Monday, September 12, 2005

Back Blog

In light of creating a new blog, I will copy all my "backposts" from my old blog and attempt to paste them here:

Wednesday, June 29th, 2005-Wednesday. It appears I have broken free from the Thursday Blog pattern. Fabulous. But only by 1 day! Well, Last week was hectic, Carrie's wedding was Saturday the 25th, and the week prior was filled with preparations. Her shower, then followed by endless spray tans, pedicure, manicure, dress alterations, etc. The wedding was very nice and you can see pictures of me looking like a giant compared to all other 5 foot tall 100-120 pound bridesmaids. Like a Cow in heels. Oh well. The camera adds 50 pounds, right? At least I look more in proportion next to Evan, and it will be just me and him in our wedding pictures. Same height. That way as long as there are no skinny people in the background, I will probably look okay. I keep meaning to get skinnier, but I have so much to do, like eat cheeseburgers and pizza and ice cream.

I am officially finishing up Pampered Chef. I made the decision, July 31st I am finished. This allows me to sell many supplies and try to recuperate the cost of what I dumped into the business. It also enables me to not have to pack up my kitchen 2-5 times per month and drag to and from a stranger's house. Of course I am exaggerating, it was fun, but now I am not having as much fun as I originally was, so I am done.

It's been hotter than a whore in church this week, especially with the humidity, around 95-100 every day, it was 99 on Sunday evening, when I went to the Quad Cities to spend some gift cards and exchange some clothes because apparently I HAD No jean shorts, and 1 pair of nike shorts, so I needed some cool weather clothes. It was such a desperate situation, I had to wear a sweater shopping! (kidding)

As I type this, I am eating a piece of delicious birthday cake that should probably gain me 5 pounds. Oy. Fat and happy.

Thursday, June 16th, 2005-Wow, this is becoming a Thursday Blog. Unintentionally of course. Today I went to work at 6am. 3 to 3.5 hours early, for no particular reason, except that Evan woke me up at 4:30 and then I had to go to the bathroom, Then my foot itched, and eventually, I was taking a shower and getting ready for work on 5 hours of sleep. Of course, when I got to Princeton even Casey's wasn't open yet. Wow. So I waited and then got gas and then got breakfast. It was SUPER quiet at work, I got the first parking spot, and it was all eerily empty. It was also incredibly freezing. And I don't mean "chilly" as in "Just meagan thinks it is cold" I mean absolutely freezing, like Meagan's huddles at her desk wearing a sweater and a blanket from her boss's office freezing. As in Meagan puts on spare socks from her LL Bean Boat tote bag and turns up the heat in the office. As in TOO COLD to sit on the toilet seat in the bathroom. I can already feel the downward slide as I progress into exhaustion and basically a big pile of worthless crap from lack of sleep and early rising.

Last night I picked up my car from Kevin Blanford at Auto Brite Detailing. WOW. My car looks better than the day I drove it off the lot- and that was about 4 years ago. Fabulous! Shiny! Waxed! Buffed! And the inside looks and smells so clean! Yippee! I feel like I just bought a new car. And the price was WAY right. So if you ever need a detail, call Kevin!

So I have half the scrapbook room moved, in anticipation of upcoming home improvements, consisting of converting plaster and lathe walls and floors to drywall and tearing up carpet to either finish the hardwood floors underneath or install laminate hardwood look floors, like Pergo or Armstrong. Tonight we evacuate the living room furniture. If I can stay awake that long.

Thursday, June 9th, 2005- It is not easy being opinionated. I constantly feel myself looking at things in the light of "The only reason THIS hasn't changed is because I haven't been given the chance to tell him/her/them my opinion!" I find at least one thing daily that makes me want to write a giant letter of debate that explains why something that is happening is WRONG!

Today, the topic is spawned by an article on MSN about how Identity theft is so rare in Europe. A big reason... Social Security Numbers are just that- SSN's! They aren't used as your identifier for every freaking thing under the sun! I HATE that when I call my insurance company, I can't give them my name and address, but I must give them my SSN! I refuse! It's MINE! Why is the insurance company giving out my SSN to every dumbass who answers the phone?? I DON'T WANT THEM TO HAVE IT! But if I need to give it to them so that they can match it, obviously they already have it! Give it back! May your company erase your mind like the Matrix and give back my SSN! I want a new one! It's too late! My security has been compromised, my identity stolen, my DNA Duplicated! I am In DANGER! I need to go into witness protection over my SSN!

It's like silly putty. I love silly putty, yet I fear what it could do to me. It's very substance compromises my safety. My DNA Is left all over it, my fingerprints... it's insane! Plumbers putty. Chewing gum. Cigarette Butts. Plastic Cups. I am NOT SAFE! If I could just remember, I would clean my keyboard and mouse after each use to eliminate the possibility of DNA Transfer and fingerprint residue. Just kidding.

Thursday, June 2nd, 2005- Wow. Talk about miles behind on the blog! Bad blogger! Well, that's life, and the beauty of being able to do whatever I please. This weekend is my bachelorette/spa Day and my shower at my mom's- AND Carrie will arrive home tonight! I am so excited! I can't wait to have lunch with her and Angela tomorrow! Tonight I will pick up my new Burberry eyeglasses, I got them from Lifetime Eyecare in Geneseo. They have a fabulous new office and the Dr. there is very polite and thorough. The girls are nice and the selection of designer frames is great. I can't wait to get my new glasses!

Wedding plans are moving right along, today we are 2 months and 1 week away from the actual wedding date. Exciting. Stressful. SO much more to do. So much more money to spend! I did get my dress for Carrie's wedding and It fits well, just needs one alteration. Mary will do the alterations for me. I should also mention here that there is a benefit/draw down in memory of Tracy Oaks (mary's daughter) on August 20th, the day AFTER our wedding reception. Tracy was diagnosed of cancer at the age of 32 and she passed away less than two months after being diagnosed. The benefit will be held at the Princeton Moose Lodge on the 20th and the funds will help cover medical and burial costs for Tracy's family.

