Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Jiminy Cricket...It's been a long time since I've written in here. My apologies. Sometimes, I just get in a funk and don't feel like doing much, including updating the blog. Last week was pretty crazy for most of you know since a lot of you were included in that craziness!

We finally got our car back on Wednesday, I think. It turned out it wasn't the transmission and only the O2 sensor, so that was good news. The rest of our time at home included packing, cleaning up a bit, and getting ready for our big trip to Illinois for Will's wedding and our Champaign Visit.

On Friday, we woke up at 1 a.m. to leave by 2 for LAX. I do remember being a morning person at some point in my life, but I have since become very much NOT a morning person. Waking up with only four hours of sleep under our belt was not ideal :-p. I slept a bit on the way to the airport and a bit more on the plane, and that and our second winds got us through the rest of the day. We landed in Peoria at about 2 p.m. CST...and thus started our whirlwind of four days. As soon as we landed, we got our rental car and went to get Adam's tux, close my Regions Bank account, go to Target to pick up stuff we couldn't bring on the plane, and headed to the hotel to check in. We showered, changed, and headed off to the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. At the rehearsal, I was designated as "The Starter" which meant I knocked on the door when it was time for Will and the pastor to come out...but I also helped with getting everyone down the aisle. We had dinner at Olive Garden...which was delicious...followed by Adam's mom's cheesecakes...which were also quite good. They were so good, in fact, that after raving after raving from the serving staff who had some, the manager gave Jane (Momma Kuester) a $25 dollar gift certificate for making the staff so happy. It was funny. After dinner, Adam, Noah, Emma and I went down to the bar for our complimentary drinks. We had fun chatting for a while and then headed back upstairs to watch a movie...which turned into us just crashing in the first 2 minutes. (Side note: when checking out the DVD, Adam found out that Joel McHale (from The Soup and Community) would be staying in our hotel the next night. I made it my mission to meet him).

Saturday, we slept in a bit before we headed to breakfast and got ready to head to the church. We arrived at 11:30 to start primping and pictures (which I actually got be in.) The ceremony started pretty much on time and went did the reception. We can tell you more about both in person sometime. Towards the end of the reception, I remembered my mission to meet Joel McHale and headed over to the hotel with Adam's aunt Mary to try and find out if he was there. After less than a minute or two, I had gotten enough out of the conversations of people in the bar asking if that was for the dude from the show to know he had checked in and was not there. So I went to the front desk and asked them if they'd do what they could to introduce him to Will and Mary (who just got married and would think that was the best wedding gift ever.) She said she'd do what she could, but in the meantime, the bartender came by, asked if he was in Room 912, and they said, yeah, he should be up there. I left really proud of myself for my super sleuth skills...and Mary left amazed at how I collected so much info so quickly. I gave the info to Will and Mary since they were staying on the same floor, and also gave them a fool proof plan to meet him. They succeeded in meeting did Adam when we got back. He went down to the bar to get us sodas and ended up sharing an elevator ride and a short conversation with Joel. Of course the one person TRYING to meet him is the one that completely missed out. After that, we tired to rewatch Tropic Thunder (the movie we slept through the night before), but I quickly lost interest and instead devoted myself to keeping Adam awake since it was his idea to watch it again. Then we crashed...another late night without much sleep.

Sunday morning, we woke up early in a failed attempt to run into Joel McHale at breakfast. After breakfast and packing, we hit the road to Champaign to make it to WRCC in time for church. It was great to see everyone there and get to hang out for a bit. We headed over to Za's for lunch with the Gappers...which was also good times. I'd love to list everyone we got to see and spend time with, but this journal entry is already getting quite long. After lunch, we headed to Jon's house for a tour of the place and briefly saw his roommates (they were fairly consumed watching Mall Cop). Adam and I went to Eli and Nic's for a bit to catch up a bit, and then continued our whirlwind at Ben and Crystal's to visit them, Ezra, and meet Emma. Time flew by pretty quickly and we headed over to Dan and Nola's to see our small group, some other friends from church, and watch the Montgomery's episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (it's on if you missed it). By the time all the other attendees had left, it was getting late, again, and we were wiped out, so we settled in and crashed yet again.

