Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween 2011

Are you ready to see a ton of pictures from our Halloween party??  Cuz that's just what I'm going to give you today.  You guys know I'm a wordy kind of gal, especially when I have a captive audience, but I don't really have a ton of stories from the party.  I mean, of course we had some laughs and a few memorable moments which I will share throughout the post, but what guys really care about are the costumes right?  Well,  I vowed that I'd be better about getting pics of all the creative ideas and I'm here to tell you that I've fulfilled my end of the bargain here!  Get ready for a great slideshow...

Here is our traditional Halloween picture.  Ryan, Bets, Lo and Brian have taken a picture, in this spot, just like this every single Halloween party.  If my math is right, this is the 6th annual party.  Someday when I'm feeling motivated I might even dig through all the old pictures and put together a little picture montage with all the old pics.  That would be fun right?? 

Ok, back on track, sorry.  Let me give you a little run down on the costumes here.  From left to right, Brian is dressed as a gay cowboy.  Lo, in the pink shirt is dressed as Tom Cruise from Risky Business.  Then in the back is Pat, dressed as Princess Peach.  There's a better pic of his costume coming your way in a minute.  Next, Ryan is a flasher.  He's wearing a pair boxers that Bets bought him years ago when she went to Italy.  Printed on them is a picture of the Statue of David (well, just his "man parts").  So, no, he's not really naked (thank goodness).  Finally, Betsy and I are both dressed in wedding dressed (no, that's not my real dress, YES! that is Bets's dress).  We were dressed as sister wives with Lindsay.  You know, like the TV show.  Most of guys didn't get our costume so if you have no idea what I'm talking about check out this website for the whole run down.  Basically, we were dressed as three women who were all married to the same man.  We couldn't find a "husband" for our costume, but who needs one of those, we rocked our dresses just fine without one.

Love love love this costume.  Chris and Brenna went as a Broob.  Yep, you guessed it, they were a set of boobs in a leopard bra.  Ha!  Clever right? The funniest part of this costume was that it was hard to tell what was going on unless they were standing next to each other just like this.  If they were swapped around, it just looked funny.  When they were separate, they just sort of looked pregnant or maybe using a baby carrier.  Too funny.  It was also hilarious to watch them walk around with these big boobs.  They couldn't really see well in front of them and I know Brenna slid down a few stairs at one point, and Chris tipped over a cup with his belly/boob while playing flippy cup.  They get big props from me for creativity. 

Here is Melissa and Brian.  Melissa is dressed as the Evil Queen from Snow White and Brian is a cowboy??  Melissa is 7 months pregnant, doesn't she look great??  She was such a great sport hanging out with all the crazy party goers.  Their 2 year old daughter, Ashley, is also going as the Evil Queen for Halloween.  She's such a cutie pie.  She actually came to the party as a lady bug two years ago and was the life of the party for a few hours (before bed time, obviously).  I love these two, they come almost every year and are always a great time.  Brian even brought homemade Sake.  I didn't have any, I was trying to remember the whole night but from what I hear it was pretty good.

This is Charlie Brown, or Jehan, in his normal life :O)  Jehan is a friend of Ryan's from college.  He's living in Chicago now and Ryan extended him an invite to come out and have a few beers, meet some new friends and have a great time.  We were so happy to have him join us!!

Here we've got Anne Simon (a friend of Ryan's from college) and her boyfriend.  I'm horrible and I can't remember his name for the life of me.  Anne is dressed as the Cat's Pajama's.  Don't' know what that is?  Me either, I had to google it.  So, here's the low down for you.  "The Cat's Pajama's" is a phrase like "the Bee's Knees" or "the Cat's Meow".  It means is something really new or original.  It's a saying that originated in the 20's.  If you can't tell her PJ's have cats on them, and she has a cat tale on.  Such a smart costume, she had me googling it to understand :O)  The word on the street was that her boyfriend was dressed as a pedophile.  Somehow I think that is wrong, but I can't verify.  Sorry Anne, feel free to email me and I can correct the post *smile!

Here's Greg and Meg.  Greg is some kind of scary ghost and Meg is some kind of scary clown.  Meg had a mask too that was in fact really creepy, but she said it was hot and gave up on it.  Props for trying guys, props.  Next year you might have to start getting your costumes before 4 pm on Sat.  I love you anyways, and you are always invited!!

Heidi claims she didn't actually "make" her costume, but she TOTALLY did, and it was great.  It's hard to see here,but she is a spider.  She's got 3 more sets of legs hanging from her arms and her headband is a homemade set of eyes.  Then, the red I, is the belly of a black widow.  She did such a great job with this costume and totally deserves credit for it.  Nice one my dear, nice one! 