Another thing to mention, check out and look for a group in your area, there is one in Bureau County and I have already given away some curtains I didn't use anymore. There is always great stuff listed to give and take there.

Let's see, what else is new.... Went to the Memories Expo at Pheasant Run Conference Center and Resort in St. Charles on May 20th. Had a fab time with Cari, Lori, and Theresa... spent way too much money but had a BLAST doing it!

Closed out my month with PC, having $4165.78 in sales for the month of may, selling over 40 Help Whip Cancer Items, Raising $150 for a Relay for Life Team, and earning myself a $1000+ Paycheck along with a new stars and stripes tablecloth, and my HWC charm for my bracelet! Fabulous! What a great month! Also welcomed a new consultant to my team and promoted to Future Director again!

I need to call a DJ and order the cakes for sure. I also need to check on tables and get invitations out. I tried to print some Tuesday night and my printer made me feed each piece of paper through by hand. What a crock. So anyway, I need some more patience, some more time, more vacation, and more hands. Then all will be well.

Sunday, March 20th, 2005- Boyd had a seizure yesterday at about 7:20 am. He had just been outside and came in, he was sleeping between Evan and I. He started kicking at me. He was pushing against me and I told him to stop and he didn't listen (he always listens) and when I sat up to stop him he was thrashing all over and his entire body was rigid and his muscles were all tense. his front paws were out in front of him and he was kicking to the left and then to the right, fast and scary. His eyes were all blank, glazed, and bulging, they looked fake and I thought at first that he had gone blind and was panicking, it was like he wasn't even behind his eyes, and he certainly couldn't see us or respond to anything we did or said. He thrashed around for about 2 or 3 minutes. I thought he was having a heart attack, I thought he might be dying. It was very scary. Then I was pretty sure he was having a seizure, which also scared me.

When it was over, he sat up and looked at us, his regular eyes came back, and he was smiling and panting like he had been running for miles. Then he lay back down to go to sleep. It was freaky. Vet said that it is most likely epilepsy and asked me to write down and keep track of seizures. They can medicate if he has them repeatedly, like on a weekly, daily, monthly basis. But if he has them rarely, like once every 3 or six months, than they don't medicate because the side effects of the medicine are worse than the seizures. There is a possibility that it could be a brain tumor or brain bleed but she said that he appears healthy and he has no other signs of illness, so what it actually IS will be determined by if he has them again and how frequently. Then they can do blood tests, cat scans, etc etc to determine the cause. Scary. Very very scary. Luckily dogs can't swallow their tongues so they don't recommend you put your hands in their mouths as they may bite during a seizure, and sometimes they may bite their own tongues.

Got Evan's wedding ring on layaway and $100 paid on that, bought the paper, envelopes, sticker seals, and reply cards for our wedding invitations... $100 at Staples. Got my iPod shuffle! Yippee! I got the 1 Gig model (of COURSE) at Target for $149.99 and I have not been separated from it yet. It is by far one of the best investments I have ever made. It's fabulous. I love the shuffle feature! It's so great to not know what is next! I worked this weekend (Saturday and Sunday) and was at Mom's Saturday night for some "computer lessons" and installing their new all in one printer. They bought the HP PSC1311 All-In One. It is currently on sale for $78 at Wal-Mart and it is a nice, inexpensive all in one that will probably serve their purposes well.

Today I have a Close To My Heart Scrapbooking Party to attend from 2-4pm, and I can't WAIT! Anya will drive and she and Karen will meet at my house soon. I love to stamp and scrapbook. I need to get pictures of my spa day invites that we just finished, and put them on the site.

Wednesday, March 16th, 2005- Joined DSP (Digital Scrapbook Place) and Two Peas- designed myself a signature.

Monday, March 14th, 2005- Just another Manic Monday. I wish it were Sunday. Here we go again. Start Your Engines. Fasten Your Seatbelts. The exciting life of the girl who isn't allowed to use her on discretion when building her company's website. The girl who has a dog that refuses to be potty trained. The girl who thinks her dogs and her fiance have pink eye. The girl with laundry out the wazoo. The girl with heartburn and an old office chair. I need a full time maid. I need Amelia Bedelia. Who knows what made me think of Amelia Bedelia. She worked for Mr and Mrs Rogers (unfortunately no close relation to me) and she made a sponge cake by cutting up real sponges and putting them in the cake. They asked for a chicken dinner and she served them cracked corn (is that not a chicken's dinner?) Idioms.

Monday, March 7th, 2005- Today, I covet the Longaberger Large Picnic Basket with Sunny Days Striped Liner. Now I have never bought a piece of longaberger in my life. I have nothing against it, except maybe the price. There are things that I like and that I would like to have but I recoil when I see the prices. I did purchase an address basket for Anya's shower present, and Lisa and I went together on it. But I own no longaberger. I once owned the 2000 Noel Bell (given as a gift) but it wasn't my style. I didn't know what to do with it so I put it in the attic, and the next Christmas I sold it on eBay for close to $100. I have a longaberger place mat, that my fax machine sits on. Someone gave it to me. That's what I did with it. But suddenly, I see the Large Picnic basket. I wanted one so badly, and now they came out with the new Sunny days liner and the melamine dishes to match- I WILL Have that picnic basket. Piece by piece I will buy it. It will be mine. I will have fabulous potlucks, reunions, picnics, fishing trips. It will be mine.

