Saturday, April 16, 2011

Our last fling with youth

This picture is old and is getting some play now to help illustrate the awesomeness that was Brad's 30th birthday. If I don't get some sort of award for being the Best Wife, it will be a shame. FIRST OF ALL: There was the suprise party at McCourts a few weeks before the birthday. Super fun and I think it was actually a suprise. If it wasn't, Brad will never let on because it will prove snoopiness. He seemed suprised and we got to spend the evening with such a great group of people. SECONDLY: Which actually happened the week before, but Brad got to go snowboarding. This wasn't my doing but I'm including it in the birthday list. THIRDLY: On the day of his birth, April 6th, I took the dude and the Willa out for lobster. That is what he wants every year on his birthday. Willa was really into all the types of seafood, she especially liked to play with the crab legs. THE BEST PART OF ALL: Was our weekend trip to St. Louis. There was a slight mix up with the hotel situation which could have been disasterous, but turned out to be just fine...Saturday night, we went to the Supercross race and saw all of Brad's favorite dirtbike riders. A big win for James Stewart!

Sunday, we did some shopping and some eating and drinking and walking. Then we went to the Lil' Wayne, Travis Barker, Rick Ross, and Nicki Minaj concert and WOW was it impressive! I realize that not everyone is into rap or hip-hop music, but Travis Barker has got to be one of the best musicians alive. Watching him play the drums and seeing his passion and energy for the music is mezmerizing. And Lil' Wayne, well, the guy is just fun. Even if you don't care for the music, the ticket price would probably have been worth it just for the people watching. There were some very unique individuals present, some of them very scantily dressed. After the show, thanks to Twitter, we spent some time at the same bar as Travis Barker. He of course had his own VIP balcony, but it was still fun just to be there. What was also fun was watching Brad try to get pizza delivered to our hotel room at 3:00 in the morning. He was not successful. Monday morning we took a long walk to the arch and to have sushi near the arch, then we drove home. Boy, did we miss Willa! That was the longest I had been away from her, and the longest she had been away from both of us at the same time. She didn't care, of course because she was with Grandma and Grandpa.

The weekend was kind of a splurge for us, but now we are both officially old and there probably won't be many more weekends of its kind so we took advantage of it.

Don't you think my birthday treats deserve an award???

(And kind of a bummer that we didn't stay in St. Louis an extra day, becuase I realized when we got back that Dean Karnazes, you know, the Ultra Marathon Man, ran through and stopped at the Arch on his run across the US the next day!!)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Told ya!

Here is the picture of Willa, Allison, and super-vegan, Isa Chandra Moskowitz! We got the yummiest treats...I think my favorite were the tiny coffee-filled donuts and the ginger blueberry muffins. And then we went to happy hour at Blue where we sampled 5 different sushi rolls and 4 types of martinis. This was the first time that Willa ate the sushi and she really gobbled it right up! Normally she just sucks on the edamame. Mama is very proud:) Thanks to Brant and Joy for the great meal and fun day! When we got home, we watched Marmaduke for the 198th time while we ate some more of our treats.

I picked up a copy of Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar and had it autographed, so if I come over to your house with a plate of cookies in the next few weeks, you'll know why.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

More early morning thinking

Once again, it is approaching Lincoln Marathon time. And once again, I feel unprepared. I do this to myself every time. I set these goals, that for me are possibly a smidge too big. I start out all gung-ho and then just sort of fizzle out. I initially had planned to run the full marathon this year. When registration time came, I was doing a pretty good job of following the training schedule but I chickened out and registered for the half. Which is still a big undertaking, don't get me wrong. Then all the stuff with the house-selling started happening and I allowed myself to make all kinds of excuses. Plus, the weather has been less than optimal for someone like me, who is a VERY fair-weather runner. More excuses. I registered for the State Farm 10 mile run to give myself a kick in the pants, which worked for awhile. I'm actually shocked that I even ran the race, as it was super cold and snowing heavily by the end of the race, but it was fun. Brad took a picture of me crossing the finish line (which I don't plan to share) and I look like I was walking and my face is all contorted weirdly, as it was frozen. So were my hands and they looked like dinosaur claws. My time was significantly slower than I would have liked it to be, but I'm just glad I finished. So at the start of this week, I was feeling kind of proud of myself and I thought maybe I should take a few days of rest before really hitting the marathon training schedule hard again. Well, that was 6 days ago and I have yet to work out in any way. DANG IT!!!!! I am going to take the advice of all of the self-help/improvement blogs that I frequent and make a public commitment to a goal for accountability...I AM GOING TO RUN EVERY DAY FROM NOW UNTIL THE MARATHON. That means starting April 3 and not taking a day off until May 2nd. Scratch that. I will at least go for a long walk on May 2nd and then see about taking this goal up again. Even if my every day runs are only a mile or 2, I will run daily. Got it?!?

