Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas to all...

We wanted to take a moment to wish all our friends and family who read our blog a wonderful and very merry Christmas. In the new year we plan to be more active in our blogging as life starts to slow down some more...we hope to have you all as avid readers! Thanks for the memories this year, we love you all!

Trevor, Meghan, and Addison

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Best Buy Story

Apparently not everyone knows about our Best Buy experience two years ago. It was Thanksgiving 2006, my first MAJOR holiday away from my family since Easter back in college when I celebrated Easter with the Rossetti family (that was an experience). Since my family is in WI and Meg's is here we decided long ago that trying to do both families is an impossible task so we split Thanksgiving and Christmas and we visit one family for each...that family gets our full attention if possible for the holiday then!

Anyway, Thanksgiving in 2006 was our first year together and this was the first holiday to try this out. I was missing my family and adjusting to how another family does Thanksgiving (actually Patrick and Susan were hosting which was kind of fun). After the meal finished, we were perusing the Black Friday ads, laughing about people who wait outside in the cold when I notice MY television on the Best Buy ad. I had just accepted my new position earlier in the year and had some "bonus" money stewing in an account waiting for the right opportunity to buy myself a nice flat screen after years of suffering with a 27" for so long.

All of a sudden Patrick, Meg's brother, says hey a couple of friends and I were going to camp out at Best Buy tonight to get that TV along with some other deals.
I turned to Meghan and said "is this your families Thanksgiving tradition?" realizing that I just proposed the day before and I was wondering what kind of a family I was getting joining!
Luckily this was a first and not a tradition. The more I thought about it, getting an $1800 TV for $1000 was too good an offer to turn down and Meg and I decided to join Pat and his friends.

For our readers in distant lands (like California) this is a MUCH bigger commitment here than it is by you...temps that night were in the teens I think and Meg and I were both there from out of town and didn't pack for camping in the snow. We grabbed blankets from the Corcorans though and bundled as many layers on as we could and got to Best Buy at 6 pm...the day before! Doors opened at 6 am the next morning...yes 12 hours later.

I didn't know what to expect, I always laughed at people that did stuff like this! We got to Best Buy in Maplewood to be among the first 10 people in line...which means there were actually people that were there BEFORE 6 pm!! We brought our stuff out and staked our territory. The night was filled with cards, throwing around a football, and sneaking off for late night Perkins meals in small groups (while others stayed behind guarding our spot).

Around 4:30 am things started to get interesting. The line was now around the back of the building...it felt GREAT to be at the front.
People started gathering out front of the store, we assume to attempt to dash in front of us...which would have been a painful mistake for them I think.
The crowd grew restless at these people and eventually the cops showed up and one unlucky guy ended up with a football embedded in the side of his face! haha

Best Buy employees came out and went through the line one by one handing out certificates for the big ticket items we wanted in order of when we got there. Patrick and I each got our 42" Panasonic plasmas and we were both really happy. So that is what Black Friday is like for those of you who think we are crazy! It was a MUCH more fun experience than I expected but I think it comes down to whom you are with!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Update on whats going on in our life

My friend Kristy did a post like this and I thought it was a nice way to get everyone in the loop on whats going on since I don't have any BIG topics to write about. Here's what we've been up to lately:
  • Spend Thanksgiving here in MN with Meghan's side of the family. Its always fun to experience Thanksgiving with different people and see what their traditions are. Last time I spent Thanksgiving with Meghan's family we ended up spending the night at Best Buy and buying a new plasma TV. No major expenditures this year.
  • We braved the craziness this year and did our Christmas shopping on the afternoon of Black Friday. I was amazed how many of the super special deals were still at Best Buy...certainly a sign of the tough times our fellow Americans are going through! I praise God for our good fortune and for providing me with a great job that meets our needs!
  • Meghan took Addison up to Cloquet to meet her grandparents up there for the first time. I wasn't able to come because of work so it was my first night away from my girls since Addison came into our life. It was a little sad after I got home and no one was here.
  • Our eBay business is ROCKING right now...its hard to even keep up with at times (with a newborn in the house). Christmastime on eBay is WONDERFUL!!
  • I am working on our second annual Christmas newpaper newsletter. If you were on the list last year I am sure you'll get another...if you didn't get one in the past I probably missed ya. Let me know!!
  • We are spending Christmas in Appleton this year with my side of the family...most of my relatives haven't met Addison yet so it should be a LOT of fun!! We can't wait.
  • Everyone should get Skype on their computers if you have family or friends far away...nothing like getting to see your loved ones on video!
Well that's all I have for now...keep your eyes open for the Rasmussen Times in the next week or so.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Its been a while...guess why?!?

We are now proud parents of a little baby girl!!

Little Addison Marie was born on Monday, November 3rd at 5:56 am after being at the hospital for almost 20 hours. She was a little stubborn coming out as you might imagine but after 3 tough hours of pushing for Meghan our little one is finally here. She is gorgeous too I might add! :-)

About this time, one week ago we got off the phone with a nurse at the hospital who told us we needed to get there sometime in the next hour. Meg's water was leaking so we knew our time had come. Unfortunately our baby still didn't want to join us so Pitosin was administered after a few hours to move the process along. Since it was a Sunday, we had football games on all day to distract Meg from what was happening...luckily the Vikings came through as did her fantasy football team so she was in high spirits (don't confuse that with me cheering for them or something though).

After hours of painful contractions, Meg finally gave in and asked for an epidural to ease some of the pains as she still had a lot of labor to go. We got a little rest and at about 2 am, I was woken up from a deep sleep (about 2 hours of sleep that night for me and none for Meg) and informed that it was time to push.

Addison has been a wonderful little girl for us! She struggling with getting night and day a little confused at this point so we've had a few LONG nights. I think we are starting to learn things we can do to help her have longer sleeping at night though...we'll see if it works or not. Last night was a tough one but so far tonight we had to wake her for her first feeding which was a great thing...I hope its like that all night! I am working on a website for Addison which will have lots of fun pictures and a fun little blog from her perspective (as well as one from mom and dad) though we'll keep this one going as well...as time permits of course! haha If you want that web address, let me know!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Oh Great, Company Policy Changes

This was sent to all employees at my company.

Notice to All Employees
As of November 5, 2008, when President Obama is officially elected into office, our company will instill a few new policies which are in keeping with his new, inspiring issues of change and fairness:
1. All salespeople will be pooling their sales and bonuses into a common pool that will be divided equally between all of you. This will serve to give those of you who are underachieving a "fair shake."
2. All low level workers will be pooling their wages, including overtime, into a common pool, dividing it equally amongst yourselves. This will help those who are "too busy for overtime" to reap the rewards from those who have more spare time and can work extra hours.
3. All top management will now be referred to as "the government." We will not participate in this "pooling" experience because the law doesn't apply to us.
4. The "government" will give eloquent speeches to all employees every week, encouraging it's workers to continue to work hard "for the good of all."
5. The employees will be thrilled with these new policies because it's "good to spread the wealth." Those of you who have underachieved will finally get an opportunity; those of you who have worked hard and had success will feel more "patriotic."
6. The last few people who were hired should clean out their desks. Don 't feel bad, though, because President Obama will give you free healthcare, free handouts, free oil for heating your home, free foodstamps, and he'll let you stay in your home for as long as you want even if you can't pay your mortgage. If you appeal directly to our democratic congress, you might even get a free flatscreen TV and a coupon for free haircuts (shouldn't all Americans be entitled to nice looking hair?) !!!
If for any reason you are not happy with the new policies, you may want to rethink your vote on November 4th.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Addison is going to be a naughty girl I think...