This weekend we went to the 2nd Annual Pajama party at the Clover Club in Mark. We weren't in our pajamas, but others were. We didn't leave the bar until 3:45am and then we ate breakfast at the truck stop, so I slid into bed at 5:30am. Then I slept till 1:30 and took a shower, took the dogs for a walk (it was a record high of 73 degrees on Sunday) and we all went to mom's where the dogs played with Roxy (mom's chocolate lab)

Then I spent about 3 hours in Wal-mart. I got all my shopping done and then I realized that I hadn't gone back to print out my digital pictures- which are MUCH cheaper if you have them done 1 hour than if you use the kodak printer thing. So I had 155 reprints done and I had to wait another hour, so I killed more time in the baby aisles, the gardening area, toys, housewares, etc. I got some new pajamas and some herbs (seeds) that I planted last night for a kitchen herb garden. I am most excited about the chives! I watched the Oprah movie "Their Eyes were Watching God" with Halle Berry. That was really a good movie. Then I unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher, cleaned the kitchen, and vacuumed. Busy day! Got my taxes dropped off at the accountant on Saturday. Feel very productive! Also got 15 Spa Day invites ALMOST finished and handed out two of them.

Thursday, March 3rd, 2005- I am super "in-step" with the blog these days. Could it be Boredom? NOoooooo. It is Thursday. Evan went to Peoria and I have busied myself all day. "entertainment" that's me! Tonight I will do the dog kennels at Friends of Strays and then go to my home. Laundry and supper probably.

Well, that's all folks, who said it has to be long.

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2005- Hump Day. halfway there! I have lots I can do tonight but more than anything I just want to go to Ricky's and have a drink. Ugh. What a day! Made it through possibly the very best Princeton Computer User Group meeting, our guest speaker was Rob Rosenberger from

Got home from my meeting at 9:15 last night, brought the Evil Hadley in from outside (he peed on Boyd's bed right before lunch yesterday, sending Boyd into a torrent of anger and bewilderment. So he had to stay out in the kennel yesterday and today, and today a bigger comfier dog house arrived for him. I talked to my mom last night and finished book two of the sisterhood of the traveling pants series, which I HIGHLY Recommend. I will be mailing books one and two to Carrie soon so she can read them. I have to say that the Lena and Kostos thing really got to me, more than anything else in the books. Must be past experiences.

Today I had to wear a dress to work because I am out of pants. Oh the Irony of pants. I must read every book just before I find out it will be a movie. I swear, It's like a sixth sense thing, the irony. I must have good taste in books.

Monday, February 28th, 2005- Ahhh, Monday. Isn't it what we all look forward to? It has been an okay day. I had to go let the dogs out for lunch, which was okay too. I bought Hadley a personalized collar, a doghouse, and tags today. Thinking ahead I also ordered a new tag for Boyd and changed the owner from "Meagan Rodgers" to "Evan and Meagan Johnson." Last night I was up until 2:30 am. Working on pampered chef hostess packets. I got 2 for march done and got lots of printing done on the 2 for april and 2 for May. I called and booked all those shows last night. I have got to get back into the swing of things, even though I have preferred lately to become a slacker. I get so tired of being on the ball and wearing myself out.

I found out that I need to order more new catalogs, and I balanced my checkbook. Ick. I created a wedding expense category so I can see how much all this actually costs me. I purchased my potential "wedding" dress online. I paid my internet service bill and my car insurance bill. I fixed our networked printer that wasn't working properly. I was such the busy little bee.

Tomorrow is the PCUG Meeting and I have NOTHING done in our 8 page newsletter that I pull together. Luckily Dorene has sent me some filler articles so that I can maybe get that done tonight. I will go to the kennels tonight and that will be fun, I always enjoy it, like a way to unwind. It's such a great cause. Look at how lucky Hadley is - with a new home! He will be micro-chipped and fully adopted by the end of the week.

Saturday, February 26th, 2005- Relaxed. Finally. I won my professional housecleaning through my PC director, and it was done by All About Clean (Jerry and Michelle Newman) of Manlius. They did a FABULOUS job and I can't even begin to give them a good enough recommendation. Everything was done perfectly, cleaned and clean-smelling. It was one of the best gifts I have ever gotten, although Evan said that for Valentine's Day I get a professional massage somewhere. I need to pick a place I guess, I heard of a good one in Princeton in the Clark House.

So my house is clean. And Picked up. We got a new dog, Hadley the Hound, and we are loving him already. Boyd has to get used t sharing affection, but there is more than enough to go around. Hadley is aged at a year and a half, and was a resident of the new Friends of Strays Shelter until Thursday evening, February 24th. See pictures of Hadley on his page, Hadley the Hound. Potty training is in our future.

This was my weekend to work, and it is BEAUTIFUL outside. My dearest sister came to see me and brought me Subway for lunch, how sweet of her. I got a wedding scrapbook finally, I am very excited about that. It is blue and yellow daisies. Fabulous. There is a company in Iowa called Album Outfitters and they make linen albums- with removable covers that are dry cleanable. I am very pleased with the quality of this 3" postbound album, which cost me $24.00 plus $6 shipping. What a fabulous but! 3" postbound is VERY accommodating and should fit pictures of engagement, showers, spa day, wedding, honeymoon, and reception. I also have purchased cardstock, Background and Texture Paper, Eyelets, and ink in Dutch Blue and Sunny Yellow from my Close to My Heart Representative Michele Jorge-Trzcinski. AND I bought the "Whoops-A-Daisy" stamp Set to help with page decor!

Friday, February 18th, 2005- Somehow I am still behind. Last weekend Carrie and Angela were home. I hosted a Girl's Night Out Party and 26 guests showed up, it reached $1300 in sales and I got $140 in free merchandise and 2 half priced items. One girl was drunk when she got there and ended her night by falling flat on her face and then throwing up on herself, which was a little crazy. But we made it through. Got a little wild. Then on Saturday, Carrie, Angela, and I went shopping for dresses at David's in Davenport. I found three wedding dresses that I liked, but then decided this week that I really don't WANT a wedding dress that badly. We picked out bridesmaids dresses for Carrie's wedding and also got Morgan's flower girl dress and Carrie's Dress Fitting taken care of. We ate Lunch at Happy Joe's in Bettendorf.