And, Lindsay is the 3rd of our sister wives.  Doesn't she look great??  Lindsay and I bought both bought our dressed from a thrift store in Geneva for $25 each.  Such a deal and Lindsay's dress was so pretty.  It had some great beading on it and even had the original tag on it, for over $1000!!  You never know what you can find at a thrift store!

Man, those shorts are tight AND short Bri!! 

I'm so sad this one came out sort of blurry.  Sorry guys.  I had to include it though, to show of Theresa's great Queen of Hearts costume.  Another hand made one and she looked great!  Then, her hubby, Anthony begrudgingly went as the King of Hearts (can you tell? ha!) and his sister Ally.  Sorry Ally, I never got the run down on your costume, but you looked great none the less!

I couldn't resist!!  This one is probably going to make the picture wall.  Sorry mom :O)

There's one of my sister wives!

And, there, is the other one.  I love these ladies.  In real life, not just on Halloween.  They are some of my best friends and I love that they've come into my life in these past few years.  Ok, enough sappy stuff.  Real quick, I'm not sure if you can see it, but our pink sash's all says Sister Wife #1, #2, and #3. We had these and hot pink glowing rings to sort of tie us together.  Loved this costume idea.  I have to give all the credit to Sushi (ie. Bets).  She came up with it and I was sold.  Another great costume Betsy.  Next year is going to be hard to top.

Finally, there is Princess Peach.  I was such a tease by showing her/him off earlier and not giving you a full shot.  What's funny (aside from Pat wearing a blonde curly wig) is that Peach was actually supposed to be Bets's costume last year.  She ordered it online and when it came, it was HUGE!  Obviously, since it fits Pat, it was way too huge for Betsy, but these two did the best job recycling this year.  Betsy is wearing her real wedding dress (props!) and Pat managed to pull off Peach.  Best wig goes to Pat, hands down! get most current/relevant costume.  Can't tell what she is?   I blame my camera/zoom.  Her little invite says "You are cordially invited to the Royal Wedding".  Best idea EVER!  Get it?? She was a guest at the Royal Wedding.  Does her hat make sense now?  She cracked me up when she said "the Christmas decorations came out just in time for me to make my hat".  Ha!  Loved it!

Will's got his dad's old letter jacket on.  It was in great shape and a great vintage jacket.  Will, if you ever want to give that baby up, I know a girl who would LOVE to have it. 

Those dang boxers still get me sometimes and I KNOW he isn't naked.

So??  What do you think?  Which costume was your favorite?  What were you for Halloween?  We had such a fun time this year.  I wish Halloween came around more than once a year!!  Maybe we will start doing a "1/2 way to Halloween" party in April.  Hum...I just might be onto something.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wedding #5 down, one more to go

This past weekend Ryan and I went to our 5th wedding for 2011.  This year has been jam packed with weddings, which has been so so much fun.  We've got to spend so many weekends hanging out with friends and helping them to celebrate their special day.  One year after our own wedding, I'm fully relishing the fact that I can attend all these weddings and enjoy the party without all the stress and work of planning it! 

So, wedding number five was for Ryan's college friend G-lust.  Well, G-lust isn't really his name, it's his last name.  Matt and Katie Goldlust got married on October 22nd, and they couldn't have asked for a more beautiful fall day. It was sunny and the trees were of course in full show.  Sadly, I don't have too many pictures to share with you, and the real disappointment is I've got none of the bride and groom.  Boo to my bad wedding picture taking.  Boo!

That being said, I do have some entertaining pictures of us from the wedding.  Let me preface it by saying I blame the open bar.  Ha!

Yep, that's the best one I've got.  I especially want to point out how Greg is being super creepy and rubbing Ryan's face.  At least Meg and I look cute.

For entertainment's sake I will go ahead and share a few of the other pictures I pulled off my camera from the night.  Remember, I blame an open bar.

I also blame my overly expressive husband.  I think in his mind he is trying to keep up with his awesome sister.  The difference:  as an actress, she's had years of classes and practice at taking great expressive pictures, Ryan's just a novice.  (Is that the nice way to say it?)  Ha!

But, I did manage to get some pictures of Greg and Meg too.

And by some, I mean one.  Here's the other one I got:

Maybe Meg was putting him in the Sleeper hold?

