August 31, 2008

The One with the Great New Outfit

Sunday in a nutshell: Could have let some unfortunate travel events put a large damper on the day. Didn't. Leisurely toured every aisle in Sam's Club alongside my husband. Had fun. Spent money wisely. Have a full fridge. Love large canisters of animal crackers. Appreciate deep life-altering conversations. Loved laughing at that one movie. Wish my stomach would stop rumbling. Can't believe he's off for the forth day in a row tomorrow. Yippee. :)

August 29, 2008

The One with the Crazy Levels

At the beginning of the week when Kevin found out he didn't have to go into work on Friday, we planned an afternoon date to Olive Garden! It's been forever since we ate there--one of our favorite venues, so we've both really been looking forward to it. After a wonderfully relaxing morning (if you can consider 40 minutes of pilates and 40 minutes on the ellipse to be relaxing), lunch time rolled around. (Does anyone else think it's strange that on the days you're allowed to sleep in, you still end up getting up about the same time as usually "scheduled"? Maybe you don't experience this, but Kevin and I both do...and we've decided it's ok only because you don't have to get up then.) Ok...back to the date. It was a bit muggy out (I didn't know this in advance because we've kept our windows closed and the air on low to try to combat the ridiculously awful allergies I've been experiencing...just like I have every August for the last 20 years...), but we both looked quite dapper for our afternoon on the town. :) Olive Garden was quite busy and the service was quite poor, but we still have an amazing time together over a very satisfying meal. Salad and breadsticks are always a must, and my pasta e fagoli soup was were Kevin's two plates of "never-ending" pasta.

After our check was paid, we took a few turns and arrived at the Fairlane Town Center--one of the coolest malls we'd ever been to. The architecture alone was something to be admired. Not only were there multiple floors, but there were "half" floors and flights of stairs and elevators and escalators and ramps at every turn. We had no plans to purchase anything--it had just been too long since I visited a mall and I thought it'd be a fun way to spend the afternoon (people watching, window shopping, and walking off our filling lunch). We both thoroughly enjoyed the hours at the mall and came away with some fantastic buys! I typically hate spending any money on myself and Kevin knows this all too well. While at New York & Company, I found 3 shirts that were on sale and looked absolutely perfect on me, but when I found out they weren't on sale for quite as much as I thought, I dropped them and walked out of the store--very frustrated. Kevin talked with me for a while, pointing out his simple desire to have his wife allow him to bless her with things she would love to have. *sigh* I finally "got" it. In the end, I walked away with those three shirts (where I save a total of $75) and a great pair of brown high heels and black patent leather peep toes (where I save $95!!). It was a great feeling to get such great deals on things I've been saying I need for quite some time. Kevin found the perfect messenger bag on sale (with a built in laptop pocket) and sandals for next summer.

Though my food is still digesting, I shan't forget the wonderful hours we spent on the town.

August 28, 2008

August 27, 2008

The One with the Last Minute Tigers

A long while ago, Kevin's chem lab bought a batch of tickets to go to the Cleveland Indians v. Detroit Tigers Game on August 26th. Back then, we had zero dollars to spare and I decided not to tag along. Kevin's prof. very kindly paid for his ticket, and I was glad he could still go have fun. Last night rolled around (what a gorgeous night it was for a baseball game) and one of the individuals had to back out at the last minute...leaving an extra ticket...for ME! Kevin was especially thrilled to have me along. We had a great (free!) time (despite the fact that I was torn between the one sports team I ever loved--the Indians--and the team that was on my new "home terf." Oh, well, I figured I could be happy either way. The Indians schooled Detroit. hee, hee.)

Enjoy the pictures!

August 26, 2008

The One with the Fishies

I just had an amazing dinner! Kevin has a special meal prepared for grad students, so I decided to try something new. I have never cooked fish before, but with tilapia in the freezer, I had the perfect ingredient. :) I baked a potato, cooked broccoli, and sauteed the light fish with lemon pepper seasoning and olive oil. I must say I was impressed! I might just become a lover of seafood. Or....maybe just tilapia. (Much more "fishy" flavor and I'd have to say "no thanks.") What a healthy choice too!

On a different note...
God inhabits our bodies, delighting in every inch of us. Every eccentricity and peculiarity is received. Every longing and self-destructive habit is known. God knows us through and through and still wants to make his home inside us.

August 25, 2008

The One with the Scrapbook

Once again the weather spent a few days reminding us how we strongly dislike humid heat and then decided to come back to my favorite environment--sunny with a high of 75.