Monday, we woke up around 8, packed, had breakfast and watched 7th Heaven with Nola, and then headed to Curtis Orchard with Kelli, Maggie, and Ben and Jo, Ethan, and Emily. I saw some of my old Cheetah students there and laughed when I thought about them telling their parents they saw me and the potential for their parents not to believe them since I live in California, now. It quickly became nap time for the little ones, so we parted ways and Adam and I headed to campus so he could visit some friends and professors and I could get a new cord form my MacBook. After that, we stopped by Salt and Light and WBGL to visit people there and then made one last trip to Za's before heading for the airport to head home.

Needless to say, it was a bit of a whirlwind and we're both still getting over exhaustion. Yesterday, I went to the dentist to get a deep cleaning and irrigation and had a numb right side of my face for the rest of the afternoon. Heidi made us some homemade lasagna (with homemade noodles) since I'm not supposed to eat anything crunchy for a few days, so we enjoyed dinner and brownies with them and then went to bed to catch up on some sleep.

We are SO grateful for the time we had in Illinois. It was really really good to reconnect with so many family members and friends in person. We can't wait to see you guys in our neck of the woods and to actually be able to show you what we've been doing out West. We could do without the frigid cold we seem to have brought back with us, though. We left with temps in the 90s and now have a freeze warning for tonight! Anyway, thank you to everyone for your hospitality and for spending time with us. It meant a lot and we're looking forward to seeing you sooner rather than later. Peace!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Well, if we haven't talked to you and/or you weren't on Facebook Saturday, you missed a lot of excitment this weekend. Saturday was the Edwards Air Force Base Air Show and Open House. Of course, we were there...and we got there early enough to hear General Yeager break the sound barrier to start the show. It took us about 2 hours to get to the base and parked, though. We took a different route than most because Rosamond boulevard was backed up all the way onto the highway. It was a little crazy. So we finally arrived and started engaging in festivities somewhere around 10.

One thing that has and still is taking a little time to get used to is the fact that it is the middle of October and highs are still in the 90's. Granted, it's cooler than a couple months ago when highs were in the 100's. Regardless, we packed water bottles and sunscreen and made a go of it.

The show was a lot of fun. It's always fun to see Adam get excited about things, and this is obviously his cup of tea. He took a lot of pictures and we walked through a lot of cool planes. I think his favorite was the WWII plane. We also ran into his friend Keith and sat with him and his family to watch the majority of the show. The show was officially over at 4, and shortly after, we headed back to the parking lot (also known as the dry lake bed). We decided to go by foot on the 1.4 mile walking path to kill time and let some other people leave. Once we got back to the car, we decided just to camp out on our lawn chairs while others fought to leave. After realizing that the cars around us had moved about 200 feet in over an hour, we decided to just wait it out. Some of those cars even had their cars off and made the passengers push to save gas. In the meantime, we were entertained by the pessimism of a person who's car was grid locked in line near our still parked car. We gave him all sorts of reasons to be less pessimistic...there could be an accident holding up traffic, there's only so many ways off base and tons of cars, you could've guessed when you came that it might be hard to get all the cars off when it took so long to get on, etc. He decided to stick with the fact that he thinks the Air Force is unorganized and uneffective because they were risking civilians lives by having so many of them unable to get off base. Whatever.

By 7:30 or 8, we decided to make a go of getting off and out of base. We ALMOST made it before the car started sputtering and breaking down. Adam did what his dad would do (as Adam put it) and poured more transmission fluid in hoping to at least make it outside the gate. This we did, slowly and with emergency lights on, and then called the tow truck. The tow truck picked us up and drove us and the car to the Ford dealer (he offered to just take us to Rosamond and fill out our paperwork for us...but I wasn't so keen on that idea). Of course, the truck seemed to be having the same symptoms that the car was having...and there was no seat belt for Adam, so the ride was something less than relaxing. Once we and the car were dropped off, Sandra gave us a lift home.

