Saturday, March 20, 2010

Quick Summary

It's been a long time since I've posted anything. Time just gets away from you sometimes, plus there really hasn't been much to blog about. Most days are pretty much the same. Work, come home, sleep, work some more. Although, we have a been up to a few things in the past few months. Here are a few highlights.

Brent started working full-time for the Waseca Police Department. He really enjoys his job, which makes me happy since he had to give up his job in Iowa to move here. Currently he is working the day shift (6:30am - 3:00pm) which allows us to spend quite a bit of time together. He is still working a 6 days on, 3 days off schedule, so we don't get a chance to do much on weekends, but try to take advantage when he has one off.
I also celebrated my 30th birthday this month. Can't believe I'm no longer in my 20s!

Sorry, nothing exciting to report on this month! Other than a bunch of Iowa Hawkeye football watching by Brent. :)

We went to our first show at the Orpheum theater in the cities (Grease). We had dinner at Palomino (which we thought was majorly overpriced and the food wasn't that great). The show was amazing. My first professional musical and I was pretty impressed. We are definitely hoping to seeing more in the future.
Brent turned 32 this month. He really wanted to try to go to a Hawkeye football game, but his schedule just didn't allow it this year. But, he spent every weekend rooting for them and they had a pretty decent season.

We celebrated Christmas 3 times with family. Unfortunately, due to the weather, we had to postpone our Christmas Eve celebrations with my family. We also had Brent's family to our house for Christmas. It was the first time I've had to make a big holiday meal and have everyone over at my house. With Brent's mom's help, it all went pretty well. Except for my pumpkin dessert which ended up not getting cooked all the way through. Such a bummer! But, if you know me very well, you know that cooking is not my specialty.
Maggie loves posing in front of the Christmas tree every year!

This was a month of snow, snow and more snow. We really didn't venture out much. Although, with Brent's mom's help, I repainted our bedroom and redecorated with a new bedspread and pictures. I'm so happy with how it turned out.
Bedroom redo!

The best part of our winter...we went to Jamaica!! It was my first time traveling out of the states and to a tropical location. We were definitely looking forward to it with all the cold and snow we'd been through the past few months.
We left Feb 1st and returned on the 8th. We stayed at Couples Tower Island Resort in Ocho Rios. It was all-inclusive, so the food and drinks were amazing! We spent a lot of time relaxing and enjoying the warm weather and sunshine. We also made trips into downtown Ocho Rios to shop (which was a bit of a scary experience, but one I don't think we will forget). We also went horseback riding on a plantation which was very beautiful. We went to Dunns River Falls and climbed up the waterfall. I thought I did pretty good considering I don't like water much and there was water constantly spraying in my face. We took a underwater camera with us hoping to get some decent pics, but for whatever reason, none of the pictures turned out. We were pretty bummed because it was a really amazing experience. We also took a Catamaran cruise, which I did not do well on. Even though I took some dramamine, I still got pretty sea sick. Plus, our boat broke down and we had to be bused back to our resort. But, the scenery was pretty amazing (that of which I could see lying down anyways). It was a great trip and we hope to be able to do it again sometime.
Nice view!

Dressed up for dinner.

Currently, we are working on some water issues we are having with the basement. This has been an ongoing problem since I moved into the house an I think this is the year it gets fixed. Bye bye tax money! Once we get the water problem solved, we can finish fixing the basement up. So far we have put up new drywall and I have painted the walls, but we still have a long way to go until it's done.
We also have to remodel the bathroom this summer. Water has been leaking from under the tub for quite some time and I'm worried one of these days, the tub is going to crash through the floor. Not really looking forward to this, but something that has to be done.

That's about it for now...seems like we are going to stay pretty busy in the next few months with home repair projects. Hopefully we can fit some fun time in there as well. We are so happy to see the snow melting (even though that is the cause of my water problems in the basement) and the warm weather making an appearance. I'm definitely anxious for spring/summer!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Catching up

Whew - now that I have finally posted all my blogs about our honeymoon, I can blog about other things we have going on these days...