That night we met Heather at Amici's in LaSalle/Peru. The food was fabulous, but the wait was NOT. We had 7:30pm reservations and we finally got seated at 9pm. We stood the entire time we waited and then once we did get seated, our main course did not arrive until 11pm. Luckily we were so glad to be together, we chatted so much that the time flew by, but it was a horrendous wait. The woman greeting guests was not polite and appeared incompetent. She first told us we didn't have a reservation, but as we had just called 10 minutes earlier and confirmed it, we knew that wasn't true. Once she found our reservation we stood crowded by the door with frustrated couples. The waitress Melinda was wonderful, and pleasant and polite. I felt bad for the wait staff because they should not have to deal with people so angry over double-booked reservations. The food was fabulous. I had bruchetta and minestrone followed by cheese and spinach ravioli in a cream sauce with a glass of Pino Grigio- and we split a chocolate dessert. It was good to be with the girls again!

This week I did my first volunteer and Friends of Strays and I am really excited about going back next week. It's definitely work but It's a good way to de-stress after work, and once you see those pooches who need you desperately, it's hard not to take every one home. I found a beagle/hound mix that is my favorite- I really want to bring him home!

I did get a check mailed for half down on the reception site and half down on the tent for the reception. I have a caterer picked and a cake person picked and all the guest list is all in a database that I built, now we just need to add addresses to the database. I have invitations designed but I am not happy with them. Need to revise some things I guess. I have one bridal shower scheduled and just need to work on getting my "spa day" scheduled.

Now that the weekend is here again, I face more tasks to complete. Enjoy your weekend!

Monday, February 7th, 2005- Ugh. Last weekend was icky. I was sick feeling and cranky. I tried everything I could think of to make myself feel better. I got my nails done. I got my hair cut. I got my diamond ring cleaned. We shopped for Evan's wedding ring. I made goulash (the ultimate comfort food) and homemade vegetable beef stew. I put clean sheets and blankets and a fresh quilt on our bed. I took 2-3 hour naps each day. I took bubble baths. I cleaned my office (that took an entire day) I organized my bulletin board. I got rid of two unwanted pieces of furniture. I bought 5 pair of new cute underwear. Nothing. Still cranky. Must be PMS or mounting frustrations from too much stuff going on. I have to say that Evan was most supportive of my crankiness. He stayed home today to clean the house. Tonight we will go get groceries. Tomorrow Carrie will be here and Friday Angela will be home. This should make for a nice week if I can just shake the crankiness.

Friday, February 4th, 2005- Valentine's Day is Upon us! I have been so busy this past week! We got Evan's laptop and I got it up and on the home network, I closed two Pampered Chef shows, had the Princeton Computer User Group, and also a Bio-Terrorism Meeting, and a conference call for Pampered Chef. And I worked every day, including last Saturday Ugh. SO GLAD this week is over. So we officially announced the date of the wedding reception and the dates we will be away from work. I officially ate too much fast food (I mostly tried cramming in grilled chicken) because I have eaten almost every meal in my car on my way somewhere and you can NOT eat a salad and drive. So although I had lost 9 pounds in the month of January, I think I gained2 pounds back this week (seriously.) Attended a "girl's only" party last Saturday and had a great time, the one I booked from Beth is scheduled Friday the 11th, right before Valentine's Day.

This weekend we are going to go shopping to pick out Evan's wedding ring. We also need to clean at home and get the office organized so I can do my business taxes. AND need to take down the Christmas Tree. That damn thing!

Boyd has become a latch-key beagle this week- poor pooch! The front porch is his daytime home. I also volunteered to do some dog care at the New Friends of Strays Shelter in Princeton. I am excited about that!

Evan's goal this week is to get down payments for the reception site and the reception tent. I am working on invitations. I had a really little card designed and now I am just trying to convert it to a much larger card that can handle all of our information. The less "inserts" the better. Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 23rd, 2005- Burnt out. That's it. That's me. I have just been feeling ready to scream! I figured it out finally, I have worked 12 days straight. By the time I finish January I will have worked 20 days straight with 1 day off. Egads. This on top of working the Christmas and New Year's weekends. It's just too much. Every time I am going to work on the weekends, Evan says "again? Isn't there anyone else in your department?" Oh there is. The on the only time I have had off, I have been either wedding dress shopping (stress) or having P Chef parties (work) so I feel like I never have time to do anything, let alone time to do nothing. Yesterday, I was off work. I had a PC show but it got cancelled. I slept 14 hours straight, until 1:15pm and then I scrapbooked all afternoon and evening. I got seven pages made. It was so much fun, relaxing, and productive. Fabulous.

Now it's Sunday and I am "back to work" as usual. I am hosting a "girls night out" party on February 11th, and I am starting to find out that the girls all have other plans. UGH! I need badly to take down my Christmas Tree and Christmas Decorations, and put up Valentine's Decorations. Badly. I have this coming Friday off work so I can clean and take down decorations then. I am hoping that Evan is at home today doing a few things otherwise I may have to kill him (figuratively.)

