Friday, June 25, 2010

Well, this has been another long week, but it has gone by much faster than last week (if that makes any sense).  It just seems like Sunday was so long ago.  Not too much to report from last Friday.  Adam and I both had an anti-social night and stayed in to catch up on "Hell's Kitchen" (at least I think that's what we did.)  I also got to talk to my uncle Chris, who I don't hear from often, and my mom for a while.  It was a nice end to the day.

Saturday, we both slept in until about 9:30 when we were waken by a phone call from Adam's friend Bob Wilson.  They (Bob, his roommate, and his roommate's girlfriend) were heading to Ridgecrest and wanted to know if we'd be up for lunch on their way through town.  We always like when people come to visit, so we whole-heartedly took them up on the offer.  We scrambled to clean up the house before our visitors arrived and then watched "Gilmore Girls" until the momentous occasion.  (Yes, Adam does watch Gilmore Girls with me....and I'm pretty sure he enjoys it.)  We were going to take the crew to Golden Cantina.  It's one of our favorite places in Rosamond to bring visitors because it's right on the runway for the skypark, so we've yet to have a visit where we haven't seen a plane taking off or landing.  It's a pretty cool atmosphere.  Well, apparently Golden Cantina doesn't open until 4, so we headed over to Ramone's.  We've heard good things about Ramone's, so we had high hopes.  We were NOT impressed.  Adam found a large piece of plastic wrap in his enchilada, and the prices were definitely not indicative of the quality of food.  We finished off the experience with ice cream at Fosters Freeze.  We had a great time and are looking forward to the next visit.

To finish off the day, we headed into Lancaster to buy some regulation softballs to help hone our softball playing skills.  Afterwards, we headed over to Adam's friend Keith's new place.  We got the official tour (we approved :-p) and then hung out and chatted with him and his parents for a while before heading home.  We ended up renting "The Hangover" from the Red Box.  I had very low expectations from all the thing I had heard, but it actually wasn't too bad.  I thought the credits portion was a little unnecessary, but it wasn't a horrible movie (if that says anything).  

Sunday morning, we woke up "early" to have some pancakes before church.  We went to service and then did some quick grocery shopping, afterwards.  We got together a last minute softball practice that afternoon...and we're a little nervous about how badly our team might do :-p.  At least we'll have fun doing it...or something.  I think we'll need a few more practices.

Monday, I spent the day mowing the lawn and painting.  That's literally all I did, that day :-p.  Tuesday, I worked most of the day on a brochure and registration form for "Create" (the art camp we're doing at church).  My computer was not my friend, that day, so it unfortunately literally took me all day to get that worked out.

Wednesday was spent cleaning and prepping for our two nights of dinner guests.  We had our friends Will and Camille Griffin over on Wednesday for grilled teriyaki chicken.  Their packers came that day, so we thought we'd spare them another meal of restaurant food and have them over.  They head out for Monterey on Sunday, so it was also nice to have one last hurrah before they go.  We're looking forward to visiting them sometime, too.  Last was day two of dinner guests.  This time we had our "one last hurrah" with Paul and Bethany Wojotwicz and their one year old Stevie.  It's always interesting having kids over, but Stevie took to his first attempt at climbing stairs on his own (with his dad's help and supervision).  This time, we had stuffed shells, homemade french bread...and my disaster of a strawberry shortcake dessert.  You see, after spending the morning doing some more painting, I literally spent all afternoon in the kitchen...and I think I may have tried to do too many things at once because I accidentally replaced the Baking Powder with Baking Soda.  It was awful...and embarrassing, but I guess it's a mistake I won't be making again anytime soon.  At least the shells and bread turned out good and made up for the disaster of a dessert.  

I've kept myself pretty busy today, as well.  After a small breakfast, I spent the morning painting, again.  I've decided that small doses of this might be the best way to get this done without burnout.  If I haven't already mentioned this to you, our walls have AWFUL texture.  It's fine once it's painted and everything, but it is so deep that the most effective way I've found to paint it is with a brush...which obviously takes longer.  When I tried the roller, it didn't get into all the divots, etc. and I had to use the brush for touch-ups, anyway.  Even with the brush, there's still a few spots that I have to go back and touch up, but far less than with the roller.  The painting is coming along, though.  And while it's going to be a long ongoing process, I think it's going to be nice when it's all done.  I stopped painting at noon and took to making a few phone calls, typing this, doing some laundry, and working on dishes from the last couple nights.  This evening, we're joining Matt and Dania Rottman at church to clean.  Hopefully that won't take too long and we'll have the evening to relax.  And with that, I'm off to be productive to help reach that relaxation goal.  TTFN.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I think it's fair to say that this week has been a long one, for me.  I don't know if it's because I crammed a lot into a few days and don't have much to do today or tomorrow or what.  Regardless, today I have been very lazy and not very motivated.  I'm happy to say, though, that as long as the week has been...and as much time as I've wasted today, I think the rest of the week makes up for it.  