Brent was offered to go full-time with the Waseca Police Department last week!! He officially starts full-time status September first (which means a pay raise and better benefits), but he started working full-time hours this week. We didn't realize how lucky we were the first few weeks he was working as he was only working Sunday through Thursday and had Friday's and Saturday's off and he only worked 6:30 am - 3:00 pm, so we were able to spend our evenings and weekends together. Well all that ends tonight - bummer! Tonight he starts working 6:30 pm - 3:00 am for at least the next 3 weeks. Kind of a bummer since I usually don't get home from work until 5:45ish. I teased him and told him he should have dinner ready for me when I get home every night, but that didn't seem to go over too well. I'm sure going to miss having him around at night with me - just as I was getting used to it too! He also has to work all weekend, but I have plans for some major organizing around the house! Even picked up my mom's label maker the other day - watch out! :)

Monday we started looking at new furniture for the living room, but decided a better investment for us right now would be to start working on fixing up my basement. 2 years ago I got 2 feet of sewer water in my basement, which cause a lot of damage. The cleaning company that came tore out all the carpet, cut the sheet rock down to the studs 2 feet up and took off the doors. Thus, my basement has been 1 big mess for the last 2 years! I just didn't have the money to fix it up! Well, Brent has decided that on his days off he is going to start working on it! So we picked up insulation and sheet rock at Lowe's on Monday. I'm so anxious to get this project going and completed. We have plans to paint the basement floor, paint the walls and add wainscoting and white trim down there to help brighten it up. We currently have my old TV and Brent's furniture down there, which includes a ton of chairs (we laugh about our chair museum)!

For now, here is a current picture of my basement with hopes of having updated pictures to share in the near future...

Also, Maggie had a cyst removed a few weeks ago and had stitches in her leg for two weeks, so it's been a long time since we've gone on our nightly walk (yikes, I think it was pre-wedding)! And, my body is telling me I need to get back out there, so tonight we headed out in the heat. It felt good even though Maggie's tongue was hanging down to the floor, I know she enjoyed it too. We even got to see the hubby in action as we was driving the squad car around town.

And, since we don't have any kids, here is a parting shot of Maggie cuddling with her blanky and her toy - so cute!

Honeymoon - Days 5 & 6

Okay, I've been a bit of a slacker at updating my blog and adding the last post about our honeymoon. Things have been just crazy around here with adjusting to married life and Brent's work schedule...

So, day 5 of our honeymoon we decided we wanted to see a "real" east-coast lighthouse since the one in Atlantic City was such a bust. While we were in Atlantic City, we had picked up some brochures and one of them happened to be about Lighthouses. We discovered there was one on the north side of Long Beach Island. But before we headed there, we thought we would check out parasailing! This is probably the most daring thing I've ever decided to do, however once we started checking in to how much it would cost us, we decided it was way too expensive and to hold out until we go on our tropical vacation this winter (yes, we have already decided to take a 2nd honeymoon this winter somewhere warm, most likely, Jamaica).

So, we decided to just head straight to the lighthouse. We packed a lunch for us to take along and make the trip "north". The drive probably only took us 15-20 minutes. It probably would have been faster except for all the traffic - it was pretty crazy. Once we started to walk towards the lighthouse, we decided the trip was worth it as this is the kind of lighthouse we had in mind! As I said, we had packed a lunch, so we sat at a picnic table near the shore and watched the people walking around and the boats in the water. It was a cloudy day, which made it feel fairly cool since we were so close to the water. Nearby, we saw bunch of kids hanging out on these rocks and looking down between the cracks. We were curious, so after we finished our lunch, we headed out on the rocks. On our way out there, a boy was holding up his prize - a huge starfish! I guess the kids can buy these little poles and a small amount of bait and try to catch things like crabs and other sea creatures. The starfish was pretty cool as I don't think I've ever seen a live one so up close and personal before!
Our first glimpse of the lighthouse through the trees.

Full view of the lighthouse.

After that excitement, we got in line to climb up inside the lighthouse. The line was pretty long, but moved along fairly quickly. There are only a certain number of people allowed to climb the stairs at once - they were pretty narrow.

Finally it was our turn! We started heading up and the first few flights weren't so bad, but about half-way up I was really getting tired and winded! Whew - I'm not in the best shape! But hey - there were 217 steps to climb! My legs were shaking by the time we got to the top! After taking some pictures and checking out the view, it was time to head back down the stairs. A little bit easier, but still a lot of work!
Brent climbing the stairs.

Me climbing the stairs.

Newlyweds and a lighthouse.

