Friday, November 30, 2012

Shedd Aquarium

On Friday we split and spent the day in two different places. Hannah, Jason, Sarah, and Daniel went to Adler Planetarium. Brad, Mom, Jamie, and I went to Shedd Aquarium.

We were kind of expecting that the museums wouldn't be too crowded, since it was Black Friday. Unfortunately, that was not the case. The line at the Shedd was long. As in, an hour and a half outside in the cold long.

Thankfully, we had great and cheerful company.

And once inside, we decided that it was worth the wait. Definitely. 

Their current special exhibit was jellyfish. It was amazing. I took lots and lots of pictures, but I'll spare you.

These were little eels that burrow in the sand. So cool.

After we were museum-ed out, we headed out for some Chicago deep-dish pizza at Lou Malnati's.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


I have a ridiculous number of pictures from our Thanksgiving trip to Chicago, so I think I'll break them down into a couple of different posts...

We left on Wednesday morning, drove to Columbia, and headed to Chicago from there. I was dreading the thought of spending so much time sitting/in the car/in-between bathroom breaks, but it turned out to be a lot easier than I thought it would be.

 Jamie has a huge office!

 The Mighty Mississippi

 Backseat drivers...

Thanksgiving morning we took a walk around Hannah & Jason's neighborhood, Pilsen. There are lots of beautiful murals, including many at one elementary school.

The Turkey Day spread, courtesy mostly of Jason.

Other than the walk and eating, we didn't do a whole lot on Thanksgiving Day. It was nice to just hang out and relax.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


We spent Thanksgiving in Chicago.

I have lots and lots of pictures I was going to upload, but I am apparently out of free storage space.

So now I have to pay a small fee.

It's worth it. I'll do it. Just not tonight...

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

week's endings

The last couple Saturdays have been good. Very good. I finally feel like myself again... meaning I do a lot on Saturdays and then wonder why I didn't relax for a while.

Last Saturday was Justin's last football game. I don't know about him, but I'm ready for basketball season... when the games are inside!

After we got home from the game, my mom came over. She brought us this dresser that was my great-grandma's, dad's, and mine. It's nice and large, so we hopefully won't have trouble storing clothes and diapers for Baby K.

This weekend we started working on the dresser... We sanded the top and every drawer. The little decorative detail on the front is going to be a pain to sand, but I think I'll leave that for Brad. All the rest is going very quickly.

Rewinding... last weekend mom and I sewed curtains and a crib skirt for the nursery. I don't have a picture of them in action because we don't have the crib, and we're waiting to put up the curtains until we paint the nursery.

I'm starting to get antsy to get things set up and ready! Only about 18 1/2 more weeks...

For the past few months we'd been talking about the possibility of using cloth diapers. About a month ago, we decided that the pros outweigh the cons, so we're committed! (You certainly have every right to think we're crazy or don't know what we're getting ourselves into. It's probably true. But we've spent a lot of time researching and discussing the options and are actually really excited. The only uncertain piece of the cloth diapering puzzle now is daycare, but we'll figure that out.) A friend added me to a facebook group that does co-op orders of products for almost-wholesale prices, the main ones being different brands of cloth diapers.

We're ordering about 5-10 at a time whenever a co-op for the brands we want to use comes up. Most of our first order came in last week... How could you not want to put these on your baby?! They're so stinkin' cute!

We also decided to take on our first ever building project. We can paint and lay flooring and sand and stain with the best of them (okay, maybe not the best, but at least the average diy-er), but building things?! That's a new concept.

We found the plans for a six-cubby bookshelf at Ana White's website. That site is amazing... free building plans for just about anything. The plans aren't terribly detailed, but they were good enough for us novices. The only real problems we had were related to the wood we got from Ace. Their saw was not working correctly the day they cut it; Brad found this out when he took some pieces back today to ask them to redo.

We ended up modifying it a little bit - one side will be for books and the other side for baskets of toys, so there are five cubbies instead of six. And we left the decorative molding off the front. But, overall, I'm pretty excited with how it turned out... just need to get some paint on it, and it will be ready to fill up!

I also baked bread and did some normal Saturday afternoon things like laundry and grocery shopping and sweeping the basement (where Brad will paint the dresser and shelves, since it's supposed to get cold soon) and getting Sunday dinner ready (oven stew)... nothing too exciting, but exciting that I had the energy and motivation to do them.

I hope your weekends have been productive lately... or relaxing. Relaxing is good, too. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


I'm down to the very last task on my MLS (Master of Library Science) List. Just one.

Unfortunately, I have no control over how soon this one gets done, otherwise I would be on it this weekend. I have to present my portfolio on December 8 in Overland Park. It's a little annoying that this is a whole month away.

Once again, this link possesses the culmination of my two and a half years of education: just in case you want to check it out. I do still have to wait on feedback from my professor and make those edits before the presentation, but that's such an incredibly minor detail I'm not even counting it.

I got really excited about this today, so I ordered my graduation apparel package. We can't rent them; we have to buy. (I guess that means I'm for sure walking!) I get to wear (and own) a lemon-colored hood...

Of course, after graduation I have to schedule my licensing test and pass it and apply for a new license. But I think I'll worry about that tomorrow. Or maybe next week.

Monday, November 5, 2012


I am the last person I know who wants to get involved in a big debate about politics. Trust me. But I am deeply disturbed by the rhetoric in this country, by the deep divisions, by the refusal to compromise - the refusal to even converse. And I just have to get this off my chest.

There's this wonderful thing about our world. It's in color. Not black and white. And this is a time of year when I am very thankful for the colors - the bright yellow leaves, the blazing orange sunrise, the beautiful blues of the sky and greens of the already fading grass.

I think that, especially at this time of year, we need to take a moment to appreciate the color. It's important to recognize that it is part of what makes each of us the unique person we are.

But when we state, or even imply, that all members of a certain demographic - say Christians, or women, or those with webbed toes (check, check, check) - should all feel a certain way or make a certain decision, we are putting away the vibrant colors. We are, essentially, stripping individuals of their right to choose, to believe, in anything but what we have chosen for them.

We are asking them to color inside our lines, without acknowledging that their lines may draw a completely different, yet equally beautiful, picture.

We may not color the picture either of us would have wanted. It may include things that neither of us planned - and, for now, it may leave out things that we each desperately want. It will require patience and compromise. Not giving up, but finding a middle ground for now. But we have to start somewhere.

I do believe that, until we put away our need to impose our views - our lines, if you will - upon others, until we are able to find a new picture to color or new colors to use with those with whom we disagree, we will not move forward... regardless of tomorrow's outcome.

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people — for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
—1 Timothy 2:1-2 (NIV)