Is 5th Anniversary Arachnids?

It’s our 5th wedding anniversary today, and to celebrate Nicole gets to tour through Paris; the city of Love, seeing fabulous art, and partaking in the best of European cuisine

I get to eat a couple of hot dogs and go work 8 hours at the book store.

Not one to be bitter, I went out this past Monday and did something I’ve been meaning to do for about a year now. At last year’s Krasl artfair Nicole wanted a nice piece of outdoor art. Our financial situation at the time was not great, so we settled on a small decorative outdoor metal scultpture. We took it home, Nicole eager to hang her pretty spider out in the garden. I took one look at the hanger, decided it needed to be adjusted, and promptloy broke the metal rod from the sculpture, making it useless.

Now I tried to solder it back on, but it wouldn’t take, and thus it lay on the kitchen counter for almost a year. As a small token of “I should have had this done earlier” I took the sculpture to a small welding shop this week, and now it hangs from the front porch, ready to dazzle visitors with our art savvy :)


P.S. Please pardon the quality of the image…our point and click digital camera is on death’s door :(

Happy New Year!

I know, I’m a little late.  But we were having so much fun, I didn’t have time to tell you all about it.

I thought I’d start with something simple.  New year’s resolutions.  Well, not resolutions exactly. I’ve decided that I should have goals instead.  Resolutions never hold, and I want to make at least a few things that actually stick. So here goes my list of goals for the new year (only 4 days late):

Goal the First: To RUN a 5k.  As Ben pointed out, I’ve already accomplished this one.  However, I walked part of that race.  This year, I want to run the whole thing.  The school is sponsoring a race in June, so I have just under 6 months to train for this one.

Goal the Second: To knit an entire adult sized sweater.  I haven’t done this yet, and I think this is the year to do it.  I already have the pattern, the yarn, and the needles.  They are all sitting in a basket in my living room waiting to go as soon as I get the positive vibes from the knitting fairies.  Hopefully, it is soon.

Goal the Third: Go to Switzerland with Ben.  I’m not sure this is a reasonable goal or not, but I’ll still get my passport just in case.

Goal #4: Finish the reading challenge with time to spare.

I think there may be some other lofty goals too, like don’t eat too many chocolate cakes in one sitting, or make sure to play with my child.  But I figure everyone wants those things, so I won’t bother to write them all down here.

Well, off I go to start knitting/reading/running/buying airline tickets?


Last week, I was reading my favorite eco-friendly website  and they again mentioned that whole BPA plastic thing.  Now, I usually don’t worry too much about this stuff.  But after reading it AGAIN, I thought, well, maybe I ought to look into it.  And sure enough, my favorite Nalgene bottle that I’ve had for years had that little offensive number 7 on the bottom.  I looked at it a minute and thought about what I was going to do about it.  I’ve had this bottle for years.  It’s been to camp with me, college, work, and a whole heck of a lot of trips.  Not that I’m nostalgic about the water bottle itself or anything, no, more like, it works, why get rid of it and spend money on another one and all.

Then I read about how plastic with BPA is known to harm children, pregnant women, and cause cancer and all sorts of nasty things.  That woke me up a little.  So, what did I do? I threw that purple bottle into my recycling box.  Just like that.  What was I going to do for water now at work?  I go through quite a bit, and my little coffee cup just can’t keep up with me.

I went shopping.  I checked out a few websites that sold BPA free water bottles and finally decided on Klean Kanteen.

They are stainless steel, and a little more expensive than I would have liked to spend, but then again, being hospitalized for plastic in my body can’t be any fun either.  

I ordered 2 (I figured if I got one, Ben would want one too).


They showed up yesterday in a happy little recyclable box, with recyclable packaging.  I was quite taken with the lack of plastic bubbles and the little net of newspaper that they came wrapped in.


Cool huh?

The one on the left is mine, and the one on the right is Ben’s (or was that the other way around-oh well!)

So far, I’m totally loving it.  No hot liquids in it or anything, but for holding water it’s great.  I thought it would be really cold or would sweat, but it’s not doing either.  Just a happy little stainless container for water that sits on my desk.

While I’m not going to be plastic free for awhile yet, it makes me glad to know that this is a small step towards less plastic dependency and a slightly healthier lifestyle (hopefully).

Earth Hour

This is what we did during Earth Hour.


I knit on the big pink thing, while Ben worked on a grant proposal.

And yes, that is a fire in my fireplace. I’m so happy that it’s clean and ready to use again. Thank you Chimney Sweep guy!

I really enjoyed turning out all the lights. I think it’s a great idea for creating awareness about using excess energy. We actually had our lights out for almost 2 hours.

What a pleasant way to spend a Saturday night.

Weekend Getaway

It wasn’t really the weekend, and it wasn’t really a getaway in the traditional sense of the word, but who cares!

Ben and I spent the last half of the week at a conference in Grand Rapids. MACUL to be exact. It was a techie/education conference, and it was lots of fun.

But, what was even more fun was the hotel room we got. Ben got a complimentary stay (because he’s on the board and they like to take care of their board members) in the Illinois Room at the Amway Grand Hotel in Grand Rapids. Want to see?

This is the living room.


Take a little walk down the hallway, past the half bath and the two closets, and you came to…

The bedroom. You can’t see it, but that comforter was about 4 inches thick with poof. I liked it.


The second bathroom was in the bedroom. Nothing spectacular as far as bathrooms go (I mean, it didn’t have a tv in the mirror or anything), but still nice and clean.

These are the windows (in the bedroom).


This is the view (from the bedroom).


And so is this (from the living room).


And here’s another one (also from the living room). That round building is the Grand Rapids Children’s Public* Museum. Well, the round part is the carousel, to be exact. The rest of the building attached to that is the Children’s Museum.


I’ll be honest, watching the sun set from my room, I thought, “to heck with this conference nonsense, I’m staying right here!”

Plus, having a night away from the little one was a nice mini-vacation. Thanks Gramma and Grampa for looking after Miss R!

It was a very nice week, I learned a lot, and enjoyed the stay. But now it’s back to work.

*Thanks Jennifer for catching that!  It’s been a couple of years since I’ve been there, but I remember how amazing it was!


I actually finished another pair of socks! And this pair is for me!

Woo hoo!

They’ve only been on the needles since August. I feel a great sense of accomplishment.


These are Trekking in what I would like to call a Mixed Berry color. They are knit on size 2 needles (they are extra teeny) and done in a simple stockinette stitch.

And I would also like to point out the excellent photo of my own feet. I don’t know how other people get cute pictures of their own feet, but I tried a whole bunch of different shots and my efforts resulted in the above picture as the best I could come up with. Yikes! But you get the idea.