Addison has been quite the active baby in utero. So yesterday afternoon around 2 when she had not made much movement all day (even after eating lunch and lying on my left side for a while), I got a bit concerned and called my OB to see if I should be seen. I got an appointment to be seen 40 minutes later.

The heartbeat was normal using the fetal stethoscope. (I am certain there is a medical term for this, but surprisingly it is one that I do not know, so I'm calling it a fetal stethoscope.) I was then hooked up to a monitor for a fetal nonstress test (or NST). In order to pass that test, Addison was to have two spikes in her heartbeat along with uterine movement concomitantly in a 20 minute time period. She only had one of those such spikes.

So I was sent to St. Johns to labor and delivery to be hooked up to the NST monitor again until I could be seen for a biophysical profile (or BPP, which is an ultrasound to detect certain movements and measure amnoitic fluid). My OB told me that if I scored an 8/8 I was good to go home, a 6/8 would most likely mean daily monitoring, and anything less than that "we'd have to have a talk," meaning possible induction STAT. Well thankfully when I was hooked up for the NST in the hospital, Addison decided to wake up and move about like nothing had ever happened. Why she couldn't do that a few hours previous is beyond me! My OB still wanted me to have the BPP anyway just to ensure Addison wasn't being asphyxiated in anyway. I, or rather Addison, scored an 8/8, and we were good to go home.

After the incident, Trevor and I decided we needed to get our butts in gear and pack those overnight hospital bags that were supposed to be packed a few weeks ago. So we went to Target, spent over $160, and came home and crashed. We can now say that, except for the car seat not being in the car yet, we are now as ready as we can get for whenever Addison does join us. We are hoping sooner rather than later at this point.

Lessons learned:
1. Addison is a very sleepy girl. She takes after her mommy.
2. Addison is a very naughty girl for scaring us like that. She takes after her daddy.
3. If you need confirmation of the gender, just tell your OB you haven't felt the baby to get another ultrasound. Addison is indeed a girl.

Extra information:
On a side note, I was dilated to 1 cm at my regularly scheduled appointment on Monday.

ADDENDUM--POLL:
Since the two people closest to me (my husband and Beth) seem to disagree with which parent is the naughtiest, we are going to have a poll. Please see the upper right hand corner of our blog and vote accordingly. Thank you.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

She's a comin...

Just a quick note to update on Addison's journey. She has dropped significantly. Though I am not dilated yet, her head is sitting right on my cervix. Makes for an abundance of trips to the bathroom each night! I'm down to weekly appointments now, so the time is getting near. It sounds as though I am right on schedule with my due date (but we all know how that goes--plus I have a feeling I'm going to be late--it's just the luck I have). I've had three wonderful baby showers so far (one more to go), and we have been blessed with such wonderful gifts from our friends and family. Addison is very spoiled already. I feel ready about as ready as I can...well I guess I will after our birthing class this weekend. The nursery/office/my mom's library/Trevor's closet (yes, it's a multipurpose room) is ready for her, and we can't wait to meet her.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

We're finally back!

Well its been a while since our last blog. Sorry about that everyone...we'll get better about this now that things have settled down some.

We had a wild couple of weeks. Moving day was CRAZY! Jason and Ryan took the MEGABUS down to help us move, we really appreciated that help, I think we'd STILL be moving if they hadn't come! It was fun to get to spend some time with them again too.

It was hard to say goodbye to all our friends down there in IL, but ultimately we feel very confident this was the right move. Packing up the truck took about twice as long as we had hoped which put us WAY behind. Its amazing how much stuff you have. We got rid of so much and we still had so much stuff. The truck didn't roll into MN until about 11 pm so unpacking was not an option until Sunday (opening day for the NFL). The next morning we managed to get about four people to come and help us unpack the truck and put everything into our storage unit and we were even done by around 10 am so we were home for the games!

We are so glad to be done with the moving phase for now...its such a tiring process...though we realize we have another move in front of us in the next 6 months (we think). Our next one should be much easier though as most of our stuff is still in boxes in storage!

Well for those of you who don't know, we are living at Meghan's parents house in White Bear Lake. It's not a bad set up. We have two bedrooms, our own bathroom, and a living room area that is pretty much our own space in the basement. Obviously living on our own would be ideal, but we are SO thankful for Meghan's parents for helping us during this transition. We do feel very thankful for how God has answered our prayers in providing a home for us to live in, getting us back in MN, and finding someone to rent our house. The process didn't go like I would have scripted it, but ultimately he took care of us and I am sure I will look back on it and see the amazing wisdom in why it happened.

Right now we are back in WI for our FINAL trip out of town until likely Christmas. I think of all the great things about MN, this is my favorite. I am so exhausted from all our travelling while living in IL, so now the only time we have to travel is to visit my family (rather than both of our families). We have a shower for Meghan today and then Eliya's birthday party later in the day so today will be busy but Sunday should be relaxing...well as long as the Twins can get some wins!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

T minus TWO days in Illinois

I can't believe we are actually moving back to Minnesota. I am filled with many different emotions as I sit here thinking about it. Mostly I am exhausted right now. Work is overwhelmingly busy right now which makes the rest of life SO much crazier. I am struggling to find time to get all my work done. At the same time we are packing, getting everything taken care of for the move, and of course renting out our place. I haven't really had time to think about how much I am going to our great friends here. While I am excited to be around everyone up in MN again, we've made some great friends here that we are going to miss dearly! To all of you from our group, you all have a special place in our hearts, thanks for being a part of our first year of marriage and our lives in IL! Our lives would have been so boring if it wasn't for all of you.

Just tonight I finally rented out our house here!! After trying to sell for over 4 months we just gave up on that mission and we are pulling our house off the market. We found a young family that is REALLY excited about living in our house. They signed a one year lease which means we'll be able to start saving up a down payment right away starting next month and then hopefully in 3-6 months we can be back on our own again!

To everyone back in MN, we hope to have time to spend with all of you in the coming month! We are going to be busy with a lot of things, but we can't wait to get in touch with you all again and pick up our friendships where they left off! Everyone down here in IL, we won't forget you and we'll be back to see you after we have our little girl so you can all meet her!

Sorry no pictures with this one! I'll try to get back to blogging again when things settle back down some in October...until my baby comes...then who knows!! haha

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Sexy at EIGHT?

I ran into this article this morning on MSN while going to check my hotmail (Trevor speaking) and my mind is just racing as a soon to be daddy of a little girl:
http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26037851/?GT1=43001

I fully expect girls in middle school to be riddled with questions of her body and how she looks and getting pressures from friends and such. Its unfortunate but part of where life is right now. But in this article, it sounds like its starting WAY back in the early grade school years. I can't imagine having a kid come home from 1st grade and asking what a BJ is. I don't even know how I'd react, even thinking about that situation for like 10 minutes now I still don't know how I'd react!!

I know most of our readers have started families now and have young kids...I'd be very curious to hear your thoughts on this? Has it come to this even in the midwest where values seem to be taken more serious? What do you think is to blame for this escalation? Have any of you encountered any of this yet with your kids or even others?