I get to meet one of my heroes today. Heros? I suck at spelling.

It's 4:00am and I am at work and I am bored and its past the point in the night where I can sit and read without nodding off so I am thinking about what we get to do later today. We are going to a Vegan Bake Sale in Omaha! This would be pretty exciting all by itself but the kicker is that Isa Moskowitz will be there, selling her baked goods and autographing her cookbooks and giving all the proceeds to the relief efforts in Japan! It gives me goosebumps and makes my mouth water to think that I can drive to Omaha and buy and eat something that Isa has made. According to her twitter feed, she is doing a lot of pies and that is fine with me! I'm hoping to score maybe some cupcakes, too or something that we can have on Wednesday for Brad's birthday. Sunday to Wednesday is a long time to ask a baked good to NOT go in my mouth though so we'll see...After the bake sale, I think we will hit happy hour at Blue. This day will be heaven for my mouth. And as if the day needed any more bonuses, Brant and Joy are coming with us! Maybe one of my next few posts will be a picture of Isa, Willa and I...

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Buying Houses Makes Me Crabby

Sorry for the picture quality, as its night time and the canon bit the dust a few weeks ago. So we are relying solely upon the blackberries and the cameras of others now. BUT...Our house sold! After 2 months on the market, much thanks to our awesome real estate agent. If anyone ever needs a referral to an agent, Elizabeth Katt is fantastic! There are still some inspections pending, and we need to replace the roof but our little home has found its new owners. It might sound weird, but it makes me sad to think about moving out of this house. Logically, it is too small for us and has almost no yard and an inadequate garage for a mechanic, but it has been such a good little house to come home to after a wedding, with new foster dogs, to start a business in, and to bring a new baby home to. There are definitely things about the old little house that I will want to carry over into the new home (even though the buyers are taking, well, pretty much everything that is in any way attached to the house.) I predict that I will shed many tears on April 27th, when we hand over the keys to our first home. HOWEVER...

We have purchased a new home! There will be about a month gap in between closing on the old house and the new one, so we will be living with Mama Cindy and Grandpa Pete for awhile. The new house just needs to pass a well water test (please, no nitrates...please, no nitrates!) and a few other things and then it can be ours! Assuming all goes as planned, we will move in at the end of May to the home which is located a few miles outside of Lincoln on N. 14th St. Our new address will actually be in Raymond but it is just a very short drive out of town. Still very close to Grandma and Grandpa and to Star City Motorsports. We will have an acre of land with 4 GARAGE STALLS, a very large garden, some fruit trees, and from what I hear there is room for a nice play structure and maybe some sort of dirtbike something-or-other. The house is an older, split-level style home that I am going to very much enjoy decorating. All of our fingers and toes are crossed that nothing goes wrong that could potentially go wrong and the homes all change hands smoothly now. If anyone has any boxes, or better yet a desire to help shingle the old house, do let me know!!! I will leave you with this picture that Mama Cindy sent me tonight when she took Pete out to see the house. I believe this is the view from the driveway, across 14th St. Pretty!