Tuesday, January 18th, 2005- This is becoming like a weekly blog these days. I....must....not...get...behind! Last night I had a mental breakdown over wedding reception. Evan was very supportive and could tell I was stressing. We did an instant guest list cut. Everything was looking like $5000-$7000 to feed, house, seat, etc the 350 people on our guest list. So we cut the guest list almost in half. Hopefully no one will be offended but we narrowed it way down to close family and friends. That means 194 on the guest list and if 20% don't attend, that leaves us at about 150, which will cost us about HALF of what our original plan would have cost. So that meant that relatives beyond first cousins may have been cut, some of Evan's great aunts and uncles were cut, we did our best. Luckily my family is small. Evan did fabulously with calming my nerves. He has also been great at trip planning. The honeymoon is looking like a "best of the northwest" vacation with 4 days in Vancouver, 1 in Victoria, 1 in San Juan Islands, and 1 in Seattle. Train, plane, bus, and boat, all in one trip. I am getting excited although I am a little worried about flying. The rest of life is plugging along. Last Thursday I had lost 10 pounds since January 3rd, so that's 5 pounds in less than 2 weeks. This week has been stressful and I spent the weekend at work with our new IP Conversion so I ate whatever they brought me, which included pizza and chinese. Ugh. I didn't even WANT to eat it. I just want to eat cereal and yogurt mostly, with a banana and a turkey sandwich in there every once and a while. I have been averaging 1-2 yogurts a day. Yum. Like Ice cream but not.

Tuesday, January 11th, 2005- Wedding. Everything is wedding. wedding this wedding that. Ugh. It's exciting and stressful and tedious. I tried on dresses last weekend, and it was a nightmare. Nothing fit. Nothing looked good. Everything was either too big or too small. I was smooshed and squeezed and pushed and clipped and pinned into everything from tops and skirts to bona fide 75 pound glam dresses. I think I am steered clear of a "wedding dress." and will be going with the more "non-traditional" as they all said- skirt and top. We also toured Shallowbrook and it is, of course, exactly what I want. Mom even loved it. Dad is in total denial and refuses to offer more than $1000 total. Of course, I am sure I can pull off the whole reception, 350 people, for $5000. So at least $1000 makes a dent. There's just so much to consider. So that's what my brain is filled with these days. I picked the colors to decorate with and now I will be searching for a dress and booking things once we make our decisions.

We are getting our new servers at work this week, so I plan on working the weekend. I also have a Pampered Chef show this Friday and I Had one on Sunday afternoon that lasted THREE HOURS and I was there for FOUR HOURS. That's probably the longest one I have ever had. It was fun though, and the ladies were very nice.

Liz and Evan and I went out for supper last night and then hung out at our house. Liz and I picked out new shoes to buy for when we go to the Met. Mine are pink and although liz can't make up her mind, hers are currently purple. Identical models in different colors.

Evan's parents will be home from FLorida today, which is nice. I bet they had a great time. It snowed and sleeted and rained here, so I can't wait to see how tan they are and how much golfing they did. I will just save my antsyness for Vancouver In August.

Thursday, January 6th, 2005- Snow! Yep. Lots of it. Ice and Sleet and Snow. This morning our snowplower was very on the ball. I heard him plowing our drive at about 4:40am and I was AWAKE. I let the dog out. I ate cereal. I took a bath. Then I came to work at 6:15 when I usually work at 9am. I have a Bio-terrorism committee meeting at 2pm and then I am OUTTA HERE! I have no more clothes left to wear to work. None. I have to do the 54 loads of laundry that have been piling up.

Last night PG came over and I made supper. Chicken Fusilli Pasta Toss and cheese stuffed breadsticks. It was yummy. But today I just don't feel very well. I just hope to god it is not this stomach flu that is flying around here. I will remain as positive as possible that it is NOT that stomach flu- although Dorene has it as well and I worry about her. I ate a few slices of cheese and a banana and I feel better. It might be because I ate breakfast at 5am instead of 8am, so I feel kinda hungry but kinda icky.

I've Been feverishly working on a website at work. The one that we have now is icky and I didn't build it. I am working on building a new one. I got the index designed in Photoshop CS then sliced it and put it into dreamweaver. I have a tiny white space between the top and left frames that is driving me BONKERS and I can't get rid of it- argh! And I need some classes on connecting Websites to databases, I have the database built but don't know how to connect or query the database properly.

I can't wait to go home today and start some laundry and take a nap! Tonight I will have to be sure to do 2 miles. I neglected the past two days. I did lose 1/2 pound since Monday, that's 1/2 pound in 3 days, so it's not all bad, but others in the WLPC Weight Loss Challenge have lost 2 and one girl has lost NINE! Good Lord! I wish Evan would get on that membership to the Metro Center. I would like to go there.

Tuesday, January 4th, 2005!- HAPPY NEW YEAR!! I am slightly behind but I have been either busy or lazy. I have started my "lose 57 pounds by July" program. The goal is 10 pounds a month. Saturday and Sunday I did two miles (each day) with the Leslie Sansone Walk Away the Pounds Express DVD. Monday (last night) i did strength training with the medicine ball, ankle weights, and resistance cords/tubing. I am TRYING to record everything I eat and weigh my progress each Thursday. I found an awesome excel spreadsheet with graphs that automatically calculates your BMI and percent body fat and tracks your pounds and measurements over a 13 week period. It then graphs your progress. Looks like we may be getting a membership for Evan and I to the Bureau County Metro Center. Baby steps.

Still trying to work with Shallowbrook Farms, although their initial pricing is above budget, we will see where we show up at once I discuss things with them. Bob seems extremely nice to work with. Mom and I have an appointment at Shallowbrook this Saturday morning to take the tour and then at David's Bridal in Peoria at noon to shop for wedding dresses. If we could JUST nail down a RECEPTION PLACE!

I just put up pictures from Christmas and New Year's today. To check them out, click on the Pictures Link to the Left. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 30th, 2004- the year is nearing a close. Today I want to talk about McDonalds. The world is right when you can use your credit card at the McDonalds Drive through! I will sleep so much better with that task completed- and with the big mac in my belly. I must be storing up food for the new year, when I will attempt to lose 55 pounds by July. But the reason for my concern: The french fries in the bottom of the bag. You know how it goes, a few fries always seem to fall into the bag. I always thought that it was annoying, but I did like that just when you thought the meal was all over, you can reach into that bag and find a morsel or two of residual fries. Delicious!