Reading this article just made me sad for this new generation of kids. The pressures they are going to feel and at SUCH a young age. I know about the age I was when sex first become something I was aware of...I was MUCH MUCH older, like 6th/7th grade. I don't know if I was even ready for it at that age though. I remember my first girlfriend in 5th grade...we never even kissed. I remember my first kiss, which was before that, it was from a friends neighbor and I basically ran away! haha Now it seems like this is all starting so much earlier...how is that going to affect kids? Will it affect them at all?

I kinda slid this in between what will be a two part series on our vacation, but I wanted to see what people's thoughts were on this AND get you parents ready for what could be a very early start to sex ed with our generation of children!!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Vacation Part 1 - Wausau, Wisconsin

The Rasmussen Family Reunion - Wausau, Wisconsin - July 18-20
We stayed at a newly built Holiday Inn Express for Friday and Saturday night. On Saturday we met Trevor's, what seemed to be, hundreds relatives at a park for a reunion. We engaged in a cribbage tournament, too much eating, an adult pinata, fun, and games. Unfortunately, the hands dealt to us for the cribbage tournament (Trevor and I were partners) did now allow for us to much of anything as far as winning.







Later on at the hotel, the kiddos had their way with the pool area and played for hours!




Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Beginning of the End?

I just realized today that this weekend is the beginning of the end for us. This weekend marks the weekend that we are gone from home almost every weekend (except two) from now until we move on September 6. It it kind of bittersweet. That only means that our month and a half left here in Illinois is going to fly right by us. That's good and bad. We have made some great friends here in Illinois and just this past summer were starting to finally get a bit comfortable living here. Not that we (I more specifically) like living here itself, but our friends are great and will be missed a lot. So about being gone. We decided that we haven't been spending enough money on gas lately, so we are wanting to travel some more to contribute to the failing economy.

OUR VACATION WEEK:
This weekend (Friday-Sunday): Wausau, Wisconsin.
What: Rasmussen Family Reunion, staying in hotel.

Next week, part 1 (Sunday-Wednesday): White Bear Lake, Minnesota.
What: We celebrate our 1 year anniversary (man that went fast), catch up with some friends, and enjoy a week off of work.

Next week, part 2 (Wednesday-Saturday): Grand Rapids, Minnesota.
What: Langenbrunner family get together at Little Wabana Lake property. Camping, fishing, swimming, visiting, bonfires, wood ticks, and mosquitos.

Next weekend (Saturday-Sunday): White Bear Lake, Minnesota.
What: Hang out with friends. Leave on Sunday back to Illinois.

THE REST OF AUGUST THROUGH MOVING DAY
August 2, 3: Appleton, Wisconsin.
What: Krista's (Trevor's sister) bridal shower on Saturday morning and combined bachelorette/bachelor parties Saturday afternoon and evening.

August 8, 9: Lakemoor, Illinois.
What: Relaxing!

August 15, 16: Lakemoor, Illinois.
What: We will apparently be enjoying our very last weekend ever in Illinois.

August 22, 23: Rochester, Minnesota.
What: Fantasy football draft, our first baby shower, hanging out with friends.

August 28-30 (aka Labor Day weekend): Appleton, Wisconsin.
What: We are both attendants in Krista's wedding on Friday night.

September 6: Lakemoor, Illinois, to White Bear Lake, Minnesota.
What: We are moving! The day will be here sooner than we will be able to believe. Will somebody please tell me when are we going to have time to pack?

So come back to visit our blog often. We hope to write more blogs and post a lot of pictures during the rest of our summer!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Uh oh! Is it really a girl? Or is that little thing between our baby's legs an extra appendage?

The first picture that you are going to look at is just the plain ultrasound. In the second picture you are going to see "drawings" that Trevor "drew" (via PDF) that indicate what the ultrasound tech pointed out to us. The little circle that Trev drew above our baby's butt is what we think to be that extra little appendage that girls do not possess. So this has turned into a poll. Is it a boy or is it a girl? Keep in mind our ultrasound tech (we were told) has never been wrong. Though I am no expert, I think it's a boy, and I think what the ultrasound tech pointed out to us as the baby's vagina might be his/her feet.




Sunday, July 6, 2008

How Could I Forget??

We are going to Grand Cayman sometime at the beginning of next year. Since winter is not exactly the season to buy summer clothes for newborns, we thought we should get a few outfits for Addison for the trip. I could not help but post them since they are the first ones :) Tell me that our little girl isn't going to be the cutest thing in the world?




Babies and the 4th

Last Friday at our 22 week baby check-up we had our fetal survey ultrasound. Everything looks good, and our little baby is going to be here before we know it. I knew from day 1 that I would find out the gender as soon as I could. I hate surprises and need to plan. Between those little legs instead of an extra appendange were three little lines, indicating it's a girl! Our little girl's name is Addison Marie. It's a good thing it was a girl because we had no boys names picked out. I know we have a while, but we just wanted our baby to have a name right away.



On Friday since we didn't have to work and we were not traveling, we decided that we would go to Babies R Us to register. What a long and exhausting experience! We have registered before being that we just got married last year, but registering for a baby is a whole nother adventure. What kind of bottles do you register for? Glass or plastic? Without BPA? What about pacifiers? Why do there have to be so many different kinds and shapes and sizes? Then there's the bedroom. I think we are still at square 1 there. We registered for a crib and changing station with some drawers, but we could not believe the prices! $600 for both! We came home and looked online at Craigslist and found a used set in Hugo that includes crib, mattress, changing station, dresser, and glider with ottoman for $400. We decided to be thrifty and take off the way-to-much-to-spend-on-a-baby crib and changing station from our registry and buy a nice-looking used set. Now we just have to decide on room colors and decor. We did not want to register for a bedding set because (1) we're not going to have a bumper around the crib (which is thought to sometimes attribute to increased SIDS deaths) and (2) we are not going to have blankets as the new thing now is a SleepSack (also a safety feature to elimiate loose blankets in cribs, help prevent over heating, and also help prevent SIDS). So as you can imagine, our heads were spinning after our multiple hours at Babies R Us.

Since there are limited Babies R Us in Wisconsin (i.e. none in or anywhere near Appleton where Trevor's family is from), we decided that we had to register at Target too. We hate Target's return policy, and if gift receipts are not included in purchases, we may end up with multiple of the same items that we are not able to return. So if you ever buy anything for anyone off a registry whether it be for a wedding or for a baby, please remember to include a gift receipt. It just makes for a much more pleasant experience if you get multiple of the same items, which does happen all the time. So we resentfully registered at Target keeping in mind that we may as well register for what we need and want rather than getting a million pink outfits. (Pink isn't bad in itself, we just like a bit of variety too.) That was our Saturday afternoon.

Saturday evening we went over to Trevor's aunt and uncle's house in McHenry for their annual neighborhood cookout and fireworks. They live in a weathly neighborhood where a bunch of the neighbors pitch in $100 for fireworks and they have their own display. We were there until midnight! I coudn't believe how time flies when you're having fun. I haven't stayed up that late in ages! My normal pregnancy bedtime is between 10 and 10:30. I do miss my nightowl days, but those may be long gone now that I'm in the new pre-baby and soon-to-be post-baby era. Hope everyone else had a great 4th and long weekend!


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Last Weekend

I feel like I have been challenged to blog about last weekend by a few certain people, so here I am. I guess we (Trevor more specifically) have/has been into blogging lately. But what a great idea to keep up with it though; summer is here and there are just so many things to keep everyone updated about.

