Thursday, December 27, 2007

Wii caved in and bought a Wii

Getting a Nintendo Wii for us has generally been just a passing thought, somewhere along the lines of "yeah, it'd be nice to have one, but no, Wii cannot afford one nor would Wii be able to find one." Until yesterday when I found our match. $400 for the Wii, 2 Wiimotes, 2 nunchucks, 2 classic controllers, Madden '08, Guitar Hero III, the sports disk, and Sonic v. Mario Olympics. There was no way Wii could pass up this deal. So after work, Wii drove downtown Chicago (Lincoln Park) and picked up our new addiction. Yes, the Wii definitely lives up to all the hype. Wii would like to thank both sets of my grandparents and my parents for funding our Wii for us via cash for Christmas presents (and some for Trevor's birthday present).

Trevor adds: Unfortunately, Meghan has already hurt her elbow and thrown her shoulder out. Shouldn't be a shock to those who have known Meghan for any time now! :-) I have to admit, I think this game might help get us in better shape. We just got done playing the Olympics game and we are both breathing pretty hard now. Now we have a new reason (one of MANY) for all our friends to come down to Illinois to visit us!! Come quickly, we miss everyone!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

1200 miles later...

For many of you, Christmas means a time to relax and spend extended time with your families and maybe even friends. Maybe you have to travel a little bit here and there...not the case for us. Over the past 5 days, Meghan and I drove 1200 miles (yes almost halfway to our next oil change and I just got on last Friday) in our whirlwind tour of Minnesota and Wisconsin. It was sheer madness, but we managed to have a really good time despite all the driving.

Long ago (last year) we decided it was too much to do both of our families in the same weekend for Christmas so we are alternating years (with the other family getting Thanksgiving with us). This has been a tricky adjustment for both of us, but its the only way to make it work. Well, this year, we decided to take the Saturday before Christmas with my (Trevor's) family and then spend the rest of the time with Meghan's family as it was their year.

Friday night we drove 170 miles to my parents in THICK fog and spent the next morning and early afternoon with them. It was nice to get together with everyone even though it was strange to miss out on the other festivities with the relatives that I have never missed before.

Saturday afternoon, we drove up north to Cloquet, MN (just outside of Duluth) to spend time with Jeannie's side of the family. The first half of this 360 mile drive was in the same dense fog but about halfway there, the fog lifted and it was smooth sailing during the evening. The next morning/afternoon we spent time with the family there celebrating Christmas with everyone. we had a really nice time with everyone (even though I took some heat for the poor performance from a certain football team).

Later that afternoon, it was time to brave the winter storm for our 130 mile drive to the Twin Cities. About halfway home we decided to make a pit stop with Pat and Susan at Grand Casino in Hinckley. We played some blackjack and I think both couples left the table in pretty good shape despite that we were all down to $5 (at the same time) at one point! We got home that night and met up with Jason and Kelly at Major's to watch the Vikings. It wasn't a good day for either of us in the NFL department.

Monday morning (Christmas eve) was a free morning for us...ahh free Meg drove down to meet up with Beth in Cannon Falls (90 miles round trip) while I went to the gym with Jason and Jamie. After and exhausting workout I returned for a shower and then it was off to Eaglebrook for the 3 pm service. This was the FIRST time I was ever at Eaglebrook for Christmas in my 9-10 years of attending there. That night Meghan's immediate family came to her parents house to celebrate together. We had a fondue Christmas which was absolutely wonderful. Its been a while since I've had an entire fondue meal at home but it was really tasty. We really enjoyed this night of celebrating with her family and seeing Gabey and Ana tear into their presents with sheer joy!

Christmas morning was spent at the Berger's who generously spent their Christmas morning with us (and cooked us one FABULOUS breakfast). It was nice to catch up with them and have that traditional Christmas morning of opening presents that I grew up with. Later that afternoon, it was Christmas with Doug's family. We enjoyed a huge turkey dinner (prepared by Doug and Jeannie) but had to zip off at 2:30 as it started snowing again for us. We finished loading the car and were on our way for a 370 mile drive. Its always a little hard to leave MN, but after such a crazy weekend of traveling, its nice to be home! I don't anticipate all of our Christmas weekends to look like this one, but its clear that living in IL is going to make the holidays busy and hectic.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Hi From Mexico

Greetings to everyone from Mexico. For those of you who do not know, Trevor and I came down to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, with my whole family and Trevor's parents. We arrived on Saturday and took it easy. Sunday was a day spent at the beach and boogie boarding--Trevor's first time, and he was a pro! Today six of us went fishing. We got up at 5:15 this morning and were on the ocean until 4 this afternoon. We caught nine mahi mahi. We also saw humpback whales, dolphins, and a sail fish. Needless to say, tomorrow night my brother-in-law chef (Erik) will be cooking up the mahi mahi for dinner.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Thank you Lord!