Last Thursday afternoon I finally sat down and opened up my collection of scrapbooking supplies to attempt a few pages in the new wedding album. I had found my favorite background paper on SALE at JoAnn's and decided it was just the kick I needed to get started. I figured I would do 2 of 4 pages. Instead, I ended up working from 2:30 until 10pm--with only a short break for dinner. Kevin had never really seen me scrapbook, let alone be on a such a kick, so he let me work and was happy to see my "hobby" was not just a myth. :) He humored me and has looked through my handiwork a couple of times, thoroughly praising the outcome! I finished up the remaining pages in a couple hours on Friday morning--unofficially completing my wedding scrapbook. I figure I'll add more pages as I print some pictures I receive from friends, but until then, I feel wonderfully proud!

The scrapbook was done just in time for my little party with Magan and Betsy. The girls arrived Saturday evening and we had a wonderful time together. We had homemade pizza (the best yet I believe), french vanilla cake (delicious but almost sickeningly so near the end...), and woke up to Sunday morning pancakes. Kevin had originally planned on being in SA for the night so as to us freedom to be girly, but due to my scheduling mistakes, he would have been leaving me home alone on Friday night. I kept going back and forth--wanting him to go have fun, but being kind of scared to be alone. (I don't think I've ever spent a night completely alone...EVER...let alone in the middle of Detroit.) I had given my "go" Friday morning and prepared myself for a night alone. However, when I picked him up from work, he said he had decided not to go. I was confused and when I asked him his reasoning, he said he just didn't like the thought of leaving me home alone. *sigh* He's wonderful. We decided to celebrate our night together with a trip to Ihop and then sundaes from McDonald's. :)

It was great to be with the girls, and we had plenty of time "alone" as we stretched out on the king sized airmattress in the loft and watched Havana Nights (my first time) while chatting and enjoying the Q commentary we had grown to love. :)

Anyways, it's a beautiful day and I plan to enjoy it. I'm not sure how just yet, but I'm going to.

August 21, 2008

The One with Children's Literature

This morning, whenever I'm done eating my breakfast (a new favorite by the way...oatmeal with peanut butter melted inside!), I plan on driving down to Aldi. I haven't been to this particular store since the car broke down forever ago, so I'm a little apprehensive. I know everything will be fine, though, because 1) I love Aldi! and 2) I am going early enough that hopefully the inside of our non-air-conditioned car won't yet reach 80. :)

I am loving Kevin's grad school orientation schedule! He's still going in about the same time, but he gets home around 3:30 or 4:00 in the afternoon! Have I mentioned how excited I am every day when Kevin walks in the door? I guess not alot changes over 22 years--I was always giddy when my daddy came home from work too. Now I get to be thrilled to see my husband! I love him.

Yesterday, to congratulate him on finishing (and, I later found out, passing the required number) his 5 proficiency exams, I baked half a batch of oatmeal cookies! They turned out perfectly! The only problem was Kevin had eaten the student-led international potluck for lunch and came home feeling not quite right. :-/

I love having the ellipse just upstairs. Not only is it great for days when we're not biking, but it's perfect for days when you get your bike downstairs only to discover you have a staple in the front tire which released all its air. *sigh* Stupid biking in the city. But seriously, I love the ellipse. The first 2 days using it were a little rough. Every different type of exercise requires different muscles and different stamina and it took a few tries for my body to "remember" that [I used to be awesome at it!] :)

In closing, I would just like to say that Nate the Great is amazing!

August 19, 2008

The One with the Tuna Melt

Sorry I haven't been the faithful blogger I have led you all to believe that I am. It's been what I call an exciting, freaky, crazy, unpredictable, and yet perfectly ordained God thing. Once again, I would love to share some details but until all loose ends are tied up, I'll be keeping you in suspense.

My life in a nutshell:
  • had an amazing time hanging out with the guys and then with Britt and the Pollaks and the Newtons on the weekend! It was so good!
  • had a great NY steak, fresh corn on the cob, cantaloupe dinner with Kevin's dinner (and then were sent to the pantry to do "grocery shopping"!!)
  • love "Pete's Garage"--sweet sports bar type restaurant with actual cars for booths and amazing food--will definitely be back there.
  • had some sweet time with Kevin as he was off all day yesterday.
  • have seen continual divine provision (endless "bread and fish"...)
  • got my haircut...some cute layers...but nothing too dramatic...loving my length!
  • had a sweet tuna melt sandwich today for lunch.
  • ready to watch Gilmore girls!

