Sunday, November 29, 2015

Carriepalooza, the second half

 It's been a really nice November aka Carriepalooza this year!  Thanks to my co-workers for participating in a fun Thanksgiving activity - feathering the turkey!  They also named him, but that was while I was off for 11 days & I don't know what name won.  He started off pretty bare, but by the time I left work on the 18th, he was full of thankful feathers!  : )  


A rainbow of thanks!  





The above photos are from Thanksgiving at Mom's.  Leyton & Phil had some fun w/ the guns.  LOL  And there was a very nice spread of food for us all to enjoy!  Hy Vee does a GREAT job w/ Thanksgiving feasts.  And there's less clean up!  LOL  

Before Thanksgiving, and after the thankful turkey, I headed off to Chicago for my birthday.  My friend April flew in from Maryland & our friends Rebecca, Faith & Lalanya drove up to hang out w/ us.  We ate dinner at Weber & didn't realize they were closing early for an electrical thing.  They never said anything, just let us gab & giggle for an hour & a half after we ate.  D'oh!  But it was a fantastic time!  And the food was delish!  : )  After we left, we went to a coffee shop & hung out for another couple of hours & then Becca dropped us off at the hotel & took the other two home.  Oh, we did have to do some funny selfies in front of the Snuggery first, just because of the name... LOL  April pulled a very cute boy over to take a good photo!  


Friday, April & I went to IKEA where I found a lovely chaise that is only about $600!  I did not purchase at this time, but it's on my wishlist!  *grin*  I DID purchase a beautiful red sweater throw & some gingersnaps, tho.  Yummy!  


Friday night we went to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory & did a little shopping at Woodfield, bu then it started to snow & by Saturday it was a straight on Snowpacalypse.  So we just hung out in the room & read & April caught up on some of her shows.  : )  We did venture out on a 7-Eleven field trip but it was super windy & coooold!  And snowy!  I'm not a big fan of snow.  Meh.  Other than it being pretty... 


I was having a lot of anxiety issues Saturday & Sunday, which I'm sure didn't make me the best company, which then made me have MORE anxiety because I felt bad for April being trapped with me when I was in the throes of that.  I mean, she traveled 1/2 way across the country to hang out & we had lots of fun Thursday & Friday & then it was just like whatever little switch is in my brain went *poof* and ... yeah.  Still, even w/ that, I'm so thankful for the time we got to spend together & the time w/ our elementary school friends - April hadn't seen them since about 6th grade, and I hadn't seen Faith in that long!  Becca & I hang out semi-regularly & we'd just visited Lalanya a couple months ago, but other than that I hadn't seen her in years, either!  So I can't even express how nice it was to have the four of them together.  : )  

After all of that, I spent the next week off just vegging & reading & hanging out w/ Mom a bit.  We went to see Mockingjay part 2 (they did a great job!) and I got to hang out w/ my friend Kris for dinner one night.  I had plans for lunch w/ Trish during the time off, too, but we had to reschedule!  And Friday after Thanksgiving I hung out w/ Mom for some Canasta - I hadn't played that since before Grammy passed away... Good memories & fun times, even if Mom snuck a win in during the last hand!  LOL  


And now tomorrow it's back to the real world!  I'm happy to be getting back to work but not really happy to be getting back to 5AM wake-ups!  LOL  But, it's only for 3 weeks & then I have another week & a half off.  Praise the Lord for holidays!!  : )  

How's your November been?
What fun things did you get to do during Thanksgiving?
What are some things you've been thankful for this month?  Or this year?

Love ya!
TTFN!  



Sunday, November 8, 2015

Carriepalooza - Day Seven

what a fun day!!  it started out kind of annoying - angel woke me up meowing quite a bit earlier than i'd wanted to get up, after going to bed so late!!  but, coffee, so it all worked out.  ; )  

i met mom & leyton at pizza ranch for lunch & it was YUMMY!  have you been to pizza ranch?  their chicken is my favorite!  and they have a tuscan roma thin crust pizza that we always order.  soooo gooooood!  : )  leyton was in a playful mood, as you can see... *laugh*








after lunch, we went to chuck e. cheese to spend a little time playing.  $20.  20 minutes.  *poof*  *laugh*  but it was a really good time & leyton got enough tickets to replace his CEC ball that he got many moons ago, so that was cool.  and mom played deal or no deal to get her fix.  LOL 
 funny and SUPER sweet story here - see that bucket of tokens sitting there?  Leyton got excited about hitting a higher point hole, and he knocked over the bucket, tokens flying everywhere!  A little girl came over & asked if he needed help.  He said sure, and we both said how nice & thank you for helping!  
THEN!  My heart-of-gold nephew gave her 5 tokens as a thank you for helping!
I love this kid.
So much!  
: )  