Well, that's it.  That's all I've got for you today folks.  But, it's Halloween this weekend so get ready for some great Halloween party pictures!  I swear I will do a great job of getting pictures this year.  Pinky swear!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Rain...Mud....and Cyclocross

Guess what time it is!  Cyclocross time!!!  Don't know what the heck I'm talking about??  Let me explain.  Two years ago after Ironman Ryan was tired of doing long distance races and was feeling a little burnt out on Tri's (not to mention they are pretty much a spring through summer type race) so he decided he wanted to start racing Cyclocross.  They have recently started a Cross series here in the Chicago area so he signed himself up for a race and tried it out. 

As a spectator, let me say that I was in LOVE!  After 5ish months of having Ry race long distance tri's where most races take anywhere from 1.5 hours to a full 12 (think Ironman) I was stoked to hear that these races lasted about a half hour!!  It was like a dream come true.  We went from having an entire weekend taken up by a race, to just a few hours on Sunday afternoon.  Two years ago, Ryan raced maybe 4 or 5 of the cross races and decided he liked it.  Last year with the wedding there just wasn't time, but now that things are back to normal, he's picked them back up again.

Here's a picture of the course to kind of give you an idea of what is going on here.  I'm standing at one end of the course and far back in the background you can see a shelter and a yellow slide, that's the other end of the course.  Meaning, that it's really small and totally accessible for viewers to watch the race.  You can see that the path is laid out using caution type and bikers race through the course for anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes depending on your race category.  Racers make maybe 3 or 4 laps in that time, so there are tons of opportunities to take picture, heckle, or support your racer.

This past Sunday Ryan raced the Carpentersville race (which is actually run the husband of one of my co-workers....they own the bike shop that was sponsoring it) and it poured the night before.  Which, would be a problem in some races, but not Cross!  In fact, sometimes if the course is too dry they will hose the whole thing off to make it more muddy.  As you can imagine, Ryan says the muddier the better!

Sadly, that's one of the best pictures I got of Ryan.  I bet you thought I was taking a picture of that tree the way I've got it centered, but you were wrong.

Ha!  I guess it was a little early for that guy.  Maybe he should have grabbed a coffee before the race....

Anyways, Ryan raced the 30+ category.  He doesn't turn 30 until December, but all races go by the age you will be that year, so, 30 it is boss!  How's it feel getting old?? 

After all the bragging I did about how much fun these races are to watch, and how close you are able to get to the racers you'd think I'd have gotten some good action photos...check this one out:

Yep, you guessed it!  That black blur is totally Ryan's butt as he raced past.  It's nice right?  Ok weirdo, stop staring!  He's mine!!

There's a better one.  Lovin' that mud??  Ryan was.  Jamie, Zach and I actually spent a while standing in this spot watching as racers did the super muddy section of the course.  Probably one of the best moments of the day was when a racer hit one of those bumps wrong and ended up splatted on his side covered in mud.  I started cracking up and I think he didn't really appreciate our entertainment.  As he peeled himself out of the mud he looked over and said "And...I'm done" and proceeded to walk off the course.  That's what Cross is all about man!!  Buck up!!

Finally, I want to do a quick shout out to my cheering support team, Jamie and Zach!  Ry and I spent the night at their new place on Saturday night (we had a lovely dinner, thanks JDub, and we would have had a lovely dessert if I hadn't left it at home and brought leftover pizza in it's place - stuuupid!).  They got up early and hauled their booties out of bed in the rain to come and watch the race, so props to them!

So, thanks for stopping by guys!  We've got some fun things coming up so make sure to stop on back soon.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

365 Days of Amazing

Last year at about this time Ryan and I were sitting in the Charlotte airport grabbing a quick dinner before we boarded our plane to Brazil.  Yep, in case you weren't keeping track (I know, most of you probably weren't), today is our 1 year anniversary.  Yep, 365 days ago we were doing this:

A far cry from how we spent this weekend:

Ha!! Yep, that's exactly where we spent our anniversary weekend.  Go ahead and judge, but we loved every moment of it.  I'll give you that our campsite was far from ideal, but we made the most of it and were both very excited to try out our camper for the very first time. 

Looking back I miss every single part of our wedding day.  I know everyone says it, but it really does go by far too fast.  I wish I could sort of bottle up every moment of that day and relive it whenever I'd like, but I have to admit that as much fun as we had on our wedding day, the last 365 have been just as much fun and I'm excited to see what the next 18,250 days have in store for us (for those of you searching for a calculator, that's 50 years). 

But, back to the weekend.  Ry and I decided that we wanted to have dinner on Saturday night at Eno Vino.  It's a wine bar in Madison, WI that serves tapas type dishes.  Ryan is usually pretty iffy on tapas, saying that he never feels full, but I pulled that "anniversary" card and he'd be the first to admit that he couldn't eat one single bite more as we walked out of the restaurant.  It's an amazing restaurant and if you are ever in the Madison area you should definitely plan a stop, even if it is just for a glass of wine. 

