Thursday, April 30, 2009

You melt my heart

Tonight Ryan came home with a little surprise for me. A fabulous basket of candy! This man knows me. :o) You may be wondering if this is a common occurrence with Ryan. Well, he does do sweet random things for me a lot but the main reason is he has been working a lot lately and wanted to let me know that he was thinking about me. <3

I've realized it's been a while since I last posted on how KC was doing. Ha! If you were curious, he is doing just fine and making himself comfortable.

Another thing that melts my heart is to see Ryan lovin' on the kitties and in this pic KC loved back. He had just licked Ryan on the nose and was going for more!
This is a favorite spot for KC under the blanket, laying on the couch with his bud. Hope that satisfies your curiosity on keeping up with KC. I will highlight Yogi sometime next week. :oP

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Spring is here!

I started this post on Sunday but today is Tuesday and I am just now finishing it. It's 11:05 am and I am sitting at my home computer because my office building is flooded! I have the whole day off due to flooding even though it's fun to stay home, it is pretty scary weather out here. It's been raining non stop for days and shows no signs of letting up. Supposedly, it's going to rain everyday this week! I just hope it doesn't get into our house.

So regardless, it's a day at home and I am still trying to work from my computer. I guess April showers will bring May flowers!

I took this picture two weekends ago of Ryan's brand spankin' new Weber grill. I have never seen him more excited about a grill before and he has been a grillin' machine ever since. We had an old grill that we left back at our house in Bartlesville that wasn't worth transporting here, so we were in need of one. Ryan had been looking for awhile and I finally just told him to get the one he wanted because it will last a long time and wasn't too big.
He's so proud of it! Ha! He hasn't even put it in our backyard yet because he wants to find the perfect spot for it. So for now it's in our garage safe and sound. He just rolls it out on our driveway when he wants to grill.
This past weekend we spent many hours of blood, sweat and tears on our landscape. It was in need of weeding, trimming, new mulch and planting new flowers. Our landscaping was pretty much done for us when we moved in but they left spots for me to plant ornamental flowers. I've been putting Miracle Grow on them this year so hopefully they will get really big. I'll let you know.
We needed something in a spot near our front door and this was what we came up with. The tall bush/tree thing has beautiful purple blooms on it but you can't really tell in this picture.
I have been eyeing this type of fern for a long time and I just had to get a few for our backyard. I just LOVE them. They have a great soft texture and the shade of green is so colorful!
On a side note, I have a funny story regarding this man and this Tahoe in the below picture.
(This pic was taken when he first bought the car.)
On the way home from church on Sunday... we ran out of gas on the feeder of I-10! Apparently, Ryan didn't think we were that low on fuel but that was not the case. Luckily, we were on the feeder and not the actual highway so we could pull off on a side road away from traffic. We called roadside assistance and waiting over an hour in the blazing sun for them to bring us gas. I was dying laughing because RYAN was the one that forgot about the gas and not me!
But really, I am not one to talk. Our car is actually in the shop right now because a lady ran into the back of me when I was stopped at a light. She didn't do much damage and you could barely see it. However, it still cost an arm and a leg to fix it. Thank goodness she had insurance! That really wasn't my fault though... :)
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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Italy Day 12

This was our final day in Italy. :( I took some pictures of the outside of our apartment building where we stayed because there is a funny story about it. The first day we arrived in Rome we had no clue where this apartment was. After driving around and nearly killing ourselves on the narrow streets we called our tour guide who had set this up for us. She eventually got us to our road. We thought we had made it... Boy were we wrong.

The apartment building number was 7 but there ended up being four different 7's! Imagine us climbing a steep hill with all our luggage trying to hunt down which building number 7 was ours. As we were searching a nun came flying out of one of the buildings and ushered us in. We were a little confused but glad someone came to find us. She proceeded to check us in and gave us 5 room keys. All five rooms were spread out over three floors and none were together. We thought we were supposed to be staying in one apartment with a kitchen. Things were just not adding up right as we put our stuff in the rooms and the place was like a hospital setting.

Eventually, Emily decided to go talk to the front desk again and explain this was NOT what we thought we were getting and there was an extra room that we didn't need. After much confusion the nun realized that we were not the ones she was expecting! A few of us cried tears of relief because it was not in our plans to stay at a nunnery. I should have known when I told the nun I wanted to stay with my husband in the same room and she gave me a funny look.

All and all, we did wind up finding our apartment that was indeed wonderful. I was very thankful that we were all able to stay together, but what a story!
There was a marathon going on this day. I would run a marathon if it were in Rome! On second thought... I might run about a mile and then head off to do some shopping.