I just got off the phone with Obie's vet and they said the tests came back negative, he does not have any cancerous tumors. She said there is a small chance the test was inaccurate but she says its over 90% accurate so she feels very good that our little guy is cancer free!

Thank you all so much for your prayers and support through this! Its been a long two days for us waiting to hear if he was okay. He is also back to eating good again which is encouraging so the meds they gave us seem to be working! Yay Yay Yay! :-)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tom Petty was wrong...

Sometimes life isn't so much a highway as it is a really scary roller coaster. It seems like our lives have been filled with a lot of highs and lows but very few long highway like stretches like Tom Petty wants us to think it is.

We've been through some tough financial times, a terrible act of nature that wiped out one of our homes, and a couple trips to the hospital. We've also seen some great new friends come into our lives, got to see God provide when no one else would, and had many prayers answered. Today we experienced another of our lows.

We brought Obie into the vet today because he hasn't been eating well which is a good sign that something is wrong...especially when he loves his food as much as Obie does. Well after running a urinalysis the vet confirmed that Obie in fact has ANOTHER bladder infection. This is his second in the past few months now. It also meant another $160 out of our pocket...but hey a bladder infection isn't TOO bad.

We got home and started watching "Til Death" when the home phone rang. There are only a few people who have our home number: Telemarketers, the car salesman from last night, and the vet. When the phone rang we knew it was likely Mak from the car dealership (that is a whole different blog) or the vet (believe it or not we would have rather had Mak...even though we were avoiding him). The vet informed us that she is a little concerned about Obie. She looked at the urinalysis again and noticed that the bladder cells were splitting, rather rapidly. She is concerned that our little Obie might have Bladder Cancer!

This was the devastating kind of news we did NOT need in our lives right now. Those who have met Obie and know us, you know that Obie is more than just some dog...he is like a child to us. The thought of losing him is pretty devastating. So this blog is more of a pleading for prayer from all of our friends. We want our little boy Obie to be around for a long time yet. Please pray for his health and that it is in fact NOT cancer but just the infection she initially thought it was. In addition please pray for us, especially Meghan, as we deal with whatever God has in store us here.

Tomorrow morning I will be dropping off another urine sample in a sterile container to be submitted to a lab for further testing. We should know more in the next couple of days and we will keep you all updated...

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Building a social life from scratch

Moving to an area where you know no one is scary...especially when you have a really established core group of friends that you are leaving. Our biggest struggle while we've lived in Illinois has been figuring out how to find all new friends when you have no one to start can be a lonely time (luckily, we had each other)

Well, Meghan and I are both taking some big steps in our lives here in Illinois. I've lived here for about a year and Meghan has been here for a half a year but really we've only done things with each other the whole time we've been here. I think the biggest thing we've both been missing since being down here is actually hanging out with other people of the same sex. While we really love spending time together, sometimes you just need to be apart and have fun with other people too (all you married couples know what I mean).

We joined a great small group here at our church, and as a result made our first real friends here. Its been so nice knowing other people that we can build relations
hips with. This Friday Meghan has a "girls night" with a bunch of the girls from the small group. I am excited for her to get out and hang out with them...honestly, I think its really good for us. I don't know what they are doing really but I am sure they will have a lot of fun. Since we only have one car now...looks like I'll be chillin at home for the night.

I joined an indoor flag football league and talked two of the guys from the small group into joining with me. Man, I needed this league. It's so nice to just have some time to play sports again and to spend some time with the boys. So we had our first game on the 29th, though we had NO idea what we were getting ourselves into. Let's just say it showed. After being thoroughly humiliated by one of the better teams in the league (they even had team shirts) we regrouped and talked some strategy. We came back this past Monday and beat the team we played...the final score was 50-8!!!! Wow, did that feel nice! I think we all started to get a better feel for where our role with the team was going to be. My goal is to be the Wes Welker of the team!

While IL might never be "home" for us, its finally feeling like a place where we can enjoy life as long as God has us here! I am excited to see what God has in store for us here in Illinois. Its been a very trying time so far, but also a time of tremendous growth as a couple and I look forward to even more! My memory verse for this week reflects how our life has been so far since our wedding:

Hebrews 12:11 -
"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."

Sunday, November 4, 2007

I Went Hunting!...For Poop!

This weekend most hunters in Minnesota packed up their shotguns, donned on their blaze orange hunting gear, and headed to the deer stand for deer opening. Not me. I got a flashlight, put on some shoes and a coat, got my nephew Gabriel, and went poop hunting. That's right--poop hunting.