As Trevor eluded to in his last blog, we did have company last weekend. The Sheldon's and Bristol's arrived in an untimely manner (thanks to KCF, traffic, and detours) on Friday night. Begrudgingly I was forced to get up early on Saturday morning to venture to downtown Chicago to face the traffic, crowds of people, and hot weather. (For a pregnant lady, this combination can sometimes cause untoward outbursts, emotions, and attitudes.) Nevertheless, I was excited to spend some quality time with some very close friends.

THE ZOO
I don't think I kept it a secret that I hate zoos, even if it is a free venture. The last thing I wanted to do was walk around in a hot, stinky, smelly, dirty zoo 5 months pregnant watching those poor, caged, obsessive-compulsive animals do nothing but walk back and forth and do the same routine over and over again. I could not believe it, but apparently a pregnant woman's vote does not count as more than one, so I was overwhelmingly vetoed, and I did my time at Lincoln Park Zoo. I think the only good thing that came about it is that I am now able to check that one off my list of famous Chicago attractions to do before I die (or move).

ARCHITECTURAL CRUISE
It was nice to be able to sit my butt down for a full hour on the architectural cruise up the Chicago River--east and west branches. We have a very entertaining tour guide who was full of knowledge about all the buildings. Very interesting experience, and one that I am glad that we did. There is some great history and stories to each structure and skyscraper in downtown Chicago. After the knowledge gained on the cruise, I feel confident saying that I was a Chicagoland resident for a period of time. I recommend an architectural cruise to anyone visiting/living in the Chicagoland area. (Notice the Sears Tower in the reflection of the building.)
DINNER
We had a little bit of time after our cruise to get some dinner before our next event. We ended up at the House of Blues. Not too eventful of an experience. I did have to order Eric a drink since he left his ID in the car, which was an experience being that I am obviously pregnant now. I felt a little rebelish and like I was ordering a drink for a minor, but I think Eric looks well over 21 (not that you look old, Eric, just distinctly over 21) and should be able to have a drink without that hassel.

THE SHOW
Since we were having company in town who wanted to experience Chicago, I felt that there was no better way to experience Chicago than to experience Broadway in Chicago. That was just my excuse to be able to see Wicked again. A bit manipulative? Perhaps. However, I did not get a single arguement when I brought up the idea to see it. The second time around was just as phenomenal. It was geneously written, a great cast (Fiyero perhaps could be finely tuned up a bit I guess), and a gorgeous atmosphere for the play (Oriental Theatre). Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the show (which I am happy about since it was my idea to spend $60/person to go).



THE DOG
Before we left on Saturday morning, we tried going to a few neighbors' houses to see if anyone would let our little doggy out once or even twice while we were gone. To no avail, no one was home. So poor little Obie was by himself for over 14 hours. We fully expected him to pee in the house at the very least and would not have been the slightest bit mad at him (because really, who can hold their bladder for over 14 hours?). Much to our surprise, he did not feel the need to empty his bowels or bladder in the house! Being that he's a bit older these days and tends to not be able to hold his bladder that long, it was a huge surprise to us. So next time you see him, maybe just give him a little scratch behind the ears or a hug or kiss if you're into that type of thing.
SUNDAY
We all slept in on Sunday morning. Trevor until 9ish (which is probably a record for him) and the rest of us until 10 or after. I (with the help of Beth--thank you) made a little (big) brunch for everyone to enjoy: french toast, fruit pizza, bacon, eggs, and juice. Then we just chilled for a while, watched some TV, I dozed off on the floor, and they headed out around 3.

RECAP
The weekend was so fun and memorable. It was great to catch up with friends who we rarely get to see. Thank you so much Sheldon's and Bristol's for coming to see us before we move. We really appreciate that you took the time to come down and spend some time with us.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

We had a really nice week

I can't put my finger on anything one thing in particular but I feel like this was just a good week for us. We had a showing today at the house...with how infrequent they have been, any time we have a showing it makes us pretty happy (even if it does mean FRANTICALLY cleaning for a few hours). We probably won't hear anything about the showing until Monday but keep it in your prayers...it sure would be nice to move on our own terms, not leaving a house behind in IL. While the people were at the house, our friends the Fredrickson's joined us for lunch where we watched an amazing 9 run inning from the to knock down the cross town rival . It was a moment of sheer joy for us fans. We got back and had a nice afternoon at home...those seem to be SO infrequent these days.

We found a solution to Meghan's issues with missing the ...her department opened up for OT this weekend because things are backed up so she took them up on their offer. The money she earned is going toward MLB Extra Innings. I talked them into an AMAZING deal (even better than my Sunday Ticket deal from last fall) and we ended up with DTV paying for our first month AND getting Superfan thrown in for free! I felt great about that. So now she can watch her whenever she wants and it didn't even really come out of our normal budget...thank you God for providing for us!

Our eBay business (store.auctiva.com/wiiskins) took an unexpected leap for us this week too. Our biggest competitor was suspended by eBay for something shady which left us selling a completely unique product with little to no competition. I also changed my pricing strategy which worked AMAZINGLY!! We've been making a pretty steady income this week from our sales and its been really exciting. The nice thing is it allows us to build up some savings for our little baby...did I mention that we get to find out the sex on FRIDAY!?!?!?! I'd be lying if I said we weren't excited.

Last weekend was a blast too...we had our friends the Bristols and Sheldons in town and spent a wonderful day in Chicago. I think I'll save that for another blog from Meghan or me.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Pummelled by Mother Nature

There's nothing in the world quite like the feeling of being woken up by the tornado sirens out of a deep sleep at 1 am. That was our night last night as we sat in our house struggling to find a station with details wondering in the dark where the tornado touchdown happened. This was the second time in the past week we've had to take shelter because of tornado touchdown and about the 4th day out of six that we've had severe weather come through.

Northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin, and eastern Iowa are getting pummelled right now and there seems to be no relief in sight. Cedar Rapids is getting a lot of press right now as the entire city is experiencing epic flooding. Lake Delton in the Dells was literally drained without notice (we are talking about a HUGE man made lake...and it wasn't even the dam that broke). Milwaukee got 3-4 inches of rain in about 30 minutes last weekend (we were there for it) causing streets and highways to shut down. By us, the Fox River has reached peak levels and has started to flood all of the neighboring communities (McHenry, Antioch, etc). Its only going to get worse too as water from Wisconsin comes down the river to an already maxed out Illinois.

Luckily for us, being in a new neighborhood, the threat of flooding is pretty small...they grade yards really well and the sewer system is great, but there are a lot of people that have lost homes, jobs, loved ones, etc. My heart goes out to the people affected by the situation in Lake Delton and in Cedar Rapids...I know what they are going through and its the worst. It's a helpless feeling as there is nothing you can do to stop it or to save everything you've spent years acquiring. Make sure you keep these people in your prayers and pray for relief as the storms just keep coming through and hitting the same exact areas. Even as I write I look on the radar and more severe storms are on their way through which means Friday will be the 5th day of seven that we've had severe storms...and I mean SEVERE.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Weekends filled with excitement

Meghan and I live for the weekends. The week is fine and dandy, but the weekends allow us to have the most fun! Last weekend, my family invited us up to spend the long weekend with them and have a cookout...and cookout we did, Rasmussen style! My dad is known among my friends for serving up a mean steak, and he rarely disappoints!! He didn't this weekend either. Saturday night was make your own shish kabobs and they were GOOOOOD! Sunday night was even better though big ole Ribeyes and King Crab. I have never been a crab (or most fish) person, but it was pretty dang good. We really had a blast spending the weekend with my family, it was SO relaxing. We didn't really have any agenda so we just talked, played card games, hung with the kids, etc. One night we played $#!$ on your neighbor and the other night it was Hold'em. I ended up winning money in both rounds of hold'em, so I still got it!! :-) The weekend was capped off with a rocket launching of our own...Krista and Bill got Sheldon a rocket launcher for his birthday so after spending a good part of the weekend assembling it, we walked (well most of "us" hehe) down to the end of the street where there was a field. The rocket launched twice with no problems and the kids were elated with joy!! Now I have to find a way to get Sheldon a present that he will even want to play with! How do you beat a rocket that shoots hundreds of feet into the air?!?!?!