Now today, when I went fishing into the bag for the extra 2 (or maybe 5 if you are lucky) fries in the bottom, amidst the salty napkins, I was extremely surprised to find that NO FRIES had fallen! Oh my god! At first, Shock! Then disbelief! I double checked. I removed the napkins- NO FRIES! Then the pain, the anguish, the despair! The feeling of defeat! To know that I had eaten the last of my french fries without even KNOWING that they were the last of the french fries. I recalled tipping the fry carton up to let the last of the crunchy little fries slide into my mouth- and I never knew- that those were the last fries. I was devastated. I have come to the realization today that the "fallen fries" in the bottom of the bag are no mistake. They are no burden, no frustration. They are a blessing in disguise, and I hope that your new year is filled with those pesky fries in the bottom of the bag.

Wednesday, December 29th, 2004- Ahhh Yes, wedding brain. It's a fabulous thing. Today I added a new section about our house decor/colors. I had a co-worker who purchased a Christmas present for me and she commented on having a terrible time picking one out because she had no idea what colors our home was decorated with. I can understand that. I remember thinking in the past that I wanted to purchase a unique wedding gift for a friend and didn't know what color to choose. So hopefully this will help some guests and also give everyone a little "tour" of our home, and our tastes. Although if Evan was in charge we would have an all blue Christmas Tree and green glassware in the cupboards. Ahh, men.

Yesterday I had the morning off (from working Sunday) and I got my teeth cleaned and my hair cut. So of course I look smashing good now (lol.) Last night I cleaned our bedroom. We hung our new picture and I organized all of my drawers- socks, underwear, pajamas, exercise clothing. Whew what a job! I was exhausted!

It was really hot at work today! wow! The plumber came and fixed our toilet (thank the lord) and I finally got the mail after about a week of not getting it. Everything else is mostly normal.

Monday, December 27th, 2004- I would give anything to be at home today. I can't wait till this weekend, I vow that I will relax. I have plans only to snuggle up with Evan and do little or nothing if I can help it. Renting Movies sounds like fun. Of course, I have new year's eve (Friday) off work but I will have to come in and swap tapes at some point. Evan got me a new board game on Sunday called "Battle of the Sexes" and I got a 94 cent camera case for my new Kodak Easy Share Digital Camera. I just wanted a tiny one that would protect the camera in my purse, I have a larger one already to carry the camera and accessories in- like if I were going on vacation. I also used cash that I received at Christmas for a card for my camera. I decided on 256, Evan wanted to buy a 512 but that would hold like 600 pictures, which I did not need, 300 pictures is plenty, especially with my having a "card reader on every corner" and a laptop that I don't like to leave home without. (I use the PCI Card slot to read camera cards as I have all the adapters that came with my Epson photo printer, which also reads PCI Cards.

So I got lots of good stuff for Christmas, my mom did awesome. I got the nicely framed picture for our bedroom that I have wanted for YEARS- Andrew Wyeth's "Master Bedroom." I also got baskets, basket liners, table runner, and throw that are all coordinating in sage green, plum, and ivory plaid....From Homemakers Idea Company. They match the living/dining room (which will go into the dining room once we tear up the carpet and finish the hardwood floors underneath- and we get the dining room table/chairs and matching sideboard that we want- from JC Penney's) Poor Evan says that I have a never ending list of wants and ideas- but what woman Doesn't? Besides, if I have to work every single day, and have multiple jobs, I would like to have things to show for it and things that make life comfortable and pleasant. I would like to replace my 1948 mixer with a new Kitchen Aid in Onyx Black and I am being FABULOUSLY Patient if you ask me.

So I received lots of nice gifts, an adorable terra cotta painted snowman from Evan's mom- that holds tea lights and has stars cut out of his belly. Some neat socks from mom and other neat things- too many to even mention. So it was nice. Now it is all sitting in my house waiting to be given a home.

Sunday, December 26th, 2004- Well, I am behind again. I can't help it! It's difficult sometimes I guess.... especially with all the Christmas Things going on... But now that is over, which is evident with the crashing reality that I have to work for 4 hours on a Sunday, not just any sunday, but the day AFTER Christmas. Of course I also came into work for 30 minutes on Christmas Eve and for 30 minutes on Christmas Day, to change our backup tapes. That (although not fun) was tolerable, but this 4 hours the day after Christmas on a Sunday crap is making me angry. What's a girl to do??

I successfully (and slightly crankily) drug my ass through 4 Christmas celebrations in a 30 hour period. It ends up being more of a nightmare than a celebration or a day off work. Why must we ALL try to have our celebrations within 2 days? Between Evan's family and my family it made my Christmas feel like as much work as work, and then throw in some time AT work between all those celebrations, and I am sick and tired of other people telling me what to do. I know that family will read this, and I am sorry if they are offended, (kind of sorry) but I do not want to run from house to house stuffing myself with food and fighting for a seat on the couch. I would rather be at home in my underwear eating Christmas cookies.

However, My mom's, was fun. I may be partial, but instead of everyone sitting around or sleeping, there was a FABULOUS gift exchange, great food, followed by zip zap RC Cars that we put together and raced around (a red mazda and the Starsky and Hutch 76 Ford Grand Turino), followed by some great DVD watching (Badder Santa and The Blue Collar Comedy Tour Rides Again. No one slept but Liz, and she had been up for probably 20+ hours from working 3rd shift on Christmas Eve, so she was probably entitled. What do we do different? We open gifts- QUICKLY. None of the horse assing around you see everywhere else. We pay attention to what other people open- partially from kindness but mostly because we give kick ass gifts that you don't want to miss. We put lots of thought into what we give and we like to know what the person WANTS instead of just buying whatever we see on the shelf.