Last Saturday, we woke up "early" (Adam was actually up long before I was...which doesn't happen often) and took Lacy for her first hike in the mountains with her new shoes.  She did fine, except for losing one every once in a while.  We're still fine tuning the strap adjustment.  She also did a great job filling them with sand and little prickers from all the weeds she ventured through.  Hopefully they won't be too hard to clean out before the next time.  After our hike, we did a little quick shopping in Lancaster before we had our friends, Luke and Katie Goossen, over for dinner.  It's always nice to have dinner guests....especially ones that don't mind that we are a far cry from sophisticated or winning any awards for hospitality (I'm working on that :)).  We grilled out, talked, ate the amazing dessert Katie made, and generally had a good time.  We enjoy the kind of company that surprises you when you realize how late it's gotten!

Sunday, we spent a good portion of the day in Palmdale.  We got to witness Elizabeth and Kevin Daughery's son Micah's baptism at church (and will get to see Todd and Sarah's daughter Ari's this Sunday).  After all that, we headed to the mall, initially to get our tires rotated and to get an alignment, which turned into getting all 4 tires replaced and balanced and an alignment.  It was an expensive (and long) trip to Sears, but hopefully the tires will last longer, this time.  In the meantime, I got my quarterly hair cut and a curling iron in an attempt to  someday be able to duplicate what the stylist did (yeah right.)  Once we got home, Adam and I headed out to the ball field to try and hone our skills before our league starts up.  Yes, you heard that right, Adam and I joined a softball league with our church.  We'll be in the co-ed league to, as Todd says,  be a light instead of preaching to the choir in the church league.  It makes me a little nervous to be in a more competitive league, but Todd seems pretty comfortable with us being a light that's not good at softball :-p.

Monday, I dedicated the day to relationship building.  My new friend Marci (also from Illinois...Collinsville, actually) was gracious enough to drive me to my doctor's appointment in Palmdale.  To make the trip a little more worthwhile for both of us, we left a little early to have lunch at Quiznos.  After finding ourselves at a Quiznos "coming soon" and one that no longer existed, we turned in the towel and headed to Wendy's, instead.  It was no Quiznos lunch, but it was really good to spend time with Marci and her new daughter Aly, regardless.  Marci ended up dropping me off at Heidi's house, since we were overdue for a hangout session.  Heidi was working on "a cake for a friend's anniversary."  As was later prematurely revealed to me by her son Jack, it was a belated gift for Adam and I.  It was delicious and we were touched that she thought of us.  

Last Friday, I got an email from Todd telling me that him and his wife Sarah had been discussing the possibility of putting on an art camp, this summer, and asking me if I'd like to be involved with helping make that happen.  Of course, I jumped at the opportunity, and because of my lack of self-transportation during the day, Tuesday was filled with tidying up the house in preparation for the brainstorming and planning meeting that ended up being at our dining room table.  I'm really excited to see how this all plays out.  The plan is to do a three day "camp" in the evenings to teach kids about printmaking while tying it into a theme that teaches them a little about God, as well.  We'll be teaching them several different methods of printmaking, and Todd will be doing a short devotional each night.  At the end of the 3 days, we'll have a public reception at The Well to see some of the best of what each child has done.  It's exciting to me to be able to use my degree to do something productive :).  I also quickly set to work, Wednesday afternoon, on the promo video that we'll play at church and possibly distribute to other places interested in viewing it.  Here is the finished product, for your viewing pleasure.  I'm pretty happy with how it turned out:

Create: An Art Experience For Kids from Todd Niebling on Vimeo.

Last night, Adam and I picked up Heidi and headed to church for a music ministry meeting.  Our current worship leader is leaving in a few weeks since her husband is getting re-stationed in Montarey (We'll miss you, Will and Camille!).  While I'm sad to see them go, I am excited for the added opportunities to play more piano at church.  I'll also have a couple of weeks in the next couple months that I'll be singing, as well.  It'll be pretty busy for all us musicians while we're sans a leader, but I'm looking forward to the added effort to pull together and make things happen.

So that brings me back to today.  It's been probably a good hour or so since I started this, but in the meantime, I've been a bit more productive than I was when I started out.  Not only have I accomplished yet another journal entry, but I have managed to chat with Dan Davis, Amanda Moloney, Christy Starr, and Karimah Salaam.  Adam should be calling, soon, as well, to report his departure from work.  Maybe I'll take this opportunity, then, to actually get dressed and brush my hair :-p.  Later!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Whirlwind Continues

 Things haven't gotten any less crazy since the last time I wrote in here.  I filled any "free" time that I've had with so many things that this journal was pretty much not on my mind.  However, in the past few days, now that things have "calmed down" (I've learned that this phrase is pretty much relative) I've been thinking about those of you that I know read this faithfully and decided it was time to try and reinstate posts into my routine.  (Try being the operative word there.)

As anyone who reads this probably already knows, we now live in our very own awesome house in Rosamond, CA.  While the desert wasn't my dream place to is really nice to have something that is our own that we can do whatever we want with.  Noah's brother Adam, along with several of our friends here, helped us move from the rental house to the new one in a matter of days.  It has helped tremendously in feeling settled here to know that, unlike the last 10 years or so of my life, we won't be moving for a very long time.   In case you missed it on Facebook, here's the video of our house (pre-painting and decoration).  