This weekend we are heading up to Minnesota. We are making a stop at our wonderful home in Rochester on Friday night to see the Bristols and to hopefully fix a leaky door. It will be nice to see them again, but they are also coming to see US soon...we sure do love visitors down here!! Then its up to Minnesota to help my wife alleviate her yearning for something I can't fulfill...watching the Twins! haha We have MLBtv now (thanks for all the suggestions from her last desperate post) but there is nothing like GOING to a game. The Roelofs and Hidlebaughs will be joining us for the night so we are really excited! By "we" I mean Meghan and by "excited" I mean overflowing with joy!! ;-)

On a side note, we FINALLY had another showing here on Wednesday. No word yet though but it was nice to actually have someone interested though!! Keep us in your prayers with this, we'd really like to move on OUR terms after selling our place. We find out the sex of our baby in ONE month (for those of you wondering) and we are so pumped for it! I hope you all have a great weekend planned ahead of you!!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Twins

Let's make this clear, no we're not having twins. This post is, however, about the Minnesota Twins. I miss them. I miss watching them on TV, going to games, etc. The highlight of the last three days of my life has been that I have been able to watch them on TV because they had a series here in Chicago against the White Sox. I could barely tolerate their less-than-bright commentators (I miss you Blyleven and Bremer), though just being in pure awe of actually being able to enjoy watching the Twins made it all worth it. We have this great thing called satellite TV (which actually I am not ecstatic about satellite TV itself) that has MLB Extra Innings where you can watch ANY game you want. It is costly, however, and we are too poor (baby, moving) to afford it. Though I perhaps would give up just about anything to be able to add that package onto our already $84/month DirecTV bill. I'm taking contributions. Meanwhile this Friday and Saturday you can find me depressed as ever just thinking about the Twins playing. Sunday and Monday should be better days when the nationally broadcast game versus the Red Sox on ESPN is on. Then there is a long drought for me. I hope to survive.




Wednesday, April 30, 2008

We're back on the market!!

There is now a sign outside of our Lakemoor home that reads For Sale. For those of you that missed our last blog, we are moving back "home" to Minnesota. We could really use prayers from everyone that we have a good, quick sale as we can't come home until we sell the house (I mean who can afford TWO homes...seriously). The last time I sold a house it took about 6 painful months and I really don't want to go through that again but I realize how tough of a market this is!

We have a great Realtor who I know is going to find us a good buyer but we are going to have to be patient. We are still waiting on our first home tour though so just getting that would be a real encouragement at this point. Here is a link to our listing on our realtors' site. You can even see a virtual tour for those of you that never made it down here to see our place! :-)

http://homesbykim.com/MyListings?operation=Details&listing_id=1190803895&ls=MLSNI

Well I just wanted to update you all on what is happening. Thanks for the prayers and support...we'll see you all again soon.

Monday, April 21, 2008

A Line Is A Line

Back towards the beginning of February, we had an oopsie, and we knew it. Trevor stayed home from work on the morning of February 21st. Twice that morning I peed on a stick with the same result: a very faint little line. We nervously discussed it. Trevor posted a message on Yahoo Answers about a faint line. We got the same type of response from everyone: "Congratulations, a line is a line!" Throughout that entire morning I kept on repeating myself saying, "Oh great, a line is a line."

A few things also ran through my mind:
*Sure the condom breaks ONCE ever and this is what happens!
*I'm not ready to be a mom yet.
*There is no way I am giving birth to a child in Illinois.
*Okay let's tell the whole world right now.
*At least I know we're both as fertile as can be.

I am now a bit over 12 weeks along, marking the end of the 1st trimester. It's now safe to tell the whole world.

In other news, my bullet entitled "There is no way I am giving birth to a child in Illinois" is coming to fruition. Trevor got the okay from his boss to move back to the Twin Cities, and so our house in IL will officially be up for sale this week. Although we will miss our newfound friends in IL, we cannot wait to move back. We are so excited to pick up where we left off in MN somewhere near the end of summer whether or not our IL house sells that quickly.

So November 1 is the official due date, but we all know how accurate those dates are.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

This might be dangerous ground to tread...

...but what in the WORLD is Oprah doing these days???

I think she's really starting to go off the deep end or she must just be so full of herself that she thinks she can do no wrong...and she might be right. I'll open by saying I've never really been a big fan of Oprah, but I really don't like her entire genre. I think if I really had the time I would probably enjoy someone like Ellen (she just seems like good hearted fun) but Oprah has never been my thing. Don't get me wrong I respect her for getting to where she is...what a story. She's also done some great things for people, there is no denying that either.

Anyway, I've been getting more and more skeptical about her over the past couple years. She's clearly taken on a new age mindset but she's begun brainwashing her listeners now.

A couple years ago it was "The Secret" which is a book based on the "Laws of Attraction", you know like attracts like. Its a hodgepodge of unoriginal ideas that has been merged into a philosophy that because of Oprah has become a best seller. One of the main premises behind this one is that if you really believe you can do something or get something you can/will. WHAT?? She actually pitches a book that says, "The only reason any person does not have enough money is because they are blocking money from coming to them with their thoughts." Really now...I wonder how the little girls at her school in South Africa feel about that? I do believe in the power of a positive attitude...it can change your outlook on life but this is taking it to a dangerous extreme.

Now she's moved onto pairing up with this guy, Eckhart Tolle. Oprah extolled the author’s virtues, calling his best-selling "New Earth" book "one of the most important books of our time," the seminars one of "the most exciting things I’ve ever done." More exciting than all the lives you changed? More exciting than the school for the little girls in Africa? More exciting than your Angel Charity network? PUH-lease.

Anyway, not only did she put his teachings in her book club (which we all know many of her fans will gobble up anything she puts out there) but she started seminar series reminiscent of a church service of sorts. The path has been laid for years as she slowly and methodically began teaching her audience that there in fact is NOT one way to God and maybe not even one God...we all have out own Gods and our own paths to get to him. I am not going to pretend that I have read his book, cause I haven't (and won't). But I have read about it a few times and what I've hear has been very disturbing. Here is the most recent article that I ran into:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,351545,00.html

I guess my point for writing this is that its really time to start looking at what we put into our minds. You hear messages like this enough and it starts become easier to hear and believe until one day you think...yeah I guess that does make sense! I caution you to not fall into the trap that she is setting up. There IS one way and one God and you can't just make up a path to Him. You can't just pick and choose the things from scripture that make you feel good and discard the others. This applies to all of life...we can't just accept the things that we like and disregard the rest. I can't just do the tasks my boss asks me to do and ignore those I don't like...there are consequences. I can't pay the bills that I feel good about this month and throw away the others. This line of thinking is TREMENDOUSLY flawed...the universe doesn't revolve around our own whims. There is order. There is right and wrong.