Our friends Elizabeth and Kevin are awesome and loaned us their extra car for the time being, and we're waiting on the diagnosis from the dealer, but so far, it seems like they think it might be less severe than we thought, which is good...less severe, actually, by thousands of dollars. We'll see what the final diagnosis ends up being.

So yesterday, we, thanks to Kevin and Elizabeth, made it to church and sunday school, went to the mall, took care of some recycling and grocery shopping, and relaxed for the rest of the evening.

This week will be mostly the same as usual...minus the fact that super early Friday morning we'll be heading to LAX to visit Illinois!!! I'm really excited about seeing familiar faces and spending time with friends. Sometimes I forget how far we are from Illinois, and I'm hoping this visit doesn't set in more homesickness, but I'll be happy to have a vacation with Adam to see all of you, if not just a short one.

Also, because many people have asked me to remind them, the Extreme Makeover Home Edition that the Montgomery's (the family from our Church in Champaign) are on is THIS SUNDAY at 7 central. Watch it :)...

Friday, October 16, 2009

The past couple days have gone by quite quickly. It's hard to believe it's already Friday. Being that it's only been two days, there's not much to say, but it seems worth saying. Wednesday, I spent most of the day uploading pictures to get them more ready to start printing and working on our wedding album. That evening, we had dinner and then went to see Colton's pumpkins and head to Fosters Freeze for some ice cream. Then we headed home and watched the finale of Hell's Kitchen. We're on a mission, now, to figure out how to get on the show to eat in the dining room, next season. We'll see how far we get.

Yesterday was the real reason for writing this entry. Adam spent the day at work doing whatever it is he does at work. I watched Glee and then headed with Heidi and the boys to story time at the library. (I just wanted to get out of the house for a while.) Afterwards, we went to the park for a while with one of the boys Colton knows from his Sunday school class. When I got home, I got ready to meet up with Adam and go meet Chuck Yeager.

Like most events Adam's invited to through work, this one wasn't very "organized" in the sense of there being any sort of schedule or agenda. In fact, though most of the people who work there were invited, it was mostly only test pilots in their green suits and colonels, lieutenants, (important people), etc that were actually there. I found one that I kinda "know" from our days at Wayside Chapel, and asked him what the protocol was for meeting Mr. Yeager (being that he had been there for quite a while, at this point, and we had seen him talking to other people, but we didn't know how or if it was even okay to just approach him. After we were given the "just go say hello. Don't be shy." I was determined. Adam and his friends were, too...but in a much more passive, if we don't get to....whatever, kind of way. We ended up talking to a bomber pilot...quite entertaining, I might add...and entertaining HIM by forming a strategy. After pondering different ways to wedge ourselves in between the commander and Yeager for a quick hello and picture, I finally went up and tapped one on the shoulder and asked if we might be able to get a quick photo. Of course, we were helped out a bit by some fighter pilots that asked first and broke up the conversation. So we got our picture...and Adam got to talk to Yeager (who Adam says is actually pretty nice, even though Adam had no idea what he was talking about)...I told him that Colin said hi (even though he didn't really seem to know how to react to that)...and we parted ways. I could tell Adam thought it was cool to have met him, and that he would've been disappointed if we hadn't been able to talk to him....hence my determination to get to him despite ranking of said officials. I'm glad we went, as awkward and out of place as we felt.

And now to start a hopefully equally worthwhile Friday (though it won't include meeting world famous legends :)). Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009's been a while. And I can't really claim that I've been too busy, this time, either. I just didn't really feel like doing this and then time got away from me. :-p. I realized, though, in the past moments of racking our brains to try and figure out what we actually did in the time I didn't post that it's actually somewhat productive for me to do because then it's harder to take for granted the things we've gotten to do.

So that it doesn't take you 2 weeks to read about the last two, I'll just try and give you some of the highlights.

