Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Hello My Name is... (Top Ten)

To everything, there is a name. A description, a label, a title. Something to which you can address something or someone. Today, the relevance is the name of a person.

I have always had a feddish with names. I used to sit around and make lists of "baby names" that I loved. Weird? Maybe slightly, but we all have our quirks. Find below a list of some of the most unique names that I like, and vote for your favorite!

1. Penelope
2. Grayer
3. Beatrice
4. Milo
5. Phinneas
6. Eloise
7. Ceil
8. Evita
9. Liam
10. Ingrid

Love you all! T

Monday, May 12, 2008


It was a typical Monday.

Surprisingly enough, my Mondays at work always go by quickly. You would think that after an incredibly long 3-day paradise every weekend, putting in a 10-hour day would be torture. Today was fine, though, because we are so busy with High School Track Events. I love being busy.

Anyway, tonight I had to go to the grocery store. Now, I LOVE food. So going to a store that is centered around that particular subject should be fascinating to me. Sometimes, it is. But never in the beginning. It's like a monotonous chore that you know you have to do, but you don't want to. Yet, whenever the doors open and I enter into the food land with shelves on all sides of me, handing me cookies, breads, cereals, chips, and candy, my mood elevates. My first stop is always the fresh and sparkling produce section. I love all of the fruits and vegetables that are spritzed with beads of water. My only tip is to never go to this store while hungry.

Last night, I told my sister that sometimes I crave carrots and she thought I was entirely weird. I don't know why. I suppose that the majority of Americans crave carbs and munchines, snacks and sugar. I will fully admit that there's never a wrong moment for chocolate or a grand old dessert, but usually when I'm hungry, apple slices and peanut butter or carrots and bananas sound soooo good. What do you crave? Better yet... those of you would have had kids and have been through a pregnancy or two, what is the weirdest concoction you have craved?

This week, I'm staying with Heather while she dog sits at her aunt's house. Now. It's the running joke that I will some day grow to be an old "cat lady." I absolutely love cats... they're the best. They are furry and aloof, and keep to themselves unless they feel otherwise. Dogs, on the other hand, cannot keep our of your path. They sniff, drool, chew, bark, and destroy. And they smell. The only dogs that I can handle are the big ones... the ones that you can take on a walk, the ones that weigh more than you, and the ones that could actually protect you. Now that's a DOG.

Anyway, this dog we're watching is fine. I'm mostly just here for moral support, and because I love Heather. Well, and, this house is about 5 minutes away from where I work, so I get to sleep in an extra 30 minutes every morning this week. :D

Alright, that's a wrap. I'm hungry... craving a bowl of cereal...and tired. Love you all.


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Go Take a Hike

Since I failed to include "Hiking with Heather" as a top ten choice, here is an exclusive story on the item.

Last Sunday, I accompanied Heather to a park in Peoria. If you recall, it was a beautiful afternoon... mid-60's with just enough sun to warm you in the sunlight. Granted, most of the hike consisted of hundreds of blooming trees on all sides that were bringing forth greenery and flowers, so it was pretty shady. I love this time of year; it's like an explosion of happiness after a long, gray winter.

Anyway, Illinois needs no mountains in order to provide an adequate hike for the average hiker. All you have to do is drive on over to Peoria and hike up the inset steps that cover the wooded area where we walked. It was great. We both got smoothies from Smoothie King and then hiked our hearts out. Actually, I told Heather that getting smoothies was a prerequisite to my coming on this trip. I love the fruity blended ice.

Our next project is walking Grand View Drive. It's a nice walk with a lot of very unique homes to observe along the way. I'm not sure if we'll be so lucky this year, but I'm hoping that we get a couple of weeks of that perfect 80 degree weather before the humidity strikes.

Below are some pictures of our adventure. Heather, I hope this makes up for leaving you out of Top Ten. It's better, really.

New life

Beginning of the hike


Something was hilarious

She's always breaking the rules

Red buds

Love you all! T

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Top Ten Tuesday Spring!

If I'm back, I'm back. That means to stay on top of the Top Ten Tuesdays! Who could forget?

As Spring is now in the air, let's focus on that. Look at each one of these as not just a "favorite time of Spring," but moreso as a "moment in time that captivates the beginning essence of Spring" that you love so much. Pick the one that speaks to you!

1. Seeing the first baby green leaf spring out of a twiggy branch on your favorite tree
2. Closing your eyes and letting the warm air from the sunlight toast your face
3. The "fresh rain" smell
4. Hearing the tweet tweet tweet and sing songy whistle of the first birds back
5. The morning you wake up and see the "red bud" (looks more like purple to me) trees exploding with vibrant colors and flower
6. The first day you can slip on shorts and flip flops... and not be cold.
7. The ringing of the sirens and darkening of the sky as the 1st tornado warning twists into Central IL
8. The first contact of taste buds to icy, vanilla Dairy Queen delight (let the true Mortonites shine!)
9. The lightning/thunder storms with wind, gray sky, and fast-moving clouds
10. Sighting all kinds of deer and thinking, "At least now I can hunt without freezing to death."

Ok... Spring into Action... and vote!

Love you all! T

Saturday, May 03, 2008


*NOTE: Hence the revamping of my blog, I am going to try to start updating more often (ie: more than twice a year), so please visit!

I only work 4 days a week for 10 hours each, so I get most of my Fridays off. This is very nice. Last weekend, we had my sister's kids. That particular Friday, I was in charge of Sophia (4) and Beau (1).

We started off by walking up to the root beer stand. Note-- it's not A&W anymore, it's the "root beer stand." No more A&W food, but it all tastes the same to me. Anyway, it was a wonderful warm spring day, aside from the wind that was blowing all over the place.

My favorite spot to sit is usually the sun, so I parked everyone at a picnic table in the wide open and retrieved our ordered hot dogs, fries, and root beer floats. It all seemed like a good idea until the gusts of wind started blowing our food, paper, and plastic everywhere.

What is a trip to the root beer stand without a Dairy Queen to follow? So, there we were, sitting on the big red bench for anyone driving down Main street to see. About 2 minutes into our ice cream cones, Sophia drops hers. Not just on the ground, mind you, but all over my pants and leg... following by an upside down smiley face and dramatic tears.

The tears subsided as soon as I handed her a new one. Anyway, after this, we started walking to the High School. They were having a "Farm Animal" day, so there were all sorts of creatures to walk around and pet. Sophie loved it.

At one point while we were walking together, Sophie told me, "I know where Grandpa works."

"Really?" I said, "Where?"


Sure I had heard her incorrectly, I said, "Where?"


I shook my head. "No, honey. Grandpa works at Caterpillar."

Sophie looked at me with a troubled look, and we walked along in silence for a moment. Then she pointed out, "Well, a worm and a caterpillar are the same thing."

I had to smile. I love the little connections that kids come up with, and how they communicate and learn.

Later that afternoon, the Steffen children came over to play outside.

Following are some pictures of our adventurous outing.

Sophie posing

Pushing Beau

What to get?
"Just feed me my ice cream."

Holy Cow!

Little PiggiesAlways on the Dance

Spring in IL

Favorite face

Naomi's idea of a Hug

Hey, Beau

Learning to Walk

We love Spring!

Where next?

Love you all! T