Sorry Oprah...this is one guy that isn't buying it.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Political in Nature

I'm sick of politics like the rest of the US. I do have to post one more about why you should not vote for Obama. Get past his articulate nature, his good speeches, and his good looks and see what he is really about. He puts on such a good facade so that people like you will vote for him. Check out this article. It really gives some insight to what he stands for and maybe all you who are blinded by his facade will realize what he's about. Are you sure you want him to become our next leader?

BEYOND OBAMA'S BEAUTY
(Excerpts from http://www2.nysun.com/article/71278?page_no=1)

It's an amazing time to be alive in America. We're in a year of firsts in this presidential election: the first viable woman candidate; the first viable African-American candidate; and, a candidate who is the first frontrunning freedom fighter over 70. The next president of America will be a first.

We won't truly be in an election of firsts, however, until we judge every candidate by where they stand. We won't arrive where we should be until we no longer talk about skin color or gender.

Now that Barack Obama steps to the front of the Democratic field, we need to stop talking about his race, and start talking about his policies and his politics.

The reality is this: Though the Democrats will not have a nominee until August, unless Hillary Clinton drops out, Mr. Obama is now the frontrunner, and its time America takes a closer and deeper look at him.

Some pundits are calling him the next John F. Kennedy. He's not. He's the next George McGovern. And it's time people learned the facts.

Because the truth is that Mr. Obama is the single most liberal senator in the entire U.S. Senate. He is more liberal than Ted Kennedy, Bernie Sanders, or Mrs. Clinton.

Never in my life have I seen a presidential frontrunner whose rhetoric is so far removed from his record. Walter Mondale promised to raise our taxes, and he lost. George McGovern promised military weakness, and he lost. Michael Dukakis promised a liberal domestic agenda, and he lost.

Yet Mr. Obama is promising all those things, and he's not behind in the polls. Why? Because the press has dealt with him as if he were in a beauty pageant.

Mr. Obama talks about getting past party, getting past red and blue, to lead the United States of America. But let's look at the more defined strokes of who he is underneath this superficial "beauty."

Start with national security, since the president's most important duties are as commander-in-chief. Over the summer, Mr. Obama talked about invading Pakistan, a nation armed with nuclear weapons; meeting without preconditions with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who vows to destroy Israel and create another Holocaust; and Kim Jong Il, who is murdering and starving his people, but emphasized that the nuclear option was off the table against terrorists — something no president has ever taken off the table since we created nuclear weapons in the 1940s. Even Democrats who have worked in national security condemned all of those remarks. Mr. Obama is a foreign-policy novice who would put our national security at risk.

Next, consider economic policy. For all its faults, our health care system is the strongest in the world. And free trade agreements, created by Bill Clinton as well as President Bush, have made more goods more affordable so that even people of modest means can live a life that no one imagined a generation ago. Yet Mr. Obama promises to raise taxes on "the rich."

How to fix Social Security? Raise taxes. How to fix Medicare? Raise taxes. Prescription drugs? Raise taxes. Free college? Raise taxes. Socialize medicine? Raise taxes. His solution to everything is to have government take it over. Big Brother on steroids, funded by your paycheck. (My comment--hmm not at all socialist, is it?? We may as well live in China under communism if he gets elected.)

Finally, look at the social issues. Mr. Obama had the audacity to open a stadium rally by saying, "All praise and glory to God!" but says that Christian leaders speaking for life and marriage have "hijacked" — hijacked — Christianity. He is pro-partial birth abortion, and promises to appoint Supreme Court justices who will rule any restriction on it unconstitutional. He espouses the abortion views of Margaret Sanger, one of the early advocates of racial cleansing. In Illinois, he refused to vote against a statewide ban — ban — on all handguns in the state. These are radical left, Hollywood, and San Francisco values, not Middle America values.

The real Mr. Obama is an easy target for the general election. Mrs. Clinton is a far tougher opponent. But Mr. Obama could win if people don't start looking behind his veneer and flowery speeches. His vision of "bringing America together" means saying that those who disagree with his agenda for America are hijackers or warmongers. Uniting the country means adopting his liberal agenda and abandoning any conflicting beliefs.

But right now everyone is talking about how eloquent of a speaker he is and — yes — they're talking about his race. Those should never be the factors on which we base our choice for president. Mr. Obama's radical agenda sets him far outside the American mainstream, to the left of Mrs. Clinton.

It's time to talk about the real Barack Obama. In an election of firsts, let's first make sure we elect the person who is qualified to be our president in a nuclear age during a global civilizational war.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

We love our visitors...

This weekend we had the Berger's come down to visit us from good ole Minnesota! Its spring break and they wanted to get away somewhere different. We've already had a lot of fun and its only Saturday morning! They came in Thursday night and yesterday the three of them (Julie, Jordan - 16, and Simon - 6) all went out to the Jelly Belly Factory for a "free" tour. They key though is trying to get out of there without buying any of their product. I wish I could have gone, but alas someone has to make some money around here, right? :-) Later that night we met them at "The Family Fun Center" in Gurnee for some fun games...Meg and I are all about earning tickets so we had a BLAST! It was fun to see how excited Simon would get when he would do well at a game! Best feature though, they have the original Big Buck Hunter there and its only $.50 per person for a whole round so you get 20 sites for two people for $1!!

Today we are taking the Metra down to Chicago. For those that have heard about Meg's experiences on the Metra, we are ready for an eventful day!! I think the plan is to see Navy Pier and Millennium Park, we are trying to keep it on the cheap since Julie spent all her money on the "free" tour! For those who haven't been there, Navy Pier is a great place and getting in is totally free. There is a HUGE lake front Ferris Wheel and a couple other smaller rides, some shopping, lots of summertime boat cruises, and more. Its a fun little place to visit and the views are about as good as they get with the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan surrounding it. Millennium Park, or Grant Park as I grew up calling it, is a wonderful 25 acre park in the heart of downtown Chicago. There is a HUGE (not so attractive) amphitheater with room for 4000 people and apparently some of the best outdoor acoustics around for summer concerts. It would be fun to see a show there sometime. In addition the park is littered with art and monuments including "Cloud Gate" which is a pretty cool 33 foot high (66 foot wide) umm jelly bean (stick with a theme I guess...its on the left of the picture) that is completely reflective. They even have a 300 space indoor heated bike parking facility and a really innovative giant LED lighted fountain (see bottom of picture) that you have to see to believe. You'll have to check these places out if you ever come here!

Its really fun having friends from home here visiting with us. Just about the only time we ever go downtown is when visitors come so its still pretty exciting for us. I am sure today will be filled with a lot of fun...I just hope we aren't TOO tired from all the walking!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My new thing...

I recently decided that I love finding new acoustic versions of cover songs. Last night I caught the end of AI and saw David Cook performing an acoustic version of Billie Jean (one of my favs from the 80s). So it sent me on a quest to find the song (which was performed originally by Chris Cornell) which showed me a whole new world of people who rewrite famous songs into acoustic covers. I was looking around today and found a few really cool ones...some where cool cause they were just well done while others were just straight up entertaining!!

Here is one of the more entertaining ones:


Meanwhile, this one was just pretty dang sweet!! I love that they showed the actual video to show how it matches up just perfect!!


I hope you all enjoy checking these videos out...I find it amazing that someone can hear a song like Hey Ya by Outkast and make it into a sweet acoustic song that still can keep my attention!!