Strangely enough, it has also helped me strengthen my friendship base by moving to the neighborhood that all my friends, both old and new, seem to live in.  I found it kind of amusing that moving a mere mile closer to said people changed things, but it's nice to have more people within walking distance.  It's also nice to have more people around now that Adam's work hours are picking up.  I definitely appreciate the company, and Adam appreciates that the majority of my non-working friends are also new moms, so I can get my baby fix.

And between all this moving, decorating, painting, and building relationships craziness, we've also somehow crammed in quite a bit of traveling.  In the past couple months, Adam's been gone to Texas and Seattle for work.  While the being away from each other part isn't always that thrilling for either of us, Adam saw some awesome sights (waterfalls, cool bridges, rodeos, etc) that made his trips more worthwhile.  I also had the rare opportunity to travel a couple times in such a short amount of time, myself.  At the end of April, I traveled to Los Vegas to meet up with my grandparents for my Great Uncle Ross' memorial service.  While the circumstances were obviously not the best, it was really nice to spend a few days with them and to explore Las Vegas.  I also had the opportunity to meet a sect of the family that I didn't know before and learn a little more about my dad and my family.  (Side note: Does anyone else find it strange that my dad's cousin Jan met a rocket scientist getting his degree at U of I and proceeded to get married in Champaign by a CCF minister?) 

A couple weeks after getting back from Las Vegas, I traveled again, this time to Illinois for my little brothers U of I graduation.  I had originally padded the trip with a few days on either side to spend in Bloomington and Champaign visiting my friends, but my mom had to have some pretty intensive shoulder surgery, so I rerouted my trip and stayed with her to help as much as I could and drive her around.  Though my stay was short (especially in Champaign), I managed to cram in visits with many people (including Chris, Kelli, Andy, Maggie, and Ben Johnson, Jo, Ethan, and Emily Ramirez, Keith Brooks, Ben, Crystal, Ezra, and Calla Woods, Molly Sandgren, my father-in-law, Dan and Nola Compton (who graciously let my mom and I stay with them), Sam and Jessica Davis, Will and Mary Kuester, Cheyenne Green, Shannon Carter, and several of my brother's and mom's friends that I hadn't seen in a while.)  It was definitely a crazy trip, but it was good and refreshing to see familiar faces.  I'm very proud of my little brother and was really grateful to be able to be there with him, my family, and my grandparents to watch him graduate and celebrate with him and his friends.

About a week after I got back from IL, Adam's parents and sister came to visit us.  Needless to say, those several days in between were spent frantically getting the house in presentable shape since we had both been really busy leading up to that.  We had a great time visiting with them and got to do a lot of cool stuff.  I really enjoy company 'cause I get to spend the week doing fun stuff and not feeling guilty about it :).  Adam was at work all week (other than the Monday they were here, since it was Memorial Day) so I was charged with the entertainment.  In the week they were here, we managed to introduce the fam to The Well, dine at Gordon Ramsey at the London Hotel in Hollywood (definitely intimidating eating at a fine dining restaurant, but a great experience to share), cook out at the Lucas' for Memorial Day, hike in the mountains several times, explore the local Walmart and JC Penney, buy and install two ceiling fans, eat at Fosters Freeze, pick Lauren (Adam's cousin) up from the airport, dine at Bubba Gump Shrimp, travel Highway 1 along the Pacific Ocean, drive through the mountains, eat at Rubio's for our church's fundraiser, go to the Cat House Exotic Cat Conservatory, have drinks at Golden Cantina, and travel to Avalon on Catalina Island for the day to celebrate Adam's cousin Danny's wedding.  They left this past Sunday, and while we were sad to see them go, I think it's safe to say that we were all pretty wiped out.

Adam and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary this Sunday.  We had an awesome day together.  We spent the morning at The Well with our church family.  After some quick grocery shopping for our anniversary dinner, we went home, made some lunch, and watched "The Blindside."  Since that took up most of the afternoon, Adam set to work making dinner soon after that.  We had my favorite, linguini with white wine clam sauce.  It was delicious...and accompanied but watching our wedding video for the first time together.  We loved being able to experience that again, and being reminded of our vows and the touching things people said to and about us.  I couldn't think of anything I would've rather done together.  

Since then, most of our free time has been spent cleaning up the mess we accumulated over the week and catching up on laundry and dishes.  I'm still a little wiped out, to be honest.  While the family was here, they woke up a good hour or two before I'm used to most days (because of the time change).  My body just now started sleeping in and not waking up consistently earlier than I wanted to.  I guess it's given me a couple more hours to get things done, but it also makes me a couple hours more tired when Adam gets home.  I'll do my best to catch up on that in the next week :-p.  
Well, that, in a nutshell, is what you missed.  I'll do my best to try and write more least about the "important" things.  Like always, we miss you all a lot.  We think of you often and would love to see and hear from you anytime you have the chance.  Take care and God Bless!