After our lighthouse excitement, we headed back down to the southern part of the island. We had remembered seeing a museum that we wanted to check out. Apparently they just started this museum fairly recently and it showcased all kinds of sea treasures. There were old diving suits, artifacts recovered from ship wreaks and lots of old photos. It was all very interesting.

On display at the museum - reminded me of the titanic!

After our brief history lesson and the museum, we headed back to the beach house to relax. Brent's idea of relaxing is watching TV, while I headed outside to enjoy the weather and read a good book. However, reading always seems to make me tired so not long after, I headed back in and took a nap! Nothing better than a nap on vacation!

We decided for our last night on the Island we were going to dress up and have a nice dinner. Brent had brought along dress pants, shirt and a tie and I brought a cute pink dress to wear. We got all gussied up and headed back to the restaurant we ate at our first night - Bistro 14. We again brought our own bottle of wine to enjoy. We also requested a table by the windows so we could enjoy a view of the bay and the sunset. I again had seafood for dinner and we decided to splurge and get dessert. Brent had chocolate ice cream (what else?) and I had a fruit torte. YUMMY!
All dressed up for dinner and a gorgeous sunset!

After dinner, we noticed the sunset was absolutely beautiful again, so we headed over to the deck closer to the bay and enjoyed the scenery.

We headed back to the beach house to get packed up and get to bed early since we had to leave fairly early in the morning to catch our flight home. As we were heading out Friday morning we looked outside and realized the sunrise was breathtaking. We hadn't been up early enough to see the sunrise any of the other days, so I had Brent stop near the ocean so I could take some pictures. Ahhh...makes me want to go back!

Sunrise over the ocean.

Our entire honeymoon was perfect. We couldn't have asked for better weather and a better place to stay! We will always remember our honeymoon at the beach!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Honeymoon - Day 4

The fourth day of our honeymoon, we woke up to beautiful weather outside and decided take the Jet ski out for a ride. As I mentioned before, I'm not a huge fan of water, so I made Brent take it pretty easy. It was fun just riding around on the water checking out the scenery. On our way back into the inlet where the house was, the jet ski started beeping at us. We weren’t really sure what was going on at first, but then we realized the screen said “heat”. Suddenly, smoke started coming out of the bottom! We remembered that Brian had told us that seaweed can get stuck under the jet ski and we would have to clean it out if that happened. So, we shut it off and Brent jumped into the water and cleaned it all out. We started it up again, but it still said “heat” and was still smoking, so in order to not damage it any further, Brent had to swim/push the jet ski (with me still on) back to the house! Luckily, we weren't too far away - like out in the bay or something. We put it back on it's dock and made sure to leave a note for Brian and Beth. All we could think was how we just took the jet ski out for a little ride and we broke it! We talked to Brian after we got home and he said not to worry about it, that it’s happened before. We still felt bad about it!

After our jet ski adventure, we decided to pack a lunch and head to the beach. Brian and Beth had all the beach things we needed - an umbrella, towels, a lunch bag as well as a stroller thingy to load it all into. With just a 4 block walk, we were at the beach on the ocean - so awesome! We mostly just layed in the sun and relaxed. After awhile, we decided to get in the water. We headed out into an area where there weren't too many people. The water was pretty shallow. We had gone out quite a ways and the water was only up to mid-thigh. Pretty soon, we noticed a lifeguard trying to get our attention. We waded back to the beach, and he told us that the water seemed shallow there, but we were getting really close to a drop off where we could get swept under by the waves! He told us it was safer to swim between where these 2 poles were set up - guess there wasn't a drop off there! We thanked him for letting us know - us Midwesterners don't know much about the ocean! After wading in the water and letting the waves crash into us, we headed back to our blankets.
The ocean with the waves rolling in.

laying on the beach - catching some sun!

Not long after that, we heard a scream. We looked over and not too far from us was a mom frantically screaming and yelling for help. No one was really responding at first, so Brent ran over there (since he has first responder training). After Brent got there though, a life guard reached the mom. Apparently, a young boy had been digging a hole in the sand. Now, we weren't quite sure if he had been burying himself in the sand or what, but all we do know is that sand had collapsed around him and covered his head where he couldn't breathe. Brent said the boy was blue when he reached the boy. The lifeguard gave the boy a rescue breath and a lot of people had shown up to respond at that point. Brent came back over to our blanket and we watched the police show up and EMT's. They put the boy on a board and hauled him out of there. He was breathing by then and seemed to be ok, but they had to take him to the hospital to have him checked out. We were glad everything turned out ok, but kept thinking about how scary it was!

