attached advice and thoughts for our future.






























11. I added a few touches around the property, using items that were originally in the barn. This horse carriage, was pulled out and cleaned off. I figured people could put wedding gifts on it. I also found this cute green truck planter, which we used for holding cards. All the hay came from the barn too.



















12. I knew there would be smokers from Joe's side of the family, so we set up a simple sitting area away from the barn. I used two old chairs and a bench that was found in the barn. A few candles and a tin bucket with sand solved that problem. I didn't know it would work so well for the photographer to take pictures there.

13. This is the owner of the house and barn...what a great man. I am so thankful for his kindness. As you can see, he decided to wear a very funky tie to our wedding...it was the one that I had made for him. The first tie I ever made.