Friday, March 18, 2011

1720 Lariat Lane

While I was in Grand Island for the weekend, I went for a run in Capitol Heights. There are so many places that trigger so many memories. I snapped this picture of our old house as I was running past. Notice its not blurry at all. What does that say about my speed??? Its like the camera was on the back of a tortoise.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

70 beautiful years

The weekend before Valentine's Day, the Christensen family celebrated something very special...The 70th anniversary of my grandparents Ray and Rhoda Christensen. 70 years! These two people are the most amazing example of love, patience, and generosity you will ever meet. The weekend was so much fun, starting with a Cousin's Night Out in Grand Island. Happy hour at the martini bar and then drinks and dancing at the hotel bar. On Saturday we had lots of family time, including taking Willa swimming. That girl is turning into quite the little fish! We also presented Grandma and Grandpa with a gift called a Voice Quilt which was very cool. It is a box that plays a recording of all of us wishing them well or sharing a story and some of their favorite songs. Sunday was the big reception and dance, hundreds of people came to be a part of the wonderful occasion. You can read more about Grandma and Grandpa in The Independent, as they were featured on Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The offices of Purely Maid

Check out those snazzy curtains! Very few people have seen the inside of the Purely Maid office in the Apothocary Building in Lincoln's Haymarket. So here is a little taste...Mama Cindy made the curtains for us.

Business is positively booming, and we now have one employee! Her name is Tara and she is a busy mom of 3 young boys. She helps us out once or twice a week and she does a terrific job. I'm not sure what we would do without her.

Don't be surprised if you hear in the coming weeks/days that Purely Maid is branching out into a new area of business...Tosha and I can never seem to find enough to do. An initial planning meeting is taking place later tonight so we'll see what happens!

Willa stories to spark a smile or two

-Willa has had a few time outs in her 19 months on earth. They have mostly stemmed from pounding on the computer keyboard or hitting poor old Luther. These time outs consist of me walking her to the corner of the living room and asking her to look at the wall, while I bite my lower lip to keep from laughing out loud. The last time she took one of these "time outs", when it was all over and I had explained to her why she had a time out, she looked me right in the face and licked me. How can you be upset with someone who will lick your face???

-in the above picture, Willa was attempting to put a pair of her pajama pants on both Luther's front and hind legs. She was unsuccessful.

-Willa's piggy bank is in the form of a ceramic owl. So she calls any form of money "owl." Or anything that you put money into, like a parking meter, atm, billfold, etc. Anything associated with money is "owl." She is very good at getting people to give her "owl." We find wadded up, green "owl" all over the place. Lots of times when I put my shoes on, there is some form of "owl" in my shoes.

-some of Willa's favorites: shopping carts, broccoli, na-nee (candy, usually suckers), soy milk, orange juice, her stuffed dog Arf-Arf, her LeapFrog phonics video, apples, plums, peanut butter, any person that you put the word Auntie or Uncle in front of, Target, Shrek, Fox and the Hound, Toy Story, her belly button and tootsies, the word "babies" (although she seemed terrified when she met an actual baby at book club), her cousin Abbey, barking, hats, headphones, ba's (baths), jumping on the bed.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Apologies for the lame cell phone pictures

I keep putting off any blog updates, as our computer at home is on the fritz and I have been shying away from downloading any pictures to it. But my blog is just getting so sad and I am so bored at work that I decided I would just go ahead with the cell phone pictures and a few little tidbits on the lives of the Van Boenings.

The biggest thing going on in our lives is the selling of our house. It has been on the market for a little over a month, we have had a few open houses. We have a very kind and helpful real estate agent named Elizabeth who listed our home and has taken us to look at lots of places to consider for our next abode. Right now we have our hearts set on a small acreage just outside of the Lincoln city limits. It has amazing potential for flowers, vegetable gardens, chickens, play structures and MAYBE even a small dirtbike track. Fingers crossed that our house sells in time to snag this one!!!

Other goings-on: Brad's newest band, Chasing the Sun, has been playing a lot all over town and in Omaha, I am training for the half marathon again (and I am actually registered for it this year), Willa is still into hoarding stuff and carrying it around the house in various bags/baskets/purses, lots of fun things coming up to include St. Patty's Day, a snowboarding trip, Brad's 30th, a road trip to St. Louis, all jam-packed into the next few weeks!

Monday, March 14, 2011

NO idea how to rotate a picture

If you would all just kindly pick up your computer screens and turn them in a counter-clockwise fashion. There! Now you can see our Willa, sitting on the toilet! Before you go thinking she is some super-genius-baby and that she is potty trained, she only sits there. She has produced nothing on the toilet. And, I made the mistake of using my hair dryer to warm up the seat the first time I put her on it so that the coldness of the seat wouldn't turn her completely off to the idea of the potty. Now, she expects me to warm the seat each time. One of these days, she will understand why she is sitting on that seat, I'm just sure...