Monday, December 29, 2008

3 Years Later...

Once upon a time there was a girl from Nevada, who met a cute boy from Indiana at a wedding. Being the proper female that she was, she played the evening very cool and spoke few words to him - with the exception of commenting on how pitiful he looked sitting at the head table by himself eating cake. Nearly 2 years later, she inquired about him when chatting with her girlfriend, only to learn that he was indeed, curiously, still single. She bated her friend into casually suggesting that he email that sweet and beautiful woman he met at the wedding years before. She was thrilled several weeks later... when a message from the boy appeared via cyberspace. They emailed back and forth for a few weeks... and after the girl apologized for humiliating him and his cake, they agreed to go out on a date when she returned to the midwest for the holidays. This is the story of that date:

It was Dec. 29th, 2005. Eric had said it would be fun to get dressed up and try out a nice restaurant in downtown Chicago. I flew in the night before, and spent the morning at the mall with my mom desperately searching for the perfect outfit. 3 hours, and approximately $200 later... I was armed with my evening attire. We were roaming through Pottery Barn when I noticed a voicemail on my phone. The signal was poor so I stepped outside to hear the following message:

"Um, yeah, hi Meghan, this is Eric. Hey - I think I mentioned something awile back about us getting dressed up for dinner tonight... but I only brought jeans so I just wanted to let you know not to worry about anything fancy. See you tonight! Bye!"

Perfect. Thus began my race to return EVERYTHING I had just bought, and the new search for the perfect "hot-yet-sophisticated-and-casual" outfit.

The plan was to meet at the Italian Village.

Dinner was great - although it was noisy at first and awkward conversation was complicated by Eric's soft spoken nature. We shared a bottle of wine (neither of us aware that the other rarely drank)... turns out it really did help Eric at least, to losen up. I was just plain dizzy.

After dinner we walked around downtown enjoying the Christmas lights and decorations, and getting to know eachother. It was a really great first date... and you know the rest of the story!!

At one point that evening, we wandered into the Daly Plaza, where a giant tree is decorated. A man convinced us to let him take our picture for a $10 5x7 - and since neither of us had the nerve to shoot the guy down... we agreed (and of course I'm glad). Here it is:

(Note the polite and awkward distance between us as we both stand with our hands in our own pockets praying for the moment to be over quick. )

Last week, we headed up to Chicago a few days before Christmas to celebrate our Anniversary. Ella stayed with my parents, and Eric and I headed back downtown to re-visit "where it all began". There were a few differences this time... the biggest being that the windchill was somewhere between 20 and 40 degrees below zero.

Here's us at the train station freezing our BEHINDS off!! The train was over an hour late do to ice and signal issues... We huddled together in the station where it was a balmy 40 degrees... and I think the train temperature was lingering around 50.

By the time we got to the hotel we were frozen to the bone. They were having wind gusts up to 45mph, and you pretty much just couldn't breathe outside at all. Nevertheless, we were determined to have a good time - if only for memories and stories!

A quick footbath in the tub warmed our frostbitten feet right up and we even braved the half-block walk to Cheesecake Factory for dinner. We were back at the hotel by 7pm however... and opted for football in HD over enjoying the lights of Michigan Ave.

Here's a shot of the INSIDE of our hotel room window the next morning.

A pigeon fire! Need I say more?!

The winds died down the next day and we had a great time shopping and just wandering around. We ventured back to the Italian Village that night where we both admitted the "sparks didn't quite fly" as they did 3 years prior. Rather than worrying about my hair, I ripped off the hat I had been wearing all day to expose a pretty bad case of "hat head"... we couldn't afford a bottle of wine or dessert... and Eric had me pay at the end of it all. Still... it was fun to be back and remember. Afterwards we wandered over to Daly Plaza... and I was happy to see the tree still there. We begged a stranger to snap a photo of us... and here you go:

This is now...

That was then...
In spite of it all we really did have a great time. It's so hard to believe how much has changed in just 3 short years (and I'm not just referring to my cheeks being a whole lot chubbier!)... Love you Eric... sorry I made fun of you and your cake - but you have to admit... it worked!

Friday, December 26, 2008

She made it fun...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Girlfriends & Cookies

We have been blessed with the best neighbors anyone can ask for. This year our good friends Erica and Steve (next door) had a their second baby girl... and Jessica and Aaron (right across the street), had their first! We had a cookie exchange at Erica's this past weekend and finally got the chance to get the girls together for their first little group photo. Little Isabella (left) was born just 5 weeks ago, and Janelle (right) is almost 4 months old. They're sitting together so sweetly... I have a feeling these moments are fleeting... It's going to be so much fun watching them grow!