I have sworn that I am adult now. I am going to show some balls and I am not going to let you family people tell me what time I will be everywhere- especially if it means that I get home at 2am and have to be up and to eat brunch in Princeton at 10. Who wants to set their alarm on their only two days "off work" in the last month? Do any of us want to eat brunch at 10 am when we have a lunch we are supposed to go to, and then our diabetic father has a crash because we don't eat "lunch" until 5pm? Things are poorly coordinated and not one of us cares what the other people have to endure when racing from grandmother's house to grandmother's house.

What makes it miserable- ?? Evan and I can't even spend Christmas Eve together because our families consistently schedule conflicting gatherings. We are both threatened with bodily harm if we miss one or the never-ending "guilt trip" where they say We know you are busy but could you please just STOP BY? Okay- that never ever happens. It reminds me of the Will and Grace episode where they set the kitchen timer and try to make it to all the Christmas celebrations. When we complain about the poor scheduling- The answer we get from each side? "We have had Christmas Eve in this family for over 20 years and we aren't going to change it now!" God forbid anything changes. Grueling traditions are fabulous, aren't they? What about today, the Sunday AFTER Christmas. Or what about last Sunday, the Sunday before Christmas?

Okay, I give with the Christmas Rant. I can't win. But I Tell you, when I have kids, this running around will STOP. Enough. I can't take it as it is with food and gifts and shuttling and dragging things here and there. But with kids? nope. Sorry Family. You lose. If you want to see the kids- and me, it will be compromise. Evan will give in because he likes to please people, he likes everyone happy. But I am Stubborn and this has to stop sometime. Take this as a declaration- the WAR of Christmas Celebrations will be coming, whether it's tradition or not!

Thursday, December 16th, 2004- Back in the Saddle Again! Last night I was slightly lazy. I did make supper and Clean the kitchen, load the dishwasher, and run the dishwasher. Oh and I printed Labels for all 60 Christmas Letters and After Evan folded them, I put address and return address labels on all of them, so we are ready to go with those, just need the paycheck to roll in so we can buy stamps. $22.20 in stamps to send out Christmas Cards. Not to mention probably $15 in "pretty paper" and labels. Almost $40! Good Lord. Merry Christmahanukwanza!

So after those few tasks, I started a game of Sims "Bustin Out" on the game cube, and played from about 8 to about 11 when I had to FORCE myself to stop. I was exhausted myself, tired of cleaning up after either "MOM" or roommates who don't do jack, and tired of not having infinite money, as we can't get the cheat to work. I did build myself a giant room on the back of mom's house and included a bed, a sitting area, a fireplace, and a desk. And an in ground pool and some landscaping out back, but the worst is that I had to sell some of mom's possessions (namely the grandfather clock and a piece of artwork) in order to complete my construction. Poor mom. But she is constantly whining and crying and she pees all over the floor when she forgets to go to the bathroom, so I am CONSTANTLY taking care of her, so my own room is the least I could have. And I did build it with money that I got as a lingerie model, so who can complain about that? But mom's art had to go when it came to having a couch and fireplace, oh and that moose head on the wall.

Enough about the sim counterpart Meagan. The REAL Meagan can't wait for Christmas!

Wednesday, December 15th, 2004- I may have already gotten slightly behind on my blogging. Must be the holiday season. Let's see, what have we done since last blog? Ahhh Yes.

Spent Tuesday the 7th in Peoria for HTML Level 3 Class and then on to the Princeton Computer User Group Meeting. On Wednesday the 8th I went to Peru and picked up my ring, so as of today I have had it on for 1 week! Yippee! Friday night I went to Ricky's (Short Track Tap in Wyanet) and on Saturday I shopped for a new outfit for the work Christmas Party, which I found, pants, sweater and shirt to match, earrings, and pink purse. Then We went to the Christmas party and followed up with a night at Ricky's where everyone seemed to be. Then overnight the blustery winds seemed to roll in and we had 65 mph winds until Monday night.

Sunday I went to Anya and Brad's and Josh and Lisa and Tim and his son Logan (Sayler) came over. We had Pizza and cheese sticks, courtesy of Brad and Anya- to celebrate Lisa and My Birthday's (November) and then we played "Trivial Pursuit 90's" which we royally sucked at. It took almost 5 hours for someone to get all the colors and even then it was a struggle. We did have good fun and Logan was very entertaining.

Tuesday night (last night) we went to a co-worker's house for a Christmas Party. Evan and I. We had a great time. I think I may have drank a little bit too much wine. "TD" gave me a great bottle of Pino Grigio and I drank 3/4 of the bottle myself- in two hours. "PG" also brought blue cheese stuffed olives (a recipe to make your own!). They were tasty, but still not as tasty as Club Lucky's Olives! "PG" Gave me a Jump Drive! WOW! 512 mb! I was so excited! and co-worker got me a neat ornament that matches my tree perfectly. Evan hung it last night. I will write more tomorrow, when I don't have so much catching up to do!

Monday, December 6th, 2004- It is past my bedtime! After my late sleep on Sunday, I was still up at 2am this morning. ICK! 8 came really early this morning! Now it's 10:30 and I am READY to sleep! I have gotten lots done tonight... Prepared for the computer user group, making 35 copies of our 10 page December newsletter and stapling them. I also made binders for myself and the chairperson. I balanced my checkbook, called PC twice, popped into the WLPC Message board, and now I am sleepy! almost 10:30pm. Evan was kind enough to sign our names on 25 of our 60 Christmas Cards, and he made supper. One step closer to bedtime! Boyd is home from Bob and Sue's and snoring in Evan's recliner as I type. I am seeing rain forecast tonight and SNOW for Friday/Saturday! Yippee! Tomorrow night is the PCUG meeting, after I spend the day at New Horizons in Peoria for a HTML 4.0 Level 4 class. I have to go to sleep now. Goodnight!