My 20-month-old nephew's new favorite book is one that my parents got for him from a recent vacation to the Appalachian Mountains: "Who Pooped in the Park" (The Great Smokey Mountains National Park). So I decided to take Gabriel out on a nature hunt of our own to look for our own poop. Good thing I knew that the dog had just taken a poop outside so that I would not let Gabe down. He is now obsessed with looking for poop.

P.S. Sorry to disappoint, but the picture had to be taken after church as a set-up. You see, when we did our actual search for poop, it was dark out, and I did not think to get the camera out. When I realized I wanted to blog about poop hunting, I thought I should get some sort of picture to post also.
If you have a child, you should really get them a book on poop. They will be fascinated and be entertained for hours. I hope you all continue to have a fabulous fall.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Results Are In!

I know many of you have been eagerly and patiently awaiting the results of the pet contest that Obie was in on Sunday. We got a knock on the door today, and it was the person who sponsored the party. She delivered Obie his very own giftcard to Petsmart! YAY! Don't tell Obie because he might be disappointed, but he only got second place. But STILL, HE WON. Now he can be spoiled with more new clothes or beds or something of the like since he can't have treats anymore.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Well, since we do not have any human children, we consider our dog like a child and often times treat him as one. (I know, pathetic.) Trevor brought a flier to me on Friday evening that advertised a costume contest for children and pets at our local community park. Since we already had Obie's costume, I just could not resist taking him to the contest. I had to pry Trevor away from the television and computer (football consumes our Sundays), and we went to the park. Trevor got a free hot dog and orange soda, and I got a bag of Doritos and Diet Coke. (The contest was sponsored by a realtor who was getting her name out there.) We made a pumpkin together, got Obie's picture taken, had some snacks, and hung out for about a half hour. The first prize for the contest is a $50 gift card to Petco, second place $25 to Petco. As it happens, we were the only people who brought a pet for the contest (but there was still an hour and a half left after we left). However, Obie's costume was so cute that I do not know how we could not win. Happy Halloween everyone!

Getting on the right track!

Meghan and I know how much of a strain money can be on marriage...I heard about it for years in my single life and now as a married man I've already seen it. We made a decision to do something drastic to get ourselves off on the right foot though. Last night we sold my Grand Prix. Woh right? Those of you that know me well know this was my baby! I loved that car, but I love the idea having no credit card debt in our lives more. I hate credit cards, I hate debt.

Anyway, we made the decision to sell the car months ago but finally got a started a few weeks ago. Our first interested person turned out to be a scammer...GREAT...luckily I know all their tricks. Well we had an ad in and also in Craigslist. On Wednesday I decided to knock the price down 500 after really no real responses on our first price (it was really high, but worth a shot, right). Anyway, that same day I get an email from a student at Purdue that wanted the car...badly. To make a long story short, we ended up agreeing on a price that she could afford and that was fair for us and last night she came to buy it.

It was a very sad and happy time but I feel good about it. Its going to be a struggle having only one car, but with Meghan working from home I think we'll be fine! During the car ride home we talked about how amazed we are that we are going to have so little debt in such a short time given what we've been through so far in our three months of marriage. Somehow we managed to spend over 10K remodeling the entire lower level of our rental house in Rochester and not be out a dime. Our God takes such great care of us...we are so thankful for him. We made the decision together early this summer that we will always tithe no matter how tight it was...knowing that he'd always take care of us and I have seen him do it so many amazing ways already, even when I doubted! I have such a great feeling about things now!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Lets give it a try...

Well as many of your know, I used to be a big blogger. I went back and forth with writing about life and topics I found interesting. I decided I miss this part of my life. I was thinking a lot more when I was blogging...about big topics...I like thinking and using my brain. I also need a way to keep in touch with my friends so here I am again. This time, this is a blog for both Meghan and I, but I imagine you'll see more from me than her!

So cousin Julie (Meghan's cousin) is in town and she stayed with us last night. I had to go downtown to get her last night...which is kind of a crazy idea. So I decided instead to take the Metra...yeah the train. Can I just tell you (especially those in MN with no real train system like this) you haven't lived until you've had the convenience of the metra. I got downtown in 30 minutes from my office, co-workers told me it would have taken 1.5 hours to drive. What an amazing was well work the $3.50 I paid!! :-) We finally got home a little after 7 and then headed out to Vicky's (one of our fav. lowkey local places) for some dinner. We rented a movie called Domestic Disturbance...its a thriller from like 5 years ago staring Vince Vaughn as a bad guy. I liked it. Nice twists and it was only 86 min long which is a great movie length! Anyone remember that movie?