We ordered a bottle of wine and some bacon/paramsean french fries to start with.  After that we got Day Boat Seered Scallops (drenched in truffle butter).  I'd literally lay down in front of a bus for this butter.  I'd take a bullet for it.  I'd surrender my first born.  It was amazing.  I took every piece of bread we had left on our table to soak up the extra butter.  But, that was just the beginning of the amazing dishes.  After the scallops we had foie gras.  Yep, the stuff the banned in Chicago.  Before you start googling, it's duck liver and is a controversial dish in some areas.  I ordered it because I'd never had it, and I wanted to be able to say that I had.  It was good, don't get me wrong, but it was probably our least favorite of the dishes.  It sort of reminded me of puppy breath.  I know that doesn't make sense to most people, but some of you will know exactly what I mean by that. 

Anyways, after the foie gras, they brought out braised pork belly.   Let me be the first to say, when they brought this dish out i was skeptical.  Very skeptical.  Picture a jelly filled biscuit, topped with pork belly, topped with a fried egg, all drizzled with some sort of pink jam looking sauce.  I was pretty sure I wasn't going to like it, but it was Ryan's favorite dish of the night and my second, only because I want to be buried with truffle butter.  I want it to be my final meal.  I could literally take a bath in the stuff.  Ok, enough obsessing....back to the pork belly.  It was seriously amazing.  I had my doubts.  I don't like things being sweet when they are supposed to be savory.  But the sauce wasn't sweet at all.  It was 7 kinds of amazing, and the only things that gets 8 kinds of amazing are Ryan (I'm biased) and truffle butter (I know, I said I was done, but give me credit for putting Ryan first in that list).

Alright, bored of me talking about food yet??  I'm sure you are, so I'll go back to how we spent the rest of our weekend.  We left Friday night after work and got to our campsite around 9pm.  We were both pretty sleepy by the time we got camp all set up and didn't have any firewood so we basically set up camp, read for a bit and then called it a night.  We sure know how to party it up!

Saturday we woke up and made breakfast and decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather with a hike.  On our wedding day it was sunny and probably 85 degrees.  Dad promised me good weather on this weekend and two years in a row he didn't disappoint!!  This weekend was amazing both years.  Warm, sunny and beautiful with all the fall colors.  So, we leashed up the dogs and set out for a nice long hike.

Pretty right?? 

We walked for probably 5 miles and just spent the time enjoying the weather and each other's company.  The dogs were good and we even managed to capture a few illusive pictures of us with them!

See, not bad right?  This is usually how dog pictures turn out:


Ok, enough dog pictures.  After our walk we made lunch over the campfire and spent some time relaxing.  I MAY have even squeezed in a nap! Then, we drove to downtown Madison to walk around and do some window shopping.  We didn't buy anything but had a great time people watching.  Actually, that's a lie, we bought some ice cream at a local ice cream store and a beer at Capital Brewery.  But, we knew we had a delicious dinner in store for us so we didn't want to get too full. 

Of course I managed to forget my camera back at the camper so I don't have any pictures from dinner.  Sorry guys...but, like I said, it was amazing, and if you have a chance, take my word and try it out for yourself.  After dinner we went back to the campsite and enjoyed a fire for awhile before turning in for the night.

Sunday morning Ryan surprised me with a couples massage.  AMAZING!  I was talking about the massage, but I also mean Ryan of course.  It was sweet of him to plan something special for me.  We had decided to forgo gifts and spend the money on our amazing dinner so I was extra surprised when he told me what he had planned.  We each got an hour long massage and I couldn't think of a better end to our weekend!

Finally, we stopped in Freeport on our way home to have dinner with Mom and Dad and drop off the camper by their house.  We are storing it out in Freeport for the winter so we can have our garage back.  We figure next spring we will pick it back up again so we can start our next camping season. 

Ok, the Packers are playing and I'm sure you all are getting bored of reading about our weekend so I'm going to wrap this thing up.  I just want to take one more second to wish my amazing husband a Happy Anniversary and to tell him how much I love him. 

To happily ever after......

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Century Ride (or 25 miles if you aren't an Ironman)

Remember how amazing the weather was last weekend?  It was the perfect fall weekend, maybe a smidge on the cool side, but it was sunny, the skies were blue and the leaves are finally starting to change colors and show us what they've got.  Well, the weekend before, when we decided to do a 100 mile (Ryan)/25 mile (everyone else) bike ride, the weather was crap!  Complete crap I tell you! 