I hope you all had a great night...I am glad that Syesha made it through another cut. I am not really watching AI, but I am keeping up with the results from time to time and she was one of people I kinda liked.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A magnet for TV stars

Most of you who know me know that I travel about monthly out to LA for work. Our headquarters is out there so I frequently go there for meetings and to work with co-workers. From time to time I'll see famous people in airport and sometimes even on my flight...for example for you MTV Real World buffs (or now WWE buffs), "The Miz" sat a few rows back from me a year or so ago. Well my last two flight have found me having even closer brushes with fame. On my way back a month or so ago I was sitting in the middle section of a 777 with the middle seat open. I looked over and saw Cooper...well Cooper from Private Practice (also known as Paul Adelstein). I let him have his privacy for most of the flight but as we decended into Chicago I decided enough was enough. We talked for maybe 20 minutes about the strike, the show, my job (haha), and a few other things. He was a really cool, down to earth guy.

Well yesterday I am in line at one of the few good restaurants in the United terminal at LAX and I look back and see Bernie Salazar. Who's Bernie you ask? Well Bernie is (now was) one of the contestants on "Biggest Loser" a show Meg and I got into this year while the strike going on. I knew he was from Chicago so I figured he was on my flight. I gave him a chance to eat his meal and as the plane was getting ready to board, I made my move. "You're Bernie right?" He replied, "Yeah man, hows it going?" We proceeded to talk for about 10 minutes about his life after the show and how things are going with his weight loss. He looked REALLY good when you consider what he looked like about 3 months ago...though he WAS suited up (as was I. He was in town trying to capitalize on his newfound fame (who could blame him) so keep your eyes open for him next year, sounds like something is in the works. He still keeps in touch with the trainers (though not in person) and Brittney, his former partner. In fact, he had just hung up with her when I approached him! haha

Anyway, I know he's not really a STAR, but anytime you run into someone that you spend weeks watching on TV and cheering for its kind of fun. Bernie, by the way, is a big fan of people coming up and talking to him. He says he really likes hearing that people are cheering him on...its funny cause sometimes you forget that this is really just real life for them. He got a chicken caesar salad minus the dressing for anyone who cares...yeah I was watching! haha

So it looks like the good luck will continue on my flights to/from LA. Anyone who wants to meet some TV stars (big and small) should come along with me...it sure makes the traveling more interesting!! All I know is I plan for my next flight to be legen... wait for it... dary!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A special day for my Meghan

Today is a special day at my house. Just 2 years ago at this time, I was a single man wondering what God had in store for my life. Little did I know that the next year not only would He had prepared an amazing year for my career but that he would send an amazing woman into my life. This woman is everything that I needed to make my life more exciting and more balanced...not to mention she is a beautiful woman whom I cherish with all my heart!

Today, my Meghan turns 26 years old. While I've only known her for 2 of my [cough] 30 years of life, I can proudly say that my wonderful wife has made my life exponentially more enjoyable. She's my partner, my love, and my best friend. I'd love it if if you'd leave a little message for her to wish her a Happy Birthday...and if you know her email you can send her an email too!!

I love you Meghan, I hope you have a great birthday!! :-)

Monday, February 25, 2008

My first skiing adventure

Nothing makes you feel like a man more than having a seven year old girl fly by you going down a hill. That was my most recent new experience with my wife though. Can you believe that a person who has lived in WI, MN, and IL his WHOLE life has NEVER been downhill skiing? Sure I've gone CC skiing but never downhill...ever.

A few years ago in December I told myself that was going to be the year I made it downhill skiing. I even talked to some friends about it. Within a week...literally...I was in a cast up to my elbow that was on and off for the next 9 months. I never even made it skiing a bohemouth of a Ukrainian had his way with me on the basketball court. So much for skiing! So you can understand my skepticism when Meghan told me I would be going downhill skiing to celebrate our first married Valentines Day.

We found a nice local ski hill that wasn't even 30 minutes away and decided to head out on Friday after work (so it would be a little cheaper...skiing isn't exactly a super cheap hobby). We arrived at the hill and I was instantly intimidated. "There is NO way I am going down that" I told Meghan, while looking up at the "bunny hill". She points to the tiny trainer hill and says I know we are going there! haha Sure enough next thing I know there is a seven year old girl flying down this tiny hill past me.

After a few runs down this menacing hill, we hopped on the chair lift to the smaller of the green hills for my first run at real skiing. I have NEVER gone at speeds like this in my life I swear I was going 55 mph and at a reckless pace as well!! Not only did I not go slowly, but I veered toward the steepest part of the hill. I made it though...all the way to the bottom...until I came to the crushing realization that I couldn't stop! Sure enough there was the same seven year old girl in front of me..."Who's fastest now?" I screamed as mowed her down at the bottom of the hill! Okay I didn't take her down...I did however have my first wipeout of the night. I considered it to be a noble act...even a life saving act on my part really!! Though Meghan saw it much differently and came up a moment later laughing histarically at me.

Overall I have to say that skiing was a pretty fun time. I ended up taking a few of the blue hills and realized just how intimidating skiing can be, but also how fun it can be. Heck, I think I only wiped out 3 times all day (not including my wipeout in front of the chair lift...yeah I am one of THOSE guys) so I consider that a pretty good outing. I even figured out how to stop going pretty fast speeds. Meg was SO proud of her man and how he concurred the big hills of Southern Wisconsin!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

We are now a TWO car family...again

Back in October, we made the decision to go down to one car in our lives. There were two main reasons, ONE is that my Grand Prix was starting to approach 100K and we wanted to get some money back out of that car, and TWO we needed to get rid of some high interest debt in our lives. Selling the car worked and we are really on the right track now. After sacrificing and living with only one car for about 4+ months we realized it was time to get back to two again. The last few weeks, we've been doing some research on different cars in the mid-size sedan marketplace and narrowed our list down a little based on what we liked and didn't like. We had out list narrowed down to an Accord, Camry, Malibu (only if we could find a good deal on a used 08 though), Grand Prix, Sonata, Impala (maybe), Milan (maybe), or a Mazda6. We liked all of those and a few others but price was going to be a very important factor for us...the new improved Rasmussen's are bound and determined to make smart financial decisions and live well within our means.

We ended up buying a 2006 HYUNDAI SONATA. Its funny cause I (we) never would have imagined I (we) would be in a Sonata, but Hyundai's have come a LOOONG way since their early days. The 2006 and newer models are getting GREAT reviews from consumers and from editors at various car publications. We went out to look at cars yesterday and drove an Accord and an Altima, and looked a few others. We kept going back to this beautiful Hyundai at the dealership though. We loved how it looked so we asked to take it for a ride. Wow it was SMOOTH and had great acceleration!! We loved it! So, you ask, what do we like about this car?

Here are our top highlights
  1. Stylish looks...yeah that matters :-)
  2. Great gas mileage, we read review of people who get over 30 mpg with the car
  3. Sweet price, well within our budget :-) :-)
  4. Low miles and in great shape
  5. It fits in our garage! Sounds like such a minor thing but we BARELY fit the Grand Prix and Monte Carlo in the garage...the Sonata fits just right.
Overall we left the dealership pretty excited. The new car gives us new flexibility in life and will allow for us to have a little independence from time to time if we want it! We found a car for well under the target price we were looking at and we are both very happy with it! Hopefully we'll be saying the same thing in 5 years!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Will the USA Really Elect a Black President or a Female President

Forget about bipartisanship. I want to discuss two topics today.