Since today was our final day in Italy, Sally wanted to take us to a special town that was the site of one of her architectural projects. On the way there all the excitement of the trip caught up with Ryan.
Of course we had to mess with him! Emily was the perfect candidate.
Our destination.
Ostia Antica is a large archaeological site that was the harbour city of ancient Rome, which is approximately 20 miles northeast of the site. "Ostia" in Latin means "mouth". At the mouth of the River Tiber, Ostia was Rome's seaport, but, due to silting and a drop in sea level, the site now lies 2 miles from the sea.The site is noted for the excellent preservation of its ancient buildings and magnificent frescoes.
Mosaic floor in the baths, dating from the 2nd century A.D. This was the site of Sally's project. Her goal was to make this area more enjoyable and enriching for tourists. Such as, how she could enhance this experience for the viewers. It was really neat.
Mom and I
Inside the theatre.
The girls- Emily upfront, Mary, Susan and Sally.
Ryan & I
Dead sexy.
Once we left Ostia Antica we headed to the train station to see Sally off. It was really sad to see her go. Only a few more short months and she will be back!
We had a few hours to kill in between her train and ours so we headed back to our apartment to grab our stuff and bummed around for a bit. Let me just tell you it was intense going from our apartment with all the luggage and dragging it across pebble stone roads through Rome to the metro and then to the train station. It had to have been a million miles! Look at poor Ryan's sweaty back. That's probably what all of ours looked like but I didn't get a picture of that. :)
While we waited in the station a very friendly French man stopped by to ask where his train to Paris was. It just so happened Susan & Emily were on the very same train! They were going to extend the trip and visit Paris and London for a few days. Anyway, this man was very confused and couldn't see anything past his hand! I don't even know how he got to the train station. So he sat with us until their train left. He was very entertaining and I think a little senile. He liked my mom a lot and even gave her a kiss on the cheek.
Lets just say the rest of our trip back home was not worth taking pictures of. It was completely miserable! When our train finally got there we had no clue which compartment of the train was ours and we ran up and down it until we finally figured it out. We were on the train from about 7pm to 1am when it arrived in Venice. Ryan & I stayed awake the whole time and Harlan & my mom barely slept.
Then we stood at the train station for maybe an hour until luckily a taxi passed by or we would have been there awhile. It took us to the closed airport that we couldn't get into until Ryan pried open a door! Then we tried to sleep on some benches with little success until we could check in around 4:30am for our flight at 6:30am.
We flew to Amsterdam and then on to Minneapolis, MN where Ryan & I had about a 5 hour layover and didn't fly into Houston until about 10:30pm that night. We went to sleep about 11:30pm and went to work the next day! WE WERE INSANE!!! Moral of the story, take the next day off after a trip like this and it is worth spending a little extra for direct flights. :oP
All that being said, it was an incredible experience and I am so blessed to have been able to
share that with my family. We will always remember this trip and all the fun times we had. Our family will begin changing in the future with little ones and new husbands (for Ryan's sister's :)). I truly cherished this time together just as we are now. We love and miss you guys like crazy!

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Italy Day 11

This morning we tried out what would become our favorite pastry shop. My mom and the owner became good friends fast! Ha! I think he could have been a good pick for her.

Ryan & I relaxing before another big day in Rome.
Mary & Sally Group shot with the owner that fancied my mom. :)
Hitting the streets of Rome.
Ponte Sant'Angelo bridge or the bridge of Hadrian.
Castel Sant'Angelo- or the Mausoleum of Hadrian
The Emily
Susan, Sally and Emily
This was a really sweet man we came across with the cutest dog ever! I want to stick a dog in my bag too! I begged him to let me keep his adorable pup. It was a no go.
Sally was checking out one of the many food markets in Rome. I wish we had more of these in the U.S.
My mom & I in front of the Fontana di Trevi. We threw in our coins to make a wish. My fingers are crossed it comes true!
Fontana di Trevi. Again, this was so big I couldn't fit it all into one picture.
The 'Spanish Steps' is the longest and widest staircase in all of Europe.
The Vatican Museums - The marble group of the Laocoon.
One of the inner courtyards in the Vatican.
These are just some pictures of different displays in the museum. It would take you more then a whole day just to get through the entire thing. This is also the location of the Sistine Chapel but you are not allowed to take pictures. The whole thing is pretty overwhelming. Just make sure you have eaten and are wearing comfortable shoes.
My mom was all about seeing everything in the museum. She really gets into the many displays. Me on the other hand, couldn't make it through everything.
This staircase leading down from the museums, designed in 1932 by Giuseooe Momo, is in the form of a double helix, consisting of two spirals: one walks up and one walks down.
St. Peter's Square.
St. Peter's Church
Vatican Museums
Michelangelo's Pieta created in 1499 when Michelangelo was only 25.
Inside of St. Peter's.
Baldacchino canopy stands above St. Peter's tomb.
The Papal Altar stands over the crypt where St. Peter is reputedly buried many feet below. These are the stairs leading down.
The church's main alter.
Ryan & I looking out over St. Peter's square.
The Arch of Constantine.
Our one and only Chinese dinner in Rome. Can you tell we were missing the food back home?
Bundling up at the train station. The few days we spent in Rome were definitely the coolest weather wise.
After dinner we had to stop by another pastry store for dessert. They were already getting ready for Easter. I wanted to take home that giant chocolate egg but I didn't think it would fit in my luggage.
Only one more day to go!

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