After all that excitement, we decided to head back to the house to get ready for a night out. We decided to check out a restaurant called “The Beach House”, Pretty appropriate, we thought! Though, we mostly decided to go there because we had a coupon! :) The restaurant was very nice and the food was delicious! In keeping with my seafood eating pledge, I ordered stuffed shrimp - yum!
Ready for a night out!

We decided this was going to be our “night on the town”, so we headed to a bar called Jo Pops where a band called the nerds was playing. At this point in our trip, we really didn't have much money left, we when we found out the cover to get in was $15 each, we decided to skip that! Instead, we went to a bar/restaurant called Buckaloos where a single guy was singing and playing a guitar. We ordered a few drinks and just hung out. After a little bit, I said we should ask him to play “Brown-eyed Girl” when not 2 seconds after that, he did! Pretty crazy! Since that is my song, I got up and started dancing - I was the only one. A couple other ladies came over to dance with me so I wasn't alone and they convinced Brent to get out on the dance floor as well. Like I said, we didn't have much money left, so we only had the one drink and then decided to head home.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Honeymoon - Day 3

On the third day of our honeymoon, we decided to check out Atlantic City, which was only about 30 miles from where we were staying.
Sign on a pillar coming into the city.

Pulling into the city, we saw lots of buildings (casinos). We didn’t even know where to start, but as we were driving, we saw a Harley shop, so we had to stop! We did buy ourselves each a t-shirt (can’t ever have too many)! Where we parked was also a really cool, old firehouse. I took a picture. I took pictures of EVERYTHING on this trip. I think Brent got a bit annoyed, but I know he loves having the photos to look at to remember our trip.
Check out all the traffic and the tall buildings/casinos

We had parked in kind of a shady neighborhood, so we decided to find a better parking spot. We did manage to find a lot for only $3. Most wanted to charge $10! We then walked a few blocks to the boardwalk. To be honest, we really weren’t that impressed. The shops seemed kind of run down and a bit dirty and there were a TON of people on the beaches. We headed north on the boardwalk and stopped at a few shops, an art/history museum and we started heading towards a lighthouse that was on the map. Well, we found the the middle of a bunch of tall buildings! This was also in a sketchy neighborhood, so we decided to turn around and head back to the main part of the boardwalk. I did take a picture of the lighthouse from where we could see it. Not too impressive. Also, we found out later that it cost $7 to get inside.
The boardwalk

Can this even be called a lighthouse?

After that, we headed down the southern part of the boardwalk, back towards the casinos. I have never really gambled and Brent hasn’t done much either, but we thought we would try our luck. We each put $5 into some nickel slots. I pretty much just lost all of mine. Brent did manage to win $10, but we decided to split it and try again. Unfortunately, we didn’t win anything after that.
Playing the slots.

Me playing the slots.

For dinner, we decided to go to the Hard Rock Cafe right on the boardwalk. The food was really good. Actually, it was almost too good. I ate so much, I felt sick! I vowed not to do that again!

Oh, and probably our most interesting story of the day...we got pooped on by a seagull! Those darn birds were EVERYWHERE and flying around like crazy. I kept worrying about getting pooped on and all of a sudden, I felt a spray of something wet hit my cheek! I asked Brent, "Did we just get sh!t on?” He said “Actually, we got poop sprayed!” Gross! We did get it wiped off, but that was so disgusting!
Damn Seagulls!

So, all in all, we really weren't too impressed with Atlantic City. After telling a few people this, we were told we should have gone at night because all the lights are pretty impressive. I think their sayings is “Always turned On” or something like that. So, if we do ever decide to go again, we will definitely go at night!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Honeymoon - Day 2

The second day of our honeymoon started out with Brent and I waking up at 9:00. We were amazed that we were awake so early since we had been up so early the next day. One look outside and we knew we couldn't say indoors for long - it was a beautiful, sunny day out!
The view of the deck from the back of the house.

We headed to a restaurant called "The Chicken or the Egg" or as the locals call it "The Chegg". I am always hungry for Breakfast so, I got french toast stuffed with strawberries and cream cheese, it was soooo good! Brent had the hungry man breakfast, which he said was also good.