then i ran back to starbucks for a matcha & home to change into my pre-jams & finally over to mom's to hang out w/ leyton for a couple hours while mom went to saturday service.  we snuggled on the couch & he went through my instagram account (ummm... most of the pictures were okay for him to look at!  i did catch one from one of my authors who brought a bunch of "naughty" stuff to a book even this weekend & scrolled that puppy up fairly fast.  d'oh!).  then we played catch & i made him some soup & popcorn for dinner & i read for a bit while he played hockey.  : )  when mom got home, we played a game of sorry before i left.  






and now i'm home & ready to go to bed again!  but i'll read a bit first.  *grin*  
how was YOUR saturday??  do anything fun?  

ttfn!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Carriepalooza 2015 - CONCERT TIME!

I absolutely LOVE that my nephew, Anthony, goes to concerts w/ me!!  In the past couple of years, we have seen:
Three Days Grace
P.O.D.
All That Remains 
Papa Roach (3)
Stone Sour
Sick Puppies
In This Moment (3)
Shinedown (4)
Godsmack
Skillet
Breaking Benjamin
Sevendust
Nickelback


I may be missing a couple, too!  
Last night we went to Peoria for Sevendust, Breaking Benjamin & Shinedown.
It was FANTASTIC!!!  : )  

On the way there, we had a slightly scary encounter, tho.  Something BIG and SCARY hit my car!!  It hit the hood & then windshield (looked like antlers!?!) but thank God did NOT break anything!  Or come through the windshield, which ... ugh, don't even want to think about.  

We got there a little after 6 (show started at 7) & downtown was cray-cray, of course!  But the Lord is kind & we found our way to the lot right across from the Civic Center (the same lot we were in the last time we went to Peoria for a concert!) & even tho the lot was fairly full, we found a spot really close!  God is good!!

There was a group of five guys in front of us, and they were SUUUUPER excited to be there (and did not appear to be drinking - their excitement was all them)!!  I loved watching them enjoy the concert!  Seriously, I was smiling HUGE during many parts, and part of the size of my smile was because of how much THEY were enjoying it!  

All the bands gave a fabulous performance, but Shinedown's sound seemed a little off from their norm.  And since this was our 4th time seeing them, I felt qualified to make that assertion!  LOL  They still did great, tho!!  : )  

Ohhh, the funniest story of the night - at the end of BB's set, I headed to the loo, conveniently located just outside our section (which, btw, was conveniently located RIGHT at the door we chose to go in, how awesome is THAT?!), and I didn't think the line was terribly long - I've been in much longer lines!  But the ladies behind me were druuuuuunk & one of them kept trying to make me say "Ciao, MF-er" to the girls who'd been ahead of us in line & decided the line was too long so they left.  I kept shaking my head & saying, "No, I only swear when I'm mad & I'm actually happy they left bc that means we get to the loo quicker!"  *laugh*  So, other than the fact that MF-er was her favorite word, I also learned her name was Anna, she has 4 children, this was her first Shinedown but 3rd BB concert, she likes to dance (uh, she & her friend were dirty dancing to the final song, which we could hear as we were in line).  Yes, I learned all of this while in a five minute line at the loo.  

She was a nice drunk, tho.  *laugh*  

It was a really fun time & I'm thankful that I stayed awake (and Anthony was chatty!) on the drive.  We stopped for McD's at 1AM because we were both hungry!  We'd tried to get something at the rest area on the way back, but the machine took Ant's $2.50 & didn't give him the popcorn, and my Animal Crackers tasted like grass.  That one was boggling.  Anyway, I went STRAIGHT to bed when I finally got home at like 1:30!  : )  

Now, Carriepalooza continues as I'm off to meet Mom & Leyton for lunch at Pizza Ranch.  
Sorry there aren't any concert pictures, but I'll come back w/ some Leyton ones, hopefully!  : )  

ttfn!