Every day up until the Sunday of the ride I told the group "I won't shed one single tear if I don't ride this ride.  I have zero desire to ride in the cold and the rain".  When Ryan left the lake house around 5:30AM and I heard the rain banging on the windows I just rolled over in bed, pulled the covers to my nose and went back to sleep.  An hour later when he was about to start his ride, he texted me to say that if we bail on the ride to let him know and when he's finished he will head home.  I asked, "Is it pouring?" and he said "Not yet", I snuggled even farther down and closed my eyes.  Then about 10 minutes later I decided I needed to get my big butt out of bed and get ready.  I had a ride to do and I wasn't going to be the one holding up the crew. 

To be clear, the weather was pretty crappy.  It was cool, maybe low 50's with a drizzly, misty rain most of the ride.  See that lady in the back?  She even has a scarf and hat on!! 

Here's a shot of the whole crew.  Well, not quite.  Greg didn't actually ride (even though he totally could have, we had an extra bib number) and Ryan was out at probably mile 50 when we took this so he's not in there.  Can you tell that it's crappy out?  TM has a rain poncho and B and I have our hoods under our helmets.  And yes, we rode the full 25 miles with them up like that.

Check out these great action shots that B and I snapped of each other.  Probably the best part of this whole process was me passing the camera to B and then her having to switch hands while riding.  We managed to switch it back and forth between us, and grab a few shots without dropping it, or stopping.  Yep, we were proud of ourselves.

Not bad right?

So, B and I were the first ones done with the ride.  At some point we sort of pulled away from the rest of the group and just kept going.  It was easier to keep riding, knowing we were getting closer to the end, and the warmth, and the Packers game, than it was to pull over and wait for the group so we kept riding.  We finished maybe 30 minutes before the rest of the crew.

Actually, somehow we finished before Ryan.  I was a little worried when I realized he hadn't finished yet but he crossed the finish like about 20 minutes after Brenna and I.  He was surprised that we were finished and for some reason just assumed that we didn't even ride.  When I told him that we had, he then asked if we did the 15 miles.  NO JERK!  We did the whole dang thing :O)

Ry sort of blew up near the end of the ride and wasn't feeling too well when he finished so we grabbed two huge plates of spaghetti and a bunch of drinks for him so he could get his blood sugar back up.  He's not really sure what happened in the end, but he didn't look so hot when he finally finished the race.

We didn't have a ton of time to hang out and enjoy the nice crap weather...we had the Packers v. Bears game to get to for goodness sakes!!!!  Since I'm still about a week behind on the blogs we all know how that turned out.  I'll just say, B and I were pretty happy campers!

We spent the game at Johnny and Celeste's house, about half way home from the lake, and we had a great time.  B and I got tons of crap for showing up looking like this:

But hey, we were excited to support our team!

Go Packers!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Who needs a TV antenna anymore?

One thing that you can pretty much count on these days is a "project" happening when we are at the lake.  In the 4 years that I've been around we've redone a bathroom, added a gazebo, re-roofed the a garage, upgraded the family room and tons of other smaller projects to try and improve the lake house.  A few weeks ago (yep, blogger backup!), the boys decided it was time to get rid of the old TV antenna on the back corner of the house.  Of course, it's part of a larger project, to add a walkway from the front of the house to the back deck, but for the moment they decided to take the project bit by bit.

Sorry about that crazy lighting, but here is a quick shot of the project at hand.  You can see that it's sort of sandwiched in between the corner of the house and that gazebo we added a few summers ago. 

Can you spy my spidery husband climbing up the antenna?  So, the plan was that he'd climb to the top and hook up a few ropes to it.  Then, Chris and Greg would use the ropes to help guide the antenna down as Ryan cut it near about 1/3 of the way up.  Again, I've got video's and I know I've promised it before and not delivered but I'm going to give it one more try.

But first, a few more normal pictures....

This was about the point that Ellyn gave up on watching and went back inside.  It was a little too stressful for her watching Ryan climb to the tippy top.  Like I said, he climbed up to attach a few ropes so the guys could guide it down.

Here's a shot of the other manly men helping out with the project...

Alright, video time.  Fingers crossed people!

Yes, I know that its lopsided...and no, I don't know how to fix it just yet!  Ha!  But hey, lets celebrate my accomplishment, at least I got a video embedded.  And, ya know what?  It's way more fun to watch the video then it is to just see pictures of it.  So, since I've finally figured it all out, there's another one coming your way!

And with that, the project is over.  Admittedly, it's not a huge change right now, but once we add the walkway I think we are going to love it!!  Can't wait to see what projects we do next at the lake!