August 15, 2008

The One with the Brunch

Our date last night was wonderful...despite the insane "rush hour" traffic during a supposedly "non-rush hour" time. *sigh* We eventually made it to Madison Heights, waited in a ridiculously long line to pick up my dress from David's Bridal (which fit perfectly!) and even dropped of lots of checks (aka MONEY) at a Bank of America. (Very cool check depository in those outside ATMs!) By 7:45 we had finally reached the destination of our dreams--Pizza Hut! There were hardly any people in the dining room, which we were ok with. We found a great meal deal for 2--medium specialty pizza, 2 salads, and breadsticks for 13.50 or something (only a few cents more than just purchasing a medium pizza alone!) However, though this would have been plenty of food, we opted for the "dinner for 3" which upped the pizza to a large and gave us an extra salad. The benefit of this is...we have half a pizza left for TONIGHT!

Speaking of tonight, we're driving to Spring Arbs for a visit. Kevin's been in the mood for some guy time...and I can't say I blame him. He's been with me 24/7 for 3 months now! :) It should be a fun time for both of us though. I'll get to see the guys for a bit and then spend the evening with Britt slumber-partying it up at Nich and Jennie's! Then I'll pop over to the Newton's for a much-needed visit on Saturday. And maybe get my hair cut. And maybe some other things. :) Before we head out, we'll stop by Gpa Eccles's house and have dinner with them. cool beans.

Oh, and Kevin didn't have to go into lab today until afternoon, so we decided to have ourselves a delicious brunch at 11am. I fried potatoes, fixed pancakes, and cooked eggs over easy. mmm, mmm. All this after "sleeping in" until 8am...because we stayed up until 1:00am watching the women's all-around gymnatics finals on the Olympics. I just couldn't miss it! But I seriously can't believe I managed to stay up 2 and 1/2 hours later than my normal "bed time."

Guess that's all for now. :)

August 14, 2008

The One with the Pizza Hut Goodness

Tonight is our date night! I'm way excited! Especially since it's not going to cost us anything thanks to a gift card we won at our apartment complex par-tay! We have both been craving the amazing-ness of Pizza Hut and can't wait! I got myself all dooded up (aka...the way my mom always used to say meaning "dressed up" or "fancy"). I don't have many excuses to go out at this point..especially on I take every opporunity and seize it! :) I don't think Kevin minds too much.

Also, I get to pick up my bridesmaid dress at David's Bridal while we're out. That will be kind of fulfilling as well--seeing what all that money was spent on months ago. :) And Kevin hasn't seen it on me yet, so that should be kinda fun. Just us!

As for the rest of my life, it's good. I'm still waiting. But I'm getting pretty proficient at that. :)

August 13, 2008

The One in Brief

I'm sorry I haven't updated in a while. I know all of you are hanging on to my every word, but sometimes time gets away from me. (heehee).

The last few days have been pretty much that "heavenly blessing being poured out so heavily that we don't have room to contain it" sort-of-way. I can't elaborate at this point. But two different ministerial positions have all but fallen into my lap and we're waiting for God's word at this point. Kevin and I have talked extensively about the pros and cons of both situations and are waiting for replies, visits, and again...God's timing. Would you all join us on your knees seeking wisdom?

August 11, 2008

The One with all the Roller Coasters

Sunday turned out to be the most perfect weather for a day at Cedar Point! Not too hot, not too cold. The only problem was everyone else must have had the same thought...because all the lines were super long. Even the coasters that are way way old (like Gemini and Magnum) had 30 minute waits. Ash, Kevin, and I hit Power Tower first thing and waited in NO line. It was the perfect start to the day. We thought we'd do some more small coasters and work our way up, but somehow we all (minus mom) ended up in an hour and a half long line for Top Thrill Dragster. As we within 15 or 20 minutes from boarding, the ride broke. Yeah. what a bummer. We thought we'd wait to hear how long it would be till they fixed it, but it was getting ridiculous and annoying so we moved on. Sad day. We never got to ride Dragster or Millennium Force (the best coaster EVER). We just ran out of time. :( But we still had a great time! Mom got sick after we sort of tricked her into going on the Wicked Twister. Kevin and I love riding in the front row...especially on a ride like that. What a rush! Oh, and dad, Ash, and Kevin talked me into MaxAir which looked a little too spinny for me...but I LOVED it. I screamed the whole time (just like I always do) and Ash said she was never sitting by me again. Ha, ha! I had my mouth open so much...that I started drooling...gross. (and embarrassing yet hear I am telling you!)
We had a delicious lunch courtesy of my dad's company...complete with ice cream cups!

After waiting an hour and 15 minutes for the Mantis, Dad, Kevin and I had a fun final ride just as the rain started. (I got pelted in the face...cause we were once again in row one!) After that, we were all kinda worn out (and decided unanimously that mid-week is the only time we will ever go to Cedar Point.) But since we hadn't paid for the tickets we didn't feel bad about leaving a little sooner than normal.