A couple weekends ago, we took Lacy to "Bark at the Park" in Lancaster. She loved it. From the moment we pulled into the parking lot, she must've known it was something for her because she got obnoxiously excited. We should record it,'s really quite amusing...for the first 5 minutes. (Unfortunately, we had a really hard time finding a parking spot, so it got old.) While there wasn't THAT much to do, we stretched the event for all we could and ended up staying for about 5 hours. We watched a performing dog show, "clocked" Lacy (though it was run by over-zealous, disinterested cheerleaders, so we're not sure how accurate Lacy's 34 MPH was), tried Lacy out on the agility course, picked up a bunch of free stuff, had some lunch, watched a friend's dog run the lure course, and people watched. Lacy was pretty tired that night...I'm pretty sure she actually slept.

Sunday, we were invited to go to lunch with some of the people we used to go to church with at Wayside. It was nice to see them...but that's about all we got to do since we were the last ones there, and Heidi and the boys just beat us in that, so we ended up at a table together and none of us got to talk much to any of the Wayside people...Oh well.

Last week, we did a lot of the usual...Adam worked and I did stuff at home and hung out with the Lucas'. I did get to go with Heidi and the boys to see "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs." Parts of it were a little scary for the younger ones, but it was fairly good. I would probably say rent it. I am excited to see "Where the Wild Things Are" eventually, though. Other events of note...we had dinner at Heidi's, Heidi and Sandra came over for dinner here on Thursday, and on Friday, I got to go to Family Day at Adam's job. That was interesting, but kind of unorganized and confusing :-p.

Also on Friday, I had my first visit to the dermatologist...and my last to that particular one. I guess I got what I needed accomplished...but in addition to that, he prescribed me two medications for things I didn't go in wanting or needing to address (bascially a breakout....) with some pretty serious and scary potential side effects...which I am not going to use. I also had a very severely deflated ego. I spent most of the afternoon feeling dejected and miserable...but found some resolve in the fact that I found only bad (and very coincidentally similar) reviews about this doctor, so I knew it wasn't just me and that I am going to move on.

This past Saturday, we headed into Tehachapi for a trip to the pumpkin patch. I didn't realize how much I'd miss having one around until we moved here and their idea of a pumpkin patch is renting an empty lot, having some inflatables and pony rides, and putting out hale bales with pumpkins stacked on them and around them. I was very grateful to Sandra for finding us a map with all the u-pick orchards and patches in the area. Unfortunately, they were falsely advertised, and while we found and partook in u-pick apple orchards, we'll have to compensate for the lack of pumpkin patches on our very short return to Champaign in a couple weeks. On the way home from the fairly disappointing trip, we stopped in Mojave and the Space Port and saw Space Ship 1. Adam can tell you more details, but the Space Port is where Burt Rattan built and launched the first private civilian space crafts and still has a company working there, today. You can, undoubtedly, find plenty of info about that online, and we'll post pictures of Adam by the ship soon (but no promises I guess :)).

Sunday, we went to church and then set on a mission to play tennis. Apparently, though I have NEVER seen ANY of the minimal courts in town occupied, plenty of other people in Rosamond had the same idea, that day. We decided to go buy some baseball equipment and hit balls, instead. Even though the bat, balls, and glove we bought ended up being far more than we thought, it was good therapy and felt good to get out and do something (though I've been pretty sore for the past few days.) Adam told me that I was a lot better than he thought I would be...I guess I'll take that as a compliment.

Yesterday, since Adam had the day off for Columbus Day, we decided it would be a good day to go to the dentist. Adam hadn't gone in 2 years or so...and I hadn't been in over 7...gasp. I knew that they'd tell me I need to floss...and that I needed to come more often, but I definitely wasn't prepared for them showing me 14 cavities and telling me I'd need to come back for a series of deep cleanings and irrigations where they'd have to give us shots and clean under our gums. And yes...our....Adam has about 8 or 9 cavities and needs the deep cleaning, too. Let this be your lesson not to skip your annual appointments. Sigh.