"Here Janelle... I'll show you how to sit up!"

Just 7 months ago... she was about the same size as Baby Isie...


These cookie exchanges are pretty cool! Check out the assortment! Nobody was hurting for supply or variety!

BEFORE that party I spent a few hours at our friends John and Cinda making approximately 12,436 cookies...
This is Kara - discouraged that there aren't enough to go around...

Cinda... remembering back to the days when she made cookies in her kitchen without a 2 year old and a newborn around for entertainment...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

She'll learn to appreciate him...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Tour of Homes!

OK... so I have MUCH to blog about and just MAYBE I'll get around to it tonight at work... (yes... I said at WORK). This month has been crazy and I'm still trying to figure out when exactly the Christmas season snuck it's way in on me. I hate not being able to savor the time as we approach the actual day... We are having fun however, and I have a bunch of fun pictures to share soon. Christmas cookie exchanges/bakes... Ella's visit with Santa today... (so far I'm thinking she's not a big fan... but maybe when she's sees all the cool stuff (aka BOXES and TISSUE PAPER) he's going to bring her she'll warm up a bit.

In the meantime... I just found this link to Boo Mamas blog and she's posting a Christmas tour of homes. You can click on many links and see photos of people's decorations!! Check it out!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Prayer Request

A good friend of mine introduced me to a blog of a family who is in need of prayer, and I have to share this one... Last December Carla and her husband set out on the long road of bringing a little girl home from Guatemala to become part of their family. They have been waiting for almost an entire year to bring 5 year old Josi home to be with them... in that time they have poured their entire souls into this child, and they were praying hard that she might be able to come home by Christmas.

Tragically, a couple nights ago Carla received a phone call informing her that Josi had been killed. Apparently the foster home where she had been living was invaded, and the entire family (foster mother's sister, husband, 2 children, and Josi) were all murdered. Please lift them up in prayer tonight...

Monday, December 8, 2008

Not Me Monday!

To play along with us write a post about all the things you "didn't" do this week then go to My Charming Kids and add your name to Mr. Linky at the bottom of her "Not Me Monday" post.
This week...
...I did NOT do 8 hours of computer charting at work, only to learn just as I was about to clock out that I was so tired and delirious I forgot to hit the save button.
...I did NOT then attempt to leave with my co-workers Starbucks, apparently confusing it with the cup I had brought in 12 hours earlier.
...I did NOT play hooky from church and stay in bed until 10:30am on Sunday morning trying to catch up on sleep and just enjoying the fact that I did not HAVE to get up since my baby spent the night at my Mother-in-law's house.
...I was NOT so excited to be at my very first Pro football game on Sunday that I took about 150 blurry pictures from our nosebleed seats at the Indianapolis Colts stadium - approximately 130 of those being of Adam Vinatieri kicking field goals because I kind of have a crush on him...
...I did NOT spend half the game asking Eric to explain to me the confusing rules of why teams punt, why both teams can catch a punt... or can they not?... why they let it bounce out of bounds and why they sometimes want to catch it... unless of course it just hits them and then why does the ball start at different yard lines??? Anyways... I do NOT still NOT get it!
...After contemplating all the things that I had yet to get done this weekend and loving all the sleep that I had gotten the night before... I did NOT call Grandma and Grandpa Cook and ask if they were having enough fun to KEEP the baby girl for one MORE night! :)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Photo Shoot

We were blessed to have Janet of oijoy photo do a fall photo shoot with Ella as well as the three of us together for the holidays... she does such a fantastic job. I've said it before and I'll say it again... if you have not splurged on professional candid shots of your kids or family before... you MUST!! Ella was unbelievably cooperative for the whole event... I had the hardest time choosing which ones to use for our Christmas card! Here are some of our favorites!!

"I think I caught a snowflake!"


"I feel stupid."
"Is this a joke?"

Little Red Riding Hood. (Thanks for the awesome coat Betsy!)

I think she's really starting to look like Mommy, don't you?

Happy girl.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Not Me Monday... on Tuesday (Again)

Since my last post...
...I did NOT receive a call from the repair shop informing us that they discovered $700 more of damage to my Jeep Liberty after they had already made the initial $500 spark plug repair.
...My husband did NOT then decide himself that perhaps I indeed was right about it being time to test drive a Honda Odyssey...
... we did NOT pat ourselves on the back for successfully negotiating our van down to a price $7,000 below the asking despite being the two most incompetent hagglers known to man.
...I did NOT smile inwardly to myself after totally getting my way despite my husband initially telling me that the only Odyssey I would be driving in the near future was one that operated like Fred Flinstone's car.