Over all it was a great day! Fun times with my family...and the first time all 5 of us have ever hung out together in the last four years (minus a meal or two.) It was a blessing! Enjoy the pictures!

August 9, 2008

The One with Super Cool Stuff

We had an absolutely fabulous day with Mom & Dad Eccles and Brian. (Preceded by a pancake breakfast in bed!) They arrived at our apartment around 12:30 and we immediately partook of the delicious lunch they had packed to share with us--baked subs (satisfying my pizza crave), juicy apples, and Harvest cheddar Sunchips. It was great. Then we made our way in, through, over and around the Detroit construction to find ourselves at the Detroit Zoo around 2:00. They bought season passes and somehow managed to get Kevin and I in with their family pass for free! Super cool. The penguins were the first stop--thanks to mine and Kevin's request. They are just hysterical. We enjoyed the rest of the afternoon with scattered showers. I was so excited to fulfill my dream of visiting a zoo. I just didn't think it would come true so soon!

After a great afternoon, we came back to our place and rested a bit while watching the Olympics. (Opening ceremony, anyone? How awesome are the Chinese at choreography???) Around 6pm we started up the grill and Kevin cooked the awesome marinated chicken. We also had baked potatoes and mixed fruit. Our conversation was sweet and the evening ended perfectly with a big slice of chocolate cake (with chocolate frosting of course!) This was another one of my recent this was way cool. :) (And no, you curious ones...the cravings are not an indication of anything...)

P.S. Kevin just told me I had good posture. It made me smile.

So now it's soon to bed so we can wake up refreshed and ready to hit "America's Roller Coast"!!!

August 8, 2008

The One Where Mel Finds Out What She Already Knew

You are an ESFJ [extroverted::sensing::feeling::judging]

The Caregiver

You are sympathetic and caring, putting friends and family first.
A creature of habit, you prefer routines and have trouble with change.
You love being in groups - whether you're helping people or working on a project.
You are good at listening, laughing, and bringing out the best in people.

In love, you value harmony and mutual understanding.
You will apologize or give someone the benefit of the doubt, if it means getting over a fight sooner.

At work, you are good at building relationships and connecting with people.
You would make a great nurse, social worker, or teacher.

How you see yourself: Organized, dependable, co-operative

When other people don't get you, they see you as: Opinionated, critical, and know-it-all

The One with all the Aminals

(yes, it's misspelled on purpose.)

It's incredibly wonderful to wake up a little chilly because of the amazingly cool breeze blowing throw the windows. I love that feeling! And it means my husband and finally get to snuggle because it's not a bazillion degrees. :) To top it all off, the temperature isn't supposed to get over 76 today. I could live with this type of weather every day!

Guess what!? Our weekend has become quite exciting! First of all, it's Cedar Point Sunday with my parents and Ash. We have been craving some awesome coasters so that'll be wonderful! And who can beat free company tickets!

And to make things even better, Kevin's parents and Brian are coming up on Saturday and taking us with them to the Detroit Zoo! How cool is that? I've been really wanting to visit a zoo lately. Not sure why, I just haven't been to one in years and years and it sounds so fun! So that's the blessed scoop! (I hope to get some good pictures to let you in on the fun!)

I'm listening to online right now and it's making me really happy. It's the campus radio station and it just gives me a "homey" feeling. :)

Also I'm in the process of setting up the air mattress upstairs to make it into a permanent guest room. It should make it look really nice! And then we're getting the elliptical this weekend too, so that'll go upstairs as well.

Kevin and I had a fantastic spur of the moment date yesterday to celebrate our blessings. We had Panera bread bowls and then did our grocery shopping at Meijer. It may some kinda lame, but we love doing "out of the ordinary" things together.

Happy Friday, People!

August 7, 2008

The One with the Feeding of the Five Thousand

Somehow, we still have money. God is providing...out of nowhere. I can't say much more than that. It's impossible. But obviously not.

Last night we ate homemade pizza. Satisfied a craving...even though it had very little cheese on it. It was still delicious.

S'mores from the broiler are really top notch. (That is if and ONLY if you don't have a camp fire readily available.)

I can hardly wait to see the pictures that a couple of my "amateur photographer" girl friends captured on our wedding day. How fun!

And here's another fabulous reminder from a book with marriage advice from those married 50 years or more. (Though we haven't fallen into the trap of debt, we have certainly recognized the distinct necessity of a lifestyle change from that which we grew up with. But we have been leaning more heavily on Jehovah God than ever before, and he has been faithful once again.)