Sunday, December 5th, 2004- The weekend is almost over. It was a fun one. A relaxing weekend. Evan had insurance classes in Oakbrook Terrace, and I decided to tag along. Evan arranged for Boyd to go to his parents for the weekend, and settled him into puppy paradise in the little kennel/garage combo. Evan and I set off towards Chicago when I finished with work on Friday. We stopped in Hardees in Dixon for a not so fabulous quick meal, and arrived in Oakbrook terrace at about 8:45pm.

We had some trouble checking in but our hotel room was FABULOUS. we stayed at the Oakbrook Terrace Courtyard Marriott. This had to have been the cleanest hotel that I have been in recently. The courtyard was beautiful, even in the winter. Our bed was HUGE and the bathroom was nicely sized with a separate area to get ready with two big mirrors and a nice closet. The desk was my favorite. There was a HUGE desk, part of which rolled around the room, and free broadband internet in the room. HEAVEN!

So I got some work done over the weekend, and was lazy while Evan was at class. I slept till 10:30 on Saturday and till NOON on Sunday. I took TWO baths on Saturday. It was fabulous. A great big comfy (not your typical hotel "rock") bed with 5 pillows... fabulous. I got a powerpoint presentation built for a customer and reviewed the presentation that I will give to the PCUG this week, an intel presentation on the "Intel Digital Home Experience." I also chatted with other PC consultants online and got to opportunity to visit the PC home office in Addison, only 15 minutes from our hotel room.

Saturday night was the BEST though, Evan and I went into the city to meet my friend "PG", and we found his place in Logan Square, had some great white wine and Evan had some Goose Christmas Ale. "PG" called for a cab but when he found out I hadn't ever been in a cab or on the "L", he called and cancelled the cab and then we walked to the train station, like a block away. So I got to ride the L for the first time, a few stops and then we walked to Club Lucky. We had drinks, and "PG" got me to try my first REAL Olive, stuffed with blue cheese. "A salad on a stick" and it was AWESOME! I didn't even know that real olives existed!

It was PACKED and We had to wait quite a while to eat, but the atmosphere was great and we had fun, so it sped right by. There must have been 1000 giant sparkling snowflakes hanging from the ceiling, and everything was a retro 50's style, it was an old diner all revamped. Awesome. Then we had dinner, (an engagement celebration, courtesy of "PG") and Evan had spinach and ricotta lasagna, I had chicken Alfredo, and PG had some penne pasta. The red sauce on Evan's lasagna was wonderful! We had bread dipped in olive oil and for dessert, PG ordered a GIANT piece of ginger carrot cake, which was the best... and was served with vanilla ice cream. The waitress brought 3 forks, and we were so stuffed! It was such a great time.

Then we walked to a local tobacco shop and PG and Evan got cigars, I got Mandarin Mint Camels. I had never smoked a menthol before, and it was wild, because it was so cold out, breathing in made my teeth feel sharp, which gave Evan and PG a good laugh. Then we went to a neat little bar that PG calls his own, which must remain unnamed as a promise to PG. He'd like to keep it "his" spot. I got asked to pass the tip jar for the band, and ended up agreeing and talking to about 60-75 people I did not know and would never meet again. But I got some cash for the band and a free drink for myself. So it was a neat experience.

Then I got my first "cab ride" and we went past some SERIOUS Christmas lights at someone's home. Evan and I thanked PG and took the ride back to our hotel. It took us almost an hour and 20 minutes to get there (bad traffic) and only 25 minutes to get back to the hotel after midnight. We got into bed at 1am. What a great experience and a fun time. I will never forget that and I hope we get to do it again sometime! A special thanks to "PG" for providing such a great experience!

Friday, December 3rd, 2004- Well, I revamped the whole website. As my skills have increased and my tastes have changed, I decided that it was time to just bite the bullet and do it. I also had so any old pictures on the site and hadn't put any new ones on in a while, and the site costs more to run with all those photos taking up space and data transfer, this is like a fresh beginning. I hadn't changed the site for about 2-4 years really, and that's a long time! As you may no, I HAD a blog, but got a wee bit behind and decided "out with the old... in with the new!"

With the new "engagement" I wanted to be sure that I could put wedding information online for guests and also put pictures online of all the new places we go and gatherings we have, so I Started cleaning up the cobwebs around here. I am considering today starting with a new guest book, I have two old ones which are full, and I hate to get RID of them but I really need to do SOMETHING. What a pain.

My ring had to go to the jewelers to be sized. I haven't even gotten to WEAR it yet and it's so beautiful! I went out to Mi Margaritas and to see The Polar Express with Mom, Dad, and Liz, and dropped my ring off at Zales last Saturday to have it sized. I was thinking they would take away the box and everything but they just put the ring in a ziploc bag. It was a tragic scene. I wanted to moan "Oh, my precious jewels" but I refrained. Now I will get them back this Thursday evening, December 9th and for the first time I can WEAR the ring! I am SO excited. Especially because the entire hospital has been wanting to SEE it and the employee Christmas Party is next Saturday at the galleria, so I can show off the ring! Excited!

Preparing for Christmas, although the only presents I will be wrapping are homemade ones. Cash is tight around here and I have been making gifts. With Evan not "quite" working and me having "expensive tastes" there is a bit of a gap between the money I have and the money I need to make even the basic ends meet. This week the shortage is of foundation and film processing, next week I will be in need of bread, water, and laundry detergent... but there will be no cash to cover. Time for some quick thinking! Have a nice weekend, I know I will. M :)

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