1. What I want to know is will White America vote in a black present, or are we (I use that term very loosely) still rooted in racism? I read an interesting article today (click title above) which outlines that White America who claim to not be racist may still subconsciously be racist. I refuse to post/discuss about politics on the actual article because all that people post on there is hateful banter with liberals criticizing conservatives and vice versa. I want to see how this goes, how many people actually read our blog, so please, let's hear your opinion. Please, no hateful speech pertaining to either party.

2. Can America vote in a feminist female president? Will the white male be able to put that vote down on the ballot to elect a female present to run the USA? Same rules apply as #1.

By the way, even if you do not have an account, you can still post a comment, either anonymous or you can identify yourself.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Some addictions are bad...others can earn money!

Meghan and I have a confession. We have an addiction and it just won't end. It started out so innocently and now its become full blown...we might need help! ;-)

We are addicted to selling stuff on eBay. We started because we had boxes of stuff to get rid of and didn't want to do another rummage sale (even though we made like $500 at the last one we did). In the past, we used Craigslist to sell a lot of our bigger items and made some pretty nice cash with that money. After a while, most of the stuff we had left was small or just not the kind of thing that sells well on that site. While trying to figure out what we could do with it all, I suggested we get rid of the stuff on eBay. I had sold a few things in the past with limited success but I figured how hard can it be...I am a marketer I should be able to do well on a site like this. We listed a few things and wow we made some money...that felt nice. Next thing we knew we were scouring each others closets looking for things we didn't like on the other person!! I suggest NOT doing this!!

Eventually we knew we would run out of things to sell around the house, so it was either become nudists and sell everything, stop selling, or find a product we could start selling. We chose the latter. We are now full blown eBay sellers that are closing in on a perfect 100 feedback score. We found a pretty affordable product that can be sold with not too much investment (in case things don't work out in the long run) that is fun and easy to ship and sell. We love working on it together and while it probably won't be something that will generate enough income for someone to stop working, it provides a nice extra boost for us. Anyone else out there selling on eBay? Let me hear your story!

You can check out our listings below!

My items on eBay

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Trevor Should Go To France More Often

I kind of like it when Trevor leaves me for a week and goes to France. Did I just say that? Let me explain. I'm spoiled rotten. I AM SPOILED ROTTEN. Back in June when Trevor went on his first business trip to Paris, he came home with a surprise for me. I love my designer hand bags, so he came home with a French designer hand bag for me. Texier. TEX (as in TEXas)-EEEE (the vowel "E")---AAA (the vowel "A"). Let's say it together now Texier. The leather is so soft. The quality is amazing. I had found my new hidden gem amongst designer brands. Trevor sure knows exactly what I like and found the perfect gift for me.


Second Trip to Paris. January 13-18. A dreadful, long, monotonous, desolate week. By myself. Me and Obie. One of the first times Trevor called from Paris this time, I get a request. "Honey can you do some laundry before I get home. I will be out of clean underwear when I get home." My response to him. "Yeah, I think I just put on my last clean undies after my shower today. I'll have to do some today." My plan was to do a load of lights and a load of darks. Do the darks first. They get done. Go to change the loads and put the darks in the dryer. Open the dryer. "What the **fill in choice word here**" A box in the dryer. Note attached from Trevor. Open the box. It's the SHEETS that I've wanted since day 1 of our marriage. It's the sheets that go along with our comforter/bed skirt/shams. We (HE) weren't (WASN'T) willing to pay $170 for the sheets. So we didn't get them. Every time that I went to Bed Bath & Beyond I went back to the bed section to see if they were on sale. To no avail, they were never cheaper. So that is the pre-Paris gift.

He got home Friday a bit after 5. We said our hello's and rekindled our love that was long forgotten (sense the sarcasm--I'm over dramatic when he leaves me!!) He has ANOTHER present for me. Were the sheets not enough? Welcome French designer No. 2 to my collection. Lamarthe. Phonetically: LA-MARRRRT. Say it in that sexy French accent now and roll that "R". It's actually very catchy. I can't stop saying it myself. Onto what he got me since he didn't actually buy the designer for me. He bought me a gorgeous red leather wallet. Help me out with some synonyms for gorgeous because gorgeous simply does not describe it. Why am I so spoiled? Why am I so lucky? Okay here's a picture of the wallet.

Now girls, I know all your guys cannot be like Trevor. Actually, I know they're actually far from perfect like my Trevor is. But you know what. There can only be one perfect guy in the world, right?

Friday, January 18, 2008

A traveling man...

I got my first real example of being a big world traveling businessman this past week. My boss asked me to take a trip (alone) to Paris to train our newly (6 months ago) acquired company how to use a CRM program that I manage. Initially, the thought of traveling across the country alone, to train people who speak a different language, made me apprehensive. I agreed and Sunday night I took a taxi to the airport to catch my red-eye flight (which is the ONLY way to go for this kind of flight). The benefits of flying to Europe with my company is that because of the length of the trip I get to fly Business Class!! The ticket seriously cost $5500...can you believe that?!?!

There are some nice perks that come with your $5500 ticket, though it would NEVER be worth that much of MY money. Right now, I am sitting in the United "Red Carpet Club" which is where the really special people, who spend too much time flying, get to hang out. You get free access when you spend $5500 though...a nice perk. The seats in Business Class are very nice: They recline almost completely making sleeping much more enjoyable, you get a nice 3 course meal (with free alcohol if you so choose), and you have much more space to yourself (no middle seats). My flight in was quite enjoyable though the trip from the US to Europe takes a toll on your body...I woke up at 4 am unable to sleep during my first night.

This is now my second time in Paris, with my first time being to attend the AirShow at Le Bourget. While the airshow was quite memorable, I enjoyed myself more this time because my entire week wasn't planned for me. My new co-workers were very friendly and went out of their way to make sure I was able to enjoy their city. Tuesday night Cedric (an IT guy I was working a lot with lately) took me to Paris for Thai food (which was AMAZINGLY good) and then he took me on a tour de Paris via car. He showed me all the major sites that I learned about in junior high French class including: La Tour Eiffel, Champs Elysees (avec l'arc de Triumph), the Mayor's house (which puts the white house to shame), Notre Dame, Sacre Couer (from a distance), la Louvre, le Musee d'Orsay, and much more. It was absolutely fabulous to see all of these monuments in person after learning so much about them.

The next night, the President of this company took me to le Centre du George Pompidou which is an amazing museum of modern art. I am not an art buff...and especially not modern art...but seeing Picasso's work in person was something special. Some of the art was "tres bizarre" but others were "c'est magnifique," even from a skeptic like myself. Then dinner was on the top level of the museum which overlooked the Mayor's house, Notre Dame, and la Tour Eiffel (in the distance). It was a very memorable night. I found the French people to be amazingly friendly and more than willing to accommodate me and my English (with occasional French speckled in as I got more comfortable)!! I was shocked to see how many people could speak English (and quite well).

I can't wait to come back here sometime when I can have my wife with me to experience it. I made it a point to skip going to the really big attractions so we can experience them together one day!! I found Paris to be the most beautiful city I have seen in person. The details in the building and the materials they are built with are just stunning. Buildings in America are built to last for a century...theirs are built to last for a millennium!! Much like Americans, the people of Paris love their country and feel it is the most wonderful place. I didn't feel any animosity or contempt from the people there though...while we hear about their dislike of Americans, I didn't feel this at any point. I was warmly embraced everywhere I went. Anyone who enjoys traveling must put Paris on their agenda...they even have EuroDisney if you need a splash of America while you are there!!