"A young couple gets married and immediately begins to accumulate large amounts of debt trying to establish and maintain the lifestyle of their parents, without considering that their folks have worked hard for years to earn their possessions. The couple sails along smoothly for a few years, but then an unexpected event thrusts them into financial difficulty, which causes much stress and threatens to destroy their marriage.

The Bible urges, 'Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; Never will I forsake you' (Heb. 13:5). What a promise! And what more reason for contentment is needed than to be married to one's beloved and to know that the God of the universe is ever present, watching over, guiding, providing, protecting?

Paul claimed to have learned the secret of contentment. Whatever else this this secret may entail, surely it involves a constant awareness of God's goodness and His presence. Such awareness can be fostered by daily Bible reading, spending time talking and listening to God, and spending regular time with people who know God well. Try it. You will be rewarded with more than contentment; you will have God's friendship too!"

August 5, 2008

The One with Beautiful Pictures

Kevin and I before the wedding.

The Bride, Groom, and Bubbles.

My beautiful newly married friend, Amber, and I.

Going to bed while it's still light outside is sure proof you're sick. I was ok most of the afternoon yesterday, but almost as soon as Kevin was coming home (and I could hardly wait till that hour), the sickness came back. I was able to keep my dinner down, but shortly thereafter (around 8 or 8:30) I put on my pajamas and curled up in bed. I read for a while, slept for a while, Kevin visited me for a while, and then at 9:20 I went to sleep for good. I woke feeling good though. I think the worst is over.

Now, I think I shall pick up my copy of Little House in the Big Woods--the first Laura Ingalls Wilder book. My mom read them all with me years and years ago, but I think it's time to review. :)

August 4, 2008

The One with the Peanut Butter Pretzels

Halfway through our trip home I started feeling rather miserable. Not only do I have about 5 extra pounds in water making me feel not so good, but nausea began creeping over me. We got home and unpacked and I talked to my good friend Ruth on the phone for a half hour which was great, but my stomach wasn't feeling any better. I tried to eat a little tiny dinner at 8:30 and went to bed at 10:15 having taken a pepto. I thought I would get to feeling better, but I woke up at 2:30 and had to throw up. It was really not fun. I hated it actually. It was the first time I had to deal with this for way over a year. Kevin was very comforting and did whatever he could to make sure I was feeling better. I love him.

I was feeling 85% better this morning and made it on our bike ride. (Though Kevin was skeptical.) I think I'm about 99% now.

An update: After a hot 4 hours in the car, we arrived in Mentor at the Penny's and had an extremely successful shopping trip. Seriously I've never made just ONE trip into the dressing room and come out with almost everything I picked (well, Kevin found about half the items...he's extremely helpful!) He also found some great jeans. HOTT! ;-D

We got home around 6:15 and had an amazing dinner with my parents and Grams. After starting laundry (thanks to our parent's washer and dryer) we enjoyed an amazing bonfire that my dad started. The evening was complete with s'mores (that I succeeded in getting ALL over myself) and my sister's company. Ash also joined Kevin, Grandma, and I for a rousing game of Farkle.

Saturday morning, I woke up early and walked with my grandma to JCP to return some things (and they had opened early for some sale.) We all enjoyed a leisurely morning, Kevin and I did some Aldi shopping, and I baked a batch of my mom's favorite chocolate chip cookies for the Sunday family reunion. Dad had gotten called into work, but mom, Kevin, and I still got all dressed up for one of my elementary school friend's weddings. It was a fun time...though I wish Kevin would have felt better. Poor guy.

Kevin and I crashed early on Saturday night. We went to church Sunday morning and slipped out a minute early to get to the reunion on time. I was wearing one of my favorite new tops and I was proud to introduce Kevin to my extended family. We got on the road--stuffed to the gills--at 4:00 and made it home at 8pm. After know the story. At this point, I'm eager for my husband to be home. We need some quiet time together.

August 1, 2008

The One with the Old School Christian Rock

....Yeah, you know what I'm talking about. (And if you don't, we're not friends anymore.) (Ok. Just kidding. Mostly.)

I'm way excited to be picking up my love from work around noon and HITTING THE ROAD! It'll be great arriving before dinnertime for once...with a stop for shopping in Mentor. It's a favor for my grams, but we figured we could check out what the dept. stores have to offer us as well. (or at least that one place called JC Penney where we have gift cards.) And arriving in time for a homemade roast dinner sounds amazing.

I hate when I'm angry and irritated for almost no reason. Does anyone know what I'm talking about. Ugggg. It's so awful. For everyone in the vicinity.

I wish bananas did go brown so fast. I like them firm and yellow.

Three cheers for family weekends!