Adam was pretty spent after that visit. He hates dentists, anyway, so the fact they had to do excessive scraping and picking didn't do much for him, either. So while he took a nap, I made apple butter with our orchard harvest to surprise him. Most of the recipes were for the slow cooker and/or took over 20 hours to I opted for the 20 minute microwave version. Adam laughed at me when he found out I made it in the microwave, but it still turned out well (despite also eliminating the cloves and the apple cider since we didn't have any.)

So now, it's back to the grind. Adam went back to work early this morning, and I spent most of the day uploading and editing wedding photos to try and make some headway on having an album. I'm very grateful to have so many pictures to commemorate the day...but it is going to take me a long time to get this together. I'm sure it will be worth it in the end. It's hard to believe it's already Wednesday tomorrow. I'm also not really liking how dark it's getting earlier everyday...and definitely not looking forward to going back to Standard Daylight Time or whatever it's called. No wonder people get more gloomy in the winter. We do get to meet Chuck Yeager on Thursday, that gives us something to look forward to. It's also the Edwards Air Show and Open House this weekend, so that should be fun, if not somewhat chaotic and busy, too.

We can't wait to make our valiant return to Illinois in less than two weeks, now. While it won't be a very long visit, it will be nice to see some familiar faces. I just hope it helps me and doesn't make me more homesick. For now, though, I'm still struggling through trying to find purpose and balancing that with being motivated to do what I need to get done.

Until next time....

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Is anyone else in disbelief about the fact that it's October already? Time has definitely flown by, it seems. I was asked, tonight, about how I'm adjusting to married life. It's funny because that wasn't really hard at all. It's pretty similar to not married life except Adam doesn't have to leave at night, anymore. It's been a lot more difficult adjusting to life in California. I think I'm starting to get the hang of things a little bit, now. If nothing else, we've kept quite busy. Who'd have thought there would be so much to do in the desert?!

Let's see...where did we leave off? Ah yes...Tuesday. Well, surprisingly, Adam did NOT suggest hiking. I think he was pretty tired from going in to work early, so we ended up relaxing a bit, watching Project Runway, and going to bed early.

Yesterday was a bit more exciting (for me, anyway). I woke up and decided that it was GORGEOUS outside so I opened all the windows and turned off the A/C. This has been the first week where it's been consistently under 100 degrees. In fact, I'm not sure it's gotten over 85. Then I decided to go lay outside and listen to music because it was so nice. So I did. Afterwards, I ran a few miles...came home and relaxed and showered...and then got ready to head to Heidi's with Adam for dinner. Dinner was awesome...and so were the S'mores that followed. Adam headed home after dessert, and I stayed the night. Jedd's (Heidi's husband) mom was in town and Heidi had to drive her to the airport at 4 a.m., so I stayed at their house so that she didn't have to wake the boys up to go. Before the sleeping part, though, Heidi and I stayed up way too late watching Gilmore Girls. When I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer, I headed to bed. I was woken up by a 2 year old at about 5 looking for his pillow :-p. If I wasn't sure before that about not being ready for kids...that was enough to drill it home for now.

So, after a night of not enough sleep and an entire morning of more Gilmore Girls and everyone lying around and doing nothing...with the exception of Colton who got more sleep than all of us and was put off by the fact that nobody else wanted to do anything...I returned home to do more nothing here. I was REALLY tired up until after Adam got home, and then I got a second wind somewhere around the time we were watching Hell's Kitchen.


Ben and Crystal had their new baby Dos, today.
This is Calla Adelaide Woods. I think she looks like Ben. And I'm super excited to meet her in person...hopefully when we're in town in October. Adam thinks babies are gross...but I told him to give her a few days. I mean, I think she's cute now...but it's fine. It's funny, too...after being more than sure that I was ready to wait a long while....seeing Calla makes me want one (but I think we'll stick with the not having one just yet plan :)).

So that's about how things have gone for the last couple days. I can't believe I've made it this late without falling asleep, and I'm starting to feel the effects of that, again, so I'm going to head to bed. CONGRATS BEN AND CRYSTAL!