After breakfast, we decided to wander up and down Long Beach Island. There were tons of little shops on each side. I loved checking everything out (and I'm sure Brent did as well - ha!), there were so many cute things. We did have to do the tourist thing and we both purchased LBI t-shirts and sweatshirts.
Beach Haven sign - this is the part of the island the house was on.

Lots of cute shops to explore.

The view of the bay.

After checking out all of the shops, we headed to the southern tip of the island. This was our first glimpse of the ocean. The sand was white and the water was blue, it was so beautiful. We took our shoes off and sank our toes in the sand and made our way out to get our feet wet in the ocean. There were quite a few houses that faced the ocean. The only thing we could think of was "rich bastards"! Trust me, these houses had to be expensive, but what a view!
The ocean - so pretty!

Our sandy toes!

We then headed back to the beach house to relax on the deck and drink some adult beverages. While moving his chair, Brent got a "HUGE" (his words) sliver in his big toe. Needless to say, I had to perform minor surgery on his toe. I worked on it for quite awhile until I got most of it out, there was just one tiny piece left that was too deep for me to dig out. I think we spent at least 15 minutes each day after that working on getting that last piece out (he just couldn't leave it alone).

After the surgical procedure...we headed to Panzones restaurant for pizza. This was probably our cheapest meal on the island. Of course, we couldn't get anything fun. Brent is such a picky eater, so we ordered half pepperoni and half sausage - boring, but good.

That was pretty much it for day 2...stay tuned for day 3!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Honeymoon - Day 1

Brent and I left for our honeymoon early Sunday, July 5th. We did manage to watch the fireworks with his brother and family in Apple Valley Saturday night. Then, we headed back to the hotel to get some sleep before our 3:30 am wake up call!
Waiting for our flight.

We flew in to Philadelphia airport and picked up our rental car. A Chrysler Sebring (with New York license plates - we thought that was cool). The drive to Beach Haven, NJ took us a little over an hour and a half. Driving onto Long Beach Island was amazing. Everywhere you looked there were little shops and restaurants and everyone was dressed in their beach gear. We pulled up to Brent's cousin Brian's beach house to find no one there! Brian, his wife Beth and their 2 girls were supposed to be there when we arrived. We walked around to the back of the house where they have a ginormous deck that looks out onto the bay. We noticed their boat was gone, but we didn't have to wait long and they returned. Since Brian works in Toronto and they have a house in upper New Jersey, they only stay at the Beach house when they have free weekends. Wish I had a weekend beach house! :)
Our rental car. Pretty nice ride!

After our hellos (we had just seen them at our wedding), we ran and grabbed some lunch while Brian showed us around the island a bit. After eating, Brian took Brent and I out on the Jet Ski. It's a multiple person Jet ski, so we could all go at once. I had never been on a jet ski and it was interesting being on such a large body of water, but it was also fun, although I wouldn't let him go too fast since I have a small fear of water (that happens when you can't swim). Brian showed us where to go and not go out in the bay (there are surprisingly quite a few shallow spots in the bay that you don't want to get stuck on). After our tour, we headed back and all of us went out on the boat. Brent and Bridget (Brian's daughter) went out on the tube and the rest of us just relaxed on the boat.
Brent and Bridget on the tube in the bay

View of the inlet the house is on. This leads out to the bay.

After our boat ride, we all got showered and dressed for a nice dinner. Brian and Beth took us out to a restaurant called "Bistro 14". This restaurant was a "B.Y.O.B." establishment. I have never heard of a restaurant where you bring your own booze. We did bring a few bottles of wine, some beer and malibu. I guess liquor licenses are very expensive on the island, so most places allow you to bring your own. They even open your wine bottles for you and bring you glasses. A nice way to save some money on dinner, which is a good thing because most of the restaurants are not cheap!
Brian and Brent at the restaurant and the "B.Y.O.B" sign!

After dinner, we headed to Fantasy Island, an amusement park on the island. The girls went on a few rides - their favorite was the "monster roller coaster". I even managed to talk Brent into going for a ride on the Ferris Wheel - he had never been on one!
View of Fantasy Island from the Ferris Wheel.

Brian had to leave the house at 4:00 am the next day to catch his plane for work, so we all headed back and went to bed (Brent and I were also tired from our early morning flight). The bed we had was so comfortable, we sleep really well! We didn't even hear Brian or Beth leave the next morning!

To be continued...