Friday, August 21, 2015

museum madness

i love museums!  i love looking at the exhibits & reading the cards & learning about all the things someone worked so hard to collect & keep under glass.  or, even better?  when the things aren't in glass & i get to touch them & feeeeeeel the feels.  i'm very tactile.  i touch everything.  : )  

so, today i took off at 10:30 & mom & leyton picked me up.  we went to culver's for lunch.  yummy!!  (and there were cute boys there also having their lunch break.  so, good food & some eye candy, and leyton was being very snuggly - all happy things!!  : )  he had an m&m mixer, which looked like rainbow ice cream.  heh.



after lunch, we went to the Putnam.  i used to go there all the time, but hadn't been in forever!  well, i'd been to the building while volunteering for the FIRST LEGO League things (STEM, ppl.  get involved, even if you're not a mathematician or engineer.  it's so much fun!!), but hadn't been to the exhibits in a grip of time!  *laugh*  

so, there's a bunch of new-to-me stuff, a bunch of hands on things that we had fun playing with!  also... leyton MAY have shoved all the scarves up the tube at one point & he & mom had to extract them so the thing would work again.  it was kinda hilarious (but only because they were able to get the scarves OUT)!!

 spin, spin, spin that color wheel!  

 can you beat the puzzle faster than the robotic arm??

 hmmm... what's stuck up in there?
(you're not supposed to shove ALL the scarves in at once... LOL)


 pulling his own weight.  

 pulling a bowling ball in order to make a tennis ball fly up to the ceiling.
he's really good at getting it to hit that ceiling!!  : )  


mom gave it a try, as well.  


after the museum, we went to popcorn charlie's for some delicious popcorn.  i got a small bag of dill popcorn & a medium bag of double cheese (white & orange).  SO YUMMY!!!   : )  oh, we stopped at starbucks, too, for a coconut mocha frapuccino, a dirty chai, and a cake pop.  mmmm!  and then they dropped me at home to read Nerd Girl by Jemma Bell (So GOOD!) & they went to leyton's baseball practice.  he has a game tomorrow, which mom's actually picking me up so i can watch!  it's supposed to be a super nice day out!!  

what're y'all up to this weekend?  : )

ttfn!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

random life events over the past month


 so, i won a bracelet & some swaggy goodness from Julie Johnson.
she's a great author!!  : )  

 random corvette because... it's a corvette, does there need to be another reason?


 8



 five hour car ride to get there.
anticipated meeting one of my favorite authors.
met THREE.
God is good, ppl!  

 she can annoy the crap outta me, but she's still adorable & i love her.  : ) 

 this part was fun.  i think i'd like to get a canvas & some paints & just try an actual abstract w/ lots of color... 



the look on ppl's faces when i tell them the above picture was supposed to be a pelican...
i don't blame them.
his name is carl.
: ) 

last weekend, mom & i went to schaumburg for an author event.  it was a fun trip!  sadly, my camera was acting up, so i didn't get as many pictures as i'd've liked.  i managed to get a picture of our food from weber grill (love that place!) and mr bear in the hotel room & that was about it.  thankfully, after a reboot when i got home, it seems to be working again!  

this has been a hard week.  really, it's been a difficult month for me.  i have seasonal sadness disorder - is that a real thing?  anyway, what i mean when i say that is that i generally have more periods of sadness between daddy's birthday (august 28th) and his death day (halloween).  i require more care during this time, and i have to really remember to listen to what my body and mind and anxiety are telling me.  well, for some reason this year it started early, and i could feel everything slowing down & getting into that downward spiral in early august.  

there were times when i didn't give into it (the painting w/ jenni, becky & aunt nancy; schaumburg) and times when i did (putting off grocery shopping, rescheduling appointments).  that's really all i can do when this time hits - i used to get way more down and have more anxiety attacks during this time period, because i would try to force myself to do things because i thought i "had" to.  in realizing that i needed to listen to things more, and be open about how i'm feeling, it has helped A TON.  there are times when i really have to push myself to do things i HAVE to do (finally grocery shopping), and sometimes the recovery time from those takes longer.  but i was able to be in a room full of ppl & talk to some authors on saturday, and i didn't have a panic attack.  there was anxiety, but it didn't morph into full blown panic.  and after i'd been there about an hour or so, i recognized the fatigue from being around ppl and left.  i was a little disappointed to miss more of the panels & meeting more authors, but it was the right decision for me, so i accept it.

does anyone even care about these ramblings?  LOL  ah well, it doesn't matter because writing them out is therapeutic, and as i haven't written in a while, this is what you get!  

i hope everyone's having a great month - i'm ready for autumn!  : )  i'm taking 1/2 a day tomorrow & going to meet mom & leyton for lunch at culver's & then fun times at the museum.  i can't wait!!  : )  maybe i'll take some pictures.  :D  

take care!

ttfn!